Why I Refuse To Be An Employee Starting 2017

2008. I graduated from St. Xavier’s College.

2008. In the month of September, I landed my first job.

Let me point out right now that this is not a rant. It’s going to be a lot of words. And all of them have meaning and are carefully chosen. If you are going to be judgemental, feel free to leave or stay and assume or deduce what you may, but I’m not trying to reach out to you for sympathy. If you are receptive and open to know what I have to say, thank you. You’ll probably take away more from this post. And lastly, I’m not angry. Neither am I victimizing or feeling sorry for myself. I am, in fact, in a position where I’m detached from the situation and making observations and recounting instances.

Continue reading Why I Refuse To Be An Employee Starting 2017

Dine-around Experience at T2 International Airport, Mumbai

Alice at T2 International Airport
Alice at T2 International Airport
If you’ve travelled internationally from the T2 airport at Sahar, Mumbai, you’ll relate to what I’m about to say. You’re famished before you can board your flight. You leave home an hour in advance and you’re anyway required to be at the airport at least 3 hours before your flight time. It’s roughly 4 hours, give or take from the time you leave home until you board the flight. And the only thing going on in your mind is what you want to eat.

For this reason, I was at T2 last night exploring the restaurant options and trying the specialities on the menu. Just so next time you’re at the airport, you know where to head and what to eat. If you’ve factored in time for duty free shopping, you might as well enjoy a good meal too.

For starters, we headed to the Indian Kebab & Grill restaurant. We tried a range of vegetarian starters including the Broccoli Badam Tikki and the Paneer Dum Roll. The interesting thing about the restaurant, being located at the airport is, no knives and open fires can be used. The closed mini-tandoor can serve up a paneer tikka that you can cut into with your fork. Imagine cooking without knives. That’s gotta be a real challenge.

After we had whet our appetite with the starters, we headed to Olive Bistro for mains and desserts. Olive is popular for its pizzas and risottos. But even the burger and pasta left us asking for more. Tell me the pictures aren’t making you drool already.

If you thought we’d be full on the mains, you guessed right. But only for the benefit of our dear readers, we indulged in delicious desserts. You can tell they were excellent by the mere glee on our face.

Alice and Himani at Olive Bistro at T2
Alice and Himani at Olive Bistro at T2
We tried the blueberry cheesecake, the walnut cocoa pie and the simply beautiful caramel creme.

After consuming that much food, we were ready to catch a flight that wasn’t going anywhere. We took a walk nevertheless and stopped at Cafe Indiana where we digested our food with some cutting chai. Of course, even the chai was served with mawa cake, nankhatai and khaki biscuit.

Tea and snacks
Tea and snacks
In all fairness, we had gone all out and stretched ourselves. So, ending the dine-around experience on a sweet note was the right thing to do. The only possibility of a live paan counter is at an airport in Mumbai. The bhaiyya quickly put together two sweet paans for us and we were ready to bid goodbye to T2.

If you aren’t already, do follow me on Instagram where I documented the entire experience live, with videos and mouthwatering pictures.

I love to hear from you, so let me know if you’re headed to the airport and what you’re hoping to eat before you leave the country. I’m eagerly waiting to know what you thought of the dine-around experience at T2 and if you’d like me to document more such activities. Basically, write to me. :*

Photographs: In collaboration with Himani Shah

Fighting the monsoon for my skin

I had no clue until now that the monsoon was turning out to be my skin’s worst enemy. My face has broken out so badly, it’s terrible. And I have a lot of important places to go to. When I received information about Avène’s three-step solution for acne, I was on board immediately. If you’re facing the same problem, you should try it with me.

Specifically developed for cleansing and moisturising oily skin, Avène’s new line of treatment contains specific ingredients which reduce sebum production, soothe irritations and leave the skin feeling fresh and mattified.

I’ve already started following the procedure. Here’s a step-by-step guide for you:

Cleanance Gel
Cleanance Gel

Step 1 – Cleanse with Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser

It cleanses and purifies your skin while respecting its pH. This very gentle paraben-free cleansing gel is perfectly suited for young, oily blemish-prone skin of the face and body. It purifies the skin and controls oil secretion without abrasion (no rebound effect). Its seboregulators and anti-bacterial key ingredients eliminate impurities and excess oil. Key ingredients like Cucurbita pepo help minimize excess sebum, while Avène Thermal Spring Water soothes the skin, leaving it clear, fresh and non-irritated. It prepares the skin for treatment. This is a very economical product, as a small quantity is enough to be effective.

FACT: This product was tested morning and evening for 21 days by 30 people with acne-prone skin, and 100% of the users noticed that their skin was clearer after 15 days!

