A REVIEW OF HOW 2016 WAS FOR US ON A WHOLE.

So it is the end of December and everybody is decking up with all the enthusiasm to welcome another year. 2016 was a year full of elements that shocked us, surprised us, cheered us and some disappointed us. So here I am with a review of the year on a whole. I am writing here about stories that mattered all of us.

1.Girls shine at Olympics:

It was a year of girls outshining the boys not only in the board’s result but as well as Olympic ones. India came back from Rio with two medals, one bronze won by Sakshi Mallik in freestyle wrestling and one silver won by P.V.Sindhu in badminton. Both of them created history by becoming the first women to do so in their respective game.

2. A year of Biopics:

This year Bollywood was majorly about Biopics. All of them made a mark among the audience. It all began with Airlift which was about an Indian businessman rescuing 170,000 Indians from Kuwait during the war, then Neerja got released where Sonam Kapoor gave a remarkable performance. Then Sarabjit was released which is among one of India’s nomination for Oscars. The saga continued with M.S.Dhoni played by Sushant Singh Rajput which is also nominated for Oscars. Azhar where Imran Hashmi played the role of former Indian cricket team captain Md. Azharuddin.Rustom and Aligarh were also based on true life stories. Well, the year is now ending with the master of all Dangal.

3. Donald Trump’s victory:

Donald Trump was the most talked about personality of 2016. In fact, Indians took a lot of interest in USA presidential elections and especially in Trump. People were all in dilemma, whether Trump’s presidency will prove good or bad for the nation. Fluctuating statements of Trump about the Indian diaspora in America kept the Indians hooked to it.

4. Jio launch:

This was a kind of Tsunami in the telecom industry. Unbelievable schemes of free voice calls and free high-speed data services were announced by the Reliance company. Earlier everybody was skeptical regarding the free services but after few days there were hundreds of them standing in the line to get a jio sim. This initiative by Ambani and company have affected the services of other telecom services hugely.

5. Demonetisation:

Demonetisation shifted the lines outside reliance stores to banks. On 8 of November, the government of India suddenly announced that from the midnight onwards 500 and 1000 rupee notes would be considered invalid. This step of Modi government shocked the people. The government claims that demonetization is a step to curb black money practices, terrorism, corruption, smuggling and else. Intellectuals and analysts are still trying to decode the consequences of it but the opposition is shouting loud and standing against this decision of the government.

6. Breaking the stereotype:

2016 was a year when stereotypes were broken. While the girls brought the medals from Olympics, Rohit Khandelwal brought the title of Mr. World. 2016 witnessed girls performing excellently in sports whether it be golf, cricket, wrestling, hockey and else. This is not considered to be a women’s arena. Whereas the Hyderabad lad defied all who thought only women can participate in the pageant which is about beauty, fashion, and grooming.

7. Jayalalitha’s death:

Jayalalitha’s demise brought the whole of Tamil Nadu and India to a still for some time. People of Tamil Nadu were mourning the death of their Amma on the streets and there was also news of 77 people dying out of grief over Amma’s death. Jayalalitha served five terms of being the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for over fourteen years between 1991-2016. Three years into her tenure during 2011 reign, she was convicted in a disproportionate-assets-case.

8. Paralympic performers:

2016 was a great year for the Indian paralympic players at the Paralympics Olympics Rio. The largest ever paralympic contingent consisting of 19 athletes from India went to Rio.The contingent came back with four medals which was its best performance till now. M.Thangavelu and Varun Singh Bhati secured India gold and bronze respectively in long jump category. Deepa Malik scripted history by becoming the first woman ever to get a medal in Paralympics. She got a silver medal in Shotput. Devendra Jhajhariya won javelin gold medal breaking his personal previous record.

There were many more stories that could have been listed, but these stories are something that personally mattered to me. 2016 as a year overall was a rollercoaster ride for India. Heated debates and arguments rocked the parliament as usual but the most awaited bills like GST bill, Right of persons with disability bill 2016, the Aadhar bill got a green signal. Whatever the year 2016 was for us but I wish 2017 would be a happy and good year for all of us out there. In all the aspects of life, we attain whatever we wish for in this new year.

