The first impression

He was an intelligent guy. He was admired by his friends and the girls at the college had crush on him. 
She was a beautiful and a shy girl. She was so shy but studious that she would never bunk the class or even gossip with her friends. Her daily routine was coming to college, attend the lectures and back home.

He would look at her admiring her charming face without her notice and she would look at him before he noticed. It was during the Chemistry class, their eyes caught each other and saw the expression of embarrassment. Days passed and they would look at each other. When he was absent, she would panic thinking what had happened to him. When he was back recovering from illness after few days, she would be happy to see him. A smart good looking boy he was, well-dressed and clean shaven. The shy girl who never spoke to guys, deeply in love with him. 

When he proposed, she blushed and he smiled. They met at a coffee club on their first date. When he asked her what was it, that impressed her the most about him. She blushed looking at him without an answer. 

My clean shaven look bowled her over, he thought. 

Watch me on Kannada Suvarna



Last year, this time, the owner of parlour I used to visit regularly was happy to see my long black thick hair that made her happier that I hadn't chopped them at all! She was invited by Kannada Suvarna TV Channel to host styling for long and short hair on Suhasini program. She wanted someone with a long hair and there I was! Call it a boon or a curse, maintaining a hip long hair is a tough task which requires baby care while others eye and compliment that its hard to find girls with such long hair these days. 

I sat on the chair while the hair dresser styled and set my hair which took around an hour and half. I am sure her hands and fingers would've ached but the efforts were worth it. I can never imagine myself doing such a lovely hairstyle. 

The episode was telecast-ed during the noon in Jan 2013 and I missed watching myself on the TV. Here is the Youtube version in 3 parts. 

Do you have long or short hair and what styling you prefer?
XOXO
www.manasa.me

Gifting L.O.V.E.


Every parent plays a role of Santa, fulfilling their kids need, be it, a toddler, teenager or an adult. No matter how old the children grow, to parents we are "still" kids even at 20 or 60. Money comes and goes, but it is the unconditional parental love that they try to provide their best to their offsprings in terms of education, good health, courage-respect-values, follow your ambitions.


"The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." ~Aristotle

Education not only teaches English, History, Science, Mathematics, it also teaches discipline. The best gift any parent could give their child would be education: the path to lead the life. When they grow as an adult, they contribute to the society as better citizens. 



"The first wealth is health." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A healthy child who is fed well and active sportsman remains fit and great immunity from diseases. Without good health, a billion dollar would make no sense.


"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." ~Winston Churchill
"There is no principle worth the name if it is not wholly good." ~Mahatma Gandhi
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high... _ Tagore
Any who is able to commute the needs without fear and respect others irrespective of caste, gender...  We often come across the situate where a child is afraid of speaking up uncomfortable things bothering him/her. It is the values, their principle that build a man which in turn earns respect from family, friends and the society.


"Big results require big ambitions." ~Heraclitus
Like a bird set free out of the cage, let the children follow their dreams. 

Last but not the least, the habit of saving for future. All days are not same. Save for a rainy day. When you don't work, savings will work for you. 
"A penny saved is a penny earned." - Benjamin Franklin 

 This post is a part of the 1001 Gifts Activity by HDFC Life in association with BlogAdda

Vegetarian food during international travel


I am a vegetarian and have often found that it hard to find a pure vegetarian food while traveling overseas, this includes the food offered on the air-flight as well. A couple of years ago, I was reluctant to eat the veg food served at the non-veg restaurants. Though I cook and eat home made food, it is unavoidable to eat out while travel, and now I have adapted to the veg Chinese or Thai food though the taste buds miss the Karnataka taste.

Here is a compiled list of options you may consider while traveling abroad or even long distances and miss the South Indian veg food.
  • Every hotel has a microwave oven and a refrigerator. Most of the hotel floors have a common kitchen for cooking.
  • For breakfast, I generally buy milk, yoghurt, bread and jam, fruits and corn flakes; store it in the refrigerator .
  • For lunch and dinner, carry a small rice cooker. Every hotel has a charging point and it wouldn't be a problem to cook rice. 
  • You may buy Ready to Eat MTR food products from India. (Check if grains are allowed in the country you travel).
  • Check for the nearest Indian store where you stay so that you can buy the rice or even the required "Ready to Eat" MTR food products or Haldiram are available. 
  • Buy Ice cream and relish it as a dessert. 
Though it might be bulky to take a rice cooker, your tummy is still happy eating the food of your taste and save expenditure eating at restaurants. 

