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WOMAN ’S ERA
AUGUST (SECOND) 2009
AUGUST (SECOND) 2009
Vol 36, Issue No. 857
BUILDS HAPPY HOMES
Founder: Vishwa Nath
STAY TOGETHER BUT STAND APART
JODHAA AKBAR JEWELLERYGLITTERED!
26 THE BOON OF PREMARRIAGE COUNSELLING
30 ROMANCE OF THE PAINTINGS OF RAJASTHAN
70 A BURNING NATIONAL ISSUE
72 THE GREEN WORLD
Dr Alka Singh
88 WHY MORE AND MORE WOMEN ARE DRINKING
DAD’S THE WORD!
122 MONKEY’S PRECAUTIONS TO POISON
K. M. Sharma
126 PANDIT RONU MAJUMDAR
90 AN ARTIST WITH DISTINCTION: SRUSHTI
Gayatri T. Rao
128 PASSPORT TO NOWHERE
94 PAINTING WOMEN OF TODAY
Our Correspondent Rachna Pande
136 SETTING UP A PERFECT GUEST ROOM
AT HER CURVACEOUS BEST
116 VIRAL HEPATITIS 118 KABINI THE PERFECT GETAWAY FOR NATURE LOVERS
MONSOON MAKE-UP LIGHT AND SHEER
46 WAYS TO SERVE RICE
● ● ● ● ● ●
16 ARE YOU A GODDESS?
Sweet Canapes Rainbow Rice Rice Coriander Soup Tacho Rice Mango Rice Kheer Broccoli Pulao Peanut Choco Whirls Glazed Plum Tart Pizza Swirls Check Board Cake Italian Twisters Cinnamon Coffee Cake
powder 4 tsp cocoa 10-12 tsp water or sauce chocolate syrup METHOD Line Preheat oven. cake round three small parchme nt pans with flour, baking paper. Combine in a bowl. Beat Italian twisters powder, soda milk in a condense d mixer butter and with an electric and large bowl the flour mixer Pour until fluffy. Add and beat well. enough water a medium batter into into half of the remaining batter melted bowl. Spoon bag. Stir into a plastic INGREDIENTS: or cocoa powder chocolate 1/4 cups flour into another mozarella cheese in bowl, spoon opening in 1 batter 1 cup grated pasta sauce 1 tbsp butter Cut 1/2-1” 1/2 cup prepared plastic bag. bag. Pipe 3 1/2 tsp sugar corner of each of yellow yeast bottom 1/2 tsp salt METHOD g rings sugar and even alternatin batters into 11/2 tsp dry yeast (instant) Mix the milk, until yeast chocolate Let stand beginning milk butter and in a bowl. pans, two flour, salt and edge 1/4 cup warm foams. Place mixed herbs rings along the yeast prepared chocolate bowl. Mix in with a 1 tsp dried cheese a soft with beginning in another form into pan and one for about 20-25 1 tbsp grated mixture and covered of ring. Bake the dough salt, y. Place METHOD again, yellow dough. Keep butter, sugar, Cool completel on in size. Knead Mix the flour, cheese. till double Roll out minutes.with chocolate edge a herbs and it in two. a layer top with yeast, mixed and divide a floured a milk and prepare plate, spread square on repeat with Add the warm over serving dough to a small portions, pasta sauce chocolate sauce, then soft dough. Take and on a layer, surface. Spread pasta reasoning little ged Take two rolls a little Roll yellow-edchocolate-edged layer. roll them. it. Sprinkle surface, twist of the cheese. . lightly floured Place these remaining on it and half style to enclose Top with melted chocolate them together.on prepared dough swiss-roll e into 1 roll cross-wis a bread sticks Press down filling. Cut on Place slices baking sheets. to prevent inch slice. or tray. edges slightly baking sheet Bake greased unravelling. golden brown twists from Bake until brown. Serve Transfer to until golden about 15 minutes. and serve dish warm. a serving immediately.
d Novel metho for making them. a
By Savita Bhargav
PEANUT CHOCO WHIRLS
INGREDIENTS: flour 85 gm refined powder 1/2 tsp baking powder 3 tsp cocoa 85 gm butter sugar 3 tbsp castor 1/2 tsp vanilla essence peanuts 1/4 cup shelled sugar 2 tbsp icing
48 TASTY SNACKS
38 WHERE HAVE ALL THE GIRLS GONE?
74 THE IMPRINT (PART-II)
THE ART OF BARGAINING
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essence. the vanilla using cold soft dough in plastic, 1/3 cup sugar a disc, wrap Shape into an hour. lemon rind for at least 1 tsp grated baking refrigerate 1/4 tsp salt flour in a and pat Grease and butter dough on it 6 tbsp cold a sheet. Place essence circle, forming of 1 tsp vanilla into a 10 inch fruit jam 3/4 cup mixed Pierce bottom in Bake high edge. juice with a fork. 1 tsp lemon dough all over about 25 d oven for or cherries a pre-heate whipped cream till slightly browned. a sweetened in minutes or METHOD (optional) flour, baking lemon juice Melt jam with over low heat Sift together powder. Beat ice cream cocoa saucepan powder and together METHOD flour, almonds, small castor sugar a until spreadable. Mix together butter and Beat in the and salt in cup jam mixture lemon rind the and Spread 1/2 pale and creamy. till essence. sugar, in the butter of shell. Arrange and vanilla bag large bowl. Mix over bottom flour mixture remaining in a piping Brush with fruit on top. Put the mixture star nozzle and large jam mixture. baking fitted with a on greased pipe whirls Place a peanut sheets or trays. each whirl. of in the centre moderately in a Then bake until set. Cool hot oven, serve dusted INGREDIENTS: the biscuits, (maida) 21/2 cups flour with icing sugar. 2 tbsp butter 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp salt 3 tsp dry yeast 1/2 cup warm milk reasoning 2 tsp pasta tart INGREDIENTS: flour Glazed plum 11/3 cups refined almonds (Second) 2009 1/2 cup finely ground ● August
a Form into water.
CHECK BOARD CAKE
INGREDIENTS: d milk 200 gm condense 140 gm maida butter 60 gm melted essence 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp soda powder 1 tsp baking
Check board cake
N CINNAMO COFFEE CAKE
INGREDIENTS:flour 11/3 cup refined sugar 1/2 cup granulated 1/2 cup butter milk oil 1/3 cup refined
GLAZED PLUM TART
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Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Pakoras Twice Baked Potatoes Baked Sandwiches Baked Crispy Stars
14 THE INCIDENT I CANNOT FORGET 53 MY MOST UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE AS A BRIDE 125 GRATEFULLY YOURS 130 NEIGHBOURS ALL 132 CROSSWORD 141 BABY CLUB 146 AS YOU SAY
NEWS IN PICTURES
CULTIVATE THE PAT-ONTHE-BACK TECHNIQUE
18 AN ODE TO WHAT 97 PERSONAL PROBLEM ONCE WAS (Poem) 140 KITCHEN QUERIES 19 BEAUTY QUERIES 142 CLASSIFIEDS 59 MY FAMILY, MY FRIENDS AND ME... 66 THE FIRST SHOWER
FANCIFUL FLIGHT IMAGINATIVELY OF BEAUTY ARTISTIC
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENT DEPARTMENT M-12, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110 001. Phone: 011-23416313. OFFICES Ahmedabad: 503, Narayan Chambers, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad-380 009. Phone: 079-26577845. Bangalore: Delhi Press No. 21, G-3, H.V.S. Court, Cunningham Road, Bangalore-52 Ph: 22267233 Kolkata: Poddar Point, 113, Park Street, Kolkata-700 016. Phone: 033-22298981 Kochi: G-7, Pioneer Towers 1, Marine Drive, Kochi-682 031. Phone: 0484-2371537. ISSN 0971-1503 No article, story, photo or any other matter can be reproduced from this magazine without written permission. This copy is sold on the condition that jurisdiction for all disputes concerning sale, subscription and published matter will be forums/tribunals at Delhi.
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FOR THE SAKE OF LIVING
here are thousands of such sports persons, who chose sports other than cricket and tennis and then lived in anonymity, courtesy general apathy prevailing in our country towards sports. Recently, a call girl was arrested in Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh. Investigation revealed that she was actually a national-level volleyball player from Asam and had been married to a sportsman. The couple had a daughter too and they were expecting to be employed with railways in sports quota. But the railways did not respond to their applications for years and the couple struggled for a living. Their tragedy did not end here. The husband met untimely death and the wife found herself all alone eking a humble living. Her ordeals perhaps would have ended had the railways, or some other capable employer absorbed her under sports quota. But nobody came forward. Now, she has been caught red-handed working as a call girl. Of course, the law will take its course, she will be sermonised about morality and all that. But nobody will look into the causes that drove her to sell her body for a living. Our governments pretend to promote sports. After every Olympics, sports is made a compulsory subject in schools. Sports events begin to be organised amid much fanfare. But then everything becomes ‘normal’. Recently, even a pet dog of a noted Indian cricketer became newsmaker. But there are no tears in the eyes of the officials for the sports woman turned call girl.
in IPC. For example, the above-mentioned section was framed when the British were ruling India. Most of the British officers and soldiers had not brought their families with them. In order to satisfy their carnal lust, they would ruthlessly target young Indian girls. It was only to provide a legal umbrella to such immoral officials that the Section 375 was introduced in IPC. Obviously, the social structure of that time did not allow the girls to fight for their causes. But now, India is independent. It is high time that all such antiquated laws be dumped into the Indian ocean. In their place, new laws must be framed that guarantee to protect fundamental rights of the girls in particular.
ONE MORE COLONIAL-ERA LAW
ection 375 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) presumes that a 16-year-old girl is mature enough, both physically and mentally, so as to give her consent to a man to establish physical relationship with her. Hold on, this section was framed about 150 years ago and much waters have flown since then in the Ganges and Yamuna. So does such a legal permission hold any meaning in modern context? Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court has precisely put the same question before the UP Government and UPA Government at the centre. Justice V D Chaturvedi has issued notices asking if both the governments agree to raise this age limit to 18 years. Both the governments have to file their replies by 31 August. Meanwhile, a healthy debate can be started about the relevance of several British-period laws contained
ndia is a country of the villages, it is said. We have been living in this nostalgia since long. Overtime, however, villages segregated on the basis of religions and even religions divided into castes and creeds. Whether this segregation has done any good to our society is not known, but its ill-effects have been surfacing from time to time. Latest is the case from a village in Jind district of Haryana. A youth went boldly against the wishes of elders and married a girl Sonia of the same village. The real problem arose only after it became known that they both belonged to the same gotra and as such, were siblings. Enraged caste panchayat (Khap) banished the boy and his family from the village. The girl was forcibly separated and confined in her parent’s home. Some days later, the boy took another bold decision and approached the Punjab & Haryana High Court in Chandigarh and appealed for the recovery of his bride. The Hon’ble High Court did assist him and asked the State Government to execute the wishes of the boy. Consequently, the state Government sent a police force with the boy to get his bride released. But the villagers not only stymied the police force but also lynched the boy for his ‘sin’. Had the boy eloped with the girl and settled in some city, everything would have become normal. But he preferred to stay in the village. He was killed to save the honour of the village. The incident also highlights how hapless our courts have become. They issue orders but nobody honours them. Orders of clearing encroachment are other examples. India is poised to become a superpower. But our orthodox caste system is pulling her downward. Certainly, we need to come out of this mire first, and shed our age-old caste write to: email@example.com We reservations. 5
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
BUT STAND APART
Let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. By Suman Bajpai
ou don’t love me any more?” She suddenly asked her husband. “What makes you ask this stupid question? Of course, I love you.” “Then why do you spend time in the study instead of spending with me?” “Because I like reading and while chatting with you it is not possible to concentrate.” “That means you don’t like my company,” she kept on nagging him. “I need to spend some time on my own, it is important for both of us. I never interfere in your personal spaces, do I?” “What do you want to hide from me? There is nothing personal between us, we are married.” “Please leave me alone. Give me some space to grow,” he shouted back and shut himself in the study. Do you give space to your partner? Remember that he or she had a life before meeting you. Give your partner some space to live the
way he or she wants. Don’t demand total attention and companionship at all the times. You will never have a break-up if you let the other person live life as he or she wants. Kahlil Gibran had said, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. And stand together, yet not too near together, for the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” Couples who do everything together miss putting important spaces in their togetherness so that new, separate growth can occur. Without new growth and fresh input from each person, a relationship can stagnate and lack liveliness. It’s important for each spouse to have some time alone to pursue individual interests or enjoy being in privacy. When you crowd your partner and don’t give him or her breathing room, you run the risk of asphyxiating the very relationship that is most important to you.
According to Dr Deepak Raheja head of psychiatry, Paras Hospitals, “There is a popular misconception about romantic love and other ‘close’ relationships that two people need to be together all the time, share every single thing and do everything together to establish intimacy. This is a dangerous myth that enables people to classify relationships as ‘close’ or ‘distant’, leading to complete breakdown in relationships in some cases. The truth is that not being able to live without someone and ‘merging together’ makes for good lyrics in romantic songs but contributes little to the health of a relationship.” Famous danseuse Geeta Chandran explains in this way, “Space is a very vague term, so you can’t define it and above all each person, each couple is different and because of this you can’t standardise it. In the relationship you can’t be claiming every inch of space or make a layer on others identity.”
When you’re married, the boundaries between yourself and your spouse aren’t always clear. For some people, marriage brings the expectation of spending as much time as possible with a spouse and doing most things together. In this model of marriage, the two people generally function as a single unit in thoughts and actions. Love does not mean dissolving all boundaries between each other. It means acknowledging that there are boundaries and being able to communicate despite them. Setting boundaries is essential if we want to be both physically and emotionally healthy. Strong bound aries help maintain balance, selfrespect and allow us to be interdependent in intimate relationships. A lack of boundaries is like leaving the door to your home wide open, anyone, including welcome and unwelcome guests can walk in without hesitation. Having rigid boundaries leads to loneliness and isolation and is akin to living in a fortress with no opening in sight. You can’t get out and no one can penetrate your walls. This leads to problems in intimacy in significant relationships. Unhealthy boundaries cause us deep emotional pain that can lead to dependency, depression, anxiety and physical illness. When you do not have healthy, distinct personal boundaries, you may try to change your spouse to be more like you want him/her to be to meet your needs and expectations. In so doing, you are dishonouring your partner and are not respecting his/her unique individuality and right to make choices. You are also failing to provide protected space so that your spouse’s individual growth and potential can flourish. “Personal boundaries are limits or borders that define where you end and others begin. Your personal boundary is defined by the amount of physical and emotional space you allow between yourself and your partner. Personal boundaries also help you decide what types of communication, behaviour and interaction you accept from others. Woman’s Era
COUPLES WHO DO EVERYTHING TOGETHER MISS PUTTING IMPORTANT SPACES IN THEIR TOGETHERNESS SO THAT NEW, SEPARATE GROWTH CAN OCCUR. WITHOUT NEW GROWTH AND FRESH INPUT FROM EACH PERSON, A RELATIONSHIP CAN STAGNATE AND LACK LIVELINESS. IT’S IMPORTANT FOR EACH SPOUSE TO HAVE SOME TIME ALONE TO PURSUE INDIVIDUAL INTERESTS OR ENJOY BEING IN PRIVACY.
August (Second) 2009
The type of boundaries you set defines whether you have healthy or unhealthy relationships,” explains Dr Deepak.
Geeta Chandran makes it clear that, “Everybody needs a profess ional space because the interests of two people are usually different; they need space to accomplish their dreams and aspirations. People of two different worlds sceptically live 12 hours on their own, so they require a breathing space, otherwise it piles up the bitterness which in long run creates misunderstanding and pang of separation. I and my husband share a common interest, so we share common space more rather than separate space.” She believes in demo cratic type of relationship. “Ours is kind of democratic relationship based on friendship. We were friends before marriage and basis of friendship lies in the fact that each one will not make a demand. There is no ownership factor, amongst us and we take interest in
each other’s things, without overlapping on each others identity,” she further adds. Relationships between people who love and nurture themselves first yield a sense of respect and intimacy that cannot easily happen when one person tries to ‘fix it’ for the other. “A ‘clingy’, enmeshed relationship can soon choke each partner’s sense of individuality and drive two people away from each other. The beauty of a relationship lies in two people uniting in respect for each other’s uniqueness and learning to provide one another an opportunity to grow separately as individuals, in addition to evolving as a couple,” suggests Dr Raheja. Renowned fashion designer Vidhi Singhania feels the necessity of space in the relationship. She says, “In my view giving space to your partner is very important because space and trust are two imperative pillars of the married life. They are like two supportive pillars which need to stand apart to strengthen the relationship. Otherwise a situation of claustrophobia comes and gradually
weakens the bond. You need the space to think, to opine and to create and in that matter I am very lucky that I get enough of it but I don’t think it is true in my husband’s case.” Preserving a marriage or any intimate relationship for that matter, is a lot like building and maintaining a warm, romantic fire. As long as you tend it – throwing in a few logs and stirring the flaming ashes every now and then – the fire will keep you comfy. But neglect it for too long and the flame will sputter out, leaving nothing more than a frigid fireplace full of burnt ashes.
OPENNESS IN RELATIONSHIP
Counsellor Jyotsna Swaroop of Relationship forever.com feels, “It is important to have space in any sort of relationship, be it personal or professional. To beautify the bond it is important to spend quality time together, but it is equally important to give space to each other too so that both can survive with full liberty. People in a happy relationship always don’t cling to each other all the time; they do give space to each other. Too much of togetherness can at times bring cramps in life. You don’t have to be together all the time to keep your relationship intact. Be together yet give space to each other.” All of us need time in aloofness to understand and know ourselves better, to do the things we enjoy. It is only then we can be our individual self, in love with ourselves and our partners. Becoming a slave to love can lead to dependency which is another relationship killer. When you begin to care for yourself, your contentment may intrigue your partner enough to draw him back. There should be openness in your relationship so that both can spend time on their own without the guilt of ignoring each other. Focus on your own needs as well as your spouse’s. Do something for yourself each day. When you fulfill your needs, you will be able to fulfil We your partner’s as well.
Don’t let the “go” in you be retarded by those who come up with discouraging ideas. Here’s how to tackle them.
By Suniti Kharbanda
nergy is the essence of life. Life without energy is not living, but just existing. That is why it is very important for us, that in every moment of our life we should have energy and enthusiasm. Even though most of us do understand the need for it, we often wonder how or where our energy disappears when we most need it. The secret of energy disappearance is not far from us. It might be your neighbour, your servant, your friend or even your own self who is acting as an Energy Leech and sucking out your energy. Once you are aware of the presence of these Energy Leeches you will be
in a better position to deal with them. As they say, “Forewarned is forearmed”. Examples of Energy Leeches that you may face:
● Negative people: If you think back you will recollect instances when brimming with energy you stepped out of the house and was waylaid by your neighbour, Sujata. She gave you a total recap of your neighbourhood but in a negative manner. “Sharmaji is having an affair with Anita because Anita was seen talking to him near the cinema hall. Rekha’s children are so snooty, they don’t even talk to their neighbourhood children. Neera’s dog is so ill-trained — it keeps littering the roadside. Aarushi called us for a meal but she’s an atrocious cook — we all had a stomachache the next day... so on and so forth. Her monologue continues and by the time you could escape from her you were no longer fresh and enthusiastic. Sujata’s negative thoughts had leeched out all your happy feelings. ● Dream snatchers: These are the category of people who cannot see anybody flourishing. The moment you tell them your dream they snatch it away from you. Remember Gurubhai’s father in the movie Guru? A young college girl Ankita might mention that she wants to become an airline pilot and her cousin, the Dream Snatcher Sarita, immediately tells her many reasons why it is not possible — you are too fat, your parents will not be able to afford it, you are not smart enough, there is a glut of pilots... So, even before Ankita’s dreams can take wing, she has been grounded. It can happen to you when your husband gives you the drawbacks of taking up a job or the mother-in-law tells the daughter-in-law why she can never be a good cook. Without dreams you are like a wingless butterfly. ● The “J” people (for the uninitiated “J” stands for Jealous): These are the Energy Leeches who
may be secretly envying you and so always try to be one-up on you. Your daughter may have come first in her class and you are basking in the glory but your colleague tells you that in a better school she might not be able to duplicate the feat. Or else you get a well-deserved promotion and your “friend” tells you that you should have got it six months ago and getting it now does not mean much. Your joi de vivre dies a fast death then because your energy has been sucked by your “friend.” We can all recollect occasions when we felt good about our achievement but our friends/neighbours/family did not feel it was good enough or knew somebody who was better.
● Good for nothings: This category of Energy Leeches are
themselves good for nothings and want other people also to be in their category. They will always be morose and unhappy and will never understand your enthusiasm. Their proximity is enough to sap you of your energy.
● The person in the mirror: Strange though it may sound but sometimes we ourselves are our worst enemies. We do not have faith in ourselves. An aspiration or a dream is not worked at because we feel that we will fail at it. It is good to know your own strengths and weaknesses and be realistic about it but not pessimistic. Till you have faced new situations or problems you will not realise your potential. Your inability to bake that perfect cake doesn’t mean that you are incapable and will never be able to do it. Treat your failures as “stepping stones” and not “stopping stones”. However, there are some time tested ways to overcome these human leeches but only when you recognise the energy-sucking situations and want to do something about it. These are some of the good ways. ● Positive people: This is the first and foremost way. In your acquaintances and friends, identify positive people who “give” rather than take. They give their time, energy, affection, advice and through their pleasantness make you feel that the world is good and that you are good. They give positive suggestions and radiate a positive energy and aura. Just look around for these people who have a pleasant word to exchange with you. Meet them often to replenish your depleted energy. ● Smile: Even at the cost of sounding cliched, your “smile is your best armour”. When confronted with the good-for-nothings or the negative people, smile. Faced with a smile, these Energy Leeches feel helpless because they realise that all their efforts have gone in vain and that
THESE ARE THE ENERGY LEECHES WHO MAY BE SECRETLY ENVYING YOU AND SO ALWAYS TRY TO BE ONE-UP ON YOU.
there is no point in pulling down the person further as it is not making any difference.
● Avoid: Another good way is after identifying such Energy Leeches — avoid them. When you see your negative neighbour “Sujata” or the dream snatcher “Sarita” coming from across the road to meet you, smile and wave but tell her you are in a hurry and cannot stop to chat now. ● Tell firmly: Sometimes, it is not possible to avoid these Energy Leeches because they may be related to you or may be your colleague at office. Tell them politely but firmly that you appreciate their concern about your love life/cooking skills/job prospects/looks but are not willing to discuss it as you are sensitive to it. Better to be firm once than suffer every time you meet and the sensitive topic creeps up.
positive stories and anecdotes to share with others. Appreciate and encourage others, even those whom you feel are not so lovable. Do believe in the motto life is like an echo, it all comes back” the good, the bad, the true and the false — so give the world the best you have and the best shall come back to you.
● Meditate: When nothing else seems to work, just step back from your life and meditate. Meditation here means to be alone with your own self. Think about your reasons for feeling unhappy or let down. If the reason lies with your own self, try and improve. However, if the cause is someone else, decide which of the above strategies will work best to counter the energy sapped from you. So, from today, just keep your eyes and ears open to identify these energy sucking Leeches and after that banish them from your presence. Happy energy-filled life ahead! We
● Positive campaign: However, my favourite way is to start a positive campaign by your own self. You yourself should be positive about your own self and others. Firstly avoid being an Energy Leech yourself. Develop your personality so that others enjoy your company. Have some heartwarming and
I had been to my aunt’s place last year. They were on the lookout for a bride for her grandson. While I was there, they received a proposal and the girl’s uncle informed us that he would be visiting my aunt’s house along with the girl. We found it awkward that he was bringing the girl along, but my aunt said that since the girl was working and they were in town on a very short visit, she probably wanted to see the house where she was to spend her whole life. They came at the appointed time. After a while my aunt dragged me to
another room to ask my opinion about the girl. I as in a dilemma as the girl was extremely beautiful, smart and belonged to a very decent family, but she did look a little old for my nephew. I did not say anything but when my aunt voiced the same opinion, I too nodded in agreement. After quite a long while, during the course of the conversation, the girl’s uncle revealed that the lady accompanying him was his sister – the girl’s mother! As everyone else was unaware of the dialogue between my aunt and myself, they did not react, but my aunt burst into laughter, her advantage was that she was wearing a saree and could cover her face and hide her laughter, while poor me, I had no aide and could not help laughing. The poor guests were put in an embarrassing position but I could not help it. It was after a while that I could gather my wits. “But you look so young, we mistook you for the girl,” I blurted out. Fortunately the lady took it
as a compliment and I was spared from the rebuke I would have received from others for creating such an embarrassing situation for the guests! – Rupal Chhaya, Ahmedabad.
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:
August (Second) 2009
Are You a Goddess?
To her mother-in-law Sandhya is a goddess. Why?
By Sunanda Ramachandra
her heart full of sorrow. She had virtually lost her other, please come and stay with me. I son, she thought. have a good house and great job and After a few days of her marriage, Sandhya came have servants to look after the house,” along with Raghav to their village. She requested Raghav begged. “No, my dear child,” her mother-in-law to come along with them to said Krishnadevi. “I cannot leave your Cuttack, but Krishnadevi obstinately refused. father’s house. That big entrance door one Days passed, Krishnadevi wove silk saris and got day welcomed me into this family and also them sold. But now her eyesight was dim. She was bid farewell to your father when you were only 10 not able to see distinctly. But she still did not think of years old. I have my fond memories, my dear. I will moving to her son’s place. not be able to move anywhere at this age.” One day, as she had just finished her weaving Raghav pleaded but to no avail. His mother had and was about to wash herself, she suddenly heard brought him up with great hardship after his father a bang on her door. She opened it and to died early. His mother learnt weaving saris her surprise, there stood a woman about to and took up the occupation. Though it was Krishnadevi not a flourishing business, her mother’s was speechless. fall on the ground. “Aunty, please give me something to hard labour made them survive in the ‘A woman’s eat. I am very hungry,” said the woman. world. He had now joined the civil services condition is “Come in, “Krishnadevi said.” Wash and been posted as the district magistrate always your feet and hands. I will see what I can of Cuttack. pathetic,’ she give you.” She gave her some rice she had Krishnadevi was never born in or thought. made earlier as she had not started her married into a weaver’s family, but took up Kokila was the occupation to survive and bring up her very tired. She cooking. “What is your name?” she asked. only child. She could never beg to slept as soon as “My name is Kokila,” said the stranger woman. My husband beat me and drove anybody even if she had to survive without she had me out of the house for another woman food for days. But now when her son finished the and hence, I am moving from place to wanted her to stay with him, she was food and cleaned the place without knowing what to do. happy...happy that she could now enjoy vessels. “Okay, Kokila, you eat your food and her remaining days at her son’s place. She take rest. Afterwards, we will go to your was about to approve of his son’s request, husband’s place and discuss with him.” when she shivered at a thought that all of a sudden “That will be of no use, aunty. I could not bear a generated in her brain... What would happen if her daughter-in-law throws her out of her house, ill treats child, so no one in my husband’s family wants me. They made him marry a second time and threw me her etc, etc? So she decided to stay back in her out.” village. Krishnadevi was speechless. ‘A woman’s After a few months, Raghav married Sandhya who was once studying along with him. She was the condition is always pathetic,’ she thought. Kokila was very tired. She slept as soon as she had finished daughter of an IAS officer. Krishnadevi was happy when her son got married, at the same time was sad the food and cleaned the vessels. Then the day gave way to night and the moon shone brightly. “Kokila, at the status of her daughter-in-law. She cried with
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
get up, have some food,” Krishnadevi called out to her. “Sorry, aunty, I slept.” Kokila got up and said. Both of them had their food and as Krishnadevi was getting ready to clean the vessels, Kokila snatched them and sat down to clean them. “Aunty, do you not have any children/husband? I did not see anybody,” enquired Kokila. “I have a son at Cuttack. He is married and happily settled,” Krishnadevi answered. Kokila did not ask anything further. Days turned to nights and nights to days. Krishnadevi grew fond of Kokila. Kokila helped Krishnadevi in all the household work. Slowly, she took care of the entire work in the house. She also learnt weaving and helped Krishnadevi in weaving. She took great care of Krishnadevi when she fell ill. Life went on. Then, one day, Krishnadevi heard a knock on her door early in the morning. Kokila opened the door. “Who is it, Kokila? Krishnadevi asked. “Namskar, mother,” Sandhya and your son have come to see you, it has been long since we met,” said Raghav. Krishnadevi was very happy to see her son. “How are you, my son?” she cried. “I am fine, mother,” Raghav replied. Both Raghav and Sandhya touched her feet and she blessed them. “Kokila, give them some water and make some tea,” she ordered. They talked and talked and again Raghav asked Krishnadevi to come with them. “Don’t worry son. I now have Kokila, and she is of great help to me,” said Krishnadevi and went into the kitchen to bring some water. As she entered, she overheard the conversation? “Didi, are you okay? How are you able to manage the work? I have been
working for you all the years, first at your father’s place and now at your place. Besides, the servants are not very cooperative.” “Don’t worry, Kokila. I am managing somehow. You concentrate here. Tell me, are you taking good care of my mother-inlaw or not? “Yes, didi, she is very nice. She also takes care of me...” Krishnadevi was taken aback. ‘Kokila has been sent by Sandhya so that she can take care of me,’ she thought. How good this girl is and how mean I am! she prayed. “Okay, Mother, we are going. Please take care of yourself, Kokila take care. Call us if here is any requirement,” Raghav said as he started to go back. Raghav and Sandhya took her blessings and raced off in a car as Krishnadevi stood at the door for hours, remembering the childhood days of Raghav. Both are very nice persons. Sandhya has a heart of gold. I am so proud I am her mother-inlaw?” her inner voice choked. “Aunty, what are you weaving? It is turning out to be very beautiful,” enquired Kokila. Yes, I want to weave the best sari of my life,” said Krishnadevi. “You just see how it looks after it is over.” But what is this aunty? Why are you weaving at night. Your eyes will get spoiled. Some days back you were complaining you were not able to see properly. “I want to weave the best sari before I die, my dear,” explained Krishnadevi. “Mother, what is this, I told you to stop weaving, but you are so adamant. You have spoiled your eyes. Only when Kokila telephoned, I came to know,” said Raghav with grief. “Come on, we will go to the doctor. “Krishnadevi obediently went along with Raghav. She had become half blind now and she wanted to get back her eyesight. “We have to operate on her,” said the doctor. “But doctor, will I be okay?” Krishnadevi enquired.” “Oh yes, very much. Within one month you can see clearly, but you should not strain your eyes.” Krishnadevi
“Mother, where are you. How stayed with her son and daughter-in-law. Krishnadevi are your eyes?” Raghav shouted while They took very good care of her. Suddenly, was taken entering.” What are you doing? Again one day, Krishnadevi said, she wanted to aback. ‘Kokila weaving! go back to her village. has been sent “No my son, I have stopped weaving. In “But why mother? Are you not happy by Sandhya so fact I have finished weaving the last sari of here?” that she can my life. “I am my son, but I have to go.” I will From now onwards I will not touch the come to you my child, but now let me go.” take care of loom.” Krishnadevi pleaded. me,’ she “How are you mother?” asked Sandhya Krishnadevi and Kokila were back in the thought. “How in a tone as sweet as a nightingale’s. village. Krishnadevi went to her loom, paid good this girl Very good my child. I am fine, “saying her salutations and restarted the work she is and how this, Krishnadevi she went inside. She had left unfinished. mean I am!” brought out the sari spread it and draped it “Look, Kokila, how is it?” Krishnadevi she prayed. over Sandhya, “Look Kokila, does she not asked happily while showing the sari she look like a goddess? Sandhya is the real had made. goddess for whom I have weaved the last and best “It is really beautiful, anybody who wears it will piece of work of my life,” she embraced her look like a goddess. What price will you fix, aunty? daughter-in-law. exclaimed Kokila. “Mother, you are a goddess, not me,” said “I want to present it to a goddess, said Krishnadevi. “It is priceless. Can anybody really pay Sandhya.” You have single handedly brought up your son. Whatever he is today is because of your for this, I wonder.” sacrifices, your hard labour and your struggles. Will “Kokila, go, open the door. The goddess is you come and stay with us? Mother, please. We will coming,” said Krishnadevi,, one day. be honoured,” requested Sandhya. ‘Who? Goddess? Which goddess? Do gods We “Yes, my dear, “I will, said Krishnadevi. really come?’ thought Kokila.
