I was waiting for a long time
To meet a respectable man
A gentle man of manners and looks
With a bold and joyful heart,
Undoubtedly in most good books
And believes in a positive start
With whom I can cross the threshold of wedding
Without the fear of boredom
With whom my life would be so blissful
That it would become wholesome
A man who knows no boundaries
A man who likes a woman as she is
A man who doesn't demand my legs be waxed
A man who doesn't expect his house be fixed
A man who knows I'm a daddy's girl
And in his warmth makes my toes curl
A man who is not afraid to call my mom as his
A man who refers to my sister as sis
A man whose deeds everyone wants to hear
A man who spreads love and good cheer
To marry such a man was a dream
A wistful flash, no doubt the other gender's cream
But then it happened just like that
One phone call and I was flat
Madly, deeply, truly in love
To this day my happiness, to you I owe
Never till now did I feel blue
A happy dream you are, that finally came true!

The other day I was reading the forecast for the new year. The last week of a year is always full of activity. People are suddenly interested in history and looking back at their life. News channels review anything review worthy (read as movies, books, sports etc) till the final day of the year. This year was no different. As I was saying, I came across the horoscope for 2015 by a popular astrologer. At this point I have to say, I'm not big into astrology (I did not even know astrology was different from astronomy till my twelfth year) like Guppi aunty who would not even have non-veg foods without considering the day, date and time. My question is what has chicken got to do with it at all? I'm no astrologer but I would not be wrong to say the concept of time ends here for me - good time for a feast and bad time for the poor chicken who had to be dispatched from earth. Or maybe it was  good time for the chicken as it had reached heaven finally. What is this time concept anyways?

I have a boutique. Mondays I don't work. Whereas for all these astrology smitten people, Tuesday is not an auspicious day (I don't know how this concept started). So people constantly come to me with the advice that I should quit working on Tuesday instead of Monday. So I asked Guppi aunty, what would we do if a child were to be born on Tuesday? Would the baby be any less welcome? She looked at me calmly and said, "Beta, there are certain things beyond our control that is decided by God. We cannot change everything. We should accept what he gives." Right. And the same God has given us seven days a week. Seven days which are equal in length and similar in structure. Why the difference towards poor Tuesday then? Things we can't change are to be accepted and things we can change, can be altered till we ourselves forget the reason for changing it. What logic is this?

Same is the concept with the right and left side of our body. While entering a new home, use the right leg to enter. While donating money use the right hand. Is the left hand any less important?

So this astrologer says according to my birth date, this year is going to be a mixed year. In his own words, 'Life is not a straight road. Expect curves.' Yeah right. We have got 365 days in a year. How can one be in a single frame of mind through out the year? I'm getting ready to go out with my friends the next day when Guppi aunty says, "Beta, your horoscope says 'expect curves'. You should come with me to the Shiv temple for 12 weeks on an empty stomach in the morning, (which translates into three months of only two meals per day). It will make your curves easier." I look at her and say with a straight face,"I enjoy curves aunty", which leaves her completely bewildered. I was going to the amusement park with my friends that day. Who would hate the curves of a roller coaster ride?
Bucket lists are a very common concept now. We hear a lot of people wanting to do certain things or visit certain places and make a list out of them. They call this list the bucket list and spend the rest of their lives ticking off the things that they have actually managed to achieve. Social sites are full of people who use this term liberally. But here are my reasons as to why this whole concept is not as great as it poses to be.




1. Your wish list ideally changes with time and age whether you agree or not. Things that seem crazy or stupid at your teen age might seem sensible or alluring later or vice versa. Why do we have to make a list out of it? Going with the flow is always the better option. You might surprise yourself by enjoying something that you never thought you might enjoy in the first place.

2. Creating a bucket list creates an unnecessary pressure on you. It is like achieving targets.

3. If at all you share your bucket list with your friends, you are constantly questioned about it and sometimes it might irk you.

4.It lacks spontaneity and involves a lot of planning.

5. It limits your options basically. You never really get a chance to explore things outside once you decide your bucket list.

