The lesser known side of Indian politics.

Indian politics has always been looked down upon. By outsiders, international organisations and agencies, neighbouring or allied countries or even the people itself. We are always in the habit of complaining about corruption but never did anything about it. We always say that the politics of our nation is very dirty and don’t want our future generations to get into politics because of the so called dirty politics which would spoil their thinking as humans. Yes, it’s true that our nation is developing and has a lot of commotion going on at the moment. But this doesn’t have to result in the rotting of our administration. Corruption doesn’t have to start at all in a developing nation. the main problem in India is the gap between the people and the political parties. I think because of this India cannot qualify as a proper democracy it’s just as a namesake like north Korea it will too one day have to face a dictator and that day is not away. So what India is doing is that it tries to show the world it cares a lot for the people, there are a lot of welfare programmes and schemes being launched for the people’. But you cannot believe what real India looks like. Its poverty stricken streets and corrupt leaders exploiting the people. This is what the real India is like. Many leaders come and go making no change in the country. They raise the hopes of the people in them by making promises and amendments they will never fulfil or abide by. They change their colours as soon as they get the post or what we call in India- ‘the chair’. This has been going on since endless eras but now it has changed as a new phase begins in the history of Indian politics called the Aam Aadmi(common man), and the face behind it is a IIT graduate named Arvind Kejriwal. He has faced many challenges in moving totally away from his field, but he always overcame the obstacles.

India has always been a nation of corruption and the old way of governance never changes. The Aam Admi(common man)aims to change the old way of thinking but India is not ready to accept something new so kejriwal was off his seat. Once again because of his adamant desire to do something new and different he contested for the elections and won!

 

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This country isn’t just carbon neutral, it’s carbon neagtive!

 This is a gho. This is my national dress. This is how all men dress in Bhutan. That is how our women dress. Like our women, we men get to wear pretty bright colors, but unlike our women, we get to show off our legs.

 Our national dress is unique, but this is not the only thing that’s unique about my country. Our promise to remain carbon neutral is also unique, and this is what I’d like to speak about today, our promise to remain carbon neutral.

 But before I proceed, I should set you the context. I should tell you our story.

 Bhutan is a small country in the Himalayas. We’ve been called Shangri-La, even the last Shangri-La. But let me tell you right off the bat, we are not Shangri-La. My country is not one big monastery populated with happy monks.

 The reality is that there are barely 700,000 of us sandwiched between two of the most populated countries on earth, China and India. The reality is that we are a small, underdeveloped country doing our best to survive. But we are doing OK. We are surviving. In fact, we are thriving, and the reason we are thriving is because we’ve been blessed with extraordinary kings. Our enlightened monarchs have worked tirelessly to develop our country, balancing economic growth carefully with social development, environmental sustainability and cultural preservation, all within the framework of good governance. We call this holistic approach to development “Gross National Happiness,” or GNH. Back in the 1970s, our fourth king famously pronounced that for Bhutan, Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product.

 Ever since, all development in Bhutan is driven by GNH, a pioneering vision that aims to improve the happiness and well-being of our people.

But that’s easier said than done, especially when you are one of the smallest economies in the world. Our entire GDP is less than two billion dollars. I know that some of you here are worth more —

 individually than the entire economy of my country.

 So our economy is small, but here is where it gets interesting. Education is completely free. All citizens are guaranteed free school education, and those that work hard are given free college education. Healthcare is also completely free. Medical consultation, medical treatment, medicines: they are all provided by the state. We manage this because we use our limited resources very carefully, and because we stay faithful to the core mission of GNH, which is development with values. Our economy is small, and we must strengthen it. Economic growth is important, but that economic growth must not come from undermining our unique culture or our pristine environment.

 Today, our culture is flourishing. We continue to celebrate our art and architecture, food and festivals, monks and monasteries. And yes, we celebrate our national dress, too. This is why I can wear my gho with pride. Here’s a fun fact: you’re looking at the world’s biggest pocket.

 It starts here, goes around the back, and comes out from inside here. In this pocket we store all manner of personal goods from phones and wallets to iPads, office files and books.

 

 But sometimes — sometimes even precious cargo.

 So our culture is flourishing, but so is our environment. 72 percent of my country is under forest cover. Our constitution demands that a minimum of 60 percent of Bhutan’s total land shall remain under forest cover for all time.

 Our constitution, this constitution, imposes forest cover on us. Incidentally, our king used this constitution to impose democracy on us. You see, we the people didn’t want democracy. We didn’t ask for it, we didn’t demand it, and we certainly didn’t fight for it. Instead, our king imposed democracy on us by insisting that he include it in the constitution. But he went further. He included provisions in the constitution that empower the people to impeach their kings, and included provisions in here that require all our kings to retire at the age of 65.

 

 Fact is, we already have a king in retirement: our previous king, the Great Fourth, retired 10 years ago at the peak of his popularity. He was all of 51 years at that time.

 So as I was saying, 72 percent of our country is under forest cover, and all that forest is pristine. That’s why we are one of the few remaining global biodiversity hotspots in the world, and that’s why we are a carbon neutral country. In a world that is threatened with climate change, we are a carbon neutral country.

