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Rima Ghosh

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Chicken is the supreme non-vegetarian food enjoyed by many people across the world. Each culture and country have a traditional way of preparing chicken with their kind of favorite spices and methods. India is a vibrant nation and I guess every state comes up with its unique chicken preparation. For example, Butter Chicken is Delhi’s favorite while Kosha Mangsho is Kolkata’s signature. Inspired by many chicken dishes, I never stop experimenting a bit in my kitchen. So, during the last get-together with close friends, I prepared this “Lemon Garlic Creamy Chicken” and the results were outstanding. This chicken dish is delicious, juicy, creamy, and full of flavors. I didn’t use any ginger for this preparation and the result is still amazing.

Take a look at the process of Lemon Garlic Creamy Chicken and enjoy with your pals.

Step 1: For Marinade:
Ingredients:

Chicken: 1 Kg

Salt: 2 Tsp

Lemon: 3 if big and 4 if small

Black Pepper: 5 Tsp

Oregano: 3 Tsp

Marinade Process:
  • Bring the chicken and wash it very well.
  • Now, squeeze the lemons and keep it aside.
  • Take a big bowl and place the washed chicken pieces followed by lemon juice. Massage the lemon juice nicely on the chicken pieces.
  • Now sprinkle all the dry ingredients – salt, black pepper, & oregano.
  • Spread them well and keep the chicken in refrigerator for minimum 30 minutes and maximum 2 hours.
Step 2: Fry The Chicken
Ingredients:

Oil – 3-4 Tsp

Butter – 2 Tsp

Garlic – 10-12 Finely Chopped

Frying Process:
  • Take out the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to stand the room temperature for like 20 minutes.
  • Heat some oil and butter in the frying pan.
  • Sprinkle some salt on it and some garlic.
  • Fry the chicken in a batch of 4-5 pieces.
  • Make sure that you put few finely chopped garlic cloves, every time you put the fresh batch of chicken to fry.
  • The fried chicken should have a golden brown color and prick the chicken to check its softness. While frying the chicken, your chicken should be 80% cooked.

Tip To Remember: The basic reason for frying the chicken is to enhance the taste. Frying the chicken before preparing the gravy adds crunchiness to the chicken pieces, makes them softer, and easier to digest. So, never forget this step of frying chicken well before going for the gravy process.

Step 3: For Gravy
Ingredients:

Onion – 3 to 4 large

Garlic – 30 cloves

Butter – 20 grams

Cooking Oil – 4-5 Tsp

Fennel Seeds – ½ Tsp

Cumin Seeds – 1 Tsp

Salt – As Per Taste

Sugar – Just About a Pinch

Cumin Powder – 2 Tsp

Coriander Powder – 1 Tsp

Cashew Nuts – 10-12 Pieces

Milk – 3 Cups

Yoghurt – ½ Cup

Green Chilies – 5/6 Pieces

Black Pepper – 5-6 Tsp

Gravy Making Process:
  • Make a paste of the cashew nuts with water and keep it aside.
  • Take one onion and prepare a paste with the green chilies with a spoon of curd and 1 spoon of water in it.
  • Longitudinally slice rest of the onions.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and finely chop them.
  • Whisk the ½ cup of curd very well so that there are no lumps at all.
  • Take a clean wok or kadhai and put the oil followed by butter.
  • Once the oil+butter heat up, add the fennel seeds followed by cumin seeds. Let them crackle and then put the sliced onions.
  • Fry the onions for 3-4 minutes and then add the chopped garlic cloves and keep the flame on medium.’
  • Keep on stirring every now and then for 5-6 minutes so that the onion and garlic don’t stick to the bottom.
  • Take the cumin powder and coriander powder in a bowl and mix in 3-4 spoons of water or as much as required. Now pour this in the fried onion & garlic.
  • Let the spice mix well with onion & garlic.
  • Now add the onion paste and close the lid for 2 minutes.
  • Once the onion paste has left the raw smell, add the whisked curd & cashew nut paste and stir very well so that everything mixes properly.
  • Put the instructed amount of black pepper at this stage and let this mixture boil for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Now pour the milk and give a nice stir.
  • See the consistency and you can add some water because once the whole mix cools down, it will thicken more.
  • After adding the milk let the mix boil for 5 minutes and then add the fried chicken pieces in it.
  • Pour some water and close the lid for 7 minutes so that the chicken pieces soak the amazing spices well.
Step 4: Garnishing & Presentation
Ingredients:

Coriander Leaves – 3 Tsp Finely chopped

Cream – About 6-7 Tsp (for whole 1 Kg)

  • Slit Green Chilies – 4 or 5 (or more depending on taste)
  • Once the chicken is cooked, divide it in separate bowls depending on the number of people to be served.
  • Now, garnish every chicken bowl well.
  • Sprinkle the coriander leaves and green chilies first followed by cream.

Enjoy this tasty chicken with paratha, roti, or any preparation of rice.

Oh, God! It’s that time of the month again!

The killer cramps, non-stop bleeding, fear of staining the bed sheet & clothes – the list is endless! “Periods” – that’s surely not a disease, it is a sign that your system is fit and fine but going through the tribulations of those days is like hell for most of you. You cannot sit at a place or at a posture for long, you need a cushion for your back and a hot bag for the stomach. People surrounding you say that “why are you being so cranky?”

You crave for some specific kind of food too! But keeping your fitness in mind, you should eat the right kind of food items during this time of the month. Read below & know more about them:

Ginger
Ginger
Image Source – Google

Ginger is one of the common ingredients in most of our Indian dishes. It is a grandma recipe and that’s why it is bound to work wonders when you are going through those traumatic pain. Sipping fresh ginger water helps a lot in curbing the abdominal pain. During the first 3 days of menstruation, if you take 1 gram of ginger powder and mix it in hot water followed by a slice of lemon – it will ease your pain a lot. The effect of ginger is as strong as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen which are anti-inflammatory painkillers.

