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Vol 37, Issue No. 875

Founder: Vishwa Nath
Firoz Bakht Ahmed
Firoz Bakht Ahmed
Small Brinjals with
Orange Flavour
Bhartha with Tangy
Green Mango
Lemon Tea and
Cinnamon Chuski
Pears Stewed in
Water Melon
Musk Melon Lassi
Musk Melon Raita
Peas and Green
Mango Chaat
Cold Noodle soup
with Crispy Topping
King of Fruits
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp haldi powder
2 tsp oil
salt to taste
Make slits in the brinjals and
leave these whole. Wash well and
pat-dry and keep aside. Heat the
oil in a non-stick pan and fry the
brinjal and stir gently on low
fl ame. Add the spi ces and
continue to stir and blend till all
the spices are well mixed. Cook
on low flame for at least 4-5
minutes and then serve with
rotis. Or place a small portion
on a piece of paranthan and
1 tsp lemon tea leaves
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2-3 cups water
2 tbsp or more sugar
1 tsp mint juice
Bring the water to boil. Add the
lemon flavoured tea leaves and
bring to boil adding the cinnamon
powder and sugar as well. If you
Womans Era May (Second) 2010
1 kg watermelon skin and
seeds removed and cut into
small pieces
1 cup potato powder
(ready to eat potato mash)
1 tsp jeera powder
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp or more red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
oil for tava frying the kebabs
salt to taste
Mash the watermelon pieces
with a fork and place in a strainer.
Drain out all the juice and keep
only the solid portion. Place this in
a mixing bowl with the rest of the
ingredients. We are using the
dried aloo powder so that it soaks
in any moisture left in the water-
mel on pi eces. You can use
ordinary boiled potatoes as well.
Blend well and shape into round
want the flavours strong then boil
for a longer time, otherwise put off
the heat after 2-3 minutes and
allow to cool to room temperature.
Pass the prepared tea through a
strainer. Add the mint juice. Pour
into kulfi moulds and preferably
place a stick to hold in the centre.
Place in the freezer compartment
and freeze till solid. Unmould and
serve as a chuski duri ng the
summer months. Children and
adults simply love it.
tikkies. Heat oil in a non-stick pan
and shallow fry or tava fry the
To serve you could use the
case of the watermelon to serve
the kebabs. Line the watermelon
case with red cabbage or ordinary
cabbage or even grated carrots
and then place the kebabs on this
and serve in the watermelon shell.
Or serve them on a platter.
250 gm small brinjals
11/2 cups orange juice
1 or two oranges the
whole segments
1/2 tsp or more red chilli
brinjals first on medium heat for 2
minutes and then lower the heat
and cover wi th a l i d for 2-3
minutes. Mix in the spices and stir
gently and cover and cook again
for 1 minute.
Add the orange juice and cook
on medium heat without the lid for
2-3 minutes. Allow the juice to be
absorbed by the brinjals. Add the
orange segments and cook only
for 20-30 seconds and serve with
steamed rice dish.
1 large brinjal weighing around
250-300 gm
1/2 tsp or more red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp haldi powder
5 tsp oil
1 green mango weighing around
150 gm
2 green chillies
3 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 onion cut into small pieces
1 tomato chopped - optional
salt to taste
Peel the green mango and
di scard the kernel . Gri nd the
green mango and green chillies
to a paste. Roast the brinjal on
the fire till the skin is charred.
Cool to room temperature and
then peel off the burnt skin. Mash
the brinjal with a fork and keep
Heat the oil and fry the onions
till golden brown. Add the ginger-
garlic paste and the tomatoes if
you are using. Cook on low fire
for 1 minute. Mix in the green
mango paste and the mashed
Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Make use of
summer fruits and
vegetables and
create amazing
By Roma Ghosh
watermelon kebabs
Small brinjals with orange flavor
Bhartha with tangy green mango
Lemon tea and cinnamon chuski
Puneet Khatri
Namita Kohli
Namita Kohli
Mango and Egg Ice Cream
Orange Chicken
Saag with Green Mango
Potato Peels and Green mango
Summer Salad with Oatmeals
Watermelon Chuski
28 MAAM,
Sangeeta Goyal
Mita Banerjee
Kiran Narain
Rajib Sen
Sudha Hariharan
Payal Dasgupta
Subhra Mazumdar
Gayatri T. Rao
Rajshekhar Paul
Vimala Murthy
Satarupa Banerjee
Ramesh Kumar Raja
128 10 KRISHNA
Puja Goyal
Sia Mitra
PVV Satyanaryana
Padmini Dev Kumar
Rungeen Singh
Kumud Bhatnagar
Dr Rumy Agarwal
Dr Rumy Agarwal
Kasturi Rangachari
PVV Satyanaryana
Dimple Mathur
Dimple Mathur
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he recent past has seen a revival of Ayurveda.
Herbal medicines are a craze nowadays. So
called traditional remedies are sweeping the
market not only in India but also in the foreign
countries. While herbal and Ayurvedic drugs have to
undergo stringent quality tests in the western countries,
in India everything sells in name of alternative
medicines. This is sheer violation as well as mockery of
law on one hand and putting the lives of poor gullible
people, who cannot afford costly treatment at risk on
the other.
A glimpse of it was seen when, in a study the Delhi
Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research
(DIPSAR) found the presence of allopathic drugs in
many formulations commonly sold as Ayurvedic or
Unani medicines for erectile dysfunction.
Of the 16 herbal preparations easily available in the
market and tested by DIPSAR, five were found
containing Sidenafil citrate the generic name of viagra
and Tadalfie. Not only this. These so-called herbal
preparations contained overdose of these compounds.
One of the drugs called Supersonic had 119 mg of
Sidenafil in a tablet. Even Viagra will have only 25-100
mg of it per tablet. What is more viagra is a prescription
drug but these formulations are sold over the counters
as herbal drugs. Doctors caution that Sidenafil can be
fatal for someone already taking nitrate-based
medicines. It can also cause hypertension and even
In the market there are available a number of so-
called Ayurvedic and Unani medicines that are claimed
to be sure-shot treatment for impotency. Their names
are also very curious like Titanic, K2, Sikander-e-
Azam, 2 Much Gold, and Musli Power Extra. All of
them were found containing Sidenafil or Tidafil.
Like Sidenafil, Tidafil too has been reported to have
side effects like backache and headache and it cannot
be sold over the counter. Its therapeutic doses range
from 5-20 mg/tablet. But Musli Power Extra contains 32
mg per tablet.
Apparently this is all done to improve the
efficiency of these drugs and win the trust of the
consumer. On the other hand, people who take these
drugs do so secretly and normally do not reveal what
they have consumed until, of course, some
complication develops. By then however, it is too late to
undo the damage done by these adulterated drugs.
Besides the herbal drugs available in the market,
there are a number of ashrams and Babas whose
advertisements and pamphlets appear regularly. They
also claim to cure even some very serious ailments
including diabetes and cancer. A doctor informed that
the so-called ayurvedic powders that these ashrams
and babas dispense contain overdoses of allopathic
formulations. For example, powder given for the
treatment of diabetes contain powdered dionil, a cheap
allopathic drug for the same disease.
Action of such companies, ashrams and babas is
akin to propagating fake drugs and hence should be
treated as such by the law. Their sole purpose is to
make money and not serving the needy ones.They are
not only tarnishing the image of Ayurveda, but are also
playing with the lives of the people.
ensus has begun. Being a mammoth exercise it
needs a large number of manpower. Everytime,
the government draws this man power from the
schools, especially the government schools. Perhaps,
the government believes that the teachers are well-
trained to do this job, as they are used to maintaining
registers. But in all this exercise what suffers most is the
school education.
The entire exercise takes around six months to one
year for completion. During this period teaching work
goes down the drain, as the teachers remain absent from
the schools. Students, meanwhile, have to resort to self-
study or depend upon the available teachers, who in
turn, find it difficult to cope up with the large number of
pupils. The surprising thing is that, despite census being
a long-drawn exercise, no attempt is made to find an
alternative. The old pattern is followed in every census.
In this regard suggestions made by some teachers,
who are engaged in census work, may show the path.
Why not employ unemployed educated youth for this
task? This will give them an opportunity to meet and
interact with various kinds of people.
Census is an all- India level exercise. It makes sure
that not even a single person is left from counting.
Geographical diversity of India makes the exercise all
the more difficult. It is also surprising that despite
carrying out so many censuses, neither a system was
evolved nor a comprehensive database was created.
Now, there are talks about unique indentification
number/code for every citizen.
Census and issuing UID code could be clubbed
together for better and quicker results. Otherwise,
another mammoth task will have to be taken, requiring
equally large number of manpower. In the modern age
of electronic networking a swift data collection, census
provides an opportunity to digitise entire population. It
may pave way for some smart system so that students
and studies do not suffer in future whenever census is
undertaken. We
6 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
bn-e-Maaja, a hadith liked by
Prophet Mohammed (peace be
upon him), states, Talabul ilmi
farizatun ala kulli muslimin wa
muslima. (It is compulsory for all
the Muslim men and women to be
At the old Delhi Shahjahanabadi
locale of Gali Qasimjans, Rabea
Girls High School, one finds a burqa-
clad woman asking a teacher of class
8, Kya aapki class mein koi
khoobsurat ladki hai? Mein apne
badey ladkey ke liye bahu dekhne
aayee hoon. (Is there any beautiful
girl in your class? I have come to
select the bride for my son). This is
nothing to be shocked at as this is a
very common practice in Muslim
mohallas. Even today, the emphasis
is not on providing education but
marrying off the girls early. One
wonders, when there can be a fatwa
castigating Sania Mirzas unIslamic
dress code, why there are no such
decrees against rampant illiteracy
among Muslim girls and dowry
demands. Perhaps, the wise men
can answer.
This author attended a few camps
organised by the Muslim Womens
Forum at the 14 clusters of Trilokpuri
in East Delhi and Shakoor ki Dandi
near the Ram Lila Ground and was
moved by their pathetic tales.
Women suffer on account of general
atrocities and domestic violence,
which is actually a cause of suffering
for all women. In this respect this is
not a problem typical of Muslim
women. But it has been exacerbated
in the case of Muslim women owing
to the weapon of arbitrary triple talaq.
Samina was divorced as she did
not cover her head with a dupatta
(cloth covering the head). Yasmeen
was beaten up for dowry immediately
after she was married. Shaheenas
husband was a smack addict and
never worked. When she worked in a
factory, he divorced her suspecting
infidelity. Nooris husband, Abid, a
petty hawker, was a drunkard and
earned for two days only to get drunk
for four days. Such stories of Muslim
women are endless. Muslim women
lament that all their decisions are
made by men. Though theres a lot of
wailing about the veiling and hijab of
Muslim women, no one is bothered
about their pathetic literacy levels.
Over the years, a hue and cry has
been raised over issues like talaq,
Shah Bano, model nikahnama,
polygamy, family planning and
purdah all issues that have been
tirelessly talked over for decades now
without any consensus seeming to
emerge (with no hope of a solution
either). One hasnt come across a
cleric, scholar or politician having
bothered to undo the wrongs done to
the educational aspects of the
Muslim girl-children.
The illiteracy level among women
of the Muslim community at places is
as high as 90 per cent. The all-India
literacy rate stands at 65 per cent
according to a survey conducted on
about 80,000 Muslim women by the
Friends for Education (FFE), a forum
8 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Why are the levels still
the lowest? By Firoz Bakht Ahmed
affected by anything whether she
puts on a hijab or not. At the same
time, if a woman is of low morals, she
would remain the same no matter
how many burqas she wears.
If we study the condition of women
during the time of Prophet
Mohammed, it would be clear that
they were not as suppressed as they
are today. Women used to participate
in wars along with men, nursing the
injured taking care of them in the
Even Khadijah, the Prophets wife,
ran her own business deftly. During
the war of Ahad, while the Prophet
was injured, his daughter Fatimah
ran around and arranged for his
medical treatment. Similarly, another
famous Muslim woman, Maimoona, formed an army of women.
Rufaidah, a female doctor,
established a hospital at the Masjid-
e-Nabavi (Prophets mosque). In her
nursing home she had the most
modern methods for treating the
diseased and the injured.
Even burqa, so strictly followed in
most families, is in fact not an Islamic
tenet. It was essentially a non-Arab
practice that percolated through the
Byzantine, Roman and Persian
societies. Veiling is a pre-Islamic
tradition existed in Jewish and Greek
families as well.
To say that Muslim
women have no rights,
would be a misnomer as
Islam has given sufficient
rights to them during the
days of the religions
advent. The problem is
that most clerics have
misinterpreted Quranic
teachings with an anti-
women tilt.
Prophet Mohammeds way of
treating women was exemplary.
Once women complained that the
Prophet had not fixed a day for
meeting them in assembly. He
thereupon fixed a day for meeting
women exclusively.
At these gatherings, women used
to pose questions fearlessly and
openly and the Prophet always
showed special consideration
towards them. The men used to
wonder at the kindness and consi -
10 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
for the uplift of education, civic sense
and culture. The sample survey
consisted of Muslim females of all
ages from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh,
Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra
Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan,
Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab and
Admission figures to the various
institutions even today reveal that
Muslim women along with the neo-
Buddhists, are at the tail end of
achievements. The reasons for the
dropout of Muslim girl-children are
varied, ranging from financial
constraints, lack of interest in studies
to repeated failure, mental/physical
disabilities, poor teaching, shunting
between different places and of
course, the failure of the much-hyped
National Literacy Mission (NLM) and
Education for All.
Abject illiteracy for various
reasons among Muslim women lies
still at the root of the endemic
backwardness of the community.
More than veiling them, educating
Muslim women can make them safer.
A veil is a handicap that they are
identified as women belonging to a
faith. The hardliners maintain that the
veiling protects women from
lecherous eyes. A very simple
principle is that if a woman is pious
and faithful, she would never be
deration shown by Him to women.
To the Prophet, divorce was just
unacceptable. He has made it clear
that Islam does not regard it
desirable. A hadith of the Prophet
states, The most repugnant of things
made lawful in the sight of God is
A sahaba (companion) went to
Prophet Mohammed saying that his
wife had too many bad qualities and
he wanted to divorce her. At that, the
Prophet advised him that he should
spend his life with her, only harping
on her good qualities even if those
were very few.
However, Islam does recognise
the necessity of divorce in cases
where marital relations have been so
poisoned that peaceful domestic life
is impossible. At the same time Islam
doesnt believe in unlimited opport -
unities for divorce on frivolous and
unimportant grounds as this would
destroy the peaceful fabric of family
The fact is, Arabs were the most
barbaric of tribes just before the
appearance of Prophet Mohammed.
They subjected women to most
heinous atrocities. It was Prophet
Mohammed who released women
from all sorts of bondages. Sadly, his
followers today are not emulating his
Eminent Pakistani poet Fehmida
Riyaz, in her book, Chadar aur
Chahardwari, compared the lot of
Muslim women to that of a prisoner
without parole. The controversial
book led to Fehmida being exiled by
the then President Zia-ul-Haq and
she lived in India from 1981 to 1988.
The erstwhile Taliban regime
made Afghanistan the largest prison
for women. They went to the extent
of implementing their Interpretation
of Islamic laws especially for
The Afghan Women's Network, a
women's group from Kabul and living
in exile in Pakistan, wrote, "We ask
all the readers to tell your govern -
ment, the UN and the international
Human Rights Organisations that
Afghan women and girls must be
able to leave their homes without
being harassed and beaten." The
truth is that Afghanistan, of late, has
become the new rape capital of Asia
where umpteen women are raped
each day despite the hypocrisy that it
is a place where the Taliban are most
concerned about the safety and
security of women. Lets hope that
women in our community get their
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 11
The good-hearted thief
This happened during my student
days in Mumbai, then Bombay, about
15 years ago. I used to travel to my
college in VT from my house in
Ghatkopar in the famed Mumbai
local train, notorious for its crowded
bogies. I travelled by first class,
hence avoided the unruly crowd
One day, I was travelling with my
friend to collect the hall ticket for my
examination. Since he could not
afford a first class ticket and did not
want any favour from me, I decided to
go by second class as well. But I was
not accustomed to the crowds there
and somehow managed to get inside
the train before it moved.
My friend, however, was having no
problem as he was quite used to
travelling in this fashion. I was extra
nervous because I was carrying quite a
lot of cash (for some essential
purchases), my driving licence and my
original birth certificate (as suggested
by the college authorities) in my
wallet. I heaved a sigh of relief when
VT station arrived. I descended and,
as a reflex action checked my back
pocket for my wallet I was shocked to
find the wallet gone. I dont know
what made me do it but I asked my
friend to stop right there and started
saying in a loud voice in Marathi:
Ladies and gentlemen, my purse has
been stolen. If any of you is the thief
please listen to my appeal. Keep the
cash if you want, but return the rest of
the contents of the purse to me. They
are of no value to you but are
invaluable to me.
We waited for a minute but
nothing happened. My friend looked
at me as if I had gone mad and was
about to pull me away from the spot
when we heard a dull thud next to us.
Lo and behold!
There was my purse. I quickly
checked it and saw that all the
documents were intact. To my
surprise there was some cash in it too
along with a note. We opened the
note and read it. Scrawled in Marathi
were the words: Sorry to have stolen
your purse. I needed Rs 200 for
mothers medicine. Rest of the
money and papers are there in the
purse. Thanks.
I never thought I would be
grateful to a thief in my life. But I
still thank him or her whenever I
remember the incident.
Sudhir Shenoy, Chennai.
emember when you were
young and the summer
holidays arrived and
stretched out endlessly
before you? What joy you
felt then! Your parents too
heaved sighs of relief that
they could sleep late, didnt
have to pack lunch boxes or
supervise homework. Those
were simple times and it didnt occur
to them then that they had to fill your
empty hours developing new skills in
you that increased your self-
confidence and ensured that you had
a competitive edge over your rivals
which meant over every single child
in the whole world. Ah! Those were
the days when empty hours werent
equated with wasted time!
Today, long before the summer
holidays begin, frantic parents begin
to figure out how their little princes
and princesses can make the best
use of them. Tuition classes,
perhaps, if the child has displayed a
Dont pack
their holidays with
By Kasturi Rangachari
regrettable weakness in a subject,
some more classes to foster mental
ability, a summer camp to unearth
creativity and then some coaching
classes to find out if their pride and
joy can make it to the national team
in some sport or other.
Classes to improve handwriting,
abacus classes to improve
mathematical skills. Even if you dont
think that your kids do not need any
such special classes, ads will make
you feel that they do! As a result, the
days are packed just as they were
during term time.
This summer, Anu will go for
chanting classes in the mornings on
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays,
summer camp craft classes in the
afternoons on Thursdays, swimming
classes on Thursday and Saturday,
evenings and shes starting chess
I tuned my niece, Purnima, out at
this point. Anu is five. Shes bright
and chirpy and very lovable and she
has been on a very tight schedule of
activities since the age of two-and-a-
half, around the time she started pre-
school. Anu is an obedient little girl
and she goes wherever her mother
sends her without any protest in
fact, she has even got caught up in
the numbers game and talks about
the number of attendance certificates
she has got from all the summer
camps she has attended. She also
draws well for her age, knows a
number of shlokas, can sing a little,
dance a little, swim a little and do
many other things a little.
But her little sister, Abhi, who is
four, is much less pliable and has
already begun to overtly and covertly
resist her mothers attempts to train
her to be a perfect all-rounder.
How on earth will I know Abhis
likings and talents if she doesnt try
everything? moaned Purnima. With
Anu, I know that she isnt particularly
good at Bharatanatyam or carnatic
music. That shes not interested in
table tennis, but that shes good at
I tried to tell her that Abhi would let
her know what she was interested in
once she discovered it herself
and that Purnima could also suggest
things to her when she was slightly
older, that what Abhi wanted just now
was to be left to explore the world.
But I dont think Purnima understood.
You dont understand! she
wailed, counter-accusing me of not
understanding. Todays world is a
tough world. Its tough to succeed!
You have to start young!
Again, a basic difference in her
thinking and mine! I feel that because
its a tough world out there, children
shouldnt be pressurised during the
holidays. They are pressurised
enough at school, after all. They
should just be left to be children
exploring a world that is new and
exciting for them.
Holidays should be a time when
kids can unwind. They should be a
time to play, to lie around, to read
and, yes, to feel bored. Boredom is
essential for children. Thats what
sets them thinking and innovating.
Get a group of six-year-olds together,
dont give them any toys or sports
equipment, dont make suggestions
or give instructions, and see what
After some moaning and groaning,
they will begin to discuss and argue
over what to play. One will emerge
as a leader and others will but in with
suggestions and protests. Then they
will begin to play they will play a
game they thought up themselves,
they will enact make-believe
situations in which the area below the
dining table is a house or a school or
a whatever-you-will and a shoe box is
a car.
They will imitate their elder
siblings and play dumb charades
They will innovate, quarrel, realise
that they need each other and make
up in other worlds, learn life lessons.
You get a fantastic range of toys
these days, but a toy designer once
said that the best toy you can give a
two-year-old is an empty carton. He
or she will climb into it, push it, carry
it, pack stuff into it, empty it; it will
gazing up at the sky and seeing
shapes in clouds, chasing butterflies.
Cook with them. Dont bother that the
kitchen is getting messy, but make
cleaning up something you enjoy
doing together.
We dont realise it but children
have a rich and wise inner life. They
ask themselves ethical questions. We
adults often do not nurture this and
with our emphasis on earning and
spending money, we make them
materialistic. This summer, talk to
them about the things that matter---
happiness, love, self-control,
generosity, helping others and the
Follow it up with action. Go
through your cupboards with them
and put aside things that you will give
away. Go through their toys and let
them decide what they will give away.
Then find a charity that can use these
things (you can get onto the Internet
with them and make finding a
suitable charity a joint project) and
then take your kids there and donate
the things.
Let them not just give some of
their toys to the children in an
orphanage. Let them play with those
children so that they realise both
how lucky they are and how it is
their duty to help those who are
less lucky than they are.
Even young children can be
taught meditation. Let them chant
Om. Let them realise the value of
silence. Have a silent time when no
one talks. That will calm their minds,
teach them to think and will turn
them inwards.
The years fly past and,
before you know it, your kids
will have flown the nest. Use
this summer to slow time
Mark this one by
deciding that you will use it
to bring your kids closer to you
and give them memories that
will bring them joy and
peace all their lives. They
will also go back to school
fresh and raring to go!
become a car, a truck, a pram, a cot,
a house
So, this summer, try something
new. Dont pack your childrens days
with activities and classes. Yes, they
can go for one or two that they need
or are interested in, but otherwise let
them just be free. Let their little brains
rest after all the work they have done
the whole year. Let them laugh and
play. But that doesnt mean that you
need to pack their days with treats
and visits to theme parks. An
occasional outing is OK, but instead
of taking them to see a movie, take
them to a museum or to see local
sights and get an idea of local
history. The rest of the time let them
realise that there is no place like
If todays world is a very
competitive one, give them the best
tool you can, to face that
competition the knowledge that
they are loved for what they are.
For this, strengthen family ties.
Shift gears and relax with
them. Unwind and spend
lazy time together, just
talking and getting to
understand each other.
Do nothing and let your kids
do nothing if thats what they
If you are lucky enough to
have a garden or a park
nearby and the weather
permits, spend time out of
doors dozing under a tree,
areena Kapoors voice jolted Anjana
Dasgupta out of her dreamworld. Stretching
out her hand, she switched off her Nokia and
flopped back. Get up, you lazy girl! she
scolded herself. There are loads of things to
be done. She wriggled her tall frame
unwillingly out of bed and with eyes still
closed, padded to the bathroom, opened the tap
and splashed cold water on her face. Her eyelids
flew open. Mimicking Abishek Bachchan's voice,
You are beauuuutiful, she told her mirror image.
After a few tailor-made asanas and five
rounds of pranayama later, she felt really
fine-tuned and good.
Blowing a couple of kisses to Mahendra
Singh Dhoni who adorned her wall Anjana
went to fix her breakfast. She tied up the
210 corrected answer scripts and slipped
the bundle into her stylish purple bag,
along with a copy of The Art of War. That
was for her favourite student Harini, who
had topped as usual.
The ringing cellphone drew her
attention. Must be Dhanashree, she
There was no response to her hellos.
She could hear someone breathing heavily
at the other end. Then suddenly in a mock
childlike voice the person at the other end started
reciting Jack and Jill...
And, madam, have you heard this version of the
Rajesh asks Harini
To take the pill
And wash it down
With water;
Harini forgets
So Rajesh begets
A bouncing baby daughter!
The raucous laughter following this made Anjana
freeze. Who are you? she asked sharply. The
musical click at the other end indicated that the adult
rhyme reciter had disconnected.
I am not going to let the rascal get away with
this, thought Anjana grimly. She rang up Betty, her
friend who worked for DTell Connections, gave her
the anonymous callers number and requested her to
trace the call.
Who was targeting Harini and why? Everyone
adored Harini. Vivacious and bubbly Harini
endeared herself to everyone. She was the most
popular girl in school and excelled in
academics, sports and extra-curricular
activities. If she went for a music
competition she bagged the First prize. Her
fancy footwork had everyone wowing at
dance competitions. People still raved
about her portrayal of Marie Curie in the
Annual Day programme.
And here was a spiteful being who
seemed bent on spoiling her reputation!
Had this anonymous caller rung only her up
or many others? What exactly was his
motive? Who the hell was Rajesh? Why
was he being linked with Harini?
A great sense of foreboding assailed
Anjana as she rode her two wheeler to
hey stood there in clusters, some of them
weeping. The students spoke in hushed voices,
shock writ all over their faces. Mithun, Aditi
and Aruna rushed up to Anjana, as she wheeled her
scooty into its usual parking slot.
Mam...Maam dont you know? Harini is
Anjanas head reeled. Was this some kind of
nightmare? Dead! Food poisoning...?
The principal looked visibly upset. I am going to
ask the 12B students to go home, she announced.
Its a wide world with weird people.
By Padmini Dev Kumar
16 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
The Teachers Pet
Who was
Harini and
and bubbly
herself to
And you too, Anjana, better take the day off. You
look terrible...
Food poisoning? thought Anjana. I am not
buying that... there is something wrong...terribly
She went up to the staff room and placed the
corrected answer scripts on her table.
Mitra, Harinis best friend, entered the staff room
weeping inconsolably. She started talking about the
Friday when she last saw her friend. A bomb scare
had the principal in jitters and she had let the
students go home with instructions to use the time
well and prepare for their Monday assignment.
Harini and her friends decided to go to Inox to see
Delhi 6. But Mitra and the rest of the gang were
terribly disappointed when Harini rang up and
tersely informed them that she could not make it.
Anjana sent away the sobbing Mitra, consoling her
as far as she could.
The cell rang. It was Betty. The Jack and Jill call
had been traced to a gynaecologist, Dr Vijaya.
njana did not feel emotionally ready to go to
Harinis residence as yet. She kick-started her
Honda and made her way to Dr Vijayas
hospital-cum-residence. The sight of her student
Vikram entering the gates with his bag slung across
his shoulder surprised her.
Maam..., he stammered, equally taken aback.
Anjana learnt that Dr Vijaya was his mother. Why
do you want to see my mom? he asked, tense.
Oh, it is strictly professional! said Anjana
smiling cryptically. Vikram wondered whether it was
hers or his moms, but dared not ask.
Anjana did not like Vikram at all. Sly and crafty
were the adjectives that came to
her mind when she thought of
him. He always seemed to be
in a state of suppressed rage
and had frequently been foul-mouthed.
Terrible news... Harini I mean... she said
Yes...thats how immoral people are punished,
he said shortly, and walked away.
Anjana was stunned. She moved around
restlessly, picking up objects and replacing them, as
she waited for Dr Vijaya in her chamber. The
wallpaper with its design of peacock feathers was
most unappealing. Suddenly, Anjana almost
screamed. A human eye from the centre of a feather
was looking at her! It was Vikram, she was certain.
I am so sorry to keep you waiting, Miss
Dasgupta. Do sit down. Has my son been giving you
trouble again? asked Dr Vijaya anxiously.
Anjana told her about the anonymous call.
Sighing, she told her that Vikram had borrowed her
cell that morning. She called out to her son, who
appeared promptly. His room was on the other side
of the peacock wall. Your mom and I were going
gaga over your poetic skills, Anjana addressed
Well...its time people realised that Harini is a
Vikram! yelled Dr Vijaya, outraged.
A slut, a slut, a slut... shouted Vikram, banging
on the table.
Oh, why do you say that Vikram? asked
Anjana sweetly, boiling with rage.
She and Rajesh were locked up in his room,
24 x 7. He claimed to be teaching her chemistry!
he sneered.
Let me explain, said the doctor, tiredly rubbing
her eyes. Rajesh is my cousins son. He is studying
medicine and I hope someday he would take over
the running of this hospital... which is my love... my
life. He stays here with us. I look upon Harini as my
own daughter. I know the
20 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
suffering she had undergone losing her beloved
mother to cancer.
Will surprises never end? thought Anjana. Then
who is...?
Thats her stepmother. Harini and Rajesh fell in
love and I must confess that I was very happy for
them...hoped that some day they would marry...but
now that is not to be... the kindly doctors face
Friday evening, I got a call from Harini. She was
very distraught. Most unlike herself...incoherent...
She kept blabbering something about Shanta, her
stepmother, being pregnant and Dr Mohan... She
was upset as she could not contact Rajesh...
Tell Miss Anjana, mum... tell her that her
favourite student got herself pregnant... interrupted
He made a vulgar C-shaped gesture.
Dr Vijaya looked scandalised. She was
now really angry. She picked up the
wooden paper weight on her table and
dealt a hard knock on Vikrams head.
Ouch! he roared. Mom, Ill report
against you for child abuse!
A child! You, a child! Your are a
demon! the enraged doctor let fly some
colourful words and accompanying knocks
on Vikrams head that Anjana thoroughly
approved of. The consultation room
resembled a labour room as it resounded
with the exaggerated cries of pain.This
will teach you to spy and eavesdrop and
make two and two five! Harini was talking
about her stepmother being pregnant and not
herself! The final well-deserved knock had Vikram
howling like a dog and running back to his room.
njana badly wanted to laugh. Vikram the spy,
must have caught the snatches of conversation
through the peacock wall hole and jumped to
wrong conclusions.
The doctor and Anjana exchanged pleasantries
and as she walked out Anjana found herself looking
into Vikrams room.
Watercolours and numerous portaits of a
handsome young man, adorned the walls.
Wow! Who is the artist? asked Anjana in
Me, of course, said Vikram sulkily.
And this young man?
My relative...Rajesh.
I didnt know you were such a voracious
reader, Anjana looked at the rows and rows of
well-thumbed books, many of which were her
favourites. The Golden Gate, Fountainhead...
There are many things you dont know about me...
So I gather...
Papu cant dance sala punctuated the air and
simultaneously the handsome man of Vikrams
portraits entered the room, saying, Vikram! It is you
who have hidden my mobile!
Observing the way Vikram looked at Rajesh
Anjana guessed why Vikram hated Harini so...
Look. Ill deal with this cell issue later. Right now
I want to go to Harinis place and get her diary. I
know where she has hidden it. I am not buying this
food poisoning thing. Also what Viji Aunty said is
most worrying...
You are right. I know that Harini was a
compulsive diary writer. She has told me so many
times. She never sleeps without filling in the days
events. Something has happened between
Friday afternoon and Sunday midnight.
The diary holds the key to the mystery. By
the way, I am...
Anjana Dasgupta, said Rajesh.
Harini has told me a lot about you. Shall
we leave, maam?
They hailed a passing auto and
requested him to wait till they returned,
pressing a lot of money into his receptive
Anjana and Rajesh weaved their way
through the crowd of mourners. They are
going to remove the body now, said
someone causing the two to panic.
Somehow, they managed to go up the
spiral stairway to Harinis room. Anjana
was distressed to see a man, all hunched up,
sobbing near the body. It was obviously Harinis
father. She studiously avoided looking at Harinis
The spirit of suffering and death was very strong
in the room.
Rajesh quickly nipped across the bed
and removed the huge embroidered picture
of the Pied Piper leading the rats. He found
the diary.
With trembling fingers, they turned the pages.
Friday 13th
An unexpected holiday! Would have been so
much fun if it hadnt been for that shocking incident.
