Tuesday 31 December 2013

UnJaani Dushmanee with stubble

It was the wedding day of Bhola, the local hero and Champa, Thakur’s daughter. Sadness surrounded the decked up haveli. In last 3 months, 4 brides had lost their lives to the secret monster. His target – brides dressed in red. 

A night before wedding, the monster played his trick. He possessed Bhola’s body before the wedding rituals. Waiting for the kill, all it could do to Bhola was to grow ugly stubble on his face.

Everyone was shocked. But since Bhola had just been back from a trip to town, everyone thought stubble was the new fashion in town.

The procession reached Champa’s haveli. Dressed in red, Champa walked in. As she looked up to see her prince charming, her eyes opened wide in shock. The smooth and well groomed Bhola was sporting ugly stubble!

“Bhola, what have you done? This is not the look we decided. I hate that unclean stubble.” Champa fumed. “Bapu, I can’t marry him. Marriage happens once in life, I can’t spoil my photu album with this ugly look”, she said.

The monster hiding inside Bhola’s body, couldn’t take any more insult. “I will show her what can I do”. Within minutes the stubble grew to an ugly beard and the monster pounced at Champa.
Just then, Swamiji, the village priest threw Gangajal on him. The monster soon left Bhola’s body and Bhola became normal.

“Beti, how did u know he had changed?” Thakur Sahab asked. 

Champa smiled, “Bapu, when I met Bhola the first time, his simplicity and clean shaven look bowled me over. I knew Bhola would do anything but would never sport stubble, coz he knows his Champa hates that unclean stubble”

Protest Against Unclean Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda. I accept tags from Anita 

Sunday 29 December 2013

For better or for worse…

Things had become bad to worse over the last few months. She had been under house arrest by her own family. Loving a boy of another religion was the worst gift she had given her orthodox parents.  Her only hope - the housemaid, who could pass on the message to her lover.

The decision was made, to escape the land where love holds no meaning. She convinced the maid to deliver that letter to her lover, and in exchange parted with the stilettos her brother had got her from London.

On the fateful night, she fled home as the maid bid her a silent goodbye. “So far so good”, she thought as she crossed the first hurdle – getting out of the house secretly. The enthusiasm of being with her beloved surpassed the pain of leaving home without saying the final goodbye. But all was fair in love and war.

With dreams of a better life, she paced ahead on the foggy night towards her destination. She rechecked her watch. It was about time he would come there on his black Yamaha. She reached 10min ahead and saw a black bike waiting to zoom her away to eternal happiness. She was elated. “He kept his promise, he is the best”, she thought as she quickly sat on the bike and hugged him from behind. “Let’s run away from the land of hatred and honour killings to the land of love and peace”, she said. 

The foggy night and the helmet didn’t show his face, but the hug had familiar warmth. As the ignition started and the lights of a car following them fell on the side mirror, her worst fear came true…It was her brother riding the bike, not him.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Saturday 28 December 2013

Farooq Sheikh – A gem in the crown of Indian Parallel Cinema

Tumko Dekha to ye khayaal aya,
Zindagi dhoop aur tum ghanaa saya...

These and many more songs flash in my mind as I write about Farooq Sheikh. Having grown up on a healthy dose of parallel cinema, Farooq Sheikh is a name that features in some of my favourite movies.

As I read about his sudden death due to cardiac arrest, I was reminded of a slim guy with an honest face charming a simple Deepti Naval in the song “tum ko dekha”. In the 80s where “the angry young man” and disco dancer were ruling the hearts of the masses, here he was, a simple man, who didn’t mind posing as a rickshaw walla or a bangle seller to spend few moments in private with his lady love (Film: Bazaar)

