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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Make peace with traffic, try #OLARental

When you have a long list of things to get done across the city, you don't have time to drive, you choose to take a cab. But the hassle of time taken to get your stuff out, waiting, using different vehicles and many other things are a headache. So, when on this particular day, I had to take kids to school, had a hospital appointment and a couple of other things to do, I was stuck with Ganesh travels which I regularly use. Hiring a taxi from known contacts wasn't working out too. I have had some bad experiences with billing and so on. They came back saying that I had to choose either a 4-hour option or an 8-hour options which weren't working out. I couldn't choose to drive my self as I had to be with the baby alone. Then I stumbled upon Ola Rental. I use Ola all the time for travel but that has always been one-way travel. Wifey reasoned why we shouldn't try Ola rental and so I did!

When wifey said there was an option in the Ola App, I checked out the Ola App and picked the rental option. It was so simple. It has several options to choose from, like point to point pick up, changing destination en route and many more. You must explore the app more to see what options are available. The app has many options and time frames to choose from giving you the flexibility to hire from point to point and even for one hour. Here are some pictures. 

You can pick a ride to suit your need and how heavy or light your wallet is that day. Picking a better set of wheels is not going to lighten your pocket as the prices are just too good.

This makes a lot of sense as you are hiring based on your requirement and the price is so much better than the travel agents in the market. I picked one, that made sense to me!

Now that I was familiar with the app and the options, I summoned the cab for 8 hours as I did not know how long my work would take. The package was decent and what makes it really interesting was that the cab was available just like the normal cab, in 6 mins! This is simply incredible as in normal circumstances, I had to call in advance and book at least a couple of hours before and that too I had limited options about the type of cab available as the fleet was limited. I could choose a basic car, a luxury sedan and even a high-end vehicle for just few thousand rupees. 

We were ready in few minutes and soon enough a well-dressed driver turned out at our location and I was really happy to see that the car was very clean and nice. We pushed off to drop my child at her school and could carry all the bags - school bag, laptop, one other bag I had in the trunk and we could comfortably sit in the seats without worrying about the luggage. Once she got off at school, we went off to the hospital appointment. Here is where the comfort comes into the picture. I need not carry my bags or worry about them! That is a huge luxury when you have to collect reports from various departments and lug all the bags along. I left my bags and told him the approximate time I would take and go away. Now I know the GPS location of my cab and see where he is and how much time it would take to come back, in case I needed him to be back. 

Once I finished my work, I called him and got him back by the time I reached, all the while I could track the cab. Once I am back in the cab, I could change the destination and pick up a friend who wanted to meet and there was not even a word of resistance from the driver about the location, traffic, distance and anything else. It was just too comfortable, just like your own car. We picked up my child from school, grabbed something to eat, went shopping, practically filled the car up. I could do all this at my own pace, no nonsense from the usual banter. I could play my own songs, watch to sitcoms and pick up where I left off. The Ola Play tablet was easy to use and had enough content to keep me entertained in case I need to be.

The behavior of the driver was exceptionally good. He let me take my calls, be silent and think, no too many questions, no discussion on pricing, bargaining, no directions as I could control the path through my app, and best of all, he was happy to serve! Complete professional and crisp. By the way, Ola Rental drivers are called Partners and he was truly one. The car was cleaned after my child dropped few crumbs of biscuits and it was a pleasure to be served that way. 

Once we were home, I had some 3 hours left on the clock and wanted to go away to a place we all wanted to visit. I requested the partner to have lunch and we were ready in half an hour to go again. We weaved through traffic, five of us and it was again a professional drive. I actually dozed off while my family chatted up and the drive was swift, clean and safe. And the trip back was awesome too. I could spend time with my family and friends, finish my chores for the day, catch up on work and a bit of sleep, being free all the while not concentrating on the driving. I got the best car to travel thanks to OLA Rentals. It is indeed a cool option to try out the #OlaRental solution. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Balm to the soul from Tea Culture of the World

I wake up and refresh myself with a hot cup of tea in the morning. Tea is a way to tell my body to get up and get ready to a working day. Did you know that tea is the second most consumed drink in the world after water? For centuries, tea has played an important role in solving problems of mankind. Whether they are having problems in families, businesses, and even nations, the simple gesture of pouring a cup of tea is itself an opener. Tea is a universal beverage which is mostly used to welcome the guests. A cup of tea either generates either a quiet reflection in an individual or conversation between two people. Tea is a rich source of phytochemicals and polyphenols, type of antioxidants, which can boost the workout stamina.   

Having said enough about tea, how many of you have green tea instead of the milky one? I like the milky one too but the green tea helps me to remain charged for longer time. While checking out for a good brand to replenish my stock, a friend asked me to check out the offering from Tea Culture of the World. So I got the special Tea Culture Of The World Box with a mix of exhilarating flavours. So here is where the affair with flavours started. 

