Bizarre!!

Today I am on seventh heaven. I checked every 5 minutes last night to make sure the alarm was functioning well. I checked my new dress to make sure it fit me well and there was no last minute alteration required. I even rehearsed my thank you speech.

Rewind to a month ago, I fervently savored my favorite cup of green tea with my most loved authors book in my hand when the phone started ringing incessantly. I rushed to pick up the phone to find a lady with a very soothing voice speaking on the other end. With the initial greetings through, she mentioned her agenda for the call and surprised me pleasantly. She broke the news that the Jury had nominated me for the best fictional writer award and provided me further details of the event for the same.

Fast-forward, today is the day I was longing for, it is every writer’s secret desire to receive this award and finally it was being bestowed on me, YAY!!! Dressed in my best attire and checking myself in the mirror, I rehearsed my speech in my mind. Suddenly the earth started trembling and every little item around me began to shudder. I struggled to sustain my balance but the tremble was too much for me to bear.

Wake up!! Wake up!! You are late!! It was my roommate trying to wake me. I was muttering the speech in my sleep and she was jolting me. So much for the earthquake!!

I quickly realized it was a dream and got up. I am running late I thought and so I quickly gathered myself and headed for the shower. I took a quick bath and dressed up in my attire and shook the doorknob of the shower only to find it land in my hand.I was locked in the shower. My first thoughts were to raise an alarm and ask for help but I quickly realized that my roommate had bid me good-bye while I was in the shower and had already left for work. Gosh!! What am I going to do now!! I tried to keep calm but it was futile, my hands were trembling, my mind was grasped with thoughts of the aftermath. My heart started beating faster and beads of sweat started to form on my forehead.

Just then, I heard someone at the door. Am I daydreaming I thought to myself, my roommate had already left for the day and thieves don’t come knocking the door. To my relief, it was my roommate. She had forgotten some important documents required for her client meeting and realized it on her way to work. She used her set of keys to unlock the door and upon realizing my fate, came to my rescue without further ado.

I instantly jumped out to hug her and thank her. I struggled to hold back my tears but they came rolling down. She consoled me and offered me a glass of water. I gulped it hastily and thanked her again.

I calmed down and headed towards the dressing room. I quickly ran my fingers through my hair and rolled them up into a messy bun, messy, but elegant and applied my mascara and gloss to keep it simple. Makeup check! Hair check! I walked towards the door with an air of confidence in my stride. For today is the day, I longed for, today is the day I will be receiving my Best Fictional Writer Jury Award!!!!

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Be better, Do better, and Live better!

In the game of life, it’s easy to forget the most important rules. Here is a list of ten simple ways to be better, do better, and live better!

Here is a list of tips to balance the essentials of a happy, healthy life:

Get enough sleep

Learn to switch off the mind, put away all electronic gadgets, and count sheep, literally. Stop worrying about the client discussion at work tomorrow, the project your kid is supposed to submit at school, and the husband’s impending promotion.

Exercise

Yoga and Meditation will do wonders for your health. These are simple enough to be done at work. Optionally, you may opt for a early morning jog or a gym workout later in the day.

Stay happy

Let go of the negativity in your life and concentrate on the positives. Positive attracts happiness.

Get a hobby

Pursue the needle-work activity that you admired when your grandmother did it. Learn a musical instrument, take up gardening or learn to paint!

Dance

Don’t worry if you are like me, with two left feet. Dance like no one is watching!

Travel

If you have the means to travel far, visit new places, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Learn to say No

There are days in a professional’s life that she has to learn to refuse the irrational demands of work. Similarly, personal life presents with many opportunities to act courageously.

Love your family

Your parents are your support system; they love you dearly and deserve equal respect. Treat them kindly and reserve some quality time for them.

Take risks and follow your passions

You don’t want to end up regretting not having done things that you always wanted to.

Volunteer

If you are going through a tough time in your life, take efforts to volunteer with a local orphanage or old age home. Learn to be carefree from the child who is not privileged enough to lead a protected life in the shelter of her parents, or share a story with a 90 year old man who misses his grandchildren.

Last but not least, don’t wait till tomorrow. Start today.

Egyptian paintings – journey into a mysterious world

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I have been dabbling my hands in the Egyptian art form and I have come across stories that both amaze me and amuse me. Here I have painted a very famous painting of Queen Nefertari and God Isis.

Queen Nefertari was the first wife of Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II and lived around 1279–1213 B.C.

The painting depicts Queen Nefertari’s journey into the life after death. The writing indicates that the place is Nefertari’s tomb and she is being led by God Isis into the hereafter, with their hands inter wined.

The painting is done on handmade paper called Papyrus. It uses fine brush strokes and bright colours to indicate the clothing. Nefertari is seen wearing a translucent dress and veil which indicates clothing of the immortal.

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The second painting depicts the tree of life and a ceremony being carried under the tree.

Warli tribals – amazing artwork

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I graduated to painting as a Hobby recently. Here I paint a Tunic with Warli Tarpa Dance.

Warli is an art form which is practiced by the Warli Tribe living in the coastal areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat in India. Warli Tribe uses intricate art form to decorate the walls of their mud houses and the colours used are obtained from flowers mixed with rice powder.

Tarpa is a wind instrument played by the village head who stand in the middle while the rest of the group goes around him in circles. This instrument is made from pumpkins and a bamboo stick. It is considered as a gift from God Narandeva and is considered sacred.

