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DECEMBER (SECOND) 2008 ● Rs 30

WOMAN ’S ERA

ABOUT
BRINKMANSHIP
WHEN YOUR
MARRIAGE IS
AT STAKE...
ARE
“TWEEN YEARS”
PRESSING?

DO DIAMONDS
HERALD GOOD TIMES?

CINEMA’S
SEXUAL INFLUENCE
ON COMMON WOMEN:
TRUE OR FALSE

EMOTIONAL EATING:
DECEMBER (SECOND) 2008

A RUINOUS PATH
DECEMBER (SECOND) 2008
Vol 35, Issue No. 841
CONTENTS
BUILDS HAPPY HOMES
Founder: Vishwa Nath
(1917-2002)
womansera.com

60

6
GOING BACK TO A 12
ART WITH A TOUCH
OF TRADITION
Our Correspondent
SOUR RELATIONSHIP ARE CHILDREN GROWING
IS IT POSSIBLE UP TOO FAST?
Namita Kohli Lesley D. Biswas

ARTICLES
18 A UNIQUE AQUA DISPLAY MARRIED WOMAN
OF ORNAMENTAL FISHES SEXUALITY & INDIAN
R. S. Prakash
CINEMA
Shoma A. Chatterji
40 THE HEART OF
INDIA – CHHATTISGARH
Jyoti Galada
76 PRITY BHUTANI

20
Anil Merani
84 SHINEY AHUJA
A. Merani WINTER CARE FOR
86 WITH NATURE AT HOME WORKING WOMEN
Dr Anuradha Prasad Suman Bajpai

92 THE BEAUTY OF COMBATING 80


FOCUS EMOTIONAL EATING BOMBAY
Puja Sharma FILMDOM
Bhavna Keswani
96 TRANSIT JOURNEY
THROUGH ART ...I
TRAVEL ALONG THE
FLOW...
COOKERY
50 LIP – SMACKING CAKES AND DESSERTS
32
Puja Sharma

YOGA AND ● Strawberry Cake


DIAMONDS & THE
s till the

DIAMONDS & THE


this procesblende d to
Repea t

Berry Upside Down


are well


paste.
ingredi ents and fluffy

PREGNANCY
obtain a
smooth add the
mixing bowl r. Into
In a large baking powde

ACKING
maida and the wet
mix in time.
this slowlypaste a little at a

SINGLE WOMAN
WOMAN
time
ingredients stirring all the

SINGLE Cake LIP-SM


Mix and
add the wet
the dry and this
so that both together. Into
TS blend erry sauce.
D DESSER
mixture
the strawb bake in a
also add

Dr Amrinder Bajaj CAKES AN


tin and O
for ring cake of the dish.
a cake 180 C and cereal the bottom over
Grease oven at a Caramel berries on mixture
prehea ted minute s or until the cake ted
Now pour Bake in a prehea

Ameeta Sharma
Sharma Caramel and Cereal
about 35 needle comes gm of sugar


. s at 180

Ameeta
or knitting d in the 150 the berries
skewer 30-35 minute one
when inserte to cool 3 eggs essence oven for if you are using
out clean cake of vanilla C the whole
. Allow the a serving 3 drops powder degree dish for
centre Invert onto of baking
erry 11/ 2 tsp rry or replace single baking.
completely. d the strawb of of cranbe ‘bere’ 15-20
top 200 gm berries – cake mixture need only
plate. Sprea over the with Indian will
mean e lavishly over these You are using smaller
Cakes often it to flow

Ring Cake
preserv you
and allow cake D baking minutes if till golden
brown
the cake jujube or for METHO r the maida, ers. Bake
and Top with in a needle
a lot of icing the sides. Keep in the fridge Sift togethe
r. Grind the sugar the contain or until a knitting
and on top when pierced
in
es decorations. s and serve. powde add the
eggs d. comes out clean to cool in the
thus extra calori 15-20 minute mixer and beat till well blende
butter and in the liquid mixture the
centre.
Allow
tip of a
knife
. This With the
to worry about the
a plate
Slowly mix ients and oven. and place
IDE dried ingred mixture. loosen the sides and turn upside

● Sweet Potato Scones Christmas try BERRY UPS


into the

FICTION
form a smooth or over the cake
rts CAKE blend to individual
cake tins

cakes and desse DOWN


dish. down.
Take small round baking the
take a normaldish and spread
where have EL AND
S:
we INGREDIENT – flour Grease
the

CARAM RING
of maida down cake
250 gm
avoided using
d butter Berry upside
of unsalte

Minced Meat and


175 gm

● cream and icing CEREAL


and used fresh CAKE S:
INGREDIENT
fruits and 250 gm
of maida
– flour
oil
d. of oil – soya

Cornmeal Muffins
instea 175 gm
preserves Ghosh 150 gm
of sugar
of dahi
By Roma 150 gm essence
of almond
3 drops powder
of baking r
11/ 2 tsp on powde
rry cake tion: 1/ tsp of cinnam
Strawbe decora
For the ade 2
tion:
of readym

Pineapple and Apricot


RY decora

● STRAWBER
2-3 cups preserve For the caramel
syrup
strawberry tions 1/ a cup of of
cake decora any flavour
cereal –
2
jujube or
CAKE S:
1 cup of
D and cornflakes
METHO er the maida in
INGREDIENT Sift togeth . Grind the sugar
of maida dahi
275 gm baking powderthe oil and the
2008
(Second)

Cake
of sugar Add and blend December
200 gm a mixer. Era ●

88 RING FINGER
Woman’s

26 THE REBORN
of thick curd oil red sugar
175 gm to the powde mixer for 1 minute
of oil – soya the
175 gm powder well. Run mixer a
pause.
11/ 2 tsp
of baking give the
to use and then
1/ cup of ready
2 sauce
strawberry 2008
(Second)

● Layered Walnut and


Era ● December
Woman’s

DAUGHTER RANGARAJAN Chocolate Cake ● Saffron and Black


Lakshmi Menon R. Mohan ● Rich Fruit Cake Pepper Loaf
● Wheat and Jaggery ● Caramel Topped
46 COMMANDER GENERAL A CHICKENPOX SAGA Cake Chocolate Pudding
Sniggdha Jauhari Doris Minezes ● Chocolate and Cashew ● Triple Layered Dessert
Mousse with Praline
● Glazed Apple Spice Loaf ● Strawberry Pudding
FASHION 38
NEWS IN PICTURES

136
65 IS YOUR MARRIAGE PSYCHOLOGICAL
WORTH SAVING? (QUIZ) TREATMENT OF
DISORDERS
85 THE INCIDENT Gayatri T. Rao
I CANNOT FORGET
132 CROSSWORD 30
MOMENTS
139 BABY CLUB OF HAPPINESS
Poem
146 AS YOU SAY

FEATURES
44 TEENACHE 131 MY FAMILY,
MY FRIENDS AND ME...
49 BEAUTY QUERIES
140 CLASSIFIEDS
63 PERSONAL
PROBLEMS
READERS’
90 A FATHER
AND CHILD (Poem)
CONTESTS
FILL UP THE Page
132
91 YOUR BODY CROSSWORD

68 78 95 NEW LAUNCHES
AND WIN RS 15,000
EVERY FORTNIGHT
ENIGMATIC ENCHANTMENT LITTLE WONDER (Toddler trends)

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EDITORIAL
WHAT’S NEXT? Funding the terror attacks
All the land allotment deals have a 1:2 ratio of actual

M
umbai carnage is an event, which will rival money to the money which the politicians demand. All
many other terror strikes in days to come. It the leaders with names starting with ‘Ms’ and ‘As’ in the
is one which will remain etched in our hearts Northern India have pools of associates who collect
since it happened over 60 hours and people did not money for land allotments. Then this is given for further
read it in the morning newspapers. Besides 10 people investments to bodies who can either offer maximum
fought a country’s army, its commandos, public returns or maximum valuation. The latter is only in the
sentiment and created war right in the middle of their form of land, prostitution, drugs and terrorism. So the
living rooms. And we could do nothing about it. criminal elements in the political circles speak with the
Modus operandi larger criminals to fund a part of investment. A part of
It’s simple. Get enthusiastic youth who want a this is taken to actual criminal activities. And ultimately
lifestyle. Give it to them, topped with dreams. Their there are very few people, called DONs, who carry out
family will not mind losing a child in exchange for all the crime in the world. So it’s the general public and
money. There is far too much poverty in the world. wealth owners who have funded terrorists in paying
These street-smart boys have been well exposed to small change to the politicians and larger bucks to the
plethora of new technology, hence they are larger politicians.
a quick start. Satellite phones, GPS and Can we stop bribing the politicians
navigation systems are common knowledge for land allotments? The recession may
to any 14-year-old tech-savvy student of have halted the process for a while, but
the world. Why are we making bones about when the economy bounces back, all
it? What we really need to understand and the industrialists will queue up outside
find out is whether they can also enrich the doors of the politicians, asking them
nuclear fissionable material to make Dirty to take the bribe and put their little
Bombs, akin to nuclear bombs, which may birdie on the paper of allotment.
wipe out 15-20,000 people in a metro like Suddenly the sullen faces of the
Delhi? Lots of American movies have former FM is absent from the much
shown it and the technology is quite simple. recession tacking. It’s all gone up in thin
Is war an option? air and no one is talking about the stock
Yes, WAR is an option but striking market. In a way it’s good that people
Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, etc. could realise that there is something more
escalate things to a nuclear war levels. Also, there is important than money – human life. All those who have
nothing much in these cities to strike. They are not built not lost someone precious cannot value human life.
like New Delhi or Mumbai hence we do not even once This was a time when a sudden tragedy struck their
have noticed their skylines. The bombs will be killing houses.
innocent people, who in any case feel threatened by How much does it really cost?
their own. But striking military camps by the US and In one perspective we need to look at the cost of
Israelis will be much better for India. This could avoid a curbing terrorism to the cost of managing the aftermath
nuclear-weapon use, which Pakistan will happily use if of terrorism. When most of the people who are engaged
India strikes. in defending politicians and even the defenders are
Congress to benefit gratified with lots of presents who really cares about
In case the Congress cannot get the mandate in the defending the people. One would rather have a cosy
recent elections, they will try to divert attention by corner to sit and a gym to work out than to be in the real
invoking some action against Pakistan. Is it really field. By any stretch of imagination, both the WTC
necessary? With the state polls fetching crowds in attacks and Mumbai Carnage are examples of great
record numbers, it looks for sure that the government planning, military execution and brave soldiery. If the
will change. Will the Congress act then, to tell the terrorists have reached this level of competence the
Indian public that they have acted against Mumbai countries of the world will have to do something very
carnage, just before the general elections? Let’s wait quickly. If a team of 15 can take down the World Trade
and watch. In case the NDA uses this as a platform to towers and a team of 10 hold the entire world to
win elections by acting to appease the Indian public, we ransom, we have to sit and think as to where we went
would have reached the very bottom of ethics (if any) in wrong in assessment.
politics of the largest democracy on the planet. write to: letters@womansera.com We

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 5


ove, respect and trust lay the

L
foundation of a relationship,
and when any of these is
shaken, it leaves life in pieces
of pain and disappointment.
To break up isn’t as easy as it
sounds, because when you
decide to call it quits there is
so much at stake that was
once so special to the two of
you. There are dreams of the future
and memories of the past; there are
the time, energy and emotions of
years, there are smiles and tears. All
this goes in vain and lose their
meaning. Life suddenly seems to get
entangled in a feeling that is hollow
and dead.

GOING BACK TO A
SOUR

?
RELATIONSHIP
IS IT POSSIBLE
Coming together when
they’ve broken up is a big
question facing many
ex-lovers. Maybe they can find
clues to the answer here.
By Namita Kohli
But what if there is an instinct, a that, you need to get a new mirror.”
gut feeling, that forces you to get ● Some people also have very
TIME IS ONE
back to the same person despite all neutral opinions who feel that trust OF THE
the ifs and buts. What if, despite all
odds, you are keen to forget and
can be rebuilt but not completely. It
won’t be the same virginal trust. The
PRIMARY
forgive. Is it really possible to revive a lines of damage may get lighter with FACTORS
broken relationship? Will the
relationship be the same again? Will
time but they will always stay. If the
relationship is too precious for you to
RESPONSIBLE
you be able to build the same let go, then it may be worth taking FOR BRINGING
untrammelled trust? The simple
answer is: “It’s easier said than
another chance.
As the famous saying goes,
IN ANY KIND
done.” “Change is the only constant.” You OF A CHANGE
Many say that no one ever died of can love it, you can hate it, but you IN TWO
a broken heart but when you are can’t ignore it. So you must be
suffering from one, it sure doesn’t prepared to expect a lot of changes PERSONS.
feel that way. Before you decide to when you go back to an old
nurse your ailing heart by going back relationship. If time as a factor is
to your beloved, it’s imperative to predominant between the period you leave their imprints. So it’s always
analyse the reasons for the tiff. It may broke up and you decide to patch up, better to discuss certain things over
be a breach of trust, mismatch of then this change will be further beforehand and clarify all the
future dreams, clash of personality highlighted. Time, argument and arguments and issues, else you may
traits, unreasonably over-possessive analysis that follow a broken have to bear similar consequences
behaviour or complete neglect, or in relationship are all bound to impact as earlier.
many cases, due to societal pressure the intensity and nature of a ● People: Once away from your
of not sticking to the rules of society relationship. so-called soul mate, you would
in terms of religion, status and family ● Time: Time is one of the definitely come across a lot of new
opposition. And the most difficult to primary factors responsible for people, you will make new friends.
deal with is, when you lose trust, it’s bringing in any kind of a change in And all this will in any way influence
like swinging off the holding brick of a two persons. Time would definitely your ways of life to some extent. You
building. Is it really possible to restore change you as well as your partner. may have some problem
trust? Well, answers differ 180 So, when you decide to get back, be accommodating your new
degrees for this dilemma. prepared to find certain changes in acquaintances as well as pals with
● Smita Sharma, 22-year-old your partner’s personality and your mate.
college student, believes, “We must perception about life. ● Dreams and priorities: During
leave room for human error because ● Argument: You might have said the time you two were not together,
no one is perfect. If your instinct tells things in bouts of anger while you circumstances may have changed
you to give another chance to your broke up without really meaning your future dreams as well as how
beloved, then you must go for it. them, but rude remarks are bound to you prioritise things. Initially, you may
But make sure to set your rules feel uncomfortable being with this
for the future.” changed person whom you may have
● On the other hand, once loved for the way he or she
a less forgiving and a more was.
experienced Laura ● Analysis: When a relationship
Kapoor (45) feels, breaks, sooner or later everyone tries
“Once trust is broken, to analyse the whole situation that
it’s broken forever. Your led to the break-up. This analysis
relationship won’t ever be may bring forth a lot of hidden facets
the same again even if you of your own and your partner’s
try to rebuild it. It’s like once personality traits. It’s not easy to
a crack appears on the Reviving cope with such revelations, especially
trust to level
mirror, you can’t get the when the two of you have been
up to a
original perfection back. For normal together for quite long.
relationship. Once you are mentally and
emotionally ready to accept all such
changes and some other unexpected
ones, the next step is to cope with
them. The only way to do so is bring
to the forefront the driving emotion
and the prime reason for your coming
ACCEPT YOUR back to this person: LOVE – because
you still value and celebrate life each
moment.
RESPECTIVE only love can give you the strength to ● Make your soul mate feel

MISTAKES AND make the relationship as beautiful as


earlier. And this has to come from
special. Give him/her surprises that
make him/her happy.
APOLOGISE both sides. When loving someone In life there are times when you
BECAUSE with a strong passion and will is your
prerogative, only then that it’s
are at crossroads. There are times
when your heart contradicts your
APOLOGISING possible to overlook the odds. head. Heart is always weaker than
DOESN’T ALWAYS Even after all this, it won’t really
be that easy a task. It’s similar to a
the head when emotions make a
cloudy picture of life. As a mature
MEAN THAT YOU natural calamity. And time is a great individual you must know how to
ARE WRONG AND factor. Say, if you have been around balance the decisions of head and
for 4 years, probably now it will take a the heart. When there are multiple
THE OTHER longer time to get the charm of the reasons for staying away from a
PERSON IS RIGHT, relationship, it’s better to finish
it forever. When breach of
NEITHER DOES IT trust is accompanied by an
MAKE YOU SMALL. uncertain future of the
relation, when clash of
IT ONLY MEANS interest and dreams is
THAT YOU accompanied by parental
disagreement, when over-
VALUE THE possessiveness takes the
“RELATIONSHIP” form of a diseased state, in
such circumstance, it’s better
AND EACH OTHER to bear the brunt of a broken
MUCH MORE THAN heart rather than compromise.
A relationship has a
“ONE-UPMANSHIP.” strange similarity with the
share market; you invest in
original back. But you have to keep both with a positive hope to reap
Analyse what working towards it. Still, love and fruits of happiness and security for a
went wrong respect have to come instantly and lifetime. But, both at times can turn
before starting rest will follow. life into a complex stigma of
afresh.
Steps towards starting afresh with confusion, uncertainty and loss. It’s
the same person: just that in one there is loss of
● Clarify all misunderstandings. emotions and in the other it’s
Put the past behind before looking at money. Both of which are integral for
the future. survival.
● Accept your respective
mistakes and apologise because To go back to a sour relation or to
apologising doesn’t always mean that shun your one-time lover is
you are wrong and the other person completely your call. It’s for you to
is right, neither does it make you decide which road to take. But in all
small. It only means that you value circumstance one thing is sure that it
the “relationship” and each other will take time for a relation to prosper
much more than “one-upmanship.” and get its original sheen back and to
● Put behind the memories that build that untrammelled trust. If you
have been poisoned by bad times. have enough patience and love for
Try and make new memories. that someone special, then go and
● Change of environment works embrace your beloved before it gets
wonders for the human spirit. So go too late.
out for a vacation. For others, if you are not sure,
● Go for dates. It’s like starting then just ask yourself one question:
all over again but it will definitely do you really want to look back on a
bring freshness in your relationship. life of unfulfilling and a half-trustful
● Try to relive good times that relationship? We
ARE CHILDREN
GROWING UP
TOO FAST?
The “tween years” are causing
pressure on parents and need urgent
attention. By Lesley D. Biswas

oes your child behave like alcohol and sleepovers at their

D
an adult? Find out why. At girlfriends/ boyfriends’ house, parents
the age of 11, tweens are are experiencing undue pressure to
no longer children. allow them these freedoms that belie
According to a study their age.
reported by researchers for Today’s children are growing up
the Random House way too fast. Popularly known as
publishers, girls in particular ‘“tweens” – children midway between
are dying their hair and childhood and adolescence (8-12
wearing fashionable years of age) – they are learning
dresses rather than playing with more and more to behave like adults.
dolls. As children enjoy drinking But the tweening of these children is
Teen magazines that target girls like
Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, J-14 etc,
emphasise fashion, clothes, sex,
make-up, celebrities, being hot and
finding a boyfriend.

more than just a matter of fashion book Growing up too Fast, she talks
trends and the desire for about how these magazines
sophisticated gadgets! Tweens are influence young girls to give up dolls
demonstrating almost all the and lose their innocence. Following
behavioural traits parents would is an excerpt from her book:
expect from teenagers. “Teen magazines that target girls
like Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, J-14 etc,
Misleading behaviour of emphasise fashion, clothes, sex,
tweens: These children’s deviant make-up, celebrities, being hot and
behaviour is making it hard to finding a boyfriend. Most of the
comprehend for their parents and
guiding these no-longer-little children
is becoming a whole new
predicament. The meltdown of family
culture and the disintegration of a
secure environment where children photographs are of stars in sexy
grew under the reassuring vigil of poses and the advertisements show
elders has left children bereft of models in flirtatious and suggestive
proper guidance. There is so much stances. Most teen magazines
of uncensored time on their hands perpetuate the idea that appearance,
during which they occupy themselves sexual allure and having a boyfriend
with magazines, the Internet and are what’s most important for girls.”
television. It is also evident that
where family bonding ends, the Handling the over-informed
power of outside influences like peers child: Recently in a horrifying report
and media invariably creeps in. published by The Times of India,
According to Dr Sylvia Rimm PhD, 5-graders in rural north Louisiana,
a noted child psychologist and a New Orleans, between the ages of
professor at the Case School of 11 and 13 years had been arrested
Medicine in Cleveland, reading for having sex in an unsupervised
material like teen magazines classroom. What do you expect
adversely affect tweens parents to tell their 8-year-old kids
who also have an about sex? Young children are ‘over-
access to them. In her informed’, and parents have to deal
THESE
CHILDREN’S
DEVIANT
BEHAVIOUR IS
MAKING IT
HARD TO
COMPREHEND
FOR THEIR
PARENTS AND
GUIDING
with trivia that was supposed to be therapist. She suggests a way to find
THESE NO- at the dawn of adolescence. Most out if your child is growing up too
LONGER-LITTLE tweens get their information from early. Ask yourself these questions:
media, peers, magazines and the ● Does your child show an
CHILDREN IS Internet – the onus being largely on interest in wearing clothes that are
BECOMING A ‘lack of supervision’ for unsolicited designed for older children?
facts that could be dangerous. ● Is your child overconfident; is
WHOLE NEW Another source is their inquisitive he/she losing the ‘childish’ sense of
PREDICAMENT. minds. Since it is futile to sit a tween wonder about the world?
down and discuss sex, you must ● Is your child often complaining
answer their queries with of boredom?
understanding and without showing ● Is the music and games your
that this is absurd or perverse. The child enjoys, for children beyond
next best thing a parent can do is to his/her age group?
track down the source from where Children who do not get excited
the child receives it. Unabated and with toys and games that ought to
strict vigil whatever your entertain their age-group and imitate
predominance, is the only visible elder children in dress sense and
solution at hand. gestures, are rushing their childhood.
What parents should do is supervise
Protect their innocence: their shopping for clothes,
“Childhood is a precious time and it is accessories and games and not allow
really much too short; keep your them to decide their wardrobes.
children innocent and protect their There is no reason at all to allow your
childhood,” says Kimberly M. 8-year-old girl to wear thong panties
Chastain, MS, LMFT, and or your 10-year-old to wear belly-
professional life coach and family showing shirts and low-waist jeans.
CHILDREN
WHO DO NOT
GET EXCITED
WITH TOYS
AND GAMES
THAT OUGHT
TO ENTERTAIN
THEIR AGE-
GROUP AND
IMITATE ELDER
Dressing up your child also indicates prepared to work towards a solution.
the attitude you have towards making Follow these simple guidelines and
CHILDREN IN
your child grow up fast. save your child’s innocence and DRESS SENSE
So do not be afraid to say no to childhood:
clothes that you do not find ● Watch television programmes
AND
appropriate for your child and explain and movies with them to see what GESTURES, ARE
why you are displeased with the they are learning from them.
outfit. ● Set their time for the Internet
RUSHING THEIR
when you are around and can assess CHILDHOOD.
Are their demands legitimate? the content they are browsing.
One of the most frequently asked ● If you think gaming is safe, be
questions by today’s confused informed that there are many games
parents is: “What is the right age for on the Net that are sexually oriented
children to have a cellphone?” How and erotic. Keep a strict vigil and dis-
do you know what is the right time allow any game you do not find fit for
when your child’s friends are sporting your child.
fancy cell- phones and your children ● Talk to teachers and school
demand one for themselves. counsellors because they spend
Jeanette Gardner Littleton wrote in hours with your child and will be the
an article – on All in due time: Is your correct source to inform you about
child growing up too fast? – that any problem your child faces.
before allowing children certain ● Get to know who are the
privileges and providing them with children your child mixes with and
things, ask yourself, “What is the meet their parents to understand their
reason your child needs a cellphone? perspectives on parenting.
Is your child ready for the ● Listen to your child’s music.
responsibility and can your child use Music is an expression of your child’s
it and handle it safely? If a cellphone likes and take on life. Do the lyrics
allows you access to your child’s speak of sex and boyfriends/
activities and whereabouts, it’s a girlfriends?
valid option. But if used as a status ● Is your child over-conscious of
symbol or to look trendy and cool, his or her self-image like wanting to
you have a reason to put your foot diet to look alluring? Instead, if your
down.” child is overweight, encourage a
healthy diet with regular exercise.
How to understand your child’s Nicole Rocheleau, the author of
attitude? children’s book, Ollie Ollie in Come
Although this might portray a Free, says, “Kids are growing up too
rather grim picture of the young fast and are forgetting to be kids.”
children of today’s world, parents She believes that books that talk of
have a big hand in averting this positive messages will help children
situation if they are conscious combat peer pressure to behave like
enough of their child’s behaviour and grown-ups. We

16 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


A UNIQUE
AQUA DISPLAY OF
Ornamental
fish on show in ORNAMENTAL
Chennai.
By R. S. Prakash

he Chennai Aqua Show


FISHES basically a non-profit organisation graduated into a fascinating hobby

T
2008 was indeed a unique constituted with a commitment to these days with worldwide interest.
event of its kind, that too at achieving newer heights in the Aquaria offer pure viewing pleasure,
the national level. Organised ornamental fish trade and also to relieve stress and have a soothing
by the Chennai Aquarium developing the breeding techniques, effect on the mind. Ornamental fish
Development and Traders display systems and accessories. It are categorised on the basis of their
Association, the spectacular also works at the aspect of providing attractive colours, peaceful nature
event stood out as a much-needed support to the entre- and tiny sizes. These fish which
landmark event in the preneurs in the state as well as those enable one to dispel solitude also
ornamental fisheries market from other parts of the country to reflect their adaptability to living
aimed at encouraging hobbyist increase their activities pertaining to within the framework of confined
breeders and entrepreneurs. the ornamental fish trade. spaces. At the global level, the trade
The growing interest in orna - Over 500 varieties of ornamental in ornamental fish has been growing
mental fish-keeping has resulted in a fish were on display and it was very steadily over the years and more and
steady growth in the ornamental fish appropriate that it was held at more entrepreneurs are becoming
trade as well as breeding techniques, Chennai, which has the highest interested in the business.
display systems and accessories. number of fish farms and aquariums The present trend of the
The Chennai Aqua Show provided in the country. ornamental fish market inside the
the platform to the growing Indian The profile of the exhibits was country is a very promising one. The
ornamental fish market in the country wide and vast covering a plethora of present supply could not suffice to
facilitating an exchange of views and various ornamental fishes from both meet the heavy demand. The
information amidst those who are marine and fresh water, plus demand for good-quality tropical fish
interested in this specialised field. aquarium plants, aquaria and far exceeds the supply.
As Chennai happens to be the furnitures, wall-mountings, illumin - Needless to say, this aqua show
hub of the ornamental fish industry, it ations, water treatment equipment, attracted thousands of visitors from
had rightly been chosen as the venue fish foods, health and treatment many places which bears testimony
for the show. products, medicines, drugs, chemi- to the fact that this is one of
The Chennai Aquarium Develop- cals, etc. the fastest growing hobbies of the
ment and Traders Association is Ornamental fish-keeping has times! We

