Wednesday, 17 May 2017

On loss, changes and adapting to them

Isn't life a series of painful losses? We lose some people to death and some people to life (misunderstandings, ego, destiny). 

The more we love a person, the more the loss affects us. The pain becomes so unbearable at times that life seems like a merciless struggle to cope up with the losses that life throws at us in the most unexpected times. 

Yes, there are gains too. There are blissful moments of togetherness and love when we laugh so loudly that tears roll down our eyes.

There are cuddles that are so tight that the feeling lingers on long after. Within the blinking of eyes, those moments become memories of beautiful moments spend with our loved ones. And I believe only those memories help us from drowning in the sea of life. We stay afloat, clinging to the memories in our heart and believing that our loved ones are there with us, even if we can't see them. We can still feel them even when they are not around. 

Life is unpredictable and changes are an uninvited visitor 

Last month, my life changed completely as I lost someone whom I had loved more than my mother. In fact, she was the mother figure of my life. My grandmother, my darling Dida, who had loved me unconditionally and had raised me after my mother passed away when I was twelve. She was my mom, my granny, my sister and my best friend. Yes, she played all these roles in my life with deftness. And losing her was like losing a huge piece of my heart. 

The only consolation that I could give myself was that she got relief from the unbearable pain. It was arduous to see her every day writhing in pain in front of my eyes. She suffered for one whole month. She had a brain stroke. It was heart wrenching to see her battling with the loss of memory and tremendous pain due to secondary infections. She was at home for the last 14 days and I feel blessed that I could care for her like a baby. I got the chance to mother her for those 14 days. 

My grandmother was a very fit lady who did all her tasks and herself. She made tea for me whenever she made tea for herself. Last year, she went with Dad and me on a trip to Darjeeling. The manager of our hotel was surprised to see an old lady like her bubbling with enthusiasm. Despite getting much less than what she deserved in life, she was so full of life. She was the epitome of goodness and cheerfulness. 

Adapting to changes because life goes on...

Now when I have to spend every single day of my life without this magical person who was my mother, grandmother, best friend, and sister rolled into one, I feel lonely beyond words. When I lost my mother, I had a mother figure in my life. But with the loss of Dida, I am completely motherless in this huge world. 

There are days when I cry, scream and feel that I can't take it anymore. But thankfully my habit of writing saves me in those times. I record all the beautiful memories with Dida in my journal. It feels great to relive those moments in the white pages on those dark nights. I am planning to start a memoir section on my blog too. 

We, human beings are great at adapting to changes. No matter how painful the change is, we ultimately find a way to adapt and start again. And when I get drowned in the overwhelming emotions, I feel Dida is telling me how much she misses that twinkling smile on my face. She hated my tears and always blackmailed me emotionally by crying more than I cried. 

This is the last picture that I had clicked with Dida before she had the stroke. It was taken in March, this year and how crazily we were laughing our hearts out that day. I had no idea that after two months, I will be writing this post about losing her.

Dear Dida, 
My moonshine,
I will always look for you
In the starry nights,
In the goodness of the world;
I will always feel you
In the autumn breeze,
The cardigan you had woven for me;
I will always remember you
While having tea, 
And listening to old Bengali songs.
I will always miss you,
Cherish you, admire you
And love you!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Adventure to Mt. Kilimanjaro

If you are an adventurous soul who seeks adventure constantly, the Mt. Kilimanjaro trek might be on your bucket list. Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa (19,340) that soars above the verdant tea plantations and the low hills of Tanzania. This once-in-a-lifetime trek will reward you with extraordinary views and breathtaking sunrises that you won’t be able to forget as long as you live.

Highlights of the Mt. Kilimanjaro Trek

Doesn’t it sound absolutely thrilling to climb the tallest mountain in the world once in your life? If you take the Mt. Kilimanjaro trek, you will be able to climb the world’s tallest mountain and sleep on its floor. You will be able to explore the beautiful rain forests, lava formations, heather moor and glaciers. You can also know about the unique fauna and flora of the mountain from the local guides.

