Introducing the New Spicy Chicken Burger in Wendy’s. It is cheesy, saucy, and has the ever-so-crisp & juicy chicken fillet! Well, not that I can taste it yet because there are no Wendy’s in my state. The closest would be in Bangalore, which is an overnight drive away from me. I hope it is good!
While the rest of society is looking for smarter and tougher security to protect their homes, a village in Ahmadnagar district of the Maharashtra state, India, named Shani Shingnapur has houses and shops with no locks or doors—be it day or night. Shani Shingnapur is home to nearly 4,000 people and all the houses in this village do not have doors or locks. You’ll just find the door frame. This is because of the villager’s immense and undying faith in the Hindu deity, Shani Dev (Lord of the planet Saturn). According to villagers, Lord Shani watches over the village and protects them from the evil eye.
It is said that whoever attempts to steal here will immediately be punished with mental imbalance, blindness or long sickness, and whoever does anything wrong or dishonest will suffer from Sade-Sati, a period of seven-and-a-half years of bad luck—either through an accident, death, or bankruptcy. According to the local folklore, once, a villager tried to put wooden panes at the entrance of his house, and the very next day, he died in a car accident. According to the legends, about 400 years ago, due to incessant rains, a slab of black stone washed up on the banks of the Panasnala River and a local shepard dreamed that the god Shiva came to him and said that the slab of black stone was his own idol.
The shepherd was instructed to install the idol in the village center since then, the whole village got rid of all the locks and doors, leaving their money and jewelry unsecured, with a belief that Lord Shani is watching them and will keep them protected. In fact, the post office and shops in this village also do not have doors. In 2011, the UCO bank opened a lockless branch in Shani Shingnapur, the first of its kind in India. However, the bank has a glass entrance and a remote-controlled electromagnetic lock that is hardly visible, thus maintaining the traditional belief. In 2015, a police station opened in the area, again with no doors. The crime rate in this village is near zero.
People in all parts of India dress colorfully and indulge in fun filled activities such as singing, playing games, dancing, and attending parties. Night clubs, movie theatres, resorts, restaurants and amusement parks are filled with people of all ages. People in all parts of India dress colorfully and indulge in fun filled activities such as singing, playing games, dancing, and attending parties. Night clubs, movie theatres, resorts, restaurants and amusement parks are filled with people of all ages. Some big restaurants and hotels may have a live band and a DJ or arrange some party gags and contests for their patrons.
In some cities they will try to have concerts conducted and in some metro cities they might get an international artist to come and perform for the crowd. Larger cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai organize live concerts which are attended by Bollywood stars and other well-known personalities. Large crowds gather to attend such shows, while some individuals prefer to celebrate with their close friends and family members. The fun filled occasion is considered a great opportunity to get closer to the loved ones in your life and to revive contact with lost friends. The media covers many New Year events which are showcased on prime channels for most of the day. Several people prefer to just go to a bar and drink a few and ring in the new year that way.
People who decide to stay indoors resort to these New Year shows for entertainment and fun. The age-old tradition of planning new resolutions for the coming year is a common sight. A few of the most popular resolutions include losing weight, developing good habits, and working hard. Still others, usually families and those with older people and small kids, will prefer to gather in a house or apartment, order some good food or cook some and have a few drinks and enjoy each other’s company and ring in the new year in the safety & comfort of being indoors in a familial environment.
Your personal holiday wish list
One of the things that really gets my goose is that we here in India do not get a proper holiday time away from work. Even though I am not religious and do not have any affinity towards the Christmas/Hannukah period, it is the end of the calendar year. We follow this calendar and make January as the beginning of the year and we celebrate December as the end of the year/365 days culminating with the only day that I actually properly observe i.e New Year’s eve and New Year’s Day!
We should get a few days off and everyone should get a few days off. Rotate it so that everyone gets a period of 10 days off at the end/beginning of the year so that we can unwind, spend some time with family and go on a little break holiday if we want to. Why the fuck do Indian corporate companies not get the time off? Ofcourse, our work is outsourced. We need to get the rest of the world get their time off so they can go and enjoy with their families and friends, while we do the work for them.
