This Vid of Foreigners Dancing to Maahi Ve Will Make Your Day

Bollywood dancing is becoming a cool dance trending across many countries worldwide. There is hardly any country in the world that has not heard of Bollywood dancing. On the occasion of World Dance Day, we talked to Kriti Sachdeva who teaches Bollywood Dancing in the UK.

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Here’s what she told us:

Bollywood Dancing Burns 550 Calories Per Hour!

One of the biggest reasons why people come to my Bollywood dance class is because it is the most fun way to workout. One Bollywood dance class burns 550 calories which is equal to walking for 4 kilometers and 6000 steps! I measured with Fitbit.

Anu Mallick’s Chunnari Chunnari is a Hit!

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Ladies who come to my dance classes love dancing to ‘Chunnari Chunnari’ and we literally dance with chunnaris (scarves). It is amazing how many dance moves you can do using scarf as a prop!

More Foreigners than Indians

My classes have always had very few Indians for some reason. Most of my students are foreigners – ladies in the age group of 25-60. My oldest student is a 70-years-old great grandmother.

When the Mayor of Ely Danced to Bollywood Tunes

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My dance classes in Ely (a lovely town in the UK) got so famous that we organized a ‘Bollywood Dance Fair’ where even the Mayor flaunted some thumkas with us!

Here is a video from the Bollywood Dance Fair where you can see my students dancing on Maahi ve from Kal Ho Na Ho

 

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10 Facts about William Shakespeare We Bet You Didn’t Know

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Source: Wikipedia

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none” are the words of legendary English poet, playwright, and actor William Shakespeare. We bring to you some facts about the greatest English writer of all times that you wouldn’t have thought in the wildest of your dreams:

1. Shakespeare was born and died on the same day

Shakespeare was supposedly born on April 23, 1564 and died on the same day at the age of 52. His actual birth date remains under mysterious wraps but scholars calculated it from his date of baptism which was April 26, three days after his birth which was the customary amount to wait before baptising a newborn.

2. Shakespeare’s father got paid to drink alcohol

In 1556, John Shakespeare was appointed as the borough’s official ‘ale taster’ where he had to inspect bread and malt liquors. Later, he ungraded his social status by marrying the daughter of a reputed farmer.

3. Shakespeare was illiterate

Shakespeare never attended university. He just went to the local grammar school, King’s New School, where the curriculum would have stressed a classical education of Greek mythology, Roman comedy, ancient history, rhetoric, grammar, Latin, and possibly Greek.

4. Shakespeare married at age 18

At the age of 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway who was eight years senior to him and was three months pregnant when they got married. Their first child Susanna was born six months after the wedding.

5. Shakespeare performed before Queen Elizabeth I

Shakespeare was part-owner of Lord Chamberlain’s Men, one of the most popular acting companies in London, and often played before the court of Queen Elizabeth I.

6. Shakespeare died before his plays were published

In 1609 or 1611, Shakespeare’s sonnets were published, though he did not live to see the First Folio of his plays published in 1623.

7. Shakespeare’s will had a family bed left to his wife

Since his only son Hamnet died in 1596, Shakespeare wrote his estate will to his two daughters and left the family’s “second best bed” to his wife Anne. This second best bed was his bed on his wedding night and also a bed for important guests.

8. Shakespeare paid £440 for his grave space

Shakespeare was granted the honour of burial in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon not on account of his fame as a playwright but for purchasing a share of the tithe of the church for £440.

9. Shakespeare invented 3000 words in English

Shakespeare introduced over 3000 words into the English language. Sometimes he would change verbs into nouns, verbs into adjectives, or connected words that had never before been used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original.

10. Shakespeare invented lots of expressions that we still use today

In his plays, Shakespeare has created phrases that have travelled time and are still very popular. Some of these expressions are ‘Heart of gold’ (Henry V), ‘Wild-goose chase’ (Romeo and Juliet), ‘Faint-hearted’ (Henry IV, part I), ‘Break the ice’ (The Taming of the Shrew), ‘For goodness’ sake’ (Henry VIII) and ‘Love is blind’ (The Merchant of Venice).

