Christmas Celebrations: How to Make a Christmas Gift Basket At Home

It’s again the same time of the year that takes me back into the past. I love this season. The festive season. The time of happiness and cheerfulness.

Christmas has always been my favorite festival. It’s the perfect time of the year when you can make people happy and enjoy giving. Weeks before Christmas, I start reminiscing about my old college days. We studied in a Christian Missionary School, and it was Christmas that had me so many fond memories of that time.

We usually had Christmas celebrations starting in the first week of December. It would start with white gift service followed by Christmas carols, skits, plays, finally culminating into a Christmas extravaganza just a day before the holidays.

In those days, the idea of Christmas gift baskets wasn’t very common. People usually presented gift boxes that hardly had any room for innovation.

Of late, the gift baskets have grown much in popularity. They help you in customizing your gift as you present them to your friends and relatives.

You can make these baskets in many ways. They can even be used once the gifts inside of them are taken out.

You can find these gift baskets at all gift stores along with Christmas stars and wreathes but you can be more creative by making a Christmas gift basket at home by using other items. Isn’t it interesting if you create an innovative gift basket that isn’t a true basket? All it needs is some planning and a hint of creativity.

You can utilize different bases to keep your gifts rather than a conventional basket. For instance, if anybody in your family loves cooking, you can gift her with kitchen things filled into a crockpot. Fill the crockpot with all the kitchen items you are planning to gift and add a few sparkles and a bow to it so that it looks really special.

Christmas Celebrations: How to Make a Christmas Gift Basket At Home, www.mariyamhasnain.com

If you have a male friend or a relative who loves fishing you can gift him a traditional wicker fishing supply bag which would hold a bunch of angling things. You can utilize this as a creative basket to fill it up with hankies, lines, an espresso bottle, and various other things you think he might want to take with him on his next fishing trip.

Ladies simply love to be pampered so you can make a gift basket out of a bathing robe and stuff it up with different things, for example, a manicure or pedicure kit, face masks, moisturizers, and a bunch of other girlie stuff.

Kids can gift their teachers a tote bag filled with all kinds of pens, pencils, markers, scratch pad and papers. You can likewise attach a card to it to wish your teachers a cheerful Christmas season.

Have you seen how easy it is to design and create your very own Christmas gift basket at home? You can personalize them depending on the liking and interest of the person.

So, that was all about Christmas gift baskets. If you’re a busy bee and doesn’t have much time, you can anyways go for premade gift baskets or boxes.

Besides these, there’s one more very interesting way of expressing your love and warmth and that is by gifting ebooks, especially for distant friends and relatives. Gifting ebooks saves you from shipping and handling hassles. Done at the touch of a button, they can be the quickest and the easiest gift for your loved ones.

All you got to do is to go to your Amazon store choose an ebook from the Kindle store and gift it as Christmas present.

So, if you think you have a friend that love reading cozy second chances romances, my new e-book is releasing just before Christmas that is on December 22, 2017, apt for reading during the holidays.

And the best part is, you can read the first chapter of the The Wedding Planner even before the book is out in the market, totally FREE!

Just click the image link below, and read the First FREE chapter.

What is friendship? In the light of philosophy, www.mariyamhasnain.com

Get Your FREE Chapter Now!

Enjoy!

~MH

 

What is Friendship? In the light of Philosophy

There was a line in John Donne’s famous prose Meditation 17.

“No man is an island.”

This line truly expresses the need of a friend in a man’s life. Indeed, there is no one who can live alone on this planet. That is the reason God has made different types of relationships, for instance, friendship. Friendship is one of the best types of relationships that a person can have.

If you want to know the true meaning of friendship, you should look at its definition and think about the significance and virtues of a true friend.  Many philosophers of the bygone era such as Aristotle had talked about friendship in detail.

As indicated by Aristotle, nobody will ever pick to live without a friend. This thought from Aristotle throws light on the fact that why people with all the power and wealth are, most of all in need of a true companion.

