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Pujo shopping

As I’ve earlier said that Durga pujo is not just a festival but an emotion for all Bongs residing inside or outside of Kolkata. This time, Kolkata looks quite distinct from other days. The fairy lights hanging from all the corners of the streets, the hoardings showcasing different advertisements, the pandal making , various temporary stalls are put up in many locations, the fairs alongside the pujo grounds transfer Kolkata into a hysterical trance.

Apart from Durga puja, Navratri is held during this time. When rest of the India eats vegetarian food, we Bongs gorge upon non-veg😀 Durga pujo is related to home-coming of our beloved daughter Uma with her kiddos to her maiden home. This definitely calls for a celebration. In many households, the married daughters come back to their father’s place.

Now pujo shopping (shopping for the purpose of pujo) plays a pivotal role in Durga pujo jollification. Different trendy clothes become trending during this time. Fashion designers work day and night to design new designs and set new trends. After all the time calls for merrymaking.

Now in Kolkata there are three main shopping markets. Hatibagan which is in North Kolkata, New Market which is in mid Kolkata and Gariahat lies in South Kolkata. Numerous shops lay down their stocks for us and display their best ones in manequins.

While I was penning down this, I became nostalgic riminiscing my childhood. During those times, I used to go shopping with my parents in Hatibagan. As I stepped down from the bus, my first priority was to gorge upon chicken rolls. I loved eating rolls in childhood. I was a nagging kid since then, my mother faced difficulty while feeding me, so she wouldn’t intervene, as then, it were only rolls which I relished without any tantrums. Then carrying a roll in my hand, our next destination used to be the shops. Definitely we were abstrained to enter into any as my roll might stain the clothes. After consuming it outside, we would get the chance to enter.

Let me share another instance with you guys. Again in one such puja time daddy bought me a toy giraffe filled with air. It was kind of a balloon. As it was not possible for us to inflate, my daddy requested them to puff it in the shop itself. After inflation, it doubled almost half of my size. I was so in awe and overwhelmed that I found it to be dangerous to stroll in the street carrying that in hand. I might have thought then that someone will snatch it from me. Coming outside the shop, my mom urged me to have roll. I told them that I wanted to go home immediately. Daddy requested me to have roll and then our puja shopping was also pending. I started crying at the top of my voice. Finally my parents had to give up and come back home. Back at home, I was so elated and relaxed that atleast I could bring back my giraffe safely at home.

Nowadays, its not possible to shop offline owing to our hectic work pressure. Online shopping sites have taken over the place of shops. But it’s ok. We should always go with the flow. But that charm of pujo shopping always remain same in every Bongs’ hearts, be it online or offline, pujo.

So this is it for now. Do let me know how you all liked my childhood stories.

Thank you!

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PRE- pujo

Hi!

Durga pujo is not just a festival but an emotion for the bongs. Not only in West Bengal, but also for them who stay outside Bengal or India.

This year Durga pujo is going to be different. Why? Because of COVID 19. Who wondered that we were going to invest in different kinds of masks, sanitizers and hand washes rather than buying clothes and accessories?

Usually, Mahalaya marks the beginning of Devipaksha and the ending of Pitripaksha. We hardly obtain a gap of 10-15 days between Mahalaya and the commencement of Durga pujo. But this year is going to be different because we got a 45 days gap between these two. So isn’t this year weird?

Many of the eminent pujo makers have shut off their pujo. Many sponsors aren’t investing this year. There are only a few banners and hoardings seen in the streets and alleys. Otherwise, after Mahalaya not any main road can be seen without them. Chinese lights would have been lit by now. But this year there is absolute silence. May be because we have a 45 days gap between Mahalaya and Durga pujo. This year, pandals will have to be three side open. Government has imposed rules and regulations regarding the same. So we can’t witness the lavishness and grandeur of the Pandals this time.

If we talk about T.V commercials of advertising garments and the possible sales, they are being telecasted now and then but that excitement is really lacking.

