Review ~ ‘Bihar Diaries’

Crime thrillers were used to be my favourite genre when I was in school. I used to find cat and mouse chase between police and criminals fascinating. For me, a police officer was no less than a hero, fighting with crimes and teaching criminals rightful lesson. It was more like a bollywood movie plot to me. Gripping stories of police officers catching notorious gangsters always made me bewildered. Little did I knew, that these are not fictions, rather the job of policemen are tougher than it actually looks and the ‘bad people’ are far worse in reality. After a long time, I have read a book which gave me goosebumps. Yes! Bihar Diaries by Amit Lodha has blown my mind with its exciting content. Moreover, this book is not fictional, rather the author Amit Lodha depicts his own experience as an IPS officer. He arrested one of the most feared ganglords at that time, Vijay Samrat, while being posted as SP of a small town in Bihar, Shekhpura. 5b232be627b51-264x405

The book revolves around Amit Lodha, an IITan and an IPS officer, whose initial stages of career were spent in Bihar. Amit was never a scholar in IIT, but he always had a fascination for civil service. After becoming an IPS officer, he started off in Bihar. During his tenure in Bihar, Amit was posted in Nalada and Muzaffarpur as SP. At that time, Vijay Samrat was ruling Bihar. People used to tremble when someone uttered Vijay Samrat’s name. He, along with his right hand Horlicks Samrat, killed numerous people. After killing 16 people overnight, Vijay Samrat became target of police department, as a result one of the most efficient cops Amit Lodha took charge as SP of the Shekhpura, where the killings took place. Being an efficient cop and having a supportive wife like Tanu, Amit became determined to fulfill his mission of arresting Vijay Samrat. But catching devil is not an easy job. The top cop needs to shield his family as well as the devil will be coming for them too. This story of valour is comprised of immense physical as well as mental strength.

This book is absolutely amazing and gives us adrenaline rush. This book deals with the worst reality of real world, also gives us a hope that positive forces always win over negative ones. The writing style of the author is simply awesome. Not a single line made me feel bored, neither the story was unnecessarily exaggerated. The background information of Vijay Samrat is scary enough to help the reader picture the real person. According to me, the most amazing part was the jailbreaking scene. It was so beautifully written that I almost felt like everything is happening in front of my eyes. The foreword, penned down by Twinkle Khanna, adds extra flavour to the book. Overall a great book in every aspect and I would recommend this book to all those who are looking forward to a roller coaster ride of excitement and thrill.

love, phoenixX ❤

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Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup

Have you ever thought why football is so popular all over the world? There are two big reasons for that. One is fairly scientific and another is practical. Our brain loves to track a constantly moving object that moves in a pattern and occasionally unpredictable. The practical reason is all we need is a small object to kick to play this game. That is why we see children from war zone country who live in fear forget all their uneasiness when they meet up and play football. That’s how much we love this game. 

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Football, also known as soccer in some countries, keeps us engaged all over the year with various club teams with the world’s best players play against each other for the supremacy in their respective countries or continent. We love that format. We stay up all night to watch those games and that’s great. But once in every four years football brings its biggest extravaganza in the form of World Cup conducted by the FIFA, the world governing football body. Nations from all over the globe collide to get a chance to be among the 32 countries to play World Cup. About 210 teams from 6 confederations took part in this year’s World Cup qualifying process with 21,469 average attendance in the stadiums. This stat alone shows the vast popularity of football. In a 3 year long qualifying process we saw great footballing nations fall and new ones rise up. 2018 Russia World Cup is going to witness 32 countries fighting for the “Ultimate Glory” in this sport.

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With a promise to host the best World Cup yet Russia has built spectacular stadiums. One of the most interesting thing in this world would be the nation itself. Playing is Russia is tough. Those who watch European football already are familiar with the playing condition there. The temperature is significantly low and during night games we see the temperature drop. The ground will be a tad harder despite all the watering. But it is nothing that the players don’t ever face. Also a big challenge for every team would be traveling. One of the largest countries in the whole world, Russia will be hosting the tournament in 12 stadiums that are located in different cities. Constant traveling may take a toll on the players. With a great footballing culture and passionate fans Russia is going to give a great experience to the playing nations and the traveling spectators from all over the world.

