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JULY (SECOND) 2010 ● Rs 35

WOMAN ’S ERA

YES: YOU CAN MAKE


MONEY GROW
ON THAT TREE

HOW TO DEAL WITH


PERSONAL LOSS
MANIPULATING
YOUR EMOTIONS
TO BUY

MANAGING A
JULY (SECOND) 2010

DEBILITATING
DISEASE
CONVENIENTLY

PUTTING A GREEN IN
RED-LIGHT
AREAS NOT A
BAD IDEA
THE BIG INDUSTRY
BASED ON LOVE
JULY (SECOND) 2010
Vol 37, Issue No. 879
CONTENTS
BUILDS HAPPY HOMES
Founder: Vishwa Nath
(1917-2002)
womansera.com

88
BOMBAY FILMDOM

44
7
DOUBLE-INCOME 5 STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU
14 SUMMER &
MONSOON BEAUTY
CARE
FINANCE MANAGEMENT SURVIVE OFFICE POLITICS Ameeta Sharma
Sudha Chandrasekaran Lesley D. Biswas

ARTICLES
26 IT’S ONLY WORDS AND 116 MIND SAYS “MOVE
WORDS ARE ALL HAVE ON...” HEART SAYS
Manisha Prakash “HANG ON...”
Nandita
32 DIEPPE PRETTIEST OF
CHANNEL PORTS
Eva Bell
118 THE PROBLEM OF
SHAKING PALSY 58
Dr S. N. Khosla PARTNER SEARCH
36 DECORATIVE GRASS Gulsum Basheer
Shilpa Shanbhag 122 THE MUNNABHAI BOY
Anil Merani
48 DO YOU SHOP TILL 124 CREATING
YOU DROP? WANNA ENVIRONMENTAL
KNOW WHY? AWARENESS IN SCHOOL
Rumy Agarwal
CHILDREN
62 ART ON CARPETS D. B. N. Murthy
Suman Bajpai 126 ALLOW THEM TO BE
76 A WOMAN WEARING
MANY HATS
TAUGHT BY NATURE ALSO
Rajshekhar Pant 60
TEN FASHION
Shakti Koushik 128 LEGALISING
PROSTITUTION A VIABLE NO – NO’S
94 CURE FOR HEARTBREAK SOLUTION Minakshi. S. Desai
Sucharita Dutta-Asane PVV Satyanaryana
96 ANIMALS SYMBOLISE
HIS THOUGHT PROCESS
133 ARE YOU WATCHING
MORE TV
COOKERY
Subhra Mazumdar M. Nathan 37 FUN WITH SEASONAL FRUITS
● Chocolate Cake a portion of
garnish with
chilled.
the mango
pulp and
mint leaves.
Serve PEAR, APPL
AND CHERRY
E

PULAO
with Fresh Cherries
cake with
Chocolate
fresh cherries
INGREDIENTS:
MINT AND 2 pears
CUCUMBER

FICTION
1 apple
cherries

REFRESHER
200 gm fresh

● Stewed Pears in
3 tbsp sugar powder
1/ tsp cinnamon
(cold soup) 2
1 plate full
cooked rice
INGREDIENTS: (kept warm)
leaves
60 gm mint r
sized cucumbe METHOD
the apple but
cut

Sweet Mango Pulp


3-4 medium- Do not peel
curd remove
100 ml thick or strips and
into cubes the
1/ tsp sugar chilli Do not peel
2 ground red the seeds. or thin
1 tsp coarsely into cubes
pears. Cut aside.
flakes
strips and keep of water and
1 apple ml
Heat 200

● Mint and Cucumber


the
pulp and stir till
in sweet mango METHOD r and remove add the sugar heat
Stewed pears
Peel the cucumbe Lower the
and cut into
small sugar melts. the cinnamo n
in
pears: the seeds cucumb er and mix and apple
For the stewed
the the pear
pieces. Place mint leaves and powder. Add fire,
2 pears pieces and
3-4 to cook on low the
blend in a mixer pieces and till

Refresher (Cold Soup)


3 tbsp sugar the sugar and time to time
stirring from
1/ tsp cloves powder
obtain a pulp. and begin to change
4
soup bowls fruit pieces around
ing: Place in three should take
For garnish in the fridge
for colour – this in the cherries
bowls Mix

18 BEING MYSELF
the the 3-4 minutes.
till the sauce mint leaves place
to chill. Dividethree minute.
for another
wooden spoon Put off the heat the soup into and cook the
METHOD s, cut into remaining mint leaves the soup heat and remove a

● Apple in
time CHOCOLATE
begins to thicken. to cool to Peel the mangoe in Put off the with
the sauce and run the
mango and place the syrup
flakes fruits from
Fruits are all
and allow ture. Spread
the
small pieces in a portionsSprinkle the chilli Place the cooked
and cream
CAKE WITH room tempera top of the cake bowls. the slotted spoon. a serving plate
on pieces, sugar a smooth pulp. Cut and core
stir gently. rice on
favourites. Every FRESH sauce evenly to obtain and the apples. warm sweet
mixer and keep do not peel the cooked
with a spatula. plate serving dish apples but pieces just
before and place and
its cake on the Place on a of the rice
season has Place the fridge at to chill. Cut into small to serve the soup. fruits on top
to CHERRIES
Mustard Sauce
plate in the in the fridge the pears. Cut into are ready

Kusturi Rangachari
and keep the so that the sauce Do not peel the you small portions of the
apple serve at once.
abundance INGREDIENTS:or sponge cake least for 1
hour
and thickens. eight pieces
and remove
and Place
200 ml of water the pieces in
the chilled
soup and Pear, apple
cherry pulao
and

the 1 kg chocolate settles down out


seeds. Heat
serving spread e
offer. Enjoy 300 gm fresh
cherries for
Just before
over the chocolat add the sugar
and stir till
heat and
serve at once.
in decoration the cherries into Lower the
seasonal fruits serve cutting sugar melts. powder. Mint and cucumber refresher

● Stewed Pineapple
te sauce: sauce and
the chocola mix in the cloves
– For pieces and
different forms
chocolate
2 tbsp drinking
slices. Add the pear
fire, stirring
arm 3 tsp sugar cook on low till the
chilled, lukew ED PEARS
time

52 HEMA’S CHOICE
to
from time
sauce:
chocolate
to change
hot METHOD Prepare the of water. Lower STEW pears begin
and served ET
should take

and Cherries with


1 cup colour – this
add the lukewarme IN SWE minutes. Put
heating
when mingled the heatto and
By
around 3-4
the drinking
powder is MAN GO
chocolat PULP off the heat
and remove
the syrup
with other waterpowder and
stir till the
Mix this IENTS:
the pears from spoon.
in the water. also INGRED with a slotted on each
and dissolved g water and pulp:
ingredients the mango Place 2 pieces top with

Ice Cream
into the remaininwater. Stir on low For and

Anil Kumar Panda sugar to the sweet mangoes serving plate


pamper your add fire till the
sugar melts
and the 1 kg
well into the
2 tsp sugar
– optional
cream
a 3-4 tbsp thick
taste buds. chocolate
sauce. Keep
also mixes
stirring with
By Roma Ghosh 2010

● Poached Eggs with


● July (Second)
Woman’s Era

80 WHEN DEEPU WED DEBBIE Orange Sauce ● Sprouts, Musk Melon and
Romola Shanbhag ● Chicken Salad with Watermelon Salad
Litchees ● Musk Melon with Peanut
120 MY FIRST O
Keerti Garg 28 ● Watermelon and
Cucumber Refresher
with Mint

Butter Sauce
Burger Patties with
Crushed Pineapple and
136 ON CATCHING THE TRAIN AND THE WINNER IS... ● Stewed Peaches Apple Sauce
R. G. Katju Dr Rumy Agarwal with Mint ● Aam Pana Sweet Rice
● Rasgollas Baked ● Caramelised Peaches
with Mango Puree with Ice Cream
30
FASHION NEWS IN
PICTURES

78
MODULAR
84 GRATEFULLY YOURS MAGIC!
123 NEIGHBOURS ALL
134 CROSSWORD
146 AS YOU SAY
86
THE LITTLE
MASTER

FEATURES
27 TEENACHE 132 WHY SHOUT? (Poem)
35 BEAUTY QUERIES 137 NEW LAUNCHES
65 PERSONAL 138 MONEY MATTERS
PROBLEMS 140 CLASSIFIEDS
85 YOUR BODY
95 CHILD CHALLENGE READERS’
115 MY FAMILY, MY CONTESTS
FRIENDS AND ME... FILL UP THE Page
130 WHO GAVE THE CROSSWORD 134
68 50 RIGHT TO KILL (Poem) AND WIN RS 10,000
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IN STEP WITH TIME DIFFERENT CUTS

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EDITORIAL
given assured income even if they are doing just
DEMON CALLED DEARNESS nominal task. It is another thing that funds are being

C
ommon man in the country is nowadays siphoned off to the influential people. Also in the name
perplexed by dearness, which is increasing day of fighting terrorism and Naxal menace in J&K,
by day. It is not that the goods were cheaper northeast and Naxal-infested states thousands of crores
earlier, but he was able to afford them. Now, he is of rupees are being allocated. It is a matter of
unable to buy things of his choice. Common man has investigation how much part of these funds is used for
only his immediate requirements of food, clothing, the real purpose and how much is usurped by the
housing and education of his children to meet. He does corrupt bureaucracy. All these measures have resulted
not want to bother about the finer aspects of in increased money flow into the market leading to
economics. higher rate of inflation.
The fact is when you are living in an economy Now, the government has withdrawn subsidies on
(countries are now spelled economies), you cannot the petroleum products making them dearer. Naturally it
help but be a part of it. You have to go with the system. will have cascading effect on prices, as transportation
You cannot make the system to go with you. For long, has become more expensive.
India has been following capitalist economic system Giving vent to increasing public anger against
with a socialist infrastructure, rather we may say, with a growing dearness, all the opposition parties organised a
socialist mindset. Everything here from food to fuel had daylong bundh in the country. This bundh may be
been enjoying heavy subsidies from the government. termed most successful in the sense that it got full
Two decades ago, in tune with the changing world public support. For the first time in the entire tenure of
order, the Government in India also shook off its old the UPA, such a unity was witnessed among the
socialist structure and started moving towards liberal opposition parties. Monsoon session of Parliament will
economy. start soon. We can expect bubbly debate on dearness.
But everybody in the country was not prepared Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee rules out any
either mentally or economically to keep pace with the rollback in the petroleum prices. According to him, the
changing economic order. Moreover, the parties in government can no longer bear the burden of oil pool
power had to take care of their vote bank also. So the deficit. Hence there is no other way except letting it go
pace of economic reforms always remained slow and as per the ways of international market.
full of hiccups. Main stress of the governments, But dearness is a perpetual problem here. Moreover,
irrespective of whichever party was in power, was to our Prime Minister has also indicated further hike in
convince the masses about the compulsions they were diesel prices under decontrol policy. The government
facing in world economic order. cannot coax the people to accept dearness as their
Two decades have passed since then but healthy fate. The government claims that the country has
signs are missing. Poverty has grown out of all successfully overcome the recession and its economy is
proportions instead of diminishing. Poor are multiplying booming again. But it continues to give incentive
and progress is still elusive. Deeds of the governments packages to the companies as before. Clearly, the
pumped lot of money into economy. Two Pay government is benefiting some peer groups at the cost
Commissions, implemented since then for the of others and common people. There are indications
government employees, also played vital role in fanning that the petroleum prices were decontrolled to provide
inflation as the government people got more money at undue advantage to some big corporate houses
their disposal. The government took full care of its venturing into India’s oil wells. Only the Finance Minister
employees to shield them from increasing inflation. can tell it better who these corporate houses are.
But the common man, who is employed in India is often compared with the communist China in
unorganised sector, is kept outside the purview of the terms of economic progress. But in reality, bank loans
Pay Commission. His income is limited and he has to are given at zero rates, deficit being absorbed by the
manage with the same meagre income. Naturally, he government, to make their products competitive in
will have to cut down his expenses in order to cope international market. In capitalist India this is
with the ever-increasing dearness. But how long can he unimaginable. But this is an unfair practice and is bound
do so? A day will come when growing dearness will to have an adverse impact in long run. In India,
devour not only all his income but his savings also. government is passing some economic shocks to its
Apart from this, in the name of eradicating people. Opposition called bundh to highlight the
unemployment and poverty the government has problems of the public. It should give rise to healthy
launched a number of rural employment generation debate for total uplift of the economy.
schemes with good intention. Jobless villagers are letters@womansera.com We

6 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


DOUBLE-INCOME
FINANCE MANAGEMENT
How to make it significantly
better than a single-income household.
By Sudha Chandrasekaran

G
one are the days when
most women stayed at
home with their kids, and
it was such a comfort to
come home from school to
find mom there, supper on
the stove or in the oven,
maybe baking a cake or
frying hot samosas... a hug
from mom, mom’s help
with homework, so on and so forth. It
was a warm, loving era. Then came
the neighbour’s wife, an engineering
graduate who started working as a
systems engineer in a nearby firm.
The couple had all kinds of gadgets
and a luxurious lifestyle which no one
else could afford in the
neighbourhood. All the wishes of their
kids were fulfilled and soon this trend
of double-income couples caught on
and it became the norm.
Suddenly, nothing was the same.
Everyone was in a hurry, quality was
replaced by quantity, togetherness
was replaced by “wheneverness”.
Now, there HAD to be two incomes
— unless one had a significantly high
income. Stay-at-home mom is still a
necessity, but is now a rarity.
difficult to establish joint ownership households. Surely one plus one
of property owned by one partner totals two. Second incomes cannot
prior to marriage, which gives the just vanish down a black hole, but the
couple one more reason to opt for truth is, they can and often do. Firstly,
separate accounts within the home. income is often misconstrued as
Another sociological development wealth, which means that you cannot
reinforces the increasing preference just earn your money, but must also
among married couples for financial grow over time through judicious
independence. Says Rohan, a investments. And secondly, double-
finance analyst, “People have income families often fritter away the
realised that, like jobs, relationships second salary unconsciously just to
are no longer permanent.” Marriages maintain a household. You might
today are riddled with divorces which have to keep two maids instead of
make the sense of security harder to one, pay for a creche or maintain a
come by. Divorce law also pushes second car. Then, there are
women into the workplace. In case commuting, business attire and
of divorce, women are pushed into entertainment costs. All these plus
the workforce in middle age, even taxes effectively skim the cream off
though they may want to stay at the second income.
home. It all sounds easy enough to find
Sure, in theory, double-income answers to the eternal question of
households should end up twice as how you can make your money work
wealthy as single-income families but harder. In the first place, one should
in practice, it is more an exception keep expenses under control so that
than a rule. Often, after three a surplus amount of money is created
decades of work life, double-income for investments and next, stow that
families find that they are not really surplus away smartly into the right
much better off than single-income instruments at the right times. Too
With double income deepening often, earning double-incomes is
their pockets, young couples of today SURE, IN THEORY, significantly easier than managing
can afford to do impulsive shopping,
eat out frequently, take dream
DOUBLE-INCOME them. Some of the managing
techniques are pointed out by finance
vacations, visit fitness centres HOUSEHOLDS planners.
regularly, wear branded clothes, etc. SHOULD END UP
The new, rapidly spreading family TWICE AS WEALTHY Capping expenses: We all need
model is now run along the lines of to lead a good life but without
an equal partnership, with the AS SINGLE-INCOME prudence, one cannot create surplus
husband and wife handling their own FAMILIES BUT IN amounts of money needed for wealth
incomes separately. The desire for PRACTICE, IT IS creation. So where do you cut back?
private space also factors in the In the first years after marriage,
current trend towards separating
MORE AN EXCEPTION expenses are usually high, when
aspects of a couple’s finances. The THAN A RULE. couples spend a large portion of their
generations now in their twenties income to set up house. And roughly
and thirties, who matured amid 20 years into marriage, savings again
increasing home ownership and a slow down, since large expenses like
decline in the birth rate, often had children’s higher education and
their own rooms. marriage happen. Therefore, on an
They tend to dislike the average, families create wealth
interference of others in their own between the third and twentieth years
space and they feel strongly about of their marriage. The expenses, of
using their money as they see fit course, continue through every
even after marriage. For some years stage and are of two kinds —
now, the increasing presence of discretionary and non-discretionary.
women in the workforce and the rise The former is what you spend on
in the age at which they marry has non-compulsory but vital chunks of
led to a boom in single women daily living — entertainment, travel,
purchasing their own homes and leisure, gifting and theoretically at
property. Married couples also find it least can be reduced at will. The

8 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


non-discretionary expenses are a home loan and nothing else. Given income, with expenses being borne
mandatory payments towards the low rates, take a home loan as by the higher income. That means
insurance premiums, loan EMIs, early as possible. And while looking the entire lower income and a portion
house rent or telephone bills. for a house, buy one that will best of the other income has to be saved.
Non-discretionary expenses are meet future needs like As job security becomes increasingly
the biggest hurdles in wealth creation accommodating children, parents and fickle and people look forward to
for double-income families. And guests. The costs of upgrading to a taking brief breaks from work to
these are compounded by imprudent bigger house later, in terms of retrain or just to unwind, this strategy
capital expenditure — that hi-tech brokerage and stamp duty, are high. empowers them. Since crucial
home theatre system you simply Also, applying for a loan jointly with expenses are not dependent on the
must have, or the Honda CR-V you both spouses as co-owners fetches a second income, wealth creation does
really cannot do without. These dig large loan. And since both, the not suffer a setback if it goes missing
deep holes in your wealth pile and husband and the wife will get tax for a brief period.
disturb the process of compounding. breaks, the loan cost comes down Every expert will tell you that
considerably, leaving funds that can income has to be converted to
Tabs on loans: Getting sucked be invested elsewhere. wealth. The trick lies in how you do it.
into a life where most of your income Not being able to create adequate
goes towards EMIs is not advisable. Other debts: As the income wealth despite a double income is to
Loans should not cross 30 per cent of increases, home loan EMIs will fritter away a crucial advantage. But
the gross income. More conservative consume a smaller percentage of it. before you come up with an
planners, in fact, advise clients to This is when one can look at other investment plan, two important areas
stay away from debt unless their loans — say for a car upgrade — need to addressed — risks and
investments earn substantial returns. provided total loans are still under the taxes.
Ideally, first focus on getting yourself 30 per cent limit. This means that in
the initial years, one should avoid Risk management: Unless the
UNLESS THE BASES loans pertaining to cars, credit cards bases are covered, the smallest
ARE COVERED, THE and personal loans. The only setback can wipe out the savings.
SMALLEST SETBACK exception is education loans, which
create the intangible asset of skills.
The best way to protect wealth is to
cover all insurable risks — cars,
CAN WIPE OUT THE Any other EMI must be treated as a home possessions. Insurance
SAVINGS. THE BEST consumption expense. premiums should not be viewed as
WAY TO PROTECT expenditure. Next, ensuring that the
Other expenses: Loans are not entire family has adequate medical
WEALTH IS TO COVER the only red spot in your expense insurance is a must. And last, but
ALL INSURABLE RISKS account. Often, with little time for definitely not least, ample life
— CARS, HOME financial planning, couples leave a lot insurance has to be taken. The idea
of cash lying idle in a bank saving is to evaluate how the family’s
POSSESSIONS. account. This cash invariably gets expenses, lifestyle and financial
spent on impulsive expenses like a goals will be affected if one or both
binge at the latest nightspot or incomes are wiped out by death or
the fancy gizmo just disability. This means figuring out the
released. The key is to find difference between what these will
the balance between cost and what the value of the
spending today and existing assets is. It is this difference
providing for tomorrow. One that must be bridged by life
must have a broad idea of insurance. It is generally found that
where his/her money is getting double-income families
spent. More important, the underestimate the risk cover needed
second income should be looked when one or both spouses become
at as a savings vehicle and not as disabled or pass away. Buying
a handy till to fund extravagances. various types of insurance alone is
In the years soon after marriage, not enough. Wealth should be
when the couple is setting up a protected from uninsurable risks like
home, at least 10 per a job loss.
cent of the double-income
needs to be saved. Ideally, Tax planning: Neither death nor
most of this 10 per cent should taxes are unavoidable, but the truth is
come from the second, lower taxes make a big hole in your wealth
accumulation. Tax planning helps they are adequately insured, double- income is desirable. Both partners
plug this to some extent. Here are income households can take on more need to decide the portion of the
some useful tips. investment risks. But they mostly incomes that need to be kept to
As already mentioned, if the falter, which is why they do not end themselves and the portion which is
husband and the wife are in different up vastly ahead of single-income to be pooled to meet common
tax slabs, it is to be made sure that families in the long run. Double- objectives like day-to-day expenses
the family’s living expenses are met income households have much more or long-term goals like saving for a
by the large income and a to put away in equity for growth. The house. Instead of daily pay-outs,
considerable part or all of the smaller bottom line is to look at that second make a budget and divide the
income is to be saved. This strategy income as a means to create wealth financial responsibilities between
is sure to save a small amount in rather than as a licence to binge. yourselves. Often, this arrangement
taxes, depending on the difference in With just a little restraint and some works out naturally, as in the case of
the individual incomes, the respective astute planning, double-income web professional Saritha Sekar and
tax slabs and regular expenditure families can indeed perform that Rakesh Gautam, a creative director
levels. Investment in any taxable unlikely math magic (i.e. 1+1>2!). with a leading advertising agency.
investment products should be done Faced with the challenges of The couple decided that since Sarita
by the person in the lower tax attitudinal differences, providing for earned considerably less than
bracket. That is because taxes (on spouse’s needs and that of the Rakesh, they would save all her
interest, for example) on such dependents, how do you combine income. The couple intends to use
investments will also be lower. And your incomes to best advantage? the money for the down payment on
last, if it is the wife’s income that is Crucial to the success of leveraging a house.
lower, then it is advisable to avoid your double-income is instituting a Unlike the US, there is no concept
investment of the husband’s income system that efficiently divides of joint tax returns here. Couples
in her name or gifting her cash, since financial responsibilities. Pooling of should avoid merging their funds
the income, in both cases is taxable. since it makes determining tax
ULTIMATELY, IT IS LEFT liability confusing and computing
Investment planning: One big TO THE COUPLE TO capital gains difficult. These changes
reason why double-incomes do not
translate into double wealth is
WORK OUT A in household budgetary patterns are
affecting patterns in consumption as
because most working couples do STRATEGY AMONG well. A household budget account
not follow a plan to reach financial THEMSELVES WHICH plan offered by one major bank,
goals. It is important to agree on your WILL BEST SUIT THEIR which lists the names of both
financial goals and prioritise these. husband and wife in the passbook
This will be the starting point of your
FINANCE and includes two separate cash
investment planning. As you MANAGEMENT IN cards, has attracted tens of
increasingly start generating THE MOST thousands of double-income couples
surpluses for investments, you have
to figure out the “what” and “when”
AMICABLE WAY. as customers. A think tank affiliated
with an advertising firm opines that
of your wants. Should you be buying couples with separate wallets will feel
a house first or a bigger car? Should freer to exercise their own wills,
you make a provision for your aged which will in turn lead to greater
parents who are financially financial liquidity. Sales of consumer
independent right now or worry about durables, such as televisions, stereos
your own retirement? Once you have and even automobiles, which used
a plan, you can make course to run along lines of one to a
corrections. Without a plan, you household, are now increasingly
might end up losing money. aimed at one unit per person.
Travel agents’ and other
Grow it: Investments by a services are being used by
double-income household are not more and more of married
inherently different from those individuals rather than
made by a single-income couples.
household. One is looking at the Ultimately, it is left to the
same factors like risk profile, couple to work out a
number of working years left, strategy among them -
proximity to goals and number selves which will best suit
of dependents. However, their finance management in
there is one vital difference. If the most amicable way. We
W
hen Shalini took up her
first job at a multi-
national company she
was fresh out of college
and new to the
corporate culture. She
was friendly and happy
that many of her
colleagues reciprocated
her warmth. Presuming
it to be a great workplace she not
only shared her lunch with them and
invited them over to her birthday
party, but also discussed her new
ideas with her colleagues.
To her horror, one of her
colleagues whom she considered her
good friend and confidante, promptly
and unethically passed Shalini’s idea
as her own, and not only stole all the
praise for the bright idea, she also
snatched the project from under
Shalini’s nose.
As competition peaks at the
workplace, so do office politics.
Unethical practices like stealing
others’ ideas and credits, backbiting
to put a colleague at a disadvantage,
bullying to make their life miserable
and plain ignoring, become the order
of the day. Patrick Frosyth, author of
Detox Your Career, writes, “The
office where politics do not exist does

5
not exist.” Having said that, it doesn’t
mean you allow the situation to
overwhelm you. Here are five tested
strategies to navigate this maze that
will help you survive and shine in a

STRATEGIES TO toxic political workplace.

Do not quit: Negotiating office

HELP YOU SURVIVE politics and surviving in a workplace


reeking with snoops and bullies can
be stressful and leave you with a

OFFICE
bitter experience for life that might
have you contemplating even quitting
your job. Considering that the political
game is a part of every office set-up,

POLITICS
you can expect to encounter similar
situations in varying degrees at every
workplace, so quitting your job isn’t a
viable solution. But sticking it out
might take its toll on you. So find
How to overcome ways to defuse the situation.
According to editor and founder of
your colleagues’ intrigues. office-politics.com, you could try two
things. First, bury yourself in work
By Lesley D. Biswas and ignore what goes on. This will

14 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


these, experts advise having a you, and if it is stolen, you have an
candid conversation and sorting evidence.
things out. Over a cup of coffee, ask
the persons what is troubling them or Donʼt believe what you hear:
what is the problem they have with Remarks carried by colleagues who
you. Chances are that they will tell pose as well-wishers, could well be
you but if they don’t, get someone to manipulated and designed to upset
intervene because a negative you. Always confront the speaker in
environment isn’t only depressing it the presence of the bearer. This will
also slows down progress. If you help clear the doubts if you are being
them grow their potentials so that misled. In case the remark is
they too feel equally deserving for genuine, find out why the person has
whatever’s at stake, the problem can made it. Sometimes, you might have
be sorted out. unknowingly harmed someone or
hurt them. Get to the root of the
Recognise the politician: Most problem before it blows out of all
often, you don’t recognise the person proportion.
who is playing dirty games, like in It’s important to understand that
Shalini’s case. To avoid the horror of you’re interacting with human beings
backstabbing, be alert. Don’t be too who have different perspectives.
trusting and never let anyone in on Care to consider their outlooks if
your ideas and project details. you’re working as a team because
Beware of getting blown away by your boss wants the project
sweet talk and restrict your completed and it requires teamwork.
conversation at social gatherings. If Give others a chance to explain their
you’re working as a team, from the ideas and find ways to incorporate as
very outset, clearly define your areas much as possible. By being
of work and don’t intrude or allow accommodating, you could downsize
help you rise above their taunts. others to intervene. Lock secret the person out to get you.
Second, you may document their documents and private data securely
abuse and file a complaint with your in folders. Use it to your advantage: In
seniors. But if you’re worried about Take behavioural cues these today’s work culture, if you have the
being dragged into unnecessary politicians offer. If someone is too ability to handle office politics, it’s
controversy, don’t take sides and nosy and keeps peeking over your considered an asset. Instead of
decline from commenting when your desk, be alert. When you’re on the whining and complaining to your
opinion is sought. phone, is anyone overhearing your managers, show off your skill as a
conversation? Such cues point to the competent problem-solver and try to
Find the reason: There are a suspected person. Be careful! Always solve the problem yourself. Talk it
range of politics that go on at office. inform your seniors of your idea so over or e-mail the person concerned
What is it that is disturbing you? Are that they are aware that it belongs to asking to sort things out. It could be a
you being disliked or shunned? Most good idea to try defusing the bomb
of the time, job insecurity makes IN TODAY’S WORK at social parties when the
colleagues behave in suspicious CULTURE, IF YOU HAVE atmosphere is more informal and
ways. If someone feels that you’re THE ABILITY TO HANDLE relaxed. Approach the person with a
better skilled than they or have a clear mind and be open to his or her
greater chance of promotion, they try
OFFICE POLITICS, IT’S outlook. According to Rolin Koval, co-
and pull you down. Another reason CONSIDERED AN author of The Power of Nice, “Being
for envy is your rapport with your ASSET. INSTEAD OF nice can be the most effective tool
boss. WHINING AND for success when dealing with office
This makes colleagues insecure politics which is used with the
of their own positions in the
COMPLAINING TO objective of gaining advantage in the
organisation as they see you more YOUR MANAGERS, work environment.”
eligible for all the advantages they SHOW OFF YOUR SKILL If the other person is convinced
are competing for. Some might try to AS A COMPETENT you’re not trying to run them down,
be overtly friendly to please you and the chances are that they will also
in turn, the boss, while others might
PROBLEM-SOLVER AND see sense in coming to a solution
be out to get you. TRY TO SOLVE THE because even the politicians don’t
In the case of job insecurities like PROBLEM YOURSELF. always enjoy this role. We

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 15


STORY
SHORT

Being Myself
Akshaya was besotted by her husband’s
love – till Jyotsna put her wise to him.

