Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shave please!

This post is a part of the 'Shave or Crave' movement in association with

At times I get to travel with some of the most interesting people on the planet. This time, it was Leo. I met Leo during my trip to U.S.A via Doha. Leo was a tall, athletic, fair man who had a long beard. When I say long, you can imagine a foot long jet black beard hair hanging down his face and reaching up to his chest. I wondered if he harbors any parasites within the beard. You could lose your ring in the huge mass of hair if you try to stroke his beard. I even imagined the possibility of him performing this stunt. It looked as if he was unaware of the discovery of razor blades. Why most men mask their facial characters with a beard is beyond the understanding of us ordinary mortals.

We discovered that both of us are to stay in the same hotel in Doha for a day before we can catch the next day's flight to our respective destinations. I casually invited him to join me for the lunch and dinner at the restaurant of the hotel we are planning to stay, not expecting that he would actually turn up. He agreed with a smile, which was slightly disappointing for me because I had hoped that I would have a fun night alone. But now, I've got to put up with a guy who has an incredibly long beard during both lunch and dinner!

The fun started when the metal detector beeped when he tried to clear the emigration at the airport. The airport authorities were bemused to remove a key and an Indian coin from within his beard which caused the metal detector to beep. He later confessed that he had lost that key around a month ago, and had looked for it, but was never able to find it. Now that the customs had recovered metal from him, they led him to a closed room for additional inquiry. It was after a long session of questioning that he was given his luggage and other possessions, and permitted to leave the airport. I was found to be talking with the man before the security check, and both of us belonged to the same city, so the airport officials thought that we were traveling together, and got me doubly checked too. So much price paid for befriending a man with a beard.

At the hotel, the waiters apparently thought that he was my servant. They gave the keys of both his and my room to me, and gave all the luggage to him. I had to tell the receptionist that he was a guest so that she would hand him his key and ask a hotel employee to bring our luggage to our rooms.

Lunch with him was fun. He did not notice a a fried octopus disappearing into his bread before he started to develop itching all over his face. Additionally, it was not possible for him to remove the food particles that was adherent to his beard, so he had to use the washroom several times between and after the meals. Even at the end, I could see the remnants of noodles sticking out from his beard, which he had forgotten to clean up.

After the lunch, I asked him if he had considered shaving his beard. He told that the beard adds to his style. I spend a good half an hour describing him about how I feel about the beard, how big troubles he had encountered because of the beard during the journey, and how wonderful it might be to look like a celebrity if the annoying beard was removed. Now, he seemed to be thoughtful about the idea.

After a few hours, when I was taking an afternoon nap, I heard someone knocking the door. It was Leo. He wanted me to exchange his Indian Rupees for Qatari Riyals. When I asked why he would need the money, he only winked.

At the restaurant for the dinner, I was hoping over hope that Leo does not tun up, because if he does, he might cause to happen something embarrassing with his long beard, and people might mistake me for his partner, and I will get embarrassed too. As I was pouring the soup into my bowl, someone patted on my shoulders. I turned back, and to my surprise, it was Leo.

He was wearing a black suit. A bright red kerchief sticked out of  his pocket. He wore leather black shoes and red tie. I gave a 'Wow' when I looked at his face his beard was gone! There wasn't even one bit of stubble left on his smooth face!He looked more handsome and confident than ever, and was smiling at me. He was the most charming man I ever had met.

We had the dinner together. He told me that it was customary for the members of his region to grow a beard, and that he did not know how easy his life would be without it. He joked over the juice that it was the beard that 'drank' most of the juice he poured into his mouth, and commented that he can now drink without having to 'feed' his beard. We spoke about a lot of things, and he thanked me for giving him money to go to a salon to have his beard shaved. He also informed me that the only stuff he bought from Doha were a pair of Gillette razors and a pack of blades! During the short span of 6 hours between the lunch and dinner, he had conducted significant research about razor blades, and shared with me the fact that razor blades were invented by King C. Gillette, the founder of the world famous Gillette company. He was thankful to me for having mentioned about shaving, and confessed that no woman had ever discussed with him this idea, probably because they were embarrassed to tell a gentleman the prospect of removing what was his prized possession for 10 long years.

We did not meet each other again. But we kept in touch with each other though facebook. It was after around a month or so after my meeting him that he updated his profile picture that shows him without a beard! The picture received 722 likes and 157 comments!

