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How you can learn more about the art deco architectural style in New York City

This writer found it easy to slip into a time warp that took her to the swinging Twenties, with Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York playing on loop. It’s the vibe that will woo fans of the architectural styles, when they check out the website of Art Deco Society of New York. Since this non-profit organisation began in 1982, it has been creating awareness of the style’s impact on architecture, design and culture across the Big Apple’s streetscape. The website is easily navigable, and packed with well-researched articles, and striking images and photographs. We were glued to the Resources section; it’s a treasure trove that covers topics as diverse as the impact of Art Deco on perfume bottle design to travel posters and women’s empowerment at the height of this revolution. We also spotted a news feature about Marine Drive’s ensemble that was contributed by the Art Deco Mumbai team. Its symbiotic relationship with jazz music — a genre that was sweeping over America and the rest of the world — offered insight into Art Deco’s iconography and its visual impact. The deep-dive into how New York’s nightclubs influenced Hollywood, and women fashion icons including Coco Chanel who rose to prominence in between both World Wars that was the period at the height of Art Deco’s influence, were fascinating eye-openers. Art Deco’s impact on the socio, cultural and economic lifestyle of arguably, the most modern city of the 20th century, will make you fall in love with it, and maybe, egg you to listen to that Sinatra classic, we think.  Log on to:

04 October,2022 10:43 AM IST | Mumbai | Fiona Fernandez
A moment from Vakra-rekha, Shiv Prateek’s (inset) version of Accidental Death of an Anarchist

This Hindi play presents a 20th century classic with current political pressures

How can a seeming suicide be distinguished from an intentional crime? The death we discuss here originally happened in Milan, Italy. A man died falling off the window of a police investigation room. What can possibly connect his fall to a deliberate push and not a jump? — The lack of a vakra rekha, a trajectory. That’s where the play, Vakra-rekha, gets its name from Hindi. “The title takes after a crucial revelation in the plot,” said Shiv Prateek, its director. Prateek’s piece presents Italian playwright Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist in an Indian light. “We have translated the English text to Hindi and have one character more than the number in the actual play. With some changes to the ending, the course of our play sticks to the original narrative.” Fo’s story is based on the Piazza Fontana bombing of 1969. With strong political undertones, Fo’s plays were some of the most widely performed plays in an artiste’s lifetime. The performance focusses on the character of the Maniac, who through a series of disguises, finds out the truth behind the anarchist’s ‘accidental’ death. While language can communicate, it can also confuse. “I have been concerned about how the audience would interpret the act. Although it is suited for the Indian context, it’s a layered text. Every sentence has an underlying meaning to it, and arriving at clarity for the viewer was one of my constant concerns,” the National School of Drama, Varanasi, alumnus explained. Prateek, who apart from directing the play, has also the protagonist tells us that such postmodern dramas never lose their relevance. “I don’t speak in reference to the socio-political scenario in the country alone. If we carefully notice what is going on around the globe, we will find the plot fits in each of those contexts,” he noted. As a result of the Piazza Fontana bombing, some 17 people lost their lives. After the attack, as many as 80 arrests were made. One of the arrested anarchists, Giuseppe Pinelli, a railway worker, died after falling from the window of the police station where he was being held. “Stifled speech and similar pressures happen even today. Our play will shine a light on all of that,” Prateek ended.  On: October 5; 7.30 pmAt: Creative Adda 191, Versova, Andheri West. Log on to: Cost: Rs 150

04 October,2022 10:37 AM IST | Mumbai | Sammohinee Ghosh
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Want to start journaling? Here are some tips to help you

