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DECEMBER (SECOND) 2013 ` 40

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DECEMBER (SECOND) 2013
Vol 40, Issue No. 961
BUILDS HAPPY HOMES
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CONTENTS
Founder: Vishwa Nath
(1917-2002)
Velvet Cake with
Rose Petals
Pineapple Upside
Down Chilli Cake
Orange Flavoured
Cake
Green Peas Cake
Assorted Muffins
Chocolate and
Peanut Muffins
Fresh Fruit Tart
Cake and Rice Kulfi
Coconut Milk Tri-
Layered Cake
Rich Walnut and
Dates Cake
Stuffed Cake
sugar to settle down in the mixy
and then add the hung curd and a
portion of the oil. Blend well in the
mixer. Continue to blend adding
a little oil from time to time. Blend
and churn till all the oil is used up.
Thi s wi l l gi ve you a smooth
flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
Also, mix in the essence and the
colour into the mixture at this
stage. The final mixture should be
smooth without lumps. Pour this
on the prepared cake tin. Place
this tin in a preheated oven and
bake at 180
OC for 35-40 minutes.
To check i f the cake i s done,
pierce a knitting needle in the
centre of the cake. The needle
should come out dry and that is
VELVET CAKE
WITH ROSE
PETALS
INGREDIENTS:
250 gm maida - flour
11/4 tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
220 gm hung curd
200 ml oil sunflower oil
1/2 tsp red edible colour
1 tsp rose essence
For decoration:
2 cups whipped sweetened
cream
rose petals
METHOD
Grease a round cake tin. Sift
together the mai da, baki ng
powder and keep these dry
ingredients aside. Grind the sugar
in a mixer to a powder. Allow the
34
Womans Era December (Second) 2013
Festive Occasion
Christmas
and new year
are times for
celebration.
Prepare the
following
cakes which
are easy to
prepare and
most of these
do not
require any
icing and
easily made.
By Roma Ghosh
Velvet cake
with rose petals
FOR THE
check if the cake is done, pierce a
knitting needle in the centre of the
cake. The needle should come
out dry and that i s the best
indication for a well-baked cake. If
the knitting needle is wet then
al l ow the cake to cook for 5
minutes more while you reduce
the temperature to 140
OC. Once
the cake is baked put off the oven
and allow the cake to cool in the
oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove
from the oven and cool to room
temperature. Place a plate on top
of the cake tin and then turn over
quickly. This will mean that the
base of the cake which has the
pineapple slices will be on top.
Therefore, it is an upside down
pineapple cake.
ORANGE
FLAVOURED
CAKE
INGREDIENTS:
250 gm maida - flour
11/4 tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
220 gm hung curd
200 ml oil sunflower oil
1 tsp orange essence
1 tsp orange rind
For decorations:
orange segments
METHOD
Grease a cake ti n of any
shape. Sift together the maida,
baking powder and keep these
dry ingredients aside. Cut the
orange rind into very small pieces.
Grind the sugar in a mixer to a
powder. Allow the sugar to settle
down i n the mi xy. Mi x i n the
chopped orange rind pieces and
the orange essence. Mix in the
hung curd and a portion of the oil.
Blend well in the mixer. Continue
to blend adding a little oil from
36
Womans Era December (Second) 2013
the best i ndi cati on for a wel l -
baked cake. If the knitting needle
is wet then allow the cake to cook
for 5 mi nutes more whi l e you
reduce the temperature to 140
OC.
Once the cake is baked put off the
oven and allow the cake to cool
in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool
to room temperature.
For the decoration: Spread
the whipped sweetened cream on
top of and the sides of the cake.
Keep in the fridge to chill. When
ready to serve decorate with the
rose petals.
PINEAPPLE
UPSIDE DOWN
CHILLI CAKE
INGREDIENTS:
6 slices of tinned pineapple
more or less of slices may be
used as per the size of your
baking dish
2 tsp chilli flakes
For cake:
250 gm maida - flour
11/4 tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
220 gm hung curd
200 ml oil sunflower oil
METHOD
Grease a round cake tin. Place
the pi neappl e sl i ces on the
bottom of the cake tin in a circular
desi gn and spri nkl e the chi l l i
flakes over the pineapple slices.
Sift together the maida, baking
powder and keep these dry
ingredients aside. Grind the sugar
in a mixer to a powder. Allow the
sugar to settle down in the mixy
and then add the hung curd and a
portion of the oil. Blend well in the
mixer. Continue to blend adding
a little oil from time to time. Blend
and churn till all the oil is used up.
Thi s wi l l gi ve you a smooth
flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
The fi nal mi xture shoul d be
smooth without lumps. Pour this
on the prepared cake tin with the
pineapple slices. Place this tin in a
preheated oven and bake at
180
OC for 35-40 mi nutes. To
Pineapple upside
down chilli cake
55 NOSTALGIC
GAAJAR KA HALWA
Sumit S. Paul
56 TREASURE HUNTING
IN DIVERSE WAYS
T. Rajagopalan
VISITING MALAMPUZHA
Sudha Chandrasekharan
94 RAFI-CRAZY SINGER
Gayatri T Rao
100 EXERCISE WILL HELP
YOU GET YOUR ZZZS
Mala Ashok
104 ART = SADHANA
Chandrashekhar Shrivastava
107 BROWN DIAMONDS
ARE OF CHAMPAGNE
CHARM
Kusum Mehta
108 ALL ABOUT
FOLK TALES
Abhishek Kumar
34 FOR THE FESTIVE OCCASSION
COOKERY
9
ARTICLES
14 THE FAKE AFFAIR
Neelam Chandra
46 AN INTRIGUING
INTERLUDE
Pallavi Banerjee
58 THE MIDDLE PATH
Shantha Nagarajan
FICTION
90
92
MEMORY TIPS YOU
WILL NEVER FORGET
Pushpa Bhatia
WHY MARRIAGES ARE
NOT MADE IN HEAVEN!
Shilpi Moda
NO PAPA, NO
Gurjas Kaul Chahal
29
24
PINK PARADE
WHAT AILS THE
INDIAN ECONOMY?
Priya Swaminathan
PASSION FOR FASHION
Maharaaj K. Koul
IN A QUARREL
Swetha Sunder
26
VOICE SILENT
STREET HARASSMENT
Lata Jain
98
86 AS YOU SOW,
SO SHALL YOU REAP
Meenakshi Arvind
96 FOR LOVE
Priyanka Sharma
THE KISS
Pradeep Kumar Basu
Crushed Peanuts Muffins
Blue Berry Cake
Tart Basket
Beetroot Loaf
Oats Muffins
6
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NEWS IN
PICTURES
22 YOUR BODY
67 PERSONAL PROBLEMS
85 MY FAMILY,
MY FRIENDS AND ME...
93 CHILD CHALLENGES
101 KITCHEN QUERIES
112 CLASSIFIEDS
20
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64
JUNKING UP
FASHION
Page
102
50
49 GRATEFULLY YOURS
60 MUSINGS, MEMORIES
61 WHAT KIND OF GIRLFRIEND
ARE YOU? (QUIZ)
95 THE INCIDENT
I CANNOT FORGET
102 CROSSWORD
115 AS YOU SAY
SUBTLE FASHION
STATEMENT
ROYAL WEDDING
7
VOTE FOR A CHANGE
A
s was expected, BJP made a clean sweep in
three states out of five which have gone to the
polls. In Delhi people gave a fractured mandate
and posed a greater confidence in Aam Aadmi Party
(AAP). Clearly it was a vote against the Congress
rather than a vote for BJP in the run-up to the 2014
general elections. Already, the stock market has
reacted positively with the sensex shooting up in
anticipation of a change of guards at the Centre.
Clearly the Congress is on the losing track.
If one hears Modi speaking from the dais of so many
political rallies one knows that the content remains the
same and that, too, in the Congress bastion where
there are lot of talks about development, new polices,
changed agenda and many other meaningful dialogue
which he may bring in, if voted to power.
If the poll results are any indication, the elections are
looking at a change of leadership in all other states of
the country. In Andhra Pradesh, where Congress is
playing Telangana card, Jagan is slated to sweep the
general elections. In UP, Akhilesh and Mulayam have
lost a lot of ground ever since they formed the state
government there. In the other
states also, the parties in power
are on the way out for strong
anti-incumbency factor.
At the national level,
Congress has failed miserably
on the economic front. One
wonders if they would like to
come back to power after such
a dismal performance. With the
global recession looming large,
exchange rate in the pits, huge subsidy bill and lower-
than-ever-tax collections, anybody who forms the next
government will be sweating for the budget speech of
2014-15. One of the ways to salvage the situation is to
curb unnecessary consumption, put a cap on the
subsidy bill, announce and implement large
infrastructure projects funded by the government and
take serious decisions about the judicious use of
minerals. All the above are non-populist moves and
whoever comes to power will have to implement them
as also part of their own manifesto.
One only hopes that the way Indian democracy is
showing the door to the Congress, the winning parties,
too, must understand that they cant take voters for a
ride. The days are now over when liquor, notes,
blankets and hollow but lofty promises were all that
could drive masses into voting for a public figure.
The revolution in technology and communications
coupled with vigilant media has left the Indian voter
EDITORIAL
We write to: editor@womansera.com
8 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
more informed to make a wiser decision. In a recent
discussion it was revealed that one of the MLA
candidates decided to square off the outstanding loans
of all the farmers, thereby making them indebted to him
so much so that they voted in his favour. But this is a
one-off example.
The Election Commission recently introduced NOTA
for the first time in these elections. Even though majority
of NOTA votes will not lead to cancellation of election,
the results show very much of NOTA was used in these
elections. The positive aspect of this new option is even
if a corrupt candidate wins, it will be evident whether he
won by majority votes or by default. Clearly, in the
coming general elections, NOTA will play very vital and
bigger role in deciding the fate of a winning candidates
acceptability.
AAP IS HERE TO STAY
I
n the elections for the 70 seats of Delhi assembly,
the debutant Aam Adami Party (AAP) has managed
to cast its spell on the voters. By winning 28 seats
APP has settled all the questions and doubts being
raised on its credibility and potential to be a political
force. Its debut in the Delhi assembly has shown that
politics can be done in a
simple and non-expensive
way also.
It had been so much in
public discussions and
debates that sting opera -
tions were done to expose
the weaknesses of AAP
candidates. Clearly, both
the national parties, the
Congress and the BJP,
have now come to recognise AAP as their main rival.
However, it is certain that AAP cannot become a
national party. At best, it may become a regional force,
like those we see in UP, Bihar, Odisha and South Indian
states. Its rise on the political horizon gives a clear
signal that, if you have an agenda and the ability to feel
the publics pulse correctly, then you can make a dent in
the political strongholds of the big parties also.
AAP will have to make its presence felt at all-India
level in order to influence national politics. Certainly, it
would be a very tough task because, as of now, AAP
does not have a strong organisational base. People
have been drawn to this party mainly because of its
agenda to clean up politics and curb corruption in India.
It will take a long time to build a party organisation. And
when an organisation is built all types of elements enter
it. AAP will have to develop a foolproof system to check
the entry of such elements.
IN A QUARREL
Cause, effect and resolution. By Swetha Sundar
In a quarrel, leave room for
reconciliation." Russian proverb
The worst reconciliation is better
than the best divorce." Miguel de
Cervantes Saavedra
y mother says, You never
know what is happening
behind someones
bedroom door. What may
seem like a dream could
be a complete nightmare.
And with that and my
passing years and
resulting maturity, I
recognised that every
couple hits rough patches in their
relationship.
Sometimes, you just dont see or
hear about the ups and downs that
befall your favourite couples be
they celebrities or friends next door. I
believe, realistically, even power
duos like President Obama and First
Lady Michelle, Kajol and Ajay Devgn,
Saif and Kareena, Brad Pitt and
Angelina Jolie or even Prince William
and Kate Middleton probably have
differences every now and then.
Trouble in paradise is a very
democratic depiction. Still, as of this
writing, those couples remain my
paradigm for successful unions. Not
because I think they are perfect, but
because to the public eye they exude
love and mutual respect.
Still, not every couple weathers
lifes stormy moments adroitly. In an
effort to understand why, I spoke to
dozens of men and women who
admit they took cover when the hail
of discontent began to assault their
seemingly perfect relationships.
After the final goodbyes each had
professed to never look back. Some
say they got tired of trying to
preserve the unsalvageable.
They grew weary of the
arguments. Communication stalled.
Infidelity destroyed many of the
couples I spoke to for this piece.
Resentment brought down the lives
of others like a house of cards. Says
Asha, My boyfriends crippling drug
habit destroyed my relationship. Its
as if, at some point, the core values
of these relationships fell apart and
rather than examine why things were
not working the only recourse was to
split up.
I asked couples and individuals
from various age groups, faiths and
ethnic backgrounds to narrow down
the reasons why, after making a
decision to sever their relationships,
they chose to conciliate. To say the
journey back for most was hard-won
would be an understatement. For
Christina and Joy, it took years
9
1
before they met again on common
ground. Those who have been
successful with their reconciliation
say once they began talking to one
another, instead of at each other,
the tone of the relationship became
more amiable. However, that just
set the stage; acting on this new-
found agreeability required
patience, understanding and, above
all, trust.
It was important for these
couples to feel comfortable with one
another again. They needed to
reboot their expectations so that
they were more compatible with one
another. For others, a reboot was
not enough. Couples had to
reprogramme the relationships
entire operating system. The new,
improved iteration wiped out past
grievances, the old way of relating,
and the stubborn attitudes that
presented obstacles at every turn.
NEVER PERFECT
This dramatic reconstruction is
ongoing. There will never come a
time when everything is perfect.
Everyone who made a commitment
to start over has accepted the fact
their relationship is, and will always
be, a work in progress.
Not all couples I interviewed are
completely satisfied with the current
state of their relationships. The ones
struggling say they are back together
for all the wrong reasons. They felt
lonely or shared children together.
Sadly, the kids became unwitting
victims in a domestic war. A few
couples confided that they did not
believe they would find anyone else.
At least three people said they had
invested so much time in the
relationship, they felt obligated to
stay together.
Where these couples contrast
from the ones who are making
inroads is, they have not explored or
attempted to rectify the roots of their
issues. They jumped right back into
an impaired cycle of unhappiness.
Albert Einstein described insanity as
doing the same things over and
over, and expecting different results.
While I draw the line at calling any
of the people I spoke with insane,
there is something to be said for an
apparent lack of reason and planning
ahead of their decision to reconcile. It
is impossible to fix something if you
have no idea what is wrong in the
first place.
The break-up of a romantic
relationship is a serious event, one
which typically has a devastating
emotional impact on at least one and
often both partners. Nevertheless,
there are many instances in which
couples break up and then renew
their relationships with the same
partners. Are we masochists of
some kind, or do we just prefer the
devil we know over the unknown?
Romantic relationships are
typically conceptualised by either
togetherness or termination.
However, in many cases, relation -
ships can undergo a process of
togetherness and dissolution with
the same partner; these are
referred to as on-off relationships.
Despite the emotional
difficulties associated with ending
a relationship, a surprisingly high
percentage of couples break up
and then renew their relationships
with the same persons.
Reconciliation is more complex
than the initiation of a relationship
or maintaining it, and the
strategies that need to be used are
generally not obvious. It seems
that positive or neutral means are
more successful than negative
means for achieving reconciliation.
Attempts at reconciliation typically
occur as a result primarily of lingering
loving feelings; other relevant
features are uncertainty about what
the preceding break-up indicated, not
having dated others after the break-
up, and feeling that the break could
improve the relationship
Renewals are more likely when
the on-off nature yields a new
perspective of the relationship that
offers the chance of improvement.
This is especially true when the
dissolution was due to isolated
events or to external circumstances.
The fact that these events and
circumstances were temporary in
nature means that the relationship
might stand a greater chance of
flourishing in better circumstances.
Five Ways to Recover, Reunite,
and Rebuild:
Communication (stop believing
your partner is a mind-reader):
Talking to one another is important if
you want to maintain a healthy
relationship after youve reconciled.
More than half the couples I spoke
with admitted to bottling up their
feelings prior to the break-up. Too
much pride and resentment dictated
the tone of their already fractured
10 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
WHERE THESE
COUPLES CONTRAST
FROM THE ONES
WHO ARE MAKING
INROADS IS, THEY
HAVE NOT EXPLORED
OR ATTEMPTED TO
RECTIFY THE ROOTS
OF THEIR ISSUES. THEY
JUMPED RIGHT BACK
INTO AN IMPAIRED
CYCLE OF
UNHAPPINESS.
11
5
4
2
3
relationship. Nothing productive was
ever gained in these stand-offs. Many
discovered that the other person
either did not know, or fully
understand why their significant other
was angry or distant. When they
finally did open up they discovered
that, had they known half of what was
revealed, they may not have walked
away. Now that they are back
together, open and honest
communication has become the
foundation of their union. Arun, who
is in the process of rebuilding his
relationship, summed it up this way:
People need to spend more time
planning the marriage then they do
the wedding. Talking about what
split you up, and what will keep you
together is more substantive than
discussing where you will vacation to
celebrate the reunion.
Trust (if you agree to forgive,
promise to LET IT GO): No one I
spoke to professed to be a saint. A
lot of us find it very difficult to fully
re-engage their hearts to someone
who hurt them. Infidelity was a
dealbreaker for many of the people I
spoke with. There was no turning
back. According to Cynthia L Wall,
LSCW author of The Courage to
Trust: A Guide to Building Deep and
Lasting Relationships: Trust is the
heartbeat of any significant relation -
ship, with yourself as well as with
others. We still want to trust despite
disappointments in the past. Nothing
flows without trust and love has
nowhere to grow. If you are not
ready to move on, you risk reverting
to the condition that touched off your
break-up. Getting back together is
not for everyone. Sometimes, the
best way to recover and rebuild your
lives is not to reunite.
Compromise (not to be
confused with change): As much
as you would like to believe you were
an innocent victim in your break-up,
that is just not the case. It takes two
people to wreck a relationship. Just
because someone does not always
see things the way you do, or react
how you would, does not make them
right or wrong; just different. Unless
you are prepared to accept that the
my way or the highway attitude is
not effective, a reconciliation is
doomed from the start. Its not about
reconstructing who you are, but being
flexible in your thinking and actions.
Be introspective. Examine exactly
what you are willing to do in order to
rebuild your relationship, share your
conclusions with your partner and try
to find a middle ground.
Be yourself (dont identify with
the other person so much that you
lose your identity): Who were you
before you became a girlfriend,
boyfriend, wife, husband? Were you
happy with that person? So why give
up You to become Us? Your
strengths, faults, desires,
expectations; anything unique to you
matters and must be encouraged.
One of the most profound revelations
that surfaced during my interviews
came from Theresa, who said, When
you lose your voice, you may as well
no longer exist in the relationship.
And I thought to myself, shes right
if I dont exist, then its not a
relationship. When I made a
conscious effort to embrace and own
my own success, value, and
contributions to the relationship, after
the reconciliation, he and I became
stronger. As Socrates said, Know
thyself. Bottom line: Once you
develop an intimate, trusting
relationship with the person in the
mirror, your relationship will reflect
that value, not mask it.
What happens in your bedroom
should stay there: The term pillow
talk is not some quirky colloquialism
that emits giggles and red-faces in
polite company. Or, at least, it
shouldnt be. Not everything is for
everybody. Friends and family should
not be privy to the intimate details of
your life together, good or bad.
Sharing pillow talk with the wrong
people will surely lead to nightmares
in your relationship. Try your best to
seek solace in one another. Mutual
respect is a key element. There is
nothing sexy about trashing someone
you claim to love; quickly pointing out
their faults but never singing their
praises. Through good and bad times
respect for your partner should never
falter. Proudly hold them in the
highest regard. If you continue to
break your partner down, someone
more deserving will pick up the
pieces.
To sum up, on-off relationships
typically express a predicament
concerning the value and future of
the relationship. Alongside the
difficulties, there is love (otherwise
there would be no significant reason
to renew the connection) and the fate
of the relationship will be determined
primarily by the nature of these
difficulties. If those are of a
permanent nature, arising from
essential aspects in the partner's
personality, the prospects of the
reconciled relationship are slim.
If the difficulties arose more from
external circumstances or isolated
events, the prospects of the
relationship are much higher. In the
latter case, reconciliation is not
merely worth the effort but is likely to
forestall painful regrets in the future.
As I tap into my moms reservoir
of wisdom, Im left with this: Whether
you make a choice to stay together or
separate, dont waste each others
time. Make sure your decision is well
thought out, mutual and responsible,
for everyone involved.
12 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
WHO WERE YOU
BEFORE YOU BECAME
A GIRLFRIEND,
BOYFRIEND, WIFE,
HUSBAND? WERE YOU
HAPPY WITH THAT
PERSON? SO WHY GIVE
UP YOU TO BECOME
US? YOUR
STRENGTHS, FAULTS,
DESIRES, EXPECTATIONS;
ANYTHING UNIQUE TO
YOU MATTERS AND
MUST BE
ENCOURAGED. We
13
F
alguni and Harsh had been selected to
represent their engineering college in various
inter-collegiate debate competitions along with
four other students. However, since they had
stood first and second respectively in the
selection contest, they were mostly chosen to
represent their college. And they really enjoyed
doing this task. Both had good oratorical skills,
good vocabulary, could bring emotions into their
speeches and had won a number of shields for their
college and individual awards for themselves.
However, that day was certainly different. A
debate competition was being held in one of the
famous girls' colleges of the town. Harsh was
extremely excited to be able to go inside a college
at whose gate the engineering college guys would
normally wait for hours to get a glimpse of good-
looking girls. They both started for the girls' college
on Falguni's scooty. Since she was a day
scholar, she had the privilege of owning
a two-wheeler. Otherwise, the
hostellers normally had bicycles.
As they were almost
nearing the college,
Harsh suddenly
asked her to stop for
a moment. While
Falguni wondered what
had made him ask her to
stop, she was
amused to find
Harsh brushing his
hair and having a
look at himself in the
mirror at front of the
scooty. After all, he
would be one of the
centres of attraction
in the college.
Falguni and
Harsh had been
good friends, but
she never had a
look at him this
way. While she
watched him
looking at the
mirror, she
noticed that he
was quite
handsome to
look at. When
he asked her to
continue with
their journey,
she was
brought back
into this world.
As she drove into
the girls' college, with
Harsh as her pillion
rider, she could hear a
lot of whistling and
comments addressed to
him. They entered the hall
where the competition was
being held to find all the girls looking
at Harsh with their eyes wide open. Harsh
had thought that he would enjoy all this attention,
but he found that he was too embarrassed. Falguni
thought that Harsh had to be composed if they were
to win and tried to talk to him for him to normalise.
Read how it ended. By Neelam Chandra
14 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
Short Story
The Fake Affair
Just then the judges and the college lecturers
arrived and there was absolute silence. There were
12 teams and the competition began after the
routine introductions. Their turn was seventh and
there was a tea break just after the sixth team had
completed its turn.
T
here were 11 other guys from various other
colleges, but Harsh was surely the most
handsome and smart. During the break, the
judges and the teachers had gone to an adjoining
room to have their tea. This had given a good
opportunity to the girls of the college to tease Harsh.
He was so nervous that Falguni asked him to hold
her hands and look into her eyes. As they gazed
into each other's eyes, their eyes got locked. They
were watching each other this way for the first time.
Now, it was Falguni's turn to get embarrassed. By
the time the judges returned and the competition
restarted, she had become unsteady. She
could hardly speak. It was the first time
they lost.
While returning that day, Harsh asked
her to stop in front of an ice-cream parlour.
She ordered her favourite butter-scotch,
while Harsh opted for a plain vanilla. As
they got the ice-creams and settled down
on wooden chairs, Harsh suddenly asked
her, "Falguni, would you be my girlfriend
for a few days at least?"
They were in the third year of
engineering and almost all the girls had
boyfriends. But she was never interested
and had never considered this as an
option. She could not deny that she was
quite attracted by Harsh, especially that day. As she
was taking time to answer, Harsh continued, "I
assure you that this would only be an affair for the
world and we need not have that special
relationship. It is like this: my friends tease me that I
do not have any girlfriend. So I just want this fake
affair to keep them quiet."
Although Falguni did not like the idea of a fake
love affair, she found herself getting drawn strangely
to him. She thought that it would be nice to spend
some time with him and she agreed.
Soon, the news of their having a full-blown affair
spread around the college. Naturally, they were
expected to be together all the time. As they spent
more and more time together, they got to know each
other a lot better including their likes and dislikes,
their fancies and their dreams. They found that they
could talk to each other for ages. Their love for
music and poetry was drawing them together all the
more.
The fact that they had started enjoying each
other's company so much was realised by Falguni
when they had gone for a picnic to one of the bird
sanctuaries when her leg got sprained and she could
not walk any further. Harsh was there with her
immediately. He lifted her and carried her back to
her room. The professor accompanying them had
called the doctor, who informed them that it was a
simple sprain and the swelling and pain would
slowly diminish.
While others continued their trekking, Harsh
stayed back with her for some time. As they talked
and chatted, Falguni realised that she was in love
with Harsh. She could feel the same feelings
engulfing him. They both became extremely
emotional and sentimental, especially since it was
the last month of their college. If they did not tell
their feelings to each other now, they would go their
different ways and may miss the train forever. What
had started off as a fake love affair was turning out
to head towards a young, blossoming and
romantic love affair.
Falguni felt that if she kept waiting for
Harsh to propose first, they would end up
being bachelors forever. So she decided
to take the lead. She suddenly took his
hands in hers and told him, "Harsh, I had
taken you as a friend earlier. But our trip
on the scooty to that girls' college had
drawn me towards you. Since that moment
when you had asked me to be your
girlfriend, I had felt that I hardly know you
for a full-time commitment, I was hesitating
reply to. But as I spent more and more
time with you, I realised that it was not a
simple infatuation but love. I love you,
Harsh, and want to be with you forever and forever
and forever."
B
efore Harsh could reply, there was a lot of
hustle and bustle. The other students had
returned and they came barging into Falguni's
room to ask about her well-being. Falguni was
sharing her room with Shruti and Anju and she did
not get time to talk to Harsh or even know his reply.
Although her heart kept telling her that he loved her,
she wanted to hear those words from him. The night
was spent by her in extreme agony and pain.
Next day also they did not get time to talk to each
other privately. They started back for their college in
the afternoon and reached their city by the evening.
Falguni's pain had subsided, but she was not yet in
a condition to go home alone. Since her parents had
been informed by her professor, her father had
come to take her back.
She was immobile for the next few days and
could not go to college. But she was sad to realise
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 15
Although,
Falguni did not
like the idea of a
fake love affair,
she found herself
getting drawn
strangely to him.
She thought that
it would be nice
to spend some
time with him
and she agreed.
16
17
that there was no call from Harsh. She waited and
waited for some communication from him. Her wait
kept getting prolonged from hours to days and days
to weeks, but there was a long silence. Her other
friends kept on coming to meet her and she wished
to hear something from them. But there was no talk
about him.
S
lowly the mandatory period of rest passed and
she was physically fit to attend college again.
But she had no desire to go to college now. She
had made a fool of herself by proposing to him. She
had heard that normally the guys like only the girls
who are shy and do not take any initiative. She had
assumed that Harsh was not like this. But
presumably, she was wrong. Harsh had wanted just
a fake love affair so that he could show off in the
college that he too had a girlfriend. It was not
Falguni that he had loved, but the feeling of love.
She kept avoiding going to college since she had
no desire to meet Harsh. She was feeling rejected
and dejected. However, one day she got a call from
Shruti that their exams were likely to start soon and
she finally decided to go to college. Obviously, she
could not play with her career.
As she reached college, she came to know from
Shruti that Harsh's father had had a heart attack and
he had rushed immediately to his native place.
He was back only a day before for his
engagement. His parents were
accompanying him. She was shocked
and angry. Harsh could have at least
told her. She hated him now.
She hardly listened to the lectures
that day. Her friends thought that it must
be tough for her after such a long gap. But
it was Harsh, Harsh and Harsh
occupying her thoughts all the time.
She had no desire to live. By the fifth
period, she could withstand it no
longer and decided to go back
home. As she rushed out, she
bumped into Harsh.
She did not want to talk to
him or meet him at the
moment at least. But she
could not control the tears in
her eyes and ran as fast as
she could.
She went out and took out
her scooty and put in the
ignition key. But the
damned scooty refused to
start. Just then she saw
Harsh coming towards her.
She was annoyed at the scooty,
at Harsh as well as herself. Why had the scooty to
fail at that instant?
Harsh came to her and held her hands tight. She
tried to pull away, but his grip was firm and strong.
He looked into her eyes and spoke steadily, "What
is this, Falguni? What has happened to you? You
proposed to me the other day and now you want to
run away?"
