India’s Invisible Army : Marcos!

Story of the india’s Shadow forces and world’s elite navy commandos

Imagine you are a terrorist whose prime motto is to cause destruction to Indian properties/ people and disturb Indian sovereignty. And one day you come to know that there are few deadly guys left on a mission to find you. And you know that they exists among you but you can’t find them as they are invisible. They are as much part of your terrorist organisation as you are and they are lying low and waiting just for the right time to kill you. Bullets can’t evade them.They can fight and kill equally well on Air, Water and Land. And they will show no mercy on you and would not hand you over to any other government organisation. They will just torture you brutally and kill you cruelly and simply vanish after that. None of your friends can locate them. And they have never failed once,yes not even once! Oh well if you will be wise you will commit suicide before they reach you.

Well this is not some fictional plot but a fascinating fact about our special forces and the force I am talking about here is deadliest of all the special forces of India and one of the best or may be the best (better than US Marines I mean by that) in the world. 

THE INVINCIBLE INVISIBLE ARMY OF INDIA: MARCOS!

Here are few very interesting facts about them which would thrill you

They are super dreaded by the terrorists and called as ‘Dadhi wala Army’in Kashmir, ‘Jal Murgi’ in Assam and ‘Crocodile’ in Malabar.In kashmir they live in disguise and keep long beards like Kashmiri terrorists and mingle well with them and vanish silently after finishing the mission. So said Dadhiwala or bearded Army.

indian elite forces

Marcos are Naval officers who underwent world’s toughest and inhuman trainings to transform into super deadly Marcos who can perform all the rescue,repair and survive operations underwater for maximum human durations possible and all with their tied hands and feet. They can also skydive to land or water easily.

world elite force

Only best of the best 20 to 25 years Naval personnel who can clear pre training tests including physical fitness and aptitude test followed by crossing of five week long ‘hell’s week’ of intense physical training and sleep deprivation are chosen to be trained as Marcos for the next two years. Normally 90%of the candidates are rejected.

world best army

They don’t know how to fail! Reason? Well, they are trained in almost every possible warfare on the planet (and may be interplanet too). They are given the best of trainings in martial arts,weapon skills,para training,close-circuit diving and what not.They can handle counter insurgency to anti hijacking to anti piracy operations to the level of perfection. Not to forget the safety of our oil installations. Silent and Invisible!

indian navy commandos

They are trained in Guerilla warfare,mountain warfare and desert warfare and they are HALO(High Altitude Low opening) and HAHO(high altitude high opening) qualified. It basically means they can be dropped to sea and land both with full combat load. It makes them among handful of special forces in the world to do that! Oh my my it must be hell when they’d be unleashing their wrath on enemies.

shadow force

They are one of the well equipped forces of the world. World’s best assault rifles TAR21, HK-MP5 sub machine guns,APS amphibious underwater assault rifles are just few of the toys they like to play with. And HAL Dhruv Helicopters and Cosmos two man submarines are just among few of their rides. You gotta style man!

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 US Navy seals, Marines and British SAS are their best friends and also assist the young marcos during their training period. Not that it make Marcos less than them They are equally good or may be better than them.

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Few Famous Operations

Operation Black Tornado

Well Marcos are existing among us since 1987 when they were formed but keep their profile so low that they were only highlighted during 26/11 Mumbai attacks when the Maharashtra chief minister came to know about marcos by chance through one of his naal friends and placed a specific request for them and the result was before everyone.They stormed the Taj hotel and navigated through smoke filled Taj corridors past all those dead bodies.They were the best special forces there equipped with bulletproof jackets and MP5 machine guns. They had two gunfights between them and terrorists where the terrorists fled leaving behind the arsenal of their ammunitions and grenades. They also played a major role in rescuing the hotel guests. The death toll would have been much higher if they would not have been there.

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Operation Cactus

Marcos defended the President Abdul Gayoom of Maldives to retain his democratic government and prevented the attempted coup by Sri Lankan militants.Then after a group of 47 militants with 23 hostages tried to escape through sea routes but Indian Marcos along with Sri lankan army trailed the vessel and kept firing on the vessel and then an Alize anti submarine aircraft dropped two depth charges near the vessel which ultimately resulted into surrendering of militants.

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Operation Rakshak

It’s an ongoing Marcos operation where two to four member team of Marcos have been deployed in Jammu and Kashmir around Jhelum River and Wular lake which was previously used as easy grounds by terrorist to freely enter Srinagar. These Marcos operate as undercover agents sporting full beards and wear Pherans like local Kashmiris. Outcome? Within weeks the intrusion stopped. Some Marcos are also attached to Indian Special forces there.

There are other famous operations like Operation Pawan, Operation Leech,Operation zabardast and Operation Swan(ongoing,Marcos used for patrolling on gujrat maharastra sea after 92 blasts) and other operations.

marcos antipiray operations

Their motto

Fight to a militant like a militant!

God mercy my enemies because I won’t!

Well I am in total awe with these masked men and wish to meet few some day……………..just for the autographs! Real heros!

LOVE YOU MARCOS! YOU MAKE US FEEL SO SAFE! IF ANY MARCOS IS READING THIS AS THEY EXIST AMONG US THAN A BIG THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO EVERY DAY FOR US!

