Monday, 28 July 2014

Banking goes truly social with Kotak #jifi

I've always been fascinated by the unique schemes that Kotak Mahindra bank are so used to coming up with. Be it the proposition of a 6.5% interest account or the intriguing concept of children accounts, they've got many firsts to their quiver. So when I came across this opportunity to witness their nascent social banking platform, I realized how far they've gone in their way to transform and liberalize banking. I was absolutely flummoxed to experience it and would urge all of you to witness their finesse once. Banking has never been so easy. 

For starters, the main webpage didn't seem hackneyed this time. Instead of blockading main icons and buttons with nonplus information, they make the interface as easy and smooth as it can get. You just need a mere email id or even better a Facebook account to get your invite, which took hardly 10 seconds to reach in my inbox. You can log into your account immediately. So streamlined and helpful is the mechanism, that it does away with those tremulous dreams of complex netbanking portals which normally haunt us. 

Once through this, you get a page with detailed instructions on what steps to be followed in order to sign up for an account with all services at disposal. It's amazing how well integrated all the services are. Normally signing up for a banking service is the most addling and splenetic of things. This went like a whiff. They even mention the average times you'd take for every step. It's like a virtual assistant working with you and guiding you step by step. Truly mesmerizing.

I then started dawdling around my own dashboard just to get a grasp of it. The navigation is so smooth and simple and so far away from those smothering netbanking interfaces, that you'd enjoy being on the platform, cherishing every moment. It is truly an emancipating experience. I thought there has to be some catch. There have to be some strings attached to what is otherwise such a lucrative deal. I mean normally you would associate banks with duplicitous considerations and caveats. I was surprised to land at their charges page. Zero balance account, low transaction fees, and zero charges on issuance of debit cards! Yes, it's an account which pays interest only on extra amounts accrued over 25K, but the ease compensates for that. I mean no formalities and 24*7 access are much more enrapturing and much less tormenting. Moreover, the bank does an automatic deposit sweep in for deposits above 25K on which you can earn some interest. There are also no other maintenance charges and the average monthly balance requirement is also zero. Where were you, my financial deliverance! 

#jifi is a much more than just a banking portal, it's a socially integrated fund management tool. You can not only log in through social media, you even get referral points as a cumshaw for bringing your entire friendship coven to the platform. Being wary of the myriad of ways in which social network linking can cause tussles, I explored the service a little more to see the kind of control that has been vested into my dashboard. It was stupendous the way each and every aspect has been taken care of. From the way you're notified of the various activities to your settings, everything can be customized. All that you'd expect from a social banking solution is already there.

Finally, something to say for the munificence of this new banking platform. You can instantly redeem the loyalty points and referral points through an integrated mechanism through which you can not only see how many points you get, you can even track the sources and view detailed reports entailing to the same. I've never experienced a reward point mechanism that is so well designed and so self explanatory. Moreover, the deals you get towards point redemption are simply ecstatic and so tempting that I wish there was an automatic redemption mechanism wherein my account would get me sops just like it gets me interest.

I'm sure you'd want to try your hand at this stunning new banking platform. So, what are you waiting for. Get your #jifi today. Visit now.

Operation Besiege!

<--------------------------TOP SECRET------------------------>

Dear benefactor,

It is with utmost humility and regard for our mission, that I write to you, what is likely to be the final blueprint of the last leg of our mission. I don't know if we are as close as it seems but this may very well be our final chance, to tell the posterity that we are still in business, and that we are not as beleaguered as our prime enemy thinks. It is in the name of our solemn oath to our mission, that I share with you what may very well become the world's most iconic of tales. We have fought a long way to remain extant, but now we have found a new patron, at the behest of whose graceful disposal of duty, we shall come out triumphant and euphoric. Can't believe we are just days away from creating history.

We were at an impasse due to lack of required funding. Thankfully, our brethren at Skyscanner provided us with INR 1 lac with which we could carve our destiny, and have some fun as well! Away from what has been a deluge of sorts, with multiple online travel planning portals using trickery and a times subterfuge to fool you, I finally found one which is an aggregator of the best deals across the globe. I can't imagine how I could have planned my most fondest of journeys if it wasn't for Skyscanner. Away from the tribulation, I finally found the best and the easiest way to plan every single move. And would you believe it, the plan is finally ready.