XOXO

My Envy Box :: November 2013

Hey Everyone,

I subscribed to the My Envy Box in November which is currently invite only. Within a few days of request, I received an email to place the order. I thought of giving a try for the Nov box and here is what I received.

1 month subscription: Rs 850.

My Envy November Box



My Envy November Box
In the box:

L'Occaitane Hair Care Kit

Davidoff Cool Water Woman Sea Rose 1.2 ml

Thalgo Brightening Regulating Essence 2 ml.

Avene Cleanance Mask 10ml

Phytomer Complexion Moisturizing Cream 5ml.

..along with a loccitane playing cards that came as a surprise in the box.

NOTE: All the products are SAMPLE only.
My Envy November Box

My Envy November Box

My Envy November Box

My Envy November Box

My Envy November Box

My Envy November Box

My Envy November Box
Overall verdict: The box is full of luxury brands but however, I felt Rs 850 ONLY for the samples was a little pricey.

Subscribe to My Envy box here.

My personal assistant



I have been blogging and traveling a lot this year...and I have become "more" organized. I would call it a boon that I was able to do both with the help of my sincere "personal assistant" whom I do not pay any fees or salary except feed some food everyday. 

My tablet has been my personal assistant (PA) or call an all time companion, which I take along with me during the daily commute to office,, during long flights, waiting at the airport lounge or even for bus or train. I even use it at home than switching on my laptop. I would say that it is the wonderful invention post smart phones. My everyday routine has been a way simpler and have been able to complete tasks and relax.

I wake up as the Alarm clock ticks in the morning playing aloud the Suprabhata. As I open my eyes slowly, I check the Daily Weather forecast for the day. I brush my teeth and exercise, sometimes referring to the youtube videos on tablet, placed on the chair with pillows. I bath and get ready and offer prayers to the almighty reciting the hymns and mantras like Hanuman Chalisa and Vishnu Sahasranama apps. 
Resting the tablet on lap and reading the e-newspaper on Flipboard, check the stock market, as I sip the coffee. In the kitchen, I take my tablet and place it against the wall, worrying it might fall, and browse recipes for lunch. Having prepared the lunch, I click the pictures of the food and make the notes of the recipe using Evernote app. 

When I am bored, I turn on the music on my tablet and listen to it while I can still multitask: reading ebooks, click,edit and browse pictures, browse internet, draw doodles, even watch movies and TV serials. I also download and play games like Angry Birds and Temple Run. Enroll to a Mass Open Online Course from the top universities and watch the lectures.      

When I have to commute within the city, I look up the Google maps for directions and the bus timings and transit. And when I have to catch up for coffee , lunch or dinner, I check on Foursquare for nearby restaurants and malls.






My 50th postcard reached officially..!

Little I knew about this wonderful website, Postcrossing, when I signed up early this year on 8th of January seeing someone tweet the postcard they received regularly. I signed up this website with no expectation and sent 5 postcards to people around the globe whom I never knew writing and intro about myself. Along with the addresses this website popped up, I thought it was a great idea to print few photographs at Printo, that I clicked during my travels to near and dear ones. I was unhappy with the print quality and the thickness of the postcards and bought the postcards at Sapna Book House.

I own a huge collection of stamps, the habit and a hobby that I inherit from from father. I had signed up the Philately club in 2010 but the credit was over. I couldn’t find the philately collection at JP Nagar post office and went to the Jayanagar head office and bought stamps worth Rs 750. I also bought colour glitter pens, star stickers and Chotta Bheem, Micki Mouse, Winnie the Pooh stickers to decorate the postcard.
On a rainy Saturday, I sat sticking the stamps, sticker and writing down. It definitely brought out the school kid in me when I held the glitter pen.
Postcards with stamps-blog post
Postcards with stamps
The postcards I received from various countries were amazing. Some would send the old tickets, coins, stamps in an envelope. Everyday, I long to receive a postcard and many times, I call up home to enquire how many I did receive today?