My simple wish is that we all get a few days off so that we can put our feet up, drink some drinks, eat some eats and spend time with our families. I’d like for that to happen, not just for me but for everyone. Forget about the reduction and discounts of buying stuff and gifting people – you can do that as well but what is more important is the downtime and bonding that can happen due to that.
Origins are not Indian : Yes, this might leave you disappointed, but the roots of your favourite Samosa can be traced back to the 10th century, where it was known as Samsa, which was a popular dish in the Iranian plateau, Middle East region. Initially, the dish was made by stuffing meat and this recipe traveled through countries like Egypt, Libya, Central Asia, wherein it was named as Sanbusak, Sanbusaq and Sanbusaj. Experts believe that it was during the rule of invaders in Delhi Sultanate, when this recipe made its way to the royal kitchen and gradually to the locals in different variations.
Meant for the royals : According to ancient scriptures, during the 13th century Samosa was only meant for the royal families and elites of Arab and Middle Eastern countries. This dish was relished during special suppers and was considered to be a possession of royal families.
International Day of Samosa : If you thought that you are the only one who loves Samosas, then you would be amazed to know that the fan following of this desi snack is such that there is a special day dedicated to it! Yes, there’s a World Samosa Day celebrated on 5th of September to celebrate the taste and love for this wonderful snack.
Why triangle : Have you ever wondered why Samosa got this shape? It was believed that the shape of this stuffed delicacy has a striking similarity to Pyramids, this was the reason why it was named as Samsa linking it to the Egyptian Pyramids.
Origins are not veg : In Northern & central parts of India it is mostly known that the samosa has a spicy potato stuffing with peanuts and peas, but you will be amazed to know that Samosa was initially made by stuffing meat, nuts, pistachios, spices and herbs inside a dough pocket, which was deep fried and served with dips and sauces. I guess the Kerala samosas are most like the traditional type. Mutton, chicken, beef are very common down South. Infact I almost never eat the veg style.
Thought Indians have never been near a World Cup, unless tourists, fans and reporters count, we love to watch the World Cup matches and get excited over the wins and loses. We all used to glue our eyes to the tv when Doordarshan used to air it. We have all groaned when the idiots at the national station would record the matches and play it 45 mins late and the fucking announcers in the stadium would boast about “first time ever, we are giving you Deferred Live” like it was a big achievement. Why did they do that you asked? So they could add commercials in between like that fucking disgrace of a sport called cricket.
Anyways, with the increase of cable tv power we would get the matches and all programs done professionally. At times since this is still India, they would get Indian celebrities and non-footballers to give their expert opinion on the players and matches which were usually a joke. And then we got streaming services to watch the games. All done well as long as you have a good broadband connection. But this year things are different. This time JioCinema, a Reliance company, got the rights to stream the matches in India. Now JioCinema is free to use; all you need is to sign in as a subscriber and it is free.
But, many viewers faced issues during the livestream of the opening ceremony. When I tuned in, there was no sound in the English selection but the Malayalam one was working fine. Ok. I then waited till 9:30 pm when the opening match between hosts Qatar & Ecuador would start and the service was laggy and would freeze after 30 seconds. I switched to Malayalam and it last for a few minutes and freeze. I went to Twitter and entire India was swearing at Jio. They tried to laugh it off by showing some stupid video but things didn’t get fixed until the next day. Glad to say that yesterday and today it has been good.
So last year in December I wrote about my frustration with Dominos India. While I am living near the heart of the city, they wouldn’t deliver to me. Not because I was living far away – they wouldn’t deliver to my place via their app or if you call them or via the delivery apps Swiggy & Zomato.
At that time my apartment was 3.6 kms away from one outlet & 4.1 km from another as per Google maps. Note I am less than 5kms away and yet they won’t deliver to this area. Which I found ridiculous. I can understand if they can only deliver within 2 to 3 kms if it was their own staff and they have a corporate given restriction but even with3rd party delivery services they wouldn’t do it. And yet I can get food from other places 10kms away! Only they restrict this stupidly.
