The day I met a newborn and a beautiful realization strikes.

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Saturday Morning, we met a family friend’s new born baby.
We’ve known her for quite some time, was even baby-sitting her first born for quite some time. Talking about the first born, we now get to know she is one mischievous little one, Those stories her mom tells about her mischievous acts on playground and supermarkets are so hilarious you might even even wonder if she is this high-profile ninja in-the-making.
So as we finally found our way inside the hospital and inside the room of the friend. Considering the many times we’ve visited a hospital – this was THE one time – I know I could be happy about the result –  that reason by itself had the ‘cherish-able’ feeling.
Once we finally found our way through the many rooms, we entered the room of our friend and her baby.
And then.. all I felt in the room was magic.
That same yet greater ‘cherishable’ feeling that cannot be reasoned based on scientific facts or religious beliefs.
A mere realization of how much process goes into the making of a life and more importantly when you understand how much power a woman has in bringing out a life that has been nurtured for around 280 days/40 weeks/ 9 months!
                     
(ps: discussed this with a colleague she suggested to to check this post – and it just adds the greater awe to this fact –  ‘Lennart Nilsson – A Swedish Photographer’s work’ – <http://www.unbelievable-facts.com/2014/03/lennart-nilsson-swedish-photographer.html> )
         (pps: please excuse the girl in her twenties realizing this flabbergasting fact in her head ATM!!!)
So, back to where I was…
After all that this woman has gone through in that amount of time, you see the smile on her face welcoming us in (how do they do it?!?) aaand more evidently next to her is a cradle in which you see those tiny pink feet popping out though the many layers of pink blankets.
Yep, I felt it.
Of course, there are many billion women and mothers who you have seen or experienced this by themselves or for their sister/friends/daughters- but maybe because this is the first time I’ve known a friend go through the same and so I felt it more.
What you may ask? That power of giving/creating life.
It may be just the nature of science or a blessing of how we are created – but it’s still one of those precious moments that enriches the experiences in our life.
Since it was the first time for me, it made me quite emotional – just the thought of how little our human minds maybe but there also exists a power superior to us that gives us, women the power to give life –  is it not beautiful?
A beautiful realization indeed. Those tiny hands and such pink skin.. This little one was inside her for 9 months and she is finally out to the world. The whole concept seems so magical – and only then you tell yourself – we humans are definitely not the limit or the end – there is a power superior to us, humans – again, some point towards science some point towards God. Whichever you would like to believe in, we as humans should be grateful for what we are than take our life for granted….and yet at times we do take it all for granted, don’t we? – Now that would be another discussion for later.
On that note, its over and out from,
Arunya

ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL – MOVIE EDITION #1

KEEP CALM AND WATCH A MOVIE! (2)

ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL – MOVIE EDITION #1

Hallo There! So it’s our One Year Blog Anniversary *fireworks emoticon* and we thought we would post a new type of a write-up. Something that most interests us. By us I mean our fellow Twenty-Something readers. And obviously it has to be Movies, all kinds of it. Our recommendations and reviews of recent and much loved movies list before you as a check-list to strike off and watch the space for more to come.

Our Preferred Friday Night Movies:

  1. Minions: If you need a time off from the real world and want to imagine little yellow talking bouncy creatures working for a badass Female villain. The Minions it is. You’ll end up falling asleep and dreaming about cute fuzzy things.
  2. About Alex: A light, friendship based movie with smart humor content. The movie’s script is based on how expectations take a toll on one’s relationships. Max Greenfield is fun and amazingly different from his New Girl Series character.
  3. Age of Adeline: Too imaginary yet still makes you want to finish the movie and know how it ends. And of course Blake Lively is as flawless as ever…
  4. Coco before Chanel: Not a new release, but I kinda like biographies and this one shows the early life of Chanel, which is pretty interesting.
  5. Morning Glory: I like how realistic this movie is in terms of depicting a life of a Media Professional and what they have to deal with at work and in their personal lives.
  6. Before we go: Only watched it because of Chris Evans. It’s the example of real life romance and not the usual movie script.
  7. Hot Pursuit: Almost a Chick Flick with some Gun Firing.
  8. Peace, Love and Misunderstanding – This movie would make you feel light-hearted with strong hippie feel and a confused yet simple understanding about family bonds.
  9. Descendants – Not much of a happy-go lucky movie – but if you want a movie to give you that feel of going to the beach without even heading out your front door – yep this is it.
  10. The Holiday – Ahh this is one of THE perfect chick-flick weekend movies. It has it all – the feel-good one with the funny moments and perfect for every girl. We Lovvee!
  11. 500 Days of summer – One of those beautiful movies that makes you wonder even after the credit gets rolling. A movie on love/friendship, being afraid to commitment and so the wise breakup.
  12. Fault in our stars – Yes, indeed it a movie of emotions in abundance. It may the teenage love that may make you feel squeezy – but nothing can beat the love with flaws – emotional and physical.
  13. Mona Lisa Smile – The queen movie to motivate a ‘family girl’ who wants a ‘career girl’ life. This movie speaks for itself and every girl – small town or city girl SHOULD watch it.

