WOMAN ’S ERA SEPTEMBER (SECOND) 2009
SEPTEMBER (SECOND) 2009
SEPTEMBER (SECOND) 2009
Vol 36, Issue No. 859
BUILDS HAPPY HOMES
Founder: Vishwa Nath
GLOBAL RECESSION ITS EFFECT ON INDIAN ENTERPRISE
Saumitra Mohan Saumitra Mohan
HOW TO NEGOTIATE DURING THE RECESSION
Inder Raj Ahluwalia
92 DREAMS THAT INSPIRE
96 PAINTING NEW LIFE SITUATIONS
118 THE PLIGHT AND FIGHT OF THE OLD
P. V. V. Satyanarayana
Dueep Jyot Singh
122 ON THE VERGE OF EXTINCTION
126 JUMBO KING FOOD BEATS THE DOWNTURN
Sharvari A. Joshi
128 WOMEN’S MARATHON
SUPPORTING A BIGGER BUST
DON’T GET AXED BY RECESSION
Vikas Kumar Jain
42 VARIED RICE FLAVOURS
● Rice and Besan Chilla ● Rice Stuffed
28 CHEER UP WE AREN’T HUMANS!
Spring Rolls ● Fruit Biryani ● Cereal Rice ● Cabbage and Rice Fritters
of Savour the taste l Goa and Centra India.
garliccolour add paste. gets a brown and tomato ginger paste powder, turmeric Add coriander powder and salt chilli minutes powder, red cook for few mix as per taste, is made and fresh till the gravy garnish with pakoras and serve hot. coriander,
ER CUISINE AND THE OTH & spice paste:
INGREDIENTS: (boneless) 350 gm chicken pieces medium sized to wash 2 tbsp vinegar coconut juice 1 tbsp lemon 1 tsp honey powder 1/ tsp turmeric 2 salt to taste masala paste: For spice 1 tbsp oil milk 1/ cup coconut 2 seeds 2 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp poppy dried red chillies 10-15 3-4 star aniseeds seeds 1 tsp fennel little water 2-3 tbsp oil chopped 3 green chillies finely chopped onions powder pinch of nutmeg pulp 2 tbsp tamarind 3/ cup water 4 1 tbsp honey ng: For garnishi coconut freshly grated niment: For accompa rice lemon
36 RECESSION... BEAT IT
44 GOAN AND THE OTHER CUISINE
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For vinegar 2/ tbsp vinegar 3 cloves crushed 10-12 garlic chopped 1 piece ginger chilies 7-8 dried red 1/ tsp cumin seed 2 seed 1/ tsp mustard By Roma Ghosh 2 them into a pinch of sugar then grind paste & brown and a little water 1 tbsp shrimp chopped paste with smooth 1/ cup onion finely the 3/2 keep aside. tomato puree a pan; add 4 cup Heat oil in green chilies spice paste, METHOD pat-dry, rub ground medium Saute on Clean the prawns, & turmeric add and onions. they turn brown, and salt, lemon juice flame until aside. coconut, nutmeg powder - keep ts for paste the chicken, tamarind along with Grind all ingredien salt to taste smooth. shallow pulp. and add ¾ until frying pan, to simmer Heat oil in brown. Reduce and then until golden stir cooking the fry the prawns until golden cup water, heat and toss the Saute onionsthe puree and increase the until add and cook brown and and add and oil pan gently the chicken Cook 2-3 minutes Cook masala coats add honey & cook water. and spice paste. top, heat, the vinegar for 2 minutes then add rises to the Remove from stir-fry for 2-3 for a minute. serving plate & and and let it simmer a coconut prawns tossing the pan gently. transfer to freshly grated minutes garnish with rice. hot with lemon and serve time: 15 minutes Preparation 30 minutes Cooking time:
INGREDIENTS: with sambhar 200 gm Broccoli r moong along to boil and 200 gm cauliflowe oil heat, garnish masala and salt, bring Remove from serve hot of grated coconut. tsp of mustard wedges & add the juice pan, add mustard 2-3 with lemon a pour two onions Heat oil in steamed rice. with fried or stir nicely and two tomatoes time: 15 minutes seeds, chilies, and mix well, 2 tsp of garlic paste Preparation 25 to 30 minutes into the moong seeds grated Cooking time: remainin g tbsp of coriander garnish with with mix 1 pepper serve hot 1 tsp of black coconut and 1 tsp of amchoor methi rice and pappad. 2 tsp of kasoori Time : 15 minutesmins. 30 Bafori ki subzi Cooking time: t (sprouted moong Vijay & Xavier in light coconu Chefs: Dina,
MA GOBHI KHEE
I MOONG GATT
INGREDIENTS: moong dal or 250 gm sprouted mixed sprout sliced 2-3 green chilies 1 cup grated fresh coconut 1 tbsp oil seeds 1/ tsp mustard 2 few curry leaves paste 1 tbsp tamarind powder 1/ tsp turmeric 2 powder 3/ tsp sambhar 4 2/ dry red chillies 3 a (hing) pinch of asafoetid 1 tbsp honey salt to taste niment: For accompa pappad mix rice and
BAFORI KI SUBZI
INGREDIENTS: chhilka moong 200 gm dal 100 gm ghee 100 gm onion 100 gm tomato ger paste 50 gm garlic-gin salt to taste coriander powder turmeric powder red chilli powder
INGREDIENTS: prawns 400 gm medium METHOD fry with vinegar, to shallow Wash the chicken and turmeric oil salt to taste juice, salt & keep rub lemon juice the chicken 1 tbsp lemon powder on Prawn balchao tbsp honey minutes. powder all the 1 aside for 10 coconut and until 1/ 2 tbsp turmeric Roast the oil pan in little (Second) 2009 spices in a ● September
hours METHOD water for two Soak dal in make s wash and and afterward thick paste. water in handi Put sufficient with muslin mixed METHOD cover the handi moong or with and Transfer the a deep pan add cloth for steaming. balls or pakoras sprouts in cloth Make small to cover them, on enough water on top of muslin and cook and place green chillies soft. steam. ghee, until and cook to a pan, add medium heat grated coconut Put oil in the When onion Mix half of turmeric hot add onion. paste and to the when with tamarind this masala powder. Add
THE WRONGED ONES
Chicken Xaccuti Prawn Balchao Moong Gatti Bafori Ki Subzi Gobhi Kheema
● ● ● ●
Chilman Biriyani Arbi Tikka Hara Shammi Kebab Paneer malai Seekh
136 CROSSWORD 141 BABY CLUB 146 AS YOU SAY
IN THE SHOWER CUBICLE (Poem)
THE SMILING LITTLE MISS
COST-CUTTING LAWN AND GARDEN CARE
35 BEAUTY QUERIES 40 TEENACHE 65 PERSONAL PROBLEMS 89 YOUR BODY 95 MONEY MATTERS 115 MY FAMILY, MY FRIENDS AND ME... 130 NEW LAUNCHES 140 KITCHEN QUERIES 142 CLASSIFIEDS
FILL UP THE CROSSWORD
AND WIN RS 15,000 EVERY FORTNIGHT
CLOTHES OF ROYALTY HAIRS STYLISED
Editor, Publisher & Printer PARESH NATH
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SCRAPPING OF BOARD EXAMS
oving to bring some joy back to childhood and high school, Kapil Sibal's first act as HRD Minister has won the hearts of millions of kids across the country crushed under exam stress. Every year millions of students appear in board examination. They prepare for it all round the year but till the eleventh hour they don't feel confident about their performance. Their diffidence naturally puts them under severe stress. Their entire future and career depend on their performance in board exams. As usual, this move of the HRD Minister has divided the opinion of the intelligentsia and academicians on the issue. A section of them is whole-heartedly welcoming the move, while another section is raising doubts over its efficacy. Questions are also being asked about the practicality of the decision. IQ tests show that most of the students belong to average category. Without going into various genotypic and phenotypic reasons for the condition, it would suffice to say that exam is like a dreaded word among such schoolgoers. Scrapping of board exam will certainly bring cheers for them. But what about the serious studious students? Actually, the board exams have not been scrapped fully. They have been made optional. That is, students willing to continue in the same school after 10th will not require taking board exam. But those desirous to get admission in better schools will have to appear in the board exam. While validating the superiority of board, such a provision will definitely create some confusion among the students and their parents. Education boards were conceived on the idea to give students a common exam rising above the school levels. Every State has its own education board. Each board holds its annual exam for class 10th and 12th. But it is seen that various education boards in the country do not follow a standard pattern. Some boards are considered 'tough' while some like that of Bihar have lost their credibility for various reasons. In this sense, decision of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal is certainly a welcome step towards stardardising the education sector in the country. On the lee side, what is the guarantee that the alternative suggested him by would work efficiently? Along with the government schools, which follow board pattern faithfully, has emerged a parallel system of privately run public schools, which have little or no regards for the board exams.
For them board exams are just a means to earn a certificate as proof of student’s date of birth. Otherwise, they evaluate their students internally and allot them streams on their internal performance. So, in the end of the day, scrapping of board exam may provide some solace to the students, who don't want it. But whether it provides a holistic solution to all our educational woes is still to be seen.
RIGHT TO EDUCATION BILL
ith President Pratibha Devisingh Patil putting seal of approval on much awaited and much hyped Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2009, one more fundamental right has come exist in the country. As the name suggests this Right will enable children in the 6 - 14 age group to demand admission in any school of their choice and get educated in their mother tongue. Certainly the Bill attempts to achieve cent per cent literacy target in the country. Also, it is eyeing to create a large pool of graduates in future. As such, it provides for establishing recognition authority in every State under which all schools would have to fulfil the minimum requirement of infrastructure within three years. Schools not complying with the norms would lose their recognition. Similarly, appointment of teachers would have to be approved by the academic committee. But there are many loopholes in the Bill, as it gives no guarantee for free pre-primary education within the formal school system. Instead, it equates ‘anganwadis’ with preprimary education. It is no secret that anganwadis are more like creches catering to the needs of very small children. Also, the Bill’s pupil-teacher’s ratio seems to be worse than the norms either already achieved or expected to be achieved. Instead of addressing these problems, the Bill is keen on moving the teacher away from the schools so much so that the teacher’s association with his pupils become a mere formality. Amid all this discussion, the bitter truth remains that the Government had made a commitment to provide free education within 10 years after the drafting of the Constitution immediately after Independence. But it failed to do so even after 60 years to the extent that it has to make education a fundamental right. Practical difficulties will come to the fore only when it is implemented. Hopefully, we as a society will be able to overcome them amicably.
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Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
ITS EFFECT ON INDIAN ENTERPRISE
How diverse brave hearted Indian entrepreneurs combatted the global meltdown.
By Neelam Chandra
hen the economic growth in America fell between June and September 2008, the world shivered. Came October and it was well known – the US was heading towards a recession. Consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the US economy, had shown its first tightening since the late nineties. The industries, commercial and financial institutes the world over were feeling the crunch. It is a well-known fact that if the US gets a cold, the world sneezes. The ripple-down effect was felt the world over and certainly India was no exception. India was also shuddering and quivering. Most optimistic forecasts predicted a heavy slump and collapse – production cuts, increase in unemployment, lay-offs, closure of industries, collapses of commercial and financial institutions,
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
and so on and so forth. But what was the real impact? What was the extent of this impact? What were the industries which were most affected by the recession? Was it dependent upon the size of the industry? Were there any geographical boundaries where the effect could be felt more? What steps did the entrepreneurs take to survive the ordeal? Could they bounce back? How are they better equipping themselves to face the future? These are the questions which certainly cross one’s mind. An effort has been made in this article to study and analyse the effects of the world recession on young Indian entrepreneurs across the country and how they faced the challenges that befell them by an unexpected economic crisis beyond their control. At the outset, an attempt has been made to talk to individual entrepreneurs – professionals who have their own shining individual businesses. They collaborate with other individuals or firms but their enterprises are not labour-intensive. Ganesh Iyer is one such executive, who is a one-man army, as he calls it. He is into training, auditing and consultancy services in the realm of quality environment, occupational health and safety and social accountability management
systems and is based at Chennai. As a well-known player in the field of Management systems, he is engaged on either a retainer basis or on a need-based contract basis by a number of other organisations. He carries out these assignments in India and also abroad primarily in middle-eastern countries. Says Ganesh, “I was not affected by the recession. The clients were affected and some of them did delay the project/work schedules. However, it did not affect me adversely in any way, since my monthly work quantum and billable hours remain undisturbed. My nature of business is not amongst the top-notch players; however, it is robust and not subject to much market fluctuations. That is a great boon during tough times! Being on one's own also provides flexibility and a ready adaptability to changing circumstances. “However, in the same field, people who are full-time employees have been affected somewhat; however, even this has been marginal and not as severe as the impact in the automobile, IT and services sectors,” he adds. “I feel that the business demand has grown since April 2009 which could be a sign that the recessionary trend is slowing down in the industries represented by my clients.” Upon being questioned about lessons learnt from this experience, Ganesh was quick to summarise, “One should learn not to rest on one’s laurels, but work hard and save for a rainy day. Form is temporary, CLASS IS PERMANENT! One should be good in the profession for the long haul – i.e. take up a profession, for the sheer love of it and be passionately committed to it, come what may! It is always good to be true to one's calling – what one likes to do! The risks are less; since you are sure to be good at it – and won't be relegated during hard times.” Gayatri Kharel is working as a structural engineer in the hilly terrain of Kalimpong and neighbouring areas Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
Gayatri Kharel at one of her meetings.
IT IS A WELLKNOWN FACT THAT IF THE US GETS A COLD, THE WORLD SNEEZES. THE RIPPLE-DOWN EFFECT WAS FELT THE WORLD OVER AND CERTAINLY INDIA WAS NO EXCEPTION.
in the north-eastern part of the country. Gayatri usually undertakes her work through architects and not directly. Usually, the clients hire the workers and they are managed through Supervisors who work under her. Gayatri states, “A majority of my construction clients are based in the north-eastern part of India which is not affected by global recession like bigger cities. I was affected by the recession by an extremely miniscule level, say about 10 per cent. However, I have decided to speed up my plans to also diversify into the hotel industry since it is not a good idea to keep all one’s eggs in one basket.”
creative business have been least affected.” An effort was made to have a discussion with entrepreneurs who have clients with stable financial strength. Anant Sinha, the owner of Infiniti Microsystems, Hyderabad, informed us that his firm is dealing with Robotics and Industrial Automation, PC-based data acquisition and retrieval systems etc. Anant’s company is not exactly productionoriented, but mostly an R&D organisation working towards realisation or development of products. DRDO is his primary client. Anant said that his company did not feel the pinch of the global meltdown as such. He further added, “I do not
Kala Shankar Patnaik (Bhosle) with her creative collection.
Kala Shankar Patnaik (Bhosle), a graduate in fine arts from J J School of Arts, Mumbai, is the owner of Sidhi Arts, which is a training school specialising in the art of painting, sketching, innovative wax craft, clay work and poetic waxing. Her unique wax creations have been displayed in various art exhibitions in Mumbai and Goa under the name of House of Wax at Centour Hotel at Juhu, Bajaj Hall, Parle Tilak Hall, Probhodhan Complex, Inorbit Mall, during International Film Festivals of India at Goa (Inox Complex, Panjim), ‘SARAS’ Exhibition at Goa and in the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of Goa, to name a few. Her creations are exported all round the globe. Kala says, “Global recession only affected me by 10-20 per cent since the cost of raw material went up and I ended up paying more than what I used to. However, the overall business was not affected.” Kala summed up the entire hallah! over global recession in the following words, “Personally thinking, I feel that it is more of a mental block than a fact. It would be more appropriate if we call it a slowdown rather than a global meltdown. I believe we have taken this notion too seriously and too far. It is true that it has hit the financial sectors in a hard manner, but I think the media and 10
Anant Sinha, Infiniti Microsystems.
take business like business. I take it like my passion and I work for my passion. I am sure that money will automatically come.” Rohit Gupta, the managing director of Technosys Services Private Ltd, Lucknow, says that their firm is engaged in information technology- related segments in Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal and his primary clients again are the various government sectors. He added that his firm was affected due to recession in several ways. The banks do not lend easily to small/medium Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
enterprises and they further tightened lending to these enterprises after the recession. He also had to shelve plans of overseas expansion due to poor market conditions abroad. However, the best part was that attrition reduced which allowed them to focus on better execution of projects. Technosys Services 50 employs about people and this strength was not reduced, but they were advised to be more efficient and productive. Rohit further added, “Global recession did effect India but not to an extent as experienced in western countries. Recession has hit India in several ways. The flow of money and work from abroad has stagnated and hence the growth in sectors where this money and work was relevant, such as in information technology, has come down. The expansion plans by the Indian companies was funded by money coming in from abroad, booming stock market and funds availability by banks as well as expected fast growth. As these dried up, the companies found themselves in a position where these have been over-leveraged and have committed large capital expenses or have bought other companies at high valuations. This created problems for the companies.” Some of the entrepreneurs in fact stated that they were benefited by the recession. One of them is Jesal who is basically into the business of growing aromatic grass and distilling aromatic oil in central India. Buyers are the middle men who blend it and sell it to the cosmetic and fragrance industry. Jesal said that the price of her products has not varied in the past five years. She neither got a very high price in boom time nor a lower price in a slow-down. She further supplemented her statement, “Actually, farming is labour-intensive. When it was boom time nobody was willing to toil at the farm level as supermarkets and showrooms were giving a higher pay. Added to this, infrastructure was growing, so construction labour was paid much higher due to the boom. All that is gone now and so the labour is back
to the fields and working more efficiently. I think this meltdown is a must to puncture the hype and get to actual levels. We as a society believe in saving a specific amount and splurge the extra income. At boom time interest was low but income was higher...now interest rates have gone up so that compensates for what you actually spend. Thus, in spite of the prices of daily stuff skyrocketing, recession has really not changed way of life!” P.D. Sohale is the Director of RSA Industries Pvt Ltd and Ran Chemicals Pvt Ltd. Situated near Nagpur with an annual turnover of about Rs 60 crore, the firms employ about 200 people and are focusing on Research-based specialty and Unique Polymer products for various industrial applications such as paper, textiles, coatings, etc. About 30 per cent of their turnover comes from exports. Says Sohale, “After an initial slump, we are growing in spite of recession. Margins have squeezed but tonnage is up substantially. We did not cut down employees but we expanded through R&D, cutting down on wasteful expenditure and diversifying in new polymers for the paper industry. We have a five-point programme: ● Focussing on our strengths ● Acting swiftly on every opportunity ● Having good relation with our customer-base in India as well as abroad ● Predicting and acting immediately where the business is expected in future ● Having a product which gives best value for the money which will give good customer satisfaction. “In short, we could sail through because of good science in our product, brand image, value for money to customers, a good relationship with employees and finances well in control.” Rajeush Ballamwar is the CEO of Prolific Systems & Technologies, Mumbai, a firm with about 13-crorerupee turnover and employing about 12
meltdown, but they seem to be bouncing back with a vengeance. Vivek Munjial is the managing director of Fantasy Exports based in Moradabad. Fantasy Exports is engaged in the export of all kinds of Indian handicrafts globally to importers, retail stores, chain stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets based in Europe, the U.S.A., Australia, the Middle East and Latin America. Vivek said, “We did face the repercussions of global meltdown in the form of a reduction in export orders with demand having reduced internationally. Things are beyond our control, as we have to make sure that we get our payments prior to executing the orders, an issue which had not bothered us so much earlier.” Fantasy Exports employs 35-40 people permanently and the other labour is hired on a job-to-job basis. Vivek added, “The times are extremely difficult, but at present we trying our best to face the situation by participating in more international trade fairs and will also look out for some more sectors and avenues which are not affected by the global slowdown. We are trying to be careful in making our decisions money-wise.” With his enthusiasm, vigour and initiative, he was pretty confident of leading his company ahead. Jaswinder Kaur owns a franchisee of Aptech Ltd in Uttar Pradesh and has been imparting IT education since 1995. The company was affected by the globlal meltdown since the clients were less inclined to spend money because of insecure situations around them. The company experienced a fall of 25-30 per cent in revenues. Jaswinder said, “We are trying to cope up by concentrating more on customer service to our existing clients and having a target-focused approach in marketing. We have cut down on overhead costs and are trying to improve delivery to the existing clients. “Of course, the situation is beyond our control to a large extent, but in times like these you have to pull up
280 people including 160 engineers. Prolific Systems works as a turn-key contractor for factory automation and also imparts training on Industrial automation software. They focus on the pharma, chemicals, paint, petrochemicals and transformer manufacturing sector in India as well as abroad. They were affected by about 25 per cent since the projects slowed down. The decisions for new investments by clients were deferred. To tide over the crisis which was beyond their control, Rajeush said that their company concentrated on more value-added business applications. They started having a tight control on costs and started directing energies on big accounts (nitche areas within their basket). They did not retrench their employees. Rajeush feels that global recession should not affect our economy as it is primarily domestic growth-driven and insulated from international markets to some extent. Rajeush seems to be correct in saying that Indian markets are basically insulated to some extent. But then Indians are risk-taking and venturesome people and nowadays one can find many of our entrepreneurs entering the international market in a big way. They have already carved out a niche for themselves globally. They were temporarily affected by the global Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
guts and courage and Indians are known to have the ‘zing’ in them. The survey carried out across the length and breadth of the country proves beyond doubt that India did feel the repercussions of the worldwide depression, although not to an extent predicted at the onset of the recession. While some of the industries were more affected, and some less – the effect was there almost everywhere, either directly or indirectly. Those catering to the domestic market survived and prevailed triumphantly and the interiors of the country were less affected than the bigger cities. Those directly or indirectly involved with exports were more severely affected.
your socks and give your best to your work. We are also trying to educate our clients that it is only education and training that can sail them through hard times.” Jaswinder concluded by saying, “We are lucky that we did not face as much impact of recession as in developed countries and hopefully we would come out of it very soon. We should keep on building reserves and should have diversified business interests so that one can fall back on something if things turn bad.” Praveen Sahay’s firm is engaged in insurance broking and deals with life insurance, general insurance and mutual fund and is a 110-person strong team in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi and Rajasthan. They felt the effect quite severely in their area of work. In fact, they had to close down life operations in three locations out of the four new ventures they had started a year ago. Only one brand continued reaping profits and this saved them to some extent. They tried to rise again by concentrating on general insurance, which was not so severely affected since it is more of a necessity for individuals and firms. They also tried to regain by using cost- effective models. Says Praveen, “Too much aggression is bad. We should always build up brick by brick. Slow and steady wins the race.” He further 14
elaborated, “Recession has affected India very badly. In the life insurance industry itself, more than 25,000 people lost their jobs. We must keep our house in order and must be always careful in business expansion and in aggression for sales.” Not only are the Indians shining in India, but also excelling abroad. Their spirit, their essence, their survival instinct and their strength and courage to rise and grow even in adverse conditions makes them stand out. One such glorious example is of Dr Aparna Khare. Dr Aparna Khare started her business of Home Health Care at Boston in the USA at the time when the world was crumbling under the slump. They are actually hiring employees in the form of health aides and their company, ‘Bliss Healthcare,’ has grown to be a 50employee company and is having an expanding business. Recession has in fact made some very talented people available to them. Aparna said, “I don't think India is as impacted as the USA. Here, people are losing their jobs day and night. In the US, health-care is connected with employment and hence they are losing health-care coverage also. Too bad.” Starting business right in the heart of America at a time when one even cannot dare to think, requires real Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
Dr Aparna Khare, owner Bliss Health Care, Boston.
But most of them have taken it positively and started introspection on how they could be more profitable. They are taking concrete steps to diversify, be cost- effective and more productive and have alternate or emergency plans ready. They are taking every problem as an opportunity and marching ahead. They are all optimistic, upbeat and confident. This, combined with the patience, persistence and perseverance which Indians have always been known for, is sure to reap results and usher in and steer India into an era of more stability, strength and We steadiness.
The road ahead. By Saumitra Mohan
he East Asian Crisis of the 1990s was traced to the crony capitalism, lax financial regulations, unhindered capital mobility across borders owing to complete capital account convertibility and weak macro-financial architecture. That was the beginning of the present financial crisis. But we never learnt our lesson and when you don’t learn from the history, it does repeat itself as we are witnessing now. There was a time when the champions of neo-classical liberalism had rejoiced and celebrated the fall of communism in the late 1980s. It was reflected in the euphoric assertions of many observers and theorists including the high priest of liberal capitalism, Francis Fukuyama. Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
Fukuyama observed that history had ended with the fading of the Iron Curtain and with liberal capitalism having conclusively won the race between the two ideologies. However, all such assertions have proved to be misplaced with capitalism itself standing discredited in the light of recent developments. The raging recession in the world economy coming in the wake of the multiple bankruptcies of the industrial and financial majors the world over has proved all claims of capitalist efficiency and transparency false. Now, with the hindsight we all know that liberal capitalism as symptomised by the laissez faire economy, is definitely not the answer to all the problems afflicting this world. Had this been the case, we would not be confronting the demonic
recession as staring us in the face. Now, we know that liberal capitalism is not an unblemished and unalloyed goods; that it cannot be left completely unregulated and uncontrolled as its votaries have always championed. That unbridled capitalism is not a necessary evil and has to be tempered with suitable public regulation as might be required from time to time. How can so many actors, animated by nothing but a profit motive in an anarchic world system, be left to manipulate the system in their own interest, much to the chagrin and detriment of the larger public interest? The irresponsible behaviour of some mandarins of the American corporate houses to give generous bonuses to themselves at the expense of the common shareholders reflected the contemptuous attitude of these people. The same was rightly condemned by the world leaders including the US President Barack Hussain Obama. We, in India, have been deluding ourselves all these years believing that a larger consumer base and less dependence on the external trade will suitably insulate our domestic economy from the negative impacts of recession or stagflation. However,
many of these observers have been proved wrong. This follows a reduction in production and consequent slump in available employment opportunities. All this has had a cascading effect on our economy resulting in lower growth rates.
THE SILVER LINING
But the silver lining in all this is that a moderate growth rate has still been sustained in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, which have somehow saved the world economy from complete collapse. If the recently-released official economic survey of India is to believed, the economic growth might revive in the current financial year. It is likely to be in the region of 7 to 7.75 per cent annually which is reasonably healthy. Also, all that prime pumping and special stimulus packages, administered by the leading economies the world over, have also done their bit to revive demand and change the mood in the market. There are many who still feel that our savings should now be utilised to spur the domestic economy by increased spending. But before we can do so, the greenbacks already
THERE ARE MANY WHO STILL FEEL THAT OUR SAVINGS SHOULD NOW BE UTILISED TO SPUR THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY BY INCREASED SPENDING.
available in the economy seem to be finding very few takers. What is really surprising is the fact that notwithstanding the substantial reduction in the interest rates, the loan offtakes from the various financial and banking institutions have been very little. And this is said to be the trend the world over. In fact, all these institutions and banks have also been very cagy about extending loans. We may haul up the behaviour of our orthodox and conservative banking system, but again the same is said to have saved us from the onset of a recessionary deluge like the reckless credit extensions experienced in the West, long governed by the Basel banking norms. Also, our cautious approach to full capital account convertibility
and the opening of our banking and insurance sectors completely to foreign investments are among other factors which have spared us a fullblown recession. The recent surge of the stock markets, moderate increase in the demand of consumer goods and real estate, and improvement in other financial indicators are positive signs. This follows supportive government policies, liberal financial packages, recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission and waiving of farmers loans. However, there is a somewhat quaint observation which says that India’s so-called ‘underground’ or ‘parallel’ economy is also cushioning it from the malignant effects of the present recession. The proponents of this school believe that all this money is keeping demand afloat, thereby helping in the maintenance of a moderate growth rate.
