Muse n' Motivation

The Thinking Blog!

GAME OF BLOGS: Midway Through The Heart!

postTEAM NAME: QISSA

It isn’t always easy to shoot little children, thought Jennifer as she took off the sling camera hanging around her neck. But then, once the photo session is done and the picture finally appears on film, it is a real pleasure!

 
Having had enough of her shooting little children with her creative weapon, the camera, Jennifer had called it a day. She was back in her very own nest where she could relax and be just herself. Not that she wasn’t like that outside, but then, despite being her very own person, there were certain pretences that had to be kept up with, since she was part of a society that seemed to have no better work than probe, pry and push one into conforming….something that really disgusted her!

 
The cold water shower really soothed her tired and exhausted nerves. It was in the shower that she could rewind her thoughts and brush dark reflections away. For an outsider, the water dripping down her dusky body only seemed to make her more sensuous than she actually was. The tattoo on her right hand on the forearm also seemed to want to wash away a past that still lingered behind and lived in a corner of her heart. Just like the colors of her tattoo which could be scrubbed but not washed away, her thoughts flashbacked into time where the fragrance of a past was still fresh and just refused to fade away.

 
Getting into her comfortable long white tees, Jennifer lazed around and had her dinner of salad, fried fish and a glass of wine. Fish was something she just could not do without; it reminded her of her grandmother’s cooking. With some wine still lingering behind in the glass she carried it to the bedroom and sat down on the bed with her laptop. Of late, she had been surfing blogs. It seemed a nice past time, reading the inner thoughts of strangers. As she surfed along from blog to blog, she suddenly came across a blog titled, Cyrus(Serious) Thoughts. Let me have a look, she thought. The design template seemed less ornamental and flashy like the innumerable others that she had read so far.

 
Before Jennifer could realize it, the wine in her glass was long forgotten and she was reading post after post of the writer Cyrus. It was well past midnight and she was still plunging into the archives of Cyrus (Serious) Thoughts. What is it that is making me want to read more and more of Cyrus’ writings, she wondered. And then, presto! It struck her why she had been so absorbed reading the innumerable blog posts of Cyrus. He reminded her of Shekhar! His writings reflected the style of Shekhar and his thoughts. A link to her past that she so desperately wanted to forget. Memories that only brought her hurt and regret, pleasure and pain.

 
It was 5.30am in the morning in Mumbai and Shekhar was already up with his cup of coffee. He strolled around in the lawn, and soaked in the fresh feel of a day commencing. Those were the moments when his mind was strewn with the seeds of new ideas. By the time the coffee had warmed his throat and activated his grey cells he was back at his study table, ready to begin his day of creativity.

 
Tara was a late riser quite unlike her husband. Putting on the light green housecoat over her noodle strapped transparent night gown, she moved to the kitchen to get her cup of tea. While the tea brewed she opened the front door to get in the newspapers for the day. Like always, she and Shekhar preferred to read different newspapers. As she settled down with The Times of India and tea for company, she opened to Page 3 to know about the latest in social updates and then, it was back to media news related to marketing and advertising. Any other news appeared just too insignificant to her.

 
Roohi was the last to wake up in the household. The apple of her father’s eye, Roohi was the reason the house was filled with life. Roohi walked into the drawing room and wished her mother, “Good Morning Mamma.” Planting an affectionate kiss on her little head, Tara continued reading the newspaper even as she asked the maid to get Roohi ready for school.

 
Realizing that Mamma was busy Roohi walked into Shekhar’s study and put her little palms on Shekhar’s eyes, “Guess who is it?”
Aware of her touch, Shekhar’s fingers stopped beating an age old typewriter that despite the technological advancement in the world hadn’t turned into a laptop or desktop and he played along with her.
“Is it Mahima?”
“No”
“Is it Juhi?”
“No”
“Then, it surely must be Bacon”
“Oh Papa. How can it be Bacon? He has four paws. And these are two hands.” Saying this she jumped around, “It’s me Papa, Roohi. You lost again!”
“Oh beta. For you I will lose any number of times” saying which Shekhar placed Roohi on his table.
“So, is my pretty girl going to school today?”
“I don’t want to Papa but I have to.”
“That’s a good girl. Then hurry along. Get ready.”
Each one busy preparing for their own day, hoping that the day would bring happiness, success and contentment. But would it?

