Monday, December 16, 2013

Break-fasting?

Which category? Do you fall into the category of those who are big time foodie and don't mind eating anything that comes their way, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner? Or do you fall in the category who are weight watchers and extremely conscious about your calorie intake? The third category is for those who think breakfast in unessential and generally skip it due to lack of time or other factors. Whatever category you fall into, please keep in mind the importance of breakfast and what should go inside your body. You should know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day which should NEVER be skipped. After your night's dinner when you sleep for 6-7 hours, your body has digested the food. The energy of your body is consumed by your body cells to breakdown the food particles. Hence it is important to replenish your body with energy in the morning, with the right food (breakfast). This energy keeps you going throughout the day.

The argument over breakfast- Some say it should be light, some prefer it heavy. Remember, whatever you consume, the food is broken down in the cells accordingly. You definitely don't want to feel sleepy at work/school/college after a rich heavy breakfast! That tempting rice or puri/bhature is hence a big NO for breakfast. Its advisable to eat cereals or anything light. Choose from a variety of fruits (one whole fruit a day is recommended worldwide by all dietitians, doctors), cereals (I have been consuming cornflakes in breakfast from the past 2 years and I am not bored of it), Brown Bread (white bread is MAIDA that aids slow digestion and is not fibrous), Milk/ Fresh juice (packed juice is only sweet flavor, no fiber), oats (sweet or salted as you like), Poha (battered rice), pasta (made of rawa or sooji), Eggs (not omlette), or Cheela (made of chipkea flour/besan and sooji and/or eggs)

An easy recipie
You can made a wonderful variety of the above, if only you had all the time in the world. Being a working professional, I understand the time constraint of everybody. My friends were amused to know see me eating cornflakes daily, which had become a habit. I could not torture them with cornflakes, on the morning of New Year when I had invited them for New Year party the previous night. With less time in hand, no open shops around and with the limited ingredients available at home, I made my own customized CHEELA. (Why has it been named so, only CHEELA would know :p )

Cheela- breakfast/evening snack for 4-5 people
Spread on tawa
Preparation time- 15 minutes Ingredients- 1 and half small cups chickpea flour or Besan 2 and half cups rawa or sooji 1/2 cup refined oil Finely chopped onions Finely chopped tomatoes Half a spoon turmeric A teaspoon of- black pepper, cummin seeds salt as per your taste , a pinch of baking powder Optional: Grated ginger, Finely chopped coriander leaves (Dhaniya), tea spoon of chilly powder/chopped green chillies, 2-3 eggs

Blend chickpea flour, rawa sooji, spices, chopped vegetables together with water in a pan. The paste should neither be too thin nor thick. Mix the right amount of water till you achieve consistency. Make sure chickpea flour don't form balls together. Blend eggs in the mixture if you want. A pinch of baking powder or soda will make the Cheela soft and fluffy. In case you add eggs, skip the baking soda. Heat the pan/tawa, spread a spoonful of oil and/or sprinkle cummin seeds. Pour a small portion of the mixture over the tawa. Follow the process of making omelette. Turn the cheela upside down and cook the other side with few more drops of oil. Don't let the cheela stick to the tawa. Keep turning its sides lest you may burn it.Serve hot with
Follow the process of making omelette
 chutney/sauce. Cheela spring rolls- If you have some more time in hand, on one side of the cheela, spread cooked vegetables like beans, cabbage, carrots, peas or dinner leftover and roll the cheela like a spring roll. You can even stuff the roll with small soya chunks. A healthy, tasty meal with minimum cholesterol is ready within no time. I make this usually on weekends or on days when my cornflakes stock is over!






Whats in there for you- benefits: 
  • Nutritious as Chickpea flour- is rich in Vitamin A, Phosphorus, Potassium, Has Zero cholesterol, Sooji- Has Vitamin E& B complex, Iron, Is easy to digest, keeps you full for longer duration
  • Less time consuming 
  • No hassle preparation( even kids can make it )
  • Light yet filling

Friday, December 13, 2013

Together, a beautiful "We"

On the highs and lows together
I knew you when our friendship was so raw,
we shared the same skipping rope,
hung on to the same sea-saw.
The memories still brew fresh in my mind,
when we left others behind,
in our notorious pranks on our neighbors
and we loved our life's spicy juicy flavors!






