Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Gobsmacking Gift Idea


This Valentine's day, I have created my own Bold move submission for the perfect proposal.
The theme I have selected is a message through my furry friend ( A Gob Smacking Idea isnt it ?)

I am pretty sure , my gob-smacking idea  of proposal would definitely win her heart and everyone else too.

This video is my submission for the Close-up Cupid Games Activity :  http://cupidgames.closeup.in/

I have attached a note to my dog, asking my crush out to be my valentine and sent the dog to her to deliver the message & surprise her .








Background Score Source : Windows Sample Music ( Mr.Scruff )

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pimples : A Hurdle to Success


Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success

                           -      Christopher Lasch

A quote that often resonates with almost each one of us, for the fashion conscious sense in us is constantly trying to adapt and ensure we look charming & presentable, if not beautiful . This appearance alone can give us a huge boost of confidence in our personality, emanating a feeling of success all over us

Apart from the already long list of medical bills, we don’t mind spending thousands of rupees in maintaining our skin and face to make it look flawless, spotless and scar free. In fact for a lot many of them, their greatest fear is not tension of exam results or even a job interview ,but very much the appearance of a small pimple in the corner of the face.  This small pimple can literally shatter their confidence, make them go upset and live in constant anxiety that this may lead to a breakout of more pimples in their face, expecting to be ridiculed by peers and friends



Thus begins a whole radical change in their lifestyle, from countless visits to the doc, stocking up on every ointment, changing diet patterns and walking around the house most of the time with a face pack. Sometimes the obsession is so much that people even refuse to come out of the house, even for a social gathering, fearing what people might say about his/her face

What is Acne ?    

Sebum, an oily secretion of the glands gets accumulated in the pore because it cant escape the clog to moisturize the face. In this environment, the acne bacteria grows.When the pressure in the interior area of the pores is great, it ruptures and white blood cells come in to fight this infection. This now causes a pimple in  your face

Depiction of a Pimple Formation
Source : http://www.pinterest.com/pin/395050198538485838/

Effects of Acne

Despite not being any kind of a health hazard, an acne break or a pimple can indeed affect someone, including me in several ways. Some of them are as follows:

  • Confidence: The most important trait to succeed in life is confidence and a belief in oneself. However acnes are prone to not only affect the skin but your piece of a mind. This has a direct influence on your confidence levels to be low like never before. Plus it doesn’t help when you are taunted by friends or inquisitive relatives
  • Beauty: Who doesn’t like a beautiful flawless face, an unblemished skin with no marks and a smile that can make everyone blush? This can be endangered easily with the emergence of a tiny red bubble in the form of acne. They no longer emanate the charm that they were once proud of.
  • Social Life: For people who are sensitive about their skin, a pimple can be a huge blowout. It makes them stay indoors at any cost and cover their face with whatever available, if forced to go outside. Thereby resulting in strained friendships and a non-existent social life .In fact some acne sufferers tend to grow their hair long to ensure their face is completely covered. Some even feel embarrassed about them and restrict conversations only with phones.
  • Depression: Apart from a non-existent social life, another major effect of a pimple is depression. The embarrassment of the scar, isolation from others, an inactive social life , a feeling of unworthiness and other behavioural problems due to the acne effect can lead to a major depression.Several scientific studies have shown that there is a direct linkage between acne and the rate of success in life Numerous cases indicate that acne has a negative effect in one’s growth in professional as well as personal life
  • Time and Money: The biggest impact however is the immense amount of time and money wasted in getting facial surgeries, clinical visits, blood tests and purchasing ointments to prevent acne from appearing, yet most attempts remain futile .They still keep coming and in the end only a huge effort has been wasted , all for nothing

Quick Fixes

Some of the quick fix solutions for acne problems (as sourced from Friends, Relatives, Doctors and Internet) are as below

1 ) Applying Apple Cider Vinegar Solution

2) Drinking lots of water and keeping the body hydrated

3) Squeezing lemon on the face and rubbing it on the affected areas

Here's some more, sourced from research articles in effectively treating acne

Source : http://www.acneskinsite.com/ ( Twitter Feed  : https://twitter.com/AcneSkinSite)


My History of Acne

So like everybody else, I wasn’t spared of an acne breakout in my teenage years which lasted for a decade till just about recently. The whole ordeal of dealing with it day in and out was an actual nightmare of me.

