Thursday, 19 July 2018

Proven Princess

 "What do you see?"
"The gates of an ancient fort... It's snowing. There's a crown on my head..."
"The fort no longer exists... I'm staying in the same place. Everyone calls me 'Princess'."
Her answers pertained to her past lives as she was undergoing past-life-regression sessions.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Ratha Jatra 2018 : Effect On My Senses

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Ratha Jatra i.e. Rath Yatra, is a centuries-old festival of Odisha that is celebrated all across the world. One of the four holiest places of India (Dhaam) is Puri in Odisha where the Shree Jagannath Temple is located.
In Odia language, 'Ratha' means Chariot (Car) and 'Jatra' means Festival. 
Thus, 'Ratha Jatra' means 'Chariot Festival' or 'Car Festival'.

In Odisha, every locality has its own Ratha Jatra(s).
The capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, is also called the 'Temple City' because of its hundreds of temples.
I participated in the Ratha Jatra at the Sri Sri Baba Akhandalamani Temple in Sahid Nagar at Bhubaneswar yesterday. 

Saturday, 14 July 2018

The Seven-Year Itch

When Lora looked outside, a pretty sight greeted her.
Two white pigeons were snuggling on the tree outside her window.

She continued to gaze at the avian couple, though she felt she was intruding their privacy.
Their antics reminded her of her first date with Krish.
She had felt great with him.
Soon, they had got married.
Seven years had passed.
She had lost interest in her marriage...

Cacophony interrupted her thoughts.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Six Minutes Of Fame

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She resolutely continued her perilous journey.
Everyone warned her as usual.
"This is not for you..."
"Don't forget you are a woman..."
"Can't you see the difficulties?"
"Don't take this path."
"It's dangerous!"

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Swosti Chilika Resort Odisha

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We were excited to visit the Swosti Chilika Resort located near Asia's largest lagoon and the second largest lagoon in the world, Chilika Lake.

It was an exhilarating experience to step into the impressive eco-resort and experience the unmistakable aura of the resort spread across nine acres on the banks of the Chilika Lake.
After a traditional warm welcome complete with 'Mangal Tika' and welcome-drinks, we made ourselves comfortable on the battery-operated vehicle and set out for our room. The aesthetically-designed resort in the resplendent verdant locale made its presence felt.
Eco-Resort, Chilika Lake View, And Greenery
As we journeyed on our eco-vehicle, we soaked in all the sights, sounds, and smells that seemed to greet and transport us to another world... Birds were singing even in the afternoon! 

The gentle breeze and the lush greenery welcomed us as we crossed elegant cottages and presidential suites to reach our well-furnished 'Lake View' room in the 'Wind Chimes'.

The view from the common balcony leading to the room was great.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Act For A Green World

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What does our world need today? Something that's applicable for the four corners of the world?
When you ask yourself this question, what answers come to your mind?

I feel our world needs more greenery and environment-friendly actions.
Imagine what a world it will be if all of us plant saplings and nurture trees...
I say- "Yes We Can Plant Trees".
Planting trees gives immense satisfaction and happiness to me.

I have tried to involve the community in my tree plantation endeavours.
Last year, I organized a plantation drive at a nearby field.
VanaMahotsav at our locality in Bhubaneswar was much appreciated.

Just plantation of seeds or saplings is not enough. They need to be watered, cared and respected. 

Friday, 6 July 2018

Some Love Triangles In Bollywood Movies

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There are many Hindi movies that have three lead actors in a love triangle. There can be either two heroes in love with one heroine or two heroines in love with one hero. Considering the uncomfortable chemistry between them, one tends to believe that three's a crowd.

One Heroine, Two Heroes i.e. Ek Heroine, Do Hero

In a love-triangle, someone has to sacrifice.  
When two heroes seek the attention of the same heroine, she has a tough choice.

One happens to be her love and the other is her responsibility due to a prior promise or allegiance. She explains her dilemma to the hero she loves and both are ready to sacrifice for the sake of duty or friendship.
Image result for sangam

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The Zestful Agent

"You decide how you wish to finish the work today," Maqbool said.

Twelve-year-old Zakir felt a huge load on his shoulders.

He had to decide how to reduce the load of one person from the planet, who was interfering with his country's mission...

Maqbool showed photographs of the 'terrorist' whom Zakir had to follow in the market and kill.
PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Alcohol, Bollywood Movies And Society

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Society does play an important role in our real life. The reel-life too is shaped by society.
Movies reflect the society.
This post illustrates this point with the example of drinking alcohol or getting drunk.

