I like travelling. I always believe that travelling helps you explore people and cultures. The more you travel the richer you become. It is all about travelling, keep moving in life. When you travel you not only cover distances, you also explore! You learn new cultures, land in un-chartered situations. It also helps you to explore yourself. You get a chance to know the real “you”! Everyone craves for a luxurious and comfortable stay while travelling. A nice place to stay can really take the travelling experience notches up! Although there are umpteen number of options available these days, finding a nice suave place to stay is still a tad difficult. India is a land of culture and heritage. People in India love art and culture. India gives you full freedom to demonstrate and exhibit your art. That is a wonderful thing about this great nation. As a tourist you have many places to explore in India. India has huge amount of history associated with it.
A couple of years back we planned a trip to watch Greater Noida to watch car racing events happening at the Buddha International Circuit. I am still glad that we chose the grand Crowne Plaza Greater Noida as the place to stay. The experience and the hospitality was awesome, an experience that we still relish! The Crowne Plaza Greater Noida is located at the Surajpur Chowk in Greater Noida. The location is just apt for a comforting experience. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Greater Noida for a couple of days and we enjoyed a lot.
The Crowne Plaza Greater Noida offers umpteen number of top notch facilities. It has a brilliant and well equipped gym with facilities like sauna, steam rooms. You can work out and then relax and detoxify yourself! It has an awesome restaurant ‘Mosaic’ that serves awesome mouth watering dishes. They also have a special children menu and that’s really an asset for families with kids. The Crowne Plaza Greater Noida also has the ‘Belgian Beer Cafe’. This place offers a variety of beers and has a typical Belgian ambience! These are just some of the facilities that the place offers. The place also offers WiFi services with the stay. The Crowne Plaza Greater Noida offers all the facilities that you desire in a suave, luxury stay! The stay at the Crowne Plaza Greater Noida was really a special one. The ambience and the brilliant roads of Greater Noida make things even better!
I am blogging about my luxury stay experience for an activity at BlogAdda in association with MakeMyTrip
I have always believed that you need empathy in friendship. In this era of rat-race and cut throat competition wherein everyone is busy, human company is rare. I still remember and cherish a #MagicOfWarmth moment that I shared with my flat mate half a decade back. People who live away from home know how important a flat mate is! Your life heavily hinges on your flat mate. It was my first year of job and I started sharing my place with this friend of mine whom I barely knew prior to living with him. When we started sharing the flat we used to rarely talk and would sometimes have tea together in the weekends.
I always believe that tea is the king of brews (being an ardent tea lover) and I was the one who always made the tea for both of us. At times we had differences of opinion as well and I think that is a part and parcel of sharing a flat with a flat mate. I always believe that different people would have different opinions about things and this mechanism is completely natural as well! We worked in different organizations as well and both of jobs were completely different from one another. That is the reason we never discussed work when we used to talk. We would discuss cricket, cinema and things like these. As aforementioned we used to talk rarely but we had a sort of mutual understanding and connection.
One day I was not well and was feeling feverish. The flat mate of mine came to me and said ‘Aren’t you going to office today’? I replied ‘no’ as I was not feeling well. The condition became worse and I was having high fever now! I was feeling extremely powerless and low. My flat mate was extremely regular to work; he would not take a leave even if he is not well! I wanted to have tea and eat something but had no energy to leave the bed. Also there wasn’t anyone to prepare tea or food for me.
Suddenly the door bell rang. When I opened the door I saw it was my flat mate. He said with a winsome smile of his face, ‘I think I should make tea for us today for a change. I don’t feel like going to office today. Let us have tea, talk and then visit a doctor’. To be candid I became emotional, although I had always portrayed myself as someone stolid in front of him. This was a really special #MagicOfWarmth moment that I still remember. I always feel and believe that the best thing you can gift someone is time!
Movies or rather cinema is nothing but an extension of your society. That is about real cinema that is not in the trend these days when unrealistic movies are mushrooming like anything! At time you feel who is to be blamed for this! The audience is definitely to be blamed for promoting or more importantly enduring non-serious cinema with a broad smile on face. An acute problem is that it’s not just the audience’s fault; we have limited (rather no) access to quality cinema! Apparently we are facing oligarchy in Bollywood as a result only few selected big banner movies get promoted or screened at multiplexes. As a result the youth has limited access to realistic cinema.
