Tuesday 24 May 2016


-Dhriti Mohan Sarma.

It is believed that we have evolved from apes, an alteration or "defect"  in our genes that pushed our ancestors to take a different path of evolution, thus landing us where we are. This defect has pushed us quite astray from other cousins of ours. While they are still running wild in the jungles (and some in zoos), this species, technically termed as Homo sapiens, just went out of their way to proclaim themselves as the master of this planet. And after one million years of evolution here we stand, calling ourselves the Human Beings and indulging in almost every inhuman task possible.

When I was in primary school we were told that human beings are social animals. That means unlike other animals that are concerned only of eating and mating, we humans have other concerns, most of these concepts being invented by us. Just as hyenas, we live in packs, where every member has an important role to play. But since we are social beings, the pack was termed as society, I guess. And, with time, developed all those over the top complicated systems that define our societies today. We developed terminologies, rules, positions in the pack (read society) that were to define our “society”. One such position or relation is Friend.

Almost all of us have friends- at least we think we do. Friends are quite integral part of our life, sometimes influencing our lives to an extent that is not quite acceptable to our family. Now I don’t think I need to go on about describing what friend and friendship is all about. There are tons of books, songs, clips, whatsapp videos etc, etc that have immortalized the bonds of friendship. So rather let’s get directly to the core of the topic-(drum roll please): Does friendship really exist, or is it just another myth which we don’t want to acknowledge as one???

As we go from one phase of life to another, we get different set of "friends." From chocolate sharing wala to the peg sharing wala friend, we have seen them all. But how many of them remains in touch with us as we move on with our life. In this materialistic world it doesn't take much of a time for relations to turn sour. Everyone guards their egos with their life and this in turn has taken toil on our social lives. Friendship is no longer a sacred bond that was epitomized by Shree Krishna and Sudhama in The Mahabharata. In most of the cases today, friendship is that union among individuals that exist may be because of a common passion, hatred or maybe just for thrill. No doubt even today we find tales of friendship which have moved many to tears. But such friendship is as rare as the four leafed clover-you are lucky if you find one. In today's world you are welcome in a place as long as you are profitable to it.

So what shall we do? Should we pass our whole life in complete solitude, not accepting any friendship proposals? Should we shut ourselves from all the fun and adventure that the life throws at us? NO. Rather, embrace everything that life throws at you, accepting life as it goes on, but with caution. Get into relationships, and give your best in it. Let's not worry about others role in it. Make sure that you do complete justice to the bond that you have established. And even after that if it doesn't work out, be strong enough to move on, for the menu of life has tons of desserts and it would be a shame if you miss any. So is friendship a mirage?? Maybe no. Maybe yes, but at times of great despair, even a mirage can give us that impulse to continue on which may be life saving. So live your life full on, make new friends, party hard, laugh harder, help everyone without expecting any thing in return .  Good luck

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Monday 23 May 2016

Basic Personality Development Tips

- Manisha Malhotra.

What makes us click? What is that one thing that makes people look at us and think,Damn, I wanna talk to this person.
No. It’s not just a pretty face.
It’s our personality.

Have you heard the above sentence in straight forward or slightly dubious ways?
Yeah well. It happens to the best of us.
Many a times we are surrounded by people or situations that require us to behave in a certain manner and we have absolutely no idea how to do that.
Do I hold the spoon this way? Shall I place the fork back? Oh dear, salmon? Am I supposed to cut it down or sideways?

This iconic scene from my favourite movie series has got everything to do with wizards, manners and food. I love Ronald Weasley. I absolutely adore his na├»ve and silly way of looking at things but in this scene, as cute as he is, boy you ain’t got no manners! Were I to be at a corporate dinner or were some aristocrat or even some SoHo family were to invite me to dinner and should I eat the chicken this way. I’d be dead.

This is what people sitting with me would probably think. It isn’t just dining etiquette. There’s phone manners and the way you speak, walk, move and all that there is to your exterior appearance as well as interior.
Yes. You read it right. Personality includes interior traits as well. So here’s a quick guide to exuding confidence a great personality.
1. Be positive.