 Turns out, it’s a big deal. Of the 200-odd countries in the world today, it looks like we are the only one that’s carbon neutral. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. Bhutan is not carbon neutral. Bhutan is carbon negative. Our entire country generates 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide, but our forests, they sequester more than three times that amount, so we are a net carbon sink for more than four million tons of carbon dioxide each year. But that’s not all.

 We export most of the renewable electricity we generate from our fast-flowing rivers. So today, the clean energy that we export offsets about six million tons of carbon dioxide in our neighborhood. By 2020, we’ll be exporting enough electricity to offset 17 million tons of carbon dioxide. And if we were to harness even half our hydropower potential, and that’s exactly what we are working at, the clean, green energy that we export would offset something like 50 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. That is more CO2 than what the entire city of New York generates in one year.

 So inside our country, we are a net carbon sink. Outside, we are offsetting carbon. And this is important stuff. You see, the world is getting warmer, and climate change is a reality. Climate change is affecting my country. Our glaciers are melting, causing flash floods and landslides, which in turn are causing disaster and widespread destruction in our country. I was at that lake recently. It’s stunning. That’s how it looked 10 years ago, and that’s how it looked 20 years ago. Just 20 years ago, that lake didn’t exist. It was a solid glacier. A few years ago, a similar lake breached its dams and wreaked havoc in the valleys below. That destruction was caused by one glacier lake. We have 2,700 of them to contend with. The point is this: my country and my people have done nothing to contribute to global warming, but we are already bearing the brunt of its consequences. And for a small, poor country, one that is landlocked and mountainous, it is very difficult. But we are not going to sit on our hands doing nothing. We will fight climate change. That’s why we have promised to remain carbon neutral.

We first made this promise in 2009 during COP 15 in Copenhagen, but nobody noticed. Governments were so busy arguing with one another and blaming each other for causing climate change, that when a small country raised our hands and announced, “We promise to remain carbon neutral for all time,” nobody heard us. Nobody cared.

 Last December in Paris, at COP 21, we reiterated our promise to remain carbon neutral for all time to come. This time, we were heard. We were noticed, and everybody cared. What was different in Paris was that governments came round together to accept the realities of climate change, and were willing to come together and act together and work together. All countries, from the very small to the very large, committed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change says that if these so-called intended commitments are kept, we’d be closer to containing global warming by two degrees Celsius.

 It’s crucial that all of us keep our commitments. As far as Bhutan is concerned, we will keep our promise to remain carbon neutral. Here are some of the ways we are doing it. We are providing free electricity to our rural farmers. The idea is that, with free electricity, they will no longer have to use firewood to cook their food. We are investing in sustainable transport and subsidizing the purchase of electric vehicles. Similarly, we are subsidizing the cost of LED lights, and our entire government is trying to go paperless. We are cleaning up our entire country through Clean Bhutan, a national program, and we are planting trees throughout our country through Green Bhutan, another national program.

 But it is our protected areas that are at the core of our carbon neutral strategy. Our protected areas are our carbon sink. They are our lungs. Today, more than half our country is protected, as national parks, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. But the beauty is that we’ve connected them all with one another through a network of biological corridors. Now, what this means is that our animals are free to roam throughout our country. Take this tiger, for example. It was spotted at 250 meters above sea level in the hot, subtropical jungles. Two years later, that same tiger was spotted near 4,000 meters in our cold alpine mountains. Isn’t that awesome?

We must keep it that way. We must keep our parks awesome. So every year, we set aside resources to prevent poaching, hunting, mining and pollution in our parks, and resources to help communities who live in those parks manage their forests, adapt to climate change, and lead better lives while continuing to live in harmony with Mother Nature.

 But that is expensive. Over the next few years, our small economy won’t have the resources to cover all the costs that are required to protect our environment. In fact, when we run the numbers, it looks like it’ll take us at least 15 years before we can fully finance all our conservation efforts. But neither Bhutan, nor the world can afford to spend 15 years going backwards.

 This is why His Majesty the King started Bhutan For Life. Bhutan For Life gives us the time we need. It gives us breathing room. It is essentially a funding mechanism to look after our parks, to protect our parks, until our government can take over on our own fully. The idea is to raise a transition fund from individual donors, corporations and institutions, but the deal is closed only after predetermined conditions are met and all funds committed. So multiparty, single closing: an idea we borrowed from Wall Street. This means that individual donors can commit without having to worry that they’ll be left supporting an underfunded plan. It’s something like a Kickstarter project, only with a 15-year time horizon and millions of tons of carbon dioxide at stake. Once the deal is closed, we use the transition fund to protect our parks, giving our government time to increase our own funding gradually until the end of the 15-year period. After that, our government guarantees full funding forever.

 We are almost there. We expect to close later this year. Naturally, I’m pretty excited.

 

 The World Wildlife Fund is our principle partner in this journey, and I want to give them a big shoutout for the excellent work they are doing in Bhutan and across the world.

