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What are the benefits of drinking black Coffee?
Drinking black coffee has numerous health benefits as it is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. Let’s have a look at some of the most health benefits of drinking black coffee. Drinking four or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily lowered the risk of colon cancer recurrence or death by 52 percent compared to those who drank no coffee. Drinking two or three cups per day was also beneficial, lowering the risk of recurrence or death by 31 percent. Coffee’s benefit is due in part to beneficial antioxidants and in part due to caffeine, which increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin, reducing inflammation – a risk factor for cancer and other chronic diseases. Coffee drinking has long been viewed as more of a vice or a crutch to get a quick energy boost to power through the day, but this view is now changing as the health benefits of coffee continue to be revealed. This is good news for those of you who sip on a cup of joe in the morning, as it turns out this may be a quite healthy way to start your day. However, please remember that coffee is one of the most heavily pesticide sprayed crops in the world. If you drink it please be sure to get organic and ideally fair traded, This is less than 3% of all coffee. Black coffee contains low fat and calories. It is loaded with antioxidants properties and nutrition. It helps to boost your physical stamina.
Reduces risk of cancer
Cancer has become one of the biggest killers in today’s world. The compound in coffee helps in preventing certain types of cancer such as liver, breast, colon and rectal cancer. Coffee reduces inflammation which is one of the main reasons behind the development of tumour. Among people with advanced (stage III) colon cancer, drinking four or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily lowered the risk of cancer recurrence or death during the study by 52 percent compared to those who drank no coffee. Drinking two or three cups per day was also beneficial, lowering the risk of recurrence or death by 31 percent. The researchers stressed that other caffeinated beverages, such as soda, did not have the same effect. No link was found between decaffeinated coffee and risk of colon cancer recurrence either. Further, a causal link was not found. This means it could simply be that coffee drinkers tend to follow a healthier overall lifestyle that’s contributing to the lower risk. However, the antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds in coffee have been linked to a lower chronic disease risk before. In fact, coffee has been linked to a lower risk type 2 diabetes as well, a condition known to increase the risk of colon cancer. It’s likely that compounds in coffee may lower the risk of multiple chronic diseases via similar pathways. As reported by the New York Times: “The researchers’ hypothesis is that the factors that increase risk for Type 2 diabetes, such as obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and high insulin levels, also drive colon cancer, Dr. [Charles S.] Fuchs [director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston] said. And many studies have shown that coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk for Type 2 diabetes, a chronic illness that may increase the risk of colon cancer. ‘We believe that activating the energy pathways that contribute to heart disease and diabetes is also relevant for the proliferation of cancer cells,’ Dr. Fuchs said, while also stressing that more research was needed. The analysis determined the lowered risk associated with coffee was… because of the caffeine. One hypothesis is that caffeine increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, so it requires less of the hormone. That, in turn, may reduce inflammation, which is a risk factor for diabetes and cancer.”
What Else Does the Research Say About Coffee and Cancer?
While a number of individual studies have suggested coffee consumption might increase your cancer risk, when multiple studies are analyzed, such as is the case with meta-analyses, the association disappears, and, in fact, becomes protective. For instance, one 2007 meta-analysis found an increase in consumption of two cups of coffee per day was associated with a 43 percent reduced risk of liver cancer – a finding that has been confirmed by more recent research. Not to mention, coffee appears to have additional benefits for liver health, slowing down the progression of liver disease to cirrhosis, improving responses in people with hepatitis C, and lowering the risk of death in people with cirrhosis. The potential benefit of coffee for liver health appears so strong that researchers have stated daily coffee consumption should be encouraged in people with chronic liver disease. Another meta-analysis involving 59 studies revealed an increase in consumption of one cup of coffee per day was associated with a 3 percent reduced risk of cancers. According to the researchers: “[C]offee drinking was associated with a reduced risk of bladder, breast, buccal and pharyngeal, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, hepatocellular, leukemic, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.” There’s even research showing coffee consumption could lower your risk of skin cancer. Drinking four cups of caffeinated coffee daily might reduce your risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. According to researchers: “[C]offee constituents suppress UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis, induce cell apoptosis, protect against oxidative stress and DNA damage, reduce inflammation in epidermal cells, and inhibit changes in DNA methylation.” Women who consumed more than three cups of coffee a day had a significantly lower risk of basal cell carcinoma (non-melanoma skin cancer) than those who consumed less than one cup per month.
Roasted Coffee Contains More Than 1,000 Compounds, Many of Which May Help Fight Cancer
Coffee has multiple potential anti-cancer pathways. As mentioned, caffeine is one of them, as its been shown to both stimulate and suppress tumors depending on the cancer and when it’s administered. Polyphenols in coffee, such as lignan phytoestrogens, flavonoids, and polyphenols are also known to have anti-cancer properties, as does caffeic acid, which inactivates several pathways involved in the development of tumors – including cell cycle regulation, inflammatory and stress response, and apoptosis. Researchers noted in the journal BMC Cancer: “There are two specific diterpenes in coffee, cafestol and kahweal, which produce biological effects compatible with anti-carcinogenic properties, including the induction of phase II enzymes involved in carcinogen detoxification, specific inhibition of the activity of phase I enzyme responsible for carcinogen activation, and stimulation of intracellular antioxidant defense mechanisms. Coffee is also a major source of the chlorogenic acid that contributes to its antioxidant effect. Intake of chlorogenic acid has been shown to reduce glucose concentrations in rats and intake of quinides, degradation products of chlorogenic acid, increases insulin sensitivity. Chronic hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance are confirmed markers of high risk for some cancer sites.”
Makes you age gracefully
Having black coffee without sugar keeps your mind and body young. Black coffee also helps in preventing Parkinson’s disease by boosting the dopamine levels in the body.
Lower the tendency of premature death
Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has even shown that coffee consumption is inversely associated with premature death. The more coffee drank, the lower the risk of death became, including deaths from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections.
It boosts memory
Increasing age leads to decreased cognitive skills and increased risk of Dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Having black coffee in the morning enhances the brain function. Black coffee helps the brain to stay active and thus helps in boosting the memory power. It also keeps the nerves active which in turn keeps dementia at bay. Studies say regular consumption of black coffee reduces risk of Alzheimer’s by 65 per cent and Parkinson’s by 60 per cent.
