Sunday, 26 October 2014

MatrikaS Paper Product Review : Innovation and Style At Its Best

Notebooks … this word creates a picture of regular ruled/unruled workbooks or notebooks with thin covers and attractive pictures on cover to catch our eyes. However, MatrikaS TOSS & NRUT Notebooks will not only catch your Attention, but are well capable to amaze you as well as. Now what is so special about MatrikaS Notebooks ? Before, I reveal the secret, let me introduce MatrikaS Paper Products with you; according the information given on their website, Matrika is a  Sanskrit word  for “MOTHER”, it could be Mother Earth, Mother Nature or the concept of Shakti in Indian Culture. MatrikaS presents a premium range of paper products including Notebooks, Journals, Office and Social Stationary and Diaries. Every single product is exquisitely designed and well finished. Designs, themes, color schemes, paper and binding; everything represents superior levels of class and quality.

Now, let’s get back to our Notebook, the TOSS AND NRUT NOTEBOOK . I received this fabulous notebook along with two exquisite diaries few weeks ago for being a part of their “Scribble Your Heart Away Campaign”.  This is a 6 Subject Note Book with an impressive metallic hard bound cover providing a glossy, lustrous look for the note book. The special effect designing has created an embossed 3D look and touch for the front and back cover. 

Our very own age old snakes and ladder game is imprinted over the front cover and surrounded by tree branches. At the end of the notebook, a short description about the game tells us that centuries ago, this game was originated in India and it was known as “MOKSHA PATAM”.  Surprized !!!!  yes I too was awestruck, after knowing this fact. Well, MatrikaS products are filled with such small yet joyful  secrets and facts. That description also contains the directions of How To Play the Game and thus our simple notebook turns out to be a  indoor game board. Wonderful .. isn't it ?? 

This elegant notebook has a lovely background color theme of Green, different shades of Green. The snakes on front cover are printed in different bright colors and creating a charming contrast with the green theme. What attracted me most was the jolly depiction of snakes; heart shape eyes, specs on eyes, a little crown on head, a winky or teasing smile on faces; yes those are bubbly and cheerful snakes. Inside the book, again the cheery sketches of snakes, ladders, small animals and trees are printed. A dark violet and turquoise colored snake printed on back side of note book looks very playful and cute; it has a crown of leaves on its head.  

In short, the complete design, color themes and images has been arranged in a pleasurable way. Children, Elder Children and even youngsters will sure love this notebook. This is not just any ordinary notebook, but an artistic piece of paper stationery; it will make the writing a delightful experience.

You might be thinking what is this 6 subject thing that I talk about in the above para ? Well, the answer is quite interesting, the notebook is divided in six parts through five different color paper dividers; saffron, of white, pink, sky blue and grey. These dividers are made of thick paper and create a colorful pattern among the ruled single tone pages of notebook. Now you can use a single notebook for six different subjects. The size is quite big, it is an A4 210x295MM notebook with 288 pages that provides sufficient space for six subject notes. The sturdy hard bound card board cover ensures long life of notebook and prevents any cracks/tattering or separation of pages form the note book.

However, on a lighter note, if we count that snake and ladder game playing facility also then it becomes  a 7 subject notebook... the 7th subject is of games, just like our schools where we get a period for sports and games. Quite an intelligent idea .. no ??   

The pages in this notebook are however, not much thick, but I think that is acceptable because the covers are already very thick and cloth bind and thick pages will only increase the weight of notebook and thus the burden of school/college bag.

And hey, did I tell you that I received a personally addressed and signed letter from Srinivas Viswanathan, the director of  Srinivas Group. I know all participants have received this type of letter from him and I was  totally impressed by this initiative of team MatrikaS. Do check the facebook page of MatrikaS Paper Products Here for more updates about their lovely paper stationery products.

One  more thing which I deeply feel about MatrikaS products is that they are more like lifestyle stationery and not just ordinary journals, diaries and notebooks.  Today, when we have become habitual of writing/typing on computer screen only and quite bored with the traditional notebooks, diaries and other journals; in that scenario MatrikaS paper products are very much warm, lively and inspiring as well as.Their unique designs, vibrant color themes, supreme quality paper and covers, attractive and useful features inspire us to pick the pen and write away whatever comes in our hearts. Moreover, these elegant paper stationery could be a perfect gift item for any occasion and for all age groups, especially when the person is interested in writing.