I know. I know. There are some days where we just wake up feeling groggy, tired and as if it just isn’t our day.
We’ve got to deal with it. From the moment we get out of bed to the one where get back into it, we should be able to keep up our positive vibes.
Vibes are real. If we are positive and happy, people around us will feel that. They’ll smile just by looking at that broad smile on our faces!

2. Dress Well.

No. I don’t expect everybody to wake up looking like Serena Van Der Woodsen or Blair Waldorf. Nobody wakes up a high end chic blogger.
But you can make it your day! Open your closet and pull out what makes you comfortable. I wouldn’t ask you to simply wear pyjamas but make an effort. Look good and you’ll feel good!
Don’t overdo fashion on a daily basis. Yes, it is important to look good but in my opinion, keep it classy and simple.

3. Be Polite.

Being nice isn’t going to kill you. Trust me, everybody likes polite people. It’s not just about not using swear words. It is about having a general mannerism in speaking to people. Once we learn to not react but act, we will automatically learn how to be polite.
Just a little thank you, a little “please” before asking for something. It makes you a better person.

4. Open your mind.

Open your mind to possibilities. Open it to people. Let thoughts flow. Let good energy flow through.
Another aspect of this is that we must always learn to accept situations. It isn’t necessary to be negative and constantly cursing our luck. We should accept things and deal with them.
And if there’s a person who’s different than what you are, it is important to make them feel accepted. I’m not saying that if somebody’s doing pot in front of you, you go join them. But don’t make them feel like a total outsider.
This adds to your personality.

5. Read.

I cannot stress on this point enough. It is extremely important to read go build ones aptitude. A book a day keeps dumbness away!
People with slow understanding or even the ones who cannot understand simple quotes from classic or popular books are a big turn off for many people! One can, in fact, build their respect in the community just by reading enough books. Let me tell you one thing people, if you shy away from reading, whether it is books, magazines or even newspapers, it’ll be difficult for you to find common ground with people in your fields who’ve got significant achievements to their credit.
So anybody who’s somebody in their field, reads.
Trust me. They read a lot. In fact, some even write.

That’s all the rambling I’m going to do for today. But yeah, definitely let me know in the comments below if you liked this post, I can follow up with more.
Questions and suggestions are welcome.


Sunday 22 May 2016

Meet Julia Vins: The Muscle Barbie

- Pratap Kumar Das.

Impressed?? Shocked?? Or Mystified??

Call her the lady hulk, muscular Barbie or a stunning supergirl. A small glimpse of her is enough to catch your attention. Beautiful Russian girl Yulia Viktorovna Vins, or Julia Vins as she is known in the online bodybuilding and powerlifting communities, was born on 21st May, 1996 in the city of Engels, Russia. She is a powerlifter who is going viral all over the net.

Saturday 21 May 2016


- Sidharth Sharma and Gitartha Kashyap.

Sarbjit: A poignant tale of captivity, spoiled by loads of melodrama!

Cast- Randeep Hooda, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Richa Chadda, Darshan Kumar

Direction- Omung Kumar

Verdict- 3/5

Last week witnessed the release of one of the highly anticipated biopics- 'Azhar', which was based on the life of tainted Indian Cricketer, Mohammed Azharuddin. This week, another biopic- 'Sarbjit' has taken the box office by storm. Warped on the life of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian farmer who was feloniously convicted by a Pakistani Court on charges of Terrorism and Spying, 'Sarbjit' promises to be an excruciating tale of incarceration. But will be the film be even close to what has been promised by the trailer, or will it be another 'Azhar'? Read on to find out.

Indian filmmakers still have a long way to go when it comes to mastering the art of making biopics. While 'Azhar' was a commercial venture vitiated by manipulated facts, but saved by Hashmi's performance, 'Sarbjit' is a much more veristic approach on the subject matter. However, 'Sarbjit' couldn't save itself from falling into the clutches of melodrama, which dilutes the tension created in the first few scenes!