 
“ Read the next part of the story here”

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

 

THe Chennai Anthem is here: Celebrating its 375th anniversary.

Today, Chennai is celebrating its 375th anniversary. Just imagine! 375 glorious years of Chennai! Almost 4 wonderful centuries of a city that has grown in leaps and bounds….Not to mention that it has not outgrown its beautiful traditional culture. And therein, lies the charm of the city Madras now, Chennai that attracts people far and wide. Those living in Chennai will vouch for the wonderful flavour of the city – a unique combination of the ancient and the modern, the old and the new and still growing strong despite all challenges that any city faces in today’s fast moving world.

To celebrate this momentous day, the Madras based conglomerate, Murugappa Group have come out with a tribute song on the occasion of the 375th Anniversary of Madras. It has been shot across locations like Krishna Atluri Rao & Hotel Broadlands, Chamiers Cafe, Sharif Dance Company, Shelter beach resorts, ECR Sundari Silks, Grand Sweets and Snacks, Adyar, Kalakshetra, Vadapalani Murugan Temple, Kasi Vinayagam mess, Triplicane, Dreams Come True, Prince Plaza, Tanmay Thakker, Sindhuri S.

 

PUDICHCHA CUTOUT, PUDIKKALENA GET OUT”  the anthem for #Madras is here.

(Love it, get a cut out. If you don’t, just get out!)

 Yasmin Ponapapa , the actress from the movie Aaranya Kaandam is the one introducing you to the charm of Chennai. She is spontaneous, careless carefree  and dives into the pleasures of living in Chennai beautifully wanting you to do the same. Oblivious of passersby as she carries on her shoot, she is a pleasure to watch as we get to perceive the city through her eyes….

The concept is catchy and spontaneous… The Madras Song has been written and directed by Vijay Prabakaran while the music has been directed by Vishal Chandrashekhar. Lyricist Subu has given that Chennai angle and twist to the song while Shakthishree Gopalan has sung the song with ease. Cinematographers GVS Raju & Imran Ahmedh KR present the picture in the most aesthetic manner that appeals to the young and the old generations.

Executive Producer: Krishna Ramkumar ,Associate Director: Swathi Raghuraaman, Assistant Directors: Meera.Karthik, Keerthi Raju, Production Assistant:RM Ramesh kumar, Camera Assistant: Baskar, Post Production: Red Studio, Editor: Vijay Prabakaran and Colorist: Madan form rest of the Credits Team for THE MADRAS SONG.

The Logo Design is by Hakuhodo Percept, Chennai and the album has been produced by The Murugappa Group

The experience of a girl who is clearly not from Chennai who is stuck here for 3 days and who falls in love with Madras at the end of it is the essence of this lovely video .

A creative and heart felt tribute to the city that has welcomed so many people of diverse communities and cultures in its fold.

Do have a look at the video and enjoy the charm of beautiful, gracious and loving Chennai city.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAqtE4KdJL8&feature=youtu.be

HAPPY MADRAS DAY ALL!

#WHAT THE BLACK! And it is ……….the Day of Revelation

So, we finally have it all. The black campaign, the intense marketing, the suspense in it all.  And I almost missed it in my apprehension to know what it was all about.  Many of my friends were intrigued as to what I was upto. What is it just a prank? Or, was I going to come up with something new in the market? A new review?

So, dear friends….

