Friday, 28 August 2020

The Japnese Garden Sightseeing at The City Beautiful

The City Beautiful Chandigarh is known for its green surroundings spread all over. There are several parks and gardens that not only add to the beauty of the city, but are quite happening places as various activities, events are being conducted there every now n then.

A recent addition to the list of gardens that we discovered some time back while looking for a family picnic spot is Japnese Garden. It is located in Sector 31, Chandigarh. The layout and design of the garden is inspired from Japanese architecture, as expected. Since we had kids with us, they were so joyous to find a colourful place to spend the day :)

So here is how this peaceful spot looks like.

Free Entry
Visiting Hours : 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM All days of the week
Cafeteria and washrooms available inside the garden premises.
Spacious parking space outside.

Add this mesmerising tourist attraction to your list when you plan to visit Chandigarh next time.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Gutsy Burkha-clad Churails Avenge For Justice (Web Series Review)

It was just a few weeks ago that I subscribed to ZEE5 Club Pack to get exclusive access to its premium content. And Oh boy! I couldn't wait to tell you that I'm super impressed how this platform is winning by putting together a far deeper volume of movies and shows serving a range of interests for all my family members.

Just to introduce ZEE5 to my newer readers, it's one of the few major OTT streamers focused on multilingual content across countries and here you would find a larger library of shows to binge plus a growing slate of originals. For that crazy bunch of streamers like me who crave for versatile content, ZEE5 is the right call.

My current watchlist is a ZEE5 Exclusive Zindagi Original web series 'Churails' whose satirical poster released on social media got me hooked to watch the show right from day one of the launch. After watching this 10-episodes series, let me help you delve deep into the details why you should be watching this one.
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Churails is a quirky story of four strong women who dare to disaffiliate themselves from the norms of patriarchy society and thus unite together to form a secret detective agency with the intend to expose deceitful and false-hearted male counterparts in the city of Karachi.

Apart from a crisp script, Churails boasts of solid performances by Sarwat Gilani as Sara Khan, Mehar Bano as Zubaida, Nimra Bucha as Batool Jan and Yasra Rizvi as Jugnu Chaudhry. The ladies, leading an army of exploited women, have been truly compelling in their characters with rightly synced energy.

My Review:
The show Churails is directed by Oscar nominee, Asim Abbasi on a well-scripted story that keeps you engaged throughout. The series is dark and intense as one might figure out from the spunky poster itself. Each of the ten episodes of the web series are nearly one hour long and opens up with a new twist. By the end of an episode, the story leaves you anticipating another meltdown and you can't help moving to the next episode.
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The show has strategically covered a lot of ground in terms of women's related issues like domestic violence, forced marriages, abortions, prostitution and many more. The self-proclaimed 'churails', who are fearlessly unapologetic about their traumatic past, manage to make their way through 'not-so-easy' reality and elevate the series to a thing of beauty with their polished performance.

When you sit down to watch a show set in Pakistani backdrop, it's not a surprise to treat yourselves with pleasing Urduised dialogues and that's what Churails amuses you with. I particularly liked the meaningful lyrics of the show's soundtracks and terrific cinematography.

All in all, Churails is a web series that ticks all the boxes of a good thriller drama with great reveals in every single episode. I would express the surreality of the show with the saying, "Behind every strong, independent woman lies a broken girl who learnt hard how to get up and fight for herself."
So why afraid to acclaim #MainChurailHoon, because these three words take it all to be lionhearted.

Saturday, 15 August 2020

A Spiritual Walk along the Banks of Ganges at Haridwar

For a family where spirituality prevails, the holiday destinations sometimes are the holy cities where one can find solace from fast-paced urban life. Just like masses of people who consider 'Twin National Heritage Cities' Haridwar and Rishikesh as one of the most religious pilgrimage destination, my father always loved visiting these mystical places. 
I've fond memories of visiting these places since childhood, so here is what delights me about the locations..
Har ki Pauri:
The most pious ghar at the banks of Ganges, Har ki Pauri offers the most divine experience to devotees during Ganga Aarti every evening. Watching thousands of the diyas floating on the waters while the hymns being recited by the priests fill your heart with purity and devotion for Almightly. A dip into sacred waters of Ganges is believed to wash away all your sins.

Mandir Darshan:
At this major spiritual landmark of India, you'll find temples (mandir) of many Hindu Gods and Goddesses in every corner of the city. Chandi Devi Mandir, Daksheswara Maharaj Mandir, Maya Devi Mandir, Vaishno Devi Mandir, Doodhadhari Barfani Baba Mandir, Bharat Mata Mandir etc. are some popular temples of Hindu religion in Haridwar. 

Most revered of all the Haridwar temples is the Mansa Devi Mandir. The temple is located steep atop the Bilwa Parvat on the Sivalik Hills. You can either trek, climb the steps or go via Udhankhatola (Cable Car/ Ropeway) to the temple.

