Needlework

The tak-tak-tak-tak rhythmic sewing machine pedal sounds, the hum and whirr of the pedal and motor in the second bedroom of my parents’ Andheri apartment is a familiar ‘come-home’ sound. The room is in the far end of the flat, west-facing, light and airy.  Cross-ventilated with two windows, and in my parents’ classic generous style, it is my grandparent’s bedroom. The room is fitted with two Godrej cupboards, a ‘mandir’,…

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Lumiere turned 17 on September 15th 2013. Charted the strategic journey for the next 4 years.

Lumière turned seventeen today, a magic number! ‘The Sound of Music’ had ‘you are 17 going on 18…older and wiser… and I’ll depend on you…’ Seventeen is about being responsible and getting ready to take bigger challenges. A year short of becoming an adult, ‘moving out’… It’s about exploring the world, charting new paths, taking new challenges, our values as strong anchor. We push onward with some nervous excitement… Milind…

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Mommy Coach

Beena has gone back to work and she is lucky to have her mother and mother-in-law both help with baby-sitting her baby. Diya lives with her in laws and delivered twin boys. Her older son is three. She will eventually get back to work. Aparajita is expecting her second baby and will take a maternity break of 4 months and will get back to work. Life for these women is…

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Planning a butterfly-themed 16th birthday for Lumiere.

A friend tells me, ‘where I live is just so much concrete, and our days so harried, we has time for birds and butterflies? We do! And we must! And what does Lumiere have to do with butterflies? Why plan a butterfly-themed 16th birthday? Short-lived, flitting from flower to flower, busy, frisky, with short attention spans. The secret life of a butterfly may also involve basking, mimicking and disguises, mating and…

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Kids can cook

Yan Can Cook’ was one of the first cookery shows that the networks brought to India. Mothers and kids watched Sanjeev Kapur’s ‘Khana Khazana’. TV Cookery shows are the new reality TV. Kids watch cookery shows with mom and grand mom. They watched them excitedly try out new dishes. The new MasterChef Kids season 1 is different. It has kids as experts, catapulting interest in cooking in utterly new ways….

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Sheela Chitnis and Multiple Sclerosis

Sheela Chitnis is a sparkling jewel in my collection. A bundle of raw energy with silver hair, a stentorian voice, twinkling eyes, she is a woman with a cause. Her cause is Multiple Sclerosis, or MS as she calls it. Until I met her, I only knew two MS’ – MS Subbalaxmi, my Milind Soman, and our Milind Soman.  Vice Chairman of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of India (MSSI), Sheela…

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The 5 myths Dr. Patankar broke that have helped me lead a happier life

Dr. Nitin Patankar is a health & fitness myth-breaker. He brings fresh perspective on “right” health, for nothing according to him is either good or bad. Practical and realistic, this doctor brings a magical alchemy of logic, science, reason and ultimate good sense. I am a believer and owe 10 years of “right” health to knowing him. Not preachy, never holier-than-thou, his is a method of both, positive & preventive, sustainable good…

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How Chonquing province in China applies consumer connect with a mandated 10 days living and working with citizen families

P&G initiated the consumer connect culture with its ‘living it, working it’ program where employees need to spend a month living with consumers and working alongside trade. Companies have since seen the value of building consumer centricity. We help train and enabling companies with observing, listening and dialoging with consumers and structure and run their programs. Governments have used tools of marketing research to understand their people better. The English were masters…

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Thanda Matlab AC

Cool Home: Paresh Rana of Chembur, Mumbai fit his one bedroom with a 1 ton split air conditioner on 5th April, his wife’s birthday, replacing their window air conditioner. Kinjal their 12 year old spends most of her time in the bedroom on her computer, her study table squeezed in the corner. Though the new air conditioner is wife Saguna’s birthday gift, Kinjal is the “AC master”. She wields the…

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A May 2010 trends piece inspired by a fridge audit of urban Indian working women in Mumbai.

Growing fridge: A word repeated makes a game, like ‘teacher teacher’, ‘doctor doctor’ and ‘ghar ghar’. A game of real make believe, or in the case of the fridge, the fridge then, now and the future. The secrets of the kitchen “hearth” ironically rest within the cold place. What the fridge shows up are the immediate past, present and the future of what the family will eat. Kelvinator (the coolest one)…

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