Face to Face in a Fair Game

Pretty 24 is a new cream on the block. Its advertisement takes a potshot at various narratives associated with fairness advertising in India; however, its communication is silent on the benefits of the product. The angry (or upset) young women vent their ire as they feel betrayed by the hordes of Fairness creams in the market. The advertisement ends with a product shot, claiming it as a cream for every skin tone. The brand targets women between 20 and 35 years of age, as reported in livemint.

Pretty good…

The fairness cream market in India is fairly mature. From general purpose Fairness creams to Men’s Fairness creams to dark spots reduction fairness creams to winter fairness creams; every conceivable sub-category promise has been exploited to grow the market, which is reportedly around INR 4500 crore, and growing! In such a scenario, category creation by careful segmentation holds the key to success for a new entrant in a crowded shelf as the `Anti’ position puts the new entrant in direct competition vis-à-vis the rest. Also, the ability to leverage existing distribution network adds to the muscle mass so critical for success. On all these counts, Pretty 24 sits pretty.

The dark side…

Is Pretty 24 a little late? Is it being built on a carefully chosen plank or hunch? Or, is it a manifestation of confusion at the Marketer’s end? Is it an idea whose time peaked some 10, 15, 20 years ago?

In India, the pride factor in one’s `own’ complexion has already gained ground; especially with girls-next-door winning the titles such as Ms India, Supermodel, etc. And to the buyer of very premium international brands, complexion has never been an issue. Over the years, most of the fairness cream brands have formulations that offer benefits beyond mild-bleaching to include skin moisturization at the very least.

For the Fair’y Tales inspired buyers in Tier II and III, semi-urban centres; it is still `Fairness’ all the way to success. So who is the brand Pretty 24 targeting? And what’s the `reason to buy’, it is offering to the consumers (unless subsequent campaign reveals it).

The leader in the `Fairness’ category i.e. Fair & Lovely has long gone beyond `Fairness’ to `Confidence’ and `Success’. There is more to the Brand Fair & Lovely as evident in the tales chronicled in the Fair & Lovely Foundation brochure done by this author. The foundation is doing yeoman service to nurture aspiring, young talented women.

It remains to be seen how the new entrant will affect it. Is Pretty 24 an attempt to cut an instant slice of fairness cream market in India? At mere 1% share translates into INR 40-50 crore!

In all fairness…

Pretty 24 has to its credit of being not just another offering. It takes immense guts to experiment, to be different. The communication and the proposition make one take cognizance of the brand. But will it make a dent? For a brand’s salience eventually is connect with (benefit offered to) the consumers; and not mere attempts at evoking resentment against other brands.

All-Inclusive Vacation Resorts in St Thomas

Every year, millions of individuals, couples, and families make the choice to schedule a vacation. St. Thomas is a popular vacation destination, unfortunately, a huge number of people feel that a St. Thomas vacation is from their arrive at. If you are interested in scheduling a St. Thomas vacation, you ought not to let the amount to be paid of vacationing there prevent you from vacationing at your dream destination.

If you are curious about how you may be expending vacation in St. Thomas without needing to be concerned with the price, you may like to examine all-inclusive resorts that can be found in St. Thomas. Many couples and families find that they’re able to save a large sum of money by booking their vacation at an all-inclusive resort.

When looking at all-inclusive resorts in St. Thomas, you are encouraged to take quite a few important aspects into account. One of these factors is what each resort considers to be all-inclusive. All-inclusive resorts entered all different shapes, sizes, and types. Each of those resorts is likely to have different resort rules and regulations. You could find that quite a few of these rules and regulations are placed on all-inclusive packages.

What one popular St. Thomas resort may interpret all-inclusive, another resort may not. That is why it is extremely important to settle on everything that is believed in an all-inclusive resort package, before making your reservations. Fine dining, beach travel, and onsite entrainment is oftentimes not left out of most vacation packages. Alcohol may or may not be included in an all-inclusive package. Some St. Thomas resorts offer their guests all the free alcohol they can drink and other require that alcohol be paid for or a limit is placed on the number of drinks you may have.

