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Rima Ghosh

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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
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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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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.

Goa is not only famous for its soothing beaches, inexpensive beers, and a breezy climate, but also for hosting the prestigious International Film Festival of India or IFFI. This was the 49th year of Goa Film Festival or IFFI and it took place between 20th November and 28th November 2018. It showcased 212 movies shortlisted from 68 countries across the world. Indian Panorama segment showcasing the brilliance of Indian Cinema had 47 movies in its kitty. This time Israel was the focus country and Jharkhand was the focus state. The opening movie was “The Aspern Papers” from the UK and the closing movie was “Sealed Lips” from Germany. Take a look at the list of best movies from IFFI 2018 and arrange the DVD of these movies or watch them online if you are a cinephile.

  1. Birds of Passage (Spain)
Birds of Passage (Spain)
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Birds of Passage is a Spanish language movie directed by Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra. It was selected to open the 50th edition of the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival along with its selection at the 91st Academy Awards for the “Best Foreign Language Film”. This movie tells the story of a Wayuu family who is Native American Ethnic Group of the Guajira Peninsula in the Northern part of Colombia & Venezuela. The rise and fall of a Wayuu family is the basic storyline here that goes back to the time of illegal drug trading in Columbia in the late 1960s and 1970s.

  1. Climax (French-American)
Climax (French-American)
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Climax is a mystery drama movie directed by Gaspar Noé. Like Birds of Passages, this movie too was screened at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in the “Directors Fortnight” section. Some French dancers are shown gathered in an isolated and empty school building. They are there to rehearse on a winter night. Now, this all-night celebration alters into a hallucinatory nightmare when they get to know that the Sangria is mixed with LSD. This cool and hypnotic psychological thriller is something you won’t forget for a long time.

  1. Olu (Kerala, India)
Olu (Kerala, India)
Image Source – Google

Olu is a Malayalam movie directed by the National Award winning director Shaji N. Karun. Perhaps it is one of the most unconventional movies presented in recent times. Olu means “She”. It is the story of a girl named Maya who is mercilessly raped and drowned in the famous Kerala backwaters. But quite mysteriously, she survives underwater and is carrying the child too. On full moon nights, she is able to see above water and on one such night, she meets Vasu, the painter who is in struggling to create something amazing in his paintings. To know the rest of the story, you have to watch this beautiful movie which is visually stunning. You would find a wonderful mix of traditional beliefs, religions, customs, and mythology that enhances the layers of this movie. A maverick world of fantasy is created which would soak in the minds of cinephiles for sure.

  1. Uma (West Bengal, India)
Uma (West Bengal, India)
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Coming from the exceptionally brilliant talent named Srijit Mukherjee, you can only sit back and gasp at the storyline with awe. This time, Srijit Mukherkjee has woven the emotional layers just like a dream. Cinema is all about a dream only – isn’t it? So, how a team of dedicated artists extends this dream is what you would see in this movie.

It is a story of a Bengali father and daughter settled in Switzerland. The daughter named Uma (the other name of Devi Durga) is terminally ill and want to witness the famous Durga Puja in Kolkata. The doctors say that she perhaps won’t live till October to see Durga Puja. So, a friend of Uma’s dad pops up the idea of celebrating a fake Durga Puja in a bustling Kolkata. They hire a yesteryear fading director for this job. This job requires a narrator who can blur all the lines between pragmatism and falsity. What follows is a series of “goose bumps producing” incidents.

  1. Winter Flies (Czech Republic)
Winter Flies (Czech Republic)
Image Source – Google

It is a movie that narrates the story of two boys who are still in their teens – Mara & Hedu. They both left home and is driving through the countryside into the wild, adventurous, and frozen. They meet many faces in this journey which helps them to shape a theory about the world. Directed by Olmo Omerzu, this movie was one of the entrants at the “Best Foreign Film” category at the 91st Oscars. The director got “Best Director” award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on 2018.