Each year if I talk of shopping, there remains a clear difference between online and offline shopping places. Some percentage of people love online shopping as they really want to avoid the queue while certain number hop in to the physical shops. They say they want to feel the crowd and the flavour of pujo shopping. Three main age old shopping destinations of Kolkata— New Market, Gariahat and Hatibagan adorn themselves in a new way . Variety of manequins with different dress styles perch upon the footpaths before the shops. Nowadays, people shop a lot from malls but venturing out in these markets for knick-knacks serve as a side dish.

By the meantime, Kolkata looks completely different. Along with the hustle and bustle of daily activities, that aroma of homecoming hovers around. Trains, buses and flights remain packed up with people coming home. Durga pujo is also about coming and nurturing to the roots. It is also because Durga, who is embraced as a daughter of each household, come to her maiden home with her children. This calls for a celebration for sure.

Not only the streets and the nature who embrace this festivities, but also every bong household decorates herself to welcome Durga. Different types of munchies are prepared. Naru , nimki etc. are made by the grannies. We chalk out the dresses on which day to wear which.

We are paying a lot due to this lockdown. Many people have lost their jobs, while many are getting their half salary. Numerous people are jobless and have no income at all. We must have never hoped this kind of a pujo ever in our life or dream.

I would pray to Durga to improve the situation so that we can welcome her more heartily in our next year .

Thanks for now.

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Tips to reach your personal goals

I can, and I will.”— This should be your motto for life.

An ambitious person can achieve everything he/she aspires. Thomas Otway says, ” Ambition is a lust that is never quenched, but grows more inflamed and madder by enjoyment.”

I just give you a short reference of my life. I was always clear what I wanted to be since childhood. My dad is a teacher and many of our family members are related to Education sector. So I always wanted to be one. I can remember I used to nag to dad to arrange me a chalk and a duster. Once he bought me a box full of chalks and how much I was elated. Our rooms were not whitewashed then so it was really easy to scribble anything on doors and windows with those chalks. After returning from school, it was my first chore to write on the doors and windows whatever I used to learn at school.

This was how I procured my teachership and I had many students. The soft toys used to be my students and I loved teaching them.

Now when I teach my human students and look behind I think how beautiful the childhood was! How I wish to go back to those golden days!

Now coming to the topic.

How to achieve your goals?

1. Write your goals first.

Your first step towards achieving your goals are jotting down the ideas first. This has proved to be effective to many. Make sure that your goals are visible. Either you write down in a white board or a pin board or maintain a diary. This will continually remind you about your goals.

2. Keep patient with yourself.

Rome wasn’t built in a day so you need to be patient with yourself and try to focus on your goals. Hard work pays off someday for sure. As they say, slow and steady win the race. You may need to spend hours and hours to achieve your goal. Best things in life take time to fulfill, so that they become more rewarding.

3. Celebrate your achievements.

No matter how small it is, celebrate your achievements. This will help you to remain more focussed. Sometimes you’ll feel that it is taking a long time to reach closer to your goal and when you look back you’ll find you are way farther from where you have started. So to boost up your spirit, celebration is a must.

4. Road blocks aren’t failures.

We all know the phrase which says when one door closes, other door opens. Well, it’s not just inspiring but also factual. May be life has her own ways to take you nearer to your goal. So next time, when you hit a wall , be kind to yourself. You never know what is in store for you in the corner.

5. Listen to criticism

Criticisms have their own way to nurture your talents. Criticisms are not personal attacks. They serve as a strainer to strain out your better version. So next time when you hear criticisms don’t just counter attack rather work upon yourself so that you can get more closer to your goals.

Hopefully these tips will benefit you to achieve your goals more quickly.

Thanking you.

Hope to see you in my next blog.

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Compressed Sheet Masks

Hello guys,

Sheet masks are a much hyped product nowadays. Almost each and every company has introduced or is launching their sheet masks.

In case , you aren’t aware what a sheet mask is, I’ll tell you what. A SHEET MASK is a face shaped sheet fabric soaked in nutrition packed solution or liquid. This comes in variety of materials. Some are fibre based while others are gel types.

Now coming to its cost, the sheet masks are available quite pricey because these are for one time use only. You tear a packet, use it and throw it away. Yes, they will do some favours to you but it’s really not affordable to bear a minimum amount of RS 100/- per week. But one should know that weekly masking is really beneficial for your skin. Hence these Miniso DIY sheets masks came to me as a saviour.

