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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

8 Travel Tips and Insights

Traveling! Something which is unavoidable in everyone's lives. Some people hate it, some people love to travel, and some others really don't have an opinion about it.
For most part of my life, I have traveled. I have traveled at times with friends, at times with family and quite a number of times, traveled alone.

Despite being an avid traveler, there are times when I get tired of traveling or don't feel up to it at all and there are times when I am very enthusiastic about it.

Image subject to copyright (Me in Perth, WA)
Before I begin sharing certain travel insights, let me tell you in brief about my travels- I have traveled to Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, some parts of Andhra Pradesh( I don't even remember the names), some rural parts of Tamil Nadu and villages like Kumbakonam, Papanasanam and certain parts of Maharashtra like Nasik, Satara, Tuljapur, Yamai, Mahabelshwar, Matheran, Aurangabad, Raigad, and of course parts near home cities of Pune and Mumbai like Karjat and Lonavala.
Marine Drive, Mumbai, India

Pune and Mumbai being my home cities, I travel to and fro very frequently between them,

I have traveled alone to Perth, the capital of Western Australia and lived there for more than a month, explored the wonderful city and of course had a stopgap at Singapore while traveling to Perth and coming back to India.

Now that have shared a bit of background about some of the places I have traveled, I would like to share a few insights and tips on traveling, especially in India.

Since our country is a very vast and rich land, with diverse cultures and traditions, every travel experience proves to be different. Although these insights apply even when you are traveling abroad to foreign countries, they are applicable especially if you travel to India and in and around India.

So here I am, sharing a few things I learnt while traveling:

1. No two cities are same
Each city has it's own set of rules. regulations, attitude, language and cultures.

2. Research is important.
 Do an online research of the places you are going to visit, study the routes, get to know how far or near is the public transport, railway station and airport. Know what forms of public transport are popular in the city, or else keep your options open for traveling in cabs and taxis.

Ganesh Chaturthi festival, Maharashtra, India

3. Don't judge.
 No matter how well you research, there is always something you are going to miss out or not know.
Not everyone you meet in a new place is going to be helpful, but again not everyone you meet is going to be  rude.
Don't make assumptions and judge people based on other people's opinion of that place. Take guidance from others who have visited the place, no doubt they will be right at many points, but do not make an opinion about a place before you have seen for yourself or had any experience of the place.

4. Local language
South Indian culture 
Since you may not all the time be able to speak the local language of a place, learn a few words like"hello" "thank you" "yes/no" "where" "how" just to gel in with the local people. If you have difficulty in moving around the place, especially in South India, it's always better to have a person with you who understands and speaks the local language so that you face less of difficulties while moving around.

5. Food and Water
 No matter which city you travel in India, you will find there are a lot of variations in the cuisine and local food and customs of that place. Variety in food is a trademark of Indian culture and tradition. Make sure you know a few names of the local food available at that place and have little idea of how each food may taste like. Depending upon whether you are a vegetarian or a non vegetarian, make sure you check whether the food you prefer to have is available for you.
Indian food

I'm a vegetarian so I always look out for options where I can get vegetarian food. If you are a meat eater, make sure the places you eat meat from are hygienic and well maintained. Contaminated and unhygienic meat can make you ill very soon!

And yes. just because you are afraid to fall sick, do not hesitate to try out local cuisines since they enrich your traveling experience. Just be cautious, that's all.

Indian Tea (Chai)
When it comes to water, avoid drinking tap water and go for bottled or packaged water. Water which doesn't suit your system is the quickest way to make you fall ill. So keep in mind to drink fresh bottled packaged water like' Bisleri 'or boil local water before drinking to ensure you keep sickness miles away from you.

In case there is unavailability of bottled water, tea (chai) or coffee from local 'thelas' (street shops) is safer than tap water, since the milk and water are freshly boiled. So opt for a cup of hot steaming chai in curcumstances where good quality water is not available.

6. Climate & weather
 Know which season is going on and what kind of climate & weather are you likely to face when you reach your destination.

