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Dear, I hate you!!!
 Suchismita Sahu  
 11 March 2018  

District 92, Division D Toastmaster Humorous Speech Contest, Second Runner up: My Humorous speechTitle: Dear, I hate you!!!Opening:I’m lazy and I know itAt this rate I’ll never get fitPeople are afraid of heightsI am afraid of widthsOh my soul, be thou quietThis is not ‘another diet’Just a program of exchangeThough some things do seem strangeRaw vegetables and ‘brock-o-lee’Does not sound too good to meLots of tofu and bean sproutsWhile my empty stomach shoutsThe meaning here is quite plain;This program is designed for painMy hands are sweating, my soul is dreadingI must keep this thing from spreadingBody: Good Afternoon obese guests, overweight toastmasters and frustrated corpulent Judges…“Sorry, I am in relationship with food” this was my answer whenever any guy was approaching me till that fine one romantic rainy evening!!!I was waiting in front of the doctor’s room. As usual, the doctor approached with the report after a looooong hour wait.Giving a wicked look, he said “I have a bad news & a good news. What should come first?”I thought for a while & questioned him “Mr. Doctor. Is the bad news too bad? Or is the good news too good”.He answered, “Dear Suchi, the bad news is going to be tragic & the good news will bring a ray of hope in your life”. After gathering some courage, I told the doctor “Sir. Bad news first”.“This is not to dishearten you, but according to your reports your weight is going out of control now. Your body is blowing like a balloon. You are overweight by 25 kg!” Hearing this, first tear broke free from my eyes, the rest followed in an unbroken stream.Trying to console me, the doctor said “Darling. There is a good news too. This disease of obesity which is haunting you now is totally curable. You are very lucky to be diagnosed well on time. It would have been very difficult if you showed during the final stage”. I was amazed at the doctor’s wonderful statement about my life-threatening disease!!! I collected my reports & walked back home. What is the reason of getting more and more of those tiny creatures, who live in my closet and sew my clothes a liitle bit tighter every night…calories?Then the coolest place of my house having food carrying capacity of 10 peoples…my refrigerator gave a smile at me!!! whenever i lose some weight, i used to get it back in my refrigerator!!!I wish losing weight would be as easier for me as losing my keys, watch, hair rubber band, temper & even mind.” Instead of blaming myself my heart said “Dear, You are not overweight, you are just under tall!!!”.Then, I decided to have a fight between food & me. Everything is fair in love & war & this was a war. I had to win. “A healthy diet for a healthy body”, “You are what you eat”, “Whatever your problem is, your answer is not in fridge” I collected all motivational quotes for dieting & started placing them on my cupboard, my room walls, even on my refrigerator door.Then I started googling “How to lose weight”. There were unbelievable suggestions. A kind lady in one of her articles claimed that she lost 20 pounds in a month by writing 3 pages daily.So, my dear dispirited plumpy audience, you can imagine who is the inspiring hero behind my becoming a blogger!!!I try to remove all things those make me fat…like scales, mirrors and photographs!!! Conclusion: Dear mirthless TMs, rejected Guests and long faced Judges!!!After a passionate, enthusiastic follow up of my diet plan, the day of test match came, when I had to attend a big fat wedding party. Sweets were looking mesmerized in many colorful, fancy dresses. A dark red cherry was smiling at me sitting on the top of triple story frosted cake.“New body is under construction. Please let me go.” I turned backwards only to see hot, delicious, mouthwatering chocolate sizzler on the table. The enemy was very strong & well equipped, while I was handling an unequipped one-woman army. I fall prey to my food desire. “Dear my favorite foods. Things are not going to work between us. It’s not me. It’s you. You are detrimental, disastrous and deleterious!!!” I lie on the floor completely dead for few minutes. I stood up & I rushed to the front table, where a range of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and unsalted seeds, nuts were kept!!! The toughest part of DIET is not watching what you eat. Its watching what other people eat!!! But! I had conquered all the toughest parts related to DIET. So dear friends, how many of you is having courage to hate all the enemies related to DIET and to say  ”Good Bye Dear, I don’t want you in my life anymore!!!”  

