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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WHAT’S FOR BREAKFAST SUPERWOMAN?

In the battle of marketing vs healthy, marketing always wins- by telling you what is good for you, beneficial for you and even a weight watcher for you. So believe me as we go buying the imported quinoa’s of the world, there is a whole segment of superfood right here, under our nose that has not been hyped by Marketeers yet.

One such understated, ancient grain ( It was the staple food of the Aztecs and is high in protein and among the grains with highest fiber) is Amaranth or Ramdana as we know it. You may think you’ve never seen or eaten it, but think Navratra’s and you’ll know what I am taking about.

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SUPER FOOD: AMARANTH/RAMDANA

So here’s this week’s 2 minute healthy breakfast that you’re going to love, specially coz it has a chocolate option!

THE MAGIC AMARANTH POTION 

Take 50gms or 2 ram dana ladoos

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp honey/2 cubes of a dark chocolate

Chia seeds/ Flax seeds/ Dryfruit of choice ( Optional)

METHOD

Add the ram dana, (or if using the ladoo, crush into small pieces) to a saucepan , add water and boil for 3 minutes. You can choose to keep it watery or a porridge kind of consistency, by adjusting the water. Add honey and choice of seed and eat. If you’re adding chocolate, avoid the honey. Warning- since its dark chocolate it’s not going to be very sweet. But hey how else can you eat chocolate guilt free?

-Mansi Mehta

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Breakfast diary of A City Girl

I am a foodie. I live to eat because of which I also live to exercise (not out of choice though) So I will give you 5 breakfast essentials that are fast, healthy, filling, delicious and guilt free.

Today’s special: 2 Minute Basil Pesto Chicken Open Sandwich 

The trick here is to make the pesto over the weekend, so all you have to do is put your breakfast together on a busy weekday working morning.

PESTO RECIPE

2 cup Basil leaves only ( pls remove stalk)

6 cloves garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup pecorino / parmesan cheese

1 Smoked Chicken

Salt to taste

Blend Basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and cheese whilst adding oil at regular intervals. The paste should be grainy so be sure not to over blend. Taste and add salt accordingly.

Toast a slice of wholewheat bread ( or any other of your choice ) put a generous layer of pesto. Add slices of smoked chicken ( you can replace this with any other cold cut of your choice) and garnish with some cheese.

All that’s left to do ? Dive-in.

-Mansi Mehta

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Not feeling the Diwali cheer? Entering the kitchen might help…

Barfi-Diwali_sweetI have grown up hearing my mother and grandmother’s stories about how in their time, Diwali was a month long affair. In the years bereft of Amazon, Myntra, Snapdeal, and the one-click-retail therapy,  Indian households would start the preparations in advance. Much like a military operation, there was a strategy . The season began with  kachori’s, mathhi’s, namak para’s, ajwain sticks and namkeens and nearer to the Diwali, the kadhai would witness a makeover and out came the barfi’s , halwas, ladoos and other sweet delicacies….

So this year, to get into the festive mood, I decided to encourage the feeling by engulfing myself in the kitchen, to make a traditional sweet.

Enjoy my grandmother’s badaam (almond) barfi recipe. ( the recipe is so easy that you can replicate the almond with pistachios, cashew or any other dryfruit)

Almond Barfi Recipe

Ingredients: 

1kg almonds ( soaked overnight and peeled)

1kg sugar

1/2 tsp gulkand essence

1tsp almond essence

1/2 a cup of water

Method: 

Coarsely grind the blanched almonds ( instead of mixie, use a hand blender so the almonds don’t get pasty) Boil the water and dissolve the sugar. Once done add the almond paste , gulkand and almond essence. Stir for about 5 minutes till it is mixed well. Even out on a platter and leave to cool. Cut in pieces and serve !

 

 

 

 

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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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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A day in the life of Modern India #isthisyou?

It din’t hit me till I went to spend a night at my parents house last weekend… but I am a prisoner of technology. What you are about to read is going to be so familiar, that I expect your eye widening and blush deepening!

So here’s recounting a normal Friday

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#Fitbit beeps into my dreamy state ‘ It’s time to wake up, our goal for today 8000 steps, Let’s Go!’ 

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#Mydietcoach reminds me that today’s breakfast options are boiled egg or fruit smoothie.

Damn! takes all the fun of waking up in my mum’s house, see you later cheese omelette and gobhi paranthas!

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#Uber checks in with me ‘ Heading out? Use #work for discount’

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#DailyWater worriedly reminds me ‘You have not had any water since morning, you have 8 glasses to go ‘

“Uh-oh! As my board room meeting develops into a war zone, I would be lucky to get a pee break. Water must wait!”

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#Mydietcoach is back with my lunch options- Grilled sandwich or a bowl of daal.

“Little did it know, lunch was actually 6 cups of masala chai and 8 Bourbon biscuits!”

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#BigBasket notification beeps. ‘Out of rice? It’s time for your weekly grocery replenishment’

“Out of rice? I am out of my mind right now! My laptop just crashed on me ….and no I had not saved my file!!!”

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#DailyWater sends me a pic of a wrinkled fruit ‘You are dehydrated, have a litre of water to remain on the daily goal’

“Well actually my friend I am demoralised, dejected & depressed. I am sure you agree dehydrated is the least of my concerns”

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#SportsSocial pings me ‘ Playing Badminton today? There are 3 confirmed players for a 6pm play. Confirm you?’

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Phone alarm goes off ‘Don’t forget to pick up the drycleaning ‘

“Drycleaning? With this crazy traffic I will be lucky to reach my court on time”

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#Mydietcoach send me the dinner menu. I look at that and the butter chicken the husband is devouring …as I click Remind me Later.

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#Fitbit says ‘It’s time to rest, Goodnight’

“If it wasn’t for the fact that its soon going to be Saturday, I would be crying!”

After failing my daily app goals, its time for me to work harder… after all it all begins again at 830 am Monday morning!

 

Download the apps you like below

GET FIT WITH FITBIT

FIND YOUR FAV SPORT &PLAYER

THE WATER GUIDE

STOCK YOUR CUPBOARDS

 

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