He represented the common man, the guy next door, who may not boast of bulky biceps or swanky cars, but in whose company, any girl would feel the warmth of a genuine relationship.
But, that’s not all…
The actor who played the guy next door, essayed the role of a royal almost effortlessly. Who can forget his performance in movies like Umrao Jaan? The shy nawab curbed in the bounds of nawaabi, whose eyes said it all. 
But shyness was not all, for there were movies like Katha, Faasle and Shatranj ke khiladi, which saw a different side of him. One also saw him occasionally in commercial movies like Biwi Ho to aisi and Noorie.
The 90s saw him making his presence felt on the television arena. It still gives immense delight to watch episodes of the famous “Ji Mantriji” and “Jeena issi ka naam hai” on youtube, even as channels have telecasted these popular shows over and over again.
In the 2000s, he became selective about movies however, gave us movies of critical acclaim like Lahore, which won him the 2010 National Film award for Best Supporting Actor.
A very versatile actor, Farooq performed was equally comfortable with theatre and television as he was with cinema. His famous play with Shabana Azmi “Tumhari Amrita” ran into many years of success.
Here are some of my personal favourites –
While his on screen chemistry with Deepti Naval set the screen on fire, Farooq was a romantic in his real life too. He courted his wife for nine years before getting married. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.
Life throws the unexpected when we are least aware of it. Who knew that a family vacation to Dubai would take him away from us forever. Simple, sensible, humble, jovial, warm are some of the words I have for him for I have been a big fan of his movies since God knows when.
Indian cinema will always remember this boy from Baroda, who gave us the simple guy next door of the 80s.
Rest in peace Farooq. May your humble soul remain in happiness wherever you are.
Here are some lines from one of his movies (Bazaar)…
Karoge yaad to har baat yaad ayegi
Guzarte waqt ki har mauj thehar jayegi
Farooq Sheikh (1948-2013)
Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Friday 27 December 2013

5 vardaans from mummy Santa

Parents - a word that lays a lot of meaning in my life. All that I am today I because of the hard work and sacrifice by my parents. They sacrificed their comforts to ensure I didn’t miss on any of my luxuries. Their careful planning, consistent saving and wise investments ensured I got the best - for education, health, comforts and marriage. Thanks mom and dad, for you are the one I look up to when I think of ideal parenting.

At a time when biological clock goes ticking and relatives shower me with advises to take on the “big” responsibility, BlogAdda and HDFC come up with the 1001 gifts activity. Parenting brings unbounded joy in one’s life. But with it also come responsibility, for someone’s entire life depends on your decisions. As parents, we want the best for our kids. Having got the best from my parents, I would like to follow the learning they gave me, and take it a step forward to ensure my children can live their life with happiness, dignity and independence.

So, if me, the mummy Santa were to think of 5 vardaans (5 gifts) I could give my kids for a secure future, they would be –

1.     Learn, for the universe is your learning ground – My mom always said everyone learn from their own mistakes, but a wise person is the one who learns from the mistake of others. I wish to pass on the vardaan of the quest for learning to my li’l ones. For, the person who learns to adapt to the changing environment learns to survive in all seasons.

2.     Saving for the rainy day – As a parent, we want the best for our kids. And the secret of getting the best in limited resources lies in meticulous planning. To ensure everything goes smooth for them, even if I am not there, I will invest, but at the same time, I would also want them to understand the value of money and learn the art of planning.

3.    Be Positive – Ups and downs are a part and parcel of life. But the one who emerges a winner in the race of life is the one who stays positive and never loses faith in hardwork.

4.    Health is wealth – All the comforts are a waste without a healthy body and soul. In today’s stressful life, health problems can knock at the door anytime. Just like my parents ensured my health cover was the first big gift I got, I too would ensure the same for my kids. Ayushmaan Bhava!

5.    Live with Dignity  - Better to live a humble life with dignity, than to enjoy comforts from pity. Own house, sufficient investments so that my kids don’t have to depend on anybody to realize their dreams. The final vardaan – Sar Uthha ke Jiyo!


This post is a part of the 1001 Gifts Activity by HDFC Life in association with BlogAdda

Wednesday 25 December 2013

MindRocks Shillong 2013

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

After a rocking youth summit in Delhi, Mindrocks decided to play the Santa for the youth of North East! And so India Today organized a rocking Mindrocks youth summit in Shillong!

Mind Rocks is an event designed especially for the youth. The daylong conference is a forum that allows bright young minds to interact in an open two-way conversation with their icons. A space where inspirational leaders from different spheres of life share their success stories. A festival that celebrates through ideas, music and art by recognizing the best in the field and also giving youth a stage to create, perform and engage.

I have attended the Delhi summit in September and what an awesome experience it was! Got to see all my celeb youth icons LIVE! Here’s the link to my coverage post for the Delhi event!

Having seen the action live in Delhi, I was super excited for the Shillong event and the link for live streaming all set on my browser window! Here’s the link to mypre event coverage…

This year’s summit was sponsored by Meghalaya tourism. On the morning of 23rd, the State Convention Centre in Shillong was jam packed. Excitement was evident on the faces of youngsters waiting for the event to start!

The event began with a Keynote address by Dr. Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister, Meghalaya. A politican with multiple talent, he surprised the crowd with a superb song. I was like, “He sings so well!”. Having got into politics at a young age, he emphasized the need for the youth today to have the right orientation, so that India can get more leaders from the youth. A lot of good things happen too, and the politicians need to connect with ground reality and tell people what exactly happens, he said.

