A Safe Haven for Students

In the current era of hefty competition and regular introductions of new professional courses along with enhancements of the previous ones, it becomes a tedious job to keep up to date with the latest colleges and their respectable courses. As students, it’s no less than a miracle to come across platforms that provide all this information under one roof.

Collegedunia.com provides today’s aspiring students with the nitty gritty of every deemed college in India. Along with this, it also helps enhance our reach towards a wider scope by helping us search, scrutinize and select the college of our choice from the comfort of our home. It covers almost all major cities and all major colleges. It provides an opportunity for us to filter our searches according to our course choice/city preference/fee /course type etc.

Needless to say, this website provides us with the latest updates regarding various colleges to make the student’s job easier.

In addition to this, it also gives us extensive insights into the various college festivals and other extra co-curricular activities occurring to provide us with a well-informed, and exhaustive detail of whichever college we choose.

Not only this, collegedunia also offers pithy information on the various upcoming and ongoing exams relating to the college you wish to apply for. The website is well sorted and easy to rummage through and find what you’re looking for.

Although before you step forward to decide what college would best provide you with the course you want, you might also want to be exactly sure about the course you’re going for. Since there have been plenty of cases where the students didn’t find their courses satisfactory enough for various reasons after they had joined it. It is advisable to search for Courses to consider after 12th. You simply have to click the required options and you’re presented with the detailed description of all the various streams you have after you exit your school.

A good example of the aforementioned college dunia services is, if you’re looking for some decent Universities in Kolkata, you can get a well-chalked out menu where all the various institutions are mentioned before you along with their details. So you might not entirely feel lost since you can be sure you’re being provided with all the available options with deep, detailed guidance.

Lastly, before taking admission you must also not neglect the importance of the city you’re going to live in. Because at times, the atmosphere might not be suitable for your habitat and you might not be able to adapt to the dicey atmosphere of various cities. It is advisable for you to read about the city you’re going to live in and its various aspects. The detailed information about the city of Kolkata may be found on the internet on trusted websites.

College is a new and exciting phase and as much as it is fair to have a good time, one must take necessary and cautious steps before taking the final decision.

Good Luck.

Myths

My mom is busy roasting some puffed rice in the Kadhai for the evening snack and tea is broiling on the next stove. The smell of ginger and cardamom lingered in the air and in I went all gliding and locking and popping to the song playing from the earphones in my ears. I take a handful of puffed rice and I’m about to pop them into my mouth when my mom roars,
“Stop! How many times do I have to tell you? DON’T EAT DIRECTLY FROM A VESSEL!” 
I frown, “Mom, for the 100th time there’s no such thing as …”
“I said NO! Put it back.”
I sigh in surrender and put the goddamn puffed rice back. Take it again,put it in a plate and THEN eat it.

Now let me explain you the logic behind this.

According to the plethora of seemingly infinite myths that India harbors, this one means that if you eat directly from a deep vessel, IT WILL RAIN HEAVILY ON YOUR WEDDING.
 This is one out of a repository of incidents that I’ve explained. I don’t at all understand the concept of myths. First question, who was the person who had the sweet time to sit and make all of these. Second, how on Earth can people believe in them? These things are totally NOT backed by logic.

I was talking to an Irish girl once (don’t ask me how or when but I just was). So we talked about superstitions for a while and she told me some of the Irish Myths:

1.) A dead hand is believed to be a cure for all diseases. Many times sick people were brought to a house where a corpse was laid out, so that the hand of the dead might be laid on them.

2.) A crowing hen, a whistling girl, and a black cat are considered very unlucky. Beware of them in a house.

3.) If chased at night by a ghost or an evil spirit, try to get to a stream of running water. If you can cross it no devil or evil spirit will be able to follow. (Chased by a spirit-that’s a comforting thought.)

4.) Do not turn off a light while people are at supper. If you do there will be one less at the table before the year is out. (This is starting to creep me out).

5.) If your ears are burning, someone is gossiping about you. (Interesting)

6.) If you want to know the name of the person you are to marry, put a snail on a plate sprinkled with flour. Cover the plate and leave it overnight. In the morning the initial of the person will be on the plate, traced by the snail.

7.) Fairies live all over Ireland. The places they live are called forts, raths, or mounds. A fairy king rules each of these places. At times it is said you can hear sounds of music and merriment coming from the fairy places. (Fairies? I think I’m shifting to Ireland.)


 

You think these are spooky? Wait until you read some Indian ones:

1.) If a crow comes to your roof and caws, you can expect some visitors.

2.) If dogs near you are howling in the night, it is a signal of death.

3.) Never cut your nails at night. (I have never got the answer for this)

4.) There is a concept called ‘Evil Eye’ and elders in India often use things like ‘Kajal‘ to protect their new born from the evil eye. The effects of the evil eye may range from illness to death.

