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Friday, May 31, 2013



Travel...just for that Magical Moment 

Steal a kiss underwater in your private resort pool or visit the Taj Mahal; zip around town in a stretch limo or take an impromptu vacation

    There’s never a reason needed to indulge in some romance. The ideal way to make your partner feel special is to go on an impromptu vacation, which is laced with adventure, relaxation and ‘us time’. When you head out for a domestic vacation, remember you are boosting the local economy and wouldn’t have trouble finding Indian food.
    ET-Travel suggests some fabulous getaways to head to right away and beat the heat in the bargain. If you cannot afford to take off on a longer holiday, plan a short break clubbed along with the weekend. We can assure you, it’s possible. Online travel agencies are abuzz with ‘Last minute holiday deals’, do avail of them. The conventional holidaymakers will surprise you with some new destinations with amazing stay options. Try them and get going!
    WHAT TO DO: A quick romantic getaway from Delhi is the blissful hilly destination of Nainital. Famous for the Naini Lake, mythology has it that it is here that Lord Shiva performed his tandava with Parvati’s body. The Naini Peak or the China peak is the highest point here, standing tall at a height of approximately 2,615 mts. When you stay here, walk along the Govind Ballabh Pant Marg to eat out or go shopping for local goods. Later, plan a visit to the Nainital Zoo, where you can find rare species of snow leopard, steppe eagle and the Himalayan black bear. Later, make your way to The Governor House or the Raj Bhavan with its sprawling gardens, open for public viewing. Nainital’s latest attraction is the Eco Cave Garden where you can learn about the ecosphere. The Observatory or the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) is located 9 kms from Nainital on Manora Peak and is the center for astronomical studies and optical tracking of artificial satellites. Truly, natural beauty abounds the lake district of Nainital. Many couples enjoy a hike or horseback ride to the top of Naina Peak to take to the stunning views of the snowcapped Himalayas. If you do not want a tiring walk up, then try the aerial lift up to Snow View; there’s also a small marble temple at the top, which is dedicated to Dev Mundi. With time in hand, take long strolls near the lake side and mingle with the simple locals here.
    WHAT TO DO: A romantic holiday in Kashmir is the buzzword, of late. Indeed, the ideal way to beat the heat is to head to Srinagar, also the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir. Never mind, the slightly longer rounds of security checks at the Srinagar airport, the beauty of this place will leave you transfixed instantly. Picturesque lakes, magnificent gardens and local cuisine is to die for. Not to forget the unbelievably affordable array of rare artefacts and embroidered fabrics. The city is situated on the banks of the River Jhelum surrounded by Dal, Nageen and Anchar Lakes. The shimmering water of these lakes appear like crystals on bright sunny days. Stay over at a houseboat replete with modern amenities and later enjoy photo shoots in the traditional shikara wearing Kashmiri gear on Dal Lake. Let the fun unfold.
    WHAT TO DO: Kashmir is beautifully wellconnected via roads. Drive from Srinagar airport to Pahalgam and you will see the River Lidder gurgling alongside at some points. It flows all along the trail between Pahalgam and Chandanwadi. With stay options of small resorts, private villas and some hotels, Pahalgam stay should definitely be more than a day or two in your itinerary. You can also camp in the garden area of the Pahalgam resorts here and go trekking amidst lush green conifers and meadows in the morning from here. The journey is only half as beautiful as the Valley of Chandanwadi. A local transport here can take you around the meandering roads right upto the Chandanwadi glacier foothill. You can easily rent out boots, jackets and caps from here. A local guide will happily escort your family right to the point where the Amarnath Yatra entry point is visible. River Sheshnag flows close to the Amarnath Cave and the water is said to have hidden magical powers, the guide will affirm. Try it! 

Kashmir (Hill station) Kovalam (Beach) Coorg (Coffee plantations) Goa (Forts and Beaches) Ooty (Tea estates amidst hills) Andaman & Nicobar (Island) Lakshadweep (Island) Shimla (Hill Station) Nainital (Lake District) Darjeeling (Tea estates, Barfii film shoot) Jodhpur (desert safari) (Best to avoid during the harsh summers)
The hill stations and lake districts in India offer an amazing option to chill out. Last minute holiday deals are a good idea to strike, if you haven’t had the time to plan an elaborate holiday. ET-Travel suggests you also try online holidaymakers’ offers this time.  
LOVE IN KERALA The Southwest Monsoon will hit Kerala in June and will spell romance amidst lush greens. It is also called Edavappathy, as it comes in the middle of the month of Edavam on the Malayalam Calendar. Truly a good time to try couple rejuvenation travel packages.
Compiled by Nimisha Tiwari ETTR130530

HEALTH / SKIN SPECIAL ...Wine for wow skin!

