Monday, May 26, 2014

Bring out the Disney Princess in You ~ A Play Date With Dove

On the 8th of May I received a call from Vineet from Team Indiblogger asking me if I would be game to be a part of the #DovePlay event on the 11th. I explained that I stay hundreds of miles away from Mumbai where the event was supposed to be held. To my utter surprise I was informed that Dove and Team Indiblogger were pairing up to fly in some lucky bloggers from all around the country to Mumbai, just for the event!! My excitement knew no bounds and I answered with an affirmative.

Not to mention, I was super excited to go to Mumbai not just to attend my first Indiblogger event but also to meet my blogger friends whom I had interacted with only virtually till then. Bloggers from Kolkata, Delhi, Indore, Ahmadabad and Bangalore were flown in to Mumbai early on the 11th. I knew we had rooms booked for our stay at The Mirador hotel. What I did not know was the royal treatment we were about to receive from the moment we landed in the city of Bollywood. Everyone of us had a car waiting to escort us from the airport to the hotel where all us bloggers hugged and introduced ourselves before we were taken to J.W. Marriot, Juhu where the actual event was taking place.

Images- Indiblogger
We arrived a little late (thanks to the Mumbai traffic) and registered ourselves and received our name badges, baggage tags, team tags and route maps and activity detail sheets. It was really nice to see how thoughtful the organizers were who took care of our heavy bags while we had fun chatting, sipping wine and running around. We them moved over to the counters with quirky accessories for us to pick up. Now, what do a bunch of women do when they find such amazing props and a swarm of photographers? Yes, you guessed that right- they pose away to glory.

The banquet hall was decorated with beautiful lamps and the place sure looked like a fairyland with everybody dressed in white. We were taking our seats with our cups of coffee and glasses of wine when I spotted Vinita, Janaki and Anuradha. I knew them and Pankti from Indiblogeshwaris but it was lovely to meet them in person!! I also met Nivedita, Soumya and Pooja whose blogs I had been reading for a long time. They turned out to be awesome-r in person :)

After the photo sessions, we all settled down as our host of the day, the extremely pretty and talented Freishia Bomanbehram from NDTV Good Times' Hangout Amreeka took over the stage.

Selfie Time- Freishia, Me and Pallavi. Picture Courtesy- Pallavi

 We were asked to split up and divide ourselves according to our groups. The attendees were all equally divided into 12 groups of ten members each. I belonged to Team 2 and my team mates were Vinita, Shayoni, Pallavi, Suman, Sam, Michelle, Tanyaa and Tanya's mom, Bienu (we had a member less). We were quickly asked to name our teams on a hairstyle and we named ours "French Braids".

Team French Braids- Vinita, Me, Sam, Pallavi (in front), Shayoni, Suman (at the back) and Tanyaa
Picture Courtesy- Pallavi

Next up was a quick introduction session where we got to know our team mates a little better. We were asked to give our partners a compliment. The extremely sweet Suman wrote "Beautiful eyes- Mrignayanee" on my badge :D
Pictures- Indiblogger and mine

The next part was my favourite bit from the evening. We had two zumba instructors up on the stage to get us warmed up for the next few hours of exhilarating fun that we were about to experience. I for one have two left feet and can't dance at all. The only dance I can do is the chicken dance and twerking and that is exactly what we did.  I can't explain how amazing those 20 minutes were. The catchy beats got everybody on their feet, even the initially reluctant ones. Imagine a hall full of women all dressed up dancing and twerking to the tunes of Gangnam Style!!

We had hardly seated ourselves after a crazy session of dance-however-you-want when Freishia came up again on the stage to explain to us the next few activities that were lined up for us and for which we had to complete and play with our teams. Three teams were asked to compete with each other at a time at one activity.
Images- Indiblogger
The first activity was Hips Don't Lie. All the team members were given a huge Hoola Hoop each and were asked to balance it. The person who can keep it looping the longest wins. Tanyaa from our team was a pro and thanks to her, we were the champions in this activity!!

Images- Indiblogger and Dove

Next in line was Have a Ball. Three team members were asked to step into a ball pit containing multi-color balls and sort out only the White Dove Marked balls and throw them at two other team mates who were ready to catch them in baskets they were provided. Our team proved to be a really competitive one as we threw balls as fast as we could and the others at the catching end caught them equally fast. Special mention to Vinita who didn't miss a single catch and was pivotal behind our massive score of 300+ balls in this activity. As you might have already guess, we won this activity as well !!