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When we talk about football we talk about the fans. There is a famous phase in this sport that is “the 12th man” and they are the spectators who fill up the gallery to watch their country play. Of course there are many who support their country also some other country from their home but at the end we all talk about the passion we see in the stadiums. They scream, they cheer, they jeer, they cry in joy or sadness but you can always see the emotions running high. With their chant they give that extra dose of motivation to the players on the field. A game is nothing without its fans and football didn’t just become the most popular sports without those millions of fans. In Russia 2018 we will definitely see colorful flags, face paints, posters, vuvuzelas and may be something new.

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Russia 2018 FIFA world cup is significant is so many ways. This World Cup is going to start some new chapters and may give conclusion to some long lasting debates. This world cup promises so many stories and here are some of the things that are going to happen in this tournament.

  • World Cup retained by the Champions Germany. Germany, after a dominant performance in the last world cup, may well do the unthinkable and that is becoming World champion again with an almost new team. This would mean Germany will stand tall with Brazil as 5 time Champions.
  • Rise of the fallen. Brazil, the most successful footballing nation are on their way to achieve something big with the likes of Neymar, Jesus, Marcelo, Marquinhos and many other young and experienced players. They are certainly one of the favorites in this summer.
  • Year of underachievers. This world cup has teams like Spain, Belgium, England, Nigeria who have gone through ups and downs in recent years. With a good squad in this World Cup, either of these teams can go all the way. And also who doesn’t want to see players like Harry Kane, Isco, Moses, Hazard, De Bruyne to shine and entertain.
  • Upcoming players. The exciting young talents who are the next Messi, Ronaldo of football will be under close observation. Players like Mbappe(19), Werner(22), Dembele (21), Rashford(20) are some of them who has impressed us in recent years.

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  • An epic conclusion is all what we hope for. The two players who has made this game their own and took it to a whole new heights are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I don’t know who you support or who is the best. That’s the debate of this decade but all I want is to see them achieving the only thing the didn’t so far. It would be fairy tale ending and cement their legacy as the best ever to touch a football. 

This is the time of World cup when we cheer for another country. This is the time when the streets are painted, walls full of flags of different nations. This is how football changes us, brings us together. The impact of World cup is immense. No matter who you support you find an opponent and enjoy a game together. Things are about to get loud because the FIFA world cup is upon us. No matter who becomes the World champion, football will always remain a winner.

penned by – Arijit

Review ~ ‘You Can Achieve More’

Reading books is not only my passion, but also my source to gather courage and fight with all the odds. Reading is a meditation which keeps me calm in tough situations of life and provides me with immense positive vibes. Shiv Khera’s ‘You Can Achieve More’ is such a source of positive energy. This book can provide right direction to those who are lost and also helps to identify the right path to follow.

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The interesting subtitle ‘Live by design, not by default’ itself is a clear indication of what the book has in it. This book has a lot of issues we face in our daily life, along with the ways to combat those in a calm manner. To ensure well-being of our physical health, we must improve the condition of our mental health as well. If the mind becomes restless, our physical condition can deteriorate at times. By following the principles, illustrated in this book, one can regain their confidence, optimism and positive energy. Those principles are-

  • A Win-Win Attitude
  • Life is Funny – Let’s Get Started
  • Gist of Life
  • The Wisdom Truth
  • Mind Your Mind
  • Invest in Yourself
  • Making of a Winner
  • Keep it Up
  • Valuations Change, Values Don’t
  • Choose Character
  • Integrity – A Way of Life
  • A Champ or A Cheat?
  • Finding Balance
  • Pride in Performance
  • Accidents Are No Accidents
  • Become Prosperity Conscious
  • Fire Within
  • Accountability
  • Take Ownership
  • Tame Your Time
  • Be Proactive – Make it Happen!
  • Make Decisions
  • Leave a Legacy

All the above mentioned principles are amazingly defined, in Shiv Khera style. One who is lost or full of negativity, after reading this book will turn into a confident, hopeful, driven and optimistic person, if he/she actually follows the ways mentioned. Personally, the action plan part of each chapter helped me a lot to overcome my stress and gave me hopes. This book is not for story book lovers, this book is for the ones who needs peace of mind and loads of motivation. ‘You Can Achieve More’ is no doubt the magnum opus of Shiv Khera. One can read it hundred times, and still feel as motivated as the first time after finishing it. This book has helped me to calm down and be more focused towards my goals. A perfect book to keep your wandering mind at one place. A gem of my book collection indeed. Go for it and you will gain deeper understanding regarding your existence. Do share your feedback after reading it.

love, phoenixX ❤

Review ~ ‘Himalaya Facial Wipes’

Summer was never my favorite season. Blame it on the scorching heat, summer is my all-time enemy. Thanks to the excess moisture in the air of Kolkata, sweat becomes our middle name during summer. For working girls, the situation is much worse. Make-up becomes a distant dream because of the sweaty skin; pollution and heat take away the natural glow of skin, leaving it lifeless. Thus all the pretty faces remain hidden behind masks made of scarves and sunglasses for the entire summer. But not anymore! Himalaya has brought the perfect solution for us.

