Chitrakoot Falls: India’s answer to the USA’s Niagra Falls!!!

oday I will write about beautiful & mesmerizing Chitrakoot Falls, beauty of which was narrated by my mother who had visited Chitrakoot few years ago but memory was still fresh in her mind of that trip. Chitrakoot originated in our conversation from the Ram Mandir of Ayodhya’s issue, which was being discussed on many television channels.  My mother insisted that I must visit Chitrakoot sometime and sooner the better.

Before planning a visit there, I started researching on Chitrakoot Falls, like I always do. The research revealed many interesting points which many of us wouldn’t know. I thought of sharing that with you.

The Chitrakoot is a waterfall located near Jagdalpur, in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. This river is a tributary of the Godavari River. Chitrakoot waterfall is the largest waterfall in India. The height of the falls is 100 feet. The breadth of the waterfall varies as the water level in the river changes drastically. However during a monsoon, the river flow touches both the banks of the river, and is filled with silt. During monsoon the waterfall turns wild and violent. In contrast, during summer the water carries no silt and looks different. The area around the falls is largely forested. Chitrakoot waterfall is best seen during and after the monsoon, between July and October.

People can spend hours just sitting here and enjoying the scenic beauty of the place. The loud noise during monsoon is breathtaking. During the rains, this waterfall widens upto 150 meters. During the rainy seasons, people don’t visit this waterfall, owing to its extreme form. But once, the winter season arrives, the water becomes lighter, and the atmosphere here is worth seeing.

The first time visitors are sure to fall in love with this place and they just can’t have enough in just one visit. If you want to enjoy the wildness of the waterfall then July to the month of October would be the best time, the waterfalls of Chitrakoot attain its best phase and widens up to 150 meter. But if you want to enjoy the calm white waterfall then best time to visit is during the winters which start from October to February.

Chitrakoot waterfalls, popularly known as Niagara falls of india,  this fall is situated in Vindhyachal Ranges, which are stretched between Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Historical & Geographical facts about Chitrakoot Falls:

  • The Chitrakoot Falls is located on the Indravati River. The river originates in the kalahandi region of Odisha, in the Vindhya Range of hills, flows westward and then forms a fall at Chitrakoot, enters Andhra Pradesh and finally flows into the Godavari River, after traversing 240 miles (390 km) in the state, at Bhadrakali. The free drop of the falls is a sheer height of about 30 metres (98 ft). Because of its horseshoe shape, it is compared with the Niagara Falls and is given in the sobriquet ‘the Small Niagara Falls’. During the rainy season, from July and October, rainbows are created with sun rays reflecting on mist from the waterfall.
  • On the left bank of the Chitakote Falls, a small Hindu shrine dedicated to the god Shiva and several naturally created grottos named “Parvati caves” (named after Shiva’s wife Parvati) are located. The weather in the area is generally pleasant except in the summer season when it is hot due to absence of vegetation in the area. The river flows sluggishly on the upstream side of the falls due to its meandering nature as it drains through the plains of Jagdalpur. This reach of the river valley has very little forest cover. Below the falls the river traverses the Bodhghat forested area and the river regime undergoes drastic change in its flow conditions. Aeration process and the forest in the downstream area filters the silt in the river.
  • Chitakoot Falls is one of the two of the waterfalls located in the Kanger Valley National Park, the other is Tirathgarh falls.[

How to reach Chitrakoot Waterfall

Jagdalpur is a popular city of Chhattisgarh and is very well connected to the rest of the state. Frequent bus services and taxis are available to reach Chitrakoot waterfall or you can also heir a private car.

 

KNOW YOUR RELATIONSHIPS – Through Positive Intentions by Shilpi J Chawla

POETRY ON RELATIONSHIPS

The above title comes from the author of wonderful self help books, The Book of Intents and its sequel Love Your Life, with the power of intention and Dancing the Dance, a book about power and grace of the Woman.  Shilpi feels that life is inherently supplying us subtle messages, stillness is inevitable if you want to tap into them and yet in the midst of all that is palpable and real, there is something very unreal about living a life without intention.

The book in question is starkly different from other books of the author and many other authors for that matter, as it deals with most complex subject on the planet, Relationships. All of us are entangled in the web of relationships, irrespective of our age, gender, social status, financial status, place of stay, single, married, working, non working, self-employed…whatever! Not just one or two but into multiple relationships, some of which add lot of value to our existence, whereas others are not so pleasant and some, which can just be despised, but we can’t.   Being in a relationship is 24 hours 365 days business; hence lot of issues related to relationships impact our lives.

Know your relationships is an interesting take on Relationships which takes you a wave forward one day at a time, one emotion at a time,  one letter at a time. Beautifully interpreted through 26 Alphabets of English Language, each letter presents a different shade, hue and colour of relationship. She has re-written A, B, C, D of relationships especially for those adults who are struggling with relationship to reach X, Y, Z of life.  The adults have been taught A B C D of relationships, like a child has been taught ABCD just when he starts understanding relationships. The book talks to that child in us in an empowering way, encouraging them to look at relationships in their life through the first 26 letters of English Language.

