Tomatoes or Tacos for Rs. 100? Did I hear it right?

In a country where the life of a common man holds no value, it is tomatoes which have turned into the most precious point of discussion, as they are now being ‘guarded’ in the literal sense of the word.

Tomatoes- the new jewel to rob?

The news of tomato prices shooting up to Rs. 100 has been the talk of all the towns from Mumbai to Delhi but the latest progression involves how the fruit is being protected by armed guards in Madhya Pradesh. This happened after a recent robbery of 300 kg tomatoes at a wholesale market in Mumbai.

Bank for Tomatoes to Bank upon…

The opposition (Congress) has found a rather unique way to seize the opportunity and protest against the hike by establishing the State Bank of ‘Tomatoes’ in BJP led UP. Cashing upon the helplessness of the common man, the bank offers a 5x return on the deposit of the fruit within a period of six months along with lockers and loans.

Well, the rain seems to have washed off a lot more than crops and livelihood of people across the country. It has also washed off BJP’s efforts to continue pleasing people post the slashed fruit prices after demonetization. Though the government has given an assurance of the prices soon dropping down, but for now, the situation reminds us of the satirical dialogue from 3 idiots, “Paneer to beta, kuch dino mei itti itti thailiyo mei sunaar ki dukan pe bikega”- the only difference being the replacement of ‘paneer’ with ‘tamatar’ in this case. Indeed, as ironical as it may seem, one can afford Mexican chicken Tacos priced at Rs. 50 at a cost lesser than a kg of tomatoes.

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This ‘Raksha Bandhan’, care beyond gender!

Happy Raksha Bandhan to all of you. And for all those who don’t have a brother, don’t be disheartened, your sister is your best guide, well wisher and protector for life. Today, I thought of coming up with something different. This blog is a thoughtful presentation of what and so much more which the festival can shower us with.

This Raksha Bandhan, let’s discover the emotional story of two sisters. While the younger one (Naina) always missed having a brother, especially as Rakhi came around the corner, the elder one ended up finding love, care and security in her younger sister.

Click here, to watch the video: 

‘Bandhan’- a short film on Raksha Bandhan

This short film is an attempt to convey that a sister can be a hero, a brother, a mother, she can be everything- because you don’t really need a brother to celebrate the feeling of being secure.
And hence, have  alook at this video which sends forth a warm Happy Raksha Bandhan message for all the sisters and brothers in the world. Thank you all,  for the feeling of doing ‘raksha’ or any ‘bandhan’ in the world doesn’t need a gender approval.

Do watch, comment, like or share if its relatable.

GST or no, here are 5 immortal ways to Save Money

By Naina Sharma

The much controversial GST just rolled out, and besides being happy or sad, it has left most of us and even the opposition (INC) confused. Other than the tax rate, the question pestering our minds is whether we’ll end up saving or splurging. While spending and then worrying about the expenses is a never ending process, no matter how happy or sad the GST turns out to be, knowing the right ways to save does the trick.
I have come up with a few interesting day to day techniques which will please your wallet !
Let’s have a look at few.

1. Pick up a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables: This will indirectly keep you away from visiting restaurants which will not only save you from earning those extra calories but also from paying those heavy bills.

2. Have house parties instead: Let’s admit it. Tax is tax! Whether it’s 30% or 18%. Partying outside the house not only leaves you compelled to order food and beverages on high price but you are also forced to pay those extra bucks.
All you can do instead is prepare TAX-FREE snacks at home, served with the affection of homeliness and tossed with sense of a love. Eventually, you end up earning brownie points amongst your friends/relatives and a few more coins in your clutch.