I can make the solution according to my choice and mood. I’ve a dry skin and so I need to do a lot of toil for extra moisturisation. When this product was launched , I was ecstatic enough to use it and when I noticed this on the rack of Miniso store , I had to grab it immediately.

Now coming to the product.

Miniso has a wide range of sheet masks in boxes and packets. I tried my hands on the box one. It has 30 compressed sheet masks each packed individually in tablet form. When packed, they look like flavourful toffees that were found in my childhood. The box also contains a small bowl for the solution. These masks work best if the solution is more on a watery side.

I prepare different kinds of solutions to dip my sheet masks in. So without further ado, let’s dig in to my solution recipes.

Solution 1: Add lemon juice, curd, a pinch of turmeric powder and rose water. Lastly dip the mask and put in the fridge for 5 minutes and apply.

Solution 2: Add serum, essential oil, and rose water. Dip the mask into the solution and after resting it in the fridge for 5 minutes, use it.

Solution 3: Add milk, essential oil and rose water. Immerse the mask into the liquid , leave it in fridge for 5 minutes, then use it.

Solution 4: Add tomato juice, cucumber juice, potato juice and rose water and apply after keeping it in fridge.

If you don’t want you can skip resting it in fridge. I love putting anything on face which is cold so I do it.

Prepare the concoction or the essence in the bowl that you’ve got and dip your mask in it. In a snap, the tablet will transform into a proper mask. You’ve to handle it carefully while opening, place it properly on your face and take a beauty nap of fifteen minutes.

Pros:-

⚫These are fibre masks which soaks in the liquid and allows to sit on your skin. The skin absorbs it completely. You can also rub the remaining nutrient on your neck ,hands or feet. The masks come in a reusable plastic box.

Cons:-

⚫I don’t see any.

So bye for now.

See you soon in my next blog.

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Stop comparing yourself to others.

Hi!

Every person is special. They have some kind of uniqueness in themselves in one way or the other. Some can be good at dancing or singing, while, some have a poetic entity in them; some are introvert, while, some are extrovert. Life goes on like this.

So as the wheels of our life’s train keep rolling, we often lag behind from our goals, ambitions or aspirations. But why?

There is no concrete answer to this question. Different people have different responses. A few say that they could not fight against their fears, while, many say they could not show their courage to aspire their dreams. In a nutshell, they weren’t triumphant or victorious.

Not everyone has that someone who can show him/her the path of success. And to become successful, you need to tread the path of failure as well because

Failure is the pillar of success.”

I’m going to share with you my five failure recipes freshly brewed from my life journey.

1. Stop glorifying failure

Whether you’re starting a new business or a family, strategize your plans first. Keep a positive outlook and don’t think of the failures. Nowadays I’ve seen many a people extol their un-success. You shouldn’t listen to that in the beginning. Any doubt can lead your first step towards failure. So, keep the lamp of positiveness glowing in your heart.

2. Try and try until you succeed

How can you expect something without giving a try? How can you anticipate things before approaching? If you want it, you need to get it. Others here are spectators, you need to do your own job by yourself. There will be many to advise you, but, in reality, there will be none to help you. So nothing comes without trying. The tortoise, too, didn’t lose hope. It went on and on until it reached the finishing line.

3. Don’t underestimate

Things look very easy from outside but when you’re actually working on it, you can understand what is what. It’s lovely to get a toned body but you need to exercise for that or follow a strict diet. People often do mistakes here. Before their achievement, they stop and hence, they fail. So, when you’re passionate about something, try to fulfill that. Never underestimate to whatever it takes it.

4. Laziness

Now this is what many people will admit that a lazy person can’t achieve anything in life. You want to get a good body and didn’t workout , this is what is being lazy. You want to have a good food but didn’t cook, this is called laziness. Now this doesn’t mean that you need to do a lot of physical activities . It requires an involvement of your skills too. You need to understand what skills or knowledge you need to indulge in. Don’t be lazy when it is about your goal. Don’t pro-crastinate. When you were watching T.V for hours, someone there, is working out on his/her goals. He achieved his/her goals but you didn’t, because, you were lazy.