Momentum is built from the little things that don’t seem to be much on their own but carry a great deal of potential. Journaling has not only been suggested by experts to help reduce stress and process one’s thoughts but is also recommended by those who take it up. A page a day might not seem like much but after a few weeks clarity or calm might flow into your narrative, and before you know it, you’re buying your second journal. But how do we get this momentum and sustain it? Krittika Raheja, expressive arts therapist, shares tips on how to take it one page at a time. Pic Courtesy/ Scribble Often, small hurdles like using a journal that is not suitable to your needs or missing a day in the week can come in the way of maintaining the habit. Raheja notes that journaling takes time, especially art journaling that might take 30 minutes to fill a page. On certain days, it might be a difficult ask to bring out your creativity or to express yourself. When this happens, scribble. She suggests sitting down for 10 minutes and starting small by expressing through a mix of words and drawings. Find a match Get the right journal. It can be a book that you find aesthetically pleasing or one with daily prompts as a guideline. If you prefer something more free-flowing, opt for a blank journal with a grid layout. Spiral-bound journals can open flat and be easier to use than hardbound journals. Or curate the entry fields that you’d prefer using adjustable and printable templates. Pic Credit/kimey’skorner Make it a habit Try to maintain a schedule like journaling every night or as the first thing in the morning. While it takes roughly three weeks to make a habit, don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a day. You’re never too far behind to pick up from where you left off. Krittika Raheja Take small steps Keep it simple, explore different prompts, and have no targets or expectations. Raheja vouches >> Gives you space to be creative >>  Helps centre yourself by expressing your emotions>>  Allows you the chance to process your experiences>> Pop culture shows journaling as a way to vent your frustrations. But you’ll notice that once you have those emotions expressed and out of your system, you’ll have space to appreciate the small joys  Start your journey with Pic Courtesy/ 1. A gratitude journal or a brain dump journalLog on to: Rs 422 onwards 2. A blank canvas or gridsLog on to: factornotes.comCost: Rs 149 onwards 3. Journals with promptsLog on to:, themessycorner.inCost: Rs 750 4. DIY and printable journalsLog on to: theeverydayeditshop and gilbycreativestudio on, (DIY) 5. Journaling kitsFor a subscription box with monthly supplies and access to journaling clubs and workshopsLog on to:,, shopabc.onlineCost: Rs 340 onwards

04 October,2022 10:24 AM IST | Mumbai | Tanishka D’Lyma
A moment from The Tiny Foods channel. Pic Courtesy/Youtube

Small wonder: Why you should binge on these miniature cooking pages online

A Shining steel kitchen play set, complete with a mini kadhai, handi, tawa, gas, and bite-sized ladle, plates and bowls, was gifted to this writer as a child. From talcum powder to the occasional ball of maida dough that our mother spared us, we play-cooked our way to glory. The miniature kitchen is lost now, and we perennially agonise over what to cook or eat for the day. But what remains as delicious as ever is miniature cooking. We recently stumbled upon these cool channels that make burgers, pulao, biryani, and more, all smaller than your thumb. Here are The Guide’s Top 4 picks: 1 With 1.77 million subscribers, Miniature Food Farm offers a host of recipes, prepared aesthetically amid a make-believe farm setup. Check out the kuchi idli and mini aloo paratha recipes.Log on to 2 How small is too small? Watch the makers at The Tiny Foods create a step cake that’s incredibly detailed and in time for the festive season.Log on to 3 Tiny Cakes is dedicated to baking. Choose from recipes of tomato cake decoration, Coca Cola cake, miniature lollipop and more.Log on to 4 Creator Minnie B introduces us to versions of popular packaged food brands such as tiny Lays and Cheetos, and kitchen equipment like a tiny vending machine, mixer blender and even a waffle maker.Log on to

03 October,2022 11:05 AM IST | Mumbai | Sukanya Datta
(From left) Priya Purushothaman and Hari Adivarekar at a recording. Pics Courtesy/Hari Adivarekar

