Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Farming to save Environment??

Mukati, an expert of the field and farmer’s leader from Madhya Pradesh encouraged farmers to use one part of their farms as fixed deposit. He flown the idea to plant medicinal and commercial flora in their farms which would give much more benefits to the farmer than compare to common crops and also help the environment.


The story begin when I met Mukhati in an conference. While talking about his passion for farming and save environment concept through farming, Mukati suggested various techniques that could be beneficial for the farmers as well as for the environment.

Giving more stress on the tree-farming Mukati said, “Teak, bamboo, pine wood, basswood, aspen are some of the examples that should be rope along with the crops.”


Mukati explained that there are many ways to grow such trees around farms, streets and banks of river. “Bamboo plants should be grown along the banks of rivers. This will stop the soil erosion and the land could be used in a better way. We can’t just think about us humans, but we have to check and boost the environmental health as well. Rivers are dying and along with them farmers are dying too. If we could save rivers, land and air from pollution then only we can survive.”

Idea is to do sustainable or conservational farming. We discussed about the new types of farming which would not only beneficial for farmer but also for the environment. Reforestation is rather slow process and people, if plant trees in their farms that way we can built a smaller yet effective forests around cities.


The crops that farmers produces could also become organic and healthy as the leaves of the trees would become natural manure with time the roots of the tree also make the soil intact. No additional water is needed for the trees and people can just rope them and leave for 5-7 years. After the handsome growth sufficient wood will be provide by the trees.

In Agra weather conditions are hard and it is important that farmers of Agra plant more trees in their farms. Tree shadow would protect the crop from direct sun light or extreme fog as well. “A farmer would get more than Rs 3, 00,000 for 50 commercial plants and good amount for the medicinal plants as well. If they plant tree crops in part of their farm, like on the boundaries then the profit doubles,” added Mukati.


So it is kind of three in one thing. First better soil and environment quality, second better profit and less efforts and third intact eco-system. So if you are doing farmings, having a backyard or community garden, then do plant trees.. for your own future :)

Mugdha 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ganpati Visarjan

With rhythms of ‘Bhajan’, dance and prasad distribution, devotees of lord Ganesha bid adieu to the God. On the last day of ‘Ganeshmahotsav’ denizens prepared for Ganpati Visarjan and considered the ‘Shubh’ Muhurat for the idol immersion. Beside administration also took necessary measures to control jam and road blocks during the immersion ritual.


Ganeshmahotsav ended being ‘Green Ganeshmahotsav’ in Agra as locals raised voice against any kind of pollution including water and noise. Wakefulness among people reduced the water pollution this year as many groups used eco Ganpati, while others immersed their idols in the pits near Yamuna. However the excitement of festival doubled as atmosphere brimmed with ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’.


The enthusiasm of Agraites was pretty high, when they were taken the jhanki along with the God idol. The surroundings were echoed with Ganesh ‘jaikaras’. A huge crowed of people walk together in extreme joy and while dancing in front of the jhankis. People took selfies with lord and seek for the blessings.


On the ninth and tenth day of the festival the ‘Ganesh Visarjan’ held in Agra. Although people started visarjan from the third day of the festival but some of them like to keep ‘Vighna Harta’ in homes as much as they can.


On the tenth day, the enthusiasm gears up more, as people carried the lord with complete ‘Shringar’ and musical beats. People played with Gulaal and flower petals and dressed in traditional attires. The festivity fervor increased as devotees danced to the dhol beats and popular sound tracks from the recent movies. Locals also stepped out of their houses to bid adieu to lord Ganesha on Anant Chaturdashi.


For those who like to spend most of their time on internet, an online app was also prepared by the environment lovers, name Eco-Bappa. The app shared various ways to enjoy the festival using green ways. The same effort was shown online. People used various social networking sites to inform people, not to immerge idol in water, not to play loud music etc.

Many locals and foreigners also witnessed the India culture and danced with the dhol beats. Various ghats in Agra, including Hathi Ghat, Balkeshwar Ghat, Dussehra Ghat etc were packed with devotees and Ganpati Bappa Morya reverberations.


Thank you for reading, hope you all enjoyed the festivity to the core!

Mugdha 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

World Tourism Day; Tips to make the city 'tourist friendly'

Our existing culture and ethnic features can attract more tourists then establishing new attractions every year in the cities. However there is a need to change our attitude towards national and international guests. There should be proper security and sanitation facility in any city, if it wants to known as tourist site.


