Aapka Times Featured Post Festivals

Gear Up For India’s Biggest Virtual Film Festival “Malhaar”: Applications Open!

India’s biggest virtual film festival, Malhaar’s, comes again with its second edition. The platform welcomes professional and amateur filmmakers’ work, reflecting their feelings, experiences, interpretations, and living imaginations to a wide range of audiences. The goal of the Malhaar film festival organised by Match My Talent is to connect with strangers through their tales and find new perspectives.

“After a grand success of the first edition, this year too, Malhaar is all set to give a platform for filmmakers to show their magic with their movie on themes such as education, migration, gender, mental health and passion,” said Sonia Swaroop Choksi, Festival Director who is also Co-Founder and CEO of Match My Talent.

The festival gained immense popularity and warm response from all the filmmakers, including vehement support from some of the biggest names of Indian cinema like Adil Hussain, Rajit Kapoor, Neeraj Kabi, Ajayan Vincent and Gautam Vaze. Earlier participants believe that Malhaar creates a window of global vernacular cinema- Cinema which is vernacular in its concept, approach, communication and the minutest of its details yet universally relevant, relatable and retainable.

Malhaar is a democratic space for the budding cinematographers to spread wings, create narratives that connect, and get feedback for their future.  Also, Malhaar gives a holistic platform for professional filmmakers to reach the right audience.

The vision of the Malhaar film festival is to reach out far and wide to capture the regional essence of cinema. True to this ethic, the festival is encouraging regional filmmakers and content creators to come forward and submit films in their local language.

The virtual film festival will go live on 9 July 2022 and continue until 16 July 2022. This platform will offer the filmmakers to have conversations and feedback on their film from a truly global narrative. Winners will be awarded awards in various fields such as The Best Indian Short Film, The Best International Short Film, Best Short Film Under 20 Minutes, etc.

The last date for submitting the entries is 30 April 2022.

All other information regarding the competition is listed on their website,

Festivals Festivals Jamia Millia Islamia

“Raise YourVoice”: A kind of Women Literature fest to be held on 27th February at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia

YourVoice in association with PRO office (Jamia Milia Islamia) is organizing “Raise YourVoice”, a kind of India’s first Women Literature fest on 27th February (Wednesday) from 10AM to 10 PM. It is an attempt to celebrate the International Women’s Day. This event is a one-day festival celebrating extraordinary act of courage, determination and empathizing struggles patriarchy offer in modern times. This one- day fest will rejoice the stage with expressions, emotions and articulation of women through poetry. The event will seek the presence of eminent women leaders who believed in smashing the hackneyed ideas and set a role model for other women in row.

The event will be graced by Kamla Bhasin (feminist, activist, author, poet), RJ Sayema (radio mirchi), Roshni Misbah (TedX speaker, The hijab biker), Sabika Muzaffar (former RJ and voice-over artist), Khairunnisa Shah (executive director, WTC) and Richa Anirudh (anchor and journalist). Acting maestro Shabana Azmi along with actress Swara Bhaskar and Nandita Das are also expected to attend the event. Adding to the list Journalist Nagma Sahar, theatre artist Shilpi Marwah, storyteller Priya Malik, and Mehek Mirza are also invited to add stars to the evening. Food stalls with mouth-watering delicacies and art and cultural stalls will be arranged. This Women Poetry fest will be a fare of art; culture, inspiring stories, drama, poetry, beat and rhythms all occupied under one roof. There will be an open mic poetry event lined up just after the inaugural ceremony followed by dance and musical performances and panel discussion. Some Theatre groups will mesmerize you with their act centric on women. Lastly, the event will end with the most enticing ‘women kavi sammelan’ allured by guest poets. Fest can be attended by anyone be it male or female. Attendees can register themselves at: More details can be found at:
ATH Featured Post Festivals Festivals

6 essential things to follow this Ramadan

The moon has declared the arrival of blessed month of Ramadan. And everyone is bugging up faster for their prayers and the first fast. Around 1.6 billion Muslims around the world are going to observe fasts for a month, abstaining themselves from food dawn till dusk, smoking, drinking and intercourse for the entire month.

