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don’t be just loud

BLOUDER


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CONTENTS 8 FEATURED

8 Cole Christopher He is a 26 year old artist living in Los Angeles, California. For his photography, he likes to focus his style on men’s fashion, nudity and abstract poses.

BLOUDER ART 12 Mani Mehrzad He is an artist. “The Lost Riders” is his collection of paintings which has been created by inspiration from Shahnameh’s epic space with a modern approach. These works has been

ON THE COVER MODEL: L. K. ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHER: VANESSA BELTRAN (VINTAGE BLOSSOMS PHOTOGRAPHY) formed by Acrylic on canvas.

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BLOUDER TRAVEL 14 Twelve Do’s and Don’ts While Travelling

ent purposes, and we try our best to make our every journey safe and adventurous; but we never follow the rules of travelling because most of the people are unaware of Do's and Don'ts while travelling.

We travel to other states or overseas for differ-

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BLOUDER

CONTENTS LIFESTYLE 16 5 Signs that He is the One To be loved and be special to somebody is feeling craved by all women. The desire to find the man of your dreams and cherish your life is

16 the reason why we women are in this world of relationships. Each relationship has its phases with all kind of ups and downs.

18 Dr Farhan Khan Crowned Muser on Musical.ly : A happy go lucky person, who believes in "Do good, and good will happen to you". 19 Slave to Fashion Fashion, it’s one of the most discussed and observed topic these days. But how can we define fashion? In simple words is dressing up good, styling yourself is fashion? Or giving you a better appearance is this fashion? I think no, it isn’t it.

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20 Knowing Who You Truly Are You need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, because those are the things that make you. Another very important thing is you poverty, illness, and failure in life. It can seriously should be true to yourself. affect the body and mind. Everyday pressure can activate the stress response. People might feel stress while presenting a task, talking or tough CLICK OUT LOUDER opponent for a performance. Sometimes it helps 22 Gál Rúben to rise to a challenge and meet the success. So, He is a twenty-seven year old photographer from people need help to deal with different situations. Hungary.

17 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Fresh Relationships play an important role in everyone’s BHEALTHIER 26 6 Healthy Reasons to Enjoy a Slice of Sweet lives. Relationships can be of many types, like Cherry Piethis Holiday Season brother and sister, parents and their children, teacher and student, your friend and you. Last but The holidays are just around the corner, and for most of us that means time to indulge in some not least is relationship you have with someone favorite treats. Fortunately, healthy doesn't have special who completely understands you and to mean less delicious! If you're looking for a wants to spend the rest of their life with you. good-for-you holiday dessert that can please even the most critical sweet tooth, a naturally sweet cherry pie could be just the ticket. You can have your pie and eat it too!

ouse TO Home

32 The Sound of Silence: How to Design a Quiet Home Office In today's increasingly digital world, it's no surprise that more employees are opting to work from home. While there may be a shift of physical locations - from the office building to the home - productivity is still paramount, making the need for quiet home workspaces more important than ever.

27 A Breath of Relief for Migraine Sufferers Migraine is a neurological disorder in which the nerves release inflammatory substances that cause signals to be sent to your brain, resulting in painful throbbing that can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light and sound.

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29 Simple Ways to Follow a Low Glycemic Eating Plan for Better Health Adopting a diet that mainly consists of foods ranking low on the Glycemic Index (GI) can help you have a consistent energy level, feel calmer, improve cholesterol levels and lose weight. So, why aren't more people following a low-glycemic diet and reaping these health advantages? 30 Stress Management stress is the psychological perception of pressure due to work pressure, many responsibilities,

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CONTENTS 34 Tips for Setting the Perfect Holiday Table Every holiday season, you invest hours planning and preparing the perfect menu for each celebration you host. While easy and fun may be the name of the game for buffet-style events, when it's a sit-down soiree, the delightful cuisine you produce deserves a presentation worthy of your efforts. A beautifully set table can elevate your holiday dinner from just great

set and instead check out these unique, personal items that add fun and flair to any home, big or small.

BLOUDER FITNESS 38 Shivy Singh Twenty-six years old, Shivy Singh is a fitness model. He grew up in Delhi. He studied from G.D Goenka International Rohini and Bhartiye Vidya peeth university, Pashtun Vihar, New Delhi. He owns a gym, Ultimate fitness gym, Prashant Vihar, Rohini sector 14. 41 Morning Inspiration: Choosing a Better Breakfast The alarm beeps as you gaze out the window at the soft sunlight welcoming the day. You roll out of bed and your stomach grumbles. You stumble to the kitchen to see how you can tame the hunger pangs, ultimately reaching for a doughnut or prepackaged breakfast bar.

38 to simply perfect. 35 DIY Home Upgrades Anyone can Do in a Day Do-it-yourself home projects are sweeping the nation, and it's easy to see why. DIY is typically budget-friendly and fulfilling to complete; simply find the right project to match your skill set and needs. 36 Top Tips for Selecting Unique Décor Gifts for Everyone on Your List It's a common holiday conundrum: You want to show all your friends and family that you care, but finding the right present seems impossible. If you feel stuck, look for gifts that will enhance the home, because there is truly something for every personality. Skip the candle and coaster

42 4 Tips When Considering Supplements Whether you're looking for an extra competitive edge or trying to increase the effectiveness of your daily workout, you have most likely considered adding nutritional supplements to your fitness routine. Diet, exercise and everyday lifestyle are all factors that can help determine the right supplements for you.

BLOUDER EXCLUSIVES 44 L. K. Elliot L.K. spent most of her young life as a competitive hockey player. Most of her adult life, she spent as a Hot Mess. After battling depression, anxiety, poor health and a crumbling marriage, L.K. got to work on healing her life. Through a combination of techniques, she was able to break free from her chaotic life, and create her very own happily ever after. 48 Harmanjit Singh Harmanjit singh, 1999, studies in 12th grade. He is a basketball player. He plays at shooting guard position. He had participated in many basketball championships. He is sponsored by RABRO Sports, Jalandhar.

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STYLE OUT LOUDER 52 Do’s and Don’ts: A Man’s Handbook to Style Styling and fashion is often a tedious task for all guys out there and the abstract meaning observed in our people it’s very easy to label a man as stylish or not. The fashion choices available for man are way to uniform as compared with that of the opposite sex which leads to a lot of fashion going wrong. 54 Eladio Azofeifa He is a twenty-one years old male model. He grew up in Cariari in Limón Costa Rica.

BLOUDER BEAUTY 58 K-Beauty vs. Indian Gharelu-Nuskhe Indian market is already floored with K-Beauty products, throwing a major competition against the home grown Indian brands like Patanjali, lotus, VLCC. Brands like Innisfree, The Face Shop (Korean brands) are gaining more customers through digital marketing

BLOUDER LITERARY 60 Days A poem by Sanjana Sharma 61 Dreams v/s Nightmares A short story by Rahul Choudhary Bhardwaj 62 Why Being Judemental? A poem by Kinjal Chavda Talati 63 Graduation and a Broken Heart– Part One A short story by Philip D. patterson 64 Old Soldier Diaries: Memoirs of the Men of Honor Hardship and sufferings are realities of life. One must go once through these phases to achieve success in life. But sometimes the definition of success is slightly different for different kind of people. A businessmen or businesswomen will regard success as growing of business and huge profit margins. .

VIEWS AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THE ARTICLES ARE OF THE AUTHORS/SUBJECTS AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THOSE OF THE EDITORS OR PUBLISHERS. WHILE THE EDITORS DO THEIR UTMOST TO VERIFY INFORMATION PUBLISHED, THEY DO NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS ABSOLUTE ACCURACY. BLOUDER TAKES NO RESPONSIVITY FOR UNSOLICITED PHOTOGRAPHS OR MATERIAL. IN MATTERS WHICH MAY BE SUB JUDICE, BLOUDER TAKES NO LEGAL STAND. BLOUDER CAN NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR PRODUCTS, PRODUCT INFORMATION, PICTURES, ILLUSTRATIONS, ETC.

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WHAT’S ON

BLOUDERMAGAZINE.COM

5 Powerful Reasons to Eat Slower

One of the problems in our daily lives is that many of us rush through the day, with no time for anything… and when we have time to get a bite to eat, we gobble it down.

The Success Mantra How do people actually succeed? How do they emerge from nothing and passionately achieve everything they want? What is the magic which only a few people are able to do in their lives?

Secrets As Legacy Excerpts from Jaskaran S. Dhillon’s debut novel, a mystery thriller.


EDITOR’S LETTER Write to us

bloudermagazine@gmail.com

Follow

@bloudermagazine on Instagram @bloudermagazine on Twitter Fb.com/bloudermagazine bloudermagazine.com

Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere. . .

Our family is increasing daily, and I’m very lucky to be part of a fantastic team. We worked incredibly hard to make sure this month’s issue would offer something to inspire everyone on their personal development journey. This magazine is for you, the people who have guts to challenge the universe, who shake things up, who ask ‘why?’ who want to be louder than ever. In a world full of imitation, we all want to do something different— something extraordinary, something that will stand out. To do so, all we need is inspiration. I never thought I could write a novel. One day I was listening to music when Rachel Diggs’ song, “Hands of Time,” inspired me to write a book. Inspiration can come from anywhere, from a movie, a real life moment, a dream, anything. Through the sections, you’ll find stories on artists, traveling, entrepreneurs, relationship tips, lifestyle, photography, health, home improvement, fitness, authors, athletes, models, fashion tips and trends, literary and much more. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for connecting with the Magazine. You’re a part of our team now and we look forward to walking the journey with you. I want and will welcome your feedback, suggestions and input. JASKARAN S. DHILLON EDITOR Instagram: @jaskaransdhillon jaskaransdhillon.com

Cole Christopher

Eladio Azpfeifa PHOTOGRAPHER: FABIAN MOREAUX L. K.Elliot PHOTOGRAPHER: VANESSA BELTRAN


FEATURED

COLE CHRISTOPHER


C

ole Christopher is a 26 year old artist living in Los Angeles, California. For his photography, he likes to focus his style on men’s fashion, nudity and abstract poses. “I have always been intrigued with pushing the limits of my art,” he says. In college he studied film and video so that he can translate into his work as well, especially in his YouTube channel. He recently just launched an original clothing line at colechristopher.com. He describes, “The

pieces all reflect styles that are currently in trend and things that I find to be stylish.” How can you describe yourself as a good human being? I just try to live my life and everyday be kind to others. How did you come out to your family? What was their reaction? I came out after my freshmen year of college. It was actually on my mom’s birthday. Long story

short my parents didn’t take it the best, but after some time they changed and I couldn’t ask for better parents. How was your life changed after coming out? My life has changed because I am living as my true self. I don’t have to hide anything about myself anymore and that’s a great feeling. Tell us about your clothing line, what was your motivation to get this off the ground?

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FEATURED I have always loved clothes; I love style and getting dressed in the morning. I just really wanted to have something tangible that I could share with others. How has the line developed since it first launched? Do you undertake all of the work yourself? I first launched my line last year when I moved to LA, but I didn’t really know what I was doing so I had to take a break for a bit and re-evaluate. After doing some research and months of prepping in my spare time I was a bee to relaunch it 100 times better than it was before. Do you have any grand plans for your brand in the future? My clothing line isn’t necessarily something that I want to do for living, it’s more of a fun hobby I can manage in my spare time. However I will continue to make new designs and pieces weekly. Describe a real-life situation that inspired you. Just being a part of the LGBTQ community inspires me. I myself have experienced hate from loved ones and strangers before, so I just want to do whatever I can do to help make things better. Even if it’s just for one person! What is your YouTube channel about? I struggle to be consistent with my YouTube channel but I wanted to have an outlet where people could go and see the real me. So my channel is just a way for people to get to know who I am. Why should anyone subscriber to your channel? Well I plan on posting weekly on there relatively soon, I’m just working on the videos now. But if you are interested in me or my art then I would say to give it a look. It’s a different side to me than what my Instagram. I actually don’t take myself too seriously and I’d like to think I’m pretty funny. What inspired you to start making videos? I have always wanted to make videos for YouTube, when I first started I was dating someone who was very controlling and wouldn’t let me have an account. After I left that relationship I decided to start it back up, and I’m glad I did. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers? I have a lot of YouTube friends so it would be a cop out to just say them. But I do like Joe Santagato. I just think he is a real person and is hilarious. What are the best thing and worst thing about YouTube? The best thing is just to be able to share my own content. It’s like having your own TV show. The worst is that everyone has an opinion about you. I don’t get too many 10 BLOUDER

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negative comments but every once in a while they will just leave negativity. What are your goals when it comes to YouTube? I don’t have any real goals set out for my channel, I just want to post content and if people like it and they watch them great, if they don’t then that’s great too. Any advice for new YouTubers? I know I’m bad with it, but consistency is a key for growing any social media platform. You need to be posting as much as you can. Also professionalism, take the time to learn an editing program like premiere and make your content look great. What do you like doing in your spare time? I love to go to the gym, hike, hangout with my friends, eat chipotle. The usual. If you were stuck in one TV show which would it have to be? Why? I actually just got into Riverdale. I’d love to be stuck there so I can date that actor, Rob Raco. How would someone get your special attention? I’m a really social person, so just come up and say hi. What has been your worst date? Why? When I first moved to LA, I went on a date with a guy who when he dropped me off he wouldn’t let me out of his car. Not in a creepy way, he thought he was being cute by locking me in. But every time I went to unlock the door he would lock it again. This went on for like 5 minutes. So a piece of advice, don’t lock your date in your car. What's your one annoying habit? I sniffle all the time and I hate it. I’m not really sure why I do it but it would be great to stop doing that. Any advice you want to give to someone who is struggling with his/her sexuality? Take the time you need to figure out who are and come out to a close friend that you trust. You need to be confident with yourself so that when you come out to other people, if someone doesn’t have a good reaction you are prepared for that.


BLOUDER

art

PHOTOGRAPHER: MARI HOKKANEN

MANI MEHRZAD 12 BLOUDER

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The Lost Riders Mani Mehrzad is an artist. He is the member of the The Visual Arts Developments Association, Tehran, Iran (2012-Present). He did exhibitions in

Iran, USA, UAE and more. For him, art is a personal way of experiencing the world, finding out what the life is, finding yourselves in your way. He said, “The most important thing to be an artist is your passion. Passion for life, passion for creating and enjoying the process of creating what you have in your mind and heart, passion for art, literature, and music. All the rest of the technical problems will be solved in your way. He continues, “The most important thing is to be yourself.” He described an incredible painting as, “I don’t know what an incredible painting is. If you be yourself, the experience you have will be incredible for you. Maybe the other people like it or not but for me art is like a way of happiness. It is a kind of life. All definitions will change in different periods of time and based on this, a piece of art in a special time and place maybe know as an incredible piece of art and in other period and place maybe known as worthless art.” He mentioned, “So I think the most important thing for an artist is to do his or her work with dedication and be himself. Passion can make everything incredible.” “The Lost Riders” is a collection of paintings which has been created by inspiration from Shahnameh’s epic space with a modern approach. These works has been formed by Acrylic on canvas.


