Fun O Factory – A Play Area Review

Fun O Factory

Indian Bloggers

The other day I was WhatsApping with my girlie gang (Shoutout to Nu, Rauni, Heer, Beenii and Neha) and we were talking about how children of today lose their innocence early on and how tech savvy they are. While parents are responsible for that in a large way, another fact is that our cities have become so crowded and a casualty of this has been play areas. When we were young, each building in Mumbai had enough space in the compound for us to run about and play in. Same thing has happened to our locality in Delhi too, said the husband. Those conversations made me realise that my gratitude list should have another inclusion. I should be thankful that my daughter has access to open spaces where she can play safely. However, for those who do not have acess to those, there are plenty of play areas that are coming up in the city. One such play area where I took my daughter to was Fun O Factory at R City Mall, Ghatkopar.

Fun O Factory Concept

Fun O Factory is a covered play area within R City Mall. It has three sections – one softplay area for toddlers, one ropecourse for older children and one trampoline park for every body. When I say everybody… I do mean everybody – even you! Yes, the adults can play on the trampolines too. In fact, Fun O Factory plans to start fitness classes for adults very soon… on these trampolines!

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Terra Chips – A Gourmet Snacking Experience

Terra Chips

What is your first impression when I say Gourmet?

I think of miniscule portions, elaborate presentations, punch of flavours, play of textures… basically, lots of visual drama but not enough food to fill your stomach. However, I always associate gourmet with a plate. So a pack of chips meant for gourmet snacking was unique for me. I mean chips… they are just fried discs. Right? Wrong. As I learnt from my brush with Terra chips.

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Aarogyam by Thyrocare #Review

As a busy working mom, I always claim to be short on time. While that notion itself is debatable, one of the things that gets pushed to the back burner all the time is my health. This is nothing new. I have seen my mother do it. All my colleagues do it. The only time we really pay attention to our health is when something goes wrong. We only visit the doctor when some part of our body complains. What follows is a flurry of tests. Once during such a discussion with a doctor buddy, he said India has no concept of regular tests. If people monitored their health, then early detection of problems and early treatments would not only be less painful for the people but also increase the success rate for the doctors. True, I said and mused that more people would adopt this regular test practice if it was more convenient. This is the age of convenience. If I can get vegetables delivered by WhatsApp, then surely I can get my medical tests done from home.

We had that conversation and forgot about it. A few days later I was approached by Thyrocare to try out their Aarogyam programme. Under this package, they have a series of tests so you can choose the one that is most suited to your needs. The best part though is that they offer these services in the comfort of their homes. Am recounting my experience with the service below.

Aarogyam by Thyrocare – My Experience

Once my package was confirmed, I was sent an email with the tests included in the package. I also received a phone call for scheduling the appointment. I requested for a weekend morning and they readily agreed. One day before the appointment, I was called again to confirm the appointment and told to fast for at least 10 hours before the blood samples could be collected. My only request then was that their executive call me 30 minutes before arrival. On the morning of the appointment, the executive calls me half an hour before the scheduled time. While I marveled at the professionalism, he says he is 10 minutes away! I told him to give me a few more minutes and he said that he has to travel further to collect more samples and will be late for those appointments. 10-15 minutes was not much of a big deal so I readily agreed. He arrived within the next few minutes and began laying out all his equipment on the table. I noticed that all the things he fetched were sealed in their individual bags. My guess is that they were all sterile.

The next thing he did shocked me though. He began opening the bags without cleaning his hands! I had to ask him to wash his hands before beginning the procedure. He had a tough time finding the right vein to draw blood from. Not his fault, I have always faced this whenever I have gone for the blood tests. People do lose their patience sometimes during my sample collection. However, I friend was probably in a hurry because the first time he jabbed me, he had not even added the Velcro band on the upper arm to increase the pressure on the hand. When I asked him to do it, he produced a band so dirty that I wished I had not asked him for it. Once the sample was collected, he left. I was notified by text messages that my samples have reached the lab.

The very next day, a soft copy of the results was mailed to me. The hard copy arrived within the next week.

To conclude, I think this service is a great idea. From an execution perspective, they have set very good processes for keeping all the operations smooth. There is ample communication with the customer so one does not really feel the need to reach out to them. The reminder call the previous afternoon and the fasting reminded are actually necessary! My only problem was with the executive visiting me and his inclination toward hygiene. This was the most important part of the experience. In fact, if proper care is not taken, the samples can get contaminated or even exchanged with others. I think that a backpack where bags of samples and sterile equipment is stored together is not the ideal way of doing things here.  If only they improve on this bit, it would be a flawless service. In fact, when I shared the same feedback with the folks at Thyrocare, they told me that they have taken it very seriously and communicated it to their staff to rectify these problems. I was pleasantly surprised that they did that and even communicated it back to me.

Disclaimer: I was offered this service complimentary in exchange for the review. The views expressed are my own though

Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right by Varsha Dixit #BookReview

Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right

Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right by Varsha Dixit is a the third part of a trilogy about finding your love. According to the Goodreads Book blurb

Love is in the air again…this time it’s steamy, bold and manipulative!

Gayatri and Viraj both are products of childhood trauma. Yet they were able to survive, one because of her shrewdness and the other because of his genius. Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right, the final part in the best selling ‘Right and Wrong’ love trilogy is the story of these two damaged souls.

Gayatri Dutta, the poster child for rich spoiled diva is fighting to escape a life of servitude her tyrant father is hell bent on pushing her into. Her past string of failures have her backed against a wall. Lonely and desperate!

Viraj is a con who uses his genius to perpetuate his isolation. His life once of violence and abuse has left him cynical and cold. He shuns the society and its hypocrisies.

