5 things from your Gift Cupboard that can be recycled this Diwali

What is a gift cupboard did you ask?

It’s the magical place which promises to be your savior, every time your husband forgets to tell you about a dinner at his bosses, the pandora’s box that has something for every occasion, your own little shopping mall in the comfort of  home.

I got married 6 years ago, and yet some of the 107 gifts that I received on that momentous day are still packed and sealed, waiting to be unwrapped. Just like your wedding day, these gifts too are truly unforgettable.

So here’s a good way of cleaning and recycling that gift cupboard.

  • CROCKERY -Home is a personal space especially when you are setting up your first marital home and while for guests at weddings it makes perfect sense to gift tea sets, plates, coffee mugs, glasses and all types of serving bowls, it may not suit the design sensibility of your home. I divide these gifts into NEVER USE and MAY USE. Every year, I ensure 5 of these ‘Never Use’ home items are donated to a charity home. Why should they always get hand me downs?

 

  • HOME DECOR ARTICLES -Anniversary, Housewarming or a JLT ( Just like that) party means a new a batch of home items. Now who can blame your guests, after all candle holders, coasters, antique clocks, flower vases make for ideal non controversial gifts. But if you haven’t managed to take them out in a while, this Diwali, gift it to your support help at home. After paying premium price for lentils, decorative items is an unaffordable luxury for them.

 

  • PLATTERS & SERVING BOWLS – This one is a particular favourite. Come Diwali, and I like to take out those single platters that don’t gel with any of my houseware, fill dry fruits, chocolates, raisins in them, add 5-6 diyas for festive cheer. Voila! you have a Diwali hamper ready for gifting. Incase you have single serve bowls, add different dry fruits in each, assemble on a glass, marble or wooden tray, add the diyas and it’s ready to go too.

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  • PERFUMES -At any given point in time, I have over 10 perfumes in my cupboard, some that I buy on my shopping sprees and others gifted to me on special occasions. It’s important to remember that like wine, perfumes too, age and get better with time, but they also tend to evaporate over long periods of time. I like to gift them to my team on festive occasions.

 

  • CLOTHES- How many times have you bought an outfit, a tad too small, hoping to fit into it and never did? A majority of my impulsive ‘I love the outfit too much to not get it’ buys, land up in my gift cupboard. I like to gift these to people in the pantry, security or the house keeping team. It’s something that lights up their day.              Isn’t that the whole point of Diwali?

 

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If I was Melania Trump, I would…

It’s not easy. It’s unforgiving. It’s thankless. It’s a hard task.

It’s great power that comes with great responsibility. While this Presidential campaign has been harsh in it’s focus on Donald Trump, its been a tough journey for the potential First Lady to-be, Melania Trump too. So, here are some of the lighter moments that make this big stand up comedy show called the US Presidential Election, a little more bearable!

Enjoy!

If I was Melania Trump… I would rather my son watch all the adult TV in the world, it’s got to be better than hearing his father talk!

If I was Melania Trump… I would be the busiest mother on this earth. Once I am done mothering my 10 year old, its time to start with my 70 year old!

If I was Melania Trump… I would keep a paternity test result handy. You never know when Donald thinks I have rigged that system too.

If I was Melania Trump… I would get a cosmetic surgery to give me a constant smile . Thats the only way I could mask a gasp when my husband says ‘ I grab women by the p****’

If I was Melania Trump… I would start my line of Lock and Key underwear. After all, being with a successful CEO has it’s upside. I can smell a business opportunity anywhere!

If I was Melania TrumpI would invest in good noise cancelling invisible ear plugs. It’s very upsetting to hear Trump bashing. After all, he is my husband!

If I was Melania Trump… I would make sure that my seat at all Trump’s rallies have a neck-back-butt massager. That’s the only way all that B*** S**** is worth listening to.

If I was Melania TrumpI would be upset with myself for being outdated. Trump mentioned this new shopping mall -Nato and I have never shopped there !

If I was Melania TrumpI would be worried about my husband wanting to seal borders. Where am I going to get my nanny, cleaners and manicurists from?

