Thursday, April 2, 2015


"BlogAdda invites you to take a pledge that you will #ShareTheLoad of household chores and not burden just one family member. Gentlemen, we want you to take up this challenge to give the ladies of the house some respite from doing the laundry, and blog about the experience."

As soon as I read the above lines from BlogAdda, I really wanted to write on this. Well, since I have been away from my home for quite some time now and I do the washing chores all by myself. So yeah I am looking for an opportunity where I get a respite from this. Of course, I get some respite when I back home but even then I still wash.

Well, I think I should give you a brief washing background and thus the washing history of men like me. Men who can relate to washing but were never able to (nor find time to) write a Washing story.

Long long ago, in the days of ‘Washing powder Nirma’ jingle before this thing called washing machine was bought at home, my mom wanted me to wash clothes. Somehow at that point of time, I thought washing clothes was the most boring household chore on earth. Arranging the books in my shelf, shopping for some errands from the market and even washing my dinner plate seemed to be better. Washing clothes was however the most boring job

I still grumble when I think about the day I spent 1 hour washing clothes trying to make my vest as clean as the one shown in those silly advertisements.  But that never happened. After that I accepted the truth and washed on.

However I have realized that I spend quite a good part of my life washing clothes. I have stayed away from my family in the last 1.5 years and so I have been washing clothes without a washing machine.  In fact, twice in the last 2 weeks I was washing clothes but remembered about the Ariel matic powder only after finishing the weekly washing. The fact that Blog Adda have promoted Ariel matic using the Washing machine picture hasn't really helped. 

I wash clothes. But then I usually don’t use a Washing machine. This I think is the story of the Indian male. For a moment, let’s keep all these fancy reports aside. I now wonder that there is gender stereotyping here and it is against men and not against women.

We wash clothes but then it is such a mundane weekend (read Sunday late night) activity that there is little excitement doing it. I once remember even damaging my phone trying to click a silly picture while washing my clothes.  I wasn't really sure if I should do that this time. 

Luckily I have traveled to my native place this week. Now I have a washing machine around and thus the inclination to write about Ariel matic. (We are finally done with the background story for that. Phew!!!)

As I was about to begin the #WashBucketChallenge, I discovered that I could count the number of times I used a washing machine. It was not more than 5 times for sure.  So then, BlogAdda and Ariel matic have indeed succeeded in pushing me to do something that I am not really used to doing. I am indeed doing a #Sharetheload with my family.

Now finally for a few words on the product – Ariel Matic Washing powder

  •  I have used the Ariel matic power to wash my not-really-dirty clothes. Unfortunately these clothes aren't really dirty and so I can’t really tell you how effectively Ariel matic removes stains like curry, chocolate, ink etc
  • The powder is very light. This means that the quantity of the powder that you get for a fixed weight would be higher than the quantity of a heavier powder.
  •  The washing powder does a clean job washing the clothes and gets them to shine. It also leaves an aromatic fragrance on the clothes
  •  The quantity of powder that is needed to wash a certain number of clothes is also less as compared to other powders. This is perhaps why Ariel products are priced higher than the other products like Tide.
  •  Ariel should perhaps promote more such sample since a middle class family like ours usually gets intimidated seeing the price of Ariel products. This is what my Dad says. (Yet another Male consumer insight about #washingpowders). However using this sample has showed that the amount of powder that is needed is less which perhaps explains the price. 
This post is a part of the #WashBucketChallenge activity at is association with Ariel India' in your blog post.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ramayana - The Game of Life - Book Review

Book: Ramayana – The Game of Life
Author: Shubha Vilas
Number of Pages: 387

‘Ramayana – The Game of Life’ is the latest book by Shubha Vilas. This is his second book in the Ramayana Series and a sequel to ‘Rise of the Sun Prince’.  It is really fascinating to see how authors in the modern day are writing on ancient ithihasas like Ramayana and Mahabharata. With Shubha Vilas’s first book being a best seller and getting lots of positive reviews, I was keen on reading this sequel. Reading this book has been a different experience from reading other books. Although it gets a bit preachy at time, the connections that are made with the story and the learning based on the various instances in the story is pretty interesting.

 Shubha Vilas book ‘Ramayana – The Game of Life’ – Shattered Dreams is based on Rama’s exile. The story starts with King Dasaratha decides to step down and crown Rama as the ruler of Ayodhya. This is when the boon that Dasaratha gives Keikeyi in the past comes into the picture. Keikeyi asks for 2 boons and insists on her son Bharata being crowned the King of Ayodhya instead of Rama and Rama being sent to exile for 14 years.  The rest of the story talks about how Rama and Sita react to this setback positively and head for the exile.

Having read the entire Ramayana story in 250-300 pages or through Amar Chitra Katha comics, reading this book has been completely different experience. With close to 400 pages being dedicated to this story, the author presents the thinking and the emotions behind each of the decisions that happened during the course of this story. This detail also helps in showing the shades of each character (which is what happens in real life) instead of showing them in black and white.

The story also explores various other smaller stories connected to the main one. There is this part which explains how Dasaratha gives boons to Keikeyi and also on how Dasagriva transforms to Ravana. I never had a chance to read any of these in such detail.

There is analysis in boxes at various points in the story which conveys the larger message to the world to be learnt from the story. In addition to this, there are notes presented in that bottom of each page that present aspects  to learn and understand  from the story and this is where Shubha Vilas shows how there is so much to learn from Ramayana.  These notes present the hidden text and implicit meaning in some of statements that are made by the characters in the story. As someone who writes, I thought this was also a lesson in writing knowing what to reveal and what to convey through the hidden meaning while crafting a story.

It is fascinating to read how modern day authors write on an ancient ithihasas like Ramayana. I enjoyed reading this book and I am now looking to get a different perspective on the same story. I intend to get started on Ashok Banker’s Series of Ramayana which I believe will explore Ramayana in a very different way and present a new perspective.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!