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Not so young Fashion Graduate From National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi, India. Aspiring journalist. Amongst other eclectic hobbies, she likes writing and has written several poems and articles over her school and college life and now for a living. She would someday like to be be a more popular writer than just on her blogs. 'Tis a lady of grand splendor, who waketh in my bed every morning while the sun beckons her towards night...

Friday, July 31, 2015

Best Songs of Mohammed Rafi

With prolific four decade long career, mohd. Rafi is still considered as one of the most beautiful male voices that the subcontinent has seen. He won the best national singer award and six filmfare awards. In 1967, he was honoured with the padma shri award by the government of india. 

There are thousands of rafi songs that are considered as classics, here is a look at only some of his best works - 

Tumne Mujhe Dekha
Shammi Kapoor dazzled in this romantic western bollywood fusion number.
Song - Tumne Mujhe Dekha
​Film - Teesri Manzil
Music Director- R. D. Burman
Yeh Duniya Mil Bhi Jaye To Kya Hai
Guru Dutt featured in this thought provoking song From 'Pyaasa' 

Song - Yeh Duniya Mil Bhi Jaye To Kya Hai
Film - Pyaasa
​Music Director - SD Burman

Pukarta Chala Hoon Main
The ever charming Biswajit trying his hand at romance with this beautiful number. 
Song - Pukarta Chala Hoon Main
Film - Mere Sanam
Music Director - Op Nayyar

Hum Bekhudi Mein...
This one is one of his best known sad songs. Picturised on Dev Anand, this beautiful rendition was composed by SD Burman.
Song - Hum Bekhudi Mein...​
​Movie - Kala Pani
Music Director - Sd Burman
Man Re Tu Kahe Na Dheer Dhare
Song - Man Re Tu Kahe Na Dheer Dhare
Film - Chitralekha
Music Director - Roshan

Radhike Tune Bansuri Churai
One of Rafi Sahab's lesser known devotional songs featuring Sunil Dutt.
Song- Radhike Tune Bansuri Churai
​Film - Beti Bete
​Music Director - Shankar Jaikishan

Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re
A beautiful hindustani classical based song filmed on none other than Dilip Kumar.
Song - Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re
Film - Kohinoor
Music Director - Naushad

Khoya Khoya Chand
'Khoya Khoya Chand' is perhaps one of the most romantic songs from the era
Song - Khoya Khoya Chand
​Film - Kala Bazaar
Music Director - S.D.Burman

Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya
One of the most memorable songs of Rafi Sahab picturised on Dev Anand 
Song - Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya
​Movie - Hum Dono
Music Director - Jaidev

Dard-E-Dil
One of Rafi Sahab's last numbers - this song went on to become an iconic youth romance in the 1980s
Song - Dard-E-Dil
​Film - Karz
Music Director - Laxmikant Pyarelal


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Five fabulous places in the world Indians can travel without visas

While India itself has some picturesque locales strewn across the country – there are several places in the world too where we are most welcome to travel without the hassle of having a visa approval before.

Nepal is definitely a popular destination which Indians can visit without a visa, but many a places that are incredibly beautiful are left untouched by travellers just because they don't know about them. Here are five more places which are worth visiting once in your lifetime.

Cambodia

The temples of Cambodia are mesmerising to say the least. Even though it is a foreign location this country is surprisingly inexpensive. It is steeped in history and the confluence of Indian and Chinese aesthetics make for one of the most impressionable trip you will take in your life.

Madagascar

Yes, the movie made this location famous. But Madagascar is truly a nature's wonder. Home to a plethora of species in its tropical forests, the island country also has a beautiful coast to boast of. Eco Tourism would be the highlight of your trip when you visit here.

Laos

Architecture and history make for a wonderful tour in the small country of Laos. Buddhist culture, colonial architecture, ancient temples, would take your breat away. But that is not all Laos has to offer. One can go backpacking to see the hill tribes, relax at the wonderous waterfalls, or even enjoy watching wildlife like dolphins and Tigers.

Costa Rica

Rich in flora and fauna, this little country in central America is a must visit for those who love adventure. The extensive national parks and protected areas are a welcome treat to those who believe in protecting our planet earth and Costa Rica has managed to be a pioneer in protecting its forests and ecology.

Fiji

Fiji is a the Shangri-la in terms of Eco tourism. With so many things in the islands like soft coral diving, white sand beaches and pristine natural environment – this place is a paradise for those who want leisure and natural beauty in their vacations.