Some of the torments included
  • Friends and Relatives asking: “Hey, What’s that in your face??”
  • People automatically becoming skin doctors and dishing out advice like : ” You should apply a lemon extract with honey on your face ,pretty much all the time, avoid sunlight and stop eating chips. Maybe they were right at some level ,but the constant advice wherever I went completely ticked me off
  • Fewer interactions with the opposite gender than normal , as I felt being avoided at some point of time due to the distracting acne marks in my skin
  • Out of desperation , had tried many times to prick the acne causing it to burst even more and leaving dark black spots all over my face
  • A sympathetic look I got from friends and sometimes even strangers made me feel mad every time I saw acne on my face in the mirror, it gave a very low feeling and almost felt a huge loneliness and sometimes went to the verge of a depression
Below is a pic where my face was not very clear due to blackheads and a lot of pimples on the nose and forehead


Attempts at Removing Acne

Source : www.wikihow.com

             1.Avoided oil and sugary items for sometime. No effect

           2. Applied tea tree oil, Acnesol , Benzyl Peroxide almost three times a day
               Find below a pic from my cabinet of the various things I have been using till now to treat acne
               3. Another set of people attributed the pimples and acne due to dandruff that fell from hair to face and 
                   shoulders. Hence went for another Anti Dandruff treatment, hoping for an indirect cure to Acne. 

              4.  Some also said, it was due to excessive body heat which results in Acne Breakouts. 
                   Hence went for oil massage treatments, hoping to cool off the body a bit 
              5.Had fruit juices and smoothies including avocado, lime
                 
               But in the end nothing of the above solutions worked out in my favor.

      Garnier to my rescue

      Only when I discovered Garnier’s Pure Active Exfoliating Face Scrub and Pure Active Neem Face Wash , my face seemed to undergo a transformation.


      Picture Courtesy  : http://bit.ly/GarnierPureActiveNeemWebsite


      Even after a short while of repeated usage, I got the old radiance and charm back. Pimple spots begin to disappear, dead cells got exfoliated and there were less and less of the acne in the face. With a clear face and an even clearer face,nothing stopped me from regaining my confidence, success and finally my smile back 

      And its time for a better "Clear" selfie :)


                                                                                                                             

      Saturday, January 24, 2015

      Going Sleek with Asus

      Going Sleek with Asus


      I still remember my fascination when I saw a computer at my primary school, trying my hand in MS Paint Application for the first time. The feel of the mouse, the colour monitor captivated me in a never before way.
      Years down the line, I went on to buy myself a personal “Assembled” computer for a pricey sum of 40,000.Rs. It had a configuration of Intel Pentium Processor III, 256 MB RAM, Windows 98 Operating System and I was super content playing Brian Lara Cricket, Quake and Mortal Combat almost everyday 

      Eventually when it started to hang and stop working I upgraded to a better PC which was now running Windows XP, a revolutionary Operating System by Microsoft at that point of time which made browsing and the whole PC experience far easier. My needs were again limited to small PC games, playing videos using a VCD, basic mail checking and downloading songs (of < 4MB size) restricted by a dial up connection, that got disconnected every time a call came in the landline. The computer was reliable, responsive and almost gave me a trouble free experience. 

      Years down the line, I bought my first laptop for my higher education and that was the pinnacle of technology as what I saw it. A PC that I could carry around everywhere I went ( though marginally heavy) and aided me immensely in my needs that now included case study presentations, preparing complex financial worksheets using MS excel ,and also some action games that demanded higher processing speeds and memory
      After another decade now I finally decided to change/upgrade both my desktop PC at home and my laptop. Hence began scouring the e-commerce sites for both laptops. It was then I discovered two amazing new launches from the pioneers , Asus

       
      Listed below are some of the key reasons why I shortlisted and decided on the above 2 products


      The Asus EeeBook exceeds all my requirements for a laptop at an incredible price that can be matched by no other brands.  Additionally some of the features that attracted me are :

      • Extremely sleek and weighs just  < 1KG which makes it super easy for carrying on the go
      • Incredible price of 14,999 which is basically 30-40% cheaper than a decent smartphone, if not other branded laptops. I can probably say for sure that this is the least expensive laptop in the country)
      • It comes with a 2 cell battery that provide up to 12 hours of battery time (that’s roughly 5 times the battery time of any laptop which is thrice the cost of this)
      • 500GB of web storage, 1 year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 along with 1 TB of online cloud storage.
      • 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Quad Core Processor and 2 GB Ram that should easily handle and multitask several applications at once  
      • 32GB internal storage with a Micro SD card slot that can extend up to 128 GB for saving personal files and multimedia

      Possessing an Asus Zenfone 5 for the past 6 months, I am more than convinced that their laptops too will be equally competitive and superior to any other brand in the market, and hence leaves with me a definite choice of going for this laptop


      For my home desktop use, I laid my eyes on the ASUS All In One PC ET2040 and I must admit this is the single most piece of technology that can revolutionize the PC market and also the way we use desktops at home. 