I still cant get over it. The day mamma died, I
became a latchkey kid. I let myself in, only to see
that horrible sight of Dr Mohan on all fours and
stepmum Shanta in the bedroom! Che che che!!! I
wonder how long she has been cheating poor dad?
I heard her say that she was 3 months pregnant. She
looked horrified to see me in my room. She knows
that I know...
nipped across
the bed and
removed the
picture of the
Pied Piper
leading the
rats. He
found the
Saturday 14th
The adulteress came into my room this afternoon
looking very contrite. She asked me for some clothes-
hangers. In the mirror, I could see her taking my
Eltroxin tablet bottle and then replacing it. What on
earth did she want to look at my medicine bottle for?
I threw the hangers across the bed. She took it and
slunk away. I know she is scared of me. Scared Ill
tell dad.
Anjana and Rajesh looked at each other. You did
not have to be Sherlock Holmes to know what had
happened. Obviously, unnoticed by Harini, Shanta
had tampered with the bottle. She must have
replaced it with a similar bottle that did not contain
Eltroxin but...
Sunday 15th
My thoughts are so chaotic. I feel like there is a
whirlwind inside my head. Giddy. Did I take my
tablet this morning? I am so confused. I feel like
throwing up all the time. I dont want to...
The illegibly written words Anjana deciphered.
Poor Harini!
Just who the hell are you and what gives you the
liberty to come into this room, peeping and prying
and pilfering perhaps? the smooth, threatening,
whiplash of a voice coming from the tall,
mustachioed figure sent shivers down Anjanas
spine. His steely gaze was on the diary.
The same liberty, Dr Mohan, that allows you to
walk into your friends house and... said Rajesh
between clenched teeth, brandishing the diary.
Less josh and more hosh... Anjana cautioned
Rajesh in a low voice.
Dr Mohan lunged at the diary. Anjana gave him
a hefty push and, losing his balance, he went
crashing into the bathroom. Quick as lightning,
Rajesh pulled the latch, locking him in.
The two fled through the crowd of wailing
mourners. The pallbearers were about to lift the body.
Panting, they managed to reach the waiting auto.
The auto driver was sobbing hysterically influenced
by the crowd. He had never seen Harini before and
knew nothing about her. Rajesh managed to cajole
the weeping man into driving them to the police
Horrified and shaken by the tragedy, Anjana, her
nerves completely shaken, decided to call it quits for
the day.
The rest is history. The story was all over the
papers and news channels. The post-mortem on the
girl and the fingerprints experts confirmed beyond
doubt the role of Shanta and Dr Mohan... Truth
always triumphs!
22 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Lucky awakening
This happened about 35 years ago.
I was staying in a hostel while doing
my teachers training. According to
the hostel rules, we had to turn off
the lights at 9.30 p.m. As I had to
prepare for a test the next day, when
everybody slept, I lighted a candle,
stuck it on a match box, kept it on
my bed and started reading. But,
unfortunately, I dozed off.
The candle burnt down and the
match box caught fire. To my great
luck, the girl in the next bed woke up
with a start and, on seeing the flames,
poured a jug of water and put off the
flames. I can very well imagine what
would have happened if she had not
woken up. Though I do not know
where she is now, I do a silent prayer
for her when I think of this incident.
M. Fernandez, Bangalore.
The joy of giving
Three decades and a half down the
line, I was shopping for a puja. My
mom was particular about getting
certain things for the puja. One such
item was pumpkin leaves. She would
give me the list and money and my
brother would drive me to the local
Navigating my way through the
noisy and busy street, I finally found a
lone pumpkin-leaves seller. She was
sitting by the pavement with a big
basket of leaves. She too was huge.
Yes, the lady was due for confinement
shortly, or so it seemed to my 10-year-
old eyes. I remember purchasing 15
leaves. She asked for 75 paise.
Rummaging through the purse, I
could manage to find only 50 paise. I
stretched out a 10 rupee note stating
that I did not have change.
She had a tired and sad face and
pointed to her bulging tummy and
asked for some extra money for food.
It touched my little heart that a small
baby yet to see the world, was lying
hungry inside.
On the drive back home, I was
pensive. My brother wondered but
drove me back quietly, I was
disturbed since I had given her a
huge tip and should my mom object,
I wondered what I should say.
Today, Im a proud mom of three
charming boys. My sons are very
charitable. They go out of their way
and help out the needy, whether old,
or young. The joy that they
experience is however shared over
I find that my hair is turning grey
around the parting and temples. I
have decided to use hair dye but
how do I select the shade I should
The hair should not be died jet
black as that tends to make a woman
appear older than her age. Select a
natural colour a shade lighter than
your hair. Getting a stylist to weave in
a few highlights allows you to make it
look stylish. Take extra care for your
hair when you begin to dye it to save
i t from dryi ng up and becomi ng
I am only 20 but scared of wrinkles. I
remember my grandmother had
wrinkles that looked like deep lines
though my mom at age 48 has good,
clear skin. What precautions should I
You might have inherited your
mothers genes so, hopefully, you will
not have wri nkl es. But t aki ng
precautionary treatments is much
better than trying to reverse the signs
as this is near impossible to achieve.
Keep a good l i f est yl e and eat
nourishing fruits and vegetables.
Chemi cal and processed food
always plays havoc with your body
and beauty. Take extra care to keep
your neck and hands in shape as the
lines which appear here show the
age of a woman. Use moisturising
masks at least once a week, cleanse
and care for your skin on a daily
basis, never sleep with make-up on
and use good products or home-
made ones.
My underarm hair, which I normally
shave as and when needed, has
become thicker and darker. What can
I do to make it soft?
Shavi ng as and when needed
often means you do i t i n a hurry
t hereby usi ng f orce. Waxi ng i s
always a better option as you then
get the hair growth reduced with time.
If you dont shave it, the softness will
return as the hair gets longer. Avoid
using anti-perspirants all the time as
that often contributes to darkening
the area.
I have always used make-up since I
was 19. Recently I turned 35 and feel
I should reduce my make-up (I have
even read that) but I feel so awkward
to be without make-up. What to do?
As we age, we need to tone down
the make-up so you should look at
reduction of the colour and heavier
products. Do not give up on make-
up but take up skin care and reduce
the make-up. Make a clear distinction
between day and evening colours.
Go for softer shades of beige and
khakhi rat her t han purpl es and
yellows for the eyes. For lips too, get
soft pinks and natural browns for
col our. Use conceal er i nstead of
foundation and bronzing colour on
cheeks rather than dark blush.
I am 32 and have taken up a very
demanding job which leaves me with
little time to sleep. I find that my face
has begun to look tired and my eyes
look as though there is no shine.
What should I do?
The luxury of sleep is something
every human being needs but, when
there i s j ob stress or any fami l y
issues, it is the first thing that suffers.
Avoid tea or coffee after four in the
evening, eat a balanced dinner and
never overeat at night. Do as much
planning for the morning before going
to bed so you are not worrying about
anything when you sleep. Whatever
time you have decided to wake up,
avoid staying in bed after that as that
sleep has no positive contribution.
Sushmita Sen hugs a
girl as she meets with
children and staff at
the Bal Bhavan
Shraddha Vihar
Society of the Helpers
of Mary in Mumbai on
22 April.
Working for a cause
Romanians businessmen George Becali (L),
George Copos (2nd left) OTV television owner Dan
Diaconescu (3rd left) and Dinu Patriciu (R) are
featured in Alexandru Solomon's documentary film
Kapitalism. The four members of Romanian
dictator Nicolae Ceausescus political police
Securitate have all turned millionaires 20 years
after his downfall.
Face of capitalism
A Volkswagen Polo
model being retrieved
by an automated palette
from a storage tower
near the companys
main factory in
Wolfsburg. Volkswagen
company is to increase
its investment in China
by 1.6 billion euros
($2.1 billion) over the
next two years.
An Emirati woman looks
at Like Everyday piece
by Iranian artist Shadi
Ghadirian, exhibited by
Christies in Dubai on
25 April. Christies
hosted its seventh
auction of international
contemporary art in
Dubai on 28 April.
Why not such an
exhibition in India?
The latest technology
Life Like Everyday
People gather outside the
Danish pavilion to catch a
glimpse of Denmarks iconic
Little Mermaid statue after it
was unveiled at the site of the
world Expo 2010 in Shanghai
on 25 April. It was officially
opened on 1 May.
The Iconic little
Mermaid statue

Customs officers use a roller to

destroy counterfeit MP3 players
and watches at the airport in the
Southern German city of Munich
on 22 April. The goods seized had
a value of Euro 100,000, the
customs officials said.
A girl smiles as she takes
part in a parade at Madeira
Island Flowers Festival in
Funchal on 18 April.
Madeira celebrates spring
every year by decorating the
streets and parading floats
with thousands of flowers on
the streets of Funchal.
Blossoming smile
Costly rubbish
A picture taken with
a fisheye lens shows
a view of the
Shanghai World
Expo in Shanghai on
25 April. Over 192
countries are
contributing to a six-
month calendar of
music, dance and
stage shows.
A birds eye view
Restorer Christiane
Haeseler works on the
Madonna with the infant
Jesus sculpture at the so-
called Schoellenbacher
Altar on 22 April. After
four years of restoration,
the late Gothic altar will
turn back to the Erbach
castle in the Odenwald
region of Germany. The
winged altar, built in 1515,
is 430 metres tall and 520
metres large.
The 99-year-old
woman Irmgard
Palusinski poses for a
photo while surfing the
Internet on the
occasion of her
birthday in Hamburg
on 23 April. Born in
1911, she has been
using the Internet
since 1999.
Say no to ageing
TV host Barbara
addresses the 60th
German Film Prize
awards ceremony in
Berlin on 23 April. Lola
trophies were awarded
in 16 categories.
Working on Madonna

ith bloated egos, a self-
centric approach coming
to the fore, the virtues of
accepting your mistakes
and taking responsibility
for your deeds becoming
obsolete, and bitterness,
deceit and lies hidden
under the layers of
compassion, the times
and charms of a long-lasting
friendship have lost their meaning
and market. The world today is
changing, dynamism is the way of
life, relationships have acquired new
directions and the equations of trust
and consideration have sort of
vanished from society.
In these newly invented un-
balanced equations, there is no
place for a trustworthy friend on
whom you can fall back in the times
of pain and suffering. With the
booming Internet and social
networking industry, communication
and exposure are on a new high. As
a consequence, every individual has
more than many options to have
fun, hang out, make pals and
move on. The age-old concept of
you enjoy with friends has certainly
changed to with whom you enjoy
become your friends. Though this
change is not all that bad, it certainly
shows that the growing side of our
The art of moving on.
By Namita Kohli
social structure, as well as an
individuals emotional quotient are on
the rise. But at the same time it has
given a thumbs-down to the beauty
of being buddies.
Its natural to feel cheated,
insulted and betrayed for those who
still hold on to the buddies forever
concept in this brutally changing
social structure. Many of you must
have invested a great amount of
time, emotions, and affection in that
so-called best buddy. And suddenly
to see him or her forget those selfless
and sacrificing gestures is not an
easy task to take on. But the solution
is simple and stern, though not that
easy to implement. No doubt, all
simple things are easy to preach but
difficult to practise. So just make
yourself believe that there is no other
way but to accept the reality, and
apply the forgive and forget policy.
But hang on for a while, make sure
that the forgetting part is
accompanied by learning.
Make sure you learn to maintain
your emotional levels at just
moderate frequency that is to be
emotionally attached to people and
places only to such an extent that
you can easily detach yourself if
things dont stay the same in years
to come. Learn to not have
expectations, learn to not be
dependent on anyone, learn to not
give the right to someone to hurt you,
learn to be the way the world is. After
all, for how long can you sit and cry
over a friendship gone wrong. Who
would permit you the time to hate
yourself for showing your trust in the
wrong person? And why should you
question yourself for someone elses
fault, anything?
A friend who could not be there
when you needed him or her the
most, a pal who despite his or her
presence could not hold your hand
when you lost track, a mate who
betrayed you for someone else, is
just not worth your time and love. He
or she is just not worth so much
regret and repentance. Just gather
the guts and do what he or she did to
you MOVE ON.
It might not be as easy as it
sounds, there will definitely be initial
hiccups. As they say, memories
make a lifetime, but only the pleasant
ones. So just amputate those ugly
memories that depress you every
moment. Gather the courage and
take your first step towards moving
Having done that, you have
already won half the battle. And for
the remaining half try and follow
some of these suggestions:
Go out and explore: Moving out
will definitely help you to move on.
Go out, the world is beautiful, the
places are innumerable, choose your
destination, and give your senses a
feel of what they require, that is
change. Change from the monotony
of everyday routine.
Give time to yourself and your
interests: We always find time for
everything and everyone, but at times
it becomes indispensable that you
find time for yourself. Do what you
like, do something that helps you
shake off all your tensions and
mundane problems. Follow your
heart, follow your interests. Sing,
dance, paint, travel, work out, write,
party, do everything and anything
that makes you smile.
Interact: Theres no better way
than socialising to forget your worries
and divert your mind. It could initially
be difficult to connect with people,
especially if you are an introvert, but
not impossible. It may take some
time to break the ice but eventually
you would feel detached from all your
problems once you talk and keep
yourself engrossed in the company
of someone. Be it at your workplace,
be it the mode of travel, be it the
public library, be it your gymnasium,
just talk and interact with people
Spend time with family: The
whole world may turn their backs on
you but its your parents, children and
siblings who would always make you
feel special, loved and cared for.
Family can have a healing effect
when you are down and out. Try and
spend as much time as possible with
your family, they will surely help you
move on.
The rule is simple: Someone
would walk in when someone walks
out or, if you see it from the other
persons perspective, Someone has
to walk out when someone walks in.
The choice is yours, about how
you take this. See it positively, see it
as more than a routine affair, see it
with emotional strength and hope,
and you would retain your smile
At the end, just a word of caution.
Do everything but dont repeat
something that gives the need to
read this article again. Just make
sure you dont give over-importance
to any of your future friends. Its
equally your fault as it was his or her
in hurting you. Whether you give this
right to someone or not lies
completely with you.
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 27
28 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
e studies well but makes
silly mistakes. She
understands everything,
what happens to her in
exams? These are the
most common remarks that
a teacher hears at parent-
teacher meetings. The
reasons for these are lack
of attention, lack of
observation, lack of relaxation, no
good role model, etc. They all
probably play a role in contributing to
the common problem.
Everyone wants to get good
marks. You also want your child to
be No.1. But how can we do this?
There are a number of qualities
which your child must possess if he
or she wants to succeed in exams.
Some are fortunate to inherit these
qualities. If your child is one of them,
congratulations! But most of ours are
not like this. We are lacking in many
of the qualities that are essential for
success in exams.
These qualities include: relaxation,
attention, good memory, observation
Here we are talking about one of
them attention and observation
What is attentiveness and what is
observation? We collect information
through our sensory organs eyes,
ears, nose, skin and tongue. When
our eyes are closed or nose stuffed,
we cannot see or smell or hear. We
must keep them open to gather
information. This has to be acquired
in a systematic manner, just as a
house has to be built after laying of
foundation, brick by brick in a
planned manner.
Generally, we let our attention
wander from one subject to another.
An example will make it clear. If we
have to search for a key in a dark
room, we take a torch, mentally
divide the room into small squares,
and focus the light on a small square
rather then searching at random. Our
chances of finding the key will be
better in the first case. So
we must dust off our
senses and divide areas of
observation into small
How can we increase
our attentiveness and
power of observation
When we are tired,
we feel like giving up
everything. So remain fresh
and well rested as far as
Take a flower or a
picture. Sit comfortably and
gaze at the object. The object
should be placed in such a way that
you do not have to twist or turn or
raise your neck. Examine each
detail of the flower or picture. Do this
for about five minutes every day and
increase it slowly to 15-20 minutes if
you can.
Listen to good music or music
of your choice. Listen carefully to as if
you have to reproduce all that is
being sung or played.
Think of a good suggestion for
improvement in your room, class or
When you go to a crowded or
busy place, imagine that you have to
report back all that you have seen.
Similarly, when you visit
someone, try to remember
every detail i.e., colour of
curtain, arrangement of
furniture etc.
Try to meet new
people and remember their
faces, gestures, dresses
and voice.
Try to develop a
genuine interest and
healthy curiosity so that all
this comes naturally to
Go ahead and success
will be yours.
Improve your childs
attentiveness and power of
By Sangeeta Goyal
BE NO.1.
fter a daylong toil what a
human being needs the
most is a cosy bed to
sleep. But the bed would
be cosy only when it has a
comfortable bedsheet on it.
Just remember the days
when all the bedsheets
used to be white in colour.
But now, time has changed
and liking of the people has also
changed. Gone are the days of white,
off-white bedsheets. Nowadays,
uncountable varieties of bedsheets
are available in the market. They
come in all types of print, all types of
shades and all types of fabrics.
Bedsheet of right measure:
Usually all the beddings, pillows, etc.
have different measures. Hence,
while buying bedsheet always keep
the measurement of your bed in
mind. Some bedsteads are longer,
while some are wider. You, therefore,
never buy such bedsheet about the
size of which you have even a little
doubt in mind.
Thread count of bedsheet: It is
extremely necessary to know the
thread count of a bedsheet. By
thread count is meant the number of
threads per square inch of the
bedsheet. Greater the thread count,
finer and softer the fabric. But such
sheets come costly. Bedsheets with
more than 250 thread count is
sufficiently soft. Never buy sheets
with less than 170 thread count.
Fabric: Always select the fabric of
the bedsheet according to the
weather and comfort. Cotton
bedsheets are comfortable in
summer, while you can go for silk,
flalane, linen and net bedsheets in
Cotton bedsheets are available in
numerous varieties like 100 per cent
cotton, cotton mix, non-wrinkling
cotton, handloom cotton, and many
more. They are available in all the
imaginable colours and all the
imaginable designs. These sheets
are quite cool and comfortable for
daily usage.
Follow the instructions:
Naturally, you would like to keep your
choicest bedsheet ever new for a
long time. For this, always follow the
maintenance and washing
instructions supplied along with the
sheets. If you wish to buy bedsheet
for daily use, better buy wrinkle-free
variety. Silken bedsheet is good to
look and fine to touch, but home
washing with detergent and machine
may spoil it. Hence, it is advisable to
get them dry-cleaned.
Colours and prints to suit every
age and mood: Variety of colours,
variety of prints and variety of
designs available in market may, for
a moment, make you think what to
buy and what not to buy.
For kids you may choose nursery
and animal print, floral print, graphic
designs, like Rajasthani prints,
embroidered bedsheets, etc. For
summer season, florescent and light
colours will suit. Bright and radiant
colours will suit the mood of newly
married couples.
30 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Take a shower every day and
use a fresh and fun-smelling shampoo.
Conditioner is a must for
summers to make your hair soft and
Use a pumice stone to remove
any hard skin, then exfoliate and
moisturise. Your feet will feel fresh
Wear a nice shade of nail paint
that looks cool on your skin colour.
On slightly dark complexion neutral
shades do wonders.
During summers wear flip flops
and sandals to show the beauty of
your feet.
Beautiful bouncy hair
Get light curls or waves done
to your hair in the summer. It looks
relaxed and its easy to do. If you
don't have curly hair, try curling it with
an iron and then loosely shake it. It
will give a very subtle look.
Get subtle highlights that
comple ment your natural skin and
hair colour.
Umm! Smell good
Add a few drops of cologne to
the water and take a bath. Earlier in
the day, use a spray deo immediately
after a bath on a semi-damp skin.
Water makes a better spray than
strong cologne because some cos -
metics block the natural and
necessary process of perspiration.
Spray twice or thrice a day.
Wear a fresh smelling perfume
or body spray, but do not overspray!
Spray a mist in front of you and then
walk into it. You can spray a little bit
onto your wrists and neck.
A casual and
fresh approach to
your beauty
regime can give
you a sweet and
easy look in
By Dimple Mathur
Metallic eye shadows look
good in summers. Silver shades suit
those with a cooler complexion and
gold and bronze suit those with a
warmer complexion.
Try putting whitish colour under
your brows. It will give a mesmerising
Curl your eyelashes, then layer
on the mascara. Put a little mascara
at the edges of your eyes for a more
and better shape.
Wear light shades of lipsticks.
In fact, just a sheer lip-gloss will
make your lips glow.
Buy a good quality pair of sun -
glasses to last you through the
Stay in Shape
Wear bright colours and
clothes that complement your body
Your summer wardrobe must
have a good pair of light jeans like
light blue or white, a pair of shoes
that will go with every outfit such as
white ballet pumps.
Contrast neutral basics, like a
khaki skirt with bright sherbet tones.
You can wear a bright pink top or
lime green footwear with neutral
colours to celebrate summer's cheer -
ful hues without looking clownish.
Go in for a crisp monoch -
romatic summer look by wearing
white from head to toe.
Carry cool weather colours like
brown and black forward in breezy
fabrics. Linen is a classic summer
fabric, and you can pair wide-leg
linen pants in dark colours with a tank
top for a relaxed summer look.
34 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Wash your feet daily gently with
soap, then gently pat them dry with
a clean, soft, absorbent towel. Do
not put lotion between your toes.
Keep your feet dry and clean when
away from the water, and apply a
topical anti-fungal medication on
any cracking or peeling. Go out for
a walk. It's the best form of exercise
for your feet.
Wear socks made from acrylic
fibre and lightly powder them to
help keep them dry.
Wear clean socks. Change your
socks every day. Make sure they
are smooth and don't wrinkle when
you put them on. Remember to
wear shoes that fit properly and do
not wear the same shoes every
day. It will take at least 24 hours for
your shoes to dry out after being
Trim your toenails straight
across, leaving them longer at the
ends of your toes. Never walk
barefoot. Minor injuries can become
major infections quickly and lead to
many problems. Walk barefoot on
grass or immerse your legs in cold
water up to the knees. This
increases resistance to illness.
If you have diabetes, you should
take extra care of your feet. Some
people with diabetes prefer
seamless socks, but socks with flat,
unobtrusive and soft seams are fine
as well. Avoid socks with big
Water water everywhere
Drink lots of water. Splash your
face with cold water. Have juices.
In this way you can fight the
scorching heat of the summer days.
Make it up
Wash your face and use a light
moisturiser on your face. Do not use
a body lotion or any other scented
lotion that is not specifically designed
for your face.
Dont forget to wear sunscreen.
Consistently have lotion on your skin
to keep looking fresh and vibrant.
Use a tinted sunscreen if it
doesn't cover the flaws on your face,
dot on some concealer where needed.
Mix bronzing powder with your
sunscreen lotion and apply genero -
usly on your arms and legs for a
natural glow.
Brush on the soft colour of eye
shadow that you choose and put it
on from your eyelids to your eye -
brows. Remember, blue suits brown
eyes, browns suit blue eyes and
purple suits green.
ere we are right in the
middle of the festive
season. That time of the
year to take out our
glittering jewellery. But
years of wear might dull that
lustre of your ornament. Oil,
soap, scum, even skin cells
and bits of hair might get
stuck between the precious
stone settings. Of course, you can
bring back the shine with a bit of
regular care at home.
Tips on care
Clean your jewellery
periodically to help preserve its shine
and make it last.
Avoid wearing jewellery while
bathing to prevent layers of soap
scum or oil forming on them.
Remove all jewellery before
going to sleep. Soft metals such as
gold bangles tend to go out of shape
if pressed in any one position for
Always apply your cologne,
perfume or hair spray before putting
on your stone-set jewellery.
Hold the metal and not the
stones. Touching the stone leaves a
film of body oil which reduces the
Try and remove rings before
washing your hands or applying
Dont expose your gems to
sudden extremes of temperature
for example, avoid putting your hands
in a hot oven while wearing rings with
An easy way to keep stones
shining is to hold them close to your
mouth, blow on them and then wipe
them with a soft cloth.
Dont wear jewellery while
doing heavy household work as
abrasives can scratch the metal or
stones, while chemicals like bleach
or dyes can cause pitting.
Swimming with jewellery is best
avoided since the chlorine in the
water can cause discoloration. And if
the ornaments come off while
swimming, well, it is literally going
down the drain!
How to clean
You will need a small bowl,
detergent, a soft toothbrush (a babys
one or an eye-shadow brush), a
wooden toothpick, a syringe, a soft
cloth and a tea strainer. Never clean
your jewellery directly in the sink. It is
better to soak ornaments in a small
bowl of detergent for a short while
before cleaning with a soft brush.
For delicate gems like pearls, opal
or amber, wiping with a soft cloth is
often the best way. Plain alcohol or
even vodka works wonders by
removing the greasy film on
diamonds. Wrap and store each
piece individually to prevent
Gold and jewellery with stones like
lapis lazuli, malachite or coral, can
be soaked for a while in a bowl of
detergent. Gently use a toothbrush
to clean the sides or bottom of the
setting. If need be use a toothpick or
a syringe to remove build-up in hard-
to-reach areas. Place the ornament
in the strainer and wash under
running water. Dry with a dry soft
cloth. Before throwing out the soap
water, check for any stones which
may have fallen out of their settings.
Heavy grease can often be taken
care of by soaking in alcohol. Or if its
stones like rubies, sapphires or
diamonds, you might try boiling them,
but do not expose them to thermal
shock or they may crack. Immerse
them in soap water at room
temperature and slowly bring to a
boil. Take care to put the pieces in a
strainer while boiling so that they do
not touch the bottom of the pan.
Simmer for 10 minutes and then cool
slowly before brushing and rinsing
them. Buff with a soft, dry lint-free
cloth or with chamois leather.
So step out in your glittering best
and wow your friends theyll think
that you have got yourself a new set
of expensive gems.
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 35
Simple ways to
keep the glow
By Mita Banerjee
term courses you can take to equip
you for the job. IGNOU offers a
diploma in this subject in
collaboration with a few industries
which provide the expertise and
practical training. The minimum
qualifications are a plus-2 with
English as a compulsory subject.
There are other private companies
like NIIT and Hero Mindmine which
offer short-term courses also to
prepare you for work in a BPO. You
can approach these for further
information and advice.
Do not however shelve your plan
to get a degree because just a plus-2
qualification is not good enough for a
I am in a terrible dilemma.My close
friend, a 19-year-old girl, is getting
married next month but last week I
met a girl who claims that she is the
mother of the grooms unborn child! I
privately confronted him with this
information and he confessed that it
was true. He had an affair but has
now broken up with the girl. He has
promised to give child care support
money to her, and she has promised
not to interfere in his married life.
I asked him to tell all this to his
fiance, and he did. She was shocked
but believes in him and will go ahead
with the marriage. She has,however,
kept this story secret and not told her
parents. She feels it will only
traumatise them unnecessarily. I feel
she should not hide this from them.
What do you feel?
It is better the parents know about
the earlier affair of their future son-in-
law as the girl could blackmail the
couple later and cause much
distress. How could your friend so
easily believe this man? After all, he
has kept all this hidden from her. Can
she trust him with her whole life? She
seems to be a romantic who cannot
see the harsh realities of life. Her
parents should definitely know the
facts, so that they can discuss this
with the boy to ensure that everything
is above board. A lawyer will be
needed too to find out about the legal
obligations the boy has towards his
unborn child. Even if all this leads to
a breaking up of the relationship, it
is better than enduring a lifetime of
possible unhappiness and stress.
I am a 14-year-old girl. I did not know
anything about sex till I read about it
in a magazine. Now, I have learnt to
masturbate. Recently, a classmate
told me that an orgasm could lead to
a pregnancy. I am terrified now.
Please let me know how to find out if
I am pregnant of not.
You should learn the facts of life
more clearly. Get a good sex manual
from a bookshop and read it, along
with your friend, who seems to be as
misinformed as you are!
Masturbation and orgasm do not lead
to a pregnancy. You can conceive
only when the male sperm unites with
the female egg, and this is only
through sexual intercourse in the
normal course of things. So, if you
are not having sex with a boy, you
cannot become pregnant.You can
know that you are pregnant when you
miss your normal periods. There are
other tests too to confirm pregnancy
more accurately.
Masturbation is harmless and
affords sexual release. Do not allow it
to become an obsession which
discourages social interaction. Enjoy
life with friends, sports and hobbies.
When your time is fully occupied you
will not be tempted to masturbate.
I am finishing my 12th std this year
and am keen to earn money by
joining a BPO. Do I need special
training for this?I will study for a
degree side by side through
correspondence course.
If you are doing a correspondence
course, it is a good idea to join a
business process outsourcing (BPO)
company which will provide you with
work and money. Yes, there are short
I am a 16-year-old schoolgirl
studying in a private school in
Delhi. I love a boy in my class and
he reciprocates my feelings. I want
to go on dates with him but my
parents are refusing to let me.They
feel I am too young to date but are
quite okay with group outings with
friends. Please tell me how to
convince them that dating is pretty
okay in the present scenario. Most
of my friends go on dates and
many even have intimate relations
with their boyfriends.
This is perhaps just what your
parents are afraid of that your
date will end up with sex! It is
evident from your letter that you
feel this is not wrong but the fact is
that you are definitely too young
for sex, whatever your other
friends may be up to! Your
boyfriend could even be arrested
for this since you are both under-
age. Apart from that, you can be
exposed to many sexually
transmitted infections which could
ruin your life and health. At this
vulnerable age, it is best to avoid
being alone with a member of the
opposite sex for you could both
step over the line.
Do not be in a hurry to grow up.
Your carefree teenage years should
not be wasted in frivolous affairs but
in forging healthy friendships and
learning skills for life.
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 39
lend glow to
a womans
personality, but
magnifies her
beauty. That
is why the
emphasis is on



Long &Short





















airstyle is created with an eye
on the individual face. A
particular style may suit the
face so superbly that would make
others to rush to the hair salon.
ver the past few years, the
bathroom is one room in
the house that has
undergone radical
changes aesthetically.
From the Victorian-style
cloakrooms to the modern
powder rooms, and from
the humble 48 sq ft to 600
sq.ft. or so, bathrooms
have graduated from a purely
functional area to a luxurious area for
relaxation. Proud house-owners may
flaunt their fancy bathrooms with
counter tops made of semi-precious
tiger-eye stones or Japanese and
Mediterranean bathrooms with
expensive gadgetry. But everyone
cannot afford to change ones
bathroom. However, plants can be
used with a theatrical flourish to give
a bathroom decor fresh life by putting
a single striking plant in a corner
or carefully composed group
on a glass trolley or counter
wood of course,
depending on the size of
the bathroom and
individual plants.
The cool and humid
atmosphere of a bathroom
makes it an excellent place
to grow certain moisture-loving
plants. However, the amount of
natural daylight available may not be
sufficient for the plants which can be
made up by providing florescent and
incandescent lamps. The best idea
would be to combine the cool white
flourescent tubes with ordinary bulbs
in a ratio of two watts of the former to
one of the latter. Concealed under
pelmets, ceiling, plant-holding trolleys
or valances, these can provide
sufficient light recommended for
indoor plants.
Thus, bathrooms can be made
ideal places for moisture-loving
aglaonemas, asparagus, chloro -
phytum, ficus and various varieties of
Aglaonemas are tough plants
the varieties silver queen and a white
rajah have interesting markings on the
leaves. Asparagus species like A.
sperengeri, A. plumosus and
densiflorus (foxtail), make
excellent and easy to
grow house plants.
Aspidistra or cast-iron
plant will tolerate shade,
heat, cold, drought and
dust and yet give good
Chlorophytum comosum can
withstand almost any condition and
with their variegated arching leaves
from 11 to 15 inches in length, make
handsome plants for bathrooms.
They send out wiry stems lined with
white flowers and miniature versions
of the plants cascading over, and can
be used in hanging baskets to their
best advantage.
Various varieties of ficus ranging
from F. pimula to F. benjamina, make
good plants for bathrooms with their
capacity to do well in relatively small
pots and pot-bound conditions. Also,
philodendrons which come in a vast
variety and provide a wide range of
shapes and sizes of leaves, do very
well in bathrooms.
If the water is heavily chlorinated,
let it stand in a bucket overnight
before using it on plants. I give my
pots a good wash under the shower
after two or three weeks which is the
next best thing to putting them in the
rain outside.
Plants in hanging containers,
suspended from a protruding bracket
can not only save space but also
offer beauty at eye level. Cascading
plants would look twice as lavish
when hung in front of a mirror.
