Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Multi Dimensional World Vision India

Indian Bloggers

The cheerful faces of excited children blushed the red roses at the World Vision India Partners Meet in Mumbai on 27th February. I know there are too many adverbs in a single sentence but can not help praising the World Vision India. Such was the exhilarating , refreshing and mood-boosting atmosphere at the partners meet that, all of us first time visitors are grateful to World Vision India for absorbing us in their Multi-Dimensional activities.

World Vision India is a Christian humanitarian organization working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families and communities living in poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, caste, race, ethnicity or gender. Spread across 174 districts in India, World Vision works through long-term sustainable community development programmes and immediate disaster relief assistance

I am passionate about children-cause so I grabbed this opportunity to blog for World Vision India and joined #Mumbai4Children.

Many sponsors met their sponsored children along with their families and shared their special moments with me. Dr. Taher Y. Kagalwala ( M.D. Pediatric , who has 2 children of his own and sponsored 4 children )  , Ms. Priyanka Sharma ( 24 year old bachelor, social media professional ), Ms. Rashmi Vedak ( with her own 3 year old son and mom) , a C.A. professional with his wife  were a few, with whom I enjoyed chatting at the World Vision India Partners meet.

Child Sponsorship monthly gift helps in providing life-transforming necessities like clean water , nutritious food , health care , education , sustainable development and above all a hopeful future.

The purpose of the World Vision India- Partners Meet was that the sponsors can come to the event, see and hear firsthand , the impact of their sponsorship support in the lives of needy children , their families and communities.

Groups of children performed Gazals and folk-dances. They set rhythm to the music. Some of the children enacted a play on peace. They were hugely applauded by the appreciative audience.
Sponsored  children shared their fruitful  journey with World vision.
Kavita a MSW degree holder is the first woman in her community to be the one.
Sanjana, a Social work student helps children get enrolled in school. #Mumbai4Children
Vikas is learning Engineering and helps other children with studies. Smriti a brilliant sponsored child said that she had gained a lot of confidence due to the financial support from World vision and added that she wanted to see developments in the society.

Nayan a child protection unit member ( CPU ) helps children through the unit of World Vision India. A lady community member shared a story about how a girls was rescued from forced prostitution through World Vision's help.
After World Vision's intervention and counselling , Santosh quit drinking and now helps others to quit the habit. Police officer Mr. Jagtap thanked World Vision India for training children about child-rights, POSCO act.

Sponsors shared how they continued sponsoring for years , despite ups and downs of life at the World Vision Partners Meet   #Mumbai4Children
Mr. Gamliel Sherio, the project manager presented a World Vision India report.
Mr. Anand Joshua (Director, IRD) and Mr. Cherian Thomas ( CEO & National Director ) interacted with sponsors.

I was humbled by such a great personality like  Mr. Cherian Thomas , National Director and CEO , World Vision India who modestly declared that they were accountable to the partners ( sponsors ). Their focus is on the most pressing issues such as reducing malnutrition , providing Primary Education. training for life and resilient communities. Providing sustainable livelihood is one of the primary goals of World Vision India.  Ms. Pamela Chopra addressed the gathering about her hearty connect with World Vision India

It was a proud moment for World Vision , when the partners talked about having 10 years of trustful relation with them. The World Vision Partners meet concluded after a vote of thanks and National anthem.

Facebook : World Vision India 

Friday, March 25, 2016

SenoriTea Villa Cafe

Indian Bloggers

First thing's first. The first time I glimpsed Tea Villa Cafe, Hill Road, Bandra, I was in an auto. I wanted to rush in, to have a closer look but it was house full on Sunday noon at 3 pm. So I decided to try out my luck on Wednesday , with blogger-buddies.

Bandra is the queen of suburbs and Tea Villa Cafe is Senorita of Bandra. As soon as you enter Tea Villa Cafe, La Senora De Villa, the Cupsy ( the pun is intended ) , curvy statue grabs your attention full on, And then there is no looking back literally as there are so many pretty, cute nick-knacks to keep you enthralled.

The Tea Villa cafe is specious with 4 levels.  First, entrance-level, 2nd - 2 steps bellow ( big area ) , 3rd - dining plus live kitchen serving freshly cooked food and 4th - Upstairs, kind of balcony ). The entire feel is full and still not stuffy. 

I am more than curious to know, who the talented architect, interior decorator of this lovely, cozy Tea Villa Cafe are. 

