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“He does not seem to me to be a free man who does not sometimes do nothing.” —Marcus Tullius Cicero

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The urgent

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VOL VI „ ISSUE 6 APRIL 2012 ` 100

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Editor’s insights

Go away…


ccording to legend, the great inventor James WaĴ was once trying to solve a particular problem with Thomas Newcomen’s design. AĞer trying in vain for a long time, he stopped thinking about the problem consciously and took a Manoj Khatri leisurely walk—whereupon the solution popped into his head. Such stories are commonplace in the history of innovation, where Eureka moments have occurred to great scientists and thinkers whilst taking a break, sleeping or indulging in some form of leisure. At the other extreme, nearly every research on burnout mentions lack of leisure and recreation as a mediating factor of the syndrome. Likewise, in the field of leisure studies, leisureliness emerges as a major factor of burnout prevention. In spite of such overwhelming evidence in favour of leisure, it is still considered a luxury by most of us—so much so that some even feel guilty indulging in it. Last month, we highlighted the importance of wellness at work and the need to take charge of it. This month, we turn our aĴention to the excessive preoccupation with work that prevails in our culture today—and its eěects on every dimension of our life. In the cover story, Al Gini, a highly respected business management expert, tells us why so many of us erroneously connect leisure with “mere absence of work”. According to him, we almost never slow down enough to experience the experience of not doing anything at all. If you heed his advice, it will transform you and your work ethic forever and leave you happier. In a beautiful follow-up piece, celebrated writer-editor Sathya Saran gives you uncommon ideas to chill out—I am quite certain you will want to put them into practice right away. To give you a head start on why you should take the leisure-business seriously, contemplate the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, considered the greatest genius of all time: “Every now and then go away, have a liĴle relaxation, for when you come back to your work, your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”

In spite of such overwhelming evidence in favour of leisure, it is still considered a luxury by most of us

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Complete Wellbeing

VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 01

RNI No. MAHENG/2006/21415 Vol VI Issue 06 APR 2012


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SR GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Mukesh Patel EDITORIAL OFFICE 502, A wing, Sagar Tech Plaza, Saki Naka Junction, Andheri-Kurla Road, Mumbai 400072. Tel/Fax: 022-6742 0900 E-mail:

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In praise of leisure By Al Gini

30 How to chill out when you’re busy

By Sathya Saran

SPECIAL PROJECTS | Seema Bihari ACCOUNTS | Geetha Karkera BULK SUBSCRIPTIONS Call: 022-6742 0900 E-mail: SUBSCRIPTIONS Call: 022-6742 0900 E-mail: PRINTED AT | Rajhans Enterprises PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY | Manoj Khatri, on behalf of Complete Wellbeing Publishing Pvt Ltd., at Rajhans Enterprises, No. 134, 4th Main Road, Industrial Town, Rajajinagar, Bangalore - 560044, and published from Complete Wellbeing Publishing Pvt. Ltd., 502, A wing, Sagar Tech Plaza, Saki Naka Junction, Andheri-Kurla Road, Mumbai 400072. Tel/Fax: 022-6742 0900 Editor: Manoj Khatri © Complete Wellbeing Publishing Pvt Ltd., All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, in print, electronic or any other form, is strictly prohibited. DISCLAIMER | Complete Wellbeing is dedicated to providing useful, well-researched information on holistic health/wellbeing, but its contents are not intended to provide medical advice/diagnosis for individual problems or circumstances, or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Readers are advised to always consult their physician/healthcare professional/therapist, prior to starting any new remedy, therapy or treatment, or practice, or with any questions they may have regarding a medical/health condition.


The views expressed by writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor, publisher, or Complete Wellbeing.



Using masculine pronouns ‘he’, ‘him’ or ‘his’ for subjects of unknown gender is considered prejudicial. We respect both genders and hence use feminine and masculine pronouns interchangeably.

Food & Nutrition

66 Pro-health kitchen tools


Complete Wellbeing is not responsible for advertising claims.

By Radhika Karle-Ghorpade

74 Protein-rich recipes By Nandita Iyer

58 For no-pain-in-the-back mornings By Kiran Shete


80 Free yourself from freeloaders By Sharmila Bhosale

02 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

Complete Wellbeing


EXPLORE >> Career & Workplace

42 The Corporate Sufi way By Azim Jamal

By Vijai Chandrasekharan

36 How to think larger than life By Sonali Masih-D’silva

Women’s Wellbeing

39 Living with urinary incontinence By Girija Wagh

Personal Care

44 Goodness of gourds By Aparna Pradhan

68 What is a deviated nasal

50 Royal Rajasthan


Food & Nutrition

Common Ailments

Wellbeing Route




70 Pilates for a strong core By Nuala Coombs


By Ravikiran Vernekar

Mind & Emotions

86 What causes bulimia? By Anjali Chhabria


76 Zen ideas for the every day By Wayne C Allen

Heart Health

88 The terrible three By Nilesh Gautam


90 Discipline with love By Marcy Axness

72 Do you follow proper salon etiquette?

By Anuradha Ch

Skin Care

84 How to choose and use sunscreens

By Parul Kolhe

TRANSFORM >> Consciousness

62 Why being cheerful helps By Dada J P Vaswani

92 Silence unlocks true peace

REGULARS >> 06 08 10 17 49 94 95 96


CW Talkback


CW Expertise Stay up-to-date

Common Ailments

CW Motivator Agony Aunt & Ecstasy Uncle

82 Malaria misconceptions By Srinivas Kakkilaya

Write Notes New Kits on the Block Life is Beautiful

By Osho


Note from the publisher


ince Complete Wellbeing was launched, five years back, a lot has changed about the magazine—design, picture, content quality and even the masthead. But one thing that remained unchanged was the cover price. It remained the same despite the many increases in paper costs over the years. Most magazines that were launched around the same time as Complete Wellbeing succumbed to increasing

04 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

costs and hiked their cover prices. But we kept our readers insulated as long as we could. Now, finally, we are compelled to raise our cover price to sustain the health of the brand. This move places more responsibility on our shoulders and inspires us to strengthen our commitment—to bring to you even beĴer quality content and help you get more out of life. Thank you for your continued support.

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one-of-a-kind specialty store, Foam Home has almost 15 different types of mattresses comprising of High Density Foam, Body sensor, Spring, Gel and many more, further capable of complete customisation. The store is designed in a way that the customers can walk in as a family and comfortably try out mattresses like they would in the comforts of their own home. Apart from the ones already mentioned, Foam Home has another very popular product, the Sofa-cum-bed. Their whole new range of sofa-cum-beds, all the way from France, is available on display at their showroom. While most of Foam Home’s patrons include educated and quality conscious people, the clientele largely consists of leading architects, business tycoons and even Bollywood stars. With a unique product range, one that is hard to find anywhere else in the world, Foam Home’s patronage is unchanging. The store is a must-visit for every family graduating to a new home or anyone seeking perfect sleep.

ward WriĴen re g to us

Please write about HSPs

The answer by Minnu R Bhonsle in the ‘Agony Aunt and Ecstasy Uncle’ column was an eye-opener for me. It helped put things in perspective. I have read a lot of books and online resources to come to the same conclusion. I have something to add too. You might have already heard about Highly Sensitive Person [HSP]. I am an HSP and I think the person asking the question in this section is also an HSP. She will Facebook ‘likes’ Sabita Padmanabha, Nita Bajaria, Tulip D’souza, Umesh Galande and Leena Karda Sakshi Ahuja like the article ‘Andaman Islands: Tourist-friendly and postcard-perfect locales’ by Sharmila Bhosale Reetika Gupta Kohli, Zainab Yaro-Usman and Shini Sandesh like the article ‘Skincare: anti-ageing ingredients’ by Jamuna Pai Imtiyaaz Khan and Harsha Mehta like the article ‘Hiding behind the screen?’ by Wayne C Allen For the latest updates, like our Facebook page 1,400 people have done so.

benefit by reading the books The Highly Sensitive Person and The Undervalued Self, both by Elaine Aron. Could you also let the person who’s asked the question know about HSPs and the book by Aron? In fact, why don’t you publish an article on HSPs in your magazine? It would be a great help to many HSPs as there is little awareness about high sensitivity in India. After all, 15 – 20 per cent of the population can be classified as HSP. — Kiran Kondru via email

Cover comments

The cover of the March 2012 issue was stunning. Inside too, the images used were high class and apt to the content, which was smartly chosen. This is by far the most outstanding issue! — Milind Vartak, Honeycomb Communications

of the m er


Keep writin back, with your feed d an ns tio es sugg your comments. And in st w leĴer might ju of the ‘The best leĴer per m ha Ğ gi ’ th mon m fro 0 00 `2 worth een?’s DO U Speak Gr ing th eco-friendly clo n. io ct lle co

th on

CW Talkback

A friend in need I have never been a healthconscious person. It was only after I was admitted in the hospital that I realised how important health and fitness are and how our careless attitudes towards ourselves makes us pay a huge price. I came across your magazine during my hospital stay. It was exactly what I needed—a complete package of information for a holistic and healthy lifestyle. I refer to some articles again and again and have implemented most of the guidelines in my lifestyle. — Nutan Kaviskar

Congratulations! You’ve won a gift hamper worth `2000 from DO U Speak Green?’s ecofriendly clothing collection.

@t Us

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Send us your experiences, ideas, opinions, comments and suggestions. Write to us at Or post your comments on

Reader’s musings Supriya Kantak signs up for a Muay Thai class in Bangkok, and lives to tell!


eading the article on Muay Thai in the March’12 issue I felt déjà vu as I was just back from Bangkok where I had had a taste of this martial art form. I was baĴered and bruised—and bragging about it! The purplish black marks on my forearm were the result of ‘conditioning’. For most, this is something you do to moisturise your hair aĞer shampooing, to soĞen its texture. In kickboxing, conditioning is something you do to harden yourself, so that you are not thrown oě balance or knocked out by a punch or a kick. I have been practising kickboxing for over two years. And besides improving my stamina and toning my body, it has immensely increased my confidence. Yet, I admit, I was a bit nervous when I signed up for a Muay Thai session in Bangkok. I chose not to do the basic class but a one-on-one with the trainer instead. For that I had to shell out double the money [1,000 baht for an hour]. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight even before a knock to my head!

First, I was asked to wear the right gear: shorts and a tee. Not any pair of shorts, but the ones specially made for Muay Thai [you can rent a pair, which otherwise would cost you 800 baht]. These shorts have a thick elastic band around the waist to make sure they don’t slip oě during a fight, and have a slight flare in the cut to allow room for movement. Next, my hands were bound with cloth wraps into a tight fist. And finally, the gloves were on! I had to punch [straight, cross, upper cut, elbow] and kick [straight, knee, roundhouse], first the bag, then the trainer. He didn’t speak much English, but it didn’t maĴer because there isn’t much time to talk in a fight anyway. In the end, he paĴed my back and gave me a thumbs-up— the universal sign for ‘well done’. I was relieved, especially since I was the only woman—in a room full of muscular men [not complaining!]. Back home in Mumbai, our kickboxing class has an equal number of women if not more. And all would agree that this form of exercise beats a gym workout any day. You can say we are fighting fit!

A fighting chance

06 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

Complete Wellbeing

CW Expertise I get enough sleep but still get dark circles

Weird tooth trouble Q: Every time I have sweets, my tooth aches. The X-ray does not show any problems; why does this happen? Also, is it necessary to go for teeth cleaning and how oĞen should one do it?

Q: Even though I usually get enough sleep, I still have dark circles around my eyes. Also, I feel heaviness in my lower eyelid all the time as if I have baggy eyelids. Why does this happen and what can I do about it?

— Mayuri P, via email

— Atul G, via email

A: Our teeth give away clues to our overall health. Your toothache could be because of sensitive gums or sensitive teeth. Be watchful as toothache indicates the start of a problem. If ignored, it could become severe. Follow a hygienic dental routine that includes brushing twice a day, drinking water and rinsing your mouth aĞer eating anything, to clean bacteria that seĴle on teeth and gums. Also, you can go for a cleaning treatment once every six months. Consult your dentist before you decide to do so.

A: Dark circles are usually a result of an illness, allergy, inadequate sleep, or simply just heredity. In some individuals, eating excessive salty snacks can retain water and this causes puĜness or ‘bags’ under the eyes. If the dark circles have other associated symptoms such as heaviness or pain around the eyes, this could also be due to sinusitis—an ENT check could help you. If you are prone to allergies, these too, over time, lead to discoloration of skin under the eyes. The treatment varies as per the cause. If it is just the dark pigmentation that needs to be treated, a dermatologist can guide you beĴer with new lightening treatments that suit your skin. — Answered by Anand Shroě, ophthalmologist

— Answered by Shantanu Jaradi, aesthetic dentist

My bowels bother me Q: I have been having recurrent stomach problems. Every few days I get intense pinching pain in various places of my abdomen, but mostly just above the navel and followed by the urge to pass stools. Pain persists even while passing stools and gets relieved aĞer that. Please help. — Sandeep Agaskar, via emai

A: The pain you have is generalised and gets relieved aĞer passing motions. This indicates that the pain is most probably related to the colon. It may be because of inflammation or increased sensitivity of the colon. You need to get an evaluation done for colitis or irritable bowel syndrome along with a complete blood count and stool test. Knowing things like your age, whether you have lost weight recently, and duration of symptoms is required for further diagnosis. — Answered by Viral Patrawala, visiting gastroenterologist at Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai

Stay Well

Write to or post your queries on 08 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

Complete Wellbeing

Stay up-to-date Strong aromas help control your portion size


Nurses help cancer patients overcome fear


hen diagnosed with cancer, almost all patients experience a gamut of emotions including anxiety, fear and depression. According to a new study by the College of Nursing at Michigan State University, nurses play a key role in relieving these and help patients lead a beĴer quality of life. The study that was published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, can help families of those aěected by cancer find support in this dark phase of their lives, especially immediately aĞer diagnosis. They can turn to nurses for emotional support to help their loved one accept the diagnosis. Because it’s the time when one feels lonely and is worried about the future and dreads the spread of cancer. Nurses are in a beĴer position to help than doctors as doctors oĞen primarily focus on providing treatment and managing the disease. But nurses can provide the required balance and resolve these issues of patients. By doing this, the quality of treatment the patients receive will drastically improve, especially in the early stages. The positive outlook will help the patients in the treatment process. Nurses, through their supportive nature, will also be eěective in educating patients about further care and prevention.

his new research published in the journal, Flavour, has some interesting findings that can help cut down your portion size. To diěerentiate the eěect of aroma from other food-related sensations, the researchers made the participants eat a custard-like dessert while introducing diěerent scents around them. They found that the stronger the smell, the smaller the bite, which is what helps control portion size [something which people find difficult to do]. Simply put: a strong aroma around when eating makes you feel full despite eating less—a dream for all weight watchers, minus the sideeěects of appetite-curbing pills. What’s more? The Harvard School of Public Health suggests that if we eat our food slowly and relish each bite, that too helps us eat less. This is the basic principle of mindful eating. It involves doing simple things like not being distracted when eating, eating in silence and chewing slowly. This helps us relish what we eat since we single-mindedly focus on it. And when we relish something it makes us salivate more, which promotes digestion.

Where you live affects your heart health


here we live has an impact on how healthy we are. Conducted by the Northwestern University, the study found that people who live in places that have health food stores, parks and pleasant facilities for walking in their neighbourhood, are more likely to have a healthy heart. According to the researchers, access to recreational resources like parks, safe places to walk and availability of healthy foods, were the most significant neighbourhood factors that facilitate healthy life. The participants of the study had baseline measurements of cholesterol, body mass index, diet, physical activity, fasting glucose, blood pressure and smoking

10 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

taken. They were then studied and labelled as having poor, intermediate or ideal levels of the seven risk factors. Based on their health status, an overall score was determined to describe their risk profile. The American Heart Association’s definition of ideal cardiovascular health was used for this purpose. The researchers speculate that when we have facilities like a park or health food store nearby it becomes that much easier to follow a healthier lifestyle since we don’t have to go out of the way for basic things. Most of the times it’s inconvenience that leads us to drop a healthy habit. Convenience makes compliance to health habits easy, which improves fitness levels and heart health.

Complete Wellbeing

Stay up-to-date Rosemary oil is good for your mood


or the first time, rosemary has been credited with improving cognitive function. The research that was conducted by the Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University found that the presence of rosemary oil component in the blood, improves mood, which may help in beĴer cognitive performance. The study was designed to investigate the eěect of the main chemical component of rosemary [1,8-cineole]. The researchers tested cognitive performance and mood of a group of people exposed to varying levels of rosemary aroma. They then used blood samples to detect the amount of the oil component that had been absorbed. The eěect of the oil was judged by speed and accuracy tests, and mood assessments. The chemical was found to have an eěect on mood, although it did not show any signs for improving aĴention or alertness.

Children who snore may have behavioural problems


his is the largest study to bring out the connection between snoring or breathing problems and behavioural and emotional problems in children. The researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York found that children who had experienced diĜculty in breathing during sleep were more likely to develop aĴention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] or anxiety by the age of seven. Of the 13000 children studied [from infancy to age seven], 45 per cent remained free of night-time breathing problems, while the remaining had experienced symptoms at some point during infancy or early childhood. Snoring is an important indicator of breathing problems and parents should take it seriously. It’s wise to consult a doctor at the slightest hint of breathing trouble.

12 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

Simple eye tests help detect cognition problems before they manifest


study by the University of California reveals that doing simple eye tests can help doctors detect cognitive decline in women above the age of 65. The early diagnosis will open up possibilities for reducing the progression of the disease to more severe stages and causing dementia. For the study, the researchers studied women who were 69 years of age at the beginning of the study, for 10 years. Every year, the women were asked to take a cognition test that focused on short-term memory and thinking. In the fourth year, they were asked to undergo an eye examination and in the eighth, a brain scan. They found that 7.6 per cent women who were diagnosed with retinopathy were the ones who scored worse on the cognition test than the others. These women also had showed more damage to the blood vessels of the brain and had 47 per cent more risk of developing stroke. However, these women did not show any signs of brain atrophy, which causes Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers thus concluded that eye problems or retinopathy could be indicative of neurovascular disease. Complete Wellbeing

Although it is used that way, mindfulness is much more than a spiritual cliché. It is a powerful instrument that has the potential to transform your life from inside out. Combined with Yoga, mindfulness can change your world forever. If you have been eager to start afresh, come, join us for a weekend retreat and embark on a new beginning. Sign up for the


Mindfulness-Yoga Retreat AGENDA AT A GLANCE Asana sessions twice a day +20 breath awareness techniques Guided meditations Wholesome and delicious sattvik meals Be amidst nature and relax to the soothing sound of waves Personal session with a Nutritionist and an Ayurvedic physician A foot reflexology session to rejuvenate you Games and activities for inner reflection

WHO Anyone who needs a break from routine and time to rejuvenate… the Mindfulness-Yoga Retreat is designed for beginners as well as those at an intermediate level of Yoga. WHEN May 25 – 27, 2012 Friday 6pm – Sunday 6pm


WHERE Cigad Resort, Uttan [Near Mumbai] Website: Spend a weekend in blissful exploration of your inner potential.

To register, visit or call 022-67420900 or write to Programme designed by StayWell – a Complete Wellbeing initiative

It’s wonderful to live

Fees per participant `9750 only all inclusive

(Includes single point pick-up and drop, twin sharing stay in an AC suite and all meals)

Bring a partner along and get 10% discount for both

Hurry! Only 24 seats

Stay up-to-date

Angry? Activate your self-control


ave you ever wondered what refrains most of us from reacting in violent ways when we are angry or annoyed? Self-control. And a study by the University of Kentucky and Northwestern University reiterates this; it found that it is possible to reduce or strengthen self-control with practice. People commit violent crimes because they are low on self-control. Through a series of manipulating self-control experiments, the researchers found that self-control and aggression are tightly linked. In the experiment, participants were forbidden from taking the cookies kept in front of them. The researchers found that when people had to control themselves for long, they became aggressive. In another part of the experiment, the researchers asked people to use their non-dominant hand for two weeks. This ensured that people came out of their comfort zone of using the dominant hand, which required immense self-control. They found that people who were beĴer at practising self-control, were also able to control their aggression more. So the next time you get angry, remember to keep a finger on your self-control switch. This will ensure you won’t get aggressive.

Absent minded kids have sharper brains


Stroke patients who like art recover faster


ccording to a research by the University Tor Vergata, Italy, stroke patients who like a form of art such as music, painting or theatre, are more likely to recover soon than those who do not. For the study, stroke survivors who were of an average age of 70, were asked if they liked an art form. Then, the quality of lives of those who liked an art form was compared with the life of patients who were not interested in art. Patients who had an interest in art showed beĴer health and were also more energetic. They also displayed more happiness and less depression. Moreover, the researchers found that even a newly-found interest in art that is introduced during nursing care oěers the same benefits. Yet another research has shown that listening to one’s favourite music enhances feelings of pleasure. Art clearly is key in recovering from stroke. 14 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

bsent-mindedness is oĞen viewed as normal in seniors. In fact, it is expected. But when it happens in children, it’s a cause of worry for parents. They fear that the child might have some mental or intellectual problems. But there’s some good news [and huge relief] for parents of absent-minded children. As per research by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, kids who are absent-minded have a sharper brain than those who are not absent-minded. The researchers found such children are able to store more information than their peers. This could be because they are constantly distracted and thus have more working memory [working memory is a mental workspace that allows us to juggle multiple thoughts simultaneously].

Complete Wellbeing


The most powerful workshop ever!


magine yourself in a workshop, where the greatest thinkers of all time are your teachers. Imagine Buddha, Lao Tzu, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Sigmund Freud,

Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, Ralph Waldo Emerson and many more luminaries gently guiding you into transforming your life in the way you always wanted. What a thought! is such a workshop. It comprises 21 powerful thoughts, elaborated to help you understand, and benefit from, the wisdom and insights from the world’s most respected thinkers. You’ll be delighted to find that, irrespective of when

Exquisite ideas for your life’s makeover

and where it was expressed, each idea featured in the book has the ability to raise you to a higher plane of thought and action. What a thought! is a rare opportunity to learn from those we admire the most and whose lives are an example for everyone.

EARLY PRAISE FOR THE BOOK What a thought! is an interesting and well-written book. I found it to be simple yet profound. This book will be useful for a wide audience—be it leaders, professionals or youngsters—in their journey through life. — Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Ltd.


Manoj Khatri is an evolved writer with a keen understanding of human psychology. What a thought! is a passionate and positive expression of life that makes you look inward and alter your life. The book is a modern-day Gita, to be preserved by your bedside and delved into in times of turbulence. — Bhawana Somaaya, Author & Critic The old adage goes: ‘if you can’t say it with words say it with flowers’. But in this book, Manoj has said it with words and flowers, beautifully. I congratulate him on writing a book that, like sunshine, will spread light and revelations. I felt energised reading it! — Dr. Bhaskar Das, Executive President, The Times of India Group

a world “To be yourself in to make you that is constantly trying something else is the greatest accomplishment.” RALPH WALDO

This book is the perfect ‘ready reckoner’ for every therapist and student of counseling who needs to offer self-help tools to carry the gains of therapy outside the session. — Dr. Minnu Bhonsle, Ph.D, Consulting Psychotherapist and Trainer in Counselling




Individuality g for is forcefully campaignin alph Waldo Emerson there us to be original. But individuality. He’s egging world, the people in what he says: the is a hidden warning be able to express curb individuality. To around you, always ideas and values, and live by your own who you really are, determination. you need courage and to make you tries constantly Emerson says the world means, a ‘con“something else” he something else. By coexist. y and conformity can’t formist’. And individualit is in its interest consensus and so it A society is based on therefore s as possible. It is to have as many conformist and proindividual expression don’t structured to discourage where individual opinions mote a herd mentality— What a Thought!

introthe champion of comedy his lovely quote by which, if life’s biggest paradoxes, duces us to one of our balance can help us maintain we commit to memory, diffiat all times. through a particularly Often, when we’re going able problems seem insurmount our lives, our in cult phase right again. nothing will ever be and it seems as though the sun us seems eternal. Yet, The darkness that surrounds time, when we exception. Then, in shines again, without bad as as wasn’t we feel that it look back on the situation, even laugh at was. Sometimes, we it thought we initially overreacted. ourselves for having big from up everything appears This happens because

T when “Life is a tragedy a comedy seen in close-up, but in long-shot.” CHARLIE CHAPLIN

What a Thought!

optimism; the Japanese thrones A Chrysanthemum represents that they used it in their emperors loved it so much

lour Printed in four co r. 130 gsm art pape



Price: `195/- only

| 49

a love and is named after Narcissus symbolises selfwas enamoured by his own beauty mythological youth who

This book shows that wisdom has no religion or country, and that it is timeless. — Dr. Rajan Bhonsle, MD, Hon Professor and HOD, KEM Hospital & Seth G S Medical College Every quote motivates... Manoj tends to the garden of life.

