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10 Books that will keep you hooked

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There are a million books out there. But these ten are the ones which I think everyone should read during their lifetime. As they say good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader, not the fact that it is raining but the feeling of being rained upon.

  1. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

A novel set against the backdrop of the American Civil War has the leading lady Miss Scarlett O’Hara- a selfish, manipulative woman, who tries to survive the war all by herself when the world around her falls down and grows from a careless, pampered girl to a self-made woman. Amidst this, she finds herself at crossroads regarding two men in her life- the one she loves the idea of being in love with and the one who she unknowingly loves.

  1. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

If there is any contemporary author who knows how to write a crime novel it is Frederick Forsyth. A French dissident paramilitary organisation hires a professional assassin- one of its kind- The Jackal to kill the French President. Spun along 380 pages is the intricate detailing of the plot, manhunt and the kill with a savage twist in the end.

  1. The Godfather by Mario Puzo

A crime novel, it is the story of the American Mafia. Vito Corleone or “The Godfather” as popularly called by his benefactors is the head of the 5 crime families of New York. It chronicles the tussles for power among them which facilitates the rise of Michael Corleone, the law-abiding son of the Godfather to come out from the shadows of military and take over the reins of the real business which he so rightfully deserves.

  1. Macbeth by Shakespeare

Let us admit nobody can make a character appear so real like Shakespeare. Macbeth, a victorious general is drunk on power and on hearing the prophecy of the witches he takes it upon himself to make those prophecies true at the cajoling of his wife.

  1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

A philosophical novel set in the 19th century Russia. It is a spiritual drama which raises the struggles of the mortals concerning faith, doubt, reason, and morality through the actions of the feuding Karamazov family.

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Nobody is a stranger to these two vices. Elizabeth Bennet is blinded by her pride in judging people correctly and her prejudice against the rich that she fails to recognise the love of her life. The book provides a humorous insight into the customs during that period.

  1. Animal Farm by George Orwell

An allegorical and dystopian novel in which the animals of a local farm protest against the owner and gain control of the farm.

  1. Twelfth Night by Shakespeare

If nobody can write a tragedy as good as Shakespeare then the same goes for comedy. Viola and Sebastian are twins separated during a shipwreck. Viola (disguised as a boy) falls in love with Duke Orsino who in turn is in love with Countess Olivia who is in love with Viola, thinking she is a man and what ensues is a disorder.

  1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

A story about a boy of about 13 years named Tom Sawyer and his adventures with his orphan friend Huckleberry Finn in the fictional town of St. Petersburg.

  1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This novel explores the spirit of Christmas. As 3 Christmas ghosts pay the cold Mr. Scrooge a visit, we are taken back to his past and forward to his future, a future devoid of all happiness if Mr. Scrooge doesn’t mend his ways. It also reminds us what Christmas truly signifies- spreading happiness and being generous.

Share your must-read book list in the comment section below. 

Not an archetypal NIFTian but a non-conformist, voracious reader, who wants to leave her mark on the world. Not a social butterfly. A Harry Potter geek and an avid watcher of action films and crime T.V show. A hardcore non-vegetarian. Loves the feline family and water sports. A slight bend towards rock music. Favourite Book-“Gone with the wind”. Favourite Poem-“Where the mind is without fear”. Favourite Movie-“ Rang De Basanti”. Favourite TV show- “One Tree Hill”. Favourite Actor-“ Ian Somerhalder”. Favourite Song-“ Hunger by Ross Copperman”. Favourite Person-“Dad”.

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Lifestyle

Victoria’s Secret’s Fallen Angels: Is VS Collective Little Too Late?

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Victoria Secret's Fallen Angels II News Aur Chai

After years of selling misogynistic fantasies masked as insecurity for women worldwide, Victoria’s Secret (VS), the lingerie and personal care mammoth, has come upon a business-altering decision. Everyone’s aesthetic and sexual fantasy – the VS Angels have fallen.

After multiple accusations of sexual assault, overt body shaming, and transphobia, their refusal to take action against high-profile executives guilty of inappropriate behaviour has led to its downfall. 2018 was possibly the worst year for the company as more body positive and inclusive brands like Aerie, Lively, and Savage X Fenty rose.