If I was Melania Trump I would get my husband into a doctor’s office immediately for his sniffing problem. Can’t have people say he is old, or they will be calling me aged next!

If I was Melania Trump I would take Donald to my hair stylist asap, I cannot afford to go down in world history pictured standing next to The Nest  at the elections! #dontcrampmystylehoney

If I was Melania Trump… and had a nickle for every time my husband said

‘I want to make America great again’ I would be a millionaire.

‘They created ISIS’ I would be a billionaire. 

‘Wrong, Incorrect’I would be a trillionaire.

-Mansi Mehta

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Kabhi certification, Kabhi ban? An open letter to Cinema goers

 

‘Ae Dil hai mushkil jeena yaahan, Zara hat ke, Zara bach ke , yeh hai India meri Jaan’

As I watch the drama unfold between cinema owners association and  Dharma productions for the release of their block buster film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, I have a bigger fundamental issue with the IMPPA’s proposed ban ( Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association ) and I wonder on what ground are they banning the services of any Pakistani actor, technician, director or musician?

Are they, like Donald Trump ( His campaign advocates an anti- muslim, instead of anti-terrorist drive)  implying that any and all Pakistan citizens are to be blamed for the recent attacks on Indian soldiers?  Were these creative folk on the border trying to infiltrate into our territory? Are they to be penalised for the decisions taken by 10 people in their government?

Are we all behaving emotionally ?- Yes

Are we behaving immaturely? -Yes

Are we trying to protect our soldiers? -Yes

But is this the nation we want to be known for?

Is this the political and cinematic legacy that we want to leave for generations to come?

Now that’s something we need to decide individually.

Wars are fought on borders. Politics is played at the diplomatic level. Finanical crashes are orchestrated on industrial level.  Cinema is the only form of communication that is pure and oblivious to world matters.

Banning an Indian film, does not make a dent on the Pakistani administration who ordered the attack, it makes no difference to the Pakistani soldiers who executed the order on the borders and it makes no difference to the Pakistani economy.

What it does do- financially cripple the Indian producer, sabotage the Indian actors spirit and effectively kill the Indian Director’s labour of love.

So who are we trying to punish here?

I hoped though, as missionary of the arts, the film associations would have stood up to members asking for such childish bans, that they would have been mature enough to isolate the 2 incidents.

Attacks on borders need to be responded to with military action, Attacks on businesses needs to be addressed with financial action, Attacks on religion need to be responded to with religious repercussions.

As citizens of the world’s largest democracy, we have the right to express our views, but it is paramount that we do not let it cloud our professional commitments.

As for Karan Johar, kuch kuch hota hai, par kabhi alvida na kehna….

-Mansi Mehta

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If I Could I Would…Go on a Gutka spitting spree

Life is full of regrets- dreams not chased, love not reciprocated, the new I phone not bought…

Sometimes, I like to write down the things I would like to change, but either don’t have the time for, the inclination to pursue, or even the dedication for… But hey! What are the odds that it will strike a chord with someone reading it and my could, finds someone who would? Here goes:

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If I could I would…

  • Take the time out, stop and help traffic policemen in their job. How many times have you seen them stop a car or truck in the middle of the road while handing them a violation challan? How many times you wish you could stop and ensure the challan-ed vehicles get parked on the side to avoid further jams.
  • Eat gutka and go on a spitting spree. Drive from one end of the city to the other, to find all those educated new sedan owners who have clearly misinterpreted the line- Paint the town Red! and give their clothes a nice gutka shower.
  • Stop every water tanker that I see with it’s tap opened by thoughtless people and shut the water outlet avoiding water wastage, whilst making sure that the lovely souls who open these back taps in their bid to have fun are sentenced to a week of life without water, hoping they understand the value of it.
  • Make the man leering at a passing girl, see his sisters face in her. That definitely ought to help cool his hormones.
  • Help each and every homeless person sleeping on the road, find a roof over their heads. God knows, what we will born with in our next life!
  • Strap a horn to the ear of that superbly annoying two wheeler rider, who thinks he is in a video game and keeping his hand on the horn will kill all his enemies, elevating him to the next game level!
  • Use the satellite’s video feed to prove to the copper who stops me on the charge of crossing a red light, that while it was still green when I crossed the junction, it was Mother cow standing in the middle of the road, that led me to the traffic violation!
  • Use a magic carpet to transport my lifeline’s (also known as the hired help) whole village including the cows, farms and her relatives year on year so she never has to leave for gaon.
  • Make a masseuse appear out of thin air, just as I was heading to sleep every night for that 15 minutes of foot therapy that promises the sweetest of dreams.
  • Make CEO’s of telecom companies who boast of their amazing network, sit in my house when they have that most important investor call and see their face turn red when the call drops!
  • Make drivers honking away at the rickshaw puller in front of them on a single file road, carry a 30 kilo weight on their back, so they understand the logic behind the rickshaw’s inability to go faster.

