Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Red Diary


In the desperate search for the passport, I pull the clothes off the wardrobe and there a red diary falls on the ground.




With trembling hand & a thumping heart I open the middle page, separated by a pen, of this constant companion of Maya which had stayed in the most secured places with her till now.

“One night has given me treasures of my life and can never be forgotten. My presence though will hold you from moving towards your dream so forget me and move ahead” -it read.
  
Tears come out and with a deep sigh I ask myself –“How?”


Aditya Sinha

This post has been written in reference to the Five Sentence Fiction with prompt - Forgotten.




Get a Better Car with QuikrNXT


"So finally we are transferred to Delhi. Lot of work needs to be done. Shifting is a big job and time is less." I told her sitting in the lobby taking a sip of the tea.

"Yes, I think we can leave all these furniture here at Patna and buy new one over there as per the size of the flat. You would not find such big houses over there."

"Very true! So we can just move with few briefcases and lock the things here. After all, this house is owned and there you would go in rented. " 

"Right, and we should change the car too. There we should buy a new car. We need a better car."

"Ok. So where to sell? Here or at Delhi?"

"Wherever we get the better price!"

"Then let’s take help of Quikr  http://www.quikr.com/. Let’s put an ad over there and see the response."

"Ad… There are too many calls. It disturbs."

"We can go with the Quikr NXT App. Then there would be no calls."

"Yes, the interested buyer can just send the chat message and we can satisfy all queries through chat while continuing with all our other works."

So that’s decided.

GM SAIL SEDAN – 2013 make available for sale. Excellent condition. Just 25000km driven. Can be delivered at Patna or Delhi. Contact…  . The ad is flashed.



By evening there are overwhelming responses. Evaluation is on for the best offer price. Different quotes from different people.

Mr. Manchanda from Noida asked for more photographs. We exchanged the same immediately.

Dr. Kapoor from East Delhi asked for the papers and we shared the same in no time.

Miss Kalpana from Ghaziabad wanted to know about the accessories that are fitted and the interiors. She got the details instantly.

Chats continued about insurance, service till now, accidents if any, and anything below the sky. Fortunately I just had to send message on chat. I could just smile on the queries and type some text without straining the other senses. Thanks to Quikr Nxt. It made the handling of queries easy and helped manage the crucial time.

People at Delhi are offering better price but would finalise after having a look. So we can fix up the time and show them after reaching there. We finally discussed. Mr. Manchanda had offered the best and was given time for Sunday. We would be reaching by the car on Saturday. And the transaction can be done on Sunday.

After one week next Friday

We are ready to move all loaded in the car and the chat continues.

Me : "Yes Mr. Manchanda, we are leaving. We would be meeting tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. You can have a cup of tea with us and have a look at the car."

Mr. Manchanda : "Sure."

Next day:

Mr. Manchanda comes at 3:00 pm.

Deal finalised.

"And now you would come have the dinner tomorrow with us tonight."

So we not only have the car sold but also a good friend made.


Thanks to Quikr NXT.

Aditya Sinha

This post is written for Happy Hours Contest on Indiblogger by QuikrNXT http://www.quikr.com/.

Grooming Beauty – A wholesome approach

Grooming Beauty – A wholesome approach
“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”
– Margret Hungerford (Molly Brown)

Can you imagine a damsel staying by your side and spitting fowl around? Or a hunk praising you all round and cursing you at heart. Would you still call them a beauty?  - Surely not. I am sure you would prefer staying away from such a personality. To this only Ambrose Bierce in “The Devil’s Dictionary” described: Beauty - The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband. I’ll extend it a further - it applies to both men and women.
Beauty thus, is not complete only when it soothes your eyes, resonates in your ears or confiscates your mind. It must also thump your heart, pump the blood, and rejuvenate the cells. The external looks should be mingled with internal virtues to give a lasting effect, leave a longing sigh. We all would agree to it and so did our Grannies. Just a few intrinsic beauty that all would love to have in their dream beauties -   
Love for all, Respect for all, Devoted to work, Live for family, Loyal and faithful, Intelligent, Sincere, Straight forward……etc. 
And these we need to develop ourselves, imbibe in oneself. Coupled with these virtues if we get time for ourselves we can just take care of the external looks given to us by the Almighty. Granny’s experience tells us to use the following:
To soothe other’s eye: 
1.      Scrub: Use dried and powdered Lemon peels or Orange peels soaked in milk. It provides vitamin C to the skin.