Few weeks ago, the postman asked my father, how do I receive so many postcards. I would not be surprised if he signs up, too.

My “official” 50th Postcard was registered on 15th Dec 2013, though I have sent many postcards, some of them, which the users never registered. On a whole, I am reliving my scholastic hobby of collecting stamps, now the beautiful postcards also.

Beautiful view from my window

It's a Melbourne summer-lassi time at my hotel room. Bought a 500 gram Tasmanian yoghurt, added sugar, milk. Stirred it with loads of love. ;)


All set to travel

iPad is my travel companion that kills times waiting for the flights and avoids  the heck of carrying the many books, in case you are a fast reader.


Bon Voyage

“i”th Phone

In the year 2001, one of the Chemistry faculty was appreciating the wonders of a cell phone. During early advent of the cellular phone, Motorola had dominated among the other handset manufacturers like Siemens, Alcatel or even Nokia. Those who owned cell phones would pay hefty amount for both incoming and outgoing calls. These cell phones had an antenna, type and send the SMS, make and receive calls. The introduction of these phones had made the pagers obsolete.             
Motorola phone

In 2005,  I never imagined that I would own a cell phone which had a 1.3 mega pixel camera, the brand new Nokia 3220, on 25th November. It had lights on either sides that would flash during the incoming calls and SMS. My friends at college would tease saying that it looked too childish comparing it to a kid’s shoe with would generate a sound or flash lights.

nokia_3220_1

Having used Nokia 3220 for 2 years 6 months, I switched to Nokia E51 Business series phone in 2008. It was a hard luck that the phone fell into the water after 7 months and I had to buy a new one again in 2009.

Nokia E51

This time I chose to buy a Nokia again. Yes, I was a Nokia fan and would buy only Nokia and never even look at its competition Sony Ericsson which was the competition then. Express  Music Edition 5130, an attractive red, with buttons on its side to stop and start the music. It is a simple to use and a great phone which I still own. This phone has travelled overseas with me and I have used it as a backup phone. My father, too, likes this phone.

nokia-5130-xpressmusic-4

In Jan 2011, the mobile phones were blooming with Samsung and LG touch screens which would run on Android 2.1 version. Having used a basic phone, I decided to upgrade the phone to an Android and bought an LG Optimus One.

LG-Optimus-One

Unfortunately, this phone’s mic and speaker conked off after 2 months I arrived in Melbourne. The cost of repair would be the same as buying a new phone. I had no other choice than buying another phone and I chose an iPhone 4.

apple-iphone-4

It has been more than 2 years that I have been using it and have never thought of upgrading yet. iPhone magic you say? How many phones have you upgraded so far?

Magnet from TripAdvisor

Received this goodie from TripAdvisor that I can now flaunt off during travel.
TripAdvisor Magnet

Vellvette October ‘13 Bag

I know its late to blog about Vellvette October bag. The parcel came in a big carton but the contents did not surprise me this me.
IMG_4917
I was rather unhappy to see the “blue” bag which looks like a toiletry kit unlike the fuchsia, black or red bag which they sent earlier. 
IMG_4918



The contents inside the bag:
1. Vantiv Moisturizing Shampoo & Refreshing Lemon Shower Gel
2. Brocato Actives Hair Infusion Serum
3. Florelle Wet & Dry Blush – Marmorized
IMG_4921
IMG_4922
Vantiv Shower and Bath Gel does not have a good fragrance and smell like a toiler cleaner. It is an Indian brand unlike Vellvette promised to send the international brands. It is a full size product and cost Rs 214 for 180ml. Vantiva Shampoo is a full size product Rs 187 for 250ml. I would prefer lesser quantity of a great quality than such full size cheap products.
IMG_4923
The blush is a combination of blue and pink which I did not like personally. Would you prefer Blue colored cheek?
IMG_4925

IMG_4926

IMG_4928
I had renewed 3 month subscription from Oct-Dec but I am disappointed to see this month’s bag. I have to wait and watch what’s in Nov bag.

