Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Wish for a beautiful home

Passively allowing the digital wires of technology to creep into our houses, while adding more appliances to our house and wireless signals seeped into even the corner spaces of the house , we technically surrendered our homes to this clutter.



During my childhood, I remember homes in my neighbourhood, spotlessly clean, with the smell of agarbathies dancing around the house, mixed with the aroma of Jasmine flowers .

fragrance in homes reducing pollution
With lesser no of vehicles plying on the roads and surrounding greenery, the air outside and inside was relatively fresh, devoid of pollutants and dust.

You didn't need air purifiers inside homes  nor wear a mask when you left home. Ashtma, wheezing, cold, cough was a rarity. Even the water that you drank out of large mud pots had a distinct flavour to it which boosted your immune system.


You could play all day, fall and roll over the ground, but never once fell sick because of that.
We encouraged indoor gardening, be it independent house or even a small flat. The houses emanated a special aroma , be it from the kitchen or naturally itself , owing to the purity of air being circulated.



Fast forward 20 years later, we don't lead in economy, industrialization , exports, GDP, per capita income, education. We haven't even moved an inch from the status of developing nation to a fully developed nation. Yet, the only record we got ourselves was first place in Air pollution . The level of CO2 has reached to such an alarming level that smogs are a normal occurence , preventing even flights to take off in the mornings.

We now have special pollution control boards that's doing a 24/7 monitoring of PM2.5 levels and sends out warning on a weekly basis to its citizens. Delhi , despite being the national capital of the country has violated every single law in the rule book when it comes to rule book. The Delhi Great Smog was a classic representation of how bad things got and will be in the near future.

If you however wonder, that you live inside a cozy house, never step out of the house often and none of this applies to you, you are grossly wrong. There are much bigger evils that lurks around and may cause some serious damage in the wrong run. This bigger evil is nothing but indoor air pollution.

Indoor Air Pollution is something you may have rarely come across in articles in media and remained pretty much ignorant about it.

What is Indoor Pollution and How is it caused?


A chemical, physical and biological contamination of the air within an indoor environment is the standard definition of Indoor Air Pollution. It can be caused in several ways, right from the smoke that emits while cooking or some harmful chemicals used for cleaning or even the furnitures made out of plywood , MDF and adhesives that contributes majorly.

An Unkempt House

Before you dig deeper into the causes and sources of indoor air pollution, get a chance to look around your house, be it the small corners, underneath furnitures or even at the dust collected inside Air conditioners or Fans. This will indicate the level of air quality that's circulating within your house and quite invisibly.

impure air conditioners
Dust Accumulated in Air Conditioners

dust in ceiling fans
Dust Accumulated in the blades of Fans

pollution in appliances
Dust Accumulated on top of appliances


Such dust levels accumulated shows that the air you breathe may not be of the purest quality you imagine to be, irrespective of using an air conditioner with air filter or other electronic air purifiers within the house.

Ways by which your house gets polluted

fighting indoor air pollution formaldehyde
Source : https://www.naturalblaze.com/2017/06/composite-wood-construction-authorities-close-carcinogenic-formaldehyde-emissions.html

Living Room: Furniture made out of plywood, MDFS or adhesives contain a harmful agent called Formaldehyde which is present inside resins. As these resins wears off, the chemical gets mixed with the air and can lead to disastrous effects in health conditions of the people living in the house.
Additionally the dust particles you find in a computer keyboard is more dirtier than any other thing you can handle, and such is the  harmful nature of air pollutants.

Carpeting : Carpets has a tendency to accumulate the dust and these can get layered up quite quickly, if left unnoticed. Unlike floors which can be easily swept off, carpets needs regular vaccuming or else you can find yourself walking in a pile of polluted carpet.

Attic/Rooftops : Asbestos and other dust can be the primary source of pollution arising from the attic.

Bathrooms : If you use sub standard chemicals or disinfectants , the bacteria and chemicals can both lead to a serious pollution issue.

Kitchen : Primary sources of smoke , carbon monooxide and other chemicals can arise from our very own kitchen. They can quickly mix with the air through smoke and is quite enough to do the damage.

Others : Some people have the habit of hanging dirty linen with a bad odour in many rooms which can signficantly add to an odour air pollution in the house.

