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Diwali Home Décor : Traditional Home Decorations For Diwali

Hindus use a number of traditional decorative items to decorate their homes during Deepavali. Traditional Diwali home décor adds to the joy of the occasion and celebrates the Festival of Lights.

Here are some decorating ideas to enhance the festive appeal of your house during Diwali.

  • Diwali Diyas:

Since Diwali is called as the festival of lights, diyas will form obviously part of your home decor. Diyas are small lamps made up of clay which are filled with oil or ghee as a source of fuel.

By Siddarth Varanasi (Flickr: DSC_0455) CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Candle wax can also be used in the form of aluminium diyas or tealights. Thes diyas are available in various designs and may have good luck symbols painted on them which can include the “Om” or “Swastika“.

Diyas can be decorated with sequins, beads, minakari work, and different traditional motifs for Diwali decoration. Colourful flower shaped diyas bordered with beads and sparkling gold can beautifully decorate your home for this event.

Panchmukhi floral diyas with Lakshmi and Ganesha idols embedded on them can add a special touch to your decor. You can place diyas on the steps of your residence to welcome visitors into your home.

  • Diwali Lanterns And Candles:

Aromatic candles and lanterns often known as the ‘Aakash Kandil‘ can be used to decorate your home for Diwali. It’s not just that the candles illuminate your home, but these also create the perfect atmosphere for a festive celebration.

Floating candles are stored in pots filled with liquid or water and can be decorated with petals of flowers or even rose to add the artistic look. Sparkling flowers plus candles add beauty to your home.

Diwali Diya

One of the best ideas for Diwali decoration is to go in for wax designed, mirror studded and adorned candles with coloured stones and sparkles. They are perfect for adding light and beauty to your home.

  • Diwali Rangolis:

Rangoli paste is made from rice flour, coloured chalk and crushed limestone. Rangoli is used to enhance the beauty of your home during Diwali. Common themes used in Diwali rangoli include sacred symbols like “Swastika“, “Shree“, “Mangal Kalash“, “Deepak” etc.

Rangoli made with rice

The Goddess Lakshmi figure sitting on a lotus is often depicted with rangolis. Figures of animals, geometric patterns, and natural images such as flowers and trees can also be included in these rangolis. To add special effects to these rangolis, you must place the candles and diyas at specific positions on them.

  • Torans:

Attractive Torans that come with marigold flowers and mango leaves form a great Diwali decoration that gives a colourful look to your home and brightens up the decor.

They are often used to decorate the entrance to your home. Torans decorated with beads, bells, and mirrors are fashionable items that help you decorate your entrance with style.

Toran from Gujarat
By Wmpearl – Own work, Public Domain
  • Wall Hangings:

Wall hangings that have a picture of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi add to the decor of your home during Diwali. Wall hangings, combined with ethnic motifs and embroidery work, add to the charm of the Diwali decor.

An elegant wall hanging can have an image of Lord Ganesha made of white metal and decorated with shades of green and orange to give that special touch to your decor.

Apply the above decorations to your home this Diwali with new and creative ways that add to the festive fun.


Diwali Home Décor  - Traditional Home Decorations For Diwali

How To Start Living Debt-Free

Do you dream of living without the burden of excessive debt hanging over your head? It’s possible, but not easy. Living debt free requires financial discipline, all the time. To become debt free and maintain a debt free life, try the following three steps:

1. Get rid of existing debt.

This is obviously your first step to living a debt-free lifestyle. Cut up any credit cards that you currently have in your wallet, purse, or desk drawer and do not apply for or accept any other cards.

Pay your bills on time, sending as much as possible to one account while paying the minimum due on all of your other accounts until the account is paid off. Do this until all of your debt has been paid off.

2. Create a budget.

Every single person who lives without debt has a financial budget and follows it.

Without budgeting for expenses and incidentals, people overspend on unnecessary items and then when things just “happen” unexpectedly, (otherwise known as unplanned for expenses) these individuals rely on credit cards to make ends meet.

Make a list of every monthly expense you can think of. Then, make another list of every incidental expense that you pay throughout the year but not necessarily on a monthly basis.

If you usually get 3 oil changes a year at Rs 200 a piece, you need to plan for Rs 600 a year for oil changes, which is the equivalent of Rs 50 per month.

