The Two-in-One Effect

#CleanAirBeautifulHomes – How does it sound? Sounds good, sounds fascinating right? But have you ever thought if it is actually possible? I mean something that can keep your home clean and also make it look beautiful. We will come to that later as we progress.

One of the major concerns in today’s modern life is the pollution – especially air pollution. Now the question is what could be the potential causes of air pollution. There are several agents like smoke, fumes, suspended particulate matter, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde etc. that can cause air pollution. The pace at which we are moving towards modernization and cutting down trees for urbanizing the places one day it will all be the jungle of concrete. As a precaution or protecting ourselves we are using masks while we are out and make our children wear the same when they are going out – whether to school or to park or for any outing. Is that enough? Do the masks help us or our children to breathe fresh air? It’s not that the masks are of no use. They do their work and filter out the air to some extent and supply clean air to our lungs.

We somehow manage to dodge the pollution outside, but how about the air pollution inside our very own home? The air inside our own home may be polluted by lead or in-house dust, fire-retardants, formaldehyde, radon and even the volatile chemicals released from the fragrances in the conventional home cleaners that we use almost regularly. Some pollutants from outside air also trailed into our home. Our indoor environment can be two to five times more toxic compared to the outdoor environment. This may sound shocking but it is the fact as stated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The effect of pollution can lead to cause certain ill-effects on your as well as your loved ones’ health, especially the children at home. Some of the effects of indoor pollutants could be asthma, fatigue, skin irritations, nausea, dizziness, headache etc.

Photo Credit: India Together

Can you recollect the catchy line #CleanAirBeautifulHomes in the beginning of the post? That’s the identifier of the two-in-one effect of the Royale Atmos – the new paint by Asian Paints. You might think how it is connected to paint when paints are one of the sources of home pollutants. You are right, but Royale Atmos is manufactured keeping the anti-pollution thought in mind. It cleans the indoor air by absorbing the pollutants and reducing the formaldehyde. This is not just it. Royale Atmos has the feature of absorbing the select household foul smell and thus making the indoor air quality better to breathe. When we paint the walls of our home the irritating chemical smell of the paint remains for days together, which can cause headache, nausea and dizziness. With Royale Atmos, you can set aside your worry about that because this is the only paint that comes with a fragrance. One of the fascinating features of Royale Atmos is the revolutionary Activated Carbon technology, which empowers the paint to purify the indoor air. This goes the CleanAir aspect of Royale Atmos. Now coming to the BeautifulHomes aspect of the paint, it gives a perfect luxurious look to your home because of the smooth matt finish. The Teflon surface protector divulges great scrub and stain resistance capacity to the paint. Toughest stains and scrubs can be cleaned off the wall without compromising the look of the wall. As Royale Atmos comes with Green Assure Seal it signifies VOC safer and environment-friendly.

 

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The Train Reached Its Station

This is the story of young and dynamic Abhi.

He is very ambitious and takes his studies very seriously. His dedication towards his studies and hard work fetch him a seat in a renowned engineering college. But he has to leave his home and stay in a hostel in a different city to pursue his dream of becoming an engineer.

He is in his second year of engineering now and it is the day when his exams are ending. He is very much eager to finish his paper as he needs to rush to the railway station to take the evening train to his hometown. He fished his papers and reached hostel to take his backpack and rushed to the railway station. The train is waiting for departure in the platform. Abhi took out his ticket and checked for his reservation. He boarded the train and settled in his seat.

As the train started Abhi did not even have the idea that it will be a start of something new something special for him. His path crossed the path of a girl in the same compartment and he could not help looking at her. His heart, mind, and soul just want to get a glimpse of the girl every now and then. He has never felt this sort of emotion and restlessness before. Abhi started to think is this Love at First Sight. Every now and then he tries to take a glimpse of the girl in excuse of going to the restroom. He never counted how many times he has taken trips to the restroom. That night is like the longest night in his life. He could not sleep for the entire night.

In the morning, Abhi gets down from his berth and quickly heads towards the seat of the girl. He made up his mind at night that he would talk to the girl first thing in the morning. But where is she? Abhi cannot see any trace of the girl and he felt heartbroken. He thinks she is the first girl who touched his heart in the first instance and he could not take this forward. The train reaches the station of Abhi’s hometown and he reaches home.

