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Saturday, 19 December 2015

Mumbai Diaries Part 4

Me
My First Novel
Hey everyone! This is a continuation of my Mumbai Diaries.. Sorry for the long break. Been busy with tonnes of work and other things.

So yes, coming back to Aarti, We managed to locate her address in Jabalpur. We informed the police about it, Richa's friends in Jabalpur spied and confirmed that Aarti is residing there.

All said and done, no, I did not get my laptop back guys. It's gone. Why? The police reluctantly filed an FIR, but refused to act on it.

Any guesses why? Of course because for them, it was just a small case, a robbery that's all. Plus, I refused to bribe. I did not hint even once of paying them extra. If they expected something they were disappointed. I am of the belief that giving bribe is encouraging corruption and I chose to lose my laptop over losing my ethics.

That's where it ends folks. Sorry to disappoint you, but I never got it back.

We left Aunty's home and shifted to a new place in Mumbai.

The year has passed by. It's December and as I look back, it has been a fantastic journey this year.

Living in Mumbai independently has changed me in many ways.

Some awesome things happened during this entire 2015.

I finished writing my first novel, this year. It is titled "DISGUISED INTENTIONS" and is a mystery and suspense novel available on Flipkart and Amazon.

Me on Television with Farhan Akhtar and Gurmeet 
Writing a novel wouldn't have been possible without staying up, late nights, staying independently, travelling and exploring Mumbai on my own.

Me conducting a workshop
To add to that, last month, I appeared on television, on the reality show 'I Can Do That' I was always a fan of Bollywood Actor Farhan Akhtar and Television Actor Gurmeet Chaudhary, Meeting them, interacting with them and shooting with them was a totally unexpected and lovely gift from the divine. I had never imagined I would appear shoot and appear on television!

Also, I got to conduct a workshop this year along with my colleague. It was a great experience teaching people my age and older. ( A physiotherapy workshop meant for physiotherapists only)

It's the end of the year and I look back, taking a moment at what's gone.

Some bad moments, struggles and problems have gone.

Some magical moments, amazing and fun times with friends, meeting new people, learning and interacting with them, spur of the moment decisions, late night coffee time, walks on the beach, and exciting and emotional moments have gone by too. I've never felt so alive, so 'in the moment' than I've felt this year. I've been the best version of myself.

It's been a fulfilling and satisfying year teaching me lot both professionally and personally.

I've learnt that the world is a huge place and there is no time to be sad or sorry about anything. I've learnt not to regret anything and learnt that experience is everything. Nothing lasts forever, so we have to do our best in the present moment and enjoy it as much as we can.

Experiencing both pain and joy are essential for our individual growth. Getting out from the comfort zone is the first step towards achieving anything.

We fail, we fall, but I believe in experiencing each moment fully, because after all moments make a life time!

They say don't live the same year 75 times and call it a life. I agree with it. For me, each year has to give me something which the previous year hasn't. I am glad 2015 proved to be just that!

Happy New Year to all of you in advance.

Hope to catch you all in 2016 with newer, better posts.

P.S. Do read my novel if you haven't! ;)

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au Revoir!


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

"Intolerant" India?????

Hello everyone!
I am back to blogging after a long time!
A lot has changed over the last month or so.. Not really, but yes, to some extent it has.

India has supposedly become "Intolerant" I keep hearing news of Indian 'Intolerance'- A new concept started by so called 'Adarsh Liberals' and 'Leftists' One isolated incident in Dadri and it has created such a hullabaloo. I agree what happened was very unfortunate, but this generalization of India being Intolerant is too much.



India- A land celebrating Unity in Diversity, a land of different languages, religions and cultures since eons together, suddenly accused of "Intolerance" by subtle anti-Indian forces, creating animosity in our country, differences between each other.

Amid this still on going chaos, came the news of the recent Paris Attack by the ISIS.

The world went into depression, rage and angst at this news.

The city of love and romance- Paris has been attacked by hate. The religious fanatic group who call themselves ISIS are ruining this world with there brutal attacks. They are defaming Islam and creating an unrest among all religions and communities in the world. Dear India and World, where are we heading to?

Coming back to India, recently, the famous Bollywood actor  'Aamir Khan' has spoken that 'India is Intolerant and he is considering leaving the country.'

This comment coming from an actor who has earned crores and become a billionaire just because of the people of India is absolutely absurd and hurtful.  This comes from the same man who was the face of 'Incredible India' and hosted the popular television series 'Satyamev Jayate'
This hypocrisy amuses me!

It ponders me to think.

Where were people when the Kashmiri Pandits were being attacked in Kashmir? Wasn't that 'Intolerance' too? Where were people when there have been cases of discrimination against Sikhs?

Why didn't the so called 'Idealists' and 'Celebrities' give up their awards or speak up then?

A certain section of media and people, including celebrities have been against the current ruling government of Bhartiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They want to create unrest among Indians and want us to fight among ourselves so that they can continue to reap political and monetary benefits.

There have been incidents when they are blamed for unnecessary things. By repeatedly calling him a Hindu Fanatic, they have eventually proved their own 'Anti-Hindu' and 'Anti-India' agendas.

I am tired and sick of people calling India an Intolerant nation. The fact that they can get up and speak their mind and place their views with freedom and accuse India of Intolerance, itself proves how tolerant my country is.

The Indian National Flag consists of Saffron and Green, which symbolizes Hindu and Muslim Unity.