Ever considered A= Allow rather than Apple? Or B=Bliss rather than Ball? Asks Shilpi. The answer is clear no as we have been living with clichés around us. The complex relationships of the world are integrated through ABCs in the book. Ideal for young parents who can learn ABCD of relationships from “Know Your Relationships” which can be beautifully transcended to their young children or whosoever touches them during life’s journey. After reading this book, I am sure all of you would be able to find a new meaning to your relationships through the journey of life ahead. While putting all emotions surrounding human heart in perspective, finally you feel positive about all relationships around you, howsoever bitter or unpleasant these have been.

Without reading the tips on How to use this Book, it will be difficult to comprehend the book, and without proper comprehension, you will not be able to transcend its essence to your life’s relationships. The book not only guides you through various relationships, but through two most important relationships which is with SELF and POWER ABOVE.  If you are honest and meaningful here, you will catch the essence of the book. You will feel a sense of spaciousness within, almost leading to expansion of your heart.  Indeed you need to read between the lines, in fact I read the book twice, once to read the verses and second time to absorb the essence. The book is beautifully rendered through verses where your spirit is blessing you through out, through various renditions for ABCDs…

It is always a pleasure & treasure Shilpi’s books who pours her heart out to prove her point that every relationship is poignant and a blessing to cherish. The book has lot of space which is soothing for the eyes and attractive illustrations on left hand side of each chapter, which shows that author is not only creative in her thinking  & writing, but also in its rendition too. The cover is creatively illustrated too, which spells out many relationships surrounding us. Opening of the book as many meaningful credentials by illustrious people, which speaks volumes about the book.

I would like share some pearls from the book here to give you the glimpse of what this Jewel holds for you:

  • May you only know bliss as your true identity
  • Stay grounded in your highs
  • Dust off the doubts
  • For, you are always home in your heart
  • You are a living miracle
  • You came from Nothingness, and that’s your ultimate destination
  • Give it rest when it needs

In the end, Shilpi has not forgotten to thank her readers, expressing:

Knowing that in me – is YOU!

 

 

 

#Colgate Magical Stories: Thrilling ride in space with Colgate!

Toothpaste matlab Colgate!

Colgate has been integral part of our growing up years when every day began with Colgate and concluded with Colgate and everything fell in between. Colgate has been a complete solution provider for Oral hygiene and I am sure, our generation only knew Colgate for toothpaste. It has been integral part of our morning chores – No wonder so many ladies trust Colgate for their children’s pearly whites – Colgate hai to bharosa hai!

 So when I came know about #ColgateMagical Stories by Colgate mailed to us by Blogadda, my mind just went back to my childhood when we use to indulge in such activities. Probably this is not the case with youngsters of today who have all the sophisticated gadgets to their disposal. I told Blogadda, that though I want to participate but I my child has outgrown to take part in this activity, to this Blogadda told me that you can do this activity with any children around you. This is how “My Story” began with #ColgateMagical Stories.

In a short span of time, I received packs in attractive packaging from Blogadda for which I had already chosen my cooperative and attractive colleague Reena Noronha, who is mother of two – Joshua (8) and Judith (5)intelligent, inquisitive, creative & naughty to the core! For third story, I chose my young & exuberant colleague Bhagyashree Kanade’s Cute & Curious daughter, Abha (7).

I shared, the details with about the #ColgateMagicalStories with Reena, who reluctantly agreed to take part in the activity, but as I was confident her children were very excited to take part in the activity. Reena took lot of trouble in handling the kids who helped them with cutting, pasting and explaining them. The scene resembling nothing short from the comic strip – Denise the Menace. Excellent Manager that Reena is, she could take best out of the kids.

Children are at their creative best when they are given something colourful to look (painting), interesting to cut & paste (Craft) and weave a story (Story Telling) around it. Colgate with Magical Stories had just caught the pulse of the children with this activity where a child’s all creative faculties are at play.  Joshua & Judith were super-excited to be involved in the activity where they could cut & paste and weave a story around it. First and foremost – Joshua gave attractive names to the characters & Judith was no less, she also came up with attractive names, taking burden of naming ceremony from Reena’s shoulders.

First Pack: 1646636 SL: Joshua Noronha Narrates:

 I like all things about space and want to be in a space station. I think the Boy in space –suit is me, but not me, I will call him Capt. Shijin who wants to live in Space station and work in Earth’s orbit. Shijin is very happy in his space suit which weighs 127 kgs with 13 layers of material. The cute looking girl is Shijin’s sister, DORA who wants to go with his brother. Brother and Sister both are happy that will be in space.

They tell their parents about the space, who get very scared but allow them. Excitedly, mom of Capt. Shijin and Purser Dora pack them with lot of stuff. Starting from Packs of Colgate to brush their teeth in the morning, eatables during the day and brush again in the night. Shijin also takes Chocolates and Cookies for her sister.  Always they had seen the Space Stations on TV and Movies, for the first time they were going there. They were very excited when Rocket zoomed with loud noise and placed them in station.  The ride was thrilling but scary, but Capt. Shijin and Dora loved it.  They were going be in the sky amidst stars.

Capt. Shijin asked Dora to write everything from space, so that they can tell them all about it in school, in return he gave Dora a chocolate. She was very very happy!