If you have a bucket list kick it out now. You have many surprises coming your way.
 
Recently I came across a term called 'Gender Policing' in one of the videos shared on Facebook. The video focused on how girls were always biased based on their gender. After watching the video, I understood one thing. Feminism is not what it stood for once upon a time. It is a very misunderstood term. For instance:

Why are we compared to guys all the time?
 They are not our  benchmark. They are not even our role models. They can't do things that we are capable of.

Why are we focused on proving the world that we can do what men do?
We are not designed to function that way. We are meant to be complimentary not similar. Besides the constant need to prove things is a huge burden on yourself.

Why is there so much fuss about women's rights?
We have all that we want right now right here. Why do you assume that you are under the control of men? Who should give you your right as long as you trod the path of justice and honesty.

Why is there no safety for women in the society?
It is a woman that makes a man go gaga after her skimpy dress and vulgar dance in a Bollywood movie.

It is a woman who is ready to shake a leg for songs that indirectly affect lots of regular or otherwise ordinary woman. In how many instances of crime have men pointed out movies as an inspiration for their crime against a woman? Dear Skimpy Mini Dress Actresses, Have you got no concern? No shame? No respect for womanhood?

It is because women think they are macho when they dress in rags (read as fashionable dresses which border on the edge of vulgarity) , go to a pub, smoke or speak English attending numerous parties. But do you want to be macho or do you want to be safe? A majesty of a woman does not lie in these things. It lies in her attitude towards others and life in general. It lies in her inner strength and her ability to bring relationships closer.

Dear high class fashionable socialist or feminist,

If you REALLY want our women to be safe,

Stop doing things merely for fame or money.

Stop degrading the modesty of a woman in a powerful platform like social media.

Stop projecting the wrong kind of example for young women.

Stop ignoring taunts which hurt you directly or indirectly.

Stop thinking that the world is one big competition between men and women.

Stop treating other women unfairly.

And above all, never term such atrocities as feminism.

If you really cared about the dignity of womanhood, 1. You would not complain of having kids. It is a privilege being a mother. 2. You would not think money is a priority over everything else. 3. You would learn to respect yourself for who you really are and let go of hypocrisy. 4. You would take pride in playing all the roles in a family well instead of thinking those very responsibilities are your shackles.5. You would take pride in the fact that you can manage a family as well as an office well.

And finally realize that you are answerable to yourself and all others who look up to you. Womanhood comes with a lot of responsibilities. One who accepts it and carries it out gracefully is a pride and joy to all.

Feminism is a movement that emphasizes that every woman should know her own worth. It is not a fancy word to be used liberally for things that are materialistic and shallow. It is not a concept. It is a way of life.
Badagas are inspirational and zealous people who have made their home amidst the ooty hills. Their tradition and culture is very unique. They enjoy full cultural freedom and excitement in terms of the various festivities,food,dance and music. There are occasion-based foods, daily foods and seasonal foods.They are nature lovers and most of their customs are nature oriented which means they live healthy. Food especially is prepared with a lot of ardor and care. Though a minority group they are well known for their culture. They are farmers by occupation, their main cultivation being coffee and tea. They also produce carrots,cabbages,radishes,potatoes and strawberry. They export tea and strawberry. Their weddings are simple and elegant. 



Backbone of the badagas:
Cultural integrity
Agriculture
Hospitality
Unity





Village Structure


There are nearly 350 villages. These villages are broadly divided into four partitions (naakubetta) based on the marital arrangements. As per the ancestral laws of the land, no two people can marry within the same partition as they are considered as brothers and sisters. There is one common head for all these four partitions.
Every village has a head (gowda). Under him is an executive committee. Together they take care of the village internal and external affairs. They manage their financial matters by collecting equal amount of tax from the villagers for every village related events. Their decisions are always taken based on the greater good of the village. Everyone is expected to respect and honor the final decision of the committee.