Preparing for the trek

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro requires physical fitness. You need to be physically fit to climb the tallest mountain in the world. If you have a fit body, you can definitely withstand the stress of hiking and camping for days. If you have hiked before, it will be easier for you to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. It is recommended by experts to train yourself for climbing the mountain at least two months before your departure. If you have never gone hiking, you can train yourself by going for brisk walks and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Planning your Mt. Kilimanjaro trek

Planning an adventure to Mount Kilimanjaro sounds like a daunting task, but Mojhi is there to solve all your problems. Once you decide to fulfill your dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, you need to send all your details to Mojhi and they will take care of the arrangements of Kilimanjaro climbing.

At first, you need to select the route that you have chosen for climbing the mountain. If you are unable to decide the route, Mojhi will suggest the best possible route after studying all your requirements. Next, you have to tell them how big your group is or if you are going single. Then, you have to mention the dates between which you can go for the trek. Finally, you need to drop your email ID and phone number so that they can contact you with the best quotes.Follow the Facebook Page of Mojhi for regular updates.

Live the adventure!

Your adventure to Mount Kilimanjaro will be perfect when you plan it with Mojhi. They will arrange everything for you in the best possible manner. They have an awesome customer service that is there to answer all your queries. Their quick and professional response will let you go on your dream trek without any hassle.

The snow-capped summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and the spectacular views will mesmerize you and make you see life from a fresh perspective. There is so much to see and explore while climbing the highest mountain in the world. Live the adventure and give wings to your dreams.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Win exciting prizes everyday with TicTok Games!

Most of us love playing games on our phones. Now, what if I tell you that you can win exciting prizes every day by playing games on your smartphone? The prizes range from gift cards, gold coins, tablets, Bluetooth speakers and smart phones. Sounds great, isn’t it?

TicTok Games is the new age sensation in app-gaming where users can win guaranteed big prizes by playing games and unlocking the levels. 

You need to first download TicTok App on your smartphone. You can get the App on Play store, if you have an Android Device and App Store, if you have an iPhone or iPad. You have to create an account and verify your email to get started. As you beat the challenges, you get to win amazing prizes. Levels can be unlocked as the player answers all the questions in a deal correctly, and not when the player wins.

My experience of playing the #TicTokgames

I downloaded #TicTok game today and loved playing it. It is a #KnowledgeGame where you are asked questions about the topics/interest area that you have chosen. You can choose your subject of interest such as gadgets, Bollywood, Business, Education, Fashion, General Knowledge, Sports or Travel. I chose Bollywood, Fashion and Travel. 

6 questions are asked in each challenge. The quizes contain multiple choice questions, guess the image, true/false, memory mania, puzzle and drag & drop. The questions are so interesting that I enjoyed taking the challenges. Although there are many quiz games in the gaming world, #TicTokGames give you a different experience because of the variety of questions. I especially enjoyed playing the memory mania where I had to match the similar image pairs.

There is a time limit for answering each question and therefore, you have to be quick. This makes the game more interesting. There is a new challenge every 15 minutes and the more you play, the more your chances to win prizes.

Various Aspects of the App

The TicTok App is a user-friendly one. You won’t have any problem with browsing the upcoming challenges. You can easily check out the winners of the challenges. Once you win a game, it will get displayed on your profile.

If you want to play the upcoming challenges, you can switch on the notification button so that you can get notified. This #AppGame will surely keep you on your toes and let you win some exciting prizes. You only need to sharpen your memory on the topics that you have chosen. The App looks very vibrant and colorful.

Prizes that you can win

The biggest prize that you can win currently on #TicTokGames is a brand new Honda City Car and Harley Davidson Bike. You need to unlock level #100 for winning the Car and level #50 for winning the Bike. 

The prizes that you can win in the challenges are gadgets, gold coins, prepaid cards and gift vouchers from the leading shopping and food outlets such as Shoppers Stop, Big Bazaar, CCD, etc.

