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` 50 May, 2013
Your Voice is our Inspiration
Mothers Leave Their
Success - Young
The Recipe For
Story On Mother – Facebook Entries
CEO (Global Operations) : Nischinta Editor-in-Chief : Swati Amar Deputy Editor : Namrata Amarnath Associate Editor : Valsala Menon Head, Graphics & Design : M. Arul Raj Editor Art & Culture: Malini Shankar Production Executive : B.Sabitha Sales & Marketing: Meenakshi Sundaram Editor,TeenMag: Kirthi Gita Jayakumar Social Media Exe & Assoc Editor,TeenMag Alexandreena Sneha Radhish Digital Media and branding: Niranjana Hariharanandanan Online Branding: Mustafa Kohadawala Photography: N Solomon Boaz Advertising & Mktg: R.Ravichandran Prashant Kirthivasan Circulation: Jaganathan, James Expert Panel: Karti Chidambaram Padmashri Dr.V.Mohan Mallika Badrinath Brinda Jayaraman Dr. Priya Selvaraj Vijaya Chamundeeswari Usha Subramaniam Chitra Mahesh Writer’s Panel: Nischinta (New York) Namrata (Jodhpur) Gayatri T.Rao (Mumbai) Chandrika Radhakrishnan (Bengaluru) Priyanka Sakhamuru ( Hyderabad) Prof. N.Natarajan Padmini Natarajan Kanchana Rao Kirthi Gita Jayakumar Jinal Patel (Pune) Niranjana Hariharanandan (Pune) Geeta Canpadee (China) Radha Chandrasekar (Singapore) Kshitij ( London) Aarti Kamat (Kolkata) Anuradha Ganeshan (Bengaluru) G V Ashok Murthy (Bengaluru) Rishi Wadhwa, Mumbai Bhagya L. Ayyavoo, Chennai Jayalakshmi Saroj, New Delhi Eve’s Times Group Volume 7 Issue 9 for the month of May 2013. Price Rs. 50/Reg Off : # 18/1 2nd Cross Street Dr.RadhakrishnanNagar, Tiruvanmiyur,Ch 41 E Mail: email@example.com Ph: +91 44 43916699/ +91 9884972104 Printed by K. Elumalai at Sakthi Scanners (P) Ltd., No 7 Dams Road, Chindadripet, Ch 600 002 Published by Smt. Kamala Balachandran On behalf of Eve’s Times Group. Editor-in-Chief Lata Amarnath.All rights reserved
The Power of the Social Media
he social media is in the news in India for all the wrong reasons. What could have been a useful tool in turning the country around is being put to use in the most ingenious manner by young individuals to wreak havoc in the lives of other individuals, malign people, foment skirmishes, resort to cyber crimes and even lead to kidnapping, death and suicide. It is sad that given such an intellectual wealth Indians are not making use of the social media as they should. Most of us would remember how the life of a young management graduate student was snuffed due to an irresponsible and malicious ‘announcement’ by her boyfriend how he had ditched the ‘b---h’. The innocuous remark of a girl led to a near community restlessness and they were penalized; their life changed to a nightmare. The government as well as the opposition are alert and are trying to ward off the consequences of social media exchanges and are seriously contemplating reining in the unbridled stallion. But we have a story where a young, abandoned infant used the social media to launch into a quest to find the family that thwarted him after more than forty decades! He was successful in finding his family and how! People like Kisan Upadhyay are rare. They are true Indians with strength of character and our values intact. In fact, they are global citizens who effectively combine the priceless Indian values they have imbibed as children with the global values of human rights sans discrimination of any kind and are leading inspiring lives for themselves and the society. Thinking and conscientious Indians who form a large part of the middleclass and the emerging middleclass are sick and tired of the scams and crimes that unfold relentlessly almost everyday. There seems to be no stopping the aftermath of six decades and more of the avaricious pursuits, transgressions and intransigencies of our leaders of all parties today. What we need is a new order, new young leaders with global values and a strong foundation of Indian values who will turn around the country into a totally different, valuebased society where all citizens will live without fear or favor, or discrimination of any kind and are given equal opportunities to work hard and thrive, where it is not only the middleclass that will resort to backbreaking work and payment of taxes while the rest of the countrymen get a free ride and where dutiful citizens can rest their tired bodies and fatigued minds with dignity in their homes without any intrusions by the evil designs of a few skewed minds. It is amazing why the thinking minds and the young Indian populace are not using the social media to promote a new order, to project new leaders and parties. If the time is too short for this, there can at least be a remarkable networking such as a bond among thinking and young persons that can go viral so that we can all decide to vote only for people of exemplary character. Given that online voting is possible today, and the voting age commencing from eighteen, young college students across the country and the world can organize and meet in a social forum to bring about this amazing change. This kind of unity can effectively match the votes for the wrong leaders by our distraught masses who get swayed by biriyani or a bottle of beer or worse still, a thousand rupee note, dhothis and sarees. Unless the thinking minds unite, in the foreseeable future we cannot make a difference. We have to do this now. Because it won’t be long before we emerge as a nation of fatigued, senile minds. Truly, I cannot understand the mute silence of countless young Indians in educational institutions, in IT companies and other organizations keeping silent. A few thousands on the streets and some comments here and there will not make a difference. Whatever change has to happen has to come about in the next two or three decades. And the time is NOW- to unite, act and bring about new leaders who can steer the country towards snaring global power and respect, given the intellectual treasure trove we are endowed with. Let not a few warped minds ruin the bright future of an emerging nation of young and remarkable human resources. For once, let this be our singular goal, after the war of independence – that can unite us in the cyber world and prove to the world that YES, WE CAN CHANGE THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD.
The Food Palette
32| Gutsy foods that heal – 35| Mango Delightsregular column by dietitian Gayatri Asokan Exotic mango recipes
Motherhood in Transition – Challenges faced by mothers of Recent India
PERSONALITIES OF THE MONTH
41| Chef Nimrat 56| Success Begins at Home 58| Go all the Way 60| Rising up from the Ashes
HAPPINESS SHARED - FAMILY FEATURE
66| A family that stays together
11| Follow Thy Heart15| A Precious Deal17| Bonded for life –
True life stories of two indomitable mothers
69| Going Back in Time 73| The Traditional Way 76| Family Values – Keep them going 79| Nuclear vs joint family
A special bond between a mother and her son – a mother’s soul rending true story
31| Pro Bono 34| Salt ‘n’ Pepper Korner 40| Jus' Ask Brinda 62| Citizens' Voice
When you adopt and bring a little baby home…..
Cover Picture Credits
Models: Ruchika, Baby Ritu Sharma K, Baby Riya Sharma K Baby Models' Coordination, Wardrobe and Styling : Suman Kamal Sharma Cover Photography: N Solomon Boaz Venue: Ambika Empire
79, 100 ft Road,Vadapalani, Chennai 600 026 India
21| An Orange for Kisan-
A moving account of a son’s search far and wide for his long lost family and the mother who abandoned him as an infant
24| Mother of God’s own children-
My life, my mother She continues to live in my heart
How deprivation of mother’s love led Viji akka to love special children and don the mantle of motherhood
46| Prize Winning story-
47| The super human being 48| Live- in or Opt out?
Errata Thank you Maui Jim ‘She continues to live in our hearts,’ by Murtuza Fakhruddin wins an elegant Banzai Sunglasses for the best Facebook entry on Mother.
Co ordinated By : GEE BEE P R AND EVENTS
In our article titled ‘ I was Inspired by Kiran Bedi,’ the first para should read as follows and not as given in our April 2013 issue. "Being an Air Force Officer was, till some years ago, considered to be a male-dominated profession. Women like Bhavna Mehra have proven beyond doubt that even ladies can do well in Air Force. She got commissioned in the IAF as a Pilot Officer and today she is serving as a Wing Commander, post her graduation in Humanities and Law."
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Your Voice is our Inspiration
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STRIDENT VOICES INTREPID FOOTSTEPS A MARCH TOWARD SUCCESS…. LET’S BUILD A BETTER WORLD TOGETHER
May 2013 5
For You and Yours!
A Remarkable Tribute A Lifestyle that has to Womanhood nothing to offer
In recent India, which is gaining disrepute in the world as a nation where women are treated with utmost indignity, it came as a surprise to read the article by Ashok GV’s ‘Female Sexuality and Sex- The Untold Story. In fact everything with regard to sex related to females in India is taboo whereas men flaunt their sexual ‘conquests’ and ‘escapades’ as proof of their prowess. Amidst the lowest ebb in the lives of Indian women, like a lotus in a quagmire, this article comes as the greatest surprise package and I wish it can go viral in the cyber world. Every man and every woman globally should read this article. These are the thoughts of the most decent person heard of, and surprisingly an Indian male (assuming it to be a genuine article written by a man) that respects a woman’s satisfaction, justifies it and demands that a woman’s basic instinct and need be taken care of. It is the most unabashedly written piece of epistle favoring a woman’s innermost thoughts, feelings and experiences, which are as justified as that of a man. Unfortunately , this need has been outrageously shunned, ridiculed and thwarted , and even associated with brazen commercial designs or mental Personal experiences of Prativa Jena and the positive note in which she has projected her experiences with blood pressure are great eye openers. So were the articles by the doctors given in your April issue. It is high time people realized the mistakes we are making in adopting a lifestyle that is hazardous not only to individuals but will also cripple future generations. While the medical fraternity is gleefully making money and more and more eateries , restaurants and hotels are making hay while the sun shines, we are oblivious to the dangers our eating habits, stress and lack of physical exercises portend and continue to pursue all the wrong things in life. Let us understand that our country is different from the western nations and what suits them is harmful for us. A hot, humid country cannot afford to gorge on heat generating foods or liquor. Neither is our country suited for a lifestyle that entails physical activities such as long walks , which is the way of life in foreign countries. Where are the spaces or the infrastructure and people-free promenades and walkways or a culture that necessitate walks for long distances to work, to shop or do
Letters to the editor
anomaly. In a country where even the basic needs of women are not met and they are left to starve, remain ignorant, physically, financially, emotionally and mentally exploited and trampled upon, such rare and respectful thoughts from men must be publicized and recognized so that the beginning of a change in the mindset of the society- especially THE INDIAN MAN, begins. Kudos to the author and Eve’s Times for publishing this article. You have bought a fan in me forever and I am going to do my utmost in popularizing these thoughts and words! Anamika, Chennai Anamika, it has indeed been written by a man who is an honorable member of the law fraternity! Eve’s Times only carries genuine articles and is meant for people to write and read. Ed.
our daily chores.? We have to evolve our own lifestyles, food habits and culture and this is what is ‘Cool’ . If the younger generation and the parents understand that, it will be good for us. Kalaichelvi Rajan, Chennai
A Wholesome Treat
Eve’s Times April issue was a wholesome issue , what with Micky Mehta and other fitness articles, cool places to visit and the coolest , mouth-watering summer recipes, not to mention ideas for the summer, and all the great information thrown in, it made a great read. Looking forward to future issues with excitement. It will be a great service to women like us if you can start an online magazine. Would you do that? Radhika and Maya, Coimbatore Thanks for your interest and encouragement. We are trying to do our best. Yes, a portal is on the cards too and soon….. Ed.
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
- Washington Irving
Motherhood in Transition Motherhood in Transition
“I am There!”
These are the three magical words that have transported many young women and men to great heights of success. These three simple words uttered by ‘Mother’ have inexplicable power to transform and impel humans to move mountains. These were just the words that Dr. Kiran Bedi’s mother uttered when, as a young police officer in the threshold of success, Kiran had to contend with a personal problem of immense proportions that she contemplated quitting her job. It was a question of choosing between being with her only daughter who had a huge health problem or to go ahead with a career that had great promises in store for this first woman officer of our country. On the strength of these words and with staunch support from the woman who bore her, Dr. Kiran went ahead not only carving a niche for herself in the annals of Indian Civil Services but also contributing immensely to the society through her courage, innovative thinking and humane approach to social issues. Indian mothers are unmatched when it comes to their unconditional love, unparalleled devotion, faith and trust they repose on their children. Indian history is replete with stories of mothers who Swati Amar
have stood by their sons and daughters providing them with succor and strength to perform their duties towards their country, job and families. Indian mothers would do anything and everything for their children. As a proof of this I would like to recall the incident when a 43-year-old Indian woman became a surrogate mother to twins on behalf of her daughter who was not able to bear children. The grandmother agreed to act as a surrogate after her daughter and son-in-law could not find anyone in Britain where the couple lived, who was prepared to carry their babies. Despite the ethical issues raised, the children were born and the family is happy today. Or take the case of Dr.T.S.Chandra. This professor of biotechnology, in IIT Madras was struck with polio when she was a young girl. Her mother used to carry her child to school everyday, stay the entire day in school, outside the classroom attending to her needs and carry her back home. Today the professor is independent, married with a child and drives herself in a special car to work.
and shock to courage and hope starting the Spastics Society of India in a small garage. Today, it has grown into Vidya Sagar, a mighty institution that takes care of spastic children. Today Natarajan and Ishwar are no more, but Poonam Natarajan, the dauntless mother who was the fountainhead behind the establishment of Vidya Sagar, continues to care for children with the same love and devotion she had for Ishwar. Poonam Natarajan credits Ishwar with changing her outlook in life and giving her the strength to work for the spastics. Many mothers of differentlyabled and special children like Rekha Ramachandran, the co-founder and Chairperson of Down’s Syndrome Federation of India, Hemamalini of WeCan and others have time and again proved that their love for their special child infused them with the motivation to start institutions so that they could give the best possible quality of life for them. Never before has the Indian motherhood put to test as it is
now. We are living in difficult times and the wellspring of a mother’s love is tremulous, unsure of all the travails that await the Mother and the child. No one can empathize enough with the agony of Nirbhaya’s mother or that of Gudiya’s mother, as much as the trauma, shame and shock of the mothers who bore the culprits. While the mothers of girls are living in fear regarding the safety of their daughters, mothers of sons are not spared the agony of being unsure what the future of their sons portends. Changing lifestyles have ushered in greater problems in the form of relationships. While individualistic way of thinking and acting seem to have a stranglehold over young India, the truth is that our society is not yet prepared to come out of its feudalistic and chauvinistic ways of thinking, resulting in a culture of ‘relationships’ and breakdown of marriages that result in a great loss to the nation economically and on the quality of human resources in the form of suicides, alcoholism, substance abuse or even crippling mental illnesses and sometimes drastic physical consequences of failed suicide attempts.
A R Rahman’s first words on receiving the Oscar Awards, ‘ mere pas ma hai,’ just sums up the role his mother had played in raising him and his siblings as a widowed woman who had to combat many crippling circumstances. The joy singer derived from her daughter Nandana, born after several years of marriage and the subsequent death of the little girl that broke the distraught mother’s heart display the true essence of Indian motherhood. Ishwar Natarajan was born with profound cerebral palsy. The Natarajans converted their despair
It is not uncommon to see many young, educated and beautiful divorced women with one or two children who have good careers. While no one even acknowledges the roles of the mothers of these estranged or divorced young mothers, the truth is that these women stand staunchly by their educated and financially independent daughters encouraging them to go ahead in their careers, taking the responsibility of raising their children. The moral, physical, financial and emotional support these mothers offer to their divorced daughters is unfathomable and incomparable. The future of children from many broken homes lies not just with their mothers alone but also with their grandmothers who have delved deep into themselves to draw out more energy and succor to compensate for the loss faced by little children of divorced women. On their strength alone many brave young women continue to battle the odds in their lives. The agony that a mother undergoes when her daughter faces a breakdown in relationships can be understood, if at all, only by another mother under similar circumstances. While young men seem to drown their sorrows in bottles, movies and other new era modes of distractions after a breakdown, unknown to the outside world, many young girls undergo huge emotional upheavals, which often impact their education or career and also result in seeking professional help to enable them to come out of the trauma. The surprise element here is that neither the mothers nor the girls themselves let the suffering go beyond the four walls of their house. The impression prevailing in the society is similar to the situation in a film where they show a ‘break-down’ party. Nothing can be farther than the truth! Today mothers have to don the role of a complete human being, teaching their children, encouraging them to perform and accomplish, standing by them and counseling them at every stage of their lives. Children in our country have to face discrimination right from a very young age at the hands of their peers, teachers, educational institutions and other social interactions, which was not the case earlier. Stress commences
and counselor, but she has to be a super human who also is a true friend and an ascetic rolled into one. A mother today needs to have such an equanimity of mind that she is willing to overlook all the transgressions of her children including disrespect, indignities, sometimes physical and emotional abuses and the greatest shocker of all, poor academic and career performance, substance abuse, promiscuity and physical ailments despite all the investment of time, money and effort that have gone into the upbringing of her child - all because of a distracting relationship, an unfaithful friend, a flippant diversion , slothful behavior, a biased teacher or a lurking criminal who waits to pounce on innocent and gullible youngsters to give vent to his lust, aggression and criminal tendencies. Yes, in recent India, the Indian Mother lives in fear and insecurity. (This article does not talk about women who do not stand testimony to the pristine character of Indian motherhood. There are mothers who are still steeped in traditions and blinded by superstitions, social taboos and outdated beliefs who end up ruining the lives of many daughters and sons, depriving them of the opportunity to grow up as independent and free thinking persons, nor do they go the extra mile to extend their support to innumerable young men and women who are desperately looking around for a helping hand and a kind shoulder to confront the myriad issues our complicated society imposes upon them and their families! After all our country , despite all the tall claims made and the sound principles enshrined in our revered Constitution is still not a welfare state in the true sense. The state does not look after individuals who need to be taken care of, including children, destitutes, senior citizens, the unemployed etc).
at a very young age and reaches its peak when our wards go to college. Blame the lifestyle, the influence of the west, the attitudinal changes and anything else our young adults do, but the fact remains that it is chiefly the mother and today, in many educated, middleclass families, the father, who has to bear the brunt of their transgressions or the impact of their follies or immaturity. Middle class families continue to shower their attention, love, money and effort on their children in the hope that they would have bright futures. In return, unlike the yester years, they cannot live in peace in the belief that their children are ‘settled’ once they get married or are launched into great careers. Right from the eight standard or even earlier mothers have to contend with ‘relationship’ issues and innumerable other challenges an unfair and unjust society imposes upon our children and young adults. The demands on our motherhood are unimaginable. A mother today has to don many hats. She is not just a cook, nurse, doctor, teacher, chauffer
FOLLOW THY HEART…..
Chandrika R Krishnan
GET A LIFE
“Life's u no oblig nder at give us ion to wha expect,” t we says
et Mitch ell
do not know if Swapna Nair or Maya Sadasivan had ever heard about the above quote but they soon learnt that the quote was so true to life.
We go through life meeting different kinds of people but a few of them leave an indelible mark in your life and are unforgettable for whatever reason you feel important. I think in that category belongs Swapna Nair. I was her colleague for one short year and we have been in touch for almost a decade now. The first thing I noticed about Swapna was the peals of laughter that emanated from her at frequent intervals. Her twinkling eyes and the underlying kindness made her an exemplary teacher. I know I learnt a lot from her but the most memorable lesson was not to let our personal sorrow replace the verve for life, the laughter that life can offer despite the difficulties that it brings forth.
Over to Swapna Nair to make us aware why she is one strong woman….
Thus our dysfunctional family took each day as it was. At times it was very difficult being a single parent, especially to a growing boy. Replacing the father’s role is impossible. In fact there were moments when I felt jealous when my son would express admiration for a father figure. I would wonder, naively, if I wasn’t fulfilling the role. Anxiety would rip me. Since my parents played the role of parents I was fortunate to be like an older sibling, like a friend. We bonded as great companions! Long drives, with music blasting in the car were an integral part of his vacations. It was painful to let him go to Singapore for higher studies. The house became empty and there was everyone as usual expressing their opinion and wondering how I could send my son so far away. But seeing him happy, seeing him blossom gave me happiness and now I am happy that I had the courage to let him go on with his life. It was one of the best decisions in retrospect. He found a mentor there and has been having mentors in every step of life. I have matured too for I don’t feel the pangs of jealousy!! Today my son is my mentor! Roles have reversed. The journey was tough, especially those nights when I went to bed alone with fears in my heart. If it had not been for my parents I know I would not have been able to handle this crossroad of my life. Giving the space, instilling good habits like reading are the few treasures I have given my son but in return he has given me immense joy. I had never thought of re marrying till I met my current spouse three years ago. My parents had always been supportive of my re- marriage. In fact it was embarrassing when my son (he was in 11th) took me aside and told me that grandpa (my father) was matchmaking for me. What was most profound was that my son encouraged me to do so and never to sacrifice my happiness for him. I wondered at his selflessness. I told my parents that my primary goal was to see my son settled. I did not want any intrusion or disruption. Time flew and my son had completed graduation when I met a man whom I felt would complement my life. There were a few hitches and glitches. My son stood like a rock, helping me through it and mediating between my parents and me. His one statement to my father that engulfed me was,' Grandpa, allow her to decide. She is past 40 now. Our role is to support her.' When I had set the date for my D- day, all I said was I wished he would be present too. He gave me the sweetest surprise by flying down from Singapore. It was amusing to have one's child take the lead and go through the ceremony.
Like a banyan tree being felled, my strong and happy family was felled in one brutal stroke when my only brother died in an accident when I was in Dubai in the year 1998. My parents and I were totally shattered. Just as we were on the road to recovery, my husband passed away in September 2001. From doldrums we sank into a dark abyss. My son was in his 8th standard and we were all still grieving from the double blow. He exclaimed one evening that my parents and I were so cocooned in grief, that he did not know how to handle it. This was like a sword cutting through my heart. It was a wakeup call for me. It made me sit up and take note of the surroundings. I realised I had to take a step forward in life. There were many waiting to criticize me as to how I could move on and continue with my life as it once was …. But then life does not stop with the death of a loved one and it does really move on….. With great support from friends we took giant steps to get back our life to normalcy. My mother who had not stepped out of her room began to perk up. My father who had retired from work took up auditing. I went back to work, back to teaching. My parents were my biggest support- financially and emotionally. I was and am fortunate to have my best friend through all this. She is one steady person in my life.
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”
Maya Sadasivan proves the veracity of the above quote. She has rechristened herself as ‘mayajaal’ and why not? She weaves her magic in the lives of those who surround her and she is another strong woman to whom I must pay a tribute to on this Mother’s Day. Over to Maya to weave her magic and tell us what it took her to reach this stage of her life:
he delay in reacting to a slap is all it takes for a 25 year old identity to vanish! Seven years later I set out in search of the Maya I had lost.
Knowingly, we live just one life. After seven years of physical, mental, emotional turmoil all I wanted was a life where I could live with dignity, swabhimanam, and peace of mind. Fifteen years later I still wonder how an educated, articulate person like me succumbed to societal norms that seemed to have seeped in at a very subliminal
level. As angry outbursts gave way to silent confusion there was just one thought – make the marriage work. I mean, we are talking of a life time here! How can I change, how can I adjust, how can I ensure peace and harmony – in short how can I be a good wife – not only to delight the husband, but to ensure that I am physically and emotionally safe. And one does not wash dirty linen in public … funny how overnight parents become ‘public’… not a word is breathed to them. We are mature adults making life liveable – as defined by the better half.
Irrevocably, the proverbial better half became the bitter half. And then the ultimate idiocy – a child will make things better. It didn’t. Yet… I gave birth to the silver lining in the cloud. The feel of my six year old daughter’s palm clasped in mine gave me the strength to walk out, to walk on. I signed legal documents to waive off any maintenance money or child support, both at the time of divorce and later, again, when I needed the father’s signature on my daughter’s passport. All that mattered was that her hand remained in mine. I had another daunting task ahead of me; the constant fight for my daughter. I never got the custody of my daughter and this was the Damocles’ sword that was held over my head at all times. Every time she returned from a vacation at her father’s house, my mother and I held her close bringing her back into the world of loving and being loved. Reclaiming one’s body and soul is a time consuming and a rather daunting process. And one never really gets back the person we once were. As I began reinventing Maya, I gave serious thought to who I want to be. My strength was two-fold, my mother and my daughter. Two decisions paved the way into the future. One was my decision to be honest with self – true to self. It is a liberating feeling when you can say the truth and smile. I believe one must tell only the truth to our child. Temper it down to the age and understanding. As the child grows up it is easier to expand on a truth than to turn a lie into the truth.