17 ective

d Beautifully designe high th wi d ate str and illu of resolution pictures olise flowers that symb tured. each thought fea

you say: “You see things and things that never Why? But I dream not?” were and I say: Why GEORGE BERNARD



Dreaming a nog to be precise, has reaming, or daydreamin enemy of of being the ultimate torious reputation agree. Far Bernard Shaw doesn’t productivity. But George his daydreamvain, he has always taken from considering it they ing seriously. as things see often people Shaw observes that specthem. But there’s nothing are and try to understand already been ng that which has tacular about understandi to expand his other hand, is inclined created. Shaw, on the imagination— new things out of his horizons and create dreamt of. things no one has ever has ever been that everything that Shaw seems to know asked dream—someone who created was once someone’s


— Dia Mirza, Actor

le in Availab stores. * book leading ) 6742 0900 to 2 (02 Or call er your copy r od to 6pm day,10am What a Thought!

heart, the Lotus is the national Symbol of purity of the to Hindus and Buddhists flower of India and is sacred

THE AUTHOR Manoj Khatri is an infinite soul, disguised, among many things, as a writer. He has to his credit over 600 published articles on topics as diverse as strategic marketing, business management, healthcare and, of course, human potential, which happens to be his favourite subject. He is also a qualified counsellor and has, through public seminars, inspired thousands of youngsters to discover and achieve their highest potential. He is editor and publisher of Complete Wellbeing, a leading health and wellbeing magazine in India.



to Fri

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Stay up-to-date Depressed? Eat the right amount of red meat


Photo: Yucel Tellici

esearchers from Deakin’s University Barwon Psychiatric Research Unit have found a link between consuming red meat and depression and anxiety disorders. For the study, one group of women were asked to eat the recommended amount of red meat [65 – 100g lean meat, thrice a week] while the other group consumed less or more than the recommended amount.

They found that women who consumed less or more red meat were more likely to suěer from depression and anxiety disorders. However, the same does not hold true for other forms of protein like chicken, pork, fish or plant-based proteins. The study was conducted in Australia where caĴle are largely grass-fed as compared to other countries where caĴle are fed grains and feedlots.

Even deep thinking when driving is harmful


e all know that talking or messaging while driving is harmful. But this new research warns against even deep thinking. According to researchers at the MassachuseĴs Institute of Technology, US, if the person’s mind is deeply focused on any topic [even small problems], he is less likely to spot hazards on the roads and also does so less frequently. The study also found that the intensity and depth of the thinking activity also aěects the ability of the person to focus on driving—the deeper the thought, the lesser the focus. And the researchers also note here that it is not just about being distracted or not. The eěects are much more than mere distraction. The team of researchers studied volunteers in three age groups: 20 – 29, 40 – 49 and 60 – 69, who were made to drive a mid-size sport utility vehicle while they were given low-, medium- and high-demand cognitive tasks. In the easy task, the volunteers were asked to repeat a series of singledigit numbers; in the medium, they were asked to repeat the number given a digit earlier in the sequence; and the high-demand group were asked to repeat the number given two digits earlier. They found that during the easy task, the amount of road scanned was less and for medium and higher it was still lesser. How occupied the mind is not only aěects aĴention, but also reaction time of the driver.

Mystery behind maths anxiety solved!


he mere mention of maths makes some people break into a cold sweat. As children a lot of us have spent sleepless nights around the maths paper. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that the brain function diěers in those who feel anxiety towards maths than those who don’t. Feeling panicky about the subject increases activity in the part of the brain that is linked with fear. It also leads to reduced activity in the brain regions involved in problem-solving and information processing. It’s due to the anxiety that solve problems poorly, which in turn, raises their anxiety.

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The researchers found that the same brain regions that respond to fearful situations [such as seeing a snake] gets activated in those anxious about math. Researchers say that the level of one’s maths skill has nothing to do with the anxiety—you could be good at maths but still suěer from a panic aĴack when faced with a maths problem. Since maths anxiety is similar to other phobias, it can be overcome using methods employed to overcome such phobias. So if your child is afraid of maths, don’t treat it like a ‘mental block’; it’s very real. Only then can you help her cope with it.

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Stay up-to-date

Ibuprofen may reduce altitude sickness buprofen, is an OTC drug that is widely used for pain relief. And now researchers from the Stanford Hospital and Clinics and the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that it may help with altitude or acute mountain sickness [AMS]. Mountain sickness is usually associated with headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and poor appetite. Ibuprofen has been shown to alleviate these symptoms and is effective when taken six hours before the ascent begins. However, they also warn against taking more than 600mg ibuprofen as it increases the risk of gastrointestinal and kidney problems.


Stress management improves recovery in breast cancer patients


ccording to a research conducted by the University of Miami [UM], women who undergo a stress management programme are able to alter the tumour-promoting processes at the molecular level. This study is one of the first to establish the link between psychological intervention and genetic expression. The stress management programme was shown to control the on and oě process of genes of the immune system, which facilitates beĴer recovery. In times of adversities or stress, our nervous system sends distress signals to our immune system. The immune system then responds by producing white blood cells to fight the disease. This response improves when one is beĴer able to manage stress, thus resulting in a speedier recovery. This programme, called the Cognitive Behavioural Stress Management, is specially designed by the UM and combines relaxation, imagery and deep breathing along with cognitive behaviour therapy. It helps patients by reducing tension, changing the way they deal with negative and stressful thoughts and improving interpersonal communication skills.

Not using the phone once a week improves productivity


study by the Harvard Business School found that banning employees from using their smart phones for work-related use for just a single evening every week increases their happiness and performance. The study was conducted on management consultants who were asked to not monitor their work aĞer 6pm once a week. The researchers called this time PTO—predictable time oě. About 59 per cent of people who took the PTO reported experiencing greater job satisfaction, more productivity and improved work-life balance as compared to the 27 per cent who did not go for the PTO. When questioned about feeling satisfied, 78 per cent managers responded in the aĜrmative for one evening oě a week, 67 per cent partly accepted it and 49 per cent rejected it. The researchers concluded that having some time oě work made the participants spend more time with their families or were more active in their social circles. In fact, constantly being connected to work issues increases pressure and adding further stress in their lives. The study has an important message for senior management. Even if it’s not oĜcial, we say, you might want to voluntarily forget the phone for just one evening. References:,,,,,,,

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Stay Well

Infuse life into your days SUN





Play a prank on your best friend. After all, it’s April Fool’s Day.


April 2012 SUN

Happy Easter

15 Tonight, choose sleep

over your favourite TV show. Wind up early and go to bed an hour earlier than usual. Your mind and body will love it. MON

How about going on a liquid diet today? Soups, juices, herbal teas and lots of water.

23 Today, do your bit


17 Find a quote that



inspires you. Take a print out and stick it in a place where you see it often.


Pretend it’s your first date with your sweetheart and do everything like new star-struck lovers.


12 When you go shopping, buy two veggies you’ve never tried before.



13 Today, go trigger

27 Today, vow to not join in

happy. Click pictures of the things you find interesting/amazing. You’ll discover the beauty in little things.

on negative conversations around you. If you sense a conversation turning negative, excuse yourself politely.


20 Organise a garage sale with your friends and donate the proceeds to charity.

Go for a long after-dinner walk with your spouse; you’ll never want to stop.

Plan to dine in the outdoors, watching the sunset. Pack your dinner or pick it up on the way.

My Note


Visit an old age home and spend some time with the seniors. You’ll gain a bit of their wisdom and make them happy too.



My Note



18 Recreate the magic.

My Note


Invite your neighbours over for coffee or a meal...we often don’t even know their first names.

My Note

towards an eco-friendly world—waste less paper for instance.

Trending this month


and smell the roses… Don’t let life whiz past you while you are busy stuffing your days with ever-more activities—both at work and off it. Slow down and experience true leisure that has the power to not just help you recharge but also rediscover yourself... „


By Al Gini

ike it or not, too many of us, out of desire or necessity, choice or chance, put too much time in on the job. We have made a fetish out of work. We have become addicted to the promise of work. Work promises we will get ahead. Work promises power, money, and influence. Work promises we will be accepted, respected, successful. And so, we work. We work because we want to, because we need to. We work out of habit and desire. We work to occupy time. We work to establish our place in the pecking order, to guarantee status and prestige. And, too oĞen, we work because we simply don’t know what else to do with ourselves, because we think we must and should. Love it or hate it, work sets the pace and establishes the rhythm for everything else we do in life. Even when we‘re not at work, when we’re not on the clock, we consume time

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by constantly doing things and staying busy. Weekends are whirlwinds of activity. Vacations oĞen resemble a blitzkrieg of organized movement with every moment of the trip preplanned and orchestrated for maximum eĜciency and, of course, pleasure! For example—“Twenty-one countries in 14 days: Airfare, ground transportation, guides, lodging, meals, wine but not cocktails, and all tips included!” James Gleick, in Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, reflects on why Americans [and, increasingly, the world] work and play as hard and intensely as they do. Gleick suggests that we are now manic about speed. The world now seems to operate on five-minute intervals. We are rush freaks. We are time obsessed. “Lose not a minute” is the moĴo of the age. We are always making haste. Multitasking isn’t an option, it’s a way of life. Hyperactivity is the norm.

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It has simply become standard to respond to the conventional salutation of “Hello, how are you?” with some version of the refrain “I am so busy!” Unfortunately, we say this to one another with no small degree of pride, as if our exhaustion were a trophy and our ability to keep going a mark of real character. As theologian Wayne Muller has pointed out: “The busier we are, the more important we seem to ourselves and, we imagine, to others.” Sadly, to be busy, to be unavailable, has become the model of the successful life. Here’s the problem. When life becomes an Olympic endurance event [“the Everydayathon”], when the stopwatch is always ticking, when are we supposed to have fun? When will there be a time to be human? As Benjamin Kline HunnicuĴ, professor of leisure studies, so aptly put it, “Having to go so fast to keep up, we miss stuě—our existence is

Complete Wellbeing

truncated. Some things simply cannot be done going full speed: love, sex, conversation, food, family, friends, nature. In the whirl, we are less capable of appreciation, enjoyment, sustained concentration, sorrow, memory.” I think, we all do too much or try to do too much. My mother used to accuse me of having “eyes bigger than your stomach.” She told me that I both literally and figuratively put too many things on my plate. “Alfredó,” she’d say, “You do too much. Slow down, take smaller bites, or you’re not going to enjoy anything. “Piano, piano arrive sano!” [Slowly, slowly, and you’ll get there surely, safely!] My thesis is a simple one. Even if we love our jobs and find creativity, success, and pleasure in our work, we also crave, desire, and need not to work. No maĴer what we do to earn a living, we all seek the benefits of leisure, lassitude, and inertia. We all need to play more in our lives.

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ccording to the Harvard Health LeĴer, leisure time has dramatically eroded in recent decades, down to approximately 16.5 hours, per person, per week. A recent surgeon general’s report declared that the lack of “leisure-time physical activity” has become a serious health threat. The most hazardous work-related illness says Joe Robinson, editor of a vacation magazine, is “vacation deficit disorder” or “vacation starvation.” Robinson and the surgeon general are not alone in their warnings regarding the lack of leisure and vacation time and potential health issues. A fourteen-year study of 12,866 men published in The Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine found that annual vacations sharply reduced the risk of death in middleaged men. Similarly, a twenty-year study of 749 middle-aged women by the Centers for Disease Control found a direct link between a lack of vacations and a higher risk of heart aĴack and death. At the University of Essex, England, researchers found a link in women between working more than 48 hours a week for more than three years and high blood pressure, as well as ailments of the arms, legs, and hands. Finally, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health claims that demanding jobs that give employees liĴle control over their work increase the risk of heart disease. Conclusion: “Vacations may be good for your health.” Albert Speer, Third Reich minister of technology and armaments, argues in his memoir, Spandau, that intentions and ideology aside, Hitler’s chief failings as a military leader were overextension, overexertion, and fatigue. Hitler, said Speer, especially when the war began to turn against Germany, never seriously rested or recreated or could find any downtime, away time from the all-consumAl Gini is a professor of business ethics and chair of the Department of Management in the School of Business Administration at Loyola University, Chicago. For over 25 years he has been the resident philosopher on WBEZ-FM, lecturing on issues of business and ethics. He has authored many books including: My Job My Self: Work and the Creation of the Modern Individual; Why It’s Hard to Be Good; and Seeking The Truth of Things.

ing particulars of the war. He took on too much, said Speer, and micromanaged too much. He got lost in the details, and his fatigue oĞen blinded him to the obvious logic of the situation. Fatigue and the frenzy of overstimulation can block objectivity, delimit perspective, and oĞen deaden our ability to calculate and evaluate logically. Vince Lombardi, NFL coach and football legend, is reported to have said that “fatigue makes cowards and fools of us all and more oĞen than not results in mediocrity.” Another American legend, Gary Cooper, in a less than-legendary 1953 film, Seminole, perhaps put it most succinctly: “Never decide or do anything when you’re tired.” As the reclusive philosopher Baruch Spinoza suggested, in order to gain perspective, we need to step back; insight and wisdom are very oĞen best achieved in moments away from the task at hand. Even when you love the job you’re doing, you can’t do it all the time without losing something. To do almost anything well, you must have time oě from it. Time away from constantly doing it. Time to recover and relax. Time to do something else. Time to just forget about it. All of us need to “vacate” ourselves from our jobs and the wear and tear of the “everydayness” of our lives. All of us need to get absorbed in, focused on, something of interest outside of ourselves. All of us need escape, if only for a while, to retain our perspective on who we are and who we don’t want to be. All of us need to gain some feeling for, some knowledge of, the diěerences between distraction and insight, merriment and meaning, entertainment and recreation, laziness and leisure, rest and inertia. If we are what we do, then to a great extent, as adults, we are defined by our work and our play. Both of these basic paĴerns of behavior influence not only how we define ourselves but how we understand and interpret reality and how we make ethical choices about our lives and our interactions with others. Therefore, depending upon who we want to be, and how we want to be known, we must be careful in our choices of what we do for a living and how we choose to play.


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n Latin the word for vacation is vacare, “to be empty, nonoccupied,” “to suspend activity,” “to do nothing.” Work represents the everyday routine, and vacations are temporary interruptions. On vacations we turn aside, go in the opposite direction, vacate ourselves from our usual course or purpose. Vacations connote downtime, choice, freedom, personal discretion, and activities an individual engages in for his or her own purposes and pleasures. Vacations are seen as an antidote to work. They are medicine, a remedy for counteracting the eěects of labor. The psychologist Wayne E Oates believes that vacations oěer us an opportunity to “empty ourselves of our multiple roles in life.” Vacations allow us to be away from the job, to change the paĴerns of our day, to alter our routine, to reconfigure our actions and habits, to rediscover ourselves. Although it is not true for everyone, we commonly associate vacations or vacationing with traveling. In traveling, we take ourselves outside of ourselves, our normal life, our usual paĴerns. So where do we all go when we go on our private or familial odysseys? Not so surprisingly, an awful lot of us are preĴy pedestrian in the use of our vacation

time. It has been my experience that if you randomly survey a hundred people about how they spend their vacations the answers you will get are not scientific, and not always exactly the same, but they conform to a strikingly consistent paĴern. Ten percent will gleefully report about doing something incredibly exotic: flying to Cape Town, South Africa, to go cage diving with great white sharks; sixteen days trekking through Tanzania; or a raĞing trip down the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. Another 10 per cent will report that they did nothing on their vacation. That is, due to lack of interest or lack of funds, instead of taking an exotic trip, they did some chores around the house, took a trip to the zoo, took in a few museums, and spent a long day and night at their closest Six Flags amusement park. About 40 per cent of those polled will tell you that they had a wonderful time on their vacations even if their destinations of choice were not sites “where no man has ever gone before.” These are the people who try to make it to Europe every third year. These are the hard-core vacationers and tourists who make detailed plans and carefully manage their budgets so that they can take an annual vacation. And then there’s the surprising 40 per cent of us who report visiting family and friends on their vacations. Going to see loved ones has historically always been a major reason for traveling. And now, given the fluidity of our lives, our mobility, our multiple job changes, more and more of us live away from our families and our friends because they are scaĴered about everywhere. So naturally, our vacation time may be the only opportunity we have to get together. Going to see grandma and grandpa, or spending a week with your brother or best friend from college, does not, of course, mean you do nothing else but spend time with

We are constantly trying to reach someplace; never stopping even for a moment to appreciate the beauty of the journey

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them. Visitors usually end up doing a lot of the stuě that tourists usually do—dinners out, shopping, a liĴle sightseeing. The main problem that was reported to me by a number of people who regularly take “family-visit vacations” is what one of them called “vacation- interruptus” or “vacationincompletus!” That is, going to see family and friends is a vacation of sorts—you’re someplace else, you’re doing things, you’re having fun—but you’re constantly trying to balance your wants and desires with those of others. Because of all this and the sheer numbers involved in the project, the first casualty is usually the possibility of anything resembling “spontaneity” or “adventure.” Moreover, the concepts of silence, solitude, and rest rarely enter into the equation. PuĴing aside my limited survey, I have also found a growing number of people for whom vacations are anything but pedestrian. The past few decades have seen the rise of adventure travel, ecotravel, and archaeological travel, and now there are vacations that “take you to the limit”—extreme sports vacations. What defines an extreme sport? While there is no exact definition, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that all of them have an above-average propensity to result in death, injury, or maiming. Here are just a few examples: rock climbing, bungee jumping, white-water raĞing, base jumping [B-A-S-E, an acronym for parachutists jumping oě buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth (cliěs)], bridge swinging, street luge, downhill roller blading, surfing in typhoonlike swells, skiing/snowboarding in avalanche country, and aerobatic parachuting. Although extreme sports can be a local weekend activity [e.g. parachuting], many of them require time and travel [mountain climbing, skiing] and therefore, most extreme sport athletes dedicate their vacation time to their sport of choice. Extreme sports is about pushing boundaries, taking risks, leaving safety behind to leap into the void. Extreme sports is about a radical rush of adrenaline. It’s about forgeĴing about standards of safety. It’s about not being cerebral. It’s about not having control over the elements. It’s not about winning, it’s about not losing, not dying. It’s about elevating risk to the extreme. It’s about living through the experience. Simply, it’s about the aĞerglow pleasure of survival. Clearly, extreme sports vacations are not for the faint of heart. I do understand why so many of us are drawn to it: it’s a combination of the thrill of the unknown, novelty, dancing with danger, and the irresistible possibility of the joy of play—no maĴer what the downside. We are, aĞer all, curious creatures and thrill seekers. According to Eric Perlman, a mountaineer and filmmaker specializing in extreme sports: “Every human being with two legs, two arms is sometime going to wonder how fast, how strong, how enduring he or she is. We are designed to experiment or die.” My problem is not with what we do on vacations, or where we go on vacations, or how much we spend on vacations. My problem revolves around the issue of what most of us don’t get out of our vacations—the opportunity for solitude. We just don’t do nothing well!

Complete Wellbeing

Shopping and sports as leisure


hopping has literally become a leisure activity in its own right. Going to the mall [malling] and hanging out a the mall [mallratting] is a common Friday or Saturday night’s entertainment not only for teenagers, who seem to live and breed there, but for adults as well. Shopping has become the most popular form of family weekday-evening out-of-home entertainment. We busy ourselves with shopping to demonstrate skill, talent, and taste; to fulfill the expectations of others; to mask inadequacies and flaws; to overcome boredom; and, to mask unhappiness. We consume as an antidote to stress and despair, and to compensate for whatever is missing in our lives. But whatever our reasons for our various prize purchases, the bottom line is the same for everybody. What we buy speaks volumes about who and what we are. Because, like it or not, in this society we “communicate with commodities”. We love to shop, we want to shop, and, at a very basic level, we need to shop and consume. The desire to consume is not wrong. This issue is not consumerism per se, but shopping as an addiction, a fetish, a diversion, an obsession, a metaphysical orientation toward life. Shopping as a substitute for living. Sports at every level, professional or amateur, is how more and more of us, as spectators or participants, spend our time, money, energy, and attention. For some they are a form of release, recreation, and relaxation. For others, they can become an addiction, a form of escapism, and an obsession. Sports are something we do or view “for the love of it,” “for its own sake alone,” “for the joy of the doing.” At their best, sports offer a benign distraction, simple entertainment, an escape, or a buffer against the realities of the everyday world. Sports are a hobby we can supposedly safely and easily devote ourselves to. Theoretically, one doesn’t have to take a lot of time off, travel a great deal, or spend tons of money to engage in or be a spectator at a sporting event. The words supposedly and theoretically, of course, are open to wide interpretation. Our collective passion for sports, and our use of sports as a means to achieving leisure and escape, is not hard to understand. The universe of sports allows us to find a niche, establish a place, and create order in an often chaotic and unwelcoming world.

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few of us, who are really good or just plain lucky in our financial and vocational choices, get to take the whole summer oě. Some of us, with suĜcient seniority, get a month. Most of us have the standard—but by no means guaranteed—two weeks oě a year. Many of us make due with the occasional “four-day-quickie.” And a lot of us take our vacations or what leisure we can find on the weekends—if there is a weekend that week! It’s been my experience that weekends in most family households are anything but leisurely or restful. In fact, I would suggest that the management of weekends in most “double-income with some kids households” [DISKS] can best be characterized as an experiment in controlled chaos. Think about it, although you don’t have to go into “the job,” Saturdays are usually just another workday. A “honey-

do list” is drawn up, chores are assigned, and you’re both oě and running. Take the dog to the vet. Drop oě Carla at ballet classes and Jason at liĴle league practice. Pick up the dry cleaning. Stop at the hardware store. Vacuum and dust. Get Carla and Jason, bring them to swimming classes. Go grocery shopping. Pick up kids again. Take Carla to the mall, drop oě Jason at the cineplex. Get the dog. Do a load of wash. Start the sauce for dinner. Get the kids. Finish making dinner. Have dinner. Clean up aĞer dinner. Drop oě the kids at friends. Pick up two videos “not suitable” for family viewing. Fall asleep halfway through the first one. Totally forget to pick up the kids until they call looking for you. And then there’s Sunday [You know the routine. Fill in the blanks as you deem necessary.] Church…lawn and

All of us need escape, if only for a while, to retain our perspective on who we are and who we don’t want to be

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Complete Wellbeing

yardwork …LiĴle League game…wash the car…clean out the garage …have dinner with the in-laws…check the kids’ homework …check e-mail for work Monday…and—in the words of the late Sonny and the ever-rejuvenate Cher—”the beat goes on.” Pop critics and commentators on the workplace keep telling us that the song that best reflects workers’ aĴitudes about the job is “Thank God It’s Friday” sung in celebration of the end of the week. That well may be so, but aĞer a long weekend of kit, kin, and chores, there are a lot of people singing a slightly diěerent tune—“Thank God It’s Monday!”—in celebration of the end, finally, of the weekend! According to philosophers, pundits, pollsters, and politicians alike, weekends ideally are about freedom. The free-

ALTHOUGH YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO INTO “THE JOB,” SATURDAYS ARE USUALLY JUST ANOTHER WORKDAY dom to let go and let be. The freedom to explore your life, your world, and yourself. The freedom to stop, look, and listen. The freedom to examine an idea, pursue a dream. The freedom to think hard, to be serious, to ponder great ideas. The freedom to be a dileĴante. The freedom to be whimsical, play hard, have fun. The freedom to be open to newness or nothing at all. In fact, practically speaking, we spend our weekends in a variety of diěerent ways depending on who we are, what we do, where and how we live, and how much we make and can aěord to spend. For most of us, the weekends are usually a mixed bag of relatively mild and pedestrian activities and experiences. They usually start with the simple pleasure of sleeping in. [Which means, if you are over the age of forty, waking up at the usual workday time but forcing yourself to stay in bed until the deliciously decadent time of 7:15 A.M.!] Weekends mean being able to linger over breakfast, coěee, and the paper. They include a few [if you are lucky] household chores and repairs, as well as a liĴle shopping. Weekends mean a walk, a run, a workout. Taking kids to the zoo. Watching a game. Playing catch in the backyard. Weekends mean turning oě the phone, never geĴing out of your bathrobe, and watching the Sunday TV. Weekends mean breaking up the paĴerns of the week. Weekends are about going out for lunch or dinner, and maybe taking in a film. For too many of us, concludes Witold Rybczynski in Waiting For the Weekend, weekends represent a diěerent and sometimes a more pleasant way of staying busy and consuming time. But, he says, genuine free time, real leisure, must remain just that: “Free of the encumbrance of convention, free of the need for busyness, free for the ‘noble habit of doing nothing.’ And clearly, “doing nothing” does not describe the modern weekend! Complete Wellbeing

Did you know?


he weekday-weekend cycle is now an almost universal institution in the modern world. Our everyday lives are divided into the rhythmic cadence of five days of work and two days off work. But it has not always been so. Although the seven-day week is now culturally ensconced, it is neither a natural nor a necessarily logical way to calibrate time. A twenty-four-hour day is the duration between one dawn and the next. The month is the amount of time—with some minor adjustments—it takes for the moon to wax, become full, and wane. The year is one full cycle of seasons. “But what,” says Witold Rybczynski in Waiting For the Weekend, “does the week measure? Nothing. At least nothing visible. No natural phenomenon occurs every seven days—nothing happens to the sun, the moon, or the stars. The week is an artificial, man-made interval.” The seven-day week became a definitive part of the Western calendar sometime in the second or third century A.D., in ancient Rome. Before that the Egyptians broke up the month into ten-day periods. The Babylonians had sevenday weeks that were punctuated by oneand two-day miniweeks to compensate for the movement of the moon. The Chinese had a formal cycle of individually named days that added up to sixty-day weeks. And, the Mayan culture had a thirteen-day week to commemorate the Thirteen Gods of the Mayan upper world. There are a multiplicity of explanations, both practical and magical, to explain why and how the seven-day week became the universal standard. To begin with, there were many “sacred sevens” in the ancient world. There were the “seven wonders of the world,” “the seven pillars of wisdom,” and the “seven labors of Hercules.” Or how about a plausible scientific explanation? Modern biology, suggests Rybczywski, has identified seven natural rhythms of the body—the so-called circaseptan rhythms [heartbeat, blood pressure, oral temperature, acid content of blood, calcium levels, and the amount of cortisol in adrenal glands]—that roughly follow a seven-day cycle of fluctuations. And let’s not forget about “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the “Seven Seas,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “7–Up,” or “7–Eleven Rybczynski argues that whatever the reason or reasons behind the structure and length of the week, we needed some way to cluster days into manageable bunches to better organize our lives, and we simply somehow settled on the number seven.