Salmon
Salmon
Image Source – Google

Research and studies reveal that women who consume omega-3S experience milder periods-pain as compared to the rest. Omega-3S contains anti-inflammatory fats which you will get in sufficient quantity in salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines. So, if you start consuming salmon at least twice a week, you will be fitter during your menstruation days. Additionally, you can also have walnuts or flaxseeds too!

Green Vegetables
Green Vegetables
Image Source – Google

Green leafy vegetables are never on top of anyone’s craving list – right? Kale, broccoli, spinach and every other green leafy veggies are really rich in magnesium which has anti-cramping qualities. Thus, consumption of these food items either in your soups, smoothies, salads, or curry would help you ease the menstrual pain a lot. Apart from magnesium, these green veggies carry vitamin A, B6, C, E, calcium, and potassium too. All these ingredients are great at alleviating your PMS symptoms.

Yoghurt
Yoghurt
Image Source – Google

Yoghurt is full of calcium which has been found to help ease menstrual cramps. Not only that, one large study found a diet with calcium-rich dairy products lowered the risk for developing PMS by as much as 40% (yes please!) Probiotic yoghurt always contains “friendly” bacteria which supports a healthy digestive system and may help to ease persistent bloating.

Bananas
Bananas
Image Source – Google

One of the worst feelings during menstruation cramps is that bloated feeling. Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamin B6 and these ingredients make bananas a strong contender in alleviating your menstrual cramps and pains. Have it during breakfast or before lunch and it will relieve you much,

Dark Chocolates
Dark Chocolates
Image Source – Google

Some women crave for chocolates during this time of the month and having that is absolutely fine. But replacing that with dark chocolate would be a better idea. Dark chocolate is a great source of magnesium and that will really ease your cramps and pains.

Papaya
Papaya
Image Source – Google

Papaya has amazing health benefits. It is low in sugar, rich in fiber, full of antioxidants, helps in easy digestion, and low in calories. It also has a rich source of magnesium, Vitamin A, potassium, and Vitamin C – all these are ingredients that your body requires to treat the menstrual cramps. Have a bowl of papaya or make papaya shake or smoothie and see the difference.

(Please bear with the length of this review because I tried to bring justice to the length and multiple annotations of Gully Boy)

“Someone beautifully painted a splash of fire with the Ashes” – Gully Boy is revolutionary, inspiring, heart-breaking (at parts), cruel, casual, empathetic, gutsy, & a real tale. In fact, it is not a single movie, it is like a huge thali of varied dishes – all cooked with truth! I am falling short of words to explain the feelings running in my head right now. Very rarely, they make movies that elevate your senses to this level. Only a cool-headed, calm, and composed set of hands could have pulled off this gigantic movie. Zoya Akhtar was ridiculed by a segment of moviegoers that “she makes movies on rich people” to which she retorted “Really! India goes to the theater to watch poverty?!” And here she bounces a story where not only poverty but many shades of the burning challenges of India are accommodated.

Zoya & Reema Kagti has an outstanding caliber of creating a world of their characters where you find the rustic flaws marrying the ironies! Be it Luck By Chance, Dil Dhadakne Do, or Lust Stories – she showed it every time that dichotomy prevails as an underline in every stratum of our society. This movie is dedicated to the life and fame of Divine & Naezy but the movie is way above them.

Story In Short
Story In Short
Image Source – Google

The story primarily focuses on the life of Murad who lives in Dharavi and is pursuing graduation. His father is a driver of a “rich” family who is earning and investing in his education so that his son can become an able man. The family like every other family has its “not so comfortable” stories. Murad’s father marries again and that leads to some friction in the family (beautifully depicted in an un-Ekta Kapoor way). So, Murad writes poetry and listens to world-famous rap stars to deviate himself from his domestic life. His long-time girlfriend of 9 years Safeena played by Alia Bhatt is a motor mouth and a hot spring of anger and rage. One should not mess with her life.

Safeena is an upper-class girl and her parents are more interested in getting her married and not her career in surgery. Murad gets in touch with MC Sher played by Siddhant Chaturvedi. (the invention and gem of the movie) Who helps Murad to polish his skills. From here, the story focuses on Murad’s journey of becoming a rapper who literally rises from the rags. In this journey, he is preparing for his exam, driving a car for the rich, working as a sales guy, and also stealing cars at night! There is also turbulence in his family due to this “not so conventional” form of music.

Moments That You Will Take Back Home
Moments That You Will Take Back Home
Image Source – Google
  1. From rags to riches, comparison of “haves” & “have nots”, patriarchy to conventional norms, dreams vs. reality, dilemma vs. confidence, religion vs. humanity, the reeling gap between rich & poor to dissolving the differences, revolt vs. adjustment, fair & lovely vs. brown & beautiful – there are too many subplots here. The director uses all these elements to create the world of Gully Boy. Never ever trying to be preachy and yet propelling you to think sensibly.
  2. The dialogues of this movie deserve a separate blog. From the awe-inspiring “duniya mein sab comfortable hote to rap koun banata?” (MC Sher) to the selfish “itna sa to life hai mera, ab isme bhi wo ghusegi” (Safeena) and “apne idhar to sab jaat paat dekhte hai, inke yaha direct aankho mein jhankte hai” (MC Sher) – there are multiple moments in this movie which are gutsy, raw, hard-hitting yet so subtle! The dialogue writer Vijay Maurya is impeccable at his job both on & off screen. On screen, you have seen him in Tumhari Sulu and here as the Mama of Murad.
  3. The whole transformation of a shy boy Murad (quite opposite of Ranveer Singh’s real-life aura) to a rap star performing in front of lakhs is carried out to perfection by RS. Zoya taps into a very different Ranveer Singh (we’ve seen that in DDD too) and he never ever falters. During the end of the movie where Murad performs the final round of selection and sings “Aapna Time Aayega” – you can truly feel his heartbeat (& yours too).
  4. The light work and camera angles (Jay Oza) create a beautiful emotional sphere. And that is a prime reason which makes this movie so lovable!
  5. Alia as Safeena is unapologetic about hitting anyone and everyone who she finds out is getting closer to her boyfriend. With every movie, she is breaking her image and making it her career best!

