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The ‘something special’ gifts to cherish this Valentine’s

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Every year, we try to break from the monotony of chocolates and roses for Valentine’s and come up with a unique gift for our loved one. But finally we succumb to the same, for various reasons. Mostly because we put the idea off until the last minute and then we don’t have another option. This year, why not try something special? Personalisation is the key. One small gesture to make the gift a personal one can go a long way, for both men and women. Feel free to take ideas from a small list we’ve compiled to surprise your love.

Razia Kunj’s wearable art

A premium handcrafted jewelry design, Razia Kunj is the namesake of artist Razia Kunj, who is an artist and a cultural enthusiast by nature. Each piece of her jewelry has a story to tell, and they’re all inspired from the Indian culture. She created her first set of jewelry for her child 10 years ago. She uses wood as a medium to create these detailed pieces of wearable art. Head over to her website https://www.raziakunj.com/india/ and charm your girl with these unique statement jewelry.

fwd life The ‘something special’ gifts to cherish this Valentine’s
Go Bra-licious with Switcher

Gentlemen, how many times have you heard your specific other whine about not having the perfect lingerie to match a totally hot outfit? Fret no more, cos Switcher’s got your back. With a wide range of detachable, mix-and-match bras, Switcher makes lingerie fun. Pair a traditional dress with a diamond studded strap or opt for hand-embroidered bras. Shop now at https://www.switcherbras.com/ to please your girlfriend for Valentine’s day!fwd life The ‘something special’ gifts to cherish this Valentine’s main 2

When ‘Zap’ and ‘Style’ gave birth to Zapyle

High-end fashion at affordable rates? Isn’t paying a decent price for a luxury good easier on the wallet and a good idea to express your love? Zapyle is just the thing. An online platform with around 350 brands, Zapyle has been helping shoppers stay abreast with the latest fashion trends since 2015. For more, visit https://www.zapyle.com/ to witness the mind-boggling collection yourself.

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Spread some colour through ArtSpread

Pep up your walls with some unique art pieces from ArtSpread. The online gallery showcases some of the best in Indian contemporary art and they’ll even offer you expert advice to help with choosing the perfect art piece. The online gallery can be viewed at http://artspread.com/index.html

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#EveryDayLove with CaratLane

Why limit expressing love to just a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Spread the love, people. Love is limitless and there doesn’t seem to be a better way to express. Gift a dear one a personalised trinket from Carat Lane, and show them you appreciate the small gestures they do for you.  https://www.caratlane.com/ , the perfect partner to acknowledge those who make your day just a bit brighter.

fwd life The ‘something special’ gifts to cherish this Valentine’s 5
Slather on some love with The Body Shop’s Valentine Hamper

Love is a feeling; a feeling comes from within. It is said that what’s on the inside is what matters but you feel confident when you look good. Roses are passé. The Body Shop’s British Rose Range is what’s in right now. Their range will give you skin that you’ll want to show off. With makeup. Exfoliators, body lotion and a lot more at  https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-gb/range/british-rose/c/c00079 , the ideal gifting idea.

fwd life The ‘something special’ gifts to cherish this Valentine’s 6
Jaipur Watch Company creates timeless pieces to tell time

Men are also entitled to gifts on valentine’s day, are they not? Jaipur Watch Company has created exactly the thing for men to flaunt their heart on their sleeve. The watches are unique, which exudes tradition, with a hint of contemporary. It also has ancient coins embedded into the watches, hence bringing life to history. http://jaipurwatches.com/Index.html is India’s first bespoke watch company, making it the perfect gift to show him some love.

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Travel

Pushkar: A kaleidoscope of emotions

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Akash Mehrotra from the blog Hand of Colors recounts his vivid experience of the Pushkar fair

Words and photographs by Akash Mehrotra

Pushkar had been hanging in my thoughts like a dream since long. The very idea of camels and traders journeying across the vast deserts of Rajasthan since time immemorial to meet, socialize, and trade; had aroused an inkling in me to experience it. I wished to wrap myself with such moments, a complete teleportation from the urbane life to a rustic one, from economy that survives on cars to one where camels form an integral part.
Pushkar has a magnetism of its own – it’s very unlike the way one imagines Rajasthan. Fair or not, it will never cease to sweep you off its feet. The antiquity of the town is inspiring. The everyday world of Pushkar does more than inspire and encourage well-being, it makes the routine seem novel.

