Product Review: Pantene Total Damage Care Range

I was very pleasantly surprised when Rebecca emailed me one fine day and asked if I would like to be a part of reviewing the new Shampoo and Conditioner from Pantene – The Total Damage Care range.

Pantene Total Damage Care ShampooI am generally not a fan of the Pantene range of shampoos as they tend to dry out my hair and make it quite rough. But since I love trying out new shampoos and conditioners, I happily agreed to check out this new offering from Pantene.

Now, the Total Damage Care Range supposedly offers protection against the daily damage inflicted on your hair – protecting your hair against split ends, dryness, roughness, dullness, weakness, brittleness and tangles, leaving your hair moisturized, stronger and visibly less damaged within 14 days.

The products came to me within a couple of weeks, well sealed in a rough wooden box. I was able to pry off the lid only after taking help from my brother. What on earth did they think they were sending to be packed up so secure – the Crown Jewels?

Anyway, once I got the lid loose, I found that Pantene had sent across 2 bottles of shampoo and 1 of conditioner. Hmmm, I wonder why cosmetic companies always make conditioner bottles smaller than shampoo bottles?Pantene Total Damage Care Conditioner

I was quite keen to try them out. Immediately oiled up my hair. Remember – Never, Ever use shampoo without oiling your hair first – Indian hair has a tendency to be completely stripped of its moisture by shampoos and oiling your hair first, prevents that from occurring.

Shampoo - on my handAfter oiling my hair, I washed it and then applied the shampoo. It was just the right consistency, had a nice scent, and was white in colour. It went on quite well on my hair – lathered it up and left on for a few minutes. Then I washed it off.

My hair now had a delicious scent and felt squeaky clean. But it was the conditioner that totally knocked me over. I applied the conditioner on my hair, left it on a few minutes again (while reading in the bath – I know, my husband also marvels at the places that I read in!) and washed it off using loads of H2O.Conditioner - on my Hand

Rubbed my hair dry and waited for the magic promised by Pantene. Once my hair was completely dry, I was amazed to find how soft my hair felt. Not sure if it looked soft but I was definitely happy with it.

Pros of the Total Damage Care Range from Pantene:

1. Cleans hair and softens it.

2. Great scent, not too overpowering

3. Neither too runny nor too thick – consistency of shampoo and conditioner easy enough to be handled.

4. My hair remains quite tangle-free (or maybe that is because I don’t have too much hair to get tangled up in the first place)

5. Split ends also seem to have reduced and hair feels more glossy.


1. I wouldn’t say that this is sure shot against the roughness and dryness. From the day you use the shampoo and conditioner, the hair looks and feels wonderful for two days. After that, it looks as usual.

2. It doesn’t do much for brittleness either – if your hair was brittle before, it will still continue to remain so whether you use this shampoo or not.

As shampoos go, this one is not bad – at least it works great as a normal shampoo and conditioner – something I can’t say about all shampoos I have used. Even though it doesn’t live up to all its claims, it doesn’t do any harm to the hair. And for all that, I’d rate the Total Damage Care Range Shampoo and Conditioner a 3 out of 5.

Girls and Their Right to a Career

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Cover of "Daughter"

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Post selected as a Spicy Saturday Pick in BlogAdda for 10-Dec-2011

Featured at Symptoms of Disempowerment on 22-Dec-2011.

Featured at Global Voices Online on 17-Dec-2011

Here is my 100th post on Merry Musings – and I wanted to take this time to write of a girl I know, who has been banned from having a career or joining a college course of her wish.

Ananya is a 17-year-old – a bright and wonderful girl. She is now in the 12th form at a Girls’ School. She lives with her Dad, Mom and a little brother.

Just like any girl about to embark into College has some ideas about the course she wants to pursue, Ananya too has some desires. She is extremely talented with her hands – stitching, fabric painting, glass painting, doll making – these are all crafts she excels at – as well as having great grades at school. Her ambition is to become an Interior Designer or Fashion Designer and would like to get into such a College course which will prep her for such a career.

However, her dad has different ideas. In spite of living in the 21st century, his mindset is still stuck in the 1900s. He thinks that girls are only good for being married off. His intentions about his daughter’s studies – to get her into the college next-door and enrol her in a useless course which will definitely not aid her in any way to get a job or become financially independent. And as soon as the course is complete, to get her married off! Convenient, isn’t it?

She is desperate – her Mom is sympathetic, but has no voice where her husband says that his Will is the Law in that house. Her dad is acting like a tyrant – even tries to get rid of her skin products like cleanser and moisturiser – just to make sure that his daughter does not fall into any traps and shame the family name by eloping or getting married outside the community. In fact that seems to be his only concern over his daughter.

Several have tried to change his mind, including his eldest sister who said, “A girl should be equipped to take a job if necessary. If not, she will be a slave in her husband’s home.” But all to no avail. So far, no one has managed to change his mind. Ananya dreads the day she completes her final exams in 12th grade. Then the countdown begins to the day of her marriage – along with the death of a talented girls desires and ambitions.

What do you think of a father who is only concerned about getting his daughter married off? Has he thought of how she will react if her husband turns out be as oppressive as her dad is?Or what if she is married and her husband dies – what will her Dad do then? Or if she is married to a guy who seemed to be perfect but turned out to be a nightmare? I know girls who have been in both situations and the only thing that saved them was that they had a job.

