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Vol. 5 | Issue 1 | Feb-Mar 2014 - $4.95

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what’s inside 08 You know him, you love him, it’s Arkie Kandola! 12 Women Abused in Iraq’s Prisons 14 Champions for South Asian Early Childhood Development 16 Remembering Komagata Maru by Gary Thandi 22 Police Violence Against Gay and Bisexual Men in Kyrgyzstan 27 Punjab’s favourite protest venue... The Water Tank! 28 Bangladesh Urged to End Spate of Extrajudicial Killings 32 Tiger Population Grows in India, as Does the Number of Tiger Attacks 35 People may not respect parliament any more: India’s oldest lawmaker

56 How to use LinkedIn to land your next job 57 What successful people read Before Bed

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50 Eye Inspiration from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 52 Six Hair Tricks & Tips That Will Save Your Morning 54 The Sensuality of Classic Stockings


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Careers & Business

44 Move Over Coffee : It’s Time for Tea to Shine 46 Stay on top of your Nutrition Game


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: An Interview Arkie Kandola ptimist. With A Serial O ve him, , you lo You know him

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Life, Etc 78 Is Online Schooling the Best Option for my Child? 80 Letting go of Sentimental Items 82 Desi Girl

Editor Pardeep Sahota


Contributing Writers Jessy Dhillon Dr. Suresh Kurl Amrinder Sahota Rajinder Sahota Gary Thandi Jag Khosa Harprit Patel Sadhu Binning

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RT Appeals E P X E tion

Editor’s Note



One of the best things about editing a magazine is that you learn about all kinds of people, places and things you otherwise would not. Take Arkie Kandola, for example, a budding young entrepreneur as well as an entertainer and trendsetter. When I first met him, I hardly knew a thing about him. Now I can honestly say that Arkie is one of the most positive people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. His outlook on life and the future is refreshing, and his words carry wisdom beyond his young years.


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As we put this issue together, I learned a lot about what is going on around the world - Iraqi women being unjustly imprisoned, the violation of human rights of gay and bisexual men in Kyrgyzstan and extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh. The topics we cover in this issue are international in scope, and I hope you learn from them as much as I did. In our last issue we introduced a short story from one of our regular columnists, and this issue we bring you another pieces from another columnist: a short story on Komagata Maru, a historic event that has affected generations of the South Asian community. We also bring you entertainment news about both Bollywood and Hollywood, and give you a breakdown of one of my favorite TV series, House of Cards. With Spring break around the corner, we also help all you busy parents with some activities to keep your young ones busy for the break. Thank you to those who took the time to write to us over the holidays. Your feedback and suggestions are always welcome, and appreciated. Until next time,

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We call him a comedian because he makes us laugh, but Arkie Kandola is not a comedian any more than the ‘alter-egos’ that have made him a household name in the Internet Community – 2 Turbanz, Milkcake, ASAPArkie, Kinder Kumar and simply Arkie. While not a comic, Kandola is a “student of life” as he so eloquently put it. Arkinder (Arkie) Kandola is the youngest of five siblings, born to an entrepreneur and stay-at-home mom. Raised in an era when $4 an hour was common, Arkie hadbeen working odd jobs,before settling down at Herbalex Canada an all Natural Health Company his father established in 2002. Arkie’s career as an artist how ever did not begin to evolve until he was 28,when an unlikely online Vitamin Water campaign led to the chance to create a commercial with the famous Steve Nash. His work since has been remarkable and he defends the integrity of what he does with compassion: He is quite possibly the most positive person we’ve ever met and tries to convey how deeply he cares about all he does, all while maintaining he could care less. Desi Today: Arkie, thank you so much for talking with us, we really appreciate it. So let’s ask the million-dollar question, what made you start Fatt Boy Entertainment and what led you to start a YouTube channel of racy, but hilarious, videos? AK: God. I think moments happen at times in our life and doors open avenues that we’re destined for, as long as we stay present. I think God leads you to everything. I come from a familyof trade, so film and music weredefinitely not checked off in C.A.P.P class, but here I am.Fatt Boy is not a company but a family. My child hood friend and brother G Kanda is the other half of Fatt Boy Ent, he also happens to own Lickerish Lounge too. We never have any fun there. Never. (As he winks with a smile) DT: How did you manage the transition from YouTube to actually landing acting roles on sets like Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Rogue? AK: I started off with YouTube and thought, why not shoot these off to talent agencies. I did a search of some local agencies and got five or six replies from agencies that were interested in some of my characters. It’s all about character presentation. I don’t necessarily do my work to be vulgar or racy, but just to push me out of my comfort zone. In life it’s easy to become too comfortable, down the road I don’t want to be the dude who’s like where did the last decade go. If we can continue to live out of our comfort, we live more in the present rather than the past or future.