5.) Peepal and Banyan trees are considered to be the abode of the witches and thus should be avoided at night.

6.) Broken mirrors and broken God idols are the worst form of bad luck.

8.) You cannot buy iron/ eat meat/ cut your hair or trim your fingernails on some days of the week.

9.) If you or someone around you sneezes while you’re about to go somewhere (work, party) it is considered a very bad omen. You must wait for 5 minutes and then leave.

10.) If a black cat crosses your path, it is very unlucky.

Now when my mom chides me thinking that it would rain on my wedding I say, “Mom, how cool would it be? I’d love to kiss my ‘to-be’ husband in the rain.”
And I get a dead stare in return.

Note: I don’t mean to offend either of the cultures by this post. These are my personal opinions and as much as I doubt the authenticity of myths, I find them equally fascinating. 
Any Irish reading thisI love your country and your accent, really. 😛
Any Indian reading this- Aapne to suna hi hoga upar likha sab kuch. 😉

Happy Diwali!

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Okay so although I’m incredibly busy today with the final preparations for the evening and the wrapping and opening of the presents and stuff-I took out the time to wish each one of you (because I love you all) a very very happy, prosperous and glittering Diwali.

Even though you won’t celebrate it you’re all still a part of this felicity with me and I’m more than happy to share this day with you all.

Loads of blessings from India to anyone reading this post. 🙂

Happy Diwali. 🙂

Regal Rajasthan

I really really love travel blogs. They practically take you to distant lands, sucking you from the computer screens and making you experience those wild exotic places. All you need is an imagination to feel it. I just wish I traveled more often so as to have a travel blog of my own. Anyway, until that splendid day comes I’m happy to share a travel experience.

I visited this mystical land in December 2012 or practically 2013 because we boarded the train on 31st of December- 12:00 am. Yep, we celebrated New Years at the railway station! It was a school trip we’d been waiting for and were practically on our toes when its announcement was made. Anyway, those 7 days were perhaps the most fun, magical and the highest level of amazing days I’d spent.

Right, so we boarded the train on the night of 31st December, 2012 and we cut the cake right there on the station along with the count down and stuff-Perfect Beginning. It was one of the coldest nights of winters and while most of the travelers snuggled in blankets and drank a hot cup of tea and even though we were shivering we didn’t mind, because it was all happening, we were all travelling to the far west of India-together.

To all those who don’t know, Rajasthan also known as the Land Of Kingdoms or Land of Kings is perhaps the most culturally rich state of India and has artistic and cultural traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. It is a land of mystical stories and charms and while the whole world has moved to his era of machines and flat screens Rajasthan has still carefully treasured its values and culture.

We happened to visit the city of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. One known for the innumerably scattered and architecturally brilliant castles built years ago by Kings who ruled the city while one famous for the inhospitable yet a beauty in its own-The Thar Desert. We’ll get to that.

So Jodhpur is also known as the Blue City because all the houses and I mean LITERALLY all the houses there are painted blue. So when you look at it from a wider point of view, the city looks like this enormous gigantic blue painting or to say it more poetically-it’s like the sky came down and perched on Earth.

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Can you see the Blue Color? Amazing isn’t it?

Here’s a picture I took from the top of the famous ‘Mehrangarh Fort.’ Trust me, this fort was magnificently huge and cold. Yes, cold. What happened was, as soon as we reached our stop and hopped out of the bus it was pretty hot so we took off our jackets and headed towards that enormous gate. And believe me the moment we took the first step in the castle we had to quickly unzip our backpacks and rush for our windbreakers and sweatshirts.

The castle is built in such a way that it is NEVER HOT inside. And let me notify you that in the  summer months of May-June Rajasthan is perhaps the hottest state with temperatures recorded up to 45.4 deg C but the castle always remained cool. THAT is how brilliant the architecture is. It’s like the hot summer winds become null here.They didn’t need air conditioners to survive summers. Haha. The fort stands four hundred feet above the sky line of Jodhpur. It is located at the center of the city spreading over 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) atop a high hill.

This is a picture of the Mehrangarh Fort I took from the bus:

Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh Fort

And yes, the walls of this port still fashion the cannons which were used at the time of war and we kinda sat on them as we’re such bad asses while we were on the roof. Yep, the roof that means the highest point you can see on the walls. We visited several other places in Jodhpur, but I won’t go into their detail as this one stands out.

Our next stop was the city of Jaisalmer. It’s an 8 hour drive from Jodhpur and we stopped for a break on the highway in a nearby restaurant. After reaching Jaisalmer we had some delicious and purely Indian lunch and then we headed straight for the most awaited destination (at least for me) the Thar Desert.