Second Pack: P1646636 AP : Ms.Judith Noronha Narrates:  

 I am Judy, I love to be in Space, as seen in movies. The girl on the Alien Planet is Me, Judy who is in her space suit and gun like thing. I love to hold guns, so I love holding this also. I am glad that space suits give Oxygen to breathe in outer space. I set out in cute train to reach the Satellite and I am very happy with the ride. I am more happy because I am carrying my Colgate with me so that I don’t miss brushing my teeth which makes my mom happy. On the way I see UFO which is very wonderful. I have not seen anything before like this.

As I am reaching space, I see Alien, who is very cute and looked and cuddly, I called him Jaadu, who was from some other planet. I told Jaadu, I want to visit your planet and want to know how aliens live, eat and sleep. Jaadu happily agreed to take along cute little Judy in his Rover, which easily moved around planet. Judy was very happy to visit another planet with Jaadu. When she returned from planet, Jaadu’s mom gave her many dresses, chocolates, cookies, comics, flowers…all things Judy loved.

Judy happily came back loaded with present which she happily shared with her brother Joshua. She told all stories to her friends in school who enjoyed it very much.

Third Pack: P1646636 : Ms. Abha Khedkar Narrates (7)

The cute little girl is Doreme as she resembles the famous cartoon character, Doreme who wants to go to Space, like me. I am making my friend Doreme ready for going to Space. I dress her up in Space Suit made for astronauts with Oxygen to breathe in outer space. I give her a gun also so that she is saved from attacks. As she starts her engine like space vehicle, Doreme shouts, UFO…

…UFO scares her and she takes out her gun to shoot. But it flies high and she missed her aim.

 

On her way, she sees an alien who has a gadget in hand. Doreme takes her gun out to shoot, but Alien shouts, “ I am your brother Doremon”. I will take you around in Space so that you enjoy your trip. I will call my other Alien friends who will love you and give you gifts.  Doreme did not believe him at once, but he came close, she liked him.  His eyes looked as if had two bulbs in them which were showing way in the dark. Doremon walks with heavy head and heavy feet. I smiled at him when he walked which made him angry. Doreme took out her gun to shoot but gun fire did not work on Doremon. He had thick shield on his body. Doreme said sorry to Doremon and brother sister moved for their space walk. When Doreme came back to earth, she had many gifts given by her brother and she loved them all. In return Doreme gave them packs of Magical Colgate toothpaste to all friends of Doremon who loved them a lot. How she wished she had brother like Doremon!

Colgate, Thanks you very much providing this opportunity of bringing out creativity in the children around me, who enjoyed the activity very much and their mothers Reena and Bhagyashree came to know about their story-telling skills. Their journey to the space was exciting through throw away pack of Colgate. Well Said: आम के आम गुठलियों के दाम

A big thank you to Blogadda team for hosting this activity for me.

“I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalstories at BlogAdda in association with Colgate.

 

 

Open Eyed Meditations: Distillation of ancient wisdom for Modern Lives

TAG LINE: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Life

 

COME FROM: Author of the Bestselling Ramayana – The Game of Life Series

PUBLISHED BY: FINGERPRINT BELIEF

All of us supposedly know the term: Meditation but have we ever tried to explore the true rather deep meaning of the term? Not really! We are convinced all this is not for us, the lesser mortals of the land, but only for those who want to explore higher realms of life. We are happy the way we are. But are we? Not really, till I read: Open Eyed Meditations by famed author & motivational speaker Shubha Vilas.

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Other terms to understand with open eyes when all our faculties are at their functional best subject to so much distraction from all quarters. So for all of us lesser mortals, there is Shubha Vilas, author of best-seller Ramayana: The Game of Life Series, who very effectively takes us through the process of Meditation with Open Eyes! Hence the title: Open Eyed Meditations.

The book is another Gem from the author which is very practical and functional in its approach. The interpretations are so apt that in many chapters that we would be  compelled to think that: This is ME, The Thought is MINE, the struggle is MINE, the example is MINE, the success is MINE, the failure is MINE, the dilemma is MINE…it completely immersed ME. There is so many take-aways from this rare gem that your JEWEL BOX would be full, but not your heart. For many books, in the end I have taken sigh of relief, thank God, it’s over but for Open Eyed Meditation, the feeling was: Oh! Got Over!! Yeh Dil Maange More!!!

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The book has 64 chapters which run through 278 pages having attractive Cover Page and appropriate credentials on the Back Cover. Book is attractive to receive and engrossing to read. Every chapter is summarized in the end thus making each chapter more meaningful to the reader.  Many chapters just leave you mesmerized and you start self-questioning yourself: How would have I reacted in such a situation?  The answer is in the book.

I would like list few pearls of wisdom here:

  • Is decision making a feeling based art, or a logic-based Science?
  • Comparison is a systematic way of insulting your uniqueness and gifting yourself with misery.
  • Dealing with negativity does not need good aptitude but good attitude.
  • Your happiness quotient lies in how much joy you give others.
  • Our mind, like the lion in a zoo, needs to be confined within the boundaries of discipline.
  • Ravana exists not outside us but within. And he attacks in multiple ways
  • The bug of discontent has spread like an epidemic to destroy the healthy mind.
  • Greatness comes from dealing with imperfections
  • While ordinary people complain of life’s harshness, extraordinary people are busy dealing with them as lifetime opportunities.
  • Quantitative growth or qualitative growth, this marks the difference between good leaders and great ones.