The anger which Falguni had somehow borne
deep inside her heart found a vent and she shouted
at him, "What do you think, Harsh? You have
scored some point because I proposed to you? I
know you guys. You want girlfriends for time pass
with no strings attached. But you have no guts when
it comes to marriage and commitment. I hate you."
Harsh understood the agony which she must be
going through and he replied calmly, "Falguni, I am
not as bad as you think. But will you give me an
opportunity to speak? I had gone home since my
father had had a heart attack. I had to literally rush
home the same evening we had returned from the
picnic and I had no time to inform you. Once the
open-heart surgery was performed and he was
better, I slowly informed my parents about you. They
were so happy to know that I have chosen such an
intelligent and beautiful girl as my partner that they
decided to come down despite my father's illness."
Falguni was amazed. She lowered her eyes and
said, "But somebody told me that they had come
here for your engagement."
Harsh continued, "Well, since I was
almost sure about you, and since my father
had a desire that at least a ring ceremony
should be held as soon as possible, we
had almost planned it. And my mother
had blurted out this little secret to my
friend Vinay, who seemed to have
spread it. I am really sorry for
that. Now, is it all right if I come
and meet your parents at your
residence in the evening along
with my parents?"
Falguni was happily
surprised and elated. Words
were failing her as she tried to
speak. She simply put her arms
around Harsh and closed her
eyes. There was contentment all
round her. Suddenly, there was a
lot of clapping. She opened her
eyes to find that a lot of classmates
had come down and were
showering their happiness on
them. She smiled and shyly
lowered her eyes as Harsh
lovingly held her arms in his. We
18 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
19
This is the
ornamental
wooden racket or
"hagoita"
decorated with a
depiction of the
British Royal
Couple Prince
William, his wife
Catherine and
their baby, (R)
and former IOC
President
Jacques Rogge
announcing 2020
summer Olympic
host city as Tokyo
(C) Tokyo will
host the summer
Olympic.
A dancer
performs during
the 10th Annual
USA Swimming
Golden Goggle
Awards at the
JW Marriott Los
Angeles at LA
Live Sunday, on
24 November in
Los Angeles,
California.
Lady Gaga performs on stage during the 2013 American Music
Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on 24 November in Los Angeles.
SAR-401
G
a
g
a

g
o
e
s

o
n
The Symbolic Hagoita
G
o
l
d
e
n

G
o
g
g
l
e

A
w
a
r
d
s
An operator demonstrates SAR-401 advanced
anthropomorphic robot at the Gagarin Cosmonauts'
Training Centre in Star City centre outside Moscow, on 27
November. Russia is working its own version of NASA's
Robonaut with a machine called SAR-401 that's due to
reach the International Space Station by 2014.
20
Dancers perform during the "My Dream
Gala Performance" presented by China
Disabled Peoples Performing Art Troupe
at the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet
of Albania in Tirana on 3 December.
A tiara, entitled East of Paris designed by Irish
born jewellery artist Slim Barrett and worn by
Victoria Beckham on her wedding day during a
press preview at Bonham's Auction House is
displayed in London on 29 November.
What A Rehearsal!
A
n

e
x
p
e
n
s
i
v
e

t
i
a
r
a

G
a
l
a

p
e
r
f
o
r
m
a
n
c
e
G
i
a
n
t

C
h
r
i
s
t
m
a
s

B
a
l
l
People walk by a giant christmas ball displayed in Nice,
Southern France on 4 December.
Dancers perform during the dress rehearsal of the
ballet ''La Belle au Bois Dormant'' (Sleeping Beauty)
on 2 December, at the Opera Bastille in Paris. Late
dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev restaged
the work based on the original choreography for the
Paris Opera Ballet in 1989.
21
What is the best way to prevent
breast cancer. Please advise.
The best way to prevent this
malady is early detection by regular
self-examination of breasts and if any
suspicion arises, then to go for a
mammography. Breast cancer is due
to a number of factors some which
are under ones control and some of
which are beyond ones control and
in this group includes genetic factors.
Of the preventable ones, these
factors include weight control,
lifestyle changes, avoiding marriage
at a late age, breastfeeding the baby,
control of genital infections and a
healthy reproductive life.
I am 35 years old. My problem is that
I suffer from bad breath and bleeding
from the gums. What to do? Please
help.
Health of gums and teeth is very
important since these have a bearing
on the body. The hard fact is that
teeth are intimately connected with
the rest of the body.
Bacterial infection in the mouth
can lead to damage to the heart
which may prove to be a risk factor.
Best for you would be to consult a
dental surgeon and follow his advice.
In the meantime maintain good oral
health.
I suffer from chronic bouts of
dysentery. My doctor has advised me
to take bael fruit besides
medications. Please help.
Bael fruit is really a good fruit
which has medicinal properties. It is
useful for persons who suffer from
abdominal problems like diarrhoea
(Amorbic dysentery).
Besides this, its use in other
ailments like diabetes, peptic ulcer
and many other medical ailments is
also advised. There is no harm in
taking the fruit in addition to the drugs
you take.
I am 45 years old and have been
recently diagnosed to be suffering
from breast cancer (stage II). I am
very upset. Please help.
You should not get upset. Proper
treatment and advice can bring you
out of this predicament. Besides
medical treatment it is very important
that you improve your mood and
cope effectively with the problem you
are facing.
It has been observed that women
who affectively fight the emotional
factor tide over the crisis in their life
effectively and ultimately change the
course of the disease.
I am 40 years old. Recently, I noticed
that my nipple in the right breast is
changing its shape and there is ever
a little discharge. Please advise.
What you write does not augur
well. Apparently there is something
wrong in your breast. In fact the
symptoms you describe may be early
warnings about cancer of the breast.
You should not waste any further
time and consult your doctor
immediately and get proper
treatment.
I am 40 years old and weight more
than 100 kgs. I have tried diet control
and exercise but to no avail. Are
there any medicines which can help
me in reducing weight? Please
advise.
During the last decade or so, a
number of antiobesity drugs have
been introduced from time to time but
so far none has stood the test of time
as the side-effects associated with
these drugs are very damaging. So I
would not advise you to go for anti-
obesity drugs unless your doctor
prescribes them. I would advise you
to continue with diet control and an
exercise regimen. In the meantime,
get your endocrinal profile tested to
check that there is no hormonal
imbalance.
Is there any relationship of race in
patients of uterine cancer since I read
in a magazine about it. Please
advise.
You are right as a study has
suggested that black women with
uterine cancer run the risk of higher
mortality as compared to white
women. But so far there is no such
study about racial and geographical
differences in Indian women, so it
would be difficult to comment.
Dr S. N. Khosla, MD.
22 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
I am 25 years old. I want to increase
the size of my breasts. Please
advise.
It appears that the size of your
breasts is normal and what you
require is to maintain their shape and
size by taking a nourishing diet and
do active physical exercise to
develop your pectoral muscles on
which your breasts rest. A light
massage from below upwards will
further help you. I do not advise you
to go for breast implant surgery
since, at this stage and age, it may
not be advisable.
I am 50 years old, obese and have
been recently diagnosed to be
suffering from diabetes. I am very
worried. Please help.
You should not get unnecessarily
panicky. diabetes is a lifestyle
disease and millions of people all
over the world suffer from it.
Genetics also plays a role in its
causation. You will have to consult
your doctor. Firstly, you must reduce
your weight and change your
lifestyle. Diet control along with
exercise is the first line of approach.
If you fail to control your blood sugar
levels with these measures then your
doctor will prescribe the necessary
medication.
23
Power range:
A combo of green
beads and pink
power pendant.
Traditional kada:
A very rich mix of
golden and
magenta to beautify
your wrist.
Holdem clutch:
Bright coral pink clutch for colour
block effect. Wear it with black
dress for a chic look.
Pink feet: Pink stripes
footwear to team with
plain denims.
Pink Parade
With temperature going down, you can sizzle the heat
in these shades of pink..
24
Multicolour pink:
A pink dangler in
various shades of pink.
Threading up:
A thread
necklace with
silver highlights.
Delightful neck:
Bright pink chocker
necklace to add
colour to your
outfit.
Traditional love:
A red dress with
shades of popping
pink. The sweetheart
neckline and net
detailing add glamour
to the overall look.
Magnitique magenta:
Magenta detailing with
earrings can add colour
to your overall look.
P
o
k
in
g
p
in
k
essen
tials.
25
26 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
I
'm nearly 60 and a grandmother
of two granddaughters 16and
18yrs. I'm tremendously
fortunate. I live in a safe
neighbourhood, I am comfortable,
and I have the privilege of a good
education and opportunities in
life. I am not timid I have spent
much of my life suing men for
violating women's rights. But
when I think about the safety of my
granddaughters I am worried., I think
about the ways in which all too often,
as I walk on the streets, I put my
head down, how I feel the street is
not my place. And I think about how
little I and other women talk about
this.
Today is something different?
I first remember it happening
when I was around 14. I was in high
school. I walked to the school. I had
to walk two miles... Guys driving by
would sometimes call stuff out the
window of their cars. Sometimes they
slowed down. Sometimes they
stopped the car to say things and
offer me a ride. I was afraid. I didn't
know if they would take no for an
answer. I didn't know if I could run
faster than they could. I knew bad
things happened.
Then came teenage. I remember
mom giving me a list of dos and
donts before stepping out of the
house. Once, it was raining and
because of practicals, I was returning
at 7pm. A guy grabbed me from
behind. He put his hands between
my slim legs. He told me not to
scream. I screamed. He ran. The
cops asked me if I was frequently
asked out on dates. What could I
reply?
I completed my bachelors.
Poverty forced me to take a job at an
early age I took a job in a company
for `1800 (a lot of money in those
days). Targets made me stay back
late in the office, especially during
VOICE
SILENT STREET
HARASSMENT
For women, its eternal everywhere. By Lata Jain
27
month end. One night I was
returning home with two friends.
A group of rowdies reached us.
They tried touching we shouted
for help. People stared. We felt
vindicated.
My first years of being a
lawyer. I am travelling to give a
talk at a university about women
in the law. I am walking out of my
office building. A man passing by
stares and says, "Great assets." I
look down. I want to disappear.
Fast-forward years later. My
granddaughter is living with me while
she does an internship as a
journalist. She talks of her commute
on packed rush hour buses. She tells
of a guy rubbing against her. She
tells herself it's just that the bus is
too crowded. Then he puts his hand.
Then he starts to move his hand...
She was too stunned, too, in disbelief
to do anything at the time. Several
weeks later, the two of us are coming
home and some guy says something.
I turn and yell, "Stop harassing us!"
He looks embarrassed. My
granddaughter has all praises for me.
NOW AND WHERE
And now. I am walking on the
Secundrabad railway station. A man
coming toward me says, "Good night,
sexy. Want some (not printable)?" It's
a Saturday. It's 11p.m. It's Hyderabad
city. There is no one else in sight. I
think, as I did nearly 40 years ago,
Could I outrun him?
In between each of
these incidents, there were
others, too numerous to
count the whistle from a
student the first time I
spoke at a university; the
guy who stood over me on
the bus stand muttering
unparliamentary language
no one else could hear; the
boss who patted my butt;
and just the thousands of
comments or so it seems
on every part of my
anatomy and my attire and
what someone would like to do with
it, offered at every time of day, on
streets both crowded and isolated
and in offices and corporate
locations.
Police, activists and lawmakers do
not have a serious concern for this
kind of abuse as it is generally
understood that only rape is a serious
offence. This kind of street
harassment over the years has a
great effect on any womans
personality and growth.
Silent street harassment is
pervasive. It's pernicious. But there
is little discussed, and the pain it
causes little understood. We
understand it as normal with a little
effect on the personality; it's the
fabric of life. And we don't talk about
it because all too often the response
is, "Why get so upset about a
comment on streets or in offices?"
That's the problem. Each comment,
in isolation, may not seem that bad.
There are stories about elevators
and subways, in cars and lonely,
late-night train platforms. But
these stories aren't confined to
the big, bad city. Harassment
happens every where, and it's
never okay.
But, for those of us wanting to
move on in the world, it's not just
a comment here and there. It's a
comment in the context of a
culture. Some of these comments
come with following, touching,
assaulting. Women know that.
It's a comment in a culture
where I see its effect on me and
other women. We put our heads
down. We look ashamed. We look
ashamed for what? Because we
were out? I dont see, hear or know
of anybody in any family discussing
about this harassment. The men,
who commented, meanwhile, don't
look down. They don't look ashamed.
They sometimes even grin. That's all
messed up. That's not the kind of
world in which I want to live.
I offer this in the spirit of
understanding to give voice to an
experience many women have, but
dont speak up about or discuss. To
make the frustration and anger and
fear, some women have to make
sense, and to foster empathy... The
world is so different in so many
profound ways even from when I was
young. But in terms of harassment
on streets and in public places,
verbally or otherwise, theres still too
little discussion, too little education,
and too little change from the law-
makers, politicians or the activists.
28 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
IT'S A COMMENT IN
A CULTURE WHERE I
SEE ITS EFFECT ON
ME AND OTHER
WOMEN. WE PUT
OUR HEADS DOWN.
WE LOOK
ASHAMED. WE
LOOK ASHAMED
FOR WHAT?
BECAUSE WE
WERE OUT? We
PASSION FOR
FASHION
Going back 7,500 years,
look at where its come today!
By Maharaaj K. Koul
What a strange power there is in
clothing!
Issac B. Singer
T
he vibrant stretch of Via
Montenapoleone with its
rubber-burning Ferraris and
quiet lanes of Via della Spiga
that ricochet with echoes of
Jimmy Choo stilettos in the
fashion capital Milan, Italy,
defines fashion like no other.
The show windows of
Giorgio Armani, Versace,
Roberto Cavalli and Prada have
creations that make a passerby stop.
And drool!
Fashion is the stuff dreams are
made of. Fashion sets your pulse
racing. All with the hope and the
desire to own an exquisite Versace
dress or a Bottega Veneta hand bag
or a Manolo Blahnik shoe. To feel on
your skin, to touch, to have admiring
and envious glances come your way
and, most importantly, to be told that
you are second to none.
If one considers clothing, then one
cant ignore fashion. History states
that fashion was in vogue ever since
the Classical period. Dress is a five-
letter word that encompasses not
only familiar garments such as shirts,
skirts, trousers, jackets and coats but
also footwear, sports clothes, caps,
hats, sleepwear, corsets and gloves.
The fashion plate, a mass-produced
illustration of clothing styles, was
invented early in the 19th century. It
enabled the swift communication of
new ideas in clothing, which have
continued till the present day.
29
Throughout the history of
dressing, certain styles have gone
out and then walked in several times.
The rulers of the Mauryan dynasty
founded by Emperor Chandragupta
Maurya in 323 BC draped
themselves in unstitched garments
that flowed with simple functionality.
But in the court of the aesthete
Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula of Avadh
(1775 AD), mere courtiers, on an
average day, draped themselves in
about 11 metres of opulent fabric,
elaborately cut, stitched and
embroidered!
If the figurines found in an ancient
European settlement at Plocnik in
southern Serbia are any guide,
women have been dressing to
impress for at least 7,500 years.
Fashion, as we know it today,
originated from European monarchys
obsession with visual art. Frances
18th century Queen Marie Antoinette
wore strikingly different dresses with
daily advice from designer Rose
Bertin, known as minister of fashion.
In Paris in 1846, Englishman Charles
Fredrick Worth democratised
royaltys search for individualism by
starting haute couture (high
fashion), the ultimate in high fashion
for the royals and the rich.
Fashion and luxury is an amazing
concoction, which both the
traditionally well-heeled and the
designing in India has come of age.
In fashion history, it is womens
wardrobes and their bodies that have
been the site of change as well as
preservation of culture. Women are
the front-runners of fashions
evolution. Many guys may find it hard
to digest, but a new British study
reveals that men spend more time
(83 minutes) to dress up than women
(79 minutes)! Modern man isnt
insecure about his masculinity. This
is bound to reflect in contemporary
fashion trends. Designers such as
Sanjay Hingu believe that Indian men
have become more fashion-
conscious over the last five to eight
years. Freed of prejudice, men can
be more creative about their
appearance, expressing themselves
Indias Fashion Firsts
1949: Prime Minister Nehru
launches Ahmedabads Calico
Museum of Textiles, one of the
worlds foremost textile museums.
1970: Ritu Kumar presents
Indias first fashion show in Kolkata;
changes nature of Saris forever,
introduces borders, bootis and paloos.
1975: Asha Sarabhai takes up
the crusade for Indian textiles.
1984: Japanese designer Issey
Miyake offers Asha Sarabhai her
own label under the Miyake Design
Studio imprimatur.
1986: National Institute of
Fashion Technology launched.
1987: Tarun Tahiliani and Rohit
Khosla launch Ensemble, the first
multi-brand boutique heralding a
retail revolution in India.
1989: French designer Pierre
Cardin comes to India, experiments
with Indian handlooms, putting
Indian textiles on the international
map.
1990: Tarun Tahiliani launches
the pre-constructed Sari.
1992: Rohit Bal introduces trend
of bronzed antique look in
fashionwear.
Early 1990s: Fashion moves
from exhibition halls to ramps,
entering the glam zone occupied
earlier by Bollywood.
1992: Ashima-Leena give women
freedom from old silhouettes with
fusion-wear tunics and variety in
lowers.
1995: Models Madhu Sapre and
Milind Soman pose naked in an ad
for Tuffs Shoes, creating an
uproar.
1998: Fashion Design Council of
India launched.
2000: Ritu Beri, first Indian to
show in Paris, becomes the first
Asian designer to head a French
brand - Scherrer.
2000: The first Lakme India
Fashion Week launched.
2002: Tarun Tahiliani puts T-
shirts with jewel troupe loeil on the
global fashion map.
2003: Madhu Jain introduces
bamboo as alternative fibre at the
7th World Bamboo Congress.
2004: Kimaya becomes the first
Indian store to go international
opens in Dubai.
2005: Fashion Design Council of
India launches Wills Lifestyle India
Fashion Week.
2009: Judith Leiber ties up with
Suneet Varma.
2011: Manish Arora becomes
first Indian designer to be made
creative director of Paco Rabanne,
an international fashion house.
nouveau riche Indians are
embracing with a new-
found zeal. To add zing to
their product portfolios,
companies tap well-known
fashion designers to come
out with a signature line
comprising watches, T-
shirts and even cosmetics.
Dressmaking was not
fashion in the 19th century,
it was considered low. In the
1920s, when European fine
art was booming, visual art
brought fashion onto the
drawing board. And now,
from the realms of the
neighbourhood darzi to
becoming one of the most
glamorous pursuits, fashion
30
in their own unique way rather than
conforming to social expectations.
Mens fashion has turned out to
be a master storyteller of our times. It
is experimental and sexually more
confident than womens fashion.
Open to the androgynous influences,
it challenges the very definition of
malehood, which was trapped inside
pant-shirt combos or dark suits as
primary garments for the
authoritative, heterosexual,
conventional breadwinner. Now,
glistening abs, bare, shaven chests
and pink drop-crotch pants hint at a
nuanced exploration of masculinity.
According to a survey conducted
in 24 countries on workplace
dressing, Indians topped the charts,
with as many as 64 per cent saying
that casual dressers would not make
senior management and 58 per cent
describing casual dressers as
slackers. Indians were found to be
the smartest when it came to work
attire with 58 per cent donning a suit
or other smart clothing for work.
Over 2,000 fashion industry
professionals have voted to select
the best-dressed personalities across
the globe. And, the shining stars are:
Barack Obama very much in the
tradition of American classic
dressers, but relaxed.
Brad Pitt he has founded a lot of
accessories men are imitating.
Penelope Cruz ability to show
off a beautiful body without any
vulgarity.
Carla Bruni young, tall, good-
looking, and the world is watching.
Anne Hathaway beautiful and
fresh, clean and young and a little bit
fragile in the tradition of Audrey
Hepburn.
Daniel Craig because nobody
does it better.
If fashion is about appearances,
its power is worn right on the sleeve.
The Indian fashion fraternity is an
influential lobby of power brokers,
fashion week honchos, sponsors,
designers, distributors and
representatives of global luxury
brands, buyers and stylists. The total
worth of this powerful consortium is
much more than their wardrobes,
front row seats, personal indulgences
or their celeb friends can reveal. The
apparel business in India is estimated
at more than `1,00,000 crore a year
now (including all segments of the
market premium, mass and luxury,
as well as fashion, accessories and
innerwear).
Today, there is no longer any
time-tested formula that feeds the
success story for a fashion
product, be it Bulgari or
Cartier, Lamborghini or
Porsche. Fashion to be
successful needs to be
marketed.
Fashion is not just
clothes, it is lifestyle.
Fashion is a statement about
an individual. What she
thinks, the way he lives, the
manner in which they view
themselves as part of a
beautiful world. Fashion is
about who you are. Fashion is
about who you desire to be.
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 31
On 9 May 2012, Lady Gaga
instantly put Indian designers in the
international spotlight. Fashion
bloggers and online mags raved
about her all-white, elegant yet
typically Gaga-ish out-of-the-box
look. The songstress picked a
stretch twill pencil dress with
moulded leather panels on the top
and a moulded and structured
leather fish-tail silhouette at the
bottom. Designed by New Delhi-
based duo Alpana and Neeraj, the
dress, in keeping with its
underwater theme, had delicate
clear crystal and diamond detailing
on the shoulders. And, the *Born
This Way* singer gave it an
outlandish twist with the Little Shilpa
white Perpex headgear. The look
was completed with gloves and tall
platforms. In the last couple of
months, Alpana and Neeraj have
enjoyed red carpet attention. Actress
Kate Graham donned their futuristic
gown, singer Shingai Shoniwa their
surgical mask gown and Brandy
their wooden dress. Here is a look at
some other Indian designers who
We
Out of the (Indian) Box
boast of international celebrity
clients:
Falguni and Shane Peacock:
Singer Ashanti wore their creation in
2012. They have previously worked
with Madonna, Britney Spears,
Jennifer Lopez, Fergie to name a
few.
Tarun Tahiliani: Designed a Sari
for Oprah Winfrey. Lady Gaga wore
a Sari-inspired gown designed by
him during her India visit.
Sabyasachi Mukherjee: Renee
Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon
have worn his label.
Manish Arora: Lady Gaga, Heidi
Klum, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez,
Rihanna and Katy Perry wear his
designs.
Farah Ali Khan: Beyonce wore
a crown by this jewellery designer in
2011.
Rohit Bal: Uma Thurman, Cindy
Crawford, Pamela Anderson and
Anna Kournikova have picked up his
outfits.
Stay in style
with these
uber chic
beads strings.
Browning magic:
Brown necklace in long
pattern to team with light
shades of kurti.
White delight:
Four chain strings
attached together with
white shimmer beads.
Perchy pink:
Bead magic in much
enchanted pink and black
combination.
Sweet contrast:
Black beads put together
in a contrasting way with
light pink beads.
Rollem one:
Pink beads put together
to add enchantment to
your overall appeal.
J
unking up
White choker:
A highly stylish white
choker necklace to pair
with any colour outfit.
f
ashion
32
Golden red love:
Golden and red tribal bracelet.
Coral magic:
Brown contrasting shades
of and white put together for
perfect beach party.
Black magic:
Black pearl stringed together to add
glamour to your overall look.
Elegant:
A long string attached together
with chic black beads.
Traditional: Red and green put
together to add contrast and style to
your traditional outfit .
High contrast:
Pink and maroon
beads for your wrist.
Subtle contrast:
Blue and white bracelet
offers a soft contrast to your
overall appeal.
Dark fantasy:
Dark blue adds colour and
vivid contrast to your
overall look.
Jewellery: Sil Gold
New Delhi. Mob: 08527638880
33
sugar to settle down in the mixy
and then add the hung curd and a
portion of the oil. Blend well in the
mixer. Continue to blend adding
a little oil from time to time. Blend
and churn till all the oil is used up.
Thi s wi l l gi ve you a smooth
flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
Also, mix in the essence and the
colour into the mixture at this
stage. The final mixture should be
smooth without lumps. Pour this
on the prepared cake tin. Place
this tin in a preheated oven and
bake at 180
O
C for 35-40 minutes.
To check i f the cake i s done,
pierce a knitting needle in the
centre of the cake. The needle
should come out dry and that is
VELVET CAKE
WITH ROSE
PETALS
INGREDIENTS:
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
220 gm hung curd
200 ml oil sunflower oil
1
/
2
tsp red edible colour
1 tsp rose essence
For decoration:
2 cups whipped sweetened
cream
rose petals
METHOD
Grease a round cake tin. Sift
together the mai da, baki ng
powder and keep these dry
ingredients aside. Grind the sugar
in a mixer to a powder. Allow the
34 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
Festive Occasion
Christmas
and new year
are times for
celebration.
Prepare the
following
cakes which
are easy to
prepare and
most of these
do not
require any
icing and
easily made.
By Roma Ghosh
Velvet cake
with rose petals
FOR THE
35
check if the cake is done, pierce a
knitting needle in the centre of the
cake. The needle should come
out dry and that i s the best
indication for a well-baked cake. If
the knitting needle is wet then
al l ow the cake to cook for 5
minutes more while you reduce
the temperature to 140
O
C. Once
the cake is baked put off the oven
and allow the cake to cool in the
oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove
from the oven and cool to room
temperature. Place a plate on top
of the cake tin and then turn over
quickly. This will mean that the
base of the cake which has the
pineapple slices will be on top.
Therefore, it is an upside down
pineapple cake.
ORANGE
FLAVOURED
CAKE
INGREDIENTS:
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
220 gm hung curd
200 ml oil sunflower oil
1 tsp orange essence
1 tsp orange rind
For decorations:
orange segments
METHOD
Grease a cake ti n of any
shape. Sift together the maida,
baking powder and keep these
dry ingredients aside. Cut the
orange rind into very small pieces.
Grind the sugar in a mixer to a
powder. Allow the sugar to settle
down i n the mi xy. Mi x i n the
chopped orange rind pieces and
the orange essence. Mix in the
hung curd and a portion of the oil.
Blend well in the mixer. Continue
to blend adding a little oil from
36 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
the best i ndi cati on for a wel l -
baked cake. If the knitting needle
is wet then allow the cake to cook
for 5 mi nutes more whi l e you
reduce the temperature to 140
O
C.
Once the cake is baked put off the
oven and allow the cake to cool
in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool
to room temperature.
For the decoration: Spread
the whipped sweetened cream on
top of and the sides of the cake.
Keep in the fridge to chill. When
ready to serve decorate with the
rose petals.
PINEAPPLE
UPSIDE DOWN
CHILLI CAKE
INGREDIENTS:
6 slices of tinned pineapple
more or less of slices may be
used as per the size of your
baking dish
2 tsp chilli flakes
For cake:
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
220 gm hung curd
200 ml oil sunflower oil
METHOD
Grease a round cake tin. Place
the pi neappl e sl i ces on the
bottom of the cake tin in a circular
desi gn and spri nkl e the chi l l i
flakes over the pineapple slices.
Sift together the maida, baking
powder and keep these dry
ingredients aside. Grind the sugar
in a mixer to a powder. Allow the
sugar to settle down in the mixy
and then add the hung curd and a
portion of the oil. Blend well in the
mixer. Continue to blend adding
a little oil from time to time. Blend
and churn till all the oil is used up.
Thi s wi l l gi ve you a smooth
flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
The fi nal mi xture shoul d be
smooth without lumps. Pour this
on the prepared cake tin with the
pineapple slices. Place this tin in
a preheated oven and bake at
180
O
C for 35-40 mi nutes. To
Pineapple upside
down chilli cake
time to time. Blend and churn till
all the oil is used up. This will give
you a smooth flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
You wi l l not need to add any
colour if you are using the orange
rind. But if you want a darker
colour then add 2 drops of edible
orange or yellow colour as per
you choi ce. The fi nal mi xture
should be smooth without lumps.
Pour this on the prepared cake
tin. Place this tin in a preheated
oven and bake at 180
O
C for 35-
40 minutes. To check if the cake
is done, pierce a knitting needle in
the centre of the cake. The needle
should come out dry and that is
the best i ndi cati on for a wel l
baked cake. If the knitting needle
is wet then allow the cake to cook
for 5 mi nutes more whi l e you
reduce the temperature to 140
O
C.
Once the cake is baked put off the
oven and allow the cake to cool
in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool
to room temperature. Decorate
with orange segments and serve.
You could also decorate the top
of the cake by blending another
tsp of orange rind with some icing
sugar. You could add maple syrup
to this to prepare a orange icing.
Spread this icing on top of the
cake or you could just sprinkle the
orange ri nd and i ci ng sugar
mixture without using any maple
syrup.
