Can Friggatriskaidekaphobia be Justified?

Frigga…whatever!!

It is a well known fact that Friday the 13th is an unlucky date. Every bad thing that happens on this date is naturally attributed to this fact. The fear is so ingrained that a term has also been coined to describe the fear of Friday the 13th – friggatriskaidekaphobia (good thing that many people stay away from pubs on this date, else imagine saying it out loud when drunk!)

13 of the worst tragedies on Friday The 13th

And if you look back in time, history is littered with incidents where crazy (often creepy) tragedies have taken place on this fateful day. In keeping with the theme of this black day on the calendar, here we look back on 13 of the worst global tragedies to have occurred on this “fateful” day.

1. Plane crash in the Andes

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A Chilean Air Force plane crashed in the Andes on Friday 13, October 1972 but there were a number of survivors from the incident. However, they had to fend for themselves over the next 70 days because the site of the crash in the Andes was not easily accessible. In order to do so, they took the very tough decision of eating their dead co-passengers. The plane was a chartered flight of the Old Christian Catholic School in Montevideo and was on its way to face a Santiago team, carrying the players and a group of supporters.

2. Rape and murder of Kitty Genovese

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It was March 13, 1964 when 28-year-old Kitty Genovese was raped and stabbed to death outside her apartment building in Kew Gardens, Queens. The perpetrator of this gruesome crime was a Queens native by the name of Winston Moseley. This murder gained infamy in American history not only because of the heinousness of the crime but also – as per an article in the New York Times – because there were as many as 37 witnesses at the crime scene. However, not one of them had come forward to provide her with any kind of assistance and this was later put down to a psychological phenomenon called “The Bystander Effect.”

3. The birthday of Alfred Hitchcock

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I guess most will wonder how this falls under the category of a “global tragedy” but let me make things very clear – it is not! The only reason this has been brought up is to show how there are some “special” people associated with this day. Dubbed the “Master of Suspense” it is only fitting that the man would be born on August 13th, 1899 which – you guessed it right – was a Friday! The infamous director who gave us classic psychological thrillers such as “Vertigo” and “Psycho” had a dark side to his character, nevertheless (probably not a major surprise). While filming “The Bird” he made his crew hurl live birds at actress Tippi Hedren. The cuts and scratches along with the appearance of raw terror on her face were all real in that scene!

4. The death of Tupac

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Friday the 13th, September 1966. This was the day when rapper Tupac succumbed to his injuries after being shot fatally in a drive-by shooting six days earlier. He was in Los Angeles at that time, attending a boxing match with Suge Knight for company. The front page of the Daily News carried the news on the following day: “Rap Requiem: Tupac Shakur dies of gunshot wounds.”

5. Capsizing of the Costa Concordia cruise ship

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January 13, 2012. Another Friday and another tragedy of serious proportions. The Costa Concordia cruise ship capsized off the western coast of Italy and resulted in the tragic death of as many as 30 people. The ship ran aground and this led to a massive 160-foot (50-meter) gap to open up in the hull through which water gushed in. As many as 4200 people are believed to have been evacuated, as per the estimates of the Italian Coast Guard officials.

6. Bombing on the Buckingham Palace, England

King and Queen at Buckingham Palace after it had been bombed

This may sound like an improbable thing to ever happen but it did and there was no element of surprise about the date – September 13, 1940, a Friday! King George VI and Queen Elizabeth had a near brush with death when five bombs were dropped on the home of the Royal family as part of Hitler’s Blitz propaganda during World War II. Luckily, they were out for tea in the garden. A member of the Royal staff was killed while the chapel was destroyed.

7. Nathan Bedford Forrest, leader of the KKK, was born

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While many people are born on Friday the 13th, not many of them go on to become such macabre personalities in society and, indeed, as part of history ! Nathan Bedford Forrest, leader of the dreaded Ku Klux Klan, was born on Friday, July 13, 1821. A ruthless Confederate general during the Civil War, he rose to prominence with the establishment of the KKK sometime during the period of late 1866 to early 1867 where he was recognized as the Grand Wizard. The third Klan of the Ku Klux Klan is still in existence, fighting for the “purification” of American society to a “white-dominated” race.

