Thursday, February 25, 2016

Fun and Offbeat Bloggers' Meet : totally outdoor!

Who does not like to get out of the monotonous daily routine and give those muscles a stretch on an adventure getaway? And when, above that, you are invited by some funky, trendy brands to experiment their products along with your like-minded friends, toh phir kiya kehna….isn't it icing on the cake, guys!!! :)

So, yes! Last weekend, it was my time! I was a part of #FlipkartOutdoors organized by Indiblogger. Quite unusual thing happened. Unlike other Saturdays, I got up early! Excitement to meet my Blogger friends, explore new products, and do adventurous activities, all these made –the lazy bum lively!

I, co-ordinating with Ami Bhat, Salma Godil, Rajiv Verma, reached Ulsoor lake in the early morning, around 7:15, to catch the Indi-Bus. Many known and unknown bloggers, Indiblogger- the organisers were already waiting there. At 7:30, buses left for Mango Mist, the resort, located on the Anekal–Bannerghatta Road in Harapanahalli, almost 12 km from Electronic city. Ankit Agarwal, who, probably loves to enjoy weekend mornings curling up in the blanket like me, was the last person to catch the bus, by the way!

At around, 8:45 am, we reached our destination. Set up amidst a mango orchard, Mango Mist revived my childhood memories. I can say it is a great place for a go-getter, nature lover, wildlife photographer, hopeless romantic, adventure seeker or eternal optimist. 

Indiblogger representatives briefed us, teamed us, and cheered us to participate in all the activities in the resort. Flipkart encouraged us to look at the products displayed at the venue and explore how these products are contributing towards our lifestyle, enrich our outdoor experience.

Anoop in instruction mood

Warming up!!

Flipkart in Action

Flipkart in Action


Coleman Camping Gears, Action Cams from Sony & Polaroid, Bluetooth Speakers, Red Chief Shoes, Samsung Gear S2 Watches and Garmin fitness bands, all these smart products were on display. We took the demo of all the products and collected each of them and proceeded to indulge ourselves in some adrenalin pumping activities with a promise to be back at the venue by 2 pm.

So, our time started. Here you can see what we did…

Coleman was displaying couple of products like water coolers, water bottles, trendy tiffin boxes, portable toilet seats and cute and easy tents. We started our activities with Coleman tents. We were asked to assemble a tent and the team that would be the fastest would get some prizes. We were fast, but unfortunately not the fastest!  We did realise that it was very  easy to assemble and carry the tent. It was fun! Totally enjoyed the activity! The portable toilet seats were quite interesting too, which were light-weighted and comfortable.

Here is how we assemble our tent :

Polaroid Cameras:

The Polaroid cubes were cute and amazing! A must carry stuff if you are out for any trip!

It's a tiny adorable cube wi-fi enabled lifestyle camera with water-proof housing, which you can even hide inside your palm, can do so much actions. It can take still shots and video. It is just 35mm on a side and with magnets inside it sticks to any and all ferrous surfaces—even your dinner fork. It is quite maintenance-free and can be tossed around and taken out on the town and record all of life’s oh-so-precious moments.

Polaroid Cube

Polaroid Cube sticked on my helmet

Polaroid booth also displayed Instant Digital Camera. You just need to snap, print, and share instant photos or save and share your moments with the camera’s built-in memory. You can combine the magic of Polaroid Instant with the ability to crop, add borders, or apply filters too.

Instant Digi Cam

Didn't miss the chance

Sony Action Cameras:

Sony Action Camera records decent video in bright situations, has useful image stabilization, and works with a pair of well-specified apps. It is a lightweight mini camcorder with a wide-angle lens and ensconced inside  a tough waterproof housing. It is a confident entry into the sports camera market.

Red Chief Shoes:

I won’t say much about this as the booth did not have any shoe for ladies. But, yes! Smart and dashing, lightweighted shoes were displayed, which are appropriate for trekking. Another interesting fact about the Red Chief shoes are bio-degradable, which disintegrate automatically if they are not used for three months. 

Only for Men.....

Samsung Gear S2 Watch:

The Gear S2 wowed me with it’s smart look, light-weight and comfort of wearing. It was impressive at first glance. It has an eye-catching design, a clever rotating bezel that's actually useful, beautiful display, solid health tracking and slightly better battery life than other high-end smart watches. Besides, it works with a variety of Android phones.