Why I brought up this topic, because of two things, first today is World Tourism Day and I wanted to do my bit for the theme behind the day and second... I live in Agra, a city which is known for monuments and tourists sites. If we are able to attract more tourists then there would be more jobs opportunities.. jobs for the thousands of people in different fields such as textile, transportation, artists, hospitality industry etc.


Rajeev Saxena., Secretary of Tourism Guild Agra talked to me today. He quoted, “Tourism industry sets a network which connects us with other cultures but if we want to grow tourism in Agra and wanted to bring more cultures and diverse group of people then we should provide excellent infrastructure to the tourists.”

You know when a tourist lands in Delhi, he or she witnessed high-rise buildings, flyovers, markets etc but when the same person enters in Agra, then they usually witnessed block roads and pollution and congestion. To tackle these problems public and administration should work together and make Agra, a tourist friendly city.

One of the most important ways to boost our number is by enhancing leisure tourism. A tourist must feel safe during his or her visit. There is no need to throw more attractions on the contrary we should preserve the existing ones and excel the nearby areas so that tourists went back with positive views.


Foreigners and even people from other states love to indulge themselves in the local food, fairs and festivals. We should time and again arrange things that represents taste of the particular city.. tourists love such things.. 


Local artists could sell their products outside of the city too and when potential visitors check them, then they would crave to see more of our culture, ethnicity and traditional values. We should go back in era when people actually follow the concept of ‘Atithi:Dev:Bhava’ and consider guests as God.


Thank you for reading.. hope you all like the post :) 
Mugdha

Friday, September 25, 2015

MUSTs for Autumn!

It’s that time of year – when in some parts of the world... the temperature is dropping, and in other parts its still summer or raining.. Autumn is a mishmash kind of season.. so I decided to a mishmash post.. anyone, anywhere is this world can cherish on some of the ideas that I am going to share below.


I can smell autumn in the the breeze.. sweet morning chill and crisp sun-burnt leaves! Its finally raining in Agra.. Head towards Autumn Yard for some mouthwatering food and yum desserts.

PUMPKIN PIE ICE CREAM

(Ice cream recipe with a secret tip to increase it fluffiness! Keep on reading!)

PREP TIME: 5 mins
COOKING TIME: 45 mins
SERVES: 8


INGREDIENTS
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
Some sugar if the cream is not sweetened enough
1/2 can pumpkin puree
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
4-6 cookies, crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS
In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except the cookie crumbles. Stir until well combined. Pour into your ice cream maker bowl and stir it well for fluffiness and add the cookie crumbles.


For making your ice cream fluffy, allow to freeze for 30-45 minutes or until the ice cream is the consistency that you want. After forty-five minutes, open the door and check the ice cream. If it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer.

Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have one, you can use a hand-held mixer for best results. Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes until the ice cream is frozen. It will likely take 2-3 hours to be ready. Keep frozen until ready to eat. Enjoy!

Let's make it a perfect season... SO who wants some chik n classy ethnic wear for the season... After all we are in the middle of celebrations... Eid, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja... Dussehra, Diwali... things are pretty lined up :)


Kurtas in playful colours, comfort fabric is a hit of the season. This autumn play with the imagination.. choose wild and raw colors like orange and shocking yellow and mixed them with nude pastel color. 

Brilliance lies in the neatness, pick hand work in the dresses to make your outfit classy! So easy with style and enjoy being selective! One advice.. Go bold with gold this season.

We made an point to pick bold, fresh and sunny color for autumn but in case of a beauty look choose something plain. A black eyeliner, berry lips and flushed cheeks are in. 


Use products that enhance they shade of your skin, rather trying to look white or tan! Feel the autumnal glow..

I adore the the earthy, warm, fall colors throughout the house. There are so many beautiful colors that would be a great inspiration for indoor and outdoor decoration. You can also use the things that are naturally around in the fall..

Here are some ideas that will set the mood for fall.

Let some light in



Combine the season's hottest hues in a vibrant mix of 'Snapshot'. 



Give your outdoor space the feel of a dining room by surrounding a rustic picnic table and chairs setting


Let nature inspire your room's decor



Lets enjoy the season to the fullest... welcome fall with open arms :) Share your fall ideas with me as well..



Thank you for reading!