Attention Bibliophiles! 5 Indian Authors You Must Have in Your Library

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Indian writings have ruled the literary world since the period of Upanishad and Vedas. Even today they are no less. On World Book Day, we bring to you some of the finest Indian writers of modern time and warn you, they are addictive!

1. Arundhati Roy

Best known for her fictional novel The God of Small Things which won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997, Arundhati Roy is one of the most celebrated Indian authors.

The God of Small Things is semi-autobiographical and a major part captures the author’s childhood experiences in Aymanam. Roy has also written numerous non-fictions like The Algebra of Infinite Justice (2002), Power Politics (2002), Public Power in the Age of Empire (2004) and Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy (2010).

2. Khushwant Singh

My father’s personal favourite, Khushwant Singh, was one of the most renowned authors in the history of Indian literature. Born in 1915 in Hadali (now in Pakistan), Singh brought both the sourly-related nations India and Pakistan closer through his writings. His novels give us a ride to the partition era.

The late Padma Bhushan awardee’s classics are Train to Pakistan (1956), I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale (1959), Delhi (1990), Why I Supported the Emergency (2009) and his last novel The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous (2013).

3. Anita Desai

Born to a German mother and a Bengali father, Anita Desai had the advantages of both the cultures and she applied them perfectly in her writings. Desai received a Sahitya Academy Award in 1978 for her novel Fire on the Mountain (1977).

The other bestselling books of the Padma Bhushan awardee are The Peacock Garden (1974), Clear Light of Day (1980), The Village by the Sea (1982), In Custody (1984) and Fasting, Feasting (1999).

4. Chetan Bhagat

If you’re a contemporary reader, Chetan Bhagat is the ideal pick! Popular for his urban middle class stories, Bhagat was honoured as “the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history” by The New York Times in 2008.

Bhagat’s bestselling novels were Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008), 2 States (2009), Revolution 2020 (2011), Half Girlfriend (2014) and Making India Awesome (2015). His books have inspired Bollywood blockbusters like 3 Idiots, Kai Po Che! and 2 States.

5. Anuja Chauhan

Anuja Chauhan brings out the strong woman in every girl. Often referred to as ‘the best writer of the Indian commercial fiction genre’, Chauhan’s writings have a unique flavor of romance with a witty twist.

Chauhan’s best-selling novels include The Zoya Factor (2008), Battle For Bittora (2010), Those Pricey Thakur Girls (2013) and The House That BJ Built (2015). All these books are rom-coms, the first set in the glamorous, high pressure world of Indian cricket, the second in the heat and dust of a Lok Sabha election, the third in pre-liberalization New Delhi, plagued by a state-censored media and the fourth a jump sequel of the third which is set against the backdrop of a family property dispute involving BJ’s 200-crore house on New Delhi’s posh Hailey Road.

With such masterpieces in store, what better way to celebrate this day than indulge in world-class work of Indian novelists!

 

 

Unearth the Meaning of Earth Day at Sadhana Forest

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Benazir Suraiya

If you go by literal terms, ‘Sadhana’ is a means of accomplishing something. At Sadhana Forest, I attained salvation, peace and my relationship with nature!

Today on World Earth Day, let me ferry you through the eco-friendly and vegan paradise – the magnificent Sadhana Forest.

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A few months ago, I decided to explore my true self and reach out to places that relate to my existence. Sadhana Forest in the outskirts of Auroville, Pondicherry was just the apt destination.

Spread across 70 acres of land, the forest does justice to its name. The trees stood tall, the air was pure and the entire atmosphere was translucent. All taken care of by its volunteers from across the globe!

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Founded in 2003 by Yorit and Aviram Rozin, the ultimate aim of Sadhana Forest is to show a way of life to people by sustainable living, food security through ecological transformation, wasteland reclamation, and veganism.

In the middle of the forest, there was a community hall where all the volunteers gather for their meals, discuss important issues, watch documentaries and show their talent (or no talent).

The forest believes in eco-living and so it runs on solar energy. But even on solar, it conserves electricity as only the community hall and the kitchen had a couple of lights. There are no fans, so the mud pool is a big savior during summers.

