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Sunday, December 16, 2012

My sticky smelly herbal mix for straight hair (?)

Perfect straight hair !!

For a person who is having a wavy, curly hair, straight hair sounds like a farfetched dream all the time !

Whenever I see a person who has a shiny smooth and straight hair I go green. Seeing that damned oh-so-perfect straight hair behaves well even in windy and hot days makes me want to kick something/someone hard !!

Thus  started my lonnnnng search.

I came to know 2 things from my extended research.
     1. Most Indians have wavy, curly hair , but they all long for and would give anything to get a perfect straight hair. Aww…talk abt dreams…!
     2. They all have tried various mentionable and unmentionable crazy, weird, bizarre methods to get this straight hair. But…were they successful ?

I forgot to ask this most important question when I tried a proven [?!!] method recommended by my Rajasthaani friend.

Fenugreek was soaked overnight. It looked kind of sticky in the morning. I grounded it into a fine paste. Added 3 days old curd & black tea !

As per the strict instructions, I transferred the mix in to an iron bowl and let it rest for another 6 hours .
After 6 hours….
Tthe ‘magic mix’ was ready.

Awww…when I lifted the lid…urgh….the yucky smell emanating from that iron bowl made me snap my mouth shut…! I tried hard not to breathe in that awful smell by stopping breathing altogether…but ended up taking too many deep breaths!

I was so perturbed by this time, I called my Rajasthaani friend again and complained to her.

She asked me one simple, but the most important question.
‘Do you want straight hair or not?’

I put the phone down and gone back to my magic mix with a reassured, renewed resolve.
The mix was extremely sticky & gut wrenchingly smelly.

I shut down my olfactory and applied the mix on my hair and kept it for 2 hours.

I started a litany ‘No pain..No gain’

By this time, the entire house started smelling like a big, over flowing garbage box which was not emptied for a whole month!
No pain..No gain….

Dad gave me a pitying look and left the house in a hurry.
No pain..No gain…

Mom asked me not to come out of my room.
No pain..No gain…

Maid developed a sudden headache and disappeared.
No pain..No gain..

My brother made puking noises and most of them seemed real.
No pain..No gain..

I tied a scented towel tightly around my nose and continued with my litany ‘No pain..No gain..

Atlaaaaast….the damned clock reached it’s 2 hour completion .

By this time..my hair felt like a dried face pack .. hard…dry...glued to my scalp !!

I was like ‘how am I going to remove all this yucky mucky stuff from my dear scalp..?
‘Dear’ scalp ? ..oh dear ….!!

I was terrified, & panicked…
I called the universal panacea for all our ills 
MOM )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
She came running .

She gave one look..pushed me into the bathroom…filled a bucket with warm water..thrust my head into it.

After a 5 minutes torture of sitting in that position with my head in the bucket, my magic mix started to lose its death grip on my hair and scalp.

Now the bathtub was filled with soothing warm water. Again I was pushed into it. Now it’s my Mom’s turn for litany …but abusive in nature !

"இனிமே அவ சொன்னா இவ சொன்னான்னு எதாவது இந்தமாதிரி கிறுக்குத்தனமா பண்ணுன ...உன்ன கொன்னுடுவேன் " !

My head was pushed this way and that way…with all the vigorous shampooing along with the BGM of abusive litany.

உன்னால வேலைக்காரி வேற ஓடிபோய்ட்டாளே...நீதான் அந்த வேலையெல்லாம் பார்க்கணும் ...சொல்லிட்டேன் !

‘Mom …I meowed…

வாயை மூடு ! [ Shut up! ]

Ouch !

After another 30 minutes of shampooing and washing with a very very ‘healthy’ dose of loving advises , I came out of the bathroom like an exhausted warrior!

I went straight to the mirror.

‘Mirror Mirror on the wall..who has the prettiest, perfect straight hair of them all?’


My hair…my beautiful, shiny, hair…
It still looked wavy …in fact more wavy & curly!!!

No harm done!... Mom declared and was beaming like a Christmas tree…

Come and help me in spraying the whole house with air freshener! .....With that biting order,  mom left the room with a satisfied smirk !

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ITC Grand Chola Chennai & Indibloggers Meet

ITC Grand Chola – A palatial grandeur based on Dravidian temple architecture of Chola Dynasty!

ITC Grand Chola Chennai graciously hosted Preview Indiblogger Meet on Oct 28th Saturday.

Gracious, perfect host indeed!

As a specialist in Heritage Interior Design, ITC-Grand Chola always grabbed my attention whenever I crossed that road.  Its awesome grandeur looks at its BEST at night with all the lights strategically placed & lighted, giving it a dreamy, classy, fairytale-like palatial look!!

For Chennai, it has become a Prestigious hold, whereas for the whole of India, it is the mark of highest rank in Hospitality/Hotel Industry.

Built on 1,600,000 sq ft, ITC Grand Chola has 10 floors, 10 Restaurants, 600 rooms including 78 service apartments with parking facility for 1000 cars!