    Moments That You Will Take Back Home
    Image Source – Google
  6. Siddhant Chaturvedi as MC Sher puts up a laudable performance who is the discovery of 2019. Outstanding would be an understatement to describe him here. The movie belongs to him & Ranveer totally.
  7. Vijay Varma as Moeen justifies his role and is another pillar of the movie.
  8. Vijay Raaz plays the father of Murad who is utterly selfish but a bit restrained than the dad of Secret Superstar. He is there to prove a point that patriarchy is detrimental even to the growth and development of art & culture!
  9. One of the highest highs of Gully Boy is that Ranveer Singh. A mass superstar by his own merit is a character here. The hungry eyes and composed body language used to become Murad makes a permanent home in your heart. He is Murad and nothing more than Murad where even for an inch you won’t see the charismatic star flair. In fact, the camera also treats him like that. There is no close-up shot for the heroic entry that is so rampant in Bollywood.
  10. In a particular scene, Zoya infuses Javed Akhtar poetry “Doorie” to play as a monologue to the audience. Murad drives the rich girl home from a party and sees her cry relentlessly. That big gap that our society draws between “have” & “have nots” is captured to excellence here with lines like “Ye behte aansu main pochhu itni meri aukaat nehi”.
  11. Murad once goes to the home of Sky (Kalki Koechlin) and uses her washroom. Belonging to a slum, he knows where he stands in the eyes of the society and thus maintains that gap with his simplicity. He uses a towel and folds it exactly the way it was. Not leaving a mark that it was used by someone. He then counts his steps to gauge the measurement of the washroom. That plays a parallel to the fact that his “kholi” is smaller than this washroom.
  12. Like many, I was not familiar with the Rap music that became a rage in the 80’s – 90’s in America and later came to India too. This album made me listen to these songs in loop. The reason is revolutionary lyrics which are sensible and amazingly records the rage and roar of our times!

A single space to narrate the narrative of Gully Boy won’t be enough! Many movies were made as a commentary to Mumbai. But no one romanced so engagingly with Mumbai where you feel proud of the scars. Many movies were made as a tale of “becoming something” be it biopics or imaginary stories. But no one is “so sold to its passions and dreams” like Gully Boy.

P.S. – Beyond everything else “Ek Hi Raasta” narration of Murad is that anthem that will lubricate your engines of passion. A big salute to Javed Akhtar for inspiring us to take the “other route”!

4.75/5 – (0.25 deducted for not showing a bit more of Kalki Koechlin)

Winter is one of the best seasons of the year in a country like India where majorly we all experience a tropical monsoon climate. The regular summer sweat and scorching sun are replaced by a chilling breeze and a warm sun. But the topography of India is quite diverse and that’s why winter has various faces in various parts of India. Some of the places like Mumbai doesn’t allow people to use warm clothes while people in Delhi calculate how many warm clothes to put on. So, you would get a wide spectrum of places in India where you can enjoy the weather. If you belong to the Northern part of India, then you may pack your bags for South India or the beaches. And if you belong to some moderate to warm climate zone, then you can visit the zero points and enjoy a dreamy winter.

Here are some of the best Indian places that you can visit this winter season.

Auli, Uttarakhand
Auli
Image Source – Google

Located at the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The name “Auli” in Garhwali language means “meadow”. This place is situated at a height of 8,219 feet above the mean sea level. If you love adventure, want to try skiing, and walk on the snow then this is the right place for you. Auli is surrounded by coniferous oak forests and that allows you a wonderful view of the Himalayas. One can also enjoy the cable car which is Asia’s longest cable car which allows you the most breath-taking view of the mountains. This January kick-started the National Championship of Skiing in Auli. You can visit this place till mid of March and enjoy the amazing weather!

Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

Rann of Kutch, also known as the Great Rann of Kutch

Great Rann of Kutch
Image Source – Google

Every winter lakhs of visitors descend on the world’s biggest salt desert – Rann of Kutch stretching 7,505 square miles in the Thar Desert to witness the white expanse of the serene salt sand under the full moon night – a magical sight, indeed! Rann of Kutch takes pride in its Kutch festival, known as ‘Rann Utsav’ that is held in the winter (November-February). From traditional cuisine, shopping, folk dances and cultural performances to art, handicrafts, star gazing, desert safari and several other activities, this festival pack a ton of treasures for everyone. Also, staying in the tents on the periphery of the Dhordo village adds to the fascinating experience.

Munnar, Kerala
Munnar
Image Source – Google

Located in Kerala, Munnar is one of the most famous honeymoon destinations in India. This place can be visited almost all around the year. If you are visiting in the winter season, you would witness a temperature drop up to 11 degree Celsius. You can also enjoy trekking, rappelling, and rock climbing here. But don’t forget to book your accommodation in advance as it is quite crowded in the winter season. The most notable places that people enjoy here are – TATA Tea Museum, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi, & Devikulam.