When examining all-inclusive resorts in St. Thomas, you are also encouraged to interpret the variety of vacation that you are intending on taking. St. Thomas is a popular vacation destination for couples searching a romantic getaway or families who are on a household vacation. The’re many all-inclusive St. Thomas resorts that make age restrictions.

The age restrictions ready at many St. Thomas resorts are created to help build a romantic environment. These restrictions often keep children, under the age of eighteen, off of the resort. If you are planning on vacationing with your family, it is important that you schedule your vacation at a resort that caters to individuals of any age group. Underneath is an overview of two popular all-inclusive St. Thomas resorts that are perfect family vacations.

(1) The Wyndham Sugar Bay Beach Resort and Spa comes highly recommended by past St. Thomas vacationers. This all-inclusive resort is located within a short driving way into the closest airport, making the Wyndham Sugar Bay Beach Resort and Spa ideal for couples traveling with their children.

Located directly on the beach, the Wyndham Sugar Bay Beach Resort and Spa offers an almost infinite number of beachside activities. These pursuits may include, but aren’t limited to, swimming, sun bathing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and boating. Beach lovers, of all ages, will love vacationing at this all-inclusive resort.

(2) The Bolongo Bay Beach Club and Villias is one of the most well thought of all-inclusive resorts. Bolongo Bay Beach Club and Villias is ideal for romantic getaways, marriage ceremonies, honeymoons, business meetings, and family vacations.

On and offsite pursuits and facilities are geared towards individuals of any age. Adults and children will enjoy themselves playing on the beach, swimming in the hotel pool, playing numerous outdoor sports games, taking part in snorkeling tours, and much more. Whatever your family are searching, the Bolongo Bay Beach Club has what you need.

As previously mentioned, additional all-inclusive resorts can be found on the St. Thomas Island. It is important to don’t overlook to closely examine each resort and their policies before placing your reservations. By taking the time to examine multiple resorts, it will be easier to ensure that you get everything that you would like and need while on a break.

Bullying Myths – 4 Common Misconceptions and 1 Critical Truth

There are as many opinions about bullying as there are about politics. And everyone certainly has the right to their point of view. But opinions that aren’t based on solid information, empirical facts, or significant personal experience are worthless.

* Violent Video Games & Violent TV Shows Cause Bullying

Over the years, the number of television shows and video games that have been tagged as ‘violent’ now number in the hundreds. Millions of children have been exposed. If there were a causative effect, no one would have the impulse control to reign in their aggression. While there have been several studies that purport to demonstrate that watching these shows and games causes kids to act out, another equally viable conclusion is that its the frenetic action that gets children stirred up.

* Bullying Toughens You Up

No sensible person would argue that being assaulted, harassed or discriminated against ‘makes you tougher’. Kids experience chronic bullying show symptoms consistent with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and frequently carry the damage inflicted on them into adulthood. Bullying is corrosive.

* People Who Get Bullied Are Wimps

Children who are targeted for a campaign of social cruelty are often intelligent, creative, and empathetic. Bullies, on the other hand, exhibit traits such as: skill in deception and manipulation, sadism, and aggression. Picking on a kid who can’t or won’t fight back isn’t a sign of toughness… its very much the opposite.

* Ignore a Bully and He’ll Go Away

This is terrible advice from every perspective. Primarily because it’s impossible to do. (Could you ‘ignore’ someone who belittles you, or actually beats you on a regular basis?) Anyone who repeats this ludicrous cliche is out of touch with reality – and the kid on the receiving end of this nonsense gets the clear message, “your crisis isn’t important… don’t bother me with your problems in the future.” It’s a great way to shut the lines of communication. Besides, when does ignoring a problem ever fix it?

* Bullies Have Been Around Forever. You Cant Eliminate Them, So Concentrate On Empowering the Victim.

There are two main schools of thought when it comes to solving the issue of bullying. One states that its the responsibility of society to fix the problem. Yes, bullying has been around before recorded history, but in an enlightened age, the covenants of society dictate that everyone follow certain rules of behavior – it’s everyone’s job to act appropriately and its everyone’s job to enforce the covenants.

Another perspective is that each person, as an individual, is responsible for their own thoughts, feelings and actions. Trying to change the heart or mind of another person is as futile as trying to change rush hour traffic – however, we CAN alter how we deal with the challenges in our lives.