7. Clothes
 India being a tropical country overall, it's best to opt for comfortable clothing. Depending upon the area you are visiting and the climate of that place, you can choose your clothes accordingly. Also, keep in mind the culture of the place. If you are visiting cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune etc then you can opt for westernized and clothes and add zing to your outfits by wearing, shorts, skirts and whatever else you wish, since the people in such cities tend to be open minded and more easy going than the rural counterparts of India. However, if you are a woman, do keep in mind your own personal safety. If you feel that the place you are visiting has conservative and old fashioned views, it is best to opt for clothes which don't draw too much attention. I know everyone has the freedom to wear whatever they want, but since certain sections of India, especially rural India are still orthodox and uneducated, it's best to wear something which doesn't seem inappropriate or vulgar. Better be safe than sorry.

8. Interact
 Having said that, no matter wherever you go, whether a city in India, or a village, you will always find people who will judge you or criticize you. But that shouldn't stop you from interacting with the local people around. On many occasions, you will find that most of the local people of that place are helpful and willing to interact and be friends with you. Knowing about different cultures, different values and the different lifestyles of people of the place you have visited, makes you grow.

The best thing you can take back home after visiting a place are your experiences and memories of that place. Make sure that you are not just a tourist, visiting a few well known places and then that's about it. If you want to grow, to know, to learn and to expand your views and thinking, then be a 'traveler' who thinks, learns, grasps, adapts and who is fearless enough to get out of his or her comfort zone and is willing to welcome change!!!!

So I hope you enjoyed these insights about traveling.. will be back soon with more!

Till then,

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You!!

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Currency Ban and it's aftermath

It was the evening of the 8th of November when the news of the ban of the Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes reached me. At first, I just laughed the thing off, thinking it was just another Whatsapp rumor or prank being played by someone. Later on, to my surprise, I actually read the official news articles and confirmed the authenticity of this news. In what is thought to be a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on national television at 8 pm and announced that from the midnight of that day (12 am, 9th Nov 2016) the Rs 1000 and 500 currency notes will be demonetized.

The social media erupted as soon as his announcements came out with scores of netizens praising the Prime Minister's move as a 'surgical strike' on black money, while some others criticizing his move for having caused inconvenience to the common man.

Being preoccupied with things as usual, at first, I didn't realize the magnanimity of the change that took place. For an hour or so I felt just 'meh' and thought people were over-reacting by being hyper about the situation. Later on, as I realized that the ATM machines will be closed for two days and the banks for one day, I somehow realized that I need to get out and grab some change since I was to be travelling in the  next two days around Mumbai for work purposes and would need cash to make my way around.

Since the news of the ban, I am watching people stand in queues and watching anxiety and worry on their faces. Everyone I meet or interact with are discussing with me the consequences and aftermath of this currency ban. Many people are facing difficulties in traveling, buying day to day grocery or food items and in many other such small yet significant things.

Since I don't fall into the category of super rich people. I am not worried about handling the "black money" as people call it... lol but yes, I too am facing the brunt of the ban by standing in queues, thinking twice before buying anything with cash and I did face an issue or two while travelling.

Even then, despite this, I am not agitated. In fact, personally, I think the currency ban is a great move by the Prime Minister of India. It is a master stroke played by him and with one move, the entire India is shaken to it's core, leaving those people who own hordes of black money with anxiety, fear and insomnia.

India has been grappling with corruption, fake currency and terrorism for years now. The fake currency was being used to buy weapons, thereby causing havoc in the country.

On top of that, India is laden with corruption. It is like a disease which has seeped everywhere in this country.
I don't think their is any one sector in this country which is corruption free.

Yes, not all citizens are corrupt, but those who are, are spread everywhere.

In fact accepting black money has become a norm and routine for a certain section of the people in this country.

Unless we break this cycle of black money circulation and try to remove this disease of corruption from the roots, nothing will change.

The currency ban is the first ever strong step taken in the direction of uprooting the disease of corruption.

No doubt it has caused us discomfort and inconvenience at many levels. I am sure every citizen of this country is bearing the brunt of this ban in some way or the other.

But if we look at the big picture, if we look at the intentions and reasons behind this ban, we can surely face this temporary inconvenience with a smile. A short lived inconvenience for a big change for the better is surely bearable.

Till today, people were sitting and cribbing that nothing changes in this country and the government doesn't take any strict measures for it.

Now that the currency ban is a strict action taken against corruption, why are we cribbing?

When we can stand in queues for movie tickets or for buying "JIO Sims" or for any other purposes which are purely personal, can't we not stand in queues for our country??

