Surabhi Mahadevan

Words cannot describe my love for beauty, cats and water
  • Mid-Week blues, surprise with VJ café

    After a lazy weekend, when Monday hits you like a truck, and the following days kill you slowly, you find yourself waiting for the next weekend like a desert waiting for rain. Just like any other day in the office, bored and hungry, we decided to head to VJ café, right opposite to our office complex. The café seemed to be a bliss for hungry tummies.

    The menu seemed quite interesting and the prices were quite pocket-friendly. The owner was extremely warm and offered us their chilli cheese fries, which was hot and spicy with a flood of cheesy flavours. Next up was VJ café’s very own signature dish, Peri Peri twister which was a spicy, tangy potato cut in the shape of a spiral, marinated in their secret spices.

    There was a crunch in every bite and a blast of amazing flavours. At this point, our conversations were slowing down because everyone was busy with the food.

    The food slowly started covering our table with some sweet surprises, one of which was the highly recommended Oreo Milkshake, which was then followed by their Butterscotch Caramel Milkshake.

    These milkshakes were simply delectable, almost like an ice cream in a shake form. They also have some amazing cold coffee, that helped ease of the workload. What more do we need on a boring working day?!

    This place is a good take-away joint to beat the office week stress and kickstart your weekend binge, a little early on. At the end what matters is a good company and food, then even a roadside bench feels like a great hangout joint.

    At the distance of a few steps away from Vashi railway station, this place is a best way to kill your hunger with your crazy friends. Enjoy your mid-week blues with offers at VJ café and just follow @navimumbai.com. And here’s an online dessert for you – Simply, like, share & comment on @navimumbai.com to avail a 10% discount at VJ Café! So, don’t wait! Hop on to Instagram now!

  • 4 DIY lip balms you need to try to keep your lips super hydrated and nourished

    1. Vanilla  and cocoa lip balm tubes

    You’ll need:

    • 2 tablespoons grated beeswax, tightly packed
    • 2 tablespoons shea butter
    • 2 teaspoons avocado/olive oil
    • Optional: 10-30 drops of your favorite Essential oils
    • 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder (you can add more or less depending on how much chocolate you like.)
    • Lip balm tubes

    (makes 10 tubes of lip balm)

    Instructions:

    1. In a double boiler, melt together the beeswax, shea butter, and avocado/olive oil.
    2. Once it’s melted all the way, add in you desired essential oils & flavors. Mix them together.
    3. Pour into your lip balm containers & let sit until cool.

    2. Coconut and castor oil lip balm

    You’ll need:

    • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
    • 2 tablespoons of castor oil
    • 1 tablespoon of grated beeswax
    • optional: any essential of your choice
    • lip balm jars

    Instructions:

    1. In a double boiler, melt together the beeswax, shea butter, and avocado/olive oil.
    2. Once it’s melted all the way, add in you desired essential oils & flavors. Mix them together.
    3. Pour into your lip balm containers & let sit until cool.

    3. Luxury lip balm

    You’ll need:

    • 1 tablespoon of jasmine floral wax
    • 1 tablespoon of tuberose floral wax
    • 1 tablespoon of rosehip oil
    • 1tablespoon marula oil
    • 1 tablespoonof papaya seed oil
    • optional: vanilla essential oil

    Instructions:

    1. In a double boiler, melt together the beeswax, shea butter, and avocado/olive oil.
    2. Once it’s melted all the way, add in your desired essential oils & flavors. Mix them together.
    3. Pour into your lip balm containers & let sit until cool.

    4. Honey and ghee lip balm

    You’ll need:

    • 1 tablespoon of honey
    • 2 tablespoon of ghee
    • 1tablespoon of beeswax
    • optional: any essential oil of your choice

    Instructions:

    1. In a double boiler, melt together the beeswax, shea butter, and avocado/olive oil.
    2. Once it’s melted all the way, add in your desired essential oils & flavors. Mix them together.
    3. Pour into your lip balm containers & let sit until cool.
  • 5 ways to upcycle denim if you’re obsessed with denim

    Denim is a staple of every kind of wardrobe, a timeless piece of clothing. Over the course of many years, denim has made many kinds of unconventional appearances, namely:

    The denim boots

    This Denim slippers

    This denim belt

    These denim jeans with some plastic-y material knee work

     

    When different people, with different tastes, have decide to reintroduce denim with such quirks, then why should you hold back?

