On a recent rush visit to the supermarket, I ended up buying the supermarket brand of certain personal consumable items. But, to my dismay, I realized the mistake only after I returned home and opened the packaging.

So, now what is brand? What is brand name?
Brand is the "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's product distinct from those of other sellers." Brand, an intangible asset, is often the most valuable asset of a corporation. Brand owners manage their brands carefully to create shareholder value, and brand valuation is an important management technique that ascribes a money value to a brand, and allows marketing investment to be managed to maximize shareholder value.
Recently a cousin of mine bought the store brand for paper towels. But, but such a mistake and a waste, that was.  To our disappointment, several paper towels were useless.
And, this significantly reminds me of the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Ray does the groceries and thinks he has been so clever about saving money, but others do not agree, much to his disappointment.

            As discussed, why branded and not ‘me too branded’ (non-branded) products. Of course, for the sole reason, that they are cheaper and they can save a huge lot of money. But, do ‘me too branded’ products serve the same purpose; provide the same amount of benefits? Is buying off-brand the smarter choice?
The answer is an obvious big NO. Why? Does that question arise?
Well, the answer lies hidden in the meaning of the word BRAND itself. It offers scores of benefits as compared to the ‘me too branded’ products.

   The products manufactured by well-respected brands are able to satisfy customers’ needs in terms of quality, service, price, etc. as these companies spend years to build their reputations. One of the greatest advantages of buying a brand-name product is a longer, comprehensive warranty. Reputable companies stand behind their products and put a great deal of effort into making them durable by using quality parts that last longer. Again, name-brand manufacturers have the resources to consistently create designs to match consumers’ changing lifestyles and needs. Updates might include stylish extras that make products look great or features with the latest technology to enhance quality of life. Also, well-respected brands have been in the business of serving customers for a long time. They put extensive resources into customer support.
On the other hand, this doesn’t mean consumers can’t get good quality or service from a product that isn’t a name brand. There are many other manufacturers that excel in both these areas. However, brand-name products tend to offer consumers more purchasing peace of mind.
            But then again, to many people, a shopping trip usually involves getting in the car, going to the store, and picking up a handful of items they need around their home.
Again, it's always nice to open your refrigerator and pull out a refreshing Coca-Cola, but what about replacing that with a store-brand Cola because if you compare the labels, the store-brand product contains virtually the same ingredients, but is usually priced much cheaper. And in my opinion, they taste pretty much the same, so why pay more when you can have more products at a cheap price. It is always a great achievement to buy goods in the ever increasing inflation rate prevailing in the market, isn’t it?
            But, but, but, before a conclusion is arrived at, another very thing is required to be considered. And this thing is STATUS.
            Yes, Status of the society we live in, the Status we show off to the world, the Status of the power of notes we own, the Status of the people we live with. Yes, of course STATUS is a big damn thing in the modern society.
            Who doesn’t want to show off the notes they own? Anyone out there exists who love to live their well to do life with simplicity?
Of course not. I am not talking about the times of Gandhi or others but the times of the 21st century where showing off is the new trend and buying me too branded products is a big look down upon on your so called status, for they are cheaper, they may not last long, they may not give the results branded products give you.  
            “Buying branded products is a new trend is the very modern society we live in.”
That is what my niece said when asked about her views on branded products, and mind you, she is just 14 year old.
            “Of course di, I would prefer fast track school bag instead of those road side bags.”
She said completing her sentence. And yes, that is the power of brand and brand names. When a 14 year old knows its value, who are we to judge, right? J  
But, nevertheless, many consumers don't realize the value of purchasing store-brand items versus name-brand ones. First off, store-brand items are normally much less expensive, often as much as sixty per cent cheaper. Then there is the issue of quality; many store-brand items perform as well as or better than their more expensive cousins on the shelves while many involves many issues.
In truth, the final decision as to what is best lies with the individual buyer himself, who is wily enough to know what is correct for him. It is for him to decide whether they want to go with the expensive branded products or the not-so-expensive non branded products for branded products are traceable and, as a general rule of thumb, tend to arrive in the warehouse within specification tolerance time after time. However the risks are clear.

