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Women s Era Apr09-jalsa.tk

Women s Era Apr09-jalsa.tk


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Vol 36, Issue No. 848


Founder: Vishwa Nath





Kasturi Rangachari

Suman Bajpai


Amrinder Bajaj

Kavita Sivaramakrishnan


Dr Beena Rani Goel

Zareen Myles



D. B. N. Murthy

Sudha Chandrasekaran

Suman Vats

Ameeta Sharma



Suman Bajpai


Rajib Sen

Our Correspondent

Chicken in peas

Puja Sharma

Suman Bajpai


● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Neelam Chandra

Betty Paul Thottam

● ● ● ● ●

Veena Adige

Pineapple Fish Indian Bread Stuffed with Rice Healthy Snack Chicken in Peas KHI Steamed Dumplings BAISAstivity fe in Milk Chocolicious Bell Peppers Stuffed with Couscous Okra and Cottage ● Gooseberry Curry Cheese Tri-layered Pineapple Delight ● Chinese Chopsuey ● Rabrie with Fruits Bengali Sweet ● Carrot Stuffed Salt Pepper Tofu and Indian Bread Vegetables ● Eggs on Spinach Bread Biryani
is a time Baisakhi on, time for celebrati to entertain may guests who We g. come alon three bring you different meals with savour flavours to festivity. during the
By Roma Ghosh


le fish


INGRE of rahu fish 6-8 pieces ple of pineap – sliced 4 slices onion into 1 large sized papad – cut of aam 100 gm cubes d oil of mustar 4-5 tbsp

a time. Turn so a few at or twice fish pieces pieces once are golden the fish the sides aside. that both e and keep onion ntha) brown. Removpan, fry the wal para Lower the (Cha In the same S: golden brown. and the leaf INGREDIENT slices till mix in bay fine aroma tha: heat and fry till a take 2-3 For the paran flour spices and should cup of wheat – this tomato puree 1 rises ghee Mix in the slices which 1 tbsp of for frying minutes. or ghee pineap ple small pieces. oil to taste and the leaf cut into and salt 1 bay of water have been half cup in the filling: 2 chillies powder Also add boil. Mix For the rice 1/ tsp of haldi gravy to pieces cooked powder 2 bring the and aam papad 1 cup of red chilli a few r or 1 tsp of of oil fish pieces e to cook for tomato puree to 2 tsp chillies powde 3 tbsp of and continuthe gravy beginsthe 1/ 2 tsp of red r till salt to taste adjust ur powde minute s more D of aamch half the thicke n. You could to your METHO pinches powder salt and of the gravy over l ka 3-4 of roasted jeera Sprink le powder consistency with chawa 1 tsp of the haldi aside for . Serve quantity and leave d oil choice the fish pieces the mustar the parantha. s. Heat 2009 pan fry 10 minute April (First) pan and s Era ● a non stick Woman’ in


Heat D METHO e the filling: To prepar fry the rice adding and heat for the oil and Fry on low The all the spices. Keep aside. s. 2-3 minute be spicy and tasty. ghee and filling should salt and Sift the flour, water to knead so stir gently enough dough add just lauki and to mix into Divide the each the grated into a dough. s. Roll out and lauki begins ti the curd portion that the . oji. Beat sized chappa into 3-4 rava mixture the rava/so into a small ti in your palm portion little into the chappa the add oil a also mix . Hold this a portion of the spices and each of the of Add the ) and keep while adding low flame, in the centre ends rava snack filling at a time Cook on it from all prepared of the (lauki and and close ingredients. time till most out this S: chappati the ball. Roll in a pre fry INGREDIENT a round stirring all ated. Bake C for to obtain thick chappati and on sooji is evapor rice a water 1 cup or ghee at 160 degree of the ball into . 1 cup rava – broken a with oil the top heated oven lauki hour till this paranth crispy and brown Remov e in 2 cups of grated till atleast an brown. s parant has r low fire dahi golden powde into square the other cake is 2 cups of red chillies Prepar e oven, cut r 3/ spoon of way. from the r powde 4 the same stuffed with rice as a snack. 1/ tsp of amchu and serve 4 of oil Indian bread 3-4 tbsp salt to taste D METHO the Dry roast rava the sooji and golden till a light S: the same ly grated INGREDIENT brown. In of coarse once the kadha i, a 11/ 2 cups rava are peas sooji and brown, add 3 tbsp of oil masala light golden r 1/ tsp of garam 2 chillies powde snack 1/ tsp of red Healthy 4 lemon juice chicken 2 tsp of ss of bonele 400 gm




pieces salt to taste marinade: paste For the ginger garlic 2 tsp of dahi paste 3 tbsp of green chillies 1 tsp of salt to taste D for the METHO ingredients te the Mix all the and marina 1 hour. marina de this for pieces in and cook chicken oil in a kadhai Heat the 49



April (First)





Ameeta Sharma


Puja Sharma








Editor, Publisher & Printer PARESH NATH
Printed at Delhi Press Samachar Patra Pte Ltd., A-36, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad and Delhi Press, E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110 055 and published on behalf of Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Pte Ltd. from E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110 055. E-mail: admin@womansera.com EDITORIAL, ADVERTISEMENT & PUBLICATION OFFICE Delhi Press Building, E-3, Jhandewala Estate, Rani Jhansi Marg, New Delhi-110 055. Phone: 41398821, 41398888. Fax: 91-11-23625020 The names of characters used in all fiction and semi-fiction articles are fictitious. COPYRIGHT NOTICE © Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Pte Ltd. New Delhi-110 055. India.

(Toddler Trends)



Page 132


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Which hair remover is best to use without creating more problems? You can find a hair remover which does the role to your full satisfaction and also leaves behind a mild pleasant fragrance. Usually, hair removers do not give the desired result. How can the hair be removed without leaving visible traces? Some hair removers work extraordinarily and the body glistens after use. It appears that the body had no hair growth at all. Look for a hair remover which can deplete body hair. Some hair removers leave a hot sensation after use and the skin wears an unnatural look. How can I cope with the problem? There are hair removers which are easy to use. They create no skin problem. Besides made for easy use, they are also convenient to use and leave no hair problem. How can I remove unwanted body hair and still look natural? Use a hair remover which can remove the hair quickly forming a protective shield around your skin. Hair remover should do much more than just wiping out hair. It should have a formula. Can you recommend any particular hair remover? Normally you find different kinds of creme Hair Removers in the market, though the ones with added properties work better for your skin and its upkeep. Added to it, if the creme hair remover comes enriched with Olive Oil, Shea Butter, it works complementary to the process of hair removing. Jolen has launched its three variants of creme Hair Remover with Olive Oil and Shea Butter, which removes hair gently from the follicide bulb, leaving skin soft, silky and beautiful. It is a complete treatment.




ver the years, business of surrogacy has mushroomed throughout India. Just take a look at the statistics. At present there are about 17000 fertility clinics all over India. Mostly serving to the foreign clients, these clinics churn out an annual business of about Rs 2000 crore in surrogacy. Certainly, quite impressive figures. But strangely enough, at present there are no rules and regulations or laws to govern this vast business, which is sure to grow further in the years to come. Nowadays, newspapers and magazines openly carry advertisements for the services of the surrogate mothers. Huge sum of money is involved in the entire business with, of course, assured secrecy for the women desiring to rent out their wombs. But lack of a proper governing law means, that there is every possibility of cheating or being cheated. Taking note of the vastness of the business and associated complications, the outgoing Central Government had proposed a law and drafted legislation for the same. But it could not frame it, as by then general elections had been declared. So the country will have to wait till the formation of next Lok Sabha. Experts in fertility business are hopeful, that the new government will frame the laws as soon as possible after assuming power. Then, they maintain, there will be no room for the legal complexity in the business. Whether the government keeps their expectations or not, only the time will tell. But one thing that highlights in the whole scenario is an unpardonable negligence on the part of the government. It allows certain activities to grow unchecked and comes round only when some ambiguity surfaces. General understanding among the public is that you cannot start your business legally, for at every step the government machinery will interfere with your working. Yes, if you have the guts, you can start anything by greasing the palms of local authorities. When you begin to flourish, government will come itself to grant your work a legal recognition. Sadly, this is how business grows in India. And sadly this is how the whole picture has become so haphazard, where an honest and hard-working person hardly gets an opportunity to grow. Hopefully with new Parliament in place, a new system will emerge where business regularisation will not mean under-cloth dealing.


ritish Prime Minister Gordon Brown had declared to take full responsibility for his role in the banking failure that led to global recession. He claims that the downturn marks the end of the era of laissez-faire government. In an interview, he concedes that in retrospection he wishes he had mounted a popular campaign 10 years ago to demand more responsible regulation of the world’s financial markets. Then, Asian countries were facing similar problems and Western nations thought they would go away on their own. Brown claims that the 40-year-old prevalent orthodoxy known as the Washington Consensus in favour of free markets has come to an end. Laissez-faire has had its day. People on the centre-left and the progressive agenda should be confident enough to say that the old idea that the markets were efficient and could work things out by themselves are gone, he says. Reasons are simple. Most people want the business to adhere to the same values as they practise in their daily life. People will rather reward hard work rather than risktaking and rash driving, they want to support enterprise and not excess. They want to support people that take responsibility and not run away from it. This eye-opener has come in wake of the revelation that unemployment in Britain passed the two million mark in the three months by the end of January, 2009 reaching its highest level since 1997, according to the official figures. The jobless total reached 2.03 million, pushing the unemployment rate further to 6.5 per cent. This rapidly rising number of unemployed youths is definitely going to put enormous pressure on the country’s government. Already demands have begun to be raised there to deport the foreign nationals working in Britain and deny visa to freshers. What is more, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) predicted earlier this month that unemployment would climb to 3.2 million by the end of 2010. These revelations are coming amidst the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prediction that Britain’s recession would last longer than that of anywhere in the world’s other major economies. All these developments point to the fact that in near future, governments in western countries will meddle more with day-to-day business activities. There will be more regulations making it hard for the youth from Third World countries to settle there. India and other developing nations will have to put their stakes in correct perspective in G20 meeting that is going to start in London from 2nd April, 2009.
write to: letters@womansera.com We


Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009


A look at a frugal and relaxing modern concept!
By Sudha Chandrasekaran


re you suffering from vacation envy as you see your plans vanishing due to the skyrocketing prices of petrol and airline tickets? Vacations carry important benefits for stress management, productivity and health. Unfortunately, many people do not avail of vacations because of time or money constraints. Luckily, there are ways you can enjoy many of the benefits that a vacation would bring without spending as much time or money as you would on a “formal vacation”. Recently, we have been hearing a lot about ‘staycations’. It is the new buzz word which encourages people to take a vacation at home and be a tourist in their own city. Go on a frugal staycation filled with old favourites and new adventures! Chances are that you have not experienced everything in your local region. Save money, avoid crowds,

and return to work with a relaxed, refreshed and positive outlook. With soaring petrol prices and financial meltdown, staycations are a new reality in the West. In our country, too the staycation is attracting workaholics and very frequent travellers who travel too munch on work. I do enjoy travelling a lot but of late this idea of holidaying at home seems to appeal to me. People may think it is a good idea to save on costs during these hard times. But whether recession or otherwise, a vacation at home is indeed most welcome.

“Staycation” was coined by Canadian comedian Brent Butt in his famous television series Corner Gas. It became popular with the soaring gas prices and economic slowdown. The staycation is a portmanteau word Woman’s Era

that combines “stay” and “vacation” and refers to a holiday that takes place either at or near home. According to The New York Times, it is “a neologism used by those who prefer to unravel the mysteries of the world from the comfort of their living room couches”. The recent emerging vacation trend, staycation is a holiday minus the stress associated with travel and it is a period of time wherein an individual or family stays at home and relaxes or takes day trips from their home to area attractions. 7

April (First) 2009

Staycations have become a trend as people attempt to go easy on their wallets. More and more people are opting for staycations forgetting farflung journeys to exotic locales and these staycations can be more memorable than distant vacations. There have been a few terms tossed around regarding the idea of enjoying your summer at home. We have heard the terms: staycation; fitcation – enjoying some time off while focussing on your fitness; daycation – taking day trips usually on one tank of petrol or less. In some ways, it can be even more stress-relieving because it typically involves less planning and expense. The staycation is just one example of a

behavioural shift caused by a rapidlychanging travel-cost structure. There are no logistical worries related to travel. “You can switch to sloth mode and simply be yourself, unlike travel, where you put yourself through a demanding schedule to get your money’s worth,” explains financial consultant Sushma Agarwal. People take staycations for many reasons – including but not limited to saving money, avoiding travel are taking advantage of and enjoying what is available in their own city. It is not just fuel costs that make people unwilling to travel. Threats of terrorism have made local and international travel much more agonising, as vacationers deal with added security, long lines and new visa requirements. A romantic evening in a hotel just down the street from a couple’s home, could be a lot less stressful than planning and taking that holiday abroad. “The staycation is a choice we are making,” asserts techie Srinivas

The answer to all these queries is the staycation! On taking a walk somewhere you normally drive through, you might be surprised at the things you notice for the first time. There are plenty of ways to find culture and excitement in your hometown without spending much money.

Tips for enjoying your staycation: First and foremost, remember that a staycation is just for you or your family. So guests are unwelcome! Change your routine: It will not feel like a vacation if you do the same things. Shake up the routine! Be spontaneous and give yourself unscheduled time for fun. Do the unexpected. Your usual routine will be there waiting when you are back to work! Become a local tourist: You can play ‘hometown tourist’, and enjoy the fun things that your city (or surrounding areas) have to offer which you normally might go out of your way to experience. Rediscover the things you love about your hometown. There is sure to be some local attractions you have been meaning to visit for years. Pick up a guidebook and discover what visitors enjoy in your town. The staycation is actually a very good idea In fact, I have lived for 10 years in Colombo, Sri Lanka, but have never visited the museum there which was about five minutes’ drive from my residence. Our relatives who visited us took the opportunity to visit entire Colombo city which we ourselves had not done! Unplug: After all, we have a staycation is life unplugged as home the place where we are most connected. To name a few of them: the phones, computers, Internet–enabled gadgetry etc. Turn off the cell phone, take off the watch, put the Blackberry in a drawer, stay away from e-mail and screen your telephone calls. Resist

Ramachandran. He continues, “We work and travel 24x7. The staycation is an opportunity for us to reconnect with ourselves and our homes. It’s the only time when my overscheduled family forgets the clock and makes day trips to the ECR or simply chills out in the backyard. Bliss – without depleting our savings!” Has your leave balance risen to absurd levels? When is the last time your family had a meal together? Have you visited the nearest park, strolled on the beach or hopped to area attractions in recent months? 8 Woman’s Era

April (First) 2009

the temptation to check in with work. Pretend you are too far away for anyone to reach you. The biggest challenge of your staycation is to keep work at bay.

downtime and let yourself do whatever you feel like. You have the luxury of time to sit back, relax and immerse yourself in great books which you have been gazing at longingly as they sit taunting you on the shelf wishing you had time to read them.

use this staycation as an excuse to document your native environs.

Try something new but do not over-book yourself: After your staycation is over, your fond memories will be triggered and you can relive the fun. You may also be more inclined to do such fun things during the rest of the year when you are not vacationing, which might provide a wonderful escape that can help stave off burn-but.

Immerse yourself in nature: Enjoying the outdoors is a big part of a staycation. Slow down. When was the last time you laid back and watched the clouds roll by, enjoyed the chirping of birds early in the morning, had a relaxed swim in your club, and took a leisurely stroll talking sweet nothings with your spouse? Now is the time to reconnect with nature and renew your romantic life! Plan an overnight camping trip, which will be fun too. Set the time and date: Give your staycation a start and end date – otherwise, it runs the risk of feeling like just another string of nights in front of the television. So co-ordinate your calendars, synchronise your watches, and settle on specific days when you can officially be on staycation. Though environmentalists support the trend as a “sustainable” vacation because you save on fuel, avid travel bloggers dismiss it as “sad”. The best way to maximise the benefits of a staycation is to draw up a strategy. It cannot become an extension of your regular life. It has to be absolutely stress-relieving. Decide up front what you want to have at the end of the vacation. Staying productive can help you refresh and recharge yourself, for, too much downtime can actually drain energy. For some, the strangeness of different cultures or languages, figuring out foreign currencies or worrying about lost luggage can take a toll and hence the staycation appears to be a boon for them. This concept is yet to take root and the majority of the travel lovers feel that nothing replaces the renewal that comes from going physically away from our daily life. Anyhow, a staycation need not be the secondbest to a get-away. With a little planning, your frugal week could be everyone’s favourite “trip”. So why not give staycation a try this We summer?

Eat out: Dining out is part of any holiday. Go on a gourmet hunt. Invite some friends for dinner or join some get together of your friends in a good restaurant. Your expense will not be much when compared to the savings you have made by enjoying a staycation! Relax: It is best not to overschedule oneself. Leave time for

Pamper yourself: Be bold enough to splurge and treat yourself kindly. Visit a day spa. Spend the entire afternoon lounging in one of those glorious robes while you get a massage, facial, pedicure and manicure done. It makes all the difference between a staycation and just a week hanging around the house. Take staycation pictures: Why is it that most of the pictures we have of ourselves are taken when we are far away from home, in unfamiliar surroundings, wearing very casual clothes? So get out your camera and
10 Woman’s Era

April (First) 2009


ummer is here again with the heat and humidity keeping us hot and troubled. No matter, how much effort we make to avoid the sun’s rays and scorching high temperature, the energy crunch will affect us all through the summer. According to the eminent observers the “summer heralds the arrival of sweat, drainage of energy, dehydration, characteristic diseases, harsh sunburns, deep tanning and myriads of skin and hair problems. One must have the required knowledge and skill to combat this problem at its earliest stage before it becomes aggravated. However, survival can be ensured by following the saying, ‘better late than never.’ Extra time and attention is demanded for giving everyone a glowing fresh look, confidently bearing the scorching heat and the merciless impacts of heat waves on the skin, hair and health. Food intake needs to be taken care of for sustaining the glow and as for maintaining good health.” Basically we tend to expose more of our body to the sun especially


By following the advisory mentioned there in depth, you can surely beat the scorching summer.
By Suman Vats


during summer which results in the loss of water from our body by the process of draining (sweat) and so there is a lack of resistance and energy. So maintaining the body water level is very important. Increase the intake of liquid foods like juices, sodas, shakes, nibu paani (lemonade) and water. Drink at least eight glasses of water and intersperse these with fruit juices, including citrus, apple, apricot and pineapple – also vegetable juices, especially carrot, tomato and celery It is better to avoid heavy and fatty foods especially those which are oily. Fruits are the best active energy agents that keep you ever active. Eat fruits like grapes and watermelons that keep the body cool and help in regulating the heat. Try to eat fresh and green vegetables as much as possible during the day. With a little care and precautions, you can beat the heat. As you step out of the house, make sure to apply a sun screen lotion on your face, neck, hands and other exposed parts of the body. Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. In this way, you can protect your skin from getting burnt. If you do burn, apply aloe vera or lotions containing it. This will cool and soothe your skin and help you heal faster. For the lips, the best protection against sun damage is a water-resistant lip balm that keeps the lips moist and has an SPF of 15 per cent or higher. If your skin tans easily, then wear clothes that cover your arms and protect your skin from harmful rays of the sun. Do not go out into the sun suddenly from a cool or airconditioned room, or do the opposite. Learn to become accustomed slowly. When out in the sun, make sure you use an umbrella or a hat. A hat gives ideal protection from the burning effects of the sun. It is effective in cutting out the sun’s rays from reaching the scalp and reduces the damage to a large extent. Mesh hats are translucent and allow the sun’s rays to penetrate through it thereby rendering it useless in its duties. Hence, hats of

breathable fabric like cotton should be used. Besides this, make a habit of splashing your face gently with water for instant freshness (try and use mineral water). It is important to cleanse your skin properly in the summer to cool yourself. Wash your face four-five times a day with cold water and a soap-free cleanser. This removes the build-up of sweat, dust and make-up from your skin and keeps the pores clean. Since facing the sun cannot be avoided, exfoliate twice a week and get a facial every fortnight to maintain a healthy and balanced skin. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, tones and adds a glow to your face. Your skin loses its natural moisture in summer. Hence, you must use a moisturiser daily irrespective of your skin type. Apply it on duly cleansed skin before going to bed at night, so that your skin regains the moisture it has lost during the day.


Rose water is one of the natural skin-care products immensely useful during this hot-wet season. Equal quantities of rose water and cucumber juice have to be bottled and refrigerated. This soothing lotion can be refrigerated for seven days. To treat heat rash apply homemade yogurt all over your body before bath or add turmeric to the yogurt and apply it. If you have any skin-related problems you can add neem juice to the pack and apply it. Natural bleaches like lemon and

tomato are very effective in removing suntan. These natural products should not be used directly on your skin but should be applied with a base. If your skin is sensitive to lemon and tomato juice, apply a mixture of cucumber and turmeric juice three-four times a day. Do not go out during the hottest part of the day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. A thin mixture of red sandalwood powder and rosewater applied to your skin two-three times a week can help it become more supple. Take an aromatherapy

floral water or hydrosol along for the day to stay refreshed. Each evening, splash lots of cool water on your eyes. You can soak some cotton pads in cool water or rose water and place them over closed eyes for 10 minutes. Keep your feet clean and cool. Wear sandals when you can to let your feet breathe and stay odourfree. The hot sun’s rays not only harm the skin but also affect the hair. Thus, hair too requires special care and attention during the summer. The most important point in summer haircare is to adopt a manageable hairstyle for the seasons. It is most

convenient to sport short hair during the hot days, as it is hassle free and does not frizzle. Summer heat makes our hair brittle leading to hair damage. Try to use hair moisturisers if you don’t use alternative hair polishers like coconut oil, cream, gel etc. “It is imperative to use a mild shampoo specific to various hair types to cleanse and preserve its lustre. A clarifier should also be used to wash away dirt and other chemicals from the scalp and the hair. A conditioner enriched with sunscreen should be used that will form a protective layer ensuring a longer living shine. A pinch of sunscreen may also be applied on the hair and scalp to be washed away later, for that extra protection. Hair colouring and highlighting causes dryness that makes the hair appear dull and coarse to touch. Hence, control experimenting with your hair in summer months.” Even though summer calls for swimming and playful splashing in water, one must not overlook the harmful effects of chlorinated water on the hair. The best action would be to rinse the hair before and after swimming. The hair wash preceding swimming enables the hair follicle to soak up fresh water that minimises the intake of chlorine or salt water that causes intense damage to the

hair. The hair wash after swimming rinses away the chemicals that might linger in the hair. During this season your make-up should be reduced to the minimum and the emphasis should be on naturalness. Avoid using foundation creams and lotions of any sort because heat may cause them to run down your face. Use a lipstick of a pastel shade and use rouge sparingly. Finish your make-up with a light puff of powder. Switch to products that can handle the heat and sweat. Look for a long-wearing eyeliner which is also water-resistant. If it’s really hot and you don’t want to go to the trouble of applying full makeup, a touch of waterproof mascara and a little eyeliner will open up the eyes and bring your face to life. Use a cooling pack comprising cooling agents such as cucumber, rosewater, sandalwood, Fuller’s earth, camphor powder, neem leaves etc.

Apply one spoon each of honey and lemon juice to your face every day. It will noticeably lessen the darkening of skin due to sun exposure. ● Prepare a green tea brew. Freeze the brew to form ice cubes. Rub the cubes gently all over your skin for a cooling effect. ● Application of mashed unripe papayas as a face mask is an excellent way to prevent premature ageing that comes with constant exposure to the sun. ● Aloe vera is the perfect cooling remedy for a sun-burnt skin. Pluck a fresh aloe vera leaf and extract its gel. Apply it to the face and rinse it off after it dries for a cooling effect. ● Apply a paste of freshly ground green mint all over the face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off. This pack will absorb the internal heat of the skin. ● Take one tablespoon or some quantity of besan as required by you. Mix double the quantity of curd and apply the mixture on your face for 20 minutes. It has a cooling and relaxing We effect on the skin.

A promoter introduces Samsung’s new Tristar 7.9 millimetre thick liquid crystal display (LCD) television which the company plans to produce in China. Meanwhile, a Chinese court recently ordered South Korean electronics giant Samsung to pay compensation to a local cellphone manufacturer Holley Communications $ 7.3 million for alleged patent infringement.

New-age marvel

Nothing left for imagination
Sofiya Rud’eva participates in a swimsuit competition before being crowned “Miss Russia 2009” in Moscow. She will vie for ‘Miss World’ title in the next competition.

Marathon voyage
British rowing adventurer Sarah Outen leaves the lights of Fremantle harbour behind at sunrise to start her marathon voyage on the Indian Ocean heading for Mauritious. She hopes to make the 5,000 kms trip in 100 days.

Aamir Khan celebrated his 44th birthday on March 14, with his fans at his residence in Mumbai.

Aamir turns 44

Australian model Erika Heynatz (centre R), touches a 2.1 metre high Barbie Doll chocolate mud cake to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world’s most popular doll on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour on 9 March. (Inset) The Japanese actress Akina Minami shows off the Barbie model.

Barbie Doll’s 50th anniversary

Love for animals National symbol Swan-shaped boat
Here is Denmark’s national symbol the statue of Little Mermaid which sits on a rock in the Copenhagen harbour in Churchill Park with one arm missing. The sculpture is likely to head for China next year in nearly a century to be exhibited in 2010 Shanghai World Expo, while most Danes are opposed to its going out of Denmark. Animal party organisers Rima Parikh (L) and Yasmin Waskow (R) pose with a fully grown miniature horse called “Willow” at the “Woofstock 90210” pet show in Beverly Hills.

A swan-shaped boat is moored at a pier on Lake Inawashiro in Inawashiro. The boat started operating from this spring as sightseers have started visiting the lake.


The roads have lawns and flower beds edging them.

All sorts of people want to reach Dubai for all sorts of reasons. Here’s what happens to those travelling as tourists.
By Kasturi Rangachari


he process for an Indian (and people belonging to several other countries) to get a visa to visit Dubai is a little strange. One cannot just apply for a visa as one can when one wants to visit most other places. Instead one has to be sponsored by a person or organisation in Dubai. That person or organisation will then be issued the visa. People working there can sponsor visas for relatives and friends. If one gets a job there, one’s employer will sponsor one’s visa and if one is a tourist, the hotel one is booked at does the needful. However, people from America, Europe, etc. can get a visa by just asking for it on arrival at Dubai airport! This is to visit the emirate, but Woman’s Era

there is also a resident visa which an individual working in Dubai can use to sponsor his family. A married man can sponsor his wife, his unmarried daughters and sons who are either under 18 or still studying. An unmarried man can sponsor his parents. A man can sponsor his family only if he is earning more than Dh3000 and gets accommodation from his employer/company or if he earns more than Dh4000. A woman can sponsor her family only if she is a professional – a doctor, engineer, nurse, teacher, etc – but women who earn enough are often allowed to bring their families in on humanitarian grounds. The government announced some time ago that they were going to raise the amount that a person had to earn to bring his or her family to live with him or her to Dh10,000 because they


April (First) 2009

The Marhaba lounge at Dubai airport.


The skyline of Dubai. The city is full of imposing buildings.

felt that the city was getting too crowded, putting an enormous pressure on the infrastructure. But the current financial crisis has put all those plans on hold. We were being sponsored (for visitor visas) by our elder son who works in Dubai and he had applied for visas for us. Once he had got them, he had scanned them and sent them to us by both e-mail and fax. This is what he had done on earlier visits too. But for some reason, this time, the printouts of both the e-mail attachment and the fax just weren’t clear enough. So we were rather nervous. The original would be waiting for us in Dubai but Indian immigration authorities would have to accept our visas and let us leave! When our turn came, we went together to an immigration counter, handed over our passports and visa 20

printouts and waited with our hearts in our mouths. We had provided two copies of each visa printout. In hubby’s case, both printouts were faint but legible to a person with sharp eyesight. But in mine, my name was clear in one copy and the visa number in another! I prepared to point this out to the immigration official but it wasn’t necessary. The man just checked our faces against our passport pictures and stamped our papers and handed them back to us. We were through! We still had an hour or so before take-off time and just had the security check to go through. But, because we were travelling business class, we could use the business class lounge to wait in comfort. We went on board and were served a welcome drink and asked if we wanted breakfast. In true Indian Woman’s Era

take-whatever-you-can-get-free style (this middle-class attitude of mine greatly embarrasses my whole family!) I said I did – to the great surprise of my husband who looked at me as if I had gone crazy. OK, breakfast at 5am is crazy, especially if one has hogged in the lounge just a while earlier, but I was not going to pass up on any freebies I was entitled to!

Once the plane rolled to a stop on terra firma, we exited with our hand luggage and there, as we came out of the aerobridge, stood a smart, neatly-dressed young lady holding up a placard with our names on it. This was the Marhaba service welcoming us to Dubai! The Marhaba (the word means

April (First) 2009

welcome or hospitality) service is a Meet and Greet service which is meant to ease a passenger’s way through Dubai airport – a place so huge that a plane-load of passengers can easily get lost in it never to be seen again! The Marhaba girls, who are all identically dressed in black stockings, black skirts, white shirts and yellow jackets, know the shortest routes to take, where the elevators, escalators and people movers are and the routes that the golf-cart-like vehicles you can use to spare your feet, take.

Marhaba girls will whisk you through immigration, iris check and baggage collection as they are entitled to jump queues with their charges and so, they get you out of the airport pretty fast. They will also, if you want them to, take you to a Marhaba lounge to relax, deliver flowers and visas and arrange for a limousine service. The Marhaba Diamond service ensures that you are met as you come out of the aerobridge, while the Marhaba Standard service meets you farther along the way.


