My Cooking Adventure

Disclaimer: All images are credited and attributed at the end of this post. As well, any quotations or in depth research is best cited according to the MLA (7th) style. Finally, this post is not to intended to harm anyone and is just to educate people about my educational or personal life.If you have any more concerns/questions, please use the contact page !!!
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My Mom`s Creation !!!

I am a die-hard foodie by birth. This is because, I was brought up in a South Asian family, where a delicious home-cooked meal is an essential part of our culture. Even in today`s Canada, my mom home cooks a lot of tasty meals for our family, and in fact, roti is freshly made every day at our house.

After seeing my mom cook mouthwatering things for many years,  I decided to attempt the complicated but, intricate dish of biryani. Thus, before going on my cooking adventure, I researched online and found an excellent biryani recipe link to use. (http://www.food.com/recipe/sindhi-biryani-175950 ) Surprisingly, it was not hard to make and turned out to be very appetizing.

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Prepping for the Biryani !!!

Despite having some hardships, I found things like preparing the rice by half boiling it in a mixture of hot water, oil and bay leaves, to be much easier. Also, the slicing and browning of the onions were not extremely difficult except, for the onion tears, which were brutal. However, the hardest part came, when I had to make the well-spiced tomato paste mixture and a tender chicken masala mix.  This part could have gone wrong, especially , if I was not paying careful attention to the hard steps. That is because, the key ingredients (the meat mixture and tomato paste) would probably burn and ruin the dish. Finally, once the difficult part was over, I layered all the ingredients (the rice, meat, tomato paste and some garnishing)  in a big pot to cook the half boiled rice and to interconnect all the flavours.

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The Final Product !!!

I was overly happy with the biryani attempt, as it turned out to be a good learning experience for me. This is because, I learned how to make a very key South Asian dish. As well, my family enjoyed a very delicious meal, and for a change, my mom finally got a break from cooking.

Image Credits and Attribution : Mariam Rana

A Mini Bollywood Analysis

Disclaimer: All images are credited and attributed at the end of this post. As well, any quotations or in depth research is best cited according to the MLA (7th) style. Finally, this post is not to intended to harm anyone and is just to educate people about my educational or personal life.If you have any more concerns/questions, please use the contact page !!!

Bollywood has been a part of my life since day one. From childhood, I have grown up listening and dancing to Bollywood songs and watching the beautiful films.  Even today, it still is a significant part of my life. Therefore, this is a mini-analysis on my favorite things in Bollywood. So please enjoy!!!

Honestly, whenever anyone asks me what songs I like, I always say older Bollywood songs. From sad to happy song and even while working on the treadmill, I listen to older Bollywood song. The reason why I love older Bollywood is that of the finesse singing and the especial focus given to extraordinary lyrics penned by maestros. However, there is the occasional modern song, that is good and comparable to the older songs of Bollywood. As well the songs in Bollywood are the unique point of Bollywood, this is because, not only is their playback singing going on but, usually our actors are also dancing in these songs. Finally, you are probably wondering what my favorite songs. Now, the list is very long but some of my personal favs include, Nagada Sang Dhol, all the songs from Bajirao Mastani, Dola Re, O Duniya Ke Rakhwale, Tu Ganga Ki Mauj, Mere Bhole Balam (Meri Pyaari Bindu) and finally, Satrangi Re. Tbh, this a very lengthy list, but there is even an extensive list of more beautiful songs that I listen to. Unfortunately, I am unable to fit them all here. However, I would encourage you guys to hear the songs I mentioned above, and encourage you to listen to Satrangi Re, which I will be talking about next.

Despite having a detailed list of favorites, my all-time favorite is, Satrangi Re from the Movie Dil Se (Released in 1999). It is sung by fantastic signers, like, Sonu Nigam and Kavita Krishnamurthy.

A YouTube Link of Satrangi Re: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfvGrChLEn0

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Satrangi Re Collage !!!