This post is a part of the 'Shave or Crave' movement in association with

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My experiments with straightening hair

 Warning : Do not try at home. Do not try at college also. :)
 The procedures mentioned in this blog post are absolutely dangerous and the author of this post will not be liable for any damage(s) caused by following the content of this blog post in part or full.

Did you know that it is quite easy to get your hair straightened? I will help you with an idea to get silk-soft perfect hair!

Introducing the Sunsilk new android app for straightening your hair! All you need is a messy, matted, dirty hair. You can download the app for free from this link.

To start with, you insert one end of braided copper wire to the plug sockets of the switchboard and bite the other end with your teeth. Then, switch on the plug. You will vibrate and fall down. This phenomena is called planned electrocution. You are experiencing 220 Volts of potential difference gauging through your body, which is not a pleasant experience at all. But what is the end result? Straight and spiky hair just like this!

Copyright: Masterfiles, (Royalty free)
This post is written as a part of 'Straight Hair Experiment' contest conducted by Sunsilk and Indiblogger.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Del Monte Ice Cream Fruit Salad

This post is published as a part of Del Monte Blogger Recipe Carnival jointly conducted by Del Monte and Indiblogger. For some delicious recipes and contests, visit the World Foody facebook page here :! I like the page, do you?

 Are you looking for a perfect dessert on a hot summer afternoon? If you are a big fan of Del Monte like I am, here is the recipe of a cool dessert which you could make in 2 minutes!

The perfect ice cream fruit salad!


1. Del Monte Chunky Mixed Fruit - 1 cup
2. Vanilla ice cream - 1 cup
3. Honey - 2 tablespoons
4. Finely chopped cashewnuts (roasted) - 1 tablespoon
5. Grated almonds - 1 tablespoon
6. Resins - 1 tablespoon

 Preparation : 

Mix Del Monte Chunky mixed fruits with two tablespoons of honey and keep it in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours. Now, transfer these contents to a wide mouthed ice cream bowl. Place the ice cream over the fruits and garnish with roasted cashew nuts, almonds and resins. Serve soon before the ice cream melts!

Picture by : Igelball [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Aeroplane Driver

 This entry is written for Get Published contest, jointly conducted by Harper Collins and IndiBlogger. The link to the page is here :

This story is about two childhood friends, Arun and Divya who separated at five years of age. Later, they become classmates at the same college. They become good friends overtime. Arun quits college and goes to U.S.A for getting trained in aeronautical engineering, but they still share a bond of friendship over the internet. Arun falls in love with a German woman, Andrea, who is his classmate. He is sure that his parents will not permit him to marry Andrea as they belong to different countries and different religions. He asks Divya for support, and Divya assures him that she will talk with his parents about his love affair and help him to get the wedding happen with their blessings. The parents, on the other hand, are planning to arrange a marriage between Divya and Arun. The story is about how Divya convinces Arun's parents to help him marry the woman he loves.

This story is the second part of the story 'Aeroplane Driver' which was published on my personal blog 'Blossoming Soul'.

This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It is your turn to visit Melbourne now!

 If there is heaven on earth, it is on the land down under. Visit Melbourne through !

Australia was my dream destination.  Many a times I dreamt of visiting places in Australia, and the desire became even more stronger when I watched the photographs brought from this dreamland down under by my friend. As a child, I had eagerly watched the Sydney Olympics, as a teenager I was allured by the vast opportunities for higher studies at Australia. Now, as a young woman, I see this land as an aboard of natural beauty, haven of travelers and home of my best friends. Yesterday, I went through the Visit Melbourne website, whose description of the tourist spots at Melbourne made my desire more and more intense. Certain people make your day, certain places too. 
  Donaldytong [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
I wish I could go to Melbourne some day. I’ve been a traveler and had visited a few countries, but I was never lucky enough to go to Melbourne.  But I take pride in being able to add my bit of knowledge to the Wikipedia page on Melbourne. It is thrilling to be able to share the knowledge you have about a place, and guide the millions of people who’ll rely upon this piece of information from time to time. And you are doing it even without having gone to the place oneself! I wish this blog post too will be of the same effect, helping people to see the world through my eyes. 
Melbourne Skyline, Princess Bridge. By Diliff (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The most amazing fact about Melbourne is that it puts a variety of choices into your plate. I’ve been to Buenos Aires, which has been a cultural city, to Washington D.C which was an industrialized city, and Doha, a desert city. There was something different at every city, a monument I could make note of, a plant I had not seen anywhere in the past, a building that amazed me because of its giganticity, or a museum showcasing vibrantly coloured butterflies. But Melbourne shall be special to me because I would experience the beauty of nature side by side to the industrialized city, opera houses, theatres and stadiums. If you’ve got just one chance to visit a foreign country, I’d advise you to visit Australia, where you’ll get to experience bliss of nature and joy of entertainment. 
The Queen of cities, Melbourne. aerial view.
I’d like to take you to a ride to Melbourne. Join me, and hold me tight. At times, you’ll have to hold your breath, hug me tightly, ask me to photograph you. You might weep with joy or scream with enthusiasm. That is fine, and there we go!