You can of course manage without paying for this service (only two Marhaba girls had been booked for our flight), and I suppose the service is an unnecessary luxury. But it is nice to be cosseted and looked after when you have been up the whole night and are pretty bleary-

eyed. Anyway, my son and daughterin-law have decided – in the disconcerting way grown children often do – that their middle-aged parents/parents in-laws (both of whom hold down jobs and lead pretty full lives) are so fragile, vulnerable and downright foolish that they need to be looked after and escorted from the plane to where they would be waiting for us! Our Marhaba girl had our original visa papers and we jumped a queue of about a hundred people at immigration and were rushed through. We were also spared the iris identification procedure that passengers usually have to go through. Finally, we were helped to get our checked-in cases and brought out to where my son and daughter-in-law were waiting for us. We drove home along clean, wide roads with impressive buildings on either side. I looked around with interest. How was the worldwide recession affecting Dubai, I wondered. My son had told me that construction activity had slowed down, that many people had lost their jobs and that real estate prices were plunging. Yes, many of the construction sites along the way were deserted though it wasn’t a holiday. And there were fewer cars on the road too. Dubai had always seemed a city that was growing at a hectic pace. But it no longer did. However, the city seemed as wellplanned, clean and well-regulated as it always had been. Everything was spic and span and even in this desert city, one could see a lot of greenery in the form of edging to roads and parks. As we drove along Sheikh Zaheed Road, we saw on one side, the raised track of the Metro that Dubai is building to ease its traffic problem. At
A vast amount of construction is constantly going on in Dubai. 70-75 per cent of total employment is under the construction.

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intervals along the track were the steel frameworks of stations and over-bridges for passengers. But, in an emirate which prides itself on the speed at which projects are completed, work on the Metro has slowed down dramatically – thanks again to the worldwide economic crisis. There is even talk that the Metro, like many other projects in Dubai, has been bought up by oil-rich and cash-heavy Abu Dhabi. This puts a big question mark on the future character of Dubai. Of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, Dubai has always been the least conservative and most outward looking. But this may change if traditionalist Abu Dhabi gets the upper hand. Abu Dhabi has always disapproved of Dubai’s openness, but Dubai has always known that unless it is open and all-embracing, it will not be able to attract the tourists who are the life blood of this emirate that has no oil and depends on construction, retail, trade and tourism for its growth and prosperity. Except for the traffic, it’s a pleasure to drive in Dubai. Most roads, not just the freeways or arterial roads, but also the main roads in residential neighbourhoods, are four- or six-lane ones, with inner roads on either side allowing approach to shops, residences and parking.

caught you are fined and the news of the fine is faxed, e-mailed or even SMSed to you with disconcerting promptitude. You are then expected to pay the fine within a week. If you haven’t given a fax number, e-mail identity or cell number to the authorities, you are expected to pay your fine(s) first when you go to renew your car registration, something which you have to do every year.

You are fined if you run out of petrol on the freeway too because you are causing inconvenience to other drivers. Cause an accident or be involved in one, and you have to stay put till the traffic police arrive and check the accident scene and talk to the driver(s), the injured and other witnesses. If the accident has caused injury or death, the driver at fault is promptly taken into custody. Every accident or infringement of traffic rules earns drivers black marks on their licences. Too many black marks can result in a licence being revoked for a certain length of time. About a year and a half ago, the Dubai government started levying tolls at four points on three busy roads in the city – the Garoud Bridge Road, the Mahqtoom Bridge Road and Sheikh Zaheed Road. Owners of vehicles have to buy Salik tags and put a sticker on the windscreens of their vehicles. The toll is automatically deducted from the amount they paid for their Salik tags. Trials, not just for traffic violations but for all infringements of the law, proceed quickly and punishments are severe, but fair. A prison sentence is invariably followed by deportation. In fact, constantly hanging over the heads of the 3.23 million-strong expatriate (called expats for short) community which forms nearly 80 per cent of the population of Dubai, is the threat of deportation not only for violations of the laws of the land, but even for losing their jobs or having their visas cancelled. And that’s a great incentive to keep them on the We straight and narrow!

Marhaba girls welcome arriving visitors.

And in between the main road and the inner one are strips of lawn and flower beds. If one goes on an early morning walk, one can see dozens of gardeners watering these lawns, weeding and watering the flower beds and transplanting flowering shrubs and plants into the beds. Most of the gardeners I saw while on my morning constitutionals were South Asians. As we drove along home we could see cars of every possible make all around us. The traffic was very orderly. Traffic always is in Dubai. It’s very difficult to get a licence here (the process for getting a licence is long and people appearing for their final 22

test are routinely failed a few times before they are given their licences) and the traffic police come down hard on any infringement of traffic rules. So people tend to drive carefully. If you want to cross the road where there is no pedestrian crossing (only possible if it is a narrow, inner neighbourhood road), cars will stop and drivers will gesture to you to cross and wait patiently for you to do so! Radars on all the main roads check each passing vehicle for speed limit violations, jumping red lights, etc. Erring vehicles are immediately photographed and the photographs clearly show the licence numbers and the drivers of the vehicles. If you are Woman’s Era

April (First) 2009

To you with Hope
Covert police work brought sanity to a family wrecked by domestic violence.
By Neelam Chandra


hen Sameera returned from her school that day, she could hear her mother again shouting and pleading for mercy, right from the entrance. She knew her father must again be hitting her mother. In fact, this had become a regular activity in their house. She was only eight years old, but the circumstances in her house had made her more mature than her age. At times, her father would be very loveable, caring and cuddling and speaking softly to them all. At other times, he would suddenly get violent. Of course, he rarely troubled her directly, but during such times, her mother would be his object of hatred and violence. And this was a scene she dreaded the most. While she was smaller, she would hope that either her nana or mama or chacha would come and save her and her mother. But with experience and time, she learnt that relatives come and go and nobody had a solution to her father’s violence. While she would go and sit on her mother’s lap later to show her love, her mother’s tears seemed to tell her that this was their fate and they had to endure this all their lives. But her infant mind would always feel that there was some solution to these problems, although she did not know what it was. She hoped

She defends herself from the onslaught of her husband, suffering from schizophrenia.

an angel would come to her one day, sit with her, find out her grief and with some magic make her happy. Sameera entered her home to find one of the violent scenes. Her father was pulling her mother’s hair and sometimes hitting her and at other times touching her body with a hot cigarette butt. Her heart bled. She shouted and started hitting her father with her small, timid hands. At this juncture, she was not even afraid of what her father would do to her. Her father suddenly stopped hitting her mother and started laughing. He took her in his lap and said sweetly, “Sameera, you are a darling daughter. Do you know, darling, that I am Lord Ram and your mother Sita who had run away with Ravana? That is why I was hitting her. Since you are stopping me, I will not do it.” She literally jumped down from his lap and reached out to her mother who was lying on the floor with dishevelled hair. Sameera straightened her mother’s sari and took her to the bedroom of their two-room flat. She got Burnol and applied it on her mother’s burns. Later, both of them cuddled and cried for hours. If Sameera could hear the cries and wails of her mother from so far, she was sure that her neighbours must also be hearing them. She wondered why her neighbours never came to help her mother, although normally they would talk to her so nicely as if they were her best friends. She felt that the rasogullahs shared by Mrs Ghosh, their next door neighbour, or the puran-poli shared by Mrs Kulkarni below, had no meaning if they could not share her grief. At this instant she hated them all and was angry at her mother for even speaking to them. Although she knew it was of no avail, she was again asking her mother why they don’t leave the house and run away somewhere. Amidst tears, her mother asked her where they could go. One by one, Sameera started suggesting all the relatives’ names. Her mother kept giving her some reason or the other why they couldn’t go to those people’s houses. This questioning had become a

routine and so had the answers. But today Sameera made one more suggestion. She told her mother, “Mummy, we will run away and you can work as an ayah in my school. My teacher is very angry with the present one. We can then stay in the school. Since I always get the highest marks, my principal loves me a lot. She will give you the job.” What her mother could not tell her was that she was qualified enough to be a teacher herself. But she was not allowed to work and that she didn’t have the courage to stay alone in this society which was full of wolves. Sameera remained dissatisfied. Although her mother had accepted all the domestic violence, she could not. She wanted to do something for her mother, to save her from all these problems. She was not able to digest why her mother wanted to continue staying with such a devil.

interest to you, so I have just kept it.” Now that Mala was a pragmatic lady Piyush always valued her judgement. He read this letter from a girl, Sameera, and instantly liked the girl. Although it was not strictly a part of his duty, such cases always aroused his interest, for he was also a writer. Moreover, as DCP he could help such cases. Mala must have sensed his interest in them.




he switched on the TV. There was some news regarding a boy who had bravely run away from the clutches of a gang of kidnappers. The kidnappers had locked him up in a bathroom of one of the general class coaches from Kolkata and were taking him to Mumbai. The boy had started shouting seeing some policemen at a big station despite knowing the fact that the gang was sitting near the door of the toilet. The policemen were alert and sensitive to his call and had caught three members of the gang and also rescued him. Sameera suddenly got an idea. She decided to write a letter to the head of the police, DCP Ashthana, whose interview was being shown on television. She scribbled: Respected Ashthana Uncle, Uncle, I am Sameera and stay in your city. I am studying in St Michael High School in Std: 3. I see you catching so many thieves and goondas every day. Uncle, can you please save me and my mummy. Uncle, my papa is a devil. He hits my mother all the time. Today he has burnt her with cigarette butt at many places. Uncle, I have tried telling all my relatives and all my neighbours also know the problem. But nobody helps us. If you help us Uncle, I will give you my doll, Pinky. I normally do not let even Tanisha and Anita touch her, although they are my best friends. Waiting for you, Your small friend, Sameera. Piyush Asthana was in a great rush in the office that day. There was a VIP in the town and he had to take care of the entire bandobast. His steno, Mala, brought the dakpad with the important letters. She also handed him one letter saying, “Although this letter is not exactly important, I thought it may be of

n first thoughts, he thought of sending the girl and the lady to an NGO home, but then, on second thoughts, decided to meet Sameera himself. After the VIP visit, he decided to see her on a Sunday evening. He decided to dress up simply and not as a police officer. He also preferred the Maruti car to the police Jeep and reaching there all alone. When Piyush knocked at the door, a little girl opened it and asked, “Whom do you want to meet? My father is not at home and we do not entertain visitors.” He did not feel like revealing his true identity, since he would not get to the root of the problem if he did so. He instantly decided to pose as an old friend of Sameera’s father, whose name Yash Mishra was written on the name plate at the Cleanse your face twice daily with a entrance of the flat. good cleanser. Give your body skin a full moisture treatment. The curly hair and Nutrition plays a big part in improving fair round face of the the condition of your skin. Spring time is time when fresh, green little girl had an vegetables and fruits come in handy innocent beauty in for maintaining a glowing skin. them and the In case you are habitually using a foundation, then choose the lightexpressive almondweight one with SPF protection of like eyes seemed to minimum 15. tell a hundred stories. Spring season triggers many allergies. A cool compress before Hearing the noise, her applying cosmetics can help prevent mother also came minor allergies. near the door and, Use Vitamin E oil before you sleep. This will freshen the skin which has fearing that her grown dull after winter. daughter must have said something awkward, immediately apologised and asked Piyush who he

Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009



asked her what these were. She kept silent. But he wanted her to speak out and he made a statement, “But Yash was never like this.” She was serving him the namkeens she had brought and simply uttered, “Yeah, this is what everybody tells me. What to hide from you, my life has become a hell. But what worries me is the tension Sameera goes through.” He asked her, “Bhabhiji, you yourself look quite educated, why do you bear all this?” She replied, “Yeah, I am a BEd and was in fact teaching in a primary school when this proposal came. Since I was already 23 and there were two more sisters to get married, I decided to go ahead with the proposal from Yash’s family for Yash. He hile her mother went inside to get a cup of had told me that I will not be allowed to work and I tea, Sameera sat on her cycle looking apprehensively at Piyush. She was biting her had agreed. It was all right in the beginning but then lower lips. It was evident she was not used to having these dark shades of his personality started guests. He wanted to be friends with her and started appearing. At times he is so soft, so loving that I feel as if I am in a heavenly bliss, but then at other times, asking her questions to which she was replying in he is a real devil — hitting me, cursing me, monosyllables. Since Sameera was holding a doll threatening me. Sometimes, he gets illusions that he tightly, he understood that this must be the doll is some famous personality. Actually, I am Pinky, about whom she had mentioned in yet to understand his behaviour. I just don’t her letter. He asked her if she would give Uncle, can know where I have gone wrong. I cannot him the doll, to which her reaction was you please go anywhere because my parents are sudden. She shouted, “I will not even allow save me and dead and my brother is in Dubai.” you to touch it.” He looked at the doll. The Piyush decided to dig further, but there doll had blue eyes, one of which was my mummy. was no reason for Yash’s unhappiness. No broken. However, the hair was neatly Uncle, my done in a ponytail. Her pink dress was papa is a devil. affair, no other vices. He decided to talk to Jharna, his doctor wife, regarding the also very beautiful and neat. Piyush asked He hits my problem and requested Mrs Mishra and her why she wouldn’t part with it to which mother all the Sameera to keep his visit a secret at she shouted again, “Because you will hit it time. Today he present, since he did not want them to and pull her hair.” He asked her if anyone know that there was no Piyush Tripathi, a hits her too to which she replied, “No, but has burnt her classmate of Yash. He also decided that it my papa hits my mummy.” with a would not be correct to reveal his true Mrs Mishra entered the room with some cigarette butt. identity now. snacks and tea and must have overheard When he gave the details of the case to their conversation, for she said, “Bhaiya, please do not pay attention to this girl.” But, being a Jharna, who was a psychiatrist, she immediately told him that it appeared to be a case of schizophrenia. writer, he was quite observant and immediately saw Since Jharna saw Piyush’s interest in the case, she the cut on her left hand and swollen right hand. He decided to take it up herself. She asked Mrs Mishra about the details telephonically and these discussions further confirmed her doubts. Her husband’s case was a paranoid schizophrenia, always suspicious of others, and had grand schemes of persecution at the root of his behaviour. He would have hallucinations quite often. Since he had had this problem for long which had remained undiagnosed, the treatment would be difficult but not impossible. Before starting the treatment it was The violent necessary for Jharna to meet Mr Yash Mishra at behaviour of her least once. father is wrecking When Piyush and Jharna reached Sameera’s the innocent life of house, they introduced themselves correctly this time. Sameera. was. He replied that he was Piyush Tripathi, a college friend of Yash. He added that he was a bank officer and had been recently transferred to the city and decided to meet Yash. Mrs Mishra welcomed him inside. She told him that her husband had gone out on a tour for twothree days, but asked him to stay back for a cup of tea. Mrs Mishra was also a beautiful lady with big expressive eyes just like her daughter. She was wearing a full-sleeved blouse with a colourful sari which covered her head. Although the sari was torn at places, she had neatly mended it so that the cuts were invisible.

Mrs Mishra and Sameera were surprised, but Yash got extremely angry with Mrs Mishra for revealing so much to strangers. He got violent suddenly and was about to hit Mrs Mishra right in front of them — but they intervened and Piyush told him sternly that he was the chief of police and in case he misbehaved, he would put him behind bars. It was one of the rare times when he enjoyed using his powers.


eekly, Yash agreed to start taking medicines as suggested by Jharna. She also put him under regular counselling sessions. The initial response of Yash was of reluctance, but then, seeing the benefits, he started cooperating. During the counselling sessions, Jharna had noted that Yash also loved his wife and daughter a lot. It was his problem which had made him what he was. He understood how difficult it must be for his family to bear him. With strong will-power, regular medicines, counselling sessions and an understanding family, Yash started showing an improvement very soon. When Jharna informed Piyush about his progress, he decided to visit the family once again. They reached their home suddenly one day.

Theirs seemed to be a completely different home this time from Piyush’s visit about 10 months ago. The doors were open when they reached. Yash was on all fours as a horse on the floor and Sameera was sitting on his back riding the “horse.” Mrs Mishra was laughing sitting on a sofa watching the father and daughter play. She was wearing a nice salwar suit and her head was not covered this time. Convinced of the family’s happiness, Piyush and Jharna were about to leave, when Sameera saw them and ran to Piyush shouting, “Police uncle, police uncle.” She was no longer an apprehensive and silent person, but a bubbly and naughty girl. She told him a hundred and one stories in the next 10 minutes. They learnt that her mother had taken up teaching again. Mr and Mrs Mishra thanked them profusely. They made them stay back for dinner and Piyush and Jharna thoroughly enjoyed the family atmosphere in their house. When they were about to leave, Sameera quietly came and gave a gift to Piyush and asked him to promise that he would always keep it with him wherever he went. When Piyush reached home, he opened the box. It contained Sameera’s favourite doll, Pinky. He knew that this doll would always occupy a special place, not only in his showcase, but also in his heart. We


Healthy practices on the go.
By Suman Bajpai


t can be a challenge to stay ‘in shape’ while away from home. Each kind of travel – business, vacation, or personal – has its own stresses and temptations. Plan ahead and make sensible choices while on the road. Be realistic. Don’t try to lose weight. Instead, try not to gain any. Don’t aspire to a greater level of fitness. Instead, try not to lose what you have already achieved. Travelling takes its toll on the body, especially if you are travelling abroad. Jet lag has adverse effects on the body. Try and eat as much fresh food as possible on your trip. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the journey. Apples, bananas, unsalted peanuts, dried apricots, etc. have the nutrients that are necessary for your body and helps in keeping you alert and active. Pack nutritious food for the road which includes water, green tea, almonds, apples, bananas, and juices. Avoid unhealthy high-fat foods on airplanes and at business meetings by carrying a couple of your

favourite types of simple healthy snacks like one or two handfuls of mixed nuts and/or dried fruit. Don’t get tempted by the sumptuous food of the hotel, look for things like oatmeal, wholewheat toast, fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt. If there is a grill, you might be able to get an egg white-based omelette stuffed with veggies.If you know you won’t be able to avoid the sweets, pack a bowl and some wholegrain cereal. Don’t wait too long between meals or you may find that you are too hungry to make sensible choices. You might find yourself eating handfuls of chips or several pieces of bread before your meal even arrives. Drink a glass of water. Order a soup or salad to begin your meal. Eat slowly. Let water be your main beverage. Carry a bottle of water around with you during the day. It will help you stay hydrated; you will feel less empty and less tempted by unhealthy snacks.

it. Spend waiting time walking. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Travel with a ‘maintenance mindset’. Stick to your plan, and you’ll return home without gaining any fat or losing any fitness.

It is important to maintain your beauty and look great while you are travelling. For that, pack cleansing products which you can use regularly to clean off the dust and dirt. You can also take with you some refreshing wipes to remove the dirt just by a wipe at any time. Carry with you moisturising cream and apply it before you leave your boarding place. You can skip the foundations for the make-up and just use moisturisers to get your skin wet. Avoid heavy make-up while travelling as stuffy air may make you get tired soon if you have on heavy make-up. So you can do minimal make-up, so your skin does not get affected too much. Try not to apply bright-coloured nail polish which may chip off soon and give an unfinished look very quickly. Skip long-lasting lipsticks. Rather, you can apply light shades of lip stain. Apply good conditioners to your hair before you start the journey. The conditioners can help in maintaining

your hair wet and avoid the dry hair in the bright sun. Your eyes may be strained due to bright lights or pollution in the air. So keep eyedrops with you to clean your eyes whenever required. Whether it’s sub-zero temperature or tropical weather, it always makes sense to pack your sun block. Wiping your face and neck with a bit of cotton wool soaked in a gentle cleanser will leave you feeling refreshed and squeaky clean. If you can sleep during your journey, use a little eye cream under your eyes and a small amount of light night cream. This will ensure that your skin is refreshed and relaxed when you wake up. To avoid looking like you just woke up, wear fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily. This will allow you to emerge from any airport looking fresh and rested, not frustrated and frumpy. Because you’ll be on your feet before, during and after your business matters, you’ll want a pair of shoes that scream comfort for your tootsies. Avoid wearing your social business heels and fancy boots We when you’re not on the job.

After nutrition, simple laziness is the next hurdle you have to overcome while travelling. It’s easy to talk yourself into skipping a workout if the hotel gym doesn’t have the equipment you’re used to. Schedule exercise into your day just as you would at home. If you exercise early in the day, you won’t have to worry about fitting it in later when you really would rather take a nap. Schedule your workouts with as much dedication as you schedule your business meetings. When you book your hotel, make sure you have access to an adequate hotel gym or nearby fitness establishment. In that way, you can continue with your regular exercise routine. Take advantage of whatever time slot is available for exercise during your travels. And don’t miss

If Paris is charming, there’s much more enchantment beyond its bounds.
By Ameeta Sharma



rance has a beautiful mix of natural beauty through the countryside and a cache of man-made artistic paintings, sculptures, buildings and other artifacts right in the capital – Paris. But the beauty of France is not limited to just Paris or even Cannes – these might be more written about and visited by more tourists but it is worth any traveller’s while to think of destinations beyond these while in that part of the world. Reims (pronounced as if in rhyme with chance, if you get the ‘n’ as a soft sound or think of the Hindi teleserial Saans and then say “Raans”) is less than 90 miles east-north-east of Paris and was originally founded during the Roman Empire. It is approachable by road or by rail.

History: Reims is considered the capital of the Champagne region –
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an old province of France famous for its sparkling wine of the same name. While protecting their appellation, the CIVC has ensured that only champagne from the region Champagne may be called champagne. But the history of Reims and the region is older than this sparkling wine. It is the largest city of the region but its roots are deep and, yes, it is as old a city as the Roman times. If you have seen the Hollywood production Joan of Arc and admired the acting of beautiful Mila Jovovich then you might remember the church of Reims that they show briefly where the king is being anointed. This is where the kings of France were crowned. The Cathedral of Reims which was damaged during World War I has since been restored. It is to France what the Westminster Abbey is to England. The preserved buildings and Roman ruins remain monumentally impressive sections of historic buildings do something special for you. In May 1945, General Eisenhower and the Allies received the news of the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht here. The façade of the cathedral reminds one of the more defined and celebrated Notre Dame of Paris. Inside, some might consider it a lot more austere as compared to other cities of France but it has character and some beautiful windows of stained glass. The best way to know Reims is to get an audio guide and walk around at your own pace. At the end of the tour, just return it to the tourist office. That, actually, is the best part of France; they have packaged every tourist site well and offered it as best as it can be. There are tourist offices in every town that has something to offer and Reims definitely has a lot to offer.

Beauty of the region: The countryside is very conducive both for children and the elderly. The rolling landscapes are just perfect for summer but spring and autumn are good too. Winters do not lend themselves well for kids to play around in parks, but if it is just before Christmas, then Reims has a street market which has a most amazing quality and spirit of sharing in it. If city dwellers visit this area, doing the rural thing can have its advantages. Duck-breeding farms are a great visit for kids as it is the possibility of discovering animals in a farm, in their natural habitat and friendly with visiting kids. Or a coypu (another little animal) farm could be a place of interest to visit for kids and adults alike. There is also a chocolate factory here just 30 odd kms south of Reims. For the car lovers there is an automobile museum with over 200 vehicles dating from 1908 until now and thousands of miniature cars to keep you busy.
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One could take a short cruise on the river Marne which has a leisurely pace to it. As we were in a small group of four and no children or the elderly, we opted for just a short walk in the town square, soaking in the atmosphere and then decided to spend our days following the trail of good food in and around Reims but only after enjoying all the pieces of art and history at the Saint Remi Museum. If you have ever admired the twisted rare beech tree in pictures, here is your chance to see a whole park which has the maximum concentration of these trees anywhere in the world. They look gnarled but are so beautiful that you forget to wonder why they are the 33

April (First) 2009

way they are. But then, that is nature for you, sometimes without reason that can be understood by science. Due to the high concentration of grape vines in the countryside, it is the champagne region after all, any time of the year that has a different look. It could be green in summer, red and gold in autumn and stark with soil showing through, as it did when we were there, through the winter and later I am sure it looks quite picturesque covered in snow.

Special shopping: The bestknown item of Reims that the whole of France likes and the rest of the visitors always stock up here are the pink biscuits with a dusting of sugar on them. They are called Rose biscuits and it is advisable that you buy them in sturdy tins, otherwise they are so fragile that in cardboard boxes they would only reach back house as almost powder! These have been made here since 1756 and Fossier is the great name behind it. If you hanker for Paris-style shopping there is a smaller – much smaller than the original – version of the Galleries Lafayette with their usual staple of big-shop contents – some designers, their in-house stock and, of course, cosmetics. The usual nationwide chains are also available here and if you arrive in the sale season, then, of course, you could pick up some real bargains. Seasonal offerings: There are various events in the city during different months including the much34

appreciated jazz music event held in November for the past 10 years. But we were late for it, though just in time for the Christmas bazaar. This is located in the city square and there is a mini-train that shuttles between the Christmas market and the railway station. It is the kind of market that is enjoyed by kids, adults, and the elderly as it has something for everybody. Street food, candy floss being made right there, even African woodwork and delicate French lace – it’s all there. I really enjoyed seeing families enjoying themselves with kids perched on their fathers’ shoulders just as we see them in Indian fairs and melas . And the younger ones were in their prams, half asleep while the parents were enjoying fresh hot crepes or maybe just coffee.

Cuisine par excellence: If there is just one meal you intend enjoying while in this region, drive out a bit and go right up to Hostellerie La Brigueterie, as it is closer to Epernay
Woman’s Era

than to Reims. If you like food, natural beauty of well-laid-out gardens, the possibility of getting lost in the period furniture and high-class service is very real here. And be prepared to be convinced by whoever is accompanying you to stay a day there. The rooms are well appointed and absolutely delightful. There is the promise of a massage in their spa and little quirks of the place are enticing, truly delightful. As for the food, take your senses for a journey that you might not want to end. The oysters we ate here were like a dream come true, so fleshy and fresh that even their memory is rewarding. No, it is not as reasonably priced as some of the smaller restaurants in Reims or Epernay, but then some experiences are worth the money and this is one of those. The food presentation here is an art, service prompt and attentive and the décor of the place – all extremely rewarding. With a real fire burning in the waiting area, the dining room is warm and has high windows and doors that open out to bring the beauty of the gardens in when the weather permits. Just one problem: if you do not know French – you would need to rely on your waiter. Probably because the staff here speaks such impeccable English they do not think it necessary to have an English translation of the menu. However, there is a way out. You can check the place on the Internet and even get the English translation of the menu at www.labriqueterie.fr and there are some lovely pictures to drool over of the restaurant, the waiting area and the rooms. And if you do go there, do check out their comments book – I posted a comment in Hindi during the month of December 2007, praising the experience. You need to be Indian and be able to read Hindi to be able to read it though. That was my gift to the place, and those who go there We now…

April (First) 2009


Q & A

treatment, everything becomes fun. You can select the products (either a readymade branded one or a homemade version) depending on your skin and hair type but this is the best sequence. Massage your hair with warmed oil. Then use an exfoliator for the face and neck. Tone it and leave. Also, do a pedicure by soaking your feet in warm water and apply cream. Massage the body with cream or oil (you can do this for each other) and relax with some good music and put a face pack on. Shower with the use of a loofah to get the blood circulation going well – and enjoy your pam pering throughout.

adapt a colour use or just use a toned down version to suit your skin and lifestyle. Better still, when experimenting with a product try it in a shop and think about its function before you buy it outright and then feel constrained to use it.

My dandruff is really bothering me. After using home products it reduces and then again comes back, especially in winter. What do I do? Using some products – homemade or cosmetic company-products – reduces the dandruff and then it comes back, probably because you stop using the right products and go back to a wrong choice. Certain products like curds is difficult to use in winter because it is cold and you do not wash your hair that often in winter and build up on scalp happens. Do consult a dermatologist to confirm you do not have a fungal infection or some other problem. But be consistent in using the right product to keep it under control not just to treat symptoms and going back to improper product use.

Do anti-wrinkle creams really work? My mother is 46 and recently became aware of fine lines. She wants to be assured before buying all the expensive creams and lotions. Yes, they do work, but on the other hand they might not be totally effective on your mother’s skin as it depends on the condition of the individual. She must try the product for a minimum number of weeks prescribed before deciding whether it suits her or not. These are not magic potions but do fill out the fine wrinkles a little for a smoother appearance.

How do I select a face pack from all the ones available in the market? I have normal skin and like to use something on a weekly basis at home and often do not have the time to go for a facial or make my at home facial kit? Well, it is always possible to select a readymade product that is almost as good as a tailor made one just for you! If you are dusky complexioned, pick up something that is a purifying mask with if you are over the age of 32 select a product that promises skin tightening. Selecting a product should be on your age and skin requirements. Consult the therapist to ask what are the benefits of the product and you can select more than one to use it alternatively to give best results.

I want a spa-like pampering weekend at home. How do I plan the whole two – to three-hours event for myself and my sister as we are low on money but high on love? When two girls are doing a beauty

I like to experiment with my make-up and hairstyles. Sometimes what is in fashion does not suit me, but I have already invested in it so I continue to use it and hate it. What is wrong with me? Actually nothing is wrong with you. You like to experiment which is good but you do not have to follow every trend to be fashionable. You need to

I am a total hair colour junkie at age 26. I spend a lot of money on my hair colour and care. What is the latest international trend about hair colour? Many international colour crazes do not work with our skin tone, so whatever you select should be suitable to your skin colour and your hairstyle as well as your lifestyle. Shades of chocolate and wine are said to be big this year and even classic black (though that looks too stark). The heavy streaks seem to be phasing out though it will always have its own followers.

Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009


A Modern Love Story
How a busy, highly ambitious executive found her “match.”
By Veena Adige


hilpa drummed her fingers on the table. The diamonds on her fingers shone as her hands moved. She was frowning. ‘Why am I feeling so depressed?’ she asked herself. She had everything that money could buy – a lovely house, two chauffeur-driven cars, name and position. Yet there was something lacking. ‘A personal life,’ she muttered to herself, ‘Someone to give me a big hug when I come home.’ She was in office from early mornings till late evenings, working and earning more money. She was always on the move, always having her bags packed to fly off at a moment’s notice, whenever duty called. Her ambition, her career, always won over her parents’ insistence on marriage and family. “Ma, papa, where do I have time for all that?” she had said to her parents umpteen times ever since she had completed her MBA and landed an excellent job. “I hardly have time to eat, leave alone

time to cook or look after a house. You know my hectic schedule. “Besides, ma, I cannot spare a couple of years of my life at this stage creating a family and looking after them.” “The boy should match our Shilpa in education, looks and salary,” her parents had insisted. They had started looking for a match when she was 25 and now, a decade later, they had still not found a suitable boy. Shilpa had climbed the ladder of success and reached the top. ‘Oh, but it is so lonely at the top,’ she said to herself now. ‘Have I missed the bus?’ Then she called out to her secretary ”Cancel all my appointments for a week and book me a nice beach house in Goa,” she ordered. Early the next morning, even before the golden sun made its appearance, Shilpa was out on the beach, the cool breeze playing with her hair and the soft sand trickling between her toes. So engrossed was she in her thoughts that she did not see the pony cart speedily coming her way. “Hey,” shouted the cart driver just as a pair of male arms snatched her to safety.


ooking into the warmest brown eyes she had ever seen, Shilpa just muttered a “thanks” and pushed away. That evening she met the man again and exchanged smiles. In the days that followed they met several times as he too was in a similar position as she. Pramod too was a top executive in his firm, one foot in India and the other anywhere in the world that his business took him. He, too, was dissatisfied despite all the worldly goods, and had come to Goa for a short break. “Sailing in the same boat,” they said together and smiled. They had a lot in common and they spoke endlessly over business matters, political topics and other topics of common interest. But on the personal front they retained their mysteries. Shilpa returned home to Mumbai and picked up the strands of her life again.

She had a whirlwind of meetings, of tours and conferences. But somewhere at the back of her mind was Pramod and his warm brown eyes, his attractive looks. A routine medical check-up told her that stress and a hectic schedule, together with an unbalanced diet, had taken its toll leading to complications. The ubiquitous high BP was making an appearance in her life. Slight sugar problems, and more worrying was the lethargy of her ovaries. “Shilpa,” said her doctor, “if you want to marry and start a family, I suggest you do it right away. I am not saying that it is not possible but at your age it is difficult and there are risks involved.” Her mother too voiced her worries. “Shilpa, there is an eligible man who is quite ready to marry you,” she said, “but his position and income are not on a par with yours. Is it okay?”



your father and came to pay my condolences. I was in the USA, otherwise I would have come earlier,” he said . As Shilpa introduced him to her mother, she could feel the vibrations. Her hilpa shook her head, knowing that she could mother was matchmaking in her mind. not compromise. She needed to respect the man “No, ma,” said Shilpa. “I know nothing about she married. And respect came from position, him. He may be married and, anyway, he may not from income and qualifications, she thought. ‘What be interested in me that way. Besides, I cannot offer about love?’ whispered her heart. She had no time him a child because of my condition and no man to socialise or meet someone she could fall in love will like that.” with. There was just no time. It was office, Yet, when Pramod invited her, she went office, work and more work. That’s why to a film, to a club, anywhere and “Shilpa,” said she was where she was. Career-wise on everywhere. her doctor, “if top of the ladder but personally at the One fine evening, over a cup of coffee, you want to bottom. Pramod went down on his knees and marry and start A couple of months later, Shilpa’s world romantically popped the question. a family, came crashing down. Her beloved father, “Shilpa, I love you, will you marry me?” I suggest you her support and guide, met with an he burst. do it right accident which had been fatal. As she hesitated, he misunderstood and away. I am not Her mother was inconsolable. They had continued, “Think about it. Consult your saying that it is always been together, done everything mother. I will call you tomorrow.” not possible but together, going on picnics, and to films, Shilpa spent a sleepless night. What at your age it is dramas and parties. They had led an active was she to do? She definitely wanted to difficult and social life, especially after his retirement. say yes, but she had to be fair and tell him there are risks Shilpa’s mother sold off the beautiful about her age and her medical condition. involved.” apartment, the cars and all the luxuries and “The doctor has not said that you can’t prepared herself to migrate to their village have a baby,” scolded her mother. “Why home where family servants and warm neighbours are you imagining things? She has only said that would keep her company and look after her in the there are risks. And you re not an old woman.” evening of her life. “Ma, I am 35,” Shilpa replied. “If I had met Shilpa insisted that her mother stay with her. Pramod five years ago, I would have had no “But, Shilpa dear, what will I do the whole day? hesitation in saying yes.” Your bungalow is too big and there are no neighbours with whom I can socialise. No, I would he next day, Pramod rang her up and invited rather go to my village.” her to his house. “I have something to confess,” On Shilpa’s insistence and a bout of tears, she he said ominously creating panic waves in decided to stay a month at her house. Shilpa. Now, what did that mean? “Then I will go to the village,” she declared firmly. As she entered the grand house, she felt that it A few days later Shilpa was pleasantly surprised was cold and not very friendly. when Pramod landed up on her doorstep. Pramod came, a bit hesitantly and sat near her. “Hello,” he greeted her anxiously, “I read about “Shilpa, I have kept my personal life a secret from


Woman’s Era

April (First) 2009


why I am asking you to marry me,” he said hastily, you. There is something you must know,” he said. “My son, Dheeraj, is a smart child. I have had to “Yes, I too have something which I have to tell leave him with my brother and his family as I cannot you, a confession to make.” look after him, and we miss each other.” They looked at each other wondering what they Dheeraj entered the room silently and looked at were concealing from each other. “You first, Shilpa,” he said after a brief hesitation. Shilpa with big, innocent eyes. “Oh, he is so sweet!” cried Shilpa getting up and “Pramod, you know that I am 35 years old,” she trying to gather him in her arms. The child began. “And with age and the tensions of my life, I responded eagerly and they held each other for a have problems with sugar and BP.” while. “Oh, that’s okay,” said Pramod relieved. “It “I think that all our problems are solved if we happens to everyone. I am also over 35, so I also marry each other,” said Pramod happily. may be having such problems.” “We love each other, that is the main “Pramod, that is not all,” Shilpa reason for our marriage. Your age and continued. “I may not be able to conceive.” Shilpa spent a your problem, which I still don’t Pramod kept silent. sleepless night. understand, will not be a problem as I “I too have a confession,” he said, “I What was she already have Dheeraj. We might well have was married six years ago to a beautiful to do? She a brother or sister for him.” woman whom I loved with all my heart. definitely Shilpa blushed and smiled. Unfortunately, she died two years ago...” wanted to say “That will solve my mother’s problem of He was emotional while thinking of his yes, but she getting bored the whole day at home. She wife. Shilpa was stunned. That Pramod had to be fair can live with us, look after Dheeraj when could have married was in her thoughts but we are away and it will be one big happy that his wife had died was tragic. and tell him family, won’t it?” she looked at Pramod, “Oh,” she said touching his hands in a about her age her eyes shining. comforting gesture. and her And thus the modern story of busy “There is one more thing that you should medical executives and their work culture was know. I have a three-year-old son who condition. We solved. At least for this couple. needs a mother. Oh, that is not the reason
becoming their Bali ka bakra. My telephone bell rang. My friend Preeti was on the line. After the usual greeting, she said; “Praful is no more.” My immediate reaction was “Preeti, do not play such a serious joke. At least definitely not with Praful’s life.” I could not believe it. She confirmed the news by giving further details about what happened. I had to believe Preeti. She spoke to me convincingly: “Why don’t you believe me? I am not joking. Forget the fact that today is Ist April (i.e. fool’s day).” I could understand that her news was correct, but Praful had expired. I wondered how could a young 16-yearold boy, who had just finished SSC board exams and was free of all worries, and who had no sickness, could suddenly die of cardiac arrest. I could not get the answer to my questions. Every year, when I think of that 1st April, I remember Praful. His thoughts always leave me very sad. Death came to him unexpectedly. I remembered him on my birthday and I shed a tear
Woman’s Era

for him. I think of him on every 1st April (Fool’s Day). He has played a big prank on all his family members and friends. He has set out on an eternal journey... never to return. — Ulrica Pinto, Mumbai.

A miserable joke on 1st April
Praful, Preeti and I along with some more friends, used to attend the same tuition classes. We were studying in an exclusively girls school and therefore mingling with boys was a ‘no’ ‘no’ us. But Praful’s nature was different. He was a nice easy-going guy. I never felt odd in his company. Ours was a healthy and normal friendship. Our birthdays fell in the same month. So, we have been wishing each other for five years. On the 1st of April, I was well prepared to counter-attack all those who thought they could play a silly prank on me. I carefully analysed every word uttered about me whether it was a pun or a taunt to avoid

Has something happened in your life that has left an indelible impression on your mind? Some experience that gladdens your heart or which makes you shudder with pain or embarrassment even after years! Why not share it with the readers of Woman’s Era? All published incidents will be paid Rs 200. Send your entries to: THE INCIDENT I CANNOT FORGET
E-3 Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110055. Womansera.com
Name: Mobile: E-mail:

April (First) 2009


s more and more women are venturing out and holding responsible positions in the work area, the need for travelling alone for office work or for leisure has increased. They want to break the monotony of the daily routine and get out of the stress and work pressure for some days. They want to be on their own, enjoying every bit of the moment and pleasure of being alone. For these women, travelling alone is also a thrill, a rush of excitement and empowerment of being completely independent and in control of their own situations. If a woman travels with her family, she is generally managing the family

New highs come for solo women on the go.
By Suman Bajpai
and does not get time to enjoy herself. In such scenarios, women are more concerned about whether the kids have eaten properly or are seated comfortably. So special packages for women relieve them of such family tensions and they can enjoy themselves. Women are looking forward to a trip where their phone won’t ring and there’s no e-mails to check at all. No deadlines, no rush. A complete vacation for the body, mind and soul. More and more women are discovering the adventure and excitement of travelling solo. “I didn’t know solo travelling could be so much fun until I started going on business trips. I started to enjoy them and today I actually look forward to

them,” said an executive Pallavi Mehta. The temptation of travelling alone offers countless possibilities and opportunities for adventure and is becoming more popular than ever before – and the number of women opting for solo trips in recent years has increased even more sharply than the number of men. Around 45 per cent of solo travellers are now women, a sign of the times undoubtedly, and an encouraging one for those with a thirst for adventure but a fear of the big unknown insecurity With the number of women business travellers shooting up in recent years, the hospitality industry in India has begun to catch up with international trends – sensitising their services to meet the women travellers' specific needs. Leading Indian hotels are offering exclusive wings, separate floors and specialised services to protect and pamper them – a new concept in the country.

provides a videophone in each room to check from inside who's at the door. All calls are screened. The Inter continental in South Delhi offers specific rooms with special touches like personal kits and magazines. Their CCTV cameras are placed in strategic locations in the public areas of the hotel and calls are monitored by their operators. The Park, New Delhi, ensures that calls are screened, VIP treatment is meted, rooms are near elevators and, perhaps in the near future, a floor might be dedicated to women travellers. Many hotel rooms have been sensitised to women’s needs – with provisions for sunscreen lotions, moisturisers, deep cleansing milk, scrubs, soft textured towels, satin bathrobes and silk slippers. There are skirt hangers in the cupboards,


Keeping these and other concerns in mind, hotel chains like the Marriot, Hilton and ITC Welcome group have introduced women-only floors. “Some of the properties have special floors only for women where even the housekeeping and room service staff are women. Sometimes, the hotel leaves behind little gifts in the room to make women feel special; the soft touches do a great deal in making you feel safe,” says a spokesperson of the Marriott Group of Hotels. The ITC hotel chain, for instance, has Eve Floors – floors dedicated to women where men are simply not allowed. The lifts don't stop at the floor unless you swipe the lift board with your room key card. Even hotel staff such as butlers and housekeepers are women on these floors. The Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi has a separate ladies' wing. It also employs women butlers or chauffeurs who assist guests while shopping or travelling in the city. The ITC Maratha, Mumbai, which has 18 rooms exclusively for women, also

vanity mirrors for make-up, flowers, international women's magazines and a well-designed cosmetics boxes in some of the hotel rooms. Women travelling alone are often given rooms close to the elevator so that they don’t have to walk down a dark corridor in case of a momentary power shut-down. If this isn’t your preference, advise the hotel in advance. Some chains also have a person from the guest relations office check with each female guest on her own to be certain that she feels comfortable and to let her know that the hotel is aware that she is by herself in a room.

Travel tips for women travellers
Don’t wear clothes that are revealing or very body-hugging. It is best to cover yourself up to avoid unwanted attention. Don’t try to be friendly with people unnecessarily. Keep a distance from men. Some people might just take it in the wrong sense and not like it. While roaming on beaches, it is best to be clothed. Indian society does not allow people to be in their swimwear even in beaches. Wear a cotton pant and a tee shirt. While in a pub, discotheque or bar, it is advisable to take a friend along. Do not venture there alone as it may not be very safe. If you happen to come across a street party or a festive procession, it is best not to take part. You can watch from a distance and move on when it has passed you. Do not panic. Try and gain control of an unpleasant situation in a calm and decisive manner. However, if you feel in extreme danger, do not hesitate to draw attention to yourself. Always carry a personal safety device with you. A whistle or an alarm may provide the extra time needed to escape to safety. Carry all your necessities with you. Feminine hygiene products are sometimes difficult or expensive to acquire. Carry supplies to last the entire trip. Don’t carry too much of luggage. Flight delays and late-night arrivals need planning. Keeping emergency numbers handy, asking the hotel for an airport pick-up, and messaging the cab number to a contact in the city, are good rules to keep you safe.

The menu offers special healthoriented delicacies and low calorie options keeping women in mind. There is a ladies-only lounge. And for that there is no need to step off the exclusive floor. Ladies can also indulge in beauty treatments and spa facilities which are available at a discount. To ensure optimum security, most hotels these days at least offer free pick-up and drop-off services from the airport and rooms are offered near well-lit elevators where guards are present. Realising this standard shift, travel agencies and even other countries’ tourism boards are doling out special packages just to cater to these womenfolk. Now women are more confident to venture out on their own.

Selfless Service
In the nascent stage of my teaching career of 38 years, I was staying alone in a rented room. Every Saturday I used to visit my parents at a distance of nearly 36 kilometres by crossing the river Sharavati, as there was no bridge over it in those days. Navaratri holidays had begun in the month of October. I was going to my native place with a travel bag full of clothes. I had kept seven bundles of answer papers of my students in a separate bag which I had kept near my travel bag. As the boat touched

the shores of my native place, my joy knew no bounds. I picked up my travel bag and got down hurriedly without realising that I had left behind the bundles of answer sheets in the boat. That evening I met an old friend of mine, who was also a teacher. Casually she asked me, “What is the quota of answer papers for assessment?” A bolt from the blue! Then I remembered that I had forgotten the bundles in that boat. I just gave her one word answer, “seven”. So many thoughts engulfed my mind. If I would not get the bundles, I would not only lose my job but also the headmaster would give a bad remark on my discharge certificate. It was 11 p.m. and I could not get sleep. I heard a knock on the door. There stood the contractor of the boat service with a bag full of my seven bundles of answer sheets. Tears of joy rolled down from my eyes. Though the contractor was tired he took all the trouble to come to my house and
Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009

handed over the bundles safely. I felt very grateful to him. I will never forget his act of kindness! — Nirmala V. Rao, Mumbai.

Every one of us has, sometime or other in one’s life, received help,
guidance, sympathy, understanding

and love from some fellow human being. Can you recall any such event or occasion in your life, when you received such consideration and for which you are grateful? Each published anecdote will be awarded a prize of Rs 200. Send your contribution to: GRATEFULLY YOURS
E-3 Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110055. Womansera.com
Name: Mobile: E-mail:


Dr. Vishnu Kr. Agarwal MBBS, DCH, MBA Chairman IET Group of Institutions

A successful doctor usually sticks to his profession. But for a genius there are many more destinations. Here is an account of such a genius who is successfully managing a mega technical, educational organisation too, all set to blaze a new trail. By Our Correspondent
established a series of high-class educational institutions which comprises of Engineering Colleges, PG level professional institution, Pharmacy institute, Biotechnology institute etc. I also want to say that our Group is also in process for private university in Alwar within 3 years to cater to the need of the students of the region.


Just in a span of ten years you have made tremendous progress and emerged as one of the North India’s largest educational group. What are your plans for further expansion? Our Group is in continuous process of enhancing the infrastructural facilities within the campus, updating the laboratories as per present and future needs of the industries. From the coming session our Group is going to start three projects, first MBA, BBA & BCA Institute at Singapore in a big Campus with the affiliation of Australian/UK/ Canada University, second new B.Tech Degree Engineering College in Distt. Mewat, Haryana, and third B.Tech Degree Engineering College for Women at Alwar (Rajasthan). How do you see future of vocational institutes? India has what is called ‘Demographic Advantage’. The advantage refers to the fact that India has youngest population in the entire world and is getting younger. It is estimated that in next five years, 65% of our population will be in age group 16 – 35 years. You are equipped with state-ofthe art technology and infrastructure of world standard. Still you must be feeling the need to take another leap? The Group, taking a leap to keep pace with international requirements,

You have quite a large number of students in various sections. Don’t you think that you can attract more students if some more innovative courses are offered? Yes, we will be able to attract both greater numbers of students with greater potential because of creative students are looking forward engaging themselves and creating a new avenues in new technologies, businesses and fields. Thus if more innovative courses specially which allow students to learn new emerging technologies and allow them to use their creative skills we see more quality students getting attracted. Our Group also hosts the Knowledge Dissemination Center (KDC), a highly regarded initiative of Government of Rajasthan under its showcase programme of EGovernance. KDC brings together students, faculty and industry leaders to take part in live projects, enhancing the quality and employability of budding technocrats.
Woman’s Era

How do you go about the placement campus? What are the steps involved? How it is done? This is what it all boils down to. Four years of learning, training, grooming and one interview can make it all worth the effort, and give you a head start in life. Since the entire teaching methodology at IET revolves around creating industryready professional, the college has made soft-skills, hands on industry training and constantly upskilling of teachers a part of yearround routine. So, by the time students reach the pre-final year, they are ready to confidently face interviews and GDs, and impress potential employers with their personality as much as their technical prowess. Any problems in the R&D Department? Our work in R&D is driven by simple word Affordable Technology. We believe that we need to find technology solutions for local problems. Global technology is marching at a fast pace. Where do you see your organisation in the next decade? We believe in providing worldclass education for promoting research in technology and producing competent & versatile professionals who will build a strong nation and take on global opportunities.
MIA, Alwar (Raj.) India www.ietalwar.com

April (First) 2009


Straight and simple

& Sexier

The long hair falling over the shoulders has its own appeal, enhancing feminine allurement, and adding to the facial beauty.

Capping the long, beauteous hair

Long and enticingly curly

Investing a commanding charm

Bewitching encirclement. Crowning glory

What hairstyles can do to the face is simply amazing – lighting up passion, giving free rein to emotions and moving the senses to visual romance. Cutting long hair perfects the magnetism of an attractive face, rendering it even more attractive.
Blend of the ancient with the modern

The guests drop in suddenly and you wish to pass as much time with them as possible. Knorr ready-to-eat packs come handy in such situations, leaving you with much time to share with your guests. Try some of these recipes.


You may serve this Punjabi Channa Masala with puris, parathas, roti or rice also. For two people

INGREDIENTS 1 packet Ready-to-eat Punjabi Channa masala 3/ cup soaked grams 4 11/2 cups of fresh water 1 tsp oil METHOD For this recipe you will have to use pre-soaked grams (soaked up to 6-7 hours). Put soaked grams in pressure cooker and boil on high flame. Turn the flame low after two whistles and allow cooking for 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS: 1 packet ready-to-eat Chinese Schezuan 150 gm cheese cut into pieces 2 tbsp capsicum cored and cut along the length 1 cup finely chopped spring onion 2 tbsp corn flour 1/ cup finely chopped broccoli 2 2 tbsp refined oil 1 tbsp vinegar

noodles recipe mix 100 gm noodles 150 gm chopped cabbage 1 big chopped carrot 1 medium size chopped onion 1 capsicum chopped 1 litre water oil for frying For garnishing: onion swirls METHOD Mix corn flour with 2 spoons of water to make a paste of running consistency. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry cheese pieces in it after dipping them in corn flour paste. Fry all the vegetables in the remaining oil for 2 minutes and then add 4 cups of warm water. Add ready-to-eat Schezuan powder. Add cheese pieces when the mixture begins to boil. Stir the mixture for 2 minutes on low flame. Add vinegar and your delicious Chinese Schezuan is ready to serve. (Time to prepare: 2-minutes. Time to cook: 6-minutes. Ready in: 8minutes) METHOD Boil noodles with little oil in 1 litre water. Drain off excess water and put aside the noodles to cool. Fry chopped onion, carrot, cabbage and capsicum together in some oil for 2 minutes. Add one cup of water to the fried content and then add 1 pack of Chinese Knorr Hakka noodles recipe mix and boil with continuous stirring. Now add boiled noodles to the boiled recipe mix and cook thoroughly on low flame till all the contents are mixed fully. Garnish with onion swirls and serve hot. Definitely, your guests will lick their fingers. Don’t forget to tell the secret of your delicious recipes. (Time to prepare: 5 minutes. Time to cook: 7-8 minutes. Ready in: 1215 minutes)

INGREDIENTS: 1 Pack of Knorr Chinese Hakka

Baisakhi is a time for celebration, time to entertain guests who may come along. We bring you three meals with different flavours to savour during the festivity.
By Roma Ghosh
Pineapple fish

BAISAKHI festivity
INGREDIENTS: 6-8 pieces of rahu fish 4 slices of pineapple 1 large sized onion – sliced 100 gm of aam papad – cut into cubes 4-5 tbsp of mustard oil 1 bay leaf 2 chillies 1/ tsp of haldi powder 2 1 tsp of red chilli powder 3 tbsp of tomato puree salt to taste METHOD Sprinkle salt and half the quantity of the haldi powder over the fish pieces and leave aside for 10 minutes. Heat the mustard oil in a non stick pan and pan fry the

fish pieces a few at a time. Turn the fish pieces once or twice so that both the sides are golden brown. Remove and keep aside. In the same pan, fry the onion slices till golden brown. Lower the heat and mix in bay leaf and the spices and fry till a fine aroma rises – this should take 2-3 minutes. Mix in the tomato puree and the pineapple slices which have been cut into small pieces. Also add half cup of water and bring the gravy to boil. Mix in the fish pieces and aam papad pieces and continue to cook for a few minutes till the gravy begins to thicken. You could adjust the consistency of the gravy to your choice. Serve with chawal ka parantha.
Woman’s Era

(Chawal parantha)
INGREDIENTS: For the parantha: 1 cup of wheat flour 1 tbsp of ghee oil or ghee for frying salt to taste For the filling: 1 cup of cooked rice 2 tsp of oil 1/ tsp of red chillies powder or 2 more 3-4 pinches of aamchur powder 1 tsp of roasted jeera powder

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Chicken in peas

METHOD To prepare the filling: Heat the oil and and fry the rice adding all the spices. Fry on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Keep aside. The filling should be spicy and tasty. Sift the flour, salt and ghee and add just enough water to knead into a dough. Divide the dough into 3-4 portions. Roll out each portion into a small sized chappati . Hold this chappati in your palm and keep a portion of the prepared filling in the centre of the chappati and close it from all ends to obtain a round ball. Roll out this ball into a thick chappati and fry this parantha with oil or ghee on low fire till crispy and brown. Prepare the other paranthas in the same way.
Indian bread stuffed with rice


(lauki and rava snack)
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup sooji 1 cup rava – broken rice 2 cups of grated lauki 2 cups of dahi 3/ spoon of red chillies powder 4 1/ tsp of amchur powder 4 3-4 tbsp of oil salt to taste METHOD Dry roast the sooji and the rava till a light golden brown. In the same kadhai, once the sooji and rava are a light golden brown, add
Healthy snack

the grated lauki and stir gently so that the lauki begins to mix into the rava/sooji. Beat the curd and also mix into the rava mixture. Add the spices and add oil a little at a time while adding each of the ingredients. Cook on low flame, stirring all the time till most of the water is evaporated. Bake in a pre heated oven at 160 degree C for atleast an hour till the top of the cake is golden brown. Remove from the oven, cut into squares and serve as a snack.

INGREDIENTS: 11/2 cups of coarsely grated peas 3 tbsp of oil 1/ tsp of garam masala 2 1/ tsp of red chillies powder 4 2 tsp of lemon juice 400 gm of boneless chicken pieces salt to taste For the marinade: 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste 3 tbsp of dahi 1 tsp of green chillies paste salt to taste METHOD Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and marinate the chicken pieces in this for 1 hour. Heat the oil in a kadhai and cook

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the marinated chicken pieces with all the marinade on low fire. Cover with a lid and cook till the chicken pieces are half done. Now mix in the ground peas and all the spices. Cook on low fire, stirring from time to time so that the peas gets mixed with the chicken pieces. Cover with a lid and cook on low fire, adding oil a little at a time. Once the chicken pieces are tender remove and serve.

INGREDIENTS: For the dumpling crust: 200 gm of rice flour 1 tsp of powdered sugar 3 tbsp of ghee For the filling: 1 cup of desiccated coconut 50 gm of date palm jaggery 3 tbsp of condensed milk For the milk syrup: 1 litre of milk 150 gm of jaggery METHOD To prepare the filling: Heat a
Steamed dumplings in milk

kadhai and melt the jaggery over low fire. Mix in the desiccated coconut and keep stirring on low fire. Mix in the condensed milk and continue to stir and cook and allow the mixture to dry up. Put off the heat and keep aside. To make the dough: Mix together the rice flour, sugar and ghee. Mix with your fingers to resemble bread crumbs. Add just enough water to knead into a dough. Keep beating the dough with your fingers so that it is pliable. With your palms roll out the entire dough into a long roll. Place this roll on a rolling board and cut half inch sized pieces. Roll each of these pieces into a circular round ball. Roll out each of these balls into a two inch circular chappati. Hold the small chappati in the left palm and place a portion of the filling in the

centre. Fold up the sides and make a crescent shape or long shaped dumplings. Prepare all the dumplings and keep aside. Heat the milk in a thick bottomed pan. Low the heat and drop the dumplings a few at a time into the milk and cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes. Crush the jaggery and mix into the milk. Stir gently so that the dumplings do not break. Remove from fire, cool and serve as a dessert.

INGREDIENTS: 1 litre of milk 1 cup of condensed milk 2 tsp of sugar – optional 11/2 tbsp of drinking chocolate powder For garnishing: cherries METHOD Mix the drinking powder in half cup of luke warm milk and keep aside. Bring the milk to boil in a thick bottomed pan and cook and stir till the milk is reduced to less than half its quantity. Mix in the chocolate powder and continue to stir so that the milk does not stick to the bottom. Mix in the condensed milk and stir gently. Continue to cook and stir for a further 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar at this stage if you need it. Stir till the milk and condensed mixture is thick. Put off and cool the mixture in a fridge. Serve garnished with cherries. The consistency can vary according to your needs. If you like it thinner than you need not reduce to the milk to half its quantity before adding the chocolate.


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April (First) 2009

Bell peppers stuffed with couscous

INGREDIENTS: 1 red bell pepper 1 yellow bell pepper 3 tsp of olive oil For the filling: 1/ cup of couscous or any other macaroni 2 2 tsp of olive oil 1 tsp of rosemary pepper to taste salt tot taste METHOD Make a slit across each bell pepper and remove the seeds but leave the bell pepper whole. In a non stick pan heat the olive oil and place the bell peppers and fry these on medium heat turning over so that all the sides of the bell pepper get cooked slightly. Once the bell peppers are charred/cooked lightly on all sides remove and keep aside. Prepare the filling: Place the couscous in a pan of hot water and leave aside for 3-4 minutes. Drain and keep aside. Heat the oil in a non stick pan and fry the couscous adding the spices. Stir fry for 2 minutes and remove from fire. Use this filling to fill the bell peppers. Place the bell peppers in the oven for only 5-6 minutes just before serving so that these are warm. One bell pepper per person or even half would add variety to the plate of the festive meal.

(bhindi stuffed with paneer)
INGREDIENTS: 400 gm of bhindi medium sized

Okra and cottage cheese

INGREDIENTS: For one serving: 1 slice of pineapple 3-4 tbsp of kiwi preserve – you can use any other fruits sauce or preserve red grapes

Bengali sweet

3-4 tbsp of oil for frying the bhindi 1 tsp of garam masala powder 1/ tsp of jeera powder 2 1/ tsp of red chillies powder 2 salt to taste For the filling: 150 gm of grated cheese 2 tsp of oil 1/ tsp of jeera powder 2 1/ tsp of amchur powder 4 1/ tsp of red chillies powder 4 salt to taste METHOD Wash the bhindis, dry with a napkin and cut the top edges. Keep the bhindis whole, making a slit in the centre and removing as many seeds as you can. To prepare the filling: heat the oil, and fry the paneer adding all the spices. Fry on low fire for 2-3 minutes. Remove and keep aside to cool. Fill each of the bhindis with the paneer filling. Heat oil in a non stick pan and fry the bhindis over low fire. Cover with a lid and stir gently from time to to. Mix in all the spices and sprinkle over the bhindis and cover with a lid and cook so that the masala is mixed into the bhindis. Cook till the bhindis are tender. Remove and serve hot.

METHOD Place the pineapple slice on a serving plate. Spread the kiwi preserve over and garnish with the red grapes and serve it at once. This is a refreshing desert and can be prepared with little time.

(Puli petha)
INGREDIENTS: 200 gm of rice flour 1 tsp of powdered sugar 3 tbsp of ghee oil or ghee for frying 300 ml of sugar syrup
Tri-layered pineapple delight

For the filling: 1 cup of desiccated coconut 50 gm of date palm jaggery 3 tbsp of condensed milk METHOD To prepare the filling: Heat a kadhai and melt the jaggery over low fire. Mix in the desiccated coconut and keep stirring on low fire. Mix in the condensed milk and continue to stir and cook and allow the mixture to dry up. Put off the heat and keep aside. To make the dough: Mix together the rice flour, sugar and ghee. Mix with your fingers to resemble bread crumbs. Add just enough water to knead into a dough. Keep beating the dough with your fingers so that it is pliable. With your palms roll out the entire dough into a long roll. Place this roll on a rolling board and cut half inch sized pieces. Roll each of these pieces into a circular round ball. Roll out each of these balls into a two inch circular chappati. Hold the small chappati in the left palm and place a portion of the filling in the centre. Fold up the sides and make a small round cake. Prepare all the cakes in this way. Heat ghee or oil and fry over medium heat for 3-4 minutes and then reduce the heat

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April (First) 2009

and fry till the cakes are crispy and golden brown. Fry a few cakes at a time. Once each lot of cakes is ready, drop these into the prepared sugar syrup and leave in the syrup for 30-40 minutes before serving.

Bread biryani

INGREDIENTS: 200 gm of tofu 200 florets of broccoli 50 gm of cherry tomatoes 3 tsp of olive oil 1 tsp of pepper powder salt to taste METHOD Cut the broccoli in florets, the tofu in cubes and keep aside. Heat the oil. Fry the tofu for 2 minutes in oil and remove and keep aside. In the same pan add the broccoli and fry till a light golden brown in colour adding salt to taste. Mix in the fried tofu and the cherry tomatoes. Check for the salt. Add the pepper powder and toss gently. And serve at once.
Salt pepper tofu and vegetables

INGREDIENTS: 6-8 slices of bread cut into quarters ghee or oil for deep frying the bread pieces 1 medium sized chopped onions 2 chopped tomatoes 1 cup of green peas 1 cup of corn niblets 3 tbsp butter 1 tsp of cumin seeds 1 tbsp of garlic and ginger paste 1 tsp of chilli powder 2 tsp of lemon juice 2 tsp of biryani masala powder salt to taste METHOD Fry the bread pieces in oil till golden and crispy. Alternately, you could oil roast the bread pieces or you could even toast the bread slices in case you want to avoid the oil. Heat oil in the kadai and add cumin seeds and allow the seeds to crackle. Add the onions and fry till translucent. Now mix in the tomato pieces and fry for a further 2 minutes. Mix in the peas, corn and the haldi powder
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and the ginger garlic paste. . Cook on low fire for 3-4 minutes add 2-3 tsp of water if required. Cook till a fine aroma rises from the cooked spices. Now mix in the biryani masala and the lemon juice cook for 1 minute more. Add the fried bread pieces. Toss gently and serve at once before the bread pieces get soggy.

INGREDIENTS: 250 gm of gooseberry For the gravy: 3 tsp of oil 3-4 tbsp of tomato puree 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste 1 tsp of red chilli paste 1/ tsp of haldi powder 2 1/ tsp of jeera powder 4 1/ tsp of garam masala powder 2 salt to taste for garnishing: coriander chopped METHOD Wash the gooseberry after removing and discarding the leaves. Cut a few into halves and

April (First) 2009

Gooseberry curry

prepared soup in individual bowls and top with crispy fried noodles over each portion.

INGREDIENTS: 1litre of milk sugar to taste 1/ tsp of cardamom powder 2 for garnishing: fresh fruits METHOD Bring the milk to boil in a heavy bottomed pan and reduce the milk to half its original quantity. Add the sugar and stir till the sugar melts. Once the milk is thickened, cool the sweetened milk. Place in a fridge to cool. Serve with fresh fruits and serve.

leave the others whole. Keep aside. Heat the oil in a kadhai and fry the ginger garlic paste for 2 minutes. Lower the heat and add the tomato puree and the spices and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add one cup of water and salt to taste. Bring the gravy to boil and add the gooseberries. Allow the berries to simmer in the gravy for 2 minutes. Add the garam masala and boil for another 1 minute. Serve garnished with coriander leaves.

METHOD Par cook the vegetables in salted water till just tender but not over cooked. You could boil the lotus stem separately so that all the dirt can be removed. Place all the par boiled vegetables in a large sized pan. Add the vegetable stock and one cup of water and bring the soup to boil. Mix in the chillies sauce and the agino mato and allow the soup to simmer with the vegetables for 2 minutes. Remove and place in a deep serving dish. Top with the fried noodles and serve at once. You could place the
Chinese chopsuey

INGREDIENTS: For the parantha: 1 cup of wheat flour 1 tbsp of ghee

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup of French beans cut into long pieces 1 cup of carrots cut into long pieces 1/ cup of lotus stems cut 2 into diagonal pieces 1 zucchini cut into thin circles 300 ml of vegetable stock 1 tsp of chilli sauce 1/ tsp of agino mato – optional 2 2 cups of crispy deep fried noodles salt to taste

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April (First) 2009

oil or ghee for frying salt to taste For the filling: 2 cups of grated carrots 2 tsp of oil 1/ tsp of red chilli powder or 2 more 3-4 pinches of aamchur powder 1 tsp of roasted jeera powder METHOD To prepare the filling: Heat the oil and and fry the grated carrots, adding all the spices. Fry on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Keep aside. The filling should be spicy and tasty. Sift the flour, salt and ghee and add just enough water to knead into a dough. Divide the dough into 3-4 portions. Roll out each portion into a small sized chappati. Hold this chappati in your palm and keep a portion of the prepared filling in the centre of the chappati and close it from all ends to obtain a round ball. Roll out this ball into a chappati and fry this parantha with oil or ghee on low fire till crispy and brown. Prepare the other paranthas in the same way. Serve garnished with a bit of the filling and some spicy aachar.
Rabrie with fruits

Carrot stuffed Indian bread

INGREDIENTS: 1 kg spinach 1/ cup finely chopped fresh 2 coriander 2 medium onions, finely sliced 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce 3 tsp of ginger garlic paste 2 tsp of green chillies paste 11/2 tsp sugar 11/4 tsp salt 2 tsp oil or


2 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 tbsp of ghee 1/ teaspoon chilli powder 2 4-5 eggs salt and pepper Clean the spinach and discard the thick stalks and chop the tender stalks and the leaves into one inch pieces. Heat the ghee in a thick bottomed pan and stir fry the onions till a light golden brown in colour. Mix in the ginger garlic and chillies paste. Mix in the spices and the coriander leaves and stir fry for a further 2 minutes. Mix in the chopped spinach leaves and cook on medium heat for a further 3-4 minutes, add the sauce, sugar and salt to taste. Cover with a lid and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Place the prepared spinach in a baking dish and spread it evenly on the base of the dish. Carefully break one egg at a time on top of the cooked spinach. Break the eggs all over the spinach base so that the eggs yolks are distributed all over the spinach base. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the eggs and bake in an oven till the eggs are set. Serve at once. We

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April (First) 2009


Irresistible appeal: When someone close to you sees your royal transformation in this attire, he cannot but fall for you.

These kurtichuridars and salwar-suits in dazzling designs create a fashionable ambience.

Beauty & gra ce
Oomphish charm: This ultra-seductive appearance in sleeveless kurti-salwar goes well in the fashion – conscious world.

a spectacle of

Romance of the pink: Pink is the colour of subtle love, and this ensemble will only draw your beloved to you.

A dreamy dress: There are certain dresses which give dream – like reality. Yet, you make a style statement with it.

Exuding elegance: White is the colour of purity. You will look nobler clad in this kurti-churidar.

Symbol of class: Classic is one who chooses classy dresses. Attired so, you deserve to be in the circle of the class.

A winning combination: This dress just combines beauty with elegance and leaves nothing more to desire.

Scintillating adornment: What a proper attire can do to a beautiful woman? Just make her more beautiful and sexciting.

Dresses: Silver Beads India New Delhi. Ph: 011-26340945, 09811045069

A British beauty’s experiences in the land of her Indian parents’ birth.
By Ameeta Sharma



ou can take an Indian out of India but you can rarely take the India out of an Indian. Many young British passport holders who are first-generation British but whose parents were Indians have this long-distance love with their country. The annual holidays instill a sense of belonging and their roots are watered by the parents who might live elsewhere but their hearts are still as Indian from the day they left their country. Preeti Desai too was born in UK to parents who left India a long time ago. She has worked as a beauty therapist after a rigorous three-year training, and went on to be a partner Woman’s Era


in her parents’ company G2 Fireworks. However, her heart was always set on something else. She has become the first Indian-origin girl to be crowned as Miss Great Britain. She recently walked the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai. Apart from all these catwalks, modelling and advertising, she is the adventurous kind of young girl who loves swimming and dancing and is a keen practitioner of the martial arts and yoga. In this encounter, she shares her memories, her ideas and plans with the readers.

Tell us about your journey of being crowned Miss Great Britain? I was crowned in November 2006 after a public vote. Actually, the

April (First) 2009

competition was earlier in the year and I came in 5th. Then the top 12 girls got recalled as the winner was disqualified for being in a relationship with one of the judges and this got found out. After this, there was a public vote; and I received the most public votes to be crowned.

What did this crown mean to you as an Individual? It gave me a platform and voice to think loudly about what I wanted to do; but most of all it made my mum so happy. Did your being of Indian origin play any role in getting this crown? Well, I was the only girl of Indian origin to have made it to the final and the first Indian girl in history to win the title. So, although I am sure others will carry on in years to come to be of Indian origin and win this title, I will always be the first to have achieved it.

Tell us a little about your family – how many siblings and what they do. What do your parents do? How did you balance out being of Indian origin and growing up in Great Britain? I have a younger sister Anjlee who is a singer and in a girl group in England, ‘The Madam Project’. My parents have a company G2 Fireworks. The rest is all routine and normal. What does the company G2 Fireworks do? It is one of the biggest Firework display companies in the UK. My mother, sister and I look after the retail side of the business while my father designs and does the execution. I was made a partner by my parents after years of working for the business and after the relevant experience had been garnered. What were your dreams as you were growing up? What did you want to do and how did your family support you? While I was growing up, I believe I was a big day dreamer. In many ways I still am. When I was young, I wanted to be a vet as I love animals so much. My parents are very

supportive in whatever I do as long as I am happy doing it.

It is often said that beauty and brains do not go together (I do not believe that) but what do you prize more – your beauty or your brains? Brains and personality make you beautiful. Of course brains and beauty go together, so many beautiful women are also great academic achievers and even homemakers are so smart to manage it all. What are your hobbies and how do you balance your work with these? I love going on long walks in the countryside with my dogs back in the UK, I love watching movies, I love seeing different places in the world, I love eating out. Now I am spending a lot of time in India and do other things that I enjoy. What are future plans? Considering you are visiting India so often and participating in the beauty and fashion business, do you plan to pursue that career? I tend not to plan the future and just go with the flow. Currently, I am enjoying modelling in India and let’s see what else comes my way. What about romance? What do you look for in a man you want to love and hope to marry? The most important thing is respect for each other. Yes, I would think romantically for someone that can make me laugh. Humour is important in life. What is your opinion on love vs arra nged mar riages? It is totally up to the individual. As long as both partners are happy, then either is fine. It is not really for me to be judgmental either We way.

As a growing child what was your experience in Great Britain which part do you live in and did you face any discrimination while you were growing up? I was born and raised in England in the North East and have not experienced any discrimination in my social or work life. I always felt part of where I was growing up and had a normal, ordinary, growing-up experience.


Make-up material can make the face lovely and attractive. It illuminates the face and the appeal is simply irresistible.

A model without a make-up. She has an uneven complexion and her chin area reflects the pigmentation patches.

Applying FB2 face and body illuminator from Coloressence on cheeks, forehead and chin brightens the face.

Apply yellow tone concealer from Coloressence cream make-up, to reduce the blackish effect of pigmentation. The colour tone matching the skin tone is applied to give an even look.

To set the face concealer pancake is applied.

For her eye make-up, parrot green and emerald green is applied.

Dab Shimmers (SS-2 gold) from Coloressence for shimmering effect.

For the lips, apply rust-brown colour from Coloressence lip pallete. After the total make-up your face becomes an asset which contributes immensely to your personality.

To highlight cheekbones, use two blushers – gold and peach from mineral blusher.

Make-up: Nature’s Essence, Suneeti Soni, H-15/3, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi. Ph: 011-26673045/65, Mob: 9899801623

When the members of the faculty are in touch with the changes taking place in the media world, and inculcate in students media study that is modern and relevant, there is no doubt about achieving one’s goal.
By Suman Bajpai


career in the media industry is the latest trend among many youngsters in India. Today the strong influence that the media holds over people’s lives has also attracted many to start a career in Media. The business opportunities in Indian media and entertainment industry are enormous. There is untapped potential along with the good creativity talent. The media industry is very vivid and one of the most versatile industries and hence finding the right kind of institute is no easy task. But in this respect and for a proper guidance in journalism, you can trust upon the MassCo Media. MassCo Media is an established newage communication institute for the study of print and broadcast journalism, TV production,

photography, graphics, animation, media management, advertising, PR, corporate communications, event management and related areas. It is one of the best-equipped media schools in the country in the private sector. Situated in Noida, in the NCR region, it has a capacity to accommodate 750 students with two complete industry-standard TV studios, non-linear editing suites, radio studio, photography studio, eclassrooms and commercial content development. The institute has started a fresh intake for one-year master and diploma programmes, after graduation and 12th class respectively in the above-mentioned streams and sixmonth certificate programmes in TV production and anchoring, radio jockeying, programming and production. Also being launched is a

special master programme in electronic media and advertising. The Institute has a well-qualified faculty of academics and industry experience. Besides, many professionals from all over the country and outside keep coming to deliver lectures on emerging areas in media and communications. This institution also provides solutions in broadcasting and TV software production, graphics and animation. Second year students of the threeyear degree program of arts in media and communication think that here they can get much more opportunities in comparison to other institutes. “Here the focus is on the practical-based work and the most encouraging part is that the faculty is very competent and efficient. This place is a good platform for working in the media industry,” note the students. MassCo Media has a tie-up with universities in Australia and the US for imparting undergraduate programs. The foreign university affiliates allow students to study in India and get a credit for the years of study to finish the degree. Each student is empowered to finish his or her degree in Australia or the US. There is also a tie-up with an Indian university for a graduate degree in

media and mass communications. For Ravikant who has come from Gorakhpur, a student of media and communication, it is a platform to augment his public-speaking skills. “I was looking for an animation course but seeing this course, I thought I will get the better chances to learn many related things in one course itself. Apart from the incredible learning today I can say that I feel more confident than before.”

A student of MassCo Media not only gets the opportunity to absorb a true media experience, but can explore his or her talents in many ways. Rather than just textbook education, here students learn through their practical experiences which enhance their growth so that when they reach industry placements, they are ready with the enriched thoughts and experience in versatile media projects under their belt. Richa Sharma who is pursuing her first year PG diploma in event management and PR from this institute has come all the way from Rourkela, Orissa. She came to know through the net about this institute. She feels, “This place is ideal for my

kind of course as we get a chance to explore in terms of field work and placements.” For Sri Raj Ray who has come from Kolkata, it is like dream come true. He is doing the photo journalism course. He has a great regard for his professor. “My professor is competent techniquely, but his life experiences are so extensive which help us enormously. Even the environment is very good and friendly. We have the latest equipments and technology.” The best part of this institute is that it provides a career panorama for each student who is talented and creative. For Payal Singh who is now working as an account manager with iAvatarZ Digital, an Australia-based ad network, primarily into online marketing and advertising, MassCo Media has been a great learning experience for her as a student. “I am glad that I took the step of joining MassCo Media and could enrich myself and today have a job with an ad network. MassCo Media is just not about theory and classrooms it's more about infield knowledge. On the job training they provide makes you professional in your chosen field. I think the best part is the facility, which this institute provides to its students not only in

terms of the latest industry equipments and infrastructure but also the personal attention that each student avails from the faculty. Apart from excellent in-house faculties, they provide us with visiting faculty from the respective industry. This was a great help as we used to get trained according to the requirements of the industry. I had all the freedom and access to use the library, computers and studio any time of the day as per my convenience. The training module, which requires every student to give a presentation with a proper set-up and live audience, has sure boosted my confidence, which today I consider is the most important asset for any beginner. Appearing for the campus interviews held almost every week helped me to sharpen my communication skills and knowledge as per industry requirements. All I can say that it helped me shape my career and personality,” beams Payal.

When Sarika Tirkey came to know about this institute through a career fair organised in Ranchi, Jharkhand, she knew this was the place for her. She is pursuing her master program in TV production. “When I came here the star attractions were equipment and studios. I am lucky to have a supportive faculty and any student who wants to prosper he or she can fulfill their dream here,” declares Sarika with confidence. Each student who is studying here or was a student of this esteemed institute has something positive to share in terms of experiences, in terms of guidance and in terms of placements. Suposh Sharma, an exstudent of this institute is now working with the Jan Sandesh Hindi news channel as a production executive. He shared his experiences with us. “There is a saying which goes like, ‘Better late than never’. This is how my tryst with the media industry has begun and thanks to MassCo Media and Prof Avinash Singh in particular.

MassCo Media has given the kickstart to my long impending craving to get into media. This began when I stepped into MassCo Media. The best thing about the institute was the freedom to students in terms of creativity, implementation of their concepts among others, which

include a stunning and industrystandard facility. When the students like me graduate from the institute, they do not get awe struck to see the media environs. Studying in MassCo Media is not like studying, it’s actually working, working towards your goal.” When the members of the faculty are in touch with the changes taking place in the media world, and inculcate in students media study that is modern and relevant, there is no doubt about achieving one’s goal and develop creative passion. When the faculty challenges the students to consider the media world from new perspectives and the students benefit from the faculty's vast experience, then the possibility of success increases. Md. Shujauddin Khan has written one such success story. He did his diploma in television production and broadcast journalism from MassCo Media and is presently working with Jan Sandesh Hindi news channel as a production executive. He considers his days at MassCo Media the precious moments of his life. “The days at MassCo Media were the best days of my life as I identified my passion for mass media and groomed to become a professional. Mr Mani Kandan is a teacher that I would remember my whole life who introduced us to the world of Cameras and other TV production techniques. I had great time reading news through the tele prompter and anchoring for in-house programmes. Documentary making was another great experience as we explored the art of story telling through the lenses. It was with the help of my professors that my documentary titled Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai won the First Frame 2008 award for the best director category. I feel it is among the best institutes in India that provides us with the latest equipment that are of industry standards,” enthuses Shujauddin. This is one institute which changes the perception and provides direction and opportunities to grow in We the respective media fields.

Efforts and achievements of people afflicted with disability will not go unnoticed, thanks to the pioneering work of Ability Foundation and support by CavinKare.


200 nominations received for the award, seven will finally receive various awards. The names of the winners would be announced at a gala event in early March, said Janaki Pillai, director (operations) of the Ability Foundation. The other prominent jury members also shared their thoughts on the nominees. Director Radha Mohan, whose film Mozhi–ITAL portrayed the emotional journey of a deaf and dumb girl Archana, said he was inspired by the work done by Ability Foundation and that he had learnt sign language for making the movie at the foundation. Actress Revathy, also a trustee of the Ability Foundation, said these awards played an important role in removing the stigma attached to disability. “The words ‘I cannot do’ should not be uttered by a person with disability. That is our aim,” she said.

N. Murali, managing director, The Hindu–ITAL, said it was a humbling experience for him to meet the nominees shortlisted for the award. He said the nominees had demonstrated that they could not only overcome their disability, but also achieve much more than what the persons without disability could. He said the selection process was tough and it was not easy to arrive at a decision as to who was eligible for the award. Former chairperson, National Commission for Women, V. Mohini Giri said ability and disability were synonymous and attitudes towards persons with disability were changing in society. “It is not a stigma any more,” she stressed. Director of Ability Foundation Jayshree Ravindran said the awards were aimed at breaking the stereotypes surrounding the abilities of persons with disability. C. K. Rangnathan, CMD of CavinKare, which sponsors the awards, presented mementos to all the jury We members. 67

A. R. Rahman receiving a memento from C. K. Rangnathan.


enerally, society looks upon disability as a stigma. Persons afflicted with physical and mental disability are taken as curse on the family. But now, you don’t need to see everything in shades of black and grey. Disabled people are scaling new heights everyday and creating new records. This was evident at a function held recently in Chennai by the Ability Foundation, an organisation working for the uplift of disabled people. At the function, 12 disabled people were shortlisted for the prestigious

CavinKare Ability Award by a jury that comprised eminent personalities like Oscar winner music director A.R. Rahman. Later, speaking to the mediapersons, Rahman said he was deeply touched by their efforts to overcome challenges posed by disability. “All of us think we have a problem. We complain how we are fat or thin, fair or dark. But there is a lesson for us all to learn from persons with disabilities,” he said. He also said that their stories show how persons with congenital disabilities could become achievers with consistent efforts. Of the 12 shortlisted people from

These apparels present a fusion of oriental and occidental fashion. Keeping in touch with the taste of urbane woman, these fashionable ensembles adorn the lady on the go, accentuating her charm. However, the obvious drive is towards a perfect and presentable you to your friends and admirers.

Trendy & Stylish
The allure of black & white: This attractive skirt with all-white top is bound to shake up even the ascetic.


What a befitting ensemble?: The shimmering churidar has a fit combination in the top worn with a wide ornamental belt. The modernistic hairdo is an added attraction to present a winning personality.

A reflective pose: This modern dress blends well with the garland of round glass beads.

Delightful look: The short pants with the trendy top with an engaging hairdo is sure to set the house on fire.

Adding to a glamorous look: The floral skirt with equally matching top is sure to make the intended conquest.

Accentuating the assets: Dressed in stylish trousers with a contrasting top, the target seems to be someone very close to her.

Eyes on style: This floral pants synchronises temptingly with a top and garland of beads.

Dressing to kill: This tapering churidar with stylish kurti makes the lady all the more charming with a outshining necklace.

Dresses, Accessories and styling by: Anomitro Ganguli Photography: Hemant Kedar Make-up: Amit Sawant Hair: Minakshi Model: Parvati Nirban


A tongue-in-cheek look at a “minor issue” that’s quietly becoming a mania. By Rajib Sen



ON-STATUTARY WAR NING: READING THIS MAY BE INJURIOUS TO DOCTORS’ HEALTH. Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen’s huge 1984 chart buster became an anthem for American anti-Vietnam war protesters. But India’s new-age newlyweds sing another tune – without any idea of the original’s lyrics. Their big dreams for families they are yet to start? The prized US passport – as their kids’ ticket to travel to worlds the wouldbe parents can’t without visa hassles. But there’s another big factor: their perception that there’s a big differ ence in American hospital facilities at the time of delivery. Big deal! Are Indian hospitals less well equipped? Not so long ago, in fact, people would wonder what one needed a hospital for only to have a baby. Those were the days when childbirth was considered nothing more than a home-

delivery service of the medical profession. After all, it’s always been just a matter of the doctor bringing home the bacon by bringing home the babies although, lately, it’s been in a maternity ward. But, in the past, there was no fuss with no one getting hyper, building tension about the small matter that was about to make an appearance. Come to think of it, no one ever did make a fuss about something like that for something like the previous 40,000 years of human evolution. That is, till some time in the mid-twentieth century. After that, hype overtook common sense. In fact, among the billions of species of life on Earth, has anyone wondered why it’s only been people who have paid to be pampered by obstetrical attention? Plants have their own mysterious ways of going about reproduction. The birds and the bees have long been proverbially reputed to be self-reliant in such Woman’s Era April (First) 2009

matters. I can’t see our cousins, the apes, having a gorilla monkeying about at such delicate moments. And can you imagine the whale of an underwater income that an obstetrician of that breed is missing out on after graduating from the school of fish? So when and how did this human mania for hospital delivery by an obstetrical stork rear its mystifying head? And what makes it so much superior in the US of A? Are babies born there s-o-o much more better off than those born even in our shanty towns and remote villages? Let’s face it. From the evolution of humankind, those embryonic specimens of humanity have literally been born fighters. They have been born while being borne sky-high in transcontinental jetliners as successfully as in down-to-earth jhuggis and jhompris. They have all been born to live. And they have lived, survived and

also flourished even amid the utmost of deprivation. Despite their birth circumstances, so many thousands have grown up all over the globe to conquer the world in wide-ranging fields – from astronautics to agri culture (besides other lands!). Let’s not forget one of the most famous conquerors in the world (of the then-known world): Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 BC). His name is inextricably linked with – ahem! – a section of obstetric practice (to boost it in more ways than one?). He too was surgically extracted by the Caesarian procedure as it’s since become known. Yet he was still born at home – not stillborn in a hospital as happened with my US-based relative’s daughter there recently. Even in the twenty-first century, what about the thousands born in our small towns and remote villages? So many appear on the scene with the help of nothing more than, perhaps, a midwife or semi-literate dai? None of their mothers – like their mothers and their mothers’ mothers for gener ations back – needed anything remotely like an operating table, a recovery room and all the paraphernalia that seem so crucial to modern urban childbearing.

Statistical percentages would definitely vary but not as drastically as die-hard supporters of today’s medicine – especially in the US – will contend. Remember, especially in India, even among the better educated and better-off segments of society, there are so many who never trust allopathic medicine. They normally prefer every alternative from homoeopathy and naturopathy to ayurveda and unani, instead. All quacks? How many ducks have they scored in their diagnoses without modern diagnostic support? Thanks to their fan following, some have become self-proclaimed godmen and godwomen! Do you think followers of such persuasions would trust a hospital where the underlying discipline is allopathic medicine when it comes to delivery? Who knows?

Still, if today’s Indian couples have are always prepared to attend to the choice between India and the US, people in urgent need but you have what’s better than doing so where to wait depending on their assess their parents are? No matter how ment of the seriousness of your medically ignorant they are, can any- problem. For instance, if someone thing match those parents’ support with a gunshot wound is brought in when a new generation appears? while you’re waiting, your wait just That’s how it’s always been from time gets longer – sometimes by hours! – immemorial. It doesn’t matter how far no matter how serious you think your apart they are in India, the elders are case is. forever within reach. What can beat that advantage? Then again, once the mother gets home with her baby in the US, how Finally, let’s not forget the soon can she have access to the immeasurable cost benefits of the same doctors – without an appoint- Indian medical system. It’s not for ment for a date that’s something like nothing that patients from America two months later? Sure, she could and all over the world make a beeline talk over the phone, but is that ever for this country. But they’re not dupes as good as a face-to-face consul - or cheapskates running after the tation, especially if a physical exami- cheapest bargains. They’re hard nation is called for? That’s what headed hunters of top-quality delivery access to medicine is out there – just from pains far removed from labour check that out with anyone who’s (child-labour – hmm ;-)! And they’re undergone any kind of Yankee-style simply delighted that India makes the medical treatment for anything. standards they are used to at home Back here, there’s a friendly available at costs not even their neighbourhood doctor with an open insurance policies can pay for in their door for anybody to walk through at own countries. (And we manage our any time of day or night. medical bills without Of course, you pay more insurance!) LET’S NOT if he or she sees you at Our medical tourism FORGET THE non-regular times or at has added a healthy IMMEASURABLE dimension your home. But that’s to the okay – the treatment is COST BENEFITS Incredible! India image always prompt, – bringing OF THE INDIAN already professional and foreigners to this country MEDICAL invariably successful. SYSTEM. IT’S NOT through a healthy level of What more do you want? medical tourism. So all FOR NOTHING And that’s the case with those people travel all the THAT PATIENTS medical practitioners way here for anything but FROM AMERICA childbirth for world-class across the country in small towns and big treatment at a bargain. AND ALL OVER metro politan sprawls. ( Paisa vasool? ) Yet our THE WORLD Even the shantytown MAKE A BEELINE youngsters fly all the way poor have some kind of there for that very FOR THIS daktar sahib, vaid or purpose and pay a bomb! COUNTRY. hakeem who dispenses (Kharcha fazool?) Isn’t relief soon enough and that funny? without charging the earth. But, jokes apart, I doubt this article Only in real emergencies does will strike the funny bone of our one visit one of our super-speciality esteemed medical fraternity. They’re five-star medical malls for a taste of unlikely to rest in peace (RIP?) withtheir high-cost, multi-menu hospit - out ripping this article to pieces. If so, ality . It’s the same in the US from so be it. But can anyone deny the what I have understood. Agreed, like fact that the facts given here haven’t the OPDs of our public and private been doctored – even though in We hospitals, the US emergency facilities humour?


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The charm of these children is further enhanced with these colourful, designed dresses.

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Smiling pose: The skirt and the floral top complement each other. The matching handbag completes the rest.

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Countries down under have many big attractions. But a visit to this little town would be an exciting experience.
By Kavita Sivaramakrishnan


holiday in New Zealand is never complete without a trip to Lyttelton, port of Christchurch, which offers us one of the most fascinating views of the extinct volcanoes in the world. Lyttelton is located on the north shore of Lyttelton Harbour on Banks Peninsula, 12 km by road from Christchurch on the eastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The quaint town consists of small cottages and is very picturesque and Woman’s Era

beautiful with views of the harbour on every side. The harbour is an inlet on the north-western side of Banks Peninsula, extending 18 km inland from the southern end of Pegasus Bay. It is surrounded by steep hills formed from the sides of an extinct volcanic crater which rises to a height of 500 m. Several smaller settlements are dotted along the shore of the harbour, notably Governor's Bay and Diamond Harbour. A small island, Quail Island, sits in the upper harbour south-west of Lyttelton.

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probably reached a height of over 4,500 ft. Estimates of its original height are uncertain, since they cannot be based solely on the projection of existing lava slopes upwards for the reason that volcanoes of this type often have domed profiles with a falling off in gradient towards their tops. As sea levels rose and fell, the old volcanoes were at different times an island, a landlocked mass of hills and a peninsula.

