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EDITOR'S PICK

Crisis time ahead in our electoral process; Time to revisit and reinvent our electoral decision making process

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In a country like India where around 27% people are illiterate and at the same time the highest vote was opted in 2014 to the winning party 31.34%, difficult to understand the selection of right representative for the nation. Is our system great and good enough to select the best candidate?

Adding insult to our injury is in India a person called literate if he or she aged seven years or above can read and write with understanding. It does not mean the person has all the rationality and prudence to select the best one.

Our electoral process looks to be stereotype and mundane. Electoral parties still advocating and canvassing their stance by following the 80’s and 90’s methods. They are chanting and shouting their yesteryear achievements which are supposed to be claimed by their opponents. Do our citizens and netizens are smart and shrewd enough to make out their political gimmick or they befuddled and perturbed to select the right option.

The electoral system gradually becoming person specific rather than party specific. So the question arises are we casting our vote to a party or person? Does a person good enough to shoulder the entire burden of the party in terms of good and bad and ups and downs.

Corruption is creeping into our system like a bad tsunami. Time will tell whether we can grow our stature to surpass the tectonic wave. For an instance a state like Odisha which is languishing at the bottom in terms of poverty, second last in India but when it comes to the amount of illicit money and liquor it stands tall at 18th position out of 36 states and UTs.

The only thing which impresses us in recent times in the electoral process is casting the NOTA option. The none of the above option or NOTA as it popularly is known has attracted a good number of voters in various elections. When a large number of voters will press the NOTA button, it will force political parties to choose better candidates. According to the Supreme Court, negative voting would lead to system change in polls. Where Nota has come to signify voter disenchantment with the selection of the candidate, but which voter group is the most disenchanted? According to the survey, 2.5% upper cast voter opted for NOTA in 2014 Lok Sabha election. The upper cast voters who may have chosen the NOTA option more than any other class or minority group.

Casting an unbiased vote is the most indispensable weapon in the citizen armory. Better not to waste for the sake of short term benefit rather than long term vision.

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Sarada Prasanna Pattnaik is based out of Balasore, Odisha. He was earlier a banker and later a faculty at quite a few reputed colleges and institutions. He now teaches civil service aspirants in leading coaching institutes. He is the chief architect of Vidya Group of Educational Institutions. He is an author and a writer in the civil service coaching arena. Writing is his passion and he loves to pen down his thoughts on varied topics ranging from Literature, Politics, Science & Technology, Finance, Sports and Travel.



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DIY

Let’s have some flower fun on denim!!!

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Embroidery on denim is a stylish yet funky fashion. Though it began a few years ago, it’s still in fashion and always offers a trendy look with super fun. Since many don’t have an embroidery machine, so it becomes tough to design some embroidery on jeans by yourself. For this, we have an excellent idea. Just grab a vintage silk embroidered fabric and carefully cut out the floral embroidered designs and then stitch them onto your jeans manually.

Here’s what you need:

1. A pair of jeans which should not be stretchable denim!
2. Any fabric with pretty embroidery of your choice on it or patches.
3. Scissors, needle and matching thread.

Here how to proceed:

Carefully cut out the embroidered patches and leave about a little fabric around the edges. Make sure not to cut into the embroidery or it will loosen.

Place the patches on the jeans and decide where exactly you want your embroidery to be fixed. Then, carefully pin the embroidery piece in place.
Now begin with stitching, run the needle/thread around the edges with a hemstitch and make sure to run it through the sides or the edges of the embroidery, so that the thread loops will keep it in place.

And there you have your trendy pair of denim…

Happy DIY!! 

 

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EDITOR'S PICK

Let’s add yummy elements to make Brown Rice taste better

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Brown rice is considered as the healthier substitute to white rice as its outer layer known as the hull is removed while processing. Therefore, white rice or refined rice may score higher in terms of taste and flavor but is a lack of essential nutrients. Brown rice is rich in fiber content, consuming in small portions of it make you feel fuller, thus helping in weight loss.

Here’s presenting a brown rice recipe to motivate you to adopt healthy food habit.