I’ll take you to one of the magnificent gothic lanes to the Central palace which is home to several vibrant bars, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, sushi bars and shops. And yes, you’ll see a lot of stencil graffiti.  Go ahead and unlock your passion to music here when you discover a late night jazz! Buy a bouquet of flowers to confess your love to your sweetheart! I will take you to the vibrant Brunswick street where you'll celebrate with colours. Shop for the exotic wine and enjoy the delicious sushi at a rooftop restaurant here!

Buy anything! Discover yourself! Central palace. By Vincent Quach, CCby S.A 2.5

I will take you to the tennis Grand Slam matches, where Sharapova swirls in style and Serena serves with power. I would let you have an opportunity to play tennis at a court which provided platform for tennis  legends to win and thrive. We will dine out at the banks of the serene Brisbane river, barbecuing tender chicken ourselves, while Roger Federer sweats it out on the court just metres away from us. We will go to the racing carnival where you will see the finest of the horses racing against each other. If time permits, we will meet an old man who'll bet on the best horse on track with you. Do not forget to show off your flashy racetrack suites!
Where the maestros fight it out : Melbourne Park.
Tired of the city life? Vanish into the Yarra valley! Hide in the vineyards and sip the most refreshing of the wines! Pack your hampers with fresh fruits and vegetables. Go ahead and knock at the door of a random house at a remote village and find out a winery! Meet an old lady at the village and feel the warmth of hospitality and motherly love! Pick up a bike and ride through the curvy roads to feel close to the nature. Have a rejuvenating drink and eat handmade cheese from a roadside vendor. Be cradled by the cool breeze of the valley while resting near the Yarra river!
Yarra river. CC by SA 3.0, by Nick Carson
 The fun is not over yet. Join me to see the aerial view of the city on a balloon ride! Get a glimpse of the theaters, skyscrapers and hamlets from the sky! Hold me tight and scream with joy! Let us float among the fluffy clouds and whisper to the flying birds.

Have you got one more week to spend? I will take you to Adelaide and Tasmania. Enjoy being treated like a queen on the cruise and discover the marvels of Appollo Bay and Barossa valley. Pamper your tastebuds with a lobster soup and mussel sandwich. Swim with dolphins and glide on the sailboats!

So what are you waiting for? It is your time to visit Melbourne NOW!

 This blog post was written as a part of 'It is your time to visit Melbourne NOW' contest. 
(Thanks to Indiblogger and Visit Melbourne for giving me an awesome opportunity to write a travelogue!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Great Indian Wedding

Thanks to Sony, I got a reason for blogging. See more about Sony's LoveYaArranged on facebook here :

The great Indian wedding saga begins when you reach the so called 'marriageable age'. The marriageable age varies from community to community - there are Indian women who get married at as early as 16 years, and as late as 40 years. And yes, in India, you are expected to spend a lifetime with the guy who has been chosen for you by your parents and relatives. While choosing the prospective bridegroom, the questions the parents ask are : "How rich is the bridegroom? How much is his annual income? Is he white (read fair)? Does he drink (read consume alcohol)? and hundreds of other questions that involves his social status, family background and beauty, but unfortunately none about his personality or tastes. On an average, it takes only around 2 months for a wedding to happen after choosing the bridegroom, and the prospective couples are not allowed to interact much with each other during that period. Yes, you are getting married to a stranger chosen by your parents. And you are going to spend the rest of your life with this guy.

