Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Premium Indian Handicrafts Shopping ft. Exclusivelane.com

Tis' the season of gifting and treating your loved ones by gifting them right during festive season is sheer joy for most of us. But how about gifting yourself something nice and making yourself feel 'loved'. I genuinely believe in the theory of self-love and don't mind indulging in small things that bring me happiness, shopping being one of them.😉
So today, I'm excitedly sharing my recent shopping experience from an online portal Exclusivelane.com that caught my eye mainly because of its diverse collection of traditional handicraft items as I always feel authentic handicrafts are not-so-easy to find online. 
Know Little More About Exclusivelane.com:
ExclusiveLane is an online craft company extensively born in 2012 out of pure love for handicraft products. The company handpicks exclusive handicraft products from rural artisans from different parts of India & exhibits diversity and heritage of India in the form of authentic products to urban consumers at an affordable price.  
My Shopping Experience:
ExclusiveLane retails items from varied categories viz. Tableware, Kitchen Storage, Showpieces, Wall Decor,  Pots & Planters, Candle Holders, Lamps, Jewellery and much more. So when I had to choose a few items for my first order with them, I literally had to spend many hours exploring their collections and finalize what to order. Keeping in mind certain budget amount, I had planned to buy one item. But due to discounted prices currently being offered, I decided to go for more than one. With loads of discussions with my family members, we finally agreed on ordering a couple of decor items for our sweet home i.e. a table lamp and a wall planter pot.

While placing the order, I chose Online Payment mode, as the company offers FREE SHIPPING on order placed via online payments. If you choose to go for Cash on Delivery, flat 99 INR is charged for shipping for India. (ExclusiveLane also delivers outside India and shipping charges are INR 999 per item in that case.)

I received the confirmation mail of my order as soon as I paid for it and the order was dispatched in less than 24 hours. The parcel containing well-packed cardboard boxes in multiple layers of bubble wrap was delivered at my doorstep on the third day itself, which was decently quick. 👍

As I opened the packaging, I really liked the fine finish and material quality of both the items that I had ordered. I'm keen to show you guys what I bought..
The first item is an elegant Pyramid shaped square tappered table lamp with artistically crafted Sheesham Wood on its base and Cotton Cloth wrapped over polyvinyl on its shade. I chose this lamp as it nicely compliments the color of my furniture and is perfect to lit an otherwise dull corner. The 14 inch size was also one of the consideration while selecting it.
The second item is a cute decorative owl-shaped wall planter pot.  This planter is from 'The Ferric Wonders' collection that is a set of garden décor comprising of 2 classic bucket-shaped detachable planter pots with a unique owl-shaped holder both made in galvanized iron which is rust-proof. I loved how the glossy finish of light-golden coloured planters highlights over the matte finished black coloured holder. 👌 This cute planter is an ideal decor piece to not just to fix on the wall, but can also be placed on the table or floor with/without holder.
I'm quite happy with both the items I bought as these are apt to enhance the look of any nook of my home or office, wherever I place them. 

To sum up, I would say ExclusiveLane.com is doing great job to provide economic upliftment to the artisans who are involved in preserving the heritage of the handicrafts industry in India. The company deserves an applause for being a supporter of #VocalForLocal. I highly recommend their services if you're looking for authentic handicrafts for yourselves or to gift to your loved ones. 🎁

  

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Unmasking The Myths Around Palm Oil & The Industry

With a global pandemic taking the world by storm and forcing people to work from home, most of us have resorted to internet services to manage all sort of professional communication. That's the reason why webinars have become a staple for a seamless interaction with potential audience. 

Last week, I got an opportunity to attend a webinar organised by #MPOC (Malaysian Palm Oil Council) with around 40 renowned bloggers from different regions of India, where the key speaker Ms. Bhavna Shah (Country Representative, India and Sri Lanka, MPOC) dispelled some myths about #PalmOil and addressed the issue of incorrect information dissemination around whole Palm Oil sector. 
As someone who always advocate 'facts' over 'fallacies', I took up today to apprise my readers about so-called myths that were unmasked during this awareness webinar-