Afternoon Movies:

  1. Every secret thing: Reason this movie falls under the after-noon is because you don’t want to dream about kidnapping and killings. Yet it’s an interesting watch with some resemblance to the Hugh Jackman movie, The Prisoners.
  2. Gone Girl: Loved it but an after-noon watch for the same reasons as above.
  3. Jurassic World: Unrealistic yet liked the suspense and tension it created.
  4. Interstellar – A ‘’universal’’ experience when you watch this one. Yes, it may seem lengthy at times – but if you would really like to be wow-ed by pure science and the existence of the world (as we know it) – its definite must watch.
  5. Killers: Love the cast! Can watch it again and again and again.
  6. Lucy: I have a thing for women-oriented movies!

Movies we watched but weren’t so happy with:

  1. Aloha: Stunning cast yet the movie was almost a love story that took place at a war front. And yes Love wins!
  2. She’s funny that way: A disappointing end. It seems as if the script writer was confused with Owen Wilson’s hookups in the movie and just picked most senseless ending to the story.
  3. Accidental Love: Accidental Watch
  4. Cinderella: Bad casting and too English, dint go with the Disney feel (that’s what I would have preferred).
  5. Mortdecai: Johnny Depp was brilliant. And that’s all.

A Must-Watch Movie List, No Reasons Needed:

       Biography/Historics

  1. Little Women
  2. Big Eyes
  3. Woman in Gold

    Passion/Dreams

  4. August Rush
  5. Pianist
  6. A little Chaos
  7. Whiplash
  8. A Beautiful Mind

    Fantasy Adventure

  9. Lemony Snickets’s Unfortunate Events
  10. Sherlock Holmes
  11. Divergent
  12. Hobbit
  13. Life of PI

    Animation

  14. Brave
  15. Mulan
  16. Song of the Sea
  17. How to train your dragon
  18. Home

~Us

@hallothereblog

17 Things an MBA has taught me apart from being ‘academically well versed’…

MBA is not just an addition to your profile or a step to a successful career. I am very much enjoying my journey so far and I am only half way through. Yet I can confidently say I am a changed individual in just these 6 months of study. So when you plan to do an MBA get ready to give in the best of your potential in life. Its a pretty much demanding journey but one with the most rewards. Hope you enjoy reading and do add in some of your thoughts if you may agree more 🙂

Here you go..

16 Things an MBA has taught me apart from being ‘academically well versed’…

  1. Being calm is not an option: You are either stressed or emotionless.
  2. Organizing is key: You must pre-plan your whole year in advance including your leave, your PMS days and most productive days AND abide by them!
  3. Stay healthy: Sleep + exercise = productivity, Caffeine + healthy diet = positivity x mental focus!
  4. NEWS: A must read! Download all possible apps to get alerts from all over the world and even outer space.
  5. Change the way you shop: Yes! You start thinking between the lines of a SALE or a weekly draw even at a 1 pound store!
  6. Valuing relationships: Surprising but true! That’s a sign when you really need your break! Yay family time.. (miracles happen).
  7. Personality development: Unknowingly but eventually you change into a different person (in a good way).
  8. I’m more confident: Just a result of meeting classmates who are 5 to 30 years older than me.
  9. You finally can start a conversation at your Dad’s Boss’s dinner party: Talk about the weather or the economy, Always works!
  10. Even more practical thinking: YES or a NO.. Mostly a NO!
  11. Study time: Follow the student handbook. 20 hours a week is actually the right way and not just for ‘those nerds’.
  12. Networking: Growing connections on linkedin and not facebook.
  13. Use of Marketing Jargons: Competitive Advantage is an alternative for ‘I’m better than you’.
  14. Size matters: Size of the BOOKS.. it’s either big or bigger.
  15. Stronger career path: Don’t have to google ‘how to write an effective cover letter’ anymore. You know what would get you that job.
  16. Why work experience is actually a ‘requirement’: 3 years minimum = 10% helpful and 90% delete and replace. The more you work the less you need to read/browse/search/understand/learn.
  17. Change in preferences: Be it the Movies you loved to watch or the Events you never missed. You now start looking at the ROI’s!