5. Competition

Compete for good. It enhances your sportsman spirit. But bad competition is harmful. Don’t let your ego rule your brain. Success comes to them who instrumentally are better than others. Successful people don’t compete , they dominate. Come up as a phoenix. Be the better version of yourself.

All for now.

I hope you’ll try these out in your journey. I will be very happy if I can be a small chapter in your success story.

Thank you.

Bye! See you soon.

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Yoo-hoo for SKINCARE

Are you in your late 20s or early 30s? Do you face a problem of dull skin? Do you have pigmentation or freckles on your cheeks? Are you having fine lines? Do you have dry, sensitive skin?

If yes, then you are in a right place.

All of us should have a ‘me-time’ because it facilitates a positive vibe in us. Nothing is fulfilled until we are happy. Unless we’re happy from within, we can’t keep our surroundings in a gala mood. So this ‘feel-good’ factor is very important. Everything can wait but time and tide wait for none. Human tendency to become beautiful is age old. We have so many instances regarding it. Starting from the time of Kings/Queens to modern day men/women, we all love to look pretty and beautiful. We do love to get compliments, don’t we?

Indulging in skincare and pampering ourselves with all the goodness of nature can really give benefits to our skin. I’m blessed with dry skin. I know you’re frowning by the word ‘blessed’ but you should embrace with what you have and need to work upon that. Then only, you can focus on the things you need.

I started my skincare in mid 20s and believe me since then, I don’t really face a lot of problems regarding my skin. When I came to know my skin type, my main mantra was following CTM(cleansing-toning-moisturizing)method. If you’re not into following a strict skincare diet, you can atleast follow this step twice a day. Half of your skin problems will diminish. Trust me!

Owing to my busy schedule, I don’t really get ample time for skincare but there are some must haves for me.

DAYCARE-

1️⃣ After CTM, I apply a good sunscreen. Currently I’m using Requil sunscreen, easily available on Amazon and Nykaa. Remember applying a sunscreen even at home is must. You can’t skip this step. Reapply sunscreen according to your need.

NIGHTCARE-

2️⃣ Wipe out makeup with make up wipes/cleansing milk. I use HIMALAYA cleansing milk.

3️⃣ Then I follow double cleansing method to ensure that no residue of makeup is left behind on my face. I use LAKME Blush and Glow Lemon facewash. Lemon is good for tan removal.

4️⃣ For toning, I use IT’S SKIN Hyaluronic acid toner. Hyaluronic acid is good for dry skin. Don’t get petrified by the term acid. All acids are not bad. Hyaluronic acid is a one that is present in new born which is why their skin is so soft and plump.

5️⃣ I apply serum after this. I’ve LOYUS PROFESSIONAL PhytoRX whitening and brightening serum. Serums contain a higher concentration of active ingredients that penetrate directly into your skin. Pat dry till it absorbs all the goodness.

6️⃣ Now coming to moisturisation, I use Pond’s light moisturizer during day. It is non-sticky and very much apt to use in day.

But at night, I use LOTUS PROFESSIONAL PHYTORX whitening and brightening night creme.

7️⃣ Now it’s time for eye cream. I use O3+ Professional whitening and brightening eye cream.

8️⃣ Lastly I apply lipbalm. Currently I’m using Nykaa Serial Kisser lipbalm in flavour Pomegranate but recently I have purchased Kaya lipbalm. Not used though.

My other must haves are-

🔴 Coffee Body scrub and hand cream from M Caffeine.

🔵 LOTUS de-tan pack (for hands and feet) and clay face pack.

O3+ de-tan pack for face and neck

⚪ I had bought DIY compressed sheet masks from Miniso. I prepare my own ingredients and dip the masks in it. Once a week masking is enough.

I hope you loved it.

Sayonara!

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MUNCHIES……

Bonjour

Happy to see you here.

In Bengali households, rainy evenings call for a strong milk tea(not talking of the health conscious ones) or coffee accompanied by fritters. Bengalis are well known for their fritter consumption. You’ll find innumerable stalls of TELE-BHAJA in and around Kolkata. Not only in Kolkata, these stalls have sprawled all over West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha.

