Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Movies about animals and pets never fail to hit you at the right spot, either leaving you happy to witness the purity of human-animal bond or can you leave you teary-eyed, owing to the overwhelm of emotions. But the fact is nobody has said that they never liked any movie on animals so far. Here is a list of 10 beautiful movies on animals which you can watch/re-watch any time.

1.       Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
One of the finest movies to be ever made, Hachiko is based on an overwhelmingly true story of a Japanese Akita dog and his master. The story tells the story of a college professor who spots an abandoned dog, Hachiko on his way, brings him home and bonds with him. The movie culminates to Hachiko waiting for his owner at the station every evening even after his owner passed away, and finally he passed away too waiting there.

2.       Marley & Me
This movie will remind you of Hachiko where a couple adopts a puppy Marley who slowly becomes the closest family member. Marley grows up with the couple, but old age and sickness catches him and finally he is euthanized. The film reminds you that our pets and their memories are irreplaceable and their void cannot be filled easily.

3.       Gorillas in the Mist
The Academy Award nominated movie shows the story of Dian Fossey, a scientist who took it upon her the mission of saving the mountain gorillas from being exterminated in Africa. It shows the animal and human bonding in a beautiful way.

4.       The Cave of the Yellow Dog
Nansal, a little nomad girl from Mongolia spots a baby dog in the Mongolian veld. They bond and the puppy becomes her best friend. Inspite of her parent’s rejections to adopt the baby dog, she continues to be with it. The sub plot of the movie traces the nomadic life of the Mongolian family, their tradition and finally their migration to the city.

5.       Born Free
This is one of the cult movies on animal love; Born Free is a movie which revolves around the life o f a couple who adopts a lioness cub, Elsa after her parents are killed. When they are given the option to take the cub either into the zoo or freed inside the forest in Kenya, they take Elsa to the forest, attempts to introduce Elsa to her herds and with a broken heart sees her to finally bond with the wild and returning to the forest life. After a year the couple revisits Kenya and with a joyful heart find out that Elsa hasn’t forgotten them.

6.       Babe
A heartwarming film on companionship and kindlness, Babe tells the story of a cute little orphaned piglet who befriends an impolite farmer but is polite to the sheep. The story tells how he slowly bonds with the other animals through focusing lights on issues like social isolation and cruelty towards animals.

7.       The Black Stallion
The American adventure film is adopted from Walter Farley written classic children’s novel (1941) of the same name which tells the story of a wild Arabian stallion. The movie shows a young boy, Alec from America traveling with his father when he spots the mysterious Arabian stallion. He gets fascinated by it and the stallion is brought on board and put into stable on the ship. The ship sinks and only the boy and the horse are saved. They bond on an island and are finally rescued back to America where the stallion is trained to become the fastest racing horses in the world.

8.       Duma
The movie plot revolves around an orphaned cheetah and a young boy from South Africa and how they soon become best friends. The film traces all the emotions from happily growing up together to an emotional goodbye in the end; this will pull the strings of adventure in your heart.

9.       Free Willy
If you are a 90’s kid, bet you will remember this movie. A young street boy, Jesse becomes friend with Willy, a killer whale and soon he discovers that some exploitative people want to kill the whale for their own gain. How Jesse adopts various tricks to free Willy from the profit mongering people forms the plot of the movie.

10.   Rams
Two Icelandic brothers who are estranged for 40 years bond together once again in order to save their dearest flocks of sheep from the authorities who want to kill the animals forms the plot of the movie. The movie has its moments of dark humor and finally ending up as a cult humanist drama.

So, which one are you planning to watch this weekend? 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

On 2nd June, 2019, the momentous Wembley Stadium in London stood witness to the creation of history. Ninety thousand fans or ARMY (as the fans proudly call them) swayed to them music of a seven-boy music band from South Korea named BTS. There is no doubt, it caught everyone by surprise as they are not global icon by popular perception; it kept millions of people wondering who they are. So, if you have no clue about them, this article is an attempt to introduce you to them. Who knows you may also become the next ARMY at the end of this article.

BTS, or Bangtan Sonyeondan which means Bulletproof Boy Scouts made their debut in 2013 with the album ‘2 Cool 4 Skool’, launched by BigHit entertainment. The members are Rap Monster, Suga and J-Hope who are in the rap line and Jin, V, Jungkook and Jimin who form the vocal line. With the passage of time, they incorporated different themes in their songs with albums like Wings or The Most Beautiful Moment in Life which the fans refer to as an era. Soon they hit the right chord with their fans with ‘Love Yourself’ three-part album and ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’ and became a cult not only in South Korea but across the world, winning accolades like the Billboard Music Award. While Love Yourself dealt with accepting one’s identity and loving yourself, Map of the Soul talked more about gender fluidity and supporting the LGBTQ community. Here are 10 such inspirational BTS songs which will undoubtedly impress you.