He even included that what might be the use of those possessions when you don’t have anybody to share the joy of being prosperous. Apart from being your well-wisher, a true friend will also help you guard and protect your prosperity. Friends are more commendable to men in their hard times, in times of poverty and despair, for they can see their friends as their only place of refuge.

“Friendship is as important as life itself.” ~As quoted by Aristotle, intense and strong.

Friendship covers everyone, old and young, poor and wealthy. It covers the breath of the kinds of individuals you find within the society.

What is Friendship? In the light of Philosophy, www.mariyamhasnain.comTruth be told, rich men require friends the most as they will become the loneliest souls on earth without a true friend. Friendship reduces the risk of destructive behavior, depression, anxiety and other common ailments that a person can suffer when he is alone.

This can be proven because in hard times you will simply look for some help from your true friend.

With this thought, you can already imagine that friendship enhances your life since it improves you as a person. In you endeavor to help or serve your friends, you grow and achieve mental strength and maturity as a human being. This makes you a better and kind individual.

These facts of philosophy are good enough to explain you the importance of true friends in your life.

And it is said, “A girl without a friend is a like a fish without water, a bird without feathers.”

So if you adore your friends and cherish your friendship with them, here’s my new novel “The Wedding Planner,” that celebrates the very emotion of friendship and what it take to be a good friend. It explains the true meaning of friendship and love.

The book is releasing on December 22, 2017, just before Christmas so that you can read it as you plan your holidays with your friends.

For a limited time, I am giving away the first chapter of this novel to all my readers FREE. This is exclusive to my VIP mailing list and my FB page followers.

If you like to read the first chapter of the wedding planner, weeks before its official release, just click on the link below and get your first chapter FREE! Now.

What is friendship? In the light of philosophy, www.mariyamhasnain.com

Get Your FREE Chapter Now!

How to Find Out If Someone Loves You

Finding out whether your crush loves you or not is more than just plucking the flower petals.

Now, the question is how to find out if someone loves you are not.

Is it a rocket science? No, not at all. It’s very easy to find out if the person is really in love with you are not.

All you got to do is to observe the person carefully for the following signs and body gestures.

  • Touch: Touch is the least difficult gesture of expressing fondness. This could be as basic as holding hands or as protective and close as a kiss. A casual arm on your shoulder while strolling or even when you guys sit together, either alone or in a group is yet another indication that the person is falling for you.
  • Whisper: Whispering, cherishing, complimenting or other positive words in your ear. This activity is unquestionably one that delineates closeness and love. Telling you how much you are missed when you were apart is also an indirect way of communicating fondness.
  • Getting things done for you even when you haven’t requested for them is also a beautiful indication that your crush is also crushing on you. You will feel loved and special when these things happen to you with no prior intimation or say come as a surprize.
  • Are you receiving gifts that don’t imply a specific event? It’s not your birthday or any special day but you get a bouquet of flower or your favorite piece of music or a book from your favorite author. People do these things to unintentionally express their love and warmth. These gifts are not necessarily costly but rather essentially insightful and true.
  • If someone starts spending quite a lot of time with you, willing to try new things with you, takes interest in your hobbies and activities, compliments you not just on your looks and dress but also on your achievements and the person you are, there are high probabilities that he or she is in love with you.

Now, take a step back and review things that someone does for you. This will definitely help you find out if a person is truly in love with and is willing to take their relationship to a next level.

Did you like what you read? Want to ask something, feel free to comment and I would love to answer your questions.

Meanwhile, if you like reading mushy love stories, here’s an ultimate collection of some crazy flashes of romance. Now you can download them totally FREE! ⤵️

~MH

[MARIYAM’S NEW BOOK RELEASE] The Wedding Planner

[MARIYAM'S NEW BOOK RELEASE] The Wedding Planner, www.mariyamhasnain.comHi Folks,

Have you planned about your Holidays. I understand many of you prefer going out and having fun. But I know many of you would like spending the cold days under the warmth of the furry blanket, either relaxing on the sofa and watching your favorite movie on Netflix or curling up with a cute romantic novel.