We welcome and love people of each religion and community to our country. In fact, we have never forced anyone to adopt Hinduism or convert themselves. Everyone happily follows their own culture and religion in our nation. Yes some fanatics, both Hindu Fanatics and Muslim fanatics keep fighting among each other, but a vast majority of us is peace and harmony loving. We all are friends with each other. As a Hindu myself, I have friends who are Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Parsi and others. We continue to exist in mutual peace and respect for one another since ages and generations together.

As kids we were taught by our parents and teachers to respect all religions and castes and that 'God is one, only present and worshiped in different forms'

It pains me to think how shallow India and the world think and how low are some people stooping. At a time where we all should stand united against crime and violence, we are fighting over petty issues and accusing each other. Let's rise above individual religion and stick to only one religion- "HUMANITY"

India and the world need peace, love and unity.

Let's create a better country and better world for us to live in.

P.S. Mr Aamir Khan, you are free to leave the nation if you find us intolerant!

Catch you guys later.

Till then,

Dream. Imagine, Be Crazy. Be You




Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Mumbai Diaries Part 3

DETECTIVES!

I went to the Vile Parle East Police Station in Mumbai.I entered the police station cautiously.
There were policemen all around, some vans and of course criminals.

I got stares from many people. I guess they were wondering what a girl like me was doing at the police station. After all, I didn't look like a criminal, did I? Lol. I chuckled inwardly. Yes I was nervous and my insides were squirming, but I put on a blank face anyway.

Ignoring stares, I asked a policeman where I could file a complaint about my laptop being stolen.

I was shown the way to the desk where I could file a complaint. For initial 10 mins while I waited, no one paid attention to me. Policemen were scuttling all around, busy with their work.

I cleared my throat, trying to draw their attention.

Finally one of the policemen, a constable,  looked at me "Yes Madam? How can I help you?" he asked

I told him in brief about how my laptop was stolen.

He asked me to wait. He called his superior to speak to me. His name was Inspector Rakesh Jadhav.

They all listened to my story. Insp Rakesh Jadhav was writing down whatever I was speaking. They nodded sympathetically at me.

Aunty- The owner of the PG I was staying at- was called to the station by the police.

She was fired and questioned by the police as to how could she allow a person like Aarti Yadav to stay at her place without any documents or identity proof.

Now as we all know, Aunty was a superb actress. She cried her crocodile tears and behaved like she
was an ignorant old lady who didn't know the rules properly.

The police detained her and questioned her for a few hours but didn't do anything further about her.

The next day, me and Richa set off for the police station again. There, the police called the person who had referred Aarti to Mumbai. His name is Naveen.

He was questioned in the police station too. Basically we all were trying to locate Aarti Yadav, whether she was in Mumbai or not was the question. Naveen called Aarti from his cell phone. She talked sweetly with him and

The police at first seemed to be co-operating a lot. They were polite with me at most times. I wasn't mistreated or spoken badly with.  Yes, Mumbai and Maharashtra police are pretty decent with women as compared to Delhi or Haryana or UP, Bihar Police who are notorious for the ill treatment of women. Don't want to compare but it's a fact.

But yes, soon, the co-operation started to fade. They seemed to get lazy about finding details about Aarti Yadav's whereabouts. They still hadn't filed an official FIR. They were polite but brushed us off each time we called. The reply was same each time. "We are trying our best Madam"

It was then that me and Richa decided to take the investigation matter in our own hands. We found out that Aarti kept meeting someone called Uved in Mumbai whilst she was at our PG.

It was important for us to find out Uved's whereabouts to locate Aarti and know whether she was in Mumbai or not.

We soon found out a place where Uved was working. Now we didn't want to warn Uved beforehand that we were coming. So, Richa suggested we change our names and go in search of him. At first, I thought she was crazy and ridiculed her idea and called her insane. Later on, much to her glee, I agreed with her and decided to go ahead with whatever she was thinking.

So we dressed a bit different than we usually did. I tried to smoothen my curls to look a bit sleek and Richa applied a bit more Kohl in her eyes than she usually did. Yes it was filmy. Typical Bollywood style, two foolish detectives we both set off. Richa was 'Shaheen' and I was 'Simran' (LOL)

We searched some dingy lanes of Goregaon and finally located the place. We, with full confidence outside and nervousness inside pretended to be background artists looking for work and asked for Uved and told that we wished to see him. The woman interviewing us looked a bit suspiciously at us but seemed to believed in our story anyway.

After a full 10 mins of a talk leading to no where, she told us Mr. Uved didn't work there full time anymore. We were a tad disappointed, but she did tell us that he worked at his own travel agency setup in Jogeshwari now. She gave us his number and address.

Me and Richa looked at one another. We were tired and exhausted but we decided not to give up, especially now that we knew where Uved was.We called him up and booked an appointment with him. Once we found Uved. it would be clear whether Aarti was still in Mumbai or had run off to her home in Jabalpur with my Laptop.

Like two crazy, tired but determined girls, we both set off, finally to search for Uved.

What happened next? Did we locate Aarti? Some more shocking details are awaiting you in the next post.

Catch you guys soon.

Till then,

Dream, Imagine, Be Crazy, Be You.

If you missed the previous part of the series, here is the link: http://www.manasiwrites.com/2015/09/mumbai-diaries-part-2.html

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Rice pakora

Hey folks!
After a long time I am posting a quick recipe today.

