Thursday, 21 February 2013

Home Grown Recipe Contest


  Do you have a great “family” recipe that you want to share with the world? 

Did you just try something new and blew everyone away? Then tell us about it! 
We want to know what you are cooking!

We're looking for ORIGINAL recipes that you've made, or those that are passed down to you traditionally , and would love to have published.

If you have a story behind the recipe, be sure to share that as well! 
 The best recipes will be published in our English Weekly as well as our website.

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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

What exactly is Valentine's Day ?

If you refer the dictionary , it says - 
February 14, observed in honor of St. Valentine as a day for the exchange of valentines and other tokens of affection.

This means that this day is based on a saint - just like we have lots of saint days in India like "Sant Dyaneshwar Jayanti" etc...

So what makes this particular day so special, that even though it belongs to the western culture, the whole world celebrates it ??? 

The very concept of "rosey lovey dovey romance" and commercializing it - THATS IT ! Nothing else makes it more alluring and dream like.. 

The best part is, that the history of Valentine's Day  --and the story of its patron Saint Valentine is a mystery, no one really knows about the origins of Valentine's Day !!! Everyone just celebrates it :)

The most popular story that is associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for Roman soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians. During his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote "from your Valentine" as a farewell to her. 

The day was first associated with romance and love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer , a great English poet around the 12th Century..

Slowly time passed.. and centuries later we arrived in the 21st century ! The handwritten Valentine's gave way to mas produced greeting cards, honest tokens of appreciations became forcefully converted to a "must have" feeling of love for the opposite gender, symbols of the heart , cupid and roses started getting associated to a dreamy feeling of romance which more and more commercial brands , card shops, chocolate stores and malls started to use as an attractor to youngsters and more public .. Typically a cold snowy february with Christmas already gone by, no one wanted to buy anything, so it was noticed that creating such hypes about this festival s started booming the sales and cleared most of the stocks at full prices to give way for fresh inventory for spring /summer ! The whole world and the giant organisations were catching up to the trend, so how could India lag  behind ..

India is well known as a culture filled with ancient traditions. The Hindu culture contradicts many of the western world’s ideals. Valentine’s Day celebrations are known to clash with India’s conservative religious background. It has only been in the most recent years that Valentine’s Day has become widely recognized in India. Business is buzzing for all florists , courier companies, restaurants , malls, greeting card shops, coffee houses , diamond shops.. people also get married on this day ! 

While the whole idea of expressing love is great and living in love is the best thing to do - but love shouldn't be confused only for the opposite gender .. it can also be for our parents, our family , friends, our work and life in general.. The state of happiness is also a state of love towards ones own life.. 

The more important thing to realize is - this is just a commercial day for loads of companies and services to sell holiday - it is about selling flowers, candy, and diamond jewelry. 
Just think of all the money you are saving !!!

It is not about love and relationships. Love cannot be expressed singularly on one day .. our lives should be full of love instead !!

So although , we don't really condemn or promote the celebration of this day - simply because we would like every one to be free in their thoughts, choices and lead their lives as they wish to.. At the same time, we would surely take this opportunity to wish every one a Happy Valentine's Day with the intention of one true emotion of appreciation - the appreciation that you all are members of our team and that alone makes us a huge success..