The second was my silence. I felt no pressure to explain myself or my actions to anyone. I realized that just because one explains, one cannot presuppose understanding and acceptance. Still, I did not feel the need to paint anyone black so that I would look white. It was my life and hence my decisions. My loyalty was only to my parents and they deserved an explanation for my actions. There is life to be lived so it makes sense to do just that! Family support was unequivocal… mother, father, brother and his wife. Whether they agreed with me or not, they stood by me. That was indeed a source of succour. Somewhere down the line however, I turned it into a comfort zone that shackled. One’s strength should not become one’s weakness. I realized that pride in self, dignity in life… these are mere phrases if one does not work at it. And work at it – on one’s own. When I walked out of the marriage – I did so with the quiet surety in my ability to take care of myself and my daughter. The next five years of life was comfortable, secure in the knowledge that dad would take care of us. It was also unsettling. True, I was recuperating and healing my wounds. True, the family atmosphere did help create stability for my daughter and me. Yet I was restless. I wanted, nay, needed my parents to be proud of me. It is natural to seek support, to seek company. However, validation of one’s existence comes from within. I wanted to be someone my child would look up to. I had always worked. It was like a past time. Salary was pittance. It is the silent understanding and prodding from my mother that proved to be the tipping point. I took up a job in Maldives. It was the most beautiful five years in spectacular Maldives. It was five formative years for me as a person, for the relationship between me and my child and the foundation of life as I wanted it. People will talk anyway – they will come up with creative ways to blame you for what goes wrong and give credit to those around you for what goes
right. Learn to shrug. If we don’t want people to focus on what they think are our misfortunes, well, we should give them something to talk about – our success! When people ask – so where is your husband – and I smile and say – am happily divorced. It is indeed amusing to watch the gasps and gagging reflexes! It effectively stems the pity, the curiosity, the prying and the tut tuts. Having learnt the hard way that one person alone can’t meet all our moods and needs, we must consciously work at creating a human infrastructure that is there for us when we need it and otherwise let us be. This is crucial. Forge relationships that make you feel happy. Do what gives you opportunity to spread happiness. Through it all, my strength has been my two role models – my mother and my daughter. I have no regrets – or else I would not be who I am today – I love me now. These two wonderful mothers had to handle the role of both parents in their child’s life yet they believed that kids needed to be independent. They have enriched their lives by delving deep into the psyche and drawing out the true human being they want to be, establishing a new identity and meaning in life. And through that they have enriched the lives of their child giving them the best gift- respect and dignity for oneself and for others. We salute these two mothers on the occasion of Mother’s Day.
A Precious Deal
here is no end to the depths of a mother’s love for her child. Indian mothers have time and again proved this and continue to do so in this world which is a huge, distraught, muddled globe where people are in constant search of something they are not aware of. Blessed are the mothers who find true love within themselves and delve into the deep crevices of their ingenious minds to bring out an unending supply of love and happiness to themselves and their children. We bring to you the innermost thoughts of a remarkable mother and her special bond with her child. In today’s world dominated by selfish people assailed by avarice and apathy, the purity of true love is a rare gift. And one such priceless pearl is this gift we bring to you…… ‘Only a mother can teach a child. How can a child teach a mother anything?’ That was my 12 year old reacting to a compliment I had given him. 24 years later, he could be asking the same question, if only his mind were as receptive and responsive as it was when he was a kid. The identity theft caused by psychosis in his later teens washed away many of his childish questions, wonders and hopes.
At 60, I have no doubt who has taught whom more between the two of us and what a unique journey and a precious deal it has been for me. Long before Krishna was labeled a slow learner, I found ways to foster his love for learning. Schools were difficult, everyone galloped past him but at home it was different. We enjoyed power cuts, sitting together and learning rhyming words when he was a toddler. When ‘join the dots’ books got over, I made more for him. When, at 4 and 5, he had all but devoured Tintin and Asterix, we used to have ‘exams’ in which I was supposed to read out a dialogue at random and he would open the page it was in, effortlessly. Then, to make it a more complete and lasting, enjoyable experience, I would draw his favorite characters and help him
with numbered dots to reproduce them. A smiling Obelix cut-out with a menhir on his back wishing him Happy Birthday was the surprise I gave him on his 10th birthday. I created puzzles for him and we drew and painted while listening to music. Music… My earliest memory of Krishna’s love for music is his listening in utter bliss to my aunt’s bhajan, forgetting
next 8 minutes. As we get down and merge into the crowd, I tell Krishna, ‘happiness comes unexpectedly and often in small measures.’ Honestly, could I digest a ton of it? Having come thus far on our own, it feels like problems are for solving! Not unlike the chocolates and pencils I hide for him to discover at the right time! And when he does find them, in a jiffy, I tell him, ‘this is how you will one day find your own way!’
his colic when he was just a month old. His happiest times were when he was learning music as a child. He could neither follow ‘taal’ nor read notations but it was all firmly in place in his head. He could listen to music for hours with total concentration as a teenager. Music stood by him when psychosis deleted all other interests he had as a child. There were stark moments of loneliness when music remained the sole mode of communication between us. When Krishna was 26, he was rendered almost totally dysfunctional by psychosis once more. Psychiatric treatment hardly helped. That is when I was inspired to search deeper into the book of bhajans we had. I learned to find new meaning in Kabir’s songs which I shared with my son. When he was paranoid with unknown fear, Nanak came to our rescue. We discovered together that Hari resided right within our hearts. Peace descended on Krishna and an upgraded agnostic arose in me. When my son wondered aloud whether he was a child or an adult, 15 or 30, I quoted Sankaracharya: aham naiva balo, yuva naiva vriddho (I am neither child, youth or old person). Are not all of us at times children and at other times adults, I asked him. When he innocently agonized over depending too much on his mother, Tulsidas came to my rescue. ‘Tohi mohi nate anek’ says Tulsidas to God and I
said it to Krishna. No, he was not the one depending on his mother; I was equally dependent on him-for my routine, my daily exercise, my creative outputs, and my spiritual quest. He was a child, a guide, a catalyst, while I saw myself evolving from a mother to a caretaker, to perhaps let him loose one day. When all our years of story telling, puzzles, drawing, reading and writing drew to a close, I shifted my focus to finding a more abiding source of fulfillment for both Krishna and myself: the spiritual. From simple chanting to complex slokas, all set to tune by us, understood as we can, enjoyed as we can, memorizing as we can, it is our daily staple. We have our moments together at the sewing machine, making bags and pouches. We go for a long evening walk. It is not like when we had meaningful discussions while walking, 30 years ago. He would imagine himself as Bhimsen Joshi’s disciple or talk of being kind to his son, when he would have one… Krishna is talking by himself, making up dialogues of non-existent people in varied voices and I am lost in my own thoughts, totally relaxed. People look at us, never mind. We have our peace. We reach our usual destination and wait for a share auto to ride back. Sometimes we get to occupy the front seat near the driver and when film music plays, it is double bonanza! Krishna is all grins for the
By Gayatri T Rao
Bonded For Life, But Not By Blood!
dopting a girl-child is a big decision and Sayali Joshi (name changed) took it 8 years ago, when Ovee was brought home as a 6 month old baby. Today 13 years into her marriage, she has also decided not to have another child. It was a joint decision with her husband and she is happy about it. Her adopted daughter Ovee has been named after the couplets in Sant Gyaneshwar’s Gyaneshwari (a Marathi translation of the Bhagavad Geeta), which are also called Ovee.
Decision to Adopt
Sayali had decided earlier on as a teenager that she would adopt a child after marriage. She explains, “There were a few things I was very clear about. As a teenager, you feel strongly about many things. You want to correct so many things around you. I am fortunate that my partner supported the decision. Our respective parents also supported the idea. You and your husband may have decided. But, when it comes to an important decision like adoption, the immediate family’s support matters a lot. Not a big deal I suppose. I just followed my heart.”
It is imperative that a couple, that wants to adopt a child, go to a recognized agency. She talks about her experience, “There are quite a few in Maharashtra and 15-20 odd
in Mumbai, itself. We went to an agency called Bal Vikas in Malad because we were staying in Borivili at that point of time and this one was closer to us. And the paper-work was simple, though it was quite a bit, it was streamlined. The process was not an issue at all. They check your credentials in terms of your standing in society, financial standing and your capacity to invest in the child’s name. They check your salary proof. A proportionate portion of your salary should be invested in the child’s name in a PPF account. They visit you at home. They see where you live, what kind of accommodation you have. If it is a rented flat, they look at the papers. That was not a problem for us because ours was a self-owned flat. They also met our respective parents. They took an undertaking from my in-laws that since both of us were a working couple, in our absence they would be looking after the child.”
feeling for her is comparable to what any other mother would feel about her child.”
Problem starts when the child gets to know that she has been adopted. In case of Ovee, all her friends in Hyderabad live with their biological parents. Sayali says, “When we told her that she has been adopted, she started questioning ‘Why me?’ That has already started.” Other than all these there is also a police verification that happens. She continues, “The local police station verifies your credentials and background. The documents go to the police headquarters and they issue a no-objection certificate that these are genuine people and they should be allowed to adopt the child, etc. Post this there is a court case. They call it a case for want of a better word. When the child is with the agency, the state is the parent. The state has to transfer the parenthood to the foster parents. By the way, the first 3 months the child is with you, you are not the child’s legal parents. You are the child’s foster parents. After the city civil court hears the case, the court issues a decree that you are the legal parents of the child. Also the child becomes the legal heir to your property.” But Sayali has a lot of friends in Mumbai, who have adopted their children. She says, “We have kept in touch with these friends and want to keep alive those references in her a good dancer. She is learning Odissi formally for the last one year and she has picked up quite well. I hope we can take her to Jhelum Paranjpe’s Smitalay sometime in the future. We are currently living in Hyderabad. I would like to shift soon to Mumbai or Pune. It would of course be her choice. We will always support her in whatever she wants to do in future.”
social life. She knows that she is not the only one. So, the ‘Why me?’ will be hopefully taken care of.” Ovee has been brought up listening to stories of Krishna, on being suggested by Bal Vikas agency. Sayali says, “Krishna was a classic example of adoption, being born to one mother and raised by another. She is very close to that story. She keeps asking about her biological parents. She calls them earlier parents. This was when she was 5-6 years of age.”
A Different High
Sayali finds being a mother is a different high. She adds, “It is like any mother. We have all told Ovee that there are two ways of bringing home a child-one is from a hospital and the other is from a birth home. My feelings are no different from any other mother. She is my child. My
Future of the Child
Ovee is too small, but Sayali and her family are more focused on the child growing up as a Good Samaritan. She says, “That’s a tough one to articulate, but I would like my child to grow up to become a compassionate human being first of all. To be a good human being is the goal that we are really working towards. We really don’t know what life has in store for her. It is too early. She is only 8. She is
• Kirthi Gita Jayakumar
od could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. But motherhood is not easy: right from child bearing to child rearing, the challenges on the path are manifold. Many mothers in general will agree unanimously that it does not matter what the times are like, as each era poses its own challenges of being a mother and raising a child or children. As bestselling author Judy Balan succinctly put it, “I don't think mothers ever had/have/will have it easy. Especially mothers back then - it is like their identities were tied to their motherhood and that can be extremely painful if not confusing. Children eventually go on to have their own lives and I've seen many mothers from that generation who found it impossible to cope with that.” On the same lines was a response from Life Coach Puja Gupta, “For me mothers have always had a challenging role no matter what generation, it is, it has always been a challenge. The challenges were just different then and now. These days there is so much happening around,
children are exposed to so much that mothers have to help them make the right choices .Then it was more about getting your child to study and guide them . So it has forever been challenging just that times have changed.” However ubiquitous the essential challenges of motherhood have been, there are many who assert that the given day and age are fraught with double the difficulty in comparison with their own growing years. To Kalaivani K, a mother of two young and energetic little children, motherhood then was much easier than motherhood now. “In some
mature earlier than necessary. When my sister sat my niece down to talk to her about the facts of life, to our chagrin, my niece told her that she had already known, and that she was ‘bored’ at the repetition. That’s when I decided to intervene with my daughter earlier.” Another issue that looms large in motherhood is the precocious nature of youngsters when it comes to relationships. Should dating be a part of their growing years? Where does one draw the line if so? Kalpana Kameshwaran, an accountant and a mother of two teenagers finds that there is some kind of a disconnect in handling this. “I come from a generation where dating wasn’t even a word in the dictionary. My kids belong to a generation where dating is nearly the norm among their peers. I won’t say I am averse to dating in the blind orthodox antagonism that my experience says no, but I will not deny that I am wary of it and a little unsure about letting my son and daughter into the net.” So how does she handle it? “I don’t know if my way is correct, but I sat down to talk to them and told them what bad can happen if they go down the wrong route. I explained the consequences and the directions their future could take. Though some people thought I was being negative, I thought it was important that my children take their decisions after being informed.” Kalpana finds that her children have taken on a more sensible picture of relationships. “My son is 16. At different times, he has dated, but making sure only to go out in groups. My daughter is a little more on this side of the fence, intending only to date if she thinks she is mentally ready for it.” But it isn’t as easy for many others. A mother of a teenage girl has a painful story to tell, one that she prefers to reveal in anonymity. “It isn’t easy to bring up teenagers at all in this day and age. They are so hooked onto television shows and
movies from the West, and even to some extent, Indian movies, that only send messages of body image and relationships. They get taken in by the ideas that these films and sitcoms put into their heads that they fail to disconnect between imagination and realities. My daughter suffered a terrible predicament, and though I did everything I could to avoid it for her, the adolescent angst ensured that she disobeyed me.” Even as recession and inflation are two buzzwords that continue to ring sharp in everyone’s ears today, teenagers belongs to one consumer group that's blissfully unaware of the ramifications on their parents’ pocket. “Teenagers are a huge target consumer group in any marketing gimmick,” says Kalpana Kameshwaran. “So consequently, their parents have huge dents in their pockets. As is probably the case with every other parent, my complaint bucket is full. One day it is dinner with friends, the next day a movie, the third day the next new iPhone in the market and then it’s a new bunch of clothes. Once in a while, I encourage their purchases and whims, but I also have to be firm with them as they don’t understand the value of money and their parents’ efforts that go into making that money.” Some mothers have intriguing strategies up their sleeves for this. Devaki Nambiar explains, “I take my daughter to orphanages and get her to spend time with these children. That is always a reality check for her as she wakes up to how fortunate she is. I think that is a useful tip for any parent.” The writing is on the wall, and these mothers have illustriously alluded to it. Youngsters these days aren’t an easy bunch to bring up, but the resilience of motherhood and the lessons of their own experience are major springboards to bringing up their children.
ways, it was easier then than now. Bringing up children in a world that is rife with so much exposure, with so much information being available so readily - motherhood is a great challenge indeed.” She brings forth a very significant point. The extent of information available at the disposal of a youngster today makes upbringing a rather difficult challenge. Adolescents have access to all kinds of sources when it comes to their quest for “knowing things”, and oftentimes, are misinformed. Misinformation can lead to difficult issues as well. Mother of an adolescent girl, Devaki Nambiar, is in full agreement with this truth. “I think it is very important to sit down with your children to have a frank talk about the facts of life at the right time. When I was growing up, my biggest fear was how if a boy ‘touched a girl’ while she was menstruating, she’d become pregnant. Those years of innocence are long since dead, as children
An Orange For Kisan
ruth is stranger than fiction. No story, film or any other media can depict the raw emotions and sufferings of people in the throes of huge personal disasters. No stark reality projected through the camera can even given an inkling of a bleeding heart or the sense of betrayal or loss and grief of an individual dealt with a seemingly unending trail of suffering. Some children are born only to be abandoned and fate deals a cruel blow when the mother chooses to abandon a guileless infant, leaving him to the hands of where fate takes him…. Which is usually the streets. Motherhood has oft been praised sky high. Yet, rarely have we come across mothers who have willfully walked out on their children and abandoned them to their fate. Rarer still are instances when the son/ daughter, years later, go all out to seek their mom from whichever corner of the world they abide in. Here is a rare saga of a son’s quest for his mother and his success and fulfillment therein. Kisan Upadhaya was born in Assam, India, in 1966. In the summer of 1969, Kisan, the four year old boy in Guwahati was asked by his mom to go into the kitchen and have an orange left there for him by her. He did so and when he called out for her, she was no longer there. She had abandoned him and his sister and left home. Kisan and his eight year old sister Maya Devi were left to fend for themselves, all alone, cold and scared to wits. Their father, who was then posted in the Assam capital with the 4th Battalion of Assam Police, couldn’t care less and decided to pack them off to a relative in Kathmandu. But as fate would have it, the befuddled children lost their way and found themselves all alone, starving in the streets of Nepal. Kisan was eventually separated from
his sister, mother, and father at age four and found himself starving, sick and begging for food on the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. Kisan started working in a tea stall at the tender age of four. His tippy hands used to wash dishes at the tea stall in Nepal while his young sister sold garlands at a nearby temple and received a meager earning of one rupee a day. Soon the bitter cold of winter got the better of him and stalled him from having to work for food and he became very ill, struck with pneumonia and was nearly on the threshold of death. Kisan was thrown out of his tea stall job but he started begging to keep himself and his sister from starving to death. Soon he fell gravely ill and he was taken to a hospital by his sister, where he spent almost six months recovering but to his dismay, he later discovered that Maya, his sister was missing. Kisan was later discharged to the Christian home called Mendies Haven Children’s Home where he grew up. He was brought to the US in 1987 by his foster parents who adopted him and gave him a home and provided for education and thanks to them he is now working in
a Canadian lady and her Indian husband in Kathmandu. The children’s home came and took me in. Every year there is a group of Christian volunteers that comes for a short term mission work to Nepal. Among the volunteers was Dr. Frank Starmer, a professor at Duke University and his family. They adopted me and brought me to the States and sponsored my college education when I was 18 years old. Life with them was great- they had 4 kids of their own and me too. Their daughter who was in high school taught me and helped me with my English homework and grammar while I attended college in Durham, North Carolina. They were great parents and host family. I love them and I was loved very well. Back home in Assam, I remember the abuse my mother had gone through because dad was drunk all the time. Mom was caring and loving up until that point when she left us. The only major part I remember was that I was told to go into the kitchen and eat an orange. I was instructed not to come out until I was done and by the time I came out and yelled out for my mom, she was nowhere to be found. All I could hear was my own echoes resonating from the mountains behind the house. I never saw her again until 2011. Growing up in an orphanage or Children’s home is not easy. All my friends at school called me an orphan from Mendies home. All my friends had mom, dad and siblings except me. It was not a good feeling at all. I knew where my sister was after I ended up in the home , so a few years after I started school I made good friends with one guy who is now my best friend for life- Diwakar Prasai. He helped a lot to find my family. We searched high and low and made a few trips to the river side where my sister was last seen but obviously she was not there. I continued the search but failed many times. Even after I came to the USA I searched and wrote letter after letter to the Indian police department but no one responded until email and FB came along. I always prayed to God and I wanted God to grant me just one wish before I died. That was to
Durham, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and two children. In the intervening years he tried to search for his biological family and failed. It was through Face book, that Kisan finally managed to get in touch with two officials of the Assam Police and they helped him a lot in his search for his lost family. However, 42 years later he was reunited on live TV with his mother and dear sister in August 2011. “Rajen Singh, a Commandant of the 24th Assam Police Battalion and Pranabjyothi Goswami, browsed through forty years records of the Assam police with no leeway. Then they found a Havaldar who informed them that Indhra Upadhaya had passed away in 1988 leaving behind his second wife and children. We also took the help of a local TV channel that flashed details of the
family. Indhra Upadhaya’s uncle was fortunately watching the channel when this bit of news was being telecast. He immediately got in touch with us and then it was easy to trace the rest of the family.” Ironically, in Indian mythology, Kisan is another name for Lord Sri Krishna who was given up by his mother to save his life. He was brought up by his foster mother Yasoda, who showered him with great love. Kisan Upadhaya recounts and shares with Eves Times his life saga, struggles and moments of happiness.
After I was admitted to hospital as a sick child of 5 years, I got well after 6 months’ time. Since no one came forward to claim me as their ownthe American doctors at the hospital contacted a Christian home run by
reunite me, especially with my sister. But in the process, I was not only reunited with my sister but also with my mom. Now I have so many half brothers and sisters and many other relatives I never knew I had before. I got married 18 years back to an American lady I met at Duke University Medical Center while I worked there. Her name is Pamela, Pam for short. We just celebrated our 18th anniversary. We have a son who is now 15 years old. His name is Kevin. We have also adopted a baby girl from the children’s home in Nepal while she was only 6 months old. Now she is 10 years old and in 4th grade. Our kids love school and my son volunteers a lot in school and Church. He plays the piano and helps out at the elderly retirement community.
a chance to accomplish what I set out to accomplish in this life yet" People may think that now that I have found my family, it is a happy ending to a sad story but I feel it is just the beginning of new endeavors in my life. I have yet to accomplish many things and I am not quite there yet. Hope this story of encouragement will be an inspiration and motivation to others to keep going on and do their level best. I have learned to forgive even though the scars still remain. I like this scar to be a grim reminder that there are other Kisans and Maya Devis out there who are facing harder and even more difficult times in life. found favor with one of us, that’s me, and brought me to the United States after many years. This young kid, which is me, grew up to be the person looking for his family and finally my hard work has paid off. Stumbling blocks and hardships come in our lives but never giving up should be our motto of life. I coined this quote myself, " "Honestly I have not failed, it’s just that I have not had
My kids have been to India and Nepal and we are planning another trip again to Asia. They know the Asian culture but they don’t speak the language. We all participate in Asian cultural festivities whenever there is a big gathering in our town. I am sorry to say that on being reunited with my Mom, I discovered that she nurses no remorse for having abandoned us when we were young. Even though I made subtle references to the orange, she displayed no emotions whatsoever. I am saddened to know that she never loved us. I hope my story is one of encouragement and faith. I faced a lot of difficulties growing up as a child on the streets without mom and dad. My sister and I were just two young children by themselves looking after each other and working at menial jobs. No mama kisses and no daddy's smile, nobody wanted us and we were nobody's children. But God
n e r d l i h C n ’ Ow Gods
f o r e h t o M
his is the story of one who has been deprived of a mother’s love. While a mother’s love can move mountains and create remarkable global citizens out of ordinary persons, deprivation of a mother’s love can be equally, if not more motivating and lead to the creation of wonderful people who will teach the world to love. The story of CC Vijayakumari is heart rending in that while she lived in a family, deprivation of her mother’s and family’s love and succor took her through different trails until she finally found her calling. As one steps into the beautiful structure of Siva Sakthi Homes, we are welcomed by smiling blossoms. One can experience the happiness, peace, contentment and above all love in the serene atmosphere
of the Home. The Home started with just seven mentally challenged children in Alwarthirunagar, Chennai in the year 1993 in a rented premise. In 1998 the Home shifted to its own premises in Alapakkam, Chennai, and the land for the Home was donated by a well- wisher, Dr Leela Rajagopal. Presently the Home has spread its branches in Singadivakkam village near Kanchipuram, Sri Rajarajeswary Nagar, Bangalore and Thiruvannamalai. Heading Siva Sakthi Homes, which is a haven for nearly 120 individuals, is 49-year-old Vijayakumari, who is committed to those under her care at the spotlessly clean homes. Born in Idukki District of Kerala her journey towards fulfilling her life’s one and only dream, brought her to Chennai, where she established Siva Sakthi Kakkum Karangal (Siva Sakthi Homes) under the banner of Siva Sakthi Sathya Sai Charitable Trust in the year 1993. The first seed for Siva Sakthi Homes was sown in the heart of Vijayakumari when she saw two mentally challenged sisters in the temple of Sri Bhagawathi Amman of
M.Phil in Sociology. In the year 2007, she came out with her autobiography ‘Kadavulin Kuzhanthaikal’ where she has written about her life experiences, challenges and opportunities that were thrown in front of her to pursue her passion relentlessly with single minded devotion. The Book is a rare creation and a treat for the mind and heart and divulges the angst of a pained heart. Most of us grew up listening to fairy tales and also gory tales of step moms and step daughters and the cruelty that was meted out to the latter. Remember how it made us cringe in wide eyed horror and how elated we felt when the story had a happy ending? Well, this is no fairy tale and there are no step moms or step daughters but a real flesh and blood natural mom and how she heaped hatred and cruelty on to her own daughter and made life hell for her. The tale as it unfolds is painful enough to bring angry tears to the reader’s eyes. Vijayakumari recounts in her own words details of her painful childhood, and how, as a chrysalis emerging from its cocoon, found strength deep within herself to transform lives and bring joy and cheer to millions of homeless and underprivileged people through her venture- Siva
Shakthi Homes. ‘I hail from Idukki in Kerala, a beautiful village that nestles among hilly ranges and flanked by forests all around. My parents are Chellappan Nair and Padmavathi Amma. My mom is from a normal middle class family and was quite well off but due to extravagance, they were reduced to living a hand to mouth existence. Mom took to residing with her sister and family but after a while, she moved out after having married my father, who used to be employed in my aunt’s shop. My dad started working in a tea shop but the meager earnings were hardly enough to pay off the household expenses.’ Vijayalakshmi’s parents were not literate too. At this juncture, Vijayalakshmi’s grand mom, on seeing the plight her daughter and family were in, offered them a helping hand by way of gifting them with a young calf. From then on, their fortunes took a turn for the better; their herd of cows increased gradually and they were able to make a good living out of supplying milk to various establishments and homes. They then decided to have their own restaurant and things went on fine until Vijayalakshmi was born. Vijayalakshmi is preceded by three brothers and a sister. Her mother
Chottanikara, Kerala. A Montessori school teacher, to begin with, the seed slowly sprouted in her mind and grew as Siva Sakthi Homes. As a first step towards attaining her goal, she completed with merit, Diploma in Special Educator training for mentally retarded children from National Institute of Mental Health, Secunderabad. After a stint at Asha Niketan International School, Chennai, and Mercy Mother India Charitable Trust for the mentally challenged, she decided to pursue her life’s mission and dream of organizing a Home, away from home, for mentally challenged children. According to Vijayakumari, if our thoughts, feelings and ambitions are pure and rich, the Supreme Power will guide and lead us toward the right path and help us emerge victorious. She attributes her merits and achievements as God’s Will. She believes that only love is the first and the best investment for service. Not being a person to rest on her laurels, Vijayakumari reinforced herself by completing her M.A and
had badly wanted a girl child after three sons and she was gifted with a girl child – Viji’s sister. Even before she could lavish all her love on her daughter, Padmavathi conceived again. She was not ready physically or emotionally for another child and the couple tried ways and means to abort the child. Imagined fears of threat to her life prompted her to stop trying out modes of aborting and finally she gave birth to Vijayalakshmi. From the moment she was born, poor Viji fell prey to the wrath and hatred of her own mother, for no fault of hers. While her other siblings enjoyed abundant love and praise from their parents, Viji was shunned, ridiculed, made to slog endlessly by her own family. From the crack of dawn, she had to help out in her father’s restaurant making umpteen dishes, wash vessels, clean out the cow sheds, wash all the clothes, grind batter for the home and restaurant- the list was endless. After all her chores, she had to walk seven miles to reach her school on time. As time passed, even though her family amassed a lot of wealth and was very well off, there was no respite for Viji. “I remember, at the time of my puberty, I was scared on seeing blood stains on my clothes. I ran to my mom petrified and crying but she turned away scornfully and I had to wait until my sister came home, to cleanse myself and change clothing.”
