Friday, December 19, 2014

i-genius Stars, Dazzled


'Aaa... shaa....yeinn .... ' Salim saab's highly resonant tenor greeted us as we entered the Grand Ball room of Taj Land's End- Bandra. Thanks a zillion team Blogadda for giving us, bloggers this melodious opportunity. We were invited to attend and interact with the 5 junior and 5 senior finalists of Max Life Insurance ‘i-genius Young Singing Stars’ Grand Finale .

Max Life Insurance and Universal Music India , concluded a Mega-musical ‘i-genius Young Singing Stars’ event at Taj Land's End in Mumbai. The grand finale showcased brilliant performances by the 10 finalists. The 10 were chosen from 1.26 lakhs participants. The day turned out to be mesmerizing with a star studded jury including, Salim Merchant and Shraddha Sharma. The two winners Shraddhaa Shree (seniors category ) and Shivam Ahuja ( juniors category ) won an album contract while the 8 finalists won ‘single song’ contract with Universal Music Group.

Max Life Insurance ‘i-genius Young Singing Stars’ programme was launched as a nationwide search for young singing talent. The video conferencing round resulted in the final short listing to top 10 who went through mentoring sessions with Salim Merchant and Shraddha Sharma.  

Mr. Rajesh Sud CEO and Managing Director, Max Life Insurance said, “We believe that nurturing young talent is the best investment one can make to build a secure and brighter future for India. We had launched the i-genius programme in 2010 to recognize young talent. We have connected with over 20 lakh children across the country through our i-genius Scholarship and Young Authors Hunt programme.”

Ms Anisha Motwani, Director and Chief Marketing Officer said, “i-genius Young Singing Stars is a unique programme that celebrates, recognizes and rewards young talent. Out of 1.26 lakh entries, 9,000 plus entries were by under-privileged children. It gives us a feeling of satisfaction when we see these children coming one step closer to their dreams.”

Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director - Universal Music Group and EMI South Asia said "This is the most amazing talent I have witnessed in my career. We at Universal and EMI are proud to be an integral part of the process of discovering and nurturing these future stars. "

The programme was designed in four phases-:
  • Phase 1: Interested participants registered online at or through registration at all Max Life offices
    • followed by a one minute audio submission on IVR number or via an online widget on
  • Phase 2: Digital Auditions were held in select cities in each region through video-conferencing.
  • Phase 3: 10 selected kids received mentoring from the Brand Ambassadors
  • Phase 4 (Finale): After training from the mentors, the kids performed at a grand finale event where 1 winner was selected from each group and won an album recording contract with Universal Music Group and 4 finalists from each group won a contract for a single song. Also 500 winners received CD Hampers as consolation prizes

Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd. ( One of the leading life insurers, is a joint venture between Max India Ltd. and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. Max Life Insurance has set in place a values driven culture and corporate governance through its superior human capital.
Universal Music India: UMIPL has an extremely rich Indian catalogue . On the International music front, UMIPL are the clear market leaders with ABBA, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Enrique Iglesias, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, The Beatles, UB40, Deep Purple, Enigma, Norah Jones, Deadmau5, The Chemical Brothers.

This post is written as a special invitee of Max Life Insurance , Universal Music India and Blogadda

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Teddy Travelogues

             My nephew Aamen and niece Adi are apples of our eyes and Mangoes of our Hearts.  I know this sentence sounds cheesy but that is the only way to describe their almighty status in our family. Our routine days as well as vacations are planned carefully according to their school days, holidays and preferences. 

              Earlier when Aamen was a baby, we had to choose our vacation destination near Mumbai, so that we could return home fast and easily ,in case of emergency. The resort had to be plush, clean, catering nutritious food and well connected to Mumbai. We didn't pay much attention to the entertainment facilities such as dance-floor, game zone, cycling , karaoke, swimming pool , boating , sports , adventure activities etc. 

               Now , that Aamen has grown up to be a dashing , sporty teenager,our priorities have changed dramatically. Aamen dictates the destination , the specific resorts to enjoy our vacations. He listens to his friends' vacation-stories, browses through their facebook snaps, googles the picnic-spots and gives his full proof verdict. We the parents double check his choice-destination on google plus we talk to the parents of Aamen's friends for first hand information. That's how we finalize our mission-vacation.