12th August 2014: A man of high morale and principles with sheer determination and panache for execution shall board a flight from Mumbai to Heathrow. The security officials shall never realize that this piece of supposedly innocuous cloth, is going to be the biggest ingredient of what shall shook the world. The world would never know this man managed to get this flight at an astoundingly low INR 25,516. I mean can you believe that? And that too an Emirates flight with just one stoppage and of minimum duration. Time is of paramount importance in our mission and here we save one single day! Attached herein is a requiem to that elating moment when I saved, I don't know, how many bucks! I can splurge more on the meals now, you know. 

12th August 2014, Arrival: It was obvious I'd have trouble finding my way in an unknown urban setup, specially one as woefully complex as London. However, I was astonished to find out that a Peugeot car rental for 2 days was a mere INR 4500. Now that surely was bemusing. I mean won't even need a driver. I always wanted to drive a Peugeot with its quaint body and it's sullen pulchritude. After all, "UK gaye aur Peugeot nahin chalayi to khaak UK aaye". We'd need a way to get the driver to get inebriated and dissolute. I've watched all seasons of Breaking Bad, so I guess I'd just need to spend some time in a sophisticated chemical laboratory. I guess you'd be able to clean up Sherlock's setup at 221 Baker Street by then. We'd carry out this part sometime in the night! I also need to try that bacon which I've heard is absolutely sumptuous.

13th August 2014: It was time we setup a base camp, and that too one that was not pretty far away from the heart of London, the queen's palace. We'd also need a place where gourmets and guzzlers don't have to spend it all on the room service itself. A hotel that has the comfy and also that perfect menu. This one seemed perfect. This shall be our abode for the night of 13th and 14th. During the daytime, we'd just have to make sure the butlers are deprived of that extra key. No one should know what's being planned inside. And just for namesake, this one also has the palatial feeling and seems to be having the ancient rococo. Nice place to click selfies in. 

13th - 14th August, Reconnaissance: 2 days, we'd just have to be on the field. We'd have to circle our target time and again, just be sure of the paths we are going to follow. We'd have to see how the royal queen guards deploy themselves. We'd have to figure out their intertwining switching and formation. We'd need a note of everything. We don't have enough money to put a microscopic camera on a remote control balloon, so we'd have to go in ourselves. I'd dress up as a buffoon for kids just outside, because I look like one anyway. And you just take pictures of the checkpoints at the pretext of clicking pictures with random guards and gaping at the architecture of the palace, just like everyone does. By 14th night, we check out. We have to become intractable, untraceable. But before that, we need to try their delicious breads and chocolates and those ruptured omelettes that are served with luscious gravies, finest cheese and the softest of breads. Not to forget, we also need to spend a lot of time doing nothing but hoping the queen will come out on the balustrade, only to do nothing but to either encore them or besmirch them, just like everybody does.   

15th August 2014, showtime: If you do something jeopardizing, you better do it in style. All the planning, all the predictions, all boil down to one date. 15th of August 2014. What we shall go down doing, shall never be seen with irate and an account of ludicrous jingoism. It shall be seen as unbridled patriotism, and a little bit of fanaticism as well. Wile our compatriots back here shall be celebrating the exultant moments with the vibe of tricolor spread all over the place. We two shall do what has never been done before. Like smirking on the erstwhile British Commonwealth on its face. We'd roam around the Buckingham Palace in a ravishing Mercedes E class. Yes, no penuriousness in here. We spend as much as we can. We tie up an Indian flag from the radio antenna(Don't know what we can do if there is none), and we simply maunder around the place, riling authorities and making the queen bang her head on something, if she isn't awake already. We coincide this with the very moment the tricolor is hoisted at the majestic Lal Quilla in Delhi. And a moment later, even while we see the authorities running towards us, we play Holi with the tricolor and spread them all over the place. The authorities will imprecate and chide us as we would use permanent colors, once again, indigenous ones made at Sherlock's abandoned lab(Which I'm not sure still exists. Don't know what we'd do if it's just a contrived cult). Finally, we tantalize the queen's guards by sliding in our Merc and running away. We'd fuel up enough to run the vehicle throughout the day. After all, who wouldn't try driving a Merc on the stupendous London roads. What a moment it'll be. Don't forget to stuff the dockets with more cheese sandwiches so that we can munch something, something spectacular, while we're on the run.