Mutton Khichda

Mutton khichda is a traditional Mohammedan recipe made from rice, mutton, lentils, and other spices.
Ingredients needed: 500 gms wheat (cracked and cooked tender), one cup rice, one cup channa dal, one cup split arhar/tur daal, one cup sabut masoor dal, one cup dhuli moong dal, One kg mutton, one cup oil, five cloves, five peppercorns, one tsp cumin, one tsp cinnamon (broken), one cup onions chopped, four tsp chili powder, two tbsp coriander powder, one tsp garam masala, two Tbsp ginger-green chili-coriander leaves paste and salt to taste.
For garnishing: fried onions (brown and crisp), ginger julienne, mint leaves, and green chilies
Let’s cook:
1. Mix all the dals and rice then add 3 cups of water and salt. Cook all till it becomes tender.
2. Heat oil, add cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, cumin, and saute till they change color a bit.
3. Then add chopped onions, mutton along with chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, salt, and the green paste.
4. Keep stir-frying till meat turns opaque, then transfer it in a pressure cooker and cook until the meat is tender.
5. Then mix the meat along with cooked wheat and dal mixture and then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Garnish with fried onions (brown and crisp), ginger julienne, mint leaves, and green chilies and serve.

Mushroom Brown Rice

Mushrooms are major flavor agent in this recipe also offers a protein-rich meal seasoned with mild salt and pepper.
Ingredients needed: one cup brown basmati rice (washed), 9 to 10 mushrooms (washed and sliced), one onion (chopped). Half cup butter (the amount is optional and butter can be replaced with 2 tbsp olive oil), one green capsicum, one tsp black pepper, salt to taste and two cups of water.
Let’s cook:
1. Wash the brown rice and keep it aside.
2. Slice the mushrooms, onions, and capsicum.
3. Take a pan and add butter/olive oil then add onions and saute until it becomes light pink.
4. Then add mushrooms and Saute until it becomes wilt and tender.
5. Now add the capsicum and Saute.
6. Add the pre-washed brown rice and saute for 5 to 7 minutes.
7. Then add salt and pepper along with 2 cups of water.
8. Cook for 15 minutes or till the rice gets cooked.

Chicken and Brown Rice

This is a hearty one-pot meal, perfect for weekend dinners.
Ingredients needed: two tablespoons olive oil, one whole cut-up chicken (2 to 3 pounds), skins removed, breasts halved crosswise (save wings for another use), coarse salt and ground pepper, one medium onion finely chopped, four cloves of garlic crushed, one cup long-grain brown rice, four plum tomatoes, diced, one jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers drained and sliced into 1/2-inch strips, 10 ounces one frozen or fresh green peas, Lemon wedges for serving (optional)
Let’s cook:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium flame and add chicken along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook for 10 minutes until it becomes golden on all sides. Then transfer to a plate.
2. Again add onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to skillet and stir frequently, until onion becomes translucent and soft for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Then add rice, peppers, and tomatoes along with 1 and 1/4 cups of water; then place the chicken pieces in rice mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce the flame. Then cover it and simmer over medium-low flame until rice is cooked and tender, approximately for 55 to 60 minutes. If any liquid remains in skillet, then remove the lid and simmer till the liquid is evaporated.
4. Sprinkle peas into the skillet; cover with the lid and remove from flame.
5. Keep aside till the peas are heated through nearly about 10 minutes.
6. Serve with lemon wedges (optional).

Happy Meal !!!😊😊

 

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EDITOR'S PICK

10 Best of Padma Shri Pankaj Udhas…

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Padma Shri Pankaj Udhas is one of best ghazal singers hailed from Gujrat, India. Blessed with a legendary voice, Pankaj Udhas has won millions of hearts in India and abroad as well. He began his journey to success with the release of ghazal album, Aahat in 1980. Subsequently, he recorded multiple hits such as Mukarar (1981), Tarrannum (1982) and Mehfil (1983). His other contributions include Pankaj Udhas Live at Royal Albert Hall (1984), Nayaab (1985) and Aafreen (1986). Latter to his success as a ghazal star, he was invited to by Mahesh Bhatt to appear and sing for the film Naam. Udhas reached to the peak of success after his super hit song “Chitthi Aayee Hai” in the film Naam in 1986.