So, Those were my views about MatrikaS opulent  Paper products.. what about you ?? Do let me know about how you like this stylish notebook and those beautiful diaries.

This Product review has been written as a part of MatrikaS "Sscribble Your Heart Away Campaign"

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

MatrikaS Paper products : A Romance Between Writer and Her Diaries

It all started when I was in eleventh standard, one fine day our teacher gave us a lecture about how great personalities of world has always maintained the habit of diary writing and thus we too should follow the path. Somehow that idea of writing diaries struck my mind (maybe I too wanted to be a Great Personality!!!) and when my father came back from office, the very first thing I asked him,“ I want a diary in which I can write my daily routine.”  At first, he was surprised because till date his little daughter demanded for many things (toys, new clothes, sweets and sometimes cosmetics as well as !!!) But a DIARY ????? Anyway, I got one. A simple, small and thin diary; pages weren't much broad and the length was OK kind of. However, that was My First Diary and I started writing various things in it; about my life, people around me, events taking place in my life and yes some times serious philosophical stuff as well as.

My First Diary
My Priceless Possessions
Since then, a long time has been passed on and diary has become an integral part of my life. I am  a proud owner of  six diaries, six different types of diaries; different colors, sizes, designs, etc., but one thing is common for all of them, they represent my life till date; precious documents of my life, written by myself. My diaries are the most valuable possessions  of mine. Here, I am showing a few of those old diaries of mine.

Bad Quality Binding

Hence, when a fellow blogger introduced me with Matrikas Paper Products and suggested joining the Scribble Your Heart Away With MatrikaS Paper Products Campaign, I couldn't stop myself and quickly applied for their products. After few days, I received two lovely diaries and an elegant notebook. Here, I would like to talk about the diaries only, don't worry I will be sure telling you about the notebook, but in the next post. Of course, if you are a writer like me, then you know that words written on paper are closer to heart rather than any other writing form. And when it comes to expressing our little heart out, then diary writing is the best option. Diaries hold our big world inside their black and white papers and with every written page, they create a new world of memories and creativity.

As I told you before that I received two diaries, so let’s talk about the one with a light green colored titled "CUBE WORKS ", an aristocratic diary. This diary is available in two more colors, Blue and Brown at the website of Matrikas.  A cute soft elastic green strap on the cover for safe locking gives it more personal  touch.
Back Side

 This elegant diary cum journal has hard bound cover with a plush velvety touch feel and the title Cube Works is neatly engraved on both front and back covers in bold letters. A book-marker is also given along with the diary to introduce the user with the different sections of it. As per the book-marker, there are 256 pages in this diary to cater your different needs, from personal information to Action Plans, To Do List and Expense Summary; every single need of a common diary user has been cared of and given sufficient space.
Book Marker cum Index

 For example, first section is “Personal Data”, next is index pages and then comes the biggest section of the diary that is Ruled Pages and so on. I loved the ruled pages because unlike other diaries or journals that usually comes with specific mention of year, date, etc., on every page; in this diary the date column has been left empty to be filled by the user.
Empty Date Column

A diary, no matter how good it looks, is useless without good quality pages and strong binding. I had to abandon one of my personal diaries without filling all pages because it's binding was getting torn and pages were getting separate ( as you can notice that particular diary in below pictures). Moreover, being an avid
Torn Back Cover of my Old Diary

Worn Out Sides and Cracked Cover
writer and reader both, I am tend to write a lot stuff in my diary; from book reviews to the movie reviews, from daily happenings to any political social issue, my diary is my personal space where I want to express myself without any boundaries. Therefore, I expect premium quality pages; the ink ( I usually write with ball pen) should not get imprinted on the other side of the page, paper should not turn yellow/pale, pages should have soft touch yet thick enough to sustain the impact of time on my diary.