            Aamen loves sports , adventure activities, singing , dancing , swimming , cycling , rappelling , Safari , amusement parks , water rides , sketching , painting , playing musical instruments , board games etc. Most of these sports, fun, entertainment activities are available at Club Mahindra  , which has 40 resorts to explore and many moments to enjoy with family. 

          Children have fountain of high energy which needs numerous avenues to express themselves. They love to explore . They hate to sit in one place , just being idle. Serenity, meditation is not their idea of vacationing. We the parents must not force our likes and dislikes on the lively, energetic children. Let's give them the freedom to choose, select their own recreation and rejuvenation ideas.

       I know , I know , by now all of you must be cursing me, "Enough of Aamen-puran , what about Adi ? What's her choice ? Do you folks care for her or not ? Well, the truth is Adi's most favorite vacation activity is SHOPPING , just like her Aai and mawshi. 

           Adi has always been a model -Tai ( elder sister ) .She prefers Aamen's company more than anything else. She has grown up to be a graceful lady with melodious voice and a classical ( BharatNatyam ) dancer. Aamen and Adi, singing and dancing together is an exquisite feast for eyes and ears. Here Adi steals the show with her excellent singing / dancing talent. Aamen is master-mimic. We firmly believe that these kids can set any stage on FIRE. They have tremendous potential to set up a full-fledged orchestra. 

           Aamen and Adi both have healthy appetite and like all Mumbai-kids they crave for chatpataa food. WE ensure that the food is delicious as well as nutritious, cause we want them to be happy and energetic while vacationing. In the vacations we gain abundant fun and frolic, while children learn practical things like camping, sharing, adjusting to the surroundings , which mold their personalities .

This post is written for Happy Hours with  Club Mahindra TeddyTravelogues  and IndiBlogger 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Safety begins with ME

            I stood transfixed, praying hard to all 33 crores of Gods + Red-Signal. I was sure, if I moved, something horrible would sure to happen. Aamen, my nephew saw me on the other side of road and ran to cross the road. Aamen crosses the road in his own signature style. He runs headlong , without looking in Right and Left directions for approaching vehicles. He never waits for the Red signal. 

            Thank god, I mean the drivers, who allowed him to pass, stopping their vehicles midway. How wrong! Imagine the vehicles stopping midway without Red signal. What if the vehicle right behind is speeding fast and crashes into the stationary vehicle? whose fault is it? driver's or the pedestrian's who is jay-walking/ running? Crossing the road as if he is the Maharaja riding an elephant!

            We returned home, I was fuming and Aamen was trying to pacify me with 'Chill mouse, I always cross the road like this only. The driver-uncles stop their cars.' I controlled my raging temper and explained him the road / traffic -rules... so that when he gets his driving licence, he should be able to drive perfectly as well as RESPONSIBLY.

            Traffic rules and regulations are not only for car-drivers but also for the pedestrians, cyclists, bikers and other road users. The basic knowledge of traffic rules / regulations , traffic signs is very essential for US , whether we are drivers or road users. This will reduce the number of accidents and ensure a proper road-traffic safety in India for us Indians.

1. Let's Drive sober. Don't Drive Drunk. NEVER. : most of the deaths could have been avoided if the drivers hadn't been drunk. Alcohol causes a number of impairments that lead to road accidents. Intoxication reduces reaction time and coordination and lowers inhibitions, which can cause drivers to take wrong decisions. Alcohol causes blurred or double vision and loss of consciousness. Drunk Driving is a CRIME in India.

2. Let's not drive fast. High speed is fatal. Let's Slow down .For every mile per hour we drive faster, the likelihood of our being in accident increases. At higher speed, the risk of accident increases more rapidly. 

3. Let's Pay Attention. Let's Avoid Distraction : Talking on cell phones, eating, drinking, smoking or chatting with fellow passengers diverts driver's attention , causing serious accidents. 

4. Let's Take notice of road-signs, roadside reflectors and other visual signals.

5. Let's Fasten, seat belts. Seat belts prevent us from being thrown around, in case of an accident. Almost more than half of all accident fatalities are people who are not using seat belts.