Wine for wow skin! 

Because of its skin rejuvenating properties, wine facial is becoming increasingly popular

    Are you a wine lover? Well, your skin may love to feast on it, too. Because of its rejuvenating properties, wine facial is fast becoming a popular trend. Read on to know more...
Why wine is good...
>> According to cosmetic surgeon Dr Satish Arolkar, l-tartaric acid in wine stimulates the development of new cells in the skin’s outer layers. Yeast is ideal for teenagers and acne-prone skin as it has a multitude of nutrients
— especially zinc — which clears the skin.
    “Also, Riboflavin helps the immune system. Organic wine facials have immense health and beauty benefits because they are packed with antioxidants like flavonoid, resveratrol and tannin. They fight free radicals and help maintain a youthful and glowing skin. They are rich in amino acids that boosts skin renewal and prevents sun damage,” he adds.
Clients say cheers!
>> Shenaira Advani (name changed), a 33-year-old lawyer, recently indulged in an organic wine facial. “I tried it out of curiosity and was pleasantly surprised by the results. My skin looked much younger, supple and glowing,” she says.
    Skin therapist Vijaya Kadam of a suburban clinic says, “Everyone wants to look younger. We get customers not only from Mumbai, but other parts of India and even abroad. All age groups approach us — from 18-year-old college students to 65-year-old retired professionals.”
Types of facials
>> Many types of wine — red, white, grape, apple and elderberry — are used in facial therapy. Red wine, which was predominantly used to raise a toast to health and wellness, is being used to revive the glow in an ageing skin, while white wine treats oily, congested skin.
    Dr Arolkar explains, “Many types of wine facials are available. While some mix wine with Ayurvedic creams, others use herbs. In our clinic (in the suburbs), we mix organic products like strawberries, grapes, rosehip, stonecrop and many
other fruits and plants with wine. At some places, grape skin and grape seed oil are used with wine.”
Who should go for it...
>> Men and women of all age groups, who want to look young with a healthy skin, can opt for organic wine facial. The antioxidants in organic wine helps prevent the harmful effects of free radicals, which are the main cause of early ageing — they give rise to wrinkles and age spots. Wine mixed with organic products are also rich in vitamin C, which is a must for healthy skin, says cosmetologist Sujata Naik.
...And how often?
>> Persons with specific concerns can have organic wine facials once in a week or two. If you’re over 30 years old, once in a month is more than enough, says Naik.
The price factor
>> Well, cost varies from place to place, but wine facials generally start from 3,000 onwards.
No doing it yourself
>> Don’t rush to try wine facial at home. “Wine facials are mostly suitable for everyone, but one should not try it at home — mixing just anything with wine and applying it. Wine is acidic and could be harmful if mixed with the wrong product,” warns Naik.
And there’s a tequila infused detox massage too
This actually exists at a spa in New York. This treatment includes a cocktail either before or after the massage. It is not only indulgence but also relaxing — it stimulates the lymphatic system with kneads and cream and drains the toxins out. Tequila mixed with sage oil is rubbed on the body initially, leaving the lymphatic nodes pure. The treatment concludes by using citrus a la tequila shot style, using citrus-scented oil mixed with a rich moisturising cream.
Lisa Antao BT130530

