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.

The Peppy Bollywood Queen

Most of the Bollywood actors have launched their children in movies making this almost a regular trend. Sonam Kapoor, daughter of Anil Kapoor, the celebrated hero, also joined the bandwagon with her debut film Saawariya in 2007. Though she assisted Sanjay Leela Bhansali behind the camera with his film Black in 2005, but she decided to choose to face the camera as her career with the film Saawariya.

Saawariya was not a big hit but Sonam personally was able to create a storm. She also earned a nomination for the Filmfare best debut female Award for this film. What made her presence prominent for the very first film was her peppy, lively attitude and a distinct sense of fashion.

To be a popular fashion diva is not everyone’s cup of tea. While most of our Bollywood actresses are beautiful and delicate creatures, but a very few of them has a perfect fashion sense, a fashionista so to say. From the very beginning of her career, Sonam Kapoor exudes an energy that is likely to be infectious. I mean, her attitude, the way she speaks about her life and career even, in reality, produces an instant charm for the audience. There is no dearth of attractive faces on the silver screen, but in most of tem we miss this easygoing, peppy chirpiness. And, this is what has made her unique and has helped her to earn a huge popularity among the youth.

Though Sonam was hugely successful in making a devoted fanbase, her films were not doing good in the box-office. Her first decent success came in I Hate Love Storys and then there was no looking back for her. Her looks in every film, be it an emotional, romantic drama like Raanjhanaa, the hunky-dory romantic comedy Khoobsurat, the fast-paced comedy drama Dolly Ki Doli or the melodramatic Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, has attracted every eye. Sonam has not only the courage to adorn casual, normal, or ethnic outfits in an uncommon way, but she carries them with ease and grace also. Her spontaneity and positive approach have made her what she is today, an avid leader in the fashion industry, the avant-garde.


While Sonam has been praised most of the times for her off-bit dressing sense and peppy style, she has often been criticized also for the same reason. But keeping her cool, she continues with her own style and, now, media has recognized her as the style icon of the film industry. Earning this style was not an easy thing for her, but she did it, with her own peppy style.

Sonam Kapoor’s latest film, the most awaited release of the year 2016, Neerja, has recently released a song ‘Jeete Hai Chal’. The song has been picturised showcasing a positive vibe and optimism. The song perhaps portrays the real self of Sonam along with the character she is playing in the film. We wish the peppy diva a great success. Do watch the song and you can feel the vibe, too.

All the images used here are taken from the internet.

 

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.

Social Impacts of Online Shopping

Since the internet has become a part and parcel of our existence, online shopping sites are burgeoning and getting popular with every passing day. Shopping, the definition and the concept, both have been revolutionized in the recent years. This is an inevitable part of progress, technically and socially. Though at the beginning some of us were sceptical about the authenticity, quality and price of the goods bought online, with passing years, we have understood the convenience and advantage of online shopping. There are some negative aspects too, but let’s concentrate on the brighter side first.


The Positive Impacts

The first and foremost one being the time. We can shop at our own convenience, be it the wee hours of morning or midnight, online shopping websites are open 24×7. No more we are at the mercy of the shopkeepers, waiting for a particular time to open the shops or being in a hurry as they are going to close them.

Standing in a long queue while paying for the purchased goods is a common and annoying incident in big stores. Online shopping saves us from that predicament.

We often have to pay for parking in shopping malls. Also, we have to travel, the fuel consumption, the pollution caused by this and the exhaustion, all are saved when we shop online.

There are a number of online shopping sites now, we can compare the prices and go for the lowest one. The competition between the sites to attract consumers has made it easier for us. Moreover, we often have deals and discounts on special days, national holidays, during festivals etc which are way better than the shopping centers.

The variety is greater than any shop any day.

Most of the reputed brands have their own websites now and, thus, even if one wants to buy expensive or branded goods, it can be done in a jiffy.

Downloading music on i-Pods or buying books on Kindle have never been easier.

All the online shopping sites use different courier services to deliver their products. This has created job opportunity for the not-so-educated youths. In a country like India, this is of great importance.

With the advent of smartphones and with the introduction of apps for most of the popular shopping websites, we can shop from anywhere and everywhere provided we have an internet connection.

Lets us now focus on some of the worrying factors that we do face while shopping online.

The Negative Impacts

Small shops and retailers are finding it difficult to survive as they can’t afford to offer heavy discounts on their products.

Sometimes the COD (cash on delivery) is not available and, many of us find it threatening to share their personal banking details online. In fact, sometimes such information could lead to drastic consequences as fraudulent activities are quite common over the internet.

We can’t check the goods physically before purchase. In the case of clothing, we can’t give them a try to find out whether they fit us perfectly.

Sometimes it takes too much time to deliver the goods and, the purpose for which the buy was meant for is missed. In direct shopping, we get the goods as soon as we buy and pay for it. But that’s not possible with online shopping.

In spite of all these, online shopping is becoming popular with every passing day and many socialists are defining it as the future of shopping.

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: www.bizh2o.com

The Book With the Most Impact On Me

I’m not an avid reader, but still of all the books I’ve read in my lifetime so far, there are very few which have really been able to create an impact on me. Not that when I read books, I’m not moved by the characters, their happiness or sadness. They do stir my mind as long as I’m reading the book, but as soon as I close it, they just disappear into the thin air failing to create a lasting impression. Still, there is one book which, I think, have totally changed the way I used to look at life and introspect. It has been able to etch its words on my heart forever.

It was some three years ago I laid my hands on Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. The book was bought by my sister. After she got married and shifted to Kolkata, I was rearranging the bookshelf one day while searching for a particular book on management. I bumped into Coelho’s book and remembered how my sister was overwhelmed while talking about it. I decided to go with it.

When I started reading the book, I didn’t even think that I should have finished the 163 pages in one go. But, it happened. As the book says,”When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favour”- and I wanted to get more and more of it with every page turned.

The plot of the book, perhaps all of you know, is simple. A Spanish shepherd boy, Santiago, keeps on seeing dreams about some treasure hidden underneath the pyramids. He subsequently starts his journey, to achieve the Personal Legend, something equivalent to our own individual goals in life. Amidst the sand, tribe wars and many other incidents, Santiago learns the lessons of life, that one should listen to the heart, should love and strive to accomplish the mission he has been sent for on the earth. The hope and possibility of making our dreams come true make life an interesting journey.

The book is not only about the story of a shepherd boy and his journey. It is, rather, an introspection of life seen with deep philosophy, it is about the urge we find inside us to move ahead overcoming all the difficulties, it is about rising above one’s failures and pondering over the voice of one’s heart, the inner call. The description and the choice of words are impeccable, simply amazing.

The quote that has touched me most and, which, I think is applicable to all of us,“We are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible. We grow up with this idea, and as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear and guilt. There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it’s still there.” 

I find is so true! We often forget to listen to our heart, we forget to nurture the passion. It gets buried, but it remains there. This book can give the reader the much-needed inspiration to chase that passion, to rise from the ashes like a phoenix. It’s the book I treasure, with the words encouraging me always.

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.