AN ODE TO WHAT ONCE WAS
The moon glows bright in the sky, I glance towards the heavens, hoping to see a falling star – I want to make a wish... I want our love to last. I pick petals from a blood-red rose. “He loves me, He loves me not...” I sit under a waning tree, moonlight filters through the leaves, casting some sort of ethereal light Upon our love letters which rest upon my knee. I don’t want this night to end, let the whole world sleep while I lie awake and ponder on my dreams of love. The gentle breeze, rustles the fallen leaves around me and I slowly begin to see, to realise, that love, like everything else, has a life of it’s own. It has a beginning, it has an end.
– Chetna Jivan
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
I have to step out for work in the sun and sometimes I forget the sun screen. Mostly, despite the sunscreen, I feel my face looks stressed. I can only do something weekly. Can you suggest something to undo the sun damage? As you are using sunscreen, the damage would be minimal and might be pollution-driven. You can make a cooling mask with a piece of cucumber put in the blender with half a teaspoon of honey. Leave on your face and neck for 15 to 20 minutes before washing off.
chewing your nails. Consult a dermatologist who will be able to assess if this is temporary discolouration which will go away in a couple of weeks or you need some medication. In the meantime you can rub some gentle cream or oil at night to provide lubrication and moisture to the cuticles.
all over, and more in the affected area and wash after 15 minutes. Also check your food pattern and if the problem continues, consult a dermatologist.
Q & A
When I return from my office I feel as though my feet are on fire. What can I do to de-stress my feet? Well, take enough water in a tub to soak your feet. It should be tepid – not too hot and not chilled either. Add the juice of a few lemons and soak until the water feels the same temperature as your feet. Rub half a teaspoon of honey on your soles and feet and immerse them again in cooler water. Leave for a few minutes and wash with ordinary water. I am barely 17 and have the habit of chewing my nails. I have now reduced it greatly but find that my cuticles are getting black. Are the two related in any way? It might be related if you were pulling out at the cuticles while
I have recently noticed crinkles around the outer corner of my eyes. What can I do to reduce these? You have not mentioned your age. Some fine lines in this region are natural and sometimes these appear because we tend to squint our eyes while we work at the computer or are out in the sun. if you gently massage the area with almond oil in an inward motion and then wipe your eyes with cold milk you will get some relief.
My daughter who is 24 has been hankering for a tattoo and when I told her that she might not like it after a few years she decided to get a temporary tattoo. Will it be safe? A temporary tattoo is nothing more than a skin transfer. It has a short life like henna and would fade away. You also get the variety that can be removed with oil or certain substances and they are a lot more popular. At 24 if your daughter decides to get even a permanent tattoo, you will not be able to stop her, so just help her identify a good spot and something that is timeless and nice.
I have just noticed a few grey strands in my hair and I am barely 22. I definitely do not want to colour my hair. What do I do? Yes, greying hair before old age is the bane of modern life and has various factors right from sinus problems to hereditary genes. You do not need to colour your hair for a few stray hair. However, if it bothers you, try using henna with conditioner as that will give it a dark orange hue. Don’t pluck these hair or cut them because they are often harder than other hair and tend to show more if they are very short.
I find that my six-year-old daughter is constantly in front of the mirror and wants to use make-up. What can I do to satisfy her without harming her skin? It is a fact that we live in a beautyobsessed society. She is too young to be allowed any make-up but you can reward her on festivals when she is all dressed up, with a little stick-on bindi and maybe some lip tint. Avoid any heavy thing like foundation or eye colour etc.
I am 23 and have never had any skin problem but since I got engaged three months ago my skin erupts regularly with pimples and zits. What do I do as I am getting married in six months’ time? It seems that your engagement has triggered some sort of stress in your system and you need to care for your emotions and health; skin-care will sort itself out. Increase your water intake. Make a face pack of Fuller’s earth with rose water and you can add a pinch of cinnamon powder to it. Apply Woman’s Era
I use make-up sparingly but lately I feel that whenever I use make-up within a day or so I get a rash around my hairline around the jaw and on the forehead. What should I do? It is possible that the problem is being created not by make-up but by incorrect make-up removal. Check the manufacturing date of your remover and of your make-up as well. Ensure that when you remove make-up no residue stays behind in the hairline area. Use rose water on cotton wool to give it one last wipe to ensure that all residue has been removed. 19
August (Second) 2009
Real or reality show
Reality television star Rakhi Sawant (L) announces her engagement to Toronto-based Elesh Parujanwala (R), whom she chose from 16 eligible bachelors, at the conclusion of the series ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ at Hotel Leela Kempinski in Mumbai on August 2, 2009. The show hosted by NDTV Imagine enjoyed highest viewership rating.
Flower show Digital camera
A Panasonic new stylish compact digital camera ‘Lumix DMC - ZXI on display at the company’s showroom in Tokyo. The camera features the world’s thinnest lens in the compact lens unit. We need to compete with Japan earnestly. A girl carries a traditional ‘silleta’ (flower arrangement) during a parade of Flower Festival in Medellin, Antiquia department, Colombia. With so much flowers growing in India, why can’t we organise such events?
Japan’s robotics venture Cyberdyne employees wearing the robot-suit ‘HAL’ (Hybrid Assistive Limb) walk on a street in Tokyo for the demonstration. The robot-suit can help assist the disabled and the aged. When can we see such technological advances in our own country?
In Today’s love style
Deepika Padukone charms customers while autographing jersies during a promotion for the movie “Aaj Kal Love” at Reliance Trend in Mumbai on July 31, 2009.
Progress by leaps and bounds
Artists perform at the Grove in Los Angeles on August 2, 2009 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Cirque du Soleil. The Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian entertainment company based in Montreal. It expanded rapidly through 90s and the new century, going from one show to approximately 3,500 employees from over 40 countries. India too has such talents. It needs only exposure.
Miss universe finalist
Here is Japan’s finalist for the Miss Universe pageant, Emiri Miyasaka, wearing a kimono costume at a party in Tokyo. Now, she has modified her kimono which exposed her hot-pink underwear which had triggered a storm of protest. How does it compare with our Miss India pageant?
The Citroen 2 CV cars
The Citroen 2 CV cars are parked at a camp during the 18th International meeting of Citroen car fans at the hippodrom in Most, North Bohemia, some 100 km from Prague. Mr Ratan Tata, please take note.
DAD’S THE WORD!
Here’s what’s good about dads parenting kids.
By Mita Banerjee
Sigmund Freud said, “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” t’s been the traditional thing, carried down from the Stone Age. The father goes out to work. He’s responsible for putting food on the table. As far as his kids are concerned he is the ‘provider’ and occasionally the ‘disciplinarian’. Don’t we still remember with a shiver those terrifying words from our mothers, “Wait till your father comes home and sees this”? Moms have always been the ‘nurturers’ – swabbing a snotty nose, applying healing balm to a scraped knee, dishing up tempting meals, and generally being around the home all day long. Enter the New-Age father. Strong and self-confident, but also with a caring, sensitive side. The 21stcentury hetero-sexual father has a whole lot more on his plate than just bringing home the bacon and administering the occasional whacks with his cane. And research proves that more hands-on parenting by the father has a positive effect on a child’s growth. New studies claim that children whose fathers play a big part in their upbringing are likely to be more intelligent and more successful socially. In her book, Fatherhood Reclaimed , researcher Adrienne Burgess points that stay-at-home fathers bring up children who do better than those with housewife mothers. A lack of involvement with their fathers between the ages of seven and 11 can lead to delinquency in boys. Girls are more likely to suffer anorexia and bulimia. Both sexes are likely to drink and take to drugs as adolescents.
Says psychiatrist Mina Bobdey, “Often, in the absence of the father – for various reasons whether work, emotional absence, or separation – single mothers find it very difficult to bring up a child. It’s like a bullock pulling a cart with one wheel. The balance of a child’s emotional and physical life is affected, the sense of direction can be lost, resulting in depression, addiction, or playing truant.” While single parent Anju Sachdev has brought up her daughter Sheetal without any such negative results, she does admit the problems facing life without a dad. “There were financial and societal pressures. When I took Sheetal for admission to school, we felt alone and helpless when we saw other children coming in with both their parents. Later, when I had to attend parent-teacher meetings, the teacher would emphasise that ‘both’ parents had to attend. Sheetal also went into a mild depression when her friends talked about their fathers. When the time came for her higher education, I wished I had a partner with whom I could discuss what was best for her. I also felt the lack of a father when I was looking for a matrimonial match for her. Most families would look askance at my divorcee status – a ‘maybe-her-character-is-bad’ sort of look.”
DAD’S PARENTING STYLE
Counsellor Niloufer Ebrahim fully sympathises with this state of affairs, saying, “Having another adult’s input is always very helpful. One person can go wrong. Having another adult around also means more healthy inputs. Besides, each parent has a different equation with the child, and each can provide different stimulation, drive and set of values.” HR consultant Neelima Mukherjee fully agrees, saying, “In the initial years of our marriage, my husband Amitabh was too busy with his career to give much time to the kids. I took on the role of both mom and dad. But now, Amitabh carries on a private consultancy from home, and his 24
greater participation with the kids has resulted in many positive changes. There is more music in the house, he has upped their reading habit, and there is a marked improvement in their vocabulary. Besides, with his quirky sense of humour there is more laughter in the house. I too, feel more relaxed, knowing that he’s around to help.” Many ‘father’ researchers are also intrigued by the fact that dads have a different parenting style from moms. Whereas mothers tend to soothe and calm down heir children, fathers like to excite and stimulate them. Roughhousing is a favourite activity, and dads like to encourage them to take risks. Vandana remembers with pride that it was her papa who taught her to swim, to ride a cycle and then to drive a scooter followed by a car. “If I was hesitant or nervous, he would always egg me on and dare me to do it. I didn’t like it then, but I realise it’s made me tougher,” she grins. “What fathers do particularly well is promote a child’s independence and let go in a loving way,” says Sangita a kindergarten teacher, adding, “Have you noticed the difference in the way parents hold their babies? While mothers tend to hold them protectively in the crook of their arms, with the head on their shoulders, I’ve noticed many fathers who hold their babies outwards in front of them. It’s like letting them savour and see more of the world.” Psychologist Gouri Dange points out the difference in father-son and father-daughter relationships. She observes, “Even at a very young age, a boy needs the involvement of his dad, who brings his distinct male form of love, caring, humour, discipline, activity and guidance to the relationship. Fathers are also better at tackling matters such as personal hygiene and sex education, discipline, attitudes, and other key areas with adolescent sons.” Where daughters are concerned, she explains, “A dependable, consistent, loving and frank interaction with her father goes a very long way in building a girl’s selfWoman’s Era
VANDANA REMEMBERS WITH PRIDE THAT IT WAS HER PAPA WHO TAUGHT HER TO SWIM, TO RIDE A CYCLE AND THEN TO DRIVE A SCOOTER FOLLOWED BY A CAR.
image, and determining how she will relate to men in the future.” Adds Dr Bobdey, “The role of mother and father differs with the sex of the child. Girls look for emotional support and love, while boys look for approval from their father.” Actually, it’s good news all around. Shared parenting means that the children have two caring parents, who can both take charge and bring added value to the relationship. We
August (Second) 2009
Begin the journey with proper preparation.
By Suman Bajpai
easily been avoided, if only the young adults had undergone premarital counselling before getting into matrimony. Parents may, at times, be unaware of certain conflicts and concerns that their children have with regard to marriage. This is where premarital counselling helps bridge the gap. People are taught problem solving skills and the art of healthy communication.
THE BOON OF
n the rush, the excitement, not to mention the incredible organisational pressure of organising a wedding, many people don’t care to think about something as unexciting and as sober as pre-marriage counselling. Like Western countries, the divorce rate in our country is steadily on the rise. Studies show that the cause is either a physical incompatibility or emotional absurdity between the partners. Psychological disturbances due to ‘maladjustment’ in couples leading to suicide, homicide, marital breakdown, alcoholism, drug abuse etc, are increasing at an alarming rate. Cases of depression, stress, nervous anxiety and psychosomatic disorders are on the rise, particularly in married couples. It has been observed by sociologists that 90 per cent cases of the trauma of divorce could have
Rectify the conflicts: Most couples just don’t realise that good, skill-based pre-marriage counselling can reduce the risk of divorce by up to 30 per cent and lead to a significantly happier marriage, according to research. It can also reduce the stress of the pre-wedding period. Many couples realise after marriage that they have jumped into married life with no proper preparation. According to Dr Pallavi Barthakur
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
Gillani, counsellor, Relationship Forever.Com, “In today’s world young adults are busy achieving their goals and aspirations. And in the process they strive to do well and prove themselves every minute of the day. A couple very much in love does not get to check whether they are really made for each other. A busy and stressful life and socialising at the weekends do not give them enough time to actually look at or discuss the real issues which matter after marriage. So divorce rates are becoming higher. If premarital counselling is considered by the couple or parents then problems after marriage and divorce can be avoided easily.” Although this concept is still not very acceptable in India as couples don’t understand the need, there is always the pressure of adults to compromise whatever the situation comes their way. But with this
counselling one can rectify the challenges and conflicts that he or she will inevitably face at some point in their marriage. Later, under stress, negative habits and relationship patterns may become established and be much harder to resolve.
Keep unrealistic expectations at bay: Sex education is still not advocated in schools or colleges in our country. Therefore, it is important that those entering into matrimony be adequately informed about human sexuality. A marriage counsellor can help the couple to understand each other better: various aspects of character and traits of the other person which one may miss when one is in love but understanding of which is imperative. This level of deep under standing is required for the success of the marriage. Many of the post-marriage maladjustments are the result of mistakes of reading the other person wrong. Often it is seen two perfectly normal and sincere persons cannot continue in a marriage. Not that they
were not ready to make some adjustments here and there to make the other person happy, but their basic understanding of the nature of the other person was flawed, they did not know where exactly to make the adjustments and how to make the other person happy. When the marriage is not starting with loads of unrealistic expectations its chance of success is really high. People getting into marriages do not look at it realistically. When they realise that there are compromises and responsibilities involved, sometimes even simple issues get blown out of proportion leading to ego hassles and tensions. Premarital counselling exposes unrealistic ideas about romance and demystifies several false notions. It's not a mantra to ward off problems but be better equipped to face the challenges of life maturely and logically together. Dr Rajan Bhonsle, MD, founderdirector, Heart to Heart Counselling Centre, Mumbai, who is the pioneer in premarital counselling, explains, “It is like a preventive measure as the divorce rate is increasing day by day. As divorce rates are going up it means there is something wrong happening in relationships. We check up both the physical and emotional compatibility of the man and woman. There are so many issues and things which they don’t even know about each other.”
compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. Premarital counselling tackles concerns relating to the impending marriage, clears up misconceptions about sex and talks about issues like interpersonal relationships and family planning. “In our sessions we discuss the crucial issues like sex and sexuality, family planning, use of contraceptives, religious practices and customs, beliefs, habits, financial and social values, likes, dislikes, food habits, lifestyles, role of in-laws, duties, responsibilities, etc.
Helps in discussing crucial issues: Women are rebelling against automatic role allocation and less willing to accept injustice or secondclass treatment within a family. Thus, there is need for proper guidance to both partners to make them understand role-sharing in married life. The typical complex marriage – managing two careers while rearing children – really requires that couples have very strong, well-established abilities to communicate, resolve issues, maintain mutuality and set goals. It is important to come to terms with unrealistically positive expectations. What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009 27
prior to marriage in order to ensure clear and effective communication between the two partners. It enables a clear two-way communication between the partners, reducing the scope of misunderstandings, after marriage.” Pre-marriage counselling is a must for all couples, as it is a very practical and realistic way of avoiding major conflicts. “It allows the partners to know each other’s expectations, and decisions. It prepares the two partners to adjust with each other’s families and lifestyles, after marriage. It is very helpful in decreasing the chances of separation and divorce. It opens the door of reality, throwing them out of their fantasies, making their relationship practical and wise,” believes Dr Megha.
There are almost 100 questions we ask depending on their background and education from them. Sometimes, it is very difficult for them to ask even a simple question. In this way everything
“IT ALLOWS THE PARTNERS TO KNOW EACH OTHER’S EXPECTATIONS, AND DECISIONS. IT PREPARES THE TWO PARTNERS TO ADJUST WITH EACH OTHER’S FAMILIES AND LIFESTYLES, AFTER MARRIAGE.”
becomes transparent to them. They can then easily figure out their incompatibility and take decisions accordingly. During counselling, blood group matching is also conducted to diagnose physical incompatibility. It is extremely important as the couple should know about each other’s reproductive ability, diseases that can be sexually transmitted, and history of any psychiatric disorder. We also encourage them to clarify any doubts they have at these sessions. We never try to give them any verdict,” says Dr Rajan. Pre-marriage counselling is not merely preparing or advising people regarding sexual life, but it is the process of mental preparation to accept, love and respect the one you will be joining hands with. Premarriage preparation is based on the reality that it’s important to strengthen relationships and prepare constructively for future challenges and conflicts that everyone will inevitably face at some point or other in their married life. According to Dr Megha Gore, clinical psychologist, Max Healthcare, “Premarital counselling is when one undergoes a counselling session, Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
Plan ahead: Another hot-button issue many couples forget to discuss before that long walk down the aisle is finances. Some conflict may be inevitable if one of you likes to spend while the other prefers to save, but marriage for two spenders or two savers can have its unique challenges as well. Together, try to develop a budget that both of you can live with, and don’t be afraid to look at the long term. Whatever financial problems your partner has will become yours too once you’re wed. So make sure you’re aware of them and okay with taking on his or her financial issues. Premarital counselling is like a road map before travelling anywhere. It is better to plan ahead to enjoy the trip fully. In the same way, it is better to resolve all the sensitive issues before marriage to maintain a lasting and happy relationship. A counsellor can help the couple develop positive attitude and communication skills. Pre-marriage counselling is a very progressive way of looking at your marital relationship. It does not mean that the couple, if found incompatible, will drop the idea of marrying each other. It is just that they can work on their weaker areas and flaws with healthy communication, giving each other We respect and space.
Paintings of Rajasthan
ROMANCE OF THE
An awesome look at the vibrantly colourful traditions of Rajasthani arts. By Kusum Mehta
n the history of Indian pictorial art which has an unbroken record of 2,000 years, the Rajasthani art of painting presents a very brilliant record of intense activity. This school of painting makes its appearance first of all in the 10th century on a palm leaf manuscript and later on walls hand in hand with the Gujarati
school on the basis of its paper book illustrations, in the 13th century and makes both ‘devotion’ and ‘art’ move together in the contiguous areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Being the counterpart of Hindustani literature, it starts as the medium of illustrating the works of the Jain scholars and helps in the production of certain works, which now are the gems of both literature and fine arts. The other types of Rajasthani paintings produced in the Mughal times were those of the mid16th century. It is a strange coincidence that even in those days of conflict with the Mughal power, the area of Mewar (the former princely State of Udaipur) could produce such works of art having a marked influence of Mughal art on it. Just like the face depictions in the Mughal paintings, the faces in the Rajasthani miniatures are depicted with one eye (ek chasmi) only. There are very few front face depictions in it. Even when these are there, these are neither fine in expressions nor too many in number. The artist has failed miserably in this attempt to depict the front face as a beautiful one.
August (Second) 2009
LAND OF NATURE
Nevertheless, in all the drawings, a profound knowledge of gesture and drapery is evident. It appears that some set formulae were employed by artists for dealing with physical features of the figures, their hands, drapery, background effects like water and sky. In the architectural depictions, aerial perspective has been rendered in combination with vertical projections but the representation of lines has converged to a vanishing point. It is interesting to note that this deficiency does not adversely affect the expressive value of the art. The Rajasthani paintings reflect in them details of Rajasthani physical features, social dress, manners and customs. These have not been studied so far on the basis of paintings. As far as the background of Rajasthani paintings and their decorative borders are concerned, the paintings present a good geographical study in themselves. Their study sets at naught the common belief of an average visitor to Rajasthan that it is a desert land. The depiction of rivers, tank pools, hills, hilltops, rocky land flora and, fauna of the region in the form of flowers and leaves of various kinds, trees, peacocks, cuckoos, pigeons, elephants, camels, etc, makes one feel that Rajasthan is a happy land of nature. The scenes depicted in the background of the paintings contain the lotus, mango, peepul, banyan, mango, kadamb, etc., besides cloudy sky, raindrops, waterfalls, even lakes, rows of swans, lovely boughs of creepers, deerskin, etc. There are palatial buildings with different types of entrances, arches and ornamental doors and windows and articles of luxury used by the rulers of these States. The paintings also depict the six ragas and 30 raginis, six seasons and 12 Hindi calendar months of the year. As far as the depiction of romantic scenes go, the paintings give a glimpse of the romantic life also. This is because of the fact that the artists 32
have played upon the themes of the classical and folk literature, which abound in such themes, certain themes are related to Rajasthan itself because of the long distances, which the husbands of ladies had to cover on foot or on camels and which naturally made their separation from their beloved so long, sometimes for even a year.
VIYOG AND SAMYOG SRINGAR
Such occasions made the beloved long for their lovers and they composed songs of separation to keep the memory of their lovers alive. Such feelings of separation and meeting have been technically called Viyog Sringar and Samyog Sringar. In most of the paintings of Rajasthan such depictions have been beautifully made by the artists. Not only have all the nine feelings ( rasas ) of Hindi literature – tranquillity, pathos, romance, laughter, chivalry, anger, awe, strangeness and ugliness – been depicted in the body of the themes of the paintings but also the beauties in the face of nature during the various hours of the day, which has been divided into early dawn, morning, midday, twilight and the various hours of the right, all very beautifully depicted. The heroines have also been depicted in various forms, as are
enunciated in classical literature by the poets of the day. The poets whose creations have been made on the basis of the paintings by the artists are Keshava Bihari, Jaidev, Manijhan, Surdas, Tulsidas, Chand Berdai, etc. The literary works and poetical compositions, which have been freely used by the artists as the basis for their creations include Dhola Maru, Gita Govind, Rasik Priya, Ramayana, Mahabharat, Bihari Satsai, Nayika Bhel, Ragmala, Kamshastra, Ritumasa, Panchtantra, Prithviraj Raso, etc. Of the palettes of the Rajasthani artist a reference has to be made to the paper, which was country-made and of the following types – Sangaveri, Madhopuri, Ghosundi, Kashmiri, Jehangiri and Banasi. The chief colours used in paintings of Rajasthan are khadia, harbhata sajeda, siyahi, hirmich, hilkari and rangoli and were obtainable from Magrup, Jaipur, Kaurauli, Kota, Bundi and Jodhpur, respectively, with the above materials and subjects Rajasthani paintings succeeded in producing such an impressive visual appeal that in most of the cases the creations of the artists immortalised the land and also the time when these were produced. Under the four major clans of the Rajputs developed the four major schools of paintings, which have later given birth to four way on subschools and styles: 1. Mewar school (under the Sisodias), 2. Marwar school (under the Rathors) – (a) Jodhpur School (b) Bikaner school, (c) Kishangarh school and (d) Ajmer school – 3. Dhundhar school (under the Kachawahs), Jaipur school, and 4. Hadoti school (under the Hadas) – (a) Bundi school and (b) Kota school, the Jain, Mughal and Gujarati styles were also adopted in many ways.
Mewar school: Mewar was in the forefront in all fields of creative endeavours – art, architecture, music and devotional literature under such illustrious rulers as Maharana Kumbha, Sanga and Pratap, Illustrated manuscripts produced at
August (Second) 2009
Chittor, Delwara, Alhar and Chavand from the 13th century onwards provide a continuous history of the Mewar School. A Ragamala set painted at Chavand in 1605 by Nisardi is a landmark of this school followed by masterpieces. A fine collection is on view in the City Palace Museum, Udaipur. Portraits, sets of Ragmala paintings, divinities and scenes of folk legends were also produced in large numbers. Other sub-schools of Mewar are Devgarh, Sawar, Sirohi, Shahpura, Pratapgarh, Banswara and Dungarpur each showing its own regional characteristics in a subtle but recognisable manner.
Marwar school: The most important centres of Marwar are Jodhpur and Bikaner (both ruled by the Rathors) and Jaisalmer commissioned many manuscripts of their creed illustrated with pictures in the early Jain miniature style, the
typical Marwar painting of bold lines and blaring colours, well-knit compositions – showing well-built heroic males with prominent whiskers and huge pagris and colourfully attired dainty damsels – did not manifest itself before the 17th century. Jodhpur produced many miniatures and manuscripts in the 18th and 19th centuries, some of which are in view in the Museum and Ummaid Bhawan Palace at Jodhpur. Bikaner, on the other hand, followed a different course as the rulers recruited skilful and experienced painters from the Mughal court for creating highly finished miniatures in a Mughal-inspired style. These painters, known as ustads , created some of the finest representations of Rasikpriya, Ragamala, Baramasa, Krishnalila and portraits and court paintings to be found in Rajasthan.
More than a dozen painters worked in the Surat Khana to produce hundreds of miniatures to illustrate the Bhagwat Purana, Devi Mahatmya, Ramayana, Ragamala and portraits and other works.
THE ELONGATED NECK, THE LONG STYLISED EYES WITH DROOPING EYELIDS, RADHA STANDING IN A GRACEFUL POSE WITH HER HEAD COVERED WITH A MUSLIN ODHANI IS EASILY THE MOST STRIKING.
Kishangarh school: Kishangarh occupies a position for the highly individualistic, sophisticated works of a master artist, Nihal Chand, working for his royal patron, Sawasit Singh, who was a poet, a connoisseur of painting and a great devotee of Radha and Krishna, his works are by any standard great works of art. The elongated neck, the long stylised eyes with drooping eyelids, the thin lips and painted chin of his Radha standing in a graceful pose with her head covered with a muslin odhani is easily the most striking creation of the Dhundhar school (Ajmer-Jaipur). The earliest traces of painting in the Ajmer-Jaipur region (also known as Dhundhari) are to be found on the walls of the Mughal gateway at Bairat, the Chhatri of Banganga and in the palaces and mausoleums of Ajmer, dating back the early 17th century. The style of these paintings is folk, though the male figures in Mughal costumes and headdresses. Some Jain manuscripts written at Mauzambad and Ajmer during this period also deserve mention. The zenith of this school was reached under Sawai Pratap Singh towards the close of the 18th century.
Hadoti school: The Hada Rajput rulers of Bundi and their collateral branch of Kota were enlightened patrons of art, some of the finest and most fascinating miniatures of Rajasthan were produced in these two cities and in other subsidiary courts in the region. A typical Bundi-Kota miniature has graceful women with round faces, small painted nose, large lotus petal eyes, receding chin and well-formed body. The figures are often placed in the background of plants and evergreen forests, and a dusk or early morning sky of many shades of grey, blue orange and red. The hunting pictures of Kota are remarkable creations combining both realism and symbolism. These paintings are admired everywhere and are found in many museums of India and abroad. With the growing prosperity of the rulers and appreciation of the painters many ruling princes decorated their chambers with paintings. The subjects ranged from religious themes to scenes of lovemaking.
Phads and pichwais: The ancient tradition of scroll painting survives in Rajasthan as phad. A typical phad is a rectangular coarse cloth with paintings illustrating the life and heroic exploits of Pabuji, a popular folk hero. Painted by the Joshis of Shahpura (Bhilwara district), in bold vigorous lines and bright primary colours, these phads display much of the ancient Indian tradition of narrative painting. The pichwais, on the other hand, are refined works of art created for using as backdrops in the Shrinathji at Nathdwara and in other Krishna temples. They contain the figures of Shrinathji, attired in a variety of costumes of different seasons and festivals or engaged in different We activities.
August (Second) 2009
Go right ahead and use the right make-up during the monsoon to make your style statement.
By Suman Bajpai
LIGHT AND SHEER
washed out and soiled in the rainy season, so go for light and sheer make-up. Don’t use a concealer during the monsoon and instead use the foundation. Wear a waterproof make-up such as waterproof mascara and eyeliner, use smoky bluish or greyish eye shadows and pale mauve or baby-pink lipsticks. Don’t give yourself much of a glossy look. Use mat colours for your makeup, specially lipsticks. Use transferresistant lipsticks, waterproof cosmetics products like waterproof lip liners, waterproof eyeliners, and waterproof foundation for monsoon make-up. During this season you should avoid using foundation and face cream when going out because rain will wash it off, leaving stained lines on the face. If required, always go for a water-resistant foundation which can survive the rain. Confine yourself Woman’s Era
he monsoons have a magical charm attached to them. The very thought of the monsoons delights our hearts, but it is equally important to care for your skin and look your best during the monsoon. In summer you could put on a shimmery look and fresh, light colours to flatter yourself because it was bright sunny days and these give a fresh the calm look to your personality, but in the monsoon season, the dark and cloudy sky sometimes gives a slightly sad touch. So you should wear the colours to freshen your mood swings. Use fresh, dark, flowery and bright colours like grey, dark navy blue, sky blue, sea blue, sea green, violet, pale camel or cream, pale olive, mauve, dark olive, and peach, lavender, etc. Thick make-up can be easily
to using lipstick, rouge, eyebrow pencil and powder. Use lipstick of a deep, vibrant shade and apply a dash, a lip gloss, to put a glow on your lips. Use rouge sparingly. Heavy eye make-up should be avoided. If still you want to go with one, then opt for waterproof mascara and eyeliner. You will not experience any smudging throughout the day. Choose the right shades of eyeshadow and blush. Although some eyeshadow shades will be good to wear during monsoon season, others will not. The best thing that you can do is choose lighter or neutral shades so that they will blend in with your natural skin colour if they should happen to streak at all. Tinted pastel eye shadows can brighten up your face and still give you no make-up look. Light bronzers with a slight sheen work brilliantly for a natural look.
August (Second) 2009
Instead of the regular eyebrow pencil, go for a creamy filler. For cheeks, a natural shade in tones of pinks for fair people and oranges for a dusky complexion is recommended. Light creamy textured ones are the best. It keeps the look natural and fresh. The blush also remains protected from streaking. Go for lots of shimmer and shine at night. It’s all about gold glamour this season. Use lots of golds. Gold shimmer can accentuate your cheeks beautifully. Don’t overdo body glitter. Use bolder colours for an evening party with lots of sheer and gloss. Smoky eyes look great at night.
and lipsticks a pink shade, soft brown shade with sheer gloss. Do not forget to use moisturisers that are also waterproof for keeping away the greasy skin, loss of water because of sweating and acne during the monsoon. If your face has a natural tendency towards dryness, it will be more obvious during this season. Take the yolk of an egg and mix it with a teaspoon of cream of milk and a few drops of rose water. Apply on the face and neck, leave on for 15 minutes and then wash off.
Hair becomes most unmanageable during monsoons. Excessive humidity, excessive sweating and getting wet in the rain spells doom for the hair, making it frizzy, dull and limp. Common hair problems in the monsoon are hair stickiness and dandruff. Opt for a short haircut or wear a style that falls just below your shoulders. Avoid back-combing and lacquer, intricate buns and waves because the humidity in air will make your hair limp and unkempt within no time. Either make a single plait or a plain bun. Avoid styling products for hair. Wash your hair regularly with a mild shampoo.
QUICK TIPS FOR MONSOON MAKE-UP
First of all, wash your face with a face wash and use cleansers to clean the face. After this, rub an ice cube for about 10 to 15 minutes on face for below the level of sweating. It is also beneficial for keeping make-up fresh longest. Do not use foundation and only use a little powder before starting make-up for the monsoon. Use a pink cream as eyeshadow with a thick layer of eyeliner and after this use waterproof mascara for eye make-up. Matte lipsticks are the best option during monsoons for lip make-up. One can use light shades for lipliners
The wardrobe during the monsoons is restricted to the two Cs – namely colour and comfort. Put away your entire crisp, cool cottons and silks because they not only soak up water avidly but become limp when they dry and lose their crease and shape completely. Synthetics are ideal for this season because they are crease-resistant, dry fast and regain their original shape when dry. Do not wear denims but opt for Capri pants or light cotton fabrics. Avoid white and light-coloured clothes as they can get muddy during a downpour. Wear vivid, vibrant colours – glowing turquoise, rich green, deep orange – to beat the grey rainy days. Over-embellished clothes are a strict Woman’s Era
no-no for this season. Buy a bright raincoat and a matching umbrella to go with it. Rubber mules and slippers in bright shades look great this season. Leather bags are out this season. Opt for transparent plastic gigantic bags in bold colours. Choose jewellery that is bright yet lightweight to complement your make-up. Raincoats and umbrellas are available in the market in different designs, shapes and in sizes with different colours. Go right ahead and use them to make your own style We statement. 37
August (Second) 2009
Where Have all the Girls Gone?