 

 

WHAT IMPACT DO OTHER PEOPLE HAVE IN OUR LIFE?

I have always been an observer kind of person all my life. Whether it be my own house, school, college or wherever I go, I am very attentive to the happenings that are going around me. Yesterday I was out with my husband, and we went to an ice cream parlor which is just beside my house. While we were ordering for our ice creams, a man with a small boy entered the shop. The man had some issue with his leg, I assumed that he had polio-stricken legs. He was not able to walk freely. While looking to his clothes, it was quite evident that he was an autorickshaw driver because drivers here have a particular uniform for them. He then ordered for three ice cream bars, took them and handed it to his son and asked him to give it to his mom who was sitting inside the auto.

After paying the bill he walked away and joined his family for the ice cream treat. What made me notice him was a constant smile on his face. His smile was so palatable. The way he made his family happy with a simple ice cream treat and the gleaming faces of his son and wife was so satisfying to see. It also forced me to think why I am so happy looking at them. Isn’t this a normal thing like coming out with your family and having an enjoyable time with them? It is for sure, but these days happiness is not a normal phenomenon for many. We have so many problems to think about in our life that our real happiness takes a back seat. Happiness for all individual varies according to their priorities. I on a personal level get pissed off with things instantly. I always literally push myself to be happy despite all the ups and down my life goes through. This man inspired me more towards this attitude of mine. Despite having a physical disability he is doing his best to earn honestly and not begging around for money. The second thing was the efforts that he was putting to bring little joys for his family.

In this really fast changing world people have forgotten the pleasure of simple joys of life. It is more of like we have become materialistic by nature. We just need to identify the things that make us happy and work towards achieving it. Simple joys though bring momentary happiness but it is so satisfying to our souls.

 

PHOTO STORY: EXPERIENCE NATURE’S BLISS…..

I have always been a nature lover. I love traveling to places that are rich in natural beauty and the ones which calm down my anxieties of “Where is my life heading to kind of mode?” Some time back I had visited Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which is purely a heaven on earth. It is a perfect destination to be at if you are in search of peace from your day to day busy schedule. Apart from its world-famous pristine beaches, Andaman is a total package of adventures of all kind. It caters the tourists with different kinds of water sports such as scuba diving, sea walk, snorkeling which gives an insight into the amazing underwater world. Not only the underwater world but the rich forests and mountainous slopes also invite trekking lovers from all parts of the world to it.

Here, I am presenting a photo story of the places that I visited in Andaman. I know my photography could not catch the actual beauty of the place but I still tried my best to capture some of the things that are worth sharing.

1. WANDOOR BEACHDSC_0342.JPGThis is one of the most popular and beautiful beaches of the Andaman Islands named. This beach is majorly known for its scenic panorama. Close to the beach is Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, where people visit to explore the underwater world. Believe my words this beach is way more beautiful than it looks in the picture.

2. ROSS AND SMITH ISLANDDSC_0025.JPGThis is something that blew my mind with its unmatched paradise kind of view. It is known as Ross and Smith Island. There is literally a sandbar that connects both the islands with one another. This sandbar is like a dream to walk on with both the sides having clear blue water and a hue of green added to them. Not only the place even the boat ride which takes 15 to 20 minutes from Diglipur port to the island is a journey of a lifetime. An aerial view would have looked better in the photograph but this is what I was able to capture.

3.SCUBA EXPERIENCEDSCN5304.JPG

If you are in Andaman you can’t miss this adventurous visit to the underwater world. It was an experience of the lifetime to see all kinds of fishes around, to see the rich and colorful coral reefs. The best part of it is you don’t need to be a swimmer because I am not and I did this. Trust me I was so scared in the beginning while doing this.

4. LIMESTONE CAVESDSC_0138.JPG This is a natural limestone cave which got raised and came into existence from the sea beds. It is situated in Baratang Island and is a major attraction for the tourists. The route to this caves passes through mangrove forests amidst the clear waters of the sea. The most intriguing thing was the presence of crocodiles in the water which lucky people get a sight of. But I have always belonged to the unlucky community so I couldn’t see any.