Ramzan is not just a holy month, it’s a way to detoxify the soul and to move closer to healthier habits. “It’s all the perfect time to reboot our system, restate our convictions, spiritually, physically & mentally.” Writes Dr. Saba Aslam. This month paves a way for Muslims to detach from the worldly pleasures to attain taqwa, (Arabic term for God- Consciousness) Abstaining and curbing desires and dealing with patience leads to the purification of the soul. The month binds the rich with poor as plates of Iftaar are shared amongst them and Alms which an important part of Ramadan is distributed amongst the poor.

It’s scientifically proven, taking less fluid for a period of 30 days does not leave a negative impact on Human Body as well reduction in food intake causes the body to lose fat. However, keeping important healthy habits during Ramadan is also essential. As Ramadan is about fasting and not feasting. Here are few things to do in Ramadan, read Dr Saba Aslam’s advice.

1. Suhoor or Sehri:

Meals to be taken half an hour before the sunrise is an essential part, here, people tend to take heavy meals which disturb them throughout the day,
Dr Saba says “For sehri always take Banana always, as it takes away the craving and does not give hunger pangs.”

2. Be Grateful

Prayers and reciting Quran (The Holy Book) are not enough, be thankful, be grateful for each and every blessing you have. Value your time over everything and everyone.

3. Iftaar

The time after sunset when fasts are broken. Don’t be in a hurry, as office hours and traffic Jams came in the way, don’t break your fast with anything coming your way. Break your fast with Potassium and fibres filled dates. Avoid oily food.

4. Exercise

Ramadan doesn’t detach you from your daily exercise routine, do follow it at least be in touch with yoga (Ashtanga yoga and cardio) would keep your parameters in check.

5. Detox

Ramadan is a detoxifier of Human souls, though in this scorching heats they are many detoxes like orange, carrot, celery, grape, fruit and ginger. Then next is watermelon and mint. Green apple, kale. Spinach and Ginger with lettuce and cucumber lime. These are few detox which is good in Ramadan

6. Salads

Salads are healthy and as well less time consuming as compared to other recipes, choose salads over fry stuff. My favourite is Quinoa salad.

Stay Blessed, be Humble, be grateful and be healthy for the entire month.

Have a blessed Ramadan!

Dr Saba Aslam is a renowned Gynecologist, a yoga trainer, a nutrition expert and a make-up artist.

Fashion Featured Post Festivals

Style Statement Of Durga Puja in Kolkata


We hear tons about the carnivals from Rio to Goa–the world goes amazed while standing far away from the street performers in their sparkly costumes and marvel at the handy splendors from the sidelines! We rarely talk about Kolkata. But now just read the next sentence and sink in-” Kolkata, during Durga Puja is the BIGGEST FASHION PARADE in the world”. Rings true.

Durga puja is the grandest festival for a Bengali(maybe even for the rest of the world!). It means alot to every Bong,but the 5 prerogatives have remained the same for the last five centuries.


Buying an entirely new set of attire is the most exciting build up to this festive season. The amazing thing is–not only do Bongs buy spanking new clothes but they wear them while walking in the sniffling heat, while standing in long queues outside pandas and being impatient, million string crowd !!!

Now let us help you for this mega fashion fiesta– sit back,window shop at supersonic speed,choose,discard ,choose again and finally order!!


For Shasti,the sixth day of the festival that marks the formal beginning of PUJO in Bengal with unveiling of the face of the idol of Ma Durga, you can choose to keep your attire simple with Indo-Western look .Embroidered Khaki jumpsuits , a special from Sirens boutique are a great way to project the touch. One can also choose to drape in stoles crafted from organic fabric. Airy palazzos in floral prints teamed with a classy embroidered leather sandals available in NEW MARKET are perfect combo to beat the heat. Go grab them !


Saptami the seventh day,heralds the true beginning of the most awaited festival with the performance of the Pranpratishtha ritual . For Daytime evening you can select this traditional drape that has been handpicked especially from DAKHINAPAN near Goal park. It is renowned all over the world for its artistic heritage . Crafted in the Bengali’s famous DHAKAI JAMDANI this vibrate magenta and white Saree features boutique work all over the world.A big RED BINDI with Junk jewellery(Jhumkas) will exemplify the BONG look on your face.




Ashrams the eight day is the day of primary importance which starts of with the devotee offering Pushpanjali to the Goddess amidst the chanting of the verses by the priests. For morning look no further beyond than this Cream Gacchi Tusshar saree . Crafted in Gacchi Tusshar this elegant piece features naksha kantha work all over the world.At night you can dress up in a lovely black dress or a solid neon colored dress . Add some accessories and get going!!