2.      Eyes: Wash your eyes with cold water or water mixed with rose water at least thrice daily.
Early in the morning – walk bare footed on dew wet grasses.
3.    Face Pack: Use paste of Turmeric and Oat in Curd. Alternatively Paste of rose petals or marigold petals can be used in place of turmeric. It would enhance the complexion accordingly.
Radish juice mixed with fresh cream can be used as face pack for dry skins. It also acts as a re-vitaliser for the skin.
4. Hair Care: Anwla Shikakai and ritha is the best mix for having shining long hair. Soak the three in equal quantity during the night and use the drain as shampoo.
For hair Colouring: Mehndi with coffee powder paste in Lemon and egg for oily hair. For dry hair replace lemon with 2 tsp Honey. 
5.    Shine your Teeth: After brushing your teeth massage it slowly for a few minutes with finely powdered common salt mixed with a few drops of lemon.
6.    Tan Removing: Make a paste of Multani mitti in til oil. Use it as a pack at places of Sun burn or tanned areas to remove the stains.
7.    Pedicure: Drench your foot in warm water with a tbsp of salt for half an hour. Scrub and wash. Apply home-made moisturizer. Your foot would remain soft and silky. It would also give relaxation to the body.
8.    Moisturizing: One tb sp Glycerin mixed with 50 ml Rose water.
9.  Soar Throat / Sweet voice: Aniseed – 5gm, Mulehati -3 gm, clove 1 piece, Green Cardamom 1 piece, a pinch of camphor and piprament. Crush and mix. Chew the mixture slowly like tobacco. It would give relief from soar throat and the coughing would go off.
And to add to the effect of all above develop self - belief and concentration - nurture your mind. Adopt Yoga. Spend an hour with this – some Pranayam and a couple of Asans. Spend some time with yourself – Meditate. Devote a few minutes to God. The rest all will be beautiful.
ANNE BRONTE, Agnes Grey thus said It is foolish to wish for beauty. Sensible people never either desire it for themselves or care about it in others. If the mind be, but well cultivated, and the heart well disposed, no one ever cares for the exterior.”

Above would help you develop intrinsic beauty and maintain what we have got externally. Though Petrarch in “De Remedies” said, rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together. I feel, if we cultivate the above virtues and nourish what we have we can always give it a try and be one of those rare.

Wish you all the best.

(Note: The above are just a few common representative tips. There are many more which we can gather through the beauty blogs here.) 

Aditya Sinha
Just wanted to share here on Indiblogger forum as has some useful tips. 

This is one of my old post written for a contest on Developing Beauty on Sulekha.com and was adjudged as the best post  http://creative.sulekha.com/grooming-beauty-a-wholesome-approach_76696_blog


This won the first prize…

Friday, 27 February 2015

Visit Parijaat - Accomplish your wish

Visit Parijaat - Accomplish your wish
 
India is a land of diversity. It stands true even for the beliefs and faiths that we have. Mythology and history has left many a stories that make us even pray stones, leaves , trees ...... anything. One such belief is for the age old tree - The Parijaat tree at a small village Kintur in Barabanki some 50 kms away from the city of Nawabs Lucknow. The tree is believed to be brought from heaven and the only one available on earth. (Pls. no questions about its genuinity -- its a belief and that's it.)

So these were the beliefs and we were forced to have a closer look.  Reaching the site - our eyes remained open. The tree atleast was really gigantic and seemed to be very old. The following as narrated by locals made the visit worth.