PERSONAL SPECIAL..... Social Media vs Having a Life

Social Media vs Having a Life :
 3 Ways to Strike a Balance

"More than ever, we're now focused on documenting and building the history of our lives, not on living the life unfolding right in front of us," writes Damon Brown in his new TED e-book Our Virtual Shadow: Why We Are Obsessed With Documenting Our Lives Online. "It's all about the check-in, the status update, the captured moment, rather than being fully present day to day."
Not that there's anything wrong with social media, he hastens to add--as a technology writer he maintains an active social media presence himself. (In fact, he specially requested we include his Twitter handle, @BrownDamon, in this post.) But constant attention to social media comes at a cost, he says. "We lack focus because we're distracted by so many things, and studies have shown our brains are bad at multi-tasking. So in a sense when we're having experiences and documenting them at the same time, we're not experiencing any of it. This has crept up on most of us."
Like Brown, anyone active in business, and especially anyone running a small business, can't afford to ignore social media or even step away from it for too long. On the other hand, no one wants an experience like that of Cesar Kuriyama (a TED speaker now documenting one second each day of his life) who failed to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime sunset because he was too busy trying to get a good picture of it for Facebook. Is there a way to maintain the social media presence we all need to succeed and stay connected, without missing out on those moments? Here's Brown's advice:
1. Pick your poison
"Don't go willy-nilly into all social networks, choose what your audience likes the most," he suggests. "If you're a music industry person, be on MySpace. In my business, a lot of people that are influential are on Twitter, and so are the people I want to influence."
Once you pick one or two social networks that matter to your audience, stay active only on those. You may want to create an account in others just to reserve your preferred name, but don't make them part of your daily life. "It only takes 10 minutes to set up an account," Brown says. "After that, just do something occasionally."
2. Set a time for social media
For Brown, it's the hour between 6 and 7 a.m. "It's like reading the morning paper," he says. "I'm sitting there with my coffee and my bagel or whatever." Brown uses that time to post links to any articles of his that were published the previous day, and send shout-outs to people who've retweeted his tweets or his work, as well as catch up on his favorite Twitter feeds and tweet interesting tidbits. At the end of the hour, he goes on to the rest of his day.
"Then it doesn't matter if I don't go on every five seconds," he says. "Since I started doing this, it's really changed how productive I am, both for that hour, and for the rest of the day."
3. Give yourself a time out
Take some time every day to disconnect from social media completely, Brown advises. He himself does this by deliberately letting his smartphone run out of power, knowing that once it does it won't turn on again for at least 15 minutes. "Personally, I know my level of focus increases dramatically," he says. "It's helpful during work, but it's also helpful for paying more attention to my wife or even going for a walk." With social media inaccessible, Brown finds he can really be in the moment.
He recommends a new game called "Phone Stacking," in which people eating a meal together pile their phones on the table, and the first one to pick up his or her phone must also pick up the tab. The game fulfills our new craving for "soundproof" space when we step away from the virtual world and engage with the people actually around us, he writes. But, he says, before you put your phone on the table, it's fine to pause long enough to check in with Foursquare first.
Minda Zetlin


Hands on vs. hands off 


    Commonly there are two types of leaders - one who is completely ‘hands-on’ from A-Z and the other who is blasé and laissez-faire and delegates with trust – in all, a ‘hands-off’ manager. So, what works better for a leader - hands-off management or handson? “A good leader will utilise a combination of both the management styles to get the best out of the team,”says Vipul Singh, VP and head of HR, ADP. Molly Gellerman, director HR, Target India opines, “Leaders must be encouraged to be more hands-on when on-boarding new talent, working to help someone improve their performance or developing someone for the next level. A hands-off approach can be better for your team when you have built a high-performing team underneath you and your time is better spent at carving out the next steps of a strategy or long-term plan. What matters the most is to know your talent. Know when they need you more and know when they can thrive by stepping aside and letting them soar.”
    So, if we were to pit hands-off v/s hands-on management, which would trump the other? Mohan Ayyangar, COO and CTO of Pangea3, a Thomson Reuters Company elucidates, “A hands-off leader can produce great results with a team of absolute A-players. Having said that, today, the probability of hiring/inheriting a team with 100 per cent A-players is impossible. Team members who are slightly lower in the learning cycle or less-seasoned (given the current market conditions) might see/interpret the light-touch approach as a lack of engagement and will respond with low commitment. Those who seek more mentorship, guidance and supervision will be left out cold. But remember, a hands-on leader may stifle his/her team and generally create an environment devoid of creativity. The heavytouch style can create the perception that all objectives belong solely to the leader and that the team is just executing on his/her behalf.”
    A hands-on leadership style is more proactive, involves decisions that are closer to reality and is more prevalent in start-ups/new businesses where the team is evolving and one needs to be on-the-ground to understand day-to-day vagaries, complexities and take faster decisions to move ahead. Neither of these methods will work all the time. After all, leadership is about adapting to situations.