And then Gayatri and Viraj cross paths. She needs him and he despises her.

To Viraj, Gayatri, is the epitome of all that he despises, shallow, manipulative and the kind who uses her beauty as a weapon. Or is she?

Gayatri sees Viraj only as a means to an end. She is sure that Viraj with his nerdy demeanor, owlish glasses and crude behavior will be easy to manipulate and walk over. Only he isn’t!

What I Liked about Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right

Having read the last two books in the series, I knew what to expect. A heroine who is full of chutzpah and yet battles her own demons. A hero who is a mystery to her and the reader. A plot that is full of twists and turns. The book does not disappoint. It is a very light and easy read and yet engages you as the story of Gayatri and Viraj moves along. I liked that while the characters from the last two books are present, they do not take centre stage. The back stories are liked but this book can be read on it’s own even if you have not read the last two.

What I Did Not Like about Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right

The book moved along very well and at a good pace till about three fourths of it and then everything gets wrapped up in a hurry. There are time leaps and then some things like Gayatri’s relationship with her father that are rather unexplained. The first part of the book is made up of little moments that collectively mean a lot. The conclusion is a fast paced narrative and that seems jarring.

Final Thoughts on Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right

To conclude, Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right is a light fun book that falls right in the middle of the chicklit category. A perfect pick for taking your mind off the stress of job, kids, kaamwaali bai etc etc. It is not deep and what stays with you is the enjoyment of the experience of reading it.

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About the author

Varsha Dixit, the bestselling author of four successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman. Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.
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Mohenjo Daro – Movie Review

Mohenjo Daro Movie Review

Indian Bloggers

You have been living under a rock if you do not know about Mohenjo Daro – Ashutosh Gowariker’s latest magnum opus. Ashutosh Gowariker seems to be travelling further in history with every film. I imagine how tough this must have been to research and maintain authenticity. A civilisation that was wiped away in 19th century BCE and has only been reconstructed by logical deductions of scholars is truly an enigma. I remember a dreary history lesson in high school where my teacher addressed a class of half asleep teens saying, “Very little is known about the people, the culture and the society of the Indus Valley civilisation.” A smart alec shot back asking, “Then why are we studying about it?” Mohenjo Daro and Harrappa are stuck in my head precisely because of this anecdote. Watching the movie, I was reminded of this dialogue again. You know why? Because throughout the film, I kept wondering – why Mohenjo Daro? why not pre independence India?

I would really like to ask Ashutosh Gowariker what made him set this story in Mohenjo Daro

Mohenjo Daro Plot

The film revolves around Sarman – an Indigo farmer who arrives in the city of Mohenjo Daro, an administrative and trade powerhouse. He is awed by the society there and falls in love with a girl. The subsequent events show him fighting  against the tyrannical head and causing an uprising

Mohenjo Daro – Music

Like all of A R Rahman’s music, Mohenjo Daro’s soundtrack too grows on you. The melodious Tu Hai or the peppy title track are both pleasant to listen to. Rahman creates a signature piece that is used in various places in the film, including the background score. The music is not intrusive nor it is extraordinary genius that one expects from Rahman.

Mohenjo Daro – Story, Screenplay & Dialogues

The story is a typical poor boy meets rich girl story complete with the tyrannical king. There is nothing here that you have not seen or heard before. For me, the story failed to grip me. The screenplay was so slow that 45 minutes into the film, you still see the context being set. The film opens with a crocodile fight that belongs more in fantasy fiction than in a period film. The supposed mystery around Hrithik’s character seems like a halfhearted attempt. I was most confused by the dialogues though. There was shuddh hindi mixed with hindustani and even some rajasthani touch. I know that the language of the Indus valley civilisation is not known to us today. Could the script writers then not have stuck to a single form rather than mixing them up?

Mohenjo Daro – Characters

Mohenjo Daro is a one man show. Hrithik occupies almost every frame in the film and carries the entire film on his shoulders. His character is the most etched out and he stays true to the morally upright, kindhearted and helpful guy throughout. The female protagonist is a spunky girl torn between a duty she did not choose and her own desires. Kabir Bedi as the oppressive ruler is impressive, but his character is too one dimensional. Actors like Suhasini Mule are wasted in blink and you will miss characters.

Mohenjo Daro – Costumes

The common folk wear cotton clothing that is rough, with mostly earthy colours like beige and brown and an occassional blue thrown in. Even the basic research on Mohenjo Daro reveals that people wore very little clothing at that time. Understandably, a film can not have people prancing about in the nude – but tailored pants and layered tunics? And what does Pooja wear? Elaborately embroidered, embellished and flowing garments that are more suited to the modern day ramp than a BC era period film. I don’t have as much problem with the thigh high slits and cleavage as with the bell sleeves and mirror detailing. The creative freedom in costumes comes at the cost believability of that period.

Mohenjo Daro – Authenticity

The most amount of research and effort seems to have gone into re creating the massive sets and props. While the planned city of Mohenjo Daro with its brick houses is well made, I felt everything was a little too refined, a little too polished. The pool for example in the song Tu Hai has such pristine white edges. The metal seals seemed most authentic with animal motifs and symbols similar to the excavated artefacts. The dam on the river looks almost cemented and the gold nuggets shine with polished perfection.

Mohenjo Daro – Final Thoughts

To conclude, I am an inch short of calling this movie an insult to people’s intelligence. This boy meets girl story is something that could have been set anywhere and Mohenjo Daro fades into the backdrop. We don’t get an idea of the cultural nuances of the period save for court scenes. The pace drags and even with his good looks and sincere acting, Hrithik does not manage to save the film.