o is ing I won’t d “The only th and be who I am sell out, I’ll A.” is in my DN my culture

DT: Are you an Independent Artist or with an Acting Agency? AK: I’m with Muse Artist Management and my agent is Leyla Carriera. I’m very fortunate to find Leyla, she continues to be an angel in this process. Doesn’t hurt that she continues opening doors of opportunity, getting me into audition rooms with legitimate named directors and producers. Life is about learning, moving forward and having the right people around you. Without love and trust, life is just more than a pakora problem. DT: Do you consider yourself a comedian or an artist? AK: I don’t like labeling myself. Why be one thing in life, why just be an doctor or lawyer, who makes these rules that says we have to be ‘something’ or ‘someone’, why can’t we be a multitude of many things? (Arkie pauses to take a call from his dad). That’s what life is about, finding bits and pieces that help us belong. That’s what the new generation and Internet is about, we’re filling gaps and finding ways to present different types of art. DT: As a visible Sikh actor, do you feel like

you’re limited to certain roles? AK: I think we as a society put limitations on ourselves. Limits are something that we create, and if you look at the universe, there are no limits to it. Us as humans “type-cast” ourselves, but this has been happening for generations and generations, nothing new. DT: Do you feel like there’s enough support locally for young Canadian talent? AK: I think the more the South Asian community gets out of their comfort zone, the easier it is to think for 3005. We’re too concerned about others failures and successes, and even though it’s 2014, an older element of our community is too concerned with what people think. Being from Surrey, we’ve become so comfortable with Punjabi people around that we forget that we are a minority in this world. We need to applaud the originality in our beings rather than create hate within. DT: You push the limit with your videos. Where does that come from? AK: Being the youngest in my family and

le ing to be a ro “I’m not try too e youth, I’m th r fo l e d o m .” my purpose busy finding

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“Life is a blessing. We’ve won the lottery simply being born. I think we forget that at times. I like to keep it simple, humble and happy, God finds a way for everything else.”

having four older brothers, I definitely grew up in an R rated environment. What makes me laugh and cry is very different than others; I find an escape in the characters I portray. DT: On the topic of family, your dad is in a lot of your videos. How have your parents reacted to your type of comedy and videos? AK: I’m blessed to have parents that both accept who I am and what I do. My first video was for a vitamin water contest and I had


a 30-second spot in my head that I wanted to shoot (winner got to be in a Commercial with Steve Nash) I asked him to show up at the Best Western in a tracksuit with an extra keshara. Once he jumped in the tub with his tracksuit on, I knew I wasn’t going to lose the contest. My dad can relate to my content a lot more than my mom for obvious reasons, but its always amusing hearing my mom maar the pump on the phone with relatives. I think it was just yesterday she said “Hanji, Movie vale ne accept karlia kinde nu”


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which in English translates to “yes, the movie guys have accepted Arkie” DT: At what point did people start recognizing you from your videos and YouTube channel? AK: It was after the Steve Nash commercial. It showed me that anything that I put my mind to is possible. The seed has now blossomed from there, our following on YouTube continues to grow daily, especially my international followers. I’m focused on staying blessed and creating a new smile daily. We can’t have it all, I commonly get messages from random viewers confused on what they just watched. I’m not trying to be a role model for the youth;I’m too busy finding my purpose. DT: Where do you get your inspiration for videos? AK: Life and everything in it, people are inspired and motivated by different things. I like to think I’ve opened up an ‘R-Rated” avenue for the South Asian market. The East coast for sure inspired FattBoy Entertainment, but the way God is connecting the dots, YouTube was just a door opened. We’re doing something different and people are going to realize it sooner than later. DT: What’s next for Arkie Kandola and Fatt Boy Entertainment?