I
By Kasturi Rangachari
stood at the open door of the fridge, staring stuff and haven’t yet accumulated – after just six
into the vegetable bin. What should I cook months of marriage – junk that I want to get rid of.
today? It was Sunday and it had to be a But Puneet wanted to go and so we went. As I said, I
special meal. Paneer mattar? But we had had can’t refuse Puneet anything and I can’t bear it when
that last Sunday. Pav bhaji? I didn’t have he sulks!
enough tomatoes. Ah! My eyes had fell on the “Monday blues, Akshaya?” asked Shivangi
net bag full of ladies’ fingers. We’d have glancing my way as I breathlessly slid into my seat
stuffed bhindi, my favourite dish which I hardly ever in the cabin we shared in office. I was half an hour
made because Puneet didn’t like it too much. late and I had a pile of work to get through before
“What’s today’s lunch menu?” Puneet the 11 a.m. monthly meeting of team
came up behind me and asked as he put heads. A pile so big that I had no hope of
his arm around my waist and swung me “How does even reading through it by 11.
around. I smiled. It was lovely to feel how sweet corn “Not exactly,” I said and turned on my
much even his casual touch still excited me. soup, system. “I haven’t prepared for the
“How does sweet corn soup, parathas, parathas, meeting.” Shivangi nodded absently. Her
stuffed bhindi, dal, salad and pineapple stuffed eyes were fixed on her own computer
trifle for dessert sound?” I asked.
“Great! But make it methi-alu instead of
bhindi, dal, screen and her mind was obviously far
away on her own preparation for the team
bhindi,” Puneet said blithely. salad and leaders’ appraisal meeting.
“Okay!” I said smiling at my handsome pineapple I tapped my fingers on the table
husband as I put the bhindi back in the trifle for impatiently as I waited for my system to
fridge and took out the methi. I hated methi- dessert wake up. My heart was beating fast and
alu, but if it made my husband happy for sound?” my hands were clammy. For the first time
me to cook it for him, I would do it! I loved in my five years at SigmaWorld, I was
him enough to make the small sacrifice;
I asked. unprepared for a meeting!
besides, if I didn’t, he would sulk and that

T
would spoil my whole day! he meeting was a disaster and I still hadn’t
Lunch was good even if I didn’t have any methi- recovered from the reaming out I got from
alu. I over ate and felt heavy and lazy after I had Sharma sir, when the next Friday came around.
cleared the table and put the leftovers away. I would I had spent the week working harder than I ever
have loved to have a nap, but fat chance of having had, catching up with stuff I should have done the
one! Puneet napped after breakfast on Sundays and previous week and writing an overdue report, but I
always had something planned for Sunday hadn’t managed to finish it all. Come Friday
afternoons. Today it was to go to the new market he evening, I gave a loud groan and put my head
had heard of which had opened on S. N. Road. down on my table. Puneet had planned a getaway
“It is like a garage sale,” he told me. “Anyone this weekend and was looking forward to the trip so
can go and set up a stall and sell anything they want much!
to. Many people go there to sell off anything extra “He’s booked us into a resort near Kashid,” I told
they have at home and to buy things they fancy from Shivangi. “We are…were…are…supposed to leave
the other stalls.” tonight and come back only on Monday morning!
I wasn’t ecstatic about the prospect of the visit to So I cannot work this weekend.”
the market because I don’t like buying second-hand “But Sharma sir will be even more furious with

18 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


you if you don’t give him the report first thing the girl-next-door than a sex siren! – but such outfits
Monday morning, Akshaya!” my friend pointed out. turned Puneet on and that was that as far as I was
“I know!” concerned!
“Did you tell Puneet about the mess you are in? I smiled at him, picked up a change of clothes
Give him some warning that you may have to and a towel and rushed to the bathroom. My heart
postpone the Kashid trip?” beat fast and I had an idiotic smile on my face.
“N...no.” Damn the report and forget Sharma sir! I wasn’t
“Why on earth not?” going to disappoint Puneet; I was going to have a
“He doesn’t like me talking about my work once I romantic weekend with my gorgeous husband!
am home.” On Monday, Sharma sir was too stunned to say
“Funny. But he seems to talk about his own work much when I told him that I hadn’t finished the
a lot! You are always full of the stories he has told report, but the look he gave me showed how
you!” disappointed he was in me. I worked hard the next
couple of days, staying in the office late, much to

I
hesitated. “Well, yes…But his work is different. Puneet’s irritation, and finished it.
He’s got this exciting job in PR where he gets to I didn’t have the guts to go and give it to sir
meet celebrities! Exciting people! But me, I’m just myself and so I went and left it on his desk when he
a programmer. I just write codes for clients living was away for lunch. He didn’t mention it to me or
across the world, clients whom I never see. Okay, I comment on it and I knew that meant that the report
now supervise a team that writes code. But I’m really was all right. But I also knew that it would be a long
a nobody compared to Puneet!” time before he forgave me for my lapse.
Shivangi gaped at me. “Listen woman!” she “He should understand,” I grumbled to Shivangi,
finally gasped. “Talk of putting oneself down!” “I’m married now and have a home to run and a
I shrugged. “I’m not putting myself down!” I husband to think of. I can’t give my everything to my
protested. “It’s just that a charismatic man like work any longer.”
Puneet is much more interesting than an ordinary

A
employee of SigmaWorld like me!” rnab, another team leader, had just come into
“You need to have your head checked to, girl!” our cabin with some papers in his hand. “Then
“You’ll understand when you get married,” I either quit or don’t accept promotions that
assured my friend with a smile. “That is, if your mean more work!” he snapped with acerbity. “Don’t
husband is as wonderful as mine!” give others problems because you haven’t finished
Shivangi just snorted in reply. your work or you expect them to cover for
When I went home, Puneet was already you!”
back and had the music on loud as he “I don’t expect others to cover for
packed for our weekend trip. “Hi, Akshi!” he me…” I began angrily, but Arnab
called out as soon as he saw me. “I’ve interrupted me.
packed for you too, so you just have a bath “Oh yes, you do,” he said. “I filled in
and change and we can leave. We’ll eat at for you thrice last month when you had
some place on the way…” to go home early, remember?”
“You’ve packed for me?” “Yes, but I’ve filled in for you too…”
“Yes. Two pairs of jeans, a few tops, “Yes, when I’ve been ill, but you
your swimsuit and,” he smiled naughtily wanted to go home early one
and fluttered something between his evening because you had a party
fingers, “two of these and the other to attend and the other two times
stuff I got you last month! I don’t think because Puneet called and told
we need anything else!” you that he had taken the
The “these” were two wispy, afternoon off.”
transparent, sexy nighties and “the I had nothing to say. Arnab
other stuff I got you last month” was right. “I’m sorry,” I said to
consisted of naughty lingerie him stiffly. “I’ll see that it doesn’t
which he had bought me from happen again.”
Victoria’s Secret outlet in New Arnab looked exasperated.
York where he had gone on work “Don’t act all hurt, Akshaya,” he
the previous month. To tell the said. “But we men sometimes get
truth I wasn’t particularly fed up, you know. Women want
comfortable in them – I am more the equal pay and they grumble
and whine about the glass ceiling, but they also then put her arm around my shoulder. “Forget it,”
want to do less work and get special consideration she said. “You don’t have to take an immediate
because of their many problems.” decision. And I’ll give you something more pleasant
“Well, we are women!” it was Shivangi’s turn to to think about. Jyotsna is in town! She called me and
snap. “Nature gave us the ‘problems’,” she made asked me to organise lunch with the gang. So
quotation marks in the air for the word, “that you are Saturday it’s a get-together for lunch at Piccadilly!”
talking about – we didn’t create them ourselves! Yes, “Oh, I can’t possibly come. I’d have to leave
we need special consideration when we are Puneet…and it’s the weekend…”
pregnant, when we’ve just delivered, when we are “Oh don’t be silly, Akshaya!” Shivangi
breastfeeding, when our kids are ill…” countered. “Jyotsna is coming here after so long.
Surely Puneet can manage to be by himself for a

I
tuned out their argument and became immersed couple of hours! Tell him to set something up with the
in my thoughts. I had none of the problems guys.”
Shivangi was talking about – yet! – but I still “No. Puneet says that the weekends are our time
needed “special consideration” and often wanted together.”
my colleagues to help me. Because I wanted to go “But,” Shivangi frowned thoughtfully, “didn’t he
home early, because I didn’t want to take work go golfing with his friends one weekend last month?
home, because I wanted others to give their And doesn’t he have a monthly boys’ night out on a
presentation first so as to give me more time to Saturday?”
prepare my own – it was all because I didn’t want to “Yes, but…that’s different! Those guys have been
disappoint Puneet by saying that I was doing these things for ages and he can’t
busy when he wanted me to spend time get out of them just because he is married!
with him. As a result, I gave more time to
Shivangi His friends will say that he is henpecked!”
Puneet and less to my work sometimes! But looked at me “You too have been doing things…and
surely that was all right for a newly-married absolutely Jyotsna is a good friend…”
woman? Or…was it? stunned. I shrugged. “Puneet will be disappointed
“Akshaya? He’s gone,” Shivangi “Leave your and I can’t bear that,” I said and ignored
brought me back to the present. job? But…but Shivangi’s snort.
“He’s right, you know,” I said with a you’ve worked But, as it turned out, I was able to attend
sigh. “I am not pulling my weight here. your arse off the get-together because Puneet’s best
And,” I hesitated, wondering if I should tell for five years friend, David, called on Saturday morning
Shivangi and then I decided to do so. and have just and asked him to come over so that they
“And…Puneet is talking of my leaving my got your first could discuss the programme for the next
job. He earns enough and has bought a promotion!” college alumni meeting, over lunch.
flat...” “I have to go,” Puneet said. “So you can
she gasped.
Shivangi looked at me absolutely go and meet your friend, Jyotsna. I’ll drop
stunned. “Leave your job? But…but you’ve you on the way.”
worked your arse off for five years and have just got

I
your first promotion!” she gasped. walked into Piccadilly and quickly spotted my
“I know…but I’m married now and my husband friends sitting at a big table to one side of the
wants me to quit. Surely I should listen to him? restaurant, making a lot of noise. And sitting
Won’t our home be a happier one if I am a full-time facing me was Jyotsna looking even more gorgeous
homemaker?” than she had looked the last time I had seen her a
“Are you the type to be happy cooking, creating year ago. She saw me and smiled and waved and I
a beautiful home and taking up hobbies? No? I went up to the table.
thought so! Then your home won’t be a happier one “They told me you weren’t coming and I was so
if you resign. I know that you are proud of what you disappointed!” she said, getting up and hugging
have achieved and of being financially me. “I’m so glad you could make it!”
independent. Will you let all that go when there is “No reason she couldn’t, actually,” said
no real reason to? It will be different when you have Shivangi. “Except that weekends have been
a baby – but now?” declared billing and cooing time by hubby dear!”
Put like that I knew that I didn’t want to quit my There was a sharp note in her voice, but Jyotsna
job. But if I refused, Puneet would think that I didn’t smiled her usual gentle smile. I loved that smile. In
love him. He’d be miserable and would mope and fact, I loved and admired everything about Jyotsna,
be sullen. I sighed. just as Shivangi did. When she had been at
Shivangi watched me in silence for a minute and SigmaWorld, Jyotsna, who was a few years older

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 21


than I, had been a mentor as much as a friend to She has a cold and slight fever.”
both of us, someone we took all our troubles and “How come you were able to come?” asked
problems to. When she had left to get married and Jyotsna. “With whom have you left her?”
move to Delhi three years ago, we had both been “With hubby Vinod, of course. He’s perfectly
devastated. trained now! He’s as good with Rishika as I am.”
“You’re looking great!” I said to Jyotsna who was “Lucky you!” grumbled Alpana. “In our house, it’s
dressed in a turquoise blue salwar-kameez. “But I daddy for the fun times and me for everything else!”
remember how gorgeous you always looked in red The girls got up one by one, but Shivangi and I
and so – here!” I held out a carry bag containing the remained seated. We were much closer to Jyotsna
bright red kurta I had bought for her. than the others and we wanted some more time with
her. “Let’s have coffee before we leave,” I suggested

S
he opened the bag and took out the kurta. Her as the others said their farewells and left.
eyes lit up. “Of course, I knew that I was being “Fine!” said Jyotsna.
stupid,” I went on. “I know that Avinash only We ordered coffee and sat back. “Tell us all your
likes you in pastel colours. So, will you ever wear it? news,” said Shivangi. “How is Avinash?”
Actually, I bought it because I couldn’t resist it!” “No, I want to hear about you, Akshaya,” said
Jyotsna laughed. “Haven’t you noticed that I’m Jyotsna. “I haven’t really talked to you since your
not dressed in a light pastel colour?” she demanded. wedding. Are you happy, girl?”
“I love this kurta. You bet I’ll wear it!” “Oh, I am!” I exclaimed. “Puneet is absolutely
I plonked myself down and greeted the others. great! He’s wonderful in every possible way!”
Everyone in the group had worked in SigmaWorld “Yeah,” said Shivangi caustically. “He adores
and we were all good friends; so the conversation Akshaya. He doesn’t want to let her out of his sight!
was lively and there was a lot of laughter. We You’re lucky to see her, Jyotsna. Normally,
ordered lunch and, later, Shivangi picked up the weekends are off limits for Akshaya’s friends. Puneet
bill. wants her all to himself then.”
“No, I’ll pay,” protested Jyotsna. Jyotsna turned to me. “Is he possessive,
“Hey, I know that you’re married to a crorepati, Akshaya?” she asked with a strange look on her
but this is my treat,” said Shivangi as she handed face.
over her credit card to the waiter together with the “Yes, he is and I love it!” I exclaimed. “It shows
bill. that he adores me!” I paused a moment and smiled
“I have to leave,” said Padmasini reluctantly, at my friend. “Just as the fact that Avinash is
picking up her cellphone and looking around for her possessive of you, shows that he adores you! And,
handbag. “I have to take my Rishika to the doctor’s. just like you, I love doing everything as he wants me
to because I want to make him happy.”
“So you do just as Puneet wants you to?” Jyotsna
still had that strange look on her face as she asked
me the question.
“Yes! Just as you do! I mean, Avinash likes you to
wear only pastel colours and you do that – except
today for some reason! He likes you to look slim and
trim and so you go to the gym, though you hate all
those machines there! He doesn’t want you to work
because he wants you all to himself and so you gave
up your job. You watch action films instead of the
romantic ones you enjoy, you follow IPL matches
though you hate cricket, you learnt to cook his
favourite dishes from your mother-in-law – you live to
make him happy, don’t you? And I’m doing the
same thing!”
Jyotsna leaned forward and I took her hand and
clasped it tightly as I went on, “The only difference
between Puneet and Avinash is that Puneet isn’t as
rich as your crorepati husband, Jyotsna. So he can’t
buy me a diamond bracelet and plan a holiday for
two on a cruise boat for my birthday as Avinash did
for yours last year – but he’s as loving and as
wonderful! You told us that Avinash …” of energy. So what was wrong with his taking that
“Akshaya…” interrupted Jyotsna. “I’ve left decision?”
Avinash! Last month.” Shivangi cleared her throat. “Akshaya, be
I froze. “Wh...what?” stuttered Shivangi truthful. Was that particular weekend the best time
“Yes. I couldn’t take it any longer.” for a getaway weekend? Puneet realised that you
“Take what?” needed a break – that shows that he is considerate
“Avinash’s so-called ‘love’!” and caring – but planning that weekend when you
“So-called…love?” had a deadline to finish a report after a disastrous
“Yes. It is smothering me!” appraisal meeting doesn’t show that he respects the
work you are doing.”

N
either Shivangi no I said anything and after I bristled. “He didn’t know that I had a report to
staring into the distance for a few moments, finish!” I exclaimed.
Jyotsna went on. “It took me three years to “How come?” asked Jyotsna.
realise that Avinash didn’t actually love me,” she “I…I didn’t tell him.”
said. “He loved a fantasy and tried to make me into “And why didn’t you?”
that fantasy – a woman who was as soft as the “That’s because he doesn’t like Akshaya talking
pastel colours she wore, who agreed to everything about her work at home,” Shivangi informed
he said, who really had no personality of her own Jyotsna. “But he loves to talk about his own!”
but was content to be whatever her husband wanted Jyotsna sat back and sighed. “Exactly like
her to be! He took away my identity. Avinash. When I resigned from SigmaWorld and
“But it wasn’t completely Avinash’s fault, I moved to Delhi after we got married, I thought…I
suppose. I lacked self-confidence from the presumed that I’d get a job and work…till I
beginning. I was afraid that my decisions had a baby. But Avinash told me that he
would not be the correct ones – after all, I “That’s wanted my entire attention…and so I
had married a rich, charismatic, successful because he dropped my plans of working. I had
man whom everyone respected and so I doesn’t like enjoyed my work. It had given me
was sure that his decisions would be better Akshaya independence and individuality. Now that
than mine! talking about was gone.”
“Besides, I didn’t want to create waves her work at We all fell silent, absorbed in our own
in my new family. So I was submissive and home,” thoughts.
everyone was happy – by ‘everyone’ I Shivangi “When did you decide to leave
mean, my in-laws and my husband. informed Avinash?” I asked in a hushed tone. I was
“But slowly I realised that I wasn’t still stunned by what my friend had just told
Jyotsna. “But
happy. I felt smothered by Avinash’s love. I us.
wasn’t getting the freedom I needed and I
he loves to “When he told me some weeks ago that
wasn’t being appreciated. I began to talk about his he didn’t want any kids because that would
resent Avinash. I began to miss the things I own!” take away some of the attention I gave
had given up without a struggle. I had him.”
stopped playing the sitar because none of my in- I gasped. “That’s not normal,” said Shivangi
laws liked classical music. I liked rich, deep colours, quietly.
but the new flat Avinash bought for us was done up “No, it isn’t. I realised then that my passivity, my
completely in white and I found that depressing. I giving in on every issue, hadn’t made Avinash feel
was never asked my opinion on anything because it secure and loved as I thought that it would. It had
was presumed that I would be my husband’s echo. I simply become a way of life for him. And he wanted
began to find that humiliating.” more and more from me.”
I found my voice. “I think you are being unfair to “You mean…you’ll never go back to him? That
Avinash,” I said. “He loves you and wants to protect you’ll get a divorce or something?”
you….” “Yes, if necessary…but I hope it won’t come to
“But I don’t want to be protected! I’m not so weak that. I hope the fact that I have stood up to him will
that I need to be! And by deciding everything for make him rethink matters and that he’ll realise that
me, he’s taking away my voice, my right over my he has made an absurd demand on me and our
own life, my right to live as I want to!” marriage. That he’ll come to his senses…”
“But all decisions taken for us need not do that! Shivangi and I both held Jyotsna’s hands. She
For instance, Puneet decided that I needed a break grasped them back. The coffee we hadn’t even
a couple of weeks ago and insisted that we go out noticed, cooled on the table in front of us.
for the weekend. I came back feeling fresh and full “Don’t make the mistake I made, Akshaya,”

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 25


Jyotsna said in a tight voice. “Don’t let Puneet’s love about my work and began to nap before any
take away your identity.” Sunday outing. And I gave my opinion on things
I felt obliged to defend Puneet. “Puneet isn’t…I and did not just laughingly accept whatever Puneet
mean…” my voice trailed away. said. At first, he was taken aback and sometimes he
“Isn’t like Avinash? I’m glad that he is not. But it sulked. He would even accuse me of having
appears that he does have a tendency to ride rough changed. But, when I continued to be loving and
shod over you...in the nicest possible way, of considerate, he began to accept the new, self-
course! Stand up for yourself from the beginning. confident me. And I am revelling in it. Revelling in
Don’t let things go as far as they have for Avinash being myself!
and myself.” It took a while for Avinash to understand why
I promised her that I wouldn’t. I didn’t tell her or Jyotsna left him and though he came to talk to her
Shivangi that Puneet had said that he didn’t want and she has gone back to him, they still have a lot of
kids for a long time! adjustment to do. And Jyotsna has as much to do as
Avinash does. Taking decisions and standing up for

I
started the next day. In small ways, I began to do herself do not come easy to her after years of being
things as I wanted to. When I made methi-alu for passive – but she is revelling in it now. Revelling in
Puneet, I made bhindi for myself. I began to talk being herself! We

IT’S ONLY WORDS,


AND WORDS ARE ALL I HAVE

A
t a party held some time back, I Here’s how to cases, a person acquires the local parlance
chanced upon this stunningly unconsciously. A Delhi person will speak in
beautiful woman, wife of one of my
refine your a different manner compared to, say, a
husband's friends. It was quite speech to person from Chennai. Most of the time you
difficult to keep my eyes off her, as cannot help it but it spoils your language
she was in one of the choicest ensembles
refine forever.
with striking danglers hanging from her ears yourself. For someone who wants to have refined
and just the right kind of make-up, hairdo ways, giving time and attention to speech is
and accessories. She looked the picture of perfection. a must. Besides, a good way of speaking also helps in
But not for long! Her whole persona turned repulsive the winning friends and influencing people. Good speaking
moment she opened her mouth to say something. She skills are a must for a pleasing personality.
had quite a strange way with words. She spoke in a Ways to improve speech Speak slowly and clearly.
parlance which was quite irritating, more so because it Don't rush with words. Use your words when required.
did not go with her appearance. One expected a refined Keeping quiet is a better option when you are not sure
way of speaking from this enchanting woman. about something. When you are among gossip-
This incident set me thinking about how much we mongers and have no choice, maintain a diplomatic
do to make ourselves look good from the outside and silence. At best, give a smile or a nod. Indulging in
we pay so little attention to our diction. It is self- gossip only gives temporary pleasure.
defeating to undermine the importance of speech. Later, it can have unwanted consequences. Learn to
People know us because of what we say. In many pronounce words correctly. Try to limit body movement
ways, our speech is the expression of who we are as a while speaking. Let others also have their turn at
person. Make-up and attire does not do much to speaking. Apply your thinking before giving a voice to
contribute to a person's personality: it only adds to your your words. Try to read good books and magazines.
person in ways of making you more attractive. But Brush up on your current affairs and knowledge about
speech divulges all. It informs about the educational the world around you.
qualifications of a person, his or her value system, self- Mostly, people get bored with trivia and gossip.
beliefs, inclinations and much more. Everyone wants to have variety in a discussion. Beauty
So, are you one of those people who is all glitter with brains is always likable. Your words will cheat you if
and shine but only till she opens her mouth? If so, it is you are ignorant.
time you paid attention to your words. In reality, taking Even our beauty queens go through rigorous
care while speaking helps in many ways. Many of you practice to improve their diction before they go to
would agree that at times words even lead to conflict. participate in beauty pageants because they realise
So it would be wise to use them judiciously. In many that beauty is not just skin deep! – Manisha Prakash

26 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


QA &

TEEN ACHE
TEEN CHE
I am a 17-year-old girl who has not
A
yet started her periods. I feel worried
and left out because all my friends
secondary signs of sexual maturity
like growing breasts, underarm and
pubic hair, it may just be a matter of

Q&
have done so. My mother says, waiting.
everyone is a late starter in the family There is no harm in consulting a
and it is no cause for worry. Please doctor who can access your condition
advise. accurately and suggest treatment if
By normal standards, you should necessary. If you have not got your
I am in a real fix. For some time, my have started your menarche by now, periods even when you are a year
parents were missing money from but if it is delayed in your other family older, it is definitely important to get
their purses, and had suspected our members, perhaps this is a medical opinion.
servant who they sacked. Last week, hereditary trend. If you have got the
I was shocked to catch my younger I am a 16-year-old girl. Some days
15-year-old brother pilfering cash I really love a boy in our class back, my aunt and her son had come
from Mom’s handbag. When I (12th std) very much. He is one of to stay with us for a week. One
confronted him, he confessed that he the smartest and most popular morning, when I was bathing,
had been stealing earlier too, and guys. I try to talk to him on every suddenly my cousin brother pushed
that the servant was innocent. He small pretext, clearing doubts, open the bathroom door. The latch
begged me not to tell my parents and borrowing his notes,etc. I smile at had not closed properly. Both he and
that he would never steal again. He him a lot also to show I like him, I were shocked and he beat a hasty
claimed that the pocket money Dad but I still cannot find out whether retreat. I feel very ashamed that he
gave him was too little to meet his he likes me too. My friend even had seen me without any clothes. He
expenses and so, he resorted to asked him point-blank but he didn’t is behaving normally and seems to
taking the money. answer at all. This is driving me have put the incident behind him.
I do not know what to do. I feel crazy. Should I just tell him that I Should I too do the same or talk to
terrible that the servant was given a love him? Is it wrong for a girl to him to clear the matter up?
bad name for nothing at all. She was make the first move? We are both It was an unfortunate mistake, and

A
inconsolable. But if I tell my parents, 17 years old. you should not feel guilty or ashamed
Dad will surely punish my brother It is clear that this boy is not about it. It is wise and correct on the
severely. I do not want this as he is a ready to have a girlfriend. He may part of your cousin to ignore it. Do
good kid, otherwise. I am his 17-year- find you attractive but may not not rake it up or make a big issue of it
old elder sister. want to be your exclusive by talking about it with him. It will
It is important that you set things boyfriend. This is understandable. cause unnecessary embarrassment.
right with the servant who will be Girls mature sexually and He seems to be a decent guy. It
suffering agony with the false emotionally earlier than boys. could make trouble for him. Such
accusations. Coax your brother to When girls start thinking about unintentional accidents happen. Put it
confess to your mother who will romance, boys and dating, boys out of your mind and stop feeling
perhaps be more lenient with him. are usually only interested in cars guilty . And yes, always latch the
His behaviour cannot be excused, and football. In a couple of years bathroom properly when using it!
especially when he kept silent when though, they find the other sex
an innocent person was made the very alluring. This column is especially for teenagers.
Adolescence can, we know, be a trying and
scapegoat. What guarantee is there Don’t declare your interest and confusing time. There are so many questions
that he will not be stealing again, “love” to this boy. You will which seem to evade solutions. A wrong
taking more care not to be caught? embarrass him and even scare decision, or an indiscreet move, can spell
disaster and ruin a life. Share your problem,
If he does not agree to confess, him away from you for good. Bide worry or doubt with us and WE will help
you must speak to your mother your time, play hard to get, give you find a way out — to a happier, healthier
privately. Let her take the matter out him a long leash, so to say. With and more successful adult life. Send your
problems to:
of your hands, and deal with both time, if he likes you, he will come WOMAN’S ERA
your brother and the servant in the to you. In the meanwhile, have a E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110 055
Womansera.com
best possible manner. good time with other friends.

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 27


AND THE
T
his is for those of my young
friends for whom the wonder
years have come to an end
and it is time to step out into
the real world of adulthood

WINNER IS...
where, to get what you want
out of life, you’ve got to work,
and work hard. Really hard.
Attention, all ye job-seekers,
lend me your ears, for I have
How not to just sit a few tips which just might give you
the cutting edge and ensure that your
around – and get a move on! foray into a career will not be with too
By Dr Rumy Agarwal many hiccups.
Be obedient but not passive:
Don’t ever project the helpless,
content-to-flow-with-the-tide image
cos, if you do, you will just keep
flowing! You will never be singled out
for being given additional respon -
sibility and, as it follows, neither for
promotions (especially out of turn!).
Strut your stuff, fellas, show your
bosses that you’ve got what it takes
and, for that, you need to show
spunk, enthusiasm and initiative.
For instance, if there is any
problem at work, don’t rush to inform
your boss. Think about the problem,
view it from all angles and try to think
of a practical solution and then, and
only then, go to Big Daddy with infor-
mation and suggestions to solve the
problem). Try it and see the
difference it makes. At once, your IF YOU WANT TO BE movers and shakers, be more gung-
ratings in the boss’s eyes are ho about yourself. Be prepared to
buoyed! “Here’s a feisty one,” thinks
COUNTED AMONG THE take that odd chance – it may be just
he. He knows then that you can be MOVERS AND the catalyst you needed. If there’s a
relied upon for new assignments – SHAKERS, BE MORE challenging assignment to be given,
and the perks (a favourable Confi - GUNG-HO ABOUT put yourself up for it. If you are
dential Report, a good word, a raise scared and nervous about your ability
in salary, etc) just follow! YOURSELF. BE PREPARED to handle it, tell yourself that it’s okay
Remember, a laid-back attitude at TO TAKE THAT ODD to be frightened but – what the hell –
work is a sure-shot way of landing up CHANCE – IT MAY BE even if life comes up lemons, you can
to disuse atrophy – DON’T have it. always make lemonade! Above all,
Perk up and go sniffing around for
JUST THE CATALYST YOU be an eager learner; if you project
situations which need rectification NEEDED. complacence and boredom, that is
’cos it is these “situations”, these his reasoning is that if you are doing what you will get from your boss too.
problems, which will give you the your job adequately, it’s no big deal,
opportunity to showcase your talents. ’cos he’s paying you for doing just Keep relationships at work in
Move, guys, move! that. Why the hell should he reward the right perspective: This is a tad
you? But if you give more of yourself intricate ’cos friendships are emotion-
Be ready to experiment: Y’know, to your work than is expected of you, based and emotions are not
you don’t always HAVE to stick to well then, you do deserve a “pat on governed by the little black book of
age-old ways of doing things. If you the back” (sometimes read as professional etiquette, y’know.
feel that a certain method has “promotion” or “increment”. Anyway, maintaining the right
outlived its utility or is overused for balance (being buddy-buddy with
want of anything better, have the guts If you have it, flaunt it: And I am some and distant with others, but
to change it. If it succeeds, you’ve hit talking about talent and potential, my polite and pleasant with all) is
pay dirt; in case it doesn’t, at least friends, so no naughty smirks, okay? absolutely essential. And try to keep
you’ve proved that your creativity is If you feel that you have something to your work-related opinions and
not at a dead end! And that counts offer to your work by way of aptitude grievances to yourself – you never
for something, especially in the long or ingenuity, then go ahead, bring it know when they might reach the
run. to the boss’s notice (but be discreet – wrong ears and you are left with a lot
neither pompous nor apologetic). of eggs on your face.
Perform beyond expectations: Have self-confidence and then So, if you keep the nitty-gritty in
Abstruse though it may sound, the hardsell yourself. In the professional mind, guys, you will be able to punch
boss rarely gives a promotion for a world, the meek and humble do NOT the right digits to get to the top.
job performed well as per norms or rule the world ! Remember, the boss usually bestows
expectations; what he looks out for, a kindly eye on the one who is a cut
and rewards, is the spark to stray Donʼt underestimate yourself: If above the rest. So go on, be THAT
from the path of the pedestrian. Look, you want to be counted among the person. We

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 29


A balancing act


An acrobat from
internationally acclaimed
circus company “Circus
Oz” dismounts from his
balancing act during a
rehearsal of their new
production for the opening
night in Melbourne on 16
June. The circus without
animals has performed in
26 different countries
across five continents to
over two million people.

Intervention vessel


This is the view of the Q4000 multi-
purpose oilfield intervention vessel,
burning off material from the
Deepwater Horizon wellhead near
the disaster site in the Gulf of Mexico
on 24 June. The rig had exploded on
20 April, spilling millions of gallons of
crude into the Gulf.

Surfing event

An American surfs a wave


during an international
surfing event held at Sri
Lanka’s coastal resort of
Arugambay. With
participation from surfers
from the UK, Australia,
Indonesia, Netherlands, Celebrating with fire ▼
Japan and New Zealand, the A Belarussian in traditional
competition aims to promote clothing jumps over a fire
the country’s east as a while celebrating Ivan Kupala
major tourist attraction. Night on 24 June, a traditional
Slavic holiday, marking
midsummer, outside the town
Melbourne winter

of Dobrush.
masterpieces
An important exhibition
explores the full career
of film-maker Tim Burton
through hundreds of art
works that spectacularly
illuminate his creative
vision behind the movies
Beetlejuice Batman,
Edward Scissorhands,
Charlie and Chocolate
Factory and Alice in
Wonderland.
The Edges of the world


A gallery assistant dips
her toe into the outdoor
pool installation entitled
What a performance!

“H2O-SfLv” by Brazilian
An actor performs during artist Ernesto Neto, at
the opening of “King Kong the Hayward gallery in
360 3-D” at Universal central London on 16
Studios in Hollywood, June. In the next picture
California on 29 June. Neto stands within one
of his installations. The
new exhibition forms part
of the Festival Brazil at
the Southbank centre”
Art is today resurfacing
all over the world,
particularly in India.

