What the Bali hospitality Industry learnt from a humble Indian family this month…

Atithi Devo Bhava! the slogan of the Indian tourism industry resounds in each one of us. We welcome friends, family and even extended acquaintances to our home, where along with an India acclimatisation guide, we offer them the best of our home’s culinary options.

So when this week, an Indian family who popped up on every whats app group , every instagram account, every facebook timeline reached a Bali resort for a holiday, they decided to give the famous line  ‘su casa, mi casa’   a different twist! The big happy family of over 10 members enjoyed their vacation, and loved their hosts so much , that they wanted a souvenir…. or SOME souvenir’s to remember them by.  And so every vase, hair dryer, towel, decoration piece, bedsheet and lamp was carefully packed to replicate their Bali resort room back home.

As creative teams of several brands stepped in to have fun by releasing memes and videos, here’s my advice for all you lovely souls managing hospitality chains-  Travellers may take a while to understand Do’s & Dont’s but here’s what you can do to safeguard your properties!

 

INVEST IN LOCK-ABLE CURTAINS

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RFID CHIP’S ON TOWELS & BEDDING

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HIDE MY PLUG

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DRILL ME DOWN 

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And despite all this if you’re missing an ironing board or bathroom fitting, calmly repeat ShahRukhKhan’s famous words

‘Don’t worry Senorita, bade bade deshon main, aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain!’

-Mansi MehtaScreenshot 2019-07-30 at 10.12.51 PM

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RIP: Collaborations that disappoint

10 years ago Brand Marketing teams got a new breath of life with Designer collaborations seeping into store collections. New loyal buyers, increased PR, and enhanced brand recall -what’s there not to like about the partnership game?

So in recent months, we saw LV cashing in on the youth with Ski brand Supreme, H&M glitzing it up with Moschino & Burberry going uber chic with Vivienne Westwood.

From travel pouches in Red with Supreme plastered all over, to Moschino’s oversized blingy gold earrings for H&M the theme was consistent- established brands looking to capture the attention of the millennial who likes to buy relatable brands with a purpose.

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In India too, we saw super associations- Pankaj & Nidhi for Koovs, Masaba Gupta for Clinique and many more explosive collections that you couldn’t wait to own.

And that’s why when Kama Ayurveda tied up with Manish Arora for the Valentines gift box, we couldn’t wait to open the box to see what two fantastic brands brought to my dressing table.

 

Manish’s burst of color, psychedelic prints and stunning designs married with Kama’s pure, essential ayurvedic hacks for that ethereal beautilicious look had all the right elements to storm the beauty market.

As I entered the venue, the creators did not disappoint- heavy with the smell of fresh roses, the sweet smell of romance hit the air, making the wait even more unbearable. After all #loveislove was themed to perfection in the month of Cupid,  with heart shaped floral bunches adorning tables,  balloons and even rose petals strewn on the floor. After exploring the gorgeous DIY setup that took me through all the steps of facial hygiene, I was ready to embrace the new range of products that would greet me.

And that’s when my brand loving heart broke! While I was expecting a merging of brand strengths with a new line of products unmatched by any other in the market, I was greeted by a repackaged Rose water and Rose oil both an existing product from the Kama Ayurveda range, along with Manish’s signature zardozi work heart shaped brooches.

Earlier, consumers would have bought into such tactics easily, but in a competitive marketplace where brands create products and associations to create stronger consumer loyalty, limp associations like this can lead to a break up for brand loyalists like me.

 

Mansi Mehta


 

#kama #ayurveda #skin #beauty #care #brands #love #february #collaboration #marketing #cupid #valentines

BATTLE OF THE PRICES 1947 vs 2018

While I could draw up a comparison list of 1947 items and their pricing from Independence to present day, I decided to use the cinematic survival guide of Roti, Kapda, Makaan.

But when you think 2018, the definition of essential survival products is very different. Its not the price of grain, clothes or housing that determines our life, Instead its the lifestyle itself! So here’s what you would have paid for the current lifestyle in 1947!

