Friday, March 27, 2020

Posted On March 27, 2020 by Team iCynosure.

With an unprecedented trend in zodiac based products making an in-road into the beauty & wellness arena, it is only apt that perfumes also gel with your horoscopes to align with your stars. But can we just assign any fragrance to any zodiac sign? Absolutely not, since every sign has its own defining characteristics. Individual qualities play a role in choosing the right fragrance for you. The notes that determine the tone of the perfume depends on whether you are a cool Piscean or a fiery Leo. Let's understand all about perfume horoscopes and whether or not this would be the scent you would be wearing.

Aries: The Ram (Mar 21-Apr 19)
The pioneer and trailblazer of the horoscope wheel, Aries energy helps initiate, fight fearlessly and stand up for what they believe in. For their daring and confident personality, an Aries needs a fragrance that will last them for an entire day, but not overpower their presence. I would pick a gentle yet intriguing floral scent for an Aries. 

Taurus: The Bull (Apr 20-May 20)
The persistent provider of the horoscope family, Taurus energy helps seek security while enjoying luxury. For their appreciation for things larger than life, a Taurus needs a fragrance that is elegant and opulent. I would definitely pick an oriental scent, a bit woody and musky that hypnotises for a Taurus. 

Gemini: The Twins (May 21-Jun 20)
The most versatile and vibrant horoscope sign, Gemini energy helps to communicate and collaborate in a quirky manner. For their originality and unending wit, a Gemini needs a fragrance that will let their charm shine through. I would most definitely pick a mild fresh floral scent for a Gemini. 

Cancer: The Crab (June 21-July 22)
The natural nurturer of the horoscope wheel, Cancer energy helps to connect with feelings, plant deep roots within the family nest. For their appreciation of all things traditional and romantic, a Cancer needs a fragrance that is soft and romantic. I would pick a mix of sandalwood and floral fragrance for a Cancerian. 

Leo: The Lion (July 23-Aug 22)
The super-dramatic regal ruler of the horoscope clan, Leo energy helps shine, express themselves boldly and wear their hearts on their sleeve. For their appreciation for everything rich, sexy and daring, a Leo needs a fragrance that is the cynosure of all attention. I would most definitely pick a bold oriental fragrance for a Leo. 

Virgo: The Virgin (Aug 23-Sep 22)
The masterful helper of the horoscope wheel, Virgo energy teaches to serve and prioritise the well-being of others. For their appreciation of practical approaches, being grounded and well-balanced, a Virgo needs a fragrance that is neutral and natural. I would most definitely picky an earthy scent for a Virgo. 

Libra: The Scales (Sep 23-Oct 22)
The balanced beautifier of the horoscope family, Libra energy inspires to seek peace, harmony, cooperation, with style and grace. For their elegance and class, a Libran needs a fragrance that is oblivious yet subtle. I would pick a misty floral scent for a Libran. 

Scorpio: The Scorpion (Oct 23-Nov 21)
The most intense and focused of all horoscope signs, Scorpio energy helps forge intense and deep bonds that are built to last. For their drive and intensity to be mysterious and dark, a Scorpion needs a fragrance that reflects something beyond the ordinary. I would pick a blend of a sweet and spicy scent for a Scorpion. 

Sagittarius: The Archer (Nov 22-Dec 21)
The worldly adventurer of the horoscope wheel, Sagittarius energy inspires to dream big, chase the impossible and take fearless risks. For their opulence, a Sagittarius needs a fragrance that is free-spirited, unique, quirky and exotic. I would pick a fruity scent for a Sagittarius. 

Capricorn: The Goat (Dec 22-Jan 19)
The measured master planner of the horoscope family, Capricorn energy excludes the power of structure. For their level-headed ambition, a Capricorn needs a fragrance that is sensual but not too intense. I would pick a delicate yet deep floral scent for a Capricorn. 

Aquarius: The Water Bearer (Jan 20-Feb 18)
The humanitarian in the horoscope wheel, a futuristic Aquarius energy helps to innovate and unite for causes social. For their thoughtfulness and dreamy outlook, an Aquarian needs a natural blend of fragrances. I would pick either a floral or a fruity scent for an Aquarian. 

Pisces: The Fish (Feb 19-Mar 20)
The dreamer and healer of the horoscope family, Pisces energy awaken compassion, imagination and artistry. For their real-life approach and want to unite with all, a Piscean needs a sensitive and nostalgic fragrance that makes them feel emotionally connected. I would definitely pick an aquatic scent for a Piscean waterbaby. 