BLOUDER

travel

TWELVE DO'S AND DON'TS

WHILE TRAVELLING By Sana Hussain| Instagram @sanahussain_._

“You travel, you explore. You experience, you learn.�

How true! Isn't it? We all love travelling. We travel and explore, and when we explore we experience so many things and experiences teach us lessons of life. We all go out. We also travel to other states or overseas for different purposes, and we try our best to make our every journey safe and adventurous; but we never follow the rules of travelling because most of the people are unaware of Do's and Don'ts while travelling. We should always keep these major points in our minds while travelling.

DO'S 1.Never forget to carry basic first-aid 2.requirements and personal medicines. 2. Do label your luggage with your name

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and contact details in proper way. 3. Carry proper and understanding maps of that particular place. 4. Always go with prior reservations at the hotels and arrangement of transportation and guide. 5. Make sure your mobile phone has sufficient charge and balance for emergency calls. 6. Do listen to and abide by the safety instructions. 7. Do carry money belt/pouch. 8. Help wisely if someone is in need. 9. Check visa formalities properly before travelling. 10. If you get into any type of legal trouble, just contact nearest embassy of your country. 11. Obey the law of the country you are travelling to. 12. Follow local news of the destination to stay updated.

EXPERIENCES TEACH US LESSONS OF LIFE.

DON'TS 1. Do not over pack. 2. Do not carry large amount of money. 3. Do not keep your cash/wallet in your pocket. 4. Don't share water bottles. 5. Don't accept drink/food from strangers. 6. Do avoid unnecessary conversation with strangers. 7. Don't travel alone to unknown places if it is not urgent. 8. Don't walk on small, unlit or unsafe looking and unfamiliar streets, especially alone. 9. Don't leave valuable items in public view. 10. Don't consume unhealthy food or alcohol in order to avoid stomach ache, headache or vomiting while travelling. 11. Don't park your car anywhere unless it is a public car parking area. 12. Don't keep your vehicle and hotel room keys on the same key ring.


BLOUDER

lifestyle Relationship

5 SIGNS THAT HE IS THE ONE BY ANJALI SHARMA Instagram @anjali_scribed

To be loved and be special to somebody is feeling craved by all women. The desire to find the man of your dreams and cherish your life is the reason why we women are in this world of relationships. Each relationship has its phases with all kind of ups and downs. In between these bittersweet moments of our love life we often think about our partner that is he the one, the one I see myself growing old with and smile together in nostalgia of life events together. Don’t worry all you lovely queens out there because I am here to make things easy for you and help you to know that the man you have goals with deserves you for a lifetime or not. See for these signs in your man and if you find them then you are blessed with a true soulmate, so never let such true love go. LOYALTY Your man is loyal to you and never lets any other girl come in between you two. He is at all times focused about you and never notices or false eyes at other girls. You are his priority and his loyalty and truthfulness stays with you. He doesn’t lie about his works and things or doings but says it all as it is. If your man is this true to you in all aspects he is in with you for a lifetime. ATTENTION AND TIME Your man will always take out time for you no 16 BLOUDER

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matter how busy he is. In between his busy schedules if he checks on you as to how you are and replies to your texts and calls sure did he loves you a lot . In very busy times it’s very true that your man will very straightly tell you to wait and he’ll attend to you as soon as he is free. Your true love will always give his time and plans out things that includes you. UNDERSTANDING It will always be your true soulmate whom you will find making efforts and solving out your misunderstandings and misconceptions for you and among you. Your man will always try to understand and figure out the reasons with patience as to why you acted in a certain way or made such move or talked to a thing about you. RESPECTS AND SUPPORTS YOU Your true beloved will always support you in your dreams and desires and will have your back in the risks and management and important stages of your life. If you find your man supporting and encouraging you and giving you pep talks and motivations to keep going and do exactly and achieve what you wish for then he is a real keeper. A loyal n true man never gets intimidated by the success of his women. Your true keeper will always respect you and never loses and let any other person to lose respect for you. All your

suggestions and advices are always welcomed by him and your opinions about matters will always be kept in mind if he is the one for you YOU SHARE SIMILAR GOALS, PRIORITIES AND MORAL VALUES If you and your partner have common and similar goals and you both plan them together with each other in mind with priorities that favor you both then surely you two are meant to be . Your man will share his spiritual and intellectual interests and values with you such that you both mutually comfortable with them. If he is truly the one meant for you then he will never fear to make and plan future goals and what he wants to achieve with you. As a relationship is never a one sided deal there are quick five points that you will feel if you’re with the one man who is meant for you. If you feel these cherish him for what he is and never let him go. You will respect him and honor him for how he keeps you and deal things. You will feel good and confident about yourself. There will be no real jealousy or insecurity to you from his side. You are happy to accept that he is your “Mr. Not Perfect.” You’ll want to stay with him after a fight.


BLOUDER

lifestyle Relationship Tips

Ways to

Keep Your Relationship

Fresh By Diksha Sharma | Instagram @sharma.99diksha

R

elationships play an important role in everyone’s lives. Relationships can be of many types, like brother and sister, parents and their

children, teacher and student, your friend and you. Last but not least is relationship you have with someone special who completely understands you and wants to spend the rest of their life with you. Nowadays, everyone has busy schedules to maintain their lifestyles, but today we are going to discuss a variety of ways to ensure the relationship is fresh and long-lasting.

*Add Emoji Always add some emojis to your texts. This will make your partner imagine your text is happening in person. A simple text, like "I miss you and can't wait to hug you,” goes further with emojis.

*Regular Little Surprise

* Understanding Understanding plays an important role in relationships. Arguing is common in

*Respect Your Partner

Always put extra effort into making your

relationships, but how you manage to stay

partner happy by giving them a little daily surprise, like flowers, ice cream, chocolate, etc. Not only men should do this—women need to surprise their partners too!

together is important. It can be done if you

Always respect your partner publicly as well as privately, and they will give respect in return. Always respect your partner’s decisions,

develop good understanding of each other.

choices, thoughts, and ideas.

* Discuss your Plans

*Socialize Your Relationship

Always discuss your plans, whether they are daily or long-term, because this will allow your partner to prepare for them in advance.

Try to socialize your relationship, as it will make your partner think you are serious about them and proud to be seen with them.

...relationship you have with someone special who completely understands you and wants to spend the rest of their life with you.

* Text First Try to text your partner first, as this will make him or her feel special and wanted.

*Be Silly Doing serious things is good, but doing silly things make relationship interesting as well as exciting.

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lifestyle Millennials

DR. FARHAN KHAN

CROWNED MUSER ON MUSICAL.LY

W

ho are you as a person? A happy go lucky person, who believes in "Do good, and good will happen to you". A care free person who takes calculative risks at times, and secures himself when needed. A person who believes in being "Fizul" and does what he like to.

How do you describe your personal style? What do your clothes say about you? I do what I like, I keep changing according to the moods I go through, not many but yes I am more of the one who sees humor in every other thing, I like to make people laugh, and put positivity at first place. At the end of the day a smile is what I earn and memories I save. I am not more of plan and style guy, I do what I like, wear what I like. A lean person, who can't tolerate cold well, can be seen wearing more of jackets and sweatshirts often. But I wear what gives me comfort rather than go for something cool but uncomfortable. Watch and glasses add on to my favorite accessories. Keeping it simple is my mantra. You are a doctor by profession. Why did you choose that profession? Ahh... Doctor, had never planned of it, my dad asked me to enter into the medical field, which was shocking for me at that time. But he believed in me and had a dream of turning me into a physician. After initial hesitation, I soon adapted and later medical studies went quite smooth. When did you screw everything up, but no one ever found out it was you? I would like to keep it hidden and want nobody to find it out. Haha... 18 BLOUDER

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Instagram: @gurpreetchatthaofficial

Why do your Instagram account called Fizuliyat? I was a Facebook lover, and used to spend time on my laptop and mobile phone during my college days. My parents used to taunt me saying "Kya Fizul kaam karte bhaitha rehta hai?" And I had downloaded the new app then Instagram and named it "Fisooliyat" which now after alteration is "Fizuliyat" the one who is Fizul. What piece of technology brings you the most joy? I won't call it "Joy" but the technology which makes your work easy brings me satisfaction and is always handy, technology with unnecessary features doesn't impress me, but the ones which are simple, productive and useful are always appreciated and ultimately used. I am the guy who would choose a Pop-socket over a Fidget spinner. You had been crowned on Musical.ly. How did you celebrate it? The Crown on musically was a surprise, I had not expected it to be given so soon (June 1st 2017) I had cherished all the love way before I got crowned, I had featured videos, was friends

with the top Musers, had a strong fan base (My Sena) who show immense love towards me and have supported me in my Live sessions and appreciated my musicallys. So when I actually was crowned, I had no special celebrations or reactions because my Sena had already given me that special place. But a crown is always special, nothing can be more satisfying. What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made? Best in recent times would be shifting to IOS from Android, I purchased an IPhone 7 for my musicallys and the change was seen, as musically is smoother better and more effective in an iOS device rather than an android. And the worst? I forget them, do not get affected, a positive guy doesn't brood on negative happenings. What’s your “going to bed” routine? I come back from my clinic at 10:30 pm, have my dinner and have a little conversation with my mom, who usually is into her daily soaps on TV. Later I update and check my virtual life on the internet, do the usual work like, things to be done tomorrow reminders, clean the bed, go to washroom and then attend some live sessions of fellow Musers or I go live, and fall asleep.


BLOUDER

lifestyle All About You

Slave to Fashion By Scribble Scripted | Instagram: scribble_scripted

F

ashion, it’s one of the most discussed and observed topic these days. But how can we define fashion? In simple words is dressing up good, styling yourself is fashion? Or giving you a better appearance is this fashion? I think no, it isn’t it. But, fashion is something like meeting the trends. Though fashion includes looks, personality, your self-appearance, but they aren’t enough to consider them as fashion. Fashion means trend, and what’s trending, defines your fashion. Today, being a part of this modern world, what we demand is to have a good personality, good reputation and we just want to leave a good impression over the things around us. But what make us think so? Why we’re always in race to have fame than name? I think, the best answer will be “Society” and its parameters.

Today, we don’t live for our own-self rather we live for society. Today what we only want is to stand alongside of everyone, though it’s good. But how good it is that in the process of standing alongside of people, we are forgetting our own-self. Today, we dress good, we meet the trending fashion because we always have a question in mind that what society will think of us seeing our appearance, isn’t it true.

related to you. You owns a car, again you’ll see the parameters of society, you build a house again you will see how society will judge the appearance of your house, you’ll think what society will think if your house doesn’t meet the modern requirements, you purchase furniture for your house again the parameters of society will be followed, again a question will arise in your mind it the furniture modern or not.

Slave to fashion, why the term slave is used here? Opting fashion is one’s personal choice still fashion here in linked with slave because we don’t follow the fashion because we like it, but we opt in because we are forced to obey it, we are forced to obey the trends, and why we’re forced? We’re forced because society wants it.

So, fashion is everywhere and yes it’s a slave because we don’t opt fashion by choice rather we opt it to meet the standards, meet the parameters of society. Today, working for own-self with a thought of what other people thinks is in trends. We are relying on others, what other think is good, your own imagination; your own perception is of no use. Yes, I call fashion a slave, as the term slave solely means “the legal property of another and is forced to obey them” and this is what our fashion is.

Today, we are attracted over looks than quality, aren’t we? Fashion plays a major role her. Fashion is not only about the way of dressing, styling yourself but it too includes the things

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BLOUDER

lifestyle All About You

KNOWING

WHO YOU TRULY ARE

B

By Harshini Chandrika | Instagram @harshini_chandrika

etrayal, hearts being broken again and again, feeling dejected, abasing yourself and what not, we all have been through this phase of life. And when this happens it may take away all your courage and strength and leave you with nothing. At this moment you will have one of two choices to make. One, either you just continue your life the way it is, or Two, you pick yourself up and get ready to fight the next battle of your life. If you have made the choice to go on with the second option, you already have won half of the battle. Moving on is tough, it is very tough indeed. We, humans don't want to let go of our past. We want it to stick around us. But think for a moment, is it even worth it? The answer to this question is most likely NO. Because let it be betrayal, or not getting success 20 BLOUDER

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in your life, you blame yourself for each and everything in your life. And I totally understand, because we all have been through it. Getting hurt is easy, but fixing all the broken pieces is not. You need to understand one thing that all situations in life can't be controlled by you. And there is no point in expecting others to change. Many of us sometimes let others rule us and due to this they start to feel that they are superior than us. They spread negative energy around you. And you start to underestimate your potential. But the thing is you are capable of doing anything and everything in life. Remember one thing, when you underestimate yourself, you give others the authority to boss over you! We can only know who we truly are even we learn to build our self-confidence. People are going to judge you and degrade you no matter what. But your confidence should be so high that the stones they throw at you, doesn't even reach you!

You need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, because those are the things that make you. Another very important thing is you should be true to yourself. Never lie to yourself. No-one but you should be at the top of your priority list. Help others but not by losing yourself. And when times are tough, don't expect anyone's help but learn to help yourself and deal with the situations. Don't abandon yourself for the sake of others. Find happiness in the little things and give preference to the people who are really there for you, rather than running behind those who are not. Follow your dreams. Take risks and find your true identity. Because at the end of the day, your biggest opponent is who you were yesterday and your biggest asset is who you are going to be tomorrow.


GÁL RÚBEN TWENTY-SEVEN YEAR OLD PHOTOGRAPHER FROM HUNGARY


click out LOUDER What does photography mean to you? Photography is a rest for me and not work, everyone has a favorite activity for me it’s photography. How did you develop an interest in photography? I have been interested in photography since when I was 10 years old and when old-fashioned camera cell phones were very excited. Who are you as a person? I do not have a livelihood for photography, I have a private interest in construction, gardening and car repair ... I'm a simple person, I do not drink alcohol, I have a wife and we have started building our house. How do you as a photographer make sure that the thing, person or landscape you want to shoot looks the way you want it to? Every click is history and irreversible. Everyone has a unique vision for this world, so do I. I like to play with cuts to a non-standard size. From your point of view, what makes a good picture? I often care about abstract themes and am not interested in the typical tourist photography settings. What were the challenges that you most commonly faced and how did you deal with them? I do not understand the camera as a photographer, I'm just curious so my photos are just experiments.