I was in Pushkar at the most appropriate time. Everywhere I turned, I could hear music, see a riot of colours, feel the exuberance, and sense Pushkar’s ability to engage with tourists pouring in from across the world. And then there were the rustic hues of herders and their camels, trekking athwart the deserts.

The Pushkar fair

In the long evenings of autumn, when the moon starts its journey for the brightest night of the year, tribes from all over Rajasthan stream out onto the arid and stubbly fields of bajra, thickets, scrubs, and deserts, trudging with their beasts. Draped in turbans, they travel in rivulets of kaleidoscopic caravans. The women of the tribes are not far behind, clothed in their gypsy bright skirts swaying in autumn winds like daffodils, bright silver jewellery rivalling the smoldering sun, and sporting a big bright bindi on their forehead. And at a certain distance are scattered groups of travellers, some from different corners of the country and more from abroad. The annual animal fair has transformed into something far bigger, engaging and inviting.
Pushkar has grown, both as a colourful animal fair and an international tourist destination. While traders throng here to trade cattle, sheep, camels and thoroughbred horses; families, separated by miles, find it a common place to exchange greetings; and for tourists, it’s an escape from their urban world with a great deal of craft shopping and café hopping.

Looking forward

The day started early for us. The central area of the fair was crowded with visitors thronging the shops and eateries, while the herders and traders took the plains, focusing on their business. The colonisation of backpackers have made this a model town: a place created by and for the tourists, with multi-cuisine eateries, chic cafes, schools of yoga, massage, Indian music and dance, shops selling herbal cosmetics, perfumes and the clothing that characterises the backpacker diaspora. And it’s all there, shops feasting with colourful textiles, silver jewellery and crafts, town lost in backpacker’s thoughtless party reverie, locals engrossed in their daily chores playfully mixed with spiritual detours, houses with open courtyards with murals to keep you on click frenzy mode, nomads exhibiting their ravishing dreadlocks and loincloths and a gastronomic culture that has evolved due to mixing of myriad of cultures and aspirations. And as you wander in the narrow lanes of the town, these images turn clearer. The rooftops of medieval buildings with exquisite jharokhas have been turned into cafes, offering new vignettes of the lake with its ghats and the sprawl of temples and the town around the sacred lake. Some ancient courtyards have been turned into meditation centres. The key is to have enough time on hand, to pencil in such moments, after all everything in Pushkar moves at its own leisurely pace. From temple to temple, take your time to discover the cultural and spiritual nuances of the place.

The divine in Pushkar

In the evenings, as the sun slips into the valleys, the lake comes alive with the flickering of the lamps during the scenic aarti. The Pushkar Fair ends on a full moon night, and thankfully, I was there to bear witness to his heavenly spectacle. The ambience with lights twinkling in the twilight was ethereal. Drumbeats, clash of cymbals and chiming of bells herald the aarti on the final day i.e. on Purnima (full moon). Lamps are lit and placed all around the Ghat. I had seen its jamboree, its gay abandon, the way it has engaged with all cultures and left a part of it in them, and the way it has shaped itself to be a hot tourist destination.
Apart from all the spiritual, culinary, musical, and shopping adventures, you can hire a bike and go to Ratnagiri Hill for sublime views of the sunset over the lake. Take a one and a half hour hike up to Savitri Devi Temple from where the sky appears a fabulous canvass of delight most times of the year.

 

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Health

Take some tips from the world’s happiest man about happiness

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Learn the art of being happy and how it takes only 15 minutes of your time, from Matthieu Ricard

Text Credit: Shibul Pavithran 

Matthieu Ricard, a 71-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monk, has been hailed as the ‘world’s happiest man’ by scientists. Born in France, he grew up in an intellectual atmosphere – his father was a renowned philosopher and his mother a painter. Ricard went on to earn a Ph.D degree in molecular genetics, but left it all to become a monk in the Himalayas. And has been practicing meditation everyday from the age of 20.