    It’s time to bring out your sewing skills and tools and put your boredom and old denim to better use.

    Below are 5 ways to upcycle your old denim if you have a slight obsession with denim.

    1. Denim quilt

    Well yes, I am very much aware that it’s summer and it’s a bajjilion degrees outside. But, considering how much time it can take to make a rendition of this denim quilt, why not start now and stow it away, so that when fall and winter comes along, this denim quilt will be cozy and pleasant surprise?

    1. Denim Bag

    So, few months ago I gave my mom all my old denim and she upcycled them and turned them into bags. It was brilliant idea and the bags also looked super cool thanks to the tailor’s amazing patchwork skills. So, I think this instance is enough reason for you to also give denim bags a shot.

    1. A DIY Denim toy

    If you want to pass your denim obsession onto the next generation, what can be a better than making cuddly buddy made only with denim?

    1. Denim book mark

    Perfect for someone who love books and denim. How cool is the idea of having a denim bookmark? I can already think of so many ways of making a denim bookmark.

    1. Denim basket

    And the quirks keep coming? Ever heard of or seen a denim basket? Sounds cool though. I think a denim basket can come in handy in many ways. You can either use it to store fruits or your throw pillows and blankets.

     

  • 3 easy ways to tame dry hair this summer

    Summer can harsh on your hair. For people with dry and frizzy hair…. It’s just dreary.

    It’s a constant dilemma, like, you want your hair to be non-dry, smooth and soft but not greasy. Anybody with me on that?

    Yes, there are days when the dryness just loves to do bungee jumping on our last nerves, but do we wish we had oily hair? Hell no, at least I don’t. It’s taxing enough to weather through the cons of having hair that loves taking inspo from the Sahara Desert.

    So, what do we do to establish the ‘perfect non-dry, smooth and soft but not greasy™’ hair? Read away homo sapiens with tress in distress.

    1. Cover your hair with a plastic bag/shower cap after a deep oil massage

    Covering your hair with a plastic or a shower cap for 2-3 hours after a deep oil massage is a true savior. Take it from this fellow dry haired gal, it has made my hair a lot softer. Make any oil concoction you desire, or just take some plain carrier oil, massage it thoroughly starting from the scalp to tips of your hair, put it in a bun and cover it up a plastic bag/shower cap. This method is helpful because the shower cap/plastic bag generates heat which helps the oil seep into the hair and penetrate into your scalp better.

    1. A little oil therapy to ends of damp hair

    I do this immediately after I wash my hair. I know some of you are going “WTF, more oil? And that too after washing your hair?” But again, trust me cuz I tried it, and it works. When you’re toweling your hair, only towel dry the scalp and leave the ends of your damp. Keyword guys, damp not dripping wet. Start with only a few drops of any oil and work through the ends of your hair. I recommend oil cuz they’re organic and healthier. If you want to this method with serum, you can totally do that too.

    Disclaimer: The oil won’t completely set in right away. It takes at least a whole day. So, if you wanna give this method a go, try it during the night.

    1. Glycerin is a god sent

    For some reason, glycerin is one of the best skin and hair care product that’s very very very underrated. I’ve gone through so many bottles of glycerin cuz I use it that religiously. It is amazing how it softens your hair. Just take a pea size amount and work through your hair and scalp and bob’s your uncle. Here’s another trick, add a few drops of essential oil, and your hair will not only be nourished but will also smell good. Fun fact: I once went a little ham on the vanilla essential oil and my hair smelled like a thousand Pillsburys were making a thousand cakes in my hair.