The houses are compact with open space in front of their houses. Each house has a drawing room, hall, kitchen, puja room and a small attic connected to the ground floor by a wooden ladder. Every house normally has an extended structure in the front for seating visitors and a wooden granary for storing grains. This is in the shape of a rectangle and sometimes it is used as a cot too. The house is equipped with permanently fixed mortar and pestle and grinding stones separately for dry and wet grinding.



Festivals


The annual godly festival (mariabba& hethaiabba) is very important as this festival is meant especially for their beloved daughters. This is a chance for the parents to see and honor their daughters who are married and are located elsewhere. When the daughter enjoys the festivity and leaves for her in-laws home which is now hers too, the parents send her back with all the home made goodies, a new sari and some money. It is a tradition that has been handed down for many generations.
This habba is an unspoken testimony for the bonds that run deep within the community. Strangers and relatives are treated alike with respect and love. Being a daughter born into a huge family, this festival is very close to my heart. As I see my parents that day every year awaiting my arrival along with my family, I know what it is to be special. May the great Mariamma bless all of us for a clear mind and a open heart and many more such happy occasions.


Food and Dress


The dress code:
All the women wear white cloth(mundu) over their saris and all the men are expected to wear crisp white shirts and dhotis on important occasions or visits to the temple. It is a sight to behold as the entire village turns into a sea of white.

Delicacy:

A variety of delicacies are prepared during festivals, the main item being thuppathitu (something like puri but sweet and yummy). In the vegetarian dishes, beans curry holds a special place. In the non-veg section chicken is consumed vastly.



UNESCO has acknowledged that Badagas are the best people known for their hospitality.

 Dance



This is an integral part of all the festivals. Youngsters and elders all shake a leg to the traditional drum beat. The teenagers are the most excited lot willing to show off their traditional dance with a new twist. It is a miracle that even a baby can dance to the beat and tune just by observing the crowd and without anybody actually teaching him or her.



Ittu Ceremony


For the first pregnancy during the seventh month the bride's family goes to the bridegrooms house with their close relatives. There they prepare a feast for groom's family as a gesture of good relations between both families. And then they take the bride to the maternal home for the delivery. After nearly one month, all the relatives of the bride and groom come to the bride's maternal house to prepare a veg or non-veg feast for the new mother-to-be. This is done as a good will initiative.

1. You do not know the name of at least one neighbor.

2. If you belong to A block, you think A block is the entire apartment. You do not even know how the other blocks are structured.

3. You enjoy your house but worry about the next monthly loan installment.

4. There is at least one neighbor who loves watching TV serials at high volumes.

5. You have no time to service your own things. 

6. An apartment without a lift puts you off.

7. You think you are in good terms  with your neighbors if you attend the yearly annual party.

8. There are families you don't even know sharing your building.

9. You try to get along with the people from the same work sector or related industry.

10. If it was a choice between an afternoon movie and a neighborhood get-together you would always lean towards the movie.

11. There are huge play areas but very few children actually playing outdoors.

12. If the servant maid does not turn up for a day, the whole house is in chaos.

13. There is at least one pet lover in your area who will have a dog within your apartment premises.

14. You suddenly realize the importance of water very clearly.

15. You will have lots of neighbors but very few friends if at all there are any.

16. Your house is filled with gadgets.
India is a country with a population of 2 billion people. It is the largest democracy in the world. It 

is divided into 29 states and 7 union territories. Two union territories have their own 

government while the remaining five are directly ruled by the administrators’ of the center. Each 

state is divided based n linguistic basis. The people within the state use only ne language in 

majority. This was an arrangement made under the States Reorganization Act in 1956. Each 

state is further divided into administrative districts. Each state has its own unique culture and 

social aspects that even within the same country there is a lot f cultural diversity.

There are three capitals for every state.

1. The administrative capital is where the executive offices are located.
2. The legislative capital is where the state assembly convenes.
3. The judicial capital is where the high courts of India are located.

The administrative capital is the main capital of the state.

Statistics about the Indian States

Rajasthan is the largest state in India in terms of area.

In terms of population, Uttar Pradesh is the largest.

The state which hosts a large forest area is Madhya Pradesh.