Jaipur, Rajasthan
Jaipur
Image Source – Google

The capital city of Rajasthan is one of the most visited places in India. Jaipur is one of those places where mercury breaks the record every summer but it witnesses a pleasing atmosphere in winter. Wearing the chilling weather around you, sitting atop some rooftop restaurant, and enjoying authentic Rajasthani food – this is pure bliss! Winter is also the time for “Jaipur Literature Fest” – one of the much-renowned lit fest in India. So, pack your bags and enjoy your winter escapade here in Jaipur and don’t forget to capture the beautiful Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Amer Fort, & City Palace in your lenses.

Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi
Image Source – Google

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has a rustic and beautiful appeal. It is a hot place but winter offers you an amiable atmosphere to roam around Hampi and explore various beautiful temples here. Which would be a painful task in summer seasons. In the month of January, Hampi Mahotsav takes place. Therefore, you can book your tickets for January (next year of course) if you don’t want to miss the amazing puppet show, temple parades, dance, music, sports, and many more activities. The majestic architecture of Virupaksha Temple, Vitthala Temple, Matanga Temple, & Hazara Rama Temple would simply steal your heart!

The year was 1994 – Javed Akhtar pens down some of the most romantic lyrics of his life while R. D. Burman scores the last music of his life. From appropriate casting to acting, music to cinematography, direction to editing – every single thing about that movie was beyond excellence. It went on to win hearts and accolades. “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga” became the most popular song from the album. Naren hums it for Rajjo and there is truth, dare, innocence, & confession of fearless love. 1942- A Love Story dealt with a sweet love story in the backdrop of a caged country.

Cut to 2019, a movie named Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga release.  And it talks lovingly about love in a free country. But the irony is – the society and thoughts of its subjects are still caged!

 

ELKDTAL-1
Image Source – Google

That country is free now and with many known and unknown struggles, it has gathered some courage to decriminalize Article 377 barely 6 months ago. The topic of homosexuality on the Indian screen is not new. In the past also we have seen some portrayals but Bollywood played safe in this case. Except for some Onir’s movies like My Brother Nikhil or I Am or Shab, we have only found a caricaturish presentation of this topic.

So, when this movie named Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga was announced along with the star cast, I thought that it would be “just another regular love story” that Bollywood has been serving since ages. But the trailer pin-pointed the “USP” of the movie which is obviously “the most unexpected romance of the year”. In my mind, I was ready that the Punjab which Yash Chopra & his allies have explored with so many iconic romantic movies where the hero and heroines were running at the mustard field would be dealt differently here. Not Raj & Simran, but Sweety & Kuhu would sing & dance in a true Bollywood manner.

ELKDTAL_Fire
Image Source – Google

In that aspect, I was not disappointed at all. Just for the fact that a massy-commercial movie with homosexuality as a theme is backed by one of the most respected production houses of Mumbai. I would rate it 5/5. It took 21 long years for Bollywood to make a movie on a lesbian relationship. I am gladder of the fact that no one is threatening the director & actor or burning their effigies on the street or labeling them as “anti-culture”. What Deepa Mehta, Shabana Azmi, & Nandita Das went through in 1998 won’t be repeated again I suppose!

Story-Spoilers-Flaws-Strength-& Beyond Review
  • The main character of this story is Sweetie, played by Sonam Kapoor. While she was 14 she understood that she is different than the rest. She is cornered in her school and befriended by another boy who is also different like her. Her brother also studies in the same school. But the strange fact is amidst the buzz in the school, her brother doesn’t get to know the truth of Sweetie at all.
  • Sonam also befriends her diary where she rips off her heart out. This character Sweetie is depressed but shows that she is shy because she knows she won’t fit in this society. Therefore, to show her loneliness, pain, frustration, & indecisiveness, Sweetie has been given dark circles (good make-up). She wears very un-Sonam kinda of clothes. This research has been done perfectly. But I would have been happier if Sonam would have dug deep into the flesh of Sweetie to portray her pain meticulously.
  • Sweetie finds her love in a “tam-jham wala shaadi” and this is when her brother discovers that she is homosexual. And this is where I cannot call it a brave attempt. Two girls hugging each other is a very very normal sight after all! The director & writer could have tried something like “the exchange of emails, messages, or letters” at least!
  • Sweetie’s brother, Babloo, played by Abhishek Duhan is the male chauvinist who shouts on her and calls her sexual preference a “bimaari”. This actor is in a great form and he looked very convincing in his part.
  • Babloo now tells his father that Sweetie is having an affair with a Muslim guy to save her from her own truth. Balbir Chaudhry, played by the amazing Anil Kapoor is a staunch Hindu who won’t give her daughter to a Muslim boy. (Remember my intro paras – free country & caged thoughts!)
  • So, the “damsel in distress” (one of the inspirations of this movie) Sweetie is told not to step out of the house (just like the guys of the old Bollywood). In her little escapade to Delhi, she meets Sahil Mirza, played brilliantly by the “poster boy of the middle-of-the-road Bollywood movies”, Rajkumar Rao. He is a failed playwright who falls in love with Sweetie and follows her to Moga, Punjab only to find out that Sweetie is a lesbian.
  • Rajkumar Rao is like the “crunchy French fries” who can never go wrong. I want to give 1 whole star for that scene where his reaction is captured when he gets to know that Sweetie is lesbian. He laughs, he is in awe, he has teary eyes, he is flabbergasted, he is clapping, & he is heartbroken – man, all those layers in one man and that too in few fractions of seconds! He is in a terrific form!
  • The atom bomb of this movie for me was Juhi Chawla. She still has her great comic timing. And her on-screen rapport with Anil Kapoor are some of the highest highs of this movie. Her performance is “mind-shattering”.
  • When Anil Kapoor – the man of the house, the powerful rich businessman of Moga, & the proud father whose duty is to take care of his child reads Sweetie’s diaries & understands that he failed as a caregiver – Anil Kapoor was beyond brilliance! He is the rare 90’s actor who has survived all test of time & still has so much to offer us.
  • In one way, this movie is about the acceptance of the word “LOVE” which exists in everyone’s territory in a different meaning. The other way round, this movie is also about finding an identity by being truthful to the self. It is also about parenting. The character of Juhi Chawla, Chhatro ji plays the subtext of a moral teacher to our society who says “Indian Parents apne bachcho ki zindagi mein ghuse rehte hai”. The character of Balbir Chaudhuri wanted to become “India’s best chef.” But even after 50 years of his life, he is scolded by his mom for entering and experimenting in the kitchen. Why? Because, in this world, especially, in our country, there still exists a clear cut demarcation between the world of a guy and a girl.
  • One of the greatest regrets is that Seema Pahwa & Brijendra Kala are wasted here. I mean, actors of such brilliance should be given some space!
  • Regina Cassandra has a perky screen presence. But she is not given much screen time, so there is nothing much to write much about her.
  • In the end, Sweetie says to Sahil that there are many Sweeties scattered in thousands of villages, small towns, and cities, and we have to reach out to them. Just for daring to work on such a theme, people should watch it and understand that LOVE is LOVE, beyond all religion, caste, & so-called normalcy!

