All Women Bike Rally: Reiterating The Women Power

Women have come a long way from being confined to four walls of home. There is no denying to the fact that women are as great achievers as any man…sometimes even better. We have women doing all kinds of jobs which earlier were considered a male bastion and so we have astronauts, pilots, doctors, professors, scuba divers, spies, military personnel and taxi drivers too. A few days ago I read about a Pakistani truck driver who happens to be the first woman of her country and an old woman at that.

Men have tried limiting women in stereotypical roles; they have tried to set rules of dos and don’ts; they have raged, ranted  and labeled women to scare and dominate but women are tougher than that…we soar new heights every day…we scale new horizons every minute…we achieve greater heights every second.

In keeping up the undying spirit of women, Times of India organised All Women Bike Rally on 5th March across 21 cities of the country. Now in its fourth year this event has bagged a mention in Limca Book of Records with the number of women, participating in this unique rally, increasing every year.

Breaking the shackles of naysayers, women of all age groups participated in this fun rally with full vigour. Some rode Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield bikes and many rode on their non-gear bikes and scooters.

I joined in too on my scooty and was amazed to see the sea of women who had turned up for the event.

Ready for a fun ride

I was participating for first time and had no idea how enthusiastic women were in making a statement. Women were dressed in all kinds of attires….the sari didn’t stop them and neither did the traditional ‘nauwari’ or the nine yards of typical Maharashtrian Sari. The younger ones wore western attires and some stuck to salwar kameez.

Decked up in traditional ‘mangalsutras‘, ‘nath‘ and armful of bangles, some even had typical Mahrashtrian head scarf, the ‘pheta‘ adorning their heads.

Nine Yards of sari and pheta for a bike ride

They came in pairs and they came in groups, some advocated social messages of saving girl child and some declared that women were no less…

Biking Divas

Girl power

Age did not deter women to participate either. I was particularly blown over by a granny Asha Patankar of 73 years old who had her daughter-in-law for company on another bike. Not only were they defying the clichéd MIL-DIL equation with their camaraderie but also their enthusiasm was infectious.

MIL-DIL biking duo

The rally was flagged off by the DCP of Traffic Police, another woman of grit. We rode for an hour with bikers shouting on top of their voice ‘Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji‘. Traffic police managed to provide an uninterrupted passage for all the bikers throughout the 18kilometers of road.

Rally Route

The event ended on a high note with participants getting prizes for their attire, bike decor and historical character representations. And then there was song and dance too….

I would have preferred if women were encouraged to wear helmets instead of only decking themselves up….after all safety should be paramount concern along with empowerment of women. A rule-abiding woman can bring about change better than a woman who falls victim to unsafe driving!

All in all the event was a fun-filled morning…an attempt to reiterate woman power…that women will never back away now…We have fire in the belly and wind under our wings…

A very happy International Women’s Day to my fellow wives, moms, sisters, daughters and grandmas.

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Book Review: Think With Me

Book: Think With Me

Author: Subrata Roy Sahara

Publisher: Rupa Publication

think-with-meI have taken my own sweet time in reading this book just because I somehow did not believe in it.

It is a common habit of people in our society to find faults in everything from condition of roads, education system, population, governance and even how sports are played on field.

Every one is a know all and a preacher. Most of us have many solutions to all the problems that exist in our country  but when it comes to following rules, even the simplest rule of wearing a helmet and sticking to the lane while driving are ignored. If after that we are stuck in a traffic jam or somebody dies we blame it on ill-governance by city authorities, on police department for being lax and so on and so forth….Point is nobody stands up to say it was wrong to not follow rules!

I feel this book is of same temperament. This 100 pages book is divided into five sections of Electoral System and Leadership, Population, Education System, Media and Religion. Each segment is further dealt with in detail but the author goes on to tell what all is wrong with various systems. He has mentioned throughout the book ” I can personally guide the method”. The author comments ‘sick mentality’ of poor people because they bear more children with the aim of earning more. He goes on to say this and that should be done for population control.

I  agree that the problems that he has discussed are real and need a revolution. However I have a limited scope of improving the system and I do that by following rules, by being tolerant and friendly with people of other faiths, by teaching my child that the country should come first…I am vary of preachers though.

I would love to know the contribution that the author has made beyond his organization for each of the system that he has found fault in.