Improves performance during workout
One of the biggest and best benefits of black coffee is that it drastically improves your physical performance and helps you to give your 100 per cent during a workout session. This is the reason why your gym trainer asks you to have black coffee before you come for workout. It works by increasing Epinephrine (Adrenaline) levels in the blood, which prepares the body for intense physical exertion. It also breaks down stored body fat and releases fat cells into the blood stream in the form of free fatty acids which can be used as fuel for strenuous physical activities.
Beneficial for liver
Liver is one of the most vital organs of our body as it performs so many important functions. And did you know your liver loves black coffee? Black coffee helps prevent liver cancer, hepatitis, fatty liver disease and alcoholic cirrhosis. People who drink 4 or more cups of black coffee everyday have 80 per cent lower chances of developing any liver disease. Coffee helps by lowering the level of harmful liver enzymes in the blood.
Makes you intelligent
Coffee has a psychoactive stimulant which when reacts with the body, has the ability to improve energy, mood, cognitive functioning and thus makes you smart over a period of time.
Cleanses your stomach
Coffee is a diuretic beverage thus it makes you want to urinate often. So, that is why when you drink black coffee without sugar, all the toxins and bacteria are flushed out easily in the form of urine. This helps to clean your stomach.
Helps in weight loss
Black coffee helps in rapid weight loss by making you work out more if you have it 30 minutes before you hit the gym. Black coffee helps to boost metabolism by approximately 50 percent. It also burns the fat in the tummy since it is a fat burning beverage. It also stimulates the nervous system which signals the body to break down the fat cells and use them as a source of energy as opposed to glycogen.
Improves cardiovascular health
Though drinking black coffee on a regular basis increases the blood pressure temporarily but this effect diminishes over time. Drinking 1 -2 cups of black coffee everyday reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases including stroke. Black coffee also reduces the inflammation level in the body.
Powerhouse of antioxidants
Black coffee is the powerhouse of antioxidants. Black coffee contains Vitamin B2, B3, B5, Manganese, potassium and magnesium.
Coffee Is the Number One Source of Antioxidants in the US. Another reason why coffee may have such dramatic effects on Americans’ health is because it is the number one source of antioxidants in the US diet. The research, which was presented at the 230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, showed that Americans get more antioxidants from drinking coffee than from any other dietary source, with researchers noting “nothing else even comes close.” Examples of the antioxidants in coffee include significant amounts of hydrocinnamic acid and polyphenols. Antioxidants are nature's way of providing your cells with adequate defense against attack by reactive oxygen species (ROS) or free radicals. Free radicals are a type of a highly reactive metabolite that is naturally produced by your body as a result of normal metabolism and energy production. They are your natural biological response to environmental toxins like cigarette smoke, sunlight, chemicals, cosmic, and manmade radiation, and are even a key feature of pharmaceutical drugs. Your body also produces free radicals when you exercise and when you have inflammation anywhere in your body. As long as you have these important micronutrients, your body will be able to resist aging caused by your everyday exposure to pollutants. If you don't have an adequate supply of antioxidants to help squelch free radicals, then you can be at risk of oxidative stress, which leads to accelerated tissue and organ damage. While fruits, such as berries, and vegetables are ideal sources of antioxidants, many Americans don’t eat the recommended amounts each day. This is why coffee, which is consumed widely on a daily basis, represents such a large dietary share of antioxidants. If you’re not a coffee drinker, you can easily boost your antioxidant intake by eating fresh produce – and even if you do drink coffee, getting your antioxidants from a wide variety of sources is still important.
Decreases diabetes risk
Drinking black coffee daily helps to reduce the risk of diabetes which in later age can lead to organ damage and heart diseases. It was seen people who drank 2 or less cups of coffee had increased risk of diabetes. Coffee helps in controlling diabetes by increasing insulin production. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee help in prevention of diabetes.
Makes you happy
Drinking black coffee improves your mood and thus makes you happy. It is also one of the best remedies to fight depression. Have 2 cups of black coffee every day to keep depression at bay.
Reduces stress and depression
Too much work pressure and tension can lead to depression and stress which in turn can cause many serious health issues. But having a black cup of coffee when you feel tensed or low can boost your mood instantly and make things better. Coffee stimulates the central nervous system and increases the production of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, important neurotransmitters that elevate the mood.
Protects against gout
Research shows people who drank more than 4 cups of black coffee has 57 per cent reduced risk of gout. The powerful antioxidants present in coffee reduces the risk of developing gout by decreasing the level of insulin and uric acid in the body. Even if you have gout, it helps to relieve its symptoms.
The Benefits of Coffee: From Your Heart to Your Brain
The benefits of coffee are becoming so well established that, for the first time, a government advisory committee included a mention of caffeine in its recommendations for the 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The report said Americans could safely consume up to five cups of coffee a day, or approximately 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, with no detrimental effects. The recommendation was based on an evaluation of multiple meta-analyses and other studies evaluating the link between coffee and chronic diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Here’s a sampling of what the research shows:
In a study of more than 25,000 people, those who drank a moderate amount of coffee – defined as three to five cups daily – were less likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries than those who drank no coffee or more coffee daily. A large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term "hardening of the arteries." Coronary artery calcium can be a significant predictor of future heart disease risk. In addition, one study showed moderate coffee drinking reduces your chances of being hospitalized for heart rhythm problems. Another study found it may trigger a 30 percent increase in blood flow in your small blood vessels, which might take some strain off your heart. Another study, a meta-analysis that included data from 11 studies and nearly 480,000 people found drinking two to six cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk of stroke.
Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease
Drinking four to six cups of coffee a day is associated with a lower risk of multiple sclerosis, as is drinking a high amount of coffee over five to 10 years. According to researchers, “Caffeine has neuroprotective properties and seems to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.” Higher coffee and caffeine intake are also associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Caffeine promotes production of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, and triggers the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, thereby improving your brain health. Among people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), those with higher blood levels of caffeine (due to coffee consumption) were less likely to progress to full-blown dementia. “Caffeine/coffee intake is associated with a reduced risk of dementia or delayed onset, particularly for those who already have MCI,” the researchers said.
The 30 Cheapest Places To Travel In 2017, if your new year resolution is to Travel
Time to start packing your bags: 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for budget travel. The dollar is enjoying historic highs — meaning your money goes much further in many destinations around the globe — and according to an American Express Global Business Travel report, airfares are expected to fall in 2017.
1. Mazatlan, Mexico
Why: The current exchange rate ($1 = 20.69 Mexican pesos) makes Mexico one of the most affordable destinations.
For the frugal traveler who wants to enjoy more culture than they might in the Riviera Maya, my top pick is Mazatlan. As the shrimp capital of Mexico and a foodie paradise, Mazatlan is teeming with awesome eateries and fresh, interesting dishes. Hotels (including all-inclusive properties) are extremely inexpensive and authentic since most aren't part of the huge chains. El Cid Marina has awesome pools that are perfect for families, great food and huge rooms. (Rates are as low as $100 for a family of four.)
You can also enjoy superb dining at a top-notch restaurant like Casa 46 for less than half what you'd pay in the United States.
Side note: Sinaloa (the state where Mazatlan resides) grows the bulk of produce in Mexico, so Mazatlan produce is unbelievably cheap as a result. You see this reflected in top restaurants all the way down to street markets.
2. South Africa
Why: In South Africa, the exchange rate is in our favor, but so is the fact that it's a developed tourist destination with a solid infrastructure. In spending a month in Cape Town earlier this year and relying on Uber to get me to and from meetings, activities and lunches, I averaged under $20 in transportation per day — a major win.
Hotels are cheaper, too: Take a standard room at Taj Hotels & Resorts in New York, and you are out about $786 a night, whereas in Cape Town, a room at a similar luxury property costs $266. Remember, South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, so seasons are the opposite: Consider going in low season (our summer) when hotels and safari lodges are even less expensive.
Airbnb and private villa rentals are also reliable and cheap options in the major cities. Travelers should also consider booking domestic airfare in advance for the greatest cost savings, since flights on South African Airways can sell out quickly.
The best value of all is the wine: Travelers can order a glass of one of the best locally produced varietals for less than the cost of a can of soda. For more information on travel in South Africa, watch "Michaela's Map: First Timers' Guide to Southern Africa."
3. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Why: The best way to get a deal in the Caribbean is to travel during the low season (end of April through mid-December) to destinations that have direct and frequent fights from your gateway; plenty of hotel inventory; and economies that aren't euro-based.
Puerto Rico fits the bill, and I'm a big fan of San Juan, which I think is seriously underrated as an easy and affordable getaway, especially for visitors from the East Coast of the U.S. Old San Juan oozes charm, and if you stay within the old city's two-square-mile radius you won't need a car rental to access great restaurants, sightseeing and shopping.
U.S. citizens can save themselves the cost of a passport since it's not required to visit, and since the U.S. dollar is the legal tender, there's no money lost on currency exchange. Hotel Casa Blanca and Villa Herencia are two of my favorite high-style/low-cost boutique hotels.
Why: Europe is on everyone's list of value-added trips this year and for good reason — the exchange rate is more favorable for American travelers than it has been in years. But the destinations I most dream about and long to return to are in South America, a destination that has long given travelers great value for money.
In Chile, I love Santiago for its vibrant food and wine scene — think tucked-away wine bars, delicious tapas and hip hotels in a beautifully chaotic city. For a lesser-known and truly special corner of the world, I love the small lakeside town of Puerto Varas. It is part of the lakes district in Chile and the northern start of Patagonia.
It is easy (and cheap!) to rent a car and explore this area. There is a surprising German heritage, so you'll see signs for "kuchen" (cake). With Puerto Varas as a hub, you can explore great places within a two-hour drive from the city: going to the top of a volcano, exploring waterfalls, finding the best cakes and food.
This area sees very few American visitors and everything is CHEAP. It's one of those places I almost want to keep to myself, but it's so special that I can't.
Why: With the U.S. dollar strong against the euro right now and the economic crisis in Greece keeping prices lower than other parts of Europe, it’s the perfect time to visit the beautiful island of Crete. Crete is a foodie dream come true.
A place where farm-to-table isn’t a new fad, it’s a way of life. The people here often live to be well over 100 years old so they must be doing something right! With truly stunning natural beauty (like Balos beach) and locals that welcome tourists with open arms, you are bound to have the trip of a lifetime and save a few dollars at the same time.
Why: For many, Morocco is the ultimate dream trip, and yet cost tends to keep most from visiting. But what you might not know is that it's one of the most affordable African countries, particularly when comparing flight costs. R
eaching Marrakech from cities such as Lisbon, Madrid and Paris may only set you back $40 to $100 roundtrip with many budget airlines. And this past Black Friday, flights from New York were a mere $400 roundtrip.
Food is by far my main reason for visiting as often as I do, and typical meals can range from $2.50 to $15 for two, which includes appetizers, entree and unlimited mint tea. For vegetarians and vegans, the country is especially great, as veggies are cheaper than meat and fresh fruit smoothies are barely $1.
Souvenir shopping can get a bit intense when you realize leather goods such as wallets, handbags and weekenders run from $5 to $60. (A shopaholics dream!) When it comes to accommodations there's something to fit everyone's budget, my favorite being Riad Yasmine (only $80-$160 per night).
For those looking for Moroccan luxury while still on a budget, my go-to is Riad Kheirredine, which will have you living like a queen without breaking the bank and even provides a cell phone during your stay to ensure guest safety.
Why: Modern conveniences and history collide in Belize. It's a perfect place to take a budget romantic vacation. Many of the four-star hotels offer extras, like bicycle rentals, included in their low rates, as well as Belize's excellent local wines.
Some affordable resorts to check out are George Hardie's Las Vegas Hotel in Corozal (Northern Belize) and the oceanside Royal Caribbean Resort in San Pedro along Ambergris Caye. Both can be booked for under $100 per night.
Meals are also crazy cheap, but delicious. Two can eat at an upscale restaurant for less than $30, and much less at an everyday venue.
Why: Affordable upscale accommodations, cheap and remarkably healthy food and beautiful sights make Vietnam a standout among budget-friendly South Asian destinations.
Eat your way through historic Hanoi, kayak in the emerald waters of Halong Bay or relax in ancient Hoi An and the nearby beaches. There are clean, safe accommodations to fit everyone's wallet. In Hanoi, my favorite is the Tirant Hotel, near the old town, where you can bag a room for less than $70 a night.
Don't miss the Hanoi street food tour: For just $20 per person, a guide will lead you on foot or by scooter through backstreets, markets and footpaths.
You will eat like the locals and learn the names and ingredients in the dishes so you can order them again. And be sure to take the time to sip a bowl of steaming "pho" noodle soup in restaurants, push carts and food stalls, where a street meal and a beer can cost the same as a caramel macchiato at Starbucks.
9. Costa Rica
Why: Costa Rica is the one of the most biodiverse places on the planet and to be able to see this on a shoestring is an incredible opportunity.
There's a ton of national parks to explore, for instance, that only cost a few dollars to enter. Once there, you can then enjoy free self-guided walks that won't cost you a cent, but will deliver some great encounters with amazing wildlife like tapirs, monkeys, sloths and macaws.
Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Parks are two of the best. Public transport is also super cheap in Costa Rica, with buses generally less than $10, even for an eight-hour ride. This makes traveling between destinations in this compact country very affordable and means you can see a lot in a short amount of time.
In addition, budget accommodation in Costa Rica — even at some of the best surf beaches — can be as little as $6 per person. And a "plato tipico" (local dish) can be enjoyed anywhere for as little as $2-3.
Why: Portugal is a pocket of affordable travel in contrast to the rest of Western Europe, especially if you get off the highways and take the back roads (where you can also avoid tolls).
A bottle of delicious port and a plate of the day with a glass of wine can be found for around €5 each. Nowhere else in the world can its "California Highway 1 meets Tuscany" landscapes be enjoyed on such a budget, especially now that the dollar is strong against the euro.
Why: Although Ecuador is not quite as inexpensive as Peru to the south, it’s an easy and affordable destination to travel to, especially if you stay a bit off the beaten path. It’s a short cheap flight from Florida with budget airlines like jetBlue and TAME, and accommodation is pretty cheap.
Shop at your local market and you can get a week’s worth of groceries for $10. And Ecuador has lots of variety; from surf beach towns like Montanita, to the volcanic Banos with famed hot springs at the gateway to the Amazon basin, to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cuenca in the high Andes, there’s a lot to see. The bus systems are good and domestic flights cheap and plentiful. F
ind a free accommodation option like house-sitting or volunteering, and your trip can be even cheaper.
Why: Barcelona is ranked right up there with cities like Paris and London as one of the most popular European cities, but it is by far the most affordable. This is thanks to low-cost tapas restaurants, endless free attractions and affordable things to do.
Have a meal of tapas and wine at El Xampanyet for around €10-15. Soak up the rays on the beach at Barceloneta. Get lost in the La Boqueria Market.
And take the tram up to Tibidabo (only €5) for sweeping panoramic views of the city; it's also where you can experience a vintage amusement park and a gorgeous cathedral.
13. Where: Guatemala
Why: Often bypassed in favor of nearby Costa Rica, Guatemala is unique unto itself in Central America. And because it's a bit more "off the path" in the region, it's also easy on the budget and a nice place to splurge.
The villas and hotels rimming Lake Atitlán have all the beauty you could want for a small fraction of the price you'd pay in Europe or elsewhere. From the lake, you can then delve into the country's unique culture by visiting the indigenous markets and villages in the Guatemalan highlands.
Lush Atitlan is a gorgeous, affordable place to stay in San Marcos La Laguna, the prettiest and most culturally interesting of Lake Atitlan's villages.
14. Bonaire & Curaçao
Why: In the deep Southern Caribbean, Bonaire and Curaçao are always out there on the edge of everyone's Caribbean consciousness. Both are known for scuba diving, but also for other water sports, hiking and amazing secluded beaches.
Vacation villas that let you live like a local are plentiful and affordable on both islands, but chain hotels like the Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino are an option on Curaçao (great if you're using points).
Bonaire gets its very first chain hotel at the end of 2016 when a Marriott Courtyard opens.
15. Las Vegas
Why: If you can avoid the slots, there are lots of free things to do in Vegas: The Flamingo's flamingo habitat, the fountains and conservatory at the Bellagio and the outdoor movies at the Container Park are just a few.
You can also find many places for cheap eats if you are willing to get off The Strip to do so. Check out the nearby Crown and Anchor, which serves up delicious British favorites, and Ninja Teriyaki Sushi 2 Go for fresh-made amazing sushi rolls in a no-frills setting.
Why: Sadly, the average income in Cambodia is about $950 per year. What does this mean for international travelers? Your international airfare might be expensive, but once you are in Cambodia, you can live well. Tuks tuks (a combo bike/taxi) and food cost just pennies. Even international hotel chains and luxury river boats down the Mekong are more affordable than other Asian destinations.
Before visiting, I suggest doing your homework to support luxury companies like the Shinta Mani Resort, whose foundation plays a large role in its community, building water wells, schools and farms and providing the best healthcare in the country to its employees. Culturally conscious companies like Aqua Expeditions sustainably introduce their guests to the communities along the Mekong River, including the floating markets and the farmers in the rice fields; the company can even arrange a conversation with a local Buddhist monk to discuss the significance of his journey from childhood to monkhood.
Why: If you're looking into an exotic long-haul trip, Bali offers a ton of high quality experiences for a great value. You can easily stay in a private villa overlooking stunning rice paddies with a private pool for around $50 per night. (Airbnb is a great way to go).
However, if you want to splurge a bit but not go overboard, a stay at a high-end luxury resort will still cost you less than a stay at a luxury resort, for example, in Maui. Not to mention, spa and transportation costs are quite low relative to other exotic locales, as well as the amazing and healthy food options that end up being a fraction of the cost elsewhere in the world.
Why: The weakened euro has made any trip to Europe more affordable, but this is especially true in Greece. The struggling economy craves tourist dollars and makes it known with affordable pricing on everything from hotels to food.