With inflation and price of petroleum products relatively down, it has only helped common people already reeling under the negativism of a recession-hit economy. The current crisis is likely to help in weeding out the inefficient economic
players or, at least, inducing an now that the handsome domestic internal corrective mechanism among savings rate in countries like China them. The likes of Satyam and India helped in the sustenance Computers, AIG and Ford Motors of the reckless consumption levels in must derive a lesson from the crisis the US. It was this which resulted in for their continued survival in the the by now notorious ‘sub-prime system. crisis’, precursor to the present There has been a demand for financial crisis. doing away with tax havens like special economic zones (SEZs) because with increasing fiscal and revenue deficits, the government The crisis will only ratchet up if all needs more sources of revenue. However, whether the same is these creditor countries decide to advisable in the present circum - withdraw their foreign exchange stances is something which requires deposits from the US. The said withdrawal will dent and maul the a lot of reflection and rumination. There has been a demand to dollar further, thereby hurting replace the dollar with a new world everyone. A weakened US economy currency like Special Drawing Rights is said to become the nemesis for all, (SDRs) or some other currency, as thereby nixing any chance of also suggested by China. But it is economic revival or, at least, might easier said than done. We actually delay the same for a long time to seem to have got stuck in a vicious come. With the weakening of the socycle. A strong dollar, for the moment, is called Washington Consensus, the world pecking order is in our own interest. A already being restruc falling dollar may lead to THIS FOLLOWS tured wherein the US further decline of the US SUPPORTIVE might not be the sole economy to which many of GOVERNMENT supreme power. The the satellite or peripheral POLICIES, LIBERAL BRIC powers may economies are hitched and may be seriously FINANCIAL PACKAGES, come to occupy the RECOMMENDATIONS centre stage of the affected by the same. OF THE 6TH PAY world financial system, It is a public knowledge COMMISSION something that people AND like Henry Kissinger, WAIVING Kenichie Ohmae, OF FARMERS Kishore Mahbubani, LOANS. Kenneth Waltz and many others have been predicting for a long time. In the meanwhile, we need to tread like a trapeze artist to maintain a fine balance between the minimalism of liberal capitalism and the maximalism of social welfarism. The rich and successful might have seceded from the state, but the poor common people continue to be tied to the apron strings of the state. The state, instead of being rolled back, needs to continue playing Daniel to save the meek from the inscrutable and often disturbing working of the ‘invisible hand’. *The views expressed are author’s personal views and not that of the We government.
HOW THE CRISIS WILL RATCHET UP
Putting others first can be overdone. An occasional indulgence can be to everyone’s advantage!
By Dueep Jyot Singh
was at a party where the hostess was handing around the plate of delicious chocolate cakes. “Go ahead, spoil yourself!” It was a tea party of mixed generations, and I was taken aback on hearing words that I had last heard in my childhood. The lady was plump and cheerful and I began to think that her philosophy was probably the reason for her being such a perfect picture of happiness and contentment. It was not so much that she spoiled herself, but that she enjoyed spoiling other people! We hear so many warnings about spoiling children that we may be persuaded into thinking that all spoiling is wrong and will only be a reason to encourage selfishness. Nevertheless, I think there is a lot of truth in the statement, which was made by a friend of mine. She is the mother of a large and
happy family. And she said, “I do not think there is any point in having children unless you are ready to love them a lot and also spoil them.” She had certainly spoiled her children in her own way and, in return, she was completely adored by them. I noticed that they were no more selfish than other kids of their own age. But they were more content, more secure and move happy in the feeling that they were loved by their parents. Is this spoiling, this feeling of caring for somebody? Perhaps the truth of the matter is that, today, we tend to think that spoiling means giving in to every demand – or worse, to every material wish to compensate for any lack of emotional involvement. At Christmas time, you have probably seen parents hunting the toy shops and buying huge, expensive games and toys, evidently with some idea that the more costly and bigger the gift, the more they are showing their love. On the contrary, it is in the little ways that we can and should spoil our children – by giving them attention, making little treats, being on hand to listen to their problems, and kissing away their tears. The child who is deprived of the parents’ presence and love, can never be compensated by some expensive gift. Love is not something that can be bought at some toy shop.
pride and pleasure in having a spickand-span house and perfectly wellbehaved children, they may some times begin to feel a little sorry for themselves, although they have only themselves to blame. If you allow a sense of duty to the family to take over any sense of duty to yourself, if you become a slave to their interests leaving yourself with no time and energy to develop your own interests, then you will wake up one day to find that the children are growing up and will need you less. In addition, the life that you have spent sacrificing, with all the work and no play, has made you a dull woman! One family that I know, wisely tried to check this tendency to selfsacrifice in their mother. Just like any other indulgent mother, she often made comments like, “You children can have the fresh cream. I will eat my dessert plain.” How often have we heard this sort of self-sacrificing statements by any of our relatives! In fact, this is some sort of indulgence which I think is just a way of patting yourself on your back complacently to tell everybody how good you are and make them feel really guilty. These mischievous little children made a gold crown and, whenever she made such a self-sacrificing
OF COURSE, MANY MOTHERS – INDEED, MOST WOMEN – REALLY PUT THE WELFARE OF THEIR FAMILIES ABOVE THEIR OWN. BUT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG IN SPOILING YOURSELF OCCASIONALLY.
At the same time, I think grownups need a little of the right kind of spoiling too and if there is no one to do this for you, you should do it for yourself! I know some mothers who make such a production out of looking after their families that they do not leave themselves a moment for their own enjoyment. They never go out on their own or with their own friends because they are so busy shopping, cleaning, cooking, washing and sewing. In fact, they are perfectly happy making martyrs of themselves and glory in the thought of being so unselfish. Although they can rightly take 24 Woman’s Era
statement, they would bring it out and put it up on her head. This martyr’s crown was a funny enough idea, which laughed her out of her habit of self-denial and – amazingly enough – her family loved her even more when she also started giggling at this absurd idea. Of course, many mothers – indeed, most women – really put the welfare of their families above their own. But there is nothing wrong and much good to be had from spoiling yourself occasionally. Where does it say that it is wrong or a sin to look at your favourite TV programme, which you never manage to see because you have been outvoted by your family and, naturally, you gave in to their wishes first? You may have longed to spend some savings on some cherished outing. But you have always given into a member of the family’s demand to do something different. My mother
September (Second) 2009
“WELL, MOTHER IS DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO EAT THIS ICE CREAM BECAUSE, WHENEVER WE ASK HER IF SHE WANTS SOME, SHE ALWAYS SAYS, ‘OH, NO, MY CHILDREN.’“
never got to see Hatari in the theatre when I was a kid because they, her spoilt brat – meaning me – did not want to go and waste my precious time sitting in a theatre and dad decided that children’s wishes counted more than those of their parents’. It was only 30 years later, when I bought a DVD, that my mother and I managed to see it and enjoy it thoroughly. After all, parents needed a bit of occasional spoiling too, she would never have thought of buying Hatari! Now, taking for example, you have some talent, skill or hobby, which you long to pursue. (Remember Shashikala in Khoobsoorat who gave up dancing because she had a family to take care of?) But you have so many other demands upon your time that you can never fulfil your special bent. There may even be some friends of yours who for some reason the rest of the family do not get on with. Therefore, you do not invite them around. All this selflessness, although admirable to some extent, is not always to everyone’s benefit. It can tend to make a woman feel that she scarcely exists in her own right, but she is merely the reflection of her family’s demands. Moreover, it would not only do her good to know that she is a separate person with her own identity and talents and interests it will prove to the rest of the family that she is someone special on her own account. The family should learn to respect her wishes, to consider her comforts her convenience, her pleasure, and not to take her for granted or confuse her willing devotion to servitude. Taking for example other women without an immediate family around, who nevertheless find that all their waking hours are taken up with fulfilling other people’s demands. It is time to call a halt, and step off the not-so-merry-go-round.
Indeed, I believe it is essential to do so and, if there is no one handy to spoil you, that you owe it to yourself to spoil yourself a little now and then! When I was away from my family, I used to feel homesick and unpampered until I discovered a method of spoiling myself by going to a different eating place in the city every Saturday. It was a thing to look forward to, an opportunity to sample the various cuisines of the world and, most of all, spoil myself. In this manner, I found that I enjoyed starting a new week on Monday in a state of Monday-morning cheer instead of Monday-morning blues.
Remember that any selfsacrificing martyr who has a “What a good girl am I” complex soon finds that she is taken for granted by every body around her. She is encouraging people to become selfish, by saying subconsciously, “Well, mother is definitely not going to eat this ice-cream because, when ever we ask her if she wants some, she always says, ‘Oh, no, my children. I made this specially for you. I don’t mind not eating it.’” They will soon reach a stage when they decide that they will not need to ask you about your own dreams and aspirations and wants and desires, and that is where a real element of selfishness and carelessness will come into their relationship with you. So economy, making do, putting others first, going without – these are all admirable and, for most of the time, as unavoidable as they are commendable but we cannot always be good all the time. I think that not only would we seem inhuman if we did achieve it but also we would become unlikeable as well. So, if we admit and indulge in a little selfishness occasionally and admit to a few demands of our own which need to be fulfilled, we will find ourselves happier, more fulfilled, not any less good but much more likeable if we learned to spoil ourselves as well as We spoil others.
When a circus performer is exposed to “real” life...
By PVV Satyanarayana
We Aren’t Humans!
wanted to go to his natural habitat to relocate himself and to relate to his own race. He roamed and roamed about – for how many days, he was not sure – in search of a safe haven and food too! Dodging people and their attention, all the time. At last, he could enter a dense forest, fully tired and forlorn. He was so exhausted out of hunger and travel that he was unable to move any further. He drank water from a pond and settled down beside it, hoping that some animal would show up to quell his hunger. He was happy, though, that he could reach his natural habitat ultimately. Meanwhile, some animals of the jungle happened to spot the circus lion and they promptly carried the exciting news to their King Lion. “A stranger has entered the kingdom apparently with a view to dislodge you as the king of this jungle. He is presently camping by the side of the pool. He must be waiting to pounce on you the moment you went there for drinking water,” said the wolf, the king’s adviser.
verybody was talking of ‘recession’ these days. Whatever it meant! He could not understand a word. He – the circus lion! He was with the circus company for five years now, performing the same stupid act show after the show. In the beginning it was quite exciting as the audience, especially the children, roared with exhilaration and applause at the very sight of him. Then came the so-called recession – the recession of enthusiasm – as the trainer did not seem to know new tricks to sustain the thrills and interest of the audience. He continued with the same feats over the years. This had started boring the lion himself. He became sick of performing the same thing again and again every day. Added to this, was the cutting down of his food rations, in the name of recession, which made him quite unhappy. “How could these men expect me to work with a half-filled stomach?” he mused. He had neither the mind nor will to perform with hunger. He faltered in his feats quite often and became the butt of ridicule and anger. The result was the punishment meted out by the trainer and complete starvation. This made him even more furious. He wanted to eat up the whole lot – the men, women and the other animals in the circus company. As a revenge! But, then, he did not want to harm them. For, he lived and grew up with them. In their company. As a single family! The lion, however, decided to leave the circus company. It was a painful decision, though. He wanted to be free and earn his own food…and to get away before the recession devil visited him too. So, one day, he somehow managed to escape from the clutches of the circus company. Coming out of the protected shell, the lion did not know where to go in that concrete jungle. He
his had perplexed the King Lion. He brooded over it for a while. “Let us go and confront him before he made the first move. He would pay with his life if he really nurtured such a sinister ambition.” Thus saying, he roared his way through towards the pond, eagerly followed by his coterie. The King Lion saw the circus lion from a distance. “He looks like a city-bred one, oh king! cautioned the wolf. I mean, the one belonging to the zoo maintained by the human beings. We have to be very careful with him, for he is sure to have acquired all the human traits.” The King Lion nodded thoughtfully and stared at the dishevelled appearance of the circus lion. He noticed that the stranger was very weak and sported
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
circus lion asked the king, “I am overwhelmed, my a hungry looks as if he had not eaten for days. “It is friend. In fact, I was expecting a certain death at not difficult to overpower the enemy, if he dared to your hands.” indulge himself in any misadventure,” he told “What made you to think so?” asked the king, himself. But the very appearance of the intruder surprised. made it doubtful. “My being an intruder, it would be quite natural The circus lion too stared at the King Lion and his for anyone in your place to suspect my intentions, bunch. He could know by his very looks that the prompting him to eliminate me.” other was the king of that jungle. Suddenly, he became aware of the danger he had led himself t this, the King Lion roared with laughter. into. He was a stranger to the jungle, coming from “There is a defect in your thinking, my friend. the city. The king could very well mistake him to be It is not your fault, of course. It is your long his adversary intending to grab his kingdom. So the association with the humans that is responsible for king would not hesitate for a moment to kill him, your flawed thinking. We are not the humans to kill especially as he was so vulnerable by his pitiful one another out of selfishness and without a state… He wanted to dispel the misgivings, if any, reason,” he asserted, with a smile. “We are and reassure the King Lion that he was not a threat animals. The sensible lot that does not to him. But he was hardly able to speak resort to eliminating the opponents for due to weakness. nothing. We do not exploit one The King Lion As the King Lion approached him another...like the human beings.” majestically, the circus lion was sure that nodded The circus lion listened with awe. He he was going to be killed. He cursed thoughtfully recalled people at the circus company himself, for the first time, for leaving the and stared at often talking about the persons displaced circus family. the disheveled from their native states due to famine, But the King Lion did not attack him as appearance of floods or terror attacks, seeking feared. He sat beside the visitor and the circus lion. rehabilitation in the other states of the enquired about him, and the reasons for He noticed that country…and the inhabitants of these his pitiable condition. The circus lion the stranger states grumbling over it! narrated his whole story and assured him was very weak “Your words are very true, my friend,” that he was not an enemy. and sported a said he, embracing the King Lion hungry looks as gratefully. aking pity on him, the King Lion at We if he had not once ordered for food and drinks for the visitor. He then asked him to be eaten for days. his guest, and assured him that the latter could even settle down in his kingdom, if he liked to. The circus lion was pleasantly surprised. For he had feared the worst, but the diametrically opposite had occurred. He thanked the king who took him to his palace, rendered medical aid through the royal doctor, and advised him to rest till he recuperated. Damn pleased by the hospitality, the
HOW TO NEGOTIATE DURING THE
In these tough times if you get a job offer be discreet about your salary expectation. By Suman Bajpai
etting a job during these troubled times is a boon in itself. Do not blow away the opportunity by asking for an astronomical salary. Analyse each component of your salary carefully and ask for what you are really worth. In the midst of the recession crisis, if you have got a job offer in hand, you are fortunate. But you have to be very careful about negotiating your salary. There is so much competition out there that even a small mistake can lead you to the loss of opportunity. Companies have become very rigid about salaries and as such, their paying capacity has gone down. Planning and preparation should be done much in advance for success, more so
for freshers. In most cases, starting salaries are almost fixed with not much scope for negotiation. Also, freshers lack of industry experience and exposure act as a restraint for the employer. Negotiation is a skill that you perfect over time. But, at this time, even applying this skill may put you in trouble. Be logical and you will definitely get what you deserve.
During recession both you and your organisation are facing challenges. Today’s negotiations directly and immediately impact your business and perhaps your career. If you are already working in your organisation for a long time, remember to keep a tab on the company’s financials so that you can talk about the raise smoothly. Good people are always in demand, recession or not. So, you can always look out when your demands aren’t met and you know you’re good at your work. If you are a fresher follow some tips before negotiating a better salary for yourself. Avoid revealing your minimum salary requirement too early. Remember, information is power, and the earlier you provide this information, the less scope
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
you’ll have for negotiating later. Even if the employer asks for a salary history or salary requirement early in the interview process, remain as reserved as possible. Only begin this discussion once you get the job offer, and are in a bargaining position.
TIPS TO COPE WITH ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
Start planning ahead: If you feel you're doing all right financially, then plan ahead for the possibility that things take a turn for the worse. And if you're already suffering financially, then start thinking about how to handle it if it lasts longer or gets worse. Know your income and expenses: There are many of us who know how much we bring home in pay and other sources of income. But lots don’t realise how much they’re spending on things. Make an accurate list of what you take in (income) and exactly what you spend it on (expenses). And track all your expenses. Eat at home: You can save a big chunk of your salary by cooling and eating at home. Eating in the restaurants or buying packed food can really make a hole in your pocket. And if you buy the grocery in bulk, that will save you even more money. Prepare budget: Budget all your expenditure. Shift from your comfort seat and monitor that budget thoroughly. Do not postpone holidays, just budget for them so you can enjoy them
without worrying or upsetting your financial plans.
Know your real worth: Invest time in researching about salaries earned by people from a similar background in your industry and the company you are going to join. Research will help you understand the salary trends that your industry is witnessing after recession and calculate your real worth. This will give you an idea about what salary you can ask for and expect to get. Be reasonable in your demands. Be courteous and polite: Your negotiating should be done respectfully and thoughtfully whilst upholding your worthiness. Don’t get aggressive or act stubborn at any cost. Ensure that your timing is perfect: Do not start negotiating as soon as you get the offer. Starting your negotiation as soon as you get the offer makes you look impulsive. Take some time from the recruiter to analyse the offer. This will give you time to think about the offer. Focus on the complete package: Instead of just focusing on the in-hand salary or gross salary, look at the complete package without any prejudice. There may be many other benefits that may make up for a lesser in-hand salary than you expected. It is quite possible that the company may not be ready to pay too much cash in these critical times. If the company is not ready to move after a certain point, you can try negotiating on the benefits to get a better overall package. Stay in your limits: If your expectations are too high, the company may just decide not to hire you. Similarly, also understand that
Avoid Using Credit card: Credit cards have a huge rate of interest, thus you may end paying 2-3 times the amount taken by you. Avoid using cards as much as possible. Reduce phone bills: Chatting online is also a good option, it is cheap as well as inexpensive. This will help reduce your phone bills. Save more: Concentrate on saving rather than spending. Always remember a penny saved is a penny earned. Choose your investment options wisely after careful investigation, if possible invest in gold, property, etc. Shop Wisely: Go shopping and enjoy but don’t forget checking out for sale options before going shopping. It will help you shop at lesser price without compromising on quality. Rationalise your debt: Pay off loans with maximum interest component. If a loan has a small outstanding principal, try and pay it off in total.
internship isn’t enough. Some extra experience or expertise can help in negotiation. But mostly companies will have to train you and make you proficient. Hence, negotiating isn’t the best of thing to do when you’re just out of college with no experience or additional skills.
companies are in a cost cutting mode and paying too much will be out of the question for them. Do not act difficult. Be firm but know the limits.
Extra experience: Only a Bachelor’s degree and some
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
Be professional: Always keep in mind that at the end of the day, you and your employer both want to feel like you’ve got a good deal. When negotiating, always remain professional. Make requests and suggestions, and be willing to consent to certain points to show We your cooperativeness.
Whatever I do my kajal bleeds and comes onto my cheeks. I love wearing the natural kajal in the eyes and don’t understand why this is happening, I used to do it when I lived in Canada and it was not a problem. What should I do? If you have always used the same product which is now bleeding it must
be the weather change. Maybe your kajal pencil is oil based. There are some lighter formulations available in the market. Try a more dry version. Or opt for surma which is powder based. Alternatively, you could even seal it in with eyeliner. I have very brittle hair and a very, very dry scalp. I need to oil it twice a week and the oil just vanishes! I was told that I could use shea butter – is that right? Yes, if your hair is indeed very dry you can use pure shea butter. Many beauty products for the hair and skin, moisturising creams etc use shea butter but in its pure form it is heavy and very moisturising and hence you will have to start with a small quantity and wash it off after an hour or so. I am only 19 and my mother insists on feeding me a lot of amla in every form. I was wondering if it is used in beauty treatments as well. Yes, amla powder mixed with
shikakai is wonderful for the hair. Good old homes used to mix it with soapnut (reetha) water to make an instant shampoo. You could even mix amla powder in your face pack and especially if you have oily skin. Amla is good in vitamin C content and can be used in beauty regimes too.
I am 22 and although I have decent hair on my head it seems my eyebrows were never there. My grandmother was Japanese and this may be the reason though I don’t look Japanese at all. Can this be rectified? Yes, it can be rectified by permanent grafting. However do opt for a natural look that fits your face and body type, and it should not look artificial. Speak to a good doctor and ask him to provide a temporary look with a stick-on style which can be removed every day before you get used to it and decide what you want.
How did two IT engineers after losing their jobs face the downturn?
By Sumathy Mohan
“No, it is more than a month now. They were never like that. Why don’t you call them yourself? I am very worried” “I called them several times on their home phone and mobiles but got no response. I am also equally worried. Anyway I will wait for two more days and go to Bangalore myself this weekend and find out what the problem is. Now you don’t worry. I have a meeting with the collector regarding a proposal. So keep my food ready “ “It is ready. You wash your feet and hands and come to the dining hall.” Saying this, she went to the back garden to bring a fresh banana leaf which Sundaram used in the place of plates. He always liked the aroma coming from the leaf when hot food was served on it. Sundaram had two sons who stayed with him until they got B Tech degrees in IT. During their school and college days, they used to work with their father in the paddy field and other gardens. Once his elder son Ganesh finished his 12th standard he insisted on doing engineering in IT and his younger brother Senthil followed him.
akshmi, bring me some water to drink…My goodness it is very hot!” exclaimed Sundaram as he entered his mansion in Poongudi village near Trichy, Tamil-Nadu. He was one of the landlords with a huge expanse of land where he cultivated rice, grains and pulses. Apart from that, he had flower gardens from which he sent flowers to many places in India, Singapore, Malaysia, etc. He had banana, coconut and palm trees and vegetables and owned a rice mill and an oil mill. He also owned 28 cows and 30 buffaloes and supplied milk to many hotels and hospitals in and around Trichy and Madurai. He was very forward in his thinking, installed a biogas plant for his home kitchen, and used organic fertiliser for his field. He was one of the rarest of landlords who took good care of his labourers and their families. Lakshmi brought a glass of cool water from the mud pot. She knew he never drank fridge water. “Lakshmi was there any call from our sons?”
hough Sundaram wanted his sons to do a degree in agriculture or commerce, which would have been very helpful for his affairs, he did not stand in the ways of his kids. Especially Senthil was very good in agriculture and sometimes came out with brilliant plans. It was his idea to start cultivating fruits, vegetables and flowers apart from rice and pulses. Sundaram also hoped that at least Senthil would not leave him and lend a helping hand to his activities. But, after seeing his elder brother’s city life, Senthil also got attracted to it. Both finished their degrees and joined IT companies in Bangalore. Sundaram sat down on the floor to eat the piping hot tasty food served by Lakshmi, praising her culinary talent as always. “Your hand deserves a golden bangle each day for such tasty food. Lakshmi, why not start a hotel in Trichy under your supervision?” “Why? You want me also to be away from home all the time like you do? Our sons have decided not
to come back to the village, so who will look after all these things once you grow old? Now enough of business. Finish your food without business talk. Will you have your favourite bittergourd sambhar once more? “ “No I will eat it at night. Now I am in a hurry….. Hmmm…’ he sighed. “How many times have I told our sons to study something suitable for our family and business. But no, they wouldn’t listen. They wanted to work in big offices, go abroad, go to work in big cars etc. But am I not doing all that without working in a big office? Didn’t I take you on a vacation to Malaysia and Singapore? I travel more often to these places than our sons do. Now when I hear about recession, slowdown, lay off etc. I do not know whether they landed themselves in big problems and are not letting us know about it. Anyway, I am leaving for Bangalore by car this Saturday along with our manager Ramu if I don’t hear from them before that.” He finished his lunch and left for the collector’s office.
on you to bring some good news about them.” “Please don’t worry, amma. I will see to it that sir will not lose his temper. Please take care of yourself. Nothing would have happened to Ganesh anna and Senthil thampi.” “Take this box. I have made some athirasam for Ganesh and mysorepak for Senthil. I did not have the time to make anything else.” “Okay, amma, I will hand these over to them. sir, shall we start?” “Yes, Ramu” As they were about to leave the house a car came and halted in their portico. Ganesh and Senthil got down from it and touched the feet of their parents in respect. Both Sundaram and Lakshmi could not believe their eyes. “Arre Ganesh, Senthil? You two?” Lakshmi pinched herself “Am I dreaming? Come, come. Come inside. Appa is about to start for Bangalore to enquire about you.” Sundaram was also very relieved to see amu was born and brought up in the his sons in flesh and blood, and his anger In the next city. But always wanted to work in disappeared at once like dew that two days, paddy fields. The velvet green paddy disappears at the first stroke of the sunray. Sundaram fields always fascinated him. He also had Both of them came inside and sat down tried several a short-tern training in agriculture in an and started drinking the hot filtered coffee times American university. He shifted base to made by Lakshmi. frantically to Poongudi and started working under Ganesh cleared his throat, “Appa, sorry contact his Sundaram and learnt a lot under his we should have talked to you before. But we sons. He guidance. He also helped Sundaram in all were ashamed of not listening to your words could not his activities. of wisdom. The software company I started sleep properly In the next two days, Sundaram tried myself with went into the doldrums with the and just several times frantically to contact his sons. global recession. Unfortunately I dragged could not He could not sleep properly and just could thambi (younger brother) also into it a year concentrate not concentrate on his work. It was the ago. Whatever we made just got washed on his work. same with Lakshmi too. Whenever the away and we had to shut shop. We were phone rang she rushed from the kitchen looking for jobs and were thinking of only to be disappointed. Ramu, who was entering informing you after we got one. But with recession, all the accounts and other details on their computer, getting decent job has also become very difficult.’ was also very upset to see the plight of the worried Senthil continued parents. Sundaram had installed a computer on the “So we decided to come back home and join you insistence of Ramu and loaded all the data about the in business. Last time when I came here, I noticed all paddy field, milk distribution, accounts of rice and the development in our village like good roads, oil mills in it. Senthil also praised Ramu very much communication facility, bank etc. That time itself I for installing a computer. decided if something happens to our business, I will Sundaram got himself ready to leave for come and join you. So, when anna could not run the Bangalore on Saturday morning. Ramu got their show I told him about this. He also agreed to it. Innova ready and readied himself for the long drive When we ourselves can give work to many people, ahead. Lakshmi made idiappam and coconut milk why should we work for somebody else. So we came for their breakfast. She started advising Sundaram back home. Maybe just to keep my IT knowledge as she was worried that he should not shout at their alive I may start a computer class later in our village sons. and spread computer education to our village “Please you be patient do not shout at them. Maybe children. Ramu, what say you? like my idea, na.” they have some genuine reason for not taking our All the three, Ramu, Sundaram and Lakshmi, said calls. Ramu, please take care of sir. I am depending “YES” in one voice. We
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
TEEN ACHE TEEN C E H
I am a 19-year-old college girl in a big dilemma. Two years ago I fell in love with a boy and promised to marry him after he got settled in life. Last year, he left for the Middle East to earn a living. We have plans to marry in 2010. Last month, I was introduced to a friend’s brother and it was love at first sight for both of us. At the same time I am confused and unhappy, for I do not want to ditch my first friend for no fault of his own. I haven’t told him anything. What should I do? Forget the second boy and keep my promise, or choose my happiness with the second boy? If you are convinced that the second boy is your soul mate you must confess everything to your fiance and ask him to release you from your promise. Sympathy and guilt are not good reasons for continuing with your original suitor. This will cause resentment and bitterness in your mind later on when you remember what you have given up. However, you may have fallen for the second boy only because you are lonely and have been away from your betrothed for a long time. Once you meet him again, all your feelings for him could come rushing back. Do not take any step right away, but wait till you meet your fiance again. This will help you sort out your real feelings clearly. Even if you think you love the second boy, keep your distance from him, and do not make any promises till you are really sure. Woman’s Era
Q & A
I am in a real dilemma. We had an essay-writing competition in our school six months ago, and my best friend won the first prize, which was Rs 1000. Everyone congratulated her for her great effort. Last week, she told me privately that she had taken the whole piece from some obscure website on the Internet. I was shocked and horrified but she assured me no one would ever be able to find out, and she promised me to secrecy. I wish she had not told me. I am now burdened with guilt, and I especially feel sorry for the runner-up girl in the competition, who had really written a very good essay. If I blow the lid on my friend, I will create a big mess – which even the teachers may hate to deal with! What should I do? Since a whole six months have passed since the competition, it is best to keep quiet about the unpleasant business. Stop feeling guilty for the onus of checking the authenticity of the contributions lay on the teachers. How can you be certain too that your friend has indeed lifted the piece from the Internet? She might be bluffing in a bid to scandalise you. It is true that creating an unpleasant controversy now could do more harm than good.You should however make it clear to your friend that you are ashamed of her and disapprove strongly of what she has done. Let her not feel that you condone her cheating. In fact, you can show your disgust by distancing yourself from her. When she feels remorse and guilt, your work is done. 40
My boyfriend and I are both 16 years old and classmates in class 12. We go on dates often, to the cinema or on outings. We love each other a lot and he has promised to marry me when we are older, and I have agreed. For some time now, he is asking me to have sex with him, but I have refused. My friends advise me to start taking the pill, for it will keep me safe from pregnancy anytime we do decide to become intimate. My query is whether it is safe to be on the pill for long periods of time, or will it cause me to become infertile in later years. Can I buy the contraceptive off the counter? Please advise. Ideally, you should not have sex at such a young age as you could throw yourself open to many infections. It could give you a bad reputation, and also make you feel unhappy and used once your boyfriend decides to move on. At this age, you cannot expect him to have any real plans to marry you later on, can you? However, you should definitely not run the risk of pregnancy, and the pill is a safe preventive. It is best you get it prescribed by a gynaecologist for some brands, may be contraindicative for some women. Being on the pill will not cause infertility in later years. The pill will not safeguard you against sexually transmitted diseases, HIV or AIDS, unless your partner uses the condom. It is advisable not to be sexually active during the teens, but if you are, it is imperative that you use methods to prevent pregnancy and avoid infections.