42 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Do up your
bathroom naturally.
By Kiran Narain
apa, please try to understand. I am a
chartered accountant qualified, with two
years experience here in a reputed company.
I am getting a good promotion, then what is
your problem? Why are you not letting me go
to Delhi? It is not very far from Modinagar. You
can always drive down any time. Then what is
your problem? asked Misti.
You are single. I wont let you stay alone in a
flat, answered her papa stubbornly.
Why not? I will be sharing the flat with
two other girls. And even if I was totally alone, I am
no longer a giggly teenager. I am a mature woman.
I can manage alone, Misti responded.
No way. This world is very bad, Misti, it is not
sensible for girls to stay alone, her papa
Girls! So that is the problem. I am a
girl, so I cannot go. These restrictions are
not there for my brother dear, though he is
more timid than I am. Actually, I am not
timid at all, exploded Misti.
Very true! You are not timid at all,
agreed her ma sarcastically.
Why this caustic tone, ma? I am not
timid. Why should I be defensive about
it? asked Misti.
So you can be rude to your parents.
In my time, when the parents said no, it
meant no and we girls never questioned
it. While you! How rude you are! Is it
necessary to be rude to be
independent? replied her ma with a noticeable
That is because I have to fight for my rights.
Moreover, how unjustified you are in not letting me
go! Ma, this is all because of you. Papa would have
agreed if you had not refused to permit me, said
Say what you will, lady, you are not going
alone to stay in Delhi, her father rejoined. None of
us can go with you. Your ma has her teaching job. I
have my job and your brother Gultu has his studies.
He has to study hard this year as it is his twelfth
Board exams. He cannot go and stay with you in
Delhi, her papa said.
How archaic can you get, papa! I dont want
anyone to come with me. I can manage alone,
Misti asserted.
I dont think so. Just stay here and continue your
job here in Modinagar. Tell them that you dont
want the promotion because you are not ready to
stay in Delhi alone. Thats it, her papa stated as if
expecting that the argument was closed, signed, and
sealed with total victory in his bag.
ut Misti had to have the last say, I will go to
Delhi, papa and ma. I am requesting you both
just now. Please dont force me to rebel. This
promotion is very good status-wise, money-
wise and career- wise. I will be a fool to let
it go just because my parents dont trust
We trust you but we dont trust the
world, returned her ma.
Ultimately, you do not have faith in my
ability to manage the world. Doesnt it
mean the same thing, ma? Misti asked.
Why cant you be a normal girl and
just get married and settle down? her
mother asked with frustration in her voice.
I will get married but not just now. First
I want a good career so that if hubby dear
ditches me, I can manage to live on my
own, replied Misti.
How negative you are, Misti! Why
should it happen like this? asked her ma.
Because life is not a romance and the realism is
very bitter, replied Misti.
Misti, I know a boy who is very sweet, her
Papa started.
Oh no! You just try to marry me off, retorted
At least listen to me, Misti. He is my assistant but
he is not too fluent in English. Can you help him with
English? asked her papa.
Papa, you know I am so busy. I have no time,
cribbed Misti.
A young girl proves she can live alone in the unfriendly
atmosphere of Delhi. By Rungeen Singh
44 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
The Hard Lesson
I will get
married but
not just now.
First I want a
good career so
that if hubby
dear ditches
me, I can
manage to live
on my own,
replied Misti.
If you teach him, it will give me time to consider
your going to Delhi, continued her papa as if she
had not spoken anything.
Blackmail! Arm-twisting? sneered Misti.
Say what you will. Give me the answer,
snapped her papa.
Okay. Will do. Tell him to come on weekends,
submitted Misti with bad grace.
Misti grimaced as she thought, Must be one of
those freaks that papa is always piling on me in the
marriage bazaar. Teaching him will be such a pain!
But I cant get out of it.
ut it wasnt a pain. Surprisingly, Apnav was
really sweet. He had an innocent and
endearing smile and was quite a cherub,
though he was tall, fair and handsome. But his
English! Mamma mia! Just a sentence from him was
enough to burn her ears twice over.
I come to teach you, was the beginning.
But the smile that accompanied it made her
forgive him.
Are you going to teach me or am I going to
teach you? asked Misti.
What say? was his rejoinder.
I will teach you. You will learn from me,
corrected Misti.
I will memory it, replied Apnav.
She screamed, What? Oh, you mean you will
remember it. I see. You see memory is used in a
different way in a sentence.
She got through one weekend somehow but the
next weekend he was worse.
She scolded him, You have forgotten whatever I
taught you. Now tell me the verbs. Dont just stare
like this. Tell me the verbs.
You watch. No, you see. Youre beautiful. It is
very much danger, said Apnav.
What? Danger? What are you saying? asked
Apnav became really persistent, See I look you
and I sensation. Youre beautiful. I feel you? Doesnt
I handsome? Watch. I love you too many. Very
much! See! I cant stop. I need your beauty body.
Misti was flabbergasted as Apnav suddenly
caught her shoulders.
How dare you! she shouted when she could
find her stunned and stupefied voice.
I love you too many, repeated Apnav.
Hey! Cut the joke! shouted Misti.
But the steel in the hands on her shoulders was no
joke. The strength in his arms as he pulled her
towards him was no joke. His lips so close to hers
were no joke. Her mind reacted and she acted.
In a moment she had shaken her head in disbelief
and fluttered her eyelids at him with coy demureness
and said, Oh my! Why are you taking so long? I
cant wait. You are soooo handsome, Apnav.
is arms slackened and in a trice she had
jammed her right knee where it hurt. He
collapsed like a sack of peanuts and she
rushed away to her bedroom and shut the door. She
fumed, Men! They are so ridiculous. One-track
Slowly, she quietened down with just one thought
in her mind. Apnav was known to her father. She
should go and tell him what had happened.
Maybe Apnav was still writhing, around on the
ground in agony. Serves him right, but was he alive?
Had she kneed him too hard? She should find out.
But Apnav wasnt there and her father was
on the phone. She came back and lay down
and went to sleep trying to quell her anger.
It was only when her ma called her for
dinner that she surfaced. She got up and
sauntered to the dining table hating the fact
that she would have to face her father.
He wasnt there but her mother
was and soon Misti was pouring
out her ire, Ma, I could kill
Apnav. If he is still alive I will
kill him.
Her ma said, Why
do you wear such
revealing clothes? In
my days we were not
allowed and we
obeyed. Why werent
you reserved with him?
You must have done something to
encourage him.
46 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Maaaa! Whaaaat are you saying? Has Apnav
been making up stories? He was the culprit. I didnt
encourage him, shouted Misti.
Her mother then saw her husband and she
asked, What sort of a boy did you allow to come
into the house?
Er, what has happened? asked Mistis papa.
Misti burst out, That rogue. I will hand him over
to the police. Such men should be throttled. They
should be shot in the marketplace. Papa, he had the
audacity to act fresh with me.
But was it necessary to kick him so hard and that
also where it hurts the most? asked her papa.
What! You know! exclaimed Misti.
Her papa stammered hesitantly, I have a
confession to make, Misti. You know that boy,
Apnav? Well, dont blame the poor boy. Actually,
he is a good sort but he couldnt refuse me.
Assistant, you know! And I had to, you know. So
many arguments your ma and I had. I needed to
find out. Well, probably it was not such a good
idea. I had to know if you could manage. Oh, the
long and short of it is that I told him to proposition
You sent Apnav to get fresh with me! You! I cant
believe it, shouted Misti.
Well, it didnt work out. Probably he laid it on
too thick. Lack of experience, you know. But you
didnt have to kick so hard, you know. He was in
terrible pain. You could have done it gently, you
know, putting less energy into the punches and the
kick, said her papa.
Papa, I have no time for your you knows. Why
should I have kicked gently? What is wrong with
you, papa? asked Misti.
Well, you know about Delhi, said her papa.
The sooner that is decided the better. Tomorrow I
have to give my answer to my boss about the
promotion and here we cant seem to come to a
consensus, said Misti worriedly.
But that is what I have been trying to say so
long. You can go and stay alone in a flat in Delhi.
You have proved yourself capable, her papa
Oooooooh! How lovely! Thank you, papa! The
whole house resounded with her war cry of victory.
And why not? She had proved to herself and to
everybody that she could manage.
Three cheers to a free, independent yet sensible
woman! Full power to you! We
Fear got me tears
After the days hectic schedule I
was in no way prepared to wait for a
bus to arrive and that too getting a
seat in the bus is always sheer luck.
So, I decided to hire an auto.
I knew the way to my house
without any confusion so suspected
the auto-driver as he took a deviation
when not required. I questioned him
and he very kindly told me that there
was a serious accident that afternoon
that had caused a huge men. So, it
would be safer to take a deviation. I
agreed and neither suspected the
auto-driver nor observed the way he
was going.
I finally realised he had taken me
to a very unknown and far-off area.
He suddenly stopped the vehicle and
told me to give him three times the fare
if I wanted to reach home safely. I was
so scared that without any questioning
gave him the amount. I felt so helpless
and looted that day.
To era is human and
to forgive is divine
This incident makes me ponder
over the divinity of forgiveness and
puts me on the threshold of such a
bizarre situation where I cannot stop
to ask my self. Do they really need to
be forgiven.
I had just learnt how to drive under
the guidance of my uncle. It took me
just one week to grasp the basics. The
next week, I began to drive on the
road, to perfect this art. Even after the
thorough practise for two weeks on
road, my confidence level was not in
its prime.
One day, I was on the road, driving
at a very slow-speed, with my uncle. A
car wanted to overtake me. It suddenly
came in front of me and I lost the
control. My uncle immediately took
over the steering wheel and avoided
the collision between the two cars.
But unfortunately, the other car
suffered some minor damage on one
To our utter surprise, the driver of
that car came out of his car. With an
angry expression on his face. He
demanded Rs 5,000 from my uncle
for the damage caused to his car. He
threatened to report the matter to the
My uncle tried to pacify him. But
my uncle bluntly refused to comply
to his unfair demand.
My uncle blently refused to pay
him in cash but agreed to own the
responsibility to bear the repair
charges. The other driver gave the
address of a repair shop and asked us
to reach there the next day. The
entire repair cost us Rs 4,000.
It came as a big shock to us when
we later learnt that. That driver was
actually the mechanic of the same
repair shop where we got the car
repaired. Good heaven, was he an
imposter? Do such people need to be
Shilpa Gurung, Dehra Dun.
tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
tsp haldi powder
2 tsp oil
salt to taste
Make slits in the brinjals and
leave these whole. Wash well and
pat-dry and keep aside. Heat the
oil in a non-stick pan and fry the
48 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
1 kg watermelon skin and
seeds removed and cut into
small pieces
1 cup potato powder
(ready to eat potato mash)
1 tsp jeera powder
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
tsp or more red chilli powder
tsp garam masala powder
oil for tava frying the kebabs
salt to taste
Mash the watermelon pieces
with a fork and place in a strainer.
Drain out all the juice and keep
only the solid portion. Place this in
a mixing bowl with the rest of the
ingredients. We are using the
dried aloo powder so that it soaks
in any moisture left in the water-
mel on pi eces. You can use
ordinary boiled potatoes as well.
Blend well and shape into round
tikkies. Heat oil in a non-stick pan
and shallow fry or tava fry the
To serve you could use the
case of the watermelon to serve
the kebabs. Line the watermelon
case with red cabbage or ordinary
cabbage or even grated carrots
and then place the kebabs on this
and serve in the watermelon shell.
Or serve them on a platter.
250 gm small brinjals
cups orange juice
1 or two oranges the
whole segments
tsp or more red chilli
Make use of
summer fruits and
vegetables and
create amazing
By Roma Ghosh
watermelon kebabs
Small brinjals with orange flavor
brinjal and stir gently on low
fl ame. Add the spi ces and
continue to stir and blend till all
the spices are well mixed. Cook
on low flame for at least 4-5
minutes and then serve with
rotis. Or place a small portion
on a piece of paranthan and
1 tsp lemon tea leaves
tsp cinnamon powder
2-3 cups water
2 tbsp or more sugar
1 tsp mint juice
Bring the water to boil. Add the
lemon flavoured tea leaves and
bring to boil adding the cinnamon
powder and sugar as well. If you
want the flavours strong then boil
for a longer time, otherwise put off
the heat after 2-3 minutes and
allow to cool to room temperature.
Pass the prepared tea through a
strainer. Add the mint juice. Pour
into kulfi moulds and preferably
place a stick to hold in the centre.
Place in the freezer compartment
and freeze till solid. Unmould and
serve as a chuski duri ng the
summer months. Children and
adults simply love it.
brinjals first on medium heat for 2
minutes and then lower the heat
and cover wi th a l i d for 2-3
minutes. Mix in the spices and stir
gently and cover and cook again
for 1 minute.
Add the orange juice and cook
on medium heat without the lid for
2-3 minutes. Allow the juice to be
absorbed by the brinjals. Add the
orange segments and cook only
for 20-30 seconds and serve with
steamed rice dish.
1 large brinjal weighing around
250-300 gm
tsp or more red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
tsp haldi powder
5 tsp oil
1 green mango weighing around
150 gm
2 green chillies
3 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 onion cut into small pieces
1 tomato chopped - optional
salt to taste
Peel the green mango and
di scard the kernel . Gri nd the
green mango and green chillies
to a paste. Roast the brinjal on
the fire till the skin is charred.
Cool to room temperature and
then peel off the burnt skin. Mash
the brinjal with a fork and keep
Heat the oil and fry the onions
till golden brown. Add the ginger-
garlic paste and the tomatoes if
you are using. Cook on low fire
for 1 minute. Mix in the green
mango paste and the mashed
50 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Bhartha with tangy green mango
Lemon tea and cinnamon chuski
1 large pear weighing around
150 gm
2 cups watermelon juice
tsp cinnamon
Cut the pear into circles without
removing the peel. Core and keep
aside. Bring the watermelon juice
and half cup of water to boil and
add the cinnamon powder and the
pear. Allow the pear to simmer in
this watermelon juice. Once the
pear pieces begin to absorb the
juice and most of the juice has
evaporated put off the heat and
al l ow to cool . Serve wi th i ce
200 ml curd
3 tbsp sugar
tsp coarsely ground chilli
flakes or more as per taste
1 cup musk melon pieces
For garnishing:
2-3 pieces musk melon
Blend the sugar, curd and the
musk melon pieces in a mixer till
smooth. Chi l l i n the fri dge.
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 51
Pears stewed in watermelon
Musk melon raita
Garnish with chilli flakes and a
few pieces of musk melon and
serve in the musk melon peel
shell if you want. Or serve in an
ordinary bowl.
2 cups shelled peas
2 cups potatoes sliced into thin
fingers like French fries
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp jeera powder
tsp haldi powder
5 tsp oil
1 green mango weighing around
150 gm
2 green chillies
salt to taste
For garnishing:
one sweet lime cut into circles
without peeling
Peel the green mango and
discard the kernel. Grind the
green mango and green
chillies to a paste.
Heat the oil and add the
potato fingers adding salt to
taste. Cook on l ow fi re
covered wi th a l i d for 2-3
Mix in the peas and cook
further for another 2 minutes.
Mix in the mango paste and
the spices and continue to stir
and cook on low fire till all the
spices have blended well into
the peas and potato fi ngers.
Serve as a chaat garnished with
sweet lime pieces.
2 cups boiled noodles
3 tbsp oil
200 ml coconut milk
1 tsp red chilli flakes
3 pods garlic chopped into small
2 tbsp chopped coriander
salt to taste
Take out hal f a cup of the
boiled noodles and fry these in oil
till crispy and golden brown. Keep
aside for garnishing. In the same
pan add the rest of the noodles
and lower the heat. Mix in two
cups of water and the
rest of the ingredients.
Bring to boil and allow
to si mmer for 2-3
mi nutes. Put off the
heat and cool to room
temperature. You can
serve the soup hot i f
you want but it tastes
good when it is cold on
a summer day. You can
serve at room
temperature or prepare
the soup and keep in
the fridge. Garnish with
chopped coriander and
crispy fried noodles just
before serving.
1 sweet mango weighing around
200 gm
1 green raw mango weighing
around 100 gm
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 green chillies
cups coconut grated
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp jeera powder
tsp haldi powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
few curry leaves
tsp mustard seeds
salt to taste
52 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Peas and green mango chaat
Cold noodle soup with crispy topping
Peel both the mangoes
and remove the centre
porti ons and cut i nto
medium pieces. Heat the
oi l and add the curry
leaves and the mustard
seeds. Add the green
mango pieces and stir-fry
for a minute. Add the rest
of the spi ces and the
coconut and stir-fry for
another 1 minute. Add 1
cup of water and salt to
taste. Bring to boil. Lower
the heat and mix in the sweet
mango pieces. Cook on low fire
stirring gently till most of the gravy
has evaporated. Serve wi th
steamed rice or rotis.
litre milk
1 cup mango puree
2 tbsp sugar or less if the mango
taste is very sweet
3-4 drops mango essence
6-7 egg yolks
Blend the egg yolks, sugar,
essence and milk in a mixer. Add
the mango pulp and blend again.
Put into moulds or ice cream
trays and freeze till set. Cut into
pieces and serve the ice cream
4-5 legs chicken
300 gm lotus stem
scrapped and cut
into thick diagonal
2 tbsp onion paste
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp ginger-garlic
2 green chillies
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp jeera powder
tsp haldi powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 cups orange juice
8-10 orange segments
salt to taste
In this recipe you may or may
not use the lotus stem.
Heat the oil and fry the chicken
pieces adding salt to taste.
Cook on medium heat till
the chicken pieces are light
gol den brown. Add the
lotus stem pieces if you are
using these and stir-fry for
a further 2-3 mi nutes.
Lower the heat and mix in
the onion paste, ginger-
garlic paste, tomato puree
and the spices. Stir and
cook on low fire for another
3-4 minutes. Add one cup
of water and cover with a
lid or cook in a pressure
cooker till the chicken and
l otus stem pi eces are
tender. Open the cooker
and place on the heat again. Pour
the orange juice and allow to be
on the fire for only another 1
mi nute. Serve
with plain
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 53
King of fruits
Mango and egg ice cream
Orange chicken
400 gm pui saag or any other
saag of your choice
1 cup brinjals cut into very small
1 cup red pumpkin pieces
1 green raw mango weighing
around 100 gm
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 green chillies
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp jeera powder
tsp haldi powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
salt to taste
Peel the green mango and
di scard the kernel . Gri nd the
green mango and green chillies
to a paste. Cut the saag into one-
inch pieces. Wash well and mix
with the other vegetables. Put all
the vegetables in a cooker with
half cup of water and cook till the
vegetabl es are very soft and
mushy. Cool and open the
Heat the oil and add the mango
paste. Lower the heat and mix in
the cooked vegetables. Add the
spi ces and the gi nger-garl i c
paste and cook over low heat
stirring from time to time till most
of the water is evaporated. The
final preparation will have some
amount of water. Serve with plain
steamed rice.
2 cups potato peels discard
the potato and use only the
1 large onion sliced
1 green mango weighing around
150 gm
3 green chillies
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 green chillies
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp jeera powder
tsp haldi powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
salt to taste
Peel the green mango and
discard the kernel.
Grind the green mango and
green chillies to a paste.
You can leave a few of
the green mango pieces cut
i nto thi n stri ps for
Cut the potato peels into
thin strips and wash well.
Heat the oil and fry the
onions and the potato peels
on low fire till the onions
begin to turn light brown.
Mix in the mango paste
and the spices and 3 tbsp
of water.
Cover with a lid and cook
on low fire till the peels are
Serve wi th puri s or
paranthans as breakfast.
54 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Saag with green
mango flavor
Potato peels and green mango
1 cup dalia
1 cup sprouts
2-4 tsp chopped dhania and
pudina leaves
1 green mango cut into very
small pieces without the peel
4-5 prunes
4-5 apricots
salt to taste
For the sauce:
2 tsp salad oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp tomato sauce
1 tsp chilli sauce
Soak the dalia in 2 cups boiling
hot water for 10 minutes, adding
salt to taste.
Pass through a strainer to drain
out all the excess water. Mix all
the ingredients in
a salad bowl.
Mi x al l the
ingredients for the
sauce and pour
over the salad.
Serve chilled.
1 cup musk melon pieces skin
and seed removed
2 cups curd
2-3 tsp sugar or more as per
Bl end al l the i ngredi ents
together i n a mi xer and chi l l
before serving.
300 ml watermelon juice seed
4-5 drops vanilla essence -
Mix the watermelon juice and
the essence and pass through a
strainer to remove all the seeds.
Pour i nto kul fi moul ds and
preferably place a stick to hold in
the centre. Place in the freezer
compartment and freeze till solid.
Unmould and serve as a chuski
during the summer months. Its
refreshing and tasty. We
Summer salad with oatmeals
watermelon chuski
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 55
Musk melon lassi
flight flight
What is
today can
become obsolete
Therefore to
requires a lot of
designing and
Isnt it a sari reinvented? It
may not exactly be a sari, but
out-of-the blue apparel is a
super substitute for it.
A ghaghra at its
best design! The
low-cut bodice
happens to be a
part of the beaded
The ghaghra and the top are
so fashionably created that it
can unfailingly cast a spell on
the onlookers.
This is certainly
not a ghaghra but
a complete body
apparel in one
piece. What an
exquisite piece of
embroidery and
floral designing!
Designer: Ashima & Leena Singh
Ph: 011-26801884
reachery and treason. These
two stratagems have brought
down the most redoubtable
fortresses at the lowest cost
throughout history. Failing
that, there was always the
force of arms to succeed
where duplicity failed. Not so
with the Daulatabad fortress,
a stronghold built on top of a
hill north-west of present-day
Aurangabad. There, only treachery
and treason worked.
It was originally called Devigiri
when founded by Bhillamraja of the
Yadava dynasty in 1187 AD, and
became a thriving city. However,
after passing through the hands of
several dynasties in less than 150
years after the Yadava dynasty, the
fortress was renamed Daulatabad,
the 'city of fortune', by Sultan
Muhammad-bin-Tughluq who also
made it the capital of India for the
short time he reigned from there
before moving back to Delhi.
And it was from that capital city
that a train took me to Aurangabad.
From there, a 13-km drive took me
to where the impressive citadel
emerged, dramatically soaring above
the Deccan plain atop a 200-metre-
high hill. Claimed to be one of the
world's best preserved forts of
medieval times, the fort has survived
virtually unaltered and still displays
the character that made it invincible.
A rare kind of construction, this
stronghold is a combination of a
ground fort and a hill fort since the
imposing structure is built on an
isolated pyramid-shaped natural
peak. The rock around was skillfully
chiselled to make climbing it
The entire complex measures
about 62.70 hectares (about 155
acres) and is surrounded by three
concentric walls known as kots. The
first of these, Amberkot, covers the
old town of Daulatabad, has a few
shops and is in any case in a
ramshackle condition.
National Highway 211 connecting
Aurangabad to Ellora, took our group
through these ruins to the second
ring, the Mahakot which is the
boundary of the fort for all practical
purposes. But there is actually a
second equally impressive wall inside
running roughly parallel to the outer
ramparts. There are also several
bastions and eight imposing gates
but, since none of them faces
another, smashing through one leads
Getting into Mahakot: We were
driven close to the main gate to reach
which we had to walk through the
inevitable little tourist vendors shops
on the main road. This high, arched
gateway was craftily located at about
right-angles to the outer rampart. It
is embedded with huge pointed iron
spikes intended to keep even
elephants out. But, with a glint in his
eye and a wry smile, our guide told
our group that ruthless enemies
would transfix dead camels on the
elephants foreheads and then batter
A blood-curdling account of the
horrendous reception planned for invaders
of an impregnable fortification.
By Rajib Sen
A blood-curdling account of the
horrendous reception planned for invaders
of an impregnable fortification.
By Rajib Sen
their way into the portals of the fort!
Still, that never took them far.
Right inside, it was impossible to
continue to charge straight through.
Because of the right-angled siting of
the door, the vanguard of the
invading force would find itself
cooped up in a virtual dead-end
beyond the entrance they had just
smashed their way into. There was
no room for elephants to turn. The
only option to pulling back out of the
fortress with their own hordes still
piling up behind was for the
invaders to take a right turn.
That would lead them into an open
square surrounded by the outer
ramparts from the parapets of
which, obviously, the defenders could
harass the invaders with impunity.
But imagine that the force somehow
managed to escape from there
through the huge arched second gate
in the inner wall of the Mahakot. Still,
having managed to get past that, the
enemy would come up against a solid
stone wall.
Thats because Daulatabad's
scheming architects had drawn up
their plans based on their awareness
that spatial recognition in the human
brain lay on the left side of the brain.
Thus, many of the gates were
constructed at right angles to the
approach. So it was that an
apparently sheltered route to the left
was created as an optional route
inside the Mahakot. But taking that
option would lead to disaster. For, not
far into it, theres nothing but a blank
wall. Retreat would again become
The sole escape route seemed to
be small openings in the ground on
the left through which they could
hope to get out somewhere. Instead,
the men would immediately slide
down a slippery chute right into the
water-filled moat swarming with
unfed hungry crocodiles! For, the
Mahakot is surrounded by a 40-ft-
deep moat that happened to be dry
when we were there.
An uphill battle: So, lets say the
enemy somehow escaped even that
trap and took the other, open-to-the-
sky passage to the right along the
inner wall of the Mahakot. After
climbing utterly irregular, hand-hewn
granite steps followed by a dusty,
winding uphill path, they would
confront the third wall of Daulatabad,
the Kalakot.
Remember: all the while, they
would be under attack from the
defenders as the invaders fought
their way along an uphill path
designed to sap their energy in the
blazing heat anyway. I could well
imagine their plight since that was
precisely what I was undergoing
minus the rigours of fighting in heavy
In fact, the paths through all the
areas are on an upward slant and
paved with uneven stones to make
walking difficult. Wherever there are
steps, some steps are very narrow
and others are very wide, some have
low risers and others have high ones
all aimed at forcing enemy foot
soldiers to literally mind their steps
by looking down even as they kept a
lookout while also looking up for
defenders attacks. The slope is
steep enough to cause a major
avalanche if a few stones are simply
pushed from the top and the enemy
forces would be crushed by bounding
boulders hurtling down on them with
an ever-accelerating momentum.
The amazing Andhari: But the
enemys travails were not over yet if
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 61
they persisted. They had still to cross
a deep moat built around the
mountain. Thats where a sequence
of devious traps awaited them. On
crossing the moat, the only way into
the fort is through a tunnel. This
tunnel then leads to a small window
through which the soldiers would
emerge head first. Thats when it
would be chopped off by a defending
swordsman waiting above the
window outside even as the enemy
soldiers body inside slid through a
gap at floor level into the moat to
feed more hungry crocodiles.
If this first line of defence was
breached, on the floor of the chamber
lay poisoned caltrops (anti-personnel
weapons made up of two or more
sharp nails or spikes arranged in
such a manner that one of them
always points upward from its base).
Beyond that, the only exit from this
chamber leads into a series of
subterranean passages coiled like a
python, carved through the rock. This
zigzag maze is known as the andhari
because it is a pitch-dark system of
tunnels with very small entrances or
exits that make it virtually impossible
to move about.
Boiling oil would be poured on the
enemy if they paused for any reason
in the labyrinth. Thus, once they went
into the darkness, their own
comrades would turn on them,
deluded into thinking these to be the
defending soldiers attacking them.
Nearby, a path leads to the exit.
During an attack, this exit was closed
by a heavy iron slab. On this slab,
noxious chemicals were burnt and
the heavy fumes were drafted down
to the attackers below. Also, the heat
from a brazier was blown into the
passage by a process of suction
suffocating the entire garrison within.
Gasping for breath, they would
sense fresh air coming from a duct
in the wall. Thinking this to be the
exit, the enemy would stampede
down this tunnel only to fall to their
deaths into the deep moat beyond!
To help us get the picture, our
guide got an attendant to light a
mashaal, a flaming hand-held torch.
We then realised how, while the
sudden darkness after the bright
sunlight outside would instantly blind
the aggressors, even later, it was too
dark for the eyes to clearly make out
who was who.
Nevertheless, lets say the enemy
got through that predicament also
and got out of the Andhari. They
would emerge into dazzling sunlight
and get blinded in reverse!
Simultaneously, they would get
scalded by burning oil from huge vats
above the building!
After all that, the enemy would still
need to climb a flight of 400-odd
steps mostly very odd in shape!
to reach the main citadel. The core
of the fort is a hill at the height of
more than a hundred feet, making it
impossible for anyone to climb in.
Mounted atop a tower is the
massive, 14-ton Mendha tope (which
has a rams head embossed at its
base) with a firing range of nine
kilometres. Now lying on the ground,
the second largest cannon in India
was mounted on a pivot in order to
rotate 180 degrees with the help of
an intricate system of chains, as our
guide explained. Cunningly, the
cannon was designed to be
incapable being turned against
interiors, were the fort to fall into
enemy hands.
62 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Internal Constructions
Water supply: We were first
shown the massive Hathi Haud (the
Elephant Tank), a 47.75m high x
46.75m wide x 6.61m deep reservoir
with steps on three sides which was
dry when we went. But there were
also the Saraswati and Kacheri wells
at the plains level whose contents
were augmented by the Moti and
Hathi natural tanks in the main
citadel aside from several
wells and tanks in the town
and the main moat. To keep
them full, the vizier (prime
minister) Malik Amber built
tanks on the nearby hills
and piped the water in.
Chand Minar: Built as a
'Tower of Victory' by Ala-ud-
din Bahmani, after he
managed to take over the
fort in 1435, the soaring
tower rises to approximately
30m. A four-storeyed tower,
it is adorned with glazed
tiles and carved motifs. It is believed
that the Chand Minar was used as a
prayer hall or a victory monument in
the earlier times.
Chini Mahal: Chini Mahal is a
beautiful palace, inlaid with blue
tiles. The palace served as the
detention centre of Abdul Hasan
Tana Shah, the last king of
Golconda, in 1687. He remained
there for 13 years till his death.
Jami Masjid: Constructed in
1318 by Qutub-ud-din Mubarak, the
Khilji ruler of Delhi, it
is adorned with 106
splendid pillars, which
were looted from
several Hindu and
Jain temples that
stood at the site
initially. Some time
back, the mosque was
converted into a
Bharatmata Temple to
end a long-standing
Other constructions
inside the fort include
baolies (stepped
wells), court buildings, Aam Khas
(Hall of Public Audience), Rang
Mahal, Baradari, and a hammam
(bath). We
I am a Hindu from Tamil Nadu and,
when I was 20, I ran away and
married a Kerala Christian who was
five years older than I was. But I was
unhappy from day one because our
sex life was an absolute disaster. My
husband thought of sex as just
another hunger and satisfied himself
without any regard for me or my
feelings and I was too embarrassed
to talk to him frankly about this. Since
our sex life was bad, other aspects
of our married life were also
I took up a job and did well and
over the next ten years I got
promotions and rose in my company.
Then a man who worked under me
began to make advances to me and
we became friendly though I
repeatedly told him that I loved my
husband very muchwhich I do.
But one day he came home when
my husband was not there and we
made love. He was a tender and
considerate lover and satisfied me
sexually. We then began to have sex
regularly. But after a year he
confessed that he had made a play
for me only because I was his boss.
His words broke my heart and I broke
off with him.
Now I am filled with guilt for
having being unfaithful to my
husband. But I am also sexually
unsatisfied. My husband is as self-
centred as ever and though I love
him, I am also filled with anger. If it
I had sex with my 40-year-old class
teacher when I was 14. Ever since
then I have been depressed and
filled with guilt. Now I am 22 and
am going to be married. It is a love
marriage. I do not want to hide
anything from my fiance but should
I tell him about my sin before or
after marriage?
You didnt have sex and you
definitely didnt commit any sin. You
were raped by your 40-year-old
teacher and if you had told your
parents or complained to the police,
he would have been sent to jail.
Your depression and guilt are
because you think that you were
responsible for that incident that
occurred when you were just 14.
Perhaps you imagined yourself in
love with that man or perhaps you
didnt resist him firmly when he led
you into sex. But the truth is that
you are not at all to blame. A 40-
year-old can easily manipulate a
14-year-old and the complete
responsibility for the sex you both
had is his. Even if that sex had
been consensual, sex with a minor
is considered statutory rape under
the law.