I am addicted to the #TicTokGames and will definitely play the upcoming challenges. What about you? Download the TicTokApp on your phone and start playing. The games are fun and the prizes are tantalizing. Experience the sensational #AppGame today. Don’t miss out the chance of winning exciting prizes! 

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Unleash the storyteller in you via Sweek

Being a writer and a bibliophile, the apps that are dedicated to writers and readers always catch my interest. I came across Sweek on a lazy Sunday afternoon when I was going through some new Apps on the Playstore. The tagline of Sweek is: Stories never end! I must say that this tagline tempted me to download the App and check it out.

Sweek is a free, online platform for reading, writing and sharing stories all over the world instantly. It is an ideal destination for a person who considers himself/herself both a reader and a writer. The App is very user-friendly and has some interesting features.

Sweek : A great platform for budding writers

You need to create an account in Sweek, so that you can explore the stories and start writing your own story. You can write multiple stories and manage them easily on your dashboard. 

To start a new story, you have to mention the story title, write a short description on what the story is about and upload a cover image. Once you finish doing these steps, your story will be visible on the New Stories section on the App. Then, you have to write the first chapter. You can add as many chapters as you want. You don’t need to write all the chapters in a day or a week. You can update your story monthly, weekly or daily, according to your wish.

If you ever harbored a wish of writing a story serially, you will absolutely love Sweek. Bloggers who enjoy writing blog series can also try Sweek for a larger readership. 

When your story will become popular, it can be seen in the Popular or Featured section of the App. The users of Sweek do not hesitate to drop their honest feedback. So, if they like your story, you will surely receive comments on your story.

Sweek: A relaxing place for readers

There is a wide range of classics available on Sweek. You can read the evergreen classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, A Tale of Two cities, etc. You can explore the numerous classics and read them at any hour of the day. 

If you want to read some new stories, you can check out the featured and popular section of Sweek where you can find some interesting stories written by writers from all over the world. If you are fond of any particular genre, you can search for stories of that genre in the categories section.

The stories of Sweek are categorized into Action & Adventure, Arts & Culture, Biographies, Religion & Spirituality, Chicklit, Fanfiction, Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction etc. 

Sweek is a perfect hub for writers and readers. Now, read and write to your heart’s content on your phone. Don’t keep those stories locked within you. Share them with the world through Sweek and enjoy honest feedback on your work. Unleash the storyteller in you today!

You can download the Sweek App on Android and iOS. 

Indian Bloggers

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Things you must know about Alphonso, the King of Mangoes

The best thing about summer is definitely mangoes. Despite the sweltering heat, people in India welcome summers heartily to enjoy the delicious mangoes. It’s only in the summer season when mangoes are found at every nook and corner of the country. I have fond memories of plucking mangoes from the mango tree in my ancestral house and gorging on them in the afternoon. The delicious summer fruit brings a smile on our lips and a wave of nostalgia in our mind.

Mango is known as the king of fruits as it is loved by almost everyone. It is also very rich in nutrients. There are plenty of health benefits of mangoes as the fruit is a great source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. There are various types of mangoes that are available during summer, but the King of Mangoes is undoubtedly Alphonso. 

Alphonso, the King of Mangoes

The season of Alphonso is from the end of March to May. It is the most expensive variety of mangoes available in India. It is considered as a luxury food item because of its rich flavor, tantalizing appearance and high price. There is a royal feel with the King of Mangoes that you cannot ignore. The price of 12 pieces of Alphonso mango ranges generally between Rs1000 and Rs 4000. The price depends on the grade, texture and size of the mangoes.

Featured in 1000 things to eat before you die

The Alphonso mango becomes a national obsession during its short season. They are available only in India and are exported to other corners of the world. Alphonso mango has appeared in many lists such as “1000 things to eat before you die”. If you have ever tasted the King of Mangoes, you will understand why it is celebrated all over the world. The Alphonso mangoes are very popular in the UK. 

