The ‘Mystery Blogger Award‘ is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion” – by the creator of this award Okoto Enigma
I was thrilled when I received the nomination for this award! I couldn’t blog for the past few days so I couldn’t acknowledge the people behind this award. But better late than never, so here I am today to express my gratitude.
First of all a big hug to Judy ( Judy Redic) for finding my little place on the internet and liking my work. Next person I must thank is Okoto Enigma, who came up with the wonderful idea of the award.
3 things about me:
- I love reading books, watching movies and recently have developed passion for cooking
- I value my family the most and I miss India.
- I love to write and hope to be part of the publishing industry someday 🙂
My most popular post:
QUESTION/ ANSWER time
So now let me quickly jump to the questions asked to me by Judy:
- Aside from blogging, what takes your time the most?
Ans: Cooking! You see before marriage I didn’t know how to cook and I am in my learning process now, so I take a lot of time preparing lunch and dinner.
2.What part of the world are you at right now?
Ans: Well now I am residing in the US due to my husband’s job but we would soon be moving back to my lovely country India
3. What makes blogging make you happy?
Ans: Blogging is an open platform to write about your thoughts and develop global-interaction. I came across a lovely girl named Judy through blogging and there are many more, some of them I would mention in my nominations with whom I would love to develop a blogging community 🙂
4. If you can travel at this moment, where will you go and why?
Ans: This question would also answer my absence from blogging for quite a while, that is I was on Europe tour for the past few days, so I have visited my dream land Paris! I always wanted to see Eiffel and it happened this year. But at this moment I would love to visit Kolkata, to pay a visit down the memory lane.
5. What’s makes you feel embarrassed?
Ans: When I make silly mistakes and I am corrected/ rebuked for the same in public places. Afterall, I am an adult now!!!
A big shout out to bloggers who would like to participate. You simply need to follow these rules:
- Put the award logo/image on your blog
- List the rules
- Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
- Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
- Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
- You have to nominate 10-20 people
- Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
- Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
- Share a link to your best post(s)
- The first person I am going to nominate is Nakul Grover. I am nominating him because I feel despite his young age he has achieved much and there is a lot to learn from him. Though he is a budding author and his blog is not “mysterious” but I love reading his posts.
- The second person I am tagging is Ayshi saxena. I like her blog due to its freshness.
- The third nomination goes to Morning Musings. I loved her story ” sorry”
- I am going to nominate Judy again for I would love to tag her in the question round so Judy.
- The next blog that I follow is words can’t fathom. This blog is gaining popularity and I like to read her posts.
- next one is a bengali blog. I love reading it because it is written in a witty way but still provokes your brain to think. So I am nominating Papai.
- I recently came across another interesting blog which is also gaining much popularity, it is Marioness.
- Another lovely blog is plucking of my heart strings . I believe the blogger can be an inspiration to many.
- another lovely place to visit is Yashika’s blog. A very mesmerizing one!
- The last but not the least is The little mermaid
So, my fellow bloggers, I would like you to tell me about your activities that you
- love to do
- hate doing
- feel lazy to do
- can do repeatedly
- never going to attempt doing it or wish to do it!
Hope you enjoy participating, just like I did!
So, I have cleared all the formalities and it was quite fun actually. Thank you, Judy once again for this lovely experience!
#To be or not to be
I had once read in a popular Bengali magazine that during the period of early men, the male used to abduct women from their homes and treated them as their property. To claim ownership over women, they used their tools to strike them so hard that their forehead used to bleed. The red blood forms the forehead of women later became the counterpart of the Sindoor. In the very same concept, the shackles with which women were imprisoned became the counterparts of conch shell bangles or in some case mangal sutra. Legends recall Shiva as the first male who got married: he filled Sati’s hairline with Sindoor to declare that he is making her his equal with respect and she would live with dignity.
Ever since women are wearing Sindoor. Shiva had popularized wearing Sindoor to grant women the respect they deserve, today, quite adversely that very Sindoor have become a symbol of oppression. And its existence is questionable.
