Friday, February 15, 2013

Celebrating Indian Women Series: # 1

With only 3 weeks to go for International Women’s Day, I have decided to recall and salute the achievements of notable Indian and International (it’s IWD after all) women in my own little way.

Each day I will write about Indian women who have fought all odds, gained recognition through sheer hard work, challenged men in their respective fields and have won many accolades for their accomplishments. 

Some of them also went diametrically against the trend and did what they felt was right! Seriously don’t you think the power of such women should be celebrated?

My posts will not only highlight the recognition part but the hardships and challenges these women had to face, before they became a known face. So here I begin with the first post in this series.

Now, where else would you find famous Indian women but in Bollywood. So that’s my starting point!:) 

And yes, I do not plan to bore you with too much details and gossip. So for that you can always Google or check Wikipedia. I will only highlight trivia, some interesting aspects of these women and what I like about them. 

Today’s post features the beautiful wife of late Sunil Dutt and the mother of Priya and Sanjay Dutt, late Mrs. Nargis Dutt.

Nargis Dutt:

Tidbits: Nargis Dutt was the daughter of a courtesan who began acting in films at a very early age. Several interviews suggest that she was not fond of the fact that she had to work for livelihood from a tender age. She wanted to enjoy her childhood like other common Indian girls of her age.

She rose to fame as a RK Heroine but had the courage to leave the hugely successful RK Films camp, when it was clear to her that she was only a successful business partner for RK, and she would not transform into Mrs. RK ever.
Her passionate relationship with Raj Kapoor(RK) transformed into a sizzling chemistry on screen, which is yet to be re-created in cinema. And it was this chemistry perhaps, that attracted crowds to the theatre, making their films super hits in no time. 

And critics say, with the exit of Nargis, RK’s stint with good films (meaning sensible) ended. Later, he had to use explicit skin show to make his films tick at the BO.

Memorable for: The RK Studios emblem. The emblem is a replica of the poster of Barsaat that features her along with Raj Kapoor.

And her immaculate performance in the Oscar nominated film Mother India. After her death, a street in Bandra, Mumbai has been named in her memory.

What I like about her? Her beautiful large eyes, I feel, have a lot of depth. At one moment you can feel the pain and at the other moment you could see the happiness through her expressive eyes. No other Indian actress had such expressive eyes I feel. (You raise an eyebrow and think what about the Dream Girl? 
Well all I can say is Hema Malini’s eyes are only beautiful, not expressive as Nargis.) There is a 'nasha' in them, and if you look at her eyes for long, you would be totally intoxicated I bet! 
Another person who has similar eyes is Ajay Devgan. Pls check yourself ;)
I also feel she displayed immense courage during her reported liaison with RK, as being an "other woman'' in those days, was a huge taboo in itself. 
Also taking charge of your personal life, after her passionate relationship broke-off, (as reported it was she who proposed marriage to Sunil Dutt) instead of just resigning to fate etc, requires great maturity and courage. 

Other Achievements: After her marriage, she became deeply involved with charity and social work. She is known to have a soft corner for poor children and destitute women. Later, Nargis worked for the cause of spastic children and became the first patron of The Spastics Society of India. She was close to India's First Family of Indira Gandhi. 

Critics Say: According to M.L. Dhawan from The Tribune, "In almost all her films Nargis created a woman who could be desired and deified. The charisma of Nargis’s screen image lay in that it oscillated between the simple and the chic with equal ease."

Trivia: She passed away a few days (May 3 1981) before Sanjay Dutt's debut movie Rocky premiered on May 7, 1981. A seat was left vacant for her during this premiere. 

To learn more about Nargi Dutt, please refer to Wikipedia. 
Pics courtesy: Google

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Celebrate V Day with Indian Belle's First Ever Contest

All of us crave to pamper ourselves and with our schedules becoming erratic more than ever before, therapies and spas have become an absolute must. And what better place to go to indulge in a luxurious therapy, than the Four Fountains Spa!  If you would like to read a review of the fabulous therapies and massages offered by this spa, then please visit here

Four Fountains Spa in association with Indian Belle presents a unique opportunity to all you lovely ladies and power women to rejuvenate and pamper yourself.  

