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APRIL (SECOND) 2012 ` 35









With this issue


Vol 39, Issue No. 921

Founder: Vishwa Nath






Ram Babu

1 1



Sudha Chandrasekaran

Dr Navin Kumar Gupta

Padmaja Menon

86 16


Malvika Dekhane

Yojana Shrestha


Tarany Sinha

Sudha Chandrasekaran


Smita Shenoy


Dr Aparna Pradhan

Suman Bajpai

Sumar Chand

Suman Bajpai


A. C. Tuli

I. M. Soni

Shan Fazelbhoy

Vibha Hetu



Lesley D. Biswas

Nalini Sharma


Hema Bal


Priya Ramesh


Shan Fazelbhoy

Nandini Kumari

Anoop Verma


Roy Cherian C.

Strawberries and Cream Cake Buttermilk Scones Arbiseekh Kebab Matar Aur Bajrek Ki Roti Chessy Tortellini Paneer Spring Rolls Baked Potato with Cheese Crispy Strips with Beans Zucchini Slice Cheesy Vegetable Pikelets


If you prefer variety try these dishes.
Strawberrie s and cream



to 20 oven for 18 Place in the : and topping two mins. in the tin for For the filling Allow to cool out on to a wire whipped turn 1 cup cream, ies, hulled and minutes, then 10-12 strawberr cooling rack. are cool, spoon halved Then the cakes double cream and METHOD baking tins O C. 3/ 4 of the whipped and top with cake Grease the ies. oven to 180 on top of one preheat your the sugar the majority of the strawberr top, on butter with other cake INGREDIENTS: Cream the Place the cream light. the remaining until soft and and beat. Mix in For the cake: and smooth with the Mix in milk and flour on top, and sprinkle Serve. 1/ cup butter 2 ies. baking powder evenly sifted strawberr 3/ cup sugar the mixture remaining 4 and beat. Pour the tops. 1 cup flour smoothing into both tins, 1/ cup milk cut into 4 powder butter and 1/ tsp baking until temperat ure 2 ts with a fork the dry ingredienresembl es dry scones Buttermilk and the mixture Add buttermilk breadcrumbs. will be a bit moist. mix. The dough a ball and dough into into Roll half the INGREDIENTS: surface. Cut flour flatten on floureda scone cutter or 2 cup plain with six pieces 1 cup sugar wedges. Repeat into powder simply cut 1/ tsp baking dough. Place 2 with the remaining tray and bake 1/ tsp bicarb soda 2 baking on greased 1 cup butter You can brush k for 12 minutes. and sprinkle with 3/ cup buttermil 4 top buttermilk on 3/ tsp salt if desired. 4 before baking O dry sugar METHOD to 180 C. Sift Serves: 12 Preheat oven Add room in a bowl. ingredients

By Anupam

a Gupta

powder and garam masala and mash well time, seeds, piece at a chillies. Mix flour, oil. Take one a Seekh green together bajra in a the shape of metal slightly. Sieve salt mould it in eat flour and put it on a over wholewh Add just enough water Kebab and the skewer large bowl. dough. Divide skewer. Place continuously a smooth equal parts. over. to form low flame rotating evenly all dough in eight filling in four in an the till it is cooked green peas a place them dough over Alternatively, for 15 minutes. Divide parts. Put the grill oven and till they equal sheet. With your palms, a 6" time to time hot plastic Turn from portion into y grilled. Serve peas flatten each are thoroughl Place green and round disc. with chutney. over one roti mixture evenly roti over it, sealing tawa. place the other tightly. Heat the corners roti over it. place this When hot, on both low flame Cook over sides till done. INGREDIENTS: Serve hot. millet or bajra 11/ 2 cups pearl atta masala powder 1 tsp garam eat flour 1/ cup wholewh kebab 2 Arbiseekh jeera seeds 1/ tsp cumin or 2 powder 1/ tsp red chilli 2 dough INGREDIENTS: water to knead green peas cheese tortellini 1 cup shelled 1 cup flour 2-3 green chillies 1 tbsp oil 1 tbsp oil INGREDIENTS: or arbi 1/ tsp salt salt to taste 8 250 gm colocasia white sauce and 1 cup METHOD 2 onions, small peas till tender carrot seeds or ajwain jeera 1 Cook green 1 tsp carom chilli powder, ki roti powder Matar aur bajre 1/ tsp red chilli dry. Add red 2 1/ tbsp butter 2 h 21/ 2 tbsp cornstarc 2-3 green chilliesor dhania r 4 tbsp coriande




leaves powder 1/ tsp garam masala 2 1 tsp oil salt to taste cut METHOD arbi. Finely Boil and peel chillies and onion, green In a large plate, Add coriander leaves. thorough ly. chillies mash arbi onion, green mix till cornstarch, leaves. Gently well. and dhania ts are blended red all ingredien masala powder, and Add garam ajwain, butter into it chilli powder, mixture. Divide salt to this . Lightly portions eight equal half of the palms with grease your


Womans Era

April (Second)


Womans Era

April (Second)


Farali Patty Caramelised Onion Muffins Beetroot Cutlets Oats Vegetable Puffs



Neha Deepak Choudhary

Suman Bajpai






Page 134

Editor, Publisher & Printer PARESH NATH
Printed at Delhi Press Samachar Patra Pte Ltd., A-36, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad and Delhi Press, E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110 055 and published on behalf of Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Pte Ltd. from E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110 055. E-mail: EDITORIAL, ADVERTISEMENT & PUBLICATION OFFICE Delhi Press Building, E-3, Jhandewala Estate, Rani Jhansi Marg, New Delhi-110 055. Phone: 41398821, 41398888. Fax: 91-11-23625020 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENT DEPARTMENT M-12, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110 001. Phone: 011-23416313. The names of characters used in all fiction and semi-fiction articles are fictitious. COPYRIGHT NOTICE Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Pte Ltd. New Delhi-110 055. India.



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annons of taxation dictate that there should be one-sixth tax on individual income, as was the practice since time eternity. Later, with progressing economy tax too increased, up to 50 per cent of the income. It put severe strain on economy and individuals. Currently, the government is facing the problem of plenty in certain sectors. Higher taxes led to big amount collection and bumper crops led to piling of higher foodgrain stocks. It forced the Government of India into distribution mode distribution of money as subsidies and of foodgrains at throwaway prices. Such kind of system is not sustainable, as we can see that uncontrolled inflation has literally annulled all the growth that the government boasts about. General public is crying under pressure from every direction, but no political party is in a position to provide them solace. This plus poor track records the ruling Congress Party has given the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reasons to celebrate. Only the BJP has anything close to a national appeal. As such, it ought to project itself as the alternative government. But it is not celebrating and appears to be a diffident lot, reluctant to join the race. Nor it performed anything better in the recent assembly elections. Its tally of seats shrank in Uttar Pradesh; its support slumped in Punjab; it lost office in Uttarakhand and got nothing in Manipur. It even lost a long-held assembly seat in Gujarat and a parliamentary seat in Karnataka. Both are states, ruled by the BJP and where its MLAs have been accused of watching porn video clips during debates. At national level, too, the BJP looks divided with its leaders jockeying for position as potential prime minister. Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat is the front runner. He boasts about a record growth in state. But the massacre of Muslims 10 years ago continues to haunt him. This is the reason why many of his ranks in NDA, like Nitish Kumar and Navin Patnaik, have become strong contenders for the PM post. Even if they agree on Modis name, his chances of becoming prime minister will depend upon the BJP winning the next general elections by a wide margin, say 160 or more seats. Anything less would force the party to compromise on a broad coalition that would need a leader with great partnership spirit. That keeps alive the hopes of moderates like Arun Jaitly. Apart from leadership rivalries, the BJPs grass-roots organisation

is miserable. The support it enjoyed 10-12 years ago has largely eroded away. Now, it is confined to urban middle class and upper class Hindus. With such an urban persona, how can the BJP think to woo the rural voters? Amid such situation it is hard for the party to appeal to peoples aspirations, to promise a roaring economy and to delegate more power to the regions. Talk of such things might stir enthusiasm. But it requires resolving internal conflicts. And as of now, it is unclear which national leader in BJP is prepared to take on that task.


he non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India are growing stronger despite having enigmatic role since long. They have been under suspicion of undermining the cultural mooring of Indian society, as well as fanning dissatisfaction towards the government. You will be surprised to know that India has the maximum number of NGOs in the world. Some 42,000 NGOs are listed on Home Ministry website, yet there is room for forming more NGOs in the society. Why India needs so many NGOs? One may say that the government is not discharging its duty honestly. So, the NGOs are coming up to fill in the gap. But in reality raising an NGO has become a profitable business venture with quick returns. Failures in other fields, become quick success in NGO business. But are all these NGOs really doing any good to the society. The NGOs listed on the Home Ministry website have legal clearance to receive money from foreign sources to fund their activities. Many of them are religious organisations getting funds from rich foreign countries. In comparison, even a well-reputed business firm cannot raise money from foreign source directly. But it becomes a prerogative in case of an NGO. As for the service, most of the NGOs become active only when some calamity strikes. Otherwise most of the time, they remain engaged in cynical activities. They will find fault in every business undertaken by the government. Agitating the public sentiment on petty matters is their top agenda. Even in time of calamities, many NGOs jump into action together and provide same kind of goods instead of providing need-based services. Here, too, their action is temporary as most of the NGOs disappear soon afterwards without rendering any help in rehabilitation works.
write to: We

Womans Era April (Second) 2012

Six errors to avoid.

By Deepalatha

autams mind was totally occupied with his thoughts about the salad days when he and his wife Gauri were over the moon on myriad joyous moonlit nights like that late evening as he drove his car to the function hall where his bosom friend was celebrating his sisters wedding. Gauri had flatly declined to accompany him despite his repeated requests to grace the wedding if only to show that no faultline had occurred in their marital relations. She said with an air of finality she wouldnt attend the function just to make a false demonstration that everything with them was hunky-dory. I dont want them all to think that we both are sailing smoothly and swimming, she fumed. Despite his buying a plush flat as per her choice and admitting their sixyear-old daughter Sushma to a prestigious school, also in accor dance with her fond desire, she always looked daggers at him whenever he spoke to her revealing some noteworthy information that would normally interest her immensely. The reason for her behaviour was unpalatable and worrisome to Gautam. She had recently discovered that he was having an affair with a petite young woman seven or eight years younger than her who had joined his office as a receptionist. Albeit he had terminated his affair with that woman and she had also left his office to join a swanky hotel as a receptionist at a higher remuneration, Gautams infidelity to her had caused Gauri deep wounds that had been only festering and not healing, all his offers of an olive branch and blandishments notwithstanding. Even his earnest promise to her to remain faithful to her all through his life didnt satisfy her.

Gauri didnt utter a word, however, of separating from him. Even though a homemaker most of the days as he left for his office in the car, she would sit by his side and ask him to drop her at her friends house or at the mall or at some kins house to spend her leisure time by exchanging homilies with her friends and kin or buying articles and groceries for her home. The reason is not far to seek their beloved child. Every now and then countless couples see the happy path of their lives take a diversion to paths that are strewn with pebbles or covered with thorns. Affairs take place even in joyous weddings, often in the wake of a personal crisis. If a man loses money in shares he may need the ego boost of an affair, says Etel Person who authored Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters and The Power of Romantic Passion, who is also professor of clinical psychiatry at the Columbia University. He adds, Or if a woman is having a terrible time bringing up a child she may need a femininity boost. Infidelity is the principal reason for the destruction of a plethora of happy marriages as per the opinion of Frank Pittman the author of the tome, Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy. In Hyderabad at the family court one can see a large number of cases coming up for hearing and a kindly judge trying her best to bring about reconciliation between the estranged couples. In fact, some of her sage advice to the couples whose marriages had hit the harsh patch excel those of the marriage counsellors. I was apprised by a lawyer that some estranged couples had agreed to patch up after hearing the advice of the judge which carried pearls of marital wisdom. Strangely enough, the counsel tendered to them by a counsellor was of no avail. I noticed a

young couple, made-for-each-otherlike, like one of those I saw in the gardens of a posh hotel in Visakapatnam who gathered there for a party of inseparable pretty couples. The couple spoke to each other sitting on the corner of a bench with their five-year-old girl exchan ging her on their laps, apparently joyfully, but the lawyer told me the horrible truth that they had come there in connection with their divorce proceedings. I was aghast at this revelation. Recognising the following common traps may help the couples whose marriages are on the cusp of breakdown to save their marriages. The first error: Doing something rash thoughtlessly. Hurt and humiliated, betrayed partners feel justified in plunging into instant action. Be sure actions cannot be undone. Just as the proverbial impossibility of unscrambling a scrambled egg. People commit a mistake by rushing out to procure a divorce lawyer or apprising their friends or kin of the infidelity, says Seema, a marriage counsellor. For example, if you tell your family about the indiscretion of your spouse and you remain together you may surely confront a double roadblock: mending your marital relationship and the relationship between your spouse and your family, who may in all likelihood resent your spouse for causing hurt feelings to you.

During this phase the betrayed partner is advised to go slow and avoid overreacting, says Seema and adds that if you are serious about saving your marriage the best course is to wait, if necessary, patiently, for your head to completely clear the turbulence prevailing there. The second error: Battling fire with fire: Six months after discovering Gautams infidelity, mentioned at the beginning of this piece, Gauri found a lover of her own in a distant kin of hers who was transferred to their place and started visiting the estranged couple who, however, dwelled together. While reading the profile of a famous poetess of India who passed away some time ago, I was somewhat shocked to know she had resorted to this sort of thing right in the presence of her husband. Judith Seifer, president of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, administers a stern warning: There is nothing quite like the rush of adrenaline from a retaliatory affair. But the psychic fallout that culmi nates from

compro mising your own values is often devastating. Gauri now realises her affair did more harm than good to her. It went against everything I believed in, she says. Other betrayed partners assume a position of moral superiority. Some wives bring up their husbands affairs after a lapse of a decade after it is over, says a sex and marital therapist. They exploit the affair as a tool for self-justification. The idea is: He is such a bad person, Im indeed a saint to continue my relations with him. Unfortunately this attitude renders it impossible to repair your relationship and get along. The third error: Expecting things to be the same. When an infidelity is discovered your basic assumptions about marriage are shattered. If you had been sticking to the idealised, romantic notions of each other, you must now replace those ideas with a more sophisticated reality and squarely accept each others flaws and strengths. During the three years of her husbands infidelity, Rita, a mother of two teenagers endeavoured to save her marriage. Repeatedly she reconciled with her husband Joseph only to discover that he was still visiting his mistress. She realised that by forgiving him she was making him more emboldened to perpetrate his affair. I had to create a new life without my husband as the focal point, she says with a pained expression on her face. Joseph found it extremely difficult in this situation without his sincere wife and doting daughters. He walked out on his mistress and joined his family. His infidelity made their marriage stronger. Prior to the affair there used to be frequent quarrels and these are not there now. The fourth error: To still keep secrets. A woman discovered to her dismay a packet of pills in her husbands briefcase prescribed for

another woman. She questioned her husband of three decades about this. He gave evasive replies and finally confessed to his having an affair. He made a total confession of his giving that woman expensive gifts and myriad other things and his taking her to expensive hotels. If your betrayal is revealed and your spouse presses you to be frank and honest, act according to his or her desire. But also be sensitive to his or her feelings. Your patience during this painful stage is critical to your marriages long-term survival because it helps to re-establish communication and trust.

The fifth error: Rejecting reality. Before the occurrence of healing, the betrayer must terminate the affair. For some it may be quite difficult. An affair gives an emotional high and seems to be a quick-fix solution to your problems, says Seema, You change partners instead of life circumstances.

Adultery is never a long-term cure, however. Idealised, romantic affairs are based on illusions rather than reality and illusion is difficult to sustain. The betrayer can imagine his lover has all the qualities his wife lacks. But true intimacy is based on genuine mutual understanding and the ability to acknowledge and accept each others flaws and foibles. When a marriage becomes stronger after an affair, it happens because your romantic illusions about your mate have been dispelled, says Seema. You dont have to be perfect for each other any more. The sixth error: Refusing to admit you were wrong. Most couples are devastated by infidelity. Consequently no healing can occur until you acknowledge your wrong doing and seek forgiveness. Otherwise, your spouse will remain furious and suspect that you will stray again, according to Seema. Admitting guilt can be particularly difficult for betrayers who blame their partners for their infidelity. Having an affair has nothing to do with how good your marriage or sex life is. A person cant be driven to an affair. Pointing the finger at your partner may help alleviate your own guilt but it will wreak even more havoc on your marital life. By working through the problems that caused the infidelity you can save your relationship. The following tips may be of help. Get the privacy you require to speak frankly and candidly about what transpired. As your scars heal learn from the affair. For many couples a return to religion helps to reunite them. Lastly, and renew your relationship. Try to rekindle what made you fall in love with each other. Talk about the early times of your being together happily. Realise how much your marriage means to you and how priceless it is and also realise how an affair can wreak havoc as its purely chimerical and We ephemeral.




How to use bananas for your beauty.
By Ram Babu

ndia, or rather, Kerala happens to be the place where bananas were first grown. Women in this coastal region often used bananas to revitalise dead skin. Besides putting the glow back into your skin and acting as an exfoliating agent, bananas are used to moisturise and condition dry hair. Rich in potassium, they do not contain any substance that would irritate even sensitive skin. Being rich in protein and natural fats, as banana can be used by all skin types because its so mild. For an easy facial, 15 minutes application is required. Rinse off with warm water and moisturise your face using a cream. Mashed banana also makes a wonderful hair-conditioner when mixed with a teaspoon or two of honey and applied to the hair. Here are a few banana beauty aids that can help you put the glow back into your skin and make your hair shiny. Banana chamomile soother: Ingredients: A small ripe banana, two tbsp strong chamomile tea, three cotton balls.

Method: Mix the banana and tea into a smooth paste. Dip cotton ball in the mixture and swab gently over the blemishes. Take two or more fresh cotton balls and dip in the mixture. Place over your pimples and blemishes. Lie down for about five minutes. Rinse the mask off with cool water. Banana mask for dry skin: Ingredients: 1/4 cup of plain yogurt or curd, 2 tbsp honey, a mediumsized banana. Method: Mash all the ingredients together with a fork. Apply the mask to your face and neck. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse off with cold water. Almond and banana mask for damaged hair: Ingredients: 2 tbsp of almond or coconut oil, two ripe Bananas. Method: Combine the ripe bananas with the almond or coconut oil. Massage. The almond-banana mask into your hair and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and then shampoo it off. Womans Era April (Second) 2012

An exfoliating mask: Ingredients: A mashed banana, some white cosmetic clay. Method: Combine mashed banana with white cosmetic clay and apply to your face. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes and then wash it off with warm water. This mask is both moisturising and nourishing. Banana-egg pack: Ingredients: An egg yolk, 2 tbsp of almond or coconut oil, a ripe banana. Method: Combine almond or coconut oil, an egg yolk and a ripe banana in a bowl. Apply this bananaegg pack to your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wash it off with cold water and pat-dry. Ginger-banana face mask: Ingredients: 2 bananas, 1 tsp of powdered ginger, some plain yogurt or curd. Method: Take fresh ginger and powder it. Combine it with two mashed bananas and half a cup of curd. Apply, this mask to your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse off. We 11



glowing looks. Stop threading, waxing or plucking and encourage hair growth even if it looks untidy in the beginning. Apply a thin layer of castor oil in the area at night. You can get tattooing done to create an illusion of thickness.But be warned. It could be painful and time consuming. Clever penciling can also create thick brows. False brows can also be glued on but there is a risk of this loosening. There are special eyebrow growth products in the market which have proved to be efficacious too. My skin tans very easily. After a vacation in Goa, I look very dark. Please tell me how to remove the tan. I am a 19-year-old girl. The tan could have been avoided if you had slathered the exposed parts of your body with sunblock lotion or cream with a high SPF. Do not forget this in the future. A quick way to lighten tan is with bleaching in a beauty parlour with hydrogen peroxide or baking soda. Do not attempt this yourself lest you harm your skin. Home-made solutions are effective and safe but need time to show results. Smooth your skin with a mixture of turmeric and yoghurt or milk cream for at least half an hour before your bath. Make a paste of lemon rind, honey, multani mitti and milk and smear it on your skin. Keep for at least an hour before washing off. Sandalwood paste is also a good skin lightener. Use a good branded skin whitening cream or lotion to remove the tan. I love using eye make-up shadow, liner, mascara, the lot! My problem is removing the make-up at night. I always look dreadful in the mornings with smudges around my eyes even when I try to remove as much of the make-up as possible. Removing eye make-up is not difficult if you know the rules. Firstly, remember never to tug at the delicate skin around the eyes. This could lead Womans Era April (Second) 2012

to wrinkles, soreness and bags. Tear-free baby shampoo works beautifully to remove eye make-up. Wet your eyes and work a little baby shampoo lather to clear away all make-up, and then wash with luke warm water. You can also use baby wipes which are gentle and safe. A dab of olive oil or baby oil can get rid of old eye make-up quickly. Some women prefer the humble petroleum jelly to clean eyes at bedtime. My hair is naturally wavy but, because I like straight hair, I use an electric hair straightener every morning to make my hair smooth. Nowadays, I find that my hair is becoming dry and brittle and keeps snapping when I brush it. Is it due to the straightener or my diet? Using the electric straightener daily applies heat to your hair and, naturally, it becomes dry and brittle. Heating elements should be used sparingly and, if used, extra care should be given to nourish hair with conditioners and special oils. Yes, diet too can cause dry, splitting hair. Drink a lot of water, and include Vitamins C and E, zinc, potassium and calcium in your menu. So, first stop using the straigh tener daily, and nourish your hair with hair-nourishing creams of reputed companies. If this does not work, consult a hair specialist to treat your condition. I am keen to learn swimming. Please tell me how to remove pubic hair so that it does not show when I wear a bikini. The easiest and most popular method of removal is shaving. Women also use waxing on the bikini line (which is the part of the skin which shows just outside the swim suit) and shave the rest of the pubic hair. Waxing all the hair has more lasting results but is painful. Hair removing creams also offer an alternative. You can always use a swimsuit which covers the pubic area more so that the hair does not show.

My problem is that some of my eyebrow hairs and eyelashes are turning grey. Can I dye these like I dye my scalp hair? You can apply dye on your eyebrows with a paint brush very, very carefully so that it does not sprinkle in your eyes. (Wash your eyes instantly with lots of water in case it does.) Close the eye under the brow you are dyeing. Never ever use dye on your could harm your eyes permanently. Simply use a kajol stick, eyebrow pencil or liner to colour the grey in your lashes. My eyebrows are very thin and sparse. I want thick luscious brows. How do I get these? I am a 23-yearold woman. The growth and shape of the brows usually depend on genes, but even naturally thick brows can become thin, sparse and almost nonexistent due to excessive threading and plucking. Many times, after excessive cosmetic thinning, the eyebrow hairs do not grow back. There are several methods of growing thick brows. Include vitamins C and E in your diet which will not only help your brows but will give you 14


he normal, unwritten protocol of the fashion world is that trends are ephemeral. They emerge in one season and vanish in the next. When they are the rage they become the toast of the fashion industry but when they go out of style they fade into oblivion like an ageing superstar. But, as they say, exceptions prove the rule and two trends have been doing just that: colour blocking and polka dots.


Forget match-match for some time, contrast is the way to go. Mix and mismatch shades to achieve the colour blocked effect. The good news is that while the West is waking up to this trend only now, colour blocking has been an inherent part of Indian couture culture for decades, maybe even centuries. Pairing a purple choli with an orange lehenga or contrasting a red blouse with a black


Showcasing two amazing, everlasting fashion trends.
By Smita Shenoy
sari is an integral part of our ethnic dress sense. And, although the best part is that colour blocking does not have a fixed set of rules, it is better to follow some simple guidelines. Do Be bold: Display your bold side as you go for colour blocking with gay abandon. Team a caramel tank top up with a silver skirt or wear an olive green T with your trademark


denim. In colour blocking, more than the apparels it is the attitude which matters. If you have the confidence to carry off two seemingly unrelated shades with panache, then go for it. Keep your body shape in mind: While it is true that colour blocking suits all body shapes and sizes, the main thing to remember here is to colour block according to your figure. Go for a layered look if you are Amazonian in your body type; if you have heavy hips but lack height, try pastel shades rather than bright hues because bold colours end up emphasising the hips and cutting inches further. Experiment: The good news about this trend is that there is no end to experimentation. Neon colours are the big thing this season and colour blocking gives you the perfect setting to check out if fluorescent tints become you. So, try out a sea green top with turquoise blue capris and find out from the mirror and your gal pals if neons are up your alley or not. Dont Overdo it: When colours are involved it is easy to go overboard and end up looking like a neon rainbow. Dare to pair but restrain yourself from matching a fuchsia blouse with an aubergine harem pant and fluorescent yellow blazer and topping off the look with crimson lipstick and indigo eye shadow. Shyama, an aspiring fashion designer, has this suggestion to offer. She says, It is better to pick and choose your colours to avoid resembling a patchwork quilt. While boldness is required it is best to go with colours that you are comfortable with. Forget the accessories: Shyama agrees. If you are dressed in white from top to toe, adding a crimson lipstick, a scarlet clutch and red ballerina shoes will complete the look and make you party-ready in seconds, she says. Leave out prints and patterns: Many people feel that adding graphic prints and intricate patterns makes colour-blocked outfits too cluttered; hence, they avoid

designs altogether and go for plain numbers. But fashion designers are unanimous in the opinion that it is okay to flirt with patterns without upsetting the essence of colour blocking. So make geometric prints a part of your wardrobe and watch the heads turn.

handful of dots sprinkled across garments would take the fashion world by storm? Named after a Bohemian dance by the same name, polka dots came into sartorial existence decades ago and are still going strong. Do Keep size in mind: Remember, in the case of polka dots, size does matter. If you have a short, curvy figure, then avoid large dots and go for smaller ones. They will help in creating a slim silhouette. Also keep in mind the shape and cut of the dress. If you are in your mid- 30s, wearing a polka dotted midi with puffed sleeves may make you look like a gawky schoolgirl instead of portraying you as a fun-loving, independent woman. Team up with patterns: Like in the case of colour blocking, many women hesitate in pairing prints with dots for the fear of looking awkward. Nothing can be farther from the truth says Shyama. Blouses in animal prints and skirts with polka are a big rage right now as are floral motifs and dots. Even formal dresses are seeing a transformation from the usual plain to dotted and printed, she concludes. Dont Keep age in mind: Those who say polkas are for adolescents have it all wrong. Aishwarya was 35 when she carried off the famous polka dotted top in the retro drama Action Replay. Just go for pieces which are age-appropriate and you will be just fine. Go from head to toe: Imagine a dotted dress, dotted accessories and dotted shoes. People will start seeing spots everywhere. Very few people can carry off the top-to-bottom polka look. If you are just a beginner in the polka universe, then stick to giving a subtle nod to the trend: maybe a hair band or a belt in dots to start with. Then you can keep adding spots as you We grow in confidence.


Who would have thought that a





Samsung galaxy phone with an application which gives the user quick access to emergency services was displayed on 22 March at the Built for Africa at the Samsung Forum 2012 in Cape Town. Electronics firms are wooing African consumers with products that target challenging environments.

Galaxy phone

Age of Transition

Visitors look at items as part of a press preview of the Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held on 14 March. It presented this era in the history of the eastern Mediterranean, through some 300 works of art.

Whacky car designer Sudhakar Yadav sits inside a vehicle made in the shape of a stilletto shoe (R) next to another vehicle made in the shape of a ladies handbag (L) in Hyderabad on 7 March on the eve of International Womens Day which was observed on 8 March.


Musical performance
Members of Me N Ma Girls Band is shown in concert at a hotel in Yangon. Myanmar pop is dominated by copies of international tunes, from the power ballads of Celine Dion to the soft rock strains of Rod Stewart.

Whacky cars

Members of Japanese pop group AKB48 perform at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington on 27 March. The band was in the US capital as part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the mayor of Tokyo to the city of Washington.

Pop performance
Russias gold medal winner Yelena Isinbayeva competes during the Womens Pole Vault Final at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Athletics Arena in Istanbul on 11 March.

Reverse bungee jump

Womens Pole Vault Final

Former England cricketer Andrew Freddie Flintoff dangles from a rope outside Wembley football Stadium on 19 March, 2012 as he attempts to break the highest reverse bungee jump world record in London.

The custom-built underwater camera is being used by Australian scientists to map the iconic Great Barrier Reef. An estimated 50,000 panoramas, shot in 360degree high-definition detail, will be uploaded to googles panoramio photo site for use on Google Maps and Google Earth in a kind of Street View under the ocean.

Underwater camera



When my fathers job brought our family to Delhi a few months back, I got admission in a reputed private school. The students are very modern compared to those of my earlier school. The other day, some hep girls in my class invited me to join them on a shopping trip. I was glad to be included in the group but was shocked to find that their idea of shopping was actually shoplifting! By the end of the trip, they had a big haul! My reaction caused a lot of merriment to them. I feel confused and unhappy. How can such nice girls do this? I do not want to go out with them again but my refusal will mean I could lose their friendship. Please advise. You are being subjected to the infamous peer pressure you feel, to be accepted by your peers, you have to conform to their ideas! You are, however, perfectly free to take a stand and refuse to endorse their wrong activities as it goes against your own principles. You may be then rejected by them but you will be true to yourself. You could tell them that you would like to be their friend but you would want to be excused from their shopping trips. Why teenagers shoplift is a complicated issue. Most of them do not really mean to steal but do it for a lark; they enjoy the thrill of doing something dangerous without getting caught. It gives them a kind of high. Authorities in western countries often treat teenage shoplifting lightly especially first-time offenders. Do not join your new friends in their nefarious activities! 22 I am a 16-year-old schoolgirl. From some months back I am suffering from eczema on my legs. The skin specialist tells me that it is often caused by stress, and permanent cure is only possible if I am untroubled in mind. My problem is that my father is an alcoholic and creates scenes every night. When sobre he is a good man, and we all love him. Night times are terrible for my mother, brother and me. This is my stress factor. What can I do? I dont want to cause any trouble to my father by complaining. Skin ailments are often psychosomatic and stress-triggered. Your home situation could well be the cause of eczema for you. Alcoholics and their families can get professional help which is very confidential. Contact the Alcoholics Anonymous association for assistance. Your Personally, I am an atheist but my boyfriend and his family are very religious-minded. I go with him to temples and religious meets but have not let him know that I do not believe in all this at all. I am afraid he will leave me if he knows. I am in a dilemma. Should I tell him or not? I am hoping that, if he becomes very attached to me, he will not mind my different views. It is always better to be frank and transparent in relationships as far as possible. Pretences are very hard to keep up for long. Sooner or later, your secret will out, and will cause your boyfriend and his family a lot of disillusionment, and disappointment in you. Reveal your true feelings to him. He could be touched by your honesty and not leave you, as you fear. On the other hand, he may sever the relationship. Either way, accept the situation. You will at least be at peace with yourself without being trapped in a net of lies and deceit. Womans Era April (Second) 2012 family doctor can guide you in this. Convince your father that he is suffering from an addiction problem and he can be cured. Since he is a good man at heart, he will surely agree to get help at least for the sake of his family. You should not feel ashamed of getting help as, often, we cannot solve problems without assistance, either from concerned friends and relatives or even professionals. You can learn to de-stress through meditation and other relaxation techniques which will stand you in good stead all through life.

I am obsessed by the world of films and my dream is to be a glamorous actress in Bollywood. I am now in class 10 and plan to join a good acting academy to learn acting. Can I do this after my 12th Boards? I am very good looking and my friends feel I will easily earn fame. My parents, however, are opposing my plans. They want me to do some career-oriented college course, instead. Please advise. Yes, you can join an acting academy after school but the course will be of a longer duration than it is for graduates. You must know that the road to stardom is very treacherous. Thousands of aspirants fall by the wayside; very few get breaks in the industry. In fact, without god fathers and contacts, getting a toehold is well nigh impossible. It is a tough dog-eat-dog arena. Your parents advice to continue with your college studies and prepare for a career is very sound. You can indulge your acting dreams by theatre and stage activities in your spare time, when you can put on grease paint and act. This way, you will have the best of both worlds. If you are bent of trying to get into films, it is advisable that you finish graduation before trying your luck in Bollywood.



How to set up your own.

keep my first carnivorous plants and help them adjust to their new environment. I did a lot of research, consulted experts and finally assembled my first terrarium. It served its purpose well. It kept my carnivorous plants and some orchids healthy, without any care

Dr Navin Kumar Gupta

(excepting switching the lights on and off every day) when my mothers hospitalisation in Thailand forced me to stay there for more than two months. I have had the terrarium for almost a year. But I have taken out the carnivorous plants and converted the terrarium into a beautiful landscape with some fairytale beauties. I have placed it in my drawing-cum-dining room and savour its natural beauty with every morsel of food. Make your own terrarium: You can make a terrarium out of virtually any container from something as small as a soda water bottle to a large one out of a big aquarium. But it should be clear glass or plastic, so you can look inside. For a simple terrarium, use a glass or plastic jar or container with a wide mouth for the simple reason that while it is possible to have a terrarium with a small opening, it is much easier to add, arrange and re-arrange plants and other items, if the container has a wide mouth. An ordinary all-glass aquarium 2 ft x 1 ft

errariums are beautiful. Terrariums are elegant. And they have played a very important role in our daily lives. If there were no terrariums, we would not be getting our morning cuppa-tea. But we are so familiar with aquariums that we fail to recognise a terrarium when we see one. The reason is that, although terrariums were extremely popular over a century and half ago, their popularity gradually declined. Terrariums are again becoming popular, but not to the same old extent. It is therefore quite natural that my guests invariably confuse my terrarium with an aquarium.

But then what exactly is a terrarium: A terrarium is a closed container containing a miniature landscape, with living plants, and sometimes even small animals, like frogs, toads, lizards or turtles. It can have minia ture flowing rivers and waterfalls. I decided to build a terrarium to Womans Era April (Second) 2012

x 1 ft is ideal. You can vary the size according to the space available. A larger container also gives you a wider choice of types and sizes of plants; and you can add more decorative items, such as shells, pebbles, rocks, figurines and even small live animals. What you need for your terrarium: Apart from the container, the selection of what you really need and use for your terrarium is actually limited only by your own imagination. Container: The container should have a cover to prevent loss of moisture due to evaporation. The cover can be a simple sheet of glass to cover the top. If the terrarium is large, it is better to have the cover in two pieces. Or you can design the cover to look like a cottage. A couple of hours sunlight in the morning or evening would do your terrarium good. But too much direct sunlight would make the environment inside very hot and scorch everything inside. You can keep the terrarium in diffused sunlight. A better option is to keep it in your living room or dining room where you can enjoy its beauty several times a day. But in this case, you will have to add some sort of artificial lighting for at least eight or nine hours a day. You can use one or two tube lights, or other lamps, fixed in the cover, like the ones used in aquariums. The bottom layer (stones, moss and activated charcoal): The terrarium does not have drainage holes in the bottom. So you have to take care that the extra water which seeps down to the bottom does not damage the plants roots. You should start with a bottom layer of about 1 1/2 or 2 inches of pebbles, gravel, or broken bricks. Now add about 1/2 inch layer of activated charcoal (if available, otherwise skip this step) on top of the stones. This will help the drainage and control any odour that might occur. Add an inch of sphagnum moss on top of the activated charcoal layer.

Get some dry sphagnum moss from the nearest nursery. Wash out the dirt and dissolved salts by washing in running tap water for half an hour or so. Sterilise by boiling in water for 10 minutes and keep in the open for half an hour or so, so that most of the water drains out. The moss will also prevent the soil above from seeping into the stones. Potting media or earth Now add a layer of at least a couple of inches of good potting mix available in any local nursery. The soil will keep the plants in place and help them remain healthy.

Now you are ready to add plants and other decoratives. Terrarium plants: Get some small, colourful plants which are usually sold in small pots and place the pots on the terrarium bottom. Try to have a mix of plants of different sizes, leaf textures and colours. If you want to plant them directly in the terrarium, remove the plants from their pots. Loosen the soil holding the roots. Trim off the dead and larger roots. Using a large spoon, or your fingers, make a hole in the potting mix, in which the plant will fit comfortably. Place your plant in the hole and gently fill up the area around it with some soil. Womans Era April (Second) 2012




Tap the soil with your fingers to make sure that there are no air pockets between the roots of the plant and the soil. I suggest that even if you want to plant them directly in the terrarium, since it would be difficult to move them around and arrange them, at least, in the beginning, place your plants in their original containers. You can then change their positions. When you are satisfied with their placement, you can plant them in the terrarium. Here is a list of easily available plants which do well in terrariums. Club moss Creeping fig Croton Dracaena Ferns (small varieties) Lucky bamboo Prayer plant Pothos Depending upon your taste, you can add all kinds of objects figurines, mist maker, a small fountain, etc. Watering and general main tenance: You have to keep the terrarium relatively humid. But it should not have too much water. The soil should be moist but not soggy. I

use empty plastic Colin cleaner spray bottles to spray water. Once a week, I spray on the inside glass panes, the leaves and on the bottom. I wipe the inside of the terrarium with a dry handkerchief. I trim off dead and decaying leaves which are very few. You will have to cut back overgrown and oversize shoots. Do not fertilise your terrarium because you dont want to encourage growth. Tea and terrarium: There are stray references to plants in closed containers in history. But the terrarium was made popular by Dr Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward. He discovered that some plants were growing in a sealed bottle. He published his book called "On the Growth of Plants in Closely Glazed Cases" in 1842. He published the second edition of this book in 1852. You can read the full book at the following site: owthplantsi01wardgoog Wards books popularised terra riums and they were also known as Wardian cases. For centuries, it had been nearly impossible to grow Chinese tea plants outside China. In the 1840s and 50s, a botanist named Robert Fortune used the Wardian Cases to transport 20,000 Chinese tea plants and seedlings from China to Darjeeling area in India in these Wardian Cases and the Indian tea industry took off. The prices of tea fell and tea became the common Britishers cuppatea. Finished terrariums: What makes the terrarium fascinating is that is inexpensive and can be set up easily. It is elegant and, in spite of it being a bit of living nature, needs very little maintenance. When you come back tired after a days work, sit in front of the terrarium. Let the beauty of your little bit of nature soak into your inner self and soothe your tired nerves. We



It is like the olden days are back.

By Padmaja Menon
different look. And that piercing is the industrial ear piercing which is completely different from all other types of ear piercing because it has two holes which are connected with a straight barbell. As it is a complicated body piercing, people who are interested in getting it done should know about it in detail. So, let us take a look at the important aspects of industrial ear piercing, which will give you an idea of the industrial piercing process as well as healing period.

owadays, earlobes piercing has become a great fad. Little boys and even men are now into it. Its like the olden days are back when both sex babies had their earlobes pierced. It was a great ceremony for Nairs in Kerala when on the 28th day of a babys life, earlobe piercing was done. But later only girl babies had this done. But now the trend is big boys are getting their earlobes pierced and flaunting diamonds too! My husband also had earrings as a baby and that hole is still there! I am thinking of gifting him a diamond stud soon! Apart from earlobes other body parts are also getting pierced. The navel, the tongue and even the eyebrow. Another current fashion trend is industrial ear piercing. It has become a vogue among youngsters because of its uniqueness. However, if you are planning to get an industrial ear piercing done, it is extremely crucial to know the details of this piercing, including its procedure, cost, jewellery and aftercare. In today's times, when one says 'ear piercing', it need not mean the traditional earlobe piercing. Rather, it has become a trend to pierce the different parts of the ear to achieve a

As I said earlier, industrial ear piercing, also known as scaffold piercing, is done by perforating two holes in the upper ear cartilage. The first piercing is done on the cartilage that is near the head (the anti helix) and the second piercing is done just diagonally opposite to the first (the helix). Both these piercings are done usually with a 12-14 gauge needle. As the piercing is quite complicated, one should always go to an experienced body piercer who has done such piercing earlier too. An experienced piercer will take all the precautions before piercing the ear to prevent the development of infection. The piercer would first measure your ear to choose a jewellery that would fit your ear. When this is done, he will clean your ear with a disinfectant and make the perforations with a sterilised needle. ,An important thing that one has to know about this type of piercing is that it is very painful. The reason for this is that the needle used for this is very thick and also, because piercings are done at two places rather than one. The industrial ear piercings cost differs in every state. However, it can be a few thousands. We So folks, anyone ready for it? 29

Womans Era April (Second) 2012



Short Story

The Lilac Jacket

A silent witness to romantic misadventure? By Shan Fazelbhoy

t was their first Valentines Day together and Rakesh wanted to surprise her. He knocked on the bedroom door. Come in, came the muffled reply. He entered to find Meghna on a stool, reaching into the uppermost shelf of her closet. Rakesh tiptoed in and smiled. She was wearing her favourite pink harem pants. Wrapping his arms around her thighs, he carried her off the stool, bringing her down to face him saying, Happy Valentines Day, perfectly timed to finish just as he could kiss her lips. A moments shocked silence kept her in his arms, their bodies so close, she could feel his warm breath coming faster. Rakesh put his arms down. Neither moved, staring wide-eyed at each other as Suman, barely audibly, gasped, Rakesh! She then moved back to sit on the bed as Rakesh ventured hesitantly, The pants, theyre Meghnas. I thought... I know, Suman interrupted. The undeniable exchange of sexual energy that had passed between them still floated in the air between them, and the desire and guilt brought a flushed glow to Sumans face. She looked towards Rakesh and saw the same. A door banging shut jolted Rakesh and Suman out of their trance-like state. Suman climbed back on the stool and stuck her head into the closet. Rakesh grabbed the nearest Cosmopolitan, pretending to be extremely interested in 7 Signs He Wants to Have Sex. Meghna entered, Sorry, it took longer than I thought. Surprised to see Rakesh as he got up, she smiled, Happy Valentines Day, and walked over to kiss him. Suman looked directly at him, as he wrapped his arms around Meghna, a hint of a smile and a glint in her eye. Rakesh couldnt read it, but he couldnt look away either as he felt a stirring in his manhood. Meghna, still in his arms, put her head back to look at Rakesh, but he lowered his eyes and she took it as a sign of embarrassment. A brief kiss and Rakesh left, mumbling something about picking her up at 7:30 pm instead of 8. Meghna turned to Suman excitedly, So, what did you think?

Suman replied nonchalantly, He seems nice. I hope you introduced yourself properly? Uh huh, of course, Suman smiled sweetly. As he stepped outside, the warmth of a weakening winter sun did nothing to take away the goose bumps. The look on Sumans face had sent a chill down his spine and Rakesh felt a foreboding sense of excitement.

akesh lay on his bed that night, relaxed by the wine at dinner and the music now playing on his iPad. He had enjoyed the evening with Meghna who had loved the heart-shaped ruby earrings he had given her. He thought of her slim frame now, brown, trusting eyes and full lips, all set perfectly in her round face. He saw her push the long black hair behind her ears as she shyly opened the gift. She was always so sweet and easy to please. Perhaps a little too sweet, Rakesh thought aloud as his mind wandered involuntarily to Suman, her cousin who was visiting. He hadnt been able to shake that last image of her. Doe-like eyes, glittering with emotions that they should not speak of. He felt the familiar stirring again and he forced his mind back to Meghna. He got up, stood in front of the mirror and admonished his reflection for his wandering mind. Unbuttoning his checked shirt to reveal a rippled torso that was the envy of his college mates, Rakesh continued to undress. As he unbuckled his Gucci belt, a gift from Meghna, the doorbell rang. Surprised, he went to open it. Suman didnt wait to be invited in; she entered and took off her jacket. The tight jeans and sleeveless vest accentuated her lean, fit body as she sashayed in on towering heels, her long hair swinging at her hips, towards the music playing in Rakeshs bedroom. Suman turned around to face him as he entered the room behind her. Rakesh stared at her cleavage as it seductively beckoned him to come closer. He felt an urgency as never before. Overcome, his senses driven out by an uncontrollable physical desire, Rakesh closed the gap between them in two steps, grabbed Suman by the shoulders, pulled her to him and kissed her hard. His one hand slid down to cover her almost naked breast. Suman moaned

Womans Era April (Second) 2012

with pleasure and Rakesh could wait no longer. In a frenzy of powerful passion, they began a journey down a long and deceitful road with no thought of anyone or anything else.

eghna was sitting in the college cafeteria waiting for Rakesh. Hes a bit late, she said to Aditya, looking at her watch. Aditya shifted uneasily. He was Rakeshs flatmate and best friend. He had heard an unfamiliar female voice through Rakeshs door last night. Just as she was about to leave for class she saw him and waved. Overslept? Meghna asked. Didnt sleep too well, Rakesh answered distractedly. Aditya looked at him with an expression of silent accusation. Suman had left when I got home, so there was no one to disturb me. Come, lets go to class, he said, urging her forward by the elbow. When Rakesh got home from college that evening, Suman was waiting on the steps outside his apartment. He was surprised to see her. Suman? I wasnt expecting you! She stood up and said, You werent last night either, as she put her arms around his neck. Rakesh looked at her and protested weakly, We cant do this again, Suman. You have to leave.

Fine, Rakesh, Ill go, she smiled, her arms still around his neck. She kissed him delicately and said, Cmon give me a hug before I go. Rakesh put his arms around her and as their bodies pressed, Suman could feel his growing desire. She pushed one hand between them to swiftly undo her coat belt and as Suman stepped back, her coat came undone to reveal her smooth honey-coloured flesh. Sumans bare body arched forward invitingly. Rakesh, mesmerised and taking in every curve, raised his hands slowly to her waist and lifted her up. As she wrapped her legs around his waist, their lips came together, forceful and intense with a hunger that had to be satiated immediately. Over the next few weeks, Rakesh and Suman continued to deceive family and friends, while gratifying every lustful craving. His overwhelming desire for her had left him constantly trying to shake the guilt. An uneasiness in the usually placid Meghna was becoming apparent. Rakesh recollected her questioning him last night over the phone as he now dashed off to meet her at the cinema. Weve been together for almost eight months now and I wish you would tell me whats bothering you, Rakesh. Youve been really out of it lately, Meghna had prodded. The doorbell had rung before he could answer and he had hung up telling her that it must be someone for Aditya. Now, as he raced through the busy streets, he comforted himself with the thought that things would fall back into place when Suman left in about 10 days. A rickshaw swerving to avoid him brought Rakesh back to the moment. He put his hand up apologetically to the driver and crossed the road carefully. This is driving me crazy, Rakesh thought. Rakesh, Meghna called out, wheres Aditya? Isnt he coming? Rakesh closed his eyes and put his hand to his forehead, Shit! I forgot. Great! Well, Suman is here now, she said pointing to the line at the ticket booth. So I guess its the three of us! She wondered what was up with him; he had become so forgetful of late. Rakesh looked at Suman nervously and thought he had better find a quick alternative to it being just the three of them.

Womans Era April (Second) 2012

Why dont you show her around? she said Why dont I call Aditya and we could all go for looking towards Rakesh. the next show? he proposed as a solution. Yes, why not? Suman said getting up from the What do we do for the next two hours? sofa. Meghna asked. Not my room please, its a mess, Aditya said Well hang out, have a coffee. Aditya will come quickly as they walked towards his room. as soon as possible. Show me yours then, Meghna said to Rakesh Meghna warmed to the idea and agreed. Youll really like Aditya, Meghna said to Suman seductively. As Aditya heard laughter and Sumans voice from as they settled into a booth and ordered a round of the bedroom, his jaw dropped and his cigarette fell drinks. Hes really cute as well, she winked. Hes a great guy, Rakesh added. But I think he from his hand. Aditya, whats the matter? Meghna asked as has a soft spot for Meghna. she got up to retrieve his cigarette. Rakesh! Dont be silly! Hes your best friend, She reached under the sofa, blindly feeling for the Meghna chided jokingly. cigarette. Meghnas hand touched something soft No problem, Suman said looking at Rakesh and silky. This yours? she asked Aditya with a sweet smile. In that case, Meghna as she pulled it out and passed it to him. and I could trade guys. Meghna Got it, Meghna said, smiling as she began to stood up, cigarette in hand. akesh spluttered and choked on his run, pushing She dropped the cigarette and stared drink. Meghna laughed and Suman her way disbelievingly at the jacket in Adityas continued sipping innocently. through the hand. What am I missing? They all looked gaping Meghna tried to speak but nothing up to see Aditya. crowds. She came out of her mouth. She turned Hi, Aditya, Im Suman. managed to towards the door. Hi, Suman, Aditya said with a cross the Suman and Rakesh walked out of the quizzical look. Your voice, I feel like Ive road just as room as the front door banged shut. heard it before. the light Wheres Meghna? Rakesh asked Rakesh shifted uncomfortably and turned Aditya. quickly asked Aditya what he would like You sick, revolting bastard, Aditya to drink. Perhaps, this wasnt such a good green. said, flinging the jacket at Rakesh and idea after all, he thought. Suman. Suman, give me my jacket, its really cold in Rakesh shook off a dazed Suman and raced out here. of the door. Jumping down the flights of stairs, he As Meghna put it on she leaned across and looked left and right before seeing a lilac jacket in kissed Rakesh. I love this jacket, babe, and you got the crowd. Meghna, please wait, he shouted. my favourite colour. Meghna began to run, pushing her way through Why did you give it to Suman then? Aditya the gaping crowds. She managed to cross the road teased. just as the light turned green. Lent it, not gave it, Meghna replied, pulling it She stopped to catch her breath and turned closer possessively. She left hers at a friends. around as a car screeched to a halt, the persistent After the movie, they went back to the boys horn blaring. house for a drink. Their place is so cosy, Suman, youll love it. eghna, stunned, ran back to where the Rakesh, very uneasy now, suggested, Lets keep crowd had quickly gathered, trying to get it for another day, we have college early tomorrow. through. Dont be such a bore, Rakesh, Suman quipped, Call an ambulance...Please let me through... A young man like you should have enough energy Very sad, looks so young, was all she could hear for a late night and early college. I dont know whats got into him; he seems really through the crush of bodies. Move, I know him, move, Meghna shouted, tired these days, Meghna whispered to Suman. hands flailing. Aditya was quiet, trying to shrug off the nagging She felt someone grab her wrist and, as she thought of where he had heard Sumans voice. turned around to free her hand, Rakesh pulled her to They sat around, enjoying the music and chatter. Im so glad youre here, Suman, Meghna said a him. Too stunned to speak, Meghna fell into his arms as her tears of relief and his of remorse washed bit dreamily. And that you get along so well with away the events of the past few weeks. Rakesh, she added after a brief pause. We


Womans Era April (Second) 2012


Dodge those growing years.

s we bid adieu to the legendary actor Dev Anand, we all wonder if we could be as young as he was even at the age of 88. It is always that age actually does not make a person old, it is the inner sense of getting old, and losing interest in various activities that makes your heart dull. I am sure all of you envy a woman who has grown in years but the charm and beauty within her never makes her look old. She still remains as attractive and adoring as she was a decade ago. The lifestyle these days is changing rapidly. Though machines have taken over the workload, the environmental conditions like pollution, greenhouse effect and our changing eating habits have all contributed immensely in making us

look over-aged. We all live in an age that belongs to the young at heart. Life that is becoming extremely fast day by day, also asks us to remain physically young. Young at heart, young in mind and young in body has become the principle of survival. Growing age cannot be controlled, we can only retain our youthful vigour, as it is only with young passion and energy that we can work towards success, enjoy a peaceful, healthy life, indulge ourselves in the pleasure of sex, and keep ourselves happy. We often wonder how some of our counterparts who are of the same age group look younger and prettier than us. However, this isnt a big deal! Believe it or not, you can actually slow down the ageing process by taking proper meals, doing regular exercises and main taining a cheerful and healthy life.

By Neha Deepak Choudhary

Diet is the most important factor that helps you look glowing and young even when you are in your forties. Dont ever skip your meals. Drink adequate water daily. Waking up in the morning to a glass of lemon juice or lemon water will help to cleanse your skin and make you look younger. As usual, take adequate proteins and vitamins to keep yourself strong and do remember to take your meals appropriately based on a planned time.


Maintain a healthy weight. Overweight forces your body system to work harder, especially your heart and blood system. Remember that heart attacks do not spare anyone. You have to stay strong in order to stay young. Do weight training at least twice a week and you can have strong muscles which can let you have strong bones. This can helps you do more work and stay fit. There are some foods that are called anti-ageing foods. These are natural foods rich in selenium and powerful antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. A handful of almonds makes a healthy, tasty midafternoon snack, but do you know that almonds are a vitamin-E powerhouse that actively promotes healthy skin, hair and nails? Sunflower seeds are another antiageing food and a vitamin-E and selenium powerhouse with very effective youth-enhancing qualities. Eating a handful of sunflower seeds a day will help stave off wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. Avocados are one of natures best moisturisers. It will keep your skin looking soft and supple. The old saying, An apple a day keeps the doctor away, holds true. Whether you eat it as a cucumber salad or make it into a cucumber cleanser, cucumbers are also excellent for rejuvenating tired, dehydrated skin. The next best thing to stay young is to be young and feel young from the heart. Indulge in various activities, music and dance parties with your friends, a wild game of football, romancing with the person you love it can be anything. Keeping your brain active and maintaining creativity actually may

help to prevent cognitive decline and memory problems. For some people, it might be games. Other people may enjoy puzzles. Still others may enjoy trying out new recipes. Find something that you enjoy and continue to try new variations and challenges. If you like crosswords, move to a more challenging crossword series or try your hand at a new word game. Womans Era April (Second) 2012

Sex can be a powerful emotional experience and health-improving tool and its certainly not only for the young. Sex matters throughout your life, and can actually take on an increased importance in your advanced years. For older men and women alike, the benefits of good sex can be extensive: it can increase circulation, reduce anxiety, release painkilling endorphins and help to relax and satisfy. The need for intimacy is ageless. And studies now confirm that no matter what your gender, you can enjoy sex for as long as you wish. Naturally, sex at 70 or 80 may not be like it is at 20 or 30 but in some ways it can be better. Holding each other, gentle touching, kissing, and a sensual massage are all ways to share passionate feelings. Remember that maintaining a sex life into your late years is a matter of good health. Try thinking of sex as something that can keep you in shape, both physically and mentally. This sexual fitness keeps a woman more attractive and rejuvenated as they produce more aestrogens. Sex provides shinier, smoother hair, glossy skin and a lot of energy. Both sexes glow as their skin pores become cleansed, thanks to sweating. They feel sexier than ever. Along with physical activities and brain exercises, there are several beauty products that help you look young. There are many skin-care products that are said to make the skin look younger such as Oil of Olay Age Defying Lotion, Retin-A and Alpha hydroxyl acids. Oil of Olay Age Defying Lotion can be bought at your local drug store or supermarkets and is one of the safest products that can


be used without any side-effects. Retin-A which is a rather popular age-defying product is said to be very effective in the improvement of the appearance of the skin, but there are some side effects such as skin irritation and peeling, and unlike Oil of Olay it cannot be bought without a medical prescription. Another favourite is Alpha hydroxyl acids, which has proved to have remarkable results in giving the skin a younger look and it does not have any side effects like the prescription products. Have an anti-ageing facial routine using organic, natural skin-care products. Using products which contain chemicals on the long-term basis can actually cause your skin to age. Apart from the natural ways and cosmetics there are scientific ways to look young. Botox and plastic surgeries are some of the options available. Hordes of young men and women and not-so-young men and women are lining up outside cosmetic and plastic surgeons for cosmetic surgical repair to get chiselled features. From implanting hair on our heads to making our 38


Roman aquiline noses more appealing, these highly qualified mechanics can repair it all. Getting tailor-made features is not just limited to celebrities; rather, it has become accessible to the middle class and upper middle class. If you think that there is anything discordant in your appearance, dont fret, nothing is out of reach all you need is a few thousand rupees and voila! you can get yourself transformed just like Cinderella! When we talk forever about young actresses the first ladies who strike our minds are Rekha and Hema Malini. Hema Malini believes that beauty is a divine gift and one should never take it for granted. She uses aroma oils for her skin. She is a vegetarian and believes in yoga to remain fit. Rekhas beauty secret is simply a nutritious diet, lots of water and exercise. It is, however known that Aishwarya Rai-Bachchans basic beauty routine comprises a healthy lifestyle. Thus, she steers clear of junk foods, smoking and drinking and is heavily into fruits, vegetables and dairy products and all in the right proportion. The fruits and vegetables supply her with all the requisite vitamins and minerals to keep her healthy and looking like a diva. Shilpa Shetty does not believe in workouts to look good, she feels it is just an extension of the benefits. She goes to the gym more to feel good than look good. She believes that in order to be successful and achieve something you will have to be fit, otherwise you will not be able to work as hard as you want to. Shilpa actually took to yoga to recover from a neck problem. It was her physiotherapist who recommended it. After trying it out for some time, she felt more and more intrigued and took it up seriously. Shilpa is a fitness icon today with her commitment to better health and wellness. There is no reason why you cant stay young. Its your choice. So keep in mind that you always have the chance We to stay young for life.

Womans Era April (Second) 2012


Short Story

The Blue Telephone

Fond hopes belied? By Lesley D. Biswas

randpa has suddenly disappeared but granny waits every day for his phone call. Does grandpa ever call granny and what happens when he calls? Granny never had a mobile phone, nor did she have an e-mail ID. All she had was a blue telephone. Every morning she would wake up at five. After a wash, she would make herself a cup of tea and perch on the armchair beside the telephone. We all knew what she was thinking. When would the phone ring and grandpa say, Hello? The telephone rang many times in a day, but it was never grandpa. It must have hurt granny tremendously, but she always answered with a convincing smile, Next time. We all knew that the next time might never come. Or, when it ever comes, granny might not be there to receive the phone, but we didnt say it. Granny seemed happy in her waiting and we had no reason to shatter her hope. For no one knew where grandpa had gone. Whether he was alive or not. And if he was alive, why didnt he contact us? Why didnt he contact his Lucy the Lucy he could not live without? It was 15 years ago when I was just a child of seven that something strange happened. I could sense the anxiety in my mothers patting as she desperately tried to put me to sleep. It was as if she had something urgent to do, but only after I was

asleep. Like all kids I tried to stay awake as long as my tired body could support me mentally. Then, what happened I dont know. The next morning when I awoke, I saw granny sitting beside the blue telephone. And since then every day granny has done just that. I hoped that when I grew a little older, when my parents think Im mature enough to be told, they would tell me. But, they havent told me yet. Now when I ask them, they simply say they dont know. They dont know what happened to grandpa. I dont believe them, but I have no clue. They seem clueless too. Or else, why would granny sit there waiting? I saw her lovely long hair go from ebony to silver. Her bright blue caring eyes have been shaded by spectacles and her brisk strides towards the telephone whenever it rings have become an unstable waddle. But one thing hasnt changed. Her excitement whenever it rings. It is no less even today and neither is her conviction when she utters so convincingly, Never mind, next time. I have very faint memories of grandpa. But Ive heard from people, my friends parents and the locals, that he was a very respectable man. He was a loving husband and a doting father. When he was young his parents wanted him to return with them to England, but he had already fallen in love with granny. He refused to go and they left him behind and returned to their country. But I always


Womans Era April (Second) 2012

wondered, was this the complete truth or did they eventually take him away? But why after so many years? Granny too had similar thoughts and waited for him to call her.

randpa stood tall at 6ft and granny was a petite five-two. But they were eternally in love. Grandpa didnt suffer from any ailment nor did he have any addiction. A strong frame and intelligent mind, the combination was envied by many. Many who became his friends when they came to know him better. He had no enemies, granny was sure of that, but then one day he just disappeared. That day granny was the first to wake up. As usual she washed, made herself her morning tea and took her position as if she knew that he would call. The telephone must have rung and granny must have spoken. She must have been very happy because, when we found her, she was sitting with the receiver in her hand and smiling. The smile was a little more vibrant. The type she would have given when grandpa would call her. She was visibly delighted. We were glad that granny was content in her last

Grandpa stood tall at 6ft and granny was a petite five-two. But they were eternally in love. Grandpa didnt suffer from any ailment nor did he have any addiction.

moments. The doctor said she had suffered a cardiac arrest. There could have been two reasons. Extreme joy or utter disappointment. But granny looked happy. Did grandpa eventually call? I walked all the way to the graveyard, singing hymns. We placed granny in the coffin. She was still smiling. Even at 76, she looked very pretty. Granny had chosen a spot where she wanted to be buried. Mother placed the blue telephone beside her and the coffin was lowered. I wonder where grandpa is? I said aloud. Granny is now with grandpa, replied mother. That night mother told me how grandpa had gone missing during a riot. They had later come to know of his death, but didnt have the heart to tell granny. His charred body was disfigured and they buried him without her knowledge. But then, who telephoned? No one, mother said. The telephone had been dead for two days. But I dont believe her. Im sure the telephone rang and grandpa spoke to granny because she looked at complete rest. Or was it telepathy? Once We again, Ill never know.


Extraordinary alternative to medication.

By Sudha Chandrasekaran
he trend the world over is to move away from allopathic medicines towards gentler medication systems such as homoeopathy, naturopathy and so on. People have realised that strong anti biotics can have their own negative effects over a long period and want to go for milder alternative that can offer them the relief they are seeking. In this context, hydrotherapy has emerged as one of the options that have been useful in curing bone-related problems as well as those related to blood circulation. Hydrotherapy (water therapy or aquatic therapy) is a method of treatment that uses water (hot, cold, steam or ice) to relieve discomfort and promote physical well-being and is the oldest, safest and most inexpensive way to treat common ailments. More people today are becoming knowledgeable of the help it can provide to a range of medical problems and most people are already practising simple hydrotherapy. If you have ever dipped your feet in a cool stream on a hot summers day or put a cold pack on a sprained ankle, then you already know something about hydrotherapy. But just a little education can add a lot of value to hydrotherapy. More exactly, hydrotherapy ties as water. Hydrotherapy is used to treat many illnesses and conditions including: acne, arthritis, colds, depression, headaches, stomach problems, joint pains, muscles and nerve problems, sleep disorders and stress. It also promotes relaxation, eases labour pains and clears up skin problems. Hot water is chosen for its relaxing properties. It is also thought to stimulate the immune system. Cold water is selected to reduce inflammation. Alternating hot and cold water can stimulate the circulatory system and improve the immune system. Adding herbs and essential oils to water can enhance its therapeutic value. Steam is frequently used as a carrier for essential oils that are inhaled to treat respiratory problems. One of the best treatments for disorders that affect bones and joints is hydrotherapy. When you treat your back pain or arthritis with hydro therapy, you can reduce your pain and inflammation as well as increase your range of motion while avoiding the side effects associated with pain killers. Relaxing in a warm bath, whirlpool or hot tub is one of the best ways to instantly relax and let go of all your worries. Tepid to steaming hot water can be quite curative, especially if you suffer from allergies, sensitivity or common colds. One of the quickest and most natural ways to treat any kind of respiratory ailment is by taking a bath, which very much contradicts the olden school of thought if you have a cold, do not take a bath! The benefits of hydrotherapy: These include: increasing the elimination of waste,


is healing by heating and cooling. Hence, people suffering from painful joints or muscles, can perform simple exercises more easily in water than outside. Apart from this, the hydrostatic pressure of water promotes better blood circulation imparting a sense of well-being, which, when performed in warm water (wherein the pool is at a temperature of about 34 degrees centigrade), further increases the benefit. No other therapeutic agent possesses so many admirable quali-


loosening tense muscles, increasing the metabolic rate and digestion activity, hydrating the cells, improving skin and muscle tone, boosting the immune system and improving the function of the internal organs by stimulating their blood supply. Soaking in a hot bath increases the heart rate, thereby putting less strain on the heart and lowers blood pressure, just as it happens when doing other exercises. Numerous researchers are now of the opinion that patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can safely exercise by following tailor-made water exercises. In a water workout, the buoyancy provided by water reduces the impact on your joints which occurs on dry land, thereby utilising less energy for performing movements. Many people with a physical limitation that restricts them from using traditional gym equipment or engaging in vigorous exercise are able to accomplish the same through water workout. But I will let you in on a secret: simply sitting and soaking can provide many of the benefits of a more strenuous aerobic workout! It might sound incredible, but facts cannot be denied. Water therapy has magical effects in curing diseases. Everybody has experienced a positive change in their health after implementing this therapy in their daily routine. Early in the morning, immediately after waking up (without even brushing your teeth) drink 1.5 litres of water i.e., five to six glasses. This is water therapy. Here it is very essential to note that nothing else should be taken within one hour before and after drinking water. Relief from stress along with weight loss, glowing skin, feeling fresh and energetic throughout the day and good digestion are some of the major benefits of water therapy. One does not need anything other than a bathtub to take advantage of the array of benefits offered by hydrotherapy. These days there are several spas, whirlpools and saunas where hydrotherapy is practised. Yet there is an additional option, which is a hydrotherapy pool a swimming pool built specifically for therapeutic

purposes. One of the main differences between this type of pool and an ordinary one is the temperature, which is much warmer. These are becoming popular, both among people who are recovering from injuries or illnesses as well as those who use it as an effective way to exercise. Immersing in a Jacuzzi has been proven to lower ones blood sugar levels. Water workouts can involve aerobics, walking, jogging or just about anything else. Even sports can be played in the water (for example, water polo, basketball, etc) thereby preventing joint pain. Hydrotherapy scores as an intervention measure as it combines fun with therapy. Hydrotherapies are safe, simple and inexpensive. It is no miracle cure, but it is a healing tool that every patient should consider experimenting with. Some swimming pools have special sessions when the water temperature may be increased and some sports centres offer water-based exercise classes. A doctors advice is a must before joining a class to make sure that it is suitable. The ability to swim is not mandatory to benefit from hydrotherapy, as the pool is usually quite shallow and you can exercise well within your depth. It might be worth learning to swim as it is an excellent form of exercise for improving your fitness and mobility. The exercise and the warmth of the water may make you feel tired after treatment, but this is quite normal. There are different ways of treatment in hydrotherapy. Cold baths: These improve blood flow to internal tissues and organs and help in reducing swelling. This method is, however, not advisable for people with serious conditions or for the elderly or very young. Sit baths: These are given as treatment for painful conditions with broken skin, such as piles or anal fissure, and also for ailments affecting the urinary and genital organs. For this, the person first sits in the warm water, which covers the

lower abdomen and hips, with the feet in the cold water compartment. After three minutes, the patient sits in cold water with the feet in the warm water compartment. Steam baths: These are used to encourage sweating and the opening of pores and has a cleansing and refreshing effect. Neutral bath: Water that is of the O same temperature as the body (92 F O to 96 F) has a marked relaxing, sedative or even soporific effect on the nervous system. This is used in states of stress to calm the patient and is known as a neutral bath. Flotation: Involves lying face up in an enclosed and ark tank of highly salted warm water, which refreshes and relaxes the patient. Even if you are nervous about being in the water, it is worth trying, as it has an array of excellent reasons. People have used it all around the world for many gener ations. After reading some of the remarkable reasons for which several persons are putting hydrotherapy to use in the present time, you might decide to follow the crowd and find We out what it can do for you!


urkey has different monu ments to suit different palates. Mount Nemrut or (Nehm-root) or Nimrud, is for the archaeology buffs. It is in a remote location of the notso-developed S. E. Turkey. The tourist facilities have recently taken shape and now the tourists are making a beeline for the Throne of the Gods. The time is 3.30 am and after a 40-minute drive from Kahta, the nearest tourist destination, we have arrived at the base camp of Mt Nemrut. We descend from the bust and begin our 30-minute ascent to the summit. The aim is to watch the spectacular sunrise at 5.10 am! A steep climb of several hundred metres on the barren slope leads us to the peculiar summit. We occupy a suitable place on the stone altar to watch the sunrise. Soon, the horizon turns pinkish-orange and the stage is all set for the god of the ancients to begin his daily journey. The sun god slowly rises between two distant peaks of the Taurus mountain range. The Euphrates River

flowing through the valley glistens beautifully as it must have for centuries. This natural spectacle truly dwarfs us. Equally stunning and jawdropping is the second spectacle right behind us. As we turn back we see the eight-10-metre tall gods watching us. They have been blessing worshippers for about 2,000 years! Nemrut Dagi or Mount Nemrut is a 2,134-metre-high peak of the Taurus range in Adiyaman region. This was a part of the ancient, historical Anatolia region and Mt Nemrut had the most important place of worship in ancient Anatolia. Today, it is considered the eight new wonder of the world and the highest open-air museum in the world. King Antiochus I Theo, (henceforth referred to as Antiochus) of the Commagene Kingdom ordered this unusual place of worship in the first century BC. It was in use till about 72 AD after which the Romans took over and the sanctuary was abandoned. Antiochus was the son of King Mithridates I, the founder of the

Commagene Kingdom. Mithridates was a descendant of the mighty Persian king Darius. His queen, Laodice Thea, was a Greek princess and boasted of a lineage from Seleucid king Gryphus. Antiochus was married to a Cappadocian or Arsemian princess Philostargos. Thus, he had to deal with subjects of three different ethnic backgrounds. In order to unify these subjects and also to establish his godly lineage, Antiochus invented a new set of gods, laid down new rules for worship and ordered the building of this sanctuary and heirothesion (sacred burial precinct of the royal family). The cult propagated by Antiochus was a Greek form of Zoroastrianism. He desired to propagate happiness and salvation through this cult. He also wished to express his gratitude to the gods. This was around 62 BC. However, this task was not so easy. In order to execute the kings plan the architects and builders had to literally slice off a large part of the peak of the mountain and create a suitable foundation to build a tomb

The Throne of the Gods.

By Malvika Dekhane


The gods shine at sunrise.

Goddess Tyche.

and erect a tumulus above it. The tumulus, an artificial peak, is about 50 mt high and 150 mt in diameter formed of cut stones of the size of a fist. It is believed to contain the yet undiscovered royal tombs. On the four sides of the tumulus are terraces, the East and West terraces being very spacious. These terraces have a pantheon of gods themselves seeking the blessings of the sun god. The sun god was the god of all the ancient civilisations and also the chief god of the cult of Mithraism of which Antiochus was a follower. The East terrace has five gods flanked by an eagle and a lion on either side. The eagle, the herald of the gods, symbolised heavenly power and the lion, the king of animals, symbolised earthly power. Antiochus, with a view to unite various ethnic groups into a homogenous whole and also to

announce his pact with gods (Accession Treaty) combined two equivalent gods of Persian and Greek origin.