1.       Fake Love
This is one of the most popular song from their Love Yourself album which the ARMYs love to listen on repeat. Through the song, the members are trying to say that if you aren’t committed to your actual self, your love won’t last.  The love which you show for others will become fake.

2.       No More Dream
BTS debuted with this song. The song is about questioning yourself whether the dreams we have are really ours or have been imposed by someone else. It dares you to search for your true self by pursuing your own dream with determination.

3.       N.O
N.O is all about what is wrong with the current education system. They openly criticizes the school system which puts unjust pressure on the school to excel in every sphere, turning them into machines and forbidding them from following their dreams.

4.       Blood Sweat and Tears
Blood Sweat and Tears is a cult song from their album Wings. The songs refers to the hard work one puts to achieve something. Although the song is full of symbols and internal meanings, the basic theme is the fight between to sin and to stay on the right path to get something.

5.       Magic Shop
Magic Shop is from their album Love Yourself: Tear. The word magic shop refers to a psychodramatic space where there is a tactic to exchange what you fear with something positive. The song beautifully says that in order to achieve something good, you have to cross the negativities and face your worst fear. They say inspiration is a two-faced path; the way their lyrics motivate us to be our better self, similarly we also inspire them to motivate us.

6.       Spring Day
Spring Day is the first single song from the repackaged album Wings. The song gently reminds us that no matter how dark things are, it won’t last forever and eventually morning will follow with bright sun.

7.       Tomorrow
Tomorrow go deep into talking about the frustration and let downs you face while chasing your dreams. It warns us that no matter what we face, we shall never deviate from our goals and keep our eyes fixated on the prize, our ultimate happiness.

8.       Paradise
In Paradise, BTS says that it is not necessary that your dreams will be of large-scale, but it should always be about what you love and what will make your soul happy. Your final aim is to make life appealing and happy for you.

9.       Not Today
It doesn’t matter whether you have wings to fly or you have to run to achieve your goals by competing with others. Be at your own pace and gracefully move towards your target. When you feel like giving up, tell yourself, “not today”.

10.   I Need You
I Need You is from the album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1. The songs focuses on the pain and hardships each member is facing like seizure, rejection, being shun from the world or poverty. The hardships they are facing resembles that of the majority of the youth issues and as a result their relationship with the one they love is dying, that is themselves. It is about urging the loved one to have faith and stay back.

If you are already inspired, read Save Me, a webtoon summarizing all the BTS songs.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

One of the added benefits of touring in different regions of India is the comfort called street shopping. It is also a welcome change from the tiring and tedious shopping at departmental stores or in plush malls. Street shopping is also a pleasure for the tourists who want to have some local souvenirs. They are also the haven of local culture. From hand-woven clothes to handicraft items to food made by local people, street shops in India have in store all of them and that too in cheaper rates. This is the reason why foreigners and domestic travellers flock to those places. If you love fancy shopping from the streets here is a compilation of 10 such shopping destinations in India.

1.       Colaba Causeway, Mumbai
Located in Mumbai at the link between Colaba and South Mumbai, this is one of the popular street shopping destinations. Previously known as Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, this place is referred to as Colaba Market by the local people. The place is always flocked by locals and foreign tourists alike as it has a number of restaurants and cafeterias to hang out apart from shopping. The stalls sell all kinds of items like branded clothes, shoes, accessories and jewelleries at a reasonable rate. Brands like Raw Mango, Hakopa, and Purple Line etc. have their stalls here. This place is regarded as one of the best places to bargain. The Causeway market is also considered a heaven for book lovers. You pick up any category of books, you get it.

2.       Commercial Street, Bengaluru
Down South, Commercial Street is the place for you if you are a shopaholic. The place is a paradise for women who love fashion and is always on the look-out for what’s new. You can purchase good quality Mysore Silk. The place is always abuzz with people choosing from high branded clothes to local hand-woven materials. From printed dupattas to cotton and Tussar silk, you can buy them from the stalls and shops located here.

3.       New Market, Kolkata
New Market, located at the heart of the city of Kolkata is one of the oldest street markets in India. The market was built in the late 19th century and now has more than 2000 stalls. Confectionary, clothes, accessories, shoes, bags- anything you ask for it, this place has all of them. If you know how to bargain the best price for the best quality item, then this is your place. Plus the colonial architecture of the shops is sure to catch your attention. Don’t forget to visit Nahoum and Sons if you love confectionary.

