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Rima Ghosh

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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)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google
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
Image Source – Google
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
Image Source – Google
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
Image Source – Google
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
Image Source – Google
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
Image Source – Google
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
Image Source – Google
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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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
Image Source – Google

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!

Love is an essential part of our lives for sure. Some love to show it to the world whole-heartedly while some have a restrained approach. Passion runs high in some while some are casual. These differences in various ways of expression of love are based on the zodiac signs. Astrology says that the way people perceive love and romance comes straight from their zodiac signs. By studying the zodiac signs, you may thus understand your friend, partner, and better halves in a better way. Various zodiac signs have various personality traits and their expression of love and romance are truly based on that. For example, Cancerians are very emotional and sensitive people and thus their love is very romantic.

Read more about the expression of love and romance- the zodiac way here:

Aries: Passion Is The Keyword

Being a Fire sign, people of Aries zodiac sign are passionate, impulsive, and headstrong people. They can take a bullet for a friend too. So, when it comes to love and romance, they are high on that passion meter. They are also those few who fall for “love at first sight”. They listen to their instincts when in love and they feel lively and almost fanatical while their lovers are around. But in some cases, this passion doesn’t take much time to die down.

Taurus: Naturally Sensuous

Taurus is an Earth sign and they are popular for their stubbornness. Venus is their ruler and thus they love beauty and find comfort. In love too, they are always searching for that comfort. Taureans are naturally sensuous when it comes to the expression of love and romance. They won’t force their love on you and whatever is natural in love comes to them easily. Taurus also believes that without carnal pleasure, love is incomplete. Emotional security from their partner holds importance to them because they need to be sure that they are in an emotional comfort zone.

Gemini: Love Is Pure Fun

Gemini is an Air again and these people are known to be very expressive and quick-witted. They are intelligent people and in matters of the heart too they are intelligent and not emotional. Gemini people love fun mixed with wit and thus they are always trying to establish a little with their partners. But Gemini personalities are also vulnerable in love.

Cancer: Possessive Romance

Being passionate and possessive are two different things but Cancerians often blur these lines. While in love they always want that persona around – way too much! They need affection non-stop and this sometimes may disturb their partners. But they are way too much romantic. They are the ones who would want to walk under one umbrella with their partners when it is raining heavily. In love, Cancerians are a little timid too and a constant reassurance of love from their partners is required.

Leo: Leaders In Charge Of Love

Leo, the Fire sign- the natural born leaders. They are the center of attraction wherever they go. Leos are warm-hearted, creative, and generous people and just the way they are leaders everywhere else, in love too they love to take charge. To feel good in love relationships, Leos need to be admired a lot. But sometimes, Leo’s become self-centered, lazy, arrogant, and stubborn and their partners might perceive that as “lack of emotions”.

Virgo: A Committed Lover

Virgo is an Earth sign who are loyal, benevolent, and practical. They always oblige to their partner’s wishes, whims, and fancies just to make them happy. They do all these because when in love they are in constant trial in their mind that the other one is still uncertain about the relationship. That’s why they are always working hard to fulfill the desires of their partners. Their feelings are sometimes unnoticeable but this one is a very committed lover from the very first day!

Libra: Charmers Know To Charm

Libra- the air sign people know exactly how to win people’s hearts with their charm. They are the owners of a pleasing personality and loves to live a balanced, harmonious, and peaceful life. In love, they are hugely romantic but they are a bit less articulate while exchanging words of love with others. Their main concern is that their partners should always feel happy and carry a cheerful smile on their faces and that’s why they use their charm to make them laugh. Born with justified minds, Librans are always in search of a balanced relationship.

Scorpio: Sexily

This water sign zodiac, Scorpions are deeply creative, passionate, courageous, and sexy people. People generally get attracted to them for their deep and intense eyes and those sexy moves. In love, scorpions are highly passionate and their relationships are often feisty, lively, and intense. Scorpions are extremely sensual and thus there are irresistible urges. Intuition runs very deep in their blood, and that’s why they somehow feel it way before if their partners are going to cheat on them or not. They have a revengeful mind but also believe that revenge should be served cold. Scorpions also have a problem- they hardly forget things and that’s why don’t sit peacefully until they settle their scores, yes in matters of the heart too!

Sagittarius: Honest & Trustworthy Lovers

Sagittarius are very simple people who adore honesty and trust in love relationships. They cannot take quarrel, fights, or any sort of heated exchanges. And they feel it’s futile to delve in a territory where things are complicated. In short, they won’t take risks at all. But they are the ones whom you can trust with your life and are very honest with their feelings.

Capricorn: Genuinely

Capricorn is an Earth sign that is ruled by Saturn. They have determination and ambition very clearly in their mind. In matters of the heart too, they are determined! So, their feelings are deep and rare. Keeping away the casual flirting’s and flings, when they are sure about someone, they are true and genuine. Love then is for eternity. Their expression of romance is thus chilled out and they can be unpredictable in their moves and completely surprise their partners which is why their love stories always retain freshness.