Partners in crime scolded together
You stole money from your dad's wallet and bought ice creams for both of us,
which your parents came to know and created a lot of fuss,
I shared the scolding with you as we were partners in crime,
our bonding grew stronger which was never to sublime.

"Sisters"? our new teacher asked us on the first day to school,
"Yes" you replied with a smile on your face,
and since then in our lovely bonding,
ego had no space.

My mum made sure to buy anything double,
one for you, and  another for me,
because you and I together made a beautiful WE.
I smile when I look at the doll that you gave me on my 8th birthday,
I remember how I had treasured it,
never gave it to anybody to play.

secrets well guarded
Those little chits that we passed in our classroom,
fills me with nostalgia now, as I remember
how for our poor classwork we were reprimanded,
and how those secrets remained between us so well guarded.

Our late night conversation and gossip sessions,
together our homework and swimming lessons,
just brought out our best in us,
I had many friends, but none like you,
who made my life bright and beautiful too.

I cried when a kid pushed me on the playground,
You always lent me a shoulder
you pushed her on my behalf and turned the world around,
you lent me your shoulder when I cried,
and stayed there with me till my tears dried.

I grew dependent on you for almost everything,
including my mood swings and solution to my problems,
you patiently counselled me to be a calm person,
and so well handled all my tantrums.

No, I was not a spoiled child at all,
it was just that while growing up there was not a single day I did not see you,
it was you who understood my condition whatever I went through.

The thought of parting with you was a nightmare,
but someday that would happen, you were aware.
My heart skipped a beat, to know you will be far from me,
but you consoled me each second with your words
saying "Distance does not matter, together we still make a beautiful we"

Friends forever
We were inseparable since childhood,
till the day you left to a different city for higher studies,
we were torn physically apart,
yet the best buddies.

Poem dedicated to my childhood and best friend Namita, who is in Australia now, leading a happy married life. I love you Namita and feel blessed to have you as my best friend. Could not write more lines on you as my eyes just brimmed up,
Image coutesy:Google

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The "Breeze-r" of Jamaican Passion

For a non-drinker like me, (I don't know if this is the correct term), Breezer comes as a blessing. Those who are too much into hard drinks call breezer a cold-drink. But you know what, this is the best drink one can have if you want minimum alcohol content in your glass while accompanying the "Drinkers."

It would be wrong to call them drunkards haha

Last year during New year bash with my friends, my friend Ankit introduced me to Jamaican flavored Bacardi Breezer! The first word that came out of my mouth was "Sexy!" Refreshing and pleasant to taste, the Jamaican variant was the best among the other variants that I had tried! Imagine, a non-alcoholic like me falling for Bacardi! That's call BRAND PULL in pure marketing terms.

Later when I made my sister try the flavor, she too savored it and could not resist asking for more. Ignore the color of the Jamaican Breezer if you can, and enjoy the juices of Jamaican Passion whose sweet taste lingers on your tongue. It looks good, tastes good and has the power to intensify your mind. This is doubtlessly my favorite!
It is better to carry a bottle of Bacardi Breezer to the dance floor than carrying a glass of expensive wine :-) With a Bacardi Breezer bottle in hand, your near and dear ones get no reasons to worry like they do if you get drunk, literally. I rather like to call Jamaican Passion a fruit drink or fruit beer that gives me the kick that I need in any party. Cheers to Jamaican Passion!!

This contest is a part of the Indibloggers "Catch the flavor" contest by Bacardi Breezer- www.breezerindia.com

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Play@30- Review

Its worth it! Its worth it! Its worth it!

