Shubh Mangal Saavdhan: 5 reasons to watch this desi, middle-class romcom

Written by: Samhati Bhattacharjya

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Source: Facebook/ShubhMangalSaavdhan

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar has finally released and it has proved to be quite a refreshing movie among this year’s Bollywood list. The movie buffs were extremely excited to watch the film especially because of its intriguing trailer and unique theme. Directed by RS Prasanna, the film is a remake of the Tamil movie titled Kalyana Samayal Saadham that saw a huge success down south. So, just in case if you still have not watched the movie, then here are a few reasons that would surely convince you to watch Shubh Mangal Savdhan.

Unconventional love story: Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is a typical ‘desi’, middle class film that gives you the feel of North India. It’s a comedy of manners. The film revolves round the central characters of Mudit and Sugandha who are in love and the families are busy preparing for a grand wedding. But, there love story gets the turning point when Mudit a.k.a Ayushmann realizes that he suffers from erectile dysfunction. And, once the family comes to know about this, the marriage is sabotaged. Will the tag line ‘Stand up for love’ help them to conquer love? Well, this is what the film is all about. If you are the one who liked films like Khosla ka Ghosla, Vicky Donor etc. then this is a must watch for you.

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Source: Facebook/ShubhMangalSaavdhan

Social message: We often see people talking about sex education in our country but how often do we find people taking up serious sexual problems open-mindedly? Problems like ‘Erectile Dysfunction’ are sensitive issues that are actually occurring in real life but people seldom talk about it. So, here is this film titled Shubh Mangal Saavdhan that has portrayed this delicate issue giving it a new flavor to Indian Cinema. It has portrayed the issue as a familial concern. Although the film may have a funny take on the issue but it has definitely made a strong point as problems like impotency and erectile dysfunction are not openly discussed in India.

Modern version of 70’s comedies: The dialogues of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan are bang on and it appropriately tickles your funny bone on several situations. This film can easily be described as a modern updated version of very Hrishikesh Mukherjee type of middle class comedy from the 70’s. And, of course a huge credit of this surely goes to the screenplay writer of this film, Hitesh Kewalya. Apart from this, the songs of this movie are quite catchy and the funny quotient perfectly gives an urban rustic essence.

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Source: Facebook/ShubhMangalSaavdhan

Chemistry between Ayushman and Bhumi: Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar’s second film. Earlier, they were seen sharing screen space in Dum Laga Ke Haisha and their chemistry was spot-on. Undoubtedly, they had established a sizzling chemistry in their first film that has eventually helped them to create a beautiful comic timing for this movie. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan portrays the cliché concept of romance between the two characters named Mudit and Sugandha and trust me it is extremely cute and relatable.

Family oriented sex comedy: Shubh Mangal Saavdhan has got U/A certificate from the censor board and this proves that the film is not a B-grade adult film with sleazy scenes. Yes, it is a sex comedy and it deals with the matters of sexual intimacy. It talks about the problems that are faced by the common men. The film is full of pun intended jokes but still at no point the movie seem vulgar, cheap or cringe-worthy. This is the film’s greatest achievement.

 

 

 

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The Homecoming

Written by: Angana Sengupta

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Source: Pixabay

Dr. Aryahi Banerjee,
Head of Research
Indian History and Culture
Michigan University
MI 48109
USA

Dear Dr. Banerjee,

We are pleased to invite you to the “International Conference on Indian Culture and History”, scheduled from the 20-26th of September 2017 in Calcutta University from 9:30 am onwards.
It is an honour and privilege to invite you as the Key Speaker of the conference on the Significance on Indian Culture and the Transitional Changes over the years. We believe that your contribution to this field is unparallel and that your speech will be of utmost benefit for all our students.
We look forward to a positive confirmation by the 20th of August 2017.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Srikanto Mitra,
Head of Indian History and Culture
Calcutta University.

