The Crucial New Moves

It has been 5 years since the Cochin branch fest of our institute has begun and it has been growing ever since. What started off as a tiny, simple gathering is now the most awaited event in the Institute. Students from other branches come to watch the show every year and this year, the crowd was twice that of last time. This was when the organizers decided to take it to the next level – Host an inter-branch or rather a state level cultural fest. It was huge and we weren’t sure if we were prepared for the same. After many hectic days and sleepless nights, when we were sort of sure that things might work out, we made the big announcement. The Cochin branch would host the first ever state level cultural fest – Adwaita!

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The crowd was larger than expected, but we had booked quite a spacious auditorium and so, it did not matter. All the blue tee-shirt clad volunteers were super-busy, running around. The various tasks included taking care of the stage, the back stage, the order of the programmes, the registration, sound systems, seating arrangements, refreshments, accomodation, green rooms, multiple stages, parking, food and all the unforeseen events. Oh my! I love organizing events.

When it was time, the divine strain of the tanpura permeated the auditorium, over and above the din of the crowd and slowly, silenced all. The curtains rose gradually, with the music, and the stage slowly lit up. The inaugural dance to the divine music by six damsels, had the undivided attention of the audience and soon, before we knew, things were going smooth.

By lunch time, I was glad that we were earning the name of really good and thoughtful hosts. The food turned out to be great too. So that scored more points in our favour.

Once it was past lunch time, came the funny competitions which were arranged so that people wouldn’t sleep off watching something serious. Apparently, the contestants did not get the idea of comedy and there jokes weren’t funny enough for the crowd. As we were skeptical about where this was going, a series of jeering and catcalls ensued. At first, the crowd seemed to enjoy the release of some energy. And the contestants were informed well in advance about the possibilities of the same during the competition. So, it did not matter much. But soon, the catcalls became boring too and one by one, they were seen leaving. That was when the panic set in.

We had better shows arranged and if the crowd left now, there wouldn’t be anyone to see the rest. All the volunteers working in and around were called for a quick meeting, leaving some near the stage. In 10 minutes, some more local friends were added to the volunteer group and the entire team was working as one to reschedule events, convince the crowd, alert the anchor etc. The current show was halted for a while an the anchor was doing her bit to interact with the crowd. 20 minutes later, the proportion of people leaving reduced, but they had no driving factor to stay. To put an end to our plight, the power went off!

Lo! Began the catcalls and jeers stronger than ever before with some fervent swearing. The crowd had began to filter out, when the power came on to the day’s biggest extravaganza. As they turned to Race 2’s Allah Duhai hai, they saw a figure walk up to the empty stage. Her face brimming with confidence, pulling off a sequinned top, a mini skirt and printed stockings with ease, Miss long legs Anushka Manchanda had left the audience spell bound with her voice.

As the dancers filed into the stage, the laser lights, the fireworks and the smoke jazzed up the auditorium. Anushka’s voice was gaining more and more power. While the smoke cleared, a platform shot up from the center of the stage and atop it, stood the dancing king – Allu Arjun! With his graceful and subtle moves and Anushka’s booming voice that demanded attention, the entire show took a new turn. In a few minutes, there were twice the number of audience than the auditorium capacity and they all seemed charged and were asking for more.

Courtesy - Blogadda.com

Courtesy – Blogadda.com

 Well, the heart wants what the heart wants. Give it more than what it wants and it will listen to anything you say. The entire show Adwait went on well from here. Assuring the audience more of the performances, we finished all our unfinished business. Soon, the duo were again on stage and we were thankful for our back up plans and the programme’s flexibility. We have hosted many fests with other celebrities. But it was pure magic when Allu Arjun’s sensational moves and Anushka Manchanda’s magical voice came together. 😀

I am blogging for #MaxFreshMove activity atBlogAdda.com. Are you?

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Of Fragrance And The Breeze

Every evening, when the sun sets, my Ammamma lights the lamp in the Pooja room and places two agarbattis (Incense sticks) next to it. The Pooja room being the one next to the entrance, when visitors enter, they smell the floral fragrance of the agarbattis. I have always been proud of the smell and I swelled in pride when my friends said that my home smelled lovely. Until, we shifted to our new home.

Initially it was all going well until the summer. Our apartment is situated at the heart of the city. But, it takes barely a 200 metre walk from the main road to reach and then, it all goes silent. Perfectly placed in the city with greenery behind, I couldn’t ask for more since we are sandwiched between nature and ease of access to the city. We also have a canal right behind our apartment which is the source of our problem. The mosquitoes from the still waters are kept out with the help of nets, but not the odour. On some nights, when I enter my room, I get the faint smell of stagnant water. Some times, it is so pungent that we can barely sleep. Our state is so bad that closing the windows makes it stiflingly hot and leaving them open suffocates us with the odour.

I did not understand how serious that was until my friend came home and then asked me what that smell was. It took us a while to realise that the smell wasn’t restricted to the room facing the canal, but over time, it was spreading all over. Initially, we tried lighting agarbattis in other rooms as well. But since I was allergic to strong smells, I began my sneezing bouts and we had to stop doing that. This was followed by using room sprays which did not last for long. Barely an hour later, the odour returned and soon we gave up on them too.