18 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


WINTER
CARE WORKINGFOR
WOMEN
How to look
warm in cold weather.
By Suman Bajpai

ry skin, chapped lips,

D
unmanageable hair; these
are just some of the signs
that winter has arrived.
Maintaining a glowing and
healthy skin during winter
may be a challenging task
for everyone. As the
intensity of the sun’s rays
decreases during winter,
most women stop using moisturising
creams and applying sunscreen.
They feel that during winter there
is no fear of sunburn as most of our
body is covered by the winter clothes.
But our skin is still exposed to
harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun
during winter, and an equal degree
of care is needed to keep our skin
healthy and glowing.
During winter, the skin tends to be soft, moist look. Application of
dry, itchy and scaly. Dry skin is sunscreen before stepping out of the
always prone to be more tanned and home is a must. If possible, take an
turns darker. Therefore, extra care is oil massage once or twice a week
needed during winter. Busy working before your bath for softer, hydrated
women no longer have the time to skin.”
pamper themselves at home with Cleansing the skin with deep pore
home-made products, and end up cleansing milk is necessary since you
spending a lot of money at a beauty do not sweat too much in winter.
parlour. Probably, all they will indulge Sweat is a natural cleanser. In its
in is an application of a night cream absence, the pores clog. Even raw
at night during the dry winter months. milk mixed with besan (gram flour)
However, with a little change in can be used to clean the face. Avoid
your skin-care regime, you can fight gel cleansers as they may leave the
winter woes and sail through the skin dry.
season in style. Exfoliation is important during the
A natural way of keeping your skin winter months because the cell
healthy during winter is to take cooler turnover slows down leaving the skin
showers. Though taking cooler dull and lifeless. Exfoliation removes
showers during winter may not attract dead skin cells and brings healthy,
you, they result in protecting your young cells to the surface. This
skin from the cold weather brightens skin tone. Make one with a DURING WINTER,
conditions. Take short and warm teaspoon of sooji mixed in double the THE SKIN TENDS TO
showers since long, hot showers quantity of chickpea flour and made
remove natural oils from your skin. into a paste with yoghurt. You can BE DRY, ITCHY AND
Spend no more than 10 minutes in scrub your face with this paste. SCALY. DRY SKIN IS
the shower, and the water “The pre-bath warm oil massage,
temperature should be below 90 preferably almond oil, is compulsory ALWAYS PRONE TO
degrees. in winter,” says Dr Ram Nath, “The BE MORE TANNED
massage not only ensures silky
smooth skin, it also tones up the AND TURNS DARKER,
USE MILD CREAMS muscles, soothes the nerves and THEREFORE, EXTRA
Use mild skin-care products that aids blood circulation. Pat excess oil
contain no alcohol and are suitable off with a damp towel before you step CARE IS NEEDED
for sensitive skin like creams, into the bath or shower.” DURING WINTER.
ointments and lotions. Do not use A gentle oil massage with warm
deodorants or antibacterial soaps. oil once or twice a
Also, avoid using soaps or shampoos week is the best
with skin irritants like fragrances. way to keep your
Avoid soaps and use body washes, skin soft and
shower gels and face washes. supple. Avocado
Make sure you refrain from using oil is great for
strong products such as extra- winter months.
scented soaps and products with Olive oil is also a
high chemical content. In the winter must-have
morning, wash your skin with a mild because of its
moisturising face wash; use a emollient proper -
sunscreen with an SPF of 30-50. You ties. Put a few
should use a good quality moisturiser drops on your palm
during the winter so that your skin and massage onto
keeps glowing and doesn’t look dry. your scalp to get
Dr Renu Nath, VP, R&D, VLCC, relief from dryness.
suggests, “Apply a rich body lotion or Add a few drops to
cream over your whole body your bath water to
immediately after the shower to seal counter itchy skin.
in the moisture. A moisturiser Due to cold
increases the water content of the weather conditions
outer layers of the skin and gives it a during winter a

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 21


essence of essential oils. For subtle
make-up, one can use sheer layer of
creamy blushers.
During winters, smoky eyes look
very beautiful and better than other
eye make-up. One can use coffee
and cinnamon shades for eye
shadows for getting sultry effect. Use
black mascaras after using an
eyeliner. You can also use water -
proof mascaras in dark brown
shades. In winter, always use tinted
lip balms in blackberry, red currant
tones and blackberry. Do not forget
decrease in water intake per day is to apply waterproof moisturisers
normal but the reduced amount of behind your ears. Use of night cream
water during winter makes our skin will be heavy during the winter
look dull. Stay hydrated. Drinking at season.
least eight glasses of water a day
benefits your overall health and
hydrates your skin from within. Apply olive oil to your face and
Use a soft conditioner and sunscreen and ingredients like wash off after some time.
shampoo – one without harsh vitamin E that neutralises free Mix equal amount of rose water
colours, chemicals and scents for radicals. Since there are no oil glands and glycerin and add a dash of
your hair. Anti-dandruff shampoos under the eyes, the skin wrinkles fast. lemon juice to it. Apply on your dry
can be harsh and they tend to make face and wash off after half an hour.
the scalp scaly; so skip those Mix equal amount of olive,
completely. Use leave-in conditioners WINTER MAKE-UP mustard and sesame oil and apply
or hair serums regularly to keep your For winter, regular skin-care and on your skin to get rid of winter
tresses smooth and supple. cosmetics products are necessary for dryness and to keep your skin
Protect the area around your eyes a heavy make-over. In the winter smooth and supple.
with an eye cream that contains season, everybody wants to polish Apply the pulp of fresh aloe vera
themselves properly and look very to your skin.
glamorous. One can use smoky To keep your feet soft and
shades for eye make-up, matte supple, remove dead skin regularly
understated shades like chocolate, with a foot file after a bath, when
coffee and for lips use berry tones the skin is soft. Wash your feet in
during winter make-up. warm water with a gentle soap
If one is using nude shades, a little before going to bed and pat-dry.
sheen can be used on eyes for Apply products especially form -
getting some change. Use a matt- ulated for your feet, or just rub
based foundation during the some cold cream, moisturiser or
winter. For getting fragrance, olive oil. Wear a pair of socks to
one can use spices, any help your skin absorb the cream
natural aromas and the completely.
Chapped lips are perhaps
the biggest downside of winter.
The lips lack oil-producing
glands. In the absence of
moisture in the air, lips dry up
and crack. Licking your lips
never helps. Crush rose petals,
mix with some butter and apply
on chapped lips at bedtime.
Avoid applying lipstick on
chapped lips as they dry
more. We
The Reborn Daughter
With hard work and dedication the inexperienced Mini won more than
she could dream of. By Lakshmi Menon

W
ith trembling fingers Mini typed out her appreciation and confidence in no time. The director
letter and signed it after a lot of hesitancy. was so pleased with her work that a single day’s
She had enjoyed her work, friendly absence on Mini’s part caused him great concern.
colleagues and the affectionate boss. “This She did her duties as though she could read
is my first and last job,” thought Mini Mehtaji’s mind. Mini was always attentive and
painfully as she entered the director’s room conscientious in her work as well as the different
with the resignation letter. moods of her boss. It helped Mehtaji avoid many of
Jagadish Mehta was as usual busy with his work. his tensions and the unnecessary bad temper thrown
He motioned her to sit for a while. After reading the at his employees. Mehtaji had never seen a
last letter and affixing his signature, Mehtaji looked secretary as efficient as Mini, in all his 50 years of
at Mini with a smile, ready to attend to her. life. Sitting on his rolling executive chair, Jagadish
Mini handed over her resignation after a final Mehta realised with pain that Mini had become so
look, along with the wedding invitation card. indispensable to him that her absence made him sick
Suddenly, she noticed a flicker of pain passing over with trepidation.
Mehtaji’s face while he extended his hand “Saab is in a very bad mood,” his
to congratulate her. personal peon would tell others when they
Mini had been working with him as his “Saab is in a waited outside his room to see him for any
personal secretary for the last 5 years. She very bad urgent work, when Mini had been on
had informed him of her marriage mood,” his leave.
proposal 2 weeks ago when she had personal peon ‘Why should I be so upset at losing her?
returned from a month’s annual leave. The would tell Can’t I find another good secretary in her
previous day, she had received a final others when place?’ he asked himself. He soon decided
letter from her mother stating that since they waited to send his request for a good and efficient
everything was settled, she had to resign outside his secretary to all the placement agencies
and start for home as early as possible. room to see immediately.
Jagadish Mehta was very upset at losing him for any The last day when Mini entered
his efficient secretary although he Mehtaji’s cabin to hand over her keys and
urgent work,
pretended to be happy on hearing the say goodbye to her boss, she was
news of her marriage. He recollected the when Mini had surprised to get a small packet as her
day Mini, a young and pretty girl without been on leave. wedding gift. Tears pricked her eyes as
any experience in the field, had joined his she left his cabin. Back in her seat, she
office. He was initially very reluctant to appoint her, opened the small packet and, to her surprise, she
as the post demanded great responsibility. But found a thick gold chain inside with a small note
during the interview she did well, and he had come hanging at the end, Dear Mini, wish you a very
to know through a personal interview that Mini was happy and long married life — Jagadish Mehta.
the eldest daughter of her widowed mother. Mini’s

M
mother had 3 other daughters apart from Mini, and ini gratefully accepted other presents given
a son who was still at school. With great difficulty to her by her colleagues. The possibility of
Mini was educated up to the final year of school their attending her marriage in her far-away
and sent to attend a computer course. Rajan Seth, village was out of the question. She was loved and
the personnel officer, was alarmed at the director’s respected by all, for her helping nature and her
decision to appoint an inexperienced girl for this sweet and innocent smile. As she bade goodbye to
responsible post. all of them and the office where she had spent 5
But Mini proved herself very soon, and Rajan years of her life happily, arms loaded with various
Seth’s fears were short-lived. She handled her work packets, Mini wiped her tears away with her
with extreme care and earned her superior’s handkerchief, and tried to smile.

26 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


and take some rest. Don’t worry about your job new girl to you. You are quite aware of her pleasing
now. We’ll see what can be done.” personality and other good qualities. If I had a son
Entrusting her to his aged mother, Jagadish old enough to marry her, I would not have hesitated
Mehta called the driver and went out after making to take her as my daughter-in-law. Today, I see Mini
another phone call. as Reena’s sister. Could you find someone for her?”
Fifteen minutes later, Mehtaji’s blue Ambassador Mehtaji waited for the answer.
stopped in front of Sankaran Pillai’s bungalow.

A
“Hello Mehtaji. Good morning to you,” Sankara fter a few moments of thought, Sankaran
Pillai greeted him fondly. After some formal talk, Pillai put his hairy hand on his friend’s
Jagadish Mehta came to the purpose of his visit. shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, my friend.
“Last time you brought me a suitable boy for I’m looking for a suitable girl for my son. I don’t
Reena. Now I have come to ask you for another boy think I can find a more suitable girl than Mini to be
for my second daughter,” Mehtaji took out his towel my bahu.”
and wiped the pearls of sweat that had formed on Mehtaji embraced his friend and asked him to
his forehead. specify his demands.
“Do you have another daughter? I never knew it,” “As you know, I’m against the dowry system. I’m
Sankaran Pillai looked at his friend in disbelief. concerned only about the character of the girl. I’ve
“Yes, I have one more daughter. My wife had earned enough for both my sons to live happily all
given birth 22 years ago to a girl but the child lived their lives.”
only for 10 days. She has come back to life now.” For the first time, Jagadish Mehta looked at his
Sankaran Pillai sat astonished as if he were childhood friend with a tinge of jealousy for
listening to some ghost story. “What do you mean? possessing such a virtuous mind.
Your dead daughter has come back to life!” It took some time for Mehtaji to realise that it was
Mehtaji drew his chair closer to him and said his greatest friend, a well-known businessman and
softly, “I’m talking about my secretary Mini, who has owner of 2 big soap factories, who was speaking to
now returned from the wedding hall for want of him. His heart gave a jump of relief. He drove his
inadequate dowry. I’ll give any amount of dowry for car, mindless of the speedometer, to personally offer
the boy you choose to be her husband. Mini is not a the good news to his reborn daughter. We

MOMENTS
OF HAPPINESS
My Heart cheers up,
When you’re with me.
It always dreams of you,
When I don’t find you to see.
It wants to be in your heart forever,
It feels relieved, I’m encircled by...
... your loving arms whenever
It forgets every distress, when I see
Intense emotions filled in your eyes,
Your few affectionate words are
Enough to keep me high
It doesn’t want to squander the
Pleasure of being with you.
Coz in this short life,
grieves are more and happiness is few.
– Tarang Sinha, Delhi.
30 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008
iamonds and women – they

D
are made for each other.
They conjure up a vision of
glamour, beauty, style and
above all, an astute
investment. Add to that the
heady cocktail of love and
romance – and every
woman wants to wait for the
day when the love of her
life, the man who will cherish her, is
expected to load her with diamonds
of all shapes, sizes and hues.
Beginning with a stylish engagement
ring, and continuing with the eternity
band, sets of earrings matched with
necklaces, bangles, broaches etc al.
In the modern world where women
are striving hard to break every glass
ceiling to prove their worth in the
corporate world, they are able to
demand salaries and perks far
beyond what a woman could have
envisioned about a decade or two
ago. When you earn like a man you
have to invest like a man – so bonds,
shares and real estate all become
lucrative investment options. But
none of them have the glamour of
glittering stones at your neck, fingers,
ear lobes or even the lapel of your
business suit. Women are definitely
luckier than men when it comes to
investing in jewellery.

& THE

Read this write-up to know


what makes diamonds “a girl’s
best friend”. By Ameeta Sharma
Real life consumer: Shamita of the flawless,
Singha, a glamorous model, TV host excellent cut – so
and emcee based in Mumbai, always ask for those
working all over the world, says, “In details first and your
my opinion a girl does not have to jeweller would
wait until her wedding for jewellery. respect your
Diamonds are a great investment and knowledge. If the
should be done before marriage too. cut is identical on
Especially the contemporary working two pieces then
woman. She is financially look for clarity and
independent and making colour. The carat that
investments. My criterion for buying a you can afford would often depend
diamond would be to get it from a on your budget for that purchase.
reputed guy and my advice to
anybody would be that you should Importance of carat: When in
understand what you are buying and designing bigger pieces for visual world. When speaking of diamonds
do your homework, so you buy good impact – often referred to as the as investments it is important to
quality stuff. My preference would be bridal jewellery – it is the small remember that some appreciations
a single diamond because it is a stones that may be used. For pave might happen at the dealer level – in
classic like a classic black dress, and effect extremely small pieces would the sense that it might have gone up
I prefer traditional designs though, if be used. However, for the sake of from wholesaler to retailer but every
something contemporary appeals, I simplicity if nothing else, let us talk seller has their margin of profit. So
might pick for design alone.” here of pieces that are above 10 how much a buyer is affected by that
Suranjana, a Delhi-based MBA cents. For actual noteworthy appreciation is in itself questionable.
working with an MNC says, “I did not appreciation, it is best to consider Every jeweller might guarantee the
want to invest in property as there is stones that are at least 15 cents and appreciation differently, so it is best
family property I have inherited and more. to check when buying, and try to get
diamonds seemed like a good idea Technically, any diamond may be it in writing.
plus they are wearable. I tend to save certified but, considering that it costs
and buy pieces above 60 cents and money to get certification for Designer speaks: Designers and
already have ear studs, pendants diamonds, it is often offered and artists, as they say, often think more
and rings. Now I am saving for a expected for stones that are closer with their hearts than their minds.
three-carat piece which I will buy from to a full carat, definitely above 70 However, a diamond jewellery
the branded range with number and cents. designer has to visualise and execute
certificate. When I marry, the man will Since the ’70s appreciation of a piece with a targeted customer in
have to give me something bigger!” diamonds has been a consistent and mind. We consulted Sumit Jain, a
average of 10 per cent annum but well-known jewellery designer, who
Cost of your diamond: As any this figure is applicable to certain has been awarded numerous
jeweller will inform you, the cost of other parameters, including the national and international awards and
your diamond is driven by the four Cs caratage. accolades for his work. Currently, he
of the glittering stone – cut, clarity, heads Design360, a consultancy firm
colour and carat. This four-pronged All-time jewellery: According to providing design and brand-
factor is not always in proportion Indian customs, in South India, a management expertise to some of
when it comes to deciding the price woman of reasonable means gets the most reputed jewellery and life-
of your diamond. As any jeweller will diamonds for her ears and nose style accessory companies in India
tell you, comparing the prices of two when she gets married. For the as well as abroad. He can be
diamonds that might vary in just one European and American women, a contacted through e-mail at
of the factors – colour or clarity – diamond was often the choice of sumitjain@d360.net
would be priced totally differently, stone for their engagement rings. For Sumit is aware of how certain
even if cut and carat factors are the jewellery bought by a woman for markets like Punjab v/s Mumbai
same. herself there are no defined rules and might differ in their basic approach to
To understand the sequence of regulations. She may buy whatever selection of a piece of jewellery. The
importance of these four Cs, it is best she desires. latter might be more discerning in
to do a comparative chart when you Diamonds, they say, have never their acceptance of stone quality and
are investing in a stone and making a been really depreciated in value, that is a market quirk any designer
selection from two or three. Some- though this could easily be attributed has to recognise and accept but, as
times, a stone with a lower price to astute marketing by those at the he says, “There is an exception to
might appear more beautiful because top of the diamond trade all over the every rule.”

34 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


Clarifying the quirk of a above one carat. buyers’ heart and gives them the best
design that uses small and Remember these two deal! Often a good design would
bigger stones factors when buying your mean that it fits your budget, gives
simultaneously, Sumit says, stones. It is possible you options of adding more diamonds
“The smaller stones would have that the outlet you buy to it when you can afford to and a
to be of the same quality as the your stone from is setting that enhances all the beauty
bigger, when used in a design. more of a trader than a of the stone while hiding any flaws
If you take in a particular really gemology- inherent in the stone.
design the ‘I’ colour and vs qualified jeweller. But he The prongs-only setting will bring
clarity then it would be the same for knows what he is selling you. out the fire of the stone, a prong
all smaller stones too. Anything less If you add to the stone later, might hide a flaw of clarity, your
would show up more, so the chances are you will find a better stone can be made to look brighter
uniformity of quality is important for a match with the same jewellery for and prettier with the right design.
design. In any event the quantum of that colour and clarity as most Dual wearability like a pendant
appreciation for diamonds smaller jewellers stock certain parameters that also becomes a brooch, a ring
than 15 cents would be reduced.” that suit their customer best. Ask for that becomes a pendant, etc, might
Sumit agrees that for a working, a buy-back policy for the cost seem to give you more options
single woman with a penchant for justification from any retailer outlet. but do check that this versatility does
diamonds, it would make sense to You just have to understand it and not compromise the safety of the
consider pieces with an everyday trust it. stone.
wearable aspect. His advice: “You Also, if you are adding stones to As a working woman you should
can phase in a manner where you the same design, it is better done have the confidence to wear it where
buy 10, 15, 20 cent pieces, add to with a jeweller who knows and under- you want, as often as you want and,
your collection periodically and then stands your requirements rather than considering that it is an investment, a
get a piece of jewellery designed to changing your jeweller with every perfect design should offer you that
rival any bridal piece in value and addition who might or might not be guarantee too.
impact.” able to deliver what you desire.
Sitting through the setting of your Lure of the smaller diamond: If
Adding to your design: As for piece is often not possible for a single you see any couture international or
the possibility of adding to a piece working woman, nor is it offered by Indian designer you will notice that it
you are wearing, if you invest in a jewellers except for the high-value is not possible to make big impact
piece of jewellery with a lot of three customer. pieces without some astute use of
cent pieces, to reuse them, when the Trusting your jeweller also allows smaller diamonds – sometimes even
setting is opened, certain stones you to periodically check appreciation of one cent.
might be damaged. If your stones are of your diamonds. Note down the four While one may want bigger
10 cents and above, to have them re- C details of your diamonds and then stones, in some designs it is best to
set would be cheaper and easier. ask the rate of that annually to know opt for smaller pieces too. Then it is a
Pronged setting is easy to open if prices are really increasing. matter of wearability and quality of
without damaging the stone. stones that have been used. Most
With some astute design The perfect design: When does sellers offer some sort of buy-back
selection, Sumit Jain assures that a design become excellent rather policy – understand those and select
you may buy a piece where than just good? When it gladdens the carefully. We
consideration for addition has already
been taken into account. Just have
Single-stone ring (diamond/white gold)
them added when you are ready!
“Find a good worker who knows what Gold weight (without stones): 8.260 gm.
you have in mind, and it’s a win-win Gold weight (with stones): 8.292 gm.
situation as your existing piece gets Diamond (no. of pcs./weight): 1 pc. / 0.16 ct. (16 cents)
checked for firmness of setting at the
same time when you are enhancing Approximate retail cost: Rs. 11,075
your value by adding more diamonds. Diamond dust (pave set) ring (diamond/white gold)
Select a pattern that can take
additions without changing the whole Gold weight (without stones): 11.060 gm.
design,” says Sumit. Gold weight (with stones): 11.124 gm.
Diamond (no. of pcs./weight): 20 pcs. / 0.32 ct. (32 cents)
Trust your jeweller: Any retailer app. 0.015 ct. (1.5 cents each pcs.):
would also keep his margin of profit, Approximate retail cost: Rs 14,465.00
and certified pieces are generally

36 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


A man dressed up as Santa Claus drives a sledge up a wire
in front of the landmark TV tower in Berlin. The Christmas
fever has caught up the West and the majority of markets in
Berlin opened on November 24.

For the love of animals


Commercialised Christmas

These two women belonging to the organisation People


for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wearing only
underwear and bunny ears, protest against the wearing of fur
in Moscow. The activists stood topless in cool Russian
weather championing animal rights.
Here rabbits dressed up in colourful fashions were on exhibit during
a rabbit fashion contest at the Rabbit Festa in Yokohama city in
Japan. Some 8,000 rabbit lovers visited the annual two-day event.

Rabbit show
This is an artistic
reconstruction of burial done
in the past. Parents clasped
the hands of their children in
a 4,600 year-old grave which
researchers believe to be the
oldest evidence discovered
so far of the nuclear family in
early human development.
The remains of 13 people
believed to have been killed
during a violent raid were
laid out in an unusual pattern
for the Neolithic period in a
gravesite found in Germany
in 2005. Several pairs were
buried face-to-face with their
hands and arms interlinked
in four nearby graves which
were once covered in burial
mounds.

Ancient burial tradition


A promoter dressed up a man wearing
Artistes and makers of A Filmic occasion life-size plastic model of Gundam 00, a
the most expensive film Japanese cartoon character at the Anime
ever produced in Festival Asia Exhibition in Singapore.
Australia pose for the
media by the foreshores
of Sydney Harbour.
Incidentally, the movie
which is an epic and
romantic action adventure
is titled, Australia.

The last train of the first-


generation bullet train arrives
at the Hakata station in
Fukuoka city of Japan. Forty
four years after the model
made its debut in 1964,
some 1,000 fans felt sorry for
parting of the round-nose
‘O series’ bullet train.
The last bullet train

Japanese cartoon character


ndia has great places to offer as

I
tourist destinations. But we
thought of spending our October
vacation at some non-traditional
domestic place. My husband
came up with the idea of visiting
the not-so-explored Chhattisgarh,
the 26th State of India created on
1 November 2000, earlier a part
of Madhya Pradesh. It lies to the
south-east of Madhya Pradesh and
north of Andhra Pradesh.
Being nature lovers, Chhattisgarh
bonded us with Mother Nature. We
had never seen life in its original form
— untouched forests, ancient
monuments, rare wildlife, exquisitely
carved temples, Buddhist sites,

THE HEART palaces, waterfalls, caves rock


paintings all at one place. For a few
days we forgot our urban tensions

OF INDIA —
and were living in the lap of nature.
There simplicity and smiles won our
hearts.
Chhattisgarh has the peculiar

CHHATTISGARH
shape of a rhinoceros or
hippopotamus. It is also known as the
rice bowl or Dhan ka katora . The
name Chhattisgarh emerged from the
fortified lands, which had 36 chhattis

Tirathgarh falls.
Lose yourself
in nature...
discover an
ancient past...
celebrate
unique tribal
festivals... do
it all in
Chhattisgarh.
By Jyoti Galada

40 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


This horseshoe
shaped waterfall
created by
Bastar’s Indravati
river reminded us
of the Niagra falls.
We were
mesmerised by the
rainbows arching
across the
turbulent flow.
‘Tribal Haat’: Women selling ‘Mahua’ (liquor) in pots.