Did I read your mind? Would love to hear from you on which- If I could I would,  resonated the most with you…

-Mansi Mehta

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There’s a Trump in all of us…

Sitting thousands of miles away, watching the best politicos of the Great United States of America, one can’t help but wonder if they are monkeys in a circus. Aiming to entertain by saying the most obnoxious things, and while it takes two to tango, one of the US Presidential candidates takes a lead in the comedy series ‘I blow my own Trump-et’

So here’s my tribute to the biggest entertainer this century has seen and some of his best friends in the business of ‘Funny One Liners’

And while to all Trump supporters I only have one thing to say- May God be with you, I hate to say we have a Trump hiding in some of our own !

ON BORDERS

DONALD TRUMP: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”

MANOHAR PARRIKAR, DEFENCE MINSTER: ”  Pakistan ko mirchi lagi, woh bhi Andhra ki”

ON WOMEN 

DONALD TRUMP: “Ariana Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”

SRIPRAKASH JAISWAL, EX UNION COAL MINISTER: “Like an old victory, wives lose charm as time goes by”

 

ON  HIMSELF 

DONALD TRUMP:  “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”

LALU PRASAD YADAV: ” Jab tak rahega samaose main aalu, Bihar main rahega Lalu”            ( Till,potato is the filling for Samosa, Lalu will remain in Bihar)

 

ON HIS COUNTRY 

DONALD TRUMP: “One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.”

RAHUL GANDHI: “Poverty is just a state of mind”

ON FAMILY

DONALD TRUMP: “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

RABRI DEVI, POLITICIAN:” If sons of engineers can become engineers, then why can’t sons of politicans become politicians ?

ON THE ENVIRONMENT

DONALD TRUMP: “It’s freezing and snowing in New York – we need global warming!”

GULAM NABI AZAD, MINISTER: When there is no electricity, there is nothing to do, but to produce babies’

ON TERRORISM 

DONALD TRUMP: “I was down there, and I watched our police and our firemen, down on 7-Eleven, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down”

RAJ THACKERAY: ” Terror attacks in Mumbai have grown due to the increase in the growth of North Indians in the city”

 

ON BUSINESS

DONALD TRUMP: ” I am smart for not paying Federal taxes for the last 18 years”

SALMAN KHURSHID: ” If we send industrialists to jail, we will be discouraging investment”

 

 

THIS FESTIVE SEASON,DON’T LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT…

The weekend’s here! The social calendar is brimming with parties, events and card evenings! Juggling work, family, and parties can be quite exhausting! So here’s a few tips on how to be a Superwoman in this series of – Don’t leave the house without…

#Popping your Multivitamin– With a fast life come many challenges. Easiest way to overcome this is to stay on top of your health. And it doesn’t get easier than taking a multivitamin. All purpose vitamins are supplements to our daily diet, replenishing  minerals that we are missing out on.

#Burning an Aromatherapy oil diffuser in the house-Hectic lifestyle means our body is working 24×7 with too little sleep to help the body repair itself for the next day. The key here, is to walk into a room full of your favourite aroma, as this helps relax your senses and body. This also ensures however short your sleep is, it’s most refreshing, making sure your next day starts with a bang. ( Here’s my favorite )

#Picking out your clothes for the next day– Admit it ladies, staring at your cupboard for 5 mins every morning can save you many a stress attacks. Deciding your clothes for the next day is an attempt to make your morning-wardrobe decision free.

