How I would propose to my crush, my love, my wife, on this Valentine’s Day!
It’s over 20 years that I first
and ever proposed and fortunately or unfortunately got married to my
commitment. Yeah! When I say, unfortunately, it’s because I had planned of
several zany and uncanny ways to propose to her and unfortunately could get the
opportunity to use only one of them.
And believe me; it was quite
simple at that time. I had tried to be a bit poetic and viola! She fell for it.
It had taken me around a week to compile the lyrics of the sonnet dedicated to
her. And I had made sure that I included a wee bit of everything in the poem.
So it had my memories with her till then, the inside jokes, the turning points
in our relationship and of course, a few rhyming words. Or did it rhyme? I
honestly don’t know, but what was important that she felt me rhyming for her.
So there it was, I just could use
only one of the  various arms, I had saved up my armor and I was booked for ever.
Oh! How much I feel like redoing
it all over again, every single year. Yeah, I still do it. I try to say it with
flowers. The usual drill at unusual locales is what it comes to every year.
Sometimes below the pillow, the sometimes on the bed, sometimes in the bathtub
and sometimes even in her slippers, is how I have been surprising her.
Yeah, 20 years is a pretty long
time and our relationship has bonded over the years. And twenty years is quite
apt an occasion to re-do it all over again. And certainly the occasion which
gives me the opportunity for me to put one or more of the other zany ways to
And so, here I am, going to
propose to my crush, my wife, my companion for 20 years, in the ups and downs
of my life, this Velentine’s day. And I am going to make it really special for
her and for me.
And as if Mother Nature is
helping me in my endeavor, it’s quite chillier than usual this year in my city.
Believe me, a chilly February is an absolutely amazing month to snuggle and coo
under the covers and get in to bed for an early night retreat.
I would need a bit of preparation
for the big event, and I would need a bit of a planning too. And I need to
ensure that my beloved goes out of home on the previous day to enable my stage
setting. And once I am through with it, I am ready to sweep her out of her feet
that night.
So here’s my plan. The moment I
kiss her my goodnight and switch off the lights (she is certainly going to
wonder, why I am in such a hurry to do so!), her eyes would fall on the
ceiling. And Lo and Viola!, it would be the letters, “Love you honey, will you
marry me again” perched up there. That’s what I had tirelessly put up there
with letters cut from glow-in-the-dark paper.
And that won’t be just there to
make her drool over me. The wonderful letters hand crafted by me would be
surrounded with lots and lots of stars. I would make it look like a clear and
starry night and we both lying down under the sky, she holding on to me and
staring at the constellation proposal up in the sky.
And as I see the nod of
acceptance in her eyes, and she speaks the proverbial words, “Yes, I would”, I
would put her down again, this time her head hitting something really hard on
her pillow, and there she would find the proposal ring, in a box, as beautiful
as her, as if the love fairy had listened to us and left it there.
And if you think you can dare to
play cupid, just visit and dare to play the game.

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The great Indian Litterbug – my humorous yet honest take on it.
I have grown up in a tiny township where we
had been taught the meaning and importance of cleanliness. Hence littering was
an absolute taboo for me, whether at home or in the township. So when I heard
of the word “litterbug”, the first thing that came to my mind was that of the
old Marvel Comics character. A little addicted to rock music at my childhood
days, I can relate this word to one of the Canadian Idie rock band.

It was very late in my life that I realized that
this word has a much higher connotation, that it means a person who litters in
public places. My experiences, having grown up in a clean environment was not
much till my work commitments made me shift base to this mahanagari called
Mumbai which I immediately on landing had assumed to be a giant litter-bag. A
city where you are allowed to throw anything anywhere, pee in public, spit at
almost anything (almost anything unless the authorities decide to fix up a
photograph of a deity there), dump your unwanted belongings at will.