Firstly, the reason why this is my most favorite is because, I love how it synchronously combines the intricate Bollywood dancing with contemporary techniques and has beautiful background scenes. As well, I also adore how, its lyrics and dance moves gracefully portray the seven stages of love from, attraction to death.  Thirdly, this my favorite because the costumes notably present the seven distinct colors of the rainbow. Finally, the dance performed by the King of Bollywood, Sharku Khan and the gorgeous actress of the 90s, Manisha Koirala is beautifully choreographed and performed is what truly captivate me. Overall, this is an excellent piece with the details beautifully excited, and so I always include it as my all-time favorite.

Secondly, if there is a thing that Bollywood is famous after it dance numbers and songs, then it the great movies. Tbh, my favorite era in Bollywood is from the golden era of the 60s. It’s my favorite because, I love how the 60s captures of how important love it, the important Indian social issues at the time and the marvelous music pieces. Finally, some famous movies also emerged from the era, that I would encourage to watch. And that list includes films like, Junglee, Mughal e Azam, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Dosti, Aradhana and many more.

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The Handsome Shammi Kapoor in Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) !!!
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Shammi Kapoor in Junglee (1961)

Nevertheless, my most cherished movie is, Junglee (Released in 1961), which includes my most beloved actor, Shammi Kapoor. He was not only handsome, but was also a formidable actor, who acted very naturally and was a great dancer. In fact, he was even called the, “Elvis Presley of Bollywood”. However, despite having a great cast, it was a film, that was revolutionary for the time. This is because, it broke social barriers by depicting love and the marriage between the wealthy and poor. It also included some impressive songs, like the famous Yahoo, sung by the great Mohammad Rafi which portrays Shammi Kapoor as a wild lover dancing along with the coy, but beautiful Saira Bano.

For final words, I would like to say that while this is a very small attempt to analyze my favorite things in the very vast world of Bollywood and to introduce the older eras of Bollywood to the Western audience.  However, I would like to say that the Bollywood industry has beam creative and has produced brilliant artists and maestros. Thus, I would like to encourage all to watch Bollywood films, to enjoy the colorful and fantastic dance numbers. Finally, please let me know if you are interested in Bollywood or would like some suggestion on some good Bollywood music/movies, because I am a mini-human database on Bollywood.

Image Credits and Attribuion: Satrangi Re CollageShammi Kapoor ImageKashmir Ki Kali & Junglee

My Makeup Session with Lena Tsagaris

 

Disclaimer: All images are credited and attributed at the end of this post. As well, any quotations or in depth research is best cited according to the MLA (7th) style. Finally, this post is not to intended to harm anyone and is just to educate people about my educational or personal life.If you have any more concerns/questions, please use the contact page !!!
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Lena`s Logo

Tbh, I am not incredibly great at doing makeup. However I do enjoy watching some tutorials, but it’s not something that I am extremely interested in or can do excellently. However, I do appreciate and respect Makeup Artists’ like, Lena and other individuals, who take the painstaking time to transform people into becoming more beautiful. I believe that everyone is beautiful and makeup is just another enhancing tool to beautify someone. It is not to go and define what beauty means, as beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, forms, etc.

It was an enjoyable and great session. While beautifying me, Lena and I reminisced about our nostalgic days of high school, furthermore discussed how our new lives at college/university were like and how things have become so different.  Additionally, we talked about how some beauty products are good for the skin and how some could be negative. Finally, I had so much of fun playing with her cute and playful dog.

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The Cutie-Pie is Very Playful !!!

If you guys are wondering, from an enormous collection of incredible and exceptional products, Lena used some eyebrow filler, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette with a more a golden tone, along with voluminous mascara, a speck of blush and a bit of lip rouge upon me.

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And Here is a Snapshot of it all.

Personally speaking, it was very lovely of Lena to transform me,  and thorough the session,I learned that she is a real expert in makeup artistry. Thus, I would encourage all to check out her creative makeup artistry Facebook Page and Instagram handle, @look. bylena. Tbh, I love all her creations as they are so unique. However, my personal favourite from her page would be this one,

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Lena`s Turquoise and Lip Rouge Creation !!!