This new podcast about classical music aims to attract young listeners

Indian classical music can lay claims to pre-dating the modern world. With time, its practitioners have adapted new technology, tecnhiques and styles to enhance the art form. Singer Priya Purushothaman’s new podcast, Music and masti, is part of this ongoing evolution that seeks to formulate the lessons from the tradition to capture the attention of a younger generation. A student of the Agra Gharana, Purushothaman learned Carnatic vocal music and Western classical violin for 12 years before spending 15 years learning the Hindustani classical form.  In that, she is more than familiar with the personal attention and involvement that is at the core of the education in Indian classical music. “But in the pandemic, it became very apparent that technology was going to be a very important part of how we move forward in the future,” she says, adding that despite its evolution the traditional school of Indian music remains a little hesitant towards the use of technology. As an educator and writer, the pandemic sparked in the singer the idea for a podcast that could take these lessons to children. “We sought to create a podcast, particularly for children, with a fun and engaging dialogue about music,” she adds. Priya Purushothaman With journalist and musician Hari Adivarekar, the Mumbai-based singer conceptualised the eight-episode module that builds a narrative around two siblings curious about the musical art form. The podcast launched on September 8. Purushothaman explains, “This is a very introductory series for children. It conveys the most fundamental concepts about music by posing questions about sound, music and the different ways in which we understand them.” While Adivarekar brought his experience from journalism and radio broadcasting, Purushothaman contributed her experience as a musician and writer for the scripts. Built around the banter and playful conversations of Shahana and Hamir, the episodes detail concepts such as notes, the importance of raag and patterns of music using narrative scenes. “We wanted it to be a narrative podcast— as close to storytelling as possible,” the singer tells us. The use of a solely  audio medium was also a conscious choice, she informs. “The podcast focuses on hearing as a skill and cultivating imagination solely by hearing. So, the technology can be used to strengthen the skills we are hoping to build,” she explains. An llustration for the podcast  by Shrujana Niranjani Shridhar In its introductory phase, the podcast has already been picked up by the Baithak Foundation, an NGO in Pune, as an educational module to help children from underserved schools in Pune and Kolhapur. Dakshayani Athalye, its founder, tells us, “Our idea is to build conscious individuals through the traditional Indian art forms, so we thought this podcast was an interesting medium to reach out to digital schools and educate children and educators alike.” With the first module out, Purushothaman is already planning further additions to the podcast. Technology, she says, will be an inevitable part of education, even in the traditional spaces, in the future. “Children are growing up with technology. I don’t think we can resist it too much, or cut it off completely. But we have to use it in a way that enhances the intention of the art form rather than as a distraction.” Log on to Music and Masti on Spotify 

03 October,2022 11:02 AM IST | Mumbai | Shriram Iyengar
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World Craft Day 2022: Attend this workshop to learn how to sew

If you have an inclination for the crafts, Bandra might be the place to head to this week. In view of World Crafts Day on October 15, The Hab by Usha, will host a walk-in exhibition and workshop for enthusiasts of DIY crafts. From designed cushion covers, embroidered artworks and personalised gift options, customers can pick or customise their own designs at the store’s machines. The experience comes with a personalised workshop for interested learners with sewing accessories provided by the store.   Till October 15; 11 am to 7 pm At The Hab, No 444 Corporate Lounge, Linking Road, Khar West. Log on to @thehab.inFree

03 October,2022 10:59 AM IST | Mumbai | The Guide Team
Roger Federer is cheered by his team and opponents at his farewell at The Laver Cup. Pic Courtesy/Getty Images