So how many of you buy branded items? Or do you prefer to save some money and get the generic brand product? What are your MUST HAVES for branded items?

“Look into my eyes” He said sternly.

Sandwiched between the wall and him, she was already sobbing but his harsh voice made her look above to match the blue light shining in his pupil.

“What? What do you think of yourself?” He again said with the same persistence, making her tremble to his voice.

She went numb. Not even a word escaped her mouth as she started crying out loud giving way for her grief, her guilt to pass away with the colourless tears.

“I am sorry sir, I have been your slave always and I will always be but now I love you…”

“You? You love me? You know what you are? You know your worth? I brought you for my enjoyment for 1000 bucks and you love me? You good-for-nothing-bitch” he said like that devil with a consternating smile on his lit up face.
His words were true. She was just a sex worker for him but then what made her fall for him. She knew nothing about why she was expressing her feelings to a devil like him and that too only for this evil result…
“But, but sir… I…”

‘What, you?” He stopped her in between and held her tight, groping her slim and slender waist in his strong arms.
He pushed her into the wall more and dug himself into her as he placed his lips over her and fiercely bit her lips.

Within a moment, blood flowed from her lips while her hair gave her a witchy and uglier look and he just went towards the door, leaving her to suffer alone in the big mansion.

She cried, cried aloud and begged but no amount of tears, no feelings stopped him. She knew he had gone away to fulfill his pleasures with another girl. But she stood helpless, watching him go, watching him to, might be, never return.

About the book – Love it or hate it, you have to accept the fact that the world revolves around the four-letter word… LOVE
Welcome to the roller-coaster ride of Priyanka, a whacky urban girl and her misadventures with love because it’s not always about first love, it’s about growing up in love with different people and in different situations.
     She gets one, loses him.
     She gets another, loses him again.
   And then she embarks on the journey of her third relationship determined to finally prove that she’s not just another victim of the love-break-up scene. Mind you, this isn't just another love story; her present boyfriend is in love with two girls at the same time.
   Will she be able to survive now? Why does love have to bump into her in most bizarre situations?
            Do long distance relationships work out? Is daring your ex’s best friend justified? Can love be found on social networking sites? Is love at first sight possible? Does being the other woman in a relationship actually matter?

About the author- Harshita Srivastava is from Kanpur and has done her schooling from St. Mary’s Convent High School and DPS. She is currently pursuing Mechanical Engineering at G.L. Bajaj Institute of Technology and Management, Noida. Even though an engineer, she is a writer at heart. She is an avid reader and a prolific blogger. She loves reading classics and is a die hard fan of Mills and Boons. She loves to see happiness around her, so she’ll always be found motivating people or making them smile. This is her debut work and she plans to be a full time writer in future. Apart from writing, she loves travelling, reading listening to music and spending time with friends and family. She is an active blogger and may be contacted at hsrivastava0205@gmail.com

My reviews – A novel is always comprised of both good and bad aspects. No matter what you say, it is never easy to pen down a novel because everything ranging from the cover to the script, the grammar to the language needs to be perfect without which the literary piece is actually incomplete. First about the cover of the novel, it is an exceptional piece of art. Simple yet mesmerizing. People say, “A book should never be judged by the cover” but when the cover is just so enthralling, you end up picking the book, don’t you? Same is the case in this piece by Harshita.
Another important point was “the script’. I loved it to the core. Love is most of the times painful, similar circumstance did Priyanka, our protagonist, go through. She got a boyfriend in the name of Shashank Agarwal only to find that it was mere infatuation for him. And, he left her like there was nothing between them. But, but about Priyanka? He never thought how she would survive without the person she loved. Again a second relationship with her ex’s best friend ruined her life yet again. With no hard feelings for the other gender, it is a hard fact in every girl’s life. Guys, who love to play around, don’t really give a damn to what the other person feels and it was what ruins the name of love. And this feeling has so beautifully been described by our author, that you would give a second read to the same.
The story unfolds in front of you like a beautiful movie imprinted just for you and you get immersed in it like never before. Again for a third relationship, Priyanka doesn’t give her yes at once. She is afraid, after all every girl would be after two heartening breakups with no fault of hers. But did she accept the relationship? Did she fall for a guy named Shashank Mittal, who possessed the same name as her ex? Well, that is suspense for you to unveil and know about Priyanka’s ardent journey in the name of love.    
            Again the language was kept simple for the people to grab the story line easily and I can guarantee that investing on the novel won’t prove to be a waste for you. J