6. Let's take Extra care in Monsoon, when it's pouring cats and dogs. The roads are slippery and the vision is blurred. 

7. Let's Keep safe distance between our car and the car ahead. Driver needs enough space to maneuver the car when another car suddenly turns or stops. 

8. Let's Keep track of other drivers. We may be the ideal drivers with proper speed and following all traffic rules but the others can crash into our car. Let's be prepared for irregular lane changes, mid-way stops, turns etc.

9. Safe driving. Let's remain calm/ cool while driving.

10. Let's always check the tires before hitting the road. Let's keep the tires properly inflated.

11. Let's keep the headlights and tail lights on. Put the headlights on low-beam when another vehicles is within 200 meters or when driving behind another vehicle.

12. Let's Avoid stopping midway ,just over a hill or just around a curvy corner. A car behind us may not see us in time.

Last but not the least , Let's Always remember , our near and dear ones could be the victims of the rash driving. We ourselves don't want to be those monster who endanger the lives of other HUMAN BEINGS by careless driving.

Know more  here   The Nissan Safety Drive Forum 

The Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., conducts the Nissan Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) in India as part of its safety driving promotion activities. The program began as an annual activity in 2012. In its initial phase it covered three main Indian cities – New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai – and since then has gradually expanded to several additional cities across India.

This year, NSDF would reach 8 new cities – Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Vadodara, Nagpur, Chennai, Mangalore and Kochi. The overall reach and engagement levels have phenomenally grown and NSDF has effectively reached close to 2 lakh citizens. It continues to stay committed to its core objective of promoting safe driving behaviour in India.

Compared to the previous year, NSDF has witnessed an impressive 126% growth in the sensitisation of wearing seatbelts. In addition, NSDF also conducts live simulated experiences to understand how safety features function through a simulated car crash. A 360-degree turn over highlights the use of seatbelts, while sessions on road safety emphasises on road etiquette to stay safe.

Under its Blue Citizenship CSR umbrella, NSDF by Nissan works to build awareness of safe driving in India. NSDF encourages drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts, and participants learn through interactive activities the importance of wearing seatbelts.

Nissan seeks to support reducing fatalities and injuries caused by traffic accidents, and NSDF represents the company's commitment in contributing to young, vibrant and mobile India.


Blue Citizenship is the commitment of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. to realise our vision of Enriching People's Lives. We commit to our customers, shareholders, employees and the communities where we do business to deliver engaging, valuable and sustainable mobility for all. Through our business activities, we aim to create economic value and to actively contribute towards the development of a sustainable society.

* Shared from Nissan's website This post is written for a contest organised by Nissan  and IndiBlogger

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Rise Above Fear

             Fear of being 2nd, not selected as the 1st ranker had always been my 1st and foremost FEAR. 

             Achieving excellence in chosen field requires talent , passion and smart work. I am obsessive, compulsive  perfectionist while performing any duty. I study, plan and execute the project with minute details. I take calculated risks. I just can not sleep soundly, till I finish the project with 100% accuracy. This is how I overcome my 1 and only no. 1 fear .This is the SECRET of my Victory.

             ... I was selected as the computer coordinator in the "Population Project ”, sponsored by the World Bank . We were allotted 6 months period to do the Baseline registers, classification of data and final printouts. I was assigned H-West ward, which covers Santacruz (West) to Mahim (West). 

             I always strive to be the best in whichever activity I participate. I promised Murthy Madam (Chief Project Coordinator), that I will finish the project before due date with 100% accuracy.

             The Population Project , being a Pilot project, was implemented only in 8 wards of Mumbai. Each ward has 5 to 6 Health-posts and each health-Post is divided into 5 to 6 localities. Consequently there are 25 to 36 localities in each ward, which are surveyed by that many MPWs ( Data collectors ). Each MPW has 10 to 12 registers covering his locality. In all there were 250 to 432 registers to be fed, classified, printed and distributed among the respective MPWs, within 6 months. 