So, if you are the ones who prefer curling up on the couch with a book, my new book is all set to warm up your heart. The Wedding Planner is releasing in the month of December, and I am giving away the first chapter FREE to those who are interested. So, stay tuned for my e-mails.

The Wedding Planner is a Second Chances in Love novel. It’s an Indian Small Town Romance set in the fictional town of Awadh.

Here’s a small summary of the book. Let’s see if it sparks your interest.

Blurb

Marriages are made in heaven but celebrated on earth. And those who make these celebrations memorable and extravagant are called wedding planners.

This sweet contemporary romance novel is also a story of one such wedding planner.

After surviving a tumultuous marriage, Nayela Faruqi returns to her hometown of Awadh. She buys the royal Shanbagh Palace not only to convert it into a wedding house but because of the connection she felt with the old harbor of Nawabs.

If not great, Nayela is at least living a peaceful life with her daughter Maira when someone strums the cords of her life.

In walks, Yasir Ahmad Shah, Nayela’s brother-in-law and the owner of the vast Shah Empire.

Nayela is taken both by shock and surprise when she meets Yasir who once was a close friend of her. Someone she could really count on after her parents.

Yasir had a soft corner for Nayela. He in fact loved Nayela but accepted Nayela and Faraz’s marriage as his brother fell head over heels for Nayela.

Now, when Faraz is gone and Nayela struggles with the hardships of single motherhood while establishing her foothold in the wedding business of Awadh will Yasir’s presence carve any impression on Nayela’s lonely heart. Will Yasir bring any change in Nayela and Maira’s dull and lonely lives? Will Yasir ever be able to show his heart to Nayela? And will Nayela ever be able to see Yasir more than a friend. Will she ever realize Yasir’s love ignoring the reality of Yasir being her dead husband’s brother?

And if the lonely hearts ever find love in each other will Zareen Ahmad Shah, Yasir’s mother and Nayela’s mother-in-law, accept Nayela back in the Shah Household?

Enjoy the romantic ride of relationships, human emotions, love, trust, and friendship with this heartwarming second chances romance novel.

If you like to read the first chapter FREE, reply to this e-mail by saying – “I Wanna” and the first chapter of the book will be delivered right into your mailbox.

Isn’t it a great weekend plan?

THE WEDDING PLANNER – Releasing on December 22, 2917. Stay tuned for more updated regarding freebies and giveaways 🙂

That’s it for now. Happy Weekend!

Talk Soon!

~MH

Here’s How I Fell In Love With My New Summer Sandals

Do you change your wardrobe with the season? I guess you do. Perhaps, you donate your old clothes of the passing-by season and buy new ones. But, do you do the same thing with your shoes and sandals also? If not, you’re missing the latest trends in footwears.

And, do you know what is trending in shoes and sandals this summer. Yeah, these are super comfortable and uber cool flip-flops. Besides these, there’s something even more unique has come up in the market in the range of summer shoes and accessories.

Recently, during a handicraft exhibition, I spotted something pretty amazing for my summer feet. And, without thinking for a second, I bought it. Can you guess what’s that? These are hand-made eco-friendly barefoot sandals.

Here's How I Fell In Love With My New Summer Sandals, barefoot sandals, www.mariyamhasnain.com

From shoes to no shoes, barefoot sandals define the current craze of the season. With celebs sporting their open-toe shoes everywhere, going barefoot might be the next style statement, especially for those who love sunbathing and enjoying the summer heat on the beach like me.

As flip flops are the new fashion trend this summers, barefoot sandals seem to be the perfect beach wear this season. Be it beach wedding, poolside party, or any other occasion, you can either team them up with shoes or just go bare feet with these boho style sandals decorating the top of your feet.

The sandals are just perfect for any barefoot activity, for instance, yoga, dancing, pilates, sunbathing, hippie wedding or beach wedding. These hand-made fashion sandals are made up of 100% cotton yarn with decorative beads. The anklet sandals stretch to fit around your ankle and toe and beautifully complement your bare feet. These sandals are the perfect foot jewelry for summers and one size fits all, so you need not worry about the size if you order them online.