16th August 2014: After staying evasive for one single day, we'd suddenly leave the Wanton demeanor so that we can't be impugned anymore. We'd simply leave the vehicle near the airport, and have a quick change of clothes, adulating British and all that. I guess you can always find something like that in their markets. Clothes having paeans and praise for the queen and related stuff. From thereon, it'll be cakewalk. We'd have already booked a flight back to Delhi. I'm sure you can fit into my suitcase and I must find some veil that hides you in the X-ray. We'd travel Air India this time, they provide the frills on board. Those delicious culinary delights shall be awaiting us. The ecclesiastical London experience is about to end, but now that I'd have you with me, the world would be a different place. You'd be wrapped up in the Indian tricolor, the same we waved and billowed near the queen's palace, without her knowing when I slipped in and took you away from her crown. Now, she can only frown. The only reminiscent of their rule on us is coming back to India, and it shall enshrine where it always belonged. As I'd return to Lal Quilla, I'd see the swathing Indian flag still there, and I'd unfold my own Indian flag to unravel the most coveted treasures of all times. The Kohinoor diamond shall be back in India. 

See you next year queenie, I'm coming for the Peacock Throne as well. Oh wait, is that James Bond running after me? 

This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at

The notions of value.

It's been days since I put anything on the blog. It was no writers' block, I know for sure, but it was simply a lack of anything relevant to write on. Having written something or the other while abnegating all notions of delirium that it shall entail, I've come to realize that at least what you write shall have a bare minimum value for the writer himself. So, here I stumbled upon a subject of great fascination again, and one whose exposition I'd like to share with the limited portion of this universe's minds that I have. 

While the world prices normalcy and priggishness, there are zillions of cases where men went heretic, not because of any odious treatments meted out to them, but because they simply crossed paths with some epiphany, some revelation. Since time immemorial, we've got cases of men who either refuted common but consecrated principles only to see their head quashed on the guillotine, or because the idea of following a blind herd did not intrigue them anymore. People even resorted to abdication of possessions or power that would have been coveted by many, including agnates. So what is it that could drive this desire and this discombobulating knack to go awry, even when you were not expected to.

The first of these observations date back to the age when aristocracy was prevalent. While on one extreme we had kings who would revoke their throne for weird reasons ranging from assignations with the daughter of a mere factotum to pursuits that were not aligned while living a scion. We also had instances of the noble posterity turning hostile towards the rule and doing everything possible to knock them off, including arraigning with falsified allegations of treason or better off, silent execution. As a matter of fact, most of these incidents were running up in parallel, and were witnessed in some of the most decorous of kingdoms. 

The second one has been pretty recent and has surely been more than stupefying. Religions with opposite expositions have always been at loggerheads, but from time and again, skirmishes and mere vituperation turn in rancorous battles. Of what's its worth, religions never succumb, the practitioners do. More mesmerizing is the fact that the parish eventually perishes, only to be born a partisan again and only to serve the hegemony of a written epic whose veracity has been deemed indelible by none other than the harbingers of that deviousness and whose sole purpose shall be the persistence of the religion. 

Once again, it's a question of the same odds at battle. Men, with due subservience, willing to go down fighting for a force so powerful enough that it even prevents them from debating on its presence, no matter how much it may have debilitated them already. And on the other hand, are the gentry whose birth or deeds have led them to assume positions of prodigious power and authority, and whose decisions and whips are to be acquiesced to, with the promise of guaranteed action being taken in case of non-compliance. Once again contrasting emotions at play.

So, what's it's worth this time, the truce at hand. So powerful and staunch is the fear of desacralization that minions are ready to fall off the perch, relinquishing all that they leave behind, including a few human beings who are forced to live a life of ignominy and depravity. And then we have the demigods who, with age old missives, have such enormous powers to protect the integrity of a belief manifestation, that they renounce all human emotion and lead men down a slovenly path, one that promises vague resurrection at the price of total destruction.

So, what's it's worth then? What is it that drives this motility to take opposite roads? What is this blinding instinct which overpowers commonsense and makes us associate heterodoxy to everything that challenges a notion. What is value for everyone and why is it held in batons of opposite polarity so often. Why is it that ones deride the ease while others censure derision or non derision. What are our notions of compliance? And finally, what are our notions of value?    