Taking a cue from Padmavathi, even her siblings were downright rude to Viji.” Several incidents that can’t be narrated took place in my family. My dad too passed away and I felt truly lost and lonely and shunned in my own home. I realized slowly that it is impossible to change anyone. I knew that I needed to love myself first in order to impart love and care to others. I decided that my happiness too is important, and only if I started taking good care of myself and loving myself will I ever be able to care for others and usher in happiness in their lives. From then on, I noticed positive changes for the better happening in my life.” Eventually, Viji came to Chennai seeking livelihood. She had completed her Montessori training from St. Antony’s In Kochi and while at Chennai, proceeded to complete her post graduation in Sociology and also procured an M.Phil in the same. Vijayalakshmi is the founder of Siva Sakthi Homes, the residential complex for the mentally challenged with multiple problems. Orphans, children of single parents, children
born mentally retarded with multiple problems who have both parents but find it difficult to take care of their kids, every single one of them are taken in and loved and cared for by this angel of a lady. Vijayakumari has also legally adopted a son and a daughter, both of whom are mentally challenged with multiple problems. “I grew up as a neglected child and only through serving my children have I regained my lost childhood. I am eternally grateful to all those who hurt me because, if not for them, I would never have ventured into this field of service.” Vijayakumari C C is a mother to all the children who live and thrive under the widespread and care-giving branches of the Siva Sakthi Homes. Tenderness, unconditional love and warmth are what children seek from others. Special children are no exception. Children of Siva Sakthi Homes are really very fortunate in getting this unconditional love, warmth, tenderness and extensive care in abundance from their favorite Viji Akka, as they fondly call her. A born lover of children she showers her love and affection on them who are under her care. While interacting with the children, her feelings, love and warmth for these children shine forth from her compassionate eyes. Her love for them is spontaneous and her interaction with them is like a symphony. She not only loves them but is also proud of them.
Her dedication, commitment and abundant love for her children not only brought her many laurels, but also brought many good and kind hearted persons into her fold who extend their friendship and offer endless support to her endeavor. Vijayakumari believes in quality rather than on quantity. One can see this in Siva Sakthi Homes. Her Homes depict cleanliness and hygiene in every nook and corner. A role model to her staff, she joins her staff members in caring for the children; whether it is bathing them, feeding them or washing their soiled clothes or spending time with them. The service here is based entirely on love and affection. Vijayakumari feels that mentally challenged children should never be isolated. Though her core service is towards the mentally challenged, she has admitted normal destitute and orphaned children in her Homes. These children are given proper education in nearby government schools and are trained to care for the mentally challenged children as brothers and sisters. The interaction between them has brought about significant improvement in the behaviour of the mentally challenged as well as the normal children. Moreover Vijayakumari has admitted a few senior citizens also to have a
system of extended family, wherein mentally challenged children, normal destitute and orphaned children and senior citizens provide a positive and proactive support system to one other. This has maximized the social interaction and the extended family of Siva Sakthi Homes is bound by unconditional love and affection. Though Vijayakumari feels that residential homes are needed for mentally challenged children once their parents are no more, she yearns for a society where such children are not born. Towards this end she started a project in 2002 in collaboration with another NGO for providing “Neutraceuticals” to 250 pregnant women from economically backward community at Villivakkam area to prevent pre-natal causes for Mental Retardation. This provision is extended till the child attains 2 years of age. It is hoped that the children will be born healthy, will have normal IQ and will live to be healthy citizens of the country. All fairy tales have happy endings; so too is the case with Viji. Life’s experiences instead of breaking her spirit have only inspired her to extend a helping hand to the mentally challenged and the destitute, thereby bringing her infinite peace and happiness.
Save thy soul, Mother!
other's Day has finally found her way into falling into the stereotype of other ‘days’ celebrated the calendar. Just as we monotonously pick up bands on Friendship Day and cupids for our partners on Valentines Day, Mother’s Day comes and goes. When people across the world gift their mothers hallmark greeting cards and bouquets , and order hampers from gift websites all over the world , and sigh and sit back , not giving the ‘day’ another thought. Seldom do people sit back and think about celebrating the day with their mothers. Neither the children , nor the mother herself. Both parties are busy running the rat race , and they just about manage to put up a Facebook status thanking their mom , a dashed off love note ringing with clichés (note – the word nostalgia will creep up more than a dozen times) and scanned copies of childhood photographs. Hail good old commercialism! Trust me , you and I are no different . Magazines splash mother’s day across their features , newspapers capitalize on an ad , baby care products have an ‘I’m feeling lucky’ day. When we think of Mother's Day , do we think mothers in all aspects? Do we consider to raise a toast to an unwed mother who was brave enough to raise
a baby of her own , despite society’s pinched frowns on her? Do we look up to a single mother who is both dada and momma to her little child? Do we , in a rare circumstance come across a mother who , has mothered several children she has not given birth to? Unfortunately we have not grown broad minded enough yet for unwed mothers to come out and talk about their lives – directly proportional to her fear of being shunned. We set aside the tribute to an unwed mother hopefully to next Mothers Day when people, will probably open their minds a wee bit further. This Mother's Day , let us save the gift hampers and talk about mothers in a whole new light. A big house with a play set and garden, the clatter of feet of ten children, skipping about merrily , doing their own thing- living rooms cluttered with left over homework, a stray doll or teddy , the kitchen wall pinned up with vividly painted crayon drawings,
and a mother bustling about setting the table for lunch . Welcome to this home, a home of ten children and their mother, who are just sitting down to enjoy their Sunday feast . The mother is saying the prayer and the children bow their heads. We
An SOS Mother does more for her SOS children than feed, clothe, discipline, and provide a clean and comfortable home environment for them. Although she is expected to keep her home and children neat, healthy and tidy, an SOS Mother is more than a child minder. She is a Mother who cares for the whole child. She pays attention to the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual well being of the child. She is a parent to the whole child. An SOS mother passes a part of herself on to the children through the relationship she builds up with each individual child. At the same time, she is a childcare professional who, by using her educational knowledge, is able to approach the children and their specific life stories. She is embedded in the community of the SOS Children's Village with her family; there she finds support and personal backing, and contributes to the village community herself. The SOS mother accompanies the children's development process, and, in doing so, works together with the village director and the other coworkers in the village. In today's world , that is a lot we are putting under the headline of Mother. An SOS mother is the personification of selfless unconditional love , that a woman can dole out to build a family, become a mother to the ten children who look up to her, and raise them till they are able to stand on their own. Then her job as ‘mother’ begins again. What a different interpretation of the word mother! As we leave the village , dusk falls across the homes and the mothers are herding t h e i r
children back into the cocoons of their homes. Another day has ended. Mother's Day would come and go but the SOS mother would plod on , mothering dozens of children , giving them a large portion of her life , a life dedicated to the children she has adopted. We love you SOS Mother. On Mother’s Day we would like to pause and take a look at you, and take a leaf out of your book and tell you that Mummy , your children all over the world would be so proud of you. No hallmark greeting card or a day circled on a calendar is love enough to acknowledge the goodness in you. Save Thy Soul mother. This Mother’s Day, in our own commercialism infested minds and ways , you will be remembered.
leave them to their happy world and retreat. No one can tell that the ten children sitting around the table are not related by blood, nor can they make out that the mother whose attention they keep vying for , is not their biological mother. Gifting a homeless orphaned little child , with a family full of brothers and sisters , a place to call his home, and a mother to fling his arms around, a home in all aspects – for home is where the mother is. SOS Children's Villages that believes in gifting a loving home for every child , gives orphanages and home shelters across the globe , something new to think about. The children who find their way to this ‘home’ are immediately put into their own cottage, with brothers and sisters they can call this own and a mother. This is a rare example of a mother – a single woman who has left behind her own dreams of mothering a child and having a family – who comes to the SOS village and embraces a family in her arms , and plays the role of mother to the ten children who come into her ‘home’. SOS Villages have been nurturing mothers in every village of their across the world. Each village has ten homes of varied religions- Hindu , Christian and Islam , and the mother brings up the children in the religion they were born into .
Is Womb A Property On Lease?
n Kirthi Gita Jayakumar
id you know that India has a resounding USD2.5 billion large surrogacy industry that is only growing by leaps and bounds by the day?
baby she is giving up all legal rights and claims and may not even receive visitation rights. No legal instruments govern surrogacy. In India, right from familial rights, visitation rights and labour rights, a surrogate mother has no status. There are of course contractual rights and rights conferred upon a surrogate mother by contracts, but these are few and far between. Most surrogate mothers get a raw deal if they are illiterate or are just doing it to find a few bucks to feed their families. Surrogacy is built on the edifice of a contract. Therefore, a surrogate mother must enter into a legal contract that will enumerate details of the monetary payments, the rights and other related obligations of both parties involved. Some of the ideal clauses it should contain include provisions for financial support for the surrogate child in the case of the death of the commissioning couple or the individual before delivery of the child, or a divorce between the intended parents and subsequent willingness of none to take delivery of the child. A surrogacy contract should ideally work to protect life insurance for the surrogate mother. Surrogate agreements often will contain a reimbursement clause for medical expenditure, along with a payment for the services. If there is no compensation rendered, it is often a case of altruistic surrogacy. Any couple that is financially sound (to be able to pay) can opt for a surrogacy agreement. However, by a recent memorandum from the Home Ministry, this right is something that gay couples, unmarried couples and couples coming from countries where surrogacy is illegal, cannot enjoy.
Uh–huh. You read right. Known also by the more colloquial reference that people have conferred upon it as being a case of “renting a womb”, surrogacy is most often a solution to a plethora of health conditions that can threaten the life of a mother intending to become pregnant, or the foetus. Though some may choose to adopt, there are still many that would like to give birth to their “own kind”, even if it means reaching out to another person to be the vehicle. And it’s not just the Indians that feel the need for it; foreign couples are lured to Indian shores by the combination of low costs and the excellent medical facilities surrounding surrogacy. A whopping estimate of 25,000 foreign couples is the number that pays a trip to the country in the hopes of finding a surrogate mother. Spending anywhere between 5,000 and 7,000 for a surrogate mother, and about a few thousands more towards the full service, they cut costs by nearly 70% by coming to India.
What does the law say?
A surrogate mother, or as legalese puts it in its incredibly impersonal ways, a surrogate womb, is quite like property taken on lease. You use it for a set duration, and once that time lapses, the property is no longer yours. Everything you put in it is yours to take, and not for the owner of the property. Harshly put, right? But the dynamics boil down to pretty much the same thing when you look at the way they pan out. Consequently, once the surrogate mother gives birth to the
Maternal Health Care in India
n Kirthi Gita Jayakumar
postnatal care. A heady mix of the lack of education, awareness and easily affordable facilities serves a setback of sorts for pregnant women. The extent of the crisis varies with geo strategy and policy, economy and social standing. That the whole issue of family planning and population explosion in India have been the subject of much debate and controversy in India. We have an astoundingly high population, and it is rather old news that the government has continuously strived to come up with various nationwide programmes that serve to curtail the increasing numbers. It doesn’t matter that India has the oldest family planning programs in the world, because anyway, it still has a fertility rate of 2.9 and a crude birth rate of 23/1,000 persons. Statistically speaking, the number of births per female is fairly high to say the least. Such high rates of birth and fertility
he is pregnant. She’s walked miles already, and her feet cannot bear it any longer. Each step feels like walking on a thousand heated knives, as the ground beneath her feet breathes the fire of summer. It is time for her delivery, she knows, as waves of pain rack her body. She has no means to get to a doctor earlier than this – the only clinic she can access is a good five hours away. It has been an hour, and there are four left ahead of her. And when she gets there, not just being famished, she
facilities. Women of higher social strata are easily disposed to access healthcare owing to the availability of means. But the same cannot be comfortably said of women in backward sections of society, and in rural areas. Private healthcare goes beyond the budget of marginalised women. The Indian government has gone on record to assert that maternal health in the country had improved considerably in 2009 and 2010, because as many as 10 million women had given birth in health facilities in the two years under study. Under its flagship National Rural Health Mission and Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), or Safe Motherhood Scheme, the Indian government uses cash incentives to encourage women to give birth in health facilities. However, where this scheme falls short is that it does not, measure the numbers of women who survive the delivery and the post delivery period, a much more accurate measure of success.
has to sit through a painful procedure as a “doctor” cuts through her without anaesthesia, without an antiseptic. She is the anthropomorphism of endurance, bearing her pain with just nothing more than gritted teeth and a forehead swathed in sweat. This is the reality of many, many women in the rural parts of India, and sometimes, in urban India where affordable facilities are lacking. Women like her don’t have to go through this, while a major part of the rest of the world sits back with science and technology at its disposal to not only make birthing easier, but near painless. Women like her don’t have to suffer this predicament at all, but they do. And here is why. Maternal healthcare is a very wide term. It does not confine itself to the time of delivering a child – but encompasses everything from the process of family planning, preconception, prenatal, and
indicate that on an average, a woman gives birth to at least two children in the course of their reproductive age. In rural areas, though, they could go right up to ten children, immaterial of whether they can sustain their own health in the process. Owing to the continued burden of multiple births, these mothers do not recover from childbirth simply because they don’t enjoy the luxury of time and care. Maternal death is death that occurs when a woman is pregnant, or, anytime within 42 days of the termination of the pregnancy, pertaining to any cause relating to pregnancy. As it stands, access to health care is not governed by any legal document. While the Maternity Benefits Act examines the status of mothers in the workplace, particularly in laborious jobs and factories, it does not entitle her to any right to access of medical and health care
The Constitution of India guarantees the fundamental right to life to every man and woman in society. It also directs the state to cater to the needs of mothers and pregnant women in the context of their health. However, where a young woman lies in a “hospital” in some rural part of the country, delivering what could be the fifth or sixth child, legal rights seldom come to their rescue. Without the implementation of the already frugal law governing maternal health by those in charge of administration, there is no practicality in assuming that a woman can knock on the doors of the judiciary to demand their enforcement. For whichever pregnancy it is – the first or the fifteenth, a mother’s mind is with her unborn child. The least that the lawmakers can do is to ensure that the law that gives them their bread can work to give these women their health.
Gayatri Asokan is a lecturer and co- founder of Nutrisolutions . She is a dietitian by profession and has been on the panel of TTK and Nestle before deciding to venture out on her own.
he right food at the right time is always essential to keep the gut healthy. A well balanced diet is needed for the functioning of all the systems of our body. As the functions of nutrients are interconnected, if there is a low level in the intake of a particular nutrient, it can affect the absorption of other, vitamins. For instance, vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and vitamin C is essential for iron absorption. Each and every person is different and the food that is suitable for each system may vary and it is better to follow a customized diet plan from an experienced nutritionist. You should observe your body and note the changes after eating a particular type of food, and if some complaints arise and continue to persist after consuming the same food 5-10 times you need a consultation. But more than 50% of the complaints relating to food depends on one's preferences like "hot food", "cold food" and we Indians harbor a lot of unscientific beliefs that have been passed on from generation to generation. There are some foods that have proved to have beneficial effects on our stomach and overall health.
As we know, due to anti-biotic treatment, one may lose the healthy bacteria in the stomach, which may cause severe discomforts like gastric problems, diarrhea etc. So it is essential to take B-complex tablets and foods rich in B-vitamins. Pre biotics and pro biotics have a good effect. Pro-biotics are the live bacteria that are present in yogurt and other dairy products. Pre biotics are the specialized plant fiber that help to nourish the good bacteria that are already present in the large intestine. It is effective to prevent irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, cancer etc. Recommended daily intake of fiber should be 40mg, but due to modern lifestyle and fast food trends, we ingest less than 10 gm/day. Food that are rich in fiber are plant foods like whole grains, rice flakes, oats, beans, vegetables, pop corn, nuts etc. Don’t miss the prasadam we get from temple, it is a good source of fiber as well as other nutrients. Even if the fibers are good for preventing diseases like cancer, one should reduce the intake if diagnosed with ulcer. So a diet plan is always necessary to get all the nutrients for your daily needs. Foods that help to improve the function of stomach are :
2-2.5 liters of water is needed daily for a healthy person. Drink 2 glasses of water early in the morning, to reduce constipation, as it helps to make the stool soft and easier to pass. Add half tsp-1tsp (5ml) of ghee to jaggery coffee which is a good
source of minerals like iron, zinc and drink this early every morning, which is a good remedy for constipation during pregnancy. Yogurt/Curd
Instead of white rice, use brown rice which contains more fibers and B vitamins. We Indians have the habit of taking curds and buttermilk daily. Instead of antacids, try half glass of curd with half glass water, which is effective for indigestion and fullness. It is proven that daily intake of yogurt, which contains pro biotics help to prevent diseases and it also helps to improve the skin tone. Instead of using other soft drinks, drink buttermilk daily to reduce heat, as it provides enough nutrients like protein and B-vitamins. A glass of yogurt a day helps to keep the gut healthy. Oats, Nuts and Vegetables
It contains a good source of fiber. It is can be used for making curries, snacks etc. To counter diarrhea, try arrowroot drink, which has a soothing effect and reduces the symptoms. Boil mustard seeds in water, add some sugar and drink. It gives immediate relief. So a well balanced diet with all the nutrients especially vitamins A, B-complex vitamins, fiber and water is essential to keep away diseases and maintain gut health. These contain soluble fibers which help to prevent diseases and are good for the stomach. Fenugreek contains soluble fiber. It is good for diabetic as well as cholesterol patients. Fiber present in beans is effective for diabetic patients.
'n' Salt Pepper
How can we reheat "left over chapattis"? Sarala Jairaj, Chennai Leftover chapattis are very easily reheated and used. Chapattis reheated on a tawa with a little water become as good as fresh and, if reheated with oil, they will be crisp and if sprinkled with chaat masala, make for a very tasty snack. These days chapattis can also be reheated in a microwave. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------How sensible is it to use aluminium foil in these expensive times? Shobha Thampi, Ernakulum Expensive or not, but make foil your best friend: it makes up for hygienic packing of food and for easy clean-up; nothing beats a foil lined pan. A foil tent keeps food warm. Use a piece of foil to clean the food encrusted surfaces. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Can we store or freeze leftover soup, and how will it have to be reheated? Sudha Balachandran
The name “Mallika Badrinath” is familiar to most homemakers in South India. Till 1988, she too was a homemaker ; now she is an internationally acknowledged culinary expert, with an eager audience latching on to every word she has to say about food and cooking in her television shows. Her books are sold like hot cakes across the world. She is a symbol of women achievers of India. Hers is a success story that has been an inspiration to many women.
To freeze leftover soup, cool it to room temperature, then ladle into freezer-safe containers and freeze. To thaw, place the container in the refrigerator and let it sit for one night. To reheat, transfer the soup to a pan. Cook covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through about 15 minutes. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------How can we correct the taste of too sweet or too spicy dishes? Himangi Kulkarni If a dish is too sweet and too spicy, acidic items, such as lemon or vinegar, tend to cut down on both too much of salt or sugar in dishes. If the dish is too spicy, add something with a little fat such as butter, or something sweet such as peanut butter or honey.
Make your kitchen experience exciting using Mallika Badrinath’s wise counsel. Mallika has recipes for everyone; even bachelors and children can turn out a delectable meal using her guidance. So go ahead with your kitchen queries and prepare healthy, tasty meals with the help of the Cuisine Queen of South India.
N smile easy Recipes
Summer is here and so is the King of Fruits – The glorious mango! So cherish this summer with your favourite fruit and try your hands on these mango treats. Rishi Wadhwa gets to some hatke recipes of Mango that you could try at home. Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, Food Consultant at Godrej Nature’s Basket shares with us the recipes for Spicy Oriental Mango salad along with Thai Mango Basil Salad with olive oil and Mango Fool with Kiwi Salsa
Spicy Oriental Mango Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves 2-3 as a Side Dish Ingredients Ripe mangoes, flesh cut into large chunks ................ 2 No Mixed capsicum, seeded and ................................... 1 cup white pith removed, cut into thin strips Spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally....................... 2 No Small red onion, very thinly sliced............................. 1/2 Lettuce shredded...................................................... 1 cup Spicy oriental dressing Toasted sesame oil/ hazelnut oil............................... 1 tbsp Chilli oil.................................................................. 1 tbsp Lime juice................................................................ 2tbsp Chilli flakes............................................................. 1 tsp Rock salt to taste Method
N smile easy Recipes
In a large salad bowl combine vegetables. Shake dressing ingredients together in a jar. When ready to serve gently toss dressing through the salad.
Variation Add spicy cooked prawns or smoked chicken to make this a complete summer meal.
Thai Mango Basil Salad with olive oil
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves 2-3 as a Side Dish Ingredients 1 medium bowl fresh lettuce, or a combination of mixed greens (1 semi-ripe to ripe mango) 1/2 to 1 cup cucumber, sliced 1/4 cup dry-roasted cashew nuts 1 tbsp Thai chillies, sliced fine Basil Dressing: (serves 2 people; double recipe for 3 or more) Basil leaves, or up to 25 if leaves are small 15-20 Green onion, sliced (including green stem) 1 Fresh lime juice 2 tbsp Salt 1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp Brown sugar or palm sugar 2tsp Method Chilli 1eth
N smile easy Recipes
Variations of this Salad Add cooked prawns, simply boiled or grilled Add fried tofu, cut into cubes Add grilled chicken If you can't find mango, try it with fresh pineapple instead!
Rinse fresh greens and use salad spinner to dry. Place in a salad bowl. Add all the other vegetables. Slice the mango on either side of the stone and scoop out the fruit. Slice fruit up into cubes. Add mango cubes to the salad. To make the dressing, place all Basil Dressing ingredients in a mini chopper, food processor or blender. Process to a coarse paste. Drizzle dressing over salad. Add nuts and toss again.
N smile easy Recipes
Mango Fool with Kiwi Salsa
(can be serve with sweet multigrain cookies/biscotti)
Ingredients Hung yogurt............................................................. 150 gm Large ripe mangoes, peeled, roughly chopped........... 2 Almond bread.......................................................... 8 pieces For Kiwi Salsa 2 Kiwis diced fine...................................................... 2 Handful of fresh mint leaves Sugar or sweetener as required................................. 1/2 tsp Lime juice................................................................. 1/2 tsp Pinch of salt Method Combine everything for Kiwi salsa and reserve.Place yogurt in a bowl. With a fork, mix till creamy. Mash mango in another bowl and add 2/3 to the yogurt. Reserve 1/3 cup mango puree. Half-fill 6 shot glasses with mango-yogurt mixture. Spoon over reserved mashed mango. Then spoon over Kiwi Salsa. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or longer, if time permits. Serve with healthy cookies to dip in.
Summery Mango Salsa
(can be served with ragi chips or other healthy chips) Ingredients 1 red bird's eye chilli, deseeded, sliced ................. 1 1 tablespoon lime juice......................................... 1tbsp 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped...................... 1/2 2 tablespoons shredded fresh mint leaves ............. 2 tbsp 1 garlic clove, crushed.......................................... 1 1 kaffir lime leaf, finely shredded........................... 1 2 (400g each) mangoes, chopped......................... 2 (400 g each)
N smile easy Recipes
Method Place mango, chilli, lime juice, onion, mint, garlic and lime leaf in a bowl. Stir gently to combine. Cover. Refrigerate. Serve with Kaffir lime and lemon salmon or sliced leg ham.
N smile easy Recipes
Mango Prawn Tapas recipe from The Little Door
(can be served with ragi chips or other healthy chips)
Ingredients Jumbo prawns ................................................. 12 Alphonso mango, firm but not too riped ........... 1 Large clove of garlic, chopped .......................... 1 Sundried tomatoes, chopped............................. 1tbsp Red chilli flakes................................................. 1/2 tbsp Black peppercorns............................................ 4-5 Fennel seeds..................................................... 1 tbsp Fresh ginger, grated.......................................... 1 Chopped basil.................................................. 1/2 Olive oil........................................................... 2 tbsp Salt ................................................................. 1 pinch Lime juice......................................................... 1 tbsp zest of 1 lime Some herbs for garnish Method Peel and cut the mango into 12 small cubes. Clean and devein the prawns. Remove the shell, keeping the tail on. Marinate prawns with lime juice and salt and keep aside. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add fennel, garlic, black peppercorns, sundried tomatoes, chopped basil and chilli flakes. Stir regularly till mixture become fragrant. Add prawns and let them cook for a minute, add the grated ginger and sea salt; stir for 2 minutes. Let it cool. Pick a prawn and a mango cube on a toothpick; repeat the same process with the rest. Set them in line on a platter. Grate the zest of lime over and garnish with a few fresh herbs. You can also add a cube of feta between mango and prawns.
Rang De Basanti Dhaba, Sarojini Nagar, DLF South Square Mall, New Delhi of Rang De Basanti Dhaba shares with our readers the recipes for Khatte Aam Ki Machchi, Aam Panna Martini and kids favorite Mango Kulfi
Khatte Aam Ki Machchi
Ingredients Sole Fish.................................................... 400 gms Green Mango............................................100 gm Green Chillies ..........................................10 gm or 4 to 5 nos. Lemon juice ..............................................10 ml Mustard Oil ..............................................60 ml Mustard seeds ..........................................50 gm Turmeric powder........................................5 gm Methi Daana.............................................5 gm Saunf .......................................................5 gm Kalaunji ...................................................5 gm Cumin Powder ..........................................5 gm Salt- to taste Jaggery.....................................................20 gm
N smile easy Recipes
For the Second Marinate Marinate the Fish chunks with mango paste and the five masala powder. Next Heat a frying pan or tawa and sear the fish chunks on it till they get light brown. Once the fish is browned and cooked, serve the fish with Lachcha Mooli (shredded mooli) and a lemon wedge.
Method Cut the Sole Fish into chunks. Next marinate the sole pieces with turmeric, lemon juice and salt. Roast the mustard seeds and Methi Daana, Sauf, Kalaunji, Jeera and crush this and make it into a powder. Peel and puree the green mango, green chillies and jaggery together.
N smile easy Recipes
Aam Panna Martini
Ingredients Vodka ................................................60ml Aam panna mix .................................30 ml Fresh lime juice ..................................5 ml Sugar syrup ......................................5 ml ...........................1 tea spoon Chopped green chilly .........................half tea spoon Chopped coriander Black salt Method Softly muddle chilly , coriander with lime juice in a cocktail shaker, put 8 -10 ice cube. Put all other ingredients over the ice and shake hard . Double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with coriander leaf and lime spiral. ........................................pinch
Ingredients Pistachio............................................................... 10gm Milk..................................................................... 500 ml Milk Powder ......................................................... 50gm Condensed Milk .................................................. 100ml Sugar-.................................................................. 50gm Mango Pulp.......................................................... 200ml Alphonso Mango Chunks...................................... 80 gm Method
N smile easy Recipes
Heat the milk in a pan and add the milk powder and condensed milk, next add the sugar. Let the liquid mixture come to a boil and then let it cook on simmer till it thicken further. Next, cool the mixture and add the mango pulp and mix well. Pour the mixture and freeze till it is set. Garnish the kulfi with crushed pistachio pieces and serve.
Jus' Ask Brinda
I am a mother of two teenage daughters. As a mother we are more of friends than being parents and kids. We used to share a rapport that was truly enviable. But of late, after my kids have returned home after their education, even though we do spend quality time together, I notice that my kids are more hooked on to their mobile phones, wassap, laptop and they are overly concerned about their friends. In effect, I feel lost, worthless. I know I shouldn’t feel so, but that nagging feeling persists and I find myself in tears most often. For all this, I do have a full time job. How can I manage myself in this scenario and get back to normalcy? Have I made a mistake in parenting? Or do they perceive us as 'antiquated'? Sarala Divakar
Eve’s Times is happy to announce that Family Therapist and Parent-Teacher educator Brinda Jayaraman will answer any query you want to ask relating to family and interpersonal interactions. Send in your questions to editoretg@gmail. com or to our office directly.
Experiencing a feeling of alienation when children drift away is not uncommon among middle aged mothers. This situation creates an insecurity and anxiety about the teenager in mothers. Some mothers choose the friendship route, as it is the easiest way to peep into the privacy of their teen children! The reality is that these days you and your daughters don’t have common experiences to share. Your teen daughters have many secrets which they would be eager to share only with their peers and not with you, because they would detest your adult responses. Their world now is different and you are a misfit there; allow them to learn about life and relationships through their experiences. This dual role of mother and friend would blur the boundaries and confuse the relationship roles. A pecking order between mother and daughter is the balanced approach of mothering, as per parenting experts. Mother’s unconditional love would sacrifice many things for daughters, to avoid any disappointment or adjustment from their side, whereas friends’ love will expect equal participation which would teach them a lot about relationships. If you are a single parent or a wife in an
unhappy marriage, you might look for gratification of your belonging need (the feeling that someone needs you) through your children. If you don’t step out now, the impact could affect their lives adversely. “How do I let go?” is your question. Try not to hover around them. Respect their privacy and give them space. Make friends in your age group and try to enjoy their company. Every morning give affirmation messages to yourself –“I should let go my children. To ‘let go’ does not mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do for someone else. To ‘let go’ is not to cut myself off; it is the realization I can’t control another. To ‘let go’ is not to enable; but to allow learning from natural consequences. To ‘let go’ is not to be protective; but to let another face reality. To ‘let go’ is to fear less and love more.” After all, as Khalil Gibran said, “…And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts….” They have a right to explore their identity and facilitating that process will shape them well. With warm wishes, Brinda
Have your cake and eat it too
very cuisine is a story and the chef, a story teller. It is only sometimes in some places that you can close your eyes and say wow! What gives a dish the wow factor? The delicate threads that go behind its making and the magic of it completely rest on the chef. Nimrat Pahwa, Sous Chef of Sheraton Park Hotel and Towers, is one of those wonderful story tellers, passionate and adventurous who can make any meal a fantastic gastronomic ride. Here’s a note of a short chat with this charming, young story teller over cheesy salad and chilled juice on a hot summer afternoon. “Thanks to my army background, that hardly allowed me to stay at one place for a long time. And the newest thing that hits you in a new place is the food culture. Like it or not, you need to adapt. But since I was a typical Punjabi foodie, I took it up as an interesting factor that added the extra spice in my life,” says Nimrat. Especially in a country like India where options can be plenty, learning about
food can be as interesting as ever. For a person like Nimrat, India offered its great diversity in a platter that hardly took her some time to grab. Spending much of her leisure time watching and cooking along with her Mom, Nimrat developed a keen culinary desire. “I tried my hands on Swiss rolls as early as when I was a five year old,” laughs Nimrat. But that hardly brought any surprise to me as I had tasted her delectable steaks and tarts on previous occasions. Like any other ambitious girl, she appeared for the medical entrance examinations after her 12th standard. But failing to clear it she decided to try the following year. Meanwhile destiny pulled her to the Hotel Management Institute at Manipal after which there was no looking back. There is a lot of difference between cooking at home and studying the theories of cooking. But Nimrat’s intelligence and smartness bore fruit when she found herself quite willing and technically sound, coping up with the basics of culinary science. “It is the basics that matter the most and it pays off for sure. A strong foundation will always keep you steady under any kind of pressure. The rest lies in practical experiences in the kitchen,” divulges Nimrat confidently. Starting her professional career with the ITC Maurya, New Delhi, she has worked for the ITC Grand Central, Mumbai, ITC Gardenia, Bangalore. Presently she has the cap of the Sous Chef in Sheraton Park Hotel and Towers, Chennai. “Watching celebrity chefs pictured in the most glamorous attire often gives a false impression. It is not as easy as it looks but takes years of hard work to get the precision and quality to perfection and even the finest sometimes suffer significant setback,” claims the chef sipping hot tea. One can surely be lured with the added perks and compliments, but it can take a toll for glamorous girls who had once spent hours in front
of the mirror. Not only do you give up on your make up kits, but forget about being updated with the latest accessories and shrugs. There is no point applying foundation or eyeliner when you are in a hot steamy kitchen. “As you can see I am in this uniform from morning till midnight. My social life has become extinct, except for Facebook,” quips the Sous Chef. Coupled with these is the work pressure where you balance between everyday demand and time management and training the staff in the kitchen. “You must check out the hustle that goes in a kitchen. Cutting, peeling, baking, grilling, frying, smell of the spices, array of flavours diffusing in the kitchen space can create myriad moods in you. But when you come to the dining space attending a guest, you cover it all up with the most beautiful and subtle smile,” says Nimrat. “What then makes you get up everyday and still come for work with your everlasting enthusiasm?” I asked. “Well, it is the fact that everyday becomes a creative challenge as you strive for better and better results. Everything becomes insignificant as you receive a compliment from your guest. That is what gives the satisfaction and makes it worth being a chef. Besides, it is a growing career and one can always climb up the ladder gradually. Of course the initial 2-3 years can be really tough as that is when you are polished and prepared.” For the lucky ones, opening up a restaurant after solid years of experience can also be a goal. The hotel industry does not see much participation from women folk, especially in the kitchen. There is a weird notion about women working in the sector. Can you name any one sector where there is no competition or struggle? “But one needs to deal with situations in a perfectly professional manner. Maintaining a cordial relation with everyone, being firm yet polite is always the best way to get your
work done. At the end of the day, one must simply keep a steady focus on the goal and that would make any struggle seem manageable,” says Nimrat confidently addressing young aspiring chefs. When asked about her stress relief mantras, she declares that she has a unique way to combat stress. “If I am tired and it is even 2 am in the night, I get up and try out some of my favourite or new additions to the wardrobe that were left untouched for quite some time. I love accessories and bands and bright colours, which make me happy when I stand in front of the mirror. Feeling beautiful is the best way to feel happy and I am sure anyone can dare to try it out!” Nimrat Pahwa would love to teach cooking to any enthusiastic learner and wishes to get such opportunities. During her leisure time which is quite rare, she loves to be in touch with her friends and go out shopping. No wonder Thailand seems to be her favourite holiday destination that gives a luxurious indulgence to shopping opportunities. The chat concluded with some chocolate dessert made especially for the occasion that was topped with her cheerful nature and warm hospitality.
My Mother, My Life
She Continues To Live In My Heart
Super Human Being
Live in or Opt Out
PAGE 48 PAGE 52
Model : Swetha Sridhar • Photograph : Solomon Boaz
JEST 4 LAUGHS
If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher. Abdul Kalam
From Kirthi’s Desk .....
hen I was about four or five, I remember distinctly believing that life before colour photography was black and white, that people in those days were in black and white. I wondered how they learned what blue, red, yellow, green or brown looked like. The charm of photographs of those days had me hooked – until this afternoon, when I sat back at home with my mum and grandparents, looking through reams and reams of photographs from the good old times. The sepia coloured 90s, a cup of tea, a rainy afternoon, static on the radio amidst sudden spurts of the classics, red-bound books with gold lettering, big square glass frames... Where did those days go? Many a time, I’ve wondered if we live for a purpose, if we have any meaning in our existence, or if we’re just a crazy race that runs about without any direction or reason, and I’ve been inclined plenty of times, to believe the latter. Those days, those times, those people, it all really happened, but all we have is a little room in our brains, closed for the most part revisited only some special times. I opened that little door, where those memories were no longer just wispy filaments of silvery grey, but colours, smells and textures. A meal together, sleeping on my grandmother’s lap, watching science in action with my grandfather, plotting a prank with an uncle, deviously stealing crisps with a cousin, shamelessly singing nonsense with another. And before I knew it, I’m here today, when all of those are just yesterdays. But isn’t that the essence of life? That in each moment, you make memories – some that you would cherish, some that you would abhor, but each that will make you who YOU are? That in each of those moments, there’s a story, an emotion, a reason, a life? That in each of those moments, there is an expiry date – that in each of those moments, you had better live it to the fullest, or before you know it, it’s gone. I’m grateful for those memories, I’m grateful for everyone and everything in those memories. Some regrets run rife, that some things could have gone better, some people could have stayed on, some things should have – or could have been said, Sometimes all you’re left with is the silver-dust from these memories, and all you can do is carry them along. This month, I am going to ask you for a favour. Your family is the first platform that you spend creating memories with, whether it is in those moments when Amma is feeding you while telling you a story or it is in the moments when Appa is carrying you on his shoulders so you can see something from a higher vantage point. Give your family the respect it deserves. Love your family unconditionally, and be there for them. Happy Family Month!
Families for Life W
Kirthi Gita Jayakumar
SHE CONTINUES TO
Forty three years back my elder sister was born to my Mother and I sprung out three years later from her womb. She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Most of the time I stuck around her lap, screaming at the topmost note of my vocal chords if she ever put me down; that was my nuclear weapon which I always put to good use to have my blissful moments of lying on her lap and her patting me down with her sweet lullabies. This is what I learnt from my sister because I don't remember a single thing. She did have a sweet and soft voice, as gentle and noble as her persona. I later learned that she was hard of hearing and could speak a bit of Gujarati. Mostly she spoke in English, so I perceive that my mother tongue is English and in Madras where I was born people call everyone Sir, so I was born English noble. I remember fighting all the time with my sister bruising her whilst she boomeranged like a wild cat scratching me all over and we could faintly hear our mom yelling standing right above us. She taught us the sign language which we used with her friends who were born deaf. The world was silent to them and their faces so placid I used to wonder but each of them was a virtuoso in various arts. Meera was my mom’s best friend and we used to love her paintings and handicraft. Mom was a good chess player and of course she had to teach us so we could play with her. We were lazy and never used to give her a hand in her chores; she labored like a clockwork mouse from morning to evening taking good care of us and our dad, feeding us with the most amazing mouthwatering dishes. We used to study hard and mom used to help us through it patiently. She spoke less but was sharp and intelligent, did not have much knowledge but well enough to tutor us. Mom never shared her worries or how sad she was until we grew up and saw her despair, her life was wasted, her only desire to raise us as good humans and I remember her telling me with her hand on my cheeks ,"Son become a big man". She neither complained nor cried about how life had been unruly with her; her desires or needs were never realized. She always had a smile on her face and we were so naive not to see her pain and anguish until later in life but then it was too late. I remember the happy moments when we used to travel as one good thing about my dad was he used to holiday with us to distant places in India. He was an avid photographer; those moments are captured on video and are my only reminiscences of those splendid childhood days with my mom. As to every mom her child is the best, to me my Mom was nothing but the best and I could never ask for more. I went away to a distant land in search of riches, an undeterred son trying to get his feet on the ground unaware that she was dying silently of cancer. She never uttered a word as she knew that I would return to her and her dream of my achieving success would be left unfulfilled, a sacrifice none other than a mom can do. She passed away peacefully leaving me lonely but with a promise to keep and a goal to achieve. But she continues to live on as a beacon of hope and love in our minds.
This article receives a Maui Jim Banzai Sunglasses for being selected as the best Facebook entry for our competition for Mother’s Day. Congratulations!
• Mustafa Kohadawala
y mother has survived through a lot of hardships and has fought many battles in life to get to where she is today. She is the General Manager of the company to which she has dedicated 18 years of her life. She has been a great home manager and a lovely wife to my father. She took care of herself and her family during the tough times of recession and difficulties. She worked hard, day and night and planned for a bright future which has been realised today. She fulfilled many of her dreams like owning a house, a car, and attaining a status where people can look up to her. She has achieved everything she desired to have. My mother has always been my superhero, my best friend and critic. Maa always taught me to look up to great people and make them my role model, but I then realized in my later years that the greatest person stays right here with me. My mother faced many problems during her childhood, with her family and the society. She paid her way
through school and college herself, but never let me work while pursuing my studies! She always says she’ll work as long as she can to provide as much, for me to become the better person I can always be. She has given me everything I can ever dream of. Without my asking for things in life, I have received them all. At 11 years of age, I was admitted to the hospital for something which I can hardly remember now. The only part of my memory that still stays ripe in my mind is the three months of the hospital stay when my mother never left my side. She cleaned, washed, fed and even read to me. She even fought with the nurses to stop hurting me with needles and plasters. She arranged money, took loans, and did all she could so she could to see her son stand up. You may think that all mothers do this and more for their children but, my reply would be, yes they would but my mom is still extraordinary. Days went by, turned into months and then years flew by but she still remains my best friend. My mother has influenced all my decisions in life and I appreciate her, for if not for her, I would have lost my way and hope, and would
have been stranded in a place of no return. Even in the humdrum of a crowded party or among unknown people my mom is able to sense my every move and thoughts and comes to my rescue if need be. I know this might sound weird but my mom and I have a different language of our own which we proudly flaunt while amidst a crowd of unknown folks. It might seem too childish to point this out, but I cannot go shopping without my mom. My mother has been so selfless in life and has never asked for anything in return, not even good grades. But as my duty and as a tribute to her, I plan to fulfil her dreams about me which were lost during the passage of time. As wine tastes better with age, so has our relationship got better with time. But now as a recently turned major and like all teenagers I too have become arrogant and selfish and sometimes speak out things which hurt a lot, words I can never take back. But still the saviour of my life, the pearl of my eye, my best buddy, my Mom, turns a deaf ear to my words and scolds me and takes me back and accepts me for what I am. I have learnt my lesson but still forget sometimes that, “A mother will always forgive you for anything, for her heart lives for you and loves you always.”
THE SUPER HUMAN BEING
Tasneem Sultana Khan
other, such a special person in our lives without whom, we wouldn’t exist today. My mom is without doubt, the best that I have in my life. Through childhood and maturity, she has always stood by me and has brought a smile to my lips every time. I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that my mom is the one person I can always count on, during every struggle and victory. She has been my very own personal AIR station which proudly broadcasts all my achievements. And when it comes to shushing my failures, I will never find a better public relations officer like her. Some say that their mom is their best critic but mine has ever been my die-hard fan as far I can remember. She favored my decision to do PhD and now favors my indecision as well. If she sounds like a pushover, then I am not doing her justice, because she hasn’t ever been one
to me or my siblings. She’s like that one friend who just likes to listen to all your escapades and stories but knows when you are being a tad dramatic and when you require a brainstorming session over a trivial issue. At her age of 60 plus, I see a woman whose sole happiness depends on the welfare of her sometimes hellion children and her ever complaining husband (my daddy dearest and her Knight in shining armor).When talking about her, only one thing stands out predominantly in my mind and that’s her resilience and poise during the time of my miscarriage, a couple of years back. I honestly don’t know how I would’ve mentally survived it if not for her support and patience shown. She understood the why of all my temper tantrums and hysterics. I was a walking, talking incendiary device then, and she was the SRK from JTHJ, of my life’s
movie. Also she’s called in every now and then to diffuse the explosive tempers of my family and all she gets in return are a few pouches, saris, hairclips (her favorites) and lots of hugs and kisses from her beloved grandchildren. Someone suggested that I write about the hardships and difficulties faced by a mother in bringing up her children, now that I have become one of the prized group. My reply to them was and is that, I sincerely doubt if I will ever know truly how hard it is to be a mother as I have my guardian Angel of Love helping and guiding me at every step and making things infinitesimally that much easier for me. And my journey has just started and I have a long way to go and a million things to learn from my Mother, the Super Human Being.
Live-in or Opt out
he concept of living together without any legal attachments has made a foray among the young population of India due to various reasons. In a country where the mere exchange of garlands is considered to be a sacred union of two individuals, more and more urban youth are choosing to opt out of marriage. Recent trends indicate an increase in live in relationships in the country. But does this increase in number truly reveal the attitude of Indians towards this lifestyle? Well, the opinions are varied and plenty. Human relationships are fragile and complex. They do not require a piece of paper to validate their authenticity. Society and people come into the picture only during the ceremony of marriage, ‘to grace the occasion with their presence’. But when a couple gets divorced, it’s only the two who stand before the court of law. So does the society have the right to interfere in the private lives of individuals? Or tag the family and their decision to live together before marriage as taboo? While analyzing the reasons why people enter such unions, the most motivating factor for many couples is that they visualize live-in relationships as a testing ground for marriage. Alternatively couples who are engaged live together before marriage to share the cost of living and save up for the wedding. For others, its sex with no real strings attached. “I decided to do my masters in the city where my boy friend got placed after his degree. With 3 years of relationship
rates are alarming and so is the sex ratio of females in India. It’s much easier to love and leave as it saves complications. Yes, you might fall prey to depression or consult a counselor but, at least you have saved yourself from the trouble of a divorce. Many people believe that live-in relationships are ideal for people who desire lesser levels of commitment. ‘It’s very important for a couple today to actually think things through before they get married .Whatever methods they wish to adapt is acceptable, till they don’t file a divorce in their 2nd week after marriage giving reasons such as incompatibility . Live-in relationship is neither legal nor illegal in the eyes of Indian law. You can get justice in case any unforeseen incidents occur’, says Ujval Gaikawad, Mumbai based lawyer who is personally not in favour of live-in relationships. That’s like saying everyone who gets married will live happily forever. The level of commitment be it in a livein relationship or marriage depends on the relationship and should not be stereotyped. Society needs to have a makeover in their outlook towards live-in relationships and remove the stamp of “taboo” that surrounds it.
between us, we both kept things in a low key and I moved in with him. I had to lie since you cannot stay with a boy unless you are married but I took the risk as I trusted my decision. When I stayed with him I realized he was so different from what I thought he was. Unlike most guys he was an amazing cook, never grumbled to do daily chores, would not create a mess and leave for me to clean up. He was really easy to live with and I got adjusted to his work life and we had our understanding built to a much higher level. Now I am married to him and feel very comfortable. We drew our lines in our relationship and also kept our values and culture intact,” says Malinee Dasraman, a dietitian. There are couples who opt for a live-in relationship and realize that they are not compatible enough or are hard to live with because of their nature, attitude and approach. There are cases of violence, ego-clashes, mental problems etc., where the couple just moves out and continues with their lives. One reason for the sudden spurt in live-in relationships is the absence of the trauma of divorce. Increasing divorce
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t x e n issue
THE MAN WHO TAUGHT YOU THE FIRST STEPS
He is the man who put you in the crook of his sinewy arms And looked at you with wonder and pride He smiled when you curled your lips and smiled He became flustered and pampered you when you cried He taught you the first steps you set into the world outside He put you on his shoulder so that you could tower over him And see the world he wanted you to see He gave you your values and sought pride in your achievements He taught you math and gave you your dreams He reposed his faith and trust in you He believed that you were the beacon And the conduit that would take forward The flagship of your family name and tradition For generations to come.......... THE FATHER in many instances , in recent India, is as good , if not better than the mother and deserves his share of appreciation for all that he undertakes for the sake of his scions. On the occasion of Father's Day on 16 June, Eve's Times dedicates special features to the Indian Fathers who has made a different to his child, his family and the world! HOW GREEN IS MY VALLEY?
June is the month when we look at the environment around us and dedicate ourselves to the cause of bettering our world. Eve’s Times will be carrying out features about men and women who are working to conserve the environment, prevent destruction, create awareness and try to create a better world and a better future for our children…… The power of the human mind- Human interest stories of indomitable courage, supreme sacrifice, extraordinary strength, unusual occurrences….. sterling examples of men and women with distinguishing human qualities…… And of course the regulars from our experts on health, fitness, beauty, star chefs, counseling and our accomplished legal professionals…. And TEEN MAG …. With a lot of fun, fodder for the mind and lighter stuff to keep you entertained!
A Successful Proposal
Three guys proposed to a girl First Guy : I can die for you. Girl : Everyone says that. Second Guy : I can bring you a star from the sky. Girl: Old dialogue. Third Guy : I can give you my Facebook password, switch off my BBM and deactivate my Whatsapp Girl (tears in eyes) : Awwww... You love me so much!!
est J 4 Laughs
Get a Girl!
Gopal is 32 years old and he is still single. One day a friend asked, "Why aren't you married? Can't you find a woman who will be a good wife?" Gopal replied, "Actually, I've found many women that I have wanted to marry, but when I bring them home to meet my parents, my mother doesn't like them." His friend thinks for a moment and says, "I've got the perfect solution, find a girl who's just like your mother." A few months later they meet again and his friend asks, "Did you find the perfect girl? Did your mother like her?" With a frown on his face, Gopal answers, "Yes, I found the perfect girl. She was just like my mother. You were right, my mother liked her very much." The friend said, "Then what's the problem?" Gopal replied, "My father doesn't like her."
There were three restaurants in the same block. One day one of them put up a sign which said, "The Best Restaurant in the City." The next day, the largest restaurant in the block put up a larger sign which said, "The Best Restaurant in the World." On the third day, the smallest restaurant put up a small sign which said "The Best Restaurant in this Block."
Abraham Lincoln uses a lamp to study. Thomas Alwa Edison uses a bulb to study. Barack Obama uses candle to study. Rajnikanth uses agarbatti to study
T When Mommy is T Your Name.... Y
he telephone's ringing, the TV is blaring. Sister is crying' cause Brother's not sharing. There's a spill on the carpet that no one will claim.¬ There's no time for sitting when Mommy's your name. he laundry is folded but not put away. The dishes you just washed are from yesterday. Without any warning your relatives came. There's no getting caught up when Mommy's your name.
ou drive to the market, you drive to the school You drive to the cleaners, you drive the carpool You drive yourself crazy, it's really a shame. There's no time for resting when Mommy's your name. o your bedroom you sneak to find peace for a minute, but your minute is over before you begin it. Your little one finds you and thinks it's a game. There's no time for hiding when Mommy's your name.
t night as you kneel to thank heaven above you, An angel creeps in and says, "Mommy, I love you." You may not know glory or fortune or fame, but what does it matter when Mommy's your name?
Chandrika R Krishnan
leepless nights and colic pains, Nappy wash and Nappy rash; Wailing and crying, teething and tripping; Oh! When will they grow wings of their own? Stepping into the portals of the School, Squabbling and screaming, Class work's not done, homework galore, Endless wails of ribbons lost and pencils misplaced, Oh! When will they grow wings of their own? Pimples and acne, dates and mates; Sighs and moans, puppy love and scowls; Not enough clothes, nor enough money; Admissions and entrance tests and never-ending tensions; Oh! When will they grow wings of their own? Occasional calls and a rare mail, Monotonous days and sleepless nights, Everything in place and a gleaming house; Aches and moans of fatigued muscles and tired bones, The endless silence of an empty home; Oh! Why did they have to grow wings of their own?
Mustafa H. Kohadawala
Leaving her family, A woman enters a new house, Meeting new people, Building new relationships, She starts her life all over, To make her husband happy, To make a house into her home, To treat her in-laws right, She manages it all! Her life takes a big turn, She receives God’s best gift, She receives motherhood, God’s wonder is always a mother, To bear excruciating pain, To give the world the gift of birth, To give herself a reason to live, Nine months of pain and pleasure, To take care of two lives, It all comes to an end, When enters her child into this world, She becomes a mother, And to a child God personified, Her days are hectic, Her nights turn endless, For her child, she sacrifices everything, Seeing him grow up, Her happiness loses its bounds, Though she works, Her child is always her priority, Years fly by, She turns fragile, Yet she plods on for her scion, Listening to complaints, Arguing over food, She and her child are always one, A mother’s life attains the pinnacle, When her child works harder, To fulfil her dream, To make his destiny, But sometimes life turns unfair, She gets thrown out, She gets left out, Her trust, love, sacrifice all in vain, This is her painful end, And the thankless reward, Unrecognized, unacknowledged Unmindful, her heart brims with love And blesses the ungrateful offspring It is time we stand up And salute her selfless soul Revere her for her unconditional love For her seamless sacrifices Ceaseless chores and sleepless nights And lessons of undying love A gentle smile and eyes that reflect love Is all that her fragile soul seeks Let’s make her a promise That we shall continue to shower her With the undying love she taught us Until God needs Her, And she leaves her abode With a smile in her eyes And a heart brimming with eternal love!
Pearl H. Mohankumar
“The soul of India lives in its villages,” said M.K. Gandhi at the beginning of the 20th century. Such villages and towns are where families contribute to the community and give back to the society what they have gained through meticulous work. Kalyanasundaram’s family is one such example of creating a positive impact in the society. He lives in a village off the Mettupalayam Road in Coimbatore district and runs a very successful business that is growing constantly. The proprietor of Sri Vignesh Food Products, Kalyanasundaram, is a bachelor in his 50s. He designs and supplies innovative machines for the food industry. Kalyanasundaram was in between jobs in the year 1999 when his cousin offered him a contract to prepare batter for making different food items in his hotel. So he, along with his sister, started making batter for idlis and dosas at home with two grinders. He provided good quality food that owners of competing restaurants wanted his batter as well. The demand for his products increased and he received several orders. He set up a cottage industry with the approval from the Government. As Kalyanasundaram’s products grew popular in the locality, he increased the number of grinders he used and other family members pitched in to meet the growing demand. To keep up with the overwhelming number of orders and meet deadlines, he bought more machinery. He started receiving orders from neighboring districts as well. He supplied food to college hostels and soon
he was required to make one lakh idlis per day. To address this seemingly impossible situation, he set up a Research and Development cell to experiment on new ways to increase the efficiency of his unit. Soon, he designed a machine that can grind one kilogram of rice in one minute. He also designed innovative machines like rice washer and pulverizer and a chappathi making machine that churns out 1200 chappathis every hour! Throughout his growing business, Kalyanasundaram gave utmost importance to quality. He uses purified water and ensures the cleanliness of his production units. His brothers and uncles left their jobs because of the requirement of increasing manpower. Kalyanasundaram also supplied machines and helped set up production units for people who were interested in this business. His machines save seventy percent of electricity, manpower and time. He taught widows and other women how to operate the machinery and helped them set up self help groups. He provides training to anyone who approaches him, free of cost. He has been a key person in developing over two hundred women’s self help groups. The story of Kalyanasundaram’s success reached the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). Through programs conducted by MSME he received a huge response from thousands of people of which many of them were interested in buying his machines. A YouTube video made over 40,000 people contact him.
His machines are much sought after all over India and they have also found their place in sixteen countries including USA, Germany, Singapore, Britain and Dubai. Kalyanasundaram and his family share their success with society by providing training at their own expense for anyone who approaches them. He has expanded his Research and Development cell to work on further improvements and inventions. All his products are tested periodically to ensure that the quality is maintained. He provides 100% hygienic packaged food to big companies like Wal-Mart, Nilgiris, Reliance and More. He also analyses the ingredients that go into the food that his company prepares and periodically tests new methods of cooking without compromising on health. His company is ISO 9001:2008 certified and has license from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). He is constantly innovating and keeps researching on new methods to improve the output of machines. Kalyanasundaram who only has a school education has now partnered with the Indian Institute of Paddy Research and Analysis Centre in Tanjavur to continue his research on food. Kalyanasundaram is much sought after by many restaurant owners for his machines. He supplies machinery and provides free training to anyone who asks for it. He has provided ninety grinders to all branches of the famous Saravana Bhavan Hotel to replace 360 grinders. This saves Rs. 2 lakhs for the hotelier every day. Recently, Kalyanasundaram has been roped in to provide machines for the Chief Minister,
Ms. Jayalalitha’s one rupee meal scheme. They are also planning to start shops in every district in Tamil Nadu with the help of local dealers. Kalyanasundaram started off with a capital of Rs. 50,000. Today, his earning for a single day is Rs. 50,000. He works sixteen hours a day and is constantly going to several places to share his success with others. He and his family members are not college graduates. Only through experience and research have they grown to such great heights. One might think that having several contracts and orders requires a large production unit but only twelve of his family members, along with eight other people are working in his unit. They are efficient in conserving a lot of energy mainly because of the machines and they even use only a battery powered vehicle to supply food to nearby localities. In a district that has seen many small business owners go out of work due to power shortages, this extraordinary story of success is an inspiration. Kalyanasundaram gives guest lectures and talks in colleges, entrepreneurship forums and other public platforms. He accommodates students, trainees and just about any curious person who comes to his house for an industrial visit. He is a pleasure to talk to and addresses everyone who approaches him with questions. Kalyanasundaram’s family is an example as to what perseverance and a combined effort can do. From this success, they not only benefit as a family but are also a blessing to the community. Such families in our towns and villages are the reason why the soul of India still lives in its villages.
ALL THE WAY
Pearl H. Mohankumar
quiet pathway leads me off the busy Avinashi Road in Coimbatore. A group of youngsters are finishing their game of cricket and Shyam Jude, a lean young man, greets me with a smile. Few minutes of talking to him and I realize he is no ordinary youth that one randomly meets. He belongs to the class of young Indian entrepreneurs who believe in making a difference in the society. Jude is the CEO and Founder of Analog and Digital Labs, training cum Research and Development Company that solely focuses on building efficient Traffic Systems. He started this company in November 2009 as a concern that trained students in the field of electronics and grid computing. He also set up a Research and Development lab aimed at designing intelligent traffic systems that took into consideration all the real time traffic scenarios that can occur. It all began when Jude was one day stuck at a traffic signal where the cop had switched off the traffic lights to manually manage the overwhelming traffic. He approached the then Coimbatore Commissioner of Police, Sylendar Babu who gave him trial runs of two traffic signals to prove his mettle. In a month’s time, Jude and his team of young engineers designed
their remote controlled traffic management system that linked the traffic signals to the police control room and the satellite. Controllers dynamically programmed the signals from the control room through the satellite. Impressed by their talent, the police department immediately roped them in to manage several other signals in Coimbatore. Soon, AnD was deploying surveillance cameras and traffic signals in several districts like Erode, Salem, Namakkal, Trichy, Madurai in Tamil Nadu. They entered the capital city Chennai, as part of a 150 crore Integrated Traffic Management System (ITMS) project, handling the linking of traffic signals in the city. Within a span of two years AnD bagged six tenders, beating giants in the business like CMS, Keltron and Nucleonics. Apart from Tamil Nadu, they have contracts in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. As of April 2013, the installation and maintenance of all the 175 signals in Chennai came under the control of Analog and Digital Labs and they are now considered a monopoly in the city. So why traffic signals, I ask Jude and he promptly replies, “Every person in our country, despite social standing, has to cross a traffic
signal wherever they go.” He says that we cannot do away with signals unless they are all replaced by flyovers, which is impossible. His ultimate aim is ensuring everyone has a smooth passage through signals, saving time, even though it is only a few minutes. This can soon become a reality for most commuters in the city since AnD has a dedicated and enthusiastic team that is committed to high performance. Another technology that AnD has developed is called VIOLET – Violation Prevention and Regulation Enforcement. With the help of surveillance cameras, traffic signal violators are identified and spot fined. An e-challan and an email notification are sent to the violator. The commissioner’s office is also notified of all violations that happened throughout the day. AnD is currently working on a technology that can sense an ambulance approaching a signal and automatically changes the signal to green. This would help save many lives as every second counts in a health emergency. Such technologies are the need of the hour since getting through traffic on Indian roads has now become a tedious task. Analog and Digital Labs is the first and only concern in India that focuses on Research and Development of Traffic Signals. Including Shyam Jude, it consists of 30 vibrant youngsters who are constantly working throughout the week. Going out for a bite or a movie or a game of cricket is a spur of the moment decision for them. Apart from wires, chips, signals and cameras they also have a play station at their office. Work and play are entwined together for them. “Winning a tender is fun. I enjoy that more than anything,” says Jude. He dreams of building an office
that has facilities for recreation like basketball court, swimming pool and play station console to name a few. Steve Jobs and Infosys’ Narayana Murthy are his role models. Jude says that nowadays, a lot of people in power encourage youngsters like him. Several Police Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners like Sylendar Babu, Amresh Pujari, Senthil Kumar, A. K. Vishwanathan and Pravesh Kumar supported him in several of his projects. His friend and co-worker, Ravindran was also a source of encouragement since the start of this venture. Everyone working in Analog and Digital Labs was a friend or an acquaintance of Jude’s. The informal setting of the office makes their work less of a work and more of an adventure. The bright smiles on their faces show that working at AnD is a pleasure. Even though he had several promising offers, Shyam Jude decided to start an enterprise. When he says, “I am an entrepreneur by passion,” his face does reveal the passion that he speaks of. Jude believes that money is not the reason for doing business but every entrepreneur should know why he needs to start a venture. He exudes confidence when he states, “This has a huge potential to display my intelligence.” The wisdom with which he speaks lets one believe that he is the next entrepreneur to watch out for. With this caliber, Jude could have taken up any other high paying
job but he says, “Many people will lose jobs if I don’t start a company.” Many big companies that were established several decades ago were wary of their new competitor, Analog and Digital Labs. “I would be wary of any youngster too,” says Jude, “because I know that youngsters are capable of great things.” He advices young people like him to take entrepreneurship as a passion and explore the different areas involved in it. Running a business sure is a difficult task but he shows a sense of responsibility when he says, “Today if I fail, a lot of people who see me will fail.” Analog and Digital Labs’ ultimate aim is to have a pan-India presence. With the promise that this company has, one can hope to see a drastic change in the way India commutes. Shyam Jude is at the forefront, leading a surge of Young India that is determined to take the economy of our country forward. This group of dedicated engineers is an example as to what youngsters are capable of. They are the face of hope in this faltering economy. Steve Jobs in one of his speeches said “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” In the interest of keeping the passion alive, Jude says, “Stay hungry, stay awake.”
Rising Up From The Ashes
women. It is horrible because you are violated, you are scared, someone else takes control of your body and hurts you in the most intimate way. It is not horrible because you lose your “virtue.” It is not horrible because your father and your brother are dishonored. I reject the notion that my virtue is located in my vagina, just as I reject the notion that men’s brains are in their genitals. If we take honor out of the equation, rape will still be horrible, but it will be a personal, and not a societal, horror. We will be able to give women who have been assaulted what they truly need: not a load of rubbish about how they should feel guilty or ashamed, but empathy for going through a terrible trauma.” The week after Sohaila was attacked; she heard the story of a woman who was raped in a nearby suburb. The lady came home, went into the kitchen, set herself on fire and died. The law has to provide real penalties for rapists and protection for victims, but only families and communities can provide this empathy and support. Sohaila was lucky in having her family support and stand by her. At 17, the scariest thing that could happen in life is to be hurt and humiliated in such a painful way. “This is where our work lies, with those of us who are raising the next generation. It lies in teaching our sons and daughters to become liberated, respectful adults who know that men who hurt women are making a choice, and will be punished. When I was 17, I could not have imagined thousands of people marching against rape in India, as we have seen these past few weeks. And yet there is still work to be done. We have spent generations constructing elaborate systems of patriarchy, caste and social and sexual inequality that allow abuse to flourish. But rape is not inevitable, like the weather. We need to shelve all the gibberish about honor and virtue and did-she-leadhim-on and could-he-help-himself. We need to put responsibility where it lies: on men who violate women and on all of us who let them get away with it while we point accusing fingers at their victim.” Today, Sohaila Abdulali is Senior Editor at Ubuntu Education Fund, an international NGO working to transform the lives of vulnerable children in the townships of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She helped guide Ubuntu through an update of its communications strategy and is part of a successful team of dedicated, passionate people who are making a real difference in the Eastern Cape. For two years, Sohaila was the Director of Communications at AIDS-Free World, , an international advocacy organization. In this position, she wrote briefs, reports, press releases, essays, letters and more, which were carried by worldwide media; helped set up the communications strategy of the organization; assisted in the development of a new website; and initiated several large ongoing projects including a comprehensive atlas of AIDS. In 2010, Penguin India published her novel, ‘Year of the Tiger’. As soon as she graduated from college, Sohaila had coordinated the biggest, oldest rape crisis centre in the Northeast for two years. For the innocent little girl with star in her eyes, life did not come to an end even after her body and soul were brutally traumatized by the lust of a few monstrous and barbaric men. She continues to unravel new meaning in life and transcend barriers to inspire and enlighten people around her to emerge from their own personal tragedies and find a new life for themselves.
hirty two years ago, when Sohaila Abdulali was 17 and living in, Mumbai, she was gang raped and nearly killed. But unlike the unfortunate young girl in Delhi, who succumbed to her injuries and passed away quietly, yet stirring in all of us outrage at the injustice and crass brutality meted out to her, Sohaila has survived her trauma and is now an accomplished writer. She recounts the trauma of rape in her own words. “It’s not exactly pleasant to be a symbol of rape. I’m not an expert, nor do I represent all victims of rape. All I can offer is that — unlike the young woman who died in December two weeks after being brutally gang raped, and so many others — my story didn’t end, and I can continue to tell it.” When Sohaila fought to live that night, she hardly knew what she was fighting for. A male friend and Sohaila had gone for a walk up a mountain near her home. Four armed men caught them and made them climb up to a secluded spot, where they raped her for several hours, and beat both of them. They argued among themselves about whether or not to kill them, and finally let them go. At 17, Sohaila was just a child. Life rewarded her richly for surviving. She stumbled home, wounded and traumatized, to a fabulous and understanding family. “With them on my side, so much came my way. I found true love. I wrote books. I saw a kangaroo in the wild. I caught buses and missed trains. I had a shining child. The century changed. My first gray hair appeared.” “Rape is horrible. But it is not horrible for all the reasons that have been drilled into the heads of Indian
Portronics, a maker of portable and digital devices recently launched a new age cordless jump rope Wireless Skip. Wireless skip provides you the opportunity to do short time saving work outs everywhere and anywhere. Wireless skip is a perfect integration of technology and utility giving you an ideal gadget to exercise effectively whenever required. It is an ideal companion for cardiovascular conditioning. It features a digital panel that measures the number of skips, effective workout time and calories burnt. It also allows you to pre-set the work out time as per your requirements and beeps accordingly. It is available in pink and blue color. We spoke to Jasmeet Sethi, the Director of Portronics, and here is what he had to say about the product, ”Wireless skip would help you shed three times more weight than through regular exercise. It is an easy exercising tool and is specially designed for professionals who are too busy with their their work schedules.” The wireless Skip gives you all the benefits of the jump rope without even the need for a large workout space. Use the no rope wireless skip for exercising even in minimal space. It helps in training like professionals irrespective of your age or fitness level and also prevents from tripping. The Wireless skip is absolutely pocket friendly and trendy. It can be carried for short workouts at any place like bedroom, office and even on vacation.
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May 2013 61
Shout Louder, Fight for Justice
Indian citizens from many walks of life have been calling for harsher punishments for rapists, including the death penalty, particularly following the gang-rape of a young woman in Delhi on December 16, 2012 and the recent horrendous crime of the five year old girl child as well as various other cases that are reported on a daily basis from across the country.
Do you think India should have capital punishment for rapists
Suhasini Mohan, Bangalore Sagar Patil, Pune
nstead of pronouncing and harping for capital punishments, take care of the children living in slums. Neither the government nor we as citizens come forward to take responsibility for their growth. How can these children grow up as good citizens? Some of them grow up with criminal tendencies right from their childhood. Actually it is the government that is responsible for the increase in crimes. We raise our voices against one crime then become silent, that’s not the way to go. That anger against atrocity should continue till there is perceptible change.
es gang rapists certainly must be sentenced to death. But certainly not in cases essentially of misrepresentation, of breach of trust or breach of promise which are most absurdly classified as rapes. These can be cases for very steep damages but certainly not death! Rape law needs to be rationalised and made more focussed and realistic.
Rohan Ahuja, Delhi
apital punishment is not the solution. It should apply to terrorists who wage war against India. I understand the pain that we are all going though at this moment, we are all supporting the girl who was brutally raped. People want capital punishment for the culprits; if we pass this law; culprits after raping girls will resort to even killing them in order to destroy evidence as eye witness.
Shweta Vanga, Hyderabad
Rashika Jain, Chennai
t is hard not to want to avenge rape cases, but the last thing we want to do is give the government the power to sentence people to death. Death penalty will not improve the situation for women in India or elsewhere. Changing the patriarchal culture will, as well as strengthening the already existing laws. How about reforming the police to start with? Or any number of institutions - including the family where preference for the male child is as strong as ever. It is hard to nurse any hope after what has happened. I only hope the protests continue and that people continue to be shaken by this terribly sad story; maybe only then will people begin to think and act differently.
or every crime that is happening in India, I hold the politicians responsible as they plunder our country thereby creating a huge financial deficit. The children in slums are not educated. Some of them develop criminal qualities from their childhood. Why does the government turn a blind eye to the kids in slums? Why are they not given proper education? Why are they not taught good qualities? How do we expect them to grow up as value based and adjusted persons? When they grow up thus, and we turn a blind eye to their needs they inevitably turn to the path of crime. We need to realize that death sentence is not a solution to rise in crime and rape incidents in the country. Yet all we want to do is to clamour for death punishment; then there would be no difference between the culprits and the citizens of India
Should India take a tougher stance on Chinese border incursion?
Chinese troops have pitched tents 19 km deep inside the Indian territory in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and efforts are underway to ensure that the status quo is maintained. A 1993 agreement maintains peace across the effective Line of Actual Control. Years of talks aimed at finalizing the border have so far come up short, but the two countries have agreed at least to not let the issue derail bilateral relations. But are the Chinese getting impatient and eyeing on capturing Indian lands? Do you believe India's stance of soft pedaling in an issue which concerns maintaining territorial integrity is compromising our external relations' policies?
Pankaj Parashar , Haridwar ndia and China ha ve always had pr oblems on the border bu t it is not right fo r them to move inside the Indian territory. Th is is an open call for war. Chinese troops ha ve come in 18 kilometers from April 15 an d India is going to have talks but the Ch inese are attacking and ca pturing other pa rts of our borders . It is high time India fights back and tells the Chinese to rule their land not ours.-
, Delhi Ankit Srivastava
croach upon rely be able to en he Chinese will su ment will be the Indian govern Indian land and of invasion into on the entire issue a silent spectator lks and verbally They can hold ta the Indian lands. rnment is very t them. Our gove ns ai ag n tio ac criticize the right time. right decisions at e th g kin ta in slow dia. se Ladakh from In Hope we don’t lo
Ajay Singh , Nainital about ndia is concerned is ich wh ina Ch rivalry with e. surfac never far from the result in ely rar s ion urs inc Border media ian skirmishes, but the Ind India ce for y re ma and opposition pressu ous, uti ca re mo to take a cooler and se. ine Ch the h wit diplomatic approach do ’t esn do t en nm ver But even if the go dia and the me much definitely people China from oid av to re will put pressu invading India.
Akshita Sawant, Pune here have been several attempts and wars fought due to China and their plan to invade India always m aking the Indo- China re lation very sensitive. But toda y with our govern ment being involved in so many scams and corruption issue s only time ca n tell how the govern ment will hand le the ambitious Chines e. Peace talks and agreements might not be the solutio n at this stage.
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
A family I that stays together succeeds together
ndians rightly describe life as ‘samsara sagara’. For a select few, it is one smooth cruise, for some a regatta and for the vast majority of humanity, it is a dreary swim of survival.
For some, life turns into a tsunami, which can swallow them whole or taunt them with choices to make and dare them to come out alive. Kesavan and his wife Bhuvaneswari is one such extraordinary couple who have ridden a tsunami and have had a safe landing-with a wealth of experience to share with the world! In their modest flat, Bhuvaneswari takes me back once more through those harrowing years of her life. Nothing could have remotely prepared her for what she had to endure in the prime of her life. An ordinary middle class upbringing in Chennai, marriage to businessman Kesavan at 20. Two kids. Life of tussles and adjustment in a joint family. When their son Janarthanan was 8, he was accidentally electrocuted. A vivacious child, who loved to potter around the house, help his mother and had harbored many boyish ideals, Jana suddenly found life come to naught. So severe were his burns that doctors had little hopes of his survival. While literally running from pillar to post in the vast maze of a government hospital, Jana’s parents had to deal with unsolicited advice from all and sundry which was mostly discouraging. A single doctor’s belief that he could restore some semblance of normalcy in Jana saved his parents from total breakdown. Not only did Jana survive 3 amputations and extensive skin grafts, he learned to hold a pencil in his mouth and write within a very short time, in his hospital
bed. Even while recuperating from the plastic surgeries on his whole body, he discovered his talent for drawing. Finding their collective feet back in society after a year of an otherworldly existence in government hospitals proved equally daunting for the family. House owners refused to lease out flats saying their kids would be traumatized by the sight of Jana. Schools refused to admit the child. Kesavan had sold off his press as money became scarce. Instead, he dedicated himself to Jana’s rehabilitation. Many slammed gates later, Jana was admitted to a nearby school and he has not had to look back ever since. Jana’s success story has been told and retold, widely reported in the media. He has won numerous prizes for drawing, has inspired scores of people, presided over gatherings, judged shows, gone abroad. A beautiful picture of Jana receiving the Balashree award from president Kalam adorns a wall in his house. He has completed his visual communication course and is happily employed as a graphic designer with a popular television channel. Behind Jana’s phenomenal sphinxlike rise from ruin, and intricately interwoven with it, is his parents’ life of strife and struggles, hope and despair, perseverance and reinvention, the essence of which I hope to capture. How does it feel to go through such a tsunami? Kesavan, the more vocal
of the two, recounts the days at the hospital. ‘As only one parent could be with Jana, I would sleep outside the hospital on the pavement, with the homeless and the beggars. We had to bathe Jana ourselves and I would buy hot water in a can from a nearby tea stall. We would remove his bandages which clung to his body and while Jana screamed in pain, we would wash him and wait for the doctor to come and examine his wounds and dress him. For each surgery he had to be carried from one block to another. There were no stretchers and we used a sari to carry him. Callous passersby and media people hounded us with questions on the way. Some openly said that Jana was better off dead than living this way. ”Kesavan’s eyes well up at the still searing insensitivity of people. But then he is moved remembering the savior doctor’s cautiously reassuring words without which the parents would have lost it all. ‘The doctor made me promise that I wouldn’t turn to drinking for stress relief. He expected total dedication to Jana’s rehabilitation from me.” Bhuvaneswari found solace in prayer while Jana lay critical in the hospital. Relatives were relatively lukewarm then and have been absent from their lives since then. Jana’s mother has mostly been a loner, with only her daughter Sandhya for company. She does not feel the need to go out either, as her husband has always provided her with all her needs. ‘There was a time when we could not even afford a box of matches’, she recalls. She
has remained the strong, silent pillar of support. Kesavan, on the other hand, is the more assertive, proactive parent. Having seen Jana through school and then college, Kesavan has resumed work though his own press is gone. He is still actively involved in Jana’s day to day life. He drops him at work and goes to fetch him back. ‘I have never gone into Jana’s office. I wait outside and when he sends me a missed call, I go to the gate and wait with my two- wheeler’. Kesavan has been Jana’s PR person par excellence, accompanying him to programmes and TV shows and on his trip abroad. One can only imagine how it must have felt for Kesavan to accompany Jana to the Rashtrapati Bhavan where the child received the Balashree award. With the worst behind them, can the Kesavans really bask in the glory brought by their extraordinary sonthe most special time being when Kesavan was personally greeted by President Kalam at a gathering? ‘Not really’, says Kesavan, ‘Jana still does not have a permanent address-a small flat to call his
own. I have requested no less a person than the ex-CM for a housing board flat for Jana. Nothing has come out of it so far. Appreciations pour in even now and in response to media/ internet stories about him, he gets a volley of fan mails!’ Would Kesavan have imagined answering swooning females on behalf of his dashing son a decade ago? By 20. Jana has seen it all-shock, suffering, pain, rejection, applause; he has been a role model and inspiration to many. What more would his parents want for/ from him? ‘We would want him to further his creative abilities but for that he requires software which are way beyond our means. We also hope he will one day be sufficiently well-off to give to the less fortunate.’ Migrate? Kesavan, the ambitious father is game for it. He does not rule out that Jana can manage life on his own if he lives in a disabled-friendly developed country. His flights of fancy are balanced with his humbling day to day acts of helping his son with his bath and dressing. Bhuvaneswari has qualms about his future. ‘What after us? Will he find a girl understanding enough to take care of him like us?’ ‘My wife’s total faith in me and her unstinted support have helped make Jana a role model for many,’ says Kesavan. But taking one day at a time has been force-fed to them after their years of struggle to lead a normal family life. A supportive daughter, a strong, disciplined mother, a proactive, dedicated father and the young man, with his head held up and his heart in the right place are however just what a better- than- normal family is all about.
GOING BACK IN TIME
ong ago, the Nairs of Kerala lived in a joint family set up, following the matrilineal system called "marumakkathayam". Women had their own rights in the family properties.They were free to live in their own tharavadu house even after their wedding and their children got a share in the property too. The karanavar was the senior most male member of the family. Though women enjoyed rights this system had its own defects and it is not followed to the letter these days. But still, in a Nair family of Kerala, the girl child plays a vital role and still carries on the mother's family name. The Nair women of Kerala to this date enjoy a lot of privileges that no other community in India can boast of. Joint families might no longer be the norm, but the nostalgic memories of days spent together will always continue to linger in the hearts of a generation that was lucky enough to have lived in it. A relaxed holiday in one’s own tharavadu, the ancestral home with all near relatives, cousins and aunts for the whole of summer vacation is something to cherish for life. In this age of high tech internet and video games and luxurious foreign destinations for holidays, this concept may seem to be a boring one for the new generation, but that is something which will definitely bond you with relatives and cousins. Who knows, you may very well be attached with the house itself, which may bring in nostalgic memories later on as it happened in my case. I have vivid memories of lengthy days of play outside with in-between get-togethers on the porches outside, eating ripe juicy mangoes, and relaxed evenings filled with melodious Malayalam film songs- chalachitra ganangal on the radio. I would love to relive those precious moments. I still long for a stay in that magnificent
to disturb Valiyachan. Thank god I did not go and play then! That was because I had nobody then to go and play with. I have memories of ‘me and Valiyachan’ moments. He spoke sensing I may not realize what he was talking about but now at this age, I can relate to what he was talking about. It was the anxiousness of an elderly father about the future of a young daughter, my aunt. He had three elder daughters, my mother being the eldest and we spent the whole of our school vacation at home with grandparents. house, our tharavadu veedu. Who said houses are made of bricks and cement? As long as I’m concerned, it’s a living memory with a spirit of its own which communicates with me, my inner self. We only have to listen to it. I stay very close to it now, but have not entered the building for long because it is now rented out to the railways and functions as a tribunal. It’s disheartening to see it living a life of existence in old ageyes I consider the tharavadu house as an old person who should be taken care of for all those beautiful memories it has gifted us. The well maintained garden on the front is lost forever as the front portion was given off to another aunt during partition. Now a three -storied building stands there blocking the view of the ancient glory behind it. When we say our family, does it only mean the members or will it include the surroundings and home? I firmly believe we have to bow down in reverence to the beauty and serenity of every home, its decor, while passing it on to the future generation with immense pleasure and pride in the culture and background for them to fall back on. It definitely will help them to reunite with an unknown past. So let me invite you all readers to a tour of the house. Come, let’s travel back to the sixties and then to our tharavadu home in its all magnificent glories. It stands tall with a beautiful garden of four squares, two on each side. The gate which opens out to the garden had two small gates one on each side for the pedestrians to walk in without opening the main gate. On one side was a huge car shed with the driver’s room attached. The house had two flights of steps on its entrance, one on each side, leading to a small porch. What followed was a glass door- of course it had another door which was kept open during day time and closed at night for safety. The winding veranda on the front was where my Valiyachan, maternal grandfather used to sit in his rosewood easy chair which had a wooden writing pad on it. He had lots of visitors during day time and was seen sitting there with his work. I asked my aunt, now in her early sixties of how she remembered her father sitting there and working. “Oh they were really golden days,” says she. I was scared to go near him. He was really serious but still I used to be in the vicinity. I wish I had gone more often. I, being too small, did not know what sort of work related to his property he was engaged in, and often stood beside him watching in wonder. At times he would open out his mind to me. Rare conversations between a grandfather and a granddaughter. I wish someone elder to me, my mother or anyone else, would have encouraged me to be with him but instead, I was often told to go and play and not Little did I realize then that those days were one of the most precious days of my life. There were many nooks and corners in this house where I used to sit and talk loudly when I got angry or impatient and to my utter surprise, I got my doubts clarified and mental blocks removed instantly. I even had a particular spot where I used to go and sit in silence before I went back home after holidays, for then I was sure everything turned out as I wished! The house was my silent companion. The main living room, we call it thalam in Malayalam, was very cosy and inviting. On one corner was a huge white krishnavigraham- on the opposite side was kept the Murphy radio. Our evenings were spent there, chatting, listening to music, playing and eating fried banana chips with Cochin bakery bread, a rare combination which keeps getting replicated even among the next gen . When I talk about those days, young Naveen, my cousin's son says, “Oh what boring days with no TV and computer. What did you do the whole day?” Right, there was no TV and the like but we had so many avenues of entertainment. We played outside the whole day. All the plants,
trees kids and neighbors were our friends. We had lots of servants at home and their kids too joined us in play. Between us there were no differences, just kids. We played and ate together. There were no holiday classes, no tuitions, peer pressure and pushing for excellence from our parents. We had books to read at noon, mangoes and jackfruit to eat and a sort of belongingness on the whole with the planet earth. We could see the stars at night. There were always people to tell stories, both real and make-believe ones. Our house had four bedrooms on the ground floor and two upstairs and all were bath attached. We had a very big hall which was used for lots of things. We children used to sleep there all together lined up on the floor. The nights were cool
on when I got married, I entered this house as a new bride, my daughter's 28th day of birth; the 'erupathettu' ceremony was celebrated here. The wooden staircase was a marvel in itself. It had a double door at its entrance and a small gate at the top. Whenever I climbed the stairs I used to tell something to the door and gate and my mother found this habit quite silly. “Are you talking to yourself?” she used to ask me and I used to laugh loud and say, “No, not at all, these steps, door and gate are listening to me and are very much alive.” Upstairs, there was an aatukattil, a hanging cot, with a green velvet cloth glued on to its four sides of the chain from which it was hanging from the roof. It was sheer luxury to sleep on that during hot afternoons.
buy some for her and give her the next time. I remembered her words and bought glass bangles from Madurai Meenakshi temple and when I took them for her next year; she just looked at it and started crying. I did not understand why. Later, my ammama (grand mom) told me that her daughter, who was still a teenager, had deserted her and eloped with a boy. The same evening, our bai came to me and took the bangles from me and said, “Give me the bangles; I will tie them up to Durga at the Murugan temple. May be I will have a loving daughter in my next life.” I remember my mother crying when she heard this. Our dining hall was a grand one but we rarely had our food there. It was left open with no furniture, no dining table but had huge old vessels stored up there. I have one of them, a big huge urli with me now at my house. There were two huge store rooms locked up, inside which lots of Bharanies and vessels were stored up. Roaming about there in the kitchen and backyard was my favourite past time. We had a male cook who stayed there with two assistants, two ladies, one, a bai and other one a chotti (we should not have called her such, denoting her caste). She had a sweet name, Rajalakshmi. They used to tell me stories about so many people. It was fun listening to them even though I did not know about whom they were talking or why.
and breezy and with no mosquito menace. During rainy season, we had thunder and rains the whole night but we were not scared because we were surrounded by elders of all ages on all sides. We used to talk about our school, our friends, and the like and our mothers used to regale us with stories about their childhood and gradually we would slip into deep slumber, and often have fantastic dreams. The hall had glass windows on all sides and there were mural paintings on the walls. The window panes were painted in blue and green hues. There were framed photos of the Diwan of Kochi, out great ancestors, and these were enough to fill our hearts with pride and that’s how I started loving my tharavadu while I was a kid. I was born in this house. Later
Our kitchen and dining hall were in another building close by with a long veranda and a big sink and a tap at the end. I still remember the cool and sweet water that splashed out from it. As a child, I could open the tap, only if I got inside the big builtin sink. I used to sit on top and wash my dolls there. Nobody bothered to stop me by asking to close the tap or caution me against getting wet and catching the flu. I have played to my heart’s content, have come back to my room, changed my dress and there was one bai (so we called the maids) who would instantly wash it for me. I used to give her beads for her children to make malas with. Once she asked me to bring glass bangles (I had lots of them) for her daughter. I soon gave her some, but she did not accept. She asked me to
We had a pond on one side with a kulapura nearby but we never got a chance to bathe there. It was taboo to do so as the pond was no longer cleaned and kept neat. The house now stands on its own with no garden or pond at the side. There are roads on its front and back and houses on its side. The backside entrances are closed. The puja room which was “The place” for my great grandmother is now locked up. I still hear chanting from there, that’s how I imagine and a prayer arises in me -this old tharavadu is going to regain its old glory and positive energy. The whole house was surrounded on all sides with open verandas and most of our activities during holidays happened there. The eastern part was called Kizhakkupuram. Western side, padinjaru puram and the south was called the thekkumpuram. I remember that there was a champakka tree on the southern side which is no longer there now. The room very close to it was the old delivery room, wherein all the ladies of the tharavadu gave birth to their children. That part of the house which was a silent spectator to so many births is now, longing for a rebirth. I can feel its silent pangs while I do agnihotram at my house, a few yards away. The aga thalam which was the venue for so many family gettogethers and storytelling and the main area for many a hide and seek games is now a very boring government office with a visibly dull appearance, devoid of its ethnic decor. The house had a thattinpuram, a place on the top floor, which was used to store a lot of things. The stair case to go up to it was a very narrow one and we children were not allowed to go up . I have gone up many times without any one noticing. Did any goddess live there as in old stories like the machile bhagavathy, the deity of the house, the force protecting it? I do not know. I do hope there still resides some sort of Divine energy up there
and if so, why doesn't she or the energy come back and revive our tharavadu home? I keep hoping for that big day. Let me now turn to my cousins and other members of the family and see how they feel about the old joint family days, even though we enjoyed them only during vacations. Sarala, my cousin who now lives at Kollam, reminisces fondly, " 'Thottekat House - just the name brings back memories of pure unalloyed happiness when life was...well, for the lack of a better word....beautiful." Balachandran , my brother,who took over our family business, and lives in Kochi says , “I could closely interact with my cousins during those days when we stayed at the tharavadu during the holidays.Fantastic memories. I wish my children could have had such fun when they were growing up. I fondly remember feeding a pet goat at the tharavadu which I could never have done at home." Padmini, Sarala's sister who is now settled in Bangalore has nostalgic memories of the days she spent at the tharawad. She says she can still feel the taste and sweetness of the mangoes , brought from the family groove . We have witnessed marriages, funerals, days of happiness and days of grief here at this house, our own beloved Thottekat tharawad. Every year, as a day of tribute to our vast and ever growing family, all of us get together on a weekend in August, the entire Thottekat clan, from far and wide and rejoice in the 'global family' we have turned out to be. We reminisce, play games, and let ourselves go in gay abandon as we mull over the days that were, and look on in joy at the days to come, and pray that the Thottekat legacy of camaraderie, erudition and free will are safe in the hands of our prodigal sons and daughters.
The Traditional Way
hoices were plenty but they took the traditional way. This is the story of the love of a son for his father, sincerity of a wife for her husband and reverence of the students for their Guru that exist even today as sterling examples of our timetested priceless values, yet rapidly disappearing in today’s scenario. “In the year 1997, I was at the peak of my career working in Cadbury’s as a sales officer, Chennai, when my father Padmabhushan Vempati Chinna Satyam fell ill and wanted me to take care of his institute. Moreover the support of grants from government organizations and patrons had reduced with the advent of rapid commercialization of Indian culture and art,” recollects Venkat without any regrets. Kuchipudi Art Academy has been the pioneer institute of Kuchipudi and many stalwarts like Hema Malini, Vaijayanthi Mala, Shobha Naidu, and Manju Bhargavi have been his students. Venkat left his job. What was it that impelled him to quit? Was it a sense of duty or a value that is beyond all sentiments- a value that underscores love, respect, passion for all that has
gone in to the making of a cultural academy, especially when the toil was contributed by one’s revered father? “I have grown up listening to stories of how my father had walked all the way from his native village of Kuchipudi in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh to Madras to pursue his dreams in a city which he called as the cultural Mecca. A lot of struggle has gone behind the building of the academy in 1963 to create alumni of more than 8000 students. It was naturally a lot more than my sense of duty that played in my mind when I decided to leave my job and dedicate my life to manage the academy.” Goodness becomes larger than life when the conviction is backed by the support of the family. And for a man, the wife is the biggest strength. Srimayi Vempati, his wife has been a pillar of support through her unstinting dedication towards her family. “ I come from a simple family in Bengal and dance has been very dear to me. I was a student of the academy and have been living here for almost 8 years when I was asked to marry Venkat. I felt I would be comfortable with respect to both my
cultural interests and family values. When values meet, differences hardly pose a problem. I had to pick up the language, the style of cooking, learn the norms and rituals of the community, but the sense of bonding helped me to sail through without glitches. It has been ten years now since we have been together and a lot of support goes to my husband who has been my mentor and guru,” claims Srimayi. Today’s women look for independence. But what is independence? For some it might be freedom of movement, freedom to enjoy one’s space and individual goals, but for Srimayi Vempati it is freedom to live in your own world, freedom to indulge in your thoughts and to do all the things that can make your family happy. Indian women today might find happiness in a job that delivers handsome money, a rocking weekend and probably for some a zumba or a piano class. Srimayi Vempati loves the fact that she had the courage not to be a part of the culture of commercialization and dedicate her life towards selfless teaching. Kuchipudi Art Academy is one of a kind institute where students are taught completely free of cost, including overseas students applying through Indian Council for Cultural Relations. “As the daughter-in-law, this is my duty as well”. Students stepping into the academy learn to keep aside their outside world while entering the institute. In the most strict and disciplined ambience, students are seldom allowed to talk in between their classes but develop
beyond the hurdles of dynamic societal changes still following principles of discipline, punctuality and sincerity. As each batch of students passes out leaving behind their memories and footprints, it is a fact that all students undergo a complete metamorphosis in the true sense during their association with this remarkable academy. The grand children of the house, eight year old Baby Lakshmi and four year old Anish have learnt to find harmony between their modern ambience in school and their so very Indian home. Growing up amidst such a traditional backdrop has enabled them to develop subtle nuances and sensibilities that make them special as kids. Little Lakshmi can not only dance on a plate as is done in Kuchipudi dance, right from the age of three but she can also chant the hanuman chalisa comfortably. For Anish listening to his uncle Ravi Vempati’s classical humming with keen interest and going to sleep listening to ‘mahisasura mardini’ are daily rituals. Scientifically too one can witness the heightened level of intelligence, grasping power and knowledge of kids belonging to a traditional environment. Not only are their foundations strong and deep rooted in Indian values, but conventional upbringing makes them wise as they get accustomed to both the outside world and what is completely their own. Alongside their everyday life,
spending time with their grandparents has been an essential part of growing up. What is interesting to note is that the institute and the family stand tall even today despite of the death of Guruji. This not only reflects the strong foundation and conviction of the legend, but also showcases the capability of Indian values to withstand the vagaries of time. Over the years the onslaught of westernization might have split many joint families, made ipads and mobiles essential companions and burgers and shakes your staple diet, but there are still examples of the greatness of cohesive families and togetherness and the treasure trove of values, the essence of commitment and respect that continue to thrive. Probably one can just take few leaps backward and connect the dots. (Based on the first hand experience of the writer during her stay with the family as the academy student).
a keen art of listening to the teacher, focus and concentrate to the fullest without being self defensive. The teacher is the ultimate and must be respected unquestionably. Standing in the wide and spacious hall, surrounded by the aura of incense sticks and sculptures even the daring ones fall short of words. But this is restricted only to class hours. All other times, a student is free to spend time with the family members in their own capacities, interacting and carefully observing subtle nuances. It is not fear that makes them follow norms, but the light that they see at the end of the tunnel. With the passage of time, most students find themselves as a part of the family. The institute extends
Family Values And Traditions
- Keep Them Going
he months of April and May bring memories of vacations spent in my grandparents’ place. Without wasting a single day of our holidays, my sisters and I would pester our parents to send us to our grandparents’ place and they would request
any relative or friend travelling to their place to take us with them. We would happily tag along, impatient to reach our destination yet enjoying the sight of the fields and calling out the names of all the places we passed as we knew them all by heart!
chores for everyone in spite of having some domestic help. Clothes had to collected and folded after they dried, plates or sometimes banana leaves had to be laid out during meal times and again picked up and put for wash or if banana leaves, thrown away after the meals. During the day, we had many errands to do, go to the post office to post a letter or buy envelopes and stamps, run to the medical store for a pill or bandage or get some forgotten item from the grocery store. At night, it was laying out the beds and mattresses, pillows, sheets for all of us to sleep. But no one complained, that was part of the fun for us and we would compete for the chores. No exciting show on Television, no visit to an amusement park or a day spent in the mall playing with the latest gadgets can even come close to the joyous time we spent in our grandparents’ place. No gaming console or a 20-20 match can match the excitement of the company of cousins and the time we spent together playing or doing jobs. At times I feel a little desolate that my children can never experience the times we had had as children. Families also have ‘downsized’, so the numbers of cousins have also fallen to stingy bits. We would be lucky if the next generation has cousins’ at all and as a matter of fact, even siblings. That they have scores of activities to keep them busy also does not promote family get-togethers. What with special camps, sports practices, swimming classes and a whole lot of other occupations, extended family time takes a back seat. Added to that, family vacations are the ‘in’ thing, these days with every one competing for the best vacation destination be it in India or abroad. So where does this leave any time for those simple, ‘grandparents place’ holidays? When it comes to traditions, I try to do to the extent possible, what my mother passed on to me so that my children relate each festival to the respective tradition as I did as a child. Still I feel my efforts fall short when I see them more excited about a TV show than having to partake in the puja. The scenario is the same with many of my friends, sisters and cousins.
This set me wondering if there was such a thing as a secret ingredient that keeps traditions attractive and fresh. Is there a magic wand that will keep a family together without the many distractions of today coming in the way? What are the ingredients that made the families of yesterday effective, resilient and happy? I got some answers from a study that saw some stunning breakthroughs in knowledge about how to make families, along with other groups, work more effectively. The study reshaped understanding of dinner time discipline and difficult conversations. The only problem seen was that most of that knowledge remained hidden from parents who needed it most. A few years were spent in trying to uncover that information, meeting families, scholars and experts ranging from peace negotiators to online game designers. The surprising theme that emerged from this study was that, the single most important thing you can do for your family is to develop a strong family narrative. Dr. Sara, a psychologist who works with children who have learning disabilities, noticed something about her students. She said, ‘The ones who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face challenges’. Intrigued, a team set out to test her hypothesis. They developed a measure called the “Do You Know?” scale that asked children to answer twenty questions. Examples included: Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family? Do you know the story of your birth?
On reaching our grandparents’ home, we would be engulfed in so much love by our grandmother and grandfather, it would feel like heaven. Then we would go exploring to see if anything had changed since the time we last visited. The next excitement would be to await the arrival of our cousins if they had not already arrived before us. And then the days would pass by full of joy, games, visits to the temple, market, zoo, parks and of course all the time feasting on our grandmother’s delicious preparations. We all did have our share of work to do. Given that the number of people staying was many, there were bound to be
These questions were asked of four dozen families and several of their dinner table conversations were taped. The children’s results were then compared to a battery of psychological tests the children had taken and an overwhelming conclusion was reached. The more the children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. The “Do You Know?” scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness. In the event of a national tragedy that was phenomenally traumatic, the researchers went back and reassessed the children. Once again, the ones who knew more about their families proved to be more resilient, meaning they could moderate the effects of stress. Why does knowing where your grandma went to school help a child overcome something as minor as a skinned knee or as major as a national tragedy? The answers have to do with a child’s sense of being part of a larger family. Psychologists have found that every family has a unifying narrative and those narratives take one of three shapes. First, the ascending family narrative: ‘Son, when we came to this country, we had nothing. Our family worked.
We opened a store. Your grandfather went to high school. Your father went to college. And now you……. Second is the descending narrative: ‘Sweetheart, we used to have it all. Then we lost everything.” The most healthful narrative is the third one. It’s called the oscillating family narrative: “Dear, let me tell you, we’ve had ups and downs in our family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was a pillar of the community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also had setbacks. You had an uncle who once lost all his money in a business deal. We had a house burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened, we always stuck together as a family.” Letting children know everything that goes on in a family, making them proud of the ‘ups’ and not protecting them from the ‘downs’, makes them self-confident and build a strong ‘intergenerational self’. They will know they belong to something bigger than themselves. Parents are recommended to pursue activities with their children that convey this sense of family history and traditions: holidays, family gettogethers, celebration of functions, holding talks on traditions on a festive occasion are some suggestions. One more effective way can be making a fun to do tradition, as this will be more likely to be passed down.