Are teenagers really a 'mess'?
 Diksha Yadav  
 20 April 2018  

Taking a little hiatus to their lives. We never forget what a mess we were at 16! A big group of friends or no friends at all, being a bully or getting bullied, a friendly person or an introvert who were never in love with their voice. Maybe? Faking smiles or laughing all day long, Dried eyes or dove eyes, racing with the wind at the speed of light, classmates who were irritating before, started residung in the hearts! trying to cover acne, carefree yet insecure about themselves, shot up hormones, distancing themselves from parents, intriguing or rather, questions at every step, looking at the world through a different lens. Undoubtedly, teenage life is the most confusing phase of one's life. How desperatelywe wished to relive those years and change them or live them again? That chapter of life, we all agree was no cake walk but surviving it and living it creating memories seems to be a victory in itself. It looks like a crucial step in the evolution of man which made us strong was this silly age. It seems to shape our present and that is quite a generalized statement. Isn't it?Teens question everything. Yes, even if they have google! It doesn't matter. They will always be in denial. They keep oscillating and floundering in their likes and dislikes. All in all, most of the Indian adults don't know how to bait their rebellious kids. They keep lecturing them which is usually right but the young ignited mind feels the anguish, hatred and obviously, the feeling of being misunderstood.It is okay, teens! you all are hastily running towards your dream, expecting a rise while nature awaits for your great fall!Yes, you will hit the wall just when you were expecting a door!Integrity without even getting noticed will turn you into a cruel satirist! wait for it! until your next fall which will again turn you into a humble person, or, maybe not? Rise- fall- Rise. We all learn from these years. Lots of Food and strange FolksRegular laughing at our own jokes. Fake friends, real friends, BFFs, bf, gf, mum, paa, and teacher with some funny nicknames. The depth of relations is measured by the length of the abbreviations. Validation of the outside world becomes supreme, often influencing your own decisions? Every day looks like the next moment of Insidious! Disappearing dreams, nightmares becoming reality perfectly blending with the virtual world. Basically, several old frames chuckling up to enter the world of transitions. MESS is one word and Embracing it becomes a necessity.  You wish to pull the strings all along but instead gets pulled up by the world!?! Till then you figure out yourself, let me leave you wondering about HAPPY ADULTING!?!