Self-Relationship – the relationship with your own self is inarguably the most important relationship in your life. No other relationship is as special as this one. Be it your parents, siblings, best buddies, love interest, spouse, boss, colleagues – your all other relationships would be based on how you treat yourself. Quite early in development, your relationships with others shape your relationship with yourselves. There are inherent tendencies about the relationship with the self as well. As you grow up, the way you were and are treated by others, and the way those others deal with themselves, serve as important factors influencing how you address yourselves as adults.

With years, you meet various people and many people change your lives in different ways. All these things affect your personality. With heartaches or changes in life, many of you start to neglect the self and build a wall around you. Sometimes, it is hard to climb that wall even for yourself. Sometimes, you also cannot identify yourself. Clearing a communication with the self is very important to enjoy your stay on this planet.

The more balanced the relationship you have with yourself, the more productive you would be to yourself, to family, to society, and to the nation.

Here are some ways to improve your relationship with yourself.

Sketch Some “Self-Love” Habits
Sketch Some “Self-Love” Habits
Image Source – Google

It is always better than “self-pity” and crying around saying “nobody loves me”. Sketch some nice habits like going on a long drive with yourself, walking alone on a weekend, thanking yourself for cleaning the kitchen or making the bed, spending time and asking your heart how it is feeling on a daily basis, saying positive words loudly, etc. By developing these habits, you would see a stark change in your attitude towards yourself & others and this would change your life forever!

Learn To Forgive
Learn To Forgive
Image Source – Google

It is sometimes hard to forget certain incidents – true. But holding on to someone and not forgiving that one person would lead to self-torture. You might question that “why would I forgive that person who brought trauma or who did everything wrong to me?” Well, the deal is if you keep on hating that person and cultivate an unforgivable attitude, then that would block certain positive energies coming your way. By forgiving, you bring peace to your mind, heart, and soul. This peace then helps you reach better heights in honing the self. Remember, the more refined you are from within, the easier you are able to talk to yourself.

Walking Barefoot
Walking Barefoot
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You know walking bare feet on the earth, over the grasses drenched with dew drops, feeling the soggy soil beneath your feet – these things connect you beautifully to Mother Nature. This activity actually counterbalances your energy and allows you to release any negative energy directly into the earth. Therefore, as a result, you will feel lighter, happier, and calmer than before. Make it a practice to do this on a daily basis.

Nurture The Habit of Writing
Nurture The Habit of Writing
Image Source – Google

Writing here doesn’t mean that you have to be a Tagore or Gulzar. It simplistically means writing down all those feelings crossing your mind. It can be good or bad but once you have written about a certain situation, incidence, or person on the pages of your diary – you would feel a lot lighter. You must read what you have written and try to understand the written words are the exact mirror image of your thoughts or botheration or not. If not, then bring more clarity to your writing and see how beautifully you connect not only with yourself but also with others.

Meditation
Meditation
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Have you ever thought why Sadhus and Sants (Saints/Holy Men/Priests/Spiritual Leaders) are so calm? You would never see a fold on their foreheads and their system doesn’t know how to frown at all. They always have a pleasing smile on their faces and the fact that “they are at peace” reflects on their behavior. Meditation is the key to achieve some peace if not peace up to their level. Meditation is simply “doing nothing” and allowing your thoughts to flow freely keeping your eyes shut and mind open. Fix a time to practice meditation and with time you would see a positive change in yourself.

Live Real World & Leave Virtual World
Live Real World & Leave Virtual World
Image Source – Google

The craze of social media is soaring higher day by day. It is nearly impossible to stop this craze and with time this craze would just enhance. Taking a day or half day off this virtual world and living life doing all the normal work would give you some relief. The more you are on social media, the more you are susceptible to “negative thoughts” lie jealousy! Most of the people fake their joy and happiness in this virtual world and you should not buy it because real happiness lies in the real world.

2018 in Bollywood saw an interesting mix of biopics, social drama, horror, mystery, thriller, period drama, comedy, and family drama. One thing that is getting evident from the last few years is that now Bollywood simply cannot fool Indian audiences. The audience is smart and agile today as they have many modes of entertainment these days. So, “content is king” is the phrase which every production house, writer, and director is understanding. This 2018 was another example of how movies can have a successful run at the box office not based on A-list stars or big budget but simply on content. Thugs of Hindostan, Race 3, & Zero are like the final warning to the top stars of the country – don’t make mindless cinema because people invest their hard earned money to get entertained. And entertainment these days come with a bit of logic!