Smart Gadgets

Samsung says that  smartwatch is designed for those who prefer a more timeless design, and we think they’ve hit the mark wth editions,the standard Gear S2 & Gear S2 classic .  

It tracks your activity and motivates you to keep moving, by recording your daily step count, distance and calories, and heart rate for over a month. It has a lot in common with other smart pedometer bracelets, but its customization and battery life make it stand out in a crowded field.

It is smart enough to learn your normal activity levels and sets goals for you within your range. So whether you're a regularly training athlete or terrified of the treadmill, the Vivofit tailors your activity goal to something within your reach.

The Altec Lansing BoomJacket:

The Altec Lansing BoomJacket is a rugged, outdoor-friendly Bluetooth speaker with a solid feature set but not much bass output. Its rugged shell and extra features like voice control help it carve out a unique niche in a crowded field of water-resistant portable speakers.

So, the activities were on high.....

Bloggers in action

Team member touching the highest point

We were back to the venue by 2 pm for playing Paint Ball. Amazing game it was!

We dressed up like soldiers, fought to save the jokers!!! Highly recommended game!!!

Our Paint Ball Team

Day was over by 5 pm…..It was tiring, but great time I had with all wonderful bloggers! Thanks to Flipkart and Indiblogger for giving us such amazing time!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Promise of Love

We lived under the same roof. It’s been one and half year now. I cared for him, but probably as a roomie. Did I love him truly? Probably I tried. Emotional bonding with him? Naah, No longer.  

It’s not that I had not tried. I did, to create a co-ordial relationship with him, love him, care for him. But, all my efforts went in-vain. Now, I folded, wrapped and packed all my emotions and feelings and have thrown somewhere deep inside the heart so that they never come out easily.

It was an arrange marriage. Infact, it was an : “Arrange cum Love”. We talked at least for six months before marriage. I still remember the day, my mom told me his name. I searched in Facebook to see his profile, flipped all the years on his FB wall to explore about his style, likings, keeping in mind to find out how he mingled with girls. In the evening of the same day, he called me up to talk more, and I liked talking to him…We started talking almost everyday. We found our likings were matching, somehow we were compatible. And we got married in a jazzy, happy way to live happily ever after.

But what! All through the year, he has been just a room partner of mine. I was just living with him, with gradually decreasing attachment. Ofcourse, he was sharing his home with me, buying the stuff for me whenever I needed, took me out if I wanted. Initially, I tried to impress him all possible way. But he preferred ‘Me’ time. The expectation of me time and sleeping time increased gradually.

“Anassya! Both of you spend time together as much as possible, first few years. This time will never come back to your life again.” All married couples, I knew, kept giving me advice.

When I went to him to talk after dinner, he would be tired. In the morning, he would sleep till late and rush to office after that. In the night, he would come late because of work pressure. And on week days? He would like to have ‘Me Time’. Initial days, he used to call me up from office, to inquire if I had my lunch or so, but gradually, he stopped calling up. Hardly he shared anything of his life, nor he had time to listen to me. It was becoming tough and tougher gradually to stretch.  To the world, to our families, we were leading a beautiful life, where the truth was we are a lovely couple only outside the house and inside the house, we are strangers, yes! Complete strangers.

He was tensed for couple of weeks now, for something. I asked him so many times. He gave me vague answer. He would just come home, eat dinner and sleep, not even bother to ask me how was my day.

Two days back, we had a fight. And I declared, if all these go like this, better we should be apart. He didn’t say anything….I shouted a lot…..cried a lot too. Thank God! The doors and windows were closed during that time.  

“Anassya”, I just came out of my thoughts with Rahul’s voice. I turned to him. He was holding a file in his hands. He came near to me, put the file in my hands and said, “Here is the most awaited file by you. Just look into it and sign it….I too want to close this chapter.” and then he rushed to his office.

I understood what it was, even without opening the file. I didn’t dare to open it. I just kept the file on the console table, and moved from there. The whole day, I tried my level best to keep myself busy and away from it so that my mind would be diverted from the file which actually didn’t work.

I was restless throughout the day. My thoughts were flowing and my mind was badly disturbed.

I didn’t know why I was thinking all these soo much. Afterall, this is what I wanted, end of the day. But, really I wanted that? I was confused. What would be my answer to family, friends, relatives. My parent’s happy and disturbed faces kept floating in the air. I didn’t know when I had fallen asleep sitting on the couch. When I got up it was 6 pm already.