Protecting the House from Indoor Air Pollution

 As you may have read above , it's quiet imperative that you protect your house from any kind of indoor air pollution and keep it as clean as possible. Cleaning alone doesn't help in prevention of air pollution but rather there are several things you need to deploy to fight this problem

A house is an entity where we live in pretty much most of our days and this is the core element of our lives. Such a place , should be monitored and taken care of with utmost caution.

 

Top ways to protect your house from Indoor Air Pollution :

  • A smoke free house : Try to prevent from any kind of smoke entering your house. Be it from neighbouring houses or industries or rather from your own kitchen, try to prevent smoke of all kinds.
  • Cigarette smoking should be prevented by any means within the house.
cigarette smoking inside house
Source : smokefreeathomenm.org
  • If pollutant level in the city as a whole is on a higher scale, you can also do the following :
    • Keep Windows and Doors shut at all times.
    • Deploy Air purifiers, exhaust fans
    • Constantly monitor Pm 2.5/ PM10 levels that's being advertised
  • Cleaning should be a daily exercise than a weekly one. Accumulation of Dirt can never be entertained in any corner of the house
  • Dirty Clothes with odour should be washed immediately than keeping it in laundry bins for long.
Sometimes the above steps can be precautionary steps but it would still not be enough to fight this.
So a new, powerful innovative method is to deploy a special kind of paint that can radically reduce the level of indoor air pollution within the house.

Fighting Indoor Air Pollution with Royale Atmos

Asian Paints, one of the world leaders in the paint industry has launched an innovative solution to fight indoor air pollution and it's called Royale Atmos.


All you need is a coat of painting in your walls and it does the rest. The Atmos Paint has special powers which can do the following things :
  • Reduces Indoor Pollution : Reduces formaldehyde content in the air, which could have been a significant cause for pollution.
  • Absorbs all kinds of malodours lingering in the house
  • Activated carbon technology that actually goes about purifying the indoor air
  • You dont need air freshners anymore, as this coat of Royale Atmos releases fresh fragrance which can absorb odours and makes the house a beautiful place to live in

Do check out this ad featuring Deepika Padukone, that gives you a neat brief on the power of Royale Atmos


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Exclusive Top Deals of Big Billion Day of Flipkart

Flipkart , one of the leading E-commerce websites in the country is back with their Big Billion Day sale. Ever since they started this concept, it has become a major hit to the users and one of the most anticipated events in the calendar, just a week before the Dussehra / Navratri Festival in India.
Some of the deals available are really amazing and jaw-dropping to say the least. So full use of this post of big billion day top deals.

big billion day top deals flipkart



But of course , you should be having the right resources to find such good deals in the website , before they are out of stock. I have been constantly trackingMobil this sale for more than 3 years now and managed to get a knack of finding the "Loot" / "Steal" Deals as they often call it. Be it shoes, mobiles, electronics or other appliances, there's plenty of offers that has been announced in this sale.

In addition to the discounts, you also have  credit/debit card/wallet discounts and they are as follows
  • 10% Instant discount with SBI Debit and Credit Cards
  • Get 10% cashback on payments via PhonePe account

 

Dates of Flipkart Big Billion Day Sale


Sep 20- 24th :
  1. Fashion 
  2. TV & Appliances
  3. Home & Furniture
Sep 21-24th :
  1. Mobiles
  2. Electronics
  3. Accessories

So here's a short post about the top deals you can get your hands these 5 days between Sep 20-Sep 24th.

Big Billion Day Top Deals

(Offers will be updated whenever a new deal appears)


Recent Updates
1.Yonex GR301 Mavis Combo Badminton Kit (Pack of 6) for just 874 

Visit Here

2. 50% off on L'Oreal and other Fashion Products
Visit Here

Top Mobile Offers :

  • iPhone SE 32GB MRP : 22,000
Current Price : 18000 - 1500(SBI Card) = 16,500

Visit Here

  • Huawei P9  :  Rs 39999 (MRP)
Current Price Rs 14999
Visit here

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 :  Rs 46000 (MRP)
Current Price: Rs 29990
Visit here