Once you have a comprehensive list, subtract your total monthly expenses from your total monthly income and see what is left over. Be sure you include savings accounts in your “expenses”.

Pay yourself first is a good rule to live by. If there is still money left over, congratulations! Use it to pay more on each individual account until everything is fully paid.

3. Avoid credit like the plague.

Make all of your purchases with cash and you will never fall into the debt trap again.

Manage Your Money

As you are starting the process to a debt-free life, you should be extremely mindful as to where your money is going. It’s important that you track your spending habits for a period of time in order to see where money is being wasted, or where you can cut costs without completely changing your lifestyle.

Keep a notebook where you list every single item you purchase, including the amount you paid, where you purchased it, and the reason. Include all bills that were paid, how much you paid, and how much you still owe.

After a few months of tracking your spending habits, you will be able to determine exactly where all of your money is going, and you may be surprised at how much your little purchases are adding up and eating away at the money you could be using to pay off debt to enjoy a debt free lifestyle!

That cup of coffee you grab every morning on the way to work could be costing you Rs 500 or more each week- about Rs 2000 per month, and brewing your own coffee at home could save you considerably.

How to Remain Debt Free after Recovery

One of the biggest mistakes people make after making a financial recovery is to allow themselves to fall back into old habits. Before they know it, they’ve racked up another few thousand in credit bills, and they’re heading down the same path to having a desperate situation where they just can’t make their payments on time each month.

You do not need to have credit cards in your wallet. Yes, it is a very odd feeling to go from having several cards available to you to none, but it is the safest way to avoid overspending. You may want to keep one credit card in a safe place in your home, for purchases that do require a credit card.

Think long and hard before using the card, and if it is possible to buy it with cash, then do that instead. A credit card should not be used for every purchase, nor should it be used when you want to buy something unnecessary that you don’t have enough cash to purchase.

If you want a luxury item, save your money until you can buy it. If after several months of saving you decide you don’t need it, then you’ve saved the money on an item you previously may have purchased on a credit card, discovered you didn’t really need or want it, and then had to pay back three to four times what the item is worth after all the interest and finance charges were added!

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Female Facial Hair Removal Tips

Female facial hair can be embarrassing. It often appears first during puberty and then gets darker and coarser after the age of thirty five, when facial hair removal becomes an important issue.

Most female facial hair appears over the lip and on the chin, but many females have unwanted hair on their jaw, cheeks and neck. Fortunately, there are a number of different ways to finesse female facial hair removal.

Facial Hair Removal

First and foremost, a female should determine the underlying cause of her facial hair before deciding on a removal method.

Females who are pregnant or nursing often notice an increase of facial hair. They should speak with their doctor before using any hair removal method that uses energy, chemicals or drugs.

Females who have high levels of androgens, (a steroid hormone, such as testosterone or androsterone, that controls the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics), creating facial hair may obtain prescription oral medications from a medical specialist.

Tweezing is probably the method most often used to remove female facial hair. But while it’s okay to use tweezers for eyebrows, it really isn’t for other female facial hair. It’s painful, time consuming usually needing to be done on a daily basis, and over time, tweezing can damage the skin.

Some females believe they can conceal their facial hair by bleaching it, but then, under make up and in bright light their face looks, “furry”.

One can remove unwanted female facial hair with a hair removal cream or lotion known as a depilatory. But don’t be surprised if you get pimples as a reaction to the harsh chemicals.

Topical creams for female facial hair removal, available only by prescription, inhibit the growth of new hairs for about 50% of the females who have used one.

Shaving with a wet razor is not recommended as a female facial hair removal method because hairs grow back very quickly and the stubble appears thicker and darker.

A facial wax is a clean, fast and easy method for removing female facial hair for up to 6 weeks. But, many experience swelling and redness in reaction to the hairs being literally yanked out.

Electrolysis is an unpleasant form of female facial hair removal because it involves inserting a needle into the follicle, (the skin depression from which the hair emerges), of each individual hair, which can cause swelling, redness, pinpoint scabbing and even scarring. Electrolysis requires anesthesia, is expensive and needs to be done regularly for 1 or 2 years to achieve final results.