Here are the best of Bollywood- 2018
Andhadhun
Andhadhun
Image Source – Google

I simply wanted to dance in the theater shouting out “This is the movie we all deserve”. Undoubtedly this is the “Movie of the Year” and it is going to sweep away all the major awards. This movie is like “Kahaani” of 2012 that showed Bollywood how chronicles and subtexts are developed in motion. Tabu as the ruthless woman & Ayushman as the “acting-blind” pianist simply nailed their roles. Too smart editing of Pooja Ladha Surti, the impactful direction of Sriram Raghavan, and peppy music of Amit Trivedi gave huge profit to this one. This is one of the rarest of rare Bollywood movies which has an “Open End”. It means you can form your kind of story regarding how things must have turned!

Badhaai Ho

Badhaai Ho
Image Source – Google

Directed by debutant Amit Sharma, Badhaai Ho was made on a budget of 22 crores and now it is “still counting” post 220 crores. It dealt with a very rigid and restricted topic of “romance & pregnancy post 50”. Very cleverly, the cynicism and hypocrisy of the society. The octogenarian mother even utters that “how can you be a govt. employee, if you don’t listen to govt. of using contraceptives”. The infusion of this social anxiety is done very carefully sans “high-octane” drama and that’s why it clicked with everyone. But post interval, somewhere this movie was dripping but quickly the director pulled up the socks.

Stree
Stree
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Bollywood came up with a “horror comedy” this time and the fun part is that there was hardly any horrific scene. Debutant director Amar Kaushik made this movie which makes us think deeply considering the current time. The female spirit calls men with their names at night and takes them away to a haunted house leaving only their clothes. In a land where for centuries men have threatened and dominated the women, here is a movie where men are wearing sarees to disguise as women as they are petrified by “Stree”. A special mention of Pankaj Tripathi must be done here. He is a stellar performer in the tiniest of roles!

Manmarziyaan
Manmarziyaan
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Someone who has grown up in the 90’s and embraced adolescence in the millennium would have no problem in understanding the sweet and deep undertone of this flick. How do “Tinder-Generation” people perceive love? Is love only about sex? How far can you extend yourself for love? How long can you wait for that perfect love? And how easy is to forgive and forget? This movie raised these questions and answered them too. The most beautiful subtext of this movie was the continuous glimpse of the twins in Amritsar & Kashmir that kept on relating to the dualism in the head of the characters. Anurag Kashyap made me his fan again.

October
October
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As the trailer says, “this is not a love story, but a story about love”, it lived up to the tagline truly. Many people didn’t get the motto of the movie but its ok all movies are different and are meant for different audiences. Those who love good cinema were impressed with what Shoojit Sircar brought to theaters. Varun Dhawan completely shed his star glamor and became the irritating and loser Dan Walia.

Khajoor Pe Atke
Khajoor Pe Atke
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Harsh Chhaya forayed into direction for the first time and I think he should wear this director’s cap more often. He simply showed it to the rest of the directors how a good film is made. This movie is about a family which you will literally identify. This movie had everything – relatives about whom we keep on gossiping, the greed for family property, lying to relatives about whereabouts, show off, and the undying love and care which a family showers. It could have faltered but the perfect comedy timing of the great actors saved this one. I don’t know why no one is talking about this movie in the year-end round up of movies. But definitely, you must watch it for a relaxing weekend!

Sanju
Sanju
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Big banner, Big Opening, & a Smash Hit – this is all Ranbir Kapoor needed post break up and flops. As a cinegoer, the audience is only interested in an entertaining story. And that’s why despite various controversies too, this movie was accepted. Ranbir Kapoor truly became a clone of Sanjay Dutt and Vicky Kaushal was the other actor which Bollywood re-discovered. The supporting cast was also used well be it Manisha Koirala, Dia Mirza, Anushka Sharma or Sonam Kapoor. Rajkumar Hirani, although missed Sanju’s relationship with his past wife and children still this is a movie worth your money.

