A Fantastico Festival- Diwali

Diwali is truly called the festival of lights. It’s the brightest of all Indian festivals. It is celebrated with much zeal and enthusiasm in every household too. In my childhood, the most wonderful part of Diwali were crackers and sweets. We used to live in a Government Complex and according to our family tradition, Diwali was marked with the worship of Goddess Kali along with Goddess Lakshmi. But the customs were more or less the same. However, all of our relatives were invited along with other friends and we together celebrated the festival. Lighting and decorating the house was an important part and the preparation had to be begun at least one week earlier. Mom used to clean-up the house, I and my sister helped her all the way. There was a condition by mom that who would help her most, eventually was rewarded with a box of chocolates. By this trick, she managed to coax the maximum help from both of us. Quite innovative..huh! But the fun was, Papa used to gift another box to one who had done less work. Those days still bring the smile on my faces.

I was very fond of crackers but, my sister Pinky, was very much afraid of them. Till date, she loves to watch the fireworks more than actually lighting them up. All the other cousins were quite brave in this regard and used to taunt her, including me. A terrible incident happened when once I was making fun of her while lighting a ‘chakra’ cracker. Absent-mindedly, she stepped over the cracker and her left foot got badly burnt. Immediately Baba called up his friend, Dr. Dutta and poor me was taken to task for being so careless….that was a good lesson for me that we should never play with fire.

These days, diyas and candles are replaced mostly by gorgeous LED lamps.Though mom always places diyas in front of our house, the other parts have LED lamps. Nowadays, Diwali is marked with the stupendous task of supervising my little niece who has a penchant for playing with crackers. (I sometimes really think whether she has acquired this genetically from me!). But Diwali is fun still, in every way.

The festival has remained more or less the same for me even after so many years. Of course, we have changed our residence, my sister now lives in a different city and I’m no more a little child but an office-going young man. But the happiness, the feelings and the joyousness of lighting diyas and candles have remained unchanged. My mom still makes sweets, and friends are invited. But I’m calorie conscious now and only pick up a few to her much regret. My sister tries her best to join us every year and most of the times, she succeeds. That really doubles up our happiness. After all, a festival is best spent with near and dear ones. Perhaps it is the one and only festival that truly marks the triumph of light over darkness….goodness over evil. In every house of this country, no matter how rich or poor they are, candles are lighted and everybody tries to forget all sadness.

It’s truly a fantastico festival, in every respect.

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Image Credit: Myself

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Impact of Deforestation

Forests are the support system of our existence on this planet. Forests are bestowed as a boon to mankind and are regarded to have great significance economically, environmentally and industrially. But with overpopulation, urbanisation and globalisation, human beings are destroying forests at a fast pace. The situation has become quite alarming now and, depletion of trees or deforestation needs a solution to keep the eco-system a healthy one.

Why has deforestation such an effect on mankind? Let’s discuss the impacts of deforestation to understand the graveness of the situation.

To survive, we need to breathe and that requires oxygen. Trees are a great supplier of oxygen, they provide us with this essential gas through the process of photosynthesis during the daytime with the help of sunlight. So, it goes without saying, the more the number of trees, the more the air would be purer and pollution-free. Indiscriminate cutting of trees can lead to an alarming situation where we could die because of the dearth of oxygen. Not only that, trees absorb carbon-di-oxide during the process of photosynthesis thus helping to keep the balance of O2, CO2, and Nitrogen constant.

Deforestation is one of the main causes of the greenhouse effect. When trees are cut down, the water-cycle gets disturbed and, as a result, we receive less rain. The amount of oxygen decreases and carbon-di-oxide increases. Eventually, heat radiated by the earth get trapped on the earth itself increasing the temperature. This is the main cause of global warming and the greenhouse effect.

Trees stop the flow of rainwater from mountain slopes by acting as obstructions and barriers. This protects the soil from flowing into the rivers and, also controls the probabilities of soil erosion and landslides. The roots of the trees bind the soil together stopping it from flowing away. If the soil is shallow, the trees keep the soil in place by binding it with the underlying bedrock. Cutting down the trees in mountainous regions having shallow soil increases the risk of landslides.

The worst effect of deforestation is perhaps the deterioration and destruction of bio-diversity. Biodiversity is important for ecosystem sustainability, agriculture, medicine, and many other things.

The impacts of deforestation are getting noticed throughout the world and many countries are trying to check it as well as making it a global issue. If proper measures are not taken, the earth will not sustain. Many tropical countries  like China, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh have lost already lost large areas of their rainforest reserve. With population increasing by leaps and bounds, these countries and the world as a whole are facing serious environmental threats. India has declared deforestation as a national emergency.

Since the causes of deforestation are several, it is not possible to get rid of this problem overnight. It would take decades and co-operation from every part of the world. Without trees, we will be an extinct race. So, it’s high time we should ponder over the problem and adopt afforestation as our new motto.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Image Credit: zmescience.com

The Peppy Adventure of Fantastico Four

Disha was looking anxiously to the window. She was waiting for her friend Manisha. Actually, she was waiting for the whole gang, headed by Manisha. She is the most energetic, loveable and peppy of all her friends. She has numerous crazy ideas that make the vacations an adventurous one for all of them. Their gang has four members, Manisha, Kamla, Shaheen and she herself, Disha. They call themselves Fantastico Four! They all live in a little village in Ratnagiri.