Big rivals, best mates: Experts on how to improve peer relationships at office

Being part of teams that work together in every sense of the word, this writer can affirm that nothing matches up to great colleagues and a good working environment. Mondays are not so blue and the week ends with a sense of satisfaction ushered in by teamwork and goals achieved together. We recognise such camaraderie and respect that tennis champ Roger Ferderer received from his peers as he bade farewell at his last match at Laver Cup on September 23. As a clip of Rafael Nadal, his long-time adversary, getting emotional at the farewell becomes the poster for mutual respect amidst rivalry, we probe if such an equation can exist in the corporate world, especially within competitive environments, and the impact it may have on one’s perspective, career, mental health, and legacy. Three experts provide a toolkit to help us gain the respect of our colleagues.  Kashmira Sangoi Healthy competition Let’s start with competitiveness, which when unhealthy, can drain mutual respect. Connecting a perspective that has been nurtured since childhood with a prevalent mindset, Kashmira Sangoi, author, career consultant, and co-founder, Mind Miracles, points out how young minds are conditioned to focus on success as the only aim. Things like topping the class and winning a prize are prioritised over the experience of the journey and the skills, friends, and outlook picked up along the way. This blurs the line between competition and ill feelings such as jealousy, insecurity, resentment and self-doubt which can turn rivalry into unhealthy emotions. Take steps to build positive relationships with your colleagues, to nurture a growth mindset Start with yourself Competition is personal, in the sense that it should be looked at as an opportunity to understand oneself. Responding to this thought, Sangoi highlights, “When you judge your worth based on the comparison of your achievements and existence to those of your competitors rather than as individuals co-existing together, unhealthy competition seeps in. In such a case, we need to shift the basis of the competition back to mutual respect. Here are Sangoi’s guidelines: . Take steps to build positive relationships and interactions with your colleagues by appreciating and encouraging them. . Move from the fear mindset towards a growth mindset. It will aid  your overall development.. Collaborate, because your network is your net worth.. Consider your competitors as your teammates. Draw inspiration from them and build comradeships. This can help each person better the other and grow together.. Break down your defensiveness when given constructive criticism by your peers.. Workspaces can create a happy hour concept, where anything but work can be discussed, to help colleagues engage better.. Being empathetic, compassionate, kind and generous will help build your legacy. Sanika Tillway Shift in perspective Sanika Tillway, burnout management coach and founder, Forests of Freedom, an organisation she functions through, points out, “Unhealthy competition happens when our focus isn’t on what we do well and bettering our own craft, but on defeating the other person. It stems from the idea that ‘I need to be the first or best person to solve this problem.” She notes that it takes a great deal of mental and emotional security to see your competitors as potential collaborators rather than people whose job you’re gunning for. So how do you gain the respect of your peers or rivals? Change the way you approach competitiveness.  . Rectify your focusIt’s easy to lose perspective while chasing career goals, but remember having allies who respect you instead of competitors means that you have a sounding board with the same context as yourself. . Opportunity to growApproach your peers from a place of curiosity rather than as a threat, and with the  goal of learning. Ask yourself: What work of theirs do you get excited by? Try and see if you can meet them for coffee and pick their brain for ideas. . Similar value system Find common ground in shared values such as integrity, creativity, and honesty. Finding an alignment in values can be a step towards forging a connection and building respect.. Setting boundaries and developing clarityRespect isn’t always mutual or a given. If someone does cross a line with you, it’s healthy to set boundaries for acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.  Anuj Mahajan Individual steps Anuj Mahajan, filmmaker and business coach, notes that while it is the environment in corporate industries that requires fixing, there are steps that one can take at an individual level to forge a healthier relationship among peers and gain their respect.. Build trust: A relationship without trust will only cause unnecessary stress.. Deposit to withdraw: Share resources, help and be supportive of your peers. Give respect to receive it.. Lead by example: Change your perspective from ‘Why should I?’ to ‘Change starts with me’.. Mindset training: Your responses are habits. Train your mind to think like a leader. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer celebrate at The Laver Cup in 2019. Pic Courtesy/Getty Images Lessons from the field  Captain Louis George Meprath, head coach, Indian women’s wheelchair basketball team 2019 and 2022, shares a tip from the sporting world: “A player’s win is a team’s win. In basketball or any team sport, when a player scores, it is the result of one or many players’ assistance. Your assistance, teamwork and respect are wins that can take you further in your career. This respectable move can easily translate in the corporate world, too.”