First, we had a black Egg IMG_20140730_201601 Followed by a black NewspaperIMG_20140801_101423

Then, came a black paper cupIMG_20140802_171525(1)

And finally, on the final day of revelation so to say, we discover the real product…..It is yes, you guessed it right. I know. I know, you can see the picture down!!!! It is a toothbrush…

brush4Yes, a toothbrush from Colgate….The Colgate Slim Soft Charcoal toothbrush.

So, what is so very different in this toothbrush from other toothbrushes? you might ask. Well, for one, the bristles of the toothbrush are not entirely white or multi-coloured.  They are fully (yes, you guessed right!) Black! brush2And, adding to this  is (according to the company), the black bristles are infused with charcoal that helps remove plaque bacteria and can effortlessly reach tight spaces between teeth and along the gum line that other toothbrushes can’t.

So, now you have it all. A black toothbrush from a branded company that costs only Rs. 60. Quite affordable for a toothbrush that boasts of the qualities mentioned above…don’t you think?

And, what a marketing attitude in spreading the news about the slim, elegant and seductive Colgate toothbrush!!

A great way to promote a commercial product in the competitive market. It was great fun in trying to decipher what the actual product would be….

Even the sole black fish in my aquarium seemed to wonder #WHAT THE BLACK!!

brush6Know more about the brush here

 and about the campaign hosted by BlogAdda here

 

#WHAT THE BLACK! Day 3……

Day 3 and there is another black box at my door again. I am just itching to open the box and find out what is there inside.

‘Day 3′ the box states and I open the box to find a :

IMG_20140802_171525(1)A black paper cup and a black paper napkin.

So, is the final product going to be connected with something to eat or drink? I wonder.

Will it be some extraordinary kind of drink or maybe, a different kind of coffee?

#WHAT THE BLACK!

 All I can do is just guess.  Or, like they say, my guess is as good as yours.  Or maybe, your guess could be even better. That’s why I suggest you put on your guessing hats and you can drop in some ideas in my inbox too so that I can be ready to expect something like you suggest.

Till then, we  have to wait for Day4 which will be the day of revelation when we shall finally discover what it is going to be all about……

Until then, be good and keep guessing!

For the #WHAT THE BLACK campaign

 

 

#WHAT THE BLACK! The Mysterious Journey Continues ….Day 2

It was nearing late evening, and I had still not received the Day 2 surprise for #What The Black!

Gosh! Was not getting anything part of the surprise, I wondered. Finally, when we were preparing for an early go-to-sleep process,  (locking the doors, switching off the lights, etc) the door bell rang!

Oh! Lord! Who was it at this hour in the night? Was something wrong somewhere? Grudgingly I unlatched the door and found a man with a black newspaper in hand asking for me. For once, I was like, What the *%$#.

Then, I realized that it was the Day 2 surprise of #WHAT THE BLACK!

Yes! A black newspaper. So, black was in town once again….

IMG_20140801_100612

My son was already asleep. My husband was too tired to even register anything.

I found the whole process of reading a black newspaper intriguing…. Finally black was getting its due, I thought.

IMG_20140801_101423

But, how was a black newspaper connected with #What The Black?

Yesterday, it was a black egg. Today, a black newspaper….. What would tomorrow bring?

No idea at all…. What do you think?

What kind of project is being launched in the market?

Is this going to be a hi-funda promotion marketing?

 

No idea. Just counting the days. Not my days silly. The days until I receive the final product which of course I shall share with you.

Till then, let’s just keep guessing,  while others keep reading The Black Times…..Have to keep abreast of black sorry, current matters you see!

IMG_20140801_095341Part of the #WHAT THE BLACK Program from BlogAdda.com

#WHAT THE BLACK! The Mysterious Journey Begins….Day 1

#WHAT THE BLACK is an activity that BlogAdda has innovatively come up with. Nothing less can be expected from a website that keeps striving to become more interesting and involving to bloggers and readers all over the world!

