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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

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday Blues: Let us protest

One of the disadvantages of growing up is that one needs to be sane and think like a grown up! Comes with the package, this responsibility I mean. No. The ability to do the needful doesn't get upgraded on its own. We need to grow this ourselves, unlike the hair, nails, tummy... you get the drift. Unfortunate to see how some of us can stay there as mental, psychological toddlers while we don bigger roles, move on from one job to another, demand higher salaries, better positions, respect, and claim to fame while our opinions are still the same as in the kindergarten.

Let me explain. Did you ever get up one day and think, "What value add am I doing to my company, my job, my clients, my family, my life?" Do you even care to know or do you even know! If you think I am trying to make you feel bad about yourself, then you are damn right I am. What is the point of the boring job you are doing or same thing you do repetitively every day without questioning the heck out of it when zombies of humanoids can do a better job than you and maybe they can be trained to smile while doing it? Have you heard the story of a guy who worked in a factory all his life doing what he thought was his job. He was punctual, readily available to volunteer, witty and smart in his dictionary! Well, that's the story he was all that in HIS dictionary. No one cares about him. Or will care about you when you end up like him. Time to wake up out of the perfect bubble you have designed for yourself. There is nothing called holding up, staying afloat, being flexible, surviving. Either you are surviving or dying. Nothing in between. 

Why do we protest or support certain things? Why do we beat up people when we see an accident? Why don't we rise up in protest when there is a rape incident or molestation like Nirbhaya? Why do we think voting is not important? Why do we think politicians beating up each other, drinking, throwing mikes, tearing off shirts is politics? We voted for these unruly rowdies? Do we know why we are doing what we are doing? Great revolutions were born out of passion and had a purpose. When you say you want to be in a world that appreciates what you are doing, better start contributing positively to what you are passionate about. I can be really passionate about Swachch Bharat (Clean India) movement on social media but be as dirty as I can when I am alone. I can be the flag-bearer of anti-corruption drives while ranting on social media but do things my way when I need. I can protest against MNCs trying to change our culture but live off a dozen of them every day. There is nothing more hypocritical than that. While screaming swadeshi, we choose to depend on thousand things that we have grown accustomed to even if they are made by MNCs. We chose to dump our parents in old age homes while giving lectures about how parents are a gift of God. Mob mentality shows how week our society is when it comes to taking decisions. Are we growing humans or zombies? 

Next time you are faced with a cause you feel like supporting or resisting, think like a grown up and decide. You might want to learn more about the cause, check facts, before actually protesting. If it is genuine, give your everything. If it is not, stay home. The maturity of a generation is measured on its ability to accept, adopt, challenge, grow and improve. The maturity of a wo/man is judged on his/her ability to take sane decisions, change, question, evolve and be compassionate. You got to be truthful at least to yourself. And if you are not adding value to your job, get a new one. If you are not adding value to a relationship, better start to contribute positively as you might not be very useful if you don't. If you have nothing positive to say or help grow, shut up! Don't be the noise, be the informed, concerned, rational voice. Have a great Monday.

#Jallikattu #Demockrazy #Rantpost #Hypocrisy #ProtestingCulture

Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday Blues: Be eternally optimistic

Did you know the story of the sage and the scorpion? Here it is. Just a two-minute read. May it inspire to do your best and relish those moments when life didn't have a chance to win over you. Let the goodness in you take over the bad things in your life and may you see the prosperity in life that you deserve - wealth, health, family, and happiness. Be optimistic eternally. Just like the sage. Do good anyway. Not just today but every day this year. Let optimism ooze out of you like a river and flow to conquer all the unwanted negativeness around you. Beat the Monday Blues out of every day in your life. Have a fantastic year.

One morning, after he had finished his meditation, the old man opened his eyes and saw a scorpion floating helplessly in the water.

As the scorpion was washed closer to the tree, the old man quickly stretched himself out on one of the long roots that branched out into the river and reached out to rescue the drowning creature.

As soon as he touched it, the scorpion stung him. Instinctively the man withdrew his hand. A minute later, after he had regained his balance, he stretched himself out again on the roots to save the scorpion.

This time the scorpion stung him so badly with its poisonous tail that his hand became swollen and bloody and his face contorted with pain.

At that moment, a passerby saw the old man stretched out on the roots struggling with the scorpion and shouted: "Hey, stupid old man, what's wrong with you? Only a fool would risk his life for the sake of an ugly, evil creature. Don't you know you could kill yourself trying to save that ungrateful scorpion?"

The old man turned his head. Looking into the stranger's eyes he said calmly, "My friend, just because it is the scorpion's nature to sting, that does not change my nature to save."

Friday, December 30, 2016

Tata Hexa - Drive the Hextraordinary

How does one launch a superstar? Make him work on his skills, physique, looks, dialogue delivery, dance moves, style and get launched with a bang. Well, that is what you would be thinking when you look at Tata Hexa. 

Built to handle anything that Indian roads can give you, from rocky terrain to waterlogged scary drive that keeps you guessing where the next pothole would be, Tata Hexa can handle anything, well almost. Did you see how many vehicles are getting launched from the Tata stable? This new stallion will up the ante for the much-needed relief within an affordable price range. Hexa experience as they called it was a complete one.

I was invited to check out Tata Hexa in Bangalore and the moment I entered this was an experience like no other. The place had a party atmosphere and had something or the other for everyone in the family. Tatas are known for their endeavors to impact everyone and this was truly a family experience. While the ladies were busy checking out jewelry shopping, teens were engaged in games section trying out board games, there were few canine friends up for adoption and those eyes couldn't let you pass. Too many Oohs and Aahs around the kennel and the food courts kept you going, but I must tell you about the centerpiece, the superstar of the evening - Tata Hexa. With a very dominant presence, it looks like it meant business.


With 19 inch alloy wheels with superb suspension, LED DRLs, curved real lamps, stand out no-nonsense grill, curves at the right places, clean looking leather finished dashboard, air vents on all rows, comfy seats which give you enough leg room to relax, touch screen control for a music system, navigation, 12 V charging points at all rows, additional light in the glove box, cooled compartment for beverages, reading lamps... I can go on and it looks like a comfy private spa while you cruise along the jagged terrain.

While the Varicor 400 diesel engine powers you enough to climb up steep angles with seven people in the car, the 6-speed transmission can let you chase dreams. Built to take your family and friends out, the higher end version can pack in a camper set and loads of luggage on the top making it ideal for getting out of the grind. Ah! I love the smell of a new car.

While you have many options from the market now that offer some of these features like Bolero, Xuv, Fortunner, this new stallion can make your heart skip a beat without hurting your pockets. I love the simple linear design with curves where you need them. I felt very comfortable to drive it around and take 180-degree turns with ease despite its size. The only regret is that they did not let me drive on that high ramp :( 

Loved the use of chrome in many places giving it the glitter when you clean it or drive in the rain. With the ex-showroom price to be around 18 lakhs for the higher end model, Tata Hexa is worth every penny. I would recommend getting all accessories done at the showroom itself for an additional 1.5 lakhs as they blend with the Hexa Experience. Well thought out, simple yet not imposing designs make your stallion sizzle when you take out for a drive. Move over Innova, Fortunner, the new superstar is here.

#Hexaexperience #TalktoTiger