The Essence of Diwali

Is it just light? 

No. It’s also about the dark in it. 

Like two sides of a coin, Diwali too is a prima donna example of what life has to offer. 

Happiness ~ Sadness

Glory ~ Shame

Pride ~ Prejudice

Success ~ Failure

And many more…..

As we celebrate the festival of lights, can we look beyond the shimmer and search for the darkness within? 

For only if we embrace the dark, we truly can appreciate the light! 

This Diwali, let there be light (only if you are willing to see the dark).

Happy Diwali! 

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The Walk To My Funeral

#PeaceOrNot

The crisp moonlight, that lit up so bright

Every face showed tears, Every heart cried

The walk was heavy, But had to be done

The walk to my funeral, you take a few more steps

For it had just begun..

I don’t wish no bright day, no running streams and no sunny bays

Don’t want the birds chirping, And I don’t want the curtains swirling

Don’t dress up, not for me instead, I gave you your chance

But now Iie dead.

Show up if you feel like, and make my funeral come alive

I wish it all to be dark, standing beneath the gloomy arc

Stop those tears, stop them right away, look what embraces you night and day

For as long as I can hover, I want to endlessly stay as your lover

Words have no meaning now, I’m gone, and our time O’Love, its forgone..

Yes you made…

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FleAffair – A modern day take on an old world tale

There’s something about flea markets, so much so that the plain sight of chirpy streets with flocks of vendors selling their art and craft, is every shopper’s dream! It’s not just about the bargain, it’s the beauty which enchants one towards the hustle bustle of flea markets. With the advent of e-commerce and mall culture, India’s retail sector has rapidly transformed from ‘haat’ to ‘hubs’, leaving behind a fading array of indigenous art forms and struggling local craftsmen. 

Enter FleAffair – a perfect amalgamation of traditional and modern.

At the crossroads of art and technology, thrives FleAffair – an online marketplace poised to bridge the gap between buyers and sellers, helping them to promote their products and showcase their talent. If the usual malls and run-of-the mill online portals don’t excite you enough, this is an option worth checking out! 

One can choose from an eclectic range of quality products ranging from – apparels, antiques, jewellery, accessories and much more. FleAffair aims to bring the best of talent from a sea of talent spread across India by bringing hundreds of traditional and modern vendors on a unique platform. FleAffair believe that creativity is not limited by boundaries, thus, they are dedicated towards harnessing the abundant talent from around the country and helping them reach every nook and corner. 

FleAffair represents a perfect synergy between vendors and buyers. With the advent of Internet, all the world is now one village!  Staying true to their commitment of promoting local craftsmanship, FleAffiar is empowering small and big vendors through their unique, technology driven platform and helping them reach more buyers and increase transactions. After all, our imagination is the only thing which limits our true potential! Not just a marketplace, they are a proud ambassadors of our country’s rich art and craft culture. 

Being India’s largest online flea market, they aim to connect urban with rural through the means of e-commerce. With the convenience of shopping quality products at amazing prices from your home, FleAffair helps you save time and efforts whilst enjoying our rich and wholesome collection of unique, one-0f-a-kind products. For them, it is not about profits, but about promoting art.  FleAffair is poised to carve a niche in the e-commerce sector by putting real talent up front and helping craftsmen exhibit their creations to the world.

A flea market is all about vibrant, bustling streets with a gamut of options to suit every shopper on the street. FleAffair offers a diverse range of the choicest products catering to all the age groups of the society. Be it your mother’s sari shenanigans or your grandma’s spiritual pursuits, there’s one for everyone! Their rich catalogue of products are suited to every budget – catering to every strata of society with a plethora of personalized products.

So, indulge into some retail therapy and relive the joy of shopping from your favorite flea markets. After all, what you get here at FleAffair, is always close to the heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to choose better passwords?

Passwords are the keys which we use everyday to access our phones, computers, social media accounts, bank accounts and virtually everything (pun intended) which needs to be protected from the outside eyes. Passwords are all that which stands between our personal world and the eyes of vicious nexus of cyber hackers and criminals.

Imagine if someone sitting in a remote corner of the world, unknown and oblivious to you, gets hold of your confidential information – one simply don’t want to believe this happening to them. Even the thought of cyber crime can make us shudder in disbelief and no one would every want to be a victim. The question arises – are you smart enough to secure yourself?