Laser treatments for female facial hair removal can provide results within six to eight treatments – If you can afford the hefty cost. Because laser hair removal involves a hot laser light, “zapping”, the hair follicles, these treatments require the use of a topical anesthetic.

One last thing – If you do your own research you’ll discover there is one more hair removal method that will help you finesse your female facial hair.


Consulting Careers: A Promising Option For Women In India?

Turns out, one of the most searched job terms is “consultant”. So what or who is a consultant? Plainly put, a consultant is a person who provides advice in a particular field or specialty. They provide an outside, objective view to help organizations spot problems and better them.

A consultant is an experienced individual trained to analyze and advise a client. Some of the most popular areas where consultants are hired are IT consultant, human resources, branding and marketing, accounting and finance, personal consultant, wedding consultant, tax consultant, etc. Basically, consulting jobs exist in every industry.

Consulting CareersIf you’re considering becoming a consultant, here are a few things to consider. Do you have industry experience or expertise in the consulting area you’re considering?

Are you a people person who can get along with a variety of clients? Are you skilled in handling difficult problems? If the answer’s yes, you might be on your way to become an expert consultant.

Consulting is an exciting but risky career. One needs to have extensive knowledge about the area they have chosen. Three skills a consultant must have, according to Peter Block of Flawless Consulting fame, are technical, interpersonal and consulting skills.

• As mentioned earlier, one needs to posses technical skills, i.e., expertise in a particular field. Ideally, this includes actual experience in that area of interest beyond just theoretical knowledge. In ever-changing fields such as the information technology industry this knowledge can become outdated very quickly so it is important to continually polish your skills.

• A significant aspect of being a consultant is, having to deal with people. This is where interpersonal skills come in. You need some ability to put your ideas in to words, to listen to others, and to provide support. You also need to be able to disagree and to suggest ideas counter to what your client may be proposing.

• Odd as it may sound, but a consultant needs to have consulting skills. Consulting of any kind needs to be carried out in a sequential process. And implementing this process isn’t quite so easy. This process puts you in a role that is very similar to an IT project manager.

Work in consulting is stimulating and the pay can be excellent. You also get the option of working with a company or freelancing/working from home. No wonder this particular career choice is quickly becoming a hot favorite among Indian women.

Initially a few years of experience was mandatory for anyone wanting to be a consultant. However the demand for consultants has led to a change of situation and today certain basic educational qualifications are what it takes to become a consultant with a reputed firm.

The basic academic qualifications necessary to pursue a career in consulting are:

• Integrated degree of BITS or

• A degree in MCA, BE / B.Tech, M.Sc, MBA or

• M.Com


Here are top 5 consultant firms in India-

1. Mafoi Management Consultants

2. Kelly Services

3. Manpower

4. Adecco India

5. ABC Consultants

Or one can become an image consultant. Image consultants advise individuals and companies on all aspects of personal impact and appearance.

One would work with people from a variety of sectors, such as public and private companies, politics, media and retail. Not only is it highly lucrative, but who knows…you might even get to work with high profile celebrities!


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Indian Vegetable Samosa Recipe

Home-Made Indian Vegetable Samosa Recipe

By Sanchyeta Srivastava

I would like to dedicate this Indian snack recipe to my mother-in-law who taught me how to prepare it with her own hands. I am happy that I have learned this snack from her when she was alive. I am satisfied that I could pen one of her cookery skills for the online viewers to read, learn, prepare, and relish them to the fullest.

Indians cannot resist thinking about the delicious ‘Samosa’ – a light stuffed fried Indian pastry triangular in shape in the shape of a water chestnut – especially at tea-time. This is one of the favourite snacks to offer your guests along with Indian chutneys as an accompaniment.

You can make delicious hot and crispy ‘Samosas’ for your guests. You’ll forget about the readymade Samosas available on the market, once you have tried making them at home with your own hands. Here is the Recipe.