Rahul came at 8 pm. I offered a cup of coffee.

“Did you sign the paper?”

“No, whole day, I did not get enough time to look into it.” Yes, I lied.

We had dinner like silent pigs. I went to the bed and took out the half read novel to complete. He was sitting on the couch to watch a cricket match - India Glorious series.

It was already 11:45 pm.

“Hey Anassya! Did you sign the paper? Please do. It’s urgent, I need it immediately. I will leave for office early tomorrow….So, please.”

So, now no way. I would have to sign. Gathering lots of courage, I took the file in my hand. My hands were trembling. I opened it.

The first page, it’s written clear and big – “You want Divorce, right?”.....My eyedrops started disturbing me. All letters became vague and unclear……

I turned the paper, it was written – “But, will you be mine forever?”

Rahul was looking at me probably, he climbed on the bed. He held my hand and looked into my eyes.

He whispered, “Will you be my mine, forever?” His voice was gentle. His intent look seemed to plead me to say, yes. I gazed back into his dark chocolate eyes, what was shining there? A promise? A promise of love forever?

He took out a small ring box and wished me “Happy Valentine Day, my Love.”  Suddenly, I realized it was Valentine Day. Clock was striking 12 that moment.

Happy Valentine Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ek Chutki Sindoor

....continue of Run-away Bride took my Boyfriend along....

It was our first night after marriage. My heart beats were probably increasing as the night was deepening. I was literally trembling…..when I heard someone trying to open the door of my room at around 11 pm.  Some girls, boys and ladies were asking some bucks to the man I got married to. One aunt came an hour ago and kept one glass of milk, a water vessel and big bowl in my room. She instructed me to wipe his feet with that water, dry up with my hair and after that, offer that glass of milk to him.

Didn’t know how I passed the last two days of marriage ceremony. I even did not look at him for a single time, though we were under the same roof most of the time. I saw his photograph when my parents showed me long time back as my would-be Jiju (brother-in-law). Now, I was not sure whether I would recognize him.

After paying money to all the guys and gals at the door, he entered the room. I stood up from the ground where I was sitting. I was not allowed to sit on the bed, as he had to sit first and inaugurate our wedding bed. Some girls and boys came in the evening and decorated the bed with marigold, roses, rajnigandha petals. The aroma of the room became quite mesmerizing after that, by the way.

He came towards me, “I am sorry….It’s all destiny. Don’t know what should I say, but yes, I totally understand your situation.” His voice was gentle.

I took the water vessel and the bowl and I said, not even looking at his face, “Please sit on the bed, I need to do the rituals.”

We were just standing front facing.

He came closer, and whispered, “I wanted my life partner. Not a slave. I believe in equality.”

“You must be extremely tired. Have a good sleep now.”

Saying that he took one pillow and made his place on the mattress on the ground, where I was sitting almost all day long.

I didn’t know what to do now. I was standing still.

“Hey, that’s your place, please proceed. Otherwise, I will jump and occupy the queen’s bed.” He pointed towards the bed, and perhaps wanted to make the ambiance a bit lighter.

I first sat on the bed; then, gradually lied there in ‘L’ position, with some mixed feeling, “what if he comes to my bed at night?”

“Hey Junu, sleep comfortably! I am not a ghost or moster.  The bed is all your’s….and I promise, you can feel yourself fully secured.”

Eyedrops started disturbing me again.  Jyotirmoy’s face was as if sticking badly in my eye-lids.

After sometime, I heard some snoring sound. Yes! That’s from Ranjit’s nostrils, my so called husband. Probably, he was also tired.  

I had a sound sleep, probably because, I was damn tired, eyes had been dying for some rest.

Seven days, I spent somehow. Hardly, I talked to Ranjit, though he tried to impress me with some light deeds. My mother-in-law was sweet enough. Nobody talked about my sis. I had to go back to my hostel, as I had taken 7 days leaves only. When I did not return, my Mom said, one girl and one boy called at my home landline. My mom didn’t tell anything to them, by the way.

My in-laws wanted my husband to accompany me till university. His plan was to reach Guwahati by evening and stay in some hotel for the night. And next day morning, he would take me to the hostel and travel back to Sivsagar by overnight bus services.