After finishing each activity, a few bloggers were selected for a fun interview where they were asked about the activities and the memories they triggered. I for one felt like a celebrity giving one interview after another (I gave 5 in total!! :P ) describing my childhood and the merry time I was having at the event.

Images- Indiblogger and mine

The third event we had to complete was what all of us loved the most - Dress Your Tresses!! Team members were grouped into sets of two and were given different hairstyles that they were to make on each other. Michelle was amazing at this as she did my twisted bun in less than 2 minutes. I made the twisted side pony on her which was more messy than neat (*sigh*). Again, for the third time, our team won this one!!

Images- Indiblogger and mine

The fourth activity was Jigsaw Puzzle. Each team was given a handout of a life size Dove puzzle that we had to assemble together. Each team was provided with 1000 points. The faster one completed, the lesser points lost. Guess who won this one? Yes, we did, once again!! :D :D

Images- Indiblogger and mine

After dancing and screaming with joy over winning all the four activities,we gathered up at the photo booth to click pictures with our newly made girlfriends and were then taken to the Dove Salon where haircare and salon experts from Dove were ready to give us our hair transformation we so badly needed. I reached a little late and had to do with a quick updo which I forgot to click pictures of :(

Pranav Thakkar

We then moved over to the pool side area where we had a mix-o-logy match off between the representatives from each team. Each of these members had a open bar in front of us and they had to make an innovative drink of their choice. Pranav Thakkar, an expert mixologist helped us with some insights about making the perfect drink.

We then proceeded over to the dining area as it was already 9p.m. And what spread we had there. The happy foodie in my was delighted to find my choicest favourites up on the tables. I filled up my plate with all that I liked and sat down with Suman and Pallavi, eating and chatting merrily. The dessert platter had a few Indian delicacies like gulab jamun and rasmalai and an overdose of chocolate yummies- heaven for a chocoholic like me. I had a major chocolate overdose on the scrumplicious mud pie :D Oh, did I mention there was an open bar? :P Yes, we could go up and order whatever we wanted and as many we wanted :D I was so busy eating and gulping wine that I forgot to click any food pictures :(

 It was 9:45 p.m. before any of us realized. The main results were to be announced and no surprise, Team French Braids was the clear winner. All of us members received a spa voucher worth Rs. 5000 from Dove to pamper ourselves even more. By  10 p.m. all our drop cars had arrived. Team Indiblogger had very thoughtfully arranged for drop down facilities for every one of us to ensure we reached our homes and hotels safely. We said goodbyes with heavy hearts, hugs and huge beaming smiles on our faces.

Images- Indiblogger and Pallavi
To say I had an amazing time that evening would be a complete understatement. I knew I was going to meet some of my favorite people but what I hadn't expected was I was going to have the time of my life. I cannot thank Team Indiblogger and Team Dove enough for the entire experience. Thank you so very much for taking me back to my childhood, making me do things I would have never thought of doing as a grown up, for all the new friends I made and for taking such great care of us the entire time.

Team Indiblogger

I'm back home in Kolkata but with a bag full of wonderful memories and goodies that Team Dove gave us. Each one of us who attended the meet came home with a really heavy goodie bag consisting of a Philips Hair Straightener/Panasonic Blow Dryer, a very pretty dove shaped hair pin and Dove's Intense Repair hair therapy shampoo and conditioner combo. We also received our Indiblogger t-shirts with "I blog therefore You are" etched at the back.

I've always been a huge fan of Dove's hair care products (especially their Nutritive Solutions range) and they have always worked for my hair. I haven't as yet tried this new one from the Damage Solutions range but I'm quite sure the products will live up to the claims. One of the many reasons why I love Dove and their products is how they use common people like us (instead of professional models) for advertising their products. Also, they do not make too many big claims that they cannot fulfill. Instead, they talk about achievable changes with their products which they always achieve. Dove does not promise to magically transform your hair overnight into Rapunzel like tresses but promises to take the very best care of your mane which the princess in you very much deserves :)

I'm sure I'm going to use this Shampoo and Conditioner combo a lot this Summer-Monsoon coz this is the time my hair acts the craziest and is damaged the most. The range is specially designed with keratin actives which work on damaged brittle and split hair to nourish them at the cellular level to avoid breakage. So now, you can have fun experimenting all you want with your hair while Dove promises to take care of your lovely tresses and keep it shining and healthy!! Know more about the Dove Intense Repair Range here.