How important is it for a photographer to “connect” with his subjects to bring out their true self? I mainly shoot objects, but if I'm portraying, I have only few hours to take it because the photo is natural and it's not a work of art. Since the photography techniques and equipment change quickly, it is important to stay up-to-date. What do you do to always keep up with the times? I sometimes read photographic newspapers and on this basis I try to get equipment for new technical skills. Nowadays almost everyone has access to devices with which it is possible to take pictures. What do you think is the difference between a professional photographer and any other hobby photographer? I think a professional photographer is primarily a man of mind, but it is mainly driven by money, while a hobby photographer is watching the moments he likes most. Which one is your favorite lens and why do you prefer it? I have a Nikon engine room and I change the optics about half a year. They do the fixed high-brightness optics I'm currently using. I’m currently using a Nikon 24mm, 2: 8 brightness optics, which has a very nice effects. What is the one moment that inspired you? One night I felt petting 2 degrees in winter to go shopping in pajamas in the city, so I wanted to prove to myself that the brain could be transverse and the cold could not be felt if they wanted to. Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path? I do not have any of favorites, just check out other photographers’ work which is not too jolly but natural. Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs? This world is beautiful, let us live in peace, and let us not seek out the anger In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot? It doesn’t matter what kind of pictures, I just take them in my spare time.

Photographs By Gál Rúben


BHEALTHIER

6 HEALTHY REASONS TO

ENJOY A SLICE OF SWEET CHERRY PIE THIS

HOLIDAY SEASON (BPT) - The holidays are just around the corner, and for most of us that means time to indulge in some favorite treats. Fortunately, healthy doesn't have to mean less delicious! If you're looking for a good-for-you holiday dessert that can please even the most critical sweet tooth, a naturally sweet cherry pie could be just the ticket. You can have your pie and eat it too! 

Cherries provide a whole host of health benefits, so pull out the cherries you put up, dried or froze this summer and feel good about enjoying that slice of cherry pie. Here are six reasons why:

* Natural, healthy sweetness: Dark sweet or Rainier cherries both offer pie lovers the perfect dose of juicy sweetness without excess sugar. Cherries boast a lower glycemic index than almost any other fruit, which means they release glucose slowly and evenly, helping you maintain a steady blood sugar level, leaving you feeling full longer and maybe even helping you maintain a healthy weight.

* Anti-inflammatory superpowers: Does your arthritis flair up when the temperature drops? Research shows that cherries contain anthocyanins, which shut down the enzymes that cause tissue inflammation in the exact same way that ibuprofen does. So, enjoying cherries daily may help reduce your need for antiinflammatories. 

Better sleep in every bite: Keeping your energy up throughout the busy holiday season can be a challenge, but cherries can help you sleep better and feel more rested. Studies show that cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which helps control your body's internal clock and regulate your sleep patterns. Try eating cherries about an hour before bedtime to help stabilize your sleep cycle. Reduced chance of gout attacks: More than 8.3 million Americans suffer from gout, a painful form of arthritis commonly associated with elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. A study by researchers at the University of California at Davis found that people who ate sweet cherries showed reduced levels of uric acid, while a study by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine showed that

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people who ate cherries, in conjunction with their prescribed medicine, had a 35 to 75 percent lower chance of experiencing a gout attack.

1 tablespoon almond extract or bourbon-vanilla bean infusion

Covert cancer-fighting agents: A study by the USDA's Western Human Nutrition Research Center suggests that cherries possess cancer-fighting properties as well. Cherries contain ellagic acid, which appears to be a potent inhibitor to the growth of cancer cells.

1. Using a fork, whisk together the cherry water and cornstarch in a small bowl, then set aside.

Boosted fiber intake: It's no secret that Americans don't eat enough fiber - in fact, many of us are fiber deficient, falling short of the 25-35 grams per day recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines. Eating cherries can help you reach the current dietary recommendation of two cups of fruit daily and can contribute to healthy weight maintenance, diabetes prevention and improved cardiovascular health.

While fresh cherries are available only in the summer months, frozen or preserved cherries are an excellent alternative that allow you to enjoy the health benefits of cherries year-round. Northwest Cherry Growers recommend the following easy-to-make sweet cherry pie recipe to celebrate the season:

Northwest Sweet Cherry Pie Ingredients 2 pie crusts, prepared 2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 tablespoons cherry juice, reserved from pitting (fresh) or from rinsing/rehydrating (preserved) 7 cups (pitted) sweet cherries 3/4 - 1 cup coconut sugar

Directions

2. Stem and pit the cherries, if not already done. 3. Fill pie dish with cherries and blend the remaining volume (about 2 cups or 1/4 the total volume) into a puree. Pour the remaining whole cherries into a mixing bowl and return to the refrigerator (if using frozen cherries). 4. Using a heavy-bottomed pan, gently heat the puree and sugar over low heat until the volume has reduced by 1/3 to 1/2. Constantly stir across the bottom to prevent burning. 5. Once reduced, remove from the heat and stir in the cornstarch slurry until the mix regains translucency. Gently and briefly reheat if needed. Stir in the extract and let the mixture cool to room temperature. 6. Pour the cooled mixture over the whole cherries, gently stirring to incorporate. Pour the final cherry mixture into a 9- or 10-inch prepared pie crust, and top with a second crust. Pinch, crimp and vent the top crust. Brush with a beaten egg if so desired and sprinkle lightly with coconut sugar. 7. Bake at 375 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is steadily bubbling. Aluminum foil may be used around the crust edges to prevent browning during the second half of the bake. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack, and most importantly, allow the pie to cool completely before serving (3-4 hours). To learn more about the health benefits of cherries, visit www.NWCherries.com.


BHEALTHIER

A BREATH OF RELIEF FOR

MIGRAINE SUFFERERS (BPT) - People who suffer from migraine know that they're more than just bad headaches. Migraine is a neurological disorder in which the nerves release inflammatory substances that cause signals to be sent to your brain, resulting in painful throbbing that can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world[1], and more than 36 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches.[2] Melissa H. has suffered migraine attacks for more than 15 years. Frequent migraines have greatly impacted the life of the 35-year-old teacher and mother of a toddler.

"My migraines were affecting every aspect of my life," Melissa says. "There were times that I wanted to continue my workday or I wanted to spend time with my family, but instead, I had to go lie down in a dark, quiet room to deal with my migraine." For migraine sufferers like Melissa, pain relief cannot come fast enough, which often leads many to try a variety of medications. In January 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved ONZETRA® Xsail® (sumatriptan nasal powder), which uses the most prescribed migraine medication - s umatriptan - but takes a different route. ONZETRA Xsail is the first Breath Powered®

Migraine is a neurological disorder in which the nerves release inflammatory substances that cause signals to be sent to your brain, resulting in painful throbbing that can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light and sound. 27 BLOUDER

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BHEALTHIER

nasal medication delivery system for the acute treatment of migraine. The device is activated by a user's breath to propel medication to the back of the nose, an area that is rich with blood vessels, and provides targeted delivery with the potential for fast absorption. "When it comes to migraine medication, patients often think of pills, but nasal delivery can offer fast pain relief - and that's something my patients really appreciate," says Dr. Anne Calhoun, headache specialist in Durham, NC. "The nose is well-suited to the delivery of migraine medication because of an extensive network of blood vessels that can absorb the medication very quickly." In clinical trials of ONZETRA, almost half of migraine sufferers experienced pain relief in as early as 30 minutes (42 percent vs 27 percent on placebo) and 68 percent experienced pain relief in 2 hours vs 45 percent on placebo. In addition, more than 90 percent of patients found ONZETRA Xsail easy to use. For more information about ONZETRA Xsail, talk to your doctor or visit www.ONZETRA.com. Important Safety Information What is ONZETRATM XsailTM (sumatriptan nasal powder) used for? ONZETRA Xsail is a prescription medication approved for the acute treatment of migraine, with or without aura in adults. ONZETRA Xsail is used for people who have been told by a healthcare provider that they have migraine headaches. ONZETRA Xsail is not for the prevention of migraines or for other types of headaches, including cluster headache. What important information should I know about ONZETRA Xsail? ONZETRA Xsail may cause serious side effects, including: Heart attack and other heart problems, which may lead to death. Stop using ONZETRA Xsail and get emergency medical help right away if you have any symptoms of a heart attack like shortness of breath or tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw that is severe or does not go away Changes in color or sensation in your fingers and toes (Raynaud's syndrome) Stomach and intestinal problems (gastrointestinal and colonic ischemic events)Problems with blood circulation to your legs and feet (peripheral vascular ischemia) Serious allergic reactions (symptoms include hives; tongue, mouth, lip, or throat swelling; problems breathing)Medication overuse headaches. Some people who use ONZETRA Xsail too many times may have worse 28 BLOUDER

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headaches. If your headaches get worse your doctor may decide to stop your treatment with ONZETRA XsailSerotonin syndrome, a rare but serious problem that can happen in people using ONZETRA Xsail, especially if ONZETRA Xsail is used with antidepressant medicines called SSRIs, SNRIs, or TCAs. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms of serotonin syndrome: mental

medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). MAOIs cannot be taken within 14 days before or after taking ONZETRA XsailHave severe liver problemsHave an allergy to sumatriptan, the medicine in ONZETRA Xsail, or any of the components in ONZETRA XsailWhat should I tell my healthcare provider before taking ONZETRA Xsail?

"When it comes to migraine medication, patients often think of pills, but nasal delivery can offer fast pain relief - and that's something my patients really appreciate," says Dr. Anne Calhoun, headache specialist in Durham, NC. "The nose is well-suited to the delivery of migraine medication because of an extensive network of blood vessels that can absorb the medication very quickly." changes such as seeing things that are not there (hallucinations), agitation, or coma; fast heartbeat; changes in blood pressure; high body temperature; tight muscles; trouble walking; or nausea, vomiting, or diarrheaSeizures. Seizures have happened in people taking sumatriptan who have never had seizures beforeThe most common side effects of ONZETRA Xsail are abnormal taste, discomfort of your nose or throat, runny nose, and stuffy nose. This is not a complete list of side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. Who should not take ONZETRA Xsail? Do not take ONZETRA Xsail or stop using ONZETRA Xsail if you: Have heart problems or a history of heart problemsHave had a stroke, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), or problems with your blood circulationHave uncontrolled high blood pressureHave hemiplegic migraines or basilar migraines. If you are not sure if you have these, ask your doctorHave peripheral vascular disease (narrowing of blood vessels to the legs, arms, stomach, intestines, or kidneys)Have taken other migraine medications in the last 24 hours, including other triptans, ergots, or ergot-type medications. Ask your doctor for a list of these medicines if you are not sureAre taking a

Before you take ONZETRA Xsail, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and all the medicines you take, including prescription medicines, especially antidepressants, and all over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. What should I avoid while taking ONZETRA Xsail? ONZETRA Xsail can cause dizziness, weakness, or drowsiness. If you have these symptoms, do not drive a car, use machinery, or do anything where you need to be alert. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 800-FDA-1088. For additional Important Safety Information about ONZETRA Xsail, please see the full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information, and Instructions for Use. [1]Migraine Research Foundation. Migraine Facts. https://migraineresearchfoundation.org/ about-migraine/migraine-facts/. Accessed August 18, 2016. [2] Migraine.com. Migraine Statistics. https:// migraine.com/migraine-statistics/. Accessed August 18, 2016.


BHEALTHIER

SIMPLE WAYS TO FOLLOW A LOW-GLYCEMIC EATING PLAN FOR BETTER HEALTH

(BPT) - Adopting a diet that mainly consists of foods ranking low on the Glycemic Index (GI) can help you have a consistent energy level, feel calmer, improve cholesterol levels and lose weight. So, why aren't more people following a low-glycemic diet and reaping these health advantages? Some say a low-GI diet is hard to follow. Others consider it an eating plan only for people living with diabetes. According to Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Johanna Burani, these are myths. "As an in-the-trenches dietitian, I have consistently seen how easily my patients learn to incorporate low-GI foods into their meal plans and how happy (and relieved) they are with their results," says Burani. Want to commit to a low-GI lifestyle? Here are some easy tips to help you see results:

keeping it low. Tip: Know your carbs and choose "tricklers" not "gushers." Selecting more medium- to low-GI foods will help you maximize the performance of you workout or exercise. Tip: If you are doing endurance exercises, try consuming a moderate- to low-GI meal before exercising for sustained carb availability. 

"Following a low-GI eating plan is easy since most foods are commonly found in supermarkets," says Burani. For example, specialty food brand Fifty50 Foods has a broad line of certified low-glycemic items ranging from peanut butters and fruit spreads to candies and cookies and from breakfast items like syrup and oatmeal to baking items like pie crust and crystalline fructose. Does following a low-GI diet mean you have to give up your favorite sweet treats? Fortunately not. Tip: Try a healthy twist on the old standard peanut butter cookie made with peanut butter, no added sugar and zero sodium. 

* Not sure which foods are high and low and where they rank on the GI? Researchers have determined the GI values of more than 2,500 foods. Tip: Check out resources like the Guide to a Low Glycemic Diet for Better Blood Glucose Control on fifty50foods.com to make informed food choices and stick to those lower on the GI. * All carbohydrates are not the same. Some "gush" into your bloodstream and quickly spike your blood sugar. Others just "trickle" in slowly,

* Can you eat out and maintain a low-GI diet? Yes, you can. Many restaurant menus feature healthier foods that are lower on the GI so you can dine at your favorite spot without guilt. Tip: Do your homework in advance to identify the low-GI selections on the menu.

Here are a few options by cuisine: Chinese: Order noodles (egg, rice or mung bean), vegetables and lean proteins. Say no to Asian-style sticky white rice and deep-fried foods. Italian: Pick pasta, seafood and meat dishes or thin-crust pizza topped with vegetables. Don't overload the cheese or go heavy on the sauces. Fast-food: Go for the salad and avoid hamburgers and fries. Most fast-food items have high-GI values since they are processed and also are very high in fat and sodium. Choose wisely! "Once my patients start feeling and seeing the results of low-GI eating they become committed to making this a lifestyle," says Burani. "This applies to both those patients living with diabetes as well as those who want to improve their general health."