The purpose of cinema is not mere entertainment but also a source of inspiration or information. A few non-serious movies or romantic movies are good but these shouldn’t hinder the other authentic movies to be screened. We have been observing this for long, a good movie comes in and goes out without anyone getting even an iota of idea about it! Serious cinema, centric cinema has the power to impact the society and can lead to positive changes. I am not sure movies like ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ and ‘Befikre’ have the potential to change or impact the society in a positive way! A cardinal reason I am writing this post is that I often come across promotions for movies like the aforementioned but seldom do I see serious movies getting promoted or pushed.
The Bollywood has some really talented folks and they continue their good work of making quality and sensible cinema without expecting fiscal returns! Probably this is because they love their job and they take it as their responsibility to not allow abatement of cinema quality. I didn’t see Masaan getting promoted in any of the TV shows; neither did I see Manjhi in the news often. Movies like Sir Kay Kay Menon starring Rahasya, Rajat Kapoor starring ‘Mithya’ didn’t get the deserved attention as well. These are just a few examples the list is a long one.
Now let’s try and break the shackles! Please try and support realistic cinema as often as you can. It is a treasure that we need to preserve. Actors like Ranvir Shorey, Rajkummar Rao, Vinay Pathak, Kay Kay Menon, Rajat Kapoor and others keep coming up with extremely interesting and well thought projects. Let us promote sensible cinema, after all it is for us to relish!
To be candid I don’t remember when I heard Amir Khusrow’s name for the first time but I always believed that I know about him in detail. Now I know the aforementioned statement is confusing but is true for sure. There are some things in life that you really can’t explain, they just happen naturally or rather effortlessly. I made a random visit to Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s dargah a couple of years back. Now that was a cosmic experience! As per me and this is based purely on what I felt and observed, dargahs represent syncretic heritage. I saw people of different religious backgrounds at Nizamuddin Auliya’s dargah, all craving for Auliya’s divine blessings. I can surely write a separate blog post about my experience of visiting Nizamuddin Auliya’s dargah but let’s not deviate from the topic!
Yes, Khusrow is the topic and to be more precise his writings are the actual topic. I heard his qawwali in Nusrat Sahab’s voice one night and that was it! I couldn’t stop myself from hearing the same on loop for hours at a stretch. Then I heard another one and the charm was the same, made me feel and realize that I am running behind things that don’t matter at all! It made me realize that all my ego and obsessions actually make me a complete fool in the grand scheme of things. All the time, I am concerned about things that bring pleasure and not happiness! Why run behind ephemeral delight when there is eternal joy for the taking? To be candid, I have no answer to any of the questions I just mentioned but somehow I know my pursuit is wrong. I am still fascinated by the fact that Khusrow simplified things way back while we are still trying to figure out how to lead life! For those who don’t know, Amir Khusrow is regarded as the ‘father of Qawwali’.
The first qawwali I came across was ‘Nami danam’, a piece apparently written in Farsi language. Generally, ‘Farsi’ is ‘Greek’ to us Indians! I still was able to figure out (although partially) the meaning of the title. The title ‘Nami Danam’ means ‘I don’t know’. I am still trying to decode the qawwali but I somehow can connect to it! At times I feel, Khusrow wants to convey that you get lost in love and love and agony are inseparable! You shouldn’t feign to be in love, if you’re in love be in love totally! God watches it all and true love always wins! That’s just my take; your perception of the qawwali can be different yet palpable. That’s probably Khusrow’s beauty wherein the reader (or listener) has the freedom to decipher things that behooves his perception and thoughts.
If listening to Amir Khusrow, I would recommend listen his works in Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s voice and the modulation is sure to take you in a different zone altogether. Let’s keep spreading love. Love is what keeps us going and alive!
‘People think they are alive because they have soul in them, But I am alive because I have love in myself!’ – Amir Khusrow
Players of Indian origin playing international cricket for England has apparently been a culture. In this ongoing test series Hameed makes a debut and carries the legacy forward. The young guy looks calm and has got the quintessential English technique as well! The young man’s patient innings in one of the test matches showcased his temperament as well. Never easy for a debutant to play in India when the whole crowd (apart from a few tourists taking sun bath) is hostile and the ball is turning like anything.
