Friday, September 27, 2013

Desserts after lunch in South Africa.

It was a lively get together yesterday with middle aged South African woman from Bloemfontein.  

When we treated our friend from South Africa to a lunch yesterday, we decided to make our traditional Akkara adisal and serve it as a dessert. After she swallowed a spoonful of it, her face lit up brightly. The mixture of hot ghee and jaggery is so heavenly delicious.

In South Africa, the desserts after lunch included malva pudding made of Apricot fruit. She told a few more desserts that were all unheard of by us. For example, do you know that Dom Pedro which is an ice cream with a little drop of milk and a shot of your favourite whiskey? It seems liquor is one of the ingredients in South African desserts.

Another sweet delicacy is called “koeksisters”, a sort of pastries. Another favourite of theirs is a spongy cake called “ystervarkies”, dunked in a homemade chocolate sauce, rolled in coconut!  Hmmm… sounds so sweet.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Onions caused a website to crash.

onion tears
Once in a year, as if keeping a date, onion price in India shoots up to unreasonable rate. When the news is read by other countries, they don't hide their sarcasm. Historians dig up old news of onion price inflation and consequent results in the political scene, world remarks and satirical cartoons.

Like every year, during this August, India's inflation rate hit a six-month high of 6.1% in August. The leader in the pack of course was the onion whose price shot up by 245%! Speaking in common man's language, it amounted to Rs.101 per KG. In the American newspapers it was printed as $1.57 per KG!

Here are some of the crazy things we've seen around India in the aftermath of soaring onion prices.
  1. Onion Groupon Deals: Groupon India offered onions at Rs. 9 for a kg, (a discount of nearly 85%)  in response to surging onion prices, and the offer caused the site to crash. It was the first time Groupon India had a deal on onions.
  2. Onion Bank Deposits: To protest rising onion prices a member of the state legislature from the BJP deposited onions at a local bank, the New York Times reported, citing local media.
I am sure there were several more citations about the rising onion prices. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A guide to write reviews and earn money.

Many of my friends know that I write occasional reviews for companies and get paid for my review. I started this freelance review writing work way back in 2008. In the last five years, I might have written as any as 3000 reviews on a conservative estimate.

I have reviewed myriad products, services, blogs and fan clubs of celebrities that include Jennifer Aniston and Paris Hilton. Acne creams and pills, weight loss pills and supplements are some of the products that I wrote more about than any other products.

If I remember correctly, I wrote roughly 100 times about one particular precious metals dealer based in the U.S. The rahabs in California were also featured in my review writing stint.

Do you want to write reviews and earn money for that work? Then, grab this wonderful guide to write reviews.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Never before affordable, discounted travel deals from Groupon.

Students, housewives, work at home moms and dads, internet entrepreneurs, corporate executives, politicians and unemployed are all smart shoppers these days. Majority of them are online shoppers and they are all aware of when and where to get discount shopping coupons.

They may shop for monthly groceries or buy business class flight tickets. The range of individual purchase may vary from as low as $50 to as high as $50,000. Discount coupons are offered at every level by just about every smart business owner.

There are several websites that have partnered with big manufacturers and dealers, encourage them to give discount coupons and offer them through their website. They in turn market their website vigorously so much so that the buyers are not even aware of the companies that offer discounts till they redeem the coupons.

A big player in this industry is groupon that came into being in 2008 and in just two years reported a fat profit. In five years since they launched, they are able to reach a housewife or farmer in a remote village in India. Fantastic effort!

This is a true win-win situation as both the products owners and the consumers stand to gain. In fact, you can add one more winner in discount coupon sites such as

Recently, Groupon has launched a themed discount deals called Groupon Getaways. Those who opt in to receive emails are offered weekly travel deals by way of discounted (up to 50%) flight tickets, hotel accommodation, and entire travel packages and so on.

I browsed through the latest travel deals and let me tell you they are affordable and quite tempting to buy.
Here is an example:

Look at this picture that instills absolute calmness in you. It is called Fairmont Hot Springs located in British Columbia, Canada The deal is, you pay only $329 for a 7 night stay! That’s a whopping $398 savings!

If you are interested, you can buy the discounted deal and redeem it whenever you feel like using it. Very smart idea!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam.

This is not a flower garden atop a mountain. It is actually rice fields in Vietnam. Aptly called as 'Rice Terraces', I happen to see this breathtaking picture in Pinterest.(

I have seen such a picture here in Tanjore district quite often but never stopped to appreciate the beauty. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Who are you following in the political world.

I am not an ardent follower of any political party nor have I ever liked a politician for his personal and political qualities barring a few that include Kamaraj, Rajaji and Annadurai.

Of late, I opened up my ears to the opinions of my friends and relatives. There seems to be an unainymous view that the nation has enough of Congress. BJP should take over from Congress and Modi is gunned to be the next PM.

I have just following the tweets of two Delhi based BJP spokeswoman.
1. Niramala Sitaraman ( BJP National Spokesperson
2. Meenakashi Lekhi ( Advocate, Social Activist, BJP National Spokesperson

Of the above two, the former seems to be fairly active in Twitter whereas the latter has ignored the power of social media for politicians.

I should find more Delhi based BJP journalists and spokespersons who take social media seriously to let the nation know of their of daily political activities.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Is there a cure for Excessive Underarm Sweating?

At the outset, complaint of excessive sweating in the armpit in Chennai is ridiculous as people in Chennai sweat all over the body 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Still, is there a safe treatment to arrest this awkward issue though sweating is actually a natural body temperature regulator?

First you should know that if you suffer from excessive sweating, it's not because you have too many sweat glands, it's because of the nerve cell activity of those glands. There are two types of sweat glands, apoccrine and eccrine glands.

How many people suffer from excessive sweating?
Surprisingly, as many as  1% of the population suffers from excessive sweating, especially excessive underarm sweating. Everybody sweats more when they are hot or nervous, but excessive sweating may be partly due to our genes.  It's important to control excessive sweating, and there are many different opinions and views on how to achieve this. If you suffer from excessive sweating, you've probably already tried the commercial antiperspirants and deodorants, and you're still looking for a cure for your problem.

Remedies to arrest excessive sweating:               
Diet control alone will not cure excessive sweating, but can help reduce it somewhat. Certain foods, such as onions, fish, garlic, and spicy foods like curry, can be smelled in the sweat. Try to reduce your intake of these types of foods.

Underarm hair holds sweat and can make the problem worse. If possible, shave your armpits to reduce the bacteria build-up.

There are other expensive and more painful cures available, such as Botox injections given in very small doses into the skin which can stop excessive sweating for 2-8 months. However, Botox is a poison, and it's natural to have concerns about the long term effects of such treatment.

As a last resort, surgery is often considered, where the sympathetic nerves that control sweating are cut. This type of operation requires general anesthesia, and is not guaranteed to work. The success rate is approximately 30%. Underarm skin can be removed and can be quite effective, but this is not a common operation due to the scarring and is not encouraged or performed very often.

Natural ways to cure excessive sweating are by far the easiest and cheapest way to control the problem. It's definitely safer to try diet control and natural remedies first.