Those were my words when I first visited this fab sports bar in Hauz Khas Village one evening. The new cafe cum lounge cum eating joint is worth visiting in Hauz Khas Village, the posh upmarket in the vicinity of Hauz Khas. As fun and refreshing as its name, the cool ambiance, super friendly staff, the stunning aesthetics will make you come back for more!
Football table

 I am thankful to the staff member who suggested us the place seeing a birthday cake in our hand and ushered us to the restaurant located on the first floor of the building. The moment we  visited the place to check on it, the well lighted spacious floor with comfortable seating, instantly grabbed our attention. No sooner than 3 of us were seated than they surprised us with complimentary soup and bowl of popcorn! Call it a marketing strategy (since they are new) or a USP over others, who does not like freebies. 

The second thing that amazed us most was the misty balcony with lush green plants. What we mistook for mist was actually a layer of net separating the balcony from the backyard field. Look at the lovely shots we captured in the backdrop of "mist."

The balcony has a TT Table,  tabletop football, mini version of ice hockey and a super cool green view. Could not resist clicking pictures there.
The bar

Check out the well managed bar and the fantastic aesthetics!
The place has a pool table, indoor table games, dart board where you show your sportsmanship or just pose for pictures, like we did LOL

The staff takes a picture of the first time visitors and pin it to their soft-board. That was our  picture and they will not forget us since we were perhaps the only ones who were indulged in photography like nobody does! Oops!







Apart from our order we were served complimentary cheese cakes too!!! The whole fun and order was priced very reasonably. All against our expectations the bill including tax and charges was less than 1500 INR.. In love with the awesome place PLAY@30!!!

Ambiance- ****  
Food Quality -****
Food variety-***
Staff-*****
Price- ****
Cleanliness- *****
Spacious- ****

The only place where I rated them with 3 stars was the variety in the food menu. Since its not a full fledged dine out place, you would be served with snacks and not full course meals. Rest its a thumbs up!

Bangkok Bash


Growing up in a small town gives you wings to your dreams often. Having stayed all my life in a small town of Uttaranchal, I many a times wondered how would life be outside my country. Agreed there are many intriguing places in India itself, but the thought of going out of country always fascinated me, like others.  I had been planning a tour outside India but was confused which destination to choose. When I started exploring options through TV, reality shows,  friends, websites and social networks of course, I zeroed on to Bangkok as my travel destination. You gotta see the place once! Life gives you many reasons to celebrate and Bangkok is one of them! It gave me immense pleasure to know that Bangkok was ranked one of  the 10 topmost tourist destinations of the year 2013!! Now that makes me feel so connected again :-)

Popularly known for the Buddhist temples, Bangkok, the capital of Thailand,  displays the deep rooted Hindu influence embedded in their culture. I so want to see the Grand Palace which is a complex of buildings in the heart of the city. The Palace with The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand's most sacred site.The palace was the official residence of the Kings of Thailand since 1782, located on a river bank covering more than 2 lakh square km of area. Wow, now that accounts for a royal history. I certainly want to indulge in the grandeur of the palace, which is open for public on official events. It's like a NRI coming to India to visit the Taj Mahal. Ah! I can feel goosebumps on my skin. The pictures of t he royal palace will do all the talking of why I want to be there..

Grand Palace
Emerald Budhha

The next thing which anybody wants to do is shop from the new place. One, to collect the memories of the place, two, to flaunt it in your country, three to use it as a motivation to visit the place again. Al-rite, many don't flaunt it. It was my personal thought. No offence meant!  We hop around in the market place on foot, bargain with the sellers for economic deals and try to buy the best. How about the markets coming to you? Doesn't that sound amazing? Bangkok has floating markets where the sellers sell items to customers in their boats! The customers may be seated at the banks of the river or hire a boat to shop from the floating market. This is just Incredible!! I could not imagine a floating market in my dreams. Take a look at the floating market of Bangkok on various rivers.

Floating market
Night Market
An amazing nightlife and exquisite cuisine make Bangkok the most enjoyable tourist destination. Who does not want to enjoy world-class wine bars and savor scrumptious sea food? One among them is Ratchada Night Bazaar which is in full swing around midnight, when it bustles with locals and bursts with vintage knickknacks and cute accessories. As I collected from reliable sources, this market offers everything from retro cars to jewelery to furniture, books and to second hand items at dirt cheap prices. Has anybody seen a night market under the open sky in India? Not any that I heard of. What an amazing experience that would be! Shopping and bargaining in the moonlight! I cant stop imagining my trip to Bangkok!!