He participated in a 12-year-long brain study that was conducted by Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist from the University of Wisconsin. The study’s focus was on the positive effects of meditation and compassion on the brain, and it was found that when Ricard meditated, his brain felt exceptionally light.

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Take out 15 minutes from the day, sit down alone, and think happy thoughts. Yes, it’s as simple as that. Just train your mind to not think of sad or negative thoughts during this time. Consciously, focus on positive thoughts. It might be difficult in the beginning but gradually you can train your mind as you want. Nobody is an expert, when they start.. all good things take time.

This sounds oh-so-simple that we just might be tempted to dismiss it as one of these preachy mantras we all hear often but don’t have the time and patience to. Our mind is so preoccupied with a zillion things that we may find it easy to order a pizza but wouldn’t find 15 minutes for ourselves, so that we can be happy. After running on routines for sometime, our mind becomes fearful of experimentation. That’s the cause and culture of conditioning that we suffer from. Note: It is a self made condition.

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Training the mind is a very easy task, if you really try 

The human mind is a wonderful organ. It has limitless potential and is much stronger than we think it to be. It is possible to train it to do anything, even be happy. Matthieu says, “With mental training, we can always bring our level of happiness to a different level It’s like running. If I train, I might run a marathon. I might not become an Olympic champion, but there is a huge difference between training and not training. So why should that not apply to the mind?… There is a view that benevolence, attention, emotional balance and resilience are skills that can be trained. So if you put them all together, you could say that happiness is a skill that can be trained.”

Have a look at what Matthieu had to say when asked about happiness…

 

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Living

Its time for Pot-Anjali

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Baba Ramdev wants legalization of marijuana. Patanjali Cannabis?

Text Credit: Shibul Pavithran 

 

Never did we imagine we would find the words ‘Patanjali’ and ‘cannabis’ in the same sentence. Until now! In a country like ours where even the mere mention of weed and marijuana is enough to make some people feel awkward, the legalization of it seems way too far-fetched. But strangely, Baba Ramdev’s ‘Patanjali’ is making efforts towards the same and trying to make most of our population’s dreams come true. There have been been many issues which have been bouncing up and down in our country nowadays, like controversial movies, National Anthem, Beef-love/hate and many more. But ‘Pot-Anjali’ is definitely going to have some mixed reactions from the public. With a huge population of youth in the country using marijuana, Baba Ramdev is surely going to hit the market immensely. Patanjali’s is India’s highest selling consumer goods makers and their last year’s turn over was a whooping 10,561 crores.

It was only last year that India handed out the first ever license to grow and study the medicinal properties of cannabis was granted to the Council of Scientific and Medical Research (CSIR), in partnership with Mumbai-based firm, The Bombay Hemp Company. The research aims to study the many purposes medicinal marijuana could serve in the treatment of epilepsy and cancer — a notion often contested globally. Co-founder of The Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO), Avnish Pandya, stated specifically, “It won’t be raw cannabis; it will be an actual product in the form of extracts, pills and patches.”

Image Source: Acharya Balkrishna

Now Patanjali is pushing for the same. Acharya Balkrishna, CEO of Patanjali, has voiced his opinion on the matter before, noting that by criminalizing marijuana, the nation was being denied ‘a full-fledged business opportunity’. In an  interview with Quartz,Balkrishna said, “In ayurveda, since ancient times, parts of cannabis (hemp), for instance, have been used for medicinal purposes. So, we are looking at various formulations. We should ponder over the benefits and positive uses of the cannabis plant.” He went on to list how the seeds of the plant were useful, the fibre could be used for clothes and so on; the only issue is with the toxic part known as THC — Tetrahydrocannabinol, the element inducing the high often experienced due to consumption of marijuana.

 

But before you get all excited and hope that you’ll soon be able to get your hands on ‘Patanjali Stash’ in the market, then we hate to break it to you that it won’t really give you the ‘high’ that you crave. ‘Toxic parts’ like THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol will be removed from the cannabis oil to make it fit for medicinal use.

via GIPHY

 

Nevertheles we are happy to see that the country is finally making some efforts to give the positive aspect of cannabis a chance. Who knows, it might even prove to be a boon for the country’s economy.

 

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