GREEN PEAS
CAKE
INGREDIENTS:
1
1
/
2
cups shelled peas
1
/
4
tsp red chilli powder
1
/
4
tsp jeera powder
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
For cake batter:
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
220 gm hung curd
200 ml oil sunflower oil
METHOD
To prepare the peas mix:
Heat the oi l and sti r-fry the
crushed peas for 2 mi nutes
adding the salt and spices. Put off
the heat and keep aside.
Sift together the maida, baking
powder and keep these dry
ingredients aside. Grind the sugar
in a mixer to a powder. Allow the
sugar to settle down in the mixy
and then add the hung curd and a
portion of the oil. Blend well in the
mixer. Continue to blend adding
a little oil from time to time. Blend
and churn till all the oil is used up.
Thi s wi l l gi ve you a smooth
flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
Also, mix in the crushed peas
mixture into this cake mixture and
mi x gentl y. The fi nal mi xture
should be smooth without lumps.
Pour this on a greased cake tin.
We have used a silicon mould.
Any mould of any shape can be
used to prepare this cake. Place
this mould in a pre heated oven
and bake at 180
O
C for 35-40
minutes. To check if the cake is
done, pierce a knitting needle in
the centre of the cake. The needle
should come out dry and that is
the best i ndi cati on for a wel l
baked cake.
If the knitting needle is wet
then allow the cake to cook for 5
minutes more while you reduce
the temperature to 140
O
C. Once
the cake is baked put off the oven
and allow the cake to cool in the
oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove
from the oven and cool to room
temperature.
Turn it over or remove from the
silicon mould and serve with a
scoop of ice cream. You could
al so use cup cake moul ds to
prepare cakes of different shapes.
Orange flavoured cake
Green peas cake
37
ASSORTED
MUFFINS
CHOCOLATE
AND PEANUT
MUFFINS
INGREDIENTS:
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
220 gm hung curd
200 ml oil sunflower oil
For muffin flavours:
2 tsp coco powder
For decoration:
silver edible balls
3-4 tsp peanut butter
peanuts or more peanut butter
METHOD
Sift together the maida, baking
powder and keep these dry
ingredients aside. Grind the sugar
in a mixer to a powder. Allow the
sugar to settle down in the mixy
and then add the hung curd and a
portion of the oil. Blend well in the
mixer. Continue to blend adding
a little oil from time to time. Blend
and churn till all the oil is used up.
Thi s wi l l gi ve you a smooth
flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
The fi nal mi xture shoul d be
smooth without lumps.
Divide this mixture into two
halves. In one half mix the peanut
butter, in another half mix the
coco powder. Mix the two halves
separately till the batter is smooth.
Pour into different moulds so that
you have di fferent fl avoured
muffin moulds.
Place these muffin moulds in a
pre heated oven and bake at
160
O
C for 15-20 mi nutes. To
check if the moulds are done,
pierce a knitting needle in the
centre of each muffin. The needle
should come out dry and that is
the best indication for well baked
muffins. If the knitting needle is
wet then allow the muffins to cook
further for 2-3 minutes. Once the
muffins are baked put off the oven
and allow the muffins to cool in
the oven for 5-6 minutes. Remove
from the oven and cool to room
temperature.
Decorate the chocolate muffins
wi th si l ver bal l s. You coul d
decorate the peanut muffins with
peanuts or peanut butter.
FRESH FRUIT
TART
INGREDIENTS:
For the tarts:
200 gm maida
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp ghee
3 pinches salt
3 pinches jeera powder
For the filling:
1 cup thick sweetened cream
fresh fruits of your choice
METHOD
Sift together the salt and jeera
into the maida. Add the butter and
ghee and knead to a dough. Use
only a few tsp water if required.
Di vi de the batter i nto four
portions. Roll into a quarter inch
circle and line each of tart case
with this rolled out batter. Place a
few seeds of beans on each of
the tart cases and blind bake so
that the tarts dont rise from the
centre. Bake in a preheated oven
for 10-12 minutes till just a little
golden brown. Allow the tarts to
cool in the oven and then remove
from the oven.
For the filling: Mi x the
whipped sweetened cream with
the fruits and fill the tarts with this
filling. Chill and serve.
Assorted muffins chocolate and peanut muffins
Fresh fruit tart
38
39
CAKE AND
RICE KULFI
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups gur-flavoured rice payesh
or any other flavoured kheer
1 cup vanilla or chocolate
flavoured cake
crumble the cake and place in a
mixing bowl. Add the payesh or
kheer into it and mix taking care
that the mixture is dry and not
wet. Pour into kulfi moulds and
freeze. Unmould to serve
simple almond and vanilla cake
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
3 eggs
200 ml oil sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup chopped almonds
METHOD
Grease a cake tin . Sift
together the mai da,
baking powder and keep
these dry ingredients aside.
Grind the sugar in a mixer to
a powder. Allow the sugar to
settle down in the mixy. Mix in
the the vanilla essence and the
eggs. Blend well in the mixer.
Continue to blend adding a little
oil from time to time. Blend and
churn till all the oil is used up. This
will give you a smooth flowing
batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
40 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
cake. The needle should come
out dry and that i s the best
indication for a well-baked cake. If
the knitting needle is wet then
al l ow the cake to cook for 5
minutes more while you reduce
the temperature to 140
O
C. Once
the cake is baked put off the oven
and allow the cake to cool in the
oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove
from the oven and cool to room
temperature. Unmould and serve.
COCONUT
MILK
TRI-LAYERED
CAKE
INGREDIENTS:
For bottom layer:
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 tsp gelatin soaked in 2 tbsp
warm water
For middle layer:
1
/
2
cup crumbled cake any
flavour
Top layer:
3-4 slice apple
2 tsp sugar for
caramelisation
METHOD
For the bottom layer:
Mix the gelatin crystals in
warm water ti l l the
crystals dissolve. Add this
to the coconut milk and
pl ace at the bottom of a
glass. Cool and keep in the
fridge to set.
Place the crumbled cake on
top of the coconut milk
For the top layer: Melt the
sugar in a pan and add the apple
circles and turn gently so that the
sugar l i ghtl y coats the appl e
slices. Place on top of the cake
and serve chilled.
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
Also, mix in half the quantity of
the chopped almonds. The final
mixture should be smooth without
lumps. Pour this on the prepared
cake tin.
Top wi th the remai ni ng
almonds and place this tin in a
preheated oven and bake at
180
O
C for 35-40 mi nutes. To
check if the cake is done, pierce a
knitting needle in the centre of the
Cake and rice kulfi
Coconut milk tri layered cake
oven and bake at 180
O
C for 35-
40 minutes. To check if the cake
is done, pierce a knitting needle in
the centre of the cake. The needle
should come out dry and that is
the best i ndi cati on for a wel l -
baked cake.
If the knitting needle is wet
then al l ow the cake to cook
further for 5 minutes while you
reduce the temperature to 140
O
C.
Once the cake is baked put off the
oven and allow the cake to cool
in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool
to room temperature. Cut into
slices and serve.
STUFFED CAKE
INGREDIENTS:
1 cake any size and flavour we
have used a small velvet cake
For stuffing:
1 cup boondi or any other Indian
methai-like milk cake
scoop out the cake from the top
and fill with the boondi or the
crumbled milk cake
chocolate and rasgoola cake
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
2 tbsp chocolate powder
225 gm sugar
3 eggs
200 ml oil sunflower oil
1 tsp chocolate essence
optional
For topping:
2 cup chocolate sauce
For decoration:
rasgoolas
Grease a cake ti n . Si ft
together the mai da, baki ng
powder and chocolate powder
and keep these dry ingredients
aside. Grind the sugar in a mixer
to a powder. Allow the sugar to
RICH WALNUT
AND DATES
CAKE
INGREDIENTS:
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
3 eggs
200 ml oil sunflower oil
1 cup shelled chopped walnuts
1 cup seedless dates cut into
small pieces
METHOD
Grease a cake tin. Sift together
the maida, baking powder and
keep these dry ingredients aside.
Grind the sugar in a mixer to a
powder. Allow the sugar to settle
down in the mixy. Mix in the the
eggs. Blend well in the mixer.
Continue to blend adding a little
oil from time to time. Blend and
churn till all the oil is used up. This
will give you a smooth flowing
batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
Also, mix in the chopped walnuts
and dates. The fi nal mi xture
should be smooth without lumps.
Pour this on the prepared cake tin
and place this tin in a pre heated
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 41
Rich walnut and
dates cake
Stuffed cake
settle down in the mixy. Mix in the
chocolate essence and the eggs.
Blend well in the mixer. Continue
to blend adding a little oil from
time to time. Blend and churn till
all the oil is used up. This will give
you a smooth flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
The fi nal mi xture shoul d be
smooth without lumps. Pour this
on the prepared cake ti n and
place this tin in a pre heated oven
and bake at 180
O
C for 35-40
minutes. To check if the cake is
done, pierce a knitting needle in
the centre of the cake. The needle
should come out dry and that is
the best i ndi cati on for a wel l
baked cake. If the knitting needle
is wet then allow the cake to cook
for 5 mi nutes more whi l e you
reduce the temperature to 140
O
C.
Once the cake is baked put off the
oven and allow the cake to cool
in the oven for 10-12 minutes. If
you are using chocolate sauce
then spread i t l avi shl y on the
cake. Chi l l i n the fri dge and
decorate with rasgoolas. You may
avoid the chocolate sauce and
decorate only with rasgoolas.
CRUSHED
PEANUTS
MUFFINS
INGREDIENTS:
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
220 gm hung curd
200 ml oil sunflower oil
2 tbsp crushed unsalted peanuts
METHOD
Sift together the maida, baking
powder and keep these dry
ingredients aside. Grind the sugar
in a mixer to a powder. Allow the
sugar to settle down in the mixy
and then add the hung curd and a
portion of the oil. Blend well in the
mixer. Continue to blend adding
a little oil from time to time. Blend
and churn till all the oil is used up.
Thi s wi l l gi ve you a smooth
flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
The fi nal mi xture shoul d be
smooth without lumps. At this
stage also mix in the crushed
peanuts. Mix well and pour the
mi xture i nto greased muffi n
moulds.
Place these muffin moulds in a
pre heated oven and bake at
160
O
C for 15-20 mi nutes. To
check if the moulds are done,
pierce a knitting needle in the
centre of each muffin. The needle
should come out dry and that is
the best indication for well baked
muffins. If the knitting needle is
wet then allow the muffins to cook
for 2-3 minutes more. Once the
muffins are baked put off the oven
and allow the muffins to cool in
the oven for 5-6 minutes. Remove
from the oven and cool to room
temperature. Unmould and serve.
BLUE BERRY
CAKE
INGREDIENTS:
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
3 eggs
200 ml oil sunflower oil
200 gm tinned blue berries
remove the liquid
METHOD
Grease a cake tin. Sift together
the maida, baking powder and
keep these dry ingredients aside.
Grind the sugar in a mixer to a
powder. Allow the sugar to settle
down in the mixy and the eggs.
Blend well in the mixer. Continue
to blend adding a little oil from
time to time. Blend and churn till
all the oil is used up. This will give
you a smooth flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
42 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
Crushed peanuts
muffins
43
For the filling:
1 cup crushed cake crumbles
any flavour
pieces white or dark chocolate
chopped dried fruits or tinned
apricots
METHOD
This tart basket can get very
creative. You can add different
goodies to the cake crumble. Fill
the tart cases and lace it with
sauce of your choice.
Variation: you can use these
tart cases to serve small snacks
like noodles of poha.
BEETROOT
LOAF
INGREDIENTS:
325 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
3 eggs
200 ml oil sunflower oil
1 cup thick beetroot juice
1 cup boiled, peeled and grated
or crushed in the mixer to a
paste
2 drops red colour optional
1 cup almonds cut into small
pieces
METHOD
Grease a loaf tin. Sift together
the maida, baking powder and
keep these dry ingredients aside.
Grind the sugar in a mixer to a
powder. Allow the sugar to settle
down in the mixy and the eggs.
Blend well in the mixer. Continue
to blend adding a little oil from
time to time. Blend and churn till
all the oil is used up. Now, mix in
the beetroot juice.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
Mix in also the crushed boiled
44 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
The fi nal mi xture shoul d be
smooth without lumps. Mix in the
preserved tinned blue berries and
mix well.
Pour this on the prepared cake
ti n and pl ace thi s ti n i n a
preheated oven and bake at
180
O
C for 35-40 mi nutes. To
check if the cake is done, pierce a
knitting needle in the centre of the
cake. The needle should come
out dry and that i s the best
indication for a well-baked cake. If
the knitting needle is wet then
al l ow the cake to cook for 5
minutes more while you reduce
the temperature to 140
O
C. Once
the cake is baked put off the oven
and allow the cake to cool in the
oven for 10-12 minutes. Cut into
slices and serve.
TART BASKET
INGREDIENTS:
4 tart cases ready made or you
can prepare them at home
recipe given above
Blue berry cake
Tart basket
beetroot and the red colour if
using and half the portion of the
almond pieces.
The final mixture should be
smooth without lumps. Pour this
on the prepared cake in a loaf tin
and place this tin in a preheated
oven and bake at 180
O
C for 35-
40 minutes.
To check if the loaf is baked,
pierce a knitting needle in the
centre of the loaf.
The needle should come out
dry and that is the best indication
for a well-baked loaf. If the knitting
needle is wet then allow the cake
to cook further for 5 minutes while
you reduce the temperature to
140
O
C. Once the loaf is baked put
off the oven and allow the loaf to
cool i n the oven for 10-12
mi nutes. Cut i nto sl i ces and
serve.
OATS MUFFINS
INGREDIENTS:
250 gm maida - flour
1
1
/
4
tsp baking powder
225 gm sugar
220 gm hung curd
200 ml oil sunflower oil
1
1
/
2
cups oats
METHOD
Sift together the maida, baking
powder and keep these dry
ingredients aside. Grind the sugar
in a mixer to a powder. Allow the
sugar to settle down in the mixy
and then add the hung curd and a
portion of the oil. Blend well in the
mixer.
Continue to blend adding a
little oil from time to time. Blend
and churn till all the oil is used up.
Thi s wi l l gi ve you a smooth
flowing batter.
Take a mixing bowl and place
the dry ingredients in this bowl.
Slowly add the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients mixing
constantly so that no lumps form.
Also, mix in the oats at this stage.
The fi nal mi xture shoul d be
smooth without lumps. Mix well
and pour the mi xture i nto
greased muffin moulds.
Place these muffin moulds in a
preheated oven and bake at
160
O
C for 15-20 mi nutes. To
check if the moulds are done,
pierce a knitting needle in the
centre of each muffin. The needle
should come out dry and that is
the best indication for well-baked
muffins.
If the knitting needle is wet
then allow the muffins to cook for
2-3 mi nutes more. Once the
muffins are baked put off the oven
and allow the muffins to cool in
the oven for 5-6 minutes.
Remove from the oven and
cool to room temperature.
Unmould and serve.
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 45
Beetroot loaf
Oats muffins
We
T
anya knew that today was her chance to
apologise for her dim-witted behaviour, even
though it was one year late. What would she
say to him? Sorry for what I did...
Hmm I am sorry for what happened
She had rehearsed innumerable times, but
nothing made her feel better.
She tried to stop brooding over it, focusing her
mind on her reflection in the oval teak woodworked
mirror. The wine-coloured pencil skirt with matching
sleeveless jacket and fitting manila top with a
plunging neckline, showing a glimpse of her well-
shaped bosom, flaunting her ivory-coloured skin and
flamenco red stilettos tantalising her long slender
legs, will boost her confidence immensely in front of
the man who left her speechless. She combed her
golden brown hair to a neat bun, doing a last
minute touch-up on the minimal make-up, just
adorning her long black eyelashes and, her oak
leaf-coloured eyes with a line of kajal and brushing
a thin layer of pink gloss on her lustrous lips, making
them more alluring and enviable.
She was one of the most sought-after citizen
journos who could not afford to commit another
mistake. Working as a celebrity journalist, she
viewed the other side of Page 3 Spectrum as
an exciting job. Yet, as she viewed herself
sideways, she felt more edgy than usual.
She glanced at the clock and yelped.
Here, she was dilly-dallying and the minute
of action was 20 minutes away.
She gave herself one final look and
walked briskly into a waiting van. Her
assistant handed her the final inventory of
the questions she was going to ask Dhruv
Khanna, quoted as a successful
entrepreneur, the youth icon, the most
desirable bachelor for two consecutive
years and owning a dynastic company
voted as one of the best recruiters this year.
He was the most popular figure in
Bangalore, the Silicon Valleys Key Player
and Prince. Financial experts applauded his
achievements as a bold move on his return after one
year of successful mergers in foreign shores; hence,
tagging him the most bankable business person of
the year.
The latest picture of Dhruv in a business magazine
caught Tanyas attention, captivating her by his
magnetic six-two height in a jet-black suit that
framed his tall broad intimidating shoulders,
outlining his muscled arms and long legs. His lop-
sided sly smile, his set dark curls and deep black
eyes seemed all too familiar.
She groaned and looked away from the
magazine. He could still make her tingle in
anticipation. She could not help reviving their brief,
yet, quite amusing encounter one year ago.
That day, exhausted and
battered after an interview
with a woman tortured by
her husband, Tanya
enters her room to find a
crying Priti, her finicky
roommate. On
persuading her,
Tanya found out
that her boss,
Tanya went seeking revenge and wound up the worse for it. Or was it better?
By Pallavi Banerjee
46 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
An Intriguing
Interlude
Short Story
Dhruv had tried to take advantage of her by inviting
her to become his mistress. Already infuriated by
men for treating women as weaklings, this incident
ignited her anger. Tanya took Pritis office address,
and walking straight to Mr Dhruv said, You
heartless, ill-mannered arrogant scoundrel!
He looked at her shocked and asked in a
bewildered husky voice, Are you talking to me?
Yes! You! Who do you think you are? she said
pointing a finger at his broad chest.
He stood up, his full height towering over her not-
so-short frame of five-seven. She felt too petite in
front of his nerve-racking appearance. She pursed
her lips, lost in his eyes. He was the most handsome
man she had ever met. His jet-black eyes seemed to
compose music of their own. She was floating in his
eyes, when he jolted her back to reality saying, Do
I know you?
He was eyeing her bemusedly, a smile creeping
around the corners of his mouth. Tanya
finding her voice back ignored his
question and said sternly, Dont think you
can force women to become your play
dolls.
He smiled copiously, displaying his
pronounced cute dimples. Did he even
hear what she said? She bit her lips
feeling trapped in her own insanity.
Will you elaborate what you mean?
he asked moving closer to her.
S
he licked her lips and said, becoming
more and more aware of his mystic
cologne, Men like you think they can
do anything with women. Priti is a decent
girl working hard to earn her living. You think you
can just ask any women to be your mistress.
Really Hmm Priti? he frowned trying to
recall who she was.
What a big Casanova he is! He has forgotten
her in an hour, Tanya thought, hating him more
every minute.
Oh! he said remembering Priti. Instead of
feeling guilty, he laughed throatily. She said I
wanted her as my mistress? and continued
laughing.
Stop laughing! Tanya shouted agitated with
herself, distracted by his breathtaking looks.
He pulled her to him, and asked, Did you
believe her, Miss Tanya?
She gasped surprised that he knew her name,
You know me?
I watch your show every day, he said simply
shrugging his shoulders. And I must say you look
more delicious in person.
Dare you try your tricks on me! she said not
quite convincingly, feeling nipped by his nearness.
A sly provocative smile played on his seductive
lips and, before she knew it, he tilted her head and
their lips met. Tanya was unaware of anything
around her, other than Dhruvs lips creating magic
on her. She moaned, pleasure coursing through her,
creating ripples of vibrations inside her. She twined
her long legs around him. He picked her effortlessly,
placing her on the sofa, and deepened the kiss
caressing her slender neck. Her lips parted allowing
him to explore the sweetness of her.
T
anyas phone beeping made Dhruv pull back
and look into her stunned eyes. Jerked back to
consciousness, she gasped and her face flared
in anger.
How dare you! Moron! Dont forget to watch
tomorrows news at nine, saying this, she stormed
out of the room.
She was still shivering in the intimacy
they had shared. She had wanted him to
kiss her. She reluctantly, had to agree it
was something she had never felt before.
His touch had sired passion in her she did
not even know existed.
Next day, the office clerk asked Tanya
to meet the editor. When she entered his
cabin, she found Dhruv sitting in the chair
opposite to Mr Sharma.
Hmm Tanya, sort out the
misunderstanding with Dhruv. He is our
privileged client. I will come after some
time, saying this Mr Sharma walked out
of the room.
Trying to use your influence here? she
asked mordantly.
He shrugged.
She hated his guts and arrogance.
You cant buy me, Dhruv Khanna. This is the
beginning, the day I get any proof on you she
said intrepidly.
Slowly, Dhruv moving closer to her, whispered,
Call me DK.
Why should I? she said trying to remain
unflinching to his charisma.
After what happened yesterday he started
grinning and closed the distance between them.
She backed a few steps unsteadily, unable to stop
the gleaming image of them smooching, playing in
her mind.
You know you want me, he said furtively.
No! she fought back, but lost her balance as
her foot hit the chair behind her.
As she was about to falter, he caught her back
and pulled her straight up, crushing her ample
bosom against his chest. She could feel his heart
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 47
A sly
provocative
smile played
on his
seductive lips
and, before she
knew it, he
tilted her head
and their lips
met. Tanya
was unaware
of anything
around her.
beat rhythmically with hers. She unintentionally
licked her lips. He groaned and crushed his lips on
hers. She was too like-minded to stop him and
responded flinging her arms around him. Their kiss
deepened and she parted her lips to allow him to
taste her once again, more passionately. He bit her
lower lip teasing her and making her moan in
pleasure, lightly brushing his hand at the rim of her
jeans and slid his expert fingers into her clingy top.
He kept kissing her, trailing down from her ear lobes
to her shapely neck licking her collarbone.
S
he sucked in air begging him to not stop
while he continued his journey and kissed her
small delicate navel. She wrapped her legs
around him and pulled him closer to her.
Dhruv she moaned croakily.
She felt Dhruv stiffen and look at her flushed face,
dazed. She felt a flicker of emotion in his eyes.
Standing up straight, tightening his jaws, he said
hoarsely, We are even now. He jolted out of the
room.
She was too astounded to react. A tiny teardrop
rolled down her face.
I will not spare you! She muttered gritting her
teeth.
She left her office deciding to meet Priti and lash
out at Dhruv Khanna as soon as possible. How dare
he do this! Who does he think he is?
She spotted Priti sitting in the coffee corner with a
man. She approached from the back and was able
to hear Pritis conversation.
Chalo, now I am at peace! At last, I could get
my revenge on Dhruv. He refused my proposal! I
was ready to do anything just for having him, but he
wanted me only as his responsible employee, that
bastard, she was chirping away bitterly.
The man sitting at the opposite replied, But, Priti,
you used your naive roommate yaar.
She boasted unashamed, OhManish. All is
fair in love and war!
They both burst out laughing.
Tanya knew it was her fault. How could she have
believed Priti, without thinking over the situation?
She felt culpable and deceived. She had to
apologise to Dhruv. She was sorry beyond words.
She went to the receptionist and asked for Mr
Khannas cabin, only to find he was on his way to
Singapore.
Today, after a year, she was getting the opportunity
to set things right. Would he recognise her?
Or was she just another reporter?
The interview went smoothly and he did not show
any signs of recognition but their unspoken
attraction was electrifying.
Dhruv invited Tanya for a short tea break in his
magnificent parlour and grasping this opportunity,
Tanya blurted, Dhruv, I know you remember me
and I am feeling bad for accusing you of something I
had no clue about. I came to meet you, but you had
left for
He cut her mid-sentence and held her hand,
flaunting his dazzling dimpled smile.
Forgetting all her rehearsals, she blabbered, I
am really sorry for. He stopped her brushing his
thumb on her lips.
Dont be and kissed her full on the mouth as
if lost in the need of something deprived for years,
fitting in the missing year in this one kiss.
He looked at her breathing hard and said, I fell
for you the instant you walked into my cabin. I
watched your show daily, hoping to meet this
exquisite woman some day, and the day I did, you
were too busy accusing me of something I did not
do. But, I wanted you so desperately I didnt care
what you were doing.
But, you said you were getting even with me.
I was a big fool, trying to act impervious
whereas, all I wanted was to rip your clothes and
take you to bed. I had never met a woman who
could give me sleepless nights. She blushed at his
candour.
He got down on his knees and took out a tiny red
box from his pocket.
I cant let anything come between us now. Will
you be the playwright of my heart? Marry me, my
princess.
Blinking back the tears of happiness, she
whispered, Yes! then louder, Yes! Yes! Yes! and
wrapped her arms around him, sealing the moment
with a kiss, knowing this was forever. We
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Womans Era December (Second) 2013 49
H
ow many times have you looked
into your closet, taken a good
look at everything in there and
then come to the conclusion that
you have not hi ng t o wear?
Absolutely nothing? And you are sure
about this? Everything in there, old,
new, loved, forgotten; everything just
does not seem right. For the moment
at least.
To try and salvage the situation,
you may t ry t o hopel essl y put
together an outfit that sort of passes.
But naah. Even thats not going to
wipe that frown off your face.
But t he good t hi ng about t hi s
uneasy feeling is that only logical
solution is to go shopping. (Insert
mental somersault) And life just takes
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What if shopping could come to
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We
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Womens lifestyle
Thanks unknown angel
This incident occurred when my
son was 5-6 years old, too young
to come back home from school
alone. That day he had a book fair
in his school, from where he wanted
me to come and buy him books. I
had to reach school at 1.30, when
the school was over. The exhibition
was about to start at 3 pm. So I
i nstructed my son to come back
home in his van and then we will go
again to the school.
My son refused to come in the van
and wai ted for me at the school ,
while I was waiting for him at home.
On the other hand, at 2 pm along
with his friend he started walking
towards home and I was expecting
him in the van. When he didnt reach
home by 2. 30, I al ong wi t h my
husband rushed to the school. We
searched for our son in the whole
school and not finding him in the
school.
My son reached half-way home
where his friend took a turn and
went to his home and my son got
confused as there was some tent
near the masjid and he couldnt
recall the way home.
He started crying there. At that
time an unknown angel came noted
the address from his I-card and
dropped him home.
On returning home, we were so
happy to see our son that I almost
had tears in my eyes.
This incident made me forever
indebted to that unknown persons
who brought my son back.
Anju Sharma, Delhi.
Classic:
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fashion
Statement
Taking Indian ethnic
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Subtle
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A rich combination of red
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Regal:
Mustard and blue make a
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53
Designed by: Urvashi Kaur
Mob: 09873800720
Sauve:
White based kaftan
dress in uneven pattern
with red detailing and
floral pattern.
54
NOSTALGIC
GAAJAR KA HALWA
Poeticised by poets. By Sumit S. Paul
K
hane ka maza sardiyon
mein hi hai (One relishes
food during winters). This is
a common refrain one hears
not only in northern India
but more or less across the
country because winter
increases appetite and one
loves to eat. One thing that
is most enjoyed during
winters is the legendary (yes,
legendary) gaajar ka halwa (the
halwa of carrot). Incidentally, halwa is
an Arabic word and it actually means
'sweetened paste' (of anything).
Ghalib was very fond of gaajar ka
halwa. The world knows that, besides
being a peerless Urdu poet, he was
also a gourmet and loved mangoes
so much that he wrote five Persian
ghazals on it and never translated
them into Urdu because he was of
the opinion the the Shahanshah-e-
Samar (king of fruits; samar, fruit)
must deserve praise in the
Shahanshah-e-Zubaan (the king of
the languages), i.e. Persian.
Well, I was descanting upon
Ghalib's fondness for gaajar ka halwa
of Delhi-Agra and Lahore. Being a
very fastidious gourmet, Ghalib was
of the opinion that seedhe-lambe
sindoori migraaz (long and straight
carrots; migraaz Persian for carrot)
are the best for making a bowl of
delicious gaajar ka halwa. Here's a
couplet he wrote to his friend Altaaf
Hussain Hali 'Panipati' in praise of
gaajar ka halwa: Dilkash zayka aur
woh dilfareb mahak/Mujhe deewana
banaye hai ye lazzatdaar shai
(Wonderful taste and the intoxicating
aroma/I'm smitten by this delicacy). I
must mention that Ghalib didn't like
gaajar ka halwa in Calcutta. Sooba-
e-Bengal ke gaajaron mein woh baat
nahin (there's not that quality in the
carrots available in Bengal province),
he wrote in Dastamboo, a collection
of his Persian missives.
