Thursday, October 30, 2014

'Halloween Special'

"Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldronbubble," said the three witches in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The day of the dead, better known as Halloween is due on October 31st, is famous for creepy costumes and spooky themes.

Word 'Halloween' finds its roots in Catholicism: Halloween comes from 'Hallowmas' - a three day Catholic holiday when people pray from their recently deceased and the saints are honoured. In the beginning of 11th century, the pope decided to observe Hallowmas between October 31- November 2 and called it All Hallow's Eve, which later on evolved into Hallow's Even and finally Hallowe'een in the 18th century.

Jack-O-Lantern is named after a farmer called Jack, who always played tricks on the devil. Due of this, the devil made him wander purgatory with just a burning lump of coal as his light. Jack put the coal in a turnip and used it as a lamp. Later on, in the areas where turnips were not very popular, people started making Lanterns out of Pumpkins.

Halloween costumes tradition came from the Celtic people. They used to wear masks and scary costumes during Samhain to ward off and confuse evil spirits. Celtic tradition believed that during this time spirits and fairies can enter our world. To keep these spirits happy, Celtic began to offer treats and food to them.

The black and orange color combination is synonymous with Halloween. Wondering why? Well, orange is often associated with fall harvest and black is the color of darkness and death.

The tradition of trick or treat goes back to medieval times when poor adults and children went around the town during Hallowmas dressed in costumes begging for food and money. If you happen to spot a spider on Halloween, don't freak out at the tiny ugly thing. According to legends, spotting a Spider on Halloween means the spirit of a loved one is watching you. Halloween is also the time to be at the spooky places. If you are in India visit these places for the spookiest festival of the year Halloween... 

Bhangarh Fort: Situated near a village of the Alwar district in Rajasthan in India. The historical ruins near the edge of the Sariska Tiger Reserve is also a popular tourist attraction. Bhangarh is classified as the "most haunted place". A signboard has been put up by the Archaeological Survey of India near the gate, prohibiting tourists from entering the fort after sunset and before sunrise. Built in 1613 by Raja Madhu Singh the fort is crowded on weekends and holidays by tourists to experience the eerie aura of the fort.

Dumas Coast in Surat is a cremations ground for the locals and the focal point of several horror stories. People heard all sorts of unknown voices resonating at this spot. Third in the list is the famous Shaniwar Wada of Pune. People who visited the area informed that on the full moon nights many heard voices for help echoing in this area. Story tellers said, a 13-year-old son of the Peshwa dynasty person, was brutally murdered by a relative. The boy kept running across the length of the fort to save his life and kept shouting for help. 

Lambi Dehar Mines of Mussoorie are located on the outskirts of the town are still abandoned and believed to be haunted. In early 1990s, several workers lost their lives in a mining accident. Tunnel No. 33 in Shimla is also one of the haunted spot in India. Tunnel no. 33 is said to be the abode of the ghost of British Railway Engineer named Colonel Barog.

Happy Halloween Everyone :) and thanks for reading


Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Picture Blog: Happy Diwali

Diwali is also known as the festival of lights. In this festival people decorate their homes not only with diyas (traditional clay lamps) but also with candles and other lights. People buy and gift each other sweets. Also made Rangolis to welcome their guests. 

Picture says more than words... so let me share few pictures of Diwali that have all sorts of colors in them. Hope you all going to like this Picture Blog :)

Happy Diwali everyone - to my family, my friends, my readers, may the year bring you wealth, health and happiness in abundance. May your paths be flowered and brightly lit.

Thanks for reading 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dhanteras: Diwali Celebrations

'Dhanteras' celebrated by the people with the great joy and happiness. It is the first day of the five-day Diwali celebration which observed across India. Dhanteras festival is also known as ‘Dhanatrayodashi’ or ‘Dhanvantari Trayodashi’. The word 'Dhan' means wealth and Teras means 13th day of the month. Dhanteras observed every year on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) according to the Hindu calendar month of ‘Ashwin’.