On Day1 on 3oth July 2014, I received a box late in the evening. A little black box that promised a lot with the black shade of the box hiding more than revealing any thing. Curious as I was about unwrapping it, I let it absorb the vibrations of my home while I freshened up. IMG_20140730_201254

And then, when I opened the little black ribbon I dipped my hand inside the mysterious black box to find an egg shaped dome. My son was really edgy now.Unknowingly to him, I too was curious.

What can it be?

Can I break the egg, he asked impatiently?

Is it a chocolate?

Is it a toy? Innumerable queries but no answers as of now. Except some guesses.

IMG_20140730_201437

Yes!  A Black Egg it was.  And I wondered, #What the Black!!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? WHAT COULD IT BE?

IMG_20140730_201232

KEEP GUESSING!

 http://www.whattheblack.com/

Black Beauty Wishlist…..

The colour black  has always intrigued me. More so for the fact that this beautiful shade hides within it innumerable other colours invisible to the naked eye. I realized this the moment I stepped into my teens and began experimenting with colours, dabbling in paint or trying out different coloured dresses. In fact, you will not believe it that when my mother and I went out shopping to Benares city (that’s where I come from) then, a black embroidered Benarasi silk saree with golden zaree on it is what caught my eye and I insisted on buying it despite my mother saying that ‘kaala shaadi ke liye shubh nahi hotha.” My mother bought the saree for me on the condition that I would not ‘stupidly’ wear it for my wedding or the reception.

IMG_20140730_233307

About the 5 Black Things on my wishlist:

Well, First on my list is a beautiful black sleek car.mercedes

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dryheatpanzer/

Second on my list is a black sofa set that is luxurious as well as comfortable .sofamoderneurodesign.com

Third on my list is a black Persian Cat. Something about the cat is mysterious….black cathttps://c1.staticflickr.com/1/237/444466302_6b48d6c973.jpg

Fourth on my list is a black gown that I can carry off on my not-so-model-like figure with contrasting pearls to match as accessories.black gownhttps://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7144/6429491821_627999b307_z.jpg

And finally, fifth on my list is to see a slimmer hubby dear in a smart black tuxedo.suit1http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2916/14236094172_346db97690_m.jpg

Not much to ask from life… is it!!!

 

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com

Reviewing ‘India’s oldest flavored Elacihi!’

IMG_20140725_125858

When I was approached to review a product of BABA Elaichi Sweetener I just jumped at the offer. The spontaneous reaction was more due to the fact that I had heard a lot about Baba products. Secondly, I had consumed and reviewed sweeteners in the past and wanted to know what was it that this new BABA Sweetener had to offer ‘joh kisi aur sweetener mei nahi!’ And thirdly, I have been aware of the popularity of BABA tobacco products and was wary of the new product that BABA had to offer….

 
The Click-Clack concept of opening the little round powerful box is enticing. I can vouch for this as my teenage son was enthusiastically wanting to open the box from the moment it arrived at my doorstep!

TASTE:
Quite unlike other sweeteners, just one elaichi (cardamom) piece is sufficient to freshen one’s mouth and the fresh taste lingers on for longer than expected when compared to many other sweetener products currently in the market. For a person like me who tends to pop in some saunf or elaichi in my mouth before leaving for work or for some social visit, the BABA Elaichi silver coated and saffron blended sweetener was a mouth freshening experience!

MOUTH FRESHENING CAPACITY:
Since the amount of elaichi required to freshen up one’s mouth is less, one tends to NOT over stuff – a drawback for many other sweetener products in the industry. Here, the taste is good and one does not pop in more than necessary. I liked that!

Hubby dear was pleased that there was something like this in the market.
Son was delighted not only because he liked the taste but also because I asked him to model for the review of the product, something that I never do for my product reviews. Now, isn’t that a great testimonial in itself?

PhotoGrid_1406290212562QUANTITY:
At just Rs. 65 for a box of 5gm, it is certainly worth a buy. Enough to last you a long long time!

 

So, go ahead and indulge yourself in this mouth freshening experience! I bet you will enjoy it!

