Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rise and shine happy skin

We wake up each day telling ourselves and praying that we should rise and shine throughout the day. We wish each morning that our day should pass by with happiness.

As soon as a girl gets up she wishes to see herself in the mirror. Not only does she notice how she looks just out of bed but also observes her skin. She scans through her face quickly before taking her face wash and cleaning off the oil that had deposited on the face. The common problem an oily skin faces. A speck of reddish spot is seen in the corner of her nose. She touches it- it seems painful;With a annoying  look she takes her neem based face wash and tries to clean her face and splashes cool water on to it. While wiping she observes the speck again.The reddish spot seems to have become even more red. It is standing out separately and making her glowing skin look odd. She fishes out a Neem face scrub and scrubs her wet face for a while. After washing it off she puts a final coat of a Neem and Tea tree oil based face pack and allows it to dry. Once it is dry, she washes it off and wipes her face finally clean. This entire exercise consumes 30 minutes of her precious time in the morning daily. She observer her face again, the red spot seems a bit faded but still persistent and painful . Though it seems a tad bit better. She moves out of the washroom cursing the pimple, "Oh God! These pimples are such a pain." Exactly then her skin also wails, " I wish I were treated in a better way. I am having boils all over. I can't handle too much cleaning and scrubbing daily."

The same story repeats daily. Pimples are such a nuisance. The entire look changes with just one pimple on the face. Be it a boy/girl in their teens or a man/woman in their middle adulthood. The hormones play a major role here. The skin for some is too oily which causes more of sebum production and it leads to pimples. If the skin is not kept clean ,cleansed properly or scrubbed properly the dirt sticks on to the pores, the pores get clogged and that's when bacteria starts enjoying the skin taking nutrition from there. This in turn gives rise to a pimple. A tiny red spot can change the way we look. It suddenly pops up when you wake up in the morning or starts erupting out of nowhere. At times it is just one but sometimes it arises in small groups. It can come up in all the weird places like, tip of the nose, chin, cheeks, even inside the nose, corner of the lips, forehead, upper lips , shoulder and even the arms too are not spared. We need to take care of our skin all the time once pimples start erupting. Washing the face three times a day with a proper face wash that suits the skin becomes just like having three meals a day. We have to say no to oily, fried and spicy food. One cannot be carefree about the way they look. There have to be regular visits to the beauty parlour with regular facials and clean up. One has to also spend money on buying expensive creams that will be suited only for oily skin. Every skin  has its own way to deal with pimples. For some it can respond well with the regular use of a good face wash. Some require extensive treatment, for some there are medications prescribed by the doctors too. Overall, for solving this pimple problem one has to spend money to buy beauty products, just to maintain the skin. Money is wasted for unwanted beauty packages, one cannot eat what they like, one has to constantly monitor his/her skin, one has to keep worrying about their looks, one needs to fish through all the natural beauty tips to avoid pimples and finally consult a dermatologist and pop in pills , apply topical anti-pimple and anti-acne applications. All this has to be done to get rid of just one pimple. An entire time table revolves around this. Blessed are those who don't have a pimple prone skin. It increases with stress, hormonal imbalance and also emotional outbursts. There have to be multiple precautions that a pimple prone skins needs to take , especially while travelling. Even , change of water and weather can aggravate a pimple.

Pimple just pops out of nowhere. It can come out and show its red nose specially on the day where they will be an important function at home, one important party to attend. an important festival where there are people gathered around to notice you, more so it can erupt suddenly on the tip of the nose when one needs to go on a date, even one's own marriage day. Every bride fears this because that pimple mark would remain in those wedding pictures throughout and they'll be enough to spoil her memories of the future.  It needs so much care and tendering each time. Morning, there has to be a face wash, evening there has to be a face pack/ face scrub. at night there has to be a clean up with a lotion and before going to bed one has to apply a medicated ointment so that it acts better and longer on the pimple. Sometimes they burst releasing out blood and it pains. Some pimples leave scars and pits on the face. Our look changes. Everyone suffering from this pimple problem would be praying that a pimple should not pop out on an important day.There will be people observing us and if it shows up as an ugly mark, we have bear the queries of the others who want to know why our face has so many pimple marks and what are we doing about this. People start giving unsolicited advice. Each person we meet suggests a new remedy for pimple treatment. Grannies suggest their home remedies, while some newbies advice us to go for expensive beauty treatments. There is so much emotional stress at times that one doesn't feel like socializing. Whatever we are and however we are, at some point of time in life, we need to be judged by face value. That is when a pimple spoils the situations for us. Of course a woman with a pimple will not be accepted at a beauty pageant or at the front desk of a hotel reception. There are some professions where face value matters. Somehow , the concentration is diverted there.