8. Collapse of an apartment building in New York

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Daz Baxter was a resident of New York who was so freaked out by “Friday the 13th” that he decided it would be safer in his bed at the apartment than anywhere out on the streets. However, in a cruel twist of fate, Baxter met an untimely demise after the floor of his apartment block collapsed. The date? August 13, 1976, Friday!

9. 1970 Bhola Cyclone

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Close to half a million people were killed in a tragic natural calamity as floods and strong winds levelled out entire villages during the 1970 Bhola Cyclone in Bangladesh. Most of the victims were asleep when one of the worst natural disasters ever in world history struck this beautiful country in the Asian subcontinent. Although the cyclone made landfall on the night of the 12th, it was November 13 that witnessed maximum damage and destruction amidst the darkness of the night.

10. Hurricane Charley strikes USA

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Friday the 13th, August 2003 turned out to be one of the unluckiest days in the history of Charles County, Florida. What had been a simple tropical depression only a few days back turned into a major Category 4 storm and ripped through thousands of homes. 9 people were reported dead as a result of this natural tragedy.

11. Stock market crash on Black Friday

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October 13, 1989. A Friday that came to be known as “Black Friday” as the US stock market suffered a one-of-a-kind crash. This was caused by the breakdown in an airline buyout deal.

12. Lightning strikes boy on Friday the 13th at 13:13

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A 13-year-old boy in Lowestoft, England was struck by lightning at an airshow on Friday the 13th of August 2010. Paramedics who came to his treatment noticed that the time was 13:13. Talk about the number 13 being unlucky! The good news is that the boy managed to survive and made a speedy recovery.

13. Black Friday fire strikes Australia

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Regarded as one of the worst natural bushfires to ever occur in the world, 20,000 kilometers of forest land in Victoria, Australia went up in flames on January 13, 1939 which happened to be a Friday. 71 people were reported dead and resulted in the complete destruction of a number of towns. This was a event that brought about major changes in forest management.

Does this fear hold any justification?

While there have been a number of such crazy incidents down the years on Friday the 13th, there have similarly been a number of such days that have passed by without any incident.

And as the latest instalment of Friday the 13th passes the world by without any major incident it is probably time to take a stand! Is it justified for people to sit back at home on Friday the 13th, thinking that they will probably suffer a broken leg or some other form of accident by stepping outside? (The list of incidents suggests that this is not always true!)

Or should you just concentrate on the “Friday” bit and thank God that the time to party for the week is finally here?

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Love Thyself For Thou Art A Woman

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“Behind every successful man, there is a woman,” goes an age old adage. However, has anyone ever stopped to think who a woman is and what she represents in society?

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A woman is one who symbolizes patience and compassion. She is born with the inherent quality of being affectionate and caring towards all that lies around her while also possessing the knowledge and fortitude about facing the world. Wisdom, kindness, patience, faith and femininity are the virtues that give a woman her true essence. As prominent figures working towards the betterment of society women, having long surpassed those days of confinement to the four walls of their home, have started making their presence felt on all fronts. A woman is ushered into the world as a bundle of joy before she proceeds to play the role of a daughter, friend, sister, wife and mother in society, carrying herself all along in a graceful manner and with ease.

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It is often said, “Judge not a book by its cover.” There is more to the beauty of a woman than what one sees from the outside for this beauty is not just skin-deep. The honour and beauty of being a woman is something that many, including women themselves, often fail to take note of. As the world celebrates yet another “Women’s Day”, we take a look at some of the reasons that makes her beautiful and why she should celebrate the fact that she is a woman.

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How is it that a woman can be beautiful by just being so- a woman? As mentioned earlier, for a woman beauty is more than just skin-deep and involves allowing freedom of movement to her body while she continues to love herself for what she is. The beauty of a woman lies in loving and acknowledging every muscle of herself that she can stretch a little deeper. When a woman loves the legs that allow her to dance and run, and her pure desire to sculpt those arms even further she is considered to be beautiful. Her beauty lies in the striations and curves that define the vessel of her feminine spirit, the flesh that gives her the identity of a woman and also those wonderful muscles that make her the warrior that she is.