The view from the cable car will simply amaze you and it's highly recommended to enjoy if you have children in the family.  
Adventure Sport at Rishikesh:
The Yog Capital of the World, Rishikesh, has many adventure activities to indulge into. It depends on the preference and age-appropriateness of the participant what you're allowed to partake. Bungee Jumping, Flying Fox, Powered Paragliding, Jungle Camping, Trekking, River Rafting are the best among the long list of other thrilling Rishikesh adventure sports.  

Food Trails:
Haridwar is heaven for food lovers. Spicy Aloo Puri, Frothy Kulhar Milk, Crispy Kachoris and Samosas, Fresh Fruits, Seasonal Juices and Flavoured Kulfis have been my super favourites. Everything is available at such pocket-friendly prices that you need not resist your temptations because of expenses.

A visit to the ancient city of Haridwar is a must for a peaceful stay with tranquil atmosphere, but travelling during the Hindu month of Shrawan around July should be avoided due to heavy crowd and blocked roads becuase of Kaanwar Yatra by Shiv devotees.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Pareeksha: The Final Test (Movie Review)

Movies should generally be thought of as a recreational tool that uplift your mood. It feels wonderfully relaxing to sit back and be transported to another world for a couple of hours. But there're some terrific movies that carry a thoughtful message for some sort of social reform. One such movie is 'Pareeksha: The Final Test' that I was eagerly waiting for after watching its teaser trailer a few days ago.

Now that I've watched the movie being streamed on ZEE5 with my family, I thought of sharing my opinion on how I liked/disliked it- 
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The film boasts of a stellar cast, Adil Hussain as rickshaw-puller Buchi, Priyanka Bose as Buchi's wife Radhika, Shubham Jha as their genius son Bulbul and Sanjay Suri as generous SP Kailash Anand.
The taut script uses all its characters to depict different kinds of people that make our society.

Pareeksha revolves around the life of a rickshaw puller Buchi, who is determined to get his only son admitted to a private school, assuming English education to be the sole escape from poverty for his family. The crisp melodrama articulates how the mother works overtime in utensils factory and the father resorts to petty thefts in order to meet school’s exorbitant demands. The story also exposes the people who have commercialised education and play with emotions of poor.

My Review:
The film opens with a harmonious setting with soft audio-video in the background giving us a peek into contemporary Jharkhand.
With polished actor Adil Hussain as lead, you might think that other actors will be overshadowed, but I could especially relate to compelling moments of film with Priyanka being an emotionally stronger parent in the family.
Sanjay Suri, as expected, won accolades for convincingly portraying a man in uniform graced with the spirit of a change agent who supports the young learner.

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The movie touches upon various social issues while breaking the stereotypes around education system and the politics involved in this periphery. The well-told storyline worked so well to persuade me that I was literally transported inside it. All thanks to sharp-toothed script from writer/director Prakash Jha that it was almost impossible to dislike the objective stance that the movie delivers. For many, it might be a perfect cinematic salve to soothe their wounds with a range of intense emotions. 
With hard hitting facts, the movie rightly showcases how vulnerable the parents can be, especially the ones who don't give up on their dreams and reiterate to themselves- "Mushkilein Kitni bhi ho, hum bhi apne #SapneSachKarenge". I must say this attempt by Prakash Jha will certainly evoke your empathy and sentimentality for the marginalised section of our society.

Overall, this thought provoking movie highlights the universal message that the access to education is not a privilege bestowed by anyone, it is a legal right of everyone.
Do watch Pareeksha and other popular family movies on ZEE5 with your family!

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Steal the Spotlight With Oriflame Colour Obsession Lipsticks

Up your colour game with Colour Obsession, the new lipstick range from The ONE. This revolutionary lip colour brings an unparalleled sense of empowerment with its attention-grabbing hues. Beyond bold, it has 10 PopShock shades with ChromaLoad Technology for unequalled colour intensity. Fully loaded with moisture, the weightless base melts on contact, providing a gel-crème finish of saturated colour.
Colour Obsession Lipsticks have a distinct silver chrome bullet packaging unlike the ones which I already have in my collection. What made me really happy about the packaging is the clear transparent cap that lets me see the shade without opening it, because otherwise it used to take me lot of time finding the right shade in my stash every morning while getting ready for work. Now with Colour Obsession lipsticks, the issue seems solved atleast for this range.
This range offers 10 beautiful shades that would steal the spotlight in your spring summer cosmetics.

Nude Appeal - 35155
Peach Passion - 35156
Pink Possession - 35157
Magenta Mania - 35158
Coral Craze - 35159
Tempting Orange - 35160
Red Rage - 35161
Red Fever - 35162
Purple Power - 35163
Cherry Crave - 35164

The lipsticks are mildly creamy in texture, but don't feel heavy when worn on lips. I neither apply lip balm or lip gloss, still my lips felt moisturized without any feeling of drying out. The colour payoff is good too. After almost 7 hours and having with my lunch, the colour lasted enough. I am also happy with the subtle shine that these lipsticks give. 
Something from the browns family is missing in the range. To name a few shades that I adore more than others, I have got Purple Power, Cherry Crave, Coral Craze and Nude Appeal as the most preferred ones.