Being a nature lover, greenery and animals have always attracted me. The place that I long to visit is the Siam Ocean World which is an underground aquarium, one of the largest in Southeast Asia. One can sneak a peek into the open ocean from a glass-bottom boat, or dive in and have a swim among the sharks and rays! This is already sending chills down my spine. Check out the wonder world images below-
Siam Aquarium



The colorful culture and variety of items available to shop from, that too at an economical price, undoubtedly makes Bangkok a must visit place. It has been a popular destination for film shoots of Hollywood, Bollywood and many other industries. Who can forget Hangover-2 :-)

With Air Asia offering economical air fares to my dream destination, I am tempted and all set to go! This is  “ World’s Best Online Travel Fair
When Bangkok has so much to offer  than what meets the eye, I have no more reasons to tell you why Bangkok is my dream destination.

This contest is a part of   by http://bit.ly/AirAsiaTravelFair.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Basket of colors


                                                                          Clicked at Dargaah Ajmer Shareef

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Never thought about reasons to pray.....

Customary praying


 Since childhood almost all of us have imbibed the habit of praying to the almighty. We have seen God in calendars, books, idols and picture frames. Different gods of different religion, some clad in gold jewelry while some in white clothes. Customarily, we pray for our well being, good health, and wealth and so on. We may not pray in happy times, but surely don’t forget to do that during bad times. God suddenly becomes the lender of last resort then.
Pray to god for every lil thing
I remember my lil sister praying and worshiping God during her exams. She asked for good grades in subjects. My brother prayed during his sports tournament for his victory. My relatives prayed for their children to get married to suitable partners. When my teacher told me about Santa Clause, I would tie a pair of socks at the door and pray to Santa God to drop gifts for me. During Diwali we pray for prosperity. During Holi we pray for colors and happiness in life. We pray when our dear ones are ill or hospitalized. For every little wish to be granted, we pray and call out to God. Wow, there are so many reasons to pray!

My reasons to pray? Well there are many. I often cry at the news of war, blasts or death due to natural calamity. On one hand, crying relieves
me to an extent, and on the other hand praying to God gives me the strength to bear the pain. It makes me strong enough to wade through the hurdles. 

There was a time when I had stopped praying to God. My innocent mind was angry because he had snatched away my uncle (Chacha ji) when his kids were barely 2 years old. He was on his way home during Durga Puja to meet his family when he met with an accident and left us in grief. I had lot of questions for God. Why did he do that when he was coming to meet his family, that too on the occasion of Durga Puja? Did not God think about his young kids? I bonded really well with my Chacha ji and missed him a lot. I stopped praying or believing in God for few years till I realized that not doing so will not bring him back to life anyway. There was a long life ahead for his wife and kids. All I could do was pray for them at least.

Today I don’t wish for wealth, because I know that I can earn it with hard work. I don’t long for happiness because I know I can achieve it with willingness and love. I long for mental peace, which is a rare thing in stressful lives these days.

While I don’t believe in idol worship or praying to a “Physical form” of God, I certainly believe in spirituality and inner peace. You can say that I pray for my own selfish reasons. I resonate with the sound of "AUM" to build strength, peace and positivism. A neat environment around creates that positive aura. Lighting candles in church or offering oil/milk in temples is not my way to pray. I may help a beggar on the street and that’s a pray to God indirectly, asking for his well being. I regularly feed the stays near my house out of love and kindness. Later I came to know that feeding strays bring you close to God! Wow, that sounded like an incentive for doing good. My neighbours call me crazy on seeing me talking to the dogs on the streets. No, I don’t speak their language, but certainly understand the emotions in their eyes. When my favourite stray dog(whom I named Champ) was ill and no medicine worked for him, I prayed to God. Was it the medicine or the prayers, I am clueless, but Champ survived and recovered soon. I had tears of joy in my eyes and prayed to God again. This time it was to thank him. We forget to count our blessing daily. We forget to thank God with all he has showered on us. I pray to thank him for the lovely life on this planet, for the wonderful parents I have, for the food I eat daily and to ask for strength to endure all problems.
Cycle Pure Agarbathies Lakshmi Pooja Pack
This year on Diwali, the auspicious occasion for Hindus, I would use the Lakshmi Pooja Pack for a positive environment. A nice fragrance not only refreshes mind and soul but also makes you feel connected spiritually. Godess Lakshmi is said to enter those places where she finds positive people. The Pooja Pack would act as a gift to my mother & relatives besides being a way to achieve peace and goodness. I have refrained from fireworks and crackers all these years and would continue to do so. However, the Lakshmi is neither hazardous for the environment nor health. On the contrary it would build a nice aura of positivism and happiness.  Looking forward to Diwali and the rituals with the pooja pack. My reasons to pray would continue forever.