Miniso, the Japanese designer brand recently launched in India, but, I’ve been using their products for the last few years. I love the brand's concept of bringing 'intelligent consumer products', that speak 'simplicity, nature and good quality' at affordable pricing to the masses. One such segment of products that they have under the Health and Beauty genre is the 'Universal Limited Edition Zodiac Perfumes'. 

During my visit to Thailand last year, I couldn’t resist their cute and quirky packaging and I picked the limited edition Zodiac Perfumes, costing ฿69 each. I tried the Leo Eau De Parfum Spray and absolutely loved it. The scent at first hit me with its strong authoritative fragrance and then as the base scent rose, it neutralised the fragrance to linger softly in the air around. 

Do you agree with my thought about scents for each sign? Leave me your comments in below. 

Until next time,
~ Heena

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Posted On March 26, 2020 by Team iCynosure.

Over the last 2-to-3 years, entertainment in Indian has shifted from viewing to streaming, and viewers have been spoilt for choice. Today there are over 432 million Over The Top (OTT) video viewers in India; and is growing at an alarming rate of 4-8% always looking for content that resonates with them. Even though there is plenty of content out there, it is ZEE5’s where entertainment comes alive.

I subscribe to ZEE5, the largest multi-lingual online video streaming OTT platform, especially for its Originals. As a viewer who is interested in thrillers, ZEE5 Movies offers amazing fact-paced and action thrillers both fictional and non-fictional; many inspired by true events. Recently when I watched the trailer of Operation Parindey, I was truly hooked onto my couch by #The24HourChase, a ZEE5 Original film.

Sanjay Gadhvi of the Dhoom movies franchise, is making his digital directorial debut with ZEE5's short film based on one of the most controversial true-life jailbreaks in Indian history - Operation Parindey. The thriller stars an impressive cast comprising of Amit Sadh, Rahul Dev, Ameet Gaurr, Kunal Kumar, Aakash Dhaiya and Rucha Inamkar.

The film makes it to my watch list, for many reasons, trust me no spoilers here.... but three of which are: 

The Plot
Operation Parindey is based on a Jailbreak, a concept rarely touched in Hindi cinema. Of course many films and series have a sequence or two of jailbreaks but rarely is an entire film or series based on this narrative. As rightly said, ‘Where there are jails, there will be jailbreaks and when the prison is tougher, the prison break is more exciting’. This is exactly what makes Operation Parindey a novelty, the plotting, the actual break and finally, the chase makes it exciting and warrants a start to finish watch.

The Performances
Operation Parindey stands tall on the shoulders of Amit Sadh and Rahul Dev, who play the Special Task Force officer Abhinav Mathur and Sardar Monty Singh the mastermind behind the jailbreak respectively. Rahul Dev is an absolute delight to watch, he gives goosebumps in the manner he preaches his religious indoctrination to everyone within an earshot. This character takes him from good to exceptionally effortless. Amit Sadh has justified his space in the film with a convincing performance… as playing a cop is no easy task. He makes his character look conventional and realistic, shows a sense of urgency that is needed to the criminals.

The Direction
Operation Parindey has been directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, who knows how to keep a viewer glued to the small screen. The pace of the film that is maintained keeps it alive and kicking, with spectacular visuals, amazing background score and of course the performances. Being a pro at thrillers, Sanjay Gadhvi has infused the film with all his experience making it a bumpy rollercoaster ride of the highest highs and lowest lows of what it takes to plot, plan and action an actual jailbreak. 

So, make the most of your time during social distancing, and catch some of the best shows and films on ZEE5. The OTT subscription packages start at as low as INR 99 for a month up to INR 999 for a year, so go subscribe now and binge-watch!

Until next time,
~ Heena

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Posted On March 04, 2020 by Team iCynosure.

Planning on visiting the 'World’s Greatest Country'?  Then here are the top picks and a few things to keep in mind while planning a trip to the US from India. 

Image by Armelion from Pixabay

Requirements for a tourist visa for the USA from India
Keep the following things in mind when you apply for a Tourist Visa for USA from India.

  • To holiday in the US, one requires a B-1/B-2 visa which is approximately INR 10880 and can be applied for by filling the DS-160 via the website of the US Consular Electronic Application Centre.
  • Have valid IDs like the Indian Passport, PAN card, Aadhaar card and Voter ID card.
  • Have no criminal background or history in crimes of any sort.
Fall in love with the City of Dreams
New York City - the financial and art capital of the world is a must-visit destination in the US, from Wall Street to Broadway, to the iconic Statue of Liberty to Times Square. NYC has a splendid variety of options for Indian travellers to explore and cherish.

Enjoy the charming city of Chicago from the elevated rail lines
After New York, Chicago is one of the busiest cities in the US for its striking architecture, lakes, parks, and plentiful tourist attractions. Hop on the train or get the city pass to explore the sprawling city of surprises. 

