Friday, 27 March 2015

Breakfast with #KelloggsWaleGuptaji


Written exclusively for Kellogg's India

Verma: Hello Guptaji. Kaise ho

Gupta: Badiya Vermaji. Aap bolo. Bahut din se Golf course mein nahin dikhe?

Verma: Kya batayein Guptaji, health problems hain. Doctors se milne mein hi din nikal jaata hai

Gupta: Khaane pe control rakho, sab theek ho jaayega.

Verma: Ab aap ki tarah dieting toh hum nahi kar sakte. Rukha sukha khaana humse na ho paayega.

Gupta: Arey, main toh badiya aur swadisht khaana khaata hoon ji. Ek kaam karo, kal breakfast ke liye mere yaahaan aa jayo. Khud pata kar lo.

Verma: Theek hai, subah milte hain phir

Gupta: Jaroor. Jai Shri Krishna.

* * * 

Gupta: Sunti ho, kal Vermaji aa rahein hain nashte par. Achha sa kuch bana dena. Woh Kellog's ka kuch naya recipe mil gaya toh maja aa jaayega.

Mrs Gupta: Theek hai ji, dekhti hoon

Log on to https://www.facebook.com/anaajkanashta

Mrs Gupta: Yeh kuch Tandoori Cheese Cornflakes aaya hai ji, naya wala.

Gupta: Tandoori Cheese? Badiya hai. Dekho na, kya karna hai, kaise karna hai.

Mrs Guptra: Yahaan pe poora list toh diya hai. 
  • 2 Cups crushed cornflakes
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp chilli flakes
  • ½ Tsp salt
  • ¼ Cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Tandoori Masala
  • 2 Tsp oil

Directions :
  • Combine all the ingredients in a plastic bag, Seal and shake.
  • Toss till evenly coated and serve

Gupta: Arey dekho, video bhi hai. Click karo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceE_vZ3xZ-g

Mrs Gupta: Arey wah, kitna aasan hai. Yehi karte hain.

* * *

Verma: Namaste Guptaji.

Gupta: Aayiye aayiye Vermaji, bade dinoan ke baad. Kaise ho bhabiji.

Mrs Verma: Acche hain. Aap kaise ho. Bacche kaise hain

Mrs Gupta: Sab Bhagwan ki krupa.

* * *

Verma: Guptaji, aapne to healthy breakfast ka daava kiya tha. Yahaan pe toh mukje Tandoori Cheese ki khushboo aa rahi hai.

Gupta: Haan Vermaji, yehi toh hai woh raaz. Kellogg's ne kayi saare naye recipes diye hain corn flakes banane ke. Isse aapko corn flakes khaane ka ehsaas bhi nahi rahega, aur taste ka taste bhi mil jaayega.

Verma: Accha. Yeh to badiya hai. Humko bhi batao isske baare mein.

Mrs Gupta: Bahut aasan hai. Bas Kellogg's pe website, ya facebook page, ya youtube page par jaayiye aur aapko saari jaankari mil jaayi. Sau se jyada recipes hain wahan pe.

Mrs Verma: Yeh aapne bahut achhi baat batayi. Kal se hum bhi shuru karte hai #KelloggsWaleGuptaji

Mrs Gupta: #KelloggsWaleVermaji

Verma, Gupta: Ha Ha Ha !!!


Times have changed and live too has changed. From a world where we had enough time to cook food and savor it, we have run into a world where we hardly have any time to eat food, forget preparing it. Further, the commercial world around us has been quick to catch up this mess by opening us restaurants at every corner of the street. The food consumption outside home has only been rising over the years. Its always a great practice to have food at home for several reasons. For those of us who are stretched for time, Kellogg's has come up with these brilliant options. Corn flakes have been turned into a tasty recipe and packaged in a different way altogether. Consuming ready food along with satisfaction to taste buds is a great advantage that this provides. Breakfast is perhaps the most important meal of the day. Let's begin the day with a Kellogg's meal.





