Friday, July 17, 2015

Indian Railways: Achievements & Initiatives!

I was thrilled to receive an email from the Ministry of Railways, two weeks back, outlining about their Achievement & Initiatives. And felt a sense of pride and belonging upon reading their ebook (here is the link: and here is the email message I received :

Dear Passenger,
I am very happy to bring to you an E book highlighting the achievements and initiatives of Indian Railways in the past one year. This book also includes the way forward in brief under the segment -'The track ahead'.
I would urge you to take some time and go through the document for insights into what we have been trying to do for the betterment of railway services.

Your comments and suggestions are very welcome and may be sent on the following email id-
With best wishes,
Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu
Minister of Railways

Thanks to the complete team of Indian Railways for their vision and dedication!
Yes, I do definitely see tremendous change brough about by the Indian Railways. Personally having witnessed this change and am happy about it! Take a look at the e book at the below link:

Did you know?
Indian Railway's is the world's largest utility employer in the world - 1.6 million people work for it!

Akshaya Patra - Education for All !

Yesterday, I came across a NGO which does a great noble deed of helping feed the young children in schools and it is  known as Akshaya Patra. Immediately, I was convinced about their goals and have joined their campaign of feeding over 1.3 million children across over 10,000 government schools every day!

Why do we need to donate?

-          Up to 25 per cent of infants are born with low birth weight, which makes them predisposed to malnutrition and disease
-          The roots of malnutrition lie in poverty, lack of education and inequality, so these problems need to be addressed with urgency.

Let us change this!

Why do we need to donate to this NGO? Check out some of the facts related to Akshaya Patra:
- Akshay Patra got ICAI Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the year 2012-13. 
- Since 1958, only 3 organizations (all categories) have been qualified to appear in the Hall of Fame (ICAI): Infosys, Nucleus Software and The Akshaya Patra Foundation. Amongst NGOs Akshay Patra is the first.
- As of now, serving wholesome food to over 1.4 million children from 10,661 schools across 10 states in India. Mission is to reach 5 Million by 2020. You can help the remaining ones.
- With the Target set for this campaign, about 1466 children can get meal for one whole year.
- Contribute Rs 750 (or multiple of Rs 750) to sponsor meals for one child (or multiple children) for a year
- Check how is your money spent:
- You get a 100% Tax Exemption Certificate. Check why to donate:

A mother’s love is considered the purest form of love. That’s the kind of love that goes into making our food too. Watch our latest video, and share it with your friends. A Morsel Of Love By Akshaya Patra

Do you know? For every donation of just Rs 750/-, a child is fed a healthy, tasty mid-day meal every school day, for an entire year!

So here are some questions we need to ask ourselves:
- How much does a Pizza cost? Rs. 150 – 800 ?
- How much does a weekend movie cost? Rs. 250 – 1000?
- What is the cost of the latest mobile? Rs. 5000 – 60,000?
- How much does our child's Birthday party and toys cost us? Rs. 2000 – 2,00,000

- Can we save some money to feed a child for a year?  DEFINITELY YES!

Akshaya Patra’s  mission is to provide ‘Food for Education’ to 5 million children by 2020. But we can only do that with your help.

This is my mission; your mission; our mission and India’s mission!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Godavari Pushkaralu

The Godavari Pushkaralu have started on July 14, and will be celebrated until July 25, along the banks of river Godavari, in the cultural town  of Rajamundry. Hordes of people are visiting the ghats to take a dip and wash away their sins.  My parents too, are heading to Rajamundry, next week to take a dip in the holy waters of river Godavari. 
The river Godavari is the second longest revier in India (after river Ganga) It originates near Nashik, Maharashtra.
The Godavari Pushkaram is a festival celebrated once in every 12 years, when the transition of the planet, Jupiter (Brihaspathi) into Simha Rasi (Leo) These 12 days: from July 14 - 25 are known as Aadhi Pushkaram.

Every once in 144 years, Maha Kumbhmela occurs. And this year the Pushkaralu are occurring after 144 years, which makes it all the more special and significant.
 Caution: To all those who are visiting the Godavari Pushkaralu,please be safe. Take care of yourself and do not rush into the waters. 