The mystical barbie-doll VS Angels, extravagantly clad in wings and bejewelled lingerie, had more or less remained the same in the last three decades since VS started their fashion shows. Models bearing bodies that ‘please’ the male gaze, just-enough-plump and just-enough-toned, were no longer a thing of beauty standards to the common woman. After all, feminists remind us repeatedly that autonomy over lingerie remains with the person who wants to wear it rather than cishet men.

There was a time when lacy push-ups and the thick underwear band labelled PINK was found in the boudoir drawer of every female teenager and adult alike. No one would be caught dead wearing something else. But in a mere decade, the tables have turned as no one would dare step inside the walls of the magnum opus of male sexual fantasy. It’s safe to say that VS brought this tragedy upon itself with its sluggish attitude toward the changing social norms of body positivity and culture inclusivity.

But recently, VS announced a defining move – one which may have come a little too late but alas, it came. Gone were the glamorous, airbrushed, and pushed-up fantasies of the Angels. Instead came in the Victoria’s Secret Collective. This high-profile seven-member board is a chance for VS to redeem its reputation and right its past wrongs. The septet consists of the pink-haired member of the American National Women’s Soccer team, Megan Rapinoe, Actor, entrepreneur, and activist Priyanka Chopra Jonas, inclusivity activist and model Paloma Elsesser, transgender model-actor Valentina Sampaio, Sino-American world champion skier Eileen Gu, model and South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech, and English photographer and podcast host Amanda de Cadanet.

This board is a shot at inclusivity and is reflective of real-life women as the members hail from different cultures, are from different age groups, and in some way or another, are more relatable to the common woman. This diverse set of ambassadors will spearhead this new campaign. They will be alternatively seen as an essential part of VS’s revamped brand image, including their advertisements and social media. VS’s new move is indeed a step toward becoming more like their well-off competitors, who are idealistically anti-Victoria’s Secret.

What’s notable is that this decision of VS is not just superficial to woo their consumer base but is one aimed at its very corporate structure. Billionaire Leslie Wexner, the founder of VS’s parent company L Brands, and Ed Razek, a top executive of the said company, will not be a part of the revamped identity of the lingerie giant. Razek and Wexner have been accused multiple times of inappropriate conduct, sexual advances and remarks, and exploitation of models.

VS has made it clear that the two will not be associated with VS anymore. The company will split from L Brands and subsequently from the toiletry giant Bath & Body Works to become an independent entity. VS will now have top-tier decisions taken by more women executives as Martha Pease, the new Chief Marketing Officer, heads the Collective and plans on having an all-women committee.

A complete upheaval of the VS stores will see the signature Angels’ posters stripped off of their walls, TVs, websites, and social media. Mannequins and models will exhibit a diverse range of bodies and products.

In an interview with The New York Times, Martin Waters, a former executive of VS international, said, “When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond. We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.”

In a recent attempt to foreshadow the company’s announcement of becoming “what women want”, VS launched a Mothers’ Day campaign. Displaying pregnant women as their models was a first for the company. Apparently, for VS, motherhood was not sexy enough till now.

The VS collective board will promote the upcoming product releases such as maternity wear along with the same old thongs and lacy bras. Other TBA products will see a collaboration between Chopra Jonas and Rapinoe.

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Lifestyle

5 Healthy Smoothies You Need To Try This Summer!

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Smoothie II News Aur Chai

Summers are officially here and it’s really important to stay hydrated to keep going in this scorching weather. You can use a gamut of seasonal fruits to make smoothies. Smoothie is a fresh fruit pureed with milk, yoghurt, or ice cream to make a thick, smooth drink. 

Choose from blueberry, mango, peanut butter oatmeal, mint chocolate chip, pineapple, or any other fruit of your choice, and enjoy a nutritious and tasty smoothie in the comfort of your own home. Try these refreshing healthy smoothies to replenish and refresh your body. 