Go crazy this summer. Flaunt your style and oomph with your favorite pair of barefoot sandals.

~MH

What Women Want? Good Looks or A Good Heart

Do you read romance novels? Have you checked the recently released romance books? If yes, you must have noticed, if not all, most of these romance books have nude male models flaunting their muscles and chests on their front covers. Often tattooed.

If you buy any of these books, there’s a high likelihood the hero suffers from alpha machoism syndrome.

Most of the times, the romance writers get so busy describing the chest, abs, ass, and even penises of their heroes, they lost it for making them believable. Often, the alpha male dominance overshadows the emotional aspects of a man’s heart. Something that any woman loves to explore and understand.

So, today apart from alpha machoism I’ll tell you what are the other things I will love to read about in a male protagonist or look for in any sexy good looking man or what women want

  • His weaknesses
  • The vulnerable side of his personality
  • His failures, and what he has learned from them
  • How he deals with his insecurities
  • His confidence
  • His funny side
  • Love and care he gives to his woman
  • His contribution to the society

These are the things which I look out for in any male protagonist apart from good looks, height, and physique. I won’t say I haven’t found these qualities in any of the alpha male fictional characters. There are some romance writers who have totally mesmerized me through their beauty of writing. But still most of the time, the romantic fiction books are full of sex scenes and the physical description of the males including their genitals it makes me put the book in the DNF category.

Often the description of male cologne is so sense driven, it forces me to ponder have I ever smelled something like this on my husband. Or, do I have a dysfunctional nose. I wonder if any man in real life wears these peculiar fragrances. Yeah, I know what are male colognes, but I can’t categorize them either into musky, leathery, woodsy, earthy, or aquatic. Can anyone come up with a sexy term for sweat admixed body fragrance? If you know a word that explains a man’s real scent, please let me know in the comment section. Because I have just not found the term for that.

Now coming to the looks and facial features. Hazel-green eyes, blue striking gaze, deep brown eyes, almond-shaped eyes, eyes like marbles. If I miss anything here, please tell me.

Then, bulging biceps, chiseled chest, 6-packs abs are the usual whereabouts of any alpha male. The alpha males most of the time either wear worn out jeans which hug their long legs perfectly or formal black suits with red ties, tailored to perfection. Nothing else.

These unrealistic and unbelievable male-character descriptions are the flavor and ingredients of any romantic novel these days. As these types of description allure women readers, use of these cliches has become a norm and a never-ending practice for many romance authors. To some extent, these things are okay and consumable if not very appetizing. But repeatedly serving the same soup to your readers often make them bored and offended. Readers like me look for variations.

We know fictions are most of the time the reflections of reality And in reality, people who fall in love are not always perfect. Likewise, romance novel male protagonists could be vulnerable, disabled, and insecure.

I think the key lies in making fictional male protagonists real and believable. If not always three dimensional. And romance writers need to think about this.

To engage their readers and to increase their readership, they need to create believable male characters with equal flaws and virtues–characters that are not always good looking, their jeans often hang loosely on their butts and their chests are not always chiseled but formless. But, they are confident about their looks, know how to love a woman. They are funny, caring, and are well aware of the purpose of their existence.

In my opinion, these males are damn sexy and appealing than a cold-hearted chiseled chested alpha whose heart has even gone rock hard like his chest and abs.

~MH

My Mom’s Awadhi Biryani Recipe

Do you like monotony? I’m sure you don’t.

There’s nothing interesting if you follow the same routine day in and day out. Life tends to get monotonous if you go about the same pattern every day.

But, boy do you really need to follow the commands like a robot?

No, you don’t have to. You have reasons, choices, and priorities to help break the routineness of life.

Hurray! Human instincts are still alive!

In my opinion, there are no better reasons than festivals to break this dullness. Celebrations make our lives colorful. And, not so long but at least for a moment or a day, we forget the humdrum of life and usher in the sheer spirit of fun.

Today is Monday and the day of a new post on my blog. It’s really a sweet coincidence, that today we all are celebrating the pious festival of Eid after a month-long fasting.