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ecause too many of us live in a world of total work, we think that leisure is at least minimally achieved by the mere absence of work. Because we are so eager to escape the burdens of work, we think that any form of nonwork—quiet time, downtime, doing no-thing in regard to a job time—constitutes some form of rest, recreation, and/or leisure. Well, we’re wrong. To be idle, to be without a task, to be doing no-thing are prerequisites but not suĜcient conditions for the achievement of genuine leisure. According to the psychiatrist Leonard Fagin, the concept of control is the crucial psychological distinction between work and leisure. What characterizes leisure is the feeling, if not the reality, of greater control over one’s activity; leisure implies doing what one wants to do with one’s “free” or “non-work time.” Englishman, Winston Churchill, had a few eccentric passions. Churchill was both an accomplished painter [on canvas, not walls] and a bricklayer. At Chartwell, his rural estate, he built two coĴages, a playhouse, and several walls. Both Churchill and Fagin were convinced that leisure meant time free of the encumbrance of convention, free from “business-busyness,” free of the constraints of social obligation and duty.

WE JUST DON’T DO LEISURE WELL. WE RARELY DELIBERATELY DEVOTE OURSELVES TO IDLENESS Josef Pieper, in his cult classic Leisure: The Basis of Culture, argues that leisure is a necessary condition for both individual and communal survival, growth, and progress. For Pieper, leisure is not simply a form of recreation or diversion, nor is it the natural result of rest, relaxation, or amusement. Although, it is necessary to be free of the toil and moil of the everyday burdens of work for it to occur, according to Pieper leisure is primarily a mental set, a psychological orientation, a condition of one’s soul or spirit. For Pieper, leisure is an aĴitude of nonactivity, of not being busy, of inner calm, a commitment to silence, meditation, observation, and leĴing things be. Leisure is a way of life and not just the inevitable by-product of holidays, spare time, weekends, or a vacation. Leisure is a form of silence, of that silence which is the prerequisite of the apprehension of reality…For leisure is a receptive aĴitude of the mind, a contemplative aĴitude… Leisure, like contemplation, is of a higher order than the

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vita active [active life]…It is only in and through leisure that the “gate of freedom” is opened and man can escape from the closed circle of that “latent dread and anxiety”…the mark of the world of work. To be leisurely, said Josef Pieper, is a choice. To be leisurely is to be disengaged from the tedium of tasks—to be open, observant, and receptive to issues outside of self and one’s immediate needs. Leisure is time given to contemplation, wonder, awe, and the development of ideas. Leisure is about creativity, insight, unregulated thoughts. It is about intellectual activity, but not intellectual work or utilitarian problem solving. It is about desire, wonder, and unbridled curiosity. But we just don’t do leisure well. We rarely deliberately devote ourselves to idleness. Although I know it sounds like a Zen paradox, we almost never slow down enough to experience the experience of not doing anything at all. We rarely aĴune our inner ear to the needs of our inner self. We usually stay too busy, we usually do too much, and in the doing insulate ourselves from ourselves. As a friend once told me: “Most of us will take time oě, but very few of us want to spend time with only ourselves. It’s too boring and scary. It’s a lot easier to do something and just keep busy” In an almost completely forgoĴen book [who’s got the leisure to read anymore?], Solitude: A Return to the Self, the English psychiatrist Anthony Storr speaks to a profoundly neglected human need: the need for solitude. The Random House Dictionary defines solitude as “the state of being or living alone.” Although optimum solitude can occur only in the physical absence of others, the general state of solitude can be achieved in the presence of others. Just as it is possible to be lonely in the company of others, it is also possible to achieve solitude, of a kind, in the company of others. The state of solitude is about calmness, centeredness, and focus. It’s the ability to get “lost in the present.” It’s about being able to rivet our aĴention, geĴing in touch with our deepest thoughts and feelings. It’s about being able to ruminate without distraction, to meditate, to idly muse, to become totally absorbed in thought. Of course, a lonely mountaintop is always preferable, but solitude can be had about anywhere. Achieving solitude is easier said than done. As William James pointed out, reality is a “booming, buzzing, confusion.” The excessive busyness of our multitasked lives and the constant overload of outside stimuli are much more conducive to the production of migraines than to the pursuit of meaning. Nevertheless, suggests Storr, “finding down-time,” “time outside of usual time,” “time to reflect on time,” is a sine qua non condition for emotional and intellectual stability.

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t is my hope that we will learn or relearn two complementary and fundamental truths regarding the human situation. [1] Adults need work in the same way that children need play in order to fulfill themselves as persons. [2] Adults need play in the same way that children need play in order to fulfill themselves as persons. An overworked man is an unimaginative one, at best dully completing a routine, at worst making serious mistakes. Far from benefiting his company, he is very likely creating problems rather than solving them—and so making work for other overworked men to boast about. We get new ideas when our mind is allowed to roam in a free and relaxed way around a problem—and for that we need a reasonable amount of leisure and thus a decent annual vacation. Maybe the European practice of five weeks paid vacation goes too far—but not by much! [John Sullivan, columnist, Chicago Sun-Times, January 1, 2002] The ability to play, to go on vacation, to take long walks, to have a quiet weekend, to have time to think, should not be perceived as a perk or privilege. We need not always be doing. In fact, we must all try to studiously do less, in order to be more. Read: ‘Chill Pills’ on the next page for uncommon ideas on chilling out amidst work-day chaos. P.S. To maintain sanctity of the source, this article follows American English.

Excerpted with permission from The Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure, and Vacations by Al Gini; published by Routledge; USD 85.

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Leisure is time given to contemplation, wonder, awe, and the development of ideas

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Trending this month

Chill Pills

Keep some in the drawer at work! They come in real handy! „

By Sathya Saran


here’s a trick to it. You can work as hard as you want, but if you master the trick, work will not seem like work and, more important, will never burn you out. Ask me, I have worked sincerely, seriously and without even using up my CL [casual leave] or SL [sick leave]. For a while, years went past without my taking a vacation, but 30 years down this road, I am still raring to go, and full of beans! I think I discovered the trick when I took over Femina as its editor. It was a huge challenge being at the helm of a magazine that was more than 30 years old, and lay gasping at the verge of collapse. It meant meetings and more meetings, discussions, and brainstorming sessions. It meant seĴing up a network... oh you know how it is with a start-up. And for all practical purposes, this was just that. We were scrapping everything but the brand name and starting afresh. Well, to make a long story short, there were days when the enormity of what I had taken on would swamp me. Add to all this was the fact that there were seniors, in age and seniority in the company who resented a younger ‘boss’. Under the circumstances, I should have in the very first quarter, been lining up for a stress test. But I took a walk instead. 30 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

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t has been my way of de-stressing, de-cluĴering my mind when something could not be solved in writing, or a problem, to take a walk. Walking the streets, window shopping, or looking at the sea or a river, calms one down; it makes the mind move out of its narrow corridors of thought and admire what it sees, relaxing in the process. Soon, I would find my brow easing, and a song presenting itself to be hummed. The feeling of being able to walk away from the scene, and find something else to interest the mind, would give the issue at hand perspective. And whiĴle it down to the proper size. In the large scheme of things, it was only a transitory drop of pique. The walks were the first step. As the years rolled by, I found other ways to ensure that I created liĴle asides. Mental parks, to find the space to relax even as I continued with my rather demanding working schedules.


Sathya Saran is a renowned journalist. She is best known for her role as Editor of Femina and DNA Me. She is also an author, a columnist and a professor at NIFT, Mumbai.

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think being blessed with an interest in many things is one reason this was easy. But interests can always be developed. It’s amazing how much there is waiting to catch your fancy, if you just look around. We’ve all grown up with interests. Wanting to sing, or dance, or climb a hill, wanting to know how to skate, or fly a plane. Where have all those dreams gone? Chances are we write them oě as dreams, and they are lying forgoĴen in some far away drawer beside the diary you once kept in school, or the trophies you won, which you could not bring yourself to throw away. Time then to open that forgoĴen drawer and pull out those dreams. Do it on some weekend. Just when you think you are so busy that you have no time to eat, or indulge in a siesta. As you go through the things that you wished to do, but did not quite get down to, something might just grab your fancy. I know I always wanted to do theatre. And one day, on an impulse, I did join a theatre group. It was an experimental play, and there was a lot of dance-based movement involved, and having learnt a bit of dancing, and loved it as a school girl, it would be easy and fun, I was sure. It wasn’t. The dance was based on Purulia Chhau, a martial arts form; I was terribly out of form myself, thanks to my city bred ways. Just mastering the first steps took me over a month. It was work all over again, hard work, the kind that made one sweat and sometimes made me think that I had more muscles than others and all of them only knew how to ache.

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ut it was a learning, and learning something new is always an adventure. It uses diěerent parts of the brain from what you normally use at work; it makes you stretch your limits as you go back to being a child again, and taking instructions and following them. It teaches you humility and wonder, and when you finally make progress in small steps, the same sense of wonder fills you that fills a child’s mind when it realises that puĴing one foot in front of the other can get it from one place to another! In the process, the job you do gets pushed to its proper slot as one of the many things that fill time and space in your life. The humility and wonder are useful, they help you appreciate others’ skills and points of view and help you look at things at work afresh. Most important, the entire learning process destresses you. And you have earned a mental respite! For years aĞer my first foray into learning Chhau, I continued to be a part of the theatre group. I made new friends, I learnt new methods of expression, I learnt to throw my voice and express myself in diěerent ways, and I learnt aĞer the Chhau episode, KalaripayaĴu, T’ai Chi and a smaĴering of other disciplines.

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ver the years I have done most everything I wanted to do as a child. Well, most everything. I have learnt singing, serious classical singing from one of the country’s best teachers, who lamented the fact that I had a full-time job and only ‘flirted’ with learning. But the sessions with her were a revelation of another world, and I still value what she taught me about voice and expressing a note through it, in the morning classes where I sat on the floor looking up at her on the divan, as she strummed the tanpura and guided me along. Her own dedication to music to the exclusion of everything else including marriage and children, gave me a sense of awe at her single mindedness, and yet told me there were pitfalls in being so single minded unless one was really world-class as she was. I still regret having to give up my classes with her; it meant a long, long journey to a far oě suburb from where I lived and an equidistant trip to work, which eventually got impossible to handle. But the experience leĞ me richer in memory and understanding, and opened a new world. More important it helped me write with some knowledge on music. Besides singing and theatre, there has been a host of other things. Travel for instance!

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remember falling in love with the Everest when I first read a book about Malory and Irving’s aĴempt. Doomed though it was, it was fiercely magical in its hold on the imagination. When the going gets tough, they say, the tough get going. When things get bad, and seem irrevocable, they mend preĴy fast if you really take your mind far away from it. I did that, and right in the middle of a worsening situation at work, once I had neatly tied all straggly ends, and set the boat sailing on its own for the next 15 days at least, I bought a pair of hiking shoes and set out on my first ever hike. It was tough, of course, but the exhilaration I felt at getting there and geĴing back washed away all negativity. If I can do this, I told myself, I can solve issues at work. And by Jove, I did! Since that first trip, I have done another, trekking 84km to and from the Pindari glacier. Other times, I take a road trip into far oě places, or fly away to a lesser known destination. When work presented me with fam trips, I took the untrodden route. That would make routine into an adventure.

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Though fam trips are looked upon as pleasure trips by those not in the charmed circle of being invited, they are oĞen trips where one is slave driven from one tourist spot to another, one lunch meet to another tea meet where press notes and info comes in heavy overdoses. There is liĴle free time, and by the time one returns, one might want to take time oě on a vacation! Walking the untrodden route is to either find the oġeat story while in the crowd, like concentrate on one aspect, so you can read up, take tiny side excursions, and no organiser minds that extra input for you, if it makes a good story for him. Or like I did, I took a colleague along; [she paid for her flight, but aĞer that, the rooms were anyway twin sharing] and drove all over Ireland, daring myself to drive in a foreign land, through places that I could sometimes not pronounce. We got lost, we ended up in strange nooks and dead ends, but it was a trip we will never forget. And the result was we enjoyed writing the many stories we gathered along the way!

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ther times I have taken up writing a book, losing myself in another person’s life, in an era that is now almost forgoĴen. Living their lives, dreaming their dreams, understanding their lows, it was easy for me to breathe easier. When the pressure mounted, I could dream away in my secret world, and refreshed and relaxed, get back into the real one! There are ways and ways, to escape. Write a dairy, laugh at your troubles each night, and gloat over your successes. BeĴer still, write it as the story of someone like you, looking at the events from a third person’s perspective. The 15 minutes of writing will make you see things in perspective and relax you completely, so you wake up with the past day well in the past.


s team leader, I have always believed two things are important. One is being hands on and leading from the front. And the second is delegating responsibility. Divide and rule is a great way to find time for oneself in the midst of a work week. By delegating, you build responsibility, you nurture latent skills in your team, and you start a process by which the team becomes as good as you are. Yet, the very fact that should make a leader insecure will help make her more secure. Because most colleagues when they know you value them and treat them as equals, even as you mentor them, will hang on and ensure they learn everything they can. When they are ready to fly, they will, but everyone flies anyway. And knowing they will carry good things about you wherever they land next makes for a happy heart. More important, your load at work is lighter. Of course you must weed out the ones who won’t learn, who play politics, who gossip and back bite. That is a sure-fire stresser-outer. But don’t build stress, give

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them a fair chance and if it does not work, let them go. And try and pass this on to your team too. The bright eyed and bushy tailed among the team will try to sure get the first fox, the first snippet, be the best, mop up, take over, in short, their enthusiasm or efficiency, or simple need to prove themselves will make them work twice as fast and jump twice as high than everyone else. Ease them into understanding the need to slow down. To look around, to take an hour oě at lunch and read, or surf the net, or fish up old Calvin and Hobbes strips, to walk out and chill over an ice cream or a movie. Get them to spread the enthusiasm all around and make fun and play as important as work. Creating games at work, during meetings, helps ease the tension for those who feel inferior and brings the know-it-alls down a peg or two. Most important give them doses of the chill pill mantra, as you mentor them. And take two yourself.

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ur grandmothers and mothers knew the trick, there was always a piece of embroidery or kniĴing to take the edge away from chores, from long journeys, and keep the mind relaxed and stress-free. I think the tools were diěerent in my case, but the trick is the same. I sing as I drive, or take the train, I always carry a book to escape into, so long waits don’t frustrate me, most of the time. I remember once writing an entire TV script for a serial I was doing, while waiting for four long hours at a Consulate for my visa! Find me time, find things to do that are diěerent, find ways to keep smiling at every new day. When the going gets tough, take a break, a real or mental escape. And you will bounce back. Ask me, I am still bouncing! Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

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Here’s how to aim for outrageous, larger-than-life goals...and reach there „

By Sonali Masih-D’silva


he diěerence between success and superlative success is the ability to think huge. However, most of us consider thinking large to be just that—a thinking activity. It’s much beyond that. As we discover super-sized thinking, we can use its power to drive larger-than-life actions. Thinking large can help us cultivate vision, possibilities, courage, and action. This helps to clarify and achieve our XXXL goals. In spite of this being a tempting option, a lot of people don’t think huge because they don’t know what kind of aĴitude and actions lead to such thinking. And learning to think in this way is important because wishing and thinking are two diěerent activities. Dreaming about a huge goal can get us excited, but not necessarily get us moving in that direction. Purposeful thinking, on the other hand, can result in significant progress in our life. Here are five eěective ways to ‘Think Large’ and act on that thinking. 36 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

Sonali Masih-D’silva is a leadership consultant. and the co-founder of a leadership solutions firm. She is also the author of the book, Corporate Nirvana. Her passion lies in training and writing on areas of leadership and personal growth. Sonali has trained senior leaders at several Indian and international organisations.

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Maintain your perspective At this level, it’s no longer about whether you see the glass half full or empty. It’s about filling the glass to the brim or, aiming to make the glass into a pitcher. But this isn’t possible if you keep looking at the limitations. Thinking from big to bigger too is a maĴer of perspective—it’s in your mind. Your mind labels the goal as large or too large. Strip the goal oě its largeness and learn to look at it for what it is—just a goal. Thinking large means to strategically think beyond your ‘perceived’ limitations. That is when you’ll discover a breakthrough to greater success. Don’t compare your current situation to your goal if what you keep seeing is the gap. Know that it’s a maĴer of freeing your mind of the confines of your thought. Once you do, you’ll find it easier to glide to a much brighter future.

Unlock your potential Knowing that we are talented is one thing, knowing how to act on that knowledge is quite another. The former creates wishful thinking and the laĴer propels planned action. OĞen, our potential remains dormant because we allow our insecurities to get in the way. Our potential is like a treasure locked inside us. It needs the right key to turn the lock and let out our strengths in full measure. We all have the potential to achieve anything we set our sights on—no maĴer how big the goal. Self-awareness and determination are the keys to unlocking our potential and driving our success. When we utilise our potential, it gives a big boost to thinking beyond big and taking action on that thinking. If you truly want to become the CEO or own a business or start an NGO, then all your energy and focus must be on doing something new and diěerent, going beyond the triedand-tested and achieving more than anyone expects from you. This aĴitude helps to play to your biggest strengths and use your potential. Many people say to me, they have a book inside their heads waiting to come out. That book will continue to wait unless they understand that ‘they’, and not their mind, is causing the delay. Their mind is ready to unlock its potential, if only they turned the key. This release of our innate talents creates courageous thinking.

Cultivate creative thinking If you want to think large, think creative. A fixed mindset is not the best place for giving birth to new ideas, exciting opportunities, or big goals. Most of us might have faced a situation that seemed impossible to resolve—a problem that seemed too big to get over. And, yet, if someone forces us to look more keenly and creatively at the situation, we manage to come up with a way out, don’t we? When we have the support of like-minded people, we become more resourceful. Creativity can be cultivated while being alone as well. A tough or chronic challenge can be sorted out if we examine it from diěerent points of view. I find writing down my goals and listing several ways to reach them a great way 38 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

to address my personal challenges. I can then show my list to my spouse or a friend and ask for advice. The advantage of writing is that it forces me to think of many possibilities to reach a goal as opposed to just one or two ways. The next time you think your situation is impossible to solve, get creative. Talk to people you trust, write down solutions, read a helpful book, ask for advice from those wiser than you—and surprise yourself with many ideas pouring in. Thinking XXXL requires creativity and resourcefulness.

Make fear your friend Super-sized thinking requires thinking with courage. Just as good friends help us overcome our doubts and moments of weakness, fear helps us see what is blocking our path. Fear can encourage us to be more prepared, more alert, and try harder to unleash the full power of an idea or a new strategy. Every time we overcome a fear, we take a quantum leap towards greater maturity and confidence. Begin with overcoming small fears that most of us have. My biggest fear was drowning, and deep water really scared me. One day, I decided to take the plunge—literally—and overcame my fear of being in water with the help of an expert swimmer. Research says that people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of dying. To help you overcome the fear of public speaking, you can take up a small opportunity to make a 15-minute presentation to a group of known people. The sense of achievement and pride when you overcome a fear creates freedom in your thinking and leads to more courageous actions.

See failure as mistakes All of us fail—it’s important to keep this in mind. The moment we make failure a piece of misfortune that happened only to us, we respond with strong negative emotions. The way we deal with failure aěects how we see our current situation and our future. We think small when we are scared and play safe rather than play to our potential. Failure is beĴer thought of as a mistake, which is the truth anyway. And you know that anyone can make mistakes. Don’t worry that the stakes are high or, you’ll never be able to cut failure to size. Think of it this way: we fail because we don’t do certain things right, or the situation is not ideal, or we didn’t prepare enough. Either way, there is something that we can do beĴer, going forward. Failure is not as much a reflection on our intelligence or ability as our preparation and methods. This kind of thinking cultivates hope instead of disappointment and doubt. It helps us broaden our thinking and embrace new possibilities. Thinking large is an activity of courage and future-orientation. Remember, thinking large is a choice, and like all worthwhile pursuits in life, it takes practice, willingness, and patience to make it our second nature. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

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When every drop bothers

Strengthening pelvic floor muscles makes living with stress urinary incontinence easier „


he ability to control bladder functions is what distinguishes us from animals. However, when things go wrong with this ability, it leads to not just discomfort but also distress, not to mention embarrassment. The loss of ability to hold urine in the bladder is known as urinary incontinence, which is more common in women.

How the urinary mechanism works To understand how to prevent or treat incontinence, we need to understand the intricate mechanisms that help us achieve continence. The kidneys filter blood to separate liquid waste [urine], which is transported to the bladder. It gets emptied from our body through the urethra. The bladder and the urethra control the passage of urine by the action of the sphincters, which are valve-like structures that assist in holding and releasing urine. These valves are supported by the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is the boĴom-most part of the body that supports the vagina and the rectum. Complete Wellbeing

By Girija Wagh

We feel the urge to urinate when the volume of urine in the bladder exceeds 200 – 300ml. If we can’t urinate for some reason, the pelvic floor muscles get tightened. They relax only on urination.

What causes incontinence? Continence is possible only if the pressure inside the bladder is less than the pressure in the urethra. Urine will flow out only when the bladder pressure overrides the urethral pressure. The intra-abdominal pressure [IAP] too can influence the pressure on the inner urethral opening. When IAP rises, the urethra contracts to hold the urine inside the bladder. Many factors can aěect the continence mechanism of the bladder. Normal physiological changes such as premenstrual phase and pregnancy, when the pelvic floor is relaxed due to the influence of the hormone progesterone, can cause incontinence, which is restored once the condition changes. Menopausal women can have a toneless pelvic floor and VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 39

Prevention is better than cure


elow are some ways to prevent incontinence: „ Maintain normal weight and muscle tone; obesity is one of the culprits in weakening the pelvic floor and women largely tend to accumulate central adiposity. „ Stay active. An active body always is a result of an active

mind and results in a diseasefree life. Following a regular full body exercise plan is important. Not just regular exercise but also diligently performed household chores can be of great help in staying active.

during normal delivery can weaken the pelvic floor. Hence, Kegel’s exercises should be performed before the onset of incontinence. „ Get timely help. Women who are genetically predisposed to incontinence can seek proper medical guidance to overcome this.