Tutti Frutti

Tutti-Frutti-Logo
I love yoghurt and my lunch or dinner is incomplete without it, the perfect trait of being a South Indian. When I first bought a pack of yoghurt as thick as an ice cream, I just loved the quality when compared to what we get here in India. Eventually, I gained several kilos!
IMG_5253IMG_5254
It was the first time I tasted a Tutti Frutti frozen yoghurt in Melbourne during the fall of 2011.  From then onwards, I can’t stop myself from grabbing a scoop of frozen yoghurt alone. It would cost AUD 4.5o and the toppings would cost few cents extra. I have enjoyed eating is as much as a Macadamia ice cream.
If you live in Melbourne and haven’t tried frozen yoghurt, then you’re really missing something.

Gently Falls the Bakula :: Book Review

Title: Gently Falls the Bakula

Author: Sudha Murty

Publisher: Penguin Books India

Pages: 169

Price: Rs 250

I picked this book from the library and completed reading in few hours. I have read many books by Sudha Murty and each of her book is based on real life experience. One can imagine being in her shoes, the woman behind the success of the man she loved and who helped her husband to achieve his dreams.

The story is of intellectual Shrimati who marries Shrikant, her classmate in school and also her neighbour. Though both families do not get along well, both marry and start a new life in Mumbai. Shrikant, being an ambitious man starts climbing up the corporate ladder at the cost of sacrificing his love. He was so much focused on career that he did not have time to speak to his wife about her likes and dislikes. Slowly, Shrimati realizes that her marriage had turned soar and Shrikant was not the same person whom she had loved in Hubli. His ambitions had changed him. 

In today's world, we see both husband and wife make careers and climb up the ladder but we also see that people have no time to share each other's emotions. The "love" that blossoms before the legal bonding soon disappears after the wedlock. When the couple speak, it's the finance and repaying loans. 

It is true, one can't get wealth, success, happiness and money at the same time. Though, Sudha had written this book three decades ago, this book is a perfect example of how most of us lead our lives.

XOXO
~manasa~

L.O.V.E. is in the air

I was looking at the photograph of the US stamp sealed in 1989, that I had clicked a couple of years ago. This stamp is one of my favorite and I have still preserved it with care and pride. Whenever, I look at this stamp, it catches my attention among the other colorful ones, though its a simple yellow and red rose!
It makes me wonder what is the power of love?

L.O.V.E

The day I feel connected right from my heart will be the Platinum Day of Love. Having heard so many stories from near and dear ones, it feels good to be loved and cared, unlike the parental or the sibling love. Finding a soul mate is not only a hard thing, but expressing to the loved ones how much we care and are ready to support each other in all walks of life. Sometimes, silent speaks than words and you feel connected lifetime! The other person's shortcomings doesn't matter and one thinks of the good qualities.

red rose, a box full of chocolates and platinum diamond ring in a glass of wine,  I would chose on this day to the most precious person in my life. Platinum is rare and most expensive lustrous metal. What else could be the perfect gift to the person who brings sparkle like platinum in everyday life.

There will be times when we are happy, laugh at the silliest things, angry at each other. Whenever, we look at platinum, it would remind us the day when we decided to be co-travelers in journey of life.
To the world, you may be someone, to someone you're the world. Given a chance, I would place U & I together among the alphabets....on the Platinum Day of Love

PS: I wish he would read this when I find that special someone. ;)

This post is a part of Indiblogger Platinum Day of Love

XOXO
~manasa~

Why this Kolaveri @MCG di?

One Day International India Vs Australia, in January 2012 was a memorable one at Melbourne Cricket Ground. I was totally excited to be in MCG and watch the match, cheer for India in Australia, waving hands in the Mexican wave. I never expected that there would be such a turn over of Indians. The stadium was colorful with Indian flags everywhere and Swamy Army performed Why this Kolaver di?