  • Moto C Plus : Rs 6999  (MRP)
Current Price : Rs 5999
Visit here

Electronics/Appliance Offers

  •  Vu 40' FHD TV (MRP : 26,000)
Current Price 19,000 + 10% off in SBI card
Visit here
  • Onida 43' FHD TV( MRP : 31,000)
Current price : 28,000 - 1500(SBI Card) . Net Price = 26500
Visit Here

  • Acer Predator Gaming Laptops ( MRP : 1,00.000)
Current Price : 49,990
Visit here 

Fastrack Titan Smart Band (MRP : 2000)
Current price : 1381
Visit Here 
  • Braun Silk Epilator ( MRP : 1999 )
Current Price :  999
  • Wonderchef Coffee Maker ( MRP : 2000)
Current Price : 499
Visit Here
  • LG Washing Machines ( Min 20% Discount + 10% Card discount)
Visit here
  • Samsung 23L Grill & Microwave Oven 
Current Price : 6999
Visit Here
  • Puma Shoes ( With Variable Discounts )
Visit Here


Monday, September 18, 2017

Preethi - Brand Analysis and TurboChop Review

I got an interesting chance to be part of a bloggers part , organized by Preethi Appliances, a renowned Home and Kitchen appliances brand. The event was called "Blog Jam" and in process learnt quite a bit about namma Chennai's very own Preethi Brand.
preethi brand analysis
The agenda primarily included a mini blogging workshop by a food blogger and the second session was about photography for food blogging (I learnt some seriously great insights, tips and tricks on the second session in particular).

Preethi - A Brand analysis

Having done Marketing as my core specialization in my post graduation, I have always taken keen interest in "Domestic" brands that has given a good fight against the internaitonal and national brands which generally comes with deep pockets. Be it a Cavin Kare or a Preethi, there has been quite a number of brands from Chennai which have capitalized a large national market share and won the David vs Goliath war in marketing. Preethi is a very example of such a beautiful brand that has etched a deep emotional connect with every Chennaiite across all generations.

Brand "Preethi" has an unbeatable stronghold in the kitchen appliance market in South India with more than 30% market share in the 1000+ crore grinder / mixer / juicer market. The quality of the products spoke volumes about the brand and became a synonymous name in every household.

Having started around 1978, they gained significant popularity around the late 80's and is remained on top for the past 30 years.

In fact, it's quite to suffice to say that the market of wet grinders and mixers were pioneered by Preethi. It's almost hard to any find house that may not use a Preethi product one way or another, esp in states like Tamil Nadu (base of their operations), Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The "Preethi Guarantee" Campaign


One of the reasons for their share of success was also attributed to the "Preethi ku naan guarantee" (Translated : I can guarantee for Preethi anyday) ads .Till day, the elderly people in everyone's house swears by the brand and wouldn't tolerate any other brand being operated in the kitchen. The fierce loyalty is something hard to acquire & probably every brand would be dying to get.


preethi brand portfolio



They however couldn't find similar success up north , with other national/international brands having more dominance. Though this didn't stop their ambitious plans to expand to other Asian, Middle eastern countries .

In 2011, they were acquired by Philips . Being a Home Appliance leader , this acquisition kinda made perfect sense to their product line . They might as well be a "Home & Kitchen" Appliance leader. However, on a surprising note, I had absolutely no idea that this acquisition had happened, given that the two brands (Preethi & Philips) were kept separate since the start, primarily for the brand name each carried in their own space.

Competition in most of the products was primarily restricted to other unbranded products or city based brands that didnt put much of a fight.

Target Audience :

Their primary target audience was woman, though not confined to them, given the actual buyer is the head of the family . Interestingly, their ads not only appealed to the older generation of women, but also the modern independent woman who wanted an appliance that could get all her cooking needs done in a flash, without any compromise on quality.

The Ad Campaign



My personal favourite though was the  campaigns that featured the "Grandmother" series


Preethi Product Range

Preethi's main foray was in Grinders , Mixers , Juicers, Glass Stoves and the recent foray in Induction cookstops as well. Other products include Mini Mixies/choppers  called Turbo Chop & Rice cookers.

Preethi Iconic was also one of the key highlights of this workshop. A mini "Table top" grinder that adopts a pyramid cone structure for the blocks inside while doing a reverse grinding. The company here claims 0 wastage, 50 % less space for storage and more importantly saves additional 30% of the nutritional stuff. Approx cost was roughly 8000 INR from my understanding. 

