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Monthly Archives: July 2011

I am a digital celebrity

I am your scrambled eggs with morning tea

I am the photos and news updates junkie

I reciprocate every query

Have at least 10 friends requests a day in my kitty

The brand speaks through me

and I speak for thee

I create,populate, communicate with their community

on blog, twitter, buzz, linkedin, forums and FB

All the people wanna-know, how much I get of posting so frequently?

Now I know for sure, I have arrived, I am a digital celebrity

Now I am looking for a rapper to belt this out for me

I am a digital celebrity, I am a digital celebrity

 

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Hair There Everywhere!!!

Since childhood, I remember my mother used to religiously follow the ‘vellikiyamai’ (Friday) ritual of having a sesame oil body and hair massage followed by a hot water bath. Come freezing winter or heavy rains, we never skipped that ritual till we were under her surveillance and of course till we came to the ‘whatever mom’ stage. I don’t remember using a shampoo during my school and college days. Our hair used to be always oiled and braided neatly with ribbons (mostly red because that was the color of the school uniform) and tied on top of the head. We were never let to leave the hair ends open. The hair ends were supposed to be always tightly rolled and secured. Even the regular Parachute Coconut Oil was ‘fenugreekized and curry-leafized’- I mean the oil was heated with fenugreek and curry leaves before they adorned our thick, black,long, flowing hair. We used to comb our hair twice a day – every  morning and evening. Especially in the evenings it was before sunset because the popular belief was that the Sun was going back home after a long day to have his mother’s feed and our combing after sunset would contaminate it. “Who told you that mom? You guys are from the dark ages and it would have been difficult to clean up fallen hair strands in the nights, so the system.”

Shikakai, purchased from a South Indian Nadar shop (grocery vendor who obtained it specially from Chennai) was the only powder, to be applied on the hair to wash of the oil. I had great difficulty in ridding my hair of that extremely sticky sesame oil and would spend almost an hour washing off that gooey-gooey thing from my hair (and still fail to do so completely). At times I would also apply a little bathing soap only to get a lecture on how chemical invasion on the hair can make us bald in later ages.

Once out of her clutches, I completely enjoyed occasional shampooing and sparingly oiling the hair. I even experimented with Straightening and Streaking them – Blonde twice with L’oreal  and Red once with Wella. By that time my hair care regime included:

  1. Oiling the hair with parachute coconut oil (Once in a blue moon)
  2. Shampoo with L’oreal’s Elvive color protect shampoo.
  3. Condition with L’oreal color protect conditioner.

Coloring somehow never affected the quality of my hair, though Wella gave me some allergic reactions on my forehead that stayed on for almost 3 weeks. It was primarily the irregular hair care regime topped with my bizarre work schedules that triggered severe hair fall problem. In fact last year around this time I had almost balded with very few hair left on my head. I instantly took charge of the situation and in a desperate attempt to salvage the situation tried out many remedies. I did try Dove shampoo and conditioner at that point in time but that only added to my agony. Pantene somehow never showed any improvement though it maintained the then current state of affairs. When the HUL – P&G campaign face-off took off in Dec. 2010 and Dove marred the secret campaign of Pantene, I had even posted my discontent over both the products- https://askjayaa.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/hul-and-pg-campaign/.

Finally now I have found my own solution the situation. It is basically a mix of what my mom used and what worked best for me. My hair has actually has got its shine back and the texture is smooth as silk, though I am still fighting for the ones that have given up on me.

  1. Apply Fenugreekized and Curry-leafized oil twice a week.
  2. Massage oil for at-least 10-15 minutes.
  3. Tie a hot towel on the head for 15 minute over it.
  4. Apply a concoction freshly beaten EYH (egg,yoghurt,henna) over the hair carefully covering each strand till the hair ends and leave it for 1 hour at least.
  5. Wash off hair with Meera Herbal Shikakai powder followed by L’oreal Total Repair Shampoo or Clinic Plus Shampoo for removing residual oil.
  6. Apply Garnier Fructis Fortifying fall fight conditioner at the end.
  7. Comb my hair twice a day (At least 100 times each time)
  8. Apply Figaro Olive Oil once a week.
  9. Eat sambhar/kozambu every day as that has fenugreek seeds and curry leaves in it.
  10. Have a glass of egg-nog.

