Sunday, 17 February 2019

Is it enough?

Farmers are rightly said to be the backbone of our nation. For us, it is almost impossible to imagine a life without them. Thus the saying: Jai Jawan Jai Kisan. They are integral to the society and are one with the nation's very soul.

 Farmers work tirelessly in order to provide us with the basic necessities of life; devoting their entire existence to that cause. There are many farmers who live below the poverty line and require money in order to support their livelihood. The climate change we've caused has messed up with the cycle of seasons, leading to the scarcity of water supply. This is because the level of rainfall in many regions are turning low, giving rise to droughts. These droughts result in the land drying and heating up, the plants planted in these regions dying or not even getting a chance to sprout.

This further leads to a massive loss for the farmers as their entire livelihood is destroyed right before their eyes. Big farmers with acres of land and crores of profits might obtain artificial water supply for their farms from places that received adequate rainfall but small farmers are the ones who are in deep trouble as they cannot afford artificial irrigation for their crops. Thus they resort to using the water from the wells and when it dries up too, they try to tend the plants with the water they use for personal hygiene as a last attempt.

 But most of the time it isn't enough, keeping in mind that the farmers also have to provide for their families. They usually sell their domestic animals at low prices in order to obtain money to survive. Till the money runs out, the farmers desperately try for another job or pray for a miracle: for the dark clouds to show up and bless them with an abundance of water when it seems like all hopes are lost.

 But the very nature of a miracle is that they are rare and hoping for it would not guarantee it. The farmers might have already taken loans that they now cannot repay. It is not because they don't want to repay, but they don't have money for themselves in the very first place. Finally they decide to mortgage their land in order to pay off their debts, but because of the relatively small land-holding, it still isn't possible for them to pay it all off.

 This leads to the farmers getting chased by the officials in order to complete repaying their loans, putting a huge financial stress on their heads, urging them to make desperate life changing, sometimes, life ending decisions. Statistics say that 6,351 farmers committed suicide in 2016 because of lack of resources.

 The government has come up with schemes for the farmers' financial relief, including the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sanman Nidhi initiative recently. It provides marginalized farmers 6000 rupees per year. But the question remains that between farm, families and debts, is it really enough?

Watch the opinion expressed down here:

(views expressed are personal) 

Use the hashtag #FarmersDeserveMore to show your support to the farmers. 

A Support Of Six Thousand

 Recently, the Government of India launched a new initiative intended to benefit the farmers of our nation. This scheme is known as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi and is to ensure that the small Indian farmers, especially the ones in the rural areas will be provided with a certain amount of money as financial support given to them by the government every year. Indian agriculture sector makes up for 18 per cent of India's gross domestic product (GDP) and offers employment to 50% of the country's workforce. India is a largely agrarian country and even though it is developing, farmers still remain a very important part of our nation. Many of them continue to live below the poverty line, trying their best to make ends meet. With the help of this initiative, about one hundred and twenty million small and marginal Indian farmers  will be benefited. These farmers, who have less than 2 hectares, which is equal to 4.9 acres of land holding, will obtain up to six thousand rupees (which is approximately US $83) per year as minimum income support directly from the government.

 The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme was announced by the current finance minister Piyush Goyal during the 2019 Interim Union Budget of India which took place on the 1st of February 2019. The scheme, which was established during the office of prime minister Narendra Modi, will cost seventy five thousand crore (approximately US $10 billion) per annum and has come into effect from December 2018.

Six thousand rupees per year will be paid to each eligible farmer with the help of three separate instalments of two thousand rupees each. This will be transferred and deposited directly to their bank accounts from the government.

The eligibility criteria for attaining this benefit is as follows: the name and the gender of the land owner should be given in the database along with their social classification, in order to check whether they are a part of the scheduled tribes or scheduled castes. They must also give their Aadhaar number, their bank account number and mobile number as well.

The Janshan Bank Account Number, Aadhaar number and mobile number will help in identifying eligible beneficiaries and distinguishing them from all the fake claimants. The farmers having cultivated land of two hectare or less will be considered as being eligible for this scheme.

This initiative by the government was met with mixed responses and reviews from the opposition and the general public. While some people appreciated that the government was offering some sort of financial aid to the small farmers, many thought the amount provided by the government to them wasn't enough to support their livelihood. Rahul Gandhi opposed by saying that giving farmers Rs.17 per day is an insult to everything they stand and work for. Some farmers say that the aid was too little and too late, instead wanting the government to provide them with minimum support price for their crops.

Click here for the Twitter Moment I've created on this topic.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Short story: Friendzoned (Part 1)

Rachel had completely zoned out. Though she was supposed to concentrate on the presentation Ryan was giving in the classroom, she was more interested in Ryan himself.

He was saying something about how Brexit impacted the economy but all Rachel could see was the absolute confidence radiating from his tall, chiselled physique and the pang she felt in her heart everytime he flashed a dimpled smile at the class. His rimmed glasses created an aura of intelligence around him while his tousled brown hair kept him from appearing too nerdy.

"Any questions?" Ryan asked the class, his voice startling her.