Every skin if of a different type. To understand a remedy that suits that individual's skin is a little time taken and experimental process. One has to try all means and find out what suit his/her skin. Of all the well known treatments for pimples, the use of Neem, Turmeric, Cloves powder, Tea tree oil, Fuller's earth have been more commonly successful. In the olden days people tried taking fresh neem leaves and making a paste out of them and applying it over the affected area. Doing this on a day to day basis would be cumbersome. That is why cosmetic manufacturing companies have brought out Neem based face wash, face pack and face scrub. They occur in different combinations. The combination that is seeming to work of late is Neem, Turmeric and Tea Tree Oil. Tea Tree oil has got anti-oxidant properties and Neem and Turmeric have anti-bacterial properties. They don't leave a scar after the pimple dries and also help in keeping pimples at bay. Keeping pimples away also requires proper dietary intake balanced with consumption of  a lot of water. Leading a healthy and stress free lifestyle also helps. 

I was suffering with the same kind of problems. I was so tired applying different kinds and different brands of beauty products that I had lost all hopes in finding a permanent solution to pimples. I had a small pimple on the tip of my nose two days before my engagement day. I was so worried. I tried everything but it was not shrinking but growing in size. I finally had to ask a family friend , who is also a beauty expert for a solution. On one of that visit to her beauty parlour she suggested me to use Garnier Pure Active Neem Face wash, Lotus Tea Tree and Cinnamon based Face pack and Himalaya Neem Face scrub thrice a day, just to avoid the pimple from growing bigger. I was using it as instructed by her. I felt a drastic improvement in one day. The pimple was drying. The second day it shrunk more. On the day of my engagement it was small spot which was easily hidden by make up.

I did not use the face pack and face scrub often after that. I limited it to just once a week but I was using Garnier Pure Active Neem Face wash daily. It was helping me a lot. The results were slow but helpful. It had an extra added content of Tea tree oil along with Neem. The effect of both was magical on my skin. The occurrence of pimples slowly reduced in frequency. I do go for beauty facials sometimes and use other natural remedies just to keep my skin alive but I have not left using the face. I do get pimples on and off because my skin is a bit oily but this face wash has given me a little balance. I can deal with pimples. The same combination is also available with Lotus brand but I have been using Garnier more often. I use it at least two times a day when I am at home and when I am outside I use it thrice. It makes my skin feel fresh. Especially when I wake up in the morning, my skin feels very oily, this face wash helps remove the oil and keeps it slightly dry and oil free. The frequency of occurrence of pimple also reduces. I also keep myself hydrated throughout the day and started have started reduced the intake of fried and spicy food items. I am able to see some benefits. At least during my marriage I did not have to face a similar situation. Thanks to Garnier. Now I am able to tell " Rise and shine happy skin."

If you want to know more about their products do check their website with the following URL:
bit.ly/GPABlogLinkIndiBloggerActivity and bit.ly/GarnierPureActiveNeemWebsite

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Living our dreams together on Valentine's Day

Baggout


The most special person in my life is my best friend, my partner in crime, the one whom I depend on the most in this world- 'My husband'. If I were to be endowed with unlimited powers on the coming Valentine's day I would like to use them to fulfill my husband's dream and make it the most memorable day in his life. 

He is an adventurous person by nature, an extensive traveller, a biker by passion, a freelance photographer and a very lively man. Travelling to offbeat destinations is always on his list. He chooses to do something unique and different always. For him life is all about getting to know new places, meeting new people, understanding different cultures and foremost experience everything in life. Currently his dream destination is Iceland, where he wants to spend almost a fortnight. He also should have his best gear for photography before he takes this trip. He wanted to upgrade his present camera to a Nikon D750 full frame one with an 85mm f1.8 prime lens. He loves this combination and has been waiting to buy this camera and lens. He keeps imagining that we both will be travelling to Iceland for a relaxed trip and we would be staying there at leisure capturing the beauty of the place with the camera.I was saving up all this while just to give him this gift. I wanted to gift him a travel experience and a camera of his choice that could help in capturing the beauty around. This camera was available easily in India in any certified Nikon showroom.