      Eliminating the huge bulky cabinets with those processors, CD/Floppy drives and other ports, Desktops have come a long way, to be launched and renamed as an All in One PC 

      In this category, Asus seems to have outdone its competition in launching this amazing piece of machinery


      • Costing just Rs.26,000 (Far cheaper than any of its competitors in this category) ,the ASUS All In One PC ET2040 definitely warrants a look and specifications that make it look like a 50K gadget and also has a very sleek ,space saving design

      • It comes with a Intel Pentium Quad Core J2900 Processor, 2.41 GHz with Turbo Boost that should play almost any 3D game smoothly without the slightest lag and handle several applications at once

      • Comes with a 19.5 Inch HD LED back lit Display, making movie watching experience an incredible one

      • Built-in backup power up to 1 hour, that lets you save any file in case of any power outages. This is a very smart feature and incredibly useful that is not found in almost any other system till date. Even an expensive UPS for a desktop would ideally give power for only 20-3 minutes. But this 1 hour backup system in the Asus all in one PC totally makes the UPS redundant saving a lot of money in the process

      • Has a 500 GB hard drive that can store nearly 500 videos easily and a plethora of work files, games and other multimedia files. One thing that’s for sure is you’ll never run out of space to save your precious files

      • Innovative gesture control for controlling multimedia players or browsing the internet. You can play songs, videos, adjust player settings, scroll and zoom through photos all by waving a hand or by using your fist without touching the mouse or the keyboard

      • 3 USB 3.0 ports and 3 USB 2.0 Ports with an HDMI port makes it a seamless connectivity to other external storage or output devices

      Hands down this is the best all in one device that I can think of, to purchase for my home
      Cupid games of Valentine - A Bold proposal

      Cupid games of Valentine - A Bold proposal



      Valentine’s Day, according to me is a day that has ennobled the concept of love. It has witnessed a renaissance in the past decade with increased enthusiasm, participation amongst people across the world to make it an even special day. For those in love, it’s a magical day that makes them forget everything else in life and try to cherish their love with their loved ones. For others, it gives them a brazen confidence to approach the one they love and propose to them in a bold daring manner. Some may be successful and get a positive reply, while some may be turned down unfortunately. 

      Nevertheless, this special day of love comes just once in a year and almost everyone would probably have their creative minds in motion. It urges them to do something very special for their love, something very artistic, bold, romantic and in a way that expresses their undying love to each other.
      If I was in a similar stance of conveying my love to my Valentine, here’s how I would do it:
      To begin with, I’ll come up with a concrete set of ideas to make the proposal and also have additional backup plans if the primary one fails due to various reasons.

      I would call her the previous night itself to check her schedule for the following day and see if she’s free for the day. With all hope there should be nothing that should spoil my plans
      On the dawn of this special day, I would rise up early and get a nice brush with Close-up paste to give me that extra confidence and that glitter in my smile 

      On my way to pick her up, I would collect the fresh bunch of roses, dark chocolate I had ordered a few days, along with the gifts that I had already bought.I would take her to a luxury restaurant for an American breakfast that includes Pancakes, Sandwich and Juice which is actually her favorite

      Finishing breakfast I would ask her if I can take her out on a drive, though wouldn’t hint at what are the things that’s been planned. I would then take her out to a theater and present her tickets for a movie which she was dying to watch, but couldn’t get tickets earlier.

      The next agenda on the plan would be to take her to yet another favorite activity of hers : Laser-Tag
      Running around the arena, with the adrenaline pumping and shooting people with laser pointed guns would  definitely increase her excitement and also let get of some of the pressure she's been having lately

      Knowing her fully well , her inevitable next question would be : What's next ? 

      I would drive her away to the final most exciting plan of the day. The destination would be the Shipping Port of Chennai. After parking the car , I would ask her to be blindfolded, while I lead her to a dock where a beautiful mini cruise ship would be awaiting her (I will have arranged for a mini trip in the cruise ship for 3-4 hours with my group of friends earlier)  I would unwrap her blindfold and watch her reel in joy at the sight of the ship. The ship's banner would have her name ,with a welcome sign 

       As she runs towards the ship inside,she would find herself surrounded by all our close friends, screaming "Surpriseee ... !" .  
      The ship would slowly start sailing ,and after a brief amount of time as the revelation sets in ,I would call out her name through the speaker to join me in the main front deck. As I watch her coming towards me, I would signal the DJ to play "There was a time..." song by Elton John . 

      I would then kneel down in one leg and propose to her with a ring in my hand and ask her if she would love me back ,watching her priceless reaction, forever waiting for her nod of approval.

