Dry Days

Given that my little one is three years old and has been toilet trained now gone are the days when I had to rely on diapers to prevent any ‘bathroom disasters’ either at home or outside. And given the number of places that we took her out to almost since she was around 4 months old meant that diapers were God’s own gift to ‘outward bound’ parents like us.

And when one says the word ‘diapers’ in India it almost automatically refers to Pampers. Just like the term Xerox copies has replaced photocopies, Diary Milk has replaced milk chocolates, Pampers, the brand has clearly overtaken the generic category to which it belongs to and has replaced the word diapers in consumer minds and popular lingo. In fact I still remember the days when I had to visit the closest pharmacy or general store to buy diapers and the shopkeepers wouldn’t quite understand what I was looking for until I said the magic word – Pampers.

In any case, this post is not about how big the brand is and how it has taken over consumer mindshare like no other brand has, which is the truth and nothing but the truth! This post is about how diapers as a concept and more importantly Active Pants as a product have drastically transformed parents’ and children’s lives in India.

Although I don’t quite remember my ‘diaper days’ so to say, I have heard enough anecdotes from my parents about that phase of my life. Growing up in the 80s in India meant that the markets here still had not heard of diapers at all, and they had to rely on carefully stitched square pieces of cloth and large safety pins to keep toilet disasters from occurring. In fact, they not only regale me but also my daughter with stories of how on many occasions I have run around the entire house with my dripping cloth diapers, playing with my toys, without a care in the world. It was only when the diaper rashes attacked that I would feel uncomfortable and start whining and crying. And given the wet Bangalore monsoons and cold Bangalore winters back then, almost 8 odd months of the year would be spent in them liberally applying diaper rash cream on my private parts. I can only imagine how uncomfortable I would have felt back then, especially considering that I was quite an active child back then with my fair share of running and tumbling around type activities.

And it is in this context that Pampers Baby Dry Pants has proven to be a blessing to me as a parent in bringing up my daughter. As is the wont these days, my little one is more than active and cannot spend a single moment sitting down and relaxing except when she is asleep for her afternoon nap and night sleep. The fact that these diapers are easy to put on, just like her underpants, and easier to remove with the tearable straps down both sides mean that they can be put on and removed in ten seconds flat, talk about speed!

And what is even better is that with the Magic Gel (which was already ‘magical’ and has gotten even better in its latest avatar) inside which not only locks the wetness and moisture inside but keeps it locked no matter what, means that my little one could be as active as she wanted without her experiencing any kind of discomfort at all. And as parents, these Active Pants also meant that we could dress her up in the loveliest of dresses and take her out to all the places we went to, parks, malls, social gatherings, restaurants and even amusement parks without having to worry about putting others around to any kind of inconvenience due to her toilet disasters.

To make things easier than they already are, the wonderful folks at P&G have started this portal [Link to portal] not only to purchase these lovely Active Pants online but also for parents to be educated and enlightened about various aspects regarding their children’s hygiene.

And if this post doesn’t convince you enough to switch to Pampers Baby Dry Pants, here’s a small ad of theirs from YouTube to help you make up your mind.


This post has been written for the Dry Baby, Happy Baby campaign from Pampers being conducted in collaboration with Indiblogger.

Humble Pie

encyclopediaI am old enough to confidently state that I won quite a few high school quizzes by sheer dint of reading up all the newspapers of the day and also catching up on the occasional article from the encyclopedia. Yes, I belong to the pre-Wikipedia, pre-Google era where information was not necessarily available at my fingertips, and I actually had to go to a library to pull out these books and read them.

What this meant was that I enjoyed a distinct advantage and an edge over people who didn’t quite read up as much as I did. I mean, I studied in a boys’ high school and if knowledge would give me an edge over other testosterone-filled young teenagers, I grabbed it with both hands and made the most of it.

What this also meant was that this ended up with me having an unnecessarily ‘superior sense of confidence’ in stating dubious facts and figures with so much confidence that the people hearing them believed them to be true. Well, at least those that weren’t too obviously false. Again, this was something that I used to my advantage on more than quite a few occasions to win an argument or get away from a sticky situation.

However, times changed, the opening up of the Indian markets by the Govt and the influx of high speed broadband internet meant that Indians woke up to using Google and Wikipedia to do their research. And what’s more, the smartphone revolution sweeping the country with decent 3G connectivity all over meant that information was all the more closer to everybody. This situation immediately put people like me, who were used to winning an argument with strategically placed facts and figures, in a tight spot. We now actually needed to know our stuff before we blurted it out at random occasions.

HumblePieAs the law of averages caught up with me, there have been numerous occasions when I have been made to eat humble pie when my wife or sis-in-law (these are the two principal antagonists in my story) immediately use Google to verify any and every random statement I make. And what’s worse, these incidents become the fodder for family gatherings where they use them to have good laughs with my cousins and others. But then, the way I look at it, if I can make somebody laugh, then eating humble pie is worth it. Don’t you agree?

I am sure all of you have also had to eat ‘humble pie’ on more than a few occasions in your life. Go on, use the comments section and share some of these stories with us.