03 October,2022 10:55 AM IST | Mumbai | Tanishka D’Lyma
Mid-day file pic.

In the name of the community

What was going through your mind as you reached the end of writing your book, They Whisper In My Blood? When I decided to dive into the writing of this novel, a long-nurtured goal, I had this image in my mind of a writer: someone sitting solitary in a dark studio, sipping on absinthe, with a pet unicorn for company and an invisible muse perched on her shoulder pouring passion into diamond-encrusted prose. Lo and behold, my muse did make an appearance, even took over the whole creative process, fleshing out my story with characters that had hitherto existed only as shadows. What I had envisaged as a battle-royale within an arena that had me and my keyboard wrestling with legacy and permanency, even mortality, turned out to be one of the most enjoyable processes I have ever experienced. That’s what went through my mind when I typed the final period. And, this: I’d love to do this again! Could you share with our readers about the background research that you needed to write this book? If my novel has to slot into any one ‘genre’, it would be historical fiction, (though I’d like to think literary fiction is a better fit). History and fiction: can one be free of the other? I did extensive research to pepper my novel with factual information, about the Portuguese colonisation of India and more importantly, the Devadasi tradition. But what is history? It can be just one damn thing after another where ‘truth’ and ‘accuracy’ are not always the most comfortable of bedfellows. Hence, I’ve taken the artistic licence afforded a writer to place ‘real’ people gestated within hand-me-down family stories, in a fictional narrative, with deeds and doings that probably, and plausibly, happened – what someone I came across recently, has termed, rather grandiosely as fictional revivification. How did Rodrigo's character come into being? And did you have to shape-shift it at any point? How does one dare to conjure up a character one has never met? Rodrigo is the quintessential Romeo Montague saddled with the handicap of a confusing ethnicity – foreign and desi. I started out basing his character on a real-life person, striving all the while to maintain emotional distance, to preserve the pristine moments of Rodrigo’s unique story, moments that speak to his life in a different reality. I didn’t want a contemporary real-life person to swamp the fictional Rodrigo. I love the second-half of your question. I think it’s the reader who will be doing most of the shape-shifting and my Rodrigo will be very different from my readers’, as the story mutates and comes alive in their imaginations. What is the larger goal of writing such community-driven literature? It’s been said that fiction comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable.  If the truth of this wise old saw persists it’s because literature still has the potential to stir up the dark, the uneasy. And that’s where its unique worth is positioned. This novel has been written from a position of respect for the community.  But also, for memory. For those people pressed into the margins and persevere though they’ve lost their underpinnings. I do not profess to be a journalist or even a sociologist but writing is my way of saying: I know what you did; because it’s been chronicled deep in my psyche. The rebuffs, the rejections, the history – all of it needs to surface somewhere. So, though writing began as a private act between myself and the tools of my trade – words, stories – my novel is literature as an act of communal engagement. Will you have a sequel to this book? Yes, and no. My second novel: A Smatter of Minutes will be published early next year and though it is not a sequel in the literal sense of the term – it doesn’t have the same characters – it continues to be community-driven. I am because you, my readers, are. Hence, if you say you’d like a sequel, I’ll be only too happy to acquiesce. LOG ON TO Also read:  Let’s vibe to the beat of Mumbai's beatboxers at the Great Indian Beatbox Festival

01 October,2022 03:02 PM IST | Mumbai | The Guide Team
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Int'l Coffee Day: Coffee roasters spill the beans on favourite hacks and brews