One fateful night, Sarbjit (Hooda), a squiffed farmer from Punjab, crosses the India-Pak border and is wrongfully convicted by a Pakistani Court on charges of Terrorism and Spying. The movie focuses on his sister Dalbit (Aishwarya), who boils the ocean to set her brother free. But will her efforts pay off?

If you happen to be a telly addict, you might know that an episode, loosely based on Sarabjit Singh, was telecast in a famous Crime Show. While the episode was a heart wrenching narrative adapted for the 'U' audiences, its silver screen counterpart depicts the harsh conditions Sarbjit is subjected to. The screenplay starts off on a brilliant note, making you commiserate for Hooda. Gradually, the film strikes a different note, becoming loud and irritating in certain parts, giving you the feel of a 90's film. Same holds true for the dialogues.

However, it is Hooda's jaw-dropping performance, that makes the film worth watching! He is one such actor who can be moulded into anything, such versatility is sure to garner him a lot of accolades. Richa Chadda, who plays Sarbjit's wife in the film, has the least screen time, but she makes her presence felt with an excellent performance. However, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan disappoints a tad with her performance. Being the centre-stage of the film, she does carry the film efficiently on her shoulders. But in certain parts, she goes over-the-top and cringy and couldn't resist herself from overacting! She is best in scenes where she doesn't screech much; she nails it with her silence. Her sibling chemistry with Hooda is best portrayed in scenes, where it doesn't matter much- towards the end. Darshan Kumar (seen in Mary Kom and NH10), as Sarbjit's lawyer, plays his part perfectly and doesn't disappoint.

Kiran Deohans' cinematography deserves an applause. He brilliantly portrays the atmosphere of the dingy cell where Sarbjit is captivated. The film could have been a bit more crisp in terms of editing, but nevertheless, it is not so disappointing.

Director Omung Kumar lacks the finesse he had displayed in Mary Kom. He could've thought of better methods of depicting struggle and protests, rather than just shrills. Rather than making the film a platform for Aishwarya to display her skills, he should have given proper emphasis on the narrative, which lacks the punch!

Final Verdict- If not anything, then watch it for Hooda's excellent performance!

Friday 20 May 2016

Assam Election: Changing the course of history, the first saffron state of NE India.

- Sayantan Paul and Naba Raj Chetri.

Here is a detailed analysis of everything you got to know about this election.
Big losses-
i)    Badruddin Ajmal (AIUDF) to Wajid Ali Choudhury (INC) by 16723 in South salmara.
ii)  Pradyut Bordoloi (INC) to Bhaskar Sharma (BJP) by 22744 in Margherita.
iii) Bithika Dey (INC) to Dr.Dilip Paul (BJP) by 39920 in Silchar.
iv) Goutam Roy(INC) to Suzam Uddin Laskar (AIUDF) by 15084 in Katlicherra.
v) Akon Bora (INC) to Atul Bora(BJP) by 1,30,197 in Dispur.

Big wins-
i) Himanta Biswa Sharma (BJP) by 85935 votes in Jalukbari.
ii) Sarbananda Sonowal (BJP) by 18923 in Majuli.
iii) Atul Bora (BJP) by 1,30,197 in Dispur.
iv) Praffula Kumar Mohanto (AGP) in Barhampur.
v) Brindaban Goswami (BJP) in Tezpur.
vi) Siddharth Bhattacharjee (BJP) by 96637 in east Guwahati.
Result : BJP- 61, AGP- 14, BPF- 12, Congress- 26, AIUDF-13, Others- 1