In fact all of us must inculcate meditation to release stress from our daily lives, which is not happening though. But reading rather possessing this book would enable you to do meditation with open eyes where you can choose the chapter which suits your state of mind. The examples have been drawn from Epics Ramayana and Mahabharata which we have grown up reading, however I feel you will enjoy the book to the hilt if you know these epics and their characters well. The generation which has not been fed by these epics may not be able to draw inferences well. The book needs to be read not only with Open Eyes but with Open Minds, Hearts & Souls too, it will do wonders to your existence. You would be able to add so much more value to this invaluable life.

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A beautiful journey through 64 chapters, the book is life a verse which you would like to recite in every stage of your life: Young, Old, Not-so-old, Career, Children, Marriage, Relationships, Solitude, Education, Interactions, Indecisions, Leaderships and Distractions…

…it effectively addresses your anxieties.

Ideally the book should be read at a stretch but it is difficult for its 278 pages and I read many pages twice to get the clear understanding of the ideology discussed. The book simply brings out the essence of deeper realms of life which we cannot explore with closed eyed meditations, what to say of open eyed meditation. The book is a self-help book which should be your prized possession for all your life.

Keep it and gift it to spread the AROMA!

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers.

 

 

Road Trip>>>To realize the true spirit of JAI HIND!

Road Trip from Dholero to Indo-Pak Border

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I ( Bienu Verma Vaghela) with Husband Mukund Vaghela taking a break from the long drive.

The lure of road trip is insurmountable; many of us have aspired for one; many of us have taken one willingly or unwillingly; many of us are still dreaming about it; many of us had given up on road trip, like me, but that was not to be. Given the avid travelers that we are, we love adventures and whenever we have aspired for a peaceful trip, adventure rather misadventure has followed us.  Given the ‘Bollywood” buff that I am, I had seen road trips in movies and admittedly have been quite fascinated by them particularly the one in Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

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Me and my daughter Tanya took a break to enjoy the breeze just before the border

Road trip sounds exciting but are actually taxing and painful at the same time for people like me who love to travel by train and plane! In my weirdest dream I had not imagined that Road trip would become a reality for me, though it was thrust upon us by circumstances. Howsoever exciting it may sound: Road Trip, it gets excruciatingly painful, if not planned well. ‘Planning’ plays paramount role in venturing out for a road trip. First and foremost, roads should be in great condition to drive on, amenities to be bankable, service centers, petrol pumps, eating joints, toilets etc. enroute so that we have a pleasant drive and we happily reach our destination.

We planned to embark on one such road – trip in December 2012, when we visited scenic and serene Rann of Kutch and were camping at ‘Bhungas’ (Mud Houses) in Dholero Village near Rann. It was then we were told that Pakistan Border was few 100 Kms away and it made a great sight. I, in particular became very keen to visit the border as I wanted to visit that place, which nobody had visited in my khandan or even in my friends circle. I want to boast: I have been to India – Pakistan Border. Whole night I did not sleep in excitement but to my great disappointment, driver took to illness and did not turn up.

My husband, me and my daughter decided to venture out on our own and took upon driving on us to the border. Resort owner was kind enough and noticing our disappointment, he offered his one of his staff to accompany us. Now we were to embark into a new territory, new area, new car and new destination. My husband took onus of driving on him and person accompanying him sat next to him for guidance. With lot of apprehensions in heart, we started on our road trip on chilly, breezy, wintry morning from Dholero Village to India – Pakistan Border.  But not before checking the condition of the car we would be driving to border and bring us back. I was particularly more worried as our daughter was with us. But she was quite gung-ho about it. We stocked enough food & beverages in the car which was quite spacious and commodious to accommodate four of us comfortably.  Then we went to nearby garage to get the report of condition of car, breaks, clutch, accelerator and last but not the least tyres. The Car’s condition was good and above all, tyres were in excellent condition which took good amount of worry off our shoulders.  For worry-free road – trip, you can bank on most bankable CEAT Tyres, like we did.

Packed with sufficient fuel, we embarked on the journey.

To our delight, roads were in excellent condition with proper signage’s all over which made the drive very pleasant and provided quite an experience.  Moreover, bright sunny but breezy / windy day made the driving slightly more challenging.  The remarkable part of the way to border was that it had deep marshlands on both sides. We saw many cars stranded in the marshland which looked like mirage. To describe it better, there are vast marshlands on both sides of the road when you approach border. After this adventurous but exciting drive which changed three hands, we reached Indo-Pak border which was heavily guarded by BSF Personnel who asked us to keep our cameras and mobiles in the car and then step out. The sight was so exciting, I saluted the Jawans guarding the borders and for the first time I realized under which conditions they guard our borders so that we civilians sleep peacefully. All in all our maiden trip turned out to be quite a satisfying experience. Special Thanks to my husband Mukund, our companion for the drive and taking us through Mukesh and my daughter Tanya for making my dream realize.  Though we did not anticipate any trouble spots during the journey, and did not find any but yes checking at various check posts provided breaks to the drive. But these were important for country’s safety.