This post has been written for Project 365: A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to write a post about when I had found out that I was mistaken and made to eat humble pie. As the post suggests there have been way too many occasions of this happening.


kidscricketBack in the days when I was younger, fitter and more competitive, playtime meant physical activity of a competitive nature on the open ground opposite my house in Sanjaynagar, Bangalore. I still fondly remember the days when me and my friends used to wait for the summer vacations or Pooja holidays at our respective schools, as this meant that we could pretty much spend the whole day in the ground playing cricket or football, depending on which World Cup was playing on our TV screens. Right from perfecting the in-swinging yorkers and that lovely ‘Sachin-esque’ straight drive to dribbling past defenders and scoring that lovely goal, our days were spent in perfecting these elusive pieces of art from what we saw on TV.

And when it was either too hot to be playing outdoors or raining outside, then the group would immediately shift the action indoors and play games like Business (Indian version of Monopoly), carom, Scotland Yard or some such random game to while away our time. Once the first computer arrived home, our indoor games comprised mostly of FIFA 97 or other First Person Shooter games with each of us taking turns after specified time intervals.

Five-Minute-Carrom-Board-RulesThe three of us, who still remain close friends, retain very fond memories of those days before life caught up with us and we had to focus on more ‘important’ things like college, assignments, entrance exams and the like.

Even at college, my concept of playtime continued with weekend basketball, cricket and football outings on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Although these were less competitive than earlier, I still retained that hunger to win and enjoyed a good physical workout more than ever before.

However, it was only when ‘work’ officially began after my graduation that ‘playtime’ as a concept took a backseat making only occasional appearances in the form of cricket practice or football in those offshore team outings at resorts across South India. But then, these were hardly competitive and were more indulged in for the ‘fun factor’ rather than being serious in nature. ‘Playing to win’ was done only within the four walls of an office now rather than out there on the playground.

It was only a couple of years ago, when my daughter started walking, did ‘playtime’ make a serious comeback in my life. However, it now involved her playthings like rattles, dolls, toys that drummed, etc. Playing with her to try and improve her hand-eye co-ordination and other similar exercises continue till date and I hope she will deem me ‘friends’ enough with her for a while longer when I introduce her to badminton on the streets and other similar physical activities.

However, for now, I have to content myself with taking her to the children’s’ park in the neighborhood and supervise her coming down the various slides and helping her swing to and fro there.

I am sure all of you readers have fond memories of your ‘playtime’ from the years gone by. Go on, use the comments section to regale the rest of us with these stories.


This post has been written for Project 365: A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to write about what playtime means to me.

Come, fly with me

It is mid-2008 and since I am employed in the technology division of a leading American bank, I am acutely aware of the entire global financial industry deep in the throes of the entire sub-prime mortgage crisis. As if this wasn’t bad enough, my supervisor decides that it is a good time for me to get some onsite exposure and figures that I could get started off with transitioning the testing of a software application from the West Coast to Hyderabad where me and my team were located.

For somebody who had visited the northern parts of India (read northwards of Mumbai) only a couple of times and whose only claim to have travelled extensively would be a 7 day trip to Leh, Ladakh, this came as a bolt from the blue. Further, the fact that I was ‘newly married’ (it had been only around six odd months into my marriage then) and had to leave behind the Missus in a new city where she didn’t even know the local language, Telugu added to my palpations even more. But encouraged by her and by my supervisor, I consented and started off with the formalities such as the Visa, Tickets, Guesthouse bookings, etc.

A good 5-6 weeks after the decision was made, there I was at the old airport terminal at Begumpet, Hyderabad, passport and tickets in hand. The fairly lazy old Immigration Official there didn’t even seem to care that I was leaving the country and stamped my passport without any questions whatsoever. And in those days, airline companies were not progressive enough to keep passengers informed of delays in their flights and I therefore ended up at the waiting lounge of the airport a good 7 hrs (3 mandatory hrs + 4 delayed hrs) before the actual flight departure time.

Heathrow Environmental Protestors - 'This airport is filthy.'Now, anybody who has ever travelled from the Begumpet airport will attest to the fact that it is anything but a pleasant experience. However, the only saving grace was that the friendly janitor was allowing people to step into the mens’ rest room and smoke out of a window at its far end; for the small price of a ten rupee note or in the case of a few Americans, a dollar bill.