XOXO!!

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Dream Team in US!

Photo tour of the dream team concert straight from star’s Instagram profiles.

Recently Karan Johar led the #dreamteam to US and made everyone there move to the popular bollywood dance numbers for almost two weeks. The dream team comprised Aditya Roy Kapur, Alia Bhatt, parineeti Chopra, Katrina Kaif,Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra and rapper Badshah. The tour started on 13th of August 2016 and held concerts at Houston,Chicago,Sanjose,Orlando,Los Angeles and New York where the team grooved like crazies.And ended the tour with a bang only after posting lovely pictures from the tour on their instagram accounts. So here are the pictures specially for you straight from the stars Instagram profile. 

 

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dreamteam siddharth performance

dreamteam katrina performance

dreamteam varun performance
VARUN DHAWAN “ORLANDO MAYHEM’

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dreamteam karan johar

dream team

dream tean varun

VARUN“Performing at the FORUM arena tonight in LA. #dreamteam. 2 more cities to go. This has been an experience I will never forget. Performing on stage gives me so much creative satisfaction.”

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photocat

dream tream selfiesSIDHART MALHOTRA“#Dreamteam photo-booth attempt…😊great experience and priceless memories,Sad that it’s over.P.S-Kj n badshah missing”

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dream team press conference

ALIA BHATT”NO NEED FOR THIS DEAR BUDDY!!! 😄😄😄 haha I’ve totally caught the Pari-Lingo @parineetichopra #DreamTeam #girlstalk “👭

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dreamteam team

dreamteam tour

PARINEETI CHOPRA”Girls who dance together, sleep together! See you tonight LA! We are so excited to perform for you!! #dreamteam”

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dreamteam team lunch

PARINEETI “Bye bye flat stomachs!! We are POUNDING PANCAKES!!! 2 weeks of dancing at our tour, WE DESERVE THIS!!! 🍔🍟🍕🍦🌟❤️🌟#celebrations #cheatday #dreamteam@aliaabhatt @s1dofficial @varundvn@shaheenb #Kat #Adi

 

dreamteam

dreamteam tours

 

Hope you guys liked the photo tour.

Love

XOXO!!

 

Zap the myth and design a fashion store just for you!

Well, What do we all girls love? Of Course after chocolates, teddies and flowers! Yeah! Only other materialistic little things like shoes,bags,watches,sunglasses and clothes to name few! And trust me it’s not a joke. Having the right sense of fashion and assembling that perfect outfit for a perfect occasion is just not that easy.

All the Ecommerce giants like Amazon,Flipkart,Jabong or Snapdeal brought the entire market at your doorstep and provided you with the biggest shopping opportunities ever. And here enters zapstore where friends can share and refer products straight from these renowned E Commerce sites to each other and effectively use the social media. The unique thing about it is that Zapstore is individuality based.  So you can choose you favourite store and buy whatever you wish for,post it straight on your Facebook wall for others and what more you are also paid if someone likes your e boutique and decides to buy something from it. Whooo! So basically you were already an online shopping addict but now it’s customised,more fun and you’re getting paid too.

Electronics,Accessories, clothings,footwear and what not! There is no dearth of options and Zapstore provides you the opportunity to bring everything best suited to you at one common platform…for you and your friends!

So recently I just got registered on Zapstore and created my first boutique Zapstoremyboutique which includes women western wears,trendy sunglasses, sexy shoes,cute bags, lovely accessories and international classic watches. It was so much fun and I could not just stop. After I created my boutique on zapstore I realised I am very clear about what I want and what are the best deals for me. Then I had so much to share and refer with all my friends at one go. I really don’t need to send those shoes pictures to all those whatsapp groups. Just few clicks and it was posted on my facebook wall.Yepeee!

Like I teamed this trendy denim shirt with Levi’s women’s skinny jeans along with Nine West bronze peep toes and accesorised with the coolest pairs of Ray Ban silver aviators and Harry Potter Time Turner Golden Pendants. OMG! How cool is that! And yeah not to forget my exclusive Michael Kors Two Tone Analog Watch. I already feel like the queen of this world.

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LEVI’S WOMEN’S BODY BLOUSE SHIRT Rs.2599

Look at this cotton shirt which look like denims yet provide the  comforts of cotton shirts and would go on with almost everything leggings,palazzos, jeans or trousers. Mostly with white and black shades. Though it’d be cool carrying it with denim on denim look too. But I chose classic pair of black jeans to team it up with.

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Levi’s Women’s Skinny Jeans Rs.3999

These skinny classic pair of jeans can compliment a western tee or a ethnic Kurta equally. I chose super chic Nine west Bronze peep toes with it which provided the entire look a very classy yet very casual look.

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Nine West Bronze Peep Toes Rs.6890 for Rs.4823

These peep toes are amazing. Not too high making it comfortable to carry throughout the day and not too low making it dull and boring. Just right and look at its amazing bronze texture. And finally I accessorized it with a trendy Harry Potter time turner golden pendant.

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Harry Potter Time Turner Golden Pendant for girls Rs.449

And when these perfect pendants needed those perfect partners than I chose Ray Ban silver aviators. And it was crazy . Nothing as cool as right pairs of sunglasses!