5.MANGROVE WALKDSC_0182.JPGTalking about mangroves above, this was altogether a different world. You will actually feel that you are lost in a wonderland and the only thing you can do is walk in this mysterious environment. After a long serene walk, you would reach to a beautiful white sand beach. The whole journey feels like you were a part of a fairytale.

6.SUNSET DSC_0528.JPGWatching the setting sun while the cool breeze and soft splashes of water touch your face is a memorable experience. You don’t have to spend a single buck to be happy if you are here. With the setting sun though the journey ends but the memories would always be alive in our hearts and minds.

Apart from these natural wonders, there are much more that I have not documented here. Those who are making up their mind to visit this heaven, after looking at the pictures, let me tell you the ambiance of Andaman is really tourist friendly. You will never encounter any issues with food, transportation or language. Do visit this place once in your lifetime.

 

 

Indian TV series, nowadays

Indian TV industry of today has broadened up and expanded itself tremendously. There was a time when only Doordarshan was the mode of entertainment for the TV audience. Doordarshan played its role well by catering the audiences with thought-provoking serials, critically acclaimed short films, light-hearted comedy, and proved a treat for 90s kids by showing Shaktimaan for sure. This was what a single channel did maybe 35-25 years back, but now with hundreds of channels dominating our TV screen the entertainment quotient is not that top-notch.

I would here specifically talk about the TV series that are telecasted on the channels. When you see serials like Naagin and Brahmrakshas topping the TRP list, you sense something wrong right then. We are living in the 21st century, we talk about curbing superstitious behavior and here we are watching the love story of Icchadhari Naagin and revenge saga of Brahmrakshas. Brahmrakshas, the one who has a gigantic body structure but is scared of Lotus how stupid huh. These shows piss me off and I am sure many out there also feel the same.

These are the shows that are supernatural but still attract a majority of viewers toward them. Now these shows come on air only on weekends, but shows that are a staple of every Indian family and are telecasted on a daily basis completely lack sane storylines. Shows like Saath Nibhana Sathiya, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and others like them gets multiple leaps and still the female protagonist remains young and fresh. The stories that started 8 years and 6 years back has now nothing left to show other than nonsensical plotlines, coming back from dead, new jewelry and saree trends. The greatest issue with all the TV series is that they are not designed to end.

Now there are also shows where the protagonist turns into a fly and fights with all kind of Aatmas, Chudail, Dain and whatever holds back her and her family’s happiness, that family which has more than 20 people but the safety of the family lies only in the hands of the protagonist. Shows like Vishkanya and Kala Teeka also exists in our country. The storylines are not even single percent believable. There is the same monotonous saas-bahu drama, planning and plotting within the family, rebirth and what not. You just name the insanity and you would get it all.

It is not like there is a dearth of concepts or stories but you would notice once a serial begins with a strong storyline or based on a social issue, just after some weeks it will turn out to be of the same saas-bahu genre. Recently I saw an episode or two of a show called Shakti-Astitva Ek Ehsaas Ki which is based on the story of a transgender and her life. I was quite impressed with the storyline and thought might be the trend of TV is changing, but for my dismay, after few days the storyline became the same stale stuff.

And the stories that stick on their storylines doesn’t get enough attention and are victims of low TRP. I remember a few months back there were two serials introduced on StarPlus Tammana, which was story of a girl who wanted to play cricket for India and the problems that she faced and Dehleez, story of a young and vibrant lawyer who works for poor gets married to a civil servant and end up fighting with her mother-in-law’s ideologies. With bold and relatable stories they were a breath of fresh air for the TV viewers but to their bad luck, they hardly existed for 5 months even.

Breaking the stereotypes are the new web-series which are short lived most importantly, and are real enough to get related to it while watching. Generally, the stories are based in cosmopolitan cities and dealing with its issues. Series like Permanent Roommates, Love Bytes brings us close to the very important issues of long -distance and live-in relationships. Then there is series like Baked, Girl In The City which shows the real struggle of the youngsters to make a life they have dreamt of.

The pattern of TV viewership is quite disturbing. Then there comes the reality shows to our rescue. With platforms for each kind of talent, this is the only mode of entertainment for us. Shows like The Kapil Sharma Show, Voice Kids, Dance India Dance are the ones which we look for detoxifying from our weekday’s drama.