This contest is a part of the http://www.pureprayer.in/default.aspx blogger contest.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book review- Tall man small shadow

My review on the fiction "Tall man small shadow" is my candid opinion and not my judgement about the book since I am nobody to call anything good or bad-

Tall man samll shadow

Book- Tall man small shadow

Author- Vipin Behari Goyal

Story- Protagonist Salil, a lonely software professional stays in a rented apartment in a society of some city(Oops there is no backdrop of the city unless you assume that to be Delhi as the story progresses). Salil, a man of few words, notices Aalya, the beautiful daughter of his neighbor Anupam uncle and Sulekha aunty who are leading a happy retired life. A PhD aspirant in English Literature, Alya looks after her parents and is the apple of their eyes.  With no love interest or messed up affair, a lonely Aalya apparently falls in love with her thesis guide Seema. At 40, Seema, without any child, still looks gorgeous but is devoid of love from her busy husband Paul who is a theater director. In the most unimaginable situation, Seema and Aalya develop a physical relationship, partially to fill up the void spaces of their lives, and partially because they liked each other. At the same time Aalya is attracted towards Salil but never gathers courage to admit her admiration for the handsome boy. Salil is too introvert to speak his heart out while he falls for Aalya's shadow! Yes, that's where the novel draws it's name from.

As the plot progresses,  Salil's gets over his past with Aalya around him. A successful but sad Seema longs for substance in her life and Aalya helps Seema to bear a fetus in her womb through IVF. Guess who was the sperm donor? Ok, read the book, the obvious would be disclosed to you.

Aalya is a kind person who would do anything to see others happy, and considering her bonding with Seems, this was the best she could offer. Later Aalya marries Salil. The couple belongs to the same caste and their parents arrange their marriage easily, without a single hurdle in their way. The story ends with a surprise twist (in fact the only chapter, basis which the entire plot was framed) and leaves you staring at a blank.
What I liked-
  • Length of the chapters- Short and crisp.
  • Good uses of metaphors to explain philosophies of life and its complexities
  • A positive note in each chapter- You would wish life was as happy as the characters.
  • The cover design and the book name- Enticing and creates mystery
What I did not like-
  • Multiple narrations. Too confusing. The readers have to guess in the beginning of the chapter, who is narrating. There are first and third person narratives change in every chapter! Sad!
  • Slow pace of the story- At times I wished the book had a fast fwd button like a DVD player does.
  • Typos and overtly simple language that made it look like a story being narrated by a school child. A novella should have a wise choice of words. Dialogues were silly in many places.
  • Characters- Too unrealistic, especially Aalya's parents (such people exist in fiction only) , Seema (a desperate lesbian), strange character of Aalya who is in love with two different gender people at the same time!!
Conclusion-
The story moves at a slow pace but on the contrary the incidents are quick. The surprise chapter disappointed me. If nothing is coincidence, then why believe in destiny and God? If you can plan anything and everything, where is the faith in supreme power? And that was my thought about the surprise second last chapter.
I would rate the book 2.5 on 5, as in few places the author has very well explained the core complexities of life yet has been repeated a number of times. Character development of the novella could have been better. The book has nothing new to offer in terms of plot or characters. You can still stiffle your way though the book in few hours.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Mia Woman-"As beautiful as her work"

