Visit Greece for a perfect romantic getaway!

The beautiful Balkan country of Greece spread across a sparkling blue Aegean Sea is much more than just a romantic getaway. With its picture perfect beauty and idyllic backdrop, the sun-kissed islands are sure to gift you with numerous dreamy stories to take back with you.

Search for your fairy-tale romance in the Greek islands, a perfect honeymoon destination bathed in sunlight all year long. Explore the islands on a cruise and enjoy sun-kissed beaches, superb natural landscapes, cosmopolitan resorts and traditional settlements alike or taste exquisite local dishes with your better half.

Santorini, Mykonos, and Corfu rank among the most popular romantic getaways in Greece, but don’t forget to pay a visit to the rest of the Aegean and Ionian islands as well!

A night out facing the Thermaic Gulf

Enjoy your drink or a glass of wine on one of the boat bars that sail in the Thermaic Gulf along Thessaloniki’s old beachfront. The cityscape bathed in the moonlight will steal your heart away!

A boating trip in Lake Kerkini

Opt for an unforgettable boating trip in the arms of nature in the calm waters of Lake Kerkini. This man-made lake is situated only 35 km NW of Serres town, amidst amazing natural surroundings, and it offers a beautiful view of Mt Beles and the valley of Rodopi. Flocks of rare bird species will keep you company while you enjoy your outing!

A swim under the moonlight

Go swimming with your better half under the moonlight in the tranquil waters of Schoinias beach. You can have this unique night swim experience only 50 km away from the center of Athens. Walk barefoot on the sand and enjoy your cocktail in one of the beach bars along the coast.

Natural spa on the Canal D’Amour beach

Visit the well-known Canal D’Amour beach in Sidari, Corfu Island. Explore the unique geological formations, swim in the cool waters, treat your body with the therapeutic grey mud of its rocks and feel all the goodness of a natural spa by the seashore.

A stroll in the castle of the knights

Hold hands with your loved one and wander along with the stone cobbled alleys of the medieval town on Rhodes Island and let the magic of fairy-tale surroundings take you on a journey through time!

A bicycle ride in Nafplio

Discover a new way to get around town that is more convenient, hygienic, economical and environmentally friendly. Travel to Nafplio and enjoy a bike ride along the coast facing the Argolic Gulf as well as the well-known castles Bourtzi and Palamidi.

A carriage ride on Spetses Island

Take a trip to lordly Spetses Island and enjoy your ride on a horse-driven carriage along the coastline. Admire the island’s mansions and the Old Seaport area. Make a stop at Poseidonio square and taste the local almond sweets that are traditionally offered in weddings and other happy occasions.

Travel by train

Board the train of a bygone era, which crosses the green Vouraikos gully and then climbs the steep mountainsides of Mt Helmos all the way to Kalavryta town. Sit back and relax in the historic rack railway carriages, known as Odontotos. Enjoy with your partner the route across this lovely part of Greek countryside accessible only by train.

Skiing under a starlit sky

If adventure is what both of you are after, then why not try your ski routines under the starlight? Every Saturday you can go for night skiing at Vasilitsa ski resort right in the heart of the Pindus range. Ski down the lighted pistes in the company of your loved one and feel the adrenaline rush in your body!

With so many romantic activities to pick from, Greece could be rated as the perfect choice of place to pop the question, to spend your honeymoon, to celebrate your anniversary, to have a great time on your first date, or to find your better half visiting idyllic locations.

(ANI)

Having multiple spouses can actually benefit women

The idea might sound a bit odd but having multiple spouses can be actually good for women, it has been found.

A new interesting study published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the Royal Society B’ has found that in certain societies, having multiple husbands is found to be beneficial to women in difficult times as they can buffer themselves against economic and social crisis.

“Our work suggests that marrying multiple men may be a wise strategy for women where the necessities of life are hard, and where men’s economic productivity and health can vary radically over their lifetime due to the challenging environmental conditions,” said lead researcher, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, UC Davis professor of anthropology.

Mulder collected data on births, deaths, marriages and divorces of all households in a western Tanzanian village over a span of two decades.
A longitudinal study like this is “much more reliable than records collected retrospectively,” said the study’s co-author, Cody Ross, currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig.

Working with the demographic data, they found that women who moved from spouse to spouse tended to have more surviving children, controlling for the number of years they had been married.

Men, on the other hand, tended to produce fewer surviving children with the individual women they married.

(ANI)

Planning romantic trip to the US? Do visit these spots

Are you planning your next dreamy trip to the USA? We have indexed the most exotic locations across the country for you.

Stay at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, California — It doesn’t get much more romantic than this historic and ultra-cosy hotel set against Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and Glacier Point.

The hotel was built in the 1920s. Between its dining, atmosphere, scenery and the magic of Yosemite, you’ll be hard-pressed to replicate another experience like it.

Hike part of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail at Washington State, Oregon and California — This National Scenic Trail spans California desert valleys to Northwestern rain forests, with starting points in Canada and Mexico. The trail is designated for its scenic significance and great elevation change, from near sea level to the crest of the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges.