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Irrespective of the profession of a woman and the way she presents herself, she is perfect in every step that she takes forward in her journey towards achieving what is possible. A woman’s body is a creation of magnificence, empowering her to the extent that she can train her body to experience, bear, feel, be and do anything and everything that she wants. As amazing as that sounds, a woman’s beauty stems down to her being an incredible figure of light and love.

If you have already started appreciating the real beauty of what a woman represents, note that this is just the tip of the iceberg. When discussing about the beauty of being a woman, sky is seemingly the limit!

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She is able to float across the water, dancing as if captivated by a trance while at the same time her body can bend in half to a yoga posture. She is capable of diving into the deepest waters and climbing the tallest mountains. She can command her body to relax in a bath or persevere in a race; she can glow and sweat at the same time. She is a woman and that is enough to make her do everything so beautifully.

When a woman explores and bursts through the limitations that she defines for herself, when she overpowers her ego with her self-confidence- that is when her spirit is aligned with her higher self, giving her womanhood a new meaning of being beautiful.

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Women learn how to celebrate their unique beauty and the individual talents that each of them possess. Nothing else in this world compares to the beauty of being a woman and it is this magnetic brilliance that every woman should be aware of while for the men, it is time they acknowledged a woman in their lives for what she means to him.

After all, it is this confidence to take on the challenges of the world that makes a woman so beautiful and gives her added impetus to celebrate being the crux of our global family.

Foodie’s Delight: Petuk Is The New Hotspot For Bengali Cuisine In Chennai

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Petuk Bengali Restaurant, Kottivakkam, Chennai

Craving for some authentic Bengali food down south in Chennai? The new Petuk restaurant is here to take care of the self-proclaimed foodie inside you!

I had never imagined being able to savour the taste of rice, dal, and poshto (a dish made of poppy seeds) while in Tamilnadu but as luck would have it, I simply happened to stumble across the name of this place under the most unlikeliest of circumstances. Nearly five years in Chennai and finally a place that serves homely food- it was almost a long awaited prayer had been answered!

Sholoaana Bangaliaana (100% Bongism) as many would love to put it, that would be the perfect tagline to set for this place…

Tucked away in a quiet lane next to the HCL office in Kottivakkam, it is very easy for you to mistake this place for something other than an eatery. However, don’t get fooled by the shabby facade of the building as what you get served up inside can leave you craving for more! As they often say, Do not judge a book by its cover!

Petuk, a Bengali term that refers to a foodie, is a well thought out name for this place. Bengalis are food-lovers by nature and when you have a place as this serving up familiar fair in unfamiliar surroundings, it can bring out the foodie in even the most staunch health fanatic.

A Look At The Interior
A Look At The Interior

A unique aspect of this place is that they do not have a fixed menu- visit them seven days a week and you will always find something different that is sure to surprise you. To borrow a quote from one of my friends, Expect the Unexpected!

That, I feel, is good in a way as it significantly decreases your probability of getting confused. As it so happened, choosing what to have from a list of fifteen different items on offer for the day took me a good half an hour!

Eventually, I decided to settle for Mutton Biryani and Mutton Kosha…

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Mutton Biryani and Mutton Kosha at Petuk

I can’t even begin to describe what the food was like! Those who are familiar with the taste of biryani in Kolkata, this was no different; for other, I’ll use the term shamelessly delicious to crown the description! Considering the fact that you don’t get meat of the same quality here as in Bengal, Petuk deserves extra credit for making the dishes stand out.

For the fish-lovers, this place serves some really delightful dishes, including the likes of Fish Fry, Prawn Malaicurry, Fish Paturi (fish-fillet coated with mustard paste and baked in banana leaf) and a whole lot more. Fresh catch is used for preparing the dishes so you need not worry about compromise on quality.

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For those planning on going green for the day, you can always try out their simple veg dishes with a choice of rice, roti, daal, shukto (a mixed curry of various vegetables), poshto, and dhoka curry (no, it has got nothing to do with being cheated upon!)

If you are paying a visit during the evening hours, there are a number of options in the snacks department. Try out their fish cutlet, fish kobiraji, or egg devil.