Thus, on the East terrace we have statues of Antiochus who had now attained godly status; goddess Tyche (an amalgamation of Arsemian goddess of fertility and Greek goddess Fortuna); Zeus-Oromasdes (Ahur-Mazda); Apollo-Mithras and Heracles-Artagnes. The gods were originally seated on their individual thrones and were about eight-10mt in height. The face and physique of the gods is in the Greek style while the adornments that is the hairstyle, clothes and headgear are Persian. When created, the massive seven10-Ton statues must have been truly Womans Era April (Second) 2012

magnificent and awe-inspiring. The altar in the front was used for various cult ceremonies. The East and West terraces are connected with a royal walkway or the North terrace, which was once flanked by bas-relief stone slabs depicting Antiochus and his Greek and Persian ancestors shaking hands with gods. Even in ancient times the king had to do a lot of selfpromotion. The Western terrace has a similar layout as far as the sacred statues are concerned. In addition, it also has several bas-relief stone slabs thought to have formed a large frieze. The terrace also had a unique lion horoscope slab that has now been shifted to the Adiyaman museum. Antiochus was an avid astrologer and he laid the basis for reforms in the calendar. The lion horoscope is believed to be the worlds oldest 45

existing horoscope. The date on the horoscope is 7 July 62 BC. And it coincides either with Antiochus accession to the throne or to the date of commencement of construction of the site. Antiochus had laid down instructions for religious festivities to be held on Mount Nemrut on the 10th and 16th of each month. He had also allocated funds for the religious ceremonies and had deputed families to carry out these festivities from generation to generation. All this is inscribed in the Greek language in about 273 lines at the back of the statues. This is known as the Will of Antiochus. However, the magnificent site was short-lived. The site was abandoned around 72 AD after the fall of the Commagene kingdom. What is out of sight soon goes out of mind. People soon forgot the Throne of the Gods! There was no mention of this site in ancient books. Only shepherds and occasional travellers knew about this site minus its importance. The travellers thought it to be the work of the most powerful biblical king Nimrod and named it Mt

Mount Nemrut False Tumulus before sunrise.

Nimrud. The name persisted. Time and weathering agents too were not kind to the throne. This peak is covered with snow for almost six months. The ice caused cracks in the statues. The frequent earthquakes caused the heads of the statues to roll down, presenting a very sorry sight. The weathering agents took their toll and today the statues are but a faint image of the once

awesome statues. The iconoclasts damaged the noses and faces of the statues. Still, one can imagine the beauty and magnificence of the statues. It was only in 1881 that the Throne of the gods came into the limelight. The credit goes to Charles Sester, a German engineer assessing railway routes for the Ottomans. The Ottomans were paying by the metre and Charles in an attempt to increase the mileage surveyed for a longer route. He spotted the huge heads on the summit, and the rest is history. Well, whatever the story, we have to thank Charles for his discovery. The huge heads with the unfathomable expressions captivate and set our thought processes in motion. The Western terrace offers a fabulous view of the sunset. The nearby peaks have a burial tumulus for queens, centres for cult worship and the remains of magnificent palaces. All are worth a visit. So, if you are planning to visit Turkey a visit to S. E. Turkey, is a must. The best season is from May to September after which Mt Nemrut disappears We under snow.

Watch injustice and yet be quiet I call this world blind Innocent faces, decent presence And selfish heads you find Preach and teach always The life and its ways They question, they object A true question when raised Every corner is crying Humanity is dying Limited seems to scriptures only The truth and its shine Strong seems the wall of power But actually full of holes So-called wads of money likewise To cover the named souls Governed by lust and greed Covered by respectable names Big standards, confined thoughts Shame lost in luxurious lanes 46


Where values are soft-pedalled Where goodness is burned A literate, technical and modern world Yet some lessons to be learned... Jasmeet Singh, Manipuri. Womans Era April (Second) 2012


alone teachers, by their names. They believe that 'Sir' and 'Ma'am' sound too standoffish and students can't blossom in such a straitjacketed atmosphere. In my entire life as a student, I never called my teachers 'Sir'/ 'Ma'am', but my respect for them is still undiminished. So is their love for me. I always called them 'Mr' / 'Mrs'. A bit casual approach may be acceptable in a modern corporate set-up, IT organisations and BPOs, but in a school, there should be proper norms of etiquette. Then only will the students learn and give respect to their teachers. A studentteacher relationship is always very exuberant. And to retain this exuberance, there're unwritten but perceptible norms of etiquette which every student must abide by.
Dr Sumit S. Paul.

First Year student, at Delhi's premier college LSR, told me that the girls of her class never wished their teachers on the campus and they'd just ignore the lecturers in the classroom. This is sad. Giving due respect to teachers is integral to one's character and upbringing. This is sadly missing in today's dismal academic scenario. Gone are the days when students used to stand up when a teacher would enter the class room. Nowadays, even school students show no alacrity and reverence when a teacher enters. It's the respect of the students that elicits the best from their teachers. Agreed, today's teachers have also become so casual and shallow that they hardly command any respect from their students. Yet, it's the fundamental

condition to respect one's teachers. In a bid to appear more liberal and utterly casual, some of the finest public schools in India encourage their students to address their teachers by their names. Go to Hebron, Ooty, J Krishnamurty's Nath Valley, St. Edmonds, Shillong, among others and you'll see that their highly anglicised students are addressing even their principals, let


If you prefer variety try these dishes.
By Anupama Gupta
Strawberries and cream cake



INGREDIENTS: For the cake: 1/ cup butter 2 3/ cup sugar 4 1 cup flour 1/ cup milk 4 1/ tsp baking powder 2
Buttermilk scones

For the filling and topping: 1 cup cream, whipped 10-12 strawberries, hulled and halved METHOD Grease the baking tins and O preheat your oven to 180 C. Cream the butter with the sugar until soft and light. Mix in milk and beat. Mix in sifted baking powder and flour and beat. Pour the mixture evenly into both tins, smoothing the tops.

Place in the oven for 18 to 20 mins. Allow to cool in the tin for two minutes, then turn out on to a wire cooling rack. Then the cakes are cool, spoon 3/ of the whipped double cream 4 on top of one cake and top with the majority of the strawberries. Place the other cake on top, and smooth the remaining cream on top, and sprinkle with the remaining strawberries. Serve.

INGREDIENTS: 2 cup plain flour 1 cup sugar 1/ tsp baking powder 2 1/ tsp bicarb soda 2 1 cup butter 3/ cup buttermilk 4 3/ tsp salt 4 METHOD O Preheat oven to 180 C. Sift dry ingredients in a bowl. Add room

temperature butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a fork until the mixture resembles dry breadcrumbs. Add buttermilk and mix. The dough will be a bit moist. Roll half the dough into a ball and flatten on floured surface. Cut into six pieces with a scone cutter or simply cut into wedges. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on greased baking tray and bake for 12 minutes. You can brush buttermilk on top and sprinkle with sugar before baking if desired. Serves: 12


oil. Take one piece at a time, mould it in the shape of a Seekh Kebab and put it on a metal skewer. Place the skewer over low flame rotating continuously till it is cooked evenly all over. Alternatively, place them in an oven and grill for 15 minutes. Turn from time to time till they are thoroughly grilled. Serve hot with chutney.


Arbiseekh kebab

INGREDIENTS: 250 gm colocasia or arbi 2 onions, small 1 tsp carom seeds or ajwain 1/ tsp red chilli powder 2 1/ tbsp butter 2 21/2 tbsp cornstarch 2-3 green chillies 4 tbsp coriander or dhania leaves 1/ tsp garam masala powder 2 1 tsp oil salt to taste METHOD Boil and peel arbi. Finely cut onion, green chillies and coriander leaves. In a large plate, mash arbi thoroughly. Add cornstarch, onion, green chillies and dhania leaves. Gently mix till all ingredients are blended well. Add garam masala powder, red chilli powder, ajwain, butter and salt to this mixture. Divide it into eight equal portions. Lightly grease your palms with half of the

INGREDIENTS: 11/2 cups pearl millet or bajra atta 1 tsp garam masala powder 1/ cup wholewheat flour 2 1/ tsp cumin or jeera seeds 2 1/ tsp red chilli powder 2 water to knead dough 1 cup shelled green peas 2-3 green chillies 1 tbsp oil salt to taste METHOD Cook green peas till tender and dry. Add red chilli powder, jeera

seeds, garam masala powder and green chillies. Mix well and mash slightly. Sieve together bajra flour, wholewheat flour and salt in a large bowl. Add just enough water to form a smooth dough. Divide the dough in eight equal parts. Divide green peas filling in four equal parts. Put the dough over a plastic sheet. With your palms, flatten each portion into a 6" round disc. Place green peas mixture evenly over one roti and place the other roti over it, sealing the corners tightly. Heat tawa. When hot, place this roti over it. Cook over low flame on both sides till done. Serve hot.

INGREDIENTS: cheese tortellini 1 cup flour 1 tbsp oil 1/ tsp salt 8 1 cup white sauce 1 carrot
Matar aur bajre ki roti

Womans Era

April (Second) 2012



INGREDIENTS: 1 cup wheatflour 1 cup cornflour red chilli powder, a pinch vegetable oil for deep-frying salt to taste For filling: 1/ cup paneer 4 (cottage cheese), grated 1/ cup cabbage (shredded) 4 1/ cup carrot (grated) 4 1/ cup bell-pepper 4 (cut into 1/2 long thin strips) 1 tbsp peas (fresh or frozen) 2 tbsp cilantro (coriander leaves), finely chopped 1 tsp chilli powder 2 tsp lime/lemon juice (optional) salt to taste METHOD In a mixing bowl, mix the flours along with a little salt and red chilli powder with enough water into a smooth dough. Brush with a little oil and cover and set aside. Heat the oil in a skillet. If using fresh peas, saute the peas until almost tender. Add the cabbage, carrot, and bell-pepper, along with salt and chilli powder and stir-fry for a

Cheesy tortellini

1 spring onion 7-8 French beans 1 tbsp cream 1/ cup cheese 2 1 tsp oil 2 tbsp parsley, chopped 1 tsp black pepper powder salt to taste METHOD Prepare a dough of flour, salt and oil. Make small balls of the dough and roll out thin squares. Grate cheese, mix salt and pepper. On each square centre put cheese mixture and fold, leaving

a triangle and roll around the finger and seal the edges with water. In a large saucepan, add 2 cups water and bring it to boil. Add the cheese tortellini and cook until just about tender (al dente). Drain and set aside. In a bowl, combine white sauce and cream. Saute spring onion, carrot and French beans and mix in white sauce, sprinkle salt and pepper, add tortellini and garnish the cheesy tortellini with parsley and serve.

Baked potato with cheese


1 tsp black pepper powder salt to taste METHOD Boil the potatoes and cut them in halves. Scoop out the centre. Apply oil on both sides of the potatoes and bake again until the potato skins are slightly crisp. Add salt and pepper to the scooped out potato, mix chopped in onion and tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake till the cheese melts.

INGREDIENTS 4 medium potatoes 1 cup cheese 1 spring onion 1/ cup tomatoes, finely 4 chopped 2 tbsp olive oil or any vegetable oil


of it. Cut it into strips. Deep-fry in oil on medium flame. Sprinkle red chilli powder and black salt on it. Spread the bean pate on the strips and serve.

Paneer spring rolls

minute. Add the paneer and stir for a couple of seconds. Remove in a plate and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Divide the dough into 1-inch diameter balls. Take a dough ball and roll on a floured surface into a very thin roti/tortilla (the thinner, the better, so when fried they become crunchy). Cut the edges out to make a large rectangle (about 5-6 inches long and 4-inches wide), and cut the roti into 2 squares. Place 2 tsp of the vegetable and paneer filling on a square roti and roll it. Seal the edges and repeat with the remaining square. Deep-fry the paneer spring rolls until lightly golden and place on a wire rack or phulka grill to cool. Repeat with the remaining spring rolls. Re-fry all the paneer spring rolls until golden and let cool a bit.

1 tbsp water 2 tsp fresh lemon juice 1/ tsp salt 4 1/ tsp black pepper 8 For strips: 1cup besan (chana dal flour) 1/ cup Urad dal flour 2 1 tsp oil 1 tsp red chilli powder a pinch of cooking soda white salt and black salt to taste METHOD Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mash together. Cover and chill until ready to serve. For strips: Boil 1 / 2 cup of water and add oil, salt and soda into it. When water gets warm, knead a dough. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Make small balls of dough and roll out very thin rotis

INGREDIENTS: 1 egg 1 cup flour (sifted) 1 cup zucchini (grated) 1 large onion (finely chopped) 1 cup grated cheddar cheese 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil 1/ tsp pepper 4 1-2 green chillies salt to taste
Zucchini slice

Crispy strips with beans


INGREDIENTS: 1 cup lobia boiled 1 clove garlic 2 tbsp minced red onion 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Womans Era

April (Second) 2012


METHOD Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease the tin. Beat the egg in a bowl until combined. Add the flour and beat until smooth, then add zucchini, chopped green chillies, onion, cheese, salt and pepper and oil and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Cheesy vegetable pikelets


INGREDIENTS: 1 small zucchini (coarsely grated) 1/ tsp olive oil 2 1 small carrot (grated) 1/ cup fresh or frozen corn 2 kernels 1 cup flour 1/ cups buttermilk 4 1/ cup cheese 2 olive oil cooking spray METHOD Grate zucchini and carrot. In a bowl mix carrot, zucchini flour, corn, buttermilk, cheese, green chillies, salt and pepper. Heat the pan and slightly greese it. Using 1

heaped tbsp per pikelet, cook four pikelets for three to four minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn. Cook for two minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Serve hot with chutney or sauce.

INGREDIENTS: For the outer crust: 4 large potatoes 2-3 tbsp water chestnut flour or arrowroot flour or buckwheat flour or 2 slices of bread 1 green chilli finely chopped (optional) cooking salt or sendha namak

For the inner filling: 1 cup grated coconut 3 tbsp roasted peanuts 3 tbsp roasted cashew nuts 2 tbsp raisins 1/ tsp lime juice or 1/ tsp 2 2 amchur powder oil for deep frying salt to taste METHOD Boil the potatoes and then mash them. Take care to see that there are no lumps in the potatoes. Add chopped green chillies to the mashed potatoes. Soak the breads in water, squeeze the water completely from the bread. Mash the bread and mix it with the mashed METHOD Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until onion caramelises. Add thyme. Remove from heat. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease muffin pan. Cream butter and buttermilk, add sifted flour and baking powder, salt and onion. Pour the mixture in the muffin cups and bake for 1015 minutes.


INGREDIENTS 1 cup flour 1/ cup butter 4 1/ tsp baking powder 2 3 onions 1/ tsp salt 4 1/ tsp black pepper powder 2 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves 1 tbsp butter 1/ cup buttermilk 4
Womans Era

Caramelised onion muffins


April (Second) 2012

oil on a medium flame till golden brown and crisp from outside. Serve with sweet curd/ plain curd or coriander chutney or mintcoriander chutney.

Farali patty

Oats vegetable puffs

potatoes. This makes your farali pattys outer covering. The mixture should be smooth with no lumps, so that the patties do not break while frying. Coarsely grind the peanuts and cashewnuts. To the coconut, add chopped raisins, the coarsely ground peanuts and cashew nuts. Add all the other ingredients mentioned for the inner filling. Mix well and keep aside. Take a handful of the potato mixture. Shape it into a bowl-like shape. Take some 1-2 tsp of the inner stuffing and place it in the centre of the bowl like potato mixture. Seal the inner stuffing by gently bringing together the edges of the potato mixture in the centre. Apply some oil in your hands while doing this. The filling has to be properly sealed with the potato mixture, so that while frying the patties do not break and thus the filling comes out. Flatten the patties slightly. You could also take two potato mixture, flatten them like small puris with your hand. Place the filling in the centre of one puri. Cover with the second puri and seal the edges firmly. Make patties of the entire mixture and keep aside. Deep-fry them in hot

INGREDIENTS: lime juice 2 bread slices 1/ cup boiled peas 2 pinch black pepper 250 gm boiled potatoes 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste 2 chopped green chillies 1 beetroot boiled and grated 1/ cup chopped coriander 2 leaves salt to taste METHOD Mix all boiled veggies and mash it together. Add all the spices with salt. Soak bread slices in water for a second. Squeeze out the water and add the crumbled bread to the mixture. Knead smoothly, make into flat round or oval shapes and shallow fry on both sides.
Beetroot cutlets


INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp white oats 5 French beans - shredded 1/ carrot (grated) 2 2 potatoes (boiled and mashed) 2 tbsp cooked rice 2 tbsp cornflour 2 spring onions (chopped) 1 large onion (chopped) 1 red chilli (chopped) salt to taste For Coating: 1/ cup bread crumbs 2 METHOD Put together and form into mini balls. Flatten it in your palm like making masala vadai. Coat it with breadcrumbs and We fry in hot oil on low fire.

Womans Era

April (Second) 2012


Short Story

Crisis Surmounted
How a coward stormed back. Nalini Sharma

nita was apprehensive and feeling jittery. A very hectic day lay ahead. Her 12-year-old daughter, Rama, the youngest of her three children was participating in the annual Sports Day. A whole-day programme comprising flower decoration and fancy dress competition in the morning session, sports events in the afternoon, the evening reserved for a grand prize distribution. Her husband, Rajat, being a marketing executive, was constantly on the move, hardly at home to lend her a helping hand. She had to manage all alone. In spite of repeated coaxing by her husband, she had failed to learn driving. When Rajat was not around, she depended on autos and taxis to move from one place to another, and that added to her woes. Hurrying through morning chores, she felt harried. She needed time too, to put little Rama into fancy dress attire as a mermaid. As she laid breakfast on the table, she called out to her 20-year-old elder son, Manoj, come and have breakfast. Not heeding her, he sat sulking staring at nothing with vacant, unseeing eyes. Keeping her composure, she stroked his beautiful wavy hair and implored,Come on,

son, help your ma finish breakfast. Quick, son, I have to go to Ramas school. But he didnt move. He had become very difficult to deal with since he deserted his engineering college and studies after ragging that had landed him in the hospital severely bruised not only in body but in mind too. The wounds on his body had healed but not his psyche. He was not like that before, recalled Anita. A sigh escaped her lips. A cheerful bubbly boy had turned into a morose robot. Nothing could rouse him to action. After successfully clearing AIEEE, he had joined the engineering college beaming with pride and confidence. But within 15 days, their castle of hope had collapsed like a pack of cards. His seniors had reduced him into a helpless vegetable. They commanded him to do indecent, unclean, forbidden things. On his refusal, he met with serious reprisals. Beaten mercilessly, he was denied dignity, food, sleep and rest. They burnt cigarette stubs on his palm till he screamed with pain. Naked, he was made to squat on the floor the whole night. Subjected to such indignities and torture, he


Womans Era April (Second) 2012

developed high fever. Even that didnt deter his tormentors from inflicting more injuries. They made him stand keeping his eyes open wide awake. Dozing off, meant more punishment. Unable to withstand the cruelty and indignity, he had fainted on the floor. A good Samaritan informed the college authorities, who in turn informed his parents who promptly admitted Manoj to a hospital for treatment. They were horrified at the ghastly sight that met their eyes. The wounds all over his body spoke volumes for the pain the boys had inflicted upon him.

him further. Hiring a taxi, she reached the school with Rama. The celebration lasted the whole day. When it was over, dusk was beginning to settle over the horizon. Rama was euphoric as she had bagged two prizes both the firsts, one in the fancy dress show and the other in the 200 metres sprint. Now, they insisted upon having a treat on the way at Bite, a restaurant that catered to the needs of tiny tots to school-and college-going youngsters who thronged there while coming back weary with fatigue from the day in their schools and colleges. Jubilant as they were, they didnt notice the storm agging had eaten up his vitality and building up and the dark clouds gathering in the sky. confidence. Manoj constantly shivered with Rama mounted pressure on her mother to stop at unknown fear. He held Raka, the hefty boy, who was the leader of the gang of raggers in awe. Bite to get some mouth-watering snacks packed and an ice-cream to lick in the auto on the way home. Even while watching TV, someone bashing up Ebullient Anita considered the treat too small in somebody or inflicting pain caused him to cry out in return of the two first prizes that Rama had bestowed intense agony. He refused to go out as he feared that the boys lurked somewhere to pounce upon him. them with. Acceding to her request, she stopped at Bite briefly. Hardly had she stepped inside when the While sleeping, his posture had changed. Now, storm began to rage violently with a heavy crumpled into a crouching position, he downpour. kept his face covered. At night, he Time ticked by The thunder caused the lights to go off wouldnt allow open windows. and the heavy plunging the whole atmosphere into inky Once, the maid left his bedroom downpour darkness. All the youngsters hurriedly ran window open after dusting. A fleeting continued out helter-skelter and rode away on their shadow on his bedroom wall, of a mercilessly bikes before the storm and the rains neighbour taking stroll on his own terrace flooding the caused more havoc leaving the mother made him shriek with terror with violent roads. She tried and daughter alone in the restaurant, now convulsions. His state of mind seemed the to wade through deserted. Anita, clutching Ramas hand prognosis for not a bright, happy and the water but followed suit but their auto was nowhere to successful future. dared not cover be seen. Perhaps, he had fled to a safer Thinking time is the best healer his such a long area to protect himself and his vehicle from parents had resigned to their fate. A year the fury of nature. had passed but Manojs condition, distance in Time ticked by and the heavy downpour seemed to deteriorate instead of pitch darkness. continued mercilessly flooding the roads. improving. They hoped for some miracle to happen that would cure him and restore him to his She tried to wade through the water but dared not cover such a long distance in pitch darkness. As she old normal self. Now, the younger son, Amit, had came out, the chilly wind hit them in the face and the gone to an engineering college. Worried as they were for his safety too, they thanked their stars when rain pounded on them mercilessly. That made them run back again to the cover of the restaurant he survived the onslaught of ragging. They sighed building. No conveyance to go back home and with relief when his critical phase of the first year none to help them, they were stranded among was over. strangers, the staff of Bite and some unfriendlyHousehold chores over, Anita wrapped Rama in looking passers-by who had taken shelter there. the mermaid get-up. Then dressing herself up elegantly in a pink chiffon sari with matching t sent a chill down Anitas the spine. She feared accessories to look her best, she exhorted her son to for the safety of her daughter. She thought of drive her to Ramas school but in vain. Her entreaties ringing up her husband, but what would he do fell on deaf ears. He had totally stopped driving from such a long distance? Frantic with worry, she since he shunned the public eye. tried to call all her friends, relatives and As Anita kept on imploring him to drive them to Ramas school, he got annoyed and grunted angrily, acquaintances on their phone numbers duly saved in her mobile, in case her memory failed but she could No so loudly that it made Anita jump with alarm not reach them owing to poor connectivity due to the and fear. The very idea of going out made him stormy weather. petrified with terror. Disappointed, she didnt press

Womans Era April (Second) 2012


Driven to the wall she called Mrs Sharma, her neighbour with whom she was not on talking terms as they had had a silly tiff over a petty issue about whose house the maid should come to first. Luckily, her phone responded to Anitas call. She could hear the phone ring but nobody picked it up at the other end. She tried again and again but did not get any response from her neighbour.

rize-winning euphoria over, little Rama began to whimper loudly. Anita felt beaten, miserable, dejected and downhearted. Hot tears began to trickle down her cheeks. In utter desperation, she decided to take a chance. On her mobile she rang her son, Manoj, who was buried under the quilt all alone in pitch-darkness quivering with fear. The shrill ring of phone made him doubly afraid and bury himself under the folds of the quilt all the more. He dared not stretch out his arm to take his mobile kept beside his bed on a stool, for fear that somebody would get at him. But Anita persisted. Unable to bear the constant ringing of the landline too, he picked up the receiver to put it aside so that the sound would not disturb him any more. But the plaintive pathetic cry of his mother reached his ears, Help us, son. Manoj, help us. Bring the car here at Bite. We are stranded. No conveyance available... A loud noise burnt the ears of Anita with the sound of slamming the receiver on its cradle. Seeing little respite in the harsh weather she again rang the numbers of her friends but, to her dismay, they were either switched off or engaged. Anita didnt give in. Manoj was the best bet in such an adverse situation. She rang him up again. Without saying a word, Manoj picked up the receiver. Manoj, my son, are you there listening to me? wailed Anita,Help us. Fetch us home, son. You are such a good driver. I know you will make it. It is

hardly a 10-minute drive from home to Bite. Bring the car here. Quick, son, we are in danger. Act fast or you will lose us... A loud helpless croak escaped of Manojs lips. As he was going to put the receiver down, Anita stopped him,Unless you help us, you are not going to see us again and remain cooped up all alone in that lonely house. You are a man, not a child. Had your father been here, we would not have bothered you. In the absence of your father, being a man, you are in charge of the house, arent you? What would you say to your father if something happens to us? Oh, son, please fetch us home... Anita sobbed uncontrollably. He shed tears not for himself but for his mother and sister. The phone dropped from his hands. He could hear his mothers plaintive call as he tried to struggle to his feet exerting immense control over his unfounded fears. He felt wobbly. His mothers voice kept goading him on and on, Being a man you are in charge here. You have to help us out... All of a sudden, the hefty gang leaders fear struck him with tremendous force and he plopped back into the bed and hid himself under the quilt. But he was restless. His mothers voice would not let him be. Now, fear of losing his mother and sister was uppermost in his mind. Bracing himself for any eventuality, he again crawled out of the quilt. Grappling with fear, he groped for the car key in the darkness and struggled out in the porch where their car stood. As he sat at the wheel, he felt a surge of adrenalin pumping hard and coursing through his whole body. He gripped the wheel. That very instant, the lights came on illuminating the whole area dispelling the gloom of darkness of the flooding road. The engine roared under his pressure and the next moment he was on the road tearing his way to the Bite.

he restaurant wore a deserted look and the atmosphere inside was almost eerie. The two goons leaning over the counter eyed the two females greedily. Though dark, Anita could sense their eyes bore holes into her body. Realising the utter futility of depending on her vegetating son, she decided to fight her way home wading through water and braving the hostile weather. As she prepared to leave, the lights came on. Thanking goodness, she heaved a sigh of relief. Clutching at the hand of little Rama tightly, she moved towards the exit. Seeing their victims leave, the two goons at once jumped to their feet and darted towards them menacingly. Soon, they flanked both of them on each side leering at them lustfully. That very moment, a six-foot youngster


Womans Era April (Second) 2012

fully covered from top to toe in a raincoat dripping water, appeared in the doorway. Though his knees wobbled with fear, he looked every inch quite frightening with his towering lanky figure swaying a little awkwardly. Seeing his mother and sister in mortal danger, his fear evaporated. He croaked in a loud quivering voice,Hey! What is going on in here? The sudden unexpected intrusion distracted the attention of the goons. Taking advantage, Manoj, the prize-winning boxing champion of his school, dealt a hard punch on the nose of the nearest goon that sent him sprawling to the floor and the other took to his heels. Then, holding his mother and sister in his protective arms, he led them towards the car. He felt like a knight in shining armour who had rescued a lovely damsel and a child in distress.

In the car, shedding tears of joy, Anita buried her head in the chest of her son and muttered, I knew you would come. My brave boy! My brave boy... Hey, mom, Manoj interrupted,not a boy. That was a grown-up mans stuff... His confidence restored, he was ready to face the challenges of the unfriendly world. A week later, as the apprehensive parents saw Manoj off at the station for college to resume his studies, he tried to put their fears at rest, Have faith in me, mum and dad. No Raka can frighten me now. I am not going to shrink from challenges. You know I am a grownup man... Natures fury had come to them as a blessing in disguise. When mans efforts had gone awry, nature offered her own bitter pill from her coffers to help cure the malady. Manoj had risen again like a phoenix much to the joy and relief of his parents. We

Assisted Reproduction A Boon for the IT Sector

Long working hours, irregular eating habits, wrong sleep timings, Dr Shobha Gupta haphazardly placed lifestyle habits, MBBS (LHMC) DGO (MAMC) MD in Obs & Gynae all these and more define the schedule of a person in the Information Technology (IT) sector. For females, the IT sector demands their full dedication, due to which they end up marrying late. Married working women often fail to get together with their husbands during their fertile period due to night shifts and other odd work timings .This is a big drawback if the couple are trying for a baby .What adds to the situation is, when her husband has an opposite work shift. For males, its an even more demanding situation. Spending long hours with their laptops on their bodies, in front of their desktops generate so much of heat which affects their sperm production. Tight deadlines cause stress which does not allow these men to perform well and reproduce through family time when they can get together with their wives. Assisted Reproduction comes as a blessing for these men and women as the males can always freeze and store their semen sample for later use, the females can come in reasonably at an advanced age for treatment, say till even 35 years. Many options like (IUI) intra uterine insemination, IVF (test tube baby) are available. Freezing of semen and eggs are available. ICSI (intra cytoplasm sperm injection) is available for males who have nil sperms or very low number of sperms with low-grade motility.

Dr Shobha Gupta, Director of Mothers Lap IVF Center says almost 15%-20% of her patients are from the IT sector. A few cases, she says, are where both the husband and wife are from the IT department and hence face the problem of spending time together due to deterrent working hours. This puts their family planning on the back burner. She has helped many such couples realise their dreams and complete their families.

A Perfect Cooking System is Created not Manufactured

Energy and Money-Saver Clean & Hygienic Enjoy Safe and Sound Cooking Elegant 2000W Push Button control Black crystal plate 4 digit display 4 hours timer, 4 hours preset 10 levels of power, 10 levels of temperature 6 cooking functions Electric Insect Killer (MIK-20, MIK-30, MIK-40) Recycled, no sprays, no smell, no poison, no fumes, no mess. Without any side effect or bad reaction to human beings. This unit utilising two high-quality ultra-violet bulbs to attract insect which is then, eliminated by the high voltage current which runs through the electrified metal grids near the bulbs. Designed with limit of electric current, low energy and high efficiency. 57

Womans Era April (Second) 2012

Heres a peep into some of the exquisite designs and patterns of the season.

Colour me brown: Essentially magnificent traditional dress. Add oomph in the brown cut work spaghetti top with beige cups and wrinkle slit brown cover. Teamed with equally dazzling beige lehenga in decorative mirror and filigree work.


Silver spark: A lot of glitter and shine is back this season. The model is wearing an outfit in soft tone of beige and lot of frills and wrinkles speak the language of femininity. The head gear is in similar tone in thin net.

White beauty: This is a disco dress in off-white and sequined pattern. The bottom of the dress has lace detailing making it ultra-sexy.


Snow white: A shinning bright white dress, a must have for the season. This is a pleated dress with layers. The neckline has black metal detailing in elegant satin fabric.

Designed by: Rina Dhaka Ph: 011-46536957

...esp after SMS!

By Tarany Sinha

was working online when my chat box popped up and a Hi! from one of my relatives appeared. When I asked him, How are you? F9, came as a reply. F9? I wondered what that was. Then finally knowledge of that strange language dawned on me. That was Fine. Fine? Come on, how many letters does fine take that it has become so difficult to type? People also write w8 for wait. There is a quote from a famous film that English is a funny language. In this technical century, as English goes computer-generated, it has indeed become a funny language. Many times, on various net working sites, you may have seen people writing in this weird lingo. Try this: I trst mah frnds n ve faith in dem. If u wanna b mah frnd u ve 2 accept me da way I m coz guys n gurls dis is mah Iyf nI wanna liv dis on mah own trms...m nt gonna change 4 ne 1. Got it? I did only after strenuous effort and, honestly, irritation and anger brewed inside me. Huh! Who is going to apply effort to read and comprehend this kind of stuff? Yes, it does take tremendous effort to comprehend such words. I dont understand the logic behind typing mah in place of my. This cannot be a writing difficulty because if anyone can type three characters of mah, they can easily type just the two characters of my. Do they try to show that they possess a stylish or foreigner accent? If so, then please show it while speaking (that is also irritating) not writing.

Sometimes I wonder how people feel comfortable typing wrong spellings. Go back to your schooldays and try to remember how hard you worked to memorise the spellings to get good marks in dictation. You definitely did not want red lines or circles around wrong spellings in your English notebook. What happened now? Wrong spellings have perhaps become style statement. It is really sad. English is a beautiful language. It seems more beautiful when written properly and correctly. It does take effort to get proficiency in this language. In our country, people have excelled in this language. We can read some really good books in English by Indian authors. Getting proficient in English is not just fashionable but it is knowledge knowledge of a global language so that you can communicate all over the world or even in different parts of our own country. Our new generation should not spoil this language in order to prove themselves stylish and e nguag modern. It definitely takes his odd la T SMS away the essence of the erged from d em English language. has indee phones Typing correct spelling of mobile feature is not painful but reading turned into has wrong spelling is. So and now it . Using such please maintain the lish cyber Eng respect for written okay as MSs is We English. in words in S

This odd language has indeed emerged from SMS feature of mobile phones and now it has turned into cyber English. Using such words in SMSs is okay as there is word limitation in mobile phones. People often have to omit some letters to keep their messages short in cellphones by typing 2 for to, da for the, u for you, b for be, coz for because and so on. But why in blogs or while posting comments? In a blog, Ive seen a beautiful poem written in this lingo and I found it so irritating that all the beauty of those words washed away completely. You can see Gud for Good, Lyk for Like, Lyf for Life and so on. Come on, these are misspelled words. If you can type three characters then typing a fourth one is not going to hurt your finger or consume your precious time.

n d limitatio ere is wor th ones. mobile ph


My 16-year-old sister and I (I am 18) received a terrible shock a year ago when our mother was suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer and she died three months later. Now, not even a year after her death, we have received a second shock. Our 45year-old father is planning to remarry and the family is searching for a bride for him! Neither of us was ever close to our father and our mother was everything to us. Now, we wonder how my father can forget my mother so soon. Did he love her at all? How can he foist a stepmother on us?

Should we disown him if he remarries? Your shock at your mothers death is understandable and yes, it must be painful that after at least 19 years of marriage, your father is preparing to remarry so soon after her death. But the one constant in this world is that whatever happens, life does not stop and we cannot stop living. A terrible tragedy may occur but we continue to breathe, eat, sleep, etc. Your father has decided to move on with his life and you have to accept this. You say that you were never close to your father; but were he and your mother close? If they werent, his behaviour is more understandable. Whether you are close to your father or not and whether you disown him or not, he will continue to be your dad. You were never close to him, and you may never be, but it is best that you maintain a formal relationship with him. So be polite to him and his new wife if he remarries. This is what your mother would have wanted.

I am a 55-year-old woman living with my husband and three unmarried sons. All the men have good jobs, but as the only female in the house, I have to work like a dog to look after the house, cook and look after all the men. I am exhausted and fed up. My husband and sons are all very affectionate and caring, but they think that a womans work is nothing much. So they take all I do for granted and it doesnt occur to any of them to help me or to take me seriously when I complain that I am tired. I want a cook and a maid to help me take care of my family and we can well afford this. But my husband is the first to say that he likes my cooking and then my sons agree with him. What can I do? You seem to have made housework look so easy that all the men in your life think that there is nothing much to it. They will only understand how difficult it is to run a home without any help if they have to do it. So, make some excuse and leave the house for at least a week. Go and visit relatives, attend an outof-town wedding or go away with

I am 22 years old and got married to my boyfriend of four years, some months ago. He is 24. Both of us had expected to be very happy together, but the fact is that we are constantly quarrelling over small matters. These small matters mainly relate to issues of how we should live. For instance, I like to have just a few biscuits or a cup of tea for breakfast while he insists on having a heavy one. In the same way I want to eat out as we both return from work (we both work in the same organisation) so that I need not do any cooking after we return home, but he wants to eat at home and offers to help me with the cooking. I like to sleep early, he likes to go to bed late.the list of our differences is endless.