I'm really really looking forward to my next meet.

So, have you tried this new range yet? What are your opinions?

Till Next,

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Tales of the Unruly Tresses

During a late spring cleaning spree of my room a couple of days back, I happened to find this little suitcase containing our family photo albums from the time I was some 6 months old. My dad had this love of clicking pictures of me and my sis. That little box turned into this magical time machine that took me back to my childhood in seconds.

The thing that I noticed how my hair changed throughout the years. I was born with Maggi noodles like curls which magically transformed after my hair was shaved off entirely the first time for some puja. I guess all those chantings and prayers helped coz my hair miraculously tamed into nice straight locks!! 

My favourite childhood memories are someway or the other related to my hair. Here are a few snippets-

I remember how fascinated I was with my dad's razor (I was somewhere around 5 or 6 then) and was always on the lookout to get my hands on it. One fine day I did and decided to try it on my hair. For the next two weeks, I was this child-

*facepalm* :P
On a completely unrelated note, I once sprayed dad's shaving foam all over my face and came out of the bathroom singing "Jingle Bells" , almost giving my mom a mini heart attack :D (You see, I was quite the perfect kid :P )

I was a huge Shammi Kapoor fan as a kid and I can distinctly remember the 6-7 year old me sashaying my pseudo dupatta-hair (you see, I always had cropped hair, so I had to make do with my mom's black dupatta) and dancing to the tunes of  ओ हसीना ज़ुल्फ़ों वाली जानेजहाँ....

Have you seen that super cute movie, Ramona and Beezus? In case you haven't I highly recommend you do. If you have already, do you remember the tiara Ramona made with those prickly burrs?


I had once collected a couple of them to throw at my classmates and well Karma decided to teach me a lesson and to cut the long story short, I had to get a crazy hair cut which made me look like this-


While I really miss doing crazy things and playing pranks on people, what I miss most about my childhood is how healthy and lustrous my hair was back then.
Growing up and shifting to a new city and change in climate affected my hair badly and I could see the visible signs of damage in them. Reel over to the present day, my hair is way thinner and a lot less bouncier than it was before. Add to all that damage and pollution the lack of time to take care of my hair. earlier, mom used to regularly oil my hair which is clearly not possible considering my hectic schedule. But the hair needs to be washed and pampered to keep them healthy.

Thanks to Sunsilk's new hair care range,Natural recharge my hair can remain healthy and shiny even when the child in me can do the whacky experiments. I got a sample to try from Indiblogger and I've already used it a couple of times and I'm already addicted to the fresh herby smell and the minty color of the shampoo and conditioner. what I really loved about this shampoo and conditioner duo is that it does not dry out my hair even after everyday use and leaves my hair smelling fresh and squeaky clean!! ^_^

This post was written for Indiblogger and Sunsilk.

Till Next,

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Serendipity is a happy accident, a coincidence which ends up being something pleasant. Remember the John Cusack movie by the same name where he met his soul mate accidentally during Christmas shopping? Yes, those coincidences. Something similar happened to me a couple of months back. No, I didn’t find my soul mate, but a lot of coincidences happened for one day.


Before I begin with what happened on 28th January 2014, I would like to give an excerpt of a chat I had with a classmate of mine the previous night.

Me: Hey, how come you don’t have any pictures of you here on Facebook?Avik: Never occurred to me to put up any!! :PMe: Have we ever talked at the university?Avik: Err…no, don’t think so.Me: Then how do I know which one is you?Avik: Ah yes, true that. Well, I know you. You will be there at the Literary meet tomorrow at Maidan, right? I’ll introduce myself tomorrow.Me: That will be great. See you tomorrow.