In other words, some people will look out at the ocean, see a storm, and decry the injustice of the weather. They will demand that it’s everyone’s responsibility to build more safe harbors. Other people will commit themselves to building stronger boats.

6 Proven Ways to Make Fishing With Your Kids a Big Catch

For any child, fishing can be one of the most thrilling parts of camping. From collecting your own icky backyard worms to putting the bait on the hook, to catching a fish (even if it is just a minnow), fishing can be really fun. As a child, it is special when your Coleman cooler neatly stores the fish you caught, like convenient Rigid Badge Holders neatly store badges. And the best part is helping your family to cook up the day’s catch that night, on your Coleman grill. Are you interested in creating special fishing memories during your family’s next camping trip? If so, you can follow some basic guidelines, to help your child land a big catch…of fun!

1. PFD is the way to be. For safety precautions, it is always preferable that your child learns to swim, before you go fishing during your next camping trip. However, regardless of whether or not your child can swim, he or she should always sport a PFD (personal flotation device) when near or in the water.

2. Focus on fishing. It is important to focus on the fishing itself. Try to teach your child that the fishing itself is the fun part of the trip. If fish are caught, that is simply a bonus of the main event. Kids will need plenty of guidance during a camping fishing trip, so it is advisable to leave your own rod and reel at home. Also, to prepare for the situation in which fishing cannot be the focus (i.e. your child gets bored or a storm approaches), prepare some alternate plans, such as board games.

3. Safe and sound. Like adults, children can become sick or injured when exposed to Mother Nature. Make sure to take precautions to keep your little one safe. Bring sunscreen and make sure you and your child wear a hat with a broad hat. Insect repellent can be as handy as useful Convention Badge Holders, especially if you are fishing from a boat, such as an inflatable kayak.

4. Fun without fish. Your fishing trip with your child can be enjoyable, even if you do not get a single nibble during the day. How is that possible? Fishing with your child should be about the quality time you spend with him or her, in the Great Outdoors. Whether your catch one fish or one Coleman cooler full of them, focus on the fishing itself. Catching fish is just icing on the cake.

5. Timing is everything. The best time to fish with kids is in the morning, when they are more energetic. Also, a sunny day with modest temperatures is preferable. An ideal fishing trip while camping is a maximum of a few hours. And make sure to take enough breaks during the trip.

6. Fun without a game controller. At first, fishing may not seem too intriguing to today’s children. It is certainly a different kind of activity than watching an action movie or playing a video game. Plus, children tend to have a shorter attention span than adults. It would be wise to start fishing for small fish, such as panfish. Also, use a bobber, to make the activity easier. A bobber makes it visibly clear when a fish has taken the bait. While waiting for a fish to nibble on the worm or lure, you could spend time chatting with your child about his or her school, hobbies, etc.

Fishing can be part of any camping trip with your kids, near a river, lake, or stream. By following some simple strategies, you can make a fishing trip with children, as practical as your Arm Band Badge Holders. Fishing can be the big catch of a camping trip with kids!

Luau Party Games, Let Us Enter The World Of Fun And Entertainment

Luau Party Games are going to make your guests jump on their feet. Luau is a Hawaiian party and the word Luau means a lavish food extravaganza, which is given in the honor of celebrities. You can celebrate this event with your friends and family and can have a wonderful time with everyone. For this party, it is important that you add games to it so that everyone feels great and enjoy your party.

Mimic An Animal

Mimic An Animal, Luau Party Game, is going to be an awesome game, which will let everyone explore their talent, including both adults and kids. For this game, you have to write names of your guests and the commands you want them to perform in two different bowls. You need to ask a guest to come up and pick up pieces of paper from the two bowls with the name of the individual as well as the command. Then you can ask your guest to perform the command such as “Wiggle Like A Fish”, “Walk Like A Crab”, “Roar Like A Lion” etc. It would turn the air into laughter and fun. Everyone is definitely going to love this game.

Wearing Funny Gear

For this Luau Party Game, you need to have two sets of identical gear with you, which can include sunglasses, skirt, Hawaiian shirt, flip flops, snorkel fins, snorkel shovel, etc. You can have items equivalent to the number of individuals in each team. Now the rule is that the first member of each team would wear one item from the gear and would run to the finish line to hand over the gear to another member. Now that member is going to wear that and rush to the pile of the gear and wear another item and pass on the gear to the next member until the last member is going to be wearing all the gear, which would be awesome.

