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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A lesson from my Grandma
Nani (my grandma) always taught my mother never to look down and talk low of others. One's inconsideration and self-pride can anytime turn those blessings that one has into distress. She had a few real life stories behind her teachings that had strengthened our faith in karma and imbibed good values in us.  Today I am sharing one such story I heard as a kid about her neighbors. 

Before I narrate her story, I would like to remind my readers about Indian desperation for a male child over female. While a bride is worshiped as Goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of material possessions), a daughter was (and is still in some parts of India) considered to be a liability and stigma on the manhood of a father. Sons on the other hand have been seen as successors of the family, the name takers. Hence in many orthodox families having sons was (is) the matter of pride. 

When my nani was a child, having two younger sisters and no brother yet, her neighbor used to boast about having sons. He, filled with pride, talked aloud about how fortunate he was with 3 sons and how unkind God was to those who have none. Nani’s mother (my great-grandma) never paid heed to him and advised her daughters to turn deaf to his blustering. She always focused on the education of her daughters and treated them as a blessing from almighty. 
As time passed, she became mother again twice and both were sons. Life went on, and neighbor still had this habit of looking down at these three daughters, but none of them ever said anything to him. All five kids grew up with decent lives to look forward with respectable careers.  On the other hand the haughty and arrogant neighbor witnessed a tragic life. 
His eldest son developed mental retardation (reason unknown) and one night ran away from home to be never found again. The second son died in a car accident. The third one lived a very mediocre life with many struggles and never got married.

No one among us knows our future, how worthy or terrible our lives are going to be. Hence before judging or making derogatory remarks on somebody out of superiority, one should always think about the uncertainty life brings to us at each step.

A happy life can only be enjoyed by the kind people having good virtue.
What do you think? Do you believe in Karma? Do you know any such stories? 
Images from google

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Orchha, Madhya Pradesh- a Photo Story

My first trip was decided through Facebook. These days Facebook is playing a pivotal role in our lives. One of my junior from college has a travel bug and has great photography skills. Looking at her updates on Facebook tempted me to message her. I told her I would like to accompany her on her next trip. From then onwards, I managed to break the monotony of routine life to enjoy the experience of exploring new places, food and knowing people of India. However first trips have their own charm especially when you learn about something that you have been longing for. In my case it was photography. I would like to present the photo-journey of the beautiful time I had exploring Orchha…

Orchha , Madhya Pradesh
(26th Feb,2014 – 1st Mar,2014)
Our came in existence at the end of February, 2014. When I got to know we were packing our bags for Orchha, I was clueless how it looks and what this place was all about. Since I had never heard its name earlier, it created more excitement in me to explore this new piece of land.

History of Orchha

Orchha is a small town in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. This town was established by Maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh in 1501 which lies on the Betwa River in Tikamgarh District. The word ‘Orchha’ means  ‘Hidden’ in Bundelkhandi language and was named so because it was covered completely by forests before being found.

Primary attractions in Orchha are Jahangir Mahal, Laxmi Narayana Temple, Bundela Chhatris (cenotaphs), Rai Praveen Mahal , Chaturbhuj Temple & Raja Mahal.

Photo Story of Orchha:
Jahangir Mahal
Jahangir Mahal is one of the most finest and vivid examples of classical Mughal Architecture.

Entrance of great Jahangir Mahal

Jahangir Mahal
Open Court of Jahangir Mahal
Betwa River Banks:
Spend maximum time here

1.   Bundela Chhatris - (cenotaphs) designed in the memory of late rulers and noblemen. There are fourteen 'Chhatris' or memorials to the rulers of Orchha, grouped along the Kanchana Ghat of the river Betwa.
View from Betwa River
Closer View

Chaturbhuj Temple:

1.      Laxmi Narayan Temple

Interesting Paintings Inside Lakshmi Narayan Temple:

Raja Ram Temple:
Top view of Raja Ram Temple
Other Details:
Duration of my visit-   26th Feb – 1st Mar
Weather conditions during my stay-  Slightly chilly during early mornings and nights (Sweat-shirts are advisable)  
Mode of travel from Delhi -  Train
Hours of Journey -   6 hours journey
Stayed at -  Friend’s house
Restaurants I liked there-  Milan Resturant, Betwa Tarang Restuarnt, Bamboo Hut

Manisha Raj is a professional software engineer in Delhi and an amateur photographer who loves to travel and explore new places and cuisines whenever she gets a chance. She fondly calls herself “Artist Manisha” due to her love for sketching and shares her  dream to hold an exhibition of her artistic works sometime in her life. She loves festivals and hence her second favorite month in the year is October (after February i.e. her birth-month); a month in which festivals and celebrations start in India and continue till New Year. 
She decided to pen down her travel experiences and this was her first post as a guest blogger on Elixired.

Manisha's Twitter 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Have you danced in the rain yet?

“Maa, this year none of us has danced in the rain yet.”

My mother who was reading something moved down her reading glasses from her eyes to her nose and smiled looking at me. She knew what I was referring to. I often miss being a child these days.