Navami_ the night marks the penultimate day of the Pujas. As per mythology Goddess Durga eradicated evil by killing the demon Mahishashura on this very day and hence Durga is worshipped as Mahishashuramardini on this day.

For late night pandas hopping on Navami you can handpick this red Chinkankari suit piece. It will keep you at ease while jostling on your way through the maddening crowd.


Dashami signifies the end of the Pujas when devotees bid farewell to the goddess with heavy heart. What could be better than a traditional red and white Saree ? Crafted in Resham , this vibrant piece of art with a simple achal. Team it with heavy golden jewellery

So calcuttans get going !! HUNT THROUGH ThE STREETS OF GARIAHAT AND NEW MARKET and drape yourself in the attire that would win hearts .Happy Durga Pujo 2K16.

Festivals Lifestyle Sushmita Panda




Raja Parba or Mithuna Sankranti is a four-day-long festival and the second day signifies beginning of the solar month of Mithuna from, which the season of rains starts. It inaugurates and welcomes the agricultural year all over Odisha, which marks, through biological symbolism, the moistening of the sun dried soil with the first showers of the monsoon in mid-June thus making it ready for productivity.
The natives of Orissa (Odisha) celebrate womanhood each year for four days. Apart from womanhood, the festival is celebrated in the state on the occasion of the beginning of the agricultural year.

The term Raja has been derived from Rajaswala (meaning a menstruating woman). During medieval period, the festival was marked as an agricultural holiday and Bhudevi (Mother Earth), the wife of lord Jagannath, was worshipped during this time.
It is believed that the mother goddess Earth or the divine wife of Lord Vishnu undergoes menstruation during the first three days.The fourth day is called as Vasumati gadhua or ceremonial bath of Bhudevi.The term Raja has come from Rajaswala (meaning a menstruating woman) and during medieval period the festival became more popular as an agricultural holiday remarking the worship of Bhudevi, who is the wife of lord Jagannath. A silver idol of Bhudevi is still found in Puri Temple aside Lord Jagannatha.
During the three days women are given a break from household work and time to play indoor games. Girls decorate themselves with new fashion or traditional Saree and Alatha in feet. All people abstain from walking barefoot on earth. Generally various Pithas are made of which Podopitha,and Chakuli Pitha are main. People play a lot of indoor and outdoor games. Girls play swings tied on tree branches whereas aged ladies play Cards and Ludo.Many villages organise Kabbadi matches among young men.
It falls in mid June,the first day is called Pahili Raja, second day is Mithuna Sankranti,third day is Bhu daaha or Basi Raja. The final fourth day is called Vasumati snan, in which the ladies bath the grinding stone as a symbol of Bhumi with turmeric paste and adore with flower,sindoor etc. All type of seasonal fruits are offered to mother Bhumi. The day before first day is called Sajabaja or preparatory day during which the house, kitchen including grinding stones are cleaned,spices are ground for three days. During these three days women and girls take rest from work and wear new Saree, Alata,and ornaments.It is similar to Ambubachi Mela. The most popular among numerous festivals in Orissa, Raja is celebrated for three consecutive days. Just as the earth prepares itself to quench its thirst by the incoming rain the unmarried girls of the family are groomed for impeding matrimony through this festival. They pass these three days in joyous festivity and observe customs like eating only uncooked and nourishing food especially Podapitha, do not take bath or take salt, do not walk barefoot and vow to give birth to healthy children in future. The most vivid and enjoyable memories one has of the Raja gaiety is the rope-swings on big banyan trees and the lyrical folk-songs that one listens from the nubile beauty enjoying the atmosphere.
According to popular belief as women menstruate, which is a sign of fertility, so also Mother Earth menstruates. So, all three days of the festival are considered to be the menstruating period of Mother Earth. During the festival all agricultural operations remain suspended. As in Hindu homes menstruating women remain secluded because of impurity and do not even touch anything and are given full rest, so also the Mother Earth is given full rest for three days for which all agricultural operations are stopped. Significantly, it is a festival of the unmarried girls, the potential mothers. They all observe the restrictions prescribed for a menstruating woman. The very first day, they rise before dawn, do their hair, anoint their bodies with turmeric paste and oil and then take the purificatory bath in a river or tank. Peculiarly, bathing for the rest two days is prohibited. They don’t walk bare-foot do not scratch the earth, do not grind, do not tear anything apart, do not cut and do not cook. During all the three consecutive days they are seen in the best of dresses and decorations, eating cakes and rich food at the houses of friends and relatives, spending long cheery hours, moving up and down on improvised swings, rending the village sky with their merry impromptu songs.