She is a rather modern girl, with a mind of her own. However, her wings are being clipped right now, to make sure that she has no chances of maligning the family name. I imagine it is a case of ‘Prevention is better than Cure.” I wonder why he bothered to teach her or even goad her on to get good grades in school. If he only wanted her to be stuck in a strange family’s kitchen, then he should just have let her stay at her mother’s side and learned the “domestic arts”.

Today she is crying and her pleas for help are falling on sympathetic ears who are helpless to change her dad’s mind. I can imagine what will slowly happen to this girl – either she will just succumb to her Dad’s pressure and agree to get married at the earliest possible opportunity, burying all her fond hopes of a career. Or when she starts college (at least that is definite – dad certainly wants his daughter to have a degree in hand, else her value in the marriage market will fall), she will have friends who will be sympathetic to her problems and offer advice, which in all probability may be the wrong ones, and may take some wrong turns in life. Or she may break free from the golden cage and follow her heart’s desire.

Fathers such as these are extremely myopic. They are only concerned about their duty to their daughters, namely to get them married off, and then it is all out of focus for them. They don’t even take view of the fact that their darling daughter will be the one to suffer because of their archaic thinking.

Dear readers, what do you think Ananya can do other than to submit to the will of the father?

Book Review : Resident Dormitus

Title: Resident Dormitus

Author: Vikas Rathi

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Price: Rs 195

A new author, a new book. Unfortunately, this one does not meet my taste in books.

The book opens in the present, with 4 friends blaming each other over another friend’s untimely demise.

The scene then shifts to the past, and is narrated through the eyes of Achet, the protagonist of this story. He keeps speaking in riddles

The story revolves around Achet and his friends – Arjuna, Dev, Alex and Bala. They have all managed to be employed by an MNC and the story keeps shifting between India, Singapore and Malaysia. Achet is an Indian small-towner who has made it big (apparently the first to do so in his family). Arjuna is the son of Sri Lankan immigrants – turned- Australian and keeps jarring out “Hey Mate” in every few sentences. He seems to be the most sensible of the lot. Bala is an Indian, who is considered a slut by almost everyone (including herself), and is trying to climb the corporate ladder to prove her self-worth. Alex, a Greece-born Australian is another character in this unmelodious melody. It dwells on the young professionals who have stepped forth into the corporate jungle and are trying to make it big out there, the various traps (or enticements) each of them fall for. It depicts how easy it is to stray from the trodden path once you get complete financial freedom.

The jokes are off-colour and I felt as though the narrator kept trying to moralise his own and others’ behaviours. The book just bored the hell out of me, and irritated me to a great extent. A book ought to entertain, or atleast be a stimulation to the senses, forcing one to think and imagine. Vikas Rathi’s Resident Dormitus fails in both aspects – the moment you start reading it, you are left trying to find a reason why you should just not burn the book. Maybe that’s coming down a little too heavily, but it was precisely what I felt like doing.

The tale reads like some intellectuals trying to figure out themselves and the world with highfalutin language which is a definite no-no to a reader who reads for leisure. This book gives absolutely no pleasure to the leisure reader.

While reading the book, I felt like I was watching an art movie and trying to make some sense of what the characters were talking about. Most questions are answered with another question, which sends the reader into a deeper muddle trying to figure what they hell they were trying to convey. The narration is abysmal and sends the reader scampering to the far corners of the room just to get away from it.

It was with a great deal of difficulty that I managed to finish this book. And even now, I am not certain what the story is actually about – or why it was even written in the first place.

A book I will never recommend to anyone. As for the author, I would never recommend him now based on this story (if I can even call it that).

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Egg Chutney

This is the first time I am venturing into the scary world of posting recipes – beware to all and sundry. It tastes good to my palate and hence shared on my blog.

Alright, now to get on to the business at hand – How to Make an Egg Chutney.

Take 2 onions and peel them neatly – like this:Onions

Also, take a tomato, some green chillies and curry leaves.Green chillies, Tomato and curry leaves

Now, slice up the onions, tomatoes and green chillies.All Diced

Get some garlic and ginger and again, dice them up as well. You just need to dice them up since you will be sauteing them in oil and them will blend in with the dish.garlic and ginger

Also, you need some spices for this preparation – about 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder.

Pour some oil in a non-stick pan (I used coconut oil for the lovely scent) on a low-flame and add the diced onions to it.

When the onions have turned translucent, add the ginger and garlic.

After sauteing this for a while, add the green chillies.

Then add the curry leaves to the sauteed mixture.

Stir this for a minute or two, and add the diced tomatoes.

Stir this and try to blend the tomato into this mixture. Then add the powders and blend well.Tip: Adding the powders directly to the hot vessel will ensure that the spices are roasted well and helps in enhancing the flavor.

Next, add about 3/4 glass of water to the mixture.

Add some salt to taste. The dish should look something like this by now.

Now, for our main ingredient – 2 eggs.

Crack open the eggs and pour it directly into the mixture.

Blend the eggs into the dish by stirring continuously. Remember to always keep the pan on a low flame.

Stir, stir, stir. There’s nothing more you can do now. The dish is done when it looks like this –It will be a semi solid mixture which will easily come off the sides of the pan.

Serve and enjoy with chappathis or roti.