The next morning I totally forget about the chat and go to the university for my classes as usual. I meet my BFF, Drisha later and set out for the Metro to go to Maidan for the Literary meet. On our way, Drisha and I stop at the roadside stalls at College Street to check some second hand books. We browse through a copy of War and Peace and before I decide to buy it, I spot a few pages missing and keep it back only to find a Jeffery Archer novel lying next to it which I promptly pick up. Meanwhile, I spot this guy (who looks like he is about my age) comes up and pick the very same copy of War and Peace. The look on his face tells me he had decided to buy it. Being the good Samaritan that I am, I go ahead and ask him not to and point out the missing pages. He thanks me and moves to the next stall. Meanwhile, Drisha and I buy a few copies of good old Jeffery Archer.

We move a couple of stalls and I find this book with a very interesting cover, a palace like structure with doves flying (I’m guilty of buying book with pretty covers). I browse through the blurb and it seems like a good one. So I decide to buy it. Suddenly, my gaze shifts to the figure next to me intently looking at the book. Happens to be the same guy we met before. He asks me if I intended to buy the book and then goes on to explain that he had read the prequel and had been looking for this book for a while. Another look at him and I knew he really wanted the book. The angel in me decided to show up again and I handed him the book saying he could have it (in retrospect, I have absolutely no clue why I did that). He thanks me profusely, buys the book and walks ahead.


Drisha and I stroll along lazily and reach the metro station a couple of minutes later. Guess who I met at the station? Yes, the very same guy!! He is right there sitting on a bench smiling and waving at me as he spots us walking towards him. I wave back and we walk ahead and hop on the metro. We get down at Maidan and walk towards the exit only to bump into him again!! I couldn’t stop my laughter and start grinning like an idiot the moment we see each other. He grins back and runs away (looked like he was in a hurry).

As always, Drisha and I stroll slowly towards Victoria Memorial (where the Literary meet was taking place), munching jhaal-muri. The place looked relatively empty when we arrived. We find a couple of seats empty in the third row and hurry towards it before it could get occupied. No points for guessing, I happened to sit right next to the very same guy!!  The three of us couldn’t hold on to our laughter anymore and start laughing hysterically, much to the surprise of the gentleman sitting behind us.

Guy : This is really funny, us bumping into each other.
Me: It sure is. :P
Guy: Okay then, I’m Avik.
Me (suddenly all excited): Oh, Tui tahole Avik, agey bolishni keno? (Oh,so you are Avik, why didn't you tell me that before?)
Guy (all confused) : Err,what do you mean?
Me: You are Avik from the university, right?
 Guy: No!! I’m from Sanskrit College.
Me (all embarrassed now): Oh darn it!!

I turn to Drisha and explain the entire confusion that happened, all the while trying to muffle my crazy laughter. Guy stares at the two of us laughing like hyenas.

Me (to the guy): I’m so sorry about the mess. I’ll explain what happened. It is going to sound totally bizarre but please believe me, that is exactly what happened.

I explain the entire situation and he looks amused and laughs with me.

Me: So what are you studying?
Guy: I’m doing my B.A. in English Honours, 2nd year. And you?
Me (with a teeny weeny disappointment): Oh, I’ll be your senior then. I’m doing my Masters, 2nd year as well. (For a second I think, I saw a look of disappointment on his face as well. Or maybe I wanted him to be :P)

The lecture we went to attend starts and we listen intently. A couple of minutes later, the sun shifts to a position where the direct sunlight falls on my face and makes it difficult for me to open my eyes. So, I put up my hand as a shade and try to focus on the session. Guy now pulls out a notebook from his bag and hands it to me to use it instead. I grin and thank him. While the session continues, I open his notebook and flip through a few pages.

Guy (a little embarrassed): Don’t do that, I don’t want you to see my class notes :P

Now , he takes the notebook from me and starts scribbling something on the last page, almost hiding it from me. I don’t peep for courtesy’s sake but happen to spot the first few words which go “I intend to…..” I secretly expect him to show me what he had scribbled when he was done with it. To my utter surprise, he just closes the notebook and keeps it back inside his bag and gets up to leave.

Me: Hey, can you do me a favor? I forgot to get my camera today, can you please mail me the pictures of the session you took today?
Guy: Only if you promise me a treat for that.
Me: Sure, will do.
Guy (handing a piece of paper): Here, write your e-mail id here.

I scribble it down for him and we all say our goodbyes. I realize that I never happened to introduce myself and never got to know his full name.