„ Over-straining, as in chronic constipation or prolonged labour

also a thinned urethral lining, which can cause incontinence. Likewise, injuries or excessive stretching to the pelvic floor during childbirth and medications influencing the nervous system can cause incontinence.

Girija Wagh, MD, FICOG, diploma [Endoscopy], is a practising gynaecologist based in Pune. She is a professor at Bharati Vidyapeeth University Hospital in Pune. Her other interests include playing basket ball, sitar and kathak.

How is it treated? Many women accept incontinence as fate and shy away from seeking medical guidance. Some go into social seclusion, fearing embarrassment. Inability to control urination or leakage needs clinical guidance and evaluation. The clinical evaluation involves analysing the detailed history to establish the type of incontinence—there are many types of incontinence classified on the basis of their causes. Incontinence due to stress is the most common. Basic laboratory tests are usually advised to rule out infection and other medical problems. Physical examination and sonography further assist in diagnosis. In some cases, urodynamic testing is suggested. Depending on the severity and the underlying cause, the doctor may suggest pelvic floor exercises, weight loss, medications or surgery. If the incontinence is due to some neurological weakness [which is rare], it is diĜcult to treat. In such cases, supportive methods like diapers or pads help lead a normal life. Incontinence can also be due to a fistula. Fistula is an abnormal tract between two organs, created due to a disease or surgical injury. It can oĞen be treated.

When you laugh loudly, sneeze or cough, intra-abdominal pressure [ IAP] increases and this may cause the urine to leak out, causing you to worry about people noticing stains on your clothes or the odour of urine. Prepare for such situations in advance, for instance if you’re going gymming [ exercise increases IAP] , or are wearing light coloured clothes then guard yourself using absorbent liners. Drink small quantity of water and use the toilet at regular intervals to avoid urgency. The need for treatment for incontinence depends largely on how much the woman is bothered by her symptoms. The first always involves trying conservative treatment, which is largely directed towards increasing the strength of the pelvic floor muscles. For this, exercises such as kegel exercises are prescribed, which gradually help regain control over pelvic floor muscles. However, doing the exercises on a regular basis requires motivation, persistent eěort and consistency. If done properly, it is eěective. Unfortunately, it requires compliance on the part of the patient. Proper postdelivery exercises have found to go a long way in restoring the pelvic floor functionality.

Living with incontinence

Kegel’s exercises

Many women accept incontinence as fate and shy away from seeking medical guidance. Some go into social seclusion, fearing embarrassment. There are liĴle things that you can do to make life comfortable for yourself inspite of having to deal with this condition. Having to visit the toilet frequently at night, can result in loss of sleep and leave you feeling tired. To avoid this, limit your intake of fluids at least three hours prior to bedtime.


To do these exercises, contract the muscles of the pelvis, like you would to stop urine in mid flow and release. To begin with contract the muscles for a count of 4 and then relax. Do not squeeze the abdominal or the thigh muscles. These exercises can even be done in lying down position and should be done for at least five minutes twice a day. Another way to restore strength of the pelvic floor muscles is to use electrical stimulation. However, it has not shown consistent benefit. Many surgical options too are available. These are targeted towards repairing the laxity of the vagina and reinforcing the sphincter mechanisms. Artificial material such as tapes or mesh are used to help increase the tissue strength. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

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he Corporate Sufi injects old-world sanity into a 21st century corporate culture of instant gratification, technology-based communications and hyper-competitive thinking. You do not need to be wealthy to live like a Corporate Sufi. Richness is defined not by how much you have, but how much you give. When I was speaking in Tajikistan some time ago, I complimented one of my participants on the ‘sleek’ shirt he was wearing. The next day, he brought me a new shirt exactly like the one he was wearing. I later learned that it is a Tajik tradition to give away the item someone likes and compliments you on. We are talking about one of the poorest countries in the world—now that is true richness! The Corporate Sufi believes that everyone is blessed with power. Some use power wisely and some don’t; many never use their power at all. Imagine that your Creator oěered you the power to have anything you wanted and to do whatever you wanted. What would you ask for? What would you do? Stop thinking about it, because the truth is you already have all the power you need to fulfil your wishes. If you only want to achieve business success, then all your actions will gravitate towards that single goal. If you also want to achieve balance and to journey beyond, your actions will reflect those goals. The path you choose is up to you. Your potential challenges to implementing this commitment may include: „ Not knowing how to find your innate giĞ „ Conditioning from childhood that stifles your giĞ „ Lacking a goal larger than yourself „ Missing a purpose and focus that will engage your giĞ „ Fearing the thought of leaving the status quo

Sufism at work Lessons in Corporate Sufism to help you realise and share your innate gift—a first of a series „

By Azim Jamal

„ Having an inferiority complex or a lack of self-belief „ Worrying about giving of yourself and being taken advantage of „ Being self-centred. You have been born with an innate giĞ. It is the one thing that allows you to live up to your highest potential. When you are using your giĞ, you are the best you can possibly be, free from fear and other constraints, and full of abundance and life. However, many people go through life without realising what their birth-day giĞ is, and many die without ever having opened it. It seems a terrible waste to go through life without opening your giĞ. 42 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

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The Sufi philosophy aĜrms that we have all been born with a great giĞ, although most of us never open it because we are distracted and tempted by dazzling toys and the complications of life, which are only temporary. We forget the real purpose of why we are here and what we need to accomplish. The Corporate philosophy is similar. The more people focus on their natural strengths, the more excitement and joy they find in their work. The more you focus on employees and on building corporate strength, the more productivity is achieved. However, not all organisations recognise or understand how to champion this philosophy in the workplace. The Corporate Sufi philosophy leverages your inherent talent or strengths—your giĞ to make a positive diěerence in the lives of others.

You are a miracle You are a miracle! A unique, special and precious human being! There is no one like you in the entire world. No one can smile like you, think like you, walk like you, talk like you or serve like you. From billions of people who have come into this world, no one has been like you. You are special, precious and powerful. My cousin Asheef and his wife, Denise, were blessed with a baby boy recently. Denise, aĞer being pregnant for nine months, underwent a C-section aĞer 30 hours of labour in hospital before the baby was born. My wife, Farzana, my daughter, Sahar, and I went to see mother and child. While holding the baby, I noticed how alert he was, despite being less than a day old. His big eyes and expressions leĞ me marvelling at creation and how a baby comes into being from the mother’s full of potential even as early as day one on earth! When you reflect on creation, witness the birth of a child, observe how the day turns into night and night into day or see the seasons changing, you begin to appreciate the miracle of life. You are a miracle, and you possess enormous power within, but you need to open your innate giĞ before you shine. William James, the father of modern psychology, said, “The average person rarely achieves but a small portion of his or her potential.” You may be scared to jump into your inner calling—but if you are stuck in the pond, you will never experience the bounty of the water in the ocean. In Fihi Ma Fihi, Rumi, the Sufi giant, says, “You have a duty to perform. Do anything else, do a number of things, occupy your time fully, and yet, if you do not do this task,

Azim Jamal is an international bestselling author, highly soughtafter motivational speaker, author and coach. His dynamic and inspiring Corporate Sufi message has been heard by over one million people around the world–and his work has been recognised by thought leaders Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, and Dr. Ken Blanchard.

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THE CORPORATE SUFI PHILOSOPHY LEVERAGES YOUR INHERENT TALENT OR STRENGTHS all your time will have been wasted.” In other words, you can do hundreds of things, but if you do not do this one thing that you have a duty to do, you have wasted your life. What is this one thing you must do?

Finding your calling How do you find your true calling and giĞ? If you feel it is not practical to find and utilise your giĞ because of outside constraints, then you are ‘dead’ even before you start. Which means you will never find it because you do not believe it is possible. To find your calling, ask yourself these questions: „ What makes you tick? „ What kind of work makes you lose track of time? „ What kind of work would you do if you won a $40-million loĴery? How would it change your life? „ What would you dare to do if you knew that you would not fail at it, no maĴer what? „ Where can you make the most diěerence? „ On your deathbed, what is the one regret you would have? „ Reflect on your funeral—what would you like people you care about to say about you? These questions bring a deeper understanding and perspective about what is important to you. Meditation is one powerful vehicle to connect to your inner self. Through this practice, you gradually gain insight into your innate giĞs. Keeping a daily journal heightens your awareness and brings clarity about who you are, not who you think you are. The cause that excites you the most will give you an indication of what you are passionate and care about. I wrote this as part of my eulogy: “Azim was a loving father, son, husband and human being. He shined his light and inspired others to shine their light. He lived and worked to his full potential and made a positive diěerence to one and all, especially those who were less advantaged. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Amen.” By being clear about what you aspire to be, it becomes easier to invite and aĴract the right circumstances to lead you to it. Looking back from your deathbed also puts things in perspective and aĴracts aĴention to your purpose in life and the accompanying giĞ you were born with. Next month: Lessons in Corporate Sufism on ‘How to be authentic’

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VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 43


Gourd, bitter, best Gourds are simply too cool to exclude from your diet „

By Aparna Pradhan


ourds are available throughout the world and have been used in ayurveda and unani medicines to cure ailments. Being rich in nutrients, low in calories and high in water content, they are a favourite choice for those trying to lose weight and maintain good health. Most members of the gourd family have nutrients beneficial for good vision. On the whole, gourds are great coolants, ideal to be eaten in summer. The gourd family [also known as Cucurbita] is diverse— from pumpkins, gourds and cucumbers, to squashes and melons, all are part of this group. However, when it comes to nutritious vegetables, boĴle gourds, ridge gourds, snake gourds and biĴer gourds remain the most popular members.

BITTER GOURD The gourd gets its name because of its extremely biĴer taste. However, it oěers unparalleled health benefits. BiĴer gourd [karela in Hindi] has a special status in folk medicine due and is used to treat malaria, fevers, wounds, diabetes, vaginal discharge, worm infection and menstrual disorders. The vegetable is a nutritional storehouse.

Health benefits „ Controls diabetes: Studies suggest that regular use of biĴer gourd helps those suěering from diabetes as it has the ability to lower blood sugar levels. The credit for this goes to three insulin-like active components present in biĴer gourd. The gourd not only enhances the cells uptake of glucose and promotes the release of insulin; but also enhances the eěect of insulin. „ Detoxifies the blood: The juice of a biĴer gourd is routinely prescribed in ayurveda to cleanse the system and cure disorders of the blood. It also helps in rejuvenating the liver. „ Helps clear the skin: The blood purifying properties of the vegetable also helps

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keep the skin free of blemishes like acne and pimples. In ayurveda, biĴer gourd is also used for treating eczema, skin infections and psoriasis. „ Improves digestion: BiĴer gourd stimulates digestion; the high fibre content prevents constipation, thus keeping the system functioning at optimum. „Eases piles: Drinking biĴer gourd juice with buĴer milk every morning helps those suěering from piles. „ Enables good vision: Being rich in beta-carotene, it ensures a sharp and clear vision. In addition, biĴer gourd helps strengthen the immune system. The juice is excellent for geĴing rid of hangovers.

In your diet „ BiĴer gourd can be used as an accompaniment [subzi] to rotis/breads. „ It can be stuěed with masala comprising onions, ginger, garlic, tamarind paste, coriander powder, chillies, salt and turmeric and cooked on slow fire. „ It can be juiced and consumed on an empty stomach to keep sugar levels under control and to detoxify the body. „ Pieces of biĴer gourd can be boiled in water to make a decoction.

How to select and store „ Select pods that are dark green in colour and avoid buying those with cuts or blemishes. „ Choose young, immature pods as they are less biĴer. „ Store fresh pods in an airtight bag in the refrigerator. „ You can even cut biĴer gourd in pieces, marinate with salt and dry in the sun. Store the sun-dried pieces in airtight bags in the freezer.

Who shouldn’t eat? „ Those with hypoglycaemia should avoid eating or drinking biĴer melon. „ Women who are pregnant should avoid eating biĴer gourd as it is a uterine stimulant. „ Those taking medicines for controlling diabetes should not eat biĴer gourd without consulting a doctor as it may cause blood sugar to fall below healthy levels. Aparna Pradhan, PhD, likes to write on health and nutrition. Her hobbies include reading and writing, painting, embroidery, and cooking.

Remember… „ Excessive intake of the biĴer melon juice can cause abdominal distress and diarrhoea.

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„ If you are opting for pills or capsules made from biĴer gourd, consult your doctor before starting the course.


„ Large gourds are dried and used in making shakers, drums and many other musical instruments. Gourds are often used to make resonators, xylophones, string instruments and thumb piano. „ Dried gourds have also been used for making household products such as baskets, jugs, pots and utensils. „ The loofah sponge used in skin care is made by drying ridge gourd on the vine. Used as an exfoliating agent, it leaves the skin clear and smooth keeping acne and pimples at bay. „ You can reduce bitterness of the bitter gourd by applying salt to cut pieces. Remember to wash off the salt before cooking. „ Massaging the juice of bottle gourd and sesame oil on the scalp facilitates deep sleep.

The green coloured gourd has a ridged exterior while the inner soĞ spongy pulp has small seeds embedded in it. The nutritional profile comprises carbohydrates; fibre; peptides and essential amino acids; minerals such as zinc, iron and magnesium; and vitamins C, thiamin and riboflavin. The ridged gourd [turai in Hindi] too is touted for its high water content.

Health benefits „ It is an ideal food for those trying to lose weight. „ It helps in regulating blood sugar levels. „ It aids digestion and treats constipation. „ It is an immune system booster. „ It detoxifies and purifies blood. „ It has a cooling eěect.

How to select and store „ Select those with taut skin, dark green colour and free from blemishes or dark areas. Do not buy those that appear wilted. „ Choose ridge gourds that appear heavy for their size. „ Store the gourd in airtight zip lock bags in the refrigerator.

In your diet… „ Make bhajias by frying round slices, dipped in a batter of your choice. „ Cook it with onions and tomatoes with or without gravy. „ Add pieces to pulses and sambhar. „ Stuě it with masala of your choice and cook.


„ „ „ „


drinking fresh juice extracted from the leaves. A tablespoon of juice twice a day is good for the heart. The gourd helps keep diabetes under control owing to its high water and fibre content and low calorie count. It is good for the digestive system as it aids digestion and wards oě constipation. The juice is a strong purgative. Snake gourd is an eěective expectorant and helps remove phlegm and mucus from the system. The juice of the leaves helps treat alopecia [a disease of the scalp that causes partial or complete baldness]. The juice, when massaged into the scalp, cures dandruě. In folk medicine, the decoction made of snake gourd leaves and coriander leaves is used to cure fevers.

How to select and store „ Select bright medium to green coloured vegetable with firm and smooth exterior. Do not buy with wrinkled skin. „ Store in air tight container in refrigerator.

In your diet… „ Snake gourd can be cooked as a gravy vegetable or stuěed with spices, onions and tomatoes and cooked. „ It can be chopped into pieces and cooked. „ It tastes great with cooked pulses and sambhar.

Remember… „ Pregnant women should avoid eating snake gourd in excess. „ Avoid consuming too many snake gourd seeds as it may cause nausea, diarrhoea, gastric discomfort or indigestion. The snake gourd [chichinda in Hindi] is low in calories and high in water and fibre content. Its nutritional profile also includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamin B complex and minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and beta-carotene. 100g of snake gourd has only 18 calories.

Health benefits „ It has anti-inflammatory properties. „ Individuals suěering from palpitation can benefit from

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BOTTLE GOURD Called doodhi or lauki in India, boĴle gourd comes in varied shapes and sizes, round and boĴle shape being the common ones available. The rounded ones are known as calabash. Unlike its cousin, the biĴer gourd, this gourd is light green in colour and has a smooth exterior. The nutritional highpoints of boĴle gourd are low calorie content, high fibre content; vitamin C and B-complex; VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 45

Meet some other members of the gourd family Melons and Squashes Melons, squashes and cucumbers are also important members of the gourd family. MELONS A perfect combination of high water content and electrolytes, melons keep you well-hydrated in summers. They are packed with health-promoting nutrients and antioxidants. They supply dietary fibre, vitamins A, B1, B6, B7 [biotin] and C and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and small traces of copper, iron and zinc. They are an excellent source of beta-carotene. Watermelon [tarbooz in Hindi], cantaloupe [kharbooza in Hindi] and honeydew melon are common varieties. Health benefits „ The rich antioxidant arsenal helps combat free radicals that cause diseases like asthma, arthritis and coronary heart disease. Melons are rich in lycopene— a carotenoid that reduces the risk of prostate cancer. „ The high potassium content helps keep a check on blood pressure and offers protection against coronary heart disease and stroke. Other nutrients too reduce cholesterol, thus keeping your heart healthy. „ They help in keeping a check on blood sugar levels. „ Melons are low in fat and sodium and high in fibre and water content, which helps lose weight. „ Melons are good for those suffering from constipation due to the high fibre content. „ They offer a cooling effect and prevent dehydration.

„ The presence of beta-carotene makes melons beneficial for eyes. Beta-carotene is known for ensuring sharp vision and protection against age-related macular degeneration. „ Melons are a good source of folic acid and thus good for pregnant women. „ Besides keeping the skin cool and refreshed, melons improve the skin’s elasticity and tone. For a radiant complexion, pamper your skin with watermelon juice and honey [6:1] and wash off after 15 minutes. SQUASHES Squashes are classified as summer squashes and winter squashes. Those harvested as immature fruit are summer squashes while those harvested as mature fruit are winter squashes. Buttercup squash, pumpkins, zucchini and butternut squash are important varieties of squashes. Health benefits „ The antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in squashes offer protection against free radical damage thereby protecting against cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammation. „ The lutein and zeaxanthin ensure sharp and clear vision and offer protection against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. To get maximum benefits, eat not only the flesh but also the skin and the seeds of summer squashes. „ Seeds and oil of summer squashes are used to treat non-cancerous prostate problems in ayurveda.

minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium and potassium and bioflavonoids. 100g of the vegetable contains only 12 calories.

„ Regular intake of the juice ensures smooth, healthy, glowing and blemish-free skin.

Health benefits

„ You can eat it cooked or even raw [juice]. „ Grated boĴle gourd mixed with yoghurt makes for a delicious raita. „ Cut pieces can be added to cooked pulses.

„ Regular intake of boĴle gourd juice aids weight loss. „ BoĴle gourd is a tonic for nerves and is known for its soothing eěect on the nervous system. „ The high fibre content and low fat reduces cholesterol. „ The vegetable is excellent for the digestive system and helps in treating acidity, flatulence and indigestion. The high fibre content eases constipation. „ Due to its high water content, eating boĴle gourd keeps you feeling full and reduces hunger pangs. „ The vegetable is good for urinary disorders. Fresh juice of the vegetable mixed with a teaspoon of lime juice relieves burning sensation in the urine due to high acid levels. „ BoĴle gourd oil is a good remedy for insomnia. 46 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

In your diet

How to select and store „ Buy fresh, tender and firm boĴle gourds. Prefer buying small ones with smooth and tender skin. „ Wrap them in zip lock bags and store in the refrigerator.

Remember… „ Before extracting the juice taste a piece of the vegetable. If it tastes biĴer, discard it and do not consume at all. It can lead to boĴle gourd poisoning. „ Avoid mixing the juice with any other juice. „ If you experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or an upset stomach aĞer consuming the juice, consult a doctor immediately. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

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AGONY AUNT ECSTASY UNCLE The recurring rape fantasy

Tight-lipped and frustrated


I am a married woman. Often, I indulge into a fantasy of being raped by someone. I read somewhere that all women carry this fantasy in their mind. Is having such a fantasy normal?

I am a 34-year-old unmarried woman who’s in love with a 37-year-old man. I want to marry him; he says he loves me too. But as of now, we are keeping our relationship under wraps. But I am unable to do this any more—every time I see him my heart races and my palms sweat. But I can’t express how I feel for him in public because it might hurt our respective social standings. In private, out of the public eye, we get along well and things are all right. Sometimes, I get angry and frustrated when we have to hide our feelings for each other in public. What can I do to lessen my frustration?




It is true that there are some women [not all] who at some point in their lives have carried the fantasy of being taken sexually or being swept oě their feet. These fantasies are common but not universal. This idea is played up a lot by some western fiction, pornographic literature and even the mass media. It is important to note that there is a great diěerence between a self-projected fantasy and an actual rape. Fantasies are our own creation, and thus we have control over them. It can be a great ‘turn on’ for some, but it is not the reality. In reality, rape is a violent act, forced and unwarned, over which a victim has no control. OĞen, a fantasy is required when there is a lack of emotional intimacy between partners and sex is merely a physical activity. Therefore, you and your husband need to deeply examine your relationship, either on your own or with the help of a good counsellor. Analyse and determine what can be done to enhance emotional intimacy so that such fantasies are not required.

Any relationship, which has to be kept under cover, and in which you cannot be freely and fully yourself, is bound to take a toll on you. Sooner or later a choice will have to be made. You will have to either muster up the courage to be open about your relationship and face whatever society has to say about it, or else you will have to break up and deal with that. It is up to the two of you to decide what is truly important to you. Love is powerful; it can give you the strength to face any odds as long as both of you face the challenge together. It is now the time to test the strength and maturity of your love. You are facing an intra-personal conflict between what you ‘want’ to do and what you believe you ‘ought’ to do, thus the frustration. A choice has to be made to dissolve this conflict. Remember, though, that with every choice, comes the responsibility of the consequences of that choice and you need to handle it maturely. Only people who exercise freedom with responsibility are mature enough to sustain meaningful relationships. Reflect on this and make a choice. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

Minnu R Bhonsle, PhD, is a Mumbai-based consulting psychotherapist and counsellor. She conducts training programmes in Personal Counselling [Client-centred Therapy] and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, and also workshops in Stress Management, Art of Listening, Couple Therapy, and Communication Skills. Minnu has co-authored the book, The Ultimate Sex Education Guide along with Rajan Bhonsle.

Rajan B Bhonsle, MD, is a consultant in sexual medicine and a counsellor. He heads the department of Sexual Medicine at KEM Hospital and Seth G S Medical College, Mumbai. Along with Minnu Bhonsle, he runs a couple therapy centre in Mumbai that provides a full-fledged facility for the complete physical and psychological well-being of couples. They also train professionals in various models of psychological counselling through their certificate courses.

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VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 49



A regal rendezevous

Grandeur is ingrained in the very fabric of the state—from its arid desert sands, handicrafts, to its food, music, havelis and forts „

By Vijai Chandrasekharan

50 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

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Photo: Supriya Kantak


The Hawa Mahal in Jaipur sweeps you off your feet

ur plans started taking shape sometime in late July. Seven of us met to decide on a holiday destination, something that invariably never saw the light on previous aĴempts. We set a date in mid-August for our travel plans. Bangkok was temporarily banished, Sri Lanka lurked in uncertainty, North-East was laid to rest and South India was leĞ for the Gods to sort out! As if predestined, we unanimously seĴled for a grand road trip across the majestic state of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is best explored on foot. Since that is unlikely, the next best option is to drive. But save your rallying spirits for another day and hire a local vehicle with a driver [they’re cheaper than their urban counterparts]. Since the driver also doubles up as a guide, you’re insured against taking a wrong route, which may not be such a bad thing if you’re in the vicinity of local markets. But when you hit those long stretches of asphalt that connect adjoining cities, you don’t want to find yourself meandering for hours across barren lands. We decided to restrict ourselves to the inner tourist circuit of this large state [Jaipur-Ajmer- Jodhpur-Jaisalmer-Udaipur-Jaipur] and avoid moving along the outer perimeter as it would have made the journey arduous. Covering these important cities gave us more than just a glimpse into the heart of Rajasthan, its art, culture, monuments, cuisine, people, way of life, while oěering enough opportunities for the culture shopaholic as we driĞed from one historic city to the other.

