My trip to KalaGhoda Arts Festival 2014 in Pictures


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The KalaGhoda Arts Festival is loved by every Mumbaiite and visited every year without fail. I am one of those Mumbaiites who never misses the festival. Here are excerpts from my visit this year.

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Dehradun

I travelled to Dehradun last summer to meet my childhood friends whose parents are staying there and they all come together in the parents’ home every summer. We are family friends with uncle and aunty being very close to my parents, especially aunty and my mom. 

When I thought of Dehradun, I was expecting a very scenic and pretty place. But it’s even dirtier, crowded and dustier than our big cities, hotter than Mumbai and Delhi, which was a shock for me. Just before my vacation, I had caught a terrible viral fever with fever ranging between 102-103. I had thought I would have to cancel the trip. But my fever went down and I took the trip though weak. The heat was unbearable to bear with my weakness, but I took the trip. i was meeting my childhood friends after 20 years, not something I wanted to miss out on. Some places I visited on this trip:

Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir

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Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir is situated on the bank of the river. It has a cave with one of the oldest natural Shivalings where the river enters and the water from the river naturally falls in drops on the Shivalinga.

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The small cave also has another history behind it. It is said to be once resided by Dronacharya – the teacher of Pandavas and Kauravas. The cave is named Drona cave after him. There is a statue of Dronacharya here, the only one I have seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There is also a Vaishno Devi Gupha Mandir which is an exact replica of the original. It’s very beautiful but a very cramped and tiny cave. Go inside only if closed places don’t scare you and you don’t suffer from claustrophobia.

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Robbers Cave

Robbers Cave, Dehradun has a legend behind it that a long time back, robbers would come down from the mountains and hide in this cave from the police. It added the sense of adventure of the place for me. It is a beautiful cave with a stream and waterfall inside it. It should not be missed at all.

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Forest Research Institute(FRI)

Forest Research Institute is an institute which researches on the preservation of trees and plants in that region. The entire complex has European style buildings and beautiful gardens in the french style. It is also the institute that served as the college in  Student of the Year.

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Buddha Monastery

The only other place where I saw such beautiful Buddha Monasteries were in Bangkok. Dehradun has a lot of Tibetan influence in Dehradun. You must try the Tibetan cuisine if you go there, especially if you eat Non-Vegeterian food. The Wok and The Orchard have awesome food there. The Orchard also is located at a very beautiful spot. Go there in the daytime preferably, it has beautiful scenery around.

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The Author Who Made Me Fall In Love With Reading!

 

I was 11 or 12 years old when I came across her book in the library. I was entering my teens, going through the confusion of the desire to grow up and wanting to remain a child. Her book felt like a guidebook that I could identify with and it stayed with me in all my teen years till adulthood. Even today, the book is one of my favourites. The book is Little Women and the author is Louisa M Alcott. It was her birth anniversary on 29th November.

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She was a woman well before her times and her books reflected that. Little Women is a book set in the 1800’s and is the story of four sisters and their journey of growing up from little girls to grown women, their trials and tribulations, their happy and sad experiences. It is a book ahead of its times, it shows a mother who teaches her daughters to be happy, contented and accomplished women whose only aim in life should not be to get a rich husband. She teaches them that a marriage should be based on love and not on material possessions. This book is set in the 1800’s where women were taught that marriage was the ultimate goal of a woman, this book has a mother who tells her daughters that she would rather see them as single, contented women rather than running around looking for husbands or marrying for the wrong reasons.

This book is autobiographical and has many incidents from Louisa May Alcott’s real life. The other refreshing part of the book is that she shows men as real human beings who cry, laugh, feel emotions and are sensitive. The book also shows the beauty of family life, celebrating togetherness and small moments making a home full of love which is better than a big house full of riches and all the luxuries.

This book is my guide and support even today and my go to feel good book and will be forever. I will pass it on to my nieces and daughters, if I ever have any and it will be their lifelong guidebook as it has been for me.

Caring for your Contact Lenses

I have been wearing contact lenses for over 20 years now and I have heard a lot of people say that they find it tiring and a daunting task to wear and care for contact lenses. However, wearing contact lenses is better for your eyes as they provide better vision for the eyes, thus increasing eye health. In my case, I have Progressive Myopia and wearing contact lenses has helped stabilise my number a lot. In fact, my number has reduced in the last few years since I became more regular in wearing my lenses. So I am going to share a few tips to care for your contact lenses which will make it easier for you to maintain them.

Monthly Disposable Lenses are the best choice

In today’s polluted atmosphere and with all the dust and smoke that we face every day, it is no longer sensible to wear lenses which last a year or so. It is much more practical and safer for the eyes to wear monthly disposable lenses.