September (Second) 2009
Rice needs vegetables and curries to go down well. But the same rice cooked exquisitely can titillate your taste.
By Roma Ghosh
METHOD Mix the besan with one and a half cups of water and then add salt and red chilli powder to taste. Blend well into a thick paste. Heat a non-stick pan and pour a ladle full of the besan mixture and swirl the pan so that the batter spreads into a circle. Sprinkle oil around the chilla and cook on low fire turning once so that both the sides are cooked. Place a portion of the filling in the middle of the chilla and fold over. Prepare all the chillas in this way. Serve hot with achar or ketchup.
washed (white section only) (optional) 1/ tsp ginger minced 2 1/ tsp garlic minced 2 2 tbsp cabbage shredded 50 gm mushrooms chopped 75 gm sprouted beans 3 green chillies chopped 2 tbsp soya sauce 1/ tbsp white pepper powder 2 salt to taste
RICE AND BESAN CHILLA
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup besan 1 tbsp of rice powder 1/ tsp of red chilli powder or 4 more ghee or oil to fry the chillas salt to taste For the filling: 1 cup of rice pulao – you can use leftover rice or any flavoured rice or any preparation of rice for the filling
RICE STUFFED SPRING ROLLS
INGREDIENTS: For cover: 250 gm all-purpose flour (maida) 1 egg salt to taste For filling: 1 cup cooked long grained rice 1 carrot grated 1 cup leeks shredded and well
METHOD How to make spring roll: Sift the flour and add salt, egg and water and make a smooth batter. Heat little oil in a flat non-stick pan and add enough batter so that it covers the base of the pan. Cook both sides of the pancake till golden. Repeat the same till whole batter is utilized. To make the filling heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a wok, add ginger, garlic and mushrooms, stir fry for 10 to 15 seconds. Add leeks and stir-fry for about 1 minute, then add carrots, cabbage and cook tossing the vegetables until they are crisptender. Add the bean sprouts, salt,
September (Second) 2009
pepper and soya sauce, cook stirring for 2 minutes. Now mix in the cooked rice and set aside the filling to cool. To make the spring rolls place 2-3 tbsp of the filling in the centre of each pancake. Fold in the sides and form a tight roll, sealing the edge with a little flour and water paste. Deep-fry in hot oil until golden.
INGREDIENTS: 1 apple 1 pear 1 sweet mango 3 tbsp of cashew (broken cashews) 2 tsp of oil 1/ cup of cream 2 1 cup milk 1 cup long-grained rice 2 tsp of ghee 1 piece of cinnamon – 1/2 inch 2 cloves 1 cardamom salt to taste METHOD To prepare the fruit mixture: Cut the apple and pear into halves and core without peeling cut into thick strips. Peel the mango and cut into strips. Grind the cashews into a wet paste. Heat the oil and fry the cashew paste for a minute. Mix in the milk and add the fruits and allow the fruits to simmer in the gravy for 23 minutes. Mix in the cream and
heat gently but do not boil. Put off the heat and keep this mixture aside. 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 water and salt to taste. Allow the rice and water to come to a boil. 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 prepared fruit mixture and lower the heat and cover with a lid and cook till all the water has been evaporated. Serve hot
and keep aside. Heat the ghee and fry the broccoli florets till 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 cooked lobiya 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.
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup long-grained rice 2 tsp of ghee 1/ cup of pulses – you can use 2 small-sized lobiya or any other pulses like lobiya or chana 1 piece of cinnamon – 1/2 inch 2 cloves 1 cardamom salt to taste METHOD Soak the lobiya overnight and then boil in salted water till just tender. Drain out all the excess water and keep the lobiya aside. Soak the rice in water for 10 minutes. Drain out excess water
CABBAGE AND RICE FRITTERS
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup grated cabbage 1 cup cooked rice 2 tsp of cornflour 1/ tsp of cinnamon powder 4 1/ tsp or more of pepper powder 2 oil for frying salt to taste METHOD Mix all the ingredients except the oil in a mixing bowl. Mash and mix well with your fingers. Heat enough oil for deep frying and drop portions of the mixture as you fry pakoras or fritters. Make a few fritters at a time. Allow these to fry on medium heat a few at a time, turning once or twice till crispy and golden brown. Serve hot as a starter. We
Courtesy: India Gate Basmati Rice New Delhi. Ph: 011-26548400
Savour the taste of Goa and Central India.
By Roma Ghosh
For accompaniment: lemon rice METHOD Wash the chicken with vinegar, rub lemon juice, salt and turmeric powder on the chicken & keep aside for 10 minutes. Roast the coconut and all the spices in a pan in little oil until brown and then grind them into a smooth paste with a little water & keep aside. Heat oil in a pan; add the ground spice paste, green chilies and onions. Saute on medium flame until they turn brown, add the chicken, coconut, nutmeg and salt to taste along with tamarind pulp. Reduce to simmer and add ¾ cup water, stir cooking and then increase the heat and toss the pan gently and cook until the masala coats the chicken and oil rises to the top, add honey & cook
AND THE OTHER CUISINE
INGREDIENTS: 350 gm chicken (boneless) medium sized pieces 2 tbsp vinegar to wash coconut 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp honey 1/ tsp turmeric powder 2 salt to taste For spice masala paste: 1 tbsp oil 1/ cup coconut milk 2 2 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp poppy seeds 10-15 dried red chillies 3-4 star aniseeds 1 tsp fennel seeds little water 2-3 tbsp oil 3 green chillies chopped onions finely chopped pinch of nutmeg powder 2 tbsp tamarind pulp 3/ cup water 4 1 tbsp honey For garnishing: freshly grated coconut
for a minute. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving plate & garnish with freshly grated coconut and serve hot with lemon rice. Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes
INGREDIENTS: 400 gm medium prawns oil to shallow fry salt to taste 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp honey 1/ tbsp turmeric powder 2
BAFORI KI SUBZI
INGREDIENTS: 200 gm dal moong chhilka 100 gm ghee 100 gm onion 100 gm tomato 50 gm garlic-ginger paste salt to taste coriander powder turmeric powder red chilli powder METHOD Soak dal in water for two hours and afterwards wash and make thick paste. Put sufficient water in handi and cover the handi with muslin cloth for steaming. Make small balls or pakoras
Bafori ki subzi
For vinegar & spice paste: 3 tbsp vinegar 10-12 garlic cloves crushed 1 piece ginger chopped 7-8 dried red chilies 1/ tsp cumin seed 2 1/ tsp mustard seed 2 pinch of sugar 1 tbsp shrimp paste 1/ cup onion finely chopped 2 3/ cup tomato puree 4
METHOD Clean the prawns, pat-dry, rub salt, lemon juice & turmeric powder - keep aside. Grind all ingredients for paste until smooth. Heat oil in frying pan, shallow fry the prawns until golden brown. Saute onions until golden brown and add the puree and water. Cook 2-3 minutes and add the vinegar and spice paste. Cook and stir-fry for 2 minutes then add prawns and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes tossing the pan gently. Remove from heat, garnish with lemon wedges & serve hot with fried or steamed rice. Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes
mixed sprout 2-3 green chilies sliced fresh coconut grated 1 tbsp oil 1/ tsp mustard seeds 2 few curry leaves 1 tbsp tamarind paste 1/ tsp turmeric powder 2 3/ tsp sambhar powder 4 2/ dry red chillies 3 pinch of asafoetida (hing) 1 tbsp honey salt to taste For accompaniment: mix rice and pappad METHOD Transfer the moong or mixed sprouts in a deep pan with enough water to cover them, add green chillies and cook on medium heat until soft. Mix half of the grated coconut with tamarind paste and turmeric powder. Add this masala to the moong along with sambhar masala and salt, bring to boil and add the juice of grated coconut. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, chilies, stir nicely and pour into the moong and mix well, garnish with remaining grated coconut and serve hot with mix rice and pappad. Time : 15 minutes Cooking time: 30 mins. Chefs: Dina, Vijay & Xavier
(sprouted moong cooked in light coconut gravy)
INGREDIENTS: 250 gm sprouted moong dal or
and place on top of muslin cloth and cook to steam. Put oil in a pan, add ghee, when hot add onion. When onion gets a brown colour add garlicginger paste and tomato paste. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt as per taste, cook for few minutes till the gravy is made and mix pakoras and garnish with fresh coriander, serve hot.
INGREDIENTS: 250 gm carrots diced – cut into small pieces 150 gm diced, stringed French beans 150 gm cauliflower florets 90 gm skinned almonds 75 gm whole cashew nut 55 gm raisins 2 tbsp of onion which have been browned in oil 300 gm ghee 2 bay leaf 5 clove 10 black pepper corn 8 small cardamom 2 onions chopped 80 gm garlic-ginger paste 300 gm curd prepared out of full cream milk 10 gm red chilli powder 5 gm turmeric powder 20 gm coriander powder 1 kg basmati rice 2 gm saffron 5-6 green chilli 3-4 tomatoes quartered 35 gm ginger julienne 60 gm chopped mint 60 gm chopped coriander leaves a few drops kewra essence salt to taste METHOD Heat fat in a handi. Add whole garam masala and allow to
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
INGREDIENTS: 200 gm Broccoli 200 gm cauliflower 2-3 tsp of mustard oil two onions two tomatoes 2 tsp of garlic paste 1 tbsp of coriander seeds 1 tsp of black pepper 1 tsp of amchoor 2 tsp of kasoori methi
METHOD Cook onion on medium heat in mustard oil. Add garlic paste till it turns golden, add coriander seeds and the rest of the spices and cook for two minutes. Reduce to medium heat and add chopped tomato, broccoli and cauliflower. Cook till the vegetables are tender but not over cooked. Sprinkle kasoori methi and serve hot. Chef: Mr. Kashmir Chand The Orchha Resort Kanchanghat, Orchha Madhya Pradesh
crackle. Add the sliced onions and cook till they turn into a brown colour. Now add the ginger - garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and cook for 5-6 minutes stirring from time to time. Mix in all the vegetables in the masala, and stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes and then remove from the fire. Cook the rice in salted water till just tender but not fully cooked. Drain out all the water and keep aside. To assemble the biriyani: Divide the rice into three portions and also the vegetables. Place one portion of the rice in a thick bottomed pan. On the rice place a portion of the vegetables and the coriander and fried onions. Make the second layer with the remaining rice, vegetables and garnish. Cover with a lid and seal the lid with atta (wheat dough) and place in a pre heated oven for 1215 minutes or until the rice is tender.
INGREDIENTS: 1 kg blanched, peeled arbi (colocasia) 2 tsp of ginger paste 2 tsp of garlic paste 3 tbsp of ghee 2 green chilli 1/ tsp of small cardamom 2 powder 3-4 strands of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp of milk 1 tsp of white pepper powder 150 ml refined oil 1 tsp of chat masala 2 tbsp of hung curd 1 tsp of kassori methi 6-8 strands of mint leaves 1 tsp of garam masala powder salt to taste METHOD Heat 300 ml of water and add salt to taste and also add the haldi powder. Add the peeled arbhi and allow to simmer in the hot water
for 3-4 minutes. Drain and keep aside and allow the arbi to cool and then with the tip of a knife or a fork just make light insertions on each of the arbhi. Make a marinade by mixing hung curd, saffron, ginger garlic paste and the ghee. Place in a mixing bowl and add the arbi to this marinate. Mix well so that each of the arbi is coated with the marinade. Leave aside for 3 hours in this marinade. Place the arbi on skewers and cook in a tandoor turning from time to time and basking with a little oil from time to time. Remove from the skewers and sprinkle the garam masala powder, chaat masala, white pepper powder and lemon juice and coriander leaves and kasorie methi. Serve hot with mint chutney.
HARA SHAMMI KEBAB
INGREDIENTS: 100 gm carrots 150 gm beans
50 gm green peas 50 gm cauliflower 100 gm babycorn 10 gm ginger chopped 15 gm garlic chopped 2-3 green chillies chopped 2 onions chopped 2 cups of spinach, shredded and washed 100 gm channa dal 80 gm roasted channa dal powder 1 inch piece cinnamon 3 black cardamom 2-3 red chilli powder 2 tsp of garam masala powder 1 tsp of haldi powder salt to taste 3 tbsp of ghee METHOD Heat the ghee in a thick bottomed pan and add the whole garam masala and allow to splutter. Now mix in the chopped onion, garlic, ginger green chillies and fry till the onions are translucent. Wash and cut all the vegetables and add at this stage. Cook on low fire covering with a lid till the vegetables are tender and there is no moisture left. Also mix in the spices at this stage. Mix in the roasted channa dal powder so that the mixture can bind well. Cook for a further 2 minutes mixing all the time and then remove from fire. Shape into round patties and grill these patties on a hot plate and serve.
PANEER MALAI SEEKH
Hara shammi kebab
INGREDIENTS: 1 kg of paneer prepared out of whole cream milk 120 gm deshi ghee 2 tsp of ginger paste 2 tsp of garlic paste 3-4 green chillies 1 tsp of chopped ginger pieces
Paneer malai seekh
2 tsp of coriander leaves 2 tsp of red chilli powder 2 onions 2 tomatoes 1 tsp of garam masala powder 2 tbsp of refined oil 1 tsp of lemon juice 1 tsp of chaat masala 1 tsp of kasoori methi 100 gm cheese 1 tsp of Green cardamom powder salt to taste METHOD Grate the paneer and the cheese very finely. Place in a mixing bowl and add the ginger, garlic, chillies, ghee and mash and mix well. Now mix in the spices and salt, oil and kasoorie methi and also the chopped onions and coriander leaves. Take a portion of the mixture in your palm and put on the skewers. Coat each skewer with chopped tomatoes and ginger. Cook in a tandoor till golden brown and serve with mint chutney. Chef: Sumit Sinha We Country Inn & Suites
If the hair is arranged in innovative styles it can produce stunning impact.
An inviting look
A complementing wave
Touch of added magnificence
Parting of hair in imaginative ways can give you a poise which will make people pause and look at you once more.
Measures to keep “more womanly” features in better shape.
By Roma Ghosh
A, B, C or D: Which size are you? woman’s breasts have always been a source of fascination and fantasy. Men start dreaming when they look at big-breasted women. The cleavage, where breasts are enticingly almost visible, yet hidden, drive them crazy. Big or small, how should your breasts look? Regarded as the most aesthetic and functional part of a woman’s body, it is your breasts that make you distinctly feminine. It is time to be proud of the best part of your body, your breasts. Their distinct curves often cause men’s hearts to flutter. A lot has been written and said of how ideal breasts should look. While there is nothing that says that perfect breasts should be of a certain size, fashionistas point out that the perfect pair of breasts should certainly be round, positioned high on the chest, large and firm. However, if breasts are large, their weight tends to pull them down, resulting in neck and back discomfort. If they are large and round they tend to droop and not be firm. What then should be a good size or the best size of a breast? History sings praises of the heavychested woman. But a big bust has its problems – ask anyone who is well-endowed and she will tell you her worries. Take the case of Mithu, a 16-year-old student. She‘s a pretty girl, lively and happy most of the time but ask her about her breasts and she sulks because they are big. She doesn’t like to wear clothes which are tight-fitting and cling to the body. “Most of the time,” she complains, “young boys are staring at my big bust. My big bust is making me conscious and I feel the whole world is staring at me.” A big bust then can cause a woman emotional pain over her physical appearance. Women who are amply endowed in the chest region, often wish they were leaner in those parts. Western clothes – now so much of a rage – do not look so good on a woman with big breasts. In
desperation, some women have had to turn to expensive breast reduction surgery. Other than others’ looks, women with bigger breasts suffer from backache or inconvenience when walking and running. This emotional pain is especially acute among younger girls. A bigger bust sets them aside from other girls and this in turn makes them shy of going out in public. The only way out is to have the right attitude, to look positive and maintain the right posture. Add to that, correct clothes and a perfect bra, and see the huge difference. Not all women, however, are uncomfortable with a big bust. Hollywood actresses Salma Hayek, Tyra Banks, Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and Winona Ryder sport their breasts with confidence. In fact, a story about Pamela Anderson’s ‘signature‘ breasts comes to mind. Actor David Hasselhoff of Baywatch fame writes in his biography, Making Waves, what an effect Pamela Anderson’s breasts had the first time she came for an audition: “Pamela was wearing a halter top and skirt. When we asked her to read a page of the script, she stood up, off came her top and skirt to reveal a swimsuit underneath, The guys couldn’t take their eyes off her breasts. Everybody wanted her, so I said, ‘Okay, she’s in.’”
Bra-g about them: The modern bra is more decorative than its predecessors, and today is both a fashion statement and an adornment, and even an icon of sensuality.
Big or small breasts, there is one article of clothing that women have depended upon for quite some time. Brassieres – commonly referred to as a bra – cover, support, and elevate breasts. Often considered a ‘foundation garment’ and an ‘undergarment’ because of its role in
shaping the wearer’s figure, the bra came into existence in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. By the early 20th century, the bra as we know it today, became the most wanted part of a woman’s clothing. Now, it is considered a fashion statement. Have you ever tried to find out why you need a bra? There are many of us who go braless – take a trip to any of our villages – and they do not find the need to wear one. A bra does little to prevent the effects of ageing on breasts and there are still many women in Europe who believe that breasts are healthier when left free to move rather than being restrained. That view apart, what cannot be doubted is the fact that a bra brings out a woman’s youth. In turn, it promotes a more desirable youthful appearance while lifting the breasts from their natural position. A basic bra consists of cups for the breasts, a centre panel, a band running around the torso under the
LITTLE LADY’S LOVE
Your young lady is growing up and it is time to give her the right bra. Here are few pointers you should follow when choosing the right bra for your teenage daughter.
One of the principal functions of a bra is to elevate and support the breasts, that is, to raise them from their normal position lying against the chest wall. The bra's shoulder strap should bear a little weight. This is considered the defining characteristic of the bra: supporting the weight from the back and shoulders, as opposed to a lift from below. For mothers with growing girls the following could be the guidelines when choosing the first bra for the ‘not so little lady’. ● The backstrap (band) and cups should provide most of the support rather than the shoulder straps. ● When viewed from the side, the strap that runs around the body should be horizontal, should not ride up the back, and should be firm but comfortable. ● The underwires at the front should lie flat against the rib cage (not the breast), along the inframammary fold, and should not dig in to the chest or breast, rub or poke out at the front. ● The breasts should be enclosed by the cups and there should be a smooth line where the fabric at the top of the cup ends. ● There should not be a ridge or any bulging over the top or sides of the cups, even with a low-cut style. ● Over-reliance on the platform (backstrap) for support will lead to
undue compression of the breasts, so much of the weight tends to be carried by the shoulder strap, particularly for larger breasts.
bust, and a shoulder strap for each side. There are a wide range of the undergarment and the most common ones are:
on the band, typically at the back. In some bras, the fastener is in the front, between the cups. Others are pulled on over the head and have no fasteners at all.
Underwired bras: The cups for the breasts may be reinforced by underwires made of metal originally, but mainly plastic now. The bra is usually fastened with a hook fastener
Padded bras: Some bras contain padding, designed to increase comfort, to make the breasts look bigger, or to conceal the nipples. Push-up bras: These are designed to enhance the cleavage and use padding and the cut of the pattern to achieve this effect. Breast pads are sometimes worn between the breasts and the bra to give the appearance of larger breasts. Sports bra: This bra may be worn to support and to restrain pendulous breasts during exercise or to
support them during everyday activities.
Strapless and backless bras: These bra styles specialise in being invisible underneath less than full coverage garments.
Choosing right The comfort and function of any bra is dependent on the correct size and fit. A large range of sizes are available to cater to the wide variety in the size of women's breasts and bodies. Women often find it difficult to find the correct bra size. Breasts vary in the position on the chest, and in their diameters. Bra sizes typically vary in two ways: the volume of the cups that fit over the breasts, and the length of the back strap that goes around the body. It is essential that the bra fits correctly in both of these dimensions. There is typically some flexibility to adjust the band size, since bras usually have three or four alternative sets of fastening hooks. Although all bras are labelled by size, many women find that the only way to obtain a bra that fits properly and achieve the effect they want is by trial and error with each bra type,
model and brand. This method is the most reliable. The size of a bra is commonly described by two values. The first is the band size (underband), a number based on the circumference of the chest under the bust, excluding the breasts. The second is the cup size given by a letter of the alphabet, and relating to the volume of the breasts themselves. For example, a 30D bra is for a 30-size band and a D-size cup. Cup sizes typically start with A, the smallest, and increase alphabetically.
Band size is usually determined by measuring body circumference either under or above the breasts and then adding a specified amount to account for the fact that the ribcage is generally wider at the height of the breasts than at the point at which one measures. A second measurement is then taken of the chest circumference over the fullest part of the breasts (overbust). The cup size can then be calculated from the difference between these two measurements. A common mistake is to take the overbust measurement with a bra on, instead of braless, with the breasts held at the desired position. However, there are some people who believe that measuring systems like the one described above often lead to an incorrect size, most commonly too small in the cup, and too large in the band. For anyone and especially cups sizes larger than a D, one should get a professional fitting from the We lingerie department.
Australia’s “island of inspiration” crams much to wonder about into limited space.
By Inder Raj Ahluwalia
t all becomes so much easier in the midst of an authentic island lifestyle on what they describe as the ‘island of inspiration’. With 32 hours of travel behind me, I wasn’t in the mood for anything, least of all dinner at a quayside restaurant ‘strong on seafood and atmosphere’. But that’s where I went straight from Hobart Airport with Cheryl Dix who’d been asked to look after me. And, to be fair, the T42 Bar and Cafe at the Elizabeth Street pier turned out to be a wonderful curtain-raiser to the city. With its cafes, restaurants and boats. The pier is the city’s heartbeat, and you join the local buzz and watch the yachts sail by and the fishing boats bob in the breeze while you enjoy a casual bistro meal and a glass of Tasmanian pinot noir or Riesling. Mindful of my apparent fatigue,
Cheryl hurried things up, bundled me into her swanky four-wheel drive, and deposited me at my bedding place, a lodging as heart warming as they come. A genuine and true delight packed with charm. Built in 1847, the Islington Hotel is a very special, small luxury hotel with a long history and a large, delightful garden. Set in an acre, the old manor house is a fine example of Regency architecture, and resembles a church. You enter through a passage with a chandelier, which leads on to a small lobby. Eleven luxuriously appointed guest rooms with a view, are complemented by a host of amenities. Red walls, a white ceiling, plush silk cushions sitting on period furniture, rugs, curtains and a fireplace are the hallmarks of the Rose Room which is used for
September (Second) 2009
intimate meetings. With its old piano, fireplace, period furniture and paintings, the Morning Room is the place for private meetings and high tea. A single chandelier watches over you as you sit at the dining table, amidst books and paintings in the opulent and dignified library. Sporting a glass roof that allows in a generous amount of natural light, The Conser vatory is where guests breakfast at the set tables or at the settee by the fireplace, taking in views of the hills just outside. There’s also a spa, wine cellar, and a mountain-view pavilion. Artworks and antiques lie strewn around the premises, and the paintings include a Picasso and a million-dollar piece by Survage. I slept the sleep of the blessed and was visibly energised when Cheryl picked me up the next Woman’s Era
morning to show me her city. It was a Saturday, which meant Salamanca Market. Set between graceful pine trees and 1830s sandstone warehouses, the market held every Saturday attracts thousands to its food, music, arts and crafts, books, curios, clothing and jewellery. Salamanca Place’s two street blocks are packed with stalls and the aromas of coffee, freshly baked cakes, and vibrant flowers. There are many cafes for refuelling. From chilled beer to bold ceramics, it’s a wonderful place to chill out. Spinnakers on the water, fish punts at the docks, coffee under the sun umbrellas at Salamanca, an occasional frosting of snow on Mt Wellington, bush tracks and birdsong, oysters and brandy. Hobart has a nice feel to it. It’s a maritime city, linked to river September (Second) 2009
and sea. It’s a heritage city, where sandstone warehouses echo Georgian days. It’s laid-back and relaxed and is just the right size, with old buildings edging new ones. About the best thing to do is walk. You can take in several noteworthy sites without bursting your lungs. Stroll through old parks and gardens like St David’s Park and the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, with its amazing Subantarctic House. Step out on a Hobart historic walk, lap up an historic pub tour and climb the Shot Tower at Taroona. If museums draw you, there are the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Transport, Maritime and Allport museums; and Narryna Heritage Museum. Taste the city – tour the Cascade Brewery, Lark distillery and Cadbury chocolate factory. 63
Enjoy a twilight paddle by sea kayak on the calm waters of the Hobart waterfront and docks. Or take a sailing lesson on the majestic Lady Nelson. Or get high – take a spectacular scenic flight by plane, jet plane or helicopter. Everything’s possible, accessible, and relatively easy to do. “Well, that was Hobart on a platter,” Cheryl told me on my second night. “Enjoy a quiet night’s rest and tomorrow we’ll set about seeing some other places,” she said with expectant excitement. My second night stop was at Mantra One Sandy Bay Road. Located opposite St David’s Park, on the fringe of Hobart CBD and close to the picturesque Sullivan’s Cove, Mantra One offers luxury selfcontained studio apartments with an open-plan design. Cheryl was as good as her word 64
and drove me around Southern Tasmania. The island’s charms lay waiting, and off we went. An hour’s drive through the country deposited us at the award-winning Grandvewe Farm Cheesery, Australia’s only organic sheep-cheese maker, where you can see the sheep milked and the resident cheese-maker at work. The cheese apart, the view from the verandah was stunning, framing the low hills and the bay of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Having tasted four different cheeses, I gently nudged Cheryl to move on. We did, and arrived at Peppermint Bay. Architecturally innovative with wonderful views across some of Australia’s best sailing waters – the calm D’ Entrecasteaux Channel – the complex is an integral part of local community life at Woodbridge. A live fish larder, extensive herb garden, and adjacent art and craft gallery enhance the experience. We lunched in the modern restaurant, watching the boats bob on the water. For good measure, we were joined by Simon Holloway, the chief chef, who gave me the lowdown on Tasmanian cuisine. Tasmanian food! Well here goes. Scallops for starters; Atlantic salmon (with crispy skin) with a salad, or lamb racks as a main course; mushrooms and vegetarian risotto for vegetarians; pavlova (morange with fruit and fresh cream) for dessert. And end it all with a coffee Woman’s Era
WALKING ON TREETOPS
Another drive through the country brought us to Tahune Forest Airwalk and Visitor Centre, one of the world’s few treetop walks, offering panoramic views over southern forests, the Hartz Mountains and the Picton and Huon rivers. Half a kilometre long, suspended 48 metres in the air on steel towers, the airwalk is an innovative eco-tourism product, tailormade for nature buffs. ”It’s time to show you Richmond,” Cheryl said to me. And so Richmond it was. And quite a delight it turned out to be. The old-world village which is less than 30 minutes’ drive from Hobart, takes you back a hundred years in time. The buildings include Australia’s oldest freestone road bridge built by convicts in 1823, and the oldest Roman Catholic church from the mid 1830s. The Richmond Gaol was built in 1825 and housed prisoners including bushranger Martin Cash. The beautiful buildings have been restored and are in use as art and craft galleries, restaurants and shops. The setting sun was turning the bay a pale golden yellow when we returned to Hobart. My Tasmania visit certainly didn’t include all there is to see and do, but had been enough to convince me that the ‘island of inspiration’ is worthy of the praise heaped on it. It’s just the sort of place We you could get hooked on to.
September (Second) 2009
We are a group of a dozen friends and one of us is getting married next week. She has sent invitations to everyone else but not to me. All of us have been friends through school and college and I just can’t believe that she wouldn’t invite me to her wedding. I am heartbroken and I wonder if I have done anything to upset my friend. But I can’t think of anything. I am so embarrassed that I have cut myself away from the rest of the group. Should I go away at the time of the wedding so that I am not the only one in our group who doesn’t attend the four-day ceremony? Or should I quarrel with her?
If you have had no argument, quarrel or disagreement with your friend, it is quite possible that your name was left out of the guest list by oversight. If you are really close to her, you could ring her up and jokingly ask her why you haven’t received an invitation. Or another member of the group could do so. But if you are too embarrassed to do something like this, just ignore the matter. Tell yourself that not attending your friend’s marriage will not make her any less your friend. You should certainly not quarrel with her and spoil her mood just before her wedding. with her maternal grandparents. I was totally shocked, more by the fact that he never saw his daughter than by the fact that he had hidden such a thing from my parents and me. But at another level I wasn’t really surprised because by then I had realised that my husband was a lousy man. He frequently beat me, constantly lied to me, could not hold down a job for more than a few months, got into debt and then expected me to pay off his loans with my earnings (I have a good job) by selling my jewellery or asking my parents for money. But he apologised each time and I wanted my marriage to work. So I had two children hoping that he would change. But he did not change and I finally left him and went to live with my parents. I am at peace and my children are happy because they have no love or respect at all for their father. Now my husband has lost his job again and is begging me to come back to him. My boys do not want to go back to him but I don’t know where my duty lies. What should I do? My husband says that he will commit suicide if I do not return. Yes, your husband does seem to be completely self-centered, lousy man. Proof of this lies in the fact that he has abandoned one child and even your two children do not have 65
I am 35 years old and have been married for nearly a year. My husband is 38. I have not become pregnant as yet. Soon after we got married, my husband began bringing his friends over. I was glad to entertain them and was happy that he was a sociable person. But one day to my shock I caught him having oral sex with one of these friends. My husband then confessed that he was bisexual and that he was attracted to both men and women. That was six months ago and since then he has been openly bringing men home and having sex with them. He also has sex with me. Now he wants me to join him and his friends in threesomes. He says that his friends’ wives are sporting and join in orgies and that I should too. I know that if I refuse, my husband will lose interest in me. But I am terrified of getting the HIV infection. My husband says that there is no danger if you have oral sex and that his friends will not penetrate me. But I’m still scared and till now I have refused. To get the HIV infection, the virus has to enter the bloodstream. An infected person can pass on the infection in various ways. Two ways are directly into the bloodstream (through an infected needle, for example) and second, by the virus passing through the delicate mucous
membranes of the vagina, rectum or urethra. It is more difficult to get the infection through oral sex even if the infected person deposits semen into the mouth, but it is not impossible. If the recipient has bleeding gums, mouth sores or ulcers or any other open wound, the virus can enter the bloodstream and the person will get the infection. So tell your husband that oral sex is not completely safe. More important than just safety is the morality of the whole matter. The sexual relationship between a husband and wife is at the heart of their marriage and to have sex with sundry friends and their wives is morally corrupt. The fabric of your marriage will be totally torn into pieces if you have oral sex and threesome orgies with your husband’s friends. It is indeed strange that your husband should suggest this to you. Think about this and talk seriously to your husband about the sanctity of marriage.
I had an arranged marriage 17 years ago and now have two sons aged 15 and 13. It was only two years after our marriage that my husband casually told me that he had been a widower before he married me. He also told me that he had a daughter by his first wife and that she lived Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
any affection for him. Now he is asking you to return to him only because he needs you after losing his job and he is merely playing on your emotions by saying that he will commit suicide if you do not. You are much better off without such a husband but if you have a lingering desire to take him back or if you feel that it is your duty to do so, you should tell him that you will go back to him only if he undergoes counselling and shows that he has changed.
I am a 22-year-old woman working and living alone in Bangalore. My problem is that all the stories of rape and sexual harassment of women that appear in the papers and on TV every day have terrified me. I try to avoid these news stories and TV reports but it is difficult to do so because my colleagues talk about them. The result is that I am scared all the time. I have great difficulty leaving the house to go to work and am a nervous wreck by the time I come back, though I take all reasonable precautions. Sometimes I feel that my sixth sense is trying to warn me that something bad is going to happen to me. I haven’t suffered any sexual attacks or harassment that could be responsible for my fears. The stories in the press and TV about rapes, etc, are enough to make any young woman afraid – but at the same time we cannot live our whole lives in fear and so we have to overcome our dread and panic. Since you say that you have had no bad experiences, it is just all the talk about assaults on women that
are scaring you. Try to control your fear by telling yourself that you are being careful and that you will not put yourself into any dangerous situation. Make sure that you do not walk along lonely roads alone and that you come home at a reasonable hour. Avoid travelling alone in taxis and even in autos when it is late. It would also be better if you stopped living alone. You could share a house with friends and colleagues or even move into a working girls’ hostel. Read uplifting books, and positive news stories in the newspaper and watch comedies and informative TV programmes. When fear enters your mind, banish it by keeping yourself busy and thinking positive thoughts. But if you still find yourself unable to control your panic, you should consult a counsellor.
I am 34 years old and I have been married for five years. I have not become pregnant and my mother-inlaw is constantly criticising me about this and saying that she has been cursed with a barren daughter-in-law. Actually the truth is quite different. It is that my husband is totally disinterested in sex and that I am still a virgin. My husband and I have never discussed sex and otherwise we get along well – like good friends. But in the last few months I have begun to change. I now want to experience sex and have children. I am also fed up with my mother-in-law’s nagging and long to tell her the truth. What should I do? You have been far too patient and it is high time that you got things sorted out with your husband. A
husband and wife should be good friends, but they should also be lovers. Sex and progeny are an essential part of any marriage and your husband has no right not to be open to you about this matter. He obviously has a problem. Perhaps he is impotent, perhaps he has some other physical or psychological problem or perhaps he is gay. Discuss this matter with your husband and insist (but pleasantly!) that he tells you the truth. You can then decide what you should do. If he has a physical problem, medical treatment could help him, if his problem is psychological, a psychiatrist or counsellor could help him, but if he is gay, there is nothing that you can do. If you decide to leave your husband, you can get your marriage annulled on the grounds that it has not been consummated. As far as your mother-in-law is concerned, the next time she nags you, tell her to talk to her son. That will give her something to think about. If you love your husband very much, you could also decide to continue with the marriage sans sex.
Have you a personal problem of any nature, which you hesitate to discuss with your family or friends? Share it with us. WE will try to help you.
Address your letters to: WOMAN’S ERA E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110 055.
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 ● September (Second) 2009
Women’s fashion changes with demand of the times giving them the desired look. However, their basic design remains constant, only inventing new modes of fashion.
About to smile: The enchantress has a definite design.
Loss of innocence?: Certainly not. She looks innocently beautiful.
Youthful arrogance?: No, no, she is contemplating steps to reach you.
Something on her mind: Her inner conflict is only a camouflage for her romantic make-up.
Making a serious move: She is in no flirting mood. She is out looking for her serious romantic companion.
With an attitude for love: She is all set to take you to the planet of desire.
Speaking with eyes: Attired so, does she need eloquence to charm you?
Holding spellbound: Which one is arresting your attention. The apparel or the pose? Maybe both.
Flowery pattern: In this dress she appears a picture of perfect beauty.
Costumes: Pinky Danani (Mystiqual Boutique) Mumbai Model: Kavita Aras Make-up: Amit Sawant Hair: Jasmin Photographer: Hemant Kedar
BO M B AY O FILMDOM
B O M B AY F I L M D O M
o say the least, Saif Ali Khan’s first film as a producer, Love Aaj Kal , gives the impression that this modern take on love’s far from the good old belief or saying that love is blind. It’s a love story with a difference where the lovers love each other with their eyes wide open. It’s about two people under very modern pressures who are brave enough to assess and reassess their suitability for each other in a mature way. Laudable premise indeed. t’s a measure of worldwide recognition of Shah Rukh Khan’s talent that he received recently the honorary doctorate degree from the University of Bedfordshire at a prestigious function in London for his contribution to arts and culture. Earlier, he had received an honour in France too.
uite a number of people sometimes feel that enough is enough. No wonder, therefore, when the media twisted her words, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan lost her cool and threatened that if such a thing is repeated, she may be forced to take legal action. She had said “if I want to stay in Hindi film industry, I need to stay fit.” An article misconstrued her statement to the effect that she doesn’t want to have children.
SRK honoured by University of Bedfordshire.
Hrithik-Aish in Guzarish.
rithik Roshan is always a game for challenging roles. Proof? His role in kites and his forthcoming film Guzarish in which he plays a raflegic who lives his life in a wheel-chair. Aishwarya Rai will be his leading lady. Their last hit together was Jodhaa-Akbar. The film is being directed by Sanjay L. Bhansali.
hah Rukh Khan has reportedly taken the stand that there is more to what Emraan Hashmi has said about his being denied a flat in Nilliana Cooperative Housing Society Bandra, Mumbai. SRK has reaffirmed that there’s no discrimination in filmdom on the basis of religion. t’s a big compliment coming from a senior actor like Farooque Sheikh
Love Aaj Kaal: A modern take on love.
when he says “today’s young actors are so focused and have boundless energy and enthusiasm.” He’s working with some of them, Celina Jaitley of Abhimanyu in Accident on Hill Road.
impact with Rang De Basanti and Guru , will now be seen along with Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan in Teen Patti and 3 Idiots.
enior actor Rishi Kapoor is playing meaningful roles in many films. He’s playing a character like Lord Krishna giving sermons to Arjun on the battlefield. Rishi dishes out advice to Saif Ali Khan in Love Aaj Kal. He is doing Patiala House with Akshay Kumar, again a father and son story. He’s also doing a film Do Dooni Chaar with wife Neetu Singh. o be great is indeed the best, but to be in great company is also not bad. R. Madhavan who made a deep
“Today’s actors are focused,” says Farooque Sheikh.
irector Onir whose film My Brother Nikhil has been shown at various festivals says “when it comes to world cinema, we are smaller than Korean or even Iranian films. Our kind of films don’t qualify for festivals... very few film-makers here make the kind of cinema that appeals to the world audience.” It is high time we do something in this connection. shutosh Gowariker surely seems to be a focused and fast director. His latest film What’s Your Raashee is scheduled to be premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, Canada, on September 19. The film has loads of hilarious moments.
R. Madhavan makes a deep impact.
alman Khan plays an undercover under dancing sensation Prabhu Deva-turned-director. There are also reports that Prabhu Deva is getting married with (or already has) Nayantara, a young actress with a beautiful smile, and she may also be working in his Hindi film. hat Subhash Ghai is a resultoriented man is proved once again. Thanks to his recent meeting with Rajasthan’s chief minister, Ashok Gehlot, the State Government
has decided to revive the film city project at village Jandoli, near Jaipur.
f there’s the will to learn, one can learn even from one’s juniors. Like Govinda did. Inspired by Tusshar Kapoor’s strict regimen about dieting and fitness, Govinda (Tusshar’s costar in Life Partner ) to became a fitness freak and now looks fit as a fiddle.
n item number in Dev Anand’s film chargesheet Bollywood Bollywood is a tribute to Hindi film industry which, he says “has given me everything”. This is the 65th year of the thespian as an actor, and a very stylish actor indeed who was one of the trio of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand. Hindi film industry can well be proud of him. His long innings may well be a record!
eeping in view the fact that when they worked together last time and made Welcome, the film worked wonders at the box office. Producer Firoz Nadiadwala and director Anees Bazme are coming together again,
Rishi Kapoor is now playing meaningful roles.
Nayantara getting married with Prabhu Deva.
let’s see with what result? The film Hangover, Firoz says, “is a complete entertainer full of wit and humour,” Sanjay Dutt is a part of the film.
ed alert, a film to be directed by a journalist-turned-director Ananth Mahadevan and starring Suneil Shetty, Sameera Reddy and Vinod Khanna, among others, is about a person who feels trapped in his own life because one incident throws his life upside down and he is caught
Kareena Kapoor will sacrifice her luxuriant hair for Stepmom.
between the devil and the deep sea. The film, Annanth feels “will be a wake-up call to the government towards the real issue of the Naxalite movement? Teaching the government?
mall sacrifices are a sort of professional hazard for film stars. Kareena Kapoor will sacrifice her luxuriant hair for Dharma Productions’ Stepmom remake in October. She’ll sport shorter haircut to go with her character of a younger stepmom as compared to her hubby and his ex-wife. Kajol is also there in this remake of a Hollywood film.
Big B has taken to mellower roles.
f Neha Dhupia has not yet made it big in Hindi films, she’s not losing her sleep. She has gone global and will be seen in a US television show titled Bollywood Hero wherein she will be playing the heroine. Not lead. et another beautiful girl, Miss India 2008 Amruta Palki has fallen for the pomp and show of filmdom. She is gonna to make her debut in Apoorva Lakhia’s supernatural thriller Hide and Seek. Good luck, Amruta. n keeping with his age, Amitabh Bachchan, the angry young man of yesteryear, has taken to maturer and mellower roles. Like, in jeen Patti, he plays a professor, and shares screen space with Ben Kingsley, the actor who played Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough’s film Gandhi.
t’s almost incredible that gorgeous actress Ameesha Patel is an Economics Gold medallist from Tufts University. What such a brilliant young lady is doing in films? Keeping her educational background in view, no wonder she was invited by an educational trust in Pune to felicitate the toppers from that region. bhay Deol, a scion of Dharmendra and Sunny Deol’s family, may not have become an instant star, but he has almost ‘arrived’ with the success of Dev D., Dev Benegal’s Road Movie and his role as George knightly in Anil Kapoor’s production Ayesha, based on Jane Austen’s novel Emma. Anil’s daughter Sonam plays the female lead. – Deepak Puri
Celina Jaitley has donated her eyes.
hat young and beautiful girls who are in films are not only glamour-struck is abundantly proved by starlet Celina Jaitley. She has donated her eyes. May her tribe increase. Her forthcoming films include Run Bhala Run and Accident on Hill Road.
Neha Dhupia has not yet made it big in Hindi films.
How different people reacted when recession hit their company.
By Kasturi Rangachari
t was unbelievable! The company was about to collapse. Founder and chairman Amrit Patil was planning to close down most of its divisions right away! Abraham closed his eyes. He couldn’t believe it. He must have misunderstood what he had overheard the chairman discuss with the MD. How could the company collapse? It was listed on the exchange! It was one of the biggest and most reputed companies in the country and its founder and chairman, Amrit Patil, was eulogised and admired as a business icon, a man whose rags-toriches story was an inspiration for every ambitious young person in the country! People thought that their fortunes were made and that they were secure for life when they got a job in that company. Such a company couldn’t collapse! And yet…there were all those tell-tale signs that now suddenly made sense. The measures to cut costs and prevent waste, the fact that suddenly work pressure was less because several projects had been postponed, the rumour that headhunters hadn’t gone for any campus interviews this year, the announcement that the Board meeting to discuss bonuses had been postponed…How foolish he and other middle level management employees like him had been not to have taken all this more seriously. And now…!
He’d have to find a new job. But he had only worked in this company. He’d joined the month after he had got his MBA results and had stayed on ever since – for 17 years. Who’d want a man who had only worked in a company that had collapsed? Of course, he’d heard the chairman say that while most employees would receive the dreaded pink slip, they’d keep on a small percentage of the staff to try and revive the company some time in the future, after this recession was over. But Abraham had no illusions that he’d be in that lucky group. He wasn’t the brilliant, articulate,
braham walked over to the window in a daze. He’d lose his job! He was 40 years old, had a wife, a son and elderly parents to support – how could he possibly manage even for a month if the money didn’t come in on the first? The new car hadn’t been fully paid for and there were school fees, medical bills and monthly expenses. Of course, the planned new flat would have to be forgotten. He’d have to cancel his application for a housing loan and they’d have to stay on in their two-bedroom hole-inthe-wall.
his MBA and gets a job – and I buy a house for you,” she had said. But now? She had practically nothing in the bank and soon would have no job. How would she support her family? “Is this some sort of joke?” Murad demanded. “If it is, have a heart, yaar! It’s 11 in the night here and I’ve just got home from a horrendous day at work…” “I’m not joking!” Abraham interrupted his friend who worked at the London office of the Company. “It’s true, Murad. You’re going to lose your job in a week!” Later, all his exhaustion suddenly gone, Murad sat in the dark trying to come to terms with the news he had just got. Once the company collapsed and he lost his job, his work visa would be cancelled and he’d have to return to India hat? Are you sure? Uttara demanded aghast. – after six years of living in London earning a She now worked from the Pune office but she fabulous salary plus bonuses and living it up. He’d have to look for a new job and start all over again. had been in the company HQ earlier and At the age of 30! she and Abraham had become friends. And what about his engagement? He’d “Yes, I’m sure,” Abraham replied. “The How could have to tell Shehnaz that she wouldn’t be Company will pink slip most of its the company coming to London after they got married. employees in a week or so. I heard the collapse? It That she wouldn’t be able to do her PhD chairman tell the MD.” was listed here as she wanted to. Instead she’d have There was silence at both ends of the to come and live wherever he managed to line. “We’re all going to lose our jobs next on the week?” Uttara sounded dazed. exchange! It get a job. It was terrible! The outlook was gloomy “A small percentage of employees was one of – but then, why was he feeling a great will…may…be kept on.” the biggest sense of relief? “We’re not likely to be in that small and most “Sir!” Mohanraj almost wailed. “Are percentage!” said Uttara wryly. “You’re you joking? I mean the company can’t go reputed not flashy enough and I’m just a junior programmer.” companies in under! It’s just not possible!” “But it has happened, Mohanraj,” said After they disconnected Uttara sat at her the country? Abraham in a heavy tone. desk stunned. Lose her job? Goodness “But…but…what’ll I do, sir? I’ve just got what would she do? married…I’ve bought an apartment…!” After Uttara’s father had died of sudden kidney Abraham kept silent and after a few moments failure three years ago, she had found herself, at the both he and Mohanraj hung up. age of 23, responsible for her mother and younger brother. Her father’s medical expenses in the last ohanraj sat at his desk holding his head in two months of his life had been horrifically high and his hands. Abraham had told him to tell no his medical insurance had nowhere near covered one, but to look around quietly and see if he them. In fact, much of the settlement package from could get another job. Mohanraj shook his head her father’s employers had gone in paying off his helplessly. He didn’t see how he could get another medical bills. What had been left had just allowed job. He had only been with the company for three them to get started on a new life. years and with this recession, there were hundreds But at the time of her father’s death, she had already been taken on at the company and so things of much more experienced and qualified equally desperate unemployed people in the market. weren’t too bad. She had got a transfer to Pune What on earth would he do? He had barely where the family lived, and had taken responsibility enough savings to be able to live for a few for her broken mother and playful younger brother. months…and then there was Namrata. He She had sternly told her mother not to even talk of swallowed and cursed himself for giving in to her marriage. “That’ll have to wait till Dinu finishes charismatic sort who impressed at meetings. Quiet, steady work was more his style. No, he wouldn’t be kept on! Numb with shock and anxiety, Abraham turned away from the window and walked towards his desk. The company was like a huge tree and when a giant tree fell, scores of birds lost their perches, nests came crashing down, eggs were smashed and squirrels fled in terror because the tree could no longer support life. And now the company wasn’t capable of supporting all its employees! A thought came to his mind. The pink slips would come as a heart-jolting shock to everyone who received them. Surely people should have some sort of notice about what was coming? He decided that he’d call and tell a few of his friends – especially some of the younger ones – what they could expect. They deserved to know.
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
something that was dishonest; something that was parental pressure and having got married two morally wrong. months ago. He had wanted to wait till he got his He’d have to commit a theft! He wouldn’t have to first promotion, but his parents had nagged and steal much – he’d just have to take a print out from a nagged till he had finally succumbed. And now…he computer – but that print-out would contain the fruits was in a real soup. He had to look after his new of the long hours of work Mukesh had put in over the wife as well as himself! space of a year. Hours of Mukesh’s own time, spent How would Namrata take his pink slip? He at the comp, after office hours were over. It was the thought for a moment and then sighed. He didn’t fruits of Mukesh’s bright brain that he would be know! In fact, he hardly knew his wife! They had stealing! had no honeymoon because he had got Mukesh worked under him and was only a week’s leave for his wedding and Later, young, hard-working and brilliant. He’d after bringing her here and rejoining duty, all his come to him about a year ago and had he had been so busy, working even half a exhaustion told him about an idea that had occurred day on some Sundays, that he and suddenly to him, about a computer programme that Namrata hardly had any time to talk or to would streamline logistics in the company, understand each other. gone, saving time and money. Murad sat “Work on it – but on your own time,” he was good-natured, didn’t nag or in the dark Abraham had said to him casually, not quarrel and both their sex life and her trying to really expecting to hear anything more cooking were good. That was all he come to about the ambitious programme. But knew. He certainly didn’t know how she terms with Mukesh had surprised him by coming to would take the news that her husband was him about a fortnight ago and asking him going to lose his job, had hardly any the news he money in the bank and would probably had just got. to come and check out the package. He had done that and had been delighted by lose the apartment that he’d bought just six the programme. months ago because he couldn’t possible “It needs just a little fine-tuning,” Mukesh had said pay the EMIs. and Abbraham had told him to go ahead and do Mohanraj groaned and tugged at his hair. How that. could he tell Namrata that he’d be pink-slipped “And then I’ll arrange for you to make a soon? No! He couldn’t do it. He’d keep the fact from presentation to the Old Man,” he had said, referring her and try to get another job quickly. If he to Amrit Patil by the affectionate honorific that all managed to keep up with his EMIs she needn’t even employees of the company used when talking about come to know! their much-loved and admired chairman. Four days had passed and the four employees of But now things had changed. The package the company who knew what was going to happen couldn’t help the company, but it could help him! If were all in a state of panic. Abraham’s son’s term he stole the programme and presented it to the Old fees were due in a week and so was his father’s Man as his own, he’d probably be one of the few annual master health check-up. Of course, he could employees who’d be kept on in the belief that he pay for both, but the two expenses brought home to could later help the company rise like a phoenix him how expensive life was in this metro. from the ashes of its collapse! How long would it take him to get a job, he wondered. Actually, he knew that it would be very nce he had crushed his conscience and made difficult. He had spent the last four days reading up his mind to steal the programme Abraham ads, contacting placement agencies and cautiously worked fast. Mukesh’s password presented no sending out feelers and he had found that recruitment was very dull. And, after 17 years of not problem. He was after all in Abraham’s team and all the members of the group often used each other’s having to face the cut-throat competition of the job computers when their own was invaded by a virus or market, he wondered if he had it in him to impress gave trouble. So all six of them knew each other’s enough to get a good job in these bad times. passwords. No, his place was in the company and he had to Abraham also knew that he had to get Mukesh find a way to stay here. He moved restlessly in his away from the scene till the axe fell and company chair and what he had been trying to banish from layoffs were announced. That again was easy and his mind for four days came back to haunt him. If he he sent Mukesh off to the Hyderabad office to help had the guts, he could do it. He could become one on an overdue project for a few days. By the time of the small group of employees who would be kept Mukesh got back, the pink slip would be on his table on. But…but…for that to happen he’d have to do
and he would have other things to think of than the it a secret? She straightened her back. She’d go to programme! the last office on her list today, she decided. Perhaps That same evening, he waited till the office was that was where she would get lucky. She wouldn’t empty and then strolled over casually to Mukesh’s take the risk of losing a possible chance! nearby cubicle. Even if any of the security men saw “I’m sorry, we have no openings.” The manager him, they wouldn’t question him because he often looked genuinely sorry. “These are difficult times worked late. It took him only a minute to access the and we aren’t hiring.” programme and another minute to transfer it to a “Thank you, sir,” said Uttara politely as she got memory stick. Back at his desk, he loaded the up to leave. programme into his own laptop and then spent an The manager hesitated. “Just a minute,” he said hour preparing a presentation on it. After loading kindly. “I don’t know if you would be interested, but the presentation onto his memory stick, he deleted we have begun to outsource work. It suits us the programme from his computer. because it is cheaper – and perhaps it would suit The next morning he asked for an appointment you till you get something permanent.” with Amrit Patil. The Old Man believed in being He told her how the outsourcing worked and how accessible to his employees and his secretary gave much she could hope to make working from home. Abraham a slot just before lunch. “But sir is very Uttara did not hesitate. Something was better than busy,” he said curtly. “All you’ll get is five minutes.” nothing. By working from home for this concern, Abraham nodded, but he knew that once he got she’d at least be able to keep the home fires started on the presentation the Old Man wouldn’t be burning. Of course, she wouldn’t be able to keep able to resist seeing it in full. her jobless state a secret, but the thought of telling And that is what happened! The Old Man looked mummy and Dinu the truth only lightened her heart. harried to start with, but once Amrit explained what She hated lying to them. he had, his face showed interest and he asked Abraham to begin. Half an hour later the presentation er mother got her a cup of tea and then sat was over and the Old Man was all smiles. down opposite her and smiled at her “Excellent!” he said exuberantly. “We can’t use affectionately. Uttara felt her eyes brim over the programme immediately, but we need people and she decided to tell her everything at once. like you!” He paused and then smiled. “Yes, you’re “Mummy, brace yourself for a shock,” she said, an asset to the team. I think…I think you’ll see how swallowing hard. “The company is …is closing much I appreciate your work...in a few days!” down soon. I’ll lose my job. But I’ve got something Abraham’s heart sang as he came out that will tide us over this bad patch… I’ll of the room. The Old Man’s words meant be working from home and...” He could that he’d be kept on! He didn’t have to She stopped speaking and stared at her become one of worry any longer! mother. Mummy’s face did not show any the small group shock or worry. “Mummy?” she asked of employees ttara was footsore and weary. She’d tentatively. “Are you listening?” who would be taken leave from the day Abraham Mummy smiled. “I guessed that it must kept on. But… be something like this,” she said serenely. had told her about the Company’s but…for that imminent collapse and had spent her days “What?” to happen he’d going from one placement agency and one “You’ve been so tense and totally have to do company to another, contacting friends and stressed out for the last few days.” Dinu something that came into the room and spoke. “We knew clients, calling in favours and trying in was dishonest; every way to get another job – without that it must be something connected with something that your work. We read the papers, you mentioning what was going to happen to was morally the company! But she hadn’t got even one know. We know that there is a recession wrong. hopeful lead. Now she had one more office on.” to visit and then she could head home. Tears filled Uttara’s eyes and began to She hesitated. She was exhausted and depressed. roll down her cheeks. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I feel What would she get at this next office except a that I’ve let you both…and daddy…down. But I’ll brush-off? Why should she bother to go there at all? manage, I promise you. Don’t worry…” No, she wouldn’t go there. She’d just head home “What are you saying?” asked her mother gently. and ask mummy to make her a hot cup of tea… “Let us down? Why do you feel that you’ve done Mummy! She hadn’t told either her or Dinu about that?” the impending catastrophe that was going to befall “Because I’m going to lose my job. And I’m the family. But how long would she be able to keep supposed to take care of both of you.”
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
“We’ll do it!” she exulted. “We’ll get through these tough times and be the stronger for it!” “Yes!” echoed her mother and brother as they hugged her back. Murad felt as if he was dream-walking through his days. It was four days since Abraham had spoken to him and he had made no effort to find a new job or ttara stared at both of them, too taken aback take any decisions about a new life. He had not to say anything. “But the truth is that none of spoken to Shehnaz either. He had gone to work, but us has let the others down. What we must do had done very little. Was he in a state of shock, he is work together and take care of each other,” wondered and then decided to speak to his friend, mummy completed Dinu’s statement as she stroked Peter. Uttara’s hair tenderly. “I’m glad that you’ve “What? Your company is closing down and managed to get a job, but Dinu and I have also you’re going to lose your job? Hey, man, That been doing some thinking. means trouble!” Peter exclaimed in a startled voice. “Now consider our business plan! We live in a They were walking along a path beside the Thames central area and there are a lot of business in central London. concerns nearby. What about our beginning a Murad nodded and Peter went on, “But with your catering service and providing lunch for people experience you’ll easily find something so that you working in these concerns? Nothing too fancy, just can keep your work permit. We’ll look around. Folks good, home-cooked food. What do you think? I are getting pink-slipped right, left and centre these have done some asking around and people seem days. Don’t worry…” interested!” “But Peter, that’s just it! I’m not worried. I’m not Uttara just stared at her, too taken aback to trying to find myself another job. I feel….feel just speak. Finally, she cleared her throat and spoke. wonderful! Kind of relieved…” “But, mummy, you’ve never done anything like this Peter stared at him and then burst out laughing. before!” “That’s great, mate!” he exclaimed. “So you secretly “But that doesn’t mean that I can’t start now!” hated your job, did you?” said her mother briskly. “Dinu and I have planned it “Yes! No! I don’t know! I just know that the all. Dinu will market our service and take care of thought of not having to get up and rush to catch the transporting the meals to the offices. Initially I’ll do tube and go to work, of not having to meet the same all the cooking with just a maid to help me with the guys and do the same things again and again – cutting and grinding. I was thinking of use-and-throw feels great!” containers for the food…” “Hm! How are you placed for money, Uttara listened amazed as her mother mate?” asked Peter. went on with an occasional interruption Murad thought for a moment. “Quite He told her from Dinu who seemed totally taken up well, actually,” he said. “I’ve saved a lot how the with the idea. “But Dinu must join an MBA and luckily my investments haven’t been hit outsourcing too hard by the downturn. I could easily go course as he has planned to,” she said worked and suddenly. “Otherwise his future will be a year or two without working.” ruined…” “Then do that! Take off! Travel! Go to how much “I will do my MBA – but after a year or places you’ve always wanted to visit. Or she could two!” Dinu said firmly. “The work hope to make fulfil some secret dream of yours! Or….” experience I will get with our catering “I’ve always wanted to write,” said working project will help me. And there’s the fact Murad dreamily. “Go far away from the from home. that I’ve not been a very good student till madding crowd, to some small town… and Uttara did now. So I’ll use this time to prepare for the just sit at my laptop and write. Spend the CATs and take them and get into a top not hesitate. evenings making friends with the college.” locals…..get up when I like and go to sleep He sounded so mature and grown up. when I want to…” Uttara looked at her mother and brother and And suddenly Murad knew that that was what he suddenly felt as if a load had slipped off her was going to do! He’d go back to India, take a shoulders. She wasn’t all alone bearing the burden small house in the hills and spend the next year of the family, she realised. They were a family writing. Or trying to write! learning to survive together. “Go for it, mate!” said Peter exuberantly when he She got up and hugged her mother and brother. told him. “But what about your girl?”