The tree :
The age of this tree is believed to be 1000 to 5000 years. The perimeter of the trunk was around 50 feet and height around 45 feet. The leaves of the tree in the lower portion have five tips like the fingers of a hand, while at the upper reaches it has seven. Its flowers are very beautiful and white in colour, on drying out it takes on golden tinge. The flowers have five petals. The tree blossoms very occasionally, with very few flowers, mostly around the 'Ganga Dashehra', and spreads its fragrance far and wide. 

(See the gigantic size.)             The Parijaat Tree

The locals consider it to be their protector and obliging, henceforth they protect its leaves and flowers at all costs. The leaf, the flowers, the trunk whatever falls on the ground is protected. Strictly no body is allowed to touch the tree or pluck flowers, leaves or twigs from it. Local people hold it in high esteem, in addition to the large number of tourists who visit to see this unique tree. On request and some donation for daily Aarti the Pujari would give you one dry Parijaat flower , which you can keep in your "tijori" and would bring prosperity all round.

(Notice the flower at the center)Parijaat Flower

On a close look at the tree, you can find figures of animals that has carved out of the main trunk or the branches. Notice the face of a roaring Lion, Elephant, Lord Ganesh, etc. 
 
 (The Elephant Face)         
 The Elephant face
 
 
                          (Hippo in Parijaat) Hippo 
 
( The Lion In Parijaat )                      The Lion in Parijaat
 

Beliefs behind its existence:
“Parijaat tree” at Kintur is considered to be a divine tree. Mythology offers different stories  about its origin at such a remote place - Kintur (which gots its name from KUNTI – mother of the Pandavas of epic Mahabharata) is about 50 kms away from Lucknow.
According to one belief Arjuna brought it from Heaven : It stands that Kunti used to offer the Parijaat flowers to Lord Shiva during her daily prayers brought by Sun God every morning from heaven. But this did not happen on one cloudy day and Kunti got worried. Thus, Arjuna brought it from Indra’s garden in heaven and planted it near the Shiva temple where Kunti used to offer prayer. (The Kunteshvar Shiv temple is just half a km away from this site.)
 
Another famous story says that Krishna brought it for Satyabhama: Lord Krishna's wife Satyabhama saw the Parijat tree, and got fascinated. So, Krishna brought it from heaven for her after fighting a fierce battle with Lord Indra, the king of the heaven. Krishna brought the tree to his capital Dwarka and planted it near Satyabhama's palace. This made his other queen, Rukmini, jealous and angry, so Krishna asked Narad to bring some Parijat flowers from heaven which he presented to Rukmini. This did not satisfy Rukmini so Krishna devised a trick by which though the tree remained near Satyabhama's palace, its flowers began to fall in front of Rukmini's palace.
This story has another bend where it is believed that when Krishna after killing demon Narakasura, went to heaven to return the stolen ear-rings of the mother of gods, Aditi, she got pleased and thus Indra gifted the Parijaat tree to Satyabhama, his wife who had accompanied and assisted him in the campaign and killing the demon. Satyabhama insisted that the tree be planted near her palace. But in the morning, she got surprised to see the flowers scattered near Rukmini's palace. She accused Krishna of being partial to Rukmini. But Rukmini was kind. She collected the flowers and returned them to Satyabhama. Satyabhama realised her mistake and agreed to share the flowers with Rukmini. Since then, Parijat flowers are offered whenever Krishna's idol is worshipped.
Another school strongly believes that this tree came into being from the ashes of Kunti.

Festivals & Sanctity

The Parijaat tree finds its mention in the Harivansha Purana - as a kalpa – vraksha, or wish-
(Parijatam mahi prishthe vrinday sparshiya manashyah
Janah swarga tyajanti vrindapa swarga falam hite.
maya mune pratigyatam punyartha satya bhamaya,
Swarga viihana pashchani parijatam nit prabho.)
bearing tree, which, apart from this tree, is only found in heaven. Thus the flower if stored in “Tijori” and as I said earlier it is believed to bring perpetuality, prosperity and growth to the family and thus considered very sacred and sought for.
  