~ Shahana

Picture source: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk 

Cheese Sticks with Za’atar (A Middle Eastern Spice Mixture)

I love baking. I think it’s so much easier than cooking. And if the baking has to do something with molding and being creative, I love it even more. Here’s a regular cheese sticks recipe, with my take on the flavors/filling. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Since I’m in Dubai at the moment, I decided to incorporate my favorite local spice. Za’atar is a Herb Mixture, which is very flavorful as it’s a combination of many herbs from Mint leaves to Sage. Every household has their own variation of the herbs mix. In the Middle Eastern Cuisine Za’atar is used for Marinating Meat, in Dips and Seasoning of Bread and Rice.

Cheese Sticks with Za’atar

Ingredients:

1 Pack Filo Pastry (Sheets can be either Big or Small)

1 Cup Za’atar 

2 Cups Shredded Cheese

Method:cs

Dust your counter with some flour before you start. Place a pastry sheet on the counter and spread out a spoonful of za’atar and cheese evenly (Make sure you don’t overuse za’atar as the taste may overpower the cheese). Now cover the base with another pastry sheet over it and lightly pressed them together like a sandwich.

Next make 4 partitions of 1 inch each and move them apart. Here comes the hard but fun part of twisting the strips. First start by pressing the top and bottom ends of the strips so that it’s locked from both ends. Then hold the ends with both your hands and twist simultaneously. You can go about 2 – 3 turns and place them on your greased baking tray.
Do the same for the rest of the pastry strips and bake them for about 20 minutes until they turn crisply and brown.

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Note: If you may not have Za’atar with you, try using the below fillings along with Cheese following the same method:

  • A mix of 2 or 3 types of Cheese
  • Thai Sauce (Sweet and Spicy)
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Minced Chicken seasoned with pepper, salt and mayonnaise (spread a thin layer of this smooth paste)
  • Honey, if you like them sweet

~ Shahana

Tropical Coconut Cooler

Ola! I am back home, in Dubai for a few weeks… It’s great to be back and spend time with Famalia again Yay! And hence, I won’t (at least try not to) complain about the weather here. For the Readers who aren’t sure of Dubai’s weather ATM – It’s flaming hot!! Close to 50 degrees some days. But however I’m so happy to be home and have decided that I will enjoy this humid, dusty, warm and sweaty weather without whining 🙂

With that intro and for the sake of survival I came across the trend of using Coconut water to avoid dehydration. Surely, some of us don’t like the raw ‘tasteless’ taste of Coconut water, but it has a 1000 benefits and is super refreshing. I have listed some of its benefits, so you don’t have to Google right away (or some of you maybe already know) –

#1 Prevents Dehydration

#2 Natural Energy Drink

#3 Highly Nutritious

#4 Reduces risk of Kidney Stones

#5 Facilitates Digestion

#6 Reduces Blood Pressure

#7 Suppresses Appetite – Aids Weight Loss

And hence, I decided to make a drink with Coconut water yet tweaking the taste a little. It was an experiment that turned out really well. So here goes:

The Tropical Coconut Cooler: 20150620_190402 (2)

Ingredients-

  • A Jar full of Coconut water (Can be fresh or canned/bottled)
  • 1 Bowl of Mango Cuts (Bite size/ or thinly sliced)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Lime Juice
  • Handful of Mint (Chopped or used as is)
  • Sugar (If needed)

Note: Make sure you don’t use higher quantity of Mint than Mango. Let the drink be Mango flavored.

Method-

Mix in all the ingredients well. Sugar can be added if you like the drink sweeter. And if you’re adding Sugar stir until it dissolves. To let all the ingredients give out their respective flavors, leave the jar in the fridge for an hour or more before serving.

Serve the drink cold after giving it another stir once out. You can either drain the mint or let it float. The portion can serve up to 6-7 short glasses.

Hope you’ll enjoy the drink. It’s super easy to make and is an instant refresher. Happy Summer! 🙂

~ Shahana

Edinburgh City, Scotland

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On Campus Lake

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Sight from my room..