Rice is something which is prepared in kitchens frequently. Sometimes, it so happens that rice gets leftover or we end up preparing it in a quantity more than necessary and we don't really want to waste it but don't feel like eating it either. We usually think of rice as a main course for either lunch or dinner.

What if rice can be used as a snack too? Onion and potato pakoras are common. I tell you, you can make rice pakora and they taste pretty good. After some I saw some leftover rice in the fridge today, I decided to try my hand at it.

Rice pakoras made by me
Here's the recipe to get those taste buds working.

Ingredients:
1. Rice
2. Besan (Gram Flour)
3. Salt.
4. 2-3 Chillies (per taste)
5. Onion (according to taste)
6. Dhania (Coriander)
7. Garam Masala (Spice powder)
8.Water (1 cup)
9. Oil (To fry)

Procedure:
1. Mix Rice, besan, salt, chillies, onion, dhania and water so that it forms a thick mixture.
2. Make tiny round portions of the mixture.
3. Take oil in a kadhai (pan) and let it heat completely.
4. Fry the tiny round portions till they turn crisp and golden brown.

There! hot tasty and crisp rice pakoras are waiting for you.

Suggestion: Best served with hot tea or coffee as an evening snack. The good old tomato ketchup goes well with it too!

Hope you all give it a try! happy eating!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Mumbai Diaries Part 2

STOLEN

It was February. I was just settling and adjusting to my new routine and life and work in Mumbai.
It was then that something rather shocking took place in my life.

It was a Saturday and I had gone out with a friend. When I came back to my PG, my roommate Richa Singh and I found a girl called Aarti Yadav in our PG.

The first sight of her was err.. not so pleasant for me. She didn't seem to be the normal village belle. She wore crazy clothes and told us she had come to Mumbai to make a career in Acting and Bollywood and said she needed to stay with us for a week or so. She said she hailed from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.

She claimed to be a friend of my roomie's and that's how she had supposedly gotten the address of our PG. Now Remember our "Crazy old Aunty" the owner of our PG who acted in films? She agreed to keep Miss Aarti for a week in a jiffy.

Me and Richa disapproved because we thought she wasn't a pleasant girl to stay with, but we didn't say much because we felt it was a question of just a week or so.

On Monday, while I was at work, I got a call from Richa. She and Aarti Yadav had landed themselves into quite a fight, the reason being Aarti's clumsiness and uncleaniless which Richa had pointed out.

Now Aarti Yadav showed her true colours during the fight and swore a lot and mouthed a lot of filthy bad words at Richa which no right woman in her senses can speak, no matter how angry she is. Richa ended up slapping her which made Aarti twisted Richa's fingers and scratch her arms with her nails. My, my what a catfight it was! The entire show was watched upon and enjoyed sadistically by Aunty who did not intervene even once but laughed as they fought. Seriously!



That evening, when all three of us were in the same room, I did my level best to keep Aarti and Richa away from each other. I needed peace for God's Sake. They threw each other's belongings around the house in the evening and yelled a bit at each other in front of me too.

The key to the cupboard where me and Richa kept our clothes and belongings was also missing and we searched a lot, but couldn't find it. Richa was sure Aarti had taken the keys just to trouble us, but I wasn't so sure of accusing her of something like this.

Aarti was sweet to me and tried to gossip about Richa to me. I listened politely to her, just nodding in agreement so that I could sleep in peace after a hectic day at work. Richa was fuming in anger and paced around the house like a wounded cat. Personally, I knew Richa was right and Aarti was wrong but I just decided to speak to both of them the next day. I was just too tired.

The next morning, both of them were sleeping peacefully as I left the house for work. I kept some of my important belongings in the wooden shelves since the key to the cupboard was missing.

 Around noon, I got a call from Richa, who told me that Aunty had asked Aarti to leave because she was disturbing the house environment and she had suddenly disappeared in the blue without informing anyone.

I smelled something fishy. As soon as I finished my work and returned home, I hurriedly climbed the stairs to reach my PG. Outside the door of the flat, I found my clothes askew and thrown everywhere. Shocked, I picked my clothes and headed towards our room,

Something in me told me that there was something which wasn't right. Aarti and her belongings were no where to be seen.

Immediately, I checked the wooden shelves in the room. The shelf where I kept my laptop and charger was empty!

My stomach churned. My laptop was gone! Vanished into thin air?!! Probably not! I was now sure that Aarti Yadav had stolen it! Phew! Richa was right. The girl must've stolen the cupboard keys too. So much for trusting the goodness in people!

I was burning with rage! I just didn't know what to do. It wasn't just a laptop. It had all the important data and videos I had stored related to my work and study. It was much much precious than any money for me.

I was trembling with shock and rage and fear. Tears welled up in my eyes. Trust me it was one of the worst moments in my life. I called Aarti who didn't pick my phone. I messaged her asking her to return my laptop. I called Richa and told her what had happened. She urged me to go to the police . She was stuck at work and said she would join me later. She urged me not to delay. I called my mother and narrated everything to her. She was immediately worried and asked me to calm down and report to the police if possible. She asked for Aarti Yadav's number and said she would try calling her in the meanwhile.

I gulped down some water and decided to not be emotional about the entire thing. I had never been to a police station in my life to file a complaint, that too alone .

I thought for 10-15 mins, debated what to do. I remembered the people who told me going to the police is a no no in our society. Finally, I mustered some courage and decided that come what may, I will not let the woman run off with my laptop and not do anything about it. I "had to" do something. I had done nothing wrong and I couldn't let the culprit go away so easily. I remembered that my parents had always taught me to fight for the right cause.