Water conservation is another issue that Sadhana Forest focuses on.

The hut that I lived in had a unique beauty in itself. Made up of bamboos and coconut leaves, the simplicity of the hut was mesmerizing. After a tiring day, a hut like this was all I wanted to rejuvenate myself.

The forest was home to many birds and animals. The view from my hut was a flock of dancing peacock.

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A day at Sadhana Forest included yoga and sevas (services). In sevas, I chose plantation, cutting of firewood, cleaning the forest and cooking a vegan meal.

Sadhana Forest taught me the true meaning of giving. We take so much from nature and how often do we return our gratitude! It was a lifetime experience that I would want to live again and again, and want to give again and again.

A walk through the forest

Earth Day Special: What is Killing Mother Earth?

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Climate change has always been a hot topic of discussion and with Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio raising the matter at the recent Oscar awards, it has garnered more attention than ever.

There’s so much hue and cry about climate change and the factors that are killing our planet at a faster rate than ever. We all talk about climatic conditions but have we ever spared a thought on what we can do as an individual at our level, to protect the planet? Yes, there are big corporate companies, forest destruction, extra use of resources and more, but have we thought about tackling issues before turning them into a big deal?

It’s time to follow some of these basic things that will help save the planet in a small but noticeable way:

Electricity

  • Switch off anything that uses electricity when not in use.
  • Try not using lights at home during the day if possible. Instead keep windows open.
  • Air conditioners use a great deal of electricity. Use natural ventilation or a fan to keep cool, as much as possible.
  • Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries. Batteries not only take up landfill space, as they can’t be incinerated. They also can leak acid into the Earth.

Water

  • Save as much water as possible by taking shorter showers.
  • Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth, washing utensil or clothes.
  • If you have a swimming pool, use pool covers to reduce evaporation and keep leaves out.

Food Habits

  • Don’t waste food. Try to use the leftovers.
  • Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy as the global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains and ships combined.

Waste Disposal

  • Segregate dry and wet waste and have separate trash bins.

Other Habits

  • Use cloth bags instead of polythene. Try to use less plastic for daily use.
  • Plant saplings and encourage others to do so.
  • Make less use of paper.
  • Get in touch with companies and services that use waste materials for recycling.
  • Use recycled objects. There are many companies that produce recycle objects and they mention it on their labels.
  • If you get several catalogs in mails, which you do not need, call and ask them to stop sending them to you.

Pimples? Dump Them This Summer with 5 Easy Steps

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Summer’s here and so are your colorful, skin-revealing clothes! But can’t show your skin off due to pimples and acne? Not anymore! We bring you 5 simple ways to ditch pimples this summer with no traces of them.

1. Rose Water

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Known as a natural toner, rose water brings a cooling effect to the skin and prevents acne. Simply freeze rose water in an ice cube tray and rub the cubes on your face and other acne-affected areas. Within minutes, see a refreshing new you!

Rose water is also used as a supporting ingredient in face masks.

2. Neem Leaves

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The popular medicinal leaf ‘neem’, mostly used in Ayurvedic treatment, is a pimple healer. Boil a bunch of fresh neem leaves in half a saucepan of water for 20 minutes and allow it to cool. Then remove the leaves and apply the neem serum onto your pimples and let it dry. Wash off with cold water and enjoy the rejuvenating effect.

Alternately, you can also make a paste of neem leaves and apply on your pimples.

3. Fresh Basil Leaves

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A holy plant and a strong contender in the ancient science of Ayurveda, tulsi (basil leaves) is the herbal treatment for acne. Make a paste of a handful of basil leaves and apply as a mask on your face and body. Clean up with cold water after 15 to 20 minutes. This is the most natural way to push away heat boils.

Tulsi can also be eaten raw or drank in tea or a cooler.

4. Turmeric

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Turmeric brings a glow to your face. No wonder brides pamper themselves in it before their big day! And turmeric removes acne and pimples as well. Indulge in it orally or apply on your acne – both will act on your acne and make them disappear. A very effective face mask is a mixture of turmeric and oatmeal which exfoliates and moisturizes your skin.