#A party hard/ hangover cure medicine- So while all nights are not wild nights, they have a habit of creeping up on us. Hangover cure medicines are a lifesaver in these situations. Take them before or during the party depending on the instructions on your med.

#Keeping 2 litres of water by your bedside– Does the following register a bell? Enter house, throw heels, wear night suit, collapse into bed. Getting up from the bed to get a bottle of water at that time is not an option. But a good night’s party best friend is hydration. Get all the alcoholic toxins out of the body for a hangover free morning.

#Grabbing a byte– Never leave the home hungry, with our constant jammed roads, it takes a minimum 30 minutes to get anywhere. Between getting ready and actually eating home at your host’s your stomach can be empty for 90 minutes or more. Drinking on an empty stomach is only for the champions. Mere mortals like us need to ensure a lined stomach to avoid the ill effects of a Night Out.

#Hot water shower– It is a myth that cold water helps you wake up. The best thing that you can do to rejuvenate your body is to have a hot/warm water bath. The steam helps the body relax by taking the stress toxins out, making the whole experience more therapeutic and you a fully recharged person. A hot shower specially in summers, makes you feel cooler as the temperature is nearer to your environment.

#Make up removing wipes– Why waste your sleep time trying to keep your skin free of make up?  Make your drive back productive by carefully and gently  removing the toxins from your skin. Now that’s one less thing to do when you get back home!( Buy My choice of wipes here )

Hard working professional by day and Queen Bee of the party by night will no longer be an ordeal. So get cracking, and make sure you have all the ingredients for a great festive season!

-MANSI MEHTA

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When the Indian dream changed from Roti, Kapda aur Makaan…

From the day I started my Internship at a radio channel as an 18 year old, the only wisdom my dad imparted to me was- Know your finances, Make investments and Spend wisely. After all, that’s how he- a college student from Udaipur, came to Delhi and made a life. So, even before I turned 25, I had PPF, LIC , EPF, Mutual funds and shares but no liquidity for Holidays, Night-outs and flashy mobiles.

But as my profile kept getting bigger and the designations kept getting sharper, I realised that’s not how my teams and even peers looked at life. The 20 something’s in the team changed their phones faster than their partners, happily went out clubbing mid week, short mid week, weekends and any other day that demanded it and still managed to buy fancier wheels than what I could afford!

If I was broke on the 5th of the month paying EMI’s for the properties I invested in, car loans and the SIP’s ( Systematic Investment Plan) my younger counterparts, were broke on the 7th of the month on account of credit card payments, new 3M coating on the car for a new look and the introduction of new lines at fashion stores!

Two different approaches to Life and Money and yet both resulted in empty wallets month on month.

What did I miss? When did life’s philosophy change? How had the wheels of fun passed me by? 

The motto of ‘Save for a rainy day’ gave way to YOLO

( You only Live Once)

‘Don’t spend beyond your means’ gave way to FOMO

( Fear of Missing Out)

Life, had ceased to be the painful existence of a penniless working life, where pay check after pay check was parked away for a secure old age.

Instead, Gen Z and some of the rebellious millennials gave the old retirement savings deposit a kick and shouted Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara from rooftop bars!

And here it is, a whole generation of corporates who chooses to use their home instalment money for exploratory holidays, give up savings plans to fund their tech cravings, even dipping into the unused marriage fund for that special set of wheels.

The unusual spending creates a huge shift in the consumer patterns, disposable income and spending habits. A recent report of the 6th annual emerging markets consumer survey by Credit Suisse shows Indian consumers top the scoreboard amongst their emerging market peers, with fast growth in consumption across a gamut of products- with spend on smartphones showing a sharp incline.  ( Credit: www.credit-suisse.com)  Another Goldman Sachs report goes on to say that India’s consumer story promises to be one of the world’s most compelling stories for the next 20 years.

In a world where terrorism, exhausted economies and political unrest is eroding consumer sentiments, all eyes are on the economy that seems to be on a shopping high. So while its nice to see urban India’s basic needs are fulfilled, lets hope Roti Kapda aur Makaan version 2.0, doesn’t crash and burn!

-Mansi Mehta

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