 

Product reviewed for BABA Elaichi

Can I Have This Chance : A Book Review

neelam book cover1
Having read Neelam Saxena Chandra’s innumerable interesting stories before in national magazines, there was no way I was going to miss out on her novel! Neelam’s stories have never ever disappointed me so I was confident that I was going to read an equally interesting novel.

The title of the novel itself, ‘CAN I HAVE THIS CHANCE?’ is an attractive one. Who would not wish to have a chance to do something he/she so desperately wants? Who would not like to make amends or make a difference if another chance was given?

The protagonist Avantika is one such person who is at the crossroads of her life. Having all along believed in the significance of duty, work and career, she is given a chance to fall in love again. But, something edges her on to ignore the chance and board a flight to New York instead despite the co-incidental/destined chance that comes her way. Is she running away from love? Will she permit fate to play its role? Or, will she carve out her own destiny?

“Avantika was also lost in her own world. She knew she liked Sunil. After all, they were so similar. Their professional liking, their tastes in reading, their tastes in eating – almost everything. But wasn’t liking different from loving? Why did she never feel the pangs of love which she had felt when she used to be with her first love? Had her failed first love closed her world so much that she was not ready to accept someone else? Or was it that she did not really love Sunil?”

But wait, this is not all the story is about!! It is about a ‘fiery young journalist grappling with crime, murder, rape and aspiring to bring justice to the oppressed and keeping up the quest for truth intact and lot’s more!’

To be able keep the reader enthusiastic about turning the next page and also convey a message to the society is not easy a task. But, the author is successful in both. Neelam Saxena Chandra’s narrative takes you on a see-saw, now up and then, down providing you with situations to ponder about and a desire to know where the story is headed. From the present to the past and back to the present again, Neelam takes you on a journey that never fails to disappoint.

“Avantika had got so lost in the past that she had missed even the flight take off. She wondered how she could have done that. She always enjoyed the take-offs and landings. Take-offs made her feel the thrill of life on starting on an unknown voyage, of surging hopes and of aspiring wings. Landings made her remain grounded and signified the attaining of ultimate wisdom.”

The charm of the book lies in its simplicity. Despite a theme that is filled with action and adventure, the author never loses focus and therein, lies the success of the book.

Take the Chance dear reader friends. And have a wonderful read!

Book: Can I Have This Chance
Author: Neelam Saxena Chandra
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 220
Publication: Authorspress

neelam
Neelam Saxena Chandra is an electrical engineer by profession working for the Indian Railways. Around 600+ of her stories/poems have been published in various leading Indian as well as international magazines, anthologies and journals. The Delicate Wings, Layers of flickering lights, Silhouette of Reflections, Hues of Love, Rishtey Mohabbat ke, Treacherous Lady, Chanda – A picture book for children, Pankhudiyan, Five tales – short story collections for children. Can I have This Chance is her novel. She also debuted as a lyricist in Shankar Tucker’s composition Mere Sajan Sun Sun. Many more books are in the process of getting published.

For you dear Papa!

Father’s Day was here last Sunday, and I read this prompt a few days later. Thought I would write something about two pictures of my dad which never fails to make me smile even today.

IMG_20140614_202204

Ever protective of his darling daughter, he taught me to be bold and strong

while I was happy, ever bursting into a song!

The first man in my life,

in joy and strife!

It was from him that I learned to be courteous and polite.

Yes! I remember, it was he who taught me a letter to write.

Never denying me anything.

Colors, sketch pens or the cycle with a trrring, trrring!

 

All that I am today is because of you Papa.IMG_20140614_202131

I am ever close to your heart although I stay afar.

Now, the tree has bent a little.

The energy for life brittle.

But, your shade still protects me.

In its leaves, your love for me I can see.

Age may have weakened You.

But, as my hero I still see You!

 

Happy Father’s Day Today and Every Day!

 

 

 

For the Write Tribe Wednesday Prompt 9

http://writetribe.com/blogging-checklist-wednesday-prompt/

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