I have been very lucky to have been granted this wish to choose anything I want to make my husband feel special. There couldn't be a better day than Valentine's Day 2015. Since our Anniversary and Valentine's Day coincided on the same day. This gives us one more reason to celebrate. Another advantage we had was that, Valentine's day will be falling on a weekend, I wanted to plan the trip from the first week of February till mid February 2015. 

I will choose Comfort 4U in Keflavik as the accommodation of my choice via Airbnb. I chose Airbnb because it was comfortable, reasonable and homely. This could also help us in getting to know the people who were staying there and also know about the place in a better way.

I would book the flight tickets and also try to get hold of a travel agency for arranging a Schengen Visa. Everything could be done online so that it will be easy to coordinate our trip once we reached Iceland. The very fact that I was organizing something myself and arranging it just for my husband and making him feel good was making me nervous as well as excited. Never had I done something so great for my husband in our one year of marriage.

In Iceland we would go for an Ice Climbing tour, which is unique to  this place. We would involve ourselves in hiking activities where we could see the large areas covered with colourful mountains, lava fields, glaciers, hot springs, lakes and black sands. I also wanted to take him for a cave expedition. It has been told that due to its position of Iceland on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, it is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. Its unique geological conditions make for some awe-inspiring rock formations, both beneath the surface as well as above it. Various tube caves that have been formed by magma flowing underneath the earth's surface after lava has solidified overhead, which can be safely explored through guided tours. This could be the best activity for us on our trip. The rest of the time we would spend shopping, bird watching, whale watching, eating out and tasting the local cuisines. Overall, I would be able to cover all the important places of attraction that he would love to go to.

Before leaving Iceland, I would like to take him to Vatnaj√∂kull National Park, specifically for Valentine's Day celebration, so that he can enjoy the beauty and the diversity there. It has been told that it is the best place to take amazing photographs. My husband is a swimming buff. He is like a water animal. His love would grow more when given a chance to swim in the geothermal pool and spa. After an adventurous tour and a relaxing swim in the geothermal pool,  I would like to take him out to the best place, ArgentinaSteak house for dinner in Iceland. It is one of the best places to have good food, drink and enjoy a quiet and peaceful dinner. On the website the ambiance is so beautiful that one could get lost in it. The reviews of the locals also add on to it. I wanted to choose the best place for him. The romantic feel and the atmosphere with a glass of wine and chilled beer would make us get blended with the atmosphere. It would act like a balm to our aching soles. We would be already in half a mood to leave the place and our holiday would end in a day’s time. This could be our best antidote. I really wish this entire trip plan would be successful and my husband will be contented by the trip. It is so rare that one gets a chance to fulfill their dream. This wish that I was granted was a unique one. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to do this trip and buy a camera.  I just wanted a chance to make my husband feel special on a special day.

"This post has been written for Baggout's Blogging contest on Valentine's day. Baggout provides awesome deals on Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, Snapdeal, Amazon and 100 + other online stores." 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My love for technology grows more with ASUS EeeBook X205TA

If I have to choose ASUS EeeBook X205TA  vs ASUS All In One PC ET2040, my choice is undoubtedly ASUS EeeBook X205TA.

I am not a technology freak but I do need to use it because nothing happens these days without technology. I am in the medical field, where I require a system for purposes as checking patient reports, writing journal articles or researching on the technology that I am working with currently. With all this I am an avid reader and a writer. I have taken up a part time hobby of candid wedding and couple photography with my husband so I am someone who has become dependent on technology more off late. It is compact, easy to carry, light weight, sleek and mainly easy to learn. I am too bad at using gadgets. This would make me feel more friendly to the usage of a notebook. I can even carry it in my hand bag which of course is huge and has got lots of other things.