Whether the move will eradicate black money completely is a question which remains to be seen. At least, with this move, black money will be curbed to a great extent if not completely.

Yes, we are facing discomfort and inconvenience, but as citizens of a country we love and wish to change for the better, the least we can do is bear it with a smile and support the government's decision.

Let is all be a part of this change by supporting it and welcoming the thought of an improvised India!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


A feeling,
an emotion,
a sensation,
four letters
One Word

Whenever there is sorrow
sometimes loss of hope for tomorrow,
whenever we feel desolate,
whever we are low
and sometimes much more than we show
we feel it..

Whenever life doesn't go our way
When it seems to go haywire
and we don't get what we desire
at that time,
it drowns us

At times things slip out of our hand
like fine beach sand,
at times certain storms,
seem hard to go away,
the going gets rough
and the times seem tough
and it hits us very hard
the Pain..

It is not just a feeling or a sensation
It isn't just a mere emotion
We all experience it,
But if we learn to deal with it
it is our biggest motivation

The biggest teacher
the reason for many to succeed
the reason for many to become stronger
the reason for many to become wiser
the reason for many to become aware
the reason for all of us to grow
is Pain

It teaches,
It transforms,
It makes us
better versions of ourselves..

My favourite quote: "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is Optional."

Copyright- Manasi Joshi
A Moment Of Freedom 

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Kashmir, terror and conflict

The latest news of Burhan Wani's death and the kind of rage it led to is really shocking and saddening.
I don't understand why certain sections in the society are sympathising with Burhan Wani and his death. He was a terrorist, found with AK47s, was instigating the people of Kashmir against India and the Indian Army simply did their job by shooting him. He was a trained professional, head of Hizbul Mujahideen, a terrorist organization acting against India and knew how to deal with and handle guns and fight.

For a certain section of Kashmir, he was like a freedom fighter, fighting to create an Independent Kashmir, a jihadist, separatist, funded, trained and supported by Pakistan to fight against India.

Instead of being grateful to our Army because of whom we are sitting comfortably in our homes with a free will to comment, the so called pseudo liberals are out there demeaning them. 1000s of soldiers lose their lives and sacrifice themselves for our safety and nobody gives a damn about it.

A terrorist is killed and people lose their senses and try to portray him as an innocent being. The pro pakistani people living in India, are trying to spread hate by portraying him as innocent. Such people, who have been reaping benefits of being an Indian citizen and yet been supporting ISI and pakistan are the main reason which add fuel to the fire of the conflicts going on in our country.

You know there is something wrong with the mentality of the people, when they feel that Burhan Wani was a martyr who gave is life fighting against the Indian Army. The locals in Kashmir throwing stones at the Army who tries to protect them, shows the kind of deep rooted prejudice in the minds of Kashmiris against Indian government and Indian Army.

In the past, people have supported terrorists like Afzal Guru and Yakub Memon. Something is definitely going wrong somewhere and we need to act upon it.

The issues surrounding Kashmir are not new. The beautiful state which is said to be as beautiful as heaven on earth because of it's nature and scenic beauty is now tainted with blood, gore, violence and hate. It is now a predominantly Muslim dominated state, (where the Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee in 1990, tortured and mercilessly killed by terror gangs.) so a certain section of Kashmiris do have prejudice against India. 

Pakistan has been instigating the people of Kashmir against India, Indian Govermnent and Indian Army. India has always considered Kashmir as it's own but some terrorist elements do not consider it so. 

India will always love Kashmir and this message needs to be sent across strongly to the Kashmiris who have been brainwashed into thinking that India is against them. As an Indian I am pained when Kashmiris say they hate India, because for us, Kashmir has always been a part of this nation. 

The hate is deep rooted and it will take a long time to resolve. Till then, we need to tackle the likes of Burhan Wani and kill them, to protect our India from crumbling. We cannot let such people spread their violent ideologies and sit back and do nothing. The number of Jihadists and separatists is on the rise day by day. We cannot allow young children being filled with hatred and instead of focusing on growing themselves as individuals, they are turning to violence and militancy, destroying their own future. 

What saddens me is the pseudo liberals questioning the Army from the comforts of their home. They are lending support to terrorists who are spreading hate in Kashmir by sympathising with them. 

This makes the terror groups more stronger in their beliefs since such pro pakistan and anti- indian elements are the silent backbone of these hate filled terror outfits. 