Jaipur We got our first delicate taste of Rajasthan as we landed at the Jaipur airport, which resembled a library, if you consider the quietude, cleanliness and sparse population! Popular by its Pink City tag, Jaipur is the largest city and the capital of Rajasthan. History tells us that the city was bathed in terracoĴa pink to welcome British royalty. Be as that may, always finding yourself in the pink of health in this magnificent city is a notion I’d want to subscribe to more dearly. The city is a handsome blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture and took over four years to build. It was the outcome of an ambitious plan of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh who decided to move his operations from Amer, the former capital city. We hired a mini van, apparently the only comfortable option for a group of seven with suĜcient luggage, which eventually proved to be quite the perfect mode of travel. Travelling on the city’s noticeably wide roads oěers inner peace, a quality that escapes us admirably in the more famous metropolitan cities. What is even more heartening is the level of cleanliness that the city prides itself on. A short drive from the airport, we checked into our hotel, which definitely didn’t make the A-list in luxury, but oěered large rooms and sweet liĴle services that we came to appreciate later. A healthy banter post dinner, and a bit of moon-gazing later, we hit the sack preparing ourselves for our big road trip the next day. The Jalmahal in Jaipur is an architectural marvel


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Ajmer DargahSharif


Reserving our Jaipur sightseeing for the last leg of the journey, we leĞ for Ajmer the next morning, which is equidistant from Jaipur as well as Jodhpur, our next destination. Surrounded by the Aravalli range of mountains, Ajmer is home to the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, who is highly revered among Muslims. A visit to the dargah is something most tourists undertake and is supposed to bring about inner peace and oneness with Allah. About 11km from Ajmer is Pushkar, an important Hindu pilgrim destination—Pushkar lake and Brahma temple are the biggest aĴractions here. Even though these places may not seem to have been maintained well, there is no denying the sense of spirituality you can feel in the air, breathe into your lungs, and replenish your soul with.

Vijai Chandrasekharan is a marketing communications professional, and when that’s on the backburner, he likes to cook, get immersed in music, travel, photograph at will, philosophise and seek new vistas. And he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for.

See and do Jaipur: The Jantar Mantar observatory, the famed Hawa Mahal, Jaigarh and Amer fort, and Chokhi Dhani—especially if you are a devout vegetarian/thali aficionado. Ajmer/Pushkar: The dargah, the temple if you are spiritually inclined; Merwara Palace hotel for a sumptuous meal. Jodhpur: Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mehrangarh fort is a must—just the view from the top overlooking the flat blue houses below is worth the visit. Jaswant Thada—a mausoleum built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Jaisalmer: Khuri village, sand dunes and camel ride—opt for a cultural musical night. Other places to see: temple complex within Jaisalmer fort. Mount Abu: Guru Shikhar, the highest point above sea level, a great city to just drive through. Udaipur: Udaipur City Palace, Badi Mahal [Garden Palace], Jagadish chowk, Mewar festival [March/April], Monsoon Palace [Sajjan Garh], which is a residential palace overlooking lake Pichola. Note: Look up these places on the internet for detailed historical significance and tourist information.

Amer Fort, Jaipur

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The Meherangarh fort gives you a lovely view of Jodhpur—the blue city

tory but some interesting trivia. Take a tour along the perimeter of the majestic fort and walk through its wide courtyards; you’ll even get to see imprints of cannonball hits on the walls. I’d encourage anyone with a historical bent to visit the museum inside, which houses a number of period rooms [sections maintained as they were from eras gone by], classic items of armoury, rich paintings, bejewelled palanquins, gallery of music instruments, and a vast treasury room. As you Photo: Vijai Chandrasekharan

Photo: Vijai Chandrasekharan

A short spiritual experience underway, we continued to the princely city of Jodhpur. AĞer pink, it was time to witness the magic of pastel blue! A view from Mehrangarh fort captures this perfectly—flat roofed houses painted in bright blue that earned the city its nickname, the Blue city. Long known for its flourishing trade in footwear, copper, date palms and coěee, Jodhpur has burgeoned into a tourist hub in recent years. The city also conducts various cultural fairs and festivals that have long become major aĴractions for travellers from across the globe. Although not as diverse as Jaipur, which boasts of many incredible monuments and architectural marvels, Jodhpur does oěer enough sightseeing value. If you can customise your itinerary, do reserve a sizable chunk for exploring Umaid Bhawan Palace [and the museum], one of the most luxurious private residences in the world today. Since we were pressed for time, we didn’t linger for long and decided to proceed to Mehrangarh fort for a historical lesson like no other. I recommend opting for the tour guide for not just the hisA local musician

Photo: Vijai Chandrasekharan


walk through the once hallowed halls, closely examining the architecture, artefacts and paintings, reliving the past through them, you may as well hear the banter of courtesans, the piĴer-paĴer of loyal subjects, the tinkling of bells around heavily embellished elephants, as royalty is ushered in through majestic gates. A short drive from the fort is Jaswant Thada, the main monument, a cenotaph built out of delicately carved marble. A place so tranquil and serene, one could spend contemplative hours just surveying the horizon. AĞer a brief walk-through and then providing an audience to a folk singer, we paid our respects to this magnificent landmark, and proceeded to our next stop, the city of Jaisalmer. At the Jaswant Thada, you experience a rare tranquility

Umaid Bhawan palace is one of the most luxurious private residences in the world

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Rajasthan redefines roadside food. Unlike in the suburbs, where such an indulgence can easily relegate you to hospital beds, dhabas that dot the highways serve some of the most nutritious and tasty food you will ever sample. Even die-hard meat eaters will give respite to their normal indulgences and wilfully feast on an assortment of pulses, gram, soĞ hot rotis and unique vegetable preparations that will prove to be finger-licking good. Some time in the late aĞernoon, we checked into Nachana Haveli, our pit stop at Jaisalmer. A couple of hours later we would head to the deserts, and the much-awaited camel safari. There are quite a few desert ride operators to choose from and it is advisable to check Photo: Vijai Chandrasekharan what’s on oěer beforehand. Our operator oěered us camel rides [Khuri desert camp] followed by a cultural music and dance show with traditionally cooked dinner, which eventually proved to be a high point in our holiday. For all the adrenalin rush and adventure that quad-biking, kart racing or a jungle safari has to oěer, a desert ride on a camel hump is something else! And after the camel ride, do not be in a hurry to get back, sit for a while on the sand dunes and just soak in the gradually extinguishing embers of the sunset. Quiet winds sweeping folk dance across the sand dunes remind you of and music a mystical era gone by, and somehow still stuck in time.

Gadsisar Lake

Bara Bagh




Desert festival-camel race

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Photo: Vijai Chandrasekharan

Guru Shikhar is the highest point of the Aravali mountain range in Rajasthan

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Trevor Tank gives you glimpse into the ‘wild’ side of Rajasthan Boating at the Nakki Lake is a serene experience


The most arduous journey that awaited us was from Jaisalmer to Udaipur. Although Mount Abu wasn’t originally part of our itinerary, there was liĴle that we could do as we passed through, our senses geĴing completely overwhelmed by the welcome change in climate, idyllic townsfolk and the idea of climbing Guru Shikhar, the highest point of the Aravali mountain range in Rajasthan. We checked into our hotel around midnight, and in spite of the late hour, were graciously welcomed at the reception with some hot tea brewed for us. Nothing beats timely hospitality! Located about 15km from Mount Abu, the morning drive to Guru Shikhar was an invigorating one. Vehicles have to be parked at the base of the temple of DaĴatreya, and from there it’s a short but winding and moderately steep climb right up to the top. Ringing the large brass bell of the temple is quite an achievement in body, spirit and mind. While on top, you can survey the lush greenery of Abu, the continuous mist blanketing parts from clear view, painting nothing short of a heavenly picture.


Mount Abu

Slow down The sole objective of a vacation is to travel and take in the experience at an easy pace, and when it comes to a state like Rajasthan, you must slow down even more, sometimes even come to a grinding halt. Stop at crossroads, talk to locals, get interested in their lives. One of us even made rotis at a roadside dhaba! Such encounters and indulgences help enrich life and give a sense of satisfaction that has a profound effect on one’s overall wellbeing.

VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 55

The Kumbhalgarh fort—one of the many majestic structures in the state


AĞer gorging on daal-baati-churma and an assortment of local cuisine, we proceeded towards Udaipur. Since we had altered our itinerary by stopping at Mount Abu, we had to make new reservations for our hotel at Udaipur. And as if preordained, we checked ourselves into one of the finest hotels that oěered us the best hospitality ever. Mahendra Pratap palace is a family-run havelistyle hotel that is well within walking distance of local markets and important sightseeing venues. We were lucky to have engaged in conversation with the Lady of the family who personally looks into every aspect of running the hotel. I forget her name, but she has to be one of the most elegant, charming and beautiful ladies I have ever interacted with. All of us felt the same way! Although the hotel oěered a cosy in-house restaurant experience, we chose to dine that night at a nearby hotel, which oěered a splendid view of the Udaipur Taj hotel—a sight not to be missed.



Don’t miss the Kumbhalgarh classical dance festival

Chuck the ordinary Throughout our journey, we routinely chanced upon people sitting on top of vehicles, waving as they passed us by. The over-enthusiastic among us suggested we emulate them and after a brief powwow, some of us decided to clamber on to the top of our tempo traveller to experience what it was like. The feeling is indescribable! The wind blowing in your face, a clear and smooth road straight ahead, we experienced something that we seldom do in other cities. By far, it was one of the best rides that we’ve ever undertaken!

Back to Jaipur We did some shopping the morning aĞer, and then set out to complete the last leg of our journey back to Jaipur. AĞer a rather gruelling long drive, we checked into the same hotel at Jaipur, dozed for a while, had our evening tea and then set out to visit what is arguably one of the most popular aĴractions in Rajasthan, the famed Chokhi Dhani. Chokhi Dhani is a huge resort situated on the outskirts of Jaipur. Spread over 22 acres, it’s a small city in itself and nothing like you’ve ever experienced before. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself at the long end of a queue at the main entrance on particular nights as this is an important mustdo for many tourists visiting Jaipur. Themed around various traditions and characteristics of village life, the resort 56 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

oěers a peek into Rajasthan’s rural art forms, culture, customs and traditions. The resort also provides accommodation for the night, and you can opt from a village style or five-star experience that includes royal coĴages, haveli suites, banquets and spa facilities. Tourists are known to visit just for a taste of authentic Rajasthani food, now famous the world over. When on a holiday, it is advisable to keep this as the last aĴraction of the day, because after a multi-course dinner, you will find yourself so full and uĴerly satisfied, that you wouldn’t want to do anything else, except linger in the experience till you driĞ oě to sleep. Our journey now coming to an eventful end, we packed our bags for the airport the next aĞernoon, visibly

sad that we were leaving behind so much that had become part of us, these last few days. There is no denying the profound eěect this journey has had on me. Months have gone by, but the memory still lives, and vividly. The grand architecture, places steeped in historical significance, the grandeur of an era gone by but still living within the walls of its cities, the rich and varied cuisines, the remarkable colours, the happy-go-lucky yet proud of their heritage populace—for the discerning or laid-back traveller, Rajasthan will admirably always make for an august proposition. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

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PLAY FOR LIFE Don’t just add years to your life; add life to your years…

Keep yourself‘ll neither have the time nor the inclination to count wrinkles Welcome’re always growing up, not growing old Relax and enjoy the ride... think good thoughts about yourself Make this your mantra... ‘Everything in moderation, always’ Nourish your body... with wholesome food Keep learning...if you stop, you’re old no matter what age you are Embrace your past…and the perspective you’ve gained from it.

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VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 57

Resolve SLEEP

Back on track

Often wake up with a bad back? Try these tips and stretches for a pain-free start to the day „

By Kiran Shete

Kiran Shete MS [Ortho], DNB, F.ASIF [Swiss], MNAMS, PGPM [ISB], is the founder and medical director of Pune-based Spinalogy Clinic.

58 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

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he one thing that we all do, irrespective of whether we are rich or poor, thin or fat, male or female, young or old, is sleep. But few among us really pay aĴention to how we sleep, which is why many of us wake up with back pain. Spine specialists aĴribute this early morning pain to poor posture while sleeping. Back pain interferes with the normal rhythm of sleep. It leads to disruption of the paĴern of sleep waves in the brain. Such disturbed sleep waves are usually found in painful conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia. With disturbed sleep, we become sensitive to pain and thus fall in a vicious cycle of disturbed sleep and back pain. Wrong sleeping posture is where it all starts.

Pain givers 1. An awkward position doesn’t just disturb the spinal column but also aěects back muscles, which results in pain. 2. Sleeping late, sleeping immediately aĞer meals or eating a heavy dinner causes bloating and acidity, which contributes to back pain. 3. Disturbed sleep due to various reasons such as noise, stress, snoring, an uncomfortable maĴress/pillow or position, tightens the back muscles and leads to pain. 4. Nursing mothers and their husbands oĞen complain of back pain as they have to sleep in an awkward posture while nursing babies. And having to share the same bed, oĞen leaves liĴle space for the parents, which adds to the problem. 5. An improper maĴress disturbs the spine’s alignment, causing back pain. A maĴress can get depressed on one end and elevated on another, if one of the persons sleeping on it is heavy. This too contributes to pain. Change the maĴress if... „ It is too soĞ or too hard. „ It is deformed; for instance, it has a depression in the middle. „ If it is over- or under-sized compared to your bed. „ If it is older than 5 – 7 years, depending on how its shape has held. „ If it is soiled or stinky.

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Sleeping positions and spine The sleeping position you adopt every day may seem normal to you. But it may be far from being ideal and may not maintain your body’s natural curves. Besides, the changes in sleeping positions are imperceptible and subtle. According to an old proverb, ‘The King sleeps on his stomach, a farmer sleeps on his back but the wise man always sleeps on his side’. It is wise to sleep on the side as sleeping on the back as well as on the stomach strains the back and neck. However, if you have to sleep on the back, ensure that your head and neck are supported with a good pillow. You might want to use a cervical contour pillow, which is shaped like your neck and gives relaxing sleep. You might also benefit by taking a pillow [or bolster] under your knees for more comfort. However, if you are habituated to sleeping on your stomach, it’s beĴer to change your sleeping style as this position is perilious for your spine. Even when you sleep on your side, you need to use a pillow for maintaining the spine’s natural curvature. The pillow should fill the spaces between your ear and the maĴress. If your head or neck remains tilted and is not in line with the rest of the spine, you could suěer from Pillow Syndrome! Also, keep a pillow between your knees to prevent the spine from twisting. For further comfort, you can even keep a bolster or pillow under your arms like hugging a teddy!

Dos and don’ts When sleeping on the side… „ Keep the spine straight and untwisted „ Never place a pillow under the shoulder „ Always keep the neck and head straight-aligned with the rest of the spine „ Use a pillow between the knees, under the side or hips „ Wrap the arms around a large pillow „ Never put the arms overhead. When sleeping on your back… „ Keep the spine straight and untwisted „ Always keep pillows or cushions under the knees and lower legs „ Never keep your arms overhead „ Use a pillow under the neck rather than the back of the head.

VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 51

The reason could be spasm or cramping in back muscles or compression of disc spaces. Doing these simple decompression techniques and gentle stretches should take care of simple back pain. But for persistent and severe back pain, a visit to a specialist is a must. A round of these stretches before going to sleep and aĞer geĴing up is recommended for geĴing rid of morning pain. Single knee to chest: Lying on the back, bend one knee and pull it up towards your chest gently. Count to five and relax. Repeat it 5 – 10 times. Remember to keep the other leg straight. Double knee to chest: Lying on the back, bend both knees and take them towards the chest as far as comfortable. Count to five and relax. Repeat it 5 – 10 times. Crucifix stretch: Lying on the back, bend both knees and straighten hands like Christ. Now, twist both knees together first to your leĞ and then to your right. Repeat five times on each side. Lion stretch: Bend your knees and sit on your heels [like in vajrasana]. Now, bend forward with hands outstretched in front of you. You’ll feel a gentle stretch at the back. Do this stretch only if you don’t have a knee problem. Cross body stretch: Cross one arm and push it at the elbow by the other arm. Keep the neck straight and body erect. Side stretch: Pull both arms upwards and interlace fingers. Now, stretch them to one side and pull the side of your trunk. Neck stretch: Keep one hand on the shoulder and hold your neck with the other hand. Gently pull on the neck and feel a stretch on side of neck. Repeat five times on both sides.

Doing neck stretches after you wake-up help ease neck and back stiffness

When lying down… „ First, sit and take support of your hand to lie down on one side „ Take your feet up on bed „ Turn and lie down straight. When geĴing up from the bed… „ Roll onto your side and bend both knees. „ Drop your feet over the side of the bed as you push with both arms to sit up. „ Scoot to the edge of the bed and position your feet under your buĴocks. „ Stand up, keeping your back in the neutral position.

Stretches for morning back pain Do you feel back pain first thing in the morning? Is geĴing to sleep diĜcult because of back pain? Does your back feel stiě for first few hours in morning? 60 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

Should you sleep on the floor? Many people think that sleeping on the floor or a hard bed helps alleviate back pain. However, our spine is not straight like a rod; it has curves. And a hard surface such as the floor does not support them. So, sleep on a mattress that provides the required support.

Decompression exercises to reduce pressure on discs: 1. Sleep on your stomach and put a flat pillow or towel under your chest such that it allows your head and neck to relax on the bed. You can turn your head to one side. If you need support for your lower back, place a pillow under your abdomen. Lie in the position for a while. 2. Sleep on your tummy with your legs outstretched and soles of the feet facing the ceiling. Gently raise your upper body with the help of your hands keeping your hips on the bed. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

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Pill for peace of mind


ecause of our hectic schedules, we are constantly on the emergency mode. Our to-do lists are ever-increasing to accommodate all that we need to accomplish and this leaves us exhausted and irritable at the end of day. This stress even makes simple tasks such as taking the regular dose of contraceptive pill seem like yet another chore. Contraceptive pills, in fact, give you the desired peace of mind; they give you an opportunity to truly relax after a long, tiring day. If you miss taking these, that will further add to your stress and force you to opt for emergency contraceptives. So shifting your attitude of them being a chore and making them an integral part of your routine will work the best for you. Though emergency contraceptives come as a last minute rescue, they are not recommended on a regular basis since the amount of hormones present in them can aggravate certain medical conditions. They also cause side-effects like nausea and vomiting.

Unwanted surprises? Not for me! I rely on regular birth control methods

Avoid emergency Choose planned contraception Talk to your doctor Issued in public interest by

Makers of

For Full Prescribing Information contact Wyeth Limited**, Level 6, Platina, Plot No. C-59, G Block, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra(E), Mumbai-400098 * Registered Proprietor Wyeth LLC,USA Licensed User – Wyeth Limited,India ** (A subsidiary of Pfizer Inc) INDOVL4011021

In contrast, oral contraceptives are a preferred form of birth control as they are simple, safe, reliable and convenient. In addition, planned contraceptives save lives of women and children and improve the quality of life for all, according to the World Health Organization [WHO]. Using contraceptive pills reduces maternal mortality and improves women’s health by preventing unwanted and high-risk pregnancies and reducing the need for opting for emergency options. In fact, some also reduce the likelihood of disease transmission and protect against certain cancers and infections. But remember, they are always to be taken in consultation with your doctor; do not self-medicate. The doctor will examine your health and prescribe a pill that is best suited to you. When used correctly and consistently, these pills are about 99.7 – 99.9 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy. Though the pill is one of the most reliable methods of contraception, it is effective only when instructions are followed diligently.



n increasing number of doctors, today, all over the world, are of the view that if a man is happy and light-hearted, cheerful and contented, positive and uncomplaining, disease will not draw close to him and, even if it does, it will not stay with him for long. “Laughter,” says Dr Bradley Wilde [USA], “provides a rhythmic movement of the abdominal muscles, gently massages the intestinal organs, improves digestion and blood circulation.” In the Harvard and Yale Universities of America and at the University of California Los Angeles’s Neuro-psychiatric Institute at West Los Angeles, neurobiologists and medical researchers have confirmed that smiling, laughing and cheerful expressions set in motion happy waves in the mind and generate neuropeptides that revitalise the immune system. This helps prevent and fight disease. People who do not think of negative emotions such as jealousy, envy or greed, are healthier than those who live cloistered, unhappy lives. Many modern hospitals and clinics display messages like: ‘Laugh your way to health’, ‘Laughter may be hazardous to your illness’ and ‘Cheerfulness is the new wonder drug’. Doctors are of the view that our blood molecules contain receptors that get signals from the brain. If a person is happy and content, the receptors transmit signals of happiness, and healing is accelerated. Modern science has discovered that the more you laugh, the healthier you become. Jolly physicians, it is said, are more eěective than pills.

Cheerfulness is the greatest lubricant of the wheels of life. It diminishes pain, fights disease, mitigates misfortunes, lightens burdens and eases one’s life. A young girl, suěering from a dreaded disease, was brought to a hospital. When she was being prepared to be taken to the operation theatre, she found the nurses sad and glum. “I know what you are thinking,” she said to the nurses. “But, let me tell you, I am not going to die so soon. God has other plans for me. I have spoken to Him and that is what He has told me.” When she was taken to the operation theatre, she kidded the doctors, until she came under the influence of the anaesthesia. The doctors opened her up and found that cancer had spread so extensively, that it was no use performing the operation. So they stitched her up. When she regained consciousness, she was told that she has only 3 – 6 months to live. She was advised to restrict her movements and live a relaxed, activity-free life. The young woman was not taken in. “I have long cherished a desire to visit Switzerland,” she said. “And even if it takes the life out of me, I will do it! Switzerland is known as the heaven on earth. Before I visit God’s heaven, let me see the beauty of the earthly heaven to be able to compare the two and decide which one is beĴer.” The doctors did all they could to dissuade her. “The strain of the trip will kill you,” they said to her. But she remained adamant and both the travel and the climate did her good. When she set out, she had to be taken in a wheel chair; when she returned, she walked with a straight gait,

The value of cheerfulness

Use it to heal yourself and others „

By Dada J P Vaswani

62 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

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and a rose-tint on her cheeks. The doctors were amazed. Till this day she lives a happy life and bears testimony to the fact that if you live happily, not focusing your aĴention on disease and illness, health and strength, vigour and vitality will be yours. There would be no need for hospitals if only people could be happy and light-hearted! Two years ago, on the sacred day of Muharram, they took me to Imam Bara. There, I met a man who went by the name Mr Agha. He said to me: “Your people, I am aware, do a lot of service. But, I too, in my own humble way, render service to people.” “What do you do?” I asked him. “I appear on the TV, and make people laugh!” How true, those who make people laugh, also serve. Many of us have forgoĴen the ancient art of laughing. Cheerfulness is therapeutic. And I wish to share with you a few practical suggestions on how a person can keep up the spirit of cheerfulness. „ Get up in the morning with a smile on your face and the words, “Good morning, Lord!” on your lips. These words are from the title of a book wriĴen several years ago by an American businessman. He has been waking up this way for many years and says that doing merely this much has added a new dimension to his life.

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J P Vaswani—or “Dada” as he is affectionately called—is the spiritual head of The Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Pune. He is the moving force behind the multitude of humanitarian work that the mission does. Dada has received the prestigious U Thant Peace Award for his dedicated service to world peace.

„ Always look at the bright side of things. Everything has two sides, the bright and the dark or as I wish to put it, the bright and the less bright. But it is the way you look at it that maĴers. „ Get a hearty laugh at least three times a day—once before breakfast, once before lunch and once before dinner. If you find it diĜcult to laugh, look into the mirror and make funny faces. Cheerfulness is indeed a physical, mental and spiritual tonic. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 63

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verything that you have in the kitchen [not just the food] directly concerns your health. So having the right tools is important. Here are a few basic tools that every kitchen must have; they are light on the wallet, and good for your health.

Steamer Steamers can be as simple as two-compartment pots: the boĴom pot to hold water that boils and the top colanderlike pot with a lid to hold food. Or, they can be more high tech such as those that are built into rice cookers.

You need steamers because steaming helps retain nutrition in food, which gets lost when the food comes in contact with large amounts of water [which happens the most in boiling]. Remember, steam foods only till their colour turns brighter. For example, dark green broccoli should become bright grass green and cauliflower should go from oě white to vivid white. For the highest nutritional value of vegetables, steam them for just 2 – 3 minutes.

Oil spritzer/mister Oil spritzers/misters help reduce the oil you consume as they are used to spray

a small, controlled amount of oil evenly in the cookware. Spritzers can be empty ones into which you can fill the oil of your choice or ready-to-use ones with an oil already filled in. You get spritzers with olive oil, which is great for quick stir-fry items or sautéing vegetables, or margarine/buĴer, which is great for lining baking pans when making fresh, home-made multigrain bread! A spritzer is a great weight control tool as it helps limit your total calorie intake by regulating the fat [oil, margarine] you consume, which has nine calories per gram.

Here’s to more health in your kitchen These cooking tools help extract more nutrition per meal „

66 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

By Radhika Karle-Ghorpade

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If you buy an empty spritzer, remember to change your oil every month so that you get an even distribution of the heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in your diet.

Measuring cups and spoons Portion control is another important thing to do when you are watching your weight. And that’s why it’s important that you have measuring cups and spoons. They take the guessing out of portion sizes and help you understand your total calorie intake without the number-crunching.