Take a scenic road trip and explore the natural wonders of Arizona
For a nature lover taking a road trip through Arizona will be amazing. Arizona is home to picturesque attractions from the Grand Canyon to the rock formations in Monument Valley, which are easy to explore.

Peek into fun and adventure in Orlando, Florida
Orlando is the theme park destination of the world, with more theme parks in this city than anywhere else. Discover the Magic Kingdom and beyond and enjoy Disney World with your family.

Get your adrenaline pumping at Las Vegas
From test driving fast cars like a Corvette and Ferrari to flying over the city in a helicopter, one can do it all and party in style at Las Vegas. This city redefines fun and has enough things to do for all types of travellers.

Hike and camp atop a volcanic hot spot 
Admire the vivid colours of the hot springs and witness the world's largest geyser collection of at Yellow Stone National Park. Hike, raft, camp, and explore this park that spreads 3,500 sq across Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. This park is incredibly beautiful and home to hundreds of animal species like bears, wolves, bison and antelopes.

Explore the exotic white sand beaches of Miami
Sun-kissed beaches, art, creative cuisine, and blazing nightlife make Miami an absolute delight to visit. This piece of paradise gives you a chance to explore several unique neighborhoods, each with a distinct style, culture and architecture. 

See the president’s house in Washington DC
The capital city is a must-visit when touring around the USA. Visit the world-famous monuments like the White House and save your appetite for the city's famous buffets and mimosas.

Drive the Pacific Coast Highway, California 
California is the third-largest state in the US that offers so many memorable experiences with its diverse landscapes. You can see everything from mountains to redwood forests and beaches to deserts while you drive the Pacific Coast Highway road that stretches from San Francisco to San Diego.

Ride a hot air balloon in Napa
Napa Valley is known for its wineries. Flying in a hot-air balloon is one of the finest ways to ride into the sunrise. It's also one of the most unique and fascinating ways to appreciate the valley's lush, hills and breath-taking coastlines of the US.

List of things to carry when you travel to the USA from India
  • Medicines: Some medicines are prohibited in the USA, so carry your medicines with the prescription.
  • Documents: Don’t forget to carry your visa, passport, and air tickets.
  • Apps: Make sure to install all the essential travel apps before getting on the flight.
  • Insurance: Get your overseas travel insurance online while booking your flight tickets.
  • Gadgets: Ensure to pack extra memory cards along with your camera and other electronic gadgets.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Posted On February 21, 2020 by Team iCynosure.

Mumbai life is full of chaos and when we need a breather, N and I head out to explore idyllic getaways around the city that offer us peace, calm and a luxurious refuge amidst the raw beauty of nature. So after our amazing experiences at The Resort Mumbai and The Jakson Inns - Phaltan, we were super kicked about heading to our next resort - The Khanvel Resort in Silvassa.

The paradise we found a couple of hours from Mumbai in lush green, naturistic Silvassa - the Kanvel Resort is a perfect place to unwind with family or friends…. here’s sharing the aspects that made our stay at the resort an unforgettable experience.

The check-in into our cottage was super quick and hassle-free and was absolutely comfortable for the four of us with two full-sized double beds. The exteriors were inviting and the Indian style thatched roofs mixed with modern interiors made it perfect. A swing in the balcony area made it an instant win with the kids and they refused to every step down from the swing for hours and continued to enjoy the scenic beauty of the hills and the river.

Once our check-in was done we stepped out to explore the property and absolutely loved the pool and play area for the kids. Installations of a life-size chess board, the gait of horses, a couple in the rainfall all are absolutely mesmerising and photo worthy.  Thought with the kids the first thing we did was take a dip in the pool to unwind from the journey. As it was mid-day the water was warm and the kids played for quite a while and after freshening up we headed to the kids play area where we spent a good few hours followed by loads of photo-sessions all around the property.

The Resort’s restaurant - Emerald Room is a perfect place to tantalise your tastebuds as every meal is a delicious assortment of cuisines ranging from Gujarati, Marwari, Kathiawadi and Punjabi to Chinese and Continental; all perfectly cooked vegetarian meals. A special mention warrants for the amazing desserts that are on the buffet, which pushed a no-dessert person like me to a second helping.

No holiday is complete without a spa session to relax those tense mom-dad bodies. N and I took turns to go to the in-house spa at the resort and enjoyed a number of services. We spent the afternoon with professional technicians who worked on our concern areas and gave us a new lease of stress-free bodies. I would absolutely suggest booking in advance as the spa is almost booked at all times and last-minute requests might not be possible. Take the couple spa if possible.