Breaking the monotony of posting romantic short stories over and over again for the past couple of weeks, this Monday, I’m posting something totally different.

Today, I’m posting my Mom’s authentic Awadhi Biryani recipe, the best chicken biryani recipe, for all those biryani lovers out there and for all my friends, followers, and well-wishers who love making and eating biryani at home.

So, here comes the Quick and Easy Biryani Recipe

Things Needed – Biryani Ingredients

Chicken – 1 kg (full with breast and legs)

Long-grain basmati rice – 1-1/2 kg (soaked in enough water for half an hour)

Curd – 500 mL

Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tablespoon

Garam masala powder – 1 tablespoon

Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Onion – 6 big (sliced)

Oil or Ghee – 500 mL

Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Cinnamon stick – 1-inch piece

Black pepper corns – 5 to 6

Cardamom – 4 to 5

Cloves – 4 to 5

Bay leaves – 2

My Mom's Awadhi Biryani Recipe, Easy Biryani Recipe, www.mariyamhasnain.com

How to Cook

Mix curd with ginger-garlic paste, garam masala powder, red chili powder, salt, and cumin powder. Marinate the chicken pieces in the curd. Put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Saute onion in a pan till golden brown. Add the marinated chicken pieces, cook and cover until chicken is tender. Saute the preparation until oil separates. Switch off the heat and keep aside.

In a big vessel, take 1 liter of water. Add salt, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaf. Put the water on the boil. When bubbles form, add soaked rice, and cook on low heat until the rice is semi-cooked.

Strain all the water from the rice. Now, take a flat-bottomed vessel, preferably copper, spread a layer of rice followed by a layer of cooked chicken. Repeat this process until all rice and all chicken is utilized.

Sprinkle mint and coriander leaves and some fried onion slices onto the top layer.

Dissolve some yellow food color or saffron strands in water and sprinkle on the top layer of rice.

Cover the vessel with Aluminum foil without leaving any space for the air to escape. This is necessary for steam buildup and uniform and proper cooking of rice along with chicken and spices.

Put the vessel on very low flame and cook for approximately 45 minutes. Switch off the heat and let the biryani stand on the switched off the stove for an hour or so before serving.

Serve the biryani with mint or cumin raita.

I hope you like this quick and easy biryani recipe straight from my mom’ kitchen. Hope, you’ll make it in your kitchen and enjoy it with your family.

See you next Monday, Till then Bye.

Happy Cooking!

 

20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture

Just in case you didn’t know, Thailand is one of the hottest travel destinations in the Southeast Asia. People come here from different parts of the world eager to experience the “Complex Thai Charm” that they have only heard of before…  Something that has drawn them for a long time and then they get fascinated by the hospitality, beauty, and friendliness of this amazing exotic country. So much so that they keep coming back if not making the Land of Smiles their permanent abode some day. Besides the picturesque beaches, hospitality, and affordability, it’s the Thailand nightlife that attracts visitors from across the world.To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a visit to the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that will warm you up before you visit amazing Thailand.

To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a visit to the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that will warm you up before you visit amazing Thailand.

Living in Thailand is an exotic dream for many westerners which they can live without even burning a hole in their pockets or breaking their banks.

To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a long stay in the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that can help you not just have a great time but also minimize the culture shock.

20 Interesting Facts about Siam, its people, and culture

  • In the Thai language, the country is named as Prathet Thai. The English meaning of the term Prathet Thai is the land of the free which exactly defines the origination and history of the country. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that had never been colonized by any of the European nation.
  • The highly practiced religion in Siam is Buddhism with 94.6% of the population following the teachings attributed to Lord Buddha.