One of the most loved ghazal singers, Pankaj Udhas has given us many of the best songs that still hold a special corner in our hearts. Here are 10 of his most soulful executions:

#10

Remember a young John Abraham in the Music Album…

#9

One of his 90s gem that reached millions of hearts …

#8

If you listen to his voice, you can feel the pure and eternal love…

#7

A perfect amalgamation of deep words and a legendary voice…

#6

Listening his ghazal are like Asking you to be yourself in his own beautiful way…

#5

Another soulful song that was quite a surprise for MTV India to play non-stop…

#4

Remember the beautiful video of young Sameera Reddy, based on O’Henry’s The Gift of the Magi?

#3

Listening to this ghazal feels like someone is singing only for you.

#2

Let’s not talk of love or chain and think we can’t untie…

#1

This one is probably the best song ever sung by Pankaj Udhas…

Hope this collection soothes your heart and soul!!

 

 

 

 

 

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EDITOR'S PICK

10 poems of Tagore that capture the beauty of true love

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Rabindranath Tagore is regarded as the greatest poet and writer in modern Indian literature. The Bengali poet was not only one of the greatest novelists and educators in India but also a Nobel Laureate for Literature (1913). In 1915, Tagore was awarded as the knighthood; however, he surrendered the award in 1919 in protest against the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, where British troops killed around 400 Indian activists.

Tagore experimented with many poetic forms in his writing but many of his works have lost in translations into other languages. Tagore was the first Indian to introduce psychological realism to his novels.

Here are some of the best Rabindranath Tagore Love Poems:
#1

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#10

“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
― Rabindranath Tagore

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DIY

PLASTIC BOTTLES: Let’s recycle, repurpose and reuse…

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Nearly 80% of the plastic bottles used and thrown every day become non-bio degradable litter that takes a huge toll on environmental health. Of course, it is more convenient to sip the drink straight from plastic bottles however the plastic litter accumulated from the same acts as toxic pollutants which cause water, land, and air pollution.

So, reusing and repurposing of plastic bottles is an excellent way to contribute to saving the environment from getting polluted. It is a surprising fun to repurpose, redesign and reuse the plastic bottles. Let’s check that below.

#1 Zipper Case for stationery items
Transform the old plastic bottles into sturdy and useful zipper cases that will help to organize the office stationeries or art and craft supplies. This is also a fun-filled craft idea for kids.

#2 Piggy Bottle Bank
A cute piggy bank not only encourages kids to save also it inspires them to learn about recycling. All it needs is a cut on the bottle appropriately and lots of fun in creating super cute designs on the bottle to make it an adorable piggy bank.

#3 Vertical Hanging Garden
This is a rare but excellent idea for growing small leafy vegetables and herbs. A plastic bottle vertical garden is designed by looping the bottles horizontally along an interior wall or balcony. Here are some interesting ideas for a plastic bottle vertical garden.

#4 Amazing Jewelry Stand
A beautiful jewelry stand from plastic bottles looks great and can hold and hang tons of small jewelry items. And it doesn’t even take long to make as you have to just cut the bottoms of plastic bottles, then fix a metallic rod through them and see your craft transforms into a beautiful jewelry organizer.

#5 Tiny Snack Bowls
Transform the discarded plastic bottles into an unbreakable snack or dry fruit bowls for a small kitty party or family get together. Cut the bottom of the plastic bottle then use a hot iron to flatten and smooth out its edges and here is a pretty bowl all set for you. You can make it fancier by putting additional decoration to the tiny bowls.

Happy DIY 😊😇😊

 

 

 

 

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EDITOR'S PICK

Secret cooking tips for Indian kitchen….

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#1 — Never forget to add a pinch of salt while boiling potatoes. It helps in peeling or removing the skin easily.
#2 — Dip paneer in warm salt water for 10 – 15 minutes prior to adding it into the gravy. This softens the paneer and helps in absorbing the gravy.

#3 — Always cook the ingredients in an order to make the dish appetizing and tasty. For example, onions should go first in the oil, then garlic and then ginger and tomato as each veggie has its own cooking time.
#4 — In order to retain the bright green color of peas add a pinch of sugar before boiling or cooking.