FONDNESS FOR GAAJAR
KA HALWA
Not just Ghalib, Urdu poets seem
to have been very fond of gaajar ka
halwa. Daagh Dehlavi wrote that after
having a heavy dinner of qabaab and
shorba, the perfect ending is a big
bowl of gaajar ka halwa relished on
the terrace on a moonlit night under
the starry sky. Fizaan ka lutf kuchh
aur hi badh jaata hai/ Jab sheereeni
zabaan pe ghulti hai (The ambience
becomes all the more soothing and
romantic/ When sweetness melts
on the tongue). Here, in this
couplet, Daagh referred
to the sweetness of
gaajar ka halwa.
Dayashankar 'Naseem', the
promising Urdu poet of Lucknow,
who died of food poisoning at the age
of 32 and wrote Masnavi in Urdu
poetry, was a Hindu Kayasth and a
staunch vegetarian. He was the
favourite student of great Aatish
Lakhnavi. One day, Dayashankar
wrote a very beautiful ghazal which
made his ustaad very happy. Aatish
knew that Dayashankar liked gaajar
ka halwa. He told his cook to prepare
special gaajar ka halwa with honey
and dry fruits. When it was served,
Dayashankar spontaneously created
a couplet in appreciation of the divine
gaajar ka halwa: Chhoone se pahle
hi haal bura hai/ Na jaane kya hashra
ho jab pahunche lab tak (I'm restless
before touching/ Don't know what will
happen when the lips will get to
touch!). Aatish was all the more
happy to hear this subtly suggestive
couplet and ordered his cook to make
gaajar ka halwa every night for
'Naseem'. It's worthwhile to state that
Dayashankar regularly had dinner at
his master's place.
Jabalpur-born Hindi writer of
humour Harishankar Parsai would
often say, Mujhe gajra aur gaajar ka
halwa bahut pasand hain (I love gajra
a set of flowers used by women in
their long tresses and gaajar ka
halwa). Gone are the days of creative
leisure. You don't get such lovely,
juicy and naturally sweet carrots
either.
Neither do you get the
connoisseurs of good food. Abdul
Hameed 'Adam' of Pakistan summed
it up so poignantly, Dastarkhaan pe
ek se ek jalwa/ Phir bhi yaad aata hai
ma ke haath ka bana gaajar ka halwa
(Though there are so many delicious
and mouth-watering preparations/ I
still fondly remember that 'gaajar ka
halwa' made by my mother). We
55
56 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
The attendant rituals are often bizarre. By T. Rajagopalan
L
ord Nathaniel Curzon, the
Viceroy of India during British
days who had an insatiable
passion for the preservation
of the abundant archaeolo -
gical treasures of India and
who was chiefly responsible
for the setting up of the
Archaeological Survey of
India (ASI) must surely be
turning in his grave when some at the
helm of ASI believed it to be true
when a seer told them that as per his
dream 1000 tonnes of gold had been
interred under the ruins of the
dilapidated fort in a non-descript
hamlet in the district of Unnao in
Uttar Pradesh and lost no time in
taking up digging works to discover
the vast gold treasure.
The seer who dreamt up this wild
dream is Shoban Sarkar, head priest
of the Shoban temple in Unnao. His
enchanting dream was that Ram
Baksh Singh, a ruler of yore of this
place, had appeared before him in
his dream and said that he had
buried this huge hoard of gold
underneath his fort which was now in
a state of disrepair. The ASI officials
marvelled at this glorious revelations
and commenced their digging
operations and justified
that there must be that
gold since, according to
them, the earth beneath
them was metal bearing.
Bizarre rituals were
carried out for hidden
treasures belonging to
ancient rulers and
believed to have been
buried 30 feet deep in an
open well in the
Arkavathi Layout in the proximity of
Amritahalli in Bengaluru (Karnataka)
on 8 December 2010. It ended in the
death of six people.
Predicated on the statement of 38-
year-old Kalavati, the seventh
member of the group, that there was
in the depth of the well the fabulous
treasure, the rituals, weird and
frightful, were taken up which
culminated in a ghastly
tragedy. The police
suspected that the victims
were part of a grotesque
ritual murder masterminded
by a so-called tantrik in his
quest to retrieve the hidden
treasure lying buried in the
well. He apparently
instigated the brutal
murders with a view to
appeasing the deity Seer Shoban Sarkar.
TREASURE HUNTING
IN DIVERSE WAYS
Kalimatha whom he believed would
help him to discover the treasure.
The murders were committed
between 8.30 p.m. and 11.45 p.m. on
8 December 2008 and it came to light
the following day. According to the
deputy commissioner of police,
Basavaraja Malagathi, one of the
victims and a bangle-seller of Mysore
had lured the five women victims to
the well under cover of darkness and
pushed them in. Later, fearing
reprisal, he possibly committed
suicide by jumping into the well.
Anand was bankrupt and borrowed
`1.5 lakh from usurious
moneylenders and this might have
led to a sacrifice of these unfortunate
women to unearth the hidden
treasure.
Nightmarish rituals are conducted
to bring prosperity in some parts of
India. In Annamalai, 30 km away
from the textile city of Coimbatore, a
district HQ of renown in Tamil Nadu.
During the unearthly hours of wintry
nights, scores of villagers congregate
at the ground. They slip into a state
of frenzy to the chantings of weird
incantations and wild beating of
drums. In that state of getting
possessed the throng nibble at the
bones collected from the funeral
pyres. This is an annual ritual held in
the belief what it would bring them
supreme prosperity, and also
facilitate them to acquire supernatural
powers.
THE REVOLTING RITUAL
This horrible ritual takes place
mostly on Mahashivarathri when the
village folk endeavour to appease
Lord Shiva who they believe would
bestow on them wealth and keep evil
at bay. This revolting ritual attracts
as many as 3000 individuals from
different parts of the district to the
cremation ground. They all go ga-ga
all through the night in that biting cold
nibbling at the bones of the cremated
persons from the funeral pyres after
the bodies of the deceased get burnt
completely. They give credence to
the legend that Nannan, a Cheran
king who ruled that part of the state in
days of yore had sentenced a girl to
death for plucking mangoes from his
orchard. Thereafter the villagers
thinking this an unjust act prayed for
the rebirth of the girl and their wish
was fulfilled.
As they prayed in a cremation
ground this ritual takes place there.
This is a 15-day ritual to acquire
prosperity. An eight-ft tall woman
deity draped in a shining silk sari is
the focal point and the frightening
looking priests offer prayers
throughout the night and seek her
blessings.
One of the devotees dances,
gyrating and singing loudly, her hair
or his hair parted in a wild manner.
During this macabre dance, bhang,
a drink made out of cannabis is
consumed so as to become
saturnine. The apex court had
imposed a ban on this frightful ritual
labelling it as a wicked practice even
though one is killed in this spine-
chilling ritual. This detestable ritual is
known as Mayana kollai in Tamil,
meaning plunder of the grave.
Rationalists argue that no
prosperity accrues to those who
indulge in this repulsive ritual and
that the government should prevent
these sorts of abominable rites.
In the Telengana region of Andhra
Pradesh, specially in the district of
Nizamabad an increasing number
worship stray dogs as these
ridiculous worshippers of canines
think they bring prosperity if prayers
are offered to them. These devotees
throng the Sri Kala Bhairava Swamy
shrine at Issannapally village in the
Sadhasivanagar mandal of the
district where they offer special
prayers to the deity and his vahanas
(carriers) shunaks (dogs) seeking
good health and wealth.
There are others hailing from
other areas like Mandoor, Jakkal,
Bichkunda and Kotagiri who also
perform a festival called Chatty for
dogs, decorating them with garlands
and washing them with turmeric and
putting vermillion dots on their
foreheads. These dogs enjoy
delicious food fed to them by the
devotees on these days.
Child sacrifices are quite common
even today in remote hamlets for
bringing the villagers good crops. In
an article captioned Human Sacrifice
to Inhuman Gods authored by Kathijal
Beschi published in Caravan (June II,
1980), the author wrote about the
sacrifice of a 2
1
/
2
-year-old orphan
child in the interior of South Bastar
to propiate a village deity to get better
crops and success in hunting. This
sacrifice was done as per the version
of the superintendent of police,
Jagdalpur, that the deity had appeared
in a dream to a person to sacrifice a
child for their prosperity.
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 57
Life of the dig.
We
T
omorrow you are inaugurating your coaching
class, no? Leena who had just dropped in to
meet her mother shook her head with a wry
smile to indicate a negative reply to her
mothers query. Ive to indefinitely postpone
the inauguration must search for a suitable
place for the classes.
Search for a place? her puzzled mum raised
her voice. What about the outhouse? Youve
already made all the arrangements for starting the
classes in the outhouse!
A last minute discovery led to the change of
heart. I decided to abide by your oft-repeated
counsel always keep a diplomatic distance from
the bickering and politics at the in-laws home, you
used to say, no? Im referring to the cold war
between Sharada aunty and Sita aunty.
But what has that got to do with your coaching
classes?
I found out from Janaki, their maidservant, the
real reason behind Sharada auntys offer of the
outhouse. There is politics behind her
sudden move to let out the outhouse
to me.
Leena followed her mum to the
kitchen. Sipping the coffee
offered by her, she explained
the reason for her sudden
change of heart.
Some time back, Leena had
casually told Sharada about her
intention of conducting coaching
classes in maths for SSC students
as she was now free of
encumbrances that tied her to her
home. So she had jumped at
Sharadas offer as the outhouse
was an ideal location, close to
her residence and the rent just
a token amount.
Once she had made
up her mind to accept
the offer she rushed to
get the key from
Sharada. After getting
the key as she came out
Janaki hissed, Good,
you are going to use
the outhouse. Sharada amma has hit two mangoes
with one stone. Her daughter doesnt have to go
elsewhere for maths tuition and that pest Sita
ammas plan to settle in the outhouse with her
husband has been thwarted.
This revelation that slipped out of Janakis
blabbing tongue took Leena by surprise. Uh? Caught
between two scheming in-laws! She being used as a
pawn in their one-upmanship game. Phew!
The familys ancestral property, located in a busy
suburb consisted of two adjacent houses and an
outhouse in the backyard. The property was yet to
be partitioned but Sharadas husband Sanjay settled
down there with his family
enjoying the use of the
whole property. His
younger brother
Shiva has been
away in Delhi all
these years serving
as a Central
Government
employee. Their
only sister Sita
who was
The best way to avoid in-law friction. By Shantha Nagarajan
58 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
The Middle Path
Short Story
married to a jobless wastrel became dependent on
her two brothers and was sent to her parental home
at regular intervals for financial aid.
Shivas family didnt have to face as much
harassment as was the case with the elder brothers
family as they lived far away. It was Sanjays family
that had to bear the brunt of Sitas financial woes.
This resulted in a strained relationship between
Sharada and Sita.
A
n exasperated Sharada had to take stern steps
to discourage her sister-in-laws tendency to
rush for help. There was a drastic reduction in
the gift amount sent to Sita for festivals. The number
of saris and dresses gifted to her in a year thinned.
Sharadas feigned illnesses and her familys planned
getaways just ahead of the troublesome womans
expected arrivals were some of the tricks employed
by Sharada and her husband to keep the pest away.
But Sita was unstoppable. After her
only daughter who was the familys only
breadwinner got married and left them,
Sitas family was in dire straits. Adding to
their woes, their house owner sent them a
notice asking them to vacate the old-
fashioned, tumbledown country house as
he wanted to increase the rent after
evicting the impoverished family.
Naturally, Sita could think of only one
solution seek shelter in the sprawling
ancestral house. The outhouse that had
been out of use and had enough space for
two people lured her. After all, it was her
parents property and if the brothers could
claim ownership why couldnt she, the
daughter, claim the right to use a tiny portion?
The idea brewing in her mind reached her
brothers ears. Sharada who was already fed up
with her sister-in-laws never-ending harassment got
a rude shock. The parasite at her backyard? No!
She vigorously racked her brain to find a way to nip
the plan in the bud. To her luck, Leena provided the
answer.
During a visit to Sharadas place Leena who lived
in a nearby locality casually mentioned her intention
to utilise the extra time available to her now that her
father-in-law was no more and her little daughter
had started going to school. Im going to do what
Im good at, teach maths. Thinking of conducting
coaching classes for SSC students.
This information activated Sharadas desperate
mind why not make Leena use the outhouse for her
soon-to-commence coaching classes and thus put an
end to Sitas hopes of setting up shop there?
Leena felt relieved. She swung into action
advertising, contacting prospective students
It was when she went to get the
outhouse key as she wanted to have a look
at it that the maid let the cat out of the bag
that Sharadas offer of the outhouse was
a part of her well-planned plot to deprive
Sita of the tenancy of the outhouse.
Oh, her plight was the same as that of a
runner who is about to reach the winning
post but due to a last-minute slip pulls out
of the race! She had unwittingly got drawn
into the cold war between her in-laws.
Ever since she had got married and
settled in their neighbourhood, Leena had
been maintaining cordial relations with
Sitas and her two brothers families.
Leenas ma-in-law was their cousin and there was
close bonding of the two families.
When she comes to know that Im going to set
up the tutorial class at the coveted place just when
shes planning to settle there, Sita aunty would
naturally suspect me of collusion with Sharada
aunty. What then? A rift between us and a lifelong
resentment. So the moment I learnt of the politics that
opened the doors of the outhouse to me, I decided to
quit. Ma, your own past experience is an eye-
opener, she said.
L
eenas mum Padmaja in the early years of her
married life was herself caught in the currents of
family politics. Immature and vulnerable that she
was then, she let herself be dragged into the
conflicts, conspiracies and confrontations.
Actually, it was a matter concerning her
husbands elder brothers family. Their son Naresh
and his young wife Bhanu had a stormy relationship.
Bhanu had genuine grievances against her in-law
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 59
Oh, her plight
was the same
as that of a
runner who is
about to reach
the winning
post but due
to a last-
minute slip
pulls out of
the race!
that her failure to conceive was due to
Nareshs lack of interest in a physical
relationship, that her parents-in-law were
responsible for the widening rift between
them, that curbs were imposed on her
pursuing her special interests.
P
admaja, who had a soft spot for her,
sympathised with the plight of the
young lady. Bhanu too used to run to
Padmaja for pouring out her hearts
fuming.
Toh! Toh! Had I been in your place I
would have walked out, Padmaja would
stoke the fire.
Bhanus ma-in-law tried all the tricks to
wean her away from the mischief-maker. She even
expressed her displeasure to Padmaja for her being
on the side of her daughter-in-law. But Padmaja
refused to be gagged as she was neither a mischief-
maker nor a mute spectator of wrongs heaped on an
innocent. So she solidly stood by Bhanu during the
difficult phase when Bhanu started living a separate
life
But what irreparably damaged Padmajas ties
with her brother-in-laws family was the active role
played by her during Bhanus adoption of a girl
child. When Bhanu decided to adopt her sisters
baby girl, her in-laws raised a storm of
protest. Why her sisters child? Its the
product of an inter-caste marriage, no?
Bhanu went ahead with the adoption.
Padmaja helped her a lot through the back
door but her brother-in-laws family sniffed
the goings on. And ever since then their
doors were closed to Padmaja. The two
brothers families remained out of touch
with each other.
How immature of me not to have
heeded their appeals. I let my heart rule
over my head. I shouldnt have brazenly
supported Bhanu at the risk of provoking
my in-laws. I was branded a family-
breaker. I lost my in-laws, a great loss,
Padmaja paused, lapsing into a reflective mood.
S
he was glad that Leena had taken a wise
decision. You are correct. Forget about the
outhouse. Dont get involved in the disputes and
politics of your in-laws. Dont take sides but
dispassionately follow a middle path. Thats the key
to maintaining your ties with the in-laws.
Oh, mama! Youve told this to me umpteen times
and Ive taken the point. Dont worry, your
daughters not foolish.
Both mother and daughter broke into giggles.
60 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
But what
irreparably
damaged
Padmajas ties
with her
brother-in-
laws family
was the active
role played by
her during
Bhanus
adoption of a
girl child.
We
Brutal cops
Disrespecting women is not
onl y i n col l eges but si mi l ar
incidents are happening even in
our local trains. There are these
vendors who come to different
compartments and sell stuffs,
different commodities. If they are
travelling against the law, they
should be fined but in spite of
chargi ng a huge sum t hei r
commodity is kicked out and they
are brutally beaten.
I still remember the horrendous
sight when I had seen a womens
plight. She was selling oranges
on the platform, feeding her child
when a pol ice force
started warning these
hawkers to leave the
train.
As soon as she
finished feeding, she
started grabbing her basket and
running as fast as she could. The
cops, however, caught her and hit
her so hard that I can still feel those
jitters. She was fined a handsome
amount but what happened next,
pained me immensely. The police
took her money, and kicked her
basket full of oranges and just
left.
How can someone be so brutal?
When people are trying hard to
earn a living, how can you cost
them, their survival? These forces
are meant for prot ect i on not
destruction.
Aishwarya Iyer.
Old football fan
Everyone in the house was in
bed except one person who sat
before the TV well into the night,
watching the Eurocup, like a
t eenager. Guess who? My
grandmother who, at her age,
should have been in bed, instead
of waiting for who won or lost.
But there she was not closing
her eyes till 2 a.m. Who said that
the tragedy of old age, is that one
is no longer interested in anything
but breathing in and out?
Hats off to such of these, who
may be old in years, but young in
spirit who may be standing on
the brink of the great divide, but
still can drink from the fountain
of youth. To those who dont
merely exist but live, in their
hands lies the key to happiness.
Imanesha Dinesh, Calicut.
Q
4
Q
1
Q
2
Attach a photograph of your friend for a better
chance of featuring in Womans era
How do you handle your boyfriend.
Girlfriend
What kind of
are you
MANIK CHAND
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G o l d D i a mo n d P l a t i n u m
a. You will dig deeper to find out the real reason.
b. You wont mind at all.
c. You will ask your boyfriend if he is feeling all right.
You had a fight with your boyfriend. Who
will make the first move to make up?
You catch your boyfriend looking at
another girl. How will you react?
Q
5
a. He must be up to something fishy.
b. He must be busy.
c. Something terrible may have happened to him.
Your boyfriend doesnt pick up the phone for
half a day. What will you think?
Q
6
a. It is always you.
b. It is mostly your boyfriend.
c. You and your boyfriend both have making plans.
Who is the one who usually makes plans in
your relationship?
Your boyfriend cancels a date last minute because
he doesnt feel like it. How will you react?
Q
3
At any given point in the day,
would you know your
boyfriends whereabouts?
a. Yes.
b. No.
c. Most of the times.
Selected entries will be published in the
forthcoming issue of Womans era. Look out
for the 16 February 2014 issue

Name Age
Address
PIN
Phone: E-mail
Occupation
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 31 January 2014. 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
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a. You will take your boyfriend away
from there.
b. You wont really bother.
c. You will talk to your boyfriend about it.
a. You will wait for him to make the first move.
b. You will go with the flow.
c. You will make the first move.
61
62
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Womans Era December (Second) 2013 67
Why dont you contact this man
whom your parents want you to
marry and suggest that the two of
you meet and get to know each other
before you both take a decision on
marriage. If he does not agree to this,
you can drop the idea of marrying
him. But if he agrees, meet him a few
times and then both of you can
decide.
I am a 25-year-old software
professional, now working in
America. I was sent here 18 months
ago. Soon after my arrival here, I got
involved with an American colleague
and began a live-in relationship with
him.
Last month I found out that I was
pregnant and presumed that my
partner would marry me. But he told
me that marriage was not in his plans
but that he wanted to take are of the
baby once it was born.
I was deeply shocked by what he
said and cried and pleaded with him
but he said that this was the
American way and that I should have
been more careful if I hadnt wanted
a baby.
Now, I just dont know that to do. I
dont want a baby and there is
absolutely no way I could have one in
my life now. Besides, my parents
would commit suicide if they come to
know about the mess I am in.
But I do have one option. There is
a colleague who is desperately in
love with me. I could marry him
here and at once and then pretend
that the child is his. Should I do this?
Please advise.
You appear to have got carried
away by the fact that you were in
America the Mecca for many
Indians and you began to think that
you were now on another planet and
that old ideas and morals didnt hold
any longer. Now, you have been
brought down to earth.
Marrying a man because you are
pregnant and want to foist someone
elses child on him is very wrong and
you should put it out of your mind.
And even if the man in love with you
is very gullible, you could find
yourself in trouble if the baby turns
out to look very American.
You have a couple of other
options. You can abort the baby or
you can have it and give it up for
adoption. The first will leave you with
a feeling of guilt all your life and the
second is dangerous because you
would have to carry the baby to term
and give birth to it and it would be
difficult for you to do this without your
colleagues both in America and in
India coming to know. If they come
to know, then there is the danger that
your parents could come to know too.
So aborting the baby is perhaps
the only real option you have.
I have two sons aged 40 and 50 both
have been in America for more than
15 years. They are doing very well
there. For most of this time, I have
been trying to find educated brides
for them. But ours is a very backward
community and I havent been able
to do this.
All these years, I hadnt ever been
to America (my sons came home in
turn regularly) because my husband
was a heart patient and was advised
not to travel. But he recently passed
away and I went to visit my sons.
There my elder son showed me a
five-year-old boy and told me that he
was his son! He said that he had
been in a relationship with an
American woman because he wanted
a child and she was ready to bear
him one. He said that soon after the
birth of the child, the woman had
handed him over to my son and went
away. Now, he didnt even know
where she was. My son told me that
he and his brother were raising the
boy and since they never came to
India together, they had been able to
keep the child a secret from their
father and me. I am in a state of
shock. I dont know how to react or
what to do. My relatives would
excommunicate us if they come to
know this. Please advise.
There is nothing that you can do!
So just relax and enjoy your
grandson! Your son must have been
very keen to have a child for him to
do such a thing. Now, things have
worked out fine and you should thank
your lucky stars for that. As for your
relatives, dont bother about them.
After 10 years of what I thought was
a happy marriage, my husband
suddenly announced to me that he
wanted a divorce. I was stunned, but
agreed to the divorce for two
reasons. The first was that we have
no children who will be affected by
the divorce and the second was that I
did not want to force an unwilling
man to stay married to me.
When the divorce came to court,
my husband claimed a part of both
the property I had and the property I
would inherit from my parents since I
am the only child. But this was not
granted by the court. This was a year
ago.
I am 36 now and my parents are
pestering me to get remarried. In fact,
they have found a 40-year-old man
who will suit me in every way. This
mans wife died very soon after they
were married and he too has no
children.
But I dont want to marry. I still
have not got over the trauma of my
divorce which has destroyed my self-
confidence. I am also afraid that this
man is marrying me for my property
though he is well-off in his own right.
There is also the fact that I am also
happy living alone and concentrating
on my career.
Am I right in having my doubts
about this match or am I just being
foolish?
Your fears about remarriage are
justified and yet, it is the cure for the
blow your divorce has given your
self-confidence. There is also the fact
that while your career satisfies you
now, you may later feel lonely.
They might never come to know
about the boy and even if they do,
you should stand by your son.
Why do young people think that
senior citizens have no right to enjoy
life and to want to live fully? That they
do not need to travel, to enjoy
themselves, to buy and use gadgets,
etc?
I am a 62-year-old widow and my
daughter-in-law behaves as if she
thinks that Im just waiting to die! I
recently bought myself an iPad (I
have my own money) and she
reacted as if she thought that I had
gone mad! Now, she is telling me that
I can give it as a gift to her niece.
I enjoy using my iPad but I also
want peace and quiet. Should I just
give my iPad away?
You should do nothing of the sort!
You are only 62 and still have a lot of
living to do! Since you are financially
independent you should stand up for
yourself. Talk to both your daughter-
in-law and your son and explain that
you enjoy your iPad and that you
dont want to give it away. But
remember that you cannot afford to
antagonise your daughter-in-law
(your son is more likely to be
understanding and supportive). So
offer to buy a gift for her niece.
I am a 40-year-old married woman
and I am very disappointed in my 16-
year-old daughter who is my only
child. While she is intelligent and
does fairly well at her studies, she
does not take part in any extra-
curricular activities or sports. She
does not talk smartly and intelligently
on any matter (even matters per -
taining to young people) and her
general knowledge is very poor since
she is not interested in reading or
watching informative programmes on
TV. I myself was very different at her
age and I also know what a difficult
world is out there for todays youth.
So I worry about how my daughter
will deal with things, make a career
for herself, look after a family, etc.
My husband takes everything
lightly and just tells me not to worry
that things will be all right for our
daughter. I am not able to be so
casual but the more I try, the more
my daughter withdraws into a shell.
What should I do?
Your worry is understandable
because all of us want our children
to do well in life. But perhaps you are
overreacting. For one thing, you
shouldnt presume that a shy, quiet
girl will not change as she grows up
and responds to new influences.
There is also the possibility that you
dont know your daughter as well as
you think you do. Perhaps much
more is going on inside her mind than
you realise.
You must also realise that by
constantly showing your dissatis -
faction with your daughter and by
putting her down again and again,
you are doing her enormous harm
and destroying her self-confidence.
This lack of self-confidence may
become her biggest problem later in
life. The most important thing parents
can do for their children is to give
them unstinting love and support.
We must see only the best in them
and convey to them that we are sure
that they will do well in life. If we do
this, they will do well in life.
I am a 21-year-old woman doing my
postgraduation. Recently a male
friend (who is also my classmate)
and I decided to experiment by
having sex. For both of us it was the
first time and we both enjoyed it very
much. We then began to have sex
regularly. After two months however
my lover began to say that he was
feeling guilty over having premarital
sex. He then told me that he wouldnt
have sex with me any more. But I
want to have sex with him. Should I
blackmail him by telling him that I will
tell his parents (whom I know) that
he raped me?
It would be very wrong of you to
blackmail your friend into having sex
with you. It could also get you into a
lot of trouble. He could complain to
friends about you and ruin your
reputation, for example. So if your
friend has reservations about having
sex with you, you should respect his
feelings. You would definitely be able
to find other men ready to have sex
with you, but it would be best if you
too decided to give up premarital
sex.
68 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
Have you a personal problem of
any nature, which you hesitate
to discuss with your family
or friends? Share it with us.
WE will try to help you.
Address your letter to:
WOMANS ERA
E-3, Jhandewala Estate,
New Delhi-110 055.
I am a talkative 25-year-old married
woman and when we moved to a
new place where I did not know
many people, I began to chat with
my two new maids. They too began
to talk freely to me and soon we
were more friends than mistress
and maids.
Now, after six months, this has
become a problem. My maids now
show me little respect, ask me for
whatever they want
and even tease me
and I dont like
this. What should I
do? My husband
tells me to dismiss
the two women and
get new maids. But
this is easier said
than done. Please
advise.
Getting good and dependable
maids is not easy and neither would
it be fair of you to dismiss your
present maids when their behaviour
today is the result of how you have
treated them. But you have to
somehow change the way they
behave towards you.
From now stop talking to them
very freely. Pretend to be busy and
preoccupied. If they talk to you in a
casual, joking or disrespectful
manner, give them a stern look and
do not answer. If they ask you
directly why you are not talking to
them as before, tell them that if you
have anything to say to them, you
definitely will talk to them. They will
soon get the message but they will
also be hurt and perhaps even
angry. However, there is nothing
you can do about this.
69
An enchanting getaway in Gods own country.
By Sudha Chandrasekharan
W
e were aching for a
break and for a whiff of
rejuvenating fresh air.
We just wanted to head
out of Coimbatore on a
days trip to some
nearby place. We had a
small discussion during
tea time on a Friday
about the plan for the
coming weekend outing.
It was decided that we would
leave from Coimbatore for
Malampuzha in Palghat district in
Kerala at 8 am after breakfast on
Sunday morning and return home the
same night.
Situated in the district of Palakkad
(the rice bowl of Kerala), Malam -
puzha is a little picturesque township
of surreal experience on the foothills
of the Western Ghats that takes its
name from the River Malampuzha. It
is covered by thick deciduous forests
and green foliage. Just at a distance
of 53 kilometres from Coimbatore,
this place is best known for its dam
and garden. Having read raving
reviews about this place, I excitedly
waited to see the place. Located 10
kilometres from Palakkad town, this
town offers a wide variety of
entertainment options to the visitors.
It is ranked as one of the most
popular amusement spots where the
beauty of nature and the skilfulness
of humans meet.
The day was pretty warm and we
reached our destination at 9.30 am.
Tranquil waters shimmering in
sunlight, velvet green lawns, endless
flower beds gently swaying in the
cool breeze, magnificent mountains
towering in the backdrop, sweet
fragrance of roses in the air these
are just some of th snapshots that
greet you in Natures own
Malampuzha. This exemplary
display of natural splendour is a
must-see to revel in the myriad
bounties of Nature.