I set off alone to the Vile Parle East police station to file a complaint. I was nervous, hesitant, afraid, still in shock but still determined to go there and so I went.

P.S. The owner of the house- 'Aunty' who should have accompanied me to the police station feigned ignorance and didn't come along with me.

That's all for now folks. Will let you all know what happened next in the next part of the series.

Till then,

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au Revoir!

Read Part 1 of the series in case you missed it- http://www.manasiwrites.com/2015/08/mumbai-diaries-part-1.html





Monday, 31 August 2015

Of Angels and Demons.

Jannat (Heaven) and Jahannum (Hell) Achchai (Good) and Burai (Evil) These are common phrases we utter everyday.
Infact, we often categorize people mentally as "good" or "bad" based upon what we think, feel, act or react.

The latest news going on, about Indrani Mukerjea who killed her own daughter, or about Jasleen Kaur from Delhi, who framed an innocent man wrongly and accused him of eve-teasing her and about Hardik Patel who is fighting for the so-called rights of the Patidars and is demanding reservation and has created a ruckus in the state of Gujarat leading to riots at places. All these current happenings ponder me to think on this ever controversial topic.

What prompted these people to do the horrendous things they did?

In today's media world, negative sells. News channels and newspapers are filled with updates on cases like these and we all seem to lap it up. Aren't we all intrigued to know more about the cases I just mentioned above? Why? Isn't it something to wonder? Maybe we are just curious or is there something more to it?

The reason could be because there are two faces to each one of us. Heaven and hell, both reside within us.
We ourselves are responsible for either making or breaking our own lives. We may blame and criticize the entire world, our circumstances and the environment around us, but these external factors affect us only to an extent.

The thing is- both  the Satan and Divine, Heaven and Hell, reside within us.

We carry the Angels and Demons within us, at each moment. They co-exist. They fight with each other

They are present in us, every time, every second,

What we chose, whom do we listen to, depends on us.

When we chose to ignore the inner voice which tells us what is wrong, what is right- The thing which we call our subconscious, our inner consciousness or our inner god or our Angel, then we turn towards the darker side.

The people who chose to ignore the inner voice inside them, who subdue that voice, turn towards the negative side, like the people in the examples I cited above. Most of them, regret it at some point of their lives.

The hero and the villain, the devil and the angel, the good and the bad, both are two sides of the same coin. The angel won't be an angel without the demon and the demon won't be a demon without the angel. They have to co-exist; but yes, one is always more powerful than the other.


The choice is ours. We are What we chose. Hope we all chose the angel within us and let the demon remain in the closet. 

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au Revoir!

P.S- Do read one of my most popular posts- Villains- Exploring the Darker Side- http://www.manasiwrites.com/2013/06/villains-exploring-darker-side.html








Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Tips for glowing skin - Beauty Basics.

Whether you are a guy or a gal, working, studying or snoozing, one thing is common, We all want to look good. Looking good doesn't mean you need to imitate someone or be a supermodel. Looking good just means being the best version of yourself.
When we feel good about ourselves, the confidence shows in whatever we do.

The basic of looking good, is having good skin. Good skin does NOT mean being fair. It means having a good skin irrespective of your original skin colour. No amount of make up is going to be a substitute for good skin.  You don't need to spend money and time on visiting beauty salons every week if you try few simple things. :)

Here are a few tips which I've tried for a good skin.


1. Steam.
Steam
Steaming your face once in a week at least, will help open up the pores and cleanse it from within.
If you have a steam machine, good, if you don't worry not!
Just take a vessel, boil some water after it is heated, shut the gas, allow the steam to reach your face, cover the back of your head with a towel so that the steam doesn't escape. Done!

2. Lemon cleansing.
Don't just use lemon for cooking purposes. Lemon does wonders to your skin. Squeeze half a lemon and apply the lemon juice on your entire face and neck, especially the darkened areas which you feel are tanned. Keep for 2-5 mins and wash off. Alternatively, you can apply it to other dark areas like dark elbows, etc.
Lemon juice helps remove tan from the skin and remove black heads and cleanses it thoroughly.

3. Moisturize.
After face cleansing, it is important to moisturize. Moisturize your face with a mosturizer which suits your face. It depends on the type of skin you have- dry, normal or oily.

Note- When you go out in the sun- use a sunscreen instead of moisturizer. The stronger the SPF, the better the protection from sun.

4. Facial massage.
Massage your own face each day with your own fingertips. Move your fingers in a circular direction over your cheeks, chin, temples and forehead. This will help your face get good blood circulation and help make it glow.

5.  Quick daily detox with Green tea.
Green Tea
I know all of us don't always get time for following a complete detox diet.

For a clear skin, internal cleaning is important.
A detoxification of the intestines is the best way to gain good skin.

The best way to get good detoxification is to drink a cup or two of green tea with ginger, lemon and honey. Adding ginger, lemon and honey helps to stay in shape, adds taste and cleanses the body from within while green tea adds antioxidants to our system which are good for our skin and immune system. They make the best combination ever for the quickest and best detox.

There! Those were some of the quick skin care fixes you can do to improve your skin. Hope you try them and see the benefits!

Catch you all later with some other interesting posts.

Till then,

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au Revoir!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Mumbai Diaries Part 1

OBSERVATIONS.