Now the buses sure as hell cannot travel to the core of the dense and inhospitable sand dunes,so there is another more cheaper and economical way to travel to the epicenter of the desert-Camels. Yep, like taxi stands we were dropped at Camel Stands and there were hundreds of camels sitting in line waiting for a customer. Here’s a picture:

Camel Taxi (I like to call it that).

And this ship of the desert carried us to the core of it smoothly and comfortably. It was a bumpy and a fun ride! We spent our evening in the desert and as ironic it may sound but however cruel and merciless the deserts are thought of; this plethora of sand welcomed us with open arms. We’ve never had so much fun playing and running in acres and acres of sand. Miles of  sand dunes stretching all around. Slowly the evening began to fall and the temperature started to cool, swarming the place with freezing cold temperatures desert nights usually are famous for.

Pictures:

Sunset in the Thar Desert. DSC04179

We enjoyed the serene sunset and then made our way back to the hotel. Yes, HOTEL. In the middle of the desert. They are a series of 300-400 tents known as ‘Tent Hotels’ or ‘Osian Camps’  and believe me as incredulous as it may sound, they are a luxury. They are located in the heart of the desert so that you may have the raw experience of living in the wild.

And since Jaisalmer comes in one of the best destinations for star-gazing, when I looked up to the sky while on the phone with my parents, I was in awe. It was the most beautiful, cherubic and panoramic view I had ever seen in my life. There were so many stars, literally SO MANY and so close to each other and so low that I felt I could touch them just by leaning up a little.

That’s me on the phone exactly a second before I looked up to the sky. This picture was clicked by my friend.

We spent the night with bonfires and stories. Cheers and laughter, comfortable silences, keeping each other warm with love and appreciation and kind of nostalgic thinking that school would finish in just an year.The breathtaking view of the star studded ceiling above acted as a silent guardian watching us, amused seeing these little 17 year olds-ambitious to take over the world yet too innocent to face it alone. It was bittersweet, a kind of sad I did not mind and a kind of happy that made me appreciate these little things in life. I wanted that moment to freeze. Just stay still until I’ve had enough.

Travel often people, for it when you travel you understand the beauty of life. Far from luxury cars or high-rise buildings, from the traffic and chaos to this peaceful refuge eager to wash away your disconcerts and fears and embrace you in its purity.

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This was our Room-209 or I should rather say Tent-209. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: My apologies if the photos are not potentially accurate, I’m not a photographer. :\ That’s all I could manage with my camera. 

So that’s it for the Rajasthan Tour. Hope you all had a great time! 😀

 

Sorry Mom, No Hugs.

Please don’t turn bitter towards me and start despising me and contemplate to strangle me in my sleep. I have some very understandable reasons (or at least I think I have) for choosing the above title.

So today while I sat alone in a far corner of my college campus, which I usually do as I love seclusion and I don’t really have any friends (I’m not a bad person, but I’m an introvert) which is very ironic since I had a swarm of friends at school. But only because I have troubles initiating conversation with people I don’t know,  most of the time I prefer and I’m seen sitting alone under a tree on the far south side of the main building.

So while I was busy planning how totally amazing my Dussehra holidays are going to be since my friends will be back from other cities, I overheard two girls talking as they passed me by “I told everything that happened to mom, and she hugged me and said it’s okay” said the shorter one. “Really? My mom too-in fact she held my hand and said she’s with me always” said the slightly taller one with ridiculously long hair.

I glanced a look at them and as their conversation quickly changed to how delicious Aloo ka paratha is and as they fluttered back to the main campus for class, I wondered what its like to share. How could they NOT feel awkward? Over 80% of the girls usually share everything with their mom, as a sign of affection or as a sign of trust-whatever the reason may be I never really understood, but fortunately or unfortunately this has never been my case.

I’m an adult now (only by age and numerical terms-otherwise, trust me, I’m a total goofball) yet not once have I had ‘the moment’ with my mom. How can girls share everything with their mums? Isn’t it gawky? When I sit with my mom it’s mostly the fun I had or whose leg I pulled today or how atrociously hideous my life is and she you know just gestures the ‘I understand’ nod and the next thing is I’m on my couch watching the latest season of The Voice (awesome show btw).

Not that she doesn’t care or I don’t care but it has been the same since the beginning. I don’t remember I ever hugged my mom (except when in middle school I had this alarmingly scaring nightmare and wanted to plunge to the first living thing I found near me) let alone kissing. When I was a budding teenager-all quirky and fussy-my mom did try exceptionally hard to make me confide in her, but it just didn’t work.

You see, I have never been a princess or the head of the cheer leading squad with too much gossip to share or too many boys to put on hook, I have always been a skinny jeans and Jimi-Hendrix t-shirt girl, wearing spectacles since the dawn of time, having a ridiculously large number of celebrity crushes and always carrying my fiction in my backpack, so I never really had SOMETHING to share with my mom.