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Himalaya Facial Wipes is the most effective solution to this problem. Himalaya Facial Wipes removes dirt, oil as well as the layer of heaviest make-up from your skins without making the skin rough. Once you use it you can feel the freshness and coolness your skin is left with. Himalaya Facial Wipes can be effectively used to remove make-up, sweat, excess oil and dirt from the skin. Using it daily will cause no harm to the skin. Himalaya Facial Wipes are enriched with the goodness of natural ingredients, for added benefits. Most importantly it is free from alcohol, parabens and artificial colour. This is pocket-friendly as well, a pack of Himalaya Facial Wipes containing 25 extra soft wipes are priced Rs.100 only. Himalaya Facial Wipes successfully-

  • Removes impurities
  • Controls pimples
  • Purifies and tonnes skin
  • Removes make-up

Two amazing variants of Himalaya Facial Wipes are available in the market-

  1. Himalaya Purifying Neem Facial Wipes, enriched with goodness of neem and turmeric, keeps your skin protected as well as refreshed.
  2. Himalaya Moisturizing Aloe Vera Facial Wipes, loaded with goodness of aloe vera and fig, provides lasting moisturization along with the refreshment.

Thanks to this product of Himalaya, my summer is not a nightmare anymore. I am using the Purifying Neem Facial Wipes as I have a pimple-prone skin and ta-da! my skin feels amazing. Oiliness is controlled as well as the sweat, with Himalaya Facial Wipes. Bid adieu to sweat, say hello to refreshment.

love, phoenixX ❤

 

Review ~ ‘A Girl Like That’

I am always keen on exploring different genres of books. This time I was searching for something dark yet fascinating, haunting yet hopeful. And ‘A Girl Like That’ by Tanaz Bhathena is loaded with everything I was looking for. The writing is so shimmering and flawless that one cannot say this book is Tanaz’s debut novel. This novel is vivid and talks about teenage ambition, angst, rebellion.

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Things get complicated when sixteen years old half Hindu half Zoroastrian student of Qala Academy, Zarin Wadia, is found dead in a car accident along with her ‘friend’ eighteen years old Porus Dumasia on Al-Harameen Expressway in Jeddah.  Zarin Wadia was a bright student, debating aficionado, free-spirited and outspoken girl. She used to call herself troublemaker as she was orphaned at a tender age and had been living with her childless uncle and aunt. Zarin’s uncle adopted her and loved her immensely, whereas her aunt, despite of being her mother’s own sister, treated her badly. Being survived an abusive childhood Zarin had been a carefree girl, she craved for the love she used to read about in story books. Porus was a nice guy living in her neighborhood and also her ‘waving buddy’. Porus truly cared for Zarin despite of knowing her infamous doings with boys from her school. Porus and Zarin’s death is indeed mysterious, some other names came out like Mishal, Farhan, Abdullah, Bilal, Layla. Did they have any involvement in this death? or the accident was caused by reckless driving?

This novel deals with dark corners of society. How it tackles complicated issues of race, identity, religion and class. There are thousands of Zarin Wadia in this world who are becoming a victim every minute. Knowingly or unknowingly, teenagers are being involved in blackmailing, drugs, weed, rape and other heinous crimes. Kid catches father with younger maid so the father shuts his mouth with bundles of money – harsh reality. To hide their offensive actions, parents often end up spoiling their kids, which in long run fuels their inappropriate desires. We learnt about love, not the usual affectionate one which every mother has for her child, but the different kind of love which Khorshed had for her niece. This vivid and intricately woven story is something one cannot miss. Grab your copy of ‘A Girl Like That’ to satisfy your curious, adventure-loving, bibliophile nature. I hope you will enjoy reading it just as much as I did.

love, phoenixX ❤

Review ~ ‘Pinto Has An Idea’

The word ‘idea’ plays an important role in our lives. Whatever we do or whatever we think emerges from an idea only. People with more interesting ideas mostly end up becoming scientists or successful business person. I read a book recently which is about such a scientist and I found it really interesting. I understood the life of a scientist might seem boring or geeky but they go through a lot of adventures.