Myth #1 Large scale Palm tree plantation is primary cause of deforestation.
Fact - Palm trees grow naturally in tropical rainforest areas, but they are also being planted and farmed to produce more palm oil to meet the increasing demand of this versatile edible oil. With novel farming techniques followed by the industry, sustainably grown palm establishments have proven to be equally good for the environment like many other vegetable oil crops. 
Infact, there are regulatory bodies like MPOCC (Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council) that are actively working with supply chains to eliminate outdated, unsustainable farming practices for palm oil production in Malaysian region. On the lines of these practices, it has been mandatory for all Malaysian palm oil industry to be MSPO certified to ensure positive social, environmental and economic impacts. Moreover, palm oil trees may not necessarily be produced on large plantations causing deforestation, but can also be grown on smaller family farms called 'smallholders'.
Myth #2 Palm tree plantations threaten biodiversity.
Fact - Tropical forests, where palm oil is primarily produced, are home to several rare and endangered species like Orangutans, Sumatran tigers, elephants and rhinos. To secure lives of these animals in tropical habitat, the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) has set up stricter standards to allow palm oil expansion in a 'sustainable' way that doesn’t deprive vulnerable wildlife of its natural habitat in the wild and the palm oil industry is putting best practices into place to abide by the set standards.

MPOC has also set up Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund (MPOWCF), a scheme focused to fund conservation research program undertaken by experts from the academia, government agencies and NGOs who provide concrete assurances that oil palm cultivation does not cause deforestation or loss of wildlife and their habitat.
Myth #3 Palm oil harms your health and environment & should be avoided.
Fact: Palm oil is a versatile edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit grown on the oil palm trees. For consumers, it's almost an impossible task to avoid palm oil because it’s used in almost everything from ice cream to instant noodles, toothpaste to lipstick and much more. Be aware that palm oil is an ideal substitute for partially hydrogenated oils and is also a good source of tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E that may help to protect you from certain chronic diseases, while delaying the body’s ageing process.

Also, from an environmental perspective, if you decide to boycott the stuff, that might not be so wise. Because no other crop can yield even one third of palm oil per acre planted. And along with using less land, the oil palm gorges on fewer pesticides and chemical fertilizers than any other vegetable oil source. So if you think oil palm destructive is to the environment, it may still be better than its alternatives.
Take home message:
Malaysian palm oil industry is a highly regulated industry currently adhering to more than 15 laws and regulations related to land acquisition, protection of wildlife, environmental impacts etc. 

I hope this awareness write-up will help put a check on careless sharing of un-researched views. We should take time to fact-check and understand the complexity of issues – palm oil or otherwise, before we propagate anything.





Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Revenge Never Ends : Poison 2 Web Series Review

Hey Netizens,
Have you heard of this show called, "Poison 2"? 
Image Source: ZEE5.com
It's one of the most beautifully framed web series that I've heard of and seen in recent times. This series recently premiered on ZEE5 Premium and gained momentum right from the first day. Since I had watched season one of the show, I was eagerly waiting for season two and completed the course as soon as it started airing 😅 Now lets talk about why am I all praises for Poison 2...

Direction:
Noted director Vishal Pandya has come up with yet another adrenaline-filled perfect binge-worthy web series for the admirers of mystery thrillers that you would love to watch. #Poison2, an eleven-episode series, introduces the audiences with new faces and newer storyline. So even if you didn't get a chance to watch its predecessor, you're still in the game. 

Cast & Storyline: 
The web series opens up with the protagonist Aditya Singh Rathore (Aftab Shivdasani) winning the stakes at a race course owned by team ‘Josh’ comprising of her ex-girlfriend Sara, her brother Oscar (Vin Rana) and her husband Harsh (Zain Iman) leaving them with only motive of their lives that is to take revenge from Aditya. The plot unfolds episode by episode to reveal hidden agendas of each of the characters. You would be appalled to see the unexpected sides of their personality in each episode which outlines the fact that #RevengeNeverEnds. You would appreciate how the story moves at a decent pace which is not boring rather makes you want to binge more on it. 
Image Source: ZEE5.com
Performance:
Speaking of performances, actor Aftab Shivdasani (who made his digital debut with this web series), has literally shouldered the show with his top-notch performance. Other actors too look so comfortable with Pandya’s directing style and show's dramatic tone. Rahul Dev as officer Sikander Malik and Pooja Chopra as officer Isha have managed to leave an impression within their limited screen presence to good effect. 
Image Source: ZEE5.com
Highlights:
The show actually serves as great entertainer with its colorful cast as all the actors shone in their respective roles. I hardly found any moments when the show feels drawn out due to actors' standout acting skills and creative storyline. It would be unjust not to give a special mention for cinematographer Ravi Walia who brilliantly shot stunning visuals that are lauded by audience all over. 