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“When they first held me, there was no case against me. They didn’t accuse me of any crime. An officer in Alweya police station demanded $6,000 from me and said they wouldn’t let me go if I didn’t pay.” Israa Salah (not her real name) was interviewed by HRW in Iraq’s death row facility in Baghdad’s Kadhimiyya neighborhood on crutches. She endured nine days of beatings, electric shocks and falaqa (when a victim is hung upside down and beaten on their feet). In March 2012 the abuse left her permanently disabled. A split nose, back scars and severe burns on her breasts were consistent with her alleged abuse. Israa was executed in September 2013 despite lower court rulings that dismissed charges against her because a medical report documented she was tortured into confession to a crime. More than 1100 Iraqi women sit in prisons and detentions in Iraq, according to Iraqi parliament’s Human Rights Committee and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The estimated population of male prisoners is estimated to be over 40,000, proving that there are far fewer women in Iraqi prisons than men. While both men and women suffer from the severe flaws of the criminal justice system, women suffer a double burden due to their second-class status in Iraqi society. 12

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According to information from numerous civil society activists and non-governmental organizations, women are frequently targeted for not only for crimes they themselves are said to have committed, but to harass male family or tribal members. Once detained, even if they are released unharmed, Iraqi women frequently face stigmatization by their family or tribe, who

“They called me daughter of a bitch, daughter of a whore. They pointed a gun at my head and threatened to rape me and continue the electricity if I didn’t agree to everything the judge read from his papers. They told me, ‘We will do whatever you can think of if you don’t say yes.’” - Ibtihal Ahmad, detainee in the Site 4 detention facility.

perceive them to have been dishonored. In late 2012, Sunnis took to the streets demanding that the Shia-led government release women who were being held without charge or because of acts of terrorism allegedly committed by their relatives. Nearly a year after campaigns by media and mass public protests against the treatment of women in detention, there have been no desperately needed reforms made by the government, despite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s announcement of tasking the Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani with overseeing reforms to the criminal justice system. The Iraqi justice system remains plagued by corruption and abused against women from all sects, class and regions. A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) documents abuse to which the Iraqi criminal justice system subjects women during arrest, interrogation, trial and imprisonment. Between December 2012 and April 2013, HRW interviewed 27 women and 7 girls, Sunni and Shia; their families and lawyers; medical service providers in women’s prisons; ministry officials, and two deputy

prime ministers. The report finds that security forces carry out illegal arrests and other due process violations against women at every stage of the justice system, including threats and beatings. Women are subjected to threats of, or actual, sexual assault – often in front of their husbands, brothers or children. Some women reported a lack of adequate protection for female prisoners from sexual attacks by male prison guards, including those from adjoining male prisons. Two women reported that sexual assaults by prison guards resulted in pregnancy. Women and prison officials report that the likelihood of a woman being subject to sexual assault by police is far higher during arrest and interrogation, prior to a woman’s confinement in prison. An Iraqi journalist accused of being married to an Al-Qaeda member was stripped and tied to a column, electrocuted with an electric baton, beaten on her feet and back with a cable and kicked. Later her interrogator extinguished his cigarettes on her body, handcuffed her to a bed, forced her to give him oral sex and raped her three times. “He would relax, have a cigarette, put it out on my buttock, and then start again,” she said. Many women who explicitly denied involvement in alleged crimes describe being pushed towards confessions by interrogators threatening to hurt loves ones. They were told that their daughters were also being held in the same facilities that they were being held in, and would be raped if the women did not confess. Interrogators would often have photos of detained women’s daughters and know who their friends were. Detainees described this torture and threat of violence against their daughters as the reason they signed blank pieces of paper. In almost all the cases documented by Human Rights Watch, courts based

convictions on coerced confessions and secret informant testimony. According to statistics provided by the Prime Minister’s Office, 4200 women in Interior and Defense ministry facilities were Sunni and 57 were Shia. The official response of the Prime Minister’s office and other officials in the Justice and Interior ministries is that claims of abuse of women in prisons are exaggerations on the part of media and NGOs based on lies that detainees have fed them. The argument is that atrocities and abuse of women cannot be committed against women in Iraqi society, therefore although women are reporting abuse in the prison system, the government is refusing to acknowledge the abuse. Despite being pressed for transparency the Justice, Interior and Defense ministry officials could not provide information regarding any official who had been prose-

“As soon as I opened the door they started beating us up and shouting at us, holding out an ID and asking me who was pictured in the ID. I didn’t know who it was. The beatings lasted for about a half an hour. They beat us so hard that finally my youngest daughter begged them to stop beating me, telling them, ‘Stop, she has cancer and you’ll kill her.’ They even beat Sarah, my 17-year-old daughter, who is mentally disabled. They turned the place upside down, searching the house and destroying everything.”