The swings are of different varieties, such as ‘Ram Doli’, ‘Charki Doli’, ‘Pata Doli’, ‘Dandi Doli’ etc. Songs specially meant for the festival speak of love, affection, respect, social behaviour and everything of social order that comes to the minds of the singers. Through anonymous and composed extempore, much of these songs, through sheer beauty of diction and sentiment, has earned permanence and has gone to make the very substratum of Orissa’s folk-poetry. While girls thus scatter beauty, grace and music all around, moving up and down on the swings during the festival, young men give themselves to strenuous games and good food, on the eve of the onset of the monsoons, which will not give them even a minute’s respite for practically four months making them one with mud, slush and relentless showers, their spirits keep high with only the hopes of a good harvest. As all agricultural activities remain suspended and a joyous atmosphere pervades, the young men of the village keep themselves busy in various types of country games, the most favourite being ‘Kabadi’. Competitions are also held between different groups of villages. All nights ‘Yatra’ performances or ‘Gotipua’ dances are arranged in prosperous villages where they can afford the professional groups. Enthusiastic amateurs also arrange plays and other kinds of entertainment.

Festivals Social Issues

This Beautiful Ramzan Advertisement From Pakistan Is Going Viral For All The Right Reasons

The viral ad begins with a little boy fully dressed up in his new kurta. He is running towards his friends and then do something unexpected.
What he did made this ad viral and put smiles on many faces.
He is helping the man in selling samosas while ruining his new kurta with a carefree look.
 The selfless behaviour with child’s innocence made this ad huge hit.
This ad captures the essence of Ramdan in the best way possible. It is a festival of prayers and selfless faith and this ad gives a message that helping others itself is a form of connecting with the god.
Festivals Manvi Sharma

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! But what is the real meaning of Christmas?

It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree?The lights in the windows?The cards in the mail?Turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room and shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?

For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.

Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time when God showshis great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent his Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child

Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sinful nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sin nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so he could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole. We can know that heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over. We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening, we can know that we are His children. We then become sons and daughters of God. Heaven will be our home one day.

Look at Christmas in a new way this year. This is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a “Merry Christmas.” The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you look to God for all your needs to be met.

Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice!

Festivals Festivals Lifestyle Naina Grover


As we’re nearing the New Year countdown with the season providing the basic drama, it’s time to let go of all that was of yesterday and welcome the New Year with a blast. So keep the playlist updated, bottles down the cart and dazzle it up with food and bonfire. Read through, the show must go on ! J

#1 TO BID A HAPPY FAREWELL TO THE YEAR GONE BY: To all the broken promises, unsuccessful endings, tears and failures, we brush it up and throw it down the bin by partying out loud. 31st December of each year should actually be the best day of the year when you can pile up the entire load and throw it down, bid it a happy ending without grudges in your heart to make it up for the next year.

#2 TO GIVE A POSITIVE START TO THE UPCOMING YEAR: 1st of January must be a kickass start to a bright future ahead and so the New Year Eve party is a must on the checklist to surround yourself with people who have been with you through all the thick and thin of your life and would continue to share the same belongingness for years to come.

#3 TO GIVE THE NEW YEAR A HAPPY WELCOME: Parties are the loudest and the best celebration to welcome a new member to your life. Apparently, every year that we live out act as a joining member to the life that you’ve lived so far and celebrating the welcome would give a happy beginning of something grand, a life full of colors and smiles as one would cross a year to enter the next.

#4 TO TURN OVER A NEW LEAF: A new year would mean a new beginning of yourself, the self that you inhabit. Thus making plans to live better the next year and have some goals in mind, it’s always good to celebrate novelty with your close ones. Those who matter to your existence, or maybe just to live the very last moment of what you’ve managed to live so far.