Cyber crime is a blooming industry, with more than 400 million people being affected by cyber frauds and online scams, the need to take your safety in your own hands is stronger than ever. The first step towards cyber security is choosing stronger, better passwords. Worrying about how to do so? The following tips will get you started on the road towards cyber safety –

1) Change Old Passwords : ‘Old is Gold‘ – this saying might hold true for most, but not when it comes to passwords. Many of us millenials are still using the same old passwords which were set when our email IDs were created. For you to increase your security, it is strongly recommended to change your old passwords. Want to know how? Read On…

2) Use Non-Random Patterns : Cyber hackers, are just like us, using latest technology to break into private information. They too are smart, educated and have access to common words and phrases, famous quotes, movie dialogues, dictionaries etc. If you wish to set up a strong password, use special characters and symbols to make things less obvious and more secure. You can also add certain patterns to make your password more complex. For example – 2ndtonone4[you] is an interesting way to use numbers, characters and patterns.

3) Choose Longer Passwords : When it comes to passwords, the longer it is, the stronger it is. Most cyber criminals use advanced softwares to crack passwords, thus a longer password simply has a better chance towards security against such tools. For added strength, you can use numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase to your existing passwords too. Make sure that your password is atleast 8 characters or more.

4) Combine Multiple Words : This is an effective way to create better passwords which are not only secure but are also easy to remember. The key is to combine a memory or an event which you will remember easily. For example – itriedparaglidingandilovedit OR ilovetorideahorseonweekends

5) Use Multiple Passwords for Multiple Purposes : Imagine if a hacker gets hold of your password. What’s worst than having all your accounts hacked because you were lazy enough to choose the same password for each one of them? It is recommended to choose multiple passwords. The best way to do this is to set up passwords like categories. for example – your ‘social media‘ account(s) can use one password, your ‘professional/work‘ account(s) can be secured with a dedicated passwords and your ‘banking/savings‘ account(s)  can be protected with a seperate password.

Until face-detection, retina scanning and fingerprint access become household technology, passwords are our only bet towards a safer, secure tomorrow. What’s good is that our safety lies in our hands (quite literally) and anyone can use the above mentioned tips to create stronger, better passwords and protect themselves against the malice of cyber crimes and online phishing scams. As the old saying goes –

“Choose Wisely, Live Well”

This blog post is in association with Indian Cyber Army – an organization which is dedicated towards the cause of fighting against cyber crimes and promoting awareness for the betterment of people.

What is a good design?

Art is subjective – what might be pleasing to the eyes for one, could be annoying for another. It is absolutely up to the viewer to judge whether a piece of art has merit or not. Quite often in the design world, a question props up – “Is this a good design”? A question often asked in retrospection and self doubt, albeit a straight forward question, yet there are so many layers of answers to this.

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So what exactly makes a good design? What is it about certain designs that they manage to win millions of hearts and inspire people? What differentiates a good design from a bad one?  If you often get lost amidst such questions, go on further, as this blog is aimed to unravel the secrets behind what exactly makes a design stand out…

To put it simply, a good design is a combination of various elements, each having their own quality, put together to create a harmony – from colors to textures, from lines to letters, from sizes to spaces, these elements are the building blocks to form a piece of art. People often attribute good designs to vivid imagination, intensive brainstorming of ideas, however, the truth lies in simplicity before anything else. A good design has to tell a story, it should be strong enough to move people and it should speak volumes, without even saying a word.

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”

– Leonardo Da Vinci

Have you ever used a product which made you admire its beauty in awe? It is safe to assume that not only did the product was pleasant to the eyes, it also performed great too. Take for example – Apple. The modern day standard of eye catching consumer products which are a perfect amalgamation of sense and simplicity. Not only do they stand the test of time when it comes to benchmarks and real world usage, they also are eye catching and carry a mass appeal with themselves. So much so, they are the most sought after products when it comes to flaunting in front of the world around you.

“Design is not just what it looks and feels like. It is about how it works”

– Steve Jobs

Whether you are a design student, an amateur, a professional or a hobbyist, keep in mind the ten commandments of a good design as laid out by German product designer Dieter Rams who was responsible for designing the consumer products of Braun. This list lays down key points which are valuable guidelines for anyone who designs. According to Rams, the ten principles to a good design are :