It was January 2015, I was back from my month long course in Australia and  was hunting for a job and landed in Mumbai. In fact, I had decided to come to Mumbai  two years back when I was studying. Somehow, I felt I should try and see if working in Mumbai works for me.

It so happened that I landed up in Vile Parle in the Western side of Mumbai, in a PG (sharing paying guest) a system where you share your room with other girls

I shifted my base from Pune to Mumbai and with my luggage, kissing my Mom a bye, landed up in the PG.

I have lived in Mumbai as a child, for 5 years, completed my schooling there,  so Mumbai isn't something totally new to me. But living in a city, away from the comfort of home, was something I wasn't used to at all. I wasn't used to living with just a bed, some clothes, without Television or a washing machine to wash clothes or a maid to wash vessels.  Doing everything on my own! Oh God! that was my first challenge! Doing cooking, cleaning, and the rest! Phew! so tiring!

The other thing  which you notice when you begin living in Mumbai is the humidity. As a person who has lived in Pune almost all my life, the first thing you notice is that.  Pune has a pleasant, non-humid climate, that was my first errr 'not-so-pleasant' observation. Another thing you notice is the lack of space. So many buildings. Property is the costliest in Mumbai and it is difficult to even rent a good place here and those who wish to buy houses, have to pay in crores in the main locations.

I met a girl called Richa Singh in my PG who was my roommate. When I first saw her, I never could have imagined we would hit off instantly and become good friends so soon. She is an event management graduate and was working with Masterchef India for their season 4 at that time in the production department at that time.

We both lived in the same PG with the owner of the house, Seema Rangnekar whom we called "Aunty."

Aunty was at  least 60 years old, thin and a bit err weird.. She used to store food in the refrigerator for weeks and not eat it, put mud from her plants in the kitchen sink and what else! She also had acted in small roles in various Marathi movies and Hindi commercials. She was cold and crazy but since it was none of my business as to how she was, I decided to ignore her as long as she didn't interfere with me and my life.



Anyway coming back to more observations, when it was time to go to first day at work, the Mumbai rush in the local trains welcomed me.

Lakhs of people travel in the well known local trains in Mumbai.

Every morning, it is a sight to watch! It is a sea of people at the station. I realized the amount of human population we Indians have when I entered the station. Haha!

It took a lot of pushing, pulling and leaving a train or two to get inside one and finally reach my work place- a clinic in Mumbai ( I am a physiotherapist by profession and writer by passion)

Another thing you notice is the "vada pav" thelas (shops) all over the city. Yes we do get Vada Pav in Pune and I like it, but the ones available here are pretty tasty and you see people all over eating a Vada Pav on the go to satisfy their hunger pangs or bonding over with friends over a Vada Pav and "Chaai" (tea)

On my first day at work, I met the director of Dhoom and Dhoom 2 series- Sanjay Gadhvi who had come to clinic as a patient.

It was then that I realized that I had come to the city of "Bollywood" I smiled inwardly.

The other thing one notices soon in Mumbai is the cosmopolitan culture. You will find people from all over the country here. I am a Maharashtrian but I love meeting people from other parts. I had always been like that ever since I was a kid. In fact, the best thing I like about Mumbai is it's Cosmopolitan culture.

I find it totally awesome to meet new people from different places and getting to know more about them.

So the climate change, new location, new roomie, Bollywood,
new workplace and new people, that sort of sums up my start to staying in Mumbai.

Keep watching my blog for what happened next and for other interesting posts.

Till then,

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au Revoir.








Saturday, 15 August 2015

India, Where do we stand?

15 August- Independence Day, Azadi Ka Din, Swatantrata Diwas these words mean a lot to us Indians.
In today's times, where we Indians are still fighting for our rights, for things like net neutrality, freedom from corruption and religious fanaticism and what not, I still don't know whether we should celebrate "Independence".

Agreed we are an Independent nation today. Despite being looted and ruled by the Britishers for 150 years, we have risen at a good height. We have set an example to the world in terms of Yoga, spirituality and our Mars Project by ISRO among many others. We are an icon of peace and tolerance and hospitality.
There is not an iota of doubt about all of these things.

Even then, I feel we have a long way to go. We are battling within our nation. We are a nation of contrasts. We have the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor from our nation. The world is abuzz about Sundar Pichai being Google's CEO and then when I see beggars around, I wonder where we stand.

The fact that we still have a long way to go, is something which I guess everyone knows. My question is are we doing enough for our nation?
Are we trying to sort out differences between castes and religions? Are we fighting enough? You, me everybody? Every few seconds, there is someone out there getting raped, killed or fights breaking out on basis of religion. We still have cases of dowry and honour killings where couples aren't allowed to marry each other if they are from a different caste or religion.

We still have women being killed in the womb and child marriages happening. We still have underage kids working at shops as servants or doing labour. Child labour still prevails- We see them and what do we do?? We Ignore. Yes Ignore is what we do,  If all those things still prevail are we "Independent" and "Free" in the true sense? 

 We have set an example of togetherness when we selected the Modi Government to lead us. But do our responsibilities end there?? I don't think so. We can't just crib about the government not doing it's job. "WE" are the "Owners" of our country and we have the "Power" to change it- for the better or the worse. Friends, our country is our responsibility and not just of all the 'babus' sitting in the government offices.