Visit the Henderson Americana Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts at Hunt Hill Farm, New Milford, Connecticut — Litchfield County, Connecticut just has that quaint, country, New England feel. Not only does the Hunt Hill Farm offer an annual Valentine’s Day dinner and regular cooking and baking classes for adults and kids, but this cultural centre’s museum, gallery, beautiful grounds, and historical farm structures are a must-visit.
Take a winter mountaineering course — Grab your guy or girl and take a winter mountaineering course together in Lassen Volcanic National Park, Yosemite National Park, Mt. Shasta Wilderness, Inyo National Forest, Golden Trout Wilderness, Ansel Adams Wilderness, or any other winter wonderland. Build your partnership by expanding your hiking, climbing, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding and camping experiences together.
The night sky — Plan a late-night date, make some hot cocoa for two, bundle up and step outside to gaze at the dazzling heavens.

Travel the Pend Oreille Scenic Byway and take a ski trip at Ponderay, Idaho — With postcard-quality scenery, snowmobile, snowshoe or cross-country ski on this winter getaway and head to an idyllic holiday on the Continental Divide at Lost Trail Powder Mountain. Nothing tops off a day with your loved one better than cosying up in a winter ski cabin.

Explore the San Diego Natural History Museum at San Diego, California — Set in San Diego’s romantic Balboa Park (where lots of weddings take place), what began in 1874 as The San Diego Society of Natural History, was an effort by one group of amateur naturalists to understand the then-unknown area of Southern California and Baja. Now the museum interprets the natural world through research, education and its many exhibits.

Mountain Bike in Moab at Moab, Utah — Visit Moab, Utah for some of the best mountain biking on the planet. With trails for mountain bikers of every level, drastic colours, scenery and rock formations, such an active and magical trip will not only spark both of your adrenaline levels, but you’ll leave with memories that’ll stick with you forever.

Explore the South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium at Bradenton, Florida — Spend the day in awe of creatures that were once mistaken for mermaids, stunning life-size dioramas and dramatic exhibits, artefacts, fossils and human, maritime history. Surrounded by waterways, the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, a day in southwest Florida is bound to be delightful.

(ANI)

Ze-haal-e-miskin makun taghaful durae nainan banae batiyan

AMEER KHUSRAU

ze-hāl-e-miskīñ makun taġhāful durā.e naināñ banā.e batiyāñ
ki tāb-e-hijrāñ nadāram ai jaañ na lehū kaahe lagā.e chhatiyāñ

shabān-e-hijrāñ darāz chuuñ zulf o roz-e-vaslat chuuñ umr-e-kotāh
sakhī piyā ko jo maiñ na dekhūñ to kaise kāTūñ añdherī ratiyāñ

yakāyak az dil do chashm jaadū ba-sad-farebam ba-burd taskīñ
kise paḌī hai jo jā sunāve piyāre pī ko hamārī batiyāñ

chuuñ sham-e-sozāñ chuuñ zarra hairāñ z mehr-e-āñ-mah bagashtam āḳhir
na niiñd naināñ na añg chaināñ na aap aave na bheje patiyāñ

ba-haqq-e-āñ mah ki roz-e-mahshar ba-dād maarā fareb ‘ḳhusrav’
sapīt man ke durā.e rākhūñ jo jaa.e pā.ūñ piyā kī khatiyāñ

rekhta

Suna suna dil ka mujhe nagar lagta hai

suunā suunā dil kā mujhe nagar lagtā hai
apne saa.e se bhī aaj to Dar lagtā hai

baañT rahā hai dāman dāman merī chāhat
apnā dil bhī kisī saḳhī kā dar lagtā hai

mahrūmī ne jahāñ baserā DhūñD liyā hai
mujh ko to vo ghar bhī apnā ghar lagtā hai

merī barbādī meñ hissa hai apnoñ kā
mumkin hai ye baat ġhalat ho par lagtā hai

‘josh’ huuñ maiñ dīvane-pan kī us manzil meñ
jahāñ raqīb bhī apnā nāma-bar lagtā hai

The love-life of Jigar Moradabadi

Anisur Rahman

Jigar Moradabadi lived two lives of love and longing. In one, he was liked, loved, and then helplessly separated from his beloved; in another, he was accepted, rejected, and finally reunited with one who happened to be his wife once. One is a stormy narrative of his love with Raushan; another a saga of his bizarre bond with Naseema.

Raushan was a beauteous being par excellence. She came from an enlightened family and was the daughter of a senior government officer from Agra. She was enamoured by the poet Jigar who had made a name for himself and had cast his spell far and wide. As poets are hardly ever expected to be good grooms, Raushan’s parents found it hard to give their daughter’s hand to him. In a state of exasperation, both Raushan and Jigar decided to flee from Agra. Considering the times in which they lived, this was like taking a huge risk at the cost of familial reputation.

As they were set to leave, they thought that only a poet could come to their rescue in this delicate hour. Riaz Khairabadi, another poet of great repute, was their natural choice. When Jigar and Raushan arrived at his place, they were treated respectfully but soon Khiarabadi could sense that there was something scandalous about them. He also came to know that this matter had already reached the police. Fearing that they could be in trouble, he persuaded them to return but they did not like the idea.