(The Parijaat)                         The Kalpa Vraksha - Parijaat
 
 Every tuesday a fair is held here where local people worship the tree. The newly married couple visit it for blessings. Children are given the first symbolic hair-cut (mundan) here. A large fair is held on the occasion of Ganga Dussehra when the place gets overcrowded with pilgrims.

(The market outside Parijaat Temple )The market outside the temple.

Way to reach :

The nearest airport and main rail head is Lucknow, which is connected to all cites through many trains. From Lucknow you can take Auto/ Taxi/ Bus or Local train, available in abundance for Barabanki which is around 30 Kms from Lucknow. From Barabanki through the Lucknow – Faizabad road turn on the Shrawasti road to reach Ramnagar (around 16 kms.). From ramnagar take the link road to Kintur and Parijaat. around 6kms. (Local Bus and autos go for Kintur from Barabanki). We just drove from Lucknow and it took hardly 2hrs to reach there. The road was good enough considering the rural conditions.
Best time: It can be visited anytime round the year. However, rainy season (July- August) should be avoided because of detoriated rural road conditions. The place is full of pilgrims around Ganga Dussehra (Oct- Nov).

So, don't miss to visit the place if you are on a trip to Lucknow. Other palces around Parijaat would be the Kunteshwar temple (Shiva temple where Kunti used to offer prayers) around 2 kms away, Deva Sharif - daragah of Haji Waris Ali about 12 kms on Deva road from Barabanki.

Aditya Sinha
Originally written on my Blog page on Sulekha. http://creative.sulekha.com/visit-parijaat-accomplish-your-wish_452883_blog

Monday, 23 February 2015

The Beautiful Stranger

The Beautiful Stranger…..



June 1986….

The summer holidays had started. My mother had also gone to Darbhanga with all my siblings to stay with her husband for the holiday period. I had stayed back for a week with the excuse of finishing the holiday homework. And now, tomorrow I was supposed to leave finally.

“Let me finish my recording of the songs and parcel it before leaving.” I thought and started to play the songs.

Koi Jab tumhara hriday tod de ……

I increased the volume and started rehearsing. The volume was purposely increased so that no one knows what I am doing. (Log kya kahenge syndrome)

Then it was chaand ko kya maloom….

And  Tumhi meri manjil….

Suddenly I realized once my cassette player stopped there was a song from somewhere outside in equal volume…

Ajnabee kaun ho tum….

I looked out of the window.

O damsel! A beautiful girl almost same age standing in the balcony of the house just next to ours, standing in the scorching summer heat with only soothing effect of the shade from the huge mango tree in front. As our eyes met she went back to her room.

I replied with another song and tried to see from the cracks in the window.
She had again come out and also trying to check if I was seeing. It gave me courage.

And now the song playing became a game for us.

One song from my side – instant reply from the other.

What more could I have asked for a wonderful summer holiday.  I only remember the last songs that we played repeatedly.

Tera Mera Pyaar Amar….

In response my reply was Dheere Dheere Bol koi sun na le… It was 4:00 p.m now and there was more life outside with people on the roads and kids in the ground. So the melody journey stopped lest the neighbours get to know.

Next day morning, I got up early and went to the terrace to see if I can get some glimpse. But the door seemed to be locked. I played the song again (not that loud as it was early hours of the day)

But no response!

I enquired – she was niece of the tenant in the adjoining house who had come for a day and had left late night yesterday for Jamshedpur along with her maternal uncle.

Ah that beautiful stranger … how can I forget?

Aditya Sinha
23.02.2015
Aligarh

This post is written in response to Indispire 53 topic - The stranger I can't forget #stranger

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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Disguise Strategy

There were two vacancies in the retail segment.











