Book Review – Army Girl Steals Civilian’s Heart by Oswald Pereira!

This is a very light-hearted romantic novelette which takes the reader up and down through different emotions. Truly, Amrita and Oscar belong to different worlds, but their love helped them create a unique world of their own. The love musings are nothing new, but the innovative narration makes it sound refreshing and delightful.

I loved the way the author has handled the emotions of the characters and presented it to the reader. Simple, mundane things also felt like a whole new experience. At places, I felt that the narration could have been a little more descriptive or illustrative, but still, I loved the balance throughout.

The plot, the characters and everything was like watching a real-life incident with real characters. Overall, it was an amazing afternoon read, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I would like to recommend it to my fellow readers as well.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.in/Army-Girl-Steals-Civilians-Heart-ebook/dp/B075V2SGKB

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Book Review – The Hidden Spark!

Sometimes, when you are seeking answers to your problems in life, someone becomes your teacher, your guide and your Guru to help you find the truth and lead you on a path of happiness and peace.

The Hidden Spark by Vikas Trivedi and Smita Agarwal came into my hands at the right time when I was looking for motivation in life. An amazing book of true stories, experiences, and advices that truly helps us understand the tidbits of life. Each chapter has simple, easy-to-understand teachings, facts and information. At the end, the self-introspection snippets are also very useful.

But, the best thing that I liked about the book was the real-life stories. Many times we just ignore such inspirational or motivational books because we do not want to believe. But, when we read about real people, real problems and real solutions, we start believing.

This book is not just about ‘telling’, but it is about ‘showing’. The book talks about realistic solutions to real life problems we face day to day. This is one inspirational book, which is not boring rather very easy to interpret and implement. It is about rekindling that ‘hidden spark’ we all have within us.

Reading this book will help you identify your self-worth, motivate you to follow your dreams, boost your self-confidence by helping you choose and help you learn from other people’s experiences. Written by two great mentors, this book will surely help you to find the right direction in life.

As mentioned before, the language is easy to follow, maybe a bit of illustration at places might have helped, but overall this is a wonderful and practical book from these Indian authors, which will keep you glued to the pages. Every chapter is a new learning, a new perspective so you can read it in phases as well.

Grab your copy TODAY from Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/Hidden-Spark-Vikas-Trivedi-Smita-Agarwal/dp/B0754732GG

 

The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die- A Review!

As a reader, when I start reading a book, the first thing I look for is a connect and then the flow of events which helps me to visualize the plot in my own mind. Some books are there, which you just read, and some are there, which you simply love. Because you can relate to them so well and every twist and turn is so gripping that you cannot leave it in between.

I recently read the English translation of Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s ‘Gyanar Baksho’ by Anurava Sinha under the name ‘The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die’, published by BEE Books, Kolkata. When you have already read the original version, you tend to be a bit skeptical on how the translated version is going to be. But, I am glad that I picked this one up. As mentioned earlier, I could connect with it more than anything.

The translation has been beautifully done- simple yet sophisticated language. I almost never felt that there was a lack of narration or sections have been hurried upon. The language seems to have beautifully blended with the story and the best part is that it helped me visualize, just like the original one. The dialogues are easy to interpret. The language is so simple yet fluent that I have started reading the story to my daughter and she is able to understand it as it is. I am sure she will love the book when it gets over. Kudos to Mr. Sinha for translating this masterpiece so that many more people are able to read and enjoy the story. Even people, who might not have seen the movie will be able to understand the drama, the flow, and the climax.

I particularly like the title of the book. It intrigues the reader in different ways. One might have a perception about it, but by the end of the book, the reader might get a whole new surprise. The book has all the elements of a short story and it holds the reader’s attention until the end.

Overall, it is a must-read for book lovers who love classic Bengali pieces and also short stories, which will leave you in awe. I give a 4 rating to this book and recommend it for reading. The original one is a wonderful book, and the translated version is worth every bit. It is great to read famous Bengali short stories in the translated form, and applauses to Arunava Sinha, who have attempted this. Hoping to read many more classics and it is a great way to take Bengali literary works to the masses overcoming the language barrier.

For those who might not know about the book, here is a teaser:

The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die is a narration from the protagonist, who comes as a young bride into a family of landlords, but the only thing left is their pride and a big mouth. Gradually, she gets adjusted into the family. Her encounters with the most elderly member of the family, Pishima, isn’t too good. But, when Pishima starts interacting with her after her death as a ghost and gives her the prized possession that is a box of jewelry, their equation changes. Next follows a series of ups and downs in the story, where the shy and timid bride emerges as a saviour of the family, where men are almost nincompoops.