86 Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
“But you don’t have to take care of us! Don’t feel that you have to take over all your father’s responsibilities, Uttara. I could say that, as your mother, I have let you both down.” “And I could say that, as the man of the house, I have.” added Dinu.
you want to be all alone in your little cottage in the hills?” “No! No, that’s not what I want at all!” And Murad and Shehnaz talked on and on and happily planned what they would do when the company collapsed. Namrata sat and waited for Mohanraj to come home. Dinner was ready and the table was set. Should she talk to him before dinner or afterwards, urad thought about Shehnaz as he went she wondered. She thought it over and home after parting from Peter. He finally decided to just wait and see how the had met her only a handful of times “Quite well, evening worked out. and usually her younger brother had been Mohanraj came back at about eight actually,” sent along with them when they went out, but he had liked what he had seen of her. Murad said. o’clock. He looked listless and exhausted. She was pretty, had a pleasant manner “I’ve saved a Namrata’s heart began to beat fast. She asked if he wanted a cup of tea, but he just and was knowledgeable about the world. lot and shook his head and went into the She had a good job too and appeared to luckily my bedroom. He came out half an hour later be quite ambitious. Would he be investments after having showered and changed and heartbroken of she called things off after coming to know that he had been pinkhaven’t been sat down on the sofa and stared into space. slipped? Not heartbroken, he decided, but hit too hard “Shall we have dinner?” Namrata disappointed. Definitely disappointed. by the asked. He called Shehnaz that evening. “I have downturn. “I’m not hungry. Let’s eat a little later,” something to tell you,” he said baldly after he replied. they had exchanged greetings. “My Namrata sat down opposite him and company is going down the drain. I’m took a deep breath. “Where did you go today?” she going to lose my job.” asked her husband. Shehnaz was silent for a long minute. “What are “What do you mean? I went to office…” you planning to do?” she finally asked cautiously. Namrata got up and came and sat next to him Murad hesitated and then decided to be totally honest with her. “I could get another job and stay on and took his hand. “I know that the company has closed your department down,” she said quietly. “I here,” he said. “But I’ve decided to take a year off know that you’ve been pink-slipped.” and…and…live in a hill station and...write.. a Mohanraj gaped at her, opening and closing his novel!” mouth like a fish. “How…?” he finally croaked. He held his breath and waited for her reaction. “Mohan, it’s in all the papers…and your friend He was sure that she’d either laugh or cry and then Himadri’s wife rang up….” break off their engagement. Mohanraj took his hand from her grasp and But when Shehnaz spoke, she was neither looked down. “How stupid of me to think that I could laughing nor crying, she just sounded thoughtful. keep it a secret from you.” he said forlornly. “Hm,” she said. “So you’ve decided to follow your “But why did you want to?” heart?” “We’ve only been married two months. How Murad blinked. “Yes, yes. That’s what I have could I tell you that you’re now married to an decided to do!” unemployed man?” “Good for you! So few people have the courage “Two months, two years, 20 years – how does it to do that.” matter? We’re married, that’s all that matters!” Murad blinked again. This Shehnaz was nothing Mohanraj looked at her. “But…I have lost my like he had imagined! He suddenly found himself job…” he began weakly. waiting anxiously to hear what she’d say next. “And you’ll soon get another. And till then we’ll “You know, I’ve always wanted to do that. Take a year off and go to some place where I know nobody manage.” “I’ve hardly any savings,” Mohanraj confessed. and just…listen to music and paint a little…” “Few people do at your age,” Namrata said Murad took a deep breath. “So, you aren’t comfortingly. disappointed? You…you…aren’t having second “But…” thoughts…?” “We’ll manage!” “About marrying you? No, I’m not. Did you want Mohanraj felt his eyes well up. Now, he reached me to?” There was a teasing note in her voice. “Do Murad felt as if a bucket of cold water had been poured over him. Yes, what about Shehnaz? “I’ll speak to her,” he told his friend reluctantly. “I don’t know what she’ll say though.” “Yeah, you told me that you hardly knew her. That it was some sort of arranged match.” Murad nodded. “I’ll speak to her,” he repeated.
for Namrata’s hand and they sat in silence. “I have enough money for us to manage for three months,” he said finally. “But we won’t be able to pay…” “The EMIs for the new flat.” Namrata completed the sentence. “Yes. I have been meaning to go and talk to the bank manager, but I thought that trying to get a job was more important. I’ve had leads to follow up and a couple of interviews – that led nowhere – so I haven’t gone as yet. I’ve got some people to see tomorrow too.” “I’ll tell you what, I’ll go tomorrow and get the information.” “Okay. I’ve heard that the bank will lower EMIs in these circumstances.” And husband and wife sat in silence, holding hands, feeling closer than they ever had. “The news isn’t good,” Namrata said the next evening after Mohanraj came home after another disappointing day of job-hunting. “The bank is ready to lower our EMIs, but that only means that they’ll take very little more than the interest on the loan. And that means that we will be repaying hardly anything of the principal every month. Our loan repayment period will increase tremendously and we’ll end up paying much more for the flat. Of course, once you get a job we can increase the EMIs.”
“How much will we have to pay now?” asked Mohanraj. “Rs 28,000 instead of Rs 36,000.” Mohanraj groaned. “We can’t possibly pay that till I get a job and nobody knows how long that will take!” “Another option is taking a loan from some other bank which will give it to us at a lower rate of interest – after all, rates have fallen now – repaying our bank and then paying lower EMIs to the new bank.” Mohanraj gave her a look that said it all. They couldn’t afford even a lower EMI! “I only see us defaulting,” he said soberly. “Defaulting? What will happen then?” “The bank will first give us time, then warnings and ultimately they’ll sell the flat…” “They can do that?” gasped Namrata. “Yes, they can because when we take a housing loan we mortgage the property to the bank.” “And after they sell it…? “They’ll take what we owe them and give us the rest. And since the property market is bad now, that’ll be practically nothing. And that means that we’ll even lose our initial deposit and the EMIs that we’ve paid till now!” Namrata’s eyes widened but she didn’t say anything. Husband and wife sat in silence for a few minutes and then Mohanraj glanced at Namrata to see if she was crying. To his surprise, she was merely looking thoughtful. “Aren’t you upset we’ll lose the flat?” he asked. “Of course I am – but it doesn’t really matter all that much.” “It doesn’t?” “Not really. We’re going to lose bricks and mortar, but we have so much. Our youth, our health, our capacity to work – and each other! We’ll buy another flat – and this time we will both be working together to make that dream come true!” Mohanraj stared at her speechless, and she went on. “You keep looking for a job and I will look for one too. And if we can’t find jobs and find ourselves unable to pay our rent, we’ll go home to your parents or mine and wait out this recession. But then we’ll come back here and we’ll make a success of our lives.” Mohanraj felt his eyes fill as he reached out and took her into his arms and held her tight. Yes, they’d ride out the recession and then make a success of their lives. They’d be able to do it because they had each other! We
Q & A
Is it safe to dye the hair during pregnancy? Unfortunately, I have a lot of grey hair at age 30. My doctor says it is probably heredity. If I do not dye my hair I look very old. Now what should I do? Please help. Research has shown that coal tar chemicals in dyes can penetrate the scalp and enter the blood stream. There is no proof that hair dye can damage the baby and lead to birth defects. It is advised that all hair colouring agents be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy. Some even advise colouring of hair only after the baby is born. I am a 30-year-old, working housewife. I am overweight and am on diet. One of my colleagues who is also overweight is always saying that it is difficult to diet. It makes me very depressed. Please help. Some people have the bad habit of making disparaging prophecies. In fact these prophecies have uncanny influences on the other person. If you resolve to diet then there is no way that you can be prevented from achieving your goal. Best for you would be to adopt a positive attitude, avoid your friend or do not listen to her.
My daughter is 14 years old but her breasts have not developed. I am worried very much. Please help. The age at which a girl matures and starts to develop secondary sex characters varies greatly and it can be anywhere between nine and 16 years. I wonder if her periods have started. Delay in the development of sex characters in a girl could be due to heredity. Hormonal influences and the environment have a great role to play in this. I suggest that you get your daughter examined by your doctor who after examining her can rule out any abnormality.
I am a 35-year-old housewife and am on the pill for the last five years. Are there any precautions to be taken while taking pill? Please advise. The pill is a safe contraceptive but there are certain people who should avoid taking it and these include people with any serious liver ailment, heart disease or high blood pressure, or history of stroke and women who suffer from breast cancer. Though the pill as such does not cause breast cancer it may accelerate the growth of an already existing growth.
have shown that in certain diseases in women where hormonal imbalance plays an important role there is definite improvement in these con ditions while being on the pill. These diseases include acne, cancer of the uterus, cystic breasts, ovarian cysts and premenstrual syndrome. I am 18 years old and had sex with my boyfriend. I am terrified since then that I may not contract an STD. Please advise. Your fears are well founded. Sexually-transmitted disease occur through unprotected sex especially with a stranger. There is a long list of such diseases ranging from gonorrhea to herpes, trichomonas etc. It would be better for you to see your doctor who after examining you will be able to advise you. I am 22 years old and recently married. Of late I have developed severe burning while passing urine. Please help. What you have got is called ‘honeymoon cystitis’ which occurs in young brides because of too much sexual activity. But this is not the only reason. Bacteria enter the bladder through the urinary tract. Infection usually takes place at a time when the urethra is irritated or swollen as a result of sexual contact. So best would be to maintain proper hygiene of the part. Always wash your private parts after sexual contact. Do not have sex on a full bladder. For your present problem it would be better to seek the help of your doctor. — Dr S. N. Khosla, MD.
I am 30 years old and on the pill for the last three years. Of late, I have developed attacks of headache, breast tenderness and gained weight. Moreover a feeling of depression has come over me. Please help. What you have got are the sideeffect of the pill. Generally these appear during the first six-eight weeks after taking the drug and then dis appear by the end of the third month. The fact that these have appeared late requires looking into. It would be better if you change the brand of the pill you are taking. If there is still no relief then consult your doctor. I am 30 years old, a working woman and married having two kids. I have been on oral pills for the last one year. Besides contraception, have these got any advantage? Please advise. Yours is a good question. This problem is on the minds of many women who are on the pill. Studies
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The little girl is photographed here in four different costumes and poses. Moreover, the winning score is her spontaneous smile.
A look of self-assertion. Won’t you dance with me?
All prepared to start a game of tennis.
With homework complete, I am going out to explore the world.
Pratibha Panesar E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 9211409671, 9268595253 Qualifications: 2005: MA (Fine Art) Jiwaji University MP. 2002: BFA (Painting) College of Art, New Delhi. Work Experience: 2008: Drawing teacher GGSSS, Shalimar Bagh, 2004: Senior Art Teacher, Frank Anthony Public School, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi. Participations: 2008: Romance with Umbrella, Arshi Group; Delhi Art Festival Travancore Art Gallery, New Delhi; 2003: Sahitya Kala Parishad Art Exhibition, Sapru House New Delhi. Camps: 2009: Art Folio Asia, ITDC, Patna 2009: Art Folio Asia, ITDC, Jaipur 2009: Kalarang Kalasang Art Mela, Gwalior 2006: Sri Ram Group Art Camp Aravali, Gurgaon. Awards: 2008 1st prize for painting on social issues by secret competition 2008: Color Splash 3rd prize onthe-spot art competition organised by The Times of India.
The artist believes that art is an outlet for suppressed thoughts, a guideline for expressing femininity and a way of negotiating chaos and negativity. By Subhra Majumdar
ratibha Panesar is an artist who draws inspiration from her environment as well as her dreams. Making art a basic need for existence, she finds art playing a ‘lot of roles’ in her life. It is an outlet for suppressed thoughts, a guideline for expressing femininity and a way of negotiating chaos and negativity. Naturally, the works of this artist, a former graduate from the Government College of Art, Delhi , is a multi-layered creation that attracts and pleases, that voices and silences, that soothes and inspires the viewer, into a genuine interest in art.
What is your experience of dealing with art galleries showcasing your works? Of the places where my works are exhibited, I find Suruchi Art Gallery, Noida, very welcoming of young talent like mine. I have had a
very favourable response from them and find that they are genuinely interested in promoting young talent in this field. They have built up a sizeable number of collectors of my works.
September (Second) 2009
A stylised symbol of movement.
for calming varied thoughts. It becomes a source for clearing dilemma, of finding peace in one’s surroundings.
the fact that things are not what we see (as true). In fact, we hide the truth behind a colourful aura and this facade is visible to us as the actual truth. The bright colour choice is to express cheeriness and can be compared to an ocean’s surface. The surface is a mood-enhancing colour of blue, whereas the depths of the ocean hide deep and undiscovered facts.
As a teacher how far have you succeeded in passing on these ideas to your students? As a teacher, I like to be a participant in my students’ efforts. I like to share and care and not be just a way of giving knowledge to them. The smile they give me in return for my efforts is what keeps me going and as an artist I feel that is the most valuable lesson I am imparting to them. Ideas like positivism, bringing smiles on faces, making art a tool of human expression are highsounding ideals. How is this executed in the space of your canvas? I try to create a balance in my paintings and that physical balance brings about harmony and peace in the mind of the viewer. I never put anger in the eyes of my figures. If I depict chaos and destruction, at another end of the space I create peace and happiness bringing about a balance in the space. Who, in the family, has been the source of your artistic inspiration? My family has been the source of creative pursuits. My late father is a recurrent dream in my thought process and I tend to paint these dreams in the form of tones and expressions in my art. My mother has been a constant guide and inspirer in both music and art. So now, as I keep painting I tend to hum and sing alongside. My mother encouraged us sisters to strive for achievements and took the trouble of taking us to several art competitions, when we were younger. Her joy knew no bounds when we returned with trophies and prizes. We
In your paintings, there is a butterfly presence displayed prominently in them. What does this form symbolise in your art? The butterfly is not a natural copybook version. It is a stylised symbol of movement and through its flitting movement from flower to flower it seems to suggest to me the capacity of the human mind to convey feelings to one another. The butterfly thus becomes the conduit to convey that all negativity of thought can be diverted through positive thoughts if one follows the movement of a butterfly – moving along, instead of harbouring negativity. Behind the ‘butterfly mask’ the figurative form in your art does not display natural skin tones. What does this treatment of the figure convey? By using a varied colour palette to depict the face, I am trying to express
Besides the main figure, your paintings are a lively play of colourful geometric forms, particularly the spiral. Does this too, have a significance? For me the background of a painting is the space to express what is taking place within one’s mind. The spiral form is what I often use to stress on this inward looking thought process. The plethora of ideas coursing through our minds, at any given time, can only be conceptualised through the spiral because thoughts move in fast spins, from one subject to another, as if spinning in our minds. If the spiral is the instrument to express chaotic diversity of human thought then what is the way out of this entangled situa tion? Art of course. That is why I paint. An artist’s work is the key to unlock entanglement. The artwork is the pathfinder that helps clarity. It is the solution
September (Second) 2009
earned. When you want to withdraw money, go to ATM, not bank counter. Thus, interest would pile up. I use hair dryer many times. How can it be utilised, economically? Well, don’t set the hair dryer to maximum setting. It would lessen appliance energy costs. I have shifted from Chandigarh to Delhi. How long would my NSC (National Savings Certificate) take to be transferred? It should not take more than a month. But 45 days is the maximum time required for NSC transfer. Are free accident insurance covers offered by some banks advantageous? Yes, many banks offer a free accident cover of Rs 1 lakh to savings account holders which can be utilised to your advantage. Separate insurance costs are avoided. If you have more than one bank account, say three, life insurance coverage may be increased without additional expenses. How much does a solar cooker cost? And how long does it take for sunlight to enable cooking process? A solar cooker comes for Rs 2,500-4,000, easily. It has to be kept in sun for 45 minutes, after which you can cook. How can we ensure that correct amount of fuel is being filled at petrol pump? Find if there is a 5-litre calibrated machine stationed at the pump. The Department of Weights and Mea sures insists upon its use. In new pumps, multivendor dispensing machines which have preset price and quantity are very reliable, as no underweighing is possible. Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009 My job is such that I have to be constantly reading and responding to mail while travelling. A blackberry may be too expensive, what should be done? As a blackberry costs Rs 26,000, you can go in for a GPRS type mobile. It would be Rs 8,000, only. As festival season is coming, we want to paint the rooms to save costs. How does one go about it? First, take flint paper and rub dust off all walls. Wipe with soft cloth, next. Dilute paint with 650 ml water. The mix should be one litre paint and 650 ml water. Stir while pouring. Paint walls with horizontal strokes. Apply three coats. You may need 6 litres of paint for four walls. The cost of 1 litre paint is around Rs 200, nowadays. Of course, paint ceiling before starting on walls. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on my computer printer. How should it be made to function faster? Just buy more memory for computer printer. It would pick up amazing speed. I am a woman insurance agent, earning Rs 4,500 per month. Are books of account required to be kept by me? No, you don't have to maintain books of account. When your income is Rs 5,000, books have to be kept. E-mail your queries to: email@example.com Meenakshi Subramaniam is a former IRS officer, answering all your money queries, right from income tax to supermarket shopping. Mail your queries to: I find that chocolates, purchased for my children, carry a wrapper mentioning weight. Is package weight included? What about the biscuits? According to new rules, announced by Bureau of Indian Standards, confectionery packs should carry weight of chocolates, alone. Therefore, where wrapper is included in weight, you can lodge a complaint. Biscuits now can’t carry written messages like weight when packed. As imported jewellery has become costlier, after customs duty imposed in budget, what is the alternative? There is one way, as gold jewellery attracts duty, you can buy ornaments studded with pearls or precious stones. They are exempt from customs duty. Jewellery, made from gold alone, suffers duty imposition. I want to buy a printer for computer. It should not consume a lot of electricity. What kind of printer would save me costs? Opt for an inkjet printer, not a laser printer. The latter guzzles a lot of power. An inkjet printer consumes 90 per cent less power than a laser one. Though I have a bank account, the amount of interest is not growing. As I keep on taking out money, this is happening. Kindly, suggest a remedy. Whenever you have extra cash, deposit it in bank account. That is, instead of keeping cash idle, put it in bank, where interest would be
Q & A
E-3, Jhandewala Estate, Rani Jhansi Marg, New Delhi-110055. 95
NEW LIFE SITUATIONS
“In fact, all my paintings are a mirror held up to the emotions going through my persona at that moment,” says the artist. By Subhra Majumdar
What is unique about the relief technique that you have adopted? After application of the relief texture, I layer it with bright colours. I do not use a carefully held brush to achieve the colouration but allow the colour to spill over the surface and enter randomly into the grooves of the textures. It is a watery solution of acrylics so that the flowing colour has a will of its own and beyond the control of the artist. Then I sort of massage the surface into a blurred finish and finally highlight selectively across the canvas. The mixing on the canvas is done in one shot, blending the colours easily so that the demar cations between one colour and another becomes seamless, as if painting to music. Why have you stopped the relief stage and moved on to using conventional techniques in your art? This happened because I had met with a serious road accident that laid me in bed for a quarter year. I could only look out of my room’s window into the world beyond and that is when I began painting the Asleep series. The theme suggested itself because of my physical condition and the mental feeling of being detached from the world around me. I could view a narrow portion of the world beyond my room and that is when I
s a bubbly teenager, nothing could stop artist Vallery Puri making caricatures of her classmates. In college, the passion spilled over into making posters as well as caricatures, adding to her repertoire. Serious interest in painting began when she stepped into Mumbai’s JJ School of Art for a well chalked-out career. But the travel bug had bitten her hard and Vallery Puri took wing as an air hostess, putting her paint box and easel in wraps for the next decade. Then on the morning of 7 January 1996, everything changed. In a moment of inspiration, Vallery took up her sketch book and pencil and began drawing fantasy themes, reflecting colours, emotions, faces and symbols. Excerpts from an interview: With the awakening into art, did you go back to making caricature work again? Quite surprisingly, I began to discover newer experimentations. It was a fascinating pull towards embossed relief work, textures and themes, portraying Bharatanatyam dancers, dressed in that fashion. I did about 400 such relief works at that time.
September (Second) 2009
September (Second) 2009
painted figures surrounded by symbolic elements suggesting the longing for freedom.
What was the most constant symbol that began to appear in your art? It was the feeling of looking out and a series of paintings were themed around it. Invariably there was a little bird’s figure in them and that was the symbol of hope and looking beyond into a brighter future, suggesting that, some day, these troubles would take wing and I would be a free bird again. Besides cherishing the gift of freedom are there other human emotions that find a place in your artistic depictions? In fact, all my paintings are a mirror held up to the emotions going through my persona at that moment. So, in a way, all my paintings have a personal story of mine to relate. My brush seems to take on a theme according to what I feel at that moment, making me feel that through the painting I am fulfilling my desire to go out of everydayness and into a new life situation each time. Have you been exhibiting at a particular gallery? If so, what are your experiences with them? Yes, I choose to exhibit my works at the Panache Art Gallery for most of the time. Located at Epicentre, Gurgaon, this gallery was the first to
them are my thoughts and if they are arranged in a vase, it is thought that is heard. If an odd flower lies on the ground, it depicts the stray thought that is not conformist. Blossoms in the picture are symbols of symbolic thoughts that are still in the making and have not surfaced into the open.
You have also painted feminine forms in your works. What do they symbolise amidst flowers and forests? It is partly the result of my early interest in caricatures. The figures persist and also depict symbolism in my work. They represent the urge for freedom, the ability to return to our purest and uninhibited form in the nude figure, and also a bit of the influence of great artists likes Van Gogh and Amrita Shergil, whose figurative works have gripped my attention right from the beginning. I find the passion behind the Van Gogh brush stroke fascinating, when it comes to depicting figurative forms. There are some other recurrent images like a bunch of keys, a gate, a blurred dark mass in the backdrop. Are these deliberately construed or mere attempts at pictorial composition? The keys are a symbol of the unlocking of secrets of the human heart and the gate is the obvious image of a desire for freedom. The dark image of the backdrop is the realm of uncertainties that haunts our thoughts and grips our imagination. Does this dark patch warn of a gloomy future for which one must be prepared? On the contrary, it is a statement that the mind works faster than a painter’s brush so that, while the space is still not explicit, the mind has moved ahead, leaving a blank and dark patch on the canvas surface. Peering closely, it also suggests that there is so much more left to be discovered in this world. It is a humbling thought and I feel privileged that as an artist I am the recipient of such a rich inheritance and I am free We to paint all this and more…
promote my art and ever since and has given me prominence and promotion in great measure. My association began when I invited its owner Pooja Gupta to come and see my works and she obliged. Thereafter, she declared that she had ‘fallen in love’ with my art, and remains passionate about it and even puts up with all my eccentricities, I must say.
As you are a versatile artist who has painted on several themes what is your current theme in your work? In my work currently, I am portraying forests and flowers in a series of works on oil. The canvases are of many sizes and even different shapes and it is a totally imaginative take-off on the theme. The flowers in
98 Woman’s Era
September (Second) 2009
STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Strengthen the fighters in you for better health.
By Suman Bajpai
hy is it that there is always some lucky soul who doesn’t get sick when a viral is spreading like wildfire or why, when chicken-pox is sending all the kids home from school, there are a few who remain untouched? Why do only some in a family develop allergies or eczema? Is it because of their strong genes or are they fortunate? To some extent our genes play an important role in our lives, but more inside our body where there is an amazing protection mechanism called the immune system. It is designed to defend us against millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites. Unlike other systems in the body, the immune system is not confined to a particular group of organs or tissues, but works like a huge army, manned by a great rank and file, all of which function in tandem to protect us against hostile invasions of bacteria, viruses and other villains,
which threaten our well-being. Whenever such unfriendly outsiders appear, the immune system springs into action, forming a barrier to prevent invasion by recognising and trapping foreign bodies and then destroying them. The immune system has a whole battery of first-line defences to fend off attacks and prevent microorganisms from entering the bloodstream. This consists of a set of barriers which repel external attack including the mucous membranes in the mouth, nose, vagina, small hairs in the nose and ears, that sweep foreign organisms out. It also includes tears in the eyes and the acid pH balance and sebum in the skin. According to Dr Atul Luthra, senior consultant, internal medicine, Fortis La Femme Hospital, Delhi, “There are two types of immunity. One is cell-meditate immunity and other is antibody meditate. The immune system is a defence system of the body. Whenever body is challenged with an external force the immune system acts activated to fight that force by producing an immune response which is through white blood cells. White blood cells can either destroy the external agencies by producing anti bodies or by cell meditates.” Antibodies are special proteins Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
designed to help the body neutralise or destroy invading organisms. When a germ enters our body for the very first time, it takes several days for antibodies to be manufactured. During this time the signs and symptoms of the infection develop. The blueprint of the antibodies is then stored in the immune system’s memory, so when the same germ threatens the body again, the immune response goes in top gear with immediate action and produces the very same antibodies. This time around you may not even be aware that you have been threatened by infection because there are few or no signs and symptoms. Various lifestyle factors can weaken the immune system. Culprits include antibiotics, contraceptive pills, smoking, a junk food diet, binging on alcohol, pollution and stress. With exercise, a balanced diet, and controlling the stress level, one can stay healthy.
Check your diet: The best immunisation is a good diet. Preprepared, packaged foods that are filled with caffeine, sugar and preservatives fail to give the body any nutrients to defend with. Furthermore, because the system has to defend against the toxins in these foods, they actually deplete the body of its resources. Fruits, vegetables, sprouts and super-foods give us the necessary weapons to fight our health battles. Freshly prepared foods from local sources have the highest nutritional content, especially if they are organic. It is
best to eat a variety of different fruits and vegetables so that all of the necessary weapons are available for defence. A balanced diet is similar to a lifesaving drug and includes fresh fruits, green vegetables, nuts, sprouts, etc. Fresh foods not only carry a diverse mixture of vitamins and trace minerals absent from most processed foods, they also have vitality. Sugar is an immune suppressant. Children often complain of a sore throat that develops after gorging on sweets, or they have recurrent ear infections or chronic tonsillitis if they consume a lot of candy and sugared beverages. Other stimulants – such as coffee and sodas – seem to have a similar result if they are overused. Foods that are loaded with chemicals leave us burdened, rather than energised. A low-fat diet is very important for a strong immune system. Excess fat hampers the ability of the body to fight off bacteria and free radicals. Lowering fat in the diet can be accomplished by limiting the intake of fatty foods and making low fat and low-calorie meal substitutions. Even the antioxidants help in boosting the immune system. Vitamin C aggressively reacts on cancer cells. Good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, green peppers,
cantaloups and broccoli. Vitamin E helps to slow down the symptoms of ageing and strengthen body cells that fight infection. Zinc helps white blood cells and other antibodies reproduce more quickly. Zinc deficiency, even if moderate, can suppress the immune system function. Severe deficiency can shut the immune system down completely.
Exercise for stimulation: Staying active is another brilliant way to defend against illness. Thirty minutes of exercise that gets the heart rate up, such as swimming or cycling, has been proven to strengthen and increase the activity of the immune cells, which kill invading organisms. When we exercise moderately, we actually stimulate our immune functions. Regular exercise increases the circulation in white cells. Exercise also causes our blood vessels to expand so that circulation is increased. More white blood cells circulating to more areas of our body, means a greater ability to fight and prevent disease. Adopt relaxation techniques: Stress has become a part of our life because of the tough competition and a fast – paced life. In fact, we don’t
have the time to relax and enjoy the happiness we achieve with our small efforts. Creating a deep sense of relaxation can have the positive effect on the immune system. Adrenalin triggers the sympathetic nervous system – that ‘fight-or-flight’ response. A relaxation technique like daydreaming, that involves allowing images to drift through your mind may heighten immune response to disease. Just relax and let images come to you. When you are ill, imagine your immune system fighting off invaders. Or listen to tapes that invoke relaxation with the sound of ocean waves. Take five minutes daily to breathe deeply and relax. Listen to soothing music, or get a massage. Resting and relaxing keep the immune system strong.