                                                                       Kolaveri @ Melbourne Cricket Grounds

Oriflame Beauty Matte Control Foundation :: Review

Today I will be reviewing Oriflame Beauty Matte Control Foundation. It is available in two colors:
1. Porcelain (Product Code: 12809)
2. Ivory (Natural Ivory: 12810)

Quantity: 30 ml

Price: Rs 449.
About the product:
Lightweight, silky-smooth foundation that provides you with an impeccable matte finish that lasts. Contains micro silica shells, which continuously absorb excess oil providing you with a shine-free base. Water-based formula, perfect for combination/oily skin. 
Oriflame Beauty Matte Control Foundation



Oriflame Beauty Matte Control Foundation

Oriflame Beauty Matte Control Foundation

Oriflame Beauty Matte Control Foundation


My take on the product:

Pros:The color suits my skin tone and is light. I would highly recommend it for oily and combination skin.
The foundation is a long stay. For an oily skin, it definitely stays longer without any touch ups.
Gives a fresh and bright look.
The bottle is small and handy, can be carried easily.
Cons:I felt it is quiet pricey for 30 ml and the bottle gets empty soon.

I have been using it for a month now, and loved it.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Melbourne, I miss you!

It has been an year that I left the city which I loved more than my hometown. As I boarded the flight from Melbourne to Singapore, tears came automatically as the flight took off. I never felt so bad in life as much leaving Melbourne.

I have loads of Australia travelogues coming up in November and December. Watch out this space!

The beginning of Ninth year of blogging!

Time flies so quickly and this blog has also grown along with me. Silver Lining has completed eight glorious years and now entering ninth. Happy Birthday to my baby!
XOXO
~manasa~

The Smart App


It scares most young women to commute alone during the late hours, reading the shocking and scary news of how women are raped or eve teased, be it the lonely places and the crowded areas when people keep watching the tamasha don't bother to come for help. 

Nisha got down the company bus at 8 PM and headed towards a mall. It was a Friday and the mall was few distance away from the bus stop. As she walked on the crowded foot path looking around the street, a biker hit her hard with the helmet on her head behind and snatched away her handbag. She fell there unconscious until a colleague who was walking the same path saw her a few hours later and took her to a hospital. Unfortunately, the mobile phone which she had in her palm, was stolen when she fell on the ground. It was indeed sad note that none of the un/educated even bothered to help her. Nisha was shocked by that incident and dared not to walk alone even in the crowded places. She wished she had Smart Suraksha with her.

The above is a true incident of my colleague who wished someone could have come to her rescue immediately.

Dark Matter India has introduced an Android app Smart Suraksha that sends the alert to the 5 pre-listed contacts and the police, at the press of a button.

What the app claims?

Install Smart Suraksha, a mobile application, that can track your whereabouts and at a single touch will send an sms to the pre-listed 5 simultaneously and also the police. An additional feature of this app, is that if you are in a situation where you are able to give details of the would-be offender, you can even record info like model of the car or clothes he is wearing, in your sms.

Yes, use this app as a weapon that can prevent you from becoming an unfortunate victim. Stay safe with Smart Suraksha.


Smart Suraksha will be the rescue angel providing safety to women and protect when the need arises.

I am participating in the Seeking Smart Suraksha contest at BlogAdda.com in association with Smart Suraksha App



The Homing Pigeons :: Book Review

Drafted 26-Jul-2013
The Homing Pigeons
Author: Sid Bahri

Title: The Homing Pigeons
Author: Sid Bahri
Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors
Pages: 328
Price: 150/-

Blurb:

In the middle of the catastrophic 2008 recession, Aditya, a jobless, penniless man meets an attractive stranger in a bar, little does he know that his life will change forever…..

When Radhika, a young, rich widow, marries off her stepdaughter, little does she know that the freedom that she has yearned for is not exactly how she had envisioned it…..

They say Homing Pigeons always come back to their mate, no matter where you leave them on the face of this earth. Homing Pigeons is the story of love between these two unsuspecting characters as it is of lust, greed, separations, prejudices and crumbling spines.

