Author Kriti Mukherjee

is a marketing consultant by profession. She says, "I like to think I am a happy person who can make a difference in people's lives. Absolutely love to travel and am nuts about my family. I write to hear my thoughts and to see what people have to say about them." She blogs at http://kriti-howaboutthis.blogspot.com/

Faith diwali diyas or lights
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“Diwali is one holiday I sorely missed when I lived in the US. I remember visiting the Indian stores in the neighborhood to buy my earthen ‘diyas’ (lamps), calling my cleaning service to come and give our home a professionally cleaned look, buying sweetmeats from wherever it was possible.
But I also remember being alone while performing these rituals. I would sheepishly light the diyas on my deck, the window ledges, and the house entrance, guilty that it was against the rules for being a fire hazard!” Guest Blog – Chatty Divas

Faith The perfect saree blouse is needed for finery for Durga Puja celebrations
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“It is almost criminal in Calcutta to start any discussion around this time without a reference to the shopping done for the upcoming festival ‘Dasherra’ or ‘Pujo’. This is a time not only of shopping for your wardrobe but for the entire battalion of extended family. It is a time to give and receive gifts. The markets thrive and throb during these months and when the festival is over it’s almost as if a war has just got over! And so our conversation began with my mother-in-law and Maashi exchanging notes on each other’s bargains, new styles and various other subjects associated with ‘Pujo’.

Anyone who is familiar with wearing or buying ‘sarees’ will know the challenges of finding an ace tailor to make a perfect blouse to go with the coveted piece of new garment. A blouse gone wrong could prove to be disastrous to the festive spirit of looking perfect; it could dampen the entire annual celebration and hence the rest of the year! A good blouse is an imperative for a Bengali wrapped in Tangail, Tant or other special saris.”
Guest Blog – Chatty Divas

Lifestyle Chatty Divas - Illustration by Dipanjan Bose -2
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My help here in India, Janki Mashi, pampers me with sweet oranges on a sunny afternoon and treats me with these stories. I call her “my help” for lack of a better word to describe her. She is more like a mother to me. It was a Sunday afternoon in Gurgaon. Janki Mashi had heated some mustard oil to apply on my hair and scalp. She does these things without my asking for it and does not take nicely to my resistance ever.

The Buzz Bottled Water
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While the new world continues to discover brand new diseases with fancy names, we haven’t quite been able to cope with the existing ones plaguing us for years now.

Water borne diseases have become an all pervading evil around us at present times. Humanity is being made to become cowards like never before. We are made to fear not just the age old demons but things that were close to our hearts always ; blessings like food, water, fellow human beings, darkness, school, transport are now also things to fear!

The Buzz The Reality of India Illustration by Dipanjan Bose
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“Once in the US, much like in most Jhumpa Lahiri stories, my husband plunged into his work leaving me to figure out the foreign land and how much we would like each other.
Well, we had our tussles but America finally gave in and I made a place there. All this took a little more than a year. I finally found a job and discovered a life I could actually fall in love with. However, I remember us being really stubborn about our resolve of returning to our country ‘no matter what.'”
Guest Blog – Chatty Divas

The Buzz 5251078306_2b7c9abc1d
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“Meet Amma, 85, who sits all day smoking weed! She has a farmhouse and lives in a lavish set up with some 12 -15 rooms. She grows weed in her backyard, tends to it in the morning with immense love; orders her tea and carries it to the lawn where she smokes up some of her creation.
She puts on her thick rimmed glasses and controls her shaking hands till they settle on the page of her diary where she writes a new story every day! When I heard that, I knew immediately who I wanted to be when I ‘grew up’.” Guest Blog – Chatty Divas. Photo: Marilena Benini

The Buzz India has many faces.
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“This is really my account of a year of returning to India. It’s strange how eight years of living somewhere else changes your entire outlook. I came back thinking I was coming home and home it was but it was eons away from where I had left it.
It is only when more than a year has gone by in a place that it starts spreading its tentacles around you, shaping you to fit to its contours, nipping you a little here and molding an extension there.”
Guest Blog: Chatty Divas

The Buzz In Chatty Divas on Lassi with Lavina, Kriti Mukherjee talks about the festival of Bhai Dhooj in India
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“I grew up in a small and close-knit family in the hills of Darjeeling. Our two bedroom wooden house sheltered me, my elder sister, our parents and my paternal grandfather whenever he would visit. It was a life of happiness, giving and comfort. Our needs were almost nil; our days fulfilling to say the least – except we had no brother, and there was a void, especially at the time of Bhai Dhooj.

What North India calls Bhai Dooj, Nepalis call “Bhai Tika”, we Bengalis call “Bhai Phota”. It’s one of my most favorite Hindu festivals, where a sister follows a set of customs to extract a promise of her brother’s protection throughout her life and under all circumstances. The brother in turn makes that promise through various customs and a token of cash or a gift. After the exchange of money and gifts, an out of the ordinary feast follows.”
Guest Blog – Chatty Divas

The Buzz The Chatty Diva in her blog on Lassi with Lavina talks about the colorful people she has met, very like in tales from Bengali literature. Photo of a rani by Orange Tuesday
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It’s been more than a year since I moved to Gurgaon, India, from the US. While my routine still is very similar to what it was in Connecticut, social life in India has created a drastic change in the quality of my days. And with that one single change my life has transformed in entirety.