             My first task was to get the baseline registers in my office. I sent the memos to all 6 health-posts in H-West ward. Many of the MPWs were reluctant to submit their registers as they were incomplete. I chatted with them over cutting-chai, motivated them to complete their baseline registers so that, our ward will achieve 1st position in the prestigious pilot project. Next, I sweet-talked, literally with chocolate-coated Orange-candies, whenever they brought the registers in my office. Still there were few others, who did not oblige, so I informed their superiors about the emergency of the project. They understood the importance of the deadline of the World Bank project and gave express orders to their staff for sending the registers immediately to my office.  Finally I finished the lengthy, tiring and conflict-ridden process of register feeding, quite easily ? and efficiently. 

             The register-feeding process followed by classification of input-data and the final printing. Printing such a large quantity of data continuously put tremendous pressure on the printer, resulting in numerous break-downs, refilling of printer-cartridges, stationery wastage etc. We did not have the in-house computer-engineers, so my classmates from Computer-maintenance workshop helped me out in emergencies. Passing through all these Hard(ware) and Soft(ware) hurdles, I finished the final project, 2 weeks before the deadline with 100% accuracy. I neatly wrapped all 36 bundles in news-papers, ready to be distributed among the MPWs. 

             That day I went home and slept like a baby, without any tension or anxiety. I didn't even notice the untimely, thunderous rains that down-poured at the night. Next morning, I woke up feeling dewy-fresh. I reached the office as if floating in the air, ignoring the water-filled potholes. I wished the peon cheerily as he gave me, my cabin-key. I opened the door, switched on the light, computer and air-conditioner. 

              …. Tears streaming down my cheeks, I stared at the big cardboard box, oozing water, which stored my precious hard-work of 5 and ½ months. Yesterday’s downpour had seeped through the air-conditioner into my printouts, reducing them to pulp. I scrutinized the box thoroughly to see if anything could be salvaged, but zilch.

              I sat heavily in the chair, gulped down some water and then called up my office-friend to tell her the tragedy. Like an angel she comforted me, ordered ginger-tea and said “Just Do It “… “Do it again “. I cried “Again? It’s no joke, printing that much data again with the printer breaking down often and from where will I get the new stationery?”

               I was a fresher in that office, while my friend was working there for 2 years. She told me about the office-administration. Firstly, I went to the Maintenance–Department, submitted a letter for repairing the air-conditioner leakage. Secondly, I reported the AC-leakage and printout damage to the Office Superintendent. Thirdly, I went to the Ward-officer and narrated the whole episode of the World-bank project and how I finished it before the deadline, after solving various problems. The Ward officer was greatly impressed by my talent, skill and hard work. He checked the muster and was highly surprised that, I had not a single late-mark in those 5 and ½ months. He immediately sanctioned the computer-stationery, which inspired me to do the tedious job of reprinting.

              And, yes, I did it.I finished my reprinting before the deadline, by going to the office, 2 hours earlier for 12 days. On the D-Day, while distributing the computer-sheets, the Ward-officer praised me for being the 1st to complete the pilot-project, even after passing so many hurdles.

              Everyone can do it. Overcome the fear, claim the VICTORY with strong Will-power and sincere Smart-work.

              The Dew Film : Tamil ( Arya's journey from fear to Victory )

The Mountain Dew Film : Telugu ( Akhil's journey from fear to Victory )

This post is written for Happy Hour with Mountain Dew India  and IndiBlogger

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

PreMarital Sex

              First thing first and that is sex. If we believe that Sex = making Love then it's passionate true love, not just an act of lust. Every thing is fair in Love. The Question is whether it is Marital or Premarital ?  

              Umm ...uhh... hummm ...  Why ? When ? Where to start ? Where to stop ? so many questions ... so many answers with Different Perspectives. 

              "Premarital sex is a sexual activity practiced by persons who are unmarried." Now this wiki-definition is so ambiguous. Persons can be of opposite gender or of same gender. If persons i.e. lovers are of same gender then in many countries they are not permitted to marry. In that case, what option they have other than Premarital sex ? 

               Premarital sex , Yes or No ... both options have Pros and Cons. Almost all would agree that, Premarital sex among adults who love, trust and are loyal to each other, who are ready to shoulder the responsibility is Capital YES while Premarital sex among children ( below 18 years of age ), who are physically, mentally, economically dependent on their parents is Capital NO. 