Don’t compromise on sleep: Poor sleep is associated with a lower immune system function and the number of killer cells. Killer cells are the part of the immune system that combat viruses or cells that divide too rapidly, as they do in cancer. Yoga, exercise, or talking to a friend may all help lower stress. Avoid sleep robbers such as eating, drinking alcohol, smoking, or exercising right before bedtime. Getting plenty of sleep every night is insurance against ill health. Yoga, breath techniques and taking hot baths are just some of the pleasurable ways to beat stress and improve sleep quality. Have a positive approach: Having a positive outlook when under stress can make you and your immune system feel high. Negative emotions release stress hormones that suppress immune activity, while positive emotions increase immune function and even help people to recover faster from illnesses. Make friends. Going out with your friends can lift your spirits and your We defences.
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
SWIMMING POOLS DO THEY FULFIL THE REQUIREMENTS
The elderly are thrilled about Chennai’s swimming pools, but these are not marketed well. By K. V. Venugopal
here are about 130 swimming pools in Chennai. How many are meeting the requirements of people? This is the question lingering in the minds of swimmers, especially the elderly. The leading swimming pools, however, are trying their level best to cater to the requirements of their members. The
encouraging aspect is that most of the swimming pool authorities are making efforts to satisfy the needs of learners who are above 45. How many of them in that age-group are responding to the nuances of techniques and the ability to grasp the finer points of swimming? Mr Solomon, the mild-mannered sports officer of the Aquatic Complex at Velachery Road, Guindy, coming
under the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) opines that the complex is of international standard having one race pool, one diving pool and one warming-up pool. The warming-up pool, unique in its design, has been earmarked for exclusive use of the members of the Complex. According to him, of all the swimming pools in Chennai, only Velacherry possesses 50 metres in all pools, whereas, in general, only 25 metres are found in other swimming pools. There is an exclusive timing for women from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 3 to 7 p.m. There are total of 675 members in the Aquatic Complex. 65 per cent of the 200 members are above 40 years and 130 members are competitive swimmers and are trained to improve standards at national and international levels. In the above-45year category, of 400 swimmers, 60 are women. There is an exclusive timing for women members. There are four coaches, out of which two are guest coaches and one lifeguard. The coaches, Krishnasamy and Veerabhadran, both in 40s, cited an incident of how a swimmer over 40 responds to the coaching. “A 60year-old woman swims and jumps so fast without any fear and we are more scared than her.” they said laughing. The concerned lady learner, Kashmira, who was standing behind them burst into laughter and lauded the scientific training, which is the forte of the Aquatic Complex, behind her inclination to pick up swimming. Mr Solomon said that the complex focuses on scientific and innovative training to the learners, especially to the 40 plus in a phased and fine-
tuned manner. Above all, he confesses, albeit with a sense of humour that the veteran swimmers outweigh the youngsters by waging a war over weight. Swimming, especially for the elderly not only reduces asthma, obesity, surgical after-effects, backpain, and overweight, but above all, it makes them realise that fitness fever, which is sweeping the country, is not only meant for youngsters only, but for them, too. Are the doctors attending the complex on a regular basis? Mr Solomon said the injured are being sent to physical therapists and doctors at Stanley Medical Centre in the city. Concessions were given to the poor people who are aged 45 in the form of free treatment and discount in membership-fee. The complex charges annually Rs 4000, half-yearly Rs 2,000 and Rs 1500 for quarterly.
NO MEMBERSHIP LIST
Mr Panneerselvam, deputy sports officer of Shenoy Nagar swimming pool, in the city, which is also coming under the SDAT, expressed his inability to provide the membership list, but revealed that the learners above 45 are learning and swimming with bubbling enthu Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
siasm like youngsters. Do they feel discriminated, compared to youngsters? Not at all, says Mr Panneerselvam and said the posh swimming pool provides more opportunities to the people here to excel in swimming. All the swimmers are, however, required to submit their fitness certificates. Official sources at the pool confirm the annual rate as Rs 3,000, half-yearly Rs 2,200 and quarterly Rs 1,500. Mr Panneerselvam, however, conceded that special conce ssions are not possible for the 40-plus as per the government rules, but the poorer sections are taken care of by the SDAT. Zaheera the regular swimmer in her 40s said that she eagerly awaits every day to swim in the pool by competing with youngsters. Mr Manimaran, a 55-year-old man, could not conceal his spirit when he said that after learning swimming he is getting younger day by day. “I am ready for a boxing bout with youngsters,” he jokingly quipped. Dr Sukumaran, cardiologist with the General Hospital in the city and a member of the Shenoy Nagar swimming pool said that he had a wonderful experience in treating the swimmers, especially the people who are above 45 years old. He cited the incident of how a patient who came to him with constant illness problems had to be cajoled to learn swimming for its positive impact. The patient agreed to his suggestion and became a member of the Shenoy Nagar Swimming pool. “Within no time, much to my surprise, the patient became fitness savvy,” giggles the enthusiastic doctor. The Anna Nagar swimming pool, situated on the Beach Road in the city, also comes under the SDAT, and charges a paltry sum of Rs 15 per individual. The junior assistant of the swimming Pool, K Manoharan, conceded that the response is poor at the moment due to the winter season and they do not have provision for membership. The sources in many swimming pools, confessed that the IAS official and the overall district sports secretary of
SDTA, Apoorva Selvi, has introduced swimming free of cost for commandos and NCC cadets. Moreover, she is always looking for an opportunity to assist the swimmers who are above 40, especially women.
A DYNAMIC COACH
The swimming pool at Nandanam in the city has produced a dynamic coach Selvam. Mr Selvam articulates and emphasises training from the physical education point of view. Middle-aged swimmers are taking greater interest in learning than the youngsters, says he without mincing words, and the only stumbling block according to him is the hesitation on their part to join swimming. But once they enter they become a changed and confident lot with lots of optimism, and admitted that much need to be done to provide more concessions to the elderly, since they are less in number compared to the youngsters. Mr Johnson echoed his sentiment and said that 50 per cent of the trainee swimmers are children of information technology (IT) and software personnel. Devika, a service care expert, is of the opinion that her patients have recovered fast from illness, following her suggestions to many of them to take swimming as an exercise. “The drastic changes in some of my patients’ behaviour can be gauged only if you happen to be present before them.” Swimming constantly keeps you in fine fettle, she sums up. The renowned ortho-surgeon and managing director of Miot Hospital in the suburbs of the city Prof PVA Mohandas agreed and admitted that learning swimming cures many diseases. The doctor further asserted that with gyms, personal trainers, yoga classes and slimming centres were mushrooming, it is imperative to keep oneself fit, and swimming at regular intervals provides you the right solution to the panic-stricken patients. Anand, in-charge of the Marina Swimming Pool, situated on the beach side of the city, which is coming under the Chennai Corporation, regretted that the responses in beach areas are poor. Unfortunately, there is not much provision in the swimming pool to provide special facilities for swimmers aged above 40 as the infrastructure itself is found wanting and needs a brush-up. Many sources at the swimming pools wondered why the swimming pools coming under SDAT in Anna Nagar, Velachery and Shenoy Nagar charge different rates for entry. The reason cited was “slum area” by Mr Paneerselvam, but that does not take into account the fact that all residents in the beach road are not poor and all residents of Velachery and Shenoy Nagar are not rich. A common entrance fee would have made a world of difference. The 55-year-old Swati gets excited about her swimming pool achievements at the Shenoy Nagar pool here. At the same time she did not forget to give credit to her coaches for her improvement. The weekly off on Monday is the only stumbling block for her and
Swati manages to pass her time with great difficulty. Though swimming requires use of brain, most of us think it is not necessary, once you start practising and get used to the pool, says Swati, who is proud to proclaim that she is getting younger day by day with her constant involvement in swimming. Another swimmer a 48-year-old Mr Natarajan echoes the views of Swati at the Anna Swimming Pool and said swimming has enabled him to work with renewed vigour. “Swimming not only helps you in getting up early in the morning, but it also assists you in your day-to-day activity and enables you to perform your duties with utmost spirit in your organisation,” averred the ever-agile Mr Natarajan and further confessed that swimming also helps us out in dealing with public relations activities and customer relations. Most importantly, asthma, back pain and other knitty-gritty problems do not enmesh us and are conspicuous by its absence, argued the swimmer. According to him, there is much to learn in swimming and Chennai gives
one a lot of scope to emerge with flying colours, if one has the penchant for learning the finer points of swimming in a fine-tuned manner. The coaches are making it more interesting, he said and added that, like stunt masters in films and circus, the coaches are taking enormous risks in teaching the swimmers. “After all, they are the ones accountable, if anything untoward occurs – isn’t it?” asks the suave and soft-spoken Natarajan. The coach and a sponsor of the Marina Swimming Pool, Mr Muniandi, said he has adopted the novel method of making swimming more interesting by staging competi tions among the swimmers, especially for the people who are in the 40s. The competition spirit inspires them to perform with redoubled vigour. “Once you take an interest in anything, nothing is difficult to learn and swimming is not an exception,” he said and regretted that people residing in beach areas are less inclined to practise swimming than the people coming from far-off places. The 43-year-old Mr Raja manickam said that he is coming from Thiruvallur, far from the pool and it takes him not less than four hours commuting. Mr Muniandi said the learner’s enthusiasm has not waned, despite the difficulty he faces in commuting. “It is worthwhile to start a membership drive at the swimming pool, considering the growing interest of the people and we coaches and life-guards do need more training and
exposure abroad to enable us to teach the learners scientifically and with modern equipment,” he noted.
INCLINATION OF THE AGED
The coaches Mr Mohan and Mr Lokanathan associated with the Marina Swimming Pool lauded the learning skills of the middle-aged people. They are convinced that the 40-plus pick up the nuances of swimming faster than the youngsters. “The inclination among them and the eagerness they display to learn is amazing indeed, says Mr Mohan. He cited an incident of how a man in his 70s swims with supreme confidence. The advantage in swimming is that 95 per cent do not feel that they are suffering from ailments, even if they suffer from any disease, said Mr Mohan and added that like an apple a day keeps the doctor away, swimming a day also keep the doctor at a distance. We
Winners of Jewellery Quiz Contest - 5
Manjeet Kaur 1341/19 Naiwala f/f Karol Bagh, New Delhi-110 005
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
DIRECTOR N. Lingusamy whose debut vehicle Anandham was basically a family entertainer with a star-studded cast proved a smash-hit at the box office, switched to a racy action with Run that proved biggest hit. Two consecutive big hits with contrasting themes established his credentials as a versatile film-maker who could easily move over from one terrain to another with effortless ease. This passionate film-maker is absolutely keyed up with his forthcoming project Paiyya which has Karthi (of Paruthi Veeran’ fame, also Suriya’s brother!) and Tamannah in the lead. TALENTED young film-makers with fresh ideas have come up with brilliant themes in the recent times. Arivazhagan is one such among them all whose forthcoming flick Eeram has already raised hopes. What makes the project more interesting is the fact that the film has been produced by d i r e c t o r S h a n k a r through his home banner S. Pictures. Don’t just assume that my guru handed over this assign -
ment to me on a silver platter,” he begins in a very jovial mood with a touch of suspense. Of course, this energetic youth hailing form Coimbatore had deputed for two films under Shankar Boys and Anniyan. “I am a product of the Chennai film Institute and I have also won a gold medal under the Best Short Film Category during my final year,” he points out ecstasy. Arivazhagan has put in his best efforts to take Tamil Cinema to greater heights. THE never-ending rift between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka regarding the Cauvery water issue has taken a new turn, not at a state level but at the screen level! A Tamil film titled Thambivudayaan has been made by the debutant producer-director Raaju Mahesh, the theme of which is broad based on the Cauvery water problem. Shot in the delta regions of Cauvery belt in Tamil Nadu, the film sketches the efforts of an youngster who takes up the cause of the farmers on seeing them eating rats and squirrels and fights for justice. According to Mahesh, the filmmaker only highlights the need for a permanent and speedy solution to the never – ending issue of water sharing between both the states.” I am not here to create any controversy; I have only tried to portray a realistic picture of a burning problem,” says he.
R. S. Prakash
under whose music Deva has rendered a Gana number. Jai Singh Raja is the cinematographer. R. Senthamizharasu has assumed responsibility for the screenplay and direction.
MURALI Cine Arts Jagan Mohini is one of the most awaited movies of the season that features Namitham in the lead role. The film also has Nila, Raja, Narasimha Raju, Jyothi Lakshmi, Koto Srinivasa Rao, Riaz Khan, Alex and Vadivelu. Ace cinematographer who has wielded the camera as well as the film in project such as Inaindha Kaigal has handled the cinematography, screen play and direction. Ilaiyaraja has scored the music. The film is said to be rich in its graphics work and is expected to take Namitha to a new level in filmdom.
VEERACHOZHAN produced by Sri Muthumariamman Films has newcomer Ajay Kumar in the lead role and Swetha as his pair. Veteran comedian Cho is acting in a cameo in this after a long time. Sex-siren Sona appears in a sizzling dance number playing the part of a fruit seller. Viveka and Anbu Saravanan (who has also directed the film) have penned the lyrics. Vijay Sharma is the scorer while Rajkeerthi is the editor. The film is scheduled for an early release.
POSSIBLY after M.G.R.’s Meenava Nanban SMK. V Movies Meenava Selvan is the film which speaks about the plight of fishermen. The backdrop of the film is set around the Sri Lankan issue. The screenplay also accommodates love and comedy as a part of the proceedings. Vasanth
and Sai Karthik are the lead artistes while Tharani is the heroine. Senthil Kumar DFt has assumed responsibility for the screenplay, dialogue and direction. DIRECTOR M Raja, who is hailed as the king of remakes, is one of the highly acclaimed film-makers of the times. Though young in age, the experience and expertise he has shown in dealing with serious themes in a refined and matured manner has won him encomiums. He has just launched Thillalangadi, with his brother Ravi in the lead and with the current sensation, Tammannah in the female lead. Obviously, this forthcoming flick too is the remake of the superhit Telugu flick, Kick which had Ravi Teja in the lead. Shaam, who was highly applauded for his performance in the Telugu original, is enacting the same character in the Tamil remake too. The screenplay is supposedly a perfect package of comedy, action, and suspense, says a unit hand. Ravi who has mostly appeared in family-oriented subjects so far, switches on to full-fledged action this time. He plays a guy who gets a kick out of doing challenging things. Yuvan Shankar Raja is the scorer and one can certainly expect some good music as Raja has a reputation for getting the best out of his music directors. Looks like Raja has yet another sure-fire winner on We his hands.
KANDEN Kadhalai which is a adaptation of the Hindi blockbuster Jab We Met is the year’s most talked about love story. Bharath and Tamannaah play the lead roles in the film that has a heart-warming script. The comedy track of the film is highly talked about. Kannan, a former deputy of Manirathanam, who made a bright start with Jayam has assumed Kandaan responsibility for screenplay and direction. Vidyasagar has come up with some pleasant tunes.
U.S. pictures Mandapam features S.T. Tamizharasan of Megan fame who is basically a lawyer-turnedactor. Chiniya is the heroine. Nizhalgal Ravi, Vadivukkarasi, Shanmughal Sundaram, Manobala, Sriman and Rahasiya are also in the cast. Iniya Maheshan is the scorer 102 Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
S P E A K !
WEDDING TO CINEMA!
fter a brief hiatus, Vedika who is just about five-films old at Kollywood has staged a comeback of sorts with Malai Malai which is eventually a return vehicle for actor Arun Vijay. “I was suitably impressed with the theme of the film and of course team too, that as headed by director A. Venkatesh and hence I lost no time to nod my approval,” says Vedika sporting an impressive smile. Her earlier film Sakkarakatti opposite K. Bhagyaraj’s son Saantanoo proved a damp squib at the box-office despite the media hype and of course, Rahman’s foot-tapping number Taxi...’. In Malai Malai , Vedika plays a bubbly R. J. working for an F. M. station. “It was a great experience working with Malai Malai unit as every single member starting from the hero Arun Vijay to the last technician were all fully enthused and energetic,” observes Vedika, according to whom there is better professionalism in the south. “I am more concerned about good role and good performance rather than a good-like – up of movies in
the kitty,” says she quite clear and confident of how her career has to be. It is quite normal for stars of her stature to grab every single opportunity that comes their way. But Vedika is different as she never
appears to be in a hurry to go on a signing spree. “I don’t mind waiting for the right kind of scripts that would enable me to perform. Also, as I am well trained in acting, I also look forward for roles that would offer me to parade by dancing skills”, remarks vedika. It is interesting to note that she has done an advance course in dancing at the Shiamak Davar’s School of Performing Arts in Mumbai. Though she is not against actresses wearing a bikini, provided they can carry it off well but personally she doesn’t prefer to do it herself. Baanam is one of her forthcoming assignments in Telugu in which the nephew of Chandrababu (former C. M. of Andhra Pradesh) is playing the lead. Vedika states that she is not keen to move to Bollywood. Thank God, one competitor less for all those sizzling star-sirens from the south who are presently eyeing for a break in Bollywood! About her wedding bells? As of now, I am wedded to my work,” she signs off with a sweet smile!
SURIYA EXPLORES NEW HORIZONS!
midst the breed of top heroes of the times, Suriya has certainly shaped up into a big force to reckon with. His quest for uncommon characters has in fact enabled him to feature in experimental roles like the one(s) in Vaaranam Aayiram that was successfully followed by yet another blockbuster Ayan, the biggest grosser of the year.
The wonder-lad is all set to woo audience again with his forthcoming flick Aadhavan which has been produced by Red Giant Movies, a banner owned by Udhayanidhi Stalin, who is none other than the son of the state’s chief minister. According to inside information, Suriya has enacted the lead role which has shades of grey. More so, the onscreen chemistry between Suriya
and Nayanthara would certainly become the talk of the town soon after the release of the movie, adds the source. Vadivelu joins hands with Suriya and it is worth recollecting their combo in films as Friends, Chillu Oru Kaadhal, etc. The film also features yesteryear beauty queen from Karnataka, Saroja Devi in a pivotal role. Shayaji Shinde and Rahul Dev too have vital roles in this
flick that has been directed by K. S. Ravikumar who has also assumed responsibility for the screenplay and dialogue. The music release function which was held recently was nothing but a grand spectacle which was attended by several screen personalities like actor Vijay, director Shankar, Gautham Vasudev Menon. Sashikumar (of Subramanyapuram and Nadodigal fame) and of course, Suriya, Harris Jayaraj and K. S. Ravikumar. On the occasion of the audio and trailer launch, Ravikumar disclosed that Suriya appears as a 10-year-old in the movie in some portions. “The effort and hard work put in by Suriya for
nearly a fortnight to play those portions were something phenomenal,” he remarked. Suriya was wondering how he could do so
many roles so well when it was difficult even to do one role of this sort, who had directed him in his previous film Dasavathaaram. While director Shankar released the audio of the film which was received by Rama Narayanan, President, Tamil Film Producers’ Council, the trailer was received by actor Vijay which was released by producer R. B. Choudary. Both Vijay as well as Suriya admitted that they both were ardent and self-proclaimed fans of Harris Jayaraj. Going by the fact that Gautham Vasudev Menon was also around, there is probably a possibility that Harris and Gautham could come forward to bury their differences and reunite.
BLAST FROM THE PAST!
t all started first with the remix of evergreen songs from old films which caught like wild fire. Almost every single film that hit the screen had a remix version of those good old songs. While the previous generation of film-goers almost declared a war stating that such a trend of remixing old hit numbers wasn’t a healthy trend and that it amounted to tampering with olden golden melodies of the past, the contemporary generation welcomed the new trend with both hands! While on one side, it was felt that the present crop of music directors preferred to bank on popular tunes of the past rather than come up with creative tunes, there was another version that they were only trying to bring the good old ones from the past to the new generation, of course in a different package. Going a step further, as our creative film-makers couldn’t find good titles for their new films, they started borrowing old film titles. Consequently, many new films had the title of old films. Recent releases as Nam Naadu,
Nadodi Mannan, Anbe Vaa, Polladavan, Padikadavan, Rajathi Raja, etc. had the titles of yesteryear movies. More such movies are being made which showcase the titles of successful old movies. Guru Sishya,
Ayirathil Oruvan, Deiva Magan, Ulagam Sutrum Vaaluban, Murattu Kaalai and Vettaikaran are the ones that are in the making that carry titles of successful old movies. Even Kamal Hassan is no exception, his successful films as Sathi Leevavathi and Aboorva Sahothargal were also borrowed titles. Even the title of his much-hyped movie, Marmayogi which has now been shelved temporarily was picked up from the M.G.R. starrer, Marmayogi of the early fifties! Of course, the entertainment tax exemption for movies with Tamil titles has rather encouraged our filmmakers to stick to Tamil titles without English words. With a good number of titles being registered everyday, there is a big rush for good titles. It is even said that a few film-makers register attractive titles and simply sit on it then later, they try to sell it at astronomical prices! Even to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the use of old titles, huge sums are being demanded, laments a producer. Title ties have become as competitive as seeking a desired email id!
CELEBRATING FIFTY YEARS IN CINEMA!
amal Hassan who has completed 50 golden years in the celluloid world, is indeed a personification of both unique talent and exceptional creativity. His dedication to the art is something spectacular – having started at the age of five – and even after 50 years still going strong with nothing to stop him. Besides proving himself as a versatile performer par excellence, he has also excelled in the other avenues of film making as a script writer, producer, director, singer and also as an excellent choreographer among other portfolios. Vijay TV, which is more content– centric than being merely cinemacentric, has grabbed the unique distinction of having been nominated to celebrate the golden jubilee of Kamal Hassan. The channel is to launch a spate of events in the next six weeks – the celebrations titled Ulaganayagan Kamal Aimbathu-Oru Thodarum Sarithiram (Universal star Kamal, 50 – a continuing history) which will be held across the state. This exclusive event will be one of its kind ever attempted for any star and is scheduled to be carried out through select phases,” says K. Sriram, general manager, Star Vijay. When we approached the admirable actor with a proposal for the project, he was only too happy. “We are very happy that our Star Vijay could pioneer such a concept and event despite many other channels around,” he adds. In the first phase, a customised Kamal Bus would traverse the length and breadth of the state, drawing the attention of his thousands of fans. The bus would visit trade centres and fan clubs in Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru in Karnataka. An exclusive photo exhibition with rare and neverseen photographs from Kamal Hassan’s life will be on display on the bus which will cover several cities and towns in Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru. The second phase will be in the form of a festival that celebrates the
three forms of Tamil language at three key locations in Tamil Nadu – Madurai, Coimbatore and Chennai. The one at Madurai will showcase literary discussion featuring eminent personalities from the field of Tamil literature. The actor’s perfection and attention to detail when it comes to using various Tamil dictions in his films would be highlighted. The discussions are to be interspersed with interesting anecdotes. While Coimbatore will witness a grand musical nite Vijay TV has planned to organise a Kamal Hassan film festival at Chennai in partnership with Sathyam Cinemas. The channel will also telecast special-on-air episodes that would consist of a 16 episode series. The month-long celebrations will culminate with a mega event in Chennai, probably, in the 2nd week of September. It is expected to be an evening to treasure as the film stars of the Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada film industry
will come together on one stage to salute the one and only Kamal Hassan. Besides Kamal himself, Big B – Amitabh Bachchan – Superstar Rajnikath, Shah Rukh Khan (he appeared in a cameo along with Kamal in Hey Ram ) Mammotty, Mohanlal, Sridevi, Ajith, Vijay, Suriya, etc and the grand event is to be witnessed by about 7000 people! A core team has been formed that consists of K. Balachander, Sivakumar, Sarath Kumar, Napoleon, Myshkin, A. R. Muragadoss, Khushboo, Cheran, Ravi, K. Chandran, Yugi Sethu – all of whom will monitor the arrangements for the celebrations. Remarks Murugadoss of Ghajni (both Tamil and Hindi) fame, “During a brief meeting with Kamal sir, I asked him why is he straining himself with the portfolios of story, screenplay, dialogue, in direct etc, while he is basically an actor. I was truly stunned by his reply: ‘I don’t want to happen to me, that which happened to thespian Sivaji Ganesan during the last part of his era. There were no suitable scripts or characters to satisfy the great actor’s appetite for acting. Whatever was offered was like offering curd rice to a hungry lion!’ Kamal had said. Murugadoss has also suggested that the road (Eldams Road) where Kamal’s house is situated should be named as Dr Kamal Hassan Road. In his observation,Yugi, Sethu the actor-cum-director, recollected the memory and the absence of the late Nagesh who would have simply loved to be a part of organising such a mega event. Yugi Sethu had once asked Nagesh, “Sir, you are a senior veteran but why do you address Kamal as Kamalji?” Pat came Nagesh reply, “I have in me a part of Kamal Hassan, but I do not form a part of him! That’s why!” It is worth remembering that it was while costarring with Kamal in Nammavar Nagesh bagged the National award for his superlative performance. Looks like Star Vijay is all set to celebrate Kamal’s golden jubilee with We both substance and style.
Tear this page along the perforated line and send it to the under mentioned address. Winner will be announced in the November issue.
DBS Q U I Z
1 Q 2 Q 3 Q
Do your friends know you love him?
a. Some friends b. Yes c. No
Do you stare at him a lot?
a. When he is not looking b. Sometimes c. Yes d. No
Do you get jealous when people talk to him?
a. Yes b. Only if they are girls c. No
Answer the questions win a grand prize...
HOW MUCH DO YOU
Do you know how much you love this guy? Find out here!
elected entries will be published in the forthcoming issue of Woman’s era. Look out for the 31 October 2009 issue
lucky winners will get the book
L ast date for sending entries: 15 October 2009 Attach a photograph of your friend for a better
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Suiz hort Q a prize Win
4 Q 5 Q 6 Q 7 Q 8 Q
Did you tell him you love him?
a. No b. Yes c. No but he knows I do
9 Q 10 Q 11 Q 12 Q 13 Q
Did you meet him daily?
a. No b. Yes c. Sometimes
Do you call him?
a. Sometimes b. No c. Yes
Do you write about him in your diary or journal?
a. No b. Yes c. I don’t have a journal or diary
Do you text him?
a. No b. Only if his cellphone is on c. Yes
Do you try to make him jealous to love you?
a. No b. Only if he is looking c. Yes
Do you think about him everyday?
a. No b. Yes c. Not everyday
Do you ask his friends if they like you or like someone?
a. No b. I ask everyone c. Yes
Did you kiss him?
a. Yes b. No c. I tried to kiss him d. Only if he loves me back
Do you love more than one guy?
a. Yes b. No c. Sometimes
Scoring Terms and Conditions:
Don’t you hate those artificial quizzes that only have one obvious right answer? Since we don’t know about your personal life, these questions could work out, depending on one’s personality and interactions. And you could probably come up with better answers!
Prove that you are aware of this trivia. Send us the coupon with your photo along with the correct answers.
Name Age Address PIN E-mail
Winners of DBS Quiz Contest - 59
Don’t forget to attach a photograph
1. Mark the answers and send us the cutting of this quiz along with this coupon. The last date is 15 October 2009. So hurry up and post it now. 2. The decision of the editor will be final. 3. Depict your true self only. 4. Send a photograph of your own. It may be printed in Woman’s Era, along with the results. Send to: Woman’s Era, Delhi Press, E-3, Jhandewala, New Delhi-110 055.
Irish Gomes LT6/3, Vijay Nagar, Marul, Andheri East, Mumbai. Pin: 400059
Tarun Gupta 8-MIG, Mumfordganj, Near Tripathi Chauraha, Allahabad. Pin: 211002
Niha Choubey 1444 Narbada Road, Jabalpur, M.P. Pin: 482002
her. You can do very little except show her the mirror once and then await her action and decision. However, be honest in your assessment of the situation and ask her why she is unhappy. Maybe she needs your support and help in identifying her problem and addressing it.