The computer age


Nicaraguan school
children show their
XO laptops at the
Miguel Larreynaga
school in the town of
Tipitapa on 24 June.
The one Laptop for
9-part self-portrait ▼ Child Organisation
A collage of Polapan prints by (OLC) has distributed
artist Chuck Close is displayed at 17,000 Laptops in
Sotheby’s during a preview of the 150 public schools
Polaroid Collection in New York. across the country.
The collection which the founder of
Stress on sex

Polaroid, Edwin Land began, was


auctioned on 21-22 June. education
A school teacher in
Manila shows male
and female
reproductive systems
models that she uses
in teaching biology in
her school. The next
education Minister will
be a Roman Catholic
Philippines lay leader
amid seething conflict
between the
government and the
Church over sex
education.
T
he 170-kilometre-long drive
from Paris took us through
many quaint villages, to the
fishing port of Dieppe.
Situated on the channel
coast, the bustling old town
is a little piece of history.
Founded by the Vikings on
the estuary of the river
Arques, it was constructed
on a pile of pebbles in 907 AD, and
gradually grew into a town after the
Norman Conquest in 1066.
On the west, it is bounded by
towering white cliffs reminiscent of
the cliffs of Dover; on the east, by the

DIEPPE
banks of the river. To the north, it is
open to the English Channel.
Hundreds of boats were anchored
along the quay. Jutting right into the
sea is the Transmanche Terminal, a

PRETTIEST OF long low building which was


supposed to be designed and built

CHANNEL A picturesque little


French coastal town is a

PORTS delightful summer


attraction. By Eva Bell

Dieppe harbour
Castle museum. St. Jacques church.

according to some secret architec - From the Castle Esplanade one


tural formula. Its curved low roof and looks down at the long sea front, a TODAY, THIS
horizontal lines of the facade, mirror vast bathing area since 1822. It also
the layers of flint in the cliffs behind. has a swimming pool. Two ferries CAVERNOUS OLD
A board indicates that Camille The Dieppe and Sardinia Vera ply CASTLE IS CALLED THE
Pissaro who was commissioned to between here and New Haven,
paint the harbour, set up his easel at bringing holiday makers from CASTLE MUSEUM, AND
this vantage point and produced six England. It was the British who made HOUSES AN EXQUISITE
beautiful paintings of this splendid swimming fashionable here since
scene. 1822. They used to commute by the
COLLECTION OF
High up on the cliff is the cross channel ferry even in those IVORIES AND
sandstone and flint castle which days.
dominates the town. It was
IMPRESSIONIST
constructed by a Captain Desmarest PAINTINGS BY PISSARO,
in 1435 to defend the town from the SCENIC BEAUTY RENOIR AND SICKETT
English, during the 100-Year War. It The beach here is quite unlike
then became the seat of the most sandy beaches, and is made up ALONG WITH
government during the French
Revolution, and thereafter served as
of tiny pebbles right down to the
water. The blue green expanse of
PRICELESS MARITIME
a prison. Today, this cavernous old water is calm, warm and inviting. MAPS AND ARTEFACTS.
castle is called the Castle Museum, There are schemes for developing
and houses an exquisite collection of the waterfront with covered swim - Gothic style for the facade and the
ivories and impressionist paintings by ming pools and other activities. The chancel. The nave is more sober, but
Pissaro, Renoir and Sickett along road in front of the beach is the several chapels surrounding it are
with priceless maritime maps and Grand Rue which has been decorated with grotesque motifs of
artifacts. It takes a couple of hours pedestrianised. On one side of this the earliest French Renaissance.
to wander leisurely through the eight traffic-free boulevard are half- Le Pollet is the area on the other
spacious rooms that hold these timbered houses built in the late 19th side of the river, which has been
treasures. century, with a profusion of balconies occupied by fishermen since the
In front of the castle is the Square and appendages, and overhanging Middle Ages. The polletais (fisher
du Canada. In this square is a roofs constructed in neo-Norman folk) have their own costumes, songs
multifaceted stele erected in 1927 in style. and customs. Ever since the Anglo-
honour of the old friends of Dieppe, Of the many churches, St. French fleet razed Dieppe to the
the Canadians. It traces the links Jacques Church was worth visiting. ground in 1694, there are no wooden
between Dieppe and Canada since It was constructed between 12th and half-timbered houses here. Now they
the 16th century. the 16th century, with a flamboyant live in sturdy flint houses with white

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 33


brick frontages. The streets are
narrow and winding and have
retained their old-world charm.
Dieppe is one of the major exporters
of herrings. Herring is supposed to
be the ‘king of fish’ but the people
here call it ‘chicken of Dieppe’ a
major part of the French herring
catch comes from here.
But Dieppe will go down in history
as a place where the Allied Forces
received a crushing defeat from the
Germans in World War II in their
Operation Jubilee. On 19 August
1942, Allied forces consisting of
Canadians, British and American
troops mounted a raid on Dieppe.
They were supported by destroyers
in the channel and air squadrons. But
they were forcefully and mercilessly
repulsed by the Germans. The Allies White cliffs of sandstone and flint.

the tourist on a 3 km trek, which


includes historical and cultural sights
and provides many leisure activities
en route. We stopped at a park to
see a group of old men playing
Boules. A small red ball is targeted
by a large silver ball. Whoever hits
the red ball or is closest to the target
is the winner. A referee measures the
distances with a tape.
Summer is the best time to visit
Dieppe. It begins in March with the
festival of Visu (dance, theatre and
visual arts). In July is the Festival of
the Sea. The Kite Festival in
September ends the season.
Dieppe is the prettiest of the
Channel ports. Through the
centuries, it has been occupied by
Neo Norman style constructions overlooking the English Channel.
Vikings, Normans and the English.
paid a frightful price with heavy The Canadian connection with The Anglo-Dutch fleet razed the town
losses of life and limb. The casualties Dieppe began in the 16 century when to the ground. But, like the proverbial
were mostly Canadian. two explorers from this town, Aubert Phoenix, it sprang back to life after
However, the lessons learnt from and Verrazane, contributed to the France overthrew the English,
this defeat helped them plan new discovery of Canada. Fishing and fur developed its channel ports and
strategies. Two years later, when trading between the two countries prospered. It had a set-back during
they landed at Normandy Beach on 6 began in the 17th century. Dieppe World War II during the German
June 1944, the Germans were was the first port of call from Canada. occupation, but was liberated in
defeated. The honour of liberating Three nuns from Dieppe belonging to 1944.
Dieppe was given to the 2nd the Augustinian order opened the first Dieppe remains both a busy port
Canadian Division on 1 September hospital in Quebec, Canada. and a resort. There is always
1944. Annual commemorations are For those who would like to see something happening here. “It is a
held to strengthen the ties between Dieppe without wearing out their feet, wonderful place not just for a painter
Canada and France. The Common- a train trundles through town. But, for who loves life, movement and
wealth War Graves Cemetery at Les the more adventurous, a little bird colour,” as Pissaro said, but for
Vertus is 5 kms south of Dieppe. emblem painted on the road guides everyone who loves the sea. We

34 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


QA &
skin infection that needs medicated
products. Do consult a dermatologist
for a lasting solution. In the meantime
make a hair mask using dried neem
leaves and a teaspoon of sandal -
wood powder. Add a generous
amount of honey and mix with thick
yoghurt. Cover your scalp and pile
the hair on top for at least half an
hour. Wash away with gentle
products.

Q&
When I lost a lot of weight I got
terrible stretch marks on my arms
and stomach. They look very ugly
and although now I am slim I cannot
wear sleeveless or low saris. Is there
I am only 17 and am diabetic. My any permanent solution?
beauty problem is my skin which is Sudden loss of weight, or
dull and lifeless. Also from time to sometimes even with exercise, such
time I get an attack of small pimple- a dramatic weight loss will lead to
like rash which lasts for a fortnight stretch marks. These can be covered
and at that time my skin feels very to a limited extent by careful
oily. What should I do? application of make-up but that is not
Diabetes is a serious problem and always possible, especially for arms.
at your age it is the hormonal You should think of approaching the
changes, the problems related to dresses with see-through arms, and
diabetes and the medication you for a ‘permanent’ solution consult a
must be taking for it – add that to the good cosmetic surgery person who
pollution and other problems of the should take you through all your
weather and it is not easy for skin to options surgically.
cope. Do consult a dermatologist for
the pimple-like rash and for the
oiliness of the skin. I am confused about keeping my face
Be attentive to your skin’s needs – clean. I do use some make-up but

A
cleanse and tone regularly and avoid clean it every night. I want to know if I
make-up items like blusher and should use an astringent and toner
compact. every day after cleansing it with
If you exfoliate and massage cleansing milk?
regularly your skin will improve. Also, You have not mentioned your
try to eat healthy foods that are age. Irrespective of age though,
effective for your diabetes cleansing of skin at the end of the
management as well. day is always recommended. Often
washing it with a gentle soap and
removing all the make-up and grime
I have always had dandruff since I is sufficient.
was a teenager. I try different sham- When the skin is younger it does
poos and conditioners and it goes not need a toner but as we mature
away for a few weeks and then and nature is unable to produce all
comes back. I am really tired of it and the necessary detoxifying and
want a permanent solution. What nourishing oils, it is necessary to aid
should I do? the skin by giving it products like a
Uncured dandruff can lead to skin mild soap-free cleanser, balancing
problems that eventually affect other toner and a nourishing night cream.
parts of the body as well. If you have When using cleansing milk ensure
tried different hair care products and that all residual cleaning agents are
it keeps coming back it might be a removed from the skin.
DECORATIVE GRASS
Furnishing with a natural grace.

B
By Shilpa Shanbhag

amboo is the tallest grass together in order to make a multi- damage to the surface of the bamboo
that takes a year to reach layer resembling wood, which is then furniture.
its full height, which could shaped into any kind of furniture. This ● Protect your bamboo furniture
be as high as 30 to 40 feet. kind of bamboo furniture resembles from the sun and rain as these may
It then hardens and matures hardwood furniture and is sold in both damage it.
in the next four to seven light and dark shades and finishes. ● Also, polish, wax and paint
years before it can be used Bamboo is used to make beds, your furniture regularly.
to make bamboo blinds, workstations, desks, tables, stools, ● Refrain from wetting your
screens, curtains, fences chairs, couches, kitchen cabinets, furniture to prevent damage.
and furniture. bathroom cabinets, and more. ● At least once a year, do major
Bamboo can also be used for fencing cleaning, which involves vacuuming
purposes in terrace flats and private off the dust that may get deposited
BAMBOO FURNITURE homes. Bamboo fencing adds a in the crevices.
Bamboo, being eco-friendly, is a touch of class to the garden it ● Should you spill water or other
strong and tough material that resists outlines. But before erecting bamboo liquids on your furniture, make sure
shrinkage and swelling and can fences, it is advisable to treat them you blot it dry immediately in order to
hence be used to make furniture. The with a thin layer of UV-resistant stain prevent staining.
best part of the furniture is that it has to prevent decay and weathering. ● If the bamboo has cracked,
a style of its own. As the grass grows sand with a fine-grit sandpaper until
quickly, it can be used regularly smooth and then rub with wax. This
without causing any damage to the CLEANING IT should restore the piece to its original
environment. Bamboo needs to be cleaned just colour and shine.
Bamboo has become a popular like any other hardwood. Follow this ● Never sit on wet bamboo
product in recent years, and is regimen to clean the furniture because it is so soft that it can get
treated with high regard as a choice ● Dust the furniture regularly to damaged or lose its shape. Wait for a
for decorating a room, garden, and avoid dust from accumulating on the few days before you start using your
above all a house. Though sturdy furniture. Use a small dust brush or furniture after cleaning.
and indestructible, it is easy to clean cloth and simply wipe over the ● By rubbing the furniture
and maintain. surface to remove dust particles. The periodically with linseed or other
Bamboo furniture is usually made furniture requires to be dusted at furniture oil, the furniture’s shine can
through a process of cutting strips of least once a week. be restored.
bamboo, boiling them in order to ● Once all the visible dirt is ● To maintain the furniture’s
make them resilient to mildew and removed, use a soft cloth or sponge golden colour, a colourless lacquer
bugs and then gluing the strips soaked in soap water to clean the can be applied to protect it from dirt,
together. After they are stuck together furniture. Avoid using detergents, wear and tear and other harmful
edge to edge, the panels are pressed which contain chemicals to prevent conditions. We

36 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


Chocolate cake with
fresh cherries

Fruits are all time CHOCOLATE wooden spoon till the sauce
begins to thicken. Put off the heat
favourites. Every CAKE WITH and allow the sauce to cool to
room temperature. Spread the
season has its FRESH sauce evenly on top of the cake

abundance to CHERRIES with a spatula.


Place the cake on the plate
INGREDIENTS: and keep the plate in the fridge at
offer. Enjoy the 1 kg chocolate or sponge cake least for 1 hour so that the sauce
300 gm fresh cherries for
seasonal fruits in decoration
settles down and thickens.
Just before serving spread out
different forms – For the chocolate sauce: the cherries over the chocolate
2 tbsp drinking chocolate sauce and serve cutting into
chilled, lukewarm 3 tsp sugar slices.

and served hot METHOD


Prepare the chocolate sauce:
when mingled By heating 1 cup of water. Lower
the heat and add the lukewarm
STEWED PEARS
with other water to the drinking chocolate IN SWEET
ingredients and
powder and stir till the powder is
dissolved in the water. Mix this MANGO PULP
into the remaining water and also INGREDIENTS:
pamper your add sugar to the water. Stir on low For the mango pulp:
taste buds. fire till the sugar melts and the
chocolate also mixes well into the
1 kg sweet mangoes
2 tsp sugar – optional
By Roma Ghosh sauce. Keep stirring with a 3-4 tbsp thick cream

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 37


add the sugar and stir till the Mint and cucumber refresher
sugar melts. Lower the heat
and mix in the cloves
powder.
Add the pear pieces and
cook on low fire, stirring
from time to time till the
pears begin to change
colour – this should take
around 3-4 minutes. Put off
the heat and remove the
pears from the syrup with a
slotted spoon.
Place 2 pieces on each
serving plate and top with a
portion of the mango pulp
and garnish with mint
leaves.
Serve chilled.
Stewed pears in sweet mango pulp the seeds and cut into small
pieces. Place the cucumber
For the stewed pears:
2 pears
MINT AND pieces and 3-4 mint leaves and
the sugar and blend in a mixer to
3 tbsp sugar CUCUMBER obtain a pulp.
Place in three soup bowls and
REFRESHER
1/ tsp cloves powder
4
place the bowls in the fridge for
For garnishing:
mint leaves
(cold soup) the soup to chill. Divide the
remaining mint leaves into three
METHOD INGREDIENTS: portions and place in the soup
Peel the mangoes, cut into 60 gm mint leaves bowls.
small pieces and run the mango 3-4 medium-sized cucumber Sprinkle the chilli flakes and stir
pieces, sugar and cream in a 100 ml thick curd gently. Cut and core the apples
1/ tsp sugar
mixer to obtain a smooth pulp. 2 but do not peel the apples. Cut
Place on a serving dish and keep 1 tsp coarsely ground red chilli into small pieces just before you
in the fridge to chill. flakes are ready to serve the soup.
Do not peel the pears. Cut into 1 apple Place small portions of the apple
eight pieces and remove the METHOD pieces in the chilled soup and
seeds. Heat 200 ml of water and Peel the cucumber and remove serve at once.
Stewed pineapple and cherries

APPLES IN with ice cream

MUSTARD
SAUCE
INGREDIENTS:
3-4 apples
For the mustard sauce:
3 tsp French mustard paste
1/ tsp sugar
2
METHOD
Cut the apples into eight
pieces and remove the seeds.
Do not peel the apples.
Mix the mustard sauce in 3
tbsp of lukewarm water and
keep the paste aside. Heat
another 100 ml of water in a
pan and lower the heat. Mix in
STEWED POACHED
the sugar and the mustard PINEAPPLE AND EGGS WITH
paste and stir gently. Put the
apple pieces in this mustard CHERRIES WITH ORANGE
syrup and cook the apples in
the sauce for 3-4 minutes or till
ICE CREAM SAUCE
the sauce begins to thicken INGREDIENTS: INGREDIENTS:
slightly. Putt off the heat and 6-7 pineapple slices 6 eggs
cool to room temperature. 250 gm fresh cherries 300 ml orange juice
Serve chilled with cold rice 2 tbsp sugar salt to taste
noodles or with ice cream for 3/ tsp cinnamon powder
4 pepper to taste
dessert. For serving: oil for frying the eggs
1/ tsp cinnamon powder
Apples in mustard sauce ice cream 2

METHOD METHOD
Cut the pineapple slices Heat oil in a non-stick pan and
into halves or leave these fry the eggs sunny side up. Turn
in circles. Heat 150 ml of the egg gently so that the yolk is
water and add the cooked from the top as well. Fry
sugar and the all the eggs in this way adding salt
cinnamon powder. and pepper to each egg before
Stir gently till the you turn these over. Place the
sugar melts. Add the fried eggs in an oven-proof dish.
pineapple slices and In the pan in which you have fried
cook on low fire for 2- the eggs add the orange juice and
3 minutes. Add the bring to boil adding the cinnamon
cherries and continue to powder.
boil for another minute. Boil the orange juice on low fire
Put off the heat. Serve the for 2-3 minutes and then pour
pineapple and cherries with a over the poached eggs.
small portion of the syrup over Place the oven dish in an oven
scoops of well-frozen ice cream. and bake for only 3-4 minutes in a
Toss gently and place on a
CHICKEN serving dish and serve as a salad
SALAD WITH at room temperature.

LITCHEES
INGREDIENTS: WATERMELON
300 gm boneless chicken
salt to taste AND CUCUMBER
Poached eggs with orange sauce 1 tsp vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
REFRESHER
300 gm peeled litchees WITH MINT
1 cup full watermelon pieces
INGREDIENTS:
– without the seeds and
2 cups watermelon pieces –
peels
without the peel and seeds
1 cup watermelon pieces –
2 cups cucumber pieces –
peeled and seeded and cut
without the peel and seeds
into cubes 1/ tsp pepper powder
1 tsp pepper powder 2
1 tsp chaat
1 tsp coarsely ground chilli
masala
powder
mint leaves
1 tsp oregano powder
METHOD
METHOD
Run the water-
Sprinkle salt and vinegar
melon and cucu -
on the chicken pieces and set
mber pieces and
Chicken salad
aside for 10 minutes. Heat
pepper powder
with litches the olive oil in a non-stick pan
and chaat masala
and add the chicken and fry
preheated oven at 180 degree C in a mixer and
on low fire for 2-3 minutes.
and serve at once. blend. Pour into
Sprinkle a few drops of water and
If you do not want to use the glasses and chill.
cover with a lid. Continue to cook
oven you can heat the eggs Throw in a few mint
till the chicken is tender. Put off
slightly before serving in the leaves into each glass
the heat and sprinkle the pepper
microwave for 30 seconds. and serve as a summer
and chilli powder and oregano.
Serve with noodles or steamed refresher.
Place the chicken pieces in a Watermelon and
rice. mixing bowl and add the fruits. cucumber refresher
with mint

STEWED and discard the seeds. Heat 250


ml of water and add the
PEACHES WITH sugar and the cinnamon
powder. Stir till the sugar
MINT melts. Add the peach
INGREDIENTS: halves and cook on low
12-14 peaches – good quality temperature for 4-5 minutes.
sweet peaches – big size Put off the heat and peel off
3 tbsp sugar the skin gently. Place on a
1/ tsp cinnamon powder serving plate and sprinkle a
2
portion of the syrup over the
For garnishing:
peach halves and chill in the
mint leaves
fridge for one hour. Serve chilled
METHOD garnished with mint leaves as a
Cut the peaches into halves dessert.
Stewed peaches with mint
Sprouts, musk
melon and water
melon salad

RASGOLLAS
BAKED WITH
MANGO PUREE
INGREDIENTS:
6-8 rasgollas
1 kg sweet good quality
mangoes
11/2 cup milk
11/2 tbsp brown sugar
METHOD
Peel the mangoes and cut into puree over the rasgollas. Sprinkle peeled and seeded and cut into
small pieces. Place the pieces in the brown sugar and place in a cubes
a mixer and grind to a puree. Add preheated oven at 180 degree C 1 cup cucumber cut into small
the milk and run the mixer once for 10 -12 minutes or until the pieces – with the peel
again. Place the rasgollas on a sugar just about begins to melt. 1 or more green capsicum cut
baking dish and pour the mango Serve hot or at room into small pieces
temperature or even chilled. 2-3 tomatoes cut into small
pieces – optional
2 tsp lemon juice
SPROUTS, 1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp coarsely ground chilli
MUSK MELON powder
1 tsp oregano powder
AND WATER- METHOD
MELON Mix all the ingredients together
and serve in a shell of water
SALAD melon which has been scooped
out.
INGREDIENTS:
If the salad is chilled before
200 gm sprouts
serving, it tastes better.
1 cup full watermelon pieces –
without the seeds and peels
1 cup watermelon pieces –
Rasgollas baked with mango puree

the peanut
MUSK MELON butter in a mixer
WITH PEANUT to a fine paste.
Remove to a
BUTTER SAUCE butter dish and
place in a fridge.
INGREDIENTS: Keep in the
400 gm musk melon fridge till time for
100 gm peanut butter use.
2 tsp sugar powder Spread on
METHOD pieces of bread
Peel the musk melon and and enjoy the
remove the seeds and cut into spread between
small pieces. Run the musk slices of bread Musk melon with
melon pieces, sugar powder and like a sandwich. peanut butter sauce
CARAMELISED
PEACHES
WITH ICE
CREAM
INGREDIENTS:
10-12 peaches of good quality
Burger patties and big size
with crushed
pineapple and 3 tbsp sugar
apple sauce 1/ tsp cloves powder
2

pieces and the pineapple pieces For serving:


Aam pana sweet rice in a mixer. Heat 100 ml of water ice cream
and add the sugar, cinnamon and METHOD
the crushed fruit. Cook on low fire Cut the peaches into halves
for 3-4 minutes and the sauce will and remove the seeds.
begin to thicken. Cool at room Heat 6-7 tbsp water and then
temperature and serve with add the sugar and the cloves
patties or burgers. powder, cook on low fire for 2
minutes stirring all the time. Add
the peach halves and cook on
AAM PANA low fire till all the water is
SWEET RICE evaporated and the sugar
caramelises and sticks to the
INGREDIENTS: peach halves. Put off the heat
1 cup long-grained rice and cool to room temperature.
BURGER 2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp ghee
Serve with ice cream. You
could keep the peaches full
PATTIES WITH 1 inch-piece cinnamon
2 cloves
instead of cutting into halves if

CRUSHED 1 cup thick aam pana


you so wish. We

Caramelised peaches with ice cream


PINEAPPLE AND concentrate
For garnishing:
APPLE SAUCE almonds
This is a tasty sauce which can METHOD
be spread over burger patties or Soak the rice in water for 20
served with pakoras or with minutes. Drain and keep aside.
vegetable or non-vegetarian Heat the ghee and add the
patties. whole spices and allow to
INGREDIENTS: splutter. Add the soaked rice
and fry on medium heat for 2
For the sauce:
minutes. In the meantime add
2 apples
one cup of water to the aam
6-7 slices pineapples
pana concentrate and mix
2 tsp sugar
well. Add this aam pana and
1 tsp cinnamon powder
water mixture to the rice and stir
METHOD gently. Lower the heat and cook
You may or may not peel the on low heat till all the water is
apples. Cut into small pieces and evaporated. Serve garnished with
remove the seeds. Run the apple almonds as a sweet pulao.
SUMMER
& MONSOON
BEAUTY CARE
How to glow in heat and humidity.

S
By Ameeta Sharma
easonal change brings the Combating the sun: Something
necessity of variation in as simple as using an umbrella while
one’s beauty-care regime. out in the sun is extremely helpful
Gone are the cold days of during summer. SPF with a minimum
extra-dry skin in winter strength of 30 is recommended for
where the use of the right people who have sensitive skin and
cream makes a lot of need to be in the sun for their daily
difference in the way your activities or go on two-wheelers for
skin feels to the touch. The long distances.
present situation is moisture At least twice a week, or
loss of skin, a dull flaky look and preferably every alternate day, using
extra-oily skin. With the sweating, the lemon juice on your face and neck
hair too becomes greasy and needs as also hands and other parts of the
to be washed more frequently. body that are exposed to the sun
Beauty care has to be tweaked to suit helps with the suntan reduction.
the climatic change. Apply directly with cotton wool and
wash off after 15 to 20 minutes.
Unchanging problem: While
season change brings a difference in Balanced diet: As the saying
temperature or humidity what goes – you are what you eat.
remains unchanged in urban India is Consuming a balanced diet is
the pollution and harmful rays of the extremely important during these
sun which create havoc for the skin. months which drain your inner
These have to be tackled on a reserves of water content. Seasonal
regular basis. So the early addition fruits like watermelon and melons,
in the regime for adolescents creates and vegetables like cucumber and
a habit that keeps them aware and gourd (lauki) are extremely good for a
active to take charge of their own balanced diet.
personal care. If you have a problem with
diabetes then balancing with not in a harsh rough
sugar has to be done. Green movement.
leafy vegetable like spinach A home-made product is
are also very good for the economical and allows you
stomach. Avoid extra fat as fresh ingredients. Soaked
digestion is sluggish in these almonds can be blended
months, and consume roughly and mixed with raw
buttermilk rather than full fat milk, a dash of honey and
milk. some oatmeal powder for face
and neck exfoliation. Masur
Facials and massages: pink daal can be soaked for a
Heavy creams or essential oils few hours and then put through
are best avoided in this season a blender mixed with rough
as overloading your skin with oatmeal for the body. While
pore clogging creams is not body exfoliating is best done
going to do it any good. You with vigorous movements to
need moisture, not necessarily improve the blood circulation,
oil. movements on the face should
Before you decide on be smaller, gentler and must
products to use on your skin, it never pull the skin down but
is recommended you know massaged upwards.
your skin type. It might be oily,
dry or a combination with a T Cleansing and toning
zone (this is when the nose ritual: Off-the-shelf beauty
and forehead area is oily while products promise instant
the rest of the face skin is dry). results but it is the regular use
If you have the problem of that will really give you lasting
open pores, always use an ice benefits. While one feels like
pack after steaming your face washing one’s face with soap
or removing the blackheads. more than twice a day, that
Adding a few drops of practice will not benefit you in
rosewater will have a the long run as the harsh soap
refreshing effect on the skin. or face wash imbalances the
Use a lighter cream or oil for Ph of the skin and makes it dry.
body massage as well. Oil can Opt for a soap-free face
be diluted with adding water wash and select a good toner
and mixing well to spread it for your skin type. A toner with
evenly. alcohol needs to be avoided as
it strips the skin of all that you
Joys of exfoliation: need for a healthy skin. Home
Removal of dead skin is remedies include using raw
mandatory for healthy skin. tomato juice for cleansing and
Also, if you use make-up then toning the facial and neck skin.
if the base is clear and well
cared for, the products you use Right moisture: While the
on your face would reflect that skin might feel oily, when you
inner beauty and the effect will wash or wipe it, the surface
be far better. does become dry. Heavy
As the skin breathes, creams that are needed for the
pollution deposits particles on winter months are best packed
the surface, the top layer of the away for some time and lighter
skin becomes listless and dull. lotions are the call of the day. If
Exfoliators for the body scrub you have extra-oily skin, you
are often harsh as the skin on could make your own lotion of
our arms, legs, hands and feet a water base to which a few
is thickest. However, face drops of lavender oil are
exfoliation mix needs to be added. Splash on your face
softer and must be used gently and then pat dry.