 I thank you for listening to our story, a story of how we are keeping our promise to remain carbon neutral, a story of how we are keeping our country pristine, for ourselves, our children, for your children and for the world. But we are not here to tell stories, are we? We are here to dream together. So in closing, I’d like to share one more dream that I have. What if we could mobilize our leadership and our resources, our influence and our passion, to replicate the Bhutan For Life idea to other countries so that they too can conserve their protected areas for all time. After all, there are many other countries who face the same issues that we face. They too have natural resources that can help win the world’s fight for sustainability, only they may not have the ability to invest in them now. So what if we set up Earth For Life, a global fund, to kickstart the Bhutan For Life throughout the world? I invite you to help me, to carry this dream beyond our borders to all those who care about our planet’s future. After all, we’re here to dream together, to work together, to fight climate change together, to protect our planet together. Because the reality is we are in it together. Some of us might dress differently, but we are in it together.

10 Most Inspiring Women Who Changed The World

After reading about these legendary women, you’ll know you can contribute towards the society no matter what – you don’t need to be in a specific field, time or environment to make a difference to the world in this lifetime.

 P.S. This is according to my refernce of whoever I knew, maybe I might have missed out on something/ somebody but you are always welcome to include your opinions. I’ll be happy to know more but please do not get offened. I don’t believe in caste, creed or race and I’m totally against racism.

1. “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank (1929-1945)

1.

During her stay in Netherlands while hiding from the German forces, Anne Frank, a young jewish girl, was gifted a diary by her father when she was 13. However, her diary was published after her death in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the age of 15. The diary served as a unique eye-witness account of life during Holocaust (mass murder of approximately six million Jews during World War II) and it became one of the world’s most read books.

2. “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

2.

Mother Teresa, the Nobel Peace Prize winner (1979), aimed at looking after those who had nobody to look after them through her own order “The Missionaries of Charity”. She worked tirelessly towards her goal until her ill-health – that included two heart attacks, pneumonia and malaria – forced her to step down in March 1997, following which she took her last breath in September 1997.

3. “In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued.” – Aung Sang Suu Kyi (1945)

3.

Burmese opposition politician Suu Kyi was under house arrest for 15 years for her pre-democracy campaigning. She only gained release in 2010 following an international campaign to let her free. She won a nobel prize in 1991 where it was said that “Suu Kyi’s struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades.”.

4. “I thought it would set us back 50 years if I didn’t win that match. It would ruin the women’s tour and affect all women’s self esteem.” – Billie Jean King (1943)

4.

Billie Jean King, the US tennis legend and the winner of 20 wimbledon titles, famously beat Bobby Riggs in 1973 for a $100,000 prize in “The Battle of the sexes” after he said to her that men were superior athletes.

5. “Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back.” – Diana (1961-1997), Princess of Wales
5.

Princess Diana was a well-loved “people’s princess”. She devoted her life to charity work; she led a nobel Peace Prize-winning campaign to ban landmines.

6. “Democracy is the best revenge.” – Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007)

6.

She was the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan (1993-1996) and the first woman to head a Muslim state. During her leadership, she ended military dictatorship in her country and fought for women rights. She was assassinated in a suicide attack in 2007.

7. “There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” – Michelle Obama (1964)

7.

Michelle Obama, the first lady of the United States, was raised in a one bedroom apartment in Chicago before she went on to excel in academics and study at Princeton and Harvard. She is considered the most stylish leading lady after Jackie Kennedy. Currently, she is working on a campaign to fight childhood obesity.

8. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey (1954)

8.

Oprah, a generous Philanthropist, who is today worth $2.7 billion as a famous US talk show host and a media proprietor, was born to a poor single mother in Mississippi.

9. “I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.” – Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)

9.

“The lady with the lamp”, Florence Nightingale, nursed wounded soldiers during the Crimean war. Her passion and dedication to the profession changed public’s perception about this profession. Her insistence on improving sanitary conditions for the patients is believed to have saved many lives.

10. “I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” – Madonna (1958)

10.

Madonna has achieved an unprecedented level of power and control for a woman in the entertainment industry. She has sold more than 300 million records of her music and she has turned her hands to songwriting, acting, film-directing and producing, fashion designing and writing children’s books.

The Restraunt of life

THE RESTRAUNT OF LIFE

CHARACTERS

  1. NARRATOR
  2. WAITRESS- DESTINY
  3. ALLEN
  4. AMANDA
  5. LISA
  6. BRENT
  7. WAITER- CHANCE
  8. 4 COLLEGE STUDENTS

PROPS

  1. TWO TABLES
  2. EIGHT CHAIRS
  3. ONE NOTEPAD
  4. A PEN
  5. CUTLERY
  6. PICTURES OF TWO WOMEN (ONE GRUMPY LOOKING AND THE OTHER AVERAGE)
  7. PICTURES OF TWO MEN (ONE FAT AND HAPPY AND THE OTHER GOOD LOOKING)
  8. PICTURES OF NINE CHILDREN (AGED BETWEEN 6-10)(1-BRENT 2-AMANDA 2- ALLEN 4-LISA)
  9. PICTURES OF TEN BABIES (2- BRENT 2-AMANDA 2-ALLEN 4-LISA [ONE PICTURE OF A SPOILT LOOKING GIRL] )
  10. THICK BOOKS (3 TO 4)
  11. CEO NAMEPLATE