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Newspaper articles from the future - II

19th May 2041,
14th District, 19th Town,
18th 2033 Hague Boundary Classification,

[Non conforming portions duly deleted and presenting correspondent put up in scrutiny. Piece published with due permission from the International Public Posting Board. We vehemently stand against any opposition to the sacrosanct rule of our lords.]

Another registered nuptial agreement turned disastrous today when a mere 4 months post the gamy, the male revoked on providing requisite indemnity to the female and registered the clause in the 196 page Arranged Relationship document. The male cited raging disagreements and lack of compliance as reasons to force the female to witness some rampage and get her lessons. Startlingly, this is the 15th millionth clause alteration in the last 14 days, since the new global gamy laws were finally implemented.

You might be a bit flummoxed by the new laws but here is a crux of what it entails for men. Females are requested to refrain from posting invective as we have advanced location detection and threat elimination technology in our possession. Thank You.

So, this new law is exorbitantly emboldening for the males as marriages tended to embroil them in the ruckus, making them spend less than the 120 hours per week, that is usually demanded of them for them to truly assert their jingoism. And as you already know, jingoism and complete and unquestioned acquiescence to religion are considered to be a necessity for a normal male not to appear insane. The new law is designed to ensure compliance to the basic tenets of the 2029 Rule For The Commons, which is not to be confused with the 2027 Common Rule as it pertains to the elites and the aristocrats.

So the new law entitles men to deny and relinquish any responsibility towards their "somber and pulling worse half" so that the men could duly concentrate on doing lackey and flunky jobs for their masters at different strata and so that money eventually thrives. And as a famous banker once said in 2018, "Life Thrives On Money". So, the new agreement deprives women of all those rights which cynical and retrogressive groups advocated and attained through spurious methods, and makes them a completely dependent entity. The president of the International Brotherhood once commented on the new law, proclaiming it to be, "The best way to curb any dogmatic female retribution"

14.98 million cases have been ruled out in favor of men, with women being ordained strict adherence to their men's volition, just to make sure the men can faithfully spend their 120+ hours contributing to money generation for the gentry and scions, and remaining devout and blind to religion. We personally concur with the new law and its implications and truly believe it shall go a long way in making us converge towards the ideal civilization model, thereby correctly robbing us of all our desires and inculcating the elements of self-abnegation and respect for the all powerful economy and ruling class. 

More in this series - 


Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Like the sly morning sun bathing in its own glory,
Like the wry moon submerged in its own cadence,
Like the penitent whose penance is his only destiny,
Oh dear belle your ravissant came from whence,

Enamored to you is this entire world's trail,
Your penchant for ebullience and your swathing redolence,
Crestfallen seem the stars today, thin, fickle and frail,
For even life is no more than a minion, bowing to your ebullience,

Your seething beeline flair like the contours of a chalice,
Your turgidly swaying hair like an undulatory hassle,
The motley of your colors and their ensuing malice,
For even troubles seem no more than a mere vassal,

Within the realm of ye mirth and your pleasant mellow,
I shall dream and the gleam of my life shall be born,
For your golden gush like the zany zest in bellow,
Ye shalt extricate me, ye shall be my sine qua non. 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Newspaper articles from the future - I

27th March 2037,
Hague Boundary Classification - Zonal 23,
Town II, Eastern Province

<Original Excerpt>
In an attempt to debilitate people from the Town II as per the latest zonal classifications released in 2029 at the monumental Hague Settlement, the local authorities carried out a massive organized genocide of the ones who chose to stay. The genocide has been critically acclaimed by many as the only effective mechanism to eliminate what they call "ruthless renegades". Surprisingly though, the same political entities, i.e the ones classified as extremists by the International Consortium of Discretionary Governance, had arraigned the local government in the zonal for carrying out planned massacres, as they were "not in line" with the overall objective of sustainability. Moreover, they also repudiated the stand of wasting precious bullets and armed men in the process. Astonishingly though, they recant their stand in the end and started supporting the move.