For example, ¾ cup of dry cereal [wheat flakes, corn flakes] equals one serving of starch; one cup raw salad is one serving of vegetables. The general rule is two teaspoons of oil per person per day. So if there are five people in your home, it is best to keep aside 10 teaspoons of oil in the morning and use only that container for the entire day’s cooking [That is if you are not using an oil mister for cooking].

Non-stick cookware With the total intake of oil being controlled, the best way to ensure foods are cooked well in a minimum amount of oil is by using non-stick cookware. The durable inner coating of non-stick utensils allows food to cook quickly and evenly while maintaining the nutritional value. Since non-stick cookware is more expensive than regular steel or aluminium cookware, you may want to start with just a few basics such as a good non-stick pan and wok or a deep pot for vegetables. Use wooden or plastic spoons with non-stick cookware, while stirring for instance, as steel or metal utensils may scratch the non-stick surface, rendering it less eěective. It is also potentially harmful as the inner lining of the nonstick surface is made from chemicals that are not meant to be ingested. Also avoid cleaning your non-stick cookware with steel scrubs or abrasive sponges, as it leaves scratches.

Iron tawa Vegetarians have a low iron intake. Using iron tawas helps make up for this deficit as food made using these, leeches iron from the tawa, thus making them good sources of iron. One simple tip—rub a raw onion on the hot tawa for about 30 seconds. This helps to keep dosas and chillas/pancakes from sticking to the tawa. It also makes the dosas crisp.

Egg white separator High protein, low carbohydrate diets are still the craze. And since eggs are the perfect protein, containing all essential amino acids [the building blocks of protein], they make for a healthy

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Radhika Karle-Ghorpade is a Mumbai-based dietician with a Masters degree from Texas Women’s University - Houston. She is a certified Yoga and Pilates instructor, and a personal trainer. She loves to swim, play tennis, and travel in her free time. Her nutrition mantra: everything in moderation. and economic protein option. However, with the increased incidence of heart disease due to high cholesterol levels, people are now switching from consuming whole eggs to eating just the egg whites. And an egg white separator helps you separate the egg whites from the cholesterol-filled yolks with no mess. Simply break the egg into the separator and watch it catch the yolk and let the white fall through two holes on the side into a bowl below. It’s an important tool to have if you are an egg eater and have diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cholesterol issues because an egg yolk has 186mg of cholesterol [which is close to your upper limit of 200mg dietary cholesterol per day].

Juicer Although I am not a big advocate of juicing as you lose large amounts of fibre when you juice fruits and vegetables, I do believe in having juices from time to time to cleanse the system. So if you’re into drinking juices, a juicer at home ensures that you have clean, fresh juice any time you like [although juices are best had in the morning on an empty stomach and freshly made]. You can get an electric juicer if you fancy high-tech gadgets, but even a simple manual juicer to juice oranges, sweet limes, and lemons is just as effective. Healthy hint: Add the fibre back into your juice with unflavoured physillium husk [available at most chemists]. Get an extra boost of immunity by adding a shot of fresh wheat grass juice or wheat grass powder to your juice. So equip your kitchen with these simple yet eěective tools. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 67

Discover COMMON AILMENTS allergy or exposure to extreme cold environment.

How is it diagnosed? Some tests that are used to diagnose a DNS include: X Rhinoscopy, which is an inspection of the nose with a thin tube-like instrument that has a lens aĴached to its end. Y Conventional radiography such as X-ray. Z CT imaging, which is a standard diagnostic tool. [ Diagnostic Nasal Endoscopy [DNE]. A simple nasal examination may not be suĜcient to evaluate the type and degree of respiratory impairment caused by DNS. For that a CT scan is required.

A crooked

problem A shifted nasal cartilage affects not just your looks but also your breathing „

By Ravikiran Vernekar

How is DNS treated?


part from serving an important function, the nose gives a face its character. But a condition like deviated nasal septum [DNS] threatens to distort the shape of the nose and with it, our appearance. Not to mention, the physical problems one can face due to it. Although it sounds serious, DNS is simply a shiĞ in the structure [called the septum] that divides our nostrils. The septum is made partly of cartilage and partly of bone. Apart from acting as a partition between the nostrils, it maintains normal airflow, filters the air and helps in temperature control of inhaled air. A deviated septum can obstruct breathing and is one of the commonest reason for people to visit an ENT specialist. The degree of the shiĞ could be mild or severe—and, at times, can even deform the shape of the nose.

What causes DNS? A person can be born with a deviated septum, which might get dislodged due to some pressure in the uterus or at the time of delivery. In later life, it may occur due to an injury, assault or accident. It is common in people who play contact sports and 68 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

hence seen more commonly in men than women.

What are the symptoms? Although the main symptom is difficulty in breathing, symptoms can vary from being mild to severe depending upon the degree of deviation. Mild DNS, however, doesn’t lead to significant diěerence in appearance. Depending on the severity of the deviation, you may have one or more of these symptoms: „ Discharge and bleeding from the nose „ Altered sense of smell „ Excessive sneezing and irritation in the nose „ Discharge from the nose, cough and change in voice „ Sinusitis and nasal polyps „ Snoring and sleep apnoea „ Chronic facial pain and headaches. The symptoms aggravate in case of an accompanying sinus infection, nasal

Ravikiran M Vernekar is a full-time consultant ENT surgeon at Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai.

Since the sinuses open in the nasal cavity, a deviated nasal septum can block the outflow of discharges from them, causing mucus to collect. And this can lead to bacterial infection of the sinuses. Persistent nasal blockage forces you to breathe through the mouth, which can cause sore throat, mouth odour and tooth decay. In cases of sinusitis caused by DNS, removing the obstruction and draining the sinuses is all that is necessary to facilitate ventilation. But mostly, treatment involves managing symptoms. The aim is to prevent complications or worsening of the symptoms. Since most people suěer from mild DNS, they respond well to non-surgical forms of therapy like antihistamine, anti-allergy, decongestant preparations, and allergy desensitisation. However, if the symptoms do not show signs of improvement, surgery could be the way out. Surgery involves septoplasty, a procedure that is performed entirely through the nostril. The significantly deviated portions of the septum are removed or repositioned and remodelled. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

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Hard core strength Pilates helps strengthen your core, which prevents everyday activities from becoming painful „

By Nuala Coombs


ow many times have you spoken to people who were “only bending down to pick something up” when they hurt their back? Every day we carry out tasks that need core strength, flexibility and mobility—lugging the laptop around, carrying the shopping bags, liĞing children, reaching high cupboards or even holding a hairdryer… these activities are easier and pain free if you have strong abdominals, a strong core. Taking care of your core helps keep back pain [which becomes increasingly common as we age] at bay. And Pilates helps you do just that. Pilates is a full body exercise system that oěers diěerent levels of intensity and challenge. What makes it such a fool-proof workout for abdominal strengthening is that all movements require you to engage your deep abdominal muscles, “the powerhouse” as Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates called it.

Finding your neutral alignment To work both your back and abdominal muscles as a team, which is essential for optimal stability, find a neutral position from which to start and finish your Pilates exercises. The simplest way to find your neutral pelvis is to stand with your feet hip-distance apart, or lay on your back with your knees bent. 1. Start by noticing the natural position of your pelvis when you are at rest [lying down on the floor]. 2. Next, gently roll your pelvis back towards the floor. 3. Now, tilt it in the opposite direction—you may find you create a space between your lower back and the floor. 4. Continue rocking the pelvis back and forth—be aware of the range of motion.

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5. Start to decrease the range of motion until you feel the pelvis is in the central position. 6. This half way mark when the arch is neither exaggerated nor flat is your neutral pelvic position. This is where you will start and finish each Pilates exercise. By focussing on maintaining neutral alignment when needed, you will be working towards improved pelvic stability. This is a training position. You will not aĴempt to keep this all day; you will understand when you need to use it as you become more practices in Pilates. The 100 1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, in your neutral alignment. 2. Gently engage your deep abdominal muscles. 3. Without moving your pelvis, slowly raise your right leg into a table top position [LiĞing your leg such that the shin is parallel to the floor and thigh is perpendicular to the floor]. 4. Hold this position for a count of 5 – 10 and slowly bring the leg down. 5. Re-visit your alignment as you exhale, float the second leg into position. When you are sure you can maintain good placement of the pelvis for a count of 20 breaths, you can consider raising both legs to increase the challenge. When doing with both legs, liĞ one leg first, then the second; never liĞ both legs together. If you feel the need to roll your back on the floor, there is a pulling sensation in your lower back, or your can’t maintain the contraction in your abdominals, place one leg back on the ground.

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The goal is to eventually maintain both legs liĞed for 100 breaths [hence the name]. Once that’s achieved, you can stretch your legs in front of you to increase the challenge. Single leg stretch In this form, you are challenging your ability to maintain the neutral position of your spine whilst moving your legs. 1. Begin with lying on the floor with your knees bent. 2. Slide your right heel along the floor, opening your leg. But stretch only as far as you can stretch, without changing the neutral position of your pelvis. Exhale while sliding out and inhale as you bring it back to the start position. 3. Just as the first leg slides into position, start sliding your other leg out. 4. The challenge is at the changeover so pay aĴention at this point. Remember, it is not necessary to straighten the legs. This was level 1, with level 2 we increase the challenge. In this level, with your knees bent, slowly liĞ one leg up while still keeping it bent at the knee. When you’ve liĞed it fairly up, gradually stretch open your knee so that the toes are pointing up—pay aĴention to the position of your pelvis at all times, exhaling as the leg extends forward. Draw the knee back in, inhaling as you do. Eventually, you may increase the challenge by starting with both legs liĞed and alternating the movement. Build up to 10 repetitions. The quality of your movement should be the main focus. Always be aware of your alignment. Notice how the length of the breath determines the speed of your movement. Four point swimming This is a full body exercise that not only challenges the abdominal muscles, but also tests your coordination and balance. Start with standing on all fours [on your knees with palms flat on the ground, like a box]. Your alignment should be neutral, with knees directly under the hips and shoulders stabilised.

Side Kick

Nuala Coombs [] has been a student of Pilates since 1985. She was the founding director of the Pilates Institute UK, and was part of the team that introduced standards for Pilates education in the UK. From her base in the South France, she continues her passion for the Pilates technique, helping students develop their career paths together with offering Pilates retreats.

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The 100

Next, exhale as you slide one foot back, along the ground, maintaining your pelvic alignment and not leaning over. Once the leg straightens out, liĞ it behind you—bringing the foot, knee and hip in line. Hold for a few breaths and return the leg to the starting position, where the knee is directly under the hip. Inhale as you do so. Repeat, 10 times with each leg. As in the single leg stretch, the challenge is in the changeover. Try not to transfer too much body weight from side to side. Eventually, increase the challenge by sliding the opposite arm forward. Side kick This is another balance challenge as well as a full body exercise. The muscles of the waist, inside thighs, buĴocks as well as the deep abdominals are the focus. 1. Start by lying on your side with one arm stretched out. If stretching the arm is a problem, just bend the elbow and rest your head on it. Ensure that your shoulders, hips, knees and feet are in line. Use the other hand to stabilise yourself by resting it on the floor. The closer your hand is to your body, the harder your stabilising muscles need to work. If you need your hand to help you stay in balance make sure you aren’t leaning too hard on it; you shouldn’t immediately fall forward if you release your hand. Once you find your balance, exhale to lengthen the whole body as though being pulled in opposite directions, then exhale as you liĞ either just the top leg or both legs if you can maintain balance. When you have good balance and control, increase the challenge by resting the supported arm on your thigh. This requires concentration and control for liĞing and lowering of the legs while maintaining alignment and equilibrium. Build up to 10 repetitions then change sides. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

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The secret to a

superior salon experience The difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary experience at the salon lies in the way you carry yourself „

By Anuradha Ch


Ğen, when we go to a salon, we form opinions about the ambience, the hygiene, the skill of the therapist, pricing and many other things. But we seldom think about one thing: We too leave an impression behind with our impeccable behaviour or lack of it. A much-neglected aspect, adhering to basic dos and don’ts at a salon, can go a long way in ensuring that you do not embarrass your therapist, other guests and most of all, yourself. Here are some lessons in carrying yourself at a salon…

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Before the visit „ Make an appointment. Even if you are a regular client at a salon, never drop in without an appointment. The salon staě has to reschedule and juggle several appointments— which is uncomfortable and unwelcome as it means losing the goodwill of another customer. „ When you call to fix your appointment, if you are choosy about which professional aĴends you, specify the name or ask which therapist will be alloĴed to you. If you’ve had a not-so-good experience with someone in the past, request for another person. It ensures that you get the treatment you have in mind, and avoids disappointments. „ Before leaving for the salon, confirm the appointment. While a time slot has been blocked for you and most reputed salons would call if the same has to be deferred, it doesn’t hurt to make that one call just in case your designated therapist is running late. By doing this, you will save your time [waiting for your therapist to get free] and the risk of losing your temper in front of the salon staě and other guests. „ Discuss beforehand the time required for the service to avoid your salon time from aěecting other commitments. It also puts you in the correct frame of mind for the service. „ Double check the payment mode accepted at the salon to avoid embarrassment. „ Shower before you go. Most people deem salon visits as a time to freshen themselves up. While this is true, salon professionals are happier servicing you when you come in fresh and clean and not straight out of the bed.

During the visit „ Arrive on time. Turning up ‘fashionably’ late doesn’t impress anyone at the salon. If you arrive late, be prepared for a cancellation as there are other clients with an appointment too. „ If you’ve had to rush to arrive on time, request for a 5 – 10 minute ‘get my breath back’ time. No point rushing into the treatment. Anuradha Ch is a trained cosmetologist with a degree from the Christine Valmy Beauty School, New York. She is also the director of Anoo’s a chain of salons in South India. Anuradha’s hobbies include watching movies and sports like cricket, cooking and reading books. She lives in Hyderabad.

„ Instead of blindly following the lead, spend enough time with your therapist/ stylist to convey the style you want and to hear her out on what may work best. A mutual agreement is always the best way forward. „ It’s best not to bring friends/family/children along unless they are geĴing a treatment too. If you do get them, ask them to wait in the visitors lounge. GeĴing them to your chair crowds the area and distracts the therapist. „ Avoid the temptation to fidget with your cell phone; nothing irritates a stylist more than a client who keeps checking her phone every now and then or worse, who talks endlessly during a service. „ Respect another client’s privacy and peace of mind by speaking soĞly. You might be the talking type, but there are those who love to close their eyes and simply enjoy the sensations. „ People like their space, so apart from a simple ‘hello’, avoid lengthy discussions with other clients unless it’s mutually agreeable. „ Respect the therapist’s schedule and time by not pressing for another service that is not part of your appointment; chances are she already has an appointment soon aĞer yours. If you feel like going for another service, check the therapist’s availability. „ Before your therapist starts, make sure that s/he understands what you are expecting. Always take time to give your feedback—what you liked and what you didn’t. When you give feedback, do keep in mind to do it with the objective of creating a positive realm for the technician even though her/his service may not have lived up to your expectations and not to merely criticise. „ Write down your experiences in the visitors’ book or fill the feedback forms. This ensures the salon is always a happy place for you to go to. If you’ve had a really bad experience, write to the management citing where things could have been beĴer. Again, the motive here is to bring the standard up and not to demotivate and hence, use polite language. Following these suggestions will ensure that you’re on the preferred client list. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at


Pulse pleasures Pulses are not all about health, they can make for mouth-watering dishes too. Don’t believe us? Try these recipes… „


By Nandita Iyer

eans, peas and lentils are some of the best vegetarian sources of protein available. They have respectable fibre content too. They are good for regulating blood sugar and the soluble fibre in them helps lower bad cholesterol. The diěerent colours found in beans have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory eěect. There’s more to the colour diěerence between the various types of beans—the colours represent diěerent phytonutrients. That’s why it is important to eat various

kinds through the week. Most Indian cuisines make good use of the beans/lentils by soaking and cooking them into dals or curries. There are some other interesting ways to use them such as salads, soups, burgers, chillies and dips. Mexican cuisine uses kidney beans in various recipes and chickpeas are liberally used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. These recipes will help you include beans to your diet in interesting ways.

Black eyed peas curry with freshly ground masala Serves: 3 – 4 Ingredients „ ¾ cup white or red black eyed peas [Hindi: lobia, chawli] „ 3 medium tomatoes „ 1 tbsp oil „ 1 tsp cumin seeds „ A pinch of asafoetida „ ¼ tsp turmeric powder „ ¾ tsp salt „ ½ tsp garam masala powder or 1 tsp rasam/sambar powder „ Lots of chopped fresh coriander

To be ground into a paste „ 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped roughly „ 3 cloves garlic „ ¼ cup fresh coconut „ 2 tsp coriander seeds „ 3 dried red chillies „ ½ tsp grated ginger „ 1 medium cinnamon stick „ 3 – 4 cloves Method 1. Use a pressure cooker with separators. In one compartment, place the soaked peas

with just enough water to cover. 2. Halve the tomatoes and place them in another compartment. No need to keep water in this compartment. 3. If you want to serve this curry with rice, cook rice in the third compartment. Pressure cook for two whistles and keep on low flame for 5 – 7 minutes. Then, remove from flame and open when cool. 4. The peas should be soft, yet should retain their shape. Tug off the tomato skins, mash with fingers and keep aside. 5. In a large kadhai/wok, heat 1 tbsp oil. Then, add one tsp cumin seeds and a fat pinch of asafoetida. 6. Once the cumin splutters, add the ground paste to the oil and fry on medium flame for around five minutes, until oil separates and the onion and garlic is cooked. 7. To the cooked paste, add the cooked black eyed peas and the mashed tomatoes. Add turmeric, salt and garam masala powder. Bring to a simmer. If it’s too dry, add some water. 8. Let this simmer for two minutes. Remove from flame and add fresh coriander. Don’t have a pressure cooker? Boil the soaked beans in plenty of water for about 45 minutes [or until they become very soft]. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, peel and mash them with fingers and follow the rest of recipe as above. Serve with steamed rice or rotis.

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Chickpea Cabbage Salad Serves: 2 Ingredients „ 1/3 cup small chickpeas [chana], soaked overnight or for 4 – 5 hours „ 1 tsp oil „ ½ tsp cumin seeds „ ½ tsp mustard seeds „ A pinch of asafoetida „ 1 cup finely shredded cabbage „ 1 medium onion, diced „ 1 medium tomato, deseeded and diced Dressing „ 1 cup hung yoghurt „ Salt to taste „ Freshly-ground black pepper „ 1 tsp frankie masala or chaat masala or cajun seasoning „ A pinch of red chilli powder „ Shredded cabbage for garnish „ Roasted papad or baked tortilla chips / pita chips to serve with the salad [optional] Method 1. Pressure-cook the soaked drained chickpeas with 1½ cups water until soft—it took me three whistles and 6 – 7 minutes on low flame. Since chickpeas have thick skin, they don’t turn to a mush easily, so nothing to worry here. When the cooker has cooled off, drain the water and keep the chana aside. 2. In a wok, heat the oil. Add the asafoetida, cumin and mustard seeds. 3. Once they splutter, add the onions and cabbage with a pinch of salt, stir for two minutes on medium flame till slightly soft. Remove from the wok and cool. 4. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for dressing. Whisk well. Add the boiled chana, the cabbage-onion mix and toss to coat evenly. 5. Garnish with shredded cabbage and serve with papad or baked chips.

Nandita Iyer, MBBS, is an enthusiastic writer and a passionate cook. She lives in Bangalore.

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Spinach Lentil Soup Serves: 2 Ingredients „½ cup split masoor dal [split red lentils] „2 cups of washed and cleaned spinach leaves „2 cloves of garlic peeled „1 tsp oil or butter [ghee] „Pinch of asafoetida „½ tsp cumin seeds „½ tsp ground black pepper

ground black pepper. 6. Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the pureed soup and water to achieve the desired consistency. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and some more pepper if required. Remove to a bowl. Serve hot with soup sticks, bread or a salad.

Method 1. Wash the masoor dal well and place it directly in a small-size pressure cooker. 2. To this, add spinach leaves and garlic along with one cup water and pressure cook for two whistles and five minutes on a low flame. 3. Once the contents have cooled, puree finely in a blender. Keep aside. 4. In a saucepan, heat oil or butter. 5. Add a tiny pinch of asafoetida, cumin seeds and

Black eyed peas burgers Makes: 12 medium-sized burgers Ingredients „ 1½ cups of black eyed peas, soaked overnight „ 3 – 4 tbsp of coriander leaves, chopped „ 1 – 2 tsp of cayenne pepper powder [as per taste] „ 1 – 2 tsp of salt „ 1 tsp cumin powder „ 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped „ 1 – 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds „ Oil to brush on the burgers For assembly „ Slices of bran or whole wheat bread/burger buns „ A cup of onion slices pickled in vinegar and salt „ A cup of sliced tomatoes „ A cup of grated carrots/cabbage „ Coriander chutney [optional] Sauces of your choice: I used the Mexican chilli sauce [Medium hot salsa picanta] and the green Salsa Habanera [made from the hottest chillies in the world]

Method 1. Pressure-cook the soaked peas in four cups of water for two whistles. Keep on a low flame for five minutes. Switch off cooker. Cool and drain well. OR Cook them in boiling water for 35 – 40 minutes till the beans are soft but not fully mashed. 2. Preheat the oven at 200 degree celsius or heat your grill pan. 3. Place the drained peas with the other ingredients for the burgers [except oil] in a bowl. Mash gently with a fork mixing all ingredients well. Taste for salt and spice. 4. Shape into burgers 2” in diameter. Place on a greased baking sheet. Brush the tops with oil and bake for 15 minutes. You can also grill them on a stove-top pan or a grill. 5. Assemble each burger between two slices of bread and the salad with your favourite sauces. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

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Living Zen How to invite the Zen into your everyday life „

By Wayne Allen

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ost of us live ‘one step removed from reality’. In other words, when an event happens, rather than experiencing it directly, we pop into our heads and describe the event to ourselves. We interpret the event, then decide how the event fits into our life story. We have stopped paying aĴention and are further from the moment itself. Zen has no goal, other than to be present for life, it teaches us to show up for the real thing—the actual experience, devoid of embellishments. Being present means fewer accidents, more engagement, and a real life as opposed to an imagined one. Here are some ideas for you, on ways to live a simple Zen life.

Meditate Buddhism changed drastically when it got to Japan. Zen master Dogen—founder of the Soto school—got his hands on it, and declared, “Shikantaza!” In other words, there is no need to search for enlightenment—it’s right here, right now—and best “felt” through zazen [seated meditation.] So, the key to Zen living is carving out 20 minutes a day [or more] to just sit. We do not sit to accomplish something, nor are we merely puĴing in time. We sit, and in the siĴing, find the present moment. It’s not even about clearing your mind, because then having a clear mind becomes the goal. Rather, just sit, breathe, and watch yourself. Thoughts will arise, and if you let them be, they’ll driĞ along like clouds. If you latch on, you’ll driĞ into imagining. Then, as you notice, come back to just siĴing. Sit with a sense to challenge yourself. The only thing you have to work with is your life—or more specifically, the issues you confront. Have an intent to be ‘right here’ for all of it. Zen living: Breathe, observe, drop the need to label or judge—just see each thing as one more thing—one more way to bring yourself into the Now.

Free your mind LeĴing go of your mind’s dominance is the most diĜcult part of the Zen pathless path. The mind is sticky and slippery, and much of what it does is about maintaining the story you tell yourself. Stories are the currency of the mind. We think we know who we are, and believe our own press releases about how the world is. Yet, there is nothing true about any of the

Wayne C Allen is a psychotherapist, bodyworker, and author. He is widely known online as the Simple Zen Guy. His is the author of many books including This Endless Moment and Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall.

stories you tell yourself. Out of all of it—out of everything that has happened—we choose specific scenes, string them together, and call the result “my life.” These story-selections are nothing other than what you’ve chosen to believe to support your preconceived notions. Zen living: Know that things are as they are, until they aren’t. Freeing your mind really means freeing yourself from your mind’s grip. Life is as it is, and telling yourself stories about how really bad it all is, does nothing to help you deal with reality. As you let go of the story-telling, you simply make choices, act, and evaluate, then act again. Once your mind is freed to be present with “what is,” the rest just follows. As you bring yourself, again and again, into presence, you see that mostly there is not much going on, and precious liĴle to do, other than to just be there for your life. The drama falls away, and in its place is time—time to fully engage with life.