  1. Good Design is Innovative – Good design does not copy existing products nor does it imitates existing norms. Innovation is the key to capture hearts and infuse confidence in your design.
  2. Good Design is Useful – What’s the point of designing something if no one wants to use it. A good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product, while disregarding anything that distracts from it.
  3. Good Design is Aesthetic – A design must reflect aesthetic sense in all forms. It is crucial to the usefulness of a product as they are used everyday. An aesthetic design affects our well being.
  4. Good Design makes a product Understandeable – What makes a design stand out is its ability to say about itself without having the user to comprehend it. Every product should be self explanatory, clearly expressing its form and functions.
  5. Good Design is Unobtrusive – Products are like tools. They are neither decorative objects, nor work of art. A good design must tread the thin line between being neutral and restraining – to leave room for the user’s self expression.
  6. Good Design is Honest – It does not make a product more innovative, useful or powerful than it really is. A good design does not lies, nor does it attempts to manipulate the user with promises that cannot be kept.
  7. Good Design is Long Lasting – it avoids being fashionable therefore never appears antiquated. Good design doesn’t date, it stands the test of time and is forever.
  8. Good Design is Details – It’s all in the little details. Paying attention to the smallest of details can transcend a ‘medicore’ design into something truly remarkable. Nothing must be arbitary or left to chance. Caring about the details is caring about the user.
  9. Good Design is Environment Friendly – What’s the point of designing something if it’s environmentally irresponsible and makes you feel guilty.  A good design conserves energy and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout its lifecycle.
  10. Good Design is Minimalistic – Less is More, is a phrase designers often come across. A good design has everything that is necessary to make it harmonius. Concentrate only on the essentials, and let the complexity shine through simplicity. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

rams - Copy

Whatever you might be designing for, good design is making something memorable and meaningful. Your art should reflect your character, it should reflect your hopes towards creating something better than what is already existing and most importantly, it should mirror your inner voice which wants to contribute and create something exceptional.

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, but to create something that will.”

This blog post is in association with Photo Influenza

 

 

 

Ramzan – Fast, Feast and Celebrate!

It’s that time of the year again! Muslims across the world celebrate Ramzan, the holiest month in the year according to Islam. Abstaining from food and water in the day, their faith restrains them to eat only two meals a day – the pre-dawn ‘sehri’ and the post-dawn ‘iftaar’. This is considered as a way to practice forbearance and self-control.

Delhi comes alive during the month of Ramzan and fuels the fire in foodies’ bellies. The bustling lanes are filled with delicious aromas of mouth-watering delicacies. Food aficionados flock in large numbers here and are found feasting around the streets and soaking in the diversity. The cultural amalgamation is nothing short of magnificent, with wafting aromas from different food stalls and leisurely floating visitors in old world gullies.

We decided to head towards the streets to sample the flavors and put together a list of our MUST try delicacies during Ramzan. Feel like tantalize your food buds? Scroll Below!

Ustaad Mouniddin Kabab


116Looking for the best beef kebabs in town? Look no further! This is the ultimate haven for all your beef fantasies. The old Ustad Moinuddin is long retired, but his legacy remains. Stop here for its cheap but succulent kebabs which are a melt-in-your mouth affair. They have just the right balance if flavors, being neither too spicy nor too bland. Hits the right buttons, this!

Karim’s


Best-Biryani-in-DelhiUndoubtedly, the most popular culinary destination for food lovers in Delhi, Karim exudes a charm that is hard to recreate. The scrumptious mutton seekh kebab and roast chicken are winners. You just can’t enjoy kebabs and curries on their own – you’ll need some bread to complement them and we found the perfect match in – ‘sheermal’ Slightly sweet and precisely fluffy, shermal is different from the usual roti/naan affair and perfectly complements the spices.

 Haji Mohammad Hussain


img_4412At Haji Mohammad, one simply cannot miss the Fried Chicken. Juicy bits of chicken are marinated in spices, coated with chickpea flour and fried golden. The crispy texture with moist insides has won many hearts. It is served with a red chutney that can put your mouth on fire. During Ramzan, they also serve succulent ‘Keema Golis‘ (minced meat served with onions). If you reach here around Iftar time, you’ll manage to get your hands on them.

 Aslam Chicken Corner


049e0f1987477ce63c1be343fd68add6_1466752951They are famed for adding their twist to the good ol’ recipe of chicken tikka a.k.a. ‘tasla‘. While the tikka is being grilled, huge pans of butter are heated next to it. The chicken tikka comes laden with a buttery taste along with onions, which seeps into the meat giving it a delectable and lip smacking flavor. Dieting be damned!

Changezi Chicken Corner


b885ee413f630f82adb5c63c5f0d53bf_1455546151Sticking to the implication of its name, they are known for their Changezi chicken which has a unique flavor to its gravy, tingled with just the right amount of spices and tender pieces of chicken grilled on a tawa. Lip smacking, isn’t it? You can also gorge on paya, beef biryani and a multitude of delicacies here. The closest you can get to heaven!

Bilal


cf4fa948e34ca4b52321f0c964de7003_1444141646This lesser known food joint is all the right reasons you’ll fall in love with Mughlai cuisine. Start with Bheja Fry – this recipe involves scrambling the goat’s brain and then frying it. It is then cooked with spices, onions and sprinkled with Indian herbs. Another must try is the ‘nihari‘, the meat is slow-cooked for hours which makes it delicate and tender. It is then simmered in gravy with spices and garnished with a squeeze of lime and green chillies. One word – Foodgasm.