First of all, these teas came in a crafted box, neatly sorted out and the bright colors tempted me to keep the covers for myself. Well we had a bad case of cold at home with kids falling sick and then us, so we didn't get these beauties out until wify decided to try one out and it was a saga after that. 

Unlike most other companies with limited marketable product offering of tea, Tea Culture of the world, comes with a whole plethora of variants (close to 80) and you can keep tasting each one of them and fall in love. For us though we liked all of them, some strong, some soft, some soothing, the winner was Darjeeling.

People of different countries drink tea in different styles but, basically, it is prepared by pouring hot water over the lid, and when the water becomes brown, the tea is ready to drink. People from India like to take their tea with milk and sugar, and they also add crushed ginger and cardamom for extra flavor. I personally like to have it with some snacks and sip away my weariness in the evening. 

Here is Darjeeling, packed in a jesty colored dress, it evolves out fresh. The first aroma of the leaves, when in contact with piping hot water takes you to a world of an exceptional Indian tea estate. The fine muscatel character in the tea gets on to your tongue and leaves a strong and lasting taste. What makes the offering special from Tea Culture Of The World is the wide varied exploration of your taste buds with their ensemble and it is only right to delve in. So here we go.  

Meet Earl Grey whose infusion of gently crushed leaves wake up from their slumber at the sight of brewing water letting out fresh & steamy aroma with a smooth texture that is left behind with every sip. As it's origin cites, it is a classic and clean tea to start your perfect day.

You need to go and get yourself these nice characters dressed as teas and get to know them and learn their world influence you. After all, tea is the balm for the soul. Go get yourself some nice balm for that soul of yours from Tea Culture of the world. Check out their snacks too.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Amazon Prints is REALLY worth the try!’ $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be Won!

I really miss my college days when we used to have the photo reels and manual cameras. I was usually armed with a Yashika camera with limited capacity to hold about 32 pictures with no preview and we chose moments to shoot. That camera hanging around my neck was super cool and drew a lot of attention. 

Printing pictures was a task in itself. We had to go to the photo studio for photo printing and give the roll for developing photo books, large prints. Once the printed pictures arrived at the photo studio, we could see the quality and order large prints of selected photos, try our hand a photo calendar creation, and what not. I particularly remember my parents get some of my large prints framed and used as wall decor. Some of them still adorn our walls as decor. The biggest disadvantage was the cost was too high for all this engagement. Technology changed a lot in the last couple of decades. 

With too many options to click and having the phone on you all the time, we end up clicking a lot of pictures on a regular day. I usually spend the time to delete the things I  don't want on my phone or send things off to people involved and try to free up memory on my phone. The other evolution is that I have learned not to click too many photos but try and capture the moments we will remember. 

The most beautiful moments are the ones where we create memories and these are to be shared. But where do we have time to sort images out, edit, create albums, send to a printer and expect good prints. Hardly ever! So here comes Amazon Prints service, a complete photo printing solution to adorn your wall decor or create cards or photo canvases. I am a tad bit picky when it comes to quality and won't want to leave anything to chance and mood of the guy behind the counter of the printing place. And like I said, it is a hassle to print and go back to pick up. 

Well, not anymore. Amazon has launched a photo printing service that allows all customers to print their memories.  Prime members can upload images to their Prime Photos account, print the product of their choice, and receive free delivery. If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll receive 5 GB of storage free on Prime Photos and be able to print your favorite photos. Prints start as low as $0.09. That is a great news!

The Amazon Prime Photos benefit is that you get free unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos. If you’re not a Prime customer, you can still get 5 GB of free storage. That takes away your worry about finding a storage space for all your photos you have just clicked and guess what, they are available whenever you want handy. With extremely low pricing where your prints starting at $0.09, you are no longer worried about the number of prints you are ordering. The specific features of editing, adding filters and photo calendar creation, large prints is made easy as the quality is just amazing. 

Just to make it more interesting, Amazon is sponsoring this blog post/providing the gift card prizes. Try the Amazon Prints service today and trust me, you might get hooked!

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Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Storytelling with the Little Tigress

I don't want to brush. No. No. No no no no no. Now, what do I do? 

Dad was opening Colgate bag he got from Blogadda as a part of the special "Magical Space Adventure" series from Colgate. But unlike every time, he didn't discard the box and helped me cut the shapes and cartoons in it! Yes, the box contains several characters, places, stands to set up the drama and children can play with them. You might need help from elders like I needed to as I am very small. Let me explain the story we made up from the characters.

While we quickly discarded the toothpaste (I ensure it is away!) and focused on cutting along the dotted lines and placed all the planets on the board, we found that they couldn't move as fast in the solar system. We got into the spaceship and started our journey towards Saturn. Here is what happened!

Me: "Dad why aren't the planets moving?" 

Dad: "Looks like there is some problem. The planets are all sleepy and slow."

Me: "Why dad?"

Dad: "Let us go closer and check out."