Ingredients for Making Samosas:

2 cups double-sieved dry Wheat Flour (Maida)
2-3 tablespoon Cooking Oil or butter or ghee
Salt to taste
Some water to mix and knead

4-5 medium-sized round fresh raw Potatoes
(For Tempering)
1 small spoon Cumin (Jeera) Seeds
2-3 Dry Red Chilies
A pinch of Asafoetida or Heeng
(For Cooking)
1 small spoon Turmeric powder
1-2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
1 teaspoon roasted Cumin Powder
1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder or Black Pepper Powder
1-2 teaspoon Garam Masala (Dry Hot Spices)
Salt to taste
2-3 tablespoon Cooking Oil

Method for Making Dough:

In a bowl pour dry wheat flour. Add cooking oil or butter or ghee, and salt to taste. Add water for kneading. Make into a thick mixture that should not be too soft and neither too hard. Keep in mind that the mixture should come out soft with elasticity effect.

Now, take out a small quantity of the mixture and round it with both your hands in a circular motion to make small round dough and keep it in a basket or container.

Note: Make even numbers of dough to pair them easily while preparing Samosas.

Method for Cooking Vegetables:

Wash, peel off and cut fresh raw potatoes into cubes or small pieces.

Heat cooking oil in a frying pan; add cumin seeds, broken dry red chillies and a pinch of asafoetida for tempering.

Then, add all the potato pieces and stir a little. Now add all the dry spices and salt to taste. Mix well and cook on medium flame throughout till done.

Do not add any water to it. If the vegetable begins to stick at the bottom, then you can only sprinkle some water to it. Put off the flame when cooked and keep it aside for cooling.

The cooked vegetable is now ready for stuffing.

Note: Do not cover the lid while cooking and after the vegetable is cooked.

Method for Stuffing and Making Samosas:

Take the first dough, flatten a little with your palm, and place it on the circular rolling board. Sprinkle some dry flour over the dough.

Take the second dough, flatten it similar to the first dough, and place it on top of the first one. Then make flat round Chapatti (round paper-like flat dough) with the rolling-pin slowly and evenly so that both the dough is rolled flat evenly and nicely.

Heat (without any oil) a non-stick flat pan, place the round Chapatti on the pan and cook it on both sides. Remove the Chapatti, peel off to separate to two chapattis and place them in a basket or casserole.

Try and repeat the above steps again with other pairs of dough to make quite a lot of Chapattis.

Tips: Make sure that you make several pairs of dough beforehand. Don’t forget to sprinkle dry flour in between the flat dough to peel off easily when cooked.

When you finished with all the dough, place two or four flat Chapattis on the flat rolling board, and cut straight with a sharp knife down the chapattis to make three long strips and place them in the basket or casserole.

Note: Now you have total six long strips from two Chapattis, and 12 long strips from four Chapattis.

Take a small bowl, pour 2 teaspoons dry flour (Maida) and mix it with some water to make a thick consistency for making glue.

Now, take each strip in your hand one at a time. Glue the corner of the strip with your gentle fingers. Place the unbaked part of the strip face up on your palm, hold the right corner of the strip and fold it to the centre upwards, take it to the other side and wrap the cover and press a little. It will take the shape of a triangular cone.

Note: If it doesn’t come out neatly at first take. Try it with other strips and you will soon learn how to make a great and perfect cone.

Make some space inside the cone, and fill up with some Potato Vegetable for stuffing. Cover the top open part of the cone with the left out flap and press it gently downwards and then turn it backwards.

Whew! One triangular cone (un-fried Samosa) is ready. Yes, hard work and patience together won’t go wasted. Try with all the other strips with the same steps mentioned as above. You will become a perfect Samosa-maker by the time you finish with the last strip. 

When you finish with all the (un-fried) Samosas, you can immediately deep fry them in hot low-fat cooking oil in a deep wok or Karaahi. Fry till light brown and crisp, and serve hot with Indian Mint or Tamarind Chutney or Tomato Ketchup.

Tips and Variations:

1. You can keep all the un-fried Samosas into the freezer for later use. Believe me, all of them will stay fresh for longer periods and they won’t get rotten when you take them out to fry on hot cooking oil.

Note: (For working or harried women) – You can make all the un-fried Samosas during weekends or holidays. You can offer hot and crispy Samosas and serve with Indian Chutneys when some unexpected guests arrive at odd times. You can also enjoy eating them with your family during tea-time on weekdays.