You might think that an Indian arranged marriage might most surely lead to a divorce because one is getting married to an absolute stranger, but that is not the case. Women, fearing the consequences of being a divorcee, often suffer the marital discords silently. If you are a woman and your parents have not gifted you enough of money and goods (called dowry) at the time of wedding, you'll probably be beaten up or burnt to death by your husband and his relatives.

The solution to this problem could be a love marriage where you choose the guy you want to marry, fall in love with each other, and live the rest of the life with him. Indian societies are well-known for its hatred to love marriage. If you had a love marriage, you'll probably be ousted from the family and shunned by the society. If you come from a conservative family, you and your husband would probably be killed by your own brothers or other male blood relations for causing 'shame' to the family by marrying on own choice.

Dear Indian women, be sure that you do not get killed in the process of getting married or after it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A day from the life of a typical Wikipedian

Warning : Highly autobiographical. Elements of fiction added at places to exaggerate poetic effect. 

1. Gets up late (You are not expected to wake up early if you sleep at 3 am)

2. Rubs her eyes and plants the spectacles on the nose. (The glasses are always in peril of falling down)

3. Hits the power button of the laptop.

4. Closes all update messages and virus alerts, and runs Firefox. (There can’t be a Wikipedian whose default browser isn’t Firefox)

5. Opens her Gmail account. (This is a kind of reflex response. You do it without applying your conscious mind. You will do it mechanically even if you are hypnotized)

6. Deletes all Facebook and Orkut mails without reading them.

7. Reads official mails and gets disappointed that the deadline for the submission of a project (at office/college) is preponed. Curses the boss/prof with the F-word for the umpteenth time.

8. Meanwhile, hits the Wikipedia main page listed under ‘bookmarks’.

9. Clicks on the ‘Recent Changes’ and spots an edit made by a someone called 117.314.56.223. Rolls back the change without even bothering to read the crap.

10. Puts the laptop to sleep and gets up to brush (Brushing teeth is one of the
hateful duties of a civilized man/woman), remembers that there is no Wikipedia article titled ‘brush’ and wonders how many disambiguations the word might have.

11. Finally, decides to start an article which goes hence – Brush (tooth) is an implement consisting of [[bristles]] set into a handle used for cleaning [[tooth|teeth]] by gentle up and down motion(The definition could put even Webster to shame).

12. Sits in front of the laptop (her mouth still full of toothpaste bubbles, and brush in hand) and hits ‘toothbrush’ on google search bar to find references for the article.

13. Screams at mom/sis who happened to wear a RED chudidar and asks her to wear a BLUE one. Now, the frothy toothpaste has made its way to the lungs.

14. Hastily finishes the breakfast and hammers stuff into the lap vigorously like a robot.

15. Pretends to listen to sis’s chatter without taking off the eyes from the screen and grunts occasionally. Continues to grunt at regular intervals even after she has left.

16. Three guys pop out of gtalk.
Guy 1 : hey wazzup?hw r u?long since. whats for breakfast? Gotta go.bye.
Guy 2 : hi, i deleted the recycle bin. Help!
Guy 3 : hi, u don’t care abt me, bt I cant stop thinkin’ abt u. plz,plz,plz, gimme ur cell no.i’m upset, im lonely, im terrible.i wanna talk 2 u or I will die. (Aha!)

17. Tells the next door neighbor over gtalk that her roses need pruning. Looks out through the window(not xp, not vista but the original window) and discovers that it is evening.

18. Slaps oneself on the head and eats whatever is left in the kitchen. Takes a spoonful of jam, slams the spoon onto the plate and learns that it was pickle and not jam she wanted.

19. Spends the evening in the garden and photographs every identifiable object hoping that one of them could be the ‘Selected picture of the day’. Grumbles random words like silhouette, bokeh, red-eye etc.

20. Roots herself in front of the laptop again and argues with another guy on the talk page that mangoes can be bought from malls in Antarctica.

21. Adds into her userpage the firsthand account of the glorious deeds she has done that Sunday.

22. A sarcastic grin appears on the face after she discovers that he/she has surpassed some random guy in terms of the number of wiki edits.

23. Realizes that a seminar is to be presented the next day at college/office and starts working on powerpoint.

24. Finishes the work by 2 am and sleeps in front of the laptop.

25. In her dreams, she has been voted in as a bureaucrat.