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

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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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Remember this- if they don’t get, ‘No means No!’

First up, I want to make this clear- Just because I am a woman, this article has not been written assuming the offender to be a male. I truly believe,that an offender can come from anywhere and be of any sex. The faster we digest this, the faster our response time will be. Case in point, would any of the crew on International TV productions, ever think they needed to be on guard from the lead actor on the sets? And yet the innocent looking-chocolate boy – next door neighbour kinda guy Kevin Spacey managed to terrorise people over the years.

So here’s what you need to remember when in or to avoid a tricky situation …. PACTS

 

PEPPER SPRAY

Buy one now. Stick one under your steering wheel and carry one around in your bag/laptop bag at all times.

Always be prepared.

 

 

 APP- REGISTER YOURSELF ON ONE TODAY

Having your near and dear ones know you’re in danger can save not just many a terrible incident but also mental trauma. Think of how many times we hesitate before telling our loved ones what went wrong. That stigma can be taken out of the equation with this simple hack.

Digital Rescue Guide

 

 

CELL PHONE ESSENTIALS

Be more aware of what your cell phone can do for you incase of an emergency.  Do you have the right people on speed dial? A helpline that may be faster than the police? An automated SOS message in your drafts that can be sent immediately?

 

TACTFUL BREAK

This one may sound weird, but you’ll be surprised how numb the mind, and this is an endeavour to get you on top of the situation.  Most of the time, we know our offender, and its the shock of that, that mutes us and delays our safety response. Instead of attacking, surprise them by either staging a fainting spell, choking or any other delay tactic that can help you get an advantage.

 

SAFETY SIREN

Invest in a safety siren, that can be worn as jewellery , stuck on clothes or mobile. This will help attract action, incase you’re too stunned to react in any other way.

 

I hope in an uncomfortable situation,  PACTS will help you get into an auto rescue mode and take on the world.

 

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 !

 

 

 

 

Like Salman Khan , King Salman delivers a Diwali hit!

 

women-drive

 

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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Is it in your bag???

Remember as kids, when you had guests over for dinner, and the best part of the evening was when you went rummaging through all the aunty’s bags to find an array of lipsticks, perfumes and eyeliners that you were forbidden to use.

Cut to 2017 ! Reach into my bag and you will find A City Girl’s guardian angels, all under one zip.

P BEFORE Q

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Board meeting se nahin, sahib, public toilets se dar lagta hai.

Say hello to Public toilet’s best freind Pee Buddy! Always in my bag, this allows me to be out of my home all day without worrying about hygiene!

 

ONE WIPE BATH

Come summers, and I wish I could have a cold shower every 2 hours to get the dust, heat, sweat off me… and this is where these wipes are a godsend! In under a minute, I feel human after gruelling outdoor meetings. Super recommend this to be in your bag at all times.

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ANTI-CRANKY KIT

We’ve all heard of the Little Women, but ask any guy and he could write a new version called The Hungry Women. Hunger & Women are 2 words that together spell disaster for anyone in their vicinity.  Its here that these honey miniatures come in handy. Eat them whilst travelling, in a meeting or when surrounded with fried food!

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WHY CHEW WHEN THERE’S A SPRAY

Walking into meetings while chewing gum, is not only tacky, but also distracting! Say hello to mint sprays that give the same fresh breath without the need to chew like a cow!

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POWER TO YOU

With a Mini Power Bank in the bag, I am never without charge on my phone, tablet and ipod!  So listen to music, play a game or keep chatting the whole day!

 

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How to survive the Fashion Week Death Sentence

 

To the point: 5 consecutive days, four times a year means 20 days that a fashion week veteran will never get back. So here’s how you can make those 240 hours totally entertaining.

For anyone who watches more than 3 shows at a fashion week every edition, knows what I am about to say is the truth, the whole truth and, nothing but the truth. If you can manage to keep these following 5 handy, I can guarantee that you will prevail!

1. Have a laugh!
Venue washrooms, pretentious glamour girls (if 60 year olds dress up as 18 they will be called girls!) show delays and erotic fashion statements seen on the ramp… nothing will help you get over the trauma better than a little laugh. Don’t sweat it, laugh out loud at the venue as much as you can, if you spot that outrageous outfit (outfit being a strong word) Forget an apple a day, one fashion week every quarter will give you a doctor free existence!

2. Music

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Ipod/ Itunes/Gaana app, don’t enter the fashion venue without your favourite song. Without music, fashion week can feel like a HNI Chautha. It’s supposed to be a sombre affair, but the conversations you overhear can seriously burn your ears.

3. Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak!
Whether you are working at fashion week or are a mere guest, this is the only way to escape persistent  PR managers, media hungry designers and of course your partner’s ex! This helps you go through the whole day without having to smile every second of every minute. Hence very helpful in avoiding wrinkles and sore jaws.

4. A Shawl
The freezing controlled environment aimed at ensuring the models make up remains intact can play havoc with your body. So if you want to avoid the hot-cold headache, I recommend a stole/shawl in the bag at all times.

5. Friends

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Last but the only thing that you just cannot do without. Being around your gang at fashion week can make you forget the long hours, the queues and turn the most painful day ( all thanks to those gorgeous high heels!) into the most memorable day.