So stop feeling guilty. It would
be best if you told your fiance about
this incident before you get
married. Since you are both if love,
he will definitely understand your
feelings and sympathise with you. If
you wait till after you are married, it
will appear that you did not trust
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 63
werent for my six-year-old daughter I
would leave him and go away.
You have hit the nail on the head.
You do not have the option of
thinking only of yourself because you
have a daughter.
But you have the right to be
sexually satisfied though having an
affair is not the answer. You do not
seem to have discussed your sex life
with your husband and your mistake
lies here. Your husband may be self-
centred and inconsiderate about sex,
but if you talk to him and tell him how
unsatisfied you are, he will probably
take your feeling into consideration
and sex will become more enjoyable
for you.
It would be even better if you also
went for marriage counselling and
came to understand each other
better. As for your guilt over having
been unfaithful to your husband,
there is nothing you can do to change
that. So forgive yourself, decide that
you will never do such a thing again
and move on.
I am 27 years old and have finished
my education and am working. When
I was in college, I had an affair with a
classmate. Though we would kiss
and cuddle, we did not have sex
though we both longed to. After
graduation we both went our ways.
Later, my elder sisters husband
fell in love with me and we had sex
regularly till he left for the States.
Then my college lover came back
into my life after six years, but to my
shock he had a girlfriend and wanted
only my friendship. Now we talk over
the phone and meet occasionally but
there is no romance in our
Now my parents want to get me
married and I dont know what to do.
Please advise me on my problem.
What exactly is your problem?
Your brother-in-law has gone away
so that is one problem out of the way.
You say that you were shocked to
find out that your college friend had a
girlfriend. Did you think that he
wouldnt go on with his life after you
broke up? And what about you? Did
you continue to be in love with him
when you had an affair with your
brother-in-law? Your casual
statement that after graduation you
both went your different ways does
not indicate this.
Now you have a friend and you
may soon be having an arranged
marriage. Is your marriage the
problem and are you afraid that your
husband will find out that you are
not a virgin? If you are, you have
two options. You could just ignore
the fact that you did not bleed when
you first have sex with your husband
64 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
or explain it away by saying that you
were very active and took part in
sports when you were in school and
college. Or you can tell him the
I am a 24-year-old woman and am a
lecturer in a college. For nine years I
have been in love with a Hindu (I am
a Christian) and we have been
waiting for us both to be settled in life
to get married. His parents know
about our affair, but mine dont.
Three years ago my boyfriend
moved to Canada and we plan to get
married after he gets his Permanent
Resident papers. We talk on the
phone and exchange frequent
emails. I miss him a lot and still love
him but I have begun to wonder
about his feelings for me. This is
because he has suddenly begun to
be very suspicious of me because I
work in a mens college.
I am fair, slim and pretty and I look
younger than my age. My boyfriend,
on the other hand, is dark and fat and
looks older than his age because he
is losing his hair. But his looks dont
matter to me. I have often told him
that he should reduce his weight as
that would be good for his health, but
he has always dismissed my advice
with the words that he knows what to
Now he cross examines me every
day on my students. I feel humiliated
but have begun looking at my
students in a way I never did earlier.
Now I see how attractive some young
men are and have begun to resent
my boyfriends stubborn refusal to
lose weight. Sometimes I even feel
that I hate him and that I do not want
to marry him. What should I do?
Both a long courtship and a long
absence are difficult for people in
love to take and these are the factors
that are causing you both tension.
Your boyfriend is obviously feeling
insecure and this is why he is
harassing you about your students.
After all, you are not much older than
most of them and many of your
students must have a crush on you.
He must have realised this.
As for your changed feelings, you
fell in love with this man when you
were 15, an age when you must have
been quite immature. So it is also
possible that you have outgrown your
love for him. His behaviour must
have also hastened this process.
Tell your boyfriend that both of
you must rethink your relationship.
He does not seem to trust you and
you are now finding him physically
unattractive. Have a time-out period
of a few months and then re-evaluate
your feelings for each other.
I am a 25-year-old unmarried woman.
About a year ago I became involved
with a guy who was two years older
than I was. We felt that we were in
love and I allowed him to take
liberties with me though we never
had sex.
Then my parents found about my
affair a few months ago. They were
furious and beat me. They also made
me quit my job, confiscated my cell
phone, punished me and scolded me.
They made me feel totally worthless
and destroyed my self-confidence
with their cruel words. They also told
me that I was a fool to trust my
boyfriend because he did not love me
but only wanted my money and to
have sex with me. They stressed the
fact that my boyfriend hadnt tried to
get in touch with me. I felt totally
Now my boyfriend has got in touch
with me again (through a friend). He
says that he wrote me letters and
called me repeatedly on my phone.
But I did not get his letters and as my
cell phone had been confiscated, I
didnt receive his calls. He says that
he wants to marry me, but I am
nervous and unsure. Are my parents
right about his character?
Your parents seem to have been
very shocked by the fact that you had
a boyfriend but that is no justification
for their extreme cruelty to you. Now
you are feeling shattered and have
lost all your self-confidence, but you
are 25 years old and are quite old
enough to take your own decisions.
This is a matter that involves your
life. Your parents have tried to
brainwash you, but you must now pull
yourself together. Ask yourself why
you got involved with this young man
in the first place. You must have felt
attracted to him, but what is your
opinion of his character? What are
his plans for the future and how good
are his qualifications? What is his
background and is he in need of
Also try to find out how your
parents came to know so much about
the boy. Is the source of their
information reliable or did they just
say those things to get you to forget
You could consult an older person
whom you trust, too. Think seriously
and then take a decision on the
matter of this man. If you decide to
accept his proposal, tell your parents
about it boldly.
Stress that you are an adult and
that you will not allow them to beat
you and humiliate you. Even if you
decide not to accept your boyfriends
proposal, you should stand up to your
parents and insist on going back to
I am 22 and have very small breasts.
In fact, I hardly have any breasts at
all. I do not even need to use a bra.
This makes me feel very self-
conscious. My friends also tell me
that my husband will not like this.
Should I use a cream or lotion to
make my breasts bigger?
No cream, lotion, medicine or
exercise can make your breasts
bigger. The only way in which you
can do this is to have breast
implants. You should consult a
cosmetic surgeon to find out the
different kinds of implants available,
the cost of the treatment, etc.
You can also wear a padded bra
that gives the impression of bigger
breasts, to get over your self-
Many women have small breasts
and not all of them feel self-
conscious, unwomanly or
unattractive. In fact, clothes drape
better over a small-breasted figure.
So try to stop feeling self-conscious.
Highlight your good points and feel
good about yourself.
Answer the questions
Pure water is important in
keeping our bodies running
smoothly, arteries flexible, skin
moist, ridding waste, blood
supply up, minds alert, plus
others too numerous to mention.
What water is considered pure?
a. Mountain spring
b. Country well water
c. Mineral water
How many types of water
purifiers are available in the
a. Two
b. Three
c. More
win a grand prize...
elected entries will be published in the
forthcoming issue of Womans era. Look out
for the 30 June 2010 issue
ttach a photograph of your friend for a better
chance of featuring in Womans era
Last date for sending entries: 15 June 2010
Potable water is a health
need. Make sure you
drink quality water.
Prove that you are aware
of this trivia. Send us the coupon with your
photo along with the correct answers.
What's the minimum flow rate of
water filter?
a. 1 litre per minute
b. 2 litres per minute
c. More than 2 litres per minute
How much importance would
you give to weight before buying
a water purifier?
a. Lot
b. Hardly
c. Doesnt matter
What's considered the best
purification method?
a. Pre-filter purification
b. Candle-filter purification
c. Health and taste cartridge
d. Reverse osmosis technology
Exercise is beneficial for...
a. Oxygenating cells
b. Increasing calcium absorption
c. Strengthening the heart
d. Fighting cancer
Lack of Vit. B can cause
numerous problems. What are
your best sources?
a. McDonalds burger and fries
b. Whole grains & nutritional yeast
c. Water
d. Sunlight
Dust in the air carries germs.
Enclosed buildings harbour moulds
and fungi. Which one has the most
dangerous side effects when killing
these microorganisms?
a. Fresh air and exercise
b. Electronic air purifiers
c. Pure water
What is the best material used to
build a water purifier?
a. Aluminium
b. ABS plastic
c. Stainless steel
Seratonin, a brain transmitter is
greatly affected by...
a. Stress
b. Diet
c. Light in room when sleeping
d. All
Phone: E-mail
Scoring Terms and Conditions:
Dont you hate those artificial quizzes that
only have one obvious right answer? Pure water makes healthy
body. So answer according to what you feel is best.
Dr O.C.D. Gupta
9-MIG, Mumfordganj, Near Tripathi Chauraha,
Allahabad. Pin: 211002
Dont 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 June 2010. 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 Womans Era, along with
the results. Send to: Womans Era, Delhi Press,
E-3, Jhandewala, New Delhi-110 055.
Winners of Eurofab Quiz Contest - 4
ost physicians consider obesity
to be an important factor in
personal health for three
1. It is common
2. It is associated with increased
sickness and death rates, notably in
respect to heart, circulatory, kidney
and metabolic disorders as well as
surgical and obstetrical
3. It can be treated with success
as one practical way to help control
associated medical conditions.
The assumption that illness can
be reduced and death delayed
through the correction of obesity
depends on whether two things are
possible: that weight reduction can
and does lower the risk of disability
and death, and that weight reduction
can be achieved and maintained.
Although being overweight and
obese are not the same, most
overweight persons are obese (they
have an excess of body fat that
amounts to more than 1.5 per cent
over the average weight for their
height and sex).
Obesity is not always readily
subjected to treatment and correction
does not always ensure the
elimination of added risks associated
with this condition. The practical
management of obesity may be
divided into four interdependent and
overlapping aspects: psychological,
pharmaceutical, physical and dietary.
Shalini could never get herself to
go out for social events; she always
found an excuse to avoid them. She
even avoided going to the cinemas
or malls even though she was very
social person a few years ago. The
reason for her self-imposed isolation
was her weight. She was over 120
kilos and was very conscious of it.
She hated going to shop for plus size
clothes, she hated not being able to
fit into a seat easily and she hated it
most when people would stare. She
had tried all the tricks in the book but
in vain.
One day, her whole world
changed. She began to lose weight;
she lost more than 70 per cent of her
excess body weight in less than a
The world over millions of people
are battling with one disease more
than any other. Not malaria, AIDS,
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 67
through surgery.
By Sudha Hariharan
cancer or hepatitis. Its obesity. Every
day millions of people try out new diet
plans, exercise plans and weight-loss
programmes but few are successful
in warding off the flab forever. Most
fall back into the flabby trap of
obesity. And while at this, many of
these people spend millions of dollars
and rupees on temporary solutions
to battle obesity. Most people are
successful in reducing a few kilos but
the real challenge is to keep the flab
off, consistently. This is where most
people fail, says Dr Lakdawala, MS
founder of CODS Centre for
Obesity and Diabetes Support and
is head of the minimal invasive
surgery department at Saifee
Hospital, Mumbai and a consultant
surgeon at Lilavati.
But there is respite when all fails,
opines Dr Lakdawala. There is one
solution that is permanent. Doctors
around the world are now
increasingly performing bariatric
surgeries and their patients are only
getting happier by the day and by the
kilo (that they lose). Bariatric surgery
is a weight-loss procedure in which
a patients stomach capacity is
surgically reduced to 25 per cent its
normal size.
In India itself, this is a
rapidly growing trend, many
people are opting for
bariatric surgery, as it has
been established that it is a
permanent, quick and
hassle- free way to lose
weight. India is already one
of the 10 fattest nations on
the planet and this trend is
only going to get bigger.
Smaller appetite and
fewer calories: Bariatric or
weight-loss surgery works by
reducing appetite and calorie-intake.
During gastric surgery, the stomach-
size is greatly reduced. This reduces
appetite significantly. Also, in some
stomach surgery procedures, part of
the small intestine is "bypassed" to
reduce the number of calories (and
nutrients) that can be absorbed.
Gastric banding or gastric
stapling surgery: This kind of
"restrictive" bariatric
surgery uses a gastric
band/ring or staples to
reduce stomach size. It
makes no attempt to alter
the anatomy of the digestive tract by
(e.g. bypassing the small intestine).
This kind of bariatric procedure
produces less weight-loss.
Gastric or stomach bypass:
This type of weight-loss surgical
operation shrinks the size of the
stomach and bypasses some (or
most) of the early section of the small
intestine (duodenum). The bypass
causes less food (therefore, calories
and nutrients) to be absorbed.
Hence, these operations are called
"malabsorptive". This kind of bariatric
procedure produces greater weight-
loss.Neither restrictive nor
malabsorptive procedures can be
successful unless patients follow the
dietary and exercise guidelines
issued to them by their surgeon.
Life after bariatric surgery:
Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix, it's
an ongoing journey toward weight-
loss through lifestyle changes. After
the surgery, the difference in your
body makes it physically easier to
adjust your eating and lifestyle habits.
68 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Dr M Lakdawala
Gastric Bypass & Lap Band Procedures
Small intestines
stomach bypass:
large portion of
stomach and
duodenum are
Stomach opening can be
tightened or loosened over time to
change the size of the passage.
Fortunately, you will not have to go
through the process alone. A team of
professionals will be there to support
your efforts. Positive changes in your
body, your weight and your health will
occur, but you will need to be patient
through the recovery process.
Diet after bariatric surgery: The
changes made to your
gastrointestinal tract will require
permanent changes in your eating
habits that must be followed for a
successful weight-loss in your new
life after bariatric surgery. Post-
surgery dietary guidelines will vary by
bariatric surgeon. You may hear
about post-surgery guidelines that
are different from the ones you
receive. It is important to remember
that these guidelines will be different
depending on the surgeon and type
of procedure. What is most important
is that you follow your surgeon's
The following are some of the
generally accepted dietary
guidelines for a healthy diet after
bariatric surgery:
When you start eating solid food, it
is important to chew your food
thoroughly and eat very slowly. It is
important to wait for two to three
minutes after swallowing before
putting the next bite of food in your
mouth. You will not be able to digest
steaks or other chunks of meat if they
are not ground or chewed thoroughly.
Do not drink fluids while eating.
They will make you feel full before
you have eaten enough solids.
Fluids consumed with meals can
cause vomiting and a dumping
syndrome, and can lead to feeling
hungry sooner after a meal.
Do not eat desserts and other
items with sugar. Avoid carbonated
drinks, high-calorie nutritional
supplements, milk shakes, foods high
in fat, and foods that have no
nutritional value. Avoid alcohol.
Limit snacking between meals.
Eating after bariatric surgery will be
quite different than before!
Going back to work: Your ability
to resume pre-surgery levels of
loss surgery. The added demands
that pregnancy places on your body
and the potential for foetal damage
make this a most important
The weight-management sector
has already earned industry status in
our country and today is worth
millions of rupees. When an industry
is so huge it is only natural for
delinquents to be attracted to it.
There are several weight-loss clinics
that have mushroomed around major
cities. Most of them barely
understand the concept of obesity,
let alone devising a solution to it. A
lot of people unfortunately become
victims to the false promises that they
lay out. The services that they offer
are anything but cheap, yet a lot of
unaware people spend an immense
amount of money on their services.
One of the biggest reasons for this
phenomenon is that obesity in India
is considered a cosmetic problem
rather than a disease. The World
Health Organisation considers
obesity as one of the major diseases
that can lead to several other
complications like type-2 diabetes,
high blood pressure, heart problems,
sleep apnoea, high cholesterol,
infertility, cancers, venous ulcers and
many other diseases. If not dealt with
in time, obesity can certainly be fatal.
It is now established that most diet
plans, exercise regimes, etc. can only
enable a loss of around 10-12 kilos,
which can be gained again very
easily. The real challenge is to keep
off the weight, but one cannot diet for
a lifetime nor spend the rest of their
life in a gym. This is precisely why
an increasing amount of people are
now opting for bariatric surgery.
Generally, it is advisable to go in
for bariatric surgery when one has
tried multiple dietary methods but has
failed to lose or maintain weight.
Bariatric surgery is especially
recommended for those with a BMI
(body mass index) of 37 or more and
those with BMI of 32 with diabetes or
any other disease related to obesity.
In simpler words, anyone who is 25
to 30 kilos overweight should
seriously consider bariatric surgery,
opines Dr Lakdawala.
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 69
activity will vary according to your
physical condition, the nature of the
activity and the type of weight-loss
surgery you had. Most patients return
to work and are able to exercise
within one to three weeks after their
laparoscopic gastric bypass. Patients
who have had an open procedure do
so about six weeks after surgery.
Birth control and pregnancy: It
is strongly advised that women of
childbearing age use the most
effective forms of birth control during
the first 16 to 24 months after weight-
The bag business has
transformed into a big
industry. It is fulfilling a
beauty need as well as
taking on social
Doesnt this bag look as if it is
entirely made of flowers.
The puffed
projections on the
bag give it a touch
of class.
You will agree that
this is a rare of the
rarest bag.
This is an
handbag with a
The bag demonstrates
superlative effort at
beautiful designing.
A bag with symmetrical
pattern and elegant add-ons.
Isnt it a bag with
ornamental touch?
The bag will suit the
razzle-dazzle style.
The bag is exhibiting natural
With pocket-like
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step with the times.
The bag has design and flap and
belts to go with.
A bag with a design on a
broader design.
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s parents and educators
we think our prime
obligation is to prepare the
younger generation for an
overly demanding world
tomorrow. Towards this we
desire to give them the
best of education and
develop in them the skills
to carry on in an extremely
cut-throat social and professional
milieu. But I believe as guardians we
must critically mull over certain
issues that we are about to face in
the near future.
In 10-15 years from now there will
be professions that dont exist today
and many other jobs that exist today
would soon be obsolete. So, the
questions that needs immediate
attention is that how do we prepare
our children to deal with problems
that simply dont exist today? And
how well equipped is our present
education system in bringing out the
best in our children? As said by Tom
Whitey, Educators remember the
world we learned in is not the world
we live in. The world we teach in is
not the world we teach for.
While the education system in
India itself is going through a phase
of transition from a product-based
system to a more process-based
system, nonetheless we all still
expect our children to be the future
Einstein and Newton, without
realising that not everybody is gifted
with the same capabilities and we are
equally in need of future Socrates
and Tagores. Arent we? Most of us
who have been through the
traditional way or learning,
understand that its miserable to
study a discipline when one doesnt
have flair for the subject itself.
The role of education should be to
bring about the best in an individual
by making him or her realise his or
her capacity. The International
Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) is
one of its kind with the mission to
provide an international education
system encouraging students to
become lifelong learners who respect
the differences in others.
What is IB education all about?
The IBO was founded in 1968 and
its presently working with 2,823
72 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Revolutionary new teaching.
By Payal Dasgupta
schools in 138 countries providing a
challenging education programmes
to 778,000 students across the globe.
The IBO offers three challenging and
rigorous programmes for students
age three to 19. To develop their
social, emotional, personal and
intellectual skills to, live, learn and
work in a rapidly globalising world is
the motto of IBO.
The Primary Year Programme or
the PYP is an inquiry-based
programme designed to cater to the
learning needs of children between
three and 12 years. The PYP
curriculum which has been divided
into six organising themes, give the
children ample scope to explore
knowledge within and beyond the
boundaries of traditional disciplines.
The students take the lead in a
typical PYP class in finding answers
to their questions, with teachers
acting as guides in the learning
process. The units and the
assessments are generally designed
to allow each individual to explore his
own learning style.
The IBO also offers a Middle Year
Programme (MYP), for children
between 11 and 16 years aimed to
provide an intercultural awareness,
holistic learning and communication.
The programme offers eight subjects,
namely; mother tongue, a second
language, humanities, sciences,
mathematics, the arts, physical
education and technology. The
curriculum also consists of five Areas
of Interaction which, according to the
IBO, help in developing the
connections between the disciplines,
so students see knowledge as an
integrated, coherent whole.
The Diploma Programme or DP is
a two-year programme offered to
students between the ages from 16
and 19 years. In this age of
information boom, the students need
to develop creative and critical
thinking skills in order to cope up with
the challenges of life. The students
are encouraged to take up six subject
groups namely; language-A, second
language, individuals and society,
experimental sciences, mathematics
and computer science and arts. The
IBO lays special stress on community
service through its CAS (creativity,
action and service) component in the
Diploma Programme and through
Community and Service as an AOI at
the MYP level. Theory of Knowledge
is a unique component of DP, which
helps the students to dwell deeper
into the issues relating to our
understanding and knowledge.
Why IB education?
IB education programme is a
systematic, well-researched, inquiry-
based programme which provides
adequate scope to build up on ones
area of interest by developing
thinking, research, communication
and intra-and inter-personal skills.
The IB programme is an international
programme which gives a lot of
freedom of movement to many
international and Indian students,
who otherwise find it difficult to cope
with instructive standards of a new
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 73
IN 10-15 YEARS
country. The IB diploma students get
special privileges in international
universities their TOK and CAS
work make them stand above the
Most of the renowned universities
in the U.K give special preference to
IB students, says Sucheta Thakral a
12th grade student in one of the
known IB schools in Pune, who has
bagged a seat in one of premier
fashion institutes in London. She
opines that the IB teaching and
learning pedagogy meets the
international standard which gives
them an upper hand over other
candidates. Universities in the US
and Canada are also open to IB
students who can choose among a
range of courses offered by them.
Students who opt for language-A1 as
English are exempted from the IELTS
or TOEFL tests.
Future of IB education in India
IB education is slowly making its
presence felt in India with many new
schools providing a more open and
creative system of education to their
students. However, there is no
comparison between our national
boards and the IBO, as every
education system has its strengths.
It wont be wrong to say that IB is
giving a tough competition to other
boards, and new schools in India are
joining the league. IB has definitely
given a new dimension to Indian
educational standards and the
outlook of parents and educators.
The Bombay University
recognises the IB diploma, and many
other universities are on their way to
introduce similar norms and promote
IB as a career option
With many upcoming IB schools
in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore,
Pune, Hyderabad and Delhi, new
avenues for employment have
opened up for young people who are
passionate about the teaching
profession. It has given a new
esteem to the teaching profession
which was once known as a poor
mans job, given the pay packages
are as high as that of the software
professionals. And with the
appropriate qualification, training and
experience it can go up to 15k to 20k
per month. But love for teaching
cannot be measured in monetary
values as it is the passion for
imparting knowledge that makes one
a great educator, who remains
immortal in those young hearts,
throughout their lives.
74 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
To prevent ice cube trays from
sticking to the freezer shelf, line the
shelf with wax paper.
While washing silk saris for the
first time add a drop of kerosene oil. It
protects the sans from bugs.
Dry used tea leaves and burn
them on coal to fumigate flies from
Preserve ginger for the whole
year by keeping it in a flower pot filled
with wet mud.
Suvarchala, Hyderabad.
For softer, spongier idlis, mix
the batter well, pour it into a deep
bottomed pan and seal the opening
tightly with a thick cotton cloth. Leave
it for a minimum of eight hours and
pour the batter into the moulds. You
will be amazed at the quality of your
Rub onion slices on your tawa/
pan, before making dosas. This way
your dosas will not stick to the pan.
To peel tomatoes easily and
quickly, hold the tomato over the gas
flame for a few minutes. Use a pair of
tongs to hold the tomatoes.
Grind a teaspoon of butter and a
boiled potato when making chutneys
for sandwiches. This gives additional
Smear a little cooking oil to the
grater before grating cheese. See the
difference for yourself...the cheese
will not stick to the grater any
Want your tea to taste better?
Heat the tea leaves in the oven for
about 10 minutes before making your
morning cuppa and taste the improved
flavour of your drink.
Add a dash of lemon to your dal,
greens and leafy vegetables, as it helps
in better absorption of nutrients by the
While cooking ladys fingers,
add a spoon of curd to prevent
stickiness. This will prevent you from
adding excess oil too.
Rampriya, B., Chennai.
Green bananas will ripen quickly
if kept in a paper bag in a dark place.
A few pieces of sandalwood
kept in book cases or shelves will keep
away termites and insects.
To prevent green vegetables
from turning into unattractive greenish
brown colour after they have been
cooked, put in a few drops of lemon
juice to intensify the green colour.
Ink spots on clothes will
disappear if you rub salt on them and
then wash them with warm water.
Before hammering a nail in the
plaster surface of a wall, heat the nail
in hot water and dip it in melted wax or
Cane or bamboo furniture can be
washed clean with a solution of salt
and water.
A tablespoon of vinegar added
to water before poaching egg helps to
keep the whites from spreading.
There is a mystic charm and
romance associated with sandals.
Sandals, if not dominating the
footwear fashion, they definitely
set the trend.
These suede ankle-strap sandals will
suit your feet gracefully.
The embellished sandals will
attract all the attention.
This lady fashion flat shoes are
to make you proud in any
Whoever sees
you in the Gaia
sandals will rush
to the shop to
get a pair.
The cosy lady
sandals are for the
comfort of your feet.
The stylish flat
sandals will be your
prized possession.
The high-heel sandals
will a make fashion
statement anywhere.
The Gucci sandals are intended
for one-to-one meeting.
The Delman ankle strap
sandals are a must for the
special occasion.
The delicious Melissa
sandals will definitely
be an asset to your
tender feet.
The nude sandals
will surely give you
an airy feel.
Sandals: Dshoe Lounge
Ph: 0124-4105000
Fall for the line dangled by Internet concern and go bankrupt!
By PVV Satyanarayana
ongratulations! You are the
lucky winner of the
MasterCard Inter national
Mega Jackpot of 4,500,000
pounds... flashed an e-mail
message even as I had
opened my mail box on the
Internet. It said that my e-
mail address had been
selected for the prize on
random basis, and that I should
contact the Claims Administrator
whose name had been furnished in
the mail. Also, I should claim the
prize amount within a certain period
failing which I would be foregoing it.
A breathtaking offer, indeed!
Even as I was amused at it,
screamed another mail: You are the
lucky winner of the Yahoo/MSN 2010
Lottery Award of 500,000 pounds,
selected among the Yahoo/MSN
users due to the support rendered by
them in the past years!
You are the proud winner of the
Peugeot Automobiles, London, UKs
promo campaign. It carries a cash
prize of 800,000 pounds plus a brand
new Peugeot 407 car thus lured
yet another mail.
These offers were quite tempting,
I must admit. But they are far too
good and too many to believe to be
true. Such mails flood the mail box
on the Internet these days and on
any day.
However, the aim of this article is
to dwell on some of the frauds that
are being perpetrated through e-
mails. These are the mails received
from unknown sources informing us
of winning of lotteries or prizes worth
millions of pounds or dollars! Offers
of foreigners (read, strangers!) trust
in us and seeking to voluntarily
transfer millions of foreign funds to
our own bank accounts in India to
safeguard their own interests, on
sharing or commission (percentage)
reposing basis too are aplenty.
The basis for such offers is not far
to seek. They play on the psychology
the greed, to be specific of the
people, so that gullible people could
offer themselves as soft targets and
become easy preys. Some of the
categories of on-line frauds we come
across are:
Winning of jackpots of on-line
lotteries based on e-mail addresses.
Sharing as custodians of a
huge unclaimed fortune of foreign
Appeals from foreign widows
to help them save their huge fortunes
running into several millions of
pounds or dollars, left behind by
their deceased husbands, as a
trusty on a sharing basis.
Transfer of illegal funds by
some foreign banks for safe-custody
on a sharing basis.
Award of millions of
pounds/dollars (plus valuable cars)
as promos in the names of the
world-renowned foreign automobile
firms such as BMW, Honda, Peugeot
as also Nokia, etc., and the software
giants like Yahoo/MSN.
Grants (unsolicited, mind you!)
in the name of certain Catholic
charity organisations of the U.K.
When gullible people respond to
these enticing offers, out of greed
or curiosity, they would be taken for a
long ride. They would first be asked
to furnish all their personal details
including their bank account numbers
to facilitate smooth transfer of funds
or the prize amount.
Then the person would be asked,
in the first instance, to remit some
amount to cover the expenses such
as local taxes, etc., incidental to
transfer of the award/prize money.
For this purpose, a bank account
number would be provided. Once this
is done, there would follow
subsequent advices for further
remittances, on one pretext or the
other. They would be so convincing
and alluring that the person would fall
for them and continue to make
remittances, till he or she wakes up
to the fraud suddenly one day!
By that time, he or she
would have parted with all
his or her savings
As for transfer of illegal
foreign funds for the trust,
one would be asked to
furnish in confidence his or
her bank account details. No
sooner than these are
furnished that the whole
amount remaining in ones
personal bank account would
be siphoned off by
withdrawing it using this
classified information. By the time the
person realised it, he or she was sure
to become a pauper.
Another kind is the suo motu
offers of very lucrative high-paid jobs
in the Gulf countries and the U.K. in
the off-shore oil corporations and on-
shore organisations such as grand
Royal hotels. The sky is the limit for
the perks offered for these jobs.
Once you allow yourself to be lured
by these jobs, you would be asked
to pay initially a certain amount to
cover the visa and other contingent
charges for processing your entry
into that country. This is only a
beginning and you would be leached
out till the last copper unless you
become wiser before it is too late.
Yet another type of on-line fraud is
the mails received in the names
of popular banks of the country.
The mail would ask the customers
of the Bank to log into their
accounts and verify the details to
update them. An e-mail site would
be provided for the purpose,
purported to be that of the bank.
When the unwary account-holders
did this, it would lead to a fake site
and their passwords and the
operational codes as also the funds
available in the account would be
known to the fraudsters who would
then hack into the persons accounts
and withdraw the entire amount at
credit and vanish into thin air.
One such mail that has been
doing the rounds, of late, is the one in
the name of Punjab National Bank
which says that the PNB has
temporarily suspended your account
and that you are needed to complete
an update to unlock the account. The
mail would seem so authentic and
genuine that it would not be
surprising if some customers of the
Bank fall a victim to it. Another name
that is being used is the City Bank
(which in fact is at variance from the
genuine Citi Bank).
Unfortunately, several persons
had led themselves into these traps,
knowingly or unknowingly, and
suffered huge losses of their hard-
earned savings. In this context, It is
worth recalling an unfortunate case
of a young professional, who fell for
one such ruse in the recent past. He
had responded to a mail about the
pathetic situation of a foreign
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 81
widow whose husband had
supposedly amassed huge wealth
running into millions of pounds, and
died leaving her and a child behind!
As her relatives were after this
wealth, she feared for her own and
her childs lives. She wanted some
trustworthy person outside her
own country who could take care
of the huge fortune as well as the
welfare of the child. She proposed
to create a trust with the money to
be transferred secretly. The person
would be required to be the Trustee
of it, for which half of the fortune
would be bequeathed to him or her!
She had somehow come to know of
this young man to be trustworthy and
reliable. And hence, the appeal!
Believing the story to be true, the
man made a positive response to her
appeal coaxed by his close friends
in whom he had confided. She had
requested for monetary help
incidental to retrieving the money
standing in her husbands bank
account. He had obliged her by
remitting about a lakh of rupees in
foreign exchange. There were further
requests, every time adducing
convincing reasons, for expenses of
various kinds to facilitate smooth
and secret transfer of the funds to
him. He had to borrow the money for
the purpose. His friends too
volunteered to partner with him in the
deal and paid their share of money.
At some stage, he smelt a rat and
started raising questions. Then the
widow fell silent and stopped
responding to his mails.
By the time he realised
that he was cheated, he
had already paid about
10 lakh rupees. He was
now in a deep soup for,
apart from losing his
hard-earned money, his
friends who had
voluntarily advanced Rs
three lakhs with a view to
reaping the benefits, had
now turned
hostile and demanded their money
back. Ultimately he had to borrow
from the private money-lenders at
high rates of interest, besides selling
off some of his valuables, and pay
them off. He could not approach the
police for obvious reasons. This
should serve as a lesson to others!
There have been several such
cases of people falling prey to these
on-line frauds, either out of greed or
gullibility. The recent case was that of
a realtor in Hyderabad who had
reportedly lost over Rs 50 lakh to the
on-line fraudsters. In this case, he
was bold enough to lodge a police
complaint, and a couple of foreign
nationals both Nigerians were
caught subsequently in this
connection, but the money could not
be recovered.