(forts) in ancient times. Travelling of Chhattisgarh, and immediately town with all facilities, some six hours
Chhattisgarh was truly a learning headed for Jagdalpur, the drive from Raipur, wherein our
experience for us. headquarters of entire Bastar booking in a decent hotel had already
We arrived at Raipur, the capital division. It is a small and developing been made. Daily bus service is
available from Raipur or one can hire different parts. One of the finest animals like tiger, leopard, mouse
a cab to Jagdalpur, the way we did. examples of the power of faith deer, jackals, sambar, python,
The greenery and untouched forest exhibited amongst these tribals is the crocodile, cobra, sloth bear and many
area surrounding the highway caught ceremony of kachangadi (consecra- more. Guest house facility is
our attention. We opted to stop at tion of the couch), a traditional ritual available at the national park with
various places and enjoy the serenity that kick-starts the festival. To seek prior booking. We were not lucky to
and natural beauty. the divine approval of Danteshwari to see many animals and birds despite
begin the ceremonies, a young being there for one whole day but a
Tribal way of life: Just imagine Harijan girl is laid upon a swing of stroll in the forest unveiled the
yourself being with the tribal people, thorns and swung to and fro. The serenity and natural richness of the
dancing to the beats of tribal drums, goddess is believed to descend upon place to us. A deep sense of
getting “high” sipping mahua, being her to protect her from injury. calmness and appreciation of nature
a part of their rituals, visiting the haat In another instance, to ensure the emerged in us. Mostly hilly, this forest
(weekly market) with scantily-clad success of the festivities, a young has a cluster of sal, teak and bamboo
natives (Gonds, Murias Marias, man is lowered into a pit at the trees throughout, that provides a
Bhattras) where you can enjoy a slice Sihasat Chowk near the palace in perfect home to varied types of wild
of local life. Jagdalpur in the Jogi bithai animals and birds.
Almost half of Chhattisgarh is ceremony. So positioned, he sits in There are many scenic spots
under forest cover, and tribal people vigil for 9 days and nights with only along this perennial stream of the
dominate the population in the forest his head and shoulders visible to the Kanger river. The 100-metre high
region. In 1997, the Bastar district of passing devotees. Thereafter, the Tirathgarh falls were a visual delight.
Chhattisgarh, then within Madhya pulling of the chariot begins with a We explored one of the limestone
Pradesh, was split into three districts, statue of Devi Danteshwari on it. caves here, known for beautiful
with Kanker in the north, Bastar in Other ceremonies are conducted by stalagmite and stalactite formations.
the centre and Dantewada in the the royal priest. The Kutumsar cave is more than 330
south. One of the finest times to A department store has become a metres in length and claims to be the
travel around is during the annual necessity for most of us urban second largest in the world. In the
Bastar Lokotsav that coincides with dwellers where essential items are cave, we felt totally isolated from the
the ritual of Dussehra during October available under one roof. Well, for outer world and a walk through it
where all the major tribes participate. tribals, it is the haat where all their revealed the dark depths of earth.
Dussehra in Bastar has nothing to do daily requirements are met in one There was a dearth of sunlight in the
with Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya. place. Many tribals walk many caves and the floor was covered with
The focus here is on Danteshwari, kilometres to make it to the haat puddles of water and small aquatic
the local female deity who is also the every week. We enjoyed conversing animals. If you suffer from claustro-
guardian deity of the Bastar rajas. with the tribals, though that was phobia, avoid the caves and don’t
Each village has its own devi and mostly through sign language. forget to carry a torch if you go in.
on a particular day during the The next day, as soon as we saw
Navratras, all these devis congregate Nature’s piece of art : the Chitrakote falls, 38 km from
for the Dussehra celebrations. Chhattisgarh also boasts of Jagdalpur, in the morning, an instant
Coincidently, we had visited 3 National Parks and 11 wildlife feeling of ecstasy gripped us. This
Bastar at the right time of the year. sanctuaries like the Kanger Valley, horseshoe shaped waterfall created
During Bastar’s Dussehra, tribals Barnawapara, Sitanadi, Udanti and by Bastar’s Indravati river reminded
perform traditional religious Achanakmar sanctuaries. The us of the Niagra falls. We were
ceremonies vibrantly. endangered wild buffalo (Bubalis mesmerised by the rainbows arching
A new chariot is built every year bubalis) and the even more across the turbulent flow. The best
on Dussehra and different tribes are endangered hill myna ( Graculis part of the trip was getting drenched
appointed to build religiosa peninsularis) are the State under the erotic flow of water. The
Tribal handicrafts.
Animal and State Bird respectively. waterfalls are illuminated at night so
To enjoy one of the finest virgin that tourists can view them after
forest tracks on earth we headed for sunset.
the Kanger Valley National Park,
27 km from Jagdalpur. The Human pieces of art: On our way
Kanger Valley National Park back to Jagdalpur, we stopped at a
is very dense, 34 km long with an sericulture farm and learned about
average width of 6 km, and one the entire process of making silk.
needs to travel in the interiors This region is also famous for its
for two or three days to catch semi-precious stones like corundum,
a glimpse of various wild topaz and crystal jewellery.
Chhattisgarh has artistic items to to be more than 800 years old. We visit the Mahamaya temple, 25 km
offer for shopping. Take your pick were amused to know that to enter from Bilaspur. Make a wish before
from terracotta handicrafts, bell the temple men have to wear a the red stone Panchamukhee Shiv,
metal, wood craft, wrought iron, traditional lungi. This place brightens hang a coconut from the tree in front
bamboo artefacts, the unique “coil- up during the Dussehra festival. and optimistically wait for your wishes
thread” technique of metal sculpture On our return to Raipur from to come true.
of the Bastar area and kosa silk, a Jagdalpur we explored other nearby Chhattisgarh provided us with an
speciality of Chhattisgarh. The most places too. Bhoramdev temple, opportunity to study Buddhist culture,
complicated kosa saris have the popularly known as “Khajuraho of Buddhist art forms and discover the
Ramayana and the Mahabharat Chhattisgarh”, is one of the oldest past of the 5 century AD. Sirpur,
woven along their length. I could not temples located near Kawardha, 116 78 km from Raipur, was once the
stop myself from buying decorative km from Raipur. Standing 100 feet capital of the Sarbhapuriya and
items that were really cheap! There is above the ground, what mesmerised Somvanshi kings of South Kosala.
a shilpigram 15 km from Jagdalpur us was the surrounding greenery It is a famous Buddhist pilgrimage
that provides an opportunity to see amidst which the temple stood. And site. We were fascinated by the
craftsmen at work. the erotic carving of couples, recent excavations of the ancient
elephants, horses, dancers and idols ruins, Buddhist viharas and idols. We
A divine place: If you love history of various gods and goddesses on had a chat with followers of
then visit the temples of shining black stone embosses the Buddhism there and got to know a lot
Chhattisgarh. Built by the Chalukya walls of the temple. We also enjoyed about Buddhist traditions, their
kings of Bastar to honour their family travelling into the suburbs that was lifestyle and food.
goddess, Devi Dhanteswari. The rich in natural beauty and history. The Chhattisgarh tourism
Danteswari temple in Dantewada If you are a believer in destiny, if department had been very helpful in
was constructed several times, but you have trust in stones and if you providing all the necessary
the sanctum sanctorum is believed want your wishes to come true then information to us. We
QA &

TEEN ACHE
TEEN CHE A
brother. We can hardly sleep at night
due to the fights. Why can my mother
not think of us too? Surely, we need
attached to him and does not wish to
desert him.
You and your mother can motivate
a better life—without our father? him to enroll in an alcohol de-

Q&
Your mother must be having good addiction centre like Alcoholics
reasons to continue to live with your Anonymous where professionally-
father. She may be unable to look trained persons can help him deal
My parents are trying to fix my after the children alone without his with the problem. This way, not only
marriage with an engineer who has a financial support. Divorce is not an can your father get cured, your home
good job and belongs to a easy matter, but a prolonged, messy and family will be safe. Get the
respectable family. But I have fallen affair. Even if your father is an support and help of close, trusted
in love with a man I see at the bus alcoholic, your mother is clearly relatives or friends to intervene. You
stop every morning when I go to children can also think of the option
college. He is very good looking and of staying with grandparents too, for
for me it has been love at first sight. I instance, if the situation does not
have not spoken to him yet, so I do I am an attractive
improve.
not know if he too loves me. Shall I teenaged girl with a
tell my parents to wait before good figure but I
I was adopted when I was six months
finalising the match as I want to find have a dark skin. I
old by a very loving childless couple.
out about this other boy first? wish I were fairer –
I have been looked after with great
Your “falling in love at first sight” especially since I live
love and care, and now I am a 14-
with this bus-stop boy seems nothing in the north where I
year-old girl. Last week, my mother
more than a juvenile crush. How can stand out like a sore thumb. I want
told me that she was going to have a
you “love” a person with whom you to use fairness creams but my
baby – after 19 years of marriage!.
have not even exchanged two mother says it will ruin my skin. Is
Both my parents are ecstatic and I
words? there any medical procedure which
am also happy to have a brother or

A
All the same, you can discuss the will help? I am very depressed.
sister in the house. But a fear nags
matter with your parents, and if they It is easy to understand your
me. Will they love me less now? After
are willing to meet this bus-stop boy anguish. Young adolescents like
all, I am not their real child, like the
to find out if he is a suitable alliance you really need to look good to feel
new baby. What will I do if they
for you, you should consider yourself good. Do try to be proud of your
neglect me?
very lucky. In all probability, they will looks. Dark is not ugly. A
Why do you have such negative
be shocked by your disclosure. You gleaming, clear dusky complexion
thoughts when you have no reason
should seriously consider the can look fantastic. Fairness
to have them? By your own
proposition your parents have chosen creams of good companies are not
admission, they love you a lot. This
for you as they would have carefully harmful but can only remove a tan
cannot change overnight. You will
checked all aspects before deciding if you have one. They also bleach
surely continue to be their beloved
on the boy. the skin a little. Medical
child. Like all other elder siblings,
procedures which target the
however, you should be prepared to
My father is an alcoholic and often melanin in the skin to turn it lighter
share their attention. A small baby is
abuses and even assaults my mother is a complicated and costly
very demanding and your parents will
when he is drunk. I keep telling her to treatment.
spend a lot of time on him or her, but
separate from him but she refuses to Please consult a dermatologist
this will not mean that they are
listen to me. She thinks it is her duty who can advise you authoritatively
neglecting you. In fact, you will be a
to stay by his side, come what may. on the matter. Do remember that a
great help for them in bringing up the
But all this is making a mess of we cheerful smiling face, whether fair
baby. Keep a positive, open and
children’s lives. I am a 16-year-old or dark, will win more friends than
loving attitude and do not fill your
girl and I have a younger sister and any other.
head with unfounded fears.

44 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


Commander General
A hilarious yarn about a pompous old man with far-fetched
‘military’ stories! By Sniggdha Jauhari

W
hen Commander came to stay in our was my bearing and conduct...” he explained
neighbourhood, we were initially proudly.
impressed. This later turned into intrigue, “So, as I was saying, soldiers used to say that if
then into disbelief and finally to comic Geno Deva is visiting a regiment, then even if you
relief. Which continues to remain. He are making love to your wife, finish it quickly,
always wore a stiff and starched look — otherwise Geno Deva will take your pants off.”
that meant his clothes and his moustache. I was intrigued, ‘Eh...? Pants off? When that
What was plastered down was his hair to his skull, chap’s pants are already off? Then what’s the
with a drop or two of fragrant hair oil sitting pretty Commander’s contribution?’
on his forehead. He would move his palm with a I, along with my friends, mulled over this but
flourish, swipe these two tiny drops of oil and rub couldn’t figure it out.
them on his eyebrows. The pair was as bushy as the Geno Deva, as we had started calling him since
tails of fully grown male squirrels. that day, was useless in organising things but was
In the earlier days, whenever we asked him about great in initiating them. He said we should have a
his commandership — army, navy or air force — he football match between teams of different buildings.
would tell us war stories. At the end of which we did Enthusiastically, we arranged it.
not know whether he was a commander in the navy,

O
air force or army. ne evening, as we were putting final touches
Once, he said, looking official and upright, “The to the boundary line, we fell short of white
ship was cruising at extraordinarily nautical miles. chalk, “Doesn’t matter,” I said, “use blue.”
With my telescope glued to my eyes, I could see the “Young man,” Geno Deva bellowed right into my
enemy ship. I yelled to my men, ‘Take position.’ right ear. He was standing right behind me. I don’t
Then I ran to my bunker, down in the bowels of the know when he had crept right up.
ship, to change into my red pants and shirt. I had to “Young man, never compromise on quality,” he
change quickly. Mind you — change in record time. boomed. “Quality determines whether you will be a
I had barely buckled my pants when the first shot winner or a loser. You know, once we were fighting
was fired.” with the enemy. We were barely an inch away from
Costume drama in the battlefield? I was baffled. the LOC. I successfully pushed the enemy way, way
“But why change into red shirt and pants, back. That night, we had a party. The head of the
Commander?” I asked. Army was to grace the occasion. I was given the
“Because, my dear,” he said puffing up his wide duty to ensure that everything was clean, spick and
chest, “I did not want my men to see me bleed and span... I went into the ladies’ toilet first. Because...”
get discouraged.” he paused softening his voice, demonstrating his
“Ohh... I said, trying to sound impressed. sensitive side, “Because, ladies first... I checked the
“Oohh...” flush by pulling the lever. Then re-checked by pulling
The next time he told us even more intriguing stuff. it a second time. That way I was sure that one can
“You see, back in the army, every time I went to flush as many times as one wants to. Then I checked
visit a regiment, soldiers of that regiment would get whether there were adequate tissue boxes. Not only
into a frenzy, ‘Geno Deva is coming, Geno Deva is that, I pulled out a tissue from each box to check
coming’.” whether they are coming out properly one after
“Who is Geno Deva?” I asked. another. Then I inspected the toilet paper. It should
“I. Geno is short for General and Deva, short for be soft to touch, roll smoothly off your hand,
Devnath, my full name,” he said. unfolding itself evenly, but not too fast. After all...
So you were a major-general?” I asked. hmm... you understand, at that time one does not
“No, I was a commander-general... I mean a want any struggle.”
commander, but treated by people as general. Such We all nodded our heads.
“What intricate planning, superb strategising,”
Mandeep said.
Commander continued, “Then I carefully checked
man,” he put his
hand on my
meagre
HUMOUR
the jet of water. You boys know how it is when your shoulder, “never compromise on quality. Winning a
rear end is subjected to sudden jets of hot water, I war depends on that.”
mean really hot water?” He paused and “War? What war?” Balbir asked, facing him
questioningly scrutinised our faces. bravely.
His question brought painful memories to all of us. “The one I just told you about,” Commander
Sukhbir remembered his case so explicitly that he replied as if talking to an intellectually challenged
shuddered visibly. man.
Commander felt great satisfaction in looking at our Another time he told us a story from his life which
faces, which were crunched with vivid memories. we thought took the cake – or should I say banana?
“Well, you see... female anatomy also cannot “You know,” he boomed one day, having caught
take that. Too hot or too could water is of great us unawares. “We were playing basketball and I
discomfort to our ladies,” he explained. had thrown the ball in the slush. And we were now
His manner and methodology reminded me of my pushing one another to sit on it.
maths teacher, who would explain complicated “You know, speed and accuracy are key factors
algebra exactly in the same tone. in success during war. Let me tell you an incident
I realised for the first time, that algebra and toilet from my wartime days,” he said rubbing his palms
details can be taught in the same way, if you are together with glee. “Once, we were flying over thick
creative. forest when we were struck by the enemy bomb. I
Commander’s booming voice brought me back was flying the fighter plane. I made all my boys
from my maths class. “Only after being satisfied with parachute down. Only then I left the aircraft. We all
the sanitary condition, I left the bathroom. So, young landed right in the midst of a thick jungle. Nothing
to do, we decided to have a banana- Commander They were catching people unawares on
eating competition. I defeated my the road and asking for votes with folded
opponent by 16 bananas. You know, the excelled hands. They knocked on doors and when
important thing about these competitions is himself in you opened it... there stood a politician,
not your rank or post, it’s your speed in ensuring that with folded hands, asking for votes.
chewing and gulping. My opponent was arrangements One day, we were told that the Chief
not fast enough, he was able to chew and were right. Minister had been touring around,
gulp a banana faster than me but his He asked the addressing people and asking for votes
peeling skills needed improvement.” with folded hands and it was now our turn
“What rank was your opponent?” I asked. CM’s office to see and hear him ask for votes, with
“No rank,” Commander said. “It was a about toilet hands (you guessed it) in a folded position.
monkey. We had befriended him in the facilities for The venue was our building compound.
jungle. The important point here is that I the CM. We had a huge compound. Around it
was able to beat someone who is by there were four more buildings.
nature, a natural banana eater.” Commander excelled himself in ensuring
We all patted and thumped Commander’s shoulder that arrangements were right. He asked the CM’s
and shouted, “Bravo, bravo, great job, well done!” office about toilet facilities for the CM. He was told
When we were looking for a president for our not to bother — the CM will go home for that.
building, Commander graciously said that he will be The D-Day arrived. The CM was to come in the
happy to bear this great burden and huge morning but he arrived in the evening. We were all
responsibility. tired of waiting.
But we shuddered at the thought of him being the When he did come, Commander got his maid
president. servant’s daughter to garland him. He had made the
“Sachin, you become the president,” my friends girl practise this for a week. He himself had stood
said to me. around like a ring master taming a lion. While the
“No way, this is my last year of IIT,” I said. “No way.” girl moved with a piece of cloth sewn together in the
“Not a single uncle or aunty, staying in this shape of a garland, Commander counted the
building wants to become one,” Purushottam number of paces she should move and yelled for her
growled. “These oldies just want to have fun. My to keep her back ramrod straight. “Straight,
father says he has enrolled in the cha-cha-cha class. straight,” he yelled. “You are Jhansi Ki Rani. Back
He doesn’t have time.” straight.”
“Look, let Commander become the president,” I

S
said. “He can’t do much harm. He only talks through ince morning, innumerable times, he had made
his rear end.” her garland a stick stuck in a flower pot (on that
So we all went to Commander and told him that he had written in white chalk ‘CM’).
he can be the president. So it was not by chance that the girl did a
“Thank you, I have no time,” Commander said beautiful job when the CM came on the podium.
gravely. With garland around his neck, beaming like a well-
Sitting very upright on the chair, he shook his led cat, the CM sat picking up his spotless white
head, “All my life I have shouldered immense kurta from his behind so that it does not crush.
responsibility, taken care of things which others A minute later, one of his partymen stood up and
were afraid to handle, ventured into territories where said, “May I now request the honourable CM to say
no man has dared to go. Though I am now no a few words?”
longer grappling with the enemy I have a lot of The CM walked to the podium. But, before he
work. My days are packed with responsibilities and could speak, there was a small disturbance at the
duties — towards my family, my society and my back of the room. All eyes reverted there. Three men
country. I have no time, but I will still do full justice to from the other building seemed to be arguing about
the post of president. I accept with utmost humility something.
and gratitude.” One of our building residents poked
After this speech, we climbed over each other to Commander in the ribs, “Commander,” he hissed,
get out of his house when he offered us tea. “deal with it.”
The very first thing that happened, within a week Commander got up. He looked very stern and
of Commander being appointed as president, was a official. He clicked his heels together, looked at the
prestigious one. CM and boomed, “Sir, thank you for your kind
Election time was round the corner and politicians words. With your permission, I now declare a 15-
of all shades and sizes were making speeches. minute tea break.” We

48 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


QA &
possible, but definitely after and
before a manicure.
I wear make-up and find that in
winters when I use the same cleanser
Tell your therapist that you do not the result is not as good and I need
want to have them clipped and that to wash the face with water and soap
should be taken as an instruction, not after that. What am I doing wrong?
a request. We need stronger products in
winter for better results. Also, it
depends on which cleanser you are
I have good eyelashes and like to using and how. In summertime it is
enhance them with mascara in the easier to remove make-up also, but
evening, but I often get uneven you could switch over to a more
results. What is the right way to apply heavy-duty cleanser in winter.
mascara? Massage it into the skin and leave for
When applying mascara, ensure a few minutes before wiping with wet

Q&
that the brush has enough liquid on it. cotton wool. If there is residual make-
Do lower lash first while looking up left and you don’t wish to wash
straight in the mirror. Let it dry before off, just do a second application of
I have very stubborn blackheads on tackling the upper lashes. Now look the same cleanser. Always do the
my nose and a couple of them are so up and do one gentle sweep in a neck area too.
bad that they just refuse to budge curling motion.
after intense exfoliation. What should If you feel areas have been left
I do? untouched, then gently comb your I plan to go for New Year to Goa. I
You can try to steam your face eyelashes apart with a fine comb and love being in the sea but it leaves my
and then use a clean blackhead reapply mascara. Avoid blinking for skin darker and dry. Can I take
remover which has a hole through a few seconds until the mascara has precautions rather than look for
which even pressure is applied dried properly. remedies after damage?
around the blackhead. However, you Yes, you can use a waterproof

A
may mark your skin, so it’s better to sunscreen before going in the water.
trust the professional and if Can ingrown toenail be considered a Reapply after an hour or so if you
recommended then opt for a glycolic beauty problem? I have recently have been in the water. Use a good
or salicylic peel as that removes the developed it on one foot and am mild soap after the outing and rinse
top layer of dead skin and helps in worried on how to deal with it. well. Moisturise with heavy-duty
de-clogging the pores, thereby Ingrown toenail could begin for a cream thereafter and avoid swimming
removing the blackheads that are variety of reasons and yet what in full sun around noon. Wear full
stubborn. makes us notice them is when they sleeves when outside the water and
spoil our ‘foot beauty’. For lasting cover well.
remedy you have to consult a
When I go for a manicure, the surgeon who might do a small BEAUTY QUERIES
therapist wants to clip my cuticles procedure. Even thereafter you have Readers are invited to send their
to pay attention to your footwear to beauty problems and questions
and it always makes me nervous and regarding face, complexion,
sometimes I feel a swelling. What is avoid a recurrence. Keep your toes hair, skin, eyes etc to this column.
the right way to handle this? well aired and clean at all times to Address your letters, written
Cuticles may be pushed back with avoid any infection during repair legibly or typed on white paper, to:
WOMAN'S ERA,
a stick (non-metal preferably). It is a procedure. Avoid temporary relief E-3, Jhandewala Estate,
good idea to massage them just that may lead to infections at parlours New Delhi-110055.
Womansera.com
before going to bed as regularly as during pedicures.

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 49


LIP-SMACKING
CAKES AND DESSERTS

Cakes often mean


a lot of icing and
thus extra calories
to worry about. This
Christmas try the
cakes and desserts
where we have
avoided using
cream and icing
and used fresh
fruits and
preserves instead.
By Roma Ghosh

Strawberry cake

STRAWBERRY For the decoration:


2-3 cups of readymade
CAKE strawberry preserve
jujube or cake decorations
INGREDIENTS:
275 gm of maida METHOD
200 gm of sugar Sift together the maida and
175 gm of thick curd baking powder. Grind the sugar in
175 gm of oil – soya oil a mixer. Add the oil and the dahi
11/2 tsp of baking powder to the powdered sugar and blend
1/ cup of ready to use well. Run the mixer for 1 minute
2
strawberry sauce and then give the mixer a pause.

50 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


Repeat this process till the Use a cookie cutter or a small 3 drops of vanilla essence
ingredients are well blended to ‘katorie’ and cut out round circles. 11/2 tsp of baking powder
obtain a smooth and fluffy paste. Arrange these rounds on a 150 gm of packeted dried
In a large mixing bowl add the greased baking sheet or a apricots
maida and baking powder. Into greased baking tray and bake in a 150 gm of dried crystallised
this slowly mix in the wet preheated oven at 170 degree C pineapple
ingredients paste a little at a time. for 12-15 minutes or until puffed grated rind and juice of one
Mix and add stirring all the time and golden brown. Taste best orange
so that both the dry and the wet when warm. grated rind and juice of one
mixture blend together. Into this lemon
also add the strawberry sauce. 1/ tsp of salt
4
Grease a cake tin and bake in a
preheated oven at 180 C for
O
PINEAPPLE METHOD
Sift together the maida, baking
about 35 minutes or until a
skewer or knitting needle comes
AND APRICOT powder, salt. Grind the sugar in a
mixer and add the eggs and the
out clean when inserted in the CAKE butter and beat till well blended.
centre. Allow the cake to cool INGREDIENTS: Slowly mix in the liquid mixture
completely. Invert onto a serving 250 gm of maida – flour into the dried ingredients and
plate. Spread the strawberry 175 gm of unsalted butter blend to form a smooth mixture.
preserve lavishly over the top of 150 gm of sugar Add the juices, rind and the fruits
the cake and allow it to flow over 3 eggs and mix with a spatula so that
the sides. Top with jujube or cake
decorations. Keep in the fridge for
15-20 minutes and serve.

SWEET POTATO
SCONES
INGREDIENTS:
150 gm flour
150 gm of sweet potato –
cooked and mashed
21/2 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp of brown sugar
150 ml of milk
2 tsp of chopped chives or fresh
garlic – green portion
50 gm of melted butter
1/ tsp of salt
2
METHOD
Sift the flour and the baking
powder and salt and keep aside.
In a mixing bowl mix the mashed
and cooked potatoes, oil, milk,
chopped chives, sugar well so
that the ingredients are well
blended. Slowly mix in the dried
ingredients and knead into a
pliable dough. Roll out this dough
with a rolling pin into a ‘chapatti’
Sweet potato scones
which is half inch in thickness.