New trends seen in this election-
1) This was BJPs first success in North-east...they managed to get 61 seats in the state almost covering majority by themselves which is very impressive considering the fact, they grew from merely 5 in 2011.
2) A dream of Congress free India has advanced a step forward as in this election they suffered a heavy loss decreasing from 78 in 2011 to just 25 this time, besides losing out Kerala too.
3) Another new trend that has been seen in this election was in most of minority dominated constituencies a fierce battle was really between the INC and the AIUDF which is believed to have benefited BJP alliance a lot.
4) Barak valley, where it was expected that BJP will find it tough to get seats actually managed to wrestle 8 out 15...a very impressive show, making it clear the saffron party's mass appeal.
5) Another very good indication of this election is the active participation of people in decision making this time which is an important aspect of democracy...phase 1 recorded 81.84% and phase 2 recorded 87.19....overall 84.64. People were assertive of the fact that they wanted change.
6) The tea tribes that constitute 17% of Assam's population and are traditionally the Congress's vote bank this time voted heavily for the BJP. As someone said "The chaiwala captured the heart of the chai producers"
7) Districts where the BJP alliance had a clean sweep- Nalbari, Kamrup metro, Sonitpur, Dima hasao, Kokrajhar, Chirang, Udalguri, Baksa, Dibrugarh.
People are now expecting very highly from the new government, they ought to live by the high hopes they have shown.
Meanwhile the Congress lost yet another state in Kerala to the Left, Mamata and Jayalalitha managed to keep the throne for yet another term.
The bottom line remains that, Modis main challenge will now be regional leaders, Congress is ceasing to be the main anti-BJP factor

Monday 16 May 2016

Why there will be one and only one Virat Kohli

The entire stadium erupted into a crescendo of claps and chants of only one name was heard downway upto the main street—‘Kohli, Kohli, Kohli’. The champ raised his arms in customary fashion towards the crowd. This was Virat’s 3rd century in this 9th edition of IPL. History was made and the history-maker was our very own son of the nation.

The captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Virat Kohli broke Robin Uthappa’s record for most runs by an Indian batsman in a single season of the IPL. It took him only 11 innings to do so, five fewer than Uthappa had taken two years ago, and in striking a whirlwind 109 off 55 balls against Gujarat Lions, he became the first batsman in the history of IPL to hit three centuries in a single IPL season. Needless to say the team imposed a crushing defeat on Gujarat winning by a mammoth 144 runs on the back of brilliant twin centuries by their captain and Mr.360, AB de Villiers. RCB need to win all of their remaining matches to stay in contention for a slot in the playoffs and they can surely keep their hopes alive owing to their amazing skipper.

Infact it isn’t a surprise to see that Kohli is in such blistering form this IPL season. This talented batsman entered the ninth season of the IPL with 625 runs in his kitty while playing for India in T20 Internationals this year-including seven half centuries-which is the most for any batsman in this format in a calendar year.

But it hasn’t always been a rosy fairytale for the hard-working batsman. Kohli’s father died on 18 December 2006, when he was had just gone past 18 years, due to brain stroke. Regarding his early life, Kohli had said in an interview, “I’ve seen a lot in life. Losing my father at a young age, the family business not doing too well, staying in a rented place. There were tough times for the family…It’s all embedded in my memory.”He came into the spotlight in December when he decided to play for his team against Karnataka on the day after his father’s death and went on to score 90. He went directly to the funeral after he was dismissed. Delhi captain Mithun Manhas said,” That is an act of great commitment to the team and his innings turned out to be crucial. Hats off to his attitude and determination.” His mother noted that “Virat changed a bit after that day. Overnight he became a much more matured person. He took every match seriously. He hated being on the bench. It’s as if his life hinged totally on cricket after that day. Now he looked like he was chasing his father’s dream which was his own too. According to Kohli, his father supported his cricket training during his childhood, “My father was my biggest support. He was the one who drove me to practice everyday. I miss his presence sometimes.