The whole idea behind writing this post is to introduce the beginning of ‘Ask Kitchen’. Don’t miss out the recipes of my Fenugreekized and Curry-leafized oil, EYH concoction, Egg nog and of course the sambhar/kozambu.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Beauty and Personal Care

 

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The curious case of Jayaa Jain

Yesterday both me and my hubby were in our own respective  nostalgia zones. While I was humming an old bengali Rabindra Sangeet ”Darun Agni bane re‘ on which I performed as a 6yr old, he was viewing some of his favorite Marathi numbers on youtube- from the dual meaning Jayashree Gadkar lavani songs to Smita Patil’s Mi Raat Takli  to Lata and Hemant Kumar’s famous koli song Mi Dolkara Dolakara. ‘Hey, this one! hold on now.’ I thought to myself and quickly turned around and lifted the lid of one of the box beds and took out one of my childhood albums, in a super tarnished state but still preserving the old memories. My fingers carefully moved the pages till they reached ‘the photo‘. I took it to Prashant and pointed at the one in purple polka dotted nauvari saree. ‘This is just after I danced on Mi Dolkara in school, in 1984/85 and went to a family friend Mr. Vaijapurkar’s residence and Mohan Bhaiya cliked it’, I declared with pomp. Prashant said ‘WOW! you look the same even now.’ I was like “Reeeeeely?” After 10 years of marriage it is mostly ‘lessly’ that you get to hear some compliments. I kept turning the pages to see all other pictures there. Some with my dad, some at a wedding, from 6 months to 16 years there on, and Bingo!

It suddenly hit me that I have actually looked the same. Since childhood I had the same face. The same nose, the same chin, the same eyes. I had just grown in height and weight but, the face! I had this current face, attached to my body, since I was a kid. I took a second look at this face in the mirror and tried to sift through the album once again. I couldn’t help but notice the timestamps of my hair, eyes, nose, smile, teeth, face, skin, nails, height, weight and my vital statistics over the years. The overall observation was:

  1. My skin started tanning after 17 (regular travel in the sun for college).
  2. It also lost the shine after 22 due to erratic eating patterns and almost no care (ate hostel food and ‘self cooked‘ food).
  3. My smile lines started appearing sometime after I turned 25 (gravitational pull and of course lack of any regular beauty therapy).
  4. My eyes started popping out of their sockets after 27 (ogling at….computer screen….what else did you think, you perverts!)
  5. My hair started falling due to almost no scheduled oiling after 33 and at the same time my nails too became very brittle – all things dead finally started to die I guess (hair and nails are technically the dead cells).
  6. My overall body fat percentage increased due to my production cycles. (Had 3 babies in 6 years that played havoc with my lower abs.)

I am now urged to share my beauty regime with all under the category ‘Ask Beauty’ and I need tons and tons of inputs from all my friends and networks to share their tips on their favorite home remedies / brands.

It’s not reverse aging that I am attempting but now it is my race to preserve the ageless inner peace that can possibly add some sparkling dust over my wilting and withering exterior.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Beauty and Personal Care, Kitchen

 

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With the onset of monsoons, the wanderer in me has started stepping out in the slushy,  slippery, slimy, lichen-y, squishy-sqaushy roads with bumpy cars slinging mud on my egg-pack-washed, papaya-scrubbed, trying-hard-to-glow face. My red-as-blood, monsoon-roadside-shopped, floral-peep-toes are all the more happy to tag along and get their own mud pack, as I flip flop about this city to smell the fresh-wet-mud, singing my kids’ nursery rhymes ‘rain rain go away…’, not meaning it though.

I have never liked to get wet in the rains, though I love the idea of being in water for swimming, never-tried-before scuba diving and water skiing. But rains are always welcome as they bring fresh lease of life to the otherwise dirty looking plants around, which makes the surroundings of this dry-concrete-city look like some gardener-curated-botanical greens.Since I too boast of a green thumb and have brought to life many of the otherwise dying plants, I love and loathe greenery around and miss my childhood home that had trees with ready-to be-pickled mango, gender-specific-pomegranate (never knew till we crossed a ,male and a female to have fruits hanging), divinely-herbally-scientifically useful neem, bright-as-sun lemons, monkey’s-favorite-breakfast guavas (believe me when I say they came everyday with their family members for a morning swing).

