Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Parachute Advansed Body Lotion - Bring Back The Touch-analysis

When I
first came across the below video, I thought this is your typical cheesy
marketing promotional video. But the video moved me enough to write this post,
as it outlines how a busy husband can forget emotional attachment (ignoring
romantic music, feeding hand toasted bread to the dog, ignoring wife's visual
cues and instead talking non-stop on the phone), and displays emotional
illiteracy by expecting an enthusiastic goodbye from the wife.  My digital generation is a slave to the
smartphone generation, but such videos do make one think about what we are all
doing it for. When the wife needs to resort to touching her husband to make him
realize the depth of her emotion, then clearly something is amiss in the

The video
is also at , or search the
hashtag #BringBackTheTouch. The manufacturer Marico (the famous Parachute
brand) claims to have ‘rekindled romance’ in many a consumers lives, since it
uses 100% natural moisturizers to transform the skin within 7 days.
Personally, I do not gun for ads which condition
people’s happiness on using beauty products. That, is emotional exploitation in
my view, like a certain deodorant brand which claims to make men irresistible
to women. But considering the sensitiveness of this ad, and that it does the
voiceover only at the end, it is worth a watch, both for the tastefulness in
which it puts forth the point, as also for the social message it conveys. This
might not spark the controversy like in the Airtel ‘Boss’ ad, but this has all
the makings of a sleeping blockbuster hit in the ad world.
From the product perspective, parachute is
associated with hair oil, and maybe this is their effort to diversify into
skincare via brand extensions instead of merely relying on the Kaya brand.

Post marriage, people may tend to let themselves
go-bad tendency but possible, and this advertisement is a subtle reminder that
one should maintain themselves post marriage also. This of course holds for
both sexes. Bringing back the charm into relationships, especially when the
honeymoon phase is over, needs constant effort.  Quickies like shopping, candlelight dinners,
outings are short term fixes, but in my view, a constant effort from both sides
is necessary to avoid the seven year itch(or nowadays even the 7 month itch!). And
of course, work-life balance, as blatantly violated in the video, needs to give
way to quality time, atleast at those vital moments when both partners are in
the same place.  

My dream 24K home with Porcelanosa

Indiblogger HappyHours has really made me happy this week, with 2 vouchers in succession. When I noticed that Porcelanosa had sponsored this happy hours contest to mark their Indian launch via Kolhe Patil builders, it did intrigue me. After all, why would Indians go for porceline (which is seen largely in Home Centre outlets/roadside), and why did it choose Kolhe Patil as the builder to launch instead of the more upmarket Lodha group? While going through the site, I figured out that the builder had successfully created a premium location in Pune, via its philosophy of design thinking, and delivering a WOW factor to the customer on 24 key attributes(thus 24K living). This is also a clever word play on the 24k gold quality mark, known to most Indians! Anyways, that seemingly clear for me now, the next point is how to furnish the house which I intend to buy sometime soon? Locality seems metro only-Mumbai, Bangalore or Chennai. These being humid places and expensive too, the interiors really matter. From the Porcelanosa catalogue, following items meet my interest level for the reasons as follows

1) Floor tiling via Linkfloor- This is a vinyl flooring with a high resistance to abrasion, impacts, damp, staining and chemical agents. This seems to have the appearance of wood, yet easy to lay and resistance to dust mites. Also, this is anti slip proof, so ideal when elderly people visit or stay over.  The 15 year warranty, is the icing on the cake
2) Wall tiling via Natural Stone-Besides the usual advantages of stone tiles, this has the added advantage of also having  an innovative nanotechnology treatment that is applied to stone to give it added antibacterial properties. This has the health advantage also, even if dampness on walls happens due to water leakage etc.
3)Bathrooms-Shower screens for their awesome look/texture/sliding options, sanitaryware for the  upto 25% saving in water consumption

4)Wardrobes and Accessories-This is often the item taking up the maximum space at homes, and also the item which costs the maximum. In homes costing a bomb for real estate, saving on this space may pay for the furniture itself. Therefore, the professed advantage of Porcelanosa producing wardrobes and dressing rooms with endless types of drawers and accessories for the perfect lay-out and storage of the belongings, is a great idea.

