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California Walnuts Redefines Healthy Eats into Lip smacking snacks

We all know healthy food can be unappealing. Especially, we Indians have grown up DSC_3284with moms feeding us healthy food and those protein shots in the form of nuts, almonds and the most dreaded, walnuts were enough to send us to untraceable hideouts. For any layman, walnuts feel dry, drab and tasteless with a after taste of oily bitterness.  Though I never enjoyed having them, the nuts provide many health benefits and it is essential to make it part of our diet for balanced nutrition. Acceptance is essentially how we package it.  So, taking this as a cue, an US company has proved that with the right ingredients, walnuts can be made into snacks that excite children and adults alike.

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Welcome to Era of Easy Communication and Misleading Information

The title says it all, we are living in an exalted era of communication and being fed with information sometimes authentic but many unverified and unproven. To add to this, we have the power to pass it on and it goes undeterred and unquestioned to gullible people who never question the authenticity of the information given to them. The reach is even more when it touches the life of a common man. One such case doing the rounds is “Plastic Rice”.

We also got a video in WhatsApp about Chinese plastic rice entering the market and how it is manufactured. Smartly, there was no audio to it. We could see raw material (glue) kind made into plastic sheets and then being shaped like rice and collected in bags. My first thought process was shock but then a bit prudence set in as I remembered the process of making thermocol where sago like bubbles are manufactured and made into blocks. It may be the “plastic rice” is a raw material for some industrial product. Where is the proof that it is being sold as rice? Sadly, Basmati rice, nature’s gift to India with its aroma and flavor has come under question putting so many farmer lives and produce under threat. Being an ardent Basmati rice fan, I set about checking various trustworthy news about it.

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Travel Diary – Travel to Madhya Pradesh Jyotir Lingams – Ujjain

We had a long pending visit to Ujjain and Omkareshwar and since young when I studied history, Ujjain has always enamored me.  So finally, we decided to make it and our travel began with train tickets to Bhopal and travel in car from there on a round trip to Ujjain and Omkareshwar. One hard lesson we learnt is never trust cab services of Ola or Uber on a weekend. It took 45 minutes for us to get a vehicle to Madras Central and thankfully for clear roads and green signals, we would not have made it to our train on time.

We have been hearing so much about better services in long distance trains and to utter disappointment, Tamilnadu Express food remained the same as we have seen few years back. The only solace was cleaner toilets. We reached Bhopal at 8.30 PM the next day and stayed overnight at our friend’s place who won us over with their hospitality.  Our friend suggested that we visit Kharjana Ganesh Temple in Indore on the way to Ujjain. The temple is maintained by volunteers and is a very famous temple in the area.

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Pizza Mania with Stuffed Crust from Pizza Hut

Pizza mania just like the Biryani Mania today had seen a big surge in Pizza offerings. We can see Pizza in every fast food joint but then innovations have not been much forthcoming from them but from the leading Pizza joints such as Pizza Hut.

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Pizza Hut claims to have the tastiest pizza, with the dough, vegetables prepared freshly every day. They also claim to use only hundred percent mozzarella cheese. We always found the normal crust a bit boring with its doughy nature since the middle gets the best of cheese, sauce and the flavorings. Nevertheless, it is the filler but having the crust filled with gooey cheese or masala vegetables is a nice twist. Pizza Hut never fails to impress us with their new varieties. Same applies to their new stuffed crust, which comes in two exciting options, Veg Kebab for the vegetarians and masala chicken sausage for the non-vegetarians. They have introduced Cheese Maxx- where the crust is stuffed with full load of cheese to cater to the cheese lovers who just do not bother about those extra kilos, being a foodie and getting diet conscious just does not work together. 🙂  Another interesting aspect of Pizza Hut Pizza is the 100% herb infused sauce to add extra freshness to the Pizza.

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HDFC Bank Launches E-banking for Small and Medium Enterprises

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HDFC Bank launched SMe Bank, e-banking service for Small and medium enterprises.  Mr. Aseem Dhru, Group Head – Business Banking, Commodity Finance, Rural Banking and Agriculture Lending launched the First SMe Bank in Mumbai as part of its ‘Go Digital’ campaign.  It was digital innovation of sorts as we watched the launch through video-conference from Chennai.

This offering alleviates the need for the SMEs to visit the branch making it a seamless offering.  It also provides the SMEs to bank 24 X 7 without bothering about the bank’s working hours and reduces the waiting time from few days to hours.  Safety and security has received foremost attention from the bank and SMEs can now bank with confidence.

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Aircel Innovates with its Campaigns to Attract Consumers

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Mobile data has become a tool to connect and fares better than voice data.  Aircel invited us for #AircelBlogUpChennai meet at the Part Hotel to give us an insight into the industry statistics and its product offerings.  It was an interesting meet with Mr. Sunil Kuttam, Head – Data Devices taking us through a presentation of mobile data statistics among countries and its penetration and various causes and effects for the numbers.  More importantly, we came to know about various campaigns of Aircel and the factors behind Aircel’s growth of 53% data revenue and 65% consumption.  We had fun and informative contests for the group of about 25+ bloggers from the City.