4.       Arpora Saturday Night Market, Goa
If you have pictured Goa only with sea beaches and parties, then it’s time to visit the Saturday Night Market in Arpora. It is approximately 18 km from Panjim and is closer to the beaches of Calangute, Baga and Candolim. The market opens at 6 pm and closes at 12 pm but if you want to hang around, there are a number of food stalls here. When you enter, you can listen to music which sets the mood for shopping with pleasure. Jeweller, handicrafts, street fashion, exotic liquor, you can buy anything from here.

5.       Sarojini Market, Delhi
Whoever has visited Delhi never missed visiting Sarojini Market which is basically the paradise for buying fashionable clothes at lower rates. The place is so beautiful and popular that a number of Bollywood songs has been shot it here. The exported surplus items are sold at a very cheap rate here and that’s why the place is always in demand. Accessories, bags, shoes, clothes, you ask for it and Sarojini has all in store.

6.       Bapu Bazar, Jaipur
This is undoubtedly the most colourful street markets in India. If you are looking for some traditional clothes and accessories, then this place has them in galore. Located between Sanganer Gate and New Gate, the area is pulsating with all kinds of traditional Rajasthani items like textiles, shoes, bags, jewellery, stones and brass works. This place is famous for Mojari, or the shoes made from camel skin, and along with that Rajasthani Lehenga, block printed home decors, Bandhej salwars, fabrics and many more.

7.       FC Road, Pune
FC Road or Fergusson College Road is the street shopping destination in Pune. Number of youngsters flock to this place for three major things- food, fashion and technology which are available at reasonable rates. A number of fast food chains have opened up here to pull the crowd. The narrow by-lanes are lined with markets with items like watches, sunglasses, bags, accessories, mobile and laptops available at good discounts.

8.       Janpath, Delhi
Janpath Market which stretches from Connaught Place to Windsor Road is one of the popular cultural hubs in India. The gothic style market is the haven for people interested in exploring handicrafts and other souvenirs from different regions in India. The catch element is the stalls from different states like West Bengal, UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat etc. selling indigenous items.

9.       Fashion Street, Mumbai
Located in South Mumbai opposite Azad Maidan, this place is popular for lip smacking foods and trendy fashions. Both ethnic and trendy items are sold here including popular gadgets and accessories.

10.   Hazratganj Market, Lucknow
If you visit Lucknow and don’t buy Chikankari, then your trip may half-heartedly end there. So, when you are there, visit the Hazratgunj Market to buy the exotic Chikankari. Not only that, the place will take you a trip down the history with its Mughal and Colonial architecture.   


Friday, May 3, 2019

Netflix has redefined binge watching by taking it to the next level since its inception. With stories, plots and formats touching on every aspect, it has redefined story telling. Every month it comes out with insane amount of dramas and original movies, some of which has smashed records of viewing. Come 2019, it has numerous shows and dramas waiting in the pipeline to be released. Here are some of the most anticipated Netflix shows which is going to make up for the rest of your year.

1.       Stranger Things Season 3
The third season of the American horror science-fiction show Stranger Things is all set to make a comeback on 4th July, 2019. Directed by Duffer Brothers, the show features Golden Globe actress Wynona Ryder and child sensations Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo and many more. Based in a fictional town Hawkins, the drama begins with the opening of an alternate dimension called Upside Down due to a technical glitch in a laboratory and the disappearance of a boy from the town at the same time. The show which according to Netflix was the third most watched original traces themes like parallel universe, monster, horror and sci-fi through the children who form the protagonists of the shows.

2.       Dark Season 2
Dark, a German sci-fi series with alternate dimension as its theme was first aired on December 1, 2017. It was soon compared with Stranger Things on its release for having an almost similar plot with an alternate portal opening and timelines being confused. With being praised for the narratives, pace of the show and plot connections, Netflix has approved of a second season. It will be aired on June 21, 2019. 

3.       Orange Is The New Black Season 7
One of the popular binged watch shows on Netflix, this American comedy drama series was first premiered on 11th July, 2013. The series is based on the memoir of Piper Kerman who was imprisoned in FCI Danbury on conviction of felony charges. With 12 Primetime Emmy Award Nomination and many other accolades, the series had six successful seasons. But it seems that Netflix isn’t letting go of its one of the most watched shows. That is the reason the show is returning for its seventh and final season in 2019, although the exact date hasn’t been announced yet.

4.       Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile 
Those who have watched and loved The Ted Bundy Tapes, there is a good news for you. Director Joe Berlinger is all set to tell you the story of Ted Bundy from the perspective of Bundy’s longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer. The Netflix original based on her memoir The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy released on May 3, 2019. Zac Efron will play the role of Ted Bundy while Lily Collins will play Kloepfer, Bundy’s girlfriend.