With your Luau Party Games, you are going to make your guests have a fun filled and a thrilling time. Wish you a Happy Luau Party.

Dating in Today’s World

Dating in today’s world is so much more complicated than it was decades ago. Years ago you could safely date the guy down the street, a girl at school, or simply someone you met at a party. You hardly know your next door neighbor now a days.

Being single today can be an issue for some; many may think there is no one out there for them. However, the number of singles is huge. You will be surprised to discover that, there are well over 80 million single adults in the United States and around the globe.

Can you start to feel what I am talking about? You are not alone, that is an enormous amount of single people to convince you that there are many possible partners to help solve your dating problems. Since singles are increasing in numbers all over, they are also waiting to get married at an older age.

Why has the dating scene change? Good question! With the invention of the computer and Internet meeting people online has become one of the most convenient way to meet people. There are other influences such as the television reality shows, which I believe these programs expose unacceptable dating behaviors and dating horrors.

I believe a helpful dating tip to keep in mind would be; Try to take away the stress of “worrying about getting a date”, or “dating”, or being single. Embracing who you are will eventually lead to finding a healthy relationship.

Although dating in today’s world has changed, it is always a good thing to remember dating is not about playing games with anyone’s heart. Dating is about being your authentic-self. It is quite okay if you are shy, that someone will love you for who you are, not that counterfeit persona you are trying to be.

Easy Ideas To Help You Buy Your Next Video Game

Have you played a video game before? If you haven’t, keep reading! There are games available on the market today to pick from. The following article contains tips and tricks you need to know to start gaming.

If buying a game for a kid, make sure they have given you several options of what they will want. You may not know if a game is appropriate for the child’s age level before you actually inspect it at the store, so make sure you have some titles to choose from.

A Nintendo Wii is helpful if you’re into getting into top shape. There are many physical fitness games available for the Wii system.

You can sell your old games with the use of online ads. Avoid using auction sites like eBay unless you have no other choice. You can use an app for the free marketplace to post an ad on Craigslist and Facebook to sell your games locally.

Always start on the novice levels before going on to the more demanding levels. Once you have been playing for a few weeks, gradually change the settings to more difficult ones.

Always keep price in mind when looking to buy a good video game. The most expensive games might not always be the best. Check out the full description on the game to come up with a decision. You should also read reviews prior to plunking down your cash. Don’t purchase something you aren’t completely sure that is good. Nevertheless, if a game really appeals to you then don’t always go on the review score as this is often generated for the masses.

An online forum with game reviews and discussions is a great tool to use to get the best bang for your buck when purchasing games. You can find some great information on these forums. You will find straight forward reviews written by other gamers who are not required to purchase a product. They give honest reviews.

Take cover whenever you need a weapon during game play. It’s a lot easier to get pwned because they failed to take adequate cover before reloading. You don’t want this to be you!

Play online when you can. Playing against new opponents is a great way to strengthen your skills.There are many different consoles and games to play online. If you are successful playing online, you will be at your best.

You might be tempted to purchase all the bells and upgrades from a new video game as soon as you buy it. This can cost a lot of money. Before you go looking for more games, explore the games you already have and try all the different modes.

Watch for price reductions on cheap video games to give your kids. Some video rental stores are hurting now. If you’re able to look closely, you may find one nearby and get some great video game deals. Most discs are in good shape, the game discs are still in good shape and won’t need to be cleaned.

Stretch your body out every fifteen or so minutes while you’re playing a video game play. You will tend to get repetitive motions that are necessary when playing video games if you don’t stretch. Your muscles need to be properly stretched so they don’t get cramped up. This is the only way to play.

Keep your computer you’re on clear and make sure everything is up-to-date. If you play quite a few games on your computer, don’t install too many other programs on it. You should also frequently run maintenance programs such as ScanDisk and Antivirus. These programs will help you keep your computer running at its peak performance.