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If you are up for something that is a little more filling (but puts you back considerably on the calorie count) you can go for the mughlai parantha. Statutory warning: Please ensure that before you go for these, you cancel any plans for dinner at home. I assure you, there just won’t be any place left in your tummy for so much as a midnight snack, let alone a full meal!

When it comes to the question of desserts (and you are thinking this is where I finally get to taste the rossogollas) there is not much option to choose from. Mango chutney was the only thing remotely sweet that I could find. On asking around, they said that on some of the days they prepare traditional sweets (sadly, no soft, spongy, milky white rossogollas). However it is not possible to predict what you will get on any given day.

Mango Chutney: Only "sweetener" for the day
Mango Chutney: Only “sweetener” for the day

Coming to the most important aspect of prices Petuk- unlike its name- goes easy on your pocket. For as little as Rs. 400 you can have a decent meal for two at this place. They also provide home delivery services so if you are residing nearby, you can make the most of it. Sadly, I stay too far away and never bothered to inquire further about the same. You can get in touch with them on the contact details provided below to know more.

Visiting this place on a hot summer day may prove to be too taxing as there is no air-conditioning but then, what’s a little sore heat against the superb taste of Bengali cuisine!

Petuk is open everyday from 12-3 in the afternoon and 7-10 in the evening.

Address: 4/991, Number A, Kamarajar Street Kottivakkam, Off Old Mahabalipuram Road, Kottivakkam PO, Chennai- 600078.

Contact: 097898 26262

While the likes of Annapurna and Bay Leaf serve Bengali cuisine as well, there is something about the homely feel of this place that makes you want to visit Petuk over and over again (or it could well be the rejuvenated foodie in you).

Now only if someone would do something about those rossogollas!

5 Things We Learned From India’s Win Over South Africa

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Virat Kohli answers back to the Proteas’ “Mauka Mauka” taunts

The Indian team defeated South Africa by a massive margin of 130 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia. Telling contributions from the Indian batsmen, most notably a crafty century by opener Shikhar Dhawan, and some fierce bowling and fielding yielded the win for the cup holders. Significantly, this was India’s first win over the Proteas in the World Cup whom they had lost to in three prior attempts- ’92, ’99 and 2011. Watch India’s reply to the South African’s “Mauka Mauka taunt” right here.

While the match was not a typically competitive India-South Africa encounter, a number of things were worth observing over the course of the encounter. Let us take a look at the five most important things that were learnt during this Group B encounter from the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

1. India must find an able opener to support Shikhar Dhawan

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Shikhar Dhawan after completing his century against South Africa

Shikhar Dhawan has been performing well for the Indian cricket team as one of the openers. His 137 against a strong pace attack on a seaming and bouncy MCG track stood testimony of his style, technique and temperament as an opening batsman. A lot had been said about his lack of form during the Tri-Series but two stellar performances have done his confidence a world of good. Dhawan is undoubtedly one of the best openers in the country at the moment.

However, it is the performance of the other opener that is likely to concern the management. Rohit Sharma has looked off colour for long and scores of 15 and 0 in the first two matches doesn’t prove his credentials. Each time, India were bailed out of what could have been tricky situations by the class of Dhawan and vice-captain Virat Kohli. Although a phenomenally talented player, Rohit has very little to show for as an opener away from the Indian subcontinent.

The team has another opener in the form of Ajinkya Rahane. The “peaceful warrior”- as Dhawan put it- showed his class with a quickfire 79 to provide India with a launching pad. May be the time has come for him to switch places with Sharma who has been a better player at No. 4 than higher up the order.

2. India knows the art of producing genuine pace bowlers

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There is a well-proven theory that India produces quality spinners and medium pacers but never the fiery pace bowlers. True, Zaheer Khan was probably the last Indian bowler who consistently hit the 140+ mark although injuries forced him to cut down on speed quite early on in his career. The likes of Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda and Ishant  Sharma were all either too inconsistent or injury prone and never looked capable of hitting the International standards. It seemed the dream of India having their very own Dale Steyn would remain unfulfilled…..

…..until the pace duo of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav showed up!