Pakistan itself is a nation which suffers terror attacks from time to time. Yet it continues in it's anti- India mission and does whatever it can to attack us. 

We need to tackle the Kashmir issue by spreading awareness that "terror" and "Azadi" is not a solution and also by trying to hunt down terrorists like Burhan Wani and Hafis Saeed who act as role models for young Kashmiris and try and brainwash them into spreading violence and sacrificing their lives for nothing. The Hurriyat is also a body which is responsible for brainwashing young Kasmiris into fighting for a 'cause'

I agree Kashmir and Kashmiris have suffered a lot due to politics going on in the two countries of India and Pakistan. They have a long history of sufferings, but that does not mean that violence is the solution to their problems. Turning to violence is only going to increase their hardships and troubles.
Putting forth their views in a non-violent manner and trying to find solutions through talks should be considered as an alternative.

To those journalists, writers and media personnel who have been spreading violence in the form of their work, shame on you. Instead of trying to promote peace, they are adding fuel to the fire of conflict and prejudice. 

I am a proud citizen of India who is proud of the efficiency of the Army in tackling the terror forces in Kashmir and even then, yes, I do empathize with the situation of the people in Kashmir and hope they see how worthless it is to turn to violence, since it is going to backfire on them and increase their agony. 

The pen is mightier than the sword and hence I write this article as an heartfelt piece on behalf of thousands like me who love India irrespective of its flaws and want it to progress as a nation together and are against being divided on the basis of religion, caste or culture. 

I hope my article tries to counter hate and violence and promote peace, love and humanity, which most of us want and cherish. 

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Bhivpuri Water Rappelling- Bekare Waterfall

lost in greenery 
It was Sunday.. the 17th of July.. I was invited by a friend for a trekking experience and to try water rappelling, which was something different so I agreed to jump on board with the plan. Turns out, it was quite a memorable day afterall!

Sharing many pictures and my experience of this memorable day with all of you.

After a long long time I was back with nature and I really had a lot of fun.
wow isn't it

We were a group of 28 people and we had two team leaders with us who were from Mumbai Travellers.

The place is Bhivpuri, which is a town in Karjat taluka near Mumbai. One has to trek and climb up for an hour or more, to reach the Bekare waterfall, where the rappelling takes place.

Bekare Waterfall Rapelling 
It was morning when we began our journey, reached the destination by bus and then began to climb  our way up and my my! wasn't it quite a experience! The place is breathtakingly beautiful and picturesque and seeing the lush green around me, I was really amazed and happy.

I was finally away from the city and breathing in fresh air was a great feeling.

Finally, panting a bit, I reached the top, along with others, where the water rapelling takes place.

It is actually a waterfall on which one has to do the rappelling. Rappelling or Abseiling is a technique used for controlled descending down from a rock patch or slope. The main equipment used are high quality ropes, descender, seat harness along with gloves and helmet for safety.

All the excitement I had previously, fizzled out a little bit after I saw how high the waterfall is. Although we all were assured that it is relatively safe, I still had doubts in my mind and had begun to panic as to whether I would manage to do the water rappelling.

Since it was a Sunday, there was a lot of crowd and we had to wait for the turn of our group to arrive. Till then, there was another very small waterfall where people were enjoying in the water, so I too did the same,. The feel of being dipped in water and light rains above me, simply wow!

Finally after a while, it was our turn to do water rappelling. I kept nervously asking other people  from our group about their experience, who's turn had come and they had done it. I saw people slipping, some backing out last moment and my nervousness and excitement both, had reached it's peak by the time my turn arrived.

I am the one in blue
Yeah me trying to rappell

I was wearing all the safety gear and given all the instructions by the team who manage the waterfall rappelling. They told me not to be nervous and boosted me to go for it.

I am the one in blue
Finally, I held the rope and decided to descend down. Now, one has to throw their weight backwards and try to keep the knees straight, the legs a bit apart and descend downwards holding the rope and sliding it so that one can go down..

I was doing okay for the initial bit, after which I slipped!! Lo and behold! I thought this is it, I'm dying! haha.. But apart from banging my knees against the rocks of the waterfall nothing happened. I was encouraged by the people on the top to keep going and so I did. I didn't give up.The rope was swinging to and fro and my my, wasn't it quite an escapade!! I was throughout in a state of exhilaration, fear and excitement.

