How To Celebrate Your Baby's First Birthday?

Now this is what you call a HAPPY birthday for a one-year-old!!! :D :D :D

This video reminds me of my nephew Yuvraj's first taste of an icecream!

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Foto Friday: Happy Navratra!

It's that time of the year again when Indians are busy worshipping females, so that they can continue harassing them, in all possible ways, all the rest of the year round, without guilt. No, I don't celebrate Navratra. I don't keep a fast or do any kind of pujas. I stopped doing all puja-paath three years ago. Even sold my wooden temple on Quikr. (Got a good price for it too.)

The rest of the country does celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm though. Daily Dandiya practice has started in my building. They do this every year. Right below my bedroom balcony. I get a bird's-eye view of all the proceedings. Took this picture from my cell phone the other day...

It was the very first day. So it was a small gathering. It gets bigger as the days go by. Last night, I saw four distinct Dandiya groups practicing below my balcony:
  1. Ladies (the more-active married females of my building)
  2. Big girls (those who use pen at school)
  3. Small girls (still using pencils at school)
  4. Boys (haven't yet figured out why they had their separate group)
I feel very tempted to go join them. (It's only Dandiya after all, not Ballet!) Alas! I'm just too lazy to step out of my home again after I return to it at night!

I did notice one thing though... Falguni Pathak's "Yaad Piya Ki Aane Lagi" (among other songs by her) is still one of the most favorite Dandiya songs in the country. So is "Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje" from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. They play these songs every year!

Meanwhile, I'm busy doing this at my shop...

Those are gift packs for the Kanya-Puja ceremony during Navratra. Nine small girls are invited for breakfast or lunch, on the Saptami and Ashtami (some even do it on Navmi), and they are given small gift items along with some cash (usually Rs. 11).

The first time a customer came to my shop asking for gifts for Kanya-Puja, I was completely unprepared for it. I had very few items in that much quantity at that time. The next time, I made sure to stock-up before Navratra, but, I had to face a different kind of challenge on that occasion. More people turned up than I had expected, so there was quite a bit of a holdup, as I showed them all the stuff one-by-one and they selected the items and got them billed and packed.

This time, I've done some pre-planning. I have made such gift sets, of 10 packs each (9 girls + 1 tag-along), of varying price range. Most people prefer this quicker method of shopping. Plus it's also easier for me to keep a track of what is getting sold to whom. I keep making new packs as these keep getting sold.

In another two months, my shop will complete two years. In all this time, I have realized that running a business is a continuous learning process. Sometimes you learn from your past mistakes. Sometimes you learn from other business owners. Sometimes you learn from your customers. Does this learning ever stop?

Seems like I'm in a reflective mood today. Good for this blog, I guess. At least, it got updated finally. I have ignored it too much for the last few months. I've been going through a state of blogathy, I suppose. (You remember blogathy, don't you? We learnt this word during my A to Z of Blogging series.)

Anyway, I think I'll wind up for today now. (Foto-Fridays are not meant to be so long.)

I have no idea when I'll blog again.
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