Real deal

Hair Scare

This is how my hair looked after the experiment I carried out on my poor tresses. Only, I wasn’t looking half as pretty as Megan Fox and no, I wasn’t pouting Bad hair daylike her either 😦 I learned it the hard way, that one shouldn’t believe whatever is written on one of those “10 ways to make your hair shiny” websites .

So on a sunny day, I decided to try one of those hair saving tips to infuse some life unto my flowing mane.


For squeaky clean hair, use a teaspoon of Baking Soda (bicarbonate of soda) mixed in your palm with water. The Baking Soda helps remove the build-up from conditioners, mousses and sprays to give you naturally clean hair.”

And I thought wow!! This looks incredibly simple and an inexpensive way to get rid of the shampoo buildups. Off I went to the kitchen and got hold of the baking soda which was resigned to a remote corner in my refrigerator. Usually I do not experiment much with my hair because i have heard such horror stories from my friends before. Since this was a mere cleaning ritual, I thought of giving it a try. I was so excited!  After reading the instructions carefully, I made a paste of baking soda and water, which I dutifully scrubbed on to my scalp. And then i waited for some good 5 to 10 minutes. All through the waiting period, my heart was beating faster and my mind was churning out unpleasant thoughts.What if my hair came out in clumps? How will I face the world? How will I pose for pretty pictures? With such negative thoughts, I decided it was enough and went in for a wash.

To my horror, after giving my hair a ‘good rinse’, I couldn’t see the promised soft, shiny,squeaky hair!!!  My hair was all sticky as if some one poured a bottle of glue instead of some so-called cleansing agent. My heart skipped a beat as i frantically began searching for my bottle of shampoo. All those unpleasant thoughts began hovering around my head like a halo. I was so damn screwed, I thought. Even after rinsing my hair with a shampoo, it still felt sticky ad messy. I was almost on the verge of crying when my dear mom in law stepped in to help me, after giving me an earful for being so adventurous. At that time, all I could think about, was my tresses, my shining crown of glory.

I cursed myself for getting into this sticky situation. I heard my hubby screaming out that baking soda should only be used for baking  purposes. I was in no mood for unsolicited advice. My mom in law handed me good old shikakai powder [Acacia concinna , thanks wiki :)] which is basically a mix of many herbs and has been in use as a conditioner since ages. With a frowning face, I again went in for a rinse , this time with our very dependable Indian version of shampoo. And voilà, I could see my hair was soft to touch and was regaining its natural texture. I was so happy that I danced with joy. I can say that was the happiest moment of my life. All the unpleasant memories were out  for a toss. My faith in desi shikakai was restored to its fullest.:) May be I messed up my ‘hairy’ experiment but I vow never to indulge in such a risk ever again. 🙂

P.S: This is my ill-fated experiment with baking soda and it didn’t work for me. Try at your own risk.

Real deal · Routine stuff

A ‘Begging’ Issue

Begging in India

Mumbai is known for many things, one being, home to the biggest slum in Asia.  Beggars are a daily sight in Mumbai, be it at the bus stand, at the temple doorsteps (that’s their favorite spot), railway stations, traffic signals and so on. Basically, they are a part of Mumbai & Mumbaikars have learnt to deal with it somehow. It’s heartbreaking to see kids begging on the streets so that their families can have a day’s meal. However, there is a difference between asking for alms and forcing someone to shell out a dime!!

Lately, I have noticed a bunch of vagrants on my way home. A mother along with 5 kids, accompanied by one more woman, are a daily sight at the traffic signal. The kids are all aged around 4- 5 years and one is a toddler , merely a year old. Since the traffic signal is near a big shopping mall, this is an ideal spot for them to earn their bread. Especially,during the evenings when the mall is teeming with people. The mother along with the other woman usually rests under a tree ( yea, there is still some green cover left in Mumbai 🙂 ) while the children are always kept on their toes! Every time a rickshaw stops in front of the mall, the alert children harass the passenger for a rupee or two. The kids usually target young girls , college going kids & foreigners since they are an easy target and end up paying instead of shooing them away.

I saw one of the kids pestering a girl for money and when she didn’t yield to his requests he simply asked her for an ice cream and called on his siblings !! The girl literally ran for her life. This tactic works very well at times and the kids end up earning a ten rupee note right away. There was an article in a daily about a leading Bollywood actor being harassed by a beggar on a crowded street in Mumbai. This actor was in his car when all of a sudden a beggar landed in front of his car, yelling and blaming the actor for the so-called ‘accident’. It was later revealed that the beggar was just trying to make some quick money, knowing a fact that people would obviously sympathize with him! How smart!

This has turned into a big nuisance and people end up paying not out of sympathy but due to sheer frustration and irritation. I wonder, why don’t these women  do some house hold chores to earn their livelihood! I can understand if they disabled , but no, they are perfectly alright. Instead of giving the kids their due, they prefer to sit idly and let the kids suffer!! Is it because its easy money or are they plain, lazy?