      You can also check out some bold interesting proposal plans for valentines day in this link : http://cupidgames.closeup.in/

      Wednesday, January 21, 2015

      The Dirty Picture

      The Dirty Picture

      "Be a Roman when you are in Rome" goes the famous saying, which is probably one of the most highly misinterpreted quote by Indians. The fact that, it encourages people to adapt to local living conditions and abide by its laws can somehow be misconstrued by us Indians to somehow live ourselves by the “The Indian Way”

      So when you begin to ask , “How do I go about living this “Indian Way” of life, here are some key rules that you should remember before adapting to this approach:


      1.  There are no rules that you should follow while in India. You may proceed to do anything as long as it is comfortable to you.
      2. Roads are not only or walking or driving vehicles. It’s also used for Littering, Spitting , Haphazard Parking, disposing of the leftover food ,defecating, burning effigies in lieu of campfire and Playing Cricket. Thou shall apply to Lanes, Streets, Main Roads and even National Highways
      3. Chewing gums, due to its sticky nature, has to be preserved post usage, by sticking on to public walls, train or bus seats. If either of the options seems to be unavailable, public platforms may also be considered as a sticking zone.
      4. “All the world’s a stage” quoted Shakespeare. But in India, All Lamp Posts are Bathrooms, we remarked in return. In case of emergency , thou shall be allowed to use any street corner, school walls, lamp posts to use a makeshift restrooms instead of  looking for corporation bathrooms.
      5. If one sees a pile of garbage anywhere , even if it’s not necessarily placed inside a dustbin, thou shall also use the same location to dispose of one’s garbage on top of it or adjacent to it. Throwing the filled garbage bag from a distance, like a Basketball Free Throw may earn additional points
      6. Spitting is an art and it takes time to master the craft. Spitting can be done in any of the alternative ways.
              -  Thou shall attempt to spit from a fast moving car or bus that will have an outward tangent way of travelling and depositing accurately in the vehicles beside us or preferably another person's face
             -     Paan Masala , Tobacco and Gutkhas can be used to do spray painting on walls, pavements,main roads or sometimes even on top of movie posters
            -   Once the above checklist is completed, thou shall deem to live the Indian way of Life

      On a more serious note, the above points are some of the major highlights of what’s plaguing this otherwise beautiful country of India, which seems to attract millions of visitors across the globe

      Local state governments has indeed taken several small initiatives in its process of cleaning up cities and villages, but we somehow continuously ignore the calls for cleanliness, flout the rules and end up dirtying our very own city , sometimes even our house as well .

      I am seeing a fair amount of progress post the announcement of the Swachh Bharath Campaign by the Prime Minister, though wary of how long it’ll last or remain effective

      Ultimately change should come within us and our own self-discipline to maintain cleanliness not only in our house but also our neighborhood our city and finally our country too. Let’s adapt a resolution to dispose garbage only in dustbins, never litter or defecate the streets nor spit on roads .
      Distinguish degradable and non-bio degradable and separate the wastes accordingly while disposal
      Lets aim for a cleaner india!!

      Do check out this great initiative / campaign talking in detail about this issue : http://greatindian.timesofindia.com





      Saturday, January 17, 2015

      UseYourAnd

      UseYourAnd



      We have seen several character assassinations when it comes to women all over the world. It’s so easy to classify them with a one dimensional label, having judged them in just one evening or just one conversation. We overlook most of the times and under estimate a woman’s capability to be more than just one person. 
      How quickly we can jump to conclusions without a moment’s notice, probably being ignorant of woman excelling in jobs that were usually meant for only men. Also aided by a rigorous unfair, discriminating practices being handed down in the age old society preventing women from going out to work much or less  working late, this has caused the labelling factor to rise even more. Undoubtedly, in almost every neighbourhood, you can often hear the phrase, “Oh she’s just a housewife”

      Almost in all households, a woman is given almost no choices and rather a strict ultimatum is put when passed a certain age to choose one profession. Unconventional or part time hobbies are usually frowned upon as a waste of time and only mainstream professional work is taken seriously.

      There have been umpteen examples where several entrepreneurs have become famous in more than just one field. Or to say age doesn’t matter, several housewives have taken up to small time professions to keep the income coming as well as making them occupied in a creative manner.

      One major example was the case of JetBlue Airways. In order to cut expensive costs to maintain expensive call centers, JetBlue Airways tried to opt for home call centers. A neighborhood of housewives teamed up together to setup a home based customer support system which worked out so cheap, yet efficient for JetBlue Airways. This is one such perfect example of ruling against an one dimensional labeling against a woman.

      How many of our female friends have turned out to be a software engineer and singer and dancer and painter and a voracious reader and a caring sister and a professional chef and a host of other things. It is upon us, in this age and time to stand up against this ridiculous system of one dimensional labeling of a woman and rather celebrate the multitude of things that make them who they are

      This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus