Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Before They Were Stars: Bollywood Edition

It's always a delight to see photos of celebrities before they shot to stardom. It makes the fact that they're normal human beings just like us even more believable. 

A while back, I posted a compilation of childhood pics (embarrassing yearbook photos included!) of Hollywood's hottest stars. And since I'm a huge fan of Bollywood too, I thought why not create a similar post especially for B-town celebs? So I took the liberty of Googling and saving some old photos of today's most talked-about Bollywood actors, and here are what I found:

Shraddha Kapoor
The Aashiqui 2 stunner wasn't always as flawless as she looks now, but
admit it, she's always had that infectious smile! Catch her next month 
in the Disney 3-D dance flick ABCD2 with Varun Dhawan!

Shahid Kapoor
Judging by the photo, looks like Shahid was quite a naughty boy back in
the day! Well, the Haider actor grew up to charm millions of hearts across
the globe. Too bad, he's off the market. Word is, he'll be tying the knot
with fiancée Mira Rajput in June!

Alia Bhatt
Don't you just want to pinch those cheeks? Alia has some of the cutest
baby photos on the web that I couldn't resist sharing two more with you! 

Ranveer Singh
Seems like the Gunday star was born to be in front of the camera! But
before joining the roster of Bollywood's hottest actors, did you know that
he completed a degree in Creative Writing?

Parineeti Chopra
Doesn't the photo on the left remind you of her avatar Meeta in Hasee Toh
? The ever smart and sassy Pari hadn't always seen herself becoming
an actor. She actually eyed a career in investment banking! Whuuut?

Sidharth Malhotra
The Ek Villain stud said in an interview with Zoom that he enjoyed an
active childhood, spending most of his days playing outdoors. He soon
took interest in sports like basketball and rugby. In his upcoming movie
Brothers, an official remake of the 2011 Hollywood drama film Warrior,
Sid will be exhibiting his skill in mixed martial arts.

Yami Gautam
Being part of thought-provoking movies like Vicky Donor and Badlapur
Yami Gautam is proving that she's on her way towards becoming one of 
Bollywood's hottest leading ladies.

Varun Dhawan
It's pretty hard to imagine that someone who played such a dark role in
Badlapur was once an innocent little cutie pie, who's nicknamed "Pappu"

Raise your hand if you can't wait to see Varun showcase his stellar
dance moves in ABCD2!
*raises both hands*


Friday, 6 March 2015


The countdown got louder and louder by the second. 

Three... Two... One! HOLI HAI! 

It is holi, and over two thousand excited voices screamed, as a colourful cloud of rice powder or gulal filled the late afternoon air. The scene was quite a sight to behold in a country where the world-famous Indian festival of colours is just gaining popularity. 

~ ~ ~

Last Sunday, I got the chance to take part in the Philippines' third official holi festival, organised by Asia Society, as a documentation volunteer.

All geared up

It has always been my dream to take photos of the holi festival, and since I don't think I'll be flying to India anytime soon (no matter how much I want to), I thought why not take pictures of the celebration in Manila? 

I originally planned to attend the event as a participant, but when I got in touch with the head organiser and she asked me if I'd be interested in volunteering for the festival, I didn't think twice and said yes.

My main task was to record videos during the event, but I took the liberty of snapping some photos whenever I got the chance to...

An adorable girl smiles as she assumes a yoga pose

Children filling rangoli patterns with colored sand.
(In India, they use rice powder - and not sand - to make rangoli.)

The gorgeous Manila Bay sunset

Needless to say, it was an incredibly fun afternoon. Everyone was in the mood to celebrate. Bollywood music blared from the speakers, and everybody was on their feet dancing, hands thrown up in the air.

It made me wonder, if people celebrate holi this grand and this colourful in Manila, what more in India? That thought made me want to book a ticket to my long-time dream destination even more. 

Knowing that we, uber-stressed university students, deserve a break every now and then from school, I invited some classmates and friends, who'd be interested to get "painted". Three members from our college paper came to cover the event and have fun, as well as two classmates of mine, with whom I fangirl over about Bollywood.

We danced (on the stage - no less!) to "London Thumakda" (a song from the soundtrack of the critically-acclaimed 2014 Bollywood film "Queen"), posed for pictures at the photo booth, lined up to get henna tattoos done (okay, except for me, because I knew I'd just smudge the design while shooting videos), painted each other, laughed at how silly we looked, gorged on some yummy Indian food, and danced some more until early evening. 

I couldn't remember the last time I had so much fun with college friends. Thesis and a ton of papers to write kept us from enjoying ourselves for so long that we already needed to be reminded about what "happiness" meant. And as it turned out, Holi Manila was all that we needed. 

Inked! (Well, kinda.)

Manila thumakda :)


Holi Manila 2015 sure is a memory for keeps!

Check out the post-event blog entry of Asia Society Philippines right here:

***Holi is a festival from India also known as the "festival of colours". It is celebrated on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (which often falls on March) to welcome the season of spring. During holi, people throw colored rice powder or "gulal" at each other and up in the air to depict the colours of spring. Holi is also a time to celebrate unity.

Wishing you all a happy and colourful Holi :)


Monday, 23 February 2015

Cheese-Filled French Toast

Let sweet and salty flavours brighten up your morning with this super simple breakfast recipe. Actually, this is my mum's version of the classic favourite French toast, and I just kinda tried replicating it today out of hunger, and also because I wanted something nice to eat while watching the 2015 Oscars. Haha! 

Cheese-filled French Toast


1 Egg
1/8 Cup condensed milk
Sliced bread

* * *

1. In a bowl, combine the egg and condensed milk. Lightly beat the mixture.

2. Top a slice of bread with your choice of cheese (I used Kraft's Cheddar cheese, which is available in Philippine supermarkets).

3. Place another slice of bread on top of the cheese-filled slice, and press down until the slices flatten.

4. This step is optional, but for easy serving, you can cut the bread into quarters.

5. Coat the slices with the egg-and-milk mixture.

6. Fry until golden brown.

7. Serve and enjoy!
***You can dust your French toast with powder sugar or top it with syrup.


Friday, 16 January 2015

7 Times Sidharth Malhotra Proved His Hotness

Sidharth Malhotra is undeniably one of the hottest rising stars in the glitzy world of Bollywood. And as he celebrates his 30th birthday today, allow me to take my fangirl feels to the next level by listing down the seven times he got us all swooning over him.

Sid as hot nerd Abhimanyu Singh in Student of the Year

1. When his debut movie scene was a musical sequence about how handsome he is, because - well - he just is!

2. When he made you thirsty - like, parched-dehydrated thirsty - in all his shirtless glory.

***His well-built physique made him the first man to be featured twice on the cover of Men's Health India.

Left: 22-year-old Sid on the February 2007 cover of Men's Health India
Right: Seven years later (April 2014), Sid graced the magazine's cover once again looking more
buff with the flair of a true B-Town star.

3. When he tried playing the role of a bad guy but ended up looking  evilishly adorable instead.

With "Ek Villain" co-star Shraddha Kapoor

4. When he seemed effortlessly suave in his GQ India photo shoot.

Check out these behind the scenes clips!

***Before hitting it big in Bollywood, Sidharth Malhotra has done modelling jobs.

5. When he revealed that he loves doodling and drawing cartoons during his free time. 

6. When he showed off his sometimes-cool-sometimes-awkward dance moves in Hasee Toh Phasee.

***Yeah, shake it like Shammi!

7. When he urged his fans to practise animal birth control as part of PeTA's campaign to end animal homelessness. 

***He has a boxer named Oscar to keep him company in his Mumbai home. (OK, I'm honestly not a dog lover - I'm actually super scared of them - but how would I even bother freaking out over a dog when Sid's around? Haha!)


Happy birthday, Sidharth MalHOTra! 
Never stop being awesome!


***NOTE: I do not own any of the photos used in this post.