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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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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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 !

 

 

 

 

MY ICY DATE FOR THIS WEEKEND

In this series of Friday Getaways, I get to ( fingers crossed) tick one thing off my bucket list…  In this ‘obsessed with everything white’ country I too have a weakness with fair , except it’s got nothing to do with skin colour and everything to do with flaky particles falling from the sky.

Snow in India ….There’s something so magical about it. So this cold wave week, as I give up that heater and head into the mountains to enjoy the snow show, here’s my recommendation of  drive-able getaways this weekend!

                       NATHUAKHAN, ALMORA

One of my favorite places Julia and Lat, own this beautiful homestay in Almora, 8 hours away from delhi. A few kms before Mukteshwar, enjoy the view of the snow capped mountains with one of Julia’s home baked warm cakes!

https://www.facebook.com/InnifsreeFarm/

                   MATIAL VILLAGE

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If mountain driving is not for you, here’s a little cheat. One and a half hours from Bhimtal, in the aloof village of Matial, say hello to the Jilling Terraces. Breathe-in the winter at this 80 year old house adorning the hilltop.

http://www.jillingterraces.com/

SHIMLA

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This one is for the luxury traveller, enjoy snowing Shimla from the comforts of your room , at one of India’s oldest luxury properties The Cecil, Shimla.

The Cecil, Shimla

BHIMTAL

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Looking for a shorter road trip? Settle at The Retreat, Bhimtal, for a quiet holiday. Away from the holiday hub , this homestay gives you the hill station fun, without the uphill drive.

http://www.theretreatbhimtal.in/

I can’t wait to get my hands on that snow, and bring my snow(wo)man to life!

Only Shah Rukh Khan can make DD’s so sexy

Movies- a reflection of our environment, characteristic of society’s new trends, steeped in the coolest words of the month, Director Gauri Shinde masterfully brings all 3 components together in her latest ‘ Dear Zindagi’

How else would a psychologist become a DD- Dimaag ka doctor and the pursuit of THE partner be explained as the journey of finding the right chair.

Mental illness has always been a taboo, sometimes I think even more than HIV. In true Indian fashion, it took a Deepika Padukone recently to bring the matter to the forefront,  and now its SRK and Alia Bhatt who are helping add style and cool quotient to the  otherwise stigma.

The funny thing about the Dimaag ka Doctor is that in life, we all ‘need’ and actually should ‘visit’ every once in a while. Like the customary eye test, the standard blood tests etc why should our dimaag not get the routine makeover?

The brain- a reservoir of feelings, emotions, thoughts, wishes is well guarded by our personal watchman- the Ego and while we think we can handle it all, there are many hints our bodies give us to tell us otherwise… And that’s what I love about Dear Zindagi. It takes a bout of sleepless nights, a physical symptom, for Alia Bhatt aka ‘Kaira’, to gather the courage to go to SRK aka Jehangir Khan, a therapist.

 

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The setting of the film is perfect- a young woman cinematographer trying to make her way in the big bad world of movies, constantly in and out of relationships topped with a strained relationship with the parents having to move out of her Mumbai apartment because she is ‘single’.

Reality depicted in reel did you say? Yes.

As Kaira, moves to Goa for a break, the director takes a leaf from every parent’s book and so start the interrogations

‘Are you Lebanese ?’ asks Uncle

‘Oho! Lebanese nahi Lesbian !’ chides the Aunty followed by the usual suspect

‘Why don’t you settle down ? ‘

The interrogation dinner is enough to send Kaira running off to stay with her friend away from the family madness.

Cut to sleepless nights and the entry of the DD ( Dimmag ka Doctor)  SRK.

ShahRukh’s casual demeanor , cool clothing, super hot beard and most importantly toned down over-acting makes him not only a delight to watch, but also makes one wish for a therapist like him who can help you with the small things in life.

As the film continues to dwell into Kaira’s past, her innermost fears and how it has affected her life, Dr Khan not only helps her de-clutter her life, but also makes her fall in love.

In my personal case, over the last couple of years my partner and I seem to have automatically become each other’s therapist. Long  drives that started as exactly that, long drives, have now become our dimmag ka doctor sessions- a space where neither judges, scolds or tries to offer solutions to the other on problems or those ‘life’ questions that keep popping up. It’s a time that we use to bare our soul, not to the other but actually to ourself. And the fact that it’s done out of the house, actually makes us more vulnerable  to open up but less vulnerable to feeling hurt.

In the end, the film reminds us yet again, if we don’t learn to ‘ Love you Zindagi’ it’s going to be the most miserable journey you have ever been on!

 

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ARE YOU LISTENING TO WHAT THE UNIVERSE IS TRYING TO TEACH US?

2016: It’s been a great year. I quit my job to follow my passion, travelled around the world, and attended the mind blowing Coldplay concert in London. Just kidding!

2016, has been a path breaking year for many countries. We saw UK vote to opt out of the European Union. We saw President Elect Donald Trump cross the required 270 votes by a mile.

What does this tell us ? There can be a few explanations-

a) Aliens are on the planet and are playing havoc with our mind

b) The world’s a stage and  Karan Johar’s the director.

c) People are fed up of false government promises and can’t be fooled anymore.

I was in London when the Brexit results were announced mid this year, everyone around was shocked, hate mails were flying around, social media was overflowing with rants, arguments and jokes.  Yes it was a shock, but for those professionals, businessmen and new white collars who chose to ignore a whole other segment of fellow residents who were voting to safeguard their present. My personal view, it was a risky step, after all haven’t folk stories told us 5 fingers are stronger than one, but like 2 sides of a coin, neither is fully right or fully wrong.

And that’s what gets me to the point of worry, are we as people slowly forgetting to be tolerant? Tolerant of another man’s view, another man’s policy, another man’s vision.  Yes, we have found our voice, yes we choose to exercise it, yes we think we are right, but that doesn’t mean the other person is wrong. They are just different. And that’s what we do not celebrate anymore, the diversity of voice.

Take this week’s examples- Donald Trump won the elections fair and square, people came out and voted for a change. Are we turning a blind eye to the millions of non-metro Americans who are making their voice felt and voting for the better life, better employment that Trump offers, only because we don’t support Trump?

Could this be a fatal decision in world economics -Maybe.

Could this be the end of a peaceful world – Maybe.

Could this be the lowest moment in world politics – Maybe.

But it’s what some Americans have chosen, and the others have to respect it.

I, for one, am not a Trump fan-  I think he lacks many things that are crucial to be a leader, but I also think with great power comes great responsibility

This is Trump’s hour of learning . Let’s give him that.

Or before we know it, this growing polarisation Tsunami will divide our homes and lives.

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?

 

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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