It is always pretty good to get subscription boxes. I think the surprise element more than the goods, makes us drool over them. For my birthday I wanted to try another subscription box ( as you know I get Fabbag ) I browsed through many boxes and finally settled to this one.
Sugarbox is a subscription box which offers you apparel, cosmetics, accessories and lifestyle products for 1499/- a month. I bought only this month’s bag for two reasons, I was not sure whether I was going to like it or not and another most important thing is my room in the hostel has no place for new things at present. ( It might sound silly but it is the sad truth).
This box is a huge box of this size. The theme is ‘Monsoon crush’.
They nicely decorated this box with satin ribbons. Like every other subscription boxes, a card welcomed me. After that, First thing I saw was this purse which looks like and says this Audrey Hepburn’s statement.
Second thing is this cute butterfly storage container and I got a Chocolate cake in it.
This printed umbrella is damn cool and seems to have every thing in the world printed on it. From Eifell tower to cutting chai.
These dior earrings are pretty, I already have them in black. I am not sure whether I like this color or not.
I got this fruit facial kit in pretty packaging.
This fringe Boho fringe shrug is adorable.
There is no price list mentioned. I can say I love this box and I might end up subscribing to this anytime.
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Hello friends!!! If I have to describe India in single sentence i prfer “Nation of Festivals” .We have many festivals and The best part is each festival is celebrated in a unique way . Sankranthi is the festival of ‘ kites and colors’ . It is the festival of celebrating a successful ‘crop year . It is an important festival for farmer families of Andhra Pradesh where Agriculture is the main mean of living (even today) .It is celebrated at a time when they complete one crop year and ready to welcome ‘Dhanya
Lakshmi ‘ ( Goddess of grain or crop ) ;it is also a festival of showing gratitude to all those people and animals who helped in bringing the crop home. The main festival is for 3 days 1.Bhogi 2.Sankranthi 3.Kanumu.
Celebrations start few days before the main festival when women start making a huge collection of viands ( which are expected to last for few months ,so you can imagine the quantities ) .
At the time of festival the viands , new clothes and grain are distributed among the workers . Earlier when money was not that famous ,workers used to get grain that would last for a year.
The festival is also celebrated as a worship of God Indra for making the weather beneficial for crop.
You can call it Rangoli if you want ,but it is just a rough translation.There is no proper English word for it.It is the most important part of festival .They use a specially made ‘ Muggu Pindi ‘ ( type of flour ) . Muggu is both science and art .All the traditional designs have unique number of dots and their arrangement ,if you miss a single dot ,that’s the end of it .
In villages they are decorated with mary gold Flowers and cones of cattle dung ,called Gobbemma.
The logic behind Muggu is that the flour used for it is considered as insect and pest repellent .When farmers bring their year long hard wok as the grain and store it in specially built storage rooms at home ( Called ‘Gade’ ) , the wives decorate the surroundings with ‘muggu’ to protect the crop from uninvited guests like insects. They are filled with colors which symbolize prosperity .Even today many people believe that Goddess Lakshmi would like to come to those houses which are richly decorated with Muggulu.
Image credits to my friends Kavitha,Manasa,Kalyani
Gobbemmalu ,Gobbilla patalu
Like there is no proper English word for Muggu ,there is no proper English word for Gobbemma .There cones and pyramids made of cattle dung .They are used to decorate the designs. Girls clap and dance aroundnthem singing songs. The main content of songs is praying Goddess Lakshmi for a good husband . (Whatever a girl does before a marriage is to get a best husband and after marriage is for longevity of the husband while guys do not need anything like this. ) As much as i hate the idea of praying for
a husband ,i love the rhythm and rhyming of the songs . If you want to hear them ,click here ..
HelIo buddies!! I really can not tell you how much I am enjoying the response coming for my wedding series.
This is the 2nd day ,that is one day before marriage .I was given lot of time to make arrangements for the big day while everyone in the house were moving annoyingly busy . I was actually rather cool and had to face many questions for that as if that was sin to be a bride and be cool at the same time . As everyone would expect the house was quite chaotic ,everyone was running around half of them did not even know what they were doing …
I did multiple things throughout the day .I helped them decorate things used for wedding . I tried on few things like the basket I will be sitting in on the wedding day . ( am i making sense ? O.K. You will understand in next post ) . My other duty was getting constant updates from my husband about their journey to our place.