The state with the longest cast line is Gujarat. In the south it is Andhra.

Smallest state in terms of area is Goa.

Smallest state in terms of population is Sikkim.

The Tropic of Cancer passes through eight states.

Uttar Pradesh is the only state which states its border with eight other states.


Capitals

•             The capital of Andhra is
                 A. Port Blair
                 B. Itanagar
                 C. Hyderabad

•             The capital of Arunachal Pradesh is
                 A. Sikkhim
                 B. Itanagar
                 C. Guwahati

•             The capital of Assam is
                 A. Dispur
                 B. Raipur
                 C. Guwahati

•             Which is the capital of Bihar?
                 A. Silvassa
                 B. Patna
                 C. Panipat

•             Which is the capital of Chhattisgarh?
                 A. Chandigarh
                 B. Port Blair
                 C. Raipur

•             Which is the capital of Goa?
                 A. Panaji
                 B. Hyderabad
                 C. Mumbai

•             The capital of Gujarat is
                 A. Prvrim
                 B. Panjim
                 C. Gandhinagar

•             The capital of Haryana is
                 A. Chandigar
                 B. Gandhinagar
                 C. Srinagar

•             Which is the capital of HP?
                 A. Manali
                 B. Shimla
                 C. Kashmir

•             The capital of J&K is
                 A. BharatNagar
                 B. Bilaspur
                 C. Srinagar

•             The capital of Jharkhand is
                 A. Kochi
                 B. Ranchi
                 C. Shimla

•             Which is the capital of Karnataka?
                 A. Bengaluru
                 B. Chikpet
                 C. Kochi

•             Which is the capital of Kerala?
                 A. Kochi
                 B. Kumarakom
                 C. Thiruvananthapuram

•             The capital of MP is
                 A. Jabalpur
                 B. Bhpal
                 C. Sikkhim

•             Which is the capital of Maharashtra?
                 A. Mumbai
                 B. Calcutta
                 C. Delhi

•             The capital of Manipur is
                 A. Shillong
                 B. Imphal
                 C. Megalaya

•             The capital of Meghalaya is
                 A. Shillong
                 B. Imphal
                 C. Itanagar

•             The capital of Mizoram is
                 A. Shillong
                 B. Aizawal
                 C. Dispur

•             Which of this is the capital of Nagaland?
                 A. Aizawal
                 B. Imphal
                 C. Kohima

•             Which is the capital of Odisha?
                 A. Cuttack
                 B. Bhubaneshwar
                 C. Gandhinagar

•             The capital of Punjab is
                 A. Udaipur
                 B. Raipur
                 C. Chandigarh

•             The capital of Rajasthan is
                 A. Jodhpur
                 B. Jaipur
                 C. Manipur

•             Which is the capital of Sikkim?
                 A. Shimla
                 B. Cuttack
                 C. Gangtok

•             The capital of Tamil nadu is
                 A. Chennai
                 B. Mumbai
                 C. Bengaluru

•             Which is the capital of Telangana?
                 A. Kochi
                 B. Hyderabad
                 C. Chennai

•             The capital of Tripura is
                 A. Agartala
                 B. Aizawal
                 C. Ahmedabad

•             The capital of UP is
                 A. Allahabad
                 B. Lucknow
                 C. Kanchi

•             The capital of Uttarakhand is
                 A. Nainital
                 B. Dehradun
                 C. Lucknow

•             The capital of West Bengal is
                 A. Delhi
                 B. Mumbai
                 C. Kolkata



1. They work light on Friday.

2. They plan their additional leave on a Friday or Monday.



3. They are obsessed with branded clothes and shoes.
    
4. The three top computer keys they use are copy,paste and undo.


5. They love going to beach resorts in the expense of the company.

6. They talk in English in a public place. 

7. They think onsite travel is their birthright.

8. They have new respect for onsite returnees.

9. They have a passport even if they cannot travel for the next ten years.

10. They think cine screens in shopping malls are actual theaters.

11. They have numerous cards in their pockets most of which are membership cards from Pantaloons or lifestyle.

12. They update every status on Facebook (Watching Holiday or Went on a holiday)

13. They take their public image very seriously and talk of important things when someone else is listening. (Hey dude, did you see Suarez bite the other guy?)