Very few cases come to light as
most of the victims do not prefer to
report to the police for fear of
exposure and ridicule, and suffer
silently. The on-line conmen mostly
turn out to be Nigerian nationals
residing in India. That is how these
are also known to be the Nigerian
frauds'. While a few are caught,
many escape easily.
The steady rise of such frauds
has necessitated the creation of
separate cyber crimes cells in police
departments, to deal exclusively with
such crimes. The department,
however, is handicapped not only for
want of adequate strength, but also
expertise to handle the high-tech
Internet crimes.
With the increasing number of
such frauds, public awareness too
has increased. People themselves
should be alert and cautious enough
to check them. The best solution lies
in ignoring such mails by deleting
them even without according a
second glance however genuine
they appear to be and however
tempting they are! One should refrain
from reeling out, under any circum -
stances, their personal details,
especially anything concerning their
bank accounts and credit card
numbers for privacy on the Net is a
Some banks, time and again,
caution their customers not to reveal
their accounts details to anyone
not even to the banks represen -
tatives, as no bank requires its
customers to divulge the information
on-line. One should be extra careful
and cautious with their passwords,
credit-debit card numbers, etc. while
transacting on line as the hackers are
on the prowl round the clock.
The on-line fraudsters are more
dangerous than the computer
viruses, and therefore, one must be
wary of them and exercise utmost
caution, and not allow greed to take
the better of them.
82 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 83
you are perfectly within your legal
rights to get a Caesarean done if you
want to. The indication will then be
patient preference but please do not
make any hasty decision. All said and
done, normal birth is best for mother
and child, and operative delivery,
however safe it has become, is not
without its inherent risks.
Please undergo extensive
counselling and make an informed
choice after discussing the pros and
cons with your doctor. Nowadays,
there are methods by which the pain
of normal delivery can be decreased
and bad memories of the previous
delivery will be erased. Better
antibiotics and good perineal care will
reduce the chances of wound
infection. So please reconsider your
My doctor has advised a level-II
ultrasound at 18-20 weeks. Please
tell we what this means and what sort
of information is gained from it?
A level-II ultrasound is done on
the same machine but in a more
detailed manner and takes a longer
time. By the 18th to 20th week the
babys body parts are almost fully
formed and the sonographist goes
over them one by one to see if each
and every organ is normal, though
this does pick up a fair number of
abnormalities. It is not 100 per cent
fool proof and certain conditions can
be missed out. All said and done it is
a must at this period of gestation and
if the foetus has major defects, the
option of an abortion can be offered
to the couple.
I am completing my seventh month
of pregnancy. Though blood sugar
levels in early pregnancy were
normal, my gynaecologist has
advised me to get the test done
again. I have been told to undergo a
GCT wherein I have to take 50
grams of glucose dissolved in a glass
of water and get my blood sugar
tested after an hour. Why this
repetition of a test done earlier?
Blood tested for sugar in early
pregnancy gives an indication of a
pre-existing diabetic state. On the
other hand women who are prone to
diabetes i.e. women who are
overweight, have parents or grand
parents who are diabetics develop
gestational diabetes that becomes
manifest at the stage of pregnancy.
This is merely a broad screening test.
The cut-off point is 140 gm per cent.
If the blood sugar levels are above
this, you will have to undergo a
pregnancy GCT to confirm or rule out
diabetes of pregnancy. In this case
you have to give your blood for
testing fasting, then 1, 2, 5 hours
after taking 100gms of glucose. If
abnormal, you will be labelled as a
case of GDM (gestational diabetes
mellitus) and will be put on diet
restrictions and/or insulin injection
depending upon the severity of the
condition. GDM can lead to various
complications like an overweight
baby, difficult delivery due to the
increased size of the baby, increased
rate of Caesarean section and
sometimes even intrauterine-death of
the baby. So by now I hope you
understand the importance of GCT
and will get it done as advised.
I have had a spontaneous abortion
at two months of gestation one year
ago. I am scared of attempting
another pregnancy lest this one too
ends in an abortion. Please tell me
what to do, so that I have a normal
healthy pregnancy.
Do not worry unnecessarily, for
there is a fair chance that your next
pregnancy will progress to term.
There is a one in 20 chance of
abortion in every pregnancy.
Sometimes, there are chromosomal
abnormalities that are not compatible
with life and the uterus rightly expels
such products of conception.
Only if abortions recur repeatedly
is it a cause for concern. Anyway, it is
good to visit your doctor, get the
relevant tests done and plan a
pregnancy only if she gives a green
I had a very difficult delivery 10 years
ago. After that the stitches got
infected and took one month to
recover. This disheartened me so I
vowed never to have another child
again. As I never kept a record of my
periods, to my horror I realised that I
was four months pregnant and
neither the doctors nor my family
agreed to an abortion. This time, I am
adamant that I will have a Caesarean
section. Is it possible to convince the
doctors to perform a CS without any
Though it is strongly advisable
that you undergo a vaginal delivery,
especially after a first normal delivery
I weigh 110 kilograms and have conceived my first child.
Can I diet and reduce my weight during this period?
Though it would have been good if you had embarked
upon a pregnancy with an optimal weight, now do not
worsen matters by trying to diet at this stage. What you
can do is to consult a dietician who will plan your diet
chart in such a way that the weight gain during
pregnancy is not too much.
You could avoid taking sweets and decrease your fat
intake. Even the milk that is essential during pregnancy
can be double-toned. It would also be a good idea to start an exercise
regime under guidance.
Dr A. K. Bajaj, MD.
anish was surprised, rather intrigued, to
receive an invitation for breakfast from his
neighbours, the Mehras. He had met Jatin
Mehra and his wife Anjali once in the
building compound. In their apartment
complex, the residents were not allotted an
individual car parking place, one could
park ones vehicle at any space available. Once,
when Manish and Jatin had parked their cars side
by side, Jatin had introduced himself and his wife
Anjali. Both worked for an international bank.
Manish told them about himself. Today, Jatin had
come to his flat with an invitation and was not
prepared for any excuse.
You have to come if you dont, Ill
have to get you lifted, Jatin laughed. Get
you lifted because I myself cannot lift a
hefty man like you. So do come, please.
Manish couldnt say no and as such an
invitation for breakfast on a holiday was a
welcome gesture.
He pressed the Mehras door bell at the
given time. He was warmly greeted by the
couple and another young lady introduced
as Anjalis cousin, Divya, a software
engineer. The breakfast was already on the
table, the usual bread, butter, jam,
poached eggs and fruits. Nothing special
for which a stranger had been requested to
come over. But nevertheless, the Mehras
were captivating talkers and Divya too was
adding zest with an occasional anecdotes. Breakfast
over, Anjali said, Like you techies, Saturday is not
an off for us bankers, so we have both got to rush to
work, Manish, but Divya will keep you company.
Actually, she has come all the way from Indore to
talk to you. Thats why we had to force you to
The cat was out of the bag at last but who was
Divya and what had she got to talk about? Although
he too hailed from Indore, he didnt remember ever
having seen Divya before. He quizzically looked at
Have we ever met before?
No. Nor have I met Nandini about whom I want
to talk, Divya confused him further.
Who told you about Nandini? was all he could
I see. Are you from some womens welfare sort
of set-up?
Divya shook her head.
No, I dont think beyond my own welfare.
Then how and where does Nandini fit into your
exclusive thoughts?
Because my welfare rather my happiness at
the moment is being eclipsed by Nandini, Divya
said and added. Let me tell you the whole
Do please because the suspense is
getting on my nerves, Manish pleaded.
Serves you right for getting on others
nerves all the time, Divya laughed.
Anyway, here we go. So far, I havent
shown any interest in the prospective
grooms my parents had shown me but I
was literally smitten by Sameer but, before
I could tell my parents to go ahead with the
negotiations, Sameer phoned me. He
wanted to meet me immediately, rather,
before the things could proceed further. I
asked him to come to my office. He told me
point-blank that though he too liked me, he
couldnt marry me or for that reason
anyone else either. Contrary to my temperament, I
insisted to be told the reason and also speculated
that it could be another woman. After the initial
hesitation, Sameer admitted that I was right.
A woman, of course, was involved but neither he
nor she was in love with each other. Nandini was
head over heels in love with his friend Manish who
too was equally in love with her. But Manish was too
much in awe of his parents and couldnt gather
enough courage to apprise them of his intentions of
marrying Nandini. Since Nandinis parents had
started looking for a suitable match for her, she was
Manish fled from his love till Divya showed him the way back.
By Kumud Bhatnagar
84 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
The Coward
He pressed
the Mehras
door bell at
the given
time. He was
greeted by the
couple and
young lady
introduced as
after Manish to meet them. Manish like a coward
thought it better to seek a job elsewhere and through
a letter disclosed his intention of marrying Nandini
to his parents.
Before leaving, he didnt even meet Nandini but
requested Sameer to keep consoling her that he
would soon talk to her parents. Sameer dutifully kept
conveying Manishs messages to Nandini. Though
Nandini had never asked for Manishs address or
contact number, she was regularly in touch with
Sameer to know about Manishs welfare.
ameer says that so far, except for sympathy, he
has no other feeling for Nandini and Nandini
too has eyes for Manish alone. Recently,
Sameer learnt that Manishs parents have almost
fixed his marriage and Manish too has not raised
any objection so far. Sameer feels that after
Manishs marriage, Nandini would be devastated
and then, as a sole confidant of her love affair and
a friend of so many years, he had got to be by her
side and help her to get over this ditch. Although
theres not even a remote possibility of his ever
marrying Nandini, he would like to remain friends
with her till she gets involved with someone or in
something else. Till then, his getting married himself
would not be advisable as no wife, however liberal
and understanding, will tolerate her husband
sparing time to console a
lonely woman.
I understand and
appreciate his point. But
I cannot digest why, for
the sake of one mans
cowardice, so many
people should suffer. By so
many people, I mean Nandini, Sameer and I of
course, because I am in love with Sameer and would
marry no one else. Sameer too loves me, I could
make out from his eyes. You can also include my
parents in the list because they too will not be happy
with an unmarried daughter around.
Why are you omitting my name Divya? I am the
one who is suffering the most and knowing that
Sameer has sent you to belittle me, the proverbial
insult has been added to the injury, Manish said
I want to correct you. Sameer hasnt sent me or
given me your address either. On the strength of
your and your companys name, I tried to look for
you on my own and sought Anjali and Jatins help.
As luck would have it, you turned out to be their
neighbour and they asked me to come over
immediately. Sameer doesnt know that I have come
But why have you come?
Divya shrugged her shapely shoulders.
Search me if I myself know exactly why but as I
said earlier, I wanted to tell you that because of your
For your kind information, it is not cowardice but
a concern, concern for Nandini, Manish cut in.
You see, my parents have a very poor opinion
about love marriages, especially about the girls and
their parents. In their opinion, such girls and their
parents are no better than the prostitutes and their
pimps out to hook eligible bachelors. I know, if I
insist, my parents will allow me to marry Nandini
and her parents will leave no stone unturned to
please my mother but still, all through her life, my
mother will keep taunting Nandini for charming and
hooking her innocent boy. I will prefer to get singed
in my self-created hell of loneliness alone
rather than marry Nandini and make her
undergo the humiliation of the continuing
taunts of my mother.
Thats not all, my parents are now
pressurising me to come and approve the
girl they have chosen for me. I told them if
they have liked the girl, why bother about
my approval but they insist that they care
for my choice...
Listen, Manish, Divya cut in
impatiently. If your choice matters so
much to them, it solves your problem
It doesnt. Havent I told you my
parents hate love marriages? Manish
asked irritably.
Need you tell them about your affair, I mean
Nandinis involvement? When they ask you again to
come to make the choice, you tell them that you
have already made a choice many years ago but
you have never spoken to her. They will naturally
ask you more about her, then tell them she lives in
Sameers neighbourhood and works in a
bank. Thats all you know about her. They
should ask Sameer, since being a
neighbour, he must be knowing her. I feel
Sameer would take care of the rest
provided you apprise him of your plan well
in advance.
Manish almost jumped from his chair.
Thats an idea. Sameer will deftly take
care of everything. Before my father makes
a call, I have to brief Sameer, Manish said
excitedly bringing out his mobile from his
Wait, Manish. You will not tell Sameer
that I am here, Divya almost implored.
Relax, Divya. Ill never tell Sameer that I
have ever met you but Ill definitely suggest rather
coax him also into to getting married around the
same time I am tying the knot so that four of us can
go together on a honeymoon. This much this coward
can do for you for the bold step you have taken to
come here all the way, Divya.
Divya looked at him gratefully.
86 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
You see, my
parents have
a very poor
opinion about
about the
girls and
their parents.
sitting in front of him. He asked for his
final wish, "I wish I was irresistible to
women." POOF! He turned into a box
of chocolates.
* * *
A mechanic was removing a cylinder
head from the motor of a Harley
motorcycle when he spotted a well-
known heart surgeon in his shop. The
surgeon was there waiting for the service
manager to come and take a look at his
bike. The mechanic shouted across the
garage, "Hey, doc, can I ask you a
question?" The surgeon a bit surprised,
walked over to the mechanic working on
the motorcycle.
The mechanic straigh tened up, wiped
his hands on a rag and asked, "So, doc,
look at this engine. I open its heart, take
valves out, fix them, put them back in,
and when I finish, it works just like new.
So how come I get such a small salary
and you get the really big bucks, when
you and I are doing basically the same
work?" The surgeon paused, smiled, and
leaning over, whispered to the
"Try doing it with the engine
* * *
A man was seen fleeing down the
hall of the hospital just before his
"What's the matter?" he was asked.
He said, "I heard the nurse say, It's a
very simple operation, don't worry, I'm
sure it will be all right."
"She was just trying to comfort you,
what' s so frightening about
"She was talking to the doctor."
* * *
A big company offered $50 for each
money-saving idea submitted by its
First prize went to the employee
who suggested the award be cut to $25.
Smita Shenoy, Chennai.
* * *
Once approaching Athens, the
airhostess announced for the sixth
time that they were entering the
outskirts of the city. Asked an irate
passenger, When do you expect to
leave the outskirts and enter the
S. Savita.
The Principal of the college made
the following announcement, The
female dormitory will be out of
bounds, for all male students, so too
the male dormitory for the female
students. Anybody caught breaking
this rule will be fined $20 the first
time. Anybody caught breaking this
rule the second time will be fined $60.
Being caught a third time will incur a
hefty fine of $180. Are there any
questions?" At this, a male student in
the crowd inquires, "Er... how much
for a season pass?"
* * *
A man was walking on the beach
one day and found a bottle half buried
in the sand. He decided to open it.
Inside was a genie. The genie said, I
will grant you three wishes and three
wishes only."
The man thought about his first wish
and decided, I think I want one million
dollars transferred to a Swiss bank
account. POOF! Next he wished for a
red Ferrari. POOF! There was the car
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 87
more time. Dont worry about her
dent ures, f or t hey do not get
malaligned so early. It is only after 6
to 8 years of age that thumb sucking
can affect the shape of her mouth
and the positioning of her teeth.
Do not scold her when she sucks
her thumb but remember to praise
her when she does not. If she sucks
her t humb when she i s f eel i ng
insecure or needs comfort, focus on
correcting the cause of the anxiety
and provide comfort. If it is due to
boredom, try some fun activity. If
she sucks her thumb while sleeping,
put a bandage/sock/glove over the
My son is two years old. Please tell
me i f t here i s a speci al way of
washing his genitalia. I gently wash it
ext ernal l y wi t h a mi l d soap and
wat er, f or I am af rai d of doi ng
anything else. Please tell if this is
There i s a secreti on cal l ed
smegma that col l ects under the
foreskin of uncircumcised males. You
wi l l have to gentl y pul l back the
foreski n and cl ean the area
underneath with water and mild soap.
Make sure that you rinse off the soap
compl etel y before you put the
foreskin back in its original position.
I was horrified to see my three-year-
old daughter play with her genitals. I
removed her hand and spanked her.
Now, she has taken to subterfuge
and puts her hand down there when
she thinks I am not looking. Why
does she do such a thing? We do not
have sex if she is in the same room
wi t h us even i f she i s sl eepi ng.
Please tell me what to do?
It is important for parents to learn
that children are not asexual human
beings. They too get mastubatory
pleasure by fondling their genitals.
This is perfectly normal and is not due
to anything you have done or not
done. Do not scold her or beat her or
make her feel guilty about it in any
way. If it has become a preoccupation
and as it is not socially acceptable put
a stop to it in a subtle manner. See to
it that she has her panties on all the
time. Distract her gently when you
see her hand straying to the genital
area. Involve her in physical and
mental activity and play with other
children so that she is too tired to do
anything but sleep. She will outgrow
the habit by and by.
Dr Amrinder Bajaj, MD
My son is in the habit of scratching
walls and eating plaster! Please tell
me how to make him stop this. I fear
for his health.
Your son has a disorder called
pica which means a desire to eat
non-edible things. Though the cause
is not known, it could be associated
with neglect, deprivation, insecurity
or even child abuse. Please give him
time, attention and care which you
may not be able to do as much as
you want to as you are a working
woman who has to leave him for long
periods of time. His interim caregiver
should be trustworthy. However, do
not get undul y al armed for as
mentioned more often than not the
cause is not found.
Try distracting him whenever he
starts scratching the wall. Do not get
angry with him. Try substituting the
pl ast er wi t h chewabl e cal ci um
tablets. Get his haemoglobin tested,
for pica can be associated with iron
deficiency anemia and treating the
anemi a may cure hi m of thi s
affliction. Intake of dirt can lead to
worm infestation for which he needs
to be investigated and treated.
I have a two and a hal f-year-ol d
daughter who is normal in all aspects
except for one thing. She has a habit
of sucking her thumb. I am worried
that this habit may affect her teeth.
Please tell me how to get rid of this
Thumb sucki ng has a cal mi ng
effect on the child. Most children
outgrow the habit by the age of three
years, so you can give her some
My son is two and
a half year. He is
over weight though
he does not eat
junk food. In fact,
he i s a poor i n
eating and I have
to force feed him. I
was diabetic during pregnancy
and gave birth to him when I was
seven months pregnant. Even
then he weighed 3kgs. Please tell
me how to make him reduce his
weight. I am very much worried.
Your baby i s probabl y a
genetically big baby as evidenced
by his birth weight even though he
was born prematurely. Hereditary
factors will have to be looked for
by his doctor. In the meantime
increase his physical activity and
give him a healthy, well-balanced,
nutritious diet.
Readers are invited to send their
problems of child care and child
rearing. WOMANS ERA will
provide the answers, solutions to
problems usually encountered by
mothers, young and old. Address
your letters (neatly written on
white paper) to:
E-3, Jhandewala Estate,
New Delhi-110055
uess whats common between
the four Khans Shah Rukh,
Aamir, Salman and Saif Ali, their
liking for Kareena Kapoor. Whats it,
Kareena, that you have and other
heroines dont? Or is it a trade
ecause Hrithik Roshan and
Barbara Mori, the lead players in
Rakesh Roshans film Kites, have
spent quite some time together in
saying what he did, he became a
darling of Maharashtra like never
before. If for some political
considerations, Ashok Chavan, chief
minister of Maharashtra, could not be
with Amitabh at Pune as agreed
thats another matter.
uite a dishy looker, starlet
Anjana Mansukhani whose first
Hindi film didnt exactly set the box
office on fire felt so not conveniced
and disquieted when hordes of
mosquitoes attacked her in her van
that she turned a militant and killed
over a dozen in self-defence! A case
of a damsel in distress.
areena Kapoor is partly right
when she says the best thing
about ads is that you reach out to
your fans on television. Otherwise,
they have to pay and go to the
theatre to see you. She
has not mentioned
how much money a
star saves by getting
free publicity on
television. Do you
agree, Kareena?
Aamir Khan with social dimension.
Hrithik and Barbara together, and
tongues started wagging.
Anjana Mansukhani.
social dimension and a higher
vision, rather than personal gain,
seem to be the new governing
principles of Aamir Khans work.
While he recently cancelled one of
his shootings, he readily agreed to
team up with Kareena Kapoor to
shake a leg to raise funds for artistes
in need of financial support.
articipating in the 83rd
Marathi Sahitya Sammelan
at Pune, Amitabh Bachchan
reiterated that he owed
Maharashtra and in particular,
Mumbai a lot since the city and
the state have given him every
thing that a successful man
looks forward to. In
Maharashtra has given
Amitabh everything.
Reaching out
to fans on
anna know whats the
difference between Akshay
Kumar and Capt. Amrinder Singh (of
the Congress Party)? While Akshay
was Sinngh is King in the film with
the same title, referring to Amrinder
Singh, a write-up in a national daily
says, This Singh is not the king
because he lost out to the Akali Dal
in the last assembly elections.
nil Kapoors daughter Sonam
Kapoor (of Sawariya and Delhi-6
fame) says she has no time for love
at present. Shes shooting for Aisha,
the script of which according to her
was very much liked by her dad.
nterestingly, Vidha Vinod Chopra
(whose film 3 Idiots has reaped a
golden harvest at the box office) has
himself been called an idiot several
times because of his career moves.
But he doesnt care because he
wanted to be in films.
anbir Kapoor who has made
quite an impression on different
film makers is going to play a deaf
mute in Anurag Basus next film.
Katrina Kaif will play the female lead.
fter the Maharastra chief
minister, Ashok Chavan, failed to
share the stage with Amitabh
Bachchan at the Marathi Sahitya
Sammelan at Pune former C. M. of
Maharashtra and present Union
minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh has
also ruled out sharing the dais with
Bachchan as long as hes brand
ambassador for Narendra Modis
government in Gujarat!
eeling reassured that its quite
safe now to avail of the scenic
beauty of Kashmir, a Priyanka
Chopra and Irfan Khan starrer Saat
Khoon Maaf has been shot in
Gulmarg and the Mughal Gardens of
Srinagar. It is less expensive too than
going abroad.
ome people just dont believe in
resting on their laurels, like for
instance Aamir Khan. Having made
Sonam has no time for Love.
various important cities abroad,
tongues started wagging.
Consequently, during the last leg of
their promotional tour, theyll be
accompanied by Hrithiks wife,
suzzane, too.
aya Bachchans continuance as a
member of the Rajya Sabha as a
representative of the Samajwadi
Party has led to some bitterness in
the relationship of this devar
chowdhury Aamr Singh and bhabhi!
riyanka Chopra is not just a good-
looking the talented actress who
got a national award recently, shes
getting global attention too. While
shooting for Anjana Anjaanee in New
York, she had a surprise visitor on
the set, India-born U. K. pop R and B
singer Jay Sean!
fter making it to the top or very
close to it, in Mumbais Filmdom,
Katrina Kaif has now attracted the
attention of the corporate world.
Proof? She has been appointed a
brand ambassador for electronics
giant Panasonic for a fancy amount!
his could almost be an ultimate
compliment to energising jhatkas
and happy music used in Slumdog
Millionaire thanks to A. R. Rahman.
Following the films huge popularity,
California-based Nakul Mahajan and
a lady dance teacher named Sarina
Jain have trained as many as
30,000 Americans to dance in
Bollywood style. No wonder, a
feature in an English daily says
Bollywood hits keep US fit. Aint that
f Sunny Deol had said during his
hey-days (close to the release of his
starrer Ghayal that actors are
insecure to work with him, that would
have made some sense, but not
today. Today, it may be the other
hat seems to have been
particularly liked in Shah Rukh
Khans starrer My Name is Khan is
the challenging double role that he
has played. Its his character which
wins back his wife and the respect of
society through his selfless
social work. No wonder the film
has done so well!
t was indeed deplorable, nay,
shocking, to know that the
trust managing the Juhu
cemetery removed the mortal
remains of Madhubala,
Naseem Bano, Sahir, Majrooh
and Talat Mehmood from their
graves to make room for
others. Dilip Kumar has
reportedly taken up the matter
with those concerned.
Deepak Puri
down a
big TV
A charge
Sanjay Dutt!
Aishwarya-Abhishek visited their
naani in Bhopal.
it big in Hindi films, now he says he
would love to produce regional films.
lessed with an ethereal voice,
Lisbeth Scott who sang for
blockbusters like James camerons
Avataar, Sherlock Holmes and
Pirates of the Caribbean, is making
her Bollywood debut with Hindi film
Lahore. Wow!
court in Uttar Pradesh has
decided to issue a charge sheet
to Sanjay Dutt. His crime? He had
said some time ago, although in good
humour, mein Mayawati ko pyar ki
jhappi doonga!
aya Bachchans mother, Indira
Bhaduri, one can quess, must be
a damn happy naani when Abhishek
and Aishwarya Rai visited her in
Bhopal to greet her on her birthday.
The whole neighbourhood may have
turned up to have a look at the star-
elieve it or not, award-winner
actress Tabu was approached for
a very big television show CFI Miami
in Los Angeles but she turned it down
because the show was to go on for
years and she didnt like being a way
from home turf for such a long time!
rtist Aasutosh Panigrahi
believes in the principle of
the creative art being an
all-round process. That is
why his artistic creations
have that extra edge over
the ordinary and will live
on, not just as art but as
records in the world of art
that bring the entire
imaginative process into the limelight.
Excerpts from an interview:
What is your personal take on
For me an artist is an individual in
society and therefore his art is part
of this interaction with the world at
large. It is true that an artist creates
in solitude, from the depths of his
mind and from his innermost
thoughts, but his work is viewed by
one and all and thus, an artist must
also be in touch with society in many
How have you been in touch
with fellow artists?
I have helped to organise art and
painting camps where groups of
artists can interact over their
individual forms of art and
thus combine work with
pleasure. This pursuit of
mine has even brought
my group to worldwide
fame. The Guinness
Book of World Records
has recorded an art camp
organised by me at Alibagh, Mumbai,
in 2007 as the worlds largest art
camp under the banner of Spirit of
What fields of art do you excel
In my personal capacity, I am an
artist who delves in several forms of
art. This has given me expertise in
fine art, sculptures, mural making,
and even acting and theatre work. All
these pursuits have been developed,
perfected and pursued, along with
fellow artists, for over 16 years.
What are your achieve ments in
the field of mural art?
I have received several
commissions to do murals
for both outdoor and indoor
spaces. I am the worlds
record holder for murals in
two forms, namely as the
producer of the largest
mural painting and as the
worlds longest mural
painting producer.
An artist who is
inspired by nature.
By Subhra Mazumdar
92 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 93
Can you relate how you
achieved your first success in the
field of mural painting?
This achievement was done with a
work I carried out for the Gwalior
Shyam Vatika Cultural Centre. The
mural covers a space of 9871 sq ft. It
was a challenge I took upon myself
when I heard that 60 Australian
artists had combined together to
create a single mural and which had
been adjudged the worlds largest
mural till then. When I took on the
challenge to outdo their record, I
worked non-stop on my mural for
seven days. I had to stand constantly
to finish the work and as my feet
began swelling from standing for so
long, I dipped my feet in water and
continued with my work. I am very
proud of being able to beat
a record that had been
done by a consortium of 60
Did you follow it up
with more mural work?
Of course, and this time
again, I was to establish yet
another record. This time
the Guinness Book of
World Records accepted
that I was the creator of the
worlds longest mural
painting. The work
measures 98 metres by three and a
half metres and it is put up on the
wall of the Sanjay Khans Golden
Palms Spa and Resorts, Bangalore .
This mural was not done in isolation
but was part of a series of five murals
which now grace the walls of the
Garden of Eden, Nostalgia, Nirvana ,
Traditional Art Shop, and World
Resorts Ltd premises at the same
How did you conceptualise
these murals?
My inspiration for these murals, as
with all my art work, came from the
Indian jungles. I like to study nature
in its unspoilt condition and for this
reason before I undertake work on a
mural, I spend months just visiting
jungle tracts in India . Once inside
the jungle, I study how the trees grow
unhindered, the undergrowth below,
the stones and the fallen debris. I
never touch a single object in the
jungle but study it closely from all
possible angles. I do not take
photographs of these places because
I do not want to curb my imagination
by creating a via media between my
imagination and my art. I return back
to my studio and set to making
sketches on the basis of what I can
recall. These sketches become the
blueprint that I follow in
conceptualising my murals.
What innovative methods do
you adopt when you begin to paint
these murals?
After the sketch is complete I
begin to think of the colours. I am not
one who uses primary colour tones
in their pure state. Instead, I merge
and blend colours to my satisfaction
and create my own colour palette.
After that, I dip my fingers in the paint
and begin the painting process. I do
not use a brush at this stage. The
larger areas of the space are filled
with colour applications with my
palms. Over the years I have learnt to
control the pressure of my colour
applications through my fingers and
palms so that I get satisfactory tonal
variations on the surface. In the final
makeover, I use the brush to touch
up details and pronounce the work
How do you keep in touch with
the art fraternity at large?
At the professional level, I meet
up with artists at art camps, some of
which I help to organise. At the
student level, I interact with them on
a teacher-student relationship. I have
been the founder-member of the
Faculty of Fine Art at the B R
Ambedkar University, Agra and have
continued there as a faculty member,
taking classes in Fine Art. I also take
part in competitions and was given
the Successful Young Artist of India
award by M F Husain at Lucknow ,
on the occasion of UP Tourism Week.
What other interests do you
Alongside Fine Art, I am also a
theatre buff. I have acted in more
than 400 plays till date and have
been in theatre for over 16 years. I
have recently founded a theatre
company, Prarambh, which has its
branches in Bangalore and Agra and
also founded a Trust
named Spirit of India in
Mumbai, which has done
organised the worlds
biggest painting camp in
mumbai as well as doing so
many social works like
village promotion of up-and-
coming artists. I have also
given art direction to films
and stage shows. A few TV
serials also feature my art
direction. All of this makes
my art grow richer and
more creative. We
94 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
I am 45 years old. My menses have
stopped for the last six months. I do
get the urge for sex but always wonder
whether it is advisable to have sex
during menopause. Please advise.
You are mistaken in your thinking.
There is no bar to sex at any age. If
you feel like it and your husband is
also interested, then there is no
restrictions in this. In fact, many
women enjoy sex more at this age
since there is no fear of pregnancy
and one can indulge in it uninhibitedly.
I am 20 years old and recently
married. My husband insists on
having sex during my menstruation
period. But I do not like it. Please
There is no objection to having
sex during menstruation but the act
makes it all the more messy. There
are always organisms on the outer
side of the genitalia and there is the
danger of introducing infection. More -
over, it may not be an aesthetically
desirable thing to do. So be careful
and explain all these problems to
your husband who will be able to
understand it.
I am a 30-year-old smart housewife.
My problem is that I suffer from bad
breath which makes me feel very
uncomfortable in the company of
other people. Please help.
It is unfortunate that you suffer from
bad breath which can be due to
various causes like poor oral hygiene,
infections of the throat, tonsils, or
diseases of the gastroin tes tinal tract,
lungs, liver and kidneys. There is
nothing to get disheartened about. You
should consult both your physician as
well as dental surgeon who will investi -
gate you and treat your accordingly.
I am 40 years old. Of late, I have
started feeling a lumpiness in my
breasts which makes me very
nervous whether it is cancer of the
breast. Please advise.
Firstly, you must consult your
doctor who after proper investigations
(ultrasound, mammogram) will exclude
any chance of cancer. Probably you
are suffering from a fibro cystic
disease of the breast which is related
to some hormonal imbalance of the
body. Still it would be better if a biopsy
is done from the lump in your breast.
I am 35 years old. After the delivery of
my last baby, my back has become
very heavy. It is causing me a lot of
embarrassment. Please advise.
What you have got occurs in many
women after childbirth. Generally, fat
in the back can be controlled by diet
(a low-fat, low-carbohydrate diet) and
an exercise programme targeting this
part of the body. Many times these
measures fail, then the only
treatment is liposuction.
I am 30 years old and slightly obese.
My problem is that a very unpleasant
odour comes from my body. I have
tried many remedies but without any
result. Please help.
Everybody exudes certain types of
body odour. Excessive perspiration,
especially in fatty womens emotional
factors (high-strung nature), excessive
use of spices and hot food, poor
personal hygiene and unhealthy living
are some of the factors responsible. In
addition, women who suffer from
diabetes, lung abscess, renal disea ses,
and gynaecological disorders are also
likely to exude an unpleasant body
odour. So you have to be investigated
on these lines and treated accordingly.
I am 40 years old and the mother of
two kids. Recently I have noticed that
I get a little bleeding after a sexual
relation ship. I am worried. Please
Your problem requires looking into.