And as time passed my mom was cool with it. I think somewhere inside she knows or as my elder brother says I grew up too fast, so I wont get into any trouble. Not that I don’t appreciate emotional dependence but I have to say I’m better off without it. I love my mom and there’s nothing in this world that can change that, but my way of showing it is different. I don’t necessarily believe in hugging or long awkward ‘I adore you’ stares, but I never let her carry heavy bags or go somewhere by a bus when I’m there at home to drop her off.

I’d like to end here. This issue was in my mind for years and finally it’s out. There isn’t really a conclusion or answer to my situation, but it is what it is.

And yes, I’d like to inform everyone that I won’t be posting anything for at least a week now. Yep, festive season (the Dussehra holidays I mentioned above). Hope you all have a good and blissful week, feel free to get in touch in case you miss me. 🙂

-Aakansha.

Incredible India

“Jai! Did you call the electrician in the morning? If you haven’t then do it this instant, there’s work to be done for God’s sake!!” said the broad shouldered, handsome and brown eyed dad of two talented teenagers. Ma could be seen working in the kitchen with the maid. So many delicacies had to be prepared. One could hear the slow crackling of Jeera in the vessel and the white washed walls of the house were consumed by the ravishing smell of Indian spices.

The halwai was comfortably seated in the backyard, simmering ghee for the preparation of sweets-to be offered to the God’s and Goddesses. Ganesh and Laxmi to be precise.

DIWALI was around the corner. In the mornings almost every house was showered with paint and white-wash, cleaning each and every corner of their homes, dusting and wiping off the dirt for the ‘Grand Festival.’ And the evenings comprised of electricians embellishing the houses with fancy lights, making them scintillate and glimmer, vibrant colors like that of a newly wed Indian bride.

It’s festivities like these that make me sit back and marvel at how amazing my country truly is. How much love and celebration we have. How each and every occasion is celebrated with love and colors! In this mundane and monotonous lifestyle of humans, it is imperative to have a break. It is absolutely necessary to lay down and be jubilant! And what is better than festivals to do so?

Since I’m incredibly fortunate to have followers from so many different countries, I feel it is my job to let them know where I come from and what extraordinary surprises my country dwells. So I’m going to take you all down this ride, and try my best to make you see and experience things from my eyes.

So above I just gave a brief introduction of the innumerable preparations that precede one of the countless festivals in India called- Diwali. Why I’m emphasizing on Diwali?

Because, my dear followers, it is my absolute favorite festival and has managed to retain this position since the day the four year old me saw those electric lights festoon the walls of my house, blinking towards me, on-off-on-off, I still remember I gazed at them like they were a miracle created by man. And I confess that even after 18 years I still am the first person to scamper to the terrace and proudly switch ‘ON’ those beautiful, glistening LIGHTS and just stare at them with wonder.

To give you all a slight idea, this is how a house looks on the eve of Diwali, after the complete decoration. 🙂

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Lovely, right?

And now the question pops up, why am I writing about a festival all of a sudden? Answer is, because the first week of October marks the beginning of our festivals. With Dussehra on October 4th following Durga Puja which precedes the majestic Diwali on October 23rd.

And because of the absolutely amazing blog friend that I am, for you all, I will be posting pictures from all the carnivals that I visit, all the rides I scream on, all the various places I go, all the shopping I do, and all the preparations that will be made at my own home and then will give you snapshots of the whole procedure of the worship of our deities.

1 week before Diwali I will tell you the story of why Diwali is actually celebrated (unless you google it-please don’t, I really want to narrate).

And on the final evening of Diwali, the sky is studded with lights making the stars seem pale. The night sky is ornamented with golden jewellry and it feels like the night is dancing and twirling, seemingly happy from looking irrevocably beautiful that particular night. The houses are decorated with the finest centerpieces and lamps, diyas and chandeliers. Candles are lit at every nook and corner of the house. So many lights, isn’t it? Did I tell you that it is also called ‘The Festival of Lights?’ Anyway, I’ll talk vividly about that 1 week before Diwali. 🙂

One can hear the low whistle of a rocket someone launched somewhere far, and countless people get to relish its sparks and luminescence. The slow rumble of a cracker or just the laughter of friends and family celebrating and spreading the joy.

 

An example of how the sky looks that one night on October:

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Magnificent isn’t it?

Every year I do not fail to go on my terrace alone-in the rush hour of  Diwali-and just stare at the sky and somewhere inside silently thank the almighty for making me witness such a breathtaking view. Definitely for making me an Indian and most important of all, for these exuberant festivals he has blessed us with, which restore my faith in humanity and sometimes a soft wind brushes my hair-that’s God saying ‘You’re Welcome.’