The two fast bowlers bowled with pace and got excellent purchase out of the MCG wicket. Umesh Yadav rivalled Dale Steyn in the pace department with top speed of 146.0 a close second to the latter’s 146.7. Their fiery spells had the Proteas batsmen hopping around and on the backfoot. While they managed only a couple of wickets, it was their aggression that made the task easy for the likes of Mohit Sharma and R. Ashwin who grabbed most of the wickets. Get the full match scorecard right here.

If these two can stay fit, India will soon be able to boast an opening bowling pair that strikes fear into the hearts of opposition batsmen!

3. South Africa need to rethink their playing combination

The Proteas went into this match with 6 batsmen and 5 bowlers. However, just like in last week’s match against Zimbabwe, the top order failed to get going and put immense pressure on the middle order. While David Miller bailed the team out last time around, their was to be no such miracle against India.

Chasing a target of 300+ is not as difficult in the modern game as it used to be. However when you have only 6 recognized batsmen and the top order fails, it becomes a steep mountain to climb. The poor show by opener Quinton de Kock, the untimely runout of skipper AB de Villiers and David Miller, some less than convincing performance by J.P. Duminy, and the team never looked up to the challenge. Vernon Philander’s hamstring injury did affect them in the bowling department and Wayne Parnell gave away too many runs but that cannot be an excuse for the poor showing by the batsmen.

The absence of a quality all-rounder in the mould of Jacques Kallis is hurting the team who look severely top-heavy at the moment. The time has come for the management to tinker a little and bring about better balance in the lineup; else South Africa could soon find themselves on the flight back to Johannesburg.

4. The Indian Fans will have a big part to play during the World Cup

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The MCG represented a sea of blue

The India-South Africa match was played at the MCG in Australia. However, anyone unaware of the geography of the place could well have mistaken it for the Wankhede in Mumbai. The stadium, that saw an attendance of nearly 87,000 was washed in a sea of blue as Indian supporters turned out in numbers to create a raucous, “homely” atmosphere for the team.

If India are to go all the way in the ICC World Cup 2015, this backing from the significant Indian contingent of fans at all the venues will have its own part to play in the team’s success!

5. Sachin Tendulkar is still loved by the cricketing fraternity

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Sachin Tendulkar during the match at the MCG

The Little Master was present at the MCG as the appointed Ambassador for the ICC. Each time the TV cameras turned to him, huge cheers went around the stadium.

“The God” may have hung up his boots but the cricketing fraternity showed that they continue to adore him!

Watch Sachin Tendulkar talk about the India-South Africa match here.


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Simple Recipe For Mutton Biryani In Pressure Cooker

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How hard is it to find someone who doesn’t love biryani? Well, if you ask my honest opinion, very! Rarely will someone tell you that they do not like biryani. I regard biryani as one of my favorite pot meals and have it very often- almost every weekend. The best part about this meal is that it does not require any side dish to it, a simple bowl of raita is enough to do justice to a grand meal.

I have heard people complaining that it is quite a taxing task to prepare the perfect mutton biryani at home. So, when I happened to stumble upon this recipe in a cookbook at a shabby old roadside book stall, an idea struck me. A few sneaky snapshots with my smartphone, and I now have what is supposed to be the simplest recipe for preparing mutton biryani. Here is what you need to do.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 Hour 30 minutes

Serves: 4 to 5

Ingredients

  • Ghee- 1/4 cup
  • Refined Oil- 3 tablespoon
  • Basmati Rice- 1/2 kg
  • Onion- 2 large pieces, thinly sliced
  • Tomato- 2 large pieces, finely chopped
  • Ginger garlic paste- 2 tablespoon
  • Mint leaves- 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Chilli powder- 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder- 1 tablespoon
  • Garam masala powder- 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Water- 4 cups
  • Salt- To taste

For Marination:

  • Mutton- 1/4 kg
  • Curd / yogurt- 1 cup
  • Ginger garlic paste- 2 tablespoon
  • Mint leaves- 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Chilli powder- 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Garam masala powder- 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Salt- To taste

Method:

Start by washing the rice in lots of water. Next, soak it in clean water for 30 minutes, drain and set aside.