In Athens, you can book a three- or four-star hotel for well under $100, like 360 Degrees, a nice and modern hotel with a huge breakfast buffet included and an awesome location directly on Monastiraki Square.
Throughout the countryside, prices may be even better. Best of all, you can sit down to an amazing Greek meal with drinks (Mythos or Ouzo?), appetizers (Saganaki, anyone?) and entrees of your choosing for less than half what you'd pay in the States. Heck, you can pick up Souvlaki or a gyro for $1-$2. Souvenirs are insanely cheap, too.
Why: This forgotten corner of Europe is a wonderfully off-the-beaten-track budget destination in an otherwise very touristy and expensive continent.
With fantastic beaches along its coastline, including the fishing port of Saranda, Albania gives visitors the chance to enjoy the Mediterranean waters for a fraction of the usual price. Accommodation starts from as little as $5 per person and fishing trips or boat rides to the nearby islands are similarly well priced.
There's also some fascinating historical sites across Albania that are either free to enter or cost only $2-$5. From the moutainous medieval town of Gjirokastër to the Roman ruins at Butrint, this is a diverse and very different side of Europe, which is definitely worth visiting before the crowds do.
20. San Luis Potosí, México
Picture a perfect class III white water rafting experience through a limestone canyon of turquoise waters, a visit to a living garden of eden, complete with art sculptures, hidden pools, butterflies and waterfalls, a hike to the largest known cave shaft in the world, which you can rappel into, and a series of waterfalls for cliff jumping.
Top this all off with a plate of homemade tacos and a local beer for $2, and you've got yourself a piece of adventure paradise on a budget.
Still very much under the radar to anyone outside of Mexico, San Luis Potosí could be compared to Costa Rica in terms of adventure and Cambodia in terms of affordability. Since Election Day, the dollar has been especially strong in Mexico, offering an even better excuse to travel south of the border.
21. Quebec City, Canada
Why: Take advantage of the weak Canadian dollar and travel north for a 25% discount on prices.
Enjoy a slice of Old Europe without the jet lag or the cost of a transatlantic flight. Indulge in some of the best French food outside France — steak-frites, oysters and pastries at a bargain price. Stroll and shop in the narrow cobblestone streets of the picturesque Old Town and enjoy night parades and ice canoe races during the colorful Winter Festival in January and February.
22. Buenos Aires
Why: One of the world's most intoxicating cities, Buenos Aires has only grown in popularity, but it's still relatively cheap compared to European and Asian capital cities. There are many green parks, French-inspired architecture, late-night dancing, custom leather shops and fantastic food.
Taxis are relatively cheap (around $5-8 a ride), but you should also walk for miles in all of the distinct neighborhoods, like Palermo (try Salon Canning, a super casual milonga, or dance hall, after midnight). Must-try cheap eat in Buenos Aires: anything dulce de leche. It is everywhere — inside crepes, drizzled over grilled bananas and in gelato.
Tip: Bring a ton of American cash and you'll get better deals in many places. For example, I bought my custom leather jacket at a shop called Uru Recoleta (close to the famous Recoleta Cemetery) and was able to buy it for much less than using my credit card because I brought American dollars.
On Sundays, the place to be is the San Telmo market for browsing leather, antiques, watches, jewelry and more.
Why: While Haiti still remains under the radar as a travel destination, many people have been flocking to the vibrant country, and I can see why: The island provides all the stunning Caribbean characteristics without the high costs. Outside of holiday seasons and the later part of the summer, flights from New York range from $300 to $500, and even cheaper when flying from cities in Florida.
The real gem is how cheap the hotels are, with many starting at $50 to $150 per night including airport transfers. Even the newest Marriott Port-au-Prince will only set you back $130 to under $200 a night for larger rooms.
One of my favorites is Wahoo Bay Beach, which has epic mountain and ocean views from its stunning pool and rooms. You can take small boat tours around the area for a couple of dollars per person. Lobster, conch and crab can be caught right from the water and prepared for you without costing more than $10.
24. Santa Catalina Island, California
Why: Santa Catalina Island is one of my new favorite places. It is way more than a weekend SoCal jaunt. Hotels are quaint and average under the $200 per night mark. The Avalon Hotel is a charming choice. It’s right in the center of town, making it an easy walk to almost any activity. There is plenty to do, like kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, ziplining, hiking or just beach sitting.
The Catalina Island Museum is a must-visit stop to get the full story of the island's fascinating history, including its Hollywood connection. Food and shopping choices are extensive.
And you don’t need a rental car. Getting to the island is easy: Catalina Express Ferry whisks you to there from three different ports, Long Beach, Dana Point and San Pedro. I prefer Long Beach because flights there are often lower priced than neighboring LAX.
Why: With 17,000 islands, you are bound to find the ideal paradise to suit your travel and budget in Indonesia.
There are stunning untouched beaches that offer world-class snorkelling and scuba diving in Raja Ampat, fascinating Unesco World Heritage Sites dating back to the 9th century in Yogyakarta and — everywhere you turn — the friendliest locals. In Raja Ampat, we found a homestay that included breakfast, lunch and dinner — plus it was right on the beach for around $29 USD per person per night. For more, see Food Fun Travel's "Bali Food Guide."
Why: The entire Balkans region is an excellent option for budget travel, and if you haven't been before, I recommend starting with Bulgaria.
From wine country to snowy peaks to the Black Sea coast, it's an adventure playground that every budget can afford. In Bulgaria's wine country you can get a full winery tour with multiple tastings plus bread and cheese for about $5 (check out Villa Melnik winery), take a hike through Bulgaria's famous sandstone pyramids and then sleep in a beautiful authentic style hotel like Zlaten Rozhen with breakfast included for about $30.
27. Cusco, Peru
Why: Most people who pass through Cusco are en route to the very popular Machu Picchu, but you should make sure to spend a few days, maybe even a few weeks in this colorful city. Not only is the city absolutely stunning and oozing with culture, most accommodations range from $20 to $100 a night. Peruvian textiles are extremely affordable and the vibrant colors are stunning.
Eating out in Cusco can be extremely cheap, if you know where to eat. Restaurants are quite affordable compared to most American and European restaurants, but street food here is the real winner. I'm personally addicted to ceviche and can't find it cheaper than $15 for a small portion in the states, but in Cusco's San Pedro Market you can find ceviche plus Peruvian fried rice for only $3.
On my last trip, I had steak and ceviche nearly every day and never spent more than $15 for two including a drink and soup.
Why: Meagen Collins: This ancient European country is starting to grab the attention of travelers from all over the world. Georgia has so much to offer — beautiful scenery, unique culture and tradition everywhere you look, and the food will leave you drooling for more.
Add to that the fact this country lays claim to being the birthplace of wine (winemaking here goes back 8,000 years) and you have the ultimate new travel destination.
In Georgia, you can get a full meal plus copious amounts of wine for two people in a higher end restaurant, with live entertainment and still spend less than $30 — total. But get there fast: Word is getting around about this little gem and it won’t be tourist-free for long.
Why: This country is one of Africa's best budget travel destinations, with some extremely affordable accommodation situated along white sand beaches and next to an azure ocean. (Check out Villa Sands or Terraço das Quitandas.)
There's great scuba diving, too, and you can easily feel like a millionaire here for nothing! For more ideas, see Big World Small Pocket's "17 Incredible Budget Travel Destinations Still On My List (That Should Be On Yours Too!)."
30. Dallas, Texas
Why: Dallas is often overlooked, but packed with fun, food and great places to stay at prices far below the national average. (The city was voted the most affordable destination in the U.S. last year by Priceline and continues to remain a great value.) Downtown buzzes with excitement and culture, and the nearby Design District is exploding with eclectic shopping for home décor.
The high-rise Omni Dallas has rooms with stunning floor-to-ceiling views of the city starting at just under $200, putting you in the center of the action. With a rental car, you can fully explore everything the city has to offer. Look at fringe cities like Grapevine and Plano for the charm of small towns of yesteryear with main street shops and eateries.
The Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine is convenient to DFW airport and offers full-out luxury at rates around the $200 mark.
13 VR Games That Will BLOW YOUR MIND
Augmented Reality might be experiencing a sudden and somewhat unexpected surge in popularity off the back of the global sensation that is Pokemon: GO!, but in truth the REAL hype train that's actually going places is Virtual Reality, aka VR. This is the next big thing, and not just in a popular title way like Pokemon, but more in an era-defining technology like the introduction of smartphones or the major console generations in gaming.
Yes, VR is the next big thing. There's little disputing this, it's not like smartwatches that were foisted on an unwilling public by over-enthusiastic tech firms. Nope, VR started off softly, softly as independent, ambitious development projects by people just testing the waters and trying to push boundaries. Not much was available at first, but the huge surge in consumer interest in turn caught manufacturer interest BIG TIME; here was a large and feverish consumer base eager to get its hands, heads, and eyeballs on and into the virtual reality space. Cue much understandable bandwagon jumping.
It started with a few outlying projects such as Google Cardboard and the fledgling baby steps of Oculus Rift, but once that latter device started generating more and more buzz the big industry players really sat up and paid attention. By now, we're looking at every major electronics manufacturer having a hand in the VR game; Samsung has the Gear VR, the Oculus Rift is now owned by Facebook, LG has the LG 360 VR, Sony has the PlayStation VR, Razer has the OSVR, and HTC has the Vive.
There's also a plethora of lesser known OEMs creating their own hardware and all vying for your attention, while Google is reportedly working on its own, possibly Nexus branded, VR headset, and also developing Google Daydream as an Android-based VR platform for other OEMs to make use of (mirroring its smartphone business model). Arguably the two most successful devices to hit the market so far have been the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.
It is still undoubtedly early days for VR, however, and some believe the medium is unlikely to hit any kind of maturity level to make it a "must-have" item (just like smartphones or major consoles such as the Xbox One and PS4) until at least 2020. But the momentum it has gained already clearly indicates it is here to stay, it is the future, and there's enough enthusiasm already that following the hardware manufacturer scramble to put out devices, there is now a developer scramble to create supporting software. A big chunk of the selection of games and applications available for VR devices released to date are in alpha or beta development stages, and many are available for free to try out ahead of their full launch. Others are using early-access models where you must buy the game at a reduced cost from its expected RRP on full release. Many more are also mere tech demo, proof-of-concept prototypes, and while a bunch of these are free this still doesn't stop some publishers charging you for the privilege. Still, paid or free, the point is there's already a bunch of cool software out there to feast your virtual eyes on.
So without further ado, here is KYM's list of VR games and fun applications you should probably try if you have a VR device. We will strive to keep this list fresh and updated as things develop over time.
This one's a bit different - in Hover Junkers you take the role of a scrap scavenger in a kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland. It's a multiplayer arena game and the idea is that the game observes the shape of your defined play area in your room, as picked up by the HTC Vive and designated during your setup process. This play area is your Hover Junker ship which is piloted around the game world, where you'll fight it out with other players using your pistols - during set up you can fortify your ship with physical objects that you need to duck behind for cover during your shoot-outs!Here's the blurb from Steam, where the game is priced at £26.99:
"Engage in multiplayer VR gunfights that capture real gun play like no FPS you've played before. Pilot and fortify Hover Junkers as you physically walk, duck, dodge and aim in cross ship combat."
The Thrill Of The Fight
As the name referencing the classic anthem "Eye Of The Tiger" suggests, The Thrill Of The Fight is a boxing simulator which allows you to get into the ring and slug it out against an opponent. At present it's an early-phase tech-demo with a training session and a single competitor to fight against. Also, right now you can punch and dodge, but not block like your opponent can. As with all indie development projects nothing is concrete, but we've seen talk of a bigger campaign/career mode, with the developer, "fyian", posting on Reddit. They said, "I'm hoping to add in somewhere around 16 opponents total, all with their own unique personalities and attacks."They also added that a blocking mechanic for the player is under consideration. There seems to be a lot of demand for multiplayer but fyian has stated that they think this would be difficult to implement. TTOTF is available as a demo download from the official site but can be found on Stea; it is currently compatible with the HTC Vive. fyian has mentioned that on a commercial release game may be priced at around $7.99.