All these items in collection would ensure that there is a holistic theme running through the home, of quality, elder friendly, healthy, easy to maintain and superb design. This would confer on the home a premium feel, similar to 24k living I suppose.  And given that interiors typically cost 10%-20% of the house cost, this additional premium would not push up the normal rates too much. For more information, do visit

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Toilet for Babli

During his independence day address, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi encouraged the members of Parliament and the corporate sector to ensure that there “should be a toilet in all the schools of our country. A separate toilet for is only then our girls will not have to quit schools”. Socially, anatomically and from security aspect, it is essential for girls to have separate toilets. With the high school drop out ratios at primary level even for males, and increasing unemployment rates of educated youth it is already a challenge to persuade parents to send their children for education. For the girl child, this becomes more difficult when there are no dedicated toilets for them in school leaving open defecation as the only alternative to embarrassment in shared toilets. Also, apart from open defecation within the school compound, girls would need to stay at home during menstruation as they have nowhere to manage their requirements, hence this would lead to secondary drop out rates near the crucial period of Board exams.
Under a proposal from Nitin Gadkari, rural households without sanitation will get Rs. 15,000 each for constructing toilets while schools will get Rs. 54,000 for same purpose. When passed, this will really empower women and schools. As per an article from Waterraid(, the resulting unhealthy environments from open defecation  have terrible health impacts, particularly for children: over 200,000 die yearly due to diarrhoea and nearly half (48%) of under fives are stunted. It highlights also that there have been well intentioned campaigns in the past which have spectacularly failed  and that the number of open defecators in rural India increased by 40mn from Census 2001 to Census 2011.  Also, another study[1]  shows that rural coverage had reached 68% in 2011 – up from 22% in 2001 whereas census data showed that real coverage was only 31% thereby implying that only one in five latrines reportedly constructed since 2001 were in place in 2011.
What can we do to ensure that this time it works? First we will need to ensure that behaviours are changed via training, since students may be used to open defecation at home, and should be comfortable using closed latrines in schools. Also, there need to be budgets for the resultant spend on maintenance and upkeep(cleaning equipment, water supply, electricity).Also, toilet design should be eco-friendly and easy to maintain, without the dehumanizing practice of manual scavenging which is outlawed. Involving the local community in design and construction(via NREGA) would ensure that toilets are actually used by the target segment, instead of lying unused. We have the example of the post earthquake homes in Kutch which were not used as they did not meet the local needs of elevated kitchen platform etc. So one should not commit these mistakes. Looping in Sulabh International via PPP(with school fees footing the user charges), could be another good idea. HUL has announced the Domix Toilet Academy, an effort to build 2400 toilets by 2015, in partnership with local SHGs, and in areas of real need instead of just high visibility areas. Do help this noble cause by visiting


Saturday, November 8, 2014

A healthy child leads to a happy home

When I received the Indiablogger email blast about Happy hours, it reminded me to start blogging again. And what more incentive than a possible Rs 1,000 flipkart voucher to get started again?

 I got hooked to reading as a kid when after school; I preferred to curl up on a sofa with a book, instead of playing with friends outside. That lack of outdoors physical activity did lead to a few extra pounds in school, but thanks to products like Horlicks, Boost, Boornvita and Chyawanprash, my immune system did not take a beating. 

Kids don't like medicine, and I was certainly no exception. Despite all the ads of 'Taste bhi health bhi' for Maggi etc, my parents never preferred noodles/fast food instead focusing on nutritional food like Chyawanprash which actually ensured 'Taste bhi health bhi'-that original tagline credit should go to them, as the sweet-sour taste and jam consistency, means it can be taken directly or with milk/bread, without losing its nutritional properties. Such nutritional spreads protected me from cough/cold in school days. After that, I took a break from all health food, till recently when I was down with the common cold/flu in Delhi and Mumbai. At that time, I realized I had to rebuild my immune system to avoid the 'Kejriwal cough’:D. And what better than to restart a course of Chyawanprash? It comes in many more variants including even a sugar free version.

Thankfully, after restarting the sugar free version of Chyawanprash (I don't have diabetes but why take the risk?), my cold/cough is a thing of the past, and despite being exposed to pollution day in/day out (an inherent risk of living in a metro), and my immune system is no longer taking a beating. Despite how much my lifestyle stretches my health to the fullest(think sedentary lifestyle/odd hours for food), the immunity bank was built up so excellently as a kid, that even as an adult, I rarely fall ill, and recover quickly from ailments. And this keeps my parents from worrying about how their son is doing away from home. So indeed, my being a healthy child, led to a happy home as a kid (no missing school due to small ailments: D), and even as an adult where they do not need to worry about my health.  As the company puts it in the link referenced above Dabur Chyawanprash’s magnificent brew of Ayurvedic herbs strengthens the body’s natural defence mechanism by stimulating your NK cells* (Natural Killer Cells). NK cells assist in fighting with virus and bacteria in your body, thus giving us increased immunity from various infections


Medical insurance rarely covers visits to OPD or cases involving treatment for infections/fevers/flu, which can involve a sizeable hit to your wallet. So in inflationary times, do protect your family’s health and financial future by inter-alia, incorporating health food like Chyawanprash in your normal diet. And do give them to kids early on for a sustained period so that they develop a taste for it later, and more importantly, are able to live their childhood to the fullest without missing out on activities for medical reasons. When children are able to become all-rounders, that satisfies them and their parents the most than just being sports jocks/nerds. For more information on doing this through health foods , you can go to this link which does go beyond mere product information, to actually educate the customer on how to take it.