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Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses (Silver) Rs7990 for Rs.5990

Then came a perfect bag to carry everything else I need to carry with this outfit and mostly my attitude. And Fostelo brown shoulder bags were just so perfect for it. It would perfectly complement every single outfit on this planet(almost).

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Fostelo Brown Shoulder Bags Rs.1999 for Rs.594 

And last but not the least I chose that gorgeous Michael Kors Two tone watch which I recently spotted on Kate Hudson (of course on T.V.) and It is not available easily in India and its stainless steel strap and round dial makes it a timeless piece to be treasured forever. And what’s more it’s on discount too!

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Michael Kors Parker Mk6365i Two Tone Analog Watch : Rs.20495   for Rs.16396

There are other cool items in my store too like ethnic Kurtas, International watches exclusively available online,bags,shoes, tees ,leggings, jeans and what not .No need of reading it here and better take a look at the other cool items in my store following this link www.zapstore.com/s/swapy6 . No rush and buy only if you feel like or better register yourself. It’s the future of online shopping. 

I am making my own store for the #BestZapStore activity at BlogAdda in association with Zapstore.

Advice that mattered the most!

Well, I don’t believe that there would be anyone on this planet who could claim that they have never been inspired. Do you see that how those poster boys defining success, happiness and everything great that this world has to bestow upon mankind have an incredible journey of hope and believe to share with us all. The stories of faith which helped them crossing all the obstacles in their lives and ultimately fulfilling their dreams. And you know what would be common among all those people’s stary journey of success? The people! The people who believed in them, the people who inspired them in some way or the other and transformed them into the person they are today. There would always be someone behind their backs. The genetic decoding plays the role in forming you but your people,environment,parents,teachers, peer groups,your neighbours and your alma mater it all sums up to shape the person you are today! That is the defining line between successful and unsuccessful,between a hero and a villain,between the one who rise and the one who shams! So folks, if you still insist there was no one ever who influenced you and helped you in taking that one decision that changed your life forever than you are seriously delusional.We all need our guardian angels in some form or the other to achieve the impossible and to reach where we always wanted to reach.

So if I talk about my journey than I was a highly reckless and careless kind of kid who successfully transformed into ‘I give a shit’ kind of teen. All I would do is to paint occasionally and narrating imaginary stories to my friends which they loved to listen by the way. School for me was punishment and I would drag my feet somehow there. I would yawn half the time during lectures and manage just to pass. I’d be grumpy about the food my mom would cook and be totally thankless for whatever she would do for me. I wanted best of the shoes,clothes and bags for me but totally ignore the concerned advices of my dad who would say ” That it’s okay that I can afford you the things you want but It will not last forever and one day you will have to be someone on your own to buy everything you want and live the luxuries you wish. But then you need to work very very hard for it now.” But of course I would turn deaf to those pearls of wisdom and roll my eyes to whatever he would have to say. Then I would go to my school and flaunt my newly acquired possessions to my classmates. It would result into some collective awe from few of my friends and I’d feel like a queen of this world.

Yeah! That was me. A very very and very shitty me! Yeyyy!

Life went on smoothly like that and I reached class 11th somehow. I had to change my school too. My tenth board results were not very flashy and my parents had already lost hopes in me that I could ever bring them that one happy news that they could proudly use that long saved ‘Akhir Beti kiski hai’ dialogue like Sharma ji ki beti next door whose house was filled with academic awards and trophies. There were also the framed certificate of national olympiads hung onto the walls shouting out loud the glories of the proud parents. Though eventually my mom stopped visiting them but that is another story. Many of my classmates who did not have flashy clothes or bags and belonged to humble backgrounds did really well and got admission into some prestigious schools. These were the very same lot with whom I never liked to talk. And here I landed to some average school with no playground because my marks were not good enough to get me into some nice schools.

My parents exasperation, my shitty marks and total adieu from my childhood friends who also struggled with the same situation had shaken my confidence but I still did not care.

But you know the most wonderful things would happen to you when you least expect them!

There I met this girl Meenakshi.Tall,confident,extrovert,outspoken and a performer! I developed an instant likeness for her and she also seemed like gelling well with me and very soon we were the best buddies. She was the studious kinds and would always be lost into some book or the other and initially It would upset me. I mean I liked her when she was not with her books but Me and books? Oh my God that was some kind of taboo.

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Meenakshi

But eventually I started developing interest into the books, still not the course book kinds but flipping over the fiction novels was also some kind of achievement for me. Like I still remember that ‘A wrinkle in time’ by ‘Madeleine L’engle’ was my first story ever which she forced me into reading. So it was not like that I turned into some kind of nerd or something but yeah my computer games were gradually replaced by more of such wonderful young adult books. I fell completely in awe with them And now I think how that one simple influence or rather a borrowed trait from my buddy helped me immensely to write something or ponder my heart into my blogs which define the most beautiful aspect of my life today.