Owing to this pandemic, we all have become conscious about our health, so most of us have refrained ourselves from purchasing anything from these roadside stalls or anything from fast food centres, haven’t we? But our cravings know no bounds.

Everything has it’s pros and cons. This pandemic has instilled into the characteristics of a chef in many of us. I know most of you will enroll yourselves in the next MasterChef season, won’t you? Jokes apart! Coming to my side, I’m an inborn foodie and a lazy person who finds countless excuses for not working. Prior to this pandemic, either I requested mom or ordered something from restaurant. A big shout-out for Zomato and Swiggy. But as I said, everything has its gains and losses. Due to this health issue, I’ve abstrained myself from ordering anything from outside.

One day, I was hankering for potato fritters. I told Abhi about the same. We are poles apart regarding cooking. He is really a good chef while I’m futile. He kept pestering me why don’t you try it yourself? There are so many YouTube videos. As usual, I adamantly told him that I’m not going to prepare anything. I don’t like cooking.

Days passed and my cravings for various foods increased. Then one fine day, I pondered upon the idea of giving potato fritters a try .

How to make potato fritters?

1️⃣ Slice the potatoes in your desired shapes. I’d cut them in round. Smear them with pinch of turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.

2️⃣ Mix 2 cups of gram flour, 3 table spoons of poppy seeds, 1/2 table spoon of hing(asfoetida), 1/2 table spoon of calonji seeds, salt to taste, pinch of turmeric powder with water.

3️⃣ Dip a potato slice in the batter and transfer it into oil. Fry in batches.

Best served with any dips or with muri (puffed rice).

From then on I started my cooking spree. Then I prepared Noodles.

⚪ Take noodles and boil them for 10 minutes with salt. Strain the water, wash them with cold water, sprinkle some oil so that they don’t stick to each other and keep aside. Now in a skillet, fry the onions, eggs/chicken and vegetables (you can add any kinds of vegetables that you like). Add salt to taste and sauces (tomato, chilli, soy). Add the noodles and toss in high flame.

The third item that I prepared was Aloo Tikka Chaat.

Boil and peel potatoes. Mash them properly. Add cumin powder, coriander powder, Bengali bhaja masala, paprika powder, black pepper powder, salt , chopped green chillies, lemon juice and mix them properly. Grease your palms, take an adequate amount and flatten them. In a bowl take gram flour and in it mix ajwain , salt and black pepper powder. Dust the tikkas with it and keep them in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then fry the tikkas in a shallow pan. In another bowl, mix curd with cumin powder, black salt and little bit of sugar/honey. Place the tikkas in a plate, top them with seasoned curd and chutneys of your choice( tamarind, coriander, pudina). You can also add bhujia and peanuts on the top.

Now it’s time for some chinrer polao.

Cut the vegetables of your choice. Wash the poha/flattened rice/chinre. Heat white/refined oil in a pan. Add garam masalas(cinnamon, cardamom, clove, Bay leaf) and let it splutter. Add jeera or cumin seeds. You can also add curry leaves. Add ginger paste and fry. Then fry the vegetables. Add raisins, cashew nuts or peanuts. Add turmeric powder, green chillies and mix everything with salt and sugar. Lastly add the poha or chinre and mix. Top it with ghee/clarified butter. You can add tomato ketchup.

I hope you’ll prepare them too .

Adios.

Catch you in my next blog.

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Affinity towards Agatha

Hi folks,

Nice to see you again.

You must have already known that I loved reading books since childhood. Like any other child, I too had a strong attraction towards fairy tales like THAKUMAAR JHULI, AROBYO ROJONI, PANCHATANTRA– er GOLPO. Some were daddy-bought, while some I got as gifts. I was always a very obedient kid, just like an ideal one parents dream of. I am and was always been a lazy person, so I loved reading tales while sitting at one corner. No one intervened me . This was my excuse to sit idly at one place.

As I started to age, my attraction towards fairytales diminished, and I gradually inclined towards detectives. During that time, I was reading some story of Feluda. Once I’d heard from Dad that if you want to savour the taste of English crime thrillers, try to read Agatha Christie. It was then when I was introduced to this lady.