Thailand Meditation

  • Thai is the national and widely spoken language of the region. Like Chinese and Vietnamese, Thai is also a very tonal language with 32 vowels and 44 consonants.
  • Millions of tourists visit the land of smile every year and their number approximates to around 16 million. Thailand is one of the hottest travel destinations among people from developed countries across UK, US, and Europe.
  • Sex tourism was at its peak in the country during the 1960 and 70s when Vietnam War American troops were directed to R&R site, not attached to military bases.
  • The country was first time hit by the human immunodeficiency virus in 1984. Today, Thailand has the highest occurrences of AIDS cases than any other Asian country.
  • Child sex trafficking incidents are the common occurrence here, and the country has one of the worst child sex trafficking records in the world.
  • Siam is known for its sexual tolerance and is a safe place for same-sex couples and transgenders – famous with a street name of ladyboys, seen commonly in the mainstream society.
  • Thais are humble, polite, and fun loving people, so raising your voice is completely unacceptable in Thai culture. One should never lose his or her cool in public. The best way is to avoid confrontation and let things go.
  • Thais always seem so happy and relaxed. Happiness is in their attitude and comes from within. This explains the hospitable and carefree nature of the land of smile.
  • Thai people are really obsessed with two things. The first is white skin and the second is taking selfies.
    20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture, www.mariyamhasnain.com
    Thai way of Greeting People
  • Thailand is a constitutional monarchy much like England where the King is considered to be the head of the country. Thai people are seriously sensitive about their king and can’t accept any rude behavior or remarks towards the dignity of their king.
  • Putting feet or stepping on Thai currency is considered equivalent to disrespecting the monarch because it carries the king’s image on it.
  • Drug trafficking is a serious offense in the country, and the penalty of the crime is as severe as death or life imprisonment if the accused is found guilty in the court of law.
  • The national and official symbol of Thailand is Garuda, a half man and half eagle, from the Indian epic Ramayana.
  • Thailand’s culture is highly influenced by China’s traditional and Indian religious values and teachings.
  • The country’s capital city Bangkok is the highly populated city of the country and stands atop the list of world’s most visited cities.
20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture, www.mariyamhasnain.com
Buddhist Monks Walking the Streets of Bangkok
  • Siam has always been the hotbed for world trade and had ancient business links to Asia, Middle East, and Europe. In the past, the ancient city of Ayutthaya was the most powerful city in terms of economic stability and international trade.
  • Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of orchids and the second largest exporter of rice.
  • Thailand’s tourism industry that suffered some minor setbacks after the recent bombing at a shrine in central Bangkok has started to pick up and the country hopes that it will bounce back.

As you can see Thailand is a whole new experience and is very different from visiting any South Asian country. For you who loves intrigue, awakening and a whole new world, I would recommend reading Camouflage: The Racing Romantic Suspense Set In Exotic Thailand.

***

Camouflage - Lost and Found, www.mariyamhasnain.comIf you are already smitten by Thai charms, You would love to read my new romantic suspense thriller Camouflage. The best part is I’m giving away first few chapters totally free. You don’t want to miss this amazing “Quick read with a fantastic blend of romance and intrigue” that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire time – Click here to get it now.

Camouflage is a story of Mark, a corporate executive, who migrates to Thailand in search of happiness, freedom, and most importantly to feel alive and ends up falling in love with his next-door neighbor, a Thai Girl, Sheina.

Rich in vivid description, full of intrigue, thrill and lots of passionate romance, Camouflage explores the truth hidden behind the glittering and wild nightlife of Thailand. The book sneaks into the darker areas of the country’s thriving sex industry, drug trafficking, and gang violence.

All in all this would be an edge of the seat entertaining read…assured!

Claim The Free Read of Camouflage

 

Click Here Now!

FREE BONUS TO LUCKY WINNERS

Grab your copy of Camouflage in any format and you are eligible to receive this surprise gift worldwide.

No, you’re not getting another book free but something that has a genuine connection to Thailand. So I am giving away 5 of these retro-style open Thai rings to 5 lucky winners every month.

Thai Vinatage Open Ring
5 Lucky Winners Will Get This Amazing Vintage Thai Ring Every Month.
Thai Open Ring[1]
Goes nicely with your style.
  Claim The Free Read of Camouflage

 

Click Here Now!

5 Unique Indian Beverages that will make you swoon

I love traveling and ever since my marriage, I’ve been constantly hopping state after state.