I did not want to stay with him in the hotel. “I want to go to the hostel directly.”  I declared in the bus itself.
“Sure, no issue. I will drop you in the hostel today and would take a room in Paltan bazaar and stay a day there.” He accepted nicely.

We took an auto from ISBT and reached my hostel in the evening. I got down from the auto and told him that he could leave immediately, if he wanted.

He asked the autowala to wait for sometime. He carried the bags till my hostel entrance. I just tried to go inside, while he called from my behind, “Hey Junu! Just one thing I wanna tell you!” I turned. He continued, “I will never pressurize you to accept me as your better half till the time, you won’t feel by yourself. But, just one request, it will be really great if you give me a chance to prove myself that I have aptitude to be your life partner. I am not so bad person, by the way…”

I did not say anything…..He moved away like an obedient lad.

All of my hostel mates were shocked to see Sindoor on my forehead. I just cried and cried. Next day, Jyotirmoy came to meet me when my roommate informed about my arrival……He was waiting for me in the guest room. I did not want to face him….

But, at last, gathering courage, I entered the guest room. His eyes and ears were red, his lips and hands were trembling. He was just sitting there on a corner seat silently, probably with a question mark on his face “Why????”. He got totally shattered. I just went to him, sat on my knees near to him. I could not help crying loud……I pleaded, “I still have not have any husband wife relation with that man, Jyoti! I am still your’s……I love you. Let’s elop…….Please take me somewhere.”

Jyotirmoy was silent, but eyedrops were relentlessly flowing to wet his cheeks and shirt. He was not talking at all. We stayed like that for hours.

“We will have to think of some ways….I too can’t live without you.” He broke the silence.

“I will do something, my love. No worries! Have patience.” He kissed me on my forehead and bid adieu as the time was over for the guests.

I didn’t know why I kept putting Sindoor every damn day. I would cry, but did not have enough courage to violate customs…..My Mom and Dad’s faces, and mantras chanted in the wedding night kept compelling me to continue with this.

I stopped going out much as I had to face lots of questions from my peers. I would go to class and come back to hostel directly. Jyotirmoy would meet me outside the classroom, walk with me till the hostel gate. We stopped going for date like earlier.

A few days passed. Our exam was approaching. We decided to study for the exam and not meet everyday. Suddenly, one day, I saw him in the Versity market with long beard. I scolded him, when he just smiled, “I am not getting time at all as I am drilling myself in planning how can I make you mine again… My plan will be my Valentine gift for you, my love.”

Meanwhile, I received the first letter from Ranjit, a ten pages letter, depicting his feelings, thoughts, expectations, and ending with – “Can you be my friend at least?”

I did not reply to him.

Ranjit kept sending letters to me, every week at least one letter of minimum 10 pages. I kept reading the letters, gradually my heart started feeling what my sister had missed. With rolling of time, I developed some sympathy, empathy and good feeling for Ranjit.

However, Valentine day was nearing. My excitement kept increasing as Jyotirmoy promised me to present the final plan for our relationship that very day.

Just a day before the Valentine day, I received a Big Card, saying “Happy Valentine Day Junu. Will you be my Valentine?” with a box of chocolate. This parcel from Ranjit somehow made me a bit more softer towards him, by the way. But, the thought of Jyotirmoy faded away that feeling in a moment. 

On the D-Day, I got up early, wore my favourite pink dress, with the matching white pearl long earrings that dangling and playfully touching my shoulders. I saw myself in the mirror again and again. I was struggling myself to be determined that I would not put Sindoor that day on my forehead. And, finally, I didn’t. Leaving all thoughts behind, I kept waiting for Jyotirmoy.

I could see Jyotirmoy from far, he was walking towards my hostel with a bunch of red roses. Oh my God! He was looking damn handsome….I was about to move forward to receive him, if possible to hug him too, but then only, I could hear Rani’s horrified voice, “Junu! There is an urgent call for you…..Someone wants to talk to you immediately.”

Bad timing, but I had to run to the telephone room of the hostel. The phone was on hold. “Bou! Ranjitda went to Guwahati by night super yesternite, to give u a surprise…..” It was my sis-in-laws’ phone……..crying loud and louder…… “…but he met an accident, he is in GMC right now, his condition is critical……..We are heading from here now……Please take care of him Bou!”

I saw darkness everywhere….. just sat down on the ground for a while……shattered, confused…..

