Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Tips on throwing an engagement party

Posted: January 12, 2014 in Culture, Fun, Party
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Love is in the air and you have found your special person in life and you just can’t wait to declare it to the whole world. This is the best time, to exchange the rings and get engaged with the one you love.  But being a host is the most tedious job, especially when you are the couple and you are the host and you have to arrange everything. However, it’s the bride’s parents who host the engagement party.

Ideally engagement party is a traditional way to announce and celebrate your relationship. However, the trend of engagement parties varies across the country. For some an engagement party is a way to publicize their status and so it’s a lavish party, at the same time, some want to celebrate it low with just close friends and relatives involved.

Having said that, there are lot of event management companies these days, who take care  of all this parties and this not only keeps you away from all the tensions, but also, you can attend all your guests without worrying about the management. SO, let’s point out some themes and tips:

  1. Location: Choosing a location is a heck of a task, when you have a budget constraint. So list out all the locations which come under your budget and choose the best one. Having said that, the location shouldn’t be at the outskirts which are out of reach to your relatives and friends, in order to minimize your budget. Choose a location, which is easily accessible to all and while inviting, mention the closest landmark, so there is no difficulty in locating the place.
  2. Make it fun and entertaining: The main purpose of an engagement party is to get to know the families of the couple and so it cannot be boring and monotonous. Make it fun, with lot of games and dance, so people get comfortable and mingle with each other.
  3. Stick to a budget: You end up spending a bomb on just the engagement party itself, if it is not planned in a proper way. SO prepare a budget and stick to it, so that your party does not exceed your pocket and you end up on credits. Remember, soon after the engagement, you have a bigger event, Wedding. SO if you plan your party accordingly, your further commitments won’t shake. Remember, you still have a lavish party in your budget if planned properly.
  4. Make a guest list: The most important thing is to prepare a list of guests you intend to invite. As discussed above, if it’s a lavish party, you don’t want to miss out on any guests in your circle. And it it’s a simple one, you definitely want to list out the important guests you want to be part of the celebration. SO in either case, making a list is very important.
  5. Themes: You can plan a theme for your party. Like a colour theme, or a dress code, or anything, which you think would be fun. SO plan accordingly with both the families and plan a theme. Believe me, it would be fun, people coming in different attires based on your theme, at the same time, it would be fun.

The list is never ending, and you get lots of tips on the same. It’s up to you, how you have to celebrate this special day and make it memorable and fun at the same time.

Festival without relatives

Posted: December 30, 2013 in Culture, Family, Festival
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This is what happens when you get busy with friends and relatives at home. There has been a hiatus in my writing. The whole of last week I had relatives and was quite busy and tied up with my daily chores and other things that I hardy had time to come back and update on or write on something.

But, I must say, when your relatives are at home, you have lot of work, Agreed! But at the same time you enjoy their company. I enjoyed so much that, now after they are gone, I am in the blues and I don’t know how much it is going to take for me to get over it.

I reminisce how, during the festive season, our house used to be full of friends and family. The whole house used to be in revelry. Laughing, chatting, Kids had their own group, women had their own and men used to be busy discussing serious topics on politics or sports etc. We used to shop around together, dine out, enjoy. Go for a picnic. Never used to realize how days used to pass and then on the day they had to leave, we used to roll on the ground and cry for them to stay back.

That’s how life was, during my childhood.

I somehow re-lived my childhood days last week. And I felt, how people these days have become so busy that they hardly have time for their family, forget the relatives. the trend of relatives visiting your house during festival or otherwise has slowly become extinct. Anyways, I would definitely want my kids to know the value of relatives and how to treat them when they visit your house. This was a culture which was taught to us and has been followed by us since then.  And I would like my kids to inhibit the culture for the generations to come, so that the value of a festival and the trend of relatives visiting never faints away or brushes out completely.

I reminisce my childhood and wonder, how we used to celebrate the festivals with near and distant relatives and it was always fun to spend time with the whole family. And that’s how it should be. But with people getting busy in their own small world, they hardly have time to spend with their kids and spouse, forget about distant relatives. But, one has to reach out to their distant relatives from time to time.