The title of the book is very apt…’Think with me’…yes we need to think and act as per our ability but fault-finding and hollow discussions will have no result. Each one of the educated lot needs to take responsibility and follow rules….Look within I would say instead of blaming the system. Rules already exist…why do they need to be more stringent? Why can we not begin with following existing rules in social and business spheres?

The book is an okay read.

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Book Review: Open Eyed Meditations

Book: Open-Eyed Meditations

Author: Shubha Vilas

Genre: Self-Help

Publisher: Finger Print Publication

open-eyed-meditations-blogaddaThe Epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, besides being great stories are treasure trove of ancient wisdom. The short stories within these epics can become important life lesson…we just need to look, to understand.

It becomes easier to learn and comprehend this wisdom if someone guides in the right direction.

The book ‘Open Eyed Meditations’ is an attempt to help understand and answer the puzzle of day-to-day life.

I have read the earlier book ‘Ramayana…….’ by Shubha Vilas and though I was not much impressed by it, I still opted to read this new book mostly because I got curious.

And, I find this one better than the previous one. “Open Eyed Meditations” has small nuggets of wisdom derived from the stories of the epics and applied in today’s world.

Take for example the chapter ‘Magic Carpet for Relationships’ where author has given the perfect example of Krishna’s love for Arjun. Krishna addressed Arjun by various names that were his qualities. By appreciating all his qualities Krishna had a lovable bond…a everlasting relationship with Arjun. Shubha Vilas has summed it well “The 5Cs of appreciation are continuous, constant, costructive, contemplative and conscious…it then become contagious and comes back to you”

Another chapter on whether love is defined in kisses and gifts, he gives the examples of deep love of Sita who sacrificed the worldly comforts to go with Rama and of Urmila’s love who sacrificed her right to be with her husband so that he may fulfill his duty. For a loving relationship what is required is an unconditional love and not superficial things like gifts etc.

An example which I found most interesting was in the chapter dealing with the choice of quantity or quality. In today’s social media trending world, I have often wondered about those bloggers who claim to have thousands of followers and at times I have felt helpless when I compared myself to them. The example of Arjun who chose Krishna instead of Yadav army for Mahabharat battle and Duryodhana chose the entire Krishna’s army clearly shows who chose quality and who chose the quantity. The Pandavas were victorious despite having smaller army because they had the quality…the brains and blessings of Krishna.

This example made me realize that number of followers on social media might not always mean that my work is of lesser or better quality! This story and the wisdom associated came to my notice at the time when I was feeling little dejected and it made sense to me….I am less worried now…I guess I knew this truth somewhere at the back of my logical thinking…it just needed to be prodded to come out.

There are 64 such chapters reflecting on life lessons that include little insights on love, relationships, leadership, courage, success, emotions, character and personality development. This book has tried to bring forth ancient wisdom for the modern lives in a very easy and simple way.

It is a good read and reader may get an unbiased third person viewpoint on certain issues that my ring true to them.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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Book Review: Finding Juliet

Finding Juliet

Author: Toffee

Publication: Srishti Publishers

Genre: Fiction

finding-julietSo a new book came at my doorstep… Finding Juliet, sent by Writer’s Melon.

 This is a story of a Arjun who seems to get attracted to lot many girls. He gets close and emotionally attached to three girls in succession but eventually loses his ground with each of them.

Dejected, heartbroken and confused he leaves his job and changes cities where his childhood friend Anjali becomes his shoulder to cry on. An office colleague seems to enlighten Arjun of ‘what women want’ and gradually Arjun turns himself into an irresistible flirty hunk.

Eventually, Arjun realizes the futility of one-night-stands and ‘no strings attached’ sexual escapades. It dawns on him that his true love was his ever supporting childhood friend that he had been searching for a long time. All ends well with Arjun finally Finding his Juliet.

When I started reading through, I kind of guessed who the Juliet would be and there was no surprise. The story though well written seems to be a concoction of some of the new age Hindi movies. At one time the main protagonist seems to be floundering with every thing and every girl and then every thing seems to fall in place with him romping around with every female in his vicinity…from young just in college girl to married woman are just blown away by his charm and he lands a lasting gig in the film industry writing lyrics!