I have the habit of going to the local park
for a morning walk, and this morning was hence, no different. Yeah, true, my
wife ridiculed me for my early morning misadventure, not because she did not want
to see her husband fit, but because, she remembered the park authorities
watering the plants and cleaning up the benches last evening for a new year
party our local society was throwing at the venture last night (oh! I forgot to
mention, she is an evening walker, probably quite oblivious to the theory of
the early riser or perhaps not interested in grabbing the worm). She was sure
that the kids who would have been playing in the park playground, the wings,
the slides and the bars would have left the tiny puddles of dirt on to the
walking track. Not that it made the walking track any unfit for use, but my
better half’s concern was that it would have made the track slippery and hence
slippery making it not a good idea for me at my rapidly progressing age to try
out my walking and jogging stunts today.

Refuting her concern, I did venture out; I did
find the park in shambles, absolutely ruined. But not ruined by the mud, the
water or the puddles. The park and the walking track was full. It was littered
with thrash. All I could see all around me were empty wrappers of wafers and
chips, smashed cans of aerated soft drinks.

My first instinct was to blame the kids, and that’s
what we generally do after getting into a certain age. I am sure, it’s those
spoilt brats who have been so generously throwing around the garbage from the
previous night party. All sorts of thoughts in my mind, what would these kids
grow up to be if they are so insensitive to nature and economy at this age,
what have been they taught at home. I had not even completed my array of
thoughts when what I saw suddenly startled me out of my false pride.
I saw a group of children, in their middle
school age, going around with garbage bags, picking up each item of thrash
lying around. They were so meticulous and particular in the way they were
engaged in their assignment that they would run around enthusiastically and
pick up every single piece of garbage lying around.
And as I was standing there stunned, admiring
the kids, a full grown adult just walked past me and threw an empty pack of
cigarettes followed by another one who opened a pack of “gutka”, emptied it
fully inside his mouth and shamelessly threw away the packet. As I was about to
react and call back the so called gentlemen, immediately following them, one of
the kids ran across, picked up the cigarette pack and the gutka pouch and
religiously put it in the garbage bag without any complaints, no reasoning, no
doubts in her mind as to why should I pick up your shit.

As I saw that sight, I realized that I am just
one of those stupid adults who leave no stone unturned in blaming kids for
everything, without actually realizing that we, the poorly behaved adults are
the ones who are responsible for creating the maximum damage to the
environment. Rather than realizing our own follies, how quick are we to judge
the children.
As I had seen the little girl selflessly pick
up the thrash thrown by the so called educated adult, I realized that with
hardly any experience in life and with the assumed terrible control of their
impulse, how better are they when compared to we adults who wait for every
opportunity to justify our selfish actions and don’t even think twice before
blaming others.

As my story of today morning ends, and I come
back to the subject of shameless public littering, I have honestly started
feeling that the litterbugs seem to be doing an enormous social service by
littering the roads. The people who are so shamelessly going around doing it as
their national right without any guilt are possibly assuming that they are
creating employment to the vulnerable poor social class. I start feeling that
they are under the impression that if they don’t litter, these poor scavengers
and sweepers would no more be hired by the civic authorities and their poor
families would starve.