Lyttelton looks calm and serene and is famous for its Banks Peninsula which consists of eroded remnants of 2 ancient volcanoes. Banks Peninsula is situated in about the middle of the east coast of the South Island on the margin of the Canterbury Plains. It is approximately 450 sq miles in area and its highest point is Herbert Peak, 3,014 ft. A trip on the gondola which takes one to the top of the sightseeing spot from where we can view those famous volcanoes was really very fascinating. The volcanoes were breathtaking and are really a sight to behold. Their craters have subsequently been enlarged to many times their original size by stream erosion; they were then invaded by the sea during the post-glacial worldwide rise in sea level beginning about 15,000 years ago. They now form the harbours of Lyttelton and Akaroa. Originally, Banks Peninsula was an island, but it became tied to the Canterbury Plains at some late stage in geological history when the growing alluvial plain reached its base. The Lyttelton volcano began erupting perhaps 15 million years ago. The last eruptions on the flanks of the younger Akaroa volcano occurred less than 6 million years ago. “Banks Island” was eventually joined to the mainland by sand and gravels eroded from the Southern Alps by the enormous glaciers of several ice ages. The sand and gravels were washed seawards to form the Canterbury Plains. The two extinct volcanoes were active less than half a million years ago. Akaroa is the larger volcano and Woman’s Era

Lyttelton and Akaroa, the principal settlements on the peninsula, lie inside the eroded craters of the old volcanoes, now flooded by the Pacific Ocean. These sea-invaded craters, the twin harbours of Lyttelton and Akaroa, are among the world's outstanding examples of eroded and flooded craters. Colourful cliffs of layered lava and ash deposits can be seen around the outer coast. The cliffs provide havens for wildlife and form stunning coastal scenery. In the course of his circumnavigation of the South Island, Captain Cook sighted the peninsula on 16 February 1770. On the following day he concluded it was an island and named it in honour of Joseph Banks. On that day he also saw the entrance to Akaroa Harbour. In the early years of the 19th century 81

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sealers and whalers appeared on the scene and they found Maori ( Ngai Tahu) settlements near where Lyttelton and Akaroa now stand. During the 1830s, French, American, and British deep-sea whalers were frequent visitors and they all traded with the Maoris, particularly for flax and foodstuffs. Lyttelton definitely has a very

interesting legacy and the people are charming and very friendly. Banks Peninsula has a somewhat more salubrious climate than Canterbury Plains, with a higher rainfall and fewer frosts, particularly on the lower slopes. Snow is common on the highest slopes during the winter months and often lies for several weeks on the tops, although the thickness is not great. Lyttelton is linked to Christchurch by railway and road tunnels through the Port Hills. At 1900 m long, the Lyttelton Road tunnel (opened in 1964) boasts of being the country's longest road tunnel, and the railway tunnel is the country's oldest, dating from 1867. And that's not all; Lyttelton has more in store for one. Lyttelton is also famous for its wildlife which comprises dolphins, seals, penguins and sea birds. It also offers ferry services which offer visitors views of wild life at a very close range and also a chance to swim along with them. No doubt, a trip to Lyttelton was definitely worth the trip. We

Tell me, Why, when you are with me, The skies seem bluer, The breeze more cool, The flowers smell sweeter, Birdsong’s full of cheer? Tell me, Why, when I am with you, My heart sings with joy, I am loving and gentle, Compassionate and giving, So at peace with myself? Tell me, Why, when we are together, I like myself better, Feel so blessed, so hopeful,


Find life so wonderful, Cannot just stop smiling? What secret do you hold, What magic do you weave, To drive the bogeys away, When you are with me? Just promise me one thing Come what may... That you will never leave my side Or let me leave yours... Ever. – Romola Shanbhag

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My boyfriend and I are both 19 years old and plan to get married in five years when we are settled in our careers. The problem is that although we love each other, we are constantly arguing with each other. Sometimes, we don’t speak to each other for days on end. My friends tell me that marrying him is a bad idea as we will surely divorce each other soon. I, however, feel that we will stick together even if we constantly fight. What do you advise? What are the issues you quarrel about? If these are trivial, your fights will not matter. If you do not see eye to eye on major issues like money, children, future goals etc., it is a good thing to sort these out before deciding to marry. Perhaps you are both short tempered and egoistic. In this case, if you love each other, it does not really matter if either of you gives in to the other’s wishes to avoid a confrontation to avoid bitterness in the relationship. If neither of you is willing to compromise, constant bickering can take a toll. So, think carefully before taking the plunge.


Q & A
I am an 18-year-old girl belonging to an orthodox family. I have always wanted to become a doctor and my father has been quite supportive – till last week, when he visited an astrologer to show him my horoscope. This man told my father firmly that I should not study further – or I will jeopardise all my chances of having a good marriage. According to him, if I study further, I will remain unmarried. This has scared my father who is, naturally, keen to see me married and happy. So, now, he is refusing to let me go to medical college. I am so desperately unhappy. Is there any way out? It is a very difficult situation for you, but you should know that astrologers and their predictions are all bunkum. How many of their forecasts have proved true? Haven’t several astrologers given conflicting predictions? All the same, you will not find it easy to convince your father who is, anyway, doing what he thinks is best for you. You can ask some close relatives or friends he trusts to speak to him. Even your teachers could try to make him change his mind. As a last resort, you can simply put your foot down and state that you are determined to follow your dream – even if it means that you will remain single as your father believes. This might bring him to his senses. You cannot let any astrologer jeopardise your future with such impunity.

I am a 15-year-old girl. My hands and feet are always sweating, even in cold weather. This is very embarrassing when I shake hands with anyone, for my clasp is clammy and sticky. Even my exam answer sheets get smudged and grubby with my sweat. Please advise. My parents are of no help, and my friends only make fun of me. Are you of a nervous disposition? High strung persons often perspire a lot, and in fact, their sweat exudes a peculiar unpleasant odour. But then, their sweating is not confined only to their hands and feet. If this problem bothers you, consult your family doctor. He can suggest remedies and medication if needed. In the meanwhile, wipe your hands frequently with perfumed tissues, and powder your feet before wearing your footwear. This can help. Also try some relaxation exercises. Woman’s Era

I feel completely devastated and shocked. I have always had the greatest respect for my father because of the good values he upheld but when I saw him browsing through some porn sites on the net, I was horrified. How can he do this? He does not know that I found out but I have lost all affection for him. Should I tell my mother, who is a gentle loving soul? Please help me gain my peace of mind. Although it is understandable that you are shocked, perhaps you should face reality and accept that your father is a normal human being and not a saint. Looking at porn sites is not a wicked thing but a harmless activity for many men, who are good, loyal husbands and fathers. Children hate to know that their parents have sexual feelings! Many are even extremely uncomfortable and unhappy to think that their parents have sex with each other. You should definitely continue to respect your father for he seems to have earned it. Even if you confide in your mother, chances are that she will not be shocked but amused by your revelation. In fact, she may know this already! 83

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Cosy Nest

A regal touch: Sofas in creamy and brown hues and centre table with a glass top create a feeling of harmony in the living room. The stair case leads to the bedroom. Other furnishings in the room add elegance.

If the house is where your heart is, then why not bring the latest trends of fashion and elegance to comfortable classic styles.

Relaxing zone: An entertainment unit with TV, cabinets and wooden shelf!

Tea time: Table with glass top, trendy chairs and single-seater sofa for the small family to enjoy the cuppa!


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Cuddle up: Master bedroom with low wooden beds and bedding in wild prints and hues. The illumination, rug and cushions lend a warm touch!

Study time: Study unit with wooden cabinetry and book case. Orange rug on the floor livens up the mood!

Fresh feel: Freshen up in this washroom equipped with bath tub and sinks.

Cooking delight: A well-equipped modern kitchen with cabinets in hues of green and white, counter top and other kitchen accessories and appliances.

Courtesy: Ansa Interiors, New Delhi. Ph: 9811014609


ish you luck, and take care. Jakarta is always in the news for all wrong reasons", my friend remarked when I told of my impending trip to Jakarta. So it was with a certain amount of apprehension that I started my journey. Wasn't I in for a surprise? Everyone who met us in Jakarta had a warm smile and talked niceties to us. Later I came to know that Indonesians are known as the friendliest people in the world towards foreigners and they are very tolerant of their behaviour. But there are some things that one has to take care while interacting with Indonesians. Patting on the head is not done among adults since they consider the head as sacred and must be respected. It is considered impolite to call someone by crooking the index finger.

Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is home to over 10 million people. Forest fires and land clearance produce thick haze over Jakarta. It seems there is no easy solution for the Indonesian haze that has blighted Southeast Asia every year for the past decade. Children under five years and people who work outdoors suffer from haze-related ailments. The majority of Indonesians are Muslims, but Indonesia is not an Islamic state. It is a Pancasila state, the ideology of which is "belief in the one Supreme God". This means that the different religious systems must be respected. You can see many Moslem prayer houses in the city beside many churches and a few temples. Jakarta, one of Indonesia's designated tourist areas, is a gateway to other destinations in the country. It has the largest and modern airport in Indonesia, as well as the most important harbour in

Though the majority of Indonesians are Muslims, Indonesia is not an Islamic state. Moreover, the people are most friendly to the foreigners.
By Dr Beena Rani Goel

High rise building and the adjacent modest houses.

Indonesia, and is well connected by rail and good roads to other destinations in Java, Sumatra, and Bali. Jakarta is truly a city of contrasts; where traditional and the modern, the rich and the poor, the sacred and the worldly, often stand side by side. Prince Fatahillah from neighbouring Cirebon conquered Sunda Kelapa, a small 16th century harbour town and renamed it Jayakarta, meaning glorious victory. In 1619, the Dutch East Indies Company captured the town, destroyed it and changed its name to Batavia. It was made the centre for the expansion of their power in the East Indies. During the World War II, Batavia fell into the hands of the invading Japanese forces that changed the name of the city to Jakarta as a gesture to win the sympathy of the Indonesians. The name was retained after Indonesia achieved independence after of the war ended. Lately, Jakarta has been booming with supersize megamalls where you can find everything under one roof. Then there are the pasar or markets. Pasar Baru, which literally means the New Market, is where locals shop for various things like fabrics. A local friend took us there and
Performers with angklung, the traditional bamboo musical instrument

what a huge collection of clothes we saw there! There are food courts in most of these shopping malls, which offer delicious Indonesian food. Chaotic street names and poor signs make finding places in Jakarta, especially smaller buildings, difficult. Since the same name is used for different streets in different parts of the city, without the postal code, it would be a tough job to find the correct street address.

The contrast between the obscene wealth of the opulent and the appalling poverty of the urban poor is incredible. During our drives through the city, every five minutes, we could spot begging women and children on the pavements. Also the many BMWs that were speeding by! The city's traffic is in a perpetual
The classy dining experience in Jakarta. Beautiful statue in the Jakarta Convention Center

gridlock. The traffic jams become more acute after the rains. Our conference venue was five minutes’ drive from the hotel in the morning, but while returning at night, due to the traffic jams, it used to take around 40 minutes. If one can stand its pollution, and afford to indulge in its charms, Jakarta is one of Asia's most exciting cities. From cosmopolitan shopping at Plaza Senayan to one of the hippest nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia, there are plenty of things one can do. Jakarta boasts of the region's best skyline and it has one of Asia's best bus systems, the Transjakarta Busway. The building of a monorail and MRT is currently under way. The Jakartan equivalent to Thailand's tuk-tuk is the Bajaj (pronounced "badge-eye"), orange mutant scooters converted into tricycles that carry passengers in a

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Indonesian dance

small cabin at the back. Then there are the motorcycle taxis, Jakarta’s ojek services that consist of guys with bikes lounging around street corners. They usually shuttle short distances down alleys and roads but will also do longer trips for a price. Jakarta's architecture reflects to a large extent the influx of outside influences. The old Portuguese Church and warehouse have been rehabilitated into museums. Old Batavia, one of the oldest sections of Jakarta, was restored by the Taman Fatahillah Restoration Project. The old town hall is now the Jakarta Museum, displaying such rare items as Indonesia''s old historical documents and Dutch period furniture. The old Supreme Court building was converted into museum of fine arts, which also houses part of the excellent Chinese porcelain

cultures found within the many islands contained in the Republic of Indonesia, and this open-air museum comprises the different architectural forms of arts and traditions of all Indonesian provinces. I was really captivated by the music performed by a group, with the angklung, the traditional bamboo music equipment. Angklung music is made by playing a set of at least 14 hand-held bamboo instruments, each of which produces a particular note when shaken or "trembled". Bamboo tubes of varying widths are cut to certain lengths so that they make the same note in different octaves, and two, three or four tubes are secured on a frame. When the frame is shaken, two projections at the base of each tube ''sound'' as they knock against the ends of the slots in the bamboo base into which they are suspended. Members of an angklung orchestra hold the angklung in their left hand and shake it with their right when it is their turn to play that particular note. Cooperation and concentration are needed to produce this delightful music. The most exciting thing was that two kids aged five and seven years played this instrument to entertain our group and what a flawless performance it was! And they were so confident.

Another beautiful statue at the Jakarta Convention Center.

The modern music group which performed for us, participants from different countries, astonished us by calling some of us to the stage and singing songs of his or her country. When the performer started with “Savan ka mahina, pavan kare” there was a huge applause from the Indians. Then she folded her hands and said, “Kuch kuch hota hai”, and explained, “It is the name of an Indian movie”. The people of Jakarta are so fond of Indian movies that one theatre shows only Indian movies on Sundays. Our tourist guide told us “There is a small shop near my house run by an Indian and he sells We rotis and parathas.”

Winner of Friendship Quiz Contest - 72

collection of former Vice-President Adam Malik. A collection of over 327 kinds of textiles from all over the country; hand-woven cotton, silk and batik cloths, both of the ancient and contemporary productions are put on display in an authentic Betawi house which is the Textile Museum. A main tourist attraction of Jakarta is Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Aneeta Salaria "Indonesia in Miniature" Park) 556-A, 1st Floor, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu, popularly called TMII. It was J&K. Pin-180 004 built to portray the variety of Woman’s Era


April (First) 2009


Q & A
I am 30 years old and my husband is 35. Both of us are overweight. Will our children also be overweight? We are both worried. Please help. Obesity/fatness has been linked to a number of factors which range from heredity, the environment, diet and lack of physical activity to hormonal influences. Whether your offspring will be obese will be guided by a number of factors as already elucidated. Heredity is only one of the factors. I am 25 years old and I have recently noticed small vesicles on my private parts. These vesicles have turned into blisters and there is oozing from them. Please help. What you have got is genital herpes which is usually transmitted by sexual contact. No doubt, these lesions are painful and are likely to heal within a week. But the problem will be that the whole area will become painful and may leave behind a burning sensation. You should consult your doctor who can advise you accordingly. In the meantime, keep the part clean with frequent washing. Also no sex till you are cured of the disease.

I am 20 years old. I have got a lot of hair in my upper lip, chest and abdomen. This is causing me lot of embarrassment. Please help. Your problem is related to hormonal imbalance. Very often a growth in the adrenal glands is responsible for this condition called hirsutism. You should see your doctor who after examining you will investigate and treat you accordingly. In the meantime, you can either bleach, shave or pluck those hairs. But please remember that these are only temporary measures.


easily transmitted from one sexual partner to another. It would be advisable for you to get this treated properly and check your partner also to prevent reinfection.


I am 35 years old. My husband is 40 year. Recently his father aged 60 died of a heart attack. It has left us shaken. I am worried about my husband since heart attacks run in families. Please advise. Your fears are well founded. Heart disease does run in families. It would be better if you get your husband checked medically. In the meantime, take care of his weight, diet, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But do not get panicky. Adopt a positive attitude with a healthy lifestyle.


I am 32 years old and married for the last seven years but I have not conceived so far. I have normal periods at regular intervals with normal blood flow. Then what is the reason that I am infertile? Please advise. Having normal periods in any woman of child-bearing age does not confer on her automatic fertility. It only means that your body is adhering to the normal hormonal pattern which governs the release of ovum. But there can be other causes like blockage or impaired movements of your fallopian tubes. In addition, some women have endometrioses which might be the cause of infertility. But help in your case can come only from your doctor who has to investigate you thoroughly for your problem.

I am 30 years old and married. I get quite a pain when having sex. This problem has arisen only for the last few months. Please advise. What you suffer from is called vaginismus where the sex act becomes painful. It is due to chronic pelvic inflammation, lack of lubrication in the vagina and the use of certain drugs. Your doctor can check for any such problem like chronic infection which might be lingering there and treat you accordingly.

I am 30 years old and recently noticed a small swelling on my private parts. My doctor says they are genital warts. What are they? Please advise. Genital warts are sexually transmitted and are caused by the human papilloma virus. These may appear alone and/or in clusters. These are caused by viruses and are



I am 20 years old. It is quite a fashion to get a tattoo. I am thinking of getting one. Is there any risk involved? Please advise. Getting a tattoo depends more on the whims of the person. Medically the only problem is introduction of infection (if the instruments are not properly sterilised). The main risk is catching hepatitis, AIDS and tetanus from contaminated needles. So be cautious and take proper precautions before you go for tattooing.


I am 30 years old and slightly on the obese side. I recently read that coffee can help reduce weight. Please advise. Coffee drinking has its own benefits, provided it is taken in moderation. It is a mild stimulant and may suppress your appetite but this is only temporary. If your are really interested in reducing your weight, you have to follow the routine of diet control and an exercise programme. There is no short cut to it. — Dr S. N. Khosla, MD.

An artist who progresses with the process of introspection.
By Our Correspondent




assing era is witnessing great changes as time has been seeing it since nobody in existence. By the development or (advancement of complexities) in living and nonliving, humans appeared and so their witty or confused mind generated nonliving men representing machines. Thereafter mankind’s closeness with nature (sincere and genuine) had begun to far to farther. Though man

is just a creation of nature like all other creatures. How are humans becoming machines – more or less – it is well shown by Pratibha Singh with her brush. And her art works are not only of juxtapositions of man and material but this also reflexes the power of the combination and loneliness of manmachine entities. The paintings showing greenery depicting nature is around us like a mother’s lap for a baby. Pratibha’s recent series, Shape of things to come rightly spreads imagery amalgamation of man and machine in realistic form. Under this theme she evolved some future shots that might be far from us but not from our coming generations. Pratibha’s work is neither futuristic nor science fiction but she has used a vision to compound contrary elements. In her hands the organic and the inorganic are brought into bedlock apart from human-cumanimal forms. After all, art is for our introspection, retrospection, so that we float with our emotions of fear and wonder, and what not in order that our awareness expands in freedom. We humans are speculative creatures, and especially so our

Woman’s Era

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In own style: Lord Shiva’s creature worshipping by heart only.

April (First) 2009


vanguard, the artists who exercise their imagination to the hilt. It is so this artist invents, not superrealistic images, but an evolutionary artistic designs. Born and brought up in Varanasi, Pratibha has well realisation of “Vedic mantra enchanting” and brass bells with drums enthralling sound. Pouring the energy of incantations into society, Pratibha spread out the visuals on the mantras in unique 3-D forms under the theme Mask of Tranquillity . The visuals with this theme are like multicoloured carvings that communicate with us how rich our spiritual culture and art are. In addition, it propagates that when art, imagination, technologies and spirituality are added up excellence emerges. And it spreads out enthusiasm and tranquillity. She isn’t a graduate in the art. But the most vital tender heart of imagination was with her since childhood. Later, joining Triveni Kala Sangam and getting guidance under Guruji Rameshwar Broota helped her in shaping the lines and refining the imagination’s visuals on canvas. She takes out some time from busy schedule for Woman’s Era. Excerpts of the talk:

resemble. It’s not a negative idea disse mi nating work. At last, it is evaluated in the beholders eyes. So I let it on to you to analyse. “Shapes of things to come” is the theme that’s the folder contains the imagery visuals about much mechanical mankind.

How did you get into the field of art or painting? My childhood was spent in Varanasi’s spiritual-ritual-maintaining family so I grew up in the vibrations of sloka chanting. It was enthralling as my tender mind began to mull over energetic elements present in the environment. Imaginary unseen but deeply realised matters opened to arise in my mind. How did you get a grip on a brush despite having no degree in art? Practice makes one perfect. After marriage I spent a long time in greens of North-eastern India. Living in a naturally rich and calm place infused inner sense of art and I took out time to do painting. Wandering in hills and bays filled me up with a lot of energy and vitality. After settling in Delhi I joined Triveni Kala Sangam and got training by Rameshwar Broota. I am greatly obligated to Broota-sir. I learnt pragmatism and fine class of art from Broota sir. So I didn’t need a degree to splash my thoughts. What about other works in art? My last series was Mask of Tranquillity in which inscriptions of mantras with the image of Lord Shiva have been shown. It radiates rays of energy and calmness. I depicted mantras in different shapes and the radiation. Naturally, I had to give back what I took from spirituality and We art; and I did so.

Metal human and animals! What does it mean to commoners? It’s a cultivation of my imagination about humans and their coming up of mechanical nature. It’s neither a future prediction like an astrologer nor about morphological changes that is going to happen to us. It is rather an outcome of mental reading of people around us in cities who are not a machine but their mode of working and sorting out matters is like a machine. But, at last it is you the beholders to understand it. One thing I am quite clear about it is that the essence of particular visuals are much realised if one mulls over oneself and coming generations. Joints and heavy metal look giant and robust! And what is the theme of your works? It propagates a large quantum of energy. Enthusiasm and boldness


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About the artist Asif Iqbal Khan Ph: 9419547993, 0194-2428151 E-mail:asifoart@yahoo.mail.com B.F.A. from Kashmir University B.Sc.-I from Kashmir University 6-month course in documentary films from Wide Angle Films Production House. Participation: Annual State Art Exhibition, Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages from Art competition organised by NZCC (North Zone Cultural Centre), Srinagar. AIFACS, New Delhi. Art Teachers’ Corner, Delhi Public School, Ranipur and Hardwar Awards: First Award by North Zone Cultural Centre, Srinagar 1987. J and K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages 1998; calligraphy 1997 Funkar Cultural Organisation 1998 Appreciation Award for poster on AIDS Academy of Art, Culture and Language 2000 Best Exhibit in Art Teachers’ Corner 2005, 06, 07 Contribution to art by Education Minister (J&K), Best poster by Chief Minister (J&K), Medal for best painting by Vice-Chancellor (UK) Solo shows: Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Srinagar Paintings, drawings and still-lifes, Delhi Public School, Srinagar Group shows: Contemporary Art Foundation, Srinagar, Kashmir. Collections: India, England, Denmark, Croatia. Scholarships: Merit scholarships from Fine Arts College, Srinagar Presently working at DPS, Athwajan, Bypass-Chowk, Srinagar (J&K) India.

...Yet the artist sees a silver lining in every cloud. By Puja Sharma


eautiful is the city when one talks of colours. A vast variety of flowers, chinar leaves, range of hills and mountains and multi coloured gardens of neverending spring. Orange, ochre, red, yellow, crimson, scarlet, and numerous shades of grass and leaves of autumn. White, grey, hazy and transparent – so many shades of snow on mountains. So vast a variety of unseen hues, comprising an enchanting place none other than Kashmir – a paradise on earth is proved by the paintings of Asif Iqbal Khan a very young and sensitive artist from Srinagar in Kashmir. Born and brought up in such a lovely place, where beauty is the good food

to nurish the soul of some and at the same time kills the desire to live, of other heartless people, who want to destroy nature and its creation, Asif very successfully portrays both the angles of the events taking place in his surroundings in the vale of beauty. Nature is the best source of inspiration for an artist to express his feelings and emotions. We can not create or draw natural objects or things as perfectly as they had been already created. However, we can appreciate nature or beauty on the basis of our own interpre tations and percep tions. But for every type of work or meditation, we definitely need to have peace of mind which is very important. When this peace of mind gets

Disturbance – painting by Asif Iqbal Khan.

disturbed by any means it disturbs an artist’s mind. When the mind gets disturbed, the situation becomes unbalanced. So it becomes a big issue for an artist to revolt against these disturbing and unbalancing circumstances. A very young artist Asif Iqbal Khan paints whatever he observes spite of the fact that an artist, who is the real lover of nature, always tries to create a piece of art which gives pleasure rather than pain and agony. The artist says, “I’m feeling very sorry for the prevailing conditions of my valley. My valley, once upon a time, was known as the paradise on earth, the symbol of love, peace, brotherhood, and what not! Everyone is sad, worried, tense and trapped in anxiety. It is said that an artist is more sensitive than a normal person, he quickly gets the impressions of any incident. “My works are actually the expressions and reflections of the

of time...” comments Arshia Malik. Excerpts from an interview:

What is your philosophy of art? Art for me is the source to control and balance the internal energies with the help of speaking lines and colours. Art acts as a second arm of a balance or a scale to equalise the cultural feelings and emotions... Which are your favourite colours and mediums of paint? Blue and white and I paint in oil and acrylic. How do you react to criticism? For me criticism acts as a strong energy source. It makes a person more confident and presentable provided you are constructive and positive. How do you develop an idea for a composition for your painting? Deep study and observation click my mind to develop an idea for my composition on the basis of my perception and interpretation. But I still remember it was a long way back in my childhood, when I often used to scribble with my charcoal pieces taken from the kandi (fire-pot) on the walls of my classroom. I was often punished for this as they thought I was making the walls dirty. That piece of desire developed in me earnestly and till today it has made me a developed artist – an artist with creation. I think a painting without emotion is a body without soul. Is art for art’s sake? If your really paint with dedication and a strong feeling, people will automatically appreciate you and purchase your painting. Art should be for art’s sake if you are a real painter. My dream is to make my own identity as a painter at international level. Anything for the new artists? The only secret is to spend more time in nature, love your colours and We play with them.

prevailing conditions of our valley.” “One can see and observe clearly the impressions of disturbance, disorder of colours, lines and forms. I am feeling that the original, real and beautiful shape of our valley is lost and de-shaped. Let’s hope and pray for the best and peaceful future of our valley.” Asif is deeply pained and brings that out in his paintings yet feels happiest when he makes his paintings speak for him. He loves to see the figurative paintings of Raphael and Dutch artist Vermeer and the sculpture of Michelangelo the legendary old master of art a good ideal. “Asif’s drawings, especially the hand and the feet imprints, bring up the minds and the desperation that each of us feels in the valley today, but at the same time it gave hope that they were not missing at all from his works or their size had not decreased as had the figures in his paintings like tiny beings powerless before the tides of time. For this in itself is evident that despite all the turmoil he still wants to leave his mark on the sands Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009

About the artist Bhumika Takshak Qualifications: B.F.A., (International College for Girls, Jaipur, 2005. M.F.A., Rajasthan School of Arts, Jaipur, 2007). Participation: National Exhibition of Art, Lalit Kala Akademy, New Delhi 2006. Annual Art Exhibition, Rajasthan Lalit Kala Akademy, Jaipur 2005-07. All India Art Contest and Exhibition, South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur 2003-05-06. All India Exhibition of Arts, the Indian Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar 2007. ‘SAMHITA’, a national-level seminarcum-workshop, New Delhi 2006. Students’ art competition, Rajasthan Lalit Kala Akademy, Jaipur 2003. Ravi Jain Annual Exhibition, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi 2006-08. 117th All India Annual Art Exhibition, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai. 80-81th Annual All India Art Exhibition, AIFACS, New Delhi 2009. Award: Rajasthan Lalit Kala Akademy, Jaipur, 2007. Solo shows: AIFACS, New Delhi 2008. Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi , 2009. Hirji Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2009. Two-person shows: Sukriti Art Gallery, Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur 2006. Welcom Art Gallery, Rajputana Palace Shereton, Jaipur 2007. Group shows: ‘Aabha’, Ankan Art Foundation (Mumbai), AIFACS, New Delhi 2008. Samanavi Art Gallery, Jaipur 200506-07. Gallery One, Gurgaon 2007. Camps: Organised by Shangrila Art Gallery (Trivendrum) at Samrat Hotel, New Delhi.
Email:bhumi_takshak@rediffmail.com Website:www.studiorameshwaram.com

“To be with the painting” – great masters of olden days enable me to connect to that period, feels the artist, Bhumika Takshak. By Puja Sharma




magination beyond limits – no boundaries – paintings in which; you travel to a place one can only dream of. An artist none other than Bhumika Takshak, a very young and egoistic, person, living in the world of dreams, accompanying the most famous art world of the masters of the past. An artist whose dream is to be in the Arts News of the London Times . May her dreams come true one day. Excerpt from an interview: Say something about your life. I belong to an artistic family. My father, Rameshwar Singh, is a renowned artist from Rajasthan. Since child hood, I had a keen interest in painting because my father always used to give me small canvases, paper, paints and brushes. I am very

thankful to him as he helped me in choosing the right profession. And my mother, who is a housewife, always supported my father and me. She would not let me do my household chores if my show is very close! And my parents’ and sisters’ love and support enabled me to become a good artist. I have four older sisters and all are married. I did my MFA from Rajasthan School of Arts, Jaipur in 2007 under our head of the department and wellknown artist Vidhyasagar Upadhyay, who has really helped me in developing new ideas.

What is your philosophy of art? Art is the expression of ‘self’. My works consist of experiments on the works of famous western artists like

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Bhumika with Monalisa and her sister.

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Pablo Picasso, vanGogh, Leonardo Da Vinci and others accompanied by my self-portraits. Since the beginning, I have been attracted to the works of these artists. And to be with the greatest artists of the world and affection for them really gives me pleasure and my dream of their company takes me to those centuries or brings them to this century. It’s a unique and eternal experience indeed! We have so many great Indian artists. But since the very beginning I am attracted to western masters who created history in the world of art. And their tragic lives inspired me to study more about them, and to begin my paintings with the elements of world popular paintings.

which is very different or something that is not real or you have never seen before! Why should I paint something common like what is around us. I don’t like to paint poor and hungry people or terror because these things always scare us. Then why should we paint it? Paintings should give peace or make us smile! My father always encourages me whenever I paint. I always have interactions with my father on art.

Which are your favourite colours and mediums? I like bright colours in my paintings which are, of course, derived from our Indian culture! I like all the colours especially red, green, black and white and I paint in acrylic. What is your style of painting? My work takes forth from the ‘pop art’ technique, which attempts to reinterpret and reproduce works done by other artists. The Introduction of old masters in my works is linking me with the glory of the past and with today’s touch of modernism. I wish to create highly imaginative and
dramatic space both for my satisfaction as well as for the spectators. Flowers, scripts, drawings and self-portraits form valuable elements in my paintings which intend to blend the past and the present, the east and the west... I wish to stay forever with my art stuffs like colours, palettes and brushes and the love for the masters!

What is your source of inspiration? My first inspiration is, of course, my father. As in every painting of mine you will see a ‘newspaper’ kind of script, an important element of my paintings. This gives textural effect as well as my interest in writing something about the western artist and me. And sometimes, I make their famous paintings’ drawings in it. How do you gather ideas to compose a painting? I love making self-portraits! As I love fashion, I try to make it very creative with flowery hair-styles, tattoos and fashionable dress or something! Some faces are even mask-like or funny to give a smile onto the face of the viewer and myself! I give coats and coats of paint on the canvas till it gives textural effect and depth. I paint whatever strikes me. I love flowers. And they are always part of my compositions. I just want to become a good artist knowing I’ll have to work harder and harder. And I’ll do it. When I was three or four years old, my father gave me paper and a pencil. And I used to make forms with scratches! He used to get very happy. And as I grew younger I developed an interest in painting. When and where are your coming shows? I have two solo shows this year. One is from 25 March – 4 April 2009 at Triveni Gallery, Delhi. And the second is from 20 to 26 April at Hirji We Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.

How do you react to criticism? When people criticise my works as very similar to my dad’s, I just smile and say ‘when you work with another artist in his studio for long, his impression would definitely be seen in your works!’ And I don’t feel bad about it. I always wish to create something
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CAPITALat hit-Ch C
Food is not simple any more, technology has overtaken many aspects of it, yet international exposure is something we all need. Not just for cuisine but the machines that make many things simpler and for products constantly launched internationally. The recently organised Aahar exhibition which is an annual affair now, at the India International Trade Fair Centre was bigger than ever before and had lots of stuff for the businessman to select from. For the consumer, though the charm lay not in the refrigeration and cleaning machines and other equipment but in a different hall which had all kinds of food on display – ranging from coconut products from India to internationally made gold varq and gold plated balls and other shapes to put on your food to make it visually appealing. Barista – the coffee place we are all familiar by now – is actually the Italian word for somebody who makes coffee! So, we had two Baristas, one a young man in his late twenties and the other a more mature man who had won many international competitions, showcasing their art in making coffee designs in a cappuccino. But coffee in Italy and France is not just that frothy cappuccino but there are other options. Including the espresso shot which is barely a mouthful, dark, aromatic, and so satisfying as to invigorate the most flagging spirit. These Baristas know how to make over a hundred designs over the cappuccino froth with just a shake of a hand and sprinkle of the powder. They will hopefully train the guys who work for Indian chains and we will soon have a smiling panda in our cup. Other imported goods like olives, pates, sauces and pasta were showcased by respective importers to make them more popular. At the counter of Rodaji who supplies these goodies to many hotels and restaurants, the crowd got to taste artichokes and cakes from Italy, fruits stuffed with goat cheese from Austria and other products from Germany. It is definitely a gourmet’s delight to visit such places and the four day event, just before Holi was indeed well attended.

Anoushka Shankar is a lucky young girl to have Ravi Shankar for a father. Yes, she too is a talented sitarist with other attributes of being an actor and a dancer as well, but as a sitar player, her support from her father is indeed her good fortune. The father and daughter duo often play to a packed audience and the performance in Delhi at the open-air Nehru Park was organised by Spic Macay and attended by almost two lakh people who were enthralled by the evening. The event was soon followed by her solo performance. Anoushka has been nominated twice for the Grammy and will surely rise further in her career. For her performance without her father, Anoushka kicked off the evening with a song dedicated to women as it was the “International Women’s Day”. There was an uplifting flamenco number, a song written in collaboration with Nitin Swanhey titled Charu Keshi Rain , and a host of songs based on ragas composed by her father all culminating in a track based on raga jog. For all those who believe that any shopping mall is just a place for shops and restaurants and about money, this was an interesting change. The line-up that played in citywalk night was a truly multinational one, consisting of musicians from Delhi, Kolkata,

Overview of the hall with the food exhibition.


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Anoushka Shankar enthralls.

Bangalore, California and Michigan. While playing, they had the crowded entrance enough to get them a standing ovation at the end of the show even Pandit Ravi Shankar, was full of praises for his daughter and her band members.

Flowers are the easiest way to add beauty to any space. Arrangement of cut flowers in a beautiful manner is definitely an art that has been established by the Japanese and is called ikebana. To popularise this art there is the Ikebana International , which is a worldwide organisation founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1956. With a motto of “Friendship through flowers” this non-profit cultural organisation now boasts of over 10,000 members in more than 50 countries. Its members are dedicated to the promotion of mutual understating and friendship through ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arrangement. Traditional ikebana , an ancient Japanese art form of flower arrange ment, is extremely formalised, following rigid rules. How ever, modern ikebana , which began about a hundred years ago, allows more spontaneity. A skilled ikebana arranger can create compositions of utmost simplicity through the use of flowers along with branches, leaves and dried materials. The emphasis is on creating beautiful, symmetrical lines and harmony of colour, combining them with a container appropriate to

the material used and the style of the arrangement. An ikebana arrange ment strives to perfect the balance between the various materials used to give a pleasurable view from all angles. The Delhi chapter was formed in 1965. Its members have participated in various national and international conferences and exhibitions. It also organises an annual exhibition, which has become a major event in Delhi’s cultural calendar. Its annual show in Delhi allowed a larger number of people to enjoy the arrangements. With a theme of Spring is in the Air, the exhibition featured the use of a large variety of flowers and blossoms which are available at this time of the year. The two-day exhibition allowed many people to admire it and the President-Ikebana International, Delhi Chapter, Neera Makhija, and the exhibition chairperson Asha Wadhwa, were very happy with the entries and the response they got from admiring women, men and even children.

Dance is some thing that might take years to practise if you follow the traditional and classical form but the formal dance of waltz and

Ikebana - the art with flowers
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ballroom dancing is something we have all admired in English films. However, to enjoy it in India is a dream come true. Austria and India are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations in 2009 and as part of that an event held in Delhi and Mumbai won many a sight of pleasure. On this special occasion the Austrian Embassy together with the Austrian Cultural Forum, New Delhi invited the Vienna Chamber Orchestra (35 musicians) with the conductor Joji Hattori for a concert tour through India performing in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Shillong, Bangalore, Mysore, Goa and Pune. In addition to the concerts, Viennese balls were held in Delhi and Mumbai featuring the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. In Mumbai they went ahead with a special package including overnight and airport transfer arranged with the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai, though in Delhi it was simply at the Hyatt. People could get a pass for a donation of INR 3,500 per person. The charity ball was organised for the benefit of the Austrian project "ZuKi" (Future for Children) project for street children in Kolkata, so it was all for a good cause as well. In order to prepare for the Viennese ball and enjoy the ballroom dancing with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and a dance orchestra from Austria, a workshop was arranged which offered free dance lessons by the Austrian dance instructors Heinz and Karin Grossmann from Vienna for those who were interested. There was the option of a refresher course for dancing for guests who had prior knowledge of dancing as well as beginner courses. Traditionally the Viennese ball should be opened by debutants, though in reality this formality had to be done away with in India. Yet, it’s a charming event, unusual for us in India but an annual event in a world where it was a place for the young to meet and arrange courtship followed by marriage for a lucky few. – Sona Sharma.

Dr. Vijay Kakkar M.S, M.ch, F.I.C.S

placed within the natural creases in front, within, and behind the ear. After adequate tightening of the deeper structures, excess skin is removed from both sides and the incisions are carefully repaired. The finest sutures is used for closure of incisions, which in most individuals will usually fade to a barely visible thin line. a deep-plane facelift is the same as a mini-lift or S-lift, and bruising is often less, since the work is being performed at a deeper level. This type of facelift may also be combined with other facial procedures such as blepharoplasty, brow lift, or laser resurfacing.

How does the face age? As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and gives in to gravity. This causes sagging of the neck and jaw line as well as loose folds of skin around the mouth. Some people may also develop fatty collections under the chin, and others get thick cords under the skin of the neck. Today, men and women in their 50s and 60s are healthier, more active, and more productive than ever before. What can a facelift achieve? A facelift can reverse many features of the ageing face and neck. The most dramatic improvement is seen in the jawline and the neck. A facelift may be combined with other procedures to help maintain facial balance and harmony.







After adequate tightening of the deeper layers, the skin is redraped and excess skin is carefully trimmed and meticulously sutured along the incision lines. This results in improvement of the laxity of the jawline and contour of the neck.

What is the best age to have a facelift? One of the biggest questions our patients ask is about timing of this procedure. Some worry that if they have the procedure too soon they may want to repeat it again later in life, while others worry that if they wait too long they may be beyond help. Most of our patients coming in for face and neck-lift procedures are in their late 40s to late 50s. They have started to show early sagging of the face and neck and are trying to be proactive about maintaining their youthful appearance. Typically, face and neck-lift procedures can set back the clock by about 8-10 years. Although aging will continue, you will always look better for your age than if you had not had the surgery. Face and neck-lift procedures can be safely repeated in 8-10 year intervals. What is a deep-plane facelift? It is ideal for most individuals in their late 40s or older who wish to have a long-lasting improvement of their ageing face and neck. The procedure involves a thorough tightening of the sagging muscles of the lower face and neck, and can be custom tailored to the specific needs of each person. The recovery time for

What is a mini-lift or s-lift? An S-lift or mini-lift is a technique of lifting the face with limited incisions and minimal skin removal. Patients with relatively minimal laxity (typically early to mid 40s) may be good candidates for this procedure. However, because of the limited incisions and more conservative tightening and skin removal, this technique is not as effective as a deep-plane facelift for rejuvenation of more advanced sagging of the lower face, jaws, and neck. Most individuals in their 50s and 60s with more advanced laxity are therefore not good candidates for this procedure as they will not receive the lasting benefits of a facelift. Because of its relative technical ease and minimally invasive nature, the S-lift or mini-lift is popular among many non-surgeons who perform plastic surgery. What is a ‘weekend lift’? This procedure allows the sagging neck tissues to be tightened through a very small incision under the chin. Excess fat can be removed and neckbands can be improved. Because no skin is removed, there is no need for incisions around the ears.
Dr. Vijay Kakkar M.B.B.S, M.S, M.ch, F.I.C.S Is a Senior Consultant plastic and cosmetic surgery with Max hospital and Mata Chanan Devi hospital, New delhi. Email: kakarclinic@hotmail.com Mobile:0-9811079483

Where exactly are the facelift incisions made and how visible are they? Facelift incisions are carefully


Scared to travel because of motion sickness? Follow these tips.
By Dr Kiran Bala


otion sickness is a nightmare for travellers who are susceptible to it. It can occur when the sensory inputs about body position contradict what is expected. Motion sickness can be provoked by abrupt changes in movement such as occur during bumpy rides, turbulent flights and rough seas. It can also occur when one is exposed to moving visual scenes while the body is in a relatively fixed state. According to experts, almost everyone will get motion sickness if the conditions are extreme enough. But generally about one-third of the population is highly susceptible to motion sickness, a third experiences it in fairly rough conditions and the other third becomes sick only in Woman’s Era

extreme conditions. Some groups seem particularly susceptible to motion sickness including children aged three-12 years, people who experience migraine, and women particularly during menstruation and pregnancy. A large study (535 subjects) done in India, found the prevalence of motion sickness was about 27 per cent. The first documented evidence of motion sickness is in ancient Greek literature from the early days of seafaring history. And it is interesting to note that the English word nausea comes from the Greek word for ship (naus), which is also the origin of the word “nautical”. Features: All of us have probably had some form of motion sickness at one time or the other. It is an acute condition of medical distress that results in skin pallor, restlessness


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and cold sweat. It often starts as stomach discomfort. In later stages, nausea, excessive salivation and vomiting occur. The degree of symptoms depends upon the susceptibility of the person and intensity of stimuli.

The precise aetiology is a mystery but there are some theories: ● Classic sensory conflicts: Motion sickness occurs when there is a mismatch of messages delivered by vestibular receptors, eyes and proprioreceptors in the skin muscles and other tissues. Sensory signals conflict with each other and the brain’s positional memory. As an example, if you are travelling in a car and reading a book, your inner ear and skin receptors will detect that you are moving forward. However, your eyes are looking at a book that isn’t moving and your muscle receptors are telling your brain that you are sitting still. So the brain gets a little confused. Things may begin to appear a little scrambled inside your head – and you get motion sickness.
● Postural instability theory: In experiments, it was found that motion sickness was usually preceded by a statistically significant increase in several indices of postural sway. In these cases, motion sickness symptoms were not linked to sensory conflict, but rather to a decreased ability to actively control body’s postural motion.

occupation where he or she uses machinery. In such cases, biofeedback training and relaxation and cognitive behaviour therapy can be useful. Biofeedback training and relaxation: In a study of 55 pilots who had to stop flying due to symptoms of motion sickness 76 per cent of them successfully overcame their motion sickness and returned to work after food, drink and alcohol before and during travel. Eat a light meal no less than three hours before exposure. Avoid excessive alcohol, smoking and disagreeable odours. Avoid dairy products and foods high in protein calories and sodium before starting the journey. ● Stay occupied to distract your mind from thinking about motion sickness. ● Avoid visual stimuli (reading, watching videos) as they make you more prone to motion sickness. ● Choose a seat where you will experience the least motion. Do not sit facing backwards from your direction of travel. When travelling by car, it helps if you keep your gaze fixed on the horizon or look at a distant point. ● Reduce anxiety and fear. Some individuals are naturally prone to motion sickness but fear or anxiety can promote symptoms. ● Isolate yourself from others who may be suffering from motion sickness. Hearing about motion sickness or seeing others becoming ill can sometimes make you feel ill yourself. ● Limit head movements (for example pressing your head into the headrest). ● Increase ventilation or exposure to cool, fresh air.

While medication may be an acceptable treatment for travellers who experience motion sickness occasionally, the goal for individuals who experience motion sickness on a regular basis or whose work is affected by their symptoms is to learn to control and eventually prevent these symptoms.

Medications should be taken after consulting your physician: Medications for motion sickness may cause drowsiness and impair judgement and therefore should be avoided by pilots, astronauts, ship crew-members and any person in the
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participating in a biofeedback training and relaxation programme. Pilots were exposed to a stimulus that caused motion sickness (sitting in a tilting rotating chair). While sitting in the chair the pilot performed various relaxation techniques such as deep muscles relaxation and mental imagery. After some time when the pilots were habituated to the rotating chair, they no longer felt sick because they learnt to relax in it. Cognitive behaviour therapy: The goal of this therapy is to alleviate the anxiety that some people experience simply thinking about motion sickness. In a study of 50 pilots who occasionally experienced motion sickness, 86 per cent of them successfully overcame their symptoms after cognitive behaviour therapy. Breathing technique: Taking slow, deep breaths can reduce symptoms. Have a safe and happy travel!

How to prevent motion sickness ● Watch your consumption of

April (First) 2009

These ruins of the ancient dwellings of American Indians give one a fascinating glimpse of a unique culture.
By Partha De Sarkar


hile checking for the history of the American Indians, I came across the word ansazi and saw some spectacular pictures of a Stone Age civilisation that existed between 650 AD and 1300 AD. My knowledge of Spanish was enough to tell me that Mesa Verde meant “green table.” The Mesa Verde National Park is one of the oldest national parks in the world and celebrated 100 years as a National Park in June 2006. It is the first site to be included as a Cultural Heritage Site National Park in the UNESCO list of 1976. The Mesa Verde National Park consists of mountain valleys and at times viewpoints reach the height of 8,500 ft. We were in Mesa Verde in May Woman’s Era

when it was warm in the daytime and cool in the evening.

We drove from Colorado to the Mesa Verde National Park. The entrance to the park is nine miles east of Cortez on the US Highway 160. On day one, we decided to visit the two most important ruins, Balcony House and Cliff Palace. After breakfast, we started to climb the mountains after first going to the visitors’ centre where we bought tickets costing $3 per person. The tour started at 11 am and our guide was ranger Pete Morrison. The culture represented at Mesa Verde reflects more than 700 years of history. From approximately 600 AD through 1300 AD people lived and flourished in communities


April (First) 2009

throughout the area, eventually building elaborate stone villages in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls. Today, most people call these sheltered villages “cliff dwellings.” The cliff dwellings represent the last 75 to 100 years of occupation at Mesa Verde. In the late 1200s within the span of one or two generations, the people left their homes and moved away due to drought. Balcony House is built under a rock at an altitude of 600 feet above the canyon floor. It consists of about 35 to 40 rooms where people lived around 1200 AD. As with most cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde it was only inhabited for about 75 to 100 years. Balcony House’s stones, cement and plaster are still the original ones. This holds true for all cliff dwellings. The most important places in an Anasazi community is the Balcony House or the so-called kivas. In the language of the Hopi Indians, kivas. means ceremonial room.” A kiva is a circular room within the ground with a roof made of wood and clay. In the middle of the roof there is a hole that serves as a chimney. This hole also holds a ladder to enter and leave the kiva. The kivas were used by the Indians for all kinds of ceremonials and social meetings and also as a sleeping place. They also prayed there for rain, good crops, successful hunts and early healing when someone fell ill in the community. The water supply in Balcony House is via a seep-through spring, that is caused by rain and the water seeps through the soft sandstone. The exit from Balcony House was as spectacular as the one to enter it. After the tunnels we had to climb a number of ladders again to resurface.

notable and best preserved in the USA. To reach Cliff Palace, we first had to descend via a number of ladders. We could see that the Cliff Palace was larger than the Balcony House. It has 217 rooms and 23 kivas. There was however no running water as in Balcony House. Inhabitants had to climb down to the river to fetch water. Leaving Cliff Palace was also via a number of wooden ladders and narrow stone steps. From Cliff Palace we went to the Spruce Tree Terrace where we had our lunch. Then we descended to Spruce Tree House, another cliff dwelling. This was built between 1200 AD and 1276 AD and it has 114 rooms and eight kivas. A number of them have roofs and one is open for the tourists. We went back the same way we came and we drove to the Far View Ruins. These were the houses of the Indians before they started to build the cliff dwellings. At the museum near the park headquarters, we learnt that in its hey day, Mesa Verde supported over 50,000 inhabitants. By way of comparison, at the same time in Europe, London and Paris only had about 30,000 inhabitants each. On day two, we went through the rest of the ruins that we saw while at Mesa Verde. The Badger House Community Ruins hike was very pleasant as it went through the woods. Pueblo Indian ruins here are old and really weather-beaten. Then we travelled to the top of the mesa where we reached Cedar Tree Tower, one of the several towers discovered at Mesa Verde. Adjacent to the Cedar Tree Tower area was the

Before we left for the Cliff Palace, Pete again explained that the archaeological sites found in Mesa Verde were some of the most

trailhead for the Farming Terrace Trail. Along the trail we saw a good example of an ancestral Puebloan farming terrace. On taking this walk we learnt more about how farming was accomplished 800 years ago. Our next destination was the Sun Temple. According to modern Pueblo Indians, the Sun Temple’s features classify it as a ceremonial structure. The symmetrically planned D-shaped building was never completed, yet its size alone points to the amount of labour that went into its construction. The stones were shaped and given a dimpled, flat surface by the builders of the structure. Although never completed, the Sun Temple reflects a great construction effort by the people who once lived at Mesa Verde. The Mesa Verde National Park gave us a really fascinating look into the lives of the ancestral Pueblo people. Twenty-four native American tribes in the south-west have an ancestral affiliation with the sites at Mesa Verde. For more information regarding facilities and centennial, visitors can write to: Mesa Verde National Park PO Box 8 Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330-0008 Email: Mesa Verde National Park Getting to Mesa Verde National Park: The closest international airport is Denver, Colorado, and there are smaller airports in Cortez, Durango, Pueblo and Colorado Springs. One has to travel to Mesa Verde National Park by car from these airports. Several roadway networks connect the National Park with the rest of the USA. Places to stay: At the closest town of Cortez the Sand Canyon Inn At Durango, the Spanish Trail Motel At Dolores the Laughing Coyote Lodge At Mancos the Enchanted Mesa Motel There is a camping ground inside the We park.

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1 Q 2 Q 3 Q

I am very needy.
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I fall in love almost overnight.
a. Most of the time. b. Some of the time. c. Hardly ever.

When I fall in love, I obsess. I can’t help myself.
a. Some of the time. b. Most of the time. c. Hardly ever.

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4 Q 5 Q 6 Q 7 Q

When I am looking for a relationship, I will get involved with almost anyone who shows interest in me.
a. Hardly ever b. Most of the time. c. Some of the time.

8 Q 9 Q 10 Q 11 Q

I either trust the wrong person, or I can’t trust at all.
a. Hardly ever b. Most of the time. c. Some of the time.

I tend to smother my partners.
a. Some of the time. b. Most of the time. c. Hardly ever.

When a relationship ends, I feel as if my life is over.
a. Some of the time. b. Most of the time. c. Hardly ever.

I will hold onto a relationship no matter how unhealthy it is or what the cost.
a. Most of the time. b. Some of the time. c. Hardly ever.

When a relationship ends, I want to kill myself.
a. Hardly ever. b. Some of the time. c. Most of the time.

I always fall in love with the wrong people.
a. Hardly ever. b. Some of the time. c. Most of the time.

I take on more than my share of responsibility for the survival of a relationship.
a. Hardly ever. b. Some of the time. c. Most of the time.

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Kuttan’s Parents
When 10-year-old Kuttan unexpectedly learns he is an adopted child, he undergoes a near-traumatic experience.
By Betty Paul Thottam


uttan’s world lay shattered. In his 10 years on this earth, his life had been normal in every way, or so he thought. There were the usual tiffs with friends, trouble with his parents over small misdemeanours and very, very rarely an upset with his little sister Ammini. Now that was all over. By overhearing a conversation, his secure world had tumbled. He had returned home early from school with a slight fever. He heard voices in his father’s office and nearly entered, when he heard a strange voice say, “Well, after all, Kuttan is my son.” He stopped short and instinctively hid behind the door. He listened with bated breath, praying that his daddy would deny the statement. With a sick feeling, he heard his father say, “Yes, but...” Not able to bear any more he slipped away to his room. There, he sat unhappily on the window sill and looked out onto the road, his mind in a whirl. He did not know what to think. As he sat looking out, he saw the stranger open the gate and walk out of the compound.

Kuttan saw with a feeling of familiarity, the face of the stranger. It suddenly struck him that the man looked familiar because he resembled Kuttan himself. So it was true, what he had overheard! Without a coherent thought, Kuttan ran out of his room, out of the house and followed the man. He thought he heard his mother’s voice calling out to him but he paid no heed. When he caught up with the stranger, he slackened his pace. So they proceeded for some time, the stranger in front and Kuttan following him, until they reached a poor locality. The stranger suddenly whirled around and grabbed Kuttan by the arm. “Did they send you to spy on me?” he demanded roughly. Kuttan tried to pull away but the vice-like grip was too strong. “No, I did on my own,” he replied. Seeing Kuttan’s expression of candour, the stranger decided to change his tactics. In a soft voice be asked, “Do you know who I am? Why did you follow me?” Kuttan was taken aback by the change of tone, “I overheard you say that you are my father and daddy agreed with you. So I just came.” The stranger patted Kuttan on the head, “Yes, Kuttan, I am your father. I am a poor man, your daddy’s cousin. I had borrowed money from him and could not return it. He threatened me and demanded that I give you up or return his money. You were only a month old when I gave you up. Your mother and I long to see you, but they don’t let us. If you come with me, you can see your amma”. The stranger continued in a serious tone, “I have nothing against your daddy and mummy. However, call us appen and amma, for we are your real parents and we prefer the native ways of speech. Let us leave westernisation to the rich.” Changing the topic, the stranger said that his name was Verghese and described his job and spoke charmingly and humorously of the rigours of
The revelation to Kuttan that he was the adopted son, magnified the conviction of his ill-treatment by his foster parents.

poverty. Kuttan was completely mesmerised. He thought Verghese to be the most marvellous person he had ever known. Verghese then brought the topic around to Kuttan’s life with his daddy and mummy. He hinted that they must be more loving to Ammini, since Kuttan was only an adopted son. Verghese also hinted that Kuttan’s foster parents had not told him that he was an adopted child for some dark and evil reason. Subtly, he poisoned the child’s mind against his foster parents, painting himself at the same time in heroic hues.


hastily took Kuttan around the house, all along keeping up a string of cheerful talk. When dinner was ready the woman called Verghese and Kuttan. She served them and did not have much to say to Kuttan. After dinner, Verghese told Kuttan that he must be tired and should rest. “We can discuss serious matters in the morning. Go to sleep now. You are safe with us. Are we not your real parents?” So saying, he showed Kuttan the room he was to sleep in.


nfluenced by this talk, Kuttan now viewed his foster father’s sterness and strict demands to discipline in a new light. Yes, it was due to lack of love, he decided. To Kuttan’s mind, all the little incidents that occur in every family, where one child feels another is more loved, became magnified. He was convinced that he had been treated badly. Kuttan felt he would be happy to follow Verghese to the end of the world. Impulsively, he put out his hand, with a smile. Verghese held on to Kuttan’s hand. So, hand in hand, they walked till they came to a little house. Though small, the house was clean and neat. Verghese knocked on the door. A thin, short woman with a harassed expression on her face, opened the door. Without noticing Kuttan she started a tirade, “Why are you so late? Did that good-for-nothing cousin of yours give you any money?” Kuttan was shaken by the woman’s tone and expression on her face. Could this be his own mother? He thought of his mummy, her sweet face and charming voice. She too can get terribly angry – but what a difference between the two!. Verghese made a warning sign to his wife and then said in a joyful tone, “See, I have brought you something more precious than money! This is Kuttan, our own dear son. Kuttan, this is your amma.” The woman struggled to put up a pleasant front and pretended to be happy to see Kuttan. Her performance was not very convincing, so Verghese


uttan’s foster parents were in misery in the meanwhile. His stern but loving daddy was pacing the floor. His mummy was weeping and had Ammini in her lap. The little girl had cried herself to sleep. None of them were in a mood to eat and the dinner was hardly touched. The police was informed and they were hopefully waiting for the phone to ring. Kuttan for his part lay on the mattress laid out for him on the floor. Though exhausted by the events of the day, he was too excited to relax and fall asleep. He found he was desperately homesick and missed his daddy, mummy and Ammini. His wounded heart kept crying silently, “Why didn’t you tell me I was adopted? How can I ever trust you again? Mummy, daddy, why did you do this to me?” He heard the door to his room creak, someone was coming in. He lay quietly and appeared to be fast asleep. “Kuttan,” Verghese called in a soft voice. Getting no reply, he whispered, “He is asleep.” His wife then said in an angry voice, “All right, I have been patient long enough. Now tell me why you have brought this brat here – don’t we have enough troubles without an extra mouth to feed? What is all this talk of ‘our own dear son’? Since when were your paternal instincts roused? After all, we had him for the sole purpose of selling him to your rich cousin who is incapable of producing a child.”

Woman’s Era

April (First) 2009



tried to run faster. He turned a corner and ran smack At this point, Verghese interrupted her and said, into a policeman. “Keep your voice down or he may wake up. Do you The policeman held on to him and demanded, think I am a fool? By now you should know that I “Where are you running to so fast, you rascal?” don’t do things without good reason. By pretending Then, noticing that it was not a street urchin as he to be a loving father, I have gained Kuttan’s first thought, he asked, “What are you doing in an confidence. I shall use him as a lever to extract money from my cousin. I shall go in a little while and area like this and that too at 10 o’clock at night? Where do you live?” tell them that Kuttan is with us and does not want to Before Kuttan could answer Verghese came on go back. Then I shall say that for a monetary the scene. When he saw the policeman, he tried to consideration, I am willing to persuade him to go turn back. The policeman called out, “Hey, you, back. The fools will pay up, their love for this brat is come here. Do you know this boy? Are you trying to genuine.” harass him in anyway?” Kuttan was struck dumb when he heard this. Verghese glanced at Kuttan. Seeing that the boy ‘What a fool I have been!’ he thought. did not intend saying anything, he said, “I don’t The woman said, “I must say this is a very clever know him. I caught him peeping through the window plan of yours. I hope it works. Do you think Kuttan of my house and chased him. I think he is a little will do what you say?” thief.” “I am sure Kuttan will fall in with us – he seems to The policeman found this hard to believe have inherited our wonderful nature,” and told Kuttan, “Don’t be frightened. If he Verghese said and laughed. Kuttan’s very was bullying you, tell me.” Kuttan shook his soul revolted. head. uttan’s very soul revolted. He felt He felt ashamed “You may go,” said the policeman to ashamed of his foolish behaviour. of his foolish Verghese. Turning to Kuttan, he said, He did not want to be a pawn in this behaviour. He “Come with me. At the station, we can talk dirty game. He decided to run away and did not want to and I will take you home once you tell me somehow earn a living and stay alone, for be a pawn in your address.” how could he go back to his daddy, this dirty game. When they reached the police station, mummy and Ammini? They too would He decided to the inspector in charge was happy to see judge him as bad and ungrateful. the policeman with Kuttan, “Ah! you have Kuttan got up and silently walked to the run away and found him very quickly I must say.” door, he opened it a little and peeped out. somehow earn a Seeing the policeman’s puzzled look, No one was around, he took to his heels living. the inspector continued, “Don’t you know and was out of the house in a second. that there is an all-out alert for this boy? On hearing the sound of The complaint that he is missing and a full the front door open, description came in four hours ago. The parents Verghese and his wife rushed out. have also made radio announcements offering “Stop, Kuttan,” they shouted. He rewards for news of his whereabouts. I will phone paid no heed and ran with all his up your parents now. Don’t worry, boy, they will be might. here in 10 minutes.” With that, the inspector rang Verghese was furious. “Get up and, within 10 minutes, Kuttan’s daddy and me my shirt,” he told his wife. mummy arrived. “That brat will help me in my plan whether he likes it or here was a tearful reunion. Kuttan tried to not. I will bring him back explain matters and asked forgiveness but his and lock him up in the fosterparents were too relieved and happy to room for tonight.” listen. “We will talk things over at home,” they said. Struggling quickly into After thanking the policeman and the inspector his shirt, Verghese gave and duly rewarding them, they left with Kuttan. chase. Kuttan seemed to On reaching home, they asked Kuttan what had have wings on his feet as happened. He explained and ended, “If you had he ran. His heart was told me I was an adopted child it would have been pounding. Verghese was catching up with The realisation to Kuttan that he was merely a him. Sobbing he


pawn in the hands of his greedy real parents, made him ashamed of his foolish behaviour by leaving the sweet home in a huff.

so much better than knowing it this way. I wife were the natural parents. There was a have behaved badly, I know, but I was “Daddy, mummy, what can I say? How tearful reunion. shocked at the revelation.” can I ever be worthy of your love?” Kuttan tried to “Kuttan,” his daddy said, “We are also “Son, we want you to do one thing for explain matters to blame. We wanted to tell you but us,” said his daddy. and asked decided to do so when you are 10 years “Whatever you ask, I will do willingly.” forgiveness but old. A month before your birthday, you “Tell Ammini the whole truth. Coming came from school and told us about a his fosterparents from you, it will be easier for her. Let her friend of yours whose aunty and uncle had were too relieved not run the risk of ever coming to know the adopted him. You said, ‘Poor chap, how truth as you did. Will you do this for us?” and happy to sad to be an adopted child. I am so glad “Yes.” listen. “We will you both are my real parents.’ After “Well, son, now you better go to bed. talk things over hearing that, we decided not to tell you You must be very tired. You sleep in at home,” anything till you are an adult. Now, I feel Ammini’s room tonight. She has cried they said. that we should have told you. Then the hurt herself to sleep and may wake up in the would have been much less to what you middle of the night. If she sees you next to have undergone. Now, coming to the part of loving her, she will be happy.” Ammini more, I want you to read your adoption “Good night, daddy, good night, mummy.” papers and see for yourself what trouble we went “Good night, son.” through to get you.” Kuttan went to sleep next to Ammini. She woke up Kuttan found that his daddy had paid and, on seeing Kuttan, exclaimed, “You are back!” Rs 20,000 as compensation for taking Kuttan from “Yes, now sleep, Ammini.” his father. Kuttan was then shown another paper and As he fell asleep, Kuttan decided that he must tell was stunned to read that Ammini too was Ammini how lucky they are to be adopted by their We adopted on the same terms and Verghese and his mummy and daddy.