5.       Undercover
The popular Belgian crime drama Undercover will now be available on Netflix and this is no doubt an exciting news. The show is about two undercover agents. It is a 10 part series where they befriend gangsters, know their secrets and bring them into light. It takes place in Limburg, Belgian’s “Colombia of Ecstasy” where drugs are peddled and executions are done in broad daylight. Get ready to binge watch the show on May 3rd, 2019.

6.       13 Reasons Why Season 3
13 Reasons Why is all set to make a comeback with its third instalment on June 2019. The previous two season tells the story of Clay who finds a mysterious box in which Hannah, his classmate who committed suicide two weeks ago has made recordings of the 13 reasons why she killed herself. The show which focused on bullying, suicide and rape was praised for its first season with Katherine Langford who plays Hannah receiving the nomination for Best Actress-Television Drama Series in Golden Globe. The second season was widely criticized for its poor execution. Now it needs to be seen what it does in its third season.

7.       Sacred Games 2
Nawazzuddin Siddiqui as Ganesh Gaitonde and Saif Ali Khan as Sartaj Singh is all set to reprise their role for a second term in Netflix India’s most popular show Sacred Games. The story shows Sartaj receiving an anonymous tip from Gaitonde to save Mumbai from a supposedly terror attack. Whether he succeeds in saving Mumbai or fails will be revealed in the second season which is slated to release sometime in July.

So, which one are you most excited about?

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Living in the City of Joy, one cannot deny the fact that the city offers a number of places for a quick weekend escape. When it comes to picking up places to hang out in Kolkata, we tend to choose the same, oft-repeated Victoria Memorial or the Nicco Park. Not to mention these places are overcrowded due to their innumerable mentions as tourist hubs. But there is nothing to worry as the 350 year old former British Indian Capital has some offbeat places to quench your wanderlust. These places will not only uplift your mood but will reveal the hidden beauties of the city in front of you. So let us take a quick look at some of these places so that you can plan your outing beforehand:

a.     Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary
This place, located near Narendrapur Ramkrishna Mission in South Kolkata is the perfect place for nature lovers, photographers and bird lovers. The place was opened in 2005 by the state government after they acquired land from a private owner. You can see multiple varieties of birds, orchids, ferns and butterflies in the sanctuary. Winter mornings are the best time to visit. If you need an escape from the hustle of the city, this place is the best.

b.    Terretti Bazar
What is Kolkata without her food? Head to Terretti Bazar, which is known as Kolkata’s Chinatown. The Chinese immigrants founded this place in the 1780s. This place is popular for its delicious street foods which includes momos, sausages, rolls and other staple Chinese delicacies.

Translated into English, it means the “potter’s quarter”, this place located in North Kolkata is where the idols are made. Walk through this area and you will find potters busy with creating idols of different Hindu Gods and Goddesses. This is also the place where the original conch- bangle worn by the Bengali wives were made. An excellent place for photography and art, this place provides the perfect cultural refreshments.

d.     South Park Street Cemetery
This is the place where the famous Bengali poet Michael Madhusudhan Dutta was cremated. You will be amazed to see the Gothic and Indo-Saracenic architecture of the cemetery; you are bound to fill that you are transported to some places in the ancient period. The cemetery dates back to 1767 and is a favorite spot for those who want a peace break from the city.

e.     Nipponzan Myohoji
The Buddhist Temple is located on Lake Road and is often referred to as Kolkata’s Japanese Buddhist Temple. It was built in the 1930s by the factions of Nipponzan Myohoji which was a pacifist religious movement originating in Japan.

      St. John Church
This church was built by the East India Company in the 1700s and is one of the oldest churches in Kolkata. The structure of the church is neoclassical and was built by James Agg. Once you visit, you will find a number of memorial and tombs, beautiful paintings and stained glasses. The main attractions are Black Hole of Calcutta Memorial, Second Rohilla War Memorial, Job Charnock’s Mausoleum and many more.

Happy hoping!

Every morning you jolt up from your sleep, almost rush to get ready only to go and sit in your office cabin and work rigorously for 8 hours. You end up stuffing yourself with caffeine and fast food as they are readily available. You rush home after completing deadlines for the day and are unwilling to cook. You order food and wait for the food to be delivered, in the meantime scrolling through your profile on the social media sites. You sigh at how “complete” life your friends are leading when you are stuck in one place. This leads to unnecessary stress.
You need to take care of yourself. Since the stress is going to kill your peace of mind making you irritated about yourself. Occasionally you need self-care to instill positivity in your life. Here is a list of ten ways you can heal yourself.