Finally the call had come.
Tickets booked. Passports taken. Bags packed. It was raining the morning Aryahi had to leave for Kolkata. It had been 10 years since she had last been to her city, to those known lanes, to the same house that once welcomed her with open arms.
“Why are you so cold ma?” asked Kuhu, her daughter. Her only solace in a world full of regrets and agony. “Nothing my love. I think it’s the rain”, lied Aryahi, while in reality there was a huge pandemonium going on in her mind. She even had the thought of leaving the flight and going back to the life she had chosen. At least no one would judge her there for her choices. But, it was too late. She had promised Kuhu a vacation to the origins she belonged. Also, she had one last unfinished business to take care of.
“Welcome to Netaji Shubhash Chandra Bose Airport. Outside temperature is around 30 degree Celsius, partly cloudy. Please collect your baggage from belt number 2…” Aryahi woke up from her dream. “We have finally reached Ma. Time to go”.
The same smell of wet soil, the same humidity and the same cacophony which Aryahi had left behind hit her back again. Tears rolled down her cheeks. After boarding the taxi and calming herself, she finally realised the reason behind feeling incomplete all these years even after she had everything. It was this city that she had missed. Its people, the yellow taxis, the riksha-walas, the traffic, the sweet shops, the Rabindrasangeet rehearsals from every second house, its celebrations and Durga Puja being round the corner, the city had decked up like a new bride as a custom every year. It was Kuhu’s first time to Kolkata.
Aryahi paid the taxi driver and entered the lane she had long left behind. After freshening up she headed straight to Calcutta University for her lecture as she hardly had time left in her hand. Kuhu tagged along with her because after the lecture got over Aryahi had promised her a city tour of Kolkata.
As she entered through those rustic gates of the University, she could see her college life literally flashing by her side. That college canteen, the smell of ‘bhaar’ tea, that guitar, those music and the constant political slogans protesting against something or the other were resonating in her ears. She could literally spend the entire day just walking by the campus and College Street. So many memories, so much of happiness and with that came back all the pain which she had once hidden within.
As her ritual Aryahi took Kuhu to the canteen, ordered ‘kochuri’ and ‘torkari’ along with a ‘bhaar’ of tea and all her tiredness just vanished. To her surprise even Kuhu did not complain even for once for being jet lagged. Might be even she was very excited to be in the city which she had only heard of and seen pictures that also after a lot of requests.
Aryahi began her speech upon the significance of Indian Historical Architectures and their symbolisms when she found a familiar face in the crowd. The face she could never forget the face that once meant the world to her; the face which was once the epitome of love for her…the face of her beloved Lolita. She stood there awestruck for five seconds not knowing what to do as she knew her tears were now not going to stop. Lolita on the other hand adorned her most astonishing smile that easily spoke about the years missed, the nights not slept and most importantly the love that was missing.
As her lecture got over, Aryahi rushed down from the stage to meet Lolita…her Lolita, but unfortunately she was surrounded by so many students and organizers that she just could not leave. Aryahi had authored a book this year itself and she had to also go for the ‘Q and A’ session. The auditorium was jam packed. Aryahi made Kuhu sit in the front row along with other professors. She had never seen a 15 year old so calm and composed. She felt proud and also scared but now was not the time to back out.
As the question and answer round began Aryahi came across a very strange question form one of the gentleman in the crowd. The question was very simple yet it hit Aryahi to her guts when she saw the face of the man. It was her father. The man who held her hands and took her through the ages of History. His question was very simple,“When will you come home Rahi?”
That moment Aryahi felt that the entire world came toppling down on her. The father, the family, the happiness, the culture, the emotions, everything that she had left ten years back was now standing just in front of her. The entire auditorium looked into the eyes of that expectant father, who had long longed the love of his only daughter, his pride who was no longer there to hold his hands.
Aryahi came down of the stage and immediately touched the feet of her father for his blessings. As she looked up this time she found her father was not standing alone. Lolita was holding his hand this time. She did not know what to say or what else to expect. To her surprise even Kuhu bent down to touch the feet of her grandfather and then Lolita.
Aryahi’s father had come to take his daughter home along with Kuhu. Ten years was a lot of time for him to realize his mistake. As Aryahi entered her lane of her house she could hear the dhaak along with the conch shell. Aryahi’s mother was standing at the door to see her daughter. Her mother hugged her and broke down in tears. This time even Aryahi could not stop herself. She hugged her, kissed her, and cried along with her. It was Lolita who picked up both the woman and along with the other took them in.