3. Quit Smoking: One cigarette on an average (of all brands) costs Rs. 12 as per an approximation. An average smoker smokes 4-5cigarettes per day which makes it a total of Rs. 48 or 60 per day ! If we were to equate this figure with a month, 50*30=Rs. 1500. An average smoker spends Rs. 1500 on smoking alone whereas for a chain smoker this figure might be ten times and may mount to Rs. 15000 (which generally is the salary of a huge range of workers). Spending so much on smoking -something which causes deterioration of mental and physical health, being concurrently least productive is an act of utter foolishness.
However, if you plan on quitting  those smoky tabacoo sticks, you can end up SAVEing this money too and probably pamper yourself with a weekend spa or road trip.

4. Refrain from using those shopping apps: Let’s face it, those lucrative offers from the shopping apps installed in your phone are way more addictive than anything else on the planet. The way these apps trap you with a flat 60% or Buy 2, Get 1 Free scheme, ends up making you spend more than you would have usually done. A few of my friends spend Rs. 20,000 per month on shopping online- mostly because it’s instant and convenient. So, everyone out there, especially women, if you feel you are gradually losing on your savings and turning into an online shopaholic, stop for a while, introspect the orders of the last few months and try giving up on those apps for a while, you wouldn’t lose much on fashion. Trust me!

5. Pool in while you travel: Petrol and Diesel prices keep juggling every now and then but one thing which can help you is- opting for the greener way. 2 things you can’t deny are the fact that your environment needs less petrol in the air and you need more money in your hand. So, what better way to kill two birds with one stone?

Shattering Diet Myths: How ‘Healthy’ is your ‘Salad’?

By Naina Sharma

A seemingly diet- friendly fresh salad bowl topped with some mayonnaise dressing is considered to be a perfect breakfast meal by many across the globe. However, in the blind trend to replicate a health- conscious diet regime, we quite often ignore the necessity to investigate deep into the nutritional contents of the salads which we prepare along with the proportion of ingredients we must adhere to.

INADVERTENT SALAD MISTAKES

Striking a suitable balance between taste buds and health concerns is one of the biggest dilemmas for every nascent salad-eater. Here are a few extremely common salad mistakes which most of us can relate to.

One, adding potato to your salad– Potato itself sounds like too much carbohydrates and calories at the same time. This is why adding major proportions of potato to your supposedly healthy salad could turn into a fiasco. If however, put in small proportions, potatoes would help deliver lots of fiber, thereby improving digestion.

Two, skipping a variety of greens– When it comes to green vegetables don’t just limit yourself to the usual broccoli and lettuce. Incorporate other greens as well such as Spinach. Just 2 cups of spinach in your salad bowl would give you 1.5g fiber and 1.6g protein.

Three, not striking the fat-balance, Make sure that you use a low calorie dressing else all your healthy diet plans will be set to go into the drain.

  • Ditch buying the dressing from the market and try and prepare one at home. Opt for the homemade- yogurt dressing as a substitute for mayonnaise in the market stores.
  • Also, avoid putting walnuts in your salad.  Studies have discovered that even a meager quantity of  three ounces of walnuts a day can result in cholesterol issues.

Four, presence of rice– Yes, as strange as it may sound, some people do opt for rice salad. If at all, you feel like having rice salad, go for brown rice rather than white as brown rice will save you from unnecessary carbs and is full of fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron and essential fatty acids.

TOWARDS A HEALTHIER SALAD…

Add fresh herbs–  Herbs are not only densely packed with vitamins but also have a high nutrient content that could help you naturally improve your metabolism. Apart from this, you can easily grow herbs at home which makes them go easy on your pocket. Few of such herbs which can do wonders both to your health and taste are  Parsley, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary and Basil. 

Tomatoes over Sauce–  Skip the sauce and try putting in loads of freshly cut tomatoes into your salad. Not only are tomatoes high in vitamin C but have antioxidant properties which can prevent fatal diseases along with refreshing your skin.

Use No Oil but Olive Oil- Research suggests that olive oil is possibly the best choice for salad dressing as it helps in maximum absorption of nutrients from the vegetables in salad.