Our family used to go round the Tulsi plant singing bhajans on the Tulsi puja day which falls after Deepavali. At the end of the bhajan, we used to run around the Tulsi, parents and children alike. We’d all beam with delight and thrill. I got my children to do the same and they love it the same way too! I’m sure this is one tradition that will get passed down to their children, my grand-children! Decades of research have shown that most happy families communicate effectively. But talking doesn’t mean simply talking through problems as important as that is. Talking also means telling a positive story about yourselves. When faced with a challenge, happy families, like happy people, just add a new chapter to their life story that shows them overcoming the hardship. The skill is particularly important for children, whose identity tends to get locked in during adolescence. The bottom line: if you want a happier family, create refines and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family and traditions will thrive for many generations to come.
Gayatri T Rao
We have witnessed a remarkable metamorphosis in the family scenario over the past decade. While the tendency has been to move towards a more individualistic way of life, dispensing with the role of the family and today, even parents, on reaching adulthood, thankfully, dispersed here and there across the country many families revel in living together, sharing love, space, understanding, exchanges of innumerable other interactions that go into building strong and enriched individuals. There is also a price to pay by way of loss of independence or even individual space and in some cases, the families coming in the way of expanding the horizons of one’s way of thinking, acting and believing and striving to achieve. But it is all in the game. The choice these four women made was after understanding what it entails to live in or out of joint families.
oth Nidhi Vashisht, fulltime PhD research student with Delhi University jointly with IIT Delhi and Neha Bahl, Media Relation Executive with a Delhibased Image Management Company, belong to a nuclear family. On the other hand, Rashmi Mittal, Pro-Chancellor, Lovely Professional University and Reha Gandhi were married into a joint family. Reha was working as a Senior Consultant in an import firm (family business). She adds, “However, after my baby, who is 13 months old now, work has taken a back seat and now I mainly work from home.” Me and My Family Neha enumerates the advantages of nuclear families, “We are only answerable to our parents and no one else for our actions. We are quite independent to take all decisions. We have full freedom to do whatever we want to. We can relax and party whenever we want to.” However she opines that in nuclear families, the entire responsibility down to the smallest chore has to be attended to single-handedly, which takes out a lot of your energy and time. When people live together as joint families, responsibilities are shared and the stress is lesser in executing the chores. During a rough patch, you don’t have support and the cost of handling the situation takes its toll on nuclear families, especially the parents. And when both parents go to work, there is less family time together.
are also taken good care of. And they bask in the affection and attention of the family members. The essence of our culture, celebrated through festivals and pujas is always found in joint families and hence directly passed down generations. And if done properly, the burden of work also gets divided among the members, giving adequate time for leisure and recreation.” All is not hunky dory in joint families. Says Reha, “However, if there is no management or rules in the family, it just becomes a bunch of people forcefully tied together under one roof. For a family to exist, the most important factor is financial management. Any overt inequality in this sphere shakes the foundation of the family. Favours shown to any family member at the cost of any other results in gross misunderstanding and it becomes impossible to live under one roof. Differences of opinions among adult members of the family lead to arguments and fights which are witnessed by children and have adverse effects on them. Sometimes the situations becomes so intense that neither are the individuals taken good care of within the confines of the family abode nor are they permitted to go out and become independent. This leads to rebellion and negativity. Sometimes in a joint family nobody is prepared to undertake the responsibility of caring for the elders. A blame game ensues which leads to arguments. All this negativity ultimately leads to the breaking down of the family with a lot of bitterness, wherein the interest of the eldest and the youngest is most often compromised. Talking in the
All under one Roof Rashmi says that being a part of a joint family has its own advantages, “The first and the foremost being the imbibing of rich traditional values of our abounding culture that helps an individual wear a healthy and righteous attitude towards life. Secondly, synergy effect is more visible in case of joint families than anywhere else. The world is replete with examples where concerted effort, on a joint basis, by all the members of a family has reaped rich dividends in comparison to the same inputs put in isolation or in a fragmented way. Thirdly, during crisis situations, a member of a joint family can derive succor and strength from a family member and handle situations with greater confidence. Last, but not the least, there is a division of responsibilities – which translates into increased leisure and free time for all in the family.” Reha adds, “If the older members of a joint family set some rules and principles of equality in the family, then there is nothing better than that, as just a little management can unveil its countless advantages: firstly, the children are always in a protected environment. They automatically learn the values of sharing and caring, living with their cousins. Secondly, the elders in the family
context of disadvantages of joint families, I would strongly say that it is not the ‘joint family’ which goes wrong, but the “individualism” of its members that reflects in discords associated with joint families. When self-seeking and egoistic attitudes creep in among the members of joint families, they cause trouble. Hence, I would say that there is no disadvantage associated with the concept of joint family, but only in the greed and selfish approach of the members, therein.” Hard Facts Rashmi highlights certain hard facts about the institution, “Indian society has always been identified with togetherness and unity, as far as interpersonal relations are concerned; and a joint family has been the most elementary unit of this. Not long ago, the word ‘family’ meant only ‘joint family’ and the concept of ‘nuclear family’ was something alien to the Indian society. Its presence was confined to the metro cities only and was seen with a substantial number of raised eyebrows. But in the last two decades, things have undergone a sea change and nuclear families have become more of a norm rather than an exception. Individualism and profession propelled mobility, rising ambitions, influence of western culture and inclination towards smaller family are some of the prominent reasons for the advent and spread of nuclear families. Though nuclear families are identified with better life styles, they have their own set of problems. Joint families, also are not spared their set of woes, nevertheless the gains are on the higher side. Even those who have switched to nuclear ways, tend to get nostalgic about the days spent in joint families and refer to them fondly as the good, old, golden days.” Reha regrets that the joint family system is diminishing, “The institution of joint family when compared to a nuclear one, is struggling hard for its survival under present circumstances. Joint family in its true sense, is where a family that eats together, prays together and stays together has become a rare thing. However, when looking at its benefits, it can be said that, elders in the family can always look after the children of working parents, whereas in nuclear families such children have to be left in day care centers or crèches. Morals and principles can be passed down by the elders in the family to the younger generation and hence the family traditions and values are found to be more intact in joint families than the nuclear ones. Also, festivals, birthdays, etc. have their own importance and are celebrated with great vigor and passion in joint families whereas, just dining out is the most preferred option on such occasions in nuclear families. Feelings of love, compassion, sharing and caring for each other are some of the natural feelings that are common among the members of a joint family living under one roof; however, people living in a nuclear family might have these feelings but have a very limited scope to express them.” Is the grass greener on the other side? Rashmi says, “Never ever. Though I was born and brought up in a nuclear family getting married in a joint family has been more than just a pleasant experience. Yes, it was quite a ‘change’ for me in the beginning; but I feel that becoming a part of joint family (my in-laws) has helped me to realize my potential to the optimum in whatever I have done. Being the youngest ‘bahu’ (bride) in my family, I was fortunate to have the blessings and guidance of my MIL
and my two elder sisters-in-law. Their experience has been instrumental in shaping my potential and personality as a woman and as a professional. There were gains, gains and more gains of being a part of a joint family, and I never felt that I should have a nuclear family. My family, which is joint in nature, is my strength and I cannot think of seeing myself, my husband and my kids in isolation from the rest of the family. In my case, certainly the grass is greener on my side only.” Neha says, “Sometimes yes, you can say that the grass is greener on the other side, as till my 5th standard, I lived in a joint family. But now I don’t wish to live in a joint family as there are many restrictions.” Nidhi says, “I don’t know that it would have been better. It is still good to be in a nuclear family. In a joint family you have certain kind of restrictions, like clothing, food, coming home on time, etc. At times I don’t feel like cooking, we go out. But yes, when my husband is out of town, I do feel that it would have been more convenient and comfortable in a joint family. Let’s face it you are missing something if you are staying in a nuclear family and vice versa.” Reha had a bad experience, which she relates, “I was born and brought up in a nuclear family and hence when getting married into a joint family, I was very excited as it appeared to me a daily party at home. However, as time passed, other feelings like those of jealousy, selfishness, etc. started raising their head. Mine was a joint family of 12 members, where every couple had their personal interests and priorities and hence, the common interest of the family as a whole was never taken care of, which led to daily arguments, the house being ignored, and gradually breaking up of the family, with a lot of bitterness. Therefore, no matter what side you are, the grass is always greener on the other side! And since I have tasted the worst and the best of both worlds, I can say that nuclear families are much better as not only, the distance among the extended family members maintains love but also allows the individuals to take control of their lives and become independent.”
The Parental Duty
celebrated Ugadi, or the coming of the New Year a few days back. As I was making arrangements to visit my uncle and aunt for lunch, given that my own parents were on vacation, our domestic help called me. She knew that I was home alone and had called me to invite me over to her place for lunch. Even as I pleaded my inability to go to her place, having already committed to my uncle and aunt, she absolutely insisted and finally offered to bring me the sweets she was preparing. I was so overwhelmed by her love and affection that it just lighted up my New Year. Our maid’s offer of hospitality was not because of anything that I had done. Rather it was a reflection of the fantastic relationship that she and my mother shared for the past 16 years. As far as our maid is concerned, I am her child and it is her duty to provide for me in the absence of my own mother. Forgive me for sounding emotional, but that was indeed a moving experience.
I realized in that moment that my parents had not only protected me throughout my childhood but had, through their conduct and lifestyle, taught me to be responsible for those around me and treat them with respect and dignity at all times.
My work in the field of juvenile justice, albeit representing the children who are victims of the juvenile’s conflict with the law, has often placed me in a peculiar spot. On one hand, I strongly feel that our justice system does not hear the victim’s voice well enough. Yet in the realm of juvenile justice, I see parents clinging on to their children for dear life and often under the categorical belief that the juvenile in conflict with law, has done no wrong and is incapable of
doing any such wrong. As much as I care for these kids, notwithstanding their indiscretions, the parents’ apparent lack of responsibility to acknowledge their own child’s need propensity towards violent behaviour, forces us to invoke judicial measures of accountability, observation homes being one of them, which, albeit not being ideal, are still the best bet to get these kids some help. The idea is not to punish the juvenile, as much as to force him into a spot where he can introspect and feel remorse for inflicting the hurt on an innocent, which introspection would be rendered impossible when assaulted with his parents’ denial and irresponsibility. In the process of observing this, I realized that, as parents we only focus on protecting our children. We are fixated on preventing our children from becoming victims. But how often do we really teach our children not to victimize others? Especially with the number of single children in today’s urban India, it is very common to see the child being made to feel like he/she is the centre of the world. Who can blame the parents too? Kids, after all, are almost divine in their existence. Yet in feeding the child’s need for love and attention, we somehow forget to teach the child to be sensitive to and responsible towards others. We neglect to train the child to feel the joy we feel in deeply caring for someone and looking out for their best interests. We make them incomplete human beings as a consequence of this negligence. In the process, these children cease to be respectful of human rights and with the right catalysts, the same child will one day become a juvenile in conflict with the law. Does our education system address this deficit? Absolutely not! I might be a little biased here, but while our education system claims moulding of children into responsible citizens of tomorrow as its goal, in reality, the emphasis is always on scores, college admissions and careers. Seldom do we see an effort by educational institutions to create sustained programs towards social service. Many distinguished law schools have in fact initiated many meaningful projects around human rights, only to find little or no interest from students who are more worried about the academic challenges and the uncertainties of recruitment, than anything else. Because neither do our employers nor do good colleges pay due attention to the kind of skills a responsible and sensitive candidate brings to the table. The law fundamentally tries to answer one question which is how do we reconcile man’s want of all resources for himself with his need for society. The answer
to this predicament, which is just as intriguing is, “I am, because we are!” The people in our lives strongly shape our personality, as does the world around us in general. We in turn shape the world and the people around us with our existence and actions. Our children have to be made to respect the social nature of our existence by being taught how to love and be responsible for others in the most genuine of ways. Parents and the whole ecosystem responsible for the child’s conditioning should develop sustained and focused programs towards this goal. In hindsight, albeit all the material comforts my parents provided for me, the one ever lasting asset they have built for us is the kind of relationships they have forged with good people. In my everyday life, I consciously strive to build and sustain relationships with good people in my own circles. Because as much as investing in wealth makes sense, investing love and faith in the right people makes even more sense. Parents owe it to their children to make them conscious of the need for this investment through their own conduct. The joy derived from the company of good people cannot be described, but even more exhilarating is the feeling of wishing them well and working towards their welfare. The parental duty is not just to protect children, but also to teach them to protect and care for others. If anything, my mother and our maid taught me this lesson on Ugadi. Happy New Year indeed!
Ushering in Spring
pring is the best time to visit China when the entire Nation bursts into a riot of colours. The season usually starts from the first week of April and lasts till June. As winter slowly fades by March and the snow begins to melt, a variety of flowers begin to bloom all around. You get to see the cherry blossoms, peach n plum blossoms, mustard coloured stretches of rye fileds and not to mention the white magnolias (Flower of Shanghai) and Phenoies (the National flower of China) in even the rarest of colours like purple, blue, green apart from the regular pinks and reds and yellows. Spring is the time to put on your sneakers and go for an outing. It is neither too cold nor too hot and an ideal time to stroll under the blue sky-no excuse for staying indoors. Shanghainese usually pack their mats and tents and food baskets and go on a day’s picnic around various options provided which includes some of the biggest botanical gardens in Asia. They also visit nearby water towns where usually spring festivals are held in a traditional style followed by ‘Spring Fair ’, selling all kinds of stuff pertaining to the season. A few special customs are followed during spring mainly in rural China. Farmers mould a clay cow called ‘Spring Cow’ and place it at the centre of the field.The eldest in the family then whips the cow three times
symbolizing the beginning of spring when the fields are ready to be plowed. Various beans and peas are fried and the loud popping of the skins bursting is believed to scare hibernating insects away. They also try to balance a raw egg to mark the vernal equinox. It is believed that at this time, balance and harmony are achieved between Earth and Heaven. Many a times they also cook in the middle of the fields and have a family picnic which makes me recollect some of our Indian festivals like Poila Baisakh, Pongal and Baisakhi with similar customs being followed since ages. During Spring, married daughters usually return to their parents’ house with gifts to express their gratitude. Families then go out together to appreciate spring flowers. They then fly kites in the warm, spring breeze. In the evenings they also gather in parks and sing in groups and play traditional musical instruments. The ‘Qing Ming’ festival usually falls during Spring and is also called ‘Tomb Cleaning Festival’. On this day people visit their ancestors’ grave and sweep the dirt away from the tombstone. They then light incense sticks and make offerings and mourn the dead. During spring break many from rural China also travel to neighbouring cities to witness the variety of flower shows and flower festivals. Thousands
of flowering plants including exotic orchids are flown in from different countries from across the world. Shanghai sports its own Tulip garden (exactly like the one in Keukenhof) so that the localites need not fly all the way to Holland to catch a glimpse of these sexy beauties. Spring is filled with changes in both the weather and people themselves. The temperature in Shanghai varies between 15 to 20 degree Celsius while in Northern China like Beijing, Xian, Tibet and Inner Mongolia it’s much cooler at 10-13degrees. In extreme south like Hong Kong, Gungzhou and Yunan province the Spring temperature is around 25degrees and if it rises to 30 then
it is considered to be an early onset of summer. According to the weather, the exterior and interior composition of the people also changes. The long fur coats and thermals go back to the confines of the zip up bags and in place are spotted light jackets in different shades to complement the colours of Spring. The food habits also change and TCM experts advise people to avoid eating the wrong food. According to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), in spring time ‘yang’ (warm) energy begins to rise in the human body and it has to be complemented by ‘yin’ (cool) energy. Foods like jujubes, yams, pumpkins with a sweet nature are supposed to supply yin energy
and facilitate the lungs. Spring is also the season for Liver and it is time to nourish this organ. It is believed that liver supports the heart and maintains a smooth flow of ‘qi’ (energy), in body and mind. TCM also recommends cucumbers and pears to maintain the body moisture. Pear juice mixed with honey is the most preferred drink during this season. The delicacies of Spring are cooked using mainly tofu, fresh water produce, bean curd and bamboo shoots. During Spring many salt water fish migrate to fresh water rivers like the Yangtze and Huwangho and become fresh water produce. Even shrimp and eels are preferred to be fished out of fresh water rather
than salt water. They are often just steamed or made into a soup. Spring is a season for tender bamboo shoots and they are extensively used in almost all dishes. Bamboo shoots stir fried with lettuce and spring onions is a popular side dish to be eaten along with bean curd and homemade tofu. A pinch of white pepper powder is sprinkled for good taste. Though according to TCM, dried pepper powder is supposed to increase the warm or yang qi, sometimes it is recommended to be sparingly used to treat stomachache associated with catching cold. Spring is also considered to be a season for the young and the youth bathing in the world of romance. “Boy meets Girl” is the phenomenon and datings and marriages are common during this season. The beauty of spring adds to the romantic mood of young couples as they decide to step forward hand in hand into a life long relationship. Not only in China but everywhere across the world Nature’s bounty overflows during springtime and uplifts every spirit. In India we call it ‘Vasantha Rutu’ which poets and artists since ages have described as the king of all seasons. Hence, ushering in this beautiful season I wish all our readers, a Happy and Hearty year ahead.
Pearl H. Mohankumar
fter being affected by the greatest earthquake in the history of Japan on March 11, 2011, Japan has lost many industries. Tourism and Agriculture which are the main sources of Japan’s income have been affected by the nuclear blast and the rumors of radiation still moving around. In an attempt to fight these rumors and get their tourism industry back in full swing, the Minamiaizu Tourism, local government of Fukushima and Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) have initiated the “Kizuna” programme under the youth exchange program inviting students from different countries. “Kizuna”, in the Japanese language means bond. Different batches of students from 41 countries in the Asia-Oceania and North American regions spend 10 days in Japan. The fourth batch of “Kizuna”
program from India consisting of 138 students reached Japan on March 4, 2013 getting ready for a lifetime experience. In Delhi, the students were segregated into five groups. All the delegates were selected from the Japanese course students in different cities across the country. High school and college students along with a few professionals participated in this program. For most of them this was their first trip abroad. On reaching Tokyo, the visitors were briefed about the program and their itinerary for the next nine days. Earth-quakes frequent Japan and the young Indians were wary of this fact. The next morning, a presentation about the earthquake measures taken by Japan and the safety measures
adopted in constructions made them much more confident. The four-hour travel to Minamiaizumachi in a specially booked train was an unforgettable experience for most of them because it was the first time ever that they saw snow. “The snow was marvelous. I could see it was so white and
beautiful. It was the best thing that we got to see, ” smiles Eeshaani Kulkarni, a student from Mumbai. The snow brought smiles in many faces and the warm welcome by the station staff made the visitors feel at home. “The people here are very humble, kind and helpful, ” says Eeshaani. They were accommodated in a traditional Japanese inn. My lot was given the Japanese traditional rooms with an attached hotspring which was one of the best rooms I’ve ever seen in my life. The next day we were taken to another presentation by the Minami aizu tour head, which briefed about the disaster they faced and the measures and about our stay in Minamiaizu machi. The presentation also contained small speeches by three of the survivors of the great disaster, how they are feeling now, how they felt during the disaster and how they want to go back to their town but cannot return because of lack of employment. That ended our second day in Minamiaizu machi. The next day we were taken to a place where we were given a presentation by the Mayor of the town who explained about the situation of the place and how they were taking measures to come back. That afternoon we were taken to Minamiaizu’s castle, Aizuwakamatsu, one of the most beautiful castles I’ve ever seen. We were taken inside the castle, which was like a museum containing the armours of the samurais who fought back in the edo era. Then the souvenir shopping in the castle made our day. The next day was delightful as we were taken to Tataewa Ina, a school in Tataewa which had 77 students from
elementary to the 6th grade. They were taught cleaning and cleanliness from a tender age. We were shown how they take their classes and what type of classes they have. The kids were cute and looked like dolls. In the end we were taken to the assembly and the Indian delegates sang and danced to Indian tunes to show our culture to the kids there. The kids were made to sing and dance along with us to Japanese tunes. A speech from the school Principal ended that day. After that we were taken to a wood carving school where they gave us a small presentation on the nuclear blast and how it is safe. We were taught how to make shapes with wood carving and everyone was asked to unleash their creativity by carving out a shape from the wood and then we were ready for the best experience ever, walking in the snow. We were offered snow boots and had to tie a racquet like object to our boots and we were taken for a walk around the snow and the woods. Then we were taken to the Minami aizu station where our host family could come and pick us up. We were sent as groups of 5 to different families to experience the hospitality of the Japanese. And we saw the best hospitality ever. We were sent to the house of Hoshi Yukio, a man of 71 running an Inn. His family consisted of a daughter, son-inlaw, grandchildren, his wife and his 91 year old mother. Mr. Hoshi took us to the public hotspring there. Though we had a private hotspring in our room the public hotspring was a completely d i f f e r e n t experience. We returned to his
home for a hot dinner and a chat session. The next morning we had our breakfast and were dropped by the host. Later that day people from different groups did presentations on their action plan about spreading the news that Minamiaizu is safe for tourism. We were visited by the Host families during the presentations ending the day with painful goodbyes from the families. We were then taken to strawberry farms where we got to pick strawberries directly from the plants and taste the best strawberries ever. The next day we were taken back to Tokyo by the Shinkansen, the bullet train, the fastest train in the world. We reached Tokyo for a day of shopping. We also went to an earthquake simulation center where we were kept in a simulated earthquake and building fire situations and taught how to escape from there. That was the first ever time I’ve felt an earthquake which was an awesome experience. That evening we had to present our action plan before the Indian embassy and the Japanese embassy and were given our certificates. We roamed around Tokyo for the last time that day. The painful day of farewell arrived and we bade farewell to our coordinators and Japan. The nine-day experience was the most memorable in our lives when we not only bonded with the Japanese but also with Indians whom we had not met earlier. Teary-eyed we started to the airport to catch our flight back to Japan kissing goodbye to Japan.
s tennis fans, with all the cheer that Sania Mirza has brought us, we always wondered and wished there were more Sanias! Well, that may take some time. But there are Prenas, Ankitas and of course a few Natashas. Let me introduce you to two such examples: the finalists at the ITF Women’s Futures Tennis Championship 2013 in Chennai in April , 20-year old Ankita Raina and 19-year-old Natasha Palha. My earliest memory of Ankita goes way back to the 2010 Commonwealth Games Trial event , the Asian Junior Tennis Championships. Ankita was still in her teens then, it was her last season on the junior circuit. Three years later, it is heartening to see that she is pushing herself to make it count on the women’s circuit.
That by itself is one success story! Madras Gymkhana Club has a great history attached to it and what a stage it offered to Ankita, who was eyeing her maiden trophy of 2013 after two runnerup finishes this season. Natasha had bagged the doubles trophy the previous evening along with Prarthana Thombare and was looking for a double. Ankita started as a favourite considering her No.1 seeding in the tournament in the all-Indian final. As the match progressed, Ankita’s passion and hunger was obvious in her groundstrokes. Though, she has to work a lot on her serve. On the other side of the court, Natasha’s flair for attacking tennis was on display only in patches. And we could only catch a few glimpses of that
good serve she possesses. A long story cut short: Natasha went into a shell, failed to serve up her natural game and played too defensive allowing Ankita to run away with the match. An hour and 10 minutes were enough for Ankita to outclass Natasha in straight sets 6-3 6-1. It was her second ITF Futures Singles trophy following the one in New Delhi last year. Ankita was richer by Rs. 83,000/-and 12 WTA points while Natasha took home Rs.54,000/ - and 8 WTA points. Holding her first trophy of the season, Ankita said, "with this confidence I am looking to do well and get into top 200 in the world by the end of the year." Strong in both mind and physique, Ankita has the right requisites to break into the Top 400 and then target the Top 200. Talented as she is, Natasha on the other hand will have to go back to the drawing board to resurrect herself and play her natural game consistently. It’s still early days. There are many more ITF Futures events this season in India where they can repeat the feat to climb up the WTA ranking ladder!
aya's home was in Old Westbury, Long Island, where the elite lived. As the car neared her daughter's home, Aruna saw the tree-lined avenues. The sprawling houses were tucked away behind huge cedars. Most of the houses had tastefully designed gardens with fountains and lily ponds. Being spring, the cherry trees were laden with pink blossoms. Aruna's eyes filled with tears as she stepped into her daughter's home. She recounted the first time she had come with her husband from India to a rented apartment her daughter Maya and her husband had in Queens when their grandson Rahul was born. Now Aruna was a widow. Her status has changed completely. As she entered the house she noticed the solid carved wooden doors and the glistening white marble floor and the winding staircase with three rows of shining brass bars. The house had a swimming pool, a tennis court and a squash court in the basement. Aruna's eyes widened in admiration. Her son-in-law, a Neurosurgeon must be doing exceedingly well. "Do you like it Ma; it’s a three million dollar house. I wish Appa had seen it," Maya's voice sounded wistful and her eyes filled with tears. Aruna consoled her daughter saying, "It's my fate. Who expected him to be hit by a bike during his morning walk?" asked Aruna stoically as she watched her son-in-law Somu carry her luggage to her room upstairs. The room faced the front lawn, the kidney shaped lily pond and the single Japanese willow. One side of the room had a ward robe with mirror doors. The light green curtains, the matching sheets and the single chair with a silk throw and cushions added charm and elegance to the room.