He was soon joined by Vivek Oberoi and Rabbi Shergill and the Jingle Bells made the crowd go musical!
After politics and celluloid, the next session was with 2 women of substance. The theme was “Outsider in my own country” Zerifa Wahid, Actor, Assamese films and Binalakshmi Nepram, Founder, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network spoke about how the women from NorthEast are looked at differently in other parts of India. They cited their own examples when they faced indifferent behaviour elsewhere due to their different looks. Zerifa Wahid said the women of NorthEast need to project themselves to the rest of the country, and for that they need the patronage of the government. A shocking fact was revealed by Binalakshmi Nepram – 67% of the crime incidents against women in Delhi are against women from the North East! She also said its time for the country to recognize the women of North East.

Vivek Oberoi took on the stage and spoke to the crowd about making it big in Bollywood. Hardwork and hardwork gets one to the top and one has to go beyond the materialistic things in life..

It seems politics ruled the summit for a good deal of time. The next session was about New Politics for new India. Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma, Head of the Royal House of Tripura and Editor, The Northeast Today spoke about the recent wave of the Aam Aadmi Party and the trials and tribulations of successful governance.
After a heavy political session, it was treat time for sports lovers. Akhil Kumar, Boxing Gold medalist, Commonwealth Games, 2006 came on stage and spoke about the motivating factors that helped him reach where he is. Cinema has a great influence on the youth and right motivation, the right decision at the right time does the trick.

Soon, the strings of guitar got the people rocking for singers Papon, Rabbi Shergill and Monica Dogra were on stage! It was funny when RJ Aparshakti got Papon and Rabbi shergill to talk about how they were named.

Monica Dogra spoke about the musical connection and how music influences everything. Parvathy Omanakuttan, Miss India 2008 spoke about her journey from the Backwater to beauty contest. She came across as a very practical person with a mind of her own. Doing what one believes in is the right thing. She even said she wouldn’t endorse something she doesn’t believe in.The beauty queen also demonstrated how to do a catwalk.

The next session was with former cricketer Ajay Jadeja. Teams are run on ideology and you can't have different thoughts in the team, he said. He shared his views on BCCI, the good and bad side of the game and even said, "Cricket has nothing to do with individuals, it is a team sport and the best example is Sachin Tendulkar"...right!

 Finally, it was Abhay Deol who stole maximum limelight on stage! The crowd went wild as he spoke with his signature sweet shy smile. He spoke about his simple roots, innovation in cinema and the stereotypes in Bollywood. Proving his sweet self, he sang “Emotional atyachaar” with the audience and was also seen grooving to “Senorita” with the youngsters.

The event ended with a rocking musical performance, a signature feature of all Mind Rocks events.

My blog is once again proud to be associated with Mind Rocks and India Today for this amazing event that brings youth and celebs together! Already waiting for the next summit!

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Playing secret elve this Christmas

As the midnight ushers in Christmas…Santa slides down the Chimney of the Indiblogeshwari house. Smiles, happiness and peace for everyone, are the gifts he has brought. And for lucky few blogeshwaris, he has also engaged the “secret elves” for a surprise gift…




And the chosen Blogeshwari is…Manogna from “Beeafteryou”

A newbee on the blogging scene (literally, as she introduces herself as a bee in her first post!), I was quite surprised for coincidentally, her blog name matches the name of one of my blogs created during my early blogging days!

Manogna, as she calls herself on her blog, has been in the blogging circuit since March 2013. She has already written 60 posts by now, each one refreshingly different.

The bright green background of her blog welcomes you and the IndiArtist Badge comes to notice almost instantly.

Her first post got me all smiling, for it’s a beautiful yet simple introduction…a very honest post where she thinks aloud and shares her dilemma on what to blog about- a common feeling within all of us when we start blogging.

A blogger with varied interests, she blogs about movies, travel, fashion and just about anything under the sun…I loved the honesty and simplicity in her posts. It’s good to see a blogger who writes for the love of blogging rather than to get a task completed.

By the way, the IndiArtist is pretty good at sketching and has posted some of her sketches on her blog. I particularly liked this one…

After reading her posts, I was intrigued to know more about her, but sadly her profile page doesn’t say anything about her…perhaps she could write few things about herself.
A very uncluttered and straightforward blog, I must say. After long long time I came across a blog which wasn’t cluttered with too many contest entries!

Way to go Manogna! Keep up the good work!

Wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Monday 23 December 2013

A box full of memories…

My best friend Gracy is my friend, philosopher, guide and partner in crime. We met in primary school – me, a shy 6 year old, late entrant in the middle of the academic session. She, a confident, vivacious, hip n happening gal, who always did what she felt was right….and over the years, passed on her “having a mind of your own” infection to me.
She displayed her daredevil attitude in our first meeting itself when she saved me from couple of classmates who were trying to bully me, taking full advantage of my new kid on the block status. We hit it instantly, our personalities so different, yet complementing each other in our own right.

The bus ride to school no longer remained a crying affair for me, for Gracy was there waiting inside with my seat well reserved. She became my first reason to look forward to going to school.

The fashionista…
While I was the studious, shy, boring kid, she knew her mix n match right. Her house was not far from mine. Whenever mom would get late to pick me up, I would go to her house, and enjoy the yummy south Indian feast her mom prepared for us. Knowing my mom would come to pick me up only by evening, we would quickly finish the homework and create our mini theatre. Her mom’s sarees became our theatre wings and her makeup kit, our treasure. We would spend the entire afternoon trying to drape aunty’s sarees; get the makeup and hairdo right and do our own small fashion show, where we were the models as well as the audience! Pity then, there were no digicams, leave apart mobile phones. Else, watsapp would have come very handy!

My first stint with nailpaint
I will never forget the day I put on my first coat of nail paint. Immense joy and sorrow at the same time…that was what I felt that day. Our moms always kept nail paints away from us. It was also a banned item in school. Being the curious duo, we were dying to paint our nails red. One day Gracy smuggled her mom’s brand new nail paint to school. Since there was a checking of nails in the assembly, Gracy decided we would colour our nails in the bus on our way back home. Amidst the jerks of the old DTC school bus, Gracy somehow managed to dump the red liquid on our nails. We were happy for having done it finally but didn’t know what awaited us at the bus stop. The moment our mothers saw our nails, they got furious. Gracy faced her mom’s ire for spoiling her brand new nail paint while my mom blasted at me for doing stuff that wasn’t meant to be for kids.

Our birthdays
We always were chief guests in each others’ birthday parties. While I ensured mom gave her the big waaala cake piece with the cream flowers and cherry, Gracy ensured she would give me undivided attention in her party.

Life becomes a beautiful journey when you have a best friend who understands the hidden you.

Sharing our passions, secrets, temptations, we grew up and went on to different colleges. While our mutual friends were sad for us, for they thought it would make us part; for Gracy and I, it was a moment to rejoice. For different colleges meant a wider span of boys to checkout at college fests! We would hang out at each other’s college, and leave no chance to be the “pretty gal from other college”. Gracy was a rockstar, for I would receive so many requests from guys for “a friendly intro” with her.

College also meant more pocket money, frequent trips to janpath and Sarojini market, where we would spend hours bargaining and picking up similar clothes!

The three memorable years of college also gave us numerous pyjama parties! These were also occasions for us to organise our own mini “budget” spa sessions where we would share tips, try new hair masks, share knowledge about any new beauty product and display our intelligent self by sharing beauty secrets. Gracy would treat me to a special hot oil hair massage and I would introduce her to new face masks!

Some girls envied us, for girls aren’t supposed to share beauty secrets! But when you have a friend who is a mirror image of your own soul, the word “competition” does not exist!

Sharing our joys and sorrows, we both are now into our late twenties.

Here are some lines I dedicate to the beautiful angel in my life…

From sharing our lunch box,pencils and clips
 to sharing beauty and dating tips,
from advising on a bad hair day
to waiting for me on hot afternoons of May
From sharing secrets nobody else knew
To being one of my closest few
For understanding the unsaid of a person so shy
On bad days, giving me a shoulder to cry
I am blessed to have a friend like you
I know such luck comes only to few
Friends like you are timeless, like wine
Thanks for filling my life with sunshine!

This post is written for Guessing Game contest by Indiblogger and Dove.

Shillong, get rocking with MindRocks!!!

Unleashing the power of youth across India – well, India Today knows it best. After a rocking youth summit in Delhi in September (You can read my Delhi event coverage here), the event is headed for Shillong.

The event will get together the youth with their favourite youth icons from various walks of life. The daylong conference is a forum that allows bright young minds to interact in an open two-way conversation with their icons. A space where inspirational leaders from different spheres of life share their success stories. A festival that celebrates through ideas, music and art by recognizing the best in the field and also giving youth a stage to create, perform and engage. 

I had a rocking experience at Mindrocks Delhi  this September and I can’t wait to catch the action live from the Shillong event!