Aquarius: Love Is An Adventure

Aquarians are very creative and original and thus their style of loving is also original. They carry a dynamic attitude that is liked by others and they are also very eccentric. Aquarius believe that their love partners are their best friends, in fact, some of them cannot be comfortable in the relationship if the friendship is not agile. So, in love, they want to take an adventure tour to the world with their partners.

Pisces: Strong Emotional Lover

Pisces are very emotional and in love they are selfless. They know how to empathize with their partners. Pisces run very high on emotions and are always hungry for perfection even in love. Their sentimental angle makes them truly a pillar of support and strength to their partners. If they are in love, they won’t waste a single moment in expressing that feeling to their lovers.

Mumbai is known as the financial capital of India. All the rich and famous people live here. Mumbai is in the wish-list of many people across India majorly for being the seat of Bollywood. But apart from that, Mumbai is quite a vibrant place with lip-smacking street food, wonderful architecture, and of course the roaring Arabian Sea. On one side lies the rich and cream of the society and on the other side lies the poor and dejected Dharavi- world’s largest slum. So, Mumbai is a place of a stark contradiction too. Therefore, very easily, you would find the posh and luxurious products at both at expensive rates and cheap rates. In this blog, I will let you know some of the best yet cheapest shopping destinations in Mumbai.

So, in case you are new to Mumbai or on a trip to Mumbai, you must visit the markets mentioned below and buy the amazing things at rational rates.

Colaba Causeway
Colaba Causeway
Image Source – Google

If you are a shopaholic, then you would be mesmerized with the collection of Colaba Causeway market. Those funky bags, colorful t-shirts with catchy slogans, simple to heavily worked clothes, household items, jewelry – both traditional and modern, brass items, handicraft items, crystals, and a large variety of incense sticks are found here. So, if your new home in Mumbai requires necessary ingredients to deck up, then you must walk through the lanes of Colaba Causeway. The local people of Mumbai visit this market on weekends and tourists also never forget to shop from here.

Crawford Market
Crawford Market
Image Source – Google

The other name of this market is Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai. This is a famous market for fruits and vegetables. Generally, this market is very crowded where you would find toys, beautiful home décor figurines, henna or Mehendi artists, etc. Crawford market is majorly inhabited by Muslim people and thus you would see the green flags and the melodious Azaan fills the air beautifully. Amidst the fast changing time, this market still retains the old-world style. It springs from a colonial building that reminds of the old times of the British era. So, visit this market located in Dhobi Talao, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort.

Zaveri Bazaar
Zaveri Bazaar
Image source – Google

Zaveri Bazaar is one of India’s most glittering markets. If you are in Mumbai, then you must visit this market once. You are surely going to be mesmerized by the luxurious aura, royal embellishments, and the brilliant creativity of the artisans here. The popular name of this Zaveri Bazaar is “Glittering Market”. It is famous for jewelry items of all kinds and gems. Located at the North of Crawford market, this Zaveri Bazaar would require a whole day or two for you to properly explore. Just like Crawford Market, this Zaveri Bazaar is also a shopping spot that has sprung from old colonial buildings.

These buildings of the 19th century built in Victorian-Gothic style stands the test of time and have been a witness to the changing world around them. The most famous names of this market are- Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri, Dwarkadas Chandumal, UTZ, and Dhirajlal Bhimji Zaveri. So, visit this market between 10 A.M and 7:30 P.M. except Sundays in Bhuleswar of South Mumbai.

Fashion Street
Fashion Street
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Located in MG Road of South Mumbai, this Fashion Street is the place for all the fashionistas. From Gucci to Dolce & Gabbana, Puma to Nike – every brand is here at a low or cheap price. You would find, fake, real, first hand, and second hand all types of clothes, clutches, bags, and other accessories. This market has near about 150 stalls and is mainly famous among college students or teenagers. They come to shop here and go home happy with their branded t-shirts, bags, and shoes and also save some pocket money!

Mirchi Galli
Mirchi Galli
Image Source – Google

As the name itself suggests, this market specializes in chili and various other spices and condiments required in our Indian cuisine. You would find the premium quality nits, dry fruits, snacks, sweets, and after-meal digestive spices. Mirchi Galli in Mumbai is more than 100 years old and people from all over Mumbai drop here to shop the best spices. The spices and dry fruits are sourced from authentic dealers and that’s why the top-class quality is guaranteed. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 A.M. to 8 P.M. So, don’t forget to visit this market located at the end of the Crawford Market leading to Jama Masjid.