We have grown old, I thought. In old days hearing alluring sounds of water pouring down outside, we kids used to run to get dripped in the rains, singing, dancing and playing. Now we don’t enjoy rains like before. We whine about the puddle it creates, all the inconvenience it causes and spending those elongated hours in traffic.
We nag more if it doesn’t rain. Why! Why we don’t enjoy nature like before?

I remember how earthworms hidden in anonymity used to get out of their hideouts to enjoy a stroll outside. And then there was me shouting and jumping through the veranda to get out of the home, making sure I don’t step on any of them. These days we don’t see any of those, who we have read are very good for the soil and environment.

Droplets on lemon tree leaves outside our home...
I decided not to get wasted in the technology today. And so taking a break from my mobile screen I have sat outside in the veranda of my house to enjoy this beautiful hue of novel green. The clouds have washed everything around giving a new life to this part of the earth. As morning winds caress my face with freshness, I took a sip of my tea.
Rains, they are one of the most gorgeous things in the world!
They have brought everything to life. We no more like to be jailed in closed air conditioned rooms. I love to see everyone enjoying their surroundings outside during mornings and evenings, feeling alive, free from the scorching sun-rays. Even the mornings and afternoons have become beautiful with louder chirps of birds, honey bees playing on flowers and resting droplets of water everywhere. While the nights have become bewitching like those magic tales, full of croaks of frogs and creaks of insects, the winds have become pleasant and fresh from  roasted brown.
Let us embrace the beauty of rains with open hands. Look above in the sky, there might be a rainbow somewhere crowning the earth.

If there is heavy rain again, I am going to dance in it like before. I have decided not to waste this monsoon any more… 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Delhi Transport System...

If one doesn't have his own car and one has no metro access to the place one wants to go, here is how a common man struggles in Delhi. Following are the three memes depicting the sentiments of three 'bhaiya-drivers' and their customers:

Yes that is how they react!


They know their worth...

P.S. If an Auto-Rickshaw driver denies to go by meter, you may dial 1095 which is a Delhi traffic police number to file a complaint right there and then. It works. (Tried  and tested).

P.P.S. The first doodle is inspired by the real conversation between my  brother and his friend.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review: The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories

The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories
Ankita Sharma
Publisher: Humming Words Publishers
Pages: 135
Price: INR 180/-

'The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories' is a debut book by a fellow blogger and a publisher Ankita Sharma published by Humming words Publications.  The book is a collection of short tales from our day to day lives which leaves a reader with a sense of deja vu. Ankita has judiciously picked up the stories from the Indian society and given them her own perspective with beautiful narration. Her first two stories. 'The Pink Card' and 'One More Bite' intelligently depict the contradictory standards of women for their own child and someone else's child. The second story particularly leaves us in rage and exasperation after the words of shallow sympathy from a mother towards a poor kid in order to teach her son a lesson. Another story named after the title of the book 'The Wedding Trousseau' talks about a girl in her early twenties entering the ties of matrimony. It conveys the surprise or shock a blind arranged marriage can bring into a persons life. Another story 'The Fresh Stock' mocks on the situation in an orphanage about cold hearted insensitive couples coming for child adoption. The stories are open ended with no moral teachings or definite end. Hence a reader is free to make their own interpretation in the end of each story.
The stories are different from each other but quite similar and closely resemble our daily lives, focusing on various aspects of relationships. While the volume excels in narration and language, it lags behind in terms of novelty. This book is a decent read for teenagers as well as adults, in Ankita's own words it is a collection for all age groups.

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

You can buy this book online here:
Buy Books India-

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The lonely note in your wallet

Ever wonder why? 

People at the top are mostly desolate. Ever wonder the notes of ten and hundred always seem to find company in your wallet, the coins seldom fail to find others of their kind to be with. However, a thousand rupee note sits alone waiting for someone to meet, until it finally breaks down. 
What is wrong with it? Is it an arrogant snob or just some poor bloke who couldn't find someone compatible to be with? Even the most commonly encountered statistical distributions- Normal Distribution, chi square, t, F, Binomial, Poisson show that the loneliness at the extremes is a rule rather than exception.
If you're the lonely one,
You are not the only one.
Though its not a ubiquitous state,
You may soon find another lonely mate!

If you are alone, know that you are rare but your kind will find you soon. Meanwhile enjoy this song!

Today's post is a guest post by Sugat Chaturvedi. Find him on his blog titled "Elysian Fields"

Image: Google

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Do Penguins Have Teeth?

I was aghast, not ready to believe what I saw on my Facebook timeline. A post by NatGeo showed a picture of an angry Penguin with its mouth open with teeth inside.
I have never imagined before that birds may have teeth and they can look so horrible. Just imagine a bird sitting on the porch of your veranda either smiling at you or running towards you with its open JAW. It felt scary. Happy feet didn't look anymore happy out of the 3D world.
I went on internet to search 'Do birds have teeth?' It said 'NO'.
So it was only Penguins whose mouths look so exceptionally different from inside. I searched again, 'Do penguins have teeth?' It again said 'NO'. It was further written on a site that 'like other birds, penguins  also have no teeth. Rather they have backward-facing fleshy spines that line the inside of their mouths. These help them guide their fishy meals down their throat.'