2. You can boil the potatoes instead of cooking raw. But, in doing so, you cannot put the Samosas into the freezer for later use. It is then essential to fry all of them right away to savour fresh and crisp.

3. You can use other vegetables like green peas, finely chopped cauliflower for stuffing instead of or with potatoes. But, if Samosas are to be eaten later, then cook raw.

4. For Non-Vegetarian people – You can use boiled or raw boneless chicken or meat instead of potatoes or any vegetables.

5. Instead of using vegetables for stuffing, you can use cheddar cheese or paneer and cook it to make sweet stuffing and then fry them as usual. You can add grated or crushed assorted dry fruits for added flavour and taste. For different variety, you can dip each Samosa into Sugar Syrup after frying for giving it wet sweetening in flavour and taste.

6. For making dry sweet Samosas, do not add salt at the time of making the dough. You can add some pinches of sugar powder instead. If you wish to dip Samosas into Sugar Syrup, then no need to add sugar powder while making the dough.

7. If you wish to prepare Garam Masala (Dry Hot Spices) at home, then take an equal amount of Big and small Cardamoms, Black Pepper pods, Cloves, Cumin Seeds, and some Cinnamon Sticks and dry grind them in a Food Processor Jar. For convenience, you can buy it from the market.

Prefer video? Watch the one below.

Indians cannot resist hot and crispy ‘Samosas' especially at tea-time. This is a delicious Indian snack to offer your guests along with Indian chutneys as an accompaniment. Save this Home-Made Indian Vegetable Samosa recipe and click to read how to make it. #Indianfood #Indiancuisine #snacks #samosa #vegetarian


Girl in Saree

The Indian Saree: Six Yards Of Sophistication

By Jainee Gandhi

Sarees have been around since a very long time and yet they get invented, reinvented, recreated and redefined. What makes the saree so popular and appealing?

The saree is a wonderful creation. It gives that sensuous touch, feminine appeal and gives the wearer an absolute ladylike feel. A special spark and charm. Almost every bride, no matter how modern she thinks she is, has a saree as a part of her trousseau.

Do you wonder why some sarees make you look thin, and some make you look as if you have put on a couple of kilos? If you choose the fabric wisely, it will drape well on your body and compliment your curves.

Just follow the basic guidelines below on how to choose the best saree for your body.

Social / Informal Occasion’s:

1. If you are slim and below your weight range then wear a cotton saree, tissue saree, cotton silk or brocade saree.

Basically, the fabric of the saree should be a little heavy so that it makes you look healthy. Choose a well-fitted petticoat. If you have broad shoulders, make very simple blouses.

2. If you are on the healthier side or have a bit of thickness at the waist, then you should wear georgette, chignon or chiffon sarees. This will make you look attractive and appear slimmer.

Also choose your blouses wisely. If your bust is also heavy, don’t opt for halter blouses or very deep necklines. Women with a thick waist should avoid net sarees. Choose medium motifs or designs for your saree.

3. Net and lace sarees are very in, this season. These fabrics are very delicate in appearance. But if teamed up with inappropriate blouse styles, they can look very messy.

4. Sarees fit with ease since it is not cut nor tailored for any particular size. So it is important to drape the saree well. The border draping should be in line. The Gujarati draping makes the lower body look heavy, so people with a heavy waistline should avoid it.

5. The kind of blouse styles you choose is very important. Halter’s, noodle straps, backless are best used for a party kind of scenario while for a traditional occasion use a more conservative style. For example, if you like halter necks, get a deep shoulder set stitched.

6. Like blouses, petticoats also play an important role. For a net saree, you cannot use a cotton petticoat. Here are the types of petticoats that go with each type of saree.

  • Net Saree : Satin , Brocade or shimmery material petticoat
  • Brocade Saree : Satin / Pliable material
  • Cotton Saree : Cotton Petticoat
  • Silk Saree : Cotton Petticoat

Professional Wear:

1. For professionals who prefer a saree to work, there are excellent choices in cottons and silks. Choose geometric or abstract borders, and keep the length of the borders from 1 inch to a maximum of 3 inches.

2. In professional wear, always keep the saree and blouse simple. Have collars on your blouse to amp up your authority level or at least have 1/2 to 3/4th sleeves. Keep the net and chiffon sarees for informal occasions.