All about ebazaar
 StoryMirror Feed  
 21 May 2018  

StoryMirror interviewed Viral Thakker and spoke about his venture eBZaar. Here is what he has to say.Q. Tell us about yourself and your backgroundI (Viral Thakker) have 13 years of corporate experience (prior to starting up), primarily as a corporate banker (Relationship Manager) working at ICICI, HSBC and JPMorgan amongst others and managing a portfolio of Fortune 500 companies, top 10 Indian Conglomerates and top 10 PSUs. After completing my Chartered Accountant course, I had a stint in internal & process audits, though business (sales) was always my calling. Audit happened by chance (or brutally put for incorrect guidance and then lack of opportunity) and a Sales role was by choice. My last role was an Executive Director at JPMorgan providing Trade Finance and Working Capital Loan solutions to clients North and East India markets.I also have 20yrs+ of experience as a grocery retailer, in a family business. Have first-hand experience as a milk delivery boy to procurement, selling at the cash counter, keeping track of margins, SKUs, what inventory to push and how to build a loyal customer base built on customer service and trust.Q.What is your life's greatest dream?To be atop Mount Everest and to travel the world. Q. What's is your business all about?eBZaar.com sells fruits, grocery, mithai, cakes, flowers, meat, sea food etc. eBZaar.com makes daily shopping easy and rewarding for the consumer. While daily shopping has many inconveniences, it is no secret that customers love their local stores who provide the right quality, the right products and the right price points. eBZaar empowers these local stores to come online. We provide them a free of cost digital store to help them sell to online customers. At the same time, customers get to buy all their varied grocery at one place, in an online avatar and with all conveniences of online shopping added. In other words, it customers are buying from a real world store but without the need to visit the store.Q. What are its main features and USP?The main feature is that eBZaar allows customers to shop from her own stores  - that same quality, same price, same reliability. But now that her life is digital, she also sees the store in her digital world, available 24X7, better price discovery, improved product discovery and a uniform shopping experience.As soon as customer enters the platform, she inputs delivery address and her nearby stores are shown to her. She selects the store, shops from the store and checks out.We simply build upon the loyalty and trust that a customer already has with her favourite local store and add the digital layer; you can say we bring back the choice of products, quality and price points back to the customer; a factor that many large ecommerce offerings overlook.eBZaar also ensures that only your well known and trusted stores are on-boarded onto its platform, yes we have a curation process. This has been one of the success factors in our internal metrics which perform better then some industry averages.Q. What inspires you?To make a mark, to leave a legacy, to not give up, to make it happen – that is very inspiration to me. Sports stories and war stories of fighting out the odds inspires me. Towards, I see Entrepreneurship as an opportunity to make a real world large impact, to make the world a better place. And retail transformation is a chosen space due to my background.Entrepreneurship was always lurking as part of my aspiration as much as banking as a career. As I set about doing my research, I figured that the technology space was evolving rapidly, the big tech eComm players were becoming big, offering huge discounts to force customers to move online. The rate of technology adoption by consumers has been much higher compared to a retail stores. I realized that the retailer has failed to keep pace in the embracing technology, and if this continued, it will become a matter of survival for them.From the context of running a family grocery business for 25 years, I obviously had a lot of passion for this segment, and pull of retail was inherent in my thought process. I could feel and see their potential pain, this was most inspiration as I quit JPMorgan to set out on my own.The shopkeepers or the banyas are otherwise a very smart set of people. Sooner or later, they’d realise the need for online strategy. We decided to make this as our mission - to bring back parity between the tech savvy online consumers and the lesser evolved local stores, connecting them both on a single online platform. The obvious question was: What if I could add a layer of technology to create convenience on top of the existing trust and goodwill already built by the local kirana stores? Thus eBZaar was conceived. Beyond mere survival, it helps local retailer to also compete effectively in the digital world. I had always wanted to grow our family business manifold in to a big organised set of retail stores, after all as a Gujarati, business is in my DNA. And so our mission was formed, a mission of connecting a 100 thousand stores to more then 10million customers in next few years, using tech & online marketing for the digital transformation in retailQ. How do you want to see yourself 5 years from now?eBZaar is on a mission to connect million of stores of 100 million online customers in a few years time. While our current focus in Mumbai – the home market, in 5 years we should have completed our roll out to top 15 cities. Apart, we are working on a few additional tech products to create the desired transformational impact on the retail segment.Find them on Facebook.com/ebzaar , Instagram, twitter and google+.