Q & A
I am a 21-year-old Muslim girl, engaged to a boy selected by my parents. But I love one of my colleagues who is a non-Muslim. He loves me too and wants to marry me and even his parents are ready to accept me. I don’t like the boy selected by my parents, but if I tell this situation to them I am sure they will reject it. What should I do? Well, it is never easy when you want to marry somebody of a different religion. You are lucky you have the support of the boy’s family. Do you love this boy enough to go against your parents’ desire? Only you can decide that. Also, before you take a decision you must weigh your options very carefully – does either of you plan to change religion, how will either of you adjust to a new religion, etc.? My mother is a very strong woman undergoing breast cancer treatment at the age of 45. She needs emotional support, but I find her friends do not behave well any more. She is lonely and I work in Chennai while she is in Lucknow. How can I help her? Your concern is well founded and noble. Yes, relatives and friends often do not know how to address somebody undergoing breast cancer treatment and turn out to be thoughtless and uncaring. Being in a different city is a problem. Is her coming to Chennai not an option? If
you know her friends personally you can even take the step of talking to them to sensitise them a bit. They do not mean badly but just do not understand the situation and it scares everybody. Talk to your mom often and let her see the funny side of the situation, that is always possible.
My first cousin and I were always close. We are the same age and went to the same school. After marriage I found that she resented everything I have and never liked what she had. In fact by all material standards she is far better off. I feel as though the wedge is getting wider between us. What do I do to get it back on track? If your cousin has decided to be jealous and envious, the problem has to be dealt with and sorted out by
I am 24 and my fiance is 32. I have had only one relationship which ended two years ago but my fiance has had many girlfriends. Is it okay to suggest blood test screening? What should be done and must I do it as well? It is a very wise move to opt for blood test and STD screening, especially if one of you has been sexually active. Tests need to be done for HIV, Hepatitis-B and even an STD test for syphilis (because that is often not symptomatic) and any other test the doctor suggests. Just remember that even if you had only one relationship you too should take the same tests.
My husband and I were divorced when he decided to go abroad with a colleague he thought he loved. I had custody of our two children. Life was tough but I managed, and it is now eight years. A year ago a colleague proposed and I decided to get married this summer. My ex-husband came to know of this and recently came into town to say he is free and would like to remarry me. The children are happy to hear that, but I don’t love him any more. What do I do? Your husband was selfish once and left you and the two children. Now, he is being selfish once again in interrupting your life. You have not mentioned the age of your children but they should be mature enough to understand what you have lived through to reach this stage. Take them into confidence and discuss with them that irrespective of your possible marriage to the new partner you do NOT love their father any more and will definitely not marry him. Ask for their support, but be prepared for their selfish approach. In any event be sure that you are rejecting your ex-husband for the right reason and not just punishing him for the past behaviour.
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
Mehta, founder of The Dimexon Group received the award in the manufacturing category to a standing ovation from the audience that recognised decades of his relentless efforts and his extraordinary feat of placing the Indian gem and jewellery industry prominently on the global map. Mehta has been the driving force behind the profitable growth of the entire Dimexon Group, which includes Kirtilal’s group of companies. He has been instrumental in driving several new and innovative initiatives within the group and the fraternity. The Dimexon Group is a leading international diamond manufacturing and jewellery group. A sight-holder of the Diamond Trading Company (London) since 1976 and a Select Diamantaire of Rio Tinto, Dimexon ranks among the largest manufacturers of diamonds in the world. ‘Autumn Leaves’: by Minawala was adjudged the most beautiful piece of
ANNUAL RETAIL JEWELLER INDIA AWARDS 2009
The Annual Retail Jeweller Awards ceremony is arguably one of the most prestigious and celebrated annual events in the Indian diamonds, gems and jewellery fraternity. These awards acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of retailers, brand owners, manufacturers, designers who account for the $ 13 billion retail jewellery industry of India. The Retail Jeweller award is an initiative by the Retail Jeweller magazine to motivate excellence in jewellery retailing. For the 5th consecutive year, the Retail Jeweller : India's favourite business magazine for jewellery retailers, celebrated the highest achievers in India's $ 20 billion dynamic retail jewellery industry with one single yardstick "The Retail Jeweller India Awards" which is associated with IMRB as the process validators. Pankaj K. Mehta, chairman, Kirtilal Kalidas Group was honoured with the “Lifetime Achievement Award”.
jewellery and awarded the Best Diamond Jewellery of the Year 2009. Designed for the carefree women of the world, this diamond necklace (Rs. 3,08,000) mirrors the sensuality of her personality by bringing attention to where it matters. Minawala was nominated for five categories: 1) Coloured Stone Jewellery of the Year 2) Men's Jewellery of the Year 3) Diamond Jewellery of the Year 4) Retail Chain of the Year 5) Print Campaign of the Year. This by itself is an achievement. Awarded the ‘Diamond Vivaha Jewellery of the Year 2007’, ‘Jewellery Designer of the Year 2008’ and the hat-trick award in 2009 for the ‘Diamond Jewellery of the Year’, Minawala continues to show that they are definitely at par with excellence.
ADITYA JYOT EYE HOSPITAL’S 19 TH ANNIVERSARY
Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital (AJEH), one of the leading eyecare hospitals in Mumbai, launched the “Care For The Eye” programme – a social initiative aimed at supporting the cause of eye donation, on the occasion of the hospital’s 19th anniversary. As part of this programme, a special campaign for police personnel across all ranks and grades (along with their spouses) in Mumbai will be given free eye checkup which will be conducted every Sunday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Aditya Jyot Hospital. Sivanandhan, police commissioner of Mumbai, inaugurated this special scheme. Popular film actress Celina Jaitley
Pankaj K. Mehta receiving “Lifetime Achievement Award”.
also graced the occasion and endorsed the noble cause by pledging her beautiful eyes. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Natarajan, (CMD-AJEH) said, “Aditya Jyot has been actively involved in creating awareness about eye donation ever since its inception in 1990. It’s been our constant appeal to everyone to support the cause of eye donation and make lives better and brighter for those struggling in the world of darkness.” Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital, established in 1990 by worldrenowned ophthalmologist, Dr S. Natarajan, is a “one-stop shop” for all eyecare needs. All eye disorders including complicated ones such as sub-macular haemorrhage, ocular trauma, and diabetic retinopathy are treated here with utmost precision. Aditya Jyot is also well equipped with a LASIK operation theatre for correction of refractive error.
years of experience in the area of biotech R&D. He has worked on the development of biosimilars, fusion proteins, monoclonal antibodies, and platform technology for protein expression. He received his PhD in molecular virology and oncology from the University of WisconsinMadison, USA. Dr Dasika’s past appointments include Susan G Komen Fellow in Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, and director of gene transfer technologies at cancer Therapy and Research Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
ACTIS BIOLOGICS APPOINTS DR GOPAL DASIKA AS R&D HEAD
Actis Biologics, a prominent Mumbai-based biotech research and development company, specialising in areas like breast cancer and colon cancer, has appointed Dr Gopal Dasika as its new head of R&D. He has been designated as senior vicepresident, R&D, of the company. Prior to his joining Actis Biologics, Dr Dasika was head, biology research, at Reliance Life Sciences. Dr Gopal Dasika has over 19
Dr Gopal Dasika
CELEBRITY BAR NIGHT
A profusion of celebrities gathered at Bandra Hill Road as Sudhanshu Pandey continued the trend of celebrity bar nights at Puro Bar and Kitchen. The charismatic owner, Nazneen Sarkar, played the perfect host by bringing people closer – through their taste buds. The white interiors sparkled with the presence of prominent personalities like Sanjay Gupta and his wife Anu, Shashi Ranjan and Anu Ranjan, Mandira Bedi, Rohit Roy and his wife Mansi Joshi, singers Bhupendra and Mitali, Tapur and Tupur Chateerjee, Sameer Soni,
Sanjay Gupta Shahid Kapoor unveiled Hi! Blitz magazine.
Sanjay Suri, Parvin Dabbas, Mann. S. Sirohi, Bunty Gerwal, Shawar Ali, Mohit and Chavvi Mittal, Sophie Chaudhry, politicians and close friends of Sudhanshu Pandey – Pratap Sarnaik, Sanjay Dina Patil – and many more.
Actor Shahid Kapoor unveiled Hi! Blitz magazine at the Juhu Crossword recently. Editor Shalini Sharma graced the occasion with the actor. Shalini Sharma has been in the fashion and lifestyle information field for 15 years. The first Indian journalist to be accredited with the Federation of Haute Couture in France, she reported for many years at Paris Fashion Week. Before she joined Dr Vijay Mallya’s media group, she ran a very popular fashion column under her own byline . Hi! Blitz , the official in-flight magazine for Kingfisher Airlines, India's premium domestic airline, is owned by Dr Vijay Mallya of the UB We group and Kingfisher Airlines.
LAWN AND GARDEN CARE
10 expert tips for greener glory at lower cost. By Merilee Kern
hile many are pinching pennies amid the economic downturn, there are a number of thrifty ways to manage a garden and landscape to ensure it looks good and flourishes while also costing less to maintain. Lawn and garden, irrigation and horticulture expert Steve Jacobs, president of San Diego-based Nature Designs Landscaping (www.naturedesigns.net), uncovers ways to scrimp on and save money, and details what can be skipped, when planting and managing a yard this year. Plant perennials instead of annuals. Annuals are short lived, use excessive water and must be replaced, while there is a large selection of drought-tolerant perennials that can live for many years and offer plenty of beautiful colour. Eliminate the lawn where you are not using it. Lawns are one of the most intensive maintenance and water-consuming plantings in a landscape, requiring weekly mowing, edging and recurrent irrigation. Leave lawn clippings – don’t bag them. Many lawn mowers have a recycling feature which allows you to mow without bagging the clippings. Lawn clippings contain water and nutrients that can benefit your lawn. The result is a need for less water; fertiliser and you don’t need to pay for landscape debris removal or dumping. Prune naturally instead of formally. When you prune for the natural growth habit of the plant you will reduce the amount of pruning needed per year, resulting in decreased costs. Hedging and balling your plants will create a need for frequent pruning, and the tools and/or professional landscape maintenance services that goes with it. Cut back on water. Reduce your watering schedule to the bare minimum required to keep the yard and garden healthy. Over-watering can cause excessive growth,
requiring even more maintenance, a higher water bill and a greater instance of disease that will require further intervention. Identify and rectify irrigation problems. By keeping an eye on the condition of your irrigation system, including leaks, overspray, broken heads, incorrect water pressure and trajectory problems, you can reduce your water costs while also avoiding water damage to your home and hardscape.
Apply a ground cover mulch to cut down on weeds – and the need to purchase weed killers and the time to apply – and also water-usage. Ground cover mulch creates a barrier, so weed seed has a hard time germinating. It also adds organic matter to your soil and insulates the ground, which reduces the soil temperature and evaporation of soil moisture. Select drought-tolerant plants. These plants, like the Mediterranean and native variety, will use less water and can require very little maintenance. Put the right plant in the right spot. Instal plants that can grow to maturity where they are planted with minimal care or pruning. Such “zoneappropriate” planting will ensure the plant or tree won’t outgrow its space and need to be frequently pruned or, worse, relocated at risk of losing the plant altogether. Apply fertiliser modestly. Fertilise only as needed, based on the requirements of your individual plants. If you have good soil, some of your plants may need little or no fertiliser. Not only is over-fertilising expensive and time consuming, it can also require more water and cause excessive growth resulting in increased maintenance needs. An overabundance of nitrogen and other fertiliser ingredients can also readily kill the plant material on which it was We applied.
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
ON THE VERGE OF EXTINCTION
How the perfume you wear is killing off whole breeds of endangered species.
By Maneka Gandhi
f you are serious about saving the world, remember that more than half of it is being destroyed for products we do not need. Let me show you some ingredients used by the perfume industry. Ambergris, a much prized ingredient from whale intestines, is used as a fixative in perfumes because it is the slowest of all perfume materials to evaporate. It is actually bile secreted by sperm whales to help them digest food – a substance that looks like dung. Perfume companies claim that it is vomited out and floats on water until it is either pulled in by fishermen or washed up on land. That is completely untrue. No one running a perfume industry that needs tonnes of the stuff is going to wait till bits of whale vomit are found by lucky beachcombers.
In actual fact it is obtained by killing sperm whales – something forbidden by the entire world since 1977 but still done by Norway and Japan. While the French may condemn whaling by these countries, France has the only facility in the world that processes ambergris and they buy it from these two countries. Four tonnes per year is the demand. Ambergris is banned for trading in America and Australia but European perfume makers escape by pretending that either the ambergris is very old. (When I banned ivory trading in India, many ivory merchants claimed they were selling the tusks of mammoths that had died two million years ago and whose tusks, strangely enough, had been dug up in Siberia. or it had been found on the beach of faraway islands like Vanuatu or the Falkland islands.)
In fact, 96 per cent of traded ambergris came from sperm whales and only four per cent from shore wash-ups. There are French companies that trade in ambergris all over the world even though trading in this animal product is strictly forbidden. It is listed in Appendix 1 of CITES which specifically excludes trade for commercial purposes in parts or products derived from the wild. So even if someone found ambergris on the beach they would be unable to legally sell it. The sperm whale was declared an endangered species in 1970. In the USA the passing of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 consolidated protection for the sperm whale and its products.The Act states that it is unlawful to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship by any
means parts or products of an endangered species within the USA. This means that perfume companies in the USA are not allowed to buy or sell it or perfumes containing it. Australia has also banned it. Since 1981, import of sperm oil and other sperm whale products has been banned by the European Union. However, companies that sell ‘natural perfumes’ and ‘essential oils’ even in the USA continue to use ambergris and Internet websites sell it openly. They ignore the argument that the demand for this commodity means that the unscrupulous hunting countries continue killing whales. It is estimated that there are now only 360,000 sperm whales remaining, compared with a Greenpeace estimate of 1,500,000 in 1978. Castor or castoreum is a creamy
IN THE USA THE PASSING OF THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT IN 1973 CONSOLIDATED PROTECTION FOR THE SPERM WHALE AND ITS PRODUCTS.
substance with a strong odour found in two sacs between the anus and external genitals of the beaver, a playful creature found in streams in Europe and North America. These ‘pods’ are used as a fixative in perfume. The odour is used by male and female beavers to mark their territories but has become a single main reason for their genocide. In fact, the word castrate comes from the Greek word of beaver, kastor. There are only two species of beaver left, both being hunted extensively for these anal sacs. They are dried, ground and put into alcohol to obtain the castoreum perfume. Even though they are illegal they are advertised openly on the net. Hyraceum comes from the hyrax, an extraordinary animal which resembles an overgrown guinea pig and is the closest living relative to the
elephant. A hyrax's brain is like an elephant's, while its stomach is like a horse's. The skeleton is akin to a rhinoceros'. The hind feet are like a tapir's. The upper incisors from rodents' teeth, upper cheek teeth from rhino's and the lower cheek teeth like a hippo's. They even have two teeth in their upper jaw that resemble elephant tusks. Hyraceum is formed from the urine of a hyrax. The urine is not fluid; it is a jelly-like substance. Hyraceum is the crystalised form of hyrax urine and the animals are kept in cages till they die. The tincture is
obtained by infusing the powdered raw material into alcohol for a few weeks. The musk deer is another severely endangered victim of the perfume trade. At the rate it is being hunted, that should be about five years from now. It is a small deer without antlers, large rounded ears and protruding canine teeth. Male deer have a scent sac which becomes active when they are about two years old. This sac secretes a substance known as musk which the stag uses to mark his territory and attracts females. Each musk pod or kasturi weighs about 15 gm. This tiny pod is what the perfume industry uses.
MALE DEER KILLED
About 4,000 adult male deer are killed annually. The French perfume industry alone used 15 per cent of the world’s musk. All musk deer species have been protected by the International CITES pact since 1979. In spite of that all Asian wild population is down by 80 per cent in the last 10 years. In India there were 30,000 in 1986, there are less than 3,000 today. Three to five musk deer are trapped and killed for every male deer. Since an average of 40 male deer with sufficiently large glands are necessary to produce kilogram of musk, killing of about 160 deer is a must. Poachers use steel wire snares to trap musk deer. They kill musk deer of both genders and all ages as well as other species. They cut open the animal live, take the sac and leave it to die in agony. Hundreds of snares lie scattered over the Himalayas. As the population dwindles, the size of the pods is getting smaller and smaller as younger males killed. Which means more males have to be killed for the same weight. CITES also bans the scraping the glands of civet cats to produce civet etc. But perfume companies couldn’t care less. Another fixative used is the excretion of the civet or pole cat found in Africa and South-East Asia,
a relation of the mongoose with a spotted body and a ringed tail. The excretion comes from the perineal glands, next to the civet's anus . It is taken by either killing the animal and removing the glands, or by scraping the secretions from the glands of a live animal. The latter is the preferred method today. According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals which has investigated civet harvesting for perfume in Ethiopia, the animals are kept in tiny cages for years. Every few days the keepers scrape the civet out of the anal sacs using a small horn spoon or spatula, a painful procedure. The belief that an angry animal secretes more persists and civets are tied by their legs to the bars of the cage and teased and irritated in the hope of increasing the yield. Chanel (specially Chanel No. 5), Cartier and Lancome have all admitted to using civet in their products.
THE MUSK RAT
The musk-rat is an aquatic rodent which resembles a large house rat with its tail flattened on either side and was webbed hind feet. It lives in reed huts built cleverly in marshy shallows with underwater entrance tunnels. It is killed and its anal glands are used in making perfume. Even when these species are not used, an average perfume uses pig and other animal fat. In Grasse, the largest manufacturing centre of perfume in France , the flowers are spread on glass sheets coated with animal grease. The flowers are changed until the grease has absorbed their fragrance. The grease and fats are dissolved in alcohol to obtain the essential oils. It is the ratio of alcohol to oil that determines the quality of the perfume, eau de toilette, and cologne. Synthetic oils are freely available eliminating the need to extract oils from animals. But the perfume industry is not going to change unless you force them to do so. I have never used perfume. Do We you need to?
Despite all the talks of gloom, there are demands for qualified persons. By Vikas Kumar Jain
DON’T GET AXED BY
ecession has hit everybody – in a big way or small way, only the measure differs. The job market is severest hit. There are retrench ments, salary cuts, freeze on new recruitments and much more. In this situation, employers have become demigods. They are retaining only those employees who are in the ‘core’ and the company can’t do without them. Those on the periphery are mercilessly being shown the door. In such a demanding situation, you need to first keep your job – even if you don’t like it. It makes sense to find a new one before you quit. Make sure you are wanted – volunteer for the key projects and create relationships with decision-makers. Despite all the talks of gloom, there are demands for qualified people in IT, mining, IT security, networking, virtual computing and VOIP, engineering, accounting and tax profession. Especially those in demand are the specialists who can also communicate and manage. The key is to always keep up to date and build relationships where you are valued.
So, if the jobs on offer don’t make sense to you or don’t appeal, what should you do? Do what you love. Be flexible. Always keep learning. Be prepared to change. Don’t panic! If you want to be sure of having the same job, you have always had for the next 20 years, you need to worry. But if you are open, things look good! There are possibilities and prospects. So go for them!
But if you are laid off, had to switch jobs, or are starting out again, here are some tips. ● Look for a temp job. Often, temp jobs can convert into full-time and you get great experience. ● Be open to taking a job you are overqualified for, but stress to the employer that you will fit in and offer value. ● Work on different income streams. Make your hobbies moneymaking, learn a new skill and sell them. Don’t rely on the one 9-5 job – be creative. ● Cut you costs, so you don’t have to earn so much. Moving states may mean that two incomes could become one income. ● Go for it! Take the chance to go for the career you always wanted. ● Propose an alternative work schedule – part-time that helps you and reduces cost for the employer. ● Take time to enjoy being free from work. Be clear that the right job is out there for you, even if it feels like it’s not. Have faith in yourself! Sooner than later, this session of recession is going to be over. And you are going to get back those full-chin We smiles! 125
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
JUMBO KING FOOD
BEATS THE DOWNTURN
A food chain that brought crowds in when people stopped eating out. By Sharvari A. Joshi
he global recession has meant that large corporates worldwide are downsizing their staff, production and expenses. Even some of India's biggest companies have laid off several employees and might continue doing so in the coming months. The present economic scenario is certainly a gloomy one, with massive lay-offs, bankruptcies, collapse of financial institutions, etc. But there are questions revolving around. Is the current recession really affecting the Indian economy? Is the recession pressurising the Indian food and food-processing industry? Although, many other Indian industries have started beating drums of recession? True that the economy is in a bad shape. But isn’t it equally true that great opportunities are hidden therein? It is those who capitalise on these opportunities and sustain themselves even through tough times who will rule the economy in the coming years. Recession is not bad for them. Some industries thrive in a downturn. As the recession has also injected life into a slew of small businesses, those are thriving either in spite of or because of the economic downturn, giving new relevance to the old adage that one man's misfortune is another's opportunity. JumboKing
Food Services Ltd, a fast-food company from Mumbai, represents this cadre. Since time immemorial, Indians have been bombarded with snacksto-go by street vendors; fast food is neither a modern phenomenon nor a western innovation. Dheeraj Gupta and Reena Gupta represent the new breed of young men and women who have decided to win hearts and pockets by providing satisfying and tasty meals. They are the directors of Jumbo King Foods ltd. Jumbo King has a team of people spanning the functional areas of operations, business development, franchisee relations and marketing. Jumbo King began its journey to brand the vada pav on 23 August 2001. Inspired by western models and applying it to Indian food, Jumbo King believes that the common man has the constitutional right to get hygienic food at an affordable price. Dheeraj Gupta, who along with his wife, nurtured Jumbo King, moved at top speed to reach his target of 100 outlets by August this year and feeding international technology to growing desi appetites. The Jumbo King vada pav brand today churns out a Rs 7.5 crore annual turnover, a 300 per cent Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
jump from last year. The chain feeds 15,000 people every day and sells ever large variations of the vada pav. There is vada pav with cheese, samosa pav and samosa pav with cheese and soon, brown bread vada pav and paneer pav too. All supersized and priced at only Rs 5. Jumbo King went from one outlet to a hundred in no time at all, as franchising allowed for faster growth.
Vada pav and Mumbai Hot and Spicy Batata Vada served hot with pav, green chutney and sweet tamarind, vada pav is an Indian vegetarian fast food commonly eaten in Maharashtra, India. It consists of a vada, served in a bun ( pav ). The vada is usually potatobased. Potatoes are mashed /diced, spiced up and coated with herbseasoned batter, then deep-fried. The finished vada is then wrapped in bread and served with condiments such as chutney and red chili powder. WE asked Dhiraj Gupta for his choice exclusively for vada pav. “When we were tapping the export market for my previous company, Manali Foods,” he replied. “I had made a trip to London and stayed with a person who was a Burger King franchisee.
That's when I saw how their business worked. Coming back, I happened to come across a book - Behind the Golden Arches - about the person who set up McDonald's. It inspired me tremendously and I decided to follow the same model.” In 2001, Gupta launched his first outlet near the railway station in Malad, a Mumbai suburb, and called it the Chaat Factory. “It was a strategic decision to launch the outlets near railway stations, since this is where our target customer is,” says Gupta. His idea was to remain close to his customer base, which meant paying a higher rent for the strategic location and reducing marketing expenses. He started off by selling vada pavs and samosas in a hygienic environment. But soon Gupta realised that it makes more sense to concentrate on one product – i.e. vada pav, and innovate, since it had a larger mass appeal. The outlet was renamed Jumbo King a since it served large-sized vada pavs.
deal in one of them to survive but the food industry would have to make sure that these are addressed appropriately. Rising petroleum prices impacted the cost of production, driving up the cost of both transportation and petroleum-based agriculture inputs. Food prices rose, with grain and dairy prices leading the way in 2007. By the beginning of 2009, economic forecasts predicted rising unemployment for the balance of the year and into 2010. Falling stock prices diminished the value of stock portfolios, retirement funds and pensions. Restaurants were hit hard as consumers cut the cost of living by cutting the cost of eating.
Do you feel the repercussions of recession in your business? Yes, as any other small businessmen, so did I. But, after all, it is absolutely up to you that how do you take the things in your stride. We decided to gain from recession and are cashing on it. Recession is a very difficult time for the food industry as more and more people are finding it hard to stay in one job as they find some work not enough to keep them afloat. As a business owner, you have to make sure your employees remain loyal. Any inconveniences or grievance in your employees will result decreasing customer service. The food industry is not just about the product that you sell but also on how you present your product. What challenges do you think were lying there ahead of recession? Saving your business in the food industry is often very challenging. The food business is a mixture of efficient product control and service. Other companies would only have to
How did you manage to keep the prices affordable to the common man then? One of the most challenging considerations of the food industry is the cost of producing food. Holding the price line at Rs 5 is both a problem and an opportunity for us. Our first move was to minimise our overheads. It was a strategic decision to launch the outlets near railway stations since this is where our target
customer is the idea was to remain close to his customer base, which meant paying a higher rent for the strategic location and reducing marketing expenses. Similarly, delivering superior quality product at an affordable price was our funda – because a railway commuter is not looking for a fancy store, but only a decent meal in clean surroundings. Jumbo King focusses on being conveniently located around railway stations. The bulk of promotion has been positive word-of-mouth from satisfied patrons. The offering at the current price point would not be viable at malls and he prefers to have one franchisee responsible for all outlets around a single location. An opportunity like this will never come again for an organisation like ours. As the real estate prices are down due to slowdown in the market, we seek the benefit of right space for our outlets at a reasonable price. We will now grow at double the speed. If your product is consistent and you have the right price-value equation, you can't go wrong – come recession, drought or flood. A fresh new idea is all it takes to change the world. Some of the young entrepreneurs have done just that – cash in on the current situation and make some radical moves, anything that keeps them at the head of the pack. Today, Jumbo King is run like any western fast-food giant, with standard operating procedures in place for every area of operation. Across all stores the motto is the same: a simple food at an affordable price in clean surroundings. Jai Ho, We Jumbo! 127
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
Long-range benefits of long-distance running.
By Mita Banerjee
t’s not just Anil Ambani, and other fitness-conscious men who go in for it. Mandira Bedi does it and so does celebrity show-host Oprah Winfrey. We are talking about the latest fitness regimen doing the popularity rounds – marathon running! And Oprah ran that ultimate test of endurance – the 42 kilometres marathon, for which she trained rigorously for six months. Many more women too, are taking up marathon running as a fitness programme. Amby Burfoot, executive editor, Runner’s World magazine, recommends it whole-heartedly stating, “Running is an ultimate individual sport. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are relative to anyone else. You set your own pace and measure your own progress. You can’t lose this race because you’re not running against anyone else. You’re only
running against yourself and as long as you are running, you are winning. The beauty of running is that it’s so simple, so adaptable, so positive. You might not run fast. And you might not run far. But you can do it. Even if you mix walking with your running, you’ll lose weight, lower blood pressure, reduce stress of daily life and feel a surge of energy. And those are only physical benefits. The mental benefits include lowered risk of depression and increased creativity. It clears the mind every day and gives you 30 minutes of quiet time.” Burfoot also feels that “women are better mentally fit to run as they are less competitive than men. Men think sports is about beating that other guy. Women understand that running is its own reward. Women learn to accept this and run with greater success even if they never succeed in beating anyone.” Roshni Sahay, 36, an HR executive and a mother of two children who has taken to running, adds, “Running ranks best as a great fitness activity. You can set your own programme and your own limits. It doesn’t matter what other persons or your stopwatch says. Besides, it also gives you quiet time by yourself, and the exercise by releasing endorphins, produces such a feel-good factor that in a few months it becomes addictive. Running helps in my workplace too, in the areas of goal-setting, assertiveness and self-discipline.” Malhar Ganla, who took up running as a fitness sport two years ago, has held a few camps for it. He participated in the Singapore 2007 IronMan Triathlon, where he was the only Indian among 1300 international participants. He gives us some tips for what he feels is one the best fitness programmes for women.
combining with walking. Start with three minutes of running followed by two minutes of walking. Then gradually increase to longer stretches of running (say five minutes) alternated with shorter bursts of walking (one minute). ● Take a break on the seventh day to do some cross-training such as swimming or gym, in order to rest the set of muscles which are used for running. ● In order to prevent injury, start with shorter distances, and gradually lengthen the distance you run, taking care that the increase is never more
NO MATTER WHAT BREAST SIZE, IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO WEAR A SPORTS BRA. CONTROLLING BREAST MOTION WILL MAKE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE.
than 10 per cent of the previous week. ● A large number of people have ‘bio-mechanical faults’. Get yourself properly checked by an orthopaedic surgeon or a podiatrist to correct them. If you get persistent back-pain or any other problems, consult a doctor. ● Go in for proper running shoes and change them every six-eight months. ● No matter what breast size, it’s a good idea to wear a sports bra. Controlling breast motion will make you feel comfortable. Look for one that stretches horizontally but not vertically – should feel snug but not constrictive. ● Never go hungry for a run as it may cause hypoglycaemia. Have some tea or a banana before you start. Drink plenty of water (until your urine runs clear to offset the effects of sweating and dehydration). If you are running beyond half an hour, it is a good idea to go in for a sports-drink or water mixed with Electral. ● There are two schools of thought – those who run by time and those who run by distance. Whichever one you choose to follow, keep a training log book/diary to note down how much time/distance you have covered in a week.