It has got more than what I could ask for. Windows 8.1 version which can help me with the latest updates.I can surf the net for almost 12 hours with full charge which is why I would love to have this. Especially when I participate in IndiBlogger Happy Hours contests I don't know how to send posts on time while travelling. This will come in handy and help me participate and win contests on time. I travel a lot and sometimes I need to send certain research journals across to my other colleagues which makes me more dependent on a notebook like this. I also read many e-books while I travel or during my leisure time. This feature will help me to a great extent. The cost is also not too much to afford. I would love to choose the colour red and it will make me feel more lively. I love the colour choice they have given. It seems different from the standard mundane black or grey colours of the electronic devices that we use. The screen 

I am solely dependent on Microsoft Office for my work. Especially when it comes to Microsoft word and Microsoft Excel and Access. I am not comfortable using google docs yet. This brings me more into the comfort zone. I get the splendid use of technology with good storage space and a wonderful touch screen. I don't have to depend on my phone too much. I am a movie buff too so for me listening to songs and watching movies without speakers is the best. The speakers here are front facing that will help me with good sound quality. When there is Quad Core Processing there can be smooth multitasking. So this is my choice that suits my needs. A cute, sleek and slim one for me which will suffice for my basic daily needs.

Will you be my Valentine?

It is January 24th, 2015 and I am already nervous because I have done zero preparations for Valentine's Day. So much of work pressure and I needed to maintain this as a secret from my 'husband' who is and will be my first crush. Ours was an arranged marriage and things were decided too quickly. We did get an ample amount of time for around 6 months to know each other, but, I never got a chance to express to him that he was my crush the day I saw his picture on the matrimonial site. This is coincidence and my sheer luck that my crush turned out to be my husband- A husband who is more of a friend and also turning out to be a great partner. Only to be a little calmer about the proceedings in our relationship I had requested my parents to give a minimum of six months to understand each other. Time flew by, we were quite comfortable with each other before we got married, but there was something I was always wanted to confess to him. I could never dare to express my liking towards him from day one. After all, in an arranged marriage you want understanding and compatibility more than love. Love eventually seeps in and enriches the relationship.

I had a small plan just to woo him on Valentine's day. We had formed a good circle of like minded married couples who eventually became very close friends, especially when we wanted to hang out on weekends. This time I took up this challenge of planning a trip for the six of us (3 couples). My plan was to express to him about my feelings that I had when I saw his photo first and when I met him in person. Confessing this in front of friends was the challenging part, but I wanted to do it. I wasn't bothered about how late it was but that would be a dare for me. We had unanimously planned on a long drive to Wayanad for the Valentine’s Day as it was on a Saturday. We could start on Friday evening. It is a very beautiful place for couples to enjoy. I kept everyone informed except my husband. I requested him to keep himself free over the weekend on the pretext that we both would go on a long drive and celebrate our first Valentine’s Day after marriage together. He had no clue that our friends were coming along. The cab booking was done and also the accommodation was booked in a beautiful resort located in the lap of nature. Considering that my preparations were made for the trip I started preparing what I had to speak. I wrote it down first in my diary, which of course I had hidden so that my husband didn't get hold of it accidentally. I took out my guitar which was lying in the trunk. It had been months I had touched it because of the marriage hullabaloo. I wiped it clean and removed the dust. In fact, I was planning to come 1 hour early from work just to practice. I was searching for the perfect lyrics and finally found the exact one. It is a romantic number from Agend Vinod- " Kehte hain khuda ne jise.... " I had happened to hear my husband humming this song couple of times so thought this would be the perfect one. My plan was to sing this song while everyone was sitting around the bonfire. We would all be mesmerized in the weather, the chilling breeze and the warmth of the burning firewood. A bottle of wine and tins of chilled beer would add on to the intoxication created by the atmosphere. The moment everyone would be lost in their own romantic world, I would take this chance to bend on my knees before my husband and with the guitar in hand I would keep singing the last lines of the song... "Kehte hain khuda ne iss jahan mein sabhi ke liye.......Kisi na kisi ko hai banaya har kisi ke liye....." 

