In the evenings, when I come back from ‘work’, something that I have very recently started on, I sit on a slab of concrete just outside my rooftop room and look out to find that horizon I adored looking at as a kid. Frankly, it’s not visible anymore. There are skyscrapers, and tall building, and houses, and then some more buildings in the line of my sight. So I sit there on that slab, and call my Mom. She still doesn’t pick my call and drops it, calling me back the very next minute. I tell her that I am ‘home’ ,tell her about the day I had at work, and while I am doing that, the view in front of my eyes keeps getting better and better. If I pay close attention to a particular detail, I can even find a resemblance of a point where the sky really meets the land. I call this little point of space and time as ‘happiness’.
Alright, so for anyone who got too excited reading the title, It’s not my own story. And even if you are one my college mates reading this, you wouldn’t be getting any names or even hints so as to track down the culprits of this short but timeless saga. For all intents and purposes, we would be calling the Hero, my good friend, as Mr. Nivea (Oh Yes, it’s a tradition for me to use the Deodorant name people use as their alias in my stories. You never guessed? Strange !! ). Now what should we call our quintessential heroine, in this little story. You know, well, I don’t happen to know the deodorant used by her, but I would imagine I should call her Ms. Cherry. So, now that the nomenclature is settled, let me take you the interesting bit.
It was the very first semester at college and life was pouring in from every direction you turned your head to. Amidst all of this outrage, there was this innocent little guy, the quintessential college friend who is meant to fall in love atleast 60 times through the 4 years and get rejected by all of them. And this innocent little guy, Mr. Nivea as we would have it, dared to fell for who was considered the
ho…… most popular girl at college. What can one do, fate has mysterious ways to get you in trouble.
Anyway, it all started when Mr. Nivea realized that given the start of his college life, it was high time that he should fall in love and let almost the entire class know about it. So he befriended Ms. Cherry and to everyone’s surprise, he was quite a good talker (although in a crude way), far as good guys like him are supposed to scale with such girls. Maybe it was because Ms. Cherry herself wasn’t one of those ‘Mean Girls’, who get on the seventh cloud on starting college. Maybe she herself had perfected this social notion of boys throwing themselves at her and how she never saw it as bad in anyway. Whatever were the reasons, our Mr. Nivea was through, atleast in the zone of being able to call himself a friend to the lovely Ms. Cherry.
Time passed, seasons came and went away. And our Mr. Nivea, the scholar that he is, and the poet that he became, was filling pages and pages with poems of interesting conversations that the two of them seemed to have had. And what’s more, he would show them and read them and recite them to everyone who visited his room. Of course, the smart ones among us were able to figure out where the decorations had been added in those tales. There was even a giant pencil drawing dedicated to Ms. Cherry on the wall right next to his bed. Oh, the age of innocence, the age of adolescence.
Mr. Nivea, however, was unlucky in one other regard, apart from having fallen for a star that would never fall on the ground for him. He had some…’friends’ who would encourage him about the rather. They would tell him how he should come out of this friend-zone and come up with his true feelings. There were such ways that were tried to get Ms. Cherry impressed by him before Mr. Nivea could blast the big bomb on her. Even I, someone who remained rather neutral witnessing this little love story was roped in. As chance would have it, Ms. Cherry was my lab partner and so hours have to be spent
discussing the experiment chatting up on the weirdest aspects of college life. The good friend that I am, I did the job I was invested with fairly well. Everytime things slightly bent towards a discussion of the students of our class, I would make sure to throw in some praises about Mr. Nivea. “Oh he would be knowing what the teacher can ask in the Viva. He’s been getting straight A’s ” and “Oh that guy is so brilliant, he has actually read about a thousand books unrelated to the normal academics”(Things that notably are all true). She would ofcourse nod, and was impressed, even though she would have wondered at some point why I keep throwing this Mr. Nivea Trivia at her. Still, she and Mr. Nivea seemed to progress in their little ship, their ‘friendship’.