Bhutan, the small South Asian country that forms a part of Indian sub-continent is the only country in the world that doesn’t have any railway. It shares a border with China, India, and Tibet. The capital of Bhutan is Thimphu while the financial hub is Phuntsholing. This country had a monarchy rule but in 2008 it gave up absolute monarchy and brought constitutional monarchy. “Land of Dragons” is the nickname of Bhutan and you can locate a dragon on the national flag of Bhutan. If your tired heart and soul is looking for a relaxing time, then Bhutan should be on your priority list. The lush green grass, clear sky, and small rivulets – Bhutan seems like a painting from the brushes of Albert Bierstadt! The red chilies on the tin roof, momos on the street, and an inspiring breeze – Bhutan has many things to offer you.

Here are some reasons why you must book your tickets to Bhutan ASAP!

Happy Faces All Around
Happy Faces All Around
Image Source – Google

When every other country is in the rat race of GDP and increasing their yield in every sector of the economy, here is Bhutan whose parameter to check development is GNP. GNP stands for Gross National Happiness. When the principles of Buddhism are applied at a large scale, you get to hear something like this. The country takes care of every citizen with love and that’s the reason why you see happy faces all around you in Bhutan.

The Land Of Peace, Tranquility, & Spirituality

The Land Of Peace, Tranquility, & Spirituality

As stated in the introduction, this country looks like a real painting! You would hardly find any other place in this world as beautiful, serene, calm, and peaceful as Bhutan. The 2/3rd population of Bhutan follows Buddhism – which is the most peaceful religion in the world and 1/3rd follow Hinduism. Buddhist monasteries, chanting, cool breeze, less population – these are the perfect ingredients for peace surely! Buddhism is not only a religion but a way of living here. They are peace-loving people who make their surroundings peaceful.

Closest to Nature

Closest to Nature

Away from the hustle bustle of a metro city, fast life, mundane job, and monotonous responsibilities – Bhutan would take you closest to nature. Opening your hotel window or walking to the balcony and feeling like just in the lap of a huge mountain is a feeling you must enjoy. The wide valleys & opulent green grass suddenly rise up to a steep mountain – you simply cannot keep your cameras off! If you visit in Spring season, you can witness the rhododendrons! Simply walk on the velvety grass in the morning, sit beside the small stream at the afternoon, and observe the lit up mountain in the evening! There won’t be any boisterous noise disturbing you for a single moment while you are gazing at Nature.

Trekking Can be Fun
Trekking Can be Fun
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If you are fond of trekking, then also Bhutan is a perfect place for you. The real magnificence of the hills and mountains of Bhutan can be understood only when you set out for trekking. So, keep your trekking clothes and shoes and leave to know the unknown.

Simplicity Is The Way of Living
Simplicity Is The Way of Living
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Buddhism teaches to stay calm and humble in every stage of life. As stated earlier, the people of Bhutan have adopted the principles of Buddhism in their lifestyle and that’s why you would see a simple way of living among Bhutanese people. They are very honest and hard-working bunch of people who stay grounded in their religion and tradition. They don’t have big ambition because they find happiness in the simple and small things of life. They invest their creative energy in paintings, textile, sculpture, wood carving, paper making, sword making, bamboo craft, and jewelry making. When you belong to a different world where the connotation of happiness is all about achieving material goods, Bhutan and its people give you a reality check!

Bhutan Cuisine
Bhutan Cuisine
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Perhaps Bhutan is the only place in the world where chili is not a spice used in food, but the main ingredient in making a food. Chili here is more like a vegetable. The North Indians are fans of momo and the spicy red chutney and it is a challenge to them to survive the taste of Bhutan chilies. The national food of Bhutan is “Ema-Datshi” which is a dish prepared with the hottest chili & cheese. The food-lovers must visit Bhutan to taste its hot & happening food!

Breathe Pollution-Free Air
Breathe Pollution-Free Air
Image Source – Google

For the rest of the world, the level of population and pollution is ever-increasing leading to many challenges. But in Bhutan, there is hardly any pollution and visible ailments like a headache or sneezing. Why? Because the people of Bhutan are environmentally conscious. As stated earlier, they know to be happy with simple and small things in life and that’s why they don’t want to own a car or run large scale industries! One of their laws say that 60% of the land should always be under forest and that’s why Bhutan has still retained the fresh and pure air to breathe!

Nobody would ever say that they don’t like Maggi. For those who have spent a considerable number of years away from home in PG’s, hostels, or rented apartments – Maggi is like pseudo-religion to them. I am one of them and this is the first thing that I ever cooked and that too asking mom the process of it. From a naïve visitor to the kitchen to an experienced one – Maggi boosted the confidence in cooking. Many of you would agree to this because, like me, you all have also tried and tested various types of easy to make Maggi recipes.

So, here are my favorites!

Cheesy Mix Veg Maggi

This is one of the simplest and yummiest easy to make Maggi recipes. You can have at any time of the day. This Maggi recipe is one of those which everyone must have tried in their kitchen. Loaded with the goodness of vegetables, this Maggi is fulfilling and can thus be a great option for your lunch or dinner menu.