First, Andhra Pradesh, then Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, and finally circling back to Karnataka.

Roaming across the Indian subcontinent tasting popular cuisines of the North to the little-known delicacies of the South, I often wondered what kind of beverages are made in the rustic kitchens of various Indian states.

And, to my surprise, my quest of knowing more about Indian beverages especially Indian home-made wines and beers opened an altogether different chapter of exploration.

There is a quite a number of beverages Indian people make at their homes. From Chang of Sikkim to the Kallu of Kochi, from the delicious thandai of Varanasi to the Rice Beer the Naga people make, Indian home-made beers and wines have their own unique tastes and ways of making.

My little research about Indian beverages yet again reminded me of the distinct and diverse cultures of Indian subcontinent. In this multicultural multiethnic country where each state and region have its language and cuisine, beverage making and drinking add more to the diversity of the nation. And, as their preparation methods and tastes differ from state to state, the rituals involved with wine or beer drinking are also quite peculiar and distinct to each region.

Indian beverages, mariyamhasnain, 5 Unique Indian Beverages that will make you swoon

Be it’s crushing the cashew apples or tapping the todi from the palms, the fermentations of the main raw produce or the traditions and cultures involved with drinking Indian homemade beers and wines, the Indan beverages boast the homely taste, ethnicity, and diversity. There’s an unsophisticated appeal to Indian wine and beer drinking, something that’s hard to find in the multitude of beverages served in the sophisticated bars and restaurants of all modern cities across the world.

  • Goan Feni: Goa is known for its white sand beaches, hospitality, and picturesque towns and villages. The one more thing that’s synonymous with Goa is Goan Feni. While cashew feni is made up of cashew apples, coconut feni is made by distilling the fermented toddy from the coconut palm. Being classified as country liquor, Goan feni is not allowed to be sold outside Goa, so if you want to taste the spirit of Goa, you have to visit this Western state of India.
  • South India’s Kallu: Also known as palm wine, Kallu is made and drank all across Southern India. Made typically by fermenting the toddy tapped from coconut and lala palms, Kallu is one of the mostly consumed Indian alcoholic drinks in all Southern states of the subcontinent. This traditional Indian drink is famous in the rural parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala. However, the sale of Kallu is currently banned in Tamil Nadu.
  • Sikkim’s Chaang: Chaang is the drink of Northeast India, popular in parts of Eastern Himalayas and typically prepared by Lepcha tribe of Sikkim. A relative of beer, this hot drink is typically sipped from a bamboo tumbler. The semi-fermented seeds of millets are stuffed in a bamboo barrel. Boiling water is then poured onto them. The drink is then consumed using a narrow-bore bamboo tube or can be poured into bamboo mugs before serving.
  • Zutho: Usually consumed by the Naga people in the rural terrains of Nagaland, Zutho is also called the rice beer. Known for its fruity smell, the drink is considered to be the Naga version of Japanese sake. The rice beer contains approximately 5% ethanol and is very subtle, natural, and unique in taste. There is a unique tradition that Nagas follow before tasting the beverage. Nagas wrestle in the mud before they have their drink. It’s a major part of their tradition.
  • Varanasi Bhang Thandai: Thandai is a North Indian cold drink made up of milk, saffron, sugar, cardamom, rose petals, almonds, and fennel seeds. Thandai is a famous drink of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. When whole milk and groundnuts mixture is mixed with a small amount of bhang (cannabis leaves and buds), it results into a mildly intoxicated milk beverage that is called bhang thandai. Bhang thandai is often consumed during Indian festivals of Holi and Shivratri.

In India, beverage drinking is associated with cultures and traditions of the Indian soil, typically in rural India. Indian indigenous tribes and communities are preserving the Indian heritage of wine making and drinking by passing the unique legacy from one generation to the other.

Indian home-made wines and beers are known for their natural taste and rusticity. Despite modern technological advancements, Indians still practice the old methods of wine making at home. This explains the very existence of age-old methods of wine making and drinking in the rustic kitchens of rural India.