Why I say so?
Well, many women feel that Sindoor questions their identity, it makes them feel dependent on their male counterparts.They feel being forced to apply Sindoor due to social pressure, and even in foreign countries, women with Sindoor are thought to be doing so under pressure/force. A popular thread in quora mentions that Indian women “hate” applying Sindoor but nevertheless are forced to do so.
Ever since the society has been justifying applying of Sindoor while a free thinking woman raises questions about it:
It highlights love and dedication towards the husband
What highlights my husband’s love towards me? He does not wear Sindoor, does that mean he loves me less?
Shall I show my love for an abusive husband, who treats me like his property and the auspicious Sindoor as a trademark?
Applying Sindoor is a privilege
Yes, the society does not permit a widow to apply sindoor, does it mean she doesn’t love her husband anymore.
Sindoor protects from evil eyes of other men
Yes, that is why after marriage we jump from the status of being a girl to sister-in-law (boudi), although the fellow has never been introduced to my husband let alone be his foster brother. Sindoor might stop his actions but not his colorful fantasies.
All the above logics would be sidelined as thoughts of ultra-modern women. But can anyone guarantee that such thoughts have never passed through the head of a free thinking woman? I do not opt for the word “modern” because I believe, Sindoor doesn’t make a woman traditional or modern. Should every woman who wear Sindoor be typecasted for being backward? If pressurizing to wear Sindoor is oppression, then is it okay to force one from applying it? What makes us modern is acceptance, accepting that Sindoor is a choice and no woman should be pressurized to apply/not apply it, because:
Sindoor doesn’t define my love: my care does
Sindoor doesn’t show my respect: my attitude does
Sindoor doesn’t make me traditional: my ethics does
Sindoor wouldn’t protect me: open-mindedness of society would ensure my security.
Sindoor for me can be a symbol of rejoicing my new life or a cosmetic or nothing at all. Sindoor is my choice
Share the article if you believe Sindoor is a choice, not a symbol of oppression, and please feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below.
Thank you for reading,
When I used to return from school, my Amma (grandmother) waited for me with a plate of rice. My eyes were glued to the television and my mouth operated mechanically as amma fed me. My mind flew away with the magic carpet when the screen displayed the wonderful golden letters “Arabian Nights”! My entire childhood was surrounded by fairy tales, comics and cartoon network.
Years have passed but this 28 yrs old still find solace in the sensational tales of Belle, Cinderella, Moana, Elsa and Rapunzel. And what better way to celebrate Christmas than to be a part of magical world of Disney itself. I am really excited to share my remarkable experience with all of you. So lets visit the lively Disney Land:
A visit to wonder land:
The major attraction was the Christmas parade that made all the screen characters come alive. And the most amazing part is that each of them can be identified distinctly. Even the minor details have been handled with care. Behold the Disney princesses:
But the highlight of the day was the evening parade; full of dazzling lights that would make you keep eyes wide open:
The light and sound show along with the magnificent fireworks added to the glitz and glamour of the evening. Toontown was full of attraction for children, giving them an opportunity to visit the house of Mickey, Minnie and Goofy, they are after all the star, aren’t they? There is Tarzan’s treehouse and also a mini story land.
So, you are thinking that Disney is for child’s play only? Well, adults who love adventure can keep their excitement pumped up by taking a ride with Indiana Jones. Feel the thrill with Pirates of the Caribbean and also take a boat ride in jingle cruise. Drive their own ride in Autopia and also pay a visit to the haunted house.
So, my Christmas was well spent. But before I leave let me share with you 5 interesting facts about Disney Land,California:
1. The Disneyland Monorail was the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere.
2. Walt Disney loved to interact with the visitors and sometimes even waited with them in the queue.
3. The gold plates on the ride Small world (picture below) are made of 22 karat gold
4. It took a whole year to built Disney Land and it opened with 18 rides; 14 of which are still running today.
5. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride uses real skeletons as props.