3. Drape your saree very well. The kind of drapes used in the airlines and hotel industry is the best example. Always pin the saree at the proper places. When you are at work, you don’t want people to gawk inappropriately and get a wrong impression.

Reinvent your old sarees

Redesign your old sarees in a couple of different ways, but get a good tailor to do it, and have a proper vision of what exactly you want to do.

1. Use your old saris and lehengas with kalis or panels and transform them into beautiful Anarkalis. The sari borders can be used as a beautiful border on the bottom of the Anarkali and used to detail the dupatta.

2. Get an old silk saree and stitch it into a jacket style suit, with contrasting silk cigarette pants or straight pants. If it’s a printed saree, put some Swarovski stones on the neckline and sleeves. For a dressy look, team it up with matching stone studded sandals and a gorgeous clutch bag.

3. If your saree fabric is too fancy for you to use as a salwar kameez, then use it as cover-ups for bed or make fancy throw pillows.

By the way, did you know, in the early days, people of both sexes wore the saree? It became more refined, adjustable and in tune with the gender needs of men and women.

With the passage of time, the garment came to be known as a dhoti and worn in tune with the physical appearance of men folk. And the same for women, for whom the garment’s name remained the saree.

Jainee Gandhi is a Certified Image Consultant from Image Consulting Business Institute – the pioneer in India in the field. She works on Lifestyle Evaluation, Personal Style Evaluation, Body Shape Analysis, Wardrobe Clustering,   Etiquette, Body Language & Grooming Sessions that will help people create a smart impression – thereby increasing their self-confidence. She also conducts corporate workshops, Individual Consulting and coaching Educations institutions on similar lines. 

The Indian Saree - Six Yards Of Sophistication

Shruti Bandhari: Ethnic Indian Fashion Entrepreneur

Armed with passion for artistic excellence and prompted by flair for eclectic designs, Shruti Bhandari has carved a niche of her own in the world of fashion.

Hailing from a lineage of generations involved in manufacturing of fabrics and other creative pursuits, she has always had an artistic bent of mind. From a very early age she knew she wanted to be a designer and decided to branch out and do this on her own.

Shruti Bandhari, Ethnic Indian Fashion EntrepreneurShe holds a degree in Fashion Technology and has designed, under the able tutelage of Sameer Patel for around 7 years, for various celebrities, TV Shows like Indian idol, Nach Baliye etc.

Shruti launched her own Label “Shruti Bhandari” in 2010. The label has its Flagship store on Waterfield Road (Bandra) and also retails at Silhoutte (Juhu).

Her Inspiration is drawn from varied sources and artisan techniques. The label is best known for its exquisitely classic yet stylish and timeless designs.

The collection ranges from Exquisite Indian ethnic wear, Bridals, Trousseau, Gowns, Fashion garments and Tunics for Women to Sherwanis, Jodhpuries and Kurtas for Men. caught up with Shruti and asked her about her journey, the secrets to her success and what advice she has for other Indian women entrepreneurs.

  • What inspired to become an entrepreneur? Did you always love it or was it something you got into?

I was working with designer Sameer Patel for seven years and was happy with my job. But after a while, I started feeling limited. I then decided to start my own label. Growth is an important factor in anyone’s career.

Fashion and related things always interested me. As a child I was surrounded by people who had an inclination for art be architecture or fashion. It seemed like a natural progression to me.

  • When do you know that it is no longer just an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?

I started experimenting by wearing my own designs and then hosting small exhibitions. Designing clothes for my relatives gave me the much-needed confidence. This validated that people appreciated my sensibilities.

  • What inspired you to start out on your own? What learning lessons can you share from your startup experience?

I was newly married when I told my husband about starting my own label. He was very supportive. We were struggling with finances to buy a new house and other marriage-related stuff, but he stood like a rock. He also boosted my confidence and spurred me to think big. This gave birth to the Shruti Bhandari label.

  • What are all the things that a woman entrepreneur needs to keep in mind? I.e. apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

Besides having a great idea, women entrepreneurs need to look at the practical aspects too. Nowadays women are at par with men in almost every field including business.