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 45


A MAKE-UP ARTIST’S VIEW them. Fill with a nude or neutral
shade of matte lip colour similar to
the colour of your lips, then apply a
small dab of lip gloss to the centre of
the lips. Press the lips together to
evenly distribute the gloss. This
should prevent bleeding of the lip
gloss or feathering outside of your lip
line.
Any specific tip – even about
how and where to apply the
perfume during these
months as some of
the alcohol-based
perfumes tend to burn
the freshly washed
skin?
Ankit Kumar, or Sonu to his touch of colour such as It’s good to apply
friends, is a freelance make-up artist brown, beige, raisin or perfume before wearing
in Delhi who has worked on a grey add a touch of any expensive clothing.
photography assignments, fashion grading and will make Fragrances should be
shoots, bridal makeovers, the black eye-shadow sprayed on one’s pulse
magazines, film and television less harsh or severe on points which are the
including NDTV, National Geographic the eyes. This trick wrists, behind the ears,
and the BBC. He has also worked works for most Indian at the base of the
with celebrities and cine stars such skin tones, especially in the throat, the cleavage and the insides
as Irfan Khan and Dino Morea. His evenings. For day-wear, just a pencil of your elbows.
experience in the make- up industry eyeshadow works well. If you apply perfume on your
allows him to see how to make the wrists, don’t rub the wrists together
most of an individual’s face and Say something about make-up as it will break down the
highlight their best features removal and how to keep skin scent of the fragrance and smell
supple in general. different.
Your advice to base skin If you leave make-up on your face Light fragrances with lemony and
preparation for evening make-up longer than necessary, it may clog up fresh citrus tones, colognes and eau
during heat and monsoon when the pores of your skin. So it’s best to de toilettes are less concentrated and
skin sweats and make-up tends to remove traces with a regular make- ideal for summer.
slide. up remover. Do not use baby wipes.
It’s a fact that make-up will A gentle eye make-up remover is a Suggest any face pack for
smudge and streak if it’s applied too good purchase and avoid rubbing the a quick-fix before going out in
heavily. There are also some areas of your face. Use gentle the evening for a 'natural glow'.
interesting make-up primers in the strokes to remove make-up. The right face pack depends on
market which can be applied on a Avoid toners which are quite your skin type. For dry skin, a rose-
clean and moisturised face. A astringent to the skin. They may strip based face pack such as a ripe
concealer under the eyes is effective the skin of its natural oils. Try to banana mashed with rose water can
as well as a light foundation in liquid choose a cleanser which is based on be applied on the face and washed
or cream form is good for evening your skin type. For example, a very off after 15 minutes.
use in this weather. This can be dry skin could benefit from a For oily skin, lemon or orange peel
dabbed onto the skin gently and cleansing oil or an oil based cleanser. mixed with curds and applied on the
sparingly with a slightly damp make- face for 15 minutes is effective in
up sponge starting from the middle What would you suggest reducing blemishes. Chick pea
of your face outwards. Then you can specifically for lips – especially to powder mixed with water is a great
apply your make-up which should stop bleeding of lipstick when homemade pack for combination
then stay longer on your face. women want to use gloss over the skin.
lips? Above all, water intake is one of
Your opinion on colours of eye the best beauty products all year
make-up that suits everybody – Dust the lips lightly with a face round and especially in the summer.
most Indian skin tones that is. powder, then use a lip liner close to Drinking enough will help replenish
Black eye shadow and then a the tone colour of your lips to outline the skin and retain moisture.
Use of yogurt in the face pack use frequently-used products for the
would supply the right amount of correct effect.
grease to the skin. Add half a tsp At least once a fortnight, oil your
of sandalwood powder or cinnamon hair and give it the hot towel
powder to this to give your skin an treatment for deeper penetration.
ethereal glow. Some hair rinses work for all hair
Always use a moisturiser before types – add the juice of one lemon
going to bed at night to repair the to the last rinse of your hair for a
day’s damage to the skin. squeaky clean feel of the scalp.
Get your hair trimmed for split
Face packs: If your skin is very ends and keep a fuss-free style for
oily, use Fuller’s earth, or multani summer. A high ponytail or short
mitti, as a base for a face pack. haircut works for most face shapes.
Face packs should be done at least Mostly, what works for your face
once a week for best effect. Fruit also works well for the scalp and
packs made with a mashed ripe hair. If you are using hair dye or
banana or overripe papaya are henna, nourishing hair treatments
good. Fresh pineapple juice is also are good to stop hair from damage
good and may be mixed with a tsp and becoming brittle. We
of honey to give it the ability to stick
to the skin.
After applying the face pack
relax for about 20 minutes and then
wash off with tepid water. Using
very cold or warm water is
avoidable in the summer and
monsoon period as it damages skin companies make. If you are using
and does not make it feel tissue paper, avoid rubbing it as
rejuvenated. that will ruin all colour balance of
the make-up. Just blot with the
Make-up and cosmetics: tissue and always check that no
Selection of products through the paper is left behind stuck on your
summer and monsoon months is very face.
important. Especially in the monsoon,
it is best to use waterproof eye make- Hair care: A beauty regime
up to avoid accidental running of the is never complete without hair
make-up. Eyeliners and mascaras care. Use of products
are the worst affected in this weather. appropriate for your hair type
For eye make-up select a pencil is highly recommended. If
eye shadow over powders as they your hair is fine, use products
might get cracked during the day. that will not weigh it
Lipsticks need to be moisturising and down. If your
lighter colours to suit the weather scalp feels itchy
rather than deep, dark browns or and oily, and
reds. you need to
Avoid heavy foundation and face shampoo it more
powders as, with sweat, they tend to often than others,
become runny and end up looking
patchy. Creamier blush-on or a
bronzing powder is best for the
season. If you are particularly fond
of lip gloss, remember to line your
lips with a nude lip pencil to avoid
bleeding lipstick.
To remove excess sweat and
oily residue on your nose and
forehead, use face blotters that
some international make-up
DO YOU SHOP TILL
YOU DROP?
WANNA
KNOW WHY?
How relentlessly the
ads arouse your emotions to buy,

M
without thinking. By Rumy Agarwal
arketing gurus have never tandem with product
had it so good – the world desig ners. This
consumer goods is their means the products
oyster and they have the and their advertise -
customers just how they ments sneak into our
want them: putty in their psyche, mould our
hands! No, really, I am not thinking, and guide
being hyperbolical – it is a our actions. Hmm...
plain simple fact. Look seems like copy -
around you – most of the writers and product
things that you are surrounded by are designers can make
there as a result of your conscious the world’s best
decision to procure them in preachers or spiritual
preference to other similar articles. gurus!
Which means that we buy the things Anyway, as I was saying, our urge electronic media. Pretty awesome, I’d
we do because they are: to splurge is quite effectively a say, to be able to creep into the
● good, economical, give their product of all the smart whipper - crevices of a nation’s collective
money’s worth (the common sense – snapper lines this combo tribe unconscious and influence its
but boring! – reasons); badgers us with via the print and spending behaviour! Which is why
● fashionable (must have them the psychodynamics of ad-making
’cos everybody else – or those that and the psychology of marketing
matter in our social circuit – has INTERESTINGLY, fascinate me – how the hell do these
them); THE LOOK OF THE people push the right buttons to get
● of the latest technology and
are, therefore, a cut above the rest;
PACKAGE ALSO HAS AN us to loosen our purse-strings? How
do they motivate us to buy one brand
● attractively packaged or ENORMOUS IMPACT ON instead of an other? Which instincts
endorsed by some celebrity (pretty ITS PERCEIVED QUALITY. of ours do they appeal to? Which
inane reasons for spending dough emotional strings do they play on?
but, we know, the human mind works
AN EYE-CATCHING These and many such questions flew
in strange ways at times). PACKAGE ALMOST about in my mind like bats in a belfry
And how have we arrived at these SUMMARILY TRANSLATES and I thought, why not thrash out the
conclusions or picked these reasons psychology of product marketing?
for shopping? This is how. Conscio- INTO SUPERIORITY Yeah, why not? And guess what I
usly or unconsciously, we let our - OF THE PRODUCT OR discovered!
selves be guided and our thinking be
influenced by the very persuasive
VERACITY OF ITS Each damn jar, tube, pouch, box,
bottle on the store shelves has been
clan of advertisers working in perfect CLAIMS! carefully designed and packaged to

48 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


appeal to a particular emotion, a inner desire to be like them. Of claims! Check out the yummy-looking
specific instinct in the core, of the course, all this “activity” goes on at Domino’s pizzas or McDonald’s
shopper’s being – in the buyer’s inner a subconscious level but is very burgers – don’t they make your
self, so to speak. Ads, especially, powerful in achieving the desired mouth water?
almost challenge you to prove that result. Of course, brand names also have
you are (a) either a good parent who Interestingly, the look of the a lot to do with the consumer
values his/her child’s well-being package also has an enormous accepting a product. Big names
above all else, (b) a doting wife who impact on its perceived quality. An which have built up a reputation on a
settles for nothing but the best for her eye-catching package almost tradition of trust undoubtedly have
husband, (c) the complete man who summarily translates into superiority the cutting edge in consumer
can, in spite of a tight schedule, of the product or veracity of its preference. We somehow believe
spend quality time with his family and that these big daddies won’t sell us
even his dogs without a wrinkle on inferior quality products. It is a belief
his forehead or even his which the manufacturers have
immaculately pressed suit, or (d) the worked hard to instil and even harder
handsome dude or the glamorous to live up to. So they deserve to reap
chick who leaves a trail of drool in his the profits.
or her wake, and so on. It is like, Colour schemes are important in
“Hey, if you care about this, that or product packaging. Bright colours
the other, you’d be using XYZ such as yellow, red or luminous
product,” implying that if you are not, green aggressively grab your
you are a scumbag! attention but do not necessarily
Holy cow! Products are designed guarantee purchase of such vividly
with such meticulous attention to the chromatic goods. Somehow, even
minutest detail simply to ensure that though buyers are attracted by
buyers are tempted to see beyond brightly-coloured articles, they prefer
the label and the packaging and some subdued or mellowed colours
grasp the inherent message which on the packages which are brought
has been targeted either at some home, maybe because they are more
particular aspect of their soothing to the eye and
personality, or their hence more relaxing for the
unacknowledged aspirations, nerves. And it is
or even their secret dreams. understandable that a
So much so that when you person wants the entire
pay cash over the counter, ambience of his home to
you are led to believe you have healing properties to
are exchanging it for more help the person unwind after
than a product, you are a long day. In fact, for that
actually buying an attitude or matter, feminine forms such
even a set of beliefs! For as circles and ovals which
instance, a cricket enthusiast suggest completeness,
almost involuntarily reaches receptiveness and enclosure
for a jar of Boost when have the most positive
buying drinking chocolate, as if to connotations and are, therefore,
reinforce his love for Sachin or extensively used as the underlying
Sehwag or whoever to endorse his theme for many packages. Interes-
ting, eh ?
Equally illuminating is the fact that
buying is actually a coping mechanism
that humans resort to in order to deal
with fears and desires that are difficult
to acknowledge and deal with. See,
marketing psychologists have a wide
gamut of human emotions to choose
from. So, next time you reach for a
product, remember that you have
been lured to it – and admit it, you are
loving it! We

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 49


Stylishly long
Whether it is long
or short, its
charm is the thing
that matters. Style
dominates the
scene, so you
look scintillating

Different Cuts
and sexy.
Longish and longer Urban-Afro style
A parting that falls over

Styled for the times An attractive bun

The curl that sucks in


Do gentlemen really prefer the blonde?
described a beauteou
wh
as easy as it is ima king and
Making hairstyle st gined. A lot

planning goes into s hairdo.


of imaginative thin at can be
atement is not
STORY
SHORT

Hema’s Choice
When a village girl has to choose between two conflicting proposals...
By Anil Kumar Panda

A
n arrow of light emerged from behind the already gone to the field. ‘He should at least wake
hill, which stood like a wall across the me up,’ she muttered to herself. She ran to the
eastern periphery of the village. The glow backyard, to the empty shed and collected
extended from the top of the hill to the middle cowdung. She cleaned the ropes, spread dry straw
of the sky, piercing through a large chunk of on the floor for the cows to sleep on and began to
cloud having frayed edges. The sun was gather the clothes to be washed. The toothless old
about to appear as the strand of light woman sitting on the verandah smiled at her as she
lowered and kissed the vast stretch of undulating closed the doors behind her. As she alighted the
fields — the sweating farmers were already tilling, stairs, a squirrel ran past her towards the old
walking leisurely behind the demure oxen. The cattle banyan tree. It stopped in the middle of its trunk,
grazing at a distance looked like dots on a canvass. teased her by blinking its eyes before getting lost
As they grazed, the dew-washed thin blades of amidst thick leaves.
grasses stung their nostrils which they cleared with

T
their hooves or by shaking their heads violently. The he river was already crowded when Hema
squirrels got alert and paused to look at the cows reached there. The women had taken their
with their tails swinging in the air. The birds baths and were collecting their clothes to
emerged from their nests in droves and return. Girls of her age were washing
made somersaults in the air. Sometimes, clothes sitting on stones and sands, talking
they would perch on the heads of the cows The river and laughing. On the other side of the river
and pry for the twisting worms in the was already men and children plunged into the water
grasses. crowded from a high rock sending out waves.
Holding a pot at her waist, the wife of when Hema Squeezing petticoats between their legs, the
the farmer walked indolently towards the reached girls entered the water. They held each
river, pausing and playing with dew till there. The other’s hands so that the slipping sands
her friends caught up with her. They women had would not pull them down. They held water
gathered at the river and bowed their taken their in the cups of their palms and threw it over
heads towards the flame of orange that baths and their heads, creating rainbows. The drops
filled the horizon. Somewhere, a farmer were of water hung onto their tresses like nuggets
played his flute sitting under a tree. The collecting of diamonds.
cows held their heads up and let the girls
caress their necks and kiss their foreheads.
their clothes theAs the sun began to turn white behind
mango trees and the dew disappeared
The women let loose the knots of hairs and
to return. from the tip of the bent grass, the river fell
shook their heads gently. They blushed as silent. Hema took her bath, gathered the
crumpled petals of henna rolled over their bodies clothes, tweaked the cheeks of the girl bathing
and got strewn in the sands. beside her and walked towards her home with water
The rooster crowed, standing on one leg over a dripping from her dress. She walked up to the
dunghill below the half-opened windows. Hema got verandah and opened the doors of her house. The
up from the bed. She cursed herself for sleeping late. cows had already returned from the field and were
Standing at the windows, she inhaled the morning chewing the cud leisurely, sitting on the verandah.
air. The banks of the river would have been As she rushed to the courtyard the cows followed
crowded, she thought. She took the broom and her. She hung the clothes on the string in the
began to sweep the floor hurriedly. Her father had courtyard. The cows mooed in the shed and beat the

52 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


earth with their hooves. She entered the kitchen and Her father should have arrived by now. She
brought the pot of rice water. As the cows dipped opened the doors and alighting the stairs, walked a
their tongues into the pot, Hema caressed their short distance from where the field was visible. The
necks. She tethered them to the poles, cleaned the sun had reached the middle of the sky. Keeping her
pot with ash, placed it in the sun to dry and, sitting hand over her eyes to ward off the sun, she looked
in front of the mirror, began to comb her hair. Her towards the field. The field seemed empty except for
father must be coming now. Outside, she could hear one or two cows grazing under the trees.
the shouts of the children coming back from school. ‘He must have gone to the river to take a bath,’
Her father must be coming behind them. she thought. The village dogs looked at her
She had kept watered rice cooked the previous expectantly with their tongues dangling and
night. Her father would love to have it with chilli and breathing heavily. The street looked deserted as the
onion. Hema would look at her father as he dipped village folks had finished their meals and retired to
his calloused palm into the bowl, rolled the handful their mud houses. She got suspicious. She decided
of rice into a ball and put it into his mouth. He to take a walk towards the river — to see if her
looked so innocent. Hema would look at his stony father was really there.
and shining face as if that had been cut and

S
polished with utmost care. “She has your eyes and he closed the doors, stood in front of the mirror
nose and chin, just like that of a pigeon,” she had and looked at herself. Clouds of dark tresses
heard her mother saying about her to him while ran down to her waist. Two strands, like two
plaiting her hair. tender creepers, hung on either sides of her
forehead, making half moons by the sides of her

S
ometimes the rice water would get spilled out of eyes. She pushed them back and pinned them over
the bowl as his thoughts flew into the future — her head. Tiny drops of perspiration stuck to the
when Hema would be wed and he would have eyelashes and shone like diamonds. The lips were
little grandchildren. Tears gathered at the corners of as thin as petals and quivered to open up. She was
his eyes as the face of his wife appeared from already 17 and looked like the most beautiful girl in
nowhere and he felt the walls of the house shaking the village. Her eyes fell on the photograph of her
with their laughter. As his thoughts evaporated, his mother — smiling at her from inside the wooden
eyes would fall on Hema who was staring at him for frame. Her mother’s eyes looked like two butterflies.
spoiling his dress with rice water. He ‘If those eyes were alive,’ she thought, ‘she would
would straighten himself, hold back like to hold them in her palms for ever.’ The villagers
the tears and begin to eat like a often said that Hema’s eyes had the same
child. That stare of Hema’s mysteriousness and depth of her mother’s.
reminded him of her mother. She heard someone calling her father’s name
outside. Someone might have brought some news
from her father? She opened the doors
and found Sadhu, the peon of the
village school, standing in front of
her. His eyes stayed fixed on
Hema’s face for a while. He
was thin, dark and wore a cap
that looked as old as him,
about 60 years. Wisps of
thin white hairs hung loose
at the periphery of the
cap and his eyes were
covered with thick
glasses.
“Where is
Madhab?” he
asked, bending his
head to one side.
“Not yet returned
from the field I
think?” His senile
frame seemed to fall
on Hema. Her father and Sadhu had been friends She opened it and saw her father standing in
for long. Sadhu used to come to her house quite front of her. His body had turned black and was
often. He would drink tea with her father sitting on glistening with sweat. A drop of perspiration was
the verandah. They would talk for hours on various hanging from the tip of his nose. He handed over
things — about rain, the slow progress of the hoe and basket to Hema and sitting on the floor
government’s various schemes in the village, about began to wipe his body with his cloth. Hema put the
each other’s family — till Hema’s mother would hoe and the basket in a corner and asked her father
shout at them as the cows seemed restless in the if he wanted some water. He nodded. She went into
shed for fodder, and lamps were to be lit. kitchen and came with a bowl of water.
“Not yet, uncle,” said Hema. She looked anxious “Where have you been?” she asked handing
and expected news of her father from Sadhu. over the bowl. He bent forward a little and began to
“Come inside. I will make you some tea.” wash his face. “Where have you been?” she said
“No, no, daughter. I have so much work in the again looking at his face.“Have you given rice
school,” Sadhu adjusted his cap by pulling it a little water to the cows?” Madhab asked without
towards his forehead. answering her. “I forgot to tell you that I might be
“But you can sit till he returns.” late as I had to go to the other side of the river — to
“My goodness! Don’t say that. I don’t expect him the master’s house,” said Madhab, standing with his
to come soon and the headmaster will throw me out back to Hema and wiping his face.
of the school gate if I sit here and drink tea from the “Don’t bother about the cows. I have given them
hands of my daughter,” said Sadhu. rice water and fodder. I also washed the shed with
“He must be coming. He must be feeling tired in cowdung,” her tone seemed a little rude.
this heat,” said Hema looking towards the “Don’t get angry, my darling daughter,
river. and give me something to eat.”
“The rain is about to come in a few Hema sat He dusted the place on the floor and
days. He might have gone to buy seeds,” near the cot squatted down. She sat in front of him
said Sadhu. He came down from the with a pile putting the bowls of rice between them. He
verandah and stood in the middle of the of clothes to put one morsel after another into his mouth
road. as if he had been hungry for days. “It is
“He did not tell me anything when he darn. Off due to that old man,” he began to say with
went out of the house. How could I know?” and on, the a morsel in his mouth, half eaten, “who had
Hema said. Her eyebrows danced like mooing of visited us last week.” Hema nodded
leaves in the wind. cows could looking into his eyes. “He is a very learned
“Tell Madhab that our headmaster be heard man and had been to great places to learn
wants to talk to him. He should come to Sanskrit in his youth.” As Madhab talked
school during the recess hour today,” said
from the his eyes got wider.
Sadhu turning towards Hema. “Don’t shed. “So?” Hema asked with a look of
forget to tell him. It is urgent and that’s why innocence in her eyes.
I myself have come to give this message.” Madhab ran his hand inside the bowl
for rice, felt sure that no grain was left, lifted the

H
ema wanted Sadhu to stay till her father bowl to his mouth and drank the rice water. It
returned. She saw him walking down the hot formed a ring around his lips, which he wiped with
and dusty path in hurried paces till he his thumb. “His son will be coming from the town
vanished behind the cluster of huts at the edge of the this month. The old man along with his wife and son
village. would come to see you, maybe this month,” he put
She closed the doors and sat on the cot waiting the bowl in front of him and looked at Hema. She
for her father. Tears welled up in her eyes. She said nothing and went on eating quietly.
could hear the desperate cry of a hungry dog in the “It is up to you. I have nothing to say. The
backyard. The day was getting hotter. villagers say that the boy has a great appetite for
Hema picked up a broom and started to gather learning and would return to the village after having
the cobwebs that had accumulated at the corners of finished some medical course at the college. You
the roof. Inside the holes in the walls, the pigeons know we don’t have such a college in our village,”
shook their bodies, looked at Hema with dreamy Madhab stopped to take a breath. “They say he
eyes and fell into a daze. She gathered the webs into would earn in thousands after that.” He waited for
a knot and was about to go to the backyard when Hema to say something. She finished her rice and
she heard the knocks on the door. Throwing the began to collect the utensils. Then she got up, held
sticky ball into a pot she rushed to the door. the utensils in front of her face so that her eyes could

54 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


not meet her father’s and, smiling to herself, strutted village?” She blushed. She looked at her father who
away to the backyard where, upon a stone, she sat was sleeping peacefully, and smiled. How would his
down and began to rub ash on the bowls. life be without her? Who would sweep the floor and
wash the utensils? Her thoughts got interrupted as

S
he found her father seated on the cot made of the cot creaked when Madhab turned over.
wood and coconut rope. Suddenly, she She woke him up so that he could reach the
remembered Sadhu’s visit. “Sadhu had come to school before it closed. Madhab washed his face,
tell that you must see the headmaster,” Hema said, told Hema not to forget to give fodder and water to
cursing herself for forgetting to give the news. “You the cows, combed his hair and went to the school
should see him at the school during the recess hour.” closing the doors behind him. The colour of the sun
“When had he come?” he asked. “What more was beginning to turn red at its fringe as it hung
did he say?” between the treetops and the horizon. The farmers
“Nothing more. He was in a hurry and did not sit were getting ready to go to the barns to thresh
even for tea,” she said. paddy.
“Let me take a nap first,” said Madhab and,

C
placing his hands under his head, he began to ome, Madhab, come, said the headmaster
snore. when he saw Madhab standing in front of his
Hema sat near the cot with a pile of clothes to office. “I was waiting for you.”
darn. Off and on, the mooing of cows could be He was sitting on a wooden chair behind a table
heard from the shed. The pigeons ruffled their wings which looked quite old and was covered with a
as gusts of hot wind set their bodies on fire. Beads of plastic sheet. The headmaster wore a pair of thick
perspiration ran down the temple of Hema, one after glasses having a dark frame. A few books and
another, and fell on the cloth she was sewing. notebooks lay scattered on the table and a pen was
Sometimes, the sweat gathered on her eyelashes lying open on a sheet of half-written paper.
and blurred her vision. She would place the cloth on He gestured to Madhab to sit on a stool in front of
the floor, wipe the eye with the edge of her frock, him, he closed the pen and put away the paper he
take a deep breath and resume her work. was writing on. Though the sun was about to touch
The thought of getting married and leaving the the horizon in the western sky, it was still hot inside
house and her father worried her. How would the the room. A ceiling fan with twisted blades was
life on the other side of the river be, she wondered. whirring labouriously from the ceiling. Sometimes,
She remembered the old man whom she had seen in whiffs of winds entered the room through the
the village market walking with an umbrella in one windows and lifted the pages of the calendar on the
hand and a bag in the other. He looked so simple wall.
and innocent and his forehead was smeared with “Madhab, I want to talk to you about Hema,”
thick sandalwood paste. The villagers treated him said the headmaster taking off his glasses and
with great respect. They went to him to cleaning his eyes with his middle finger and thumb.
seek advice if they were in trouble. Madhab shifted on the stool and nodded his
‘Did his son look like him?’ she head. He was about to say something when the
wondered. ‘How would headmaster said, “Yes, yes. I had sent Sadhu to you.
life in the town be? How is Hema? I have not seen her since she left the
How could I face school.”
the girls in the river Madhab said nothing. His eyes were fixed on the
when the news deep furrows that formed on the forehead of the
spread in the headmaster when he spoke.
“It has really been difficult for you after her
mother died?” the headmaster asked.
“Yes, of course,” whispered Madhab.
“What is she doing in the house?” the
headmaster went on, dusting his shirt with his
fingers.
“She assists me in taking care of the cows and the
house. Most of the time she remains busy in
household jobs.”
“I know, I know. It must be very difficult for her to
leave the house. There is so much work to do.”
The headmaster shook his head up and down. He
began to put the glasses on and placed them at the She has been a good student of our school,” said
edge of his nose. He pulled the chair closer to the the headmaster releasing his hands from under his
table and said, “The matter is, or let me say the armpits and shaking Madhab’s shoulder.
purpose of calling you here is, I want Hema to work Hema was sitting outside on the steps of the
in our school.” He leaned forward as much as verandah when Madhab reached home. The
possible towards Madhab and acted as if he had crimson rays of the sun splashed on the verandah of
confided a great secret in him. the house. A hen surrounded by her chicks scoured
Madhab pulled his head back and sat straight. the dust near Hema’s feet. The chicks ran about and
“What?” gathered behind her whenever a dog or a cat
“Yes, we need a teacher for the kids below five passed by. Women seated in front of their houses
years in our school. As Hema has completed her covered their heads as their in-laws returned from
primary education, I think she can do it.” the fields and river, following the cows and bulls.
The air was filled with the sounds of bells and shouts

M
adhab looked at the face of the headmaster of children playing in the street.
who was smiling at him with his upper lip As he reached home, Madhab asked Hema if the
drawn into his mouth. cows had been given rice water and fodder and,
“But she is only 17 and has no picking up a pail, went to the shed to milk
experience in teaching. And who will look the cows. Hema followed her father,
after my house?” Madhab asked in a low As they curious to know what had transpired
voice so that the headmaster should not stood facing between him and the headmaster. As
feel hurt. Madhab milked the cows, she stood near
“That will be taken care of. She will
each other him and caressed their necks. “What did
remain in the school for three to four hours near the the headmaster say?” she asked and kissed
only. She would finish all her work in the gate, the a calf on its forehead as it licked her hand.
house and come to school.” headmaster Madhab adjusted the pail between his legs
“I will see. I have to ask her,” said asked as it got full and heavy. “Nothing,” he said,
Madhab and hung his face down looking Madhab caressing the udder.
worried. “Then how did Sadhu say that the
“I am telling you for her benefit. She about his headmaster wanted to meet you urgently?”
would not feel lonely here and can health and Hema pressed on holding the calf around
continue her study if she likes,” the future plans its neck so that its head touched her cheek
headmaster said as if to make a child for Hema. and she felt the warmth of the soft skin.
understand a riddle. Madhab handed over the pail to Hema,
“All right, sir. Give me permission to patted the cows and picking lice off their
go.” backs, said, “The headmaster told me to take you to
Madhab got up from the stool and stood before the school tomorrow, nothing else.” He began to
the headmaster with folded hands. gather the broom, the pans and the straw into a
“And how will the crop be this year?” the corner of the cowshed. “Be ready tomorrow, we
headmaster asked as he got up from the chair and have to go to school.” They came out of the shed
followed Madhab to the gate. and closed the gate made of wattle to keep dogs
“We are expecting the monsoon to come soon, and cats from entering at night.
otherwise it would be difficult to plant the seeds,”

M
said Madhab without turning to look at the adhab returned from the field and told Hema
headmaster. “The land has already been tilled in the to put on a clean frock and get ready. Hema
pre-monsoon rain. Day by day it is becoming wanted to know why his father was so
difficult to depend on agriculture due to insufficient interested in taking her to school. He told her that
rain and non-availability of seeds of good quality.” the headmaster wanted to talk to her. “Why did you
As they stood facing each other near the gate, the not tell me yesterday?” she pleaded looking
headmaster asked Madhab about his health and perplexed. The father and daughter came out of the
future plans for Hema. His hands were crossed over house and the neighbours sitting on the steps looked
his chest and the palms were hidden under the curiously at them.
armpits. “To the school,” said Madhab to the women, who
“Let me go, sir. The girl is alone in the house and looked at them questioningly. “The headmaster
the cows have to be taken care of.” wanted to see her.”
“All right, all right. But you must consider what I “When are they coming to see Hema?” said the
said. Don’t let Hema sit in the house and kill time. old woman whose voice seemed trembling with age.

56 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


“What a beautiful face she has. She will look so “Not yet,” said Madhab. “A proposal for her
beautiful in her bridal dress.” marriage has come. They are coming at the end of
Madhab stood there, before the old woman as this month to see her.”
she went on asking one question after another about Oh, I see! Have you asked Hema about her
Hema’s marriage. wish?” said the headmaster. He looked at Hema
Hema’s face turned crimson as the women teased intently over his glasses. “Then let me ask her,” the
her. She stood behind her father in an effort to headmaster went on.
conceal her face. “Any day in this month. But I have “I have a plan for you, Hema. If you would be
told them to inform me a day or two before,” interested, I want you to join our school.”
Madhab was saying, “Let us know their opinion.”

T
“Her marriage would give you a great relief,” he headmaster waited for any reaction from
said the old woman, looking at the women who Hema. She had turned into a statue listening to
nodded their heads and their glances flitted between the headmaster. She had lost the power of
Hema and Madhab. “Don’t let her move in the street speech.
like this; what will they think if they see her loitering “All you have to do is to take care of the little
in the village?” the old woman said as Madhab and children of nursery classes,” the headmaster said,
Hema turned to go. A group of children followed looking at Hema and Madhab alternately. “At the
them to a distance, dispersed into groups and began same time, you can pursue your studies.”
to play. Hema’s hold tightened on the shoulder of her
father.