That is all for today folks! Please do let me know if you enjoyed the post and also let me know how did you spend the holidays. Till then goodbye and wish you a very happy new year!
SPECIAL MENTION: the credit for such lovely photographs goes to my dear husband Bankim C Mandal
Today, I came across a post on Facebook. It boasted of upholding the photographic representation of bedrooms around the world. Interesting as the name suggested, the photographs were vibrant and truly showcased talent. The illusion was shattered when I came across the photograph of an Indian bedroom: the picture was bland; no amount of editing added glamour to the room, or maybe it was intended to be presented in such a manner.
pic source: myroomphotos.com. The official site of Mr. Thackwray’s project. Location: Bamansemilya.
As can be seen, the picture depicts an Indian house: shabby floor with a camp bed surrounded by moss leaden walls. An under-aged housewife (17 yrs) smiles at the ceiling, beaming with happiness in her humble abode.
The post was flooded with comments, some shaming the page for sharing such a post where India is demeaned to such an extent while a few agreeing that the photograph represented the bitter truth of “true India”. As for me, I did a little digging about the post before indulging in any sort of arguments. Here is what I found :
My Room Project is the work of an internationally famous photographer John Thackwray. He had travelled almost 52 countries and has showcased 1200 bedrooms in his worldwide exhibitions. You can have a look at his entire project here.
I do not intend to comment about the pictures of other countries because I have limited knowledge about them, I say so because I mainly rely on the internet for any information about them, but I definitely know my country. Yes, in India such homes exist, but my concern lies in the fact that, should India be represented in this manner? That too at an international level? Some may come up with the concern that the photographer was presenting the entire world through his lenses so he had limited choice to highlight only a part of India. So, let me show you this:
picture borrowed from the official website of John Thackwrey. Location: Varanasi
This picture is also a part of the same project. So, the man behind the concept chose to represent India through two photographs and in both cases he chose homes of underprivileged people. We never come across the homeless people of New York or Chicago in fancy magazines, do we? Then why is a progressive nation like India represented in such a manner? India is no longer recognised as a poor country. People need to understand that. Every country has a darker side, it is undoubtedly a matter of concern but not something that is to be celebrated. An average middle-class home could have been showcased (at least in any one of the two pictures). The photographer had not need to fish inside some remote/slum area to highlight Indian lifestyle.
All the pictures of the project have been compiled into a fine book, which I figure would also give an insight to the background of the protagonists represented. I could not read between the lines of Mr. Thackwray’s book since it is in French. So if he has given any reason for portraying India in such a manner, I would totally be unaware of it. While studying about his work, I also came across a fragmented piece of his interview in which he mentions that his curiosity about how the lifestyle of people of (almost) his age have “mutated” over the years led him to the project. He also mentioned about the struggles of the protagonists. So basically, in the past decade India has made such progress (read no progress) as shown by the pictures.
With respect to his insight I would like to mention that, unfortunately most people would only consider his photographs and not the thought behind it. Most of the websites are circulating the photographs with only the location and the photographer name; no background story is mentioned. If you are willing to hit the internet regarding the original post in other websites, be ready to be greeted by comments like :
“Indians are not poor but chose to live in such way” Or “poor girl got married at the age of 17” !
Behold my friends, this is the way the people are seeing us through Mr. Thackwray’s eyes. His book would be released by Christmas this year and this picture of our country would be upheld.
P.S : Even Google map is unaware of Bamansemilya. Go ahead, search for it and you would be directed to Mr.Thackwrey’s ambitious project.
Disclaimer : Every opinion mentioned in this post is from a personal point of view and does not intend to offend any person of any position.