Society judges us for whatever we do. Newton's third law of Physics holds true.
'Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.'
The same action i.e. drinking alcohol has an equal and opposite reaction from the society (irrespective of whether the drinking is in real-life or in reel-life!)

There's a Bollywood song- 'Peene waalon ko peene ka bahaana chahiye' (Movie - 'Haath Ki Safai')
Meaning- Those who drink need an excuse to drink!
No matter what the reason, some people are always ready to drink no matter what the society says! Some examples-

I) When the hero knowingly tries to make the heroine guilty or vice-versa.
You are responsible for my alcoholic state! See me drink and suffer!
In a number of movies, the hero/heroine are shown to consume alcohol and stop doing so only after the intervention of their love-interest!

II) When the villain/hero tries to spike the drink to intoxicate the heroine or vice-versa.
The intention is anyone's guess.
Image result for yeh dillagi hoton pe bas

'Hothon pe bas tera naam hai, Tujhe chahana mera kaam hai. Tere Pyar mein paagal hoon main subaha shyaam.' (Movie - 'Yeh Dillagi')
Meaning- There's only your name on my lips, Loving you is my work. I am crazy in your love morning and evening.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Some True Heroes Of Odisha

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Individuals with disability deserve an inclusive and accessible environment.
In December 2016, "Rights of Persons with Disability Act 2016 (RPWD Act 2016)" got passed as the law of the land. This human rights law ensures that persons with disabilities also receive the same civil rights protections as other Indians.
Through Odisha State disAbility Network (OSDN), a unique 18-month Sashakt Campaign has been started in Odisha with the collaboration of over 250 NGOs, networks, government agencies, parents and individuals and several partner agencies. Sashakt Campaign is an endeavour to create awareness about the laws and the rights of persons with disabilities.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Boat Ride On The Chilika Lake

I went for a boat ride on the Chilika Lake from Swosti Chilika Resort in Ganjam district, Odisha.

Because of its rich biodiversity, Chilika Lake was designated as the first Indian "Ramsar site" i.e. a wetland of international importance.

I loved to visit Kalijai Goddess, Temple, Kalijai Island and some other islands of the Chilika Lake.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Master Artist

“Hello,” said the voice on the phone. “My name is  Peter Taichovhaz. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I’ve been given your name as someone who can help me.”

Peter Taichovhaz was an internationally-famous artist, who had won many awards. 
Regaining her composure, Anna replied, "Great privilege to receive your call, Mr.Taichovhaz. How can I help you?"

"Can you come over to my office today at 5 PM ?"

"Sure. I'll be there!"

Anna, a young student artist, had been striving for a couple of months to ensure that Peter Taichovhaz noticed her work. She had sincerely submitted two of her creations for the Annual Art Awards competition just because he was the judge! Her efforts had borne fruit!

Anna found herself at the Peter Taichovhaz office where she found two of her art-works displayed on the elegant wooden-table in the centre.

One was her sculpture of the buried chairs that she had titled 'CONFUSION'.
#MidWeekFlash Week 61 Challenge - Sculpture by Ivan Puig

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The Wedding Singer's Wedding

Ronnie is an industrious and handsome wedding singer.
His melodious voice regales weddings, while he dreams to get his first recording-break.
He puts tremendous effort in his lilting compositions.
PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Tania is getting married secretly.
Ronnie has been assigned the job to sing at her post-wedding party.

Bateshwar Temple And Sea Beach, Odisha

Sri Bateshwar Mahaprabhu Temple is an 8th century temple near the Rushikulya rookery (of Olive Ridley turtles) and Humma village in Ganjam district of Odisha. There is a sea beach near the temple.
Situated about 8 kilometres from the NH16, this temple is of archaeological importance. Devanagari and Kutila scripts are in the inscriptions at the site. However, they cannot be read due to the poor clarity of these inscriptions dating to the 10th Century.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Perks Of Being A Blogger #writebravely

They:     "What do you do?"

Blogger: "I'm a Blogger."

Monday, 25 June 2018

How To Reach Swosti Chilika Resort From Bhubaneswar

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The pristine surroundings of the Chilika Lake make visitors feel at one with nature. Small wonder, Chilika Lake attracts many guests from all over the world- not just humans, avian species too! We have visited the Chilika Lake many times.