 MatrikaS products fulfill all our expectations very well. Paper quality is excellent; pages are thick and smooth to make the writing hassle free. Hard bound cover ensures the safety of your precious memories written on paper and also increases the life span of diary. There is a small safety pouch (thick paper made) also attached inside the back cover of the diary. Here, you can hide any important document, personal papers, etc. Hence, with MatrikaS, I am pretty sure that my personal space is in safe hands.

Now let me tell you about the second diary that is my favourite  among  the three products I got from MatrikaS. While, applying for the product review, MatrikaS asked  us to choose a famous personality from a given list and I chose Swami Vivekanand. That time I didn't know why they ask so, but when I received the product hamper and saw this graceful yet opulent diary that portrays Swamiji I understood the purpose of asking about our favourite personality

The front cover of diary has a youthful and lively portrait of Swami Vivekanand embossed  on the front cover, surrounded with beautiful prints of octal flowers and the symbol of OM.  A silver colored title “Vivekanand Journal” engraved at the top right side sparkles like stars on the background of saffron colored hard bound cover. The hard bound covers of diary have been given special designing effects and velvet finish that make it even more attractive.

Ethnic print at binding and soothing two tone color scheme of  covers and pages are capable enough to steal your heart.  The OM symbol is printed at every left side page of the diary at the top left side and each page contains a quote at the down bottom said by Swamiji  himself. Once again the date column has been left empty to be filled by the writer.

The journal contains a short biography of Swamiji also that is quite useful, it contains all important facts about his life, works and achievements. When you open the diary, a special column will attract your attention that is “ This Book Belongs to …”. I simply loved this feature because it creates a relationship between the diary and the user and this is the biggest purpose of any personal diary/journal. Another sections that attracted my attention are "Books To Be Read and Places To Be Visited". Here, you can create a list of all those books with their brief description that you want to read and places that you want to explore. These lists will always keep your dreams alive and help you remind about the Works to be Accomplished. This way one can keep a live hand written record of  memorable things and events of their life.

The overall simple yet elegant and stylish design of  the journal rightly expresses the personality and ideology of Swamiji. The journal also has To Do Lists and Monthly Action Plan sections to organize and manage your daily routine tasks.

In short, this exquisite Journal could be a perfect gift for anyone, be it a young chap or an elderly person, especially when they are fan of Swami Vivekanand like me (yes, that’s why I chose his name from the list).  For me, on the auspicious occasion of Diwali it is a unique and precious gift from MatrikaS Paper Products  that I will always cherish.

This Post has been written as a part of the Scribble Your Heart Away With MatrikaS Paper Products Campaign.

Images Courtesy :  taken by my cellphone camera.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Diwali : A Season of Happy Hours

Diwali is not just a festival, but, it is more like a phenomenon; An event that takes place once in a year and for those Five Days of Festival, we start preparations around a month ago or sometimes 2-3 months ago. It is the only time of the year when people seriously think about cleaning their house thoroughly, be it throwing out the garbage which was stored all the year so we can get the “Best Price” from raddiwala. From painting of house, renovations, buying new furniture or jewelry, buying silver coins as a ritual, getting new clothes so we can wear them on the very day of Diwali, home decorations and what not; for everything Diwali is the Right and Best Time. Oh wait, seems I forgot something very important and that is Mithai, Diwali ki Mithai !!!!, Pataakhe !!! and Clay Diyas… mithai, pataakhe and diye complete our picture of Diwali and its festivity.  This is the ideal way We The Great Indians like to celebrate this sparkling festival of Diwali.

And the same goes with my family as well as, we are three members in my family, me and my parents. Safai Abhiyaan for our big home that starts at least a month ago and never get finished even the day before Diwali and still there would be some parts of home remained not cleaned or say Untouched (A big crime in my mom’s dictionary). My father’s scooter becomes Raddi carrying vehicle for few days and it visits Kabadi walah every week to sell old newspapers, magazines, broken household items and other scrap. Though, let me be honest, this year we have not done any  Safai or cleaning of house due to my mother’s illness, it has been a month or so since we are running between home and hospitals, she was hospitalized for BP fluctuation and now by the gods grace she is at home; therefore, no time for cleaning, etc., but hey it’s Diwali and  it should be special. So what if we didn't get time for cleaning, there are many other things to do and to be taken care of. So here is my Diwali Plan for this year…

My favorite part of  the festival is … obviously, Shopping !!! no, not the cloths, etc., but the household items, especially ethnic home decorations. For example, last year I bought multicolored fancy lights for exterior wall decoration, before last year there were cook-ware and this year I have ordered non stick cook-ware and a wristwatch for papa from Flipkart, hopefully will get all those items on time.  