Try the Bean salad- A Bean- salad will not only be high in protein, but are a agreat source of Vitamin B and fibre. Also, Beans have a unique combination of high carbohydrate content along with a low glycaemic index, which would keep you fuller for longer.

Homemade (Non-fat) Yogurt Dressing Over Packaged Mayonnaise- Take up 3/4 cup of whole milk plain yogurt, 1 clove garlic, finely minced 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon dried parsley, 1/4 medium onion, diced, 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons of mustard, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 cup buttermilk to prepare your very own yogurt dressing at home! Combine all the mentioned ingredients in a tight lid jar. Shake to mix all the ingredients. If that doesn’t work, you can use a blender to mix all the freshly minced pieces. Leave the jar for refrigeration (30 minutes) to let the flavors blend. Your dressing would be ready for use after 2 hours.

Now that you know all the do’s and don’ts of salad-making, why not go ahead and enjoy a ‘Healthy’ salad indeed! Remember: The greener, the healthier!

Need a Best Friend? Your Dog/Pup could be one!

Most of us crave for a companion- someone who would listen to us at all times, love us for who we are… Well, essentially, we need a best friend. after tons of friendship failures, all of us tend to be scared of calling someone our ‘best-friend’. But not now! I have come up with a Best Buddy for all of us. And yes, its  a ‘Dog’. Often used as a connotation for abuses across the globe (for a reason absolutely unknown and unjustified), ironically, its  a Dog who would be a perfect substitute for being called a ‘Best Friend’.

How? Let’s find out.

1. They teach us how to be selfless: A dog wouldn’t eat if his master isn’t around, would  sit at the gate of your house and wait until you arrive and would immediately wake up on your single call!  No scope of missed calls at all!

2. They teach us the virtues of loyalty and sacrifice: A dog remains loyal to his master till his last breath. If lost by any chance, a dog would return back to his master’s home and wouldn’t get along with any random person who provides him with comfort, he wouldn’t be happy with the sight of anyone but his master alone.

3. We have someone to care for: Everyone needs to feel wanted and have something to care for. In our state of being busy in this metropolitan world, youth as well as senior citizens who live alone will tell you that their pet gives them a reason to live and keep compassion alive in them.

4. They reduce our stress: With stress being the most common ailment of all now-a-days, studies of people undergoing stress tests or physical examinations suggest (through experimentation) that the presence of a dog around patients of stress, lowered their heart rate and blood pressure, thereby making them feel relaxed and relieved.

5. Promote interaction. There are numerous hubs and dining out places across the country which are designed in a ‘pup-friendly’ manner. With annual fairs let Pet Fed which is the biggest Pet Festival of India, social interactions become easier as your pet starts making friends.

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(Naina Sharma at Pet Fed, 2017) 

6. We feel less lonely: Pets decrease our feelings of loneliness and isolation by providing companionship at all possible hours of the day, till their last breath.

7. They keep us active: People who own pets often are more physically fit than the rest. Mainly because your dog needs to play as well! And yes, you have no option but to be their playmate.  This is the least you could do for them.

8. Offer a topic of conversation: people who have dogs tend to be more conversive as they have an additional topic to discuss.

So, Let’s do a recap! A dog or a puppy is not just an animal. All of us may use our dogs for our own selfish purposes, but trust me, they are magic. After all, don’t they turn you into a better person? They are the only ones who welcome you home, the ones who love you more than they love themselves- the most selfless creation of God. So, next time you crib about not having a ‘human’ best friend? Go, fetch a pup, there can be nobody more humane than them- No expectations, No Demands.

7 Months of Heat- 7 Miracles of 7 glasses of “Water” a day

As summers have already approached most the parts of the country, dehydration and continuous loss of water have added to the regular worries of people. Cities like Delhi have already registered the maximum temperature (44 degrees) of the season so far along with intolerably scorching heat. Water, can, therefore, prove to be a major instrument of relief to battle such extreme condition along with other diseases and skin issues which accompany the heat, especially during the seven months of March-September in India. 