And then came the valentine’s week. Oh the horror and the joy of Mr. Nivea’s friends to get him pumped for a proposal. It was a rather peculiar place Mr. Nivea found himself in. But given all the passion that had been filled him with optimism beyond the ‘glass’, he actually went ahead and did it. It is unclear what words were spoken, and if they were actually spoken, but we know there was a rose and that it was first accepted and then declined, when the gravity of the situation actually dawned on the two.
It was then that our Mr. Nivea was made acquainted to the reality that a girl like that is never…’open’ or ‘available’. There is a busy tone whenever you dial for such a girl and the dialings are a plenty. And after all of that, there is one exquisite line whose connection has been made way back and he would never ever drop the phone or let anyone else’s call slip in. The Half relationship had ended, and the dream was over for the day.
But Mr. Nivea woudn’t rest. The final bullet was yet to be fired and it was something that made him come top of this story, which as a matter of tradition, is one where the boy is always the loser. It was the time for our English Communication presentations, and the topic that Mr. Nivea was assigned was ‘How to deal with stress in College life’. It began with a sappy introduction by some other student in his group, but when his turn came, that man stood infront of the class and the second line he spoke was “There can be so many frustrations. For example, in the last year, I fell in love with a girl, and that didn’t work out. I was so stressed.” The heads were turning as the man spoke and everyone was trying and trying to suppress his/her laughter. Even the teacher appeared to be in on the joke, and we could see Ms. Cherry as mousy, hesitant, afraid and timid as one would ever see her. She must have been praying that Mr. Nivea, in his flurry, doesn’t spill out her name. But thanks to the modesty of the man, he didn’t.
He kept this half relationship a part of his dreamy days, and ofcourse moved on to the next 59 girls in the semesters to follow. But this little ‘flinge’ with Ms. Cherry would be the highlight of his life at college, both for him as well as for his friends. There are such emotions that this story still sprouts in a discussion among us friends, who really know the entire story (Guilty confession: I have kept one integral part of the story a secret here, because it’s not really meant for a blogpost. But Hey, isn’t the story fully fledged without it? :p ).
You can even watch the trailer here.
The times that are scattered such, windows have become pixels to browse, The touch is now to click whereas, the shop is on the web to flock; And still the wanderer winds up, in places so he could arouse, The place is here, right down the link, because it is shop o'clock!!
I read once that if men loved shopping, they would call it research. And have I ever read a prediction better than that? Shopping has, as a matter of fact become research where you have to choose out of myriads of brands, bundles, categories, tastes, varieties and styles. It’s not limited anymore to that little family shop where the best salesman used to shove anything he preferred down your throat just because he knew how to sell them. No. Now the power is in your hands, under your hands, below those fingers, vested in that click that can now make it all happen. But as a very cheeky but great movie line remarks- With great power comes greater responsibility- Or in this case, a greater risk coupled with the responsibility . As such, people must take the help and the guidance of those who have researched all over for the things they know are right and agreeable to people. It’s not just about the particular tastes but about the overall ingenuity of the masses that they need a place where the best of their hopes and aspirations have been curated ever so lovingly and carefully to always bring them the best of all the worlds out there.
If you are even passionate enough to look and buy for some of the best things for you out there over the large number of e-commerce sites on the web, chances are that you would have heard about the zapstore. It’s a whole cluster of things really but all in all, it is a site that hosts curated content from all over the web, collected by some of the most stylishly vested fashionistas, gadget geeks, decor fanatics or people with just incredible tastes in all those things. As such, you can always browse through the handpicked items that you have access to when you visit. Of course, if you are feeling like visiting a particular curator’s store, you could always do that with a simple login procedure and you would be welcomed to gems that have been put there after hours and hours of actual research put into finding them. Here is some of my own work over there.