P.S. – Ok chalo, I understand that for keeping the “most unexpected romance of the year” a secret – you have used a male vocalist to sing “ELKDTAL” in a “Punjabified” R.D. Burman version. But while using it in the movie, wouldn’t it have been just perfect if a female vocalist was used? I mean I am not expecting a “Just Another Love Story”, “Nagar Kirtan”, or “Fire” kinda literally daring movie from you. But dear Bollywood, you have to show this much courage.

So, it’s a generous 3/5 for me. Share your views too!

Bengalis are known to be foodies and that is evident with their bulging bellies (of course, I am not talking about a Bipasha Basu or Sharmila Tagore). Be it summer, monsoon, or winter – their plate is always ready with something special! Every season has some kinds of a special dish that are cooked on festive moments in those seasons and sent to people as greetings. So, winter is here and the kitchen of Bengali households are smelling of jaggery – made from date palms! The sweet fragrance of this jaggery is mesmerizing and a particular dessert item called “Nolen Gurer Payesh” is made out of this jaggery. The fresh jaggery from date palms are available in plenty during the winter season and thus wear your chef cap and enjoy this sweet & nostalgic ride.

Recipe of Nolen Gurer Payesh:
What All You Require?
  • Gobindo Bhog Rice (For Best Results) or Any Rice – 200 gms
  • Date Palm Jaggery – ½ cup
  • Clarified Butter or Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Full Cream Milk – 1 Liter
  • Bay Leaf – 1 Piece
  • Cardamom Powder – ½ Tsp
  • For Garnishing, use Chopped Nuts & Raisins
How To Proceed?
  • Soak the rice first for at least 30 minutes after cleaning it once or twice.
  • Take a thick bottom pan and pour milk and boil it on low to medium heat.
  • Stir continuously as the milk should not stick at the bottom.
  • Add bay leaf and cardamom powder for that nice fragrance.
  • Check the consistency of milk after some time.
  • Once the milk starts to thicken, add the soaked rice and keep stirring.
  • The rice would cook in this boiled milk and once the rice is cooked or becomes soft, add jaggery.
  • Let this mixture boil for 10-12 minutes.
  • The enticing fragrance would fill your kitchen.
  • You need to check the sweetness at this stage. If you want it sweeter add more jaggery.
  • Also, check the consistency at this stage. If you like the payesh to be thicker in consistency, then let this mixture boil for some more time.
  • Once you get the desired consistency of the Nolen Gurer Payesh, add the chopped nuts and raisins.
  • Some like this Nolen Gurer Payesh warm while some like it cold. So, serve in nice designer bowls as per that choice.
Luchi Payesh
Image Source – Google
How & When Nolen Gurer Payesh Is Eaten?

Traditionally, Nolen Gurer Payesh is served after a “Bengali Bhuribhoj” – a scrumptious platter of at least 10-12 items. During the winter season, all the biyebari or wedding occasions are incomplete without this unique dish. Nolen Gurer Payesh is generally cooked on Makar Sankranti with the new rice that is produced in this season. Then it becomes a weekly treat and every Sunday it is served either after that overloaded Bengali lunch platter mentioned before or at breakfast or dinner. At breakfast or dinner this Nolen Gurer Payesh is served with a triangle or round-shaped Parathas or those white, innocent, & hot luchis (the Bengali version of Bhatura but crispier in taste & smaller in size).

Movies have always been two types, one type has always submerged themselves to the regular song-dance-drama stuff while the other type has focused on a nice story from which the characters and actors pierced the hearts and souls of the audience. 2018 was way ahead of what was left in 2017 in terms of content. For the last few years, content has really ruled the screens but the final siren was blown this year where the audience have worshipped only content. Thus, it has been a tough year to filter the best. Here are some of the hugely underrated but wonderful Bollywood movies of 2018 which you must watch sometime.

Gali Guleiyan (Director- Dipesh Jain)
Gali Guleiyan
Image Source – Google

You have names like Manoj Bajpayee, Neeraj Kabi, & Ranvir Shorey in this movie. The CV of this movie carries screening in 23 Film Festivals with the premiere at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival. Gali Guleiyan is a psychological drama where it portrays a maze – both physical and mental.