In short, those impactful poisonous dialogues, steamy scenes and intense dark emotions of jealousy, hatred, deceit, anger, and revenge really kept me on the edge of my seat till the last frame. I better keep the mystery alive and leave it for you to unlock the layers of the drama yourselves. So catch up with Poison2 and more such latest shows and movies on ZEE5, India's most loved streaming platform. 


Thursday, 15 October 2020

This Festive Season Liven Up Your Home With Elegant Wall Decor

"Home is where our story begins." 

No matter what a 'home' means to each of us, there is something nostalgic about the place we call home. I personally believe that home is not just a place to live in, rather it's a 'warm feeling' that fills your heart. When my husband and I made one of the biggest financial investments of our lives by acquiring our own home years ago, the joy of that possession was unmatched. The thrill of coming home every night has never changed since then. I feel proud of how my family has put everything together in our home not to show off, but to nourish one's well-being. 

With the festive season approaching, we've already started brainstorming for the heavy-duty task of planning home décor for the festivities, because this is that time of the year when our artistic capabilities come to the forefront and must be utilised to its best. Before I begin to pour in my ideas, I would personally recommend everyone to include wall decor in your home decor to-do list. Walls are a strong focal point for any room and a little extra touch to beautify them can transform your space from simply looking functional to an eye-pleasing one.

So here is a ready-reckoner for some elegant, cheery ideas to spruce up your walls that will leave your home sparkling with happy vibes this festive season-

Paints & Textures:
To add the festive flair to your home, start by giving your interior walls a fresh coat of paint to light up the otherwise dull look. Pick some bright colours for the muted corners and make them smile. If not willing to paint the entire room afresh, try giving a gleeful look to the room by creating an accent wall in a contrasting vibrant colour. I personally love textured paints, they reflect your personality and taste through your wall decor.

Well, while you're in for experimenting with stylish wall textures like Sand Swirl, Slap Brush, Pleating etc, always go for professional assistance like Express Painting service offered by leading paint company Berger Paints. They have a brilliant variety of designer interior wall paints to give your walls a rich look. You would be amazed to know that the brand has gone a step further to ensure good health of our families by formulating paints using the Carbon Zinc technology without any lead, mercury and chromium. 
Express Painting App For A Proficient Paint Service:
Berger Paints has recently launched its Express Painting App through which the customer can not only raise a query for painting service but can also monitor how mandatory Health & Safety protocols are being followed by company's safety-trained and certified executives and verified painters during the painting assignment. I won't mind asserting that selecting a globally certified paint and painting company has to be one of the wisest decisions one can ever make.
Wall Stencils:
Decorative stencils are one of the trendiest additions to your plain walls for that temporary, short-term refinement in the look and feel of your rooms this festive season. Choose from beautiful festive themes for every room and stick them in a brilliant pattern. Berger Paints has recently launched their iPaint range of wall stencils. You can recreate beautiful wall stencils like diyas, bells, flowers and make even the dullest corner or wall in the home brighten up. Infact, I feel that the beautiful ideas for DIY stencils are a distinct expressions of the imagination of a DIY enthusiast. The best part is that indulging in stencil decorations requires no prior experience, so gather some courage and embellish your walls like never before. 

Let there be Light:
Festive decor is incomplete without peppy lights brightening up the space. Decorating walls with strings of lights has become customary. This festive season, take a break from the ordinary and spice your space up with a bright décor focus piece. Such a glowing piece on the wall truly dresses them up elegantly and looks so lavish.

To sum up, when you do up your walls this festive season, don't be afraid to experiment with unconventional elements and make sure your decorations are the conversation starter this festive season.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

The Edgy Side of Forbidden Love (Movie Review)

'Love' is the juiciest of all the emotions known to mankind. It gives you an unmatched adrenaline rush and drives you crazy with its countless odds. 

But as the saying goes, "Forbidden Love is like a Poisoned Fruit - sweet at first, but fatal down the road." 

Yes! it's not a fragrantly talked-about topic, but ZEE5 did a precise diagnosis of love through its recently released compilation of four short love stories portraying those dark shades of love that are considered ‘forbidden’ by society. 

With my growing interest in short stories, I watched all four enthralling ZEE5 movies in one go and here is a crisp review for the new-age audience to know the new rules of the game.

To begin with, you can sense the thought behind the movies from the title itself. #ForbiddenLove is an anthology of 4 love stories, directed by four accomplished directors viz. Pradeep Sarkar, Priyadarshan, Anniruddha Roy Chaudhary and Mahesh Manjrekar; each of which explores scandalous issues that crop up in so-called 'perfect relationships'.