Rachel knew there were two types of presentations where no one asks any doubts. One was when everyone understood everything that was being told and the other was when no one understood anything being told. She shook her head, mainly because she didn't pay attention to what he was saying, along with the rest of her classmates who seemed impressed by his presentation.

Ryan grinned. He knew his presentation had blown everyone away. "Well then," he said, "I'd like to conclude my presentation here. Thank you!"

Walking down to a smattering applause, he took his place next to Rachel, who applauded him the loudest with a huge smile on her face. She wished she could give presentations as effortlessly as him. Ryan grinned at her and checked his phone from underneath the desk. He scanned the messages and the twinkle in his brown eyes grew more. Looking at Rachel, who was still stupidly staring at him, he said, "Rach, Alex is coming to meet me in the cafe opposite to our college after about two years. Come with me during the break. I'll introduce you."

Ryan didn't usually mention Alex in his conversations but all Rachel knew about him was that Alex was his high school friend. And from Ryan's face, it was evident that he couldn't wait to catch up with his old friend again.

"Cool!" Rachel said, "It would be fun!"

"Great then!" Ryan exclaimed, "You go ahead after the lecture. I have some work with the professor and I'll join in five minutes."

"I can wait for you here itself if you want."

"Actually, go order two cups of cappuccino and something for yourself. They take ages to make those. Also, do keep an eye out for Alex."


Rachel walked to the cafe and looked around for a place to sit. But the cafe was bustling with people all around. The air was filled with the aroma of coffee. Rachel could hear the clinking of coffee mugs, the never ending chatter of the occupants and occasionally, cheerful laughter. She spotted an empty couple seat at a corner, perfect for her and Ryan. It faced the window and had a little rose in a glass vase. Rachel was tempted to go and sit there but she remembered that she had to save a seat for Alex as well. Reluctantly, she watched as a young couple occupied those seats within a few moments.

The only three empty seats were next to a girl who was sitting all alone in a table for four. Between standing awkwardly and sitting awkwardly, Rachel chose the latter. Approaching the girl, she asked, "Hey, are these seats taken?"

"They aren't. Make yourself comfortable," the girl said.
Rachel smiled at the girl and sat down.

"Your order?" the waiter asked her. "Two cappuccinos and one garlic bread please," Rachel replied.

Minutes passed in silence till the waiter got her order. The aroma of the garlic bread made Rachel drool. It had been so many days since she had her favourite dish. As she hungrily started digging in, she felt bad for eating alone and offered the girl some. "Oh no, thank you so much," she replied, "I'm waiting for someone, so I'll have something with them."

Rachel quietly took in the girl as she was busy typing something on her phone. She had straight dark hair that brushed her shoulders and wore green contact lenses. There was something about her that seemed serious and mysterious. So different to Rachel's blonde haired- blue eyed Barbie doll appeal but just as beautiful.

 "Oh, hey guys!" came Ryan's voice as he walked in cheerfully. "Hey Ryan!" said both Rachel and the girl simultaneously. "Wait, you know Ryan?" Rachel frowned at the girl who gave a big smile towards Ryan. "Well, yeah. He was the guy I was waiting for," she said. "Wow it seems like you to hit it off before I even entered the cafe!" Ryan laughed.

Rachel couldn't comprehend anything. "Wait, what-what's going on?" she stammered in confusion.

"Let me formally introduce you two," Ryan said, "Alex, this is Rachel. Rachel, Alex." Rachel's eyes widened in surprise. "Alex is a girl?" she blurted out. If it's any consolation, she didn't use to behave like one before," Ryan said, "But why, Alex, you seem a bit changed. You actually look like a girl today!" "That doesn't mean I am going to stop using your expensive deos whenever I can." "Well then, there goes that hope down the drain," Ryan chuckled, "Here have this cappuccino."

Rachel sat and watched as Ryan took a bite of her garlic bread and gave a bite to Alex too, who accepted it this time. As the two started catching up on each other's life, she felt increasingly uncomfortable at the sincerity he showed Alex as he listened raptly to her stories compared to the amount of neglect and the occasional playful insults that she faced. Ryan, for all the careless flirting he did with her, talked gently and sincerely to Alex, almost like talking to a crush. Nevertheless, she plastered a smile on her face the entire time and managed to sound as normal as possible.

Once she reached home, she slammed the door and yelled in frustration. Anger and jealousy enveloped her. After all she had done for Ryan, he still thought Alex was better than her? A small voice in her head reminded her that she didn't know much about Alex, but she shut it down. That was not the point. Rachel had secretly loved Ryan for two years now. She had built up so many dreams while waiting patiently for him to ask her out. A few days ago she thought she detected some feelings from his side for her too. Turning the music on, Rachel sobbed into her pillow. Was this because she waited for so long, trusting him to make the first move? Was he going to take a piece of coal for a diamond?

No, she thought, I'll show him what I can do and win his heart back. 

To be continued.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

WordPress blog announcement!

Hello everyone!

It has been a very hectic few months but I am glad to finally be back to blogging again!