I ran to my room as fast as possible, to put some Sindoor on my forehead immediately……

Thursday, February 4, 2016

My love and laughter story


Our’s is an inter-cultural marriage. We got married in July few years back, in Delhi for the first time. Don’t ask me how…but, yes after some hard struggle.  

I didn’t have much knowledge about the Bengali customs, though people say that Bengali and Assamese cultures are quite similar.

We had our second and third marriage and reception in Guwahati and Jorhat, respectively in November, the same year. As that would be my first visit to in-law's home, my dear hubby tried his level best to train me about his customs and traditions, to impress my parents-in-law, his relatives, neighbours etc. My training sessions were not less than the potty-training sessions of a doggy, by the way.

Hubby wrote his all uncles’, aunts’ and few important neighbours’ names, told me most of the family history, explained me all the rituals he knew. During our dinner time, outing time, and free time, quizzes and strict instructions were always on.

“What will be the sequence if Bengan Fry, Aalu bhaja, Veg sabji, Fish curry and Meat will be served for dinner or lunch?”

“Never ever eat pickles with Fish and Meat.”

“Touch the feet of the seniors, when you are introduced to them for the first time. And in a situation, when you are introduced to a senior person, and if some other seniors are also present in that room whom you already touched feet, you will have to touch their feet again along with the new person.”

Offf!!! Touching the feet of the same seniors again and again was actually tough!!! But, can’t help, I would have to do as ritual says…Custom is custom, after all.

Whatever! The D-day came. We two reached Guwahati by morning flight. I wore Dhakai Jaamdani Saree. Hubby’s home is 35 kms away from the airport. When my husband said that we were almost reaching his house, I could hear my heartbeats clearly…increasing continuously… mind was saying silently “God! Save meeh plzz!!!”

Hubby’s cousins, some relatives, neighbours, all were waiting in the gate to welcome us. I only knew few faces like parents-in-law and hubby’s bhabi and two cousins as they went to Delhi for our first marriage ceremony.

So, my action started now. I started touching the feet of all the people who seemed senior to me, one by one. Doing that, I just looked at my hubby, he too looked at me and nodded his head as if “Well done!”…. I got a bit relief.

Lunch time! Action time again. I recalled the sequence….and had my lunch accordingly. Successfully accomplished.

Dinner time. The aroma of fish curry and mutton rogan was tickling my taste-buds. I offered my help in serving in the dinner table. “Mita! Can you pass on the pickle to your father-in-law and others in the dining table.” My Mom-in-Law forwarded two pickle bottles to me.

“But Maa! Pickle with meat and fish…….???” I was confused…

“Why, anything wrong?” She was confused too…. “We eat pickles with fish and meat. Assamese people don’t???”

I looked at my Hubby….He was silently eating, keeping his head down…..but I could see his red ears under the tube light, clearly.

The Reception Day. Almost 700 -800 people were invited. Since morning, I was tensed, how would I handle….didn’t know how many aged/senior people would come. I silently wished, “Hope, most of the attendees will be young….”

Reception was from 2 PM. I was taken to the wedding platform, where there was a long 3 seater sofa, beautifully decorated. Both the sides of the sofa, few chairs were kept so that some ladies, girls could accompany the bride. One by one, people started coming. Someone or other introduced them to me, “He is your hubby’s uncle”, “He is your father-in-laws’ friend”…..I used to get up from the sofa, bend and touch the feet of all of them. Doing the process for hours, my back started aching. One cousin Riya, who was continuously with me asked, “Boudi, why are you touching feet of everyone? No need.” I said, “No, no, I should keep the custom…”

I continued. Once, one person came up to the stage. His age would be around 40. I could smell the desi wali daru ka smell from his body and mouth. Didn’t know who was he…! With confused mind, I touched his feet too…He was happy enough and started giving lots of blessing, which continued for couple of minutes.

My Mom-in-Law was observing me from far, doing these activities. She came to me and whispered, “Oh…Mita! Bengali culture is not like your Assamese tradition probably ….In our culture, bride sits in her sofa, does not get up from her seat to touch other’s feet in the reception. No need to do that…..You will have backpain in this way.”

My eyes deadly started searching for my hubby……,felt like hitting him…. But he was lucky enough, as he vanished somewhere that very moment….

Now, whenever my back aches, I blame him….and he laughs to the no limit……I too!!! J

“This post is a part of #LoveAndLaughter activity at BlogAdda in association with Caratlane.”

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