I hope you like what you read. If you’re a country wine lover, please do leave a comment about your favorite beverage. I would love to know if you’ve ever witnessed the actual process of wine making or tasted the fresh brew. Share your experiences and suggestions in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

Image: Kshitij

How to Become More Social and Outgoing – Tips for Introverts

I’d been a secluded child since my early childhood days. As time passed, I became more and more private, always confined in my room. Parties and crowded events became my constant enemies. However, as I grew older it didn’t take much time for me to realize that my introvert characteristics are dominating my personal growth and overshadowing a major part of my personality.

How to Overcome an Introverted Personality

Social interactions are essential for overall self-growth and self-development. You can’t speak in public and a public-speaking fear will overtake you and mask all your inner abilities and worthiness if you haven’t interacted with people before.

It’s clear now that even though if you’re an introvert, you need to inculcate the extrovert characteristics to gain authority and reputation in your area of expertise.

Being introvert or extrovert is someone’s personality trait and it’s just a part of a wide range of strengths and weaknesses collectively. This means that none of us is either completely extrovert or introvert. However, there are fair chances that one characteristic is constantly commanding over the other giving you an overall impression of a social or an unsocial person.

So, how do you know if you’re an introvert or extrovert? Well, it’s fairly easy – by identifying your general behavior and characteristics in public and personal spaces.

Characteristics of an Extrovert:

  • Social people are outgoing in nature and behavior
  • They hate the idea of being alone
  • They don’t like doing lonesome jobs, something that involves constant attention
  • They prefer dealing people and love doing things like planning an event, organizing a party or a get-together
  • Last but not the least they have lots of friends. In fact, they are friends to everyone.

Characteristics of an Introvert

  • They are loners. They live in the world of their own and prefer being alone
  • They hate going out. Their favorite activities are reading, sketching, painting, writing, watching television, curling up in the bed, catching sleep, cooking, baking
  • They avoid getting involved in group activities such as debates, planning an event or going out in groups
  • Things that introverts really like to do and are undoubtedly good at are painting, writing, sculpting, gardening etc.
  • Introverts tend to avoid people they randomly meet on streets, coffee shops, or at school or college
  • Introverts generally feel anxious and fearful when making public appearances. They often have to deal with stage fear and social anxiety

How to Overcome an Introverted PersonalityYou see the difference here. Studies suggested that many prolific authors, painters, and artists were introvert. Although networking is quite a task for introverts, they are masters in their own skills. Because of their serious nature, they can focus more constructively. They are more creative. They are thinkers and have the charisma of achieving invincible things.

But there are certain scenarios when introverts need to balance things. They need to mingle up, socialize, network with others to showcase their talents and let the world know about them.

If you’re an introvert, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and take the charge.

 

 Can You Change from Introvert to Extrovert

Being an introvert, social interaction doesn’t come as a god’s gift to you but you have to develop qualities that can make you tackle certain of your unsocial behavior flawlessly.

Read the following points carefully. And, I’m sure you’ll be able to understand how introverts can become more extrovert and turn the tide in their favor by utilizing their inner strengths.

  • Find out your inner strengths. Find out what you are good at
  • Keep in mind you live in a free country. Exercise your powers of freedom of expression and speech. You’re free to agree or disagree. Avoid anxiety and give yourself a fair chance of being heard
  • Introspect yourself in non-public hours. Analyze your behavior and practice speaking as you stand in front of a mirror. Focus on your facial expression and body language. It should be pleasing and friendly. Imagine you’re not talking to your reflection but someone whom you’ve just met
  • Utilize mental clarity when required to be assertive in public than to avoid the situation. Speak up if you think you have something that people should know
  • Create opportunities to work with people and engage with them. Talk less, hear more, and simply score when the opportunity arises (beat where the extroverts miss)
  • When in groups – appreciate the difference of opinion, heterogeneity, and chaos before making your point and taking a stand
  • Research and contemplate on what people think and say – learn things as soon as you exit from your thought process

These are a few quick tips that introverts need to practice on an every day basis to gain confidence, improve their networking skill, and overcome the fear of public speaking.

 

~MH