“The way I approached the game changed that day. I just had one thing in my mind that I have to play for my country and live that dream for my dad.”
__ Kohli on his innings against Karnataka

His biggest moment of glory was in February-March 2008, when Kohli captained the victorious Indian team at the 2008 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in Malaysia. Batting at number 4, he scored 235 runs in 6 matches at an average of 47, and finished as the tournament’s third highest run-getter and one of the three batsmen to score a hundred in the tournament. His century (100 runs from 74 balls) against the West Indies Under-19s in the group stage was called “the innings of the tournament” by ESPNcricinfo. The writing was clear on the wall—“The next batting maestro had arrived.”

In August 2008, Kohli was included in the Indian ODI squad for the tour of Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy in Pakistan. Prior to the Sri Lankan tour, Kohli had played only eight List A matches, and his selection was a “surprise call-up”. He made his international debut, at the age of 19 in the first ODI of the tour and was dismissed for a measly 12 runs. He made his first half-century in the fourth match which helped India win the series. He was made to sit out of the playing XI in the home series against England in November due to a packed middle-order. In December 2008, Kohli was given a Grade D contract by BCCI. Later he was dropped from the squad. He didn’t let this deter him and scored 104 off 102 balls in the final against South Africa Emerging Players at Brisbane to help his team win the match by 17 runs and clinch the title. At the conclusion of the tournament, Kris Srikkanth, the chairman of the national selection committee was highly impressed with Kohli. Kohli himself has called this tournament as the “turning point” of his career. Since then Kohli used to feature regularly in the Indian team playing XI but was an unknown commodity until he scored his first ODI century—107 off 111 balls- sharing a 224-run partnership for the third wicket with Gambhir who made a personal best of 150 during the 4th ODI against Sri Lanka in December 2009. The man of the match award was awarded to Gambhir who gave the award to Kohli. Since then there has been no looking back for Kohli and we have only witnessed a rise in ranks for this brilliant batsman. 

It was only during the ICC ODI World Cup 2011 that the world witnessed Virat’s prowess. Virat made his World Cup debut against Bangladesh when he scored a century but was overshadowed due to Sehwag’s belligerent knock. Though he didn’t play any substantial knock in later games, his partnership with Gambhir during the World Cup 2011 final against Sri Lanka at Wankhede was regarded as ‘one of the turning points in the match’ India went on to lift the World Cup for the first time since 1983.

It was in India’s tour Down Under in December 2011 that he became famous for the wrong reasons. Pictures of him gesturing to the crowd with his middle finger went viral. While no one got into the reasoning of the act, many got onboard to despise him and his unruly behavior. He was fined 50% of his match fees but later he tweeted that it was a burst of the moment act as the crowd were hurling abuses on his mother and sister and God knows what else. He responded with his bat by scoring his maiden Test century of 116 runs in the final test. Though India lost the series 4-0 to Australia, Kohli was described as “the lone bright spot in an otherwise nightmare visit for the tourists.”

Following the Test Series, the Commonwealth Bank triangular series saw Virat’s amazing chasing instinct. Chasing 321 to win against Sri Lanka, India had to reach the target within 40 overs to keep in contention for the finals. Virat went on to score an unbeaten 133 from 86 balls to take India to a comfortable win. Dean Jones said that Kohli’s innings “is up there with one of the greatest ODI knocks of all time”.

The 2012 Asia Cup saw him being appointed as the vice-captain of the Indian ODI team. His breath-taking knock of 183 off 148 balls against Pakistan is a memory very much fresh in the minds of Indian fans. Man of the Match and Man of the Series award ceremonies usually had one man common, VK. Matches and series against top teams went on and Kohli used to plunder runs apart from some hiccups here and there. After the seven-match ODI home series against Australia, Virat moved to the top position in the ICC ODI batsmen rankings for the first time in his career. 

It was during India’s 2014 tour of England that a chink in Virat’s armour was exposed. Kohli was dismissed for single-digit scores on six occasions in the series and was particularly susceptible to the outswinging ball on channel outside off stump, being dismissed several times edging the ball to the wicket-keeper or slip fielders. Virat became Jimmy Anderson’s bunny as Geoff Boycott quoted “Jimmy ate him for breakfast.” He was reaching out for balls and playing away from the body. Kohli’s dismal form continued even in the ODIs. A major frailty in his technique was exposed. Bowlers around the world were licking their lips in delight.