It is the final semester of Abhi’s engineering exam. But he has already received a very good offer from one of the MNCs in the campus interview and he is going to join as the intern there till his final result is out. He finishes his exams and joined the job. He started liking the job and getting to learn many things. Abhi’s final exam result is out and he has scored good marks. His job is confirmed and he feels himself as settled in a job.

Two years have passed in the job and Abhi is doing pretty good. His parents are now pressurizing him to get married soon since he is well-settled in his job. He somehow managed to dribble his parents’ talks about marriage as he still has that girl in the train in his mind and he still could not get out of her thoughts. After some days of avoiding the conversation, he could not manage more. Abhi’s parents have given a photo of the prospective bride to him to take a look couple of days back. He had not taken a look at it yet. Now that he has no choice left but to get married he takes the photo out and he is awestruck seeing the photo. He could not believe his eyes what he is seeing. It is the photo of the girl whom he saw two years back in the train. Tears roll down from his eyes. These are the tears of joy and he never thought that his first love would come to him like this. He agrees to the marriage proposal and the train reaches its station.

This is my first post in the fiction genre and I take pride to mention that it is by my wife Manasi. She has written this short fiction story in Bengali and narrated to me. I liked this short story and asked if I can translate the piece and post it on my blog as a part of #MyFriendAlexa campaign post. She agreed to this and here I narrated the story. Hope you liked it.

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Spices in India

Indian foods or cuisines get its flavorful aroma from the usage of subtle and sophisticated herbs and spices. These herbs and spices characterize any Indian cuisine and play a very important role in Indian cooking. No Indian food is complete without the spices. Spices in India has a great role to play in adding flavor to the daily food. Some spices are used for making the food more flavorful, some spices are used for adding special aroma to the food whereas some spices are used for complementing other spices in the food.

In the ancient times, spices were regarded as precious as gold and such the variety of spices in India that traders from foreign countries used to sail to India for the trading of spices. India plays a very important role in the world market of spices. The spices in India are broadly categorized into three categories – basic, complementary and aromatic.

The basic spices are the ones that are used in most of our daily cooking. These spices are the basic stuff that you would need in your everyday cooking. The basic spices include jeera or cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black mustard seeds, turmeric, red chili in both powder and whole forms, Asafetida or hing etc. The complementary spices are the ones that are specially added to the Indian cooking to add some extra flavor to the food. These spices are used in combination of both basic and aromatic spices depending upon the dish that is being prepared. This category of spices includes fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, carom seeds and some others. The aromatic spices, as the name suggests, are the spices that add aroma to the food. The most commonly used aromatic spices are green & black cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, mace, white & black peppercorns, saffron and bay leaves.

Certain spices in India also bestow certain medicinal benefits as well. The most common spice, turmeric, is one among them. Turmeric is an antioxidant and is known to fight and manage cancer. Turmeric also helps in curing inflammation of body joints and also in detoxification of liver. Asafetida or hing is useful in treating asthma, coughs and bronchitis. It also helps in improving digestion along with giving flavor to the food. Ginger, a commonly used herb, is beneficial in relieving from cold & cough, joint pains and regulating blood pressure. Other spices like black peppercorns, cumin seeds, cardamoms, cinnamon, clove and saffron also fall under this category.

The spices in India is a vast area of exploration. Just one blog post is not enough to describe every intricate detail of the spices in India. However, one thing can be stated that if you want your food to be spicy, flavorful and aromatic Indian spices would be your first choice.

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Ecommerce in India

India has come a long way as far as its e-commerce market is concerned. As per the latest publication and report ecommerce in India or the online market is ever growing and is expected to cross Rs. 2 lakh crore in this fiscal. According to the latest estimate by NASSCOM, the India online business market is estimated to be at $33 billion during the financial year of 2017. The online market has grown about 19 percent during the financial year of 2016-17.

It is the way the modern people transact these days is the key to the remarkable growth of the ecommerce in India. Whether it is buying electronic items and fashion accessories or making your travel booking or booking a ticket for the latest blockbuster movie – consumers are highly inclined towards transacting through online as it offers them convenience. According to IBEF research report in 2013 India houses 3311 e-commerce hubs, 1267 rural hubs, 391 export hubs and 2217 import hubs.