Arranged Marriage, the first episode, is an apt execution of the life of a couple after getting into a conventional heterosexual marriage and is now disinterested in each other. The impressive performances in the movie featuring Ali Fazal, Patralekha Paul, Omkar Kapoor, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Lily Chakraborty literally make your heart squeeze with the desperation in its tone. The movie leaves the audience to decide whether an homosexual is actually to blame for his feelings and is a reminder that we, as a society, need to work towards changing our perceptions around same-sex relationships.
Image Source: ZEE5.com
Anamika, the second episode, is a masterpiece by Priyadarshan, narrating the story of a middle-aged married woman finding love outside of her loveless wedlock. It's more of a relatable story of Anamika (played by Pooja Kumar) whose workaholic husband Vijendra (Harsh Chhaya) has got only some wordless looks to share with her and thus she falls in love with a much younger guy Ishaan (Aditya Seal). The movie fosters varied emotions of suffering, infidelity, self-destruction, lust and disgust that the lady faces as the story unfolds. The audience keep the seat grabbed tightly till the end to discover whether Anamika decides to return to her husband or moves ahead on her path with her love affair.
Image Source: ZEE5.com
Rules of the Game, the third chapter of Forbidden Love, easily wins my applauds for being the most fascinating of the lot. Rules of the Game presents a thrilling story of a 'committed couple' who wants to ignite the lost spark in their marriage. While the lady proposes role-play in bed to spice up their relationship, the couple falls into serious trouble when the rules of the game are broken. The movie is worth a watch not just to find out how the couple get out of deep-rooted feeling of regret, but also to witness the delectable chemistry between lead actors Aahana Kumra, Chandan Roy Sanyal.   
Image Source: ZEE5.com
Diagnosis of Love, the concluding chapter of the anthology, boasts of some of the brilliant actors such as Raima Sen (as Sudha) and Mahesh Manjrekar (as Vaibhav) in the lead roles. This medical thriller depicts an unconventional love angle between two medical practitioners Sudha and Harsh (Vaibhav Tatwaeaadi) where Sudha is cheating on her husband Vaibhav probably for not being able to bear a child out of their marriage. Each scene of the movie adds to the suspense when the story turns out to be a murder mystery on the other side. The end of the story is a twist you might not have anticipated otherwise and I'm leaving it for you to watch and find out.
Image Source: ZEE5.com
Highlights:
The base premise of the entire #ForbiddenLove anthology is such that it generates audience's curiosity and strikes the right chord with intense emotions. Every single episode is sure to keep you gripped to your couch till the end with unpredictable storyline. It's a plus for audience that all episodes are unrelated, so makes it convenient for you to watch one or all in a sitting, as you feel like. The brilliant actors have proved their mettle with excellent portrayal of their respective roles. Though the stories around dark side of love can be tricky to handle, but the direction has been quite mature and sensible. The anthology reminds me of a quote I read somewhere which says "No forbidden love ever is a warm morning after a shivering night. Rather, it is a slice of dusk with impending darkness, and learning to find the sun among the stars."





Friday, 25 September 2020

Sweater Dress for the Season & Styling It Like a Pro

 Think winters, Think sweaters!

Cozying up in a practical and fashionable sweater has been one of the most brilliant feelings that I always enjoy in winters. And with this new trend of styling longer version of a classic pullover sweater, it's literally getting more adorable. 
The talking point of this post is my favourite go-to outfit for this Fall-Winter season i.e. a sweater dress and how to style it like a pro. What makes sweater dress a treasured piece of garment for many women is the versatility with which one can create different looks.
I personally love a relaxed-fit calf-length sweater dress that elegantly highlights feminine curves and is comfy to wear. pairing it up with pointed kitten heels and minimal accessories completes the effortless look for the day. If you are more into layering, then a contrasting coat or jacket can take your look to another level.
When the day are getting chillier, a loosely-fitted turtleneck sweater dress is a sure-shot way to beat the cold wind. Give your oversized sweater dress an sexy appeal by keeping your legs bare (if you dare) or team it with slouchy thigh-high boots. It won’t let you walk unnoticed down the streets, either ways. Wear it with a leather belt for an extra level of detail, and finish it off with your warm smile.
Those who feel sweater dresses are synonymous to street-style dressing, you ought to pay attention to this gorgeous piece that is your answer to delicious party look. Dressed up in this ultra-chic camoflouge sweater dress, it is meant to put a spotlight on you. A pair of nude pumps and a box clutch can update your party look in matter of minutes. Owning a fashionable yet cheap sweater dress costs you nothing more than the price of a fancy cocktail. 
A considerable point while getting ready with best of your outfits is to pay attention to the kind of lingerie that goes well with specific type of dress. My bit of advice is to always choose lingerie in perfect size that suits your body type, enhances natural feminine curves and is made of comfortable fabric. This is also important to handpick the right lingerie that doesn't clash with your outfit. For one-piece soft sweater dresses, you might prefer a T-shirt bra, a plunge bra or a pushup bra; but on the other hand, you might wanna flash your bralette while acing a sassy two-piece dress. Regardless of how expensive they might look, my secret mantra is to first explore some cheap lingerie online and them get them home delivered. To conclude, your outer clothes will not look attractive if not worn on a smooth inner lingerie.   
So while you brace yourself for cold weather soon, dig your closet for sweaters. If didn’t find any, you've got a good reason for seasonal winter shopping!