N and I were surprised to know that not only within the resort but even around the resort there are so many things that we could do. Of course due to the limited time we had on our hands we picked carefully to include a plethora of activities. We went to the Butterfly Park - home to a large species of butterflies, a truly wonderful experience for the kids. Then we headed to the Satmalia Deer Park - a wildlife sanctuary to a wide variety of Deer species, including Sambhar, Nilgai, and Chital. Heer was also keen to know the history of Silvassa so we visited the Tribal Museum to marvel on artefacts and portraits about the lives of the local tribes who live in the early 1900s. We ended our outing with a bird’s eye view of the Madhuban Dam, a spectacular watchtower that offers a breathtaking view of the area. 

We ended our trip with an amazing AVT Adventure ride, that Heer took with N, and then the little boy in N wanted a ride again. Such simple things make a man and a kid, super happy.

The staycation at the Khanvel Resort has renewed my energies and I’m already planning a longer visit to this amazing property in the summers.

Until next time, 
~ Heena

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Posted On January 29, 2020 by Team iCynosure.

The imperative question isn’t what to expect when you are expecting but what to expect when the baby arrives. My personal experience has been a roller coaster ride; for with my daughter I had an easy-breezy pregnancy and a very difficult first year; but with my son, the pregnancy was very tough and the first year
has been a easygoing. While taking care of myself and getting back to my pre-pregnancy health, my utmost priority then and now has been keeping my babies healthy and safe. 

However, I’ve noticed that a new parent often keeps a close eye on the development milestones of the baby but put 'Vaccines' on the back burner, not realising that it is one of the most effective and simple ways to help a newborn’s immune system recognise and fight pathogens, keep itself safe and prevent diseases they cause; to grow and develop well. 

Even the World Health Organisation has been pushing vaccination programs since the early ’70s and finally, in 2019 it estimated that around 116 million infants worldwide received vaccines against more than 25 debilitating and life-threatening diseases; such as measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, meningitis, influenza, tetanus and typhoid. However, even today nearly 20 million infants worldwide miss out on vaccinations putting them and others at risk of serious diseases, death, disability and ill-health.

The numbers sure are staggering, but honestly, at one point in time, I was a parent who was on the fence about vaccinations. So I asked far too many questions; all to the relevant people… and it all collectively helped me decide to follow the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) recommended Immunization Schedule 
for children aged 0 through 18 years and I have been on-point with my paediatrician’s recommendations. 

However, I am sure there will be many who are in a similar catch-22 situation and hence I’m sharing a few crucial important points that stirred me in the right direction. 

⟡ Protection ⟡
Infant immunization is one of the most crucial steps to protect and safeguard a baby’s health as vaccines offer protection from infection that lowers the risk of disease as the immune system is already acclimatised against the pathogens, protection to community as immunizing your child not only protects her but also prevents widespread outbreaks and protection for future as vaccines help eradicate the infection. 

⟡ Safety ⟡
Vaccines go through vigorous research and trial periods before being locally available. Pharmaceutical companies invest time and effort in the process, and various industry bodies approve these vaccinations only after thorough due diligence, as the safety of a child is paramount. However, to be assured lookout for the WHO pre-qualification of the vaccine, as the world body approves immunization vaccines after they are proven on efficacy, potency and thermo-stability.

⟡ Effect ⟡
It is indeed incorrect to assume that vaccines shots are painless, but the pain is only momentary. However, the aftereffect of vaccines such as fever, soreness, etc can be quite taxing especially for an infant. But advanced technology has made it possible for vaccines to be pain-less which contain fewer antigens and thus very few painful after-effects. That means these injections are not pain-free, but the pain & discomfort are much lower. 

⟡ Multi-Vaccine ⟡
The list of recommended vaccines in the first 12 months of a baby’s life is long and thus paediatricians opt for combination or multi-vaccines. Studies show that vaccines when given together offer the same protection with lesser pricks and lower hospital visits. The most commonly used multi-vaccine globally is the DTP that protects against 6 major childhood diseases such as Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus Influenza B, and Hepatitis B.

For both my children I wasn’t shy of asking questions about the brand, the product, the pros and cons and more. But I learnt that the enormous protection vaccines provide certainly outweigh the minor side-effects. Be an informed parent, up #YourCareQuotient for your baby’s long-lasting good health. 

Until next time,
~ Heena
This article is written in partnership with Sanofi Pasteur India to create awareness about Vaccinations. The views expressed are independent and unbiased observations made by the blogger and Sanofi Pasteur India bears no responsibility for the same. 

Any decision regarding your health and child's health should be done after consultation with your doctor. While all efforts are made to keep articles updated, the speed of research in these fields will mean that the information often may change when more research knowledge is available. iCynosure Lifestyles or the authors should be in no way held responsible in that case.