The latest study by Forrester Research reveals that in the Asia Pacific region about one-fifth of the total retail sales will take place through the online market. Some of the highly popular names in the Indian e-commerce sector are Flipkart, Amazon, MakeMyTrip, Snapdeal, Yatra, Jabong and many others. Many newbies in the sector like TataCLiQ, Ajio.com, Limeroad etc. are coming up with good deals and eye-catching campaigns. The same study also adds that the online shopping through the mobile devices will grow at the rate of 15.6 per cent and estimated to reach $1 trillion mark in 2020. Asia Pacific is the largest region in the world in terms of online retail leading by China with the e-commerce market of $681 billion in sales. However, according to the Forrester study is undoubtedly the fastest growing e-commerce market in the world.

Photo Credit – YourStory.com

Even though the ecommerce in India is growing at a fast pace it is highly important for the players in the field to sustain that growth. In order to sustain the fast pace growth the most important aspect that they need to focus is higher consumer engagement. The more the consumers are engaged the more they build the trust towards the brand. However, it is necessary for the online merchants to remember the engagement is not just in terms of the pre-sales experience of the consumers but to be aligned to the entire value chain and that would be the key highlight for the success of ecommerce in India.

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My Love for Travelling

Travelling is in my blood. Whenever the travel bug bites me I have to get out of my house to explore some new places, know some new culture and taste some new food. My love for travelling is eternal and it will keep grow as time progresses.

I’ve travelled to many places, within India, and explored many unknown horizons. I still remember my childhood days when I used to go to Digha & Puri with my parents very often. I was 8 or 9 years old that time but I could still remember those days of playing on the beach and my fear of getting into the sea where my siblings and parents were enjoying the waves. I went to a trip without my parents for the first time when I was in 8th standard. It was my school trip and we were travelling to the northern part of India covering Delhi, Haridwar, Rishikesh and other places. It was a great fun going with the group.

There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign. – Robert Louis Stevenson

My instinct for travel keeps growing and I have also explored certain parts of Assam – primarily upper Assam. One of my friends has his house in Assam, so I was fortunate to travel to one of the seven sister states twice and both the time I stayed in his house. It was a great trip and enjoyed the beauty of the state.

My eternal love from travelling is contagious and it has affected my better half, my wife, Manasi too. After marriage, I gradually made her understand my love for travel and now she is also at the same frequency as mine and now we travel together. As I stay in Bangalore we are trying to cover as many places as possible in the southern India. Our latest trip was to Hampi during the last long weekend of Ganesh Chaturthi. Hampi is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. It was a fabulous trip and we enjoyed every possible nuke and corner of the place. But still, we feel that it is not yet covered completely and will make some time again soon to go for the second trip to beautiful Hampi. It would be an injustice if I don’t mention places like Mysore, Ooty, Coonoor, Kodaikanal, Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Cochin, Trivandrum, Kovalam, Calicut, Coorg, Wayanad, Yelagiri, Beypore, Goa, Chennai, Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram, Vijayawada, Mumbai and Pune in this post where I have travelled. It’ll become a lengthy post if I capture all my travel stint in this one post and I don’t want to bore you.

My love for travelling will continue and I want the travel bug to keep biting me so that I can explore and experience new places. This love is never ending and will continue my travelling spree.

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My Love for Cooking

Good food has always been a weak point for me. But it’s not that I just only eat… I cook too… Yes, you got it right. I love cooking.

Cooking is a kind of a refresher or a stress buster for me and I never get bored with cooking. I won’t say that everything I cook are mind-blowingly tasty… after all am not a professional chef… What I can say is most of my creations come out well. And the biggest critic for my creations is my wife Manasi. Who else can get these recipes tasted and tested.

My love for cooking is not recent. I started cooking since my teenage days. I started cooking from the time when I was in 8th standard. It was necessary that time as my mom had to go to the places, at least for few days, where my dad was posted for his job. I being the eldest among us three siblings I had to take care of the cooking. It started then.

I got into full-fledged cooking when I was doing my post-graduation studies. I used to stay in a rented house with a couple of my friends and I was taking care of cooking – well most of the time. I used to enjoy it and never used to get bored or annoyed. I started making experiments with my recipes and the best part was my roommates had never complained.