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THE GOLDEN ERA MEANS YOU CAN EVEN TASTE GOLD, SPRINKLED AS  GOLD DUST ON YOUR DESSERT!
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IF AVIATION MAJORS THINK THEY ARE IN LOSSES TODAY, IMAGINE WHAT THE KING OF GOOD TIMES WOULD HAVE DONE THEN? 
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AAJA MERI GAADI MAIN BETH JA WAS A TAD CHEAPER FOR OUR GRAND PARENTS
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A LUXURY IN NEWLY INDEPENDENT INDIA, TODAY CARS ARE HOME AWAY FROM HOME FOR MOST OF US!
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THERE’S NEVER A BETTER WAY OF ESCAPING REAL LIFE THAN A LITTLE SONG N DANCE…

72 years gone, despite over 2000% appreciation on some items, we still make most of the above purchases without batting an eyelid.  What a time to be ALIVE!

Mansi Mehta

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I hope to heal the world, one habit at a time. And you? 

I seem to have the ‘how not to waste ‘ DNA from a fairly young age… Using insect infected lentils as works of art is just one of the things I did to save 1kg of lentil being thrown away. 

But the ‘Go Green’ ‘ Save the Planet, ‘Earth Day ‘ slogans don’t need to be one day protest wonders. Here are some really simple things that if imbibed, promise a better tomorrow. 

Remember our children learn from us. Be the change you want to see around you.

Keep a small carton with 10 cloth shopping bags. Every time I take an unplanned stop to buy the juicy plums, glistening apples off the road or last minute dinner ingredients from the mall, I never have to take plastic.

I’m sure you’re a food junkie like me, so instead of throwing away all the plastic boxes post eating, I either use them as pots for plants or add sugar, rice and flour and donate to the homeless I see on the streets. 

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 Think twice before you pick a straw/ disposable spoon for your coffee, smoothie or shake. If you are still not sure, think of  @LeonardDiCaprio & the straw will fade away.

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   An average person using 10 paper cups per day in their lifetime is responsible for the cutting of over 100 trees.  So continue hydrating yourself with Tea, Coffee & Water, but instead try to keep a mug/glass/ sipper on your office desk so the water dispenser wastage is minimised. 

   Install a water saving nozzle to all the taps in your house. Their aerator technique helps waste almost 50% less water, in every use. 

Adapting these changes maybe a small step for man, but will prove to be a giant step for mankind. 

 

-Mansi Mehta 

#planet #earth #save #environment #leonardodicaprio #earthday #human #race #change #green #planetearth #campaign #celebrity #healtheworld #world #michaelJackson

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THE BRAIN DRAIN YOU DID NOT EVEN KNOW ABOUT…

The happiness in years beyond eighty

No, it’s not a daily occurring in my life. But lately I notice myself wishing it was.

The interactions have been just so brilliant and awe inspiring. Even in the most mundane aspects of life they talk about. It’s perhaps just the way they look at life. Their knowledge silver lined with their experiences. Wondering where I am taking this?

I am talking about our elderly. People who we almost forget in our daily rush. The elderly who are fortunate to see life beyond the age of eighty. Our own, who are repositories of ‘Gyan’, respectfully ignored during the dinner table conversations. But no, it would be wrong to label my recent interactions with this generation as ‘Gyan sessions’. It was anything but that. And that’s what made me fall in love here.

So, I am recently married. I have lived independently most of my life. After high school, I shifted to a different town to experience the college life. And there began the journey, punctuated by nights of instant noodles (mostly because of lack of resources to buy healthier food options) and earth shattering heart breaks of failed relationships. Given that my parent and siblings have always been in different towns, it’s understandable that my interaction with even fifty plus aged people have been superbly far and few. And I would be adding my late night five minute chats with the white-haired guard ji of my Upscale Delhi colony amidst the ‘far and few’. The marriage however, brought in a gamut of relatives into my life. And for once, I was open to the idea of experiencing family up close. The positive attitude that I carry everywhere I say (too much). I was soon introduced to my husband’s maternal grandmother. She is 85 years old. And no kidding, she met me in a pair of trousers with these uber cool dark glasses and eyes that sparkled, even beneath the greyness that years of wisdom bring with them. One thing you notice about her instantly. She is the ‘Joie De Vivre’ of every situation. She continues to be the force that’s kept the family together. She never could learn to speak English. Every reason, she says, to have taught all her five kids in English medium schools. The most forward outlook I realised for our parents who were kids then. She went to the Disney world recently and was most excited as her wheel chair gave her priority entry into every ride she chose. Imagine that. The love for life you need to have to take experience to this level. I will be surprised if I have the energy or the inclination to go all the way even at the age of forty-five.