Interview With Revathi Raj Iyer
 Ayushi A Nair  
 21 June 2018  

Revathi Raj Iyer is a freelance writer, book reviewer, company director, service volunteer and yoga/fitness enthusiast. Professionally qualified as Company Secretary (India & New Zealand) with legal background, she has worked in the corporate field for over a decade. Bombay is her hometown and Baroda her abode after marriage. When she moved to Fiji Islands, she bid adieu to a rewarding career with a multinational to become a full time mum and pursue her twin passions, yoga and writing. She worked as lecturer of Laws at the University of Fiji. Living between NZ and Fiji, she pursued writing and yoga training and continues her passion after moving to India. She lives in Ahmedabad, India and has completed her next book which is a collection of short stories. Her dream is to write books for children.A couple of easy questions to begin with…First off,  What inspired you to write “My Friendship with Yoga”?Physical activity was dominant in my life right from an early age, as a trained classical dancer, which continued until my late twenties. Thereafter it took a back seat, when I became engrossed with my career together with being hands-on mum to a lovely little daughter alongside other demands that needed my attention. However, things changed when we moved to Fiji Islands, and I got back into fitness with intense aerobics and strength training. As destiny would have it, a disciple of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar was deputed to Fiji to introduce this ancient tradition to the people of Fiji. Yoga was at my door step and I embraced it with heartfelt love. I started writing my yoga journal. One fine day, I decided to give a formal structure to my jottings to reach out to a wider audience. As I wrote the book I had no idea of the publishing process, but I was focussed on my goal. “My Friendship with Yoga” thus took shape and was launched on the 10th January, 2017 at the New Delhi World Book Fair. Thanks to Lifi Publications for making this happen!How do you see writing, as a hobby or a passion?I find writing very therapeutic and it also makes me happy. It is passion that drives me to enter that lonely space, which I beautify with words, plot and characters to create a story.Is yoga a way of life or a way to exercise and meditateYoga and meditation are a way of life for a holistic and healthy lifestyle. It is not instant therapy or about perfecting the postures. It is much more than that.  One has to go through a process of learning – patiently and persistently; and observe the changes it brings about in oneself.Please tell us some more about your debut novel?“My Friendship with Yoga” is about my progression from learning under an instructor to achieving confidence in self-practice and sharing my varied experiences with readers. I have presented the complicated aspects of yoga in a lucid style with practical hints so as to cater book lovers of all age groups and skill levels. The book is divided into three parts:Narrative which combines the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of yoga, wherein a selection of topics along with interesting anecdotes have been coveredThe 2nd Part has more than 80 postures with steps to attain these, guidelines, tips, techniques and benefits; keeping in mind yoga enthusiasts, beginners as well as those who have been practising yoga.The 3rd Part consists of the much desired weekly practice schedule written sequentially with clear instructions to enhance one’s practice.What has yoga done for you as a person?Yoga has helped me to deal with a given situation in a pragmatic and dispassionate manner. It has enabled me to let go of the past and negative emotions, be more positive and result-oriented and direct my energies towards my creative pursuit and other commitments. Yoga has certainly helped in making me acknowledge and appreciate the choices I have made so far, and offered me a healthier and more content lifestyle.What sort of research did you do to write this book?I have been reading books on yoga, but “My Friendship with Yoga,” is the outcome of my entire learning process, from the disciple of BKS Iyengar and instructors from the West. My effort was to present the complicated aspects of yoga in simple language that would appeal to readers of all age groups and skill levels. Yoga is not about perfection as different bodies react in a certain way to a certain posture. To that end, my thought process kept evolving during the entire course of my writing. I made several drafts until I was fully satisfied that I had done justice to my work. For each and every asana which has been illustrated in the book, I consciously performed them and wrote down the steps. Every single breath, every movement, position, the sequence had to be accurate.How did you come up with the title of the book “My Friendship with yoga”?It came straight from the heart; in fact I did not falter or ponder over the title. I began writing this book with its title in place. The title was a reminder to simplify yoga and it guided me in writing a user and reader friendly book, which has been appreciated by the reviewers and readers. Fortunately, my publishers were also happy with the title and did not suggest any changes.Besides writing, what else do you do in your free time?Besides writing and reading books; I practice yoga, support my publisher in the promotion of my book, review books for Muse India, handle professional commitment as Director of a company, travel and spend time with my family. I love to bake and cook, and feel delighted when the outcome exceeds my expectations Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?I don’t recall the title of the first book, but I started off with the Enid Blyton series, followed by Agatha Christie.Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?My mum read a lot and I would accompany her to the local lending library. She was not pushy but I gradually picked up the habit and enjoyed those evening walks to the library after school, with my best friend. She will get nostalgic when she reads this!What are your top three favorite books of all time?It is hard to pick just 3, as I have so many favorites. Hmmm….. The Little Prince, Kite Runner, Reluctant Fundamentalist, Namesake…As a new author, what is your favorite part of the writing/ publishing process? Least favorite.My favorite part is the writing itself and working hand-in-glove with the publishers; the book launch being the icing on the cake. My least favorite part is to face rejections without knowing the reason for it, after waiting for months to hear from publishers.What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?To understand the pure essence and simplicity of yoga, without feeling intimidated or inadequateAs mentioned in the book, “Yoga is not about perfection. It is a very enjoyable bonding with our body and mind that teaches us to be resilient and patient.”I would like you to share something about yourself with the readers. Something that does not go in the about the author section something that is the real you?I dream a lot and wish that all my dreams came true, hahaha…And finally, A message for aspiring writers?“Rejections are a part of the whole process of being ultimately accepted and acknowledged, as a writer. Please do not give up, no matter what, and pursue your passion, despite the road blocks. Think of the book lovers and connect with them. Write for them and the passion will always be with you.”Thank you. It was really a privilege interviewing you. Hope you enjoyed the interview. Links to buy the book- Amazon.in Amazon.com FlipkartWrite to her at chirminey@gmail.com