<Supported Article - Refer to attribution>
In a serious retribution towards what they claimed to be the zonal government's ostensible hegemony, the zonal 23 residents had organized a heinous peaceful protest followed by a contemptible procession. It was to the detriment of the altruist zonal government to allow the protests through a decree as per the provisions of the International Peaceful Protests Compendium as it pertains to matters relating to public freedom of speech and expression and the curtailment thereof.The international dictum has a clear exposition of the limits to which such peaceful processions could be allowed to function within. The protests, as is defined by the local courts, are a mode of chicanery as "peace is nothing but a deterrent to progress", and should only be allowed if ordained specifically by the venerated officials of the zonal authority on freedom exercise and restrictions. Our own inquiries suggest that these protests deem reproofing as they were not in line with our collective principles of morality. Peace shall further us in a depraved state of lumbering morality.

Reports suggest the involvement of truculent and petulant individuals who wouldn't relent in front of water canons and orders, and hence their actions alluded nothing but sacrilege and devolution of conscience and respect for zonal. Additional inquiries suggest that the supposed messiahs were dissolute in behavior and were also inebriated while protesting. Moreover, it has been reported that instead of surrendering post the initial open fire, with due subservience to the revered zonal police, the alleged individuals went wayward and shrewdly split up to escape incarceration. This was a deliberate attempt to instigate virulent behavior from others who were not even involved in the massive assault against the cognoscenti and all powerful zonal officials. Reports further suggest that half of the protesters turned marauders and started pilfering on eatables and ration as they begun to run like mice. With the help of the Hague Dispute Assistance Army, the local police were able to shoot down most of them as they foraged, exhibiting a true picture of their combined tactical excellence. We, at Free Press Media & Corporate Propaganda Perpetrator Co. Pvt Ltd, seriously scorn and chide such churlish and flagrant attacks by rebellion groups on the integrity of our machinery. We are grateful to the zonal authorities, the zonal government and the Hague authorities for resolving the issue in the nick of time. 

<Request on behalf of zonal 23 press relations and restrictions committee>
We also request you to stay away from pieces of news published by other media sources like Independent Freelance Journalism as their core agenda is rebuttal against progressive regimes like those of zonal 23 and who can only predicate their stories on age old and now obsolete gamut of guiding principles. While the same may come up with harangue and tirades for the honorable zonal 23 government and calumniate and traduce them, their main purpose is maunder around and leverage on rumor monging. These media houses come with complete independence and hence function in an highly unorganized realm with complete freedom and liberty on what to publish. It is imperative to understand that truth takes a backseat in such a straitjacketed scenario and these media houses with no appropriate corporate funding simply make faulty attempts at usurping politically and ethically correct media sources like this one. 

Attribution: When our reporters attempted an inquest into the reasons for the incident, which despite being commonplace, was a little too large in magnitude to escape attention, we were offered Libel Avoidance donations as per the provisions 27E and 32F of the International Free Press Organization. We are grateful for the zonal 23 government and hence we wouldn't present our findings as it is, and would use professional sleight and artifice to make subtle changes. Our motive was not to impugn any specific authorities in the process, but to countenance the efficacy of the global rule. We shall always remain committed to serving our partisans. 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Well, that's what I live for.

Can you imagine, can you conjure a large white bowl, with glittery ornamental embellishments embossed all over the rim and the sideline, all appearing luxuriantly regaling. Inside of it, imagine a large mix, a perfect medley of some of the most wrought and yet prudent ingredients. Think of it as a potpourri, which is a motley of resplendent colors, with the leitmotif of vivacity, like the Aphrodite wrangled with her own enigma, with the surreal pristine elements of a gourmet's long lived dream, congregating and forming a concoction which is so condescending and subjugating that the very sight of the same is enthralling enough to sweep you off your feet. I'm talking about one of the best things mankind has done to serve its own taste buds. The luscious Biryani.

The scrumptious taste with the eidetic visage and the pristine redolence of saffron and other condiments concurring and dovetailing, have enough might to trounce even the most ardent anorexics and can lure them into devouring it. With the outer Borosil melamine, the royalty just gets that extra tinge of ebullience. So powerful is the combination, that it can make the sane and sound truculent and pugnacious in a single moment. So pressing is its alluring force that it can wreak rampage in even the most silent of kingdoms. No amount or orotund and magniloquence could suffice for what the lethal combination deserves.