COSTUMES

  1. NARRATOR- anything casual
  2. WAITRESS- DESTINY- dress and an apron with a badge labled-DESTINY
  3. ALLEN– scene1- college outfit

Scene2- busy man clothes

Scene3- formal shirt and pant with tie

Scene4- old man, comfy clothes, sweater, walking stick, moustache,glasses

  1. AMANDA- scene1- college outfit

Scene2- long skirt, top, glasses, scarf

Scene3- nice formal dress,glasses

Scene4- old woman, comfy clothes, glasses

  1. LISA-scene1-college outfit

Scene2- jeans and top with loose hair

Scene3- blazer/coat, formal collared shirt, knee length skirt/ pants, glasses, hair in a                     mess/bun

Scene4- old woman, comfy clothes, everything loose, glasses

 

  1. BRENT– scene1- college clothes

Scene2- shirt and pant, shaggy hair

Scene3- blazer/coat, formal shirt and pant/ suit, glasses, neat hair

Scene4- old man, comfy clothes, walking stick(optional), glasses, sweater

  1. WAITER- CHANCE-black pant, white shirt, bow(optional)
  2. 4 COLLEGE STUDENTS- modern college outfits

 

 

SCENE- 1

NARRATOR- So, eating at the restraint of life is always exciting and unexpected. Let’s what our waitress, destiny have to offer to these four friends- Allen, Amanda, Lisa and Brent.

DESTINY- Ok, welcome to life. Would you like to start with some education?

BRENT-Yeah, how much for college degrees?

DESTINY- 4 years

BRENT- Great, I’ll have business

DESTINY- Hmm

ALLEN- Engineering

DESTINY- Wait for the Next two years

ALLEN- I’m not doing anything else right now. So…..

DESTINY- Alright. And for you miss?

LISA- I can’t decide

DESTINY- Maybe a year?

LISA- What? Wait, I didn’t order yet

DESTINY- Two years?

LISA- Umm, liberal arts?

DESTINY- And for you?

AMANDA- I’ll have English

BRENT- We’re at a nice place. Get something real

AMANDA- English is a real degree

(others laugh)

AMANDA- It’s a real…

DESTINY- Ok how about spouses?

BRENT- Yeah, can I get soulmate

DESTINY- (sigh) I don’t where that rumour got started. But we don’t serve that here. I can get you the love of your life?

Everyone- yeah that’s ok, now how do you want it cooked?

Everyone- anything would do

ALLEN- I want it really hot. Make it all spicy I’ll show you I’ve got a whole list.

DESTINY- Perfect

ALLEN- It’s a little long. Long brown hair like Shakira. Wait, her hair is blonde. Can I have straight teeth? And long arms and blue eyes?

DESTINY- Ok. Your orders will be right back after 6-7 years. Good luck till then

————-AFTER 7 YEARS

SCENE 2

(the waiter, Chance gets all their spouses)

DESTINY- Alright here are your spouses.

BRENT- Wow! Awesome. Thank you so much!

AMANDA- I’m sorry I ordered a medium but it’s a large

DESTINY- I know it happens with time. Can’t help it

ALLEN- When is mine coming? Might take a while

DESTINY- Chance! Bring out the sad cat lady! Wait a minute it’s right coming up. Yeah. Can I interest you in any careers?

LISA- Can I get something in which I can go straight to the top? Because I’m special?

DESTINY- Yeah. Here’s our millennial menu

AMANDA- Can I get a novelist please

BRENT- You want to hold on to those options. How much for CEO?

DESTINY- 20 years

BRENT- Oh. Pricey

DESTINY- We do have a 15-year option but you will have to miss out on all your son’s baseball games.

BRENT- I will have that

DESTINY- Ok

AMANDA- Speaking of that, can I have a baby?

DESTINY- That will be 9 months of sluggishness and vomiting

BRENT- Me too

DESTINY- It will be 9 months of watching that

BRENT- Aww nah!

LISA- Ok I’m just going to get three babies

DESTINY- Well, behave your monsters

LISA- Ok

DESTINY- I’m just kidding. You don’t get to choose

CHANCE- Well here’s your order sir

ALLEN- Woah! Can you send it back please?

CHANCE- She is rich

ALLEN- Thank you that will be an honour

DESTINY- Ok (gives a strange look and walks away)

CHANCE- Maybe it’s not all that bad (walks away)

LISA TO BRENT- Hey how does yours look like?

SCENE3-

AFTER 10 YEARS

AMANDA TO LISA- Hey I thought you ordered three children

LISA- You know they dropped one by an accident

DESTINY- Ok I’ve got four mortgages. Careful they are heavy. Slower metabolism. Some student loans and some of life crisis.

ALLEN- Man, this meal is going by fast

BRENT- How much for lasting happiness?