               Premarital sex among the adult-bachelors is some-what common in metro-cities all over the World. In today's MOM-age I mean Mars Orbiter Mission-age, not Mother-age, adults are so busy with their careers that they hardly have time to think about settling down. Young generation work hard to achieve their fluorescent dreams. Naturally they want to party harder with their friends , partners , sweethearts etc. to alleviate their slogging. Music, Dance, Drinks and Dear, loving partner all make for such a heady combination. In such euphoric parties, love-making i.e. sex is common phenomena , where the partners are not yet married. Not married but love, trust and loyal to each other.

                Most of the times, marriage hurdles the ascending career-graph of the girls. The married girls have to do household daily chores , cook food , look after children well as elders. The wives from conservative families are not allowed to stay late in the office. So the girls delay the marriage, even though they have a boyfriend. In such cases, premarital sex happens. The only word of caution here will be 'Take care of yourself and your loyal, loving and trusting partner. Safe Sex is the key-word for premarital sex'

              As far as Indian boys are concerned, they have extra responsibility of buying apartments, cars, furniture, jewelry etc. for the bride. Young people find it difficult to incur heavy expenses for the big, fat Karan Johar style extravagant wedding ceremonies. After all, all bachelors are not lucky like Arpita, to have Salman Khan as a Bhai to gift them the Taj-Falaknuma-Palace -wedding. In such situations, what choice do the young people have than the premarital sex with their loyal lover? 

               Let's take an example of a girl and a boy who love each other. They love each other, but their families don't stand each other because of differences in caste, cultures, religions etc. In this scenario , what option does the couple have ? Even if their respective families agree for the match , but in the space-starved cities they don't have their own home, then where would they stay post-marriage ? In such cases premarital sex is totally acceptable as the couple will certainly marry for their eternal love, in near future. 

               Premarital sex is considered taboo in many cultures and considered a sin in almost all religions. It became more commonly accepted in developed / Western European countries like Spain, Germany, France etc. in the last few decades. It was sort of aftermath of industrial revolution. As the large scale production boosted economy, people became more materialistic. 

               " No Sex Please, We are Indians " has been the foreigners' point of view about Indians. If we look at the alarming population growth in India, it's evident that sex is happening. But it's not Premarital. You may say ' Oh how bourgeois !' My personal view is  ' Nay - No -Never , PreMarital sex is DANGER , avoid it like a Cancer ' 

       The above pictures are shared from author Poonaam Uppal website.
To find True Love / Twin soul : Poonam Uppal's True Love - A Mystical True Love Story on Flipkart

This post is written as a contest entry for Poonam Uppal's True Love - A Mystical True Love story , Flipkart , Being Social and IndiBlogger.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Banega Swachh India

              Long long ago....  Once upon a time.... take your pick ... India was the most prosperous, modern, developed, leading nation of the World. India was so prosperous, rich that Indians possessed Gold, Silver by kilos and still there were no thefts as all Indians were honest and hardworking. Most of all the Kings, rulers were Godly, as in benevolent, caring, loving, sharing their wealth with their subject/ citizens alike. All were happy, healthy and wealthy. Naturally the social atmosphere was clean, clear and pure. 

               The above paragraph belongs to History-text-book now. It all seems like a myth in the year 2014. Why? How? When exactly did India go downhill? Any chance for India - Indians to regain the lost Glory? 

                Yes by all means it's possible. We ourselves have the solution to our problem. We are responsible for our Present situation and we are capable of making our future Sunny, bright.... Glorious. 

               ”We have not inherited the Earth. We have borrowed it from ancestors to pass over to future generation in better shape " 

              We are not doing this for ourselves, but for our mother India in general and for our beloved children in particular. 

                Overpopulated India is bursting at seams still she is alive and thriving through sheer will power of a few Indians who are honest, hardworking patriots. 

                Let’s not argue and take a snap at the typical Indian-day. We dump our leftover food and scrap into the single bin. We never separate our wet and dry garbage. The solid waste management department of corporation takes care of it. We are lazy and it's so easy to shirk our duties. We always blame others for our own problems. 

                 While passing by the garbage trucks we cover our precious noses with eau-de-cologned hankies. The sewerage workers toil in those stinking trucks to keep our city spic and span, whether it’s scorching or pouring. 