Have we made a mistake in getting married? Most couples find after marriage that they are different in many small ways and that they like different lifestyles. They argue about these differences, sometimes even fight, but over time, they arrive at compromises that they can both live with. You and your husband are both young, but you married for love and Womans Era April (Second) 2012

so it shouldnt be too difficult for you two to work out compromises. If you begin by giving in on some points, you will find that your husband will follow suit and give in on others. Over the years and as kids arrive on the scene, you will finally arrive at a lifestyle of your own and will even forget that you did things in any other way. So remember that you married for love and give in on unimportant matters. If you feel that something is really important, try and convince your husband. On some matters you may decide to go your different ways. But remember that none of these minor matters is as important as your marriage. And just for the record, a heavy breakfast is good, but eating out regularly is not. Neither is going to sleep very late. 63

friends. Do not make elaborate preparations for your absence just leave and let them manage on their own. When you come back you are sure to be greeted with relief and joy. After a few days, tell them firmly that the break you took made you realise that you cannot go on as you have been doing all these years and that you need a cook and maid. Assure them that you will see to it that the meals are cooked to their liking.

I am the youngest girl in a family of five. I have two brothers and two sisters. I am 30 and my eldest sister is 48. My father died when I was just two and since then my mother has struggled to bring us up on the little that my father left and on her salary as a teacher. Things improved financially after my brothers began to work, but since my eldest sisters marriage couldnt be settled, none of us are married. My mother is very upset about this, but everyone seems to have accepted this. But I havent. About two years ago a colleague of mine (my sisters do not work but I do) proposed to me and since I too was attracted to him, I accepted his proposal. But I havent yet had the courage to tell my family. My fiance is becoming impatient. He is a few years older than I am and says it is time we got married. But I know that all my siblings will be hurt if I, the youngest, get married before any of them. What should I do? Your family situation is sad but by remaining unmarried yourself you will not be helping matters. Your marrying may even jolt your mother into trying harder to fix up the marriages of your siblings. And when you have children, they will certainly bring joy to the family. So go ahead and announce your decision to get married. Your mother will probably celebrate your marriage herself, but if she doesnt, have a simple registered marriage. 64

I am the younger of two sisters. I am 48 and my elder sister is 56. Our father died three years ago and so we are responsible for our 78-yearold-mother. Both my husband and brother-in-law are ready to take full responsibility for my mother, but for some reason she prefers to say with my sister. She comes to stay with me very reluctantly only when my sister has to go to visit her daughter who lives in the USA. And when she is with me, she counts the days for my sisters return. If I ask her why she behaves like this she is surprised and tells me not to imagine things. But I am hurt by her behaviour. My sister says that it is just because of her old age. But I feel that my mother does not love me as much as she loves my sister. Am I right? No, you are not. But your sister is. As people grow old, they find it difficult to adjust to new places. Your mother probably began to stay with your elder sister after your fathers death (only because elder children usually step forward and take responsibility and spare their younger siblings) and that must have become a habit. Remember she was already 75 then! So dont imagine things or make an issue of this. Just be loving to both your mother and elder sister. A few days ago, I discovered that my expensive watch was missing. I live with my husband and two teenage children and my maid is the only outsider who has the run of the house. She has been with me for nine years and till now nothing has gone missing from the home. My husband wants me to dismiss my maid, but I feel that it would be unfair of me to brand her a thief when I have no proof that she took the Womans Era April (Second) 2012

watch. I also have a suspicion that I am afraid to even express to my husband. My college-going 19-yearold son has changed over the last year. He has become a rebel, is neglecting his studies and got into a fast group of rich boys and both my husband and I are worried about him. Could he have taken the watch? He is always complaining that he gets a smaller allowance and less freedom than his friends. It is unlikely though not impossible that your maid took the watch since she has been honest for nine years. On the other hand the changes you have noticed in your son make it likely that he is in need of money and that he took your watch in order to sell it. Tell your husband about your doubts. He may be upset, but if he thinks matters over, he will realise that it is possible that your son took the watch. Do not mention the watch but keep a watchful eye on your son. Try and talk to him though he will probably not open up to you easily but will only repeat his complaints about wanting more money and freedom. If he took the watch and thinks that he got away with it, he will probably steal again and you must try and catch him at it. Even if you dont catch him in the act, you must take it up with him if thefts happen again.

We have come to know that the father of a new classmate of my 14year-old daughter has been in jail for cheating. Should we allow her to interact with that girl? That man did something wrong and was punished for it. Presumably he learnt the lesson that cheating doesnt pay. As far as his daughter is concerned, she did no wrong but must have suffered greatly when her father was arrested, tried, found guilty and jailed. Is it fair to continue to punish her for something which she did not do? You may be wary of interacting with the father, but do not prevent your daughter from being friends with the daughter. But tell her not to ask questions about the father.

Win Jewellery

1 2

Your colleague asks you how she looks in a dress which actually looks really bad on her. You
a. Tell her honestly that the dress does not suit her. b. Ask her how she feels about the dress and tactically weave your answer around her opinion.

It will depend on your answers.
e be published in th elected entries will omans era. Look out of W forthcoming issue May 2012 issue e 31 for th

Are you

From a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how well can you handle an argument without losing your temper or say the wrong thing?
a. Less than 5. b. More than 7.

Answer the questions


win a grand prize...

L ast date for sending entries: 15 May 2012

friend for a better photograph of yourWomans era ttach a g in chance of featurin


Your best friends are having a serious argument that has the potential to turn ugly. You know who is right and who is wrong. How do you handle the situation.
a. Give your opinion, regardless of the fact that the friend who is wrong may break his/her friendship with you. b. Let the argument take its own natural course. After all, why should you become involved in it?

If your team at work makes a mistake, would you accept it?

a. If the mistake is quite apparent, youd have no choice but to accept it. b. Mistake? Your team? Never!

Your friends are having a racially sensitive discussion that you do not wish to be a part of. When someone asks you a direct question on how you feel about racism, what do you do?
a. Take a stand and give your opinion. b. Refuse to take part in it or smartly beat around the bush.

You have a very ugly fallout with a colleague at work over his attitude towards you. Would you still be able to put on a smile and work as if things were normal even though he sits right beside you?
a. Not really. You would have a hard time hiding your feelings and behaving normally. b. If your work requires it, holding a fake smile to get the job done wouldnt be too much of a problem.

5 6 7

Do you think youd fit well in a customer complaint department?

a. No. You dont like dealing with rude people or taking up a role which involves negotiation of any sort. b. Of course. Youd be great at handling tricky customers.

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Dont you hate those artificial quizzes that only have one obvious right answer? Jewellery and its lineage is fluid. So answer according to what you feel is best. Prove that you are aware of this trivia. Send us the coupon with your photo along with the correct answers.
Name Age Address PIN Phone: E-mail Occupation

Do your colleagues approach you to help them out in a crucial strategy meeting or a presentation in which they may face too many questions?
a. No. You dont find yourself to be a great impulsive orator. b. Yes. You generally have answers to all the questions.


When do you think is it best to give diplomatic answers?

a. Only when it is absolutely necessary. Typical situations are workplace meetings, interviews, sales opportunities, etc. b. All the time. Diplomacy is a great asset to have.

Dont forget to attach a photograph 1. Mark the answers and send us the cutting of this quiz along with this coupon. The last date is 15 May 2012. So hurry up and post it now. 2. The decision of the editor will be final. 3. Depict your true self only. 4. Send a photograph of your own. It may be printed in Womans Era, along with the results. Send to: Womans Era, Delhi Press, E-3, Jhandewala, New Delhi-110 055.




It is self-limiting and gets cured in a week.

By Sudha Chandrasekaran
However, most children will have an RSV infection by the time they are two years old and a majority of them will get better on their own within eight to 15 days. Although deaths are relatively rare, RSV can be lifethreatening for immune-compromised people, including premature infants, young children with heart and lung problems, and the elderly. RSV is one of the most common causes of respiratory illness in infants and toddlers, and also the cause of illness, which is severe enough to land them in the hospital. What exactly is RSV and why is it so scary? I know much about RSV because my close relatives son, just 10 weeks old, was affected by it very recently. The last thing any mom wants to think about is her newborn catching a virus. Its pretty frightening, said Sadhvi, my relative. The sleepless Womans Era April (Second) 2012 nights and anxiety-filled days which she underwent are hard to describe! RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a very common virus that causes infections such as the common cold in adults and older children, and bronchiolitis in younger children and infants. Premature babies and babies with lung diseases are at high risk of becoming acutely ill with RSV infections. Recent findings suggest that RSV is responsible for 60 per cent of all diagnosed cases of bronchiolitis. Most cases of bronchiolitis caused by RSV are seen in children less than one year old. It is a highly contagious disease and spreads by physical contact with the infected person. In infants and young children, it can cause pneumonia, bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways of the lungs), and croup (childhood ailments and breathing spasms). The ailment usually starts within three to

ll of us have heard of the term RSV at some time or other in our conversations with others. Oh, my child of two months was struck by RSV and was hospitalised for a week. I just cannot describe the horrible time and anxiety that I underwent then, said Reena, a young mother, sobbing uncontrollably. Yes, several parents undergo this trauma when their children are young. RSV infection continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world, especially in children. Despite advances in the understanding of its pathogenesis (origin and effects of diseases), limited progress has been made in prevention and treatment of RSV infection. Globally, RSV affects an estimated 64 million people and causes 1,60,000 deaths each year.

five days of infection and occurs throughout the year but is most prevalent during the winter months. RSV spreads through the air and typically causes cold-like symptoms such as fever, runny nose, cough and congestion. What are known as respiratory syncytial viruses are dangerous for infants because they cause great difficulties in breathing and the lung infections that appear during flu are a cause of big concern to doctors. Pneumonia is a very heavy burden for a young body to carry and children at risk are often admitted to a hospital. However, adults generally build up antibodies which help them in fighting the virus. But Sadhvi does worry about her older school-going child might bring it home. Now, with having a bigger sister, that is going to bring viruses home and I think it is more of a concern with her, says she. 20 per cent of deaths in children under the age of five are caused by infections of the respiratory system and pneumonia. Usually, it is selflimiting and is cured in a week to 10 days and for most children and infants, RSV can be managed on an outpatient basis. However, about two to five per cent of children and infants who develop RSV may require hospitalisation. Symptoms of RSV: For most healthy children, the symptoms of RSV resemble that of a common cold

which includes a runny nose, cough, low-grade fever and sometimes ear infection as well. However, signs of more serious infection may include difficult or rapid breathing, whistling or wheezing sounds when the child breathes, irritability, lethargy, restlessness, flaring up of the nostrils while breathing and poor appetite. A paediatrician should be contacted if any of these symptoms appear. Children can get sick very quickly what seems to be a simple cold one minute can suddenly become difficult breathing. Based on the paediatri cians examination of the child and an assessment of the severity of the above symptoms, a decision will have to be made as to whether your child needs hospitalisation. Diagnosis: The virus generally runs its course with the help of home treatments. In fact, in healthy children, it is often not necessary to find out whether they have RSV or the common cold because the treatment is the same. But, in certain cases premature infants, children with heart and lung problems, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems to treat RSV properly, a health-care provider may need to diagnose the illness. Generally, a health-care provider can use a nasal swab or nasal wash to diagnose RSV. Sometimes, they use a chest X-ray or oxygen saturation test to check for lung congestion.

How can we protect a child from getting RSV? Avoid close exposure of the infant to anybody who has cold symptoms, and have everybody wash their hands before handling the baby and after sneezing or coughing. Keep the baby out of large crowds; ask friends and family to restrain from kissing the baby; never allow anything in the babys mouth that has not been washed and never let the baby use the pacifier or other mouthtoy of another child. Simple postponing infection until your child gets out of infancy is very helpful, because older children rarely need to come into the hospital for treatment. In sum, although RSV infection is a rite of passage in childhood, there are a few practical things you can do to keep your child out of the hospital. How is RSV treated: Since RSV bronchiolitis is caused by a virus, there is no cure for the disease. Prevention is the greatest defence against RSV. During the acute phase of the childs viral illness, medical treatment will concentrate on the following five areas and for some children this may require hospitalisation. Comfort and rest: The child is ill and needs to conserve energy for fighting the virus. Hence, a comfortable environment is to be provided and the need for rest is imperative;

Womans Era April (Second) 2012


Moist air/humidity: Humidity will help thin out secretions, making it easier for the child to cough up and expel. Humidified air should be provided in a way that is least offensive to the child; Oxygen: Many babies who get RSV require oxygen therapy during the acute phase of their illness. The doctor will make sure that enough oxygen enters the childs tissues; Hydration: It may be difficult for the baby to drink because of coughing, rapid breathing and generally not feeling well. Keeping enough fluid on board is very important, as the fluid will help thin the secretions and keep the body strong. If the child is having trouble drinking enough fluids, an intravenous line (IV) into one of the childs veins is inserted; Bronchopulmonary hygiene and nebuliser treatments: Some children, but not all, will receive bronchopulmonary hygiene and medications through a nebuliser machine during their hospitalisation. How long will the baby be in the hospital? The length of hospitalisation will depend on the severity of the illness and the response to treatment. Many children will return home after being hospitalised for a few days. Children with more severe disease, parti cularly those requiring incubation (to insert a tube through the vocal cords and into the windpipe in order to provide a patients lungs with oxygen) and admission in the intensive care unit, may be hospitalised for several weeks. Since RSV is a virus and there is no cure, there is no way to predict how the virus will affect the child. Many children continue to have some RSV symptoms of a lesser degree for a few weeks after their discharge from the hospital. 70

Will RSV weaken my childs lungs and make them more susceptible to respiratory infection in the future? Most children recover completely and will handle their next respiratory infection with no more difficulty than the average child. A few children, however, appear to be more susceptible to subsequent respiratory problems. Susceptibility may relate, however, to some other underlying medical condition or allergy. Do we have vaccines for RSV? Researchers are working towards a vaccine, but currently none exists. For some reason RSV does not induce a very good immune response and so when we get it we do not develop very good protective antibodies to it. This is the reason why a vaccine for RSV is yet to be developed. Anyhow, there is a medicine to prevent RSV infection called Synapsis, which is recommended for use by the American Association of Pediatrics. The medicine is given as a shot for five months prior to and during the winter months when RSV is most likely to occur. Though Synapsis can prevent RSV to a certain extent, it is of no value in treating infections and will be administered only in very severe cases. Are there any long-term effects from RSV? While most kids will recover and do just fine, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that those children who suffered from severe RSV complications may have a greater risk of future respiratory illnesses, particularly asthma. While an attack of RSV can be serious, it is still manageable in a majority of the cases. Watch out for the symptoms, exercise caution and We act accordingly. Womans Era April (Second) 2012

Will the child need special care or treatments on returning home? The baby will continue to need more rest than usual. It will continue to be important to keep the childs secretions thin. A humidifier may be kept in the babys room for this purpose. If the child should require oxygen at home, special instructions will be given. Large amounts of fluids should be given to the baby. Can the child get RSV again? As RSV does not give protection from future infections, people can get RSV many times even during a single season. Although a child can get a second RSV infection, it is very likely that the symptoms will be much milder than the first time.

Do women get any discount while paying insurance premium? A woman below 40 is allowed a discount of 10 per cent when she pays premium. Does an inverter air conditioner consume less power than a split a/c? The inverter air conditioner uses less than half the power, consumed by split a/c. Would I get a free railway ticket, for studying in nearby town? A free monthly season ticket, for II Class travel, is available for girl students. You can avail of this facility up to graduation level. My nail polish bottles finish off quickly. To keep hands beautiful, I like putting lots of polish for nails. Help ! It is mistakenly thought that applying a large amount of polish would make nails look pretty. You should apply thin layers of nail polish, not thick coats. Heavy application would invite peeling. An IT professional, I wanted to open a software office in my flat. The building society raised objections. I got registration done under Shop Act, also. Can I start office? Find out whether municipal and building society bye-laws allow opening of office in flat. If yes, you should not encounter any trouble. Are compact fluorescent lights available at discount? Theres always a rebate of 30 per cent on compact fluorescent lights. For example, a 11 W lamp, originally costing 125 would be sold at 85, when you buy it. Womans Era April (Second) 2012 How can school bags be kept neat for a long time? We have both canvas and expensive bags for our children. Canvas school bags can be washed every week. The costly bags can be vacuumed in interior portion. I want to cut down on vegetables cost, by making some pickles. But how would they last long? Put in vinegar, which should have 5 per cent acetic acid content, and don't keep lid loose, or else vinegar would evaporate. E-mail your queries to: Meenakshi Subramaniam is a former IRS officer, answering all your money queries, right from income tax to supermarket shopping. Mail your queries to:

Q & A

A lonely woman, I am facing torture from my son, who does not give me money. Can I get any relief, from court? Definitely. At once, file a suit and a I class magistrate, can order your son, under Section 125 Cr PC to give a monthly maintenance amount to you. If son disobeys, his property can be attached and money paid to you. I purchased a laptop recently, but it heats up quickly. The shop service centre is repeatedly saying it doesnot have parts, for repair. What should be done? You can send a legal notice to shop, asking the owner to appear in consumer court. How do I find out purity of porcelain crockery? Genuine porcelain crockery is absolutely white in colour. Check and see whether light passes through it. This test won't fail. If light passes through crockery, you can be sure that the crockery is really porcelain. My gold jewellery is getting tarnished. Can I do something, to bring the shine back? Pick up a quality dishwashing liquid and using finger, apply the cleaner to tarnished parts. Rinse with warm water. Next, wipe with soft cloth. Lay jewellery flat for 1 day, so that it dries up.

E-3, Jhandewala Estate, Rani Jhansi Marg, New Delhi-110055.


Entertaining, WE is anxious to give you good, interesting and useful material in every issue. It will help us a lot if you let us know which features, stories and articles you like from this issue and which you didn't. Suggestions for new features and topics are most welcome. Please address your letters to: WOMAN'S ERA E-3 Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110055.


Short Story

The Lender and the Borrower

Dont say yes when you want to say no. By Priya Ramesh

he doorbell rang incessantly. Garima was woken up from her deep slumber with a rude jolt. It was Sunday. She had finished her household chores at 2.30 pm and had settled into her customary siesta. Her husband had gone to meet his friend. Who the hell is it? she wondered crossly. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes, yawned loudly, stretched her hands and yelled,I am coming, hold on, and hurried to open the door. When she peeped through the key-hole, she was disturbed to see that it was her pesky neighbour, Rani, with a cup in her left hand. Oh no, not again! she sighed. Reluctantly, she opened the door and asked Rani to come in. Well, whats the matter? she asked, knowing full well that Rani had come to borrow some milk from her. Sheepishly, Rani said, Garima, Ive run out of milk, and Ive some guests whove suddenly turned up. Can you lend me some milk? Hitesh (her husband) has told me to make tea for the guests. So I came to borrow some milk from you. How very convenient, thought Garima. She was a working woman and still found time to stock up on provisions so that she would not have to run around like her neighbour in times of need. But this excellent habit of hers had become the bane of her life thanks to her neighbour who had lost no time in milking every opportunity to borrow

things from her, mostly on a non-returnable basis. After all, wouldnt Garima feel belittled and hurt, if she returned small things, like two chillies, an onion, a cup of sugar or milk, etc? Werent good neighbours there just to help each other in times of need? Though Rani was a housewife, she was lazy and disorganised. She would not stock up on groceries and other household items; and would invariably run out of things when she needed them the most. When she realised that Garima readily gave her things when she asked for them, she became even more complacent. Why buy things when they were readily available, next door, that too, for free? Garima told her to wait and looked into her refrigerator. She had a vessel of milk. She was going to set curds at night. Now, if she lent some to Rani, she would be short of milk for her evening tea or for her curds! She would have to go to the store and again buy milk. But, by force of habit, as she couldnt refuse anyone anything, she ended up giving Rani a full cup of milk. Thanks a lot, Garima. What would I have done without a friend like you? You are a blessing for me, so saying, Rani breezed out. But you are a curse for me, muttered Garima, to the walls, after she left. She felt frustrated with herself. Why couldnt she be a little more assertive and say No when needed. Did she really have to be a yes woman all the time? Whenever she vented her frustrations on her husband, Girish, he would laugh aloud and chide her, Why pour out your anger into my ears, when you can easily say


Womans Era April (Second) 2012

we will be running out of stock of essential items. Simply dont buy them. Borrow them from Rani. Watch her reaction then! Garima felt as if he had shown her a ray of hope, to break the impasse. She did as he said. One day, she knocked on the door of Ranis apartment. She felt weird, as she had never gone to hat evening when she told her husband about ask for anything from anybody, in the building let the lending of milk, he felt sorry on seeing her alone from Rani. woebegone expression. Ive a great idea. The When Rani opened the door, she falsely gushed, next time when she comes asking for something, say Oh, how nice to see you here. You never have time that you also dont have it in your stock. Surely, she to spend with mere mortals like us! So what brings will not repeat her activity then. Well, I cant tell lies, but let me see whether I can you here? Please, can you lend me some onions? I didnt pull it off, next time, she said. buy them at the market today, as they appeared to Some harmless fibbing is good for health, he be rotten. Ill return the onions to you tomorrow, joked. when I buy a fresh stock. She too couldnt repress her smile. She eagerly Rani appeared crestfallen. Oh, what a pity! looked forward to her neighbours next borrowing Actually, I was just about to come over and ask for session, which, knowing her, was not too far away some from you. After all, you do stock up well! Im in the future. Little did she realise then, that Man sorry, but I really dont have any onions to proposes and god disposes would prove lend you. And I mean really! she added to be true in her case. One day, she bitchily as an after-thought, referring to the Rani came late one evening, to borrow knocked on the last time when she had caught Garima some potatoes. Tomorrow is Thursday, door of Ranis red-handed, while lying to her. and both of us are fasting. Sago khichadi apartment. She Garima squirmed, muttered Okay, does not taste delicious without boiled felt weird, as and beat a hasty retreat. Maybe, this was potatoes in it. Please, can you lend me she had never what they meant, when they said, Ulta some potatoes? Its too late to go out and chor, kotwal ko daante, a popular saying buy some. gone to ask for in Hindi, which meant that the thief was Why couldnt you stock them earlier, anything from trying to scold the policeman for his fault, knowing that you would be fasting? anybody, in thus turning the tables on him! Well, Rani countered Garima, pleasantly surprised at the building had surely turned the tables neatly on her. her new-found confidence. By the way, let alone The cunning Rani, she thought bitterly. Ive run out of potatoes too. In fact, I was from Rani. Rani by name, but a beggar in disguise! going to ask you to lend me some, for a Garima was disgusted with herself, for change,she said. having fallen in so unwittingly, with her husbands Meanwhile, Rani had proprietorially sauntered plan. into her kitchen. Her eyes roamed around and widened as they spotted their target. Come on, hat very evening, Rani came and borrowed a Garima, its just unlike you to have forgotten that necklace and earring set of American you have plenty of potatoes under the kitchen diamonds, from her, saying that she had to go platform! to her husbands bosss house for a party, with her Garima flushed red with embarrassment. Im husband. Ive to make the right impression, you getting old, she remarked. Take as many as you see. Hiteshs promotion is due next month. I dont want, dear. Im so sorry, she gushed unnecessarily. want to appear needy. I want to show that we are She only hoped that Rani wouldnt go to town with their equals, in status; if not in official hierarchy. her blatant lies. It served me right, she thought, Yes, a Rani must appear like a Rani, Garima telling lies, just isnt within me! So much for Girishs added sarcastically. Rani appeared nonchalant. idea, she fumed. Whether the import of the remark was lost on her, or Garima noticed that Rani became increasingly whether she feigned ignorance, Garima could only brazen after that incident. She gave up all pretence guess! of sweetness and demanded things from her instead The set was returned to Garima only the next of requesting for them! It had become her birthright week, after three reminders, that too, with two stones almost to borrow things from Garima. missing! This fact was noticed by Garima only two When she discussed this vexed issue with her days later, when she herself was going to wear the husband, he told her to do tit for tat. Henceforth No? You are so firm in other matters. Why do you allow some people to always take you for a ride? Garima realised the wisdom in his argument but, much to her chagrin, ended up obliging her neighbour each time.

Womans Era April (Second) 2012


set, for an outing. After Rani had handed over the box, Garima had not checked to see whether the set was in order. Now she rued the fact. She decided to confront Rani. Rani, two stones are missing from the necklace. You didnt inform me about it. I had given you the necklace with all stones intact in the setting. Garima, youre lying. Im sure I returned the set to you with all the stones intact. Youre deliberately lying so that you can extract a payment for the replacement of the stones from me.

his accusation was too much for Garima to handle. She simply burst into tears and went home. When Girish came home in the evening, he saw that Garimas face appeared puffy and tearful. Well, whats todays story? he asked her gently. I can see that Rani is disturbing your peace of mind. This statement set off a torrent of tears from Garimas eyes, and she blurted out the entire episode about the set. I maintain my things so meticulously, you know that. I had preserved that set for 15 years, and this dame damaged it in two hours; without even the courtesy of apologising for her carelessness, she said, in between huge racking sobs. His heart went out to his innocent and guileless wife. Why did she have to be such a sucker? Garima, listen to me carefully. I know that the ideas which Ive given you earlier have backfired. But it was basically because I didnt want to pick a quarrel with our neighbours on flimsy pretexts. Its always best to be on cordial, if not friendly, relations with our neighbours. Ive also realised that Ranis husband is equally at fault. He observes his wifes obnoxious behavior but doesnt prevent her from continuing to do so. Hence, he is a passive

accomplice. Maybe, he wants to maintain peace at home by not taming the shrew! But I think we have both had it. This was really the last straw! In my opinion, Honesty is the best policy. Just stop interacting with Rani and get the message subtly across, that she is not welcome here. Better still, why dont you just refuse her outright? You know what your problem is? As Garima looked intently at him, he said, You say yes when you want to say no! Stop doing it. Your life will be more happy and peaceful. Needless to say, I will also be relieved. Ive often seen you reading that book. What good is it, if you are not able to put your knowledge into practice? I challenge you to say no forcefully and really mean it. Dont meekly go back on your resolve. Youve nothing to lose, except, perhaps, a pest! I assure you that that will be good riddance of bad rubbish.

hen, one day, Rani came to ask for her spare, filled gas cylinder. Fearing that Garima would refuse her request, she had brought her hubby Hitesh along for moral support. Please, can you give it to us. Well replace it when ours is delivered home. Ive rolled the chappatis, but the flame suddenly extinguished from the stove. By now, Girish had come to take his place beside his wife. He wanted to see how shed tackle this situation, and also whether his talking to had had any material effect on his meek wife. He was also ready to take his neighbours head-on in the event of any unpleasantness. Even he was taken aback, when he heard his wife say softly but firmly, You can bake your chappatis on our gas-stove, if you wish, Rani. Or maybe, even have your lunch here today. But Im sorry, I cant give the spare cylinder to you, as I may be running out of the existing cylinders gas supply any time now. The depot is 5 km. away and their delivery is erratic. Besides, we are both working, hence are not even able to take the delivery when the delivery boy comes home. As a result, we just cannot afford to give away our spare gas cylinder to anyone, not even to you. Girish silently applauded Garimas performance, and the tact with which she had handled this delicate situation. After all, Rani had come fortified with her hubbys support! No, its all right, well ask someone else, said, the redfaced duo and walked away. Garima and Girish looked at each other, burst out laughing, and chorused, Dont say yes, when you We want to say no!


Womans Era April (Second) 2012

Searching for you in the emptiness

Do you remember that dawn, darling, When we sat alone near the brook Listening to the trickling waters? We sensed the dance of the winds From the smooth rustle of the leaves. The flowers bloomed and smiled at us. We heard the birds sing, And saw them fly out Into the new day with new hopes. And that filled us with hopes too. We did not speak, But our eyes debated with each other, On our being in love. And we knew for sure That we could never be away From each other any more. Fate separated us, And we were no more Flowers in the same garden. We drifted far away, To adorn gardens where we never, Ever wanted to be. Why did you push me and leave me, Even when I never wanted To let you go? You kept telling me That it was for our good But I am still not sure How it could have been that way. When you left me, I felt a hollow, A vacuum that I struggled to fill. I travelled, I read, I sang and wrote, So that I could get you out of me. But the more I pushed you out, The more you kept coming back. And then I stopped travelling, As I could not stop, My heart travelling to you. In the emptiness that you left me, I still keep searching for you in my heart. When the soft breeze brushes past me, I get the scent of you, Being somewhere near. I look around, but find you nowhere though. I ask the birds whether they saw you, But they tell me That they did only hear you sing. The flowers saw me searching for you, And told me that you cannot be very far. I can hear the same sweet chirps at dawn. Yes, darling, the birds are up and singing. I can sense the winds dancing for us, From the same smooth rustle of the leaves. Where are you, my love? I just wish I see you once, Just once before I leave this earth. I want these birds and flowers, And the leaves and winds to know, That our love is truly eternal. Roy Cherian, Tamil Nadu.

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2 tsp roasted cumin powder black salt to taste sugar to taste (optional) METHOD Blend all the ingredients well in a blender. Add enough water to make the drink up to 1 litre. Serve chilled.


Recipes for cool liquid refreshments.

By Dr Aparna Pradhan


he best mantra to fight summer heat is to stay cool and well hydrated. Turn to nature for relief from the scorching summer heat. Nature offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in summer that can really help you stay cool. Fruits and vegetables make a healthy way to do that and keep you refreshed and less drained out during these months. High in water content and rich in nutrients, they offer excellent choices as they replenish lost nutrients and keep you well hydrated. Fruits like mangoes, watermelons, musk melons, litchis, peaches, apricots, citrus fruits, plums and strawberries are excellent choices to beat the heat. These pulpy fruits can be eaten raw or blended with milk and yogurt to make nutritious and tasty smoothies. Healthy treats made by using fruit, juices, milk or yogurt and served chilled are always a welcome drink in the sweltering heat. Here are a few refreshing cool treats to overcome the summer heat: Mango to beat the heat: Mango, the king of fruits, is what comes to mind with the start of the summer season. Mangoes have been the favourite fruit of Indians of all ages. The exotic fruit is a healthy treat supplying an impressive amount of vitamins and minerals like iron,

calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and selenium. Raw mangoes can be used to make aam panna and ripe mangoes can be used to serve refreshing mango lassi and mangoshake.


INGREDIENTS: 6-8 fresh or dried figs 1 cup orange juice 3 frozen bananas 1/ cup mangoes 2 1 cup milk 1/ cup shaved ice 2 METHOD Soak the dried figs in milk for half an hour. Put all the ingredients except shaved ice in a blender and blend well. Put shaved ice or cubes in a tall glass. Pour the smoothie over the shaved ice and serve.
A nutritious bowl of refreshing fruits: The fruit dessert is not only delicious, nutritious and healthy but also great for refreshing and beating the summer heat. Fruits are a delight for each of us in sweltering heat.

A glass of chilled aam panna before going out in the sun can beat the scorching heat and prevent heat stroke. Here is how to make it: 2 cups pulp or boiled raw mangoes (medium sized) 11/2 cups fresh mint leaves (chopped)


INGREDIENTS: 11/2 cups deseeded watermelon (cut into cubes)
Womans Era April (Second) 2012

2-3 tsp rose syrup 1 cup shaved ice 1/ cup sugar 4 honey to taste (optional) mint leaves (chopped fine) METHOD Blend all the ingredients in a blender and serve chilled.


INGREDIENTS: 1 bowl deseeded watermelon (cut into cubes) 1 tsp Roohafza 2-3 tsp rose syrup shaved ice (optional) 1 tsp honey a few fresh rose petals 2 tbsp mint leaves (finely chopped) METHOD In a bowl, put cut cubes of watermelon. Add other ingredients and chill in the refrigerator. Enjoy the chilled dessert.
Refresh with lemon: Who will refuse a glass of refreshing lemonade when it comes to quenching thirst and hydrating oneself on a sunny day?


INGREDIENTS: 1 cup ripe mangoes (cut or pulp) 1 cup yogurt sugar to taste (optional) 1 tsp honey 1 tsp roohafza

METHOD Blend mangoes, yogurt and sugar in a blender. Stir in Roohafza and pour into the glass and top with honey. Refrigerate for an hour and serve chilled. Mangoshakes: Instead of yogurt, add milk and blend well.
Stay hydrated and cool with watermelon: Watermelon is natures perfect gift to keep you cool and refreshed on a sunny day. The juicy fruit can give relief to the parched throat. High water content, rich electrolytes and, above all, low calories make watermelon the most soughtafter fruit in summer. Treat yourself to a bowl of chilled watermelon cubes.


INGREDIENTS: 1 cup milk 1 cup frozen yogurt/icecream 1/ cup strawberries 2 shaved ice (optional) METHOD Put all the ingredients in a blender and feel refreshed with the output of a strawberry smoothie.
Womans Era April (Second) 2012 77


INGREDIENTS: 2 lemons 1/ cup mint leaves 2 1 tsp roasted cumin powder 1/ tsp black salt 2 sugar powder to taste METHOD Squeeze the juice of lemons and put all the ingredients along with juice in a blender. Add shaved ice and serve a refreshing chilled drink that will beat the heat.
Keep cool with strawberry delights: Strawberry, the tiny fruit, is not only delicious but also great for replenishing the electrolytes lost due to excessive sweating in summers. Low in calories (only 45/cup) and high in vitamins and minerals, strawberries are a dieters first choice. They not only keep you full for a longer time but also help you beat the summer heat. Enjoy delicious strawberry smoothies to stay cool and refreshed.

ice or ice-cubes. Pour the contents of the juice mixture over icecubes and top it with soda. Stir and place a few strawberry slices and serve the chilled drink.
Banana for replenishing lost electrolytes: The sweet, creamy banana smoothies are liked by people of all ages. Bananas can be combined well with plums, figs, peaches, mangoes and apricots to make delightfully cooling smoothies. The nutritious creamy smoothies are

great for replenishing lost electrolytes as they deliver a whopping supply of potassium and other minerals. Just take the fruit of your choice and combine with frozen bananas, shaved ice and chilled milk or icecream. To enhance the taste add vanilla essence or Roohafza.

INGREDIENTS: Fruits: mangoes, bananas, oranges, pineapple, melon, watermelon, plums, figs, grapes (cut into cubes) 2 tbsp Roohafza 1 tsp honey 1 cup frozen yogurt/ice cream METHOD Beat the yogurt/icecream, add honey and Roohafza to it and pour over cut fruits kept in a bowl. Refrigerate for two to three hours and serve the chilled dessert. Choose a tasty way to beat the summer heat. Stay cool, refreshed and healthy this summer with the fruit delights. Last but not least, drink enough water to stay hydrated. We


INGREDIENTS: 1 cup fresh strawberry (pureed or extract) 1 cup orange juice 2 tsp lemon juice 50 ml club soda 2 tbsp honey (optional) For garnishing: fresh strawberries shaved ice/ice cubes METHOD Put strawberry puree, orange and lemon juice with honey in a shaker and shake well for 5 minutes. Take a tall glass and fill it up with shaved

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Did the martyrs have dreams for such a Bharat?