Take time to experience Stepping back from the mind’s chaĴer can be quite disconcerting. Without all of that distracting noise, what’s leĞ is sensation—the flow of Qi, the life-force. This can be anything from startling or scary to boring or interesting. As you meditate, you open yourself to the endless flow of sensation. You suddenly hear, and see, and feel, and in this process, you come into the actual experience of yourself. Now, most of the time, your mind will pop in and start judging, labelling, or complaining. “Here’s what you ought to be doing, feeling, thinking!” And away you go [again] from the experience to the mental games. Zen living: Use your breath to bring yourself back into your body as you feel and hear and see. Experience your feelings completely, and then… wait for it… go with the flow to the next thing. If you find yourself reluctant to fully immerse yourself into the flow and feel of life, have another breath, and go with that. Soon, your tolerance for being fully alive and fully present will grow. You find yourself immersed in living as opposed to existing solely in your head.

Maintain a single focus Multitasking is impossible. Watch yourself when you aĴempt it. What you are actually doing is turning your aĴention from one thing to another, rapidly. And, because changing your focus takes energy, nothing gets your full aĴention. Zen living: Do one thing at a time. Bring your entire focus to what you are doing, and only stop when you reach a predetermined point of completion. Then, fully shiĞ your aĴention. This is the meaning of the Zen expression, ‘Chop wood, carry water. Distraction is impossible if I am fully engaged with what is in front of me.

Speak only for yourself Mostly, you use the pronoun “I,” recognising that all I can

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reliably talk about is what I am thinking, feeling, and doing. Most people talk at people, and especially when things are wrong. Instead of saying, “You did this, you made me feel ...” say “I feel that…” Meditation helps to see that the experience I am having is always and only about me. It’s honest to own what’s up for me. Zen living: Speak only for yourself, by using “I think…”, “I imagine…”, “The story I’m telling myself…” and the like. Own your experience, and share it, as it’s all you can ever know.

Be grateful Because of our endless mind-chaĴer, we view life through the ‘What’s in it for me?’ glasses—taking full credit for what we have, and casting full blame for what we hate. We miss the interconnectedness—how we are all in this together. Drop the ego, drop blaming, and express your gratitude for being a link in the chain of life. Zen living: Awareness includes noticing that everything and everyone is a part of the same game. I only get to play because of you, and vice versa. For instance, just think of all of the people involved in puĴing food on your table.

your mind for a moment, and then act in keeping with your feelings, interpretations, and intentions. Most people say, “Isn’t it awful” and do nothing. Instead, say, “It is what it is,” then act to change what’s happening.

Be non-attached AĴachments are silly. They are based on the idea that you can grasp someone or something, and by the act of grasping, keep it the same, or ‘just keep it.’ We live with a belief that if all is going well, then the fantasy shouldn’t end. Guess what? It had already ended, and had to end, because nothing is static—all is in motion—all is change. Zen living: Let go. Hold everything loosely. As you start to cling, have a breath and let go. It’s like trying to grasp the water of a fast-flowing stream, it’s impossible. And besides, aĴachments cause us to miss what’s happening right in front of us!

Don’t do it, be it

Make no judgements

Zen living and being is not a new skill set to show-oě. If you can’t figure out how to make time to meditate, I suggest think of your entire life as meditation. Diěerent focus, different direction. Rather than having something more to do, Zen living becomes life itself.

Our tendency is to judge. Something happens, and we label it as good or bad, right or wrong. We feel righteous in our finger pointing. But without action on our part, nothing changes. The key is to realise that judgement itself is futile. If I say I believe in equality, for example, the real test is whether I treat everyone equally—and especially in situations that make me uncomfortable.

Zen living: Live your life as an action that encompasses your entire being and essence. This is tricky, but it’s about a full, purposeful commitment to a way of being that includes thought, feeling and action. Take the other points, above, and see them as focusing points—ideas about what such being might look like, as you enact yourself in the here and now. Stay Well

Zen living: You will label things until you die. But when in situations where you feel tempted to judge, notice and stop

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[always] in need? A freeloader is not a friend indeed. Here's a guide on how to spot and stop a moocher in your life „


By Sharmila Bhosale

ll of us know a moocher or two. The type that thinks it is his/her birthright to sponge oě you. The kind that always turns the other way when the bill arrives at a restaurant. The ones who habitually get out of their share of chores and don’t chip in with their part. The one who perpetually gets caught oě guard without funds at the most opportune moments—and guess who bails her out every time? Yes, you! Moochers come in several forms—with the same fundamental raison d’être: to freeload. Whether money, resources, energy [those who accost you and burden you with all their trials and triumphs till you’ve been talked and talked to without end], or time [where helping them out takes hours oě your clock]. One of my teachers would find a reason to come home with me during the lunch break: she had run out of cooking gas and needed to call the service; or she needed to call home to check on her son. When she came home, she would of course be oěered lunch. I could never overtly deny her request to come home since she was in a position of power. Eventually, I did get around to telling her that my phone wasn’t working. We’ve always guessed and squirmed at moochers’ ulterior motives, found it diĜcult to say no when asked to lend favours, and spent distressing times thinking of ways to ward them oě…the next time. But they’re back, leeching oě in whatever way they can, leaving you feeling helpless, used, irritated and sulking. Some of us may even resignedly accept the moocher as ‘fate’, passively shrugging our shoulders, and rolling eyes skywards, saying ‘what to do?’ But guess what? It is this aĴitude of being the fall guy [or girl] that 80 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

the moocher preys on. Being soĞ-hearted makes you a soĞ target for the moocher’s machinations—the right audience for their smooth-talking, victim-playing act.

Spot a moocher Most moochers have a few common characteristics that can help you to tune in to their mooching vibes.

Moochers are smooth talkers. They oĞen talk a lot, sharing ‘confidences’ to make you feel like a close friend. This makes it easy for them to sponge oě you, while diĜcult for you to refuse. “They are also charming, good conversationalists and ‘friendly’,” says Mumbai-based psychologist Pallavi Ullal. “This is a common and strong factor in all moochers.” You are always leĞ wondering whether you are being taken advantage of, or is it all within ‘friendship’. Moochers are crafty calculators. You will never catch a moocher chipping in with even a bag of chips at an impromptu get-together. Says Esha Trivedi, an HR Consultant, who gets regularly mooched upon in clever [‘sneaky’ she says] ways by the same person for a liĞ in her car, “GiĞs for special celebrations are conveniently ‘forgoĴen at home in a hurry’ and promises to send them later are always just empty words”.

Moochers are convincing actors. A shadow of sadness in the eyes, the slight crestfallen turn of the lips, the ingratiating smiles—are all well-laid traps to ensnare hapless victims. We give them the benefit of doubt as their excuses take the guise of truth with their convincing acting performances. Complete Wellbeing

Moochers are creative…with their excuses. You will rarely find them doling out the same reason for their inability to keep their side of the deal: the wallet got interchanged and the one with the cash got leĞ at home; changed my jeans at the last minute and forgot to put the wallet in. Payal Sanghvi, a homemaker, has been given the interesting line, “the purse got leĞ behind in the auto— thank God it just had a few hundred rupees in it!”

Moochers are friends in need—always. We have all borrowed money or other resources and somehow forgoĴen to return them. What separates the moochers is the frequency and consistency of their need. They are primarily driven by self-centredness. This is exactly what separates them from the frugal among us. The thriĞy save and live within their resources; moochers save their resources by living on those of others.

Disarm the moocher Dealing with moochers involves treading the delicate balance between losing a relationship and being firm about being sponged upon. It is a tricky area to navigate since mooching is hardly ever a maĴer of etiqueĴe and manners. However, there are several polite yet decisive ways, that we can stop being taken advantage of. It is far beĴer to learn to disarm a moocher than to avoiding her or shrug helplessly every time you allow yourself to be mooched. When you suspect you’re being taken for a ride, for instance, aĞer you’ve paid for the cab the third time in a row, play the moochers’ game yourself. Fumble in your wallet and say you don’t have change and turn around and say [with a bright smile] –‘anyways it’s your turn this time’. Dipankar Ghosh, an IT Manager knows that this tactic works for, “it gets the message across that you have been keeping tabs on the times you’ve doled out the dough, and also that you expect expenses to be shared.”

X Decide on whose turn it is to pay before you go out. That’s what Nikhil Pradhan, senior engineer at a multinational, does aĞer being sponged on by the same colleague several times. “It’s important to do so politely, saying that you feel best that everyone takes a go at the tab so that way no one feels the others owe them.”

Y When asked for a loan [which you know will never be returned], decline firmly saying or say you have a policy not to lend money as it spoils relationships. Z Pointedly ask for a separate bill whenever you are out. BeĴer still opt to go to a place with selfservice. “I go up to the counter and pick up my tab,” says the recently wisened-up Rajita Amin, who is a corporate trainer. This way the moocher has no choice but to pick up her own bill. “I don’t mind sharing my food with her though,” says Rajita. [ Work on the moocher with group Complete Wellbeing


Psycho babble

ind of the moocher: Moochers are at the centre of their own universe and also think they are the centre of everyone else’s universe too. Pallavi Ullal, practising counsellor and psychologist says, “You can trace the mooching behaviour to childhood learning patterns. The moocher probably got everything that he asked for and hence doesn’t value anything.” Another driving factor could be that they feel that somebody has more than them, so they have no qualms sponging off them. Again, there are two kinds of moochers: one who sponge off others intentionally. They are devious— and by far, the more dangerous of the two kinds. The other variety comprises those who don’t realise that they are freeloading. It is more of a learnt habit from childhood, where they have taken everything for granted. Victim personality: There is a distinct personality that actually lends themselves to mooching. These are people who constantly get mooched, whine about it, but are unable to take corrective action. “People who are habitually sponged off have not developed a personality that can be assertive. They are unable to speak their mind and often are also gullible,” says Ullal.

psychology. Nothing succeeds like excess. If you are in a group where everyone has had similar problems with the moocher, gang up and make pointed digs, and crack twisted jokes at the mooching habit. Suggests Vivek Tandan, CEO of a head-hunting firm, “Peer pressure and ridicule is one of the strongest and shortest routes to mending ways. Lessons learnt in this painful way are learnt forever.”

\ Cut your losses, and move on. Moochers are oĞen not real friends. They are just freeloaders that are there to have a ride at someone else’s expense. In fact, sometimes their thrill could be how to snare the next soĞ head. They could be geĴing their kicks out of finding out how and whom to bait again. If you sense that the moocher is just a receiver, and not a giver of anything worthwhile in a friendship, it might be beĴer to end the relationship. ] Confront them. The most eěective way to deal with moochers, suggests psychologist Ullal, is by directly confronting them, since “they do not understand subtle hints”. Also you need to plan in advance and be prepared with your own excuses for saying no, “since before you can give your Sharmila Bhosale is a reason, moochers have two of their own Mumbai-based health writer ready to undermine yours.” and her interests include parenting, relationships, Stay Well lifestyle, spirituality, corporate culture, people and trends.

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VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 81


“Residents of high-rises needn’t fear it”

and 11 such absurd myths about


Swat the malaria menace by arming yourself with some facts about the disease, which breeds on your ignorance „

By Srinivas Kakkilaya


he monumental progress science and medicine has made seems to be powerless against the havoc wreaked by a tiny mosquito. Centuries have passed since we know malaria as a disease and still we continue to lose millions of lives to it every year. And yet, Malaria is a disease that is fairly easy to treat and even easier to prevent. Perhaps the rampant ignorance about the disease is partly responsible for fuelling this uncontrolled run. It’s time we bust some of the myths about this menace.

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Myth: If there are no chills, it cannot be malaria. Fact: The symptoms of malaria can be misleading as they vary from being mild such as fever and headaches to being more serious like jaundice, difficulty in breathing and decreased urination. Many malaria patients do not suěer from the typical shaking chills in the early stages of the infection. Hence, waiting till you experience chills or rigors to get a blood test or to consult your physician can prove risky as the disease will have progressed by then.

Myth: All types of malaria are basically the same.

Fact: While all types of malaria are caused due to the bite of mosquitoes belonging to the Plasmodium species, each type of malaria runs a diěerent course depending on the sub-species the mosquito belongs to. Of the five species of Plasmodia that are known to infect humans, most cases of malaria in the world are caused by P. falciparum and P. vivax. Whereas cases of infection from P. falciparum may turn severe and even cause deaths, P. vivax generally runs a mild course. Srinivas Kakkilaya, MD, is a Mangalore-based consultant physician. His areas of interest include metabolic medicine, infectious diseases, and community health.

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While P. vivax malaria responds well to chloroquine, P. falciparum is treated with newer drugs. However, since a lay person wouldn’t know the diěerence between the two cases, it’s beĴer to visit the doctor at the first suspicion.

Myth: Nowadays, malaria is rare so we needn’t bother about it aěecting us.

Fact: Every year millions suěer from malaria and according to some estimates, nearly two lakh Indians die of its complications. With rapid urbanisation and population migration from malaria-infested rural regions into the cities, many Indian cities are now reporting malaria cases in increasing numbers. One may also contract malaria by travelling to places where the infection is rampant. So, everybody is still at a risk.

Myth: Since malaria is well-known to doctors, a blood test is redundant for treatment.

Fact: Treating malaria merely on clinical suspicion may not be wise because diěerent types of malaria are treated diěerently. A blood test not only confirms the diagnosis but also ascertain the type of malaria. It also helps in assessing severity of the infection. So when your doctor asks for a blood test, heed to her advice.

Myth: If you have malaria, hospitalisation is a must.

Fact: Most cases of malaria are treated as out patients. Hospitalisation is required only in case of complications or if the severity of the symptoms increases. However, if you start timely treatment, hospitalisation can be avoided.

Myth: Pregnant women shouldn’t take anti-malaria drugs.

Fact: Anti-malaria drugs are safe to use in pregnancy and lactation. Like any drug, anti-malaria drugs also have some minor side-eěects, but that should not stop anyone from taking these drugs. Malaria must be treated with anti-malaria drugs, or else it may deteriorate and cause serious or even fatal complications. Benefits of anti-malarial drugs far outweigh their risks. Myth: Malaria patients should not eat chicken.

Fact: Malaria has nothing to do with what you eat. There are no dietary restrictions for those suěering from malaria and neither chicken nor any other food is known to alter the course of the illness. Myth: Malaria stays for life. Fact: Malaria is completely curable with simple, eěective treatment. It doesn’t remain with you throughout your lifespan. But there is every chance that the infection can recur if you are once again biĴen by an infested mosquito.

Myth: Once you have malaria, you’ll never get it for life. Fact: Unlike viral infections, such as chicken pox that confer life-long protection, malaria does not confer any protection against repeat infection. The treatment is applicable for the particular aĴack only and once it is completed, you are still prone to get infected if you are biĴen again. Myth: Malaria spreads only in dirty surroundings. Fact: That is what people thought in the old days and that’s how the name, ‘mal-aria’, meaning ‘bad air’, got coined. But mosquitoes that cause ma-


Did you know? With more than 2.7 billion people in nearly 106 countries being exposed to the risk of getting infected, every year 400 – 550 million suffer from the disease and nearly 1.2 million die of its complications. The estimates of annual malaria burden in India range from 2.8 – 180 million cases and 1000 – 200000 deaths.

laria breed in clean, stagnant collections of water such as tanks, puddles, tree holes, tyre tracks, construction sites and wells, irrespective of the cleanliness of surroundings. If you let water stay in a clean place, it can still be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Myth: You can prevent malaria by taking anti-malaria drugs regularly.

Fact: Taking anti-malaria drugs for prevention helps those travelling from non-malarious places to a place known for the malaria menace. These drugs, if taken as prescribed, do help even if the visit is short. The same, however, is not advisable for people already living in areas prone to malaria. Myth: You’re not at risk of malaria if you stay on a higher floor.

Fact: The female anopheles mosquitoes that spread malaria from one person to another, bite during the night. During the day, they remain hidden and therefore are not visible. Top floors are not safe from malaria as the mosquitoes can reach any floor by flying or by travelling through elevators. The best method to protect against malaria is regular use of bed nets. Long lasting, insecticide treated bed nets are also now available. Mosquito repellents like DEET can be applied to the exposed skin or clothing in the evenings to keep mosquitoes away. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 83


Sunscreen sense Many of us use sunscreen regularly. But do we use it the right way? „

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By Parul Kolhe

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n a tropical country like India, sunscreens are an essential on every personal beauty shelf. Unfortunately, it is not only an underused but also an incorrectly used product. The first step you can take is to buy the right sunscreen.

Which to choose There are hundreds of sunscreens—commercial and medical—in the market to choose from. To decide which one works best for you, get to know more about your ‘enemy’. You are fighting against two types of ultra-violet radiation in the sun’s rays: UVA and UVB. UVA causes immediate, temporary tanning and photoageing [sagging or wrinkling of skin]. UVB causes sunburn [redness, pain and peeling], delayed long-lasting tanning and photoageing. Both rays can cause skin cancer. Therefore, for complete protection from the harmful eěects of the sun, your sunscreen must give adequate protection from both. The only thing people consider when buying a sunscreen is the ‘SPF’ quotient as it is the most advertised aspect. However, ‘SPF’ is an indicator of only UVB protection, NOT UVA! As per an international standard called ‘Boots Star Rating’, the UVA protection a sunscreen oěers is supposed to be mentioned separately as a star rating on the pack, ranging from 0 to 5 stars. For the Indian climate, you need a sunscreen with minimum three stars. A mere handful of sunscreens boast a three- or four-star rating—these are obviously the best. You also need to keep in mind your skin type. Oil free, gel-based sunscreens are available for acneprone individuals and moisturising ones for those with dry skin. Fair-skinned people require sunscreens with a higher protection because the lighter the skin, the more easily it burns. For wheatish complexion [olive skin], a sunscreen with SPF 30 and 3-star UVA protection suĜces. Get a sunblock with higher protection if you are prone to sun allergy, any sunlight-aggravated disease or if you are undergoing a dermo-cosmetic treatment such as skin peeling, polishing or laser therapy.

When to apply Sunscreens must be applied daily, in all seasons including monsoons, and irrespective of whether you are indoors or outdoors. Sunscreens are a must even indoors as the light from fluorescent lamps and computer screens also aěects your skin, though not as much as direct sunlight.

How to apply Apply the lotion/cream on all exposed areas, which most often means your face, arms and legs. Don’t forget your neck Parul Kolhe, MBBS, DDV, is a cosmetologist, hair specialist and dermatosurgeon. She runs her own cosmetology clinic, ‘Tvacha’ at Bhandup, Mumbai. She has won national acclaim for her work on chemical peels for acne, pigmentation and skin rejuvenation as well as skin grafting for vitiligo. She is an avid trekker and writes poetry in her spare time.

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and also the area around your collar bones, if exposed. Do not be stingy with the amount applied—sunscreens give you the mentioned protection only if you use them in the right quantity. Using sub-optimal quantities decreases their potency manifold. For instance, using half the needed requirement can decrease protection by 80 – 90 per cent! Using inadequate sunblock is, in fact, dangerous because you tend to subject yourself to long hours of sunlight in the erroneous belief that you are protected. And when this happens chronically, it magnifies the risk of skin cancer. So, how much is enough? A coin-sized quantity for the face and neck, diĴo for each arm, and double that for each leg. But for continued protection, reapply, reapply, reapply! The eěect of a sunscreen lasts not more than 3 – 4 hours, so aim for at least three applications between 8am and 5pm. Waterproof sunscreens are now available that are specifically for use in a swimming pool, at the beach, in a water park or even for those who sweat a lot. These bind to the skin and resist geĴing washed oě with water. Even if you use one of these, it is still recommended that you reapply every 80 minutes or every time you towel yourself dry in case you are swimming or are in the water continuously.

USING SUB-OPTIMAL QUANTITIES OF SUNSCREENS DECREASES THEIR POTENCY MANIFOLD Most sunscreens also act as moisturisers but those with extremely dry skin may need added moisture. If that’s the case, apply the moisturiser first and the sunscreen aĞer a couple of minutes. If you need to use make-up—foundation, powder, colour cosmetics—it has to be used over the sunscreen. Do not rely on just the sun protection factor mentioned on the foundation as it’s usually insuĜcient. If you are supposed to apply a medicated cream or ointment, say an acne cream, apply this first, then the moisturiser [if required] and then the sunscreen. The sunscreen has to be the topmost layer. The exception to this rule is when you have to use a subgroup of sunscreens known as ‘second skin’ sunscreens that need to interact chemically with the skin to become active. These go as the first layer, then the moisturiser and so on. Your dermatologist will guide you about using these, if s/he prescribes them to you. As with any other pharmaceutical product, keep checking the expiry date and do not use the sunscreen beyond it. Sunscreens protect you from sunburns, reduce tanning and pigmentation, slow down skin ageing, and help prevent skin cancer. Regular use will allow you to enjoy your moments in the sun! Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 85


Urge to purge


Those affected with bulimia eat all they want and then take it all out fearing weight gain „

By Anjali Chhabria

Anjali Chhabria is a practicing consultant and psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience. She has been the president of the Bombay Psychiatrist Society. She conducts workshops and has been a speaker in various conferences as well as corporate meetings. Through Mindtemple, she aims to reach out and help people relate better with each other.

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r X’s 21 year old daughter had been suěering from severe stomach ulcers for two years. Her condition improved a bit but only aĞer a horrifying year and a half of emergency hospitalisations. As Mr X began reading more about stomach ulcers, he discovered that stress and emotional ill health were principle causes of ulcers. As a concerned father, he consulted a psychiatrist for his daughter’s problem. During counselling, he came to know that his daughter was bulimic and regularly indulged in binge eating. He and his wife were a health-conscious couple that made sure that their kids lead a healthy life. But they never realised that their obsession with health put severe pressure on their daughter. They never allowed her to eat junk food or sweets and restricted her diet. Hence, she binged when she went out with friends. But she also feared puĴing on weight and having to answer her parents. So, she would vomit or use laxatives to get the food out of her system aĞer her binges. Mr X’s daughter opened up to her parents during the family therapy session. She admiĴed feeling stressed about her outward appearance because of her parents. She had poor self-worth and low confidence. She longed for a normal childhood eating pizzas, chocolates and wafers, like her friends. Her fear about her weight and inability to have an open and honest relation with her parents was what lead to her condition, which is known as bulimia nervosa.

What is bulimia? Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that involves ‘binge eating’ and ‘purging’. A person folComplete Wellbeing

lows this cycle several times a week. Most eating disorders stem from the fear of gaining weight. The hype over size ‘zero’ has caused a lot of anxiety amongst young women. Physical appearance has become the top priority resulting in unhealthy ways of losing weight, quick. Inability to sustain healthy measures of weight loss may lead one to follow a bulimic paĴern. Bulimia is more common in women than in men and oĞen coexists with mild depression and other mood, anxiety and personality disorders. The binging is emotional eating, precipitated by stress or other emotional concerns. For the aěected individual, food is the only immediate source of satisfaction and happiness. The person is oĞen impulsive about food and is unable to control how much she eats. This results in overeating unhealthy food. However, once the person has eaten, she experiences immense guilt since appearance and hence, weight is also a concern. This leads such individuals to induce purging either by vomiting or by using laxatives. Also, while binging, such people tend to eat at a hurried pace. All this oĞen leads to conditions such as: Peptic ulcers, hyperacidity, constipation, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, inflammation or rupturing of the food pipe [eosophagus], infertility, low immunity and teeth erosion. Moreover, purging harms the digestive system and reduces metabolism over time. The increased use of laxatives too leads to severe gastric complications. Unfortunately, most people suěering from bulimia are aware of the harmful eěects of binging and purging but choose to look at the present gains rather than future complications. They are so habituated to the practice of throwing up aĞer eating that they even try to avoid aĴending social dinners or lunches as they fear they won’t get a chance to purge in privacy.

What causes bulimia? Watch out for these triggers of bulimia: Depression is a common cause of bulimia as in depression there is either a significant loss or an increase in appetite. Life events and situations such as break-ups, loss of loved ones, divorce, failure, or any other factors that may precipi-

tate low self-confidence may cause eating disorders such as bulimia. Those with personality disorders such as borderline and histrionic personality oĞen develop bulimia. Individuals with a pessimistic aĴitude, insecurity, and low self-worth are at a higher risk of developing bulimia. This is so because these individuals compare their physical appearance to others and presume that losing weight would make them look and feel beĴer, increasing their social acceptance. Those who are always on rigid weight loss diets oĞen deprive themselves of foods they like. They suppress their cravings but can’t do so for long. When they let their guard down, they binge on all the faĴening and unhealthy food they can lay their hands on and then guilt follows. Only purging helps appease the guilt. Individuals working in industries that lay emphasis on looks, commonly purge food to avoid puĴing on calories. It’s a common practice.