The story revolves around Rajat Srivastava aka ‘Pinto’ (notable – NOT Pintoo), a small town boy with big dreams. Before you think Pinto is a boy who wants to go to Mumbai and aspires to become a bollywood actor, let me tell you, NO! he doesn’t. Pinto wants to study hard and invent things which turns up to be helpful for common masses or can be used to take his country forward. Pinto was born to Ram and Rita Srivastava on April 1970. At the age of eight his efficiency in studies caught attention of the teachers. His first invention was corn kernel-removal machine which made him the hero of his village.  Pinto joined Gurukul Coaching Centre for JEE and stared living with his friends. But he restrained himself from eating out or watching movies frequently, he preferred to make more time to study. Pinto studied hard and managed to crack JEE entering IIT Kanpur. While preparing for JEE, Pinto met Lavanya in Gurukul Coaching Centre in Kanpur. Lavanya was like a breath of fresh air in Pinto’s life but Pinto didn’t understand her worth until he was 34 and a successful scientist of MIT. This shows that with right kind of love and support even an unromantic guy like Pinto can become love-struck. Pinto solved so many issues with his amazing inventions. Ghumantu technology helped to keep track of moving food vendors, this one I liked most. With his inventions Pinto soon achieved success and fame but in this process he started to lose his dearest possessions. He realized that fame & money are important but not as important as peace of mind.

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Rajeev Saxena did a brilliant job in his debut novel. This book has got right amount of laughter, love, sorrow, guilt and dedication. I came to know some unknown facts as well while reading this. For example, ‘Ghumantu’ is a nomadic tribe that never stays in one place, they keep moving around in search of food and shelter; ‘Tahiri’ is a type of vegetable biryani & many more. Also the most amusing thing I came across is Pinto chanting a mantra moments before JEE results which he refused to chant at first when an astrologer suggested. Overall this book is treat for book-lovers and I really enjoyed reading it. You should definitely add ‘Pinto Has An Idea’ by Rajeev Saxena in your book shelf. 🙂

I’m sharing the review given by film producer Boney Kapoor with which my thoughts have absolutely matched ~

“A strong plot full of emotions, love, pragmatism and very importantly, humour. The author has touched a genre which doesn’t exist in traditional publishing in India. A must read, you shouldn’t miss it.”

love, phoenixX ❤

 

 

Recipe ~ Eastern Paneer Butter Masala

 

Cooking has always been my passion. I like to experiment with new innovative dishes or prefer cooking for my family rather than ordering it from restaurants during happy occasions. My friend lives alone in Chennai & her cooking skills are okay-okay. She keeps asking me for easy & quick veg recipes. After doing a bit research I came across Eastern Condiments. They offer a wide range of various masalas which caught my eye. Before suggesting this to my friend I wanted to taste it by myself & I did so. So here I am sharing Eastern Paneer Butter Masala recipe. Hope you find it helpful 🙂

 

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Ingredients of Masala :

Onion, Cashew, Milk Powder, Tomato, Salt, Chilli, Coriander, Sugar, Garlic, Turmeric, Fenugreek Leaves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove, Nutmeg.

Required items :

  1. Eastern Paneer Butter Masala (Entire pack of 40 g)
  2. Tomato puree – 150 g ( 3 medium sized)
  3. Paneer – 200 g
  4. Milk – 1 cup

Method :

  1. Mix the entire pack of spice mix with 1 cup of milk & make a fine paste.
  2.  Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pan.
  3. Add tomato puree and fry for 2-3 mins.
  4. Add spice mix paste and cook for 2-3 mins.
  5. Add paneer cubes and half cup warm water.
  6. Simmer for 3-4 mins.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

 

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This is really easy to make and tastes awesome. I have also tried some of their other masalas and my most favourite one is Eastern Brinjal Rice Masala. I would really love to have more but availability of Eastern masalas in Kolkata is very low & I really hope the condition will improve in coming years so that I can have loads of Brinjal rice sitting in my hometown. 🙂

Love, phoenixX ❤