Take the mutton in a bowl and add all other marinating ingredients to it. Mix well and allow it to marinate for 30 minutes. Now transfer all of it into a pressure cooker, cover, and allow to cook for 10 whistles. Simmer it and allow it to cook for another 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow all of the steam to escape by itself. Open the cooker and transfer the contents to a bowl.

While the same cooker can be used for making the masala, it is best to do it in a separate cooking pot (kadai).

Heat oil and ghee in the cooking pot. Add in the onions and saute till it turns golden brown.

Add in ginger garlic paste and saute for around a minute.

Add in the tomatoes and cook till they turn mushy.

Now add the salt and all other spice powders. Mix well to form a masala.

Now add the cooked mutton along with all of the remaining juices and mix nicely.

Add the drained basmati rice and mix well. Next, put in the mint leaves and mix some more. Now transfer all of the content from the cooking pot to the pressure cooker.

Pour in water and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the cooker and allow it to simmer for around 15-20 minutes. Now turn off the heat and allow the steam to escape all by itself. Open the cooker and fluff up the contents.

And there you have a delicious mutton biryani ready! Serve it up with raita and enjoy your meal.

It’s Sunday tomorrow. So why not treat your family to something special? Give it a try and let me know of your success story.

Did you enjoy reading this recipe? Would you like to suggest some changes to make it even better? Let me know in the comments section below.


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Did You Know These 10 Surprising Facts About The Love-Filled Occasion Of Valentine’s Day?

Seven days is all that stands between the World and Valentine’s Day. A momentous occasion, a special day dedicated to lovers around the world, a day on which we recognize the impact of every woman in our lives- call it whatever you want, every individual will have a unique reason that makes this day special to them.

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Every year, on this auspicious date of February 14th, a large number of flowers, gifts, candies and cards are exchanged around the world as people take some time off from their busy schedules to be with their special “valentine.” This day of romance is a special occasion (and holiday in some places) where we make the most of the afforded opportunity to show the ones we love how much we value their presence in our lives. A day celebrated by millions around the world, Valentine’s Day inspires a flurry of transactions involving gifts and cards being sent to the ones we love.

Like all those special occasions, holidays, and events going on around the world, there are a number of surprising facts about this special day of love that you may have been unaware of. Here we take a look at 10 of the most intriguing revelations about Valentine’s Day.

1.     Globally, as many as 50 million roses are sent out every year on the occasion of Valentine’s Day

2.     The first candy box for Valentine’s Day was invented back in the 1800s by Richard Cadbury

3.     The Italian city of Verona– literature enthusiasts are likely to recognize it as the native place of William Shakespeare’s immortal romantic couple Romeo and Juliet- receives as many 1000 letters each year on February 14, addressed to Juliet

4.     The popularity ratings suggest that most number of Valentine’s Day cards are gifted to teachers followed by children, mothers, wives, and sweethearts while pets also feature at the end of the list

5.     The year 2015 will witness the production figures for candy hearts hitting the 8 billion mark. That is enough candy to stretch 20 times back and forth between Rome, Italy and Valentine, Arizona

6.     Every Valentine’s Day, as many as 220,000 marriage proposals are made on an average

7.     Regarded as a symbol of love, the red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love

8.      In the USA, every Valentine’s Day witnesses the sale of $1 billion worth of chocolates

9.     It was back in 1537 when February 14 was officially declared as a holiday to commemorate St. Valentine’s Day by the English King Henry VII

10.    In the Middle Ages, young men and women would draw names from bowls to determine their Valentine. This would be worn on their sleeves for a week for everyone to see. This was how the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve” came into existence

Wondering about the holiday customs of Valentine’s Day? Watch this video and learn more about the history of Valentine’s Day.


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Introducing The Ancient Book Of Love With An Unsexy Twist

A renowned text on an unconventional and taboo topic in (most) society, the Kama Sutra deals with sexual positions and human desires. An ancient text that had its origins in the Hindu religion, this book has earned the distinction of having schooled innumerable couples since time immemorial in the art of lovemaking.

However, American novelist Simon Rich and cartoonist Farley Katz have given the book a makeover in coming out with A Kama Sutra for Married Couple– the least erotic manual ever created in the world.