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illness such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis Difficult relationships with partners, children, friends and other family members Stress in families such as having a child, teen or other family members who are under stress and while taking care of an elderly or sick family member BY KHUSHBOO SHIMRAN AND RAVI KUMAR | INSTAGRAM @KHUSHBOOSHIMRAN Facing discrimination, having poor tress is the psychological management and harassment at work perception of pressure due to work Unachievable work demands, changes in work pressure, many responsibilities, patterns or feelings of a lack of control over poverty, illness, and failure in life. work It can seriously affect the body and Due to fear and uncertainty when regularly hear about the threat of terrorist attacks, global mind. Everyday pressure can activate the stress response. People might feel warming and toxic chemicals on the news stress while presenting a task, talking or tough Traumatic events such as a natural disaster, opponent for a performance. Sometimes it theft, rape or violence against individual or a loved one helps to rise to a challenge and meet the success. So, people need help to deal with COPING STRESS THROUGH different situations. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE 1. Rapidly reduce stress in the moment SYMPTOMS OF STRESS Stress can often lead to irrationality causing Psychological symptoms of stress individuals to ignore previous strategies and Anxious thoughts plans. Learning to manage and reduce stress Constant worrying helps individuals to affect the way stress Poor judgment interacts with their emotions. The first step to Memory problems reduce stress is recognizing what stress feels Seeing only the negative like, body feels when stressed, muscles or Inability to concentrate stomach tight or sore, breath shallow. Being aware of the physical response to stress will Emotional symptoms of stress help control tension when it occurs. The best Depression way to reduce stress quickly is involving more Unhappiness senses at a time. Each person responds Low self-esteem differently to sensory input, so there is a need to Inability to relax find things that are soothing and energizing. A sense of loneliness Irritability or having a short temper Mood swings or changes in mood 2. Beat relationship stress with emotional awareness Behavioral symptoms of stress Emotional awareness can be learned at any Loss of sense of humor time of life. People have to care about a Eating more or less than usual moment to moment awareness of emotions and Sleeping too much or too little how it influences thoughts and actions, and Isolating from others remaining calm and focused in tense situations Neglecting responsibilities with others. Using alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs to relax Developing nervous habits such as nail biting 3. Use nonverbal communication People must not have only verbal skills but Physical symptoms of stress nonverbal skills also to manage stress. Frequent colds Nonverbal skills include facial expressions, eye Loss of sex drive contact, the timing of verbal communications, Aches and pains physical contact, the posture of speaker and Irregular periods in women vocal tone. Successful nonverbal Nausea or dizziness communication depends on an ability to manage Diarrhea and constipation stress, recognize emotions and understand the Increased frequency of urination signals we are sending and receiving. Blood pressure and heart rate soar

STRESS MANAGEMENT

S

CAUSES OF STRESS Emotional problems such as anger, depression, grief, guilt or low self-esteem Major life changes, such as dealing with the death of a parent or spouse, losing job, getting married and moving to a new city, new home Health problems especially in case of chronic 30 BLOUDER

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4. Use humor and play to deal with challenges The ability to deal with challenges using humor and play is the skill of emotional intelligence. Humor, laughter, and play are the natural antidote to life's difficulties. A good hearty laugh elevates mood, reduces personal

and interpersonal conflicts to relieve stress. Once free of conflicts, people are better able to function cognitively and seek alternative solutions to personal and social challenges. 5. Resolve conflict positively Conflict and disagreements are inevitable in relationships. Resolving conflict in healthy constructive ways, people can strengthen trust between others. When conflict isn't perceived as threatening it fosters freedom, creativity, and safety in relationships. COMPETENCE FOR EMOTION AND STRESS MANAGEMENT Creating awareness of emotions in self Recognize and understand the moods, emotions, and drives Aware of the limitations and strengths Know what emotions one is feeling and why they are feeling them Recognize how feelings may influence the judgment and behavior Believe to be right Make sound decisions despite uncertainties and pressures Self-confident even in the face of failure Cope with rejection Regulating emotions in self Control negative thinking Manage shifting priorities Suspend judgment and think before acting Control and redirect the disruptive impulses Build trust through reliability and authenticity Stay composed, positive and unflappable in trying times Generate emotions on demand to relate to the feelings of others Take fresh perspectives and risks in the thinking Reflect and monitor emotions in order to recognize how influential and reasonable they are Have no difficulty in sharing the values, beliefs, interests, and feelings with friends and colleagues Empathizing and working with the emotions Respect silence Do not expect fast results Stay impartial and objective Develop deep listening skills Challenge bias and prejudice Challenge but remain realistic Use positive non-directive language Detect power relationships and spot potential discord Stop putting something about self into the conversation Focus on what the individual thinks, feels and experiences Respect and relate well to people from varied backgrounds Lead teams effectively by generating a healthy environment and trust Acknowledge and reward people’s strengths and accomplishments Create an affirmative environment where people with diverse views are respected Manage conflict effectively, drawing out the thoughts and feelings of others Know friends as individuals with talents, varied interests, feelings and potential Give honest and respectful feedback and praise people when they make a good contribution


HOUSE

to HOME

To create a quiet home office retreat, consider features like sound control window glass, insulated vinyl siding or interior wall insulation.

THE SOUND OF SILENCE: HOW TO DESIGN A QUIET HOME OFFICE (BPT) - In today's increasingly digital world, it's no surprise that more employees are opting

If your workspace needs a sound makeover,

to work from home. While there may be a shift

consider the following tips. For even more

of physical locations - from the office building

information on home improvement solutions,

and developers are focused on

to the home - productivity is still paramount,

check out websites like www.plygem.com.

optimizing available land, which

making the need for quiet home workspaces more important than ever. "As urbanization continues, builders and developers are focused on optimizing available

Think from the outside in

"As urbanization continues, builders

results in more homes, apartments and condos built near highways and airports," says Mark Montgomery, vice president of marketing for

land, which results in more homes, apartments

Everyday sounds like traffic, trains, leaf

and condos built near highways and airports,"

blowers, music, barking dogs or car alarms may

says Mark Montgomery, vice president of

go unnoticed on the weekends, but can easily

Gem Windows. "The convergence of

marketing for leading window manufacturer

interrupt conference calls and concentration

telecommuting and higher noise

Ply Gem Windows. "The convergence of

during the busy workweek.

telecommuting and higher noise levels means there's a growing need to enhance homeowner comfort with noise reduction technology."

32 BLOUDER

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To cut down on outside noise, look for

leading window manufacturer Ply

levels means there's a growing need to enhance homeowner comfort with noise reduction technology."


HOUSE

to HOME

Insulate the interior ...

easily. Solid core doors, which are thicker than

and the exterior

installed, make sure to surround the door with

Brickmould Vinyl Collection, have ratings of up

If your home office space shares a paper-thin

By keeping these tips in mind, you'll be well on

to STC 35. This reduces outside noise by

wall with, for instance, a loud family room

your way to creating a quiet home office retreat

approximately 40 percent when compared to

television, adding batt wall insulation for new

and defending your workspace from unwanted

single hung window units with no protection.

homes, or blown-in insulation for existing

interruptions.

windows with Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating. A typical single hung window unit without sound control glass has an average STC rating of 27. Sound control glass

hollow doors, act as a noise blocker. Once weather-stripping to fill any holes or gaps.

packages, on window lines like Ply Gem's 1500

homes, will help blanket sounds and temper "STC glass packages may not be necessary for

vibrations.

every window in the home, but should be

For homes that face busy

considered for the rooms where the reduction of

For homes that face busy roadways, insulated

unwanted noise is most important - like the

vinyl siding is another solution. Look for

home office and bedrooms," advises

options made with a premium, recycled-content

another solution. Look for options

Montgomery.

vinyl siding panel permanently bonded with

made with a premium,

polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation. This wraps

recycled-content vinyl siding panel

As an added bonus, according to the

the home with continuous insulation to cover

Department of Energy, new windows will boost

the entire exterior envelope - including wall

permanently bonded with polystyrene

curb appeal, reduce maintenance and can

studs where air and sound can penetrate.

significantly improve your home's energy efficiency.

roadways, insulated vinyl siding is

(EPS) foam insulation. This wraps the home with continuous insulation to

Another quick fix for insulating the home office

cover the entire exterior envelope -

is to install a solid core wood or molded interior

including wall studs where air and

door. Many standard interior doors are hollow,

sound can penetrate.

which means that sounds pass through more

Sound control glass, on window lines like Ply Gem's 1500 Brickmould Vinyl Collection, can reduce outside noise in home offices by approximately 40 percent when compared to single hung windows with no protection.

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House

to HOME

TIPS FOR SETTING THE

PERFECT HOLIDAY TABLE (BPT) - Every holiday season, you invest hours planning and preparing the perfect menu for each celebration you host. While easy and fun may be the name of the game for buffet-style events, when it's a sit-down soiree, the delightful cuisine you produce deserves a presentation worthy of your efforts. A beautifully set table can elevate your holiday dinner from just great to simply perfect. "Table-setting is an art form anyone can learn to execute beautifully," says Mary Bernardo, director of product development at Princess House, a leading provider of unique and exclusive cookware, food storage and home and entertainment products. "Simple touches like elegant holiday plates, colorful linens and an eye-catching centerpiece ensure a holiday table looks as inviting as the food smells." Bernardo and the table decor experts at Princess House offer these tips for creating a beautiful holiday dinner table: Layers look lovely Tablecloths, placemats, table runners and chargers not only help protect your table from spills and scrapes, but they also create a lovely backdrop for dishes, glasses, stemware and - of course - the food. Layering these items adds depth and interest to the tabletop. 34 BLOUDER

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Consider starting off with a simple white or red tablecloth, and then add either placemats in seasonal patterns or a festive runner. If chargers take up too much room on the table (or too much of your holiday budget), you can layer dinner and lunch plates to create the same effect. For example, place a Pavillion Berry Dinner Plate from Princess House beneath a Poinsettia Lunch Plate. The solid deep red of the dinner plate is the perfect complement to the elegant creamy background and poinsettia pattern of the lunch plate. Keep dishware seasonal and simple "It's been said simplicity is the soul of elegance, and that's certainly true when you're setting a holiday dinner table," Bernardo says. Choose dishes with a basic white or cream background accented with a traditional holiday motif. Flatware should also be simple; if your everyday collection is in good condition, feel free to use it for your holiday celebrations. If you don't have enough pieces, supplement with basic flatware that's free of embellishment or heavy designs. Glassware should also be simple and, whenever possible, multi-functional. For example, stemless wine glasses can be used for soft drinks and water, as well as wine.

Add seasonal accents Even the simplest table setting can feel festive when you add holiday-specific touches, like napkin rings in jewel green or red, a centerpiece filled with evergreen or holly and twinkling candles. For a centerpiece that's festive and practical, consider using your favorite holiday serving bowl, such as a crystal bowl, for the foundation. Then add holiday decor items, like mini Christmas packages, your favorite Christmas tree decorations or a pillar candle in a holiday hue like red, green or snow white. Top with a few sprigs of evergreen, holly or fresh flowers and you have an easy, elegant DIY centerpiece. Finally, don't overlook the opportunity to extend the table's festive atmosphere to the chairs as well. You can add to their elegance by adding simple decoration such as a mini-holiday wreath strung on a piece of ribbon and looped over the back of the chair. "The dinner table is where holiday magic occurs," Bernardo says. "With a few special touches, you can set a holiday table that's perfect for the festive and welcoming spirit of the season." Want to find more holiday decor and inspiration for the table? Visit www.princesshouse.com.


House

to HOME

5 DIY HOME UPGRADES ANYONE CAN DO IN A DAY (BPT) - Do-it-yourself home projects are sweeping the nation, and it's easy to see why. DIY is typically budget-friendly and fulfilling to complete; simply find the right project to match your skill set and needs.

To get started, here are five inexpensive projects that can by tackled by any DIYer, each of which will have an impact on the entire home. 

Make a hardware swap. Replacing your kitchen cabinets changes the entire look of your kitchen - but it's expensive and requires considerable skill. For a simpler, smaller project that can still have a big impact, replace the hardware on your cabinets instead. Select the hardware type first - knobs for doors and pulls for drawers, for example - then move on to style. Crisp, sleek hardware goes best with a modern kitchen, while more detailed offerings work well with classic, traditional kitchens.

Refresh your space with a fresh coat of paint. Repainting a wall or room is the perfect way to showcase your style, without breaking the bank. The Unity palette from Sherwin-Williams® 2018 Colormix Forecast offers unique color choices that pair together perfectly, making it easy for homeowners to create a cohesive look in their space. Try going bold with pops of peacock on an accent wall, such as Sherwin-Williams 2018 Color of the Year, Oceanside SW 6496, or you use the palette's grounded browns to put a new spin on traditional hues. It's easy to recreate a space that reflects who you are, without making expensive renovations.

* Illuminate a simple change. It doesn't always take a huge change to reinvent a room; it can be as easy as changing the light fixture. You could choose to repaint your existing chandelier, or you could give your ceiling fan a new look by replacing the blades. If you're on the crafty side, try making your own shade for an existing lamp with some of your favorite fabric.

Invite people to your gallery. Can't decide on the one perfect image for your wall? Then why not go for several? Gallery walls are a great way to show your favorite prints and photos artistically. Pick the wall and apply a fresh coat of paint before building your gallery - after all, this wall will now be part of the exhibit. Once the wall is ready, pick your photos or prints and set them in frames you love. Now the fun part lay your works of art on an open floor space and rearrange them until you find the perfect layout. Once you've found it, grab your hammer and nails and bring your gallery wall to life. Bring a new vibe to your existing furniture. If a chair or love seat is starting to show its age, reupholstering it is a great way to give the piece fresh life. Remove the current fabric and replace it with new fabric of your choosing. Apply staples or stitching to hold the new fabric in place, and that old piece of furniture will have a distinctive new look.