My verdict – Given the script, the language, and the cover; this literary piece deserves a 4 out of 5 rating from my side and it is a readable piece. So keep reading and spread the happiness.

Thank you.

Once again, the Valentine week has begun and so has the pathetic life of mine, which takes a new turn every year. This Valentine week leaves no stone unturned to make me realize that I did the worst mistake of my life by not confessing by love to him. All the happy couples holding hands in hands, guys buying roses for their beloved, couples trying to find a tad of peace for themselves and for their life, couples hiding in some bushes to kiss each other.
          Pheww… Life can really be bad when you know you love someone but can’t have him and I was going through the same situation. I hated this loneliness, this lack of love in my life and the isolation that I had myself got my life into. But, it can’t be changed… I had myself chosen to be a friend to him by not confessing what he meant to me and to my life. Yes, it’s true, not doubt, he hadn’t tried it either… he hadn’t made any efforts too but then, his feelings were obscured from me and I didn’t have any idea about what he felt about me. “Aaargghhhhhh…. These thoughts always make me cry…” a whisper escaped my mouth as I sat down in the park unaccompanied by anyone and witnessing the love birds at some distance.
          It miffed me, or rather I should say, I was indignant to all these situations but this was a way to punish myself more and more for not admitting the fact that I loved him, I loved him from all those broken pieces of my heart which my ex had left in me. Yes! This was the second time; I had fallen in love, with the only difference that this time the fall was profounder than the first one. It wasn’t a fling or an infatuation; it was pure passion, the desire of getting loved in return to the core; it was a yearn to be in his arms forever; and it was a hanker to feel those lips over mine… All these thoughts were continuously rippling when my phone vibrated and flashed, “HIM calling…”
       Yes! It was him… I picked up the call after around thirty seconds till which time I was staring at the cutest pic of his, stored as his contact pic in my cell phone.
Hiding my tears, I picked up his call resentfully and his ever chirping voice got into my ears, “Helloo sweetheart… How’s you doing?”
“Hey, hi…   Just sitting in ….”
“…. in the park, alone like always …. Right?” he said cutting off my sentence in between.
“Hmmm…. Yeah! How come you know that…?”
“…. I know because I am standing behind you ….”  He said breaking the ice between us.
          I looked around to find him staring at me with that cheerful face and the lively smile. I was awe-struck to find him there as I hadn’t expected him there but all of a sudden; he got hold of my hand, and pulled me out from the park to his car…
         I was trying to loosen his grip on my arms and was continuously asking him about where he was taking me but he preferred keeping his mouth shut rather than giving an answer to my flooded mind. I hated this habit of his but he was the person I trusted the most in my life and in no case, I could ever do anything … I blindly just followed him wherever he took me.
       We reached his apartment and he opened the door for me to enter. There was darkness all around the house. I was scared but his hands on my hands give me the required support at that time and I was forced to be with him and not stop him in whatever he was up to…
       We entered his room and he lit the right. It was decorated splendidly. A picture of mine with his, the one which was clicked years ago stood in the corner and as I was admiring the room, he went on his knees and placed the ring in my ring finger.
          I was in short of words… I couldn’t say anything to him … there were tears in my eyes but my words weren’t contemplating to my feelings, they favoured him today. I just sat down on my knees with him and cried out aloud…. Nothing could describe what I felt at that moment of my life… was it the truth or a dream which I wanted to be true… did he really proposed me now … no… it can’t be… he doesn’t love me… I am just having a dream of being in his arms like I used to have always… this is bogus… this surely can’t be reality…. I was in another world… a world of my thoughts and my tears …
          Suddenly, I felt the touch of his lips on my hands, on my ring finger where few moments ago, he had placed the ring and I woke up from the fake world of my dreams and I looked at him… yes… it was the reality… he had proposed me after years of silence… my gallant love was actually bearing fruits on this rose day and I kept on staring at him like it was forever…
          He did the same… we were lost… in each other’s eyes and in each other’s arms…. He came closer to me… closer and more closer … closer till there was no gap between us, no gap of sadness, no gap of insecurity, it was pure love… pure passion…. And his lips touched mine… my body shivered to his touch and I closed my eyes while he took my lips into his and kissed me passionately as if there was no tomorrow … he kept on kissing me until his lips turned dry… and we just lay together with each other… a tear drop escaped my eyes and I whispered, “I love you…”
He responded, “I love you too…” and our journey began…