Raazi
Raazi
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Based on a true story “Calling Sehmat” by Harinder S. Sikka, Meghna Gulzar wrote a brilliant screenplay. It was meant to be a small and a slightly un-Dharma Productions kind of movie and thus the budget was also hardly 35 crores. But a perfect direction and performance of talent on screen made it one of the highest grosser on 2018. It deserves all the attention and accolades truly.

Tumbbad
Tumbbad
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Another first-time director duo – Rahi Anil Barve & Adesh Prasad presented a stunning movie of 2018. This is something “never done before” in Hindi cinema. Bollywood has shown horror movies with scary faces but somewhere every attempt has been outlandish. Tumbbad starts as a dark horror movie which is quite eerie and next moves on to a story of greed and how the generation suffers for that. It is a visually stunning film.

Pataakha
Pataakha
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I love the simple, innocent, and rugged world of Vishal Bhardwaj cinema. He reminds of Gulzar with his work. This is a story of two sisters who hate each other since birth. And their father is always in tension for that. With the turn of fate, they are married in the same house and how they treat each other is for you to watch. What was written in Charan Singh Pathik’s short story titled Do Behnein was portrayed and what was not written was also amazingly expressed by Radhika Madan & Sanya Malhotra. With a perfect company of Sunil Grover, this movie went a few notches higher than what was written on the script.

I would also like to mention the dark horse of the year- Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, socially awakening Pad Man, sports drama Mukkabazz, psychological drama Gali Guleiyan, unusual gritty thriller Pihu, historical Parmanu, and dramatic Hichki too.

India is a vast landmass and it is often called the “land of diversity”. This huge piece of land located between the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and The Bay of Bengal is also the 7th largest country of the world in terms of area. The diversity is noted in all departments from culture to food, or language to religion. There are hills and mountains in the North, coastal regions in the South, desert in the West, and a mix of both mountain and sea in the East of India. So, basically, if any fellow Indian or an outsider is planning to travel to India, then he/she is going to have a memorable time. Apart from the 29 states, India also has 7 Union Territories that are unique in their own way. Boasting some of the impeccable locations, architectures, and greenery, these Union Territories are the pride of the nation.

Have a look at some of the major attractions of the Union Territories of India.

Andaman & Nicobar Island

For a moment, you may feel like, you are in some foreign land, playing with the blue or green water and getting suntanned lying on the pristine white sand. The enthralling marine life and heart-warming greenery make Andaman & Nicobar Island a unique place to spend your holidays. As the island lies quite far from mainland India, thus, it has retained its beauty till now. This place is loved by tourists but often less traveled.

Andaman & Nicobar Island
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Attractions of Andaman & Nicobar Islands
  1. Radhanagar Beach- often said to be the most beautiful beach in Asia.
  2. The largest sea turtles are also found here. 3 species of marine turtles – Hawksbill, Green turtle and the Leatherback (Dermochelys Coriacea- world’s largest sea turtle) are found here.
  3. North Sentinel Island here is the home to one of the most isolated Paleolithic tribes of the world
  4. The famous Cellular Jail was established in the British era to seclude the prisoners from the outer world. The prisoners were given harsh treatment which is shown in the light and sound show in the evening.
  5. Baratang is the place of Mud Volcanoes while Barren Island is the only active volcano in India and they belong to Andamans.
Lakshadweep Islands

This is a conglomerate of 39 islands in the Arabian Sea. The amazing beaches, dense forests, and palm-lined coastline offer just the perfect kind of view to this place. Aquamarine life and water sports activities are also rampant here.

Lakshadweep Islands
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Attractions of Lakshadweep Islands
  1. People love the scuba diving in Kalpeni Island of this place that has 100 species of coral and more than 2,000 species of fishes.
  2. There is a lighthouse in Minicoy Islands which is crescent-shaped and 300 feet tall.
  3. The water is crystal clear and turquoise in color. The close competition is the Maldives. Canoeing is one of the most favorite activities here. You may see turtles, corals, and fishes.
  4. The endless blue lagoons across Kadamat Island is a major attraction for the photographers.
New Delhi

The national capital actually needs to introduction. With a history of centuries running in its nerves, New Delhi is a place where you would experience an old world charm along with all the modern signs of advancement. From the Sultans to Mughals, to the Britishers – history of many struggles is written on the walls of Delhi.