Triacneal
Triacneal

Step 2 – Treat and eliminate imperfections with TriAcneal

Paraben-free TriAcneal helps eliminate severe imperfections while smoothing your skin. Effectiose ®, a patented innovation from PFDC Research Center (France), regulates the influx of irritating substances at the follicle level. Glycolic acid helps to peel away impurities, while Retinaldehyde regulates the formation of skin flaws and prevents residual marks. The soothing effects of Avène Thermal Spring Water provide the skin with a feeling of instant comfort in this formulation as well.

FACT: This product was tested on 47 people with skin imperfections. As early as the second week, 85% users noticed a decrease in residual marks on the face!

Cleanance Mask
Cleanance Mask

Step 3 – Restore radiance with Cleanance Deep-cleansing Purifying Mask

Have oily skin with light imperfections? This paraben-free mask, which turns into a scrub, erases, eliminates impurities and tightens pores, a three-in-one way to perfect skin! Enriched in soft clay and vegetal key ingredients, this mask absorbs excess sebum, while its micro-particles unclog your pores gently, giving your complexion clarity. Its mattifying qualities help restore your skin’s velvety texture.

FACT: This product was tested by 32 people with oily skin once or twice a week and 97% of the users felt that their skin was purified, smoother and exfoliated satisfactorily! 80% of the users said they experienced a visible no-shine result as early as one hour following application!

I’m sure, like me, most of you must be unaware of Avène and its presence in India. Log on to their website: aveneindia.com and you’ll find products recommended for you after a diagnosis along with instructional videos. Try it and let me know. 🙂

A Cinderella experience at Heel & Buckle

I know you’ve had this fantasy for a while. You’ve been dreaming that the shoe you lost has turned into a glass slipper and Prince Charming is on his way to fit you right back into it. No? Oh, I must be narrating my own wish then. When I scheduled a visit to the newly opened Heel & Buckle store at Palladium, I had no clue what adventure I was in for.

Heel & Buckle
Heel & Buckle

All photographs: Himani Shah

At Heel & Buckle
At Heel & Buckle

This charming old world shop is easy to spot on the last level. Entering it is like walking in to a fairy tale. You half expect a fairy godmother to wave her magic wand. The store attendants (who I think double up as Cinderella’s helpers after hours) greet you and ask if they may help you. When you’re done feasting on the Pazzion and Paco Gil collection, you may ask them to get your size in the pair you would like to try.

Look! The shoe I've been missing
Look! The shoe I’ve been missing
Embellished rose motif ballerina flats
Embellished rose motif ballerina flats

I was so fascinated with the process I’m about to describe. Continue reading A Cinderella experience at Heel & Buckle

Discovering chocolates at The Cocoa Trees

Bite into a big Oreo cookie
Bite into a big Oreo cookie

This one day, a colleague brought peanut butter Oreo cookies to work. Of course, they were wiped clean in minutes. But everyone was also wondering where to find them again. As luck would have it, I was invited to visit The Cocoa Trees.

The Cocoa Trees at Nature's Basket, Bandra
The Cocoa Trees at Nature’s Basket, Bandra

The Cocoa Trees I visited is a shop-in-shop at Nature’s Basket, Hill Road, Bandra (W). Apart from selling giant Oreo Cookie packages, the retail concept store sells the widest range of quality, recognized chocolate brands like Anthon Berg, Cadbury, Celebrations, Chupa Chups, Cote d’Or, Daim, Droste, Duc d’O, Fazer, Ferrero, Gavottes, Goldkenn, Haribo, Hawaiian Host, Hershey’s, Jelly Belly, Jules Destrooper, Kagi, Kinder, Lorenz, M&M’s, Maltesers, Mars, Mentos, Merci, Milka, Ritter Sport, Snickers, Starburst, Storz, Swiss Delice, Taveners, The Belgian, Tic Tac, Toblerone. Basically, the A-Z of international chocolates.

Belgian chocolates at The Cocoa Trees
Belgian chocolates at The Cocoa Trees
Interesting Cadbury flavours at The Cocoa Trees
Interesting Cadbury flavours at The Cocoa Trees

Do you remember that F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode where in the midst of Ross & Emily’s back and forth, all Joey cares about is the large bar of Toblerone? We found a huge ruled bar of Kinder at The Cocoa Tress and may I say, the photographeress was very pleased?

The photographeress with a huge Kinder bar
The photographeress with a huge Kinder bar

The great thing about The Cocoa Trees opening up in a location other than the airport is that you needn’t just buy your favourite international chocolates from the Duty-Free. Plus, The Cocoa Trees is always running some or the other promotion and you can make hampers to gift your loved ones. The store earns brownie points from me. 🙂

Gifting options from The Cocoa Trees
Gifting options from The Cocoa Trees

For more info on the store, visit thecocoatrees.com or like their Facebook page: The Cocoa Trees India