     

     

  • 2 desserts with rose recipes

    1. Rose pistachio cookies

    Ingredients:

    • 250 g (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
    • 100 g (0.5 cups) caster sugar
    • Juice of ½ orange
    • 2 tsp rose syrup
    • 250 g (2 cups) plain flour
    • 125 g (0.8 cups) rice flour
    • 5 tbsp pistachios roughly chopped
    • 2 tsp chopped rose petals
    • Pinch of salt
    • To finish:
    • 1 tbsp chopped pistachios
    • 1 tbsp chopped rose petals
    Instructions
    1. Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and cream together using an electric hand mixer till the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the orange juice and rose syrup. Then add in the flours, chopped pistachios, rose petals and salt and mix until you get a soft dough. If the dough is a little bit sticky then add in a tbsp or two of flour.

    2. Split the dough into two and shape each one into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hr minimum.

    3. Preheat oven to fan assisted 150C / 170C / 325F / gas 3.
    4. Take the first disc of dough from the fridge, roll it out on a lightly floured surface till it is about 5mm thick and then cut into your desired shapes (I use a 6cm diameter cutter) and lay on a lined baking sheet. Quickly scoop up the excess of dough, reshape, roll out and cut again. Repeat with the second disc of dough. You can freeze some of the cut shortbread at this stage.

    5. Bake the shortbread for 12-14 mins until they are lightly golden.
    6. Let the shortbread cool on the tray for about 10 mins before transferring it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
    7. Serve with extra pistachios and rose petals dotted around.

    2. Gulkand filled rose ladoo

    Ingredients:

    FOR LADOOS
    • 2 cups Homemade Paneer
    • 1/2 cup Sweetened Condensed milk
    • 1-2 tablespoons Powdered Sugar (optional, if you prefer your ladoos a little sweet)
    • 2 tablespoon Rooh Afza syrup
    • 1.5 cups Dry Mawa Powder or Milk Powder
    • A pinch pf Pink food color for a deeper color (optional)
    GULKAND FILLING
    • 3 tablespoon Gulkand (Rose Petal Preserve)
    • 1 tablespoon Silvered Almonds
    • 1 tablespoon Silvered Pistachios

    Instructions:

    1. Assemble ingredients – paneer and condensed milk.
    2. Instead of Rooh Afza syrup, you can use few drops of pink food color + 2 teaspoons of Rosewater.
    3. Knead paneer like a dough to remove all the big lumps. Make sure paneer has no moisture left behind or it will throw the whole recipe off balance. TEST- Take a fistful of paneer and press in between your hand, it should feel dry and crumbly.
    4. Combine kneaded paneer and condensed milk in a bowl.
    5. Add Rooh Afza syrup.
    6. Mix until combined.
    7. Transfer this mixture to a food processor. Add milk powder or milk mawa powder and pulse until combined.
    8. This mixture will come together like a soft dough. Do the taste test. If you prefer your ladoos a little sweeter than add 1-2 tablespoon of powdered sugar and PULSE again. If the mixture doesn’t bind, add an extra tablespoon of milk powder + sugar and PULSE again. Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes. This step is important. The dough will become firm when cooled.
    9. After the resting time, knead the mixture for a couple of minutes and it will become smooth as shown in the pic
    10. Assemble gulkand, and assorted nuts for filling.
    11. Combine them together.
    12. Form the dough into ladoos.
    13.  Take a ladoo and flatten it. Place the filling in the center.
    14. Bring all the edges together and fold the dough to give it ashape of a ladoo
    15. Repeat the process with rest of the mixture.
    16. Gulkand filled Rose Ladoos are ready.
  • Anand Mahindra and the “Viral Shoes Doctor” – A story to follow by heart and compassion

    Anand Mahindra, the chairman of the very renowned Mahindra empire, who is fairly active on social media, recently tweeted about a very interesting man Dr Nasseeram ‘The shoes doctor’. The shoes, doctor sounds weird right? But the story is extremely heart warming and proves that the talent is what matters.

    The strength of 144 characters showed its power. Anand Mahindra posted a picture of a cobbler, who could teach in Indian institute of management. A cobbler with his road side stall, with a billboard behind him showcased his marketing skills. His billboard offered to cure ‘hurt shoes’, what stood out was that he described his enterprise as ‘Dr Nasseeram’s hospital’ where shoes were treated.