Last year, we were very excited to learn about the inauguration of the newest resort in Odisha - the Swosti Chilika Resort in Ganjam district of Odisha. The best thing is that this luxury resort has come up near the Chilika Lake! It is said that only three things should be considered while booking/choosing a property/place-
1. Location,
2. Location,
3. Location!
We love the super location choice by the Swosti group of hotels.
The location beckoned! Swosti Chilika Resort's warm invitation promised us a memorable journey and stay.

One fine morning two months ago, a comfortable vehicle from Swosti Travels picked us from our home in Bhubaneswar.
We travelled 112 kilometres on NH16, from Bhubaneswar to Chilika. The scenic drive took us about 2 hours by car. There are many places of interest on the scenic route from Bhubaneswar to Chilika. I will be sharing about those in another post.

The Swosti Chilika Resort is located at Odia Alapur, Pathara via Gorapali in Ganjam district of Odisha. As we were travelling by road from Bhubaneswar to Chilika, after crossing Narayani Temple gate, we took the left turn at Vejiput village (before the Gorapali toll-gate). We waited for a train to pass at the Kalijai station level-crossing. Then, after a short journey, we reached!
Take a look at this video to see snapshots of our journey to reach the Swosti Chilika Resort:

Thursday, 21 June 2018

I Spy You

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“He might have escaped by taking the bus or train.”
“Perhaps by the gondola...”
The two sleuths continued their conversation at the café overlooking the area where they lost track of the mysterious man, who they suspected was a terrorist.
PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria
“How does he always know our plans?”
“This is the third time he has escaped in the last week.”

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Overpowering Lust

My lust is overpowering, yet sets me free.
It makes me do sneaky stuff surreptitiously.

I do it in the closet or the haystack or under the bed,
Beneath the stairs, under the stars, in places unsaid...

I feel comfortable where I can avoid detection.
I need my space and the object(s) of my fascination.

Image result for lust stock image

Stranger Outside?

"It's there! Look outside the window now!" Sria commanded her husband, Kris.

"Sria, please understand there is NO ALIEN outside," Kris comforted his terrified wife.
"You need good rest. The doctor has prescribed these pills. You'll be fine", Kris said as he monitored the necessary medication.

Kris stopped the video-recording of the incident.

Videos like these would come in handy as evidence to prove that Sria was mad.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

You Make Me Feel Alive

It was a busy train-station.
He looked at her.
She was already looking at him.
He always looked smart dressed in grey.
In her white gown, she looked ethereal as usual.
PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Ultimately Truth Is Truth

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Truth is truth even if no one believes in it.
Lie is lie even if everyone believes in it.
Ultimately truth is truth & its power is here to stay.
Truth will emerge and kick the lies out of its way!

Truth wins! Truth will win at the end and be known to all.
Lie will be defeated as truth will conquer and stand tall.

Then, why do people queue to lie & resort to lies feeling it's fine?
Why the numbers of supporters are so less in the truth line?
Image result for truth is truth even if no

True Treasure

"There is a priceless treasure in our backyard!" holding his hand his dying father had said.
"It must be the truth", he thought as those were the last words of his father on his death-bed.

As an enterprising twenty-year-old, he had commenced his treasure-hunt digging-job earnestly.
At age 70, even after half a century, his hard-work & quest for truth is still in progress actually.
PHOTO PROMPT © Connie Gayer

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Happiness Perfume

I was gifted this tiny bottle wrapped with love,
As I gingerly opened it, there was a note for me-
"Hope this adds to your enchanting treasure-trove!
I wish you a whiff of magic & may you live happily!"
Image by Emergency Brake via Flickr/Creative Commons.
(Image by Emergency Brake via Flickr/Creative Commons.)

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Her Shoes

"And this is where he caught her after a long chase..." the tour-guide mentioned waving her hand.

"Lover's Point!" the sign-board informed.

"Yes! King Raj proposed to Rani here! She agreed to be his queen!"

"Did she have any choice?" I remarked looking at the steep fall ahead into the sea...

"Why did she run all the way here on this rugged path?" I wondered aloud trying to put myself in her shoes.

"The romantic setting!" the tour-guide winked.
PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Bottled Fantasy

The artist was surprised to see his creation outside his window.

His latest painting was out there as a canvas in the sky.

He had chosen his theme as colourful buildings with dazzling stars.
They had finally acknowledged his artistic talent!

Save Water

Life started on Planet Earth thanks to water; for life, water is main.
In today's world, towards water incomprehensible is the disdain...