We had always seen Ambi pur ads and also the products in supermarkets. But never really thought of trying them out. Since we were on our room freshener hunting spree, we picked this little chap up and tried. Since they have a wide variety of fragrances, it was easier for me to choose. I had an idea about the smells I was allergic to, and so we tried the blossoms and breeze. Since it wasn’t a strong aroma, I could keep it. Besides, unlike others, this one stayed and soon we forgot about the canal. 🙂

I am blogging for #SmellyToSmiley activity atBlogAdda.com in association with Ambi Pur

Enrapturing Tunes & Moves

Hum naye geet sunaye, hum naya rang sajaye
Hum naye roop dikhaye tumhe,
Hum naye duniya ke vaasi, humko nahi fikar zara si
Hum naye naye baat bataye tumhe

Not many remember this song from Viva – The Indian Pop girl group – that formed in 2002. I was enraptured by their music. My favorite songs from the album were ‘Jaago Zara’ and ‘Jahaan ho pyar ka mausam’. They sure knew how to weave their magic as they crept into the hearts of many youngsters with their first album. You could watch one of the songs here.

Anushka Manchanda was one among the five gifted singers in the group. With her deep, throaty voice, she did stand out right then. You may not catch her with all the gaiety in the Viva video, but if you are familiar with the song ‘Dil Kholke let’s rock’ from We Are Family, you will know what I mean. The power in her voice can never go unnoticed. I have watched her stage performances. Once she is up on the stage, she fills the entire auditorium, in the sense, her energy just spreads throughout and you can feel it ricocheting off the audience. That is how electrifying her persona and performance are.


On another note, the Telugu lover-boy Allu Arjun is hard to be missed. When I went to Bangalore for completing my studies, Allu Arjun fever had gripped the girls there. I either heard the tales of Arya or the charm of Allu Arjun. Once I got back home, I kept seeing this guy on the television doing some really graceful and tough moves. I watched with awe, his skills and did not for another second doubt why he was the talk of the town.

Soon, his Telugu movies were being dubbed to Malayalam and I realised that he was another version of energy and charisma personified.


For those who know them, and for those who have got an idea about them, now consider this: what would happen if the duo come together on one stage. It would be an explosion of energy, a magical combination of two powers – Dance and Music. Did I mention that Anushka is a very good dancer too? Oh yes, she did display some of her dance movies on Jhalak dikhlaja where she was a contestant.

I would love to watch a show where Anushka weaves her magic through her zealous singing style and Allu Arjun graces the audience with his phenomenal and flawless moves. Above all, I would love to find myself dancing away in the crowd bewitched by the duo’s performance.

I am blogging for #MaxFreshMove activity atBlogAdda.com. Are you?

Image courtesy: Official facebook pages of the celebrities.

Recipes That Make You Drool

Cooking is magic where you find all the necessary herbs, powders and serums, brew the magic potion which when contacts the taste buds, takes you to another world. All you need is the interest and the formula. If you are eager to learn some magic, bring the interest on and let me give you the formula.

Below is a beautiful poster that I found online. I loved this instantly because, these words are the music of cooking. I thought I would share it here for, I will be using some of these words in this post. 🙂

Image courtesy: http://www.apisanet.com

Cooking, like any other art, is initially learnt using some rules and later, the rules are forgotten and it all comes from the heart. Umpteen people from around the world are preparing new dishes, releasing new recipes day by day that it is impossible to count them. Cooking being an ocean, here are some sand grains that I picked up from the shore during my cooking journey. 🙂 I present some of the recipes that make me drool all the time.


1. A cake made of just 4 ingredients and no oven.

Ingredients:
Marie Gold biscuit – Half packet
Hide & Seek choco-chip biscuits – 2 packets
Milk – Half cup
Chocolate 20 g – 2 Nos.

Method:
1. Powder the biscuits
2. Melt the chocolate in milk until they blend in well.
3. Pour the chocolate-milk mixture slowly, little by little, into the biscuit powder.
4. Mix them to get the consistency of cake.
5. Place the mixture in a mould and refrigerate.

Note: You may use chocolate syrup instead of milk and chocolate.


2. A pudding made in 4 simple steps that barely take 20 minutes – Orange Delight
IMG-20150607-WA0010

We mixed some orange juice with the pudding for a twist

Ingredients:
Gelatin – 2 Tbsp
Milk cream – 2 Cups
Orange juice – 3 Cups
Milkmaid – 1 Tin

Method:
1. Prepare a bath by taking water in a big vessel and heating it.
2. Pour the juice in a smaller vessel, add the gelatin and place it on the water-bath.
3. Keep stirring the orange juice until the gelatin dissolves.
4. Once the gelatin is fully dissolved, add the fresh cream and blend.
5. Add the milkmaid, blend and refrigerate.

Note: You may use any other juice as per your taste.


3. Lip-smacking evening snack that you won’t believe is so easy to make – Chatpati Aloo

Kindly excuse the lack of clarity

Ingredients for 4 servings:
Potatoes – 6 average
Yoghurt – ¾ cup
garam masala powder – ½ tsp
garlic ginger paste – ½ tbsp
chili powder – ½ tsp
coriander powder – ½ tsp
kasuri methi leaves – 1 tsp
lemon juice – 1 tsp
Salt – As required
Oil – As required

Method:
1. Boil the potatoes for just 2 whistles.
2. Peel them & cut them into 8 pieces each.
3. Mix all the above ingredients except oil.
4. Marinate the potatoes and place them for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
5. Fry the aloo in oil.
6. Sprinkle some chaat masala and lemon juice on them.

Note: Tastes better if mint chutney sprinkled on the fried aloo.


I have just given three of my favorite and easy dishes that could be made at anytime. The availability of ingredients wouldn’t be a problem since they all have simple ingredients that could be picked up from the supermarket at any given point of time. Besides, some of these recipes are flexible and can be easily substituted with other ingredients.

I don’t have good pictures of the same. But lack of images or clarity does not mean that the outcome would be lacking. At any given point of time, I would vouch for the deliciousness of these dishes.