The character of Manoj Bajpayee Khuddoos lives in the narrow lanes of Old Delhi where buildings are just overlapped on each other and the bare spaces are filled up with cable wires. He is a voyeur and a lonely person who fears to step outside but keeps a check on his neighborhood through the CCTV monitor. He wants to help the local butcher’s son Idris and the movie focuses on this journey. Khuddoos is broken and infected irreparably. His mind is a maze of regrets, punishments, and memories and Manoj Bajpayee was outstanding here. But we neither see this movie nor Manoj Bajpayee in interviews or award shows. Another special mention would be Neeraj Kabi – whose piercing eyes would scare you. This man is always on fire – be it Detective Byomkesh Bakshi or Sacred Games!

Bioscopewala (Deb Medhekar)
Bioscopewala
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This is a modern day twisted an adjusted “Kabuliwala”, written by Tagore and enacted by Balraj Sahni & Chhabi Biswas. So, in this adjusted script, Rehmat instead of selling dry fruits from Afghanistan shows films to children through bioscope. The story remains same in befriending Minnie in Kolkata whom he compares to his daughter. Minnie grows up to become a documentary film-maker who has a strange and harsh relationship with his dad. His father takes a flight to Afghanistan and before boarding the flight he writes a letter to Minnie. The flight crashes leaving Minnie to understand and unravel the reason behind going to Afghanistan. The raw, rustic, and senile Rehmat and the friendly and easy-going Rehmat was impeccably portrayed by Danny Denzongpa. He is truly a gem of an actor and Bollywood has wasted & underused him.

Khajoor Pe Atke (Director- Harsh Chhaya)
Khajoor Pe Atke
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I included this movie among the best movies of 2018 article and want to voice for it here too. Simply because it is underrated. Bollywood has seen many first time directors (products of full or half nepotism) and either praised or forgot their inventions. But believe me, this one is a perfect family comedy-drama which you would love to watch again and again. It is more on the lines of Hrishikesh Mukherjee School of film-making.

The basic aim of watching a movie is to get entertained and you would get amused in every frame of KPA. Without any nudity, sleazy moves, and double-meaning dialogues, this director has truly shown how to direct a movie. It tells the tale of a family of three brothers, a sister, and their children and family members. One of the brothers fall ill and how they react with middle-class sentiments is all that you would enjoy here.

Once Again (Director- Kanwal Sethi)
Once Again
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Neeraj Kabi & Shefali Shah comes together for a heart-warming and heart-wrenching love story that would make you think twice about the characters you meet daily. Two lonely middle-aged independent persons belonging to two different worlds connect with each other. They are also careful of the so-called society that may taint their characters and thus hides their relationship. The children who are hip and happening also somehow rebukes them. More than the script and story, it was Neeraj Kabi and Shefali Shah who passionately embraced their roles breathing perfection.

3 Storeys (Director- Arjun Mukherjee)
3 Storeys
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Produced by Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment, I expected better publicity from this one! This is a story of a 3 storey Chawl in Mumbai named Mayanagar. Renuka Shahane plays a Catholic widow who wants to rent a part of her house but cannot find buyers due to strict rules. Varsha played by Masumeh Makhija (of Maqbool fame) is being abused and beaten by an unemployed and alcoholic husband. Leela played by Richa Chadda is a glamorous lady who throws seductive looks to men around the town. These characters living in 3 storeys of this chawl have some secrets too which is revealed in due course. Enjoy this wonderful ride. Special mention is Renuka Shahahe who is overshadowed in the industry!

Hope Aur Hum (Director- Sudip Bandyopadhyay)
Hope Aur Hum
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From the trailer itself, I knew it is going to be a nostalgia ride. It is a sweet and simple story of an old widower, Nagesh, played beautifully by Naseeruddin Shah who cannot sell off the old Xerox machine that seldom works. It takes up unnecessary space at home and this leads to some friction in the family. Letting go off is a painful act and art. The latest photocopy machine comes and Nagesh has to come to terms with his memories. Various sub-plots of the movie also point at “new replacing the old”. Watch out Naseeruddin Shah & Kabir Sajid in this nostalgia-ridden movie.

Kaalakaandi (Director- Akshat Verma)
Kaalakaandi
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This movie didn’t work at the box office because it was way ahead of its time. Bollywood and the audience are perhaps still not ready to taste this slice of life yet an off-beat movie. If released digitally on streaming platforms, perhaps this movie would have fared better. The doctor says that Saif Ali Khan is in the last stage of Stomach Cancer and he now just want to do all those things that he has never done before. This is a story of a night of full of adventure, exploration, compassion, discovery, comedy, and tragedy. Apart from Saif, there are other stories also who are constantly going through a mad ride all over the night. This type of comedy is perhaps overlooked now but would be treated as a cult classic after a few years!

Some other mentions of underrated Bollywood movies from 2018 would be Hansal Mehta’s Omerta, Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds, Gauravv K. Chawla’s Baazaar, Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk, and Sanjay Patel’s Union Leader.

Ginger is one of the easily available spices which is used profusely in Indian cuisine. But do you know ginger is actually a flowering plant whose rhizome or root portion is consumed? Ginger is native to Southeast Asia and was later transported to other parts of the world. The strong smell of ginger is an energy booster and relives various diseases. Ginger is loaded with healthy nutrients and bioactive compounds that have various health benefits. So, not only for the refreshing cup of tea in morning and evening but ginger is way more useful!