Marriages may be made in some kind of heaven, but they get contracted on earth.
By Kasturi Rangachari
fathers sleepless nights over their strings of uring the last year I have gone through an girlfriends as they stumble their way through college eye-opener of an experience that has taught me more about human nature than any other (where they believe that it’s all play and no work that will take them places) suddenly pull themselves I have gone through. It has left me more together, get great jobs abroad, but later come to tolerant and understanding and their mothers and confess in a rather abashed considerably wiser than I was before. What manner that, after six years in America all by their was this experience? It was trying---and lonesome without anyone to question them on how succeeding!---to find brides for two nephews and the they spent their money or the hours they kept, they son of a friend of mine. hadn’t found anyone. And that now mum and dad For reasons too complicated to explain, this task had devolved on me and though I had absolutely no should do their parental duties and find them wives! My three boys fell into the latter category. idea of how to proceed about it, I undertook it, “How will you set about things?” asked learnt as I went and completed it a friend. successfully. It was a bumpy ride, but one I All of them “Goodness, how difficult can it be?” I quite enjoyed! were smart, replied flippantly. “I’ll just spread the word I undertook the task very lightly. After their around to friends and family that these all, all three young men (for the rest of this qualifications three are available and they will be narrative I shall, in the time-honoured were excellent snapped up!” Indian manner, call them “boys”, and the and they had I made calls, spoke to everyone I knew young women I was trying to hook them up fantastic jobs. and then, a week or two later, called again with, “girls”) were fine specimens of It would be a to remind them. But not a lead did I get. youthful manhood. All of them were smart, piece of cake to “I spoke to Vinodini’s mother but the girl their qualifications were excellent and they get them is already married” said a friend. had fantastic jobs. So I couldn’t imagine married, I “I realised that I don’t know anyone any girls or their parents not realising this thought! But with an unmarried daughter of and falling over themselves to snare the boy, was marriageable age,” said another. boys. It would be a piece of cake to get I wrong! “Girls? Sorry! But if you are on the them married, I thought! But boy, was I lookout for boys….” wrong! Soon, I had to face that fact that no one I knew But first, why did I or anyone else have to find could put me onto any suitable girl of marriageable partners for these smart young boys? Why hadn’t age. I then asked myself the question I was to voice they found them for themselves? Well, this finding-aand hear voiced again and again over the next two partner business never fails to amaze me. The most years. “I wonder…where have all the girls gone? timid, shrinking-violet type of boy, who from Where have all the girls gone?” childhood has had the greatest difficulty greeting I pulled myself together at this first setback. Okay, adults and making friends – and forget talking to, or even looking at girls – goes out of town for a day for so my circle of friends and relatives was too small to help me perhaps, but there were always matrimonial the first time in his life after he begins to work and ads, right? I knew that these ads appeared mainly comes back in love and having proposed! on Sundays and so I dug out old issues of Sunday And the bold ones who give their mothers and
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
papers and began to scan the matrimonial columns for tips on how to word the ads I planned to insert. This kind of reading was something I had never done before and was I shocked! Horror of horrors, ads were given not just state-wise but also castewise! Gothrams and stars were mentioned!
urely, blatantly proclaiming the caste of a person was wrong, perhaps even illegal? I mean we were trying to abolish caste, weren’t we? And gothram and stars meant horoscopes. Heavens, did people still believe in those? “What world do you live in?” asked a friend bluntly. “Don’t you know that while many people don’t believe in all this stars and horoscope business, many others do? Especially when it comes to something as important as marriage?” “No, I didn’t…and people shouldn’t….not in the 21st century!” I replied indignantly. “Look, many believe that people of the same gothram are descended from the same guru or acharya. So they think that intermarrying within a gothram is wrong.” “But people marry their cousins in many communities and even their maternal uncles! So how does a distant common ancestor matter?” My friend threw up her hands. “I’m not going to argue with you!” she said tartly. “I’m only telling you how things are.” But I decided that, as a matter of principle, I would not mention caste, gothram or star in my matrimonial ads. Surely, there would be broadminded parents of girls who would appreciate that and respond? And those who did were likely to be our kind of people! I went to the classified ads office of a national daily and handed over my ads to the girl behind the desk. I had worked hard on them. It had taken many rewrites, but I had finally got the language right and whittled down the number of words to keep the cost of the ads low. I mean, I had three to insert! “No castes, no gothrams, no stars?” asked the girl after studying the ads. “And where are these boys from?” “I’m not going to mention any of that,” I replied. She stared at me. “But you must at least give the state,” she explained, talking slowly and clearly as if explaining things to a person with a very low IQ. “Without that, which section will the ads go in? I mean we have Tamil Brahmins, Telugu Brahmins, Tamil Chettiyars, Telugu…..These boys are Tamilians, aren’t they? ” “Yes, but I don’t want to mention that. Don’t you have any general section?” “We do. But those are mainly used by divorced people and widows and widowers….”
“I’m sure that many people think as I do and don’t believe in region, caste and nonsense like that,” I told her. “Can’t you just create a new section?” No, she could not! Finally she agreed to place the ads in boxes at the beginning of the Matrimonial ads columns. “Of course, boxes are more expensive,” she said smugly. “I guessed as much,” I replied. “And why don’t you put the boxes in bold print? Or with a tick? That will make them more noticeable.” “Bold print and ticks are more expensive I expect?” She nodded. I thought for a moment. The ads were already above budget. “No, I’ll just have the boxes,” I decided. “How many Sundays should the ads run?” was the next question. “How many Sundays?” I hadn’t expected this. “Yes. You can have three Sundays for the price of two, you know.”
the ads, ticking off those that I would respond to. I thought matters over. My boys would be The architect with an interest in literature would be snapped up the very first Sunday. “Just one insertion perfect for Dhruv, the fun-loving girl who loved please,” I said. movies would suit Arhat and the college lecturer who Come the next Monday, I sat by the phone was doing her PhD fit the bill for Sanket perfectly. I eagerly and waited for it to ring. The comp was hooked onto the Net so that I could read the emails I ticked on and soon had a dozen girls on my list! I picked up the phone and dialled the first number. expected as soon as they arrived. But the phone “Hello,” I began as soon as the phone was picked didn’t ring and no mails appeared. On Tuesday, I up. “I’m calling about the matrimonial ad that waited for courier letters. None arrived. Did that appeared in the newspaper this Sunday. My…..” mean that absolutely no one was interested in my “Sorry! My daughter’s wedding was fixed the three gems? No unmarried girls or their parents day before yesterday. Just hours after the ad were interested in smart, young, modern-thinking appeared!” And sounding very smug, the woman at men who had wonderful qualifications and dream the other end of the line put down the phone! jobs? Had everyone gone bonkers? Where had all So girls got snapped up within hours! I dialled the the girls gone? Where had all the girls gone? next number. The man who picked up the phone “You should at least have mentioned the state,” was monosyllabic as I explained why I was said an old aunt. calling. “We are all Indians. Which state we If the girl is a “How are you related to the boy?” he belong to doesn’t matter!” I retorted. vegetarian, she asked. “It does,” she replied firmly. “The wants to be “I’m his mother’s sister.” people who read your ad wouldn’t have sure that the “I see. And when did your sister die?” known what language their daughters boy is one too. “D...die? She isn’t dead…..!” would be expected to speak after Both of them “Then why have you phoned? My ad marriage.” will be more states quite clearly that my daughter’s star I paused. That hadn’t occurred to me. comfortable is Ahilyam.” “Well, all educated people speak Hindi with the same “I read that and I’m sure that Ahilyam is and English these days,” I mumbled. cultural a very nice star….” “But people also have mother tongues background “An Ahilyam daughter-in-law is that they love and want their children to and lifestyle. supposed to be bad for her mother-in-law! know,” she pointed out. “And a state, etc. Don’t you The star is supposed to either kill the older also has cultural connotations. These things understand?” woman or make her suffer.” don’t matter in a love marriage. Love “I don’t believe that. I mean how can a conquers all and all that! But in an star do all that?” arranged marriage people want to be comfortable. “Ah, but will you believe it and blame my If the girl is a vegetarian, she wants to be sure that daughter if your sister dies soon after the wedding?” the boy is one too. Both of them will be more And the man banged the phone down. comfortable with the same cultural background and The third parent said that her daughter would lifestyle. Don’t you understand?” never agree to leave Bangalore and go to Mumbai where my friend’s son, Sanket, was posted. hat made sense and I felt a fool for having “But you agreed that the boy’s qualifications are ignored such obvious concerns. I myself was a excellent. Surely your daughter can relocate and vegetarian and was conservative enough to find a job in Mumbai?” I asked. hope that the girls these three boys married would “She won’t agree to that,” the mother sighed. be vegetarians too-----at least at home. “Now if the boy agrees to relocate and come to “Have you begun to reply to ads yourself?” my Bangalore, we can proceed to the next stage….” aunt asked. “He won’t agree either!” It was my turn to sigh I gulped. “Not yet….I thought….” now and we both disconnected. “You thought that you would be overwhelmed by I went on down the list but nothing showed any replies to your ads and wouldn’t need to?” she signs of working out. One girl wanted someone taller cackled. “Don’t presume that you’ll be that lucky!” than my nephew’s 5’ 9”. Three others wouldn’t even I went home and dug out the Sunday newspaper consider moving to Mumbai from the cities where in which my ads had appeared and went through they were and one girl’s star was Ketai which was the “bridegrooms wanted” ads. As I read, my spirits bad for the bridegroom’s elder brother. My nephew rose. There were plenty of suitable girls available! Arhat had an elder brother and, while I was ready to The three marriages would be settled in no time! ignore the “danger”, the girl’s family was not. I took a pen and got down to serious reading of
40 Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
Another mother was so shocked when I said that I was not interested in matching horoscopes that she was rendered speechless and she just put down the phone. The other parents I spoke to did not impress me at all and I decided not to proceed with the matches.
he weeks passed and I dutifully studied the matrimonials every Sunday, drew up lists of suitable girls and made phone calls. But I got absolutely no glimmer of hope. Girls seemed to be in such short supply that they were snapped up within hours – or sometimes even minutes – of the papers hitting the stands. And my refusal to countenance horoscope matching put off the parents of the few girls who were not snapped up and who were therefore willing to talk to me. “What on earth should I do?” I asked a friend. “There just don’t seem to be any girls around! Where on earth have all the girls gone?” “This killing of female foetuses has changed the sex ratio, I expect.” “Not this much! No, something else is going on.” Silence fell on the room as we both sat, brows furrowed, deep in thought. “Many are going and settling down abroad…” my friend said finally. “And girls are getting married much later…” “Or much younger…”
“And having love marriages…” “Or deciding not to marry…” Then someone suggested registering in a marriage bureau and I went on a hunt for a good one. Finally, I was told about one which appeared to be suitable and I set off to find it and register my three “boys”. At the agency I was given forms to fill up for each boy. And each form began with details of caste, community, horoscope, star and gothram! “I don’t believe in all these,” I tried to explain to the fat man in charge who sat fanning himself, dressed in just a veshti and a sacred thread. He smiled. “Oh? So you’re one of those modern women who want to change the face of India!” I did not rise to the bait. After all, I had not come here to debate sociology but to find brides for my three young men. “What do I do?” I asked. “Leave those columns blank---and hope that someone who thinks like you and has a suitable girl, sees your entry, likes the details you do give about qualifications, salary and the like and contacts you.” “Sees my entry?” “Yes. Every month the details of every boy and girl is printed in a booklet and sent to every parent or guardian who has registered.” “And…and there are people who just want good partners and don’t care for horoscopes matching?” “Well, I think that you’ll find that most parents who say that they don’t want to match horoscopes, have wards whose horoscopes have some doshams or faults in them!” He then looked at my crestfallen face and added, “Of course, you might be lucky! But you know…there just aren’t enough girls these days. In this centre, for example, there are twice as many boys registered as there are girls.” “But that doesn’t make sense,” I protested. “I mean, where have all the girls gone?”
he man shrugged. “You should come for our next marriage mela,” he said. “You might have luck there.” “Marriage mela?” “Yes. Parents and guardians come and sit at numbered tables and details of all registered boys and girls are read out together with the table number of the parents or guardian of each. Then people who are interested in any match can go over right away and talk to the parents or guardians. No waste of time, see? Sometimes marriages get fixed up right at the mela---except for the bride-seeing, which is just a formality after all.” I didn’t have the energy to argue with him over his last sentence. For me, speaking to, mailing and finally meeting the girl not just once but a number of times was essential—hardly “just a formality”! The next few months, I got the monthly booklets
o my joy, many of the other replies I got were from families which appeared to be as broadminded as my own. I got in touch with the parents of those girls whom I thought would suit my boys and asked if the boys could call and mail their daughters before they actually met. Most welcomed the idea and I got the process of the boys getting to know the girls started. But the last 10 months had taught me that I couldn’t sit back and think that things would just work out. I again began to talk to relatives and other people I knew. But this time I talked mainly to looked around. The tables that were crowded the younger lot, my nieces and their friends. I asked were the tables at which the guardians of girls them if they knew any young women who were were seated. It was the same old story. Where interested in settling down. I told them that there have all the girls gone, I wondered for the would be no horoscope-matching and that I was umpteenth time! Where have all the girls gone? open to girls from any state and community. My But, as I sat there, I also realised that I was only condition was that my nieces and their friends completely out of place. My boys and their must know these girls well and be able to vouch for background were too “different” for the families of girls to want to approach me or to feel that their girls them. Suggestions and the names of girls poured in. I would fit into our family. I hadn’t mentioned the vetted the girls with the help of my boys and then got gothrams of my boys or their stars. I didn’t want to in touch with them and their parents. If they match horoscopes. I wanted them to be were open to the idea, the boys got in allowed to meet and speak to the girls touch with them and started to get to know freely. All this didn’t fit into the usual Well, there them. patterns for arranged marriages. No, was the Nothing worked out at once, but I felt marriage bureaus and melas wouldn’t Punjabi girl optimistic. At least we were on the move work for us. It had to be newspaper ads who seemed as and things were looking hopeful! And even and personal networking. attracted to when I got shocks, I was able to look at I went home and rewrote my newspaper Dhruv as he them as learning experiences. ads. I reread my initial ones and realised obviously was What shocks? Well, there was the that I had been wishy-washy. This time, I to her and Punjabi girl who seemed as attracted to was bolder and made it clear what sort of then finally Dhruv as he obviously was to her and then family we were. I mentioned the languages told him that finally told him that she couldn’t marry him. my boys knew and stated that we were she couldn’t “But why?” I asked in dismay. “I thought Tamilian Brahmins who didn’t care about both of you were getting on fine.” state, caste, horoscope, class or marry him. “We were, but I think that she changed community. The ads were now longer and
42 Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
and went through them meticulously. But most of the registered girls didn’t seem suitable for my boys and the parents of the few who did, didn’t respond to my letters and phone calls, probably because I made it clear that there would be no horoscope-matching and that the girls and boys should be allowed to freely talk and meet. Finally, I ended up at a marriage mela. The hall was decorated grandly, courtesy sponsors, all of whom sold goods and services needed for weddings. These sponsors had even set up stalls outside the venue, so that you had an idea of the kind of goods and services they had to offer. “Go in and find a bride for your son and then come out here and buy and order all that you will need for the wedding!” I heard one stall owner tell a group of people. Everyone tittered hopefully. I went in and sat at the table I had been allotted and waited. Soon the show began and the organisers went onto the stage which had been set up at one end of the hall and began to read out details of girls and boys and the table numbers of their parents and guardians. The details of my three were also read out and I sat up eagerly and waited for the rush that I hoped would follow. Half an hour passed and then an hour. Not a single person came to my table. It was the most humiliating experience I had ever gone through!
cost more but I felt that they got my points across. I then went to the classified ads office I had visited earlier, swallowed my pride and paid for “two insertions and one free”, again in a box at the top of the matrimonial column. I then went to the classified ads offices of some other national dailies and had the ads published in the all-India editions of those papers too----in special boxes. And I got plenty of responses. Some of them were from parents of girls who appeared to have something to hide. They vaguely mentioned past misadventures, failed marriages and even children. I didn’t feel the need to respond to these. If one of the boys had fallen in love with a girl with a tragic past and wanted to marry her, I would have been proud of him and supported him all the way, but that wasn’t the case here.
her mind because I am dark,” said my nephew in a matter-of-fact tone. “She’s very fair.” When I looked nonplussed, he gave a grin. “Indian men have rejected girls down the ages because they were dark. Well, now it’s payback time!” I half-heartedly joined him in laughter and hoped that he wasn’t too heart-broken.
reached just where they should be! The number of love marriages is definitely going up in our country, but the traditional arranged marriage is also alive and kicking. Many young people want to fall in love and get married and they feel ashamed when they do not find anyone and have to fall back on having a match arranged for them. But there is nothing to feel embarrassed or abashed about in having an arranged marriage. nd then there was the time Sanket met one of Free and open mixing of the sexes and dating are the girls. Her mother had contacted me after she had seen our newspaper ad and I had got still not completely socially acceptable in our country and so many young people do not get the the impression that their family was very chance to meet a variety of members of the much like ours. I suggested Sanket for her If your boy or opposite sex and, hopefully, fall in love. daughter, Misha. We exchanged girl is rejected, And if you are trying to arrange a photographs and later the two exchanged don’t let him or marriage, here are some tips from someone phone numbers and email IDs and began her feel that who has been through it with three “boys.” to call and mail each other. They appeared there is First, unless you are very lucky, it’s not easy to get on very well---Sanket’s phone bills something to find the right partner and fix up a became absolutely horrendous! wrong with him marriage. You have to try it all---contacts, I talked to Misha’s mother a few times or her. Yes, try ads, marriage bureaus, follow-ups and and we finally decided that it was time your best, but anything else you can think of. Secondly, Sanket and Misha met. Sanket was in also believe in you have to be single-minded and Bahrain on a project at that time but he fate – because determined in your search and not let took leave and flew down to Bangalore to marriages are yourself become disheartened. Remember meet Misha. They met and I waited eagerly made in the girl or boy you are looking for has for Sanket to call me and tell me the result heaven! certainly been born and is available of the meeting. somewhere. You just have to find her or him! He called, but my heart sank when I Third, don’t be embarrassed by the whole heard his voice. He sounded confused and procedure of arranging a marriage and feel that it uncertain. “What is it?” I asked. “You told me that turns marriage, something which should be and she and you vibed so well…..” emotional and other-worldly, into a practical “Yes, but…but this Misha isn’t the same girl….” business proposition and arrangement. It’s not that. “What?” It’s just that love hasn’t entered the picture yet and so “She’s not the girl in the photograph!” one can be sensible and realistic and draw up lists “Are you sure?” of what you want and don’t want in the boy or girl “Yes.” and family you are looking for. “But…but how can that be?” “That girl was of average looks, but pleasant or instance, I wanted each of the girls I was looking. This girl….is different….” looking for to have at least one sibling and this I dug out Misha’s picture and later went to was one of the factors I took into account when I Bangalore and met her. Yes, the actual Misha was considering a girl. I had my reasons for that---I looked very different from her photograph. Her feel that people with siblings grow up learning to photo had been touched up, airbrushed, digitally share, that they are less likely to be spoilt and that altered, whatever, to make her look better. they will always have the advantage of having “So?” I asked Sanket on my return. “What do we someone to share family problems and burdens do now?” with. “Actually I find Misha OK-looking….but….” So be clear about what you want and what you I understood. Misha was OK, but cheating was don’t---and then go for it! not. I agreed and called Misha’s mother and told Lastly, if your boy or girl is rejected, don’t let him her Sanket did not want to proceed with the match. or her feel that there is something wrong with him or And then, suddenly, things began to move at the her. There is nothing personal in this kind of speed of lightning---on all three fronts. And before I rejection. It only means that the other party too had could actually believe it, everything fell into place and all three of my boys were engaged to three most its wish list and theirs didn’t match yours. Yes, try your best, but also believe in fate--charming and suitable girls! It had been a long because marriages are made in heaven! journey, I thought to myself but all three boys had We
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
A hairdo bedecked with roses
Today’s hairstyle is aiming to give women a doll – like appearance. No wonder, dolls are much preferred these days.
The style adding beauty with simplicity
Exuding hypnotic charm
Out and out an oriental style
An attractive blend of the ancient and the modern
Since prehistoric times women have used their hair to magnify their personality and beauty. Don’t we stumble when we see someone sporting a novel hairstyle?
A style infusing self – confidence
No longer will you avoid eating rice if you cook it according to the prescribed recipes.
By Roma Ghosh
WAYS TO SERVE RICE
INGREDIENTS: For the canapes: 100 gm of flour 2 pinches of salt 2 tsp of sugar powder 1 tbsp of ghee For the filling: 1 cup of cooked rice 1/ cup of sugar syrup 2 3-4 saffron strands soaked in 1 tbsp of lukewarm milk cherries for garnishing METHOD To prepare the canapes: Sift together the flour, salt and sugar powder. Mix in the ghee and a little water and knead into a dough. Divide the dough into 7-8 portions. Roll out each dough into a small circle. Place each of these circles into a canape or cookie mould. The size of your circle should be slightly bigger than the size of your mould. Bake the moulds in a preheated oven at 150 degree for 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Alternately you could buy ready-made canape moulds. For the filling: Heat the sugar syrup and add the rice and
saffron. Cook on low fire till the sugar syrup is fully absorbed into the rice. Fill the canapes with this rice and garnish with cherries and serve as a sweet dish.
INGREDIENTS: 3 cups of cooked rice (salt and ghee added while cooking) 3 tsp of mint chutney 3-4 tsp of tomato sauce 1/ tsp of garam masala 2 50 gm of button mushrooms cut in circles and sauteed in olive oil for 2 minutes METHOD To assemble the rainbow rice: Divide the cooked rice into 5
portions. To the first portion mix the mint chutney and keep aside. To the second portion mix the tomato sauce and keep aside. To the third portion add the garam masala and keep aside. To the fourth portion add the mushrooms and keep aside. Leave the last portion white. Arrange the differently coloured rice on a serving plate. Place in an oven or microwave for just to heat the rice and serve at once.
RICE CORIANDER SOUP
INGREDIENTS: 3 cups of vegetable stock 1/ cup of cooked rice 2 1/ cup of peas or mixed 2 vegetables like carrots and beans salt to taste 1 tsp of vinegar 2 tsp of chopped celery leaves 1 beaten egg – optional METHOD Bring the vegetable stock and one cup of water to a boil. Add the vegetables and allow the soup to simmer. Add salt, vinegar,
August (Second) 2009
Rice coriander soup
celery leaves and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked rice and simmer for another 2 minutes. Now add the beaten egg a little at a time and allow the egg drops to set in the hot soup. You could adjust the thickness of the soup to your choice. Serve piping hot.
to taste. Allow the rice and tomato juice to come to a boil. Lower the heat and cover with a lid and cook till all the juice has been evaporated. Cool to room temperature and then fill tacho cases or roast the papads and place a portion of the tomato rice on it and serve as a starter. Tacho cases look good to serve.
MANGO RICE KHEER
INGREDIENTS: 4 tbsp of long grained rice 700 ml of mil 200 ml of sweet mango pulp sugar to taste For garnishing: nuts METHOD Soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes. Drain and keep aside. Bring the milk to boil and reduce it to half its quantity. Then mix in the soaked rice and cook till
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup long grained rice 2 tsp of ghee 2 cups of tomato juice 1 piece of cinnamon – 1/2 inch 2 cloves 1 cardamom salt to taste tacho or papads for serving METHOD Soak the rice in water for 10 minutes. Drain out excess water and keep aside. Heat the ghee and add the whole spices and allow to splutter for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the rice and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Mix in the tomato juice and salt
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup long grained rice 2 tsp of ghee 200 gm of broccoli flowerets 1 piece of cinnamon – 1/2 inch 2 cloves 1 cardamom salt to taste METHOD Soak the rice in water for 10 minutes. Drain out excess water and keep aside. Heat the ghee and fry the broccoli flowerets till a light golden brown – this should take only 2-3 minutes. Remove and keep aside. In the same pan add the whole spices and allow to splutter for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the rice and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Allow the rice and water to come to a boil. Lower the heat and cover with a lid and cook till three fourths of the water has been evaporated. At this stage mix in the stir fried broccoli and cover with a lid and cook again on low heat till all the water is evaporated. Serve this pulao hot with dahi and papad. We
Courtesy: India Gate Basmati Rice New Delhi. Ph: 011-26548400
Mango rice kheer
the rice is almost tender. Mix in the mango pulp and a bit of sugar if you need it. Cover and cook till the rice is absolutely tender and the kheer begins to thicken. Cool and serve garnished with nuts.
Novel method for making them.
By Savita Bhargava
PEANUT CHOCO WHIRLS
INGREDIENTS: 85 gm refined flour 1/ tsp baking powder 2 3 tsp cocoa powder 85 gm butter 3 tbsp castor sugar 1/ tsp vanilla essence 2 1/ cup shelled peanuts 4 2 tbsp icing sugar METHOD Sift together flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Beat butter and castor sugar together till pale and creamy. Beat in the flour mixture and vanilla essence. Put the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe whirls on greased baking sheets or trays. Place a peanut in the centre of each whirl. Then bake in a moderately hot oven, until set. Cool the biscuits, serve dusted with icing sugar.
Peanut choco whirls
cup sugar 1 tsp grated lemon rind 1/ tsp salt 4 6 tbsp cold butter 1 tsp vanilla essence 3/ cup mixed fruit jam 4 1 tsp lemon juice cherries sweetened whipped cream or ice cream (optional)
METHOD Mix together flour, almonds, sugar, lemon rind and salt in a large bowl. Mix in the butter and
the vanilla essence. Form into a soft dough using cold water. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic, refrigerate for at least an hour. Grease and flour in a baking sheet. Place dough on it and pat into a 10 inch circle, forming a high edge. Pierce bottom of dough all over with a fork. Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes or till slightly browned. Melt jam with lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat until spreadable. Spread 1/2 cup jam mixture over bottom of shell. Arrange the fruit on top. Brush with remaining jam mixture.
GLAZED PLUM TART
INGREDIENTS: 11/3 cups refined flour 1/ cup finely ground almonds 2
Glazed plum tart
INGREDIENTS: 21/2 cups flour (maida) 2 tbsp butter 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp salt 3 tsp dry yeast 1/ cup warm milk 2 2 tsp pasta reasoning
August (Second) 2009
you can make restaurant like food
rs Serve 4
Step 1: In a pressure cooker, boil 1 cup black urad whole dal, drain the entire cooking water and mash the dal to a paste. Step 2: Add 2 cups fresh water, 45 gm butter and 1 pack Knorr Ready to Cook Dal Makhani. Step 3: Close the cooker, after 2 whistles lower flame and cook for 20 min.
Reasons to use Knorr Ready To Cook Range ✓ No cutting or chopping required ✓ Saves time ✓ Saves gas ✓ No added preservatives ✓ Low on fat, low on salt
4 tsp cocoa powder 10-12 tsp water chocolate syrup or sauce METHOD Preheat oven. Line three small round cake pans with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder, soda in a bowl. Beat butter and condensed milk in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the flour mixer and enough water and beat well. Pour half of the batter into a medium bowl. Spoon remaining batter into a plastic bag. Stir melted chocolate or cocoa powder into batter in bowl, spoon into another plastic bag. Cut 1/2-1” opening in bottom corner of each bag. Pipe 3 even alternating rings of yellow and chocolate batters into prepared pans, two beginning with chocolate rings along edge of pan and one beginning with a yellow ring. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely. Place a layer with chocolate edge on serving plate, spread top with a little chocolate sauce, repeat with yellow-edged layer, then remaining chocolate-edged layer. Top with melted chocolate.
1 cup grated mozarella cheese 1/ cup prepared pasta sauce 2 METHOD Mix the milk, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Let stand until yeast foams. Place flour, salt and butter in another bowl. Mix in the yeast mixture and form into a soft dough. Keep the dough covered till double in size. Knead again, and divide it in two. Roll out dough to a square on a floured surface. Spread pasta sauce over it. Sprinkle a little pasta reasoning on it and half of the cheese. Roll dough swiss-roll style to enclose filling. Cut roll cross-wise into 1 inch slice. Place slices on a greased baking sheet or tray. Bake until golden brown about 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.
INGREDIENTS: 11/4 cups flour 1 tbsp butter 1/ tsp sugar 2 1/ tsp salt 2 11/2 tsp dry yeast (instant) 1/ cup warm milk 4 1 tsp dried mixed herbs 1 tbsp grated cheese METHOD Mix the flour, butter, sugar, salt, yeast, mixed herbs and cheese. Add the warm milk and prepare a soft dough. Take small portions, roll them. Take two rolls and on a lightly floured surface, twist them together. Place these bread sticks on prepared baking sheets. Press down edges slightly to prevent twists from unravelling. Bake until golden brown. Serve warm.
CHECK BOARD CAKE
INGREDIENTS: 200 gm condensed milk 140 gm maida 60 gm melted butter 1 tsp vanilla essence 1/ tsp soda 2 1 tsp baking powder
50 Woman’s Era
CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE
INGREDIENTS: 11/3 cup refined flour 1/ cup granulated sugar 2 1/ cup butter milk 2 1/ cup refined oil 3
Check board cake
August (Second) 2009
Cinnamon coffee cake
SWEET ‘N’ SPICY PAKORAS
INGREDIENTS: 4 slices of bread 2 tbsp coriander mint chutney 2 tbsp jam 1/ ” thick slice of paneer (equal 4 to the bread slices) 2 tbsp tomato sauce 6 tbsp besan (gram flour) 1/ tsp red chilli powder 2 1 tsp ajwain a pinch of baking soda 1/ tsp chaat masala 2 oil for frying salt to taste METHOD Remove the corners from the bread slices. On the 1st slice spread the jam, place the 2nd slice on it and spread the chutney. Cover with the 3rd. On the paneer slice sprinkle some chaat masala and place it on the bread slice. On the other side spread the tomato sauce and cover with the fourth slice. Press firmly, and keep aside. Mix the besan and the spices, add enough water to obtain a smooth batter. Cut the s a n d w i c h
diagonally, so we get 2 triangular sandwiches. Dip this sandwich in the besan batter and fry in moderately hot oil till crisp and golden. Again. Cut the fried pakora into two. Serve hot.
TWICE BAKED POTATOES
INGREDIENTS: 4 large potatoes 1/ -1 cup grated cheese 2 1 tsp pepper powder 1/ cup thick cream 4 salt to taste METHOD Scrub potatoes well, wash dry and rub the skin with a little oil and salt. Prick the skin of the potatoes with a fork, so steam can escape.
1 tsp baking powder 1/ tsp baking soda 2 1/ tsp salt 4 1/ cup firmly packed light brown 4 sugar 1/ cup softened butter 4 1/ cup chopped walnuts 4 2 tsp cinnamon METHOD For cake combine 1 cup flour, granulated sugar, buttermilk, oil, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat well until blended. Pour batter in a greased cake tin. For topping, mix remaining flour, brown sugar, butter, walnuts and cinnamon in a small bowl with a fork, until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Bake until tooth pick inserted in centre of cake comes out clean. Serve warm.
Sweet ‘n’ spicy pakoras
Twice baked potatoes
Bake in a hot oven till cooked. Slice off tops of potatoes, scoop out centres, leaving 1/8th inch shell. Mass potatoes, add the cheese, cream, salt and pepper, heat until fluffy. Fill into the shells. Bake again for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.
METHOD Grease a baking dish well. Dip a few bread slices in milk, remove quickly and press out the excess milk. Line the dish evenly with the required number of bread slices. Melt jam, add the grated coconut and mix well. Spread the coconut jam mixture over the
Baked crispy stars
powder and bake in a moderately hot oven for 20-25 minutes. Cut in squares while still warm, but serve when cold.
BAKED CRISPY STARS
INGREDIENTS: 250 gm maida (refined flour) 50 gm almond powder 85 gm butter 1/ tsp salt 2 2 tbsp curd 1 tsp ajwain 1/ tsp soda bicarbonate 4 METHOD Mix well all the ingredients and make a soft dough using a little water. Take small portions, roll them out, cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter of any shape. Arrange on a greased baking sheet as tray and bake in a moderately hot oven till golden and crisp. Store in an airtight container when cool. We
INGREDIENTS: thick custard made from 1/2 ltr. milk 6 bread slices (corners removed) 1/ cup milk 2 1/ cup grated coconut 4 1/ cup jam or jelly 2 1/ -1 tsp cinnamon powder 2
bread slices. Cover with the remaining bread slices. Spread warm custard evenly over the bread slices. Sprinkle cinnamon
husband slowly came to know the state of affairs at home and he came to the conclusion that his mother was making my life miserable. One day as a trial my husband suggested an idea and I agreed to it. Accordingly, whenever we were in our private room he pretended to scold me with so loudly that all the members of the house could hear. That continued for a few days and as climax he enacted a drama of beating me with a stick. While all the beatings were taken by the beddings in the room, I pretended crying loudly. My MIL thought the beating to be real and advised my husband not to beat me, I kept on crying for some time. With soaked eyes when I came out of the room not only did she scold her son but also pacified me and started to love me and there was peace back in my life. – Payal Kathuria
False friction for peace
This incident happened in the initial days of our marriage. Though my mother-in-law welcomed me as her daughter-in-law, the good times remained only for few days. I found that my MIL was against me for anything and everything. The same mistakes committed by her daughters were ignored by her and for the same things there was a war of words against me. To have peace at home I silently suffered and didn’t dare to tell my husband. Anyhow my
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 your experience with the readers of Woman’s Era? All published incidents will be paid Rs 200. Please type or write neatly on white foolscap paper and send it to: MY MOST UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE AS A BRIDE
E-3 Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110055. Womansera.com
Name: Mobile: E-mail:
August (Second) 2009
This modern beauty is striking such a pose which can be only worded as dance of grace. With such charm she can make or mar any man.
Won’t you join me?: This seems to be an open invitation to the valiant at heart. The challenge can be quite interesting and tempting.
Planning the move: She is contemplating or rather all set to bowl over the target of her love.
Looking for an equal: She is preparing to cast her hypnotic spell on someone special.
So sexciting: What about the weak hearts, even the bravest of the brave can quiver before her alluring personality.
Face so innocent: Her simplicity and noble beauty can win more than scores of hearts.
Make-up and hair: Serena Rayani Model: Shailaja Cloths: Golmaal, Lokhandwala Photographer: Arjun Prasad
all the good that has come into your life since he left.
Q & A
My best friend and I had jobs in the same office. She then left and went to another outfit where she has a more senior position. She wants me to join her company but then I will be junior to her. I feel I am happy in my job but don’t want to disappoint her. What do I do? You need to be honest with your friend. Did you make a pact with her when she was leaving the job that you will join her. And even if you did, you have a right to change your mind. Tell her that things will change between the two of you as friends if one is the boss and the other a rank lower. Also, you can say that your prospects are better in the old job and she needs to respect that decision. I am 40 and became a widow when I was 22. Now my only son is also settled and I feel I have done all my duties to the best of my capacity. I have done everything right and had no excitement in my life. Suddenly I feel that if I don’t do something wild and fun now, my life will be over. Can I take chances? Of course you have done things the right way, your grown-up son whom you have managed to settle in life is the proof of that. As for excitement, it is never too late but there is wisdom in doing things that are fun but not necessarily wild. Yes, you can take chances but remember your limitations and work accordingly. Discuss with some good friends about what you want to do – travel,
learn new things, take up a serious hobby, whatever appeals to you and then chalk out a route for achieving it.
I had a very bad time with my exfiance. He turned out to be a liar, a cheat and even beat me up on a couple of occasions. Now I feel that I am constantly dwelling in the past and unable to move on. How can I hurry the process up? You need to grieve before you can hurry the process up. Of course, you would have been hurt terribly and have a right to feel cheated and hurt. You have not mentioned how long you have been single. There is no ‘prescribed’ time limit. Every human being instinctively knows when they are ready to move on. Pick up with old friends and do things you enjoy doing with them or even on your own. Every time you find yourself dwelling on the past, just remind yourself of
My girlfriend and I decided to try sex though our marriage cannot happen for another two years. Now she says she feels guilty and would not let me even kiss her. It is driving me absolutely mad. What do I do? I really do love her. Girls who have had a traditional upbringing are often unable to enjoy premarital sex and if you really love her, you have to understand her feelings and point. While it must be difficult, there are other ways for a man to do a solo job for himself and two years is not that long a time. Respect her decision, as all men must when it comes to a woman’s point of view on sex.
I am only 22 but I have the responsibility of my 18-year-old sister who lives with me. I work late hours and feel she is taking advantage of my absence. Our mom works and lives in the Middle-East and I don’t know how to discipline my sister! You are barely old enough to take responsibility for yourself, let alone your teenage sister. Yet if the circumstances are such that you have no choice, you have to play the mother. Your sister’s attitude will not change overnight. Let your mother communicate the limit on various things and you tell her that she should earn her freedom by being responsible. Woman’s Era
I am a serious person by nature. Recently a very bubbly and chirpy colleague said she could easily fall in love with me only if I knew how to laugh at myself. What is that supposed to mean? A good sense of humour is essential for a good relationship between two people. While it is a good thing for your work that you are a serious and no-nonsense kind of person, it must be boring for your friends. What other people think of you should not matter. While it is not easy to change one’s basic attitude in life, you can lighten up. She probably meant that you are a good human being, only just too serious for her liking.
MY FAMILY, MY FRIENDS AND ME...
This new column will tackle queries related to family, social environment and personality development. Please address your queries to:
E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110055. or log on to Womansera.com
August (Second) 2009
What does it take to bring down prices at a shop? Find out from a self-professed master of the game.
By Ashutosh Rawal
THE ART OF BARGAINING
argaining is a special art and it takes lots of practice, perseverance and years of experience to learn. The basic human mentality of getting the most by offering the least is the sole moti vational factor behind learning and mastering this art. When both the parties feel happy after the deal, it is considered to be a good bargain. But that is very rare. And remember that there is no
such place where you cannot bargain – except supermarkets and malls. There is no one to bargain with in a supermarket and I think that it is sadistic. There should be some system whereby you can even bargain in a supermarket. But promotions and raffles would make up for that up to a certain extent. However, you can never get that inner satisfaction and peace of mind in such places. I think that such establishments are not customer- friendly and should be banned from using such practices. Woman’s Era
I am trying to study this art for the last few years and I would like to share my experience and knowledge about bargaining with people from all over the world. If you are bargaining with people from different backgrounds, your task becomes all the more challenging. Bargaining requires an in-depth study of different cultures and the behavioural pattern of these people. It is a science in itself. On the other hand, it is just a question of simple common sense and use of skilled language.
August (Second) 2009
Your acting skills and your body language are also put through a rigorous test. Remember that you should never buy anything in a hurry. You get the best of the bargains when you have lots of time to spare. Hence, plan accordingly for your invaluable bargaining trip.
WHERE TO BEGIN
The best place to begin is any local market. Right from a small shop in a crowded market in downtown to a designer shop in a glamorous shopping centre, you can bargain everywhere. Remember that bargaining becomes difficult when the owner is not around and you have to deal with the employees. Hence, don’t waste your time in such places. The best time for bargaining is late afternoon when many people are not around. Let me remind you that the shopkeeper or the owner of the shop will be reluctant to bargain in front of many people. Do not wear very expensive or designer wear if you are really serious about the bargain. It means that you are sending wrong signals to your opponent. The owner of the shop is our opponent in this case. If you can afford such expensive clothes or jewellery, you can afford anything. Do not even wear torn and dirty clothes. The opponent will think that you cannot actually afford to buy any item in his shop and are just wasting his time. Wear simple and casual clothes. To create a proper visual impact is the first step. The real test starts when you spot something in the shop that really attracts your attention and would like to buy it at any cost. Do not even give a second glance to that piece. If the owner realises that you really like that particular item, half the battle is lost. The next step is to go away from that item and start looking at something very expensive that you would never want to buy. Your acting skills will come in really very handy at this point of time. Select a few items (at least five) and keep them aside without even
asking the price. This means that you are a good customer and will give very good business to the shop. At this point of time, the owner will come and personally assist you in your selection. He or she will show you 20 more items, which are not displayed outside. Take a look at them carefully and select a few more. When I say select, it does not mean that you have to buy those items. It is just a small decoy. The time is now ripe for the final catch and you have to move very carefully. You have to bargain but at the same time maintain the interest of the owner in such a manner that he does not suspect anything. Now, you start asking the price of each item and look very surprised when he tells you the price. But don’t mention that you will buy any or all of them. Ask for a better rate. He will lower the prices by around five to 10 per cent depending upon the place and situation. Just laugh and take it as a joke. Tell him/her that all your time and energy is not worth such petty bargains. Instead ask him to charge the original price. It means that it is below your dignity to ask for such small bargains. You would rather not bother about it. The opponent will feel a little guilty and will offer you around 20 per cent to 30 per cent discount this time (again depending upon your acting skills and the situation). This is what I call reverse psychology.
YOUR ACTING SKILLS AND YOUR BODY LANGUAGE ARE ALSO PUT THROUGH A RIGOROUS TEST. REMEMBER THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER BUY ANYTHING IN A HURRY. YOU GET THE BEST OF THE BARGAINS WHEN YOU HAVE LOTS OF TIME TO SPARE. HENCE, PLAN ACCORDINGLY FOR YOUR INVALUABLE BARGAINING TRIP.
ask for its price. The opponent will definitely quote you the lowest price thinking that you will not buy this product but are just trying to compare the prices of other products and it will help him in selling other products that you have already selected. If you have done your homework well (and with good acting), that will be the best price for that item. Ask for another 10 per cent reduction and most probably the shopkeeper will agree to it thinking that he will make up for his margin in other items that you have selected. Accept it reluctantly (as if you are obliging him) and immediately ask him to pack it for you. For the other items that you have selected, politely tell him that you find them a little expensive and will come back to him after checking prices in one or two other places. Mission accomplished – and you will be laughing all the way to your home with your prized possession. The problem will start when a lot of shop owners will also read this article. You will have to wait till I study this new trend and come out with a strategy to counteract their moves. Happy bargaining till then. Never forget that bargaining is your birthright and nobody can take it We away from you! 61
DON’T MENTION IT
Remember that all this time you are just selecting things and should not mention that you want to buy these things. Ask for the price that is 30 per cent less than his last quote. Tell him that you are not a one-time customer, you live in the neighbourhood and will be coming to his shop regularly. You should be very calm and patient all this time. Start talking with your friend in your own native language and mention certain key words like quantity, thousands, quality, etc, in English. Casually pick up the piece that you really want and Woman’s Era
August (Second) 2009
Today women are putting on clothes which bring into prominence their physical features. These clothes make the women and their presence electrifying.
Going mod: With lesser clothes the beauty becomes more revealing.
A timely step: Come on, dance with me.
A modern-day Cleopatra: A compelling pose when you wear something selective.
Rhythmic grace: Ready to vibrate. It’s Waltz: Match your steps with mine.
Impeccably attired: The impact is stunning. Matchless charm: More than the clothes, she is terrifically attractive.
Dresses: Asim Miglani Virddhi Retail, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi. Ph: 40507333
THE FIRST SHOWER
The shining sun With all its might, Bearing harshly Without respite, All upon the earthly plains So full of yearning For the season’s first rain. That parched land So dried and tanned May umpteen prayers Make and send But none can tell How or when The mighty rain showers Will choose to descend... At long last It so happens Black advancing clouds So threaten That the azure skies With the blazing sun Are forced to make way And let dullness grip day. When at last the heavens pour, Embracing all of nature’s floor The dampened earth Can no more Resist the urge Or the lure And every grass and flower springs To every heart a song it brings. At the first showers The spirit soars Smiling faces in galore Let joyous welcome in merriment pour And even the gulmohur Can’t help but spread – A carpet of flowers In resplendent red! – Veena Bantwal
August (Second) 2009
breast where due to hormones produced by the ovaries, the milk ducts extend to form glandular tissue, lymph and blood vessels grow and the skin enlarges to enfold the swelling of the breast.
Q & A
I am 25 years old and I have started getting small hairs around my breast. This has increased tension in me. I will be marrying soon. I want to get rid of this problem. Please advise. Hairs around nipples are quite a normal thing and many women adore them. There is nothing to worry about them. But if you do not want them simply trim them very short. These can also be removed with electrolysis. Depilatory cream can also be applied. Tweezing is not recommended as it may cause infection and soreness of the part. I am a 17-year-old girl and overweight. I reached puberty when I was in the 6th grade as my breasts started to develop. I observed some very small boils surrounding my nipples. These are painless and do not hurt. Please advise. What you have got are not boils but small ductules surrounding the nipples. Along with these there are Montgomery glands which lubricate the skin. There are small nerve ending and blood vessels which supply both nipples and areolas. What you have got is perfectly normal. It is the normal growth of the
I am an 18-year-old girl and have been using water jets for masturbation for the last seven years. After using it I feel heaviness in my lower abdomen though I have not encountered any problem in this regard. My periods are regular and normal? Please help. You have been masturbating for the last seven years. Though it is a simple way to let out your sexual desires and gain sexual gratification but there appears to be no justification for using a water jet. In the long term it can harm you and may damage your private parts. Feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen after the act is another way of expressing your sexual gratification. But I will advise you to desist from this act and instead divert your mind. to healthy activities like sports, books, music, etc. It will take your mind away from sexual fantasies.
weight. Unfortunately, her breasts have now become very small and she is cursing the day she went for surgery. What should she do? Please help. What has happened is rather unfortunate. Losing weight in a woman who has undergone breastreduction surgery can be quite a problem. In fact, this should be taken care of before planning surgery. Now, the only alternative is to put on a little weight and give the much-needed shape to the breasts.
I am 35 years old. Unfortunately, I have got very large, pendulous breasts which are a cause of great embarrassment. My doctor has advised me to go for reduction. What I am worried about is the large scar which I may have to live with. Please advise. Your fears are well founded. A certain amount of scarring is inevitable since your breasts are very large. Moreover, a big scar can also produce a form of tension which may be worse than the scar. Some women get a big scar and unfortunately the breasts are the worst site for a scar.
I am 34 years old and married. The other day I fell from the stairs and bumped against the wall. My breast is now swollen and very painful. Please advise. What you have got is probably an accumulation of blood under the tissue as a result of the trauma you suffered. What you require is medical attention (in the form of breast support and analgesics). Your doctor can take care of this aspect. Many women are left with a lump in the breast which often causes worry. Persistence of a lump in the breast may require a biopsy.
My friend (30 years old) had large breasts along with a slightly heavy body. She went for reduction surgery of the breasts. Now, she has lost
I am 20 years old. My problem is that I get agonising pain at the time of my periods. The pain is so intense that I cannot even stand, and have to cancel my programmes. Please help. What you get is part of the normal physiological reaction of the body. Most of this period pain is a side effect of the body’s hormonal swings where a hormone called prostaglandin plays a major role. It causes the blood vessels to the uterus to contract resulting in these cramps. Many women bear it depending on their capacity to bear pain. Analgesics can help you. With the passage of time these will decrease. But if these cramps become unbearable then you see your doctor. — Dr S. N. Khosla, MD.
A BURNING NATIONAL ISSUE
The tough guy star talks of his upcoming farmer-turned-Naxalite film... By Anil Merani
Even the US Senate says that the biggest threat to India is not external, but internal. These people with guns are not outsiders, but our very own people. Full marks to the producer T. P. Aggarwal, for attempting to make a film on a subject like this – most producers would have run shy given the risks involved.
ction superstar Suniel Shetty is quite kicked about his new film, Red Alert The War Within which deals the biggest internal security problem of the day, ie Naxalism. This intelligent film based on a true incident in South India will release around August/ September. We caught up with Anna, as Suniel is adoringly called, at the first look and had a long chat with him on the same. Red Alert deals with the Naxalite problem? When we started the film, this issue was not so big. But of late with the events in Bengal (Lalgarh), it has become a burning national issue.
climax which tries to explore the human cost of this most mis misunderstood war.
But does the film glorify violence ? If you see the film you will understand that we have tried to show that resorting to the gun does not solve anything. There is a very thin line between revolution and terrorism. On the other hand, emotions, intelligence and education can solve most of the underlying issues. Our film has a very interesting
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
Something about your character and look? I play a farmer, Narasimha, who gets embroiled in the Naxalite movement. It traces his journey. How he picks up the gun, kills for the first time. He is also forced to kill someone who saves his life. I have never done this type of character before. An action hero has a completely different body language. I had to drop all that. My shoulders had to droop.This project was quite emotionally taxing as well. As the character was crying a lot, many of the times I would end up getting a headache.
Working with talented actors like NaseerBhai, Vinod ji and Seema Biswas was a terrifying job.They would psyche me out . But it was good, for even I had to raise the bar to match up to them. The character also demanded a lot of underplaying which I am not known for.
Shooting in the jungle? It was fun. Agreed, there were insects, but living in the wild has it own high. The weather was much more pleasant, than living in concrete jungles. I really wonder what we have done to Mother Nature. Why did you choose this project ? One of the main reasons for choosing this film was the script. Such Ideas if well told do click. It is very easy to play larger-than-life characters because the surroundings support you, but here I had to become the farmer mentally to integrate myself into the backdrop. The other factor that compelled me to choose this role was that after Border and Hutu, this was one film which was so real. But will a film which provokes you to think, work ? I think multiplexes have an intelligent audience who want to watch different cinema. Did Slumdog not have people rushing in? World cinema which is both entertaining and compels you to think has a market these days and I would call Red Alert part of that genre. Our premier at the Stuttgart film festival is a vindication of the hard work put in by all of us. Will your production house Popkorn Entertainment make a serious film? Yes we have a very interesting and sensitive theme, but I will not want to talk about it now. You have been around for 20 years – how do you see the industry then and now? Things have become much more professional and organised. Today’s
young kids understand the importance of time. Gone are the days when actors would turn up late. On the flip side, money has become the main overriding factor. As for content, realistic concepts are being tried around like Red Alert, a film which is quite close to my heart. Having said that, the last two years have been quite bad for the industry. We need to erase that part and move on, else, we will continue to suffer losses and bleed. The recent multiplex strike I fear might have made the audience forget about going to the cinema just like when the video boom happened. The only solution is that we all join hands.
Shobhaji. Differences can occur, but I am a guy who will say sorry if I am wrong.
Your best film? Border. Injured army soldiers told us in Kargil that they loved our work. I felt humbled. Getting praised by the real heroes. I also loved doing Dhadkan (romantic), Hera Pheri (Laugh riot) and Hu Tu Tu (social). You had not done much work of late. I was not getting the right kind of roles, so I decided to lie low rather then doing trash. But now things are on the mend and I have a fantastic mix of films, eg Daddy Cool , a comedy about a funeral. Then there’s
What is your take on the media? I always welcome constructive criticism. You say this was wrong but at the same time you should also give credit where it’s due. The industry needs encouragement at this crucial juncture. But sadly you have some people who are just out to rape the film and not rate it.I have been called a wooden actor with no expression, yet have survived for so long. What has been the reason for your long innings? I never run down anybody. I always keep my producers and directors above everything else. It's not that I have not done wrong films, but my commitment never wavered. Recently, there were press reports about Ekta Kapoor issuing a notice about an incomplete film which you were jointly coproducing? See, this is what I mean about wrong reporting. I have no clue about which notice they are talking about. How can you carry a story where both the parties are unavailable for comment? I respect Jeetuji, Ekta and
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
Tum Milo to Sahi, a socially relevant film with Nana Patekar and Dimple Kapadia. Aneez Bazmi’s No Problem and De Dana Dan are also in the works. As a producer as well I have a few projects on the floor as well – e.g Loot, Mumbai Chakachak and Little God Father. Would you consider direction? No, it’s not my cup of tea. The reason why I took up production was that one has to always plan ahead. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life getting up at 9 a.m. for a shoot. I We want to do other things.
Feel the freshness of green beauty at your home and office with landscape gardening.
By Dr Alka Singh
Observe a flower silently…. Touch it with your sensitive heart… Feel its purity, silence, freshness and cheerfulness… Blossom with its grace, sensitivity, patience and affection!
e are struggling and surviving in this hi-tech world and drifting far from the wonders of nature. Today, the pace of urban development has transformed the eco-friendly human being into a machinefriendly automation. The level of pollution is crossing healthy limits in most of the cities day by day and aggravating problems of headache, nausea, breathing difficulties and bronchial diseases, eye-irritation, nervous disorders, fatigue, depressions, etc. Here, our green friends (plants) can rescue us from all these. Besides they add to the aesthetic value of our building or residence. Our eyes long for the sight of green nature. We can change such dull and lifeless situations by developing landscape gardening Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
surrounding our homes, offices, buildings, our balconies and everywhere and feel the soothing effect on our bodies and minds. One can find oneself in the midst of green plants in this high-tech machine age. Yes, develop landscape gardening in your surroundings and be close to nature. The green plants help to keep air fresh, remove pollutants and enhance your creativity besides having a cooling and soothing effect on the eyes. A basic knowledge of plant selection and growing and one's creativity is all that is needed to cultivate the art of landscape gardening. Here are some tips to be followed in the selection of plants for gardening: ● The plants should be selected on the basis of the presence of light
at your home, balcony, backyard or surroundings wherever you want to develop landscape gardens. Some plants grow well only in bright sunlight while some can survive well even in low, diffused light. ● Home gardens can comprise some kitchen gardening – i.e vegetable plants – and some herbal plants also besides ornamental plants. ● Direction is very important in plant selection for landscaping. Heavy, thick-foliage trees or sunloving plants should be planted in the north-western region. ● Humidity should also be considered while selecting the plants. Some plants are moisture-loving while some like dry climates ● The flowering or foliage types should be selected according to one's preference. Generally, the flowering plants require sufficient sunlight for flowering. While foliage plants can be grown indoors. ● The watering of plants should be done according to the type of plants. The succulent and cactus require less amount of watering than the other herbaceous types. ● The soil-media for growing plants should be loamy with good drainage and sufficient organic matter. ● Regular fertilisation is a must for healthy plant growth. The plants should be fertilised once in two months. Besides, chemical fertilisers like urea, super phosphate, neem cake, mustard cakes, etc. should be used.
Plumeria small tree
Regular pruning should be adopted to keep plants in proper shape and size. Some popular plants for landscape gardening: Bright colourful shrubs: hibiscus, ixora, tecoma stans, meyenia erecta, hemelia, etc. Fragrant flowers: plumeria, jui, mogra, night queen, Kamini, etc. Palms: chrysalidocarpus (areca palm), fishtail palm, chamaerops humilis, howeia, phoenix, raphis excelsa, etc. Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
Climbers: bougainvillea, clerodendron thompsoni, C. splendens, quisqualis, star ipomea, etc. Indoor plants: crotons, dieffenbachia, philodendron, asparagus, aralia, scheffelera, etc. Sesonals: gazania, phlox, dianthus, marigold, sunflower, pansy, etc. Succulents: agave (dwarf), aloes, crasssula, echeveiria, haworthia, sempervivum, etc. To live and enjoy a healthy, loving and fresh life, there is need for love, care and respect towards our own nature, our home, our planet. Women can play an important role in building the green-friendly concept wherein the kids can also be encouraged to grow plants. By generating this awareness, love towards plants will follow naturally, leading to environmental conservation, an eco-friendly life and We ecological balance. 73
As Sahil’s detective work dug into the mysterious disappearance of the lovers, he came up with an amazing discovery. By Kumud Bhatnagar Part-2
useful information." According to Sulbha, hearing that she couldn't Childhood friends Yash Sharma and Janet Fernandes get the train reservations and was going back by the later studied medicine together and fell in love. But bus, Yash insisted that she travelled with them. they knew their otherwise devoted parents, being "Since I was already feeling jittery about staunch Hindus and Roman Catholics, would never travelling alone in the night bus, I agreed. Janet, at agree to their marriage. On their return trip from their that time, didn't say anything but disappeared soon Pune convocation, their speeding car crashed into a after. Even Yash was seen enquiring about her from truck and both its passengers were burnt beyond all and sundry. A little before the convocation recognition. A year later, detective Sahil convinced function, Janet came to my room with a confirmed both families that the bodies belonged to others. So train ticket. She said, as such, she had no objection where were the medico lovebirds if alive? This is what to my travelling with them but she had already he now sets out to discover. Now read on... booked a room for themselves at a small place on the way and was not sure if there would be another r Kumar couldn't tell them much except for room available for me. But, at the same time, she too asserting that Yash was a non-drinker. didn't like me to travel by bus, hence went to an Moreover, no liquor was served at the influential person to get train reservations for me. On celebration party. Dr Rao told them that my asking who the influential person was, she said Yash too had a job offer in the Middle East that he was a businessman with contacts even in the and was quite serious about it. "Where middle and far east. Through him, she could arrange exactly in the Middle East?" a job for Yash in a Gulf country. Dr Rao shrugged his shoulders "I asked in surprise how Yash agreed to go to a "That he didn't specify and I didn't ask either but, Gulf country when his ultimate goal was either the UK on my asking how his parents would take or US. Janet said going to either of those "Why didn't his going so far away, he reasoned that if places was not possible in the foreseeable they could send him to Pune, a journey of you ask Sulbha future, nor it was possible for them to live 14 hours, why should they object to his without each other as they could not sneak about name of to a private nest, once they were back in going to a place which was only a 2-3-hour flight. You can zero-in on a place the lodge where their hometown. She claimed to have which boasts of a hospital with cardiac Yash and Janet mollified Yash to some extent but intended facilities and in a journey of a mere 2-3 to seduce him that night to accept that job. were supposed That's why, without his knowledge, she hours." "Dr Rao perhaps doesn't know that had booked a room at his favourite lodge to break the most places in the Middle East by air are on the highway. They used to often break journey?" a journey of a mere journey there to enjoy the calm, serene Shikha asked 2-3-hours," Shikha remarked while tranquility of the place, especially the coming out. privacy of the swimming pool amidst the afterwards. "Still, he has given a clue. It’s not thick bushes. difficult to locate a cardiologist in the Middle East if "All these months I often wondered how they the need arises," Sahil replied. "Where'll we go could be on the road at that time when she had now?" plans for a night halt. And, mind you, sleuth, Janet "Let's go to Dr Sulbha first. She too had been was not the one to give her plans up so easily," wondering all the time about how Yash could ram Sulbha said looking at Sahil. into a stationary truck. She might provide some "Do you know the name of the person who
The story so far
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
booked your train ticket, doctor?" Sahil asked. "No, but that ticket must still be in my purse as nobody took it from me here at the station. Is it possible to find out by showing the ticket who got it booked?" "A remote possibility is there, still I'll take the chance. Hunt out the ticket please and then inform me," Sahil said getting up. "Thank you very much, doctor. You have indeed given some valuable information." "Why didn't you ask Sulbha about name of the lodge where Yash and Janet were supposed to break the journey?" Shikha asked afterwards. Sahil looked at her admiringly. "A good question indeed, Shikha. You deserve to be a detective's wife." "Thanks for the complement, Sahil. How about taking me along when you go for further investigations on the highway?" "Well, that would indeed be a privilege. Anyway, coming to your question, Jungle Hut is the lodge on that highway which meet's Sulbha's description. But, to be on the safe side before embarking upon the journey, I'll confirm it from Sulbha.” "You may ask from Dr Nasreen, we are on our way to her place now."
lthough Dr Nasreen appeared to be very friendly and cordial, she claimed to have no idea about their night halt and when Sahil remarked that it could be the Jungle Hut she said it couldn't be, as Janet didn't like its haunted look. She also vehemently asserted that both Janet and Yash couldn't be alive. "People who perished in their car, must have killed Yash and Janet and then fled at breakneck speed from the scene of action." "Agreed, but then what happened to their bodies? No unclaimed body had been found in that area during that period," Sahil pointed out. "Some wild animals might have dragged them to the jungle or the miscreants themselves might have thrown them in the river and they must have floated down beyond your jurisdiction." "For your information, I am a private detective without any jurisdiction and the whole world is my oyster," Sahil said softly. "We have a network of our associates and branch offices. Through vernacular media and other sources, all crime-related information is e-mailed to all our offices. In my files, I didn't find any news of
unidentified bodies being found during that period. But you're right, the possibility of their being thrown in a uninhibited area cannot be ruled out. Tell me, did Janet tell you about her acquiring a job in the Middle East?" "Yeah, she had an offer but was not serious about it." "Do you know through whom she got it?" "No, I don't know," Nasreen said stiffly. "And what has it got to do with Janet's untimely death?" "A lot – not with her untimely death but disappearance," Sahil's tone was equally stiff. "Death in itself is an act of disappearance," Nasreen remarked and then requested to be excused as it was time for her to go to the hospital. As they came out of Nasreen's house, Shikha remarked that coming over to this place served no purpose. "On the contrary, Nasreen unwittingly helped us a lot, Shikha. Her assertion that Janet was not interested in that Gulf job is wrong and proves that she is shielding Janet. Shall I tell you another interesting observation? The influential person through whom Janet got the job for Yash and train reservations for Sulbha is related to Nasreen.” "Then why didn't you ask her about him?" "As if she would have admitted it. Don't worry, I have my own ways to trace that person out because he is the most vital link." Shikha couldn't fully comprehend all that Sahil said but she didn't want to antagonise him by asking too many questions. Her parents were quite against her going alone with Sahil
but Shikha had assured them that at Pune she would be staying with her friend Abha and Sahil at a different place. Moreover, Sahil was investigating unofficially and could face difficulties in getting cooperation from people. But she being the deceased's niece, could take advantage of sympathy. In the evening, Sahil came with the travel plan. His plan was to drive straight to the Jungle Hut. If the requisite information was not available there, then to stop at other tea stalls and motels etc. on the way to Pune or otherwise go straight to Pune and, next day, question the man with whose help Janet procured a job for Yash. "How did you get his address?" Shikha was surprised. Sahil smiled smugly. "It's a trade secret but let me share it with you. I sent one of my assistants to the telephone exchange to scrutinise the available telephone bills of Nasreen's father Mohammed Mukhtar Ahmad and see if calls had been made to a certain Pune number. My hunch paid off. Calls had often been made to Pune on one particular number. My Pune associates told me that the number belonged to Mr. Irshaad Ali, the owner of an import and export firm. That's enough for the time being. See you with the first rays of the sun tomorrow."
hikha had expected Sahil to be quiet, rather grim, during the drive but he seemed to be in a jovial and talkative mood and the drive was fun till they came to the Jungle Hut. "Does the place look haunted, Shikha?" Sahil asked. "On the contrary, it looks a perfect backdrop for a romantic stay," Shikha replied. "Exactly. Now I am convinced that Nasreen was trying to misguide me. Janet and Yash might be patronising only this place. So we have to order an elaborate lunch and linger over it to befriend the waiter and extract maximum information from him," Sahil remarked. During the lunch, Sahil struck up a friendship with the waiter, and asked him how long he had been working there. Lunch over, he liberally tipped the waiter and then showed him Yash and Janet's photographs saying that those people told him to break journey at the Jungle Hut. "How nice of them to say so, sir. They were our regular customers but, during their last stay, something very unfortunate happened for the first time in our lodge and they stopped patronising us," the waiter said a trifle sadly. Sahil meaningfully
looked at Shikha and asked the waiter, "Why? What happened?" "Their car was stolen, sir. We park our guests' cars in the basement but Dr Sharma said that he would be leaving within a few hours after some rest, so we let the car remain in front of the main gate..." "Oh, I see! Don't you have a night watchman?" Sahil asked. "We do have, sir. He had gone to the toilet and when he came back, the car was not there. He presumed that the party must have left and, when the party looked for their car in the morning, it transpired that the car had been stolen." "Then hell might have broken loose?" Shikha asked. "Oh no, ma'am. Those people didn't blame the watchman or the management saying that they had left the car there at their own risk." "But then, how did they go from here?" "The owner of this lodge sent them in his own car." "Where?" "That I don't know, sir," the waiter thought for a moment then added. "They must have gone to the nearest station because the driver was back with the car soon." "The food was so tasty that I have overeaten, so want to sleep for some time. Waiter, could we get a room for a short while? Find out from your manager, please." Shikha who was visibly excited with the waiter's disclosure of Yash's car having been stolen, now looked hurt – rather shocked. "That shouldn't be a problem, sir. Still, I'll ask the manager." After the waiter left, Sahil turned to Shikha, "I don't have any ulterior motives, Shikha. I am not going to sleep but plan out the future strategy." "That we can do in the car itself," Shikha's tone was stiff. "No, Shikha, my every move has got to be precisely planned and jotted down. Moreover, I am convinced that Yash and Janet have disappeared with Nasreen's help. If I fail to trace them on my own, I have to confront Nasreen and for that I have to win over the staff of this lodge.” The waiter came back with the manager. "For how long do you want the room, sir?" "For a couple of hours at the most." "No problem and since you are our esteemed customer Dr
Sharma's friend, we won't charge you anything. By The moment they reached near her home, Shikha the way, sir where's Dr Sharma these days?" called home on her mobile to tell them to keep "He is at Pune, very busy at his nursing home.” coffee ready for them. "I see! That's why we haven't seen him lately, “Not for me, Shikha, I won’t be coming in,” Sahil otherwise he was not one to stop patronising us," interrupted her. the manager remarked. In the room, Sahil got busy Shikha looked at him quizzically, “Not even for on his mobile. He was instructing someone. Hearing coffee?” him adding that he would not be coming to Pune, “Not today. I’ll go straight home, take a shower, Shikha was intrigued. She impatiently waited for him have a light supper and hit the sack,” Sahil said to finish the conversation and, before he could dial stopping the car in front of her house. “Okay, another number, she asked if they were going to Shikha, see you tomorrow.” “Do come in for a few stay there overnight. minutes, Sahil, otherwise mummy will feel bad,” "No, we'll go back. I got the Shikha implored. “It is confirmed information I wanted. I'll bring you to stay “She shouldn’t with a sleuth son-in-law. here overnight after our marriage." that while Yash Please tell her I’ll come for dinner "Thank you so much for unasked-for and Janet were tomorrow,” Sahil planted an indifferent benevolence, Sahil, but won't you kiss on her earlobe. sleeping in a question Irshaad Ali?" Shikha was perplexedly looking at the lodge, their "That would be a sheer waste of time. fast- disappearing car when she felt a soft Nasreen must have already warned him car was stolen touch on her shoulder. It was Uncle and he would be on his guard. I have to Raghav. He looked at her expectantly. and the lodge make a few more calls. After that, we'll Before she could speak, others too came owner got them out and Dilip asked. “How successful was have tea and start back for home. dropped to the the trip?” Meanwhile, if you like, you can freshen up," and once again he got busy on his “It is confirmed that while Yash and nearest railway mobile. Janet were sleeping in a lodge, their car station.” was stolen and the lodge owner got them ll Shikha could make out was that he instructed dropped to the nearest railway station in his car.” various people to contact passport offices and “That means Yash is alive!” Aunty Anita cried in foreign consulates of their cities. After that, he excitement. “Where did he go from the railway called room service for tea and went in the toilet to station? Any idea?” freshen up. Shikha shrugged her shapely shoulders. “Sahil, why didn’t you ask for the driver who “Sahil didn’t try to find out but made many calls drove them to the nearest station?” Shikha couldn’t to his associates and declared that his investigations help asking while having tea. were over. The case is closed for him and he never “Do you feel they still might be sitting on the discusses a closed case. Search me, if I know how platform or staying in that small place either? Nor is he could close the case without knowing the there any possibility of their divulging their plans to whereabouts of Yash and Janet.” anyone, and I don’t want to unnecessarily question “Why didn’t you ask him?” Dilip demanded. anyone. Don’t worry, my associates would shortly “How could I after that cryptic declaration?” trace Yash out and you can have all these details Shikha replied and went to her room. Sandhya straight from the horse’s mouth,” Sahil replied followed her. breezily. Shikha looked at him in disbelief. “Is that all? Or are you hiding something, “Is it so simple, I mean so easy, Sahil?” Shikha?” she looked straight into Shikha’s eyes. “When it is proved that they did not perish in the Shikha met her gaze. car fire, naturally they had migrated to the Middle “It’s nothing of the sort, mom, you’re presuming. East. Exactly where, my associates would let you Sahil is a thorough gentleman but, as far as his know soon. Let’s make a move now so that I can profession is concerned, he is stubborn and drop you home at a respectable hour,” Sahil said confident, excessively – overconfident perhaps.” getting up. “One thing more, Shikha, I don’t talk Sandhya heaved an audible sigh of relief, then about a closed case and, as far I am concerned, said, “Those are his professional problems, rather Yash and Janet’s case is closed. My investigations traits, Shikha. The best for you to do is to keep away are over and I am waiting for the results.” from probing. Remember, if you want a hassle-free Although not convinced, Shikha decided not to existence, never divulge your domestic trivia to him probe further. As they were in a hurry to reach and never show interest in his vocational trifles.” home, they didn’t stop for refreshments on the way. “Okay, mom,” Shikha said resignedly. “What do
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009 77
Aunty Anita and Uncle Raghav intend to do now?” “No idea. You freshen up, then come and sit with them for some time.” To Shikha’s surprise, both Raghav and Anita were quite cool about Sahil’s attitude. “He would himself contact us whenever he has information worth sharing. We won’t disturb him on our own,” Raghav said firmly. “Sahil will come over dinner for tomorrow, so uncle and aunty you too please come. He may divulge something,” Shikha said. Anita pondered for some time. “If Sahil shows any inclination to meet us or tells you something interesting, Shikha, do phone us to come over. Meanwhile, this assurance that Yash did not perish in the fire is enough for us to bless you and Sahil.” Shikha’s eyes moistened. Aunty Anita still must be simmering in an unimaginable agony. If Yash was alive, then where was he and in what condition? Although Sahil had never let her down, Shikha had a feeling that, today, Sahil may not keep the appointment. But Sahil, as usual, came at the right time. He was looking quite relaxed, although he suggested to Dilip to organise an excursion to the Jungle Hut but refrained from mentioning Yash’s name. Since Raghav and Anita decided not to question Sahil, others also decided to do the same.
of what he learnt about Yash and Janet, she wouldn’t be able to concentrate on her work. But before she could tell this to Sahil, he phoned her. “Listen, Shikha, things have taken an interesting turn. Do take up. I am coming in 15 minutes to pick you.”
inner over, the family left Sahil and Shikha alone to chat. After some time, Sahil’s mobile rang. He was quite excited to see the number but his face fell on hearing whatever the caller told him. “Get me copies of all the mobile and telephone bills of Irshaad Ali, Nasreen and Mukhtar Ahmad. Get me this information before noon tomorrow,” he instructed. Shikha couldn’t control herself any more and asked, “What happened, Sahil? Couldn’t your men trace Yash and Janet?” “They haven’t left India. Where they are in India, we’ll know from the telephone bills I have asked for. Janet must be certainly in touch with Nasreen.” “Supposing she is not, then?” Shikha persisted. “Then we have to resort to the old formula of getting their photographs published nationwide, and announcing a reward to the informer. But I don’t think we need to do that. I’ll come to your office during lunch break tomorrow.” Sahil brought her hand to his lips and got up. “Have a nice sleep luv. Good night.” Shikha felt cheated. A real prankster – creates suspense and then chills out leaving you simmering in curiosity! Whenever Sahil had to work late, he would meet her during lunch break but today she was not interested in meeting him. Suppose he tells her half
efore she could react, he disconnected. Although peeved, she took half day’s leave and came to the office gate. Within minutes, Sahil came. He smilingly opened the door for her and then drove quietly till he found a place to park the car. He then switched on his mobile, handed it to Shikha saying, “Listen to the other party without uttering a word or making a sound.” More suspense! Shikha irritatedly took the mobile but was thrilled to hear Yash’s voice, “Hi..., hello, Nasreen... hello...” Sahil almost snatched the phone from her. “Are you sure Yash was at the other end?” Shikha nodded her head in affirmation. “Where’s he?” was all she could ask in a choked voice. “In Sopore, a saffron-growing area of Kashmir, near Srinagar. How he reached there, Nasreen will tell us. We’re going to her place.” “Before that, shouldn’t we tell Aunty Anita?” “No, Shikha, not before ascertaining that Yash is hale and hearty. It is only my presumption that Yash and Janet crashed the car to do the vanishing trick.” “It is not a presumption but a fact, Sahil, but how did they manage to land up in faroff Kashmir?” “Let’s get it straight from the horse’s – rather
mare’s – mouth. Nasreen has to tell us everything now, including whether Yash was a willing party or forced to yield.” “Must have gone willingly, Sahil. He was adamant to share his life with Janet even at the cost of being disowned by his parents.” For a split second Nasreen was flabbergasted to see them again but, regaining her composure, she taunted, “So you’re still flogging the dead horses.” “It would be wrong to claim that Sahil revived the horses back to life as they were never dead,” Shikha retorted. “How they reached Sopore, we want to hear from you, doctor.”
In the circumstances, Sopore was the best hideout. Luckily, they both like rather love the place and seem to be enjoying their stay there.
he colour drained from Nasreen’s face. Before she could react, Sahil spoke, “I know, doctor, Janet and Yash have gone to Sopore with your Irshaad uncle’s help. If you won’t tell us the truth, I’ll get it the same way I learnt of their being in Sopore instead of the Middle East. If you tell me the truth, I promise you’ll come to no harm. Helping in an act of elopement is a punishable offence you must be aware.” “Who told you all this?” Nasreen asked resignedly. “Oh, come on, Nasreen, don’t you know my man is a sleuth? From a mere glance at Yash’s teeth imprint, he was certain that the charred body in the car was not that of Yash,” Shikha replied smugly. “Since you already know this much, you must be also knowing why the duo went into hiding – rather hibernation.” “For that one need not be a detective, Nasreen. Everyone loves a lover. All I want to know is how all this happened, and are Yash and Janet free to leave Sopore whenever they like?” Sahil asked. “Oh yes, they are not under custody, or any bond to work there for a specific period either. Since they were not carrying their passports with them, they couldn’t go abroad. In the circumstances, Sopore was the best hideout. Luckily, they both like – rather love – the place and seem to be enjoying their stay there. Now, to your first question, as to how all this happened. After the theft of their car, they both left in the lodge owner’s vehicle for the nearest police station to lodge the complaint of the theft and then proceeded homewards. But, on the way they learnt about the ghastly accident involving their car, and changed their plans. They went back to Pune, to Irshaad uncle to be exact. Since uncle was already aware of their plight and trying to find jobs for them in the Middle East through his contacts, he also appreciated their plans. Uncle conceded that, in any
case, both were going to shock their respective parents with their decision to marry out of their religions and would certainly be disowned by them. The grief of death was any time better than the shock of desertion and disobedience by the children. “Uncle advised them to go to Kashmir till he could arrange new passports for them. Being an exporter of saffron and carpets, Irshaad uncle knows affluent and influential people in Kashmir. He immediately arranged for Yash and Janet to work in a local hospital. Both have told uncle that they are quite happy there and he need not bend over backwards to get them new passports. Anyway, what do you intend doing to make their respective parents yield to their children’s happiness?” “I’ll only apprise them about the whereabouts of their children and why they took advantage of the situation. How they tackle the situation is their We problem,” was Sahil’s cryptic reply.
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Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
A breathtaking display of sparklers that light up the spectacular film. By Venkateswarlu Kolluru
VIJAYAWADA: It's an occasion for celebrating the memorable 16thcentury jewellery.
and earrings to chains, were displayed. The King Bharmal set, Jodhaa's tourmaline set, wedding set, navaratna set, Akbar's durbar set and wedding set were among them. Queen Jodhaa's 12-piece head-totoe jewellery set that includes jhumkis, naths, hath phools , rings and pendants were the most eyecatching. The organisers said an order for jewellery placed at the exhibition included vaddanam as well. "A visitor, impressed by the Jodhaa's peacock hansli set, placed an order for the same," said Jogu Prasad, local franchisee of Tanishq, the jewellery brand of the Tata group that Woman’s Era
he visitors admired the seamlessly blended traditi onal motifs and techniques used in the making of the jewellery, which speaks volumes for the connoisseurship, glamour and allure of the Mughals. That was Tanishq's Jodhaa-Akbar Jewellery Exhibition held in the South-Asian central city, Vijayawada, on 24 and 25 May 2008. Precious ornaments, ranging from elaborate neckwear, rings, bangles
manufactured the jewellery for the film and organised the exhibition here. About seven-eight orders that included the entire Navaratna set costing around Rs 14 lakh were also placed. "The entire collection is amazing. But, I particularly liked Emperor Akbar's sword very much," said the Tanishq people. "This is no ordinary sword. The best kaarigars (craftsmen) of the country toiled for nearly a year to create the magnificent ceremonial 31/2 foot and 20-kg sword," pointed out Ms Prasad. "The jewellery, definitely, reflects the extensive field research done by the makers in Rajasthan and Gujarat
August (Second) 2009
to understand the nuances of the art form," said G. Saudamini, a visitor who saw the movie three times. The collection was put together by design and production teams and more than 200 kaarigars.
Tanishq worked in collaboration with Chitrakala Parishad for 6 months and did in-depth research on Mughal and Rajput history, tradition, culture and jewellery, explained Ms Prasad. "It's opulent jewellery, very impressive,” commented Namitha, a student of Siddhartha Public School, while her brother Bhargav felt that the jewellery looked lovelier in the film than in the exhibition. Vijayawada, incidentally, was chosen as one of the five cities to organise it. The collection included nearly 200 pieces of jewellery that were intricately crafted in pure gold, and brilliantly embossed with precious and semi-precious stones in kundan and meenakari techniques. The jewellery line includes the sarpech (feather pin), archer's ring, arsi (mirror ring), bhor (head jewel like an Indian tikka ) and hansali (choker). As these pieces will not be of use to a contem porary Indian female, I guess it makes sense that Tanishq has decided not to sell them. Around 400 kg of gold along with emeralds, pearls, rubies, tourmaline and jade stones had been worked on by 200 craftsmen. Thirteen and eight ensembles were made for Ash and Hrithik, respectively. Painstaking research had gone into crafting the jewellery in as authentic a manner as possible. Twenty designers met with the king of Kishangarh and went through various archives to get a vivid idea of the jewellery in vogue then. It took 12 designers and 200 craftsmen two years to bring the jewellery into existence, according to Tanishq. The much-talked about wedding trousseau set that Aishwarya had worn in the movie is
encrusted with rubies. Designer Ruchi said that colour red was the colour of the Rajputs and all the jewellery worn by the Rajputs in the movie has rubies on them. The set weighs more than 4 kg. "Ash loved the jewellery and did not complain about the weight," Tanishq authorities said. Akbar's wedding ensemble was breathtaking. Green being the colour of the Mughals, it was resplendent with emeralds and pearls. The set
had to reflect the glory of the emperor and hence was extraordinarily opulent.
The pieces exuded drama, glamour and luxury and meticulous attention was given to details. For instance, the finger ring worn by Akbar to protect his thumb during archery, has the motif of an elephant inside. The swan set, which Akbar gives Jodhaa on the occasion of their wedding, has meenakari detailing behind it. The designers used the swan motif in the necklace to represent the peaceful union of two cultures and dynasties. Another unique feature of the swan set, according to Sangeeta Dewan, head of design, is that asymmetrical stones had been used to achieve symmetry. The piece de resistance of the collection, Akbar's sword, took 10 months to make. The sword has elephant and lotus motifs. The elephant motif symbolises the masculinity and strength of Akbar, while the lotus stands for purity of We mind. 81
August (Second) 2009
Compliments to spouses work wonders in marital lives. By Shantha Nagarajan
goes off without a single utterance of satisfaction. This kind of insensitivity to her need for appreciation would dampen the wife’s spirits and affect her efficiency. If this attitude of taking her labour for granted persists, resentment builds up within her, leading to soured ties. Fed up with her husband’s habit of picking holes in whatever she does and slighting her hard work, Shilpa, an exasperated housewife, laments, “These men take everything for granted. If only they knew how eagerly we women would work ourselves to the bone for a few words
ppreciation is something most of us crave. Encouraging expressions, appreciative gestures and warm acknowledgements form the basis of a healthy relationship between a husband and wife. A man or woman goes by the spouse’s words of praise when due. Norman Vincent Peale, the exponent of positive thinking, offers the following advice to couples aiming at a trouble-free married life: “One of the most basic drives in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. Remember this and
follow it and you have nipped much married trouble at its root.”
Be generous in acknowledging her merits for achieving close ness: The husband who accom plishes something in his business or career, wants appreciation from his wife. When he has worked all day long and comes home tired, it is a serious mistake for his wife to take it all for granted. It is easy to say, “I am proud of you.” It will do wonders for him. If the dinner is good, let the man compliment her culinary skills. He has enjoyed the fruit of her labour in the kitchen, relished it silently and
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
of praise!” Let the insensitive men take note of the truth contained in this lament.
Blame game – relationship wrecker: Do not develop the habit of seeing the things that are wrong. Condition your attention to the things that are right, it will do her a world of good. According to John Gray, author of A Guide for Enriching Relationships, a mistake commonly made by women is not acknowledging what he does for her but complains about what he has not done. In such a situation the husband feels taken for granted and unloved. It is these trifles that drill holes into marital harmony and finally sink the dream boat which a little more understanding, a little more appreciation, could have kept afloat. Great issues develop from small beginnings. A lack of appreciation which reveals itself in commonplace things may grow until it becomes a very great divisive factor. In a husband-wife relation ship, blaming does not work. Understanding trust, com passion, acceptance and support are the solutions and not blaming our partners. “When I felt loved by my family, not only did I feel more confident but others also trusted and appreciated me more,” says Suresh, a businessman whose modest attempts to meet the demands of the home always receive his wife’s encourage ment and approval. On the other hand, Kavita, a middle-aged housewife whose expectations from married life were not realised, keeps on nagging her husband, a man of modest means, because he can’t afford to provide her with the luxuries that the neighbours keep boasting about. She made him feel inferior by regularly talking down to him, and the result is mutual recrimination and damage which has taken a heavy toll on their marital happiness. The outcome would
be happier if the wife told the hubby what “a sweet, loving husband you are. Other husbands just moan – but look what a jewel I’ve got!” This approach is bound to succeed. In the beginning, couples flush with enthusiasm and excitement usually present a picture of mutual admiration and trust but once the excitement wanes, they go into the shell of nonchalance, ego and resentment. John Gray says, “In the beginning of a relationship a woman gives a man a brief look that says you could be the one to make me happy. Unfortunately, once they are in a relationship and as the problems begin to emerge, she doesn’t know how important that message still is to him and neglects to send it.” Hence, psychologists advocate the ‘pat-on-the-back’ technique. Give a pat every now and then to show your appreciation of your spouse’s contributions to the family.
A PAT ON THE BACK FROM THE SPOUSE IS LIKE A TONIC, AND THIS TECHNIQUE SHOULD BE CULTIVATED IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SPOUSE.
Adopt the pat-on-the-back technique: A pat on the back from the spouse is like a tonic, and this technique should be cultivated in our relationship with the spouse. To become motivated, he needs to feel appreciated, trusted and accepted. Not to be needed is a slow death for a man. So, instead of blaming a man for giving less, a woman can accept and forgive her partner’s imperfections especially when he disappoints her, and encourage him to give more by appreciating what he gives and continuing to ask for his support. When a woman’s reactions reveal a positive belief in her man’s attitudes and intentions his first primary love need is fulfilled. Automatically, he is more caring and attentive to her feelings and needs, and is motivated to respect his partner more. She needs to be particularly attentive to appreciate the little things he does for her. With a smile and thanks, she can let him know he has scored a point. He needs this to continue giving. When you express tender feelings, don’t sound phony. Learn to express tender feelings. As your tender side emerges, closeness with your spouse increases. Armed with the technique for motivating and close bonding, go ahead with the wooing game, plug the leaks and cracks and firm up We sag in your relationship.
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
B O M B AY F I L M D O M
f Kambakkth Ishq did not get threestar ratings from leading critics, Sajid Nadiadwala has not lost his sleep, for a producer’s primary concern is box-office collection and the film is reported to have grossed Rs 100 crore already! How much exaggeration is there in this figure, only Sajid knows. he astounding success of New York has come as a major surprise. What’s more the film has been declared as one of the only two hit films of the first half of the year 2009 which is a poor tally.
Anil Kapoor pays fine.
thanks to her hard work, good performances in her starrers and the high goals she has set for herself. She’s perfect foil to Akshay Kumar in Kambakkth Ishq.
he success of a film helps everyone associated with the film,
John Abraham and Neil Nitin in ‘New York’ flick.
but John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh are getting lion’s share for New York’s fantastic performance. The film is sure to give a boost to both the actors.
ust as columbus discovered America by chance director Ramesh Sippy also discovered late Amjad Khan by chance. As a matter of fact, when Ramesh was finalising the cast of Sholay, one of the biggest blockbusters of Bombay filmdom, he had Danny in mind for the role of Gabbar Singh. But it so happened that Danny was out of Bombay, shooting for another film. Ramesh happened to see a play in Bandra, a suburb of Bombay. When he saw the
Danny was the first choice as Gabbar Singh in ‘Sholay’.
f one may say so, it was a wise decision taken by actor-producer Anil Kapoor to agree to cough up a fine of Rs 35 lakh and pay the amount to another producer B. S. Bhullar who claimed to have copyright over the title Short Kut – The Con is on produced by Anil. Anil Kapoor’s first concern was the earliest release of his film. areena Kapoor is undoubtedly in a league of her own today,
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
Kareena Kapoor is a perfect foil in ‘Kambakkth Ishq’.
t was indeed in the fitness of things that legendary director late Bimal Roy, was recently remembered on his birthday (12th July). His classic films Devdas and Do Bigha Zameen are among the best in Hindi films.
t’s indeed good for both Vikram, reigning hero of South film industry and a National Award winner and Hindi film industry that he is doing his first Hindi film Raavan directed by Mani Rathnam. Such a talented young man should indeed be welcomed in Hindi films. hat determination and dedication pay is amply proved by the success story of Ravi Kissan, who will also be seen in Luck. When he met this writer years ago in Mumbai he was doing hit roles, but today he is one of the most popular stars of Bhojpuri films.
Shruti Haasan in ‘Luck’.
Arshad Warsi in ‘Kaun Bola’.
performance of Amjad, he thought he need not wait for Danny’s return and assigned the role to Amjad. One man’s loss is another’s gain. Right?
ne cannot resist complimenting good old Mithun Chakraborty that he defied his age and readily agreed to do a risky shot-jumping from a chopper – for Luck.
f Shruti Haasan has even a fraction of the talent her redoubtable father Kamal Hassan has, she may well be successful as an all-rounder rather than getting typed in a particular type of roles. We’ll have a good glimpse of her talent in her first film Luck. his writer can well recall a long chat with Danny in Rajkamal studio, Mumbai. When I was through with the interview and wanted to leave, Danny requested me to stay for a while so that he could talk a little more about his career. I agreed. Over another cup of tea, Danny told me “you are the only journalist who didn’t ask me about my girlfriends.” I smiled and said “I am concerned with your professional life and not your personal life.”
emember Arshad Warsi who shared stellar honours with Sanjay Dutt in one or two films? He has taken a step ahead and made his debut as a producer with Kaun Bola, a romantic comedy. He shot a scene for the film in New Castle Street in London. hen one has made it big, honours follow one by one. Music director A. R. Rahman who bagged two Oscar awards for his music in Slumdog Millionaire was also honoured with an honorary doctorate from Middle Sex University. Rahman has done India proud.
A. R. Rahman – double honours.
Ravi Kissan can be seen in ‘Luck’.
ome people are always on the go, they want to take a step forward, rather than rest on their laurels proof? Gauhar Khan, ex-model and VJ, is making a debut as an actor, with Yash Raj Films’ Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year. With a bit of good luck, she’s likely to go far. hen it comes to daredevilry, Sanjay Dutt was not far behind Mithun: blind folded and with his hands tied at the back, he jumped from a running train while shooting for Luck. He said he was itching for action, so he agreed to do the stunt!
Sanjay Dutt in a daredevilry act, blind folded in the film ‘Luck’.
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
f one may say so Shaktida’s soul must indeed be thanking the soul of late Dadamoni (Ashok Kumar) who advised him decades ago to take to direction rather than acting. Acceptance of sincere, friendly advice resulted in making Shaktida a prodigious film-maker, and quite a few films made by him turned out to be superhits. A few of hit films are Howrah Bridge, Kashmir Ki kali and Amar Prem. wo films-old Sonam Kapoor must have been pleasantly shocked when her father Anil Kapoor (who went global with Slumdog Millionaire) flew into Mumbai from Los Angeles to
Madhuri Dixit – a lake has been named after her.
adhuri Dixit, one of the most successful actors in Hindi films, may not be very busy shooting these days, but honours and distinctions follow her. A lake close to the IndoChina border has been named after her. Reportedly some locals didn’t like this, but that’s another matter. retrospective of late Shakti Samanta’s films was commenced with his award-winning Hindi film Amar Prem (1972) at New Delhi’s Siri Fort Auditorium on 11 July. Shaktida made an impressive tally of 37 films in Hindi and 6 films in Bengali.
Anjana Sukhani in ‘Jashnn’.
Bombay filmdom can be truly proud of. Although almost retired after settling down in life, she continues to take interest in the welfare of female children. Years ago she had adopted two girls. An actress with a heart of gold!
hat Saif Ali Khan declared and did a few years ago – establish himself as a sole star with him, newcomer Anjana Sukhani wants to do with her solo-act in Jashnn – The Music within made by Vishesh Films. A damn good-looking young girl, she has every chance of achieving her goal.
Sonam Kapoor loves her father Anil Kapoor.
be with his doting daughter on her birthday and then the whole family left for Macau. She may have been tempted to say Baap ho to aisa!
riyanka Chopra, one of the most successful actors in Bombay filmdom today, was recently invited to the Shanghai International Film Festival for the closing ceremony and honoured with festival’s top award her tenth award, in the past six months! Wow.
t’s not only the producer of a film who wants to make a profit on his investment in a film, a conscientious director as a ‘captain of the ship’ also wants to make a successful commercial film. No wonder therefore, the director of Love Aaj kal Imtiaz Ali was keen on having a kissing scene in the film. It can surely help the film at the box office. Right?
aveena Tandon (of Dulhe Raja fame) is one of the actors
Priyanka Chopra – honoured at Shanghai International Film Festival.
hyam Benegal may not have made tonloads of money like many other film makers, but he has the unique distinction of making some films – Nishant, Mandi, Bhumika and Manthan which have been highly appreciated both at home and abroad. He has received many awards. – Deepak Puri.
lying high, ready to suit and happy at the attention incited by a loud laugh may boost your ego while holding a glass of wine in your hand. A thousand pictures of fashionably dressed women might excite your imagination of being on a certain level you want to reach or want to emulate — all this could prompt you to pick up a drink or two for a feelgood reason. Today’s modern society believes in making one’s own rules and the rules are bent only for a few guidelines — “don’t drink and drive” and “drink little when you are pregnant”. But today’s young generation, specially urban women, have taken to drinking out of their own choice. Economic and family pressures don’t allow them to de-stress easily and to get over with the situation or a problem or for the plain reason to “loosen up”, one tends to have a drink while rural women are still having an “open knee” attitude of having a family and looking after home and kids without other deviations. Sunayna is a computer professional who started drinking occasionally for company’s sake. After she got married she left her job to look after the kids and family. But whenever the husband and wife
Liquor and ladies, do the two go together?
By Aruna Anand
WHY MORE AND MORE WOMEN ARE DRINKING
socialised, Sunayna felt uncom fortable in the presence of working women and even when the guests were coming to their home she would feel anxious. Therefore, just to feel more comfortable in front of outsiders, she started having a drink so that the party begins with a bang. It worked for some time but then she started drinking fast and would refill her glass with vodka, wine or gin a number of times. Her inner stress manifested itself in other areas of her life. She became lazy, put on fat and was often short of breath while climbing stairs and even at times while talking. Sunayna went to her doctor and was diagnosed as suffering from depression. She was advised to consult a psychiatrist to treat her depression. She was able to stop drinking and come out of her deep depression after a long treatment. She regained control of her personal and professional life, made some modifications and is happy with herself now. She does drink but knows when to stop.
ALCOHOL – SOAKED SOCIETY
No doubt, ours is an alcoholsocked society where even deities are offered alcohol. As it is said, “Excess of everything is bad”, drinking is a big pleasure for a lot of people. But if alcohol is consumed in a controlled manner it is a social lubricant. The atmosphere eases off fast, the party gets started well because everybody gets relaxed soon and starts enjoying themselves. This is said to be good for the heart, good for digestion and a positive stimulation of the human mind. But the moment you go overboard and lose control, alcohol possesses you all over. Generally, men drink more than women whether urban or rural. But in women’s case, the drinking habit could be circumstantial due to any kind of stress related to personal or professional reasons. There was a time when drinking was associated with “bad and fast” girls.
But with the feminist movement of the ’60s and ’70s and due to worldwide exposure to other societies and countries, raising a toast and consuming alcohol started becoming common. Women are overworked and overstressed due to their extreme ambitiousness which makes it very difficult to create a balance between personal and professional areas. Thus, having a drink reflects the “liberation ethics” and women see drinking as a way of expressing independence and “worldliness.” Media advertising has also played a role showing attractive healthy couples frolic on the beach. Glamorous and attractive ads too are geared to appeal to all ages of women and men that drinking is okay for everyone. Young girls take to drinking as one way to look cool and appear natural enough to take their own decisions. Some women, young or old, think about the positive physical effect of drinking that it lightens and relaxes their mind and body. But alcohol can have all sorts of influences on a woman’s physique. Female anatomy cannot tolerate alcohol as well as a male’s. Women get drunk faster than men and even stay drunk longer. And, specially in and around the menstruation time, if drinks are consumed, one tends to get drunk faster because of the hormones upheaval, whereby the alcohol gets concentrated faster in the body. Drinking is very harmful to those under treatment for diabetes. To enjoy drinking it is important to know how it affects our body. Alcohol gets into the bloodstream through the liver and reaches every part of the body. Every organ shows change in its function due to excessive alcohol effects shown here: ● Liver cirrhosis, cancer and hepatitis. ● Gastro-intestinal effect — nutritional deficiency, ulcer, diarrhoea, etc. ● Pancreas — pancreatitis. ● Throat — distinct voice change. ● Nervous system — Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
unsteadiness, tingling in toes and fingers, numbness in hands and feet. ● Strained, puffy eyes, dilated blood vessels, fast ageing of the face due to dryness. ● Immunity – resistance to infection is decreased. ● Heart — heart attacks, high blood pressure. ● Foetal effect — pregnant mothers, if drinking, can pass the alcohol effect to the unborn child which can develop multiple physical and nervous system complications with blood disorders. Any alcohol which crosses the placenta increases the risk of abnormality in the child. Women should keep off liquor if they are pregnant because smoking and drinking are both extremely harmful to the child.
NO SAFE DRINKING
In fact, there is no safe drinking or safe limit of alcohol. It all depends on the man or woman’s mental and physical response. No doubt, a drink makes you happy and removes inhibitions but to be uninhibited in a wrong place and at a wrong time can be disastrous as much as to affect the whole life. The brain’s ability to access the other’s behaviour, sexual advances, attention and reflex actions and to react to any wrong instance is always undesirable alcohol effect. Moreover, a drunken man can be taken as that he is letting off his steam but a drunken woman is a game for everyone. She is loose, pitiable, stupid and available for any repercussion. Drunken women who don’t have self-control lose selfrespect and are always left by their partners. There is no harm in asking yourself these questions: ● Why do you want a drink? ● Are you drinking because you are unhappy or sad? ● Do you want a drink because you are getting bored or you have nothing else to do? You should be conscious of your need for wanting a drink. Drink only We for good reasons, if any. 89
AN ARTIST WITH DISTINCTION
She has launched a new form of “line-ism”. Gayatri T Rao
It is like a typical student, I suppose. Most people tend to eventually leave art. But you continued. Yes, I continued. I would rather coloured than study. That’s how my childhood was. And colouring was not the only thing I did. I also stitched a lot of clothes in a creative manner for my doll. It was something that my parents had not seen any child doing. Initially they thought that probably I’ll be a fashion designer. That didn’t happen (she laughs). You left a successful corporate career and chose being an artist. Why? As a child, colours and forms always intrigued me. I would try to translate them in my own childish form. I would cut colourful papers, make clothes, make houses from Lego… but nothing could hold me back. The decision to graduate in fine arts came rather suddenly as my parents would have rather seen me as a management postgraduate. They nonetheless supported me. I developed as an artist during my college years. After college, advertising was the first choice to explore the creative brain. However, somehow, things started moving in another direction and marketing was the destination. After six years of a corporate job and marketing specialisation, I wanted to pursue my destiny. Once an artist, always an artist. I like painting thoughts, ideas… without keeping things too abstract I like giving them form… in my own passion that I share for life… my paintings share with colour. Each of my works speaks for itself as I try to present my inner self on canvases. What kind of paintings is your forte? My medium is acrylic and oil on canvas. My paintings would come under contemporary Indian art, wherein I play with human figures, a face. But it is not realistic. So there’s an abstract element to it. I like to call
xplore your body and mind and it will take you through the journey of exploring various emotions felt by the mind and different body postures followed in yoga. It is an essential amalgamation of the mind’s perception and the detachment from the material world by following the ancient form of control. The colours brilliantly explode and capture not only the eyes but also the senses and transform the observer into a parallel world. That’s what you can say of Srushti’s art. Born in Lonavala’s naval base INS Shivaji to a naval-officer father and central schoolteacher mother, she has an elder brother, who is a major and Sena Medal holder. Her father took a premature retirement and went into the oil industry. Srushti’s husband, Mandar Rao runs his own ad agency. They have been married for the last six years. Srushti did her bachelor’s in fine
arts (paintings) from Khirragarh University, which is now in Chhattisgarh. Of her institute, she says, “It has been renamed Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, which is, as I understand, older than the J J School of Arts as well.”