New Delhi
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Attractions of New Delhi
  1. The beautiful architecture of the Mughal period evident through the majestic Jama Masjid and the Red Fort are one of the most visited places in India. When you hear the Azaan from the Jama Masjid, the rays of positivity enter your system.
  2. The Lotus Temple or the Bahai’s temple is another milestone in the history of architecture. White concrete and marble are used to build this extraordinary piece of art which has nine sides. These 9 sides have a pool of water and it seems like a blooming lotus amidst the pool. But the most notable feature is that- people of any religion or belief can come, sit, and meditate here for long hours!
  3. In the memory of the 90,000 soldiers who died in the 1st World War, Pt. Nehru build India Gate in Delhi and it resembles the Arc de Triomphe of Paris.
  4. Akshardham temple – the largest Hindu temple in the world, Humayun Tomb, Gandhi Smriti, The Jantar Mantar, etc. are some of the other notable attractions of New Delhi.
Chandigarh

Apart from being one of the Union Territories, Chandigarh is also the capital of two states – Punjab & Haryana. It is also a planned city whose architecture and urban designs are examples for the rest of the country. This city draws its name from the temple of Goddess Chandi.

Chandigarh
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Attractions of Chandigarh
  1. Open Hand Monument in the Capitol Complex of Chandigarh is the major attraction of this city. This metal structure was designed by architect Le Corbusier.
  2. Being the nest to many migratory birds, Sukhna Lake is very famous.
  3. Rock Garden – everything in this famous garden is built from household and industrial wastes.
  4. Pinjore Gardens built at the foothills of the Himalayas was built by the Mughals.
Daman and Diu

Daman & Diu is a tiny land that is famous for its awesome beaches and a culture that is half Indian and half Portuguese. Portuguese people have ruled over Daman & Diu for more than 450 years and that’s why the culture has a foreign feel to it. Daman and Diu lie in West India and consists of 2 separate areas divided by the Arabian Sea. The Daman Ganga River flows through the coastal town of Daman.

Daman and Diu
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Attractions of Daman and Diu
  1. Fort Jerome is very famous and it was built to overlook the activities on the sea. The prime attraction of this fort is the Church of Our Lady of the sea which is a great example of Portuguese architecture. Now, a part of the church is a school.
  2. Zampa Gateway is the next attraction that marks the entry to Diu island. The carvings on the walls of the Gateway is remarkable.
  3. Jampore Beach, Nagoa Beach, and Devka Beach are the most famous beaches here which you should not miss at all.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Dadra lies a few kilometers to the North of Gujarat while Nagar Haveli lies in between Gujarat & Maharashtra. Till late 18th century or to be precise till 1780, the Marathas ruled this region but the Portuguese came and captured this land. They continued to rule here for 150 years. So, you would definitely find the imprints of Portuguese culture in the air of Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli
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Attractions of Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  1. Dudhni Lake is very famous for the romantic boat rides especially in the evening where it is pleasing to see the sunset.
  2. Covering 20 hectares of land lies the Vasona Lion Safari which simply cannot be missed.
  3. Nakshatra Garden is quite an unusual garden because you would get to see the greenery and flowers representing zodiac signs. It also has an Ayurvedic park.
Puducherry

Once the French people lived here and their legacy continues to remain here. Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Pondicherry or Puducherry proudly flaunts the beautiful French architecture. The culture, food, and lifestyle are really un-Indian in many ways and you would feel that when you go there.

Puducherry
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Attractions of Puducherry
  1. If you want peace and serenity or have a spiritual way of thinking then Shri Aurobindo Ashram is a must visit for you. People from across the world come here to find their peace.
  2. Auroville is the most progressive town in the world. Why? Because it is an experimental community in South India where people from all over the world are welcome without any gender or religion bias. The focus is human unity and it was founded by Mirra Alfassa in 1968.
  3. Gingee Fort, Paradise Beach, Promenade Beach and Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are some other mind-blowing places here.