I began looking around with gift ideas in my mind as I have just finished up a festival season and have grown especially adept at that. When I am doing that however, I have a psyche behind it, more like a mantra- Never gift a person something that he/she would actually buy for himself/herself !! Sounds pretty weird huh? Let me elaborate on that a little. I feel that the things a person should be gifted are those that he/she although can buy and would like but wouldn’t really buy them thinking of little budget constraints or thoughts like “It doesn’t have much utility, it’s just my heart telling me to buy it because it looks so amazing” or things like that. And so, I picked up some of the items that you can gift others (in accordance with my definition of gift). Still, these aren’t really too expensive because I choose to keep the heart big and the budget almost in limits when I do that 🙂
#1– A F.R.I.E.N.D.S. poster
The very first item I chose is a jingle for the hearts of everyone out there. It’s a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. poster with some of the best catchphrases and memorable moments inscribed over it. I feel something like this always brings those warm, warm memories to you when you’re feeling down and not just those of the show itself but also of your own good lives.
#2- A Daenerys Targaryen mug
Who doesn’t love Khaleesi? And who wouldn’t want to have a cup of coffee with her…every morning 😉 Well to suit those needs (and other unmentionable ones), here is a little one-
#3- Camera Lens Beverage case
This one is again for the beverage lovers as well as for the DSLR people :p Oh Yes, I consider them as a class now and if they are to carry some hot tea and coffee along with some snacks, this is how they would do it.
#4- Glass Oil lamps
Then there are those presents that people would hesitate to buy for themselves but would give a big hug to you if you were to buy those for them. These are those gifts that do not require a card on the side and tell the receiver how affectionately you think of them and how their name will always appear in your most sincere prayers.
#5- A F.R.I.E.N.D.S mug
And once again, a coffee mug with a warm theme. Why? Because people just can’t get enough of F.R.I.E.N.D.S., that’s why :p
Moving over to fashion and clothing now, it does get challenging over here in this category because the tastes and the liking doesn’t seem to resonate truly with everyone. However, to address the same, I have chosen a range of items which are generally very cost-effective and provide you value for money- both in terms of looks, design, manufacturing quality as well as overall review and popularity of the product. Let me introduce you to them one by one.
#1- A Kaftan top for the ladies
Here is a Kaftan top for the voguish chicks out there who understand their body like the palm of their hands and can actually carry a great piece like this. It comes in a slick and fitting georgette fabric and has a classy white tinge hued with a peaceful yet glowy flower pattern. Ladies out there, this one is to get the crowds talking and for you to stand out of the rest.
#2– Batman themed T-Shirt
I mean, who doesn’t love Batman? The Dark Knight of Gotham has always been a symbol of poise and ultimate ideals for us men and ever since the Nolan Trilogy has pervaded the mainstream, you know how much girls are starting to fall for him. Why? Because he’s Batman.
#3- Lycra Embroidered Saree
When it comes down to that ultra-important party where you have to be at the peak of the posh lifestyle you try to maintain and still look the very best in style, few things get better than a saree that completely suits the ambiance of the moment as well as the charm of a real lady.
#4– A Tuxedo ? Hell Yeah !!
Let’s face it. No matter what sort of a hot jacket or shirt you may don, nothing gets better than a tuxedo for a real gentleman. And who says you couldn’t look hot in one? Think of 007 or, just look at this piece-
#5– Musical notes Top
Frankly my dear reader, I do not understand how these people are being able to set the prices as such here for something this good. I may tell you about the oh so comfortable fabric, the overall easy handling and care and about the sleek brevity of the statement it makes. But I will just show you this picture to tell you of the overall appeal this top carries-
#6- Because black is evergreen
No matter how much things change in the fashion world, black will always be the new black. And this cool T-shirt which surprizingly pulls off a woollen look in spite of being true cotton makes for one item that you MUST have in your wardrobe.
#7- Digital Print Top
For this one, I am challenging you. When you get over to my store and check out the price of it, I am absolutely sure you will be shocked. Come on, think of a number in your mind and then check out the price right now.
#8- Suicide Squad themed T-Shirt
This one is so ‘IN’ right now it would be a SIN to miss this one. Why? Because we are bad guys, that’s what we do.