  “The birth of a girl is akin to the arrival of Lakshmi” goes a Hindi saying. But does the country where being a woman is something to be proud of, really cares about the respect and the pride of its woman? Does it really care to count how many innocent deaths occur because of molestation and rapes? Because the reality is that it would be termed as a miracle if a girl child survives in the country because even before she is born, she is at a high risk of being aborted and what’s the great point even if she lives. She is subjected to molestations, rapes and early marriage and then killed for dowry.

          The Preamble to the Constitution of India declares India “to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Democratic Republic and secures to all its citizens Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.”

            But, the real question is where the principle of “sovereignty” gone? Where is the “equality and justice” for all gone? Are they just meagre principles? Are they included in the Constitution for mere show-off? Where is the so called “fundamental right” of woman, the right to freedom and the right to equality gone? Is this the India dreamt of, by our forefathers that India would become a country which has the most number of molestations and rapes? Altogether 44,159 cases of rapes and molestations were recorded in India which shifts India to third position in this heinous crime just after England and Germany.

         And, with such a distressing situation prevailing in India, what are the youths, who are the so called future of India doing? Are they are getting so very desperate for physical pleasure, for sex that they rape any girl openly in the road, in a moving bus and then throw them out bruised and naked on the road without any cover to hide their nudity. Or are they getting so caring for their wife such that they don’t have sex with another being owing to which they drill holes in her genitals, lock it and keep the key in their socks. Or they find it better to video record the scene and upload it on YouTube rather than saving the girl who is getting raped and is losing her respect in front of the public.

           Whoa… Is this the Indian republic? In fact, as per the statistics, it is not just the people who are not known to a girl rapes her, more number of girls are now raped by their kith and kin because they lay their so called trust on these people and the latter just misuse the trust. Why can’t the inhuman people just understand that rape is a crime that defies all logic and the circumstances a girl faces can never be described in mere words? Because a rape is a crime, no matter the girl is a “prostitute” or the rapist is a husband, brother or an unknown being. Yes! It doesn't just matter. Some of the most brutal, inhuman and merciless cases are

=> Delhi Rape Case-A Paramedical student was gang-raped in the South Delhi in a moving bus and thrown out on the road along with her badly beaten boyfriend. Around five to seven men in the bus, including the driver, allegedly misbehaved and then sexually assaulted her in the moving bus.

=> Guwahati Rape Case- On the late hours on GS Road, Guwahati, a teenage girl was allegedly molested and manhandled by a crowd of approximately 30 people outside a bar. The case was made known to public when the video was aired by News Live, going viral on YouTube.