The largest and coldest state in the US offers breathtaking vistas of beauty. And a cruise can be unforgettable.
By Amrinder Bajaj


he stark beauty of this icy wilderness as viewed from the deck of the Golden Princess was a gift I would treasure for the rest of my life. Alaska, the name conjured up freezing cold, a snow-submerged landscape and little else. The weather was surprisingly mild, for it was summer and the peak tourist season; the ice had melted in most parts and covered distant mountains in a most enchanting manner. Our ship, the Golden Princess, was a floating palace that glided smoothly over blue waters, leaving a frothy trail behind. I had never been on a cruise before and such opulence took my breath away. Maybe, this was the best but I had no precedent to compare it with. It had 17 floors. Up to deck 4 was reserved for a staff of 1200 people while the 2,800 high end tourists, chiefly Americans, occupied the state-rooms with private balconies from decks 5 to 12. Our rooms were comfortable though the


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April (First) 2009

cubby hole of a bathroom was disappointing. Of course, there was no deck 13 and the 13th floor which was superstitiously called deck 14 was the dining area that served an abundance of food of all varieties round the clock. Salmon was aplenty in early August as they were making their journey back from the sea to spawn at their birthplace and we feasted on salmon cooked in many ways. There were cuisines catering to all tastes and cultures, mounds of exotic fruits and an array of desserts and drinks. In fact, some of the rich, fat wheelchair-ridden tourists came on cruises just for the food and fresh air. comedy and magic shows, musicals and movies. A discotheque, a bar and a casino was available for those so inclined to indulge. The duty-free shops were a shopper’s delight especially, the grand sale on the last day. The shops closed each time we docked for they could not remain duty- free at ports. There was an art gallery that held an auction where beautiful paintings were sold at exorbitant prices. There were playrooms for children who were kept busy with fun-filled activities so that their parents could pursue their own pleasures. The library was well stocked and the most peaceful of all pursuits was to recline on a deck chair facing the sea with an engrossing book. Besides the main dining area ,there were restaurants on various decks that catered to delicate tastes where we sampled fresh mountain snails, calamari, caviar, foie gras , squids and mussels. The 7th floor was called the promenade deck and

The topmost deck gave an excellent view of receding ports, passing ships, hazy hills, approaching land and most of the time a deep blue sea without horizons that threw up an occasional surprise in the form of whales and dolphins! There were four heated swimming pools, two of which were indoors and a pair of Jacuzzis beside each pool. At the theatre were

one could walk around the ship taking in the fresh air and the endless sea in its various moods. It was a deep rich blue in the daytime, a shimmering sheet of silver at sunset and had an inky darkness about it at night. The engines of the ship churned the sea to a boil at the rear. The vessel was indeed a moving city bustling with activity. The first day was spent in acquainting ourselves with our surroundings, swimming, unwinding in the Jacuzzi, feasting on the rich repast and laughing our guts out at the comedy show in the theatre. Being a vomity sort of a person I expected to be sea sick but the

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April (First) 2009


motion of the ship was barely perceptible and I could enjoy its pleasures to the fullest.

Soon we were aboard a sledge to which were harnessed 14 dogs and the musher took us downhill at break neck speed! The experience was exhilarating to say the least. Later sauntering down Franklin streets we entered a jeweller’s shop and bought the famed Alaskan blue diamond. Our ship set sail from Juneau at 9.30 pm even as we dined at the Donatanello Restaurant on French onion soup which I did not quite fancy though the duck I ordered as the main course was excellent as was the orange souffle with honeydew I had for dessert. It seemed as if I had barely closed my eyes when it was another day in yet another Alaskan city, Scagway. A narrow-gauge toy train took us up the mountain along the path the stampeders took for the gold rush. We passed a cantilever ridge rated in the category of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty and saw Dead Horse Pass where hundred of overburdened, underfed horses fell to their deaths in a snow blanketed winter. The stench of dead flesh was so strong that it could be smelt at Scagway 17 miles away! Summit Lake was a freezing body of water into which every new train recruit was made to take a dip as a sort of initiation ceremony! The next morning we were up and about at dawn for the most picturesque of all visual treats on this

Juneau was the first Alaskan city we docked at. We took a coach uphill through temperate rain forests that had neither snakes nor poisonous plants, past an abandoned gold mine where tourist still panned for gold to a mountain top where an unusual site greeted our eyes. One hundred and twenty Alaskan huskies chained to blue kennels were barking their heads off! There was a smell of wet dog in the air for we were told that it rains 361 days in the year and we were lucky enough to visit the city on one of the four dry days! The dogs appeared smaller and mangier than their Siberian counterparts – beautiful furry creatures with blue eyes.

trip. There would be no docking today but we were to experience something infinitely beautiful. We were entering Tracy’s Arm an arm shaped fjord lined by forest-clad, snow-capped mountains that harboured bears and other animals. Waterfalls plunged into the deep blue sea bespattered with cobalt blue icebergs that lay strewn about its bosom like the fragments of a broken heart. On one iceberg, like a couple reclining on a sofa, a pair of seals sailed past! Seals were aplenty in May when it was their breeding season and we were lucky to see these two at this time of the year. In this uninhabited, untampered wilderness we breathed in the purest air on earth. Thousands of miles of untouched paradise stretched before our eyes. These blue seas flecked with icebergs, lined with granite rock face, and mountains with hanging gardens that were home to osprey, bald eagles and bears. These in turn feasted on salmon rich waters. Of the 8000 eggs laid by a salmon only two make it to the sea! Their life’s job done, they give themselves up to death and decay so that other animals could feed on them and nurture their own young.

Then came the piece de resistance - a river frozen in midcascade – the beautiful blue Sawyer Glacier tinged pink by the rising sun. Unmindful of the freezing cold we stood on the open topmost deck and gaped with wide-eyed wonder at such unsurpassed beauty. It was a tidal glacier 26 miles long, one mile wide and 300 feet deep of a delicate blue hue. On the mountains on either side were hanging glaciers so called because they do not reach the sea; instead, they give birth to waterfalls. To our amazement we saw a ship emerge from between the mountains where the stretch of water was so narrow that it was barely discernible. To our disappointment, we could not go as near the glacier as the other ship because of the sheer bulk of our luxury vessel.

Our next stop was Ketchiken where we went in a semi-submerged boat and sat below sea level to watch the denizens of the sea. Our guide even had some in a pail and passed sea urchins, sea cucumbers and starfish around so that that we could hold them though the more queasy amongst us declined. They were all over the sea bed as were huge white spotted brownish seaweeds called Turkish towels. Another sea weed with a rope like stem that grew from one to three feet in a day, had long flowing golden brown leaves that gave birth to the legend of the mermaid.

laughter and, last but no least, the champagne fountain. 741 champagne glasses were arranged in the form of a pyramid over which hosts and guest alike poured bottle after bottle of champagne till the amber fluid tricked down to fill every single glass after which they were served generously to one and all. Our final stop was at Victoria in Canada - one of the most beautiful cities I had seen. It is not without reason that it has been given various epithets like ‘The Perfect Eden’, ‘The City of Gardens’. The Butchart Gardens, situated 21km from the city and spread over 55 acres is most famous of all its gardens. It has been in bloom for a hundred years and was the brainchild of Jennie Butchart. She began by beautifying a worked- out limestone quarry that supplied her husband’s cement plant. The wide variety of shrubs and flowers got all over the world and planted in the dug-out pit gave birth to the famed sunken gardens. The hobby became a passion and there followed the Japanese, Rose and Italian Gardens. Their grandson Ross added the Ross Fountain where a colourful play of waters rising up to 70 feet provides a magnificent display. The gardens can also be approached by

seaplanes and motor boat and we had the good fortune to watch a dramatically vivid sunset at the harbour. Viewed by over a million visitors each year the garden has become a National Historic Site of Canada. The parliament house by the inner harbour was a splendid piece of architecture with bright hued totem poles and manicured gardens and resplendent with lights at night.

On the last day of the cruise we sat long at the dining table going over the enriching journey, our hearts already filled with the mild, sweet pain of nostalgia. By tomorrow morning the wonderful experience aboard the Golden Princess would be a mere memory and all that I’d have to show for it would be a handful of photographs and mementoes. Sooner or later, Cinderella had to return to terra firma and drudgery, but no one could take away the splendour of this experience from my life. I did indeed feel blessed for being allowed to live like a queen, witness such profound beauty, and returned replenished and recharged to face the world again. We

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Woman’s Era

April (First) 2009


Dalada Temple.

Two of the most sacred places for Buddhists raise some interesting questions.
By Zareen Myles

the 6 pm ritual service and got special permission required to participate to enter the sanctum sanctorum for a darshan of the sacred casket holding the relic. At the time of the evening service ritual, 3 drummers and one pipe player take their place in front of the door leading to the sanctum sanctorum, and start playing on their instruments. This signifies that the door, hidden by a huge cloth with a batik painting of the Buddha, is about to be opened and the rituals ready to begin. room with walls lined with glass cases where gold ornaments and other offerings of the devotees are on display. We then climb a narrow staircase to the second floor another tiny room. Leading from this is another, smaller room, the threshold of which is made of pure silver. One must not step on it, but go over it so our feet do not touch it. Inside the sanctum sanctorum is the glittering dome shaped casket made of pure gold. Inside this casket are six more caskets of gold and the tooth relic is inside the seventh, innermost casket. This innermost casket is never taken out. Two priests stand on both sides of the casket, in front of which is a large silver tray filled with fresh sweet-smelling jasmine flowers, which are given to the devotees to offer. There is also another tray in which devotees put their offerings. There is no way that anyone can even touch the casket. The room is very tiny and the long line of devotees waiting to come in, makes it impossible to really look around at


o the Sri Lankan Buddhists nothing is more sacred than the Tooth Relic in Kandy, or the Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura. The Tooth Relic is the left canine tooth of the Buddha, and had been sent to Sri Lanka by King Guhasiva of Kalinga, India, in the 4th century AD for safekeeping. Since then Sri Lankan kings have safeguarded and revered the Tooth Relic. It had first been sent to Anuradhapura, the flourishing capital at that time. Only after the fall of Anuradhapura did it come to Kandy, about 500 years ago. It is said that about 300 years ago, there was a period of continuous drought for three years. The relic was then taken out in a procession, and it not only rained, but also flooded. Since that time it has never been taken out. We visited the Dalada Temple for

People start gathering around, waiting reverentially, while those who have taken permission to go inside, stand in a line at one side. After some time priests come, remove the cloth painting and the door made of pure solid silver is opened. A little later when signalled, the devotees who have prior permission, go in one by one. As we enter the little door we find ourselves in a tiny Woman’s Era

April (First) 2009

The sanctum sanctorum.

Quiet Meditation.

the rest of the room. We have to quickly turn and go out. Outside on the second floor there are many devotees sitting on the floor in quiet meditation, while on one large altar other devotees come and put offerings of lotus flowers and incense, and light lamps. In another small side room with another altar, are preserved many old manuscripts (900 to 1000 years old) written on ola leaves. These manuscripts pertain to the lives of the Buddha. I was surprised to learn here that the Buddha had actually visited Sri Lanka 3 times during his lifetime. As we go out we admire the beautifully painted walls of the halls and passage. Outside it is quiet as people leave the temple talking quietly, still filled with reverence. Our second visit was to the venerated Sri Mahabodhi Tree or the sacred Bodhi Tree. This temple is situated in the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura about a hundred and thirty kilometres from Kandy, and is regarded as the first of the eight sacred places in Anuradhapura. It is said to be the only tree in the world with the longest written history, and is 2,300 years old. Written records show that this sacred Bodhi Tree is the right branch of the Sri Mahabodhi Tree in Gaya, under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. This sapling was sent here in the 3rd century by the Emperor Asoka through his daughter, the Buddhist nun Sangamitra, at the request of the king of Sri Lanka. No vehicles are now allowed within a kilometre of the temple, so one has to walk along a beautiful, 126

wide, tree-lined road to reach the Sri Mahabodhi Tree. There is a small temple in front of the Bodhi Tree while there is a huge platform or chabutra built on three sides of it. In the 5th century AD when the Chinese monk Fa-Hsein visited Anuradhapura, he recorded that the tree had bent over to the south east, and fearing it would fall, the king placed a prop to support it. Over the ages, successive kings have made many other props to support the branches, with additions and alterations to the site. Today there are more than 20 such props covered by brass holding up the branches.

As we walked to the tree, we saw many people, specially women and children, carrying the usual lotus flowers, and trays with incense but also small coconut saplings to offer to the Bodhi Tree. On enquiry we found that there is a belief that if pregnant women or a family member, and children offer coconut sapling to the tree the child will be an enlightened one. Of special significance is the full moon night in June when hundreds and thousands of Buddhists throng here to pay their respects and offer thanks to their ancestors who fought at the risk of their lives to protect this sacred tree, from both the ravages of nature and devastation by wild animals. It is easy to believe this as when we went there on an ordinary day, there were still hundreds of people coming there to pay their respects. Woman’s Era

We join the milling crowds on the platform around the mighty and majestic bodhi. It is an awe-inspiring sight, more so when we realise it is a 2,300-years-old tree. That it is truly venerated is seen from the fact that no one is allowed to wear a cap on the platform. One of the tourists was wearing his sun cap to shade his eyes, when a guard came up and politely asked him to remove it. No one is allowed to go near the tree or touch it. There is a brass rail all around and one can only give the offerings to the monks standing there, who take these, put them near the tree on one side, and then remove them. The tree is thus well protected and no stress put on it. It had been interesting visiting these two places. At the end of the day I could not help thinking how easily the gullible people are ready to believe anything blindly the minute it is wrapped in a religious coating. There is absolutely no proof that a child will be enlightened if she or he offers a coconut sapling to the Mahabodhi Tree, otherwise would not have had many more enlightened beings in this world? How wonderful that would have been! If only the Tooth Relic really could make it rain, I thought, we would have no droughts. How wonderful that would have been. Yet it is the many unfounded beliefs such as these, in all religions all over the world, which can even cause wars and political upheavals. In the end it is the poor gullible devotee who goes back empty handed, while the perpetra tors of these myths and beliefs fulfil their own ulterior motives. We

April (First) 2009

fuel is needed. In addition to muscle mass, how much fuel you burn and how fast also depends on your activity level. Exercise is a valuable tool for nourishing your fuel demand because it impacts both factors; it affects the size, shape and efficiency of the engine (your muscle mass) and it is a primary component of your activity level. Exercise helps with increasing lean body mass and increases BMR directly. Basal metabolic rate varies from person to person. It is an important factor in fuel burning efficiency. It refers to the amount of energy (fuel and calories) your body needs. Aerobic exercise boosts metabolism during




A commonsense approach to keeping fit.
By K. Janakiraman


ost of us do not know how to eat, to fuel our bodies for high performance – or even to meet our basic needs. As a result of our reading inappropriate literature on fitness and health, we diet, restrict, control and regiment ourselves. Body fuelling will change all that and provide a user-friendly education about eating and fitness that deprogrammes diet-thinking. One has to see what will really work and move from having to change ‘one’s eating’ to ‘wanting to fuel one’s body’ and, most important, freedom from concern

about fat, weight, diet and food. The irony is that a weight-loss diet damages your body’s largest contributor to fat-burning. That fact triggers a vicious circle. After your weight-loss diet has caused a deterioration of fuel-burning muscle, you find yourself gaining fat more easily. Fuelling means learning to work with the way the body works and not the way you think it works. The backlash against dieting is a leap out of the frying pan into the fire – from one unhealthy extreme, ‘dieting’, to another, ‘fatness’. What works is neither of these. If you can predict accurately how your body acts and reacts, you can fuel yourself accordingly and that understanding is crucial to the sense of ownership that makes fuelling something you want to and not have to do. Basic science shows what works, what does not and what is optimal. The muscle is responsible for burning the food that you eat. As the only significant metabolically active tissue in the body, it is the largest determinant of your metabolism. More muscle means more fuel is needed. Less muscle means less Woman’s Era

Exercise automatically prevents heart disease. ● Exercise cancels fat. ● Weight gain is inevitable as you age. ● Exercise is a fabulous way to lose weight. William Evans of the University of Arkansas says, “Exercising does not burn a lot of calories. Walking a mile burns 100 calories. But sitting still burns 50 calories! The reality is, the more you exercise, the more fit you get. The better conditioned you are the more fat you burn because your muscles adapt to using an enzyme that oxidises fat.” “You cannot be fit and fat,” “no pain, no gain,” etc. are oft-repeated myths. The less said about them the better. the activity and keeps it somewhat elevated afterward. While exercise is not a panacea, it has consistently been shown to relieve both depression and anxiety. It is only a matter of reduced physical activity levels and lower metabolic rate that cause overweight. With the loss of lean body mass, the basal metabolic rate goes down. The percentage of body fat

April (First) 2009

gradually increases. Fat cells burn fewer calories than muscle cells. Exercise can mount a two-pronged attack on the middle-age spread and muscle loss. All activity burns more calories. The key to fitness success is establishing a regular routine, consistency and moderation. It is time our civilisation gets rid of the archaic practice called ‘calorie counting’. It is a diversionary tactic of trying to eat less. Calories are nothing to worry about but enough to feel guilty about. A calorie is simply the standard unit of measurement used to measure the energy produ ced when the body oxidises food. Calories tell you how much mileage a food will give you. Every gram of carbohydrate or protein will give you 4.1 calories worth of energy. Each gram of fat provides 9.3 The role of external breath- retention in body fuelling and managing cellulite Breath is the most vital process of the body. It influences the activities of each and every cell and most importantly is linked with the function of the brain. Most people breathe incorrectly using only a small portion of their lung capacity. This is shallow breathing and leads to hypertension. Abdominal breathing or diaphrag matic breathing is the most natural method of breathing and if you engage in it for extended periods of time, the flab in the abdomen (which is the main reason for diabetes) will slowly start liquidating itself. Try this simple respiratory experiment: Breathe in and hold the breath for 10 seconds. Calculate the time taken to recover from this internal breath retention. Conclusion: If fuelling feels good, you have begun enjoying food. Satisfaction is a good sign, not a warning bell; hunger is a signal to eat, not a triumph to relish. We

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The baksheesh culture in Egypt can be enormously irritating but the sights of Cairo are absolutely breathtaking.
By D. B. N. Murthy


on’t be surprised when any service provider requests, or rather demands, baksheesh in Egypt! That became clear when my wife and I landed at the Cairo International Airport recently. I had to buy a phone card, costing 17 Egyptian pounds (about 6 Egyptian pounds = 1 US dollar) just to make a phone call, but there was no other way. I recalled how easy it was to use a coinoperated phone or a manned STD/Local call booth back home. The hotel I had booked in downtown Cairo had not sent a vehicle, though I had requested for it. The person at the car park had a smattering of English. “I shall give you the receipt,” he said seeing my hesitation when he demanded E£55 (prepaid) for a taxi trip to hotel. I paid him the money but he asked, “What about my tip, sir?” The silent cab driver drove us safely and to the correct address. When I tipped him E£2, he said, “Sir, that’s too small.” So I had to shell out E£3 more to satisfy him. That became the “normal” practice and soon I was tipping left, right and centre without anyone even asking

for it. “Be an Egyptian in Egypt,” is a good piece of advice.

Without losing much time, the next morning we were off on a whirlwind tour of the Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Saqqara and Memphis. Our cab driver, Ahmed, a part-time employee of the hotel, acted as our guide. He had a smattering of English, which helped us to communicate. The first stop was not ours but Ahmed’s. He ushered us into a posh shop selling papyrus. It was called the Egypt Papyrus Museum. The smartly dressed manager greeted us with a smile. “First of all, let me extend our Egyptian hospitality to you. What would you like to drink?” We settled for a soft drink which was refreshing in the sweltering heat. We were invited to watch the process of preparing papyrus — from the raw plant to the final sheet on which painting is done. My wife wanted a picture to be taken of her holding a papyrus plant “grown on our own farm,” as that gentleman put it. Then it was time for a tour of the museum with a card in hand to make a note of the numbers of the Woman’s Era

paintings we wanted. He assured us in his impeccable English, “Don’t you worry, sir! I shall give you a good price.” He then drew our attention to a striking painting of the Last Judgement where a person’s heart, after his/her death, would be weighed against a feather in the presence of God Anubis and God Thuth who writes down the result. God Horus would lead those who had passed the test into paradise. Time and again he asked us to buy it because “it gives you an idea of ancient Egypt.” Seeing our hesitation on looking at the price tag, he gave us a deal. He’d give us two for the price of one, if we bought the Last Judgment.” I looked at my wife who looked confused too. “Sir, this is genuine stuff. I shall give you our certificate of guarantee. You will not get such a wonderful painting anywhere else. The long and the short of it was that I fell for the deal and had to part with E£ 500. The touts offering camels and horse-drawn vehicles pestered visitors right in front of the policemen who were supposed to prevent such harassment. In fact, some of the law-enforcers would pose for photographs with the visitor and We ask for baksheesh later on!

April (First) 2009













1. Nyanisha, New Delhi 2. Devansh, Lalitpur 3. Chinki, Sahibabad 4. Rhytham, Najafgarh 5. Monali, New Delhi 6. Revant, Bhubaneshwar 7. Sumedha, Bahadurgarh 8. Madhumita, Bangalore 9. Sujal, Mumbai 10. Ambali, Raigarh 11. Payal, Pune 12. Shriya, Ludhiana
Winners who have won educational CDs.
Devansh, Lalitpur ● Madhumita Bangalore

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12 14

11 13 15


16 18 17

19 20



22 24






Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009

1. To throw something somewhere in a careless way (5) 4. A structure that is built over a road, railway / railroad, river, etc. so that people or vehicles can across from one side to the other (6) 8. (of a group of people or an organisation) not well organised; giving a bad impression (6) 10. A relationship between two organisations or different departments in an organisation, involving the exchange of information or ideas (7) 11. The main or general meaning of a piece of writing, a speech or a conversation (4) 13. Gigabyte (2) 14. A type of strong cloth made of wool, used for making clothes (5) 15. The part of the body around the hips between the waist and the tops of the legs (4) 16. A person, especially a child, who behaves badly (4) 18. Motor racing around a track which is raised at both sides (4) 19. Either of the two organs on the face that you see with (3) 21. A ghost or other spirit (5) 22. A law that has been passed by a parliament (3) 23. To make a person or an animal healthy again after an illness (4) 24. A unit of information stored in a computer, equal to 8 bits (4)

1. To grow, spread or move in an untidy way in different directions (8) 2. Noun form for taking food, drugs, etc. into your body, usually by swallowing (9) 3. Something that you hope to achieve (4) 5. A disease of dogs and other animals that causes madness and death. Infected animals can pass the disease to humans by biting them (6) 6. A system of government in which all the people of a country can vote to elect their representatives (9) 7. A period of time, usually in history, that is different from other periods because of particular characteristics or events (3) 9. To speak quickly in a way that is difficult to understand, often because of fear (6) 12. To go with or in front of a person or an animal to show the way or to make them go in the right direction (4) 16. A small road that is not used very much (5) 17. The space between two lines or surfaces that join, measured in degrees (5) 18. A unit for measuring length, equal to 2.54 centimetres (4) 19. To cut lines into a piece of glass, metal etc. in order to make words or a picture (4) 20. The unit of money of some countries of the European Union (4)

Please accept my entry for the crossword competition. I subscribe to all the rules and regulations of the competition. Name Address City Pin

Tear along the dotted line and mail to Crossword No. 151 Woman’s Era, Delhi Press, New Delhi-110 055.


2 3 4 5 6









Winners of Crossword - 148

Rs1 ,000 5

Vestaltina Dias, Chickmagalor.

Kaushlender, Faridabad.

Anita Dunn, Mumbai.

M. Brunda, Ve llore.

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Manisha Ran i, Palwal.

Shweta T. Gaba, Bangalore.

Aastha, Muzaf farpur.

A. Ramachand ran, Chennai.

Radha Sasikumar, Cochin.

Rajila Singla, Noida.

Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009


Gaziabad. Munish Jain, a. Begam, Kolkat Nurum Nesa







CWinnersNCrossword S T O of T E - 148

Jaideep Dhadda, Jaipur.

ew Delhi. J. C. Jindal, N

Binita Kakati, Guwahati.

man, Deepthy Jess


Mumbai. Patwardhan, Dr. Sushama

Harish Singh, Pantnagar.

re. rivastava, Indo Suryamanju Sh

athura. Lalit Kumar, M

Anita Gupta, Gurgaon.

Chandigarh. Vijay Kumar,


Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009

Winners of Crossword - 148

Rs1 ,000 5
Rules and Regulations

Narender Jain , Hissar.

S. Priyanka, Kovilpatti.

A. V. Sundaram , Secunderab ad.

V. Jhansi Rani, Vijayawada.

Madan Lal M ittal,

New Delhi.

Grace Nirmala, Chennai.

A prize of Rs 15,000 will be given to the person sending an all-correct solution. In case there are more than one sender of an all-correct solution, the prize amount will be divided among the first 30 competitors chosen by lot. The decision of the management will be final and binding. Entries must be on the crossword printed here. Photocopies will not be accepted. Entries must be sent so as to reach Woman’s Era by 15 May 2009, by ordinary post. No corres pondence in this matter will be entertained. The contest is not open to the employees of Delhi Press. Every entry should be accompanied by the sender’s family photo. If you are declared a winner, your family picture may be printed in the oncoming issue. Please send a signed declaration that you have no objection to printing your family picture.

Answers to Crossword-148
Across: 1. Monger, 6. Import, 8. Long, 9. IIT, 10. Leave, 11. Terror, 14. All, 16. Nought, 17. Boa, 18. Erase, 20. Chat, 22. Genome, 23. Stand, 24. Erode

Rid, ant, 2. Nun, 3. Down: 1. Milit Tie, Drive, 7. 4. Appeal, 5. em, ate, 15. Tand Rough, 13. R 12. ue, 20. Clot, 19. Rog 17. Beyond, 21. Toad

n win d wi wor in ur W yo wer n po o

Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009


Q & A
My son is 16 months old and quite an active child. He was a chubby child in the first year of life and used to eat properly. Of late, he has repeated bouts of some ailment or the other which makes him feel nauseous and he loses his appetite. Sometimes, he gets gastrointestinal symptoms and at others high fever with malarial symptoms. Then there is the usual cough and cold no matter how much care I take of him at home and while going out. All this has resulted in loss of weight. By the time he feels all right and regains his appetite he falls sick again. I have begun to force-feed him since I am worried about his health. I am worried that repeated medication along with lack of proper nourishment will further lower his resistance. Please tell me what to do. First and foremost you have to improve his health and resistance. Keep him away from areas where he is likely to catch infection – for example crowded areas like marketplaces, cinema halls, etc. Also, do not take him in the vicinity of a child with fever or any other infection. Feed him freshly-prepared hygienic food. If you are bottle-feeding him even once a day stop it at once. Feed him with a small cup or with a spoon. Juices, if at all, are to be prepared at home and consumed immediately preferably without ice. You have also rightly pointed out that antibiotics also lead to diarrhoea since they kill the good protective bacteria too. These can be replaced by probiotics that his 136

doctor will prescribe. Once the vicious cycle of infection-medication is broken you can concentrate on improving his appetite and health. Once his health is regained, his resistance will improve and he will be able to combat diseases better. Do not force-feed him.

I am an NRI working in Saudi Arabia. I would like to come back and settle in my own country with my wife and two children - a son aged six and a three-year-old daughter. A serious problem arises when we come to India even for a visit. Whenever my I have a son who is three years and three months old. He drinks milk only with the addition of cus tard. In this way he takes custard thrice a day. I want to know if this practice is safe for the child. He also eats roti , subzi, fruits, etc. As your son is eating a balanced diet besides the custard, it is fine if he takes it with milk thrice a day. If he was only on custard and milk then perhaps it would not have been such a good idea. You must watch his weight carefully. If there is a tendency to obesity you could decrease the amount of custard and sugar in his milk, otherwise go ahead with the routine you are following. Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009

son gets bitten by a mosquito, he gets infected in the bitten part. That particular area becomes as big and thick as a table tennis ball. We have shown him to various paediatricians and skin specialists who treat him with some antibiotics but the problem recurs with another bite. Other treatment modalities like vitamin B and eucalyptus oil are of no use. Despite the use of coils, mosquito nets, socks and gloves, there is no escaping mosquitoes in India. Is there any way in which you can help so that I can return to India permanently? Some people are hypersensitive to mosquito bites, especially when there is a change of region as in the case of your son. Others develop hypersensitivity when there is a change of season for the species of mosquito changes with the season. Meticulously prevent mosquito bites by liberally smearing the exposed parts with mosquito repellents. Antiallergens and most other drugs are of no use. Some children do overcome this hypersensitivity by and by. If not, as your doctor says, stay away from places that cause such a severe reaction.

My six-year-old daughter has developed caries in a couple of teeth. Could you tell me why this has occurred and what should be done to prevent further destruction of teeth. Please tell me what I should do to improve her dental hygiene. Caries occurs due to poor dental hygiene. If the teeth are not properly brushed after meals, food particles remain in the gaps between teeth, resulting in the growth of bacteria. These bacteria produce acid, which in turn damages the enamel, the uppermost covering of the teeth, which is supposed to be stronger than bone. Once the enamel is destroyed, the process spreads deeper down affecting the dentin just below and finally the pulp. This causes pain as the nerve roots are exposed. So consult a dentist at the earliest and do as he advises.