**This is an early review and thanks to BEE Books for sending me the copy for review. The book will soon be available on Amazon, Flipkart, and other online portals. So, please do order your copy and enjoy this lovely short story.

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My Experience at VLCC (Courtesy: WorldOfMoms)

#VLCCStyleStatements

Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle.” – Erno Laszlo.

This is what I realized after a session at VLCC, Indiranagar, Bangalore. At my age, skin care is very important in order to rejuvenate it from time to time. But, being the mother of an extra-energetic toddler and a ‘working from home’ professional, the ‘commitment’ part becomes really difficult. So, when I got this complimentary VLCC package from WorldOfMoms, I was elated! Finally, I was going to enjoy a nice and peaceful massage after ages.

I went for a complimentary facial on Saturday, March 11, 2017. World of Moms had scheduled the appointment for me, and it was such a pleasant experience! I was warmly greeted by Debarothi and Malhar at the VLCC center. As I was waiting for them to prepare my room for the facial, they took me for my body composition test.

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The machine recorded my height, weight, and other parameters and generated a neat little report instantly. I was given a personalized counseling session based on my report, and what my ideal parameters should look like. The different VLCC Slimming and Weight-loss programs were discussed with me. I am glad that this test was done because I could see the real picture of my health, which most of us women tend to ignore due to lack of time and because we get tied up with responsibilities, especially after motherhood.

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Next, they took me to check my skin type so that an optimum facial treatment could be decided upon. The analysis informed me that my skin had become quite dry, mainly due to lack of proper care. Soon, I was introduced to Rama, who did my facial.

She inquired about my skin, and what kind of facials I have been doing. Based on my requirements and preferences, we decided to go with the Clarifying De-Pigmentation Facial called Envia from VLCC. It was to remove pigmentation and dark tan on the skin, giving it a fresh look.

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Rama gave me a really good massage, using proper techniques and strokes; it was really comforting for me. She kept asking intermittently whether everything was going okay – whether the pressure was fine, if there was any burning sensation, especially because my skin was sensitive. She did not leave my side through the entire treatment, and there was no lag in her step either. We also had an amicable and pleasant conversation, where she told me how my pigmentation can spread if not paid due attention to at the right time. She also briefed me about the different therapies and treatments I can take at VLCC for my skin and hair.

The facial took almost an hour. I also availed a few other services. The rooms and sheets were clean and everything was very well-maintained . The ambiance of the place was also nice – there was a pleasant and sweet fragrance in the room, and light music too. Overall, the feeling was really relaxing and soothing.

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The complete package worth around INR 2500 was complimentary on behalf of VLCC and I got this opportunity through WorldOfMoms. I am really thankful to both of them for this enriching and relaxing experience. I walked out with a lovely, refreshed face and of course a nice experience.

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I would recommend all my friends to try the VLCC beauty and slimming packages because they truly deliver quality, and results can be seen outright. Skin care is very important, not only from the beauty perspective, but also to stay healthy and refreshed, both from inside and outside. So moms, do take out time from your busy schedule and commit yourself to a skin care regime.

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Book Review : 15/1 Story Avenue by Avishek Gupta

Short stories are like a stress-buster for me. They take immediate effect and they can cater to any emotion. They can be funny, horrifying, romantic, sad; any emotion, a human might feel. And, the beauty of short stories is that it keeps you engaged till the end. However, this depends a lot on how tactfully the author has approached the genre or theme, and how easily his/her content relates and connects to the reader(s).

And, Avishek Gupta has done a good job in his latest release, 15/1 Story Avenue. It is a collection of 15 soulful stories, which will evoke a myriad of emotions in you. They are simple, day-to-day concepts which can happen to anyone. It was a ‘relaxing’ read for me, as I could easily connect with the characters. Overall, I liked what I read in 15/1 Story Avenue and kudos to Avishek for this wonderful read. In many instances, the language was funny and witty.

What I liked: The language is simple, and easily relatable. The flow of the stories was easy to follow and each one ended with a thought or emotion or answer for the reader. I also like the cover image and the description. Keeps the reader wondering what’s inside. The words were properly spaced and the font was easy to read. The social angle in a few of them was also intriguing and makes the reader ponder on it.

My favourite ones: I particularly like Mandroid and The Stupid Bug called Love. They had an unexpected twist, which I always cherish in a short story. Even, The Perfect Photograph was a nice one because it depicted something, many of us might have come across. The thought was beautiful.