Having said that, the best time to forget all the clashes and try to reach out to your distant relatives is in the festival time. This is the time, everyone is in revelry and they would love to be part of your revelry and again get into the bond they had once upon a time. I get down the memory lane and remember how our festivals were incomplete without grandparents, our uncles’ aunts and cousins. But today even our grandparents have become distant.

So, it’s time to bring back the culture and let our kids know the importance of every relative in a family, whether close or distant. Let’s find out how we get akin with our distant relatives this festive season:

  1. Organize a get together: This is the time, when you party and invite your friends and family, lets’ do something different and organize a get together with all our relatives distant and close coming together and spending time. It will be difficult to catch hold of each and every relative, because they have their own plans for festival. But you have to try convincing all and bringing them under one roof. A get together is the best way to talk it out and forget and forgive all the clashes.
  2. Introduce every relative to your family: There may be cases where it has been decades you have not been in touch with your relatives and your kids and spouse would not know them. SO introduce them to your family and make them comfortable. When you reach out a distant relative, your kids will also get used to all and this is learning for them as to how important each and every.
  3. Reach out with gifts: The festival brings happiness around and if you share some with your relatives that would be your best Christmas. SO the best way to reach out to your distant relatives is through gifts. Go to their place, invite them to your house for the festival and gift them something which will always be there in their memories like an old family photograph or your grandparent’s memoir.
  4. Plan a picnic: To bring all the distant relatives close, this would be the best option. Plan a family picnic cum a reunion, leaving the differences behind. When it is during a festival, everyone will unanimously accept the offer.

 

In every family small fights and arguments are common and chances of getting separated is also common. But it is up to you how to you can bring back all the relatives together and learn to forget and forgive.

With all the MNC’s taking over the market, it has become a need of an hour to have a proper communication skill to interact with the client worldwide. And so the companies have initiated a proper training program to improve the soft skills, and also to interact with the clients in any part of the world.

Up till the recent times, only a professional qualification was suffice to get into the best of the companies, But with the increased demand of multi talented resources, employers look for a package deal with professional qualification and communication skills and overall personality as such. And so, it has become a need of an hour.

Having said that, a soft skills training is a vast topic and the learning never ends, it is an ongoing process. However, every organization these days conduct a proper soft skill training program which lasts for 15 days to one month and also provide with the training material. Apart from the training on communication, this also teaches other aspects which are very important to survive in the organization. The importance of soft skill training are many, some we shall discuss below:

  1. Personality development: The most important factor in any corporate is personality development. People have to interact with the clients and so a proper body language, communication skill and overall personality boost is necessary. SO a soft skill training helps in the personality development of an individual, so he stand confident in front of the clients and showcase a healthy relationship altogether.
  2. Team work: This also teaches an individual the importance of team work. With the assignment where they have to work as a team and show the strength of team works. This is very helpful in the real life scenario, because at every walk of life, you may have to work as a team.
  3. Problem solving: Working in groups will also help in problem solving techniques. Only when you work as a team and interact with your members, can you come to a solution to any problem whatsoever. In soft skill training programme, every individual contributes his/her ideas and that helps in the solving the difficult of problems.
  4. Decision making: Again, as already discussed above, problem solving leads to decision making. And only when an individual is able to relate the problems and try to resolve them, would they be able to take a proper decision based on the situation. There are times when one has to take a decision at an impulse, and this training helps in dealing with those situations as well.
  5. Communication skill: The backbone of soft skill training is communication skill. Earlier it was just the BPO’s and calls centres’ which got these trainings, but with every sector of the industry directly dealing with the clients, it has become indispensable to get this training. SO a proper communication, voice and accent training and the other basic training, is really important for any business to run smoothly.

 

This is the reason why soft skill training has become a backbone of any organization and without which, no company proceeds further. The companies have gone that extra mile to spend a bomb for the best trainers available to train their employees and get the maximum output. And it has become a trend as well to spend the maximum for the overall growth and development of the resources. It is a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee.