There were other fast food restaurants that were in the same area or further away yet they would still deliver via the delivery services. But not Dominos. And truth be told the local pizza places are mostly all better than Dominos & Pizza Hut but also mostly more expensive. And brands like Pizza Hut & Dominos will give discounts via their own apps. But finally I can now get pizza from Dominos delivered to me because – they started a new outlet which is just 2 kms away from me.
I meant to write this blog earlier but I forgot so now finally I can get some. I ordered some on the 27th of last month but it skipped my mind to write about this. Anyways, I am happy and I hope this outlet stays open for a long, long time.
1. Couple marries after dating for two years. Gets divorced in under 12 hours.
In a very weird twist of things, a couple hailing from UP’s Hamirpur district got married to each other after going through a lot of ups and downs. However, even though they had been together for the last two years, their ‘happily forever’ ended in under 12 hours and they filed for divorce.
2. Man gets challenged to eat 50 eggs for Rs 2,000. Dies after the 42nd egg.
This one is sad yet extremely bizarre! A man from UP’s Jaunpur district got involved in an argument with a friend over how many eggs he can eat and they settled the number at 50 eggs. They bet Rs 2,000 on the same, but the man collapsed after consuming the 42nd egg. The hospital stated ‘overeating’ as the cause of his death.
3. Man gets challaned for not wearing a helmet… INSIDE A CAR!
Nothing can be more bizarre than the UP police fining a man for driving a car without wearing a helmet. A CAR! Hailing from Hamirput district, the man received an e-challan on his mobile for the same. The e-challan said that he had been fined by the authorities for not wearing a helmet while driving his four-wheeler vehicle.
4. Villagers mistake a saffron-painted toilet for a temple. Start praying.
If it gets out of hand, religion can make people do extremely unusual things. Just like when the people of Maudaha in Hamirpur district started praying to a public toilet, just because it was painted saffron. Not just this, this misinformed act went on for a whole year.
5. Drunk groom does the naagin dance. Bride refuses to marry him.
Everyone wants to have a presentable life partner and this bride from Mailani area of Lakhimpur Kheri, Bairely, didn’t want to settle. After witnessing her groom doing the naagin dance in a completely inebriated state, she flat out refused to get married to him.
6. Grandfather teaches grandkids “A for alcohol, B for beedi.” Makes them drink and smoke.
Children learn what their elders teach them but this grandfather from UP’s Bahadarpur area is teaching his grandchildren all the wrong things – things kids are supposed to be kept away from. In a video that surfaced online last year, the old man was seen giving out beedis and alcohol to minors, and telling them it was “nothing but juice.”
7. Men break into a beer shop. Party first before running away with more bottles.
A bunch of men broke into a liquor store in Kotwali to steal, but ended up partying inside the shop by drinking from the bottles and cans for hours. They ended their party by stealing 26 crates of beer. Even then, they weren’t done with their shenanigans and went on to rob the chambers of five lawyers.
November 1st is also World Vegan Day. Have you ever had a vegan dish or meal? If so, what was the best part of the meal/dish?
November 1st is also World Vegan Day. Have you ever had a vegan dish or meal? If so, what was the best part of the meal/dish? There are a lot of Indian dishes that are vegan. What I have here is the top 8 dishes according to a couple of websites and then I added 3 Kerala dishes as well which are equally great. This doesn’t mean that I am becoming vegan – I love my meat & fish dishes!
- Masala Dosa
- Dal Makhani
- Chole Masala
- Veg Pulao
- Aloo Puri
- Kashmiri Dum Aloo
- Chole Bhature
- Puttu & Black kadala (chana)
- Pineapple Pachadi
- Ghee Rice
After a delay of about two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s iconic coffee chain Tim Hortons finally made its entry into the Indian market this summer. Everyone is going gaga over the unique menu served by the Canadian coffee brand in its Indian outlets. After the initial launch in DLF Mall, Gurgaon and one in Saket, they have opened the 3rd Delhi area location in Green Park Delhi. All 3 outlets have crowded queues for most of the day. Why only Delhi?