Also the author keeps mentioning about the character being an engineer…it looked forced…as if he needs the world to believe of his geeky intellect! His romp  with every girl he meets becomes little boring because every time there is a mention of a new girl…you know what is coming!

Thankfully author decides to wake up and do away with his character’s Casanova lifestyle or else I would have stopped reading more of his amorous activities….too much of something becomes boring isn’t it? Or then may be I am old school.

The story is fast paced and holds attention. In fact if someone wants to make yet another new age movie where everyone is cool about casual sex and there is no guilt baggage…this story fits in.

The story is very today. I may have outgrown such love stories…I now kind of incline towards more mature real meaningful relationship stories but I am sure people would love to read this book and imagine themselves in ‘Arjun’s’ shoes.

Go ahead and read for yourself…

‘I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

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#BergerXP Indiblogger Meet, Mumbai

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning and un-allied with definite form can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.”

Oscar Wilde

Ever notice how peaceful it seems amidst blooming flowers of myriad colors….how playful it feels snorkeling among the colorful fish in the sea…how royal a colorful peacock dancing with its feathers spread in gay abandon looks….how the flirty colorful butterflies make the heart flutter..?

Imagine if everything instead were dull grey…or only white…or black!!

How would have we distinguished between happiness and sadness….

Colors are known to be the mood up-lifters…that is why nature has a rainbow after the monotonous gloomy grey of rain clouds…. Even our dreams are not in dull Eastman colors but always in technicolor!!

But we live in cities with not necessarily an access to a well laid out private garden to have flowers bloom or butterflies to dance and birds to sing…so what is the next best thing to do?  Of course…fill our spaces and life with colors!

And here is where Berger Paints step in to make our spaces brighter and beautiful with their Express Painting which is faster, cleaner and better!

Meet the Paint

Together with Indiblogger, Berger Paints organised a bloggers’ meet at Vivanta Taj, Mumbai to introduce the pioneering concept of Express Painting and I became an enthusiastic participant of the meet.

Berger paints was founded by Lewis Berger in 1760 with the paint Prussian Blue and the brand arrived in India in 1923 with its headquarters in Kolkata. With its presence internationally, Berger has also been named among 50 unusual billionaires by Forbes.

Armed with the concerns of a common-man who finds the conventional methods of painting his home cumbersome because of time factor, dust and quality of finished product, Berger has introduced automated methods of painting and claims to be faster, cleaner and better.

Berger Paints came up with a tinting process and introduced tints and paints which could be mixed with a base of white and with each other to create a new color shade as per the user’s choice….as simple as a painting on an art paper…paint your imagination!!

All hues and tints

All hues and tints

With a painting project coming up soon at home front, I am quite tempted to use the services of Berger’s trained painters. And why not…. If someone is there to clean up and finish the paint job within few hours all the while taking care that none of my furniture and furnishing is dust laden?

And the tools

While the high-speed sanding machine fixed with a suction motor prevents the dust particles from escaping in the room, the automated paint roller, mixer and airless sprayer finish the painting work almost 40% faster. The best part is that there is no extra cost !

Paint the Meet

Well, it was not all shop talk…we had oodles of fun too!

Once the registrations were done, the bloggers were up for a sumptuous meal and umpteen photographs before the meet session began..some new friendships were forged and some old acquaintances renewed.

To emphasise on how difficult the manual wall sanding process was, each team was asked to sand a board painted white. We were all game and rubbed away with the sand paper.. Only when the last of the teams had created enough dust and the room wore a dusty look, did the Berger’s service head, Mr Chandranath Banerjee pointed out again how efficient Berger’s sanding machine was!

Sanding selfie

Sanding selfie

The tints had been displayed and talked about so once we learnt the lesson of sanding it right, it was time to paint the meet red….umm…the art sheets in colors depicting a theme ‘Mumbai meri Jaan’.

Done with playing with colors

Done with playing with colors

Like small kids all of us were eager to get our hands messy and paint away. Various concepts sprung up in colorful splashes…pinks and blues, yellows and oranges, browns and blacks, greens and whites…lofty thoughts emerged in a bid to outdo each other… As each team came out with its idea, surprise gifts greeted the unsuspecting bloggers…the atmosphere was laden with high-spirited gaiety and no one realized that the meet had sneaked past its schedule.