(This blog post is part of Tanishq Mia contest (http://mia.tanishq.co.in)
Watch the beautiful Mia TVC here  http://bit.ly/157agaw 

A gentleman in late fifties came complaining to the cash counter about the problem he faced while getting a foot massage last time. The pretty lady manning the counter tolerantly heard him but did not utter a word in defence. Instead she flashed a smile, empathized with the haggling customer, offered him free consultation for foot care and sent him inside for another foot massage session. The next minute, a young lady barged into the salon asking for discount on the prices for haircut. Salon Manager Purnima, the pretty lady at the counter smiled, flaunted her nails and diverted the lady’s attention from hair cut. The lady was satisfied to get a free tip for nail care and did not negotiate for discount further.

 “Mam, Raashid is on leave today. Who’ll do facial today?” asked an attendant peeping from the facial room. “You do haircut today, I’ll handle facial,” Purnima replied and sneezed. “But you have backache and fever mam” the attendant asked hesitantly.

“It’s ok. Customer will not take that excuse, right?”

Purnima smiled and wore an apron, leaving the reception.

Working in the beauty industry isn’t painless. Know why? ; Because people set high expectations from them. They are supposed to look good and in good health always, sport new trends and makeup constantly, wear a smile on their faces and patiently lend their ears to everybody about their problems, big or small. Retaining customers to the brand and achieving sales target are two things that constantly chase their thoughts. They barely get time with their families, especially on weekends or festivals, since that’s when maximum footfall happens. Morning through evening they are asked to be energetic yet look good. Would you imagine such people to strike a balance among such situations in which they are immersed, neck deep? Would you expect them to be calm and polite without shouting back at you when you give them all troubles of your lives?

 Meet such person, Purnima, working at a renowned salon of posh South Delhi’s urban market; who is as beautiful as her work and an idol! It won’t be untrue to call her an epitome of beauty combined with brains and utmost level of patience. 8 years ago when I met her, I had mistaken her for someone obsessed with make up and latest fashion. Least did I know that it was more out of compulsion at job than her wishes.

I salute her guts & determination, because coming from a family where she supported three sisters and mother with her meager salary as a single bread earner, yet be happy forever, isn’t simple for anybody. “Feeling positive and being happy solves most of our problems,” Purnima quotes while I try my best to follow her mantra. Married few months ago, Purnima continues to work there and be a woman of substance. She persistently balances between her work and family. For me, she is a breath of fresh air and an inspiration, who smiles at life and treats work as just another moment of joy.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pujo Diary






With the most awaited and auspicious festival being few months away from now, we the stubborn  Bengalis start planning holidays in advance. I recently joined an organization, precisely in the 2nd week of July, and have been trying to adjust in the new environment. However, not even once did I think before telling my reporting manager about my holiday plan for Pujo. I am sure she understood my sentiments, considering the majority of Bongs we have in office. No rebels with us please since we are a major workforce here, including our MD and faanctional category heads. Hah! Target achieved without blinking an eyelid. I feel proud of my achievement.

Irrespective the fact that I do not show my Bong traits at work, the real bong within me jumps out without fail for Pujo; an occasion that graces us once every year for four days.

Nothing can stop us from dreaming about the new clothes and delicacies we would indulge in during Durga Pujo, no matter the month we are sitting on. It’s July and most of us have started reserving train/flight seats from now, to make sure we don't miss the grand festival, which is the only opportunity to reunite with family and friends without restrictions or hard feelings; especially those who are away from their families, long for the grandeur to return quickly and spread joy around.

Pujo is the time when we forget the entire world and are focused on the grand celebration. Ladies flaunt their new crisp Taant silk sharee and the Dadas put their best foot forward in Dhuti Kurta, as wearing new clothes is a tradition during Pujo. As a child I found this to be the most exciting part of the four day occasion. I longed for, and still crave for mishti. Blame it on my sweet tooth. All right, that's a sweet jaw, as stated by my near & dear ones; nobody can beat me in sweetaholism. Like a hungry beast, I am imagining naadu after Bijoya.