Water is an extremely vital part of our life and is essentially required by our body. Not drinking enough water can be a serious cause of worry for you. Dehydration is the most common one. In order to avoid problems like these, especially during the current months of intense heat, you must drink a minimum of 7-8 glasses of water per day . Few of the miraculous benefits of water consumption which are a must know for all, are:

1. Clear skinWater acts as a facilitation agent for toxic substance removal from the body. Skin diseases and disorders are a result of excessive toxic accumulation in the body which water helps you to get rid of either, mostly in the form of sweat or urine.

2. Helps maintain fluid balance- about 70 % of our body is made up of water. Drinking enough water enables us to maintain this fluid balance which helps in better transportation of nutrients to different organs of the body.

3. Helps reduce weight- The receptors of hunger and thirst are quite intricately placed in our brain. So, yes, you can deceive your stomach! Your stomach feels full whenever you drink ample amount of water. As a result of this, you will end up not eating much and thus the intake of calories in you body will drop down by a great margin.

4. Carrier of blood– apt amount of water in one’s body results in a better circulation of blood through the various organs which leads to better and efficient functioning of the body organs, including kidney and liver.

5. Boosts digestionwater acts as  a fluid in the colon, resulting in smoother functioning of the digestive system. Thus, it acts as a catalyst when it comes to excretory issues.

6. Relieves pain– the presence of water in our body is beneficial for our muscles too, hence enabling us to cope up sooner with issues such as sudden cramps or pains.

7. Helps us fight fatigue– one of the most common and prominent symptom of dehydration/  lack of water in one’s body is tiredness wherein we feel drained out and dizzy most of the times. The magical water helps us combat this feeling as well.

Water, therefore, is not just for the sole purpose of satisfying your thirst but can be miraculous when it comes to leading a healthy life. Adopt these must-know miracles today to lead a healthier and happier everyday!

Indian DIY skin rejuvenation tips… inspired by PC!

By Naina Sharma

Priyanka Chopra is one of the finest icons for women when it comes to not just her career and success  but her style and beauty as well. And, just like any other girl on this planet, she too has obvious concerns about her the way she looks. This article will tell you more about how PC has gone on record most of the times to approve of some home made organic exfoliation techniques which are a boon for girls who wish for a healthier skin.

NOTE: Please test all the ingredients on a smaller skin surface area to check for any specific allergies.

  1. The Home-Made Scrub: There would be two kinds of scrub under this category. One would be lip scrub and the other would be face/body scrub. The main ingredients for face scrub would be Chickpea Flour, Skimmed Milk (for dry skin), Lemon (Oily skin texture), and Natural Rose Water. You must prepare a mix of these and then gently apply all over your face. Wait for 15 minutes, until it dries off completely. Once dry, rub it off to see the difference. You will notice a cleaner skin. Lip Scrub- Take up a mix of 100% organic glycerine, some sea salt and rose water (a common component for both the scrubs) and then gently scrub off the paste over your lips. Do so for a duration of 5 minutes and you would notice an exfoliated texture over your lips.
  2. The Home-Made Skin Cleanser: This is made up of a mix of plain (unflavoured) yogurt, lemon, sandalwood and turmeric. All must be combined in a proportionate amount, since the requirements may vary as per skin textures and types. This paste is supposed to be gently rubbed on your skin for ten minutes as it removes the dead skin and revives the dead skin layers as well.
  3. The Home-Made Moisturiser: There are different sets of moisturisers for dry and oily skin. For oily skin, the required ingredients are a mix of aloe vera gel and honey. A paste applied to your face for a duration of 5 minutes would work wonders as a moisturiser. If you have a dry skin, then you must apply a mix of olive and sesame oil. This would not only moisturise but would also act as a pack for your skin post scrubbing.

Scrubbing, Cleansing and Moisturising- a three step organic way to rejuvenate your skin without application of chemicals or having to go to the salon! Isn’t nature a gift indeed?