#bamansemilya #photography #IndiaStereotyped #Varanasi
বিয়ের পর ল্যাপটপটা রেখে এসেছি মালদাতে। আমার প্রেম কাহিনী সার্থক হলেও লং-ডিসটেন্স রিলেসনশিপ পুরোপুরি মুছে যায়নি জীবন থেকে। আজও ঘুম থেকে উঠে এবং ঘুমোতে যাওয়ার আগে Skype খোলা বাদ্ধতামুলক। এখন যে মায়ের সাথে দেখা হওয়ার এটাই উপায়! Technology-তে পটু বরের সাথে লং-ডিসটেন্স বেশ আরাম করেই উৎরে গেছি…..কিন্তু এ তো মা! অফিস-এ কম্পিউটার স্ক্রিন-এর দিকে তাকিয়ে দেদার টাইপ করতে পারলেও, ল্যাপটপটি ব্যবহার করতে তার ভারী আপত্তি: একেই দামি জিনিস, তার উপর আবার সেন্সর দেওয়া মাউসপ্যাড! “ও আমি ব্যবহার করবো না”, বলেছিলো মা, “নিজে জেনে শুনেই তো অত দুরে বিয়ে করছ, দু-বেলা ফোন করলেই হবে”… অভিমান হয়েছিল মায়ের, খুব কষ্ট থেকেই কথাগুলো বলেছিলো, বুঝতে পেরেছিলাম।
অষ্টমঙ্গলা থেকে ফেরার আগে আমার বর মায়ের একটা facebook ও Skype একাউন্ট খুলে দিয়েছিলো। জামাই এর উপর অভিমান দেখাতে না পেরে Skype-এ video call-এর পদ্ধতিটা শিখে ফেলতে হয়েছিলো মাকে। তারপর? শুরু হলো অন্য লং-ডিসটেন্স রিলেশনশিপ। Skype নির্ভরশীল হলাম আবার। কিন্তু ফেইসবুক? সে তো পিছিয়ে থাকার বান্দা নয়, অবশেষে মা-ও ধরা দেয় ফেইসবুক এর মায়াজালে-
“জানিস মনা, সবাই facebook করে, পম্পি, পুপু, রুম্পা, বৌদি..সবাই আছে..” সকাল সকাল Skype-এ মা।
-“তোমায় তো বললাম শিখে নিতে..তুমি-ই রাগ দেখিয়ে শিখলে না”।
-“আমার আর শিখে কি হবে? সবাই করে..শুনি।…. তাই বললাম”।
-“শিখবে? আমি শিখিয়ে দিতে পারি…এখান থেকেই”।
মায়ের মুখে উজ্জ্বল হাসি!
-“Screen Share কর..দেখিয়ে দিচ্ছি “।
-“share? সে আবার কেমন করে করে রে?”, প্রচুর confusion নিয়ে বলে মা।
যাই হোক, অবশেষে মা কে Screen Share শেখানো গেল । শুরু হলো ফেইসবুক অভিযান। Like, message, timeline, comment ইত্যাদি। প্রতিদিন অল্প অল্প করে। শেখাতে গিয়ে মাঝে মাঝে মেজাজও হারিয়েছি,”উফঃ! তুমি দেখছি কিছুই পারোনা।..কি করতে যে অফিসে বসে..”, “আরে, কার্সরটা কোথায় নিয়ে যাচ্ছো? বাঁ দিকে তো যাবে।”, বা বলেছি “আরো নিচে নামাও …আর একটু….এইটা আবার কোন পেজ খুলে ফেললে?”