And well, in case you are wondering, I never got the mail with the pictures. There could only be two reasons-
Firstly, the guy could’ve lost the paper with my email-id; which is sad.
Or second, before he could send me the pictures; he was taken hostage by a gang of robbers. The cops gave a chase. They got away, but he caused a crash. When he came to his senses, he had lost his memory. An ex-con picked him up, mistook him for a fugitive and shipped him to Istanbul. He met some Afghan raiders, who took him to steal some Russian warheads. But their truck hit a mine at the border with Tajikistan. He survived, took to the hills and became a Mujaheddin. (yes, I totally lifted that from Amelie :P In case you haven't seen the movie, I recommend you do it right away.  )

So that’s that. Even though nothing really happened after that, the memory of all those crazy coincidences one after another and all the confusion from the day still makes me laugh. The only thing that is driving me crazy is to not to be able to remember the name of the book L Can anybody tell me the name of this book whose story was based in Kolkata, had this palace like structure with birds flying on the cover?

Let me know if you know the book.

Till next,

Happy Hair, Happy Me. Thank You, Tresemme!!

'' I just wanna be myself
And I want you to love me for who I am
I just wanna be myself
And I want you to know, I am my hair
 I've had enough, this is my prayer
That I'll die livin' just as free as my hair ''

When Lady Gaga sang these lines, I think she was talking for every girl out there. Our tresses are our identity. Flirty, independent, carefree and gorgeous, those cascading manes define who were are.

Source : Google Images

We all love (and drool) at those gorgeous hair styles that those celebrities flaunt at the red carpet events and keep sighing and wishing we could try and carry them with as much ease and elan. And those Disney princess tales where our darling princesses like Rapunzel, Jasmine and Ariel had the most outrageously beautiful tresses adds to the wish for the perfect ramp ready hair.While our dear celebs might have their own stylists and hair dressers at their disposal 24x7, we mere mortals have none but ourselves and our girl friends to help us achieve those gorgeous looks. 

Source : Google Images

For me, a bad hair day ruins everything. I love trying new up dos every now and then to take a break from the boring pony tail look and when I can't leave my hair open due to the crazy weather here. But managing these unruly strands of hair (which seem to have a life of their own) is a Herculean task. Moreover, my hair is that boring straight with barely there curls towards the ends and are extremely fine stranded which makes styling them even more difficult. And add to that the fact that I absolutely hate (read I'm scared of) using hair styling products and heating,straightening and curling instruments. 

Source : Google Images. Collage done by yours truly

The last winter was a disaster for my hair. I hate winter because it turns my hair extremely dry, knotty and gives me itchy scalp and dandruff. Added to that a change of shampoo made my otherwise almost tame hair into a unruly mess. My hair turned brittle and rough to touch which gave me nightmares!!

Enter Tresemme hair products into the scene. Now, you don't need to worry about your crazy hair which turns into a bird's nest the very minute you step out of your house. And you don't need those hair styling instruments apart from your pretty hair accessories to add that glam touch to your hair. I have been a fan of Tresemme products from the time they were launched around last year and was eagerly waiting to try out their Split Ends Remedy shampoo and conditioner and when Indiblogger gave us members to try and see for ourselves, I immediately applied for a sample. And boy, I am in love...this thing is just amazing. This is going to stay in my hair care regimen permanently.

Even though I don't exactly have split ends, but my hair did seem pretty damaged and rough which was the first step to splitting. I knew I needed to do something before the ends started breaking apart. After having applied the shampoo and conditioner religiously for quite sometime now, I can actually see the difference it has done to my hair. My hair looks visibly healthier and is much softer and pretty much manageable.

The shampoo has tiny pretty glitters in it. The conditioner is a plain white colored one with a creamy texture. The best thing about the conditioner is that it doesn't weight down my hair unlike other conditioners and leaves them airy and with a faint and lingering fragrance.  Now, my hair is back to being smooth and shiny and is way more manageable so that I can easily try those celeb hair dos without frying or losing my hair. No cutting short of the pretty long ends. Yay!! 

Now, thanks to Tresemme, No Knots, No Split ends, Just long happy hair!!
This post is written for Indiblogger and Tresemme who believe that long hair should have beautiful ends and that ending should never be cut short.

Did you try Tresmme yet? If you haven't I really recommend you do. Do let me know if you liked it  :)

Till next,