My marriage happened at a very small town in which my grandparents from both sides lived .My in laws live at Hyderabad .The distance is around 260 km . Everyone got boosted up with excitement by 6 in the evening, shouting ” Ohhhh.!!!!They are near by ,they are just few mins away..” . They reached our place by around 7 pm.
We have a welcome ceremony called “Edurkollu ” ,which is welcoming Groom and his family with refreshments and then there will be a Puja. We booked 2 halls for wedding at one hall this ceremony took place.
By the time they arrived everyone left me with a young sister at home . I was called later at 9 .
When i reached the venue ,i was ushered to a room . Then I saw ‘him’ and God . I started getting palpitations . It is not like i saw ‘him’ for the first time or anything .I had known him for more then 8 months and we met exactly a week before .But the marriage had some effect on me I think. Seeing him suddenly in traditional attire ( like ‘let’s get started with this’ kinda look.)
made me elated and anxious at the same time.
There were some more rituals ,some more Puja. Our families presented clothes and gifts to each other. The whole process took
some 2hrs. Then the time for dinner ,which was arranged in some other Hall.
We arranged one traditional Telangana cultural program known as ‘ Oggu Katha ‘. It is one of the fine arts that belong to the region which is known to very few people. When we were planning the wedding, decided to incorporate some local ,neglected
art or cultural form rather than fancy ,famous forms like Orchestra or bollywood dance. My parents saw this at a temple program and thought this as impressive. They had difficult time in tracing those artists . They inquired at many places,finally my father found them with help of his previous students . ( It is always best to be a teacher ,you will have thousands of old students and at least half of them will be really happy to help ) .That is how we hired these people who had done a spectactular performance of singing ,playing some instrument,dancing and acrobats . The performance lasted for 20mins at that place and as all the guests were walking to go to dinner The dancer’s gang preceded them continuing their performance.
I reached home at 12 am after dinner ,drifted into sleep reminding myself that the next day by the same time I would be a married woman.
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If you missed my first 2 posts of wedding series ,find them down below .
Hello everyone Happy new year 2016 .Hope you had a wonderful year end and a blasting new year. I welcomed new year with a terrible migraine . I will be staying at a rural rehabilitation center away from Hyderabad for next 2 months. Really do not know about the connectivity here , hopefully, I will stay in touch with all of you.
My new year celebrations are also with the patients in the rehab center.The design in the above photo is made by them.
The festival ‘Sankranthi’ is celebrated with bright colors and amazing designs in A.P and Telangana.Every woman becomes an artist trying to recreate rainbows on roads. Once the celebrations of December 31 and January 1 became popular they were also Telugized by incorporating the theme into the designs.By the way the design is known as ‘Muggu’ in Telugu similar to the one Rangoli in Hindi.
Usually, women from many middle-class families spend the time 12:00 am of Jan 1st by drawing these. Whole January roads will be drenched in colors Once I came to Hyderabad .sightings of the designs became few, I hope to find more this season as I will be staying in a rural area.
Once again Happy new year to all, has a fantastic year.
Hi guys !!!!The response to the first post of this series has been amazing and I am really thrilled by it .I got many mails and personal messages as my comments were not working. I have made few corrections ,hope they are working now .
So as i told you we have really very long ,too many rituals because of which i needed 2 parts for the first day itself .So this is the 2nd part.If you missed the first part you can read it here .
So By the time ‘Thalambralu ‘ preparation was over ,I was left exhausted .In the afternoon there was nothing much to do ,but they were not going to leave me alone . It was time for ‘mehendi’ .We do not have any separate ceremony dedicated to ‘Mehendi’ . But these days people are trying to have ‘Mehendi’ , ‘Sangeeth’ .ceremonies mostly due to their popularity and due to influence of bollywood films &Hindi films. Some of our relatives even asked us whether we were arranging anything . But we did not want it . When we have too many on our own ,why imitate ?
So where was i? OK OK back to my mehendi program. As we do not have anything related to it ,there was no specific time for it .But as my schedule was extremely tight ,the only free afternoon we had to give for that poor mehendi girl who was hanging around for a chance.