"This is your room, Mami," said Somu proudly with a sweeping gesture. "Thanks, Mapillai," she said and sat on her bed thankfully. Winding up her home, attending to various last minute details and the long flight had sapped her energy. Maya was Aruna’s only daughter, her only child. Every year Maya unfailingly made a trip to India to visit her parents. She was a pathologist. She took a seven year sabbatical for the sake of her three children. She started her career rather late. Somu often complained that Maya was not ' highly career oriented.' Sheela, Somu and Maya’s first daughter was thirteen and Leela, the second one was eleven and Rahul the youngest was only eight. The girls pitched in to help their mother if they were in the right mood. Rahul was Aruna's only grandson and he was special. As she was unpacking her clothes, her three grandchildren came in hesitantly. "Would you like some tea, Ammama?" asked Sheela, who looked all grown up. Both the girls were wearing shorts and their thighs were exposed. "Has Leela matured too?" asked Aruna as Maya walked in with a cup of tea. “Hush, almost, but don't ask her anything Amma, she will get offended," said Maya. Aruna took out two tiny crimson velvet boxes and handed them over to her granddaughters. Sheela and Leela held up their identical gold chains but the pendants were different. One was Saraswati, the Goddess of learning and the other was that of baby Krishna on a leaf, she explained to them. Rahul came running in with his Pokémon DVD. Aruna lifted the big race car with the remote control out of the box and handed it over to him. He was excited to see how best he could control it and started playing immediately in her room. Aruna forced herself to unpack and handed over the Tomato Thokku, Vatha Kuzhambu mixture, adhirasams and Cashewnuts burfis to her daughter. "Oh, Amma, we get everything in New York, why did you bother? Have an early dinner. Jet lag will catch up with
you." Aruna sailed out of the room as Somu called out to her. Being an only child, Maya was duty bound to care for her widowed mother. Her mother would also be helpful at home thought Maya. She can get rid of the babysitter, Evonne. That would mean considerable amount of savings as babysitters in New York charged twelve dollars an hour! “Sheela. Leela and Rahul, come downstairs. Let Ammama take rest," she shouted from the kitchen. It took Aruna five days to get over her jet lag. On Monday morning every one left. The children ran to catch the school bus. When the door closed behind them, the house seemed too quiet, too large and too empty. Aruna went into the kitchen and began to cook. She took out the chicken packets from the freezer and began to chop onions and grate ginger. After an hour and a half she washed her hands and turned the TV on. She missed the Sun News and the latest Tamil movie songs. She sat alone and ate her lunch absentmindedly. The children returned from school at 2.30 PM. They threw their school bags, shoes, socks in the family room and ran in to the kitchen.
food," yelled Rahul and tried to take Lean Cuisine packet from the freezer. Half a dozen boxes came crashing down. He spotted the ice cream box and grabbed it. "I hate rice. I want ice cream," he screamed. “First have your lunch. Then you can have ice cream,“ said Aruna firmly. Rahul started throwing a tantrum. Just then they heard the garage door going up. Maya entered the room. She saw Rahul sprawled on the floor. "Amma, are you OK? I dropped in to check." Immediately, Rahul leapt up, ran to his mother and complained. "Ammama is scolding me. She doesn't like me," he wailed. Maya turned to her mother impatiently. "Amma let him be. Don't start your discipline rules," she said in an irritated tone. There was no change in their daily routine. On Sundays Maya took Aruna to the grocery store with a list of items to be bought for a week. Maya was busy taking the children to their swimming, tennis, soccer lessons, flute and violin classes. She was always rushing in and out doing errands for the children. A month passed. Sheela no longer asked for Dosa. Leela didn't care for Aloo parathas. Aruna continued to make vangi baath for her son-in-law and Bisibele Huli Anna for her daughter on Sundays. The children wanted burgers, Pasta, Pizzas. sausages and spaghetti. They enjoyed beef buritos. Rahul threw his toys around. He made a big fuss for everything. He needed constant attention. The two girls gave in to all his demands as they didn't want to upset their mother when she came home tired. Rahul was too obnoxious and rude for an eight year old. When ever Aruna tried to correct him Maya was upset. "Amma, you are always disapproving. Rahul can sense it. You know he is a bright child," said Maya instead of correcting him.
"What did you make today, Ammama? asked Sheela, who liked spicy Indian food. "Chicken with cashew paste, beans poriyal and tomato rasam." She served them hot rice with chicken and beans. They ended their meal with yogurt. "I want frozen food. I don't like Indian
Weeks rolled into months. Aruna was unable to sleep. Some thing was bothering her. She felt like a trapped animal. On the one hand she felt it was her duty to help her daughter, who was a full time career woman struggling to raise three children without any help from Somu. On the other hand she thought that there was no escape for her. It was her karma to die probably in a strange country. The thought brought tears to her eyes. She repeated her favourite sloka every night and then fell asleep. Around midnight she heard the sound of a car engine. She jumped up and rushed to the window and saw Maya drive away. Aruna sat on her bed and waited. Finally she heard the sound of the car returning and slamming of doors. The next morning Aruna confronted her daughter. "Where did you go at midnight?" “I went to pick up Sheela. She went to a birthday party." “She is only thirteen. And she comes home at midnight? Is it safe?" Aruna persisted. “Oh, Ma, this is America not Chennai. I'm a mother too. I know my responsibility," Maya hissed. Aruna was shocked. Is it her daughter speaking? Has she no right to advise her? What has happened to her? Why is she so highly strung? Is the fast pace of life taking a toll on her health? Why did she look so unhappy? Is she stressed out? Dozens of unanswered questions buzzed in her head. During her spare time, Aruna tried to leaf through various magazines that were lying around. They had nothing much to read except the glossy advertisements for hand bags, shoes, cosmetics and the latest trends in fashion. They were full of sleazy sex articles. A week passed. It was a rainy night. She could hear the frogs croaking. She was feeling uneasy. She carefully held on to the banister and came down for a glass of hot water. As she put her foot on the landing she heard angry voices from the master bed room. "You bitch, how dare you question me?
I was only talking to those women." "Oh, ya, How many women? Why would you take up an apartment in Brooklyn without telling me? For secret rendezvous? How long has this deception been going on?” Then she heard the sound of someone crashing against a piece of furniture and the shattering of glass. She was stunned. She hurriedly crept upstairs. Tears blinded her eyes. The next morning Maya had already left for work by the time she woke up. She made her daughter's favourite dishes, butter chicken and peas pulav. When Maya entered the kitchen, after a refreshing bath, she looked composed and calm. There was a clean cut, half an inch long on her forehead.
Aruna held her daughter's hands firmly. "We have to make choices, sometimes in life, Maya. You are a strong woman. Are you really happy? This is a country that exploits. Their values are different. For the sake of dollars we should not compromise our values. You don't belong here." " I have no choice ma, My children need me here.” Maya whispered. " Let me return to my country, my home. You know that you and my grandchildren are always welcome." Aruna's voice choked with emotion. Maya nodded her head in silence and hugged her mother tightly, while tears ran down her cheeks.
the world and has gone through multiple tests before being launched to the public. We have left no stone unturned to create this world class entity and are sure that ADLABS IMAGICA is going to be liked by people across all age groups.” On any given date Adlabs Imagica can accommodate around 1000015,000 people. The theme park will present multiple animation and liveaction films for the attractions - a liveaction horror called Curse of Salimgarh, a Bollywood classic Mr. India as a world-class animated motion simulator ride and a love story called Prince of the Dark Waters as a first ever 360 degree Full Dome theater among various others. The quality of these films competes with the best of international animation films with the added bonus of amplifying the theme park experience with its concept.
Adlabs Imgica by Adlabs Entertainment Limited, the first of its kind entertainment theme park in India was launched amidst much fanfare. The park is all set to redefine the theme park experience in India as it opened to public on April 18, 2013. Rishi Wadhwa takes you on a small virtual tour of Adlabs Imgica By offering a mix of story-play and live experiences, this park is unique in terms of its international standards, scale, stature and the experience. This tourist destination is a part of a larger mega project that will include a water park, a hotel and retail space to be launched in phases. The theme park that has been built with an investment of Rs.1600 crores employs over 2000 staff support to manage the workings. Speaking at the launch of the Park, Manmohan Shetty, Chairman Adlabs Entertainment Limited said, “Today is a proud moment for each one of us who has been associated with the project. It was our vision to create an entertainment theme park of international standards in India and I am positive that this park will provide an immersive and wholesome family entertainment experience, something that each Indian will take immense pride in.” Manmohan Shetty further adds, “Along with entertainment, safety is vital for ADLABS IMAGICA. Every single ride here has been designed by the leading manufactures in
Health and Fitness Clinic
fter all the gurgling and babbling of the baby, that evolve into words and sentences, there is this beautiful space that is discovered around, to which baby is the sole proprietor and the word freedom is coined and fitted into it. Now she begins to explore and explore till her curiosity is satisfied but only for an instant - for one discovery, often opens the doors to another set of questions that need to be again explored to be answered! All of us have gone through this since we popped on to this earth, dropped down by our mothers ever so gently with utmost care to brave the world with all its various predicaments. We were mere extensions of our mothers until we felt confident enough to step out on our own. Here we are now free to choose from what is spread out before us.
Fitness Consultant - Certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), Reebok, Integral Yoga Institute (IYI), Philates Institute of America (PIA)
going. Replace this with a round cushion and place the earth on it. No revolving but mere sitting still! Watch the sun as it shines and then starts scorching the very life that it tries to make living worthy. The other side of the earth becomes a seat of dearth and famine without the energy ball of light shining on it. To rise and set with the sun is a time tested mantra. Sitting for hours together is ironically called ‘work’ that sans work-outs leading to circulation issues and body imbalances. Couch potatoes are actually energy balls that have forgotten to roll. As long as mother was tapping this ball it rolled and rolled and kept the energy flowing constantly. The minute mamma takes her hands off, the ball either stops or depending on the force applied continues to roll and slowly gathers a momentum of its own. The mother’s hand does it all. There is not much of a difference between receiving and giving if we understand that the essence of both is the same – joy. The body that has been designed to assimilate has been designed to dissimilate too otherwise it would become a junk yard. How do we help this catabolism which is a part and parcel of its opposite metabolism? It is sheer movement and movement alone is what keeps life ticking. If we understand this, we will not take this body machine for granted. All machines come with a manual but this body is such a wonder that it figured out its own manual in the form of fitness research. Fitness today has grown in leaps and it would be wonderful if marks were given for sports and becomes a reality soon in educational institutions. A mother who cares needs to sustain that care by handing over the baton. This legacy of health is a habit that is cultivated at a very young age. The reference here is not about any particular mode of work out but an entire life style. Mother knows best is not just a phrase but a reality. Her instincts
are biologically natural. This makes it very imperative that she needs to be updated with her knowledge, for evolution is not a slow process anymore. The next gen needs to be taught and handled and guided in an entirely different way. The best is by example and acceptance of anything new. It is sad that I need to say that mothers have this responsibility on them to furnish their children with basic fitness knowledge to prevent them from eating tissue papers to become pencil thin or take steroids to get a quick six pack. Sending them to centres that promise to melt away a said amount of fat for a fat sum just to get the child ‘presentable’ to a ‘promising’ groom is another unpardonable offence, for whether the fat melts or not the child’s self confidence takes a beating. This article is actually a petition to all mothers to - wake up early and enjoy the first rays of the sun. Stop eating heavy after sun set. You can always sleep with half a cup of warm milk to soothe the system. Remember the air that you breathed through your life was much less polluted and the food much more nutritious than what is available today. There is no reason why you should feel lethargic or tired unless there is a medical issue to be treated. So do not ever say you are too old to do blah and blah! If you feel old at 40 your kids will feel the same at 20. A mother is like the rock of Gibraltar to her kids – stead fast, steady and strong. Be there for your children as long as you can, not as a prop but as a torch that shines and brightens up their way. Cheers to all ye happy mothers! The baton is still in your hands!
A lot has been given to us from birth itself and the supply keeps flowing depending on how well we have learnt to receive it, sustain it and develop from it, to leave behind a legacy. Thus the flow never stops. We have a bank deposit of health that yields an interest rate that is directly proportionate to our ‘interest’ in life. What is life without movement ….it is this circle of life that keeps us
The Pulsating IPL 6
he sixth edition of the Indian Premier League has kicked off bigger and better this year! With closer last-over finishes, super overs, controversies and the gorgeous cheerleaders that lend their oomph to the Indian version of sports entertainment! This year has also seen the entry of a renewed Hyderabad franchisee, now Sunrisers Hyderabad! And it indeed has been a great start to their campaign this season, having found an able leader in Cameron White! Also, this edition will witness, a new title sponsor in Pepsico. The sixth edition has had its fair share of controversies, with the spat between Gautam Gambhir the skipper for Kolkata Knight Riders and Virat Kohli the captain of the Royal Challengers of Bangalore grabbing more than its fair share of attention. Kohli, when dismissed in the second innings while batting got into a verbal spat with Gambhir, with no surety as to who is to be blamed for such a spat. This does affect the chemistry of our national level players when they have to display team chemistry with those with whom they share rivalry in the IPL. This controversy also brought back the memories of the slapsgate controversy between Harbajan Singh and Sreesanth, as they got involved in a dialog on the national press. But, we can dismiss the theory of the IPL having an adverse impact on Indian cricket as we might be reading too much into it. Also, we need to look into something that recently has stumped cricket fans around the country. This incident took place in the match between Mumbai and Bangalore at the home grounds of the Mumbai Indians. Mumbai Indians, were in the pink, all through the game, but this form was slightly disturbed by Virat Kohli when he affected two run outs. This made the fans at Mumbai perceive Virat Kohli as a ‘cheater’. This incident took place when there was a collision between Ambati Rayudu and Vinay Kumar, and Virat Kohli took to the stumps, leaving Rayudu short of his crease. The fans incessantly chanted
‘cheater’ whenever Kohli fielded a ball, came out to bat or was called out to speak at the presentation ceremony. To this Kohli replied saying "I don't know what is wrong with people at this venue. If it was an intentional interruption from the bowler, then the umpire would have stopped the batsman (from walking off). It is his job, not mine. You should have that much cricket awareness. Whoever wins or loses, in any of the games in Bangalore, every captain is cheered, every Indian player is cheered. People appreciate good cricket." That being said, there were many good things that have come off the IPL. Like the recent players have become the fancy of the Indian selectors from this edition too, as shown by the very impressive Sanju Samson who scored at a blinding pace against the Bangalore side on his home ground. Also, there was Vinay Kumar, who has time and again shown his skills as a bowler. Mid-way into this edition, what has been the very highlight of the first half of IPL, is yet again no points for guessing the blitzkrieg innings by Chris Gayle with his ballistic 175 not out (17 sixes; 13 fours). Not only does he hold the record for the highest runs ever scored by a batsman in a single T20 inning but also the fastest century in just 30 balls. He broke almost ten records in one single inning. He has been the man that personifies what IPL is. A total entertainment package, and he is one of the only batsmen who hits sixes when the crowd demands them and also time and
again entertains the crowd when he does the gangnam stlye! The good news for the organizers has been that the stadiums have been more or less packed to the hilt. The damsels have not been left behind; the women have slowly yet steadily taken to IPL and are sure shot spectators at almost all games. The stadium culture has also grown, as more people seek to enjoy the experience that IPL offers at the stadium. The crowds at Jaipur and Bangalore have been delightful and more than just a blessing to the home team, with the constant morale boost that they provide. Now as we move in to the latter half of the tournament, the points table does not show any team that looks like a sure shot play-off qualifier. But, nonetheless there are favourites, the Mumbai Indians with players like Rayudu, Karthik and Pollard look quite strong, with more games to be played at home they are certainly at a great advantage. The Royal Challengers of Bangalore, the obvious favourites, with Gayle, Kohli, DeVilliers, Vinay and Rampaul in ominous form. Though it is left to be seen how they fare as most of their games are away from their fortress (read Chinnaswamy Stadium). The Chennai Super Kings with captain cool - Dhoni, Bravo and Morkel are looking set for the latter half. And, lastly Rajasthan Royals who have a lot riding on the in-form Faulkner, Waston and Dravid. What is left to be seen is, can the
Sunrisers Hyderabad or the Kings XI Punjab topple any of the top four to make a place for themselves. Or will the defending champions, Kolkata Knight Riders redeem their chances of making it to the play offs? But, what is more or less decided is that, unfortunately, the Delhi Daredevils (having missed the services of Kevin Peitersen and Jesse Ryder) and Pune Warriors India are most likely not going to make it to the play offs. As of now, the only bad news for the Super Kings would be the decision of the IPL governing committee to move the play offs to Delhi, considering the recent ban on players from Sri Lanka from playing in Chepauk by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Thus, the Super Kings do not any more have the comfort of their fortress, where they seldom lose a game. As the IPL’s sixth edition is half way to its business end, there are a lot of exciting contests on the cards, as all teams are going to battle to make it to the play offs and also qualify for the Champions League. So sit back and enjoy a good dose of electrifying sports entertainment and do not forget Farah Khan’s advice about doing a little bit of jumping-jumpak as you watch the game!
What's New in the Market?
Slip It On!
Comfort Slippers from Florsheim USA
Step out in style this summer with Florsheim USA; the leading international brand in men’s footwear for ultimate style and comfort has introduced its new exclusive Stylish Comfort Range of Slippers. Slip into these modishly designed slippers for a casual yet fashionable look. Crafted with genuine and burnished leather these slippers are a must-have in your footwear collection. Reinventing the chic and elegant nature of straps with a modern twist Florsheim gives you its Comfort Slippers. Live the glory of chic and attractive designs this summer with Florsheim USA. indoors, at a lounge or at home or simply a stroll on the beach, the Comfort Slippers from Florsheim are versatile with insightful colors and uncompromising high quality leather craftsmanship for every discerning man. Durable and stylish, these slippers look great with formal and casual trousers and are surely a worthy investment.
Heavily cushioned inserts provide additional comfort and durability giving your hot weather repertoire a contemporary cue. The sole is made with Microtech Eco Friendly material that is imbibed with Non Phthalates, Non Heavy Metals and is 100% Recyclable. Perfect for
The “Stylish Comfort Slippers” are exclusively available in leading retail chains like: Metro Shoes, Mochi, Regal Shoes, Inc.5, and the Florsheim Shoe Shops at Spencer Plaza II, Chennai Citi Centre and Express Avenue in Chennai and other selected outlets across the country. The Comfort Slippers are available in various styles such as Glenn, Romano, Maestro, Bergamo and Zeus. The color options available are Black, Dark Brown and Tan and priced from Rs. 3795/- to Rs. 3995 /-.
Toughness and Durability Par Excellence!
ergo, the world’s best laminate flooring pushes the durability limits of floors with its international range – Public Extreme. With Public Extreme; Pergo flooring introduces the world’s toughest laminate floor. It has been built to meet the requirements of those areas that are forced to endure the toughest daily punishments; like an increasing number of footfalls and activities on a commercial floor. Pergo has always aimed at being simply the best when it comes to flooring and they have kept up to the same commitment. “The Public Extreme collection has been graded class 34, a grade which only reconfirms the durability and quality of the laminate flooring from Pergo. The flooring is cut out for heavy duty work and performance in the most demanding public areas and in keeping to that Pergo offers a life time residential triple guarantee towards surface wear off, color fading and there will be no stains on floor, if this flooring is placed in a residential area. As a part of technological advancement Pergo again has new feature for reduction of sound with its professional sound block technology in the Public Extreme collection,” said Mr. Naresh Maheshwari, CEO, Pergo India Pvt. Ltd.
Samasta Jewellery & Stoles
Semi precious jewellery that make ideal gifts as accessories, They can be combined with our attractive range of stoles in silk, cotton and superfine wool. Together, they look stunning. And are so easy and convenient to carry. DO come to SAMASTA located at 29 CP Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet, Chennai 18. +91 44 4272 1110. You can view the entire collection At www.facebook. com/samastaonline.com
Redefine Modern and Contemporary Furniture with
Living In Style, Mumbai has launched CA Style, which brings to its patrons an entire range of lavish contemporary furniture. Living In Style is a brand that emphasizes excellence and offers a whole range of home décor furniture & accessories that allure discerning individuals who expect unparalleled quality. An eye for magnificence and design has always made Living In Style, Mumbai, stand out as the store that has seen itself transcend to evolving trends. Spread across 10,000 sq ft, the plush “CA Style” section at the second level of the Living in Style store in Mumbai has on display contemporary furniture that is imported from various international brands like Camel Italy, Calia Italia, Kelvin Giormani etc. Also by adding the new designs concepts to CA Style, Living In Style, Mumbai aims to make home décor shopping an experience to be enjoyed and also the charming vibe of the store is sure to leave every visitor spell bound. Speaking of the launch of CA Style, Mr. Afzal Chandiwala, Director, Living In Style, Mumbai said, “CA Style is the launch pad for our entire new range of international contemporary furniture. This section will house a stunning range of collections, from beds, sofa sets, dining tables, coffee tables, chairs, chaise lounges, table lamps, mirrors, centre tables, a range of accessories etc. Every piece of furniture displayed in this section is a timeless visual delight and emphasizes Living In Style’s belief in the true essence of luxury and comfort.”
From Maui Jim
Hot Sands Sunglasses
Hot Sands, a brand new range of sunglasses from Maui Jimwas launched in the Chennai city in April. Specially crafted for a wide range of fastpaced active sports, Hot Sands new aerodynamic design offers superior fit, durability and anti-slip features making it the ideal choice for a range of outdoor activities. Hot Sands embeds the company’s patented PolarizedPlus2® lens technology into a sleek, flexible model making it the most technologically advanced polycarbonate lenses packed into this high-performance sunglass style. Hot Sands offers lightweight coverage in a sporty, form-fitting, Grilamid frame that is highly durable and is able to flex with an athlete’s movements. The nonslip Rubberon temple inserts provide extra grip for a more secure feel, and adjustable nose pads prevent slippage during even the most intense activities. These sunglasses come in Gloss Black, Blue, Rootbeer and Translucent Matte Grey. Hot Sands has an eye size of 71 mm, bridge size of 16 mm, temple length of 116 mm, and an 8-base curvature for full wrap coverage that fits snugly around the face. Priced at Rs. 7390/-, Hot Sands sunglasses are available at all leading optical stores in the city. Maui Jim’s patented PolarizedPlus2® lens technology reduces 99.9% of harmful glare from any flat, smooth, or shiny surface, improving vision and giving crisp detail to any view, making it possible to clearly see objects in motion. Additionally, Maui Jim sunglasses cut 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Proprietary bi-gradient mirror technology adds protection from light through the top and bottom of each lens – basically, Maui Jim sunglasses squint for you to reduce eye fatigue.
When Flying is a necessity
“A combination of factors like economic boom, increased foreign tourist arrival, increased purchasing power of people, and poor air connectivity of smaller cities has motivated the establishment of Aviation division. The motivation for INDRA AIR PRIVATE LIMITED proposed air service has been outlined here”. INDRA AIR PRIVATE LIMITED is designed to meet your special needs without being encumbered by air carrier schedules. We arrange charter services to meet different contingencies like corporate meetings, health emergencies, holiday trips ,geophysical resource survey, law enforcement , aerial advertisement, film shooting ,flower and leaflet dropping ,package tours and overnight getaways. Today, INDRA AIR PRIVATE LIMITED’S primary corporate objective is to achieve the proper balance of performance, safety, functionality, reliability, and affordability in a family of light helicopters.
Head Office No.5, Alsa Regency,165, Eldams Road,Alwarpet, Chennai – 600 018. Ph.No. : 044 4232 8808 Fax No. : 044 4232 8807 Mobile : +9187544 98181 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Airport Office Old Airport (Near Madras Flying Club),Meenambakkam, Chennai – 600 027. Telefax : 044 2256 0860 Mobile : +91 90030 20061 Email: email@example.com
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Date of Publication: 14th of Every Month Regn. No: TN/ CC (S) Dn 354/ 11-13 May 2013
Comprehensive Preventive Healthcare Program
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