Trade out games with people that are close to you. Video games can be expensive and there are plenty of other things that you could be spending cash on. Talk to your friends and see if they are trading anything so you can get something that you’ve wanted for a while for no cost at all.

Cheat codes can be valuable if you get through particularly tough areas of a certain point in the game.

Consider getting your children a gaming console rather than letting them play games on consoles. Consoles offer you a lot more control over privacy, security settings, and content since they can bypass these restrictions online. Children will be more protected on a console.

Parents must always verify the ESRB rating on games. Some games look more innocent than they are aimed at children but have objectionable content that is not apparent from the box or other promotional materials. Check both the game’s rating and the reasons for the rating before you buy.

If you want to figure out what your kid is doing when they’re gaming, spend some time at it yourself. Playing the games with your child is a key to building great memories. Try asking questions about their gaming adventures. Hands-on experiences are always the best way to learn and enjoy.

Make yourself take multiple breaks when you are locked into an intensive video game. You can really get sucked into a game way too far if you don’t walk away from time to time. Playing games is supposed to be fun. If you feel that video games are taking over your life, and you sense that you are becoming addicting, then it is time to step away from the game and reassess what it means to you.

Try to do whatever that the video goes over in the same way, as sometimes even a small deviation can be what is holding you back.

When purchasing for a child, only buy those without violence or adult content.

You can also play new-release games online in free trials to see if you have a gaming system connected to the Internet. This lets you find games you enjoy and you won’t spend money on games that you won’t enjoy. It also allow you to practice prior to really getting into the game. Try the demos and you will not be sorry.

While there are a lot of video games to play, you really need to pick the best games if you want to experience the most fun. Now that you’ve learned about the different genres in gaming you should be ready to make some informed choices in the marketplace. You’ll be surprised at how fun video games can be.

Nintendo Wii Console Weathers the Storm

Why the Wii has prevailed

The Wii has withstood the time test and those who keep predicting its downfall. I must say that when I first saw the Wii in action, I was confused as to why. For one, the graphics aren’t necessarily the best compared to some of the other consoles. On many of the games, the characters are over emphasized characters which look like bad cartoons. When one compares the graphics of the Wii to Xbox and Playstation, there is a difference. However, despite all this, the Wii consistently sells. And Sells. Why?

The fact of the matter is, it continues to sell because it has its own niche so to speak. The Wii prevails for a few, albeit very important, reasons.

1) It appeals to the whole family

Whether it is a fitness game, shooting game, Mario or whatever, there is something for everyone. Plus, the violence and gore is toned down in the Wii, even with the War and shooting games. Thus, Mom and dad are not afraid to buy it for their kids. And, who buys video games? Mom and dad usually.

2) Wii Fit, Fitness Games

This is the draw of the Wii nowadays. This is what many want it for. Play a video game and lose weight? For those who were around during the Atari Pong days and through the original Nintendo console– (remember techmo bowl?) we couldn’t have imagined being able to do this. Again, since it is the adults who are buying these systems, it is natural that they get something they can play too.

Swimming Through the Sea of Omega 3

Fish oil, or omega 3, is good for me right? That’s what we are told. And there are many more questions surrounding omega 3 that need to be answered:

  • Does omega 3 cause prostate cancer, raise my cholesterol and make me more likely to bleed?
  • I heard I could get heavy metal or mercury toxicity from omega 3. That doesn’t sound good!
  • Will I smell like fish or burp up that fishy taste all day?
  • How do I choose the right fish oil and what dose of omega 3 is best?

These are just some of the questions and topics of confusion that those of us in health care answer every day. So let’s take a moment and look at the big picture before we dive into the details.

Benefits of Omega 3

In my opinion, the real benefit of omega 3 is that it lowers inflammation in your body. There are two main omega fatty acids that your body cannot produce and needs from your diet: omega 3 and omega 6. These two fatty acids serve as a check and balance on each other: omega 6, when it is broken down, tends to promote inflammatory processes in the body; omega 3 tends to put out the inflammation.

Another way to think about it is that omega 6 is like starter fluid for a fire, really useful when you need a fire, and omega 3 is the fire extinguisher when you need to put that fire before it gets out of control. This check and balance makes sense in that it is believed that our early ancestors ate a diet that consisted of an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of about 2-4:1.