Mugdha 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

My Envy Box, September - 2015 - Unboxing

(GIVE-AWAY is closed)

I received My Envy Box September 2015 on Monday and since then I was planning to do the post. Mainly because I have another give away on this post and I am so happy that someone, somewhere are going to cherish this gift :) 

This time, the team Envy addressed me as Stylish Mugdha. Am sure the security guard who received all my courier, would be wondering why I keep prefixing my name with such adjectives!

So back to My Envy Box...There were four products in my box. Did I like them? Read on.. Read more about My Envy Box HERE and check out the previous review HERE.



Look wise... this month’s My Envy Box, is a bomb!! Packaging is an elegant silver and black. I really love this combination. The box as usual came with September card and the product details card, which has a few makeup tips on the back side. MRP of the box is Rs.850/- 



Contents:

Za Total Hydration Fresh Foamy Cleanser - Full size Rs.299/- for 100g (received 5g)



Davidoff Cool Water Shower Gel - Full size Rs.1800/- for 150ml (received 75ml)


Catrice Ultimate Colour Lip Colour in shade Pinker Ball - Full size Rs.610/- for 3.5gm (received 3.5gm)



Vana Mild Brew Hair (Green Tea) Shampoo - Full size Rs 1500/- for 115ml (received 40ml)



Vana Mild Brew Hair (Green Tea) Shampoo: Sulfate free, natural and mild shampoo.. yet to try! 

Davidoff Cool Water Shower GelDavidoff Cool Water is a quite popular already and the fragrance quite thrilled me. I love water fragrances and this one is no exception, the shower gel, gives a spa like experience. Absolutely love this!

Za Total Hydration Fresh Foamy Cleanser: I am not very convinced with the sample size, but then it says it won the Vogue Beauty Awards 2015. So I am excited to use this product. I am hoping this would go well on my oily come mixed skin. 



Catrice Ultimate Colour Lip Colour in shade Pinker Ball: Here is the thing, the product is full size... color is awesome and I am going to give it away to one of my reader :) So do participate in the GIVEAWAY and win this awesome lip color. Read more HERE!



Overall I like the box.. I have found new products in it and I am excited to uses all of these. So Thumbs-up Team Envy... you did an excellent job again :)

Thanks for reading guys... don't forget to take part in giveaway.. 

Mugdha 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ganesh Chaturthi Special

A unique report from Agra in the advent of Ganesh Chaturthi 'Welcome the Eco Ganesh'

Creative carvers have taken a leap and are preparing Ganesh idols that are not only helping the environment but would be animal friendly too. Flour, frozen peas, organic colors etc are to be used for the making of the idols of Lord Ganesha which would be edible for fishes and other aquatic animals and would also dissolve in water without increasing the level of pollution.


With the advent of Ganesh Chaturthi environmentalist have begun to voice their concern about the water pollution that most of the rivers suffer every year due to immersed idols. Already exhausted Yamuna further fell apart due to grave danger of pollution during the festival season, alarms the river activists in Agra.

This is to mention that in the year 2014 Uttar Pradesh High Court ordered relaxation for the idol immersion ritual. However HC strictly ordered to remain in adherence of the norms set by the Central Pollution Board and the relaxation was only made for the River Ganga which flows plentifully as compared to Yamuna.


NGOs and various communities also came up with a various initiative to ensure that only eco friendly Ganesh idols go for the immersion. But this year the initiative turned public and the innovative thinkers planned to make the idols with such ingredient that would be eco-friendly as well as edible for the fishes and turtles.


Garima Saraswat, a housewife is creating an idol which has the ingredients like corn and vegetable mash. “The idol I am making this year will be prepared by the natural items and the colours I will use also be the natural substances like ‘Aata or Haldi’.”

“I read it all the times that how the colors and material of the idols are bad for the river and still we need to follow the customs. So why not we should use such items that leaves no pollution and will be rather helpful for the animals as well,” added Garima. 


Another Ganesh devotee Prabhat Vatsal admits that the concept is quite nice but speculates about the stability. “We worship lord Ganesha from Ganesh Chaturthi to Anant Chaudas. So for 10 days lord live in our homes. I am not sure that the vegetable or flour made Ganpati idol could last for 10 days.”


“The alternative could be that we install the lord idol and later on the last day made an idol for immersion, as an imitation of the actual idol,” added Prabhat.