Bonus – Antartica
Since Antartica is not ruled by anyone, people are free to visit there without a Visa – BUT, going to the frozen continent requires a lot of permissions as well as preparations. There are lots of activities that you can enjoy there including camping, snowshoeing, hiking, cross country skiing and even a visit to the South Pole.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Top summer vacation spots in India

Summer vacations are just round the corner and many are looking to escape the heat as the summer sun beats down on all and sundry. People are packing their bags and getting ready to leave the the hustle bustle of the cities to enjoy the beautiful tourist spots that are getting ready for the people to start pouring in this holiday season.

Here is a list of the top destinations that people head for every summer:

Shimla

The favourite of every Delhiite this hill station is beautiful and boasts of being the top most visited spot in the summer. Whether it is honeymooners or just travellers from around the country, Shimla is one of the most beautiful places to visit this summer. Cool temperatures, lovely views and something to do for everyone. The touch of the British Raj and the architecture reflecting that era is fascinating as are the multiple small places nearby that one can drive down to.

Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar is famous for its temple and the fact that it is the source of the Krishna river. It offers a spectacular view of the Deccan plateau and is a preferred destination for the Mumbaikars. Surrounded by trees all around, the Venna lake is one of the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. Other places to visit are the fort of Pratapgad, Needle Hole Point or the Elephant Point, 3 Monkey Point and many others

Ooty

The queen of hill stations, Ooty is situated in the Nilgiri ranges. Like Shimla, this beautiful vacation spot is also accessible by train and the ride is indeed dreamy. Beautiful mountains, lakes, tea gardens sprawling the slopes of the hills, the heady smell of eucalyptus fascinated the British years ago and still captures the imagination of the romantics all over the world.

Ladakh

Ladakh is possibly heaven for all adventure sport enthusiasts and people who love driving to their destinations. Each of the mountains boast of a different colour and the lakes reflect the hue of the skies like a large mirror placed on the ground. Speckled with monasteries all around, Ladakh is every travellers dream destination and many go there every year in search of peace and revel in the wonders of nature.

Gangtok

The site of Kanchenjunga, a morning walk in fresh mountain air, flowers all around, beautiful music wafting through every cafe in the evening, along with the aroma of fresh Tibetan food, Gangtok boasts of this all. The capital of Sikkim became a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. The diverse ethnic populace of the town keeps the colours of the town alive.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Five things to do and see in Khajuraho

The temples of Khajuraho are world famous. Not only is the architecture spectacular but the erotic sculptures are intricate and it is a must visit place for anyone who loves art.

The name Khajuraho (Kharjuravahaka), is derived from ancient Sanskrit and according to legends the temples used to have two golden date-palm trees as their gate.

The Hindu temples and their art

Khandarya Mahadeva (Shiva temple) and Chaturbhuja and Ramachandra temples (Vaishnav temples) are not only beautiful but are also architectural wonders as no mortar was used to join the sandstones. Among the artwork, some are erotic and experts suggest that the reason for erotic art in temples are depictions of Tantric sexual practices. Others suggest that this was the king's way of inspiring people to be involved in family life. They are the main attraction of the temple cluster.

Jain Temples

The Jain temples which are located on southeast region of the Khajuraho monuments were made for the flourishing Jain communities, during the Chandela rule. The temples have sprawling architecture mimicking the main temple structures. But the subject of the sculptures are adapted to the Jain sensibilities.

Sound and Light

The main temple complex offers a sound and light show every evening in both English and Hindi. Held in the open lawns the show is informative as well as entertaining. The history of Khajuraho is briefly told in the show and it is voiced by none other than Amitabh Bachchan.

Dance festival

Every February The Khajuraho Dance Festival is held in the town featuring various Indian classical dance forms. Imagine dancers performing their art against the backdrop of the Chitragupta or Vishwanath Temples, almost as if the Apsaras of heaven have descended on earth to enchant the mortals.

Food

The food in Khajuraho will surprise many. Most hotels offer and Bed & Breakfast and most of it will have an American or European cuisine on their menus. There are beautiful roof top restaurants that offer pastas and pizzas that can give any big hotel in metropolitans a run for their money. There are bakeries and sandwich shops scattered all around. But all this does not mean that Khajuraho does not have Indian cuisine on its platter. Many a restaurants will offer delectable Indian cuisine as well.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Baahubali movie review: Visually spellbinding epic, worth a watch

As far as epics are concerned, Indian mythology is rich – whether in its characters or intricacy of plot. SS Rajamouli's 'Baahubali' borrows the essence of an Indian epic complete with a god-like hero and power-play of brothers fighting for the throne. Undoubtedly, he succeeds in making a great impression.

Five women directors

Women are getting involved in film-making more than ever before. Women directors are taking over the industry by storm giving us some of the most memorable films in the past decade. Be it masala blockbuster maker Farah Khan or Gauri Shinde who made the beautiful 'English Vinglish' that touched our hearts.