The speakers include
·         Dr. Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister, Meghalaya
·         Vivek Oberoi, Actor
·         Zerifa Wahid, Actor, Assamese films
·         Binalakshmi Nepram, Founder, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network
·         Shazia Ilmi, Politican, Social Activist, Journalist
·         Akhil Kumar, Gold Medallist, Commonwealth Games, 2006
·         Ajay Jadeja, former Indian Cricketer
·         Parvathy Omanakuttan
·         Papon, Singer, musician, composer, record producer
·         Rabbi Shergill, Singer, song writer, guitarist


The very hot n happening Abhay Deol!

 Wats more, there is also a rock concert by Soul Mate!

Seeing so many celeb icons together in a single day was such a treat for me in Delhi (I still remember girls going crazy when Virat Kohli and Farhan Akhtar stepped on the stage!)…can’t wait to witness the icons interacting with the audience live and sharing their secret mantra of what makes them so rocking!

Wanna, be a part of this rocking event? Well, you can register here

Stay tuned for live twitter updates #MindRocks #IndiaToday!

Wednesday 18 December 2013

A better way…

So many gadgets floating around,
Promising great features to be found
But when it comes to delivering the same
The big promises hide in shame
If only there was a better way
It would truly make my day

The poet in me was grumbling an impromptu poem as I struggled to revive my tablet, famished due to battery discharge. “And I was promised a lo..ng battery life by the salesperson.” I said to myself, remembering the conversation I had with the salesperson while buying my tablet.

Being a working woman, a wife, a blogger and a daughter in law, I have to juggle various acts together. As the passion for blogging overshot the time available in hand, I had bought a tablet to be “always on the go”. It seemed like the next best thing. I was promised all the good things a woman could ask for – seeing a recipe on the tablet right in the kitchen and preparing the dish right away; catching up on my movies, blogs and e books on my way to work and most importantly, to be able to blog live anywhere, anytime.
But there were few things I was not prepared for –

  • I opened the recipe on the tablet and placed it on the slab, and before the salt could go inside the pan, it chose to season the screen of my tablet. Soon after mom in law came and said “Why have you kept on the slab? Anything could spill over.” And my enthusiasm of cooking disappeared then and there.

  • In the evening, in the metro, I thought of catching up on some blogging. And that’s when I discovered another irritating aspect – I could either hold the tablet right or could type. For there was no way, I could place it in a position comfortable enough to write.
  • At night, I cursed my tablet while trying to type my next post. For, before I could press the upload button, the tablet shouted of a low battery, wasting 45 minutes of nonstop typing.
  • Mornings began with a stiff neck. For, long hours of late night in ergonomically unsuitable position played its part right.

As I sipped my morning tea with a pained look one day, Mr. Hubby looked concerned. Life had not changed for good despite the entry of the tablet.

Oblivious to the thoughts in his mind, I said, “I am stressed. Perhaps, yoga could help.”
“Yes, yoga will help you do stuff in a better way”, he said.

“A better way?” I was puzzled.

By evening the puzzle had been solved.

Indeed, Yoga had come to my rescue – Mr. Hubby had bought home the Yoga tablet from Lenovo.

“Another tablet? Why? They are all the same!” I sounded concerned.
“No dear, this time your pain is sure to be over”, Mr. Hubby sounded relaxed.

In the next couple of days, the Yoga tablet indeed proved the better way had arrived.

With its dynamic “multi modes”, my tablet experience seemed to have been revolutionized!

Picture this –

  • Me in kitchen - trying out Mr. Hubby’s favourite Lebanese dish. No hassle of spill, for my Yoga tablet offered a stand mode which helped me read out the recipe comfortably.

  • The journey to office no longer remained a struggle of holding the tablet right. With its hold mode, I could easily maintain that grip amidst all the jerks and the metro crowd. Soon the crowded metro experience to work became my time of catching up on my e books and articles. Due to the ease of holding, the tablet had also become my companion to the supermarket. Life was changing for good!

  • Late night blogging no longer meant ergonomic discomfort. With the tilt mode, I could complete all the blogging and typing work easily, without any compromise on my spine or the blogging deadlines. With a battery backup of upto 18 hours, my Yoga tablet left all other tablets behind.

And this is the poet in me now –

No pain in the spine
No missing deadline
With its dynamic multi mode
Lenovo seems to have cracked the code
With dynamic modes - Tilt, stand or hold
And a battery life so bold
The Yoga tablet is here to stay
And help us do things in a better way

This is a post written for ABetterWay contest by Lenovo, in association with IndiBlogger. Lenovo, with itsYoga Tablet has revolutionised the entire tablet experience. Dynamic multi modes, superb battery life, and the trusted name of Lenovo – the Yoga tablet will surely help us do things in a better way!