Thus, our bodies had the “supplies” to either start a fire or put out a fire depending upon what was needed at the time. Unfortunately, the typical American diet is closer to a 30-40:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3, so when it’s time to put out the fire there are no extinguishers.

If we can’t put out these fires it means that we may be achy and have more arthritis. We also now understand that long term inflammation is one of the leading causes of many chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, asthma and dementia, just to name a few.

In fact, in one review, those individuals with known cardiovascular disease that had an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 4:1 in their blood (as opposed to the higher levels seen in the typical American population) had a 70% reduction in total mortality.

In addition, fish oil has also been shown to improve elevated triglycerides, reduce joint symptoms in those with rheumatoid arthritis, improve mood, and in a recent study on children, those with higher omega 3 to omega 6 ratios had better memory and planning functions.

What are the drawbacks of Omega 3?

So what is the down side? At higher doses, fish oil has the potential to cause bleeding problems especially if someone is already taking a medicine to “thin their blood.” Paradoxically, since many take fish oil for their heart health, some individuals may find that there LDL cholesterol will increase on higher doses of omega 3. The cause of this may be due to a gene called ApoE4 that affects how your body metabolizes cholesterol. So the bottom line is that if you are starting a fish oil supplement, both of those things need to be monitored by your health care provider.

What about the recent article on omega 3 and prostate cancer?

There have been studies looking at omega 3 supplementation which show no association with prostate cancer and one study actually showed a reduction in prostate cancer death in those that took fish oil. The most recent study looked at blood levels of EPA/DHA in individuals and found that those with the highest levels were more likely to have prostate cancer. In this scenario it is difficult to know whether this is a cause and effect relationship or an association, so since there is conflicting data with different research protocols, no conclusions can be drawn until further studies are completed.

How should I buy Omega 3?

Now, if you go to a store to buy fish oil/omega 3 you will find as many brands and choices as there are fish in the sea. The active forms of the omega 3 are in the amount of EPA and DHA which are often present in a ratio of 1.5-2:1 respectively. Some products will have a higher % of EPA and DHA and I tend to prefer those so that I am getting more “bang” for the amount of oil I am consuming.

Traditionally, I have recommended “molecularly distilled” products to reduce the likelihood of fish contaminants like mercury, but an independent group called consumer labs has tested a wide variety of fish oil supplements and has never found mercury in any of their tested products so this does not seem to be a big issue anymore. They did find that some of the more premium products that had the EPA and DHA components as re-esterified triglycerides may be slightly better absorbed than other forms. Also, in my experience, the premium brands tend to cause less burping up of the fish taste.

Two quick pearls:

  • If you do burp up a fish taste, try freezing the omega 3 capsules. By the time they de-thaw in your GI tract they are often out of the stomach and thus no fish burps!
  • If you have kids (or adults) that won’t eat fish and want them to take a high quality fish oil, try Carlson’s liquid fish oil in the lemon or orange flavor. This has no fish taste, is high quality, and has a high % of EPA and DHA. The liquid can be taken on a spoon or hidden in smoothies or salads.

You can also get Omega 3 naturally

I still feel that the best option is to simply to eat more fish and other foods higher in omega 3 like nuts, avocados, and olive oil while limiting over consumption of foods higher in omega 6 (palm, soybean, and sunflower oils) which is often in fried or processed foods. Realize that if you are trying to obtain your omega 3’s from vegetarian sources (i.e. nuts) it will be in a form called ALA which has to converted to EPA and DHA in your body. Unfortunately, this conversion is not very efficient and only about 25 % of the ALA will be converted to the EPA/DHA.

My recommendation is to eat 2-4 servings per week of non-farmed raised, cold water fish as it is highest in the omega 3’s. Examples of those are halibut, mackerel, anchovies, white fish and sockeye salmon. Also, be cognizant of the mercury levels in certain fish, especially the larger species that accumulate mercury as they consume the smaller fish. Examples of fish to limit include blue fin tuna, shark, sword fish, and tile fish. This is discussed in more detail on our video “Limiting Your Exposure to Chemicals.”