Unless we start doing things at a smaller scale, we cannot expect a big change to happen. We need to stop offering money to get our things done or stop creating litter around our localities. We need to change our mindset and mingle more with each other. The sense of belonging between us needs to grow. I know most of us do it, but some times we get lax, sometimes we have that "Chalta Hai" attitude which allows the terrorists, politicians and other people to take advantage of it. 

Let's say No to "Corruption, Poverty, Illiteracy, Domestic Violence and other issues" Let's say "Nahi Chalta Hai Boss" 

We stand together as one nation today in spite of our differences in caste, race, religion and colour because I know that deep down, we all love our nation, the way it is.

I have been to a foreign land and lived there for quite a while. In spite of it being a perfect place, the warmth and hospitality of our country was something I missed until I came back home. 

Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Subhashchandra Bose and lakhs of others died trying to make our lives better.

Let's not create hell for ourselves and for our future generations. Let is introspect on where do we stand. Let us move forward together. We still have a long long way to go. Let's be proactive and take charge of our nation. At the end of the day, it is we who will live and die on this land, so let us make it worthwhile, Let us be the India of Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam Sir's dreams, what do you think?


Sunday, 21 June 2015

International Yoga Day- Yoga is the New "Cool"

Today marks the first International Yoga Day, as declared by the United Nations this year.
More than 170 countries will celebrate today as Yoga Day. Although Yoga has it's roots in Hinduism and India, it does NOT belong to any particular religion and it's benefits can be reaped by the entire world. 

The ancient concept of Yoga is "Vasudaiva Kutumbakam" which means One World Family. The entire world can be united through Yoga to bring peace and harmony, Fanaticism on the basis of religion is a huge issue which the entire world faces today. Yoga is the only way in which the world can stand as one. It is the greatest gift to humanity. 

Yoga is a 5000 year old knowledge from India. Throughout the ages, people have been doing Yoga for a better life.

What is Yoga?

Yeah that's me doing Yoga ;) Manasi Joshi 








Many people have the misconception that Yoga is just a form of exercise. No, it's not. Yes, the Yoga postures definitely form an important part of it, but that is not all. 

Yoga is a way of life. It is a lifestyle where a person is healthy not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too.

Yoga has 8 limbs. 
1. Yama - Ethical discipline                                      
2. Niyama- Self Observation
3. Asana- Postures
4. Pranayama - Breathing Techniques
5. Pratyahara- Sense Withdrawal
6. Dharana- Concentration
7. Dhyana- Meditation
8. Samadhi- A state of joy and peace

Thus Yoga is an amalgamation of all of the above, which lead to a healthier mind, body and soul. 
We all function better when all the three aspects are looked at and Yoga does exactly that! 

So, the question is do we need to do Yoga in today's times? Absolutely!! With our current lives full of stress, violence, emotional upheavals and many other issues, Yoga is has become an absolute must these days!! Yoga is the new "trend" You know what? Yoga is the new "Cool" Yes, it's cool to be healthy, people! yoga is the new "Happening" and "In" thing. I have personally attended Yoga parties and "Yogathons" and trust me, it's completely fun! The best part about Yoga is that it can be done by anybody. Age is not a restriction at all!

Yoga has innumerable benefits, I'm listing down just the basics:

1. Peace of mind- Yes, whether you have your boss yell at you when you are working, whether you are running late and stuck in traffic or have a project to submit, Yoga is your friend in all of these times! Practicing Yoga, Breathing Techniques and Meditation in stressful times is bound to help you!
If you have suffered any emotional trauma, Yoga will help you come out of it and heal yourself.

2. Physical fitness- You want that radiant glowing skin? You want to look in shape? Do Yoga! Yoga helps in physical fitness by helping in weight reduction, managing cholesterol, boosting metabolism and throwing harmful out toxins from your body. It is also known to have anti-ageing effects.

3. Mental boost- Practicing Yoga helps improve concentration skills and aids you in remaining focused in whatever you are doing.

4. It helps in boosting the overall immune system of the body, aids digestion and blood circulation and keeps diseases at bay.

When you just focus a little on the way you breathe, a major shift happens! Just a few breathing patterns here and there and a few postures and it works like magic for us! We all just need to pay a bit of attention to our body by watching what we eat and to our mind by observing our thoughts.

Yoga is like a thorough detoxification of the entire human being, body, mind and soul and the best part is you can do this detox everyday! The more you do it, the better you become! It's that's simple. 

I can really go on and on about Yoga's benefits. There are just too many! I'm sure our best friend Google can help you know more about the benefits of Yoga, if you want to do a detailed study. 

When I was a kid, I remember my grandmother telling me how important Yoga is. She herself was a Yoga enthusiast and did Yoga even in her sixties. She's no more today, but I remember that's how slowly Yoga came into my life. 
I just want to say that personally, my life has changed a lot ever since I started practicing Yoga on a regular basis. It has added a new perspective to my thoughts and is very beneficial to help me de-stress and focus on whatever I do. It also keeps a check on my emotions.

I am inspired to do Yoga by my spiritual Guru and guide- H.H Sri Sri Ravishankarji, The founder of the international NGO Art Of Living. Through his guidance I am able to attempt at being a better human being by the day. ( www.artofliving.org )

Whether you are a Muslim, a Christian or Hindu or a Sikh or anyone else, do practice Yoga is my suggestion. Religion does not come in the way of practicing Yoga and it is a very scientific lifestyle with lots of benefits which will strengthen you mentally, physically and emotionally and transform you into a better version of yourself!