#9- Marilyn Monroe T-Shirt
Because girls love Marilyn Monroe and adore her (Maybe even more than the guys) and although whether she deserves such an acclaim is open to discussion, the fact that she looks absolutely fabulous on a T-shirt is true as any.
#10- Wolverine claws T-Shirt
Be honest guys, and tell me if you were to wish for any weapon of all the superheroes in the comic world, which would it be? I know it wouldn’t be Superman’s laser beam, nor Thor’s hammer and not at all Captain America’s mighty shield. It would be Wolverine’s Adamantium claws because they are just so terribly cool. But as long as you can’t have such an amazing weapon, I believe you can make do with a T-shirt which is in no measure any less amazing than the former.
Well it’s now time for some accessories to look on to and to throw in some cool offers to you people, which will blow your minds. If you are a person who loves cost-effective stuff and do give even a little precedence to quantity, you are going to love this section that I am going to introduce. Also, I will make sure to throw in some of the cool stuff in between for others so it doesn’t get all lonely for those who are not very much into that. Again, the fact that they come at a small price does not undermine their overall quality or even their general desirability from a consumer’s standpoint in any way. These things aren’t just available out there to stretch your hands and grab on but those pearls need to be discovered from the shells. Well, in a way, now they are available because I have curated them for you. Check these out and thank me later.
#1- Three-in- one Combo Footwear
This one is going to come as a deal-breaker for everyone and once you read the price when you go down to my store, you are going to cry tears of joy mind me. Afrojack offers this three-in-one combo of stylish footwear for those who just couldn’t bother searching for them individually, OR, just for men like me :p
#2- MTV Roadies Sunglasses
Have a look at these trademarked Wayfarer sunglasses from MTV Roadies, folks. This doesn’t get any better at such a price and that is a guarantee.
#3- Blue Crystal Jewellery
This is for the ladies who do not want to carry around all the ‘jhalar-malar’ as they like to associate the sound with heavy jewellery. This one on the other hand is petite, tiny, shiny and everything suitable to carry around on a job day or a casual outing.
#4- ‘Chill out’ Women’s Wristwatches
Another one for the ladies here, this stylish wristwatch with an uber cool message on it reads and sums up your exact feeling when you look at your wrist sweating. Well, I can’t help but throw in another one here for the “How’re you doing part”, courtesy of Mr. Joey Tribbiani.
#5- Crystal’s Black and Grey Sandals
Check out the looks, price and reviews of this one here guys and if you are still not surprised by the melody of these three notes, leave me a comment calling me a schmuck !!
Moving over to my personal favourite, the ‘Cool things to own’ section. Well as evident from the name, you may guess that the prices over here may not look so reasonable for some of the products that I am going to push in but you must understand that they are meant not so much for the utility as for the show. And by devil, it would be some show guys, that I promise you. Basically these items are meant to tease away your peers and to show them how exquisite your tastes are. And no, I am not saying you must fake out anything that you are not but Hey, it doesn’t hurt to be the center of attraction for an agreeable reason, right?
#1- A Lightsaber
Star-Wars fanatics range from teeny boys (who possibly first heard about it in TBBT) to men who actually witnessed Star Wars in all its glory. Whether or not they actually get the films, they croon for a Lightsaber. Why? Because it’s sheer awesome and even more awesome is to actually have one.
#2- Wine over Apple backcover
Yes Of course it’s a thing enough to own an iPhone in the first place but what if you have got such a tricky back-cover to go on with? It’s as if your phone is itself intoxicated over the wine and when you hold it in your hands, people will like it better. After all, wine beats an apple, right?
#3- Sheesham Wooden Tray
I am a sucker for wooden utensils and I know there would be a large number of people out there who would nod at this exquisite Sheesham wood tray. Hell, I don’t even care what I am being served just as long as you leave the tray on the table for me. Check out the feels people :p
#4- Buddha shadow lamp
There is nothing more comforting than the peace one finds at one’s home. Think of the Budhha casting his shadow on the walls of your room and you will be transported to a whole different level of ‘anand‘. दवीयः प्रकाशः
#5- Pandora themed night lamps
Want to set up a romantic ambiance in the room? Experience some Pandora of your own with this colour changing Navi plant design lamps.