Contra-indications: ● If you suffer from diabetes or a heart condition or any other medical problem, it is best to consult your doctor before you start running. ● You may feel some occasional pain. Taking pain-killers is acceptable or you may try an ice-pack. But for persistent pain, it is best to consult a doctor. Running during periods: Running also helps healthy skin by stimulating blood circulation, transports nutrients and flushes out wastes. This leads to reduction in subcutaneous fat, which makes skin clearer and facial features more distinct – that glowing skin and chiselled jawline is yours if you keep to it!
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009 129
For beginners: ● Don’t run from day one since your joints are not prepared for it. Give yourself six-eight weeks of ‘base-phase’ with an hour’s ‘nonpounding activities’ like gym or swimming to strengthen yourself physically and mentally. ● Do short bursts of running,
Running does not make your breasts sag or your uterus collapse. In fact, running tightens all muscles. A Harvard University study found that running women produce a less potent form of oestrogen than their sedentary counterparts. As a result, women runners cut by half their risks of developing cancer and diabetes. ‘That time of the month’ is not when women run their worst. Hardest is a week before menstruation begins (a week after ovulation) – when levels of key hormone progesterone peaks, including a much higher than normal breathing rate. The excess ventilation tends to make running feel more difficult. No need to avoid running during periods. If you are suffering from cramps, running will often alleviate pain by releasing endorphins (pain-relieving chemicals). The two minerals that women runners need to pay attention to are
calcium and iron (especially for menstruating women).
Some more health benefits: one in five women dies from coronary heart diseases. One of the best weapons for fighting heart disease is exercise. Exercise lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate and raises good high-density lipoprotein
(HDL) cholesterol levels. Fast running burns more calories. Slow running burns more calories than just about any other activity. It’s also inexpensive and accessible.
Some careful tips to take care of: Women are more prone than men to suffer ankle sprains, shin splints, stress fractures and hip problems. To help avoid injuries include poolrunning, cycling and weight-lifting too, as part of your programme. A woman runner should consider herself an athlete whether fast or slow, tall or short, small or large. Whether you are running for fitness, for losing weight or just to have plain fun, running is an activity you can do anywhere, any time. You can also do it when you go on a holiday. All you need is to take along your pair of running shoes. And you don’t have to be competitive to enter a race. It’s We a fun, social event.
Paramount Farms introduces Wonderful™ Pistachios
Wonderful™ Pistachios are an all-natural, healthy gift for the festival of Diwali. 100 per cent California grown and naturally opened, Wonderful Pistachios are uniquely roasted and perfectly seasoned for a delicious flavour and satisfying crunch. Wonderful Pistachios are not only delicious, they are good for you. Pistachios are the most nutrient-dense nut, and one of the lowest in fat and calories and highest in fibre. This modern reusable gift box highlights the highquality product inside. The box includes two exciting flavours from Wonderful Pistachios – Roasted & Salted and a newly launched Salt & Pepper variety. With its delicate pepper flavour, Wonderful Pistachios Salt & Pepper is deliciously different and is sure to spice up every festive occasion. The Wonderful Pistachio diwali gift box will be available at all leading grocery stores. Retail Price: Rs 450 includes a 250 gm pack of roasted and salted flavour and a 250 gm pack of salt and pepper. 130
MMTC’s Festival of Gold 2009
The Festival of Gold by MMTC Limited, a Govt of India Enterprise, will begin on the 22nd September till the 1st October 2009 a 10-day extravaganza at the landmark venue of The Ashok in Chanakyapuri. MMTC will exhibit over 1 lakh exquisite and beautiful jewellery pieces from all parts of India. The Stunning array of jewellery, both plain gold and studded, has been selected from Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Kolkatta, Mumbai and Goa. The collection includes intricately designed chains, bracelets, rings, earrings, bangles, kangans, bridal sets... The studded jewellery includes pieces with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and semi precious stones. A special bangle and chain counter, much in demand by customers will be a special attraction. During the exhibition, there will be Lucky Draws daily as well as the MMTC’s “Mega Lucky Draw Scheme” where customers who buy or have bought 5 gold coins of 5 gms will get a chance to win five 50 gm gold coins. The result will be announced on the last day, 1st Oct around 9 p.m.
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
A grim look at instances when the axe fell on people.
By Vineeta Sehgal
conomic slowdown/recession had rubbed some of the people very badly and the blow was so sudden that they were left in pain, insult and a sense of injustice. They are shattered economically, morally and socially. They feel cheated by the system of which they were an integral part. They spoke on condition of anonymity and not to disclose the names of their companies as they still nurture hope and would love to get back there, once the recession is over. Vijay was working for a reputed IT company, rated at No.2 in India. He was sent to the US as a source. His better half also accompanied him, leaving her job back home, his career was zooming and an out-of-turn promotion was a reward of his excellent services. Life was a rollercoaster ride for the young couple and, because of their friendly nature, they were popular among their
friends circle. As his wife was not working, it was an opportune time to start a family. Everything was moving according to their plan. They were happy at the prospect of their child getting American citizenship as per the rules of the States. But luck gave him a severe blow. They got a big jolt as he was summoned back home by the company as the client did not require his services any more and refused to foot his bill. He had to pack his bags and rush back home. Here also he was not lucky enough to get any project immediately and he was on the bench – meaning no work in hand. He ran from pillar to post to find a project but to no avail. Finally, he was axed. Now, with added family responsibility, he is left in the lurch, six months have passed and the baby is expected any moment. Instead of providing a promising future to his first-born, he will find it difficult to feed the child. He and his family are passing through a very tough phase. Prashant worked as a consultant a reputed Germany-based
company in India, considered to be one of the best pay-masters. He was settled nicely so his parents wanted him to get married and settle down in life. They found a suitable girl for him, both the families conveyed their nods and they were engaged. The date of marriage was finalised and, in order to enhance her looks for the big day, the bride-to-be gave up her job to go in for elaborate beauty treatments. But suddenly everything changed. First he started giving elusive replies regarding their soon-to-besolemnised wedding, and one day he gave her a bitter tongue-lashing without any reason and then for a fortnight his mobile was switched off. He was unreachable and his sister and his friends also found it strange. The bride confided in her mother regarding his changed attitude and both the parents met to discuss it. It was there that they came to know that he had been laid off by his company and was still trying to come to terms. Now, with his family and fiancée’s support, he is looking for a job in some other company. The wedding plans have been put on the back burner till then. Sometimes, a person feels so distraught that he or she fails to reason that nothing is wrong with his or her performance. It is the company’s policy to lay off some people to save their expenditure. It is a fight for their survival. Pooja, a Delhi University topper, who was struggling for a job for some time, recently got a good opening in a private IT firm. She sent the news to all her friends and well-wishers, informing them of her success story. A week later, one of her friends called her to enquire about the nature of her work and was in for a shock when Pooja said, “Well, we are all having our last supper together. After this, the curtains will be drawn on the company, and we all will go to our respective destinations.” The friend was left wondering whether it was some kind of a bad joke, but no, it was reality. The parent company had stopped outsourcing to
SOMETIMES, A PERSON FEELS SO DISTRAUGHT THAT HE OR SHE FAILS TO REASON THAT NOTHING IS WRONG WITH HIS OR HER PERFORMANCE. IT IS THE COMPANY’S POLICY TO LAY OFF SOME PEOPLE TO SAVE THEIR EXPENDITURE. IT IS A FIGHT FOR THEIR SURVIVAL.
them and they were a small fish to survive in these turbulent waters. As she was new to the company it did not affect her so much, though she knows she will have to start afresh. Suresh, Pooja’s CEO, however, was jittery. He was married with two school-going kids. He was comfortable with the pay package, out of which he was paying monthly instalments for his flat, his newlyacquired luxury Honda car and his children’s school fees. He was at his wits’ end about how to break the news to his family. His kids would ask their father, “Is it the end of road for us? Do we have to sleep on the roads or have to go without schools or, worst of all, starve ourselves?” But he couldn’t answer their questions; some of their fears might come true. Those sleeping on velvety beds and enjoying all the luxuries of life suddenly faced a bleak future. He was a badly shaken, broken man; his as well as his children’s future was at stake. It is very difficult to get a job soon and in
its absence life was unimaginable for him. No amount of kind words could provide any solace to him. Shamita was very happy to have got a job with the world’s most renowned sportswear company and every sportsman/sportswomen feels honoured in sporting their brands. She was making foreign trips on and off, the salary package, work culture, she loved everything. She had recently purchased a flat for herself and had started paying her EMIs. She felt almost settled in life and her parents were contemplating marriage for her. But then the company decided to close their operations here and shifted base to the US. With a few months’ salary in advance, all the staff was laid off. Like others, she is also passing through a rough phase, having to fend for herself as well as her dream house. It is always so sudden – people never have an inkling what is going to happen the next moment. They are
given no time to reflect or protest, they are simply given the notice and are escorted out of the office by their seniors. They do not have an access to any of the office property – their desk or laptop to gather or delete the
data. In case a little time is given to the people, one can witness gory scenes as had happened in Noida recently, where the head of operations of a company was brutally murdered. In fact, they can never enter the premises they had been frequenting daily. The head of the operations of the company also develop cold feet before executing such harsh decisions for the sake of the company. They also have a human side. A very senior officer drawing a fat salary, offered to resign to save a few heads. Another very senior officer with a very reputed company, once commented, “It is D-day today – how torturous it is for me to announce the layoffs. I could not sleep for the last two nights because I can well imagine what lies in store for them. It is the most dreaded moment for the person serving these harsh sentences on behalf of the company as well as for ones who are We getting them.”
As the water Slides through my body. Warm Smooth Mischievous And naughty.
IN THE SHOWER CUBICLE
My My My My eyes shut, fantasies bright. lips fluttering, heart throbbing. At the very touch of Soft Soothing Immaculate Drops.
Brushing my eyes, Kissing my lips. Caressing my breast, Moving through my waist.
Which feel like Sneaking slyly between my thighs, Your fingers Making love to me Soaring my desires in the shower cubicle. Higher and – Sonal Prasad, Patna. Higher.
134 Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
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15 17 18
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
1. To continue to exist for longer than expected (6) 4. With little colour, excitement or interest; without anything to attract attention (5) 7. A poisonous substance in tobacco that people become addicted to, so that it is difficult to stop smoking (8) 8. A deep wide channel that was dug around a castle, etc. and filled with water to make it more difficult for enemies to attack (4) 9. Annoying or irritating (7) 10. A game played by two teams of 13 or 15 players, using an oval ball which may be kicked or carried. Teams try to put the ball over the other team’s line (5) 12. A serious infectious disease in which swellings appear on the lungs and other parts of the body (2) 15. The electrode in an electrical device where oxidation occurs; the positive electrode in an electrolytic cell and the negative electrode in a battery (5) 16. Any small animal that belongs to a group of animals with strong sharp front teeth (6) 18. Anger (3) 19. Angry or violent disagreement between two people or groups of people (6) 20. A metal pin that is used to fasten two pieces of leather, metal, etc. together (5)
1. A liquid, especially one made with oil, that you rub on a painful part of your body to reduce the pain (8) 2. A sweet liquid that is produced by flowers and collected by bees for making honey (6) 3. A fence made of vertical metal bars; one of these bars (7) 4. Not encouraging or giving any reason to have hope (5) 5. The scientific study of the structure of human or animal bodies (7) 6. A person who drives a vehicle (6) 10. An increase in an amount, a number or a level (4) 11. That is over there; that you can see over there (6) 13. To make something increase, or become better or more successful (5) 14. One of the five powers (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch) that your body uses to get information about the world around you (5) 17. To fasten sb/sth with string, rope, etc. (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. 162 Woman’s Era, Delhi Press, New Delhi-110 055.
A M I L Y
2 3 4 5
WIN UP TO
Winners of Crossword - 159
Rs1 ,000 5
IN CASH PRIZES
Manoj Thomas, Chennai.
Raj Kumar, Shajanpur.
Rekha Sharma, New Delhi.
Jayashree D. Kamath,
Radha Sasikumar, Kochi.
Prema Menon , Cochin.
Vijayalakshm i, Bhopal.
Ramachandra. M. Bhat, Bangalore.
Vasudha Arya , New Delhi.
Seema, Panc hkula.
Sowmya Unni, Pune.
Sunil Kumar, Faridabad.
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
batore. Soorya, Coim Meerut. Ritu Manglik,
M I L Y
CWinnersNCrossword S T O of T E - 159
Dr Binita Sarkar, Ranchi.
. Bairy, Manipal G. Muralidhar
Janhavi Sawrikar, Hyderabad.
la, Allahabad. Bharat Chaw
e. are, Bangalor Suman Deodh
Richa Sharma, Jaipur.
, Gurgaon. Mamta Pandey
B. S. Chadha,
ar. Yamuna Nag
Balwant Singh Rawat, Nainital.
Noida. Jai Bhagwan,
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
WIN UP TO
Winners of Crossword - 159
Rs1 ,000 5
IN CASH PRIZES
Rules and Regulations
Renee M. Cha nda,
Major Sunil Verma, Talbahat, C/o 56 APO.
D. S. B. Pras ad
Rao, Vizianag rm.
Naresh Sha, New Delhi.
Ashwin H. Gaj iwala,
Uma Nataraj, Bijapur.
A prize of Rs 15,000 will be given to the person sending an all-correct solution. In case there are more than one sender of an all-correct solution, the prize amount will be divided among the first 30 competitors chosen by lot. The decision of the management will be final and binding. Entries must be on the crossword printed here. Photocopies will not be accepted. Entries must be sent so as to reach Woman’s Era by 31 October 2009, by ordinary post. No corres pondence in this matter will be entertained. The contest is not open to the employees of Delhi Press. Every entry should be accompanied by the sender’s family photo. If you are declared a winner, your family picture may be printed in the oncoming issue. Please send a signed declaration that you have no objection to printing your family picture.
Answers to Crossword-159
Across: 1. Anaesthesia, 6. Ampersand, 9. ID, 10. Beard, 12. Ointment, 14. Ache, 15. Blog, 16. Aunt, 17. Glad, 18. Rac, 19. Led, 21. Cpu, 22. Arm, 23. Beam
ne, alogue, 2. Alpi Down: 1. An Arid, , 4. Soda, 5. 3. Serum acetrack, 8. Net, 11. R 7. Abnegate, d, 17. Gear, , 15. Brai 13. Beaucoup am 19. Lie, 20. D
n win d wi wor in ur W yo wer n po o
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
Q & A
How to prepare whitish creamy pastes for curries? For the creamy white texture in the various curries, pastes of cashew nuts, coconuts or magaj (peeled melon seeds) can be used together with the other ingredients. You can use khoya, also called mawa, in the various gravies to make them more rich and tasty. Cooked vegetables tend to go bad very soon if left out of the refrigerator. Can we do something to avoid this? Cooked vegetables going bad very soon in the summers is part of the hot weather. We cannot avoid it completely, but to some extent we can delay the decaying process. Add a little vinegar while preparing the gravy. How to prepare laddus from besan, suji and aata? Preparation of laddus from besan, suji and aata is very simple , but quite time consuming. The procedure is the same for all three. You have to roast the ingredients with an appropriate amount of desi ghee on a slow flame, till golden brown in colour. Cool for a while and add castor sugar, powdered cardamom, coarsely-ground dry fruits of your choice and mix well. Form into laddus.
How can we store fresh green peas to be used in the summer season? Green peas can be stored for the summer season in two ways: first is you can dry them in the shade so that their natural green colour is not lost. The second is storing them in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator. Buy fresh, green and good quality peas, peel them, put them in boiling water for a few minutes and spread them on a cloth after removing the water. Pack in freezer bags when cold and store.
Kitchen Queries QQ
How to clean choked tea particles from a tea strainer? The best way to clean a tea strainer is to clean it every day with an old toothbrush. This will prevent the holes from getting clogged.
How can we keep our kitchen sinks sparkling clean? For a sparkling white sink, place paper towels across the bottom of your sink and saturate with household bleach. Wash after half an hour. Use a cloth dampened with methylated spirit to remove water spots from stainless steel sinks. Spots on stainless steel sinks can also be removed with white vinegar. Club soda will also shine up stainless steel sink in a jiffy.
Oily snacks are okay in the winter season, but in the hot summer months, it will be nice if the fried snacks can be made a little less oily. Is this possible, if so, how? Most of us enjoy eating fried and spicy snacks, but we are also aware that these fried snacks do us more harm than good, so we reluctantly give in to temptation. We can safely indulge in making and eating them by doing the following: add one tablespoonful of vinegar to the oil in which you are going to deep-fry snacks. This will keep the food from absorbing too much fat or oil and also eliminate the greasy taste. Hence your snacks will be healthier too. – Savita Bhargava.
Please tell us how to clean the ceramic tiles in the kitchen. For lightly dirty tiles wash with a solution of 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/2 a cup of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of washing soda and one gallon warm water. For extensive stains, make a paste of baking soda and bleach, then scrub with a small brush. Rinse thoroughly.
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1. R. Prajwal, Bangalore 2. Brahman, New Delhi 3. Irwan, New Delhi 4. Aparajitaa, Visakhapatnam 5. Pari, Yamuna Nagar 6. Shresthi, New Delhi 7. Navya, Bangalore 8. Parth, New Delhi 9. K. Saadhana, Coimbatore 10. Shonit, Pune 11. Rahul, New Delhi 12. Sania, New Delhi
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R. Prajwal, Bangalore ● Brahman, New Delhi
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On the Jungle Trail –
Over a decade has passed since I got married to an Indian Forest Service officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre. As soon as my marriage got settled, friends and relatives drew rosy pictures of my life ahead – big bungalows, a team of attenders etc., etc. For a girl brought up in the heart of north India, Allahabad, I was a bit apprehensive about dislocating to the land of idli, sambhar, lungis, muttuswamis and ammas. (A very sincere apology to all my south Indian friends – I am very much an amma myself now.) Well, the D-day arrived. Ceremonies over, we were finally on the train home – in Andhra Pradesh. At that time my husband was posted as Sub-DFO, Asifabad, and we had to get down from the Ganga-Cauvery Express at Sirpur Kagaz Nagar, the nearest rail-head. As the stoppage was of only two minutes I was afraid that we may miss the small station. But my husband assured me that we could easily smell the station. Soon I understood what he meant – a very strong pungent smell comes from the paper mill at Sirpur Kagaz Nagar, and anyone who has travelled on that route can easily identify it. It was midnight when the train reached Kagaz Nagar. The coach attendant literally threw our luggage behind us on the platform after we had hastily disembarked. The station was dimly lighted, small and dusty. We took a rickety auto, and clutched our suitcases as it went jumping over big pot-holes towards the forest complex. I was looking forward to resting in a comfortable guest house, but my husband wryly informed that the old dak bungalow had been blown up by the Naxalites. So, instead, we went and woke up my husband’s batchmate, who was Sub DFO, Kagaz Nagar. He was a
Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
READERS are advised to make appropriate and thorough enquires before acting upon any advertisement. This magazine does not vouch or subscribe to claim and representation made by the advertiser regarding the particulars of status, age, income of the bride/ bridegroom.
HOW DO YOU LIKE THIS ISSUE?
Entertaining, WE is anxious to give you good, interesting and useful material in every issue. It will help us a lot if you let us know which features, stories and articles you like from this issue and which you didn't. Suggestions for new features and topics are most welcome. Please address your letters to: WOMAN'S ERA E-3 Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110055. Womansera.com
Fashion: CLOTHES OF ROYALTY Costumes: Pinky Danani (Mystiqual Boutique) Mumbai Model: Kavita Aras Make-up: Amit Sawant Hair: Jasmin Photographer: Hemant Kedar
bachelor, and had very spartan furnishings, but very gallantly provided us his bedroom in the middle of the night, and moved himself out to the verandah, fending off mosquitoes. Next day, we reached our house in Asifabad. It was an old cottage with a thatched roof, and teeming with snakes and scorpions. Our residence was on the outskirts of the little town, and a panther used to frequent the campus in the night. A trap was put up for the panther by the forest guards, and it was soon caught. It was a defiant, majestic, ferocious animal. The divisional forest officer arrived and he decided that the panther would be transported to dense jungle and released there. The panther cage was loaded in one van, while the forest people accompanied it in two open Jeeps. The DFO asked me to come along with them and see how the panther was released. We travelled to very dense forest and the panther was allowed to go free. On the way back, while the rest of the party went ahead, we stopped our Jeep at a waterfall. While my husband decided to climb to the top of the waterfall, I preferred to stay near the Jeep. The DFO stayed behind with me as he said that the forest was not a safe place to stay alone. The DFO asked me to get inside the Jeep, while he quickly climbed the bonnet, started thumping his feet loudly, flinging his arms wildly, and shouting loudly. For a second I forgot my fear and felt like laughing seeing the hundred-kg elderly DFO performing a war dance on the Jeep bonnet. Then I also had some presence of mind and started pressing the horn. The bear was confused and stopped in its tracks. Hearing the din, my husband and the driver came rushing back. The bear gave us one last menacing glance and disappeared in the forest. We gave a sigh of relief, hastily started the Jeep, and proceeded home. It had been a narrow escape because bears have been known to attack and kill people, and they are especially attracted to women and children. – Dr Ruchi Singh, Andhra Pradesh.
READABLE WOMEN’S ERA
I was in a myth that Woman’s Era is a woman’s magazine till I read it. My wife buys it regularly and enjoys its reading thoroughly. I was surprised to see my wife engrossed in a Woman’s Era as I thought it wastage of time. Once on my wife’s request I picked it up and to my surprise I didn’t leave it till I finished it. What I liked most was its articles, features and stories touching all facets of family life including women and men. Not only contents are informative but entertaining also and reform as well as enhance way of living. Now, I am anxious of getting its latest issue and finish its reading before my wife picks it up. My wife also comments on me that I am becoming feminine. I may suggest you include more inspirational stories and interviews with celebrities. I appreciate your moderate pricing of the magazine. – Jaiprakash Narain Agrawal, Noida.
MO S ARE HOUSEWIVEGALS GLAMOUR
n at in what wome big difference By Nalini Sharma There’s a and are now. housewife lly, the word who does home were
WHY SUCH SILLY CLAMPDOWNS?
Kudos to your stimulating feature Modern Housewives are Glamour Gals ( WE : July I, 2009) which gave the correct perspective on today’s modern homemakers. Yes, indeed, gone are the days of the dowdy and diffident housewife who was made to believe that she had to live with her fate, sans any whimper. Yet, all is not as hunky-dory as one would like to believe. There are still pockets in our country where women are not treated with dignity and these are not necessarily the backwaters of society. Even today, female foeticide is rampant, the malefemale ratio is depressing, compulsory minimum-basic edu cation for a girl is on the back burner and medical amenities for women are certainly not on the top of the government’s agenda. In an era when men and women are moving shoulder to shoulder, attention and energy is being exhausted by trivial matters like ‘safety’ dress code for girls. This, in Kanpur, where girls were prevented from wearing jeans or skirts to college because the authorities thought it invited harassment. Another salvo fired was that lady teachers could not wear sleeveless blouses, since they were role-models for the girl students. Was this not an infringement on the personal rights of individuals? Thankfully, this order was revoked after disgruntled protests. When will we learn to rise above such silly clampdowns and divert our energies to more demanding issues? – Nirmala Khemlani, Pune.
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TO DRIVE THE
L PROBLEM AN ETERNA been said and
This refers to your Richly informative and thought-provoking editorial An eternal problem ( Woman’s Era , June I). A shocking aspect of human trafficking as revealed by CBI top honcho Ashwini Kumar is that the holy places of pilgrimage are also witnessing rampant increase in the cases of human trafficking. Your editorial observation that “What else recovery of liquor bottles and used condoms from the guest house of trust managing Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh shows?” Speaks volumes of the TTD trust’s management of guest houses and the eternal problem. The TTD trust board is being managed by a liquor baron of the ruling party, who was appointed Woman’s Era ● September (Second) 2009
and Director, by the CBI act as this, disclosure Ministry shouldnip this In light of tion to by the Home released a big also data principles for the administra may prove at , this problem guiding may be put the the bud. Otherwise in future, when it is rampant. evil in the written about for our countrywhere flesh tourism in India. Every headache uch has countries human trafficking and women par with such problem of of children ones from MENDATIONS year, thousands has now homes. Fortunate APT RECOM Law Commission from their by the police, which to their disappear of NRI boys are traced the Central and restored of these marriages ecently, is not among themepitome of passivity, that most ded making So far, it in recommen girls mandatory . become an the grim reality remains back. And no one registered traced with Indian to get such marriages families. But are never required Ashwini d a big missing persons about their fate. Director statutorily bother are considere marry aspect of by the CBI seems to the country. society, daughters wish to rather shocking in New ble s. Parents Recent disclosure In Indian another, marriagea household two-day seminar well in common soon as she attains During a Kumar highlights of pilgrimage liability daughters places as problem. to see their this eternal that the holy increase in the cases off their daughter s disclosed parents want coastal husbands. grooms has Delhi, he tremendou age. All the settled with their NRI states, southern demand of leading the are also witnessing Among all in the wedding Of late, the trafficking. and Karnataka are of human many folds a tag of ‘settled and Tamil Nadu increased trafficking carrying sadly, states of of human What is more, after. But market. Boys tally in terms much sought make thorough woman abuses. about 85 per abroad’ are fail to child- and e boys in to the Director, subjected to many parents . the prospectiv are according n about the victims within the to many constraints investigatio are not cent of abuses abroad due of human types of the parents checks. India and various dably, all words, evils such abuse In other Understan carry out their and woman country. strong to and child- in our society and grooms ditch financially the trafficking firm roots ultimately in this all their dreams But when they find indulging have taken people are wives midway, s our own themselve our system shattered. girls find foreign heinous crime. is that neither criminal The hapless of troubles in a But the irony to identify such the Indian d by lot are able surrounde most cases, even nor we are Even if some people for help such In unable to country. are acquitted elements. abroad are no legal proof that most of them the data of Home missions nabbed, as they have At the most, 2007, proof, girls because and so person. India to be In the year want of solid on to 2007 shows. be deserted married to so girls back Ministry for people were arrested 3220 could they are send such But only in our total 9861 these missions families. human trafficking. acquitted. are treated simply with their places are duped, charges of such cases and rest were If a reunitedno secret how about such to the and pilgrimage convicted babbling It is them even religious the human traffickers. with for People start girls often driving And now nt along safe havens Governme soon society. and deserted turning into by the Centralthese places will n Singh has ditched suicide. activities of committing nt under Dr Manmoha person. report prepared be believed, if their point is to is a refined traffickers UNICEF qualified. New Governme reigns. He dens for human order to the country’s are also highly become big come at an taken up in time. places in cabinet members dations have to these up that their are not curbed Most of his unaware people travel nt must take n’s recommen completely Innocent What else Governme laws at once But they are salvation. condoms Law Commissio The new time. frame such Indian girls find solace. themselve s need opportune priority basis and and used with on salvers are empty liquor bottles Tirupati temple this issue of NRIs’ marriages could be saved of managing of girls to check registration recovery e of trust a number unscrupul ous men, Who is going that law making of . Only then, just to from the guesthous shows? seen Pradesh at mandatory into the clutches brides in India in Andhra out raids It is generally from falling purpose is to ditch shun carrying m We abroad. these activities? whose sole nt agencies could be riots. vested interests to: firstname.lastname@example.org the society, enforceme there write fulfil their the part of places lest seems to religious apathy on agencies places. But this general law-enforcing tion and at the religious elements administra (First) 2009 anti-social Era ● June embolden Woman’s
RELIGIOUS PLACES OR VICE-DENS?
chairman of the board, after he switched over from the Telugu Desam party to the Congress. The liquor bottles and used condoms incident took place in the TTD temple guest house in Hyderabad which was widely telecast by regional channels and newspapers, barring those owing allegiance to the ruling party. There was vehement public opposition when a liquor baron was appointed as the head of TTD, a religious institution of global reputation. However, all public opposition was set aside. You have aptly raised another question “Who is going to check these activities?” In fence eating grass cases, law enforcing agencies shun carrying out raids as they are helpless. Or better still they dare not touch big and powerful people like politicians. No wonder, nefarious activities like human trafficking and using temple guest houses for shady activities continue. Because of the nexus between corrupt politicians and bureaucrats and law-enforcing agencies’ ostrich-like attitude, law breakers get emboldened and carry on antisocial activities like flesh tourism. – Pisipati Sriram Prasad, Hyderabad.
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