Maa Durga
Image Courtesy: Samhati Bhattacharjya

“Finally Ma Durga has come back after ten years. This year, Banerjee bari’s Puja will finally be successful. O ‘dhaki’ play the ‘dhaak’ harder. Can’t you see Ma Dugga has come home?”, was all Aryahi’s aunt could say while hugging her. This was Shashti. After 10 long years, the Banerjee family was finally celebrating Durga Puja.
Kuhu was finally happy to get a family filled with cousins, uncle, aunts and grandparents. For her everything seemed to be complete. On Dashami, the final day, when everyone was playing with vermillion, Aryahi’s father called in Lolita along with the entire family. It was time to amend something he should have done long back.
Aryahi’s father took Lolita’s hand and put it into his daughter’s hand and said “It was a mistake that I had done 10 years back by separating two people who loved each other by not realizing the fact that love sees no gender, no caste, no religion. All one wants is to love and to be loved. And I know you both have punished yourselves enough for your family, for the fear of society. But, the time has come for you guys to be together forever.”
Aryahi could not believe that this was happening. It was 10 years back that on the same day she left her family as they never realized her love for Lolita and now this Durga Puja the same family wanted to unite them forever. Aryahi looked at Kuhu. She had tears in her eyes and an enigmatic smile on her face. It was then she realized that all this while the only truth that she had hidden from her daughter and dreaded the most was already known to her.
Kuhu had found an old letter Lolita had written to Aryahi long back in college. She was then intrigued and upon doing further search she came to know about Aryahi’s past. She knew she was adopted and that is the day she started loving and respecting her mother more. She had decided come what may she would give her mother all the happiness she deserved and her happiness was Lolita.

 

Android 8.0 Oreo: Interesting features to make you download it

Written by: Abhishek Roy Choudhury

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Source: Facebook/Android

Android, the operating system, was developed and designed by Google primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ever since it was unveiled in 2007, Google has launched several versions of android making it the best-selling OS on tablets.

After the launch of Android 7.0 Nougat in August 2016, Google came up with another version of the OS named Android 8.0 Oreo that has been released on 21st August 2017. The name ‘Oreo’ is owned by Nabisco. Google partnered with the company for Android 4.4 KitKat and now the partnership has been taken ahead with Oreo.

Google has always upgraded and added new features in every version of Android and Oreo is not an exception. Android 8.0 comes up with peppy interesting features such as Picture – in -Picture, Notification dots, 60 new emojis, and many more.

Picture-in-picture mode

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Source: AndroidOfficialWebsite

Watching video or on a video call will no longer restrict the user from using another app. Shortly called PIP, this mode has been designed to make multitasking more convenient than using the split-window mode. It will enable the user to stack two or more apps on top of other apps. While watching the video or on a video call just tap the home button and the OS will take care of the rest.

Notification dots

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Source: AndroidOfficialWebsite

 

Although Notification dots is not a newcomer, but this feature would surely give a new feel to Android 8.0 Oreo. Whenever there is any pending alert, the notification dot will appear on the app. This feature can be enabled and disabled according to user’s wish.

New emojis

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Source: AndroidOfficialWebsite

With Android O, the users can enjoy a new bunch of emojis that includes 60 new expressions. The longstanding android blob emojis are finally gone. So, now if you wish to send expressions of being star-struck or throwing up, you know which one to put your hands on.