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RECOGNISED by Government and U.G.C offers distance education programmes M. Phil (all subjects) MBA, BBA, BCA, BA, DMLT, BMLT, B.Sc (optometry), diploma. Optometry, nursing assistant. Contact: Max Institute of Higher Studies, Gopal Plaza, Railway Road, Bajaria, Ghaziabad. Ph.: 09990638463, 0120-4136210. e-mail: max_ihs@yahoo.co.in M. PHIL (all subjects). MBA, BBA, BCA, BA, B. ED, B.COM, BSC, M.A.,M. COM, MSC, MCA, Library Course, NTT, DMLT, B.SC. MLT, D.Pharma, B. Pharma, (B.A. Hindi level do in one year). For guidance, West Delhi College A-1/22 Hastsal Road, Uttam Nagar, New Delhi-59. Ph. 01125376951, 09999176172. CCIMS est.99 recognised by government of Karnataka offers Distance Education programme in diploma, PGD, MBA, EMBA, degree courses B.A. B.Com, BBM. M.Com, M.A: English, Urdu, Hindi, Political science, History Economics, HR, Admin, Facility, Marketing, Hospital Management, Montessori, NTT, Teachers Training, Correspondence/ part time 100 per cent practical training, Elgbt- 10+2 / Graduate call: 080-25282912, 25257320 9880263709, 9900268253. Website: www.ccimsinstitute.com, emailccimsinstitute@rediffmail.com. LEARN interior designing and Nursery Teacher Training (NTT) course through correspondence. Heights established in year 1995, offering distance courses having 5000+students from India and abroad. Course compiled in a set of printed 11 selfexplanatory books with colour illustrations and examples. Get diploma and job assistance after successful course completion. To get free prospectus contact: Heights Institute, 3rd Floor, P.P. Tower, Main Road, Pitam Pura, Delhi-110034 (India) Ph. 09811437000 , 9310137111. www.heightsglobal.com. M Phil, MA all subject MBA, M Com MLIB, MSW, BLIB, BCOM, BA, BSW valid for Government employee promotion UGC-DEC approved university degrees, VS Institute C-9/5 Sector-7 Rohini 9212896078, 9212230280 e-mail: vsitech@yahoo.co.in.

CONTACT Wing Commander N. K. Kaila for decent reliable status alliances. All castes/ religions/NRI/second marriage, professionals, business class, defence services, doctors, engineers, MBA, CA and merchant Navy. EC326, Maya Enclave, New Delhi-110 064. Tel: (011)25120386, 9810843039. HIGH profile match for any families, professional, business class, industrialist, NRI. Contact Dilipji-9999765557. (Delhi) e-mail: sambandh55@gmail.com.

A healthy, handsome, attractive, well-placed high-profile, North Indian middle-aged-male is willing to donate healthy semen to needy childless ladies/ couples. Assured success. Many have benefited, full secrecy assured. (M) 09198477251.

CHASE Aroma Beauty Clinic requires professional hair stylist qualified beautician, naturopath. Dr Arora, A-17 Naraina Vihar New Delhi (M): 9818360123, 9810292899. ENGLISH fluent independent, smart female, personal secretary/willing to travel, part/full time. Handsome salary. # 09810016272.

PAYING guest accommodation for working girls,executive ladies in I.P. Extn. Society Patpar Gunj contact no. 42171193 , 9717448140, 9910189237.


Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009

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Tele-booking number LEARN interior decoration through correspondence English/ Hindi medium. Course fee payable in easy monthly installments. Study materials prepared by famous architects and interior decoration experts. Best postal coaching. Oldest institute, established in 1986. Study at your own home at your own pace. No need to buy costly books. No minimum qualification needed. Certificate awarded to all successful candidates after course completion. For prospectus send Rs 30 money order to Academy of Interior Decoration, 10A/14 Shakti Nagar, Delhi-110007, Phone-011-23847273, 23847274, e-mail: aid_agoel@hotmail.com. Website: www.interiorcourses.com. Prospectus can be downloaded free from the website.

IF your husband is not satisfied because your sexual organs are loose ; get tightened and virginal sexual organs by genital plastic surgery. Dial 09811440239 or e-mail info@vaginohymenoplasty.com.

CUTS colour rebonding facials microlift treatments at poise salon, mega mall, Oshiwara, Andheri west (unisex) thalgo/ cheryls/loreal professional tel 26316159, 9819706113 Borivili (Ladies) 28945044. Mumbai.

WHEATGRASS powder (food supplement) company wants dealers in all States. Starting cost 4500/- income 10,000+marketing from home/ shop. Wheatgrass helps cure Anemia, Thalassemia, Diabetes, Arthritis, Piles, Ulcers, Obesity. Sms your address 09822002042 (Pune) for details by post. (www.girmeswheatgrass.com).

BERKOWITS is specialised clinic for assuring beautiful and silky skin by offering multi- therapy treatment for pigmentation, acne, anti- ageing, tanning, under- eye dark circles, and puffiness, pits scars, moles , warts and tags removal. Berkowits Hair and Skin Clinic, Connaught Place : Ph. 23711571-72 Greater Kailash-I: Ph. 29244630-31 Noida : Ph. 9999880480 www.berkowits.in.

WE are specialists in Matrimonial Enquiries in India and Abroad, premarital, health checkup, locating surrogate ladies, and children available for adoption arranging, difficult marriage of minorities, Dalit and OBC castes of physically challenged and second marriage (of senior citizen). Contact “Sheel Consultants” 184 A Paschim Vihar Extension (near Madi Pur) Police Post New Delhi110063. Phone No. 011-25214088. DIVORCE, surveillance, enquiries doubt, court case, business, quarrel- related enquiries Delhi or out side Delhi. Phone- 9818880313, 9871977588. DOUBTS, deceit, stalking, divorce, investigation courtcase, labourcase, business, employee, matrimonial, secret enquiries, universal investigation 9810412615, 9811583899.

BERKOWITS offers hair removal by high Power ND: YAG laser (US FDA approved). Best laser in NCR; Remarkably Low Prices; Safest and Fastest solution to unwanted hair. Berkowits Hair and Skin Clinic, Connaught Place Ph. 23711571-72 Greater Kailash-I: Ph. 29244630-31 Noida : Ph. 9999880480 www.berkowits.in.

FOR permanent hair reduction, pus-filled pimples and wrinkles, make use of the best laser machine in town. Contact Dr Mathur’s Laser Skin Clinic # I, Sec 14 Faridabad (HAR), Tel no. 9818597337, 1294107840. Get best result at even better rates. LASER hair-removal, acne marks, pigmentation, birthmarks and laser cosmetic surgery by USA-trained and qualified cosmetic surgeon. E-34, Greater Kailash-I, New Delhi-110048, Phone29236912, 29236550.

S R tutors bureau provides results oriented tutors board X, XII, IIT-JEE PMT DCE ALEEE BBA BCA BCom CA, CS, Computer Science- 9350121003, 9871986962. PRAGATI tutor’s bureau – Experienced results oriented home tutors for Physics and Maths and for all Classes/ Subject/ Locations. Spl. – I.I.T., D.C.E., Medical, Cat, Mat, B.Sc etc. By 10 years Exp. Teacher. Crash courses also running. Contact: N.C. Pathak (M.Sc.). Ph.: 9910538244, 011-29956800 (Teachers welcome).

TRAVELEASE : For Rail and Air Ticketing, Car Rentals, Hotel Reservations and Documentations. Special Holidays Package. For Shimla, Manali, Mussoorie, Nainital, Dalhousie, Darjeeling. Also Mauritius, Bangkok, Phuket, Europe, USA and for more than 100 destinations in India and abroad. Contact phone 22459136 fax 911122502959 at Manglam, R-50, Vikas Marg, New Delhi.(Sunday open).

BERKOWITS offers unique solution to Baldness. Most successful technology worldwide, Non- surgical cosmetic treatment, Painless, one-sitting solution, perfect natural look, Berkowits Hair and Skin Clinic. Connaught Place: Ph 23711571-72. Greater Kailash-I : Ph: 29244630-31. Noida : Ph. 9999880480 www.berkowits.in

RANJAN Biology Centre – For: 10th, 11th, 12th and Specially for PMT. CBSE-PMT, DPMT, CPMT, VMMC, BHU & AIIMS. Guarantee your seat in Medical College. Complete Syllabus during Summer Vacation (If you want to be a topper, don’t hesitate). Call – Ranjan: 9910691889. Group Classes at D-6, Vasant Kunj & Munirka.

ACQUIRE an internationally-recognised Global Certificate in Journalism and Creative writing by taking a simple fail-proof written test at your home. No minimum eligibility or age limit. Ideal for housewives, students and aspiring journalists/writers. Extremely nominal fees. London-trained faculty. Also get your articles/poems/stories published abroad. Scholarships and freelance assignments available. Assistance in placement also. Free copy of prospectus from: The Writer’s Academy, Villa Bougainvilla, 13 Agra Club. Agra-282001 Phone: 0562-2226578 e-mail: thewritersacademy@rediffmail.com.

IF your tummy(abdomen) is loose and ugly with lot of fat deposits; plastic surgery can give flat virginal tummy in Delhi, Bangalore. Call 09311630223/9811440239. Also for fat deposits over thighs, hips, breasts, etc.

MATHEMATICS statistics – for BA, B.Com, B.Sc, BBA, BCA and BE. All Indian and Foreign University. Eco (H) and B.Com(H), Maths and Stats. Maths(H) various papers. Maths for X, XI, XII. French up to VIII. Call: Karmesh Sinha (Since 1982) Mobile: 9958670889.


BY Manoj Rajput (FAC. IIT-JEE)/ Physics for IIT/DCE/AIEEE/PMT/AIIMS/XI/XII/IB/ICSE/XI/XII/SAT/Olympiad/ Call9818809196.

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TREAT white/black scars, moles on cheek by cosmetic surgery with stem cells. It leaves no line of stitches. Also for lip, nose, cheek, breast, tummy cosmetic surgery in Delhi/ Bangalore. Dial 09811440239/09311630223.

CHEMISTRY home tuition by Dr Arif Khan for IIT, DCE, AIEEE, BITS, PMT, IB, ICSE, XI, XII, Olympiad, SAT. Call 9958845786. (Delhi). (experience 20 years).

Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009

Want to book a classified? 24x7 9811744262 (Delhi)
Tele-booking number

FOR ICSE, IGCSE, CIE, CBSE, IIT-JEE, DEC, AIEEE, AIPMT, DPMT, CAT, GMAT, GRE, JMET, SAT, MBA, MCA, BBA, BCA, F.LANG., IELTS, TOEFL, UGCNET, (CSIR), GATE, JAM, English Speaking Course, H.M., SSC., Bank (P.O.), Bio-Tech, NIT, IIT, BDS, LLB, HM, B.Sc, B.com H/P/S), B.ED, SSC (MAT/GRADE), BANK, RAILWAYS, STAT, F.LANG., CA, CS, CPT, IAS, IPS, IFS, BBA, BCA, BBM, NIFT, NDA, CDS. Correspondence course available for all stream and coaching classes all over the world. Experts welcome. Log on www.globaleducationforum.com.Call 9350055520, 9213161909 (Delhi).


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NAV-MANN studios brings designer ware stores for ladies and girls ready-to-wear suits, plus size, sarees and indo-western garments available on prior appointment. Contact09414004672, 0145-2429948.

HOME tuitions for IIT/DCE/AIEEE/Medical XI/XII with assignments and exclusive notes by Prashant (Ex.IITian), 12 years experience. Call: 9990088009, 9312237121, (Delhi).

NO surgery, no hormones for sagging and small bust line. Get your ware made ample and taut with only external gel with an effective massage techniques progressing stage by stage which can be done at home from highly experienced dermatologist, Dr G S Kohli, E14, Street No.9, Alpha-I, Greater Noida, UP. Mobile No.9213135041, 9958400497. Write your age, weight, height, bust size, unmarried/ married or children. Three months complete course costs Rs.500 . Speed post extra.

CHIPPA-STUDIO- for exclusive blockprinted suits in cotton, silk, voile, kotta and tussar. Quality assurance, preshrunk fabric fast colour, no bleaching (S.M. dye chem Mumbai dye used). Best in sector. Anti-allergic dye, USP.. Blocks procured from Bhola Khan Sanganer (Rajasthan). Two times National Award Recipient. Consultation in selecting fabric colour according to your complexion. Limited edition blocks available. Swatches on request, Niti Gujral, Alumni (1985, South Delhi Polytechnic, behind Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi). Mobile: 09412205532, 09897024257, e-mail:harjeevsg@gmail.com

LOW or over stimulation, low or no sperms and enlarged prostate in males, blocked tubes (non-surgical) and irregular menses (female loose genitals). Kindly write your problem and any disease you had? Consult Dr G S Kohli (forty years experience) at E-14, Alpha-I, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Phone No.9213135041, 9958400497.

EXCLUSIVE pet shop and clinic offers: German Shepherd, Labrador, Boxer, Doberman, Spitz, Rottweiler, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Neapolitan Mastiff, Lhasa, Dashchund, Pug, Pom, Beagle, Cocke, Poodle, Pekingese, Bulldog, Irish Setter, Pointer, etc. Phone : 9911392866, 9810748422, Delhi.

FOR advice/guidance regarding people management skills, career enhancement/ problems, career counselling fluency in English speaking. Nature cure visit http:// www.rnsaxena.com and http://asymtotic.com/ RNSaxena.

PANCHTATVA yoga and naturopathy treatment and training centre. Thyroid, spinal, obesity, sugar, ladies problem, arthritis, slipped disc, high bp, heart diseases, depression, cervical and other diseases cure for without side effect. All facility available. Home treatment and readymade kit available. Contact :- WZ-1532-B, Radha Krishana Gali, Nagal Raya, New Delhi-110046. Phone :09871224378, 09810095933.

THERAPIES are provided by Renowned Yoga Guru and corporate trainer Dr Sandip Kumar, course Director of Shivananda Yoga Sevashram, New Delhi. He is a Postgraduate in Yoga Psychology from Bihar Yoga Bharti/Bihar School of Yoga, Munger and Post graduate in Preventive and Promotive Health Care from Apollo Hospitals Group, and again, he is a postgraduate in Holistic Health Care from the same, Apollo Hospital Group. (Teachers and Therapists are also available for Home visit). Sivananda Yoga Sevashram, 258, R. P. S. Colony, Khanpur, (Near Sainik Farms), New Delhi-62, Helpline: + 919811328067, e-mail:-www.yogayogini.com

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Tele-booking number

READERS are advised to make approp riate and thorough enquiries before acting upon any advertisement. This magazine does not vouch or subscribe to claim and representation made by the advertiser regarding the particulars of status, age, income of the bride/bridegroom.

GOVERNMENT approved organisation provides all pest control solutions. General pest control, termite control, rodent control, fumigation. We use odourless chemical. No bad smell, no shifting tension. Call: 9899123862, 011-32633334 (Services Delhi and NCR).

REGULAR classes- Trousseau packing, perfume, making, flower-making, Toran making, gift boxes making, hand embroidery, designer candle, water fountain, advanced mehandi, Mix media, modern art, paper mashes work, pot decoration, designer envelope, mughal darwaja, mural painting, relief painting, jharokha painting, fruit painting, calligraphy painting, glass painting, johara art, 3D painting, Tanjore painting and many other courses.Correspondence Course also available. Contact: 9810109998, 011-22144598 (Delhi).

Cover & Fashion Courtesy: GRACEFUL TRENDY & STYLISH Dresses, Accessories and styling by: Anomitro Ganguli Photography: Hemant Kedar Make-up: Amit Sawant Hair: Minakshi Model: Parvati Nirban A SPECTACLE OF BEAUTY & GRACE Dresses: Silver Beads India 128/2A, Kilokri Village, Near Maharani Bagh Chowk, Behind CTC Plaza, New Delhi-14. Ph: 011-26340945, 26348822, Mob: 9811045069, 9313530199 e-mail: dearinam01@yahoo.com COSY NEST Courtesy: Ansa Interiors, New Delhi. Ph: 9811014609 A TOTAL TRANSFORMATION Make-up: Nature’s Essence Pvt. Ltd. Suneeti Soni, H-15/3, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi-110 017 Ph: 011-26673045, 26673065, 26687922 Mob: 9899801623 E-mail: natures_essence@hotmail.com www.naturesmagik.com PERFECT PICTURE OF INNOCENCE Dresses: Pretty One Fashion Apparel 81/5727, 1st Floor, Regarpura, Karol Bagh, New Delhi. Ph: 011-25812155 Tel/Fax: 011-25812150 E-mail: fashion_ruff95@rediffmail.com

CORN, Wart, Mole? Vanish by cream capsule:- arthritis, sinus, fairness, skin, hair, breast hardner/bigger, penis power. Talk :Hari Prasad Lodha - 09830311758. SB- A/c 11161791075. CB-A/c-1062209946.

KING-STONE suhag chura. Guarantee one year. A.T.C. Punjab. Contact: Shri Krishan Cosmetics, B-2/4 Shop No. A-6, Central Market, Lal Quarters, Delhi. “DULHAN Ne Kiya Shringar Bentax Chure Se Hua Nikhar.” Bentex suhag chura guarantees one year. Contact:Sethi Fancy Centre Shop No. 8B Central Market, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi. “SUHAG Ki Nishani Suhag Chura 555” ATC Punjab. Guarantee one year. Contact: Shreejee Kangan Palace, 6439 Mukherji Gali, Gandhi Nagar, Delhi.

LEARN how to make shampoo, coldcream, facepack, gel, home-made soap and start your own business. Certificate provided by KVIC, Govt of India. For detail, plz dial 9811272138, e-mail: info@candleclassesandmaterial.com, http://candleclassesandmaterial.com.

CHEMICO pest control service. (Rs 500) totally herbal. No shifting tension. No bad smell. Experience 20 years. Effective treatment of termite, lizard, cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies, rats and all insects. Services everywhere in Delhi and NCR. Call: 9891099300, 9811241994, 011-26864105.

I-MAX Academy offers Master, District and Unit Franchise anywhere in India for ABCUS, VEDIC Maths, Creative Art Program Contact: 9971201246, 9811912146. www.imaxacademy.com PERSONS interested in opening a study centre of The Global Open University Nagaland in Uttar Pradesh. Kindly send details to Mr. S. K. Mishra. Contact: Max Institute of Higher Studies, Gopal Plaza, Railway Road, Bajaria, Ghaziabad. Ph.: 09990638463, 0120-4136210. e-mail: max_ihs@yahoo.co.in

LEARN candle making (wax, gel, decoration, carving)/ chocolate making/ giftpacking/trousseau packing/envelope making/basket making/basket decoration/gift accessories/ soap making/jewellery making/ cosmetology/ nail art / potli and bags/bead work decoration.Mobile: 9871817722 Delhi e-mail: info@candleclassesandmaterial.com, http://candleclassesandmaterial.com.

FOR correspondence / regular courses in stainglass, warli, Madhubani, American tribal art, aboriginal Australian art, village art, jharokhas, Rajasthani paintings. We also take order work in different mediums. Painting in relief works and hand-painted lamps for sale. Contact Mrs Honey Singh, 798 Nikka Singh Block, Asiad Village, Near Siri fort Auditorium, New Delhi-110049. Ph: 9810562857, 011-26496798, e-mail:amazing_artz@yahoo.co.in.

LEARN technical know-how to make chocolates includes production / cost calculation / marketing / machinery from professionals and set up your own profitable unit. Besides training we accept orders for wedding, corporate and return gifts.All chocolates material available. Please dial 9871817711 e-mail: info@chocolateclassesandmaterial.com, http:// chocolateclassessandmaterial.com.

Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009


people. Except Shabana Azmi, no body took interest to fight for slum dwellers. According to Shatrughan Sinha, film stars become members of parliament to avoid income tax raids. They are not interested in any national work. – I. P. Gandhi, Karnal.




The article Get rid of Negative Thoughts is inspiring and thought A provoking. It reminded me the words of Norman Vincent Peale who advocated positive thinking. He said, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” No one can expect to achieve perfection or to solve satisfactorily every difficult problem that arises throughout life. But a positive attitude and constructive approach help us to tackle troubles optimistically, by using our talents and skills in ways directed towards success rather than failure To acquire the positive outlook we have first to eliminate from our personality the negative thoughts that hold us back, make it harder to secure good relationship with others. The positive and constructive approach to life demands energy, action and enthusiasm to accomplish worthwhile things in life. – Beena Mathur, Pune.
lly, successfu his project only to complete within budget with was view everything on time and His boss ll of us mistake. our prevailing one minor with his work, through If our and satisfied was happy that pleased in the team mental attitudes. to magnify are positive, are everyone He began thoughts The but if they and except himself. unnecessarily. is fine, mistake by his our lives the small minimised negative, project was ces will probably circumstan thoughts. We entire attitude. back and negative taken a step a mirror these thoughts Had Rahul thought to This all have negative his negative at the whole and then. every now as we might reverted one and looked he and positively, the t positive behaviour unpleasan objectively is normal too thing not only have completed also through some lives. But have gone would ily, but would es in our are bad and project satisfactor for future experienc thoughts a mentor become should be many negative ctive. to be have Small mistakes efforts to can be self-destru and projects. thinking appears thinking. from our minds, again should Negative than positive effort, erased such mistakes can more prevalent requires some thought prevent positive comes thinking and turn made. A Positive thinking action negative much be positive This has whereas initiate a uninvited. and the that her easily and things around. education in. Meena realised wanted to do with one has been living One day, and she nt in a mess to undertake house was environme aning project assigned Rahul was his manager. to begin a house-cle project by he was able an important hard months, After three

How to get s positive result e through positiv thinking.



By Sheela


the children from his Rahul's adopted Islands for the Mumbai Andaman and Nicobar Foundatio n, feels that trust, The ahul Bose best comm Marathon. was the after charitable d in the Mumbai Slumdog Marathon any sort of especially es tale participate at the to happen ags-to-rich He feels runs to eradicate He feels hit the jackpotwinning unity event terror attacks. The trust society. Millionaire attacks the discrimination from recent the Andaman Globe Awards,including the the recent and in children from don't feel even after 66th Golden spirit die coveted awards leg up in that ly that these Islands not let its four of the give it a city should more aggressive and Nicobar be a part of mainland drama to s to think come forward demand for best film Oscars. themselve don't really 's race for support and young fact demand Hollywood " which tells of a as Indians a part of India. show their e. ”We can - India com- to to be governanc "Slumdog, of the love and a corruption a part looking for game better a cleaner and where the Andamans and kids are Indian man a television to have by Rahul in times money on ial. These director provided peting for awards for free Mumbai seemed uncongen I scholarship at the Rishi Simon studying re WE. also earned er of show, . atmosphe screenwrit think in terms in a city are currently in Bangalore A.R. Rahman We needed to Danny Boyle, niece Aalia minds Valley School composer thanked leave my is the Beaufoy and of million score. Boyle Asso- want to on the block With community s and for best musical Foreign Press he new girl that is a Parekh. , aspiration the Hollywood gives out the Golden and ideologies communit y all the (Tamil) and dusky Brinda his but a rs like Pokkiri), under her ciation, which for supportingpace opinions, blockbuste ta (Kannada After Globe Awards, the frenetic same." Buddhivan back in B – Town. captures , movie that Patel with Brinda is Corporate Dev belt, e in Irffan and appearanc of life in Mumbai. lead in Vipul Freida Pinto Slumdog Millionaire. her guest a negative a Salman Anil Kapoor, Boyle of Brinda plays Dreams, Director Danny Shah's LondonDevgan starrer. Ajay often been Khan and beauty has Bipasha The dusky with the sensuous it, she about compared quizzed think Basu. When nice because I and feels talented said, "It is extremely her as Bipasha consider long looking. I me a very very good It will take my mentor. where she is." to time to get Soha Al Tagore and fo harmila ran the marathon Khan also


The editorial in WE of February II 2009 entitled Tackling Exam Phobia made interesting reading. The stress and anxiety faced by the students and parents is on the rise. Millions of students will be burning the midnight oil with the ensuring board examinations for class X and XII. Pressure on the students is due to many reasons-reasons like targeting to secure high percentage marks. Sometimes pressure from the peers, parents and teachers give an extra dose of stress to the students. Because of these pressures, many students take the extreme step of committing suicide, when they feel that they could not keep up the expectations of others and secure high marks. To overcome their anxiety and examination related stress, the first phase of CBSE counselling began from Ist February, and it will continue till 2nd April 2009. This is the 12th consecutive year that CBSE has been providing counselling services to students and parents during examinations. – Anthony Sanders, Mumbai.

TARGETIN on the fringe country was Day, moral when our t a juncture, g her 60th Republic once again EXAM PHOBIA winter is fast giving of celebratinHindutvav adi forces liberty. of as women’s As the brigade are burning described developing time again. students ns t is exam what is being in Mangalore, a fast of a millions of examinatio trounced members place way to spring, the ensuing board first week of incident took , where around fortyand bashed up oil with in the are The midnight a pub which begin Republic and anxiety city in Karnataka barged into X and XII, before the ted stress group but also for class two days right-wing students, this, exam-rela women just among the March. With openly several young rise not only those women reasons our also on the parents. Day. alleged that – a practice that due to many Sri among their on the students is percentag e marks. The attackers wine there also brought high in drinking Pressure The attack parents and n’s chief, to secure indulged peers, It organisatio Bharat culture forbids. from the like targeting Arrest of to the students. great Hindu s, pressure into limelight. its links with Abhinavgaining dose of stressbecause of such Sometime Ram Sena on revealed give an extra that step of organisati teachers extreme Pramod Muthalik, – another bomb blasts. to be ignored take the could not is also not after Malegaon that the many studentsthey feel that they notoriety n so far reveals behind pressures Investigatio suicide, when of others. people ns committing of the and expectatio now Mangalore motive blasts and keep up the their anxiety phase a Hindu Malegaon is to create To overcome stress, the first India. from 1st pub incident the precincts of n-related new g began examinatio counsellin Rashtra within indication that till 2nd April, are of CBSE continue e year It is a clear Taliban mindset It would consecutiv rs of February. g is the 12th in the country perpetrato counsellin heads providing 2009. This during has been raising their of that CBSE students and parents beating again. to to say, services e hit the eye Needless ns. programm the pub has all examinatio the CBSE Outreach women inside The people from In fact, the designed keeping and are the youth of the storm. especially is carefully of students’ population of modes sections, eity over the country in Multiple NGOs all heterogen infuriated. against this vandalism is cal spread. as telephonic geographi this in marches to them, ation such columns out protest According been communic Question-Answer are taking policing. g, rights have black CBSE Voice Response of moral counsellin a rs, Interactive counselling through more the namefirst time that women’s incident as this and newspape online not the are also terming (IVRS) and reach out to more They System to simply not attacked. rights. is used policing is , trained phase. Also, website spot on women’s kind of moral during this c society. the such as 43 principals nt and examinees of Of course, and democrati governme as many will affiliated and members in bad in a civilised This year tolerable of ministers not only s from CBSE ists and social scientists are counsellor and abroad. psycholog some comments n for Women wounds. y in India e Commissio salt on the private schools; line individuall the cities of Delhi, National a progressiv help in also rubbing the fact that in Gurgaon, operate this centres in India greater taste, but Jaipur, 39 playing far no denying Jamnagar, There are h, Meerut, women are should and must There is Chandigar ar, Vishakhapatnam, from six that of India, tion. They Noida, be male society like Bhubanesw the first time transforma used to Guwahati, Faridabad, e and for in social that once Coimbator Bangalore There are roles , those rights Nagpur, Jabalpur, enjoy all of Kerala. of Bhopal, by womenfolk es only. tely, new cities Kollam in the state g drinks India at Kuwait, prerogativ g intoxicatin practice. Unfortuna is Baroda and centres outside Consumin healthy and libertine help line good is not a Sharjah. also four being liberal it high time to can take however, Qatar and , it is the line between Dubai, Doha , students and parents day. Isn’t s. Ultimately cool dividing blurred day by Therefore counsellor m We . Keeping the two? the CBSE mansera.co So, getting te between advice from have to tackle everything always work. differentia write to: letters@wo who students exams positively millions of young facing the the best to mind and boldly. All face the exams (Second) 2009 minds. Era ● February Woman’s




and learns the Ten Ancient Rituals for Radiant Living in three years from the sages of Himalayas. He takes a single night to teach the same to another character named John who happened to be his colleague and subordinate in his earlier law profession. I had felt exhausted at the end of the novel because it was circuitous. In analogy, the author of the above said article Monidipa Sharma has listed 16 rituals in a mind-appealing way. Practically speaking, I have implemented these things in my life for the last couple of years and I feel terrifically disciplined and I look much younger than my actual age. Along with these 16 steps one can add one more ritual which is ‘Reading’. Reading habit is a good habit which the younger generation has failed to develop. In my opinion the story ‘Homecoming’ was simply a disaster. I continued reading it in search of some actual story or some thing at least at the end. When I finished, I was puzzled and uttered “Hmm...was it a fiction?” We all are familiar with the traditional weddings. Also, young people who work/study abroad don’t prefer to come back and settle down in India is a century-old fact. There is no story in it to tell! Only thing I can say good about this is that the author is ingenious regarding the language he has used. – Beena Ramesh Hegde, Ahmedabad.
The prize is awarded to:

Beena Ramesh Hegde, Ahmedabad.
WOMAN'S ERA invites readers’ opinions and reactions on articles, short stories and features published in Woman’s Era. The best letter will be given a prize of Rs 500. Address your letters by E-mail to: letters@womansera.com or by post to: AS YOU SAY
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This refers to Bombay Filmdom (February II). Slumdog Millionaire got several prizes. But Amitabh Bachchan does not like that film producer earning millions at the cost of our poverty. Rajya Sabha member Nargis had also raised the same question when Pather Panchali got several prizes in the West. Film stars are playing in crores. But they do not try to help poor
Woman’s Era ● February (Second) 2009

I simply loved the article Simple ways to feel energised every day (February I) for its brevity and cajoling presentation. This reminded me of the novel ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’ written by Robin Sharma. Julian, one of the characters relinquishes all his wealth


Small, easyto-adopt ideas to make a big to difference your life.
By Monidip Sharma a



Woman’s Era ● April (First) 2009

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