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House

to HOME

TOP TIPS FOR SELECTING UNIQUE DECOR

GIFTS FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST

(BPT) - As you strive for a happy holiday, do all your gift ideas seem ho-hum at best? It's a common holiday conundrum: You want to show all your friends and family that you care, but finding the right present seems impossible. If you feel stuck, look for gifts that will enhance the home, because there is truly something for every personality. Skip the candle and coaster set and instead check out these unique, personal items that add fun and flair to any home, big or small. Aquariums: Traditional rectangular aquariums are bulky and cumbersome, but now there are stunning new tabletop options perfect for everyone on your list. The biOrb TUBE 15 aquarium is designed to give a 360-degree view and features multi-color LED lighting with remote control for an eye-catching way to enjoy fishkeeping. The TUBE 15 is also a low-maintenance gift given its 5-step filtration that maintains a clean, healthy aquatic environment to achieve ideal pH balance. Enjoy the dazzling sight of bubbling water and an impressive light show all year long. Decorative pillows and throws: Winter is the 36 BLOUDER

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perfect time to cozy up at home, but that tattered old blanket just won't do. You can encourage friends and family to get some much-needed R&R by gifting them new pillows and a fluffy throw blanket. Fun pillows are available in unique designs that feature different pictures, words or phrases, so it's easy to find something just right for that someone special. Add a coordinating throw blanket and get ready to cuddle through all of winter's chilliest nights. Restored photographs: Going for tears of joy? One home decor gift that will tug at the heartstrings is framed photography. A nice portrait is always a great gift option, but this year surprise your loved ones by finding old photography and getting it restored. That photo of Grandpa fishing or of all your aunts as children is sure to bring back memories. Place in a nice frame and it is guaranteed to be an unforgettable gift that will be proudly displayed for years to come. Personalized signs: One of the year's most popular decorating trends is custom signage. Often made from wood, these signs are painted or carved with your preferred message. That means it can be customized to suit even the

most difficult people to shop for. Popular verbiage on a custom sign includes the family surname with an "established" date. You could also include a literary phrase or personal mantra that your loved one enjoys. Because the message is personalized, you can make it perfect for everyone on your list. Himalayan salt lamps: When the holiday festivities are over, it's time to settle in and deal with Old Man Winter until springtime arrives. The soft glow of salt lamps brings a warmth to rooms on the dreariest days. Made from large pieces of salt, these lamps have an almost rock-like quality with veins of white, pink and peach throughout. Some people claim they also help maintain good indoor air quality and help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). No matter what, they are a happy addition to any room: bedroom, office or living room. The person who has everything? Check. The hard-to-shop-for teen? Check. The newlywed couple settling into their home? Check. Home decor gifts are great for everyone on your holiday gift list, and best yet, they won't be like anything else your loved ones receive, making your gift memorable and truly cherished.


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fitness

SHI SIN


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wenty-six years old, Shivy Singh is a fitness model. He grew up in Delhi. He studied from G.D Goenka International Rohini and Bhartiye Vidya peeth university, Pashtun Vihar, New Delhi. He owns a gym, Ultimate fitness gym, Prashant Vihar, Rohini sector 14. When did you first realize that you wanted to become a model and what influenced you? After years of building myself into stronger and better person than ever, people started telling me that I should go and try in modeling so today here I'm. In my whole journey I was most influenced by the Legend Greg Plitt. How would you define your personal style? My personal style is simple living, high thinking and makes most out of every 24 hours each day. What’s the most memorable project that you have worked on? My most favorite projects are:1. Opening my own gym 2. Working with brand Ed hardy for their campaign shoot. How would you define the word “Handsome”? Well handsome for me is word which describe that how pleasing, attracting and eye catching you are in other eyes. How do you prepare for a shoot? By cutting down on my carbs intake and increasing on my cardio workout more, rest my workout and diet is always on point 365days a year. From a professional context, what do you feel your greatest weakness is? My greatest weakness from the aspect of my professional is that I'm not into making new friends and less socialite kind of person. Talk us through some of your biggest achievements. Why were these memorable to you, and how did you achieve

fitness

them? Well my biggest achievement is the people who used to tease me for being skinny are now texting me and calling me sir, asking for tips and guidance. I achieved all of this by keeping patient, staying focused on my aim and still have same mind set what I have from day 1 and that is to be the best and always remembered. What qualities do you possess that makes you a good human being? My qualities are simple as everyone, respect your family and friends, help others who are in need and never forget who helped you in your bad times. What do you love to do the most when you have time off? In my off times I love to listen songs and talking to my pet Prada (pug) who's like little brother to me. I feel happy when he's around me. What do you do to stay in shape? I work out, eat, clean and get proper rest. What is your gym routine? Three hours everyday and 6 days in a week. I train single body part, Abs n oblique every alternate days.. What was your transformation timeline? My transformation is still on from last 7 years. I believe human body is much more than what you think of. So I'm testing my body and shaping myself into best version of myself every damn day. What was your lifestyle prior to your transformation? My lifestyle prior all this transformation was pretty much rough like roaming around here and there with friends, eating, drinking anything and not caring about what to do next. How are you currently training, and has your training changed since you first started? I say there's no change in my training or in my mind of being the best and better version of myself. In fact now I'm working harder with smarter mind. 39 BLOUDER

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How important is nutrition if someone works out consistently? Nutrition plays very important role in our lives, even if you're working out or not. But yes if you're working out consistently then your first priority should be to focus on diet than to focus on workout. Workout is something everyone can do but right diet with complete nutrition is not what everyone can do. What are some simple things that people can do, in their day to day routine, besides working out, to see results faster? Well if these things would come so easily then we all will be having six abs and chiseled physiques. Only people who put in more efforts and their time, patience and dedication in this lifestyle will attain the pleasure of having a great physical and mental health. What are the five fun facts most people don’t know about you yet? 1. I'm the most fun loving and the most PJs crackers human you'll ever know. 2. I love travelling and exploring new places. 3. I cheat on every Sundays on my diet. 4. I still love to play Mario and contra on cassette video game. 5. Arnold Schwarzenegger and I share the same birth date July 30. What gets you out of bed in the morning? My hungry stomach. Haha‌ I eat food in every two hours. How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track? I stay motivated by looking at my old pictures and keeps on telling myself why I have started this journey. And my advice for people who're lacking to stay on their tracks is to wake up everyday, stand naked in front of mirror and eat your first meal and then ask yourself if you still want to look this way or better than this. What are your future plans? My Future plans are to be a business entrepreneur and side by side living my live with modeling. A healthy lifestyle leads to a happy life, guys.

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MORNING

INSPIRATION:

CHOOSING A

BETTER

BREAKFAST

(BPT) - The alarm beeps as you gaze out the window at the soft sunlight welcoming the day. You roll out of bed and your stomach grumbles. You stumble to the kitchen to see how you can tame the hunger pangs, ultimately reaching for a doughnut or prepackaged breakfast bar.

meals fresh and interesting. Add lettuce and sliced peppers to your egg sandwich. Top your oatmeal with chopped peaches or favorite seasonal fruit. Become a mix-master by blending smoothies in endless combinations to satisfy taste buds.

While this may satisfy momentarily, it won't fuel you through the morning. As your blood sugar spikes, you'll feel a short burst of energy followed by a mid-morning crash that leaves you exhausted and hungry. You need to kick the quick fix and instead choose a better breakfast.

Whole grains: Like protein, whole grains help you to feel satisfied longer, so you don't feel the need to eat until lunchtime. In general, most people need to eat about 6-8 ounces of grains daily, according to the USDA. Half of that should be whole grains. To boost your breakfast, choose whole-grain cereals, stuff a whole-grain tortilla with scrambled eggs, or top whole-grain toast with nut butters.

When you eat a wholesome meal to start your day, you give your body and mind the fuel it needs all morning long. Whether at home or on -the-go, eating well during the most important meal of the day is easier than many people think. Here are a few tips to keep you satisfied: Plenty of protein: Protein helps you feel full longer so you're less likely to need a mid-morning pick-me-up. Plus, protein is an important building block for the body, helping support bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Try adding protein-packed foods to your breakfast, such as meat, beans, nut butters and eggs. Necessary nutrients: According to Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner, eggs are a classic breakfast food, but there's one easy change that can supercharge any meal. "Swapping out ordinary eggs for Eggland's Best eggs, gets you six times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E, double the omega-3s and more than double the vitamin B12," says Blatner. "Plus, Eggland's Best eggs also contain 25 percent less saturated fat than ordinary eggs - that's why they are the only eggs I serve my family and recommend to my clients." Fresh produce: Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to breakfast not only gives you extra vitamins and minerals, it also helps you keep

3 tablespoons milk 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed 1/4 cup finely shredded red cabbage 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped 1/4 cup guacamole 1/4 cup pico de gallo or favorite salsa Sour cream, jalapenos or other additions for serving if desired

Want some more breakfast inspiration? Try this recipe straight off the Eggland's Best Better Egg Food Truck for Anytime Egg Nachos, which features fresh vegetables plus protein-rich beans and nutrient-packed Eggland's Best eggs. Fans can also visit www.egglandsbest.com/foodtruck from now until Dec. 22, 2017, to enter the first-ever EB Delivers Sweepstakes for a chance to win a visit from the Eggland's Best Better Egg Food Truck to a city near them! One lucky winner will also receive a private better brunch to enjoy with their friends. Scrambling for another entry? You can enter once per day and also share on Facebook or Twitter for a bonus entry!

Preparation:

Anytime Egg Nachos

Scramble the eggs with milk and remaining salt and pepper, and pour into skillet, stirring often until cooked through. Set aside.

Ingredients: 2 Eggland's Best eggs (large) 1 large (or 2 small) sweet potatoes, washed and sliced into thin chips

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place sweet potatoes on a large sheet pan in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with half the salt and pepper. Don't overcrowd the pan. (You may need to use 2 sheet pans.) Bake for 15-20 minutes. Flip sweet potatoes and bake for another 10 minutes or until potatoes are crispy chips. Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and bring to medium heat.

Remove sweet potatoes from oven and top with half of the cheese, followed by the eggs and beans. Top with remaining cheese.

1 tablespoon olive oil

Place back in the oven until cheese is melted about 5-10 minutes.

1 teaspoon salt, divided

Remove from oven and place on serving dish.

1 teaspoon pepper, divided

Top with cabbage, cilantro, guacamole and salsa. Serve immediately.

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4 TIPS WHEN CONSIDERING SUPPLEMENTS (BPT) - Whether you're looking for an extra competitive edge or trying to increase the effectiveness of your daily workout, you have most likely considered adding nutritional supplements to your fitness routine. Diet, exercise and everyday lifestyle are all factors that can help determine the right supplements for you.

needed nutrients that are difficult to get through diet alone. Adding protein powder 

into a smoothie or snacking on a protein bar can help incorporate necessary nutrients like antioxidants into your daily diet.

people following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and they are especially effective at enhancing post-workout recovery. Whey protein is designed to refuel and repair muscles and can help maximize muscle growth when supplementing with regular exercise.

Match your supplement to your objective - An

exercise regimen can greatly benefit from a system of supplementation. Various

Keep it clean - It's important to be aware of what's in your supplement. Just as you choose organic foods and beverages for their

"It's not uncommon for people who've never tried nutritional supplements to have some misconceptions about them," says Don

nutrient-rich supplements are designed to be taken before you exercise, and others following exercise. For example, pre-workout

Saladino, a fitness and nutrition expert who trains celebrities and is a brand advocate for Garden of Life SPORT. "People may think

supplements such as Garden of Life SPORT

ingredient transparency, you wouldn't want a nutritional supplement that's made up of chemicals. Look for a truly clean sports

Energy + Focus incorporate ingredients

nutrition system that's designated with the

intended to improve focus, such as organic coffeeberry, and optimize energy production, such as B12. Post-exercise supplements such as SPORT Organic Plant-Based Recovery can help your body recover faster from the rigors of

Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified seals, as well as by Informed-Choice for Sport and NSF Certified for Sport.

supplementation is only for die-hard athletes, but every human being is an athlete. We do things each day like move, carry items and change direction. Carrying a baby, hauling groceries or running across the street - these are the exact same patterns an athlete needs to perform, which is why it's important to learn about all the options available and how they can help." As you're considering nutritional supplements, keep these points in mind:

Power up with protein - Adding a protein-rich sports supplement to your diet provides many benefits. Protein fuels workouts, aids in muscle recovery after exercise and extends energy throughout the day. Supplements can provide

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vigorous exercise.

"Working out is good for you - whether you choose to supplement or not. But the right

component of sports nutrition, since it helps build muscle mass and supports muscle

nutritional supplement can help maximize the benefits of your exercise regimen and improve how you feel during everyday life activities," Saladino says.

recovery post-workout. When a supplement contains all nine of the essential amino acids that the body can't produce on its own, it

Nutritional supplements may be the fuel your body needs to reach the next level of

Pick your best protein - Protein is a key

contains "complete proteins." You can get these essential amino acids from different protein sources, such as plant-based protein or whey protein. Plant-based proteins are great for

performance, whether it's putting that extra weight into your workout or lifting an extra child at home. To learn more about clean sport supplements, visit www.gardenoflife.com/sport.


PHOTOGRAPHER: VANESSA BELTRAN (VINTAGE BLOSSOMS PHOTOGRAPHY)


L. K. ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHER: VANESSA BELTRAN (VINTAGE BLOSSOMS PHOTOGRAPHY)


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exclusives L. K. Elliott

PHOTOGRAPHER: VANESSA BELTRAN

Author. Columnist. Self Love Soldier. Hot Mess Activist.

L. K. ELLIOTT L

.K. spent most of her young life as a competitive hockey player. Most of her adult life, she spent as a Hot Mess. After battling depression, anxiety, poor health and a crumbling marriage, L.K. got to work on healing her life. Through a combination of techniques, she was able to break free from her chaotic life, and create her very own happily ever after. After healing her own life, she dedicated her life to improving the lives of others. Through her book Confessions of an Ex Hot Mess (available through Amazon), online courses and daily inspiration on her Instagram page (@lk.elliott) L.K. is on a mission to help everyone transform their messy lives into miraculous ones.

What Confessions of an Ex Hot Mess is all about? Confessions of an Ex Hot Mess is one-part autobiography and one-part self-help book. It chronicles my messy battle out of a massive depression, and shares tools to help readers do the same. Within the pages of Confessions, readers will find ten steps to beat stress & feel their best, the very same ten steps that transformed my life forever. They will also find incredible photography from two of my favorite photographers: Paul Buceta and Vintage Blossoms Photography. Confessions isn't your average "self-help" book. It's bold, and blunt, and entertaining AF. During my own depression, I was seeking answers and I found that most personal development books

were inspiring more cat naps than personal transformation. So I learned all that I could, through mountains of self-help books and a ton of life experience, and put together a book that is just as impactful as it is fun to read. Mental health affects everyone, and the taboo around it is so outdated. My mission with this book is to create a party like atmosphere around improving your life. It's truly something to be celebrated and not hidden from society. When did you first realize that you can write books? I've always loved to write. In Grade 2 I had a "Groundhog Day" poem published in the local newspaper. I've always enjoyed writing. Where do you get your ideas? As a self-help author, I am always inspired by my own life's struggles. Life has a hilarious way of consistently testing us, so I am constantly reminded of the struggles we face on the daily. I also get a lot of feedback from followers, and try to write blogs to help them 45 BLOUDER

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PHOTOGRAPHER: VANESSA BELTRAN (VINTAGE BLOSSOMS PHOTOGRAPHY)

with their own battles.

authenticity over likes any day.