People wait for the Diwali celebration all year long and Dhanteras also considered as the lucky day. People renovate and decorate their homes or business premises with new paints, lights, Diyas, candle, flowers and rangoli. Entrance gate decorate with the colorful and traditional designs of rangoli in order to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. People also stick small footprints of the Lakshmi coming into their home and mix rice flour and vermilion powder and draw all over the houses.

On Dhanteras Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase at least one or two new utensils as it believed that new “Dhan” or some form of metal is a sign of good luck. During "Lakshmi Puja" tiny diyas of clay are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. Bhajans, aartis or devotional hymns are sung and "Naivedya" of traditional sweets and fruits are offered to Godass. People purchased jewelries and buy gold or silver or utensils to venerate the occasion of Dhanteras. 


The legends ascribes the occasion with an interesting story about the 16 year old son of King Hima. His horoscope predicted his death by snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. On that particular day, his newly-wed wife did not allow him to sleep. She laid out all her ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a heap at the entrance of the sleeping chamber and lit lamps all over the place. Then she narrated stories and sang songs to keep her husband from falling asleep.

When Yama, the god of Death, arrived at the prince’s doorstep in the guise of a Serpent, his eyes were dazzled and blinded by the brilliance of the lamps and the jewelry. Yama could not enter the Prince's chamber, so he climbed on top of the heap of gold coins and sat there the entire night listening to the stories and songs. In the morning, he silently went away. Thus, the young prince was saved from the clutches of death by the cleverness of his new bride, and the day since then celebrated as Dhanteras.

Another legend is about Lord Dhanwantri, known as the physician of the Gods and an incarnation of Vishnu, was born on the day of Dhanteras or Dhan Trayodashi. That’s why any new discovery of medical science field in India starts at this day. According to another popular legend, when the Gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrita or nectar, Dhanvantari emerged carrying a jar of the elixir on the day of Dhanteras.

Some people keep fast for full day. They break their fast after sunset with the puja of Goddess Lakshmi, and then they eat delicious sweetmeats, kheer, puri etc. Many people inaugurate their new business premises, launch new projects, buy car, jewelries, saree, and many more things on this auspicious day.

In villages, cattle are adorned and worshiped by farmers as they form the main source of their income. In south India, cows are offered, particularly, a special veneration because they are thought of as incarnations of Goddess Lakshmi. In Maharashtra people lightly pound dry coriander seeds (Dhane in Marathi) with jaggery and offer as Naivedya.

Hindus also worship Lord Kuber as the treasurer of wealth and bestower of riches, along with Goddess Lakshmi. This custom of worshiping Lakshmi and Kuber together is in prospect of doubling the benefits of such prayers.

The following day came to be called Naraka Chaturdashi ('Naraka' means hell and Chaturdashi means 14th). It is also known as ‘Yamadeepdaan’ as the ladies of the house light earthen lamps or ‘deep’ and these are kept burning throughout the night glorifying Yama, the God of Death. Since this is the night before Diwali, it is also called 'Chhoti Diwali'.... (and then the DIWALI...)

Hope you all liked it, it soft of a traditional post!

Thanks for reading :) 


Friday, October 17, 2014

October Chill and Shopping Haul

Its autumn here and every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering with air... The trees turn golden-brown hues and there is a pleasant chill in the ambience.  With the breezy mornings and hazy days its almost time to welcome winter. Preparing myself for winter 2 days ago I decided to do a mini haul just for the products I really needed! So here is a list.. let me know if you like them...

Those who think only Sephora or Biotique can give the ultimate bathing range.. they are wrong.. Here I'm sharing my experience of Palmolive shower gel and the range is awe---some! 