Special Thanks to Blogadda and CEAT tyres to make me relive the experience. Indeed I had to stress my mind to recollect the road trip which I undertook in completely unknown terrain – The Rann of Kutch to Indo-Pak border in Gujarat – JAI HIND.

Road Safety Norms:

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Everyday as soon as we open Newspaper, we get to read about atleast 2 road accidents particularly on Highways or long drive-ways people undertake. Most of these are owing to negligence about following the Road Safety trips. It is important not only for drivers but also for pedestrians so that no untoward accidents happen.

Everyone should learn the following road safety rules preferably from an early age:

  • Everyone going on the road (especially drivers) must be to the left and let other vehicles pass on the opposite direction to pass.
  • Drivers should be in slow speed while bending or turning on the roads.
  • Take extra precaution while going on the over-crowded roads and road junctions.
  • Bikers or people using two wheel vehicles must wear helmets of superior quality otherwise they should never go on the road without helmet.
  • Speeds of the vehicles should be within the speed limit and slow especially in the areas of school, hospital, colony, etc.
  • Every vehicle on the road should maintain the right distance among them to avoid collisions and accidents.
  • Everyone using road should be well aware of the road signs and must follow rules.
  • All the road safety rules and regulations must be in mind while traveling.

Following the above rules, you are not only ensuring your safety, but others too and following duties of a Good Citizen. And…and don’t forget to have Ceat Tyres in your dream machine!!

‘I’m chronicling my road trip adventure for CEAT Tyres in association with BlogAdda.’

 

Come Home to Colourful world of BergerXP! Indiblogger Meet!!

I believe, I was one of the last bloggers to receive the Invite for BergerXP Indibloggers meet at Mumbai as action point – Register Here showed 89% full and I was quite surprised at that, not only this attendees list was showing all regular bloggers whom I meet at Indiblogger meets. Probably I was included at the last moment. Anyways…as always I made some last minute changes to my Saturday program and set out for the event at Vivanta by Taj which was some 40 Kms from my place, all this & more for Indibloggers! As it was BergerXP event – the iconic Paint company, I decided to dress up colourfully to blend well with their world of colours.

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Read on to know what happened at the Meet.

We were greeted by warm & welcoming Indiblogger team represented by Anoop, Nihal & Suzanna, who completed registration process in a jiffy after which we moved to the well lit backdrop by BergerXP where our pictures were clicked and sound bytes were taken, I felt nothing short of a celebrity there.

Forum was open for Lunch now! It was one of the very few events which served lunch prior to the event, pehle pet puja, phir kaam dooja! The Buffet spread of Vivanta by Taj looked quite interesting and tempting at the same time. It was very sumptuous meal comprising of green salad spread, cream almond soup, dal makhani, paneer bhurji, green Thai curry, biryani, chicken, fish with dessert comprising of my favourite Gajar Halwa and Pine Apple Pastries. I enjoyed my meal while talking to fellow bloggers: Sanjay Thampi, Vinita, Sujata Tawde, Riddhi, Anu Goyal…many!

Now it was time for the event to start and surprises to unfold. Sprightly Anoop lighted the stage with his exuberance and took bloggers for some warm up exercises, dance moves, swimming …concluding with musical chair. Our team member Riddhi Sharma won the game!

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This was followed by Colourful & Interesting presentation by BergerXP, young Product Development Manager, Chandranath who took us through the colourful journey of the brand which makes our lives colourful. Started in 1758 by Louis Berger, it started as a small chemical process which moved on to become one of the largest & iconic brands of the world today. The brand features in Top 10 by Economic Times. Indeed a very innovation driven & consumer focussed brand. For the first time I came to know what insights are needed for colouring our worlds which we treat as very mundane exercise.  A very interactive Q & A session followed after that.

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Now was the time for activity, the setting was like that of a workshop where we were given head gears and hand gloves to clean the surface with sand papers. Our team Cleaners – titled – Zabardast Safai finished the job at hand with great speed and took time for clicking some selfies too. In the meantime, winners of twitter contest were also announced. In one day,  this was the maximum I had tweeted in my Twitter tenure and just loved doing it. But was surprised to note how creative rather quirky one can get on Twitter!

The last round of the day comprised dirtying our hands – literally with paints, mixers, thinners, brushes provided by Berger team to colour the canvas with theme Mumbai Meri Jaan. In the mean time we had a small session where we were shown how to mix colours which set the ball rolling.

Now the atmosphere turned somewhere close to college fest where all team heads called on team members to brief them about the theme and how to proceed in the matter. All charged up, we were ready with the plan where we planned to draw iconic symbol of Mumbai – The Gateway of India – Interspersed with Theme: Cleaner, Faster, Better. In our painting we decided to roll all those elements Mumbai is known for like: Local Trains, Metros, Sea-Link, Bhel Puri, Navi Mumbai, Dabba Wallas…more! I took to painting after ages…missed my daughter Tanya who would have done a fine job at this activity, probably lead us to the victory but that was not to be and we lost. Never mind, we attempted and attempted well.  The texture of paints was like Silk, it worked so well even on the sheet of paper, and we loved it. Winning entry deserved it well!