Of all the attractions that made
Malampuzha popular, the most
visited one is the Malampuzha Dam
constructed across the River
Malampuzha. This dam, which is one
of the oldest and the largest dams in
Kerala, has a vast catchment area,
with surrounding landscapes of
greenery and incredible beauty.
Located in the Western Ghats with
the Ghats towering over the
reservoir, it is also a favourite
destination for film-makers.
Often referred to as the
Vrindavan of Kerala, Malampuzha
Garden, located by the side of the
mammoth dam, epitomises a picture
perfect scenic paradise where the
wonders of nature go hand in hand
with the creativity of man.
Garden with
Western Ghats
behind it.
VISITING
MALAMPUZHA
Malampuzha dam 2.
70
71
This garden has long stretches of
luxurious lawns, breathtakingly
beautiful flower beds, splendid
fountains, spectacular pools and
other spots which offer a visual treat
to the spectator. There are
labyrinthine pathways throughout the
garden for a leisurely walk which
contains marvelous sculptures
including the imposing and colossal
concrete sculpture of Yakshi (the
legendary enchantress) created by
the famous sculptor Kanayi
Kunhiraman out of a single piece of
rock. The skill and the creativity
behind the statue are remarkable,
which left us spellbound. Yet another
artistic wonder is that of dancing
Krishna in the midst of a fountain.
The water from the dam flows
through a canal in the middle of the
garden which enhances the beauty
of the garden. Pathways and small
ponds with beautiful lotus and water
lilies give the visitor a remarkable
experience. The sparkling waters of
the reservoir created by the dam, and
the garden itself can best be enjoyed
by taking boat rides through the
reservoir. There is an entrance tree
of `25 per person for this garden.
A fish-shaped fresh-water
aquarium and a childrens park with a
toy train, wait to amuse and delight
the children. People can get inside
this fresh-water aquarium through the
wide opened mouth of the fish with
the aquarium itself being surrounded
by water with fishes propelling
at a height of 60 feet above the
gardens and covers a stretch of 625
metres. The passenger ropeway with
its transparent hoods is absolutely
safe for children as well. This
spectacular skyride was absolutely
delightful yet a bit scary! Charges are
`30 per person, `80 per family and
`150 for a group of six students.
We had our lunch in a small
restaurant situated near the boarding
point and headed out of the garden
on our way to the Snake Park just
outside the main entrance of the
garden. Various poisonous and non-
poisonous reptiles, which are well
cared for are exhibited in the Snake
Park. Apart from snakes, there are
tortoises and a crocodile here. The
main crowd-pullers in this park are
the two king cobras that are kept in
two air-conditioned rooms. I had
goose bumps on seeing them. The
park helps the visitors to mitigate the
doubts and superstitions surrounding
these reptiles.
THE UNUSUAL GARDEN
Thread Garden, an extremely
unusual garden in Malampuzha, has
been developed by Antony Joseph
using only embroidery colour threads
without the aid of needles or any
other special devices. Years of labour
and yards of coloured embroidery
thread have resulted in a rich
collection of life-like replicas of plants
72 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
Beautiful garden.
Hanging ropeway bridge.
themselves in a wave-like fashion. A
small garden construction in
Japanese style renders a touch of
exotic charm to the landscape. So
does the hanging ropeway bridge
across the river. A speciality of this
bridge is that only 50 persons can
walk through this bridge at a time and
there are guards to supervise this.
We proceeded to the Udan
Khatola boarding point. This is a
passenger ropeway built over the
gardens which is the first of its kind in
South India. It offers an adventurous
and delightful air journey of 20
minutes across the gardens, giving a
soul-stirring aerial view of the
gardens and the distant hills that kiss
the heavens and the blue strip of the
reservoir. The ropeway is constructed
73
and animals. The plants and flowers
are painstakingly woven by hand.
These real-life replicas, magically
woven with a vast spectrum of hues
and designs and elegantly displayed
in glass chambers, serve as a real
delight to the spectators.
Very close to the Thread Garden,
lies the Fantasy Park, which is
modelled after the old Appu Ghar of
Delhi and Essel World of Bombay, is
the first amusement park of Kerala.
The park has thrilling rides over eight
acres of beautiful landscape with
gardens and fountains.
On our return from Malampuzha,
we missed the correct turn of our way
back home and were about to trace
the right way when we saw a board
displaying Rock Garden. We were
intrigued by the name and decided
to go inside. As luck would have it,
our mistake turned out to be a boon,
as visiting the garden was the best
part of the trip. The Rock Garden is
the first of its kind in Kerala and the
second rock garden in India. Located
close to the dam, this garden
sculpted by the world-famous
Nekchand of Chandigarh attracts
visitors with its uniqueness.
I found several beautiful
sculptures, paintings and statues
services are available from these
airports to Malampuzha.
Rail: The railway station nearest
to Malampuzha is located in
Palakkad and is known as Palakkad
Junction. Taxis and autorickshaws
are available from the station to
Malampuzha. Those who commute
by rail can take buses from
Palakkad to reach Malampuzha.
Road: Malampuzha is well
connected to both Kerala and Tamil
Nadu, as it is located at the border
of the states. Both Kerala State
Transport Buses (KSRTC) and
private buses are available from
Palakkad to other cities. Palakkad is
connected by road to other major
cities such as Chennai, Coimbatore
and Bangalore.
The dam and the garden are
open from 10 am to 7 pm on
weekdays, and 8 pm on weekends.
There is illumination at night during
weekends and public holidays. The
entire garden is under video
surveillance.
Best time to visit: September to
May.
Climate: Generally warm and
humid. Summers: 36
o
-20
o
C;
Winters: 16
o
-32
o
C.
How to reach:
Air: Coimbatore airport is the
closest airport to Malampuzha (55
km). Those who arrive by air can
consider Kochi International Airport
(around 160 km) and Calicut
International Airport (110 km). Taxi
Fact file
there, all adhering perfectly to the
theme of modern art. While
renovating the garden in 2011, care
has been taken to retain the
landscape. A number of rain shelters,
huts, caves and natural living habitats
for birds have been provided. What
makes this garden unique is the fact
that the artifacts displayed here are
made of waste materials such as
used plastic bottles and cans, bangle
pieces, electricity fuse carriers, power
insulators, melamine dishware,
broken tiles and tins.
The statues here represent the
cultural and geographic diversity of
India. The art and cultural forms of
Kerala too find a prominent place in
the garden. Scenes recreated from
Kathakali. Theyyam, Kalaripaayattu,
Thiruvathirakkali, Boat Race, the
legend of Mahabali, a royal proce -
ssion of Maharaja in a palanquin, etc.
are some of the main attractions.
Malampuzha sightseeing can be
incorporated in a weeks tour around
Kerala. Sleepy, and straight out of a
picture book, a visit to Malampuzha
promises to be the dream weekend
holiday you have always desired. We
returned home late in the night after
seeing the illuminations there, totally
relaxed after a wonderful day.
We
74 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
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Since centuries, Jewellery has
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75
S
anjay was the leader of the group. He was
really brilliant. When approached with any
problem by his juniors, he rarely failed them.
Most of the time he had a ready answer or he
had a suggestion on how to proceed. Divyya
as number two, vibed very well with him.
Under Sanjays guidance, she got things
implemented by her own hard work, as well as
pushing the group members to do their
best. Maybe her attractive figure and
sweet smile also helped. Its no wonder
that their group had got the chairmans
special award three years running.
That evening, a weekend, the whole
office was quiet. Most people had left.
Divyya also got up to leave. But before
leaving, she had to discuss a point with
Sanjay. She walked into his room.
Sanjay, as usual, was still at work.
Divyya sat down. Sanjay looked up at her
with a query in his eyes. Divya quickly
explained the issue. As expected, he gave
his suggestions almost as quickly.
They sat facing each other. Sanjay was
looking at Divyya.
Suddenly Divyya said, What are you looking at?
You want to ask me something?
Sanjay showed embarrassment. He said,
Oh, no. It is not important.
Divyya said,Oh, come on. I could see you
wanted to say something. Why dont you?
Sanjay smiled, Well, actually it is a bit
embarrassing. Whenever I look at your face I feel
attracted by its sweetness, specially your
lips
Divyya laughed, Oh that is very
natural. Everyone appreciates beauty.
What is so embarrassing about that?
Sanjay whispered, Well it is more. I
feel like taking your face in my hands and
kissing your lips
Divyya watched his embarrassment
with amusement for some time. Then
she said in a matter-of-fact voice, Then
do it.
Sanjay looked bewildered.
Divyya said, I said, please go ahead
and do it.
Sanjay replied, Butactually
Divyya said, The lips are mine. I am telling you
to do it. Where is the hesitation? I also solemnly
promise I would not bring a case of sexual
exploitation.
Sanjay still hesitated. He mumbled, Do you
always ask men to do it?
Divyya smiled. She said, How can I tell? This is
the first time some man has been bold enough to
come up with such a proposal.
Sanjays face took a crimson hue. He
said,
I am sorry if I have hurt you. Actually
Divyya cut him short, Actually you are a
genius but you dont understand women.
Sanjay did not reply. He sat with a
downcast face. Mum.
Suddenly, Divyya got up as if to go and,
before Sanjay realised, she clasped his
head in her hands, brought it close to her
face and kissed his lips with fervour. Sanjay
felt a shiver of ecstasy go down his spine.
She smiled and said, Goodnight and was
gone.
Sanjay sat there. Silent. Thinking.
He yearned for. By Pradeep Kumar Basu
76 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
The Kiss
Short Story
We
Divyya said,
The lips are
mine. I am
telling you to
do it. Where is
the hesitation?
I also solemnly
promise
I would not
bring a case
of sexual
exploitation.
77
78 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
NO-GO-TELL the best antidote to child abuse.
By Gurjas Kaur Chahal
I
t was a hot afternoon in May. I
was walking down a long and
lonely stretch of road. Across the
road at some far distance I saw a
small hut, apparently belonging
to some labourer of a nearby
construction site. Outside the hut,
a burly fellow in vest and lowers
lay on his stomach resting his
torso on his raised elbows.
On a careful look, I saw a baby
lying below his torso, just between
his elbows. Something about the
mans posture made me suspicious
of his intentions. The man lowered
his face on the baby and landed his
open mouth on the babys lips. The
baby cringed under him but was too
small to resist. The man didnt stop at
this. He lifted his mouth and lowered
it again, this time with his tongue
sticking out. I couldnt bear the
repulsive sight. I jumped off the road
and headed straight to the hut, yelling
at the man.
Hey, what are you doing? Stay
away from the child, I screamed.
Hearing the noise, a woman came
out of the hut. This shameless man
is licking the babys mouth, I shouted
to her.
The woman seemed to believe me
maybe she knew of the mans ways
earlier. She lunged forward and
snatched the baby from the man and
then picking up a stone from the
ground, hurled it straight at the man.
The man had already run off a couple
of furlongs by now. The woman was
in a rage and spat the choicest of
expletives at the escaping man.
After a while, when she had
cooled down, I asked her who the
man was and how she had let the
baby with him. He is my husband
and this baby is my daughter, she
replied with shame on her face. He
is dangerous. Watch your child in
future or else he would harm her, I
warned her and walked away.
I left the place but the incident has
not left my mind till now. I was
worried how that lone woman could
guard her child against her husband
forever. What would happen if her
rascal husband seized another
opportunity at some time and did the

NO PAPA,
NO
79
unthinkable with the child? Such little
incidents bury in ones mind, not to
be silent but to erupt and surface
whenever there is a chance, till they
are given their due in terms of time
and justice.
Time went by. I conducted a little
survey by asking around in groups of
my acquaintances if they had
something to tell about child abuse. I
heard the following from them.
Names have been changed in the
narratives for the sake of keeping the
identities anonymous.
Puji was a 10-year-old girl living
in a lower middle-class colony in
Delhi. She was fond of reading
books, so she would visit the mobile
library bus every Saturday and get a
book issued on her card. Of late, she
would hesitate in going to the library
bus. She didnt share her problem
with anyone because she didnt
understand anything about it. The
burly fellow, who used to sit at the
exit door of the library bus, would
instead prod over her hips. It was a
wrong touch because it made her
uneasy but she didnt know how to
avoid it.
No matter how much she hid
behind other children while getting
out of the bus, the fellow would
stretch his arm long and put his
fingers there. It happened week
after week. She started dreading
going to the library and one day she
stopped going to the library
altogether. If she had spoken about
the matter to her mother, the problem
could have been nipped in the bud.
The reason why she didnt
discuss it at home could be
that no one ever really
observed that she did not like
going to the library any more.
There must have been
minutiae of her behaviour
which deserved to be noticed
but nobody really cared for them.
Suniti went to office leaving her
five-month-old baby to the care of
her mother-in-law. The granny
claimed she took a good care of the
baby the whole day. Suniti did not
find anything abnormal in it. One day,
she discovered her mother-in-law
sucking her babys nipples. She
complained about it to her husband
but he didnt do anything about it. Her
voice was suppressed and she was
made to swallow bitter sips of
acceptance. The family pressure won
and she had to continue leaving her
son with her mother-in-law while
going to office. She didnt have the
courage to leave the family, so she
bore the torture in silence.
Such situations demand the
empowerment of women. She should
have brought the matter out in the
open before other family members if
her husband did not help her.
Someone or the other member of the
family would have surely given
support to her. She could have also
discussed the matter with her
colleagues in office. The problem
would have come out in the open and
the suffering which she and her
helpless son had to suffer could have
been avoided.
One woman had this habit of
making kids kiss her on her neck.
She would do that shamelessly
before others in the family. If anyone
tried to stop her, she would make
faces and try to bring wrath on the
person through some family
pressure. It was utterly wrong on the
part of others to be mute spectators
on the issue. It speaks of nothing but
weakness on the part of the abused
childs parents.
THE ULTERIOR MOTIVE
Hema was sitting with her friends
in the park of her locality when their
neighbours son of 20-something age
came on his scooter and parked it
right by their cot. He was bubbling
with energy. He offered Hemas
friends five-year-old daughter, who
was playing around them in the park,
a scooter ride. Prima facie there
seemed to be nothing wrong with it.
The boys family and Hemas friends
family were on close terms. But
Hemas friend surprised them all by
bluntly putting down the boys offer
by a strong No. It looked abrupt but
she said it very clear and direct. The
boy was not to take the little girl
anywhere on his scooter. It was
perhaps the right decision. One
should not think What-would-others-
say? while guarding ones child
against any possible abusive
situation.
This young Sikh boy of grade XI
would come back home scared and
speechless. No one in the family
noticed his peculiar behaviour. One
day, the family was sitting together
in their house when the doorbell
rang. The young boy got scared and
ran off to the other room to hide
himself. Anyway, the door was
80 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
ONE WOMAN
HAD THIS HABIT OF
MAKING KIDS KISS
HER ON HER
NECK. SHE WOULD
DO THAT
SHAMELESSLY
BEFORE OTHERS IN
THE FAMILY.
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81
opened and the visitor was attended
to. Later, the boys father called and
asked him why he had run off on
hearing the doorbell.
The boy told his problem. His
chemistry teacher in school used to
humiliate him in class because he
would not understand some concepts
properly.
The teacher would pass pungent
comments on him and his turban
before the entire class and also
threaten to visit his home to complain.
The father heard his son patiently
and took him in his arms. With a
gentle embrace and kind words, he
assured the child that he knew his
son was intelligent and would learn
the concepts well in no time. He
further told him to call his teacher
home if the latter so strongly wished
to meet the parents. Next day, the
father visited his sons school and
met the principal. The matter was
discussed and the chemistry
teachers wrong behaviour was
rectified suitably.
There is a no-go-tell campaign
going around the world on the subject
of child abuse. First, a child is nicely
educated that the he should never let
anyone touch there, the child is
supposed to say a loud NO and then
run away from there (GO). They
should then TELL it to the person
whom they trust the most. This is a
wonderful campaign which attacks
the problem at its very roots. If a child
is educated on these basic things,
the child may be able to resist abuse
successfully.
The above mentioned instances
are few in number. They do not even
form the tip of the iceberg. Incidents
of child abuse are rampant in our
society but a majority of them go
unreported. Most adults of our
communities, whom we meet on a
daily basis like people in our
neighbourhood, members of our
family, our virtual and real friends,
colleagues in the office or any other
group we are associated with would
have one or the other incident of child
abuse to narrate if asked. It could be
that they have themselves faced child
abuse at some time or other in their
childhood or heard about it from their
near and dear ones. The way in
which they handled the situation
could be a good source of
information about how child abuse
should be handled.
The gist of all of it would be to
bring the wound out in the open
before all, so that, if no remedy can
be found, at least a public opinion
could be formed against it. The bull
must be taken by its horns because if
it is not stopped, there could be a
permanent damage to a childs
psyche.
82 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
Generosity is
Complimenting someone
On their smile,
Making someone's day bright
Giving someone hope
That it will all be okay soon,
Hugging and telling
I am there for you,
Holding someone's hand
And giving a reassuring pat,
Baking a cake for a friend
Who is unwell,
Calling your mother
To tell her how much you love her
Even when it's not her birthday,
Planting a kiss on your wife's head
When she is cooking in the summer heat,
Saying thank you to your child
Who gifted you his first painting,
Forgiving someone
And not bearing a grudge
Even when you know
It's not your fault,
Carrying an old lady's grocery bags
To her car,
Taking a blind man's hand
And walking him across the road,
Telling your teacher from school
When you meet her,
How the values she taught
Made you what you are today.
Generosity is not,
Showering a loved one
With expensive presents
In lieu of your time;
It is not telling others
How much you do for them,
It is not being sarcastic
Under the blanket of smart humour,
It is not ignoring someone
When they say hello,
It is not laughing
At someone's expense,
It is not pointing out
Somebody's flaws
Just because you dont have the same ones,
It is not telling someone
Their dreams are stupid
Just because you couldnt achieve yours.
Generosity is giving a piece of your heart
To someone without expecting
The same in return,
And making a rainbow
In somebody else's sky. Keerti Garg, Delhi.
GENEROSITY
We
83
actually a fish dish, which is often
taken for a vegetarian preparation
made of banana flowers.
Since Bengalis love to eat banana
and pumpkin flowers and there are
elaborate dishes that have mocha
(banana flower) and kumrar phool
(pumpkin flower), there's always a
chance of a dietary faux pas when a
pure vegetarian is served phooler
bhanra (bhanra means 'thick gravy'
in rustic Bangla).
AN INTERESTING
NOMENCLATURE
Food always has a very
interesting nomenclature. 'Bombay
Duck' is not a duck but a fish relished
in Goa, Mumbai and the Konkan
regions by the fish-lovers. Jhinga in
Hindi for prawns is also turai (green
guords) in Hindi and Bangla. It's
because of this interesting and
quaintly named pre paration that
make culinary delights delightful to
our senses.
I'd like to wind up with an
anecdote when I stumbled upon a
preparation on the menu of a posh
Gurgaon restaurant, famous for its
exotic and especially English cuisine.
The preparation was
'pee-pot' (actually 'pea-
pot', mildly singed peas
in cheddar).
I was obviously
flummoxed to try pee-
pot lest I got to eat
something I didn't
bargain for. Later, it
transpired that it was a
'printer's devil'. They
immediately spelt it
right and had the
courtesy to charge
nothing!
F
or a long time, I didn't eat
tomato/onion omelettes,
machhali ki aankh (a dish
popular in the Chitral region
of Pakistan) and Goshaba (a
vegetarian dish in Pakistan's
Sargodha, Punjab province)
thinking that all these were
non-vegetarian preparations.
When I came to Pune almost
a decade ago, I steadfastly avoided
tomato/onion omelette and was
under the impression that it had eggs
until someone told me that it was a
pure vegetarian uttapam (pancake).
Machhali ki aankh of Chitral
province in Pakistan has no fish-eye.
It's a dish of peas cooked in butter
and garlic. The peas may look like
fish-eyes though, to me, it looked
more like green button mushrooms.
Goshaba of Punjab, Pakistan, has no
trace of gosht (meat) in it and despite
my knowledge of Daari (variant of
Persian), I couldn't make out for
nearly a decade that gosh meant
cabbage!
But, of all these misno mers and
misleading dishes, the most intriguing
is tomato omelette/onion omelette.
Interestingly, this term is used only
in this region (Maharashtra, precisely
Pune) as uttapam is
every where called by
its original name or, for
some anglicised
people, it's a pancake.
But omelette for this
innocuous dish is
unheard of anywhere.
Maybe, the of it
reminds one of an
omelette. But I'm not
sure. Similarly, phooler
bhanra of the Kumilla
region of East Pakistan
(now Bangladesh) is
TOMATO OMELETTE,
NOT AN OMELETTE!
A dietary faux pas. By Dr Sumit S. Paul
We
84
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 85
discipline him at home. Unless you
suspect abuse, you should not
complain about his teacher and
certainly not demand her dismissal.
You will make things very difficult not
only for that teacher but also for your
son if you do that.
I live with my husband, two sisters-in-
law, my four sons, four daughters-in-
law and seven grandchildren in a
joint family. Naturally there is a lot of
work to be done even though we
have two maids and a cook.
My daughters-in-law have to do
much of the work. Three of them are
responsible and take care of things
though all of them are employed. But
my youngest daughter-in-law, an only
child, is lazy and childish. Even
though she is not employed, she tries
to avoid housework and leaves her
child to be taken care of by others.
My other daughters-in-law are
getting fed up and she herself is
telling her husband, my youngest
son, that they should move out of the
family home. That would break my
heart and it is already causing
quarrels between her and my son
who does not want to move. What
should I do?
As an only child, your youngest
daughter-in-law is obviously not used
to living in such a big family or doing
so much housework. As you yourself
This new column will tackle queries
related to family, social environment
and personality development.
Please address your queries to:
WOMAN'S ERA,
E-3, Jhandewala Estate,
New Delhi-110055.
or log on to Womansera.com
MY FAMILY, MY FRIENDS AND ME...
My seven-year-old sons class
teacher is always complaining about
him. She says that he does not
concentrate on his studies in class,
that he talks too much, that he
quarrels with classmates and that he
does not do his homework.
I resent these complaints because
my son is disciplined and good at
home. Other parents say that she
does not complain about their
children, so it is obvious that she has
taken a dislike to my son. I want to
complain to the principal and demand
that the teacher be dismissed for
making frivolous complaints when it
is obvious that she is a poor teacher.
Should I do that?
Why do you think that your sons
teacher has taken a dislike to your
son? Teachers dont usually do that
and when they complain to parents, it
is usually because the student is
really disrupting the class and not
studying well. In other words they
complain because they are genuinely
concerned about the child.
You say that your child is
disciplined and good. So why do you
think that he is misbehaving at
school? Are you disciplining him too
much at home and is he responding
by letting go in school?
First check his homework. Has he
done it and done it well? If he hasnt,
you should realise that his teachers
complaints arent frivolous. You
should anyway go to school and
discuss your sons behaviour with his
teacher. You may find that he is very
different there than he is at home.
That could be because you over-
A tuition master comes home every evening to coach my
15-year-old granddaughter. He is young and smart and
for some reason warning bells rang in me the very first
time he came home. I somehow find his manner
offensive and neither do I like the way he insists on
keeping the door closed while teaching his pupil.
But no one at home pays any heed when I tell them
all this. What should I do?
Our instincts are usually right in matters such as this
and so you should listen to your instincts. Anyway, even if they are wrong,
it is better to be wrong than sorry. So try telling your family about your
doubts again. If they still do not pay any attention, tell them that you are
going to tell the tuition teacher to leave the door open when he teaches
your granddaughter.
Tell the man this casually you can say, for example that the room will
be stuffy otherwise. If he still does not listen or gives some excuse, you
could take some work or a book and go and sit in the room.
Be polite and friendly with the tuition master in all other ways. Talk to
him, get him a cup of tea, etc. He may be upset or embarrassed by your
behaviour, but your granddaughter will be safe.
have realised, she is lazy and
childish and that means that she
does not accept responsibility.
Your daughter-in-law is most likely
to change only if she herself realises
the need to, but you should try talking
to her. Choose a time when there are
no other people there and be kind
and gentle. Tell her how much you
love her and her child and how much
you want all the members of the
family to live together happily.
Then talk to her about housework
and the need for her to contribute
more. Perhaps it will help if you
clearly mention what exactly you
want her to do. Do not tell her that
others resent having to care for her
child, but give her duties towards the
other children in the house. She can
supervise them while they do their
homework, for instance. Also, tell
your son to be patient with her and
then hope for the best!
I
t was New Years Eve. The entire world
seemed to be in a good mood. Each and every
person seemed to be ready to welcome the
New Year joyously. Rekha looked out from her
autorickshaw. It had halted at a signal.
Tomorrow is the first of January, New Years
Day, she told herself in her mind. Yes,
tomorrow is my sons birthday. She looked at the
packet she was carrying in her hands. The dress is
so nice, she thought to herself. Yes, it was the norm
for herself and her husband to exhaust all that they
had managed to save from their meagre earnings as
clerks in a small garments company on this one
occasion and buy the best dress that they could on
their sons birthday.
If only he was here to wear it. A huge lump
came to her throat. Tears welled up in her
eyes and she started crying. He would be
four years old tomorrow. How would he
be looking like? He cant be fair. Neither
of us is fair. So, would he be dark like me
or wheatish like my husband? No, he
would only be dark. He knows his mom
always says black is Beautiful. Or
perhaps, was he growing up in a very
rich family? If yes, he would probably
have become fairer with all the
pampering and care that he would have
been given. Fair or dark, short or tall, no
matter however he is, he has to be safe
and secure. He would be growing up
properly, she reassured herself.
This reassurance, which she kept giving herself
time and again, was what kept her going in life. This
reassurance was the only reason why she was still
living, still pulling on with life after she escaped from
attempted suicide, around six months after that dark
day, the 1 January, four years back, when her
newborn son was kidnapped from under her very
nose. She still remembered that incident very clearly.
Having given birth under Caesarean section, she
was partially unconscious and could barely hear the
doctor tell her that it was a healthy baby boy. Even
in that semi-conscious state, she could feel the thrill
that she experienced in her body at the thought of
the baby, her first ever after three years of marriage.
She also managed to hear the doctor tell the ayah to
clean the baby and give it to her husband and
parents waiting outside and the feeble cries of the
baby as it was being taken away by the ayah.
And that was it. Her parents and husband who
were waiting outside the theatre did see the ayah
taking the baby towards the cleaning area and were
waiting anxiously for her return. And that was all
that they heard of the baby. After more than an hour
had passed and they sensed something amiss, they
asked the doctor why the baby was still not brought
back to them, hearing which the doctor was taken
aback. It takes barely 10 minutes for them
to clean the baby and hand it over. Even
as the doctor said this, her face showed
that she was frightened. An alarm was
sounded in the entire hospital to trace the
ayah, but she was nowhere to be found. It
was clear that she had run away with the
newborn.
Rekha and her husband Rakesh still
didnt lose hope as the ayah was a
registered one with the hospital and hence,
they were confident that her whereabouts
could easily be traced. But, the ayah had
cleverly managed to escape. A case was
filed, they were given a hefty monetary
compensation for the lapse on the
hospitals part, but the ayah and the baby could not
be traced.
Rekhas world was shattered. In spite of their
poverty, the couple refused to touch a single paisa
of the money that they got as compensation and
gave away the entire money to an orphanage.
Rekha went into mental depression and unable to
bear the weight of the sorrow, attempted suicide
after six months, to be just saved in the nick of time
by her husband. What followed was a long lecture,
For four years, Rekha had borne the loss of her kidnapped newborn till...
By Meenakshi Arvind
86 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
As You Sow,
So Shall You Reap
Short Story
And that was it.
Her parents and
husband who
were waiting
outside the
theatre did see
the ayah taking
the baby towards
the cleaning
area and were
waiting
anxiously for
her return.
a lecture which changed her outlook towards her
own life, a lecture because of which she was pulling
on till now.
S
he still remembered every word of what Rakesh
said as soon as she opened her eyes in the
hospital, Rekha, why did you do this? Did you
ever think of the repercussions of your suicide
attempt, had you succeeded in it? How could you be
so selfish? It is not only you who have lost your child.
It is we who have lost our child. If we have to face it,
we have to face it together. Otherwise, we will die
together. At least, we have each other to console.
But, if you also go away, what will I do?
Even as he was speaking, Rekha was crying
inconsolably. Why did you save me? I so badly
wanted a child. I cant live without him, she cried.
Rekha, you want a child, right? Let me give you
a solution. Let some days pass. After your health
improves, we will have another child. We will bring
him up in such a way that all our miseries and
sorrows will vanish when we look into his eyes,
Rakesh said thinking that he was consoling her.