Here is a list of healthy smoothies to try this summer:

Blueberry Smoothie

Blueberry Smoothie is a simple and succulent way to begin your morning! Yoghurt, frozen blueberries, and banana are blended into a frosty drink to make this rich and refreshing blueberry smoothie. The ingredients used in this smoothie are both tasty and nutritious

 Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup frozen bananas
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup ice cubes

Mango Smoothie

What are summers if they aren’t brimming with mangoes? Make this delicious mango smoothie for an instant energy boost! Frozen banana, diced mangoes, and yoghurt are all good to have on hand. In a blender, mix all of the ingredients and blend until it’s smooth. It’s as easy as that!

 Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups frozen or fresh diced mango 
  • 1 cup frozen banana 
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • ½ cup of ice cubes

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie

This recipe for Peanut butter Oatmeal Smoothie is packed with frozen bananas, creamy peanut butter, yoghurt, oats, and honey. It only takes a few minutes to prepare this thick and creamy drink; is sure to keep you full.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • ¼cup +1 tablespoon of Greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

 Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Whip up this beautiful blend of soothing mint chocolate chip smoothie recipe for an instant energy boost! Add spinach, avocado, frozen banana, milk, and fresh mint leaves to your blender and blend until it’s smooth. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and chocolate chips.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients: 

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ¼ small sized avocado
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 25-30 mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
  • ½ cup crushed ice

 Pineapple Smoothie

This pineapple smoothie is a tropical mixture. Combine your pineapple, banana, and Greek yoghurt in a blender and blend until smooth and fluffy. Serve and enjoy this quick, nutritious, and refreshing drink!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup fresh diced pineapple
  • ½ sliced banana
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup crushed ice

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Health

Skin Care Tips To Survive Summers In India

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Skin Care in Summer in India | News Aur Chai

The summer heat in India can be harsh on your skin if you don’t take proper care of it. The blistering heat, dust, and pollution take away the natural shine and, in some cases, invite infections. To avoid all of these annoyances and to keep your skin glowing as it did before, try these summer skincare tips:

Clothing

Tight clothing during hot weather will irritate the skin and make sweaty areas of the body itch even more. To combat the heat, cotton and lighter fabrics are vital. Try wearing breathable fabrics.

Diet

Applying creams is not enough; you need to enrich your skin properly to keep it glowing. Juicy fruits and vegetables should be consumed in large quantities as they are high in nutrients and antioxidants that protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Try consuming cooling or seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Exercise

Exercise increases blood flow that ensures that oxygen reaches the skin cells. Any tissue damage (skin burn, etc) is repaired by the body.

Exfoliation

It is a process that helps in the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Exfoliate your skin regularly for healthy and glowing skin. You can simply use a washcloth to gently scrub your skin. Try this process at least once a week.

Eyes and Lips

Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses while stepping out in the sun. Protect your lips by applying a lip balm.

Feet

It is important to take care of your feet as well. Give yourself a manicure; remove the dead and dry skin cells with a scrub and moisturize them later.

Minimal Makeup

Go easy on make-up during summers; avoid anything heavy it’s most likely to melt off the minute you step out in the sweltering summer heat. When it comes to makeup during the summers, keep it simple as the skin needs to breathe.

Sunscreen

Summertime necessitates the use of sunscreen. It is important to safeguard yourself from tanning and skin burns. It also helps in protecting our skin from harmful UV rays. You should apply sunscreen at least twice a day. It is a must-have item, if you don’t have one; you should invest in sunscreen.

Stay Hydrated

It is extremely important to stay hydrated; especially during hot weather. Sweat causes us to lose a lot of our body fluids. Our bodies are severely harmed when the levels of body fluids drop. Staying hydrated also helps to flush out toxins from the body and feel refreshed. Carry a bottle of water everywhere you go, set reminders to drink water throughout the day so that you don’t forget to hydrate yourself!

Update your skincare products

It is very important to update your skincare products during summertime. During winters we need stronger creams to fight the cold and dry weather, but in the summer, we need hydrating products. Buy a moisturizer that is lightweight and non-greasy.

 Use natural remedies

Skincare home remedies are useful as they make your skin glow naturally without causing any harm. Applying Aloe Vera gel, Cucumber mask, Coconut oil, Honey mask, Lemon mask, Orange Peel mask, Turmeric paste are few remedies that soothe your skin during summer. 

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