So, this one beautiful early winter afternoon, I found myself alone at home with her and I decided to ask the most ‘Gyan session’ level question I could muster – With the 80 plus years of experience, what could be the one advice she can give me? She replied almost instantly – Smile through it all. Every experience happens rarely in life. Good or bad. And to bring yourself to the level where you can smile through them all shows one has achieved peace with life itself.

It is something about this age. They lived through World Wars, the Independence struggle, the partition, the family feuds, the deaths of their loved ones and even the daily heart breaks of seeing their materialist gains disappear over the years. And yet, you should see them. Do talk to one of them, one of these days. You will not be disappointed. These people have realised the minuteness of every day incidents. The futility of running after everything. They have learnt how to bring humour into life. They have learnt to smile through it all.

I wish we do too. A bit sooner would be nice.

-The Anonymous Writer

Here’s how you can shave off over 30 minutes from your daily commute.

As I sat in the middle of a bumper to bumper traffic, witnessing,  the choicest of words being hurled from the Audi driver to the two wheeler driver, incessant honking from those who can’t see the bottle neck and the pointless revving by the frustrated bus driver showing off his horse power, I wonder if any of us realise that it’s upto us whether we waste hours in a traffic jam , or reduce half our travel time daily.

Scowling yet curious?

I only have one word for you…. RESPECT

Respect Yourself: Think about it, most of the times the reason for jams is that we choose to behave like goons on the road- bullying the guy next to us, because we can.

Respect your Neighbour: Intruding into someone’s personal space at the workplace can lead to disciplinary action. So why should the road be any different? Keep enough space between cars to avoid scratches, bruises and unnecessary

Respect your Vehicle: Just like you would keep your Jimmy Choo’s away from any dirty, swampy ground, avoid driving your car on the wrong side or unpaved roads to get ahead of traffic.

So the next time you’re on the road, take a second to Pause. Reflect & Respect for a better, faster,safer drive.

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Like Salman Khan , King Salman delivers a Diwali hit!

 

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As I read the trending news about Saudi Arabia lifting the ban on women driving, I’m firstly shocked that I didn’t know they were the only country in the world with a ban on women driving and secondly sad, that I have taken for granted this vehicular freedom that has come after many a struggle to lakhs of women, a few borders away.

I still remember the first time my dad took me for a  driving lesson at the neighbouring Kalindi Kunj grounds. Holding the steering wheel of the powerful Contessa, felt like the weight of the entire universe was one me. The sense of power that came from being in the driving seat, till date I think compares to none other. And as I revved the engine and took off at 25 kms/hour,( which he said was too fast!) my dad said, remember everyone drives, very few enjoy the journey.

As I numbly drive around the city today, I remember papa’s words not only in the context of driving, but equate it to how we live our life. Enjoy the journey of life, whatever form it maybe in, for you – freedom of speech, the un-interfering mother in law, power to choose your mode of contraception, choice of lifestyle/ partner or occupation.

Thanks to the smile on the faces of the Saudi Arabian women, today I am going to sing along the radio and relive the joy of my first car drive.

 

 

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TAKE SACHIN’S FREE MASTERCLASS…TO ACE YOUR GAME !

 

I have heard various criticisms from professional film reviewers, cricket fans and Sachin worshippers about SACHIN- A BILLION DREAMS.

What’s new they say? Yeh toh hamme pata hai!

40 cricketing years squeezed into 140 minutes- ofcourse fans wanted more!

But for a cricket by-stander like me, whose love begins at the start of the match and ends with it, I loved the film- because it means every ordinary person with a dream has the power to rock the world.  

So, Sachin fans are disappointed I get that, but here’s the best of a billion reasons why you should watch the film…

                                  BUILD DREAMS NOT BANK BALANCES

I had a dream growing up, and I totally understand how a dreamer fuels their passion,beyond all odds.  Hardwork feels hard without a dream. 