Bleeding after sexual contact or
spotting between periods at this age
should alert one to the suspicions of
cancer of the cervix which is a
common problem at your age. Consult
your doctor who, after examining you,
should do a PAP test as well as
biopsy of the cervix to exclude the
possibility of cancer of the cervix.
Dr S. N. Khosla, MD
I am 26 years old. I had a relationship
with my boyfriend but now for the last
three months my menses have
stopped. I am worried. Please help.
Apparently, the finger points to
pregnancy, so get yourself tested for
it. If it turns out to be negative then
one has to consider the other cause
of amenorrhoea which includes
organic, nutritional and endocrinal
factors. Sometimes, temporary
amenorrhoea is produced by either
shock or fear of pregnancy. But all
these factors will come into
consideration only if your pregnancy
test is negative.
I am 30 years old and have had two
abortions during the last three years.
I am very worried. Please help.
The fact that you had two
abortions during a period of three
years requires looking into. Consult
your doctor who will investigate you
for any chronic debilitating condition
like severe anaemia, diabetes, renal
disease, etc. Sometimes, anatomical
abnormality of the uterus (retroverted
uterus) may be responsible.
Hormonal imbalance is also another
aspect. I am sure you doctor can take
care of the probable causes.
ere is another qualified
contemporary Artist. She is
Sonalli Shailendra Iyengaar.
Born in Mumbai, she
secured a first class with
distinction in the bachelor of
fine arts from the Sir J. J.
School of Fine Arts,
Mumbai. After that, came
her web designing course
from the Edit institute, where she
secured a first class. Another course
in graphic designing followed from
the Oscar institute, Deira, Dubai,
where she again secured a first
class. Later, she was selected as the
chief designer for Powerplus
Computers Ltd., Bur Dubai, Dubai.
Her job gave her the chance to
execute various projects as the chief
web designer for a number of
companies in an innovative
and artistic way. Her
expertise in graphics can
be seen in her works the
colours, the intermingling
of the forms and the
juxtaposing of characters.
She has had several
solo and group exhibitions
at prestigious art galleries
to her credit. Sonalli
Iyengaar lives and works
in Mumbai.
Tell us about your family.
I was always encouraged by my
parents to take part in different
competitions, and I have won a
number of awards in school and
during my college years. My father
has completed service as an officer
in Nerolac. My artistic genes have
come from my mother who has
completed service as an officer for
Murphy Ltd. I have one younger
sister Priya Navgire who is an
educator and has a flair for paintings
and art. After my marriage to
Shailendra, he encouraged me and
helped me a lot to pursue my career
When and how did
you realise that you
are an artist?
I realised that I was
an artist at the age of
three when I started to
scribble on the walls and
then my parents gave
me heaps of paper and
colours to draw. Soon
my parents realised that
96 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Evolving with
By Gayatri T Rao
I was different from normal children
and a gifted child and thus they
began encouraging me, guiding me
towards becoming an artist through
the years. Numerous awards and
appreciations for my art also acted
as a sort of encouragement.
What kind of paintings is your
Figurative painting is my forte.
Being an artist, I am sensitive to what
is going on in our society. I also paint
abstract art as I love to dabble in
colours and forms.
Would you like to say anything
special about the kind of paintings
you do?
Evolution and existence though
correlated, are yet so diverse, each
adapting to changes in the other. The
progression over time from a simple
to a more complex existence can be
seen in my paintings.
When and how did you get
attracted to this kind of painting?
I get my inspiration from the
atmosphere, the people around me
the intermingling of relations with
our atmosphere, the animals, nature
and the social issues. I feel that what
we speak remains somewhere in
space. I am also intrigued by our
Indian scriptures and paint them in
my paintings. In this way I want to
depict what we learn beginning from
our childhood to the mature age
everything around us is imbibed
on our minds whether positive
or negative. This is seen in my
paintings. I depict this in my
paintings that, geographically
though we are scattered far and
wide, yet the process of growth
from the smallest to the most
advanced species is a constant
Who are the artists who have
influenced you?
The artists who have influenced
me are Michael Angelo, Leonardo
da Vinci, Rembrandt, Turner, the
old masters, the contemporary
artists like Sir Prabhakar Kolte,
Sir Kashinath Salvi, who were
my professors in Sir J.J. School
of Fine Arts, Bose
Krishnamachari, Shri Raza and
Sanjay Bhattacharjee have all
influenced me. I am
particularly impressed by their
journey from the academic, rigid
conception to the contemporary
What is the starting point and
what is the conclusive point of a
painting in your case?
My interpretations are through
figurative renderings and bold colours
on canvas in oils and acrylics through
textures, juxtaposing different
characters, the subjects, the humans,
the animals, the machines on the
throes of discovering the next step of
action, to evolve, to intermingle, the
various diversificational aspects of
society that we live in, inviting the
viewer to a world of visual interaction.
How do you select themes and
ideas for your paintings?
My subjects are the humans
around me, their relationships, their
surroundings, with nature, the issues
which surround us. The subjects
depicted are charged in their
environment or in motion coming to
terms with their ambience, to reflect,
to co-exist. In my paintings the
characters, the players are seen in
vigour trying to reach the ever-so-
elusive goal.
Life in other words is existence
and evolution. The ambience
signifies the quest of the human
species and other species to
supersede each other in various
contexts. In the painting The Quest,
we see the birds hovering around the
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 97
charged characters of the footballers
in motion, to delve with speed onto
their goal.
This painting signifies the potential
of the common trait in different
species. In the other painting, Man
the Machine, a man is seen turning
into a machine signifying that man
made machines for his betterment
but little did he realise that he would
himself turn into a machine.
There is another painting, The
Childhood Melodies, which is the
best phase for a child, a carefree
world. Sometimes the spectator is
encouraged to search for the hidden
Is there any difference between
your earlier works and now?
There is a difference in my works
earlier and now, which is this that my
earlier works were during my years
as an evolving artist but now my
figurative works have broken the
gravity, the so-called social barriers,
and evolved more in a contemporary
Are auction houses helpful in
the development of art?
Auction houses are helpful in the
development of art as they determine
the capacity of the art market to
supersede the marginal prices, to
delve with great heights of
acceleration, to maybe sometimes
astronomical stamping of the brand,
thus in turn, the artist and the buyer
benefit in the long run. And this in
turn helps in bringing great business
to the art world, in all paving
landmark prices for the generation of
artists, encouraging them to strive for
doing better work.
What according to you is the art
scenario in India?
According to me the art scenario
is much better than what it was many
years back. People from all walks of
life have become more and more
aware about different forms of art.
The buyers artists, dealers, gallery
owners, have become more aware
about the matter in the art works. The
art business has increased from
strength to strength.
What are your future projects?
I have been selected for the
forthcoming exhibition of paintings to
be held at The National Gallery of
Modern Art, Mumbai, on the life of
Mrs Sonia Gandhi, depicting various
incidents in her life.
The exhibition is further going to
travel to NGMA, Delhi. My next
exhibition is at The Grand Aria,
JOSS, Kalaghoda, 2009. My
forthcoming solo exhibition of
paintings will be at the Museum Art
Gallery, Mumbai, from to 25 of
October 2010 and at the Standard
Chartered Bank Gallery in 2010.
98 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
About the artist
Name: Sonalli Iyengaar
Birthdate: 3/12/1971
Email :
Cell no: 9833284605.
Awards and Achievements :
First prize by Apsara Pencil Ltd.
painting competition, 1985, Bombay
Arts painting competition, 1986,
Apsara Pencil Ltd. painting
competition 1986, Print Sprint first
prize by Sir J.J. School of Arts,
1989, Merit Scholarships by Sir J.J.
School of Fine Arts, Mumbai 1989
to 1992, Dolly Cursetjees second
prize in the mural competition, Sir J.J.
School of Fine Arts, 1992
Paintings in the collections of:
Hindalco Industries Ltd
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd
KHUSHI NGO organisation and
auctioning house
K. Raheja Group of Hotels -
Karlton Hotel - Kodaikanal
City Centre Dubai
National Equipment Corp. Pvt. Ltd
PowerPlus Computers Ltd
Deira, Dubai
Abhilash Awasthi, Chief Editor,
The world of Priyanka Gandhi and
The world of great faces, Rashtriya
Hindi Masic
Unity Constructions:
Mrs Avar sekar.
Mr Bala Nandgaokar Ex-social
welfare minister
Lamcon Finance and
Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Pune
Brassco Extrusions Ltd
Dr Padmini T. Joshi, M.A., Ph.D.,
Mathematics, U.S.A
Fem Industries Ltd Mrs Sunita
Air India, Nariman Point
Four Brother Pvt. Ltd, Citi Bank
ioengineering is a collective
term for a number of subje -
cts in biology and engin -
eering. It brings medical
researchers and mechani -
cal, electrical, chemical,
electronics and computer
engineers as well as
physicists, chemists, statisti -
cians and mathematicians
together to solve the problems of
treating diseases of the human body.
The field encompasses a number
of areas, including management of
vast amounts of medical data,
analysis of data, creation of new
treatments, diagnostic technologies,
improvement of existing technology
and the like.
Bioengineering is one of the
fastest growing fields today, the
growth of which is evident in many
areas. Apart from researchers in
universities and medical colleges, the
field is also being pursued by
pharmaceutical companies develo -
ping products like the needle-free
injection devices.
Developing products compatible
with the human body to be implanted
and to function well inside the highly
intricate environment of the human
body is among the most complex and
challenging problems for all the
scientists and engineers in the field of
These biomaterials must not only
be compatible with the body's
environment but also be able to
perform at a level equal or similar to
the body tissues and organs they are
replacing or helping.
For example, a hip replacement
must be compatible with the body's
internal chemistry and it must be
strong enough to withstand the
amount of stress placed on bones
while standing up and walking or
even jogging. An implant for total
knee replacement is another
example, which has made thousands
of old people who were home-bound,
Like most areas of bioengineering,
the field of biomaterials is divided into
a number of subspecialities, one of
which is bioceramics. Dr Alexis Clare,
an associate professor of glass
science at Alfred University in Alfred,
New York, USA, works primarily in
five areas of ceramics: dental
materials, orthopaedic materials,
therapeutic materials, respirable
particles and sensors.
A physicist by training, Dr Clare
carried out research on glass and
became interested in bioceramics
through her work in fiber optics. She
is currently developing enzymatic
sensors using fiber optics, under -
standing safety issues surrounding
the presence of fiberglass in the
lungs and working with glasses and
biomaterials for a variety of dental
and orthopaedic applications.
Dr Clare also works with
therapeutic materials, such as a
glass ceramic in which magnetic
crystals heat up in an oscillating field.
It turns out that tumours and some
viruses are more susceptible to heat
than healthy tissue is. Therefore, she
is developing these materials as a
possible cancer treatment device.
The use of glass in cancer
treatment is also being investigated
by Dr Delbert Day, professor of
ceramic engineering at the University
of Missouri-Rolla, USA. Dr Day and
his colleagues are conducting
100 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
The science
for the 21st century.
By Ganesh Joshi
research on the use of glass micro-
spheres containing radioactive
isotopes in the treatment of liver
Called theraspheres, these micro-
spheres of glass have a mean
diameter ranging from 20 (1/5 of 1
mm) to 30 microns. These are
chemically bonded to a radioactive
pure beta ray source, yttrium-90,
which has a physical half-life of 64.2
hours (2.68 days). After injection, it
produces radiation to tissue with an
average range of 2.5 mm, and
maximum range of less than one
centimetre. The yttrium-90 decays to
stable zirconium-90.
It is delivered to fully conscious
patients by a catheter that is inserted
into an artery in the groin, and
delivered directly into the artery
under direct monitoring, into either
the right or left lobe of the liver.
The micro-spheres deliver higher
doses of radiation to the liver than an
external source, but cause less
damage to healthy tissue. Other
treatments involving micro-spheres
include injection of micro-spheres
containing medicines for the
treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and
Another rapidly expanding area is
biomedical imaging, a field that
combines technologies for
diagnosing diseases and analysing
data. Biomedical imaging includes
magnetic resonance imaging, X-rays,
microscopy and CT scanning all
diagnostic tools used by physicians
Dr David Foran, director of the
Center for Biomedical Imaging at the
University of Medicine in Piscataway,
New Jersey, USA, is developing non-
invasive imaging techniques.
Non-invasive imaging techniques
spare patients the discomfort of
procedures such as exploratory
surgery and allow doctors to view
images in three dimensions or in
Specialising in computer-assisted
diagnosis and focusing on diagnostic
pathology, radiology, etc, requires Dr
Foran to work closely with both
pathologists and radiologists in order
to identify the most important clinical
Interacting with physicians and
working in a biological field allows Dr
Foran to combine his interests in
zoology and physics, using advanced
computer imaging and mathematical
methods to design and develop
systems which solve the problems of
clinical medicine.
Medical diagnostic imaging spans
a number of disciplines and has been
used to photograph brain tumours
and spinal injuries and to diagnose
diseases at the level of cells in the
human body. It also allows doctors
to visualise body processes via
One of the most interesting
applications of biomedical imaging is
telemedicine. Telemedicine allows
physicians and researchers at
different facilities to exchange
information electronically and consult
others even if the patient and doctor
are in different hemispheres. This
information exchange is useful for
education and collaborative studies,
allowing researchers to collect data
about a larger number of patients.
While biomedical imaging
provides important data for
diagnosing and understanding
disease, other areas of
bioengineering concentrate on
preventing and fighting diseases at a
microscopic level. Cellular, tissue and
genetic engineering utilise the
anatomy, biochemistry and
mechanics of cellular and sub-cellular
structures in order to understand
disease processes and to be able to
target medicines at very specific
One example of such work is the
development of an artificial pancreas.
This is being carried out by chemical
engineers and could be used in the
treatment of diabetes.
They report that the hybrid
artificial pancreas use cells which are
removed from pigs or cattle,
encapsulated in special materials and
are grown in small chambers. These
can then be inserted into the human
Other organ research is being
done on synthetic skin, which can be
used to help treat wounds and burns,
and on the artificial heart. They are
developing an artificial heart, which
would act "as a bridge to heart
This would enable patients to
have more time to wait for donated
organs. Scientists are also working
on "heart assist devices" which aid
circulation and could eventually "be a
permanent alternative to heart
The field of bioengineering will
continue to grow, as long as
physicians are able to identify
problems that need solutions.
The human body is a very
complex chemical system and there
is still so much which doctors do not
102 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
t was just another Sunday in the
hilly terrains of Chattisgarh. As
our taxi made its way through the
quiet villages, we passed by the
beautifully scented groves of
bright green pudina, rather the
mint plants, that had once found
a place for themselves in an era
dating back to a time millennia
My thoughts harked back to an
ancient Greek mythological legend
that says that when Persephone, the
jealous wife of Pluto, tried trampling
to death a beautiful nymph called
Minthe, Pluto intervened and instantly
transformed Minthe into a plant with
an entrancing aromatic scent.
Interestingly, the aromatic mint was
so revered by the ancient Greeks and
the Romans that they crowned
themselves with the mint leaves.
The mint herb was also said to be
placed in the rooms of houses as well
as in the temples to freshen the air.
As a matter of fact, the ancient
Hebrews scattered mint on their
synagogue floors so that each footstep
raised its fragrance. The mint also
symbolised hospitality. The ancient
Romans and Greeks were known to
have rubbed the leaves of mint onto
the dining table, which was a sign of
their warm greetings to their guests.
More importantly, according to
historical records, the famous Roman
naturalist, Pliny the Elder, had said
that the very smell of mint recovers
and refreshes our spirits, rather the
mint scent helped in restoring the
depleted energy levels. So much so,
the ancient Greeks and the Romans
used the mint as a relaxing bath scent.
Corroborating with this view, the
ancient Charaka Samahita (an
Ayurvedic compendium of various
medicinal herbs) points out that when
the vata, rather the subtle energy
forces controlling the brain and the
nervous system, gets congested on
account of the accumulation of high
levels of toxins, the fragrant aroma
of the pudina leaves normalises the
flow of prana vaayu (the primal life-
force) all over the body.
As I drank a glass of pudina juice
at a low-roofed roadside stall at
Chattisgarh, I was convinced that the
aromatic pudina indeed played an
important role in fortifying the body
and spirit. Here are some delicious
pudina preparations:
1 glass chilled water
3 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp of sugar
tsp pudina paste
tsp jeera powder
tsp pepper powder
tsp amchoor
salt to taste
First thoroughly wash and then
crush a handful of pudina leaves
along with some water using the
traditional shilvat (preferably the
mixer-grinder) to form an aqueous
pudina paste. Subsequently, take
2 teaspoonfuls of the pudina
paste and put it through a strainer
to get the green pudina water,
taking care that the coarse pudina
leaves are completely filtered out.
Next, take a glass of cold water
and then add the pudina water,
the lemon juice, pepper powder,
jeera powder, amchoor and sugar
as well as the salt. Mix all the
ingredients thoroughly using a
spoon and voila a soothing
glass of cold pudina juice is ready.
Preparation time: 5-8 minutes
For 1 person
While many a traditional healer
has attributed the role of the mint
in promoting calmness of the
mind and body to its aromatic
scent, scientists and medical
experts also feel that the
presence of some essential
vitamins, minerals and oils in the
leaves of the mint plant have
acted as a therapeutic healing
agent through the centuries for
curing various illnesses.
In fact, according to a recent
scientific survey, as reported by a
recent health bulletin, the oils
derived from the mint contain high
levels of vitamins A and C,
flavonoids and menthol. The mint
contains good amounts of fibre,
iron, copper, calcium, folic acid
and omega-3 concentrates.
Besides, the mint is also known
to be a good source of ascorbic
acid and minerals like potassium
and manganese all of which
play an important role in curing
various ailments.
Take, for instance, a cup of
mint tea. A browse through the
pages of history reveals that for
the ancient Mediterraneans, a
sprig of mint in a cup of tea was a
106 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Fragrant health at home. By Sangeeta Sen
pleasant and digestively helpful
way to settle their stomachs after
a lavish feast. It was the same for
the people of ancient Morocco.
Back home, the traditional
healers of Chattisgarh as well as
ancient Ayurvedic texts explain
that the aromatic essential oils of
the pudina present in a cup of
pudina chai cool the heat of
pachaka pitta, rather it soothes
the imbalances arising in the
digestive system of the body. This
eventually helps in relieving the
symptoms of indigestion. Backing
this analysis, the researchers
explain that the menthol present
in the oils of the mint soothes the
lining of the digestive tract and
stimulates the production of bile,
which is an essential digestive
fluid. This in turn leads to a
healthy digestion of food.
2 cups water
10 to 12 fresh pudina leaves
1cup milk
1 cinnamon stick
tsp cloves ground
1 tsp of ginger grated
tsp cardamom (ground)
tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp honey
First, bring water to boil and
add the washed pudina leaves.
Remove from fire and keep the
tea pot covered. Keep it aside and
let it steep for about 20 minutes
so as to retain the
oils present in the
pudina leaves.
Next, add the milk
and the spices.
Stir in the honey.
Heat and steep
on a low flame for
an additional 15
minutes, and
then, serve.
For preparation time: 30 minutes
For 3 persons.
According to the ayurvedic
physicians, a cup of hot pudina
chai also helps in relieving the
symptoms of cough as well as
problems of chest congestion.
This is due to the fact that when
imbalances arise in the kapha
(the bodys lubrication system),
the pudina as well as the honey
present in a cup of pudina chai
blocks the production of certain
chemicals called leukotrienes,
thereby preventing the occurrence
of allergies in the upper
respiratory tract.
cup pudina leaves
150 gm wholewheat flour (gehun)
cooking oil as desired
salt to taste
First sieve the wheat flour.
Meanwhile, fry the pudina leaves
till they turn crisp and then keep
them aside. Crush the fried pudina
leaves to form a powder. Next, mix
the flour, salt and the powder of the
crushed pudina leaves. Add water
and mix thoroughly to form a semi-
hard dough.
Knead well, cover and keep
aside for 10 minutes. Divide into 4
equal portions and then roll out
each portion with a rolling pin to
make a parantha of a diameter of
approximately 4 inches. This is
followed by cooking the parantha
on a hot tawa, on moderate heat
for at least 3 minutes. Turn it and
smear half a tablespoon of oil on
the parantha. This has to be
followed on the other side too.
Cook on a low flame till it turns
golden brown. Repeat the same
method for the other paranthas.
Finally, serve the pudina paranthas
hot with any dal prepared.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
For 2 persons
All said and done, the health
benefits of the pudina are truly
versatile. Perhaps the role of the
mint in treating patients with
cancer has created the most
excitement. Moveover, according
to recent scientific research
studies, the mint plant has been
proved to inhibit the growth of
various tumourous growths.
If make-up had a regular pattern it
would have been easy for a
makeover. As it is not so, a lot of
effort goes into giving a shape to
your face.
The pretty face
looks simplistically
gorgeous with the
suitable make-up.
This is out-and-out
ornamental and expert
makeover projecting a
glowing face.
This is not an eye-
lowering but eye-raising
beauty touch-up.
The ornamental
does make a lot
of difference to
the face.

The make-up
has produced a
typical oriental
A successful
finish to the
beautifying job.
Can anyone
think of a better
substitute for
beauty aids to
perfect the
bridal face?
The task is
well on its way
to satisfactory
Make-up & Hair Styling: Aashmeens Grace,
(Internationally experienced make-up & hair artist)
Ashok Vihar-I, Delhi. Mob: 9810077076
112 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
in terms of reading, writing or
drawing. Also, they should take the
students comfortably through the
homework, making the children
comprehend the lessons at a relaxed
pace so that when they go back to
class next time they are well
So, how would you sum up the
basic difference between a tuition
centre and HWB?
I have great respect for tuition
centres and really appreciate their
contribution to enhancing the
students skills. But I do feel that
somewhere or the other, there is a
certain monotony in tuitions. Students
copy number of questions for a
subject, get it corrected, memorise the
answers and write them in schools.
This maybe fetching them good marks
but are they really retaining the
lessons in their minds? At HWB, as I
mentioned earlier, it is student-centric.
One day they may have a requirement
for Hindi, another day for English, etc.
Accordingly, we assign proctors to
each student to help them. Students
needs are given priority and their
needs are addressed. This makes the
students more responsible and
increases their interest in a subject.
Also, the student-teacher ratio is
lopsided in tuition centres, with one
teacher handling 20 odd students at a
time. Here, it is almost a one-to-one
ratio guaranteeing individual attention
to the children.
Lastly, tuition centres would have
a specific time slot. HWB, on the
other hand, is open from 4 p.m. to
7.30 p.m. during which hours any
child can walk in and ask for
assistance on his or her desired
subject. Our proctors will always be
at hand to help them.
How is HWB beneficial to
It is especially helpful for working
ma Yogesh is a rising woman
entrepreneur. She is the
creative director of the
Thejomaya Centre for
Excellence and the creator of
Homework Buddies.
Excerpts from an interview:
How did the concept of
Homework Buddies (HWB) come
I have always felt the need to do
something extra in the field of
childrens education, to provide good
educational value-adds to students.
I have been working on this project
for more than one-and-a-half years. I
extensively browsed on the Net and
studied the trends prevailing in the
Western countries. After a lot of
research, I came up with the idea of
Homework Buddies, similar to the
ideas prevailing abroad. For instance,
they have a student den concept and
homework den concept where the
proctors help the children complete
their homework and ensure that at
the end of the session the child is
thorough with what he or she is
Okay, so how did you adapt it
to suit the education system here?
While trying to implement the idea
here, I found that there is a distinct
gap between the role of a proctor and
a teacher. A proctor is a person who
takes the children through their
homework, so he or she is more
The students needs need to be
given priority which is unfortunately
not the scenario in most cases. In
most instances, due to the shortage
of time perhaps students are asked
to copy page 30 to 40 or memorise
page 10 to 20. So I thought that
some value addition should come
from the teachers at HWB while
reinforcing what is being taught at
school. The value addition could be
parents who, due to their work
pressure, cannot sit with the child
during his or her study time. So, we
step into the shoes of the parents for
an hour or so and guide the child
Are you planning any further
enhancements to improve the
Yes, we are going to introduce
interactive boards very soon to make
the learning process even more
interesting. HWB caters to students
from classes one to seven. These are
the formative years in any childs life
when he or she is willing to learn
more and more. Thus, a solid
foundation can be built for the child
during these years which will help
them tackle the pressure of studies
in higher classes. So, with interactive
boards, our proctors can make the
sessions livelier and more creative
through pictorial representations,
educational games, etc.
We have also added other value-
adds to HWB like handwriting classes
and art classes. We are thinking of
launching spoken English classes. In
fact, I want to introduce other
curriculum-based courses here so
that this centre becomes a one-in-all
for the children coming in.
Right now you have one centre
in Chennai. Are there any plans to
expand further?
I have already trademarked this
concept of HWB. I am giving the
concept time to evolve. I am planning
to expand this to various other places
in Chennai and South India. We
would look at franchisees in future
that can be totally committed to the
project. Also there are certain
standards which have to be followed
by all future centres like air-
conditioned classrooms, brightly
coloured individual furniture, friendly
proctors, serene atmosphere, etc.
Uma Yogesh
Come in for your homework. By Smita Shenoy
is up to you. There is nothing wrong
in your telling the person that you
dont wish to dance at that moment
and then for the next number tell your
husband that you want to dance with
him. Once you have been on the floor
you can even refuse on the grounds
that you are tired. Mostly people will
take a hint and stay away. You can in
a few cases be blunt enough to say
you enjoy dancing only with your
I had an arranged marriage 10
months ago and have no complaints
except one. My husband writes a
diary daily and I wonder what he
writes in it. While I am not curious
about his past I want to know what
he writes now and he wont share. It
upsets me a lot. What do I do?
You should learn to get used to it.
Every individual has a right to some
privacy and writing a diary is as much
his personal right as anything else.
You should learn to be free of your
own anxiety about it. Maybe he will
one day want to share it or not. You
have to give him that much freedom
of thought and activity. Why dont you
start writing a diary as well and see if
he is curious maybe then you can
share each others thoughts by
reading the diary of the other person.
My younger sister got married to a
colleague and as per company policy
left her job. She was supposed to
take a new job after marriage but
now her in-laws want her to stay at
home. Her husband says she can do
what she wants. She wants to be
good to her MIL but wants a job as
well. What do I advise her to do?
Your brother-in-law is right when
he says she has to take a decision.
Your advice to her should be that she
should be convinced in her own heart
and mind as to what she wants to do.
While money and freedom of a job are
good, making a base with her MIL has
its own advantages. Maybe she can
talk to her MIL and take up a job until
she starts a family. It is best for parties
concerned to speak openly and reach
a decision acceptable to all. A
I am a European married to an Indian.
When my in-laws (husbands parents
and various uncles and aunts) visit I
am always worried about what to offer
as they do not drink wine or alcohol.
What should I serve them? I am
bored with colas and ready drinks as
they are so impersonal.
I am glad you are trying to fit in the
Indian culture. Just as in European
cultures drinks are either aperitifs or
after meal, always ask about coffee
or tea but if they come at awkward
times in between then a selection of
fruit and fresh vegetable juices is a
good offer. You can personalise them
by mixing herbs or additions like
celery, corian der, basil or even
lemongrass. Get smaller glasses for
them to first try. In case they like it,
the serving can be changed to bigger
glasses. Also in summer sherbets or
fruit shakes work well.
I have read that a woman should
walk on the left of a man. Is it true? Is
there a religious or other reason for
that? What does offering your arm to
a woman mean?
Most of these systems are based
on logic. In old England a woman
walked on the left of the man, so his
right hand was free to pull out the
sword if he needed it for quick
protection. Also, when the woman is
on the left, she is holding with her right
hand which is often more strong for
support. Offering your arm to a woman
means you support her by leading her.
The man crooks his elbow and she
puts her hand through it for support in
case she stumbles. The woman holds
the arm of the man, not vice versa.
I was engaged for
eight months be fore
we separated as his
family wanted more
dowry than my
parents could
arrange. I was
emotionally invol ved with him but
there was no physical contact. I
have recently come to know he is
engaged to my first cousin whose
parents are richer. I dont want to
attend the wedding, What should I
You are lucky to have had an
escape from the greedy family of
the groom. Yes, you must be hurt
that he is getting married to your
cousin, but obviously they have a
different set of parameters to
judge the groom. Yes, you are
within logic and your rights to not
attend the wedding, but it would
be a bigger victory to attend the
wedding. The social loss is more
his than yours. If you are at all
shaky about facing him with your
cousin, there is nothing wrong in
dropping the event, but do explain
the situation to your cousin if you
are close to her.
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 115
I do not like to dance with anybody
other than my husband and find it
very difficult to say no when people
ask me in parties. This means I do
not get to dance even with my
husband. My husband does not mind
my dancing with anybody but I dont
like it. What should I do?
As per the etiquette of dancing if
anybody wants to dance with you
they should first ask your husband
but if he has no objection, the refusal
ngling or float-fishing was
defined by Ben Johnson as
a stick and a string with a
worm at one end and a fool
at the other. It is a fact that
following the departure of
the British, fishing could
never pick up as a sport in
Nainital not because the
town became a sleepy hill
resort sans all Johnsonian fools, but
probably because the shoreline of the
lake is marked with two shrines
dedicated to a prominent hill goddess
and fishing in water bodies having a
deity as its guardian has been
sacrilegious in the Himalayan hills.
Unlike the other lakes of the
region Bhimtal, Naokuchiatal,
Sattal group of lakes or even
Khurpatal which is on the immediate
outskirts of Nainital, where angling
and even the seasonal netting by the
department of fisheries kept on
flourishing in Nainital it could
never have a foothold. In due course,
an official ban was also imposed on
fishing and, as normally happens with
official orders, the need of reviewing
it was never felt.
As for the piscine stock in the
lake, the dominant species here had
always been the mahseer, a huge
and hardy game fish from Himalayan
streams introduced into the lakes of
Kumaon by the British way back in
1858. There are seven types of
mahseer according to experts and
some of them grow up to a size of
2.75 m. Of these species, the most
prized golden mahseer (tor putitora)
has disappeared, or at least their
number has declined drastically from
several hill lakes. There is a growing
apprehension that one or two
varieties of mahseer might already
be extinct.
In 1997, the seeds of around
30,000 exotic silver carps and 20,000
grass carps were introduced into lake
Naini as surface feeders. The idea
was to control the growth of
planktons and algal blooms and thus
curtail the proverbial pollution of the
lake. Such an experiment was done
at Naokuchiatal also, where the grass
carp shortly resorted to consuming
the natural lotus biomass in the lake.
Incidentally, it is the only natural lotus
biomass left anywhere in the central
Himalayan region.
Thanks to the furore raised by the
local youth, the department of
fisheries had to net out the stock
within a couple of years. In Nainital,
however, the problem is different.
With an average life of around 10 to
12 years and weight of around 10 kg-
plus, this exotic piscine stock has
now assumed the dimension of bio-
garbage weighing around 50 tons.
Fisheries experts of the University of
Kumaon (Nainital) have for long been
emphasising the need for the
sampling of this stock and also
allowing fishing on a limited scale.
"Like the dredging of the bottom
detritus netting of this oversized stock
is also a must. Moreover, it can bring
home revenue worth crores of
rupees," says an expert from the
local university. Highly placed
sources in the office of the Lake
Development Authority, however, say
that no such plans are yet on the
The sordid tale of what may safely
be termed as exotic bio-pollutants in
Lake Naini does not conclude here.
The lake also has in its ever-
shallowing depths a stock of over 50
lakh of gambusia holobrooki fish as a
key pollution-causing agent.
Reported to have been brought to
India in 1928 from Italy by Dr B. A.
Rao, a Bangalore-based scientist, the
finger-sized gambusia are highly
invasive fish.
They eat mosquito larvae as fast
as they hatch from the eggs laid by
mosquitoes in rafts on the surface of
the water. The gambusia was
introduced to various indigenous
lakes and rivers to control the growth
of the malaria-causing Anopheles
In Nainital where sighting an
Anopheles is still a distant possibility,
who introduced it and for what
reason, is still a matter of research.
Unconfirmed sources however,
116 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
The invasive fish, gambusia,
is being netted in lake
Naini to be replaced by
the golden mahaseer. What
are the implications? By Rajshekhar Pant
reveal that in the decade of the 90s
under a malaria eradication project
the gambusia was introduced into
Lake Naini.