Happy International Yoga Day! Stay Healthy, Stay cool! Do Yoga and get that inner radiance and glow!

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You

Au revoir!



Friday, 5 June 2015

A moment is all we need!

click my me. At Swan River, Western Australia. 

Life is running at a fast pace
The clock is ticking
amid all the chaos
amid all the hustle-bustle
we see a child smile at us
and we smile back
a moment of  joy
is all we need

It just takes
one tiny moment
to reach out to someone
to share and to care
to feel and to help
a moment of love 
is all we need

When we are shivering with cold,
when the clouds create gloom
a ray of sunshine for a moment
is of great comfort and warmth
a moment of hope 
is all we need

A room may be dark since eons
the flicker of candle
lights a room in seconds
a moment of light 
is all we need

When we are bound by attachments
When we are suffocated by expectations
When we are surrounded by injustice
The morning chirping of the birds
The smell of earth when it first rains
calms us down and brings the much needed solace
Through the tough times
A Moment Of Freedom
is all we need!

Life is a fickle friend
But what makes life worth
are these small but precious moments
Don't forget to cherish them!

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au revoir!





Saturday, 30 May 2015

Life - By Aditi Jog

Life is like a game
Of snakes and ladders
Sometimes sad
Sometimes happy

Sometimes up
Sometimes down
Sometimes happening
Sometimes risky

Life can be a gift
as well as a curse
only the perspective matters
only the use matters

Life is an experience
and experiment for all of us
Life is also a teacher

Life is to see
to learn
to understand
to grow

Life is
all around
for us
to experience it

Each life has a meaning
Each life has a purpose
Each life is an irrevocable gift
which once gone
cannot be returned

So cherish each moment
Cherish each day
Cherish each second
and make life a memorable gift

To give
and to receive
and to enjoy
an expensive gift
called "Life"
Aditi Jog

Written and submitted by Aditi Jog (Reiki Healer and teacher, law student, Pune)


I hope you all loved this superb poem by Aditi. One of my personal favourites!



















Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You!

Au Revoir!


Monday, 25 May 2015

Bea(YOU)tiful- By Nikita Prabhu

She was standing there quietly watching the sea,
As the mischievous wind played with her hair,
It seemed as if she's thinking of a key
For something as beautiful as,
with her life, her affair

She was beautiful for the way her mind
was engulfed in the waves
Her looks though were run of the mill
Lost in her own thoughts as deep as a cave
Something paramount she was trying to instill

She was beautiful for the way she spoke about her passion
Even for others it may have been out if fashion
But the shimmer in her eyes was inescapable
And in all senses she was truly invincible

She was beautiful because her mind gleamed
And life became a cakewalk even though difficult it seemed
All the backbreaking turned out to be fruitful
and she, in the real sense of the word,
became Bea(YOU)tiful!!

Written and Submitted by Dr. Nikita Prabhu (Physiotherapist)

I hope you all enjoyed this poem shared by her on my blog!

Last two days for summer sizzle to end!

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au Revoir!


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Dance With Chirag!

Last year, we all had a chat with this wonderfully talented and unique personality called Chirag
Chirag Aggarwal
Aggarwal who is a dancer, a dance trainer, choreographer, a zumba instructor, a singer and a pianist!
Phew! So many talents in one person! 

This year, I give you all another chance to get to know a bit more about him.

So I asked this semi-finalist of the Dance Premier League (Sony TV) a few questions and he shot back all the answers in a jiffy. Here they go!

Me: As an artist, did you face any struggle?
Chirag: Not really. I guess things worked out pretty well for me since the beginning.

Me: What/Who is your motivation when it comes to dancing?
Chirag: Anything motivates me because I love dancing!
Chirag Aggarwal 

Me: So you always wanted to pursue a career in dance?
Chirag. Surprisingly, no. It's since the last 8 years that I am into dancing. It was my mother who felt I could dance so she enrolled me in a dance class. They recognized my talent there and then within a week I was promoted to an advance class, within a month performing in shows and teaching the people who were earlier supposed to be ahead of me! So much grace!
Chirag Aggarwal

Me: Any specific diet/ workout you follow as a dancer?
Chirag: I try to follow a balanced meal and eat food before 10 pm. Everyday workout is essential and especially it's best to workout in the mornings.
I also do my spiritual practices and Yoga regularly, as an Art Of Living volunteer, follower and believer.

Chirag Aggarwal
Me: What about your singing and piano playing?
Chirag: That I have been pursuing since my childhood. I always wanted to sing and play piano in front of people and see? Today I am doing the same!

Me: Along with talent, what do you think is necessary as an artist?
Chirag: Good communication skills are important. With regards to talent, I feel any talent which anyone has is never for oneself. Talent is always for others, never for your own self. As an artist, I perform for others or teach others. Whatever talent one possesses whether it is singing, dancing, speaking, acting, writing or any other talent, it is always for others!

Me: Can you tell me what is your biggest strength as an artist?
Chirag: (Pauses to think) Well, I think my commitment towards my work is the biggest strength I have. I do my best to pursue what I want to the best of my ability.

Me: Any upcoming projects you would like to share?
Chirag: Well I have launched my own YouTube Channel "DanceWithChirag" https://www.youtube.com/user/dancewithchirag Check my Video to know about me and also my website  for all the latest updates and information. www.dancewithchirag.com

Me: Just for your fans-
Your favourite singer? Chirag: Too many, can't  name one
Your favourite colour? Chirag: White, Green, Yellow and Orange
Your favourite city? Chirag: Amritsar, Bangalore, Mumbai
Your favourite cuisine? Chirag: I am basically a total foodie! Love good food of all sorts. If I have to name a cuisine it would be South Indian and Punjabi. 