For home decoration, here is my pick for the festival, an elegant wall hanging of Ganesh ji, a framed wooden painting made by me, clam-shell made tassels and small beads made chandelier for corners.

And to fulfill the tradition of buying some sort of Sona-Chandi on Diwali,  I have a gold ring  for me which was purchased couple of months ago but, I would like to include it in Diwali shopping because now we might not be able to buy any gold silver item on Dhanteras.

However, as I already mentioned in first para, Diwali is incomplete without Typical Diwali ki Ghar Par Bani Mithai, so here I am... the Guziya-Mathri expert and Mummy's  Daal and Moongfali Chikki;  typical Sindhi delicacy for Diwali. These yummy groundnut and jaggery chikkis  are our must preparations for Diwali because we have to keep them in Laxmi Poojan for Bhog.  There are three types of chikkis  that we usually make at home; roasted groundnut chikki, roasted gram dal chikki and murmura chikki. They can be prepared with jaggery or with sugar as well as. However, the jaggery chikkis  are more popular than their sugar counterparts because jaggery has its own different sweetness which you can’t get with sugar. The tradition behind using Gur for  Diwali sweets, indicates towards the weather change; transition form summers to winters and so thus our body needs warm ingredients in daily diet.  Preparing these Gur wali Chikkis is a tough task, only the Experts (read Mothers and Grandmothers) can make them.

First you have to melt the gur in a deep thick bottom pan with the right quantity of water, neither less nor more. When the gur gets melt and appears like a shining brown sauce then add roasted garm daal/ roasted groundnuts/murmuras into  it and cook for a couple of minutes, mix it well and then quickly brings it out on a flat surface which should be pre greased. Then, roll the chikki mix  out in round shape and keep it aside (on a muslin cloth) for drying/cooling for sometime. After cooling it will become like a crunchy sweet snack, one can add cardamom powder or finely chopped dry-fruits to  enhance the taste and appearance, but in our house we don’t add any such things; simple, basic recipe of chikki.  This year mom will not prepare it, she will give the instructions and I will try my best to create the magic of “Mummy ke Hath ki Chikki”. (yummy in my tummy)

Diwali Poojan or say Laxmi Poojan is a time when I am the most needed person in my home... Why ?? Because it's me who have to tell the Gajlaxmi Katha ( yes I am an expert story-teller). After katha, mom will perform the Aarti and I will recite the shloks. Oh, are you asking, what is this GajLaxmi Katha, then google it, this inspiring story tells us the importance of “Karma” and “Hard work” in our life rather than being depend on “Bhagya”.

So, now when we are done with Pooja, its time for enjoying sweets and cracking the air crackers, anar, fuljhadis and sky shots, another favourite part of festival for me. However, this time I am not going to burn any crackers this time, no no, it has nothing to do with green and clean campaign, but with the cost of patakhas .. Pataakhe ab bahut jyada mahange ho gaye hain naa !!! (sadly smile)

After Diwali, Rama Shama is waiting, I will visit my friends and relative's place; they will also come to our home and we will see .. Kisne Kya Khareeda and kiske ghar kounsi mithaai thi ?? (wink wink). We will do all the gossips along with steaming tea sips, snacks and further enrich each other’s knowledge regarding Diwali shopping offers, bargains and kahaan sasta tha aur kahaan mahnga tha and obviously each one of has got the Best Shopping Deal of festive season.

 This post is written for the Happy Hour Campaign of Indiblogger sponsored by PepsiIndia

Diwali - a time for family!

, here you can check their website

Here is the lovely  PepsiCo #GharWaliDiwali film that will recall all your Diwali Moments with family.

All Images in this post have been taken by me and not from any other source.