They had to find another refuge and this time they moved to Moradabad where they met a benefactor in one S. M. Aqil. Aqil accepted them as his guest. Both Jigar and Raushan felt that they had found an angelic being in him without realising that this person had some ulterior motive and was going to betray them shortly. In fact, Aqil had got enamoured by Raushan and craved for her companionship. When he realised that he would not succeed, he wrote a letter to Raushan’s father saying that his daughter was with him and that he should come and get her back home to avoid the matter taking an ugly turn.

jigar-moradabadi, love, love-story, love-life

A few days later, Raushan’s elder brother arrived from Agra. As Aqil had pre-planned, he called the police and handed over Jigar to them. He also took the credit of bringing a kidnapper to book against whom a warrant had already been issued from Agra. Aqil kept Raushan’s elder brother for a few days as his guest but shocked him with the news that his sister was going to be a mother in a few months. Like a good samaritan, he offered to marry her and save her family’s honour. The helpless brother took him on his words and accepted his proposal. Leaving Raushan behind as Aqil’s wife, he left for Agra.

After completing his term in prison, when Jigar returned, he was shocked to learn that Raushan had been taken away from him in a surreptitious manner. He was totally broke now and grew furious, to say the least. He went berserk, treated himself cruelly, and banged his head against the wall. Although Aqil had succeeded in separating him from Raushan, he had miserably failed in winning her over. Seeing Jigar in such a state, a sympathetic zamindaar took pity and brought him back to his place. He soothed him in all possible ways and brought him to a nautch girl who had earned a name for herself as a musician and singer. She gave Jigar her sweet company and also taught him how to render his ghazals in a mushaira. The credit for turning Jigar into the finest mushaira poet of his time goes to her.

Raushan’s story took a strange turn subsequently. One day, she spoke sympathetically with Aqil. This was a pleasant surprise for him. In a tone of reconciliation she said, “Whatever had to happen; has happened; there’s no going back now. Now let me go to the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chsihti where I shall seek my peace”. Aqil argued much against this proposal but Raushan had decided not be swayed away by his argument any more. Finally, Aqil allowed her to leave for Ajmer but only on the condition that her going to Ajmer would be kept a secret from Jigar. A quiet lady by now, Raushan left for her new destination. Sometime later, it was learnt that she had breathed her last there.

jigar-moradabadi, love, love-story, love-life

Jigar was in a shattered state after his separation from that nautch girl. This is when he is said to have met a major fellow poet, Asghar Gondavia. Gondavi sympathised with him and soon became his friend. He persuaded him to stop drinking and develop a saner view of life. In order to rescue him from his suffering and give a direction to his life, he put him into a marital bond with his wife’s sister, Naseema. Brought into a marital relationship with this highly courteous and responsible lady, Jigar felt blessed but he could not keep away from drinking. Both Gondavi and Naseema tried their best but they could not bring a diehard drinker to become a teetotaler.

When Gondavi realised that his effort to keep Jigar in check had miserably failed, he thought of a new design to reform him. He made him believe that Naseema was not fit for him as they were living in a terrible relationship. He made him divorce her. To meet his plan, he first divorced his own wife and then entered into a marital relationship with Naseema. Jigar was extremely pained at this but he could do little as Gondavi had been his benefactor all through. In spite of the jolt he had received, he did not relinquish his habit of drinking. Gondavi remained deeply concerned as there was no sign of betterment in Jigar’s habit. An ageing Gondavi then made it into an unwritten treaty that when Jigar stops drinking, he should be married to Naseema. This shook Jigar thoroughly. An ashamed Jigar was overwhelmed by Gondavis’ gesture and stopped drinking.

When the appropriate time came, his second nikah with Naseema was solemnised. It is also said that Gondavi had not entered into nikah with Naseema but had only separated her from Jigar to help him see sense. It is corroborated by the fact that Gondavi’s wife stayed with him all through. With his noble acts, Gondavi brought equilibrium in Jigar’s life. Jigar was now a different being—completely reconciled and given to the spiritual ways of life. Incidentally, this was also the hallmark of Gondavi’s poetry.

Rekhta

रूहानी मिलन की बात…!

राजू उपाध्याय

ध्वंस में थोड़े सृजन की, बात होनी चाहिये।
तमस में नन्हीं किरन की,बात होनी चाहिये।

यदि सम्वेदना सर्द हों, और औंधी पड़ीं हो,
ऐसे में थोड़ी तपन की, बात होनी चाहिये।

आँसू के दर्दीले बादल,जब नैनो में बसते हों,
फिर तो सुनहरे सपन की,बात होनी चाहिये।

कोई दर्द हद से बढ़े ,एहसास भी मीठा लगे,
तब उपचार में जलन की, बात होनी चाहिये।

प्यास अधरों पर धरी हो इक नदी हो सामने,
इन्ही क्षणों में आचमन की,बात होनी चाहिये।

माना देह से परे है ,प्रेम का पावन फलसफा,
तो फिर रूहानी मिलन की,बात होनी चाहिये।