T
hey stood in front at the gate of the school and “But let me tell you, sir,” Madhab said,
saw the headmaster and Sadhu working in the straightening himself in the chair, “it would be very
garden. Hema looked at the old structure of the difficult to get such a boy. The father of the boy
school that she had left a few years ago. She himself had come with the proposal.”
remembered her friends, and the time she had spent “It is up to you. I am just giving you a proposal,”
during her schooldays. She went to the headmaster the headmaster said leaning back in his chair and
and touched his feet. “Arre, Hema! Come, come,” looking at the ceiling. “We are looking for a girl for
said the headmaster and led them to his office. He this post and we thought Hema was alone in the
sat in his chair and offered Madhab a chair to sit house after her mother’s death so she could pass her
on. Hema remained standing at the side of her time here.”
father. “Marriage can wait,” said Hema, crumpling her
“Have you talked to Hema?” said the father’s shirt in her hands. There was an unusual
headmaster, wondering at the beauty of Hema. gravity and maturity in her voice that Madhab was
astonished to notice. “Anything can wait. Let me, sir,
come to the school from tomorrow.”
The air of authority in her face
startled Madhab. He could not
dare to look into her eyes and
turned his face towards the
headmaster. Silence
prevailed for some time.
As Madhab got up from
the chair to go, he heard
the headmaster humming
a song with his gaze
fixed on the yellowish
blades of the fan rotating
demurely overhead.
“Come from tomorrow,
Hema,” he said and
began to gather the
papers spread on the
table into a bundle.
Madhab realised that
the case was no more in
his hands. We
PARTNER SEARCH
Beware of wedding brokers while trying to find a
match for your son or daughter. By Gulsum Basheer

W
hat parents do behind – or the parents step into a ensuing wedding, contacts the
their children’s backs, on matrimonial agency. broker. The minute the phone call is
Sunday mor nings goes Having many cousins with children made, she is prey to the broker’s
an advertisement for the of marriageable ages, I have been demands.
weekly matrimonial privy to their tensions and hassles. The broker lands up in her house,
classi fieds in a leading Most importantly I have watched with with photographs and biodata of
newspaper. It is every alarm how gullible they become when prospective brides or grooms as the
parent’s fond desire to they are dealing with marriage case maybe. Before I say more about
see his child settled in life brokers. After all, they want the best the blundering brokers, I should
with a partner worthy of for their child. The broker knows this describe what a typical biodata for a
him or her. and how to sweet-talk the parents marriage alliance looks like. None of
Until a few years ago, most into becoming putty in his trained the boy’s or girl’s achievements in his
parents chose their child’s better-half hands. professional field is highlighted in
from among their relatives and The brokers advertise themselves this. Instead, right after mentioning
acquaintances, with a fond uncle or in the local newspapers. An the applicant’s name and date of
an over friendly aunt playing the advertisement might run something birth, the fond parents mention the
matchmaker. like this “All religions. Marriages colour of his complexion, whether
Now, with joint families breaking fixed, doctors, engineers. All very fair/fair/wheatish. Then the
up into nuclear units and people professions. VIP marriages. Exclu - child’s build which is always slim,
settling far away from the places of sive and Bonafide.” while the heavier ones are passed off
their ancestral origin, finding a bride The unsuspecting parents, usually as athletic.
or groom has become a Herculean the mother, as the father is busy My cousin contacted a broker to
task. So in steps the marriage broker (may be) earning to pay for the find a bride for her highly qualified

58 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


and handsome son. The broker where according to them their qualified girls, whose photos she had
arrived at her house in a car, armed services are much sought after. received earlier by e-mail on the list.
with a laptop, from which he showed When my cousin rang up the It was then that she realised that
her many girls’ photos and their agency’s branch in her city, a decent those five girls, professional models,
biodata. Then he politely asked her sounding man attended her call and whose pictures accompanied by
for Rs.2000 as registration fees. After answered her queries. But she was cooked up qualifications according a
my cousin had coughed up the still not satisfied and said so to the person’s demands, were used to bait
amount, he took her son’s photo and man. He asked for her preference in customers to their agency, to part
biodata. brides, like the bride’s height, place with a thousand rupees.
To give the devil its due, he did of residence and her qualifications. Not all marriage bureaus are
forward to her e-mail ID, a few girls’ Then he asked for her son’s height, frauds. But parents should use their
details and photos. But these did not date of birth and his qualifications. discrimination when using their
match up to my cousin’s He took down her e-mail ID and told services. Many online marriage
expectations. Every few days, the her that he would mail her a few girls’ portals like Bharat Matrimony.com,
broker and she would call each other details which might suit her son. shaadi.com, jeevansaathi.com and
up and wage a battle of words. They She received by mail pictures of nikah.com have been doing a
never came to an understanding. five girls, each prettier than the other wonderful job in connecting people
According to my cousin, her son and an accompanying tableau with wishing to get married. There are
was too good for the girls the broker their qualifications that perfectly thousands of genuine real-life stories
pointed out. In the broker’s view my matched my cousin’s expectations of couples who met through these
cousin was too demanding and not and living right there in her city too. marriage sites. But for every hundred
willing to make compromises. After Their names, addresses and true profile on the net, there is a not
some time the broker stopped telephone numbers were hidden of so genuine one waiting to hook an
sending her any girl’s details. He cut course. unsuspecting person.
off all ties with her and also refused Taken in by the whole packaging, A few years ago in Chennai,
to answer her calls. So that was a my cousin hurried to their office and police arrested a man who had
good two thousand rupees down the paid the initial amount of one married four different girls, two of
drain. thousand rupees as registration fee. whom he had lured from the
Then she was given a registration matrimonial sites. One of the girls he
THE MARRIAGE number, using which she could log
into the agency’s website and get the
had met on the matrimonial site was
an army major’s daughter with a well-
BROKERS contact details of any girl they liked. paying job. He had pretended to her
Some marriage brokers place Later at home, when she logged to be from the IAS cadre, while he
advertisements in matrimonial into their website, she saw the was just a school dropout. If only he
classifieds in newspapers for a portfolios of many girls. But none had put his brains to better use!
fictitious person. My cousin was lured were of the five beautiful and highly So, when enlisting the help of
by an advertisement that said, “Very marriage brokers or bureaus or
fair engineering graduate bride. meeting a person registered in the
Educated, cultured family.” When she NOT ALL MARRIAGE matrimonial sites, one should tread
called the number given in the ad, BUREAUS ARE warily, take everything you hear with
the man who answered her call said a huge dose of salt, check and
that he was the bride’s uncle. My FRAUDS. BUT recheck every single detail you hear,
unsuspecting cousin poured out her PARENTS SHOULD many times over and never take
son’s details, his qualifications, his
place of work, his physical attributes,
USE THEIR anything at face value. Marriages are
made in heaven, but these are
even his salary amount. DISCRIMINATION finalised on earth.
It was only later, she came to WHEN USING THEIR My cousin finally found a bride for
understand that this man was a
marriage broker collecting information
SERVICES. her son, with the help of a broker
only. On the day of the wedding she
about prospective grooms in their city had to pay the broker his commission
and later passing on this information of a whooping fifty thousand rupees.
to other families with girls for a fee. Who said weddings were cheap?
Then my cousin contacted a I can hear the youth of today
famous marriage bureau often advocating love marriages as against
advertised in the papers. I am not arranged marriages and telling their
mentioning the name of the agency, parents, “We are saving you a whole
but it has many branches in different lot of trouble.”
states and even in Gulf countries, They just might have a point there.We

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 59


TEN FASHION
NO-NO’S
Looks great? But on you?

S
By Minakshi. S. Desai
tyle and fashion aficionados
never had it so good. With
the alarm bells of recession
ringing, sales and discounts
are the order of the day, the
prices hitting rock bottom
faster than the sensex on a
bad bull day. And while it is
difficult to resist splurging on
all the must have’s that had
previously been out of your reach,
here’s a good time to dwell on some
bitter truths. What’s fashion and style
for one can very easily spell disaster
for another. So, rather than follow
fashion blindly, it makes more sense
to make your own style statements.
● Roman sandals with sexy
straps and tie-ups are definitely
1
something that you would like to add
to your footwear collection. However,
6
these are a strict no-no if you happen cool and fashionable on the teeny
to have ankles that are not as boppers, the same sadly is not
delicately turned as you would wish applicable to women past their prime.
as the extra straps only succeed in There are umpteen fashion choices
drawing attention to the part of your for the older generation whereby you
body that you are not too proud of, cannot only look chic but make a
fat ankles. fashion statement too.

2
● The most elegant of outfit loses ● Hair colour can often go
its charm when accompanied by horribly wrong. While it is nice to be

7
sandals that have scuffed heels and adventurous and add that extra zing
a battered look. After each wear, to your personality with a tint or a few
make sure to wipe the footwear tastefully applied highlights, out - yourself into an outfit which has
clean, polish if required, and put them landish colours and tints can be very magically shrunk while hanging in
back in the cloth bags supplied by tricky. Global shades of rust or your wardrobe.
the shoe store or in a shoe box, blonde on a dark complexion can There is nothing more unsightly
ready to stack in your shoe rack or wreak havoc on your appearance. than an item of clothing trying its best
cupboard. Our roads are more often Your stylist will be the right person to to hold in the rolls of your extra fat. If
than not dirty with grit, garbage and advise you on the shade most you cannot control your weight, it’s a
rubble strewn all over the place. So suitable for your complexion. good idea to invest in a new
it’s best not to drag your feet or ● Long nails that aren’t wardrobe.
scrape the heels on sharp stones. manicured properly, nail polish that And if, as it often happens, the

3 8
● There is nothing more is chipped or nails that are bitten to budget strings are feeling the pinch,
depressing looking than love handles the bone look abominable. take up jogging, or go for long walks.
pouring out of low-waist jeans. And Undeniably, taking care of your nails That way the zipper won’t give you a
yes, short flared kameez with is time-consuming; so if pressed for problem and you will be able to
churidars are the latest in fashion, as time, keeping your nails neatly spend on a few knick-knacks too!
are the Anarkali’s frock tops and clipped is a better bet. And while you “Clothes make the man. Naked
leggings. But if you take a moment are at it, use hand cream regularly. people have little or no influence on
to think before enthusiastically ● Saris embellished with sequins, society,” said the famous novelist
slipping into one of these, you will stones and embroidery have been Mark Twain. While the question of

9
realise that the reason it looks so doing the rounds for quite a while going around in your birthday suit
good on the mannequin in the store now. As have designer blouses with doesn’t arise, it is a fact that
window is that her dimensions border more colours and designs than the appearances matter.
on the anorexic. So, unless you think colours of the rainbow. Whether they How you dress, walk or talk has
you can pull it off, it’s advisable to are here to stay is the big question. everything to do with how successful
resist the temptation. Be that as it may, in an effort to outdo you will be in what you have on. So
● The fact that it’s called inner the competition, you end up with go out there and make an

4
wear should tell you something.
Something that should remain in –
hidden from view. Bra straps or
more work than you or your saris are
capable of taking. And this is not
taking into account the variety of
impression!

Winners of Eurofab
We

buckles coming out for a breath of


fresh air from under the sari blouse
laces and borders that trim the edges
of your abstract masterpiece.
Quiz Contest - 8
are an absolute no-no. Brassieres Remember, as with everything else,
that have lost their elasticity give your moderation is the key. Subtle
figure a decided sag that is understated elegance is better than
undesirable. Make sure to replenish over the top glitter.
your lingerie wardrobe regularly. ● Calories have a tendency to
● Frayed, well-worn petticoat pile up where we least suspect it. It is

10
ruffles or edges peeping out from an easy matter where sari blouses

5
under a sari you paid an arm and a are concerned; the obliging tailor
leg for do tend to bring down the tone conveniently leaves enough margin
of your attire. Invest in satin or cotton for just such an eventuality.
petticoats that complement the sari But it’s another matter when it
rather than make do with something comes to jeans – while squeezing
that doesn’t quite match. And try not yourself into a pair becomes a Amit Pateria
to let it show! gargantuan task, zipping them up is a Near Shree Ram Place, Darjee OLI,
● Dress you age. While clothes pipe dream. Which brings us to the BADA, Lashker,
that are the height of fashion look tenth fashion faux pas: squeezing Gwalior, M.P. Pin: 474001

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 61


ART ON
CARPETS
Weaved for a cause.

T
By Suman Bajpai
hirty artists and designers, a unique and spectacular event.
extraordinary designs and Each time it promotes a novel,
low prices… Sounds quite exciting art form and has become a
alluring? Every year People trendsetter in the art world.
for Animals (PFA) holds a This year’s show has her aligning
unique fundraiser exhibition with Sunil Sethi Design Alliance to
with a novelty. This is an create carpets out of master art. It’s a
effort of Maneka Gandhi, great opportunity for connoisseurs to
chairperson of People for own a limited edition (They are in 10s
Animals, who organises and twenties only). M F Hussein,
every year an event to raise funds Raza, Sabavala, Manjit Bawa, JJ
and awareness for animal welfare. Valaya, Ritu Kumar, Sabyasachi
Each PFA fundraiser is designed as Mukherjee, Manu Parekh, etc. are
the participant artists. Never before How did you come up with
has such an exhibition been this idea of art on carpets?
conceptualised and presented, Every year we take art and do
creating a whole new segment in something new. Each PFA
India’s growing art market. Planned fundraiser is designed as a unique
as a three-day event, the exhibition and spectacular event. Each time
will be held on 27-29 August 2010 at it promotes a novel, exciting art
The Lalit in New Delhi. form and has become a trendsetter
In an interview Maneka Gandhi, in the art world. Past PFA
who nurtures stray dogs in her home, fundraisers include a centenary
reinforces her commitment to her exhibition of Raja Ravi Verma
cause – People for Animals – and oleographs, a collection of designer
throws light on her personal take on T-shirts by all of India’s top designers
carpet as art. and the Affordable Art Show with
Excerpts: over 1000 works by the country’s top
Why have you chosen the arts 15 artists each priced at an
to help your crusade for animals? unbelievable standard price of Rs
Art and all the forms of art have 40,000! We marked India’s 60th year
always interested me. In fact, People of Independence with a spectacular
for Animals did the first big art exhibition of 6000 British-India
exhibition/sale in India – which is now lithographs dating back to the
so common that every day there are 1700s. We had an exhibition of 10,
50 exhibitions. Artists are wonderfully 000 antique tiles from haveli’s. We
generous people and it is a joy to had India’s first major
work with them. So it is natural for photography exhibition of 250
me to combine the two. But we do it photographers and broke all sales
in a different way – we don’t do records. Then we did artistic
paintings. We do lithographs, candles of Dimple Kapadia.
photography, oleographs, pottery, T- Art has never been translated
shirts and shawls with designers, onto carpets so we thought we
Kanhai works of Krishna... would try to see whether we
Moreover, people like buying could bridge the gap. It needed
them. We’re good at selling them and many technical innovations but
try to keep them at a level where we have been successful. It
everybody’s happy. The buyer is also provides work to weavers.
happy as it turns out to be a bargain, I am the chairperson of
while we are happy because we get Rugmark, the NGO involved in
enough money for our hospitals. the carpet industry which looks
after weavers’ children for many
years. So I could combine the
two. We have woven paintings of
legendary artists into a limited
edition of carpets, using the very
best materials. The name of the
exhibition is Fly your own carpet to
your walls and we intend to turn
carpets into the ultimate modern art
form.

How much of an impact do you


think this exhibition will have?
Hopefully, it will make people
realise how talented our weavers are.
Also I hope it will sell a lot and help
me build more hospitals for animals.
We have already started selling
carpets. As always, prices will be
kept reasonable and attractive which

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 63


has become a PFA hallmark and water and clean land is all we can
makes our events so popular. The leave our children and all the rest is
prices start at Rs 35,000 with the irrelevant. Therefore I study, research
most expensive being Rs 5 lakh and campaign every day.
(Raza, Hussein) All the carpets will
be accompanied by a certificate from Think protections of animals,
the painter saying they are an prevention of cruelty to animals...
authorised limited edition of his work. and the first name that comes to
mind is yours. Your devotion to
What has inspired you to hold animals is unbounded. What
such exhibitions? sparked off your interest in them?
Necessity! In India very few I was born like that! The point is, I
people give money freely for causes. have the power and ability to work
They have to be sold something – for beings that have no one. The
even if it is just a card. So we try to heart is a door, when it opens, it
think of ways to interest buyers and opens for all. I work just as hard for
collectors with unique items that are children, my constituency, against
affordable. injustice. It’s just that you know the
animal part because the movement
Is there a specific unifying is still developing. But there are
theme of an exhibition linked to thousands of people like me in India
animals? who give their time and ability
No, just any form of art. We never unstintingly.
ask our participating artists to do
anything specifically. We request What are the key environmental
them to give the best of what they issues facing India at the moment?
have done. Overpopulation and the misuse of
resources by a few people and their
It is not easy to put together enormous greed. Mining, cutting of
something involving so many forests, unregulated chemical use in
bright and busy people. What was factories and pesticides, the drying
a reaction of people on this up of water, the chopping of whole
fundraiser issue initially? Are they mountains like the Aravallis and the
sceptical or supportive? Shivalik hills to make stones for
When we embarked on this roads…. These are some of the
fundraiser, a lot of people were crises every day and in each case a
sceptical about whether we’d be able politician and a bureaucrat are
to put together something involving responsible and get the money. If
so many bright and busy people. I am they had no children it would be okay
delighted to prove the cynics wrong. but all of them have children and yet
The designers have responded with they do this. Do they not realise the
great generosity and remarkable irreversible damage that is being
efficiency. India needs more young done?
people like them to demonstrate that
caring is all about sharing. Everyone With exhibitions that are held
is always very supportive. And the once a year, looking after the
busier they are the more willing are animal cause, handling your
they to help. In my experience, it is constituency and being a member
busy, talented committed people who of a political party, how do you
change the world with their kindness. handle everything?
They have no time to be mean and At times it does drive me mad.
selfish! There are 500 other things going on
together. But at the same time, you
Youʼre known for being one of are saving a life, reducing pain
Indiaʼs most prominent environ- whether it be of a child, an animal or a
mental campaigners. How did family. It gives you a feeling of elation
you come to work in this field? that nothing else can bring you. I feel I
Again, through the belief that air, handle nothing. I simply have fun. We

64 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


QA &
QI am in love with a man who is less
intelligent than I am, less qualified
than I am, less ambitious than I am
and also a year younger than I am.
But boy, is he gorgeous looking! I
culture, your gorgeous young
man could develop a huge
inferiority complex, because people
are likely to laugh and make snide
comments about his being
am 23 now and am ready to support supported by you.
him all my life. Will we be happy if And while sex is certainly
we get married? important in a marriage, love and
Oh boy, do you have the hots for respect are more important in the
him! Many men marry less long run. You have mentioned his
educated, less ambitious, beautiful looks, but not that you love him or
women and lead extremely happy respect him. Think about this and
lives. But as things stand in our then take a decision.

probably have facial hair and a trust him and you shouldn’t have
deeper voice than women have. someone you cannot trust involved
These days, many lesbians and in handling your affairs.
homosexuals are finding the courage But if you still have any feelings
to come out of the closet (especially if for him, do not hand him over to the
they live in one of the metros) and police. Instead, tell him that you will
I am a woman trapped in a man’s tell society about their sexual do that if he does not make good the
body! I am a man but I feel like a orientation. They then carve out a life money he has taken from you. Then
woman and am happiest when I’m for themselves openly in the gay cut him out of your life. He does not
dressed as a woman or when I am in community. deserve a friend like you.
the company of women friends and If you can find the courage to
men I am attracted to. But I can’t speak frankly to your parents, this
openly live like that, can I? So I dress would really be the best option. You When I was 12-years-old, my father
like a woman only when I’m locked shouldn’t get married just to maintain tried to rape me. I cried and
in my room and do not let my male your cover because that would be screamed loudly and he did not
friends know that I find them very doing a great injustice to the woman succeed. But since then he has
attractive. But everyone suspects you marry. misbehaved with me by touching my
from my manner and behaviour that I private parts and breasts whenever
am gay. my mother is not at home and we are
What should I do? I cannot bear to My closest friend and I both come alone together.
cause my family pain (since they from a lower middle-class back - When I finished my 12th standard,
suspect nothing because I live what ground, but due to hard work and a I insisted on joining a college in
seems a normal life) by telling them lot of luck. I have succeeded beyond another city saying that it was the
that I am a homosexual and at the my wildest dreams in a business I best college for the course I wanted
same time I cannot give in to their started and now find myself very rich. to do. That was two years ago when I
demand that I get married. Since I From the beginning I looked after my was 17 and since then I have made
am 30, their demands are getting friend and made him a part of my excuses for not going home during
shriller and shriller. Again, I do not business, but now I have discovered the holidays.
want to go through sex change that he has been systematically Now my mother is very upset with
procedures since I am afraid of the cheating me from the start. I am my behaviour and I too am not
painful and time-consuming process. shattered. What should I do? My happy. I feel depressed all the time
If you don’t have the guts to face family wants me to hand him over to and sometimes I even feel suicidal. I
your parents, society or sex change the police. Should I do this? have not confided in anyone
procedures, you only have the option Jealousy and greed make people including my college mates and so
of going on living in the closet. But do terrible things and your friend was they find me strange and I don’t have
living a lie is not easy and you will obviously not large-hearted enough any friends. I am sorry about this
have to do that all your life. Of to be happy over your success. And because several of them, especially
course, you could move to another your generosity towards him seems my room-mate, were very friendly
place and live there as a woman and to have just exacerbated his negative initially.
live a lie only when you come home feelings. Sometimes I feel that I just cannot
to visit your parents. But it wouldn’t Your friend doesn’t deserve to be keep things to myself any more but I
be easy to pretend to be a woman all given a second chance in your know that if my mother comes to
the time. After all, as a man, you business. You wouldn’t be able to know what happened to her only

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 65


QA &
child, she would not be able to bear
it. What should I do?
get a wife, children, his parents’
approval and a place in society while
a bad character but because you, a
married woman and mother more
You are obviously traumatised by you will have to keep your than twice his age, came onto him
the terrible things done to you by the relationship with him a secret, never and he could not refuse the
person who should have been your have kids and cause your parents temptation. Now, he probably does
strongest support and protector. You pain. It is also strange that he should not look at you because he is
did well by getting away from your have raised this matter of caste so embarrassed.
father as soon as you could, but that late in your relationship. After all, he If you tell your daughter about
is not enough. You desperately need could not have failed to know till now your affair with the boy she loves, it is
counselling to be able to get over the that you belonged to a different caste you she will consider a bad character
nightmare you have been living ever and that his parents were narrow- and not him. Can’t you imagine the
since you were 12. minded. consequences of such an act? Do
It would also help if you opened So give your boyfriend an not even think of it.
up and talked to friends your own ultimatum. He has to either marry you You got married far too early,
age. You could talk to your room- or lose you. And don’t worry. Your when you were very immature, and
mate, but do so only if you feel that life will not be finished if he doesn’t this is why you are so confused. It
she is the type to be supportive and have the courage to marry you. You would be best if you agreed to your
that she will not shy away in shock. will certainly be unhappy for some daughter’s marriage to this young
But first of all, you should tell your time, but you will definitely get over man and then hope that he does not
mother what you have been going your love for a coward. And as for reveal details of the affair you had
through. She should know what a love and marriage, you will find that with him to your daughter or to the
terrible person her husband is. there are many more fish in the sea. world. To ensure this, keep a formal
It is in fact surprising that she did distance from him even after he
not suspect from your behaviour all becomes your son-in-law.
these years that something was I was married off by my parents when
seriously wrong in your life. Now, you I was very young and was the mother
must think of yourself and not her of two by the time I was 20. Now I I am 24-years-old. Though I have
feelings. Your father needs to be am 40. never been into sports or been a very
punished for his despicable Six years ago, I fell in love with active person, I was slim and never
behaviour. my neighbour’s son. He was then 15 had any problems with my weight till
and he too fell in love with me. For two years ago. But soon after I began
three glorious years we had a working, I suddenly began to put on
Ever since we were in college, my wonderful, sexually satisfying affair. weight. Now I am quite plump. What
boyfriend and I planned to get Then he went to college and our should I do? I am a rather lazy
married after we completed our affair came to an end. person. Is there any medicine I can
education and got jobs. Now all that Now that boy is 21 and he and my take to remain slim?
has happened, but my boyfriend has 20-year-old daughter have fallen in What has happened to you
dropped a bombshell by telling me love with each other. Both his parents happens to many people. When we
that his parents will never accept me and my husband are all for the are young, we are active, our bodies
as their daughter-in-law because I match, but I don’t know what to do. are growing and our parents usually
belong to another caste and that they Sometimes I feel that the boy is not see that we have a healthy diet. So
will commit suicide if he marries me. of a good character (because of how we eat a lot and yet we remain slim.
He also says that they will insist he behaved with me) and that I But when we become adults and
on his getting married and that he will should tell my daughter about our begin to work or get married, we are
have to accede to their wish. But he affair so that she breaks up with the less active, our bodies do not need
says that he will love me forever and boy. as much food as earlier and we begin
that I should remain unmarried and At other times I feel that I should to eat a lot of junk food. So we begin
that we should be lovers all our lives. approve of the match because the to put on weight.
I am all confused. I love this man boy has joined his father in their If you want to lose weight, you
deeply. Should I agree to what he family business and my daughter will cannot be lazy. You have to exercise
says though my parents would be have a good life in their family. and control your intake of food. There
heartbroken if I did not marry and The boy doesn’t even look at me are medicines which some doctors
have children? now and this only makes me feel claim can make a person lose weight,
It would be very silly for you to even surer that he is not the right boy but they all have side-effects and are
give in to your boyfriend’s extremely for my daughter. What should I do? nowhere as effective as they are
selfish demand and agree to lead a You should look at the matter claimed to be.
life in which you would get nothing maturely. That 15-year-old boy had So welcome to the world of adults
and he would get everything. He will an affair with you not because he has and watch your weight!

66 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


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A WOMAN WEARING
MANY HATS
Interesting insight into the life of
a very distinguished and

S
versatile singer. By Shakti Koushik
he is a gold medalist in both the time I can in his film Indira. That
B. A. and M. A. in music remember, I was was my debut in
from Madras University. She three years old. My playback singing.
was given a fellowship to do mother Renuka is
her master’s in world music the one who started Who is your idol in
from Wesleyan University, teaching me music. music?
Connecticut, U. S. While in She was one of the All my gurus –
the U.S.A., she learned pioneers of stage starting from my Mother
western classical opera and shows in her time. Renuka, Sri Tanjavur,
jazz. Besides this, she S. kalyamaramam,
performed in Indonesian and West What kind of music did you Sangita Kalanidhi, T. Brinda, Dr T.
African music concerts. The learn? Vishwanathan, Sri Manikbhua
President of India Gold Medal in I mainly learnt Carnatic music and Takurdas, Shirley Meier (Western
1987 for carnatic and light classical in my summer holidays I used to classical guru) and last but not least
music and the Central government travel to Bombay and learn my husband Sriram Parasuram.
senior Fellowship in 1989 add to her Hindustani classical. I am also a great fan of Bade
list of many achievements. Ghulam Ali Khan, Kumar Gandharv,
She has been singing hits like You have done masterʼs in Mehndi Hasan and Shobha Gurtu (I
Acham Acham Illai set to A. R. “ethnomusicology”. What is it? feel elated when I hear her songs , I
Rahman's music in the film Indira, The study of music groups – have listened to many of her songs
Meenamma to Deva in Aasai', ethnic groups is ethnomusicology. and learnt from them. I wish I had
"Malarodu from Bombay, Thennattu met all these people in person).
from Pasumpon and Nalam Nalam You are a classical singer…How Among the western singers, I like
from Kaadhal Kottai. She has also and when did you take up Whitney Houston and I also liked
sung in the Hindi film Ram Jaane, playback singing? Pavarotti, it is really unfortunate that
Biwi no.1, Taal, Lagaan, Jis Desh Playback singing happened to me he passed away. He took opera
mein Ganga Rehta Hai, and by chance. A friend sent my CD to A singing to a different level and
Deewanapan. She was awarded a R Rehman and he gave me a break moulded it so that a large number of
Platinum disc for record sales for her people can enjoy it.
song Phenk Hawa composed by Anu PLAYBACK SINGING However, my all-time favourites
Malik. Her voice was used in the are S. P. Balasubramaniam, Janaki
Tamil dubbed version of the Lion HAPPENED TO ME and Asha Bhosle.
King. She has been singing regularly BY CHANCE. A
for all the top music directors in the FRIEND SENT How do you feel when the
Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and Malayalam songs you sing are picturised in
film industries. MY CD TO A R bad taste?
The lush green surroundings of REHMAN AND HE When I sing a song then I am
lending my voice to the character. It
the restaurant coupled with rain
made it a perfect time to talk to noted
GAVE ME A BREAK does not show my character or
singer Anuradha Sriram. Excerpts IN HIS FILM INDIRA. scruples. It is done because it is
from the interview:
When did you start learning
THAT WAS MY commercially viable. So, I am okay
about it. However, if I am given a
music ? DEBUT IN PLAYBACK song that makes me uncomfortable
I started learning music right from SINGING. then I refuse to sing such songs.

76 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


What do you think of
remixes?
Frankly, I do not like them.
The songs are deconstructed
from the way they are. They
represent a particular era of
music and I believe that it
should be left unpolluted. I
believe that by remixing them
and picturising them like this
we are doing injustice to our
culture. I believe that
composing new genre of
songs is all great but we
should not pollute the original
great songs.

Have you composed


music?
I have composed music
along with my husband for
Mani Ratnam’s production
Five Star in Tamil and Chennai
Pop Saawariya in Hindi – both
these albums got awards. What do you do when you are are also provided with counselling so
not singing? that they are able to deal with this
What are your latest songs and “My husband and I are both into difficult time.
currently what are you working music, so we have lots of discussions
for? on music. I also learn music from “A Woman has to wear many
Recently, I have sung in the movie him. Other than that, both of us are hats”. How do you balance home
ʻAriya and ʻMalai Kotaiʼ. I have also complete foodies, so we like to try and work?
sung songs for Himesh Reshammiya out new types of food and discuss I believe that we all have to make
and Anuji Anu Malik. recipes with friends. And, right now, our choices in life. There is a lot of
we are both busy being parents to work to do. There are enough and
What difference do you find our children. I make sure that I do my more songs to sing but I try to keep
between Bollywood and recording only when they are at them when my children are at school
Kollywood? school and I am back when they so that I am there for them. Like I
Well, it is a pleasure working in come back. I want to be there when mentioned earlier, my husband and
both. However, Kollywood is very, they laugh or cry or throw a tantrum. I I arrange our schedules in such a
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appointed time, sing and come back. them up and taking care of them. So, with the children. Sometimes, as
Bollywood has a more relaxed both my husband and I try to plan our women, we have to make difficult
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then take a tea-break, relax a little is at home to take care of them 24/7. to be independent. We have to draw
and then record again. So both have a line between how much we really
their way of functioning and I enjoy I hear that you do a lot of want. How many cars, phones,
working for both. charity work. Tell us more about clothes, shoes and jewellery do we
it. really need? We have to prioritise.
What shows do you prefer? My husband and I are one of the Are these material things more
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I like live shows because you get orphanage and an old-age home. We husband and children? Is earning
to improvise and when you see the also support the palliative care unit more money more important or being
audience enjoying, then you feel of the Cancer Institute, Chennai. It is there to nurse a brazed knee, or play
really good and you build a good meant for patients who are in the final with the kids? This balance cannot
rapport with them. Playback singing stages of cancer and experience a be achieved a hundred per cent; it is
is also dear to me because, I have lot of pain. So, through this an on-going process. And we have
learnt a lot from it. So, I can safely department, alternative medicine to have our priorities right. Only then
say that I love both. therapy is offered to patients. They can we balance home and work. We

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 77


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Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 79


STORY
SHORT
When Deepu Wed
Debbie
Ever witnessed a kanyadaan ceremony
where six excited persons jointly give away the bride?

W
By Romola Shanbhag

hen Deepak made his usual week-end call She wants the whole works...jaymala, saat pheres,
from California, I was least prepared for havan,kanyadaan...”
the news he gave me. “Mom, I think it’s I couldn’t believe my ears.
time I heeded your advice. I am ready to “Deepu, I didn’t realise you knew all these rituals...”
get married,” he said. I gave a shriek of “I didn’t,” he returned gleefully.” Debbie filled me
joy. “ Excellent, Deepu beta. Come down in. I told you she knows everything. She’s more
as soon as possible and I’ll introduce you Indian than I am, Mom. And she wants the authentic
to the nicest girls in our community. Wait till I tell Indian ambience too, or we could have got married
Daddy...he will be thrilled to know that finally a in one of the many Indian temples here itself.”
bahu is entering our home.” He paused.” It’s okay with you and Dad, isn’t it?”
“Wait, Mom,” Deepu laughed.” I’ve already got he asked.” She’s really great,Mom.”
my bride...Debbie. Debbie Gordon.You’ll “It’s fine,” I said, my heart thudding.”
love her...she’s...” We’ll work it all out.”
My heart sank.” American? Is And that And that started the busiest time of our
she...er...Chinese American, Jewish, started the lives. A great flurry of activity followed with
Japanese or...or...” busiest time Deepu giving me long-distance instructions
“Relax, Mom. Debbie is fully of our lives. at every stage. Several of Debbie’s family,
American...and...” A great flurry it seemed, wanted to be a part of the
I didn’t want to hear more. I was in of activity celebrations.
despair. followed “And, they want to be dressed in
“I had waited to celebrate our only with Deepu authentic Indian clothes, Mom,” said
child’s marriage here in Delhi...on such a Deepu.” I know it will mean a lot of work
giving me
grand scale, with all the rituals and but I’ll send you all the measurements the
ceremonies,” I wailed.” But now...” long-distance tailors will need. Please keep everything
“Mom, we are getting married in Delhi instructions ready...since we will land a week before
itself..so stop worrying,” he said. at every the marriage, there will be enough time to
“In Delhi?” I was taken aback. Images stage. make any small alterations, isn’t it?”
of a church wedding, bridal gown,

I
bridesmaids, and a five-tier wedding cake swam agreed nervously. After a marathon sitting with
through my head. our family darji, I sent him a list of all that the
“Why Delhi? Your Daddy and I will come there,” man asked for. And soon, over the phone, I
I spoke quickly. began to jot down measurements: shoulder to
“Mom, let me explain. Debbie wants a very shoulder, around waist, around the fullest bust, from
traditional Hindu wedding. You’ll be surprised to waist to crotch, from neckline to waist,etc,etc.Even in
know that she is writing a thesis on Hindu culture my dreams, I was doing this!
and tradition for her Phd. Mom, she knows more Choosing the venue was a challenge. Debbie did
about all this than I do!” not like banquet halls or marriage shamianas. “
“What?!” She’s set her heart on getting married in a temple,”
“Yeah...she says the more traditional, the better. Deepak told us.