#5 — Add a teaspoon of oil while cooking dal to avoid frothing and spilling all over.

#6 — Use heavy bottom pan or vessel for cooking upma or kheer. Heavy based pan prevents food from burning.

#7 — To make the puris crunchy and crispier add 2 to 3 tablespoon rava or semolina to the wheat flour while kneading.

#8 — To separate the strings of noodles or pasta from each other keep it under running cold water for 2 to 3 minutes, immediately after boiling. Hot and cold water treatment prevents the noodle strand from sticking to each other.
#9 — To make ‘a day old’ muffin fresh, sprinkle few drops of water on it and put the muffins in a paper bag and microwave for 10 seconds. Steam revives the moisture content of day-old muffins.

#10 — It is advised to add 1 to 2 teaspoon of canola oil while melting chocolate in order to keep it smooth. This makes it easy to dip or drizzle

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EDITOR'S PICK

Ghal-e-Ishq: EverIshqeen Top 10 Couplets of Mirza Ghalib

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Mirza Ghalib was one of the eminent poets in India during the last years of the Mughal Era. He is best known for his Urdu ghazals and many Persian poems. He was the last poet of the Mughal Empire towards its decline phase. Mirza was born as Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan on 27th December 1797 in Kala Mahal, Agra. His two pen-names were Ghalib, which means “dominant” and Asad which means “lion”. Few of his honorific work include Dabir-ul-Mulk and Najm-ud-Daula.
His lyrics on love, life and loss continue to enlighten and calm our heart and soul. Let’s see a few of his timeless shayaris which makes us feel the human emotions. Here we go…

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

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#10

 

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DIY

Tyres never get tired: Brilliant Ideas For Recycling Tyres!!!!

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Are you aware that every year one tire is discarded per person? In Europe, only half of the discarded care tires are recycled and rest is burned or simply thrown. Keeping this in mind I have come up with great ideas to transform the unwanted tires into useful items. Let’s learn.

Things required:
An old tire, wooden board, a jigsaw, acrylic paint, sandpaper and brush, pencil, measuring tape and rope.

Let’s do it:
Step 1: Measure the diameter of the tire.

Step 2: Draw a circle on the wooden board.

Step 3:
Cut the wooden board by using a jigsaw and polish the edges by using sandpaper. Then paint it on both sides. Use the same to cover the bottom of the tire.

Step 4: Paint the tire.

Apply a primer on the tire to seal the surface well to prevent it from cracking. Then paint the outside with the paint of your preferable color. Finally, place the cushion over the wood board.

You can also make a coffee table using the same method.

Not limited to sitting arrangements, tires can also be used as beautiful planters as below.

Another brilliant idea of using the old tires is making a cute cozy bed for your pets.

Happy DIY 🙂

 

 

 

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EDITOR'S PICK

Let’s make red cabbage more interesting!!!!

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Red cabbage is a great source of vitamin C and K and its deep color are because of its high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, rich dietary antioxidants which possess anti-inflammatory properties that makes it even more nutritious as compared to green cabbage. It also contains anthocyanin which according to some studies helps to reduce the risk of cardiac disease, diabetes, and cancer to some extent. Its anti-oxidants also makes skin supple, clean and clear. Let us learn a few red cabbage recipes.

Potato Red Cabbage Tikki –

Ingredients needed:
4 halved, boiled and peeled potatoes, 1 cup shredded red cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 onion finely chopped, 1 green chili chopped, 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder, 1 teaspoon red chili powder, 1 teaspoon dried mango or aamchur powder, salt to taste and oil for shallow frying.
Cooking method:
1. Mix and mash well all the ingredients in a large bowl except oil.
2. Make equal sized balls (8-10) out the mixture prepared.
3. Slightly flatten them into round patty shapes.
4. Refrigerate the mixture patties 1 hour.
5. Roll these patties in breadcrumbs if you want
5. Heat a flat pan on medium flame and add oil to it.
6. Shallow fry the patties until they become golden brown.
7. Serve hot with your favorite ketchup or chutney.