Handling the Lenses

Always wash your hands with soap and water and then dry them completely before touching the lenses. Never touch your lenses with wet hands. The bacteria in the water contaminates the lenses and makes them completely unsafe to wear. If you accidentally touch your lenses with wet hands, discard the lenses immediately.

Disposal of the Monthly Lenses

The contact lenses must be disposed in exactly one month from the date you took them out of the packaging. If you took a pair out of the box on 14th of a specific month, you have to dispose it off on the 14th of next month. Even if you haven’t used the lenses for a specific number of days in the month, the disposal date remains the same. You can’t extend the use of that pair by the number of days that you haven’t used them. It is detrimental for your eyes and can affect your eyesight in the long run. Change your lens case every month too when you are changing your lenses. Chnaging the lens case may not be mandatory but I follow it.

Usage of the Lenses

Never wear your lenses while sleeping as that blocks the air supply to the eyes and can seriously damage the eyes. However, there are specific lenses available that you can wear for 2-3 days at a stretch, even while sleeping.  But, most of us live in very polluted areas. Hence, it is something I would never recommend. Always take your lenses off before you sleep at night. Never wear your lenses in the shower, especially while shampooing hair or washing the face with soap.

If you follow these tips, wearing lenses will be a breeze. Here’s to Happy Healthy Eyes 🙂

 

 

 

 

A Painful part of Indian History – Jalianwala Bagh

There isn’t one Indian whose heart doesn’t ache on hearing the name Jalianwala Bagh. For those who aren’t aware, here is the history behind Jalianwala Bagh in brief. General Dyer had heard about something major planned by the Indian freedom fighters. Punjab celebrates Baisakhi on 13th April. People had come together to celebrate Baisakhi at Jalianwala Bagh. General Dyer arrived there with the British Indian army and ordered firing at the people congregated there without looking into the agenda of the meeting. Innocent men, women and small children were shot at with machine guns. Many people jumped into the well there to save themselves. While British sources say that approximately 379 died with 1,100 wounded, the real estimate is said to be 1,500 people injured and approximately 1,000 people dead. This place has been turned into a memorial for those who lost their lives on that day.

When I visited Jalianwala Bagh, I was really appalled to see that people treat it as a picnic spot, taking selfies and picnicking there. It is not a picnic spot. Where is our sensitivity? Some pictures of the memorial.

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Names of the people who died there.

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The entry from where firing was done, leaving people with no escape route.

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The Memorial.

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The well in which people jumped in to save themselves. 120 dead bodies were extracted from the well.

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The Foodie’s Paradise – Amritsar.


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If there is anything Punjab and Punjabis are known for, it is their love for food. Amritsar is the perfect place to experience the culinary delights of Punjab. Be it their dhabas or restaurants, the food is rich in taste and aroma. My trip to Amritsar was very short because of some flight cancellations that happened from the Airlines end. But I still tried to experience whatever I could of the delicious food there in my short stay.

It is seriously a crime if you go to Amritsar and don’t taste their Amritsari Kulcha. So, on the first day that we landed, we set off to sample the food. We went to Kulchaland. The Amritsari Kulcha there is simply out of this world, floating in butter, melting in your mouth and transporting you to culinary heaven. Along with that, we had the Punjabi lassi(thin in consistency and rich in taste, the way I love it). If the lassi is too thick, I think it’s better to have shrikhand or dahi.

Feast your eyes on the amazing Kulcha and lassi.

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The lassi looks thick because it has a layer of Malai on top, you can remove the malai or eat it separately and enjoy the thin lassi under it 🙂

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The other thing that really delighted me was the variety of paan flavours available at the shop next to Kulchaland. I tried the Chocolate Paan, Rasmalai Paan, Imli Paan and Aam Papad Paan. I was not impressed by the Aam Papad Paan and Imli Paan but the chocolate and rasmalai paan were awesome. Unfortunately, I did not have time to go back and try the other flavours. Last but not the least, I have fallen in love with the Amritsari Mango pickle which mom bought there as she loves it and it has gained one more lifelong fan.

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Chocolate Paan

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Rasmalai Paan

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A Place that was my dream to visit since forever – Golden Temple, Amritsar.


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I don’t even remember from when it was my dream to visit Amritsar – it was a childhood dream. i have even lived in Punjab when I was really small since my father was posted there. Finally my dream came true in this month – November 2017. These will be a series of different blog posts as they won’t fit into one post. I start with Day 1 at Amritsar. This is the Golden Temple at night. There can never be a more beautiful sight than this.IMG_1911

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The Joy of Giving!