    Anand Mahindra, the man who is know for his gesture of generosity, again bagged social media to appreciate talent and hardwork. After tweeting about the shoes doctor, he asked his team to track him down, if he is still there and still working and help him expand his start up. On April 28th, 2018, he tweeted about how his team in Haryana got in touch with Narseeramji and his team in Haryana met him and asked how we could help. The sweet and humble Mr Narseeramji, instead of asking for money, he said he needs a good workspace. Anand Mahindra, asked his design studio from Mumbai to design a booth which was efficient, aesthetic and functional.


    Anand Mahindra, the man of his heart-warming gestures, had previously used the power of social media in uplifting a woman entrepreneur, who converted the Mahindra Bolero into a food truck. Rodrigues, a journalist working in Bloomberg LP, tweeted about Shilpa, an enterprising woman who converted a Mahindra Bolero into a food truck. Replying to the tweet minutes after Jeanette put it out, Anand Mahindra tweeted, “A terrific story of entrepreneurship to end the week with. At Mahindra, we call this a Rise story. Am so delighted the Bolero played a small role. Can someone reach her & tell her I will personally invest in her expansion by supplying a Bolero for the second outlet she’s planning?”

    It is heart-warming when people that are more privileged than many, take the time out to help the ones in need. Anand Mahindra proved to be a leader, who not only leads, but rather create leaders and entrepreneur.

     

     

  • Arrival of Flamingos in Navi Mumbai might just prevent the golf course project to take off

    Residents of Navi Mumbai were in for a pleasant surprise when Talawe wetlands opposite the NRI complex in Nerul were graced by the presence of a flock of flamingos over the weekend.

    Residents claimed that nearly 100 flamingos were spotted at one of the wetland patches which is identified as patch A, which is one of the five plots acquired by CIDCOto construct residential buildings and golf course.

    “This wetland patch is threatened by debris dumping, which has led to the delay for not only flamingos but all wetland birds to arrive here,” said Pavan Sahu, Nerul resident and bird photographer, who first spotted the birds on Friday. “Earlier, large flocks had made this their home from November onward till June, but a lot has changed since construction began — locals dumping alcohol bottles and the fishing community encroaching in these areas. Now, they have arrived after a delay of almost six months.”




    He added that other birds such as terns, waders, herons, and seagulls, have all been spotted at the site. “However, their numbers are falling drastically,” said Sahu.


    Even  Mumbai-based birders gave confirmation on the development after they spotted the birds on Sunday. “I spotted over 100 flamingos around 9.40am at the Talawe wetlands. Previously, there were isolated birds that would fly by but not settle at this wetland. It is absolutely wrong to construct at this site because it is clearly a wetland and has similar features of the Bhandup pumping station,” said Mrinal Ghosh, birder and Chembur resident.

    Despite the delay, the arrival hold holds significance in the wake of an affidavit submitted by Mistry Constructions Pvt Ltd. to the Bombay HC in response to another petition by the Navi Mumbai Environmental Preservation Society regarding the proposed airport at Navi Mumbai. It is claimed by the private company that the site isn’t a wetland and mentioned that in an earlier report submitted by Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) had inaccuracies and contradictions regarding proposed declaration of the site as an important bird area (IBA). “I say that the project has been seemingly singled out for such observations, which runs contrary to previous reports by BNHS. In any event, the site for the said project (golf course proposed by CIDCO) is not a wetland..,” reads the affidavit.

    The petitioners now plan to submit the arrival of flamingos as evidence in court during the next hearing on June 13. “Spotting the near-threatened flamingos clarifies and confirms BNHS’ report and makes it a strong case for us to oppose this construction. The area needs to be declared a wetland bird sanctuary before it is too late,” said Agarwal.

  • 148th year of Undying Legacy – Dada Saheb Phalke

    India was introduced to the world of cinema by none other then the legendary, Dada Saheb Phalke also known as the ‘Father of Indian Cinema’. Born in a Maharashtrian Brahmin family on 30th April 1870 at Tryambakeshwar. From a young age, Dadasaheb Phalke developed a keen interest in arts, studying photography, lithography, architecture, engineering and even magic.