My cooking started taking the flight and I started loving it more in the last 5-6 years. I got my wife by my side. She is very supportive and also likes to experiment just like me. We together try making something or the other new and innovative using the regular stuff. I have experimented with a curry paste in my cooking journey, which is purely vegetarian. That curry paste can be used for preparing dum aloo. I’ve prepared it and captured in this video. My wife tried some experimental recipe as well. One of them is a chicken recipe that I have captured in this video here.

I feel pretty happy while cooking. My blog earlier was more like recipe documentation but as the time progressed it got changed into something different that captures everything. But my love for cooking made me to think of a name that goes well and hence I came up with the name The Mixed Flavors.

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Beach Destinations near Kolkata

This is the second series in the places of interest around Kolkata. When I curated the first post in the series I was very much inspired to do the second post. My aim for curating this series is to capture the beautiful places of interest near Kolkata, which are primarily the popular weekend destinations for the people of Kolkata. I won’t say that I’ve not visited the places listed in this post but would say that I’ve visited few of them. It was long back when I visited Puri, Chandipur, Digha and Mandarmani – rather I would say it was during my childhood days. I love to visit these places but as I stay out of my hometown, Kolkata, and go there for a just couple of weeks on vacation it becomes quite difficult to manage time to visit these places. This post will be exploring some of the popular beach destinations near Kolkata. Let me take you all there and you will find the information in this post useful while making you next travel plan.

Digha: Digha is one of the most popular weekend destinations for the Kolkata people. Being located just about 185 km from the city it has become one of the most frequently visited beach destinations near Kolkata. Digha is the most sort after beach retreat for the Kolkata people. This beach destination is located in East Midnapore district of West Bengal. The beaches of Digha has chains of Casuarina trees, which are treated to the nature lovers. Digha has two locations – Old Digha and New Digha.

Digha Beach
Photo Credit: The Route

Mandarmani: Mandarmani is another very popular and celebrated beach destination near Kolkata. In the last couple of years, the frequent visit of the tourists has made Mandarmani as one of the popular beach destinations near Kolkata. Mandarmani is 163 km drive from Kolkata on the way to Digha and has become an ideal getaway for the city people to take refuge in the lap of nature. Mandarmani beach is a golden sand-laden beach with lush green vegetation. There are numerous resorts and hotels available for you to relax and enjoy your weekend.

Mandarmani Beach
Photo Credit: I Am Blogger

Shankarpur: Located about 185 km from Kolkata, just about 14 km away from Digha, Shankarpur is becoming one of the popular beach destinations near Kolkata. Shankarpur is an utterly serene and comparatively less explored travel destination in West Bengal. If you love to be in a lonely secluded place and enjoy the sheer tranquil voice of the sea then there is nothing better than Shankarpur for you. Shankarpur offers real rejuvenation to its visitors with its blissful seclusion and astounding beauty of nature.

Shankarpur Beach
Photo Credit: Flick River

Bakkhali: If you are looking for a beach holiday but do not want to drive a large distance from the city then Bakkhali is the ideal place for you. It is just about 132 km drive from Kolkata and is an ideal beach destination for the tourists who want avoid commercialization and crowd. Bakkhali is located in the southernmost part of West Bengal and is regarded as the hidden treasure of nature. You can visit the crocodile propagation center and the windmill of Frasergunj here. Take a romantic walk on the serene beach of Bakkhali.

Bakkhali Beach
Photo Credit: West Bengal Tourism Dept.
Junput: About 145 km away from Kolkata, Junput offers you abundant greenery and heavenly tranquility. If you are planning for a relaxing weekend trip, you can choose to go to Junput. There is nothing much activities lined up for you in Junput but just to relax. This beach destination offers you to enjoy the rhythmic sound of the sea waves blended with gentle breeze and lining of Casuarina groves across the sea shore. Junput sea beach is an ideal romantic getaway for the couples. The Kapalkundala temple and the museum of fishery department are the two places that you can explore during your visit.

Junput Beach
Photo Credit: Bengal Weekend

Talasari Beach: The Talasari beach is the perfect escapade for you to relax from the hustle-bustle of the city life. This beach destination is about 191 km away from Kolkata in the West Bengal-Odisha border. The non-chaotic environment, fresh air and eye-soothing natural beauty will be rejuvenating for you. Visit the Chandaneshwar temple and the nearby Udaipur beach while you are here. This is the place where Talasari River Subarnarekha meets the Bay of Bengal.