Their village is a quaint place with beautiful greenery all around. The scenic beauty is a treat to the eyes. They all love their village, the small school where they read and the mangoes which grow here in abundance.

Mangoes are their favorite. All the four friends love to savor the delicious mangoes. They love it in any form, be it juice, chutney, pickle or just cut into slices. They even salivate on raw mangoes made delectable with salt and pepper.

It is summer vacation now and all the four friends are enjoying the holidays. With all the homework done, even the parents have no reason to grudge about their wandering through the village. But, they are wandering for the past few days with a mission.

The best mangos in the village are grown in Ahmad chacha’s orchard. He exports the mangoes and has strict security in the orchard. Nobody is allowed inside the orchard at this time of the year. Ahmad chacha is well aware of the mischievous nature of the Fantastico Four, who are always on a spree to steal those sweet, juicy mangoes. Ironically, in spite of heavy security, they have always succeeded! This time, Ahmad chacha has tightened the security even more warning the guards not to allow anyone inside.

Yesterday, Manisha said she has a plan to get hold of the mangoes and that she would be telling them about it on the next afternoon. Disha was now waiting for her friends, she was anxious to know about the plan.

A few minutes later, Manisha, Kamla, and Shaheen arrived. Excitedly, Manisha briefed the plan to all of them. Kamla didn’t look happy with the success percentage of the plan, but Manisha cheered her up. She always did that, that’s her nature, spreading energy and happiness in her unique peppy manner.

Just before sundown, the Fantastico Four gang reached the backside of the orchard. They could see the guards roaming even at the back gates. Shaheen approached one of the guards and innocently asked him the time.
– Abhi to saat baj rahe hai, beta, you must go home, aise mat ghumna
– okay, uncle, thank you!

Saying this, she returned. The guard didn’t notice that she threw something in the nearby bush while returning. He was too busy keeping an eye over the gate.

After a few minutes, he heard a baby crying from somewhere nearby. Puzzled, he looked for the source, but couldn’t find any. The cry was so helpless and eerie that he called the other guards watching over the front gates. As soon as they arrived, it stopped. The other two guards mocked him that he must have some sort of hallucination. But as they were about to return, the crying was heard again! Startled, all the three guards were now looking for the baby!

At the front gate, Manisha and Disha just crossed the wall and were busy plucking the mangoes with a long stick. They knew they had not much time. Within five minutes, with practiced skill, they gathered almost 20/25 mangoes.

-Enough, said Disha and within minutes they were again on the road, carrying the mangoes!

Getting the signal from her friends, Shaheen again was on her way to the back side of the orchard. This time, she acted as if she was running and panting.
– Uncle, have you seen my mobile? I must have slipped it while I was talking to you. Can you please dial the number? She said to the guard.

– As the guard dialled the number she said, the same baby-cry was heard. Shaheen picked up the mobile from the bush and smiled,”Shukriya, Uncle”!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Love, A Fantastico Feeling


Scientific research says, that love is a feeling induced by hormones. When we fall in love or feel like being in love, some chemical reactions take place in our body making us feel wonderful. Just like the animals secrete pheromones to attract their companions, the human brain releases dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Though with the development of science, the myths about love has been busted, but still, it is the best feeling to us. A fantastico feeling that can change our life completely!

Love always has its own direction. You can never rule it, you can never show it your own way. You just have to follow the pace love takes, you just have to be a disciple in the temple of love.

We all have perhaps experienced love in our lives. Whether it’s ‘true’ love or infatuation, I’m not going into that controversy. Not on today, at least, because, today is Valentine’s day, the day on which Cupid aims the arrow at all, we get smitten by love.

I just want to share the wonderful feelings that make love a great feeling, a feeling so wonderful and universal, a feeling that has induced millions of literature, paintings, films…everything. It’s the muse of creativity.

Love makes you hopeful and optimistic. Falling in love makes you feel that there is someone out there waiting for you. A little smile or touch fills your heart with positivity and good, happy feeling.

Love helps you shed off the fear. You try to protect your loved one from all danger and disaster. This eliminates the fear in you making you indomitable and intrepid. When in love, we can deal with situations which we couldn’t even think of facing at normal times. This is definitely a gift of love.

Love makes you richer. Not in a materialistic way, but spiritually you feel better, more at peace with the world outside. Without even knowing, you become a better version of yourself. You feel blessed, you feel richer in a way that matters.

Love makes you selfless. We often say he is madly in love with someone. While using the word ‘madly’ we don’t actually mean that he is insane, we want to say that he is so much in love, that he even has forgotten his own self. Just like a madman, he is obsessed with his loved one and his partner’s well-being only. Love reveals a different meaning of life to you.

Love gives you inspiration. It gives you the power to face life with all its hurdles. A feeling of invincibility begins to make way in your mind. When in love, you are ready to things you think you’re able to. This inspiration and motivating attitude are perhaps the best gifts of being in love. It gives you a new outlook towards life. You embrace life in the truest sense. Love gives you the essence of being alive.

Fall in love- to recognize a newer you, a better you. Savour the fantastico feeling called love!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.