Does writing energize or exhaust you? Writing is when I'm at my best, so I would say it energizes. But writing a book can be exhausting throughout the editing process.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? Editing! I've never read my own work so many times. It was draining.

What is your writing Kryptonite? Sunshine and Summer days. It is hard staying in your office to write during Summer time, when my boat is waiting for me out on the lake.

What did you do with your first payment? I took a $50 bill and pinned it to my wall. Someone I loved overpaid for it, and I kept it as a reminder to never forget my worth.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? I have many author friends, as well as thought leaders and spiritual badasses. By surrounding myself with like-minded people, it always pushes me to be the best version of me that I can be a better writer, worker, motivational speaker, and just a better person as a whole. You become your five closest friends, so I choose mine very carefully.

What does literary success look like to you? The ultimate success to me would be for my writing to connect with a reader in a way that benefits their life. Hearing that my book has helped people love themselves, or transform an area of their life is absolutely priceless.

If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be? Write from your heart and write unapologetically about whatever it is that sets your soul on fire. If we try to write something because we think people will like it, we will lose ourselves in the process. I would choose 46 BLOUDER

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What’s the best way to market your books? I'm still figuring that out myself. Will keep you posted! But I would say getting an audience involved before it's published is critical. Let them see you putting in the work, and helping you choose a cover. They will feel as though they have contributed to it. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? None. I felt compelled to share my story and I

did it. Again, authenticity over likes. I don't know if that is the "right" answer, but it felt right to me, and the people that needed it, found my book. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? With bad reviews, I throw stuff. Haha. It would be insane to believe that everyone on the planet will love your work, so it's important to make sure that YOU love your work. External validation doesn't dictate the value of your writing. Do what you love, do your best, with good intentions, and then reviews don't really matter. I try not to let good or bad reviews get to me. I just need to stay on my course and help as many people as possible in the process. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer? I have already given up any social life (lol). I wouldn't say I'm as passionate about improving my writing skills as I would be about becoming a better, more positive impact on the world, and the people that need help in their lives. What is your favorite childhood book? Anything by Dr Seuss and Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak What is the most difficult part of your


artistic process? Letting go of the outcome and the need for people to love the work.

Eight Tips from L. K. Elliott to be a Better Writer

How can you describe your personal style? Of writing? Blunt. Of my advice? Tough love. Of my dream? Changing the world for the better. Of my clothing? Comfy.

1. Find your own voice, be authentic. 2. Have fun with your writing. Don't be a perfectionist. 3. Write about whatever sets your soul on fire. 4. Success leaves clues, find someone who is a successful writer and emulate their methods. Don't copy, emulate! 5. Like anything else, practice creates competence, and competence creates confidence. 6. Ask yourself what your reader needs, and always over deliver. 7. Know your worth; don't expect everyone to value your work. 8. Don't be afraid to fail. The only real failure is if you never try.

Do you have any suggestions to new or unpublished writers? If so, what are they? There's never been a better time to be an author. Self-publishing has changed the game and social media helps any new author build a platform. Get out there, be consistent, work your ass off, and have as much fun as possible while doing it. Also, be patient. Delays are not denials. Never give up! What are your future plans? I just launched my first online course called Hot Mess to Happiness. It's a four-week journey to joy including live webinars, and awesome online modules. I see a lot more online training in my future. It's an easy way to connect with as many people as possible, plus I love public speaking. I'm also headed to Thailand for a month in November, so I'm looking forward to creating some excellent content there. Who knows, maybe book #2 might be born there?

Available Now

Source: Instagram @staceyjae

PHOTOGRAPHER: VANESSA BELTRAN


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exclusives Harmanjit Singh

HARMANJIT SINGH

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exclusives Harmanjit Singh

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QUICK TAKES WITH HARMANJIT SINGH

INSTAGRAM: @harmansandhu008

H

armanjit singh, 1999, studies in th 12 grade. He is a basketball player. He plays at shooting guard position. He had participated three times in U/19 DAV School National Basketball Championship and won 2 Gold & 1 th Silver medal. He got 5 position in Open National U/14 Basketball Championship at Goa rd 2012, 3 position in All India Mahatma Hans Raj Basketball U/19 Tournament Patiala 2012, rd 3 position in Youth National Basketball rd Championship represented Punjab State, 3 position in Senior State Basketball Championship 2016 and many more. He is sponsored by RABRO Sports, Jalandhar. How old were you when you started playing basketball? I was just 11 years old when I started playing basketball. How did your family inspire you to be a better person? They taught me moral values, discipline, motivation and to give respect to everyone.

What do you feel when you win a game? I celebrate with team and starts planning for next competition. What was your best game? My best game was School National at Kholapur, Maharashtra in 2014. What was your funniest basketball moment? I don’t recall any. Have you ever had any basketball injuries? I never had any basketball injuries. Do you think you will have a career in basketball? Definitely. If you could meet any basketball player, who would that be? Of course, Black Mamba( Kobe Bryant). How do you want your team mates to remember you? As a good Captain.

What helped you become what you are today? Hard work and dedication.

If you didn’t play basketball what sport would you like to play? Why? Athletics, because my dad was also an athlete so I could get benefit from his experience.

What's your favorite aspect of the game? Dominance.

How did you stay motivated after losing a game?

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Call my parents. They boost up my moral. How do you deal with the pressure of having to perform in front of the crowd? Just focus on my game; never pay attention on what’s happening outside court. How would you define your success? Dedication, hard work and my target. Did this year make you learn anything new? Yes, I learned to balance between brain and body. What’s in your gym bag that might surprise people? I always carry Snickers (chocolate). How would you define love? What are you looking for in your ideal partner? I’m focusing on my game right now, too early to answer this question. What are your future plans? I’m desperately wanted to become NBA player. What advise could you give to someone wanting to play basketball? Dedication and hard work are the basics for basketball.


PHOTOGRAPHER: FREDDY KOH


style out LOUDER

Fashion Tips

DO’S AND DON’TS

A MAN’S HANDBOOK TO STYLE

S

BY ANJALI SHARMA | Instagram @anjali_scribed

tyling and fashion is often a tedious task for all guys out there and the abstract meaning observed in our people it’s very easy to label a man as stylish or not. The fashion choices available for man are way to uniform as compared with that of the opposite sex which leads to a lot of fashion going wrong. So here are some dos and don’ts of men’s fashion that are mandatory rather simple for all you guys out there to just style perfectly. It all boils down to adding your personal touch judiciously to the basic standards of the fashion world. So let’s get you stylish from head to toe.

DO’S 

Keep your hair of perfect length as to play it out into a casual to a sleek styled well gelled and tousled hair. Choose your hair cut wisely and rather keep it to the conventional with some edge of modern touch.

Grooming and shaving your facial hairs periodically is recommended and yes don’t you forget to clean all those neck hairs while shaving. There is nothing wrong in keeping your man brows well in shape and tweezed out.

A round neck or v neck in any pattern just keeps it simple and own some good T-shirts.

A denim shirt is a must have in your wardrobe as it is a the perfect casual formal wear you can manage with ease.

Have at least one tailored well fitted suit with shirt options other than just white. Going conventional opting for bow ties are well in today’s trend. Always tuck in your shirts, which are often ignored by guys and can create a major setback on other’s perception of your ideas about fashion. Folding sleeves to half on casual days is a smart choice too.

Try keeping your belt and shoes in the same

Model: Dhruv Kapoor Inatagram @dhruv_kapoor001 Photographer: Chakshu Khanna Inatagram @khannachakshu

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style out LOUDER Fashion Tips color range and keep it subtle and you’ll realize how large the impact it adds to your entire look. 

Keep your man boots well maintained, be it casual sneakers or classic formals or the rugged ones.

Balance your colors in wardrobe with a little outgoing insight and experimenting with room for different colors but keeping it focused to one at a time.

Above all, wear clothes that fit you right and shop wisely according to your sizes.

DON’TS Never go crazy with hair colors or too funky haircuts that can’t blend in with your personality. Never overdo your cologne and choose you fragrance strong yet pleasing. Never apply your after shave and cologne right away together. Never invest in for a reflective glass pair of eyewear. Choose your sunglass’s shades well and keep the frames smart and sturdy. Never work your outfit too much with a lot of patterns or layers. Don’t keep your tie’s length too long or too short but to your waist length. Avoid too bright or patterned ties. Never wear oversized or baggy clothes. Never wear socks with sandals. Boots with shorts are a big no too. Follow these do’s and don’ts and keep yourself stylish all way through the day and never forget to smile, it is the thing complementing all your outfits.

Model: Dhruv Kapoor Inatagram @dhruv_kapoor001 Photographer: Chakshu Khanna Inatagram @khannachakshu

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ELADIO AZOFEIFA

PHOTOGRAPHER: LEON LE


style out LOUDER Eladio Azofeifa

E

ladio Azofeifa is a twentyone years old male model. He grew up in Cariari in Limón Costa Rica.

Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family. I grew up in a place called Cariari in Limón Costa Rica, I´m the third of three brothers, the youngest one is a girl. I grew up in a very rural place so I’m used to do outdoors activities, play in the rivers and things like that. How would you define yourself as a person? I have a lot of hope in every situation, I always wait for the best, and I tried to be a support for the people close to me. Tell us about your career as a model. How were you discovered? When I was in college, another model wrote me on Facebook, we start to talk and she told me that I could be a model, that her agency was doing a casting that same day, so I went to try my luck and the next thing that I knew was the call of my future manager. In your own eyes, what was the moment that your career really took off? The very first moment when I went out from Costa Rica to New York. What’s one of the most interesting shoots that you’ve done? Once I was in a photoshoot, and they put me naked with a lot white makeup in my face, my body was full of oil lubricant and I was in front of the designers and the photographer. Did you ever have a crazy experience during your modeling career? A lot, but once I was going to make a runway and they lasted 7 hours doing my hair (my hair was full of braids). What was the biggest change in your life after entering into modelling industry? Leaving Costa Rica and my family definitely, but at the same time I feel that I had discovered a totally different world, very different from mine. Have you reached your dream assignment yet? If not, what would that dream assignment be? I want to go to Europe and do runways with the best designers, Versace, Chanel, Armani etc., do some magazines and start my career there. I want to become a full pro model.

PHOTOGRAPHER: LEON LE

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style out LOUDER Eladio Azofeifa What is one of your favorite photographs from your career so far? Who shot it? I can say that it was shoot from Fabian Moreaux, the first photoshoot that I did, when I see those pictures a lot of memories start to sprout from my head, besides that I made friendship with the photographer so we are still in contact and we are keep doing art. Describe your life using film titles. Devil Wears Prada. What is your favorite thing to do when not working? I love to read, and I love doing exercise, I love pets too, in my home in Costa Rica we had six dogs, but in USA I live with a friend of mine that has three of them in an small apartment in Manhattan, so it’s very funny share my time with them. What’s a typical week like for you? In the morning I do sports, after that I have to see which castings my agency had send me for the day, sometimes I only do photoshoots during the day, some photoshoots take hours to do it, so if I have a casting I try to do it at first hour so I can have the rest of the day for my activities. Tell us something that's true, that almost nobody agrees with you on. 100% prolife, against abortion (its controversial I know) but when I say my opinion there is always a lot of people against, and I respect that. What turns you on or off most about dating? If somebody has good smell that put a lot more of interest on my part, and what turns me off is a silly person. Give us 5 facts about you, people may not know. 1- I´m Latino 2- My favorite breakfast is gallo pinto (Costa Rican Breakfast) 3- My first lenguaje (language) is Spanish 4- I entered college when I was sixteen (very young) 5- I love hot weather What are your travel essentials? The first thing that I put in my baggage is my travel pillow, I hate my travels without that, and my hair dryer too, my hair is a mess if I don’t brush it. What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? God, my family and my dreams. What’s next for you? Europe waits for me. Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling? It’s a hard business full of rich Childs, so if you like it, don’t give up and always fight for it, never let anyone tells you that you can’t, because people told me the same when I first start. 56 BLOUDER

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PHOTOGRAPHER: FREDDY KOH


style out LOUDER Eladio Azofeifa

Seven Tips from Eladio Azofeifa to Look Fashionable in Every Situation

1 2 3 4 5 6

Black sunglasses give a little extra to your look, always.

A friend of mine always says that in NYC you can enter everywhere with a good pair of black boots and a good leather jacket.

Basics shirts (black and white) are a must on every

closet.

Definitely no bigger than for your size (nobody wants to see

your underwear).

Carry a backpack with an extra shirt so, if you get wet or something happens, you can change and be ready for the action.

PHOTOGRAPHER: LEON LE

7

Be comfortable with what you wear, be true to your style.