My Trip to an Ultimate bliss

Posted: November 25, 2013 in Culture, Travel
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India is truly an alluring place. We go abroad for vacations and explore new things, but little did I realize that, India is a place with a glut of cultures and places to explore. Any corners of India you go to, there is a unique history attached to it. Having said that, a must visit place for everyone is “Brindavan”. According to the Hindu Mythology; this is a place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. Nandagaon was a place where, Vasudev, the actual father of Lord Krishna, left him at Nanda Bhavan, at the time when His Uncle “Kans” wanted to kill the child as the child was a threat to his life

But before I actually narrate my experience, let me tell you, a week before this trip. I had a severe pain on my legs. It was so severe that I couldn’t even walk. I cried a lot. Not because of the pain but, because, I thought I would not be able to go for this trip. I prayed to God, that somehow, this pain should subside. However, the doctor gave me some medicines and o my surprise, All the pain was gone a day before my trip. My happiness knew no bounds. So here I was all set to explore the flamboyant place and the history attached to it.

My journey to this place has been an experience for a lifetime

Day 1: It’s always an experience if you travel in groups. We started with a group of 40 people. The platform was Jam packed due to the Festival and there was hardly any place to stand. In the Midst of the rush, we boarded the train. We had to reach Mathura in order to Reach Brindavan. Mathura is the main junction for every train. Any train which starts from Delhi, has to pass through this station. So, we started at 4.30 pm and reached Mathura around 6.30 AM. From there Brindavan is 15 kms away.

Mathura, as we all know, Is the birth place of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was born in a jail in Mathura. They say, due to the threat that “Kans” had from this child. Kans locked Devaki and Vasudev (Actual parents of Lord Krishna) in the jail, So that as soon as the child is born, Kans will kill it, which he has been doing for the previous seven infants born before Lord Krishna. But they say the Gods helped the parents save this miracle child, as this child was itself a God, as per the Hindu Mythology.

SO we reached our destination and stayed in the Dharmashala.  The room was quite descent and homely and the water was salty. You go to any place in Brindavan you will get hard water. So we had a bath and got ready and went to the ISCON (International society for Krishna consciousness) Temple. We had a blissful time in the temple. It is so peaceful that you already feel peace of mind and relaxed. How I wish I could spend my whole life here. Anyways after spending some quality time there, we went back to our rooms had dinner and went to sleep, for next day was going to be even more exciting. Thinking about the temple, I don’t know when I was fast asleep. I don’t remember when the last time I had such a sound sleep.

Day2: Next day we got up early in the morning and went for an “Aarti which is called the “Mangala Aarti”. Aarti is an offering to Lord Krishna. And it is performed with grandeur. You can hear everyone chant and dance on “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” and to hear that is really an experience of life.  Each and every person there is in a trance of devotion. As if they are talking to the God and always a smile on their face, so peaceful and divine. Then on the very same day we planned to go to a place called “Barsana”, where, they say, Radha was raised. So after breakfast we started for this place by 11.00 am. As soon as we reached there, we attended the Spiritual speech and The Guru told us the importance of this place.

The actual place where Radha was born was “Raval Dhaam”, where the demons used to attack the innocent villagers a lot and that was quite poignant and because Radha’s parents didn’t want to lose their only child, they moved to “Barsana” and lived there since.

We stayed there till 1.30 pm. Post which off we went to the “Vrinda Dhaam”, which is a temple of Goddess “Tulsi”. We had lunch there, though the food wasn’t very good. But, we were already too hungry to complain about the food.

After that we went to “Nanda Bhavan” Where they say Lord Krishna spent his childhood. And already mentioned above this is the place where Lord Krishna was left in a palace in the midnight. After exploring the place, we were on our way back to Brindavan to our Dharmashala. We reached back around 7.30 pm. already tired to the core, we had dinner and off we went to sleep.