Finally, I managed to finish my rappelling experience as I reached the bottom of the waterfall. I was received by another instructor who unhooked me from the rope and showed me the way up.
With a friend
Wow!! So it was the most exciting thing I had done uptil now and it felt so good to have accomplished that task!

After everyone was done with their rappelling experience, after a short while of lounging around at the top, we decided to descend downwards from the hill and began our return journey. Since it was raining, climbing downhill proved to be much more difficult than when we ascended.

I infact, slipped once, and almost tripped twice while coming down. Even then, I had loads of fun and as my eyes took in all the greenery and nature around me, there was a strange kind of peace within me. I felt like a child again!

It just felt so divine and heavenly.

Since we all were famished as we had not eaten anything since morning, we had hot piping 'Vada Pav' at the base of the hill after the return journey.

Abandoned and lovely hut

There are a few houses at the base which has a tiny village where one can change inside the home of the villagers and where we had our much needed Vada pav.

The return journey was quite memorable too, with our group having dinner together, once we were back in Mumbai.

Overall, if you want to do something adventurous and exciting, Bhivpuri trekking and waterfall rappelling is a great place to have fun this Monsoon. Do go and have your share of fun and craziness, although make sure you go in a group especially if you are a girl, since it is a lot safer that way and you will also have more fun!
with some of the group 

The best thing is it is a one day trip and you can easily manage to go on a Sunday and have your dose of fun and adventure!

Catch you all later,

Till then

Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy, Be You.

P.S. My knees are still hurting, but it's worth the experience

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Beauty and beyond

Today, we live in a world who judges us by our superficial appearances. We are constantly shown that being young is beautiful or being fair skinned and slim is.

The society has stereotyped beauty into a superficial skin deep thing. For me, beauty is not just skin deep.

Yes outer beauty is a great thing and it's a good thing we strive to achieve it and look good.
You, me, everybody!

But for me, it is much more and hence I am writing a poem along the same lines :)

In the smile of a child
and the mother who smiles back
beauty shines

In the falling of leaves
during autmn
beauty pervades

In the darkness of night
where stars shine bright
beauty deepens

In the dark colour of beautiful skin
which is weaved with a heart of goodness and gold
beauty beams

In the scars of a wounded soldier
beauty bleeds

In the courage of a social activist
beauty stands tall

Beauty is an act of kindness
done selflessly

Beauty is holding the hands
with someone you love

Beauty is an eighty year old
smiling happily through her wrinkles

Beauty is in being unconventional

In being the best you can be

A beautiful face may or may not last a decade
But a heart with humantiy and generosity
Shines through centuries..

Beauty is in the integrity of a woman
and the mettle of a man

Beauty which transcends fading appearances
and weakening bodies
which glows through the intelligent mind

and stands through the storm of hate and greed
and jealousy and manipulation

Only such a person,who's inner beauty is unshaken
through the turmoils of life
is truly beautiful

Be beautiful..
Be true'...
Be you...

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Fashion sense simplified - choose your colours!

Hey! So it's been a long time since I posted about fashion. If someone had told me few years back that I would be blogging occasionally about this genre, I wouldn't have believed them. Lol. I am not a fashionista per say, but I believe that a sense of style and clothing goes a long way. So here I am, sharing a few things with all of you, which you can use in your day to day lives.

We all hear the word "Fashion sense" when it comes to clothing and dressing up.
Whether it is celebrities, the media, corporate functions, house parties or traditional gatherings, the word' Fashion Sense' crops up everywhere.

The thing is, combining outfits and creating a sense of style isn't really that complicated as it seems. It is mostly about choosing the right colour combination than anything else. Of course accesories play a great role and for women make-up too, but those are secondary.

As the saying goes 'Clothes maketh a man' We all can spruce up our wardrobes with a tiny bit of information about mixing colours and using the right colour combination; something that I have realised over a period of time.

Colour Combination is something which we all want to know about, don't we??

Whether you are a man or a woman,  combining colours confuses most of us. Combining the right coloured outfits and teaming them up makes a lot of impact. Afterall, life is nothing without the right colours is it??