52 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


these get mixed into the mixture
well. Line a cake tin and pour the
cake batter into the tin and bake
in a preheated oven for 30-35
minutes at 180 degree C or
until a knitting needle comes out
clean when pierced in the centre.
Allow to cool in the oven. Cut into
slices and serve or store.
Minced meat and cornmeal muffins

MINCED MEAT meat – add salt while cooking


the minced meat
1/ tsp of sugar
2
one cup of milk
AND 11/4 cup of flour – maida
1 cup of cornmeal or makki ka
1/ tsp of salt
4

CORNMEAL atta
METHOD
Sift the baking powder, soda
MUFFINS 1 tsp baking powder
1/ tsp sodi bi carb
2
and maida, sugar and place in a
mixing bowl.
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup of oil Add the makki ka atta and
1 cup cooked and boiled minced 2 eggs make a well in the centre of the
bowl with the dried ingredients.
Pineapple and apricot cake
Beat the eggs and mix the milk
and the oil and either blend well
with a spatula or you can also
use a mixer to blend the
ingredients.
Now add the wet ingredients
well with the dry ingredients and
mix gently so that the wet and the
dry ingredients blend well
together.
Mix in the cooked meat and
blend well with a spatula.
Grease muffin tray and fill each
of the muffin cups half way
through and bake in a preheated
oven at 160 degree C for 20
minutes or until the muffins have
risen and are golden brown on
top. Serve while still warm.

LAYERED
WALNUT AND
CHOCOLATE
CAKE
INGREDIENTS:
250 gm maida
225 gm sugar

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 53


150 ml melted unsalted butter
100 gm thick whipped sour
cream – dahi
11/4 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of almond essence
150 gm of crushed walnuts
21/2 cups of ready to use
chocolate sauce
walnuts for decoration
METHOD
Sift together the maida and
baking powder and keep aside.
Grind the sugar in a mixer and
then mix in the oil and blend well.
Also mix in the dahi and blend to
mix well. In a mixing bowl, add
the dry ingredients i.e. the maida
and the baking powder and slowly
mix in the wet mixture. Stir
continuously so that the dry
ingredients and the wet
ingredients mix well together. Add Layered walnut and chocolate cake
the crushed walnuts and the
essence.
METHOD
Mix well. Grease two ovenproof
baking dishes and divide the
RICH FRUIT Sift together the maida,
prepared cake mixture into two CAKE cinnamon, all spice, and baking
powder and keep aside. Grind the
portions. Pour one portion each in INGREDIENTS:
both the cake tins. Bake each of sugar in a mixer and then mix in
250 gm maida the oil and blend well. Also, mix in
the cake tins separately in a 225 gm sugar
preheated oven for 35 minutes at the dahi and blend to mix well. In
200 ml melted unsalted butter a mixing bowl, add the dry
160 degree C or till the cakes are 150 gm thick whipped sour
golden brown on top. Insert a ingredients i.e. the maida, etc.
cream – dahi and also mix in the grated ginger.
knitting needle in the centre of the 11/4 tsp of baking powder
cake to check if it comes out Slowly mix in the wet mixture. Stir
50 gm raisins continuously so that the dry
clean.
50 gm currants ingredients and the wet
Prepare both the cakes in this
50 gm dried pineapple pieces ingredients mix well together. Add
way. Cool to room temperature.
50 gm orange dried sweetened all the fruits and the essence. Mix
Turn the cakes upside down.
peel well. Pour into a greased cake tin.
Spread the chocolate sauce on
100 gm of chopped almonds Bake the cake in a preheated
one of the cakes and then place 1/ tsp of almond essence O
2 oven for 35 minutes at 160 C or
the other cake on top of the
1 tsp of cinnamon powder till the cake is brown on top. Insert
chocolate sauce like a sandwich.
1 tsp of all-spice powder a knitting needle in the centre of
Use the remaining chocolate
1 tsp of grated ginger the cake to check if it comes out
sauce to cover the top and side
of the cakes. Decorate with For the decoration: clean. Cool to room temperature.
walnuts and keep in the fridge for 11/2 cups or more of plum For the decoration: Mix the
30 minutes or until before serving. sauce plum sauce with 3-4 tbsp of
You may need more chocolate 1 orange, or musambi or lemon - lukewarm water so that the
sauce, depending how generously thinly sliced into circles mixture can be spread evenly on
you want to use the chocolate 5 tbsp of sugar top of the cake. Spread lavishly .
3/ cup of water Heat the water and the sugar .
sauce. 4

54 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


Rich fruit cake bottomed pan. Heat the half cup
of milk lightly and mix in the
flavoured custard powder into
this. Mix well so that no lumps
remain.
Mix the custard mixture into the
milk and condensed milk and
place the pan on a low heat. With
a wooden spoon continue to mix
the mixture so that it does not
stick to the bottom of the pan.
Heat the mixture, stirring
continuously till the mixture
begins to thicken. Remove from
fire and allow this mixture to cool
completely to room temperature.
Beat the cream and add to the
prepared milk and custard
mixture. Add the essence and
mix. With a hand blender, blend
the mixture well and place in a
freezer container with a lid. If you
do not have an aluminum ice
cream container then use any
Bring to a boil and drop the bowl and cover with cling
orange circles and cool for 2- wrap or foil. Allow the
3 minutes till crystallised. mixture to set in the
Place the orange circles on freezer and this should
the plum sauce and keep take around 2-3 hours.
in the fridge till serving. Once set, rewhip the gelato
with a hand blender or put it
back into the mixer to give it a
CHOCOLATE good whip so that it is light and
fluffy.
AND CASHEW At this stage mix in the fresh or
MOUSSE dried fruits that you are using or
the cashew nuts. Place the gelato
INGREDIENTS: back into the container and allow
21/2 cups of milk it to reset for another 2-3 hours.
1/ tin of condensed milk Serve chilled as it is or with a
2
3 tbsp of chocolate flavoured generous helping of dried fruits or
custard powder fresh fruits or biscuit wafers.
1 cup cream
1 cup broken cashew pieces or
fresh fruits
1 tsp of vanilla essence WHEAT AND
100 ml of fresh cream – this is
purely optional
Chocolate
and cashew JAGGERY CAKE
Mousse INGREDIENTS:
METHOD 1 cup wheat flour
Keep half cup of milk aside and 1 tsp of baking powder
mix in the rest of the milk and the 1/ tsp of sodi bi carb
2
condensed milk in a thick 1 cup jaggery – broken into pieces
150 gm of sugar
150 gm of beaten sour cream -
dahi
1 tsp of sodi bi carb
1/ tsp of grated nutmeg
2
1/ tsp of allspice
4
1/ tsp of clove powder
4
3/ tsp of vanilla essence
4
1/ tsp of salt
2
For the glaze:
120 gm of icing sugar
2 tbsp of lemon juice
METHOD
Cook the apple pieces in 1 cup
of water till tender and soft. Keep
cooking and stirring till most of the
extra water is evaporated.
Cool the apple mash and keep
aside.
Sift the flour and the soda. Mix
Wheat and jaggery cake in the spices into the maida too.
Keep aside.
In the meantime cream the
GLAZED APPLE
3/
4 cup oil
1 cup curd butter and sugar until light and
3 tsp blanched almonds cut into
small pieces or
SPICE LOAF fluffy. Mix in the sour cream and
continue to blend till smooth. Mix
broken cashew nuts INGREDIENTS: in the mashed apples. Now in a
2 apples peeled and cored and mixing bowl, mix the wet
METHOD ingredients into the dry
cut into small pieces
Sift together the wheatflour, ingredients a little at a time so that
160 gm of flour - maida
baking powder, baking soda. Keep the batter is smooth and fluffy.
120 gm of melted butter
aside in a mixing bowl. In a mixer,
mix in the jaggery pieces, oil and Glazed apple spice loaf
curd and blend well to obtain a
smooth paste where all the
ingredients have mixed together.
Pour this mixture slowly in small
quantities in the dry ingredients –
namely the maida mixed with the
baking powder and soda. Blend
well so that the dry and wet
ingredients mix into each other
and the resultant dough is smooth
flowing. Add the almonds and mix
well. Grease a cake tin and pour
the contents of the cake in the
prepared tin. Bake in a preheated
O
oven at 180 C for 35-40 minutes
or until a skewer comes out clean.
The time taken for baking will
depend on your oven.

56 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


Also, mix in the essence at this Saffron and black pepper loaf
stage. Grease an ovenproof loaf
tin and pour the mixture into the
loaf tin and cook in a preheated
O
oven at 170 C for 45 minutes or
until a skewer comes out clean
when inserted in the centre of the
loaf. Put off the oven and allow to
cool completely .
To prepare the glaze: Mix the
icing sugar and the lemon juice
and stir gently to mix well.
When the loaf is cool, place it
on a baking sheet or a wooden
board. Pour the prepared glaze
over the loaf and allow it to set. oven proof loaf tin and pour the replace this with 1 1 / 2 tsp of
Cut into slices once the glaze has mixture into the loaf tin and cook coarsely crushed pepper but the
hardened and serve. in a preheated oven at 170 look and the taste will also differ
degree C for 45 minutes or until a slightly.
skewer comes out clean when
SAFFRON AND inserted in the centre of the loaf.

BLACK PEPPER Put off the oven and allow to cool


completely. Cut into slices and TRIPLE LAYERED
LOAF serve. This cake is sweet and yet
has a tangy taste because of the
DESSERT WITH
INGREDIENTS:
160 gm of maida
fresh pepper corns. If you cannot PRALINE
find fresh pepper you could INGREDIENTS:
120 gm of melted butter
200 ml of condensed milk For the bottom layer:
1/ tsp of salt 2 tbsp of strawberry or blue
2
1/ tsp of sodi bi carb berry preserve
2
1 tsp of baking powder For the middle
5-6 strands of saffron layer:
soaked in 1 tbsp of 250 ml of milk
lukewarm milk for 10 2 tsp of custard
minutes powder
2 tbsp of fresh black
pepper For the third layer:
3 pinches of salt pitted prunes cut into
pieces
METHOD
Sift the flour, baking For the praline:
powder, salt and the soda. 2 tbsp of sugar
Keep aside 1 tbsp of pistachio nuts cut
Blend together the butter and into small pieces
condensed milk. Now in a mixing METHOD
bowl, mix the wet ingredients into First of all prepare the custard
the dry ingredients a little at a time by boiling the milk and reducing it
so that the batter is smooth and to half.
Triple layered
fluffy. Mix in the saffron dessert with Mix the custard in 5 tbsp of
(discarding the strands) and the praline lukewarm milk and add to the
fresh pepper corns after removing thickened milk together with the
these from the stems. Grease an sugar and keep stirring so that the
milk thickens and the custard
consistency is as thick as you
want it.
Put off and cool to room
temperature till the custard is just
beginning to set.
To prepare the praline: Melt
the sugar in a thick-bottomed pan
and once it is in liquid form add
the pistachio nuts and stir and mix
and put off the heat. Grease a
thali or plate or a vegetable
cutting board. Grease a
rectangular area of 2 inch by 3
inches.
Spread the melted sugar and Caramel topped chocolate pudding
allow it to cool on the greased
board or thali. Once it solidifies
the praline is ready and you could CARAMEL AND 11/2 tsp of baking powder
1/ tsp of cinnamon powder
2
use it by breaking it in sizes you
like. You can even crush the
CEREAL RING For the decoration:
praline coarsely.
To assemble the dessert:
CAKE 1/ a cup of caramel syrup
2
1 cup of cereal – any flavour of
Place the preserve at the bottom INGREDIENTS: cornflakes
of a glass. Place the prepared 250 gm of maida – flour METHOD
cooled custard. Top with the 175 gm of oil – soya oil Sift together the maida and
prunes and serve with praline 150 gm of sugar baking powder. Grind the sugar in
pieces. Keep in the fridge if you 150 gm of dahi a mixer. Add the oil and the dahi
like it cold. 3 drops of almond essence to the powdered sugar and blend
well. Run the mixer for 1 minute
Caramel and cereal ring cake and then give the mixer a pause.
Repeat this process till the
ingredients are well blended to
obtain a smooth and fluffy paste.
In a large mixing bowl add the
maida and baking powder. Into
this slowly mix in the wet
ingredients paste a little at a time.
Mix and add stirring all the time
so that both the dry and the wet
mixture blend together. Into this
also add the cinnamon powder.
Grease a ring cake tin and bake
in a preheated oven at 180
degree C for about 35 minutes or
until a skewer or knitting needle
comes out clean when inserted
around the ring. Allow the cake to
cool completely. Loosen the cake
with the tip of a sharp knife. Invert
onto a serving plate. Spread the
caramel lavishly over the top of

58 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


STRAWBERRY
PUDDING
INGREDIENTS:
1 litre of milk
1 cup of strawberry sauce
3 tbsp of cornflour
1 cup of fresh bread crumbs
2 drops of red colour – optional
cake decorations
METHOD
Heat the milk in a thick-
bottomed pan. Remove a cup of it
while still lukewarm. Mix the
Strawberry pudding cornflour and keep aside.
Continue to heat the milk on low
the cake and allow it to flow over the melted sugar syrup. Allow fire till the amount is reduced to
the sides. this to cool so that the sugar half its quantity, stirring from time
While the caramel syrup is still solidifies into caramel. to time so that it does not stick to
wet, place the cornflakes over the Heat the milk in a thick the bottom of the pan. Once the
syrup to decorate the cake. You bottomed pan. Remove a cup of it quantity has reduced to half, mix
can add a few cheeslings or while still lukewarm. in the bread crumbs and the
different coloured cornflakes to Mix the drinking chocolate into cornflour.. and continue to stir all
give it a colourful look. this lukewarm milk and keep the time till the pudding begins to
aside. thicken.
Continue to heat the milk on Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes
CARAMEL low fire till the amount is reduced
to half its quantity, stirring from
and put off the heat. Mix in the
strawberry sauce and the colour
TOPPED time to time so that it
does not stick to the bottom of the
at this stage. Pour the contents
into muffins cases.
CHOCOLATE pan. Place the muffin trays into a
PUDDING Once the quantity has reduced
to half, mix in the bread crumbs
steamer and steam till the
pudding is set. This should take
INGREDIENTS: and the chocolate mixture. Now around 25 minutes.
1 litre of milk mix in the cornflour mixture and Once the top of the pudding
3 tbsp of milk or as per taste continue to stir all the time till the looks set, put off the heat and
1 cup of fresh bread crumbs pudding begins to thicken. Stir allow it to cool completely. Place
2 tbsp of cornflour mixed in half and cook for 2-3 minutes and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours and
cup of lukewarm milk off the heat. then loosen the sides of the
2 tbsp of chocolate powder more Pour the contents into the pudding with the tip of a sharp
or less as per taste caramelised baking dish. Place knife and turn the pudding muffins
2 tbsp of sugar for the caramel this dish in a steamer and steam into a serving plate.
2 tsp of broken cashews till the pudding is set. This should You can use a microwave
METHOD take around 25 minutes. Once the muffin tray and microwave on
Melt the sugar for the caramel top of the pudding looks set, put high for only 3 minutes to
in a pan. Once the sugar has off the heat and allow it to cool start with and if the pudding is not
melted and started turning light completely. set, microwave for one minute
golden brown pour it into the base Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours more.
of the baking dish you are going and then place a serving plate Allow to cool and then turn
to use to prepare the pudding. over the baking dish and turn the over and decorate with cake
Sprinkle the cashew pieces over pudding over. decorations. We

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 59


ART WITH A
TOUCH
OF TRADITION
“You can give your best to
create the best,” says the artist.
By Our Correspondent

tep into Baljeet Chadha’s Daniel Joseph who owns his studio in

S
About the Artist
spacious Studio Vasart Katwaria Sarai, Near Qutub Hotel,
Name: Daniel Joseph
located at Haus Khas New Delhi.
E-mail:
Village and get the joy of Born in 1971 in New Delhi he did
danieljoseph1971@indiatime.com
getting positive energy of his BFA from Delhi College of Art,
Group Shows finest art works. There I with Ist division in the year 1996. He
encountered some capti - uses architectural linearity in
At gallery two - 1995, New Delhi. vating works bearing human humorous fashion by using face and
Art corporative gifts - 1997 art ‘n’ and animal figures, all body in impressive colours. A peep
soul gallery, New Delhi. superb in depicting happy into the life of this amazing artist of
Art ‘n’ soul 1999, New Delhi. moods. Of course, the paintings have today’s Indian art who is presently
Studio Vasant, Vasant Vihar, that energy about it that captures the working with Khushi organisation for
New Delhi - 2006. viewers’ attention expressing upliftment of poor and destitute
Guernica to Nitari and Budha happiness more eloquently than any community in both rural and urban
Mudra, Canvas art gallery, words. An expert in semi-realistic, area.
New Delhi - 2007. figurative, abstract, drawing and pen Excerpts from an interview:
and ink, he’s the versatile artist When did you first realise your
Solo Shows
aesthetic leanings towards art?
One man show 1996 and 1998: My interest in art was a childhood
Gallery two, New Delhi. urge that gave me great pleasure. I’m
One man show 2000: Art ‘n’ Soul, inspired from a contemporary artist
New Delhi. Om Pal Sansanwan. In fact, I admire
Awards all the senior artists.
Camel Art Regional Award in
Could you tell me something
2006, Lalit Kala Academy,
about your art work!
New Delhi.
The theme of my paintings is
AIFACS Award in 2007. nature. You’ll observe figures in my
Sponsorship Camel Regional Euro work – figures of animals, males and
Tour in 2007 (Due). females as well. Whatever catches
the attention of my eye is perceived
in my senses. I get the essence of
the core and feel the presence of the
soul in my work.
Through my work, I want to give
solace and joy to my viewers. That’s
why you will observe predominance
of happy colours – blue and red in

60 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


The medieval story of Sohni Mahiwal depicted is relevant in modern era. The use of earth colours, bull and horse
symbolise the impact of our tradition on modern urban-India.

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 61


from nature. I read books on history.
The same keep me motivated.

What is the best and worst part


of being a full-time artist?
You can give your best to create
the best. The outcome is really
excellent and the piece of art is more
refined. I don’t find anything bad.

What other interests do you


have besides painting?
Music, trekking, mountaineering,
and reading. I love making drawings
on flying machines. (smiles). Do you
know Leonardo Da Vince also used
to draw and design flying machines.
And a huge metamorphosis in his
approach occured as he went from
the theory of flight
my work. My art touches the culture also influenced by MF to actually attemp-
of India and its exotic ethos. Hussain. They all are the ting flight. So in a
artists par excellence. way, I am very
Does the mood of the artist Each and every minutest much like him.
influence the end results of his detail in their art, strokes,
paintings? vigour, style and mood At this time
Yes of course but then the artist reflect perfection. when Indian Art
knows how to maintain the balance! has got a world -
My art is my vision. I just watch This means your wide acclaim, how
nature and people around me, then works bear some do you come to
understand the depthness of significant resemblances terms with com -
relationships but manifestation of with their art! mercial aspect of
ideas are my own. No not at all. My works art?
are nothing but the Art reflects
Famous artists who have extension of my own culture of country
influenced you and how! personality. My emotions, so needs to be
Well Pablo Picasso for his cubism. my dreams and feelings take a authentic. I work because I have
He’s known for co-founding cubist concrete shape on my canvas. sensitivity towards art. I enjoy it.
movement and for the wide variety of But I don’t let the quality of my
styles embodied in his work. You seem to use a lot of work affect it. Thanks to Baljeet
Vincent Van Gogh’s impressio - symbols in your work. Do your Chadhaji for supporting me and
nism and neo-impressionism. I am paintings tell stories or are they motivating.
simply decorative elements of the
painting? Advice you would like to give to
Yes, I put symbols in my work. an artist just starting out?
The colours and the figures have a Art is very pure so needs to be
symbolic meaning. This is my worshiped. It’s not to be corrupted by
encoded language and how I present any means. Artists need to give their
my ideas to the spectators. best without imitating others. The
labour will never go waste. Hard work
What inspires you to paint and certainly pays!
how do you keep motivated when
things get tough in studio? Ten years from now, where do
Painting is my passion. That’s why your see yourself?
I have chosen to be a full time artist. Certainly evolving more and more
Daily I spend at least seven to eight towards betterment in my work and
hours in painting. I go for a morning creating a niche of my own in this
walk and derive inspiration to paint vast field of art. We

62 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


QA &

Q
I am a young man of 20. I have a You must also consider how your
slight frame and three years ago, I family will take this.
developed small but distinct As far as your breasts are
breasts. My friends tease me concerned, you should see a
saying that I need to wear a bra. doctor. You may be suffering from a
I have other feminine attributes condition called gynaecomastia
and I like dressing up as a woman which is the development of abnor-
when I am alone. Should I consider mally large mammary glands in
sex change treatment? males, resulting in breast enlarge-
Sex change treatment is not ment. The condition is caused by
something that you can take an imbalance of sex hormones or
casually. It is a life-changing the responsiveness of tissue to this.
decision. You should even consider When the condition occurs in
going in for treatment (which is long adolescence, as it has for you, it is
and expensive) only if you have an called pubertal gynaecomastia and
overwhelming feeling that you are the breasts usually shrink or
actually a woman in a man’s body. disappear within few years.

I am a 23-year-old unmarried man. misunderstood my friendliness, he The marriage of that man was then
Last week, unable to control myself, I said that he hadn’t been able to arranged with my younger sister.
went to the red-light area of my town control himself. He then asked me to My husband is a good and kind
and had sex with a prostitute. She continue to be his friend. I said that I man, but he hasn’t got the
told me that she did not have any would. charismatic personality of my brother-
sexually transmitted disease, but But since then I find myself unable in-law. After coming to know this man
since that day I have been so terrified to treat him as I used to. I feel as my sister’s husband, I have fallen
that I have not be able to sleep, work, awkward and embarrassed and in love with him.
talk to people or follow my usual therefore find myself trying to avoid I don’t feel guilty about this
routine. Is it possible that I have him. But the man says that I am because I feel that he is actually my
become HIV-Positive? I cannot being rude and that my behaviour husband because the proposal from
undergo the necessary tests in my proves that my earlier friendship was him initially came for me.
town since my family would come to false. Once I made my feelings known
know. I don’t want to be rude or cause to this man, he too began to love me
The only way to be sure is for you my friend any embarrassment, but I and we are now having an affair.
to have yourself tested for HIV and don’t want to give him false hope Recently my mother came to know
other sexually transmitted diseases. either. What should I do? about this but though she has not told
If you can’t get these tests done in Our instincts are usually right and anyone, I know that she is deeply
your hometown, you will have to go we should follow them. If your unhappy. I feel like proclaiming my
to the nearest town which has instincts tell you to avoid that man love to the world and then marrying
facilities and have yourself tested since otherwise you might give him this man. I cannot live without him.
there. Get married as soon as you hope, follow them and avoid that How should I set about things?
are in a position to support a wife and friend – not in an obvious or insulting You are being extremely immature
family. Otherwise you might find manner, but casually. If you feel and selfish when you say that you
yourself tempted to go to a prostitute awkward and embarrassed but try to feel that your brother-in-law is
again. force yourself to be friendly, your actually your husband because the
discomfort will show through. alliance for him came first for you. If a
Your friendship was not false. He proposal for an alliance is equal to a
I am a 34-year-old woman and I have was the one who tried to turn marriage, many men and women in
a male friend whom I have known for friendship into love. our country would have several
four years, ever since I joined the spouses because, in the case of an
company I work in now. Last month arranged marriage, several alliances
he shocked me by confessing to me I am a married 26-year-old woman are usually considered before one is
that he loved me. He then asked me and have fallen in love with my settled on!
to leave my husband and marry him younger sister’s husband. Actually You had a chance to marry this
(he is still unmarried). the marriage alliance for this man man but fate came in the way and
When I firmly told him that I loved came for me, but other things you married someone else. The man
my husband and that he must have intervened and I made a love match. then married your sister. Nothing can

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 63


change this and any attempt to play
musical chairs and change your
for me. But for me marriage means
more than just sex. What should I
QA &
constantly telling me how her other
three children are facing financial
partner will lead to a shattering do? I do not work but I am fairly well- problems, and asking me to give
upheaval in your family. off and would have the support of my them money. She wants me to give
If you have any sense of loyalty to parents in any decision I take. my brother-in-law 20 lakhs to buy a
your husband or love for your sister, Talk frankly to your husband and house and to help the husbands of
you should not even think along tell him that you understand marriage my two sisters-in-law set up small
these lines. in a different way from him. Make it businesses.
The man in question too does not clear that you don’t mind looking after I have always politely told my
seem to be in love with you. He your mother-in-law but that you need mother-in-law to talk to my husband
began to have an affair with you only company and affection besides sex. about these matters, but she wants
after you revealed your feelings for Tell him that he too has me to help them with my personal
him. This does not show him in a responsibilities – towards both his finances. She has made me promise
good light, but he probably will not mother and you. not to tell my husband what she
be ready to switch wives just It can’t be work and play for him wants me to do. I am becoming a
because you want him to. and only work for you. See how he mental wreck because of her
And, anyway, just announcing to takes this and whether he makes any nagging. Should I just give them the
the world that you love this man will attempt to change and see that you money she so desperately wants me
not make him your husband. There too are happy. Take a decision only to?
will be two messy divorces to go after that. You should not do anything
through before that. without talking to your husband since
Think about all this in a mature this is a matter that involves his
fashion and you will yourself realise I had an arranged marriage two years brother and sisters. The next time
that you have to move away from this ago and have been under great strain your mother-in-law talks to you about
man and get along with your life in ever since. The reason is that the money, tell her that you can’t keep
the company of your “good and kind” financial affairs of my in-laws are in a your promise of not discussing this
husband. mess and I am quite rich because I matter with your husband. Tell her
inherited a lot of money and property that, as your husband he has every
from my grandparents. right to know what you do with your
I came to know within a month of When my father-in-law died he left money.
marriage that there is “another most of his property to his younger Your mother-in-law’s worry about
woman” in my husband’s life. This is son, my husband, because his elder her other children is understandable
my mother-in-law! I knew from the son had already taken a lot of money and you should not hold it against
time that my parents settled my from him to start businesses which her. Her reluctance to talk to your
marriage that my future mother-in-law later failed. My father-in-law had also husband means that she knows that
was ill, but I came to know only later given his two daughters their shares it is not fair to ask him to share his
that my husband’s main reason for of his property when they got inheritance with his siblings and that
getting married was to have someone married. My husband thus has the she knows that he will ask her why
who would look after his mother. family home and shares in various he should so. But if your husband
My husband works hard during the businesses now, while my brother-in- agrees and you can afford to do so,
week and plays cricket for his law and two sisters-in-law, all of you could do something to help out
company on the weekends. I am a whom took bad business decisions, your brother-in-law and sisters-in-law.
full-time nurse for my mom-in-law have very little. But you should lend, not give, them
and get no chance to go out or to My mother-in-law lives with my money and the amounts should be
have any fun with my husband. husband and me while my brother- reasonable. They should understand
We have sex during the nights in-law lives separately with his wife that they are not entitled to money
and he says that this must be enough and children. My mother-in-law is from you.