The Indian team had their next few series on their home turf and Kohli found ample cannon fodder in the form of West Indian bowlers as well as Sri Lankans to flex his muscles against. He regained form in these series and made runs. In 2014, he became the second player in the world after Sourav Ganguly to make more than 1000 runs in ODIs for four consecutive calendar years.

During the Australian tour of 2014, Kohli was appointed as captain of the Indian Test side after MS Dhoni unexpectedly announced his retirement midway into the series. The world witnessed Kohli’s gargantuan batting prowess and his aggressive firebrand of cricket created ripples across the cricketing fraternity. His encounters against the fiery Australian bowlers, notably that with Mitchell Johnson became part of cricketing folklore. Kohli’s total in four tests was the most by any Indian batsman in a test series in Australia. Kohli had a good World Cup 2015 where he made some important contributions during the tournament. Fast forward now, it has been a golden run for Virat. People say that he is going through a purple patch in his life. This is the best Virat has batted in his entire career, some say. But a purple patch for more than 12 months at a stretch and still going strong? Well the hero has a different take on it—“It is a conscious effort, to be very honest. It is more like ‘Eat, sleep, train, repeat.’ If you want to be consistent, you need to be boring with your training, your food and your batting habits. You cannot take the sport for granted.” Maybe VK has enearthed a simple yet powerful principle.

The brash young brat who appeared on the scene as a chubby right-handed bat has now amazingly transformed into an epitome of fitness. He is regarded by many as one of the fittest sportsperson in the league of Novak Djokovic. Friends and family salute his immense dedication to fitness and food. Though he loves trying out new food, Virat takes care that he burns off those extra calories if he consumes so. He has a methodical training procedure and even has a gym in his house. And the man he credits for his firness is RCB’s strength and fitness coach, Shankar Basu. Basu himself says that he is in awe of Virat’s fitness.

Glamour and Virat sound synonymous and this handsome Delhi-da munda has a huge fan following all round the world. Girls go gaga over his stunning looks and ripped physique. Dudes try to ape his hairstyles and tattoos. No wonder he has been associated with many beautiful ladies. Earlier he was rumoured to be dating Izabelle Leite, a Brazilian beauty and more recently his relationship with Bollywood hottie, Anushka Sharma has become a more public matter than a private one. Even Daniel Wyatt, a member of England Womens Cricket team went on record to propose Virat for marriage and asked for his hand. Recently he was voted as Times Second most desirable man 2015, the one in which he topped the year earlier.

Virat is now no less than a brand. He is the co-owner of Indian Super League club FC Goa. He is the co-owner of youth Fashion brand ‘WROGN’ which makes men’s casual wear. In 2014, Uk-based magazine SportsPro rated Kohli as the second most marketable athlete in the world behind only Lewis Hamilton In 2015, Virat invested US$13 million to start a gym chain under the name ‘Chisel’. In the same year he became a co-owner of the International Premier Tennis League franchise UAE Royals.

In the midst of all the fame and adulation, most people would find it hard to find some time out from a packed schedule, more so if someone is the most famous Indian cricketer in recent times. Virat may seem to be a tough nut from outside but has a heart of gold. In March 2013, Kohli started a charity foundation called ‘Virat Kohli Foundation’ (VKF). The organization aims at helping underpriviledged kids and conducts events to raise funds for the charity. E-commerce giant, eBay and Save the Children India have joined hands with VKF too to generate funds for upliftment of the needy.

Our lovable cricketing hero has been recently nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest cricketing honour in the nation. We sincerely hope that Virat would add another special laurel to his collection back home. He has been an inspiration for many youngsters in India and around the world. People may call him the next Sachin, but he is the one and only one Virat. Our love is with you champion, and we hope that continue to enthrall us with your amazing acts on and off the field.

*** with inputs from timesofindia, indiatimes.com , wikipedia.com