ফেইসবুক শিখতে গিয়ে ধৈর্য হারিয়েছে মা-ও : “এরম ভাবে কথা বলবি না কিন্তু মনা…” , “তুই খুব বাজে teacher “, “তোর শেখানোর কোনো ইচ্ছেই নেই”, “আমি আর পারছিনা ! পরে আবার করবো…..।”
আস্তে আস্তে ফেসবুকে অভস্ত্য হয়ে গেছে মা। এখনো সে ভাবে রপ্ত করতে না পারলেও, ফেইসবুক জগতের আনাড়ি তাকে আর বলা যায় না । যখন দেখি মা অনেকের ছবিতে লাইক বা কমেন্ট করছে, তখন খুব শান্তিও পাই মনে মনে; যাক একা মানুষটা কিছু নিয়ে তো ব্যস্ত আছে।
‘ফেইসবুক গাইডেন্স ক্লাস’ শেষ হয়নি এখনো…Skype খুললেই কিছু সহজ প্রশ্ন নিয়ে হাজির হয় মা। হাসি মুখে মায়ের ক্লাস নিতে বেশ ভালোই লাগে। কিন্তু সেইদিন, আমার জন্মদিনে, মা যখন স্ট্যাটাস দিয়ে সবাইকে বলেছিলো আমায় শুভেচ্ছা জানাতে, খুব-ই-ই খুশি হয়েছিলাম। মায়ের লেখা সেই খাপছাড়া post-টা বোধয় আমার জন্মদিনের সেরা পাওনা। মন ভরে গিয়েছিলো আনন্দে, ছুটে গিয়ে বরকে বলেছিলাম সেদিন “দেখো আমার মা facebook শিখে গেছে..facebook শিখে গেছে!”
In my last post I shared with you how fabulous was my birthday this year; courtesy my darling husband. By the grace of God my birthdays always been special for me.While writing the post, I took a small trip down memory lane and realised how celebration of my birthdays have changed over the years.Through this post I would like to thank all those wonderful people in my life who have made my birthday special over the years. This post is dedicated to them.
We live in a joint family. The birthdays of us siblings; me, my elder sister and elder cousin brother (yes,I am purposefully referring my cousin as my sibling) was a grand affair. A unique tradition prevailed during our birthdays. We got up early in the morning, had a bath and got dressed in our birthday attire. We were made to sit in our puja room on a floor mat and all the elders fell in a line to bless us according to their seniority 😀 Our grandmother used to give us a small necklace of cashew and raisins which we nibbled on during the entire process. We were blessed with durva and wheat grains, and also handed special gifts. I remember chotomoni giving me Tintin comics every year! Yes, I have the entire series back in India. My mother’s lip smacking Rice pudding was the dish of the day. This age-old tradition came to an end when we got scattered: my sister got married, brother shifted to Kolkata for his job and I moved to University life in Kolkata. Little did I know that a completely new tradition awaits me there.
RBU days make me nostalgic. I know my birthday will always be special for my friends, mainly because it was on my birthday the “birthday tradition” began.
On the occasion of each one of us’ birthday, the arrangements were carried out discreetly so that the birthday boy/girl did not have any idea about the upcoming plan. We raised money and cake was bought from “Monginis”; no other cake would do. We gathered at any tourist spots of Kolkata and celebrate there. We spent the entire day together: all of us were away from home and so we only had each other, and perhaps that is why we made sincere efforts to feel each other special.Till today I miss those days:the joy and innocent laughter.We had been together for five long years. After completion of Masters, we followed our own paths. I was the first one to leave Kolkata behind.
Things changed for me after that: I fell in love,got married and finally this year it was this :
How has your birthday evolved through the years? Please let me know through the comment section. Unti next time….
Last Wednesday I grew a year older. I must say that the day was well spent especially for the efforts of my loving husband. We had been in a long distance relationship for four and a half years and never got the chance to make each other’s special days extra special. As far as I remember, birthdays with him was a Skype call and an online gift. Those were indeed hard times and tested our patience to a great extent. They say “patience brings forth sweet fruits” and today I can say that my faith is restored in that old saying; as I celebrated one of the finest birthday of my entire life.
When the clock struck midnight my husband wished me “Happy Birthday” and gifted me a pretty woollen short frock from #CalvinKlein. Honestly speaking, all that I desired was to spent the entire day with him; but he had planned otherwise.
wearing my birthday gift #CalvinKlein
He had the entire day planned. He came home from his lab during the lunch hours which was unusual and took me on a date: lunch @Red lobster.
a fine dining experience #Red lobster
After having lunch and some shopping we returned home. I was so happy :). But the celebrations were not over yet. My Husband had arranged for a small get together at our place and even arranged for a cake. I felt like a little girl when my husband and his friends sang “happy birthday” for me. I was overwhelmed with joy .