Day 3: Next day, we got up at 3.30 AM for the “Mangala Aarti” in the temple. We used to gather together post Aarti. Our Next plan of action was to visit all the temples in Brindavan. It was almost 13 kms and we have to go by walk. On the way there were lot of monkeys, they used to snatch the handbags and anything which they see in our hands. And we have to give the monkeys something to eat only then they return back our stuff.

Brindavan is place where there are lot of temples. And each and every temple has a story attached to it. Anyways, after the whole Brindavan visit, we were hungry to the core. The best part of the place is anywhere you go to eat, they don’t put onions in any of the food items and people there are very particular about that. Post lunch we got back to our room, rested for some time and then again at 4.30 pm, we went to “Shyam Sundar Nidhi Van”. It’s a garden where you see the trees are entangled as a couple, one black and one white. And you can’t figure out which leaf belongs to which tree, they are so much hooked with each other. And you feel as if couples are embracing each other and are so much in love. And the best part is, they say, not even a single leaf in this garden falls, or dries even in the spring. So the scenic view itself looks extravagant. The garden is closed by 7.30 pm and people are not allowed to stay after that.

After this we went to “Radha Damodar” Temple Stayed there for quite some time. Post which we went to the ISCON Temple Canteen to eat something, but there was lot of rush. It was the death Anniversary of Prabhupada, The founder Of ISCON. Since the canteen was overcrowded, we decided to go out and eat post which we went for some local shopping. This day was quite exhausting and as soon as we reached our rooms, we were tired to the core and so we slept like a baby.

Day 4: Our next plan of action was to visit “Govardhan Parvat”.

They say, there was a time, when due to heavy rains half of the Brindavan went homeless due to the floods. And they didn’t have a place to save themselves from this natural calamity. There was a hill near the river, which they say, Lord Krishna Held and lifted with his little finger to save the people from the calamity caused by the rain Gods.

So we woke up at 4.00 am, had a bath, and gathered at ISCON temple. Waiting for everyone was a real pain, because, we never used to go as per the schedule. And when you are going with 40 people, it’s mundane that not all are as prompt and punctual. So, we were already running 1 hour late. We reached there by 7.00 am. This is the place where we had to start the Parikrama (rotating).  While walking, it started drizzling. But because we have already started, didn’t feel like stopping. On the way, we came across a pond called “Kusum kund”, where they say Radha used to have bath. Kusum means Flower and as per the myth, Radha used to pluck the flowers from the trees and some of the flowers fell in the pond and since then it’s named so. No one is allowed to get into that pond. It’s quite deep you see. From outside, it doesn’t look like, but they say, if anyone gets into that pond, then they are gone permanently.

Then we came across “Manas Ganga”, the actual hill starts from here. From there you can see the pond. And the view of the pond was worth watching. It looked marvellous. So we started our Yatra (Journey) to the Govardhan Parvat. We were walking and walking but could not see the Parvat so far. On our way we did some small shopping. On the way, again we came across “Indra Kund”, which again is a pond. You see lot of ponds on the way .There were lot of monkeys there as well. You have to be very careful with your belongings, because you never know from where they come and snatch things from you, Anyways; we could now see the hill from far away which was our destination. It looked quite small from a distance, but it is humongous hill.

The hill holds the surrounding of 24 kms, its huge and one can’t imagine how Lord Krishna can lift it with his little finger. Different corners have a different name. From the point where the hill starts is called”Mukharavind”. Near that hill, there are small restaurants. We had lunch and post which, we started our journey again. The whole pathway had sand all over and you feel relaxed walking on this soft sand. For 3 kms we walked on that sand and then we reached a small village. We had to cross these small villages in order to reach the main hill.  You again come across two ponds called ”Shyam kund” and “Radha Kund”, which they say ,anyone who visits this hill has to perform some rituals or else the whole trip would be incomplete. These two ponds are in either sides of the hill. Like a guard to the hill. Anyways, we finished our rituals and by 5.00 pm we reached near our bus and waited for everyone to gather. After which we boarded the bus and back we were to ISCON temple by 6.30 pm, had something to eat and back we were to our rooms.