The celebration begins right through the first day of Mahalaya, when Devi Durga arrives riding her
loyal baagh. The magnificence of Durga overshadows Trinity, as all eyes adore the deity in her red sharee and ten arms laden with weapons. The three rounds of morning Onjoli are offered to the symbol of shakti with due respect and love. The worshipers recite the montro after purohit moshaai and offer bel paata and flowers to the beautiful protima.

We literally stop cooking at home for four days and break our fast after Onjoli to gorge on fruits and proshaad. We eat khichuri bhog, laabda and payesh in noon at pujo baari. We"Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die" is the motto of every Bengali and hence the foodie within us never dies. We eat everything, even liquid. Must have heard us saying jol khaabo (I will eat water). Enough to confuse you? But that's our mother tongue! So what if Bengali language is gender neutral, yet our hearts have rooms larger than Ambani mansion. Visit us during Pujo and witness a vibrant world full of life, love and enthusiasm. 

Not that Poschim Bongo is the only place for Pujo, yet it is the best place to be in during Pujo. Being a probashi Baangali, I too can vouch for the fact you see. The enormity of the festival engulfs all sorrow, worries and anxiety during the four days of the evergreen Durga Pujo.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Raanjhna- Movie review

Direction- Anand .L. Rai           -- Story- Himanshu Sharma  ----    Music- A.R.Rahman  -----   
Distribution- Eros International


 More than half of 2013 passed by without many films making huge collection at box office, forget about being memorable. Some lacked scripts, some goofed up with actors, however, this one created history. Raanjhanaa becomes a milestone in Bollywood with strokes of versatility and freshness for the audience after its release on 21st June,2013.

Set in the backdrop of Banaras, Kundan (Dhanush) a poor Tamil Brahmin loves a Muslim girl Zoya (Sonam) since childhood. As a young teen, Zoya reciprocates positively to Kundan. Outraged with the inter-caste and immature love fling, Zoya's parents send her away to a different city for higher studies. A grown up Zoya returns as a beautiful and well educated lady, while a not-very-learned Kundan still loves her hopelessly, least realizing that distance and time have separated them. Kundan is completely shattered & heartbroken to be rejected by her dream girl since she loves somebody from her college. For the sake of their friendship, he agrees to help Zoya get married to her love interest (Abhay Deol). Shocking revelations and sudden twists in the entire plot thereafter gives you goose bumps. Racism, dirty politics, love, faith, all toss together in the emotional and action packed love story named Raanjhanaa.

While the first half focusses on the upbringing of Kundan from a low income family in the beautiful but politically active Banaras and his love for Zoya, the second half reveals many other hues of the film which is fast paced and intriguing. Find yourself witnessing a maze of political attacks and love struck victims.
The movie rests on two major pillars, namely Dhanush and the incredible dialogues. Witty, humorous and catchy, the dialogues sweep you off your feet. Feel awestruck with flawless performance by Dhanush who makes a debut entry in Bollywood after creating ripples in Tollywood. Abhay performs well in his small but effective role. Sonam manages to act somehow throughout the movie though she needs to learn more. Cameo by Delhi based Asmita theatre group adds flavours to the story.

Rahman's music is soothing and just in the right place. Lyrics, especially "Tum tak" and "Raanjhanaa hua mai tera" penned by Irshaad Kamil are commendable.

You are bound to watch it till the end. The only drawbacks may be Sonam's not-so-impactful dialogue delivery and a lot of bloodshed in the second half. My rating -4 on 5! Go fall in love with a larger than life movie..too good to be true? watch it for yourself!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Poli-ticks In the air

 





Elections, party, vote, society, history, common man, corruption  and so on. This is all what we hear these days with the onset of elections setting the temperature. I do not contribute vocally to such conversations but as a silent audience, observing and recording different opinions. There are times when I am tempted to speak while at times I pass a smile in amusement. The following made me go #facepalm
Facepalm moment#1
Venue- In vendor office (Okhla, New Delhi)
1st person to 2nd- "What happened, you were on leave yesterday. All well?"
2nd- "Was down with bad cold & flu"
1st- "Yeah people are falling sick this season. It's Modi's virus in the air!"
I stare at both of them.