By the time I am done with 2hand and 2 feet ( God !!How tiring it is to sit in particular angles for hours ) i was finished leaving few sprains in the body.Then it was time for getting ready for the evening programs.
As i was telling in the first post some of the rituals are just special to a certain area .One of those kinds is ‘Uru chuttu'(which simply means encircling the village) for our and nearby other villages .It is like a Baarath where the celebrating family encircles the village along with relatives and band .It will be there for everything like naming ceremony,engagements,marriage (for a single marriage at least 5-7 uruchuttus happen).
So in ‘Katnala uruchuttu’ close relatives of the bride /groom will encircle the village carrying the gifts which were about to be given to the bride/groom’s family .The bride will be waiting for them at her place ( In this case meeee waiting for them to hand over me giftssss!!!!!!!!!Yayyyyyyy!! )
One confession here… I had been dreaming of getting married since the age of 10 ,just and just to receive Gifts. I always used to dream about the day when i am in the middle of a pool of gifts with a scissors in hands.
As i told you each marriage will have min of 5 uruchuttus. In the night i am taken by foot to circle the village and i am supposed to go into houses of whoever invites..I mean relatives.They will call the bride in, get her some sweet to eat,give her clothes and take some snaps .
I read somewhere that this came from one previous custom of inviting bride to each of relative’s house from 1 month prior to the marriage .Then the relatives used to give her special massage and bath ,traditional feast and clothes. This would make her look healthy and well nourished by the time of marriage. But later like everything else in the world this process also was condensed into a short one .
That night it was 1 am by the time i reached home and slept peacefully .
This is the ending of the first day…I hope i am not boring you with too much info.
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India is a country where for every 10kms culture, traditions, lifestyle and language ( accent at least) change. I have always wondered about the amount and frequency of the Diversity found here. Take Marriage, for example, though it has an equal and undeniable significance in every part of of India, the rituals and customs considerably vary.
So, I wanted to dedicate few posts for my typical’ Telugu wedding ‘. There are always region, caste, subcaste variations. We have important event schedule for 5 days.
MANGALA SNANAM :
The day started early by 6 in the morning. Before bath there was a small program called KOTLAM in which all the female members of our family do something and sprinkle rice flour on heads of bride and her parents. In Kuladevatha which is the next program all the family Gods and Goddesses are invited for wedding .They are supposed to stay in house until released by another ceremony after marriage.
Mangala snanam resembles “Haldi’ of north Indian wedding ,only thing is this is a secret ceremony for women as the bride will be almost naked (aaaaa). Elderly women massage bride with oil and a specially prepared powder ( made of chana Dal ,turmeric and few other ingredients) .This is a ceremony meant for bringing glow to the bride’s skin.Then they give oil massage to head and wash hair with soapnut (ritha).But these days everyone is using shampoos.
As I am very shy and adamant girl I did not allow any one to touch me or be with me ,my aunt managed to send everyone back and allowed me to do all the things by myself ;She stood outside the bedroom door and intermittently shouted some instructions.
One traditional bangle woman who descended from a bangle seller family is called home .She comes with a huge bangle collection mostly glass bangle (matti gajulu in Telugu ) .After doing some kind of Puja she will her self hand those bangles to me .Literally she will push bangles onto my arms.
We are supposed to wear only green bangles made of glass .
Then I need to give green bangles to all the married female relatives .
During the ceremony there will be preparation of ‘Thalambralu’ .These are the yellow colored rice which bride and groom pour over other in a playful event . The same is used by elders to drop on bride and groom’s head during marriage as a part of blessing them.This is made by mixing turmeric powder and oil to rice.
The day is actually very long that i decided to dedicate two posts as i am getting exhausted.
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Hello friends!!!!!!!!Day before yesterday was Karthika pournami . That is the full moon day of the month Karthikamasam.
The day is important for both Lord Shiva and Vishnu .Lord Vishnu killed a rakshas called Jalandhara and Lord Shiva killed Thripurasura on the same day . So it is celebrated for both . I have no personal interest in any of the story or worship ;What i am more interested is the celebration at our home town . I was ( as well as my parents ) born in a small town called Dharmapuri ( current location Telangana) on the bank of river Godavari. It is a famous pilgrimage site in Telangana and some border districts of Maharashtra. Many of the major festivals are celebrated very brightly here. (Read about the festival called Bathukamma ,here ) .