The BEST thing is ITC Grand Chola is the world’s largest LEED [ Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design ] Platinum Certified hotel in the New Construction category !They produce their own wind energy.


The hotel has 4 gates and I chose the last one so that I can drive the full circle…and believe me..My enjoyment and excitement started at that precise moment!

When I entered the lobby, it struck me like any other luxury hotel’s lobby.

The Blogger’s meet was on the 2nd floor in Rajendra Hall…named after the great Chola King Rajendra !

This was my 3rd Indiblogger meet..So, I knew there would be Tweets and fun stuff. But this time all my excitement was about ITC Grand Chola, it’s interiors and the promised guided tour! : P

Photo here..

Mr. Philippe, GM, ITC Grand Chola gave a welcome speech and set the ball rolling..

The much anticipated, much awaited guided tour started after the fun stuff like musical chair, human train and Gangnam dance [of courseJ ]!

Rajendra Banquet Hall:  Interior, color scheme, facilities: 5 Stars +

This is one big, big Ballroom, a palatial one at that covering 45,000 sq ft ! The interesting concept is it is Pillar less!!   This big hall space can be divided into 8 divisions with sound proof collapsible banquet partitions and have 8 different meets/events at the same time! It can accommodate 2400 guests as a whole and even have a separate VIP entrance. Every table is fitted with 4 I pads with Wi Fi connection! PERFECT for Hi Fi Conferences, Meetings , etc. We were informed that it has a large freight elevator which can carry even a limousine weighing 2500 kg ! So..perfect for Auto expos and such !

This ITC Palace has 4 well-equipped Meeting rooms.

High tech Boardroom 'Tanjore': 7 Stars

The high tech Boardroom named “Tanjore” fitted with unbelievable, high-tech, advanced gizmos!  I fell in love with this Boardroom!  Everyone should have a Meeting here just for the sake of it!! A big WOW!

High tea:  Quality of the food and taste: 5 stars

The arrangement of the pastries,  decorative center piece, 50 + varieties of teas , coffees, fruit juices, shakes, snacks, sandwiches, chutneys was so good and inviting !  who could resist such invitation ? we bloggers tasted, devoured, demolished every single variety to our hearts’ content ! Cant say stomach’s content..because stomach was objecting the over-stuffing/ over loading !!

Ms. Meghna acted as our group’s guide and took us to ITC One rooms.

Accommodation: 5 stars +

ITC Grand Chola has 600 rooms & Suites including Grand Presidential Suite ‘Rajaraja Chola’[ 4380 sq ft ], Presidential Suite ‘Karikalan’ [ 3000 sq ft ], ITC One, Tower rooms, Executive Club rooms & Eva rooms !

Accommodation includes 78 one, two, three bedroom Service Apartments  with Gym, Swimming pool along with other services and facilities.

ITC One room was 615 sq ft.  These rooms are designed based on the Pure room concept, that is allergen-free environment!  I found this room compact and the space management was clever. Everything..from Lights to room service , from curtains to door camera,..every single thing can be controlled by I pad. The room is also provided with a small laptop & wi fi . Bath room is the best. Color scheme is pleasant if not extraordinary!

Guests staying in these rooms can also avail the use of the Meeting rooms for limited hours...say 4 hours..! All they need to do is to reserve the boardrooms at the same time when they book the rooms!

EVA Rooms: 7 stars

 These rooms are something special because, an entire wing of the 2nd floor, have been designed exclusively for women travelers!! Even the butlers r ladies in this wing! J This shows how considerate ITC Grand Chola is to their Lady guests. Kudos to u ITC Grand Chola!!

Tanque Bar:  Well equipped Ladies Bar with comfortable seating arrangement.


7 Restaurants : Madras Pavilion[ Indian & International cuisine], Cafe Mercara Express, Nutmeg Gourmet shop, Peshawari[north west foodies] , Ottimo-Cucina Italiana [ Italian cuisine] , The Pan Asian[ Japan, China, Mongolia, Korea, Thailand ] & Royal Vega [ vegetarian ]

2 Bars: 5 Stars

I Place-fun pub – fun music and stuff

Tranque Bar – Ladies exclusive Bar!

 Malt & Cigar Lounge:   Best Cheroots and Cigars [on display too J] with good Malts. Perfect space to relax after a fantabulous meal! :P 

Kayakalp: 7 stars

ITC Hotels’ spa brand, spread across 23,000 sq ft offers many number of exotic massages as well as spa for a complete body and  mind rejuvenation along with wellness centers and swimming pools !  Ambience is out of the world..! Pampering at it’s BEST !

Kalai : Cholas were known for their performing arts and this auditorium is a perfect tribute !

Architecture : 7 stars

They have taken Dravidian Hindu temple architecture of Chola dynasty as their theme and did absolute justice!! 

At first glance, ITC Grand Chola resembles [ a bit] the world famous Louvre Museum, Paris. Nothing surprising in that considering the fact that we can always find traces of architectural influences in faraway places. It only shows the inter-cultural relationship of those bygone eras.