=> Indore Case- A brutal tale of a mechanic was reported in Indore, who pierced the genitals of his wife and inserted a lock there in order to prevent her from having an affair.

          So, as per the above analysis, it is high time now; it is time to stop this heinous crime; it is time to ask justice for woman; it is time to prove to the world that India is not a sex-obsessed country; it is time to make laws as severe as people would think a hundred times before committing such a odious crime and yes, this can be achieved if all Indians act together because it is not just the sexual abuse which counts. Even if a passer-by grabs or pinches her; or passes lewd remarks; or when cab drivers adjust their mirrors to stare at her chest; or when guys leave her after having sex with her counts. All amounts to molestations, so what if it’s not so serious but doesn't she loose her pride with these small incidents, doesn't the scar subside deep down in her heart?  

           I know until and unless stark decrees are passed for punishment of those bastards, women in India aren't safe but if each and every individual do their bit, the number of such atrocious cases can be reduced.Try to respect her emotions in the form of a mother; venerate her love, her care in the form of a sister; value her commitments in the form of a girlfriend rather than discerning of her as a sex commodity, a toy for physical pleasure because if she gives you her body, it’s because she loves you to the extent you can’t imagine. Try to protect her from those rogues instead of being a silent spectator or making a video. These are temporary measures, no doubt, but if applying them can reduce the number, it is obligatory to do so.Hence, instead of updating your face book status, instead of twitting and feeling sorry for the girl who has gone through such a treatment in her life; save another girl. Save that girl who might be targeted next because you never know that woman may be your wife, your girlfriend, your sister or even your mother. Save her! Save her from dying! Save her from losing her respect! Save woman! Save India in your own little way.

           I am doing my bit, are you? Spread the word because everyone is entitled to live their life with dignity, don’t they and if you don’t get it free, you need to fight and get it.

What is love? How can it be defined?
Some say it’s an illusion, impossible to find…
I believe, it’s a God gift, residing in our hearts
Binding two souls together, never to be apart…

Love exists in this world in different forms
One thing is common, it has no conditions or norms…
Love makes one’s life beautiful, gives reasons to live
It makes no demand, but has everything to give…

Love gives us strength, the courage to fight

To face the bad times with all of our might…
Love heals our deepest wounds and pain
There is nothing to lose; love is only gain…

Love is an intense feeling shared between two hearts

A feeling of care, and a promise to be never apart…
Love is a passion, knows no boundaries, no languages
Love is for you, for me, and for people of all ages…

Love is a trust, love is a cure

It’s an emotion, which is warm and pure…
Love exists everywhere; love is eternal and true
Not sure how it’s defined; for me, Love is you.

Not everyone can define LOVE, as it is said to be a feeling beyond words. But, the moment, you would have read the above poem, all those feelings, emotions and the butterflies you had been feeling in your stomach, seems to be rejuvenated, right? You feel like you have felt it all but had not been able to pen it down in that paper to make your girlfriend/boyfriend realise how much you really love them, or how much you actually crave for them. Not everyone can define the emotions which resides deep down in their heart, not everyone is capable of penning down their feelings yet, some people can.
            One such person is Rohit Sharma, the author of the intense romance fiction, “Te amo… I Love you”. The above poem is only an extracted literary piece from his novel.

About the author:

Born in Amritsar, and brought up in Faridabad, Rohit Sharma is a Senior Software Engineer by profession. Working with one of the world’s top MNCs, Rohit has successfully represented his organisation in USA and England. Being an avid reader, he loves to read fictions by Nicholas Sparks, Jeffery Archer, Sidney Sheldon, Dan Brown and Paulo Coelho, to name a few. He loves to express his feelings via the innumerable romantic poems and songs, which are available on his blog. He is a keen writer along with a book reviewer. After India, Spain is his favourite country, which can easily be attributed to his passion towards the Barcelona FC. He is a die-hard fan of Sachin Tendulkar and loves to unwind either by playing any of his favourite sports or by exercising and cooking. He can be contacted at his personal Facebook account or at his blog.