Hameed isn’t the first one of Indian origin to play for the English. There have been many players of Indian origin who played for England and were pretty known faces in the cricketing world. It all started with Ranjitsinhji, the king who played cricket for the England team. Ranjitsinhji is regarded as one of the greatest batters of all time. The Ranji Trophy is named after him and carries a cardinal significance in the domestic circuit. After Ranjitsinhji his nephew Duleepsinhji carried the legacy forward and player cricket for the English at the international level. The famous ‘Duleep Trophy’ is named after him and is pretty famous in Indian domestic cricket.
In recent times as well many Indian origin men have played for the England cricket team. Nasser Hussain, Ravi Bopara, Ronnie Irani, Monty Panesar are players of Indian origin who have played for England at the international level. These players have done well at the highest level as well and they are known worldwide. So Haseeb is just carrying the legacy forward and the young guy looks promising as well. Tour of India is always a fantastic learning experience.
Friends are a part and parcel of life! We really can’t shun the importance of friends in our life. You generally have a lot of friends in life but there is always that special ‘jug’, someone you can really hinge upon. As you grow up you realize that friendship is a special bond and a special treasure. You always need a friend you can bank upon and to be candid and truthful such friends are rare. This blog post is dedicated to a special friend of mine who has always supported me. I am writing about Jug in my life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda.
I met this friend of mine during my school days. We know each other for more than a decade now! So at times it feels as if we know each other since time immemorial. I still remember the time we had in our school life. We were like brothers in arms. And see, how things have molded since then. We were really close in our school days- we shared food, used to hang out together and share secrets too! I still remember; I was brimming with excitement when I visited his place for the first time ever. The adrenaline rush was no less in him as well; even he was is passionate as anything about our friendship. This mutual feeling is something extremely special.
It is amazing how a friend can boost you up with confidence to achieve things in life. This is what the jug in your life can do to you! He or she can make you do wonders and at the same time teach you how to remain grounded and modest. This jug in my life has always helped me in academics and even helped me improve in sports as well. We still discuss many topics like politics, history and there is always something to learn from these discussions.
You have an emotional association with this jug in your life. A true friend is someone who has empathy with you and then it becomes an eternal bond. A feeling and connection that you can only feel and can’t really glib about! This friend of mine has helped me improve as a human as well and has helped me understand the values of relations in life. We live in different cities now but the bond is still the same and unchanged. We still care for each other and there is not even an iota of change in our friendship!
Recently I realized that over dependence on gadgets can lead to stress which culminates into frustration. We are too busy talking and chatting with everyone that we are continuously shunning ourselves. You text someone, then you await reply and the loop is never-ending! It has become compulsive to take pictures and put on social media, tell people where you traveled and what you ate! We are too bust in these non-important things that we miss the real fun! Makes no sense telling people what you ate if you didn’t relish it!
I decided to give it a break by not using smart phone. Initially it was tough but then I got inured to it. A lot of people started treating me as if as I did a crime. What, you’re not on WhatsApp! I landed in awkward situations at times but then I got used to it. When I came to Delhi, I didn’t even have a cell phone while most guys of my age had! I never complained. I still remember I used to call my friends and family from a public booth in Ghaziabad and it was such an awesome feeling. I still remember the call rates, it was two rupees for every minute. Those were brilliant days and now I wonder how much unnecessary dependence on gadgets we have fostered in the recent times!
Its not like that I have a problem with technology or modernization but I am just taking a break to observe a changes in me! I am still addicted to chatting, I still crave to put photos of the food I order in restaurants but these addictions/cravings have undergone some abatement in the recent past. I have picked up sports and physical activities instead to keep myself busy and occupied. It has helped me improve my physique and has also helped me feel more confident about myself.
I would recommend others to try this as well! Reduce your dependence on your mobile phone. Take out time for yourself and your loved ones. There are a lot of things you can do better than staying glued to your cell phone. Pick up a sports, meet an old friend, read something, learn something. Lets try to reduce the ever-increasing stress and anxiety levels that is creeping in our generation and becoming a part and parcel of our routines.