To be fair, I happened to see the product on display and witnessed a mini demo , though never got the chance to personally try it out nor can provide a expert comment on its actual performance.

preethi astro table top grinder
"Preethi Iconic" Grinder

The Turbo Chopper Experience

No I didnt get to go on a chopper ride , but rather got a chance to try Preethi's Turbo Chop vegetable chopper or sometimes even referred to as #PreethiMiniMixie.

preethi turbochop review


(Disclaimer: I have never come close to even remotely cutting vegetables and this was the first time personally using a vegetable chopper).

So I figured that, all I had to do is drop a piece of onion, cut into two into the machine, and pressed the top lid. In a matter of seconds, the onion became shredded to fine bits . No tears, no smell. Just one lid press and it was done. The same was assured of other vegetables like Beetroot, Cabbage and even Nuts. So if you are someone who's been relegated to vegetable cutting duty at home, this could be your life saviour :)

If you are interested in the details, this link may help you out : http://www.preethi.in/turbo-chop/turbo-chop

The Food Blogging Workshop


The event had a mini 2 hr session on photography for Food Blogging by Chef Umashankar Dhanpal. Theme was primarily on how to make the presentation of a food, visually appealing especially while shooting for a magazine or blogs , websites etc.

I never knew that the components of a food, background, depth , colour  and even a simple smoky effect could drastically improve the quality of the picture being shot.

food blogging workshop


food blogging workshop



Do check out my review of the recently launched Philips AirFryer  here.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Indoor Air Pollution - Protect with Royale Atmos

We, as a nation, have always vied for the top spot , be it cricket , economy or education or rather everything else. However surprisingly we have hit the top spot only on air pollution. Reports indicate that the national capital, Delhi has the worst air quality level among 1600 cities across the world. I suddenly realized why the craze to buy an air purifier all of  a sudden, kinda hit the roof in the city, though it became super expensive at a stage.

Source : http://static.dnaindia.com/sites/default/files/styles/half/public/2015/12/31/410158-403901-delhi-air-pollution.jpg?itok=3SqD61Yh

As against a standard limit of 60 for PM2.5 and 100 for PM 10, Delhi hit 999 micrograms per cubic meter in Nov 2016, making it one of the worst smogs the city has ever faced (Smog = Smoke + fog). That is more than 15 times the limit, which can lead not only to asthma, sinus, lung/respiratory diseases but also cause terminal diseases like cancer.

(PM 2.5 stands for particles less than 2.5 Microns while PM 10 stands for particles lesser than 10 microns).

Oxygen Impurity

It's only fair to expect that basic Oxygen we breathe day in and day out should be pure, devoid of any pollution . But that’s a short lived dream.  Given the rising population , growing no of vehicles of the road , while we build more and more concrete jungles , the air quality has taken a drastic hit in the roads. So now we safely assume that it’s better to stay indoors, as there is no pollution inside and air is pretty clean.

We couldn’t have been any wrong than that. It is not only the lack of awareness of indoor air pollution that hits us, but also the dangerous side effects we have been ignoring all along. Quite shockingly, we are constantly vulnerable even more diseases, which outside air pollution usually causes. Next time you feel dizzy or have a splitting headache , it could also be because of strong air pollution levels.

Sources of indoor air pollution include:

  • The wood we have in our living room has a special element called formaldehyde which can be a harmful agent. This formaldehyde is something that’s used in construction materials, be it a plywood material or an adhesive. These are further used in wooden furnitures and is a strong element to further deterioriate your indoor air pollution levels.
  • Long exposure to foul odors within a closed environment can lead to absorption of harmful elements/chemicals which gets further mixed with the indoor air that’s being circulated. Be it ammonia, garlic smell or even sweat, the threat is very much real though invisible.
  • Dust : When we fail to clean our houses on a daily basis, the dust getting accumulated thanks to a blower fan or the windows being kept open, the air is very much susceptible to getting polluted quickly.
 