14. They think waiting for a lift is wasting their time while they spend one hour over a cup of coffee in the canteen.



15. They revolve around meetings ,appraisal, boss, deadlines and escalations. 

16. They love the word 'party'.

17. They work in a team but do not know how many siblings a team mate has.

18. They think getting a latest Iphone is easier than getting their leaves approved from their boss.

19. They hate Mondays.

20. They love lunch treats from other team mates.

Micro is a techno-thriller started by Michael Crichton, who is the king of adventure novels. The theme in most of his novels is about nature versus technology. His Jurassic Park is a master-piece thriller. This book was unfortunately not finished by Crichton. He died before he could finish it in 2008. Science writer Richard Preston was selected to complete the noel and I must say, he was aptly selected. The book was published posthumously in 20011 three years after the death of Crichton.
Micro-Book Review
The story revolves around seven scientists who specialize in various fields of research. These students have high aspirations for their careers and look forward to the work at Nanigen, the leading company in scientific research. They are invited to the head quarters at Hawaii where they are to be briefed about their future prospects with the company. All goes well, till one of the student suspects the chief of the company of murdering his brother. To stop the truth from leaking outside, the chief shrinks all the seven students and makes them part of a micro world where they have absolutely no chance of survival. The seven are initially shocked. The micro world offers them numerous wonders which enchants them for a while. But when survival is questioned, who would be interested in other things? As the students race against time and nature, their survival is not their only challenge. They have to prove that the chief is a crook and a murderer and find the real reason for the murder that has already happened.
The book offers a plethora of information about the micro world including insects and the law of nature. As the story progresses it is so engrossing and mystifying which encourages one to finish the book as soon as possible. It is a good read if you are accustomed to the style of Crichton and are interested in science and the world around you.
Father of the bride movie review
Father of the Bride is an American comedy based on the beautiful relationship between fathers and daughters. Steve Martin and Diane Keaton play the parents while Kimberly Williams plays the much loved daughter in the movie. I have a long list of favorite movies which released in the 90s but I wanted to write about this movie in particular. It holds a special place in my heart because it reminds me of my own closeness with my dad. Sometimes we think movies are far different from reality but in rare occasions it helps us understand the intricate beauty of relationships.
There is this beautiful family of four that George and Nina (Steve and Diane) are content with, until their daughter Annie falls in love with an amazing guy. She is convinced that he is the one for her. She meets him in Rome and wants to introduce him to her family. When she breaks the news to her parents, Nina is surprised while George is plain shocked. He refuses to acknowledge what is happening and still treats his daughter as if she is a child. He cannot believe that his daughter wants to get married and leave him. While Nina plays the understanding and mature mother, George is the one who captures our heart with his immaturity and a deep love for his daughter. He plays his part perfectly as the over-protective father who wants to chase any man daring to challenge him and capture his daughter’s attention. He indulges in all sorts of silliness till finally he understands that someday he has to let her go so that she can make her life beautiful with someone who loves her unconditionally as her own father. Nina as the confident wife shoulders the responsibility of balancing the crazy father and the frustrated daughter who cannot understand how such a great father could be so stubborn.
There are many moments in the movie that are endearing. Though the main plot is the conflict of interest between the father and the daughter, the relationships between a husband and wife, a brother and a sister and between two lovers are beautifully sketched. The back ground score is very soothing and awesome. The movie is such a huge break from the regular commercial movies as you can enjoy it with your family. Needless to say, I cry every time during the last part of the movie. I watched it once with my dad after pestering him so much to see it with me. By the end, I’m sure he was in tears but of course he pretended that he was alright ( though his nostrils kept flaring to hide his tears). This movie is very special for every daughter who has a deep bond with her father. It reminds you though everything in life does not happen the way you always want, there is one special person whom you can always count on.

More

What's Hot?