Interview With Revathi Raj Iyer
 Ayushi A Nair  
 21 June 2018  

Revathi Raj Iyer is a freelance writer, book reviewer, company director, service volunteer and yoga/fitness enthusiast. Professionally qualified as Company Secretary (India & New Zealand) with legal background, she has worked in the corporate field for over a decade. Bombay is her hometown and Baroda her abode after marriage. When she moved to Fiji Islands, she bid adieu to a rewarding career with a multinational to become a full time mum and pursue her twin passions, yoga and writing. She worked as lecturer of Laws at the University of Fiji. Living between NZ and Fiji, she pursued writing and yoga training and continues her passion after moving to India. She lives in Ahmedabad, India and has completed her next book which is a collection of short stories. Her dream is to write books for children.A couple of easy questions to begin with…First off,  What inspired you to write “My Friendship with Yoga”?Physical activity was dominant in my life right from an early age, as a trained classical dancer, which continued until my late twenties. Thereafter it took a back seat, when I became engrossed with my career together with being hands-on mum to a lovely little daughter alongside other demands that needed my attention. However, things changed when we moved to Fiji Islands, and I got back into fitness with intense aerobics and strength training. As destiny would have it, a disciple of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar was deputed to Fiji to introduce this ancient tradition to the people of Fiji. Yoga was at my door step and I embraced it with heartfelt love. I started writing my yoga journal. One fine day, I decided to give a formal structure to my jottings to reach out to a wider audience. As I wrote the book I had no idea of the publishing process, but I was focussed on my goal. “My Friendship with Yoga” thus took shape and was launched on the 10th January, 2017 at the New Delhi World Book Fair. Thanks to Lifi Publications for making this happen!How do you see writing, as a hobby or a passion?I find writing very therapeutic and it also makes me happy. It is passion that drives me to enter that lonely space, which I beautify with words, plot and characters to create a story.Is yoga a way of life or a way to exercise and meditateYoga and meditation are a way of life for a holistic and healthy lifestyle. It is not instant therapy or about perfecting the postures. It is much more than that.  One has to go through a process of learning – patiently and persistently; and observe the changes it brings about in oneself.Please tell us some more about your debut novel?“My Friendship with Yoga” is about my progression from learning under an instructor to achieving confidence in self-practice and sharing my varied experiences with readers. I have presented the complicated aspects of yoga in a lucid style with practical hints so as to cater book lovers of all age groups and skill levels. The book is divided into three parts:Narrative which combines the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of yoga, wherein a selection of topics along with interesting anecdotes have been coveredThe 2nd Part has more than 80 postures with steps to attain these, guidelines, tips, techniques and benefits; keeping in mind yoga enthusiasts, beginners as well as those who have been practising yoga.The 3rd Part consists of the much desired weekly practice schedule written sequentially with clear instructions to enhance one’s practice.What has yoga done for you as a person?Yoga has helped me to deal with a given situation in a pragmatic and dispassionate manner. It has enabled me to let go of the past and negative emotions, be more positive and result-oriented and direct my energies towards my creative pursuit and other commitments. Yoga has certainly helped in making me acknowledge and appreciate the choices I have made so far, and offered me a healthier and more content lifestyle.What sort of research did you do to write this book?I have been reading books on yoga, but “My Friendship with Yoga,” is the outcome of my entire learning process, from the disciple of BKS Iyengar and instructors from the West. My effort was to present the complicated aspects of yoga in simple language that would appeal to readers of all age groups and skill levels. Yoga is not about perfection as different bodies react in a certain way to a certain posture. To that end, my thought process kept evolving during the entire course of my writing. I made several drafts until I was fully satisfied that I had done justice to my work. For each and every asana which has been illustrated in the book, I consciously performed them and wrote down the steps. Every single breath, every movement, position, the sequence had to be accurate.How did you come up with the title of the book “My Friendship with yoga”?It came straight from the heart; in fact I did not falter or ponder over the title. I began writing this book with its title in place. The title was a reminder to simplify yoga and it guided me in writing a user and reader friendly book, which has been appreciated by the reviewers and readers. Fortunately, my publishers were also happy with the title and did not suggest any changes.Besides writing, what else do you do in your free time?Besides writing and reading books; I practice yoga, support my publisher in the promotion of my book, review books for Muse India, handle professional commitment as Director of a company, travel and spend time with my family. I love to bake and cook, and feel delighted when the outcome exceeds my expectations Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?I don’t recall the title of the first book, but I started off with the Enid Blyton series, followed by Agatha Christie.Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?My mum read a lot and I would accompany her to the local lending library. She was not pushy but I gradually picked up the habit and enjoyed those evening walks to the library after school, with my best friend. She will get nostalgic when she reads this!What are your top three favorite books of all time?It is hard to pick just 3, as I have so many favorites. Hmmm….. The Little Prince, Kite Runner, Reluctant Fundamentalist, Namesake…As a new author, what is your favorite part of the writing/ publishing process? Least favorite.My favorite part is the writing itself and working hand-in-glove with the publishers; the book launch being the icing on the cake. My least favorite part is to face rejections without knowing the reason for it, after waiting for months to hear from publishers.What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?To understand the pure essence and simplicity of yoga, without feeling intimidated or inadequateAs mentioned in the book, “Yoga is not about perfection. It is a very enjoyable bonding with our body and mind that teaches us to be resilient and patient.”I would like you to share something about yourself with the readers. Something that does not go in the about the author section something that is the real you?I dream a lot and wish that all my dreams came true, hahaha…And finally, A message for aspiring writers?“Rejections are a part of the whole process of being ultimately accepted and acknowledged, as a writer. Please do not give up, no matter what, and pursue your passion, despite the road blocks. Think of the book lovers and connect with them. Write for them and the passion will always be with you.”Thank you. It was really a privilege interviewing you. Hope you enjoyed the interview. Links to buy the book- Amazon.in Amazon.com FlipkartWrite to her at chirminey@gmail.com