Spell FighterSpell Fighter is another indie tech-demo developed by Kubold which places you in the role of a kind of quasi-medieval fantasy "witch hunter" type character, think Van Helsing or Solomon Kane. You start off in a village, but exploring will quickly reveal some gribbly zombies and skeletons to deal with. You can defend yourself with a variety of spells, swords, spears, bows, and guns, and also summoning minions. However, the real meat of the game is in venturing out further to find the source of the monster invasion!The game is available for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift and can be installed via Steam.
Raw DataRaw Data is one of the more polished VR gaming experiences we've seen so far. Developed by Servios, it's available as an early-access title on Steam for the HTC Vive. The game's main mode is a co-operative mission where you can team up with another player to defend a location from increasingly tough swarms of killer robots. There's a wide range of weapons on top of your starting pistol and katana sword combination (oh yes), including shotguns, machine guns, and even a bow with explosive arrows. The game also features a competetive "duel" multiplayer mode.
Lightblade VROk, it's called Lightblade VR because it's not an official LucasArts/LucasFilm Star Wars product, but to all intents and purposes Lightblade VR is a Lightsabre simulator. We'll clear something else up straight away too - it doesn't include duelling with enemies or other players, unfortunately - what it does offer though is a spot of Jedi training against one of those little laser shooting drones, just like Luke Skywalker in the first movie. The aim is to deflect the incoming blasts, and you can select a number of difficulty modes from Rookie to Legend. Or if you'd rather you can just piss about waving one or two Lightsabres around, which is really all we're interested in, right? You can even change the colour of each Lightsabre individually. Neat.And yes, it's another Vive game on Steam!
Note that an official Lightsabre game is in development: Trials On Tatooine.
Waltz Of The WizardWaltz Of The Wizard is another sandbox game that may appeal to any Harry Potter fans out there. You play a Wizard at home in his tower. Here you're able to concoct potions, discover and cast spells to alter yourself or the world around you, and explore and interact with both your tower and...other dimensions! This game is free on Steam!
Vanishing Realms is a somewhat cartoony action RPG in the vein of titles such as D&D, Zelda, and Diablo, but being unique for its VR control system. Go dungeon crawling in a 3D fantasy realm to fight skeletons and other monsters with swords, spells, and bows. Available on Steam for the HTC Vive as an early access title for £14.99 (visit the page for video).
Out Of Ammo
Out Of Ammo is a game developed by Dean Hall's (creator of DayZ) new studio RocketWerkz. It's still in development, but the game offers an interesting take on the Tower Defence genre where you are hovering over your base and able to assign soldiers, weapons, and resources to defend it. When things get manic, be prepared to lock-and-load, jumping into the first-person view of one of your soldier minions armed with assault rifles, sniper rifles, and machine gun emplacements. Compatible with the HTC Vive and priced at £14.99 on Steam."Four unique environments to try your skill on
- Construct defenses such as sandbags and watchtowers-Issue orders to your soldiers-Five different kinds of units each with special abilities-Possess any units directly to control their engagement-Call in artillery, airstrikes, and sniper targets-Fixed Machine guns, Grenades, and more"
Elite: DangerousNot so much a "VR game" per-se as it is an established mainstream title that was smartly developed with emerging VR in mind and has now been tweaked to allow compatibility with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Elite: Dangerous' persistent multiplayer universe of intergalactic trading, war, bounty hunting, and piracy is not for the feint-hearted, but who can resist the lure of piloting their own spaceship in glorious, immersive, VR 3D? And with graphics this good as well!
theBlu: Encounter by Wevr is one of those VR "experiences" which lets you see what it's like getting up close and personal with various types of sea life without the inconvenience of travel, breathing equipment, or getting wet. Whales, fish, jellyfish, and sea anemones are all present for you to ogle, or prod with your virtual fingers (yes they do react).
Universe Sandbox² Pretty much what it says on the tin - Universe Sandbox lets you mess around with the building blocks of astrophysics in the depths of space; create planets, suns, or whole galaxies, form nebulas, build beautiful starmaps and cosmic spacescapes. Or, if youre feeling destructive, smash everything together into supernovas, create the next Big Bang, or chuck it all into a black hole! The game is available via early access on Steam for $24.99/£18.99.
The ClimbYou might have noticed that many of the games in this list are available on the HTC Vive, while a few of them are on the Oculus Rift AND the HTC Vive; it's fair to say the Vive seems to have pretty much taken over as the dominant VR platform for now. However, there are some games out there that were developed for the Oculus Rift first, and which don't appear to have switched to the Vive just yet. The Climb is one such title, and as the name suggests it is a VR climbing simulator, allowing you to scale some impressive cliffs and natural structures in an immersive environment without the worry of actual death! The graphics on this game look amazing, and it's currently only available for the Oculus Rift via the Oculus store; be warned that the devs describe the experience as "intense" and also it's not cheap as VR games go, with a full-retail level price tag of £39.99. That said, it does appear to be a very thoroughly and profressionall developed title. Frankly, we'd be surprised if this game didn't get wider VR device support (including the Gear VR and Vive) at some point.
Zombie Training Simulator
The descriptively titled Zombie Training Simulator is, as expected, a simulator in which you train to fight zombies. Yes. The game has some very fun cartoony graphics similar in to Plants Vs Zombies. Players can choose from a range of different course types, including survival and various trick shooting events such as time trials. You'll start off next to a bench full of weapons, including shotguns, pistols, machine guns, assault rifles, and explosives, which unlock as you kill more and more zombies in the various modes. You can also take advantage of environmental hazards such as gas canisters or petrol cans, and even throw slabs of meat to distract the ravenous hordes temporarily. The zombies themselves are a sort of cardboard cut-out variety to emphasise the "training simulator" aspect (as well as presumably saving on animation time and system resources!). Available on Steam for £14.99 and compatible with the HTC Vive.
Bonus: Tilt Brush VRNot really a game, but it is fun to mess around with. Google's VR proof-of-concept Tilt Brush is a 3D VR painting and creativity suite that literally lets you create virtual 3D sculptures or paintings in a virtual space. Because it's a VR app you can paint and sculpt with all kinds of materials artists might only dream of being able to use - lava, light, rocky earth, fabrics, fire, even snow. Creations can also be set up to be location based, effectively turning your living room into a virtual gallery for your art as VR "installations" viewable when the headset is worn. You can also export your art in more traditonal still images or animated gifs for people who don't have VR.