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From Calton Hill

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Feeding them birds at Holyrood Park

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Scotland – Bird Eye View

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Scenic Nature on Campus

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Princess Street

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Walk to Edinburgh Castle

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No Description Needed hehe

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Edinburgh Country Side

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Gorgie Street

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Beautiful Paddy Fields

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Around Holyrood Park

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From Calton Hill

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Arthur’s Seat

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Edinburgh Castle

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Holyrood Palace

Welcoming Change… Edinburgh City!

So it’s been quite a long time since my last post. I have been through a lot of changes in life since then. And it took me a while to sink in all of the amazing things around me. So to start with I am finally in EDINBURGH…Woohhoooo!! This place is beyond beautiful.. Especially me coming in from a Middle Eastern Desert life I can go on and on about how overwhelmingly scenic the country side is. My photo gallery was overloaded with more than 1500 pictures just in the first 10 days. I have no complaints from this change I totally lovvee it! Yet just 2% unhappy with ‘the weather’ here. Its soo unpredictable really, like 4 seasons in a day! When I am in I see a tiny bit of sunshine and when I go out, it’s raining! Okay so I come back and get my antique umbrella (that I bought 100 years ago but thanks to Dubai’s forever summer climate never got a chance to use it, hence the antique tag) and guess what? Its sunny again.. I am just like okay wait what?! And how can I not mention the cold here. It basically freezes my face and I just have no connection between what I am talking and my facial expressions! But when I see that rainbow right above me, I would blindly agree to all the terms and conditions of surviving the Scottish weather.

This is my first time staying alone without my family or anyone that I know. But happy I managed to make a few friends. They are not as fun as I thought yet they indirectly made me realize and change a lot of things in my carefree rather careless life. And that’s what an MBA feels like, if you’re not organized you lose out. I am so lucky and thankful to have the sweetest, most caring parents ever who take part in my many adventures always. My friends back in Dubai and my bff/co-blogger/soulsista, my life would be so boring without them. Living alone gives you a chance to appreciate the many things you take easy in life, the people, their care, the ‘pet’ and 90% the food! I am really glad this happened in my life, a lot of things have changed for me and I am so so thankful. Just finished my exam yesterday and it wasn’t as easy but there is a lot more to be happy about than the results worry. I feel the best thing that can happen to anyone is the chance to live alone all by yourself in a completely unknown but a beautiful country and just explore the place, the people, the culture, their way of life and most importantly yourself. You finally will be able to weight all that exposure you had learned all your life. #bestdaysever

Guess this will be a pretty emotional yet from the heart post of the love I have for this place and the people in my life. I am off to do my laundry now ha! I will have some chosen beautiful pictures up on the blog for you all to checkout or rather picturize my awe for Edinburgh!

Toodaloo.

~Shahana

Lesson Learned : Magic no exist

Lesson Learned : There isn’t a magic wand tool in our world. No matter how hard or easy things get. We cannot swish a wand away to banish them off. They stick to you. Stick to you till you get down on your knees and surrender to solving this issue/s. They show you that it does indeed have the power of controlling you IF you choose to ignore it or pretend it does not exist – But yet, are you going to let it? Are you going to let it control you?Are you going to let it over power your mental ability to slash off this slavery to excuses? You’re thinking – well maybe because I have no choice – ‘No choice’ is such a cliche. Choices are there. They just aren’t the choices you aren’t willing to make. They aren’t just what you want to opt. It’s ultimately your decision – but here, here what are we doing now – are we just choosing to break lose or are we going to let the power of excuses grow onto us? 
 
In the more realistic world, I have a ‘let it be’ mindset. If some of you are like me then this is what we do – we trick our minds to believe that a magical world exists and that there is some magic somewhere that you might just stumble across that would change our minds and our issues – we read, we listen, we try to understand and eventually we choose to ignore, we distract our minds, we pretend they don’t exist – and eventually we let these excuses slowly gobble up the only time we have to prove our own minds wrong. 
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Our constant search for what is better – what can be improved, what ‘could’ be better is basically letting us fall into a phase of hope. Well, for beginners, yes hope is needed…but what if we have to keep hoping for things to get better – for good changes to happen.Then we wait. We wait and wait. Just waiting for too long and as time passes – you continue to hope.
Only when I stopped to hope it struck me wait, although I wanted and hope for change- what did I do to make the change? What was my effort in it ? Oh yes, I hoped  – so..is that all? I thought, don’t I want the hope shown as results..?
 