Optimised battery use

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Source: AndroidOfficialWebsite

While using a smart phone, the user is always worried about the battery life. But, now all your worries are gone with Android 8.0. This upgraded version has introduced a new feature that will control and restrict the background app on battery consumption and will also increase the battery life.

 

Snooze notification

Google has always enhanced the notification part in every new version release. This version comes up with this new feature that helps the user in maintaining their notification in their own way. For example, if the user receives a notification about a mail or message but he wants to check it after some time, then the user can select the amount of time to snooze the notification and the notification will appear again according to the given time.

Faster boot time

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Source: AndroidOfficialWebsite

Sometimes waiting for your phone to power on may be quite annoying due to sluggish boot times. But, Android O has a new solution to improve your device to load up as fast as possible. The new version also claims that the response rate of apps when launched will also be improved.

 

World Mosquito Day: 5 flowers that can keep mosquitoes at bay

Written by: Samhati Bhattacharjya

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Source: Pixabay

World Mosquito Day, which is observed every year on Aug 20 across the globe, was first established in 1897, after Sir Ronald Ross discovered the link between mosquitoes and malaria transmission. This particular day is aimed to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented, as well as fundraising for research into the cure of malaria. However, World Mosquito Day also commemorates the groundbreaking work of the British doctor.

Although World Mosquito Day is not one of the most celebrated international days, but it surely is an important one, especially after the sudden rise of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and zika. The doctors have been urging the members of the public to be careful and to avoid breeding places in their houses by emptying, covering, or treating any items that hold water.

There are a number of chemical products in the market that claim to wipe out mosquitoes. But, the scientists have proved that those products can eventually harm us more as those use harsh synthetic agents. Thus, it’s high time that we should find out a natural way to combat such pest problems. On the occasion of World Mosquito Day, we have listed down 5 anti-mosquito plants and flowers that can be the best mosquito-repelling plants to plant in the garden.

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Source: Pixabay

Lavender: Flowers are definitely a treat to the senses, but Lavender is one such flower that can keep mosquitoes at bay. The oil of this flower is a known mosquito repellent and is a common ingredient in topical creams that ward off mosquitoes. In order to drive out these disease-causing insects, one can use either the flower or its oil on the skin.

Four o’ clock flower: This flower is also known by its scientific name Mirabilis jalapa or the marvel of Peru. The four o’ clock flower is a common sight in most of the Indian nurseries that we have around our houses. The flower has a unique tendency to bloom at around 4 pm every day. Scientific evidence suggests that the flower extracts were known to be effective against An. stephensi, Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus breeds of mosquitoes and killing their larvae.

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Source: Pixabay

Marigold: The marigold flower used as one of the key ingredients for all religious purposes across India. It is already quite known for being an excellent medicine for all sorts of skin conditions. But, at the same time the extracts of marigold exhibits good mosquito repelling qualities. Experts say that these flowers contain pyrethrum, an ingredient that is often included in insects sprays.

Rosemary: These flowers are extremely effective at repelling mosquitoes. Rosemary flowers can be grown both inside or outside the house and surprisingly this plant maintains its effectivity even after trimming.

Tulsi flower: The sacred holy basil or tulsi plant is present in almost every Hindu household as it is revered for its religious significance and health benefits. People generally use the sap of the plant for treating skin diseases. But, it’s is a rare known fact that the flowers of the tulsi plant are equally therapeutic, especially when it comes to warding off mosquitoes.  One can crush the flowers and rub the fragrant remnants on the skin to keep the mosquitoes away from biting you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Photography Day: Top 10 quotes to celebrate the art form

Written by: Samhati Bhattacharjya

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Source: Pixabay

World Photography Day is celebrated every year on Aug 19 to showcase the works of amateur as well as professional photographers in equal measure. It is an extremely special day for all the shutter bugs around the world as they get a chance to observe a day for their art.

The whole concept of celebrating photography originated after the French government presented daguerreotype process “Free to the World”, invented by Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre, as a gift to the world on 19 August, 1839.