Facepalm moment#2

Same office, Same 1st person, talking to 3rd person 
3rd- "Which party or political icon are you supporting?"
(The entire janta of the vendor office actively absorbs news on politics and voice their opinion on party and votes, the most popular ones being AAP vs Modi, like others)

1st- (Without thinking for a second) I will support Priyanka Gandhi. Sources say that if she is elected as the PM, she will put Wadhra in  jail".

3rd- "Really? Where did that come from?"

1st- "The world is talking about women empowerment. This will happen, you wait and watch!"

And I go #facepalm yet again....Apparently the poli-ticks have bugged everybody!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Ring the bell for change

Ringing the bell reminds me of a story of a kingdom in History, where the king had a huge bell suspended in the middle of the town. Any victim or citizen pleading for justice was to ring that huge bell. His/her pleading would be immediately paid heed to. Fantastic idea, wasn't it? Agreed we cannot have that implemented now, but sure, we have descended the ladder of humanity with time. Talk about technology, we are progressing each day. Talk about humanity and rights; we have not even gone a step ahead.

When was the last time we peeped into our howling neighbours house and report violence against women? I guess we do that rarely. People often call it their “personal matter” and do not let others interfere in it. The passing neighbours too, get used to such incidents and ignore the violence vetted on women. The least we should do is to keep our eyes and ears open. Do not let your neighbour suffer alone, when this is an issue of the whole country.
Violence on women here is not only bracketed within domestic violence but also sexual harassment and likewise civil violence.

In the age of growing women empowerment and rights, such heinous cases when reported are such a tip of the iceberg. The stats that reveal the curse on women, in reality is much higher that is unreported. Do women have no right to be treated with respect? Or are women mere objects to play with?

Our so called culture teaches women to be the quieter lot and endure every pain she faces after marriage. On one hand, women are worshipped as Durga, Kali, Laxmi while on the other hand she is subjected to cruelty beyond humanity. Thrashing by husbands, dowry death by in laws, physical and mental torture by demanding for a baby boy, tell us the pitiful story of our civilization.

Thanks to Raja Ram Mohan Roy who got Sati system abolished inIndia. We need reformers like him who stand for a cause without a selfish motive. When Sati was wiped off from the society, the story did not end there. Widows were not allowed to remarry and were expected to confine within the walls of the house, with scanty options to eat and wear. Their life was colorless, joyless, and dark, devoid of every pleasure which they deserved. Even worse was the life of the young girls who were widowed at young age and were forced to practice celibacy. The renowned Vidyasagar cleaned the mindset and brought about the change in our cluttered society.

Where has the sensitivity of people vanished? Why do we now turn a deaf ear to the brutality on women?
China is not a fine example to quote in this case, but may be helpful to understand what power the Govt has there. To control population explosion, China Govt has implemented the strict rule of only one child per family, failing which the family will be heavily fined. Why doesn't our Indian Govt implement compulsory education for all girls in each family, be it rural or urban? Education is one tool that can curb the growing violence against women. They would be educated on the rights and power of women in the society. An educated lady would take a stand against the violence. More the awareness less is the crime.

Gram Panchayats, that claim to be independent bodies, should be brought under the scrutiny of the Central Govt so that they do not pass judgement as per their wishes. Punishment for witchcraft, honor killing, female infanticides are such dreadful verdicts they have passed and promoted violence on women. I wonder what century we are dwelling in!

It is apparent that our authorities cannot interfere and cannot be present everywhere for matters in many places. In such cases NGO’s and self help groups that are working towards this cause, should receive full fledged support from our Govt.

For those who have raped women or spurred acid on women, should be severely punished. Law that pronounces harshest punishment for such criminals, must be encouraged. As a minimum, it sets an example for others to follow and discourages them to commit such atrocious felony.

To bring changes in the mindset of the people, we need to come forward. Educate, communicate and eradicate is my mantra to ring the bell.

Featured Post

Bali Bird Park

Your trip to Bali would not be complete without visiting the beautiful Bird Park. Located in Batubulan of Gianyar region, Bali Bird Park ...