DESTINY- Gratitude, service, self-improvement……

BRENT- Gosh! Get me a convertible (hands out a credit card)

DESTINY- Sorry life takes visa

AMANDA- What hobbies would you recommend

LISA- Well you already have a hobby what you need is a job

AMANDA- Writing is my job. Alright it’s my profession

LISA- Oh I wasn’t done with those. (as chance takes out her children)

CHANCE- well they got to go their own ways now.

BRENT- Well you got to learn to let go of them

BRENT- No no (as chance takes his post of CEO)

CHANCE- Sir, your time is up

BRENT- Should have spent more time at the office

ALLEN- regret it now buddy!

(chance walks away)

DESTINY- Ok, here are your deserts

DESTINY TO AMANDA- A bestselling novel.

AMANDA- Yes, it paid of

BRENT- Just like we all said it would

DESTINY- And like you all said some free time

ALLEN- Oh right at the age when it’s least enjoyable

DESTINY TO LISA- And here are your grandkids

LISA- Well, ellie looks spoilt

DESTINY- Well you actually did that

LISA- That’s right. Three more please

BRENT- Well everyone, it’s been a good meal. We should all come back some time

DESTINY- Well we have a healing policy

BRENT- Can I get my doggy back?

DESTINY- Oh you can’t take any of this with you

BRENT- That’s nice. Look I just want to say that this meal ended up quite well.

(new customers- youngsters walk in)

DESTINY- I’ll be right there, with you guys

STUDENT 1- Yeah thanks

ALLEN- Wait we’re not your last customers?

DESTINY- did you think that

LISA– Yes we always thought you would close once we left

BRENT- You know what send them a word of wisdom. It’s our treat. And your national debt.

(they all laugh and destiny walks on to the new table of youngsters)

DESTINY- What can I get you guys? Some priviledge? and yeah, you’re going to get some words of wisdom free from the table of people in front of you. They just passed away and left you a treat for free. You better have them.

STUDENT3- Wait! What?!

STUDENT2- ya, sure. I mean, why not?!

STUDENT4- well, what are your lunch options?

DESTINY- We have smart phones.

STUDENT1- that’s pretty good!

Narrator- and so the vicious cycle goes on and on, for ages and ages not stopping for anybody no matter even if Steve jobs! Time and tide wait for no man. Life goes away fast and we always keep craving for more, never satisfied with whatever we have and we only realise it’s importance when it’s almost over. So, enjoy every bit of your life and be happy. Yeah, don’t forget to choose wisely you never know what destiny brings to you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT ON A BUDGET

 

 

CAMBODIA

With beds for £1 and lip-smacking food for less than that, Cambodia is so cheap you can feel guilty for paying so little. Where once travellers often feared to tread, Cambodia is now very much on the Southeast Asia travel scene, particularly among backpackers and, increasingly, holidaymakers looking for five-star luxury without the price tag. Check out the De La Paix hotel – their rich wood interiors, in-room iPod docks and free WiFi access for about £250 (double room) a night is about as far from a grimey hostel as it’s possible to get, and not painfully priced for the topnotch service they provide. It’s also ten minutes down the road from the world famous Angkor Wat Archaeological Park. You can’t leave Cambodia without visiting this iconic ancient site, preferrably at dawn to watch the sun rise behind Angkor Wat temple itself, a soothing and spectacular experience. Entry to this UNESCO world heritage site costs just £13 for a full day, although it’s worth paying the £26 for three days – there are just too many temples to squeeze into one day and once the midday sun hits you’ll want to take shade, or find some seriously strong air-conditioning.

VIETNAM

Unspoiled and undeveloped, despite its rise in popularity in the last few years, Vietnam is still super cheap, as well as a beautiful country. You can easily get by on £5 a day, including a guest house, local food, transport and a bit of drinking – a pint of Vietnam’s most popular brew, Bia Hoi, costs as little as 50p. Hanoi, the former headquarters of French Indochina and then the administrative centre of communist North Vietnam, was declared the country’s official captial in 1976 after reunification of this deeply divided nation began. It retains much of it’s French flavour; you’ll find some great patisseries producing croissants that rival Paris’s finest right next door to an authentic _pho _noodle soup shack. Hanoi’s Old Quarter, around Hoan Kiem Lake, is the best place to soak up some of the city’s post-colonial charm – it’s also a rare oasis of calm in this otherwise chaotic city, where locals go every morning at sunrise to practice tai chi. Experience Vietnamese rural life and see for yourself the lush, green rice terraces in and around the former French moutnain resort of Da Lat in the central highlands. The city is somewhat overrun with tourists (it’s the main departure point for a lot of ‘Easy Rider’ motorcycle tours) but the flower farms, local tofu factories, cashew nut plantations, and of course the iconic rice terraces are worth stopping by to take a look, before speeding on along the coast southwards to Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon.