When and how did you realise that you are an artist? I knew I had a creative streak since I was a child. I started colouring from the age of 2-21/2. I had this huge collection of colouring books. I started with pencil colours and then crayons, then pastels and then it went on to tube colours. After that came the oils. That’s how I grew in my colouring.
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
it line-ism, since there is this typical characteristic to my work wherein I add lines with different colours to my work.
encouraged by my teachers developed on the style.
only expresses my thoughts but also gives my work a distinct look.
When and how did you get attracted to this kind of painting? This is something that I started from my very first year in fine arts. When you join an art school nobody can teach you how to paint and how to draw. It is always ingrained in you. But, what they do is open the windows to your mind and give you that creative freedom to explore. I was given that in my first year and that’s when I started doing this and
Most of your works are stripes of colours creating an image… why do you choose this style only for the expression to your thoughts? The style that I work on is something that I started doing in the first year of my college. I liked working in this style, it is unique, and no one has ever experimented in this. I developed this style and it has somehow become my patent. Now, when I think visually, I think in stripes. That’s what I call "line-ism". It not
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
What is the medium you use? What is the process of your work and the genre you belong to? I use both oil and acrylic mediums, the mediums again differ based on my compositions. I would get up in the middle of the night and start sketching if a thought comes in my mind. I have scared my family a lot of times by this habit of mine. I like to sketch my dreams… I like to translate those in the same way that I visualise them. I am a contemporary artist with a distinctive style and would not like
comes to my mind at that particular time. I do not really sit and give it a lot of thought.
yes. If they concentrate on the art only, then probably not.
What really inspires you? Life, in itself. Do you pick up subjects from life then? Not consciously. It’s very random. Is there any difference between your earlier works and now? It has grown immensely. Yes, there is a difference. I think more on the thought level. Are auction houses helpful in the development of art? I don’t know at what level you mean. At the end of it all if the artist is directly auctioning off the works, then maybe it helps. If you are asking in terms of helping the artist, then I am not very sure. But art, there’s a difference. In what way does it help art? Of course, your work travels. It goes to better places, to better buyers and you get publicity. And the publicity helps the artist? Yeah. Publicity helps the artist. Again, it depends on what level you are talking about. If the auction houses emphasise on the artist and the background of the artist, then
Being an artist can you compare today's and yesterday's art world? The contemporary style of painting is more of an expression of thought. Today, artists have the freedom of expressing themselves in different mediums, styles and forms. This allows the freedom that artists have been seeking for centuries. We are not bound by the strict rules that the artist had to follow during the Renaissance or the struggle that artists had to go through during Impressionism. So, yes, people are more open to accepting new ideas and welcome artists that would rather not tread the beaten path. What is the current scenario of art in India? I think it’s much better than what it was a couple of years ago. Due to this recession, even art has been hit. For close to a year there has not been any buying or any other movement as far as art is concerned. What does the future have in store for you? I intend to have many more exhibitions and participate in loads of group shows in the future. I would also like to experiment in different mediums. I want to grow as an artist and learn. In art, learning never stops and the more you work, the more you mature as an artist and the better you paint. Art has a very promising future. People now understand art more than they used to. The sensibilities of people and patrons are changing. I am proud of being part of a generation of artists that is not scared to experiment. I believe that an artist never ceases to grow and I would follow that path. What are your future projects? I am working on a concept right now and hopefully I’ll be finishing it in a couple of months. It’s a series of paintings that I’ll be coming out with. We
to belong to a particular genre… I have a lot to work on and experiment with.
Are you experimenting now on this kind of art? Yes. Initially it was a more static kind of work I did on the same style. Now, I have given more flavour to it by working on spaces, on expressions, on other elements of our daily life. The figures are more fluid now. I would like to call it more mature. So I’m just adding elements here and there and trying to give a different angle to every series that I do. Tell us which artists have influenced you and your work. I think the typical flamboyance that is there in my work maybe influenced from Van Gogh’s works to a very large extent. And I like Rembrandt also. How do you select themes and ideas for your paintings? They are random. Whatever
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
This incident happened when I was doing my postgraduation. We were a group of 15 students in our class, girls more than the boys. We used to be quite boisterous, when we were expected to be quiet and studious. It so happened that we had a new statistics lecturer at that time, who was also just out of the college and was our age. His classes were very boring. So, one day in the afternoon when his class was going on, I could not resist and just whistled very loudly. There was a stunned silence, and in the ensuing silence, I got very scared, I thought that maybe I will have to go to the HOD. He was very agitated and then he looked at us and started scolding the boy sitting next to me. He told the boy that he will not tolerate such a type of behaviour in his class and he made the boy go out of the class. All the protests from that boy were of no use. – Preetam Aswath, Karnataka. him. He was so bitter and sensitive about his loss that he kept on harping about it so that people got fed up and started cracking jokes about it. By the middle of March it became very warm. One fine Sunday morning there was lot of commotion in the hostel as APS loudly announced the recovery of his lost sweater. A number of us gathered around his room to know about the person from whom the pullover was recovered. He parried the query by saying that, as he had got it back, he did not want to name the person and cause him embarrassment. After few weeks, he revealed to me in confidence that he found the sweater on his own body when he removed his clothes in the bathroom for taking a bath! – Dr C. B. Singh, Mumbai.
time I was away, and my mother welcomed her. My mother promptly asked her whether she was my staff lecturer called Gajalakshmi. Coming to know about her real name, my mother was furious and admonished me. I split into laughter hearing this and was also ashamed. Next day my friends got to know about this. My friends and I shifted our places to the last bench in her class. What a lesson! – Ambica V., Hyderabad.
One or my fondest memories from college is the time spent in the college corridors of all places, leisurely sauntering from one class to another. This of course wasn’t particularly appreciated by the nuns, who insisted on hurrying up the girls who usually walked in herds at a bovine pace. There was this one particular corridor I’ll always remember, since on one of its walls, there hung this photo frame of a long deceased nun. It so happened that this late nun, had a twin who was also a nun and sadly for us, was very much alive and kicking! In fact, she’d chase latecomers away and was known to be a real terror! With this as a background, you can imagine how funny it was when, one afternoon, soon after joining college, a friend and I were walking down the corridor that had the late nun’s portrait. My friend simply stopped in her tracks on seeing the garlanded photo and blurted out , “Don’t tell me she’s dead – she was chasing me in the corridor just this morning!” – Amrita Suresh, Andhra Pradesh. 93
This incident happened while I was in my second year of graduation in a co-ed college. There were few girls in my class, as not many preferred my option of studying maths, economics and statistics. The whole class was fun-loving. We had a statistics lecturer. Her classes were very interesting, and the entire class liked her. The only problem we had with her was that she was obese. We nicknamed her as Gajalakshmi (gaja means elephant). In due course we forgot her real name. In the house, while discussing about college I always referred my statistics lecturer as Gajalakshmi. It so happened that one evening I saw her near my house, as she came to meet a doctor. I asked her to come home, as it was just two houses away from the doctor’s house. She could not come but promised that she would come some time later. I informed my mother about this. After a few days, my lecturer came to the doctor’s place and came to my home. At that Woman’s Era
My next-door-neighbour APS in the college hostel often used to come to my room for little chit-chat. One day he found one of his new sleeveless sweaters missing from his room. He had his suspicion on two of our classmates who often visited
August (Second) 2009
“I don’t choose my subjects deliberately. They come to me spontaneously,” says the artist. By Our Correspondent
WOMEN OF TODAY
Ph: 9818129687 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.anitaartgallery.com 94
ulti-talented artist Anita Chauhan draws sketches and paints mainly women. In whatever form she depicts them, is unusual in today’s context. Her content is thinly veiled, especially considering current attitude towards morality in India. Anita feels that to portray a woman is a challenge when it goes beyond just the body or its sexual context. Since
long, women have been painted in Indian folklore, art and sculpture. Anita’s attempt in her contemporary work indicates certain uniqueness in terms of the same continuity. However, her exercise is little more daring and free. She has tried to bring out the woman of today encompassing the entire spectrum of what she is and how she feels. She has depicted them more serene, confident, strong and ready to face any challenge in life. The artist feels that the body reflects the soul. That way, connection formed between two human beings is beauty. She says that the human spirit is irrepressible and more you suppress it the more it soars. As such, the artist says, after millennia of suppression, the modern Indian women want to fly high now. They have occupied the centre stage of creation today. And they are strong, firm, resolute yet compassio nate and full of love and hope. Her paintings are, in a way, a tribute to the woman power drawn in vibrant bright colours full of form, sensuality and overtly expressive. Often compared to Frida Calho, Anita represents the new exciting lot of Indian painters, who are unique in their quest for artistic expression.
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
Depicting even in a semi-nude form, enhances her sexuality.
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
Excerpts from an interview: Tell us something about your artistic journey. I had an inclination towards art since my school days but I never thought to be an artist. However, I always pursued art as a hobby, which later on became my passion. Even then little idea did I have about becoming an artist as I got engaged in other work, especially theatre and modelling. It was only after marriage that my considerate husband recognised my artistic talent and inspired me to pursue my passion.
expression of emotions. As such I have always received encouraging comments from the viewers and critics alike.
Do you take other topics also besides women? I have depicted other topics also including emotions like fear, anxiety, dreams, men with different expre ssion, sadhus, blind people, etc. Your comments about the role of art galleries. Most of the time, art galleries talk about the senior artists. They seldom encourage up-and-coming artists. I personally have no experience with art galleries. I don’t believe in them either. Artist can make himself/herself anywhere. I will carry my art journey forward. What about the future of art? Art is a nice journey. People are enjoying it and taking it seriously. They take art as a way of investment. Many positive changes are coming. Art is like a property. NRIs, and foreign buyers are investing more money in art. A stage of consolidation has come for the artists. Earlier, art was an intellectual topic. Now, it has become common. What are your future projects? I am currently working on black & white paintings. They are a study of expressions of body, mind and soul on handmade paper with charcoal and watercolours. What the body can depict, what soul can desire and what the mind can speak is what I have tried to express. When you combine mind and soul with the body, the combination is capable of expressing a myriad of feelings. A woman’s body manifests itself into a thousand things and is capable of reflecting all that is humanly earthy or divinely spiritual. It will be a show of woman’s exceptional expression based on personal and social interactions and the ups and downs in her routine life. Hence I have titled it Expressions of Body, Mind and Soul and it will be held at India Habitat Centre, some time in We August.
Why do you create art? When a person has not got formal training in a field but continues to work then money cannot be the motive. The same is with me. I am a self-taught artist and I get immense satisfaction from creating art. Other than that, I wish to convey a message to the people about the crucial role women play in our society. Yet, everywhere they are being discriminated against. What media do you then choose to work with? Well, I work in every medium and use all colours. I paint on canvas and handmade paper also. My coming solo show will be of black/white paintings done on handmade papers. As for the colour choices, I like bright colours and like to use red, yellow, blue, fuchsia, green and many other shades to portray my subjects. How do you choose your subjects? I don’t choose my subjects deliberately. They come to me automatically. Spontaneity is the
theme. There is no preplanning. Even the titles of my works come in the end when I have given my paintings finishing touch.
You depict women in the nude. Why? I feel I can express the women in real form. Occasionally, I tried to don them clothes but then, I felt, they lost depth. In my view, to depict them in nude is the more realistic way to portray womanly sentiments. Did not you ever hear someone declaring your work vulgar? I personally feel there is no vulgarity in my works. I cannot say about people who see vulgarity even among pious relations like brother and sister, but people have greatly appreciated my work. It is an honest
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
I am a 23-year-old woman and am obsessed with sex. Since I neither have a boyfriend nor am married, I watch porn on my computer when I can. I work and cannot do this during the day, but I stay up half the night and watch sex stuff. Recently my brother-in-law found this out and is now blackmailing me. He says that he will tell my sister about me unless I have sex with him. I too feel like experiencing in reality what I have been experiencing in fantasy. Should I tell him this? It would be extremely foolish and wrong of you to start having an affair with your brother-in-law. You
would not only be betraying your sister, you would also be getting involved with a man of bad character who has no scruples. Who knows what he would blackmail you into doing next? So tell your brother-in-law that you will not fall prey to him and tell your sister what you have been doing yourself. It will be a little embarrassing, but nothing more than that. And tell your brother-inlaw that you will tell your sister what he asked you to do if he interferes in your life again. If you are obsessed with sex, watching porn or having an affair is not the solution. Why don’t you get married? People who do badly in exams do well in life; those who miss promotions rise later and “rejected” people find wonderful partners. Situations and incidents don’t matter as much as our response to them. If we take things positively and look at failures as opportunities to grow, we will not become depressed and unhappy. So, take greater care of your health; try to improve your qualifications and take care of your looks and be pleasant and helpful. All this will get you out of your depression and fill you with energy. Most important, let go of the past and enjoy the present. The future will be what you make it.
Both my parents had AIDS and died of the disease three years ago, within months of each other. At that time both my elder brothers were abroad and I was the only member of the family who was told the truth by the doctor. I did not tell my brothers because I didn’t want to shock and hurt them. Now both my brothers (aged 27 and 29) are engaged to be married and I too (I am 26 years old) have a girlfriend and I don’t know what to do. Could my brothers and I have got the infection from our parents? Should I tell my brothers the truth? I am so depressed that I feel like breaking off with my girlfriend and remaining unmarried all my life. I feel so ashamed. If your parents had been HIV positive when your brothers and you had been born and any of you had got the infection, you would certainly have come to know long ago. Obviously your parents got the virus later. As to whether any of you could have got the infection from living with them, it is very unlikely that you would have. But your worry and depression are very understandable. You should tell your brothers the truth. They have a right to know. It is also best that you consult a doctor and ask if you and your brothers should take the test to see if you have been infected. If nothing else, it will reassure you.
Sad things and tragedies happen in life. We are responsible for some of these and others are just acts of fate. You are certainly not respon sible for what happened to your parents. So there is absolutely no reason for you to feel ashamed.
One bad thing after another has been happening to me over the last few years. These include falling ill during two important exams and not doing well, failing to get a promotion at work because I joined a day later than a colleague and she was judged senior to me (though I have a much better service record) and having the young man who came to “see” me fall in love with my younger sister. Now I have begun to consider myself unlucky. I am constantly depressed but also resentful about my fate. Why are so many bad things happening to me? Will I never be happy? It is understandable that you feel depressed and wonder why so many unpleasant things are happening to you, but you must be careful not to let your depression and resentment make you a person with a negative view of yourself, others and life. Time has a way of healing most wounds and many of the things that happen to us that seem very important to us that time, utterly lose their significance over the years. Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
I am 22 years old and am totally uninterested in getting married. I want to do well in my career, travel and have fun. But my parents are insisting that I get married so that they can be free of their responsi bilities. I feel that they are being unfair and that they are asking me to give up my future just so that they can relax. How can I make them understand my point of view? Talk to your parents and if you have any sibling or older relative who understands you and whom your parents will listen to, ask them to talk to your parents too. Talk to your parents separately and make the points that each will appreciate. Talk 97
in a mature manner. Tell your mother that you are unwilling to undertake the work that running a home entails and do not want to have children so young. Remind your father that the world is changing and that there are many options open to a woman now. You should act in a mature fashion too and show a serious interest in your career and your desire to achieve something. Be firm. Your parents cannot force you to marry.
I am a married woman of 34. I have two small children and also work as a teacher in a government school. I work from five in the morning to 10 at night doing household work, looking after the children and at my job. By the end of the day I feel exhausted and lonely and want to cry. I have no one I can talk to since my husband is kept very busy by his job and my children are very young. I long to pour out my feelings to someone, but alas I have no one. I often feel suicidal. Is something wrong with me? I have no real problems and many would consider me lucky. But I still want to die. Please help me. You are feeling lonely and depressed because you are overworked and have no one to talk to. Ideally, it should be your husband who understands your feelings and is supportive. Try and tell him how much you need to talk to and confide in him. If he understands, he may make some time for you. But if he is too busy or feels that any free time he has should be devoted to the children, you cannot force him to be a friend and confidante. But don’t be ashamed of your
needs. They are totally legitimate and other women are sure to understand you. So get in touch with old friends and make time to meet them. Tell your husband that he has to babysit the kids for some time on holidays and go and have a talkfest with old pals. Or ask them to come home. If you cannot meet old friends, talk to siblings, relatives and colleagues but don’t confide your problems regarding your husband in them too much. Read, watch TV and keep up with your hobbies, even if you can’t devote much time to any of these activities. Try and keep positive in your thoughts. Your children will grow up and need your attention less soon enough.
attracted to and you can marry then. Since you sacrificed your love for their sake – whether this was wise of you is debatable – your parents should understand and give you more time. If they say that 29 is late, remind them that these days women often marry after 30 because they are busy with their careers till then.
I am a 29-year-old unmarried woman with a good job. Four years ago I fell in love with a man from a different caste. He too loved me and we decided to get married. But neither his family nor mine would agree to the marriage and so we decided to break up because both of us are much-loved only children. My boyfriend made me promise that I would get married and said that he would too. Now my parents want me to get married and are searching for a match for me. But I do not want to marry. My old boyfriend has got married and I remember my promise to him, but I still do not want another Marriage means total commitment and it is unfair to marry someone if you are not ready to make this commitment. Obviously you have not yet got over the man you loved. You need more time and you should explain this to your parents. Hopefully you will get over your first love in a while or meet someone else you are
I have been married for three months (it was an arranged marriage) and was a virgin when I got married. During these months I have never got any pleasure from sex. My husband enjoys it and we have sex every day. But for me it means nothing at all. I feel that I am missing out on an important part of married life and I feel depressed and cheated. What should I do? A woman is not like a car which will respond to anyone who turns the engine on and drives it. For her, sex is as much about emotion and caring as it is physical. So it is not uncommon for women to take time to respond to their husbands, especially in arranged marriages when sex comes before friendship and love. There is also the fact that your husband too may be inexperienced and may therefore be unaware of how to arouse you. Don’t be depressed. Instead, talk to your husband frankly and tell him how you feel. He is probably unaware of your feelings and your frank talk will not just make him aware of the problem but will also bring you closer. If he doesn’t know what to do to arouse you, you can read some sex books together or even watch sexy movies. Both of you will soon get the message and then you too will enjoy sex.
Yo u r P e r s o n a l A g o n y A u n t O n l i n e
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
CAPITALat hit-Ch C
Sarangi – the beautiful Indian classical musical instrument, with the most soulful and heart-wrenching notes is creating possibilities. Often associated with music that originated at the nautch girls’ kothas or later on the radio to announce three days of mourning when a leader died, the Sarangi has never been exploited to be modern, until Kamal Sabri took it upon himself to reinvent Western music through the sounds of the Sarangi and call it Sarangi Funk. The event was sponsored by the Park Hotel under their programme called cultural festivals by the name of The Park’s New Festival and lent support to organisations like Delhi Inter national Arts Festival and Legends of India. The musically gifted Kamal Sabri is the son of sarangi legend Ustad Sabri Khan and is carrying forward the rich legacy of the Sania gharana of Moradabad. Kamal started playing at a tender age of five years and very soon this child prodigy made waves in the musical world and has demonstrated profound versatility in playing the sarangi. Gifted with unques tionable qualities of sound, tenor and innumerable variations, the Sarangi has exceptional adaptability to suit any genre of music. It covers the entire gamut of the classical like dhrupad, dhammar, khayal, thumri, dadra, kajri, chaiti, tappa, tirivat, tarana, light classicals e.g., bhajan, ghazal, folk songs and film songs. Of late, the sarangi has even dared to venture into jazz, contemporary and new-age music and very emphatically made its mark to everybody’s astonishment and liking. Sarangi Funk is a bold and innovative attempt to introduce and exhibit the untapped aspect of the Sarangi. This album features some delectable compositions, composed and played by the sarangi maestro Kamal Sabri, where he brews new concoctions of rhythm, beats and melody. The myth that the Sarangi is used just to emote musically sad tones, unfortunately has stuck to it. In fact, this is just one of its aspects, which coincidentally has been exposed too much to the public’s ear as a result of which its ability to express moods of happiness, vibrant energy, music to dance, etc. has unfortunately never been exploited to the full. I admit that whenever I have heard Kamal Sabri live, the first time being an event organised by Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Director Piya Bajwa, I have been impressed with his ability to make the Sarangi so approachable to the common people and provide only joy with his music. Now, it is officially modern too.
SUMMER MENU NEEDS TO BE LIGHT
Come summer and one wants to spend the least time in a kitchen. However when one eats out it is natural to desire something that looks complicated and yet is light on taste buds and the stomach. Shalom, a successful restaurant in South Delhi shows the Mediterranean way of doing it. Mezze platters and Shish taouks have become more popular than butter chicken even in Delhi! Shalom’s new lunch menu has
Melon and Prawn salad.
Kamal Sabri is carrying forward the rich legacy of the Sania gharana.
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
light, flavoursome preparations that explore the variety and expanse of Mediterranean cuisine. Shift from the usual favourites and discover some delectable Turkish, Italian, Greek and North African preparations. Carefully chosen and designed by Chef Raymond Wasser, this superb selection of soups, salads, grills and desserts is an evolution in your search for newer mediterranean tastes. The new menu has many additions which promise to add flavour in the main course. From delicious seafood recipes, to interesting grills like the vegetable moussaka (this is a flavoursome vegetarian alternative to the classic Greek meat moussaka.) Or the spicy chickpea and aubergine stew (this is a Lebanese dish, but similar recipes are found all over the Mediterranean) spiced vegetable couscous (couscous, a cereal processed from semolina, is used throughout North Africa, mostly in Morocco, where it is served with meat, poultry or vegetable stews). For the non-vegetarians there is the lamb moussaka (although moussaka is an Arab word, this dish is made in various parts of the Mediterranean like Greece, Turkey and Lebanon – the particular classic Greek version is topped with a rich bechamel sauce); grill fish with orange chilli fish (this dish is a true fusion of world flavours, its key ingredients originating from Mexico, the Mediterranean and south-east Asia). The desserts section offers mouth-watering chocolate Salami (this after-meal sweetmeat resembles a salami in shape, hence its intriguing name). Or enjoy a frozen lemon pie. The food is delicious and healthy. Here is one simple recipe that the chef graciously shared with readers of Woman’s Era: Ingredients: one honeydew melon (halved, seeded and cubed), 175 grams boiled prawns; 300 ml mayonnaise, 30 ml tomato puree, 15 ml grated lemon rind, 5 ml castor sugar, lettuce leaves, ground salt and pepper. Simply mix all the ingredients in mayonnaise base with salt to taste and enjoy chilled! 102
JOYS OF HIGH TEA
There is something about monsoon and enjoying something to eat with your afternoon cup of tea. Officially called High Tea, it is almost a ritual in England and in India we have adapted it to suit our tastes by adding kebabs and pakodas to it. The venue is often as important, located in the inner circle of Connaught Place, the last bastion of English design in New Delhi is Ignis and the world looks different when you enjoy your tea with snacks from there, looking out into the life as it passes by in good old CP. Aromatic Indian tea served in dainty crockery one could choose from Darjeeling, green Tea, Earl Grey, Golden flowery Pekoe, even Ceylonese Tea. Making exception for the coffee lovers there is an option of that as well. Got a child, or you don’t want either, the third option is of Hot Chocolate. Time is limited between 3.30 and 7 in the evening. There are dainty cucumber sandwiches, cakes with creams, especially made delightful and delicious pastries and crumpets and there are the kebabs and pakodas too. If you are lucky it might even rain while you enjoy your tea and goodies. But it is better to enjoy the tea without the monsoon too, rather than giving up on both.
Foreign University Indian Student
FOREIGN UNIVERSITY INDIAN STUDENTS
Indian students have always sought foreign education. Our freedom fighters and leaders are a shining example of what can be achieved with a foreign education. Now with paucity of colleges for students in Indian cities, those who can afford it want a foreign University education. To cater to this business opportunities these universities’ representatives come to India and tell the young students and their parents why their children should select their university to get the best opportunity Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
to make their career singularly successful. When the Leeds Metropo litan University with their tie- up with Carnegie Faculty of Sport & Education came to India, it was killing two birds with one stone. Everybody knows that India does not encourage its sportsmen and young ladies who excel in games. Very often they are promised jobs after they have won medals but these promises are never kept. The Leeds University believes that behind every great athlete is a great coach and they want to ensure that best sports coaches and coaching systems are offered to deserving students. And if the candidate has merit the scholarship could be totally subsidised education with world-class training. They have about 200 students and the positive influence of sports has been recognised. They wish to invest with India and have already been to Pune in 2008. Current focus is on a Sri Lankan candidate Mike Shahaan, a 19 years old who will be supported 100% through his training. Leeds is a beautiful city of 750,000 residents and it is a mix of all nationalities. They showed a film called ‘A Year in the life of Leeds University’ telling all they do. The courses for undergraduates comprise long list of diverse subjects. Biomedical Sciences to Tourism and Entertainment Manage ment; Business studies to Public Health – if you don’t know what to do, they will help you find your positive angle as – Sona Sharma part of guidance.
ITS RELEVANCE TO ALLEVIATING SUFFERING
It boosts the immune system, provides physical and mental therapy for most disorders.
By K. Janakiraman
he notion of suffering as a dominating factor in human life has loomed large in Indian philosophy. There are three main types of suffering: ● The bodily and mental conditions of an individual such as ill health, disease, and emotions like hate, fear, passion and so on. ● Suffering imposed by harmful behaviour of others, animals and insects. ● Suffering that is caused by acts of nature like earthquake, accident, floods, famine and fire. Science with its tremendous technological advances can eventually make for human happiness. Medicine with its new remedies for every disease under the sun and the science of physics aided by the computer, with their exploration of outer space, give the
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
impression that man will in the near future gain control over the forces of nature. The vital question is: can science and information technology overcome suffering and grief which are states of mind? Can it help us understand our behaviour, our fears and cravings, our passions and emotions and generally our outlook on life? The problem really is not obtaining mastery over our surroundings, our environment or outer space. It is something much more profound. Peace within and about oneself is probably the greatest mark of yoga. While the etymology of yoga shows that it was derived from the word yuj, meaning union of the body, mind, emotion and spirit, controlling and steadying the mind became in due course the process by which yoga made this union possible. The Katopanishad defines yoga as a “state of steadiness and control of the senses, as well as the mind and the intellect, which, when attained makes an individual completely faultless and unoffending.” Cardinal Newman’s definition of a gentleman comes to our mind in this connection: “A gentleman is one who does not inflict pain on others.” Human beings since birth till death are supposed to be drowning in the ocean of sorrow. Yoga confers equanimity (unperturbed state under all circumstances – the French expression being sangfroid ). The mindset attains over a period of time,
a state in which the yogi does not differentiate between victory and defeat or pleasure and pain – a philosophy that is preached by the Bhagavat Gita. Constant practice boosts the immune system and provides physical and mental therapy for most disorders. This is done by balancing the nervous and the endocrine systems. The science of medicine has recognised the favourable effects of yoga in the treatment of stress, tension, all stomach-related ailments, asthma, diabetes and (with
a new technique of breathing) obesity and cellulite.
Therapies through yoga. ● Asanas of relaxation and pranayama that adopt abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing treat hypertension which is caused mostly by shallow breathing. They also sharpen reflexes, memory and concentration. ● Rectus abdomini asanas, like nauli and uddiyana bhanda, uthitha janu sirasasana, suptha pawana mukthasana, uthitha lolasana and acupressure (massaging the pancreas, duodenum, the large and the small intestine, the liver and the kidney through a new technique of breathing) – these are the exercises which provide relief from gas, acidity, constipation and sluggish liver. ● Matsyasana , the fish pose, is a sure cure for bleeding piles. ● Halasana helps to secrete the required amount of insulin from the pancreas to bring to normal the blood sugar level. ● Sarvangasana
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
corrects all disorders of the thyroid and parathyroid. ● Balance and coordination are achieved through ekapadasana and bakasana. ● Vertigo is treated by the shanmukhi mudra One can go on endlessly on the maladies that respond more to yoga than all other therapies including allopathy, ayurveda and homoeo pathy. Suffice it to say that correct posture and breathing are the cornerstones of yoga that are responsible for the relief one gets from certain ailments. Psychosomatic disorders like insomnia, depression, mood swings, anger and anxiety are also treated by specific asanas. Fortitude, endurance and flexibility are the by-products of regular practice of yoga.
Tranquillity, peace of mind, equanimity and detachment are some of the main characteristics developed by a yogi over a period of time. The others are vairagya (overcoming desires) and abhyasa (the process of steadying the mind). Divested of cravings, becoming unperturbed under all circumstances, the yogi starts stifling mental modifications and strives for one-point approach to life’s challenges. Being at peace with oneself and with the world, one launches karma or actions prescribed by the Vedantha and other philosophies with a view to serving one’s community, society and the world at large. Being the science of right living it
needs to be incorporated in our daily life as a culture. The practitioner acquires a new and desirable lifestyle and a capacity to take on life’s challenges with confidence. The modus operandi for achieving a sound mind in a sound body consists of mental concentration, relaxation, consciousness and psychological equilibrium. Shanmukhi mudra: I shall devote a few lines to shanmukhi mudra as I consider its benefits are far-reaching and extremely relevant in a complex world with its bustle, noise and activity. Shanmukhi mudra, or closing the seven gates in the face brings
BENEFITS OF PRACTICE
The following are the benefits of constant practice over a period of time: ● Revitalisation of the body and the mind ● Freedom from stress and tension ● Relief from common disorders of the physique ● Perfect conditioning of the endocrine, digestive, cardio-vascular and respiratory systems ● Flexibility, endurance and muscle tone ● Sharp reflexes, memory and concentration ● Exercise of the skeletal and smooth muscles of the body and in particular the abdominal wall, the pelvis, the trunk, the back and the chest. There are a few practices that can be described as glorious, enriching and rewarding:
Pranayama – Nadi shodhana pranayama – ensures extra supply of oxygen to the body. Carbon dioxide is efficiently expelled and the blood is purified of toxins. The brain centres are stimulated to work to their optimum capacity. Levels of stress and anxiety are lowered. All relaxation asanas like Vajrasana (a panacea for all stomach maladies), shavasana, advasana, jyesthikasana and makarasana, relieve tension and stress. Sirasasana reverses the effect of gravity on the spine, increases blood flow to the brain and the pituitary gland, relieving psychological disturbances which form the root cause of many disorders. Asthma, hay fever, diabetes and menstrual ailments are cured. Sarvangasana provides redress for hormonal and thyroid ailments.
about prathyahara (sense withdrawal) shutting out vision, smell and the environment. I can send to those interested a line drawing of this mudra along with the steps, breathing contraindications and benefits. Suffice it to say that regular practice of this mudra confers a sense of detachment and freedom from the bonds of family, friends, ownership and possession. Vertigo, eye, nose and throat infections are cured by regular practice of this mudra. The launching sloka in the Vishnusahasranamam is this: Yatra smarana maathrena janma samsara bhandanath (bonds of the family) vimusyathe, vishnawe prabha vishnawe. Shanmukhi mudra, while not making you a saint, develops a sense of detachment preached by our scriptures.
Yoga’s contribution to the sum total of our happiness and removal of physical and mental suffering can never be overemphasised. It is something which should be experienced to be believed. We 108 Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
few years ago, in New Delhi, Jitendra Pawar, a small-time property dealer, became a victim of road rage when five men brutally beat him following an argument over a minor accident. Thirty-five-yearold Jitendra was returning from Saket Club home to Mehrauli in his Maruti Zen when two youths on a motorcycle reportedly hit his car near the Lado Sarai T-junction in South Delhi. This led to a minor scuffle. Subsequently, three others joined in and started to follow his car. They stopped Jitendra and started to beat him with a helmet and a basketball bat and when he fell down,
one of them crushed his head with a heavy stone. A friend of Jitendra’s who was passing by, saw him lying on the road. He summoned a police constable and rushed him to AIIMS, where he was declared dead. In Chennai, a young college-going girl was crushed to death when a young man repeatedly ran over her in his car. In Pune, cardiologist Dr Manoj Durairaj was assaulted by three drunk medical students. According to the police, the inebriated trio were in their car when they picked a quarrel while overtaking Dr Durairaj’s car. According to the investigation police officer, “The trio attacked the doctor with a broken bottle, and aimed at his neck. This could have
An understanding of the rising tide of vehicular violence.