My review:

When I flipped through the pages of the book, I noticed that the book is about the two characters, Aditya and Radhika. When I began to read the book, I felt that there are two different stories, of Aditya and Radhika.

The story starts with Aditya Sharma, banker from Citibank, losing his job due to the recession and how much he relies on his wife's income. Though legally married, love has vanished between the couple. He meets a young lady at a bar that twists his life forever. Who could imagine, he would take up a profession of a gigolo and become famous among the young women.

Radhika is a young widow, earlier a divorcee who is bored in life after the death of her rich husband and marrying off her step daughter.

As the story proceeds, Sid explains how Aditya and Radhika met during the school days, how love blossomed, how they were separated due to the misunderstandings that forced them to make wrong decisions and both their families opposing their wedding. It makes an interesting juicy read and Sid has well woven the two stories together, as a climax. I know most readers might dislike this.

I liked the punch line printed on the cover page of the book:

Not all love stories are perfect, but then, neither are people. 

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

A hotelier by education, an ex-banker and a senior executive in the outsourcing industry, Sid gave up a plush career in the outsourcing industry to follow his passions. Based out of Ranikhet, he is now a struggling entrepreneur and a happy writer. A self- proclaimed eccentric, he is an avid blogger who loves to read and cook. Cooking stories, however, is his passion. The Homing Pigeons is his debut novel.

He can be reached at sidd.bahri@gmail.com

This book review is a part of "The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program". To get free books log on to www.thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com.

XOXO
~manasa~

The Guardian Angels :: Book Review

Title: The Guardian Angels
Author: Rohit Gore
Publisher: Grapevine India Publishers Pvt Ltd
Pages: 328
Price: INR 125

The Guardian Angels cover page
Blurb

The Guardian Angels is the epic and tumultuous story of two star-crossed lovers who werent just soul-mates but were also each others protectors.

The fates of Adi Mehta and Radha Deodhar are deeply entwined when within days of their first rendezvous they save each others lives.

Despite their vast sociopolitical differences, they are drawn to an uncertain future fraught with contrasting ambitions, personas and ideologies.

he is the son of a billionaire, she is the daughter of a socialist.
he is quiet and unassuming, she is a firebrand and spirited.

However, the unexplained phenomena ties them forever whenever they are in peril, they are each others only saviors.

Over the following two decades Adi and Radha live through hope and despair, joy and sadness, and try to decipher their relationship. As the truth of their bond is revealed, they must confront the true nature of love, and ultimately, their destinies.

My Review:

The story dates back to early 1990s from Radha's daily journal. The story has been narrated with third person (author) and from Radha's. Adi hails from an affluent family of four who lives in a twenty storeyed house. Radha comes from a simple middle class family with high moral values. Radha saves Adi from getting beaten up at school and friendship turns into love.

I liked the flow at which the author narrates the lives of Adi and Radha, how they communicate via emails, long to see each others reply. There is lot of emotions expressed though both are hundreds and thousands miles apart.

The language is simple and easy to understand, but the vocabulary is bland and could have been much better. I felt the narration of the book is very similar to The Homing Pigeons, written on the similar lines.

Rohit Gore, the author of this book has written bestselling novels, Circle of Three, A Darker Dawn and Focus, Sam. I haven't read any of these and plan to pick them.

Verdict: 3/5

About the Author

Rohit Gore grew up in a number of towns in India. At various times in his childhood, he wanted to be a theatre actor, an architect and a bookshop owner.

After his engineering degree, he was based in Mumbai. An MBA from S P Jain Institute followed and since then he is in the IT industry.

He loves sports, specifically the discussing and watching part of it, since the playing days are long gone. He has travelled a lot a consequence of living in Mumbai and London. His greatest passion is reading and it inspired him to write. He is a frequent contributor to many online writing forums and wishes there were more writing groups.

He has a keen interest in history, especially the history of music and arts. One of the things he would like to get better at is photography.


He currently lives in Pune, a wonderfully vibrant city with his wife Pranita and son Sahil.

This book review is a part of "The Tales Pensive Review Program". 

XOXO
~manasa~