Look up at where you going than down hoping that magic still lies somewhere to show it self. No NO NO. You are your magic. The effort you put in to recreate your hope is the real deal.  No one else does it for you. No external power, no magical power…just YOU. 
Arunya

ERROR 141: Brain not responding…

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It’s been a while since my last post for reasons inevitable! Surprising to me how quickly my life has changed its track to another more complex one. I finally joined grad school, wrote my first MBA exam and now planning to move out to Scotland for the rest of my course 🙂 How smooth…

Well the moving out is not as easy! Yes of course cause it’s a huge move and majorly cause I’m having a conflict between emotional vs professional choices. It’s an everyday battle between Yes and No. People ask why even have No as an option? And they are right, to an extent. But me, not that easy to convince. I have a 1000 other concerns that don’t even weigh equivalent to the benefits of moving out to a new country and the exposure I would hold for the rest of my life. I am just not used to leaving my family and being all alone and missing them and my pet and and and… I now understand why dad used to get so emotional (disinterested) in travelling for work even if it was just for 2 days. I got my offer letter, scholarship grant, wrote not such a bad exam, and I’m still in my thinking process (basically stage 1 of making a decision).

“You’ve come so far, why do you need to rethink?!”, “This is an opportunity that will define your future”, “You’re gonna regret if you back out now!!” – Everything what my parents/friends/advisers have to say. I know they are a 100% right, but I really don’t know why I am still not convinced. Oh, and the best part is given the option of not going, I feel I am wasting my life not moving out. GODD!! It’s so complicated for me I have asked everyone a 100 times they are just exhausted even talking to me (lol). I have passed my due date for confirmation, got an extension, I haavvee to decide today! Its high time.. (my mental process everyday)… In the morning: I am going, it’s good for me in every way. And towards the evening: Why do I have to leave home, why can’t I just do it online?!.. (I’m literally worried about my mental health now).

You see how overwhelming and crazy this situation is for me. I am so lost and I still can’t make up my mind. Even at the end of this post my brain is basically on airplane mode! But all I know is whatever decision I finally make I will work out something productive for sure, wherever I am 🙂

~Shahana

Perfect!

 Perfect! We all know what this word means and how often we use it. But has anyone ever thought does this word really makes sense? Perfect means flawless or the ideal type. Is anything ever flawless in this world? Everything needs an upgrade over a time span. We either change in our preferences or try and match the rest of the world who are trying to match somebody else.

I am a business management graduate in Dubai and trying float on the high tides of a twenty something. We all sometimes compare ourselves to one another, especially the ladies. Well Amigos that has 2 sides to it. Firstly, some of us who are positive enough make that comparison a benchmark and the second set of us move out to an island full of darkness. My mother always told me that never hope or wish for something by equating yourself to another, always be thankful to God for everything we had. And I did so…but then not 100%.

I decided to take up a journey that shows how happy I am with myself yet questioning my inner self on the flaws I have ‘according to me’. In this wonderful everlasting journey I lost my actual identity, I dint know who I actually was. You know that feeling when you pre-plan all your moves or dialogues and just enact the script and later regret what in world did I just do and why I can’t just be myself?! YES that was me every single time. As I got older I realized everyone is different but most importantly they have their own problems that they cry every night for (or not). But guess what? My insecurities got older too, they got more intense more disturbing.

I dint know what I wanted or where my career is heading or how less social my life is becoming and how could I work this out and so on…

Finally one day I got tired of living in this scripted world of mine since I tried harder only to fail. I learned to say ‘I don’t care’. This helped me realize that there is nothing in this world that is ‘perfect’ there are mishaps and times when you have to love what you hate. Perfect only defines your confidence in yourself that says ‘ignore the people just love what you do and who you are’. And it’s super easy to achieve that, how? Just tell yourself ITS OKAY and you’ll be ready for anything.

It’s okay I can’t cook like Martha Stewart

It’s okay that my career is a mess

It’s okay that all my goals are so unrealistic but I still work for it

It’s okay that I watch Nat Geo when the world’s watching CNN

It’s okay that I’m not so fit but every day is a step

All this made me feel so much lighter. Every person has a different insecurity and ‘PERFECT’ is just a myth the world has created and it’s nothing that one can’t match up to. Just remember if you approve of yourself the rest will be history!!

~Shahana