Now imagine a large dish, with a fine olfactory mix exuding off it, like bellows receding in eternity, all coming out of that majestic Afghani Chicken lying in the middle of it. That sumptuous scene, like an escarpment with the rising sun, like an esplanade with the glowing moon, like an enchantress revealing her beauty, like the universe itself relishing its existence, that scene can wipe off your conscience and considerations in the span of a second. With the endless white of the dish and the timeless inimitable beauty, like ecstasy buttressed with more beatific elements, the time will turn into an Elysium.

Now on the top of it, envisage and portend an ancillary dish, one concomitant with the invigorating and rapturous food all around. It's pale and beige, like an iridescent aurora, with the green from the nature's farm, providently arguing with the red of the nature's fury, all mingling with the plain of the earth's own roots, toppled with a few drops that come from sun's own yellow. The paraphernalia includes capsicum, tomatoes, onions and lemon, respectively. It's like puerile and petulant elements, charging on each other with the intent of vanquishing all, and ending up in that perfect requiem for the war, a delightful salad. A skirmish of the 4 dawdling and meandering around each other, and a saga of their emphatic denouement. 

How much do I love you my life,
How bellicose I go when it goes amiss,
For thy attainment shalt end in no strife,
For with thee life is a bliss   

Food, food and more food. Well, That's all that I've ever lived for, and this post was just a way to be grateful for what keeps me going and what supposedly is the only worthwhile thing left in the world. Food. 

This post was written with the intent of submission towards the My Beautiful Food blogging drive run by Indiblogger and Borosil

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Railroad!

There across the horizon, 
As far as you can see,
Runs the mighty railroad,
Runs as if on a spree,

It's not her fancy to stop,
It's not in her whims to halt, 
For her only aim is to keep going,
For all her merry I shall exalt,

She knows no bounds,
Like a countryside shrew,
She gets no creaks in her way,
And croons like pleasant honeydew,

She passes through the towns,
She passed the countryside,
She never appears forlorn,
She never craves to hide,

I fail to see a purpose,
Be it winters or any season,
She gets no frills no cumshaw and no sops,
So how could joy be the reason,

Is there something that she's looking for,
Like an old harridan with her lost sight,
No she never had any and will never have so,
Her life in itself is her final fight,

Her dreams I cannot see,
How far she thinks she could go,
What pastures she has left in her life,
How much land would she mow,

I shall wish she finds a stop someday,
One where she could be,
Runs the mighty railroad,
Runs as if on a spree,

Your date with freshness.

So just the other day, I received this sample of Baba Elaichi for review. Staying true to our tradition, I never refuse a product review request for anything that has the capacity to savor my senses. Secondly, I have always hunted for a mouth freshener in various grocery stores and supermarkets as I'm the kind of person who guzzles more than a paltry 3 meals a day. I needed something which could provide my moth with that long lasting effervescence post every meal. I have tried many a product in the past but some were a little too strong and acerbic or a little too feeble in taste. I was also averse to heterogeneous ones that had bits of Areca nut, which is pretty commonplace. I was looking for something different and invigorating and that's precisely the reason I opted for the review. 

The pack of the product was simply stunning, with this glimmering container, that alluded the exquisiteness of what was stored inside. Normally they'd throw up a forlorn container with no unique element. This one was packed to represent the luxury trapped inside. This is something that you'd need to carry places and it can be taken out even after dining in a luscious 5 star restaurant. This surely makes it a companion given that t quells a few of the stereotypes associated with mouth freshening. Normally you'd be given aniseed, but this small lithe pack of Baba Elaichi with its pertness, can make you pull it out from your pocket like a boss. And then you'd have everyone around you craving for some.

I can blather to length about how much effort has been put in to maintain that luxuriance around the product. I mean normally a freshener is a luxury, with it tinging your senses post a gourmet delight so that the unusual olfactory mix that post meal dental activity culminates in, could be kept at bay. For the first time, it has been treated so. While I opened the box, there were these small beads of silver coated Elaichi Danas. They looked terrific. This facet once more corroborated the exotic element of the product. Silver once again, is an item that allegorically as well as literally, symbolizes luxury. Hence the silver coating appeared pretty apt on those small little grits. 

Now came the moment, the tasting. I was tempted to have some immediately after opening it up, but I refrained till a meal so that I could put it up to real test. I had my usual heavy brunch, one that was variegated enough to make me feel dizzy and so with my mouth. Then I took these 5-6 beads of Baba Elaichi and took them in. The first contact with your taste buds is priceless. The way the silver emboldens and buoys the vivacity with a gushing energy, followed by how it quickly diffuses throughout the mouth and the oral cavity. It's like that instant inoculation of freshness. 