We slowly zipped to Mars. But could see some white, ash gray material all around us and Mars didn't even smile. 

Me: "Hello Mars! I am from planet Earth. Why are you not smiling and why are you still sleepy?"

Mars was pleasantly surprised to see me in my small Colgate spaceship.
Mars: "I don't know. I am just still sleepy and have slight tooth pain. These plaque monsters are not letting me eat anything."

Me: "I am scared. What are plaque monsters?"

Mars: "You see all these white creamy things on my teeth and in my mouth? Those are plaque monsters and I cannot bear the pain!"

Me: "There are so many around! What will you do? Are you in pain?"

Mars: "Yes. Can you help?"

Me: "Yes I can. Tell me what can I do?"

Mars: "I have to brush quickly to keep these plaque monsters away and heal my teeth. Do you have some paste and brush?"

Me: "Oh! No. I don't like brushing and so we left it at home on Earth."

Mars: "What do we do now? I need to brush or else my friends, Jupiter and I cannot move as there are too many plaque monsters in the way. Help me. I am your friend."

I looked at our special Colgate spacecraft and the plaque monsters were slowly crawling towards us. Dad had slept off so I had to wake him up! 

Me: "Dad! Dad dad dad dad dad... help!!!!! I need my paste and brush to help Mars and shoo away all these plaque monsters"

Dad: "But you hate brushing!"

Me: "Dad, I hate brushing but we have to help my friend Mars!"

Dad: "I have a small toothbrush in this spacecraft and super powerful Colgate paste we got today here with me. Let us help Mars!" 

Dad pulled the special Colgate paste out and spread it on the brush and we had to do so many runs around Mars to help him brush and with clean teeth and gums, my friend Mars could move again! All the plaque monsters saw the paste and brush and ran away! Haha! We could win over the battle.

Now my friend Mars said, he will help brush his friends and took the paste and brush from us.

Mars: "Thank you so much, little friend. You saved the day! I could not have survived the plaque attack if not for you. Thank you for helping me brush."

Me: "I hate brushing but good that dad carried the paste ad brush with us."

Mars: "Let me check your teeth." He looked into my mouth and saw some plaque!

"Little friend," Mars said, "you have some plaque monsters in your mouth too. You should brush every morning and evening to kill them and defend yourself. Or else you will be stuck like me."

Me: " OMG! I will brush right away." Mars gave me a special space brush that flies in the space and dad helped me brush with it!

Finally, we took a selfie with my friend Mars and came back home. I brush every day now and so does Mars. Next adventure is scheduled to Saturn. I need to tell her to clean her rings! Too much plaque you see. 

“I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalstories at BlogAdda in association with Colgate.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Be remembered for Good

I came upon this wonderful video by Avijit Dutt from the Good Crusaders series and what a joy we can feel watching him narrate stories of how he helped create the child abuse helpline. If you are determined and be consistent and you will find a solution for the problem you are worried about. Avijit Dutt recalls how he was shooting a film on child abuse and his coincidental meeting with MTNL helped form 1098 which is available across the world now and helps save several children from the clutches of child abuse, provides counseling among other things. 

In another experience, he mentions about how generalization and extrapolation of urban data is used to bring out statistics to take decisions on health care policies. Avijit Dutt and his team worked on a health care camp to do tests generate reports and use the data (big data) to help find patterns of non-communicable diseases and thereby prevent them from happening. Also, he explains how the use of these tests, when made available to the patient, can help save a lot of money and also stop doctors and pathologists from cheating people and getting unnecessary tests from being made. This study of this vast data can help in making informed valued strategic decisions that will, in turn, help the people. This knowledge also equips the villagers and beneficiaries to be knowledgeable and stop diseases.

In another interesting episode, he explains how an idle mind can be a devil's workshop or sugar factory. The cause was 'worry'! Can you just imagine that? Worry. People had everything from money enough to last a couple of decades and this money was from land deals they sold out to the urbanization. When they were in the farms sweating day in and day out, they were happy and healthy. But once the money came in and they had no work to do, they started worrying about today, tomorrow and which helped grow weak to health problems like diabetes. Simple understanding situations like these are used to create awareness and use the CSR funds of companies and use them to create sustainable happiness and bring about change in the world around us. 

Another beautiful story is by Rashmi Tiwari who explains how her horizons expanded when she visited a village which was in absolute poverty and these poor people had too little to live and were ready to sell out their own children. Such economic deprivation pushed them to take extreme measures and how hunger can drive you to any end. How Rashmi Tiwari helped the tribal girls to get educated, motivated, knowledgeable and help reduce the human trafficking through Ahan foundation! The videos in this series would open your mind to endless possibilities in helping others in the society. The Good Crusaders is a platform created by 100 Pipers to help bring positive stories that would warm your heart and show how simple it is to make a change one life at a time. Compassion breeds happiness manifold and we need as much as we can!

#TheGoodCrusaders #100Pipers #BeRememberedForGood