But the industry has seen a lot of female directors who have challenged the otherwise male dominated B-town. Here is a list of some of the best the industry has seen:

Deepa Mehta
'Earth', 'Water', 'Fire' – Mehta the Indo-Canadian filmmaker has had her share of controversies as she touches topics of homosexuality, partition and many others. But the way she handles her subject, this talented director has received heavy international acclaim as well. Both '1947 Earth' and 'Water' were sent to be nominated for Oscars.

Kalpana Lajmi
Being an artist is in Lajmi's blood. Daughter of painter Lalita Lajmi and niece of auteur Guru Dutt, she has some of the best parallel films to her credit, the most famous of which is 'Rudaali' starring Dimple Kapadia. 'Daman', a woman centric film starring Raveena Tandon(who won a National Award for her role) was highly appreciated by critics and audiences for the realistic portrayal of marital abuse and its message of women empowerment.

Aparna Sen
A big name in Bengali cinema as an actress in her time, when Sen forayed into going behind the camera the anticipation was huge. She turned out to be one of the best behind as well. '36 Chowringhee Lane' (1981) connected emotionally with her audience and she has never looked back. 'Iti Mrinalini', 'Mr. and Mrs. Iyer', 'The Japanese Wife', 'Goynar Baksho' have all been very well received by the audience and people are only waiting for more.

Sai Paranjpye
This Padma Bhushan Awardee has given us some of the most memorable movies in the 80s and the 90s. The most well known of them is 'Sparsh' which went on to win three National Awards as well as three Filmfare Awards. Her comedy 'Chashme Baddoor' remains a classic even today. Sai made another heart warming musical film called 'Saaz' in 1997 which also starred internationally acclaimed tabla artist Zakir Hussain.

Mira Nair

Possibly the most well known female director from India in the international circuit, Mira Nair is known for portraying human stories on the big screen. 'Salaam Bombay', her first film was successful in putting her on the map and her subsequent work ('Namesake', 'Monsoon Wedding' etc.) has only strengthened her position as one of the best filmmakers India has produced.  

Top 5 Hrithik Roshan dances

Check out my compilation:

Top 5 Hrithik Roshan dances | Zee News

Six offbeat movies to look out for in 2015


2015 is sure to be exciting with many big releases scheduled and interesting pairs coming on screen.
But many films which are off the beaten track are releasing this year too. While some have already made a massive impact in film festivals all over the world.  

Liar's dice

Releasing in march this year, the movie has already won accolades in many film festivals and received two national awards in india. Geetanjali thapa and nawazuddin siddiqui star in this geetu mohandas movie which is a human drama dealing with the issue of migration, exploitation and revealing the socio-political scenario of the subcontinent.  

Margarita, with a straw

This movie starring kalki koechlin is likely to release in india in 2015. Directed by shonali bose, this movie explores the story of a girl suffering from cerebral palsy and her struggles with being accepted as a normal person in the society. The trailer was very well received in india, and the movie itself has garnered quite a few accolades world over.  

X

Not one but 11 directors have made this movie. It is one story being told by 11 different directors in part. The experimental cinema is definitely a must watch with one actor rajat kapoor and 12 lead actresses. Abhinav shiv tiwari, anu menon, nalan kumarasamy, hemant gaba, pratim d. Gupta, q, raja sen, rajshree ojha, sandeep mohan, sudhish kamath and suparn verma are going to helm the different parts of the film.

Tigers

Previously called 'white lies', this emraan hashmi starrer is being directed by award winning international film-maker danis tanovic. The movie is scheduled to release on march 6, 2015. Based in pakistan, 'tigers' traces the journey of a real life pharmacuetical employee who goes against the big corporates.  

Nyodda

Irrfan Khan and Konkona Sen Sharma in a Meghna Gulzar movie is sure to intrigue any movie goer. Vishal Bharadwaj has produced the movie, while Gulzar himself is penning the lyrics. This movie is based on the real life infamous incident of the arushi talwar murder case which happened in noida. Tabu is likely to make a special appearance too.  

Tumbad

Sohum shah who starred in the successful movie 'ship of theseus', broke all stereotypes and cliches in indian cinema. His next movie 'tumbad' is being looked forward to for the very reason. The bar is set high for the actor and one is only waiting to see what magic he can create in the horror epic being directed by debutant rahi anil barve.  


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Eid Special: 5 places to eat out in Delhi on this special day

The festive time of Eid is here and many would celebrate it with family at home. For those who want to go out and have a scrumptious meal on the festive day here are five places to enjoy!

All about the Nashik Kumbh Mela

The Kumbh Mela in Nashik began on Tuesday morning (July 14) when the Jupiter (Bruhaspati), Sun and Moon entered the Leo constellation (Simha rashi).