So Tim Horton’s India plans have been to hit the area that they knew would get them the most buzz, First Delhi, then Punjab as they were basically eyeing the Punjabi speaking belt. Tim Hortons is a Canadian brand and there is much awareness about it among Punjabis, as Canada has a huge Punjabi population and has the most number of Sikhs as well after India & the UK. Following that they are looking at the West – in and around Mumbai and Gujarat. The plan to open 120 stores in 3 years and 250-300 in the next five years.
Tim Hortons is famous for its iconic coffee, fresh food, baked goods, and donuts but their India menu is a mix of the familiar with a lot of fusion stuff that you won’t find in Canadian outlets. The food seems to be a hit and the donuts & Timbits in particular among the reviews I have seen have been highlights. As for the coffee, I don’t think the hot coffee has that many converts but the Iced coffees and Iced Capp variations seem to be a bit hit. I can;t wait for for them to finally reach Kochi.
1. Lakkidi Gateway, Wayanad
Wayanad district in Kerala witnesses flocks of trekkers who turn up in large numbers to explore the peaks and enjoy the soothing weather during peak tourist season. Lakkidi Gateway is a route through which you can pass the Tamarasseri pass which gives you the entry to the hilly district of Kerala, Wayanad. The place is known for its thick forests and cold temperatures. Lakkidi gateway remains the shortest route to cross Tamarasseri pass but it is unknown to many travelers. The people who know the route prefer not to use it because of the different haunting stories related to this place. A few of the locals know the route and the frightening stories associated with the place.
2. Bonacaud Bungalow, Trivandrum
In the capital city of Kerala lies the dilapidated and forgottenBonacaud bungalow. The cottage has a very old construction and is supposed to have been built during the colonial era. Spread over the mystic hills, waterfalls and streams, the place gives you the perfect picture of the haunted and overlooked lodgings that you have always read about in horror stories. The broken windows, decrepit walls, and hangings are bound to stun your senses.
3. Kariavattom, Trivandrum
Although Technopark is the IT hub of Kerala where several multinational giants have their offices, Kariavattom campus road from Technopark back gate is the location where several enigmatic rumors have been reported. The place gets hushed at night and a walk through the campus is a daring journey. Many stories have been described by passengers about odd happenings taking place here. The noises and squeals that break the silence will give you chills and thrills.
Interesting Facts That You May Or May Not Know About India:
- The wettest inhabited country on Earth is India. With 11,873 millilitres of rain falling annually, Meghalaya village has been named the wettest spot on Earth by the Guinness Book of World Records. Considering that the rain season lasts for six months.
- The glacial Lake Roopkund, which is 16,470 feet above sea level in the Himalayas, is known for the human bones that have been discovered there and nearby. The skeletons are considered to be the remains of persons who died in a strong hailstorm in the ninth century.
- For around 1,000 years beginning in the fourth century BC, India was the world’s sole supplier of diamonds. The Krishna River Delta is where the initial diamonds were discovered.
- Hinduism is regarded as the world’s oldest religion, with records going as far back as 5,500 BCE. Hinduism has no recognised creator, and since it is a way of life, nobody is interested in finding out.
- India is home to 22 official languages. Santali, Kashmiri, Bengali, Tamil, and Urdu are just a few of the many languages that are spoken in India. However, Hindi and English are the official languages.
- Since most Indians speak their own regional language in addition to English for ease of communication, India also has the second-largest population of English speakers in the world (the first is the United States).
- India is home to around 1.37 billion people, second only to China. and the figure keeps increasing. According to predictions, India will overtake China as the world’s most populous nation by the year 2050.
- In India, there is a floating post office. India not only has the greatest postal network in the entire world, but it also has some incredibly unusual post offices, such as one that floats on the water. The post office, which is situated near Dal Lake in Srinagar, has started to draw curious tourists.
- The Shani Shingnapur community is well known for having no doors or locks on any of the residences. Beyond that, criminal conduct has not been documented for about 400 years.