A few basic types of colour combinations which we can use in our day to day lives are  Monochrome, Complementary, Analogous and Split Complementary

MONOCHROME style is using only a single colour like black, red or anything else.
Black Monochrome (me)

COMPLEMENTARY style basically works on the principle of opposites attract! So just use two contrasting or opposite colour shades. eg- red and green, black and white, dark blue and red etc.

Complementary (opposites)
Analogous (neighbours)
ANALOGOUS style means that neighbours get along well. Which means you can mix two colours who are similar. For eg- deep green and light green or dark pink and lighter shade of pink,  blue and violet etc.

SPLIT COMPLEMENTARY style means mixing two analogous colours (neighbours) are mixed with one complementary (opposite) colour to create an enhanced and different look.
Split Complementary
For example pairing a pale blue T-shirt with dark blue jeans and adding an orange scarf for contrast or enhanced style. That's split complementary for you.

So that was a bit about colour combination..Confused? I hope not! Head to your wardrobe right now and have a look at all those colours in there!

These days, prints are in fashion. Whether they are animal prints or nature prints or just plain design prints, we see them everywhere. In fact, as Indians print and designs in our clothes has always been a part of our wardrobes since generations together.

Double printed outfit. Bright print top and soft design print leggings (me)
Many of us shy away from wearing prints, but I think prints are cool. They give a different, funky and fun look to your outfit.

The basic rule of print is to team a printed top or tee with a plain or monochrome pant or a printed legging or jegging or jeans with a monochrome top or tee. There is no question of mix and match if you are wearing a printed dress (one piece)

If you want to wear both of the outfits in print make sure both of the prints are not loud. One of them is soft print and the other one colourful. I am sure if you stick to this, you can definitely pull off a head to toe print outfit.
Monochrome Top with Printed bottom dhoti harems (me)

So there you are.. That was some information about clothing and colour combination.

Go ahead, mix n match and have fun!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Politics, Power, Pride and Prejudice!

There was a time in India, when the British ruled the nation. They ruled India for 150 years. A handful of British ruled the entire huge nation for such a long time. It seems impossible that such few people had a hold over such a large population. You know what their strategy was which gave them a hold on us Indians? "Divide and rule" Eventually we Indians fought back for freedom and today we are an Independent country.

The thing is, this Independence, isn't proving to be a total piece of cake. Somewhere down the line, we are paying the price of being Indian.

The Congress Party ruled this nation for majority of the years post Independence. I am not denying good things done by them, but the corruption levels, the amount of scams and crimes done by members of their party would put even criminals to shame!

The BJP led Modi government came into power  2 years back. The people who's pockets were being filled due to the Congress government when it was in power, had huge problems against the Modi government. Yes, the BJP led government isn't a miracle who will solve all our problems, but it is still a very good option for India.

Today, India is battling a large number of problems. Poverty, illiteracy, Female foeticide, superstitions and much more.

Amid all of these grave problems, there seems to be a new set of problems. India has always been
known as a peaceful country where all religions, casts and sects co-exist peacefully. It still is the peaceful nation, but somewhere, we've lost faith in oursevles.

Today, we see a biased- "Paid media" who are called "presstitutes" dominate the news scenario in India. The media houses are being paid to show case what the political parties not in power want and brainwash people into thinking absolutely bizarre things.
There is a trend of highlighting or hyping only the negative aspects of any story or news. Why? because "Negative Sells" and each of them compete against each other on who highlights the negative and the bad more better than the other.

There is a lot of bias today with regards to certain religions and cultures. Today being a nationalist means slamming our own culture and tradition and blind worshiping fake trends and cultures. Ridiculous!

The nation is divided into Religious fanatics. We have Anti-Hindus, Anti-Muslims, Anti- Catholics and god knows who else! 'Pseudo intellectuals' who don't really know the truth bias their views, slamming social workers and spiritual leaders.

Everyone wants peace,we all want to be happy and that's what every religion and culture preach and teach- Peace, Love and Harmony are the basis of all religions.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of brainwashed terrorists killing people because they feel they will go to heaven after doing so, a lot of politicians out there with their own selfish agendas dividing people on the basis of cast, religion and sect, so that they gain support from a particular group and win.

In fact, they are applying the "Divide and Rule" policy again in India and gaining benefit from it. Creating prejudices in the minds of people, against each other, so that the pride of some group or sect is hurt and they benefit in the end.

The media is absolutely delighted at all of this and reaps it's benefits by hanging on to and harping and thriving on such negative things and blowing them out of proportion.