Darjeeling located in West Bengal was the Summer resort for the British Elite class back in the pre-independence time. Darjeeling has always remained famous for three things. Firstly is the Black Tea- the aroma of this tea is believed to be the best in this world and till today the best quality of Darjeeling tea is sent to the Buckingham Palace because the Queen loves it. Secondly, the railway transport of Darjeeling is also famous which is a narrow gauge railway and is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thirdly, the British-style public schools here attracts students from all over India and the world. But the most important point is, of course, Kangchenjunga- the world’s 3rd highest mountain. But apart from these identities of Darjeeling, do you know that shopping in Darjeeling should also be an important part of your tour plan.

Take a look at these famous points for shopping in Darjeeling and come back home with many memories from the land of Kangchenjunga.

The Mall Road
The Mall Road
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Coming to Darjeeling and not visiting the famous Mall Road is no less than a crime. You would get everything here and thus you must have enough time in your hand to shop here. Fancy jewelry items, woolen clothes, Pashmina Shawls, trendy jackets for both men and women, scarves, sweaters, cardigans, mysterious Tibetan masks, and other handmade souvenirs grace this market. And you must also go to the Glenary’s if you love the baked food! Hit this place between 8 A.M. and 7 P.M.

Nehru Road
Nehru Road
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Placed on the Hill Cart Road, you would see small shops in this market that is set up by the local people only to earn their means of livelihood. Why is it a must visit? Because of the delightful street shopping chance that every shopaholic would love. The non-shopaholics would also love the vibrant atmosphere of Nehru Road shops. Apart from the small shops, recently, some branded shops have also opened their outlets here. And the State Government also added a Handicrafts Emporium which is soul satisfying for sure. Apart from art and craft, you would love the varieties of Darjeeling tea, woolen clothes in latest designs, Khuree or Gorkha Knives, leather handbags, small souvenirs, Pashmina Shawls, and peaceful Buddha statues.

Ghum Monastery Market
Ghum Monastery Market
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If you are in Darjeeling, then the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset must be there in your “To Do” list. Ghum Monastery is a beautiful location to witness both these- sunrise and sunset. You would realize that the poets were true while describing the beauty of nature and all those people who have said you romantic things about sunrise and sunset were also true. Actually, the best time to visit this market is post-sunrise and sunset. Amongst the monks, while soaking the chilling wind and getting enticed by nature, your shopping in Darjeeling is definitely going to be an unforgettable experience. You can collect many Tibetan artefacts from here like the prayer wheels, prayer flags, singing bowls, bags, and Thangas- Tibetan wall paintings.

Batasia Loop Market
Batasia Loop Market
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It is called loop market because of its location. Batasia is a street shopping destination that is situated in Ghum and Darjeeling’s loop line. If you know how to bargain in markets, then this is the right place to shop for some top quality bags. Without feeling a burning sensation in your pocket. Along with bags, you can also buy accessories for women, woolen goods, and home décor items. There is also a toy train here and you must enjoy this ride. 9 A.M to 6 P.M. is the time to head for this small but beautiful market.

Teesta Bazaar
Teesta Bazaar
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As the market is located near the nostalgic and peaceful Teesta river, the market is called Teesta Bazar. Coming out of the shell of a metropolitan city, when you see a market surrounded by a large expanse of hills and greenery- you are surely going to be shocked. Yes, this is also India- the land of diversity. Now, on a daily basis, tourists drop here to go ahead to Siliguri or Gangtok or Darjeeling. Actually, you would cross this sprawling market while on your way to Darjeeling uphills as it is located on the Siliguri-Gangtok highway. Expensive and reasonable- you would get things here at both rates. Handicrafts sell here the most along with other things like hunting shoes, copperware, silverware, footwear, wall paintings, and lanterns.

You can come here anytime between 8 A.M and 6 P.M. Once you are done with your shopping, treat yourself with some piping hot momos served with soup and spicy chutney!

Staying fit means having an alert body and mind. For that, we all need energy and energy simply comes from what we eat. Therefore, eating has to be done right. Today there is no time to stay sluggish as the world is running faster than you have ever imagined. So, staying fit all the time is of prime importance otherwise you would lose the chance to be in the race. It is hard to resist those hot French fries, luscious Gulab Jamuns, or the cheesy pizza but these “rich in fat” food must be balanced with those things which have more fiber and antioxidants. The easiest thing is, of course, dry fruits. The consumption of dry fruits must be a daily thing and not a whimsical one! If you do that, your body would be prepared to fight against those bad cholesterols and toxins.