One day she invited me back to her place which I gladly accepted. When I got to her place then I saw how humbly she lived and how she had to participate into every single household chores and yet she was glad to everything and everyone. I saw how he shared her room with three other siblings and yet managed to read and complete her assignments to the extents of perfection. I was stunned and the reality hit me hard that What is so wrong with me? Why am I not a performer? If not studies then too I could have been good in sports or literature or something good but what am I doing? It’s not like I am some retard or something infact my memory is sharp and I knew very well that it’s just my lack of concentration or rather my focus on some other things that hindered me deciding my goals. But that day, there at my best friend’s abode I found my Bodhi tree. That day and today I have never looked back after that. She helped me with my studies which were important at that point of time and surely I couldn’t be a state topper or something but passed my twelfth with good enough 80% and It was huge for me and my parents.

So sometimes the right company,the right influence and right environment also changes lives,clear your mind and remove all the hurdles that can’t even be accomplished by ten hour straight gyan session of some Baba or another biggies.

A simple life, a humble soul, an ordinary touch has the power to change lives. You really need not to be extraordinary to achieve something great in life. Just a simple life and simple people around you!

Anyway I managed to get into one of the top ten engineering college of India and she also managed to get into one of the other top college. And the only sad part about it was that finally we had to separate our ways but we are still in touch and better friends than before.

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Just few months back when we met again!

Then life flipped for the second time and showed me the way It was meant for me…always!

So by the time I was in college I had turned into a nerd (though I hate to admit it) It was all studies for me and just like Meenakshi my hobbies were all so limited to behind the pages of those books and fictional characters changing lives. And colleges are so unlike schools! There they teach you life too. Colleges shape you up as a citizen and mend your path to lead your family. What do we call it….. All round development!

So there I met another girl ‘Rohini’ and trust me it’s just not that I make friends with girls and actually most of my friends are guy friends but yeah these two girls helped me to be what I am today! Rohini was a true gemini. A fashionista,fun and outgoing girl! So any college excursions or a trip from the trekking at Ladakh to river rafting at Rishikesh, she would be the first one to join. Rohini would be there organising a ‘nukkad natak’ or dancing to the beats of Shakira in college fest. Name a thing and you will find her there! While I never participated into those things initially because somehow I convinced myself that it was not all worth it and would ruin my career. Maybe it was my childhood which was preventing me to indulge into things other than studies.

 

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college life

Though we connected a lot at the mental level and supported each other. A kind of repo was already established but honestly I never thought that she would be a performer or good in studies all the while basking in the dreamed glories of me topping the college and bragging a placement directly into one of those Fortune top ten companies.

But you know what? The first semester GPAs were out and Rohini was the topper of the batch! I got decent GPAs too but her’s were incredible. I was disappointed and fuming too. It really hurts when your friends do better than you. Well the ‘3 Idiots’ movie is not a myth it’s the hard reality and these are the Ranchos who bags the best. Anyway I was back to my room and started sulking while munching my french fries. Suddenly there was a loud bang on my door and she entered my room.

She said “ Hey let’s hit the CCday today.”

I said ” Well, I am not in mood. Some other day may be!”

“Hey, Why ? What is so wrong? You got such nice GPAs and you are not celebrating?” She seemed genuine not even a hint of any satire but that was it and I burst out.

“Oh please Yaar, You have all the reasons to celebrate as you have topped it without even studying but you see I really don’t find a point to celebrate it after getting 8 in spite of all that slogging I did for the entire semester. And I did not even attend a single party! Imagine!”

She was still smiling. Oh that annoying annoying smile!

“Lolz! Really? This is what you have to say? Who asked you not to party and you could have still scored better?” She said

Well, I don’t have connections like you. So you see that I can’t party and sleep all the time  and still top the semester.” Now that was really low but I said that.

Now this is something bad but you see it’s not like you need to discard your social life and kill your other talents to rise academically. It’s just that you need to manage your time well and understand your priorities clearly. Studies or marks are not all about your life and trust me they would not define your life too. But how much understanding you have developed about life,how much respect you hold for people and how you managed to make the best of it would matter the most at the end. And trust me rest all will follow eventually and you just need to be honest about your goals and passion. Use every opportunity in the most positive manner that the life has to offer to you without sulking over other people’s success and without pondering much over what the hell is going on in their lives.”

Then she stood and moved towards the door. But she turned once again towards me and said “Life is once. Live it totally. But living is not sulking over your miseries or torture yourself to death but about rising above the rest and helping others. Trust me you can still succeed and be happy.”

And then she left me all alone. That was the advice that mattered most to me and it showed me a way to live my own life and lead others too. I apologised later to her and by the end of my college life we turned out to be BFF. We share the kind of bond which people find amazing between two girls. We are confident and independent women today and very often we would barge to each other places and cities whatever we can mange. And that is it!

 

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Last time when we met

I lead an amazing life today. I do jobs just not for the sake of doing any job. I do everything for my passion now. If something interests me I will do it and if it does not no matter how much crores it would fetch me I would not do it.

And I have never been wrong since then. Sometimes I go to the mountains to achieve my nirvana getting a break from my daily hectic schedules or sometimes dance to the trance at some Goan pub. I have crossed mountains to teach few kids at terror ridden areas and supported whatever little I could do to the war widows. I worked as a software developer at some top notch company for some times and then a marketing executive at another fortune 50s but left that too when I felt like doing something different and ended up teaching in a college and very soon quit it too just to teach pre primary school kids. Then left everything else and suddenly started blogging just because I felt like and all the while serving this nation, doing all the welfares I can do back to the society.