It’s taken a while but in a tea-loving country, coffee does hold a special place for Indians. According to the fifth edition of Godrej Food Trends Report 2022, after Indians got a taste of real coffee, the segment has seen explosive growth, ripping through the second and third waves in barely two decades. As Indian origin artisanal coffee begins to get popular in homes, mid-day chats up with new-age roasters’ to reveal their must-have tools and cool brewing mantras. Roll with itAshish D’abreo, Founder, Maverick and Farmer coffee roasters Growing up in Mangalore, coffee was a big part of his home and the city’s culture, thanks to the neighbouring coffee-growing areas like Coorg, Sakleshpur and Chikmagalur. The ex-founder of The Flying Squirrel is doing interesting work with the new brand — read: world’s first cold smoked coffee and ale yeast fermented coffee.Hack this: Grind coffee at home to barista standards without fancy equipment by using a hard flat surface and a chapati rolling pin, gently rolling down on the coffee beans, evenly, until you get the right consistency (coarse for French Press, medium coarse for electric filter). This helps avoid uneven grinds that can contribute to bitterness or weakness in the cup.Favourite tool: Powerful yet tiny weighing scale that travels with me wherever I go. Being obsessive about weighing helps maintain consistency in flavour and body.Best brew: A good pour-over. I’m currently experimenting with a lot of natural processed coffee, possibly because the fruitier, heavy body appeals to me at this point. But in general, I love a cup of freshly brewed black coffee that’s been cooled down a bit. That salty vibeAshwiniOm Sawant, Founder, Kali Coffee Brought up listening to the Panchatantra stories and being fascinated with Indian mythology, Kali Coffee was born of Sawant’s love for the goddess. She compares it to a cup of intense black coffee that can wake you up from illusions, face reality and give you superpowers to manifest what you desire.Hack this: Crush less than a pinch of sea salt on dark roasted coffee while brewing to make it less bitter.Favourite coffee tool: My morning brew is always a pour-over so Kalita as of now is on my side table.Best brews: I love fruity and sweet coffee, mostly medium roast profiles and any manual brew — mostly pour-over and Aeropress as they can be carried around. Glass actBharat Sethi, Founder and CEO, Rage Coffee Fascinated by Europe’s coffee culture, Sethi realised how easy it would be to make a good cup of coffee if you know the tricks of the trade and began his journey in this direction.Hack this: If you’re drinking black coffee from a pour-over, it is best to use a glass cup and not a ceramic cup, as it tends to alter the temperature quickly.Favourite coffee tool: Frother for instant coffee and a manual grinder to grind beans for ground cup of coffee.Best brew: Swinging from brewing coffee in a V60 Hario using a Moka pot to getting addicted to a French press, then using a manual drip machine, followed by a fully automatic machine and even a South Indian filter press; I’ve realised that the real game changer is right beans, using a manual grinder, and giving it 15-20 minutes of brewing at a temperature of 80-83 degrees using Chemex with a filter paper to drip it. The right balanceShannon D’souza, Founder, KC Roasters Glass act Growing up experiencing Australia’s strong coffee culture, D’souza craved a good brew when he moved to India. That and his family’s Kelagur Estate in Chikmagalur played a big role in his personal and professional coffee journey.Hack this: Using at least 30 per cent alkaline water for brewing coffees (especially for weak body coffees), adds body and balances the hardness of regular water. I’d recommend a high TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) water for people in Mumbai — I brew mine with a 7.0 PH level, especially if I feel too hyperactive after all the coffee consumption. It’s good for calming down and helps sleep better. I don’t think anyone’s talking about this as a trend.Favourite coffee tool: Reusable coffee filter, weighing scale and coffee refractometer meter. I love La Marzocco Espresso machines because the precision and quality you get out of these are incomparable.Best brew: Single shot espresso and Aeropress — depends on how I feel. Filter kaapi coolRupal Jain, Founder, Bombay Island Jain with a coffee plantation worker Part of the third wave coffee movement that redefined the ideas around sourcing, roasting and brewing coffee, Jain left her left career prospect as a chartered accountant to follow her passion for coffee.Hack this: Try traditional filter coffee with some jaggery instead of sugar and have it with fresh cow milk — perfect.Favourite coffee tool: Pour-over with Turkish coffee. Pour-over is easy to make and gives flavourful coffee. Turkish one is very strong and great for a caffeine kick.Best brew: For mornings, I prefer a pour-over; at noon, it’s espresso or Americano and evenings are perfect for a good cold brew.