Friday, 28 August 2020

The Japnese Garden Sightseeing at The City Beautiful

The City Beautiful Chandigarh is known for its green surroundings spread all over. There are several parks and gardens that not only add to the beauty of the city, but are quite happening places as various activities, events are being conducted there every now n then.

A recent addition to the list of gardens that we discovered some time back while looking for a family picnic spot is Japnese Garden. It is located in Sector 31, Chandigarh. The layout and design of the garden is inspired from Japanese architecture, as expected. Since we had kids with us, they were so joyous to find a colourful place to spend the day :)

So here is how this peaceful spot looks like.














Free Entry
Visiting Hours : 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM All days of the week
Cafeteria and washrooms available inside the garden premises.
Spacious parking space outside.

Add this mesmerising tourist attraction to your list when you plan to visit Chandigarh next time.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Gutsy Burkha-clad Churails Avenge For Justice (Web Series Review)

It was just a few weeks ago that I subscribed to ZEE5 Club Pack to get exclusive access to its premium content. And Oh boy! I couldn't wait to tell you that I'm super impressed how this platform is winning by putting together a far deeper volume of movies and shows serving a range of interests for all my family members.

Just to introduce ZEE5 to my newer readers, it's one of the few major OTT streamers focused on multilingual content across countries and here you would find a larger library of shows to binge plus a growing slate of originals. For that crazy bunch of streamers like me who crave for versatile content, ZEE5 is the right call.

My current watchlist is a ZEE5 Exclusive Zindagi Original web series 'Churails' whose satirical poster released on social media got me hooked to watch the show right from day one of the launch. After watching this 10-episodes series, let me help you delve deep into the details why you should be watching this one.
Image Source: ZEE5.com

Storyline
Churails is a quirky story of four strong women who dare to disaffiliate themselves from the norms of patriarchy society and thus unite together to form a secret detective agency with the intend to expose deceitful and false-hearted male counterparts in the city of Karachi.

Cast:
Apart from a crisp script, Churails boasts of solid performances by Sarwat Gilani as Sara Khan, Mehar Bano as Zubaida, Nimra Bucha as Batool Jan and Yasra Rizvi as Jugnu Chaudhry. The ladies, leading an army of exploited women, have been truly compelling in their characters with rightly synced energy.

My Review:
The show Churails is directed by Oscar nominee, Asim Abbasi on a well-scripted story that keeps you engaged throughout. The series is dark and intense as one might figure out from the spunky poster itself. Each of the ten episodes of the web series are nearly one hour long and opens up with a new twist. By the end of an episode, the story leaves you anticipating another meltdown and you can't help moving to the next episode.
Image Source: ZEE5.com
The show has strategically covered a lot of ground in terms of women's related issues like domestic violence, forced marriages, abortions, prostitution and many more. The self-proclaimed 'churails', who are fearlessly unapologetic about their traumatic past, manage to make their way through 'not-so-easy' reality and elevate the series to a thing of beauty with their polished performance.

When you sit down to watch a show set in Pakistani backdrop, it's not a surprise to treat yourselves with pleasing Urduised dialogues and that's what Churails amuses you with. I particularly liked the meaningful lyrics of the show's soundtracks and terrific cinematography.

All in all, Churails is a web series that ticks all the boxes of a good thriller drama with great reveals in every single episode. I would express the surreality of the show with the saying, "Behind every strong, independent woman lies a broken girl who learnt hard how to get up and fight for herself."
So why afraid to acclaim #MainChurailHoon, because these three words take it all to be lionhearted.