Click

Yo u r P e r s o n a l A g o n y A u n t O n l i n e Powered by
64 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008
Q U I Z
68
1Q
How long have you been unhappy
in your marriage?
a. Ages – years
b. It seems like a long time – months
c. Not that long – a few weeks

2Q
How long have you been married?
a. For more than six years
b. Not that long – a few months
c. For a few years

3Q
How do you feel about your
partner right now?
a. Just not what I expected.
b. I hate him/her – I just want a way out.
c. Some parts are okay, the others I don’t
like at all.

MARRIAGE
WORTH SAVING
?
IS YOUR

If you are unhappy with the


state of your marriage then check
here for the likelihood of you

S
being able to save it.
elected entries will be published in the t
man’s era. Look ou
4Q
When did you last have a good
deep conversation about
something important to you?
a. A few months ago
b. Years ago/Never
c. A few weeks ago

&
Answer the questions win a grand prize...
forthcoming iss ue of Wo
for the 31 January 20 09 iss ue

Last date for sending entries: 15 January 2009


ur friendfor a better
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ch a photograph of yoma
of fea tur ing in Wo n’s era

W in a
Grand

Prize
Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 65
5Q 10Q
When you did last speak (deeply) Do you enjoy your holidays
were you happy with the outcome? together?
a. It was okay. a. Yes - we happily spend time together.
b. It wasn’t that good really. b. Not really.
c. It was good – I really enjoyed it. c. It is okay - could be better though.

11Q
If you could find a way to fix your

6Q
What areas of your relationship are
you most unhappy with? marriage would you want to know
a. Our kids/family takes up most of our time what it was?
so there’s no fun. a. Yes, please
b. We just can’t seem to talk. b. Maybe - it depends on what
c. We’re both busy doing our own things, would be involved.
we don’t have time for each other. c. Not really.

12Q
What do you like most about

7Q
How satisfied are you with your
love life? your partner?
a. The looks
a. Not happy at all.
b. The character
b. It’s okay - that part is working fine.
c. Can’t think of anything
c. When it happens it’s okay - could be
better.
Scoring Terms and Conditions:
Don’t you hate those artificial quizzes that

8Q
Do you imagine yourself being with
only have one obvious right answer? Since we don’t
someone else? know about your personal life, these questions could
a. All the time. work out, depending on one’s personality and
b. No, never. interactions. And you could probably come up with
c. Sometimes. better answers!
Prove that you are aware of this trivia.
Send us the coupon with your photo along

9Q
If you could leave your partner with the correct answers.
now with no guilt or recriminations,
would you? Name
a. Yes - just let me out. Age
b. Maybe - sounds tempting but not sure. Address
c. No way - I just want things to be better.
PIN
Phone: E-mail

Winner Occupation

of Don’t forget to attach a photograph


Friendship 1. Mark the answers and send us the cutting of

Quiz this quiz along with this coupon. The last date is
15 January 2009. So hurry up and post it now.
Contest - 65 2. The decision of the editor will be final. 3. Depict
your true self only. 4. Send a photograph of your
Neelam Nanda. own. It may be printed in Woman’s Era, along with
23, Vasant Kunj, the results. Send to: Woman’s Era, Delhi Press,
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he sexy Faridabadi sardarni,

T
Prity Bhutani, who had a bad
start in Bollywood is all set to
make yet another attempt at
success with a slew of
releases later this year . She
has done some Tamil and
Kannada flicks as well.
Excerpts from an interview:
What went wrong with Ladies
Tailor and Jaani Dushman?
An artist alone can’t be held
responsible for his or her films doing
well or not. Maybe the date of release
and bad script could be responsible
for the above films’ fate. All in all, I
am quite proud of my work in both
the above projects.

What next?
I have a number of releases in the
next few months. Major of them is
Golmal Returns opposite Ajay
Devgan. Then there is Khalbali Hai
Khalbali with Zakir (main Sarkar
villain) as my co-star. I am also
waiting for Sangeet Shravan Ek The
Power of One to hit the theaters. Last
but not least is an item number in
Vikalp.

How different are these roles


from each other?
I have attempted to be quite
different in each outing – for example

Aspirations of
an aspiring actress.
By Anil Merani
in Ek, I am a typical Punjabi girl with They know that this is a part of my
chotis . On the other hand, I have profession.
glamorous comedy avatar in both
Khalbali and Golmal Returns. And How has your journey been?
obviously an item number is in a Having seen the tough day's, I
completely different bracket in itself. value the importance of hard work
very much. I did not have the benefit
How was it to act with Ajay of having a godfather like some
Devgan? actors.
It was superb I have been a big
Ajay Devgan fan right since his Phool Casting couch?
Aur Kaante days. Now it's my dream I have no such experience.
to work in a project directed by him. Ultimately, hard work pays. If you are
good, you will get work.
You seem to have no problems
with a bold image? Which actor would you give a
Yes, I am quite comfortable with hand and foot to work with?
a bold image Having said that, I want I would love to work with Ajay
to try all kind of looks – be it a hot again. Shah Rukh is very great actor
babe to demure Indian girl. I also as well. I would surely go for any
want to prove my acting ability by meaty role with him.
doing diverse roles – eg a physoctic
killer. What stuff do you like to wear
when not shooting?
Did your parents not have I am mostly dressed in shorts. I
reservations about you wearing dress according to my comfort level
skimpy clothes? and don't bother about what people
No, my folks are quite chilled out. say or don't say. We

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Confident & stylish: Blue top with


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blue jeans.
Jury praised her performance in the
film titled Heaven On Earth as strong
yet subtle. Produced by Deepa
Mehta, the film explores the struggle
of an immigrant Punjabi bride.

rmila Matondkar who has given


U many sterling performances in
the last few years is quite charged
with her two new films: Karzzzz
(directed by Satish Kaushik) and
EMI . If in Karzzzz she plays a a
negative character for the first time,
in EMI, a light-hearted comedy, she
plays a simple widow who has to pay
back so many loans.

s if signing Sylvestor Stallone for


A
not
his next film Kambakht Ishq was
enough, producer Sajid
Nadiadwala has also signed another
Preity Zinta Hollywood actor Brandon Rauth for
bagged the the film wherein Akshay Kumar plays
Best Actress
Award at the
Chicago
International
film festival.

B O M B AY F I L M D O M

o what if Amitabh Bachchan has


S left his best days behind? There
still are people who are prepared to
Bachchan plays a mathematics
professor who has a relationship
with his proteges.
spend a fancy amount to share
screen space with him for a few reity Zinta has done filmdom
moments. Proof? One S. Prakash
Lohia topped the list of bidders in a
P proud by bagging the Best
Actress Award at the Chicago
shot of Ambika Hinduja’s film Teen International Film Festival. The
Patti which fetched £ 25,000 for UK Urmila Matondkar is quite charged
charity. The film is a thriller wherein with her sterling performances.
the male lead, known as Superman
from the Superman series. Brandon
who has already finished shooting an
extensive action portion of the film
with Akshay was highly impressed Shah Rukh
watching Akshay doing dangerous Khan,
conferred
stunts.
knighthood
by the
etter late than never. Since Shah
B Rukh Khan worked in a few films,
including one 2 ka four shot in
Malaysian
government.

Malacca (Malaysia), the place has


become a popular tourist resort. No
wonder, the Malaysian Government
has conferred knighthood on the
actor.

t is indeed gratifying that now


IHollywood actors are also keen on
working in Bollywood. Hollywood G uess what Deepika Padukone
does after taking up a film?
actor Will Smith says he is a fan of She trusts her director and
Aishwarya Rai and would love to do a surrenders to him completely. Well,
it was okay to surrender completely
to Farha Khan in Om Shanti Om, but
surrendering completely to a male
director can be risky. You know what
I mean?

t shouldn’t be difficult for cine


I buffs to recall how much work
late Sunil Dutt had done for the
spastics. Now Mithun
Chakraborty has decided
to give financial help to
Aahana, five year old spastic
daughter of a Reliance ADAG
employee in Koparkhaire, Navi
Mumbai. Laudable indeed.

eha Dhupia’s career surely


N seems to be on the
upswing. After her starrer
Singh Is King reaped gold at
the box office, she’ll be seen
film with her. He says she in many films including Chala
was his first choice as co- Murari Murder Karne , a
star in Hancock. murder mystery wherein
she shares stellar honours
ith so many films — with Naseeruddin Shah.
W Mumbai Meri Jaan, A
Wednesday, Aamir and ll the people who
Contract revolving around
Mumbai and/or terrorism, it
A venture into re-
makes or sequels aren’t
won’t be wrong to say that equally lucky. Ashtvinayak’s
the commercial capital of Golmaal Returns shot
the country, Mumbai, has
also become a key character Deepika Padukone: Blind trust on
in so many films. male directors can be risky.
extensively in scenic Goa and Brothers’ Mughal-e-Azam, a sort of Festival at Wardha, Sewagram, left
starring Ajay Devgan, Kareena black comedy with bizarre moments. the viewers highly impressed with
Kapoor and Ranvir Shorey hasn’t Amply shows that the audience Gandhian values and principles.
been acclaimed by the critics. Who cannot be taken for granted.
ana Patekar loves challenges
knows the comedy may still be liked
by cine goers?
B elieve it or not, poet-lyricist-
director Gulzar whose film
N and therefore, takes up different
types of roles. In Horn OK Please he
ilmdom has suffered a truly huge Mausam (starring Sharmila Tagore plays a truck driver and a millionaire
F loss in the death of veteran film
maker B.R. Chopra, a recipient of
and late Sanjeev Kumar) bagged a
National Award had a rather modest
to boot. Seeing the film, many
youngsters may be inspired to
Phalke award, who made as many start in Mumbai. When he arrived in become drivers.
as 37 films including Gumrah, Insaaf Mumbai, at the tender age of 13, his
Ka Tarazu, Nikaah, Sadhna, Ek Hi n spite of tough competition from
Raasta, Waqt, Naya Daur and Dhool
Ka Phool. May his soul rest in peace.
first job was that of painting cars at
Vichare Motors in Andheri. Idebutante Mughda and Kangana
Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra steals the
o the best of this scribe’s show in Fashion directed by Madhur

T hanks to the golden harvest


reaped by Singh Is King, producer
T knowledge, writer-turned director
Rumi Jaffry’s debut-making film as a
Bhandarkar of Chandni Bar and Page
3 fame. The film revolves around the
Vipul Shah is ready with the sequel of director God Tussi Great Ho hasn’t world of glamour and glitz where
the film, but would like to keep a one been declared a hit. If in spite of that anyone who matters is out to exploit
film gap in between so that he can he’s thankful to God, it must indeed them.
complete the film already on the be for directing Amitabh Bachchan,
sensible person is one who
floors.

mong the films Tanushree Dutta


Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra
in his very first film. A admits the mistakes made by her
or him. Like, Sushmita Sen, for
A is eagerly awaiting release of
Saas Bahu Aur Sensex (undoubtedly A s an artiste, and a successful
one, Katrina Kaif is indeed
instance she says my acting career
was full of flops, but I have learnt
an interesting title) which revolves entitled to have her opinion. Asked if from my mistakes. Now she has a
around a mother-in-law, a daughter- she’s open to the idea of doing art couple of good films on hand,
in-law and the stock market. She cinema, she says there’s nothing like including David Dhawan’s fun film Do
says, “I really like the offbeat thought art or offbeat films. Films are either Knot Disturb . In addition, her own
that the script has.” good or bad. To add to Kat’s view, production, Rani Laxmibai , with
the well-accepted view in the film which she takes to production and
ith Lok Sabha elections slated industry is that if a film turns out to be direction, is also keeping her busy.
W for any time in the year round
the corner, different political parties
a hit, it’s good and if it flops, it’s a
bad film.
– Deepak Puri.

have started gearing up for elections


by drawing up lists of their star t would undoubtedly be an important
campaigners. Hema Malini has been
named to campaign for BJP along
Istep forward for Bollywood that Anil
Ambani’s £1.5 billion joint venture
with Party President Rajnath Singh with Steven Spielberg to set up a film
and others. studio in Hollywood, will be
operational January next year.
creen chemistry seen between
S Mallika Sherawat and Rahul Bose
in Pyar Ke Side Effects has not M ore than 26 documentaries
and short feature films
worked so well in Jain shown during the two-day
Tanushree International Film
Dutta –
eagerly
awaiting
release of her
film Saas
Bahu aur
Sensex.
Priyanka
Chopra
steals the
show in
fashion.
A new look
at the Hijack star.
By A. Merani

SHINEY AHUJA
fter Gangster, intense Is this film inspired by Die Hard

A
actor Shiney Ahuja has 1?
one more mar-dhaar film, Yes, we were inspired by this
Hijack, up for release. Bruce Willis hostage drama. My
Woman's Era caught up character undergoes the same
with this reclusive Punjabi emotions as Bruce Willis does, the
for a chit-chat on this films only difference is that in the American
and his career. film, his wife is the hostage while
here my daughter is in the firing line.
What is Hijack ?
I play a ground maintenance How was it working with
engineer at Chandigarh airport from debutant director Kunal
where my daughter's flight is Shivdasani?
hijacked. How paternal love forces It was like going back in time. We
me to take on the hijackers and had worked together in my ad
rescue her and other hostages is campaigns earlier. But, yes, film-
what the film is about. making is a different ball game
altogether. In ads, you have to tell
How did you prepare yourself your story in 30 seconds flat, while
for this role? in movies you get much more time.
The character needs to look lean
and fit which requires regular Most of your previous films are
exercise, something I do anyway. As pretty complex.
for the thought process, I do think a Yes, but this is a simple action
lot about what the character will do, film. Having said that, I will bring
hence I get into his psyche by the certain characteristics to the table.
time the shooting starts. This happens naturally with me.

84 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


Was this a deliberate attempt to people unnecessarily spread such comedy opposite Preity Zinta. It's
break from your serious-guy rumours about me. something like Hum Tum.
image?
I always want to surprise my fans There was also talk that What kind of stuff do you like
by doing something different. success is getting to your head. to do?
Although Gangster was an action Had that been the case, would For me, the script is more
flick, Hijack takes the genre to a directors have recast me? important than the genre. I am ready
much higher level. Shooting those to do any kind of film, be it serious,
thriller sequences at Mauritius airport What's next ? action or light-hearted, provided the
was not easy. I have Har Pall, a light romantic story clicks.

Will you stick to the action Looking at your career graph,


image now ? which film gave you more
I might shock you again. importance — your debut,
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, or your
But is it not risky going out of first commercial hit, Gangster?
your safety zone? I would rate Hazaaron... for this film
Agreed, it is risky in the short run. gave me all the debutant awards. The
But, in the long run, I will be known reason why I accord more importance
as an actor who can do anything. to Hazaaron... is that I think that I got
Gangster only due to this film.
How was the experience of
working with Esha Deol? Something about yourself.
She is very good and disciplined People tend to misunderstand me.
artiste. I am not like your typical Bollywood
hero. Rather, I am just an ordinary
But we have heard that you had middle-class guy. My life is quite
issues with her. boring. It’s not that I hit the party
Says who? I don't know why circuit every day. We

my mom’s place. My son was around 5 was urgent to see the reports soon so
months old. One day he got an attack that she could start the medicine as
of epileptic jerks. I immediately soon as possible.
returned to Delhi and took my baby to We were so touched. We were not
the same hospital where he was among her regular patients and
admitted earlier. A doctor diagnosed without knowing us she helped us.
my son and sent us to a neurologist. On our next visit we returned her the
We went to the doctor’s cabin. She money and due to her only MRI of
admired my son affectionately (as he is my son was got done on that very
very good looking) and saw his day which was necessary.
previous reports. Then she told us to In this materialistic world she is a
An altruistic doctor get the MRI (of brain) done sovereign symbol of true humanity.
We often meet different people in immediately. She was very soft She is a genuine doctor – a person
our life but only few of them touch spoken. She herself called the MRI who is considered to be the almighty
our hearts. Similarly, some incidents centre of that hospital. for the patients in pain. Till date we
become unforgettable. We went there but we came to are in touch with her since my son
I live in Delhi. My only son is know that we had to deposit a sum of hasn’t fully recovered yet as the
suffering from cerebral palsy – a Rs 1000 before the test. Unfortunately, disease is not curable. Many a
condition in which milestones of a we didn’t have that much of amount at time she did all for us that was
child could be delayed and is not that time. humanly possible which is beyond
fully curable. Actually when he was So we returned to the doctor and description.
born he suffered from pneumonia and informed her about our problem. She She is the most unforgettable
recovered after being kept in ICU for instantly gave us Rs 1000 from her person of my life and so is the
14 days. handbag and told us to go to the MRI incident.
After that for few days I was in centre and get the test done since it – Tarang Sinha, New Delhi.

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 85


WITH
NATURE AT HOME!
Be your
gardener when it
comes to decorating
your home this
summer with potted
plants. Following
are a few useful
tips for the summer
indoor greenery
selection and
maintenance.
By Dr Anuradha Prasad

touch of greens in your rather than beautifying it. The greens

A
interiors can go a long way would work doubly by helping people
in bringing the outdoor to chill indoors and invitingly swell the
indoors and can also help decor. In case you want to bring in
to cheer dreary interiors as the plants this season, here are a few
almost nothing can that would thrive in the interiors
transform the atmosphere during the dry season, absorb air
in a room more than indoor borne toxins, help with soundproofing
plants. They have the and even reduce dust.
power to inject colour,
beauty, and have a cooling effect by
thus increasing health benefits; all
this while making the space look chic.
No wonder because of all the
benefits that go with indoor greenery
the potted plants are most popular
with not only the interior designers
but also fashion conscious and not
to forget with the budget conscious
who want to add a little 'pep' to the
panache without perks around the
house.
The hot summers, the plants
should be chosen to cool the interiors

86 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


Do not overwater the plant.
Philodendrons show lush growth in
high humidity, so mist the plant
frequently for a healthy green look.

Rubber Plants: These plants


grow very well indoors. They like
bright light but not the direct sunlight.
They are very sensitive plants, so
they are to be saved from the
extremities. Keep the soil moist
during the summers though. Wipe the
leaves frequently with damp sponge.

Crotons: Crotons are popular


house plants with variegated glossy
foliage. The multicoloured leaves
range from yellow, orange purple and
a variety of greens; variegated
patterns of stripes, spots or blotches.

Coleus: Is an easy-to-grow plant though that, leaves should be


having bright coloured leaves. It is sprayed twice or at least once in a
very durable and found in a variety week other than summer time, if not
of foliage. Coleus can be grown in every day, because indoor plants
shade or in indirect sunlight. The may collect dust or greasy films that
beauty of this plant is when this dull their appearance, making them
foliage is grown indoors, the colours less attractive.
are accentuated. Water the plants once in two days
at least during the summers and
Asparagus: This is another plant once a week during the winters if the
that is versatile, woody and soil turns dry. Place them in a well-lit
evergreen and grows indoors very area of the room. The plants thrive
well. It has long trailing branches and in company so, put two to three of a
spikes looking extremely dressy. type together for better visual effect
There are a lot of varieties of and a better growth. Fertilise at least
asparagus that vary in appearance. once or twice a year if needed.
It has small sweet scented flowers Take an experts opinion or your
and red berries that add to the overall society gardener will be useful in
decor not only to the plant but also to giving valuable tips, if you do not
the looks of the space it occupies. want to spend too much on a
This plant could be a good option for professional.
those who want to go by the look and Some of the varieties are Banana Always remember, clean leaves
feel. crotons, Mammy croutons, Gold dust are favourable to healthy growth.
croton and Petra croton. Crotons Cleaning also helps control insects
Philodendrons: Philodendrons need a well-drained and moist soil and enhances the plants'
are by far the most popular indoor with an ample amount of organic attractiveness.
plantation. There are many varieties material. High humidity and full The best way to clean leaves that
depending on the leaf shape and sunlight are necessary for the bright are not hairy is to dampen a soft cloth
colouring of the foliage. These plants and the glossy leaves. with water and wipe the lower and
do not need much caring and survive upper surfaces of each leaf.
in adverse conditions if the light is
medium like the flooring of a jungle.
CLEANING AND An alternative is to place the entire
plant outdoors or in the shower to
One point to keep in mind is that very MAINTENANCE rinse it off. These useful tips would
low light will stunt the leaf growth In the hot dry summer, spray the be enough to keep your plants
while the excess sunlight will burn the plants twice a day to save them from healthy, green and your rooms coolly
leaves. dehydration. It should be kept in mind warm. We

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 87


Ring Finger Rangarajan
The case of the trickster tricked! By R. Mohan

I
t was Saturday evening, 10 pm and time for us and lost he would empathise with Bharat. Wait, here
bachelor boys to gather in my apartment. The I am getting a little ahead of myself.
four of us – Ram, Murthi, Bharat and I (Gopal) In flashback, the four of us had first met at
– met every Saturday evening for a rum-and- Komala Vilas, the South Indian restaurant where
cards session. This would normally start at 10 most South Indian bachelor boys would come to
pm and end around 2-3 am in the morning. have dinner. We developed a bond and then we
This was a typical pastime in the bachelor dens began to meet on Saturday evenings to have fun
of south Kolkata. time. We would always meet at my apartment.
This day's session had some undercurrents of

R
tension. Ram, Murthi and I were already there but am and I were regular guys. We would work,
Bharat was still to turn up. Was he going to come or earn, send money home to our parents, save
not – especially considering what had happened and plan ahead. But, for the weekend binge,
between him, Ring Finger Rangarajan and Mukta? we were straight fellows. No chasing skirts or saris.
As we were thus wondering, there was a tinkle and We were even attending evening classes to prepare
we were informed that Bharat had packed his bags for some bank entrance exams.
and left for his home town in Kerala. His landlord Bharat and Murthi were made differently. They
wanted to know whether we would pay up his had more aggressive hormones. It was no surprise
pending rent on his behalf! that both of them had wanted to get close to Mukta,
We were already hit by the abrupt departure of the green-eyed goddess or temptress, depending on
Bharat and now this financial liability. We your viewpoint.
responded that we would meet the landlord and Mukta resided next door and had a casual
explain what exactly had happened and why Bharat acquaintance with us all. She was dark, 18, slim, of
had to depart in a hurry. If the landlord had loved medium height and had good looks. Her best
features were the pair of luminous green eyes. She
could change their intensity at will and, whenever
she confronted Bharat or Murthi, she revelled in
SHORT

STORY
giving them the "laser looks”. These consisted of a
gradual, upward glance followed by slow variation
in intensity till she reached a penetration level that
broke their hearts. The hapless fellows melted like
chocolate in summer.
Both guys were hard-up and couldn't come up
with any exciting plans for Mukta. Murthi somehow
scrounged enough cash to buy himself a pair of
goggles and he started to flaunt them in front of her.
It was rumoured that Murthi had persuaded her to
try them once and clicked a photo.

W
hen Bharat heard of this incident, he began
to sweat. Today goggles, then ice cream, a
walk in the park near the lake and then
Victoria Memorial. Even a schoolboy knew that, put
a young fellow and a girl together in the sprawling
gardens of Victoria Memorial and there can only be
disaster. Later on, they started going to movies. No,
no – the very thought was scandalous and he had to
act fast. By the by, how did Murthi get hold of a
camera? The fellow owed Ram 100 bucks. He
would have to remind Ram about that.
Even as Bharat was turning and tossing in a
sweat-soaked nightmare and formulating crazy
plans, unknown to him, his luck was smiling on him.
Next day dawned bright and clear and the
afternoon was particularly pleasing. Murthi was
transferred for a month to Bhubaneswar. Man, what So far, he had luck only with a 30s-something
a break! In 30 days, a man can work a miracle! Gujarati lady who had been married for 10 years
Bharat formulated a plan. Step 1: he started to and was unable to beget a child. On his
grow a French beard. In a week's time this action recommendation she had bought a 24-carat gold
started to pay off. Mukta began to transmit lustful ring and had a different gemstone for each day of
vibes. That was fine but he had long-term plans for the week. The idea was that on any given day her
her. He needed to impress her that today he may be husband would always be her sexual slave and
a pauper but tomorrow he would become a prince. prospects of conception were considerably
He felt he should consult an astrologer and find enhanced. Already six months had passed, there
out how they matched and also should he worry was no result and the lady had started to get restive.
about Murthi? Apparently not, because recent He now needed to get her to commit to a large
communication from Murthi suggested that he had diamond ring!
begun to have fun in Bhubaneswar.