Sunday, 22 March 2015

The small and simple aspects of happiness

Exclusively written for Coca-Cola International Day of Happiness

Happiness is perhaps the most hunted aspect of life. Everyone in the world wants to be happy, and wants their near and dear ones also to be happy. Happiness, for me, is to see the smile on faces of people around me. It makes me feel really wonderful when I can be the cause for that smile. Most time, however, it doesn’t become possible. A large number of things aren’t in our control and depend on several external factors.

If I were to list down all those things that make me happy, they appear to be very simplistic. However, I bet, these are the ones that are the most complex ones. Someone has rightly said, “It is more complex to make things simple”. Often, I am reminded of the story of the princess who had turned sad in her life. The king employed every method to make her happy. He got her a house, several friends, several pets, lot of jewellery and so on. When everything failed, he sent a word across the world that whoever makes her smile will win a reward. Many experts came in and tried their best to make her smile, which didn’t happen. Finally, one ordinary guy steps in with a big stomach and as he walks, his stomach falls apart, and ‘Phoolkumari’, the princess, bursts into laughter. It is such a small thing if you look at it this way that he had a pillow over his abdomen to appear bulky, and he makes it fall, as if to appear that his stomach has fallen apart. Yet, it was enough to get back the smile on the princess’ face. 

Many a times, it is these small things that bring us happiness, and the funny aspect of life is that these small things are difficult to find, especially considering the material progress the world is making. We hardly have access to chirping birds, peaceful atmosphere, greenery, devotional experiences, etc., that add those small bits of happiness to us. Our happiness is linked to buying best gadgets, which become out-dated in a few days; building relationships with best people, who change colours with time; seeking perfection, which never happens as there is always scope for improvement; and so on. So, each time, our aspirations get larger, and each time, it only becomes more difficult to attain happiness. While aspirations and dreams are must in life, we must learn to derive happiness from small things in life. There is happiness in everything around us, if we look it in the right way. We must learn to add value, instead of deriving value, and this is perhaps how I look at happiness. Our deeds brings us more happiness that our derivatives.

“Little deeds of kindness, little words of love, Make our earth an Eden like the heaven above.”

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A Memorable day #together

Written for http://housing.com

7th Feb 2015 is one of the most memorable days of my life. It was my father's birthday and I had been planning to celebrate this day in a great way. However, as I was running a busy week, I couldn't make any plans. Luckily, the birthday was on Saturday and it gave me some room to plan. I started planning in the morning.

I started thinking about what would be the key need to make this a beautiful day. Soon, I realized that it would be to bring the family together. So, I called my sister, who lives in Mysore, and asked her to come to Bangalore. I started browsing for restaurants in the vicinity and checking for availability. Finally, I decided to book a table at 'The 13th Floor' in MG Road. Though the place was far, I thought it will be a great experience for all of us.

It was a big surprise for my dad when he saw my sister reach home in the evening. We decided to head to the restaurant then. On the way, I started thinking about what I should gift him. On thinking, I realized that he had been long planning to buy a suit. I checked with a couple of outlets over the phone and decided to walk in to Raymonds. The decision was symbolic with the company's tag line, "The Complete Man". There is one category of people who desire that if they buy a suit, it should be a Raymonds; if they buy a car, it should be a BMW; if they buy a home, it should be a Shoba, and so on. I guess I belonged to that category when it came to this decision. However, personally, I never have such choices and pick up whatever makes best sense.

It took nearly two hours for us to zero in a suit for him. After all, it was akin to buying an asset which he would treasure for a lifetime. He was excited, and all dressed for dinner. We walked in to Ebony on the 13th floor, which was right next to the Raymonds store, and the breathtaking view of the city from our table added more beauty to the day. As we started our meal, we experienced the love, happiness and bliss of being together. We rejoiced a couple of past experiences, including the famous birthday memory we had 7-8 years ago. It so happened that all of us had forgotten my dad's birthday, including him, as he had met with an accident and was living in my grandpa's home, which was near to the hospital. My sister and I were watching the TV in the evening, and in the serial, there was this scene. Son forgets father's birthday, and mother comes back harshly on him and says, "What kind of a son are you?". Just then, I was like, "Gosh, it is my dad's birthday today". It was already dinner time, and we rushed to the bakery, picked up a cake and a couple of candles, drove to my grandpa's home and celebrated the day. Really unbelievable stuff even today!