Right from the front door, the shelves, the various chairs, the tables, the cutlery, the crystal kettles, the cups, the wall-murals-hangings, the fan-mails, the live kitchen, the lamps, even the restroom, staircase, kitchen platforms and exit are so symmetrically aligned that nothing seems out of place or in the clumsy way.

The over all impact of Tea Villa Cafe is geometrically designed and aesthetically assembled art decor at it's prettiest best.

The waiters of Tea Villa Cafe are friendly, helping but a bit slow for those in a hurry. Our group of 5 bloggers was in a post-picnic mood, so we actually enjoyed the laid-back ambiance. 

The happiest news for vegetarians like me is that Tea Villa Cafe is fully veg only with a grand menu comprising European, Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican, Chinese Cuisines.

We began our gastronomic journey with one of the most extravagant tea ever imagined. The waiter dramatically served Blueberry infused Green tea wrapped around a Marigold in the base, a string of pure Jasmine blossoms and a globe of amaranth flower which blooms and floats up when infused. 

The whole lot of exquisite tea paraphernalia appeared complete with an hourglass ( sand-timer ) on the bloggers' table. We actually witnessed the Fuchsia-hued blooming and the subtle taste demands leisurely sipping, rather than gulping.

Can you imagine the rowdy scenario , we created for the Star Entry of Blueberry Tea!. The other tea-connoisseurs joined in laughingly at our robust enthusiasm in clicking pics, pics and more pics. 

We continued with other exotic teas like Tropical DelightA rich, fruit filled blend combining mango and vanilla to dramatic effect. With its vibrant red cup and creamy taste, it is perfect served hot or iced. 

Ingredients: mango, apple, currants, cherry, hibiscus ,vanilla.  and Rooibos Tiramisu Tea which is a blend of rooibos, barley malt, cocoa particles, roasted chicory root, white chocolate pieces and tiramisu flavor, followed by Triple Berry Coffee which is a blend of triple berry semisweet, and dark chocolates with a bit of cream and coffee shot.

Our bloggers' table remained center of attraction since then, till we exited the plush Tea Villa Cafe.

We went for variety of starters as per the manager's suggestion : Hummus PlatterCrispy Lotus Root Honey Chili ( our favorite due to sweet-spicy taste and crispy crunch), Baked Chili Parmesan and Paneer Skewers.

In Continental section we chose Villa Special Risotto ( Italian sticky rice with Exotic vegetables in tomato and cheese sauce ) accompanied with garlic toasts, color pepper-baby corn salad. Fine presentation but can not jell with the Indians preferring Basmati Biryani. 

We loved the Chocolate shake and the Mango shake was not mango enough for our Hapoos i.e. Alphonso oriented taste-buds. Some of us liked Classic waffle with Maple syrup and all of us loved the Banana & Caramel waffle .

Compared to McDonald's and KFC's the Peri Peri French Fries were superlative and Sizzling Brownie with Ice cream was on par. 

Nutella Hazelnut Brownie with Vanilla Ice cream was the ultimate favorite with all five of us. We shared that piece of heavenly bliss like Pandavas. Geeta Shridhar even clicked the pic of mine, slicing it into 5 pieces. Captioned it 'Sharing is Caring' and posted in on Instagram. All chimed "Happy Birthday' and yet again all those present in Tea Villa Cafe joined in the fun food-venture. Kudos to Master Chef Dessert King Shahzad Variava and his famed Desserts.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Cooking – A chore or a Matter Of Pride

Indian Bloggers

Prasaadam ( Blessed Food ) - A Matter of Pride

'Anna he Poornabrahmma' - a very famous Sanskrit proverb, means the Food is as Important ( Holistic ) as the whole Universe. The one who cooks the food lovingly and feeds it to his / her loved ones with all heart is the God / Goddess. Godly ( blessed by God ) food is called 'Prasaadam' in Sanskrit.
Naturally cooking is a matter of pride and Love.

Being a loving, caring Mother / Father and nurturing the child to an accomplished adulthood is an achievement. This grown up child then becomes the loving , caring parent of his own child, an exact replica of his / her parents. The common link between the generations is the FOOD, cooked and fed with heart full of tender Love. Cooking and feeding our family and friends can never be a chore as it is the matter of Pride for both.   

The food may be as simple as Dal, Rice , Subzi and Roti but as it is cooked with the intention of making our own people happy, satiated it becomes tastiest, yummiest Pakwaan.