Men and Women participate equally in the Tarpa Dance and the lead dancers hold a stick with bells that is hit on the ground to direct the group and add to the music.Women wear half-sari with beautiful flower necklaces and marigold flowers in their hair. Men wear the traditional attire which consists of dhoti and a shirt.They move around the village head who plays the Tarpa instrument with equal rhythm.

Warli tribe stays close to nature, their houses are made of mud and beautifully decorated with Warli paintings. A house with a marriage foreseen in near future is decorated with exquisite drawings of bride and groom processions and merriment of the tribes.

Outlook of Indian Real Estate post New Government

India, with a population of over 1.2 billion requires manifold increase in resources and faster development which should be able to cater to the needs of its ever increasing requirements. The successive governments in the country had accepted the fact to support the growth of Infrastructure and also framed various policies to achieve the same. The internal hurdles faced by coalition governments and the gaps in demand and supply of resources kept on defeating the policies at various stages. The 16th Lok Sabha elections were different from earlier elections where the country has seen a political party which was for most of the period sitting in Opposition, projecting a person as its Prime Ministrial candidate. Mr. Narendra Modi who has already proved his mettle in Gujarat as Chief Minister of State was projected as symbol of Development. The election manifesto of Bhartiya Janata Party which was considered to have been drafted on the lines of dictats of Mr. Narendra Modi, had besides other promises given prime place to the Infrastructure Development in the country. Soon after assuming the seat of Prime Minister he released a list which highlights his priority for: Education, Health, Water, Energy, Roads, Infrastructure and investment reforms, stability and Sustain ability in government policy.

The development of Infrastructure directly influences Real Estate in the comman area as the infrastructure development leads to growth of Agriculture, Industry Services and Business (ISB) sector resulting in Employment Generation and higher standard of living all of which need more and more space for their existence.

Public Private Partnership (PPP)

Narendra Modi Government is not averse to PPP and with a clear majority in the Government it may not be difficult for him to have a smooth sail with the policy which prescribed protection of National interest.

Foreign Direct Assistance (FDA)

Though the BJP had earlier opposed foreign direct investment in retail it is reportedly condering FDA upto 49% in various sectors to bridge the gaps in demand and supply of funds required for growth. The investors inland and abroad flush with funds are waiting for a stable government with transparency and sustainability in its policies and only need a boost to their confidence with continuous reforms.

Revenue Sharing

Any development brings additional revenue for the government in the form of additional or new taxes. Sharing of revenue generated between the Centre and State has always remained a burning issue. The GST policy drafted by erstwhile UPA Govt. may streamline and solve the problem of revenue sharing between the governments.

In the first quarter of its existence the Modi Government had given indications that it is serious for implementing its manifesto and if it succeeds in crossing hurdles no wonder Real Estate sector has brighter outlook during the next 5 years.

Child Marriages in India

Indian constitution permits legal age of marriage of a girl child to be 18 and that of a boy as 21. However, it is shocking to hear in everyday news and witness girls aged much less than 18 , sometimes even infants, married off to boys twice her age and even men above 60. Child Marriage is a custom prevalent in India since long, specially in states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

UNICEF has revealed that child marriages are mostly prevalent in Africa, South Asia and European countries, however statistics suggest that India with its huge population rates the highest in terms of child marriage. 22% of girls in India are married off before they reach the age of 18, as per UNICEF.

Why child marriage started in India?

In ancient times, child marriage was considered as a way of sealing the alliance between two families to maintain friendly ties and avoid feudal wars as also a means to ensure the girl was in safe hands once the parents were not there to take care of her. It is noteworthy that mortality rate was quiet high then and most women died while giving birth, leaving the father to re-marry. It was thus an assurance by the society that the girl would be safe and taken care of in her marital home. Also, in low-income households, it meant the family will have one less mouth to feed.

As medical science progressed and life spans increased , parents were able to devote 30 plus years of their life to the upbringing of their child. However, the concept of child marriage refused to die.

What are the consequences?

Marrying a child , whether it be a boy or a girl, who is below the age of legal definitions , is a violence of the fundamental rights of the child to acquire proper education. It violates his/her right to receive proper nutrition and health care as most of them are not aware of their basic needs and do not possess enough maturity.

In case of girls this is even worse, as once a girl reaches puberty , she is at risk of an early pregnancy. At this tender age, she is not aware of contraceptive procedures and is declined education , including sex education as most marital homes do not permit her to go to school. As a result most girls drop out of school once they are married.

A child bride has no access to educational material and the world outside is a complete stranger to her. Such a birth leads to emotional and mental trauma for the girl as she is not physically ready to bear the child within her. How can a mother who is not mentally prepared for a child , ensure proper future for the baby? Girls married to men much older her age are at risk of abuse and exploitation.

What is being done to curb the practice of child marriage:

Looking at the bright side, many organizations like ‘Girls not Brides’ campaign are working towards ensuring that this cruel practice is stopped. Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 has been passed to curb the practice in India. However, it still remains a concern in India, especially in the rural areas. Cases like Laxmi Sargara, an 18 year old girl from Rajasthan who was betrothed when she was an infant and resisted her parents decision to seek annulment of the marriage are few, but seem to bring some hope for the victims.

Lots remain to be done to ensure that the practice of child marriage even with the parent’s consent is curbed and no child is denied the basic rights and freedom.