By Mita Banerjee
killed him, had he not ducked in time.” In Kolkata, Anil Das, 55, was returning home with his wife. Because she had just undergone a surgical procedure, he was crawling along at a mere 25 kph. It was this that saved them, because at the crossroads a motorcycle came hurtling down at them at a right angle. The young man riding the twowheeler not only began to abuse the elderly couple loudly, he also followed them home, making threatening gestures all the time. These are examples of road rage which are happening in many other places, not just in India, but also around the world. In the USA alone, more than 1,200 cases are reported every year, with at least 300 ending in serious injuries or fatalities.
What is road rage? Road rage (also road violence or aggressive driving) is the informal name for deliberately dangerous and violent behaviour under the influence of heightened, violent emotions such as anger and frustration, involving an automobile in use. It can involve deliberately hitting another person, vehicle or object with his/her own vehicle or hitting the person or vehicle with an item. Getting out of one’s vehicle to another person’s vehicle and banging,
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
knocking on the windows, and yelling insults, is another form of road rage. In its extreme, aggressive driving behaviour can escalate into ‘road rage’ when an angry driver takes deliberate, violent action against another motorist. This could even take the form of breaking the other’s windscreen or window and hitting with an object, sometimes even with fatal results. Road rage can happen to anyone. Have you ever experienced a bad day at office, when you just didn’t feel like yourself? It could have been triggered by some serious argument or flare-up with your colleagues or boss. Then, some jerk makes you angry on your drive home. These are conditions that are perfect for road rage, and almost everybody has experienced them. The only difference between you and a road-rager is how you deal with these feelings. To protect yourself you have to get hold of your emotions. The worst thing that you want to happen is to meet someone who is as angry as you, or possibly even more possessed by rage. Psychiatrist Dr Mina Bobdey confirms, “Road rage is not confined to any age or gender group. Although young males are more prone to it, surprisingly more and more young female executives as well are reporting it nowadays. I was counselling a young lady executive, and as a part of the therapy, I also went driving with her. I was taken aback by her aggressive driving and also the anger that she displayed. When I was in the UK a few years ago, another patient came to me. She had been a victim of road rage, and has developed a fear of driving ever since. With graded exposure and therapy, she got better and started driving again.”
What causes road rage? Road rage can be caused by a variety of events, circumstances, and environments. Environmental conditions are the main factors associated with road rage. These conditions can consist of traffic congestion, another’s dangerous driving habits, the weather (heat, humidity, etc), noise levels, and time constraints. Aggressive driving behaviour usually occurs as a result of heavy traffic, hectic schedules, pressure and daily stress. An angry or impatient driver may act out his or her frustrations by driving in a reckless, rude or intimidating manner – such as speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, making obscene gestures and using the horn excessively – endangering other motorists or pede strians. The other two causes of road rage – intrusive responses and terri torial defensiveness – are also closely related. Intrusive responses are actions of retaliation to get back at another for their careless driving. Territorial defensive ness is the act of defending one’s personal space (the car) in response to another
individual’s driving. Road rage is a very serious act; it may be seen as a violation of property rights and an endangerment of personal security. Dr Bobdey couldn’t agree more as she says, “With the pressure of time and performance, there is a sense of urgency and we become impatient. We want to achieve a lot more than what we are capable of. As a society too, we have become intolerant and are ignoring our human side. There are a lot more vehicles on the road as well.” Weather conditions such as excessive heat or humidity and high noise levels can also trigger road rage.
as possible. Take the next turn and choose an alternative route to your destination. If necessary, pull over and cool off before continuing on your way. If an enraged driver attempts to follow you, there is a good chance that the level of violence may increase. Do not go home. Go straight to the nearest police detachment and file a complaint.
● Do not speed, tailgate or block the passing lane ● Keep your radio at a reasonable volume and avoid using your horn excessively ● Always use your signal when changing lanes. Do not cut off other drivers. ● Make your car comfortable by adjusting the temperature or listening to soothing music ● When possible, avoid driving in heavily congested areas and during rush hour ● Remember, drivers do make mistakes. Do not take driving violations personally – and never retaliate.
How can one tackle a situation if one becomes the victim, or if one is feeling angry? Dr Bobdey advises, “Since it is a sign of stress, look at your lifestyle and take active steps to change it. More fluids, regular food, physical and mental exercise, regular relaxing exercise and family time can help reduce stress and produce a calmer frame of mind.” If you are an innocent victim of road rage, you must protect yourself. Do not make eye contact with an angry driver, as an angry look may increase the level of rage. Get away from an angry driver as quickly
Are you at the risk of committing road rage? ● Do you often drive at an excessive speed? ● Do you weave in and out of traffic or cut off other motorists? ● Do you tailgate other vehicles to force them into another lane of traffic? ● Do you yell at or make obscene gestures to other drivers? ● Do you use your horn excessively or blare your radio? ● Do you drive on the shoulders of the road to avoid traffic and pass other cars? ● Do you block the passing lane or purposely try to prevent drivers from moving into your lane? Follow these guidelines to prevent aggressive driving and road rage: ● Before driving, set aside your stress, anger and worries and make safe driving your priority ● Plan ahead and allow enough time for your trip ● Be courteous and obey the rules of the road
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
Remember these safety tips when confronted by an aggressive driver or a potential road rage incident: ● Steer clear of the offender ● Do not make eye contact or even look in the direction of the aggressor ● Do not make obscene gestures or swear at other drivers ● Stay calm, and focussed and do not react if you are provoked ● You cannot control traffic or the behaviour of other drivers; you can only control your own responses ● If you are a victim of violent road rage, drive to a safe place and notify the police immediately. We
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a. I immediately interrogate the person who spoke it b. Nothing c. My heart beats fast and I smile to myself d. I get mad at myself for thinking of him
Do you know his or her middle name?
a. I did at one point b. Yeah, but I had to ask his/her brother or friend for it c. Of course! I know every little detail about him! d. No! I don’t care!
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What’s his or her favourite colour?
a. b. c. d. Green, at least it used to be I don’t know! I’ve never known! Um... I used to know Well, last week it was green but he/she decided they like yellow better
Have you two dated before?
a. Nah... thought about it, but it never seemed to make any sense... we’re so different b. Yeah, once, though we decided it better to stop c. No! wish! He keeps saying that he isn’t ready for a real relationship! d. Yeah... never again
If so, how did it end?
a. He/she was the worst boyfriend/girlfriend I’ve ever had! b. We mutually agreed it was for the better c. It’s kind of hard for something to end that never happened d. It never happened!
How did you two meet?
a. In my dreams! b. Not too long ago, we had like one class together in sixth grade c. Our friends hooked us up and the break up was pretty messy d. We both play the same sport, or are part of the same organisation
How often do you talk to each other?
a. Maybe once a month b. Every now and then, we keep in touch, though I wouldn’t mind if we talked more c. Well, I talk to him/her all the time, he/she doesn’t talk to me often though d. Never, haven’t in a long time
If you could be with any person in the world would it be him/her?
a. Umm... not necessarily, he/she’d be nice, but there are plenty of fish in the pond b. Probably c. No! Never again! If he/she asked me out I’d smack him/her for having that kind of nerve! d. Yes! I’ve loved him/her since the moment I set eyes on him/her
Do you know his or her friends?
a. Some of them, we’ve grown apart b. Oh yeah, I know everyone he’s/she’s ever spoken to c. No, I try to stay as far away from them as possible d. Yeah, we were all good friends in junior high school
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FOR A CLEANER AND GREENER MUMBAI
Mumbai may soon see two lakh trees taking root and thriving to provide much-needed green cover, thanks to Nana Chudasama’s I Love Mumbai and the yearly tree distribution drive. The event aimed at distributing and planting tree saplings to make a cleaner and greener Mumbai, was kick-started by Bollywood actress Vidya Balan and
Vidya Balan and Shaina NC at the sapling distribution drive by I Love Mumbai.
DOCTORS’ DAY OUT
The launch of the Journal of Gynaecological and Endoscopic Surgery (JGES) at the Mayfair Rooms was a classy affair. Doing the honours were Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh. The journal was launched under the aegis of the The Indian Association of Gynaecological Endoscopists ( IAGE) headed by Dr Hrishikesh Pai while the managing editor for the journal is Dr Prakash Trivedi. Dr Rishma Pai and Dr Nandita Palshetkar let their hair down on the dance floor and giving them company was Ananya Banerjee. Ashish Shelar and Viren Shah were engaged in a serious discussion right through the evening. Rohini Salian and Madhusudan Kumar were among the early birds and so was artist Vipta Kapadia. Actor Vikrum Kumar, accompanied by director Arshad, was overheard discussing his lead role in the forthcoming flick Trump Card . Also spotted were Sanjay Khanduri and comedian Raju Nigam who sported a bandana and was at his humorous best right through the evening.
municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak. A huge gathering of children from various schools and colleges in the city, representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Western Railway, Central Railway, Port Trust, and leading citizens of Mumbai and representatives from NGOs took an active and enthusiastic part in the drive. Different saplings of neem, ashok, rain tree, pentaforum, gulmohar, cassia and tulsi were distributed from across 26 centres. The saplings were also made available at select LOOP mobile galleries for easy access by people. On the occasion, Nana Chudasama said, “We have been doing the free sapling distribution for over a decade now. However, with each passing year, I have seen more trees getting cut and more buildings coming up and with it more problems being faced by Mumbaikars . My concern is that we need more trees to retain the ecological balance and also to make the city look beautiful. “This year, we have decided to go beyond our regular efforts and expand our tree coverage while distributing two lakh saplings. I hope to see Mumbai back as the beautiful, green and clean Mumbai that it once was.”
A 8-YEAR-OLD’S FIRST SOLO ART EXHIBITION
Paintings have always remained the most wonderful way of expressing one’s emotions. Eightyear-old Dev Mehta recently held his first solo art exhibition at Ravindra Nathya Mandir. With an inherent talent for drawing and painting, he has been painting on canvas and
Dr Hrishikesh Pai at Launch of JGES.
paper since November 2007. The journey started when his mother, Rupal Mehta, spotted his talent when he first started painting on his home walls at the tender age of three years. As years went by his amateur doodling transformed into masterstrokes. One thing was clear – Dev had all the makings of being a good painter.
Touching lives – a powerful, dynamic and expressive statement – this is what Dr Prathap C Reddy (founder-chairman Apollo Hospitals Group) instilled in the Apollo family. When sons were considered assets and daughters a burden, Dr Reddy decided to change the trend. He was blessed with four daughters (no sons) and turned them into “the fantastic 4” – Preetha, Suneeta, Shobana and Sangita. Together, they started a “medical empire” (hospitals, clinics, insurance company, pharmacies, education and research centres, wellness gyms, alternate medical and many more). Upasna Kamineni ( 22), Dr Reddy’s granddaughter, chose to take the compassion and love component of the business, and the concept of touching lives, to another level. Inspired by her grandmother, she realised that true happiness is in sharing and giving. Making a difference to society and building health awareness amongst
people are what she mostly concentrates on. As vice-president of Apollo Charities, Upasna has supported a lot of people through initiatives such as SACH (Save a Child’s Heart) Foundation, SAHI - for the hearing impaired, and CURE - for cancer. Besides, she has been involved in the tsunami relief activities, has helped initiate screening camps in villages, donated to the Bihar Flood Relief Fund and done many more. Another dynamic move was the concept of “reaching you before emergencies do”. This gave rise to “Project Hydrate”. Project Hydrate is the launch of B+ve’s (a health and lifestyle magazine) product line. This product line concentrates on
providing basic elements like water, sunscreen, etc. to prevent major illnesses. Sunscreen for protection and prevention of skin cancer, and awareness camps to educate people on basics of a healthy lifestyle like drinking at least a litre of water every day. Her compassion for animals has led her to become associated with an NGO called Blue Cross. She has adopted six donkeys and three horses while an elephant is soon going to be added and Upasana takes great care of them. A firm believer of a healthy environment to sustain good health, the family intends to open an Eco Park and Night Safari in Hyderabad spanning 112 acres. We
R. S. Prakash
boredom. The score of Yatish warrants mention. The screenplay is full of frills and thrills, but somehow proves to be unimpressive as the spark seems to be missing! ‘G’ company which made Silanthi (the first movie to be made in digital format) has now made Swetha which is again a romantic thriller. Harish who is the debutant hero, is actually a bike racer. The new, BangaloreMysore highway, called as the Nice Road plays a vital role in the film as an important stunt sequence involving about 20 racer-bikes, has been shot there. The rent for hiring a racer-bike for a day is about Rs 15,000, we are informed! Keerthi Chawla, who has appeared only in homely roles so far, has switched to glamour through this flick which is being written and directed by Sanjay, Shiv, a model is being introduced as a villain. JAMES Vasanthan, the television personality-turned-film composer who stunned the audience with his melodious scores in Subramaniyapuram is back in the reckoning with Yadhumaagi which has mostly newcomers in the lead roles. R. Balakumar is the writerdirector while Mohammed Nazir is the cinematographer. P. P. G. ENTERPRISES Vaigai which features two newcomers Bala
US soil. The film was also a prized entry at the 7th Annual Golden State Film Festival, early this year. A wellmade thriller, this is with a strong social message. LARGELY based on the Demi Moore starrer, Disclosure Indra Vizha features Namitha in the lead role as the seductress who would stop at nothing to achieve what she desires. Srikanth makes a comeback as the hero and he shares a good on-screen chemistry with Hemamalini his costar, a debutant Nazzer as a multimillionaire with a young and ambitious wife looks unnatural, right through. Vivek’s antics are good but after a point, he begins to cause
DEBUTANT director I. Ahmed, a former understudy of film-maker Kadir has certainly come up triumphs. He has blended romance and action in the right proportion peppering it with some mystery in this flick. Vaamanan. Jai, Priya, Rahman, Lakshmirai, Sampath, Urvasi, Santhanam, Rohini are in the cast. From his debut film Chennai-600028 Jai, a look-alike of actor Vijay has been shaping himself well and Vaamanam could take him further up. Newcomer Priya looks passable but nothing more. Yuvan is the scorer, his music is a total let-down this time! ARUN Vaidyanathan based in the US has come up with Achamundu Achamundu a well-made flick that has been in circulation across several international film festivals for quite some time now. The film showcases a minimal main cast with Prasanna and Sneha in the lead roles. John Shea, an American, plays the villain. The entire film has been shot on the
and Visaka in the lead roles in a gripping tale of love set against a rural backdrop, as the theme is said to be based on a real-life story. The characters look so real without being cinematic. The narration is linear but the screenplay has enough twists in the second half. The climax could have been cinematic which would have ensured a happy ending. Malayalam actor Sai kumar is very good as the hero’s father. The music of Sabesh and Murali is appealing. VINAY, who made his debut with late Jeeva’s Unnale Unnale followed it with yet another hit, Jayam Kondan Modhi Vilayattu his third which has all the trappings of a hit. The film has added attraction that enhances the appeal, is the musical score of Hariharan and Lesle, affectionately
hailed as the colonial cousins. Produced by Metro Films (P) Ltd, and Gemini Industries and Imaging (P) Ltd, the film is a racy thriller blended with the right doses of romance and music. Saran, who is currently busy with Ajith’s Asal , has written and directed Modhi Vilayaadu which never has a dull moment! G-ANTS Software Solutions (P) Ltd, is one such software biggie that has Ventured into film production. The banner has just entered filmdom launching its first movie Vizhiyil Vizhumdaval under the banner Gants productions. Ajaz a newcomer, is being introduced as the lead man of the film while Shilpa and Anaka are both the leading ladies, also freshers. Besides facing the camera
as the hero, Ajaz has also assumed responsibility for the story, screenplay, dialogue and direction. NINAITHALE Innikkum was the title of veteran film-maker K. Balachander’s musical extravaganza of the mid seventies. After nearly 30 years, yet another entertainer has been made that carries the same title Ninaithale Innikkum which means recollection of sweet memories! Interestingly, the film is a remake of the Malayalam film Classmates, one of the biggest hits of Mollywood. Prithviraj who is equally popular both in Malayalam as well as in Tamil is the lead man and the National award winner Priya Mani is in the female lead. K. Bhagyaraj is playing cameo in the film. ARUN Vijay, the most talented among the contemporary heroes, has never been able to make it really big even though he has done a good number of memorable roles. Well, Malai Malai his latest, that has been produced by Feather Touch Entertainments has proved to be a big break for him. Vedika is his pair in this flick which also has Kasthuri in an important role. Vijayakumar, Kadhal Dhandapani, OAK Sundar, Raiz Khan and many others are in the cast. Mani Sharma has scored some foot-tapping numbers. A. Venkatesh has assumed responsibility for the racy script and We direction.
S P E A K !
SOUTH BOUND AGAIN?
aunched as Harin i in director Shankar’s Boys , Genelia d’Souza, who sported her own name yet in another Tamil flick Sachin; opposite Vijay, did not exactly have a head start in Kollywood. While the latter proved a disaster at the box office, the former ran into rough weather owing to its adult theme involving young, impressionable minds. But Genelia was certainly better off at Tollywood as she successfully did girl-next-door roles in number of Telugu flicks, the best of them being Bommarilu. As far as “ Bommarilu is concerned, Genelia is a record – holder ‘I played Hasini in Bommarily (Telugu) and Santosh Subramaniam (Tamil) and now I am playing Pooja Saxena in the Hindi version titled It’s my Life opposite Harman Baweja which is being directed by Aneez Bazmaa,” says Genelia who was at Chennai recently in connection with the endorsement of a soft drink. Thanks to the chain of girl-nextdoor image that has worked out in her favour that now she is constantly bombarded with offers of
endorsements, a record number according to a source from the ad world. The cute-looking damsel can certainly take pride of the fact that
she has managed to replace Rani Mukherji and Preity Zinta as brand ambassadors for a couple of commodities. The lass in her early twenties, has of course been lucky with respect to her Bollywood innings. Following a disastrous debut there, she staged a dramatic comeback after a couple of years with Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (JTYJN), which established her there again as a youth icon. Genelia has three Hindi films in her Kitty at the moment. It My Life, Life Partner, Hook Ya Crook . She could be soon signing for another big project. Krishna Vamsi’s Sasirekha Parinayam was her recent film in Telugu in which she played the role of a woman fighting against dowry, sans any make-up. She is expected to do another Telugu film Katha this year. “I am very proud of my south Indian films which enabled me to hone, my skills. I am looking forward for good roles in Tamil films too,” She says. Should one read between the lines?
EXPLORING NEW TERRAIN IN TAMIL CINEMA!
ossibly, Sathyam Cinema in Chennai hottest destination on an average, at any time of the year, it records an amazing percentage of occupancy as high as 70! Through its six-screens, that which could be rated the highest in the country. Also, Sathyam Cinema, located in the heart of Chennai is one among the first in Chennai and possibly in the country too to
introduced Digital Projection (RDX) in its screens which has been powered by Qube from Real Image Media Technologies, which is the country’s leading provider of technology in the film video and audio domains. The company has also pioneered several technology revolutions over the past two decades. Sathyam Cinema and real Image
have now collaborated to produce their first feature film in Tamil, titled Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru – being directed by the first-time (female) film-maker Nandhini J. S. It will be the first Tamil film to have an alldigital release in the country as well as abroad. The movie, which will be released in Telugu too, is shot on Red One Camera and post-produced in 4K Resolution Digital Colour
grading which will be executed on Digital Vision’s film master, the first Indian film to be done on this system. J. S. Nandhini, the debutante director is a gold medallist from the Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu. As early as in 2003 did she draw the attention of the film fraternity by bagging the state award for her short film, Ottam . She has also assisted director Priya V for the Tamil movie Kanda Naal Mudhal. Rupa, a fresher from Bangalore who is model hailing from Tamil Nadu is the heroine and Ajmal of Anjadhe fame is her pair. Characterised by contrasting traits
of behavioral attitudes, the duo get drawn to each other, as they always say-opposites attract each otherwhile the audience are entertained also with non-stop humour. A DFF gold medal winner, Sudhir Choudhary is cranking the camera. Veteran film-maker and actor Mouli plays an interesting character role in the film which is projected to an entirely new dimension, according to a unit hand. With the shooting schedules having drawn to a close the postproduction work is on. The audio of the film is soon to be launched following which the film too will hit the screen.
THE ‘GLAM’ ROUTE TO SUCCESS!
lam dolls from Kerala have always managed to make it big on the Kollywood screen and even further up the country’s map, that too quite successfully! Asin, Nayanthara, so on and so forth. Sridevika who is basically from Kerala is the latest to join the troupe she is quite fluent in Tamil language and she accounts for it thoughts her base at Palakkad. After, a couple of assignments that really did not matter much, the demure girl is highly hopeful of a solid second innings in Tamil and the two noteworthy projects with which she is associated are Sarithiram written and directed by Sami of Uyir and Mirugam, both of which created a big sensation for the most unlikely of reasons, and of course, Gnabagamgal with lyricist Pa. Vijay as the lead man. Sridevika was actually busy with
a couple of Kannada and Malayalam assignments. She doesn’t subscribe to the comment that she was out of circulation in Tamil for the past couple of years. “I should point out that I have evolved over the past four years. I am now staging a comeback into Tamil films as the offers that came along my way were lucrative”, she declares. A re-entry into Tamil films that too in a project with director Sami who got into problems with Padmapriya and even reportedly slapped her for non-cooperation. I am aware of the incident that occurred during the shoot of Mirugam, she smiles meaningfully. ‘I agreed to do this film because I liked the narration and my character. The subject is period – bound and the story takes place between the sixties and eighties. I am quite comfortable working
with director Sami and what happened on the sets of his earlier film is no concern of mine. More so, it has absolutely no relevance to this project and the present schedules, she elaborates. When quizzed about her character in Gnabagamgal Sridevika’s face brightened up. “The film’s script has enough potential for me to record and register my acting skills. I simply fell in love with the story, especially my character ever since Jeevan, the director, narrated it to me. It is basically a tale of love and I play a North Indian girl born and brought up here at Chennai.” About working with Pa. Vijay, the lyricist-turned-actor she says, ‘It was fun working with him as he is a very jovial person and I never felt, I was working with a new face though he is a senior in the capacity of a lyricist’! that he was extremely excited to work in a film, the script of which has been penned by the great writer that the C.M. is. Prasanth, who has been passing through a bad phase in his personal life, is all set to tide over all his setbacks by riding over in a double role in this prestigious project! The pre-production work for this flick has been on for almost a year and some massive sets include ancient townships with temples, lakes palaces and forts. Looks like it will be a case of double delight for actor Prasanth who is truly talented, but somehow success has not been on his side for quite a while. Hope the wind of fortune and fame changes its course in favour of young actor. From what one hears from the unit, the project which is a period epic is going to be punctuated by glitz and We grandeur.
A GRAND GALA EPIC!
ri M. Karunanidhi, the chief minister of the state of Tamil Nadu, had penned a novel, Poonar-Shankar , in the late seventies, the theme of which was set against a historic backdrop. Actor Thiagarajan is now making that novel into a movie that has been planned as a big-budget extravaganza. The movie script spans three generations of princes and warriors and has four major battle sequences including one shot under water. Napolean who is presently a part of the Union Ministry sought and got the permission from the Prime Minister to act in this. Actor Prasanth, son of actor-cumfilm-maker Thiagarajan is playing a dual role as Ponnar and Shankar in the film which has Sathyaraj, Rajkiran, Prakashraj, Vijayakumar, Manorama, Vadivelu and many others. The story is about two warrior brothers who were legends in the
Kongu region of Tamil Nadu, says a unit hand. The novel that was penned by Sri M. Karunanidhi, was also serialised in the Tamil Kungumam weekly years ago. The film was formally flagged off by the C. M. and according to Thiagarajan who is producing and directing the film nearly, 60 per cent of the film would make use of graphics. While speaking about the film, Sri M. Karunanidhi said that the period venture will provide a good opportunity for Prasanth to prove his potential as a thorough professional. Also, I am sure Thiagarajan will look upon Prasanth as an actor and not as his son alone, on the sets! He also mentioned about the success of Jeans in which Prasanth had played a dual role. For his part, Prasanth enthused
When your eyes or urine is yellow, consult your doctor.
By Rachna Pande
causing further derangement of the liver function. There can be swelling all over the body including the stomach, due to retention of water and salt. The person may have vomiting of blood or pass blood in stools. With further damage to liver cells, liver failure sets in, which is invariably fatal. Kidney failure can also occur thus causing the patient to die due to many causes.
Cancer of the liver is a long-term complication of cirrhosis which can occur if the patient survives the extensive injury of the liver cells. The liver is a vital organ of the body. Proteins, factors needed for clotting of the blood and glucose are produced in the liver. It also helps in the metabolism of fats and many other substances. Therefore, damage to the liver leads to derangement in many functions of the body. With the pandemic of AIDS worldwide, it is important to know about viral hepatitis, because, except for hepatitis A and E, all other types of hepatitis are caused by the same behaviour pattern and risk factors as AIDS. Sexual promiscuity, pricks by unsterlised needles and razors, accidental contamination with blood, all these are the underlying causes for hepatitis as well as AIDS. The presence of one facilitates the acquisition of the other. In fact, in a conservative society like India’s, viral hepatitis and AIDS are both said to
he outbreak of hepatitis B in Gujarat is worrying news. One of the most prosperous states of India is hit by an other wise preventable dis ease. The reason may be carelessness or sheer callousness by the health personnel concerned, but a large number of people have been affected. It also affects the productivity of the individuals and society. If India has to become a developed country by all means, it has to improve its health sector and control preventable diseases. Greater awareness needs to be generated among the masses regarding the preventable diseases, so that there can be active participation of the public in the prevention of preventable illnesses.
Viral hepatitis is a chronic affliction of the liver by viruses which are of five types, A, B, C, D and E. Technically speaking, hepatitis means inflammation of liver cells and if that is caused by a virus then it is a viral hepatitis. The illness is manifested by jaundice (yellow discolouration of eyes) which is a characteristic sign of affliction of the liver. The patient also has complaints of passing yellow urine. There is also loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, low-grade fever, malaise, etc. in varying degrees. At times there may be obstruction to the flow of bile due to the swelling of liver cells which causes intense itching. As the disease progresses, there is further damage to liver cells, leading to cirrhosis, where the liver tissue is replaced by fibrous tissue, Woman’s Era
August (Second) 2009
spread more due to the reuse of disposable syringes and the use of contaminated needles by drug addicts, rather than by sexual promiscuity. The outbreak in Gujarat is said to be due to the reuse of disposable syringes. If a followup of these cases is done after three and six months, some of them may have acquired the HIV infection also.
Once part of the liver is injured, complications invariably follow in more or less extent. Sometimes, the patient may apparently recover after the attack but complication like chronic hepatitis may develop after many years. Preventive vaccines are currently available only for hepatitis A and B infections.
VARIETIES OF HEPATITIS
Hepatitis A is acquired by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the faeces of an infected person. Outbreaks can occur due to contaminated water. The illness caused is benign and good recovery mostly occurs, though at times, if there is extensive liver cell injury, it can lead to acute liver failure. Hepatitis B and C are spread by the use of contaminated syringes and needles and also through sexual intercourse. Hepatitis D or delta virus is acquired by the same routes as Hepatitis B and can coexist or replicate only in the presence of the hepatitis B virus. A person suffering from both hepatitis B and D infections is at the risk of developing a more serious form of disease. The hepatitis E infection occurs by the faeco-oral route like Hepatitis A but tends to cause a more severe and chronic form of liver disease. Use of hepato-toxic substances (those that damage the liver) like alcohol make one more prone to severe illnesses due to hepatitis. Early and more severe complications are also likely to develop in those persons who are exposed to other toxins inflicting damage to liver cells. Certain drugs used for pain like NSAIDS (nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen and diclofenac), paracetamol, antibiotics like erythromycin also cause liver damage. Diagnosis of hepatitis is established by serological tests. Once diagnosis is confirmed, antiviral drugs can be used, but are useful only when used early, ideally within two to three days of illness. Other drugs used for treatment only provide some palliative relief, but do little to minimise the damage done.
Therefore, it is prudent to prevent the disease. Good food hygiene, if maintained while cooking, serving and eating ,minimises the chances of infection with hepatitis A and E. Avoiding promiscuous and premarital sex is a good measure to avoid viral hepatitis B, C and D. One should be cautious while taking a hair-cut, massage, pedicure or manicure because, the use of contaminated tools in these settings is yet another risk factor acquiring viral hepatitis. Unless needed strongly, any kind of injection or prick should be avoided. If some injection is at all necessary a person needs to be prudent to see that a fresh disposable syringe and needle is used. Vaccination is available for hepatitis A and B. If someone is a high-risk case like food handlers, health-care personnel, etc, one can take the vaccination in advance for protection. Vaccine taken as per schedule provides lifelong immunity unless one has a debilitating illness. If there is someone in the family suffering from hepatitis, particularly B, vaccination is done for all nursing the patient physically. One should be careful lest unknowingly because of ignorance, the hepatitis virus enter the body. At any sign of yellow discolouration of the eyes or urine, it is advisable to seek medical treatment at the earliest to prevent long-term complicaWe tions of hepatitis. 117
IF THERE IS EXTENSIVE LIVER CELL INJURY, IT CAN LEAD TO ACUTE LIVER FAILURE. HEPATITIS B AND C ARE SPREAD BY THE USE OF CONTAMINATED SYRINGES AND NEEDLES AND ALSO THROUGH SEXUAL INTERCOURSE.
August (Second) 2009
THE PERFECT GETAWAY FOR
A short holiday amidst a wealth of wildlife.
By Barry Smith
i, my name is Barry Smith. I am an MCA student in Bangalore. I visited Kabini last December along with 3 college friends, and would like to share some of my experiences with you. The Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in Karapur village in Karnataka, is a quaint little paradise on the banks of the River Kabini, a pristine area that abounds with nature and wildlife. Kabini is an additional treasure in South India’s wildlife sanctuary attraction; also in the region are Nagarhole National Park and Bandipur National Park (Karnataka), Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu), and Wyanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala), the four protected areas that constitute India’s first biosphere reserve called the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Kabini is very close to Nagarhole National Park, lying cosily in its southern periphery. Our first sight of Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary was breathtaking. Spread over an area of 55 acres of forest and river, it is surrounded on three sides
August (Second) 2009
by the bend of the River Kabini, giving it a paradise-like look. Flashes of blue water are interwoven in a layer of rich deciduous forests with darting sun-rays filtering through the trees and reflecting on the water; this, in addition to a mystical orange hue that emanates from the trees (mainly teak, rosewood, sandalwood and bamboo), lends a mind-boggling, kaleidoscopic effect to the scenario. Adding the finishing touch to the scene are images of animals and birds roaming wild and free in their natural habitat. It is no wonder therefore, that Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary has been listed as one of the top 5 wildlife resorts in the world by the respected British travel magazine, Tatler’s Travel Guide. The River Kabini, reputed to be the most feminine of South Indian rivers due to its calm flow, originates in Wayanad (Kerala) from the area where the Panamaram and Mananthavady rivers merge and flow eastward, passing through Kabini to join the Kaveri River at Tirumakudal Naraispur in Karnataka, which eventually empties into Bay of Bengal. As the river flows through
Kabini, the huge, 2,284-ft Kabini Dam impounds its water within its massive 19.52 tmcft structure. The backwaters of the Kabini Dam are teeming with wildlife especially in summer when the water level withdraws to form rich grasslands. With our minds still reeling from the delights that awaited our exploration, another pleasant surprise awaited us: the Kabini River Lodge, the place where tourists stay while at Kabini, is simply marvelous. Its varied accommodation offers 2 colonial style blocks of 7 bedrooms each; 6 twin-bed cottages overlooking the River Kabini; and 5 spacious tents also overlooking lodge of the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore, Krishna Rajendra Wodeyar. Later, it was used as their Viceregal Lodge by the British, in which their Viceroys and visiting foreign dignitaries were entertained. Kabini River Lodge is presently run by Jungle Lodges and Resorts under the tourism department of the Government of Karnataka. We experienced the jeep safari on the first day. The safari trail, naturally, lays along the banks of the River Kabini because the greatest attraction Woman’s Era
of Kabini is the convergence of wildlife and birdlife on its banks. A guide, who we were told was a qualified and experienced naturalist, was attached to our group on all 3 days of our stay in Kabini, not only to identify the birds and animals sighted, but also to provide interesting peculiarities and other titbits about them.