Having done with all this lecturebaazi, I have a confession ... I had many confessions through this blog. This one is the Mother of all confessions. But before that I want to tell you an interesting real-life story, Fresh and Steaming Hot ... ready to savor ?

My dear friend #Wonderchef Geeta Sridhar gets up at 4 a.m. in the morning and cooks delicious, 5 course lunch for her family consisting of 2 daughters ( a gold-medalist Engineer- Dekshita and a medical student Sharda ) and husband ( a bank manager Mr. Shridhar ) early in the morning, every day.

I get to taste her culinary skills first hand whenever we have an early morning blogging assignment. MasterChef finalist Geeta ( is a fan of chef Sanjeev kapoor and uses lots of #Wonderchef appliances ) always brings me a tiffin full of steaming hot Dosas, Idlli-podis, crispy crunchy Banana chips etc. and feeds it  lovingly. The very thought that, she had taken so much effort to remember, make, pack and feed me those delicacies cooked lovingly for her family has indebted me to her forever. 

Ok, now back to the confession. That day, I was alone at home so ordered Veg. Pulao from Udipi-Vihar ate it and was getting ready for the Food-Styling and Food-Photography workshop at 'Wok This Way'. Geeta called me and requested whether I can bring Dal-Rice for her?. ( She had gone for a blogger assignment where they served only Non-Veg food ). 

I think, by now , the cat is out of the bag. My big-fat confession is 'I CAN'T COOK'. Still , I promised Geeta that I will bring delicious Dal-Rice to her at 'Wok This Way' where she was to join me with other food-bloggers. Any Guesses, how I fulfilled my promise ? ...

My Savior angel, is my sister Sadhana ( Aamen's Mom, as many of you know her ). Sadhana loves to watch Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's #Wonderchef show and uses many of the #WonderChef Appliances .No sooner did I call her she packed Dal-Rice in cute #Wonderchef Magic Meal box plus spoon, plate, tissues and sent it over through Aamen to my home. Thanks to #Wonderchef Within an hour I reached the designed venue, where Geeta was waiting with other blogger-friend. Before I could serve her a plateful of Dal-Rice, Geeta served the first plate to another blogger, who was also starving. As soon as Geeta ate the first spoonful, she awarded me with her dimpled smile and her eyes twinkled ' YUMMY '. That was the moment, I realized, that Cooking is not just a chore but a matter of pride for most, that's why Mothers cook so lovingly for their family and friends.

#WonderChef King Sanjeev Kapoor with Prince Ranveer Brar

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Go Get #GoCheese

Indian Bloggers

Don't just 'Say Cheese' , say #GoCheese Why?. Read on...

Seeing is believing and that's why the food bloggers from Mumbai were invited by Femina to visit the #GoCheeseWorld located at Manchar village, Pune for FAM trip. On 19th March 2016, we set off from Bandra to Manchar ( Parag Milk Foods - #GoCheese plant ) to the tune of Antakshari. 

Ms.Pooja Khanna  Best Baking Blogger and her daughters made our 3 hours journey sweet n swift. The prettiest, nutty brownies I had ever eaten, were baked and generously shared with the whole lot of bloggers by Pooja. Geeta Shridhar FoodExpress from Chennai  , khilaaoed Idli-podi to all, Cadbury chocolates to some and gave her share of Brownie to ME. Our chirpy hostess Ms. Sofia Event Manager of Femina, distributed boxes of Mongini's snacks. 

To top this all Food fun, our travelling from Mumbai to Manchar was totally a visual treat too... The first look of #GoCheeseWorld (A fully integrated dairy company) was naturally enticing with Mango laden trees. Some of the bloggers could not resist and had to pluck the kairis.
 #GoCheeseWorld is a home grown dairy farm and the leading cheese manufacturing factory of India owned by one of the pioneers of dairy products in India, Parag Milk Foods. The brand portfolio consists various dairy products such as GowardhanPride of CowsTopp Up and Go

We , the bloggers were welcomed with cool, refreshing Minty Mojitos, GO Badam Milk, GO Chaas, Lassi, Topp up flavored milk etc. and led into the spacious assembly hall for a briefing about #GoCheeseWorld
The Bhagyalakshmi cow-farm (comprising 3500cows)  the most awaited itinerary of our FAM trip made us rush to the buses. As usual we went into photo-frenzy mode on the way at the very sight of green plants adorned with magenta hued pomegranates
The Famous Food-blogger UK with PK 
Finally, when we reached the farm, we were amazed by the large, clean n green farm, where cows were roaming n playing around. Parag Milk Foods, earlier known as Gowardhan dairy (uses only Cow's milk) traditionally produces Ghee (clarified butter), Dahi (curd), Pouch milk, Paneer etc.
Now #GoCheeseWorld has expanded, modernized it's operations to produce variety of cheeses, flavored milk, yogurt, fresh cream, paneer, buttermilk etc. We returned to assembly hall for a sumptuous lunch choc a block with variety of pasta, pizza , lasagna , mousse, tarts, cheese, salads etc. 