D
Which astrologer should he consult? Enter Ring espite such hiccups RR was mysteriously
Finger Rangarajan. RR, as he was known in some acquiring a reputation for reliability at the low
circles, was a recent import from Kerala. He end of the market. RR was becoming
operated out of a small outhouse adjoining a big confident. He could now speak Tamil and
bungalow. He specialised in studying the Malayalam as well as broken Hindi, Bengali and
horoscopes of his clients and prescribing to them English. From the Gujarati lady he was beginning to
rings with gemstones to be worn on specific days to pick up a smattering of Gujarati.
overcome the evil effects of various planets. The When Bharat approached him, he was ready. He
poorer clients could only afford his fees and one told him straight away that he would need to see
gold ring with one gemstone. He got a commission both Bharat and Mukta together (two customers,
from nearby jewellery shops whenever his clients double the money in the same session!).
acted on his advice. Bharat brought Mukta over, and RR said, in

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 89


addition to studying their horoscopes, he distant Varanasi. One of RR's clients knew
also needed to see their palms Despite such the employer of Bharat and some
individually. As Mukta's lotus palm rested hiccups RR temporary transfer was wangled for a
in his rough, farmhand palm and as he was month or so to get Bharat out of the way.
began to gaze into those laser green eyes, He also went happily, thinking that with the
RR began to feel a violent churning of mysteriously extra money he would save during this
hitherto dormant hormones. His acquiring a deputation period, he would be able to
expression, however, remained reputation delight Mukta with some stunning gift.
deadpan and he made some harmless for reliability He returned after a month to find that
long-term predictions. He made sure to only the previous day Mukta had been
note down their addresses and phone at the married off to RR and not only had his
numbers. low end friends not bothered to inform him about
of the the developments but had attended the

N
ext day, RR gave Mukta a call and wedding and enjoyed the subsequent
then arranged with her a free
market. lunch!
counselling session. He began to He felt humiliated and, without
work on her impressionable mind that Bharat would informing his friends , packed off to distant Kerala.
not be a good match for her. His own stars were on That they had to pay his rent for the month was small
the rise and after investigating their mutual family revenge.
connections, he was able to establish that their The card session broke up that evening. Murthi
families were related somehow. He approached her returned a week later and, after learning of what
parents through one of his uncles and, after some had happened in his absence, soundly berated Ram
discussions and negotiations, there was an and me for behaving like frogs.
agreement and an auspicious date was set for their A month later it was understood that RR was
betrothal. shifting base to Dubai. Obviously, his progress was
Meanwhile, comrade Bharat was sent on a wild due to the good fortune that Mukta now conferred
goose chase to procure some rare gemstone from on him! We

A Father and Child


As the tiny tot looks up the long length To the final difficult realisation
Of the strong and tall body that stays the rest of the lifetime
Right up to the handsome face of the father that the father is no god!
A smile of adoration proudly asserts He is just a human being!
to all and sundry — Rungeen Singh, Faridabad.
“My father is the best. He can do no wrong!”

Poor father!
He has to live up to his child’s unrealistic
expectations
But the truth is that this belief will falter...
As the child climbs the rock of time
The child grows taller, so the father looks shorter,
More vulnerable and gullible.
Full of faults and weaknesses,
And the doubting child has then to come to terms
That his paternal idol has feet of clay,
fruits, green vegetables, whole wheat Further, regular exercises
bread, etc.). Do not skip your increase the body’s metabolism and
breakfast since it is essential for your bring more oxygen to the cells.
body to start the day with proper Vitality-building foods (green
nutrition. If you do not eat a proper vegetables, fruits, milk, eggs,
breakfast you are likely to eat more chicken, fish cheese, etc.) further
during the day. reinforce your vitality. Sleep and
adequate relaxation are also
beneficial. Many advise yogic
I am 40 years old and suffer from exercises like pranayam for this. So a
aches and pains all over the body. concerted effort on all fronts is
My doctor says it is due to calcium required.
deficiency. What should I do?
There is no doubt that calcium

Q&
gives strength to the body bones. At I am a 20-year-old college student.
your age most of the Indian women Recently, I have noticed that though I
suffer from deficiency of calcium in am very fair, my arms have
the body. This results in a softening developed a dark shade. I have
of bones and make them more liable applied various creams, etc. But they
to break. are of no help. The doctor I
So you should be taking lots of consulted says it could be due to
dairy products like milk, cheese, etc. hormonal imbalance. I am worried.
In addition, eggs and green leafy Please help.
vegetable supplements can be Your doctor may be right.
I am 25 years old and overweight. I beneficial. If your bone profile shows Darkening of the arms, etc. occurs in
have been advised a strict diet deficiency add a tablet of calcium some due to excessive exposure to
regimen along with exercises. But I daily as a supplement to your diet. pollution in the environment, sun and
find it really difficult to follow it. the use of depilatories, soaps and
Please advise. creams. It may be very difficult to
Yours is a problem which is I am 30 years old and have pinpoint the exact cause. The factor
commonly faced by people who are developed a pigmented spot on my of hormonal imbalance is also
put on a diet regimen. For this you arm. It is not growing bigger. I have important.
have to develop the right state of consulted my doctor who says it is a It is presumed that your periods
mind. Both eating and exercises can mole and there is nothing to worry are regular and there is no excessive
go together if you maintain the right about. Please advise. bleeding. Besides the measures like
balance between the two and time it Moles are normally benign and an use of suncream lotion (both during

A
accordingly. For this you have to plan average person has many such the day time while indoors and while
your day and follow it strictly. All this growths all over the body. These are going out) you should take care of
has to be done voluntarily and of your due to hormonal changes. The your bodily nutrition by taking a
own free will. So develop the right problem is when it starts getting healthy diet with lots of water, etc.
attitude and you will succeed. bigger, changes its colour or
appearance or bleeds or itches.
These are signs that it may turn I am 35 years old and my periods
I am 30 years old and have put on malignant. At this stage it must be have become scanty and irregular.
weight recently. My doctor has removed lest it causes some harm. I consulted my doctor who says it is
advised me to go on dieting. But the start of menopause. Is it not too
despite my best efforts I am not early? I am worried – please advise.
succeeding. Please help. I am 35 years old and working in a Your fears are well founded. It is
I sympathise with your feelings. multinational. Though I take good what is called premature menopause.
Sometimes, it becomes difficult to food, I feel there is no vitality left in Various factors are known to be
diet. But when it is required you have me. What should I do? operative in this regard. These range
to follow it. You must establish your Vitality means giving energy to the from stress, poor diet, chronic
goals and then try to achieve them. body which is derived from food, ailments, ovarian failure as a result
First, know how many calories you good health and an inner sense of of surgery (hysterectomy) or
have been permitted. well-being. The body’s mechanisms radiotherapy. I am sure your doctor
Calculate your food requirements are controlled by the environment in can take care of these aspects and
accordingly. Plan your diet (which which we live and the hormonal treat you accordingly.
should contain mainly fibre, fresh control. — Dr S. N. Khosla, MD.
About the Artist
Name: Pijush Kanti Bera
Exhibition participation
Annual Exhibition at Academy of
Fine Arts, Kolkata.
Tridhara Art Gallery, Howrah
(Eastern Railways).
Abanindra Nath Tagore birthday
centenary exhibition, Kolkata.
Annual Exhibition of Charukala
Parsad, Kolkata.
Birla Academy of Art and Culture,
Kolkata.
Annual exhibition of Dhumimall Art
Gallery, New Delhi.
Annual Show, Gallery-II, New Delhi.
Arts Festival at Ujjain, M.P.
Annual exhibition at Art Land Art

THE BEAUTY OF
Gallery, Mumbai.
Group shows

FOCUS
Group exhibition at Academy of
Fine Arts.
Metropolitan Art Salon, Kolkata.
Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata.
Krishna Art Gallery, New Delhi.
Indraprastha Art Gallery, A fluency and rhythmic treatment to communicate
New Delhi.
Summer Exhibition at Alternative the deepest convictions. By Puja Sharma
Art Gallery, Gurgaon.
P. S. K. Art Gallery, New Delhi. he Bengal school found skill

T
Green Wood Art Gallery, to reproduce traditional
New Delhi. images with strong lime on
Group Exhibition, U. K. paper and canvas. Vibrant
Group Exhibition at Lalit Kala colours allowed a fluency
Academy, New Delhi. and rhythmic treatment to
Two Men Show, AIFACS. communicate the deepest
Solo shows convictions of the artist
Academy of Fine Arts. through his paintings. Pijush
Preety Art Gallery, Noida. Kanti Bera born in Midnapur
Triveni Art Gallery, New Delhi. district of West Bengal in 1975 spent
most of his childhood days near the
Awards sea along the hills which left an
Best painting Awards from Indian impact on his mind
College of Arts and Draftsmanship. that even when he not confined to some
Silver medal in Midnapore Shilpi came to Delhi those people or a certain
Chakra. memories lingered on section of the society, it
Award from Avantika, New Delhi. unaffected by such has a unique language
Award in Art Festival (Associates city life. He came to to express oneself.
AIFACS), M.P. the conclusion to paint Pijush is liberal in
Group award winner in painting old and new side by chosing his subjects,
(associated group, Taj Hotel and side. His work is medium and concepts,
ATN TV). based on modern art. and his freedom sends
Award from Indian Academy of Fine According to him messages to all over
Arts, Amritsar. modern art is different the world. He is not
from Victorian art. It is confined to some kind
Natural beauty fusing with modern attire.
come out with the right form of
human feeling with its depth.

How do you take life?


I think life is beautiful and full of
joys, behind my work there is no
space problems and miseries.
The creative world is changing
and every moment creates
new ideas and thoughts. I am
a budding artist and a futurist.
I think less of the past and
more of the next millennium.
We have seen new age, new
process, new media and new
ideas to express art in the
present century even more
disciplines will emerge.

Where is your next show?


Soon in Mumbai and
abroad most probably in the
USA.

Say something about the


up-and-coming artists.
I must say that somewhere
some artists just start to
of physical beauty or royal experiment. They must first
realistic images playing with study the anatomy of the figure
beauty of the female form and then portray.
natural elements.
As he is close to nature, his Where do you see
usual vision for landscapes with yourself in 10 years from
colours seems friendly to each now?
other. The drama of line patches I want to see people to be
and colours bind him close to Tell us about your style. How do demanding my paintings and I should
nature. you develop an idea for a be a very famous artist.
Excerpts from an interview: composition?
Which artists have inspired The use of acrylic, pen, charcoal, Where are your paintings
you? oil colours are noticeable in my work collected?
Well, since my college days I have sequentially and simultaneously as Well in Chennai, Delhi, in many
a liking for Ramkinker, the mix media which strengthens my government and private collections
K. G. Subramaniyam, Hussain, concept of unity and diversity. and also abroad in Singapore, the
Tayab Mehta and western artist – I directly use brush and after a USA, UK, Canada, Israel and South
Picaso. great many times of coloured layers I Korea. We

94 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


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definitely the most gorgeous gift for anniversaries. multinational toy company.

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 95


About the Artist
Name: Mahmood Ahmad
TRANSIT JOURNEY
THROUGH ART
Born: 1964
Qualification: B F A., (Applied Art),
J M I., New Delhi in 1992.
Group shows
Visual Art Gallery
Shridharani Art Gallery
... I TRAVEL ALONG THE FLOW
Travancore Art Gallary
Art Ville, Delhi An artist who takes the art lovers on
Rainbow in the Sun Delhi
Academy of Find Arts & Literature, to a fabulous journey where the viewer
New Delhi
Lagoon Club, Gurgaon feels unified with nature. By Puja Sharma
Feminism Canvas Art Gallery,
ike an ocean – so deep, mind never comes to realise when he has

L
New Delhi
Art Laureate Gurgaon, 2007. can travel deeper and deeper reached the space the ‘cosmos’ and
Indian Academy of Fine Arts – there is no end; one can when he came back to the ground.
Amritsar never reach the depth of an Sometimes in his painting termed
Indo-German Chamber of artist’s mind. Mahmood Cosmos he has failed to realise his
Commerce Chanakyapuri Ahmad, a young, simple and flight into the universe.
Tatva – The Art Gallery (M.P.) hilarious artist dives deep, Born and brought in Sant Kabir
Maharaja Academy of Fine Arts & with no boundaries, in the Nagar District of UP Mahmood was
Crafts, Gurgaon, 2006 thoughts, glimpses of which very close to nature. The village
Lokayata Art Gallery, New Delhi are visible in his paintings environment left a deep impact on his
Gallery Modern, New Delhi. especially that series which he
named – “Daughter of the sea.”
Solo shows One can observe a slight division
Lokayata Art Gallery, from his work – a certain ‘padhaav’ in
New Delhi, 2005. his journey of art. He explores nature
Lalit Kala Akademi, very earnestly, lives in it, portrays the
New Delhi, 2004. beauty and yet again comes back to
Taj Art Gallery, Mumbai the same spot where he had started.
Awards There seems to be a search – a
search, an aesthetic search as he
Silver Medal in drawing & graphic
begins his journey of painting he
Gold Medal at Travancore Galleries
M. F. Hussain Certificate of Merit by
Heart Care Foundation of India.
Consolation Prize on the Spot
Poster Competition New Delhi.
Collections
Private collection in India, Dubai,
Abu Dhabi, Bahrin, Phillipines,
Johnnesberg.
The dancing field in full blossom.

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 97


department of Fine Arts, Jamia Milia encounter with nature and its beauty,
Islamia. The renowned department finds its way into my work. My
established by Kalam Sahib was a paintings be they abstract or
miniature version of Shantiniketan, figurative, are a way of expressing
where I had studied. The diverse my emotions and a way of liberating
cultural activities and the richness of myself.
its heritage attracted me and I would
watch secretly unravel the mysteries Your other interests?
of visual art. I do a lot of performing arts – like
theatre – I often indulge in acting in
In most of your paintings one plays specially attached to Habib
mind and he often got a punishment can see flowers, twigs, stems and Tanvar group. All over India the
when he was not studying and only so on. Please comment. shows go on. I am also a good
busy sketching in his notebooks. Jamia with its semi wild swimmer, saving eight to nine people
Mahmood uses both oil and acrylic surroundings was an ideal when the fire brigade arrived a bit
and likes to show vibrant colours very playground for a young naturalist like late at Yamuna. I also help my
sensitively in his paintings. me. I would spend hours in the forest daughter Nishat Ahmad who is in
Sometimes, he paints unseen gathering caterpillars and their 10th class and has also also got a
flowers leaves and pupae. I would take great interest in painting.
stems of unseen red, collection back home and Mahmood is among those artists
blue and black. observe the eggs evolve who get buried himself with the
Excerpts from an into butterflies with all their fragrance of nature and then get
interview: splendid beauty. swayed as if in a dream, he goes on
and on until unless someone wakes
Say something How do your relate him up and he realises he has
about your life. butterfly with that of your created a wonderful piece of work on
I am the son of the painting? natural element.
Vice Principal of Jamia Metaphorically speaking, Mahmood can never forget one of
School, which was art is also like a butterfly his exhibitions of paintings when
adjacent to the emerging from a pupa. My Amarnath Sehgal, a renowned sculptor
inaugurated it and is no more now.

Where are your paintings


displayed?
Well, mostly my paintings adorn
the walls of the corporate house in
Delhi. We

98 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


artist dealing with only charcoal might
confront.
Displayed at reasonable distance
from each other, in the IHC hall, the
works were much appreciated and
quite a few of them had the red dots
indicated ‘sold’ from the first day of
the exhibition.
As Ajay says, “Life for me began
when I was six. It was the first time I
picked up a piece of charcoal and
gave my innermost feelings an
expression… on paper.” Ajay was
mesmerised by play of shadow and
light, as also the way his mother
worked. He recognised that mundane
things of life moved him and his
Sabina Singh, Shelly Batra and designer Anupama Dayal at the Malaga store launch
calling was in expressing that
NEW DESTINATION the medium is largely charcoal with a
hint of the acrylic.
difference.
As much of a poet as an artist, he
FOR ACCESSORIES Ajay De is a successful artist is no longer the shy being he was at
Ask any woman what is more based in Mumbai, but he came to age six, but he is just as childlike in
important – the attire or the New Delhi and exhibited his work at portraying emotions that are serene
accessories – and chances are she the India Habitat Centre. He has just and pure, as only a child can sense
would have no ready answer. A great turned 40 but has been holding solo them to be.
handbag, or the perfect belt for the exhibitions on his merit from 1994 in While some would say the pieces
old pair of jeans, a pair of earrings or Kolkata. His group show career were expensive, but art is like
other jewellery to complement the old began from Delhi’s AIFACS in the designer jewellery. If it appeals to
outfit is sometimes more important same year. you, the prices are justified. Though
than the outfit itself. Malini is an There is calmness in his works the art world is said to be booming,
accessories designer and has earned that is soothing to mind and soul. artists have to often tread a careful
great acclaim at a number of inter- Astute use of the colour red and path to be recognised and to be a
national shows in Paris, Milan, sometimes gold allows the piece not saleable commodity.
London, Dubai, etc. Now, she has to appear too austere – a risk any – Sona Sharma.
opened her own outlet called Malaga
at Mumbai and Delhi. With a masters
degree in manage ment studies AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
specialising in finance, she was also
covering the entire skin, hair
a national-level swimmer and her
and body care range based
label Malaga was born about three
on therapeutic values of
years ago. Today, Malini has realised
select essential oils at the
her dream of exporting her hand -
India International Trade
bags, foot wear, belts and
Fair 2008 held at Pragati
accessories for the fashionable
Maidan, New Delhi,
contem porary women all over the
November 14-27, 2008.
world. However, she also reflects the
For excellence in
Indian art and craft in her goods and
presentation of special
does not wish to neglect the Indian
display in cosmetics &
market. Her shop opened with many
Health care, the
known names of Indian fashion
Nature’s Essence company was awarded
fraternity attending the event.
Pvt Ltd (Magic) one of gold medal by the
the fast growing chairman and Managing
CHARCOAL MAGIC personal care brands
in the country,
Director of India Trade
Promotion Organisation.
Art on your wall need not always
displayed its exclusive The sale of the products
have bright colours and a modernistic
cosmetic range-coloressence and a was excellent. Three cheers for the
approach – it can be as eye-catching
wide array of beauty products company!
when the main colour is black and

102 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


CAESAREAN SECTION
A PERSPECTIVE
Here is an account of C-Section and how it has happened to child birth.
C-Section evokes strong feelings the doctors more or less to yank out leads to social isolation and severe
and has received its share of stuck babies but also to save the depression. Millions are getting
criticism. To perform an unwarranted mother. However, the use of forceps operated for their wombs prolapsing
C-section is a sin, not to do a had a very high cost attached to it- a or coming out of vagina. New
necessary and a timely one is a severely torn birth canal and indication of C-Section has now
crime. The cost of C-Section is sometimes a damaged child. arisen-Maternal Request. A
considerable but the cost of not doing In 1933, The New York Academy consensus regarding the justification
one is painfully huge. of Medicine published a shocking of C-Section for maternal request is
In 1817, Princess Charlotte of study of 2041 maternal deaths in unlikely to be reached but the
Wales King George IV's 21 year-old childbirth which reported that there indication needs to be recognised,
daughter spent 50 hours in active had been no decrease in death rates accepted, formally defined and
labour with a nine-pound boy. His for mother and newborn deaths in the recorded in the present era when
head was in a sideways position and preceding two centuries, and that millions are being spent on cosmetic
was too large for Charlotte's pelvis. disabilities from birth injuries due to surgeries.
When the baby finally emerged he Forceps had actually increased. Normal and natural as criteria for
was stillborn. Six hours later Today, after three quarters of a practice in obstetrics over the time
Charlotte herself died from century, the degree to which has been replaced with an open
haemorrhagic shock. She was King childbirth has been transformed by concept of good. What makes
George's only child. The throne was medicine is astounding. Now obstetrician a professional is her or
passed to his brother and then to his childbirth is standardised. Electronic his knowledge of means and
niece, which is how Victoria became foetal monitoring, intravenous fluids, consequences, and not her or his
Queen. Charlotte's obstetrician Sir regional anaesthesia and suture opinion of about what is good or bad.
Richard Croft, shot himself to death technology all have made childbirth This is why counselling and
for the failed delivery of the Princess. in general and C-Section in particular consenting process entails imparting
History would have been different very safe for both mother and child. high-quality information regarding
had Caesarean Section been a 30 % of all deliveries are now by C- short and long-term effects of both
tenable option then. section and this percentage is C-Section and vaginal delivery,
In those times, C-Section on a continually increasing. tailored and relevant to a particular
living mother was considered criminal In the U.K., two major reports pregnant woman's profile. The main
because it almost killed the mother were published in the last 10 years, areas of outcome which require
(due to haemorrhage and or which have had a significant detailed information are maternal
infection) whose life always took influence on childbirth. The report safety and complications, foetal
precedence over the life of the child. Changing Childbirth encouraged safety and complications, material
Only after the development of women to decide for themselves the satisfaction and economic
anesthesia and antisepsis in the 19th type of care they would wish for - the implications as burden of risks and
century, and of sutures in the 20th place, the hospitals or birthing advantages are to be borne by
century, an opened uterus could be centres, the type of delivery and the prospective parents.
prevented from haemorrhaging, thus degree on intervention. The The ethical, legal, and economic
making Caesarean Section a advantages of a safe vaginal delivery implications of C-Section have been
plausible option. Even then it was over a C-section are clear. Safe debated in both professional circles
held in low repute because of the vaginal delivery is associated with and society at large. Whatever said
better option being around -The lower maternal and neonatal and done, C-Section deserves
Obstetrical Forceps. The story of the morbidity and costs less. C-section respect as it has revolutionised
forceps is both astonishing and is much safer and economical than a obstetric and perinatal standard of
disturbing because it is a story of life prolonged, difficult, and instrumental care. C-Section has happened to the
saving idea that was kept secret for delivery. field of obstetrics and perhaps
more than a century. The forceps Millions and millions of elderly irreversibly to the childbirth.
look like a pair of big metal salad females are using diapers for urinary Dr Witty Raina
tongs with two blades shaped to fit incontinence caused directly or OBS & Gynaecologist, MD,
snugly around the baby's head and indirectly by difficult or cumulative MRCOG (London)
a handle that lock together with a effects of repeated vaginal deliveries. The Cradle, Gurgaon.
single screw. This not only enables The quality of life of such women www.thecradlegurgaon.com
Food is good for you
only if it’s the right
quality at the right time –
not the fast kind gobbled
on impulse.
By Bhavna Keswani

COMBATING
EMOTIONAL
EATING oes your body start craving craves for. The more fattening,

D
for specific foods such as sweeter or saltier the food, the better
chocolate or cheese when you seem to feel.
you are upset? Does eating
make you feel better when Why we give in: Different people
you are sad or worried? Has have different reasons to give in to
food become a panacea for emotional eating. For some, it takes a
all your problems? If the major event to trigger emotional
answer to these questions eating – losing a job or going through
is yes, then it is most likely a bad patch in marriage.
that you have entered the world of For others, it’s a constant struggle:
emotional eating. the traffic on the way to work; a tough
Emotional eating is the practice of day at the office...the drudgery of
eating large quantities of food – mundane daily life can lead to a
especially the high-calorie, fattening seemingly unbreakable habit of
‘comfort’ food – in response to turning to food to make it seem
emotions and not when one is better.
hungry. It means your emotions and The most common emotional
not your body dictate when and how triggers of craving are stress or
much you eat. It can happen to anxiety, loneliness, anger, PMS and
anyone and is one of the biggest sadness or depression. It seems
obstacles in weight control. If you eat easier to stifle your feelings with food
carrot sticks, then it’s probably okay, than to acknowledge them and deal
but it’s the junk food which the body with them.

