Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh

We went to Dalhousie in mid July. Dalhousie is a small hill station situated in Himachal Pradesh, India. We drove from Chandigarh to Dalhousie, it took 10 hours straight. On the way we stopped at the roadside eateries for food and refreshment. The road was awesome…smooth! Dalhousie used to be a very popular summer holiday place for the British officers. Dalhousie has been named after Lord Dalhousie, was the governor-general of India. We stayed at the Dalhousie Heights Hotel. In the mornings the sun comes out but the weather changes after mid day…as fog closes in. Summers are pleasantly cool in Dalhousie and in winters it snows there. From our hotel the bus stop and the Subhash Chowk was within walking distance. We walked till subhash chowk which is situated at a height during the mornings and evenings.At Shubhash Chowks, there r small café style eateries and tea stall. Shubhash Chowk gets it name from the Statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s statue situated there; he visited Dalhousie while in his quest of bringing freedom to India. Subhash Chowk has wine shops and departmental stores too. We went to this really beautiful spot call the Mini Swiss. This is a vast lush green ground surrounded by fir trees on all sides, cows, sheep and horse graze on the grass, there is a small water body in the middle. The overall look is very Swiss so the name ‘Mini Swiss’. We did zorbing there….total fun…got dizzy! What I liked most about Mini Swiss was that it is a very quiet place, totally serene, so peaceful that I could clearly hear each and every thought going on in my head which is never possible in a busy metro city. From mid July, the off season starts at Dalhousie because of monsoon, so there are fewer crowds, but we always like it that way. Dalhousie looks like some English countryside, beautiful sunsets, winding roads, greenery, street side coffee, we loved it all.

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Idea robbing customers

I have recently been robbed of Rs.110 for no apparent reason by Idea Cellular service. I use the GPRS on my phone regularly for various internet usages. For that I had Idea’s Rs.20 per Internet pack activated. As per this Internet pack once activated by sending a sms ‘Gprs20’ to 52918, this pack gets activated within the next 8 hours. I had the same. 3 days back on 12th June 2011, I had a balance of Rs.130, at set time like everyday Rs.20 got deducted from my balance, I was using the net, but suddenly the net got disconnected to be not connected despite numerous tries. I thought there is some technical glitch in my comp. Then when I check my balance, it showed that I am left with Rs.1.46. GPRS net does not run with a balance below Rs.8. Without any applied Internet pack the Idea Gprs charges are 2p/kb. I was completely clueless how come my balance has come down to this as I had not made any calls or send any smses since I last checked my balance which then showed Rs.110.

I called up Idea Care, the time was 2.a.m., when I told my story the call center executive said “what access point do you use?” I replied “let me check”, after checking I told him “Access point 1”, He said “you should set it on Idea Internet”, I replied “but what the hell has it got to do with my balance getting deducted?”, the executive got confused, he replied “can u call us back in the morning after 7a.m.”, agreed and hung up.

Next morning at 10a.m. I call up Idea Customer Care again. This time when I repeated my problem, this dumb reply  came back from the executive “everyday at the set time when Rs.20 gets deducted as per the pack, there is a re-activation time of 4 hours during which if you use net, charges would be deducted as per without any Internet pack”, I am like WTF “ I have been using this 20 pack internet for the past 2 yrs, this stupid rule was never there, I have even used the net for a full 24 hrs sometime but never my balance was deducted out of track, why suddenly this time, you never informed me about this rule??”

The cell center executive replied “this rule has always been there”, I said “this is a mistake on your part, you should refund my money”, on which the executive blandly refused and hung up.

This is anarchy on part of Idea Cellular Services, these greedy sharks are robbing customers like this, even people like me who understand the technicalities of how these system works gets conned by these telecom companies whose 95% services have hidden conditions which they never reveal to their gullible customers or they cook up new conditions when come the firing line of their querying customers.

Using a cell phone which has become an absolute necessity and need and also addiction to many can cost you a bomb if you are not careful!

Little chocolate cake

This recipe is by a little friend of mine, she is only 11 years old but keeps great interest in cooking and trust me she is very good at it. This little star is good at a lot of things actually…I hope one day she fulfills all her dreams and become whatever she wants!!

INGREDIENTS

3 LARGE EGG

1 12 CUP POWDERED SUGAR (SUGAR HAS TO BE POWDERED, OTHERWISE IT WILL BURN)

1 CUP MAIDA

3 TSP BAKING POWDER

12 CUP MILK

12 OIL

3 TBSP COCOA POWDER

CHOCOLATE SAUCE

1 PKT HIDE AND SEEK BISCUIT WALNUTS

2 TBSP VANILLA ESSENCE

 

METHOD

  1. SIFT FLOUR AND BAKING POWDER.KEEP IT ASIDE
  2. BEAT EGG AND SUGAR TILL FLUFFY AND MIXTURE BECOMES MORE THAN DOUBLE IN VOLUME.ADD ESSENCE
  3. ADD OIL TO THE BEATEN EGG AND SUGAR.ADD COCOA POWDER
  4. FOLD IN FLOUR GRADUALLY TILL ALL THE FLOUR IS USED.ADD MILK TO GET SLIGHTLY THINNER THAN A SOFT  DROPPINGS CONSISTENCY.
  5. GREASE A GLASS BOWL.
  6. POUR THE BATTER IN IT.
  7. MICROWAVE UNCOVERED FOR 5 MIN.CHECK USING A FORK IF IT IS COOKED FROM INSIDE. (NOTE: MICROWAVE FOR EXTRA 2 MIN IF IT IS  NOT COOKED FROM IN SIDE)
  8. LET IT STAND FOR 4-5 MIN IN THE MICROWAVE ITSELF.
  9. LET IT COOL FOR 5-10 MIN BEFORE REMOVING FROM THE GLASS BOWL.
  10. POUR SOME CHOCOLATE SAUCE ON THE CAKE.
  11. PRESS THIN HOLES WITH A BLUNT KNIFE.DECORATE WITH THE BISCUIT AS YOUR CHOICE .(OPTIONAL)