The first animal that we saw during our Jeep safari (and later saw regularly in most areas) was the Asiatic wild elephant. Just as Ranthambore National Park is renowned as India’s premier tiger wildlife resort, Kabini is the country’s top elephant wildlife resort, so much so that it is said: “Elephants are the rulers at Kabini.” The large number of elephants present here is due to Kabini having been the centre of the kheddah practice (rounding up wild elephants for domestication), a practice that was banned by the government in 1971. We saw a herd of at least 50 elephants bathing or drinking from the river. 119
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Our first sight of Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary was breathtaking. Spread over an area of 55 acres of forest and river, it is surrounded on three sides by the bend of the River Kabini, giving it a paradise-like look.
very hard to get a glimpse of these reclusive creatures. We also saw a large number of birds during that first day of our Jeep safari. While large flocks of birds swept across the sky in timeless motion, some were perched on tree branches. Our guide identified them as the large egret, racket-railed drongo, fairy bluebird, Malabar trogon, crested serpent eagle, osprey, scarlet minivet and whitebreasted kingfisher. We particularly like the golden-beacked wood peckers that were tapping on trees and branches with their sharp beaks, searching for insects to feed on. A strange incident occurred as we were on our way back to the Lodge. An elephant suddenly broke through the dense foliage some distance away along the trail and came charging towards our jeep. We were petrified with fear, more so when our driver stopped the Jeep. As we watched with horrified eyes, the elephant came on relentlessly and when nearly on us, suddenly stopped in a flurry of dust and veered away, vanishing into the thick greenery. As we strove to calm our wildly palpitating hearts, the guide calmly explained that such incidents were not uncommon because, at certain times of the year, male elephants secrete a fluid through an orifice near Woman’s Era
We were delighted to see how they collected water in their trunks and splashed it on their bodies, their trumpeting cries echoing mightily all around us. Our guide explained that elephants have a priceless ecological impact as they not only tone down the harsh and extreme habitat by converting savannah and woodlands into grasslands, but they also make water available for other birds and animals in two ways: they dig water holes in dry river beds, and the deep depressions formed by their heavy footprints and bodies trap rainfall.
their ears for a certain period, and during that time they do not eat well and tend to behave very erratically. Dining at the Kabini River Lodge’s unique “Gol Ghar” was an experience we will never forget. It is a circular, open side gazebo overlooking the Kabini River and is well supported by a fine restaurant offering a wide array of mouth-watering Indian, Chinese and continental food, in addition to a well-stocked bar. In between, visitors have the option to view wildlife movies that are continuously shown during the evening in a spacious audio-visual hall.
THE SECOND DAY
The highlight of the second day was the coracle boat ride and motor boat ride. A coracle is a small, rounded boat made of animal hide stretched over a wicker frame. Our coracle could accommodate only 4 persons (the exact number in my group) and the boatman. During the half-hour ride (a large circular route) we were more concerned about staying afloat (expecting the frail craft to capsise at any moment) and hoping that the silently gliding, menacing-looking crocodiles would not attack us. We were fortunate on both counts: our boatman was very skilled, and the crocodiles seemed more interested in the small herd of elephants on the river bank, glaring angrily at their antics, while their
A HERD OF ANTELOPES
We next saw a small herd of antelopes grazing on the lush greenery. As soon as they saw us, they veered away, jumping over bushes in languid grace. We also saw a tigress basking in the sunlight with 4 cubs frolicking around her — a sight we were fortunate to see, according to our guide, because it is 120
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gaping jaws seemed to be grinning wicked thoughts as they hungrily waited for their prey — deer and other small animals that come to the river to drink water. The motor boat ride was a comparatively longer and more pleasurable one. We passed several herds of elephants drinking water or bathing in the river. We saw 3 varieties of deer: chital (spotted deer), muntjac (barking deer) and sambhar, which our guide said is the largest deer found in India. Our guide also pointed to menacing carnivores lurking in the background, waiting for a chance to pounce on their prey: a leopard, a pack of dhole (packhunting wild dogs), and the everpresent scavengers (hyenas, jackals and vultures), waiting to pick the bones clean of dead animals. We also saw several birds during our motor boat ride. Through binoculars provided by our guide, we clearly saw the warbler, spotted dove, blue jay, hill mynah, bulbul and barbet. Blue-winged parakeets let out piercing cries as they flew through the trees in busy feeding groups. Grey shrikes were busy catching grasshoppers and dragon flies, killing them by piercing them on the sharp thorny bushes before eating them. The white-necked stork, black lbis and white lbis blissfully foraged in the river for fish. But the picture that captivated us the most was that of the male Indian peacock, pirouetting
his lustrous, rainbow-hued tail as he loudly voiced his mesmerising mating call.
THE LAST DAY
We were entertained on the third and last day by the elephant-back ride and bird viewing from watchtowers. The elephant-back ride was a delightful experience. Safely perched on comfortable seats in a solid square box atop our elephant that was controlled by a rider called a mahout, we saw several animals like the Indian civet, giant malabar squirrel, wild boar, black-necked hare, monkey and sloth bear. We were particularly impressed by the mighty Indian bison, locally known as Gaur which we were told is the biggest of its kind in the world. We also had a shocking experience: high in the branches of a tall tree we saw a thick python in the midst of its meal: the torso of a halfeaten monkey clearly visible as the reptile laboriously swallowed it. We spent a long time on several watchtowers ideally located around the Lodge to spy on birds on the river bank. We saw the shy juvenile jacana which hid among the weeds, tickkel’s flower pecker that busily dug honey from flowers, the Malabar pied eagle that was engrossed in eating what seemed like a small mouse, the brown-headed fishing eagle that was skimming the water in search of fish, Woman’s Era
several turtles moving along unhurriedly, and a few spot billed ducks quacking and waddling around imperiously. The three days spent in Kabini marked a memorable period in my life. My friends and I appreciated that the sighting of wildlife in our ecosystem creates awareness and respect among humans towards other life forms that also inhabit our planet. In particular, the large number of elephants we saw made us realise the urgent need to conserve these magnificent animals. We have all come across increasing incidents of elephant poaching, some blatant and some atrocious, and almost all conducted in connivance with forest protection authorities. The authorities concerned in the Indian Government should coordinate with State government forest and wildlife protection authorities to increase the protection of wild elephants by laying down heavy punishment for poachers and deviating officials. As we left Kabini, we realised that the three days we spent there were periods of peace and tranquillity, far away from the noisy traffic and pressures of city life that receded into the background as we gave ourselves up to jungle sounds and smells and the companionship of wildlife. The stirring words of John Burroughs, “I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order,” aptly describe how we felt. Kabini is accessible as follows: By rail: Nearest railway station is Mysore (80 km). By air: Nearest airport is Bangalore (220 km). By road: Buses from Ooty (240 km) and Bangalore (220 km) are available to Mysore. By bus or taxi from Mysore along the MysoreMananthavadi Road to Karapur village. Best time to visit: October to May (June to September period should be avoided due to the heavy rainfall experienced by this region.) We 121
August (Second) 2009
Learn a trick or two from monkeys, who have a better sense of security than human beings.
By K. M. Sharma
he animal world is a typical wonderland. Unlike human society, there are no laws, no constitution and no system in their existence. There is complete jungle raj where only the fittest and the mightiest survive. There is no common sense and civic sense. Yes of course, the majority of them have been bestowed with the sixth sense. Punishments are no doubt very tough and harsh with no appeal provisions. Fear phobia prevails everywhere and danger lurks in every corner. Life suffers with full uncertainty. If anything can be guaranteed it is death.
Problem in co-existence: In an unprecedented display of greed and brutal reflexes humans have encroached upon the already limited and restricted forest area meant for the animal kingdom. Their areas of habitation are shrinking still further by each passing day. In such a critical situation many animals with nomadic characteristics have left the jungles for good and decided to coexist with humans and willingly adopted urban lifestyle with suitable adaptability. As a consequence the struggle for urban space sharing with humans has already started and ultimately these selected species of animals have become a nuisance in the urbanised environment of the human habitats. In modern times we are noticing that monkeys have violently invaded the urban conglomerates of human settlements and have asserted their right to co-exist with the humans and enjoy the nature’s gift of a vast variety of eatables. The pattern of their consumption has given ample proof that there is no major difference in the eating habits and preferences between monkeys and humans. Their behavioural attitudes have confirmed that they are also the ancestors of the present human race. Monkeys have full knowledge like humans except the language for communication. But they have a perfect science of communication
August (Second) 2009
with each other with sound variants, signs and signals. They act in a better organisational way to run a family. Social scientists and animal behaviourists unequivocally confirm that the monkeys live in groups and in the group hierarchy there is a head of the group whose orders prevail for strict compliance by junior group members. They practise promiscuity and the head can impregnate any number of females in the group. Such behaviour of monkeys is visible in broad daylight in the city.
Monkey menace: The monkey menace has reached an alarming stage. Monkey-bite cases are increasing by leaps and bounds. It has also been observed that monkeys bite women on the cheek only. They enter the houses, open the fridge door, take cold drink bottles and uncork the bottles and consume the cold drinks. Cases have also been reported about their enjoying beer and whisky kept in the fridge. This amusing fact is further confirmed by a report which says that in one of the temples in Rajasthan the monkeys are fed liquor. If not served, they make a hullabaloo! The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has miserably failed to get rid of monkey menace in the affected localities. In desperation the harassed public is trying different different methods to frighten away or eliminate monkeys. A trap: I would like to share with the readers a method adopted by a family. This family was fed up with the monkey menace and felt most annoyed by the irresponsible behaviour and apathy of the MCD in clearing the surroundings of the monkey menace. They prepared khir and laced it with some poisonous substance. A group of monkeys came as usual almost at the same time. The group was happy to see the khir in a vast Bhagona utensil. In their heart of hearts they must have thanked the host for providing a tasty feast. But as per standing instructions of the head of the group, members of
the group could not touch the khir unless permitted by the head. So the head of the group came near the khir, smelled it but did not eat it. He took away the entire group. After some time the group came back and ate all the khir. The family was happy to note that the poisonous khir was ultimately eaten by the monkeys and they thought that all the monkeys would die a miserable death. Poor fellows. But surprisingly and unexpectedly nothing happened to monkeys. In the coming days the monkeys as usual indulged in their mischievous activities and no end seemed visible to the people’s predicament. Not to accept defeat at the hands of monkeys the people of the locality mustered courage and decided to take another chance to strike another blow at the monkeys. After a few days, the family again prepared khir and again laced it with the same poisonous substance and kept in the open space. The unrelenting monkeys, as usual, came, saw and smelled the khir . They instantaneously understood the trap and went away. But this time the people had an elaborate plan to unveil the secret of the monkeys. They decided to send two-three members of the locality as spies to follow the monkeys and find out what they eat before consuming the poisonous khir. The chase started and the spies were on the prowl. The
Monkeys were unaware of secret plan. Gular an antidote: To their astonishment, the spices found that the group of monkeys went to a nearby nursery full of various fruit trees. They selected a gular tree laden with fruit and flowers. They ate a lot of gular fruits and came back to the spot where the khir was still lying. Without hesitation the entire group consumed the khir and went away. The poison in the khir could not harm them at all. The spies collected samples of the gular fruit from the same tree and took the samples for an expert opinion to a botanist and a local ayurvedic hakim to find out their properties. Both confirmed that gular fruit acts as an antidote to any or everything poisonous. Hakimji further enlightened that the gular tree bark, leaves and fruit juice can be administered to an affected person. He or she can be saved in 99 per cent cases. It is really a mystery how monkeys had a perfect knowledge of gular being an antidote to the poison in the khir. We
August (Second) 2009
How much should one sleep?
By A. C. Tuli
And I do, the fear of disturbing the family notwithstanding. My wife, whose hours of sleep are fixed and so well regulated that I can almost set my watch by them, has always viewed my erratic schedule with perplexity and concern. The other day, when I quietly stole out of bed at 4 am and straightway tip-toed my way to the kitchen to brew myself a nice cup of tea, I committed the unpardonable crime of allowing a bone china cup to slip out of my hand to break into some half a dozen pieces on the floor. This seemingly minor mishap created such a devil of a racket in the kitchen that it was sufficient to pull the better half out of her deep slumbers to make a few choice comments on the clumsiness of those who ruin honest folks’ sleep at an unearthly hour. “You should consult a doctor,” advised a friend the other day when I told him about my problem. “Getting up at 9.30 in the morning is no doubt a trifle too lousy, but being earlier than the earliest crowing cockerel is also a bit odd. The ideal hour for anyone to leave his or her bed in the morning, according to me, should be, say, 6 o’clock. Of course, half an
n elderly wiseacre living next door has a considerable stock of maxims and wise old sayings stored in his grey head, which he has a knack of introducing at the right moment in a conversation, so to speak, to hit the nail on the head. The other day I heard him use one to pontifically moralise on how many hours of sleep a human being normally needs in a day to keep fighting fit. “Nature made it six, comfort seven, luxury eight, and dissipation stretched it to nine,” recited the ancient with practised fluency. “The wise, of course, stick to what nature says, the easy-going ones generally abide by the dictates of comfort, but the dissipated and the habitually indolent hardly ever bother about their hours of sleep.” That set off a train of deep thought. I have, I told myself in a regretful vein, never consistently followed either nature, or comfort, or even luxury. In fact, my hours of sleep, on any given day, are as unpredictable as the future of any
knotty problem. The time when I shall go to bed at night is more or less fixed, but when I shall wake up in the morning has always been a matter of uncertainty to me – and also a topic of speculation and jocular comments for my wife and children. There are days when I wake up to find that the family has already had its breakfast and, in the kitchen, the better half is gently chiding our butter-fingered domestic help to be a little more careful with the crockery. The ‘Late lateef’ in me then has to stomach the jibes and jokes my family often makes about my irregular sleeping hours. But they say every cloud has a silver lining to it. My erratic schedule of sleep, too, has a sunny side. I mean there are days when I find myself wide awake at four in the morning, which is considered by the devout and the god-fearing as the ambrosial hour, that is, amritvela , according to the Sikh scriptures. And sometimes I am up even a little earlier than that, when all other members of our family lie ensconced in the lap of Morpheus, the god of sleep. I am the only one then raring to jump out of bed to start my day. Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
hour this way or that way hardly matters.” There was indeed some substance in what he said. The doctor to whom I went for consultation listened to my saga of sleep quite sympathetically, but then, suddenly furrowing his brow interrogatively, he asked me, “What’s wrong with waking up early or late in the morning? It’s certainly not an ailment.” Then, with a smile and a naughty glint in his eye, he added, “You have perhaps forgotten that the important thing is that one wakes up in the morning, otherwise… ha! ha! ha!”
ERRATIC SLEEP TIME – NO DISEASE
Strange sense of humour, I wondered. But then, a little more responsibly, the doctor said, “Our body is so fine-tuned by nature that it normally gets all the sleep it needs irrespective of the hour at which we go to bed at night. Besides, there are millions of people in this world who
have no regular hours of sleep. Some of them have to go to their work place on shift duty, so their hours of sleep are not always the same. But, in spite of that, they still manage to get all the sleep they need to keep well. “But your problem, I find, is that you want to wake up at a particular hour in the morning. Well, to begin with, keep an alarm clock by your bedside. That’ll certainly help. “Once you get used to waking up with the ringing of the alarm bell, it will become a habit with you. But my advice is that you shouldn’t take it too seriously. Rising early or late in the morning, I repeat, is not at all a disease.” Ever since, I have been following the doctor’s advice meticulously. But not with much success so far, for there are days when even the alarm
clock fails to rouse me from my sleep. The alarm bell, say my children, rings itself out but I keep blithely snoring in bed. My wife, however, has her own views on this topic. The other day, I heard her say that there are some blokes in this world who need something much stronger than an alarm clock to rouse them from their Kumbhkarnian sleep. A bucketful of ice-cold water splashed on their faces, she said, would perhaps be a We little more effective!
We had just been married. He was a Captain in the Army. Barely 15 days after our marriage, my husband asked me if I could cook. He had already invited 12 people and praised my culinary skills to the sky. He had seen that I was a good cook but then I had not put my hands to parties single-handedly. He encouraged me, “Darling, if I had not seen you cooking at home, I would never have invited my buddies as well as General Bose and General Kataria with their wives.” Oh, another bombshell. We were in Shimla. So there was no chance of food getting spoilt, even
prepared it one day earlier. I made a list of ingredients and gave them to him each. Then, from the recipe I prepared everything very carefully. There was Hungarian chicken, mutton do-piaza mushroom, almond soup, the starters and other snacks like Russian salad, etc. Lo and behold. Each dish turned out to be very delicious. For each dish I had put in an extra effort. The Generals praised and others lauded my efforts. They told their wives to pick up tips from Mrs Chopra. Hubby was elated. He got a recommendation from his Generals. All is well that ends well. I had followed the maxim: Work is worship. No wonder the meal was sumptuous — out of this world. – Kunwarani Harbans Chopra, Bangalore.
Lost — then found
This happened a few months ago, I visited an exhibition with my husband and was returning home. When I reached home I could not find my
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
clutch purse which I was carrying in my hand. My mobile phone, cash of 500 rupees, my Bank of Baroda debit card and my university identity card were all in it. When I wanted to make an urgent call I realised that my purse was lost. Suddenly I rang up my number. and prayed that somebody might attend it. I had lost all hopes that I will get it back, as the exhibition was a crowded place. Then, to my surprise, somebody picked up the phone and said that, while getting onto the bike I had dropped my purse. He had tried to call us back but we did not hear his shout. Then that man told that he stays in Aminjikarai, a very distant area from my place and told to come and get my belongings back. It was late night but still my brother went and recovered my belongings. Then I rang him back and thanked him. Through this column I once again want to thank my brother. – R. Humera Sultana, Chennai
andit Ronu Majumdar is a musician with an inter national standing. This flute maestro has also made waves in India quite recently having composed music for India’s first I-Max film Mystic India. Known for his off-stage research in creating the perfect flute instrument for concert performances, the pandit has also been instrumental in creating a flute that is longer than the conventional one and another, shorter version, that is ideal for playing the notes of the lower octave. On stage, the changeover from one flute to another is a seamless activity so that listeners are hardly aware of any musical change in the process. The concert and the flute in his hands is thus a smooth glide along the path of music, as he blows out the notes of the raga, in the style of the Maihar gharana. In his childhood he was trained to play the flute by his father Dr Bhanu Majumdar and later came under the guidance of the late Pandit Laxman Prasad Jaipurwale. As a mature musician, he was taken under the tutelage of Pandit Raghav Rao, a senior disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar. A classical musician with a broad musical outlook, Pandit Ronu Majumdar has created new wave music in conjunction with inter national musicians like Ry Cooder
and John Hassles. In addition, he has several album releases to his credit, of which the best-selling ones have been Koi Akela, Song of Nature, Traveller’s Tale as well as Fusion Yatra , a popular number with the youth which Ronu Majumdar had done in conjunction with Louis Banks. Besides being one of the most versatile of Indian musicians, Ronu Majumdar has a reputation of receiving prestigious awards for his unique performances. His most recent award has been the Pandit Jasraj Puruskar, in 2008, and the Aditya Vikram Birla Award, a few years earlier. A classical musician at the outset, Ronu Majumdar has made it his mission to take his music to the youth. WE met the musician for an exclusive interview:
How do you compose music for a fusion number? The Fusion numbers that I have composed are thematic works on dawn, or awakening or nature, and are based on popular ragas . They also have a folk touch in them because the flute is a folk instrument and music from that source sounds good on my instrument. Who is the target audience for Fusion numbers? The young generation of listeners are not used to listening to classical music. Fusion music is aimed at drawing them into the fold of music and in that way, introduce them to the greatness of classical music. They are not yet ready to accept pure classical music but bringing them to this stage is difficult unless one first introduces them to music through Fusion numbers. The flute is a very soft instrument and the youth of today are drawn to loud sounds in music. Do they come to your concerts? The youth are gradually coming forward to listen to the flute. On my part, I like to make the playing interesting for them by elaborating on the flute. It is true that the instrument
PANDIT RONU MAJUMDAR
The flautist par excellence!
By Subhra Mazumdar
has a soft sound, but the flute is also capable of many variations in play and that attracts the young listeners.
Have you played duets with other instrumentalists in the classical style? Yes, most recently I have played with saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath. I have also played alongside the Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jaishree, in a format that would match both our styles. Internationally, I have played with Ry Cooder and Christian Seiferd. What is your advice on making classical music more universal? On my part I have often given lecture demonstrations. This is not to students of music only. I have also lectured to participants at personality development classes and made them aware of the cultural richness of our music. I have made them understand that music is an important part of our lives. We should not run after music as unmaad ( frenzy) but realise that
alaap, where I slowly develop the raga, and follow it up with a catchy jod passage built around a fast tempo. As our gharana is a layakari gharana, where laya or beat is important, I introduce improvisations of the layakari in my music. What are your future plans? To play my music at different venues around the world. It was a landmark occasion when I played at New Zealand’s Town Hall as the first Indian flautist to play there. I want my humble instrument to mesmerise listeners across all barriers of age and communication. Have you succeeded in your effort? I should think so. Judging by the growing number of young learners studying under me, and the opening up of opportunities to perform worldwide, the flute, originally a pastoral instrument, is becoming the instrument of choice among the We youth.
music is inspiration).
How would you describe your style of playing? As I am a musician of the Maihar gharana of the late Baba Allaudin Khan, I follow the system closely. I have an interesting introductory
Why is it such a hassle to simply get our identity certified?
By Neha Kirpal
hey say that India is a free country – one in which basic human rights as citizens are given equality to all. However, it is also common knowledge that attaining the stamp of a citizen – that of a passport – can often be a tiresome and impossible task. Recently, the 10-year period of my passport expired and I needed to get it renewed before an important trip to Switzerland and the United States. Since my passport had first been made in Delhi, and since I was working there for the last year and a half, I thought it might be pretty obvious for one to apply for a renewal in Delhi itself. My parents, however, had been living in Jaipur for the last seven years. The time for the normal procedure was given as a minimum of 45 days for which we had to shell out a sum of Rs 1,500. Around the time for the police verification procedure, a number of people advised us that the surest bet was to simply slip a note of Rs 100 into the hands of the authority
that comes home. This, they said, would ensure that 'work gets done'. We, however, felt it was a clear case and hence decided not to unnecessarily resort to any corrupt means. When the officer came home, we calmly explained the details of the case to him. The officer, too, seemed rather unfazed and asked us to write an application stating the same. As the days went by, we realised that the stipulated period of 45 days had finally come to an end but there was still no sign of the passport reach home. This began to worry us as our travel dates were slowly getting closer. On speaking to the police officer about it, we learnt that all he was waiting for was a bribe from us all along! Imagine our plight when we heard him saying on the other end of the phone, “Hum to aapke phone ka hi wait kar rahe the taki aap hume kuch offer kar de." (I had been waiting for you to call up all along so that you may offer me some money in order to get the work done.) After sending several e-mails to the office as well as endless phone calls, we realised that there was still
PASSPORT TO NOWHERE
no response. Disgusted, we decided to go ourselves to the passport office and ask them what the further procedure was. They told us that, since our application had been rejected, we had to follow the next obvious procedure – reapply, this time from Jaipur. Without wasting any more time, we decided to immediately reapply from Jaipur all over again. This time, however, we applied through the *Tatkaal *(quick) scheme that is meant to take a period of three days and is resorted to in cases of emergency. The scheme cost us an
additional Rs 2,500. However, this was still not a solution to our problem. The period of three days was over, but the passport still did not reach home. By now, we were almost livid since our travel dates were now just a fortnight away. The travel tickets had already been bought and we wanted to spare about a week's time to get the Swiss visa. The hilarious part of it all was that my previous passport already had a 10year tourist visa for the USA. So I could enter the United States without any problem, but I could not exit India without a legal travel document! In a state of nervousness, we went personally to the passport office once again to check the problem out for ourselves. Once at the office, we saw endless queues of helpless people like ourselves pleading before the authorities. The officials looked completely blasé, feeling extremely powerful in their positions, often shooing off people or carelessly slamming their precious files from one desk to another.
When we inquired about the reason for our passport 'not quite making the mark' we were told that the file had not yet reached the particular desk it was meant to go to. For about three days in a row, we kept going back and forth to the office to pressurise the officials into considering our case. Sometimes, we were simply told to return later in the day 'after lunch hours'. After a considerable amount of frustration and days of jittery waiting, we were finally told that the process would finally be completed by the next day. This happened when only five more days were left before our date of departure. In the meantime, we were simultaneously in touch with a travel agency that was handling our holiday. The agency informed us that the passports must be urgently couriered to Delhi for the Swiss visa by 5:30 pm the next day. Naturally, to avoid further confusion and delay, we
decided to come personally and pick up the passport instead of receiving it by post at our home address. On the D-Day, the time for 'distributing' passports was given to be between 4 pm and 5 pm By 5 pm, however, the passports had not yet arrived. Scores of tense people stood crowding around us, some talking on their mobile phones looking hassled, others pacing about restlessly. The waiting period also allowed a number of 'fellow sufferers' to share each other’s 'passport woes' with each other in a display of passionate sympathy. Buzzes of "They told me I have to reapply because the birth certificate is missing" or "They said I have to re-apply because in the photograph I had a religious cap on" or "These people feel they are gods" seemed to resound all around me and I began to feel like an insignificant hapless part of the mundane mess that is India. 5:10 pm Finally, after almost giving up and falling half to sleep, we heard some noise in the distance and a kind of inexplicable hush filled the air as a group of people figured out that the 'coveted possessions' were actually making their way down the stairs to be brought for the final task of distribution. It was like a miracle – an inexpressible moment of triumph filled with fatigue. Finally, my turn came to collect the passport. I looked down at it, expecting to find a shiny, beautiful little book almost studded with gold and diamonds! What I found instead was a drab, ordinary and almost faded-looking booklet staring back at me. ‘All that trouble…for this?’ I
wondered. "Anything to get out of here, I guess" instantly fleeing out of the office in relief. 5:20 pm I almost scrammed all the way to the travel agency and handed over the passports that were scheduled to leave for Delhi by courier within a span of 10 minutes. The travel agent looked up calmly from his desk and I pretended that nothing had happened. "Here you
THE AGENCY INFORMED US THAT THE PASSPORTS MUST BE URGENTLY COURIERED TO DELHI FOR THE SWISS VISA BY 5:30 PM THE NEXT DAY.
are,” I said coolly and as I handed the passports over to him, my heart skipped a beat. "Be careful with that," I cautioned him. "Of course I will,” he replied flashing an amused smile. ‘You don't know the value of what you hold in your hand, young man,’ I wanted to say. ‘The kind of things I have been through just to get this!’ I wondered. And it was only after I stepped out of the travel agent's office at 5:35 pm that I realised I was actually going to make it to the flight for my holiday scheduled only four days later! I came out and felt like crying – because of an overwhelmingly weird bunch of happy, tired and rather cheated mix of emotions running through my head. Am I not a citizen? Is this the way the country where I was born and brought up in a straightforward manner for all my life decides to treat me after 23 years of never doing a single wrong thing? Is this the price that I must pay for what I deserve in any case as a birthright? I have to say, through my ordeal
that lasted for almost three painful months, I have met a number of Indians like myself who have had to undergo the same tribulation. A cousin of mine explained the trauma she underwent while getting her passport. Coming from a small Indian town like Hissar, Mukta remembers
that when her police verification was to take place, the officer plainly asked her parents for a sum of Rs 2,000 without even batting an eyelid. It was almost as if it was an obvious 'done thing' in order to ensure that the job gets done! She adds, "We didn’t even question the inspector, simply gave him the money and sure enough the passport was made.” Contrast this with my sister who lives in Seattle and needed to get her Indian passport renewed in the USA. Nidhi went to study in the United States and has been living there for the last three years. When she had to get her Indian passport renewed there, all she had to do was to post the relevant documents to the Indian embassy office in San Francisco and within a hassle-free span of 15 days, her fresh passport was promptly mailed back to her. No police verification. Just because there is probably much more trust. Because no one is so corrupt. Because things get done We within the period.
Break the Ice — Gain a Friend
Every morning I go for a walk. It’s a part of my exercise routine and I have been doing it for many years. Four years ago after retiring from my regular job, my husband and I decided to move to India and to make a retirement home in Pune. Originally we are from India, but we had been living in the USA for the last 37 years and I was really excited to come back. We purchased a house in a very nice area of the town. I started my walking routine as soon as we settled down. Every morning I would take the same route in my neighbourhood and I would notice the same people who would also go for a walk just as I did. I would try to look at them to say, “Hi” but I had a very strange experience. People either looked away or tried to
avoid looking at me or just stared at me with an expressionless face. This was all new to me. In the USA, when you see somebody on the street (and if you make an eye contact), especially in your neighbourhood, you say, “Hi” or wave at them. It is just a friendly gesture and not doing so is considered rude. But here, even when I see the same people every day, nobody was willing to acknowledge my presence. So, just for fun, I decided to do an experiment. There was this particular couple whom I saw every morning. They seemed to be nice people. Both husband and wife were about the same age as I was. Next day when I saw them, I looked at the wife and smiled a little; both of them looked at me but did not change the expression on their faces. I said to myself, “It’s okay, this is just an experiment, let’s wait and see what happens.” So every morning after that day, whenever I saw them, I would give a little smile.
After about a week, the wife also responded with a little smile. I felt great. Then gradually with the smile was started exchanging “hi” or “namaste” or “good morning”. It went on for a few weeks. Then one day they seemed keen on talking to me, so I stopped and asked them where they lived. And it turned out that they lived in the same neighbourhood. So we started talking every morning when we met and found out that there were many things of common interest between us. We invited them to our house and they reciprocated with the same enthusiasm. Before we knew it, we became very good friends. Now, we help each other and we enjoy each other’s company. I have kept the secret of my little experiment to myself and they don’t seem to be keen on finding out why I targeted them with a smile on that day. We just enjoy our friendship. – Kunda Apte, Pune.
August (Second) 2009
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
1. A person, company, or thing that competes with another in sport, business, etc. (5) 3. A structure that is built over a road, railway/railroad, river, etc. so that people or vehicles can cross from one side to the other (6) 7. A room in a public building where people can leave coats, bags, etc. for a time (9) 10. Chemical symbol for the element silver (2) 11. Used after a list to show that there are other things that you could have mentioned (3) 12. To gradually destroy the surface of something through the action of wind, rain, etc.; to be gradually destroyed in this way (5) 13. A very large family, or a group of people who are connected because of a particular thing (4) 14. Arithmetic and Logical Unit in a computer system (3) 15. Chemical symbol for the element Tin (2) 18. Chemical symbol for the element Manganese (2) 19. To appear important or threatening and likely to happen soon (4) 20. To leave somebody, especially somebody you are responsible for, with no intention of returning (7) 21. Before Christ (2) 22. To give cards to each player in a game of cards (4) 23. Tidy and in order; carefully done or arranged (4) 24. To cry (4)
1. A disease of children caused by a lack of good food that makes the bones become soft and badly formed, especially in the legs (7) 2. A religion that is practised especially in Haiti and involves magic and witchcraft (6) 4. Extremely clean and tidy (10) 5. Designed to improve people’s working conditions and to help them work more efficiently (9) 6. Cathode Ray Tube (3) 8. Wanting to do something or wanting something to happen very much (4) 9. The mass of salt water that covers most of the earth’s surface (5) 16. To prevent a horse from winning a race, for example by giving it drugs (6) 17. A member of an armed group of thieves who attack travelers (6) 18. To walk slowly with no particular purpose; to be somewhere not doing very much (5) 21. To tell somebody information that should be kept secret (4) 22. To touch something lightly, usually several times (3)
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. 160 Woman’s Era, Delhi Press, New Delhi-110 055.
A M I L Y
6 3 4
WIN UP TO
Winners of Crossword - 157
Rs1 ,000 5
IN CASH PRIZES
Seema Mahajan, Agra.
Rahul Mittal, Jagadhri.
Mansi Gupta, Delhi.
Suresh Rohid as, Belgaum.
M. Brunda Nageswar Rao, Tamilnadu.
Elung, Mon, N agaland.
Meera Vishw anath, Bangal ore.
Georgina Peres, Hyderabad.
Ruchi Sharm a, Delhi.
Manjiri Srikan th Karni, Sang li.
Mala Nayak, Mumbai.
Nisha Bhujan g, Bangalore.
Woman’s Era ● August (Second) 2009
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