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So what comprises Berger Express Painting System?

  • The process is completely mechanized
  • Undertaken by trained personnel.
  • Much faster than Traditional Painting – What is being done in two
    days in traditional painting can be done by Berger XP in just two hours
  • Dust-free process due to the vacuum-suction enabled
    sanding machines
  • Granting excellent finish & texture to the surface
  • Painting done with professional Hand Painting Tools 

To sum it up: Berger Express Painting by Berger Paints is a revolutionary concept of painting homes with the help of automatic machines to give faster, cleaner & better results every time, as compared to traditional process of printing!

You can experience all this & more by just sending an SMS XP to 56767.

Now you can change the way, you paint your home with automatic machines as T 20 of paints is here!

https://www.bergerpaints.com/

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Sipping Masala Chai all through, we reached the last leg of the event, with some more prizes, photo ops & group photo in the end. Though, I have never won any Indiblogger contest ever since my association, hope to win one with this Entry! ( Disclaimer: Hard feelings are injurious for health)

Hope you enjoyed reading the post & made up your mind for #BergerXP Express painting system

This post is written for Indiblogger for BergerXP meet in Mumbai on February 11, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trupti ko Rajasthan kuch aisa laga – Truptsthan!

जहाँ हवाओं में राजस्थान का संगीत है: माटी बांधे पैजनी, बंगड़ी पहने बादली!

My colleague Trupti Sharma along with her bunch of young, adventurous & enthusiastic friends ringed in New Year in mesmerizing Rajasthan & the choice was in favour of Dessert trek at Jaisalmer.  In over a week – long trip to Jaisalmer, Trupti experienced Rajasthan like never before…

… Trupti ko Rajasthan kuch aisa laga!

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Trupti was gracious enough to share her experiences along with unique photo-essay for travel-knots readers. Enjoy reading it here!!

Phir dekhiye Rajasthan appko bhi kuch aisa lagega!!!

Jaisalmer Trek: The Transition:

  • From 2016 to 2017
  • From one state to another
  • From Camp to Second Home
  • From Strangers to Friends
  • From Friends to Family
  • From Can I do it to I bet you cannot do it

But it was truly:

Challenging | Freezing | Arid | Windy | Quiet | Calm | Noisy | Golden | Royal | Natural | Raw

It was anything but boring…

Camping, Trekking, Climbing, Camel Ride, Boating, Posing, Singing, Folk Dancing; Challenging your physical and mental endurance, we did it all in Rajasthan

Base Camp: Jaisalmer City – Border Home Guard Ground

Higher Camps: Kharara Camp | Sam Sand Dunes | Sudasari Sand Dunes | Bama

When Trupti decided to be part of this trek and started checking on tickets to neighbouring cities of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, which was good three months ahead, I was surprised to note that all tickets to Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur or any possible city in Rajasthan were full or super expensive and she had to take Mumbai – Delhi – Jaisalmer route to reach base camp.  Unexpectedly she found Delhi not at all cold and she even enjoyed cold water shower there. From Delhi she embarked on her journey to Jodhpur.  This is the magic of Rajasthani soil…माटी बांधे पैजनी, बंगड़ी पहने बादली!

Thankfully she found Jaisalmer to be super impressive, quite a deal for true – blue Mumbai girl. Trupti found Station very clean and did not shirk it from terming it “One of the best”.

I present here the Trupti’s account of her Jaisalmer trek:

Jaisalmer is the largest district in India in fact even bigger than many Indian States which is also clean and royal in its look and feel.  It is endowed with perfect lighting which provided ample reflection for our pictures. I found everything there to be so grand and royal, even houses are made of hand carved stones which I had never seen before. It was a pleasure ogling at those beautiful stone house which a rarity in Metro we live in.

After this our next destination was “Patvaaon-ki-Haveli” where we found forever welcoming Rajasthani folk-singers, where we found Rajathani folk music spreading like aroma in the air.  We sang and even danced with these Rajasthani folk artists. Moreover, they did not expect much money from us; they thanked us for whatever we gave them. Indeed they were very humble, warm and welcoming.  I would like to mention here that colourful turbans have perpetual charm midst tourists coming here which would cost you not more that Rs. 50.  Before entering “Patvaaon-ki-haveli” don’t forget to gorge on delicious Paani – Puri where law of multiplication applies in full – force. Go on gulping, without counting though.

Now we had to embark on our first higher camp – the Kharara camp, where we came across lot of windmills and trust me windmills are one of the best inventions, just like mountains even they make you and your problems look relatively very small. To give you an idea- to reach top of an industrial windmill one needs to have 60 levels on a Human pyramid or terrace of a 38 storey building.

After walking around 12 Kms, we reached our second higher camp – Sam Sand Dunes, my first experience of sand dunes was quite amazing, nothing short of mesmerizing. It was little crowded since most people travelling to Jaisalmer visit Sam dunes but in a lot of ways it was still untouched. I must admit, evenings are the best part of a trek and you don’t have to walk with super heavy rucksack. Moreover, it is neither very hot nor very cold here. Last but not the least, you get to chill, sing, rest, roam around and watch one of the most beautiful sunsets.