I gave it to the silver coating which lasts for about a good few seconds but then the real ingredient comes out of the veneer. The small beads of cardamom, with their own unique panache, perfectly partner with the reminiscent and redolence of the silver. These small beads have their own sugary coating which first melts away and forms a perfect medley with the existent silvery touch and then you have the core unhindered cardamom coming out. Finally, you'd chew the small beads to get the final aromatic treat to your senses. It's a perfect medley which all these individual flavors form inside your mouth and the overall feeling is pretty profuse. Moreover, the beads don't stick in between the teeth. Unlike my past experiences where something or the other would become splenetic and get in between two teeth(Maybe that's the reason toothpicks come with aniseed in the same serving dish), the small beads of Baba Elaichi simply melt away.

Finally, I waited to see how the product's freshness fairs in the test of time. I was amazed when I felt the energy and ebullience lasting for about a good 8-10 minutes. It was then that I realized that this is not only a after meal treat, but it can also come in handy during those soporific lectures when you need more of a dental enlightening than spiritual enlightening to keep the siesta at bay. A truly natural product which can provide you with that ecstatic exuberance for a good 10 minutes is surely a winner. It also has a good enough quantity for its price and almost everyone in my family loves it. Even a few friends of mine who tried it, find it very different and scrumptious just like I did.So now I have two of them. One lies at the dining table all the time for the family to savor, and the other one stays in my bag. 

The percipience of the product truly lies in the concoction of flavors that perfectly dovetail with each other. It's the kind of thing you'd carry on with you and grab a few beads after the meals and whenever you feel like needing a dose of ecstasy. So, grab a pack and fix your date with freshness. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

The village that loves pasta!

A few days back when I was involved in my internship, I was making notes of anything that was either profound or obtrusive, just so that I could share the same with readers on the blog. Now it's time to publish the things one by one. My internship provided me a rather panoramic view of all that I had already seen, but now I viewed things from a different angle, coupled with the minute dexterity your position provides you. I had to witness a lot many places as a part of carrying out a marketing research assignment, and I had enough time to explore most facets of the rural consumer behavior. 

So I was in one of these towns one day. This town had a huge wholesale market situated right on a section of its perimeter, as there were other dependent villages lying on the contours. From an initial analysis I found out that the prime purpose of the markets is actually to serve this network of adjacent villages rather than serving the town itself. I roamed around in that market for one entire day, doing nothing but seeing how business is done, and initiating a repartee with an occasional seller or consumer. I still remember how eerie yet enthusing it felt. The aromas of certain cooking ingredients mixed with the rather noxious fumes of some sharp spices, gave the market its own identity. But I was vying to get a different identity which I got. 

I started getting inside a shop or two, ones which had just about enough space despite the harrowing line of waiting customers. There was this large wholesaler in the beginning itself. His shop's entrance was lined out with large rugged bags holding huge chunks of unground spices, which is pretty much what I expected. I was ferreting for something interesting and then suddenly I saw a bag full of indigenous pasta. I had never seen pasta in such a gargantuan quantity before. Accompanying it were bags of colorful macaroni and a bag of what looked like uncooked tortillas. I found those few bags a little incongruous between all those dusty and vitriolic spices. I went to the guys inside to see if they could explain. 

I was amazed to find out that inside there was a complete section dedicated to the pasta and macaroni paraphernalia. There were all kinds of ketchup and all kinds of ready mix pastes and purees in which you could cook pasta with ease. Not only that, I found a diminutive amount of vermicelli and muesli as well. I suddenly ascribed this to this being the first wholesale shop and hence the probability of this being a main grocery supplier for the town itself. I was proved wrong. The guys inside told me that it's the nearby villages which have a frenzy and fanaticism for it and that the town in itself is still somewhat puritanical. I believed that!