104 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


feels like a mild gnawing sensation. eating arises when you are unable to
To find out if you’re feeling a craving
or getting hungry, give the urge to eat
a 10-minute waiting period. If you’ve
keep a check on your emotions.
These cravings can only be
controlled when you are emotionally
Anaemia
moved on to doing something and healthy. Analyse your life, reflect on
suddenly realised you’re not hungry, its positives and negatives and try to
it was a craving; if the urge to eat is be in control. Following these tips
still there, it means you are actually may help:
hungry. ● Write down an analysis of your
Stock healthy foods: Limit the thoughts and emotions on a regular
trigger foods by not stocking them in basis. This way you would know what
your home. Instead, opt for healthier activities a typical week includes,
foods like fruits, salads, smoothies whether you like these activities, and
and nuts which are not only low in the activities you prefer to spend your
calorie but also make you feel full time on.
because of their fibre content. ● Think of what’s really missing
Don’t diet: To manage cravings in your life. Is it food you want, or
and lose weight, don’t go on a diet. love? If you’re feeling lonely or
When you try to avoid a food depressed, talk to a friend or loved
altogether in the end you’ll eat more one and reconnect with the people in
of it. By choosing new, healthier ways your life.
of eating and exercising more instead ● Find positive ways to cope with
of following a strict diet that omits difficult situations in your life. Take
particular foods, you’ll get fewer, less up a hobby such as a dance class or
powerful cravings. join a local library. This will give you
‘First two bites’ principle: Spangle an outlet through which to express
talks about the ‘first two bites’ yourself and also help you feel more Diet is of utmost importance in
principle. The first two bites of any connected to the outside world. the treatment of anaemia. Iron
food have the most flavour. After that, ● Don’t be very hard on yourself should preferably be taken in its
you are just feeding. So you can use when it comes to food. It’s okay if you natural organic form in food. The
this to be able to enjoy a piece of eat your favourite food once in a emphasis in the diet should be on
chocolate, for example, by taking the while without feeling guilty about it. raw vegetables and fresh fruits
first bite and really paying attention Acknowledge the indulgence and which are rich in iron to make up
to what it’s like. Notice the distinct then move on. for the lack of red blood cells or
flavours, the texture, how it feels in Knowing your emotions means haemoglobin in the body. Given
your mouth, and how it feels as you that you’ll be able to enjoy food below, a few effective home
swallow it. without feeling guilty. Finding out remedies, to follow up:
Take a second bite and do the what you really crave, and taking ● Eat one fig and dates daily.
same thing. What’s interesting is that steps toward achieving this more ● Mix one cup each of
when you eat any favourite food, by profound, fulfilling goal will make your beetroot juice, apple juice and
focusing on the first two bites, you’ll life that much more satisfying and tomato juice with either sugar or
find that you can get a rewarding. honey and consume once a day.
lot of satisfaction from It’s imperative that ● Consume a banana with one
a small amount of food. you combat your tbsp of honey daily.
Create a diversion: emotional hunger for ● Soak about seven almonds
Engaging the mind in your holistic well- and dry grapes in water
another activity can being. Rather than overnight, consume it next
divert it from food. munching, it’s better morning on an empty stomach for
Whether it’s going for a to develop new skills about 40 days.
walk or reading a good for dealing with ● Eat a lot of green leafy
book, planning other boredom, self-esteem vegetables like fenugreek, palak,
activities will help you issues and stress. etc.
relax and avoid binges. Try to pinpoint the ● Use sesame seeds and
major reasons for fenugreek seeds in your daily
Control your your stress or diet.
emotions before they unpleasant emotions Eat healthy, be healthy.
control you: The and see how you can – Shilpa Ramakrishna.
problem of emotional turn the tide. We

108 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


STORY
SHORT
A Chickenpox Saga
A delightful tale of how illness overcame illwill in a marriage.
By Doris Minezes

I
t was all so wonderful while it lasted. Life was Here’s what Naveen wrote in reply:
aglow with the sparkle of love and ecstatic “7-9-07 8 pm
dreams. It seemed as if they were made for When have you ever been a wife to me? This is
each other and nothing could come between not a marriage but the greatest blow-up of our lives.
them. But in no time everything changed. Wet What else can I call it when there has been no talk
towels thrown carelessly on the bed led to between us for nearly a year now? When all
screaming fights and little acts of omission and communication is by notes left in the flower bowl?
commission sent tempers soaring. Even a toothpaste When one eats at home and the other at the corner
tube not properly capped fuelled the fire of their restaurant?
disagreements and while once it was “roses, roses When one sleeps in the bedroom while the other
all the way”, now it was only thorns standing out lies huddled up on the living-room sofa? You’ve
menacingly, pricking, piercing and tearing them ruined my life and I’ve already seen my lawyer
apart. about divorce proceedings. Soon, very soon, I’ll
Soon all talk between them stopped and thankfully cease to be.
communication was only through Your Husband.
notes stuck in the flower bowl on
the dining table. Naveen came “9-9-07 2 pm
home one evening to see a What ill-luck is mine. I thought there were only 3
paper flapping noisily under days between now and freedom but my hopes are
the rotating fan and when he all blasted and I’ll have to spend another 10 days
pulled it out this is what he here. Another 10 days in this hell. Feeling a bit
read: under the weather I went to the doctor and he
shocked me by saying it’s an attack of chickenpox.
“7-9-07 5 pm How am I to endure this double blow? Ten days of
It’s more than I can physical discomfort and 10 days of horrendous
stand, this marriage that is mental agony as
a great, big farce and Your Wife.
nothing else. I want it to
end and as a first step “9-9-07 9 pm
I’m moving out. Three What a monstrous hoax is this. I was overjoyed to
days from now, on hear that you are going away and now you are
Saturday morning, I’ll cooking up excuses to dilly-dally and continue
be out and from that staying here. Why can’t you take yourself away bag
moment you can and baggage, chickenpox and all, and go to that
stop thinking of heaven of your choice? Give me a break I say and
me as let me rejoice that I’m no more
Your Wife. Your Husband.

“10-9-07 6 am
Are you a man? You, who never think of others?
My conscience would recoil at the thought of going
about with chickenpox and spreading infection to
others. But that means nothing to you and it is just
because of this selfish nature of yours that I hate to
call myself
Your Wife.
“10-9-07 8 a m
A wonderful conscience is yours that hounds you
when you think of infecting others and goes to sleep
when your truly wedded husband is at risk. From
whence does charity begin outside and end at
home? It is just these double standards that make me
cringe to say I am
Your Husband.

“10-9-07 9 pm
You’ve surely lost your reason. Otherwise
wouldn’t you see that if I stay here I’ll infect only one
but if I move out I may infect hundreds? Besides
there was a time not very long ago when you stood
at the altar and vowed to take me as your wife for
better or for worse, in sickness and in health. How
can you forget those vows? Aren’t you duty-bound to
look after me now that I’m ill? Or in illness do I
suddenly cease to be
Your Wife

N
aveen read this last note over and over again
with mounting anger. Was this chickenpox a
ruse or was it real? “She’s capable of any
pretence,” he muttered to himself when suddenly he
heard Dina groaning and tossing about in bed. He
watched for a while for this was a side of hers he
hadn’t seen before. Strangely his feelings mellowed.
It wouldn’t become a gentleman to taunt his wife
when she was ill, he told himself and walked away
without replying to the note but with an unfamiliar
feeling stealing into his heart.
Sleep eluded Dina that night. A raging fever, a
head that throbbed painfully and a body itching and
smarting with a thousand pin-pricks that was
chickenpox as she was experiencing it and it hurt
her that there was no one to say a soothing word.
To take her mind off her discomfort she thought of
the morrow. Of how she would have gone to a
better day and a happier future. As her thoughts
dwelt on it she suddenly paused. Would it really
have been better? Would she have been welcome if
she had carried illness and infection to the new
place? The rules of the lodge said that inmates
wouldn’t be cared for in illness. Where would she
have gone if she were shown the door? Who would
have taken her in? Thankfully, she realised she had
been saved in the nick of time. That the place she
hated and wanted to run away from was not really
hell but home. A place she could always turn to. A
place which men in their wisdom had called Home,
Sweet Home.
With her mind swinging between Her Own Home
and Just A Room she lay awake for a long time until
her see-sawing thoughts rocked her into a welcome
sleep from which she woke up in the morning to a
very great surprise. On her bedside table “I care for myself,” he wrote again.
was a pot of freshly-brewed coffee, some Why was he so “For my own name, and can’t let it be
hot toast and a Get-Well card with a caring and yet spoilt by your foolish actions.”
message on it. “If you want anything so detached? Swallowing her disappointment she
SMS me at the office,” it said. “I’ll be asked again, “Where are you going
back at the lunch hour.” Expectantly now? You look so ill.”
Dina stared at the things in front of she waited for He pointed to the corner restaurant.
her. Stared unbelieving for a long, long just a smile, a “For coffee? I’ll prepare it for you. For
time. There was such coldness between both of us. You did it for me when I was
them in the past few months that it kind word or a ill. Now it’s my turn. The marriage vows
seemed unlikely Naveen would stretch a loving glance are binding on me too, you know,” she
hand to her. She herself would not have from him, but added jocularly.
done it. So why was he doing it? Was it He turned round wordlessly and
out of a sense of duty or pity or was it it never came. dragged himself to the sofa which served
genuine concern and did he want to as his bed.
show that he cared for her? Before she was even “No, no, not there,” she protested. It’s too
aware of it a feeling of warmth welled up in her. uncomfortable. Lie down on the bed inside.”
Something she hadn’t felt for ever so long. “It’s yours,” he scribbled down. “You bought it
Naveen’s ministrations continued in the days that with your own money.”
followed, yet in a manner so detached and distant “But for both of us,” she reminded him.
that it left her mind all in a turmoil. Why was he so “If it were so you wouldn’t have ordered me out
caring and yet so detached? Expectantly she waited of it,” is what he wrote again.
for just a smile, a kind word or a loving glance from “Naveen, let’s talk about it,” she begged.
him, but it never came. Was there someone else, she “Chickenpox has made me see reason. See
wondered, and was he doing just what he would everything in a new light.”
have done for a sick dog? Her heart sank at the very “Please, will you give me a break?” he asked
thought. The fever had stopped in course of time and with annoyance. “My head is splitting.”
her brow was cool again, but Naveen’s aloofness “Then come on, take it easy,” she said and, to her
smote her painfully and scorched her whole being. surprise, he allowed himself to be led to the bed
Like a fever without a name. She wanted to know, which was hers.
why he was so near and yet so far. “It’s a beginning,” thought Dina, “a small
On the morning when the coffee was missing on beginning.”
her bedside table she was frightfully alarmed. When his condition had sufficiently improved,
Looking around frantically she saw him dressed up Dina sat by him one evening and said, “Naveen, we
and lurching out of the bedroom with bloodshot need to talk, don’t we?”
eyes. The chickenpox look was all over him. “Of course we do,” he readily agreed. “About
Moving forward quickly, your leaving. It was
she stuttered, “What... where chickenpox that held you
are you going? You... look back, you said. Now what
ill... You... need... to... rest.” prevents you from going
He pulled out a note pad away? Why are you still
and pen from his pocket but here?”
she thrust it aside and asked, “Because this is my home.
“Why not say just a word in The only home I ever want.”
reply?” “Your home? This cubby-
“Haven’t you threatened to hole that you detest? Have
jump to your death,” he wrote you forgotten your boast that
down “if ever you heard my with your salary you can
voice again? I can’t allow afford a much better place?”
that.” “I’m sorry I ever thought
“Why? You mean you care so. Now I understand that
what happens to me?” home is where love is.
Where you are wanted,
Marriage means realistically
equality tolerance and a sense of
cared for and looked after.
cohesion, bring lifetime Where you belong. I belong
happiness. here with you. Whatever I
thought in the past, I know better now,” she said
nestling up to him. The feel of her body against his
sent his senses tingling but he knew there was still
some way to go.
“Then why do you always flaunt in my face that
‘I’m-far-better-than-you’ attitude of yours? Why do
you always taunt me that you hold a higher position
and earn much more than I?”
She had always suspected that this was at the
root of the problem and now felt contrite. “I don’t
know why I was doing it. Maybe the child in me
hasn’t grown up as yet but I’m sorry for it. Really
sorry and assure you it won’t happen again.”
“D’you know that it was exactly because of those
taunts that I wanted to grind your nose in the dust
and made much of your little failings which
otherwise I would have overlooked?”
“You mean you really won’t mind my disorderly
ways, my throwing things about and being
careless?”
“They are actually too small to destroy a marriage
but when feelings are hurt it is just these little
nothings that tear us apart.”
“How true that is! I’m so relieved, Naveen, to
know that it’s only little things that came between us.
All these days when you were so aloof and
forbidding I was afraid there was someone else and
you had stopped caring for me.”
“How could you ever think that? Don’t you know
there won’t be anyone else?” he asked and the next
moment they were in each other’s arms. It happened
so suddenly that both didn’t know who had made
the first move but it surely was the only thing, the
most natural thing to do.

I
t was a long time before they freed themselves
and then Dina reminded him reflectively, “If it
were not for chickenpox I’d have moved out and
maybe things would never be right between us. Isn’t
it amazing what little it takes to set things right? We
didn’t need any counselling or advice. Chickenpox
gave us all the wisdom we needed.”
“What we really needed was to talk. For one, to
find out what was troubling the other, but pride had
sealed our lips.”
“And they were opened when we needed each
other. Chickenpox opened them for us.”
“Anyway it’s good to know that if ever our lips
are sealed again, chickenpox will be there to open
them for us.”
“No, it won’t. Don’t you know chickenpox is a
one-time disease and we’ll never get it again?”
“More’s the pity. Then we had better be careful to
keep our minds and lips open at all times,” he
laughed. She joined him and to the ring-tones of
laughter they made a new beginning. We
A wonderful natural way towards better
childbirth. By Dr Amrinder Bajaj

YOGA AND
PREGNANCY renatal yoga is becoming

P
more and more popular for
its holistic approach. It
includes exercises for
flexibility, meditation for
relaxation and calm, and the
breathing practices of
pranayama for improved
oxygen supply. Not only
does this benefit the mother
but also the baby by increasing the
blood flow and thereby oxygen and
nutrition; by ensuring that it gets what
is optimum for maximal physical and
mental development.
Yoga techniques assist in easy
birth, the infant makes a smooth
entry into the world and grows up into
a child less inhibited by stress and
potential illness. The best part is
that yoga can be done by almost
anyone and no previous knowledge
is required if one wants to begin in
pregnancy. However, it is
important that you practise yoga
under an expert guru only after
your obstetrician gives you the
green signal.
Yoga is not just about
exercises but is a way of life.
There are five vital steps
that have to be followed to
obtain maximal benefit.
Yoga exercises:
Yoga exercises
work smoothly on
the pelvis and
reproductive
organs and

114 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


increase the chances of natural the right knee up towards the chest. high behind the head, stretching the
childbirth. They reduce pregnancy Breathing out, gently push the knee spine upwards and look up. Make a
ailments like dyspepsia, heartburn, down and try to touch the floor. Keep downward stroke as if chopping
backache, leg oedema and cramps. the back straight and avoid straining. wood. Repeat five-10 times. It
They also help in the supply of blood Repeat with left leg. Slowly practise loosens the pelvic girdle and tones
and nutrients to the developing about ten up and down movements the pelvic muscles.
foetus. with each leg. This asana loosens hip
Breathing or pranayama: and knee joints. Marjari asana (cat pose): Kneel
Breathing or pranayama techniques on all fours. While inhaling raise the
improve oxygen supply and provide a Poorna titli asana (full head and depress the spine so that
better life force to the mother and butterfly): Sit with legs outstretched. the back becomes concave. Exhale
child. Bend the knees, bring the soles of while lowering the head till it is
Mudras and bandhas: Mudras and the feet together and draw them as between the arms, facing the thighs
bandhas are gestures and locks that close to the body as possible. Clasp and hump the spine. Repeat five-10
internalise the energy released by the feet with both hands and gently times. Be careful not to strain
pranayama. The energy thus reaches bounce the knees up and down. yourself. This asana improves
the end organs through various nadis Repeat 20-30 times, straighten legs flexibility of the neck, shoulders and
(pathways) instead of being and relax. This asanas relieve spine.
wastefully dissipated externally. They tension from inner thigh muscles.
have a powerful effect on the Kati chakrasan (Waist rotating
reproductive organs and the benefits Supta udarakarshanasan pose): Stand with the feet about half
during pregnancy are many. (sleeping abdominal stretch pose): a metre apart and the arms by the
Meditation: Meditation helps Lie in the back. Interlock fingers of sides. Inhale while raising the arms to
remove psychological fears and both hands and place hands beneath shoulder level. Exhale and while
stress so that you remain mentally the head. Bend knees, keeping the
peaceful. It also creates a subtle soles of your feet on the floor. While Yoga exercises work smoothly on
connection between you and your breathing out, lower the legs towards the pelvis and reproductive organs
baby that is beyond explanation. the right, trying to touch the knees on and increase the chances of
Yoga nidra /deep relaxation: It the floor. At the same time move the natural childbirth. They reduce
gives deep physical and mental head towards the left, giving a pregnancy ailments like dyspepsia,
relaxation. uniform twisting stretch to the entire heartburn, backache, leg oedema
spine. Repeat on the other side by and cramps. They also help in the
ASANAS bending legs towards the left and supply of blood and nutrients to the
If practised regularly asanas: head towards the right. This asana developing foetus.
● Relieve backache, heartburn, improves digestion and relieves
swelling of feet and leg cramps stiffness of the spine.
● Help maintain body shape and
flexibility Chakki chalan asana (churning
● Prepare the body for a smooth the mill pose): Sit with legs
and natural childbirth stretched out in front of the body
● Improve physical and mental about one foot apart. Interlock fingers
health of the foetus of both hands and hold the arms out
● Help in maintaining adequate straight in front of the chest. Make
weight gain wide circular movements 10 times in
● Help return to the pre-pregnant each direction. This asana tones up
state faster the pelvic organs.
Some of the asanas that can be
preformed during pregnancy are: Kashta takshan asana
(chopping wood pose): Squat
Ardh titli (half butterfly) asana: with feet flat on the ground and
Sit with legs outstretched. Bend the slightly apart. Interlock fingers of
right leg and place the right both hands, straighten your arms
foot as far up on the left and keep them between the
thigh as possible. Place the knees. Then raise arms
right hand on top of the bent
right knee. Hold the toes of
the right foot with the left hand.
While breathing in, gently move

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 115


the left knee. Hold the right toes with position to see if they are being
the left hand. Steady the right ankle performed correctly.
with the right hand and move the
ankle around in a large circle. Do 10 Meditation: Meditation is
rotations in each direction. Repeat concentrating effortlessly at one point
with other ankle. This is especially without being distracted by external
useful in pregnancy oedema and stimuli. It takes a lot of time and
cramping. determination and if your attention
gets diverted do not get discouraged.
Shoulder rotation: Raise the Gently bring it back to your point of
arms up and place fingers on both focus – be it a flower or a candle
shoulders. Slowly rotate both arms flame. Use a mantra or chant that is
together in large circles five times in repeated silently or loudly to obtain
each direction. This improves inner silence and peace. Meditation
circulation and flexibility in the helps restore physical and mental
shoulders and upper back relieves equilibrium and induces a deep
neck tension and sense of rejuvenation and relaxation.
Meditation encourages better Meditate regularly preferably at the
smoothly twisting the body
to the left, bring the right
helps restore breathing. Post-natally
this asana stimulates the
same time every day (early morning
is best). Begin by meditating for five
hand to left shoulder and physical and breasts to function to 10 minutes initially and extend the
wrap the left arm around the mental properly. time gradually as per your need and
back looking over the left capacity.
equilibrium
shoulder. Repeat in the Pranayama : Prana -
opposite direction. Do five- and induces a yama is a disciplined Yoga– nidra : Yoga- nidra is a
10 rounds. This asana deep sense of yogic breathing practice, method of inducing complete
tones the waist, back, hips rejuvenation in which the breathing physical, mental and emotional
and relieves physical and process is consciously relaxation. It is important to remain
mental tension. and regulated. It induces a awake and aware, for this is the ideal
relaxation. feeling of well-being, time to make a sankalpa – resolve.
Vajrasan (thunderbolt improves emotional You can do this auto-suggestion –
pose): Kneel on the floor. Bring big stability, helps treat insomnia and short, positive and precise
toes together and separate the heels. breathlessness, increases stamina statements about what you want to
Lower the buttocks onto the inside and vitality and decreases the achieve. They should be easy to
surface of the feet with heels distress and fatigue of labour. The memorise and repeat. For example,
touching the side of the hips. Place various methods of pranayama are “I will have an easy delivery,” “I will
hands on knees, palms down. Keep best learnt from a yoga teacher. be a good mother,” etc. These
back and head straight. There is an autosuggestions sink easily into the
enhancement of digestive functions Mudras and bandhas: In order to subconscious of a relaxed mind
and a decrease in hyperacidity. perform pranayama it is necessary to which in turn directs the conscious
know something about mudras, and mind to transform positive thoughts
Meru akarshanasan (spine bandhas. The Sanskrit word mudra into reality.
bending pose): Lie on our right side means a seal or a lock. It denotes It is a matter of pride that yoga
with the left leg on the right leg. Bend positions which close the body originated in our country and has now
your right arm and by placing the apertures, and where the fingers are spread across the world. It soothes
elbow on the floor support the head held together in special gestures. the nerves, calms the mind and
on right palm. Place your left arm on Bandha means bondage or joining improves physical health and
the left thigh. Raise the left leg as together whereby certain parts of the stamina. As pregnancy is one of the
high as possible, slide the left hand to body are gripped, contracted and most trying periods in a woman’s life,
the foot and grasp the big toe if controlled. yoga is a wonderfully natural way of
possible. Repeat on the other side. Mudras and bandhas channelise coping with it. There are trained
This relaxes the hamstring, inner the energy ( prana ) generated by experts who conduct yoga classes for
thigh and abdominal muscles while pranayama to the right places for pregnant women. It is always better
stretching the muscles of the sides proper utilisation and do not allow its to attend classes than learning from
making them strong and flexible. external dissipation. Those that can books or videos, etc. Ensure the
and should be done during authenticity of the yoga expert and
Ankle crank: Bend the right leg pregnancy will be taught by your take your obstetrician’s permission
up and place the foot overhanging yoga guru who will also be in a before performing yoga asanas. We

116 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


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on of the legendary Kathak music had become major

S
A drummer who exponent Sitara Devi, Ranjit distractions. He loved chemistry but
Barot has grown up with decided it was time to drop out of
creates and music ever since he saw college. That was a turning point in
light. Born into a family the life of Ranjit Barot, India’s top
innovates music. steeped in Indian classical drummer. He did not look back after
music and dance, melody that and today, he is ready to give
Suman Bajpai and rhythm has always been his best as expectations of his
an integral part of his life. He admirers are high.
began with academics on He is a versatile performer. He
his mind. But somewhere along the composes music for commercials
way, basic instinct took over. Today, and often even sings and acts in
he is reflecting the rhythms of his them (remember the long-haired
mother’s ghungroos with his fingers. toughie in the Eveready Give Me Red
As a creative person, his and the Maaza commercial). He had
impulses have always been in tune played with Zakir Hussian several
with creating and innovating music. times. He had composed the music
Ranjit started out in life thinking he for a Tamil film called VIP starring
would make a future in academics. ace dancer Prabhu Deva. He worked
His mother, Sitara Devi, wanted to for the film Oh Darling also.
shield him from the struggle which Excerpts from an interview:
was customary for most artistes and
performers of her generation, in their When did you realise that you
often-indigent crawl to reach the are a musical person?
heights. So, he first attended I belong to a family which has
Cathedral School and later strong roots in music. So the genetic
Elphinstone College but sports and spirit will always remain, but I did not

120 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


plan it as I wanted to pursue high easy partnership continued through moved into advertising – composing
studies. In school, once a programme many Jazz Yatras and unplanned music for commercials and often
was organised and the boy who was performances. Even today after even singing and starring in them.
supposed to play the drums was forming our own bands we still play
absent and then a senior had asked together often and enjoy the company. Entering advertising means
whether anybody can play the drum curbing your natural talent and
and I spontaneously raised my You got your international getting into the mould of
hands. That was a start – rather a acclaim very easily. What is the professionalism. What kind of
good start without any professional secret behind this? difficulties did you face during the
training. That is when I discovered Nothing comes easily. You have phase of transition?
that I am “rhythmically inclined.” to constantly work hard and practise. I don’t think I had any kind of
Good work always pays. In the early difficulty. In fact, I had a chance to
What was the reaction of your ’80s when I was performing at the see the world in a new perspective.
mother? Zurich Jazz Festival, a Swiss Advertising is like finishing school for
When I joined college I told her company that manufactures cymbals, a musician. It hones your skills,
that I wanted to play drums. She offered me a contract. I played for teaches you how to sell a song and
bring to it better sonic treatment and
technical values. Apparently,
advertising gave me more than just
that. If you know how to work on your
terms, nothing can supersede you.

It is not easy to establish an


acceptance for bold music and
you always try to do something
different. What sort of reactions do
you receive?
Of course, when you put forward
music that is bold and different and
not designed for mass consumption,
there are pitfalls. It is difficult to make
said, “Show me if you can earn while an artistic statement today. If one is
playing drums.” I borrowed drums true to one’s sensibilities, chances
and cymbals and started practising. are that one will never bring home
Contrary to expectations, from then success and fame. The current “pop”
on, I received nothing but trend being promoted by recording
encouragement from her. She never companies and youth television
denied me anything and her stations discourages many intelligent
blessings are with me. musicians.
them for a couple of years and then
Did you get the advantage of moved on to England where I What is the present state of music?
being the son of such a great enhanced my skills and learned more Essentially, art is a sense of who
artiste? about music. we are and where we are. Music is
Like every mother, she helped me In New York, I played with like magic and you have to keep
in my struggle but not in terms of acclaimed jazz musicians and exploring all the time to get attuned
profession, only as a guide. She entered into the category of bigwigs. with that magic. When you start
always reminded me that if I want to trading, it then loses its essence.
achieve my target, I have to work With your international tag People these days pretend so much
hard without depending on her. when you came back to India why and think that they are promoting an
did things not turn out favourable? art. I feel one should be open about
How has this fantastic journey On my return to Mumbai in 1985, oneself and give the best to save the
of rhythm on drums advanced? I realised that the electronic culture and heritage of India.
With the college festivals this revolution had struck. Keyboards and
journey began, and then I started gizmos had taken a front seat, so no What are you currently working?
performing professionally at 16 when one needed a drummer any more. I I am producing a large-scale album
Louis Banks, master jazz pianist and had no work. There was no point in of the classical singers. I have just
composer, was looking for a sitting depressed and waiting for the finished recording with the famous
drummer with superlative skills. Our right opportunity to come and I guitar player John McLaughlin. We

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 121


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bride. Indian mainstream films like
Murder, Khwahish and Jism have
focussed on something not explored
before in mainstream cinema – the
sexuality of the married Indian
woman.
Though this has given the director
and producer ample scope for
exploring the anatomy of the woman
in a hundred different ways to lure at
ARRIED the box office, the one positive spin-
off of these films is that they have

WOMEN uncovered the sexual desires of the


Indian woman. The woman need not
be beautiful though it is mandatory

SEXUALITY
that she has a beautiful body. The
woman need not be single either.