So after all this and more like sand sliding, photo shoot and amateur Dangal, we were all set to march back to our camps. On our way we encountered few folk singers –  two kids and one ‘ol chap – and I am happy we met them as it was so much fun singing and dancing along on Rajasthani folk music for over an hour.  So much so that we broke into an impromptu “Sangeet Ceremony”  of our friends  Unnati & Madhu who are chained to get married in coming few months to their respective groom and bride.

In the second leg of our trek from Sam Sand Dunes, we had to reach Sudasari Desert National Park, which threw biggest challenge as we had to do 10 kms ride on camel and 12 Kms of walking along with crawling and hitch hiking!

I can term Camel ride as good and bad both, but to enjoy camel ride, you need to be in sync your rhythm but how do you keep up to a camel who keeps switching songs?

Moreover, trek to Sudasari is not at all easy. Firstly, it is near impossible to get permissions for trekking groups and even for individuals it takes at least three months of approval process but thanks to YHAI’s goodwill and good work that we (group of 40 people) were not just able to trek in but also got to camp one night.

Sudasari Sand dunes were amazing, so calm still so powerful… trust me deserted deserts are much more beautiful.

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Other major take away from this trip is that I got to know so many people from different parts of India say now I have friends from AP, Gujarat, Jharkhand, TN, Karnataka and parts of Northern India.

Pictures & text courtesy: Trupti Sharma

 

 

Poora London Thumakda!!!

London always excites me…right from the times when I was English Hons Student in Hindu College, Delhi University, many years ago. As the title of the course suggests, we as English Hons Students were extensively taught Shakespeare, Milton, Bronte Sisters, Tennyson…many more difficult to recall now.  I always marveled how beautiful Shakespeare’s UK would look?  I made a scrap book of pictures of United Kingdom with the limited resources I could lay my hands on…

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…with our limited means and all the more limited thinking, it was near blasphemous to express our desire to visit London (Read: UK) in those days. Life moved on, but dream lingered on! In following years, I got the chance of visiting many countries barring London and I had almost forgotten my dream. May be that was not for me…

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Buckingham Palace, London’s Eye, Wax Museum, Thames River, Hyde Park…fascinated me no end particularly when I read about Bollywood celebrities spending their Summers in beautiful London! I will read about it with great interest and watched photos even more keenly. Everything  about London looked so fascinating, but probably not for me.

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But as goes the saying, every idea (read: dream) has its own time. Time of my dream too came and opportunity of visiting London just fell on my lap in January, 2004.  Without wasting any thoughts, I just lapped it.  & Here I was in London! London called me finally!!

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My first solo trip to London was quite exciting, at the same time, was full of apprehensions as well.  Just praying and wishing, hope all turns out well as planned.  So how did my London trip turned out to be? Read on to know:

Landing at Heathrow Airport – one of the biggest airports on earth, it was beyond my comprehension and stores like Harrods, cosmetic shops, toy shops, designer dresses, big & well-known brands all over, quite enticing!

My sight-seeing began two days after I landed and my first destination was Trafalgar Square, I could not believe myself that I was actually there. It looked very similar to our Horniman Circle in Mumbai, never mind I had visited famed Trafalgar Square which I hugely admired in DDLJ where Amrish Puri fed pigeons. It was the first day of snow fall in London, so day turned out to be quite special.  I was finding it difficult to bear the cold, so I had to cut short the visit to neighboring places.

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Following days, I visited Buckingham Palace at 11 AM in the morning and was lucky to watch change of guard parade which was truly fascinating. Huge crowds had gathered on bright sunny morning outside the palace by London standards, not by Mumbai standards. Cruise in river Thames was an amazing experience in itself which was followed by the walk at Hyde Park. What to say of the Madam Tussaud Wax museum, I had never seen anything like this before, such real statues in wax.  I wondered all through, how they have done this? Why we don’t have one in India?  London’s Eye, just OMG!

madam-tussauds

On one of my tube train sojourns, I landed at a station – Wimbledon, accidently! When tube announced next station – Wimbledon, I quickly got down there to see the famous Wimbledon Stadium, which I had seen only on TV with Steffi Graf playing tennis matches and voila what a sight it was! I beamed with pride as I was at a landmark destination, but not without paying heavy price for this adventure, rather misadventure!

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Now on the last leg of sight – seeing, I realized that I had not shopped for anything except for a pair of slippers as my sandal had broken during the outing.  I walked to the nearest tube station and luckily found a shop of foot wear after walking barefoot for nearly a kilometer, may be more, in that chilled / wet weather, holding sandals in one hand and tears in both my eyes.  I promptly bought a slipper from there, albeit two sizes large, but my joy knew no bounds. I will never forget that day in my life. It was the most expensive slippers I could have, rather forced to have.

On the last leg of my trip, I did some mall hopping, visited Harrods, did street shopping and ate nice spicy Indian food in famous Indian restaurants.  Though Pound exchange was quite unviable even then, still shopping was a delightful experience, as one pound has so much value.