Interiors : 

Sangam lobby, with it’s grand, impressive marble staircase again resembles Louvre Museum, Paris. The intricate designs on the side walls flawlessly depicts Chola period. Lobby floor portrays another intricate design, that is Tamilnadu ‘s famous trademark ‘Kolam’ !

More than 1 million sq ft of marbles [57 varieties] were used in this Palace. I was told that ITC bought a whole marble quarry in Italy and shipped many a tons of marbles to Chennai for this very purpose!!!  WOW ….

There are many intricate stone works and carvings on the sidewalls and other places which flawlessly depicts Chola period.

The strategic placement of decorative art pieces blends perfectly with the cultural ambience.

Staffs r courteous & friendly. Service is topnotch.

My suggestions:

1.    Media Library – 1.An assorted collection of books in all genres 2. Digitized books, 3. Some rare first prints 4. Some old palm leaf writings and can even have a collection of  Naadis, Chola region’s famous oldest astrology which are still in use!!  Adding Library usage to I pad along with it’s numerous other controls would be wonderful for the guests.

2.    3D theater:   Run a virtual tour of ITC Grand Chola in 3D spiced with some selective scenes from Chola period. It will engage guests in an interesting cultural experience.

3.    Using Kanjeevaram, tamilnadu’s prestigious silk form can be used in upholstery, table mats, and such. It will suit the cultural ambience very much and also will look unique.

On the whole, ITC Grand Chola has become the prestigious symbol of Chennai. It stands apart from other luxury hotels, a Numero Uno,   because of it’s themed architecture which is massive & palatial!

It was an honor and privilege shown to us, the bloggers by ITC Grand Chola.

I enjoyed every minute of the tour and blogger meet.

Thank you ITC Grand Chola.

Thank you Indiblogger.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

சின்மயி விவகாரம்

சின்மயி விவகாரம் குறித்து நேற்று சத்தியம் தொலைக்காட்சியில் ஒரு நேரடி விவாதம். நானும், மனுஷ்ய புத்திரனும் கலந்துகொண்டோம்.

இதில் ஒரு பொதுவான கருத்து வைக்கப்பட்டது. பிரபலங்கள் சமூகப்ரச்சினை குறித்த கருத்துக்களை வைக்கும் போது, மிக கவனத்துடன் , அது குறித்த முழு அறிவுடன் பேச வேண்டும் ...இல்லையென்றால் , கருத்து தெரிவிக்காமல் ஒதுங்கிவிட வேண்டும்.

ஒத்துகொள்ளப்படவேண்டிய ஒன்றுதான்.


பிரபலங்கள் என

்று வரும் போது அவர்கள் ஏதாவது ஒரு துறையில் வெற்றிகரமானவராக இருப்பார். மற்ற விஷயங்களில் அது குறித்த அடிப்படை அறிவு கூட இல்லாதவராக இருக்கலாம்.

பிரபலம் என்பதனாலேயே கருத்து கூறும்படி வற்புறுத்துவதும், அப்படி பெறப்படும் கருத்து populist opinion -னுக்கு எதிராக இருந்தால் அதற்காக அவரை தரக்குறைவாக, கீழ்த்தரமாக நடத்துவதும் எந்த விதத்தில் நியாயம் ???

ரஜினிகாந்த் பெரிய மாஸ் ஹீரோதான் . celebrity தான். அதற்காக அவரிடம் போய் இந்தியாவின் பொருளாதார கொள்கைகள் குறித்து கருத்து கேட்டால், பதில் கூறும்படி வற்புறுத்தினால் , அவர் தனக்கு தெரிந்ததை தானே கூறுவார்? அது informed opinion ஆக இல்லை என்று அவர் மீது கல்லெறிவதில் என்ன நியாயம் இருக்கிறது ?

அரசியல் கட்சி தலைவர் நல்லமுத்து இருக்கிறார். அவரிடம் Gangnam style குறித்து கருத்து கேட்டால் அவரால் என்ன கூறமுடியும் ??

celebrity என்பதனாலயே, அவர்கள் கருத்து informed ஆக இருக்க வேண்டும் ..இல்லையென்றால் வாயை மூடிக்கொள்ளவேண்டும் எனபது கருத்து சுதந்திரம் என்பதற்கு எதிரானது !!

தமிழ்நாட்டு மீனவர்கள் குறித்து சின்மயி கூறிய கருத்தை , ஏதாவது அரசியல் கட்சி தலைவர்களோ , அல்லது சமூக ஆர்வலர்களோ கூறியிருந்தால் அப்போதுதான் அது மிகுந்த கண்டனத்துக்குரியதாக கருதப்பட்டு , விவாதப் பொருளாக மாறியிருக்கவேண்டும்!!

அடுத்து celebrity/பிரபலம் என்ற முறையில், விஜய் டிவி "ஜூனியர்" சூப்பர் சிங்கர்ஸ் யாரிடமாவது கருத்து கேட்பது தான் பாக்கி !!