A good smile is always important, your attitude is more

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beauty

K-Beauty vs. Indian Gharelu-Nuskhe

Y

ouTube is a place for infotainment and we netizens love to scroll down; but it’s funny when you surf through and come across these Korean beauty products. It gets more comical when some of these videos are showing Mongolian featured face, to convince an Indian based audience how to look exactly like them. After all, a fraction of Indian population is still obsessed with white skin. Whereas the other half aims to get a good skin and natural look with less hassle to façade the skin imperfection. “It’s the lifestyle and mind-set behind skin that’s really getting people interested in Korean skin-care rituals…” Charlotte Cho, author of The Little Book of Skin Care. After spending an hour long brain-drain session ogling over this YouTube videos, one will start to see the wide line drawn amid the skin régime followed among both Korean and Indian beauties. The major difference about these Korean products are, the handling is hassle free, add up the exotic natural ingredients; in short it has everything that’s enough to appeal the modern day working class woman. 58 BLOUDER

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BY MOUSUMI PAUL We are cohort of screen age. All we want is quick fix. But our traditional age old ‘Dadi-Nani ke gharelu nuskhe’ calls for getting back to our roots. Restore from inside. Sound good. But too much work, plus time consuming. On the other hand Korean beauty régime makes this ‘tiresome day to day skin care’ as stress-free as possible. 10 steps, yes you read it right Korean skin routine comprises of ten steps to give you a healthy skin. It sounds massive work at first but initially it slims down to 5 or maybe 6 steps once you get to know which step works best for your skin. With its wide range of skin care sheet masks, serums, exfoliator, ampoule treatment and essence for daily uses, narrows down our hard work. Indian market is already floored with K-Beauty products, throwing a major competition against the home grown Indian brands like Patanjali, lotus, VLCC. Brands like Innisfree, The Face Shop (Korean brands) are gaining more customers through digital marketing. Digital marketing is helping to create the stir for K-Beauty. Erica Fernandes, an onscreen celeb and a par time YouTuber has posted few good numbers of video on her channel surrounding K-Beauty products; where she passes down an honest review to her viewers about her post-

experience and likes dislikes after using these goodies. Similarly, Nykaa (the K-brand’s official e-commerce partner) also created a huge follower for Innisfree and The Body Shop. Nykaa lately collaborated with DearPacker (Kbrand) and created sheetmasks using Indian home remedy especially for Indian skin and for its loyal Indian beauties. Not just online but outer net shopping channels like HomeShop18 is also promoting K-brand’s like Rizette, Plu, High -End-Touch, and Elishacoy on their shows occasional. Hands down K-Beauty is ruling all over the Globe. In one weblish word it’s the new Awesomesauce! For all beauty hack lovers. Korean beauty industry is one stop look book for our daily quick fix. But then where our own traditional Ayurveda remedies do stands on this Global list? Well you can take a Deshi out of Desh, but not Desh out of Deshi. No miracle can fix our Deshi-Dil when it comes to choose adrak -wali chai over Americano latte. There is a significant change in beauty trend? Yes, agreed. But that change is not yet narrowed down to being affordable for every layer. So, we can still stick to our gharelu nuskhe (home remedies,) all it needs is a pat from up gradation. India is a big house and we have enough space for all diversity the world of beauty wants to bring in.


Days BY Sanjana Sharma INSTAGRAM @somelittleinfinities_ There are days when I feel better. Then there are days when I drown in my own thoughts. There are days when breathing is the last thing I want to do. Days when everything is okay but it isn't. Days when I feel as though I'm a burden to this earth, to the people around me. Days when the scars on my wrist increase. Then vanish and then come back again. Days when the medicine for the flu I caught 2 days ago, seems like something I should swallow as many of as I can, even if I’m okay because at the end, I’m not. Days when the words coming out of the mouths of people around me, hit me like bullets as I stand there unable to save myself. Days when I've watched blood drip down my hands, as I write on my wrists with a rather odd pen. Days when I stare at my reflection in the mirror and ponder how better it would be if it ceased to exist. If I ceased to exist. Days when as soon as I sit in a car, the first thought that hits me is how it would be the best and the last day of my life if I was to meet a fatal accident. Days when I laugh as a substitute because I no longer have the energy to cry. Days when I hope that there is no one near the swimming pool so that I can go in; no, I do not need to learn how to swim. Days when I'm no longer afraid of heights, and all I want is to visit the 15th floor, of the beige colored building you once used to live in so that I could learn how to fly. There are days when I feel better. Then there are days when I don't.


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literary Book

Dreams v/s Nightmares

I

wanted to reach mama's (maternal uncle's) home. That was two streets ahead but I knew a shortcut. There is no shortcut to success but it is always advisable to follow shortcut to save your precious time. So I took shortcut and decided to go through a neighbor’s home. I ascended outer stairs of one house, jumped over the next consecutive house and started descending stairs of that house which lie exactly opposite to my mama's home. While descending stairs, two ladies from nowhere appeared in front of me. I was a stranger to them so they startled for a while but they let me through anyway. I heard them whispering behind me like they wanted to talk to me. To clear my suspicion, I asked for any help they want. A married woman of 30, probably daughter in law of that mansion, hesitated to speak but the old granny boldly spoke "I'm sick and need medicine. Can u bring me?" She handed me over a medical slip which had name of medicine scribbled on it. "The doctor is in adjacent street", she concluded. I was in obvious hurry but a person was sick and helping a needy person is one's DHARMA. I visited the described clinic and asked for medicine by producing the slip to him. The veteran doctor who was weird looking first saw me and then he glanced over the slip produced. He suddenly perplexed making his face even more weird. "How did you get the medical o.p.d of my wife?" She demanded.

BY RAHUL CHOUDHARY BHARDWAJ | Instagram: @rbhardwaj024 "You mean she is dying or what?" I asked out of curiosity. Doctor was speechless. This time his words were literally frozen somewhere in his gut. He managed to murmur "Take this to her. She might have run out of medicine. That’s why she sent you to fetch medicine. By the way how does my wife know you?" He asked. "I was just passing by when she requested me this. I simply couldn't refuse." I smiled him. He smiled back as he was thanking me. I took the medicine and headed back to give granny the medicine. She waved at me as a sign to sit by her side and talk to her for few moments. God knows how strange I feel interacting with strangers and I was already in a hurry but like previous request, I again couldn't refuse her. Besides, I have planned to sit there already. She then started discussing her dried life with me. She told me the story of how her son left her and she misses her grandson like hell. She last seen her grandson 20 years ago when he was only a couple of years old. "Now he must be a grown adult like u”, she said it while caressing my face. I don’t know why but her story left a mark on me. It was really strange that I was feeling connected to a stranger and her story moved me. There was so much pain in her voice. My heart was feeling heavier than ever. I'm a tough guy and not an emotional one but it was going hard for me to sit there. Even a second was feeling like eternity and I was struggling like I was carrying the entire sky on my shoulders.

"Sorry, is she your wife?" I was in awe. "Of course, she is my beloved wife." "Well, I didn’t know that. But what has happened to her?" "She is so sick." "I'm just giving her normal paracetamol." "But isn't it banned medicine. You can’t risk your wife's life on that." I sounded furious. "Yeah I know. But this is the only thing which is keeping her alive", he almost froze before saying these words.

I asked for her permission to leave. She hugged me and I did the same to make her feel better. A week later: Now it had becomes a part of my daily schedule to go and meet her regularly and bring some fruits for her. I tried to make her laugh and make her forget about her ailment which I also don’t know about what her real ailment is. From feeling embarrassing in start, I actually started enjoying her company now. She was deprived of the love for her grandson and I never got chance to love my grandmother; she died too early before I could know the meaning of relations. One day at bua's (Father's sister) home, I was greatly enjoying with my cousins. All of a sudden, I started feeling absent. Blank for a

moment. Something wrong is going to happen for sure but what. One of my cousins, all of a sudden, spoke "doesn’t u want to meet your granny today?" Oh I almost forget that. How could I forget visiting her? Now it started making sense that why I was missing something very badly. I started walking towards her home but I didn’t brought fruit today. I straight entered her home. It was pitch black, no lights at all. I called her but got no response. I entered her room and she was there. "Thank god she is all fine", I talked to myself. But wait, she didn’t seem fine. She was sobbing. May be remembering her grandson. But no, there was irregularity in her sobbing. I got scared and I only took me a fraction of second to understand that she is taking her last breaths. I was destroyed completely. I tried to lift her up in my arms but I was unable to carry her. It seemed like I have lost all of my strength in fear. I maintained to keep her awake and headed to his husband's clinic. His husband rushed towards his home. He tried hard to save his wife but couldn't.


WHY BEING JUDGMENTAL? BY Kinjal Chavda Talati INSTAGRAM @kinjal_freesoul He is so reserved, he is so outgoing, She is so shy, how can she be so easy going? It is too dark, it is too bright, Her shirt is long, her top is tight! You like social dramas go ahead enjoy, They don't like it, it is their personal choice! Then he was so social, he is so anti-social, Why being judgmental ? Why can't we just back off and let people live? We are all on some kind of journey, All evolving & all growing! We have no idea on what phase of life a person is? The last time you met or talked may be was a different phase, People grow, people change! We might not like the new he or new she, But then again - who are we to judge?


Graduation and a Broken Heart– Part One a story by Phillip D. Patterson Mia just woke up that morning. It wasn’t a special day or anything, just another boring morning at school. But school wasn’t that bad, she had good friends after all. Her best friend was James. They knew each other for such a long time, they trusted each other their most obscure and dark secrets. James had Mia as a best friend and also as a crush – because sometimes life can get pretty cliché. Mia wasn’t James’ only best friend, he also had Tommy. They were like brothers; they would do anything for each other, even killing if it was the case. But life is no fairytale, neither is high school. Shit happens. All the time… And that friendship and bonding between the three friends would just be destroyed in a matter of weeks. It all started in that no special morning, when Mia came to James to tell a secret after math class. – I am in love, James. But… – Mia said ashamed – It’s not you. Yeah, I know you like me, but I just love you as a friend only, so… Yeah, I love another guy. Sorry to make you hear that, but you are the only one I can trust! Surprisingly, James wasn’t sad. He pretty much expected to be friendzoned. Actually, he was quite happy with it, as he would still have Mia by his side. He would still have a trust-worthy friend, no big deal. But he was quite sad when he knew who Mia really loved, his best friend James. Now that did hurt a lot. But why? Why two best friends dating would be so bad? He wasn’t sure, but he pretended to be happy to avoid hurting Mia. After that awkward conversation, Tommy arrived. Things just got way more awkward. Especially because James realized what the hell was going on. He wasn’t falling for Mia; he was actually in love with Tommy. James loved his best friend and got jealous! Wait, what? He was straight, so how would he fell for his friend? It was a boy… A pretty cute one, by the way. James had a thought of being gay, but he didn’t take it seriously at that moment. Just another thought… That’s it! But as he walked home, he started thinking a little bit more about it. Could he be gay? Not really, since he stared at butt of one hot woman passing by. He then realized he could possibly be bisexual. He didn’t deny it at any moment. After all, that would be double the chance of getting to kiss on the night club – although it

would be double the shame being single while liking both genders… Anyway, he was okay with being bisexual. He was not okay with loving his best friend though. Another life cliché… That was a very intense day filled with lots of feelings. Wow… Before going to sleep, he was actually wondering if he liked Tommy or Mia better. And that was making it even more confusing. Meanwhile, Mia was in her bed thinking of how she loved James… She was actually touching herself while doing so. That’s how much she loved him. After that, she just slept and dreamed about James. She dreamed they were kissing. How could she kiss her best friend, who was the best friend of the guy she loved? And while that happened, Tommy was having an ice cold beer – the expensive one from Germany actually – to commemorate… Nothing. He was just a drunk student who couldn’t care less. And he was also thinking on how to get to Mia’s heart (because he wasn’t aware he already did by that time). But after a couple of beer cans, he was too drunk to be awake. He dreamed about kissing James and Mia. By the next morning, all the three friends were confused… James liked Mia but also Tommy. Mia liked Tommy and maybe James. Tommy liked Mia but he also liked James? Not an average love triangle! In the school, they were avoiding each other in order to avoid awkwardness. But James and Tommy couldn’t avoid each other for too long, they had basketball training. During the game, they avoided looking at each other. After training, both went to the locker room. After all the other guys from the team left, Tommy and James were alone. And they were staring at each other, without any clothes on, only towels. Things got intense as they hugged and kissed. But they didn’t actually had sex, they just kissed. Tommy wasn’t sure if he felt anything, he was just experimenting, no big deal. But James just had the best moment of his whole life. Surprisingly there was no awkward silence. – Is this real? – James said while he was turned on – Wow! – I can definitely tell you are happy to see me... – Tommy replied with a sense of humor pointing at James’ boner under the towel – Shut up… Do you okay with this thing of me like you? – I am hot and I’m your bestie, how could you

not like me? It’s okay, buddy! – So… Why did you kiss me? – You were the one who kissed me, just gone with the flow… I mean, you are a good guy, but I don’t think I’m gay or anything, but… Yeah, it wasn’t bad but… – I get it. You probably kissed me thinking of another person… Do I know her? – Calm down! First, you are the one who kissed me. Second, yeah, I was… She is such a hot girl! And she is also sweet and smart… Sorry man, I never told you because I thought you liked her as well. – Wait, are you telling me that you like Mia? That’s awesome; she likes you too, man! – Really? Tell me more! James talked with his best friend about Mia. He was trying to make them a couple… He felt dead inside but he knew both of his friends would be happy, and that was all. Tommy left to talk to Mia. James said he would see both of them next day, so he went home so he could cry in his room. He felt like losing both of his friends. And the worst part is that was going to happen soon… Real soon.


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literary Old Soldier Diaries

Old Soldier Diaries: Memoirs of the Men of Honor

BY SURAJ KUMAR SINGH | Instagram @suraj24thecount

In conversation with Subedar Chakra Dhar Mehta (Retired), 9 BIHAR, this time

H

ardship and sufferings are realities of life. One must go once through these phases to achieve success in life. But sometimes the definition of success is slightly different for different kind of people. A businessmen or businesswomen will regard success as growing of business and huge profit margins. A bureaucrat will regard success as being promoted to higher ranks. And yes on a lighter note the most common notion in India perhaps is getting well paid jobs, a wife, a nice car and a luxurious home. Here settling is sometimes connoted as success and most people run after these and are ready to go up to any extent to get them. However for our soldiers the definition of success is different! The definition of success for them is to eliminate any threat that tends to harm mother India either internally or externally, to serve the fellow countrymen by providing them an atmosphere of peace and liberty so that they enjoy life and work for the betterment of the country and the world too, to help friendly neighbors in eliminating elements challenging their territorial integrity on their soil and also the most important one to become a good human being. This time I met a person who taught me the importance of being a good human. 64 BLOUDER

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Sub. Chakra Dhar Mehta, (retired) awarded Div. Commander Commendation, Special Service Medal, High Altitude Service Medal, Videsh Seva Medal After my conversation with Captain U K Singh, who was a part of the IPKF a few more names came to me as I dwelled across the Sri Lanka chapter. One was Subedar Chakra Dhar Mehta, a JCO saheb from the prestigious 9 BIHAR. I enquired just after Vijay Dashmi if he has come back on leave for Puja celebration. I learned that he did. But interestingly I also learned that he was supposed to leave that day to join back at his workplace the day I rang him but he cancelled his plan due to excessive rain and other problems as he had to take his 84 year old father to his native place too before joining his work. So I think I was lucky that I got an appointment that evening. His house was not too far from the Khojatoli Military Station in Namkum. It’s just the road which becomes narrower as you go and the condition also deteriorates and surprisingly it disappears almost 150 meters before his locality. Actually the underdevelopment of the locality was

responsible for absence of roads and also for the condition of the road which leads to it. I stopped my vehicle 150 meters ahead as I felt that it could get stuck in the mud and once it happens I could get no help as the locality was scarcely populated and it was already dark. Just six to seven buildings around four of them were kuccha houses. I decided to cover the remaining distance on foot. But then I realized that I have brought everything that was necessary except umbrella and torch. Using my phone’s torch I managed to move slowly. Finding the way in the dark was not easy job. The narrow paths across the field between me and his house were turned into mud tracts. And on either sides of the tracts water accumulated! To supplement this there was rain not to forget. Hahaha...... But anyway I had to go to the soldier’s house. So I kept on walking. I could see three buildings and two kuccha houses. There was no light anywhere the occupants might have slept by that time or probably they were unoccupied. I saw a dim yellow light emerging from a building. Then I realized-“Mehta Saheb ka ghar zarur yehi hoga” and I was right! Reaching there I was given a warm welcome and I felt like I have come to my family. I was given treatment like a family member. They first gave a towel to soak water from my wet head and then took me inside and helped me dry up. Mehta saheb also told me, “You should have called me son. It would have been a lot easier for you if you would call me when u reached. And also I could have arranged an umbrella for you.” With sips of tea and bits of snacks our conversation began.