5. Coconut Water

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Coconut water is a natural health drink and even athletes are advised to drink it. It keeps you hydrated in the scorching heat. And this valuable gift of nature does wonders when you wash your face with it. Coconut water brings a glowing look to your face and sets you free from pimples leaving you spotless.

Got your own home-tested remedy for acne? Share it below.

Why You Shouldn’t Shut The Fart Up!

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Don’t be embarrassed, there’s nothing wrong in letting that air go. Yes, you read it correctly. Farting is a sign of good health and studies have proven this.

As natural as farting is, people tend to look down on it; but flatulence may be a great way to let people know you’re eating healthy foods.

Farts are a mix of swallowed air that enters the digestive system “accidentally” while breathing (that would be all the air that passes through your mouth — whether it is via chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages and eating very quickly) and gas produced by the bacteria in your lower intestine.

The bacteria in your intestines create gases as they breakdown sugars and starches that your body can’t easily digest.

The bacteria breakdown process produces roughly between 2 and 6 cups of gas a day, and after it builds up, it needs to come out somewhere.

Regular farting is a sign that you’re consuming enough fiber, and have a healthy collection of bacteria in your intestines.

According to Gastroenterologist (which is latin for Fart Expert) Purna Kashyap at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesotta states, “Eating foods that cause gas is the only way for the microbes in the gut to get nutrients.  If we didn’t feed them carbohydrates, it would be harder for them to live in our gut.”

Also, when it comes to farts, a little bit of smell can mean a lot less swell!  “Bacteria that make sulfide gas are really important,” Kashyap says. “They can cause smelliness, but they can reduce the total amount of gas flow.”  That’s because the flatulence fairies in your gut are creating small amounts of sulfur gas from larger amounts of other gases like hydrogen.

All that being said, it’ll probably be a long time before you can blast a fart in the elevator and get a thumbs-up for health from the person sharing it with you.  But if flatulence indicates health, you don’t want to prevent it completely, so what then?  Two possibilities are to reduce the amount you break wind, or mask it easily and consistently with products like fart filtering underwear.

5 Fruits that will Help You Beat The Heat This Summer

Is the scorching heat taking a toll on your health? Indian summers can reach to an extreme degree where all you feel is dehydrated, despite the amount of ice water and air conditioning you pamper yourself with. Here are 5 fruits easily available in the market to refresh you this summer:

Watermelon

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Clinging on to watermelon is the best way to say hello to summer. The juicy fruit has more than 90% water which is essential for proper hydration and it’s fat-free!

The nutritional value of watermelon is very high. It is a source of Vitamin C and A, and also secrets the antioxidant lycopene which prevents different types of cancer. Amino L-Citrulline is found in abundance in watermelon which can cure muscle soreness in athletes.

Muskmelon

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Another fruit that contains 90% water is muskmelon or scientifically known as cantaloupe. Rich in vitamin C, muskmelon is the perfect hydrating solution to ditch the heat.

Muskmelon also generates beta-carotene which is good for diseases like cancer and cardiovascular problems.

Papaya

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Eat it in whichever form, raw or cooked, papaya has a world of nutritional benefits. Low on calories, papaya has papain, a unique natural enzyme, which helps in weight loss and its tastes yum!

The refreshing fruit is high in vitamin A and C, folate and potassium, and fights against cancer. It also contains enzymes like arginine and carpain which are good for male fertility and heart.

Mango

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The best thing about summers is we get to squeeze out the pulpy mangoes onto our taste buds. Have it raw or in milkshake or with ice cream, mangoes are here to energize you!

With ample nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, mangoes shield you from diseases like cancer and tubercolosis. It is also good for sex. Yes, you heard me right! The vitamin E present in mangoes regulates sexual hormones, making you a player on the bed.

Strawberries

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The romantic fruit does wonders during summer. Popularly eaten in smoothies or with cream, strawberries are filling yet have very few calories and they enhance the body’s metabolism rate.

As rich sources of vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese, strawberries reduce the risk of cancer, high blood pressure and heart problem.

With so much in store from these colorful, rejuvenating and to-die-for fruits, why stay home and weep over the heat!