It is green everywhere around as if I have walked in to the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’s Emerald city, minus the green glasses because as a matter of factly, there is no city greener than this city right now. And this time around I am not talking of my native place, or my current city right. It’s the new destination I have found to park my updates and connect with friends and family and of course network, besides the current Facebook Fanpage. Didn’t get it? It’s Google Plus (initially named the Emerald City/Emerald Sea). Yes!!! AskJayaa is now at Google Plus with the latest updates.

My take on Google +

  1. I am still wandering about in Circles. Great advantage as now I can have my professional connections added at the same place as my personal ones and not be worried about my privacy.But I still need some way to use ‘except for..’ in my circles.
  2. Want to Hangout with connections but am waiting for sufficient numbers join in to experiment the text/audio/video chats (probably that’s why they launched the Facebook-Skype connection).
  3. Still wondering whether I should keep updating FB Fanpage or migrate to G+ totally though I am continuing with both till all my friends, fans, network connections are available in G+. But what about business accounts/pages? Heard they are testing that with companies like Ford and NPR News.
  4. LinkedIn, Skype, Facebook Groups effect- Packed in one….Do I need the others anymore? Well yes till it is also a more ‘business account’ friendly. Besides circles probably they should also add profile customization for each circle because my running a summer camp for 3rd graders would definitely deter my prospects of being a corporate blogger for an LBS app development company.
  5. I am yet to acquire my Android so you’ll have to wait on my take on that.
  6. But I just got out of Blogger (to wordpress) and Orkut (to Facebook and now to G+) and hope this would not affect my rankings in anyway as they are all Google affiliates though I still am active with Docs, Maps and Picasa.
  7. I especially loved their ‘data liberation‘ that allows me to download my uploads. In FB I was mostly uploading directly through my mobile and would simply get irritated about not being able to download back the ‘mobile uploads’ in one go.
  8. The funny part is I am still ‘technojaya@yahoo.com’ and not @gmail.com for the G+ login account.

Let me know if someone needs an invite there. 🙂

 

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The Bug, the Bully, the Belly and the Mumbai Blast

 

For past one month, we have been struggling with a bug and a bully.

After I finished my summer classes for kids, I realized that the sofa in my drawing room started biting me every time I sat over it. I turned over the cushion to realize a tiny little black bug with fresh blood in its belly. Instantly I called for a pest expert to cross verify my fears. Yes they were the scariest of all pests- the ‘Bed Bug’ and they gave me sleepless nights, the nights after till they were sprayed and done with. Luckily the thing had not spread around and pest control service eradicated the bug using a mere handheld herbal spray and…. my life bounced back to normal (and we still wondering who got this pest in my house).

The bully in my daughter’s class was another reason for our worry. The big bellied boy’s punching and kicking my kid and other fellow classmates just for pleasure, shocked us to the core. We told our kid to refrain from any kind of interaction with him and even stay inside the class during her recess to avoid any further trauma. But this did not deter him and he went into her class in the recess to punch her only to be caught red handed by the class teacher. When the school authorities instructed him to stay away from her, he beat her up in the bus, with his elder sister protecting him from any retaliation from her side. The bus company was instructed to separate the kids but the boy directed his friend to continue with the bullying in his absence. We took many measures parallelly to help her fight fear. I started accompanying her to school. We also informed his friend’s mom to break her son’s association with this bully. My daughter’s class teacher kept her in the classroom in the recess to make her feel secure. We watched her slowly bounce back to normal school routine with everyone supporting her from all sides (and we still wondering what were the parents of that bully doing all this while).

What binds the bug and bully stories above is the fact that

One -You must have thought I was to write about the movie ‘Delhi Belly’ too. Well I am yet to watch that and will soon feature it in my movie review section.

Two– This is not my pest control or bully management diary though I will soon pen down the measures to fight these tiny terrorists.

Three– We were wondering about the origin of the bugs to be careful about the bug donors and sanitize the house whenever we meet them next, and we were wondering about the parents of the bully to know whether they are aware of the monster living in their house or they are just thinking that this will just pass.