Cheesy Mix Veg Maggi
Image Source – Google

Ingredients: All the vegetables of your choice can be put in here but here are what I put in my recipe.

Onion – one medium sized onion chopped in longitudinal manner; Tomato – one small chopped in longitudinal manner; Frozen peas – a handful; Cabbage – about 2 spoons very thin and fine longitudinal slices; Carrot – about 2 spoons cut in small pieces; Finely chopped Garlic: 1 spoon; Cumin seeds: ½ spoon; Salt – As per taste; Oregano: As per taste; Chopped Green Chili: ½ spoon; Chicken Masala: ½ teaspoon; Oil – 2-3 tsp, 1 Maggi Packet.

How to Make:
  • Firstly, arrange all the veggies as per list and cut them as directed.
  • Put oil in a wok or pan and first put the cumin seeds & wait for it to splutter.
  • Go ahead with onion slices followed by garlic and green chilies.
  • Remember, the idea is not to deep fry them but simply to soften the veggies.
  • Now put cabbage and carrots and sprinkle some salt in this stage.
  • Let these veggies cook and cover the lid and leave for 5-7 minutes keeping the flame on medium to low.
  • Check if the veggies have softened or not and once softened put some chicken masala in it.
  • Let the veggies soak chicken masala well and then put off the gas and go for the next step.
  • Put 2 cups of water and bring it to boil and now put 1 packet of Maggi in it and don’t let it sit in the water for more than 3 minutes.
  • Sieve the Maggi now and spread on a plate to cool down a bit.
  • Once cooled, sprinkle the Maggi Masala on it and mix it well with your hands.
  • Be careful not to break the Maggi strings.
  • Now go back to the veggies. Simply put the Maggi mixed with Masala in your mix vegetable fry. In this stage put the frozen peas and adjust the salt. Once Maggi and veggies are mixed properly, grate some cheese on it and cover for 2 minutes so that the cheese melts.
  • Put sprinkle oregano and enjoy the cheesy mix veg Maggi with your cup of coffee or tea!
Onion-Capsicum-Egg Maggi

Simple, easy, and healthy, you can have this Maggi boiled or boiled and fried both. While in a hurry or when you have limited veggies, you can enjoy this Maggi. It is a great evening or dinner meal during the chilly winter season. So, bring these ingredients and wear the chef cap for one of the easy to make Maggi recipes.

Onion-Capsicum-Egg Maggi
Image Source – Google

Ingredients: 2 spoons of finely chopped onion, 1 spoon of finely chopped capsicum, 1 egg, Salt – As per taste, Butter – 1 Spoon, and 1 Maggi Packet.

How To Make:
  • Put the onion and capsicum in 3 cups of water and cover for 5 minutes so that they soften up. Keep the flame high.
  • Now open and check if they have softened up.
  • Now put some salt in it followed by Maggi.
  • Let the Maggi mix with the veggies and completely soften.
  • Now put the Maggi Masala in it and that mixes break the egg and give a nice stir.
  • Cover for 1-2 minutes so that the egg cooks.
  • If you don’t want your Maggi soupy, then let the water to dry up a bit more.
  • Put in a bowl and put some butter before eating. You may put some chopped coriander leaves too!
  • For the fried version, simply follow the same way as mentioned in the previous recipe.
Soybean Maggi

Soybean is healthy and tasty both and I love my Maggi with it. As a morning breakfast, you can enjoy this lovely Maggi with your roommates. If you woke up late on a weekend and feeling lethargic to cook for yourself, then this “easy to make” Maggi recipe is perfect for you. Enjoy it while binging on Netflix.

Soybean Maggi:
Image Source – Google

Ingredients: Soybean – As much as you want it or 10 pieces if you are going for the bigger ones and half cup if you are opting for the granules. Salt – As per taste. Coriander leaves – 1 spoon finely chopped. 1 Packet of Maggi. Butter or Oil – 1 tsp. Cheese – optional.

How To Make:
  • Take 3-4 cups of water and bring it to boil. Put the soybeans in them and let them soak it for good 10 minutes.
  • Now rinse the soybeans properly in cold water and squeeze them well.
  • Keep it aside in a bowl and sprinkle some salt on them.
  • Take a pan or wok and put some oil/butter and put the soybeans in it.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes in medium flame.
  • Now take 2 cups of water and boil Maggi and once softened put the Maggi Masala in it.
  • Put the stir-fried soybeans in your Maggi and sprinkle some coriander and grate the cheese if you want.
  • Enjoy your Maggi!

May Maggi never leave our lives and plates! These were just 3 easy to make Maggi recipes and I will post some more Maggi recipes soon. Also, keep checking this space for more interesting recipes!

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