Explore Various Health Benefits of Ginger:
Gingerol Has Anti-Inflammatory & Antioxidant Properties

Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and is closely associated with turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. In fact, raw ginger and turmeric look almost the same. We use the root or rhizome part of ginger as a spice in various food and drinks. This ginger is a traditional medicine that helps in digestion, reduces nausea, and also aids in fighting against flu or the common cold. That strong smell of ginger comes from the natural oil of ginger named gingerol. This gingerol is responsible for the medicinal properties in ginger. It carries anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which gives you a long, stress-free, and bright life. You may use it fresh, powdered, juice, or dried forms!

Treats Nausea & Morning Sickness

Ginger is believed to cure morning sickness, seasickness, and nausea. People who were susceptible to seasickness used to munch on ginger in ancient times. If you are suffering from nausea post any kind of surgery, then having ginger slices or ginger tea may prevent this nausea. It is also prescribed for cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. Those pregnant women who have a tough time vomiting in the morning or at any time of the day can take ginger to mitigate this problem. But you must consult your doctor to know the exact dosage of ginger. But 1-1.5 grams of ginger is ok for consumption.

Ginger Relieves Muscle Pain & Soreness

In a recent study, it was revealed that the consumption of 2 grams of ginger daily reduced muscle pain among people performing elbow exercises. If you have joined gym recently and having pain or soreness in your body, then a daily consumption of ginger is suggested for easy relief. But remember that this is not a painkiller medicine that would give you some immediate relief. But consumption of ginger regularly would give you great results.

Ginger Helps In Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common health problem these days. It leads to degeneration of the joints in the body leading to stiffness in the joints and joint pain. 247 people with osteoarthritis were studies and they were told to consume ginger daily. Those who consumed ginger regularly shown improvement and required less pain-related medication. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help in reduction of this osteoarthritis pain.

Blood Sugar & Heart Diseases Are Checked

Ginger has been found extremely useful in lowering the level of sugar in the blood. A research was conducted on 41 people with Type 2 Diabetes and they were given 2 grams of ginger powder daily and that led to lowering of blood sugar level by 12%. People who consume ginger in some form daily have a better heart condition. So, make it a practice to have ginger in your tea or soup or food and stay healthy!

Ginger Helps In Checking Indigestion

Ginger has been found beneficial in treating chronic indigestion. That’s why it is used as a spice in heavy food items too. In chronic indigestion or dyspepsia, there is a regular pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. Emptying the stomach is a big problem among people who suffer from dyspepsia and ginger tea helps here.

Immensely Helpful In Reducing Menstrual Pain

There are very few women in this world who don’t suffer from menstrual pain which is also known as dysmenorrhea. Some women experience huge pain while some have mild pain and for all of them, ginger can play a crucial role. As said earlier that ginger helps in reduction of pain, it can also help in reduction of menstrual pain too. So, next time when your periods arrive, dint forget to munch some ginger slices or make ginger tea for easy-moving periods.

Ginger In Retaining Your Beauty

Regular consumption of ginger would make your body physically fit for sure but if you use ginger topically then also it would yield great results. Application of fresh ginger on the areas of your skin which have white marks or scars would give you an even tone skin. You may combine ½ cup sugar, 1/4th cup olive oil, 2 tsp of freshly grated ginger, and a dash of lemon zest to make a body scrub. This scrub would help you reduce cellulite.

There are antiseptic properties in ginger and that would help you get rid of dandruff too. You have to mix two parts of freshly grated ginger in three parts of olive or sesame oil and massage on your scalp. You may use ginger oil also for this purpose and keep it for 25 minutes before washing with shampoo. Do you know that ginger contains at least 40 antioxidant properties? So, actually, you can age in reverse by bringing more ginger in your food and drinks.

Enjoy a pain-free, stress-free, and beautifully fit life with the inclusion of ginger in your food and drinks!

There is no one like the grandpa and grandma. The love and care of parents are no doubt special but grandparents form a very different equation with their grandkids. This special bond between grandparents and grandkids is purely based on love, appreciation, inspiration, fun, and joy. Being promoted from a parent to a grandparent is one of the most special moments in a person’s life. They relive their days of new parenthood again with the arrival of their grandchildren in their lives. For the grandkids, they are always a safe and secure home. When the kids get a good scold from the parents, they seek the patronage of their grandparents and in many instances, the grandparents save the grandkids from being rebuked!

Here are some more reasons, why this relationship is so special and unbreakable.

Children Suddenly Understand You More

There were instances while raising up the kids where the parents say NO to a certain demand of their kids. And later explained that “you would understand why I am saying NO once you become a parent yourself”. So, now when these children have grown up and become parents, they understand their parent’s point of view with more clarity. So, the new parents and the new grandparents form a stronger bond which makes the family happier.

Grandkids Give Special Names To Grandparents

Oh! This is perhaps the cutest phase of a grandparent-grandkids bonding. Every grandkid has a special name for their grandparents. Nana, Grandma, Honey, Badi Ammi, Dida, Dadu, Gampy, Nonna, Chief, etc. – the grandkids go much creative while framing a nice and cool name for their grandparents. The grandparents feel special because these are the names which are used to only call them and no one else!

Warmest Hugs

Many would agree to this point that there is no hug as warm, gentle, and lovely as a hug from a grandkid. The sight of the grandkids running to their grandma or grandpa resolves all the pains in life. Some kids even crave for their grandparents more than their parents.

Taking A Trip Down Memory Lane

The grandparents are lucky because they get to relive the moments of their kid’s childhood again. By looking into the face of the grandkids, they transport themselves back to those days when their kids first saw the light of the world. It is the most beautiful feeling in this world to cherish this grandparenthood!

Teaching Passions To Grandkids

Over the years while earning money and raising up kids didn’t allow much time to follow passions and thus at old age, they have much time for themselves. That’s why people often have a plan for the old age. Some start organic farming, some start painting, some sit down to write a book, while some move ahead to see the world. The grandkids then infuse their passions to their grandchildren who in a way also help them enjoy their passion more.