cuted and convicted of torturing a detainee. One obstacle to ensuring justice that has been cited by ministry official is the tremendous amount of danger that judges face when performing their duties. Current judges are frequently harassed and threatened by government officials and armed groups, who have no protection from attacks. In 2012 at least eight judges were killed and ten others were victims of assassination attempts. Additionally, the Office of the General Prosecutor appears to rarely investigate allegations of torture by law enforcement officers. A former judge who asked HRW to not identify him said, “If someone is arrested as part of an emergency operation, no matter how urgent, an investigative judge must still issue an arrest warrant. In exceptional cases, where there is an explosion, for example, the arresting unit can collect testimonies at the scene while they await the issuance of arrest warrants. But what happens in fact is that they arrest them and later have a judge provide a warrant that justified the arrest.” Problems plaguing the criminal justice system are massive and the system needs an overhaul. There are immediate steps that the government can take to begin to address the abuses that women suffer in the criminal justice system. To start, the government must acknowledge the prevalence of abuse of female detainees and condemn torture and ill-treatment in pretrial detention. There must be an investigation of allegations of torture and abuse, and those who are found guilty of committing these acts need to be prosecuted. With respect to arrests of women, the courts should disallow coerced confessions and ensure the arrests of women comply with the Code of Criminal Procedure, which requires defendants have access to a lawyer with adequate time to prepare an effective defense and to challenge evidence against them.

An Iraqi woman looks at a painting drawn by Iraqi prisoner Sajida Mohammed Women protest outside Abu Gharib prison over the treatment of their relatives al-Shemari during an exhibtion of her work in Baghdad, 08 March 2006 while detained 13

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FEATURES Increasingly, researchers, educators and service providers are recognizing the importance of the early years (newborn to age 6) – that positive and nurturing caregivers, families and communities during those years will lead to socially and emotionally healthy children, teenagers and ultimately adults. The needs of children and their caregivers are of particular importance to communities in the Lower Mainland, given the number of families with young children that are moving to this region on a daily basis. And of course, many South Asian families with young children reside in the region – and luckily, there is a group of dedicated professionals and community members who are focused on identifying and helping to support meeting the needs of these families. The South Asian ECD Task Group is a group of dedicated individual and organizations passionate about enhancing support and resources for South Asian children ages 0 – 6 and their families in the Surrey – White Rock area. Since its inception in 2004, the Task Group has focused on providing resources and tools


FOR SOUTH ASIAN EARLY Childhood Development to assist parents / caregivers within South Asian communities. Daljit Gill-Badesha, a Manager with the City of Surrey, is Chair of the South Asian Early Childhood Development Task Group. “The South Asian ECD Task Group is comprised of a dedicated team of volunteers and professionals from the community. We rely on these volunteers, their knowledge and connections, and willingness to go to great efforts to support our community to access new and relevant brain development, child development and parenting information. The Task Group responds to emerging needs arising from the community around this area and delivers the information through first language to ensure we have the broadest reach into the South Asian community. It takes a village to raise a child, parents needs access and information, and communities need to support parents to their job well. This Task Group is a village of support for Surrey and White-Rock”. Susan Papadionissiou is the Coordinator of the Children’s Partnership of Surrey-White Rock as well as a member of the Task Group. The Children’s Partnership of Surrey-White Rock was formed in recognition of the need to collaboratively research, plan, co-ordinate and fund early and middle childhood development initiatives in the Surrey and White Rock area. “The South Asian ECD Task Group works closely with the Children’s Partnership of Surrey-White Rock, to help support all programs in the region to be culturally and linguistically responsive to the needs of families in this region,” explains Papadionissiou. “The South Asian ECD Task Group has worked tirelessly in a time of limited resources and funding, to identify gaps in service and advocate for ways to meet those gaps.” Since its inception, task group members have conducted research - the group released a report entitled “Multigenerational Parenting in South Asian Families” (the article is available in the lat-


FEB / MAR 2014

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est issue of the Canadian Social Work Journal), disseminated information on the early years through a variety of mediums such as print, radio and television, and held a conference for “Community Champions.” “We have many ‘Champions’ in our South Asian communities - physicians, medical and health care professionals, business people, religious leaders, educators, homemakers, labourers, beauticians and childcare workers who are transmitting information and resources to parents,” explains Gill-Badesha. “In addition, all Task Group members are expected to be visible and active champions for children within the South Asian community, using personal networks and spheres of influence to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood development.” The group also produces an annual calendar that provides multilingual information in various South Asian languages. This year’s calendar is available in Punjabi and Urdu. Copies of the calendar will be available through Surrey Libraries, recreation centres, and local community agencies. Task group members meet bi-monthly. To learn more about the Task Group, email or go to the Children’s Partnership website - and click on the “South Asian ECD” tab. The website also features numerous resources in various South Asian languages, such as Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Hindi.