"Rain-water harvesting" & "conserving water" sounds lame?
Why for such efforts of judicious water-usage aren't we game?

Dripping taps, open pipes... allowing water to flow down the drain...
"Water is wealth", "Water is precious" & we all pray for the rain.
I am still learning to save water, are you? Please share water conservation tips.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Rush To The Top Of The World

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"Are you nuts?", "Do you know what seems exciting, you may despise?"
They try to talk her out of her "stupidity" lest things go wrong & she dies...

She says, "Of course! This is my dream. I speak the truth; I hate lies!"
"I want to go to the top of the world & jump to the earth, yet rise!"

Attempting to kiss the sky, eyeing for the stars with stars in her eyes,
She races towards her dreams in her true form without any disguise!

This is where she has always wanted to be, fulfilling dreams is nice!
Rush & race to the top of the world is a sweet feeling that adds spice!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

How To Recover Deleted Photos From Android Phone?

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Last month, I discovered to my shock and dismay that all the photographs and videos in the 'Gallery' & 'Camera-roll' on my Android Phone were missing. But, the other folders like Screenshots etc. were intact.

I was back from a trip where I had clicked many pics and captured several videos. My phone's memory was almost full. I started getting warning messages. Then, one fine day, they had all disappeared...

I have two mobile phones and as the memory of one phone was already full, I had used this Android phone to save photos especially of the last half of my trip. I felt terrible to find those pictures along with pics taken in the last few months were missing. Perhaps, it is a way in which the Android phone unburdens itself and automatically frees memory by simply deleting the 'Gallery' data?

I was midway in my second April #AToZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z in which I was writing A to Z posts about Odisha, India- including the travel places I had visited. 
My mind was heavy as I had documented my trip by clicking pictures of sign-boards and information-boards. Now, how would I write my posts? 
'Pictures speak more than a thousand words'. 
 "Those pics are important. I have to retrieve them." I requested myself to go for Mission Photos Recovery.
I contacted the phone's registered service-centre. They refused saying that they can only update the phone's software that would erase my existing data. 
I checked with the other phone-service stores. The moment they heard that pics were lost from the 'Gallery' i.e. the internal phone memory, they shook their head and expressed their inability. Had the data been lost/deleted from external storage like SD card, they could have attempted to be saviour.

How to restore/recover/retrieve deleted pictures? 
I started searching online for help.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Hut On The Hill

The river looked deep and tough to cross.

She had to get to the other side that had steep steps leading to the hill-top.

She had to get to the witch's hut.
PHOTO PROMPT © Karen Rawson

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Ekamra Van Bhubaneswar #AToZChallenge

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Bhubaneswar has many beautiful and well-maintained gardens and parks like Nandankanan and Ekamra Van to name a few.

Ekamra Van is an impressive garden in the Old Town area of Bhubaneswar. Located on the Western bank of the Bindusagar tank, Ekamra Van has over 200 medicinal plants and trees. 
The garden was opened for the public in 2009.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Nandankanan Zoological Park #AToZChallenge

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Nandankanan is a beautiful Zoological Park that was established on 29 December, 1960, in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha.
The name 'Nandankanan' literally means the 'Garden of Heaven'.
Nandankanan is a combination of Zoo, Sanctuary and Botanical Garden.

Source: Nandankanan Website
Nandankanan is located amidst the lush green Chandaka Forest along the banks of the Kanjia Lake. The beautiful natural settings and the flora and fauna make Nandankanan one of the best parks and sanctuaries of India. The Park covers an area of about 362.1 hectares and the Sanctuary covers 437 hectares.

Utkala, Kalinga, Orissa - Some Names of Odisha #AToZChallenge

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Odisha was constituted on April 1,1936, as Utkala.
The word 'Utkala' means 'Utkarsha Kala' or 'the land of exquisite art & craft'.

History refers to Odisha in many names - Kalinga, Utkal, Odra, Kosala, Tosali, Kangoda, Udavisau, Odyadesa, ...

Kalinga is a famous name of Odisha thanks to the Kalinga War. In fact, some refer to Odisha as Kalinga even today!
(At the venue of the Peace Run at Lumbini, Nepal in 2017, they introduced me and Budhia Singh as belonging to Kalinga!)