Noooooooooo! Rakesh literally jumped up in
shock at Rekhas shout. I DONT WANT ANOTHER
CHILD EVER.
I have one child already. He is growing up
healthy and strong. His name is Raghav, the name I
always wanted to keep for my kid. I can see him in
front of my eyes, wearing nice costly clothes, eating
rich nutritious stuff, and growing stronger by the
day. Rakesh, could we have afforded all these with
our meagre income? My son was made for better
stuff. Hence, destiny took him to a nice place. I dont
want another child. I will live with my only son and
bring him up in my dreams, visualising his growth
step by step. That alone is enough for me. I know
how to live my life now. I have to be strong to live
until my son grows up and is ready to be on his
own. So, I promise I wont commit suicide. Rekha
said and smiled happily.
Rakesh looked at her sadly. He understood that
her sorrow had weighed on her to such an extent
that she had forgotten her sorrow and had decided
to live happily. It was actually, to put it bluntly, a
semi-mad state in which she was living. But Rakesh
was satisfied with it. If she was living with her son in
her dreams and was happy about it, so be it, he
thought. If she didnt want another child, that was
also fine with him.
But, in his heart of hearts, he knew that another
child would be like balm on their troubled hearts.
And, he also knew that he desperately wanted
another child himself, a child on whom he could
shower all his pent-up love, on whom he could
shower all the attention that he was so eagerly
awaiting to shower on the lost child.
But, I am Rekhas husband first. I have to think of
her happiness. After bearing an infant in her womb
for 10 months, she has lost it. The pain that she had
to undergo physically while carrying the child and
mentally after delivery has been unbearable. At
present, she cant even think of her womb carrying
another child ever, nor would I force her to. Let time
take its own course.
Let us see what happens, thought Rakesh and,
slowly, the couple, though regularly attending court
hearings for the case of their missing child, slowly
lost hope of ever getting it back and went back to
their daily routine. Rakesh was content that Rekha
seemed so delighted and happy with her own
visualisations about their child. She was in her own
little dream world where she and her child reigned
supreme.
There was nobody who could come between
them, nobody who could separate them. Though
many people called her mentally retarded and told
Rakesh to take her to a psychiatrist, Rakesh knew
what was best for her and left her at that. Rekha, on
her part, knew what the public opinion about her
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 87
was and cared two hoots about it. She was happy in
her own little world and she didnt bother about
anything else. She went about her daily chores,
going to office where she worked as a clerk,
working diligently there, coming home, cooking for
Rakesh, and then, retreating to her little world with
her little one at nights. Days passed and, before she
knew it, four years had passed and, yes, tomorrow
was his fourth birthday.
A
tug at her sari pulled Rekha back to the
present. Tears blurred her eyes, as she
struggled to see what was it that was pulling
her sari. As she wiped her tears, she saw a little boy
of around four, tugging at her, asking for alms.
Rekhas heart missed a beat as she looked at the
frail little one. He would be my sons age, she
thought. Would my son also be like him, begging
somewhere? Even as this thought crept into her
mind, her heart said, NO? your son is growing
up comfortably somewhere, much better than how
you would have brought him up. The same words,
the affirmations that she was telling herself again
and again and again for the past four years, the
same words, which somehow miraculously gave her
solace everytime they ran through her mind. She
calmed down.
No, my son cant be like him. He is growing up
nicely. Suddenly, a vague feeling tugged at her
heart. A lump came down her throat. I know...my
intuition tells me that my son is growing up nicely.
But, this little boy isnt he also a child of the same
age? Wouldnt his mother feel the same way for
him, the way I feel for my child? I feel good while
thinking of my son growing up nicely. But, how
would his mother feel when she sees him begging
like this, barefoot in the heat and rains, being
shooed away by people, who dont have a heart?
Why is he begging like this? Is he also like my son,
stolen away by someone? Is his mother also
searching for him somewhere? a thousand such
thoughts crossed her mind in that fraction of a
second. And, before she knew it, she had paid the
driver, gotten down the rickshaw, held the little ones
hand and had taken him to a safe corner away from
the traffic.
Tell me, whats your name, she said.
Aunty, they call me Raju.
Who?
Those uncles who collect my money.
Who are they? Aunty, give me two rupees. I
am hungry.
Hey listen, if you answer my question, Ill buy
you chocolates.
What is this chocolate, aunty? Gosh, they are
very nice to eat. You want to taste them?
Yes.
Then, tell me all about yourself.
My name is Raju. I stay with two uncles and four
other boys. But, they are bigger than me. Daily in
the mornings, all five of us are told where to go and
beg, and in the evenings, our earnings are collected
and we are given some food.
From when are you staying with these uncles?
They told me that I was lying on the roadside as
a newborn, and they picked me up from there. I
dont know anybody other than these uncles and
those boys.
So, you dont know your mom and dad at all?
Raju started rubbing his eyes. Tears rolled down
those innocent cheeks as he said, Aunty, I see many
children going with their mummies to schools. Their
mummies pamper them so much. I also want a
mummy to take me to school. I also want a mummy
to hug me, to kiss me and to pamper me. Where can
I get a mummy, aunty?
Those innocent words tore Rekhas heart. Here
she was, looking out for her kid of the same age,
day in and day out, all her maternal love bottled up
and frozen inside her. And here was Raju, a kid of
the same age, who didnt know who a mother was
and how a mothers love would be. Rekha was
surprised. The loss of her kid had so shocked her
that she had resolved not even to have another kid
of her own to shower her maternal love on.
All that love was reserved for that lost kid only. It
88 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
was his and only his right, she believed and nobody
else could share that. But now, she felt all her
bottled-up love opening up and oozing to be
showered on this little Raju, who was longing for the
same. Tell me, aunty, you are so nice. Nobody has
spoken this sweetly to me till now. Where can I get a
mummy who will always be so nice to me. Tell me,
aunty.
Rekha broke down and hugged Raju. Then she
withdrew suddenly. NoI cannot do this. I can love
only my Raghav and nobody else.
She gave Raju a five-rupee note and bought him
some chocolates. Here take these chocolates and
money. Take care, beta, see you some time. Even
as she walked away, she couldnt help looking back
and noticing that Raju was crying softly. Her heart
pained, as she walked away grimly.
R
ekha tossed and turned in her bed. It was way
past midnight, but she just couldnt
sleep. It was not new to her. She had
spent many sleepless nights in the past
four years, just sitting alone and thinking
of her little Raghav. But, surprisingly, for
the first time, what made her sleepless
were not thoughts of Raghav, but those of
little Raju, his innocent eyes that clearly
showed a yearning for love, his childlike
behaviour, everything came again and
again in front of her eyes, like a picture.
And all of a sudden, she got up as if by
impulse, and looked at Rakesh, who was
sleeping beside her. Would he agree to
my decision? I think he would. Poor
Rakesh, he thinks of nothing but my
happiness nowadays. This is something which I owe
him. He would love it.
Rakesh wake up, wake up.
Rekha, what happened to you? Go to sleep. You
have to go to work tomorrow, remember? Go to
sleep.
No, Rakesh, this is more important. You needed
a child, right?
Rakesh sat up on the bed with a start. WHAT?
Yes, you wanted a child, right?
Yes, but that is never going to happen. So, why
talk about it?
Why wont it happen? We already have our
own child in Raghav, growing up nicely, no matter
wherever he is. Cant we adopt another child now?
WHAT? Rakesh shouted. Are you out of your
senses? When people said it, I didnt believe. Now,
I myself am saying this, Rekha. You are mad.
No Rakesh, I am not mad. I have become better
now, in fact. I know you have locked up all your
paternal love within yourself. And I know there are
many kids out there yearning for that love. As of
now, I have zeroed in on Raju as the appropriate
recipient of that love.
Waityou are talking non-stop. Who is this Raju
you are talking about? I cant understand anything.
He is the one I met at a traffic signal today.
At a traffic signal? This seems like a scene
straight out of a movie. Whatever has happened to
you, Rekha?
Nothing, Rakesh, except that my mind has
cleared and has got an inner peace by meeting Raju
today. Now, please listen to me. She narrated the
entire incident of how she had met Raju and how his
thoughts were haunting her continuously and how
she thought that he would be an appropriate person
to fill the void left by Raghav.
Okay Rekha, I can understand, dragged
Rakesh. But tell me one thing. If you are ready for
another kid, why not have one of our own? Why
pick up one from the roads?
Because that is what can ensure a
good peaceful life for our Raghav,
wherever he is. Dont you know, Rakesh,
that they say As you sow, so shall you
reap? You know I am very confident in
my mind that little Raghav is growing up
somewhere very nicely and comfortably.
But, what about little Raju? Even his moms
heart would beat the same way as mine,
thinking of him right? How badly would
her heart bleed when she sees him
sleeping and begging on the roads? How
happy would she be if she knows that he
is growing up nicely and peacefully with
loving parents like us? So, if we do this for
little Raju, a similar life for little Raghav is ensured.
Am I right or not?
R
akesh was silent for some time, his mind racing
around whatever Rekha had said now. And,
suddenly as if on impulse, he blurted out,
Right, Rekha, you are absolutely right. We will
adopt Raju. I will come with you to the signal
tomorrow to meet him. And we can talk to those
persons who are keeping him, give them whatever
they ask for and take him formally. Happy? And, as
an afterthought, he added, But, along with Raju, I
do need a kid of my own is that fine? and winked
at her mischievously.
Okay, okay, Rekha blushed. But Raju would
always be first priority for us is that fine?
As the mistress commands, bowed Rakesh in
mock obedience and both of them laughed
together for the first time in four years, both feeling
as if a huge boulder kept on their hearts had been
lifted and thrown away.
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 89
We
Rekha broke
down and
hugged Raju.
Then she
withdrew
suddenly.
NoI cannot
do this. I can
love only my
Raghav and
nobody else.
M
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H
ave you ever drawn an utter
blank in the middle of a
conversation, or completely
forgotten the name of the
person whom you were
introduced to a few seconds
back or you cant quite
retrieve the name of a
movie you just saw? A
worrying new study has
claimed that our brain power starts
declining when were in our 40s not
60s as previously thought.
Most scientists agree we dont
have to accept these age-related
memory problems as inevitable. Mild
forgetfulness must be a sign of
dementia, but research shows that
over 80 per cent of people will never
get Alzheimers.
Most memory loss is put down to
other factors such as stress anxiety,
illness obesity, fatigue, certain
medication or mere lack of attention.
All can trigger temporary memory
glitches in people of all ages.
As you age your body too makes
less of chemicals needed for your
brain cells to work optimally. The
secrets for keeping your brain young
is to get your brain in shape. You
exercise your body but what good is
that great body if you dont have the
mental capabilities to go with it. Here
are some common types and
strategies for minimising difficulties.
Pay attention: If you are listening
carefully to something, dont blame
your poor brain for not remembering
it. You are being plain crazy. Just
decide to listen to people, your
memory will improve on its own.
Absent-mindedness: Lack of
interest can also lead to absent-
mindedness. A man who can recite
baseball scores from 30 years ago,
may not remember to drop a letter in
the post box.
Another common episode of
absent-mindedness is walking into a
room and wondering why youre
there. Most likely, you were thinking
about something else. The best thing
to do is to return to where you were
before entering the room and youll
probably remember.
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90
Make a visual association: Make
a visual association in your mind for
something you always get confused
about or forget. But be sure the cue
is clear and available. If you want to
remember to take a medication with
lunch put the pill bottle on the kitchen
table, dont leave it in the medicine
chest and write yourself a note that
you tuck in a pocket.
Make a habit: Make a fixed place
for things if you tend to leave them
anywhere in your house. Put a small
basket on a side table. Train yourself
to put your keys, glasses, cellphone
or any other object as the first thing
to do when you enter home. It can
save you from much bigger trouble
of raising your blood pressure, while
looking for them in the morning
rush.
Start a ritual: If you constantly
forget important meetings or some
task assigned to you, do something
out of the ordinary which may prove
as a trigger to remind you. You
expect to see your bills on your desk,
so leaving them there wont
necessarily remind you to pay them.
But place a spoon or potato on the
stack of bills and later, when you spot
the out-of- place object, youll
remember to take care of them.
Practise your ABCs: Suppose
you just cant remember the name of
that movie. Recite the alphabet aloud
or in your head. When you get to the
letter R it should trigger the name
thats escaping you Ram aur Shyam.
This trick works when taking tests.
Read it, type it, say it, hear it:
To memorise a speech or test
material, read your notes, then type
them into the computer. Next, read
them aloud and record them. Listen
to the recording several times. As
you work on memorising, remember
to turn off the TV, unplug your ipod
and shut down your computer. You
will retain more.
Sleep: Insufficient sleep can
cause fatigue which can lead to
absent-mindedness. But sleep
HIGH PROTEIN,
LOW CARBO DIETS
ARE AS POPULAR AS
EVER, BUT
DITCHING THE
LIKES OF BREAD,
RICE AND
POTATOES CAN
LEAVE YOU FUZZY-
HEADED AND
FORGETFUL.
medication may cause grogginess
and forgetfulness the next day.
Exercise: People who engage in
regular exercise will be able to think
better, that includes remembering
over the years.
Nutrition: Eat plenty of dark leafy
greens, broccoli, legumes, tomatoes,
green tea, blueberries, soyabean and
citrus fruits. It will improve the flow of
oxygen through the brain. Switch to a
diet rich in unsaturated fatty acids.
Good sources include olive oil, fish,
flax seeds and walnuts.
Overeating: New research
suggests that eating fewer overall
calories would help us remember
more by boosting a type of protein in
the brain vital to memory function.
Cutting 25-30 per cent of daily calories
is enough to make a difference.
Cutting out carbs: High protein,
low carbo diets are as popular as
ever, but ditching the likes of bread,
rice and potatoes can leave you
fuzzy-headed and forgetful. Your
brain basically runs on carbs, so if
you avoid them you are depriving this
vital organs of its main fuel. Include
carbs, ideally fibre-rich varieties such
as wholewheal bread, jacket potatoes
or brown rice in meals and snacks for
a steady supply of glucose through
the day.
Binge drinking: Weve all heard
booze can kill brain cells but the
latest research shows it may also
damage our ability to retain long-term
memories.
91
Caffeine: If you are engaged in a
talk that demands memorisation a
cup of coffee or two might help.
Untreated high blood pressure:
If youre over 40 or have a family
history of high blood pressure get
yours checked. Losing weight and
regular exercise can help control BP.
But if its very high, medication can
be prescribed.
Under active thyroid: This
common condition affects one in two
women and memory problems are
one of the main symptoms. See your
doctor. A simple blood test can
diagnose the condition, then
medication is prescribed and
symptoms should improve quickly.
Just stop and admit honestly: If
what you often lopse is not a thing
but the train of thoughts and draw a
blank in the middle of conversation
dont continue to bladder and say
something inane.
Just stop and admit honestly to
the other person that youve suddenly
forgotten, what point you were
making. Since at times, it happens to
all of us. Every one understands and
wont judge you.
Homeopathy: Homeopathy also
helps in memory problems.
Homeopathy remedies for memory
loss are mainly constitutional and are
prescribed after taking the patients
physical emotional and lifestyle
aspects into account. Under
professional mnadvice, you can take
homeopathy supplements.
Though memory lapses are
troublesome most experts would say
that such forgetfulness doesnt
necessarily signal trouble. There is a
positive side also. If our brains did
store all that we saw, heard, or read
wed be overwhelmed. Our ability to
splice together bits of necessary
information and throw out the rest is
essential for sound thinking.
But if you experience a noticeable
and consistent decline in memory or
you arent able to function at work
says psychologist, at that point you
should see a doctor.
92 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
We
Why marriages
are not made in
the initial years of marriage. Things
are difficult for girls after marriage,
but they are not so easy for boys too.
They also had to undergo very
depressing situations.
Girls can share things with their
moms or can even complain about
their in-laws to their husbands, but
poor guys, cant even complain about
their wives and mothers, to either.
They are left with only one option to
listen to both. In this busy life,
couples with little patience and
understanding could be the best of
friends. Its been observed in recent
studies that the rate of marriages
happening is declining and the rate
of divorces increasing, and most of
them are within five years of
marriage. We are in an era of ready
to cook and eat, but that could not
be possible with marriage. Its a
whole new world; where one has to
struggle to have his or her space
booked, only then things would be
tastier.
Things become hell when separ -
ations occur after having a child. It may
not be so tough for the separating
couple, but its actually painful for the
poor child. Given a choice between
mom and pa, no child can be
comfortable to select one. A little
patience with some ignorance, things
could have been better than being so
bad. We make marriages hell, by
losing tempers, and a superiority
complex worsens it. Life would be
beautiful with your spouses if you
willingly put quality time in your basket
and solve ego problems. Happy
married life! Shilpi Moda.
heaven!
I
used to hear that marriages are
made in heaven, from my
grandparents and parents. Life
partners understand the imper -
fections of each other and fulfil
the gaps in their partners
personalities. Marriage is not only
about accepting the positive of
their spouses personalities and
lives but also to accept the
negatives in their lives. That is a true
marriage.
With growing speed in our lives,
we forgot this funda of marriage, and
we have come up with a new
philosophy, and that is if you are up
to my mark, you are good for me,
otherwise mark your way. This is
actually happening in our society
today, we are so busy to be ready to
accept any odds in our partners
personalities, and we are finding
things to be much easier to move
forward than to be with a not-so-
perfect partner. Both partners today
are working, and nobody is
dependent this independence is
appreciable but has brought a drastic
change in social life of people.
Married life demands time, a
couple needs to give at least five
years of their lives to each other.
They need to understand the
situations, the nature, and family of
their spouses. It requires patience.
Nothing could be achieved in a day.
Some of my friends complain that
their husbands are mummas boys,
and prefer to listens to or more than
me. But that is obvious, a girl also
listens to her mom first before her
husband or mother-in-law, at least in
words and gestures that you love her
as much if not more than before.
Question her gently as to what all her
teacher did with her person. Do not
blame her for not telling you anything.
She could have hidden sordid facts
out of fear both of the teachers wrath
and the loss of your affections. It is
important to find out how far did he
go and for how long. You might even
need to get her examined physically
by a doctor. Teach her the difference
between a good touch and a bad
touch and ask her to tell you
immediately if anyone behaves
improperly with her.
If she has been a victim of
prolonged child abuse it is best to
take her to a psychologist so that
together you can help her get over
the trauma of the ordeal
My son is three and a half years old.
He started speaking late about six
months ago. Even now his speech is
like a one and a half years old kid. I
worry about this a lot. Could you
please help me.
Some children begin speaking late
especially if you, your husband or
anyone in either family started
speaking late for the condition is
hereditary. Another reason for this
delay could be that he is not spoken
to often enough for example if he is
the only child in a nuclear family and
you are a working couple. So either
talk to him as often and as much as
possible or see to it that he interacts
with other children in the
neighbourhood. There will be a faster
and greater improvement in his
speech.
As of now he speaks like a one
and a half years old child because he
has to go through all the stages a
child has to go through while learning
to speak. One cannot expect him to
speak like a three ears old as soon
as he learns to speak. If need be, you
could take him to an ENT specialist
and a speech therapist.
These days, children go into
depression and even commit suicide,
if their exam results are not up to
their expectations. As a result
parents these days are afraid to say
anything to their kids even if they do
badly. How then does one handle
them?
Life has become very competitive
these days and children are under
tremendous pressure to perform from
nursery onwards. If your child
performs to the best of his abilities;
whether it is more or less as
compared to the rest of the class it is
fine.
Let him know that he will be as
loved irrespective of his results. Do
not nag. The desire to do better
should arise from within. This will
remove much of the stress as result
of which he may end up performing
better!
I have two children a daughter aged
eight and a six-year-old son.
Whenever my husband and I have a
tiff, my mother-in-law tells me not to
fight in front of the children as they
must be protected from anything
unpleasant in life. I for one think that
they should grow up seeing life as it
is so that they are not in for shocks
later. Please tell me which of us is
right?
People have a wrong notion that
exposing the children to the realities
of life destroys their innocence and
childhood.
In fact knowledge of the facts of
life makes them stronger and better
equipped to withstand the ups and
downs that the future holds for every
individual. Off course you need not
reduce quarrels to mud slinging
matches but argue out points in a
civilized manner while respecting
each others feelings.
I have an eight-year-old daughter for
whom I hired a private tutor. I saw to
it that I was always at home when he
arrived and kept the door ajar.
Despite this precaution one day I saw
him put his hand up her frock!
Though I have terminated his
services I do not know how to tackle
the matter further. I have lost sleep
and peace of mind. Pease tell me
what should I do.
First and foremost impress upon
your daughter that you do not hold
her responsible in any way (for
children are easily given to guilt) for
what happened. Let her know by
I have a nine-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old
son. My daughter is doing very well in school, is neat
and tidy and in general a well behaved child. My son on
the other hand forgets things, is a mediocre student and
an untidy person with no sense of discipline. I keep
telling him to be like his sister (it is said that children
learn by imitation) but he does not listen to me. Please
tell me what should I do?
First and foremost stop comparing him with his sister. This will only
create an inferiority complex and begin to resent her. As a result he will
become more rebellious and stubborn. Instead, appreciate his strong
points - he must be at least reasonably good in something games,
drawings. Also spend extra time with him to help him improve his weak
areas. In due course he will regain his self esteem and flower as an
individual in his own right.
Dr Amrinder Bajaj, MD.
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 93
94 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
S
inger Shahid Maliya is a die-
hard fan of Mohammad Rafi
whose voice attracts
audiences like moths to a
flame. Shahid believes in
keeping it grounded and
original unlike his other
fellowmen. As you still
dance to the tunes of his
songs Kukkad (Student of
the Year his debut song) to Do
Dhaari Talwar (Mere Brother Ki
Dulhan) besides romancing to the
tunes of Rabba Mei Toh (Mausam)
to deeply losing oneself into Tu Hi
Tu (Mausam), the epic voice
behind those songs, the singer sets
stage on fire whether its a lovey-
dovey duet or disco delight. He
knows every string from top-to-toe.
Shahid Mallya will be heard next in
Dharma Productions upcoming
projects by rocking your ears and
welcoming the New Year.
Born in Rajasthan to music
associate, Salim Maliya, and a home
maker-mother, Shahid completed his
graduation in arts. He learnt
Hindustani classical and light vocal
under his father, who had in the early
70s come to Mumbai to become a
singer. Shahids father had closely
worked with Mohammed Rafi, Hans
Raj Behl, Sonik Omi and late
Naushaad.
Excerpts from an interview:
How was your life before
movies happened to you?
I was surviving by singing jingles
and songs for TV serial titles.
What did your parents say when
you decided to join the film
industry?
I was always inclined towards
music from my early childhood. Also I
was very popular in my school and
college and was honoured with a
number of prizes and awards in the
school and college life. Indeed, they
were very supportive and always
backed my dream of coming to
Mumbai to become a playback
singer. In fact, my father was my
inspiration behind my taking up
music.
Isnt Bollywood a risky choice?
Yes! Bollywood is a very risky
choice, but every profession comes
with its own positive and negative
traits.
How did you get your debut
song in Mausam?
Pritam was looking for a fresh
voice for the title song of Mausam.
He had dubbed almost 20 odd
singers including those from India
and Pakistan. I got lucky as my voice
was most liked by Pritam himself and
Pankaj Kapurji and finally they
approved my voice.
Was there a definite struggling
period?
Life is always going to be a
struggle, though I have had my fair
RAFI-CRAZY SINGER RAFI-CRAZY SINGER
A Dharma Productions regular. By Gayatri T Rao
A Dharma Productions regular. By Gayatri T Rao
share of struggle and I still consider
that the struggle is not over. Also it
gives me a spirit that keeps me
going.
After your debut did you get
work on a platter?
Nothing comes on a platter, at
least I have never got anything
easily. I have worked really hard to
achieve this status in life and feel
contented when it comes with hard
work and effort.
What are the problems faced by
newcomers in this industry?
I cannot speak on behalf of other
newcomers in the industry. But
speaking for myself I have come a
long way to reach here and crossed
many hurdles in life.
Do newcomers need to have a
godfather in this industry?
I dont have any godfather and I
have tried to work hard by myself. At
the same time I do have a lot of well
wishers who have always backed me
with their moral support.
Would you like to share any
funny incident connected to music
in your life?
I am a very fun-loving person by
nature and I often keep cracking
impromptu jokes on people, but dont
remember any specific incident as of
now.
What is the current music
scene?
There is a lot of experimental
music in the current day. Its good
and bad at the same time, as there is
no stability in the kind of music that
we hear these days
Where are the Indian movies
going today?
We have more meaningful cinema
and the audience has accepted
varied kinds of films in the current
scene. It opens doors for smaller film-
makers to express their talents and
gives a window and platform to new
talent.
What do you do when not
singing?
I love travelling to places and
explore meeting creative and
likeminded people.
What are your future projects?
I am skeptical about revealing
names unless the songs are out. But
yes I can say that I am working with
most of the known music directors
and in the coming season you will
hear some exciting stuff that will
make all my fans and listeners proud.
Do you plan to venture into
music composing?
I will compose music only if I have
to do that for my own albums.
What are your future plans (not
future projects)?
Duniya ke har shahar mein mera
ghar ho.... (smiles)
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 95
We
On-line dating
My friend Annas son is working
in the USA. and wants to settle
there. My friend approves of this but
she insists that he should get
married to an Indian girl and that
too of their own community. The
son however had his own ideas and
joined an on-line dating scheme. As
luck would have it, he started
chatting with a girl not only from his
home town Mumbai but also from
his own community. They clicked
well together and were planning on
meeting. The boy however felt that
his mother would never approve of
his finding a soul mate in this way,
so he and his would-be girlfriend hit
on a plan. During their conversations
they had realised that they had many
common family friends. So they
decided to take one lady who was
close to both the families into
confidence. They told her about their
predicament and requested her to go
to the boys mother with a
photograph and bio-data of the girl
as a likely candidate. Anna asked the
girl to come over and meet her. The
meeting passed off well. Anna rang
up her son and informed him that she
had found a very nice girl for him and
he should come over to India at his
earliest. The boy was waiting for this
and he took a months leave and
landed in Mumbai.
A meeting was arranged for the
two families to get together. The
meeting was a great success and
everyone was very happy.
The couple went out together and
before he left for the States the
engagement was announced. Only
Has something
happened in your life
that has left an indelible
impression on your mind? Some
experience that gladdens your heart
or which makes you shudder with
pain or embarrassment even after
years! Why not share it with the
readers of Womans Era? All
published incidents will be paid
Rs 200. Send your entries to:
THE INCIDENT I CANNOT FORGET
E-3 Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi-110055.
Womansera.com
Name:
Mobile:
E-mail:
then Anna was told about the
success ful plan. By then Anna was
so involved in planning her sons
future that she took this news with a
big smile. Firoza N. Vakil, Mumbai.
W
hod have thought that becoming a
detective was such an easy task? Shakshi
pondered as she kept her eyes firmly
trained on her husband of two years,
Akshay. It was easier to keep an eye on
him from where she was sitting in the cafe.
When shed left home after him with the
intention of following him, she knew where he was
going. Hed, as usual, told her before leaving their
apartment. He never failed to tell her his
whereabouts.
However, for some weird reason, she was finding
it tougher by the day to trust him. So far she had
gathered not a single proof of Akshays infidelity.
Yet she was unwilling to let go of the idea that there
was someone else in his life. Akshay was sitting with
a guy. Both were seriously chatting, barely touching
the beverage theyd ordered immediately after their
arrival.
When shed left home, Shakshi was sure this time
she would catch her husband red-handed.
What a waste of her time! She could have spent it
meeting her friends, she thought, shaking her head
at her folly. She picked up the coffee mug and took
a sip. Probably it was time to let go of her obsession
before she ruined her marriage.
You do know, na, darling, how the saying goes
once a liar always a liar. Do you think it applies on
cheaters too? Mrs Vermas nasty insinuation
echoed in Shakshis mind, stealing whatever little
peace she had.
A week ago at the house-warming party of her
best friend Diya, Shakshi had lost her mind like
never before. In the heat of the moment she had
slapped the wicked woman and had spit obnoxious
remarks, spoiling the party
atmosphere completely.
And it seemed like she
was hell-bent on
spoiling her marriage
as well due to some
crazy womans
remarks.
Shakshi desperately
wanted to discuss her
nagging insecurities with
someone but no longer knew
who to confide in. She was
feeling suffocated and
miserable. Her parents
were still angry with her
decision to marry
Akshay. So discussing
this particular matter
with her mother was out
Why was she spying on her husband?
By Priyanka Sharma
For Love
Short Story
96
of the question. Her childhood friend Diya too had
made it clear that shed not entertain conversation
related to Shakshis hubby.