However, the mentality of women not being good in business is not completely erased. I feel to enter any field, in this case fashion, women need to be consistent and have unique designs which are still wearable.

  • Do women entrepreneurs find it tougher to get funding for businesses? If yes, why do you think that is?

The question of finding it difficult to consolidate funds is irrelevant if you have a good business plan. This supersedes the gender biases.

My advice to the budding entrepreneurs is to always have a business plan. It helps in getting financers and also, evaluating your business progress.

  • What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out? Do you have some examples to share and advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them?

There were a lot of challenges I had to face while launching my own label. They were both financial and emotional.

Negotiating with people was tough for me as many tried taking advantage of me because I was a woman. They thought I would not know the nitty-gritty involved to make a business work. So I suggest other women entrepreneurs to do their homework well.

  • Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you’re starting out on your own? What does a mentor bring to the table?

It is good to have a mentor to guide you. The mentor’s experience and your enthusiasm will reflect in the way the label is brought to the public. The mentor can also help in making a financial plan and achieving and fore sighting business targets.

  • How did you recruit your first team? How difficult was it to get people on board during the initial stages?

I recruited my staff based on merit and then instincts. Anyways women are not new to recruiting people. We do it all the time be it house helps or drivers.

Surprisingly, recruiting was not a problem but boosting their morale is something that helps in getting the best out of them.

  • What are key things that you have learned as an entrepreneur?

Patience and passion for the work is the key for any business. One must be a helpful guide and set a good example for others at work.

  • How important is social media in building a business today? How has it played a role in helping you build yours?

Practically everyone is on social networking sites these days. Social media is a tool that is readily available to many. It helps to get the business to people individually and has a good connect. For entrepreneurs, it helps us keep a tab on competition.

  • Can you share some tips for women entrepreneurs to maintain a balance between work and family life?

When at work be dedicated to work. When at home be there for the family. People feel that family life has to be sacrificed for their career which is unacceptable.

Family is your backbone as those are your roots. Friends may come and go but family stays. Balancing both personal and professional lives is tough but not impossible.



Bengali sweets

5 Tips For Healthy Eating During The Festive Season In India

Post rains come the beautiful months of festivals. In India, we have an abundance in terms of festivity. Every caste, culture, religion have some festival or the other which flows in through the months.

We start with the holy month of Shravan, followed by Ramzaan, then the Ganpati festival, which in turn takes you through the Navratris, and then not to forget Diwali and Christmas. So the celebrations are endless and so is our food.

Festive Indian Food

Healthy eating during the festive season in India will prevent extra weight from piling on. The following tips will help you keep your health at its best while enjoying the festivities.

1. Drink plenty of water

The key to a great metabolism is having enough water. Make it a point to carry a bottle when you travel to visit relatives. Plan to drink at least 3 litres of water through the day.

Opt for plain water instead of colas where ever possible. If you end up consuming alcohol at parties or social gatherings, make it a point to finish at least ½ litre of water through that night to avoid any dehydration.

2. Plan your meals in advance

Plan your day and your meals in advance. For example, when you know you have a dinner or lunch commitment, which will be a heavy meal, try and cut the other meal to half, so as to balance your day’s caloric intake.


3. Eat plenty of fruits and salads

When serving yourself at the food buffet, make sure you heap generous helpings of fruits and salads on your plate, so you get enough fibre, feel fuller and be good to your digestive system.

4. Be careful of what you imbibe

Avoid deep fried foods as much as possible, but if you end up eating them, restrict your portions to a small piece.

Include metabolism-boosting foods like green tea, lemon grass, red chillies, pepper, and cinnamon regularly.

When entertaining people at home, balance the menu with enough salads, curd, unfried foods etc

Bengali sweets

5. Watch that sweet tooth

Try to stick to sweets & desserts which are unfried like Rasgulla, Sandesh, Mishti Dahi, Gajar or Dudhi Halwa.

Also in the cold foods opt for Jellies or Sorbets or Fruit Custards instead of Ice Creams or Rich Truffles.

Most importantly remember to eat on time and let moderation always be your key.

About the author: 

Malavika Athavale is Consulting Nutritionist at Eatrite – The Nutrition Clinic.

5 Tips For Healthy Eating During The Festive Season In India