Why Recyle?

Do you want to save the earth ? Then, I would highly encourage you to recyle! Here is an insight into the need for wasting less and recycling more!

All About

Source:Reusable Bags

Baahubali – a rage or a craze!

Out of curiosity, I watched the movie, Baahubali, last weekend, as my husband commented that it was a rage!
And was amazed at the magnanimous visuals of this movie. No wonder, this movie has become a craze or rather a rage in India and around the world!
The main cast....
Onerous task!

Here are some interesting facts about Baahubali, which may convince you to watch this blockbuster movie:
1)     It is the most expensive film produced in the history of Indian cinema – Rs. 200 crore! Everything about this film is made on a grand scale…
2)     The film’s poster unveiled in Kochi, Kerala is the largest poster in the world and thus has created a Guinness world record!
3)     The film was released on July 10, 2015 and beating all records, the film made Rs.165 crores (US $ 26 million) within the first three days of release.
4)     In US, it collected a massive $1.3 million just on the first day!
5)     It is the highest earning Indian movie!
6)     The principal photography for this film began at Rock Gardens in Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh on July 6, 2013.
7)     The director of the movie, SS Rajamouli, shot the waterfall sequence (the most appealing scene) for the movie for 109 days.
8)     The trailer of this movie, released on June 1, 2015 received 1 crore views, on You Tube.
9)     The film's satellite television telecast rights have been sold for a reported Rs 25 crore, the highest for a Telugu film ever. 
10) Lahari, a Bengaluru based audio company have secured the audio rights (for the nine songs) of the film in Telugu and Tamil languages for Rs. 3 crore.  The highest amount paid ever for any Telugu or Tamil film!

Note: 1 crore = 157, 000 USD (approximate)

Amazing grandiose!

Reference: The Times of India, Wikipedia.

The ‘coolest’ summer meal!

It’s summer time! Happy, vacation times for the kids.

During our childhood days, in summer, we always travelled to our maternal uncle’s place in Andhra Pradesh. The train journey from Goa to Vizag itself  took a day and a half.

Invariably, we had to buy lunch the next day at one of the train stations, though my mother used to pack a lot of snacks for us to keep us busyJ. I remember vividly that every time, on the  next day of our journey, we bought thali meal (rice with dal and other side dishes), pulihora and daddojanam  packets at Hubli station. My mother always ensured that the daddojanam packets were on the list. Thus, I was introduced to the special dish – daddajonam, curd rice with seasoning!
The coolest dish!

Being a South Indian, I invariably end my lunch (whenever I am at home) and dinner with rice mixed with curd and a dab of salt – it is a custom in my family and I continue to follow it, diligently!

As the temperatures are soaring - 26 degrees centigrade and upwards, this is an apt time to resort to the one pot meal – daddadojanam. Preparing this dish is rather simple. Curd (the natural unsweetened variety) is mixed with rice and salt. It is seasoned with mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, red chillies, green chillies (in moderation!) and a pinch of asafoetida.  Lo – your cool and complete meal is ready! Sometimes pomegranate seeds are added to this dish too, to render a sweet taste. This dish is the most preferred meal to be packed and taken on long journeys especially a train journey…..As it remains unspoilt for around 8-10 hours.

Most of the South Indian households make curd (called yogurt too – the unsweetened version) at home. It is a sort of tradition. I too prefer to make curd at home as it is more healthy and economical!
Curd rice or yogurt rice, known as Daddojanam in Telugu is also offered as prasadam (holy offering to devotees) in some of the temples. It is known as Thayir (curd) sadam (rice) in Tamil and Thayiru in Malayalam. A blended curd rice dish has been mentioned even in Rigveda (one of the most ancient  written texts in the world) as kaaramba.

The microflora in curd replenish those in the lower intestine, thus aiding the digestion process and warding off infections.  Indeed, a very healthy dish! No wonder it is sometimes referred to as jewel rice!

Curd rice eaten alongwith a dab of pickle is true comfort food!! Nothing seems to be more satiating than this wonderful dish on a hot afternoon. I simply adore this meal!
On the path to Food Nirvana…..

 “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” - Albert Einstein