[author image=”” ]Naina Grover is doing her major in English literature. She has been an avid writer, surreal fiction being her forte. She has also qualified a certificate course in creative writing from the British Council and has an inclination towards psychoanalytical studies. She is both, a seeker and an explorer with a tinge of inquisitiveness to experiment with both, life and writing at large. As a part of her personal interest, she also writes lyrics for her self-created symphonies and wishes to excel further in her endeavor to take up writing as her career prospect. [/author]

Featured Post Festivals Festivals Ratika Bhardwaj

DUSSEHRA SPECIAL: Significance of Dussehra

Every festival comes with a certain message and belief. Dussehra also known as Vijaydashmi is celebrated to commemorate the killing of Ravana by Lord Rama. It comes with a message of victory of good over sin following the nine days of Navaratri.

  1. Why do we celebrate Dussehra?
    There are a lot of mythological tales associated with the celebration of Dussehra.
  • According to Ramayana, Ravana was killed by Lord Rama on this day as a revenge against the act of abducting Goddess Sita by Ravana.
  • Some say that Goddess Durga killed demon Mahishasura after a long spell of cruelty and oppression by him.
  • Another tale associated with the celebration is the raining of gold coins. After Kausta asked King Raghuraja for 140 million coins to give as a gurudakshina in return to the knowledge given by his Guru, Raghuraja went to Indra for help who then asked Lord Kuber to rain coins on the city of Ayodhya. After giving 140 million coins to his Guru, Kautsa distributed the rest to the people of Ayodhya.
  1. Significance of Dussehra
    It is said that this day symbolizes not as the victory of Ram but also the victory of mankind. We simply symbolize the power of goodness and humanity above all kind of powers.As Lord Rama fought a battle of 10 days with Ravana, who had kidnapped his wife Sita,the day of his victory is called Vijaya Dashmi. People believe that whenever there ‘ll be chaos in the society and evil will try to take over humanity, God’ll appear in a form of savior to protect his devotees.
  1. Celebrating this Dussehra
    Traditionally , in Indian culture, Dussehra was always full of dances and lights where communities used to meet and mingle. But because of various invasions , we have lost its importance. Even now its still celebrated with great zeal in many places but not in whole country. Dussehra festival is of a tremendous significance who live on the land.

It is our wish that you celebrate Dussehra with total involvement, joy and love.

[author image=”” ]I am Ratika Bhardwaj,student of Bharati College,Delhi University.I am doing my graduation from English Honours.I usually like to read and write short poems and articles on social issues.[/author]

Areeba Seraj Khan ATH Featured Post Festivals Festivals Festivals

Remembering Sacrifices: Eid-ul-adha

Eid-ul-adha is the festival of ‘sacrifice’, which originates from an instance of the Islamic past. During the Eid-ul-adha celebration, Muslims commemorate and remember Prophet Ibrahim’s expression of love for his Lord which superseded all others,through his act of laying down his own life or the lives of those dear to him, in order to submit to God.

The instance was such, that once, Prophet Ibrahim got The Almighty Lord in his dream, asking him to sacrifice his most precious possession. He was ready at once and sacrificed whatever was precious to him. But he still continued to dream the same, daily. At last, he recognized that the most precious thing he had was his only son. Discovering this, he prepared himself to submit to the Lord’s will and when he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his sacrifice had already been fulfilled, by sending a sheep/ goat, in place of his son, leaving his son safe aside.

In the remembrance and honour of that sacrifice and love for the Lord, Muslims sacrifice animals, (whose meat is lawful to eat in Islam, such as sheep, goat, camel, buffalo etc.) the same way, taking the name of Allah every year at a certain period of time. This act is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.

People offering Namaz
People offering Namaz

On the first morning of Eid-ul-adha, Muslims around the world offer the morning prayer at Mosques. Prayer is followed by sacrifice of the animal and then visits with family and friends, to exchange greetings and meat.The meat from the sacrifice is mostly given away to others. It is divided into three equal parts, of which, one is distributed among the relatives and friends, the other one is kept for the own family while the third part is given to poor, who rarely get the chance to have proper food or meat etc.

The act signifies the willingness to give up for the sake of following the Lord’s command. On the other hand it also symbolises the willingness to give up and sacrifice, in order to strengthen the ties of friendship and help the needy. We recognize that all the blessings come from our Lord and we should open our hearts and share with others. It is this strength of faith, purity of heart and willing obedience, that our Lord desires from us.

Aapka Times wishes all of you a happy and prosperous Eid.

[This is written by Areeba Seraj Khan, student of Aligarh Muslim University pursuing B.Sc in Chemistry]