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Is Evil Eye a Myth or Real? Director Naga Explores in this Episode

In one of the interactions with my neighbor the other day, she was ranting about the way her daughter-in-law was taking her 1 year grandchild to functions and parties.  I was puzzled and enquired about her discomfort in this matter. After all it is her child and she is taking her to gatherings and certainly not roaming with her in hot sun.  To my dismay, my neighbor started a long lecture about how her grandchild falls ill the very next day after being taken out to such parties.  I said probably the kid might have consumed some food which might have upset her tummy. She vehemently disagreed and said it is all due to Kann drishti ( Nazar in Hindi, Evil eye in English).  I was a bit taken back by her statement and then casually asked do you mean people like me seeing your grandchild is making her ill?  The lady nonchalantly said Yes, it happens without your knowledge and it does affect my grandchild. That is why I insist to my daughter-in-law to put in mai (kajal / kohl) in her cheeks such that the child does not look attractive.  But she never listens and also takes cute pics of the child and puts it all over social media.

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Summer Collection Special from Shoppers Stop with Exclusive Brands

Come summer and it is time for a wardrobe change.  Thicker clothes give way to light and breezy collections. In tune with the season Shoppers Stop has launched its summer collections from exclusive brands.   Shoppers Stop is known for their traditional wear to ultra modern, western wear collections.   If you are the traditional kind looking for anarkalis, salwar kameez, tunic tops, Kurtis on a trendy note, check out Haute Curry.  Be sure to check out the kaftans, crop tops with coldshoulder or cover-ups.

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The trend today has moved a bit from traditional chic to stylish formal wear that doubles up as perfect fit for office wear for young professionals. Eliza Donatein is here at Shoppers Stop with its feminine yet official collection.

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MyTra – Final Episode of Shanmatam series

It’s Friday again. We are back with final episode of Director Naga’s  Shanmatam series. It is going to be the continuation of the previous episodes where he talked about the abstract mind relating to various forms of Gods. Last week he has covered Vishnu, Shiva and Sakthi. If you have missed out on this episode, you can check it in  MyTra – Director Naga Delves Deeper in Shanmatam

Human understanding always is based on the faith we have on the subject. In the shanmatam series, we have been seeing the origin of Hinduism which turned out to be more geographical than religion. We have also seen the different deities and their possible origins from the human perspective. Interestingly, we could even see the deities attached to regions of India.  Possibly the relation of the deity to the regions will be another research subject that we have on hand.

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MyTra – Director Naga Delves Deeper in Shanmatam

It is Friday again. A quick recap on what has been happening with Mystic Traditions MyTra. We ran a contest in Facebook #AskNaga campaign for people interested in asking any question to the Director with such expertise and knowledge.  People who have watched his Marmadesam, Rudra Veenai and Chidambara Rahasyam will vouch for it. The contest ran till April 30th 2016. The deal was questions selected  by Director Naga will be answered by him personally. We had some interesting questions from the members of the Interaction forum and we are awaiting the final result from the Director. We will announce it soon.

We started the theatre section to showcase  stage plays shot live for the benefit of stage play lovers all over the world. We inaugurated it with the Tamil stage play “Thodarum” by K.Vivekshankar. The subject being plagiarism, it is a nice play to watch uploaded in 6 parts. Do check out the Full Thodarum Play in MyTra.

Now to the video of the week from Director Naga exploring Ancient India and our practices. For the ones interested in getting to the exploration mode, this series on Shanmatam is a food for thought. We saw the origin of Shanmatam last week with a brief introduction to the six forms and in this video, he delves into the abstract and the human mind in his own style.

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Travel – Short Stay in Hours at Hotels Now Possible

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Transit stay is one of the reasons we avoid taking a break during our travel.  Specifically when we travel by car, what we would need is a refresh point and a mild rest which would be just few hours.  As we normally travel as a family, we look for a decent accommodation and we end up paying a good sum for the whole day though we use up hardly few hours. Now it is good news for transit passengers, roadies, and day travelers.   If microblogging has taken the world by storm, here is an addition, welcome to the new concept of Microstays. We can book hourly stay for a minimum of 3 hours, 6 hours and 12 hours. The best part of it is the places available for stay are not some obscure lodges or inns but leading budget, boutique and star hotels.

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Love Chocolates? Here is to True Chocolaty Experience

Chocolates, the word that can make amends, energize, form relationships, celebrate friendship, and all we need is just a reason to grab one.  Who does not love chocolates?  Chocolates in India started its journey in the form of colorful Gems,  Eclairs and  Nutrine. People in the late 70s and 80s can very well connect to the term chocolate from our times.  Over the three decades, chocolates have undergone a transition and opening of boundaries and we saw emergence of 5 Star, Kit Kat, Dairy Milk, Bournville, Temptations and imported chocolates such as Ferrero Rocher, Toblerone and so many other international brands at our local stores.  The same time, we also saw emergence of Ooty chocolates with the home made tag.

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