- India had 26 national holidays in 2019, including Christmas, Deepavali, Holi, and Independence Day. Because the Indian population is made up of so many diverse cultural groupings, there are many different holidays and festivals, which contributes to the great variety of celebrations.
- India is home to the largest sundial in the world. The tallest sundial in the world, standing at a towering 27 metres (90 feet) tall, is located in the town of Jaipur. A UNESCO World Heritage Site designation has been given to the sundial. Thousands of people flock to see the shadow, which moves at a speed of roughly six millimetres per minute, every year.
1.The Independence struggle first started in 1857
The first struggle for independence was in 1857, very famously called the Sepoy Mutiny or the Indian Rebellion of 1857 was led by Mangal Pandey. Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Tatya Tope, and Nana Sahib were the others who led the resistance against British soldiers in 1857.
2. Indian Flag was first hoisted in 1906
The Indian national flag with 3 horizontal stripes of red, yellow, and green was hoisted on August 7, 1906, at Parsee Bagan Square, Kolkata. The first variant of our current national flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya in 1921. The current flag with saffron, white and green stripes with the 24-spoke Ashok Chakra was officially adopted on July 22, 1947, and hoisted on August 15, 1947.
3. Rabindranath Tagore penned National Anthem of Bangladesh
Rabindranath Tagore not just penned the National Anthem of India but also our neighbouring country Bangladesh. ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’ was written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905. The first 10 lines of this song were adopted as the national anthem of Bangladesh in 1971, during its liberation war.
4. Goa Was the Last State to Join the Indian Territory in 1961
Even after India attained independence on 15th August 1947, Goa was still a Portuguese colony. It was annexed to India by the Indian troops only in 1961. Thus, Goa was the last state to join the Indian territory.
5. Lord Mountbatten chose August 15 as India’s Independence Day :
Although the Indian Independence Act was approved on July 18, 1947, Lord Mountbatten chose August 15 as the date of India’s independence as it coincided with the date of Japan’s surrendering to the Allied Forces after World War II on August 15, 1945.
If you hold an Indian passport, you can now travel to 60 countries in the world without a prior visa. We may not have a powerful passport – in fact it’s only the 83rd in the list of most powerful passports to have in the world, but you can still go to these 60 countries. If a country has a “visa-free” status, you can just travel there with an Indian passport and be allowed to pass through. Even if you do not require a visa, you should still research the entry criteria of the nation you are going.
Ok, so in Europe you can only go to Serbia and in the Americas you have Bolivia & El Slavador. In the Middle East you have Jordan, Iran, Qatar & Oman. You can go to Barbados, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the British Virgin Islands. In Africa you can choose among Kenya, Ethiopia, Gabon, Madagascar, Cape Verde Islands, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zimbabwe & Tunisia among others. And in Asia you have Armenia, Thailand, Bhutan, Maldives, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka among them.
In most cases, it is Visa on arrival. Make sure you don’t stay longer than your visa-free period allows; if you’re only allowed to stay for three months, go before your time is up. If you overstay your welcome, you may have difficulty returning there in the future. You are not permitted to work or attend school in the nation you are visiting during your visa-free stay.
1. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan
Located in the Alwar region, the uninhabited town of Bhangarh is one of the eeriest places imaginable and is unanimously considered as one of India’s most haunted places. It is considered to be so dangerous that even the Archaeological Survey of India has legally prohibited anyone from entering the Bhangarh Fort after dark. The legend goes that during the 16th century, a tantric named Singhia fell in love with Ratnavati, the beautiful princess of Bhangarh. And knowing it was a hopeless match, decided to use his magic to seduce her. However, the princess uncovered his plans and sentenced him to death. Before his death, enraged by the turn of events, he cursed the palace to doom and the town to be roofless and miserable forever. Nearby locals believe that anyone who goes into the fort after dark won’t make it back, so visit at your own peril.