About the book:

It is said that LOVE changes LIVES forever! Well, it certainly does for Isabella and Aryan. They meet. They fall in love. But soon they realise that love is all about sacrifices, efforts and hope.
A sacrifice, which Isabella makes for her family and her love, Aryan. A sacrifice, which compels her to stay with Ethan – the man she hates most, and the man who tortures her every day!An effort, which Aryan makes to rescue his love, Isabella, from the dreadful clutches of the extremely powerful Ethan, and his vicious gang. A hope that persistently flares in the hearts of Isabella and Aryan, a hope to stay together, forever.
But, the real question is, will Isabella’s selfless sacrifices bring any good to her, or her loved ones? Will Aryan’s death-defying efforts be successful? Will Isabella and Aryan’s eternal hope eventually come true?
Let’s unfold together a fascinating saga about passionate love, honest friendships, and ruthless animosity- a story about happiness and togetherness, hatred and revenge, sacrifices and solitude, efforts and hope.

The review: Positive Aspects:

“Te amo… I love you” is one work of fiction which you would love reading. The way the story keeps unfolding in front of you, it keeps you glued and your mind keeps on anticipating the story yet to be narrated. According to the story, our protagonist is a nonbeliever of love and he is someone who tries to remain miles away from this entire so called love thing. But, the real question is “Can someone really stay away from love? Can someone really stay away from what has been written in his destiny?” And, the answer is a big NO because it is always said that love is something which comes when you least expect it come. It makes you believe in all those promises, emotions which you had been running away from and the same thing happens here. Aryan falls in love at one single sight of the Spanish beauty, Isabella. He looks forward to meet his lady love, and when he gets her, the real problem starts as he gets to know about the sufferings, the promises, the sacrifices; his love has to make to keep the former happy because love is not easy, it never was, it never will be.
            I loved the way, Rohit has described the beauty of the Spanish girl, Isabella, in this debut intense romance fiction. Then, I loved the description of the Spanish culture in the book. It interprets the fact that writing this book has involved a great amount of research on the part of the author. Further, the love making scenes added to the glory of this book. Nothing dirty, yet the description keeps you bonded. The character of Ethan, the villain, was well-portrayed. One thing, I liked the most was the language which was kept simple yet was so ostentatious. The vocabulary used was fabulous.
Further, one thing touched my heart was the trust Isabella had laid upon her love. The way, Isabella responded every time Aryan asked for her trust was enthralling, be it for any sacrifices, be it for their marriage, be it for the rescue from the clutches of the villain or anything. Furthermore, I loved the poems; in fact, I had never known Rohit is such a great poet. All the emotions, the feelings, the excitements and the sentiments have been well described by way of the poems, just like the one at the beginning.
            Besides that, the climax was totally unexpected. While reading the book for the first time, I hadn’t in my wildest dreams thought about the turning point in the story and I loved that change. Again, I loved the use of Spanish words in certain places along with the use of Te amo’sand I love you’s at varied places. It hyped that feeling of the romance in this suspense thriller.

The review: Negative Aspects:

Everything good has some flaws too. The only flaw, I noticed, in this romance fiction was the length of the story. It was a bit longer than I has expected for the novel which comprised of 310 pages. Usually, Indian readers don’t expect such a lengthy literary piece. But, then this defect was completely hidden owing to the fact that the description of the story line was way too good and it kept you absorbed without giving you even a pinch of that bored feeling.

The verdict:  

Being new to this literary field, I am not a professional reviewer. But, I have read lots of books and as such, given this chance, I would give the story, a 3 out of 5, and I would also add 0.5 for the poems and the songs in this debut novel, which took away my heart with its mesmerizing description. So, the total comes out to be a 3.5 out of 5.
Yes, this book deserves a high score from my end because I personally feel that this piece of literature was bonito (beautiful in Spanish) and, trust me, one would not regret investing on this fiction.