SEXUALITY IN THE
& INDIAN BRIDE

CINEMA
Sexuality in married women in
Hindi films has been directly linked
to the woman as an ‘object’ of the
male gaze, both within the film and
without it. The male characters in a
film are constructed in a way that
they treat their female counterparts
An Indian he bride in Hindi films is as objects of their gaze, desire,

T
unlike the bride in real life. oppression, humiliation, glorification
married woman, Her sexuality is completely
repressed to project a sati-
and celebration. Since the woman is
not generally vested with a ‘voice’ of
a paragon of Savitri image. The suhag
raat bed is decked up with
her own, this extends to a casual
indifference to her sexuality as the
morality, flowers. She sits on the bed,
swathed in red chunari, sari,
‘subject’ of desire, rather than an
‘object’ catering to the desire of other
jewellery, lots of bangles, people, mainly male.
suppresses her and flowers, with the Outside the film, the woman –
ghunghat pulled down so low that both the star as well as the
sexual needs one cannot even imagine what she ‘character’ she portrays – is the
looks like. There is the mandatory ‘object’ of the male gaze within the
so as not to be glass of milk by the bedside for the physical parameters of the studio.
groom to come and drink to draw The costume designer, if he is male,
seen as lustful. strength to consummate the the cameraman, the spot boys, light
By Shoma A. Chatterji marriage. boys, make-up men, etc., are (a) by
What about the sexual ardour of social conditioning, (b) by male
the bride? Is it washed and dried in impulse, and (c) by professional
detergents and mouthwash that strips necessity, trained to ‘look’ at the
her completely of normal physical younger female characters as if they
desire? Films that dote on the newly were sex objects to be ogled at or,
married bride and the graphically- fantasised about or have wet-dreams
described rituals before, during and around.
after marriage such as Hum Aapke In this, the editing studio forms an
Hain Kaun, Vivaah and so on, unroll integral part. If the editor decides to
like a moving marriage album seen keep the footage with close-ups of
in slow motion. Even titles of the heroine’s face alone, the director
‘marriage’ films like Just Married do may ask him to include the close-up
not touch upon the sexuality of the of the heroine’s (or vamp’s for that

126 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


matter) cleavage in a dance Phoolan when she falls in love with relationship with another man, she is
sequence, or, on her mouth showing Vikram Mallah. When Vikram is regarded a whore.
her running her tongue over her recovering from a gunshot wound in Aparna Sen's Parama is an
glossy lips in a scene of suggestive the thigh, in hiding in Kanpur, example of how modernity is a
seduction. The opposite, too, could Phoolan strides atop him and makes hypocritical mask that veils the
hold true. A director not interested in love to him like a man, the more double standards of an urban,
portraying female characters as sex aggressive partner in sex. It 'progressive' family, a fragile surface
objects may be persuaded by the underscores the mutations in the life that cracks under the expose of the
editor to have second thoughts about and style of an unlettered woman middle-aged daughter-in-law's brief
his ideology. who has been subjected to repeated but torrid affair with the friend of a
The financiers, distributors and rape, who has grown into a sexually nephew who is years younger. For
exhibitors are the real people behind aggressive woman, who no longer thousands of years, adultery has
the making of a film because, without shies away from her physical needs. been considered a male monopoly
their backing, a film will just not Whether this is a consequence of her just as much as monogamous sexual
happen. They can even dictate to the acquiring the male masquerade or is desire is interpreted as being a
producer the cast of the film, how due to her passion for Vikram, female one.
many songs and dances they wish to remains ambiguous. Adultery by any woman
see in it, how many close-ups of the Did Mansi in Basu Bhattacharya's immediately marks her out as a bad
female body, and how many rape film Aastha commit adultery? This is woman, a social outcaste no one
scenes to show. It is business, pure a rather piquant question since the should communicate with. Is this a
and simple. fact of her sleeping around with men psychological security for the men
Then comes the turn of the who are not her husband/s is who made all those rules about men
audience. It seems to get a strange undercut by the fact that she is paid being more 'hot' than women? For
kind of ‘kick’ in seeing women being for the 'services' she renders. In other that matter, adultery committed by a
raped, beaten up or humiliated on words, she is a prostitute who sells woman is perhaps more a question
screen as much as they enjoy a strip- herself for money. of seeking security and confidence
tease act cinemato graphed in How does one try and connect the than just guts. It might be a search
deliberate and, sometimes, question of adultery with the raw for self-assurance, which a boring
imaginatively slow motion. reality of prostitution? Basu's film marriage to an indifferent spouse has
Phoolan Devi, in real life and in throws up this question, albeit designedly destroyed.
Shekhar Kapoor’s film, was married unwittingly (unwillingly?), but fails to
in her childhood to a man much older offer an answer. In the rather
than she was who raped her on the confusing climax, her husband says WOMAN’S BODY
wedding night. The subject of Bandit he 'understands' her. In Deepa Mehta’s Fire, lesbianism
Queen explores the very Does this suggest that she goes is presented as part of the rationale
objectification of a single woman, on prostituting herself and silences
Phoolan Devi (from birth till she lays her husband with expensive gifts on
down her arms to the police) and the one hand and sizzling sessions
seeks to condemn and attack. in bed on the other? Aastha triggers
The scene showing Phoolan off an intriguing backtracking to Hindi
forced to parade the streets in the cinema and how it has treated
nude in Behmai to draw water from sexuality among its women when the
the well raises an ideological women were, on rare occasions, the
question. Isn’t it tantamount to the ‘subjects’ of the film.
director and the camera subjecting In India, chastity runs like a
the body of Phoolan to the same constant thread in all social
‘rape’ she had to suffer throughout relationships a woman is legitimately
her childhood and adult life? The top- involved in: dau -
angle shots painfully bring across ghter, sister, wife,
Phoolan’s vulnerability and senseless mother, aunt,
humiliation, true. But it is also true mother-in-law, fri -
that, for once, Kapoor definitely and endly relationship.
unambiguously designs the camera Anything beyond
to turn voyeur in a deliberate attempt this realm is
to attract the attention of a global unthinkable. The
audience. minute a married
However, the same film also woman is discovered
acknowledges the sexual desire of having a physical

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 127


In the film song sequences, her anatomy is exposed to the
extent of glamourising her sexual desires.

Aditi (Tabu) who finds a voice at


the end of the film, blasts not only
her husband who disowns her for a
single sexual encounter that was
extramarital, juxtaposed against his
THE EDITING several ‘affairs’, but also the man
who sired her only son, who felt
STUDIO FORMS AN grand in donating his entire property
INTEGRAL PART. IF to her just because she mothered his
child. He, too, like her unfeeling
THE EDITOR DECIDES husband Shrikant, did not care to
TO KEEP THE Dacoit Phoolan Devi as picturised by
Sheikher Kapoor.
consider the repercussions of his
action on her life, even after his
FOOTAGE WITH of women’s autonomy, loyalty and death.
CLOSE-UPS OF THE mutual commitment, as well as a
positive alternative to draining,
HEROINE’S FACE unrewarding and positively negative VIRTUE OF MOTHERHOOD
ALONE, THE relations with men. It is also a strong The son castigates the mother
statement on the two women’s because she is ‘immoral’ and Aditi is
DIRECTOR MAY ASK assertion and acknowledgement of left with her memories of a 27-year-
HIM TO INCLUDE their own sexuality, without either old marriage that turned out to be as
THE CLOSE-UP OF shame or pride.
The absence of lesbians and of
empty as the suitcase she carries out
with her. “Should I spread out my
THE HEROINE’S the issue of lesbianism from films is begging bowl when I have the need
CLEAVAGE IN A consistent with the absence of
lesbianism from all other forms of
for sex?” she asks her husband point
blank, disgusted with her cutting off
DANCE SEQUENCE, representation. It echoes society’s from the family she has nurtured with
OR, ON HER systematic repression of ideologies
and sub-cultures, which oppose,
love, care and commitment for so
many years.
MOUTH SHOWING challenge or undermine the In India, the burden of morality
HER RUNNING HER hegemony of racist, sexist and (chastity, virtue, purity, the pativrata
ideal, izzat , self-sacrifice,
capitalist patriarchy.
TONGUE OVER HER Astitva was directed by Mahesh motherhood, etc.) is vested in the
GLOSSY LIPS IN A Manjrekar, noted in the industry for women of the family, specially the
unleashing on the screen blood, gore wife within the nuclear family and the
SCENE OF and violence. This film is a turn-of- daughter-in-law in the extended
SUGGESTIVE the-century statement on the family. There are no clear-cut lines
sexually-deprived married woman’s between morality, immorality and
SEDUCTION. right to her sexuality, despite her madness; between ‘mad’ and ‘bad’
husband. for women in distress. We

128 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


QUIZ
Tear this page along the perforated line and send it to the under mentioned address. Winner will be announced in the February issue.

Q1 Is your crush a close friend?


a. I’m too popular to be seen hanging
around him.
b. I think we’re friends... I’m not quite sure.
c. I guess we’re kind of close...
d. Nope, I never hang out with him. He’s
too popular.
e. Yeah, we hang out all the time!

Q
2
Do you talk to him all the time?
a. Maybe in passing once or twice a day.

?
b. I talk to him sometimes.
c. Every chance I get!

IS YOUR CRUSH YOUR


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Q
3
Do you find yourself talking about
him all the time?
a. Sometimes.
Q
7
Do you imagine kissing him
somewhere romantic?
a. Sometimes.
b. Yeah, my friends hate it when I do that... b. Yeah...
c. I would never be seen talking about him! c. Nope.
d. Why would I waste my time doing that?

Q4 Do your friends like him too?


a. No, no one likes him. I don’t even like
him THAT much...
Q
8
Do you know his family really well?
a. Sort of.
b. I’m friends with his mom!
c. No they hate me!
b. Of course! Everyone likes him!
c. Maybe, but even if they do that
doesn’t matter.
d. Yeah, we get in fights over him
all the time.
Q
9
Has he ever rebuked you before
your friends?
a. Sometimes

Q5 How do you feel when he’s not b. No, never...


c. Yes, quite often!
with you?
a. I miss him a lot.
b. Nothing happens me.
c. At times it affects me.
Q
10
Do you ever wonder whether
you’ll know him in 10 years?
a. Maybe five, but never 10!

Q6 Do you stare at him all the time?


a. Never, that’s so creepy!
b. Sometimes.
c. Every three seconds!
b.
c.
d.
Of course, I do!
I can’t think that far into the future.
No, I can’t wait until he is out of my
life for good.

Prove that you are aware of this trivia.


Scoring Terms and Conditions: Send us the coupon with your photo along
Don’t you hate those artificial quizzes that with the correct answers.
only have one obvious right answer? Since we don’t know
about your personal life, these questions could work out, Name
depending on one’s personality and interactions. And you Age
could probably come up with better answers! Address

Winners of DBS Quiz Contest - 41 Phone:


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Occupation

Don’t forget to attach a photograph


1. Mark the answers and send us the cutting of this
quiz along with this coupon. The last date is
15 January 2009. So hurry up and post it now.
Sudha Agrawal Parableen Sodhi Monaz C. Dastoor 2. The decision of the editor will be final. 3. Depict
206, Heritage App. 2405, Sector 35-C, 8 Parsee Colony, your true self only. 4. Send a photograph of your
Near M.L.A. Hostel, Chandigarh (U.T.) Kankaria Road,
Civil Lines, Nagpur. Pin: 160022 Ahmedabad. own. It may be printed in Woman’s Era, along with
Pin: 380022 the results. Send to: Woman’s Era, Delhi Press,
E-3, Jhandewala, New Delhi-110 055.
QA &
given a chunk of money it might hurt
any man. You have not mentioned
how much time has passed since this
happened, sometimes it’s just a
matter of time for these things to
settle down.
But you must clearly impress upon
your husband that you would have
expected any purchase, even future
ones, to be in joint name because
that is what being a wife means –
because we did not speak at the right sharing and sharing equally.
time. Maybe you made it sound like a

Q&
demand that the house should be in
joint name AFTER he asked for I earlier worked in an all-girls office
money from your parents. and it did not matter what we wore
As a wife it is your social and or how we looked. I have recently
moral right to have your name on all changed jobs and girls here dress
joint purchases but if you make it a like they are going to a party. Must I
condition because your parents have change?
What employees wear at work is
often dictated by norms and line of
I feel my parents do business of that office. Yes, when
I am a young 23-years-old male and not want me to get you work in an all-girls environment it
in my very first job. I want to ask a married. They always can be different to what you wear
very basic question when I go for find fault with when there are male colleagues
interviews at what point should I everybody I like. around.
mention the salary I expect? Now I love a boy in However, unless you are in the
The first advice I would like to my office who has fashion industry, to wear party
offer is that as far as possible, do not no other problem except he has a dresses to the office is not advisable.
change your job just for an increased large family and my mother feels You have to change to fit in but not to
salary. Every job has something to that I won’t be able to fit in. Do the extent that you change your
teach you and very often youngsters you think it’s important? complete wardrobe. Try to find a mid-
tend to change the jobs so fast that You have not mentioned your path and remain on the conservative
they hardly learn anything. age. Nor how many times you side rather than ostentatious. After
By all means go for better job have selected a boy and left him all you cannot change your basic

A
prospects, and then either the because your parents showed you style and wardrobe for every job but
agency that puts you in touch with a fault that you had missed. you should try to fit in to an extent at
new company or the HR department I am confused. If you love a least.
should indicate what the expected boy you do not give him up
salary structure is. If the offer made without agreeing with the fault that
to you is not up to your expectations your family is pointing out. I am a 20-year-old
you have to decide whether the job You might be right about their virgin and my friends
offers you anything else that you are desire to have you live with them say that instead of sex
after. At no stage should you make a bit longer but it is also possible that can get one
the first move on expected or that you ‘love’ easily and ‘leave’ pregnant, anal and
demanded salary. just as easily. oral sex is safe. Is that
It is not important what I think true and what is this
about adjustment problems from style of sex?
When my husband was short of a small family girl to a large family Getting pregnant is not the only
money, my parents gave a big – what is important is what you problem that you face with
amount to buy a house but I asked think about it. If you like the family indiscriminate sex. Oral and anal sex
for it to be bought in our joint name. members and your parents have can still expose you to sexually
Now my husband feels that my pointed this flaw out to you, the transmitted disease including HIV. As
parents demanded it and does not decision is yours because you are for what style of sex it is, oral and
behave well with them. How do I deal the one who has to live in this anal sex is nothing but sexual
with the situation? new family. gratification through the mouth or the
Sometimes things get mixed up anus respectively.

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 131


R. S. Prakash

choreographer) and Amma Sekar and Thoondil fame) is the hero.


(dance choreographer) S. Thaman is Bhama from the Malayalam filmdom
the music director while Sri Pavan is the heroine. Nine models from
Shankar is the cinematographer. Mumbai are also appearing in vital
Madhusharma, Sabi, Bala, Nitish roles. Aashish Vidyarathi, Nasser,
Kumar, Seshaanth, Dharsha Manivannan, Visu, Manoj. K. Jayan,
Mayilasami, Shandapani and Ajay Thalaivasal Vijay are also in the main
are also in the cast. The music cast. Vadivelu appears in the role of
release of the film was recently done an advocate in the film. Late
on a lavish scale. character actor Raghuvaran has a
part in this film. Roja and Sukanya
THE producers of the superhit film are also appearing in vital roles. It is
Karagatakaran which was released for the first time that the technique of
WELL-KNOWN film distributor K.P.R. earlier, have once again teamed up spot editing has been used in this
who has distributed several Tamil to make a film titled Yellam Avan film.
films has now entered into film- Seiyal in which R. K. (of Vazhthukkal
making under his home-banner MODHI Vilayaadu is Saran’s latest
Yamini Creations, Androrunaal, his offering that has been written by S.
maiden venture that is being written Ramakrishnan. For the first time
and directed by M. Arulmurugan, Bharadwaj isn’t scoring music for a
debutante director who has appren- Saran film. Hari and Lesle (Colonial
ticed under many film-makers. Cousins) are the scorers. Fresh from
Mathew Rajan is the cinemato - the success of Jayam Kondan Vijay
grapher while Indian scores the is the film’s lead artiste while Kajal
music. Rajendran, the producer, is keeps him company. Yuva is the
also appearing in an important role. film’s debutante artiste. Kalabhavan
Rajan P. Dev, Ponnambalam, Mani, VMC Haneefa, Mayilsami,
Senthil, Crane Manohar, Nellai Siva, Santhanam, Amith Dhavan and
Sathyapriya and many others are in Tatoo Ram (debut) are also in the
the cast of this flick. The theme cast.
packages a variety of ingredients –
suspense, horror, action, comedy, M CINEMA’S Solla Solla Inikkum
etc. features Navdeep and Madhumitha
in the lead roles. Prakashraj, Mallika
BESIDES assuming responsibility for Kapoor, Abinay, Suja, Aashish
the story, screenplay, dialogue, lyrics Vidyarthi, Vijayakumar, Charlie,
and direction, Yuvan has also taken Sathyan and many others are in the
up the lead role in R.M.A. films cast. Arthur A. Wilson is the
Factory’s Sindhanai Sei which has cinematographer and Bharadwaj is
been produced by Gilli Sekar (stunt the scorer. G. Murali Abbas has

100 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


assumed responsibility for the story, Irrukkiraan, a comedy caper, to be leave him with sufficient and more
screenplay, dialogue and direction. produced and directed by Kamal surplus to go back to the production
himself. More than his action flick and of Marmayogi. Hema Malani, who
RAJ TV Network which has carved a those directed by him. Kamal’s was expected to play a vital role in
niche for itself in nearly 15 years has comedy movies have always fared Marmayogi, walked out of it even
now entered into film production and well at the box office. Going by that before it was shelved.
has planned to produce 10 movies record, one can expect that this flick,
every year. Ilankannan who made made on a medium budget, could COOL Productions, the banner,
Ottran with Arjun is the director. Ravi which has been producing films for
Krishna and Savanand are the two the sake of making good films without
herores. The film has three music a profit motive, has come up with
directors Manisharma, Vidya Sagar another noteworthy film Mahesh
and Moorti. Vincent who is a former Saranya Mattrum Palar written and
deputy of P.C. Sriram is the directed by Ravi, a former deputy of
cinematographer. Selvan, an director Lingusamy Sakthi who made
understudy of Peter Hain, is the stunt his debut through Thottal Poo
choreographer. The film is remake of Malrum, is the hero while Sandhya is
the Telugu hit Gamayam . Times his pair. Two songs have been shot
music has released this film’s audio. at Switzerland. Saranya Mohan is
Kadhatna Summa Illa is the films title. also playing an important role in
the film. Vidyasagar is the scorer
PAISA produced by Parkar Bros who has composed eight
was recently launched at the AVM songs for this flick.
Studios on a lavish scale amidst
the presence of a galaxy of film VETERAN film-maker K.
personalities. Sachin and Balachander’s Kavithalaya has
Lavenya play the lead roles, both produced Thiruvannamalai with
being newcomers. Abhishek, action-king Arjun playing the title
Aashish, Vidyarthi, Devan, Mahadahi role. The action-cum-spiritual flick
Shankar and Aarthi are also in the has been written and directed by
cast. Sabesh and Murali are the Perarasu whose film title usually
scorers. stands to refer to a town Thirupachi
Palani, Thirupathi, Dharmapuri, etc.
KAMAL HAASAN’S magnum opus Dhanya, the heroine plays a school
Marmayogi is believed to have been teacher in the film. Karunas, the
shelved, owing to budget constraints. comedian joins the league of character
Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan has actors. Srikanth Deva is the scorer.
decided upon a quickie, Thalaivan Padmesh is the cinematographer. We
TAMIL STARS S P E A K !
R. Prakash

SANAA KHAN – THE NEW SCREEN SIZZLER!


hile on the one side, female before long, opportunity for ad

W leads from south are busy


migrating to the west,
Bollywood beauties too seem to be
commercials poured in and within
a short time, I had done a good
number of assignments.”
making a beeline here in the south to “I play a Brahmin girl in the film,
star in south-bound flicks. Among always teasing and tickling Simbu
the breed of Bollywood beauties who who plays a temple priest in the
have come in recently, Sanaa Khan film. Mine is a mischievous and
stands out, having made a tomboyish kind of character in the
sensational debut with Silambattam film and my intro-scene definitely
opposite Simbu. warrants mention. Normally, it is
Though Sanaa has done over 30 only the heroes who are given such
television commercials Silambattam a introduction. For a change, I was
marks her first official film debut. given such a big opportunity. Also,
Simbu alias Silamanbarasan is her normally it is usually the heroes
first screen hero, notwithstanding the who ride bicycles followed by his
fact she has appeared with the likes band of friends. But here I do that
of Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay in the film! My combination
Kumar in commercials. sequences with Santhanam and
Sanaa Khan is visibly thrilled others were truly hilarious!”
about her maiden film Silambattam. Sanaa is full of praise for Simbu,
She switches on the start made who has been a source of great
when quizzed about how it all support for her during the shoot of
started. the sequences.
Simbu who had come to Mumbai Sanaa mentions the pains-
scouting for a heroine to act with him taking efforts of Saravanan, the
in a film titled Kettavan had seen my cinematographer turned film-maker,
ads and got in touch with me. who has put his best foot forward
Initially, I was a bit reluctant to trade I am the only daughter of my as this is his first directorial venture.
places but after a point, on his parents and dance has always been She has special regards for Ajith
persuasion, I agreed to be part of this my passion,” she say. I dreamt of and looks forward to co-star with him
project. But Kettavan didn’t take off, being an air hostess but perhaps that (is somebody listening).
but yet Simbu roped me in for was not in store for me! Like her other contemporaries
Silambattam, a big-budget film. It was “I used to take part in a lot of from Mumbai, Sanaa too is quite
the 25th production venture of dance programmes and through a serious about having a consolidated
Lakshmi Movies Makers and they friend my portfolio was made ready innings here and is prepared to put
wanted it to be a mega film. which was circulated around not her best efforts to achieve that!

parallel from Bollywood, Sridhar did


SRIDHAR’S SOLID INNINGS! to Tamil cinema what Guru Dutt had
done for Hindi cinema.
he fact that versatile film-maker news of his death recently. As a matter of fact, it was Sridhar

T Sridhar is no more with us is


hard to believe. The entire film
industry at Kollywood was virtually
Undoubtedly, director Sridhar was
one of the pioneers of Tamil cinema,
who started his association with films
who revolutionised Tamil cinema’s
spoken words as most of the films till
his arrival had only classic Tamil as
shocked and shaken on hearing the way back in the fifties. Drawing a spoken words. The lines he wrote for

104 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008


his scripts were simple and Ek Mandir was no less successful. It was Sridhar who introduced
straightforward reflecting conversa- Sridhar had a reasonably successful Jayalalitha through Venniraadai
tions in one’s day-to-day life. He also stint with Hindi films too. He was one which carried a ‘A’ certificate at the
scored high in the constructions and of the very few film-makers who time of its release in the early sixties,
mounting of scenes intercepting them made films with M.G.R. and Sivaji which was unheard of, at that time! It
with innovating camera angles and Ganesan, besides another big star was the same Sridhar who said no to
suggestive emotions without letting Gemini Ganesan. His Ilamai Hema Malini and rejected her! She
his artistes to turn melodramatic. Oongalaadukiradhu with Kamal and then moved on to Bollywood to make
Meaningful lyrics and heart – Rajni proved his ability to blend with history is another story!
warming music were an integral part the next-generation actors as well. Sridhar made Sivantha Mann with
of all his films. He could churn out hits with actors Sivaji Ganesan, one of the early
His Kalyana Parisu was a Karthik and Mohan through his films Tamil films to have been shot abroad.
trendsetter of sorts and indeed a as Nivaivellam Nithya and Thendrala In Nenjirukkum Varai he had made
milestone as far as dealing with Yennai Thodu. Sridhar’s greatness the entire cast headed by Sivaji
triangular love stories are concerned. as a talented film-maker was Ganesan act without make-up.
The comedy track featuring reflected through his ability to Urimai Kural with M.G.R. was one of
Thangavelu and Saroja in that film is conceive strong scripts with powerful Sridhar’s biggest hits. Sridhar’s all-
still remembered for its evergreen characters ‘as a matter of fact’ kind of time great hit was Kadalikka
freshness. dialogue and innovative directional Neramillai, a runaway musical
Nenjil Or Aalayam a black and touches. His thinking process was so comedy which remains unparalleled
white classic made by Sridhar in less spontaneous that it is said that he till date. Sridhar’s exist has ended an
than a month’s time is rated as one of used to write dialogue even on the era and his place in the industry is
his best offering. Its Hindi version Dil sets. difficult to be filled. We

Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008 105


144 Crossword
F A M I L Y P H O T O


CONTEST
1 2 3 4 5 6
P L
7

Tear along the dotted line and mail to Crossword No. 144Woman’s Era, Delhi Press, New Delhi-110 055.
R
8
N U
9 10
R D N
11
R
12 13
A
14
S
15 16 17
T
18 19 20
S
21 22 23
T
24 25
T D

K 26 K

Across
1. That can be said to be true in the case of
somebody/something (10)
1. To make people have a particular
reaction (7)
7. To catch or arrest somebody who is doing 2. A way of doing something that
something wrong (3) is the usual or expected way in a
8. A railway/railroad engine pulling a particular organisation or
number of coaches/cars or trucks, taking situation (8)
people and goods from one place to 3. Not guilty of a crime, etc., not having
another (5) done something wrong (8)
9. A lump of earth or clay (4) 4. Abbreviation for Arithmetic and Logical
10. A small oval object with a thin hard shell Unit in computer (3)
produced by a female bird and containing 5. A person, thing or situation that is Please accept my entry for the
a young bird; a similar object produced mysterious and difficult to understand (6) crossword competition. I
by female fish, insect, etc. (3) 6. Existing in large quantities; more than
11. Preposition which is used to indicate enough (8) subscribe to all the rules and
something in the middle of (3) 10. To remove something completely (5)
12. Anger (3) 16. The testing of metals and chemicals for regulations of the competition.
13. A type of British cooker / stove made of quality, often to see how pure
solid iron that is also used fo heating (3) they are (5) Name
14. Used to refer to a man who is, or thinks he 17. Havin a strong effect on your senses;
is, more important than other people (4) making you feel excited and
15. To put food in your mouth, chew it and confident (5)
Down

swallow it (3) 18. To fasten something with a lock (4)


17. Having a high temperature; producting 19. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (4)
Address
heat (3) 22. Either of the two organs on the face that
20. Chemical symbol for element iron (2) you see with (3)
21. A large area of land, usually in the 23. Type; kind (3)
country, that is owned by one person City Pin
or family (6)
24. A small disc on which sound or
information recorded (2)
25. To sing or call in the traditional Swiss
way, changing your voice frequently
between its normal level and a
very high level (5)

26. Happening or existing a long time ago (6)

132 Woman’s Era ● December (Second) 2008