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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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 I steal 90 minutes ‘Me Time’ everyday

Did you know that we spend a minimum of 120 minutes everyday of our life mostly cursing someone, pushing our blood pressure to new levels and sometimes even experiencing mini heart attacks?

Don’t know what I am talking about?

Time spent on the road going to work, fetching kids from school and even the otherwise happy shopping trips to the mall. From point to point we waste anything from 30 minutes 180 minutes of our time on the road. So heres’ how I cheat the city life for my 90 minutes.

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SPEAK TO MY PARENTS                                                                                                                                  Hi , Is it urgent or can I call you back?                                                                                                 How many of us start the conversations like that when at work. Their guilt of infringing on my corporate time  restricts our conversation to mundane factual communication. Ever since I started calling them on my way to places, without a time bomb ticking over my head, I feel far more connected to them.

ORGANISE MY THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY  If you are as forgetful and scattered as I am, this works wonders. I find recording my thoughts on audio notes an easy way to prioritise making me more in control of my day

CALL A FRIEND I HAVEN’T SPOKEN TO IN OVER 6 MONTHS This is more difficult than you think. At first, it’s not easy to come up with who to call if you haven’t been in touch with, simply because you don’t have a starting point for the conversation. But once you make the call to 2-3 friends you will be surprised at how refreshing and energising those conversations are.

ORDER THE MONTH’S GROCERIES, ORGANISE PLAY DATES AND OTHER HOME CHORES If you are driven around, this is the biggest ROP ( Return on Phone!) I love how I can line up all the boring chores during the least productive part of my daily life.

YOUR PERSONAL CONCIERGE ON AN APP

CATCH UP ON MY FAVORITE BOOK Audio books are a blessing if you’re an avid reader constantly craving book time. Sigh! the countless times I have sat in the parking lot finishing a chapter whilst citing traffic as the reason for my delay!

MEDITATE Clearly this is not everyone’s cup of tea! But I truly believe that 10 minutes of meditation or pranayam ( breathing yoga exercises)  a day gives you 10 hours of battery life.  The trick here is to put noise cancelling headphones so you can hear your internal voice.

BUY YOUR 10 MINUTES OF SILENCE

PAINT MY NAILS Tell me how many times you have chipped your nail polish the morning of your big meeting? I have a standard manicure set handy for any nail emergency !

BUY A PAINT REMEDY SET

NURTURE A HOBBY   The phrase ‘I don’t have the time’ is a result of bad delegation, control issues and lack of task prioritization. Whether you are in a taxi, metro or auto learning a language, art , recipe or even origami will transform your mundane boring journey to one you wouldn’t trade for anything!

FIND YOUR HOBBY ONLINE

Now,I can’t wait for the day to finish, so I can start mine on the journey home!

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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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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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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How to you turn #SUNday into #FUNday

Who doesn’t like a Sunday ? The after party lazy morning that promises to be everything the week wasn’t. But from my close to 2000 Sundays spent on Mother Earth, I have come to the conclusion that the only way to avoid Monday Blues, is to make the most of your Sunday.

So choose one or all of the below and I promise you Sundays will never be the same again!

PICK A CULINARY DISH YOU HAVE BEEN LONGING TO RECREATE

For the chefs-in-making, decide on Friday on the dish you want to make on Sunday. This gives you enough time to get all the ingredients together, more importantly, you end up looking forward to the kitchen time.

ZERO IN ON A JOINT YOU HAVE NOT TRIED

If you are only a connoisseur of food not a creator, how about researching and trying out a new place every Sunday.You could work on diff themes like cuisines or the kind of places you want to discover-street side, bhawans, start ups , food trucks or fancy or even breakfast/lunch/dinner or even mid meal speciality places. Once you pick a course of action, I can promise you the journey is delectable!

PREBOOK A PLAY/ MUSIC RECITAL/DANCE PERFORMANCE

For the Arts inclined, make a calendar of the performances you want to attend. I find, Pre booking is key to this , as it makes sure your intent doesn’t dwindle and you are mentally looking forward to the experience( helping you get through the week!)

DISCOVER THE 5 TOURISTY AND NON TOURISTY PLACES IN YOUR CIYY

You will gawk if I tell you, I have never been to Red Fort or Qutub Minar in Delhi. I have only lived here 35 years and still just managed to not make it there. I am sure though there are such popular and some hidden gems in your city, that you too take for granted. I recommend taking time out for a heritage walk or guided tour. I can guarantee it will change the way you think of your city.

PROJECT PARTY IN THE PARK 

Now this is my all time favorite- Do you know Delhi has 18000 parks? How many have you been to ?  This works great for people with kids, groups who like to get together to play music, fitness enthusiasts and specially the ones who love picnics! Go on and discover the Park Adventures

 

I am sure most of you have noticed, our best friend TV does not feature in this list. After all the time we spend with it during the week, don’t you think your TV deserves a Sunday?

-Mansi Mehta

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