Additionally, if you are planning to shed some extra kilos, these dry fruits are perfect for you. The trick is dry fruits help in keeping your stomach full for a longer time and thus your hunger pangs are eliminated. And this helps in losing weight. Dry fruits also help in increasing metabolism and you would feel energized too.

Here are some of the dry fruits that you may consider including in your regular diet to stay fit.

Almonds

Calorie Count: 576 kcal/100 gms
Dosage: 20-30 gms or 4-7 pieces

Almonds
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Almond is one of the most easily available dry fruits. They are rich in protein, antioxidants, and mono-saturated fats. Almonds also help in decreasing the bad cholesterol known as LDL. With a daily intake of almonds, you would also see a glow on your skin and that is due to the Vitamin E that is present in almonds. You must have seen the ads of Almond oil and have always wanted such hair. Well, if you make it a practice to munch on almonds daily, your hair growth and quality – both would be achieved. You may have these almonds the gap between breakfast and lunch or as an evening snack. Sometimes, you can sprinkle some almonds on your salad bowl too!

Cashew Nuts

Calorie Count: 553 kcal/100 gms
Dosage: 4-5 pieces daily

Cashew Nuts
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Cashews look like a half-moon and that’s what attracts me towards them!
White in color, cashew nuts are very rich in magnesium. A daily intake of cashews would give your body 73% of the recommended daily value of magnesium. Apart from that cashews also contain a good amount of zinc, phosphorus, natural fibers, and proteins. It also has good fats and cuts down hunger, aiding your weight loss program. The daily intake of nuts should not exceed more than 30 grams which means you can have maximum 15 cashew nuts.

Walnuts

Calorie Count: 654 kcal/100 gms
Dosage: 1-2 pieces daily

Walnuts
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Walnuts are too tasty! But as the calorie is slightly higher than the rest, you should not have it more than 1 or 2 if you want to consume it daily. The basic composition of walnut is fiber, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids. They also carry polyunsaturated fats that are great at decreasing the heart diseases. You can have it with your salad or simply as an evening snack. The antioxidants present in walnuts further help your body to fight the cellular damage.

Pistachios

Calorie Count: 562 kcal/100 gms
Dosage: 5-7 daily

Pistachios
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Yes, you love them, especially when served as topping on the bowls of “Gajar Ka Halwa” – right? You would be tempted to consume them more when you know how it helps to stay fit. So, pistachios like other dry fruits are also a good source of fiber and keep you full for longer. These fibers send a signal to the brain that the stomach is full and thus checks your overeating habits. It also brings a good amount of iron, magnesium, good fat, and vitamins to your body. This dry fruit also has l-arginine that makes the lining of your arteries suppler. Hence this reduces the chances of developing blood clots that is one of the major cause of heart attacks. Bring this dry fruit home and give your body 25% of the daily requirement of Vitamin B6, 15% of phosphorus, and 10% of magnesium.

Raisins

Calorie Count: 299 kcal/100 gms
Dosage: Up to 90

Raisins
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Raisins, also known as Kishmish are popular dry fruits. These raisins are low in salt and high in iodine which is very effective for the body. It contains no fat at all and thus promotes weight loss. Grapes are dehydrated to produce raisins and in this process of dehydration, the nutrients become more concentrated. So, a handful of raisins contains Vitamin B, iron, and potassium. Raisins are also a rich source of carbohydrates for energy. Raisins fight constipation, cancer, and hypertension too.

When it comes to the question of how many raisins should be taken on a daily basis, the answer may vary. It is said that you should ideally have 1 small box of raisins which is about 90 raisins. Because this amount makes up the daily fruit requirement, in an effective way. Plus it only has 129 calories and 0 fat.

You are given this life to enjoy this beautiful world and without an alert body and mind, you cannot do full justice to this life. So, eat well and stay fit – the dry fruits way!

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