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agata m o K g in r e b Remem


A short story by Gary Thandi It was early morning in late February, 1985, when the plane finally set down. It had been over 25 years since that visit, but now that I was back, it felt like it was just yesterday. I remember the big sign as we got off the plane that said, “Welcome to India,” but I had no interest in feeling welcomed. I wanted to be half a world away, back in Vancouver, my comfort zone. I looked over at the grumpy ten-year old sitting on the patio chair beside me, and, although she couldn’t fathom it, I knew exactly how she felt – like me so many years ago, she wanted to be anywhere but here.


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And I hoped that she would soon change her mind, just like I had. “This is it, Jassi, the place your great-grandfather and I used to sit and talk.” She just nodded her head, ever so slightly – she was clearly underwhelmed by that fact. I had been meaning to come back for years, but unfortunately got caught up in life – I figured I’d wait until I graduated high school, but then college started … so I thought I’d wait until college ended … but then I got married … I thought I’d go sometime after I got married … then the

kids came along … I’m sorry grandfather, for taking so long. I remember the 10-year old me pouting all the way to the customs booth. I also remember mom turning to dad as we waited, saying, “Oh, Balwant, the airport is just the way I remember it.” Then, after looking around, she added quietly (doing her best to keep it

from her kids, but I still managed to hear it), “Except there’s much more security than there used to be.” I had been too preoccupied with the heat and my deep self-pity to notice all the armed guards scattered throughout the airport. I suppose I would have been just as nervous as my parents if I known what it meant to be a Sikh in India at the time. Tensions were high in 1985, but none of that mattered - once grandfather called, the family had to drop everything and get on the first plane out. I couldn’t understand why at the time; I hadn’t never even met him prior to then. Sure, he was the one that named me, but that didn’t mean anything to me. In fact, I probably held that against him. That’s because he had named me Hassan. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how my Sikh grandfather had given me a Muslim name. Not only was it the wrong religion, but it was hard to pronounce to boot. Substitute teachers called me “Haysin” and “Hay-san” and one even called me Jose – I’d wait for them to go do down the classroom roll call, and just when they’d come to my name, I’d say preemptively, “Call me Harry.” My little brother got off a little easier – “Sohan” was much easier to say. When we arrived at the village, we were greeted by my dad’s older brother, Gurdit, and his whole family. And after many hugs and kisses, it was time to meet this man who had such great influence over my family. I slowly walked up to this frail looking old man sitting quietly in chair and said, in the most respectful tone I could muster, “Sat Sri Akal.” Grandfather reached his hand out to mine, and I took a seat beside him – on the very same spot my daughter was now sitting. “Tell me, young Hassan, are you tired after your long flight?” he asked. “Um, yes,” I replied. Luckily, I was able to head straight up to the guest room and go to bed. But in the morning, Grandfather was there again, waiting for me. “Hello Hassan,” he said. “Please have a seat.” I walked over and sat down beside him. “So how are you this morning?” “I’m fine, thank you,” I replied. “But it’s so hot.” He laughed. “You must be used to the Canadian weather.” “Yeah,” I replied. “So Hassan, what’s it like?” grandfather asked. “What is what like?” I asked.

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“Vancouver,” he replied. “It has been seventy years, but I still remember looking out and seeing those beautiful snowcapped mountains off in the distance. It seemed so close, and I wanted nothing more than to set foot on them.” “You were in Vancouver?” I asked. “Baba Gurdit Singh had organized the sailing,” he said. “Until my last breath I will


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remember the smell of that coal. The ship reeked of it. There were nearly 400 of us on that ship – they were all like my family.” His tone then turned somber. “But the people didn’t want us there, and they were ready to shoot anyone who tried to set foot on the land. I was just a child and was very afraid, but thankfully there were many people around me that were not afraid –

people like Gurdit, Balwant, Sohan and Hassan.” My ears shot up when I heard those names. And it wasn’t just the last name that rang a bell - Balwant was my dad’s name, Gurdit was his older brother, my uncle’s name, and Sohan was my little brother’s name. All of those names had been chosen by my grandfather. “Hassan?” I asked. “Yes. I named you after him. And God rest his soul, he would be very proud, knowing you are carrying on his name.” Grandfather proceeded to talk about these men, as well as the others that were on the ship or helping out from the shore. Now, all these years later, I did my best to explain all this to Jassi, knowing there was no way I’d come close to Grandfather’s account of what had happened back then. At least I had the benefit of books, videos and the internet to rely on for information about that ship to at least do it some justice. “Why did the people act like that?” both Jassi and I, 25 years earlier, asked.