Families are such an important part of our lives. They are the motivation to do all that we do.

Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.
- Sarah Dessen

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Look up with Optimism

Written exclusively for Housing.com. Check them out at https://housing.com/lookup

Ants are perhaps the most optimistic species on this planet. I often get inspired by the kind of determination and hard work they put in to build their homes. They go travel such a long distance to collect each grain of sand or soil and accumulate them in one place. There is absolutely nothing stopping them. They work all the time until their home is ready. At times, rain or wind or human being destroy these creations without even their notice and again, ants go through the same exercise. They never give up. This speaks volumes about optimism in life.

Ratan Tata is one of the greatest inspiration for me and he is another great example of optimism. I have been impressed by the kind of work the Tata group has undertaken as well as the objective of social responsibility that they work on. However, what impressed me the most was that he delivered on his promise of a Rs 1 lac car for the common man. Considering the kind of costs that go in, I never thought this was possible. Working on the dream, responsibly and ethically, is the greatest learning I get from his life. Moreover, the kind of aggressive decisions he made regarding buying Tetley, Corus, Jaguar and Land Rover at a time when the world was deeply pessimistic speaks about the kind of optimism this man had in him. The acquisition of Corus was an all cash deal and he was criticized by many over the kind of aggression he had shown. He was the first one to start this trend. Until then, we had only heard foreign companies acquiring companies in India. He truly took India to the world. He is a visionary who made a large number of things possible due to his optimism. Many opposed the Tata's entering the IT business but TCS today commands the largest market cap in listed Indian companies. He is nearly 80 years old but still has so much energy and zeal in him. One example for his recent interests is his investment in Snapdeal.com. He is the person that I look up to for optimism.

Further, I believe in learning good things from each one, be it whoever - a friend, colleague, acquaintance, celebrity, businessman. There is something you can learn from everyone. There is a Sanskrit shloka that explains this.

फूलों से नित  हंसना सीखो, भौंरों से नित गाना, फल की लदी डालियॊं से, नित सीखो शीश झुकाना।

meaning, learn to smile from the flowers, learn to sing from the bees, learn to bow from fruit trees. So, there is no end to learning in this world and there is no end to optimism. Whenever there is an issue, all we need to do is to just Look UP.

Education helps you to #StartANewLife

Written exclusively for Housing.com. Check them out at https://housing.com/

Long ago, when I was in the school, I was one among the naughty and notorious lot. I was in the group, or call it gang, of students who were focused more over playing sports and having fun than studies. Books or classes hardly interested us. I played football, hockey, cricket and also participated in several athletic events. Things kept going well until one day the marks card showed horrible numbers. I, along with my friends, received bashing from all corners and were literally mocked over how we had dealt with life with so much ease. We were just about to complete schooling then and we didn't have an idea of what to do next. We neither had impressive scorecards nor so much achievement in sports that we would be admitted to good college based on those credentials. Soon, we all were headed in different directions.

It was then that I decided to start a new life. I went through one of the longest introspection of my life and arrived at the conclusion that education will help me #startanewlife. When I looked at people around me, I realized that most of them were successful and progressing in life because of their efforts in the college and professional courses. Of course, that was not the only reason for everyone. I came across many people who succeeded without formal education too. However, in the current era of knowledge, education was definitely the key.

So, I started taking great interest in studies. However, I also ensured that I keep up some focus on sports and other activities too. It was a really difficult thing to begin with. I, for one, had never gone so deep into the books. I had mostly managed my exams by reading a day or two before and the reference was only last 4-5 years of question bank and answers. Soon, I realized that professional education wasn’t going to be so easy. There was a need to build my body of knowledge. So, I burnt the midnight oil, worked really hard and thus, was determined to keep up this focus for all the years in college. The new life motivated me a lot and soon, I had a lot of friends coming up to me for discussions, clarifications and other study related activities. It was a very good feeling.

I continued on the same path and in a couple of years, I had my name sealed in the list of academic toppers. I ended up with a gold medal from the University for Academic Excellence. It was incredible for me to believe that I achieved such a distinction in my life.

Take those bold steps, make those moves, and just #StartANewLife…