      Have a good six to eight hours of sleep
If your body gets adequate rest, you feel fresh and energized throughout the day. If you don’t sleep well, you are bound to get irritated, stressed and low. That’s why manage your tasks in such a way so that you have enough time to sleep.

2      Draw a routine.
Ok, we know it’s nearly impossible to follow a strict routine, but in the long run, it helps you a lot. Write down your tasks along with a timeline. This will give you a reference point where from you modify your tasks.

3       Have nutritious food
Skip that coke and fries and resort to home cooked foods. It doesn’t mean you have to compromise with bland food. There are numerous YouTube videos which show how to cook lip-smacking meal in easy and convenient way. Who knows, you may end up discovering cooking as your new found hobby!

4       Ditch sugar
Stop taking sugar as much as possible, which means no soft drinks, candies or cookies. Replace sugar with honey in your favorite tea. Sugar helps you gain fat which automatically makes you slow.

If you are not a gym person, no need to push yourself. Try free hand exercise and yoga at home. Your body needs to heal which is an essential factor of self care.

6      Log out of social media profiles
Sometimes not letting anyone know about your life is an absolute bliss. There is no fake criticism or applause. Staying away from the social media sites give you ample time to do tasks you love. Instead reconnect with people offline. Is there anyone you are thinking of getting in touch lately? Pick up the phone or send a text.

7      Watch inspirational videos
The best way to catch motivational videos is to go to the TED talk library, browse categories according to your preference and watch them. They are not long; some of them have duration of fifteen to twenty minutes. It will also increase your concentration.

     Gain knowledge
Browse random articles online, go to the library and fetch a book and read. As you gain more knowledge, you become wiser.

     Get rid of things you don’t need
Don’t clog your closet with items you never use. Reorganize your room by discarding the things you don’t need. A cozy, organized and spacious room uplifts your mood automatically.

This is the best way to heal yourself. Travelling boosts your confidence, make you a better person. You learn about new people, culture, food, art, history- a much needed welcome change for you.

 Happy taking care of yourself! 

In a world driven by where majority of our works going digital, we have to stay online for a considerable period of time.  Now what is happening- while you are remaining logged in, you are logging off from your physical world. This is disturbing the work-life balance nowadays. Earlier work used to happen in a physical setting, but in today’s world, digital is the norm. Whether you want or not, you cannot simply put away your Smartphone for a day. Moreover, with digital platform providing so many apps for tackling your real life situation and social networks introducing you to the virtual world of likes and applauds, you will think that this idea is implausible. Social networks have hypnotized us so much that we are getting detached from our real-time friends, decreasing our productivity, snatching our sleep and concentration. It is as if technology has taken over us, when it should have been the opposite. That is the reason more and more people are going for digital detox- refraining from using digital devices for a considerable period of time to beat stress and focus on real life situations. Sounds interesting? Need some leads? Here are some tips for you:

1.      Block all notifications
Let us admit, most of the time we are thinking about the numbers of likes on our pictures, who is commenting on our shared posts and the likes. Block these notifications as they take away a chunk of your concentration. Since you are accustomed to a large number of notifications, you can gauge how harmful are they.

2.       Unfollow
It is a known fact that we get increasingly stressed by seeing our friends having a happy life, succeeding in their career, going on that dream trip or buying that dress. If these make you feel worthless about yourself, unfollow them. There are various pages and communities which make you believe that you are not doing enough with your life. Stop following them as soon as possible.

3.      Cut down social media timing
Initially you will find it difficult to shun yourself off from these sites completely. That’s why it is advisable to start with cropping your time spent on social media to a particular hour. For example, when you are done with day’s work and before you hit the bed, you can check out your news feed in the midst.

4.       Stop scrolling when you are on bed
This is the most harmful thing you can do to yourself. Scrolling while you are trying to sleep takes a toll on your health as you hold back your sleep to check that “one last notification”.

5.       Uninstall Apps
Delete all the apps you never use or overuse. Clean your phone storage and see how relaxed you feel.

6.       Partake in a hobby
Remember how much you loved painting or singing or poetry when there wasn’t any social media? Resume your old hobby as it helps in self-improvement and distract you from the virtual world.

7.       Read
There is not a better exercising of your mind and brain than to reading. Pick up a book of your choice and exercise the habit of reading. It’s better to go for a paperback and resist reading on phone.

8.      Enjoy each moment
Create your own memories but don’t post it on your profile. Take that photo, write that poem, cook that meal, but remember not everything needs to be put under scrutiny of others.

So, are you thinking of logging out?