An amazing point of view, my dear litterbugs,
if you stop this social service, the poor will suffer, their children will
starve to death and the growing number of migrants would not even have one full
square meal a day to eat. So please continue littering, my friends. 
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A Healthy Child makes a Happy Home
Having brought up daughters to be
healthy teenagers today, I and my wife have had always adopted the habit of
instilling healthy habits in our children. We were very particular that from
eating healthy food, keeping them active, making them learn to sleep well and
potty training them from a very early age, would help them imbibe these crucial
life skills which will help them to improve their quality of life in future.
As a responsible parent, I can
state with conviction that childhood is a great time to start eating healthily.
Believe me; it is as simple as it sounds. We just need to provide good
nutrition and reasonable amount of physical activity to them every day and just
by following this basic principle, we can protect our kids from being obese and
being a host of chronic diseases later in their life.
Let me warn you that it is
certainly a bit tougher in these days as compared to what it was when I and my
wife brought up our daughters. Today, we need to compete against the temptation
of a variety of unhealthy and junk food so easily available in the market.  However, it is we as parents, who need to
inculcate the value of eating healthy food in our children without succumbing
to their pressure of the unhealthy temptations.
I would suggest that the
environment at home plays a very important role in it. We should try to be role
models for our children in our eating habits. As a parent, it would be our
prime responsibility to ensure that when we try to inculcate good eating habits
in our kids, we should always try to make it a family affair and stay involved
in the process. We cannot expect our kids to start liking to drink milk twice a
day if we as parents don’t do it. We cannot expect our kids to eat nutritious
food while we ourselves gorge on the culinary temptations. I would like to
remind each parent that we play a key role in our children’s choices and
The first and foremost thing that
I and my wife did while my kids were growing up was to ensure that fast food is
not a staple in our home. We used to take pains to ensure that we buy only food
that and healthy and nutritious. We knew that as working parents, with kids
required to rush to school early mornings, it may not be possible for us to
stuff their tiffin boxes with freshly prepared nutrition every single day. We
used to take care of this aspect by trying to prepare such healthy food on
weekends that we can freeze and eat it later. Of course, we certainly used to
buy frozen food too, but we ensured that they were always up to the highest
nutritious value.
Living in nuclear families in
cities, it is a far cry from being possible, but I have even suggested to my
friends who live in small towns and villages that we can also try to plant a
garden and eat what we ourselves harvest. Even getting the kids involved in
this process would make them much more happier to eat it since they are more
likely to eat something that they themselves have helped to prepare and in the
process also learn as to where the food comes from.
As parents, we have also tried
innovative ways to make the food interesting for our kids. We used to cut the
fruits in interesting shapes, we have even tried to make the food colourful
using natural colours and have even tried creating fairy tale stories of our
meals to make it sound and taste more interesting to the kids.
Of course, we have had to make
sacrifices in our eating habits too. We made several replacements in the oil
and cereals, like switching over to olive oil, replacing white rice with brown
rice and same with bread, totally cutting out the aerated drinks from our
refrigerator and replacing it with fruit juices. Of course, along with the
kids, it made our health better too.
We even took pains to educate our
kids on the harms of unhealthy food but never totally cut it off from their
menu. We never made them swear off cookies, cakes, ice-creams, pizzas, pastas
and burgers forever, but we made it pretty clear that it would not find part of
their daily staple either.

And apart from all these eating
habits, we ensured that we give our kids the required dosage of Chyawanprash
every single day. In fact, their intake of Chyawanprash continues to this day,
even after they have grown up to be healthy teenagers. We always had understood
that when we need to have our children fight against germs like bacteria and
viruses, which are almost everywhere, we need to keep their immunity system
strengthened and what better choice for it than Chyawanprash, which is a time
tested age-old formulation containing Amla, considered as one of the best
antioxidants, apart from various other herbs.
When I talk about Chyawanprash,
the one and only brand which comes to my mind is Dabur, the leaders in this. I
am an absolute fan of this product having personally seen my children have this
every day and grow up to be healthy kids. I am of the belief that Dabur
Chyawanprash contains the anti-oxidant properties which help to strengthen our
body’s internal defence mechanism, i.e. the immune system, thereby protecting
us from day to day infections and help us lead and healthy life.
 I fully agree with the Company’s claim that
the Dabur Chyawanprash’s magnificient brew of Ayurvedic herbs strengthens the
body’s natural defence mechanism by stimulating our natural killer cells which
in turn assists in fighting with virus and bacteria in our body, thus giving us
increased immunity from various infections.
Let me conclude my saying that
when we try to inculcate good and healthy eating habits in our children, we
need to start at a very early age. I would also say that it may be possible
that sometimes our children may not react positively at first and we just need
to take it as their behavior matters and sooner than later the kids will follow
their parents’ lead.
And once you are involved in it, you would realise how a healthy child makes a happy family.

The details of the benefits of Dabur
Chyawanprash, courtesy and

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