In today’s generation, photography is considered to be one of the most fascinating forms of art. It helps a person to relive a moment from his past. This art form is not restricted to only professional cameras, people tend to shoot in their mobile cameras as well.

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Source: Pixabay

The world has witnessed some of the greatest photographers of all times who have captured usual things in the most unusual manner. They recreated life through their camera. However, these famous personalities have inspired several aspiring photographers, not only with their lenses, but also with their thoughts and words. Let’s take a look at the top 10 quotes by some of the renowned photographers that describe the true essence of photography.

  • “The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.”- Annie Leibovitz
  • “A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”- Diane Arbus
  • “A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”- Dorothea Lange
  • “Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.”- Sally Mann
  • “Photography is the power of observation, and not the application of technology”- Prerna Sharma
  • “What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” – Karl Lagerfeld
  • “Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper… the photographer begins with the finished product.”- Edward Steichen
  • “Don’t pack up your camera until you’ve left the location.”- Joe McNally
  • “The eye should learn to listen before it looks.”- Robert Frank
  • “In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”- Alfred Stieglitz

Offerings by Samhati Bhattacharjya

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Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha”. Mahalaya is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power. Thus, the day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis.

Mahalay is also considered the day of remembrance of departed souls of the family. On this day, the ritual of offering “tarpan” in memory of forefathers is commonly practiced. Tarpan is offered on the banks of River Ganga by priests for different group of devotees.

Durga Puja special: Recipe of Bhapa Aloo, a mouth-watering Bengali veg dish

Written by: Samhati Bhattacharjya

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Source: Representational Image from MixandStir

Durga Puja, the biggest festival of the Bengalis, is around the corner and what’s better than having a fulfilling traditional meal during the festive season. This period is a foodie’s paradise with plenty of mouth-watering dishes to savour. Be it snacks or sweets, lunch or dinner, Bengali dishes have something to offer all food enthusiasts.

However, many non-Bengalis, especially who are vegetarians, feel that there isn’t enough variation of Bengali cuisine when it comes to vegetarian food. Well, that’s not the case. Bengalis are known for their love for fish, but at the same time they have some super delicious vegetarian dishes as well.

A regular meal in a Bengali household consists of at least two kinds of vegetarian dishes: a fried vegetable dish and a vegetable curry every day. Shukto, Dhokar Dalna, Alu Posto, Lau Ghonto are a few of those mouth-watering vegetarian dishes that the Bengalis have mastered in. But, if you are willing to try something new from the wide array of Bengali vegetarian dishes, then here is a simple yet delicious recipe of Bhapa Aloo (Steamed Potato) that will surely leave you longing for more.

Recipe:

Preparation Time – 10 min

Cooking Time – 40 min

Ingredients:

200 gm small potatoes

2 tsp mustard oil

1/2 tsp Bengali five spice mixture (panchphoron) (whole jeerasaunf seeds, fenugreek seeds, black mustrad seeds and kalaunji)

1/2 tsp mustard paste

1 tsp hung curd

3/4 tsp desiccated coconut paste

2 dry red chillies

Pinch of green chilli paste

Pinch of turmeric powder

Salt to taste

Dash of lime juice

2 banana leaves

Procedure:

1. Peel the potatoes and par boil them in salted water. Once the potatoes are boiled, drain the water and keep those aside.

2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add the five spice mixture on to it. Then break the red chillies in half and add them next in the oil. Stir the spices around till they splutter.

3. Then pour this mixture over the potatoes and put it aside.

4. Next take a mixing bowl and prepare a marinade with the mustard paste, curd, coconut paste, green chilli paste and turmeric powder. Do not forget to whip it well.

5. Gently mix the potatoes into this marinade. Add salt and lime juice to it and mix it again.

6. Finally, put the potatoes on a steel plate, cover those with the banana leaves and steam them for about 6-8 minutes. Once the potatoes are perfectly steamed, serve it hot on a platter. You can have this dish with both rice and chapati.