The rich and unique flavor of Alphonso mangoes

Alphonso has a unique flavor that is a cross between apricot, peach, melon and nectarine with hints of citrus and honey. The unparalleled flavor of the Alphonso mangoes makes them the King of Mangoes. The sunshine-yellow skin of Alphonso looks very tempting. It has a buttery and smooth saffron colored flesh that is extremely inviting. Alphonso mangoes have a beautiful, sweet aroma with extraordinary flavor.

Chefs find Alphonso a great food item to experiment with. You can find Alphonso on the cocktail and dessert menus of popular bars and restaurants in the world. Alphonso is widely used for making yogurts, ice creams, pudding and cakes. You can also prepare many desserts and drinks at your home in summer with Alphonso mangoes. Sweet Mango Chutney, Mango Kesar Milkshake and Alphonso’s French connection can be easily prepared at home. 

The story behind the name of Alphonso mangoes

Alphonso has been named after Afonso de Albuquerque, a military expert and nobleman who helped in establishing the Portuguese colony in our country. The Portuguese introduced the process of grafting on mango trees that can produce great varieties like Alphonso. 

Best variety of Alphonso mangoes

Alphonso mangoes are cultivated widely in the state of Maharashtra. There are many varieties of Alphonso, but the best variety is grown on the farms of Ratnagiri. They are hand-harvested and widely exported worldwide. Ameya Vartak had established Aamrai (meaning mango orchard) at Ratnagiri that is delighting mango lovers all over the world since 2011. It is an acclaimed brand for the best quality Alphonso mangoes in the country. You can enjoy the season’s first Alphonso directly from the farms of Ratnagiri. Give yourself a beautiful experience this summer by relishing the King of Mangoes. 

Loved by the British

The British love Alphonso mangoes. In 1953, Alphonso mangoes were exported to London for the first time from the legendary Crawford Market of Mumbai. Since then, the love affair between the British and the Alphonso mangoes has only grown. There are many courier companies that provide the facility of gifting Alphonso mangoes to friends and relatives all over the world. 

Great taste and wonderful health benefits

Alphonso is the perfect combination of great taste and perfect nutrition. As it is rich in iron, it is great for pregnant women. It is also loaded with antioxidants and is rich in Vitamin A, E and Selenium. Its extraordinary taste will make you enjoy the summer season like never before. 

The mango season is a national obsession in our country, just like cricket and Bollywood. The top restaurants in the cities start mango festivals to attract customers. The street vendors sell fresh mango juice. People savor the Alphonso mangoes in various ways. So, what are you waiting for? is providing great offers on Alphonso mangoes. If you are yet to savor the King of Mangoes, treat yourself this summer to the best quality Alphonso Mangoes. You will have a wonderful experience with your family that you can’t forget. 

Note:  The images have been sourced from the website of
Indian Bloggers

Saturday, 25 March 2017

When love becomes a journey!

I gaze at the autumn sky with a newly fallen maple leaf in my hand. The graceful cumulus clouds, oblivious to my inner tempest, look at me and sigh. Then, they continue their play as I try to unknot the memories of one particular autumn afternoon. The more I unknot the memories, the more they get tangled and along with them, I get tangled too - a chaotic mess. I start writing on the yellow notebook to unburden my heart. My spilled thoughts are all over the yellow pages. Every day, I write a new story as I try to unknot the memories. I add a new detail or change a dialogue as I read between the silences of a` moment long gone by. Finally, I have a thousand stories of a handful of memories. A thousand ways of feeling you by my side.  

I sail in your love
Every new moon to full moon
My timeless journey.

Linking with Poetry Pantry #346

Indian Bloggers

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Vodafone felicitates Voice of Kolkata winners on International Women's Week

Me with the goodie bag after the event

On this International Women's week, Vodafone brought an interesting contest known as the Voice of Kolkata. Women from every walk of life were told to send their voice message in 91.9 Friends Fm official WhatsApp number about what they feel about today's women and the state of women in the country. 