2. Kuldhara Village, Rajasthan
Rajasthan sure does have the choicest selection of deserted ghostly villages and towns! The Kuldhara village is located near Jaisalmer and was originally inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins. The lore speaks of the sudden disappearance of all the villagers of Kuldhara as well as 83 other nearby villages in 1825 into thin air, leaving no trace of their whereabouts. It is said that the minister of state had fallen in love with a girl from the village and had threatened to impose huge taxes upon the entire village unless they married her to him. To protect the honour of the girl, the chief of Kulhara and surrounding areas abandoned their villages and cursed the land to remain unoccupied for eternity.
3. Dow Hill, Kurseong, West Bengal
The Victoria Boy’s High School and Dowhill Girl’s Boarding School in Kurseong, Darjeeling, are believed to be the residence of many spirits whose footsteps can be heard echoing through the hallways. There have been countless murdered bodies found in the wood surrounding the schools and several locals and tourists report being followed by a headless boy who then disappears into the woods.
4. Dumas Beach, Gujarat
On the Arabian sea coast, the black sands of Dumas Beach in Gujarat are associated with several mysteries over several years. The beach used to be a Hindu burial ground and many believe that the restless spirits call out to visitors taking midnight strolls and walking towards the sea to return back to the shore. There have been reports that those who don’t heed the voices of the dead disappear into the waters forever. This beach is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
5. Jatinga, Assam
This tiny village with a population of 2500 has one of the most puzzling phenomena in the world, namely recurring mass bird suicides. For centuries now, local and migratory birds plummet to the ground in large numbers on moonless nights of September and October only on a specific area. This has baffled scientists who can’t find any reasonable justification for birds dropping dead from the sky in such a pattern and it is extremely disturbing to say the least.
Why are most Indians not interested in simple wedding ceremonies?
The simple answer is that it is traditional and when you get married, it’s actually is a ceremony not for you or your spouse! It’s actually for your parents and extended family. That is why it’s a large event. It’s a multiple day event, you want the biggest hall for all those relatives & friends and their families. Gals want to go saree, jewelry, watches and other clothes shopping. This can take several days. Guys want that perfect suit to go for the event. Etc etc. All pomp & show to outdo the weddings you have seen.
This trend is changing and has been changing for a while. A couple of my second cousins got married with just their parents and siblings next to them, a non-religious wedding without any pujari/priest and then gave donations to an orphanage and home for the elderly and then they went to have a nice lunch. What money they saved, they took an extended holiday/honeymoon abroad. That;s the way it should be and that’s what my cousins wanted. Their parents may have wanted the big wedding but that’s not the wedding the actual groom & bride wanted.
I’m not married myself and it looks unlikely that I ever will. But if I ever did, it will be a small affair. Immediate family, non-religious ceremony and a quite lunch. Simple and tasteful.
Kodinhi – Kerala’s village of twins : By any metric, conceiving twins and triplets is a rare natural occurrence around the world. In fact, on average only 16 out of 1,000 successful pregnancies in the world result in twins and this average is even lower in India at just 9. However, this ratio is heavily skewed in the sleepy hamlet of Kodinhi in Kerala, which has a record 400 pairs of twins in a population of just over 2,000 families! Geneticists and scientists have long tried to explain this rare phenomenon but are only now making some headway.
While experts have pointed to genetics as an obvious factor, what’s even more mysterious is that irrespective of religion, lineage or their original heritage, all families living in the village have conceived more than the average pairs of twins over the last few generations, and the number is consistently growing. Though initial estimates put the instance of multiple births at 100 pairs, follow-up surveys found the figure to be closer to 204 pairs (408 individuals) of twins, and two sets of triplets.
Women from Kodinhi married off to far away places are also known to give birth to twins. According to some doctors this phenomenon is due to chemicals present in water in the Kodinhi area. According to locals, the oldest known twin pair in the village was born in 1949. The number of twin births in Kodinhi has been increasing over the years, with surveys showing over 79 pairs of twins within the age group of 0–10 years.
In 2008, around 30 pairs of twins from Kodinhi, along with their parents, got together to form The Twins and Kins Association, the first such association of twins in India. The forum, according to its founders, aims to bring to wider attention problems peculiar to people of multiple births, such as those concerning their education and health.