This is because ,I really adore how she has added uniqueness to play with the turquoise eyeshadow and traditional rouge lips. As well, if you would like to contact her or get some makeup done, please message her on her Facebook and Instagram pages. Finally, I would encourage all of you to go and follow her page for more beautiful updates, @look. bylena on Facebook and Instagram.

Image Credits and Attributions : Lena Tsagaris

 

Rajput, राजपूत, راجپوت.

Disclaimer: All images are credited and attributed at the end of this post. As well, any quotations or in depth research is best cited according to the MLA (7th) style. Finally, this post is not to intended to harm anyone and is just to educate people about my educational or personal life.If you have any more concerns/questions, please use the contact page !!!

Being from a Rajput family is something I find intriguing, as we descend from the lineages of warriors and kings. However, it is also complex because we are expected to follow a lot of rules. Thus, in this blog post, I would like to define what my family background is and educate people about Rajputs.

Background Info on the Rajput Ancestry

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Rajputi Warrior Armour.

Rajput means King`s Son in Hindi/Urdu as an originally Sanskrit word. Rajput’s are ranked as being Kshatriyas (Warriors/Rulers) on the Varna/Indian caste system. The actual origins of the Rajputs are unknown and disputed. Nevertheless, through Indian mythology, it is believed that we are descended through the lineages of Hindu mythological creatures/individual. However, historical evidence presents that, the Rajputs were the descendants of the 6th-century invaders, like the Hephthalites, who were from central Asia and intermixed with the local Indian population to become the Rajput caste. Finally, some chief’s Indian groups also came to identify as Rajputs.

Once the Rajput caste emerged, the caste began to practise endogamous intermarriages (marrying within the Rajput caste but into different clans). Rajputs abided this principle during wars with men committing saka, wherein they would fight the enemy to their last breath and women committing jauhar by enveloping themselves in the fire to avoid becoming slaves of the enemy.    By the 7th century, Rajput started to emerge as great/successful political leaders, kings and warriors through the region of North India (especially the region of Rajputana or modern Rajasthan). This pattern is continued today, where Rajput are included as important political leaders and high-ranking army or government officials of South Asian countries. Finally, in today’s, modern democratic republics of India and Pakistan, the kings and rulers have only become a hereditary figureheads/ symbols of the past and the South Asian culture, as the current governments are elected via democratic voting.

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The Handprints of the Women Committing Jauhar.
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Rajput Fort !!!
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A Modern Rajput Couple !!!

Being from a fully blooded Rajput family, the first thing that comes to my mind is the motto of Aan, Ban, Shan. In English, the motto means, pride, wealth and honour. In Rajputi, Aan or pride is vital, because we feel pride in our ancestor’s achievement of being able to rule and protect the motherland. We also are our proud of our rich heritage along with the impact it has had on the North Indian and Pakistani culture. Next, Ban is a word that means wealth. However, I don’t believe that it only refers to the material wealth of Rajput’s owning gold/jewels, land and property, and having lots of money. It also refers to how, Rajputs are wealthy of loyalty, pride, honour, chivalry, physical and emotional strength. Finally, Shan means honour, which is huge for Rajputs, because we value our traditions, and adhere to our strict niyam or rules to fulfil our obligations. Finally, our niyam/rules tend to vary depending on the regions/society we live in. However, Rajputs are mainly required to live with keeping our motto of Aan, Ban, Shan in mind and are encouraged to try to live a respectable life in which, we can do good for the universe and humanity.

To conclude this, post off, I would like to add the Rajputi culture is very rich. This is because, we include the customs and traditions of respecting/protecting women, giving presents to each other during weddings and important ceremonies, respecting others, training ourselves in martial arts, and finally, continue to remain a distinct group by marrying into our Rajput caste.

Image Credits and Attributions: Mariam RanaRajput ImageRajput Warrior Armour & Article on Jauhar 

Works Cited

  1. Bundela, H S et al. “Rajput | Indian History”. Encyclopedia Britannica.2017.Web. 6 Feb. 2017 . <https://www.britannica.com/topic/Rajput&gt;.