Quick ways to Battle Indoor Air Pollution


  • If quality of outside air is at an all time low, keep the windows closed at all times. 
  • Smog hits generally early in the mornings, and that's the time you need to prevent that from seeping inside.
  • Dust every part of the house on a regular basis. No exceptions for Sweeping/Cleaning daily.
  • Spray room freshners if any foul smells linger for a longer period of time. 
  • Remove any unnecessary object/clutter in the living room or bed room. These can be the main places where dust accumulates.
  • Shoes and slippers should strictly be kept outside to prevent outside germs from mixing into the floor . It doesn't take few seconds for a wind to pick them and mix them along with the air.
  • Cigarette smoking should strictly be prohibited inside the house, even if you are the single person living inside.
  • Plants kept inside the house generally absorb harmful gases like CO2 and other pollutant agents, while emitting fresh pure oxygen.

Smart ways to Battle Indoor Air pollution

Though we have air purifiers and other electronic devices to monitor the air quality and filter them as required,  it’s not possible for them to run 24x7, thanks to rise in electricity costs  and also the machine wear and tear. I came across this new innovation by Asian Paints called “Royale Atmos”, a paint that actually has the capability to absorb odours/foul smells and even harmful agents such as ammonia or hydrogen sulphide.

royale atmost asian paints

So what does Royale Atmos actually do?

Royale Atmos helps you in 4 different ways to battle Indoor Air Population, namely
  1. Reducing levels of formaldehyde inside the house
  2. Absorbing any time of malodour : Selective absorption of household smells, thereby significantly improving air quality at home
  3. Emitting fragrance instead of the strong pungent “fresh” paint smell
  4. An Activated Carbon technology that powers Royale Atmos to effectively purify indoor air

Advantages of Royale Atmos


Coming from the stable of the most premier paint company in the world, Asian Paints, Royale Atmo not only eliminates indoor air pollution, adds to the fragrance of the house but also has a smooth matt finish and a Teflon surface protector to protect itself from stains.

We now have walls with special paints that not only safeguards from security but also protects from indoor air pollution. I feel,we have now arrived!

Just head to the Asian Paints Royale Atmos site and you might find yourself a lot of information to help you battle indoor air pollution.

Check out this ad featuring Deepika Padukone telling you why this might be the next big thing in reducing indoor air pollution.


Sunday, September 03, 2017

Harappa - A Civilization that went missing

Back to blogging about book reviews after quite a while now, I was recently asked to review a very interesting fiction called Harappa, Curse of the Blood River. This was a novel written by Vineet Bajpai and was a mixture of Historical and action thriller set in Kashi and Harappa, in parallel

harappa lost civilization book review


Frankly most action thrillers that I have read for a while now , has a similar storyline : a big conspiracy in a corporate sector , an employee uncovering it, running for his life and finally managing to bring the crooked people to justice.

Quite thankfully, Harappa stays very clear from it and has an interesting storyline. If you are really interested to learn about the lost Harappa civilization, its culture and a few interesting facts mixed with a coat of fiction, this is an ideal book you can pick up.

With two parallel storylines, tracing a present day semi god in Kashi and a Devata set in the city of Harappa, the book is a definite page turner. The author has done away with boring descriptions and junps straight to the story , that actually progresses in rapid pace.

The writing style is crisp , short and to the point. Despite busy schedules, I could easily manage to cover this 300+ page book in a couple of days, with a few hours each day. Amidst several other foreign novels, it was actually quite refreshing to read an action thriller from an Indian author, especially about an interesting historical topic such as Harappa.


The book briefly touches upon the mythologies of Indian culture, the customs of Hindu religion and engages the reader with vivid imagination. I, for one, had absolutely no idea about what went down at Harappa and this was an enlightening novel to get some real insights about it. Frankly, after reading this novel, you get to feel like visiting Kashi and Banaras and get deeply immersed in the fascinating culture over there.

To retain the suspense, twists and turns of the major story at hand I'll leave the review here and let the readers enjoy the book.

Additionally, the novel happens to be part of a sereies, given the magnitude of the story and continues with the second part, called Pralay, The Great Deluge.

Go for this novel. Ignore the slow start in the beginning and you'll not be disappointed for having picked up this novel.

Note on the Author : Vineet Bajpai has founded  and led several entertainment/media agencies . He has additionally written three other well known management books, namely 'The 30 Something CEO, 'Build From Scratch' and finally 'The Street to the Highway'

Harappa, Curse of the Blood River

You can buy the novel at Amazon here:



This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To know more log on to http://thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in