So, last Wednesday I not only celebrated my birthday but also celebrated our love and togetherness. I am grateful to the Almighty for blessing me with such a loving Life Partner. What more can one wish for?
How did you celebrate your birthday last time? Please let me know through the comment section below.
see you next time
It all started yesterday evening when I found a tub of cottage cheese in my fridge. Throughout my life I was living in the illusion that cottage cheese is equivalent to ‘paneer’; I presume that is the case with most of the Indians. Anyway, so when I opened the tub, unlike the solid object we normally find in a packet of ‘paneer’, I found a mushy substance. I realized my mistake and presumed it to be ‘chenna’: the one made from curdled milk. So I replaced my idea of making ‘Paneer butter masala’ (an Indian delicacy) with ‘chanar dalna’ (a Bengali delicacy). So, my voyage to cook a perfect weekend dinner for my husband began. I followed the recipe strictly. I hung the cheese in neat cotton handkerchief for half an hour to let all the water out. I added flour to it and made patties, I rested them in the refrigerator for few minutes and then heated the oil to fry them. No sooner did I add them to the hot oil, the entire thing melted: I re-realized my mistake; it’s neither paneer nor chenna. The liquid-thing soon begun to boil, making a peculiar sound, as if the wok was raging against me for putting something disgusting in its belly. To torture it further I added the sautéed veggies and masala to it.
The final summary of my entire deed is that I prepared the most horrifying dish of my life; or so I thought.
I was full of guilt while presenting the dish to my husband so I quickly prepared a normal ‘aloo dum’ and dal (cooked lentils) for him as redemption.
During dinner we sat across each other. Like a guilty prisoner I hung my head in shame. Eyes filled with water, getting ready to roll out any minute.
“Mmm…it’s good”, he said.
My heart skipped a beat! I raised my head, only to find the ‘aloo dum’ and the dal untouched. My husband had finished half of his dinner with the cheesy-veggie thing.
“What’s the dish again?”
I suppressed a laugh, “aaa….I haven’t thought of a name..yet”, I said confidently.
I felt satisfied seeing my husband relishing the dish, and I realised that there is only one ingredient that makes food magical: LOVE.
Have you ever experienced such disaster in your life that proved to be a miracle in the end? Please let us know in the comment section below.
See you next time
Days are longer in Lansing; probably because I spend day all alone. Everyday after finishing all my chores I look outside my window, keep staring at the trees, looking closely at the leaves as they change colours….ah! Fall is here! I hear the wild ducks quack all day, lazily strolling the lawn of our apartment. The squirrels scurrying through the grass make me smile; scratching the ground vigorously in search of nuts. And then there are the sparrows! Who could have thought that the chirping of these little brown birds could make me so jovial? I hardly have any visitors in Lansing. The sparrows are the only ones that visit my balcony, so I needed to give them a befitting welcome. I serve my everyday visitors with grains of rice scattered on newspapers.First there would be only one, moving to and fro the veranda, as if carefully inspecting the environment to ensure the safety of its companions. After being satisfied it calls for its mates in a full-throated voice. Soon the silence around me is filled with joyful chirps; they feed, they sing, they prance. I see them carefully through the other side of my glass. After relishing the last grain of rice, they fly away; only to return after sometime, craving for more. I serve them again..and again..and again..it is just never enough!
All smiles I engage myself in reading books and recipes (my latest fascination). When the clock ticks 5 pm, my husband returns home. A warm hug from him re-energize me. We indulge in board games, Facebook chats and much more. Small talks, friendly fights, innocent teasing and never-ending laughter fills my evening. He understands my loneliness throughout the day and so he makes small attempts to make it up to me in the evening. At the end of the day I find solace in his arms; so when a call comes from India asking, “How are you?” my heart shrieks out with joy “I am very happy! He made me very happy”.