INDIA

    A spending spree in Mumbai‘s designer shops and a stay in an international hotel in Delhi is going to cost you as much as it would in Dubai, but away from these enclaves the cost of living is ridiculously low. Even if you travel first class on the trains (the Rajdhani or the Shatabdi Express are the most comfortable to travel on, being fully air-conditioned with meals included in the ticket price) and take taxis everywhere, you’ll be hard pressed to spend a lot of money here and it’s possible to live like a raj on just £15 (about 1,500 rupees) a day. India is the seventh largest country in the world, so unless you’re planning an incredible six month sojourn, it pays to plan which of the country’s 29 states you want to visit. Head to western India to Rajasthan for an assault of the senses in the state capital, the Pink City, Jaipur, or kick back on the white sands of Kerala in southern India. You can’t fly all that way without seeing what may well be the most famous tomb in the world, the Taj Mahal, in Agra, northern India – just don’t go on a Friday, it’s closed. And don’t worry about Delhi belly, you’ll find some of India’s best street food here in the capital, particularly in the narrow streets and bustling boulevards around Connaught Place in the centre of town. Pick your stall wisely – make sure they look clean and if they’re busy it usually means the food is fresh, but it’s still a good idea to pack the Immodium, just in case

BOLIVIA

Known as the Tibet of the Americas, Bolivia is a relatively remote bolthole, being one of only two landlocked countries in South America (the other is Paraguay). Wander along Calle Jaén, in Bolivia’s administrative capital, La Paz, for a slice of South American life under Spanish colonial control – the street is home to some of the city’s best preserved colonial buildings, whitewashed façades and ornate black grilled balconettes. It’s also where you’ll find a cluster of museums, including the former home of Pedro Domingo Murillo, who lead forces during the La Paz Revolution of 1809. See them all for the grand total of 40p and pick up your bumper bargain ticket from the Museo Costumbrista, which houses a ceramic depicting the hanging of the aforementioned revolutionary. As if that weren’t enough (there’s more to life than museums?!) Bolivia perhaps boasts the best value food and drink in all of South America. For example, a bottle of Paceña beer generally costs less than £1 and a bowl of chairo (potato soup) about the same. Pack plenty of layers for when the sun goes down; although Bolivia generally endures hot and humid tropical summers, La Paz is surrounded by the altipano mountains and so stays cool all year round. Looking to turn up the heat? Head to Oruro, a city in the heart of the altiplano famous for its Carnival, held each year in February or March to honour the Virgin of Candelaria. Three hours by bus from La Paz and you could be taking part in this UNESCO protected presentation of indigenous and religious Bolivian culture, with more than 48 folk dance performances and a traditional parade.

HUNGARY

       Budapest, the historic Hungarian capital on the Danube, is a definite must-see on anyone’s European tour. While it’s not quite as cheap as it was before the budget airlines got there, prices here will leave plenty of cash in your pocket. Indulge in luscious cakes, get refreshed on strong liquor and sweat it out in the famous thermal spas. Stop for a sweet treat at Gerbeaud’s for gourmet pastries too pretty to eat (almost), or visit a traditional kávéház (coffee house) for a calorific (who’s counting?!) slice of _kürtőskalács _or chocolate chimney cake. With meals for £2, train tickets for £1 and rooms for £10, Budapest is a beautiful bargain. And you can visit those beautiful bathhouses, such as Gellert, for £10, with massages starting at less than a tenner. If you’re after a quiet countryside retreat, check out Lake Balaton in Transdanubia, western Hungary. The biggest lake in central Europe, it’s a popular summer retreat for local families looking to escape the big smoke during the summer heat – it’s an easy one and a half hour train ride from Budapest and the biggest resorts are found in the cities of Siófok and Balatonfüred. Take a hike in the northern hills, swim in the lake or sail out on the cool waters, before enjoying some locally produced wines from the vineyards dotted across nearby Badacsony Hill.

HONDURAS

There’s Belize. There’s Costa Rica. There’s even Guatemala. But for real bargain-basement Central American value, plump for Honduras. The country isn’t up there on the most-visited lists, but if you do decide to give it a go you’ll discover white sand beaches reminiscent of the Maldives, diving to rival the Red Sea, and mega cheap food and drink – all while spending less than £20 a day. For the Caribbean at a fraction of the cost, check out the swathes of pristine beaches along Honduras’s northern coast. One of the busiest centres along this idyllic stretch is Puerto Cortes, a bustling port famous for its trade in bananas with strong Spanish heritage, signs of which survive to this day – get out to Omoa, a picture-postcard seaside town with a colonial fortress to explore. If you’re really serious about sniffing out the prettiest post-colonial towns, look no further than the quaint Spanish houses, ornate cathedral and packed plazas in Comayagua’s historic town centre. A small city two hours drive northwest from Honduras’s capital, Tegucigalpa, Comayagua was once the country’s religious and political centre, but today its main draws are the colonial buildings and cute plaza cafés – bag a traditional Honduran baguette or bistek (steak) sandwich from café La Casa de Sandwich for about £1.50 and picnic in the nearby Parque Central.