So how London cropped up again? Today morning I read in Economic Times that falling Pound may make holidayers’ English Summer Dream Come True!

And I want to visit again…

… With the Pound steadily depreciating against the Rupee in recent months post Brexit, cheaper airfares and attractive promotional offers from airlines and lure of London as a sought after shopping destination, indeed it is going to be English Summer for Indian travelers!!

Am I included?

Amen!!!

 

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Lehenga Sarees, ruling the roost this marriage season!

Lehenga style saree or Lehenga Saree as it is famously known, is not a new phenomenon as it is made out to be. Women in South India always worn it in South Silk, Cotton Ikats or Kanjiveram Silks but it came into limelight with Deepika Padukone wearing it on screen in movie Chennai Express. All of us loved her simple demeanor in vibrant coloured, flowy fabrics, intricate gold borders and heavy Gold Pallu lehenga sarees which made Deepika look gorgeous, nonetheless girl next door too!

Then we watched Alia Bhatt wearing those in popular Bollywood movie – Two States, where she looked absolutely stunning in those lehenga sarees.

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So what are these lehenga sarees?  Lehenga sarees are an aesthetic blend of the traditional saree and a lehenga choli where saree is normally 4.5 meters long. To wear one, unlike a sari, one doesn’t have to form pleats but may simply ‘tuck and drape’. Like that of a traditional saree, the lehenga style saree is worn over a petticoat (inskirt, pavadai in the south, and shaya in eastern India), along with a designer blouse called the choli.

Many designers like Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani and Sabyasachi Mukherjee have done some exquisite collections of lehenga saree which have high style quotient and dollops of traditional inputs. World over brides are loving their Lehenga Sarees…heavy embroideries, free-flowing fabrics and beautiful cuts make these every bride’s dream.

Bride in Sabyasachi Lehenga
Bride in Sabyasachi Lehenga

It will not be a misnomer to say that lehenga sarees present beautiful amalgamation of comfort and style. Today’s youngsters who don’t want to look aunties in a saree and over dressed in a lehenga, want to sport fusion of the two. They want to dress without any encumbrances, without compromising on style quotient and lehenga sarees are just an answer to that. The easy-to-wear option of the garment tells the ladies just to slip into it and be ready in minutes. Stitched as a long flared skirt with a zip at the side, it is made to the measurements of the wearer. The ensemble needs to be slipped in, then the wearer can fasten the zipper and drape the pallu over the shoulders. This is an outfit for ladies who are not comfortable with usual draping and pleating that the regular saree demands.

Designer lehenga sarees may not be easy on pocket as these come with hefty designer price tags and if you want value for money pricing with designer inputs, choose from the gorgeous collection of triveniethnics.com. You can choose from their wide range of lehenga sarees suitable for any occasion. The lehenga saree in question here is getting beautiful contrast owning to use of colours: Electric Blue & Dazzling Blue with sequins all over. This lehenga saree stands out from the usual reds and peaches, blues & greens. The golden lace at the border adds jazz to the look.  Teamed with Art Silk blouse with white hexagonal net lehenga has gracious falls. It can be complimented with light traditional gold jewellery to enhance the look with swag!

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Speaking on lehenga saree collection, Mr. Arvind Saraf, Director,  TriveniEthnics said, “Lehenga Saree is in trend from last five years but it gained momentum with Deepika wearing it in Chennai Express. It is a fusion of lehenga, owing to its cuts & shape, with drape of a saree. For a wedding, saree may look casual and lehenga too traditional, so we at Triveni made it more occasion oriented with ease of wearing & carrying attached to it.”

He adds, “Lehenga saree is simplified lehenga with saree like dupatta and a designer choli to boot, the look is very close to half-half saree as worn in South India. From last one year art-silks and brocade lehengas have become very popular with embroideries, works, prints and borders which gives them a rich look.”

Speaking on the innovations done keeping the tastes of trendy, yet traditional youngsters in mind, Saraf says, “ Few years ago our lehengas had heavy embroideries but now we have moved to soft prints in pastel colours providing heavy borders to lehenga, complimenting it with beautiful saree and designer choli which have become quite popular with youngsters. Moreover these are very easy to carry unlike saree which youngsters sometimes find quite cumbersome to manage.”

On Triveni’s lehenga Saree collection, Saraf says, “Bollywood has raised the fashion aspirations of Indian women. Keeping that in mind, our lehengas too have fair amount of embroidery catering to North Indian tastes.  Earlier it was primarily occasion wear but now it is has become very popular for Mehendis and Sangeets. These have become pan India phenomenon with any women sitting in remotest part of India having  them and flaunting them.”

Various rich and exquisite embellishments are used on lehenga style sarees patterns, which include silver embroidery, golden embroidery, metal beads, real pearls, wood beads, glass beads, mirror work, lace work, Kundan, sequins, glittering stones, zardozi, etc. Mostly rich fabrics like silkgeorgette, brasso, brocade, chiffon, crepe, etc., are used in the making of a lehenga style saree.

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I think Lehenga Saree would be toast of this marriage season, particularly for mehendi & sangeet!

So what are you thinking, order one from Triveni Ethnics for Mere hathon mein nau nau choodiyan hain…