It was relieving. They should be soft, a bird is like a bird. It is soft like it looks. It made me happy. 
I went again on NatGeo's post and read the comments. They were worth a good laugh. 

The broken dream seemed lovely again... Even though the picture is still scary, it doesn't seem that terrible. Penguins looked lovely walking handsomely in their tuxidos like ever before in all videos I have seen till now...

 P.s. Penguins are social beings and they can't survive happily without the company of four at least. So if you dream about keeping one as a pet (if law permits), think about keeping at least four... Isn't that adorable now? :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Five Ethics to follow before uploading a Profile Picture on Social Media

We all want to post awesome pictures of ourselves, possibly the best ones and flaunt a little bit of whatever narcissism we have and desire to fetch worthy comments on them too. At the same time we want to sustain cordial relations with our friends and don't wish to upset them with our careless uploads.
Seeing people changing their display pictures on daily/weekly/monthly basis on social networking sites, I have noticed five annoying things that some of us do. Taking note of these careless hideous acts, I have come up with five commandments we all should follow before putting up our next display picture on social media! 

Next time do keep these things in mind before putting up your display picture on Facebook or any other social media site:

1. No Half Cut Faces of Friends
Never crop your photo in a way that you come in the center while your other friends come in your photograph with half of their faces chopped off! Of course you would not like to see the similar thing happening to you in their display picture. It kills the visual appeal of the photo and annoys the one who has been cut half! Either crop their full face or retain their face. In the era of digital photographs, one doesn't need to worry about their limited camera roll, one can get another solo picture or better photograph sometime else.

2. No De-Colorizing the Faces of Friends

Frankly, this is one of the worst effects I have seen of late. Just imagine, in a group photograph your friend retains the color on his face, while put everyone else in black and white including you. Neither s/he will look hot and happening nor other friends tagged will approve of it.ed in that photograph!
Not sure if this effect is still in vogue!

3. No Bad Photographs of the Known

You put best photograph of yourself and ignore how others are looking in your display picture. Always pay heed that your friends are looking happy and good and you don't angry them by putting their bad photos online. Also check in your photograph no one is actually picking up his/her nose, scratching his butt, or is victim of wardrobe malfunction. (Unless you want to play a prank on them and they accept such jokes.)

4. Share Credits
With so many DSLR professionals/amateurs around, many people want to show off their talents and creativity. I have seen after clicking a very lovely photograph of their friends, some people ask for a courtesy credits on their time line or in their comment section. Many non-thankful non humble souls respond to them in comment section with "Yes yes Ty" or else ignore them!
Why not say a simple nice courteous thank you in picture credits and motivate them to click you again, may be even better next time! After all they wasted their creativity and one minute to 5 of their lives in clicking you.

5. No Bathroom Selfies
It disturbs me a lot. I don't know if that is a problem in my head or with majority of other people too, but bathroom selfies look really uncool. We all know most of us have good bathrooms to show off and good bodies too. Why not wait for the right click in the gym or a beach rather than putting up display pictures directly uploaded from bathrooms. I remember one of my friends embarrassed once, asked me to confirm if the lady who had uploaded her selfie on his timeline with a weird expression was actually sitting on her commode with a little of her butt skin in her picture.
I then realized Facebook witnesses constipation boredom as well at times. That was embarrassing for me as well!

Do you agree with the Above? Are there some more pointers you feel people should follow before putting up their display picture on Social Media? 

P.S. These days #MyChoice is taking a priority in people's life, I am not sure if this is the right time for me to publish such a post!
Peace!!! :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shimla in Photographs...

In December, I happened to visit Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. It was my second visit to the place, this time with the family of my maternal uncle. With a hope to see snowfall which I have never encountered before rather none of us had, we decided December to be the best time for the same. Our excitement levels were high but like before this time too there was no snow-fall. Rather we were welcomed with the clear and warm sunny days which was unavailable in Delhi that time. Here I am sharing a few Photographs of the place that you may enjoy. If you plan to visit Shimla do not miss Indian institute of advance Studies.

Temple of Tara Devi which I didn't explore before served picturesque views. It was standing beautifully on a mountain cliff. 
Me with my Aunt and cousins at Tara Devi Temple.
A view from Tara Devi Temple

Evening in Shimla, Mountain of houses...
Sunset Hues, near mall-road.
Mall-road at Night
The Church at night, Shimla
In my last blog about Shimla I mentioned my visit to Indian Institute of Advance Studies. I hvisited this beautiful place once again. It was lovely as ever, though this time with a little snow here and there.

It was built in 1884 as a home for Viceroy of India, which later on in 1965 was established as research Institute. The architecture inside is quite magnificent and mesmerizing

Indian Institute of Advance Studies, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

In case you are travelling to Shimla by Road via Ambala-Shimla highway, you may like exploring  Pinjore Gardens on the way. To read more about Pinjore refer to Wikipedia here.

My first shot in Pinjore Gardens
Pinjore Gardens, Pinjore, Panchkula District, Haryana. all my fellow bloggers and readers. Thankyou so much for your support to this blog!!!

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