Wait folks, did I tell you how you can go and buy ALL OF THESE and more of such good stuff? No? How foolish of me? Absolutely not. I was just messing around getting you people all pumped up for the amazing journey you MUST take from here on. As a matter of fact, I had left a link to the store with my featured pic straightaway. Didn’t you read the little poem I had written for you? If you feel like buying any of these and some of the other items I have curated in my store, then this is what you need to do.-
From ignorance, lead me to truth; From darkness, lead me to light; From death, lead me to immortality.
What impetus do you think a person has before he extends a piece of advice to you, tells you one of those little truths that he/she has realized during the course of their lives, be it from experience or observation? Does it sound harsh to understand at any level that whatever you are being told is a person’s own sense of grandiose frustration with how things went in their lives as opposed to what they know for a fact would be true in yours? Maybe it’s a mere yearning on their parts to see you treading a path that they once could but didn’t. Maybe it’s a mere delusion of thinking that if it worked out good for them in their lives, it would work out for you too. Or maybe they really have a secret churned out of their lives, something they would be willing to share with you to make your life something entirely different than what it could have been!!
I do believe sometimes that I am a realist while the other times I see myself as an optimist. I am an optimist-realist, I think. But you would have to read about the realist part of me some other time. As for now, as an individual who sees the glass half-full, the birds flocking to new avenues rather than having to desert their homes, the lyrics of a song filled with that delirious symphony of the creator rather than what fits- I, the moody saint who looks at the world under the glass of how he is feeling at the moment, am looking back at my life and trying to conjure up that little piece of advice that makes up the most of what I am. Should I tell you about how I ended up studying the graduate course I am taking? Or should I tell you how I got through that cut-throat competition exam by studying the few select books that were supposed to be the best ? Should I boast of the career options I intend to pursue later on in my life and why – something I know I have no control over? No. I am not going to do that. It’s even so unfair to start talking about how something worked out for me the way it did because so and so person told me it will. I am here to tell you something larger, bigger than that. To tell you of an advice that mattered not only in reaching my goals but in understanding how to set them in the first place!!
And so, like the very best of stories, this dates back to a time in the past, not very far back and something as vivid in my memories as the recollection of writing this line right now. You must know, my dear reader, that there are some things in life that only a teacher, and the right teacher at that, could tell you. There may be lessons academically that you may master from him/her but ultimately they would be forgotten at some point in life. But there are few other lessons, far more glorious and far more valuable that he/she would not just opine you but act out practically. These are those lessons that stay on with you and those that mean something to you now. You may move on in life to greater avenues but your life would always be a greenery, gardened and watered by the words of your teacher that made all of it possible. I have been fortunate enough to have had a teacher in my life who has taught me not just the congruences and similarities of triangles but of life itself.
Sir used to tell us- “The marks you gain make the world know you. The knowledge you acquire make you know yourself. Both of these are equally important”. He never preached any misguiding principles that the present generations tend to believe these days, like marks are not important and such. Still, he made sure that his students were as good human beings as they were academic beings. The best thing about him is that he is a believer and he chooses to believe in the goodness of things.
But the most tremendous advice that he ever gave us was when he shared a life secret with us; one that everyone knows but only eventually realizes to be true. He shared it with such belief in his eyes that now it is hardwired into my very system. It is although something that my parents and grandparents had always tried to make me learn but somehow when Sir told it to us, he succeeded in getting me to believe that it was the truth or as he would say- “ Ke haan..Yehi sach hai”. And of course, there were many students sitting in the class that day and maybe he would have shared the same with an even larger number of people at other times. But I can never tell how many took to it with as much reverence as I have. I still remember that day when he told us in a rather emotional state that the most important things to earn in life are blessings. “When someone blesses you to be happy in life, at some point in your journey it pays. And when that happens, you witness miracles in your life”.