I couldn't stop myself from voicing my thoughts and feelings about today's women on Women's Day. This subject is so close to me as I support women empowerment and equality. I am a feminist. 

What I said in my voice message is exactly similar to my blog post that I wrote on Women's Day: Dear beautiful women, let your soul shine bright! If you haven't read it, you can check it out. I recorded the voice message in the morning of Women's Day and then in the afternoon, I thought to share it with the readers of my blog. 

On the afternoon of 13th March, I got a call from 91.9 Friends Fm informing me that I am one of the winners of Voice of Kolkata. They told me to reach the next day for an event at Vodafone Angel Store by 4 pm. 

Vodafone Angel Store is a very unique store because it is completely managed and run by women. I was absolutely delighted on reaching the Vodafone Angel Store. As I reached at 3.30 pm, they told me to wait for some time. 

I met some of the fellow winners of Voice of Kolkata and we hit it off right away. Rituparna and Jayanti were bundles of positive energy. I did not feel that I met them just a few minutes back. We talked like old pals and clicked selfies throughout the event. The reason we bonded so well was perhaps because we were there that day to celebrate women power in all its glory.

Jayanti, Rituparna and I (From L-R)

All the winners reached by 4 pm. I could spot radio jockey Arko who was there to host the event. There was a delicious chocolate cake kept for all the winners. We were invited by the Vodafone staff to cut it together and celebrate women power. 

Just before cutting the cake!

It was wonderful cutting the cake with all the independent and strong women present there. When you are in the company of like-minded people, you can't help but enjoy every single second. You can see the cake-cutting moments and our short interview in this video. 

After the cake-cutting and interview session, we bonded with each other while having our small cake party. Then the zonal head of Vodafone gave us our goodies and thanked us for voicing our strong opinion and thoughts. 

RJ Arko told four of the winners, including me, to give another short interview on 91.9 Friends Fm. We went live on air and absolutely cherished the experience. 

With the coolest RJ

Finally, the lovely evening ended with all the winners posing with RJ Arko for a group picture. 

RJ Arko with all the winners of Voice of Kolkata

I had a great evening. It was a wonderful post women's day celebration. The goodies made me smile. I got a cool backpack that will accompany me on my next vacation, a cute red umbrella, Vodafone ZooZoo mug and couple Inox tickets. 

In the midst of happiness, I wondered what a beautiful world we will have if only women empower and support each other, shedding their judgmental cloaks. 

"I always believed that one woman's success can only help another woman's success"~ Gloria Vanderbilt
Indian Bloggers

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Dear beautiful women, let your soul shine bright!

Most of my stories and poems are inspired by the women that I see regularly around me. Today’s women know their mind and are aware of their rights. They know the world is as much theirs as it is of men. They are aware of their talent, intelligence, and potential. At the same time, they are proud of having a loving heart and a compassionate soul.

I get inspired when I see a woman raising her voice against any injustice taking place with her or around her. I feel proud when I see women empowering each other. To all the wonderful women achievers, whether women filmmakers, writers, artists, doctors or lawyers, I salute you for bringing your authentic self to this world.

And to all the unsung women who are fighting their battles to fulfill their dreams, I salute you for your courage and resilience.

I feel blessed to be a woman because a woman is a nurturer, lover and fighter rolled into one. The best thing is that today, we have got the world listening to what we are saying. Therefore, we should take control of our lives and do something beautiful that we can be proud of. 

Dear beautiful women,

Let's make a promise this Women's Day to honor our individuality and identity.
Let's not give a single soul the power to dim our light and remove that smile from our face. Let's take pride in our little quirks, loud giggles, overwhelming emotions and the sweet imperfections. Because they make us who we are.

Let's uplift women who are less privileged than us and get inspired by the ones who live life on their own terms.

Let kindness be our lyrics and love be our music as we, women, have the capability to love unconditionally. Let's promise to never compromise on our individuality and beliefs because the world needs our light, our authentic self.