Not just people she knew but even neighbours
had commented rudely on her relationship with
Akshay when it became common knowledge. Some
had even gone as far as to tell her that shed one
day suffer the consequences of wrecking a happy
home Akshays home, he was married at the time
shed met him.
S
hakshi clearly remembered their meeting. Her
fiance Sid had introduced them. She had no
idea when their harmless flirtation had turned
into serious talks about the future of their
relationship. Or when they had decided to ditch
their previous relationships to form a new one. All
she knew was she had fallen for Akshay like shed
never fallen for Sid. Akshay was the complete
opposite of nerdy Sid and probably thats
what shed liked.
For love she had scarified her old life.
But now it seemed as if love was not
enough incentive to keep this new life of
hers together for long.
Your husband most definitely is a fool.
Why spend time debating with the baldy
when such a beautiful wife is around? a
known voice pierced Shakshis thoughts.
She turned her head and found a
bespectacled man smiling down at her.
She frowned at the intrusion but
suddenly remembered who he was. Sid!
For a second, I thought youre going to
ask me who are you mister? he said
playfully, sitting on the chair across hers without
invitation. Shakshi stared at the man sitting across
her with anticipation.
In the last two years this was the first time theyd
met. Sid hadnt uttered a word after finding out
about her affair with Akshay. He had left for a
business trip and had blocked all her attempts to talk
to him.
I was passing by when I noticed you sitting here
alone and thought I should say hello, he revealed
after a few moments of uncomfortable silence. She
nodded, not sure what she should say or why was
he being nice.
Im sorry, Shakshi uttered and took a deep
breath, waiting patiently for his reaction.
What for? Siddhartha asked calmly.
She looked at him and gave a sad smile, I love
him.
Is that why you are spying on him? he asked
amued. Your brand of love is quite unique.
You want me to suffer for the past, she said, her
eyes once again set on her husband, who was now
sitting all by himself, reading some file.
Why should I? You are doing a fine job of
torturing yourself without anyones help, Sid
remarked, his eyes followed hers and settled on the
man oblivious of them.
Instead of torturing yourself, you should discuss
your feelings with him. I dont think hed appreciate
it if he ever found out about your spying activities,
Sid commented seriously.
Shakshi looked at him for the longest time before
replying, You are right. Its not fair to him. Its too
stressful and her voice trailed away.
Her eyes suddenly felt moist and she closed them
to keep tears from escaping. Before opening them,
Shakshi took a deep breath and said, I never
wanted to hurt you, Sid, hoping hed realise the
truth in her words. Hurting anyone was never her
intention. She didnt want Sid or Akshays ex-wife or
his kids to suffer.
Maybe the guilt of wrecking four
innocent lives, to build her dream castle,
had finally caught up with her. A tear
escaped her eyes and she quickly looked
away to wipe it.
Why are you here, Sid talking to
me, as if nothing ever happened? she
enquired.
I have been considering meeting you
for a while, he revealed, avoiding
meeting her eyes. And I never had it in
me to be angry with you for long. He
smiled self-deprecatingly, toying with the
ring in his left hand.
Shakshi stayed quiet for a while before
asking, Why? Suddenly she was feeling too
emotionally drained to put any more energy into
speaking. She wasnt there to talk to Sid.
It took me some time to understand that what you
did wasMaybe I would have done the same, he
added nonchalantly. She could trace a hint of
sadness in his tone. She knew he was trying to make
her feel good. Suddenly, he got up from his chair
and declared, I should leave. And you should
consider discussing your concerns with him.
S
he raised her head to look at him and returned
his smile. She nodded her head, feeling slightly
better about life after their unexpected chat
session.
My number is still the same. Call me if you ever
want to talk, Sid said quickly and, before she could
object, he added, We were friends before we
stupidly decided to get married. And I miss my
friend sometimes. Saying that he left, leaving
Shakshi to ponder over her life.
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 97
Maybe the
guilt of wrecking
four innocent
lives, to build
her dream castle,
had finally
caught up with
her. A tear
escaped her eyes
and she quickly
looked away to
wipe it.
We
98 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
W
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D
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Reflections of the common people
of the country. By Priya Swaminathan
A
nyone who talks about the
Indian economy tends to
go overboard in quoting the
statistics pertaining to
GDP, BPL, PCI, etc. Not
many of us lay people can
get a hang about what
these abbreviations really
mean and how they indeed
affect our economy. But
the common men or women, as
envisaged by the venerable
R.K.Laxman, can definitely give their
own version of what really ails the
Indian economy in laymans terms!
Lets get a lowdown, straight from
these stake-holders mouths.
Swati N., a housewife says that
the economics that matters the most
to her is the economics of budgeting
in her household expenses and
sticking to it in the strictest sense, in
these days of perpetual inflation.
Now that the LBT (local body tax)
has been made mandatory for the
traders, we can rest assured that we
will be paying through our noses for
essential commodities, in Pune, she
rants, as her five-year-old son
clamours for a chocolate. I cant tell
him that I cant give him one due to
the increasing prices, can I? she
jokes in exasperation.
Her husband, a manager in a
reputed MNC, chips in with his woe.
Look at the fluctuating petrol and
diesel prices. This seesaw will
continue till our government really
takes things in its hands and takes
concrete steps like signing an MOU
(Memorandum of undertaking) with
some oil-rich countries, on a
permanent basis or efficiently tapping
into our own oil and gas reserves.
Maybe in the future, if nothing is
done, well all be walking to and from
our offices. Well also live in the Dark
Ages once again, thanks to the
frequent power shortages that beset
all our towns and villages due to
insufficient indigenous power
generation.
NEED OF REGULATION
A.G. Sarode, an accountant, says,
The management of banks and
financial institutions must be
regulated more stringently so that the
scope for frauds is eliminated. The
criteria regarding NPAs (non-
performing assets) must be looked
into urgently to prevent the collapse
of banks and to gain the confidence
of the investors who invest in them.
The share market must also be
regulated and unnatural swings
should be minutely scrutinised and
the culprits brought to book at once in
cases of scams. Mis-selling of
insurance policies must be brought
under control by the IRDA (Insurance
Regulatory and Development
Authority) the regulator of insurance
in India. All these measures will instill
a sense of security in the investing
public.
C.N. Sawant, a retired
government employee, says, while
the salaried persons are expected to
pay their taxes on time and even
have to pay taxes on their lifetimes
savings, the wealthy, unscrupulous
persons who hoard their black money
in confidential and safe tax havens
abroad have nothing to lose, not
even their sleep! It seems that only
the middle-class people are
responsible for nation-building in our
country. The upper-class people can
A
I
L
S
T
H
E
?
be forgiven their sins in the name of
industrial development and other lofty
goals. In fact, they get a subsidy on
all the inputs required for their
businesses. Even the most precious
asset, which is land, is made
available to them by bullying the
small and powerless land-owners.
Water and electricity are readily
made available to them. I also feel
that the rate of taxation must not be
so much that the common public
starts resenting it and starts finding
ways and means to evade them!
Shantaram Pingale, a farmer,
says With the increasing cost of
fertilisers, seeds and pesticides and
farm labour; coupled with the
vagaries of weather, lack of water for
irrigation, farming is becoming an
unprofitable proposition, which is why
many of us sell off our inherited lands
to the builders. India will soon have to
depend on imports for even the basic
food grains, if the government
doesnt address our problems
and mitigate them. Besides,
wastage of produce should be
eliminated by providing good
warehouses and other
facilities. A good pricing and
distribution system should be
in place.
Likewise, artisans must be
nurtured and promoted to
bring in revenue for the
country.
Somnath Chaudhari, a
people will clamour to buy even
unnecessary items from them.
Nowadays, who cares about
interpersonal relationships? The soul
of our traders has been forfeited by
the government and the hard-nosed
businessmen will have a field day,
henceforth. The consumers,
however, will be spoilt for choice, with
the wide array of reasonably priced,
quality products on offer at the glitzy
outlets. Now, the small-time
shopkeepers will have to match their
products and services with the high-
end providers; making it a win-win
situation for all the stake-holders in
FDI. Competition surely has its
rewards!
Jyoti Mhalge, a teacher of a
reputed school , says that education
has been given the short shrift in the
current economic scenario. She
points out at the failure in proper
implementation of many government
schemes like the midday meal
scheme which suffers from un-
hygienically made meals and the
sub-standard quality of essential
raw materials used for cooking
them. Even the RTE (Right to
Education) Act has to be
implemented rigorously, so that the
parents of the underprivileged
children dont have to engage in a
virtual tug-of-war, when they
approach the school authorities of
reputed private schools; for
admission of their wards.
THE HOUSING PROBLEM
Shelter, which is one of the basic
necessities of life, needs to be
examined. Has the government
succeeded in providing affordable
housing even to the poorest of the
poor, most of whom live in squalor in
slums that dot all the major cities of
our country? Has it at least started
taking concrete steps towards that
end by acquiring lands or earmarking
existing lands under government
control, for the creation of such
shelters for the poor and the
homeless?
Healthcare is another major cause
of concern in our country. Only a
handful of our population, that too in
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 99
small grocery shop owner rues the
entry of foreign investment in the
retail sector in India, in the form of
FDI (foreign direct investment) in
retail. With their wide range of
products sourced from all over the
globe, glitzy malls, English-speaking
salesmen and their hefty discounts;
do we even stand a chance? Our
profits will definitely be eroded as
WASTAGE OF
PRODUCE SHOULD BE
ELIMINATED BY
PROVIDING GOOD
WAREHOUSES AND
OTHER FACILITIES. A
GOOD PRICING AND
DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
SHOULD BE IN PLACE.
EXERCISE WILL HELP YOU
GET YOUR ZZZS
D
o you find yourself wide
awake in the middle of the
night? Do you find it hard to
go back to sleep on waking
up in the middle of the
night? Do you find yourself
yawning all day? All these
are signs of insomnia. You
may even consult a doctor
and hear the same reason
your mother or aunt told you: Youre
too stressed, relax, and take it easy.
You know this is impossible with your
schedule, so what can you do?
Well there has been new research
in this area and the findings may help
you. The solution might be as easy
as hitting the treadmill, taking a walk,
or playing a game of tennis. The
research study released earlier this
year shows that exercise promotes
good sleep and the more vigorous
the workout the better.
Are you wailing, But I dont have
time for exercise? Well the
study, conducted by a non-
profit sleep centre, has
shown that just 10
minutes of exercise a
day could make a
difference in the duration
and quality of sleep.
We found that
exercise and great sleep
go together, hand in hand,
says Max Hirshkowitz, a
sleep researcher and the chair
of the research study.
Further Hirshkowitz
commented that there was a
step-wise increase in how
vigorous the quality is, in
terms of how much one exercises.
So, if you say you exercise a lot, you
will sleep better too. By contrast, the
study found that people who did not
exercise at all were experiencing
sleep problems.
You are probably saying this is old
wine in a new bottle and you may be
right. Earlier research studies have
shown the impact of exercise on
sleep but Hirshkowitz, who is a
professor at Baylor College of
Medicine in Houston, said this survey
is the first to detail the benefits of
exercise in a nationally
representative poll of this size.
People who described themselves
as exercisers reported better sleep
than their sedentary counterparts.
Even if the quantity of sleep was the
same the exercisers experienced
better quality sleep and therefore
woke up feeling refreshed and said
they had no insomnia.
More than 75 per
cent of the 1,000
people questioned
in the poll who
d e s c r i b e d
themselves as
exercisers said
they slept well,
compared to just
about 50 per cent
of people who did
not.
It may indeed be
stress that causes
your insomnia but you
can get the better of it
with exercise. Also,
better sleep will in turn
reduce your stress in your
waking hours. And yes a
little time spent on vigorous
exercise will go a long way
in improving your quality
of sleep and you will wake
up feeling refreshed.
Mala Ashok.
our urban centres, has access to the
best of medical facilities, thanks to
their handsome incomes. The
remaining large population struggles
with each episode of illness or
hospitalisation. Life insurance and
health insurance have not penetrated
into the interiors of our villages. Only
a healthy person can make a
perceptible contribution to a growing
economy. Does anyone care?
JOB SCARCITY
Sarang Marathe, a postgraduate
in science rues the lack of
employment opportunities in our
country. There is also no incentive
for becoming an entrepreneur here
or venturing into research and
development, due to the bureaucratic
red-tapism, hence the brains go
overseas where their intelligence is
highly valued and highly paid! he
quips. The population is so vast that
it is impossible for every eligible
person to get a decent job. That
sums the current job scenario
succinctly.
Yes, indeed, why do all of us have
to struggle so much for the basic
necessities of life that a caring and
conscientious government must
readily make available to all the
citizens of our country?
Corruption in all the spheres of
public life has drained our resources
and robbed the common man of his
morale. Each day for him is a
struggle for existence. In this
scenario, can true talent and grit
stand the test of time? Yes, patience
and perseverance are the key-words
to remember, but why does only the
common man have to swear by
them? How about fast-forwarding
things for a welcome change?
Lets all chip in to contribute our
mite towards a better economic
scenario in the near future.
Community living and development
present the solution to this issue.
This can be done by waking up to our
conscience and taking the laws of our
land and ourselves seriously. The
government must vigorously push
and implement its Five-Year Plans to
achieve all their goals.
100 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
We
My stoneware dishes have what
appears to be scratches on them.
Scrubbing with water and baking
soda has helped, but I can still see
lines. Help.
Those marks arent actually
scratches that go through the glaze;
the surface of these plates is actually
textured with tiny hills and valleys,
like orange peel. As knives go over
this, they leave traces of metal. No
amount of scrubbing is going to
remove all the marks, but to erase
most of them, make a paste of 3 to 4
tablespoons of baking soda and
1
/
4
cup of hydrogen peroxide. Rub it on
with a microfibre cloth, rinse under
hot water, and dry with a clean cloth.
I have a flat-top electric stove with
baked-on food stains. I have tried the
products the manufacturer recomm -
ends, with no luck. Any ideas?
Boil water and wearing rubber
gloves pour
1
/
4
cup of it on a part of
the baked-on stuff. Scrub with the
abrasive side of a sponge, then wipe
down with a clean cloth and dry. If
that doesnt do the trick, scrub with
the same amount of hot water and
add a tablespoon of salt or baking
soda-either will act as an abrasive.
Wipe with a damp cloth first and then
with a clean dry one. To prevent
stains in the future, wipe up spills as
soon as the stovetop cools.
How should we go about boiling
noodles when preparing chow mein
at home?
A few tips would get you perfectly
boiled noodles while preparing a chow
mein platter at home. When you are
adding noodles to a pot, have the
flame on full blast and the water on full
boil. Some people lower the heat
because they are afraid of the splatter
and overflow- but anything less than a
full boil can make the noodles mushy.
What points should we keep in mind
while buying melons?
Select heavy fruits with no soft spots
or flat sides. The flavour of most
melons does not improve after harvest,
so make sure they are ripe. The stem
spot should be aromatic and slightly
soft. Melons are mostly used for fresh-
eating and their flavours are fullest at
room temperature. They work well in
cocktails, frozen desserts, salads,
salsas, smoothies and soups. Store
whole melons at room temperature for
up to 10 days. Leftover cut melons
should be wrapped or sealed in a
container and refrigerated for up to 5
days. Their lycopene, an anti-oxidant
that can reduce the risk of some
cancers, has been shown to deteriorate
(up to 40 per cent) when refrigerated.
We all love the flavour of chillies in
our soups and sauces, but are afraid
of their heat. Please can you help.
The trick for infusing a chillis
flavour into soups and sauces, with out
adding too much of their heat-cut a
few lengthwise slits in the smooth
sections of a whole chilli, being careful
not to slice into the ribs, where the
spicy capsaicin is held. Toss the chilli
into soup or sauce while the mixture
cooks. Scoop it out before serving.
These days we find more and
more imported fruits flooding our
markets, nectarines are one of them
which we have taken a fancy to.
Please tell us what to look out for
while buying and how we should
store them?
Nectarine is a cousin of the peach,
and is very special in salads, sauces
and baked goodies. Choose fruit that
has abundant aroma and yields to
gentle pressure. Look for brown
speckling, also known as sugar spots.
White nectarines have less acid and
hence they taste sweeter than the
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 101
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problem in cooking or
kitchen, write to Womans Era. We
shall try to help you
sort it out.
Address your queries to:
WOMAN'S ERA,
E-3, Jhandewala Estate,
Rani Jhansi Marg
New Delhi-110 055
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lodge your queries.
yellow ones. Store nectarines at room
temper ature until they begin to soften,
then transfer to the fridge. Nectarines
keep longer when not touching one
another this prevents any decay on
one fruit from spreading to others.
While buying corn, it is very difficult
to choose a really good one as they
are covered in a number of green
leaves. What should we do?
This is true and we cannot go
about peeling all bhuttas just to select
a few we like. The only way to pick
out a good piece of corn is to pull back
the husk. Look for plump, tightly
spaced kernels, and if you dont like
what you see, be a polite peeker and
pull the husk back up to help keep the
corn from drying out.
A thick skinned, deep hued beauties
the pomegranate will be in season
now, but to release the juicy arils is a
messy task. Please help.
Releasing the gem-like seeds
from a pomegranates leathery skin
and bitter pith is as easy as peeling
an orange. Heres how: Trim the
pointed end of the whole pome -
granate so that some of the skin and
pith are removed and the seeds show
through. Cut the skin in quarters, the
way youd cut through the skin of an
orange. Then place the fruit in a large
bowl of water before pulling the
quarters apart. Discard skin and pith
as you gently wiggle the seeds free.
Doing this under water allows small
bits of bitter pith to float to the top
and prevents pomegranate juice from
going everywhere. Drain seeds, and
eat or use in recipes.
Savita Bhargava
102 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
85 85
C O N T E S T
Cross Cross
Across
D
o
w
n
1. The act of hiding and waiting for
somebody and then making a surprise
attack on them (6)
2. A black leopard or a large wild animal of
the cat family (7)
3. Material made with rubber, that can
stretch and then return to its original
size (7)
4. Perfect; most suitable (5)
5. The activity of working well together
as a team (8)
6. A small thin nail with a small head
and a flat tip (4)
12. To produce or show something (7)
13. A high steep rough mass of rock (4)
14. A small oval object with a thin hard shell
produced by a female bird and containing
a young bird; a similar object produced
by a female fish, insect, etc. (3)
15. To send out something such as light,
heat, sound, gas, etc. (4)
17. A person or an animal that eats a
particular thing or in a particular
way (5)
18. The second letter of the Greek
alphabet (4)
19. Death or destruction; any terrible event
that you cannot avoid (4)
20. Great enthusiasm and energy, style and
confidence (4)
23. European Union (2)

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Name
Address
City Pin
Please accept my entry for the
crossword competition. I
subscribe to all the rules and
regulations of the competition.
6 5
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1
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2 3
8
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13 14
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1. To be grateful for something that
somebody has done (10)
7. Chemical symbol for Chromium (2)
8. A strip of cloth used for tying around a
part of the body that has been hurt in
order to protect or support it (7)
9. The flat pale sweet nut of a tree used in
cooking and to make oil (6)
10. A building where people stay, usually for
a short time, paying for their rooms and
meals (5)
11. To make a hole or cut in something with a
sharp object in a rough or violent way (5)
13. A place where babies and small children
are taken care of while their parents are
working, studying, shopping, etc. (6)
16. Microphone (4)
18. A small piece of metal or plastic, with a
design or words on it, that a person wears
to show that they belong to an
organisation, support something, have
achieved something, have a particular
rank, etc. (5)
21. Your sense of your own value and
importance (3)
22. Existing, but not yet very noticeable, active
or well developed (6)
24. A book that is published every year giving
information for that year about a particular
subject or activity (2)
25. The mass of eggs inside a female fish or
the sperm of a male fish used as food (7)
w
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Womans Era December (Second) 2013 103
Rs10,000
I N C A S H P R I Z E S
Across: 1. Ascend, 4. Mould,
6. Draconian, 8. Sauce, 10. Nuke,
12. Rough, 13. Fat, 14. Tandem,
18. Modal, 20. Etic, 22. Null,
23. Fight, 25. BI, 27. Brood,
29. Cruel, 30. Work
Winners of Crossword - 83
W
O
R
D
POWER
WINUPTO WINUPTO
Down: 1. Addendum, 2. Clack,
3. Denar, 4. Measure, 5. Domestic,
7. Nag, 9. Uhf, 11. Entangle, 15. Al,
16. Don, 17. Mellow, 19. Offer,
21. TL, 24. TB, 26. Ink, 28. Do
Rules and Regulations
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 manage ment 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 31 December 2013,
by ordinary post. No corres pon dence 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.
WIN WIN WIN
ON YOUR
Answers to Crossword-83
Nidhi Bhandari, Chandigarh.
Girish Durgawat, Udaipur. Kiran Kumar, Lucknow.
Sunita Sharma, Noida.
Tushar Razdan, New Delhi.
A., Swetha, Bangalore. Vandana Singhal, Kolkata.
A. Indira, Vijayawada.
Shaysta Nasreen, Patna. V. Uma, Mumbai.
K
artik Kumar Prasad, a
senior artist at Patliputra
Medical College, Dhanbad,
has been practising art
since he was just five years
old. At that time, he would
draw flowers, leaves, trees,
birds and animals on slate.
It was the beginning of the
artists long art journey
which continues even today when
Kartik is 59 years old. He spent his
childhood in Dhanbad where he did
his schooling. An incident in his
school inspired him to take art as a
full-time career.
One day, an art student visited
their school and asked the children
to draw a line on blackboard. Driven
by curiosity Kartik drew an oblique
line on the blackboard. The art
student added some more lines and
there appeared a sketch of a lady
grinding stones.
Since then Kartik made it a goal of
his life to be an artist. He took art as
a preoccupation. Initially his parents
were against his seeking a career in
art. But, in view of his dedication,
they too began to encourage him in
every way possible. Kartik has done
his BFA and MFA from Punjab
University, Chandigarh, and got
appointed as artist at Patliputra
Medical College, Dhanbad in 1979
and has been working there since
then.
As a medical artist Kartik has to
draw anatomy and physiology
diagrams during his working hours.
He has reserved late night hours for
his artistic pursuits. His better half,
Sushma Sinha, whom he married in
1977, is a constant companion and
support in his art journey.
The artist does not take art as a
means to his personal growth alone.
Instead, he believes in inclusive
growth through art. For this, he has
taken steps to popularise and
disseminate art among general public
and lend support to budding artists,
especially children. His organisation,
Kalankan Prayas Santha is a
pioneering art body devoted to all-
round promotion of art in Jharkhand.
The organisation ensures active
participation of common people in art
104 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
An artist on the way to self-discovery.
SADHANA
ART =
Kartik Kumar Prasad
Qualification: BSc. (I) MU; DFAP
(BFA) P.U.; C.B. (MFA)
Chandigarh
Shows: Two solo shows, 22
camp shows and participated in
15 art exhibitions.
Award: Three gold medals and
one bronze medal by Avantika,
Delhi; 2nd Nukkad Art Exhibition
2002 on AIDS by Directorate of
Field Publicity, Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting
(Govt. of India) Dhanbad
Working at: Patliputra Medical
College, Dhanbad
Collections: India and abroad
Mob: 09431314926, 9006469471
E-mail: artistkartik@gmail.com
events. For example, one of its art
exhibitions, Nukkad, was inaugurated
by a rickshaw puller. The exhibition
was organised at a busy square in
Dhanbad in 2001 with participation of
nine artists.
This apart, art expositions and
workshops are regularly organised by
the organisation for children. Many of
these children associated with
Kalankan, have participated in
national-level competitions and
brought laurels for the state.
Excerpts from an interview:
How do you look at your art
journey?
It is very dicey question. For me,
my art journey is like merging myself
with the universe. It is a discovery of
my own self that I have accomplished
with colours and canvases. The more
I paint, more I feel looking within me.
My whole art journey can be summed
up in these words, discovering the
self and merger of myself with the
universe.
What are the subjects that you
have made maximum numbers of
paintings on?
Subjects and themes that expose
the social inequalities and ironies
have frequently appeared in my
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 105
paintings. However, my recent
artworks are mainly focused on
Sadhana (meditation) and thereby
the search of life. As of now, I have
made 65 paintings on this theme.
Please tell us about your
organisation Kalankan Prayas
Santha. What are its works?
Well, I founded this organisation
in 2000 with sole motive of promoting
young and emerging artists in
Jharkhand, which had been carved
out in the same year as a separate
state. Our aim is to transform
Dhanbad from Koelanchala (coalbelt)
into Kalanchal (art hub). With this
aim, Kalankan Prayas has dedicated
itself to the task of creating
awareness about art and artists in
Jharkhand.
Please tell us about your efforts
to take art to the people. How
much success have you attained?
As I told you, I have been making
concerted efforts to disseminate art
and create awareness about art and
artists through our organisation
Kolankan Prayas, we have
substantially succeeded. Now, art
has become a compulsory subject in
school education and every school
has to appoint an art teacher.
Kalankan regularly organises art
shows and workshops for school
children. These events are getting
popular day by day and provide the
kids with a platform to showcase their
artistic talent. Still much needs to be
done.
Are you getting the support of
other artists also in your mission?
Frankly speaking, not to the extent
desired and expected. I feel only the
goodness helps me everywhere.
Other than that, I feel it is the critics
who have helped me in my artistic
pursuits with their criticism. Their
criticism guides me to refine and
improve my art, so much so that I
have come to firmly believe in
Kabirdas couplet - Nindak neare
rakhiye, angan kuti chhavaye, Bin
pani sabun bina, nirmal kare
subhaye.
Please tell us about your
paintings with women as central
theme?
We regard woman as Aadi Shakti
Swarupa. Means, form of original
power. She is only second to the
creator of the universe and creates
forms buzzing with life. Even an artist
who calls himself a creator is no
match to woman, as his creations are
still and lifeless. But this reveared
position of woman has downgraded
in our society. The same woman is
mentally and physically harassed
everywhere. This downgrading is
depicted in these paintings of
women. Like the painting of a woman
with a bull portrays this social atrocity
on women. It and many other
paintings, depict how a woman has
turned from Pujya (revered) into
Bhogya (object of lust) in our society.
In your oil paintings you have
beautifully used the symbols.
Please tell us about the
symbolisim in your art.
Use of symbols in my paintings
has been inspired by my belief that
Yantra, Tantra and Mantra are
means to know the self. So, the use
of these means as symbols is part of
an endeavour to discovering the self.
Another symbol is fish. A fish is
always in motion, hence it depicts
continuous movement. As art is also
a sadhana for an artist, the force and
dynamism of fish are needed to
achieve this. There is no place for
passivity in this sadhana.
How the society can be
reformed? Do your paintings
suggest a solution?
True, the society afflicted with
innumerable evils needs urgent
reforms. But instead of reforming the
others, everyone must reform him or
her first. Hum sudhurenge to jag
sudhurega. Art can create awareness
about these evils. Overall reform
depends on the peoples mentality
and their ability to take from art.
Efforts must be initiated at the
individual level first.
What is the position of Jharkhand
in the countrys art scenario?
Art promotion has just begun in
Jharkhand but still very little is being
done. Even after 13 years of states
formation Jharkhand is still awaiting a
state-level art academy. Of course,
art teachers are now being appointed
in schools, but a full-fledged art
college is yet to come up. In this
period a directory of artists in the state
could have been published. Our artist
fraternity has put some suggestions
to the state government for art
promotion. These include concession
in railway fares which would enable
artists to participate in art exhibitions
and workshops outside Jharkhand. I
am planning to dedicate myself for
the promotion of art in Dhanbad after
my retirement which is due in 2014.
Chandrshekhar Shrivastava
106 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 107
They dont glitter but they bring
a scintillating glow. By Kusum Mehta
D
iamonds come in all colours
of the spectrum. Most
diamonds appear white. A
rare few are the crystalline
white of icicles under the
sun. The majority of
diamonds are warmer white
with tinges of yellow or
brown, some so faint that
only the expert eye can see
them. There are also diamonds in
pastel colours such as pink, green
and champagne.
Completely colourless icy-white
diamonds are very rare and are
priced accordingly. The variations in
colour are often so slight that they
can be detected by an expert under
special light.
Fancies are diamonds whose
colours are very apparent to the
naked eye, such as deep red, royal
blue or the very rare black. They are
extremely rare and costly. The best
way to see the true colour of a diamond
is to look through its side against.
The Argyle mines, the worlds
largest producer of natural coloured
diamonds, also produce brown
diamonds in champagne and cognac
shades for which it has developed a
scale of colour categories running
from C1 to C7 to provide clarity on
terminology and grading.
Giving a name to such as
champagne and cognac adds to the
appeal and market value of these
stones. Following the success of the
Japanese brown diamond campaign,
the brand Bulaire is an Indian initiative
to promote champagne diamonds.