I was spell-bound for a second when I actually thought about it. Here is a man of reason, of sheer intellect, a man of science no less, and he is standing before me telling me in the firmest of his tones what he believes to be truer than where the sun rises and where it sets. Why is that, I should have wondered. But I didn’t. I rather chose to believe him, to believe in those things that he was telling us in that instant, that blessed instant. He was telling us that if there was something really worth earning in life, it was blessings. Money is lost, success fades, at least its charm does and at the end of the day, what truly keeps us happy is the outcome of these blessings. For the most part of my life since then, I have made it my goal, although inconspicuously, to gather those blessings, to earn them for me. Is that something as concrete as a career choice or choosing between two different talents or following one road out of the two that the woods lead in? No. I don’t believe that but I do believe in how true this advice can stand for any person whosoever. And that is why, my dreams and aspirations- both fulfilled and wished upon- are centered around this advice. Will I come out happier? I don’t know. But was that the goal in the first place?
Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross – Datsun redi-GO – the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback.
Finally something is here to quench that thirst inside you for a stylish, curvy, swash-buckling and whirling car for the new Indian household settled in equally stylish cities and those that are getting closer to the same.
When you hear of a ‘budget car’, then somehow those high thoughts of aspiring for more and more get dried up a bit and you are mostly left with a basic layout in your mind that you want to get sorted very very soon. But the mood is ruined because you can only hope for so much. Well, guess what!! Not anymore. This year is probably going to see the rise of an upcoming and gloriously variegated market in the budget car section. To prove my point, let your mind wander no further than India’s first ever urban cross, the Datsun redi-GO.
The Japanese manufacturer has been hitting the right points with its first two cars for quite some time now and this third one aims to take the same one step further. It’s designed that way; almost custom made to suit the requirements of the new India that is coming up. It provides you safety, comfort, style, economy and most importantly, it does all of that with an evolutionary concept in mind. The makers sure know that they are going to make a car that will be mostly bought by a first time car buyer. As such, one does not really intend to put in all those sneaky features that make that experience so very different from other cars in the same segment. But redi-GO seems to not think that way. What the makers thought when they were bringing this car out for us is anyone’s guess but they have sure hit some bulls-eye points for the people. Those that I liked the most however are here-
1- The Yukan Design
This is not the time for those straight design and abrupt curves that school children make when they draw a car in their art-books. It’s time for the generation Y 1.1 and their car has to be anything but non-unique. As such, the redi-Go comes in with a design feature that puts you above the others driving on the road- this time quite literally. With its high, wide and robust stance coupled with the sleek and visually sporty features, this unique crossover between compact and hatchback is all that you can hope for in a segment like this and more. It has also got a unique bumper that accentuates the front grille and sports a narrow air dam in the middle. This all new design makes it stand apart from the typical automobile on the road and that is just the beginning.
2- Fuel Economy
The redi-GO can go at an astonishing economy of 25.17 kms/litre and No I am not trying to make a fool out of you because I will give the reason for it. This unique crossover runs on a 799cc i-SAT engine and as such, it is one car that is BUILT for those long long rides you always want to make take with your partner. Of course the fuel is more important than the car nowadays but with mileage like this, you can hardly complain.
3- Turning Radius
This may not be one feature that everyday relates with but I surely do and that is why I feel more and more how this one is custom made for me. With the redi-GO, I get to make a full turn with just a 4.7 m turning radius thanks to the manoeuverability genius behind this car.
If I were to test it, I would surely take it on a ride from my present home Lucknow to my nearby hometown. That way I get to see the ultimate crossover of both worlds that present India incorporates and that I think would be the best test for this ultimate crossover too. Also, all the above features that I mentioned would be ample for the tough roads needs to be tested based upon the sturdy design and economy and the style would test the reaction the car gets from the urchins at my hometown :p
And as far as that sharp turn-around is concerned, there always is that crowded chai-samosa shop on the highway where you can always stop for beating the blues of the journey but it gets tight to come out of it at times. Hopefully, redi-GO will prove to be the right partner in that.