Usually people prefer more decorative and colorful idols and that is not an issue. One can make the idols from wheat flour and dipped them in turmeric powder for the perfect yellow color. Edible colors could also be used in small amount.


Yamuna activist DK Joshi also supported the idea of flour made idol but he also mentioned that size of the idol is also significant. “Fishes or turtles cannot eat a large amount of flour. So other alternative should also be used.”

“Even the eco friendly Ganesh idol stops the flow of the river, but if people gather in larger number and only two or three pandals made in the city then two things can be handled. First is that less chemical or material would go in the river and it would socially fasten the city in a bond. People together pray for the 10 days and immerse the idol together,” added Joshi.

However Mahant Durgaprasad said, “People cannot worship one idol and immerse other. The ritual should be according to the Vedas. But can use ‘Maida’, rice or corn flour and made an idol which remain intact during the 10 days of the festival.”

PS : Edited Report published in Hindustan Time; West UP edition; on September 11


Mugdha

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Book Review: You Are Born To Blossom

(GIVE-AWAY is closed)

You Are Born To Blossom: Take My Journey Beyond..
by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Arun K. Tiwari


This book is a must-read for all kinds of people. It gives a deep insight into the meaning of life and also motivates us to self-reflect. I am sharing words from the book, to give you all an idea, how the authors see the book!

Words from the Book: This book present Dr. Kalam's dream of schools in India at  year 2020 as symbiotic nerve centres - connecting teachers, students and community; personifying knowledge that exists in the world. He also makes a clarion call to accelerate the process of societal transformation. This would involve raising the standards of governance and safeguarding the sanctity of public institutions.

The book uses metaphor of a tree to describe the process of knowledge bearing fruits of prosperity in the contemporary globalized world where different phases, formative, adult working life, and post-50 experienced senior citizens, call for different kinds of learning. The book refers to a contextual contribution of a large number of Indian scientists and artists and proves that there is no age Bar To Blossom...

Ok to me the book is not a word related with the words that given above! For me its rather supple and soft book, that makes you feel good about yourself. The book is like The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, which lifts you up, but concerning only on the subject of how to increase wisdom, knowledge and sense of responsibility, in one's life.

The examples that are given in this book, be it about AR Rahman, Abu Bakr, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Gates, CV Raman, Charles Darwin or Confucius... (I am not gonna write the whole list) and glimpse of their life, how they took decision, what is their success story.. everything would teach you something, that will definitely going to help you in future...

Another adorable thing is the sweet quotes on each alternative pages, at the bottom of the text. Those quotes alone will cheer you up... Such a positivity this  book brings in my life... So I thought to share the positivity with one of my reader.


I have a giveaway in which I'll send you this book and in return, whenever you got it, you have to tell me your opinions about this book... :) And if any one already read this one, then do share me your views as well in the comment.

Thank you all for reading this review... Do participate in the giveaway... click here to know more! If you want to buy a copy.. here is the link!

Best wishes 
Mugdha 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Camouflaging in birds: Master of disguise

Spot the bird if you can... amazing right! (the same photo will be zoom in; through out the text.. so keep reading)


Many animals cloaked themselves with different shades of feathers for protection from the possible threats. Master of disguise prevails in wild, which blend naturally with the colors of jungle and earth. The phenomenon is not new, but it certainly helps to save the species more than humans’ conservation efforts.

Birds lover, who know how birds camouflage in wild can not only able to identify the birds in their natural habitats but also can understand which type of habitat one should create which will save the regularly declining population of the endangered species.


Birds exactly know how to survive in the bitter conditions. Camouflaging is their strength and that is three types, in general. First, when birds camouflaged themselves during the rooting period. Roosting is a word that is used for birds while they rest, in between food searching or sleeping.

Second while making or living in the nest period and third ones are juveniles, who tend to have feathers that are similar to to the color of nest. Mother birds also have the plumage which are similar to the color of their nests. That is way they live in their home, without any possible harm, especially when they can’t fly away, if any predator approached.


Although it seems that birds camouflaged through their feathers but this is able to happen due to the presence of some genes. The same thing happens in case of lizards, they change the pigmentation of the skin to get covert in their own environment. In case of birds the camouflaging generally happens in the nocturnal birds or in easy language, birds those sleeps or rest in day time and search for food in night. Owls, nighthawks, nightjars are some of the examples.


The last one was really hard to find, so i circled it! thanks for reading! Have a nice day ahead!!

Mugdha