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While I love to shop for myself and buy nice things, the biggest satisfaction I get is from giving to people. It brings me happiness, peace and contentment. I don’t dedicate any special day for giving. I try to make it an everyday habit. Sometimes, I’ll pay a rickshaw driver Rs. 10 extra just to bring a smile on his face, sometimes I’ll feed street kids the food that they ask for. Sometimes I’ll help an old person or a young child cross the road – that is also a form of giving for me. I love to send gifts to my friends and see the smile of happiness on their face.

Giving to people should be something that we follow everyday. It shouldn’t be done on any one special day only dedicated to someone. Make it an everyday habit. Give a smile to a sad looking stranger, compliment a woman on her outfit and watch her confidence soar, thank a man who makes way for you and even better ( this goes especially for us women) – don’t expect a man to make way for you always, hold the door open for you or show you courtesy. Instead, do it sometimes for a man, it can even be a stranger. They will feel happy because rarely do they get to experience such gestures.

Make giving and caring for people an everyday habit. You don’t need any other mood booster or stress relieving activities!

This post is written to participate in the #DaanUtsav Initiative on Indiblogger.

Secret Superstar – A Story of Dreams and Courage!

I had seen the trailers of Secret Superstar when I went to see the theatre to see another movie, since then I was eagerly waiting for the movie to release. The storyline just captured my heart and attention. I am a die-hard Aamir Khan fan. The other Khans refuse to grow and will still be running around trees even when they are 70. But this Khan never ceases to delight with every movie he does.

Coming back to the movie…. Insia is a 14 year old girl from Vadodara with a great talent for music but unable to realise her ambitions due to an oppressive and dominant father who considers daughters as a liability and sons as the treasures of the family. Insia’s father berates and insults his wife, even hitting her violently quite frequently. Insia has two dreams – to become a famous singer and to free her mother from the violent marriage. Whether she is able to fulfill these two dreams is what the movie is about.

There are so many things I loved about the movie. Meher Vij as the battered wife who wants to give her kids the best of everything steals the limelight in the movie. Zaira Wasim as Insia is a delight to watch. Her acting and emotions are expressed so well. However, for me the surprise package in the movie is Chintan Parekh played by Tirth Sharma. Chintan is Insia’s school friend who secretly as a crush on her. He is very very cute and a very natural and gifted actor. Their friendship slowly develops into a sweet love story as he always stands by her, supports her and encourages her dreams. The sweetest scene between them is the password scene in the movie.


Aamir Khan as Shakti Kumaar, a talented music director who gives into the popular crass music demands of producers is exceptional as always. But all through the movie, he doesn’t try to steal the limelight from Zaira Wasim and it is very clear that she is the main protagonist in the movie.

This movie is a must must watch for everyone.

Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hai – A Trip Down Memory Lane!


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I am one person who absolutely hates all Hindi TV serials and quite a few English ones too. But the promos of one TV serial caught my attention and made me want to see it. It brought back an era that is long gone and was full of sweetness and simplicity. I feel like Scarlett ‘O’ Hara many times and say – I will not look back on the old days and remember what has gone. But this serial has brought back all the memories and makes me happily nostalgic. Here is the first promo that had this effect on me.

I started watching the serial from the first epiosde and I simply love it. It shows the technology free era before Internet, Whatsapp, Facebook and the wide choice of entertainment available today. It brings back the memories of Wednesday Chitrahaar, Sunday Mahabharat and all those programmes on Doordarshan for which we waited the entire week. It is the days of VCR and video cassettes, music cassettes and walkmans, the favourite drink of our childhood and teens – Gold Spot which we used to drink with a pleasure that the Pepsi and Coke of today can never give us.

The serial is narrated in a flashback by Naina, the main protagonist of the serial who has become a famous writer now. She is recounting the story of her love story with Sameer who joins her school when she was 16. They start by becoming friends as he asks her to help him with his studies till circumstances prevent her from doing so and she is forced to stop talking to him and he is also humiliated in school because of her. He starts to woo her in order to take revenge from her. Will he actually fall in love with her? That’s a mystery that’s not yet revealed.

The story is set in the time that Maine Pyar Kiya was released and perfectly shows the increase in heartbeat that the movie caused in every teenager of that time. Salman Khan and Bhagyashree became the heartthrobs of every teenager and the songs became the love anthems of the entire country.

It is awesome how the era of 90’s has been perfectly recreated in the serial – the drinks we loved, the TV shows that were popular, the clothes we wore that we thought were so hep and the kind we or the teenagers of today wouldn’t be caught dead wearing now. The kind of research and efforts put in to recreate that era in the serial is simply amazing. The serial is a must must watch.

Now grown up me returns to the 90’s and sits with her fingers crossed with stars in her eyes hoping that Sameer actually falls in love with Naina and they end up together ❤ ❤