Very soon, I plan to explore some jungles and I might just be interested in creating some difference into the tribes there. You never know! And even on the scales of society defined success I am doing far better than my contemporaries and only because I don’t care what they are doing and I just try to make a difference in my own little life.

I am living my dreams and helping others to fulfill theirs and it gives me immense satisfaction. And that is what matters at the end! Thanks Meenakshi and Rohini for showing me the way to be what I am today and live my dreams. Thank you for being there always for me.

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If you have the wish then you will find a way and if not then you will find an excuse! I read it somewhere and it is very apt!

“Shakho se ukhar jaye wo patte nahi hai hum

Andhi se kah do ki aukat me rahe!”

another one (only coz I’m so fond of shayris,tolerate one more)

“Kuch log milte hai, Duniya badalti hai

Kuch shama roshan hote hai,kuch bujh bhi jate hai

Jo daata rahe hasti bus uski nahi mitati hai.”

“I am blogging about my dreams and the people who helped make them true for the #AdviceThatMattered activity at BlogAdda in association with Stoodnt.”

My Kolkata yatra!

KOLKATA! The largest city in India and one of the largest cities in the world! Well that is the right kind of intro when you want to talk about Kolkata. One of my friends was asking me since long to visit her and so one day I just opened Domestic Airlines  on yatra portal and booked my tickets to Kolkata from Delhi on 23rd of June 2016 and finally I was in the 6E Indigo Airlines . So when the flight was just about to land the magnanimity of this enormous city amazed me to the core and the ever glittering and blinking strings of lights  simply refused to go away from my sight. Yeah ! That’s it. That’s the first thing that hit you about Kolkata……………….Yo! Man! It’s soooo BIG.

And this is what I exactly thought when I landed to this ‘City if Joy’.

THE PLACES I VISITED

Kolkata is a metropolitan city and so there are endless opportunities to make most of your vacations. All the details and even various sorts of packages suiting every budget type easily available online. Though I was with my friend who was suppose to be my city guide but still for a better experience I opened Yatra app again and made a mental note of my perspective tour of the city. It was easy with various reviews and photographs there. Here is how I had my gala time in the city.

Victoria Memorial

So I started my yatra with the most iconic building of Kolkata next day on 24th of June. It’s like a poetry on marble and people call it Taj Mahal of east and it would have qualified for being one of the building marvels in India and symbolised love in the similar manner too, if only it would not have been made for a dead colonial queen and I so wish instead for a beautiful Indian Princess. But anyway it’s a must visit in Kolkata. Art, artifacts,memorabilia and so much more. And yes the iconic Tonga visits are must after you are done with the building.

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Kalighat Kali Temple

One of the fifty-one Shakti Peethas on the banks of Adi Ganga river. It is  dedicated to Goddess Kali!There’s a sacred tank located in the south east of the temple which is believed for its power to bestow the boon of a child. Though the temple is surrounded brutally with shops and houses and is always crowded.And also be prepared for those  long serpentine queues leading to the Devi (just like other famous Indian temples!) but It’s worth visiting once. So take your time AARAM se…

Fort William

Well it’s not a tourist place and you need to have special permissions to visit it. It’s a military establishment at Kolkata just near to Park street and normal people by which I mean civilians can’t enter there. But as I had an easy access there so I could get to see this iconic establishment from inside and trust me it’s beautiful. It’s like a city inside the city. For those who don’t know Fort William is a brick and mortar shaped in an irregular octagon building constructed during British Era.Today these serve as headquarters of eastern commands of indian Army.

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New market 

Next day on 25th of June I decided to do some shopping at New Market.Well it’s a british era market where you can find anything and everything right from an antique idol to the most modern of gadgets. Clothes, decorative items, furniture and what not! And all at a very reasonable price! I literally looted some amazing bags and purses there at some unbelievable prices of 200 and 300 bucks. Bargain hard before buying anything! that is the first and foremost rule there. And yes there are famous eateries to offering you from samosas to marzipans. Momos to Gola and the kulhad tea is a must.

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Garia Haat

Then by the time I was done with my New market quest it was almost evening and so I decided to buy few sarees for my mom from Garia haat.It’s very crowded but the lust for lovely sarees would drag you there for sure and so i couldn’t skip it. You will find every single saree existing on planet earth in those small shops which offer you a wide variety of sarees from kanjivaram to famous bengali sarees. There are also other street shopping delights like the amazing accessories, casual clothings and etcetera at peanuts like you get a trendy tee at 100 bucks or a chunky jewellery for some 50 bucks. All worth it!

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Nicco park

Next day on 26th of June we planned to have some fun time at Nicco park.Well, not a very great amusement park like Appu Ghar at Delhi or Adlabs Imagica at mumbai but Nicco park is quite popular among Bengalis and they love bringing their kids here. The kids would love to hop around on those various Jhulas while the happy parents would gladly munch on some spicy bhel puris. It also offers water rides, carousels and roller coasters. It’s all worth it at the end of the day.