WHAT THEY SAY-

ASHISH AGGARWAL
Ashish Aggarwal- Chirag's biggest strength is his ability to keep learning! Even though he knows so much as a dancer and dance trainer, he never fails to keep learning and keeps updating himself! He is eager to learn as much as he is eager to teach!

I recently realized how enthusiastic he always is. He never gets bored of teaching the same thing to millions out there. Each and every class of his has the same enthusiasm and is full of energy and is unique in itself! He never gets bogged down by anything and that is surely his strength!

PRACHI NAGUL 
Prachi Nagul- I had attended Chirag's workshop sometime back. Really enjoyed it a lot and learnt a lot about dancing from him. He is full of energy. It's just awesome to dance with him!

ADITI JOG
Aditi Jog: Chirag's workshop is too good. The way he conducts his workshops, I liked it. I love dancing a lot and always wanted to learn from Chirag. He is just too good and so are his workshops! Glad I got a chance to learn from him!

Hope you all enjoyed this interview with Chirag and the others who spoke about him!

Read his previous interview where he has shared some other aspects about himself- http://www.manasiwrites.com/2014/08/a-chat-with-chirag.html

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.

Au revoir!



Saturday, 23 May 2015

Watermelon Kiwi Banana Smoothie - Anish Nair

Too much heat to handle?! Beat the heat the healthy way!

Check out this awesome easy to prepare Watermelon Kiwi Banana smoothie blast!

Ingredients:
1/4th watermelon cut into pieces
1 kiwi. Dice it.
1 frozen banana
2-3 ice cubes.

Procedure:
Blend in a blender for 30-40 seconds.

Pour in a glass and you are ready!

Note:If you like your driink to be sweet,  instead of adding sugar, if you add some apple juice it will increase the sweetness and be a healthy drink!

Happy Summer!

Anish Nair
Submitted by Anish Nair. (Mechanical Engineer at MGL)


















Hope you all enjoyed this recipe submitted by Anish!

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You

Au revoir!


Friday, 22 May 2015

Pratibha Kochar speaks!!

Pratibha Kochar
Hello everybody! Today we have with us a homemaker, a mother and a Masterchef India contestant (Food show latest- season 4)!! Please welcome Pratibha Kochar on my blog who will share quite a few things with us!

Let's see what conversation I had with her-

Me: Pratibhaji, how did you think of taking part in Masterchef?
Pratibha: My children pushed me into it actually. I used to see the earlier seasons of Masterchef but they all included non vegetarian dishes. Since I am a vegetarian I don't prepare non-vegetarian food. This season was a vegetarian season and as soon as my kids came to know about it, they urged me to participate! I still remember I gave my audition on 6th of November,2014.


Pratibha Kochar With Chef Vikas Khanna

Me: Have you always loved cooking? Who is your inspiration when it comes to cooking?
Pratibha: Yes I have always had an inclination towards cooking. Before marriage, my mother and sister were my inspiration. After I got married, my son is my inspiration! He always wants something different to eat. So this motivates me to explore cooking and try out different things!

Me: Any special memory related to Masterchef?
Pratibha: Well there are so many memories! Can't name anything specific!

Me: What did you learn after being a part of the reality show?
Pratibha: Well remember once, we were given a task and I was the captain. Our dish messed up but fortunately I had already thought of a back up plan so we won the task. It was then that I realized having a back up plan is very important in life.
I also learnt that presentation of the food is very important.
We had gone to Dubai too during the show. I realised people all over the world stereotype Indian food only in terms of 'roti-sabzi'or just Punjabi food.
Pratibha Kochar
Through Masterchef, I think we got a chance to show what a huge amount of variety our Indian food has! Each of our cultures provides some lovely food doesn't it?

Me: I have heard you conduct your own cooking classes?
Pratibha: Yes, since the last four years. People wanted to learn from me since they liked what I cooked and that's how it all started.

Me: Pratibhaji, any recipe you would like to share with us?
Pratibha: Yes why not!

MEXICAN GOLDEN BAGS WITH ROSEMARY TWIST.
Golden bag
Ingredients
1 cup makka aata (Corn Flour)
Salt to taste
2 tabs oil
½ ts rosemary
½ ts oregano
Water as required
 Method
Mix all the ingredients and make a dough. Give it rest of 10 minutes , then make small balls and roll it thin. Stuff with baby corn masala and pack it like a potly (bag/pouch). Fry it in medium hot oil.

Recipe for Baby corn masala
Ingredients
1 cup baby corn slice
1ts green chilly chopped
1 ts ginger fine chopped
½ ts red chilly powder
1 tbs oil
1 ts cumin powder
Pinch of hing (Asafoetida)
1 tbs coriander fine chopped

Method

Heat the oil in the pan then add green chilly and ginger, cook for 2 min.  After that add corn and all the dry spices and stir it well. Cook it till corn gets soft. Remove from the heat and add coriander in it.

There your recipe is ready! Serve with tomato sauce and cheese sauce .

I hope each one of you enjoyed this interview with Pratibha Kochar!
Keep waiting for more interesting stuff in the Summer Sizzle!

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.