During those days, International Book Fair was held at Maidan. I paid regular visit then. As usual I listed some of my books and landed there accompanying dad. While strolling from shop to shop, I came across a book called Murder on the Orient Express written by Agatha Christie. I’d no idea what all she writes, but , for me the name was enough. I purchased the book.

Back at home, I started my journey to read my first ever Agatha Christie. It took many days because at that time I wasn’t enriched with enough vocabulary. Looking up at the dictionary for every possible word was monotonous and tiring. Though I finished reading it but I didn’t like it much. I was convinced that I’ll never buy any more of her books.

Puberty struck me and I found myself leaning towards romance😊. From time to time , the Book Fair shifted its place from Maidan to Bypass Milan Mela Ground to Karunamoyee Fair Ground.

I’d graduated by then, when I again went to Book Fair held at Milan Mela Ground, E. M. Bypass. I entered into the Harper Collins Publisher’s stall by chance as I didn’t notice the name. I realized that I bumped with that lady once again. I was about to exit when I considered to give her another try. This time I got hold of Nemesis. The character of Miss Marple attracted me. By then , I became a fan of her writing style. I was tickled pink by her. So Agatha gave me the first and formal apprenticeship of reading detective thrillers.

After this, there was no looking back. I set out on a journey of exploring Agatha. By this hour, I’ve read Death On The Nile, The ABC of Murders, And Then There Were None, Crooked House, Endless Night, The Mouse Trap, The Mysterious Affair At Styles.

Then I got my job at school and my increasing pressure of private tuitions put an end to my Book Fair visits. I ordered a few from online sites. Among them, The Sparkling Cyanide was commendable.

This year , I was able to make up a visit at the Fair. I bought three more novels —- The Unexpected Guest, The Body In The Library, Spider’s Web.

As per me, Agatha Christie is one of the best crime authors I’ve come across.

So up till now.

Thank you for bearing me.

Adieu!

Catch you soon.

Lots of love and hugs! 🥰

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NAAM-KARAN

Hi guys!

I hope that you loved reading my last blog.

When the idea of blogging evolved in my mind, I started discussing about the possible names with Abhi(my boyfriend, my confidante). I told him that I want to freelance lifestyle blogging and hence I want to name my blog which has close connection or resembles life. He never discourages me in anything, rather, I always get encouragement from him. He told me to go ahead and suggested me certain names, but, I wasn’t satisfied enough!

I spent almost three sleepless nights( I usually spend sleepless nights as I’m an insomniac 😂) for obtaining a name for my blog. Still I wasn’t successful.

Then one day , Abhi started ranting about how his business had ceased in this pandemic and how one of his acquaintances was taunting him about the same.

Hailing from a literature background, the name Shakespeare, is one of the part and parcel of my life. I quoted him some lines written by Shakespeare “Life is a tale told by an idiot……………”

Wait! Wait! Wait!

Oh my goodness!

I told him that I think I got the title of my blog.

And like this way, my baby blog ‘Life Is A Tale’ was born.

I hope you loved reading this too.

To know more about me and my life, do shower some love.

Okay, so bye for now.

See you soon!

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I — ME — MYSELF

Hi!

I’m Paulami.

I’m a teacher by profession and working in a school as an assistant English teacher. Since childhood, I always loved writing, rather you can say it has been my consistant passion. Previously I used to write articles for newspapers but stopped suddenly. I somehow didn’t feel writing anymore.

I’m an introvert from childhood. I can’t mix up with people quite easily but once I get to know you, there is no looking back. Reading books was my favourite pastime in childhood. It is my favourite recreation till now.

Anyway, I was changing myself and had made a lot of friends. I used to participate in every family get togethers and friends meet-ups. But from last year (2019), my life has taken a topsy-turvy turn. Life has unmasked many people in front of me – be they my family or friends. So, I’ve shrinked myself again in my own shell. I’ve landed myself again on a solitary island.

The 2020 Corona Pandemic has forced us to lock ourselves inside our homes. Though I’m having my online classes going on still I feel bored and frustrated at times. And so the idea of blogging came to my mind.

I hope you loved reading this.

I will definitely share many more peripheries of my life.

Good bye! See you soon.

Lots of love and hugs.