This fish with a large appetite
multiplies rapidly and unlike other
species bears live young. Each
female can produce three to four
broods in her lifetime, and each
brood can vary from 40 to 100 young.
Birth usually occurs during the warm
spring and summer months. When
the young, about 3/8 inch long, are
born, they are active and immediately
swim for the nearest cover and will
soon feed. In the absence of larvae
they take to feeding on the eggs of
other fish like the mahseer.
Snow trout and carps are slashing
their number, especially that of the
mahseer, to an alarming level.
"Feeding on zooplanktons (micro -
scopic organisms drifting on water), it
further accelerates the growth of
algal blooms contributing significantly
to bringing down the level of
dissolved oxygen in water, choking
the underwater springs and thus
making the lake dead," says a senior
scientist from the College of
Fisheries, University of Pantnagar.
Dying in large numbers, they further
add to the bottom detritus and the
concentration of phosphorus and
nitrogen in the water body.
A team of experts from the
College of Fisheries, University of
Pantnagar, is now removing the
pestilent gambusia from the lake by
using a bio-manipulation
technique by using fine fishing
nets. Physical and chemical
measures being less reliable, bio-
manipulation measures are being
used worldwide to control pollution
in water bodies.
The plan afoot consists of
replacing the invasive gambusia and
no less dangerous puntius variety of
fish, once again with the eco-friendly
golden mahseer (tor putitora) with a
tentative expenditure of Rs 50 lakh.
The programme is a part of the
Centrally funded Rs 67 crore
controversial Nainital Lake Region
Conservation Project launched six
years ago.
Retracing the footsteps of
firangies our scientists will indeed be
back to the basics when 50,000
seeds of golden mahseer will be
reintroduced into Lake Naini following
the completion of the first phase of
the gambusia eradication, and the
cleaning of the water body through
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 117
baagicha. And 50 acres of plantation.
Amazed, the town fellow asked.
Then why did you come to this city?
To earn a living. To stand on my
own two feet.
Your parents... didnt they stop
No. My parents insisted that I
come to the city and learn to earn a
Such humility, the townie
remarked with deep respect. You can
live with me till you buy your
apartment. Embarrassed, he added,
You are used to living in a sprawling
kothi... this would be so uncomfortable
for you.
No... no... this is great, the village
lad said, spreading himself on the
single bed. The zamindaar lived in his
kothi. My mother cooks and father
tends to his cows. Our room is smaller
than this. He yawned and dozed
off, saying, I am very comfortable
Wired the
other way
Why dont you take up the project
on writing about the industrialist
Ambani? His office has asked you to
meet them?
See, if I take up this project, I
will be meeting his family members.
I would be interacting closely with
I may not get along with them. At
least some of them.
Hm... may be...
Then, if they throw a party, they
may not invite me.
Could be...
Then people will say that despite
they knowing me, they did not invite
me. I will become the laughing
stock. So I will not take up this
Sniggdha Jauhari.
Humble home
You are able to digest the buffalo
milk? the surprised, city dweller
asked. Yes, the village lad said. In
my village we have 10 cows, five
buffaloes. I would put my mouth to the
cows udders and drink straight first
thing in the morning and before going
off to sleep.
Kya baat hai! And food?
Butter made of cows milk. Halwa,
puris. Puris for breakfast, lunch and
dinner. I would steal into the kitchen
and before mother could stop me,
polish it off. She would then chase me
out, the village lad laughed with
infectious charm.
And what else do you have in the
village? the impressed city fellow
The kothi, the other replied with
simplicity. There are 20 rooms
altogether. A big courtyard. A mango
Humility and Prejudice
sense of curiosity and the
tantalising prospect of
seeing Nessie, the
legendary monster of Loch
Ness in Northern Scotland,
brought us to the pretty
village of Drumnadrochit, a
popular resort for Nessie-
watching, nestling in the
spectacular Scottish
The legend of Nessie has endured
for centuries after the Benedictine
monk St Columba sighted a
fearsome beast in the lake and
commanded it to back off. That was
more than 1,400 years ago. Since
that first recorded sighting of the
elusive monster, the legendary
Nessie has attained celebrity status
and captured the imagination of
scientists and lay people alike.
There is no conclusive proof of the
existence of the monster, even after
systematic scientific research using
modern technological aids like
underwater tape-recorders,
submarines, sex attractants and even
sonar-controlled cameras. However,
several sightings by the local people
and visitors to the lake, and a few
controversial photographs agree on
the existence of an enormous aquatic
creature, with an uncanny talent for
appearing when the light is bad and
the cameras out of focus, as a
Nessie-watcher put it.
Nessie watching is a sport next in
popularity only to golf in Scotland.
Thousands of tourists flock to the
spectacular Loch Ness every year,
attracted by the Nessie legend.
Whether they sight its mythical
resident or not, they can delight in
the many attractions which the lake
and its surroundings offer.
The media turned its spotlight on
the monster in 1933 when, during
the construction of a lakeside road, a
rash of sightings was reported. In
1934, Alex Campbell, a water bailiff
who lived in a cottage by the river
Oich, reported having sighted not one
but a family of them daddy,
mommy and baby. He described the
creature as a huge hump in the
118 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
An engrossing story of a tourists exploration of a legend.
By Vimala Murthy
Nessie has been generally
described by those who claim to have
sighted the creature as a huge
creature, almost 20 feet long, with
three huge humps (like an inverted
boat), a long neck and a small head,
dark in colour and very fast moving.
That could possibly be one of the
explanations as to how the creature
has been able to evade sonar
cameras and submarines sonar
beams cannot catch moving objects.
A short bus ride from Fort William
through the desolate and haunting
countryside of the mist-filled Scottish
Highlands brought us to
Drumnadrochit. It has taken quite
some time for this tongue-twister of a
name to register in many minds.
There was a heightened sense of
anticipation of encountering Nessie,
as we got off the bus into the cold
drizzle. There was a nip in the air on
that late September afternoon. The
hordes of tourists I expected to see
were nowhere in sight. Apparently it
was not the tourist season.
The B/B joint we were booked in
was cutely named Enric Cottage.
Just give me a call as soon as you
arrive and Ill come and pick you up,
the owner had told us when we had
booked our room. Drumnadrochit is
curiously devoid of public transport
and cabs. We braved the rains and
the wind and reached the safety of
the nearby post office, from where
we called Avin for that was his
name. He was there within 10
minutes in his battered old car. The
cottage set in tranquil and
picturesque surroundings was warm
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 119
IN 1934, ALEX
and cosy inside. The hospitality of
Avin and Alva, the charming old
couple who owned the cottage, more
than made up for the cold and wet
weather. The whole place was so
untouristy that we were amazed that
we seemed to be the only two visitors
there. The old couple told us many
stories about trekkers who came to
stay in their cottage. They also
wanted to know lots of things about
India. It was only after the weather
cleared a bit that we dared to venture
out and explore the little town.
The village of Drumnadrochit,
once famous for its floral displays, is
now the focal point of monster lore
and legend. Dominating the little
village, standing high on a hillock is
the Monster Exhibition, the Monster
of course being Nessie. The
signboard is visible from where you
get off from the bus. A visit to the
exhibition is a good way to get
introduced to Nessie whatever you
want to know about Nessie, you can
find there, with the array of
photographs, documented data of
scientific explorations and stories of
sightings of the monster, telling you
the whole story. A short documentary
film in an adjoining theatre presents
extraordinary visuals of the lake and
its surroundings with an excellent
commentary on all the scientific data
collected by various explorers,
interspersed with interviews with
various people who claim to have
sighted the monster.
Outside, dominating the scene is a
huge, life-size representation of
Nessie the Monster, an artists
conception of the creature, rousing
the curiosity of the onlooker. Mythical
or real, it captures your imagination.
Next to the Monster Exhibition is a
small cottage, now known as the
William Wallace museum. Wallace,
better known as Braveheart,
immortalised in the Hollywood film of
the same name, was a Scottish hero
who bravely fought against the
English invaders to defend Scottish
independence in the year 1297.
There is a huge statue of the hero
riding a horse in front of the cottage,
which is now a museum.
With the overpowering presence
of Nessie next-door, the Scottish
hero is dwarfed into insignificance
not many people care to visit the
museum. We bought tickets at the
tourist information centre next to the
Monster Exhibition, for the ultimate
Loch Ness experience a cruise
down the lake, to explore the
mysteries and learn more about the
fascinating Loch Ness, and no doubt
with vague hopes of spotting Nessie.
A short bus ride brings us to the
lakeside where The Nessie Hunter,
the vessel that will take us on the
cruise is waiting for us. The vessel is
equipped with modern surveillance
and safety equipment including
colour TV, sonar, radar, VHF radio
and video equipment. It can carry a
maximum of 12 passengers,
providing seating for all inside in the
spacious, heated cabin or outside on
the aft deck. Every passenger can
have a chance to talk to the skipper.
We are lucky to have George
Edwards as our skipper and
commentator. He is the one who
found and recorded the greatest
known depth of the loch, named after
him as Edwards Deep. He is an
expert in Nessie lore besides being a
qualified MCA boat master and has
studied the Loch Ness phenomenon
for over 60 years.
Loch Ness, which is 24 miles long,
975 feet at its deepest, with a mean
depth of 700 feet, is the largest body
of fresh water in Europe. Scoured by
glaciers in the last Ice Age, the lake
became landlocked about 10,000 to
120 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
12,000 years ago. Our skipper
informs us that if the lake is emptied,
and people filled into the empty
depths, it can hold the population of
the whole world three times over.
As we cruise along, he gives a
lively commentary covering all
aspects of the lake and we have the
option of watching the video inside
the heated cabin or go on the cold
and windy aft deck to enjoy the
spectacular scenery on either side of
the lake. We pass the Urquhart Bay,
the deepest part of the lake, where
most sightings are believed to have
taken place. The ruins of the
Urquhart castle, sombre and
mysterious, overlook the bay, a silent
witness to the mysteries of the lake.
Many a bloody clan war was fought
behind the walls of this historic fort. If
only stones could talk, what secrets
would the castle reveal!
Edwards claims to have sighted
Nessie at least 17 times and
according to him, it is not just one
monster (he prefers to call them
creatures), but several of them are
there living peacefully in the lake.
There are many others who have
sighted the animal, but do not report
for fear of ridicule. Nessie is very dear
to his heart and he dismisses all
theories of it being a mythical monster
as rubbish. Far too many people have
seen it to be dismissed as a myth, he
maintains. He is particularly harsh on
the National Geographic magazine
and Discovery channel versions of
Nessie, and calls Operation Deep
Scan as Operation Deep Scam, with
profound sarcasm in his voice.
As far as he is concerned, it is
nothing but an advertisement for the
company that sponsored it. No sonar
cameras can find the animal, he
says, for the simple reason that sonar
can hit only a still object unless of
course the animals can be persuaded
to remain still just to be
photographed. As for the theory that
the creatures go into hiding in caves
deep at the bottom of the lake, he
dismisses it all as nonsense as there
can be no caves at the bottom of
Ness. Explorers diving deep into the
waters of the lake are firm in their
belief that there is nothing but silt at
the bottom. He is also critical of the
physical attributes accorded to
Nessie by the media.
According to him, the animals are
five to 15 feet in length and nothing
like the media monster that
resembles a dinosaur with three
humps. Those who perpetuate the
myth of the dinosaur forget the fact
that the creature became extinct 300
million years ago. Even the name
Nessie, according to him, is a
creation of the English media. In
Gaelic, the Loch Ness resident is
called Eioch Uisge pronounced
esh ooshge meaning water horse.
At the end of the two-hour cruise,
we are no wiser as to the existence
or otherwise of the monster of Loch
Ness. Perhaps, seeing is believing
as they say, and since we were not
the lucky ones to sight Nessie, we
left Drumnadrochit, our heads filled
with images of the spectacular lake
and the mystery of the mythical
monster lingering in our minds. Real
or mythical, Nessie had firmly
captured our imagination by the time
we left the little Scottish village.
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 121
Travel Tips
How to go: Drumnadrochit is
3-hour by road from Edinburgh, the
nearest airport.
Where to stay: Hotels, lodges
and private cottages.
When to go: Ideally, summer
ne of the cherished
memories of my childhood
in Delhi is the jamun trees.
As many of you know, a
number of roads in Delhi
are lined with huge jamun
trees; and during the
season, March, April, May,
these trees would become
purple with the juicy fruits.
Our school bus wound its way
through these roads. And every day
we saw a number of men and women
picking the fruits. Four of them would
stand beneath a tree holding the four
corners of a huge white sheet while a
few would be up shaking the fruit-
laden branches as the jamuns
cascaded down in a purple rain.
Our bus stopped at a number of
places to pick up the girls and we
never wasted these opportunities.
Wed stick our heads out of the bus
windows literally begging the
jammunwallahs Bhaiya, please,
jamun do (please give us some
jamun) and they would happily
oblige. We had black salt and chaat
masala ready and then wed have a
delicious picnic in the bus. There was
also a competition amongst us as to
whose lips and teeth were most
Thus began my love affair with the
jamun, of course, as a child, I never
bothered about the nutritious value
of the fruit. It was only later that I
realised how good this small purple
fruit really is.
The humble fruit with wondrous
properties. By Satarupa Banerjee
Commonly known as the Indian
blackberry, jamun trees are found all
over India whenever mangoes are
grown. The fruit is a juicy berry with a
single stone. It is a very deep purple
on the outside and violet inside; has
a sweet-sour pulp and greenish-
yellow seed.
The nutritive value per 100 gm
edible portion of jamun is 83.7 per
cent moisture, 0.7 per cent protein,
0.3 per cent fat, 0.4 per cent
minerals, 0.9 per cent fibre, 14.0 per
cent carbohydrates, 15 mg calcium,
15 mg phosphorus, 1.2 mg iron, 18
mg vitamin C and a small amount of
vitamin B complex. The calorific
value is 62.
The jamun is medicinally
extremely valuable and has many
uses. All parts of the tree bark,
seeds and fruits which are rich in
protein, carbohydrates and calcium
have some medicinal use or the
other. The pulp of the fruit is dried
and powdered. This is then used as a
digestive aid. Many ayurvedic churan
and herbal digestives contain this
Jamun has been traditionally used
as a cure for diabetes because of its
effect on the pancreas. Particularly
the seeds, when dried and powdered
contain a glucose called jamboline
which has the power to check the
pathological conversion of starch into
sugar. It is believed to reduce the
quantity of sugar in urine and allay
unquenchable thirst a symptom of
diabetes. Drink an equal amount of
jamun and mango juice if youre
Ripe jamun juice is effective in
curing diarrhoea. You can have it
mixed with curd. For children, try it
mixed with goats milk or drink jamun
juice mixed with sugar candy (misri).
The powdered seeds are also
useful in treating diseases related to
the kidney a 1/2 teaspoon should
be taken every morning and evening.
The jamun is a natural diuretic.
Roughly crush the bark of the tree
and boil in water. Strain and gargle
with the water to relieve a sore throat.
This can also be used as mouthwash
in case of bad breath.
In cases of poisonous insect bites,
the juice of the jamun leaves are
given. The leaves can also be used
as a poultice on the bite.
For obstinate boils use the leaves
for dry fomentation. Sore eyes can
be treated the same way. The juice of
the leaves are also used for painful
Jamuns are extremely effective in
treating painful and bleeding piles.
The fruit should be eaten with salt
throughout the season. This will
alleviate the pain and the disease to
a great extent.
Mention is made of the jamun in
Charak Samhita our ancient
treatise on medicine. Sage Charaka
used this fruit in the treatment for an
enlarged liver. There are certain
natural acids in the fruit that secrete
digestive enzymes and stimulate the
proper functioning of the liver.
Vinegar is also made from the
unripe acidic fruit which has
carminative properties that is, it
expels gas, flatulence and cures
stomach aches.
The fruit is also used to cure
rheumatism. The root of the jamun
tree is boiled in water. The hot water
is then applied to painful joints to
provide relief and alleviate pain.
1 cup jamun pulp
1 cup mango pulp, 1 cup orange
or pineapple juice
Crushed ice
1 tbsp honey
cup seedless dates soaked
Blend all in a mixie and serve
chilled with crushed ice.
3.5 kg jamun
1.5 kg sugar
1.200 ml water
1 tsp citric acid
4 tbsp milk
1 tsp potassium meta bisulphate
Boil the jamun in a very little
water till soft. Strain and keep the
juice aside.
Boil the sugar and water
together stirring till the sugar
dissolves. Add the milk, 1 tbsp at
a time and remove the scum.
Remove and cool.
Add the juice once the syrup
cools completely. Add the citric
acid and potassium metabisul -
Store in sterilised bottles.
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 123
strology is a good business, said my hubby
folding the morning paper. Why do you say
that? I asked. Look at the publicity and the
money the astrologers make, he said
showing me the picture of various politicians
in Karnataka making a beeline for various
temples and gurus before the elections.
Even the bigwigs of the film industry and giant
industrial groups always consult their astrologers
before undertaking a new venture, my husband
As always, I merely nodded and continued
folding the washed clothes.
Film names, actors, actresses... all are decided
after consulting an astrologer.
You mean the names like One, two, three,
Sunday, Black and White all these names were
suggested by astrologers? No wonder most of the
movies flop these days, I noted.
It is not the names which flop the movie, there
are other things also. Therefore, to help the mortals I
think I should take up astrology.
Astrology and you? What do you know about
Only that astrology is nothing but numerology
and nowadays there are computer packages
available that do all the boring calculations for you.
After all, it cannot be difficult to work out the various
permutations and combinations of nine planets.
Well, if computers can do that, then I am sure
there wont be any need of all those gurus, I
As always my wilful,
obstinate hubby ignored
my good advice and
within a month he was
all set to try on mundane
astrology about
political and world
events which,
being a retired
bureaucrat, wasnt
difficult. The problems started when, on his 60th
birthday, he asked for his janampatri. Pondering
and pouring over it, he realised that one of the slow
outer moving planets was going to make an
important impact on his life. The question was what
impact? This planet started giving him sleepless
When I asked him about his restlessness he
started explaining to me the 12 signs in the Zodiac
and 12 houses. He was worried about the Uranus.
Uranus takes seven years to travel through one
sign, so it would take 84 years for it to travel around
your horoscope before it arrives at the point it was
when you were born.
My head was reeling hearing all the facts and I
asked, So why are you concerned? You are only
But sometimes it can take a turn and enter
suddenly. So I am worried, because it is going to
enter one of my houses and any good astrologer will
be concerned because Uranus is the planet which
brings about sudden events. It is unpredictable and
is considered an astrologers nightmare.
ow he had really got me worried about what
was going to happen in our lives and I
wondered which of my dear ones would be
Seeing that he had my full attention he started to
make his calculations to predict the exact date and
time. Brooding over the charts he said, There is
no guarantee about the date but the effect
can last weeks.
What kind of effect are you talking
Uranus signifies outburst. A big
boom. It can also mean an
A big boom? You mean
explosion a bomb
explosion. A terrorist
attack? Thats cool,
When a grandpa takes up astrology, does Uranus pop
his grandsons balloon? By Puneeta Khatri
My Not-So-Literate
dad, my younger son broke in.
So, from that day, all our children and
grandchildren were forbidden to go to crowded
malls, movies or any other such places.
But the next day my hubby came up with a new
analysis and said, Uranus signifies electricity also.
So once again all the members were barred to go
near the electric appliances. A simple task of turning
on the kettle or the TV became a nightmare in my
Each day brought our whole family a step closer
to what we now thought as our doom. Each new
event, good or bad in our life, was blamed on
Uranus. Realising it was not the one we all were
waiting for, we moved on waiting for some other
gigantic thing to take place.
he suspense and worry taking were their toll on
my BP and finally I had to say, What is the
point of being a predictive astrologer if you
cant even work out what is going to happen and
when it is going to happen? I think we should consult
another, more experienced astrologer.
This upset my husband terribly as his soul mate
doubted him. He once again turned on the computer
and started solving the jigsaw puzzle of stars and
the planets. After much reckoning he came up with
the date. 28 March thats the D-Day.
However modern and educated we may be the
D-Day was causing agitation in our lives.
To ease the anxiety and fretfulness, we decided to
take a family break at Ooty. Packed in the Innova,
every member was having fun while my hubby
peered inside the books.
When we were just on the outskirts of Mysore,
suddenly there was a loud explosion and what do
you know? my grandsons giant balloon popped.
Was that the boom he was talking about?
My son screeched the car to a halt and we all
burst out laughing while my grandson was in tears
and my hubby was about to cry.
You and your astrology! I commented
But all this did not deter my husband for, after two
days, he said, One of the curious things about
some planets is that they appear to go backwards at
certain times. This means that Uranus is going to go
back over my 4th house later on and then go
forward again. In other words, I have two more
bouts with this planet until about the same time next
year. So he goes warning us about the explosions,
cheerful and distressing events which may occur but
somehow evade us all the time.
Whats more, he has also forbidden the
grandchildren from playing with balloons. We will
just have to wait for the next boom. We
n the world of showbiz, where
everyone is busy in the rat race
or the numbers game, there are
very few people who think out of
box and carve a niche for
themselves. Actress Nandita Das
is one such person for whom
quality cinema comes first and
the arc lights take a back seat.
Holding a bachelors degree in
geography, a masters degree in
social work, a teaching stint in a
school, and experience of social work,
Nandita has come a long way in terms
of acting, direction and social activism.
And the latest one in her kitty is
her appointment as the chairperson
of the Childrens Film Society of India
(CFSI), which many even dream of
in accordance with their seniority.
But, thanks to the Nanditas
simplicity, grass-roots approach and
a long-term vision, the Ministry of
Information and Broad casting
bestowed on her the assignment to
make a difference on the global front,
for which she is well known with over
39 critically acclaimed feature films
in 10 different languages. In a topic-
based conver sation, the dusky
beauty opens up on her new job and
Excerpts from the interview:
How do you take your appoint -
ment as the chairperson of the
Childrens Film Society of India?
I was surprised and thrilled when
Ambika Soniji (Minister for
Information and Broadcasting)
offered me this unexpected job. I am
a mid-career person. So, I feel this
has brought a huge responsibility on
my shoulders. Ill be happy if I can
make some difference.
Are you fully prepared now to
take up the challenges of running
this body?
It is almost four months and Ive
yet to find my feet but I am
determined to bring in some systemic
changes. But it is a daunting task. A
126 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Chairperson Nandita Das is ready
to accept the challenge of
uplifting the Childrens Film Society.
By Ramesh Kumar Raja
certain kind of stagnancy sneaks into
old organisations. However, I am pre -
pared enough now to tackle every
Three years is a small time to
bring about changes on all fronts.
Dont you think so?
I do feel so. But Ive already
introduced some changes like
reviving the childrens jury at the
recently concluded 16th Childrens
International Film Festival in Hydera -
bad. I also instituted the best screen -
play award, because I feel screen -
play is the key to any movie and in a
childrens movie it becomes decisive.
Isnt it ironic that an over five-
decade-old body is still struggling
with some basic questions?
I mean its time to redefine things.
These days, children are exposed to
different media. What worked for us
might not work for them. Some say
reality shows, where winning almost
becomes a matter of life and death,
are bad for them while some feel they
give them that indefinable
competitive edge. We have an open
mind to diverse views.
Are you sure that youll get a
free hand to make changes in a
government body?
Its up to ones ways of doing
things differently. Im getting
abundant assistance from the I&B
Ministry. A whole lot of people in
Bollywood are ready to support. Ive
roped in illustrious figures like Gulzar
saab, Vishal Bharadwaj, Nagesh
Kukunoor and Shyam Benegal, who
are known for their common interest
in this particular genre.
Moreover, we have to give
childrens films a space where good
film-makers and script writers want to
come. However, it isnt simple to
change the status quo within some
days or some weeks. Itll take time to
get the things done.
So how will you strike a balance
between the new assignment and
your philanthropic causes and film
I do agree with this general
perception of balancing. But let me
tell you, I was already into human
rights work much before films
happened to me. My experiences
there have impacted on my choice of
movies as an actor and director.
Movies have given me an extensive
stage and so I am doing more in the
form of encour age ment than grass-
roots level work these days. To me,
both are two inter-connected ways
leading to the same goal. Likewise,
my current responsibility will also go
in the same vein.
ts only 8 pm. The atmosphere is
calm for a walk and I am thinking
that a hot cup of coffee on my
way back to work would be nice. I
have two hours to waste before I
get to host my show on air again
on the radio. So I zip my jacket
up, leave my studio and take a
trip to the nearby cafe for a
There has been a lot of talk going
on in the media about how men with
wrong intentions pursue girls and that
girls should take care of themselves;
but I wasnt scared. After all, what
are the odds that I will be the one
who would be the next in line
amongst so many girls walking on the
road? I have also heard that places
that are crowded will be the least
dangerous areas. If something did
happen, then I could scream, shout,
and grab attention, and soon
someone would come to my rescue.
Just then, an auto-rickshaw driver
got out of his vehicle and came to
me. I thought, maybe, he needed
change; he removed a 500-rupee
note, and asked, 10, Krishna
Apartments, bartiraa? (10 Krishna
Apartments, you want to come?) The
whole act was executed so smoothly
that I was caught off guard.
I set out to inquire about the whys
and hows. I realise that mine was not
an isolated incident; many girls have
faced similar situations in their day-
to-day lives.
The truth is that these sorts of
incidents have been happening
frequently and the girls have taken it
in their stride and learned to ignore
them. The most dangerous outcome
of this is that they have slowly
become desensitised to their own
Some even shrug it off by saying,
Well, what can we do? Is there a
solution? The problem is, not that
the girls take it lightly; the girls
consider themselves on the
defensive in the event of a
Most girls I spoke to preferred to
remain anonymous and preferred not
to get into a hustle. One girl who did
not want to be named said, It
creates a scene and everyone just
comes to watch. This is regardless
of the fact that the culprit is the one
who should be afraid. Girls are often
stigmatised and pulled up for being
a non-compromising party instead.
Eve-teasers or abusers (as you
would like to call them) say that the
girl asked for it and they were not
dressed appropriately. Some abusers
threaten and humiliate the victim in
order to keep her in check.
It did take me a while to decipher
what 10, Krishna Apts... bartiraa?
meant... and today it is difficult to
forget the smirk on the auto-rickshaw
drivers face. I thought, maybe, its
my jeans and sweat shirt that gave
him the wrong impression, but Mythili
M. Sharma (counsellor) clarifies,
You could be wearing a burkha or a
veil for all they care. The point is that,
it doesnt matter how you are
dressed. The incident you have
128 Womans Era May (Second) 2010

How perverted men subtly take advantage of vulnerable

girls and women. By Puja Goyal
described is much more serious than
eve-teasing. Im surprised that most
girls are not even tuned into their
instincts and are lost in their own
worlds. Events like these are
situational. Its important to keep your
intuitive feelers sharp and be aware
of your surroundings. What if you
hadnt heard him and were going
home instead of going to your studio?
You would have hired the auto, and
he would have taken you... goodness
knows where...
Most girls who have been through
such situations, where a car has
stopped next to them, followed them,
or stalked them, etc, do not know
how to react. It is important to be
alert, confident and tuned into the
surroundings. Perpetrators in most
cases study and choose their victims,
they pick the ones who look
vulnerable and distant. They find
easy targets in girls who look frail and
easy to handle.
Manish (a student) says, My
sister came home one day and told
me about this fellow who would stand
on the road waiting for her every time
she came from the gym. He would
make noises and faces when she
passed by. I told her to stop looking
like a damsel in distress
and acting all cute when
she goes out. The truth
is that we cannot be
there all the time to
protect them, you know.
What if a situation arises
when she is on her own?
I did walk her to the gym
for some days, just to
keep a check though.
Karthik adds, The
girls in my class tell us
such horrifying incidents
they go through. I even
had a tiff with a guy once
because he teased my
study mate. I think eve-
teasers are a nuisance;
they make noises and do
all sorts of things to attract attention.
If you ignore them, they will stop
doing it. But if you react, they know
they have you under your skin. I
believe that it doesnt matter what
you wear no one would tease
Madonna, for example, if she walks
on the road in shorts but, if it was
Paris Hilton, then she would surely
get teased. This is because of the
personality and the vibes girls send.
You have to look in control. You
should not be afraid to be confident
and courageous.
Ujjwala advises, Society should
develop a zero-tolerance policy.
Citizens should not be
afraid to help out when
they see someone
having a tough time on
the road.
Manoj contemplates,
The sorry thing in our
society is that we do not
teach our women to be
rough and tough. We
represent girls as the
naive, pretty, homely girl
who needs a guy to
protect her. Nothing is
wrong with being homely
but they should also be
taught to be tough
because over time it
affects their personality
and they lose out
because of us. Our movies also show
women in all possible roles except
the strong ones. Indians should wake
up to realise how important it is for
women to be set up for their own
security reasons.
Sometimes the perpetrators work
as a team it could be a female
who approaches you first. They make
friends and take you out shopping,
buy you gifts and show you all the
things you can have. It is a planned
approach to seduce the victim.
Radhika says, I was approached
by this woman who said that she was
new in town and wanted to make
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 129
friends. She looked
presentable and was a
housewife, so I did not mind.
My husband is away most of
the time, so I thought it would
be nice to have some
company. She would show me
a lot of expensive things and
tell me how easy it is to have
an easy lifestyle. Sources later
informed me that she and her
friends were running a
prostitution web. That woman
broke my trust.
Swetha (14) studying in a
well-known school in Bangalore
reveals, I was walking up Lavelle
Road with my friend. A man
approached and asked me for
directions to a hotel. I looked into the
map he was showing me. He forced
me to look down. He was saying,
Look... look, look... I didnt
understand... He moved the map
slightly... I was shocked because I
had never seen a mans thing in my
life... I will never forget it. I havent
even told my mother about it.
Such incidents can be extremely
traumatising to children what is
worse is that they might never come
up to talk about it. It could either be
because they are embarrassed, or
they do not know how to approach
the subject; or they think that their
parents will probably scold them and
never let them go out with their
friends again.
Padma Shimoga, an RJ with All
India Radio and actress (Belli Chikki,
Methai Mane, Poorva
Para), was scared of
going to school. We had
a teacher in the fourth
standard who used to
call my friend for extra
classes and give her
colourful chalks. The
special classes went on
for weeks. She came to
me one day and said that
he used to touch her,
and make her do things...
she was scared. I was
scared too. I asked my
parents to change my
school, but that wasnt
possible. I did get my
class section changed, though.
Both Mythili and RJ Padma agree
that transparency between children
and their parents is crucial. Parents
should make it a habit to talk to their
children. There is always a clue in
the childs behaviour if something is
wrong. Dont force it on them and
make it compulsory for them to talk.
Let the issues come out casually.
Pursue the issue at a later time
when the atmosphere is more
comfortable. Mythili says, Observe
body language and facial
expressions. There are clues in
them. It is important for us to
empower our children, so they can
differentiate between the rights and
wrongs for themselves. It is
impossible to look over them 24x7.
Simone, actor (35), reveals that
sometimes visiting
doctors can be scary... I
was visiting a reputed
doctor for an annual
check-up. He asked me to
get some tests done and
ordered an endoscope
without consulting me;
everything happened so
quickly that I didnt even
realise it... Everyone from
the nurse to the lab
attendant was there. He
finished the procedure
and suddenly rubbed his
privates to my knees. It
was the most humiliating
experience in my life. My
mother was outside; but I
wasnt safe. I didnt even need
an endoscope. Everyone in
that room knows what
happened but are more
bothered about their jobs. They
would not support me and I
couldnt file a complaint
because no one would believe
So how does one decide
when a doctor is becoming a
perpetrator? We do not expect
a doctor or a teacher to do
something inconceivable. It is
always advisable to ask for a female
doctor and nurse and take a family
member with you if you can. Leave if
you realise that something is not
right. Most cases are not reported
because the victim does not want to
be singled out and she is afraid of
the social stigma. RJ Padma is
perturbed at the turn of events and
she has some advice to give, Times
are changing; more incidents like
these are coming out. One needs to
be able to analyse the situation
intelligently and not be afraid to ask
for help.