Nashik is a place of great importance in the Hindu religion. According to mythology, drops of Amrit fell in the Godavari River in Nashik at the time of Samudra Manthan. It is considered sacred and thousands go to the place to take a holy dip at Trimbakeshwar in Nasik.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Sikkim Travelogue: Flowers, mountains and snow - a trip to remember


Planning a trip and checking boxes while travelling has never been my forte. What I do like is stuffing a few T-shirts in a backpack and taking off whenever I can get some days off. Alas! Growing up has its disadvantages – you cannot just up and leave as you want. And if you are planning to go to Sikkim – that is not an option anyway.

Travelling with my recently travel bug-bitten husband, Sikkim required an advance planning by a few weeks. Not only because it is far from Delhi, which is my home, but you also have to take special permissions to go to the places near the border areas.

After speaking to a couple of friends who had been there before, we decided

Monday, July 06, 2015

How Salman Khan verdict affects Bollywood business

May 6, 2015 will indeed be marked as a dark day for Hindi cinema, as superstar Salman Khan was sentenced to 5-year jail term in relation to the 2002 hit-and-run case. The verdict was pronounced by the Mumbai sessions court.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

The fantabulous achievements of FTII chairman Gajendra Chauhan!

Protests over the appointment of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman are still going on. Students have come together to stand against the decision of the seat being taken by a certain Mr Gajendra Chauhan; as it is perceived that he was given the privilege of being at the helm of affair due to his political leanings and not experience in the world of cinema.

While the general consensus on this issue is that it was done to 'keep an eye' on the institution, its students and faculty--there has been no move as such from the Information and Broadcast Ministry regarding the matter. It seems that things stand at a stalemate.

Chauhan's experience has been questioned in this entire affair, but should that really be an issue?

Monday, June 01, 2015

Avengers: Age Of Ultron movie review: Superhero extravaganza

The biggest superhero extravaganza is here in the form of 'Avengers: Age of Ultron', and it doesn't get better than this. The larger than life characters of Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow come together once more to save the world in the spectacular style as they have done before.

Diretor Joss Whedon explores the theme of artificial intelligence taking over human interest (as have many before especially in superhero stories) in the second instalment of 'The Avengers'. His super-villain is not someone who wants world domination. His superhero is robotic Pinocchio who has warped Isaac Asimov's laws of robotics.

The beginning of the film sets the tone for the rest of it. The superheroes are assembled trying to retrieve the Tesseract and the team finds itself in the middle of an onslaught. The film starts with an adrenaline rush that is challenging to match. And it indeed makes for one of the most arresting scenes in the film. The VFX is spectacular and you know that you are in for a joyride.

As before, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is snarky, but what is entertaining is how Whedon has made sure that this time he has someone to match his wit. James Spader as Ultron (he also plays J.A.R.V.I.S.) brings more peevishness to the film that left the viewers in splits. The film also shifts a little from the last one in terms of tone.

There is budding romance between Natasha and Bruce Banner. There are also several back stories that are revealed through the works of Wanda Maximof, better known as Scarlet Witch in the Marvel universe. There is also a lot more Jeremy Renner (playing Hawkeye) in this part of the movie. Captain America takes the lead justifying his character's qualities (as in the solo films) in subtle yet smart ways.

This one is much more of the team (with some extra additions) than the prequel. They have their differences, they sort it out, they fight together, they save the world – that is what every superhero movie is supposed to be about, and this one hits that nail on its head.

The film shifts from one masterfully directed action sequence to another. A special mention to the fight sequence between Hulk and Hulkbuster. It was perchance the most entertaining bit in the movie. The special effects are extravagant and taut, the execution is stylish. The performances are up to the mark but nothing beyond.

The film suffers from a slightly drawn-out middle. Although that does not take away from the fact that the whole theatre booed when the interval started, yet the slightly stretched emotional scenes take away from the rush. The climax however makes up for the lost time.

The film is sure to be an international blockbuster, and is worth every penny. Comic book buffs may be a little miffed with the small walk-aways from the original back stories. But the visual spectacle is going to keep the fans happy.

There are subtle hints in the movie, as well as a teaser at the end (as is usual in Marvel Universe) that pave way for the next two instalments of the 'Avengers' and raising the expectations for all superhero movies to come.

Not to be missed!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Frida - The yoga dog

Every morning frida does her morning stretches...
Forward, then backward.... Pulling her legs together to turn her spine...
Then curls up to catch her tail... She does it, defying all norms... Every time.
Then it is time to lie in her back... And stretch all four paws as far as possible... Time for morning ritual number 2. With that much yoga my dog should never have a bowel problem.
Move over ram dev.. Time for sadhvi frida