It was raining friends in the city of Delhi and Gurgaon; the excitement and anticipation of their visits is peaked because of the stories they carry with them enriching my knowledge in the process. This occurrence reminds me of the folk tales in Bengali literature called “Thakur Mar Jhuli”. Am I becoming the “Thakur Ma” (paternal grandmother) with the sack of stories then?

The Buzz Childless couples often turn to surrogates for assistance
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For most women, conceiving a child is natural, a fact of life. But what about those who just cannot conceive? Is surrogacy the answer? Kriti Mukherjee describes a heart-rending obstacle race on the part of a young couple to finally become parents – and the silent partner who helped them get there.
Guest Blog – Chatty Divas

The Buzz In India, with its large youthful population, getting admission into the right schools is becoming a marathon race. In Chatty Divas, a blog on Lassi with Lavina, Kriti Mukherjee tells all.
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“In a country with the 2nd largest population in the world there have to be preposterous systems of elimination. We must keep in mind that it is this same country that is producing some of the best brains in the world.
In the meantime, all I am seeking is a way to get my daughter to join that stream of screaming thousands for an academic certificate. An extremely ambitious dream to have in a country where expectations go beyond just the crazy procedure of admissions.
These are just the entry tickets to an endless journey of prodding for things that have limited “seats”, like delightful careers or cushy lives.” Guest blog – Chatty Divas

The Buzz There's an art to desi networking, whether you're in India or America
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The Chatty Diva, having worked in both India and America, shares some insights into desi networking.
Question asked in Delhi before a networking event – “So what do we do when we get there?” or a blatant “How will this help me?”
Question asked in Manhattan before a networking event – “Where did you say it is?”
GUEST BLOG (Photo by Neal Fowler)

The Buzz Finding good nannies and childcare help in India is the subject of Chatty Divas on Lassi with Lavina
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Horror stories of the hired help in India abound. Here is a love story about an Indian nanny which brings back memories of days when the ‘Dai Ma’ was a loved and revered figure, a second mother to the newborn. A new post on guest blog ‘Chatty Divas’

The Buzz Chatty Divas - Vegetable seller and the ritual of missed calls
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“I get a missed call. I know who it is, it would have been a dream come true in the US but here it has become ritual – that call… I have pondered over it several times. It’s surreal – the annoying convenience that we get used to in India. I remind myself to be grateful and not get irritated by that call. I tell myself it’s the call of duty on a silver platter. I am almost guilty to be receiving it.”

The Buzz A childless couple turn to India to find a surrogate mother in Chatty Divas, a blog on Lassi with Lavina
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This is the story of Priya and Manav, a childless Indian-American couple who came to India in search of a surrogate mother. They got more than they bargained for – and some surprises too which convinced them to make India their permanent home.
Guest Blog – Chatty Divas. Photo by Paras

The Buzz Durga Ma, the Mother Goddess, is worshipped during Durga Puja writes Kriti Mukherjee in Chatty Divas on Lassi with Lavina
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“She may be mythical to many but I have not yet learned to control the free flow of tears when I look at her killing the demon with the spear, in a trance -like environment created by the sound and movement of the Dhakis, traditional drummers.

To me she is a modern day working girl – our Ma Durga! Created with the fire of the Trimurti, she works diligently to kill Asura – the ‘demonized’ image of everyday evils that we need to deal with in our lives. In a world where women’s subjugation still is an agenda to be dealt with, it is mesmerizing to see multitudes of strong powerful men bowing their head to the divine Ma.” GUEST BLOG – Chatty Divas

The Buzz A fresh off the boat indian immigrant finds 'Me-Time' is very different in America without friends, family and work
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While most of us clamor for ‘Me-Time’, a fresh-off-the-boat (FOB) immigrant shares how frustrating and lonely time alone can be for someone in a new country, caught in limbo without work, friends or a big supportive family clan. At times like this ‘Me Time’ can be almost a curse. Guest Blog – Chatty Divas on the view from two continents

The Buzz What is really incredible about India? An NRI who has gone back to India finds out it's something more than tigers and palaces in this post on Chatty Divas in Lassi with Lavina
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What makes India incredible? Is it the magnificent tigers, the palaces, the ancient temples, the unforgettable landscapes? A returning NRI discovers India’s true beauty lies somewhere else. Join Kriti Mukherjee on a ride through traffic clogged streets and uncaring mobs on a voyage of discovery. (Photo: Wili Hybrid)

The Buzz Desi relationships is the focus of this posting of Chatty Divas, a blog on Lassi with Lavina
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“One of my friends in the States is a head turner. Not only is she unrealistically stunning but is also an extremely bright and successful lawyer. She is just the woman we all aspire to be. But what meets the eye is in sheer contrast to the life she leads.
At home with her husband she is a subdued woman who does not dare speak – her life is run more in fear than in the worship she so obviously deserves.” – Chatty Diva

The Buzz NRI time - is Indian Standard Time (IST) different from EST - Eastern Standard time? An NRI returning to India discovers it is.
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An NRI discovers time is a very different commodity in New Delhi and New York
EST – Eastern Standard Time – Or I must Eat and Sleep so I am in Time for my meeting.
IST – Indian Standard Time – Or I will Sleep and take my own Time because my Time is only mine – no one else owns it…
No wonder IST is also known as Indian Stretchable Time!
Kriti Mukherjee in The Chatty Divas blog…