This time I have got a really exciting announcement: I am starting a new blog! It is going to be on WordPress though as it has a variety of different advantages that Blogger does not have. Examples include: a variety of themes, cool new fonts, different theme colours and quirky widgets to add which gives it a fresh and crisp look.

I have completed designing my new blog and I hope you all will love it as much as I do!

As for this blog, this is going going to be my side blog! I will still post in it but the posts would be quite casual and random compared to the full fledged posts in my new blog. None of the older posts would be deleted.

Click here to check out my new blog!

See you on the other side!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Last Of The Firedrakes Review!

Book: The Last of the Firedrakes

Author: Farah Oomerbhoy

Summary: 16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.
Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way.

Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

My review: The Last of the Firedrakes is definitely in the list of my favourite fantasy debut novels of all time. It is enchanting, lovely and a must read for all the fantasy lovers.

Pros: The narration was brilliant. This most definitely did not seem like a debut novel but in fact it felt like the writing of an experienced author. Plot twists are in plenty, characters are relatable (and some, swoon-worthy) and the descriptions are so detailed that you'll feel that you are watching a movie inside your head! 

Cons: Well, I cannot think of more cons other than the species of the characters. Same old faes and mages and pegasuses about whom we have already read in stories everywhere make an appearance here as well. It would be great if Farah included her own made up species of characters and monsters to add a welcome spice to the story.
Well, to be fair, there was a hybrid fae-mage, but we need more characters like that.

Conclusion: All in all, it is a very gripping and satisfying read and I would love to see more books from Farah.

Stars: 4/5

Recommended age group: 12 to 18

And for the other news, the second book of the Avalonia Chronicles, The Rise of the Dawnstar is up for pre order! 

Click here to see the trailer of the second book.

So that's all for now folks! If you liked this review, do check out my reviews on other books and series in my blog. And don't forget to follow!

I might also have a secret project and an announcement coming up so look forward to that! *wink*


Sunday, 11 December 2016

7 days of Harry Potter: Day one!

Hi guys!

In order to celebrate seven days of Harry Potter contest, I'm going to post a black out poem here!

Okay, so many are wondering what exactly this means. Well, to know more, go to:

For my blog post about how yo make a Harry Potter inspired pendant and ring, click on the link below!

So excited!

Monday, 14 November 2016

7 Study Tips: Tried and Tested!

HolĂ  everyone!
With the exams fast approaching this festive season is going to be really hectic for us. It is that time of the year in which so many people (including me) search for all kinds of tips in Google in order to study faster and smarter. Some of the tips work, some of them do not and some of them might work but we never apply it in our lives (*cough* studying your portion as it is taught in college *cough*). What we don't realise is that by looking at all of these tips in the Internet, we are successfully procrastinating our time by not using it for studies (well, what's new in that?). And this is why most of the time, the tips fail to have an impact on our studies.

So I decided to experiment with some of the tips and find out whether they actually work or not and hence saving your time as well. The opinions are strictly mine, these tips might or might not work for you but I'll share my experience!
So here we go!


1. Keep your study place neat and tidy.

Believe it or not, this one actually works! I am a messy person and my study table usually looks as if it had just been hit by the stampede that killed Mufasa in the Lion King (oops spoiler) along with a tornado. So I decided to move my lazy butt for once and do some work by cleaning my room till it sparkled (well almost). Turns out that I did have a pleasant time studying. It gave me more room to pace along when I did not understand a sum and to sleep when I gave up on studies. Okay, jokes apart. This one actually works.

2. Study in the same place at the same time everyday.

Didn't work. I tried to do it but in the end I got really frustrated after sitting in the same room for a long time and ended up in the living room. This might work for some people but for me it didn't. Maybe it is because I like change, even if it is in my study place.

3. Jot down your own notes.

Completely, totally works. I can vouch for this one because have been making my own notes since the tenth grade and it was only because of those that I got a very good percentage in my board exams. So here are five thumbs up for this rule.

4. Study in groups

Bad idea if you are a chatterbox. Worse if you are friends are chatterboxes. Worst idea if all of you are chatterboxes. Otherwise, a good idea.

5. Take notes/Highlight with various colours

This isn't a HUGE transformation in your notes that will make you learn 1000 times better as people would like you to believe but it does help in remembering them fairly well and gives an appealing, colourful look to the otherwise boring book.

6. Plan your studies well beforehand.

Okay, let me be completely honest with you, this only works if you are a person who actually STICK to your plan. If you don't, please don't waste your time in planning. If you think you can atleast try to stick to your plans and finish maximum work as per your timetable, GO FOR IT!

7. Test yourself
This works. You can use practice papers on the back of the guides in order to test yourself on the lessons that you have just studied in order to know how much of it you have actually got into your mind. In this way you can understand how much you have learnt and how much you have not.

Finally it all boils down to your determination and will power. No matter whatever tips you use or don't, if you have the will within you, then there is always a way.

So these are some of the tips I tried and tested! If you have any more tips to share with your friends who are facing the exams right now, do feel free to include them in the comments! Do the tips above work for you? Let me know!


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