Talasari Beach
Photo Credit: Holidify

Chandipur: Chandipur, located 265 km away from Kolkata, is a less-crowded seaside retreat for the Kolkata people. You can reach Chandipur by train from Howrah station. Chandipur is located in Baleshwar district in the state of Odisha. The main attraction of Chandipur is its beach, which turns out to look stunning during the ebb tide. This is a natural phenomenon that occurs twice a day leaving a long stretch of beautiful golden sand beach for your treat.

Chandipur Beach
Photo Credit: Another Indian

Puri: When we talk about the popular beach destinations near Kolkata, the list remains incomplete if we don’t mention Puri. It is the most favorite and loved beach destination for the people of Kolkata. It is an overnight journey in train from Howrah station. The famous Shri Jagannath Temple is the primary attraction of Puri. You can also visit the Konark Sun Temple, Nandankanan Zoological Park and Chilka Lake while in Puri. The seafood stalls lined up near the sea shore are heaven for all the foodies. Rath Yatra is the grandest festival in Puri.

Puri Beach
Photo Credit: Odisha Rajya
Sand Art at Puri Beach
Photo Credit: India Tourism
Puri Rath Yatra
Photo Credit: NDTV

I come to an end of this post with some favorite beach destinations near Kolkata. These are some of the beach destinations that are most sort of and loved by the people of Kolkata. Though it looks very tough to make time to go to these places I’m positive that sometimes I will be able to make time during my visit to my hometown to explore these places.

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Places of Interest Around Kolkata – Series 1

Travel is rejuvenation for me, I am sure it is the same for most of the people. I love traveling to different places to gain experience from the places. My travel experiences include the culture as well as food of that particular place. When I go for exploring a place I ensure that I grasp most of the essence of that place. Prior to this post I’ve curated posts longing for six series about various places of interests in Kolkata. A thought came to my mind why not curating a post about the places of interest around Kolkata. I will be featuring few of the nearby places of interest around Kolkata in this post.

Though there are plenty of places to see within the city – there are many interesting places outside the city that are worth your time. As of now I’m not completely sure as to in how many series I shall curate this post of places of interest around Kolkata. But it surely will be of more than one post. So without taking much of time let’s start our tour to outside the city of joy. To set up the expectation, this post about places of interest around Kolkata will be about places not very far away from Kolkata that are mostly regarded as weekend gateways.

ISKCON Temple, Mayapur: Mayapur ISKCON Temple is one of the highly popular weekend destination of the people of Kolkata. Located just about 130 km away from the city Mayapur offers you a relaxing weekend trip amidst serene natural beauty and religious ambiance. The place carries special significance to the Gaudiya Vaishnavism followers as it is the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is regarded as a special incarnation of Lord Krishna. The ISKCON temple in Mayapur is visited by more than a million devotees annually.

Mayapur ISKCON Temple Entrance Photo Credit: Radhanath Swamy Yatras
The Main Temple
Photo Credit: Arpita Life Ups & Downs

Krishnanagar: Now that you have traveled to Mayapur, why not take a leap to explore Krishnanagar as well, which is just about 20 km away from Mayapur. It offers you art and cultural heritage of Bengal to cherish. Krishnanagar is located on the southern banks of Jalangi River in Nadia district in the state of West Bengal. The name of the place is kept under the name of its historical ruler Raja Krishna Chandra. The prime attraction of Krishnanagar is the Krishnanagar Rajbari (Palace) and the Roman Catholic Church. Krishnanagar is popular for the well-known clay idols.

Krishnanagar Rajbari Entrance
Photo Credit: Weekend Destinations
Krishnanagar Clay Idols
Photo Credit: Anil’s Blog

Sajnekhali: Have you been to Sundarbans, the largest natural mangrove forest in the coastal area? If not then you should. Sajnekhali is a part of the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve. The main attraction here is the Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary, which is located in the splash greenery of Sundarbans. This wildlife gateway is the paradise for the avid wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers. This wildlife paradise is just about 108 km away from Kolkata. It  is one of the very popular weekend destinations for the city people.

Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary
Photo Credit: Kolkata Tours

Bolpur: This is one of the most popular weekend destination for all Bengali people. Bolpur is still untouched by the dissonance and clutter of the busy city life. The enchanting harmony of the folk and Baul songs blended with the sweetness of the chirping birds in the nature will mesmerize you for sure. You are very close to the world famous Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan and Sriniketan. The main attraction of Bolpur is Santiniketan, which remains in its colorful phase during Poush Mela or Basanta Utsav. Bolpur is just about 163 km drive from Kolkata.

Bolpur Station
Photo Credit: Wikimapia
Shantiniketan Kala Bhavan
Photo Credit: Go Bengal
Santiniketan Basanta Utsav
Photo Credit: The Telegraph
Santiniketan Poush Mela
Photo Credit: Bongfeed

Mukutmanipur: About 250 km away from Kolkata, Mukutmanipur is a place with serene natural beauty. This stunning place displays the beauty of azure waterbody that is surrounded by forests and hills. Mukutmanipur is nuzzled at the confluence of two rivers – Kangsabati and Kumari – seeks attention for the necklace-shaped dam. This travel destination in Bankura district in the state of West Bengal offers you boating and you can visit Bonpukuria Deer Park.

Serene Nature of Mukutmanipur
Photo Credit: Odyssey On Going
Bonpukuria Deer Park
Photo Credit: Holiday IQ

Here I come to an end of this post as I don’t want to make it lengthy to make you lose the interest of reading it. The purpose of the post will not be served then. Hence making it short with five places in this post. It will be back with the next post in the series with few more places of interest around Kolkata. Till then happy reading!!

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KOLKATA SERIES 6: Places you must see in Kolkata

It’s the Finale Time!! This is the final post on the Kolkata Series – places you must see in Kolkata. It has been a real fun working on this series. I got to know my city even more deeply. Being a travel enthusiast the idea of curating a post about the interesting places in Kolkata came to my mind, which will be of help for the fellow travellers visiting the city of joy. This places you must see in Kolkata series has been a very satisfying to me. I took immense pleasure in curating this series. Now since I’m concluding this series with this post that will open door for me to take a look at other cities to explore and share the same with other travel enthusiasts and active readers of my blog. So stay tuned for that.

Without making much of introduction let’s take a dive and explore the 6th layer of Kolkata’s five more interesting places. This will be a mix n match kind of places that I’ll cover in this post.

National Library: The National Library Kolkata is the largest library in India in terms of volume and the library of public records in India. The library operates under the Department of Culture under the umbrella of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India. The library houses more than 2.2 million books. The National Library Kolkata was established in 1953 and is located in the Belvedere Estate in Kolkata. The library is open on all seven days from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Photo Credit: Mapio

Nandan: Nandan is a film and cultural centre in Kolkata, which is sponsored by the West Bengal government. Nandan was officially inaugurated on 2 September 1985 by the renowned film-maker Satyajit Ray. The complex is a highly popular destination for the young and the aged people alike and not just a modern cinema and cultural complex. Nandan had been one of the main venues hosting Kolkata International Film Festival, until 2010.

Nandan Entrance

Indian Coffee House: Indian Coffee House Kolkata is one of the most popular and favourite hang-out places of the people in Kolkata. The Indian Coffee House has many branches in Kolkata including College Street, Central Avenue, Kolkata Medical College and Jadavpur. The College Street Coffee House is the most popular among all, which is located on Bankim Chatterjee Street. The history says the College Street Coffee House was founded in April 1876 in the Albert Hall. The renowned people like Rabindranath Tagore and Subhas Chandra Bose were frequent visitors of this famous cafe. The cafe is a meeting place for artists, poets, literati and many other people from the world of art and culture. Apart from West Bengal Indian Coffee House is also located in other places of India like Kerala, Karnataka, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Botanical Garden: The famous Botanical Garden in Shibpur in Howrah district of West Bengal is one of the interesting places you must see in Kolkata. Though it is not in the city of Kolkata, the Botanical Garden is counted in the list of must visit places in Kolkata. The original name of the garden is Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden but most commonly known and Calcutta Botanical Garden. The garden has a wide variety of very rare species of plants with a collection of more than 12000 species. This is a no-plastic zone and The Great Banyan, a huge banyan tree, is a popular landmark in the garden. It is regarded as the largest tree in the world with more than 330 meters in circumference and forms the second largest canopy in the world. The garden is open from 5 AM to 7 PM throughout the week.