A recent example which I can state is of the World Cultural Festival in India by the spiritual organization - The Art Of Living. It was a historic moment in time and people from over 155 countries had come to celebrate peace and unity and showcase themselves as one irrespective of their caste, religion, culture and sect.

Even then, a lot of false propaganda and negativity was spread in Indian media, while the foreign media showed the event in a positive light.

The Grand stage & celebrations of The World Cultural Festival
The Art of Living NGO has been working tirelessly and relentlessly for 35 years under the guidance of Sri Sri Ravishankarji and has provided relief and stress busting techniques to millions around the world. None of this, however, has been covered by Indian media. Of course, it's something positive isn't it? Why should they spread it then??

As a writer, I wanted to pursue journalism before I took to blogging and became a physiotherapist. Seeing the scenario in Indian journalism, I am honestly thankful I am not just another paid media slave digging out for negativity and blowing it out of proportion. I don't really trust everything they show on television or print in the newspapers or spread on the internet. I am not generalizing that all news is blown out of proportion, or highlighted wrongly, but I am just cautious enough to not blindly trust news houses.

A certain section in this country thrives on negativity, prejudices and political agendas and power games; and there I thought Pride and Prejudice a romantic novel was all rosy and cute! haha!

I also know that a certain section of reporters and media are striving to bring the truth to us. Like I said, I am not generalizing. Sadly, such people are lesser in number than the media who are falling prey to parties with vested interests and selfish agendas.

I think it is up to the common  people's rationale to think twice before reacting to news and situations. I really do not know where we are heading if we continue being brainwashed into fighting with each other and bashing each other all the time.

Dear Indians, I feel we are much more beyond these silly games and can rise above issues which create a rift between us and divide us.. Let's not lose faith in ourselves. We are a great nation. We are not perfect, but I am sure we can strive to be! Together, with Unity!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Summer Care tips. Beat the heat!

It's summer again. Whether you live in cities which have dry heat like Delhi, Bangalore or Pune or humid heat like Mumbai, Chennai or Goa, summer is in and we all need a few handy tips to beat the heat!

Here are a few tips which may be handy-

1. Stay hydrated.
Keep yourself hydrated and prevent dehydration and fatigue by drinking lots of water. Drinking 3-4 litres of water in a day is a must in summer, especially if you travel outside frequently like I do. So always carry your bottle of water with you. 

2. Protect your head.
Whether it is wearing a scarf or a cap or carrying an umbrella, it is always better to protect your head to avoid sun strokes and giddiness and sun burns.

3. Wear Sunglasses.
The UV rays are high during summer and it is always best to wear sunglasses to beat them.

4. Wear summer clothing.
By summer clothing I mean something not very tight and sticking to the skin. Loose clothing, preferably cotton, and something covering your body to avoid too much tanning. 

5. Food.
Consuming fresh vegetables and fruits, curd, yogurt and butter milk help your body in summer. Coconut water helps and so does adding a little salt to your fruit dishes.
 Also, I find that eating in smaller portions at regular intervals helps during summer as the appetite goes for a toss and one does not feel really very hungry to consume large meals in one go. Consuming smaller portions at intervals also aids in weight loss and aids digestion.

6. Skin care.
Yeah, skin care is one really important aspect overall and especially in summer. 
The UV rays can do quite some damage to the skin and leave it burnt and tanned.

Exfoliate- Using scrubs and masks to exfoliate the skin is useful which helps in removing tan and dead skin.

Moisturize- Applying moisturizer to your body prevents skin from dehydrating.

Sunscreen- Applying sunscreen in summer to exposed body parts is important to prevent damage by UV rays. sun block creams with SPF of 15-30 are good enough but you can use an SPF of 45 too if you feel the need. ( My personal favourite are Lotus herbal sunscreens.)
Once you apply, after a while, you can reapply sunscreens if you feel the need to.

7. Lip care. Lips tend to be forgotten when it comes to summer care. They can get chapped and damaged faster since the skin layer is thinner. So applying a sunscreen over your lips or a chapstick, lip balm which has sunscreen factor in it can be useful. (Personal favourite- Maybelline baby lips with SPF 20) 

There you are!! Those were some of the tips to beat the summer heat. Hope you find them useful!

Happy Summer, keep glowing!