Believe me the end result was yummy…i scrapped every last bit of it from my plate (sad i got a very little portion…my sis devoured it mercilessly) 😛

Boroline Antiseptic perfumed cream

This is our good old boroline. This cream is epic used by our grand mothers to mothers to us. It is a multi purpose cream. Boroline protects and softens skin, heals all dry skin conditions like chapped, cracked, abraded skin and sun burnt skin. Boroline fights germs, works wonder to cure cuts & wounds, general skin infections & post operative stitches.

Boroline is now available in a wide mouth container.

Merits of Boroline:

  • All merits. 🙂
  • It is the best lip balm for chapped lips available in our markets.

Demerits:

  • Turns into almost liquid in out hot summers.

Our tip: Apply boroline at night on lips regularly during winters and never suffer from chapped lips ever.

Dove Therapy Nourishing Conditioner

This conditioner we have is for normal hair. It promises to reduce damage of normal hair from environmental damage, makes hair stronger and smoother from root to tip. This bottle we have is of 400ml. Not sure of the price.

Merits of this conditioner:

  • Makes hair really soft.
  • Smoothens out dull damaged hair.
  • Has a very creamy texture.
  • One can notice change after 4-5 uses.

Demerits:

  • Not suitable for very dry hair.
  • Makes hair greasy if not rinsed properly.

Our tip: Do not apply conditioner to the scalp as it would cause dandruff afterwards.

Loreal Paris Elvive Shampoo Nutri-Gloss

This shampoo promises mirror shine, cashmere touch. We have a 250ml bottle but we are not sure about the cost as we got it as a gift from a friend who lives in the Saudi. Boast of containing pearl protein (what’s that?)

Merits of this shampoo:

  • This shampoo has a lot of moisture.
  • This shampoo is very creamy and lathers well

Demerits:

  • Does not provide any shine as it promises.
  • Makes hair sticky and greasy.
  • Just suitable for straight silky hair maybe.

Our tip: Not a worthy shampoo to spent money on. 🙂

Schwarzkopf Power Hair Lacquer

We have used the all weather taft Mega Strong variant. It promises 24 hour hard hold for all types of held up hair styles, no stickiness, no residues, easily brushed out. A 250ml tin spray bottle costs Rs.350.

Merits of this hair spray:

  • It is a damn good hard hair spray, does holds up hair for 6 hours (that long we tried).
  • Can be easily brushed out by a hair brush.
  • It is UV protected so hair is protected in the sun too.
  • It adds a nice shine to the hair style.
  • Reasonably priced.

Demerits:

  • Smells like a strong body deodorant so those with sensitive noses may find the smell irksome.

Our tip: Hard Hair sprays are must for those having smooth silky hair wanting to sport a held up hair style as without the hold of the spray the hair do would slid down.

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash

Neutrogena has very good products, this is one of them. This deep pore facial wash promises to prevent acne and pimples, does not over dry skin and is alcohol free. A 175ml bottle costs Rs.350.

Merits of this facial wash:

  • Removes excess oil very effectively (very good for oily & combination skin).
  • Leave skin very smooth and soft.
  • Really prevents pimples.
  • The best facial wash available in the market.
  • Very little amount is required in a single wash.

Demerits:

  • It is bit on the pricey side.
  • Not suitable to be used daily for those having dry skins.

Our tip: Wash your face with Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash before putting on make up, your foundation would sit really well.

Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

We have used the variation which promises to reduce hair fall. This is a creamy white shampoo containing nourishing oil. A 400ml bottle costs Rs.224. Smaller packs are available too.

Merits of this shampoo:

  • Really prevents dandruff with regular use (once in 4 days).
  • Does help with hair fall too.
  • Does not dry hair.
  • Most effective anti dandruff shampoo in the market.

Demerits:

  • Does not have any demerit as such.

Our tip: Change shampoo from time to time and anti dandruff shampoos are known to dry hair with excessive use.

Lacto Calamine Aloe Moisturiser

Lacto Calamine has been there in the Indian market for a very long time (our moms have used it too).This product is a little shift from the original product by the same name minus the aloe. This is promoted as a moisturizer for dry to normal skin. This moisturizer promises moisturisation, protection, dead skin removal and acne control. A 60ml bottle costs Rs.52. There are bigger as well as smaller packs available

Merits of the products:

  • Works well as a light make up base.
  • Does not make the skin feel dry.
  • Works well in hot summer days too.
  • Is not oily.
  • Very good for sensitive skins.

Demerits:

  • Does not have any demerit as such as it is a very versatile product.

Our tip: To prevent heavy sun screens from leaving white residue on the skin, mix lacto calamine aloe moisturizer with the sun screen before application.