Day 5: Mathura is a place where Lord Krishna was born, so we started around 8.00 am next day to visit all the places in Mathura. First we reached the Jail, where Lord Krishna was born. It was Humongous. We spent quite some time there and then we came out. Next we went to a place called “Ramana Reti”, it is sand and they say lord Krishna used to play on the sand with his friends. The sand was so soft and you would actually want to play with it for the rest of your life. It was real fun. We played for hours together and felt like a child there.

There are small huts there, where all the yogis (They are people who stay away from the so called World and they don’t have a family and they dedicate their life to God) stay. All the huts are of the same shape and stands in a circle. After walking so much the previous day, playing on the sand was like a pain killer. All the pain and exertion vanished altogether.

Next we went to “Raval Dhaam”, Near the Yamuna River. This is a place where Radha was born. After spending some time, we reached back to ISCON around 6.30 pm and had lunch. And then went for shopping and attended the Aarti and came back to room and had a refreshing bath. Next day was our return, so we packed our stuff and slept.

Day 6: Next day we got up at 2.30 am and went to The ISCON to attend the Last Aarti. Loaded our luggage in the bus and off we went to the railways station.

It was a week’s trip and the whole trip was an ecstasy. I feel lucky enough to explore this and I thought should definitely share my experience with everyone. An experience of lifetime, you feel you are reliving the time Lord Krishna was there and gawking at the beauty of Radha- Krishna’s revelri. People are blessed to have experienced the playful time of Lord Krishna. All in all a truly amazing experience and A must visit place for all.

Weekend Getaways from Lucknow

You stay in any part of the world; it has become a trend these days to go for a trip outside the city for a nice and calm weekend. I don’t remember, when I was a tad, I ever went out for a short trip. In fact, those days, weekend used to be only Sunday, being 6 days working.
Now with so many private companies, the weekend has been extended to Saturday and Sunday, so people get enough time to go outside the city for 2 days free from all the traffic, pollution and stress. Apparently, people have different choices, when we ask about their ideal weekend getaway. Some would prefer to go to a hill station and stay in the resort and get rejuvenated. Some want to visit temples and historic places.

Lucknow is one such city where you find glut of places to visit during the weekends. With most of the famous places just hours away, Lucknow has become a famous tourist place. Lucknow is a true epitome of Indian culture. You still find the culture intact in the way they dress, talk. They reflect the true Indian culture. The Lucknawi salwar (Dress for women) are very famous across.  The Awadhi Cuisine, reflect the time the Nawab of Awadh used to rule the place.  Music resides in each and every person here. They have a true love and knowledge for music (Gazal).  Also, there are numerous places to visit from Lucknow.

Having said that let me list out some perfect places to visit from Lucknow in the weekends:

  1. Kanpur is just 81 kms from Lucknow and this is closely connected with the history. This place is situated at the banks of River Ganga and showcases the Hindu culture. SO people who prefer to visit temples, this is an ideal place with bird sanctuaries also the attraction point.
  2. Almora: If you want to visit a hill station and you are ready to travel for 6-7 hrs. Almora is the place of true beauty. Trust me, going there by road will be an experience you will never forget and for people who love long drives, this would be an ultimate experience.
  3. Agra: famous for the Agra fort, Taj Mahal and archaeological history. This again would be good weekend getaway, as you have lot of places to see and click some nice snaps to cherish for a lifetime.

 

The list continues. If you are more of a God lover, you have lot of pilgrimage like Mathura, Varanasi. For those of you who would like to go a little further, Bhopal, Dehradun, Shimla, Chandigarh, is also a great place to enjoy your weekend. But these places being a little far, you might have to start on Friday night and return back on Sunday night. SO you won’t miss your work on Monday. However, this might be a little tiring journey, but trust me you will feel relaxed and rejuvenating.

So, all in all, Lucknow is really an enticing place to visit in and around. I am sure; one weekend would not be enough for you to explore the beauty of the place. At the same time, you have so many options, that none of your weekends would be repetitive, like going to the same place again.

SO, let your weekend be fun filled and rollicking and enjoy the vast culture and beauty across.