So why did you join the Army and how was the training period for you? What were the major engagements in which you and your unit were involved? And what were the experiences you gained and valuable lessons you learnt CDM: I joined the Army because like everyone else I had a passion to serve the nation. And those days it was deemed as an honorable job by many. It was a real honor if someone from the family was a soldier. My training th commenced on 24 of March, 1982 and in 1983 th I was introduced into the 9 battalion of the prestigious BIHAR Regiment that comprises a


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total of 16 battalions. On our coming to the training we are taught the most important thing that are camouflage and concealment and also to mix up with civilians. Our training duration was 36 weeks and on completion of 24 weeks they give you a kind of mid-term break in which you can go back home too and you can also claim that indeed you have become a Fauji. But real things start when you get back to complete the remaining part of your training. They also check your endurance in all aspects! The test includes written endurance, physical endurance, tactical endurance, mental endurance etc. But once an unusual thing happened! Some people in my village started cautioning my father. They yelled at him “isko kyo fauj me bhej diya tumne? Ek hi baccha hai tumhara isko Ladakh bhej denge, NEFA bhej denge agar isko goli lagi kal ko aur ye mar gaya to tumhe koi pani pilaney wala bhi nahi hoga budhape me.” My father became worried and came all the way to my training center from the village and told the sentry that his son is a trainee in the ALPHA 6 platoon and he wants to meet him. The sentry despite of little hesitation allowed him. He came to me and asked “son are you okay?” “Yes babuji I am absolutely fine here.” I replied. How is the training? “Yeah it’s good and am enjoying.” I replied. Actually I caught fever that day but I didn’t tell him and I asked my friend to take him to the guest house as my fever grew. Later when I recovered I met him. He expressed his concerns to me. I advised him not to worry. I explained him that from now onwards if I die you will get my pension. And if anything will happen to you then you will get the best medical treatments at some of the best hospitals in India! So you don’t have to worry about anything. However I couldn’t give any assurance of my life so dad half-heartedly left blessing me. Here he talked about the final phase of his training and the most revered tradition of the armed forces. The pledge of allegiance to the nation! In which a soldier vows to protect their motherland, constitution and fellow countrymen from internal as well as external threats, to obey the Honorable President of India commanding via his superiors, a proclamation that they will willingly go to the places desired/instructed for duty either over land, through air or overseas! An oath to respect all religions forever taken under a Maulvi, a Father and a Pandit holding all the sacred books i.e. Quran, Geeta and Bible as secularism is one of the core ethos of the armed forces of India. It’s a pledge that helps remember every soldier their duties and responsibilities and to realize that the entire nation depends on their shoulders. He carried on...... After joining the Army the duty that was allocated to me initially was guard duty. I served as guard for many high ranking officers. Since I was physically strong and tall they

recommend me for guard duty. My first posting was to Hyderabad. Later I went to an exercise in Rajasthan where during the day time the temperature sometimes might even touch 50°C. Since I was the youngest in my battalion I was given the newly acquired Carl Gustav rocket launcher to carry since it was a heavy weapon. Handling that weapon I learned its details. th Thereafter I was posted to J&K on 19 carry out 54 km long patrols in the treacherous terrain however there were transit camps to support our movement. But still we could only do that at night as during the daytime the snow melts and makes the ground slippery increasing the risk of slipping and falling deep down. Those days connectivity was not good enough in those regions even during the leave if snow or avalanche covered the roads with tones of snow there was no alternate options other than waiting! Connectivity and transport were very poor those days in those days. Frustrated with the hardships and lack of basic amenities sometimes I would ask myself in frustration-“Why the hell did I join Army but then remembering the pledge to serve the nation would help me doctor my frustration. In th February of 1986 I was posted to the 20 Mountain Division at Binnaguri, West Bengal. In 1987 I participated in the Indo-Bhutanese joint Military exercise. Learning with the Royal Bhutanese Army was a great experience for me. When I came back I developed cordial relation with our unit’s C.O., Col. Deepak Mukherjee and I would behave like a stick orderly with him. So at many occasions he would force me to go to the training area so that I can try to learn what’s new being taught. There I saw that the instructor was teaching how to handle the Carl Gustav rocket launcher since I had a good experience in its handling during my Rajasthan tenure I began interjecting and correcting the instructor wherever necessary and fortunately it didn’t piss him off. He realized that I have a good depth of knowledge and possess skills too. So he recommended that I should learn something new. So I got recommended and later posted into the Signal platoon. When I was posted in Sri Lanka as part of the IPKF there too I was a PRC operator. I would carry an equipment set that included a Nickel PRC along with boosters and of course my weapon too. I was part of the delta company of our battalion. Once our battalion was involved in a mission there and the mission was to demolish a terror training camp of the enemy located at a place called Kuchchaveli in the Trincomalee district. And the job was assigned rd to the 73 Brigade. The attack was to be carried out from the south-west. The brigade consisted nd of 2 RAJ RIF, 9 BIHAR, 5/8 GR and Garhwal Rifles. The RAJ RIF was set to attack the enemy from the left flank and Garhwal Rifle from the right. However the target was deep

literary Old Soldier Diaries

inside the forest. When we penetrated 4 km inside, we started facing troubles and resistance from the small enemy pockets. We desperately needed air support but unfortunately officers took the Akbar (Mi-24 attack helicopter) on the Recce mission. They could have taken a Chetak or a MI-8 (heavy transport helicopter) for recce but they took Akbar. There was an EPRLF guy with us who was guiding us but he got injured and he asked us to leave him behind and move ahead as he will become a burden on us but we assured him that we will not leave him behind and will get him out of there alive as soon as the battle ends. The battle ensued and after five days we were able to arrest 166 of the enemy including women. However in this battle we lost one soldier, our second LMG gunner John! He was later conferred posthumously with Veer Chakra. He was the only casualty that our platoon suffered. Our battalion received two YSMs (Yudh Seva Medal), 1 Vir Chakra and four Army Commander’s commendation medals. On returning from Sri Lanka our battalion strength was 847 and CO said that now I don’t have any temptation to get any more promotions or felicitations! If you 847 reach back home safely then I will feel like all the goals of my life are achieved altogether. Our battalion suffered just one casualty which is a record in the history of IPKF! I must mention here that our CO saheb was a deeply religious person too. He always carried Bajrang Bali’s (Lord Hanuman) photo in his pocket and showed us at many occasions saying that I always carry Pawan Putra’s photo and as long as he is with me I fear none. And he always believed in winning people’s hearts he said that no matter what type of war you are in, if you win the hearts of the locals, civilians you win. So during action in Sri Lanka he would go to the churches and temples and mingle up with the locals. Whenever there should be a crisis of rations and medicines he would arrange these necessities for the public. He would talk to the locals freely. This helped the locals to realize that the IPKF guys are not foes they are friends. So whenever we would be in need of something the locals would always come to help. Once the EPRLF guys seized one of our supply truck to the village and they said that “villagers se pehle hume bhi to ration dijiye.” Our CO reached them and said “dekho ye batao ki aajtak meri battalion ke kisi bandey ne kya tumhare saath kuch galat kiya hai?” He said no. “Kya kisi bandey ne tumhari ladies log ko aankh utha k dekha tak hai kabhi?” They said no. “Humne to hamesha help ki hai and aagey bhi kartey rahenge! On this assurance the EPRLF guys cleared the ferry which was supposed to carry the truck to the other side of lagoon saying in their own language-“pehle saheb ki truck hi jayegi.” Thiriyai was the home location of our battalion in Sri Lanka. After Sri Lanka I was again posted 65 BLOUDER

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to Kashmir in the Baramullah sector. Later I was posted to North Sikkim Plateau at a height of 18500 feet. Once the then Defence minister of India George Fernandes arrived there! He was on a visit. He met us and asked if we need something that we don’t easily get here. Some of us said – “saheb sab thik hai yaha bas sabzi fresh nahi milti” So he fetched loads of fresh vegetables for us with the chopper in which he came. And he also appreciated our courage “I have heard so much about your battalion! How you guys demolished a Chinese bunker.” We said- “Sir humne kuch nahi kiya humne to bas unke patthar dhakele the bunker apne aap hi tut gaye.” And all laughed together. Later the attack on parliament was followed by a massive mobilisation of Indian troops towards the Indo-Pak border (OP Parakram) as a response to Pakistan’s coward action. Since I was an expert in ammunition division I was assigned a consignment of ammunitions that were to be taken from Dehradun to Rajasthan. In the way however four of the trucks broke off the convoy and went missing. However they just broke off from convoy but they arrived at the destination intact and all the consignment present nothing was missing. He further explained how shortage of trucks was met and how delicately the smooth passage of convoy was ensured. The formation was headed by the legendary 1 Strike Core and the Core Comth mander announced with enthusiasm -“26 Jan ko chai Lahore me piyenge.” But the Pakistanis also had nuclear weapons then! What would have happened if the war did break out? CDM: If hostilities did break out we would not even have spared them with a time frame to launch nuclear weapons. Within 24 hours whole of Pakistan would have been decimated as 75% of their strength was engaged in Afghan crisis and the remaining 25% were neither capable nor prepared to stop a full scale invasion. However the only threat which loomed over us was the dependency of our modern warfare technologies on GPS. Since GPS facility was in the hands of the Americans and from launching a projectile from a canon to firing a ballistic missile, everywhere GPS was necessary. Americans were the biggest ally of Pakistan those days so if they would have denied us the GPS access then it would have blinded us. Because once you fire a missile you also need to set its course and target if there will be no precise data/ co-ordinates available how one can expect it to hit the exact target all by itself. But still we remained undeterred by this possible threat. Our activities were under the observation of American satellites they could see artificial tracks for tanks being made up to the border and depressions being filled up for smooth movement of mechanized forces and transport vehicles. This might have startled them as they were not happy with us. They already had put

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sanctions on us after successful conduct of nuclear tests in 1998. However the war never happened. But our forces remained for almost one year in Rajasthan for any eventuality that

Sub. C D Mehta in the right side of the picture might occur. Later I was posted to Ranchi, Sikkim and I also worked as an NCC instructor in Patna. I made many good friends there who were none other than the children and I not only taught them in fact I learned many things from them too and it was a pleasant experience. Surprisingly my last posting was to Hyderabad. The same place where I started my career! Mehta saheb gracefully informed this to me. Did it ever happen that you felt that you were so close to death? CDM: Once when insurgency was at its peak I was posted in the hostile zone. One night when I and my company were too tired we halted and slept. But before taking nap I ensured that my rifle was chained properly with me so that nobody could take it away and also covered the sangeen (bayonet) with the cover. But I didn’t remove my helmet. While I was asleep I felt that some heavy thing has fell upon my helmet so I woke up immediately as I sensed danger I came into fighting position and struck the stranger in the dark. The stranger was knocked down to the ground but since it was dark I couldn’t see properly. But by then many fellow soldiers woke up and when they saw in torch’s light that the stranger knocked down is actually a lady they initially thought that I have sexually assaulted her. They all surrounded me so that I couldn’t escape and they can do justice. They asked, “Oye ye tune iske saath kya kiya?” I said I did nothing I just felt that something heavy was dropped on my head so I woke up and charged in fear. Then they discovered something which proved my claim! They saw that the net of my helmet was cut open and there was a scratch mark on the helmet and the fallen lady had a sword in her hand. They then realized that the attacker was indeed the lady and if I would have had not worn my helmet I would have been gone! There would have been no chance for me! And it was very fortunate for the lady too that I didn’t forget to cover the

sangeen (bayonet) of my rifle before falling asleep. Otherwise I might have inadvertently killed her. Probably in the dark she was unable to see me properly and so she mistakenly struck my helmet. That was the incident in which up to some extent I felt that I encountered death from close. So tell me about your present responsibility? CDM: I am an Inspector in Jharkhand Police and I work as an instructor. I train cadets in anti-insurgency and anti-terrorism. Don’t you find it hard to work with the civilians here? Because many ex-servicemen claim that the civilians always avoid work and are often lazy! Hahaha........ CDM: Well I must admit that many a times I have faced situation in which my co-instructors insisted me to take their classes as well but that is partly due to my good reputation among the trainees. So I do not equate it entirely with what you have said. He smiled and carried on. I do not focus too much on the theories to teach my cadets I believe upon demonstration and exposure. And whenever it comes to dealing with anti-social elements in the real situation I remember my CO Col. Deepak Mukherjee’s advice that it doesn’t matter what kind of war you are involved in, to win it the hearts of the locals must be won. Lastly, would you like to give a message for the youth as most of my readers are youngsters? CDM: Yes of course! Always think positive and work hard. I am a son of a farmer who used to work bare foot in the fields to grow crops and following his footsteps I have worked hard to serve the nation. Even at this age I can share my experience and strength as well in order to work for the betterment of the nation. If they want to do something good for the society and fellow countrymen I can stand toe to toe even at this age. And whenever a threat looms over the country even at this age I am ready to join back my regiment and fight the enemy. He smiled with confidence. If I can do that then why can’t the youth? On this note I concluded the Conversation and thanked him for giving me the opportunity to talk. He accompanied me to the spot where I parked my vehicle and he also guided me in crossing that field turned swamp between his house and my vehicle. I realized that it was not as hard as it looks to cross.

Subedar Mehta with his colleagues. He is second from right. Location-North Sikkim Platteau


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