The bottom line, after all this, is that if you follow the Mediterranean/anti-inflammatory diet we teach in our curriculum and follow the adages “eat the rainbow” (eat different colored produce) and “eat meat with less legs” you will naturally obtain the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio that is ideal for health and enjoy the benefits of lower inflammation throughout your body so that you can do the things you want to do better and more pleasurably.

Visiting The Ffort Klub At Raichak

I never knew The River Ganges is so wide and beautiful here till I visited this place which I had never heard of before. After my visit I quote: If you are looking for solitude this is the place for you. It is right on the banks of this river and hence the name: “Raichak on Ganges.” It houses 4 resorts, 5 restaurants, a spa and a huge activity zone, 6-7 swimming pools, all encapsulated in its 100 acre stretch. Built in Anglo-Indian style, the Ffort Holiday Klub is a Dutch fort converted into a five-star property. We went there in September 2012. A two-hour drive from Kolkata warned us of the bad traffic snarls. But once we entered the resort the ambience and the property ingredients of the entire complex felt serene and tranquil. It refreshed body, mind and soul. You need to just synchronize your pace with the flow of the Ganges which looks sublime in its moods of rain and sunshine.

And, now is the time to take you to our lovely holiday experience. The first shot from my camera was of the majestic uninhibited drive on a 1.5 km driveway with imposing tall trees on either side that led to The Suites. We are always in awe when we share our holiday experiences with friends. This couple wanted to have a feel of one such holiday with us, so this time we booked a holiday in the East. My husband and I arrived there a day before our check-in date. Next day the four of us set out to a 55 km journey from here. For the people living in Kolkata, it is a place where all the big conferences and fashion shows were held. They had heard about the place but they knew nothing beyond that, and hence they wondered how a week at one place would be like? Their trepidation was to the extent that they advised us if they did not like the place they would cut short their trip. (Wait, what they said in the end!) For a moment, their wavered thoughts clouded my mind though we were sure that a lovely holiday awaited us. With our car trunk full of bags we left around 2.30pm.

Day 1: A board with the resort’s name and an entry arrow to the resort brought the first glow on our faces. It was 4.45pm. I had the first welcome note when I heard a gurgling sound of running water just outside the corridor. What a therapeutic effect! As we entered apartment the furniture came alive and said a non-verbal hello. Soon we got settled and with our huge stock of ready-made snacks we all enjoyed a hot cup of coffee. The dinner at the restaurant was a huge satisfaction. The decor was warm and staff was friendly. After-mint was so tasty, that I had my palm full! It was a weekday so the guest number was thin.

Day 2: There was no hurry to leave the bed. However, you cannot sleep till late when you are in the East India. I woke up at 5.30am and headed for a walk. No sooner did I take a few steps away from my apartment, I heard the cooing of birds. I cooed in return. And, that was fun! It was a joyous sight to see the volume of the rejoinder rise with every successive mimic. I got myself familiar with surroundings. The resort is huge with lovely in-roads and greenery in plenty. We walked down a straight road and believe me the bungalows and apartments on either side were so inviting that I gave a hell of a time to my cervical spine turning left to right, and right to left. Wish I had a chameleon’s vision!

I cannot do without my laptop and internet connection. Even on a holiday I need it. Besides the daily picture upload, I do not allow my passion of journal writing part with me. Reliance mobile modem connectivity was not so efficient, so while in the apartment we just chatted, played cards and watched my friend paint. Post breakfast, we requested for a golf cart to take us around the vast spreading resort for it could not have been easy for our happy feet. The cart glided noiselessly through the property.

Nestled in the greenery and natural habitat, our first destination was Ganga Kutir. This resort left me in trance. The virgin natural beauty of the place just on the banks of the river, with dominating presence of mangrove vegetation. Armed myself with camera I got myself photographed sitting between its infinity pool and the river. I gazed at the river rolling by and silently murmured a nature poem. I also had fun watching two ducklings floating graciously on the pond. A cow shed was a rare treat for the urban eyes. I wanted to go close but the wet grass refused to take me there.

Ganga Sundarawasalais was another beauty packed pocket of cottages. An amazing assemblage of pool cottages where you just open your apartment door and take a plunge! Phew! Isn’t it worth being there? What an experience! O My! I just kept imagining a cool lap in that serene pool.