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Howrah Bridge

Whether you wish to visit it or not you are suppose to encounter this icon of Kolkata at least once during your stay at kolkata. It is basically a cantilever bridge over Hooghly river. The traffic is crazy during day times so much so that making it the busiest cantilever bridge in the world. But with all those beautiful lightings it is treat to the eyes during nights. So next time you see Gunday or Detective Byomkesh Bakshy or any other movie you will definitely be in awe of this stupendous bridge.

St Paul’s Cathedral

It was my most peaceful place after I visited Kolkata. So unlikely of noisy Kolkata streets and markets.The premises are very tidy and in pristine conditions. Though it is acknowledged as largest cathedral in Kolkata and first episcopal Church of Asia. It’s an architectural marvel and true treat to heart and soul.

 

Kolkata sweets

Well bengali sweets are world famous and I was seriously wondering how it would be and what is so special about it. And then I realised that there are sweet shops every nook and corner. You really get amazing varieties and quality of fresh sweets there and at very reasonable prices. Mishti Doi is a must try and so is Sandesh.

Night life

Kolkata is famous for it’s nightlife too. So I tried few pubs and discs for next two days (I mean night here). Yes it might sound astonishing to few who think that it’s mumbai which qualifies for real night life but that is not true. Kolkata has many famous pubs,lounges and clubs. Tantra,Underground, Roxy, Sheesa to name few! Party goes on the entire night where you get to meet all those lovely boys and girls dancing to the trance. Entry is mostly non stag and there would be some entry fee. I also had a dinner at the iconic CCFC club where Baichung Bhutia was eating his dinner at the table next to me and I know how I curbed that feeling of taking his autograph with all that straight face of mine. I also had some snacks and coffee at Aqua which is at HHI ‘The Park.’ It’s a small pool side pub there and extremely comfy and private arrangements would really make you comfortable.

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Hotels

Well Kolkata is one such place in India where you get a room as cheap as 100 bucks to a room at 40000 bucks. You can easily book these hotels through yatra site. There is no dearth of hotels but I’d especially like to mention few luxury five star hotels where I hopped around for rest of my days. Taj Bengal is the hotel property of Taj group of hotels and as grand as the usual Taj hotels are! I had a cup of coffee there and I thoroughly enjoyed the ambience and quick service at their coffee shoppe. Then I had a chance to attend one of the Fashion shows in ITC Sonar where I had the dinner too. It’s the most magnanimous and well located five star property at Kolkata as compared to other five star properties. I also had a chance to visit Grand Oberoi and Hyatt but the experience at ITC Sonar was the best.

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And finally after a week of refreshment I decided to get back to my old boring life, only I was more energised now. And finally I booked my tickets through Yatra app again while feasting on my faluda kulfi at ITC Sonar on 29th of June using the hotel Wifi on my smartphone and I was back home on 30th of June 2016. I plan to take my Ideal yatra soon to some other crazy destination.

This blog post is a part of ‘Your Ideal Yatra’ initiative in association with Yatra.

Continue reading “My Kolkata yatra!”

Single moms in bollywood: Kanika Kapoor

Single mother Kanika kapoor in her own words

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Oh, Bollywood is a very very strange place and looks are seriously deceptive. You can’t guess the pain,the struggle and the story behind those glittery faces,star studded shoulders and hands full of awards. Can you believe that Kanika Kapoor of ‘ Baby Doll’ fame is a mother of three adorable grown up kids? Can you imagine the struggles Karishma Kapoor had gone to stand proudly as yummy mummy? Ask Amrita singh how does it feels to be from a superstar to a superstar’s wife to just the mother? Especially in a country like India where common perception is that getting married seals the fate and being a mom seals the fate doubly which means you have no life and space left after raising your kids and looking after your husband and family. Divorced or Separated are few very disgraced tags which leads you straight to a miserable and good for nothing life. Single moms are not suppose to raise their kids right and provide them with the right values without a man at home. Yes, These are still the hard realities of our country! So how does it feel when you come across a woman who looks like an angel,lives everyday to party, have money to throw around, epitomises success and then you come to know that she’s also a mom and mothers not only one but two or three kids back at her place. BOOM! Yes, here is the life of such women in my single moms in bollywood segment who defied myths and proved that women seriously don’t need men to live, breathe or basically anything. Single Moms rock too!

KANIKA KAPOOR

Did you know her name just few years back? No na? And here you listen a hot song which shook the entire bollywood world with Sunny leone gyrating to the song along with an equally hot lead singer Kanika Kapoor! And there you notice her Jugni ji,Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan, Desi look, Tukur Tukur, Da Da Dasse and many more, We can’t get enough of her. But do you know she got married at an age of 18 and has three children? Two daughters aged 10 and 7 and a son aged 11. Then she divorced her NRI husband in 2012 after fifteen years of their marriage in 2012. Whoa! It is something. Seriously! Quite unbelievable in our society.

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She said in an interview with The Times of India

I am a Khatri, who was born and brought up in Lucknow. We were pretty well off and had a big traditional joint business family.I met Raj at my cousin’s wedding at Khajuraho. I got married to Raj and moved to London when I was only 18. I was a normal papad achaar housewife, had three kids and was happy playing a mother to them, till we separated about five years ago and finally divorced three years back.”