BULGARIA

 

 

Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts have undergone a bit of a boom with British visitors in recent years, probably because they offer a total bargain compared with traditional summer sun destinations like the south of Spain. If you prefer city breaking to beaches, capital Sofia offers hearty food, warm company, ‘robust’ drink and a comfy bed, all yours for £20 a day. Just a 20-minute subway ride from the airport terminal (30-40 minutes if you’re travelling in by bus) you can satisfy your inner culture vulture in Sofia – the second oldest city in Europe is stuffed with museums and galleries, including the Musuem of Socialist Art and the National Literature Musuem. Soak up some summer sun and do a few laps down at Liulin Beach, with its three outdoor swimming pools, a sand area and a footie field – there’s even a canteen to grab a slice of pizza post-exercise. Despite becoming a burgeoning holiday destination, many places outside of Sofia remain relatively untouched by bargain-hungry holidaymakers and the further east you go, the cheaper it gets. Want sun, sea and to save a few pennies? Head for Nesebar, a UNESCO World Heritage site a few hours south of Varna and a great spot to start your budget tour of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. Although much of Nesebar’s ancient city of Messembria has collapsed into the ocean, there are still plenty of old churches to admire and cobbled lanes to stroll along – buy locally produced lace to take back as a souvenir, just watch out for cheap tourist tat versions.

SRI LANKA

    ‘With gossamer-fine sands, cloud-wrapped mountains, waterfalls, tea plantations and palm trees wafting in the breeze, Sri Lanka is the picture perfect paradise’… Ok, thanks tourist brochure. We’ll concentrate on feasting on fish curry, trekking in the jungle and staying in hotels on the beach for tuppence. Well, not quite two pence, but you can live like royalty for under £25 a day. Modern tourism began to boom on this idyllic south Indian Ocean island in the 1960s, but it’s somehow managed to stay on the sidelines of many a Southeast Asian itinerary, so it’s still possible to pick up a low-cost luxury bargain. Stay at the five-star Cinnamon Lodge, located in Habarana, the epicentre of a cultural triangle encompassing Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy. The swish suites here boast fantastic views over the tropical Habarana Lake – take it all in from your own private jacuzzi, while being served champagne by your on-call butler – or you can bag a single room, with all the same spa, swimming pool and dining facilities, from as little as £42 a night. If you can bear to drag yourself away from air-conditioned luxury, the temples, monasteries and stupa speckled throughout the surrounding countryside offer a window into Sri Lanka’s Buddhist culture – 70% of Sri Lankans are Buddhist. If you don’t fancy days on end temple traipsing, stick to the highlights: the Sri Maha Bodhiya (Bodhi Tree Temple) in Anuradhapura and the Sri Dhalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth) in Kandy, arguably the most sacred places on the entire island. Be warned, foreigners tend to pay higher entrance fees, although some tuk-tuk drivers might offer to sneak you in for free!

ARGENTINA

From the jungles of the central plains in La Pampa, to the rugged Andes mountains on the western border with Chile, there’s plenty to see and do in Argentina, the world’s eighth largest country. City lights don’t get much brighter in this part of the world than in Buenos Aires, which has rightly earned its reputation as one of the most exciting cities on the planet, thanks partly to its totally up-for-it nightlife. Experience the colourful, flamboyant life of the Argentinian capital by staying away from its most exclusive hotspots and you can easily get by on £25 a day. Tour the bright and bold murals that adorn many of Buenos Aires’s buildings, and come sundown slink along the streets of San Telmo and enjoy the cool bohemian vibe in the restaurants and bars in this part of town – much more fun (and kinder on the wallet) than a night out in the tourist traps of the city’s Recoleta district. If you want to get away from it all and see some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, then it doesn’t get much more impressive than a trip to Patagonia in southern Argentina, home to Tierra del Fuego, the most southerly city in the world and a popular departure point for excursions to the Antartic. Get there by bus from Buenos Aires – a journey which takes anywhere from 24 to 36 hours – or hop on a cheap internal flight to save time, although this is usually a more expensive way to travel. Prepare yourself for plenty of cute penguins, dolphins and whales in the UNESCO protected nature reserve, Península Valdés; the entrance fee for non-residents is about a tenner.

GREECE         Due to the country’s ongoing economic difficulties, the cost of holidaying in Greece is lower than it used to be. While it’s still pretty pricey to stay on famous Greek islands like Santorini or Mykonos, pick a quieter Greek getaway like Paros or Skiathos and you can still while away the days in 28 degree heat, sipping ice-cold Mythos (between about £1.50 and £4 a pint depending on where you stay) for half the price. If you’re all about pool parties and super-cheap shots, then Ios is the island for you, famous for its all-night raves and young backpacker crowd. Not got time for a full-on island-hop? Settle for a day trip to the Sardonic Gulf island of Hydra, just one and a half hours by catamaran from Athens and the spot for some of the best souvlaki (kebabs) you’ll find anywhere else in the Aegean Sea – Pirofani restaurant has been dishing up this delicious drunk food for over 20 years and takes some beating when it comes to flavour and value for money. Not enough meat to satisfy your inner caveman? Sail across to Kefalonia (which you might recognise from the big screen adaption of the famous book, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin) for a slab of traditional pie, filled with oozing meats and gravy, wrapped in a blanket of filo pastry. Ferries run regularly between the islands, but if departing from Athens head to the port of Piraeus to check the boards for updated prices and schedules – most of the Aegean Islands take about four or five hours to reach by high-speed ferry, six to eight on a regular one.