Exciting isn't it? I'm highly excited to present this contest to you as well, since this is the first one in my blog. :) Now, read on to know more about the rules and the terms and conditions of this contest. 

Terms and Conditions: 

  • The contest begins from Friday 8th Feb and ends on 22nd Feb. Yes, the contest will run for 15 days. So that you get plenty of time to think about your answer.
  • You need to answer one simple question. Your answer should be descriptive and it could be as descriptive as you want.
  • There are 2 prizes to be won!
  • The winners will be decided on the basis of the best answers I receive.
  •  The 1st prize is a 1 hour complimentary spa voucher and the 2nd prize is a 30 min spa voucher. 
  • You can send only 1 entry.
  • Email your answers to me at with the subject line TFFS Contest Answer
  • Please do write about spa therapies that include massage, and reflexology etc. You can write about Ayurvedic therapies that are not related to weight loss.
  • Rejuvenation and pampering are the words here. So no other therapies are included.
  • Open to Indian residents only.
  • Please do not write about regular facials done at the neighbourhood parlours.
  • Fictitious accounts of experiences are unwelcome. (If I get a hint of imagination, I might ask you to mention the details of the place where you got such a therapy done etc. So please do not force me to do so! I know it’s uncomfortable and very very weird to ask such things in the first place… :) )
Contest Question: So here’s the question for you.

Which spa therapy according to you is the most relaxing and why? 

Hints: Write about the spa therapy that (you have experienced,) you think leads to pure bliss and relaxation and makes you yearn for more and more and why.
The best answer wins a 1 hour voucher and the second best answer wins a 30 min voucher from TFFS. So hurry girls!  

Participation rules are quite simple: 
  • Follow this blog through Google Friend Connect
  • Subscribe to Indian Belle through email here.
  • Like my Facebook page here.
  • Share this post on your Facebook wall tagging 5 friends
  • Share the following details in the Comment box below:
  • GFC name
  • Email id through which you have subscribed
  • Facebook name
  • URL of the Facebook sharing link with tags
So what are you waiting for? Participate to experience the pleasures of a massage therapy. All the best to all the participants. 

PS: Please check the TFFS site to see their locations. :)   

Friday, February 01, 2013

Glimpses of My Hyderabad Trip

You may wonder why I’m always late in writing about my trips etc. Well the answer is quite simple I love to go down memory lane, after a considerable time has lapsed. Recalling the happy times and the laughter, the shopping sprees and the lip-smacking food I enjoyed during a trip after a few weeks or a month has passed, gives a new high altogether. Anyways, that’s me! J Coming back to the Hyderabad trip I undertook during the last week of 2012— man, what a trip it was! Read on…

The Highlights:
The highlight of this trip has to be the awesome Hyderabadi food, particularly the Dum ki Biryani and the variety of non-vegetarian food (yeah I'm a non-vegetarian you see) you can savour.  The list is endless, the food is amazing and the price — simply unbelievable. Throughout the 4 and a half days (sad! It was a very short trip.) we lived on shawarmas, kababs, and tikkas, apart from Biryani.

Places to eat: We ate shawarmas, kababs and tikkas only at Siddique Kababs and More, near Mehdipatnam. They specialise in kababs, tikkas and grilled food. And if you don’t believe my word about the prices, check their menu in Zomato.

Biryani: By now, all of you must have heard and read (if not eaten) a lot about the awesome Paradise biryani and other items in the menu. So neither I’ll bore you nor tickle your taste buds. :)

Though I had the privilege of eating Paradise biryani in Pune (carried all the way from Hyd by my sister-in-law’s husband) a dozen times, nothing can match the experience of eating it there. Plus you must try their gajar ka halwa and khubani ka meetha. And if you do not find find haleem too rich and heavy, you could taste that too.