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‘MAIN KHELEGA ‘  PLAY THE NO QUIT POLICY

Life is not fair. Choose who you want to be. Physical pain, Mental trauma, Emotional setbacks, are just some of the roadblocks en route to being the best in your trade. A broken nose in his debut test series match, did not stop him from playing.

 

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PLAY THE OPPONENT, NOT JUST THE GAME 

Take the best practises from industries other than yours. A fresh perspective, helps not only strategise, but also change the game.

 

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BREAK DOWN UN-ACHIEVABLE GOALS

Not all targets can be dealt the same way. Sometimes, spin the target on its head and attempt it using smaller goals that add up .

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                                     INDIA VS SRI LANKA WORLD CUP FINAL                                                                                TARGET OF 251 RUNS WAS BROKEN DOWN  → 50 boundaries ( One boundary in each over ) + 51 singles

 

Accepting defeat, being the centre of fans ire during bad performances,  having every move scrutinised by experts and couch potatoes, sacrificing family time that will never come back, keeping your cool, never doubting yourself and dealing with team politics shaped Sachin Tendulkar from a middle class poet’s son to a cricketing superstar…. and for that I salute the legend.

-Mansi Mehta 

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THE CANNES RED CARPET DECODED FOR YOU

Who says Festivale de Cannes is only about red carpets and not about cinema?

Here’s my list of block buster films that clearly inspired Indian and International movie stars to don their looks this year.

Look. Laugh. Repeat

 


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SONAM KAPOOR

 

 


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SALMA HAYEK

 


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AISHWARYA RAI BACHCHAN

 


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NAOMI HARRIS

 


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EMILY RATAJKOWSKI

 

 

 

 

Hey Girl, Are you killing yourself ?

TL, CYB, IMHO, BRB – Our life, is fully governed by anything and everything that can help save those teeny weeny extra minutes in the day, so that in our daily fight with time, some day we can celebrate a win.

Recently as part of a research, I was to interview women from age 20 to 55 about their daily struggles. By the time, I finished my 15th call, I didn’t need to write- my pages looked like carbon copies of each other.

 

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From some I got the cutest answers –

Can you turn my nagging husband into a more co-operative one?

Can you get my children to respond to my texts instead of calling me in the middle of my meetings to ask if they are allowed eat ice cream?

And my favourite- I want a clone, to cover for me at places I can’t be.

Most women I spoke to, start their day supervising kitchen duties, aiming to whip up the most nutritious, fresh meal for every family member just like Jamie Oliver, a tall task in itself, it doesn’t end there.  Support Staff absenteeism,  Chores undertaken en route to work and parental supervision all gets checked in the first half of the day.   At work, multiple calls, texts, whats apps to ensure kids have eaten their meal, their after school itinerary is moving like clock work, maintaining the ever failing equilibrium between support staff, dictating the evenings dinner menu, all in a single 18 hour cycle.

Women are dying under the pressure of getting an A+ on their Mother/ Wife / Daughter in law Report Cards. The beauty is, this pressure is self inflicted!

Why?

Why must you excel in all 10 spheres of your life? Isn’t excellence a virtue of mastery in a single field?

Every young mother I know, teaches her children ( girls & boys) to experience life, take up hobbies that free their mind, learn what they desire, ignite their passion and most importantly arms them with all the tools for – Self Survival.

So why is it that these same mothers have forgotten to apply the same tool to themselves.

Here is where things get interesting, as I was talking to the better half regarding my conversations and repeating the heroic acts of these Multi-tasking Super Women, he asks me-

‘ Do you think women understand multi-tasking ?’

‘Ofcourse! Look at how many things all these women are doing in the course of a day’

That’s where you are mistaken he says, Muti-tasking is a product of Delegation. Women don’t delegate, they effectively like to do each thing, to be involved in each thing, to be able to control each thing. That’s not multi- tasking , thats Multi-doing.

As I recover from this statement, I realise how we have set ourselves up for failure on multiple accounts. Most importantly failure to make ourselves priority.

Like men, why are we unable to dis-associate emotional and practical, work and home?

I wonder if in our bid to own the personal and professional front, have we taken more than we can chew?

Will this guilt of being responsible for everything, always be felt by women?

 

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