By Sumar Chand
government school. His wife runs her own private school. He manages to misuse more than 50 per cent of the school funds. He prescribes guides for the students after securing 50 per cent of the cost price. Almost all students who have the least chance of getting through by fair means are on the roll of the school run by his wife. He undertakes their getting through. For this, he manages the mass copying after pleasing the teachers on duty there during exams. His total worth is roughly assessed to the extent of ` 10 crore. He is a respectable teacher of this country a builder of the nation! This is the sum total of the country we have made after more than 60 years of independence from Britain.

person has a credit card worth ` 10 lakh. He has ` 10 crore in his bank accounts. He has benami property worth ` 50 crore. He also has this amount in his foreign bank. He is a respectable person of our country. A leader spent ` 10 crore to be in the Lok Sabha. He manages to pocket a portion of his development fund. He sponsored dozens of business persons after getting a fair share likely to be earned out of those deals. He is a very respectable neta in his area. A high-ranking officer of the government of India has several accounts in banks in the names of his siblings in which ` 20 crore or so is placed. He has property worth ` 80 crore in fictitious names. He has shares worth ` 6 crore of famous companies of the country. He also managed to deposit a sum of ` 80 crore in foreign banks. He is a respectable officer of this country. A very famous swami has several marble-floored ashrams at several places in several countries. He possesses a rich kitty of ` 200 crore. He also has a handsome amount, say ` 500 crore, in a trust in his name. He sleeps with young girls. A person is a head teacher in a


Our virtuous young persons are those who are recruited by famous companies on very fat salaries. The idols for our young generation are either the cinema heroes or the cricketers. The newborn are named after such heroes. Things have come to such a pass that people are proposing the Bharat Ratna for a cricketer even forgetting that this game was introduced to our country for the states princes to make them busy for weeks together so that they may have little time to ponder over the slavery of the country. Even our Lok Sabha congratulates the cricketers. Our Prime Minister does not lag behind in this praise without realising that this game is the symbol of slavery and is played only in those countries which were slaves of Britain. This game has slipped to the village streets and mountain tops. As a result, cricket has spoiled our indigenous games used to be played by the youths, free of cost without any extra infrastructure. Kabaddi, wrestling, tug of war, guli danda, ka danka, tree climbing, pithoo, races, jumps are all mortgaged to cricket. The tendency has given birth to a feeling in the minds of our youths that only a huge amount of money is a worthwhile achievement in life. Money-mindedness is the only virtue worth acquiring. This has given birth

to cheating, telling lies and selfishness, which in turn has caused frustration. Such a social environment has buried deep all real virtues such as truthfulness, respect for social norms, tolerance, love for our own, respect for the elders and love for the country. Consequently crimes have flourished. All the TV channels are busy showing the unending chain of daily crimes. The morning newspapers are full of crime news. Let us have a look at frequent news: The father killed his son, wife got her husband killed with the help of her lover, the father had sex with his six-year-old daughter, a ninth class boy killed his classmate, the brother was the mastermind behind the murder of his younger brother, the boy killed his father for property, the young couple was found hanging, rape in the running car, the girl eloped with her paramour, a young girl and her lover took

poison, the boy took poison after getting low marks, a mother killed her three children and committed suicide, bridegrooms younger brother was killed by shooting for joy, a vendor was killed for a rupee, the bank cashier was looted at gunpoint, ` 3.6 lakh was looted from a petrol pump, dacoity in a jewellers showroom, an MBA was behind the looting of ` 40 lakh, a ninth-class girl got pregnant by her classmate etc. Another damaging trend is also in vogue. Main roads are blocked for a minor cause. Vehicles are set on fire after an accident. Police face

brickbats due to a small happening. Road rages take place daily. There are dharnas on the national highways for indefinite periods. Even the protesters sit on the railway tracks for weeks together and the administration looks the other want putting the travellers to trouble. Thus huge property of the nation is burnt daily and railway working is disrupted causing unassessable loss to the exchequer. Going on strike by the government employees has become the normal happening. If a policeman rebukes a bus driver for a major wrong the whole bus depot fleet strike work. The most highly-paid airline employees resort to strike. Even doctors and the teachers are habituated to striking work. In short, indiscipline, the name is India. Did the martyrs dream of such a country? Have their sacrifices not been put to naught. Is there anyone to give idea for the new generation? Let us ponder. We


Short Story

The decision
Revelations at a wedding. By Nandini Kumar

ts settled. We are going to rent a house in the city, declared Nishi confidently. Nishi was getting married to her childhood sweetheart, Pronoy, in a fortnight and, with most of her friends living without their families after marriage, it wasnt a surprise that she was to follow in their footsteps. Dont hurry up with your decision, Nishu, let masi come, Nishis mother, Bala, seemed a little saddened by the decision. Not everyone is as selfless as you, mamma. I cant imagine how you survived dads big family for so long. I guess you were lucky, replied Nishi in amusement. I wasnt lucky; its all a matter of adjustment. Id hear nothing until masi comes. Oh, ma, masi would be the last person on earth to advise me otherwise. I know her too well and, besides, shes not as glued to the clan as you are, grinned the daughter. Well then, let her say that. I wont say a word after it but, until then, not a word out of your mouth. Freedom! Thats what youll hear, ma, Im sure! A life of luxury in the USA, an American husband granting all her wishes and a super-cool career. Why would she ever want me to settle for anything less than that? Mark my words, mum... Nishis cell phone suddenly rang in midst of her declaration and, blushing, she went out to answer it. It was Pronoy at the other end.

Well, the girl knows what she wants, Bala, like everyone else in your family, buaji, who was listening to the conversation, finally had her turn. It was, after all, much to her disappointment, the second love marriage in their orthodox family. The first being Balas younger sister, Tulikas. Even buaji didnt say a word about it, the old memories came gusting in and led her thoughts to that fateful night 15 years ago. The night when Tulika, had boldly marched into her room, declaring, Im in love! How young she looked. The 10-year gap between the sisters somehow seemed to stretch a decade more. Are you insane? Bala had replied. Maybe, but thats because Im in love! Wait till you see Mark. Mark? If being in love wasnt enough, the man being loved was white and knew nothing about their culture. How stupid, Bala had thought but something in her little sister had changed. No one had ever seen Tulikas gallant behaviour till then, as if something had possessed her. The whole family was in turmoil when, after a few months, she had demanded to be married to the man she loved.


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confused whos the older one in you two. Such a shameless girl the elders cried out in This was Balas way of showing affection and one voice. The young ones, although sympathetic, why not? she was the one who loved her sister the didnt utter a word. most. The scolding, however, didnt affect either of Tulika, however, was unmoved. The words of pity them, as the laughter only grew louder. or slander were the same to her. Bala took Tulikas hand while walking out of the Finally, the family agreed but on one condition. airport, squeezing it a little as she always did when Bala shivered at the thought. she was worried. Tulika gave her an inquiring look When is Tulika coming? buajis sudden enquiry but, looking at the excited Nishi, left the question for brought her back to the present. another time. In a week or so, I think. Her job is very hectic Oh, the house looks splendid! declared Tulika you know. Tulika was a writer and explaining it as on reaching it. It looks more beautiful than ours a job always left Bala baffled. looked on my wedding! she winked with Hmm... and why do you have to wait for the advice of a person who ran away with a white man, amusement. Our little girl is becoming a married woman anyway? now. I hope were not getting old, didi! merriment She didnt run away, buaji. was all around as they entered the house. One and the same thing, a girl doesnt tell who There was so much work to do that it had left Bala she wants to marry, its the parents decision. in a state of panic. The dresses to choose, menus to Choosing a man is as shameless as running away finalise, phone calls to make, hotel booking to with him. But why am I saying this to you when your confirm everything made her more and more own girl...? flustered. But now, when Tulika was there, Bala Err, I think the food is ready, lets see what the knew she could rest. Marks arrival the new cook is up to today, Bala, knowing Ah, smart! next day was a blessing too. With his what was to follow, got up and rushed to enthusiasm and broken Hindi, he took the kitchen. But Ill have A week passed and the wait was finally enough time to control of almost everything and somehow Bala didnt feel her husband, Vinods over when Tulikas plane landed at the dig up absence so much. New Delhi airport. everything As always, Vinod was in some other Oh, masi! shrieked Nishi on catching about Mr country, finalising some important sight of her aunt. I waited for you for so Pronoy! business deal, obliging some other long! Nishi clasped her in excitement, jumping with joy, and then looked around, Tulika laughed important client. The only unimportant thing in his schedule was his daughters Wheres Mark? and Nishi wedding, Bala thought sadly. He was Call him uncle, for goodness, sake, couldnt help scheduled to arrive on the wedding day, Nishu or Ill kill you! it was Balas turn to but join in the leaving Bala to do all the preparations on embrace her little sister, the sister who had laughter too. her own. She was quite upset at first, but always been more like another daughter to now with her sister and brother-in-law her. here, started enjoying the wedding ceremonies and, And Mark will kill her if she did! Tulika replied before they knew it, the wedding day had arrived. hugging both of them. It had been years since they had met. he house was full of people, young and old, Oh, it feels so good to be home! Dont panic, who had come from all parts of the world to Nishu, how can Mark miss the occasion? He would witness the wedding of the youngest member of be arriving soon; had a meeting with his publisher, their family. After a long time, the whole family was Tulika smiled and gave Nishi a long, hard look together. trying to replace the picture of the small girl she had Nishu, you arent ready, kiddo. Everyones in her mind with that of the grown-up one she was asking for you downstairs. Tulika rushed into the looking at now. brides room, her voice barely audible in the music Is someone getting married around here? said blared by the band. the aunt teasingly. Oh, are you two crying? Whats the matter? None that I know of, giggled the niece. But I She didnt realise for a moment that she was know whats for lunch, aloo ke parathe. witnessing the moment only mothers and daughters Ah, smart! But Ill have enough time to dig up have claim over. everything about Mr Pronoy! Tulika laughed and A dream the mother sees the moment she holds Nishi couldnt help but join in the laughter too. her tiny angel in her hands for the first time. The day Oh, be quiet you two! Sometimes, even Im

Womans Era April (Second) 2012


wedding, Nishu, and its not a good time to discuss it at all. What? Why on earth would nanu do such a thing? Answer me you two or I wont get ready. Why didnt you tell me this earlier? I thought you ulika realised it as she watched Nishi cuddled considered me old enough! up in Balas arms, as if she was that tiny baby Nishu, I didnt do anything about it, thats why I again. Tears were flowing from their eyes, both didnt tell you anything. I thought Tulika had done happy yet so sad. Tears rolled down inevitably from something terribly wrong by falling in love. You her eyes too. would have asked, Why did I think that? and to Lets get you dressed up, kid, if we have to that I had no answer. My marriage to your dad was sweep that man of yours off his feet, Tulika finally an arranged one and that was the right thing to do; I broke the spell. Theres hardly any time left. thought this all my life and sadly lived in the Besides, theres his old woman to be wooed too, misconception for a long time. My marriage to your she nudged Nishi with a smile. dad was a comfortable one, not the right one. Well, I dont have to worry about that, Nishi Tulika, on the other hand, had denied taking the smiled, quite amused. decision of our parents. She had shaken the family. I Why? Is she going out a on pilgrimage after this didnt have the courage to stand by her. Thats why I marriage? Lucky you! didnt tell you anything. I have never been Well, didnt mummy tell you? We are Nishi was able to forgive myself. I thought I could going to live on our own, away from the have saved her from that terrible life she family, just like you did masi. confused now had had when she got married. Bala Wait a minute. Just like I did? What and, noticing stood there, tears in her eyes, looking at are you talking about? Tulikas it, Tulika Nishi. amusement suddenly vanished. suddenly A long minute passed before Tulika Well, I know it and so does everyone; changed the broke the silence, Lets not get back to you and Mark went off to live in Goa for a conversation, that, di. Its okay look at the wonderful couple of years before leaving for the life Iv had. Ive forgotten those years in USA. You wanted freedom, didnt you? But its not Thats exactly what I want too. Nishi the time to talk Goa. But I want to know, masi, what looked at Tulika trying to figure out why about all this. happened when nanaji didnt accept her masi still wasnt impressed. Lets get you you? She was almost pleading now. Freedom? Are you kidding me? dressed, doll. Well, if youre adamant, then listen: Tulikas tone grew serious, Yes, we did father accepted my plea of being married live in Goa for a couple of years before to Mark, but that was all he accepted. In fact, none leaving for the USA, but I dont think you know why, of the family members said anything as he disowned I dont suppose you know anything. me and ordered me to go away. We lived here in Nishi was confused now and, noticing it, Tulika Delhi for a while trying to convince them that we had suddenly changed the conversation, But its not the done the right thing. However incredible it looked to time to talk about all this. Lets get you dressed, Mark, he never said a word about it and, instead, doll. kept on taking all the blame from my family. It was I Wait, masi, this is the time. I want to know. If who couldnt take insults to my husband any longer, you didnt want freedom, then why did you leave and decided to move to Goa. I wanted to leave your family suddenly? everything, but Mark knew how much I loved my Tulika was silent for some time, finally she broke family, and how much I wanted their acceptance. the silence, I was disowned by my father. For two years we tried to convince them and, when What? Youre joking right? Why would the no one in the family was moved, we decided to family leave you? Were they out of their minds? move on. It was difficult, but it was the only thing left What wrong did you do? Why didnt mum ever tell to do. We moved to New York, to Marks city. me this? Nishi was agitated. She looked at Bala who was sitting in complete ulika continued gravely, It was different there; silence too. we were both starting our careers as writers, Ma, why didnt you tell me? Nishi shrieked. and it required hard work. I worked part time at Bala didnt reply. many places, Mark worked between writing his Mummy, I need an answer. What happened book. It was very depressing in the first year of our after masis wedding? Answer me. marriage. He thought the reason was the sudden Father sent Tulika away the very day after her she thought would never come and finally when it comes, it seems just like yesterday when she had dreamed.


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change of the country and its customs which were taking its toll on me. But I knew better, the people around me didnt matter as much the people with me mattered. I longed for my home. The big place where there were always aunts and uncles around, where dada, dadi were always there in times of trouble and cousins in times of fun. But I couldnt come back. That was the thought that killed my spirit every day. Eventually, I got used to coming home to a wagging dog and cold food. I got used to the loneliness, which in your dictionary means freedom. Tulika gave a wry smile looking at Nishi, who was sitting at the corner of her bed, and Bala who was looking out of the window, her eyes not seeing anything. She continued, So, I didnt get the hot sweet tea that we are so used to in our house, she smiled trying to lighten the atmosphere: I kept the television switched on the whole day, thinking someone was there with me. I missed the throng of people who were always around me. And then I thought that I couldnt come back to them. It all made me tough, Im sure, but I didnt want to be tough. I wanted a lively home. I didnt care if I had to make lunch for 10 people or arrange for beds if half of them decided to stay back. Goodness knows, Nishu, I never wanted to be alone. It was because of Mark that I survived. He was the only support in my life, but he couldnt always be there with me, and he didnt know what I was going through since he never cared much about his own family. I survived that troubled time and miraculously came out unscathed.

uddenly, a girl burst open the door, giggling, almost shouting, Baraat is here! Everyone is looking for you, aunty. Bala, as if out of a dream, got up and rushed out. Oh my goodness, Nishu, lets get you dressed

now or youll be sitting there in your T-shirt and jeans, said Tulika and wiped off her tears. She hugged the niece and signalled her to get ready. The wedding was a grand one; with two families coming together to celebrate the love of their young ones. The whole place seemed blessed. There were so many ceremonies that kept everyone on their feet and, before they knew it, the phere had taken place, and it was time for the vidai, the farewell of the bride. Everyone was in tears, hugging Nishi again and again, telling her things, giving advice, suggestions, warnings and what not. Nishi was crying too, hugging her mother and father (who had finally made it to the wedding), for a long time. Then, she came to Mark and Tulika, who smiled and hugged her. Tears started falling from their eyes. Crying, Nishi said in a low voice, Promise me youll come to visit me every day at my home as long as you are here. Of course, honey, dont doubt it a bit, replied Mark. Tulika nodded, Do give us your new address. Dont you know it? Tulika shook her head in confusion. Why do you look so confused? There was a hint of mischief on Nishis face. What? Tulika was totally puzzled now. I dont want cold food and wagging dogs, masi. The decision is made, she winked. Hearing this, Tulika understood what Nishi meant. Nishi had decided to live with Pronoys family, not alone. Both aunt and niece hugged each other for a long time, not crying but smiling contently. Did I miss something? it was Marks turn to get confused now. Nishi smiled and nodded as she stepped out of the house with her husband by her side. Some other time, Mark, smiling, she proceeded to her new home. We

Womans Era April (Second) 2012


Comic interlude in the kitchen.

By Yojana Shrestha



eing a daughter-in-law comes with a lot of responsibilities. Everybody expects you to perform your task with perfection. There is no room for error. This puts a lot of pressure on the daughter-in-law and she goes to all extents to fulfil the family members wishes and make them happy, otherwise they might make her life how do I say it? hell! Let me share one such experience with you. It was my sister-in-laws nineth month of pregnancy and we were supposed to hold a ceremony. We call it dahi chiuwda khuwaune. It is actually a ceremony in which we prepare different dishes and offer them to the pregnant woman. It is believed that if the pregnant woman does not eat all that she wants, the baby will drool. Well, to avoid that from happening we prepare the mothers favourite dishes so that she

gets to eat all that she wants. All the hard work, just to stop the baby from drooling! Getting back, everybody was excited and offered to make one dish each so that it would be easier for me (how nice of them). But the dish I was allotted was the most difficult I had to make yomaris. It is a special dish of our community. It doesn't need many ingredients, just taichin rice flour, sesame seeds and molasses. But it has to be made with great care. The number should be 108 pieces! I dont know who determined it. But that is the custom. To top it all, I had never made them in my entire life. My heart suddenly became heavy but I was pretending to be excited... Oh I will do it! Its just a piece of cake, anything for my sweet sister-in-law. But at the background I could hear my own voice saying, How will you do it? HOW WILL YOU DO IT? Now this was a test all right and I had no intention of failing. Womans Era April (Second) 2012

I came home from office early and set to work immediately because I knew, if I wasted my time, I won't be able to make it in time. The next day was the main day. My husband had brought the required ingredients and now I was ready. The first thing I needed to do was boil some water and as soon as it started boiling, I would have to pour it into the rice flour and start kneading immediately, otherwise the dough won't be smooth. Then I had to cover it with a cloth so that the heat remained intact. I poured the water and started kneading...OUCH! The first sensation of the boiling water startled me. My hand started to burn...oh goodness, now what to do? I had to finish it quickly to make it smooth. I started screaming and jumping ouch...ouch...ouch and kneading at the same time. Finally, I was done but the dough had some roughness about it. It didn't turn out how I had imagined. Who

cares? At least, I was done kneading. Then I heated the molasses and added some sesame seed. This mixture became thick, so I added water (which later my mom told me that I was NOT SUPPOSED to do). As a consequence the mixture became extremely thin. I was wondering whether the outer cover could hold such a thin mixture. But who cares? I was done making it. Now, I had to make the external structure of the yomari. I had to take a small piece from the dough, let it go round and round on my palms and slowly start making a hole with my index finger and press it until it becomes mouse and it also needed to have a tail! I wonder who thought of this design! Once it was done, I had to pour the molasses and sesame mixture into it, close the top, and give it two ears, then steam and cook it. Seems simple doesnt it?

and was dripping. I placed them on a plate, let them cool, but my mind was far from being cool. Maybe they would taste that was my last hope so I took a piece and put it in my mouth. Oh goodness! what was it inside my mouth? It was sticky and I was unable to chew! Chew I say? I was not able to open my mouth because it just got stuck between my upper teeth and lower teeth like a chewing gum! I inserted my finger and removed every bit of it. I rinsed my mouth a couple of times. Now I was mad, really mad but what could I do? With my index finger I started poking them, then the pokes turned into slaps and finally I couldn't resist it, so I squeezed them with my

Well it was not that simple for me. I started to pour the molasses and to my dismay the external structure cracked and the mixture started to seep. I hurriedly closed the top and put it aside. I looked at it, for a while something was wrong but what? Maybe my inexperienced hands had made a mistake on the structure. I took a deep breath and took another piece. This time I was gentler and very careful but lo! the same thing happened again, the mixture seeped. Was the mixture too thin? But now, I couldn't do anything about it as I had no more molasses to add. It was already 10 pm no use asking my hubby buy it now as the shops would be closed. Maybe I was being a perfectionist! Maybe these yomaris were okay. So, without letting my mind ramble, I quickly made some 20 pieces and put them on the cooking dish to steam. I was hoping after being cooked these stupid things would look better. But alas that was not to happen! I removed the lid and was shocked to see that the pieces had cracked in all places and the mixture due to the heat had become thinner


hands and threw them into the dustbin. Oh that felt good but what now? I had no yomaris and I had to start all over again. It was already 11 pm. I felt like screaming and crying but that was no solution so I went out of the kitchen and sat next to my husband who was watching TV. What happened? he asked. Something is wrong. The dough didn't become smooth, the mixture is too thin, it tastes like glue. Now what do I do? I blurted out. Dont worry, honey, I will buy it from the market in the morning. We do get readymade yomaris you know, he said soothingly. That was a good idea but wait no no If we get it from the market they are going to be perfect. No one will believe that I have made them. I can't do that.' You are too much, he said slightly annoyed and then was silent. My mom used taichin rice flour and they looked so smooth and delicious. Where am I going wrong? What taichin rice flour? he asked. We can't use just any rice flour we need taichin rice flour for this now wait a minute what rice flour did you bring? I don't know, he mumbled What do you mean you don't know? I had specifically told you, I screamed. II guess I didn't hear you properly I just asked for rice flour and the shopkeeper gave it to me. I could feel a tingle on my feet What was it? Oh, it was my blood boiling! I was very angry, hot and shaking. I will get the right flour first thing tomorrow morning, he said. That was a solution all rightbut how would I make 108 pieces of yomaris in such a short time? Yomaris I did make but didn't meet the target. I could only make 60 pieces and I was very proud of them because they were perfect! I didnt quite like to see them being eaten. Thank goodness, I had taken some pictures and they will be with me forever reminding me of the whole We ordeal. 87

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Long Story Part-15

Alice in Cyberland
Spider and lion become friends. By Anoop Verma
The story so far
First, there is a war of words between the poodle and the lion. Then the poodle threatens to bite the lion and give him rabies. The lion is frightened to his bones and makes peace with the poodle. He becomes friendly lion and joins the youngsters mission to defeat the evil duo and save the world. lion was a friendly creature, who had once worked in the circus, Shweta was nowhere around. Filled with the notion that it was the wild and wicked lion chasing them all over the digital jungle, she was running at breakneck speed. She didnt even have the chance to learn that the unknown monster whose barking and woofing had initially frightened them so much was actually Timmy, a nice little pet poodle belonging to Alice. Well, it is the nature of spiders to scram at the slightest hint of danger. By now she had made it to the top of a nearby hill, and she was still not ready to rest her six spindly legs, which continued to step forward briskly. Suddenly Alice remembered that Shweta was nowhere around. Where is the six-legged spider? she ejaculated. She must still be running, ventured Ashish.

n the real world it is quite usual to find spiders that are too fast and too furious. They tend to get infuriated at the slightest provocation but, when confronted with a bigger adversary, they immediately flee at top speed. It seems that even in the digital arena of Cyberland, the mental make-up of the spiders isn't too different. The digital spiders too are too fast and too furious. A case in point is Shweta, the six-legged spider, who had once been a digital girl, and before that a real girl. At the very moment when she got accidentally released from the e-mail attachment, she tried to devour the digital bodies of Alice and her friends. The six-legged spider would have succeeded in devouring the five youngsters, had she not been brought under control with the long digital rope. However, Shweta hardly learned any lesson from this episode. She continued to oppress everyone by her highly temperamental and peevish ways. The too fast aspect of Shwetas personality was exemplified, more than anything else, by the way she used her six spindly legs to scurry away, as fast as she could, the moment the lion appeared in front of them. When Alice and her friends discovered that the

lice knew quite well, how cowardly her friend was. She must be feeling terrified of the lion. I had forgotten all about her. All of them looked around to find the missing Shweta. It was the sharp-eyed poodle, who detected her. I see a six-legged spider running up that hill, he said. Yeah, there she is, Pinki said, looking in the direction in which Timmy had pointed with his paw. Yeah, I see her, she is running as fast as any digital creature can, said Ashish. What is she running away from? asked the friendly lion. Well, actually she is running from you, Alice answered. From me? the friendly lion ejaculated with surprise. But why? I dont mean to do her any harm. She thinks that you are a wild and wicked lion, said Ashish. She has no idea that you are a friendly lion, said Rachna.

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I see a six-legged spider running up that hill.

Shweta, you mistrustful hussy! Cant you see for that we are standing peacefully with the friendly lion. Had the lion not been friendly would we be standing beside him?

Ha, ha! ha! ha! the friendly lion laughed. The joke is surely on her. It sure is! Alice giggled. We have to tell her that you are a friendly lion, otherwise she will keep running and get lost in this dense digital forest. We must shout to call her back, the poodle suggested. Shweta, Alice shouted, come back. The lion is friendly. Shweta, Ashish shouted, come back. You heard what Jasmine said. Shweta, the poodle shouted, come back. The lion is friendly and I too am a friendly poodle. Shweta, Rajat shouted, you can see for yourself that the lion is not harming us. He is a friendly circus lion. Shweta, Pinki shouted, stop acting like a stupid spider. Come back to us. Shweta, the lion shouted, come back. I am a friendly lion. I am not the wild and wicked one.

fter hearing all these shouts, the fleeing spider stopped. Is it the truth what you guys are saying? asked the suspicious spider. How can I be sure that this is not a sinister ploy to trap me? Shweta, you mistrustful hussy, Rachna shouted, losing her temper at the mistrustful spider. Cant you see for yourself that we are standing peacefully with the friendly lion? Had the lion not been friendly would we be standing beside him? The truth finally dawned on the spider. Okay, she said, I will come back, even though I am still very frightened of the lion. With these words, the spider started making her way down the hill. Soon

she was back at the spot where all the five youngsters were waiting with Timmy and the friendly lion. I am so tired by all this running, she panted. No one forced you to go on a cross-country run, you did so by yourself, said Alice peevishly. Yeah, you should have waited with us instead of tiring yourself by running so far, said Ashish. How could I wait out here, when I was under the impression that the lion was wild and wicked? the spider said sullenly. Hi, I am Timmy, the cute and cuddly poodle, said Timmy, proffering one of its front paws to Shweta. Mummy! the spider cried fearfully, prancing behind Alice. Does the poodle have rabies? No, you poor-spirited girl, the poodle certainly does not have rabies, huffed Alice. Timmy is my pet poodle. Like us, he and the friendly lion were also tricked by the evil duo into entering Cyberland. The spider emerged out of Alices shadow and shook the poodles paw by one of her six spindly legs. Hi, I am the friendly lion, the superstar circus performer, the lion said, proffering one of his front paws to Shweta. Mummy! the terrified spider cried, prancing behind Ashish this time. Are you sure the lion is friendly and not a wild and wicked one? Of course, you craven girl, the lion is friendly. He is a circus lion. He showed us very entertaining circus tricks, puffed Ashish. The friendly lion is a great performer, agreed Timmy. The spider emerged from behind Ashish and

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Hi, I am the friendly lion, the superstar circus performer.

shook the lions paw by one of her six spindly legs. Glumly she said, It isn't fair that I didnt get to see the friendly lions circus tricks. It is by your own fault that you were not able to see the friendly lions circus tricks. You should not have run away, said Rachna peevishly. But Alice was quite soft hearted; she was always filled with the notion that everyone in the real world and Cyberland deserves to have a good time. Even though the spider had behaved in a really irresponsible way by running away and leaving everyone else behind, Alice could not bring herself to deny her the pleasures of watching the friendly lions circus tricks. She said, I dont want our friend, the six-legged spider, to miss out on all the fun. So I request the friendly lion to give a repeat performance. However, it was also true that Alice herself wanted to enjoy the friendly lions performance once again. The same was true for the other digital youngsters and the poodle. All of them wanted to watch the friendly lions circus routine. Alice, you are such a good friend, the spider said with gratitude.


he friendly lion was only too happy to oblige. He sang and danced like Salman Khan and Aamir Khan rolled into one. There were claps and cheers galore. The spider out-cheered everyone else as she could clap with six legs, whereas the others could clap with only two hands and paws. The lion got all puffed up with pride at receiving the wild cheers and adulations. Once his performance was over, he bowed majestically in front of his small audience and thanked them from his heart. The fun could not go on forever, as there was a

task at hand, the momentous task of saving the world from the nefarious designs of the evil duo. Alice realised that it was time for them to be on their way. Okay guys, we have had our fun, she said emphatically. Now, it is time for us to begin working on our mission of defeating the evil duo. Oh no, groaned the lazy spider. Why cant we laze for some more time? I am feeling so tired! Come on, you slothful girl, said Rachna angrily, who, as we all know, was quite short-tempered. How can you ever think of lazing around, when the momentous task of saving the world rests on our digital shoulders? Dont you want to be beautiful again, Shweta? Dont you want to return to the circus, friendly lion? Dont you want to save the world Alice, Rajat, Pinki, Rachna, Timmy and Shweta? Ashish put the right questions to everyone. The cyber jungle of the Far East echoed with the answers, which burst forth out of so many throats, We do, we do, we do In that case, it is time for all of us to begin working, said Alice. We have to find the fogy squirrel who lives in this cyber jungle. Only from him we can learn the way of accessing the source codes of The Emperor of the Internet and the Lackey. But how are we going to find the fogy squirrel in this vast cyber jungle, said Pinki despondently. Yeah, said Rajat. How are we going to find him, when we have no idea where he lives in this vast cyber jungle? Fogy squirrel! the friendly lion exclaimed. Did you say fogy squirrel? Of course, thats who we are looking for, said Alice. In the entire murky Cyberland, only the fogy squirrel knows how to access the source codes of the evil duo, Ashish said. We hope to learn from him the way by which we can vanquish the evil duo and save the world, said Alice. I can lead you to the fogy squirrel? I know where he lives, the friendly lion smiled. You know the address of fogy squirrel? gasped Alice, her happiness was apparent on her face. Yeah, I do, said the lion, grinning with selfimportance. Thats great! said Ashish enthusiastically. I was so worried that we may never be able to find the fogy squirrel in this dense cyber jungle. Where in this cyber jungle does the fogy squirrel live? asked Timmy. He lives far, far away from here, in a place where lots of digital nut trees grow, the friendly lion informed them. I have met him a few times. He is

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quite friendly with me, you know. He gives me delectable nuts to eat whenever I pay him a visit. I love nuts, Rachna beamed, anticipating the tasty nuts that she would munch when they visited the fogy squirrel. The other youngsters seemed equally happy about the prospect of eating nuts. Is there any danger of meeting any wild and wicked creatures on our way to the fogy squirrels abode? asked the panicky spider. Of course, we will meet any number of wild and wicked creatures on the way, the friendly lion answered simply. The idea of meeting wild and wicked creatures was terrifying to all the youngsters. Even Timmy, brave though he was, did not seem to take the idea of meeting wild and wicked creatures too well.

Of course, no wild and wicked animal would dare to harm the friends of the friendly lion, the king of the cyber jungle.

eading the fearful expressions on everyones face, the friendly lion interjected, Relax, everybody. There is no danger of wild and wicked creatures attacking our group so long as I am around. Dont forget I am the king of the cyber jungle. The wild and wicked creatures can never dare to hurt my friends. Is that really so? asked Alice. Of course, no wild and wicked animal would dare to harm the friends of the friendly lion, the king of the cyber jungle, the friendly lion said, flexing his muscles with pride. It is so nice to hear that we are safe, said Pinki, looking thankfully at the friendly lion. We should now be on our way to meet the fogy squirrel, suggested Ashish. Yeah, we should do that, said Jasmine. Lets move our butts quickly towards the nut forest where the fogy squirrel lives, Timmy said eagerly.

The spider being overwhelmed by happiness at learning that she was safe with the friendly lion around launched into a dance and song routine: Whoopee! In the darkness of the jungle, Will stride with merry pals of a six-legged damsel, No wild creature will stand in our way, When the friendly lion holds sway, We march in the jungle with heads held high, No tear, no fear, not even a sigh, The bushes, the thicket, the river, the pond, We waltz everywhere singing a song. Whoopee! In the darkness of the jungle The other youngsters and the friendly lion and the poodle joined the spider in singing and dancing. We

Teacher: Where is the capital of India? Student: In Swiss banks.

A young man walked into a jewellery store on a Friday evening with a beautiful young lass by his side. He told the jeweller he was looking for a very special ring for his girlfriend. The jeweller looked

through his stock and came up with a dazzling ring costing ` 85,000. The young man paused and then said, "I am looking for a very special and different type of ring." Hearing this, the jeweller came up with a platinum ring. "Here's a stunning ring at only ` 4,00,000" said the jeweller. The young lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement. The young man seeing, this said, "We'll take it." The jeweller asked how payment
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would be made and the young man stated, "By cheque. I know you need to make sure that you can draw the money from my cheque, so I'll write it now and you can call the bank on Monday to verify the funds and I'll pick up the ring on Monday afternoon." Very reasonable, the jeweller thought. Monday morning, the disappointed jeweller called up the young man. "There's no money in your account." "I know, said the young man, "but can you imagine the weekend I had?" Wallace Jacob, Pune.

Pragya Jain is a graduate of the Delhi College of Art, New Delhi. Pragyas artworks were commended and appreciated even during her student days. Currently living in Bangalore, Pragya pursues her art and has made positive inroads into the contemporary art scene in India as well as the United States, where she has lived for the past five years. Besides organising the display and exhibition of works at her own studio premises there, she has also exhibited her art at galleries in the Boston, New York and India. Being a trained graphic artist, Pragya is a natural at portraiture and has received scores of orders from individuals both in India and abroad, to do commissioned portraits for clients. A creative and thinking artist par excellence, Pragya made a flying start into art with her maiden art showing at the Polka Art Gallery, New Delhi. Her works were handpicked to be exhibited with a number of Indian masters. At a later showing at Art Mall, New Delhi, Pragya made her acquaintance with art collectors, whose discerning eyes spotted the potential and promise her works held. Mob: +91-99456-99757 E-mail:

An artist with wide exposure.

By Suman Bajpai

ragya Jain, has been evolving as an artist in the fine art field since 2001. Her works have been commended and appreciated since her student days. In high school, she was awarded by the President of India for excellence in fine art. Pragyas first solo exhibition in Bangalore held in November 2009 brought her great appreciation and various art opportunities. Her works find a place in several collections of art connoisseurs. Her works are in the homes and offices of major collectors and million-dollar apartment models all over India. Showing her works at prestigious galleries in New York, Boston and various other cities the United States had given her artistic career great stimulation. She is also the vice-president of the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the Womens Caucus for Art, in the United States, that is a non-profit womens art organisation with Womans Era

backing from the United Nations. Moved to Massachusetts, USA, in 2007, she has had a couple of shows and is specialising in portraiture as well. Excerpts from an interview How were you attracted to art? I have always been creatively inclined. It may have something to do with my upbringing. Always being encouraged to make a mess, create something from scrap, making unusual birthday cards is how I would define my childhood. Music was and is an integral part of my life too. I have been trained vocally in Indian classical and have performed at various levels. So what attracted me most towards art is the creative satisfaction that follows. Nothing in this world seems more satisfying than a finished painting. How will you define your work? My work is fun, vibrant, young and full of life. I would not have it any other way. I want my painting that I work so hard on, to bring immense


April (Second) 2012

Lotus pink grey.