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“Basically they were afraid of anyone different than them,” both Grandfather and I replied. I tried asking more questions about his time aboard the ship, but he was more interested in hearing me talk about Canada. That was the highlight of my three weeks. My grandfather spent time with my dad, mom and little brother too, but the porch conversations were ours and ours alone. “Babaji,” I asked, “Why haven’t you ever come to visit?” “Your grandmother, God rest her soul, would say ‘Jaspreet, why don’t you just go and visit Canada?’ But I couldn’t. Back when I was your age, Canada gave me the greatest dream I have ever dreamed, but it shattered those dreams just when I thought they were about to come true. I


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couldn’t go back after that.” But he refused to dwell upon those stories, and would always shift the conversation back to me and my home. “Now, tell me more about Canada.” I sometimes wonder if Grandfather had summoned the family to India just so he could talk to me: a ten-year old kid telling an eighty-year old man about a place the latter had seen back when he was a ten-year old kid. I don’t know if that would make sense to anyone else, but it made perfect sense to me. And as I explained to Jassi, it seemed to make sense to her. “So was he happy hearing you describe Canada to him?” Jassi asked. “Yes, but I decided that it wasn’t good enough to describe it,” I explained. “I wanted him to see that Canada was no longer

the way he remembered it. So I asked him to come back with us.” “What did he say?” I looked at my daughter and wondered if I hung onto grandfather’s every word just like she was hanging onto mine. “He couldn’t say ‘no’ to his grandson,” I replied. After the airplane landed, we got off and picked up our bags – this time there was a “Welcome to Canada” sign to greet him instead of an angry mob. The first thing he said when he stepped outside was “It’s so cold.” I laughed. “You must be used to the Indian weather.” Grandfather’s health continued to deteriorate during the time he was with us, and he eventually requested to go home. He died a few months after returning to India. Although I wanted to go to the funeral, only dad went – tensions had become much too high there to risk all of us going. “He was a great man,” Jassi said. I leaned over and gave Jassi a big hug. “God rest Grandfather’s soul, he would be very proud, knowing you are carrying on his name.” Grandfather’s final request was that his ashes be spread out over the most important places he had been to in his life. Some had been spread out in places in India that he had visited as a young man, and of course, some had been spread out in the village – and one place in particular – around the porch where Jassi and I were sitting – and where Grandfather had spent so much of his days.

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“Here,” my Uncle Gurdit said, handing me an urn. “Your grandfather gave us clear directions that only you could pick these up.” “But,” I said, my voice trembling slightly. I didn’t know that some of Grandfather’s ashes had yet to be spread. “If I had known, I would have come earlier.” Uncle Gurdit laughed. “You were supposed to come at this moment, no sooner no later. Your grandfather told us you would only come when the time was right.” I suppose he was right - I had come at the right time. I looked over at my ten-year old child, and smiled. I knew exactly what I was supposed to do with the urn. Grandfather was coming back to Canada, one last time.

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“They Said We Deserved This” Police Violence Against Gay and Bisexual Men in Kyrgyzstan

In May 2012, 32-year-old Fathullo F. (not his real name) received a phone call from a friend who said he had arranged a date for him with another man near a local hotel. Police officers grabbed him soon after he arrived at the designated meeting location, placed handcuffs on him and insulted him. At the police station the officers hit him in the face and in the ear to force him to write a confession about seeking to meet another man, as well as to provide them with contact information for his employer and his family. The officers threatened to initiate a criminal “sodomy” case against him—even though consensual sex between men is not a crime in Kyrgyzstan—unless he agreed to give them money and contact information for other gay men from whom they could also extort money. He described how police officers treated him in detention: “The officers told me that people like me do not deserve to be on face of the earth. I asked them to let me sit down be22

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cause I was tired. They said that I didn’t deserve to use their chair and spat on me. They said that I didn’t deserve to live and threatened to ruin me if I didn’t give them 10,000 soms [US$214].” Kyrgyzstan decriminalized consensual sex between men in 1998, with the adop-

tion of a new criminal code. Despite decriminalization, there remains a strong social taboo against homosexuality. Before Kyrgyzstan became independent in 1991, only 0.1 percent of men were not married by the age of 50. Current data on this trend is not available, but cultural pressure