FIRST TIME IN INDIA
They have been brought to India,
for the first time, the latest in
international fashion trends, which is
jewellery containing diamonds in the
shades of chocolate, champagne and
cognate. They provide an air of
exclusivity and allow for a distinct
personality to shimmer through.
They express emotions such as
passion, celebration and sparkle of
joy through champagne diamonds
showing it in colour is our theme.
There is uncertainty about the
cause of the colour in these
diamonds i.e. whether it is trace
elements or crystal imperfections.
However, they are found in relative
abundance in nature and are thus
affordable fancies as prices rarely
exceed $ 2000 per carat.
Recently, Gabi Tolkowski turned
a 755-carat-brown rough known as
ugly duckling into the 546.67 carats
Golden Jubilee. Catherine the Great
of Russia was also a passionate
collector of brown diamonds.
Brown diamonds are the raw
materials used to produce irradiated
blues. Inadiated diamonds tend to be
more of a brandy shade and are
often more intense in their brilliance
than their natural counterparts.
Cardinal Jules Mazarin, chief
minister of France in the 1600s
collected brown diamonds. In 1967, a
115,59 African brown pear shape
was discovered. It was reportedly
sold for `90,000 in 1983.
The most prized diamonds in the
brown family are the coffee brown
with only a hint of black in them. A
still more intense shade is termed
chocolate brown.
BROWN
DIAMONDS
ARE OF
CHAMPAGNE
CHARM
We
H
e is throwing a challenge to
the painters who consider
their artworks as modern
and better than the works of
the vernacular people doing
art away from the media
hyped city centres. He does
all his works based on
imagination and folktales
with a sheer hard work for a
long time on a single canvas- large in
size. There are a number of
canvases which he has made
beautiful with delicate characters and
motifs painted upon. He is a Gond
artist from Madhya Pradesh and his
name is Ravi Kumar Tekam.
The artist basically belongs to
Dindori district of MP state, presently
working in Bhopal. The main focus of
his works is rustic tribal art. There is
a combination of his over imagination
and folktale in Ravis paintings. Rural
and tribal people, animals and birds
are the main elements in this
paintings. As these all characters are
creatures of nature, the lush greenery
with river and stones make the
paintings serene.
The main speciality of Ravis
paintings is that despite looking
beautiful they also carry a touch of
mystery. The folktales provide the
content of the paintings while the
mystery part is introduced by the
artist based on his imagination and
reading of the situation. In this way
Ravis paintings tell a story besides
throwing in an intrigue.
Farmers too are depicted on the
canvas amidst natural surroundings.
Actually he is inspired by his father
Narmada Prasad Tekam who is a
well-known figure in Gond art. Ravis
father is his guru in the work of art
and painting. When Ravis father
speaks about his rural upbringing, he
listens entranced and visualises the
scene and plot. Ravi takes the same
kind of raw material for his paintings
from his mother who tells folktales
and herself an artist of same genre.
The paintings are the wellspring from
Ravis inspired by his parents.
ALL ABOUT FOLK TALES
Art is an expression of daily quest of life.
Ravi Kumar Tekam
Shows: Participated in many
shows in India.
Mob: 09669499761
Collection: Private collection in
India.
108 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 109
Ravi is a rising star in Gond art
but in contrast, he has done his
education in administration. It is well
said what is in you remains with you.
Ravi has a vivid imagination and his
paintings give free reign to his flights
of fantasy like the elephants trunk
growing into a snake stimulating
the eye and invigorating the mind.
On his recent visit to Delhi Ravi
talked to Womans Era.
Tell us something about Gond art.
Gond art is an expression of daily
quest of life. In our tribal community,
we Gond believe that viewing a good
image begets good luck. Language
of the soul is expressed in brilliant
colours by Gonds in art form.
Traditionally, Gonds decorate their
house walls and floors with tattoos
and motifs. Now, we do the same
thing on paper or canvas for
livelihood and also bring this art to
higher level for recognition and
excellence. The signature styles are
the essence of this tribal art.
What is this signature style in
Gond art?
This is the uniqueness of Gond
art. Every Gond artist has his own
style of doing the decorative patterns
or motifs. It is a unit or bit which in
accumulation and order forms a
character. The allusiveness and
individualism of each Gond artist is
defined by these signature styles. My
signature style is the plus mark (+).
How is your art unique in itself?
My paintings are based on folk
tales but not particularly from those. I
give my imagination to the character
of the story. As far as the forms are
concerned I give full touch of time to
my work. Besides this, I use light
colours. Generally, bright colours are
used in such kind of art but I prefer
light colours for the mystery. By this
way I maintain balance between
mystery and pleasure.
Who do you give the credit of
your growth in art and what is
your future plan?
Its my father who taught me
painting and doing work by sitting for
long hours. It is all due to my father
that am now competing at higher
level in the field of art. My mother
also helps me in my improvement.
My future plan includes
improvements in my painting and
doing promotional activities for the
promotion of tribal culture through my
artworks.
What is the market response to
your sort of paintings?
Its excellent. But I need to focus
on my art rather market. Buyers
provide great response and I get full
satisfaction mainly from my works.
Abhishek Kumar
110 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
VV163/EFP
111
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114
A HEART
TOUCHING STORY
The short story,
Homecoming (WE,
November II) has
touched my heart. I
wonder how a male
writer could describe the birth of the
baby in such a meticulous and
impressive way. The journey of the
baby from the time of conception to
stepping into the bright world is quite
touching and exciting. Each phase of
its development inside the womb of
the mother and finally shaping into a
life gives an actual feel of the process
of human creation. The mother is the
one who relishes each moment of her
growing baby within her. It is one of
the most loveliest and delirious time
for the lady to turn into a mother. We
women are fortunate enough to hold
such a responsible position of
creating this lovely world.
Then why do we often hear about
female foeticide? Why then women
cannot stand up for their rights? Why
women are harassed, hectored,
molested and raped every now and
then? Let us stand up for the cause
and learn to speak up and not suffer
silently. After all suffering is a bigger
crime than the actual crime itself.
Shanti Israni, Mumbai.
MEANINGFUL
ARTICLES
Thanks Woman's
Era for two articles
November I, namely,
Unique Decoration for
Diwali and Celebrate
Diwali Differently. As known, Diwali is
happiness. Happiness is not in the
mere possession of money, it lies in
Womans Era December (Second) 2013 115
the joy of achievement, in the thrill of
creative effort. The tips given to
celebrate and decorate are the fine
example of creativity. It has been
rightly said that creativity is inventing,
experimenting, growing, taking risks,
breaking rules, making mistakes, and
having fun.
Beena Mathur, Pune.
THE ALL
PERVASIVE BINDI
This refers to your
beautiful write-up The
Beautiful Bindi by
Sharada Iyer (WE:
November I). Bindi is
the cultural ornament of an Indian
woman worn on her forehead. It is
the dot that the Indian woman places
on her forehead as a mark of her
cultural and social status.
Today, bindi has become the mark
of fashion for every Indian woman
irrespective of religion or caste. Even
foreigners, other than Indian origins,
appreciate this Bindi and have begun
to apply it as a mark of beauty.
Nowadays, the bindi has become
primarily a decorative accessory and
is worn by even unmarried girls and
non-Hindu women. It is no longer
restricted in colour or shape, and
self-adhesive Bindis made from felt in
various designs and colours are
common. No doubt, Bindi styles often
vary by the area of India in which
they are worn.
Vinod C. Dixit, Ahmedabad.
NO CAN BE YES
BUT THE YES?
This article The art of
Saying No. (WE
October II, 2013)
provided for interesting
reading. Its important
however to realize that saying no is
distinctly advantageous but not as a
habit, for as a habit saying no can be
otherwise. Saying no tactfully relieves
one of immediate worries, tensions
and embarrassments and of future
difficulties for sure. Once I had come
across a quote as a thought for the
day reading, Forced to take a
W
hen I first became conscious, I was in a
very confused state of mind. I had a vague
remembrance that I was in a very nice
place and I was told that I had a journey
to make. Where, when, how I could not
recall. I could feel that I was floating on
some sort of a liquid. As I opened my eyes
cautiously, I could see that I was in some sort of a
dome-like structure filled with some liquid on which I
was floating. The place was almost dark, but I could
make out a whitish pipe like structure going from the
middle of my body. It joined the dome somewhere.
My ears picked up a strange sound coming from
somewhere in the direction of the top of my head.
Dup, dup, dup dup it went on continuously. I also
heard a faint reverberation of it through the dome
wall.
My world moved sometimes. I could know it from
the splashing of the fluid, as also from my body
bobbing up and down in it. Sometimes, for hours the
world stood still. At that time, I could relax for a long
time in a horizontal position.
Sometimes, I felt very bored. There was hardly
anything I could do in that cramped space. I
expectantly awaited further developments.
Many times I heard various sounds. Of course, I
could not make out anything who was making
them, from where they came, what they meant. Only
regarding one sound, I found a peculiarity. It came
from the direction of the top of my head. Also, it was
accompanied by a faint reverberation in the walls of
my dome. Sometimes, the sound
would break up into a beautiful
cadence, full of sweetness.
One day, when I opened my
eyes, I got a little panicky. The
walls of the dome appeared
closer. I was afraid that if it came
too close it may choke me. Then
my eyes happened to fall on my
body. I was surprised to see I had
grown bigger quite a lot during
this time. I realised that the dome
was not coming closer, but I was
growing bigger. I also found that
some sort of slimy paste was
covering my skin. From that day
onwards, I watched my size
carefully every day. I found I was
getting bigger every day at a tremendous rate.
It was a monotonous life. Except for hearing those
occasional voices and the dup, dup in the
background there was no activity. Of course, from
time to time, I exercised my hands and feet but there
was hardly much I could do within the cramped
space.
Sometimes in exasperation, I kicked the dome. It
did not hurt as it was made of a soft material. Then
a strange thing happened. I could feel a pressure
being applied from the other side, as if someone
was trying to reach out to me. A strange feeling of
assurance flooded inside me.
Then, one morning, I woke up in panic. The dome
was pressing in such a fashion that I was being
turned upside down. I tried to resist but I was
overcome. After a long struggle, I found I was
completely upside down.
T
here was a lull for a long time. Then suddenly
the dome started its contractions again. It was
trying to push me further down as also turn my
head. Suddenly I got a glimpse of a long dark
tunnel. At the end of the tunnel was a very bright
light. It was so bright that I had to close my eyes in
pain. Next moment, my head was in some sort of a
chamber. Then, for some time, there was silence
everywhere. I waited expectantly.
Again, the dome started to press and push me. It
was a panicky situation, but there was hardly
anything I could do. Then all of a sudden it
happened. I found myself completely
out of the dome.
I was in a huge bright space.
There were large women figures on
all sides looking at me. I was no
longer surrounded by a liquid, but a
strange thing which gently caressed
my skins. All of a sudden I cried and
that thing rushed into my body. I felt
a strange exhilaration. There was a
lot of confusing sounds from every
direction. I closed my eyes, half in
fatigue, and half in fear.
Then I heard the voice, the same
voice I had heard every day of my
existence. Though it sounded a bit
different now, I could still
recognise it.
...and life began. By Pradeep Kumar Basu Homecoming
Short Story
Womans Era November (Second) 2013
UNIQUE
DECORATIONS
FOR
DIWALI
Local perspectives. By Bimla
I
was talking to a friend who's
about to decorate her first home.
She asked me if there was
anything I wish I'd known when I
went to decorate my first place
that would have made me save
time, money and also somethin
unique. I said yes, there are
few things in my mind but ju
wait Diwali is just approachin
And it would be better to share tho
decoration ideas with the readers
Womans Era. So there are some
my friends in need and, of course
you, the readers.
There are many small
important things you can do to
the special atmosphere at
home. Its not just about having
costly furniture, the latest colou
such things. It's the little deco
details that will give your ho
fabulous festive look. The s
A
lot of us wish that the
person we are in conflict
with, or feel intimidated by,
would change. Then
everything would be all
right. We've all heard this
from a colleague, friend,
partner and even said it
ourselves: 'If only he'd
listen to me, then I wouldn't
be so frightened.' 'If only she'd stop
complaining about my work, I'd be
much happier.'
'If only' puts the onus on the other
person to change how and who they
are and makes them responsible for
how we feel. By using some of the
tools outlined above, people can get
a sense of being in charge of
situations, rather than being victims
to what other people want.
It does seem to be part of human
nature to blame others when things
go wrong in our lives, or when we're
feeling hard done by. If you take
away the 'if only' excuse you also
take away the need to blame and
make the other person wrong. It's
also rather wonderful to think that
rather than waiting for someone else
to change to make things all right, we
all have the ability to take charge of
most situations and make them all
right for ourselves.
What also makes it easier is that
we all just have to get better at 'the
art of saying no'; none of us has to
change our whole personalities to
create a more satisfying outcome!
N
O
THE ART OF SAYING
PART-II
Put a positive spin
on your life. By Swetha Sundar
decision, say no, for the not can be
changed to yes any time but not the
yes. Though read casually it had
some how remained in my
subconscious. Some years ago my
office colleague approached me and
said. You are standing the second
surety for my friend for his housing
loan of `seven lakh. As I was not
knowing my colleague's friend well, it
brought an instant numbness in my
entire body and I would not know how
to respond. But my subconscious
unknowingly for me came out with a
prompt reply and I said, No. My
colleague's friend bought the house
and even went to stay there. Less than
a couple of years later my colleague
came to me and exclaimed, How right
you were in saying No at that time! I
asked him the reason for such a late
reaction that too appreciating my
denial. He said his friend had availed
the loan and bought the house but was
no more when we were talking. He
had succumbed to stroke just few days
ago. Then I felt sorry, but the well-
timed no had spared me of later no
anxiety and worry. Crude though it
may sound but this indeed is a fact
coincidentally reminisced.
Ramesh N. Hasgekar, Mumbai.
A TRUE PICTURE
I was very
impressed with the
article Gone Are The
Days by Dr P. Durai,
October I. This is a
very true picture
shown to us by Dr P. Durai. Not only
G
one are the days when a
bindi had a religious
significance and was
considered an auspicious
part of the traditional
make-up of a married
Hindu woman. Today, this
simple dot on the forehead
has transformed itself into
a cool fashion accessory
and glamourous body-art and is fast
turning into a style statement not only
in India but in the West as well.
This visually attractive body
decoration provides the ideal way to
express ones persona and attributes.
When we think of MS Subbulakshmi,
Usha Uthup, Kirron Kher or Neena
Gupta, the one thing that comes to
our minds is their trademark bindis
which gave a unique touch to their
personalities.
Bindi adds life, colour and pizzazz
even to the most ordinary and
it Though the bindi
d
and salwaar-kameez, it has the
potential to break the Indian barrier
and turn into a global accessory as it
can look good with Victorian style
gowns made with wispy fabrics like
chiffons and georgettes, full skirts,
dresses and even jeans and T-shirts.
Even Hollywood icons Julia
Roberts, Miley Cyrus, Alecia Keys,
Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry and
Madonna have been seen sporting a
bindi on some occasions. After all,
its all about our attitudes, our
innovative fashion sense and how we
carry ourselves.
Variety galore: To match the
fashion needs of todays women,
bindis are offered in sizzling designs
which are the perfect combination of
tradition, culture, ethnicity and latest
style. They include exotic,
magnificent, eye-catching, multi-
coloured and non-piercing self-
adhesive, velvet bindi tattoos for all
occasions and requirements.
flooded with an
many categories which include the
simple bindi, fashion bindi, bridal
bindi, crystal bindi, designer bindi,
kumkum bindi, tikka bindi, liquid
bindi, glass bindi, glitter cross bindi,
round bindi, belly tattoo bindi, etc.
Fancy sticker bindis, stick-on body
jewels and designer sticker tattoos
are decorated with sequms, glass
beads, plastic beads or rhinestones
and sometimes dusted with gold and
silver powder to given an extra
dazzle.
In addition to bindis worn on the
forehead, the designer ones specially
crafted for body art are worn to
decorate, the hands, forearms, back,
waist and area around the naval. Nai
bindis too have become extremely
popular and are used in nail art to
enhance the look of the nails.
Significance: There are man
myths regarding the importance
red colour as well a position of t
bindi between the eyebrows. Othe
believe that red symbolises lo
S me scholars associate red col
Bindi
THE BEAUTIFUL
With its global appeal
the bindi is an important
fascinating form of body art.
By Sharada Iyer
W mans Era October (First) 2013
We
GONE ARE
THE DAYS
...When exams didnt sharpen students minds. By Dr P. Durai
G
one are the days when
children after giving their
annual exams in school,
without much mental or
physical strain, forget the
world around them for the
next two months. They
have the world of theirs.
Making a kite and flying it
gave them a pleasure
more than that of Wright brothers.
Spinning a top whirled their minds.
Inspecting a birds nest for eggs and
cooking it in the wild. Milking a stray
goat, hunting a squirrel, climbing a
tree for wild berries, playing native
games in the hot scorching sun,
swimming and diving in small ponds,
catching fish with a self-designed
fishing rod made the childs day then.
His mind was free and relaxed.
Parents werent engaged in writing
minutes for their childs
performances. The thoughts of the
child were natural and practical.He
was naturally acquiring the skills and
rapport to face the future.Nothing
was under compulsion and everthing
was a choice.Gone are the days
And today examinations have
become a nightmarish need for
several students. Thanks to the
attitude of parents, teachers and the
education system that prevails,
where the calibre of a student is
judged by the percentage he or she
obtains in an exam. Toiling with text
books for a full year is to get through
these exams in the end.
No parents like or rather allow
their kid to be free every vacation.
The day the school examinations are
over every child is virtually pushed
into some course, effective English
speaking and personality develop -
ment in 30 days, creative computer
courses. No parent is bothered about
the interest of the kid.
All they want is that their kids be
multitalented personalities, not reali -
sing that they are the sole reason for
blunting the childs inbuilt talents. At
the end of the course no parent
realises that the courses have
imparted nothing to their wards, and
ignorantly the same thing repeats
next year and the poor teacher seeing
the child next year says to herself, I
know what you did last summer.
WHAT KIDS DO
Todays kids settle with what they
see in Cartoon Network and Dis -
covery Channel and dont care to
realise how their counterparts in
yesteryear were. Indeed. its tough to
attract or rather distract the attention
of a kid who is almost drowned in his
video games. Todays children are
trained for just one thing, just like a
bull or a cock trained for a fight, a
gamblehow to score the highest
marks in examinations.
Unfortunately, the whole of our
educational system revolves around
examinations.
Examinations can test nothing
except the memorising capacity of
students. Sadly, schools have now
reduced their job to just teach their
students how to vomit memorised
material on to foolscap paper.
Examinations fail to trigger an
intertest in a subject. They fail to
deepen ones understanding and
comprehension and have been
unsuccessful in stretching the
imagination of a student.
When I was at school I was really
enthralled when I was taught about
various facts ranging from volcanic
eruptions under ice in the Hudson
Mountains to doldrums in the atlantic
oceans. About Alexanders invasion to
the Quit India Movement. From how
sulphuric acid determines the
economy of a country to the working of
a hand pump in our backyard. To read
about the Dead Sea made me live.
The read about fish in the back waters
made me think forward, but when the
same textbook was read during
examinations everything was tasting
bad. Not only for me but also for Albert
Einstien. Einstein confessess, "One
had to cram all this stuff into one's
mind for the examinations, whether
one liked it or not. This coercion had
such a deterring effect on me that,
after I had passed the final
examination, I found the consideration
of any scientific problem distasteful to
me for an entire year."
Its high time we reinvent or
remodel our educational system,
refined our ideas and make our kids
ready for the future, ready for life and
not merely make them ready for
exams.
Remember, Tagores golden
phrases
WHERE the mind is without fear
and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free... let my
country awake
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those days are gone, but also the
children, who are lost amidst the
heavy academic syllabus and
between those electronic gadgets like
Computer, I-pads, Mobile games.
Where are those age-old games
(both outdoor and indoor) Kunta
Bille aata, Hide and seek games,
ring a ring a roses, Kabbadi, Gilli-
Dhanda, Kho-Kho, Goli (marbles)
and indoor games like Snake and
ladder, Chauka-Bhara, Ludo,
Chess. Not often, we are lucky to
view a glimpse of a pair of boys
playing shuttle cock or girls skipping.
Very rare, we can watch a team of
boys playing cricket in certain
deserted roads or in a playground
and that too, only during vacations.
Nowadays, children find comfort
zone at home with their best buddies
I-pad games, mobiles games,
computer games. The heavy syllabus
has made children a book worm.
They seldom understand the concept
and adopt the method of memorising
for the exams and later forget. Again,
the process repeats and the children
should go overall again memorising a
new syllabus.
How will their mind open up for
new concepts or basic general know -
ledge? Do we really need only
stereotype children? The parents, the
school authorities should decide this
and should act upon to change the
system to bring back the good old
days.
Sachitha C. Dixit, Davangere.
THE EFFECT OF
POSITIVISM
This is with reference
to Power of Positive
Vibes by Ranjana
Choudhary, October Ist
issue. People these
days are under severe stress,
especially ladies, as they have to do
justice to both office and home.
Meditation, yoga, less talk and
creative thinking helps a person
develop positive attitude.
The best way to lead a peaceful
life is to ignore the harsh words and
indecent behaviour of the people
around and never to feel hurt and
distressed. It is not an easy task to
correct others and we can only
convince ourselves ,thinking that they
need a ' mature mind 'to understand
the feelings of others.
Positive vibrations have a healing
effect and help one keep body and
mind healthy in the days to come and
this positivism with have a drastic
effect on the people around, they are
associated with.
Preetha Rengaswamy,
Chennai.
ANIMALS IN
UNIFORM!
It is with a sense of
deep concern and
anger, I went through
your editorial, Sex in
the ranks (June II). While absolute
discipline and decorum are expected
from the armed forces, it is alarming to
learn of their overtures in the meanest
form not only towards their female
fellow soldiers but also civilian women.
While this is reported of the American
armed forces, news received from
other countries including our nation
that fellow women colleagues are
subjected to sex attacks is really
shocking. Time and again we hear
stories of senior army officers
demanding sexual favours from the
wives of their junior officers in order to
promote them or allow them to work in
peace. All this tend to demonstrate
that human beings are fast turning to
behave like beasts of the worst order.
Men have started looking at women
as nothing more than a sex object and
given the chance, they would go to
any extent to satiate their carnal
desires. Such a trend, particularly in
the ranks is a very dangerous one.
The government should come forward
to take severe action against erring
cadres in the ranks and nip this
menace in the bud.
Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai.
116 Womans Era December (Second) 2013
AS YOU SAY
E-3 Jhandewala Estate,
New Delhi-110055.
Womansera.com
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invites readers
opinions and
reactions on
articles, short stories
and features published
in Womans Era. The best
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Rs 500. Address your letters by
E-mail to: letters@womansera.com
or by post to:
WOMAN'S ERA
The prize is awarded to:
Sachitha C. Dixit, Davangere.
POWER OF
POSITIVE VIBES
Steps to overcome negativity.
By Ranjana choudhary
N
owadays life has become so
hectic and stress-prone that
we are becoming more and
more aggressive and are
practising intolerance. It
leaves us drained out and
fatigued. After all, negativity
affects our mind and body
first, then we spread
negative energy around us,
that in turn attracts more hostile
situations and thus we become
entrapped in a web of restlessness,
negativity, hostility and intolerance.
But there is always a hope
surrounding every gloom as every
cloud has a silver lining, as they say.
People, though slowly, are beginning
to understand the harmful impacts of
negative energy and they are willing
to find a way out of this mess, that
they themselves have created. They
want to attain nirvana in being
positive. You, readers, too must have
noticed that recently there is a
sudden increase in emphasis on
having a positive outlook and be at
peace.
There are many ways to be
followed to attain the true nature of
our inner self, that is, to be blissfully
at peace always. Our first step begins
from ourselves. We, mere mortals
can bring a revolution of peace and
harmony around the world, if we put
our little first step towards ourselves
only. We can change the world if we
have the guts to change ourselves.
Soon you would realise that if we
focus on staying correct in life,
against all odds, we do get rewards
of being true and fair. We often forget
the true nature of our inner being that
is to be at peace always, no matter
what. It is not impossible to reach
and hold the pure innocent essence
of our beings.
Here are a few little steps that if
you follow despite the given
situations negativity, at last you
would certainly emerge triumphantly.
Stay calm in adverse
conditions: We have become so
much negative by our own
negligence that we not only react to
the people around us but we tend to
reciprocate to the inanimate things
CHAMPIONING TRANSPARENCY
I
n the scorching summer of June political parties in
India are facing a new kind of heat wave. Central
Information Commission (CIC) has made it
mandatory for them to provide the public full
information regarding money they receive from various
sources, including donations, and how it is spent. The
decision, taken by the full bench of CIC, was totally
unexpected for these political parties which were
hitherto enjoying full immunity from any such provision.
It is but natural for them now that all these parties are
up in arms against the CIC directive. Though initially
only six parties namely the Congress, the BJP, NCP,
CPI, CPI(M) and BSP have been brought in the ambit
of RTI, it is certain sooner or later all other parties,
even regional parties will have to comply with RTI
provisions. That is why even JD(U), which is a regional
party, has joined the bandwagon of national parties in
opposing the move. But their action raises suspicion
over their motives. What is wrong with their accounts
that they want to hide from the public eyes?
CIC has sound reasons for its decision. A political
party is formed with registration with the Election
Commission. From the day of its formation, a party
becomes entitled to get many facilities from the
government, such as bungalow or plot of land to build
one at concession, rebate from income tax and free
publicity through public media.
Moreover, political parties make tall claims to work in
public interest. Above all, when voted to power, one
party or coalition forms the government thereby getting
direct access to all sources of public funding. Then
why should the people not have a right to know about
the income and expenses of political parties?
But this very idea is haunting our politicians who
wish to observe top secrecy related to their money
matters. Though it is mandatory for the parties to
disclose their accounts to the Election Commission
whenever elections are held, it is not a routine exercise
and parties present only some gross estimates and
avoid the finer details.
In fact political parties in India receive huge
donations but divide these donations into smaller
amounts since it is not required to disclose the names
of small donors.
In comparison, in foreign countries, there are
mostly bi-party systems. And although their RTI act
does not require political parties to disclose accounts,
they do it routinely in order to project a clean image
among the public. But the situation is altogether
different in India. Here political parties appear to be
serving society, yet they are being run like private
limited companies.
EDITORIAL
We
write to: letters@womansera.com
6
Womans Era June (Second) 2013
SEX IN RANKS
T
he worlds sole superpower America is currently
facing a bizarre problem. Or, we may say, the
problem already existed there but has taken
gigantic form in recent years. It is sexual assault in all the
three departments of the US armed forces. Initially it was
the female defence personnel who faced sexual
harassment at the hands of their colleagues and officers.
Now the uniform-clad soldiers are crossing the
boundaries of cantonments and targeting civilian women.
It has led to a public outcry. So much so that now
even the Senate has to intervene and take the matter into
its hands. Literally afraid of losing their authoritative
powers, top brass of the US armed forces have now
come out in public and apologise over the whole affairs.
Army general Martin Dempsey, chairman of Joint Chiefs
of Staff, publicly acknowledges that sexual assault in the
ranks is like a cancer that would destroy the force.
His admission has come at a time when, outraged by
recent high-profile cases and overwhelming statistics,
lawmakers have moved aggressively on legislation to
address the scourge of sexual assaults. They summoned
the military top brass to answer their questions at a
packed hearing. In fact, the US Congress has acted in
the past to ensure aggressive investigation and
prosecution of sexual assault. Now, it thinks more needs
to be done and is considering to introduce seven bills to
deal with sexual assault. One senator is even quoted as
saying, The problem of sexual assault is of such a scope
and magnitude that it has become a stain on the military.
But, while acknow ledging the problem and accepting that
legislation is inevitable, military leaders insist on retaining
their authority to handle sexual assault cases. They are
resisting broader changes to the militarys legal code
that would undercut the ability of commanders to
discipline the troops. They blame it all on recruits with
histories of sexual assault joining the army as no proper
screening mechanism exists. The result is ever-
increasing cases of sexual assault.
Like a year ago, football team members in Navy
sexually assaulted a female midshipman. But she was
outracised on campus after she reported it. In recent
weeks, a soldier at the US Military Academy was
charged with secretly photographing women, including
in the bathroom. And the Air Force officer who led the
services Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit
was arrested on charges of groping women. As of now,
the tussle between the Senate and military top brass is
going to intensify in the days to come. Whatever may be
the outcome, sexual assaults in the ranks will remain
rampant unless and until a proper check is imposed
either by the military or the civilian government.
117
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