Photo Credit: Take A Book Along
Photo Credit: chautare.blogspot.in

Tangra Chinatown: If you are a foodie and like to eat Chinese cuisine then you just cannot miss visiting Tangra Chinatown when you have a trip to Kolkata. This is a neighbourhood in the eastern part of Kolkata that is regarded as the locality of ethnic Chinese Indian nationals. The area is noted for the Chinese cuisine restaurants, which is visited by the flock of people who like Chinese and Indian Chinese cuisines. Food from Tangra Chinatown is a discrete variety of traditional Hakka Chinese cuisine that is adapted to the Indian ingredients and the Bengali palate. You have innumerable choices to hop into different Chinese restaurants in this area.

Photo Credit: Holidayiq

Here we come to the end of this places you must see in Kolkata series. I tried to cover most important and interesting places in Kolkata through the 6 series posts. I hope you will like the posts and if you have not read through the last 5 posts in this series you can get them in the below links.

Kolkata Series 1

Kolkata Series 2

Kolkata Series 3

Kolkata Series 4

Kolkata Series 5

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7 Stress buster Ideas – Quirky and Quick

It is quite common to feel stressed out in today’s modern life. Whether you are at work or at home or driving a car – different places add up different kind of stress to us. But we need to find out some or the other ways to relieve our stress otherwise it would be difficult for us to lead a healthy life as piled on stress will lead to different kind of health problems hampering our well-being. I thought of 7 stress buster ideas or tips on how you can relieve your stress or at least manage it. I could not find a fun yet effective way to conclude the exciting #BarAThon challenge than sharing 7 stress buster ideas. There are many ways you can choose to relieve or manage your stress but what I’m going to share here are really quirky and quick ideas that I too follow.

Chew gum: This is the simplest way of relieving your stress. Chewing a bubble gum can help you relieve moderate to mild stress. I do it when I feel stressed out. According to researches by the Wrigley Science Institute, Chicago it can help you be more alert and perform multi task. A study has also found that chewing gum also help in reducing the anxiety level in mildly stressed people. This tops my list of 7 stress buster ideas as I do it more often.

Eat chocolate or ice cream: To be honest, this activity is my favorite one. Though I don’t like ice cream much but I can’t stay away from chocolates. Whether I’m a stressed or not I eat chocolate. On a serious note it is seen in the clinical study that eating 40 grams of dark chocolate on daily basis, for two weeks, lower down the stress hormone cortisol among highly stressed individuals. So you have a reason now to buy a pack of chocolate or a tub of ice cream while returning home.

Busting the bubbles on bubble wrap: It is difficult to get a bubble wrap every time you stressed out. But some day you would have ordered something that came wrapped in a bubble wrap. You may find some in your pedestal. When you are stressed, busting the bubbles on the bubble wrap gives you immense relief. You would not know when you have busted all the bubbles. Try it out. It’s fun!!

Do meditation: Meditation is another very effective way of managing stress. You don’t need any particular time to meditate. Whenever you feel stressed do meditation for some time. It will make you feel relax for sure and also calm your mind. Meditation is also highly useful in enhancing your concentration level.

Play with your pet: Do you have a pet at home? There is nothing like it. Play with your pet. This has been proved from a 10-year study that about 4000 Americans found their pets being helpful in relieving stress. I personally had experienced this when I had a Spitz breed dog at my home.

Watch funny baby videos: Have you watched those funny baby videos on internet? They are hilarious and I’m sure those videos will bring smile on your face. I love watching those videos. Whether I’m stressed out or not it is a routine for me to watch some funny baby videos before I go to sleep. It gives me very good sleep.

Hum a tune or listen to your favorite songs: Music is the healer of any kind of stress. Whether you hum your favorite tune or listen to your favorite song they are going to act like a magic. If you know to play a musical instrument that would be even better. I love listening to music and have recently made up my mind to take out my guitar from the closet after many years to play it. No am not any pro in playing the instrument but have started from where I had left.

These are some quick and quirky 7 stress buster ideas that I follow to relieve my stress. And since I’m a foodie, cooking is another stress buster for me and I had always loved cooking. I would like to include one more tip here and that is to talk with someone close to you when you are stressed – that can be your mum, dad, a close buddy, your partner, your siblings or anyone as a matter of fact with whom you love to talk. You would see the magical effect of it. End of the day what matters is to be happy and healthy!!

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