Palmolive Ayurituel (Joyous) and Palmolive Aroma (Absolute Relax) both products are great! The entire bathing range comes in a perfect cost starting from 125-200 only and you are gonna love the fragrances! Palmolive Ayurituel Joyous is actually inspired by the world of ancient Indian Ayurvedic traditions. Enriched with blend of lotus flower extract it will give your the best experience! Palmolive Aroma AR gives you a soothing aroma, its formula with Ylang Ylang essential oil and extract of Iris can make it special for anyone :)

After body its about face, The O3+ Derma Fresh Mask. You can get the product in 300 rupees or so! The mask claims to be Skin tightening & Brightening. I can say it certainly calm and refresh the skin... brightening part is ok may be due to I used a scrub first and tightening part yet to see. All in all if you ask me, do purchase the item if you are a working woman, it will give you a mini cleaning effect at home :) 

Another product for face is the clean & clear morning energy face wash and what I like about this product that it is utterly refreshing and so fruity. This range of Clean & Clear face washes is available in 3 variants: Strawberry, Lemon or Apple. I had used Lemon first and now I m using Apple one and I really enjoyed the range so far :)

And now hair, I'm going to suggest this Matrix Biolage Smoothing Hair Serum for those who rarely use hair oil but use hair dryers or heat styling. What I like about this serum is, it leaves my hair with zero frizz and just a small amount of serum is required. I also want to add a point that it is lightweight and gives a glossy sheen to the hair without weighing the hair down. Do try and let me know the experience! 

Now I want to share about two gifted things... I got these awesome stereo headphones (Sony) from my brother! The sound automatically become crystal clear and I would recommend these headphones to those who love to listen music in its original form! Go for the MDR-E9A model, its great! 

Last item: Dad gifted me this LG G3 Stylus this week as part of Diwali gift! Nice phone, will update more about its features and everything in next post! (One thing to say, great camera function!)

So that's all for now, will update more!

Thanks for reading


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blogging :: After Two Months

Staying away from my blog is one that I regretted the most in past two months! But here I am back with lots of new posts! These past two months were passed like a picture.. Eid, Friendship day, Rakshabandhan, Independence day, Teej and Ganapati and Durga Puja.. Dussehra and finally another Eid... 

In last two months I have witnessed the festivity to the core... each day I explored new colors and culture of India.. collected so many pictures and memories which I can't explained in one post! 

In these two months I also wrote about wildlife and nature and after dedicating my two months for the article writing, I m back here to be a full time blogger :) But before any further update, I m taking a pledge that I will write at least one blog per week and I'll try to stay connected with my lovely readers..

UPDATE 1: Working in Hindustan times ... yay!! It was a fun filled run so far and I m so much looking forward for more to explore in the field of journalism.. here's few articles of my beat (wildlife articles) and one is teacher's day special!

UPDATE 2: I met this daring girl, did a interview with her and all I can say is... she is wonderful.. I am sharing my picture with Esha: 'The Lone Gal Traveller' (Her Page Name on FB). She was in Agra when I met her during her all-India tour on her bik. Her motto of this ride is to tell the world that India is safe! She is a living inspiration.. looking forward to meet people like 'ESHA GUPTA' :) 

UPDATE 3: My update on FB page: "Everyone has the right to fight for their nation! And ‪#‎IndoPaki‬ people do fight with each other, via border, via cricket, via social networking site etc. In the fights of India vs Pakistan; Kashmir matter raised many times but at the end only Kashmir and Kashmiris suffer! I love all the brothers and sisters from Pakistan and they have the same love for me if not more :) Can't we just stop our quarrelsome behaviour and start respecting each other?" 

UPDATE 4: Received this awesome image.. I know many already seen this one.. but how many of us actually care about it? Please don't make this planet sick... do share, make aware!!

UPDATE 5: SHOPPING :) Yesss lot and lots of shopping in last two months.. clothes and cosmetics and decor items and what not! Will update in a next post! :) #GoodTimes :) 

So that's all for now :) Will catch up soon!

Thanks for reading