A yet another collection of theme based country homes in its premises were GangaAwas amidst green surroundings. Imagine a private pool with every apartment. Want to buy? You decide, while I count how many pools are there on the upper terrace. I counted three here and seven pools in the entire resort, all beautifully done. These upper terrace pools overlooked the Ganges and clearly defined the concept of infinity pools. All along the pools a vast area was laid out for dining. We stopped for lunch at one of its restaurants.

The beauty of this restaurant was such that you have to go there to believe me. Sitting in the restaurant I almost felt I was being part of The Ganges. There was a constant flow of slow-moving cargo ships and you have the waves joining in. Coupled with it were lush gardens and the happy smiles of the staff who served sumptuous food. It was ecstatic to find a blend of nature and artificial beauty. The chilled beer was another shot in the arm. The day rolled into a quiet evening. We rested for a while in our room, watched TV. The mock-tails and cocktails with sumptuous fish were like icing on the cake. I was as happy as a clam.

Day 3: The portable modem did not work well. So, they complied with my request and the service staff shifted us to another apartment. Since it was our second ‘home’ in the same resort there was a new vigor and cheerfulness. I organized my things. The 3rd day flew with wings. With playing cards and room service menu card by our side and chicken snacks to go over a glass of chilled beer, I felt like a ‘yummy mummy.’

Day 4: This place acts as a link between the metro city, Kolkata and Haldia which is a commercial town on the other side of the river. It is a major trade port for the metro intended mainly for bulk cargoes. The ferry point is 1.5 km from the resort. We took our car, parked it near the jetty point and got us into the launch. The resort’s Ferry boat was under maintenance so we took the one which was the life line of locals there. In 20 minutes with a breeze on our faces, we cruised at 30 mph and reached Haldia. We hired a cab for Rs. 1200/- that picked us from the jetty point, took us to 27 mph long drive up to the port and left us back in the evening at the same point. It was fun to witness the hide and seek of rain God. By the time we reached back we were dog tired and preferred skipping dinner and retired to a deep slumber.

Day 5: Even on the fifth day, there was still much left to explore. A collection of swimming pool area, the vast gym capsule, lounge area, and a fun zone coupled with the massive floor chess at the entrance was good fun. An orient restaurant on the pool side served sinful Chinese, and a souvenir shop with good visual merchandise had besides books, a rich assemblage of apparel, hand crafted curios, and wall paintings from Bengal and North East. Having played indoor games, we ended the day with another dinner. What one marvels in the beauty of this resort was its landscaped greenery against the backdrop of the river. Constructed on an old fort theme, it houses a well laid out museum. This entire structure has 130 year old narrow bricks which are typical of historic forts giving it the look of a beautiful 18th century fort. The spa bore a perfect image for my camera lens. Overhead bells at the gate and the wonder creation in a water bowl with floral motives bunched into an intricate pattern was something I admired. The creator definitely deserved an award for this. However, the services at the spa were a trifle pricey.

Day 6: We luxuriated for five days, it was the day devoted to the last-minute photo session around ‘The Suites.’ My camera was constantly in action since the scenic beauty was so vast that it wanted to click almost every ten steps of the area! I marveled the greenery of different foliage and stopped by to appreciate the various sculptures interspersed around the pocket gardens. This day we had also driven past Diamond Harbor. The Ganges is very wide here for the picnickers delight to watch river at its most serene with vastness. You could see as far as your eyes could go. However, the ice-cream on the road tasted like mud. As we drove further into interior villages, we saw a long stretch of ponds all along the two sides of narrow lanes which is a very familiar sight in suburbs. Greens seemed to have just bathed in the rain. We took glimpses of villagers getting ahead with their daily lives. While someone was weaving, another could be seen sifting wheat, and the third carrying a child on the waist. A four-wheeler was an alien to kids.

Day 7: It was time to say good-bye. We felt a sense of pleasant pain of parting with resort’s grandeur, the lush gardens and the charming hospitality. Even after a gap of four months these are still vivid in my mind. I stitched together my wonderful memories, and tried to paint the account on this canvas with a hope that just like our friends who await to holiday here with their American kids, you too would book a holiday here. And, if you still ask how I rated this resort, I would say you were joking.