10 Wonderful Benefits of Amla Powder: A Powerful Superfood
Indian gooseberry, commonly known as amla, is undoubtedly a powerhouse of nutrients. It is an uncommon balance of sweet, sour, pungent and bitter flavours. Amla or Amalaki can be consumed in any form be it juiced, powdered or eaten raw. You can pickle it, make a jam or have candied amla. Being a very rich source of #VitaminC, iron and calcium, amla is a health treasure. It also offers a number of beauty benefits for your hair and skin.
“#Amla is a very special fruit full of antioxidants that are effective in reducing the cell damage which reduces the free radicals that can cause disease in the body”, says Dr. Komal Bhadouria, Nutritionist, SCI International Hospital, New Delhi.
One of the best ways to have amla is in the powdered form. Since amla powder is a bit bitter tasting, you can drink a mix of amla powder, ginger powder, honey and lime juice or you can even add amla powder to a glass of fresh juice for breakfast. You can also sprinkle some amla powder on fruits such as banana, apple or papaya and have as a mid-meal snack.
You may already know that amla powder is great for boosting your immunity but it also has other wonderful benefits for your hair, skin and overall health that you’re about to find out here.
1. According to Dr. Shalini Minglani, a Bangalore-based nutritionist, amla powder is the purest form of Vitamin C and it enriches you from within by making the blood vessels stronger and thicker. It also improves your immunity so that you can fight infections easily.
2. Amla reduces the risk of heart disease by regulating the build-up of bad cholesterol, suggests Dr. Komal Bhadouria.
3. Amla is rich in antioxidants that help in fighting free radicals in the body. This reduces cell damage and also the risk of cancer and inflammation.
4. Amla powder gives you glowing skin and also keeps it hydrated. Consume it with water or add it to your face mask for natural glow. You can mix amla powder, honey and yogurt to make a quick face mask. Leave it on till it dries and then wash off. It will leave your skin smooth and clean.
5. Amla powder has a high fibre content which works wonderfully for the digestive system. It's an effective cure for constipation. The dried powder of the amla fruit is also a great home remedy for hyperacidity and stomach ulcers.
6. Amla is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces the acid level in the stomach and fights inflammation, suggests Dr. Komal Bhadouria.
7. Amla is considered as the first and foremost food for #anti-aging. Consuming amla in any form on a daily basis is the secret behind the slow aging process and beautiful skin.
8. Amla powder is good for #diabetics. Amla contains chromium which makes the body more responsive to insulin and regulates the blood glucose levels.
9. Amla powder when taken with a teaspoon of honey acts as a great blood purifier. You can also mix it with jaggery and have it daily. Regular consumption of amla powder helps in increasing your haemoglobin naturally.
10. Amla is also great for your hair. It not only cures dandruff but also helps in preventing hair loss. Make a paste with shikakai, curd and amla powder. Apply this on your scalp and leave it on for half in hour. You could also add few drops of lime to this pack to treat a dry scalp.
Awaiting Savannah is impatient.Lika's young man. From Bhaiya to Bhuji till Amma to Bauji.From the people to the farmer.
Ramusudhi is the peasant that now it will be barka when the cow will build. Do not you have to make a dash? Will it have to put a tarpaulin on it? In this, sowing paddy is to be planted.Instead of planting seedlings is to be done.Daughter also needs to send tee also. Came his "Mai ray ... definitely send babuji ji with the tea."
Hey! Amir Khusro will be sung by keeping stones on Kareja ... ..
'Amma send to my dad. Rei ... sawan came ..'
But Ramushi's will be a big sorrow..It's a coin of rupee rupee now.He has barely eaten bread. I do not know this year also, it will be a rainy day to check the drought relief. In the last year, Parashadha and the accountant got eaten together.
Those who are alive in the village did not get a single penny. The jawans are dead, the check was also frozen in their name.
"Bah Re socialism ... .."
Pur Bhabhi is said to have been told from the village ... Bhojji has told from the village ... 'Let's take a leaf of the color, then from Revati ... ... I have given her a sari and I have to put it in the same .... It is coming.Hear-hareer will pay a bangle ... By putting the Mehandi, you will write your boat on the middle hand ... Teej is also hungry ... In this, blackness is to be worshiped, Baba is to worship .... To go brother is to wear a rakhi binding. Swan swinging swinging on the tree Kajree is also singing ... "
'Piya Mehndi Liya da Motiazil
Jai bicycle no '...'
This is the most worrying thing that three bigha paddy is also planted ... the rice is going to be finished in the chit ... what will be eaten? "
Well ... there is also preparation for Savannah ... Sohan, Pinchu, Chanmannava, Munsar Aar Bermsar have not given a glass of water to their parents till now..but this time, selling quintal wheat will be sold to Deoghar ... Baba has gone to Khaissia ... Tilakahara will not even come.
Here, Shastriji of Darbhanga Ghat is told by his gracious girlfriend in the ultimate romantic mood. "I will see the films of Nirhua throughout the day." Now, in the next few days, I do not see "Aashiqui 2" and "Flyta Punjab" I will make such a thing that the Patra will not be worth watching. "
Taking the threat into account, Shastri, who was flying throughout the day in Benares, had been demanding from Aashiqui One, Two after Three ... .. The investor said, "Pandi ji is the third person, if you will make a pair of panditine together, then we will have to produce Are ready "Shastri ji got lazy ... his axiom is only ahiki ... one-to-three is in film then he is alive
It is unfortunate that the rainy season is auspicious. After speaking, we will have to invent a new language to say the pleasures of dying. But it seems that if there is love in life then the monsoon can come on April 15 instead of June 15 ... If so, the night of July 15 will also look like the afternoon of June .. If you have love in life, then you are also alive.
Now, all those who love romantic romance on Facebook throughout the day, do not forget that Armaan's pain ... those who have not seen any kind of love till now .... To say Savan to 'Season of Love' is to insult Sawan?
There is no season of love ... when there is love then there is saawan ...