Midnight Buffet at Orri’s: The buffet here is very good and the food as usual is quite good. I simple loved the Mirchi ka Saalan here. And yes you can eat here till 1 am or so. My hubby’s friend Su treated us here on his birthday on 30th Dec.

Shopping and Sight-seeing:

Shopping: If you’re on a trip to a shopper’s paradise like Hyderabad, can shopping be far behind? Nah.. no way! We went to the Madina Bazaar, near Charminar.
I bought the famous lac bangles (sadly forgot it at my hubby’s friend’s place, so no pics here), a set of pearl earrings and shapeless pearls necklace for my mother-in-law. There were beautiful junk jewelleries and I fell for it. Bought a nice red chunky necklace at 50 bucks (OMG! Right?) In addition, I bought 3-4 salwar kameez materials for myself. Of these, two materials are meant to tailor A-line anarkalis only.
The hubby bought a beautiful collared kurta and pyjama for himself. Surprisingly, beautiful printed sarees were being sold at throwaway prices and my friend bought two of these for herself.

The Charminar

Places of Interest: We visited quite a few places, but skipped the famous Ramoji Rao Film City, for one simple reason. Paying exorbitant entry fee to visit a huge complex full of film sets seemed pointless to us. However, we did go to Hussain Sagar, Lumbini Park, Golconda Fort and the beautiful Birla Temple.

Hussain Sagar is a lovely place to visit late in the evening. The large Buddha statue casts a serene and calm on you and the fountains add to the charm. There are lot of eateries here, but we did not give them a shot. On the 31st we were casually strolling and chilling beside the lake in the evening.

A panoramic view of the Hussain Sagar

Lumbini Park is a huge garden in the city and this made me wonder, why can’t we have such parks in Pune, instead of malls growing like mushrooms everywhere? A trip to this spark is refreshing to say the least. The only con is you have to wait in a long queue to buy tickets for the laser show. And being the holiday season, I guess the park was doubly crowded. So we skipped the laser show, which tell you the history of Hyderabad. Many say the show is amazing, but we simply lacked the patience to brave the crowd.

Talking about Golconda Fort delights me! Here’s why. We were driving from Mehdipatnamand I was lost in a conversation with my friend Sa. The road was deserted, clean, broad and nice. After a while Su stopped to know the direction. We were told to drive straight and I and my friend resumed chatting. A few minutes passed by and suddenly I noticed the surrounding change as we were engulfed by high walls all around us. My jaws dropped and wondered, how the hell did this happen? Later we figured that the fort’s boundaries are quite inside a locality, unlike other places where forts are in a secluded area, far from the city. So you don’t really know you’re nearing the fort beforehand.  Cool na? You should make a trip here to see this.

The Golconda Fort is spread across 11 km in total. The amusing part is the way it is constructed. As we entered, we saw people clapping continuously. Later we learnt the story about clapping — if you clap when you are below the dome at the entrance, its echo can be clearly heard at the topmost pavilion ‘Bala Hissar’, almost 1 km away. Amazing is the word!
I loved the green parks with colourful flowers blooming inside the fort. There are a number of such parks, which are nicely maintained. You can relax and chat in these parks. Su told us that the light and sound show at the Fort should not be missed. And he was absolutely right! The show tells you the history of the Golconda Fort in a story and audio drama format. With Amitabh Bachchan as the narrator, the show is indeed quite interactive, particularly in describing the different parts of the fort. For example, when the Big B tells us where the ‘Bala Hissar’ is, he says “There, there it is…” and consequently the topmost pavilion beams with colourful lights.

The flowers in a park in Golconda Fort

The only 2 cons are – the audio at times is hardly audible and the mosquitoes compel you to walk out well before the show ends.  

These were parts of the Fort, though they look like caves now. 
The Golconda Fort,as the sun sets
Birla Temple: A new year was fast approaching and so visiting and praying at a temple was important. In every city, Birla Temples are almost alike, but in Hyderabad the location is superb. This temple is perched on a hillock, from where you can see the entire city and the Necklace Road. A very serene place, where devotes can sit and enjoy the ambience. 

So that was all about my trip. Did you take a break recently?