 

 

Unique ways to wear your scarf

So are you bored of the same old around the neck trend? Don’t worry cause these ideas totally blew up my mind and I’m sure it will blow up yours too.

VEST/SHRUG

  1. Find a scarf.
  2. Fold it in half, horizontally or vertically (your preference)
  3. Again, fold it in half.
  4. Now tie the two ends.
  5. There you have it! Open it up and it’s done.

DRAPED SKIRT

  1. You might want to wear another skirt or a pair of shorts inside this one.
  2. Hold your scarf horizontally and catch one end and tuck it inside.
  3. Now take the other end and drape it around your waist once. You can drape it as many times as you want if the scarf is really long. But keep sufficient cloth left!
  4. Get the scarf back into the centerand twist it .
  5. You can twist it one more time for a more solid effect.
  6. Drape the rest of the scarf aroung and tuck it in wherever it ends.
  7. Tip- you can pin the pieces that you tuck in so that you will be assuredad not worried about it falling.

 

 

The uncommon story of a common man

This is a book reveiw about an awesome book called the dabbawalas of mumbai.Hope you enjoy!

The city of dreams,

The city of screams.

The city of riches and poor,

The city of accidents and cure.

The city which gives us wings to fly,

It is very popularly known as ‘AAMCHI MUMBAI’.

More dreams are realised than distinguished in this fast paced city. Here, in Mumbai anything is possible and the sky too seems nearer for us Mumbaikars. But we often forget that there is the hand of a common man to deliver our lunchboxes exactly at the clock’s ticks. The six sigma, highly complex and punctual- The dabbawallas of Mumbai!

The writer, Shobha Bondre, takes us on a journey all over Mumbai. This army of 500 men make sure that the hard working mumbaikars are served hot, home cooked food at time, come rain or shine. Their clockwork precision and incredibly low error rate has got the world to take note of these tiny cog of men. These men deliver 200,000 meals everyday from homes to offices within just three hours. This book highlights the journey of the dabbawallas from rags to respect. The hard work and punctuality of the dabbawallas truly inspires us, as this is the uncommon story of a common man it makes this book a must read.

Be You

If you always feel low,

And you think that you can’t be strong,

Well no!

You were always wrong!

Cause you failed to understand,

That you’re strong, beautiful, independent and all you never know,

You’re one of a kind,

Whatever others say, don’t mind,

Just do what you like and love what you do,

You’ll never fail,

You could be the best,

Go and beat the rest!

You have a beast inside,

You just need to let it out,

No one should know that you cried,

Go, give a knockout!

`You’re a champion,

Not afraid!

don’t wait for luck,

cause you’re prepared,

leave the world awestruck!

dedicate yourself and one day you’ll know how it feels,

to accomplish what you wanted,

It’s not a big deal!

So why be the next Newton?

When you can reach the sun,

Why be the next Beyoncé?

When you can make your own way,

Why be the next bill gates?

When you can lift your own weights!

And all this is true,

Now stop feeling blue,

You can go through,

Start your debut,

You can be a breakthrough,

you have a lot to do,

And don’t forget, always be you!

DIY mug cake

If you often have chocolate cravings and not a great baker mug cakes can work perfectly for you. This is a super easy method and works really well. The best part is that you don’t even need an oven (since, this is a microwave recipe) all you need  are these ingredients and 2 mins!


INGREDIENTS

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
• 3 tbsp flour
• 3 tbsp sugar
• ¼ tsp baking soda(you can also include baking powder of the same measurement for a softer cake)
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 3 tbsp oil (any edible oil available will do!)
• 3 tbsp milk

METHOD

  1. Take any microwave safe mug and a fork.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients first and mix them in well with a fork.
  3. Then add vanilla, oil and milk and stir well with a fork. Let the ingredients combine very well and don’t leave any huge chunks in the batter.
  4. Now microwave on high for 1 min-1min 30 sec-or 2 min. It depends on your mi crowave. Be sure to keep an eye on it.
  5. Let it cool for a few seconds and then enjoy.

TIPS

  • You serve it hot with vanilla ice cream.
  • Add sprinkles, chocolate chips or sifted sugar for a more presentable look.
  • Also put on some whipped cream or nutella for a better, creamier taste.
  • Or just enjoy like that!

 

Thank you so much and have fun!

Top 10 motivational songs

So you’ve been feeling down lately. Just a kick from your favourite beats can get you uplifted! So here are the top 10 motivational songs.

  1. Hall of fame. The script ft. will.i.am
  2. Dark side. Kelly Clarkson
  3. Diamonds. Rihanna
  4. Jet black heart. Five seconds of summer
  5. Skyscraper. Demi Lovato
  6. Firework. Katy Perry
  7. Fight song. Rachel Platten897edf5d63b3cba4cfc6f656aa8e168c-1000x1000x1
  8. Titanium. Sia ft. David Guetta
  9. Stronger. Kelly Clarkson
  10. Wavin’ flag.  K’NAAN, will.i.am, David Guetta
  11. I was here. Beyonce (I couldn’t resist not putting this on the list! so an extra one!)