In the 2018 annual lecture of Sambad and Aama Odisha held on 28th April i.e. on Swabhiman Dibasa, researcher Shri R.Balakrishnan shared: "The word 'Kalinga' means 'a piece of cloth or garment'. This proves how ancient the handlooms are. Odisha has always been known for its weavers and artisans. Kalinga finds mention in the ancient Tamil literature too."

Between the 11th and 16th centuries, in place of the name Kalinga, the old tribal name 'Odra Desha'/'Udra' began to be used. 
Gradually, the name was transformed into Odisha (or Udisha, or Udisa), which in English was named 'Orissa'.
The spelling -'Orissa' was widely used.
An acrobatic foot archer named Orissa Kelly has been named after Orissa.

Many Geography books, Atlas, Maps and Tourism Guides still have 'Orissa' as the spelling of Odisha.
Even some newspapers  and Central Government Offices still have "Orissa" in their names.
(After I contacted @CCidOrissaIndia, they simply changed the place name to Odisha, but the office name still has "Orissa")
Many are not aware that the spelling of 'Orissa' has been changed to 'Odisha' in 2011.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Orissa (the Alteration of Name) Bill and adopted the Constitution 113th Amendment Bill after a debate where members said the name-change was a "process of decolonisation as the Britishers had changed the Indian names of cities and states."
The language of Odisha that was previously known as 'Oriya' (before the name-change of the state) is now 'Odia'.

Since Kalinga is linked to Odisha's maritime glory, and Utkala refers to the rich artistic excellence, the two names are still widely used and well-known.
There are many companies and brands that have Kalinga and Utkala in their names including some recent startups like our company's brand- Utkalamrita.

Post for my second #atozchallenge. U for Utkala.
My Theme is- "Odisha- The Soul of Incredible India".
Odisha is a state in the eastern part of India. Have you visited Odisha and India? 
I am sharing some glimpses from Odisha. Do keep reading and discovering!

Bali Yatra And Boita Bandana #AToZChallenge

Odisha celebrates many festivals and several 'Yatra'.
In ancient times, enterprising sons of Odisha, traders referred to as Sadhaba & Sadhaba-pua used to sail from Odisha's ports in huge boats to foreign lands like Bali, Java, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Borneo etc.
At Bali Jatra venue, Cuttack
Boats are present in the handicrafts, handlooms and art of Odisha like in the framed Pattachitra (painting) below.
Pattachitra Art depicting the welcome for the Sadhaba-pua
The expeditions usually commenced on Kartik Purnima, the full moon day in November. Women prayed for their safe travel. When the Sadhaba-pua returned safely from their trip, they were received with much fanfare and celebration.
Bali Jatra and Boita Bandana reflect and commemorate the rich maritime trade and history of Odisha.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Extraordinary Palm-Leaf Crafts of Odisha #AToZChallenge

Odisha is known for its excellence of arts and crafts. A large variety of handicrafts have been a part of Odisha's cultural heritage.
When there was no paper, dried Palm-leaves (Talapatra) were used for writing manuscripts. Odia Mahabharata, Ramayana and many other books have been written on Palm-leaves.

Palm-leaf etching is a traditional and popular craft of Odisha that shows the skills of the artisans.
How many Ganesha can you sight here?

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Kalinga War And Dhauli Light And Sound Show #AToZChallenge

Odisha was called Kalinga in ancient times. 

Kalinga had a thriving maritime trade with neighbouring countries. Kalinga had important ports and was an overseas power. Kalinga had established colonies in Burma, Philippines and other lands.
Kalinga witnessed wars, the most famous one being the Kalinga War.

Kalinga was not under the Mauryan empire.The war of Magadha (Mauryan Empire) with Kalinga was due to "political and ec
onomic reasons". Territorial expansion and political prestige triggered the interest of the Mauryan empire. 
The Kalinga War was fought by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC.

Kalinga was not under the Mauryan Empire before the Kalinga War; Source

Ashoka earned victory after a lot of bloodshed; one hundred thousand soldiers were killed in the battle.
The battlefield of the Kalinga War killed so many people that, it is said, the River Daya's water turned red (with blood of the slain soldiers). 
The word 'Daya' means kindness/compassion. 

How did Emperor Ashoka learn compassion? What brought about the transformation?
There is a story about the Kalinga War:
After the Kalinga War, when the jubilant Emperor was doing the rounds and found an old woman weeping, he asked her not to cry and proudly claimed that he would give her anything she wanted. 
The old woman asked him to bring her son and husband back to life.
Ashoka then realized the value of his win that couldn't fulfill wishes...
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