Four– There is hardly any difference between these little terrorists that gave me some sleepless time and the  larger society bugs and bullies who use ‘Power Play’, time and again to keep the fear of their power alive. We had been observing that for the past 2 weeks there were quite a lot of check posts all throughout Mumbai roads to identify suspects. Probably the actual plan of the terror group was larger than the one executed on the 13th of July when 3 blasts in the span of 25 minutes ripped through rush hour crowds on Wednesday evening in Mumbai, shaking the belief of the people in the system again, probably the people were thinking that the government will move its magic wand and woosh!!! –  kill all the terrorists in a jiffy, probably the plan was to send out the message that even kids will not be spared as the 2nd of the 3 bombs  was at a bus stop near St Antonio High School in Dadar, probably they were assuring Kasab that they are still with him, probably they thought we had forgotten them and came to remind us that we are still as vulnerable and unprepared for such a disaster as we were three years ago, probably they just came to make a mockery at the tall claims made by the politicians that we are better equipped now, probably they just came again year after year to implement their training and attain higher ranks in their terror groups, probably they were sending messages to other countries through us that they can take on them too the same way they did us, probably they were telling us that they can any day go under the nose of the officials unnoticed, probably they mocked at us that our lives for them was as good as vegetables (read gajar,  muli) and could be chewed and spewed on the streets as and when they want and we, like always, would bounce back.

Five– I am wondering why did I not spray the bug to death and slap the bully myself?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chillar Party movie review

Aarela hai apun, bole to kan khol ke sun……….Chandan Nagar ke Chaudah(14) Chillaron ki Chaddi party ne bole to Chaap dala…..ha ha ha. The web site gave credits only to 11 of them – Fatka, Bhidu, Encylopedia, Akram, Jangya, Aflatoon, Secondhand, Panauti, Silencer, Toothpaste, Shaolin. I would also add my favorites -Googly, Pakau Uncle, RANBIR KAPOOOOOOR (thanks to the TOI article in the morning that I waited till all credits rolled up to see his item number Tai Tai Phish)

Initially when my kids were planning to spend the Sunday with the Chillar Party, I wasn’t too keen and tried talking them out by saying…rating is only 2 stars (made up on my own), Lets go for ‘Buddha hoga tera Baap‘, we also saw Amitabh shooting for that movie (as if the camera covered us in the frame), I will not come if it is Chillar Party…..But the kids stuck to their guns. Even the tiny tot, who had a temperature jumped up at the idea of a kids movie and said “you go for your movie, dad will take us for Chillar Party”. Grunt grunt, snort snort was the sound I made and picked up a paper to actually check the ratings and much to my surprise it was 6 stars (With ‘Buddha Hoga…’ at 4*). 6 stars? How long has that been since a Bollywood star gave that kind of a hit. I have to watch this movie I thought and resumed my kitchen work. Finally after having our lunch when started getting ready I said, the little one is sick and might need me in the hall (my way of getting in to the gang). Left for the 3pm show at Fame adlabs. The ‘House Full’ board did not dampen my spirits and we shifted to the nearby Cinemax for a 5pm show.

Believe you me, from the start to finish, I was laughing and laughing and laughing and Prashant kept teasing “A 2* rating movie (remember the rating I cooked up) can give you so much pleasure?” None of the kids were shown as out of the world entities doing a flying scene or something. They all were the boys next door, from decent families, whose parents fretted over the bad company they kept and the foul language they picked up, kids who had their gang time in the evening to play and plot (the ‘Tatti’ on the car….’yuk yuk yuk but made me roll over with laughter and fall from my seat’) and also used their flaws judiciously (panauti wishing Bhide victory). Especially the last portion in the TV channel debate where the kids simply read out lines from their ‘Value Education’ text book (Even my 5 yr old understood those arguments). I kept remembering the lines from Hrishida’s movie Bawarchi “It is so simple to be happy but so difficult to be simple”. Hats off to writer-directors, Vikas Bahl and Nitesh Tiwari for keeping the ‘simplicity hat’ on while scripting the story.

The paedo version of ‘Slut Walk of Chicago’ will definitely see the following trends catch up:

  1. Chillar party Birthday Themes
  2. Chillar party nick names given to all junior groups – in societies, in schools and colleges, in joint families, in corporate gossip room (I have nick named my kids CP 🙂 )
  3. Public Protests ‘without any shame’ called Chaddhi March (remember the proposed skimpily clad slut walk in Delhi this June was renamed ‘besharmi morcha’ fearing opposition and the dress code too was toned down).

Anna and Baba — need some pointers ?

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