Ghalib Kebab Corner


32ab232be6deaf1bf5ebfb47dd5a038a_1437552520Spot On, Kebabs! The spiced beef needs a special mention too. Plump pieces of meat are liberally marinated with Indian spices and yogurt, grilled on long skewers and laced with the right mix of butter. The aptly cooked kebabs are best mopped with sheermal or rumali roti. Sumptuous is the word which best describes the food at Ghalib. Another must try is the Chicken tikka and Mutton stew.

Nasir Iqbal Restaurant


Delhi-BiryaniAsk anyone in Nizamuddin where the best biryani is and they’ll unhesitatingly direct you to Nasir Iqbal, and we know why! Known for their spicy ‘Moradabadi‘ biryani. It is fresh and full of colours, chunks of  juicy,perfectly cooked boneless chicken go well with the delicate grains of rice, and is served adorned with green chillies and chutney for that extra ‘zing’.

Cool Point


5a9c68b87d438338e2f4871c3ebaac6e_1447053173Crave something sweet after the feast? One of the best place for desserts and refreshments after stuffing your stomach full with the feast. Cool Point is mainly famous for its ‘shahi tukda’ (bread deep fried in pure ghee and then dipped in malai) and ‘phirni’ (a mouth-watering dessert of milk and crushed rice served in clay pots). If the heat gets too high, one can also try the refreshing kesar milk, badam milk and lassi, sure to rejuvenate the senses.

Words cannot do justice to the taste. We’ll say no more, you’ll have to go and experience yourself, for this is a gastronomy divine!

P.S. – Watch Those Calories! 

 

 

 

Why You Should Travel Solo

To travel is to take a journey into yourself

The title seems like an arbitrary proclamation, but here’s why…

“What if traveling alone is not for me” will most certainly win the award for the question which averted the maximum number of people on this planet to step out and travel on their own. In today’s world, we are not blessed with many moments to be alone.

Some people also say it’s money which hinders them from traveling. Truth is, it’s not just about money, it’s about courage. The courage to let go of your worldly possessions, normality, relationships, friends. The courage to do something you have never done before.

Our fear of being alone, is the most terrifying of the fears we experience.

We have bills to pay, rentals to take care of, errands to run, families to feed, kids to worry about, friends to please  and other innumerable fears which clutch us back into our comfort zones like quicksand.

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Let me tell you – Don’t let being alone prevent you from being with yourself. Solo travel is probably the finest way to connect with your true self. It is when you wander alone, you can follow your whim and find your inner you. You can do things your way. After all, the best conversations always turn out to be the dialogues you have with your own self.

Oscar Wilde

 

Whenever I traveled by myself, I have observed a profound sense of the world around me…the colors seemed brighter, the sounds seemed clearer. The smell of rain on the ground, the warmth of fresh air beneath the sky, the gentle caress of wind through my hair. When alone, every moment seems like an opportunity to discover something new.

What’s interesting is the fact that I have met some of the most beautiful people (not the beauty which is skin deep) in my life, the stories with random strangers I have collected over years of traveling alone are treasures worth keeping till lifetime. It is worth mentioning that how easily people strike up a conversation with a person who is alone, as compared to a bunch of people traveling together. Travel has given me rewarding moments where I could connect with an unknown face and lose myself in a stimulating conversation, there have been enriching experiences about getting to know someone who doesn’t have an opinion of you. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s not. Either way, exposure to new connections is always a great idea to grow and expand your consciousness.

When you are alone, you belong to everyone

Who am I in this new place? Maybe I am a tourist, maybe a traveler, maybe a passerby but before anything else, I am ME. Stripped out of the norms of society, devoid of the rules of relations, to the bare minimum – me. Solo travel gives you the time to be at peace within. When we learn to love ourselves, despite of our flaws. When we understand ourselves and suddenly everything seems better. These magical moments of self-expression are priceless, and often, rare. And that is exactly when we are alive again!

We shouldn’t stop. We ought to find the courage to tread the path alone. There are few things better in life than being able to do what you want, at anytime you want, with anyone you want without having to explain anybody, ask anybody or hurt anybody. Try it once, you can thank me later.

Let’s pack our bags and step out in the wilderness again. Let the wanderlust set us free. Let’s not wait for anyone to tell us when to live again. Let’s take the road less taken and make a difference. Today. Really, there aren’t a lot of excuses left, are they?

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us” – Anonymous