A book of love with an unsexy twist, this guide is a light-hearted and humorous approach to the circumstances in our lives when romance takes a backseat up against everyday activities. Here we take a look at some of these positions as illustrated in the book.

The Prodding Position

When the woman performs the task of cleaning an area close to the man’s feet as a means of implying that he too should be lending a helping hand with the cleaning, it is known as the prodding position.

The Shifting of the Standards

When the man passes gas in front of the woman and does not think it worthwhile to so much as apologize for his unsavory activity, it is called as the shifting of the standards.

The Dishwasher Position

The man is entrusted with the responsibility of loading the dishwasher and the woman needs to come over because he is doing it all wrong. This is known as the dishwasher position.

A Close Call

When the woman enters the room and the man has to close his laptop quickly for he was busy looking up some of his ex-girlfriends on Facebook, it is known as the position of A Close Call.

The Wounded Hippopotamus

The woman is in need of some help with moving the furnitures. However, she does not ask the man and instead hires the local teenager who takes off his shirt in front of the woman in order to be more comfortable with his task. The man, meanwhile, watches her staring at the boy with a look in her eyes that has been unknown to him for many years. This is the position of the wounded hippopotamus.

The Interrupted Congress

The man kisses the woman lightly on the neck; the woman tenderly strokes him around the chest; the child comes running into the room screaming. Apparently, he heard a scary noise or some other bullshit. This forms the position of the interrupted congress.

The Perverse Lovebirds

When the man and woman are at dinner with another married couple who have problems that are far worse than their own, and they squeeze each other’s hands beneath the table while flashing each other grins of superiority, it is known as the position of the perverse lovebirds.

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A Moment’s Peace

With the man away with other men travelling to a sports event, the woman drinks wine out of a box and makes best use of his absence to have a long, hot bath. This is known as the position of a moment’s peace.

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The Married Kama Sutra: The World’s Least Erotic Sex Manual can be purchased online from Amazon.

Narendra Modi Revels (Yet Again) In An Aura Of Symbolism As President Obama Plays Guest Of Honor At Indian Republic Day Celebrations

Obama And Modi Upon The Former's Arrival In India
Obama And Modi Upon The Former’s Arrival In India

Narendra Modi made a deft ascent from Gandhinagar to New Delhi in order to meet US President Barack Obama. For those well acquainted with the habits of the Indian PM, they knew it was only a sign of the things to come.

The true demonstration of his proficiency when it comes to delivering a message broke ground when he was presented as the 15th Prime Minister of India back in May 2014. Ever since his aura of being a symbolic leader has been there for all to see as he continues to engage with some of the big names from stage of global politics.

The manner in which he handled POTUS (President of the United States) Obama’s latest visit to India for the Republic Day celebrations is a case in point- barely half a day had passed and PM Modi was already at his symbolic best!

Air Force One had barely touched down on Indian soil when Modi began his charm offensive. In an act that went against protocol, the Indian Prime Minister turned up at the airport so as to personally greet and welcome Obama and the First Lady.

Warm welcome in cold Delhi: Narendra Modi broke protocol to personally greet Barack Obama on his arrival

By the time Obama made his way down to the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the customary meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee and the Guard of Honor, Modi had made a swift wardrobe switch ditching the traditional Indian garb for a more formal pinstripe bandhgala.

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One Suit and Two Bandhgalas: Obama with Modi and Pranab Mukherjee

However, this sartorial statement paled in comparison to the masterstroke Modi had lined up as Wing Commander Pooja Thakur of the Indian Air Force led the inter-services Guard of Honour at the forecourt of the Presidential Palace. At a time when India is under constant and rightful criticism from the West owing to the unending woes of crime against women, to have a lady officer lead out a powerful military ceremony for one of the most important men in the World sent out a message that really packed a punch.

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Wing Commander Puja Thakur leads the Guard of Honour

While Indians digested Modi’s morning memo on women power at their respective breakfast tables, the two political spearheads headed out for the fabled Hyderabad House in New Delhi where, after some nourishment, they would sit down for negotiations. As everyone has come to expect from the Indian PM, the expansive menu had a subtle Gujarati taste to it. And to quell the curiosity of the gastronomically inclined, the vegetarian and non-vegetarian variants of the menu were made public by the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry.