AMC The police told me that Kyrgyzstan is not a place for me. They said that they know many men like me. They said, “You are not the first, you are not the last [gay man to be detained].” … They told me that I should stop being gay.

to enter a heterosexual marriage remains strong. Social expectations, particularly in rural areas, also promote masculine gender expression, which includes short hair, wearing dark colors, and demonstrating physical strength. For those who do not conform to these expectations, including many gay and bisexual men, life can be difficult. It is against strong social conformity that a climate of homophobia in Kyrgyzstan emerges. According to Human Rights Watch, the case of Fathullo F. is not unique. Gay and bisexual men in Kyrgyzstan are subject to a range of abuses by police, including physical, sexual and psychological violence, as well as extortion and arbitrary detention. Police who commit these abuses are not held to account, creating a climate of impunity that encourages further abuse. Victims are reluctant to report police abuses to the authorities, fearing retaliation or the disclosure of their sexual orientation to family members and/or



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ers by the police. Very few cases of police torture and violence against gay men are investigated in Kyrgyzstan, and Human Rights Watch is not aware of a single case in which a police officer has been held accountable for the arbitrary detention, torture or ill-treatment of a gay or bisexual man. Violence, blackmail, extortion by police, and a lack of accountability for these crimes, are all too common in Kyrgyzstan, but those who belong to minority groups are particularly vulnerable. Gay and bisexual men are easy targets for abuse due to deep social conservatism. Pervasive homophobia in society and widespread police corruption contribute to these abuses. In general, men in Kyrgyzstan are expected to conform to stereotypical male appearances, marry women and have children. Men who do not fit these stereotypes are perceived as failing to fulfill familial and social duties and are often pressured to conform. Many people perceive homosexuality as a “tragedy” and a “disease.” As a result, many gay and bisexual men interviewed by HRW said that they fear disclosing their sexual orientation to their families and employers and try to conceal it from others at any cost. The 40 gay and bisexual men HRW interviewed for their report all said that police are aware of their fear of disclosure of their sexual orientation and described how police officers exploit this vulnerability to target men they suspect are gay or bisexual. Most, including two who were 17 years old at the time of abuse, reported having experienced some form of physical abuse, threats, extortion or all of these abuses during one or multiple encounters with the police. Many of the men interviewed by HRW also reported ill-treatment in police detention, including being punched, kicked, or beaten with gun butts or other objects. Several also reported sexual violence by police officers, including rape, group rape, attempts to insert a stick, hammer, or electric shock device inside the victim’s anus, unwanted touching during a search, or being forced to undress in front of police. In some cases, the ill-treatment the men experienced at the hands of the police rose to the level of torture. Several men, including one who was 17 years old at the time of abuse, told HRW investigators that police threatened to rape them, in some cases with a coat hanger or a bottle. Police also often asked humiliating personal questions, such as whether they play an active or a passive role in sex. 24

FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View

Most of the gay and bisexual men interviewed said that the police had threatened to disclose their sexual orientation to family members, employers, university administration (in the case of students), and others. In Kyrgyzstan, the disclosure of a person’s sexual orientation can have serious consequences, including violence, loss of employment, and long-term social and family ostracism. Many of those interviewed also reported that police had compelled them to pay money, ranging from $12 to $1,000, in order to avoid further physical violence, being detained, or the police disclosing their sexual orientation to family members or others. Police in Kyrgyzstan have no legal right to detain gay and bisexual people solely on the basis of their sexual orientation. In 1998, Kyrgyzstan ended Soviet-era criminalization of consensual sex between men with the adoption of a new criminal code. Despite this, Human Rights Watch found that police arbitrarily stop gay and bisexual men in public places or take them into custody solely because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation. Police identify gay and bisexual men through dating websites, outside of gay clubs, and in parks where gay and bisexual men meet, among other locations. Kyrgyzstan’s laws prohibit torture, illtreatment, arbitrary detention, and extortion by police, as do Kyrgyzstan’s commitments under international law. Despite these legal protections, this report finds that current systems of addressing police abuse are not sufficient for protecting gay and bisexual men from violence and extortion. Of those men interviewed by Human Rights Watch for this report, only two filed official complaints about the abuse they had suffered. One victim never received a response to his complaint. In another case, the prosecutor’s office conducted an inquiry that ignored medical evidence of injuries against the victim and declined to open a criminal investigation. Many of the gay and bisexual men interviewed including human rights defenders, told HRW that they feel unable to file complaints and access existing systems of redress, and that they lack confidence in the authorities’ willingness to pursue their complaints. They have legitimate fears of retaliation by those who abused them in the first place or by other law enforcement officials. They also fear that law enforcement officials will fail to respect their privacy and confidentiality or will disclose their sexual orientation to the public, family