The flight itself was quite uneventful except that since it was my first long haul flight I had to actually consciously get my butt out of the somewhat comfortable seat and the nice in-flight entertainment system every once in a while and take a walk up and down the aisles, just to keep the blood flowing in the lower half of my body. However, things took a turn for the worse just before we descended into Frankfurt for the connecting flight. An announcement was made that the seven passengers who were travelling onwards to San Francisco would have to ensure that they de-planed from the back door of the aircraft to be specially whisked away to our connecting flight which was actually being held back due to the delay in the Hyd-Frankfurt leg. Nothing was mentioned about our luggage at all, and I assumed that it would inevitably fly with me to San Francisco. Oh, how wrong I was!!!flightdelay

The second leg of the journey was also quite uneventful except for a lovely cake which was served to a few passengers, courtesy the tenth anniversary of a couple who were actually seated bang next to me on the flight. So far so good. My troubles with this trip really began after I landed at SFO. By the time I got anywhere in the longish Immigration Queue to get my passport stamped and actually set foot on American soil, I heard my name being announced (actually mispronounced) over the PA system along with a few other Indian sounding names.

lostluggageAfter getting my passport stamped when I made my way to the airlines counter I was informed that my luggage had missed its flight and would be delivered to my local address 24+ hrs later when it would take the same flight to SFO from FRN. There I was, at least 13000+ kms away from home with just the clothes on my back and my travel documents in my satchel (or man-bag as it is called in the movie Hangover). Since this was my first international flight I wasn’t quite aware that luggage getting delayed, or even worse, lost in transit was quite common and travelers always needed to carry a spare set of clothes in their hand baggage. As with most other lessons in life I learnt this one also the hard way.

In any case the airlines compensated with a AmEx Travellers Cheque for USD 50 and also handed me a night kit consisting of a sweatshirt, boxer shorts, a toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste, packed in a nice pouch as compensation for the missing luggage. There I was, stuck at SFO International Airport with just my travel documents, satchel and this pouch with spare clothes for the night. Thankfully, the weather wasn’t too nippy and I could manage with the jacket that I had worn.

'The train is late again. No need to worry, your ticket is valid for four days.'Making the most of this situation I decided to use public transport to complete the last leg of my journey from SFO to the small town of Concorde, California which was a good 65 miles away. After making preliminary enquiries at the Helpdesk at the airport and armed with a  Google Maps printout which they helpfully provided me with, I finally ended up using the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Metro train from the airport to the Concorde station and then walked the last 5 mins to my guest house near the station.

It was only when I finally got indoors, switched on the room heater and settled down did I realize that I had finally arrived at the US of A. All the Hollywood movies, the TV series, the conversations with cousins from there, the banter with colleagues who returned from onsite trips, wouldn’t have prepared me for this experience.

This, my friends, is just one of the stories from the time I had travelled the furthest from home.

I am sure you all have similar stories of your own, with lost luggage, misplaced passports, mistaken identities, bad weather, delayed flights, etc. Go ahead, share some of them in the comments section below.


This post has been written for Project 365: A post a day where the idea is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to share a story from the time when I traveled the furthest from home.

About me – in 2024

Over the course of my blogging journey in the last two decades (yes, I began blogging in 2004, when hardly anybody knew what blogs were and before blogging became the most powerful tool of independent social media that it known for today) I have had the pleasure of associating myself with some wonderful bloggers and lovely friends, foremost among them being Sakshi (sakshinanda.com), Sid (iwrotethose.com) and Rekha (rekhadhyani.com), my ‘Core Team’ friends as I refer to them as.

Back in 2014, exactly a decade ago, when WordPress announced that they would publish an annual calendar of prompts for the year, a crazy idea popped into my head about this collaborative project where the team would attempt to post for all of the prompts in the year. Thus was born Project 365, and the first three bloggers I approached would then go on to become more than just fellow bloggers and Core Team members, they would go on to become dear friends over the course of the first few months of working together.

The best part about us was the fact that while we were all fiercely independent in our approach to blogging and writing in general, we were also open to each other’s ideas and opinions as well when it came to how to run the Project in general. We backed each other up without any ego hassles and covered each other’s backs as and when the occasion demanded it. Between the four of us, we handled the Project so well that we ended up enjoying the entire experience which then led on to bigger and better things for all of us.

2014 was year in which all four of us were in transitory phases; Sid was midway through his first manuscript, Rekha quit her 15 yr job in October, Sakshi was just about branching out in her book beta-reading and book-editing endeavors and I was just about starting off with serious book reviewing. This shared interest in literature and the written word ensured that we stayed friends even after the Project officially ended in Dec 2014. While Sid and Reks went on to complete their first book in 2015 and kept on writing more and more, Sakshi ended up developing quite a formidable beta-reading and book-editing venture from her home itself. And me, I ended up devouring more books than ever before and today average around 2-3 books a week in terms of reading them and publishing unbiased reviews on the blog.

Milestones came and went, but we stayed friends. Our children grew up, started reading books of their own, went to school, college and are contemplating post graduations today, but it gives all of us great pleasure and happiness to see that we have all passed on our love for the written word to the next generation as well.

This blog has been a constant companion of my thoughts, both book related and otherwise, over the last two decades and will continue to be so until I find it in me to put finger to keyboard and keep typing. Even when the fingers stop co-operating, I always have my faithful voice-to-document converter which will ensure that the blog stays alive as long as I have coherent thoughts in my head which I can convert to spoken words.

Here’s to a few more decades of this enduring love for words, and friends who love words.


This post has been written for Project 365 : A post a day where the idea is to publish at least one post based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to write an ‘About Me’ page for my blog 10 years from now.