80 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


“Temple?”I asked.” But which ...” over them. My giggling nieces sprinkled rose water
“Mom, isn’t there any old temple structure which on them and placed large red tilaks on obliging
can be hired for a wedding ceremony?” he asked foreheads. Introductions were attempted but nothing
hopefully.” It’ll mean the world to her, you see. really registered in the general medley.
Pu..le..e...ze. Mom.” Deepak caught my eye and raised his hand with
Thankfully we homed in on a derelict temple on thumb and index finger together to say that we had
the outskirts of Delhi. Permission to use it was sought done everything just right.And then he drew forward
and granted without much trouble. Some perfunctory a pretty smiling redhead and said,” Mom, Dad, this
cleaning up was undertaken keeping in mind is Debbie.”
Deepu’s injuction not to spoil the ancient look of the

T
premises. Since we had decided to make the he girl dimpled and said shyly,” Namaste,
ceremony exclusive to close friends and relatives, Maji, Babuji,” and in one graceful movement
accommodating the guests in the temple premises bent forward to touch our feet. In that instant,
did not pose a problem. she won our hearts for ever. As I embraced her,
Deepu gave me a didn’t-I-tell-you? look over her

T
en days before the red-letter day, our American shoulder.
sambandhis arrived at Indira Gandhi A short while later, the bridal party left in several
International Airport. We watched with taxis to the hotel where we had reserved suites for
fluttering hearts as a small contingent of passengers them. And we returned home, tired, spent, and
accompanied by Deepak came out to the arrival completely happy.
lounge, wearing baggy pants and enormous cooling The following days were spent in sightseeing and
glasses, straw hats and bandanas. Cameras slung “fittings” of the wedding clothes. Our tailor had
from shoulders and faces sported huge excited grins. wreaked minor miracles in outfitting persons he had
Deepak herded the group like a conscientious sheep never set eyes upon. Only minor adjustments were
dog, towards where we waited. needed and made; there was all-round satisfaction
In moments, the group descended on us. Large and praise for his work.
white freckled arms engulfed us in bear hugs and Everything was finally ready for the Big Day.
loud smacks on cheeks; heads of red, golden, Needless to say, I revelled in all the attention I
brown and platinum hair was awarded in my friends’ circle. There was no
lowered dutifully as we other topic going round than “Deepu’s wedding”.
placed garlands of marigold Nothing was scrutinised and discussed more avidly
than his bride’s folks who were all about the place,
shopping, talking, tasting food and taking movies on
webcams. Debbie charmed everyone with her
cheerful face and brave attempts to speak in Hindi.
“ You are very lucky, Madhu,” Saroj Chopra told “But they are all so friendly and...”I began.
me crossly.” We had to search long and far to get a “Oh, Mom, they don’t bear any rancour...they
suitable bride from our community for our separate as friends, you know...People are
son.Finally,we found Swati....and, can you believe separating all the time. They think it is boring to be
it? She refuses to speak in Hindi. It’s always English. married to the same person all through life. “ He
But your American bahu is trying her level best to smiled before saying reassuringly, “But you don’t
learn our language! How lucky you are!” have to worry about Debbie and me...she is
Kanta Kapoor expressed similar sentiments.” My completely smitten by our Indian concept of being
daughter-in-law lives in jeans and sweaters...why, married for seven births...saath janams, you know.
she wears this outfit even to temples! But look, how She vows this will be true for us. I think, even if I
nice your Debbie looks in her salwar kameez....and wish to divorce, she will not let me!”
she is not even Indian !” I wasn’t listening to him. My mind was working
My gaze went to Debbie who stood by chatting overtime. ” But then, let Joy Taylor and Dick Gordan
with our son; they need not tell me, I thought to do the kanyadaan,” I told him.” It will look odd, but
myself. I know myself that I am very lucky, indeed. they are the real parents, after all.”
Two days before the day, we cornered Deepu.”

D
Son, I hope Pam and Dick Gordan are ready and eepu shook his head.” That can’t be, it, Mom.
prepared to participate in all the rituals? Panditji will Debbie wants all of them...let me explain.” He
guide them all the way...so there’s no need for them took a deep breath and began.
to feel anxious.” “She wants Joy and Dick because they are her
“Yes, they are ready,” returned Deepu biological parents, but then, she says, it was her
cheerfully,” and so are Ben and Joy Taylor as well stepfather Ben who brought her up, and so she feels
as Goldie and Tom Crystal.” more daughterly towards him than anyone else..He
His naivete amused me as his father, smiling, is Dad to her in the real sense of the word.”
explained :” I think, Debbie has not explained this My head reeled and I could see a glazed look
well to you as yet....we need the bride’s close over my husband’s eyes.
parents...they also have to ‘give’ the daughter “But then, Debbie swears she was never really
away, you know in the kanyadaan ceremony.” close to Joy. It was her father’s second wife Goldie
“I know, Dad, but all the six of them want to take who steered her through the turbulent teen
part. They are all her parents, you know,” Deepu years...so, she wants Goldie to give her away....but
said. then, you see, Goldie separated from Dick and
“All her parents? Six of them?!” cried my husband married Tom Crystal and Dick’s wife is now
and me in one voice.” What do..you...how...” Pam...so, how can they be left out?’
His father and I looked at each other in shock.

D
eepu led us gently to the settee.” Sit down I found my voice first.” You mean, most of the
comfortably, both of you, and I’ll explain. It’s elders in the group are in some way or other
all very easy, really.” Debbie’s parents?” I stuttered.
We slumped down and waited. Deepu sat in front Deepu looked relieved.” Yup! That’s it, in a
of us, leaned forward and locked his fingers nutshell. All the elders are parents and all the
together earnestly. youngsters are her stepsisters and brothers.Thank
“It’s like this,” he began.” Debbie’s god, you’ve worked it out so splendidly.”
biological parents are Joy Taylor and Dick ‘Leave me out, son,” his father
Gordan...” Panditji groaned.” You lost me early on...but I think
“What..t..t?” we cried. became quite I’ve caught the general drift.”
“Yeah...but they separated when she cooperative “Don’t worry, Dad. Mom knows...and,
was a kid. Dick married Goldie and soon after this Mom, I am depending on you,” said our
Ben Taylor married Joy.” appeal! “I’ll son looking at me appealingly with puppy
“What..t..t..t?” we shrieked. not raise any dog eyes which never have failed to melt
“But then, a few years later, Goldie and objection if my heart from the time he was a kid...
Dick divorced . She married Tom Crystal different But all that I could manage by way of
and he went ahead to marry Pam.” persons come reply was a “ Ye..ah..Arr..gh...gh...” It
“Whaa...t..t?!!” we bawled . as the bride’s seemed to satisfy Deepu for he walked out
“Why do you keep saying ‘What? parents at of the room, whistling the bridal march.
What?’ like that?” Deepu demanded different The family panditji threw up his hands in
testily.” In the U.S this kind of stuff is very times,” despair when we told him about the
common.” he said. required adjustments. Earlier,in fact, when

82 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


we had told him that we wanted a proper traditional
wedding, he had been thrown into confusion as he
had quite got used to modern-day truncated
ceremonies. In fact, he had almost forgotten most of
the long mantras, he confessed candidly, but would
refresh his memory from his diaries, so that our new
daughter-in-law was not disappointed.
And, now this....
“Yeh, kaise ho sakta hai?” he demanded.” Three
pairs of parents? Hai, this Kali Yug!!”
“Why are you concerned who will appear as the
bride’s parents for the different rituals,
Panditji?”asked my husband soothingly.”You simply
do what you have to do...and you can expect a little
something extra for your trouble, you know.”

P
anditji became quite cooperative after this
appeal! “I’ll not raise any objection if different
persons come as the bride’s parents at different
times,” he said,” but the kanyadaan, which is a
very important ritual...which pair of parents will do
this?”
We put the question to Deepu who at once
claimed that all six parents would want to do it.” IT’s
like giving away the bride, isn’t it? I’m sure there will
be a stampede in the mandap,” he prophesied but these ex-wives and ex-husbands are all like one
fearfully.” Can the panditji do something? big happy family!”
Indeed, he could, it turned out. He offered two Another hurdle had been negotiated successfully.
options. It was a wedding to remember. It was a
“The six persons can all stand in a line, touching beautifully balmy March evening when everyone
the person in front of each while the first couple will congregated at the small temple, tastefully decorated
do the actual kanyadaan,” he said.” This will keep with garlands, lamps, incense sticks and rangoli
them connected, you see.It will be as if all of them patterns on the floors.
are doing the kanyadaan.” Our Indian guests enthusiastically assisted the
“Ah, like electricity passing through a wire,” visitors in every possible way. Slipping sari pleats
supplied my husband, knowledgeably... were retrieved from the ground and pinned into
“Correct,” said Panditji. place, cholis were tugged down and dupattas
“And the second option?”I asked. placed over shoulders. The men made an impressive
“All of them stand in a circle with their hands on sight in their embroidered kurtas, shervanis and
the kanyadaan kalash,” he offered.”And the sacred bandgallas. All wore marigold garlands and large
milk can be poured in a joint effort, so to say,” red tilaks on their foreheads.
supplied the panditji, clearly pleased by his own

D
resourcefulness. eepu and Debbie were the cynosure of all
“That could be messy,” I said. “In the confusion, eyes. He looked dashing and handsome in a
the kalash may drop...I think, the first ‘electric dark blue zari-worked kurta and the sehra of
current’ method is better.” flowers on his face. His bride in a bloodred gagra
Deepu liked the idea too. choli and jewellery which threatened to weigh her
“Won’t there be difficulty choosing the first pair of down was the picture of demure beauty.
parents?” I asked.” How will they decide?” As expected, as the ceremonies began, our
“I’ll tell them to draw lots,” said our ever guests looked puzzled as Goldie and Tom
optimistic son.” Debbie will take care of it. They all welcomed everyone but later at the jaymala
love her and will listen to anything she says. She can function, it was Pam and Dick who came forward as
even pretend it is the way we do it here in India.” the bride’s parents. Soon, Joy and Ben Taylor
“These people are really amazing!” breathed my stepped into the decorated mandap officiating as
husband with awe.” Here, in our country,a divorce Debbie’s Mom and Dad.
brings such a lot of acrimony, bitterness and grief A buzz of curious conversation began among

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 83


the congregation as people wondered what was necks,which they had picked up shopping in
going on. With great insight and wit, my youngest Janpath the day before.
brother-in-law went to the mike and explained the Then, when Panditji with calm authority, gave the
unique situation in a few choice words. His signal, each of them carefully placed a hand on the
explanation was heard in attentive silence and person in front, making the “connection.” Brimming
followed by nods of approval and smiles of with importance, Panditji started his mantras loud
understanding. and sonorous while the shehnai went into an
Everyone seemed to say, what better arrangement earsplitting crescendo....
could have been conceived to honour all these Getting into the spirit of things, all the guests
important parent figures in the bride’s life? broke into spontaneous applause as a smiling
Debbie was given away by her six parents into the

T
he highlight of the wedding was, without willing hands of her exultant groom.....
doubt, the kanyadaan ceremony when six A sumptuous lunch followed the marriage where
excited persons strode purposefully into the the guests dipped into the delicious spread.
small mandap almost crowding out the poor Panditji Everyone declared that it had been a beautiful and
and the grinning Deepu. And then the kanyadaan meaningful ceremony.It was the talk of our
line was formed headed by Goldie and Tom Crystal! community for a long,long time.
They presented an interesting assembly. Goldie Now, six years later, we have two members added
wore a white hat with her peacock blue to our family. A blue-eyed,red- haired five-year-old
Kanjeevaram sari, and Tom had his cowboy shoes Revati and a chubby, dusky, six-month old David.
beneath his silk churidaar. Pam wore huge dark Deepu’s and Debbie’s kids, our grandchildren.
glasses while Dick’s straw hat was so rakishly worn With authority, I vouch that whoever said, East is
that it threatened to fall into the havan. Pam and East and West is West, and ne’er the twain shall
Dick had long strings of beads around their meet, was simply talking through his hat! We

family members for her generosity. affirmative. He stood up thankfully,


She always remained calm, composed, touched her feet for blessings and got
cheerful and generous. busy in preparing for the marriage.
With old age catching up fast, her Grandma remained stable,
trips to the village households reduced occasionally coughing and opening
and then totally stopped because of her her eyes. One of us always remained
failing health. With every passing day by her side. Marriage day arrived and
her health was deteriorating. The the next evening the bride left for her
doctor treating her lost hope and one new home.
The joy of giving evening, he declared that she could My uncle and everyone else felt
My grandma was a great leave any moment for her final relieved. Immediately after the
philanthropist. She was always there journey. People started pouring in with departure of his daughter, he rushed
to help the poor and the villagers in tears in their eyes to see her, to pay to my grandma, touched her feet and
dire need of food, clothes or any gratitude to her selfless service and to thanked her for keeping her words
other kind of help she could manage bid goodbye. Every one of us was and saving him from trouble. She
for them. With only a few bighas of concerned with her health. But most slowly opened her eyes and her lips
ancestral land among our big joint concerned amongst us was my uncle, moved a bit to give a smile in
family, we ourselves were not very who had once chided my grandma for acknowledgement.
comfortable economically. But not a her generosity. The next morning, I woke up to
single day passed, as long as I His daughter’s marriage was only the loud wails of my mother and
remember during my childhood, two days away and in case of my aunts. My uncle was also crying
when my grandma did not lend a grandma’s death before the marriage, inconsolably. I saw my grandma laid
helping hand to someone in need. the marriage would not take place and motionless on her bed, dead! I still
I also remember an incident when it wasn’t possible to hold it before her remember her wrinkled face – with
my grandma was chided by one of first death anniversary. That evening, an exceptionally relaxed and peaceful
my uncles for giving away her he sat by her side, held her hand with expression. While we cried, there she
woollen blouse and shawl to a both of his hands and whispered in her lay, still and with a hint of smile on
destitute woman, while not having ear, Chaachi, beti ki shaadi kaa yagna her face. I understand today the
any spare set to keep herself warm in paar karaa dijiyega na? My grandma meaning of that smile – it was
the chilly morning of January. But opened her eyes, looked at him nothing but an expression of ‘the joy
my grandma remained insulated to peacefully and signalled her approval of giving’!
all the chiding she received from the by closing her eyes and nodding in – Madhukar Mohan, Gujarat.
84 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010
Q
I am 25 years of age and recently you will have to be careful, but there
married. While palpating my breast I is no report of loss of hair by the use
observed small palpable masses of hair dye.

Q
which were highly mobile. These are
soft and rubbery. I am scared lest I
have got cancer of the breast. Please I am a 30-year-old executive. My
help. problem is that I sweat excessively
Your fears are well founded. in my armpits. This emits not only
Probably what you are feeling are bad odour but also creates
small fibroadenomas which are embarrassment. Please help.
benign tumours generally found in You probably suffer from
young women. The size of these excessive activity of the sweat
masses varies and sometimes glands. For this maintain good
enlarge. Though these swellings are hygiene of the area. Trim the hair
not considered cancerous, it is there regularly since these are likely
equally essential to get a biopsy done to entrap the bacteria. Wash your
to exclude any malignant growth. underarms regularly with a good

Q&
Depending on hormonal balance antibacterial soap. Avoid synthetic
these masses may decrease in size. clothes. Dust your underarms with lot
If these become too big, they will of talcum powder.
require surgical excision. Avoid fried and spicy foods. Cut

Q
down on your intake of coffee and
colas. Take a lot of fresh fruits and
I am 18 years old and a few days green vegetables. In case all these
before the start of my menstrual measures fail, you can take the help
I am 25 years old and have recently cycle, I get irritable, moody with poor of a plastic surgeon, who will inject
delivered a baby whom I am breast- concentration in my studies as well Botox in the underarms to block the
feeding. Please advise as to when I as some degree of depression. I do release of enzymes responsible for
can resume normal sexual activity. not know what it is. Please help. the stimulation of excessive secretion
The return to sexual activity after What you have got is of sweat from sweat glands. But this
delivery will vary in different women. premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which should be done only under medical
Many women who had an episotomy is quite common in young women. advice.

Q
done, cannot resume sexual activity What it occurs in some women is not
earlier than four months because of clear but it is related to hormonal
perineal discomfort. Women who had levels in the body. You should I am 30 years old. My problem is that
no such problem generally partake in consult your doctor who will prescribe I have started getting pain in my
sex in six weeks. Most young women the required medicines. Do not panic. knees which makes walking difficult. I

A
may feel fatigued and those who are These attacks may not last for long am very worried. Please help.
breastfeeding their baby, lose interest and get controlled in the appropriate First you must consult your doctor

Q
in sex. In fact, there is no hard and fast time. who after examining and
rules in this regard. All must be guided investigating you will be able to find
by the health of the young mother. the cause of your problem. Knee pain
I am 40 years old. Unfortunately my in young women can be due to
hair has started going grey. I am very various causes. Besides medical
I have delivered a baby two weeks worried. A friend told me to avoid hair problems like wearing of high heels, it
back. Please tell me the time till I dye since it can cause hair loss. could be walking on uneven surfaces
may not use any contraceptive Please advise. and bad posture.
method. Your kind advice is solicited. Grey or white hair in any person As per advice change your
As a rule, postpartum, an develops due to various factors like footwear, do stretch exercises to
ovulatory infertility persists for five genetics, poor nutrition and bad hair make the muscles round about knee
weeks in non-lactating women and hygiene. You have to accept that you strong. Avoid climbing stairs too
eight weeks or more in lactating are growing up and the greyness of much. If you are overweight then it
women. This contraception effect of hair is a sign of ageing. Depending would be advisable to reduce. Also
lactation is generally present up to on your hair colour you can select the avoid lifting heavy objects. Further
six months but in later months it may hair dye of any good standard you may use a knee cap while going
be desirable to supplement sex company. The major drawback with out. It will help in firming up your
activity with other contraceptive the use of hair dye is the develop- knee joint.
methods. ment of allergic reactions for which — Dr S. N. Khosla, MD.
The little master
Proper clothing can transform the looks of
even a kid and fashion out an attitude in
him which makes him look business-like,
without robbing him of his innocence.
Here is Mehar in different outfit.

In a colourful
half-sleeved
chequered
shirt, a
slanting cap,
In jeans, half pants
jersey and and sports
goggles, the boots, the
kid is all set boy is ready
for a cycling for a game of
competition. tennis.
In a jogging
Equipped with shoes, and
sun-protection attired in
device and sports
dressed clothes, the
in the best lad has a
ultra way, the football under
boy is ready his foot for
to step out. action.
Katrina Kaif and Ranveer Kapoor in
B O M B A Y F I L M D O M “Raajneeti”.
film”? Obviously, something went
awry somewhere.

K atrina Kaif concedes that she has


a problem of accent but asserts
that she is not a foreigner. For her
small role in Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti,
she worked hard for 28 days on her

R akesh Roshan may well have


created a record by releasing
Kites with the largest number of
that has an Indian essence such as
in Monsoon wedding. The Namesake
or Bandit Queen which it didn’t find in
dialogues. She doesn’t care for the
length of the role so long as the film
does well. With kites having failed, it
prints in India and abroad but, alas, Kites. is all the more important that
the film didn’t live up to his Raajneeti ends the dry spell at the
expectations. It did not soar past 3
idiots on the box office sky. In a bid to
make an impression in the global
T he director of kites, Anurag Basu
says in my career it
is just another film.
box office.

arena, the film-makers in the opinion When we took the film


of a critic forgot that the basic to Cannes and saw the
foundation of a film is a good story reaction of the foreign
with Indian ambience. press our confidence
grew. We decided to

T he West looks to India for the


song-and-dance fare with a story
see whether we can
really make it a global
Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif in “Kite”.

Sunny, Dharmendar and Bobby in


“Yamla, Pagla, Deewana”.

I t’s good news indeed that the Dads


– Dharmendar, Sunny and Bobby –
are presently working in Samir
Karnik’s Yamla, Pagla, Deewana, a
title taken from a song in Pratigya (a
Dharmendar-Hema starrer) and that
Sunny will, before long, start shooting
for Neeraj Pathak’s Gannit. Wasn’t it
a little too early to write off the Deols,
particularly Sunny?
Kareena
Kapoor, the
highest paid
reigning
leading lady
in filmdom.
P eople who want to make it big in
life never look back. They always
look ahead. Example? Kareena
Kapoor that she has been signed by
Yash Raj Films to work in a film with
(hold your breath) her father, Anil
Kapoor. Having made her debut with Kapoor, a talented and committed
Refugee in June 2000 she is actor who has been around for
reportedly the highest paid reigning umpteen years. Surely, she can learn
leading lady in filmdom today who a lot from him.
has done full justice to many roles
such as in Chameli, Kabhi Khushi
kabhi Gham and Omkara to name
only three.
T wo distinct plus points of Anil
Kapoor are that he is always
ready to take up challenging roles,
and that he always looks at the

M ore than two decades ago when


producer Dinesh Patel gave a
break to Ajay Devgan (whose starrer
positive side of things. Although his
film Gandhi – My Father didn’t do so
well at the box office, it got him good
3 Idiots was stated to be screened at the
Aruba International Festival.
Raajneeti will have been released by deal of critical acclaim as a result of Gere. The film has been produced by
the time these lines appear in print), which all the CEOs of big production Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by
some people told him he was backing houses in Hollywood came to know Rajkumar Hirani.
a wrong horse, but Dinesh was him. Consequently, he was signed for
adamant and he did give a break to
Ajay who has fully upheld the
confidence of Dinesh. Making a
Slumdog Millionaire and had the first
taste of international recognition. E ncouraged by the huge success
of Love Aaj Kal, Saif Ali Khan and
Dinesh Vijan and their Illuminati Films
beginning as an action hero, now
Ajay is damn good at comedy too. No
wonder therefore his kitty is full and
A amir Khan, Kareena Kapoor and
Sharman Joshi starrer 3 Idiots
which reaped gold at the box office
have decided to join hands with Eros
International Media Ltd to make
Agent Vinod. To be directed by
with challenging roles to boot. was slated to be screened at the Sriram Raghavan, the film will be an
inaugural Aruba International Festival action adventure starring Saif Ali

B elieve it or not, Priyanka Chopra


is now one up on Draupadi (of
Mahabharata)! Intrigued? While
hosted by Hollywood actor Richard Khan and Kareena Kapoor in lead
roles.

Draupadi had five husbands, the five


Pandava brothers, Priyanka plays
wife to seven husbands in Saat
K eeping in view the dictum ‘all
work and no play makes Jack a
dull boy’ Akshay Kumar (who has
Khoon Maaf being directed by vishal been over-busy for a couple of
Bhardwaj. The film is based on writer months) had a four-day vacation, with
Ruskin Bond’s story or novel friends in Barbados from where he
Susannaʼs Seven Husbands. flew to London in a private plane! It is
reported from the sets of Patiala

It will not be inappropriate to say that


it is almost a windfall for Sonam
House.

Anil Kapoor will be seen with


daughter Sonam Kapoor, in Yash It seems gone are the days when
stars used to throw tantrums
resulting in cancellation of shooting
Raj Films’ new venture.
schedules. Kareena Kapoor and
Shah Rukh Khan stuck to their
shooting schedules in spite of high
fever working in different films. No
wonder, these workaholics are where
they are. It’s their passion for work
and professionalism which has taken
them to the top.

A lthough Jaya Bachchan withdrew


her nomination to the Rajya
Sabha by the Samajwadi Party on
the ground that hubby Amitabh
Priyanka Chopra plays wife to seven
husbands in “Saat Khoon Maaf”.
Bachchan didn’t like her to contest, Nations headquarters in New York,
another person who must be the followed by a discussion on the film’s
happiest at her decision will surely message regarding the education
be her devar Chaudhary Amar Singh system. The director of the film,
who was expelled from the party Rajkumar Hirani who was present on
some time ago. He would have the occasion said he felt honoured to
preferred Bhabhiji stopping to go to present his film to the UN. Congrats
Rajya Sabha the day he was Raj.
expelled.

T he tallest actor in filmdom (fun


intended), yes, Amitabh
A cting on the adage variety is the
spice of life’, Madhur Bhandarkar
(of Chandani Bar fame) has now set
Bachchan is in the news again for the his heart on directing a light-hearted
welcome reason that he has been film titled Dil Toh Bachcha Hai.
absolved by a court in U.P. in the Among others, the film will star Ajay
case related to the Intermediate Devgan, Emraan Hashmi and Omi Akshay Kumar had a four-day vacation
in Barbados.
college for girls he had planned to Vaidya (Chatur of 3 idiots fame).
start in Daulatpur in the name of his starrer Antaheen made by Aniruddha
bahurani Aishwarya Rai and had
made an announcement with all the
fanfare, but the college never took off
It’s a measure of his stature that
director Mani Ratnam will be
honoured with the ‘glory to the
Roy Choudhary was the only Indian
entry to the Shanghai International
Festival. The film has already won a
the ground. Some people had alleged Filmmakers Award’ at the Venice National Award.
financial irregularities too in the case. Film Festival. Both Hindi and Tamil
The court has given a clean chit to
Amitabh. Celebration time at the
Bachchan household?
version of his film Raavan will be
shown at the festival. D ifferent people react
situations/incidents differently.
The terrorists attack on Mumbai’s Taj
to

R ohit Shetty must be one of the


happiest man in filmdom today,
D etermination backed by sustained
effort always pays. Latest
example? Tusshar Kapoor, yes
Mahal hotel in November 2008 sent
shock waves all around but believe
it or not, it also inspired some. The
having become the ‘first director ever’ Jeetendra’s son, has finally bagged a plight of the policemen who suffered
to make the third chapter of a film. solo hero film after doing quite a few in the attack moved writer Mohanish
He claims Golmaal 3 “is a complete multistarrers. Amrita Rao will be his Sharan so much that he wrote a
wholesome entertainer”. Let’s hope leading lady in the film titled Love you script from their perspective. The film
he is proved right by the cinegoers, Mr. Kalakar to be produced by titled Ashok Chakra has been
the ultimate judges. Rajshri! directed by S. P. Munishwar.

3 Idiots scaled new heights when it


was screened at the united S harmila Tagore, Aparna Sen,
Rahul Bose and Radhika Apte H ard Kaur (an interesting name
isn’t it?) would always be grateful
to Akshay Kumar, for it is he who
Tusshar Kapoor is solo decided to cast her in Patiala House.
hero in Rajshri’s film “Love Nikhil Advani and Akshay had seen
you Mr Kalakar”. her performing in Jhalak Dikhla Ja in
the Giddha Bhangra episode and
thought she was perfect for the role
in Patiala House in which Akshay
plays the male lead.

F ashion designer Ritu Beri who


obviously must have designed
wardrobes for many stars considers
her collaboration with music wizard
A. R. Rahman for A. R. Rahman Jai
Ho The Journey Home World Tour
2010 which commenced on 11 June
in New York her most thrilling
experience to date. Rahman and
large troupe will visit many countries.
– Deepak Puri

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 91


CURE FOR
HEARTBREAK
How to deal with personal loss.

M
By Sucharita Dutta-Asane
aya and her friend
Gitanjali lost their sons in
an accident. Maya’s son
was behind the wheel
when the truck slammed
into them. Maya refused to
take up the wheel or for
that matter do anything
else ever again. Shattered
beyond belief or
expectation, she plunged into her
teaching job with a renewed fervour,
adopted a child and moved on. Maya
gave up her job and stayed at home,
unable to deal with the loss.
When the past crowds in on us,
we leave almost no room for the
present – or the future for that matter.
Maya did just that and clutched her
past so tight that it squeezed the
breath out of her own present and
future. But how many of us are able
to cope with loss and get on with life?
How easy is it? And what can one do
to deal with the loss of a loved one –
even a pet – in such a way that the
past doesn’t keep intruding on the
present? Is everything lost when we
lose a lover, husband, child, parent,
or foetus in the womb?
There is a lot more to life beyond
the loss. Here are ways to recover
from the trauma and carry on with life
and its unfulfilled potential.

Crying is the best medicine: Cry


away the pain. This is often more
difficult than it sounds, and for many,
the toughest option. Too many
considerations creep in putting those
tears at bay, piling up behind the
eyes and in the brain, waiting for the
floodgates to open. A friend who lost
her mother recently couldn’t cry
because she had to think of her the quality of life we want to
father and her mother’s mother. lead lies in our hands, so
Wanting to howl, she swallowed the choose to accept and carry
tears. But they were there, just on.
behind the eyelids, making her look
more at pain than the two persons The circle of care:
she had to look after. Fighting loss alone is a horrific
When Chetna lost her six-month- curse. Try to live among
old foetus, she wanted to howl into friends, acquaintances and
the night. But when her three-year- relatives who care for you.
old stared at the gathering tears in Their circle of care will serve
her eyes, she swallowed the tears. as a protective shield and
The pain still haunts her waking soothe the heartache without
hours, but the tears dried up long your realising it. Laughter and
ago, leaving behind a vacuum that music, gossip and chatter are
she fights to fill. The vacuum sure cures for the spirit.
threatens to engulf her at times and
the fight is harder than it would have Write: Writing is catharsis.
been at the time of crisis. If only she If nothing works, write. Chetna
had shed the tears and explained her filled a little bit of the vacuum
pain in some way to her child. by writing about her loss and
Not to cry is advice given pain. The pain oozed out
thoughtlessly. The stricken person slowly, spilled along the page
needs to cry, to dilute the pain and and softened the rock-like
stave off future heartache.