Red Cabbage Zucchini Chana Dal –

Ingredients needed:
1 cup red cabbage chopped, ½ cup zucchini roughly chopped into ½ inch pieces, ½ cup Bengal gram/chana dal, oil – 3 tbsp, ¾ cup finely chopped onion, 2 tbsp garlic finely chopped, 2-3 dried red chili, ½ tsp red chili powder , ¼ tsp garam masala powder, 1 cup tomatoes chopped, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp coriander powder, ¼ tsp pav bhaji masala, 1 tsp dried mango powder (aamchoor), pinch of asafetida, salt to taste and coriander leaves for garnishing.
Cooking Method:
1. Wash and soak chana dal in water for 45 minutes. Then drain the water and put it into a pressure cooker along with turmeric powder, a ½ cup of water and salt to taste. Pressure cook on a medium flame for 3 whistles.
2. Take a pan and heat oil over a high flame. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, red chilies and let the seeds splutter.
3. Add chopped onions and garlic and saute until it becomes translucent.
4. Then add chopped red cabbage. Saute and mix well for 2 minutes. Then add zucchini to it and saute for another 2 minutes.
5. Now, add tomatoes, red chili powder, pav bhaji masala, coriander powder, dried mango powder and finally garam masala and mix well.
6. Then add cooked chana dal and saute for a few minutes until the gravy becomes thick.
7. Finally, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with bread, roti, and rice.

Red Cabbage Stuffed Paratha –

Ingredients needed:
For making the dough:
Two cups of wheat flour, a pinch of salt and water
For making the stuffing:
1 cup of red cabbage shredded, 1 finely chopped onion, coriander leaves, ½ tsp garam masala powder, ½ tsp red chili powder, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp crushed ginger-garlic, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds , 1 chopped green chili, pinch of asafetida , salt to taste, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp gram flour and oil for roasting paratha.
1. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, water to make the dough. Knead it carefully to make a semi-soft dough. Then cover the dough with a moist cloth and keep aside.
2. In a pan heat oil and add cumin seeds and asafetida. Then add chopped onions into it once seeds splutter. Saute for 3-4 minutes and then add green chilies and crushed ginger-garlic to it.
3. Saute well for 2 minutes and add red cabbage, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt to taste.
4. Saute well for 3-4 minutes and add gram flour, garam masala powder and dried mango powder to it.
5. Mix well and cook for 6-7 minutes more and remove the stuffing from the pan and set aside to cool.
6. Divide the dough into 6-8 equal portion and make round balls.
7. Take a ball and roll out the dough into a round roti of 4-inch diameter. Apply a little oil, and place 1 tbsp of prepared red cabbage stuffing at the center of the circular dough.
8. Bring together all the sides in the center and seal tightly and roll out again into a circle of 6-inch diameter with the help of some flour to make the paratha.
9. Take a flat pan and roast rolled circles from both sides and apply a little oil on both sides, and roast until golden brown.
10. Repeat making paratha in a similar way with the remaining dough and filling to make more parathas.
11. Serve hot with your favorite pickle and raita.

Enjoy your red cabbage!

 

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DIY

LET’S MAKE YOUR JUST DENIM TO WOW DENIM: DIY PEARL STUDDED JEANS

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The other day, when I was just turning over the pages of a magazine, I came across a cute and stylish pair of denim studded with pearls by Paige Denim. Instantly, the ‘CreativeMe’ version within me whispered “Time for some creativity”. Let’s learn how to remake your boring jeans into stylish and fashionable denim.
All you need:

1. Old Jeans.
2. Plastic white beads or pearls preferably in different sizes and two colors. I have used white and ivory to give it an elegant look.
3. Needle, Thread, and Scissors.

Make your beads ready and decide where you want to place them.
There are actually two methods to attach pearls or beads. First, you can stitch on one pearl or bead at a time, which takes a good time. Stitch the large bead or pearls one by one randomly.
The second method is to stitch the smaller or tiny pearls beads consecutively by using one long thread.

To make it more visible and stylish and start stitching the largest pearl beads near the front pocket. Place your stitches close to each other and use little thread as possible. Make sure the pearl beads are not attached too tight or too loose.
Scatter the large pearl beads one by one then stitch the medium pearls and finally the tiny ones to fill in the spaces.

Happy DIY 😊😇😊

 

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