The value of Special Event Videography
 Leona Zoey  
 1 November 2018  

Despite the fact that we are now living in a digital age where more than two thirds of the adult population carry a smartphone, there is still great value to be had from hiring the professional services of an experienced videographer to film your special event, whether that be a corporate event or a notable family event that you want to capture for posterity.In this world of Instagram and throw-away snaps on our phones, hardly any of those taken are even looked at following an event, or even downloaded to print out!Within the visual industry, you will find some very talented and creative professionals that can turn photograph and films into a work of art. They plan out amazing ideas and execute them in a way that leads to delivering some spectacular work.Corporate event videographyUnless you have someone with these creative and clever capabilities present, your event will be just a moment in time that will be gone forever if you don't document it properly. Shooting professional footage of your corporate event can come in very handy. You can use the material to help tell a story or sell your company to prospective business partners and raise awareness of your brand.You can use your film footage to help captivate and entice a target audience that you want to attract to your company, whether that is to work with or sell to. If you are trying to raise money at the same time as running an event, then having a winning film of your event can help to boost ticket sales for the next event you plan to hold.Simply relying on using captured footage from staff smartphones to use for your marketing or to tell a story and document the event can end up looking bitty and unprofessional. What sort of image or first impression will you give to prospective business partners or customers if you don't approach running and documenting your events in a professional manner?Without quality film of your even, you cannot show how impressive or fun it was. You will be unable to show specific elements to potential sponsors, delegates and speakers.Important family eventsJust like in the corporate world, you cannot rely on gathering any useful or quality film footage from your friends and relatives that take snaps and videos of your family event using their smartphones.Whether it is a milestone wedding anniversary, a baby Christening or naming ceremony, engagement party or a celebration for a significant birthday, if you want to keep some treasured memories alive for years to come, hiring a professional videographer is the way to do it properly.Remember that just because everyone owns a smartphone these days, doesn't mean that everyone has suddenly become an expert videographer overnight! Just because your mum can bake a fantastic fruit cake doesn't mean that she could cater a whole wedding with 250 sit-down guests!The old saying of 'horses for courses' really still applies with videography as well as other skilled creative services. Book a professional if you want to benefit from good results. To know more visit our website.