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April (Second) 2012


cheer and brightness to the space it adorns. Why are you an artist? I am an artist because painting gives me a sense of fulfilment. In the bargain I spread positivity and happiness through my works. My subjects have a sense of freshness, as they are executed to my satisfaction. What is the subject and theme of your paintings? The core of my art has always been happiness and bliss. But as I find myself growing as an artist I do tend to paint my experiences and issues that seem to stay with me. This you will not see too much in the face, its usually hidden, and camouflaged in fragments, forms and colours. It seems that you use geometrical shapes in your painting. Elaborate on them. I am fascinated with lines, circles, contours and silhouettes. These geometric elements flow naturally whenever I start a painting. I like the cleanness of geometry. Believe it or not, geometry was the only thing I liked about math even back in school. The pristine lines of determined geometry that adorn my canvases are favoured by viewers for their clean contours. I play with circles and every circle tells a story.

Your work is essentially abstract, how do you choose the subject matter? In every painting I like to hide elements which would normally be obvious. In order to bring mystery to my work, my brain automatically switches to abstraction. What inspires you to paint and how are you motivated when things get tough in the studio? That happens a lot. Creative blocks do have a habit of coming in my way just like they do with every artist I know. I just let myself be for a while; I am not too tough on myself. How big is the international market for Indian art today? My experiences say, its quite good. The international art collector unlike its Indian counterpart is open to investing in an artist whose work he just fell in love with, instead of evaluating his value globally. I have a few collectors in New York City who appreciated my style, freshness and honesty in my work very early in my art career. Where does the Indian art sell? Definitely in India. Indians appreciate art the most. I believe that it works this way for most countries. What I mean is that every work of art has a nucleus which is understood by someone who can relate to it. But I cannot deny that my art has been bought by Americans, Italians, and various other nationalities. What are the strongest influences on your art development through the years? I started exhibiting my art in 2005, interacting with artistic people helps me grow as an artist. I love to be critiqued by fellow artists, curators and art collectors. I have grown the most as an artist having shown my work in various parts of the United States, where I have lived for five We years.

What sorts of colours you like and why? Thats a tough one. I can never restrict myself to any aspect, even when its colour. Freedom of colour is a movement I follow. I use them all. I like to use several shades in the same family, as I like the monochromatic spray of colour on the forms. My colour palette ranges from sharp black-and-white contrasts to a fine merger of contiguous blends. We see lot of fragments in your paintings. Explain this concept. I pick up the pencil and just start patterning and before I have realised it, its fragmented. I believe the fragments in my paintings are like the little pieces that make up this big thing called Life. Each piece is like an experience or a feeling. All these fragments together create my art.


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April (Second) 2012

I am 35 years old. My problem is that my menstrual flow has almost stopped. I am worried. Please help. What you suffer from is called secondary amenorrhoea which occurs in women who suffer from chronic debilitating diseases like tuberculosis, diabetes, liver and renal diseases. Poor nutrition also plays a major role in it. Besides ovaries, other endocrine gland disorders are also known to produce this type of condition. Rarely, emotional factors like fear of pregnancy may be responsible. How you are treated will depend on the underlying condition to be assessed by your doctor.

vegetables). Your goiter size will decrease with the above measures (use of iodised salt etc). If you do not succeed, then consult your doctor for medication.

I am 40 years old but my menstrual flow is becoming less with every period. Please help. It is quite likely that you are going towards menopaus, whose age of onset ranges from 40 to 54 years. Since the onset of menopause is gradual accompanied by a number of other symptoms like changes in mood, irritability flashes etc., many women do not want to accept it. The age of onset in your case is rather early but this is part of sexual development, and you should accept it gracefully.

I am 35 years old. Recently I have noticed the appearance of hair on my face as well as the growth of hair all over the body his increased. I am worried. Please help. Yours is not a simple case of excessive hair growth. It is probably related to endocrinal factors which in a majority of females are due to overfunctioning of the adrenal glands (two small glands lying above the kidneys). Besides this, tumours of the ovary are also known to be responsible. You should consult an endocrinologist in this regard who after investigating you will be able to treat you accordingly.

I am 22 years old and am a well developed young girl. My problem is that my menstrual flow is very little. I am worried. Please help. Your case requires thorough investigation. Uncommonly, factors like poor functioning of ovaries/ pituitary glands may play a role in it. An important cause may be poor development of your genital organs (infantile). You require proper investigations to decide whether you suffer from borderline hormonal deficiency or there is complete failure of your sexual development as treatment will vary according to the state of your condition.

I am 20 years old. My problem is that a uniform swelling has appeared in the upper part of my neck. My doctor says it is goiter. What should I do? I am worried since I feel very embarrassed. Apparently you are suffering from goiter which is present in both endemic and sporadic forms. It is related to iodine deficiency. Women at puberty develop this condition without any evidence of iodine deficiency. It is believed that some factors at this age evoke a demand for thyroid hormones which the individuals gland cannot meet. Also there may be the factor of inability of the gland to utilise the iodine available in the diet. You will have to take diets containing a lot of iodine (fish, seafood, fruits, Womans Era

I am 25 years old. My problem is that I get an asthmatic attack whenever I use chewing gum. Please help. Apparently you are sensitive to the contents of chewing gum which triggers an attack of asthma. Benzoate preservatives, which are present in a number of product like soft drinks, reduced-calorie jams and chewing gum, are responsible for initiating an asthmatic attack. You have no alternative but do avoid the use of chewing gum. Also, avoid a polluted and dusty atmosphere.

I am 22 years old and do regular exercises. I also go to a gym twice a week. Are there any specific rules for diet which I should take? People who take regular exercise do not require any extra diet except that they should be taking a nutritious diet containing all the constituents of food (carbohydrates, proteins, fats). Food for energy is carbohydrates while excess protein is converted into energy or transformed into fat which gets stored in the body. I feel if you take a balanced diet your energy levels will be met.
Dr S. N. Khosla, MD.

April (Second) 2012


An artist unveils the secrets of life.
By Suman Bajpai

Manoj Balyan Qualification: NET (UGC) Drawing & Painting 1999; M.A. Drawing & Painting, C.C.S. University, Meerut 1998. Exhibitions: Participated in 20 art exhibitions in India and abroad. Workshop/Seminar: Participated 7 workshops and seminars in India. Award: National Art Exhibition by Himachal State Art Museum, Shimla, H.P. 2009. Collection: College of art, Delhi and private collection in India and abroad. Mob:-9868952014

ighly fascinated with the butterflies Manoj Balyan, who belongs to Delhi, has done his Master of Art in Drawing and Painting from Ghaziabad. He also won an award at National Art Exhibition by Himachal State Art Museum. He is greatly inspired by the life and culture of district Muzaffarnagar of western Uttar Pradesh where he had spent his childhood days. The prosperous folk art and culture of this place have nurtured his artistic interest. His artistic works have been inspired by two genres which are music and literature. His aim is to establish himself as a successful artist...more important than satiate his artistic interest and inner self and to remain absorbed in artistic creation throughout his life. Excerpts from an interview How did you develop interest in art? I think this is inherent. When I was in 3rd class, I had developed love for Womans Era

paintings. Although it was my brother who has inspired me a lot as he himself used to paint at that time. But like today art was not considered as something which needs to be promoted or encouraged. It was something which was not liked by society and making ones profession in this field was out of question. But seeing my deep interest in this, my parents had supported me. I had a science stream in 12th class, but I did my graduation and postgraduation in this subject. How would you define your art? I would say it is semi-abstract. It is figurative but not realistic. I use lines on my paintings because it has force, which inspires me a lot. We can express our views and thoughts with lines and moreover it gives the impression of figures. In my paintings you would find woman figure, faces, but not in the real form. I feel that before defining ones paintings, one has to understand the unexpressed emotions lying within that are being


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The white butterfly.

forgotten in the materialistic life.




Some of your paintings are figurative, some are abstract: two different ways to express emotions? Basically my style is semiabstract. I have this need to see and

feel the reality but I am also a fervent learner and like to experiment. Abstraction is one of my experimental series. Conveying emotions just through lines, colours, textures and accidental effects are very revealing as well. And reading an abstract painting can be so much instructive, you keep seeing the unseen Womans Era

everyday with a new vision. There is no way of comparison between my figurative and abstract work, it is just a mindset, a phase... sometimes it is switched on figurative, other times on abstraction. What are your preferred media? I enjoy working in many media as I 97

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dont want to limit myself. Each brings something unique to the work and consequently carries it to some uncharted territory. What are the colours you choose in your paintings? Turquoise blue, Crimson red, Vermillion red. At present which is the subject you are working on? At present I am working on the theme of woman and butterfly. I think that butterflies are like flying flowers and I tried to symbolise freedom with butterflies, beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small and approachable. Butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life and every one deserves a little sunshine. Therefore I symbolise happiness, beauty, different colours of life and most prominently freedom through a butterfly and tried to co-relate it to the 'woman, a beautiful creature of God besides all this my butterflies say that just living is not enough. One must have sunshine and freedom spread in the colours of humanity, fraternity faith and simplicity. Tell us about your next subject line? My next series is based on the novel 'Mrityunjaya' written by Shivaji Sawant. In this novel he has depicted the character of Karna so nicely that I got inspired by that. Who inspires you? I think an artist is greatly influenced by the place and surroundings he lives in together with his own experiences and memories. They form the subject of his philosophy and take concrete shape through a desired medium. I started my journey as an artist with sketches of farmers working in the fields, busy routine life of village and nature as well. From the very beginning, colours had a magnetic effect on me. To me butterflies flying in the mustard fields were colourful flowers floating in the air. Some of those reflections of my childhood have become the themes of my recent paintings. We 98

find ourselves unable to relish beauty, the source of which is within us and around us. Paintings are stories without words. I try to unveil the secrets of life through self-realisation. How do you work? On a series, or do you paint some parts of a work, and then go back to it after some time? Actually, I work over a period of time. I work till expression continues to flow smoothly. Then when I am exhausted, I stop. I don't unnecessarily force myself to continue working; I know where to stop. Sometimes, a painting takes four days to complete and sometimes it takes even a month. For those thinking about turning a passion for art into a career, could you give any advice? Have a thick skin, and learn to cope with the rejection from galleries, competitions, submi ssions. It can really hurt your pride and dent your confidence to get the rejection letters, as of course if we didnt think that our work was great then we wouldnt be doing it! People often call art an investment. Is there really a resale market for most original art that is being sold today? This is not easy to answer because there is a lot going on under the label of art. So decorative art,

however lovely it is, wouldnt find secondary sale value. But in my experience a good, solid work of art that has the ability to move you over a period of time, without hype would find buyers any day. But art should not be bought like stocks to be sold later. If you love works of art, read on the subject and visit museums. Then buy because you want to possess certain objects and have them in your home to look at and enjoy. But don't collect in order to make money. From start to finish, how long does it take to create your work? It can vary. What are your thoughts on the contemporary Indian art scene in both the Indian and international contexts? I think post-independence it has taken a long time for India to find its place in the larger global context in most fields. Contemporary Indian Art has experienced a steady growth over the last few decades with contributions and efforts from previous generations of artists, writers, critics for developing the scene before its meteoric rise, largely attributed to the commercial success it was gaining. Given the collective vibrancy and sheer robustness of the art being produced here, I think individual artists from India will increasingly be seen to be significant contributors to the global art scene. In the absence of the states responsibility in contributing to improve and enhance the infrastructure around art, whether it is at the university level or at the institutional level, the private sector in India has played an important role. However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to try and increase the presence of art in the We larger public consciousness.

Womans Era

April (Second) 2012



By Dr Rumy Agarwal


Ideas for mothers to restrict fashion in suggesting alternatives.

he teen years represent the transition period to adulthood when they start becoming independent and have their own outlook towards everything. Bad fashion choices in the eyes of peers is disastrous (oh yes, they think and speak in superlatives only, so dont baulk). Wait, theres more rebellion may also be acted out via fashion! Since rebellion is often a huge aspect of a teenager's life, it is not shocking that teens often use licentious or shocking fashion to rebel against their parents, their classmates, and/or society! Phew! Anyway, the bottomline is that your teenaged daughter feels she simply must have the latest jeans, tops, bags, accessories, whatever. Whereas this might be acceptable most of the time, (if your budget allows it, of course!), it can also produce the consequence of your teen wearing shirts that flaunt too much cleavage or baggy jeans that show underwear coming out of the top. Even though these items seem to be the hottest fashion styles, do you actually want your adolescent to wear these? If you don't, you might be asking what to do about it. Before you and your teenager agree to disagree on each others choice of clothes for her, it is



essential that both of you do not lose sight of the undeniable fact that fashion trends change frequently. Usually a trend lasts only for a few months. So, if your teen really fancies some current trend but you dont, you might suggest to her to look into other alternatives. There are scores of online fashion websites and magazines which give the dope on the latest fashion trends. After all, not every fashion style necessitates the wearing of sparse outfits and if you scour the websites together, your daughter may not only find something really fashionable but decent as well, and this whole activity may become a great mother-daughter bonding event for you! It is definitely more important to build a strong character and pleasant personality because these will not only never go out of fashion but are much more valuable assets than a trendy wardrobe or funky baubles or glitzy make-up! Your daughter will probably not quite understand this now but if you go about it the right way, she will soon. Ah yes, itd be a good idea for your daughter to know some musthaves in her closet. Items of clothing which can never go wrong, are timeless and spell class! Check these out: A crisp white shirt: The white button-down shirt is a classic that never goes out of style. It can be worn on its own, tucked in or out, mixed and matched with jeans or skirts. She can let her creativity dictate her style with this one and itll always, but always, be chic. Just to add that fun element to herself, she can try those groovy cuts, different sleeves or funky collars. Textures can vary too, from silk and georgette to chiffon depending on the occasion. Good innerwear: Good, wellfitting lingerie is just as important as any stylish outfit. Sparkly evening wear: An evening out with friends or a party

asks for something glittery so a sequined Anarkali suit or a shimmery dress can be a good addition to your teenagers wardrobe.


Everyone knows how an LBD can make all the difference to your teenagers closet. Especially when she is hard pressed to find something to wear. A classic LBD will never let her down. Make sure you pick one that's sophisticated yet innocently girlish without being frivolous. It can go from day wear (with a cardigan or blazer and a set off with pearls and leather pumps) to night wear (with a sparkly jacket, some gold accessories and a killer pair of heels) with just a few minor adjustments. One accessory that has returned and become a rage again is the scarf. A scarf or stole adds that touch of class to not only the LBD but to any other dress as well.

Dressy jeans: Jeans have evolved from being everyday casuals to haute couture. Ask your daughter to ditch the frayed, ripped variety and opt for ones with applique or sequins on them. She could go for a higher quality denim in a dark wash that will give her a semi-formal and refined look on a less dressy evening out. Dresses: Shift-dresses are the best things that a girl can have. They can be worn on any occasion, day or night. A simple dress worn with thought can create magic. Dresses always get out the feminine side of a girl making her look more beautiful than ever. Pearls: Pearls can never go out of fashion. Just like diamonds have been around for ages now, so have pearls. Wearing a string of pearls around the neck instantly adds a dash of elegance and class to any outfit. If you cannot opt for the real ones, you can always get her the fake ones instead and she will still look like a princess. Jackets: If your daughter wants to add a power punch to her outfit, then teaming it up with a jacket is the best thing to do. She can go in for the military jackets which are a rage or a simple one in a solid colour for a classy look. For a crazy night-out, she can opt for a shiny sequined jacket with black leggings to tone down the outfit. Mmm, now, her wardrobe does seem stylish and cool, dont you think? Actually, looking fashionable is more about how a person carries herself. I mean, a girl can look dropdead gorgeous in a potato sack if she knows how to carry it off with confidence! Fashion, after all, is an extended part of one's personality and largely depends on one's personal expression and penchant for style. Your daughter needs to know that fashion and style should reflect one's own persona and worth and one should stand out from a crowd with a distinctive style and not as just We another fashion victim.



Short Story

Pride: An Attribute of a fool

It makes you feel empty. By Vibha Hetu

t does not seem to be where things can be propagated in terms of the social milieu referring to women. Times change but, for the women, time repeats every time it changes. The past is the future or the future is the past. Things are invariably the same. For women born in the 1980s or today in the 2000s, its so much of the same that one can substitute the past with the future. Well, Shashi was the same woman born in the 1980s but it seems she grew up also in the same year, as the year of 2008 was not much different to her. Even after working hard; a job was still a distant dream, but somehow things worked in her favour when she actually landed with a job, which was far too big a bliss for her. Surprisingly, marriage proposals did knock on the door, but could not pass the selection process. That means she remained unmarried for some time; when a quiet gentleman did knock on the door and preferred to tie the knot with her. The man was not only gentle but highly qualified and very humble. But the problem lay in his face, and that certainly could be read through the expressions of Shashi,

who quietly disfavoured the approach by this guy, but assented to the marriage calculating the number of men who had knocked on the door but preferred to stay outside. Anyway, the marriage did happen. She took her transfer to the place where her husband worked. Girls have a tough time finishing education and; sometimes, the childhood days are not necessarily the playful days. Hard work, responsibilities of helping mothers in household chores, helping little siblings dress up for school and, when they are back, helping them undress after school, then do her own schoolwork and lastly, not having much time to indulge in games. Shashis routine was just the same. Her father was in service and worked far away from the village but would often visit the family members. Whatever little he could save after spending on the family, he saved. He had a different plan altogether, he wanted to make a house in the town so that his children get the better opportunities to explore and live a respectable life. His dream did come true, and he brought all of his children to study in the town and thereby to enhance their future. The other daughters were also good at studies, but the eldest son was exceptionally smart. He was outstanding in terms of performance in studies and a good man in the making. The smallest son was too small at that time. Shashi had reservations in regard to friendship and so did not have many friends. Yet, there were some who were close to her. There was a small problem with her as she could not mingle easily with people. She, of course, did not realise that it was her reserved nature that kept her friends at bay, but her small-town thinking made that difference. People of her age found her narrow thinking very indigestible. Anyway she did not mind at all, as she attributed this behaviour of others to her very reserved nature.


Womans Era April (Second) 2012


she obviously stayed for a few days at her in-laws to return very soon to her work place. She was soon asked to get transferred to her husbands place as her husband could not get a transfer. She got herself transferred and came to stay with her husband with little knowledge about what was waiting for her. Sometimes, challenges come in beautiful packets. Shashi thought it was she who was actually doing a favour to this man by marrying him; little did she realise that time was going to put her on trial. She discovered that her husband and in-laws thought that they were the ones who were doing a favour to her. oth were madly in love with each other. He The husband can be held culpable to some extent certainly did not praise his girlfriend explicitly, since he could not find any partner; he is rightly but it was very well understood by his gestures. justified to marry the one he is getting. Very well, he He too had a life of his own his work, priorities regarding his studies, his practice of medical science grabbed the opportunity as soon as it came his way but, while making hay of the opportunity, he actually did take up his whole time. It was during the played havoc with Shashis life. conversations with this sister of his that he confessed He had certain problems with his mental capacity he was very much in love with a girl. and he tried his best to hide them from her. Things However, once, when his brothers girlfriend did not go down well between them. They had happened to speak about her love affair to her, started to stay together but there were no Shashi reacted in a very arrogant and Both were physical relationships between them. This cheap manner. She actually asked also led to a relational vacuum, which whether she (the brothers girlfriend) was madly in love marginally played a role in widening the worth becoming the daughter-in-law of with each gap between them not letting any bridge her house. These words actually created a other. He however small to get built. dent in the blooming relationship. When it certainly did Yet, these were heightened by the was conveyed to her brother by his mother-in-laws reaction to her, when she girlfriend, he certainly did not like the not praise his actually shouted at her for not keeping the behaviour of hers, and from then on girlfriend house and looking after her husband actually started talking to her less. But this explicitly, but properly. This ruined Shashis mood as disparagement actually fuelled hatred it was very she was not prepared to swallow such towards her future sister-in-law. accusations. She obviously did not react Shashi actually showed ill behaviour well underverbally but her attitude was such that it towards the girl. When her marriage stood by his conveyed the message. Things went from ceremony was taking place, Shashi gestures. bad to worse when her father came for a actually ganged up with her sisters few days to her house. It was her younger brother leaving out her. They all used to avoid her sister-inwho was seeking admission to an engineering law including her mother. Well, the sister-in-law was college and had come for counselling. quite ambitious, and she did not mind it at all. Whenever she tried to mingle with them their ne fine morning, when they were having a behaviour was outrageous. discussion regarding admissions to This kept irritating her; at times this also scared engineering colleges while having breakfast, her since she never wanted to get into any trouble, Shashis husband started yelling at her father for not but all this while she never explicitly showed any complying with his advice. While yelling, he said reaction to them. Strangely enough, the thought that something strange and funny. He said that there are she was obviously less confident and was thus people from his office who are keeping an eye on keeping a low profile. Well, things were not as him and are after him to kill him. He had also appropriate but she never chanced it. In any case, arranged for detectives to investigate this matter. He the sister-in-law had different reservations about confessed to having spent his whole income on the Shashi, her husband, and the family whether hers or same and was secretly taking medicines for mental her in-laws. health. Shashi felt very proud as people praised her, it He was actually suffering from schizophrenia. was far too big for her to be digested well. That Shashi was shocked when she got to know this and things were difficult or were going to be difficult this made her mad. The family was shocked and never struck the mother or the girl. After marriage, Life was good when she started to work as she was highly praised by her parents and her siblings too. But, as her eldest brother was quite an exception, she did realise that it was he whose praise could actually have a valuable impression for her because he was of that standard. She always longed to be praised by her elder brother. No doubt that the brother too liked her for her performance, but had quite strong reservations of his highly qualified girlfriend.


Womans Era April (Second) 2012


Mom, why do you forbid My desire to fly? Why do you limit me From kissing the sky? I know, dear mom, That the sky may be a delusion And the colourful rainbow May turn out to be an optical illusion... But let me pursue My quaint and vibrant dreams; Let me inhibit myself Only by my own schemes! I want to build my own sky And set my own limits; I further want To keep expanding those limits! So, dear mom, Please, dont forbid me; Let me dance and romance Freely in the sky with glee! One day, you will say, mom dear, I am happy with your victory and feats. And then I shall not mind being forbidden, You can then jovially set my limits... Neelam Chandra, Lucknow.

shattered hearing about such a thing. The instant reaction of the mother was to wonder what would be her daughters future now. Shashi had now decided to divorce him and was quite adamant about this. The family also complied with her words. But the elder brother had something else in his mind. He did not approve of the idea of divorce, instead he strongly rejected it. But parents had the impression that Shashi had suffered a lot at the hands of the inlaws and her husband, and she ought not bear such pain because she was highly qualified.

ut other people like her relatives had different reactions to this case. They felt that although she had been cheated, she could keep the marriage and rectify the marriage sanctity by looking after the man till he got well and they could happily live together ever after. Well, it did not go that way. She ultimately divorced her husband. She actually felt obnoxious and cheated at the same time. Whatever, she was now divorced. Shashi had a conversation with her brother after this incident, in fact innumerable conversations thereafter, in which she kept discussing how difficult it was for her to put up with such a man, who was abnormal. She actually started degrading him, calling him mad, abnormal, etc. She also started blaming her in-laws for this condition. Her brother knew that she was under the great influence of pride as it could be felt from the conversations that took place with her over the phone. Her brother knew about her abysmal relationship with his wife and obviously, he never liked that but never showed his feelings explicitly. He had slowly started reducing his conversations with her. Just after marriage within a month or half when she had a conversation with her brother, it was quite different. At that time, she was grounded and used to discuss the situation of transfer and when and how to decide such things and get it worked out. Yes, not that the pride had completely vanished from her but had actually grown in size. Time was unwrapping itself slowly. All her sisters were happily married by now and her sister-in-law and brother had now been treated as celebrities as they had both gained celebrity status and become the proud parents of two beautiful kids. They had become role models for the whole family, whereas she was nowhere. Shashi had only empty windows to look out into space. She had only space, an empty space. Nobody could ever fit into it. She was still looking into that space where she could find someone worth accommodating. An empty space has no meaning; she realised, but time had wrapped itself up. Even pride had long ago left her company. Gone were the days to make hay. We


Womans Era April (Second) 2012


o you feel tired, exhausted and stressed out all the time? Do you also suffer from an achy body, a bloated stomach, fatigue, weight gain, cellulite, bloating and skin problems? And do you always feel that you do not have the energy to go through the day. These could be symptoms of toxins that have accumulated in your body from food, drink and the environment. If this is the case you need to detox your body. A body detox can improve your overall health significantly. Detoxing can help alleviate all kinds of symptoms we deal with in the modern, and often toxic, world of today. Make sure you take positive steps to improve your situation. Ignoring your symptoms will only make things worse. Try a detox diet about once each year. It is a simple way to cleanse your body inside and out, which will leave you feeling much improved. Chemicals floating around in our body put great strain on the ability of the kidneys and liver to process and flush them out, leading to a weakened immune system and colon. Therefore, we feel run down and eventually become vulnerable to infections and illnesses. Toxins

By Suman Bajpai

How to cleanse ones body.



accumulate just under the surface of the skin and interfere with normal healthy circulation, causing various skin problems. When you detox, the aim is to help the body flush out excess toxins. Remember that your body is perfectly capable of detoxifying itself naturally but, depending on your lifestyle, if it is constantly being loaded with excess salt, sugar, fat and chemicals, natural detoxifying becomes a harder job and you may welcome some assistance.

Our bodys main detoxification organs and systems are the liver, colon, kidneys, gallbladder, lungs, skin, lymph and blood. They help rid your body of wastes and toxins. However, our bodily functions were designed when the world was less polluted. The basic guidelines for detoxifying are to increase natural fibre, water, fruit and vegetables, to increase physical activity, and to decrease saturated fats, sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol. Timing is also important; there are some detox regimes as short as one day. With so many detox plans available, you should do some research and find out what suits you and that the plan is something that you can complete. When you detox your body, there will be changes to what you eat and how you live your life and its important that you choose a diet or plan that you can adopt and
Yashmeen Manak Fitness expert and dietician, Sculpt Fitness Centre, Gurgaon

week for detoxification; this could become a weekend procedure. On that particular day, one must consume only fruits in the form of both fresh salads and juices. Vegetable juice can also be taken. Avoid eating grains and pulses on that day. After all, you are detoxifying to lighten up your system! Taking gooseberry (amla) and bottle guard (ghiya) juice benefits the body tremendously. Make sure these juices are not bitter. A bitter bottle guard is often an adulterated one! Detoxification by exercises can be done by doing the kind of workout which results in considerable sweating for example, the cardio workout.

Medically, what does detoxification mean? Detoxification (detox for short) is the removal of toxic substances from our body. In medicine parlance, detoxification can be achieved by decontamination of poison ingestion and the use of antidotes as well as techniques such as dialysis. However, in the normal sense, it is a cleansing act taken up by an individual to purge his or her internal environment from the accumulated wastes and toxins that pile up as a result of our improper eating habits (like binging on junk food, consumption of alcohol, excessive intake of caffeine, colas etc). Who needs detoxification? Detoxification can be done by anyone. However, those who are fond of junk and fast food and love to consume fries, chips, burgers, pizzas etc on a daily basis should undertake detoxification every week. How is detoxification done? This can be done in two ways through diet and through exercises. To begin with, one must abstain from fried, oily junk food. Giving up your favourite snacks all of a sudden can be a daunting task, so one must try to gradually decrease the intake of such food items. Also, assign a day in one

What are the health benefits of detoxification? The act of detoxifying oneself has not only physical benefits but also imparts a sense of mental well-being as well. You achieve a sense of inner purity i.e. you can imagine your insides being as clean as your outsides with regular detoxification. It also helps many people to stick to proper eating habits and resist the pull of their favourite junk foods. By embarking on a detox regime you can help the natural cleansing acts of your kidneys and liver. Also, your digestion improves (means no more bloating and belching) and detoxification also benefits your circulatory and lymphatic systems.


doesnt affect your life too drastically. If you choose one thats hard to adopt and affects your life too much, you will have a hard time seeing it to completion. Try something thats approachable especially if you are new to detoxification and only try programmes that are more stringent once you have successfully completed a simpler detox diet or programme. You can start your inner-body cleansing plan by eliminating toxic foods and beverages from your life. Preservative-laden processed foods should go, as well as anything with caffeine, refined sugar, or saturated fat. You should also do away with alcoholic beverages. These foods and drinks contain the poisonous substances that you want to avoid. They have accumulated in your body over time and now need to be flushed out with a body detox. Detoxifying is not just what you put inside your body, theres the outside as well. Think about dry-skin brushing, body defoliants, massage

and lymphatic drainage, and treatments with alternating hot and cold therapy. These are practices that can be incorporated into your detox regime.


Water-fasting is a stringent and effective way to detoxify your body because it forces the metabolism of body fat and thereby releases stored

toxins in the body fat into the blood stream for elimination as the fat oils are used for fuel. Only the very healthy should go on short waterfasts because the toxins released could overwhelm toxic and sick bodies. Juice-fasting is the kind of detoxification method that it nourishes the body, especially with live enzymes which jump-start a sluggish immune system and provides nourishment for sustaining the fast for long periods of time. Lemon juice and honey-fasting is less stringent than water-fasting as it supplies some basic nutrition and the cleansing progresses at a level that is more comfortable than water-fasting alone. Cleansing with raw food refers to vegetables and fruits, of course. Again, the live enzymes yield great benefit to a body that has been impoverished with cooked foods for a long time. Many people seldom eat any fresh vegetables and their only fruit may be a banana on their We breakfast cereal.

What a beauty!
During my leave in the sixties I was spending a few days at Kanpur with my in-laws along with my wife. One day, two of my sisters-in-law who were in their twenties and very naughty, pestered me for a treat at Kwalitys. With a lot of hesitation I at the insistence of my wife agreed. While at the Mall we husband and wife were walking on the footpath, my sisters-in-law started walking on the road. All round the people gathered and were looking at them as curios, the two most well-dressed, beautiful, very fair, glamorous girls with appealing make-up and hair styles. One of the girls was having the Sadhna Cut hairstyle which was very popular those days and the other was having a Nest Type hairstyle. We heard some people saying that it seems that these girls are some film actresses.

My wife coaxed me to get her sisters on the footpath. I started walking with the girls on the road and quietly told them to walk on the foothpath with their sister as it is risky to walk on the road. But the girls instead of listening to me, taunted me by saying Are jija ji, what are you so afraid of? We are okay. The car drivers will skirt past us. By now many young boys were walking along on the footpath gazing at them. It became a nightmare for me as I got worried about their safety. Two boys while looking at them and not seeing their way hit the wires of a pole pitched on the footpath and severely hurt themselves with bleeding from their noses and mouths with one or two broken teeth. Just then we reached the restaurant. We noticed through the glass window that a number of those boys were hanging around outside waiting for us to come out and have a glimpse of the beauties. After our meals I rang up my father-in-law, a retired Army officer who came in his car with the driver
Womans Era

and his carbine and whisked us away from the restaurant to his home. Today after 50 years the grandchildren of those sisters-in-law are not convinced that their grannies were so beautiful. I even now bring smiles on their faces by reminding them of the incident. Colonel C. B. Singh, Mumbai.

Has something happened in your life that has left an indelible impression on your mind? And you still remember it after many years! Why not cherish those moments again? All published memorable incidents will be paid Rs 200. Please type or write neatly on white foolscap paper and send it to: MUSINGS/MEMORIES
E-3 Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110055.
Name: Mobile: E-mail:

April (Second) 2012




Where crudity adds delicious flavour.

By A. C. Tuli
dinner parties of the affluent. The other day, at one such party hosted by a corporate executive, mangoes were served peeled and cut up into slices, of all shapes and sizes, with the stones, of course, left out. Each of my fellow guests at this party slipped a slice or two of this fruit onto his or her plate, and then began to eat tiny bits of it with a spoon! To me, however, it seemed a wholly artificial and a curiously mincing way of eating mangoes. In fact, sometimes I think that our Womans Era April (Second) 2012 excessive devotion to what we call table manners has reduced mango eating to an absurd affectation. Social etiquette enjoins that, when you are at a party, you eat your slice of mango slowly, bit by bit, with your lips barely making any movement. It would, of course, be an outrageous breach of table manners if you were to lick or smack your lips! Eating mangoes this way well, it is not unlike a bedridden invalid eating a little bit of khichri! I think if you were to feed mangoes to a

hen it comes to eating mangoes, I am always reminded of Mirza Ghalibs classic obser vation regarding this palatable fruit Aam meethe hon aur bahut se hon! That is, mangoes should be sweet and in plenty. However, there are many people yours truly being one of them who do not relish mangoes the way these are served at sophisticated lunch or

sparrow that way, even she would feel insulted and fly away twittering angry curses at your meanness. I have my own code when it comes to mango-eating. Desi or dussehri, Alphonso or Benarsi, I like my mango whole. That is, to me the most natural, and also the most enjoyable, way of eating a ripe dussehri mango is to suck at it after removing the tiny wart from the top. If the fruit is a trifle hard and unyielding, I first gently press it all over with my fingertips. Ah! There is hardly anything half as delicious as a mouthful of thick, juicy pulp sucked straight from a ripe mango. And then, it need not be said that a true connoisseur of mangoes always enjoys licking and smacking his lips to show his true appreciation of this sumptuous fruit! To hell with your table manners, he would say with a snap of his mango-stained fingers, as he licks with his tongue the tiny bits of the fruit sticking to the corners of his mouth and lips! Not forgetting his fingers and palms! Then, those who love mangoes never neglect the stones of this fruit. A true mango fancier would suck and lick clean a stone before throwing it into the garbage bin. It pinches his conscience to let so much of pulp sticking to the stone go waste.

Another fruit that I have always liked to take in its fresh virginal form is the guava the smooth round Allahabadi variety that has very few seeds in it. A guava is indeed a very companionable fruit. You can go to bed with a guava without exciting your wifes jealousy. Leaning against the back rest of your four-poster, you can eat a guava and also watch your favourite TV serial at the same time. Or, if it is a bright sunny day in winter, you can dispatch a couple of guavas as you sit on the verandah of your house with the days newspaper spread out across your knees. There was, however, a time when I liked guavas sliced and salted, with a few drops of lemon juice sprinkled over them. But I think one learns as one grows old. The spicy chaat of guavas may be relished once in a while, but in the long run one learns to bite into guavas as they come fresh from the tree. One more fruit that I like to sink my teeth into as often as I can is the apple. But, alas, the meddling hand of man has not spared even this King of Fruits. There are numerous ways of robbing an apple of its natural grace and stunning good looks. One of them is peeling it. A peeled apple, it goes without saying, is not unlike a king who has lost both his crown and majestic attire. The peeled apple, in

short, completely loses its identity and comes down to the plebeian level of a peeled turnip in appearance, if not in taste. Though the Old Testament does not mention it by name, it has been taken for granted by the world at large that it was indeed an apple with which the wily Satan tempted the innocent Eve in the Garden of Eden. Whatever the tragic consequences of her eating it and then persuading Adam to eat it, it is fairly safe to assume that Eve must have eaten the apple heartily, tearing out mouthfuls of it with her strong, healthy teeth. Now just imagine what would have happened if Satan, bitten by the bug of table manners, had persuaded Eve to pluck an apple from the Tree of Knowledge, peel and slice it with a knife, and then eat it off a platter sitting in some cosy corner of the Garden of Eden. It is very likely that, while peeling and slicing the apple that was to bring about a cataclysmic change in her life, Eve would have grown suspicious of Satans diabolical plan. She would have then gone on to bestow second thoughts on what she was being tempted to do. And, maybe, she would have changed her mind by the time the peeled and sliced apple had been We ready for her to eat...!