For Karthika pournami a place called Koneru (temple’s water tank or reservoir ) is decorated with lamps (diya) everywhere.
It is a site which holds breath for few seconds . I really feel very excited for being able to take part in it many times , though not this time . I just wanted to share few pictures with you.
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Hello friends !!! When i was in my Graduation ,i used to spend half of my pocket money on books. On first week of every month it was almost a ritual to show up at the book store . To save money for books , I never used to go for restaurants or films . Along with the books of medicine I used to complete at least 100 other books per year ( excluding 150-200magazines) . I read every kind of book but mysteries,thrillers and romantic ones are my fav. Later I realized that I only wanted to keep biographies , histories ,self help and some humorous books . I never looked at regular romance or mystery books for the second time . Alternatively I tried buying second hand or borrowing . Books of new authors are not usually available that way .
Once I discovered E books it changed my life entirely , I can just carry my Tab . At any given point of time , I have something like 300-400 books in my Tab . That means,if i need some text book that is with me ,if I get bored and feel like reading a comic ,just in between my busy O.P (Out patients ) I can find it handy. I can not tell you how much I love the experience.
Though I find it very distressing at the beginning for reading from a bright screen , I got habituated later.But most recently I have been taking the full advantage of my Tab ,that is with Bookbub.
Bookbub is a website which offers you daily offers on major E book apps. So that a book which usually costs around 300-400 bucks , for a limited period ,you can get for free or on discounted price.
Using is simple ,first you need to get registered with your E mail ID, then the site will ask you to select from your favorite genres and authors . That is it ,you will get daily deals on books from different sources . I use Amazon and Kobo readers.
I have collected almost 300+ books in a span of one month . I like reading books of up coming authors , but I can not risk my money on them , If I am not sure . This site helps me with that . I have read few cozy mysteries , which I do not consider reading again . I got some memoirs and biographies as well ,which I will save without deleting for future. Though you do not get much famous books , for people like me ,it is definitely advantageous. Most of my friends signed up after I told them about this.
Hope you also find this useful…..Just click this link BookBub ( I am not paid for this,I just kept it for your convenience ) .
Happy sunday friends !! Since the beginning of Navarathri my heart i have been brooding over the fact that i could not be part of ‘ Bathukamma celebrations ‘ this time . I f you do not belong to Telangana or AP states , there are few chances of having heard about ‘Bathukamma ‘ .But for us it’s a part of our lives . No one can separate Telangana and Bathukamma from each other . No wonder when the Telangana movement ( Before separation from AP ) was in full bloom Bathukamma was played everywhere regardless of season .President of an organization ‘TELANGANA JAGRUTHI’ MP Kavitha has penetrated the masses ,could reach and flatter many women hearts during the movement by organizing many nonseasonal Bathukamma events and encouraging local women to participate in them. Then the events were organized at many temples, schools ,colleges even offices .Her gracious presence in each of those places with Bathukamma had won crores of hearts .There was no meeting , no rally or strike where Bathukamma was not celebrated .Bathukamma has almost become an icon for Telangana .
I know I am going into too much of politics . I have no interest in them . My love for Bathukamma began in my childhood . As by the age of 4 or 5yrs ( as far as i remember )we are allowed to and ordered to take part in it. Before going into all the things let me give you a short (hi)story .
Bathukamma is not just a festival for women. It is a festival to worship feminity in the nature ,where flowers represent women.Mythological story tells about Goddess Gouri after feeling humiliated by Lord Shiva’s comments on her dusky complexion , prayed for Brahma who eventually gave her a golden color . That is why in the center of every Bathukamma there will be a turmeric lump representing her . There is another story of a King who was desperate for kids but all his male new born babies end up dying . He requests all nearby saints to bless him with a heir .So when the Queen gives birth to a baby girl ,all saints come to bless her ‘Bathukamma’ ( literally means ‘long live amma’ ) .
The typical bathukamma
various sizes and shapes
It is celebrated for 9 days .The first day is called ‘Boddemma’, the last day is ‘Saddula Bathukamma’ . Everyone of the household will be busy for those 9 days. It starts in the morning all old children and teenagers are sent to market to buy heaps of flowers . After a short siesta the real work starts . First thing is preparing Bathukamma ;it is an art . Flowers arranged in various rows in a cone shape.It actually takes more than 2 hrs .Second stage is making a snack. It is not that simple cause you have to for at least 20 people and you have to make one special item each day . Third is getting ready for celebration. In childhood it was almost like a fashion parade for me. Mom used to pick one kind of dress for each day like midi one day ,parikini one day ,frock ,saree,half saree etc etc .