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Baby Doll happened to me when I was going through a dark, dirty, awful divorce at that time and was completely down and felt suicidal. Not only had I been rejected as a girl by my husband, after the success of Jugni, the world started spreading shitty rumours about me, of how I had left my husband and was allegedly dating a dirty uncle that was completely false. That really put me down even more. People in my social circle stopped talking to me and I was discarded as a person from society. But I learnt a lot at that time and today, I am a totally different person.

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“After my third baby, I was more than chubby with curly hair, was wearing a pink Chanel jacket suit with big diamonds in my ears and my Dad said to me, a Kanika, you have become a Punjabi aunty at 26. Why dona t you get up and do something that you love? Maybe that will bring you happiness.a Today, I am not into Chanel bags, but I am happy. My kids today are so proud of me.

Today, I just focus on my work. I know that it is now or never. I started working to just secure myself financially. I didn’t want to be someone’s mistress. I didn’t want to constantly go and ask my parents and brother for money to buy an expensive bag. I could never have imagined that from being a Punjabi aunty with three children, I could have ever become a pop star. And on top, I had that terrible reputation and that too for not having done anything wrong, except suffering from middle class morality as they say.

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didn’t have a boyfriend. I have not had a man since I left my ex-husband. I’d love to have a man and proudly show him off. I deserve a man who will be nice to me, and look after me and respect me. 

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couldn’t believe when I sang Baby Doll and it became a hit. I feel that the song was made to change my life. I knew no one in Mumbai, had no PR, but I felt like there was someone looking after me. I don’t know how things are happening to me. But I do know that I am a sincere and hardworking person.

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We wish her all the best to this great woman who achieved everything on her own and inspires millions of women out there. Nothing is impossible. Not even turning into a baby doll from a Punjabi Aunty. Stay tuned for the stories of Karishma Kapoor and Amrita Singh in my next segment of single mothers who epitomises feminism into whole new manner.

Here are links to few of her songs

baby doll mai sone di

Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan

jugni Ji

 

Vedic rakhi symbolized husband-wife love!

Everything you need to know about Rakhsha Bandhan

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This divine festival is more ritualistic, real and important than you think. In spite of all it’s modern, customised and market friendly structure it dates back to indus valley civilisation even if you don’t believe the mythological parables. But In all our ancient scriptures, vedas and Puranas and historical references this ritual is mentioned again and again. It even mentions that the wife of lord Indra tied it to her husband and how Rajput women tied raksha on their men’s wrist before sending them off to the war.It surely can not be compared with valentine day or mother’s day. You surely need to brush up your basics.Raksha- Bandhan means ‘The Knot of protection’ and it is a hindu festival celebrated mainly across northern and western India. But It is mostly observed as a secular festival where a girl shows her love and affection for her brother by praying for his protection and prosperity by tieing a thread called Rakhi on his hand.It is celebrated as ‘Janai Purnima’ in Nepal. It is celebrated during Shravana Purnima avoiding Bhadra timings and typically falls in August. Here is everything you need to know about it from myths to history to pooja vidhi to online shopping portals. Your one website stop for Rakhi! Well, you sure love you sibling more than your valentine?

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Vedic Significance

Since Vedic time it is observed as a ritual to ward off fear of ghosts,bad spirits and Vampires.It is believed as yearly ritual to provide protection against bad omens,diseases and other bad things.It nurtures the legendry traditions rooted back to the origin of vedas and Indus civilisation. The Puja Vidhi is elaborately described in ‘Vratraj’ and it states that tieing of Raksha or thread makes the worshipper fearless, enhances his spirituality and provide protection from the dark powers of evil and against all perils.

Mythological Believes

It is believed that when lord Indra was confronted by the Demon King in a long drawn battle who got better of him and drove Indra into wilderness then ‘Brihaspati’ the Guru of Gods advised him to seek protection through the auspicious Raksha at auspicious times of Shravan Purnima. So the Sachi ‘the wife of Indra’ tied Rakhi around Indra ‘s hands after ritualistic performances and then he advanced against the demon king and re-established his kingdom. And since then ‘Raksha Bandhan’ is celebrated for victory,comfort,health,wealth and against evil powers.

According to Bhagavata purana and Vishnu purana  Goddess lakshmi tied rakhi around king Bali’s hand when The Lord Vishnu granted him the boon of immortality along with the promise to take care of his kingdom which included the exile of Lord Vishnu from Vaikunthdham and stay with Bali. Goddess Lakshmi did not like it and so after tieing the rakhi to Bali she asked King Bali to free Lord Vishnu from the request and facilitate his return back to Vaikunthdham which was accepted by King bali and he also accepted Goddess Lakshmi as his sister. This all happened on Shravana Purnima.

Another popular incident is when Draupadi tied Rakhi to injured Krishna who cut his finger while beheading Shishupal. And Krishna always protected Draupadi in return whenever she needed him.

There are other mythological references of Ganesha and Santoshi maa, Yama and Yamuna etc.

Historical Parables

The widowed queen of King of Chittor sent Rakhi to Emperor Humayun and asked him to defend her kingdom from Sultan Bahadur Shah. Humayun started off with his troops but reached late and could not defend the kingdom. The incident dates back to 1535 CE.