Let your soul shine brighter than ever. Happy Women's Day!


A woman who looks up to you

Indian Bloggers

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

That Particular Song

I find music very much related to nostalgia. I have experienced it several times. You are having a regular day, busy with your work. Suddenly, a song plays on the radio and that takes you back to a different time, in a different place in the blinking of eyes. For the next 5 minutes, you are not in this world. And when the song ends, you realize the tremendous emotional impact it just had on you. 

"Nostalgia is a seductive liar."~ George Ball

Indian Bloggers

Monday, 13 February 2017

Celebration of literature at the Kolkata Literary Meet

That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longing, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”~F.Scott.Fitzgerald

Being a bibliophile and an ardent literature lover, I wait for the #TataSteelKalam Kolkata Literary Meet every year to listen to my favorite authors, discover new books and attend interesting sessions. This year, the Kolkata Literary Meet was a 5 day literary festival from 25th January to 29th January at the Victoria Memorial Hall. The festival was inaugurated by acclaimed novelist, Anita Desai.

The literary sessions were hosted at the two venues of Victoria Memorial Hall – Son-et-Lumiere and Western Quadrangle. Some of the sessions of Tata Steel Kalam also took place at the Calcutta Club. Over 130 celebrated authors, filmmakers and thinkers from various countries assembled at the literary festival to share their thoughts and views.

I went to the Kolkata Literary Meet three days and attended some enriching sessions. On January 26th, I was fortunate to attend one of my favorite authors, Ruskin Bond’s session “Thrills and Spills” where Ruskin Bond discussed why hills are the perfect setting for murders and mystery. It was a great experience when Ruskin Bond read one of the stories from his latest book “Death under the deodars”. 

It was an amazing session, especially when the audience was given the chance to ask him questions. I asked him about one of his short stories, “The Night train at Deoli” and was overjoyed when he answered me. After his session, the audience was told that Ruskin Bond would be signing books at the author’s lounge. Finally, I got the opportunity to have a signed copy and meet my favorite author personally.

On January 27th, I attended the session “Acts of Faith” where Javed Akhtar, Tabish Khair, Mudar Patherya and Shazia Omar discussed about the challenges of Islamophobia, stereotypes and radicalization. It was a very enriching session and I especially loved hearing Javed Akhtar whose views were refined and powerful. 

Then, I attended the next session “Pink and the power of No” where  Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Andrea Tariang and Ritesh Shah spoke about the importance of the movie “Pink”. They were in conversation with author, Kunal Basu. It was a very engaging session where the audience asked plenty of questions to the director about the movie and the change it brought in the mindset of people.

I also went to the festival on the final day, 29th January. I attended the Children’s Literary Meet Special with Indian sports’ golden boy, Abhinav Bindra and Joybeer Dutta Gupta. The Olympic gold medalist in shooting talked about his journey, his failures and success. It was very motivating when he spoke about the importance of dreams in the life of every person. He said that hard work and persistence are the only way to success. When someone from the audience asked him about the role of his parents, he said that his parents supported and encouraged him whenever he had failures and felt like giving up.

I enjoyed the session “Make up your mind” where Nandana Sen and Nabaneeta Dev Sen read poetry from their latest book “Make up your mind”. The award winning poet, Nabaneeta Dev Sen spoke about Nandana’s translations of her poetry. It was a sheer treat to see the mother and daughter bond on poetry. Overall, I had a great time at the #TataSteelKalam Kolkata Literary Festival. At the end of the festival, my literary appetite is well satiated with new books to read.

It is wonderful to see that Tata recognizes the role of literature and is contributing so much to secure the literature culture in Kolkata. The Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet brings the literary stalwarts from all corners of the world. It gives people a forum to speak their mind and interact with the authors. It encourages the lovers of literature to explore the world of ideas and words without any hesitation. The people of Kolkata look forward to the Kolkata Literary Meet every winter as it gives them the chance to rediscover or rather “readiscover” books.

Indian Bloggers