I was new to Dehradun. But in the one month of working in this market, I had understood it’s different from the B-class towns. This is more of the up society market. It paralleled the metros. And thus we needed a different strategy to get in roads with the retail market.

“I want at least one smart girl for this segment. esp. the auto segment” - I argued.

“I am not in favour of girls for such an important segment. This is the major revenue churner” - My boss, Mr. Rogers argued.

“Our problem is that, our guys are not able to get to the decision maker i.e. the dealer owners. A smart girl’s would act as a disguise. She would just open the road and we could then close deals. I have seen this happening in Lucknow.” I tried to put my point forth.

He finally agreed. After all getting business was my job.

Next day there was the interview.

Not much of girls …. This is the problem in small cities I thought.

But I maintained that I have to keep only girl for this position. We chose the only best option available – a non-media girl.

One year later we were presenting the annual presentation.
The market share had grown by 50%.
The revenue had grown by 48%.
12 new clients added in the kitty.

The Director asked – how did you do this turnaround?
Mr. Rogers looked towards me – with a smile on the face said – The disguise worked.

Aditya Sinha
22.02.2015

Aligarh

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Compassion - first step to social responsibility

In continuation to my earlier post on Compassion “Compassion - Need to introspect and take small step” which is part of the “1000 voices speak across the world for compassion” I would just like to enlist here some very basic steps that we can incorporate in our day to live as our social responsibility to impart happiness in others life.


1.    If there is a full time domestic help at one’s place, let’s first buy clothes for them on a festival.
2.    On our kids’ birthday – arrange a lunch for an orphanage or a school working for mentally challenged children.
3.    On our birthdays let’s do something for old age homes.
4.    Can we sponsor the studies of one child from orphanage?
5.    Can we sponsor the education of one child of our domestic help?
6.    Can we devote some time in a week on education of rag pickers and alike.
7.    Compassion to animals is equally important … can we arrange to take the stray dogs / animals to animal homes in the city?
8.    If we are a professional like doctor / advocate etc. can we spare some hours as a free service to needy?
9.    Can we celebrate the birthday of kids of our domestic help, a poor neighbour or the guard of the society?
10.      And above all can we spare some time for our parents ?

Let’s ponder?





Aditya Sinha


This post is written as a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion, where bloggers all over the world are talking about spreading compassion, love and kindness. 

#1000speak

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Compassion - Need to introspect and take small step


“Compassion” – Today (20th Feb 2015) across the world over 1000 voices speak for compassion.

Would this spread the wave of compassion across the horizons?
Do you think compassion is dead in today’s world?
The fact is that before talking about the world we need to introspect ourselves.

Human heart is by nature full of emotion and it responds to its surroundings. Its’ made of love only.  It cries when there is suffering around. It rejoices when there is happiness around. What happens is that in this materialistic world as we grow we become self-centric and start closing eyes towards happenings around us …esp. if it is not affecting us. We need to open ourselves and respond to such issues. It needs no big money, no big time, no big effort…. It just needs an open heart and a smile and an extended hand.

I would quote just one example here. On 14th Nov. the children’s day we usually used to organize “Fuhar” an event for the under-privileged children where we used to collect old clothes / toys / gifts and whatever possible from across the city and used to be given to the kids at the orphanages in the city. This year we just planned to make it a fun filled evening for them rather the customary aid providing affair. And so we arranged a small fun evening with lunch for them. And in that couple of hours I could see the joy in those otherwise blank eyes.




Now the point is why do we wait for children’s day or some organization to do such activity?  I am sure every city has around 50 families who can spare one day to spread happiness to such kids on one week end? Likewise there are many other segments of society which needs our care our compassion.

Need of the hour is to open our hearts to such needy and do whatever small things we can than to wait for somebody to start.

This post is written as a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion, where bloggers all over the world are talking about spreading compassion, love and kindness.

#1000 Speak
Aditya Sinha
20.02.2015
Aligarh