Learning New Skill From Grandchildren

It is a wonderful relationship when a 6-year-old kid teaches a new skill or technology to a 60-70-year-old. Be it the latest smartphone, how to play YouTube, how to Face Time, how to play PubG, etc. Then these grandkids and grandparents compete with each other in various games or share the weirdest tales over Skype! In short, the grandparents and grandkids form an unbreakable bond.

Being The Best Friend

There is always ease in the relationship between a grandparent and a grandkid. The parents can be best friends to their kids but somewhere they also have to draw a line and say, “I am your parent, not your best friend”. But with grandparents, this phase would never come. The grandkids can say things to their grandpa or grandma without any hesitation and they can, of course, come up with suggestions.

Aired on 6th July 2018, Sacred Games took Indian entertainment industry two notches higher. Thanks to Netflix – the online streaming channel for giving a platform to some unique story-tellers who are unrestrained in their way of formation of characters. Sacred Games came and became an overnight sensation. It introduced a whole new bunch of talented actors, re-emphasized the power of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and gave some soil under the feet of Saif Ali Khan. The story of Sacred Games travels from the ’80s till the current time. It is one of the best sensational stories where you have everything from drug, mafia, political hypocrisy, crime, mystery, murder, power, business, greed, sex, and what not! It is a story of fear and valor too!

What’s more interesting is the name of each episode of Sacred Games. All the names come from our mythology and has some significance for you all to know.

Episode 1: Aswatthama
Aswatthama
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Aswatthama was the son of Guru Dronacharya and was a warrior whom we find in the Mahabharata. Dronacharya lived a simple life with the meager amount of money and property and thus Ashwatthama had difficulty in his childhood. Aswatthama fought with the Kauravas against the Pandavas and for that he was cursed to suffer human life till eternity, in a way making him invincible. We see the character of Gaitonde played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui say that “I am Aswatthama. I am not going to die until the game is over”. He commits suicide but his reference comes back all through the 8 episodes and hence proved that he is not going to die soon!

Episode 2: Halahala
Halahala
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The meaning of Halahala is an extremely toxic poison that comes out as a by-product of an attempt by Devas and Asuras to extract Amrit, the nectar for eternal life. So, Halahala translates to “black mass” or “time puzzle”. This was the poison that Lord Shiva drunk so that the world remains safe. Now, here in the 2nd episode of Sacred Games, we see Sartaj Singh regards Ganesh Gaitonde’s warning and starts an investigation. Finally, he untangles international espionage. This surveillance is same as the poison that can cause complete havoc.

Episode 3: Atapi Vatapi
Atapi Vatapi
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Atapi & Vatapi were two demon brothers who trap and kill travelers in a unique way. As per the legendary stories, they invited saints to dinner and there Atapi turned the younger one into a food item and served the saints. As the saints had dinner and were on their way to home, Atapi would call his brother Vatapi. Vatapi would then tear the stomachs of the priests and come back to his brother. Actually, inviting people and being generous in treating them only to ruin them completely is what Sacred Games is all about. Everywhere from religion to politics – you would see this theory running!

Episode 4: Brahmahatya
Brahmahatya
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The concept of Brahmahatya or Brahmanahatya is the act of killing a Brahman or Brahma. Brahma resides in each one of us and thus it implies killing people and not only the Hindus in particular. Here in Sacred Games, Ganesh Gaitonde is a Brahmin and he does everything un-Brahmin – like consumption of non-veg food or agreeing to poach Muslim votes for a greedy politician. So, basically, he kills the Brahmin that resides inside him and that’s why this episode is perfectly called Brahmahatya.

Episode 5: Sarama
Sarama
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As per Hindu Mythology, Sarama is referred to the female dog of the Gods. In this episode, you would actually see how everyone, in the end, behaves like a dog on a tether. A chained dog can bark but remains powerless much like the characters here! Sartaj is lying about a case for which he had been fighting against the system since long and which has been a major reason for his boss’s dislike towards him. But here at this point, he bows down to his boss’s order just to keep his job. Every prime character at this juncture is shown powerless, “lachar”, and “bechari” types!

Episode 6: Pretakalpa
Pretakalpa
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Pretakalpa is a part of the Garuda Purana that is one of the 18 Mahapurana texts in Hindu religion. Pretakalpa gives us a detailed knowledge about the cycle of life, death, and beyond all that. It is narrated when the last rites of a deceased soul are performed. Here, in episode 6 of Sacred Games, Inspector Katekar – a prime character dies and Sartaj ends up killing Katekar’s murderer. Katekar is cremated and Sartaj totally discards his old self and becomes a new person.

Episode 7: Rudra
Rudra
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Rudra is the other name of Lord Shiva. It is also a name of a deity mentioned in the Rig Veda and that is associated with the wind of the storm. Rudra is also someone who “roars”. This episode is where Gaitonde roars. His darling wife Shubhadra is killed and Gaintonde turns complete mad and takes a pledge to burn the city. He goes on a rampage killing Muslims.

Episode 8: Yayati
Yayati
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We see that in order to save Mumbai from the threat that Gaitonde, Sartaj continues his search to find out who was that 3rd father of Gaitonde and what is actually going to happen on the 25th day. His continuous search leads him to a large room of dangerous weapons wrapped inside wooden boxes. Now, this episode is named “Yayati”. Yayati was someone who was cursed with premature ageing and had asked his son Puru to swap their ages. In this episode, we also see that Pankaj Tripathi or Guruji finally convinces Gaitinde to join his cause and thus brings his son into the crinkle.

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