Mythili adds, A woman should
never put herself into a weaker
situation. Can I be alert and have
higher wisdom? Dont blame yourself
if something happens because it lets
you into a vicious cycle of hurt.
On hearing Simones story, RJ
Padma reiterates, We are not in the
West where bad press is good press.
I might be an actor and radio jockey
outside, but back home I live in the
same social set-up. Media considers
you brave to come up and talk about
what happened; in the end, it
becomes a humiliating media dance
for you and a huge publicity for the
culprit. It is a stigma that people will
never let you forget.
Today, even celebrities have
become ready targets thanks to the
position they have in society. They
can be easy victims because the
perpetrator knows that the celebrity
will not speak out... There is too
much at stake. He knows he can get
away with it; society has already
conditioned the victim to be a
130 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
Easy to take off but difficult to close
Is what the masculine hand wants
Difficult to take off but easy to close
Is what the feminine hand wants
It should reveal more than it conceals
Is what the masculine eye wants
It should conceal more than it reveals
Is what modesty wants
It secures her twin assets
It puts her mind at rest
It preserves her size and shape
And prevents her from becoming an ape
But in the cleavage he wants to dwell
In this deep thought he revels
For her it is an armour and a chastity belt
For him it is a challenge and he is hell bent
To discover the bounties of nature
It is a protection to prevent his rapture
It is an obstacle for his desire
In it she controls her fire
The power of the two pieces of flimsies
Have waged war and broken many
Yash Pal Singh, Faridabad
Though nothing
big in India,
the idea
is a big way to
show ones
affection and
for ones father.
By Sia Mitra
e worship our parents,
specially our fathers.
They are our role
models and our heroes.
We are deeply indebted
to them for sacrificing
their time and energy for
the welfare of their
children. However hard
we may try, we cannot
wash away this obligation.
One dedicated daughter found out
a very unique way to pay tribute to
her dear daddy. She decided to
dedicate a day as a grateful gesture
to the self-sacrificing devotion of her
Father's Day is celebrated in the
USA on the third Sunday in June
every year. It is a tribute to the
selfless love and support of ones
father. It is day to honour not only
your father, but also all the Father
Figures in your life: grandfathers,
stepfathers, uncles and brothers.
It was Mrs Sonora Dodd who
brought up the idea of Father's Day
in 1909.
This was done in the memory of
her father William Smart. Mr Smart
was a civil war veteran. His wife
passed away during the birth of their
sixth child. Young William Smart was
left all alone with five children and a
newborn to care for. They were living
on a rural farm in eastern
Washington State.
Life was hard and lonely for him
raising the six children as a single
parent. As the young Sonora
matured, she truly realised her
fathers grit and selflessness in
single-handedly raising six children.
Her father had made all the parental
sacrifices in raising them in the face
of adversity. He could have remarried
and had a happy and contented life.
Instead, he chose the well-being of
his children and remained true to the
memory of their dead mother.
As she was listening to a mother's
day sermon in 1909, Sonora wanted
her father to know how special he
was. So she thought of a way to
immortalise her courage and love. As
William Smart was born in June,
Sonora Dodd celebrated the first
Father's Day on 19 June, 1910 in
Spokane, Washington.
This idea caught the
imagination of the
people and later on was
celebrated at various
The idea of a
national fathers day
was supported by
President Calvin
Coolidge in 1924.
It was only in 1966
that President Lyndon
Johnson declared the
third Sunday of June as
the national father's day
by presidential
proclamation. President
Richard Nixon signed the law, which
finally made it permanent in 1972.
So, what started as a personal
tribute of a loving daughter gradually
swelled into a national fathers day, a
commemoration of the father figure.
This day is celebrated with lots of
warmth, and gifts are exchanged.
Children sport roses for their fathers.
It is customary to wear a red rose for
a living father. If your father is not
alive you remember him by wearing a
white rose.
The day usually starts with
children preparing and serving
breakfast in bed to their dear dads.
The tray is loaded with their father's
favourites, gifts, flowers and cards. It
is traditional to gift creative ties for
Fathers day. The cards usually
proclaim "World's Best
Dad". The day is spent
together with the family.
Usually a picnic is
organised. There is a cook-
out arranged normally
prepared by dad himself.
Families indulge in outdoor
activities like kite flying and
There are many things
you can do to pay tribute to
your father. Many a times
your father must have set
aside his hobbies and
pastimes to spend time with
you. This day is for you to
pay back that debt. The main idea is
to spend the day doing something
that your father will enjoy.
Apart from these physical
manifestations of their love, a father
needs an acknowledgement of their
love above all. Therefore, a lot of love
and affection is showered most on
this day. It is an occasion to tell your
father that you love and respect him
immensely and the reasons for it. Of
course, a great bear hug is
mandatory! Now, Father's day is
celebrated worldwide. The USA, UK
and Canada celebrate Father's Day
on the third Sunday in June. In
Australia. Father's Day is celebrated
on the first Sunday in September. We
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 133
eena was often selected to enact the
heroine roles in the students plays in
school. So she was not surprised when
Professor Bhalba chose her as the heroine
of the play he staged every year during the
college social. He was satisfied with her
audition. He liked her presentation during
the rehearsals, even remarked that she could
become a successful professional actress. Although
she was flattered, it didnt help Meena overcome her
fears about the staging night.
Earlier, she had enjoyed great successes,
applauses and won prizes in school plays. Then
things started going wrong. She would lose her
voice, the volume and punch at the critical time. She
did very well during rehearsals and impressed all
present with the intonation and range of her
articulation. Yet, on the final night, her vocalisation
would flop, sinking the whole venture. The entire
play would be hooted. The admiration in her co-
actors eyes would morph to accusation.
If I failed this time, I should give up acting, or
at least limit myself to only solo items, lest
others suffer due to my failure, she
pondered. She hoped her fear didnt
show on her face as she sipped tea
during the recess in the rehearsals in
the college hall. But Bhalba was a
seasoned observer. He discerned her
tension from five metres away. He had not
become an ace actor and director for
nothing. The hefty professor walked up to
Meena and sat on a nearby chair.
I see fear lurking deep in your eyes, he
spoke softly. Whats the matter? Arent you
satisfied with your performance? You are
doing fine.
When she didnt reply for a while, he asked.
Have you never appeared on stage before? Is
stage fright worrying you?
Can I speak with you in private? Meena
Of course.
They went to the make-up room in the wing
and she explained her anxiety. After listening
to her, Bhalba cogitated for a while.
One of our students is an amateur
hypnotist. He performed some amazing
hypnotic feats during the last years social.
Maybe he can help us find out the cause.
He might even be able to remedy it.
He had played a role in the
college drama. Pramod
Meena used to suffer from a critical loss during a final stage
performance till her director found a person to solve her problem.
By Keshargandha
Conditioned reflex
attends rehearsals sometimes. Luckily, he has come
Bhalba took Meena to a dark, stout,
be spectacled youth sitting on a chair in the wings of
the stage, and introduced the two. The director
explained the situation to Pramod.
Yes, I think I can help you, Pramod said after
deliberating for a while.
Can you hypnotise me? Meena asked
doubtfully. He didnt have bright, mesmerising eyes
like the hypnotists in movies.
If you cooperate, Pramod had a confident
voice. If both of us cooperate, we can accomplish
what only one of us cant.
When? Meena asked.
Tomorrow. I will need some apparatus.
I thought hypnotists use their eyes to cast a
Not all the hypnotists, Pramod explained.
There are many ways to induce the state. Some use
only sound, particularly when hypnotising
the blind.
Bhalba appeared as surprised as
Meena was by the information.
Movies and novels spread many
misconceptions about hypnosis like: one
can hypnotise a person against his wish,
make him do anything under the spell,
even something against the persons
morals. I wonder if any hypnotist can do
that. At least I cant.
When he started studying the science
which can also be called an art even
Pramod had thought that hypnotism can be
used to enslave a person mentally make
a beautiful girl like Meena, yield to him. As
he delved into the techniques, Pramod
realised that you cant exploit a person after
hypnotising him or her. Nonetheless, you can access
the subjects subconscious mind, which controls most
of the body functions. Hypnosis can help recall the
past and excavate the incidents buried in the past. It
can be used to alleviate pain, grief and cure some
psychic maladies. He had succeeded earlier in
curing chronic headache of a classmate by
hypnotising him.
ramod was aware that he did not have a very
impressive personality, no awesome bright
eyes. He usually used a picture of alternate
black and white concentric circles to hypnotise his
subjects. It was as good as a crystal, a pendulum-
like swaying pendant, or a rotating disc inducing
illusion of emerging circles.
Pramod told Meena to stare at the concentric
circles on a cardboard sheet he gave her. They sat
in a deserted classroom next day at noon.
Your eyes are getting tired, watery, heavy. You
are feeling sleepy, Pramod said in a soft, soothing,
monotonous voice. He repeated the suggestions
monotonously a number of times.
You are breathing deeply. You want to go into a
deep, pleasant sleep. Slowly, other sounds will
become fainter and fainter. You will cease to hear
any other sound except my voice.
ranquillity on a subjects face, and deep
breathing are clear indications of the subjects
hypnotisation. Nevertheless, Pramod went
ahead with the tests for the depth of the spell.
You can open your eyes now. You will still be in
a hypnotic trance, he told Meena. She opened her
Hold your hands in front, fingers of one hand
entangled with the others, each hand clasping the
other, like this. Pramod demonstrated. Meena
complied, Your hands are getting stuck to
each other as if they are glued. They are
stuck. You cant separate them even if you
wish. The harder you try to separate them,
the more forcefully they get stuck. Now try.
You cant separate them. They are stuck.
Try, you cant separate your hands.
Pramod saw Meena striving to disengage
her hands and failing. The first test was
I will now count up to three, he said.
As I count, your hands will get unstuck
slowly. When I say three your hands will
be totally free.
In the next test, Pramod told Meena to
close her eyes again. Then he held
Meenas hands horizontally in line with her
torso, and induced catalepsy. The limbs became
rigid, and numb. He pricked the left forearm with the
point of his ball pen. But there was no reflex
reaction. Meena was in a deep hypnotic sleep. Now
he would probe her past.
Go back to the past, Pramod told Meena.
When did your voice fail you for the first time?
Cant remember...
Try harder. You will remember, very soon.
Yes, I remember now. It was at the school
gathering two years ago.
What happened that day? Were you upset
about something some quarrel? Some
disappointment? Anything which had perturbed
Nothing at all. In fact, I was bubbling with zest,
in anticipation of applause, the prize.
Then it suddenly dawned on Pramod like
lightning intuition.
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 135
Not all the
There are
many ways to
induce the
state. Some
use only
the blind.
Was your throat the voice box all
right? Did you have a sore throat colds,
Yes, Meena said enthusiastically. I
had a sore throat. I was barely audible
even from a metre away.
Thats the reason your voice was
inaudible. No other reason. Wrong
association of the presentation night with
the failure created unwarranted fear a
conditioned reflex in your mind. I am
removing it forever now. Its gone!
Henceforth, your voice will not fail you on
the presentation night. When you see the
audience, your subconscious mind will
recall the previous triumphs: applause,
acclaim, prizes. The volume and variety in your
voice will improve, enhance, grow. Your intonation
will be better and better with time.
Thank you, Pramod.
Pramod felt gratified. Then he had another bright
Since you are vulnerable to conditioned reflex, I
can use it as an antidote, Pramod said. Start using
throat soothers like honey and cough
lozenges a couple of days before any
performance. That will ensure that you wont
have a sore throat. There would be no
reason, none at all, for voice deterioration.
Thank you, Pramod.
Now I will count up to 10. You will
slowly wake up from the hypnotic sleep.
When I reach 10, you will be fully awake
and open your eyes.
Later, Pramod attended the play. He sat
on a chair in the wings. Meena approached
him half an hour before the curtain rose.
She was obviously sucking some lozenge.
She looked more beautiful and gorgeous in
the queenly attire.
Would you like to hypnotise me again? her
voice sounded like a melodious bell.
Not necessary, Pramod assured her. You
sound fine, and it will be even better when you face
the audience.
Pramod proved right. In addition to many
applauses, Meena also won the prize for best
acting. We
Thats the
reason your
voice was
inaudible. No
other reason.
of the
night with the
failure created
fear a
reflex in your
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 137
Can bank give loan for skill upgrad -
ation course? I want to improve my
qualifications, though already in a
A career devel opment l oan i s
offered by banks, which can go up to
Rs.10 lakhs, also. You can go for
i mprovi ng ski l l s or take up short
duration course.
What is multi-wear jewellery and how
can it save me money?
When the same ornament can be
worn in different ways, its called
multi-wear jewellery. Jewellery shops
now sell necklaces which can be
turned into bracelets, lockets that can
be transformed into earrings and
anklets, which can be changed to
baj ubandhs. There are l i nks and
cl asps, whi ch can be added or
removed, to bring this transformation.
Starting from Rs 4,250 the ornaments
can be changed for every occasion.
As the jewellery doubles up as a new
piece, you are saved from buying a
lot of ornaments.
I earn money through selling of post
office small savings schemes and
deposi t s cert i f i cat es. Woul d t he
income come under commission
category? My women colleagues are
saying so. Which form should be
submi t t ed by me f or i ncome t ax
Many women have taken up the
job of selling post office small savings
schemes and deposits. Yes, it is
considered as commission, which
falls under income from business,
under income tax rules. You have to
fill return in ITR 4, while submitting
I have heard that women buyi ng
house, have to pay lower stamp duty.
Being a housewife, would a joint flat
with my husband entitle me to lesser
stamp duty? I am anxious to know.
You would be glad to know that
lower stamp duty would be charged,
though a single paisa is not invested
by you.
As having too many credit cards is
bad, I want t o cl ose some. How
shoul d el i mi nat i on process t ake
Dont close oldest credit card, first.
Otherwise, your credit record with
bank, suffers a blot. Close credit
cards, which offer least credit limit.
I want to i nvest money i n a gol d
exchange t raded f und, f or my
daughter. But, how should systematic
planning be done?
You can give instructions to gold
exchange traded fund, that every
week or month, a certain amount of
money should be put in gold fund.
The i nvest ment woul d, t hus, be
regular and not a haphazard affair.
Meenakshi Subramaniam
is a former IRS officer, answering all
your money queries, right from income
tax to supermarket shopping.
Mail your queries to:
E-3, Jhandewala Estate, Rani Jhansi Marg,
New Delhi-110055.
E-mail your queries to:
ech-savvy is one des cri ption
which doesnt fit me at all
in fact, Ive always felt like a
geek while working/ buying/ -
figuring out electronics. But,
thanks to tech nology
becoming an intricate part of
our every day life, I can safely
say that I can now handle my
cellphone, DVD player,
microwave, computer, digital camera,
etc, workably well (pssstthat is as
long as I stick to the very basics;
when it comes to operating the hi-fi
functions, I admit I am totally out of
my depth).
But it isnt nano-technology alone
which stumps me or bogs me down
I mean, this is not what this article
is about. I am getting snowed under,
smothered and suffocated by an
information overload and I find the
present scenario, as well as the
prognosis, pretty dismal. And that is
what I wish to discuss today.
The blizzard of information starts
with the morning newspaper and
research proves that an average
weekday edition contains as much
information as a 17th century person
would have encountered in his entire
lifetime! Phew, thats phenomenal,
what do you say? But it doesnt end
here there are the magazines, e-
How to block the
infoglut and get
more brain space
for tranquillity.
By Dr Rumy Agarwal
mails, faxes, phone messages, the
notepad, the cellphone, the radio, TV,
computer, the Apple iPod and, of
course, the mother of them all, the
worldwide web where the click of a
mouse opens up enormous vistas of
information. Well, the aficionados of
the information culture couldnt have
asked for more! But a pertinent
question would be, Do we really
need all this data? And if supposing
we do (trust me, we dont!), then at
what price? Is the stress, eye
damage and overwhelming confusion
which we are burdened with as a
result of this data smog, really worth
No, it isnt. And psychologists and
medical researchers have collected
enough evidence to prove it. They
vehemently claim that the deluge of
information that an average person
is confronted with in a single day has
these effects on him or her:
It dulls the mind, making it
difficult to apply oneself to the facts
that really matter.
Stress spills over into all
aspects of life, thereby jeopardising
The excessive informational
input inhibits decision-making and
results in inaction!
Alarming findings! And we proudly
thought that we were hurtling into a
sci-fi age!
Well then, what now? The flood of
information is definitely not going to
subside (if anything, itll go on
increasing), so obviously, we must
learn to get a handle on it for our
own sakes. Here are a few pointers,
for whatever they are worth!
The first step is obviously to
acknowledge that, yes, we are
bombarded with more
information than we need/
can handle/is good for our
physical and mental well-
being. The irony is that
most of us do not realise
this because we are
obsessed with keeping
abreast of the times and
being knowledgeable
about everything that is
going on around us and
even far, far away from us.
But honestly, how much of all that
we read or hear during the whole
day, do we really remember at the
end of the day? Sometimes,
exceptionally little in fact. Doesnt that
tell us something? I believe it tells us
that the brain can assimilate just
about that much intake and no more
it gets overworked and tired and
hence falls prey to what is medically
termed as information-fatigue
Battered as we are by information
all our waking hours, it behoves us
to block out useless or irrelevant data
from creeping into our subconscious.
Sometimes I wish that, like the
cellphone, the human brain too could
beep a message: WARNING!
Memory is 98 per cent full! and we
could then press the Delete option
to weed out all trash!
Talking of the cellphone, it isnt
such a bad idea to keep it switched
off for at least a couple
of hours daily just
becoming unreachable
for a short period can
give us time to clear the
mind. Restricting TV
viewing and switching off
the radio are also
practical ways to save
ourselves from infor -
mation overload. And
yes, computer buffs can
filter incoming e-mails
and learn to use search engines
effectively so as not to waste time
getting entangled in redundant
Actually, all the junk information
that we keep piling onto our brains
gets us all muddled up and hence we
get stressed out. If we consciously
stop assaulting our brain with data,
wed be under less stress and thus
better able to interact with people,
leading to healthier interpersonal
relationships ! You see, relationships,
and hence lives, are better enjoyed
when simplified. Relishing the simple
pleasuresenjoying a quiet evening,
watching the sunset or a rainbow,
walking on dewy grass with a loved
one, playing with a pet or a child
indulging in a hobby are great de-
stressors, especially because these
activities allow the brain to relax
instead of constantly processing data
It is up to you to decide when, and
for how long, to close the inbox of
your brain each day (and this is in
addition to your regular sleep hours),
but it must be done if you do not wish
to explode. Hey, dont pick up that
magazine yetremove your hand
from the computer mousesay,
Boo to the world of information
when you can!
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 139
We have a steel sink in our kitchen,
so it should always be shining. But
we have hard water and so it always
looks dull and dirty. How can we
remove the hard water stains?
Use a cloth dipped in methylated
spirit to remove water spots from a
stainless steel sink. The spots can
also be removed with white vinegar
or club soda.
How can we separate glasses, when
one is stuck inside another?
While storing glasses to save
space, we place them one on top of
the other. But when it is time to use
them, we find that some of them are
stuck. But in a hurry do not force
them apart. Fill the top glass with
cold water and dip the lower one in
hot water. They will come apart
without breaking.
Most of the vegetables and fruits we
eat have been brought to us by
travellers from all over the world,
hundreds of years ago. Are there any
fruits which we can call our own, or is
everything of foreign origin?
Yes of course, there are a number
of fruits we can call our own. The
most famous is the mango. The king
of the Indian fruit bunch is the
banana. Also entirely Indian in origin
is the coconut. It seems to have been
a part of Hindu rituals almost from
If you have any
problem in cooking or
kitchen, write to Womans Era.
We shall try to help you
sort it out.
Address your queries to:
E-3, Jhandewala Estate,
Rani Jhansi Marg
New Delhi-110 055
Click to
lodge your queries.
the time such rituals began. Indian
fruits may not be the most exotic, but
like India itself, they are solid,
timeless and always reliable.
Sometimes, when we make a curry
or vegetable in a pan, the smell of
onions and garlic does not go for a
long time, even after several washes.
Please help.
It is a very common problem, and
if we want to use the pan for some
other purpose it becomes very
difficult. Just try washing the pan with
warm water to which some salt has
been added.
If we buy a large quantity of rice,
how should we store it to keep it free
of worms?
If you have a large quantity of rice
in your home, it does need some
thinking how to keep it free of worms
especially when things are so
expensive these days. You can either
shake some powdered salt or boric
powder in it and store it in clean and
dry airtight containers.
How can we find if our gas pipe is
leaking and needs to be replaced?
When you smell the gas (even
when all the burners are on the off
position) in the kitchen, the problem
may be with the gas pipe. Lather the
pipe with soapy water. The escaping
gas will cause the soapy water to
bubble, revealing the damaged
areas. You can make a temporary
plug by moistening a cake of soap
and pressing it over the spot. When
the soap hardens it will effectively
close the leak until the gasman
comes. Also turn off the gas
When we buy a flower vase from the
market there is no way we can find
out if it is leaking or not. Only on
adding water in it at home, we find
that it leaks. What can we do?
When you get a leaking vase, do
not panic. Coat the inside with a thick
layer of paraffin and allow it to
harden. The paraffin will last
indefinitely and the vase will not leak.
Sometimes when something gets
burnt badly in the kitchen, it is filled
with smoke. How can we get rid of
The smoke can be made to
disappear quickly by putting on the
exhaust fan. Or soak a towel in water
and swish it around and the smoke
will disappear quickly.
Savita Bhargava.
re you one of those lucky
folks who, like me, are first
in birth order? We may
have no other claim to
fame but that of beating
our siblings to the starting
gate in the Stork Derby. By
virtue of this, throughout
our childhood we escaped
being saddled with used
clothes yes, the infamous hand-me-
Our siblings strived long and hard
to wriggle out of wearing our hand-
me-downs. But alas! our parents
were firm in their insistence (they
called it tough love!).
You call this old? All our
neighbours are going to ask you
where you were able to get this
beautiful shirt/ pair of trousers/kurta,
they exclaimed, while you watched in
glee as your brother mumbled and
muttered that some day the tables
would surely be turned. Luckily for
most of us firstborns, we left home
before some of our brothers shot up
to be taller or more athletic than us.
However, todays throw-away
culture is making us a willing
participant in the hand-me-down
game except that now we are at
the receiving end of what Id humbly
submit ought to be called the hand-
me-up ritual.
Our children are the targeted
audience of every electronic doodad,
that every manufacturer can dream
up. All these are fads for less than a
year, after which your teenager or
tweenager or even kid just has to
have a new iPod, and wouldnt dream
of using a computer which does not
have an LCD monitor.
The DVD players your children
begged and pleaded for, stand
scorned in one corner of the room as
your offspring perform the same song
and dance routine for graphic-
intensive blue ray players. You are
about to protest when you recall very
graphically, your father describing his
trusty portable manual typewriter in
great detail, as you begged for a
You decide you will set a good
example by graciously accepting
each of their four or five hand-me-up
mobile phones (which come with
instructions you feel you need a PhD
in telecommunications to under stand,
but which they claim is too simple
and throw the instruction manual,
your lifeline, and say, Just use it,
This of course leads to your being
gifted two digital cameras (oh dear, it
seems but yesterday that I had to talk
my dad into giving up his box
camera, to graduate to a single-lens
reflex). And how am I supposed to
use these thingumajigs which
supposedly have too few pixels? I
darent ask the question thats
uppermost in my mind, What do
pixels have to do with photography?
Now, it has become standard
procedure that any gadget that has
been in my childrens possession for
more than two years is OLD, if not
Ancient and definitely obsolete. Yes, I
have been their parent for much
longer than two years. If I dont
acquiesce and gratefully accept their
hand-me-ups to be replaced by
state-of-the-art models of course,
maybe Im in danger of being traded
up for a new, improved Wi-Fi-ready
parent complete with blue tooth
capability I dont think my gold tooth
counts! Clearly, society is changing
very fast and, unlike the era when I
was growing up, now the youngsters
are the main consumers, especially
of electronics and automobiles.
Parents have to strive very hard to
under stand the technology, let alone
conquer the innate uneasiness when
using things that seem to be more
intelligent than us!
Thus, the traffic on the hand-me-
down and hand-me-up street is now
flowing in more directions irrespective
of our birth order, and perhaps our
younger siblings are standing on the
sidelines and cheering as we meekly
accept what our children have
Womans Era May (Second) 2010 141
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Womans Era May (Second) 2010 145
E-3 Jhandewala Estate,
New Delhi-110055.
invites readers
opinions and
reactions on
articles, short stories
and features published
in Womans Era. The best
letter will be given a prize of
Rs 500. Address your letters by
E-mail to:
or by post to:
The prize is awarded to:
Dr Roopa Vernekar
I am a regular
reader of Womans
Era. Your (March II)
2010 issue is unique
and very helpful for
day-to-day activities. It has articles
for youngsters and the elders. It
helps men also. Editorials are well
written. Besides permanent features
of the magazine the articles selected
for publication are useful. This issue
contains A to Z, starting from
Planning your career for success,
Emotional blackmail, and Sex up
your life, Husbands role during
wifes pregnancy, Derelict, discarded
divorced women these will help a
young girl at all times.
I tell each member of my family to
go very carefully through your
magazine which works as a friend,
philosopher and guide. Three cheers
to the editorial board to provide
useful materials to women.
Shalini Deep, Gurgaon.
Your magazine
Womans Era is being
subscribed in my
house since several
years. I had gone
through your (March I) 2010 issue.
Health, Beauty and Sex Special
which is meant for everybody and all
age groups.
Baby care fashion, cinema news,
medical tips and short stories which
are eye-openers are all well written
and selected. I can say that this
magazine is really a helping hand not
only for women but also for each
member of the family. Hats off to the
editor for the excellent editorials. I am
very much impressed to read
Womans Era regularly.
Om Prakash Srivastav, Lucknow.
The article Are you
in an Abusive Relation -
ship by Leena Kundani
of February II, 2010
made interesting
reading. The writer says that a
marriage is a wonderful relationship
in which two individuals come
together to share each others
happiness and sorrows and to stand
by each other in good and bad times.
Open and frank communication
goes a long way in avoiding any
misunderstanding. When your
partner is in good mood explain to
him or her in a calm manner how his
or her behaviour hurts you. Assuring
your partner that you still love him or
her should bring about an
improvement in his or her behaviour.
Lydia Sanders, Mumbai.
Reality shows have become a part
and parcel of the small screen show
biz. The impact of the idiot box on
the common man is known since its
invention. Todays generation talks
about reality and being practical.
Such words have implication not just
for adults but also for children.
Children being allowed to
participate in the reality shows has
been a topic of debate in recent
times. Today children are exposed to
the outside world at an early age, the
innocent phase of childhood is
reduced short or can be said to have
Children today express their urge
to be a star at an early age wanting
to gain name and fame early in life,
being ignorant of the fact that
everything comes at a price.
The national commission for
protection of child rights (NCPCR)
has rightly proposed to the govern -
146 Womans Era May (Second) 2010
ment to fix an age limit for the child,
below which a child should not
participate in reality shows.
Dr Roopa Vernekar.
Your editorial
Tainted Politicians
(January II) bemoaned
the fact that crooked
and convicted politicians keep on
getting re-elected, often fighting
elections from inside a jail and
This happens because citizens
invariably vote for a person because
of his caste, religion, language or
because he/she has promised them
free electricity, TV sets, etc. Good
governance is low down on the
voters priority list.
The reason for this is lack of
proper education. An educated
citizenry will definitely vote with more
responsibility. The emphasis should
therefore be on ensuring that all
Indians are educated in not only the
basics, but are also taught civic
sense. It is only then that we will
learn to elect the right type of
candidates. One must always
remember, that People get the
Government they deserve.
Rajeshwari Singh, New Delhi.
marriage is a wonderful
relationship in which two
individuals come together
to share each others
happiness and sorrows,
and to stand by each other
in good and bad times.
Unfortunately, in so many
marriages, one of the
partners tries to manipulate
the other for selfish reasons. An
abusive marriage is one in which
your partner emotionally or physically
abuses you, or tries to wield control
over you.
Ironically, while instances of
physical violence occur more
commonly amongst the uneducated,
emotional abuse is more common
amongst the educated society, and
has been growing at an alarming rate
these days. Spousal abuse is used
mainly for one purpose: to gain and
maintain total control over the victim.
According to a recent survey, there
are thousands of women and men
who are abused by a current or
former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend
each year. Although at times, men
are also victims of an abusive
Possible remedies for marital abuse.
By Leena Kundani
t last the Central Government has decided to
strip former IG of Haryana Police SPS Rathore
of the police medal that was awarded to him
for his excellent service 25 years ago. In fact, the
Government was forced to take this step in view of
mounting pressure from all sides after Punjab and
Haryana High Court convicted SPS Rathore in Ruchika
Girhotra molestation case and sentenced him to six
month imprisonment.
Not only Rathore but case files of many other police
officials too would be opened now. One of them is IPS
officer R.K. Sharma, who has been found guilty in the
murder of journalist Shivani Bhatnagar.
Modern police system is an unwanted gift of the
British rule in India. During the freedom struggle, police
had invited the ire of the freedom
fighters. The purpose of the British rulers
raising a police force was to curb the
agitators by all means. As such,
policemen developed apathy towards the
common citizens an attitude that
continues even today.
Despite all odds, police is seen as a
protector and law enforcer by the
masses and high police officials are held
in great esteem. They are expected to
discharge their duty with utmost integrity.
But from time to time, such incidents
surface that tarnish the image of the
police department. Unfortunately, it is the
action of such high-ranking officials that
causes great embarrassment to the entire police force.
Otherwise what need did Rathore have when he tried
to virtually rape Ruchika, who was just 14-year-old
then? Rathore was a high police official and also the
chairman of Haryana Tennis Association. Besides
managing the police force he was entrusted to promote
young tennis players in the state also. His action not
only nipped a budding star but also compelled her to
commit suicide.
Likewise, IPS officer R.K. Sharma got involved in
the murder of Shivani Bhatnagar, as she was close to
finishing her story. Many police officials would have
been exposed by that story. But she was murdered.
Her murder was no less than a murder of democracy
itself. R.K. Sharma should have resorted to democratic
means if he had any grudge against her.
Government action reminds an old phrase better
late than never. Although it has taken a long time to
take a stern action, it must serve as an example to all
high-ranking officials to hold moral grounds.
t was expected in the recently concluded Jharkhand
Assembly elections that the States public would
vote for stability and integrity. But the election result
and the situation arising out of it causes more worry in
the minds of political observers. JMM supreme Shibu
Soren has become the Chief Minister again despite his
tainted image. What is more, the BJP, which has been
saying all kinds of nasty things about him, saw no fault
in joining hands with him to form the government.
Actually Shibu Soren is just the tip of an iceberg
called criminalisation of Indian politics. His name comes
to mind because he has been convicted in the murder
of his personal secretary Shashinath Jha. At that time,
he was a Union Minister in the UPA Government. After
the conviction, he was forced to resign from the cabinet.
But later on when the UPA government
faced no-confidence motion in Parliament,
Shibu Soren bargained with the Congress
and bagged the CM seat of Jharkhand in
lieu of lending support at the Centre. His
predecessor Madhu Koda too is presently
in jail and is facing charges of corruption
and amassing wealth beyond his declared
Not only Shibu Soren and Madhu Koda,
Liberhan Commission report has put a whole
lot of politicians under suspicion. These
include former Prime Ministers Narsimha
Rao and Atal Behari Vajpayee, BJP leader
Lal Krishna Advani, Kalyan Singh and many
others. These politicians are guilty of
deceiving the Indian Constitution in Babri demolition
case and dividing Indian society on communal lines.
In fact, standard of Indian politics has fallen so low
that the common public takes it for granted whenever
some declared criminal joins it. But the problem is an
honest person is scared of joining politics. His condition
does not allow him to do anything with politics. His only
role is to cast his vote every five years. Other than that,
he has no business with Indian politics.
But now right time has come to redefine politics. It is
sheer foolishness to expect the government to do
political cleansing. Our leaders depend heavily on mafia
for booth capturing and vote gathering. An atmosphere
has to be created against all such elements if we really
wish to see upright people entering politics. It is general
indifference of the public that encourages the tainted
persons to take up the driving seat. A reversal of it
should be done at once. Otherwise, we have to bear
criminals in the guise of political leaders. We
write to:
Womans Era January (Second) 2010