How is it treated? Actually, it’s a maĴer of being aware. Awareness of what you’re doing in the initial stages and some self-control will prevent the tendency from turning into full-blown bulimia. However, once you cross this stage, you need professional help. A counsellor or a therapist will help you deal with not just the tendency but also the underlying emotional issues eěectively through the Cognitive Behavior Therapy. The therapy helps individuals think in a rational manner. It gives them greater control over their urges and impulses, which makes them emotionally stronger. This leads lead to healthy behaviours. Sometimes, the family may be involved in therapy as close relationships play a big role in one’s feeling of security, self-confidence and self-worth. Enhancing the support system enhances one’s confidence and self-esteem. In some cases, medicines [mostly anti-depressants] may be prescribed along with the counselling. But it’s observed that once the underlying cause is treated, the bulimic tendency disappears too. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

Do you eat and then remove it all out? „ If you are in the habit of purging after eating, even if it’s only occasionally, accept that it’s not normal. Confide in a family member or a friend and then work out a plan to deal with this concern. „ Learn to differentiate between physical and emotional hunger— emotional hunger can be a serious problem causing weight gain

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resulting in regular cycles of binging and purging. You could note down emotions that trigger the urge to eat junk food. Get more aware about your eating pattern and gradually find an alternative healthy activity to help divert your mind. „ Identify any emotional issues that you may be having and seek pro-

fessional help for the same; food is never a solution to emotional baggage. „ When you get the craving to binge, consciously hold back for five minutes. This will help you control the impulse and think more rationally. If you aren’t able to follow these self-help measures, consult a professional.

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Heart stoppers These three heart diseases are notorious for causing the most casualties „

By Nilesh Gautam


Nilesh Gautam,

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arlier, heart disease was considered a rich man’s disease. Today, it cares for no social barrier and doesn’t discriminate between its victims. Also, when speaking of heart disease, people equate it with heart aĴack. But the aĴack is only a symptom—your heart is telling you that something is wrong. And that something is the disease that it’s suěering from. Let’s look at the three deadliest heart diseases: 1. Coronary heart disease 2. Heart failure 3. Hypertensive heart disease.

MBBS, MD [Medicine], DM [Cardiology], is an interventional cardiologist at the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai.

Protect your heart „ Eat healthy: Experts recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension [DASH] eating plan to protect the heart. The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods. „ Reduce salt and sodium in your diet. „ Maintain a healthy weight. Weight gained without exercise is mostly fat rather than muscle. This excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease—high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

„ Stay physically active: Engaging in daily exercise reduces your risk of fatal heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater. „ Limit your intake of alcohol to few drinks a week. „ Quit smoking: Smoking or consuming tobacco in any form is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries [atherosclero-

sis]. Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack. When it comes to heart disease prevention, no amount of smoking is safe. Smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes also are risky as is exposure to secondhand smoke. „ Get regular screenings: High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. Through regular health screenings, you can keep a tab on your blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol. „ Get immunised against pneumococcal and flu infections, which put added stress on your heart.

Coronary heart disease Coronary heart disease is beĴer known as coronary artery disease. The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart. However, they get blocked due to the accumulation of faĴy substance [known as plaque] in the coronary arteries. As a result, the flow of blood to the heart gets restricted, causing chest pain [angina] and heart aĴack [myocardial infarction].

Congestive heart failure [CHF] Also called heart failure, this is a condition in which the heart becomes so weak that it is no longer able to pump enough blood to the rest of the body. Shortness of breath on liĴle exertion is a common symptom of CHF. Heart aĴack generally causes CHF.

Hypertensive heart disease High blood pressure leads to hypertensive heart disease. Due to the constant high pressure in the blood vessels, the heart of hypertensive individuals has to work harder. Over time, because of this, the heart muscles tend to become thick

and stiě, compromising their eĜciency. High blood pressure also causes thickening of the heart vessels. As a result, less blood flows through the vessels leading to a condition known as ischaemic heart disease. Complications that may arise due to hypertensive heart disease include: „ Angina „ Heart aĴack „ Heart failure „ Arrhythmia [irregular heart rhythms] „ Stroke „ Sudden death. Thus, if you are at high risk of heart disease, follow a healthy lifestyle, and watch out for symptoms of any of these heart problems. Prevention equals protection. Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at


Way around the rod

Here are some organic thoughts on disciplining your child „

By Marcy Axness


hildren learn primarily through imitation, taking your cues about everything, and becoming your most exquisite mirror—so always ask yourself: “Am I worthy of my child’s unquestioning imitation?” If yes, then you have resolved 95 per cent of your discipline issues before they even materialise. True discipline is ultimately self-discipline, and the more mastery we develop of our own inner being, the more harmonious family life will be. This is so much easier said than done. For instance, a toddler practising his newly-discovered autonomy by defying you, can push your buĴons of powerlessness like nothing else can. I vividly remember the one time I swaĴed our son’s behind: he was six or seven and was defiantly ignoring me right to my face. Something primitive inside me uncoiled and I whacked him. I regreĴed it immediately, not just for the obvious reason of having been violent with him, but also for the modicum of his respect I lost in that unbridled moment. We lose the admiration of our children when we ‘lose it’. It’s a mammalian thing: animal behaviourists know that our ability to have authority over—and thus the ability to train—a dog or a horse erodes, if the animal sees or feels us get angry. We could learn a lesson or two from understanding mammalian similarities! When it’s necessary to reprimand your child, strive to not do it with a raised voice or the look of disgust or cruelty in your eyes. Aside from the neurologically corrosive eěects that feeling shameful brings, the child will also lose trust in you over time, and will look towards others as role models. Then when your child is in her teens and needs to be able to learn from you the most, your complaint will be, “He just doesn’t respect me”. Children need guidance and instruction, not punishment. It is oĞen more eěective to 90 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

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simply use a gentle, redirecting arm around the shoulder of a young one heading towards trouble than to deploy a string of words to reason with or explain a prohibition [“…for the umpteenth time!”].

Misbehaviour or mistake The term misbehaviour is appropriate when someone truly understands the alternatives and consciously chooses to engage in bad behaviour. For a child, this is simply not the case. She is a scientist figuring out the world, gathering data and conducting experiments. Her behaviours that don’t please us are considered as ‘mistakes‘, rather than misbehaviour. Do we punish people for mistakes? Not if we want improvement, excellence and growth. And even the most suspiciously flagrant ‘mistake‘ of a child reflects an unmet need. Figuring out what that need is—rather than focusing on the inexperienced way the child expressed it or the ineěective strategy she used to meet her need—is central to peace in the home. So for example, ’stealing‘ a piece of your jewellery or some other precious item—yes, even your money—can be a child’s way to get close to you, to keep you with him. HiĴing or teasing another child is also sometimes an inexperienced human’s misguided strategy to connect. And yet that same behaviour—hiĴing, or even biting—will be used by another child [or the same child in a diěerent circumstance] as an aĴempted strategy for meeting an entirely diěerent need, such as the need to feel less fearful, embarrassed, isolated, or envious. A central goal in parenting for peace is to cultivate an atmosphere in which our children are able to live as much as possible in the growth/flourishing mode rather than a stressed/survival mode. It ensures the correct wiring of their social and cognitive brain circuitry, as well as optimally healthy bodies. We need to help when their own emotion regulation isn’t quite yet up to the task. Like the spoĴer who stands ready to help liĞ the massive barbell if the guy on the bench can’t quite summon the strength from his weaker position, we help our child liĞ the load of his distressing emotions until his own neural regulatory system can manage them.

Time-out or time in While it was conceived as a more humane alternative to spanking, a time-out lands a blow to a child’s brain and psyche. Just when the child is overwhelmed by a flood of emotions that she cannot manage, and she most needs the close physical presence of her parent, she’s banished into solitude. What a child throwing tantrums [or, more helpful to think of her instead as a struggling child] needs is ‘timein’—in secure, soothing arms, and the steadying, regulating sphere of your engaged presence.

Creative responses Try these ‘healing actions’ for unacceptable behaviour: HiĴing: Wrap the child’s hands in a scarf and sit next to her: “When your hands are warm and strong, they don’t hit.” Complete Wellbeing

Marcy Axness, PhD, is a professor of prenatal development, and she also has a private practice coaching parents-in-progress. She is a member of an international magazine’s online expert panel, and a popular international speaker. She provides training for childcare, adoption, education, and mental health professionals about the latest findings in the science of human thriving.

[Do the same if you find the child kicking someone] Biting: Give the child a large piece of an apple or a carrot. Make her sit next to you to eat it and say: “We bite carrots, not our friends.” Violent play: Real work is the cure for violent play. Get her to dig holes or move stones in the garden, or to carry wood or stack bricks. Defiance: Between ages two and four, children can be stubborn, and it’s best to simply overlook some of their negative reactions. Just go with the child and begin doing with him what you want him to do, without anger or lots of explaining. Don’t waiver or allow him to wriggle out of it. For example, rather than buĴing heads about him picking up his toys, just begin rhythmically picking up a toy or two and puĴing them into the bin. Like with a yawn, he will hardly be able to keep himself from joining in. Gossiping or aimless chaĴer: Involve her in your work to let her feel the adult’s creative strength focused upon a particular activity. Washing dishes is a wonderful healing action here, as is baking. Sometimes merely listening to children’s upset or tears will ease up the problem enough so that they can respond to a suggestion as simple as, “Just go start over.” It is always more eěective to focus on what the child may do, rather than issuing a “You may not…” prohibition. This approach also reduces the risk of puĴing the child into a disconnected, survival-mode. And in fact, kindergarten teacher Barbara PaĴerson suggests that the very word “may” can have seemingly magical properties. Take for instance, “You may put the forks on the table now”—it presents no question for the child to either answer or ignore, and it implies the notion of privilege to be doing what the adult is suggesting. And indeed, a child enjoying a secure, connected relationship with her parents does find it a privilege and a joy to behave in harmony with their wishes. Keeping these ideas in mind, remember that the single most pivotal ingredient in harmonious, joyful parenting is you—your confidence, conviction, and trust in yourself and in your child. Stay Well Dr Axness is offering Complete Wellbeing readers a free download of a unique, effective mind/body/spirit tool for parents to use in addressing behaviour and/or developmental concerns in children of all ages. To claim your free gift, visit unique-7-step-parenting-tool/ Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 91



ufis say, if you really want to pray, pray in such a way that nobody knows that you are a man of prayer. In the middle of the night when even your wife is snoring, sit silently in the bed and pray, and so silently that nobody comes to know. Don’t make a fuss. The real man of prayer hides and prays, and the pseudo makes much noise about it. In fact, his prayer is nothing but noise; he goes to the temple shouting. In India, every temple has a big bell; he rings the bell so the whole neighbourhood knows. And if there are many people in the temple, then his prayer becomes very long; if there is nobody, he finishes quickly. What is the point?... there is nobody to see. If there is a photographer, then see how prayerful he is, how his face becomes divine! If the news reporters are there, then he will do real prayer. You will see his humbleness, his simplicity. He will fall down on the ground, he will roll on the ground, he will cry and weep—all are crocodile tears, because when nobody is there he does not care a bit.

Sufis say, pray in a way that nobody knows. Why? For the simple reason that ego is cunning. It wants to brag; it wants to brag even about religion, about spirituality, about prayer, about meditation. It does not maĴer what it brags about. It will brag about money, it will brag about meditation, it will brag about power, it will brag about prayer. “I am doing something special, something great, something extraordinary. Don’t think that I am nobody… I am somebody!” The world is full of noise and haste. Why is the world so full of noise? Because each mind is noisy, and the world consists of minds; hence there is so much noise. The whole world has become almost a madhouse. Everybody is shouting and nobody is hearing. Everybody is talking almost to himself; the other is only an excuse. Just look at your conversations: when the other is talking you are simply pretending to listen, just pretending to listen. Inside you are working on your own. And then you will find a word, a sentence, a statement that you can use as a

Crowd, chaos and

the Kingdom Amidst the noice is the treasure waiting to be discovered „

By Osho

92 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

Complete Wellbeing

jumping-board, and then you start talkThere are people who are working ing. Your talking is nothing to do with their whole lives just waiting for their Osho was never born never died. He only visited this planet earth between what he has said; it has a connection retirement; then they will relax and en11 December 1931 and 19 January with what was going on inside you, it joy. And they know perfectly well: six 1990. He was a charismatic and gifted is a continuum inside you; he is just an days they work in the oĜce and wait speaker who became the leader of a worldwide new spiritual movement. excuse. That’s why people never agree, for the seventh day, the holiday, and because they never hear. Husbands hope, “Soon Sunday will come and we never hear what the wife is saying, will relax and enjoy.” And they cannot wives never hear what the husband is saying, children never relax and they cannot enjoy. In fact, the holiday seems to be hear what the parents are saying. Nobody hears! Everybody so long and so boring; they have to fill it with something. at the most pretends. The world is full of noise because the They go for a picnic. The same things that they would world is full of insane minds. have eaten at home, relaxedly, now they rush to a picnic The world can be really silent only when there are many, spot miles away to eat. And they are siĴing in the grass, and many meditators. Only when the world consists of a great ants are clever; they know perfectly well where the picnic majority of meditators, will there be a profound silence, an spots are. Their astrologers tell them, “Go ahead, that is the almost tangible silence. You can touch it, you can taste it, place!” And the mosquitoes, they are always there waiting you can smell its perfume. for you. They say, “Hello, so you have come!” And then We are living out of noise and everybody is in a hurry. quickly people finish because they have to reach home, and they rush. And cars are going there bumper to bumper. And There is great haste, everybody is rushing. Nobody knows many more accidents happen on Sunday than on any other where, nobody knows why…just a deep restlessness. You can’t sit; if you sit, others won’t allow you. They will say, day, many more deaths on the road than on any other day. “Don’t just sit there, do something!” And I say to you, Strange! Some holiday! And the whole city is going to the same picnic spot, the “Don’t just do something, sit there!” Nothing is beĴer than something. But people say just the opposite; they say, same beach! I have seen pictures of beaches and I cannot believe what is happening. There is not even space to walk! “Something is beĴer than nothing. Do something!” When you see the whole world rushing, you start They are packed—no marketplace is so packed! And all rushing. We force children to run. That’s what our whole kinds of fools are there. Six hours it takes them to reach the educational system is meant for, from the primary school beach, then for one hour they lie down amidst this whole to the university. Twenty-five years we waste on every permass of fools under the sun, and then back home... And son—almost one-third of the life to teach him to rush. Then the whole way they were quarrelling with the wife and the twenty-four hours in his day it is rush hour! He is never wife is quarrelling with the husband... This you can do at anywhere for a single moment. He cannot see the beauty of home more at ease, relaxed in an armchair—nag each other, the trees because he cannot sit underneath the trees—Buddo whatsoever you want! What is the point of going to the dha must have known the beauty of the trees—he cannot beach? Nobody is seeing the sea, nobody is seeing the sun. see the beauty of the stars, he cannot see the beauty of peoNobody has time. ple. In fact, when he is in Kabul he is rushing to Katmandu, And these same people think that when they are retired when he is in Katmandu he is rushing to Poona, when he they will rest…they cannot. Sixty years of habits, how can is in Poona he is rushing to Goa! He is never where he is; you drop them? Impossible. They have become so deephis mind is always ahead of him, planning how to reach rooted that people suěer more when they are retired than there. And if you ask him, “For what?” he will say, “We will they have ever suěered, because nobody knows how to rest, enjoy!” And he is not enjoying this moment—how can he how to relax. This is sheer madness! enjoy any other moment? He has lost all capacity to enjoy The only thing worth remembering again and again is: herenow; his only enjoyment is planning, always planning, what peace there may be in silence. Give a liĴle time, energy, planning to enjoy. to silent moments, because only in silent moments will you know what peace is. And the person who has tasted something of peace is rich, is immensely rich—all others are beggars—because he starts knowing the inner kingdom of godliness. Peace is the door to the inner kingdom of godliness. Silence helps you to know peace and peace leads you into godliness.


Excerpted from Guida Spirituale/Courtesy: Osho International Foundation/

Stay Well Have something to say? Send your comments and suggestions to us at

VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 93

Write Notes


Beyond enlightenment

piritual guru Andrew Cohen is a dissatisfied soul, but in a positive sense. While most seekers on the path of truth are out to reach enlightenment, Cohen tells us that enlightenment is an important step, but only the first one. In his new book, he takes us beyond enlightenment. According to Cohen, traditional enlightenment means recognising oneself as being pure consciousness, which is a part of the energy process [the Source] from which the Universe originated, 14 billion years ago. We are truly the absolute non-dual state. While most of us would be content having reached here, Cohen refuses to rest and takes us forward, section wise. The first two sections are devoted to describing traditional enlightenment. Once this is understood, the author reveals to us how existence, or the evolution process, has reached this post modern stage of today. From nothing to light, from light to matter, from matter to unicellular organisms with life, and from unicellular organisms to multi-cellular organisms, which evolved to become you and me, who, according to him, are at the cutting edge of evolution. He says we don’t depend on existence or God, but rather, existence depends on us to take evolution to the next level. And evolution is an urgent and never ending process. It will never get done. Whatever we do or achieve, there will be more to do. Even so, we human beings, who are at the tip of the evolutionary pyramid, need to

94 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

Evolutionary Enlightenment By Andrew Cohen

Published by Jaico Publishing House Pages: 211 • Price: `250 • ISBN: 978-81-8495-310-7

evolve further to facilitate the evolution, which must necessarily happen only through us. If we stop evolving in our consciousness, the entire Universe will also temporarily come to a halt, as far as consciousness is concerned, till one or many individuals can break through this impasse, and take the evolution forward. In a sense, we are the torch bearers of evolution, which is indeed a great responsibility thrust on us. In the third section, Cohen outlines five tenets or rules to live by, which will aid us in going beyond enlightenment. These five tenets are labelled Clarity of Intention, The Power of Volition, Face Everything and Avoid Nothing, The Process Perspective and Cosmic Conscience. By applying these tenets, we can remain at the leading edge of evolution and take the process along. The final section, titled Enlightenment and the Evolution Culture, talks of the concept of emergence and reaching a state, which is beyond the traditional bounds of culture and tradition. The book is written in prose without anecdotes, jokes or examples. While the contents are mind-boggling, Andrew Cohen’s writing style is intense. The average reader will have to really concentrate and persist to read the book. But for those who are already heavily into spirituality and who are looking for something different and path breaking, this is just the book. „ By

P V Vaidyanathan Stay Well

Complete Wellbeing

New kits on the block Sofa beds by Foam Home


oam Home has recently launched Sofa beds, an innovative sofa that can be made into a compact comfortable seating arrangement during the day and a cosy mattress at night only with the help of your thumb and index finger. These Sofa beds are made of high density polyurethane foam, which makes it hygienic and light to handle. They can be customised in size and upholstery based on individual requirements. The Sofa bed is suited for smaller homes, studio apartments, kids’ rooms, guest rooms, hotels, hospitals and even personal offices.

Price: ` 6000 onwards

Yoghurts by Mother Dairy


other Dairy has launched its range of fruit yoghurts, which will be available in four variants—blueberry, raspberry, mango and plum. The key highlight of these yoghurts is that each variant has real fruits soaked in them. Along with yoghurt, the company has also introduced Mishti Doi [sweetened curd] that comes with a shelf-life of 15 days. Price: Yoghurt: `18 for 100g, Mishti Doi: `12 for 90g and ` 45 for 400g

Organic Haus opens organic foods concept store


rganic Haus, the premium allorganic products brand, opens its first store in Mumbai. All the products available at Organic Haus stores are certified organic according to strict German and European Union quality guidelines. The products are sourced mainly from German, Austrian and Northern European manufacturers as they stand for the best in organic quality worldwide. 18 different brands and 80 different product lines are on offer under one roof including breakfast items, cereals, pizza and pasta sauces, breads, oils, teas, chocolates, juices and a lot more. The Mumbai store follows the successful launch of its flagship store in Ahmedabad in November 2011.

Complete Wellbeing

New breakfast cereal by Kellogg’s


ellogg’s has launched the new and improved Honey Loops breakfast cereal for kids. The honey flavoured Honey Loops is a multi-grain cereal made from whole grains of oats, corn, barley and wheat. It is a source of fibre and has 11 essential vitamins and minerals. The cereal is available in packs of 300g, 125g and 30g [single serving] Price: `108 for 300g, ` 50 for 125g, `10 for 30g

Wynncom unveils its first touch ‘n’ type phone


he Tissot Le Locle Automatic Chronometer Edition features a double anti-reflective sapphire crystal, fine hands and a beautifully patterned guilloche dial. The watch sports Arabic numerals to add the touch of modernity. The bicolour option is designed to give it a distinguished look. Swiss made; automatic movement; chronometer with COSC certificate and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.

he new eye-catchy BAR phone by Wynncom is loaded with features like touch and type, dual colour, dual SIM and dual language [English and Hindi]. The phone combines the convenience of a 2.6cm coloured touch screen display as well as the physical alpha-numeric key pad. This slim phone is power-packed with a1800 mAh battery and a 30-day battery standby time. It comes with a 1.3 MP camera, FM radio, a mobile tracker and is equipped with King movie player, which can shrink the video size [700MB to 70MB] and can store 10 times more video in the memory card.

Price: ` 54,900

Price: ` 2249

Automatic chronometer edition by Tissot


Stay Well VOL VI ISSUE 06 „ APRIL 2012 „ 95

Life is beautiful

Why forgive? A compelling case in support of pardoning… „ By Manoj Khatri


ike most ideals, forgiveness is considered by many as impractical. Indeed, whenever I am involved in a discussion about forgiveness, there are a few standard responses— “it’s easier said than done”, “some people are just too mean—they don’t deserve forgiveness” and “can you ask the loved ones of a bomb blast victim to forgive?” Most people think it’s normal for those who have been wronged to hold resentful feelings. Remarks about ‘justice’ oĞen come up in defence of the inability or the unwillingness to forgive. This brings us to an important point about the meaning of forgiveness. Most people think that forgiveness is about leĴing the victimiser, the culprit, the wrongdoer go scot-free. Therefore, whether one can forgive or not depends on the degree of the misdeed. If the crime is grave—such as a terror aĴack, a murder or a rape—forgiveness is out of question. Of course, ‘degree of misdeed’ is subjective and diěers from one victim to another. Still, whatever the act, the focus of forgiveness tends to always be on the oěender. And that’s where the idea of forgiveness is misinterpreted. It is important to understand that you forgiving someone doesn’t absolve the person of the responsibility for the oěence. In fact, forgiveness is NOT about the oěender at all. It is about your own deepest feelings. The prime beneficiary of forgiveness is the one who forgives. According to medical science, forgiveness is immensely beneficial to your health—physical and emotional. The relief you feel when you finally let go of years of pent up biĴerness cannot be described. When you forgive, it unlocks a tremendous amount of energy that was blocked by the negative feelings. Scores of people have reported significant transformation in all dimensions of their lives aĞer undergoing the process of forgiveness. So how does one go about forgiving? The key to forgiveness is to separate the deed from the doer. This distinction is critical because some acts seem unforgivable—so much so that even the most large-hearted people are unable to view them kindly. But forgiveness is given to the person, not the act. And then again, it is given so that you are free from the clutches of ill-feelings you have towards that person. It’s always only about you. Stay Well Manoj Khatri is an eternal soul disguised as a writer,

Forgiveness frees you from the chains of resentment, anger, blame, and revenge

editor, marketing professional, son, brother, husband, friend, counsellor, philosopher, public speaker, social servant, wealth creator, reader, thinker, world citizen, and above all, a human being. He is Editor and Publisher of Complete Wellbeing.

Printed by Manoj Khatri, on behalf of Complete Wellbeing Publishing Pvt Ltd., at Rajhans Enterprises, No. 134, 4th Main Road, Industrial Town, Rajajinagar, Bangalore - 560044, and published by him from Complete Wellbeing Publishing Pvt Ltd., 502, A wing, Sagar Tech Plaza, Saki Naka Junction, Andheri-Kurla Road, Mumbai 400072. Editor: Manoj Khatri 96 „ APRIL 2012 „ VOL VI ISSUE 06

Complete Wellbeing

RNI No. MAHENG/2006/21415 Registered No. MH/MR/North East/211/2010-12 Posted at ndpso/Patrika channel sorting office, Mumbai-1

Complete Wellbeing April 2012 issue [The urgent importance of leisure]  
Complete Wellbeing April 2012 issue [The urgent importance of leisure]  

In spite of overwhelming evidence in favour of leisure, it is still considered a luxury by most of us—so much so that some even feel guilty...