Womans Era April (Second) 2012


I am an educated woman married into an orthodox family and have a dominant mother-in-law. I am not allowed to work. All this I tolerated for peace in the family but matters have come to a head after the birth of my son. I have no say in his upbringing which I cannot tolerate. I do the household chores while my mother-in-law has her way with my baby. My husband does not even want to think of separating out and I am at my wits end. Please tell me what to do? A recent study has shown that children are likely to have a lower overall development in households where the mother does not have a say in their upbringing. It is important to have empowered women like you raise their young so that they grow up to be healthy and well-adjusted to society. Have a heart-to-heart talk with your husband. Being an educated non-working mother you could contribute so much to the welfare of your son instead of being consigned to the drudgery of household chores. Tell him that though your motherin-law has wisdom and experience on her side which you will avail of, there are certain issues such as education, hygiene, attendance of well-baby clinics, vaccination schedules, balanced diet and, most important of all, mother-child bonding that is essential for the overall growth of the child. Also, ask for his assistance in conveying the same to his mother so that she does not take offence. 116

My son hardly spends any time outdoors. He spends hours in front of the computer and if I force him to stop doing so he shifts to the TV. He is good in his studies and completes his homework before doing the above activities which is all very well, but I would like him to exercise so that there is an all-round development. Please tell me how to make him do so. Childhood obesity is becoming an increasing menace with far-reaching consequences. Set a limit for his time in front of the computer and TV. Lock the entire house for an hour or so every evening and accompany him to the local park or club. Try not to make exercise a chore. Instead, get

him interested in some sort of sport or the other. He may rebel in the beginning but sooner or later will learn to relish his time outdoors. The feel-good hormones called endor phins are released during exercise and one gets habituated to the rush of well-being that accompanies it. Find out his likes be it cricket, badminton, swimming or cycling and act accordingly. Encourage group activities with other children in the locality so that with the passage of time you will find him impatient to go out to meet his friends.

I have been trying to do the best for my daughter who is 10 years old. Besides her usual school works, I take her to dance classes, swimming and singing and self-defence classes. Every single moment of her waking day is accounted for in a positive way and yet I find her listless and unhappy. Could you please tell me what is the problem with her. You are converting your little girl into a robot! The pressure of doing things like a clockwork toy is making her stressed and unhappy. You are robbing her of her childhood the most precious time of her life, which will never come back. Give her time to relax, play, gossip with friends, in short, do the things she enjoys and not just those that you think are right for her. Speaking of classes, if a child is coached for everything, she will never learn to think for herself. Her spontaneity and creativity will be lost and she will end up being a product under which the unique individual that she is will be buried forever. Do not crush her spirit and give her childhood back to her.

I have two children, a son aged nine and a daughter aged seven. The problem is that they do not eat healthy food, however much I persuade them to do so. I do want to lay a healthy foundation for their future by feeding them nutritious wellbalanced meals but they do not listen to me. Please tell me how to go about it. Not only have the eating habits of children deteriorated these days, the amount of exercise they do is reduced to a minimum. This has made childhood obesity coupled, paradoxically with nutritional deficiency states, a real threat to their future. So do your best to set them on the right track. To begin with you could make a rule that junk food is to be eaten only once a week. You could take them to the restaurant of their choice and allow them to eat what they like, provided the rest of the week is devoted to healthy eating. Ask them to make a list of the home-cooked foods they like best. You could include at least one item of their choice in your daily menu. If they do not like vegetables per se, instead of forcefeeding them, serve the greens in a palatable way in soups, noodles, sambar, stuffed parathas, etc. Do not give them money to eat junk food during recess at school. In fact, some schools have stopped serving unhealthy food in their canteens, which is a wonderful way of making the children eat right.
Dr Amrinder Bajaj, MD.

Womans Era April (Second) 2012


Short Story

Girl with ice cream on her nose

And she thought that her sister attracted him!
By Hema Bal

he could see Ravi, walking in the park, from the upstairs window where she stood combing her unruly hair. No matter how she combed and braided it, her hair had a way of falling over her face not like her sister Preethis hair, that was long, luxurious and always stayed in place. Oh well, shrugged Nina, everything about Preethi was admirable. She turned her attention back to Ravi how handsome he looked! His lean, supple body and sharp features, that could hold its own, even against a Bollywood star right across the two storied flat where Nina lived by the Nehru Park. A beautiful layout with shady trees and colourful blossoms.

People came to get relief from the summer heat, lovers sat in the shady arbours, weaving rosy dreams. It was a haven for the flat dwellers of the area. Ninas father worked in the bank and so did Ravis father, who had been transferred there. Ninas father had helped his colleague find a flat near their own house and that was how the two families became friends. Ravi himself had graduated from an engineering college and was looking out for a lucrative job. Both the mothers went to the same club, exchanged recipes and celebrated festivals together. Ravi often dropped in at their house and Nina had a sneaking feeling that Preethi was the magnet that drew him to their flat. Nina watched Ravi pacing up and down, and


Womans Era April (Second) 2012



planned to meet in the park? Had she stood him up? could not but admire his looks. Tall and lissome, he If so, she was making an excuse for Preethi. For the had everything that made her heart flutter. But she missed rendezvous. knew he was not for her and, in her wildest dreams, There, she thought. Now, he need not be burdened however much she yearned, she would not get him. It could not be otherwise, when her sister Preethi had with me. He can make an excuse and leave. But, instead, he ordered two ice-cream cones. all the looks that complemented his Compared to Nina said tentatively, Preethi is so pretty and Preethi, she was only a plain-Jane. He had eyes only gay. That is why she is so popular. Not at all like for her beautiful sister and her dreams were only me. Ravi, dont think I am poking my nose into your pipedreams. affairs. But if you dont pop the question to Preethi But if he was waiting for Preethi to join him, she now, you are likely to lose her. knew he was going to be disappointed. It had taken her a lot of courage to Nina had heard Preethi promising to be She felt that all speak so bluntly. But she did not want Ravi at the beach Preethi had a wide circle the birds in the to be hurt. She turned aside to hide the of friends, and too many bows to her park had started torment in her own soul and missed the string. She felt sorry for Ravi because Preethi would keep Ravi dangling till she singing. That all twinkle in his eye. Well then, he drawled turning her had her fling she was that kind of a girl. the flowers were around and giving a lops rided grin. I am Out to have the maximum fun from life. nodding in popping the question now, as you are the An extrovert, charming, gay and assent. She was second person to prompt me. determined to enjoy life no matter She looked at him, a perplexed whom she hurt on the way Whereas so wonderfully, expression on her face, Ravi, I dont Nina was more of an introvert, a wall ecstatically understand. flower and wouldnt even say boo to a happy, she forgot He lifted her chin, You never did goose. to say yes. understand. You carry always holding a She saw Ravi look up and seeing her, torch for that sister of yours and hide your beckoned to her to come down she felt her heart miss a beat and debated to herself whether light under a bushel. I dont care if she has gone to Timbaktu. You are here, and that is what matters. to change from her faded jeans to something more Should I go down on my knees and propose in right presentable. But, what the heck, he is not going to royal style? His eyes crinkled as he looked down at notice it, even if I wear a gossamer gown, she told her with an impish grin. herself. No use trying to attract him with a fine Now cut all that crap about your beautiful sister. dress! It is she who told me that, if I didnt propose to you She joined him in the park. So you are trying to fast, you would have me hitched to her. She was beat the heat. It is a sultry day isnt it? she asked. wiser. You couldnt see the woods for the trees. You It sure is. But it is pleasant here. Come, sit got it all wrong. Now say yes or no. down, he indicated a bench in the park under a Nina could not believe it. sprawling cherry tree. Nina looked into his eyes You mean you are asking me to marry you? Me, searching for a gleam of disappointment. Surely, he who is not a patch on Preethi? must regret it was she and not Preethi. Who had She looked down at her faded dress. Knew she turned up. must be looking plain and drab and yet Ravi was Yes, it is nice and cool here and the fragrance proposing to her! from those body blooms is refreshing. I dont know She felt that all the birds in the park had started why Preethi preferred going to the beach today, singing. That all the flowers were nodding in assent. with her friends. She was so wonderfully, ecstatically happy, she forgot to say yes. But she made a last ditch attempt here, she had subtly let him know that Preethi to make Ravi aware of what he was letting himself in would not be coming. She looked up expecting for. to see him frowning. But his expression did not I have a snub nose, she started. and there is a change. In fact, there was an enigmatic smile, blob of ice-cream on it! He laughed as he bent playing in the corner of his lips. Or was he trying to down and licked it off to the consternation of an hide his dismay? old lady passing by, who shook her head in disgust Actually, she went on, Preethi is such a or approval. The old lady didnt look back, or she gregarious person. Her friends always want her would have been further stunned for they were in around to liven them up. So much so she tends to each others arms and the cherry blossoms fell on forget promises made to others to meet them. their heads like a silent blessing. That was a dart sent at random. Had they We
Womans Era April (Second) 2012



A woman-centric show.
By Subhra Mazumdar
Kavita Joshi used the repetitive mudra of dance to bring out the rhythm in her work titled Glimpses of Rajasthan. Kunti Hariharan on the other hand chose all the right symbols to capture the moment of bliss in her work titled Love where the woman was a barely-visible gossamer figure. The mirror image, treated in a highly imaginative way was used by Malkvika Jain in her self-portrait titled Reflection of Me. The grace of a single dancer framed against a colonnaded passageway, made for a regal setting in the work of Manjee Kaur Mejei, while the pastoral idyll of Mehak Chawla held the charm of Vrindavan as its core source of inspiration. And the Radha Krishna Internal Love work of Rashmi Singh on the Krishna theme detailed the mythological subject using mixed media. On the other hand, Pratiksha by Ravneet Kaur glorified the languorous charm of drapery on her womanly figure. A stand-alone form of an elderly woman in the work Agony by Simran Rayat captured the lined visage with accuracy while Devi by Sonali Chaudhuri took its cue from folk forms, particularly in the treatment of the facial features and the jewellery embellishments. The minimal strokes of the triptych female outline by Sonia revelled in the joy of movement even as Soumya Manjunaths Goddess was characterised with mythical references. And, yes, Tabassum Maliks work titled Womans Day summed up the mood of womanhood in the free-flowing movements of elongated figures with raised arms and arched bodies. But it was Uma Sharma in her work Women at Work, a paper collage amalgam that art and womanly preoccupations came to a head. We

he fifth edition of the annual womens art exhibition aptly titled Stree to mark International Womens Day was held at Delhis landmark art address Art Mall. Over the years, this display has acquired a character that stretches beyond the linear concept of just art. For one, it is usually alongside commendable social causes that concern women, making fine art the medium whereby the voice of this sometimes silent majority is heard, loud and clear above the din of oblivion. While in other years the causes have ranged from the show being a part of the overall Bhikhu Ram Jain charity umbrella, this time round, the Stree exhibition honoured the survivors of breast cancer, making this brave bunch a beacon of hope held up before their less fortunate sisters. As for the art on display, the entries to the competition that marks the choice of exhibits on the walls, were a gamut of themes. Although the preferred forms of women artists such as bird, flower, mystical settings, meditative Buddha depic tions and other mythological studies were in evidence, there were plenty of experimental offers alongside. A preference for abstract compositions in vivid colours, or even sombre palettes for choices more realistic, continued to impress viewers with their explorative stances. It was clear that these women artists were unshackled and inquisitive and had used the canvas spaces as mediums of their newfound personal discovery. No longer were they limiting their choices to predictable compositions but had taken wing with novel texturisation, 122

unusual forms such as a coiled python, calligraphic inclusions or mixed media studies or cubist surface treatments with receding forms in the backdrop. The urge for personal expressiveness is what has made these works a silent communion between the creator and their art. The viewer fortunately is not an invasive presence but a welcome invitee who is cajoled to share the serenity of this silence within the artists soul by concentrating on the bent figure holding a pigeon as in the work of Kanak Vyas, or the floating feminine figure part-submerged behind the foreground of mellow but definitive lines. In Farah Khans work titled She, though the woman is right in the face, her sleep-filled posture makes her illusive and distant, reposing in the world of her dreams.


Being a woman-centric show, it was the female figure that dominated artistic choices seen on the walls. Ranging from the village belle in the work titled Thirsty Woman by Kanupriya Bakshi, to the spring flowers seller depicted in the work of Kaveri Ray, these studies dealt with womens activities in the most intimate ways. For Kavita Dhankar, her woman has the power of the goddess, drawn through linear strokes of engaging abstraction. Womans Era April (Second) 2012


Short Story

The appointment
20 years later, the truth came out. By Ananya Sarkar

nd the award for the best fiction goes to Mr Amit Mehra for the story The Unsent Post! The hall reverberated with applause. Seemas heart plummeted. Was it really him? She had not heard his name uttered for more than 20 years. And here she was about to see him after so long! She pressed her fingers together in trepidation, excitement, anxiety. A moderately tall man emerged on the stage, a modest smile on his face. His hair was greying at the temples, yet his face bore the stamp of age with dignity. He walked with brisk steps and received the medal with an obeisant gesture. Thank you so much, he spoke into the microphone. This really means a lot to me. A random smile appeared on Seemas face. He had changed much in appearance, and yet seemed to her to be still the same. The old familiarity with his bearing and manners came back to her. Ever so cryptic with his words, she mused, reflecting on his brief speech. This brings us close to a wonderful evening, the host beamed. Id like to thank the judges, all the participants, and last but not least, the audience for giving much of their valuable time. Ladies and

gentlemen, refreshments are awaiting you in the adjoining room. Please help yourselves. She had no inclination to eat and felt robbed of her appetite. In fact, Seema was anxious to get out of the place. Seeing him unexpectedly after so many years, she had received quite a jolt. There was an urgent need to collect herself. Besides, she was anxious to avoid a confrontation. Others were making their way out of the room to the next. Seema waited for some moments for the crowd to thin. Then, as she began moving slowly, an old voice beckoned her, Excuse me! Without turning, she knew it was him. She shut her eyes momentarily, and clutched her bag closer. Perhaps he was calling someone else. It surely couldnt be her! The voice rang out again, this time closer to her. She now felt it imperative to look. He stood there, looking at her directly, a quizzical expression on his face. Please dont mind. It was rude of me to call you peremptorily. But... he tapped his forehead lightly, You seem so familiar. Are you...? He narrowed his eyes, creasing his forehead in the process and studied her face. She blushed with confusion and looked away. Wait! Are you Seema, I mean Miss Seema Biswas? He had recognised her! Seema laughed nonchalantly, Yes, of course! Now he was laughing too, his eyes crinkling with merriment, You had longer hair earlier. No wonder I found it was difficult to identify you! She playfully raised her eyebrows in reply, Is it only me who has undergone changes? They laughed in unison. Were they in the past, she wondered. Or else, how could she be talking and joking with him after what had taken place...? Heading for refreshments? he enquired. Not really hungry, she replied, Besides, its crowded too.


Youre right, he said. Would you like to go for a cup of coffee? Theres a wonderful cafe. The Treat at a stones throw and the coffee there is simply amazing! Ive tried it. She dithered. Oh! If youre free, that is. Yes, she said. Yes, Im free. She was considering whether it was such a good idea to go out with him. All these years, there had been no contact, no communication. Their lives had turned out differently. What would he think of her now? But she let herself go. Let him think as he might, she too wanted to be acquainted with his present.

away the previous year, had died suddenly of a heart attack. As for her mother, she was stable now, though suffering from geriatric ailments. From Amits part, his uncle, who had been his sole guardian, had died some years back. However, these were only generalities, she knew. What she as well as he really wanted to know was... By the way, hows Mr Basu? Mr Basu? Oh, Neeraj! Well... we actually got divorced a long time back, she forced out the words. Im sorry, he said, looking at his fingers. Well, dont be. It ended for good, I guess. No use impinging ourselves on each others lives. t was around 7 oclock when they entered the Yes, thats one way to look at it, he cafe. There were mostly youngsters, few At last, driven said slowly. middle-aged people like them. She felt a And... hows your wife? she little embarrassed, he was unconcerned. to desperation, enquired hesitantly. They took a table at the corner, close to the she and Amit What? Oh, my... his voice trailed window. had decided to off. Ive had two marriages you know, So! he exclaimed, smiling. Honestly, elope. They had he spoke after some moments, But Id never thought Id meet you here fixed up an unfortunately, none of them really worked Mussoorie, of all places! out. Im a divorcee. Perhaps it was my I came here from Kolkata to attend a appointment fault all along... friends wedding. It took place yesterday, on the 12th of You dont have to feel guilty, she she said. And as I had today in hand, I April, at six in said. I can understand. It just happens decided to do some sightseeing in the the evening at sometimes. Yet he went on, But at times, morning and... Howrah I feel that... that I had been looking for And? station. happiness at the wrong places, maybe Well, Reenu told me about this literary that is why my marriage . festival going on, and that today was the Let bygones be bygones. We have to move on award-presentation ceremony. Her sister had two passes to the event, but she would not be able to go, after all, dont we? True, he replied, And I have moved on. due to post-wedding hassles. You know how it is. And me being interested in literature, she offered me ow singular life was, Seema kept thinking. a pass. She shook her head gaily, What a They had been college sweethearts once, and coincidence! She asked him whether he still resided were even on the verge of marrying! Her in Delhi. father always held out against him, she Ah yes! Im still a Delhiite, he replied. I just remembered, as he was not as well-established as happened to participate in this national fiction Neeraj Basu, his colleagues son, who had done his contest, submissions to which were made online. And then, last month, they wired me to say that I had MBA from Princeton University and worked in a multinational firm. Amit, at that time, was in a job to attend the award ceremony in Mussoorie as I with a moderate remuneration. It was his first job, was one of the winners. My stay and transport and he had grabbed the opportunity, for the sake of allowance would be funded. Cant tell you how experience as well as for enriching his resume. But surprised I was! I remember how you had a penchant for writing. Amits mediocrity made Neeraj seem all the more illustrious, and silhouetted the latter against the My heartiest congratulations to you, by the way. former. At last, driven to desperation, she and Amit How careless of me! had decided to elope. They had fixed up an He laughed jovially, Thank you! But tell me, do appointment on the 12th of April, at six in the you still practise such formal exchanges with evening at Howrah station. The tickets were booked. everyone? It seems like you havent changed there. Anyway, so I took a few days leave from office, and They were to go to Delhi in the Ruchika Express, which was arriving later in the night. But things had here I am! not quite worked out that way... They exchanged news about themselves. He was So... youre leaving on the...? His voice startled an officer in the Green Bank of India, she the subher. editor of a news agency. Her father had passed

Womans Era April (Second) 2012


Im leaving tomorrow, she said. The Sheetal Express, at 8 a.m. Ill be leaving two hours before you, he smiled. My trains at six! I should have liked it to be not so early, but it was booked by the Vimla authorities, who arranged the competition. So I really dont have a choice! She exclaimed how cold it would be during that hour. They talked trivialities till it was time to leave.

n the way to the bus-stop, Amit for the first time referred to the past. You know, Seema, he said, as they walked, I know its late but I still wanted to tell you something. That day, I mean on the 12th of April, Im sorry I didnt turn up. There was a pause. Seema turned to him in silence. He went on, At that time, I somehow started feeling that my actions ought to be honest and open, not something like elopement, done in a sly and secretive manner. I didnt have the courage to tell you this then, being apprehensive that you might think me to be fickle-minded or... that you might suppose that I didnt love you enough. He heaved a sigh, I was such a coward! But, believe me, I felt terrible that day as the hours ticked by, imagining your situation. I never saw you after that, but Ive been haunted by this guilt ever since. Even when I saw you today, I was both happy and afraid at the same time. I know how much you hate me but still Id like to say this Im really, really sorry Seema! Please forgive me if you can!
Weve made an appointment again, Seema. And this time, without any premeditation.

His voice sounded hoarse, and he could not bring his eyes to meet hers. But, Amit, she spoke at last, her eyes sparkling brilliantly, neither did I go that day. I too had started feeling that it would be against my principles to do some underhand thing like that. And I couldnt tell you either because... of the same reasons. They looked at each other, wrapped in a silent communion. He could not believe his ears. Was she speaking the truth, or was this a resort to save her face? But her eyes were clearly corroborating the words! On her part, Seema was as stupefied. She had often been stricken by remorse at not being able to confront the truth at that time. But it had all been in vain! He had not arrived either, on that day. The crowded station with its busy and frantic life had been witness to their failed appointment, to the tryst that was not kept. It was as if, within minutes, an unseeing hand had lifted the palpable yoke which was weighing on their minds. The mist had lifted, the veil was torn and in the process it set free a torrent of emotions which were difficult to grasp. So... there is nothing to feel bad about, and no one is to blame, she said. He nodded. She smiled, Its getting late, I must be going. It was nice to meet you. Seema glanced at her watch. It was 7.30. There was still half an hour left for her train to arrive. Her mind kept reverting to the disclosure the day before that had almost appeared to be cataclysmic. How would she have reacted had she gone that day and confronted his absence? Would she then have been able to receive him the previous day with the same cordiality? There would have undoubtedly been feelings of anger, anguish and pain the sense of rejection. This was exactly what she had now considered Amit to be have been feeling, imagining him to be in that situation! And he must have similarly undergone the same thoughts. A wave of pensiveness and desolation suddenly overcame her. She felt herself in the torment of misery. The loudspeaker announced the arrival of the Sheetal Express. It sounded fateful to her. Her destiny was decided, irrevocably bound up by this particular train. She was to go back, go back to Kolkata, to her home, to her job, to her


accustomed life. A loud whistle was heard as the train rumbled steadily into the station. Had it approached so soon? Seema felt it had come to seize her back, reminding her of her duties.

he train was to halt for only five minutes at the station. Passengers hurried to the doors. But Seemas feet remained rooted to the ground. She was filled with a rising determination to oppose all the antagonistic forces in her life which, to her, had taken the shape of this train. She would not board it, happen what might. Her heart contracted in its resolution, and her body stirred itself to readiness. Somewhere inwardly, her consciousness rang out. What was she doing? Why? Was there any reason? But the questions overlapped with one another and the answers eluded her. She would seek out things later, she decided. But, for the present, she did not want to go back. The train moved out and, with it, the greater part of the platform was vacated. The station clock read the time as ten minutes past eight. Someone sat down on the bench next to her and cleared his

The train was to halt for only five minutes at the station. Passengers hurried to the doors. But Seemas feet remained rooted to the ground.

throat. She turned abruptly. It was Amit! She suddenly felt surprised at being so happy to see him. The vestiges of misery had vanished. He smiled and she returned it. Then she remembered that he was to have left for Delhi much before. Did he miss his train? Amit spoke hesitantly, I dont know what youll make of this. I... I didnt feel like going. It was an impulse. Believe me, Ive never done something like this before. An exclamation escaped her. And what about her, he asked. She told him that, she too, had no concrete reason for not returning.

heir eyes met, and at once the truth lay bare, shorn of all ambiguity. For the first time, silence uttered the syllables of love. They understood each other indubitably. He gently put his hand on hers, Weve made an appointment again, Seema. And this time, without any premeditation. She struggled to repress a sob. He whispered now, Its an appointment our hearts have made in secret! And as Seemas tears dissolved into laughter, joined by Amit, their voices mingled with the growing din of the station. We


Accomplished spouses know that sharing tender touches in bed as after sexual passion subsides, giving each other gentle smiles or caresses, murmuring appreciative words or otherwise enjoying afterplay that deepens and extends the total sex experience. It makes it more than just a physical encounter.



After two orgasms.

By I. M. Soni
slow in some cases and fast in others. In exceptional cases, it may be likened to the flash of lightning. Happiness is savoured by spouses during the pause of respite which follows the sex act. This bliss of afterglow unites spouses as they lie embraced side by side, in the dream they have experienced in flesh and blood. Their souls meet and merge though bodies are de-linked. Normal sexual intercourse is fatiguing not because of its own exertion but through its exertions on nerves. And the sudden relaxation after intense exertion causes not only fatigue but some other kind of exhaustion which is akin to psychic and mental processes. The higher the tension, the more abrupt is the ebb, and more acute the exhaustion. This explains why a sexual union carried out abruptly and comes to a quick climax, is not satisfying and is not consuming. In short, physical evacuation is less straining than a deep communion. In a deep communion, the soul and the body unite and produce a melody. Sex, then, is emotion in motion. Womans Era

fter the sex act, begins the epilogue (the afterglow). This is often overlooked by couples who do not understand, or lack deep feeling for, each other. They turn away from each other. But when it is intense and considerate, afterplay an important part of love-making. Often, it is either slighted or bypassed depriving spouses of rich have of happiness. In a truly harmonious and happy marriage, afterplay attains full appreciation and recognition. However, it is not possible to pin-point this joy-giving phase. It may linger like a good perfume or die away like the final notes of a sweet melody. But it should echo and vibrate and reawaken the preliminaries of a fresh act of love-making. Thus, spouses may attain continuity of emotional communion which is the essence of a happy marriage. As soon as the first urges surface, the prelude to sex union begins and goes on to a crescendo. This may be

This bliss of afterglow units the couple as they lie embraced and in their imagination, and live through the delights they have just been through. T.H. Van de Velde in Ideal Marriage, records, After-play is an essential and most significant act in the love drama, but unfortunately the most neglected of all. Many men are in the habit of going to sleep just after the act. They turn over, sleep, snore while the wife is yet slowly coming from the slow ebb of sexual tides. Thus, they reveal ignorance of her psyche and aesthetic subtlety of her love. They turn a blind eye to the depth of her sexual pleasure, urge for tender caresses and honey words. She desires nothing better than opportunity to prove the rapture he has ignited in her. Afterplay is essential to a happy marriage because it seals the inspiration of love. It is a part of sexual intercourse, tenderness, impressions, feelings and verbali sations. The whole thing is not physical but psychological. Spouses would do well to cultivate this aspect of sexual relations with utmost care. Of course, excess must be staved off. Exaggeration is taboo. Imagination requires subtlety, charm and under-playing. What spouses do in afterplay is indicative of what goes on in their relationship and of their attitudes towards sex itself. Rony and Reena are sensitive to each others needs, loving the warmth of afterplay, treating sex as a part of the overall love and tenderness they feel for each other. They enjoy themselves both during and after intercourse that sex is a delight and they delight in each other.

April (Second) 2012

Nina and hubby have to accept that they are not the most vibrant of sexual performers and do not really enjoy sex to any significant degree. What they do enjoy though, is snuggling, kissing, and holding the afterplay and that is what, for them, the highlight of their unions. Sex talk is an important facet of afterplay. Many couples say nothing to each other not while they are in the midst of passion, nor afterwards. They perform in silence and conduct whatever afterplay they enjoy in silence, too. Others extend the flow of sex by saying some loving and appreciative things to each other afterwards; those who do so agree that it deepens and enriches the whole sexual encounter. Most sexual partners, though, do not say anything to each other about the love-making they just shared. Only animals perform without verbalisation but even they grunt and growl to express their joy. The reason couples do not do so is they are shy in that respect. They find it easier to do something sexual than to talk about it!

Yet, there are spouses who give voice to their wants and dislikes before the act and who say things to each other while locked in sexual embrace, and who use sexual communication as part of their afterplay experience. They tell each other what they especially enjoyed about the experience, describing how good it felt. Using words, they recapture their moments of passion and relive the most exquisite sensations. It is hard to enjoy afterplay if you do not feel a sense of completion with regard to sexual intercourse itself. Even if her husband climaxes, the wife need not remain unsatisfied. She can be led to delights. All it takes is a willingness on the husbands part to give to his partner by continuing the union. It is best to think of afterplay as a continuation of the sex act, an extension of the sexual experience that begins with the first kiss or touch of foreplay. That will help you to focus on what it is you want out of afterplay. Maybe, it is the close physical

contact that you desire most. Maybe, it is reminiscing about the things you did and felt. Maybe, it is nesting together as you drift off to sleep, or it is is just a few words of appreciation between your partner and yourself. Another way to help yourself think about it as an enjoyable experience is to recall a really lovely experience you had in the past. It can be a stimulus of a new afterplay encounter. It is hard to enjoy afterplay without sex-talk of some kind. Few people talk about sex, and there are still many who experience difficulty in expressing themselves as to their sexual like and dislikes. You do not need to be a brilliant conver sationalist to say, Lets hold each other for few minutes or Honey, I enjoyed that so much. Another point is: if there is something you particularly want, ask for it. Balzac profoundly proclaimed: In love quite apart from the psychic element woman is a harp who only yields her secrets of melody to the master who knows how to handle We her.


Walking the rugged path Wading through the forest Leaves touching me tenderly Warmth of Mother Nature Carefully watching my steps On the path of pebbles Hanging climbers around I felt their protectiveness My father held me back A parade of elephants ahead Exhibiting to the world The strength of togetherness The parade cleared away Revealing a high cliff The stones looked eroded Raising my curiosity Mother said, here it was A mighty silver cascade People around me awed I was very annoyed What will my future have? If I left no green for them Picked the bottle I dropped Stuffed in my cosy bag I turn around to you all Let us take the oath of our life We will conserve energy We will preserve resources We will make the earth green We will give our future green green be our family way green be our earth way S. S. Sushme Pratiksha, Tamil Nadu.

Womans Era

April (Second) 2012


into breaking up with your uncle. Things will be awkward between the three of you, but the family will survive. Soon after my marriage (an arranged one) I found out that my husband was an alcoholic. It was a terrible shock, but I stood by him and saw him through a de-addiction pro gramme that I coaxed him into joining. He then stopped drinking and we were very happy together. Six months have passed and to our joy I am now pregnant. But I suspect that my husband is drinking again. When I asked him he swore that he hadnt touched a drop since he completed his programme, but though I do not have any proof, I dont believe him. Could I be wrong? The chances are that you are not wrong. Your instincts tell you that your husband is drinking again and we should always go by our instincts. Do some detective work and find out for certain and if you find that he is again drinking, you should see that he rejoins the de-addiction pro gramme. It is not easy for an alcoholic to give up alcohol and you will have to be supportive and patient. Both you

and your husband will have to learn to take life one day at a time and be glad each day that he goes without alcohol. Once you give birth to your baby, he will certainly feel more motivated to stay on the wagon. I am head over heels in love with the man my parents have got me engaged to, but our wedding is going to take place only after two years because my fiance works in America and cannot get leave till then. When my in-laws-to-be told my family this after our engagement, my parents accepted it but I found the reason for the long delay, strange. Now, two months later, I have been offered a chance to go to Washington where my fiance lives, for a month by the company I work for. I want to go to find out what is actually happening but my parents are against my going and meeting him alone. What should I do? It is very strange that your fiance cannot get leave to get married for two years and there seems to be more to it than just work. Since you are getting a chance to go to the city where he works, you should certainly take it and find out how matters actually stand.

I am an unmarried 25-year-old working girl living in a joint family with my grandparents, parents, uncles and their families. My parents are rather mismatched. My 53-year-old father is a quiet intellectual who is not at all worldly wise. My 49-yearold mother is a fun-loving, highspirited woman who has no serious interests. But in spite of this I always thought that they were happy together. A few weeks ago I was shocked to overhear my mother and my fathers 60-year-old elder brother talking quietly on the terrace of the house. It was clear from their conversation that there was something going on between them. I then began keeping a watch on them and one day, I came home unexpectedly from work. I found my grandparents asleep and my mother and uncle in my uncles bedroom. I quietly went away before they saw me. Now, I am completely traumatised. What should I do? Should I expose my mother and uncle? Your anguish is understandable, but now you must think carefully about what you want to do. If you expose your mother and uncle, you will break up the family and things will never be the same again. Your parents marriage will also be in trouble. But on the other hand, you cannot let things continue like this. Why dont you talk to your mother and tell her that you know about her affair? Also tell her that she should talk to your uncle and that if they continue with their affair, you will tell your father. Your mother will probably be shamed 130

I am a 25-year-old woman with very good qualifications and an excellent job. I am ambitious and dynamic and am determined to make something of my life. My only sibling, my elder brother who is 27, is very different from me. He is a laid back character who didnt work hard in college and who isnt working hard now. So he is really going nowhere. Since childhood, I have known that my parents preferred my brother to me because of their old-fashioned belief that a son carries the name of the family forward. Their attitude has hurt me but I have not let it stop me from trying to achieve my aims. Now they have told me not to expect anything from them when I get married because all they have is for my brother. I feel humiliated and angry and plan to cut off all links with them. Would that be wrong of me? Your distress is totally understandable and it is indeed a pity that parents should still have such old-fashioned ideas today, when daughters are achieving so much and are often taking responsibility for their parents in their old age. You cannot stop your parents from doing what they want to with their money, but you would be the loser if you cut off all links with your immediate family. So it would be better if you moved away from them without completely cutting them out of your life. As for the money, it is sad that you will now have to plan for your marriage by yourself, but remember that facing challenges only makes us stronger. If you stand independent and strong you will be shown in a good light and it will be your parents whom people will look at in askance. As for your brother, you should feel sorry for him. Womans Era April (Second) 2012

Short Story

I missed my daddy
Inherited traits of an unknown father. By Shan Fazelbhoy

y daddy left a long time ago and, when he left, I was left with the memory of a really cool guy who would race over the speed bumps, buy us two ice-creams at the same time and had a pretty hot girlfriend. Other than that, I dont remember him much. Our occasional fleeting meetings, over three decades were not enough to make any lasting impression. My family was never communicative on any front, with all emotions swept under a carpet, that was never taken out, beaten and aired. The fragmented information I collated, came from the drivers and cooks, who always commented on his friendliness, generosity and zest for life. A few black-and-white family photographs from when I was a few years old, showed a charming and handsome man; but a multi-layered personality, easily altered by the effects of his addiction to alcohol revealed a threatening and brutal side that was the complete opposite of his sober easygoing

self. His alcoholism unfortunately, but obviously, affected the entire family. Being firm followers of the ostrich way of life, his severe problem was ignored and never dealt with. Finally, one day, action was initiated, he had to make a choice, to either live somewhere else on a meagre stipend or leave for America to join a friend and try his luck. He left for America, ostensibly banished, in order to save the family any more embarrassment. In the many years that passed, I heard of his marriage to an American, his drinking binges, an odd job here or there and not much else. I grew into adolescence and my teens, rarely thinking of him or how he was. Since we did not speak of him, his memory was relegated to the back-burner of my mind, a slow enduring flame that never extinguished in spite of being left in the dark, cold annals of my mind. My life evolved to be every bit as absorbing as I had heard his was. Addiction, love, pain, and finally, the banishment which completely altered the course of the life I had hoped to lead. When I got married, my daddy wasnt there but, months later, being in the same city by chance, he attended our reception party. The only concern I could judge from overheard conversations was that he doesnt drink too much. I have a picture embedded in my mind of him there, but I dont recall


Womans Era April (Second) 2012

any conversation or meeting him again during that trip. A few years later, I had my first daughter. I dont know if anyone told him he had a grandchild. I didnt. Within the next three years, he met my daughter. We were on vacation in New York and since he lived upstate, he came to visit. Arriving with an armload of toys and the disarming manner that I remember, they played all afternoon. My daughter was quite reserved as a child and I remember being amazed at how easily she interacted with him. She had never seen him, had no idea of who he was, but they just seemed comfortable and happy in each others company.