All is well that ends well….a happy fun meet concluded with all of us leaving a bit wiser as far as home improvement and paint job was concerned. It was a first for me and though I was bit shy and could not make my presence known but I connected and made new great friends!

That was what the meet was about I guess and I look forward to next such event…

The Bloggers Lot

The Bloggers Lot

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Book Review: My Father Is A Hero

Indian Bloggers

Book: My Father Is A Hero

Author: Nishant Kaushik

Publisher: Srishti Publication

Genre: Fiction

my-father-is-a-heroIts been a while since I read and reviewed any book. Then Writer’s Melon sends me this book.

Most times a father is the first superhero of any child…”my Daddy strongest”.  I see it everyday with my daughter who can not imagine her dad not knowing answers to her thousands of questions or getting tired or being lesser than anybody in world.

I still cannot reconcile to the fact that my father has aged and isn’t as strong as he was when I was a kid.

This book by Nishant Kaushik is about Vaibhav Kulkarni and his eleven year old daughter Nisha. Estranged from his wife, Vaibhav, a single father, does everything possible to bring up his daughter with comfort and best of facilities. He however is incapable of standing up to injustice meted out to him in daily routine of his life by office and street bullies. Nisha, Vaibhav’s daughter though a bright and mature-than-her-age girl who just simply adores her father, cannot understand why he doesn’t fight against bullies. She also is plagued by a thought that she was an unwanted child of her mother. Nisha, falls back in school in depression.

Vaibhav takes up a herculean task beyond his means, that of visiting a concert of Rihanna in Australia for his daughter’s sake. On this journey, the father daughter open up about his bowing down to bullies and her fears of being unloved. A physical altercation with a goon in Australia when Vaibhav fights back and his efforts to bring a smile on Nisha’s face finally bear results and Nisha realizes that her father indeed is her hero.

The story does justice to the struggles of a father and his desire to fulfill his child’s dreams. It brings out the special bond that a father and daughter share….of how protective a father can be and how far parents go to meet something for their child’s happiness.

However, I felt that at times the author has forgotten that the child is just an eleven year old or may be I haven’t come across such a mature child.

My daughter of thirteen years is still a child and I like it that way.

In all the story is a good read, a little monotonous but with a happy ending. We all need a hero to look up to and who better than a parent who sacrifices everything for us.

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Book Review: The Calling

Book: The Calling

Author: Priya Kumar

Genre: Inspiration and Personal Growth

Publisher: Books That Inspire

the-callingThis is a very different book, a first of its kind, that I received for review along with a beautiful mug printed with the book cover and a hand written note by the author Priya Kumar.

The book dwells on finding the true purpose of one’s life through a fictional story of Arjun who seems to be mired in various difficult situations in his everyday life. His married life is in shambles and on verge of break-up, his work doesn’t excite or satisfy him….He is thoroughly confused why his life is all topsy-turvy.

With all his turmoil and pent-up frustration, he travels to hills for his official work but meets with an accident. In his stupor post the accident, he feels the presence of an ascetic who gives him profound life lessons.

Arjun in his semi-conscious  state lives his life mending his ways. Healed physically and spiritually, he realizes that the ascetic in his dreamy semi-conscious state was none other than his conscience, his logical self which had been silenced by his own over-ambitious success hungry self.

Priya Kumar, winner of International awards is a motivational speaker who has successfully penned seven other inspirational books, cleverly introduces the truth that all the answers of our life purpose lie within ourselves. It is just the matter of identifying and listening to our inner voice to make life less complicated.

Author has explained beautifully how an individual is responsible for his/her progress.

To sit in your space and your world and do nothing in it is a disgrace to the intelligence that you are bestowed with……. Knowing who you are, being aware of the mess in your life and in wanting to make  change, makes you powerful.”

Your life and your destiny was your creation. If you stay true to who you are and act in that accordance, your life will be prayer answered”

There is a relevant lesson for everyone in this book….each his own. I read this book at a time when certain things seemed to be written for me . Though I was not attracted to the story of Arjun but the underlying messages did affect me and reasoned well with me.

I would suggest an unhurried reading of this story….treat it not like a story of some Arjun or somebody but as a message hidden in words.

But young readers may not yet get attracted to this book. Read for understanding a logic which may be hidden somewhere within you and just needs to be told by someone else.

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