Once everything is done by around 5 in the evening , women and children with Bathukamma and snack boxes in hands start for the venue .In our place it is the bank of the river’Godavari’ . Where everyone will gather to divide themselves into small groups who arrange all their respective Bathukammas and snack boxes in a circle ;start playing around it singing lovely songs.
The songs seemed to me really playful in childhood but now when i think about them i can find stories , histories (mainly of Kakthiya Dynasty) ,mythology ,anthropology in them . They pass from one generation to other . My grandmother taught me few.
While the women sang songs and played ‘Bathukamma’ in circles , kids run and play in sand. With the creeping darkness , they would declare end of that day’s session . That would be a great news for us as we get to have snacks . Women with help of elderly children walk into the waters of the river ‘Godavari’ to release ‘Bathukamma’ ,then they ask children to go in batches to distribute the snacks they prepared . Everyone gets chance to taste snacks of everyone else . Boy!! It was like a huge feast . And this happens daily . No wonder used to get craving for the festival throughout the year .
It is so sad to say that becoming a doctor has ruined my festival. These days i hardly get chance to go down to my place.
I spent all these navarathri days in guilt and gloom . I really hope to participate at least in next ‘Bathukamma’
Photo courtesy – my buddies Manasa and Kavitha .Thank you babies!!!!!!!
If you guys are interested in watching a visual on Bathukamma there are many videos.One of it is linked below
” Few years ago there was a ‘ mad woman ‘ who was a wandering lunatic . She could never speak nor beg . She used to eat things picked up from a municipality dustbin , and sleep with stray dogs & pigs . Children used to torment her and adults used loathe her .
One day she came to a town where a noble cobbler was living . He took pity on her and started feeding her . His wife supported him and they took her to their hut and started looking after her . A responsible local paper journalist came to know about the story and published it in his paper .
A psychiatrist’s wife noticed the news and spoke to her husband . The hospital in which the psychiatrist works took an initiative to locate her and treat her freely . She was admitted and treated in the private psychiatric hospital for a year and she improved .
She turned out to be a graduate from a decent family .They searched for her family but family refused her .
The noble cobbler accepted her as his god given daughter and gave shelter again . She was moved and tried to help him . So she got a temporary post in a government school and now she a teacher there ”
A fairy tale where everyone is happy in the end , isn’t it? But this ‘too good to be true ‘ story is a real story . The lady’s name is Amuda . The cobbler who supported her is Venkateshwarlu . The hospital is our hospital ASHA PSYCHITRIC HOSPITAL , which is biggest psychiatric hospital in private sector in A.P and TELANGANA .
The theme for this year’s World Mental Health day is ” DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH” .There is lot more in mental health than just stress or depression about which everyone fancies to talk . But when it comes to really showing some dignity nobody does.The cobbler Venkateshwarlu in spite of his poverty , lack of education did something just out of humanity.He ,probably, had never heard about world mental health day .
For this day we actually celebrated mental health week and conducted may awareness programs . We asked one international player ( the player’s mother has been under treatment of our hospital for past few years ) to be our ambassador for this week ,hoping that celebrities would bring more of propaganda. Not so surprisingly they turned us down at final moment ( probably due to fear of exposure ). It is one example to tell that education or social profile have nothing to do with the actual awareness .
So this time we decided to arrange some felicitation to Venkateshwarlu for proving that humanity still exists .
There was also a skit depicting the same story .( Screenplay , dialogues , direction ,make up and main role by me , me, me, me, me ) . The skit was liked by everyone ( I tried to make the dialogues as heart melting as possible ) Some even cried at the end.
Most of the audience told me that i exactly looked and acted like a patient ( I am not sure whether it is a compliment or a humble way to say that you are a crack )
I am really happy with the response for the programs and to be part of it . My senior consultants were really cooperative and whatever i told them as a director. I was soooo stubborn as a director and did not allow anyone to touch or change my dialogues.
The program went really well and i want to thank everyone..