The wife of King Alexander of Macedonia approached King Puru of India with Rakhi as her husband Alexander was shaken by mighty king Puru’s fury and he accepted her as his sister. When the opportunity arrived during the war Puru refrained from Alexander in spite of coming close to killing him and in cost of losing the battle.It dates back to 350 CE.

Maharaja Ranjit singh and his wife reinforced peace with Nepal through Raksha- Bandhan. The Bond of Rakhi was honoured when Maharani Jindan was given refuge by KIng of Nepal after the collapse of Sikh Empire during British Era.

RabindraNath tagore also invoked Rakhi to love and respect during British Era.

Pooja Vidhi

A rangoli should be drawn hear a wooden stool which is placed for the brother. Rangoli and wooden stool both signifies Satvik environment.

The brother should wear new clothes along with a cap and sister should also wear the new clothes. The sister should apply tilak on the brother’s forehead and stand before him with a platter of roli tilak diya sweet and wave the lit lamp to the brother.

Both brother and sister should close their eyes and pay obeisance to the Gods and pray to the deities for the protection of each other.

Then sister should tie rakhi on the right wrist of the brother. and wave the ghee lamp arti in a semicircle in front of the brother. Then she chants a prayer which is (there are other chants too mainly associated with wellbeing and prosperity of the brother and this particular chant was used by Yashoda for Lord Krishna)

May the lord of all beings protect you,
May the one who creates, preserves and dissolves life protect thee,

May Govinda guard thy head; Kesava, thy neck; Vishnu, thy belly;
the eternal Narayana, thy face, thine arms, thy mind, and faculties of sense;

May all negativity and fears, spirits malignant and unfriendly, flee thee;
May Rishikesa keep you safe in the sky; and Mahidhara, upon earth.

also

येन बद्घो बली राजा दानवेन्‍द्रो महाबल: ।
तेन त्‍वामपि बध्‍नामि रक्षे मा चल मा चल ।। means
“I tie you with the same Raksha thread which tied the most powerful, the king of courage, the king of demons, Bali. O Raksha (Raksha Sutra), please don’t move and keep fixed throughout the year.”

Then the sister should feed sweets or dry fruits to the brother.

Then the brother should gift something to the sister as the token of love and affection which further symbolises their bond and also pledges to protect and take care of her under all circumstances along with the protection of society, nation and dharma. The sister can also gift something to her brother demonstrating the same emotions.

According to ‘Vratraj’ the worship of Raksha is important and it involves tying it in form of Raksha Potli. The Raksha potli should be made of unbroken rice,white mustard and gold thread and it should be woven with colored fabric made up of cotton or wool which should be kept on a clean cloth for the Puja. All bhudeva should be worshipped before tying the rakhi and clothes should be offered to them.

Raksha Bandhan and colours

It’s very interesting to know just like roses in Valentines each colour in rakhi signifies something like white signifies friendship, red signifies love and loyalty. Orange and yellow rakhis are also popular in India as Lakshmi and yamuna used these colours for their brothers.

Rakhi Gift Ideas

Though gifting is a very personal idea and siblings are usually aware of each other choices,likes and dislikes. So the effort should be made to make it special as per the choices, hobbies or area of interest. But still there are few things which are common and popular like

For brothers

Perfumes,Watches, Pen,books,Bags,Belts, Purse,Dry fruits, Sweets,Clothes

For Sisters

Jewellery,Perfumes, Watches, Cosmetics, Decorative Items, Crockery, Bags, Books, Dresses, Chocolates

Some online Rakhi selling sites

www.amazon.in

www.flipkart.com

www.archiesonline.com

Raksha Bandhan Jokes

Raksha Bandhan Songs link

behna ne Bhai ki kalai pe pyar bandha hai

Bhaiya mere rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana

phulo ka taroo ka sabka kahna hai

Chanda re mere Bhaiya se kehna

New Raksha Bandhan Quotes

For brothers

“Brother, You are the best gift I have ever got from our parents. Thank you for sharing my childhood and being there.”

“Brother, Yeah Dad is my first love but your love is irreplaceable. No One can take your place in my heart.”

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“The rakhi that I send you every year is just not a thread  but it’s the symbol of my pride and love for you. It’s the token of love, affection and prayers for you. And it’s also a way to tell you that no matter how far we live, we are always in each others heart.”

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For Sisters

“Sister, I love you and you know that but this declaration definitely does not mean that I would stop pulling your legs and breaking your stuffs. And yeah that remote is still mine.”

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“Sister, My girlfriend needs the full approval from you and hope now you know how much important you are to me.”

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” Sister, I might not be with you always but I can always be there where you are. Love is what I learnt from you and Mom.”

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And this is for my brothers (I know they look stupid..hehe but Only I can say this..MIND IT!) 

Enjoy this beautiful festival with your siblings.No excuse nothing! It comes once a year. And if your bros stay away far far far away from you just like me spam their whatsapp and facebook profile with all the brotherly messages and quotes. Let the bitches know about the other girl in their lives! Hell yeah!

P.S. one very interesting link of hindujagriti.com which states the scientifc reason behind Rakhi

The scientific reason behind rakhi

image credits: google!