Next, on our agenda was the factory visit, which was an enjoyable experience as we wore medical aprons, face-masks, caps, thoroughly sanitized our hands and machine washed our feet.  Most gluttonous members of our group loved this cheese factory visit as they got to taste the freshest, warmest cheese ever. Tasting done, it was time to test our grasping power. Quiz-session gave us ample opportunity to win #GoCheese goodies at the assembly hall.

P.S. : Dear Friends , after reading about  this exciting trip , you too would be interested in visiting #GoCheeseWorld with Family & Friends. Please check out this response in comments section... Cheers ...

yes, we do offer our #Gocheeseworld tour to public. we promote dairy tourism. please get in touch with us on 43005555. Thanks, 

Friday, March 11, 2016

VWomen International Women's day

Indian Bloggers

Being a Journalist, that too a Woman, I had always received special invites and attended a lots of International Women's Day events. So this year was no big deal. 

Ahaa... But wait , this VWash-VWoman of the Year 2016 ( organized by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals ) invite was absolutely a MUST-attend, Most-awaited event as my dear friend Mrs. Geeta Shridhar was the AWARD-Winner.

I had known Geeta, since my Facebook-winning spree. Most of the times, we were co-winners of the various social media contests. Our communication was restricted to 'Congratulations .... Same to you... All the best ...'. We had never met in person. 

We first met at the Indibloggers meet after Geeta joined the Blog-wagon with 'Food Express from Chennai' . By then I was a pro with my 'Spirit Of Mumbai'. 

I introduced Geeta to other IndiBlogger-members and new blogging communities like Blogmint, Blogadda. Geeta took to blogging with the same zest as she had been a Master-Chef finalist in 2015.

Yeah, I know... you must be wondering, is that all why she was chosen as the VWoman of the year ?. 

Well ... here's the real life story of Geeta. I am sure you all will love to read and get inspired full on ....i-Diva article by Zahra Motorwala .

Now... without a further ado. let me present the real Mrs. Geeta Shridhar. Ok, Fine, be warned ...  you all have seen her, where else but on TV with Bipasha Basu, Aalia Bhat, Milind Soman, RJ Malishka, Picture Pande, Master Chefs Sanjeev Kapoor, Ranveer Brar, Vikas Khanna , Vicky Ratnani, Rakhi, Harpal Sokhi, Ajay Chopra etc. 

The VWomen International Women's Day event was organized to felicitate women who have made the Positive impact on the society. 

As a part of the International Women’s Day celebration, VWomen paid a tribute to those women who have dared to question "WHY", redefined the situations and rediscovered and reinvented themselves. 

Breaking stereotype’ was the theme. ‘Breaking stereotype’ is redefining conventional conditions to pioneer a better way of doing things. It is about challenging existing norms to rediscover the real ‘You’. Breaking stereotype is also about daring to question ’Why” and making the conscious choice of being different or finding a new way of doing things.

The event-venue was The Lalit ( yes, the same Lalit, where we Indibloggers have millions of memories related to #BNLF ). 

It began with Hi-tea. Post the caffeine shot, the lovely ladies adorned themselves with various props such as tiara, sashay, hats, garlands , feathers etc and enjoyed a fun-photo-shoot.

Instantaneous networking happened, while clicking the numerous selfies. 

The ladies settled down in the grand ball room of The Lalit. The vivaciously brilliant Emcee welcomed us and raised our spirits with her dazzling speech about women-power. 

The key notes by chief-dignitaries were appreciated  by the audience. The Emcee was introducing the VWomen-award-winners in such a charming way that , each one received a well-deserved  thunderous applause from the enthusiastic audience . 

The cherry on this eye-candy dessert was the stand-up comedy show. This power packed VWomen International Women's day event concluded with appetizing mock tails and delicious buffet dinner.