                 We increase the air, water, soil pollution through hazardous industrial-waste, CO2 emitting private vehicles, bursting fire-crackers, littering plastic bags-bottles, plaster of Paris statues, pesticides etc. and then resultantly there are epidemics like Dengue, Plague etc. Collectively, we hold the government responsible for this. But of course the airborne diseases are kept in check by the Pest Control Department, which we ignore totally. 

                 It’s a fact that India, eclipsed by large slum population is still clean, healthy and going strong with the efforts of Government's work force. But do we citizens care for the proper functioning of our lifeline which is clogged with slums and unauthorized constructions. Until and unless we remove these hurdles how could we expect the proper flow of services from Government? We tend to take government for granted, neglecting our own duties. Is it fair?

                  Sanitation and hygiene begin at our Homes and spread over to public places. Sanitation and hygiene play a role in our everyday lives. Our children learn hygienic habits by imitating us enthusiastically. We the parents must learn good sanitation and hygiene habits. We must practice them earnestly. Our children would be happy to follow us. Imagine if more and more Indian families behave responsibly, our good hygiene and sanitation practice will surely transform India at large for the better environment and brighter future.

                 Har Sapna Karega Sach India, Banega Swachh India! 

 P.S.:  ' RB (formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser) has partnered with NDTV and Facebook to launch “Dettol – Banega Swachh India” – a 5 year ambitious program to address the rising need of hygiene and sanitation in India. The campaign will aim at creating awareness about the importance of hygiene and sanitation, and also work with NGO partners to support infrastructure for construction and maintenance of toilets. RB India has committed to spend a sum of Rs.100 crores towards this program over a period of the next 5 years.'
P.S. is shared from the campaign page of
          This post is written as part of ' Banega Swachh India' campaign with
                                   (Dettol , NDTV and IndiBlogger )

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mr. Zuralh

               "Aey you, Ponytail , get out. No more ponytails in my school."- bellowed Mr. ZuralhMr. Zuralh was our P.T. Sir / Instructor. He spent most of the P.T. time in searching for the girls with ponytails, shouting and sending them home. We hardly got any time to play or exercise on the school-playground. 

            We, the girls hated Mr. Zuralh so much , that we forgot his real name and referred him by the nickname Zuralh. Zuralh means cockroach in Marathi. He had wild, bushy mustache, which was always frizzy. Whenever he spotted a pony-tailed girl his mustache-antennae would bristle. He transformed into a Wolfe, ready to pounce. 

             Many of us, who had short hair, tried to braid it but alas , it was impossible. We dreaded going to school , whenever we had a P.T. period. Our heads would ache , our legs would sprain, our shoulders would freeze, our stomachs would grumble at the mere mention of Zuralh

             Zuralh was a strict disciplinarian, OK , fine. But why his discipline targeted girls only ? He never punished the boys for long, unkempt Bachchan-cuts. He never shouted at boys for pranks. 

             Zural's general appearance was attractive with fit body, height, thick hair, wheatish complexion and tip-top dressing. But he looked cruel with his bushy, handlebar mustache. He could not impress his crush, his lady-love, our Chemistry-teacher Rozy. You guessed it right Rozy was not her real name. She was delicate and beautiful , just like a rose-bud so naturally we nicknamed her Rozy. Rozy hated the sight of Zuralh. She wrinkled her pretty nose at Zural's back. She joined our Zuralh-hating party silently. The biggest irony is Rozy could not braid her hair as she sported a bob-cut. 

              Rozy married her Gillette-shaven, college sweetheart and went on honeymoon to Kashmir. Rozy resumed the school after a long vacation, resplendent in a Magenta paithani and exquisite jewelry. She blushed and she dazzled in her bridal glory as a newly wed. All of us were happy to see her except the Zuralh. Next day we the girls were ecstatic with joy. Why ? cause Zuralh left the school and returned to his native village. 

            The breaking news : Zuralh has joined his father's farming and keeps himself busy with braiding the tails of cows and buffaloes 

Dear Blogger friends Manisha  : Creativestrokess  , Anuradha  :  , Gauri   : Survival of the optimist   will you please take the #WillYouShave challenge 

with  BlogAdda  and  Gillette ?