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Guess what President Obama had on his menu for lunch!

With lunch served and consumed at around 3 PM, the two leaders were found taking a stroll in the quaint garden of Hyderabad House. While both were engaged in deep conversation punctuated by near constant gesticulation, the whole atmosphere wore a pristine and informal look with occasional laughters and even a pat on the shoulder.

Television cameras had a great time following them around, jostling to capture the perfect frame of Obama and Modi as they continued their chatter by a pool of water. Avoiding the ensuing poetry was simply not an option.

That’s a LOTUS my dear POTUS

However, the most symbolic moment of all had still not arrived! This soon followed suit, though, with tea being served- an object (and activity) that has become central to all that relates to the myth of Narendra Modi.

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Let’s talk over a cup of tea

As the Indian PM- once a tea seller in a quaint mofussil town of the nation- poured out a cuppa for the US President (minus sufficient amount of sugar) the latter totally bought Modi’s patented concept of “chai pe charcha” (conversations over tea).

“We need more of those at the White House,” Obama would say later.

For a nation that sways to the slightest hint of drama and spectacle Narendra Modi, as its elected representative, has ensured that Indians have more than enough of the said activities to keep themselves busy.

Considering there is enough substance to back such copious symbolism, India and the World has once again been privy to the aura of Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi.

Another One That Got Away: Arsene Wenger Reveals How He Once Nearly Signed Angel Di Maria

Arsene Wenger has named another one!

At a recent press conference, he revealed that Arsenal so nearly (yes, nearly) signed Argentinian winger Angel Di Maria for a cut price deal when he was all of 17 years old but was thwarted by British work permit regulations. In the ongoing January transfer window, Arsenal are facing further troubles over the signing of Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista who is likely to be refused a work permit since he does not possess a valid EU passport.

“We wanted him to come here. But he goes from Portugal and from Portugal he goes to Spain. Why? Because he could not get a work permit,” Wenger said of the Di Maria situation.

“We wanted him to come here. But he goes from Portugal and from Portugal he goes to Spain. Why? Because he could not get a work permit.”

Arsene Wenger

The Argentinian eventually ended up in England at the home of fierce Premier League rivals Manchester United who broke the all time British transfer record in bringing him in for $105 million from Real Madrid. Taking a dig at the move, the Frenchman went on to say that the current FA rulings made it possible for a player to move to England only when he had a huge price tag stuck to his name. Wenger explained:

“What does it mean if at the end of the day he comes into the country anyway, with the only difference being it’s for a huge amount of money? And who do you pay that do? A club like Real Madrid who does not need the money.”

Angel Di Maria finds his name listed alongside some of the footballing greats of the present generation including the likes of Lionel Messi and former Real teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. Arsene Wenger’s persistent claims of how Messi would have been with him had it not been for the La Masia people is well known to all those who closely follow football and he was never happy with how Ronaldo ended up at United.

With the revelation that Argentinian superstar Di Maria could well have been a Gunner, here we take a look at the complete XI of the men “so nearly signed” by the frugal Frenchman. Looking at what an impressive squad that would have made, Arsenal fans can only sit back and wonder, what if…

The Ones That Got Away

Arsenal were tormented by Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Manchester United while Ronaldinho and, later, Lionel Messi always seemed to conspire against Wenger every time Barcelona came up against Arsenal in the Champions League (most notably, the 2006 final). Gareth Bale, another member of this “illustrious” list, was always a star performer for cross-town rivals Tottenham Hotspurs each time the two teams met in a North London derby.

With Arsenal presently fifth in the Premier League standings and fighting for a Champions League spot, Wenger’s men visit Old Trafford for their reverse fixture in the penultimate weekend of the season. For all their troubles in the recent past, United have done remarkably well against the Gunners.

And having lost 2-1 against the Red Devils at the Emirates where Angel Di Maria played a key role in helping their opponents to victory, Arsene Wenger will be hoping that his near miss of a 17-year-old Argentinian winger does not prove too costly this time round.