Live positive: When Maya


refused to take up the steering wheel
DON’T SHUT
or resume her daily life, she slumped OUT THE TRUTH burden she felt after losing her as-
into negative thinking. Gitanjali did OF WHAT yet-unborn-child. Writing and talking
the opposite. Negative thinking is the
antithesis of cure. With a negative
HAPPENED. THE erodes the pain, leaving you feeling
lighter and more at peace. Writing
approach, you can neither stop the MIND HAS A WAY about your feelings is like talking to
tears when required nor take timely OF OPENING yourself.
action. The first step, therefore, is to
accept the situation and move on.
DOORS AND Exercise: A brisk walk, some
The past is past and, though it is a WINDOWS minutes on the treadmill, aerobics,
hurtful one, it is still behind you. LONG KEPT dancing, or a swim is just the big
Ratna Khemani, director, Center for
Personality Development, Pune, has
CLOSED. IT IS boost your heart may need.
According to Ms Khemani, “Exercise
this wonderful piece of advice for BEST TO ACCEPT is an excellent antidote. It stimulates
traumatised people: “At all times, be THINGS AND secretions of sorotonin, the ‘happy
your own friend, support yourself,
motivate yourself, encourage
TO MOVE ON. hormone’ that is artificially created in
the Prozac pill, the highest selling
yourself, try to be optimistic, say drug in the USA. Taking it creates
to yourself, everything is going to an artificial state of joy, a feeling of
be all right.” This could be the happiness, which lessens as the
credo for bouncing back to life effect of the drug wears off.”
and liveliness. There are no universal
remedies. Some are happier
Accept, accept, accept: crying, while for others the burden
Don’t shut out the truth of what lessens by helping others in need.
happened. The mind has a way Whatever the nature or personal
of opening doors and windows attribute, every human being
long kept closed. It is best to needs a salve for their emotional
accept things and to move on. wounds and, when it comes from
That is what Gitanjali did but within, nothing could be more
Maya didn’t. The choice about effective. We

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 95


Ranjan Kumar Mallik
Born: 3 May 1976, Balasore,
Orissa
E-mail:
ranjanmallik_artist@yahoo.com
ranjanmallikartist@gmail.com
www.ranjanmallikartist.com
Mobile: 991195016, 9911127216
Academic qualification: B.F.A.
(Painting) B. K. College of Art &
Crafts, Utkal University, Orissa,
M. F. A. (Painting) & M.Phil
(History of Art) Lalit Kala
Sansthan, Dr, B. R.Ambedkar
University, Agra
Shows: 15 solo shows, 38 group
shows, 20 camp shows and nine
seminars in India.
Awards:

ANIMALS SYMBOLISE HIS


• National Award - Kalabhushan,
kalarang kalasang, 2007
• M.C. National Award

THOUGHT PROCESS
Chandrabhaga Orissa, 2006
• National Award - Pratibhashree
• First Award in College Painting,
UP, 2003
• All Indian Women’s Federation,
Agra 2003 An artist who aims to create a silent
• Swagat –2003, Agra, 2003
revolution in the mind of the viewer.

T
• Lalitkala Sketch Award, Dr. B. R.
Ambedkar University, Agra, 2002 By Subhra Mazumdar
• Youth Festival, U.P. 2002
• B. K. College of Art & Craft he artist is an all-rounder. I observe nature silently, especially
Annual Award, Bhubaneswar, Having fulfilled his urge to be through the medium of animals who
2000 a practising painter, Ranjan cannot voice their feelings. I try to
• S. P. Memorial Award, Kumar Mallik has pushed the decipher the feelings of these dumb
Bhubaneswar, Orissa, 1999 barriers of art still further and folk and try to see how urban lifestyle
Publication (Book) continued to add academic is a modern-day torture imposed on
Portraits of Agra, 2003 glory to his artistic them. They are misfits in city life and
Visual Art, 2005 inclinations. He has done a yet man has subjected them to this
doctoral thesis on the Jain torture. We keep them for our own
About me: art of the Chitrakut region benefit and our status as human
I am a full-time creative artist. and has honed his skills by working beings increases as we minister to
Painting is not the subject of along with Jatin Das, the leader them. In actual fact, animals are the
shapes, tones, colours and their among contemporary masters. A sufferers rather than the beneficiaries
eternal relationship along with the nature lover par excellence, his is the of our actions.
play of light that creates a voice that is audible in bringing
sensation. I paint because I wish home the fact that other What are the
to respond and communicate to creatures on our fragile earth emotions that you like
this sensation. There is a selection need a voice to put forth the to portray on your
of figurative shapes and colour sufferings they have to canvases?
tones rendered in surrealistic styles endure, at the hands of It is the sufferings
with different mediums and humans. linked with urban life that
brushstrokes for my painting. Excerpts from an interview: comes to the fore. I
Mostly I like the human figure and Why do animals feature know that domesticating
animals in an abstract background in almost all your paintings? or using animals is an
for visual aesthetics. My subjects For me, the animal is a age-old practice, but
are socio-living relations. symbol of my thought process. when one steps back

96 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


Within & beyond

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 97


provoking angle enter my paintings. It a constructive shape to the idea
was not a complaining stance but according to my aesthetics. It is then
one of deep curiosity. up to the viewer to make his own
judgement. Of course, my aim is to
How is the human-animal create a silent revolution in the mind
relationship depicted in a work? of the viewer and thereby awaken a
In my current works, there is a sense of civic responsibility.
human figure on the canvas. I show
people who are urban in their make- Narrate an exhibition that
over…the Page 3 figure, the body stands out in your mind.
builder, the couple, etc. The style of It was an exhibition held in
depiction is surrealistic and the Balasore on the occasion of the
technique that I have adopted is not a fiftieth year of our independence. It
smooth application of colours. It is a was titled Freedom and depicted
technique done as a spray, using a freedom through colours, things that
sponge, rollers, manual fingers and bring on a reaction, and through
impasto. At times I even resort to forms related to independence, such
and thinks, it is this practice that is smudging parts of the canvas. This as landscapes and flags. This
behind the cycle of suffering in our gives a varied texture to the works. exhibition is also important to me
lives. It seems that animals forced to because I made the first sale of a
live away from their natural confines, Have you found ready painting on that occasion.
are waiting out their time and longing acceptance of your art
for the end to come. in galleries? What other form
I have had a very of the plastic arts
When did this stark fact about successful showing of interests you?
animals in urban settings strike my works at the I am also interested
you as cruelty? Reflection Art Gallery. in photo graphy and
This realisation came to me when The series was titled the making of short
I moved to Delhi in 2000. Life here Within and Beyond and films. As I travel
was such a contrast to the lifestyle of invited widespread around metro cities, I
my home town. There was show - commentary. It is my am attracted to the
manship and a muddle and chaos all policy to paint keeping cries of tortured
round. The lifestyle that people were the public in mind. That animals and am
living seemed unnatural to me. I felt I does not mean that I moved by the sight of
was an animal myself trapped within pander to their desires. I pain in their eyes. I try
this urban jungle. paint saying that I am not to take a shot of that
the right person to moment through the
How did you react to this adjudge the work. I give lens. In the domain of
situation in your art? film-making I have
Kalabhushan National award, Gwalior, MP
I did not want to take on the role of made a documentary on Fakir Mohan
a complainant. Instead, I adopted the Senapati, a patriot and freedom
stance of a silent observer. I began to fighter from Orissa.
put myself in the animal’s shoes and
wondered why human beings wanted What would you describe as
to dominate the situation. This made your best show?
a deep inquisitive and thought This is not on animals at all. It
was titled Dulha Bikaavu Nahi Hai. It
Pratibhashree honour, Orissa. was done in the context of public art
in Agra. It showed the manner in
which prospective grooms are
measured up in terms of their
material standing. My message
through my art is that there should
be a stop to this marketing of men as
commodities. Marriage is a relation-
ship and not a commercial trans -
action and as such, the two should
not be linked. We

98 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


CAPITAL
Chit - C h a t
A BETTER TRAFFIC One bit of consolation is that Delhi
had the most people admitting that
Clean Delhi “plastered on every
conceivable space with a rueful
SCENE there has been a major improvement feeling that it is all big hype? Well,
Delhi, the city which is a on the traffic scene in recent years. cynics should simply take a Metro
scintillating mix of the modern and Thanks to the Metro? ride from Qutub Minar to Huda City
the ancient, is always getting more Centre to change their mindset. The
than its share of criticism. The most
recent says, driving on the city roads,
TRAFFIC SNARL most fabulous lush greenery will
meet their astonished gaze as the
it seems is a big hazard for health. NO MORE train fleet through lush foliage,
According to a recently completed Have you often been caught in a verdant farmhouses and scenic
2010 Commuter Pain Survey traffic snarl on Kemal Atartuk Rd, beauty which will put them in mind of
compiled by IBM, Delhi is the fifth Safdarjung Rd or Auroubindo Marg the hills! It is not just greenery.
“most painful city for drivers.” The thanks to VIP cavalcades going to the Nestling in between are the pink tops
survey recorded the economic and airport? This irritating feature could of the Chattarpur temples, the distant
emotional toll on the drivers in 20 soon be a thing of the past as there Aravallis, tiled farmhouse roofs...it is
major cities all around the world. are plans by the Delhi Metro Rail a 27- minute train ride worth taking if
Delhi with an 81 per cent score Corporation to build an underground only for the view! Admittedly, the
ranked fifth. tunnel from 7 Race Course Rd, the visual feast is good only in the Delhi
Apparently 96 per cent of the city PM’s residence to the Safdarjung section which begins with a
drivers claimed that their health was Airport to enable the VVIPs to take marvellous sight of the hoary Qutub
affected by the driving; 62 per cent helicopters to the IG Airport. Minar. As the train zooms into
said their work and academic Although these personages do not Gurgaon, it is only the concrete
performance was negatively affected. drive all the way to the international jungle which awaits one, although
The stop and start traffic was the airport, they now need to the helipad there are impressive glass facaded
major stress creator. at Safdarjung, and this causes traffic buildings and the massive malls.
But how does Delhi compare with stoppages on arterial roads. Soon, Little doubt, the Metro has changed
the other international cities? The vehicles will flow smoothly, thanks to not only the look of the capital but
best traffic is in the Scandinavian the tunnel, which also reduces also the lifestyle of the people. The
countries. Stockholm is the best in security risks to the VVIPs. London Tube built more than a
the 20 city list, Beijing the worst. New century ago is standing the test of
York is better than London which time; hopefully our Metro will do the
appears in the middle of the list. A VISUAL FEAST same too.
Delhi is the fifth “most painful city for How many times have you seen
drivers” in the world. the ubiquitous slogan “Green- Delhi - BUYING CAR,
THINK AGAIN
If you are planning to buy a car,
think again, especially if you already
own one vehicle and the second is
only a luxury. This warning is
because soon parking fees will jump
to dizzy heights in many upmarket
city zones....and, indeed, this will
cover a large part of the capital,

Metro ride from Qutub Minar to Huda


City Centre will change your mindset.

100 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


should be Rs 2500 crore...but this is women along side. A private
not so, for the simpler reason of the company will be involved on a build-
at least 25 lakh properties, only about operate- transfer basis to hire the
10 lakh of them have taxes paid! trainers and build the centre. Here’s
This is a shame. And the MCD too wishing the plan all success.
is not amused, and has decided to
take the assistance of a special Delhi
government tax force to identify the
DELHI TO BE
defaulters and bring them to book. SHOWCASED
Also, the RWAs and market Delhi will be showcased to the
associations will be roped in to collect world like nobody’s, thanks to the
the tax from their members and Commonwealth Games and the
Car owners will have to pay submit it to the MCD. 30,000 volunteers who have started
astronomical parking fees. Fair enough. Indians are quite training for the job. In the coming three
surely? This is all because the MCD ingenious in cooking up ways and months, these people drawn from
has worked out a new parking means of escaping the paying of delhi University, NSS, Ministry of
policy...parking fees will be linked to taxes. If this situation has to be Tourism, Delhi Government, SAI and
the locality’s house tax! remedied, drastic steps need to be from the general public including
Briefly put, colonies which come taken. retired bureaucrats, homemakers, and
under category A will charge Rs 50 senior citizens, will be taught by Amity
for the first two hours, Rs 75 for the
next two and Rs 50 per hour
DOGS TO GUARD University, Event Knowledge Services
and others to conduct many aspects
thereafter. For the same time LADY CAB DRIVERS of an international event, emergency
periods, parking in category B There’s no doubt about it. situations,security matters, accommo-
localities will be Rs 3o, Rs 50 and Rs Curiouser and curiouser schemes get dation affairs, press operations,
10. Zone C and E will charge Rs 20 thought up by Delhi’s administrators. etc.There will also be lessons on body
and F to H will charge Rs 10. Sounds Recently, a proposal for approval has language and sports terminology.
complicated? Delhiites will soon get been okayed for the MCD to train According to the authorities, there is a
used to this, and also to the about a 100 women as cab drivers. high level of dedication and a general
additional congestion charge which So far, so good. But with grave keen willingness to spend time doing
will be levied in crowded areas like misgivings about their safety, dogs something for Delhi among these
Connaught Place! Shopping in major will be trained to protect the fair volunteers who have come from
markets will not be such a ladies! Yes, the MCD, according to a different places. The training sessions,
pleasurable experience anymore. news report, is planning to impart according to a trainer, are “not only
The purpose underlying this move driving lessons to a 100 women from geared to disseminate information but
is primarily to discourage people from all walks of life at a training centre on also to turn this disparate group of
using private vehicles, parking along a three-acre plot near the Tis Hazari people into a team.” With the
foot paths,etc. Another order is that a ice factory in North Delhi. Slum countdown starting for the beginning
person who intends to buy a vehicle dwellers of the area can also avail of of the Games, everyone is jittery. The
will have to show proof that he/she the training as it will be a means of Delhi CM has even asked her
has adequate parking space within living for them. To keep these female ministers to step in and supervise
his premises. One wonders whether cabbies safe, German shepherds will Games projects so that all glitches are
the Metro and now these stringent be trained and familiarised to the removed. – Bharati.
parking rules will deter Delhiites from 30,000 volunteers will be trained for the
Trained dogs will protect lady
buying new vehicles. Probably not. cab drivers. commonwealth games.
The well-heeled will think it infra dig to
travel by the Metro, and which family
worth its salt will settle for owning less
than three cars at least when they
reach a certain social status?

HOW MUCH MCD


COLLECTS
How much do you think the MCD
collects in the form of property tax? A
mere thousand odd crore at the most,
says a report. Ideally, the amount

102 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


DELHI
Events
MORE FOOD TO and gave a wonderful twist. Then
there were the German ones, though
next to each other as well but when a
coffee outlet is one like the chain
TRY AND BUY the real white sausage was expected Mocha – the decision is easy
At a dinner party recently I was the next day only. because apart from the amazing
impressed with a dish of prawns. The And now they have managed to quality and variety of coffees
hostess admitted that she bought get the famous cricketer Yuvraj Singh available there is so much food to
them only because she was able to to launch the Fry range of products. choose from.
taste how fresh they were. The So, if just tasting before buying is not Most outlets fall short on two
tasting before selling had been your thing, as a consumer you also things – the tables are so cramped
organised by Godrej Nature’s Basket. get celebrity endorsed items and the together that it feels more like a
So, I visited and found that they were day Yuvraj was in the shop, the canteen and less like a restaurant or
at this time doing a promotion for visitors and invitees got more than a coffee outlet. At Mocha in Greater
sausages. just the products they purchased. Kailash I Market, they have not
To be able to taste what you are Considering Fry is a brand from compromised at all.
about to buy is always a privilege and South Africa and they are currently You can select from routine
supermarkets in Europe have been hosting the FIFA it was interesting restaurant table chair to a laid-back,
known to do it all the time. Earlier that Delhi still likes to see a famous lounge-style diwan and above all a
some shops showcased their cricketer. These products are made Gujarati-style ‘jhoola’. At the official
cheeses but to have cooked material of soya and wheat but also have launch day-long event I eyed it
for trial before buying the raw vegetarian products that mimic the because it was occupied by a family
material of the same quality is indeed non-vegetarian. celebrating the birthday of a 7-year-
a good move on the part of these old kid with his mother, aunts and
outlets.
For the sausages there were
MOCHA COFFEE grandmother. The moment they left I
shifted!
some interesting offerings from NEW OUTLET The decor is never overpowering
around the world, the spicy smaller If you want to have a good coffee and all Mocha outlets have common
sausages and the Italian version with these days there is so much to things like attentive staff, great value
cheese inside with the meat so when choose from that making a selection for money, food items and
you fried them the cheese melted can be tiring. And often these are individuality.
Every outlet of Mocha has
Yuvraj Singh launching Fry range of biscuits. something unique to offer. The
healthier options in the fresh fruit
juices and smoothies including Fruit
from the Tropics and Bahut Berry are
delightful.
There is a wide range of tea
options as well and then the hot
chocolates which are so different and
amazingly rich in texture and flavour.
Their tagline says – Mocha Coffees
and Conversations – and yes it is a
great place to have long
conversations with friends, but if out
in the market alone, the place will
provide privacy, good food and coffee
or any other drink and time will just
pass leaving you with fond memories
of Mocha.
– Sona Sharma.

104 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


THE TURQUOISE A
G EMSTONE
OF CURRENT FASHION
An old
precious stone
that’s an
integral part of
today’s
fashions.

A
By Kusum Mehta

ncient and yet always at indication of impending danger. The as a sealing stone, will never be
the height of current reason for the colour change is rather poor.”
fashion: that is turquoise the influence of light, cosmetic Turquoises were loved as
for you. Its brilliant sky-blue products, dust or even the ph-value ornaments decorating turbans, often
belongs to the all-time of the skin, which may all trigger off set in a border of pearls, in order to
favourite trend colours in chemical responses. protect the wearer from the “evil eye.”
the world of fashion and In earlier times turquoises were They were used as talismans
jewellery. In many cultures sometimes thought to be responsible decorating daggers, scimitars or the
of the old and new worlds for the material wealth of their horses’ bridles.
this gemstone has been bearers. For example, Persian The turquoise came to Europe
well appreciated for thousands of philosopher Al Kazwini wrote, “The only during the time of the crusades.
years as a holy stone, a good-luck hand wearing a turquoise and using it And from this period comes the name
charm or talisman. It is a virtual “turquoise”, meaning simply “Turkish
“people’s gemstone”. The oldest stone.”
proof of this lies in Egypt, where in The turquoise was prized by many
tombs from the period around 3000 ancient cultures, including those of
BC were found artefacts set with Egypt, Persia, Tibet and the Aztecs
turquoise. and Incas of Central America. The
In the ancient Persian kingdom, stone was used as money by
the sky-blue gemstones were American Indians of the 16th century,
originally worn around the neck or on and the gem is associated with
the hand to ward off unnatural death. religious rites of the Navajos and
If the stones changed their colour, other tribes. The importance of
there was an imminent danger for the turquoise to the American Indian
wearer. continues to the present day.
However, in the meantime, it has At all times in history, the
been found that turquoises may in turquoise was worn to ward off the
fact change their colour, but this influence of dark and evil powers. In
reaction is not necessarily an former times thought to protect riders

106 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


UNIFORMITY IN tens of dollars per carat. Just below
this in value is fine quality spiderweb.
COLOUR Turquoise value decreases with
Today the United States is a major increasing amounts of matrix. In all
source of turquoise. Most of the cases valuation is based on overall
mines are in Arizona and New appearance and depth of colour, as
Mexico, with some production from well as the presence or absence of
Colorado, Nevada and California. green or brown tinge. Uniformity of
Mining is simple, because turquoise colour implies the absence of off-
is usually deposited colour patches or spots. Dark-blue
on the surface and turquoise is considered the most
only shallow pits or desirable, while greenish-blue stones
trenches are needed. are of lesser quality. Yellowish-green
Most mining is done material may sell for a few pennies
and horses from accidental by hand. per carat.
falls, they are nowadays There are several The turquoise is somewhat soft – 6
considered the ideal good- basic grades of on the Mohs scale – but is compact
luck stones for aviators, flight turquoise. The and wears well. It is always opaque
staff and other professions turquoise matrix is a and is therefore cut into beads and
who need special assistance material in which blue cabochons that sometimes take a high
to ward off accidents. or green gem polish and have a glassy appearance.
In the contemporary teachings of material is mixed with portions of Small chips are extensively used
the healing power of stones, wearing brownish or grey rock. Sometimes by Indian workers and silversmiths
the turquoise is recommended to the matrix is in the form of an intricate for inlay purposes and Indian
solve the problems caused by a lace like pattern, known as spider jewellery with turquoise set in silver
negative outlook on life. The bright web. has become very popular. The
and happy colour is supposed to lend So-called Egyptian turquoise is variety of rings, bracelets, pendants
self-confidence to subdued yellowish-green or greenish-blue. and earrings produced is enormous.
personalities and it is also very American turquoise is found in all Of special interest and popularity
popular as a token of friendship, shades of blue and green, usually are the ornate necklaces called
since the turquoise is reputed to be with some matrix present. Persian “squashblossom” that can weigh
responsible for faithfulness and turquoise is dense and non-porous, several pounds and may cost
reliable friendships. so it takes a high polish. This is thousands of dollars, depending on
Native turquoise occurs primarily among the finest turquoise and is the quality of turquoise they contain
as crusts, nodules, veins and seams characterised by a uniform and and the intricacy of the workmanship.
deposited by groundwaters. The intense pale blue or medium blue American turquoise, with its deep
mineral is a hydrous copper colour. blue shades, is well qualified for this
aluminium phosphate, the rich blue The best quality the turquoise is kind of work, because light-coloured
colours are ascribed to copper, while uniform in colour, deep blue and free Persian turquoise loses effectiveness
the presence of iron introduces a of matrix. Such stones may sell for when set in brightly polished silver.
greenish cast. Some of the world’s Most Indian craftsmen prefer to cut
finest turquoise comes from north- baroque or free from cabochons,
eastern Iran. This source supplied rather than standardised ovals and
a large portion of the turquoise other geometric shapes. Persian
imported by Europe and Asia for turquoise, on the other hand, is
centuries and turquoise was a routinely cut to standard shapes.
major Iranian export before Some turquoise is carved into
World War I. The oldest turquoise animal figures and other
mines known are in the Sinai decorative shapes. Turquoise
Desert at a place called beads are usually baroque
Maghara Wadi. Minor shapes or tumble – polished
amounts of turquoise are nuggets. The turquoise has
found in China, Australia, been synthetically produced
Tibet, Mexico, Chile by Pierre-Gilson of Paris. This
and Afghanistan. synthetic stone is dense, uniform in
colour and takes a high polish. It
BEST QUALITY, resembles the very finest Persian
turquoise but is priced much lower. We

108 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


THE BEST
WAY IS TO GET
THE PERFECT
lingerie Seduce your man.
By Smita Shenoy

P
icture this: you are getting negligee and set out to seduce your where each and every penny
married in a couple of man; only to find disappointment writ matters, spending on lingerie
months’ time. Wedding large on his face which he tries his appears to most as a ‘wasted
preparations are on in full best to conceal. You wonder where expenditure’.
swing. So are your you went wrong. Well, the answer But nothing can be farther from
preparations to have a really lies underneath: your lingerie. the truth because the perfectly-fitting
memorable first night. You In Western countries the lingerie undies not only entice your man they
want to gift your hubby the market is huge. Victoria’s Secret, also give your breasts perfect shape
ideal present: You. You buy Bravissimo etc are prestigious brands and support.
a baby pink bedspread and in this field while in India the lingerie So how do you go about playing
heart-shaped pillows and arrange for business is still in its infancy. the ultimate seductress? Here are
rose petals to be strewn all over the Awareness is definitely spreading few tips:
bed. You buy a sheer negligee in among the strata of urban women but Getting your assets into shape:
lavender blue. What about the the demand for high-end lingerie is You may have an hourglass figure
underwear? What about it, you quiz. I nowhere near that in the Western but if you have been wearing ill-fitted
am not wasting my money on such countries. The main reason perhaps bras, chances are high that your
trivialities, you pout out. You put on is that most women are put off by the breasts have gone out of shape or
your old set under the transparent exorbitant prices. In a family set up have started sagging. Your first step

110 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


would be to get them in shape. Enrol then choose the size. For reasons of
for a short stint at your personal hygiene, almost no lingerie
neighbourhood gym or yoga centre, shop will allow you to have a trial or
of course after ensuring that they exchange undergarments later. So
have lady instructors (you would, you need to make sure at the onset
obviously, not be comfortable that your cup size has been perfectly
discussing your doubts on this measured. Same is the reasoning
subject with a male trainer). Follow with panties as well.
your trainer’s advice very closely. The right material: All women
The right diet: Along with dream of having that elusive satin
exercise diet will play an important underwear bordered with wispy lace
role. Most fitness centres have their in their boudoir. That works out fine if
in-house dietician. Consult her and you are getting married in a cold
ask for an appropriate diet plan. The country or the wedding is in the
right type of diet will ensure lightness winter months. But if your D-Day falls
and suppleness of the body apart in the middle of May then satin
from improving your general health. lingerie may turn out to be a curse.
Choosing the right lingerie: Now You certainly would not want to feel
that you are well on your way to clumsy and uncomfortable on your
acquiring the perfect mounds it is most romantic day. Browse through
time to go shopping for the befitting the store’s catalogue and study the
lingerie. materials listed. In all probability most
Personal shopping trips: lingerie companies in India will make
Although the world is just a mouse the undergarments keeping the
click away, there are certain things humid Indian climate in mind. So you
which are best not bought online. can still choose saucy underwear
Underwear is one of them. At least with lace edges but in cotton: sexy
the first time a personal visit is yet practical. Again, the same logic
warranted. applies with respect to buying panties
Take help: Once in the shop, as well. Choose light, airy fabric with
dispel your awkwardness, stride comfortable elastic bands.
confidently to the lingerie section and The right colour: A recent poll by
ask for the shop assistant’s help in a men’s website showed that 90 per
choosing the right material. You have cent men get turned on by red or
to cast aside your inhibitions. You are black lingerie, with red having a slight
spending good money on the edge. So become a lady in red or a
purchase and you definitely want black beauty and indulge your man’s colours, powder puff blues, lilacs,
your money’s worth. After all, first fancy for the night. But just because magenta all work wonders. Keep a
nights do not come along often, do he likes rouge and noir does not stock in an array of colours and keep
they? mean that you have to fill up your him guessing every night.
Friendly shoulder: If you really wardrobe with the two colours. Pastel Out with the old: Now that you
are getting cold feet and sweaty have chosen the apt undergarments
palms at the thought of lingerie throw out your old ones out for good.
shopping then take along a gal pal Do not retain them in a fit of
who has done that. Observe her and sentiments. You will only ruin your
learn how she holds herself and hard-earned figure.
commands the attention of the shop Personal hygiene: In the area of
helpers. One or two trips with her underclothing the importance of
should also make you a pro at personal hygiene cannot be over-
underwear shopping. stressed. Keeping your private parts
The right fit: Poorly fitted bras clean and strictly following the
and extra-tight panties are not only washing instructions on your newly-
unattractive, they also threaten to cut purchased lingerie are the mantras
off the blood circulation to the vital to a great looking, new you.
areas. Obviously, on your first night Get ready to enchant your hubby,
you would not want to literally swoon armed with these handy tips. Choose
in your beloved’s arms. Get your the right lingerie and let the romance
measurements taken correctly and linger forever. We

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 111


An artist who
craves for praise
from the
common man.
By ‘Vatsal’

SIMPLICITY
ALLURING

A
Shikha Agnihotri
Born: 22-Feb-1981 (Kanpur)
Education: PhD. on Drawing & postgraduate in drawing
Painting - Topic - Bhartiya from Kanpur University and
Chitrakala Mein Khanijon Ki PhD holder on Bharatiya
Bhumika from C.S.J.M. University, Chitroon Mein Khanijon Ki
Kanpur. Bhoomika, Shikha’s father
Solo Shows played a great role in
Solo Exhibition in Press Club of moulding her daughter’s
India, Delhi in April, 2009; Solo career as an artist. Her
Exhibition in Lalit Kala Academy, works seem to
Lucknow in the year 2008; Solo communicate messages
Exhibition in Chikutasi Kala Mela, through their visual language. There
Kanpur in the year 2003 & 2005; was an array of styles which are this interest at an early age. He
Solo Exhibition in Kala Mela, capable of displaying emotions and himself is a poet and that is how I
Phool Bagh in the year 1998. sensibility. The paintings exuded an can say that artistic knack is in my
Group Show innocent charm through their genes. And one more person, Biplab
Group Exhibition in Atelier - La depictions. She does not believe in Biswas, I am really thankful to him
Cafe, Sahpurjat, Delhi, on Acrylic decorating or giving detailing to her who guides me on important aspects
on canvas, 2010; Group Exhibition work, even that simplistic and of Fine Arts from which my paintings
in Lokayata Art Gallery, Hauz minimalistic work attracts the has improved.
Khas, Delhi, on Acrylic on canvas, viewers. Krishna is her favourite
2009; Group Exhibition in subject, and her series is based on Tell us something about your
Chikutasi Kala Mela, Kanpur in the his romantic emotions which is a very style of work?
year 2001 & 2007. different form. She also likes to depict It is semi-realistic from the
Awards strong personality of woman, her beginning. I had never tried to make
Solo Exhibition in Chikutasi Kala positive aspects and power. my work very realistic, instead I
Mela, Kanpur in the year 2003 & Excerpts from an interview: believe in showing the expressions
2005 on Oil and Water colour through lines only. I feel the detailing
medium; Solo Exhibition in Kala Why are you an artist? or overdoing mars the essence of the
Mela, Phool Bagh in the year 1998 I don’t know why I’m an artist, but I thoughts and depiction.
on Oil and Water colour medium. should say art is in my blood. I
Workshop like to paint, so I am an Do you think that being a
Reflections of Vastu in painting artist. full-time freelance artist is
that improve the lifestyle in Interior a tough task and one has
Designing. What have been to work hard to survive?
Collections major influences in I am lucky that I had my
Many Collection in art galleries in your life and art? father’s support but after
India as well as in USA, London If I had to think of one coming to Delhi, it was not
and Australia. person who influenced easy for me to establish
Mob: 9289500841, 9289044197 my life tremendously, it myself in terms of financial
Email: artist.shikha@gmail.com would have to be my father aspect. Fact is that this
www.artistshikha.blogspot.com who helped inculcate in me financial issue often hampers

112 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


Sanyasi

the creative part of an artist. The current artists and for me everything How big is the international
question of livelihood is very big and is very positive and encouraging. Art market for Indian art today?
if you don’t have any solid market is also very affirmative. Indian art is getting acclamation
background or financial security then Opening of the art galleries are in a because of our senior artists in the
sometimes artist has to compromise way good to explore the new avenues, international market. Outside India
with his/her work. Working as a especially for the young artists. I think people have started taking interest in
freelance artist is no doubt a tough the future of the new generation is our art as they sense that it has a
task and requires lot of patience. very bright in every field and they can feel of spirituality. And it emerges
prosper if they have an inclination from the heart and soul. That is why
What is your opinion regarding and positive attitude. These days’ the concept of Indian art is attracting
the current artists and trend in the people are drawn towards the art and them. Especially in Dubai, you will
art market? parents are also encouraging their find that Indian art market is growing
I also belong to the category of teenagers to join this field. immensely. In my view Indian art