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Cover Image of story- MANDROID

 

What I expect: I would love to read from the author. I look forward to read more in different genres like satire, humour, horror (in case, the author wants to explore). The shades of romance and social norms have come out well, and I am sure, Avishek will surprise his readers with a greater variety next time.

My rating: 4 out of 5. I loved wandering in his Story Avenue, enjoying the stories on my way.

Wishing him more success and best of wishes for his upcoming endeavours.

Review – happibo, ready-made food products for babies!

As a mother of an infant or a toddler, what are some of the major challenges you face:

  • Picky eater?
  • Lack of nourishment?
  • Variety of food, you need to cook?
  • Lack of time to make nutritious food every day?
  • Food woes while travelling?

Well, I am sure, these are a few worries, which every other mom faces, and are stressed to find a solution. Well, frankly speaking, there might not an end-to-end solution, but there can be an optimum one. And, when the solution comes from a fellow mom, you can be assured that it is well-researched, nutritious and tasty too!

So, here we have a healthy and affordable solution to all your worries, and it is called, happibo. They make ready-to-feed, baby food products for infants and toddlers, which are made from 100% natural ingredients, and caters to the culinary norms and tastes of Indian babies. This is also a great solution when you are travelling out and you worry about what to feed your baby.

Indian Taste

The best part is these have been made from natural ingredients and have healthy options of both fruits and vegetables, which kids often dislike. But, since these are in puree form or meal chunks, they wouldn’t mind. And, all the products have been made keeping the Indian palate in mind

Packaging and Usage

The food products come in nicely packed containers, with all necessary information on the pack. The containers are microwave safe, so you can heat before giving your child. It is best to use the products within 3 months from the date of manufacturing. Once opened, you need to refrigerate the pack and finish within 2 days. You need to mix the ingredients well before use.

No Preservatives

These products do not have any added salt, sugar, preservatives, colour and transfat in them, so they are healthy options for infants and toddlers. The process in which they are made does not require any extra additive or chemicals. They use a temperature-pressure combination, which is unique to each product and helps to maintain a fine balance between nutrition, taste and safety.

Research shows that Indian toddlers, between 1 and 3 years, get only a part of their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of green vegetables, pulses, fruits etc. And this leads to a prolonged period of malnutrition as the food habits don’t change as much with age. So, happibo is a great relief for mothers to give nutritious food options to their child, which they will actually like.

Some of the important things to note:

Products available:

Snacks Apple Puree (INR 225), Pumpkin Red Lentils Puree (INR 125), Mango Sweet Potato Puree (INR 125), Spinach Pumpkin Soup (INR 125), and Red Pepper Carrot Puree (INR 125).

Meals– Broccoli Carrot Kichadi (INR 150) and Ragi Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce (INR 150)

Suitable Age Group: 6 months to 2 years

Availability: Available ONLY in Bangalore. In stores right now. Will be available online from coming week

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/happibofoods/?fref=ts

What I liked about happibo?

“I tried a pack of Apple Puree and Ragi Pasta, and my daughter really like it. And, the best part was that I was able to add seasoning like salt and sugar from outside as required to make the taste according to what my daughter likes.”

Some of the other things that I really liked about happibo are:

  • Double packed containers, both to avoid contamination and so that the content doesn’t spill once you open
  • USFDA Approved Microwave safe containers, which are free from BPA, so easy to heat
  • Content is enough (215 grams) for one serving, so you can store in freezer for the next time too
  • Easy to feed from the container, and you seal it and keep for next use
  • Nice and cute packaging, which is travel-friendly with no chances of spilling
  • Rightly flavoured for Indian infants and toddlers (up to 2 years)
  • Rightly priced and available in major stores

My verdict:

Finally, we have ready-to-feed. Baby food products in India, something similar to Gerber. It will be a great help for working moms as well to ensure that your baby is getting the right nutrition. And, for moms with picky eaters, this will definitely be a saviour.

Mommies, time to chill as healthy food is on its way to your child’s stomach. Keep calm and try happibo, for happi meals and snacks for a healthy and happy baby.

About happibo

This is the brainchild of Harshada Joshi, mother to an energetic son, Avyan, with around 10 years of experience in the Healthcare industry. Along, with co-founders, Bhagwati and Satya Palukarthi, she ensures that none of the products are harmful to babies, and the best of standards are maintained. Along with her team and support from her husband, Rohit, Harshada strives to make this brand a household name and mommy’s first choice for their babies.

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Image Courtesy: All Image have been provided by happibo