01 October,2022 09:21 AM IST | Mumbai | Nasrin Modak Siddiqi
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Nail this: What's 'nail slugging'? Experts decode

No one speaks with their hands more than a person who has just gotten their nails done, and we raise ours in proud admission. Freshly manicured nails are definitely a mood-lifter, and these small mercies should not be taken for granted. You never know, something as small as a dry and unhealthy fingernail can be what drives you to the edge on a tough day. Protect your cuticle, protect your sanity, we say. Sneha Kewalramani But if you don’t have the time to step into a nail salon, Tik-Tok offers you a solution — nail slugging. The trend has already been picked up by many beauty experts and users on the platform, and has started trickling down to Instagram. And for good reason, to moisturise the nail and cuticle. Because if there is one lesson you should take away from life, let it be this — if there is a problem, apply moisturiser on it. Technical cosmetic skin, hair and nail consultant, Sneha Kewalramani, shows us how to get nail slugging right. Why slug? Like skin slugging, nail slugging is all about locking in moisture. Kewalramani explains that we can lose much of our nails’ natural moisture if they are in constant contact with water. So, the trending beauty treatment and a little extra TLC can be beneficial for dry nails, as well as for nails that have been worked on a lot, or in case of rashes or abrasions. “Hydration is key. Moisture is very important not just for healthy skin and hair, but also for nails and will keep you away from roughness and flakiness,” she highlights. Slugging steps 1. Cut and clean your nails properly with a hydrating and gentle soap. Maintaining nail hygiene is as important as moisturising.2. Apply a pea-sized amount, or as needed based on nail size and dryness, of Vaseline on each cuticle.3. Massage the vaseline onto your cuticle for better blood circulation. Don’t miss this step; you can also press key pressure points on your hands and fingers.4. Use a hand and nail cream or oil for added moisture and softness.5. Let it absorb for a while.6. The best time to do this is at night. Pro tipFor extra moisture, opt for creams that have shea butter, cocoa butter or aloe vera.

01 October,2022 09:20 AM IST | Mumbai | Tanishka D’Lyma
Safari over Vashishti River

What’s up, croc? Discover the wild in Ratnagiri at this crocodile safari

Songaon village in Ratnagiri district has popped up on the map for its new wildlife attraction that promises to offer a memorable safari experience for nature enthusiasts. The Crocodile Safari organised by the Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation of the State Forest Department has initiated this adventure to generate employment and attract tourism to this bio-rich region. This boat ride down the Vashishti River includes sighting the marsh crocodiles and spotting over 20 species of birds like the Asian openbill, Painted stork, Little cormorant and more among the famous mangrove plantations of this green haven. A marsh crocodile in the river The village comes to life post the monsoon, and is thus the ideal time to soak in the wonders of this region. “The mangroves are rich in biodiversity, and it is during this season that all kinds of birds can be spotted here,” shares Kranti Minde, project associate for the foundation. Over 100 crocodiles inhabit the Vashishti River while its mangroves are home to a variety of birds. The idea of the initiative is to help local residents earn their livelihood and is also meant to raise awareness about the need to preserve and promote these endangered mangrove plantations. “We have trained a group of locals, who were already well acquainted with the mangrove plantations into professional guides, to make the experience more immersive and informative,” reveals Minde. Mangroves alongside Vashishti River. Pics Courtesy/ Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation The safari takes place from 7.30 am to 6 pm, and is dependent on the low tide of the river. Visitors are advised to follow decorum during the safari by maintaining silence. The river is surrounded by other tourist attractions including the Parshuram temple and Maruma Devi temple. There are value-for-money accommodation options as well as home-cooked meals that can be booked for at the time of signing up for the safari. Call: 8421992724; 9404765675  Cost: Rs 1,600 (crocodile safari); Rs 1,000 (per day, home stay)Note: Bookings for accommodation and meals can be done via the contact numbers

01 October,2022 09:19 AM IST | Mumbai | Nashrah Shaikh
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