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 113


would capture the international you have dedication and eagerness varied horizons for him/her and thus
market very soon as it is connected to learn. I believe in God and he the best of the work comes out.
with the soul. thinks positively for me. In my view Presently I am thinking to depict
right people get right opportunities. something on a different aspect of
Which class purchases Krishna- that is his sanyas aspect.
paintings? What is the best time to work
These days the attitude towards on canvas for you? These daysʼ artists are opting
the art work has totally changed, Early morning. for abstract style. Are you also
difference is that the upper class planning to switch off to abstract
purchases it for the purpose of For an ordinary viewer your style?
investment and for middle class it has paintings of Krishna are not easy There is no doubt that these days
become the essential part like any to recognise as a basic human abstract art is in demand, but I can’t
other household item. Selling and form. Do they understand? What work on it unless I have a complete
buying art is becoming more and is the response you receive? knowledge of it.
more commercial because people My paintings are not too abstract,
consider this an investment that gives so it is not very difficult for viewers Any suggestions for the artists
you high returns. Indian art industry is to understand them or to grasp the of your generation?
booming and it surely has a lot to Bhav imbibed in them. Artists should not yield to pressure
offer to art connoisseurs and art from galleries and keep pursuing
industry enthusiasts all across the What is the USP of your work? their work aggressively. If you
globe. Indian art is not only selling I use bold strokes and flat colours surrender to such pressure and sell
like hot cake, it is selling at pretty and only after that give texture to your work before it is done, then it
high prices as well. Moreover, the create a touch of uniqueness. will thwart your creativity and
spending power and indulgence individuality. Take your own time and
amongst the masses of the country Do you like experimenting? space, and just paint.
has greatly increased due to which If an artist experiments it opens
people do not mind investing in What is the aim of your life?
art. To become a recognised artist
and spread happiness and
What sort of Indian art sells awareness through my paintings.
more?
Modern contemporary art has Tell us what role recognition
a huge market and online selling and awards have on your
has become very popular career?
nowadays. Recognition and awards are
surely one of the crucial moments
Do you think you have for any artist. Indeed that’s what I
evolved with the time? work for, but I consider as it a
I am improving myself great prize even when the most
everyday. It is an endless humbles person of the world
journey. You keep on learning if praises my artwork. We

114 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


Kitchen
Queries
QQ

Q&
We have plenty of lemons in our How can we prevent formation of skin
garden. Apart from making pickle and on sauces and jellies?
juice, what more can be done with Spread a thin layer of melted
them? butter or cream over jellies, puddings
It can be easily said that ‘a lemon and other sauces right after cooking.
a day keeps the doctor away’, for Stir and all the skin and foam will

Q
Now that the pickle making season apart from making delicious summer disappear.
is here, we need clinically clean drinks it is also useful for therapeutic
bottles and jars to store the same. and beauty purposes. Lemon juice What is the right time to add salt to
But sometimes jars containing pickles can be used as an antiseptic, as a the following: soups and stews,
and preserves continue to carry their pain reliever, helps to dissolve gall meats, corn, whole pulses and
odour even after being washed. What stones in combination with olive oil, vegetables?
should we do? regular intake of fresh lemons may Normally we add salt and turmeric
This problem, however large it also be useful in treating cases of at the beginning of cooking

Q
may seem, has a solution that is kidney stones. vegetables or dal etc. but it is good to
quite simple. Light a matchstick and keep in mind the time to add salt in
while it is still lit, drop it into the jar Strawberries are a rich food – both some particular food items. Add the
and close the lid tightly. Wash with in terms of money and food value – salt early while preparing soups and
soap and water after some time. so we cannot afford to waste them. stews. For meats, sprinkle just before
Please tell us how we can store them removing from the stove. Cook the
Please tell me a simple way to clean properly. vegetables in salted water. Cook the
up after an ‘oil-spill’ in the kitchen. Yes, truly, strawberries are a rich corn first, then add salt, pepper and

A
Every now and then we have to fruit, and such an attractive one that it the lemon juice. Add salt to whole
face this problem. But not to worry, is very difficult to resist them. It is pulses like kabuli chana and rajma
just sprinkle a little wheat flour on the important to store them in the right after boiling. For vegetables which
surface and rub it with your fingers. way so they keep fresh for a long reduce in volume after cooking, it will
Then wipe with a cloth. You can also time. be a good idea to add salt after they
use soda bicarbonate instead of the Wash the berries and pat dry. are cooked and prevent oversalting.
wheat flour, but remember to rub it Place in a plastic bag in intervening – Savita Bhargava.
with a paper or cloth, as it will be layers of fruit and sugar. Fasten the
harsh on your hands. bag firmly and put it in the freezer

Q
compartment of the refrigerator.
Should we use olive oil in our cooking If you have any
as is the trend these days, or do we What should we do to have the luxury problem in cooking or
kitchen, write to Woman’s Era.
have an option? of ‘instant white sauce’? We shall try to help you
Olive oil is good for our health, it For the instant white sauce, blend sort it out.
Address your queries to:
has a distinct smell and is available in together one cup soft butter and one
WOMAN'S ERA,
different grades. But it is very cup flour. Spread in an ice cube tray, E-3, Jhandewala Estate,
expensive and also not suitable for all chill well, cut into 16 cubes before Rani Jhansi Marg
kinds of food preparations. The only storing in a plastic bag in the freezer. New Delhi-110 055
Click womansera.com to
oil that can compete with olive oil is For medium thick sauce, drop one lodge your queries.
mustard oil. It helps in increasing cube into one cup milk and heat
good cholesterol in the body and it is slowly, stirring all the while as it
much cheaper than olive oil. thickens.
WHY SHOUT?
When we shout
To prove our point,
Win an argument
Or intimidate our rival,
It shows we are at fault
For the simple reason
That we had shouted.
Maybe we have
Been wronged
And blamed
For no fault of ours.
Yet when we scream,
Our foe triumphs.
And our credibility crumbles.

Only angry words echo


That throws us into turmoil
Carefully preserved emotions
Become public
To embarrass us later.
Shouting never resolved
A fight or an issue.

Sometimes, we can’t
But help shouting
To release our anger,
Our frustrations.
But then it does
More damage to us
Than to the person intended.

Conquer the situation


By keeping your cool,
By breathing deep
Until our mind is clear.
Speak with authority
And uprightness,
And that will
Make our opponent humble.
– C. Radhika, Secunderabad

132 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


ARE YOU
WATCHING
MORE TV
?
You may not
be as happy as the idiot
box makes you feel.
By M. Nathan

T
he religion section of dailies courses’ talk about. study. "While those not happy with
in India reported on a dis- "The pattern for daily TV use is their marriages watch more TV."
course on the Bhagavad Gita particularly dramatic, with 'not happy' Yet there may be good news here
in the cities. Talking about people estimating over 30 per cent for broadcasters. Commenting on the
the desires that arise in the more TV hours per day than 'very study, co-author John P. Robinson
mind, the pieces stated how happy' people," the study says. said the worsening economy could
futile they were. The desires "Television viewing is a pleasurable boost TV viewing.
could either be fulfilled or enough activity with no lasting benefit "Through good and bad economic
not. In the former case, the and it pushes aside time spent in times, our diary studies have consis-
consequent ‘happiness’ or other activities – ones that might be tently found that work is the major
satisfaction would be fleeting. If, on less immediately pleasurable, but activity correlate of higher TV viewing
the other hand, the desire was not that would provide long-term bene- hours," Robinson says. "As people
fulfilled, there would be a lot of frus- fits in one's condition. In other words, have progressively more time on their
tration. TV does cause people to be less hands, viewing hours increase."
Given this assessment it appears happy." The study concludes that, "These
that the human being is not destined points have parallels with addiction;
to be ‘happy’. However, there is since addictive activities produce
some good news. Happiness is rela- THE STUDY momentary pleasure but long-term
tive and, yes, some people have The study, published in the misery and regret. People most vul-
reported being happier than others. December issue of Social Indicators nerable to addiction tend to be social-
An extensive new research study has Research, analysed data from thou- ly or personally disadvantaged, with
found that unhappy people watch sands of people who recorded their TV becoming an opiate."
more TV while those who consider daily activities in diaries over the In India, retired people with time
themselves happy spend more time course of several decades. on their hands and little or no means
reading and socialising! Researchers found that activities of venting their energies are left with
The University of Maryland such as sex, reading and socialising no alternative but the “tube”. This
analysed 34 years of data collected correlated with the highest levels of does not necessarily make them
from more than 45,000 participants overall lasting happiness. Watching unhappy, especially since, for most
and found that watching TV might TV, on the other hand, was the only couples, this is the only companion-
make you feel good in the short term activity that had a direct correlation able time spent.
but this feeling is definitely short- with unhappiness. The verdict then would seem to be
lived. There seems to be a definite Unhappily married couples also that, as with any other seemingly
correlation between TV watching watch more TV. "Happily married pleasurable activity, moderation is
hours and happiness. This also couples read newspapers and maga- indeed a prescription while striving for
seems to agree with what the ‘dis- zines on more days," reports the the goal of “living happily after!” We

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 133


O T O


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Tear along the dotted line and mail to Crossword No. 4 Womanʼs Era, Delhi Press, New Delhi-110 055.
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Across
1. A stretch of land, especially with 1. Shake involuntarily, typically as a
regard to its physical features (7) result of anxiety, excitement, or
5. The nickname for a gold statuette frailty (7)
given as an Academy award (5) 2. A person employed by a touring
7. Be filled with love or admiration band of musicians to set up and
for (7) maintain equipment (6)
9. A mysterious or puzzling person or 3. Bring about (a feeling or response)
thing (6) in someone (6) Please accept my entry for the
11. Perfect happiness; great joy (5) 4. Chemical symbol for the element crossword competition. I
13. Lasting or existing forever (7) Calcium (2)
6. Not moving (5)
subscribe to all the rules and
14. A person’s sense of self-esteem or
self-importance (3) 8. A deer with large branching antlers, regulations of the competition.
15. A framework of spaced bars that native to the northern tundra and
subarctic (8)
Name
are parallel to or cross each
other (4) 10. An amount above or below a given
Down

16. The organ of hearing and balance level (6)


12. Loud and harsh (8) Address
in humans and other vertebrates (3)
18. Be extremely and uncritically 15. Reduce to small particles or
fond of (4) powder by crushing (5)
19. Chemical symbol for the element 17. A red powder or cream used as a City Pin
Sodium (2) cosmetic for colouring the cheeks
21. Of very high quality (4) or lips (5)
22. Cut a groove in (a surface) (4) 20. On the top of (4)
23. Discover or investigate (a crime or
its perpetrators) (6)

24. Employee Stock Ownership Plan (4)

134 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


WIN UP TO

Winners of Crossword - 1 Rs10,000 IN CASH PRIZES

elhi. Sita Rani, Roh Gohil, Priya Prabhu


Nisha, New D tak. Kiran Shaileshad. , Karnataka.
Ahmedab
Answers to Crossword-1

Across: 1. Tooth, 3. Moan,


5. Woo, 6. Entity, 8. Ramp,
10. Adolescence, 13. Eel, 15. Love,
16. Area, 17. Slang, 20. BC
22. Movie, 23. Caress

bed,
enage, 2. Hot
Down: 1. Te op e, 7. Troll,
on, 4. N
3. Mor
Gaman Sahn bai. 11. Crown,
Dr Silonie, Ja
landhar. i, Chandigarh. sekhar, Mum 9. Academy, o,
Divya Chandra 14 Eel, 16. Ag
.
12. Seduce, ar , 19 . Cod ,
. Ag
17. Spec, 18
20. Bid, 21. PS

WIN WIN WIN


ON YOUR

Madhu Smita
WO RD
ta, Allahabad. Aggarwal,
Loveleena Gup
Sahu, Kochi. Krishan Gopal a.
Kolkat
Rules and Regulations
A prize of Rs 10,000 will be given to the person sending an all-correct
solution. In case there are more than one sender of an all-correct solution, the
POWER
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decision of the management will be final and binding. Entries must be on the
crossword printed here. Photocopies will not be accepted.
Entries must be sent so as to reach Womanʼs Era by 15 August 2010, by
ordinary post. No correspondence in this matter will be entertained.
The contest is not open to the employees of Delhi Press. Every entry
should be accompanied by the sender’s family photo. If you are declared a
winner, your family picture may be printed in the oncoming issue. Please send
a signed declaration that you have no objection to printing your family picture.

Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 135


STORY
SHORT

On Catching the Train


How early should one go to catch one’s plane/train/bus/whatever?
By R. G. Katju

T
he TV ad of Moov displayed these days and Kolkata at 3 p.m. and the car journey from Shillong
showing a gentleman missing his train by a to Guwahati airport never took less than 21/2 hours.
solitary minute — his rushing to the platform And check-in time was one hour before take-off.
whilst the last bogie whizzes past — reminded So, when at 11.30 a.m. after concluding a group
me of an essay in our XIIth English course way meeting, he nonchalantly murmured, “Khaana kab
back in 1957. The article basically classified milega?” I was shocked. I looked pointedly at the
passengers into two categories. The ‘A’ group watch and the indicator sank in immediately. “Don’t
believed in reaching the platform — or, for that worry, Katju, there is enough time,” he told me.
matter, the airport or bus stand — at literally the last Management pandits strongly emphasise two key
moment, without a worry or crease on their principles for a successful career — viz:
foreheads. The other group ‘B’ type — yours truly 1. The boss is always right.
belongs to this group — starts fretting about their 2. If he is wrong, follow point 1.
intended journey performing mental gymnastics from Remembering this I kept quiet — but kept on
many hours earlier thereby reaching the take-off point fretting. Half an hour later, he rose from the lunch
any time from half an hour to two hours before. table and said, “Call the car, Katju.” My shirt wet
Three decades ago my boss and I were in with perspiration, I rushed to do the needful as if I
Shillong. He had to catch the flight from Guwahati to were the passenger.
Bidding him a safe and comfortable We spent a proved futile and, as the whistle sounded, I
journey, I gave him less than 50 per cent miserable ran for the train. To my horror I found it
chance of catching the flight. However, his moving in the opposite direction and my
night on the
bravado seemed justified as friends told friend Ramesh trying his best to wriggle out
platform
me that he reached the airport in time — in of it with our luggage. I was shocked but
telling jokes, nevertheless helped him out.
fact, was one of the last 3-4 passengers
who checked in before the window’s
singing film Ever a man known for his cool he was
closure. I mentally took my hat off. songs and red in the face shouting obscenities.
Another lady — also belonging to the smiting our “You... you, searching for worthless locks.
‘A’ category — the MD of a Ratlam limbs and Our train is the next one and it’s moving
company, had the habit of informing the faces to ward away. You loaded me on the wrong train
stationmaster in advance of her catching off the hordes and then went treasure hunting...”
the Mumbai Express and asking him to of mosquitoes Sheepishly, I admitted my mistake and
delay its departure in case she arrived late. which had calmed him down.
This she habitually did to the chagrin and smelled blood. To compound our misery the
irritation of the SM. stationmaster informed us that there were
Dwelling on the subject of catching and missing no trains till next morning and we would have to
trains, yours truly with a close friend was touring the fend for ourselves during the night — the station
deep south of India about three decades ago. boasted of no waiting room.
We spent a miserable night on the platform telling

D
eciding to visit Rameswaram we arrived by jokes, singing film songs and smiting our limbs and
bus at Mandapam station next to faces to ward off the hordes of mosquitoes which
Rameswaram. The bus stopped at the station had smelled blood.
gate and the train was standing about 20 metres To conclude, recently I had to catch the 12.15
away. I asked Ramesh to buy the tickets and check p.m. train to Secunderabad. Giving due
its departure time while I started getting our luggage consideration to traffic jams on roads and the
unloaded from the bus top. In the above act my trunk platform, vehicle punctures and accidents and other
collided with the bus body and the number lock flew unknown delaying factors, I left home to reach the
out. station at 11.35. I found that the train had been
As the departure was 10 minutes away, I decided delayed by half an hour. What to do? Having a pen
to look for the lock — it had sentimental value, and some loose paper handy why not pen something
though it cost only Rs 3 six years ago. The search about catching trains? Result — this article. We

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Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010 137


MONEY MATTERS
for spelling mistakes, stamp duty A group of three women, we are
amounting to Rs 100 and registration promoting folk art, in our region. I
fees of Rs 100 would again have to received money for folk art fund,
be rendered. sometime back. Would the amount
be taxed?
Are car loans, for women available No. You would be glad to know
at concessional rates? I am thinking that folk art fund is not at all taxed.
of buying a new vehicle, after tapping

Q&
a bank. I have got kundan jewellery, in my
Yes, there are some banks ornament box. An elderly relative had
offering car loans at reduced rates given it to me. What is this jewellery
for women. They charge 25 basis and how should the shine come back
points less, compared to general to the pieces?
Though studying in college, I want to loans. For example, banks would Kundan jewellery are medieval
start saving money, right now. Can a reduce interest rate from 9.25 per type ornaments, where gold foil is
Public Provident Fund (PPF) account cent to 9 per cent, while extending inserted between stones and also
be opened by me? loan. near mount. You can use suede cloth
You would be thrilled to know that Processing fees is waived off, to make the kundan collection
a PPF account can be opened easily. also. Prompt payment of car loan sparkle.
It does not matter whether you are in instalments is rewarded by slashing
college still. However, a bank interest rate further. The bank may Recently, I let out two rooms in my
account is necessary. charge 50 basis points less. That is, house, for rent. I am employed in an
interest rate is cut from 9.25 per cent office. Which income tax form should
I have been asked to write a book to 8.75 per cent, for women. be filled, by me?
and hope to get a fair sum as royalty. When rental income is derived,
How much tax would have to be paid Do I have to write a new cheque, if you have to submit form ITR – 2, for
on royalty? mistake is committed in earlier one? income tax.
Well, if you get Rs three lakhs as Just a few days ago, the bank
royalty, there’s still no need to pay refused to accept a cheque, though I At a wedding in my family, I have to
income tax. But, if sum is more, tax had crossed out error and signed, buy clothes for relatives, both on

A
would be charged. next to the spot. bride and groom’s side. How much
Yes, the new banking rules say discount would a wholesale outlet
Can bank ask me to open a fixed that if there's a mistake, one can’t give?
deposit if I want a locker? cancel the error, as before and put a You should try to get 40 per cent
The bank can't insist that a locker verification signature. When spelling discount, and nothing less. A
would be given only if a fixed deposit is wrong, amount is incorrect or name wholesale cloth shop or mill
is opened. But, some banks may say is incorrect, a new cheque has to be showroom may give the rebate
that a fixed deposit, equivalent to written. because of bulk buying.
three year’s locker rent, has to be
opened. I suspect that adulterated petrol is E-mail your queries to:
being sold to me, at bunk. Can it be money@womansera.com
To my horror, I found mistakes in my found whether the petrol is spurious?
new house deed. These relate to A petrol pump has to keep stock Meenakshi Subramaniam
spellings, area and dimensions of the of filter paper, at all times. Ask for is a former IRS officer, answering all
flat. I am afraid the errors might one filter paper, put a little petrol on it your money queries, right from income
cause problems. Do suggest a way and watch. If petrol evaporates at tax to supermarket shopping.
out. once, the vendor is selling quality Mail your queries to:
There’s no cause for alarm, at all. material. But, when petrol lingers, WOMAN'S ERA,
You must, at once get a rectification does not evaporate quickly and E-3, Jhandewala Estate, Rani Jhansi Marg,
deed prepared. Nominal charges leaves a blot, you would know that New Delhi-110055.
would have to be paid. For example, it’s fake stuff, at once.

138 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010


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timely and relevant, for there has EDITORIA
L
diabetes
and cancer.
powders
A doctor
informed
that these
that
ashrams
of allopathic
CENSUS: LET IT BE
AN OBJECTIVE
including ayurvedic
the so-called contain overdosesgiven for the
ATIVE dispense powder
SOUND ALTERNrevival of Ayurveda. dionil, a cheap
and babas

been a marked deterioration in moral


example,
ns. For
NOT SO has seen
a . So formulatio diabetes contain powdered
of is

T
past nowadays treatment same disease. and babas
he recent are a craze sweeping the drug for the , ashrams should be
Herbal medicines remedies are allopathic such companies
in the foreign Action of and hence is to
called traditional but also have to g fake drugs purpose
akin to propagatin Their sole are
only in India Ayurvedic drugs such by
the law. ones.They
market not and countries, treated as the needy but are also
While herbal tests in the western not serving
countries. alternative money and the image of Ayurveda,
quality name of of make
undergo stringent sells in well as mockery not only tarnishing of the people.

EXERCISE
in India
everything violation as gullible with the lives 2011
This is sheer lives of poor risk on playing CENSUS
medicines. putting the at it
hand and treatment exercise

standards all over the country with a


law on one cannot afford costly a mammoth ,
begun. Being manpower. Everytime

C
people, who the Delhi ensus has number of the
in a study power from
the other. of it was
seen when, and Research needs a large nt draws this man Perhaps,
A glimpse utical Sciences drugs in the governmethe government schools. are well-
of Pharmacepresence of allopathic or
Institute especially that the teachers g
found the sold as Ayurvedic schools, nt believes are used
to maintainin
(DIPSAR) ns commonly n. the governmethis job, as they most is the
many formulatio for erectile dysfunctio available in the do what suffers
ns easily trained to this exercise
Unani medicines found But in all to one
herbal preparatio five were registers. six months work
Of the 16 DIPSAR, of viagra takes around
tested by generic name herbal school
education.
teaching
market and citrate – the so-called The entire
exercise this period from
Sidenafil . During remain absent

permissive culture slowly but surely


this. These s.
containing Not only of these compound year for completion as the teachershave to resort to self-
– and Tadalfie. overdose mg of the drain, , who in
ns contained c had 119 goes down meanwhile teachers,
Supersoni 25-100 Students,
preparatio
drugs called will have
only the schools. the available large number of
One of the tablet. Even Viagra is a prescriptio
n depend upon with the
in a study or to cope up census being
Sidenafil is more viagra counters it difficult that, despite find an
tablet. What s are sold over the can be turn, find surprising thing is is made to
mg of it per formulation Sidenafil pupils. The no attempt every census.
these that sed exercise, in
drug but caution
pattern is
followed
drugs. Doctors taking nitrate-baeven a long-drawn . The old some teachers,
as herbal already on and alternative s made by the path.
fatal for
someone cause hypertensi suggestion work, may show this
. It can also In this regard in census educated youth for
of so-
medicines a number who are engaged unemployed y to meet
and

seeping in. Young girls are today This is in response


available
coma. there are that are claimed Why not
employ
give them
an opportunit
In the market and Unani medicines . Their names This will of people. sure
e- task? various kinds It makes
called Ayurvedic treatment for impotency ‘K2’, ‘Sikander- of interact with an all- India level
exercise. counting.
to be sure-shotcurious like ‘Titanic’,Power Extra. All left from
Census is person is exercise
all
are also
very and Musli even a single of India makes the
Much Gold’, or Tidafil. that not that despite
Azam’, 2 Sidenafil to have ical diversity is also surprising
system was
found containing has been
reported Geograph It neither a
them were Tidafil too and it cannot the more
difficult.
censuses, was created.
Like Sidenafil,backache and headachec doses range so many database
like carrying out a comprehensive tion
side effects the counter. Its therapeuti contains 32 unique indentifica
Power Extra evolved nor are talks about
be sold over But Musli there citizen. be clubbed
mg/tablet. the Now, de for every UID code could

more vulnerable than ever and the to your editorial


from 5-20 to ‘improve’ the number/co Otherwise
,
tablet. done of issuing results.
mg per y this is
all
win the trust these Census and and quicker be taken, requiring
Apparentl drugs and who take for better to age
’ of these hand, people not reveal what
together task will have . In the modern
‘efficiency
On the other do another mammoth of manpower collection, census
consumer. secretly and normally of course, some equally large number a swift data . It
so to entire population
drugs do until, it is too late networking
of electronic opportunity to digitise
consumed however, so that students
they have develops. By then d drugs. provides
an smart system census is
n adulterate way for some in future whenever
complicatio by these the market, m We
damage done drugs available in may pave mansera.co
do not suffer

Census 2011 (May II).


undo the whose
and ‘Babas’ They and studies letters@wo
the herbal n.
Besides of ‘ashrams’
a number appear regularly. undertake
there are

predators are no longer criminals


ents and
pamphlets serious ailments
advertisem some very
claim to cure even (Second) 2010
also Era ● May
Woman’s

who lurk in every society but their It clearly reveals the fact that
classmates as well. census is a great demographic
Date rapes, once unheard of, endeavour that must not be confused
have become common place today with social science field work. India is
and there are more and more girls home to awe-inspiring number of
A BLESSING FOR ready to shed their inhibitions and sub-castes with nomenclature
RIGHT CH
RIGHT
OICE FOR
MODERN WOMEN willing to play along with their variations across regions. Religion
CAREER ellising today’
s

Apropos the article


The hard option
freedoms.
s for chann
By Kasturi
Rangachari

classmates, unmindful of the dangers and caste have done no good for our
I
All that
in our country. status
to do for aeons accepted the
middle- women and they
f you are you time, they adjusted they had

Right Choice for Right


aged today, world quo;
the d mainly because world
have seen d acquiesce . But today’sin fact, it
being transforme alternative –

of unwanted pregnan cies, sexually country but only divided the people.
from no them the
opportunity
as you moved to gives them – to
take decisions
childhood even forces
and then choices. get to
adulthood and make the choices they
age. The Some of feeling
into middle a glorious
were born make give women they are made
world you exists. and so of relief.
into no longer in the of freedom and with a sense of
see that joyfully free the most important
You can
and the people For many, women

Career by Kasturi
way you eat, work. Today’s
dress, relate to work or
around you in these only choose to either
entertain, can not choose from

transmitted diseases and even Our country developed a kind of


live and in what can also
but they range of
career
today’s morals,and what not, as wide a
people accept practically men can.
– in other options as most hell bent
on
they reject mine was
today’s lifestyle. A niece of were
Her parents then
words, in century is joining the Army.
The 21st they
old, but taken aback, but the
just a decade century initially her through
21st supported and
the sportingly of selection
for Indian arduous process an Army captain
lifestyle be she is Her
women
can
in training. Now Kashmir Valley.
up as one
posted to
the spend a

Rangachari (June II,


went to

murders. As the author of the article political culture where caste and
summed
have options parents recently they came
back
which we to make with her and e of the
work
and are able makes month
This The importanc respect she
choices. very dazed. doing and the
it something she was come home
because it, had only
new for doing
aking got
choice-m to them there!re we went, jawans
was something “Everywhe we were
never – and us because
women saluted her
chance
had the

2010), women earlier says it is expedient that girls have to religion cast their shadows on
were taking up job just as bread- be protected from their male anything we do. It is nice that for the
winner or to support their family. In classmates. But the first line of first time since independence the
the present days the concept of defence should the girls themselves census will record caste-based
working woman has changed. They and it is they who should take all census which would be in a
take up lucrative jobs to maintain precautions and keep the wolves at transparent and effective way so as
their status. Earlier women were bay. As it so often happens the girls to capture valuable socio-economic
confined to kitchen and bringing up decide to keep everything to information of our billions and we
children. With globalisation, themselves and rarely confide to their would be able to put to use such
technology has opened numerous parents leading to situations going databases in driving our
avenues for women. Call centres out of hand when it becomes too late developmental priorities and policies.
have proved a blessing for women to salvage their reputation or honour In order to measure our current
with minimum qualification. The odd or even their chastity. reservation system’s success, this
timings do not seem to bother them. – Vijayalakshmi A., Bangalore. data is of immense importance.
The parents of working women, who Otherwise, the current method will
are on the threshold of old age are result in progress of a specific group,
burdened with the additional THE DOWRY MENACE leaving other groups deprived of
responsibility of bringing up their This refers to the article Different chance to progress.
grandchildren. The best option for dimensions of dowry menace. I fully – Vinod C. Dixit, Ahmedabad.
ladies would be to burn their own agree with the writer that the parent The prize is awarded to:
boats by staying up at home. Girl are should have a thorough enquiry of Vinod C. Dixit, Ahmedabad.
not willing to commit to marriage and the groom before getting their
they prefer live-in relationships. In daughters married. A thorough probe WOMAN'S ERA
young and vulnerable age they seek into the character and reputation of invites readers’
sexual satisfaction. The parents of the groom and his family will save opinions and
such young girls are in the lurch. So them from falling into the trap of reactions on
articles, short stories
to change the scenario the best thing greedy dowry seekers.
and features published
would be for schools to focus on Giving and taking dowry has in Woman’s Era. The best
moral, ethics and education based on become an organised social evil, letter will be given a prize of
cultural values which will bring people spend lavishly willingly or Rs 500. Address your letters by
nobility in the child. under pressure on the engagement E-mail to: letters@womansera.com
– S. Boomija, Bangalore. and marriage of their daughters as or by post to:
they believe that giving cash and AS YOU SAY
PROTECTIN
G
expensive gifts will make their
YOUNG GIRLSLE
FROM MA A PERMISSIVE daughter’s in-laws happy and their E-3 Jhandewala Estate,
CLASSMATES By M
for parents
A must-readShamsur Rabb Khan
of

SOCIETY daughter will remain always happy


New Delhi-110055.
B
growing girls. I explain
how danger
-
-
efore
intimacy develo
ous a close

Womansera.com
environment
ped in school and girls of
boys
between I offer
could be,
tender age the scores of
of
two, out

The article Prote -


whether reported
examples, d, recent
or unreporte enough
that are

after her marriage. Why buy sorrow


incidents to
and guardians
for parents about their
careful
be extra
. from Baghpat
daughters
incident is girl
The first a Class IX
UP, where by
district of raped at
gunpoint
was allegedlyclassmates. According
three of
her rs, the 16-

cting Young Girls from Name:


in newspape on 26
to reports abducted
victim was of her
year-old three boys

and torture for the daughter by giving


2010 by place.
February secluded
raped at a three boys
class and
reads: "The the same
The report studied in town.
and the victim in Baraut to
in a school way
class on her
girl was
When the boys abducted
school, the
home from
her." old.
and raped is a year

their Male Classmates


incident of

Mobile:
The second 2009, a student
r by
In Septembe reportedly raped

dowry to the demanding in-laws?


Class VIII
was s at the
her classmate
two of for Boys ground
nt College occurred
Governme The incident back
in Ludhiana. girl was coming
poor in the
when the nt school
her governme taking her
from after
of the city girl on
Civil Lines two boys met the
exams. The took her to an isolated

– Harinder Kaur, Jalandhar.


raped
the way and

E-mail:
ground where they
area of the

(June I, 2010) was

146 Woman’s Era ● July (Second) 2010