Contrary to my belief, all other shops too had housed pasta and macaroni in heavy quantities, clearly suggesting the steady and encouraging demand thereby buttressing the decision to store so much across the market. A village that consumed pasta, that was stupefying enough. Then I moved forward and paid a visit or two in more shops ahead. Here, I saw one shop that had stocked a lot of Tang instant mix packets in all sizes. Alongwith it were affectations that were put up to capture attention. I once again got my inquisitiveness piqued and carried out an inquest. I was informed that it's the demand from the nearby villages that propelled the guy to stock it. Moreover, he was the one who stocked the most so he even snuggled at the prospect.

I knew I was in for surprises and hence I went in a few more. In one of these shops I witnessed my shocker for the day. I saw a counter dedicated for hair colors, all of the lavish clique. They had everything from a Loreal to a Maybelline. This time it was I who was the first one to speak out the fact rather than to structure it as a question. "And it's the villages that buy these, don't they.". And right I was. I mean more than the town which was likely to have the glamour appeal, it was the rustic yet aspiring women from the villages who would deem indulgence and complaisance to these pleasures of life. That was a little too flabbergasting to consume at once, so I looked for similar insights in other wholesale mandis I visited. The results reinforced the original connotations.  

I soon realized that the villagers whom we envisage and conjure as being desolate, queer and parsimonious, have simply come out to take our consumption story to the next level. Just like their urban counterparts who simply embraced the quality goods when liberalization broke the shackles of a lynching lack of good products two decades ago, these rural folks too are all set to hop on the consumption wave, with their propensity and craving to look and feel good. They're blithe when it comes to adopting products and they're going to splurge it all if its good. While we talk of their ordeal and predicaments sitting in cities, their aspirations have finally got a way to manifest themselves. I can't help but feel that one day it would be these rural markets that would assume the lectern and the pivotal position when it comes to our entire consumption paradigm. Advertisements and all marketing initiatives would be targeted towards them and even products would be positions to slake their needs or to please them. It's not the story of a single village that loves pasta, it's the story of villages across the country which love to go out shopping. 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

How you look V/S Who you are.

We've witnessed cultural renaissances beforehand and we know that the times that we live in are embossed with a different set of identifiers. Our age has its own unique set of parameters on which we rate people, and berate them when they don't fit it. On one hand we adulate the praiseworthy with the best possible coronation, we exhibit utter scorn and disdain for those who appear pariah. We, in short are the age where success and ruthless success is the scale on which a person's attainment is measured. In fact this may very well be the first time that a structured approach has been formulated to consider thereof. But the question remains, are we a little too parochial in what we look for in people. 

Consider this, a group of friends blabbering around in a canteen, and discussing about another one from their clique. They discuss that person's grades, or his clothes, or his gravitas or the number of girlfriends, or certain other things which are pretty archetypal of such discussions. However, rarely do we talk about the person;s thought or supposed opinions on matters that are quintessential to life and virtues. Very seldom do we talk about tenets of life either. While our education system is predicated on ensconcing life's values through lessons, which are recondite and recherche otherwise, it never buoys people to carry out debates and discussions on the same and hence our flanks are never exposed. 

It seems to me that even though there are more success stories and people might be having a little more paraphernalia in our epoch, people would still feel intellectually inferior compared to our provenance. We owe a fealty to our cabalistic understanding of life's principles. More importantly, we rely on others for our thoughts. We lack our own personal opinions when it comes to the entire ambit of living life through principles. We fail to see how we feel about the most pressing of all issues. We feel the irk, we feel the jubilation, but when it comes to tarrying on to a cause or incident, we have loads of apathy in our pockets. 

So how is it that we crave to succeed. Irrespective of all our transformations, we still remain agnates of the most ferocious of all races. We know that men have to work in a rather unbridled way to succeed and hence we have our own set of ideas. Hence in order to make our persona concomitant with it, we bear visages that masquerade our true identity. We veneer our true opinion and emotions and leave the inference on come whosoever. We may feel depraved and knackered, but we'd dress up and talk as if we are at our prime, despite the fact that we may not like doing so. Why? Because that's what the world wants to see. 

In an era where decisions are marked with queer dubiousness, it is only obvious that the generation resorts to simpler and less abstract mechanisms to deal with the trouble of analyzing personalities and assigning them into our stereotypical buckets which we hold so dear. We've become so sullen and drab in our approach, that we've nearly lost a complete sense of the thoughts that still drive us tacitly, but whose presence we cant't acknowledge anymore. 

This post was written as our own solemn contribution towards the latest edition of IndiSpire. Find more here ->