    In finding his right purpose, he went on to work as a painter, draftsman, theatrical set designer and lithographer. An encounter with the Alice Guy’s silent film The Life of Christ (1910) that changed his life. Dada Saheb decided to bring the glory of Indian culture to the silver screen. He was extremely determined to showcase Indian culture on the screen, for which he travelled to London to learn Filmmaking from Cecil Hepworth.




    Dadasaheb Phalke gave Indian cinema its first silent film Raja Harishchandra. Thousands of Indians were shocked to see their imagination being captured on screen and delighted with the subject he chose for the film. He used smooth trick photography and technology to make the moving picture look convincing to the audience.

    Read: Google’s beautiful ode to Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay

    Struggled against all the hurdles and the displeasure of the British. He set aside all the odds he fought his own financial struggles to achieve his dream of having an Indian film industry. With the emerging technology and changed time Dadasaheb fell victim to the sound film. Unable to cope up with the technology, Dadasaheb became obsolete.  His last silent movie Setubandhan was released in 1932 and later released with dubbing. He also produced his last film Gangavataran 1937, before retiring to Nashik, where he died on 16 February 1944.Yet, he made a mark and gave birth to 130 films in his lifetime, with strong will and dedication, considering the technology that was available at that time.

    The Government of Indian established The Dadasaheb Phalke Award which recognises lifetime contribution to cinema. This award is one of the prestigious awards in Indian cinema.

  • The time a chaiwala took his family to McDonald’s for the first time

    To people belonging to lower, middle ad upper middle class and above, an ‘every now and then’ frequents to McDonald’s is no biggie. It’s easy for us to go “Man, I’m hungry, chal Mcdonald’s chalet hain” or “Dude, chal let’s go hangout in MacD”.

    See, little do we realize that giant restaurant chains like McDonald’s is luxury to only people of a certain economic class. Little do we realize that those who fall below the decent economic line might have never seen the insides of a McDonald’s. Probably half of them might not even know how to pronounce the world-famous moniker.




    Hence, when an opportunity like this strikes a person of the backward class, it’s like they struck gold. It’s almost as if a whole new door of joy opening up. A pleasant change that’s forever etched in their lives.

    And to have ha enjoyed this opportunity was chaiwala from Mumbai who’ll never forget the time he took his family to McDonald’s for the very first time. His story was covered by HOB(Humans of Bombay), and upon being asked when he had been the happiest, this was his answer. Read below:

    “When were you the happiest?” “There was some event happening at a big hotel nearby. And after lunch everyone wanted…

    Posted by Humans of Bombay on Wednesday, 25 April 2018

  • Navi Mumbai is gradually becoming a Pan India phenomenon

    Here’s the truth – Mumbai is better than Navi Mumbai. One can ramble on about how Navi Mumbai is still at its ‘up and coming’ stage. Well, in Navi Mumbai’s defense, it still is. Mumbai definitely is ‘the’ city to live in, but Navi Mumbai has its fair share of goodness.

    Since 2016, Navi Mumbai has seen many developments. The crowd has become more cosmopolitan, many top-notch hospitals have found a spot in the city, there are educational institutions and many more infrastructure have come into existence that gives any city that polished charm.



    Also, Navi Mumbai has many low-cost housings, perfect for those who have just moved to the city and looking for a place that won’t send them into a panic-drive.

    Also Know : 5 changes that can make Navi Mumbai a better city

    L&T is building India’s biggest commercial complex in Nerul, Café Coffee Day, one of India’s biggest eatery/coffee house ventures has now branched out in Navi Mumbai. In fact, the CCD’s branch at Inorbit Mall, Vashi has the second largest business after the one at Carter road in Bandra

    Tanishq has one of its biggest business here in Navi Mumbai, so does Mont Blanc, through its store in Inorbit mall. You can over 300 high-end cars (price range between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore) are moving around and the number continues to rise.



    All the above facts are solid evidence that Navi Mumbai is becoming a pan-India phenomenon. The reason – the biggest infrastructure boom in the entire country, which is happening at a cost of around Rs 53,000 crore. This infrastructure boom is expected to create over 8.7 lakh jobs. This includes the new airport, the expansion of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, a metro project, affordable housing, highway expansions and the crucial Navi Mumbai Airport Influenced Notified Area (NAINA) – all spread over 1,200 hectares.

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