I would move forward and hold his hand tightly. Keeping the guitar aside I would hand him the diary where I had complied all those feelings which I had from the day I saw him. Giving this small gift I would tell him, "I have always had a crush on you from the day I saw your profile on the matrimonial web site. I never could gather courage to say this to you. I took time to understand you before marrying you. When I discovered the real you I could completely feel that my crush was not a short lived one. It was certainly going to be with me for a lifetime. Then came our marriage and all the ceremonies that had happened. Everything was going too fast for me to tell you separately. I was fighting with my inner self, just to tell you how I had been feeling from day one. I left this chance on many occasions thinking you would have understood my liking towards you by now. Today, I want to tell you that you have been the first person who could bring sparks in me. You pulled my heart's strings in a way that I could bring out a melody of love from them. I could see our future together the moment I met you. I would always be with you forever. "   

That's when I would ask him politely, “Will you be my Valentine?” 

Saying this I would move forward to plant a soft peck on his cheeks and end it with a passionate smooch. This would happen when all our friends would be present and they would look at us awestruck. 

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

The true Indian of today

After independence everyone would have been thinking that India would become a better place to live in. It undoubtedly has risen up to the expectations when it comes to progress of thoughts, education, standard of living, eradication of Polio, etc... Even Mahatma Gandhi wouldn't have thought what the current generation would be like the way we are seeing today. The change of government or officials has certainly brought a positive effect in the present day scenario, but what is inbred cannot be changed so easily. It takes an entire youth generation to bring about the revolution. But.... not everyone is as educated as they seem to be. Merely working in an MNC or being educated high class Indians will not suffice to define a true Indian. Even those who are fighting wars and protecting the country cannot be true Indians if they do not know how to maintain cleanliness around. 

So do you want to meet real Indian of today?? You must be curious by now to know what a true Indian implies in today's scenario. Here's your answer which has been given by "The Great Indian." 

I stay in Bangalore, which is considered close to a metropolitan city seeing the kind of population growth and also development. The place where I stay is one of the so called posh areas of the city. For me, India is progressing to a change and I can see 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' happening as planned. I visited Varanasi recently. That is when I realized that I was blinded to the real state of affairs happening in other cities. I was missing out on looking at the masses. I wasn't considering places where it comprises of majority of daily wage earning labourers. There was so much more that could have been done, but it would take an entire youth generation residing in those places to create a change. The old school thoughts prevailing there in majority needed a drastic change. A politician couldn't do much as much as the youth of today. There were funny instances in Varanasi. (Considered to be the holy city of India) No doubt it has maintained its tag from ages when it was called Benaras

Cleanliness was visible, but in a weird way. Every lane we passed by in Varanasi to reach any temple or a ghat we could find cows and dogs more than people. Those poor animals were not tamed and left astray to roam free. They do not know what to litter and what not to. I wanted to have an authentic street food in Varanasi. We had breakfast, which comprised of Kachori, sabzi and jalebi. The taste was out of the world but after eating, the question arose in my mind, “Where is the dustbin? Where should I throw this leaf plate?" I looked around. I could see a dog and a cow waiting with eager eyes so that they could clean up the leftover food from the leaves and then the cows would also munch away the leaf plate. Poor animals were living only on such food there. I asked the shopkeeper, " Bhaiyya, kahan fekna hai ?" ( Where should I throw the plate?)

He replied pointing at a place where everyone had dumped the leaf plates, "Wahin bahar phenk deejiye, gayyiya kha legi ." ( Just throw it outside the shop there, the cow will eat it. )

I asked in retaliation, " Dustbin kyun nahi rakha ?" ( Why didn't you keep a dustbin ?)

He replied with a very silly smile, " Areyy.. gayyiya ko khana nahi milta.. Yahi uska khana hai.. Sab saaf ho jayega." ( The cow doesn't get proper fodder or food. This is its food. Everything will be cleaned once it eats this away.)

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. At last I had to throw my plate near the cow. The moment it saw me putting it down, it lunged towards the leaf plates. It licked only the left over part of the sabzi and kachori, looked around for a while and left the plates. Even the cow didn't feel like eating the plates. Alas!! The plates were lying around scattered in one corner only for the dogs to come and smell and take them dragging to some place. In this way a trail of used plates was seen in that lane. I felt embarrassed for being a part of such filth but I was helpless. There was no dustbin visible in any remote corner also.

I was considering myself educated and was thinking I could bring about a change. After seeing the situation, I just felt that if a reform has to come, it has to come from those older generations who still are not able to adapt to changes. It is the youth of the city who have to bring about the change.