In the many years that passed, I heard of his marriage to an American, his drinking binges, an odd job here or there and not much else.

My younger daughter, whom he has never met, has a charm that I feel is similar to his. He and I talked over the phone about two years ago. The questions were hesitant at first, not knowing where to start and how far we could get, trying to catch up on a life gone blurry with time. Weve talked a lot more since then, not trying to cramp a lifetime into less than a hundred short conversations, but just taking the opportunity to get to know someone who should have been a part of your life. There have been no accusations or emotional outbursts, just acceptance and no expectation. He is open and honest and I feel no reservations in asking him anything.

got divorced and my life started looking even more like his had been. In different eras, in different parts of the world but the connection could not be severed. Over the past few years, little reminders of him started to find their way into my life. My daughter used to smoke Camel cigarettes like he did; I ride a motorbike and only recently found out that he had a passion for bikes. Fast cars and a need for speed were always a part of my life.

have always felt completely different from my family in my beliefs and outlook; at times, wondering if I actually was from them. Now, discovering and understanding myself through fragments of conversations with the man who is my father, I have come to know that I am just the same. I was always thankful for being different, but now, I find comfort in knowing that I came from him and belong to him. In all these years, I missed my daddy and didnt even know it. We

Laughing amids tears

My elder brother had expired and his funeral was done at my chachas house at my native place BhomaGoa. We stayed there for four days. My chacha was lovely and cheerful person. Since we were drowned in sorrow, he was trying to cheer us up by his funny words and, without us knowing, he was getting successful in making us smile. On the fourth day, we were getting visitors who were sitting in the hall with my mother and chacha, my mamu (mothers brother) and I were sitting in the verandah. A lady who is my daddys elder cousins wife, whom we call taima came. She sat in front of me and started crying, saying she missed the funeral

as she was not at home. Even I became emotional. Chacha asked her Bhabi, ghar par nahin thi phir kidhar gayee thi? She said, Har sal ki tarah hawa khane Miramar Beach thi, Chacha promptly asked her, Kyun bhabhi, Ribandar (place were she stays) mein hawa nahin aathi? My mamu burst out laughing. Even I could not control myself but somehow I covered my mouth with my dupatta, ran inside and laughed amidst tears. Sherina Shaikh, Goa.

unexpected and I was so overwhelmed that I started crying. I felt truly happy because of the childrens wishes for me. But I also felt sad for those kids, who were oblivious to such facts of their life. Heena Otia, Mumbai.

Every one of us has, sometime or other in ones life, received help,

guidance, sympathy, understanding

The best birthday card

This year, I celebrated my birthday at an orphanage where I wished to go and make the children happy. Instead, the happiness I received from them is truly incomparable! 22 kids, all aged under six, sat on tiny benches in a room. I arranged all the snacks on a large table and I could see the excitement on those innocent faces. As soon as I began cutting the cake, all the children started singing the birthday song. It was very
Womans Era April (Second) 2012

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



8 9





13 15 20



17 22



21 23






Womans Era April (Second) 2012

1. A persons regular occupation, profession, or trade (8) 4. Abbreviation for cash on delivery (3) 7. Not genuine or true; word used in a disapproving manner when deception has been attempted (5) 9. Improve, refine, or add the finishing touches to (6) 11. A narrow-edged tooth at the front of the mouth, adapted for cutting (7) 12. A system of words, letters, figures, or symbols used to represent others, especially for the purposes of secrecy (4) 13. A long upholstered seat with a back and arms, for two or more people (4) 14. The system of rules which a particular country or community recognises as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties (3) 16. Abbreviation for intensive-care unit (3) 17. Abbreviation for as soon as possible (4) 20. The criminal act of deliberately setting fire to property (5) 22. Feel or cause to feel in need of rest or sleep (4) 23. A shallow, porous container in which gold or silver can be refined or assayed by melting with a blast of hot air which oxidises lead or other base metals (5) 24. To reduce food to small shreds by rubbing it (5) 25. A tenants regular payment to a landlord for the use of property or land (4)

1. A cylinder or cone holding thread, yarn, or wire, used especially in weaving and machine sewing (6) 2. Having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgement; wise or shrewd (9) 3. Unnecessary, especially through being more than enough (11) 5. Department of Health (in the UK) (3) 6. Any of several diseases characterised by dark-coloured urine (10) 8. Strengthen or support physically or mentally (7) 10. A short article in a newspaper or magazine placed alongside a main article and containing additional or explanatory material (7) 15. Goods carried on a ship, aircraft, or motor vehicle (5) 18. Silica, especially quartz or flint (5) 19. A destructive insect or other animal that attacks crops, food, livestock, etc. (4) 21. Make a choice from a range of possibilities (3)

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

Tear along the dotted line and mail to Crossword No. 46 Womans Era, Delhi Press, New Delhi-110 055.


w Cross r d



Winners of Crossword - 43


, Jabalpur. Isha Choubey

M. Swati, Bhub aneswar.

nnai. R. Pallavi, Che

Tinoo Sharma, New


Answers to Crossword-43
Across: 1. Epistemic, 7. TE, 8. Culvert, 9. Rna, 10. Unit, 11. Amiss, 13. Rps, 16. Ace, 19. Endear, 21. Slate, 22. Master, 23. Recap, 24. Let, 25. Levy, 27. Morse, 28. MW.
vate, 2. Idle, Down: 1. Exca 5. Corpuscle, Meteor, 3. Tress, 4. stry, Indycar, 14. Pa , 6. Ataxia,12. rly, 18. Bestow 15. Era, 17. Ea om, 26. VC. .R 20. Ample, 23

a, Bikaner. Rekha Sharm

Vijayalakshm i, Bhopal.

er, Pune. Bhavatharni Iy


Palwal. Jai Bhagwan,

Sunil Garg, Fa ridabad.

Srinagar. Shinal Singh,


A prize of ` 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 prize amount will be divided among the first 10 competitors chosen by lot. The decision of the management will be final and binding. Entries must be on the crossword printed here. Photocopies will not be accepted. Entries must be sent so as to reach Womans Era by 15 May 2012, 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 senders 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. Womans Era April (Second) 2012

Rules and Regulations





Short Story

The Man Who Cured My Blindness

He gave the author some insight into human failings.
By Roy Cherian C.

y first days in Kolkata were pathetic. I was here to join a new company and this was the first time I was staying away from home. Loneliness crept into me many times every day. Till I found an independent house, I was staying as a paying guest close to Karunamoyee in the Salt Lake area. One of my very good friends had put me there for an interim stay. The introvert in me took time to make friends in Kolkata. Learning the language also took time. I was into one of the several rooms that had in it enough space and facilities for two persons to live in. There were lots of people there who stayed for an interim period. In the span of the seven months that I was there, I had three roommates and for some time I was alone too. One of these roommates was a young person from Andhra Pradesh who was there for most of the time. The other was an older person who was there for just about a few weeks. But, after a house was planned for me and I had taken a decision to move, there came in another roommate, Shankar Das, with whom I spent just about less than a months time. But that stay is something that will remain etched in my memory for ever. I first saw him when I returned from work on a weekend. He was sitting on one of the beds with his back towards me. On first appearance, Shankar would give anyone the impression that he was from a rich

pedigree. I was already expecting a roommate any time and I took the initiative to go ahead with the introductions. And so I put my hand forward saying, Nice meeting you. I am Roy. He paused and groped for the direction from where my voice came and held out his hand. It was a real shock for me as I never at any time expected that I would share the same room with a blind person. I gave him a dead fish handshake and proceeded to freshen up and settle down. It took time for me to get over the shock. We had lots of moments of silence between us for the first few days. There were times when I pretended that I did not hear his repeated questions. I did not like being his roommate. I was forced to spend more time observing what he was doing. In a few days, I noticed that he developed a very good idea of where the different objects were in the room. He made use of the edges of the bed or the door to get a relative sense of where the other objects were. I noticed that the things he placed on the table formed a systematic arrangement. It was like every time I saw the same things, I felt that they had never been moved at any time. I came to understand from the house owner that he was employed somewhere in West Bengal and he was in Kolkata for some time for some personal work. When twilight hit the sky, Shankar would sit near the window and look out. I


Womans Era April (Second) 2012

was not sure how he was keeping track of time, but twilight always brought him to the window. The direction of his gaze would be towards the trees and the sky, while we could hear the chirp of birds heading for their nests. He would smile once in a while and I used to wonder what made him do so. I never could think of a moment when I sat near the window smiling while looking at the sky and the trees. Sometimes, he would sing melodious Hindi film songs while sitting there and that slowly drew me to him like never before.

everal days passed. I had failed to notice that our rooms common restroom was all very clean with all things well arranged. Even though I had tried several times to keep it clean, my previous roommates would mess it up. There were no helpers doing it for us either. But Shankar, I noticed, was strikingly different. He took the pain to keep things clean and tidy. My impression about him changed so much and I started loving his company. I showed that overtly one day, when I sang immediately after he completed one of his songs at twilight. I saw his face

He was a much superior human being than what I thought about him and, although I was not literally blind, the blindness of the character in me could not accept a person like him initially.

turn towards me and when I kept singing, he listened in rapt attention. After the song, he could not control his joy and he came towards me and gave me both his hands. We held our hands together for a long time and we complemented each other. He was a much superior human being than what I thought about him and, although I was not literally blind, the blindness of the character in me could not accept a person like him initially. Shankar was blind indeed, but he opened the blind eyes of my mind that day. It was indeed a sad day for me when I moved out from that house. He did ask me once whether I found it difficult staying with him. I replied that I really felt happy staying with him.

do not know how much he felt convinced inside his heart about what I said, as he could never see my genuine expression. But Shankar lives in my heart even today and I have a great respect for him. Every time I sit with my daughter, near our houses window and enjoy the evening sun, while chirping birds head for their nests, great reminiscences of Shankar singing at twilight, flash through my mind. We And that will remain in me forever.


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You have eloquently brought out in the editorial Losing Credibility (WE; March II) about an invidious task of plagiarism adopted by the nations most high-ranking scientist, Prof. C N R Rao who is well-known for his excellence and genius in the field of Applied Physics. It is indeed unbecoming and demeaning on the part of this noted and eminent scientist to have indulged in the malpractice of plagiarism of certain research work from foreign journals into his research paper. Hence, the scientists who are supposed to produce voluminous work of research in their respective fields mainly in the larger interests of nations progress and development should work hard and come up with their own ideas and innovations for raising standards with a selfless motive by not adopting to plagiarism. Hence, what is most and essentially required among the scientists is selfless patriotism and not plagiarism for overall betterment of society. Action to deter and disallow scientists from plagiarism by the government would go a long way in not only enhancing their prestige, but also helps to promote hidden scientific talents and elevate standards that are of late, seem to be falling down as hinted out by the Prime Minister himself during the inaugural function of the National Science Congress held at Bhubaneswar in the recent past. Bh. Indu Sekhar, Hyderabad.

can then you at top level, works is happening of research If this is Minister is standard the Prime d why the of problems understan country and why even a multitude scientific falling in the it. India is facing CREDIBILITY need proper funds go g the National of worried about These problems year, a lot Minister while inauguratin But in every sphere. them. Every last year, ent works. the Prime ometime to solve concern over you can and developm Congress, expressed research and planning Science of plagiarism Singh had research into scientific increasing cases scientists are about Dr Manmohan of scientific Indian scientist at the our top standard of looking much serious Now, a celebrity ste type declining guess how nt in India. lity. PIL in a cut-and-pa i Nagesha developme indulging their responsibi MISUSING SH been found The scientist Chintaman Advisory has justice of Scientific work. that chief the head research in the suggested ra Rao is of interest PIL which Ramchand Minister. and two students, quickly shot had a conflict the Prime scientist journal has been only Kapadia Council to with another in a foreign science to be tax judgment,The petitioner not He, along also Vodafone paper found Court. time, but a research in which was the courts published by the Supreme repeat last year, that appeared as not to from downadmonished for wasting Applied Materials an earlier work gesture so the landmark was Physics Letters, lifted a warning d from plagiarise ` 50,000 as 20 January, had ruled that had been journal Applied a fined future. On bench s another foreignintroductory sentences considere d thing in Justices tax Vodafonein Rao is state the by the Chief ly, Prof which several t could not stake and solid judgment Interesting 67 per cent Essar science tax departmen a shock to verbatim. material the the income acquisition of Hutchs come as light in venture with While the incident has then, other cases billion leading $11.07 its joint Hence, the India. Since May 2007. the in chemistry. earlier research Group in a party in fraternity Prof Raos nt, being the science this PIL involving governme . a review, that of plagiarism uncovered case, filed 1500 twist, alleging the have been own works has authored added its al did not disclose Prof Rao in internation Chief Justice son was a senior papers or cohis scientific fact that and Young, His s and authored at Ernst books. on publication manager Vodafone over 40 comes out to advised fact, authored which had average also each year. deal. This for authorship suspect. the Hutch and a book been writing the judgment of reform 30 papers he has rendered era to the PIL, has ushered in an nt to In other words, two research papers according can litigation from environme time and layman and publishing become a Public interest range of areas Even a works take a The PIL has research per month! Rao episode in a sweeping civil rights. justice. But that scientific . Thus, the politics to in India, understand access to nothing good, economy, to be completed misconduct does tool to expand lot of patience s and books. its goal on scientific in this case, powerful spotlight publication in various like the one to this tradition because puts the research petitioner, involving accelerate to a Delhigrave disservice particularly and development PIL history rise, according a spurt of except smear. has a smeared Swiss Bank As research is on the is to just has been petitioner was a it fields, plagiarism institution. There This particular he claimed there of them involve court called year, , and most name, the based watchdog Patils himself. Last of plagiarism Gandhis d Pratibha s and in Rajiv the complaints nt institution he is behind he Indian scientists. & account s. He even challenge l election; prominent an; slanderou where governme of the research Balakrishn output in the presidentia In India, for bulk ex-CJI KG funding. research nomination s account a probe into into Anna Hazares to produce papers in laboratorie is the calling for nt, the pressure to publish, and for a probe ce PIL Chief Justice public developme There is rush equated to performan is has also askedagainst the present ly twisting has increased. are often Plagiarism is increasing latest PIL thrives on His rises. which al journals mentality s and pay and Jamia internation this is of silly actions, . Such a University to promotion in kind discourse way to counter s like Delhi and linked is trending debate and innuendo. The only facts, as the court universitie of and In 2007, sector, plagiarism rampant at pharmacy. Dr RA allegation out with the full force . In private it m We University like bio-sciences and scientist to throw when it out illustrious rightly. newer fields write to: letters@wo has done had knocked government committee a plagiarism d contained as head of he co-authore Mashelkar that a book was discovered (Second) 2012 material. Era March plagiarised Womans



Thanks, Woman's Era, for the article IS HONESTY Y... POLIC THE BEST titled: Is Honesty the Best Policy... to achieve tranquillity? (WE March II, 2012). As mentioned, honesty and trust are the foundation stones on which a good relationship is built. It has been rightly said that to be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved. Further, peace is dependent upon honesty and oath is immutable in this world, that is why honesty is praised. It was Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) who said that 'Honesty' is the first chapter of the book of wisdom. Furthermore, "honesty is the best policy", but he who acts on that principle is not an honest man. If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people. Here, we must take note of Arabian proverb which goes like this: when you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey.' Further, an honest man feels that he must pay heaven for every hour of happiness with a good spell of hard unselfish work to make others happy. Beena Mathur, Pune.
... to achiev e tranquillity?
By Beatrice Baptista Kohli

a jerk, him. Hes you careful of be nice to should be things would not money. He up to the often I wish he he needs and own would ip for granted. only whenever the actions other people ly trust are honesty came takes your relationsh d, emotional which most onesty and that we build a hide. If only self-centre Ramona, s prefer to I have discovered He is so narcissist. foundation on. They are and its flipside. be perilous bankrupt, a true ip kind, gentle more at times can which without relationsh has are so and cement that honesty lack of diplomacy take you the block then you He should tal to building in its use. My now and deserve better. generous. ation. life every are fundamen ct I know you some of communic self-respe dogged my seriously, bumps in shred of a healthy had any and forthright. and has createdrelationships. p Be frank the If you tell him to go to hell. by my valued 'open' relationshi my most when I reminisceeyes you will Have an was shattered nothing and live I shudder Ramona my friends my everyone there was with I always Maybe about that shadowed but there ever after. opinion. and hurt she had asked me I had said truthfully an honest the boyfriend untruthful in what in the way I had when that to live of advice, about way to exist. I told her was plenty amiss believed absence to marry. was the only praised for frank You a horrifying did not walk truthful life are she intended I thought of him. said it with Romana heard Honest people admired for their exactly what tact. Eventuallywith 'Mr Right'. I and their that aisle their integrity responsibility for down the friend of ours It's take common ability to on her. through a him cheating and she caught since this episode but I kind of been a year friends have we are still Ramona may not know that but my words are me forgiven of my friendly forgotten. and agony not The irony that it was opinion was asked proffered Ramona had my advice. unsolicited and instead validation off a hostile me for my had set accepted response I have rationally flaw. So, backlash. as a personality a great deal my bluntness an thought and after some I have learnt to make and of resolution, pedal my opinions soft sake of not effort to truth for the words, withhold the else in other of hurting someone sanity and that g my maintainin with a others. us can identify have said Most of where we wish to take situation our we would something words escape as the 'honest' back even confuse We often the mistaken mouths. ation with acceptable in communic is that anything belief


irresistible. We have to remind ourselves of one crucial thing, that is, one needs both, outward and noble sign of an inward and spiritual grace. Beena Mathur, Pune.



Thanks Woman's Era for special issue on Fashion Over the Edge. (March I, 2012). All the articles are giving valuable information on various aspects of beauty. I found the article titled Beautiful you forever, very interesting as it makes us aware about the modern technology and procedure and it's dos and don'ts. Likewise, the article, Fashion after 50 reminded me of the saying which goes like this: Eat to please yourself but dress to please others". "It is only fine feathers that make fine birds." Even I feel the same way. Our eyes admire those women who are dressed gracefully with a blend of style and elegance. In fact, grace makes them Womans Era April (Second) 2012

Your editorial Change for better (WE March I) is timely, particularly at a time when the on-going debate on the aspect of homo sexuality has drawn the attention of the Supreme Court to pronounce the verdict for or against the alarming trends of homosexuality in the context of Indian society. It is not all the time apt to assume that India which is adapting its way of life to modernity under the veil of western culture is solely responsible for an evolution or change when the trends of homo sexuality are ostensibly striking at society. After all, sex is a biological need which under normal conditions of life involves physical sharing between two individuals of opposite sex. In such case, it is quite common and natural that two individuals of opposite sex are attracted towards each other. On the contrary, it is out of way when the question of homosexuality or a sexual attraction builds up between two individuals of the same sex, thus leading to gay or lesbian sex. Further, gay or lesbian sex is not natural and fair and unlike the true sex, does not necessarily mean a sexual union, as such a provision is unavailable due to absence of human organs necessary for the purpose of sex. In fact, homosexuals by virtue of defective genetic composition arising out of (say gay-gene) have the propensity or mindset to attract the company of the same sex, thus avoiding the company or union of an opposite sex for deriving pleasure or fulfilling sexual desires like other normal human beings. It is certainly not due to aping of the western society or culture that one gets entangled with homo sexuality, as gay or lesbian sex is 145

purpose, spree, their in the annexing then on an to prevent the soldiers al they were in homosexu seems indulging most probably them from outbreak of sexually army under the FOR BETTER poser that who is Indian and thus stop them. even among activities continues Courts sex, a d diseases the British between ith the Supreme what is unnaturalage-old transmitte framed then by of contention ality. to say The law on an main bone the expert of homosexu our n in this is the has started in today. And new debate has made this observatio s and opponents have flown offence India of much water the proponent apex court which is hitherto an s argue that have left Indian soils. subject. The ality, framed way with developed homosexu had been that Proponent the British a said law relation to since hand in hand sex assert to become India. The s of gay has rivers is marching and is poised by law in and we The proponentits validity as society was 21st century progress in 1860. lost has not change in terms of with back nations Their cause since long, behavior our mindset this law has, much since then. Delhi High Court power. But human sexual scrapping of the too als super to look at ago when changed demand total their life with that homosexu still continue two years They, therefore, could enjoy favour stating in society and at supported when . contempt. so that they, too, prosecutio n. So ruling in their against ted behaviour gave a said law fear of sex came, be discrimina of their sexual the the sans any izing gay could not tion violates full freedom only because ruling decriminal gay and lesbian workplace the ruling, such discrimina High Court joy among to and lesbians. All Delhi was a wave of the gays According in nature. there created some al rights of . fundament is the only constant part of nature. joy, however, It appeared as community are expressed also. change Change humans, Their overtly ripples in society d feelings would too, undergo , including the that they, in scientific organisms if their suppresse society with is inevitable is called evolution Hence, it the entire the legal dam. It is flood This change to with time. they say, evolution to away of breaking ss, important the of animals terms. As of for a group was, nonethele implication s nt. This d the necessary environme provided understan changing ruling for their survival The adapt to shield against ruling. necessary about survival m als a legal is, as such talk homosexu When we biggest tion and outcasteis for on earth. are the social discrimina was a message is the . It are then humans this art. This at workplace all, homosexuals too be s in have become champion humans all that; after and as such should But can we reason why are human beings species today. dominant s of all changes Can the society. sure that the proponent mix up with society? say for status in good for allowed to given by legal social and logic to sexual palatable Another not become it has received the members those related ality is that marriages among some changes there. But especially Even is homosexu sanctions stigma also of animals western countries. have got legal adopt what is being behaviour of sex has same sex behaviour? blindly time sexual the we with the name we know, the of then that Agreed that to change. As simply in on to ensure does it mean copying the foreign countries es show that for of reproducti generations. But also subjected done in beneficial as a means s after ? Past experienc had proved evolved ality? brain (read generation modernity of species has not always then on homosexu not a a developed survival with play. As humans West blindly much insistence certainly animals a thing for some, but on earth, among Why so trying to activity for all animals ) it has become All India. enjoyable are nowadays intelligence intelligent among variations. It can be some groups are the mostbehavior shows maximum human sexual of life, as es have communiti be seen in termed as way everyone believe. their sexual tation can and lesbian make lawyers and can be ly, the gay prominent the than good. kinds of experimen of which Interesting services of As of now, more harm , some that to hire the behaviour as they can cause their cause. l variation Court has been able s, represent not behavioura e Supreme ep perversion experts to honourabl is one such since long, though legal ality that the case in step-by-st gaygene). Homosexu topic of debate respite is handle the your fingers a of birth (read a taboo, only they would final verdict. Keep has been order but a matter said that sex was our social before giving definite perversioneven the normal verdict keeps We d by all means, In manner, till then that their Earlier, when disease. to be suppresse write to: letters@wo crossed of mental ality used ruling some kind homosexu they were intact. considered British, when activity. As as it was even the an outlawed Indian context, homosexuality (First) 2012 Era March India, declared Womans



basically a genetic trait or handicap that one cannot overcome, however smart and wealthy one turns. In spite of a ruling in favour of homosexuality which will be made by the Supreme Court to relieve the proponents, a social stigma and an undermining social status deriding homosexuals in our society will always remain. Bh. Indu Sekhar, Hyderabad.


This is with reference to your editorial Problem of Plenty (Womans Era February II), wherein you brought out authoritatively the problem of poverty amidst plenty of food stocks. According to the recent survey, more than 35 per cent of the population in India live below the poverty line. (BPL) This is despite the fact that the farmers of the country produced 102 million tons of rice and 88 million tons of wheat. The UPA government may claim that its flagship project NREGA and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act are intended to reduce the percentage of poverty-stricken people. But it has been reported by the media that both well-intended welfare measures are reeking of corruption. Low wages, fake muster rolls, are a few corrupt practices by which the caucus of officials/police/local politicians employ to make these schemes a farce. When children are dying of malnourish ment and diseases, godowns maintained by Food Corporation of India are overflowing with rice, wheat, etc., due to negligence, and improper vigilance these food items are eaten by the rats or found unfit for consumption. While the farmers are committing suicide due to harassment by financial institutions for not repaying loans, the credits given to big corporates are treated as nonperforming assets. K. S. Sundaram, Bangalore.

PILLS actually iron tablet a huge of a medical that too in tion ver heard particles, administra it. free iron OF PLENTY bumper harvest in and drug containing not believe State food another tonnes quantity? initially did will enjoy presented 102 million he country ner in Mumbai ed consumer and with an estimated of wheat projected nt. commissiowhen a Thane-bas left both stunned tonnes 2011-12 was governme 88 million into his office of However, the evidence, he of the union of rice and production walked straight how the him with revised estimates increase in The consumer the officials showed as per the of total food of horrified. result of significant production presence level of Also, as a estimated to a magnet. the FDA and in the a record wheat the tablets in were clinging stands at than the target of rice and contained 2011-12 iron tablets higher of the Solufer-XTiron tablets gly grains during tonnes, which is Testing that the astonishin revealed which is for the year. create a problem The 250.42 million tonnes fixed Food laboratory free iron particles, labelled quantity. for could also of 245 million the prescribed bumper harvest nt with the National t 117 mg cent higher than tablets But this governmen to be way iron in the 193 per t and the for the governme elemental cells, found Parliamen of plenty content of lack of red blood the states. pending in could stocks to or Security Bill are manu offload existing with a wider coverage, and anaemia permissible limits. ed unable to These tablets Pradesh of the central the above the implement out Himachal The bill, if es. are taken arms of factured by Laboratori the stocks different ensure that based Galpha es, though in medicine state warehousstill tied up in debate Such a negligence clearly an is t are the beneficiary state governmen manufacturing expensive offence. But stop about how to intolerable has can do little list be. level FDA , the situation nt except banning Meanwhile the governme such practices drug in their of to unnerve how and where begun the sale not know states. crops. Its like which does respective authority the coming resulted in had to store Only a central or licencing in last year s in huge inactivity the drug controller take action food-grain Courts can rotting of Supreme rer. But authority Even the manufactu surplus food quantities. cases against the to distribute ones fell on is when such directions the irony usually too the needy ive light it is grains among course, unproduct come to damage. for Of undo the and food deaf ears. late to popping like NREGA the foodgrain keep on schemes Patients prescribed a dent in stocks tablets as to work made foodgrain down the in a hope of the piling stocks, yet big problem by their doctors pose a ailment. common rs definitely recover from Here, a practitione ease proper disposal. the situation Medical them the ask: will prescribe by man may in the market? generally grain prices are introduced happen. with the food drug which lly, it should y of our medicos is Theoretica tempt the rers. This tives, who at the inefficienclevel, it representa n from the manufactu d in the But looking at the central prices will some medical commissio rers are establishe be more ministers that food consumers has to the handsome manufactu common consumer seems unlikely may allow how novice or she must future giving ministers endue such a scenario, his rights. He the ease in near to this, our providing about market. In ill-effect of and aware not, are about any respite. Contrary foodgrains thereby of often than the doctor a conscious lavish exportsexporters, who more in turn, cause once apprise on them. ation of at the may, tried of misformul and the profits to forcing the kin. This drugs being , such cases kith and unnoticed in the country foodgrains their own Otherwise on occurringthat they are playing of foodgrains about importing the may go shortage . What realise medicines nt to think exchange vision rers will never foreign m We governme in is the proper prove manufactu of the people. valuable be lacking spending may write to: letters@wo with the life t seems to ent that governmen managem This makes one feel about foodgrains can feed all. for all and of great ironies. beneficial a country (Second) 2012 is indeed Era February that India Womans




U.P.A is woman, chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Delhi, West Bengal, all are women and doing well. Above all, Meira Kumar Lok Sabha Adhyaksha and Sushma Swaraj, leader of the Opposition, are the examples for our country. Their remark shows a low thinking. Next Chief Election Commissioner should be a woman which will be a proud moment for our country. Om Prakash Srivastava, Lucknow.
who The Motherve up! wouldnt Gi
a maternal love beat the

t Story

The short story (WE January II) The Mother Who Wouldnt Give Up by Kasturi Rangachari is written in a nice way. It depicts the travails of mother to save her little girl from the clutches of certain death. Though she was uneducated and came from a lower middle-class family, her strength of character was wonderful. She defied many doctors suggestions and believed in the wonderful bond between a mother and her child. Instead of bowing to the so-called fate or Karma, this courageous woman wages a war against them when she finds the little one is suffering from dyslexia. Savithri Viswanathan, Chennai.

and later child with only s accident the I her daughter had learnt to help to guide her. Later she instincts and things and how promises sense and filled in details. any the same. come with her common and he on to remainwhen one is ife doesnt that will inspire depended met her husband story one cannot be suddenly clear away time, This is Bhuvanas family trauma. with at the same Clouds can hope but, descend on in woman dealing is a totally without can suddenly an electrician n, d horrors is going great. This ends the wife of Kumaresa unexpecte huvana was and her husband, Shankari and everything as a nightmare and She ld life. It one when Chennai. starts off , five-year-o parents were no travails of a true tale that of the joys and is ns had two daughters of love. It Kumaresa et tale his younger -old Padma. and children and as a bitter-swen to the healing power between 14-month Money was ly deep bond dedicatio he, his wife is a more and n, lived together.were a close, the inexplicab a womans story about child. It is a tale of woman who e, but they brother, Murugesa story of a mother and never in abundanc fault? tion. It is the but happy family. happened, Bhuvanas determina up! it wasnt, Was what d what my wouldnt give understan was and perhaps trying to Perhaps it Only I could wasted time much a she has never has never had that baby needed! when she was decide. She anyway! I met Bhuvana nt training she a governme parents time to waste started when speaker at s for The nightmare of her home with counsellor terrace camp for children. I was very was on the -law Murugesan, of dyslexic with her noher brother-in little Padma. impressed and yet practical Shankari n was at work. nonsense, and supportive Kumaresa Husband was studying for his n comforting parents how Murugesa Board exams, style of teaching help highly standard and with a 12th was playing sleeping to cope with She began Shankari that Padma was dyslexic children. plastic doll, Bhuvana was the audience by telling and had a dyslexic on a mat s for the vegetable she herself chopping his daughter. meal. by afternoon n took a break from I was intrigued appear sisterMurugesa She didnt talk to his began to Bhuvana. and she about his studies and highly educatedany talked first then for in-law. He for his exams and didnt work dealing with ns ion preparatio her about his schools an organisat s. Her tell e. She listened, began to more learning disabilitie programm e appeared l. After annual day on her face. knowledg both smile than theoretica I went thud and indulgent practical a sudden told me as her speech, There was turned, Bhuvana she finished to her and she told n and I to talk without across Murugesa Openly and me her story. iousness she talked with any self-consc had learnt to cope (Second) 2012 she Era January about how Womans

of how Rangachari but true account By Kasturi Unbelievable her baby dying. odds against with her dyslexia


The prize is awarded to:

Bh. Indu Sekhar, Hyderabad.

WOMAN'S ERA invites readers opinions and reactions on articles, short stories and features published in Womans Era. The best letter will be given a prize of Rs 500. Address your letters by E-mail to: or by post to: AS YOU SAY
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E G IN SCIENC n of Prime INDIA TRAILIN with the observatio at 99th made agree

This refers to the editorial (January II) R titled Only Woman Please I do not agree with the views of Election Commission because when the President of our country is a woman, chairperson of 146 Womans Era April (Second) 2012

a ONLY recently taken n (EC) has the assembly to lection Commissio in view of According decision strange in five states. employed to be to be held elections officers will of the five n Singh e may war only women in Goa, one given even Manmoha in Bhubanes the decision, process Minister Dr Congress electoral the EC has will of scientific supervise of its decision,are honest; women National Science China in terms are the to In favour women will not picnic trailing even nt. China and India their states. reasons like in duties and that we are of them began been doing and developme in stranger their time to election officers had research in Asia. Both simultaneously threatened devote all countries unlike men almost and can be two largest while China on Goa beaches weak and soft But today, towards progress are almost ely journeys of 20th century. with, India is past; women d and all that. Goa is comparativ UP, the fifth decade force to reckon beginning. or manipulate eyes of the EC, a states like the in the has become had been doing in the scientific and tougher sail through the Thus in it women prevailing that lakhs state for officers to limping as condition from the fact are safer Manipur need men Miserable be judged a clear-cut Punjab, and engineers here can essence, doctors of greener community women election boat. of thinking is, in scientists, countries in search time, when army, of Indian In modern Such kind of to the western the against women. frontier locations must be migrating even for in They is prejudice recruited a challenge is wrong. pastures. root of it are getting their capabilities is becoming tougher states. then in the g If China mettle in done in the underminin western countries, they had to show their that works advanced a chance SCHOOLS spade work nsive scientific that given LSORY IN in comprehe the extensive and ensured initiative . They got in India, CHESS COMPU of Gujarat took y in beginning mother tongue state tongue. But compulsor into their to in mother ecently the game of chess translated Nadu, are taught as we continued the h state Tamil y in ever made, making their children young children Soon, down-sout chess compulsor efforts were As a result, learning schools. no such cricket declared mindset. energy in he has the suit and an elitist game of their of live in colonial after too, followed atmosphere where than half here only ed the growth an a torture waste more can learn science initiative has strangulat schools. In It would be games, this research English. One command of English. breather. all other some fruitful like a fresh that gained good them to do has come a game to expect t. for them this, political Chess is investmen Apart from day-tovery little in works. space to involves e is common very little interferenc of our top scientific It requires can be played in It established day working that is, play also. which were the in night also, institutions culture in day and limitation. scientific time to promote there is no not many people the had country. Perhaps Congress that chess In the sameshowed concern war-like may know of in which number Prime Minister chaturang as declining in India about the in the country. of Rajas are originated Fondness simulated. in woman scientists informed that 60 per cent he scenes were patronised the game. well known. But holders about shocking is the was Citing a survey severe Royalties women PhD more d for the game games, faced out of 2000 Very shocking. But are unemploye and nawabs chess like other d. PhD holders work- place. It is unemploye not produce modern times,the country. these women tion at in India could fact that that family ters in discrimina negligence be the reason why they face perception job. al grandmas because scientific popular This may stimulate of internation to the take up a l number initiative will or to carve a contrary women to Whether a substantia hope that the new scientists ns prevent seriously. us ce compulsio very hard for women and work culture. chess. Let take chess is ters but performan brains to Clearly, it great nated society immediate attention the young man-domi more grandmas as chess is a niche in a the situation demandsnot just enough that improve, not we produce It is brains will Definitely m We quarters. talents. Scientific of our little also! number of from all concerned e and at every write to: letters@wo mental exercise a limited scientific we produce be encouraged everywher to curriculum brains need of out of hour. level. Cultivation need of the (Second) 2012 ent is the temperam Era January Womans