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members, or others. In January through August 2013, the Bishkek-based LGBT organizations Labrys and Kyrgyz Indigo documented at least 11 attacks on lesbian, gay and bisexual people based on their sexual orientation. Of these, five gay men and two lesbians were victims of police abuse. Police arbitrarily detained all five of the gay men in public places and forced them under threat of disclosure of their sexual orientation to hand over money. The police detained the two lesbians who were in a park, filmed them while they asked them personal questions, and forced them to pay 4,000 soms (US$ 80) in order for the police to delete the videos. In four other cases, the perpetrators were unidentified assailants. In one case from July 2013, four men followed a 20-yearold gay man as he left a store, dragged him into a nearby botanical garden in Bishkek, and raped and beat him, breaking his hand and giving him a concussion. The man did not report this incident to the police. Two LGBT activists were also victims of homophobic attacks in the first half of 2013. On March 11, 2013, five men attacked Nazik Abylgazieva, the executive director of the Bishkek-based LGBT organization Labrys, at a club. One attacker hit her with a glass bottle, giving her a concussion. When police arrived they told Abylgazieva that she should not expect anything less from perpetrators because she is a lesbian. The police registered Abylgazieva’s complaint but did not proceed with an investigation. In a separate case, on May 27, 2013, five waiters in a restaurant in Osh harassed a group of gay men, including four gay men from Osh, a Labrys board member, and three employees of the Bishkek-based LGBT rights NGO Kyrgyz Indigo, all of whom were visiting Osh. The waiters fol26

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lowed the group, called them “fags,” and told them that gays were “not welcome” in their restaurant. One of the waiters punched the Labrys board member in the jaw. The men did not report the incident to the police, out of fear for their safety. The man from Osh moved to Bishkek fearing further violence. In interviews with Human Rights Watch, Ministry of Interior officials openly stated that they are unable to protect victims, including gay and bisexual men, who file complaints from possible repercussions by police or law enforcement officers. The cases of police abuse against gay and bisexual men documented by Human Rights Watch indicate the need for enhanced and targeted efforts to prevent and punish torture and ill-treatment, including when committed against gay and bisexual men. Human Rights Watch and other international and domestic human rights groups have documented persistent police abuse in Kyrgyzstan. Minority groups, including ethnic Uzbeks, drug users, sex workers, as well as LGBT people, are particularly vulnerable to violence and extortion on the part of law enforcement officials. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has reported that it received reports about arbitrary arrests, extortion and abuse by police in Kyrgyzstan throughout 2012. Following his December 2011 mission to Kyrgyzstan, UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, concluded that the “use of torture and ill-treatment to extract confessions remains widespread.” Mendez identified the following forms of torture as a pattern: asphyxiation with plastic bags, punches and beatings with truncheons, the application of electric shock and the introduction of

foreign objects into the anus, or the threat of rape. In its concluding observations after a review of Kyrgyzstan in November 2013, the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) stated that it is “deeply concerned about the ongoing and widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, in particular while in police custody to extract confessions.” The OSCE secretary general’s 2012 report on police-related activities across the OSCE area noted that Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs demonstrated “limited commitment” to addressing allegations of human rights abuses and prioritizing an internal mechanism to address these allegations. According to one expert who has analyzed the OSCE police reform project in Kyrgyzstan and other countries in Central Asia, officials of Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs have “consistently ignored the importance of improving human rights,” as part of the police reform process. The expert stressed that more should be done to involve community leaders, NGOs, local governments, and political leaders in shaping police reform. According to Voice of Freedom, a human rights organization in Kyrgyzstan working on torture and other rights issues, in 2012 the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan registered 371 complaints of torture. In 340 cases, investigators refused to open criminal investigations into the complaints. Twenty cases were sent to court; but only 11 police officers were convicted. Non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations also report that police corruption is widespread. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan highlighted corruption within law enforcement in its proposed strategy for law enforcement reform for 2013-2017. The government of Kyrgyzstan should take steps to encourage reporting of complaints of police violence and extortion against gay and bisexual men, including by ensuring that the recently established National Center for Prevention of Torture and the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights have the mandate and means to receive and adequately investigate such complaints. The authorities should ensure that all allegations are promptly investigated in a manner capable of leading to prosecutions of perpetrators. The authorities should immediately establish victim and witness protection programs to ensure that gay and bisexual men and others may safely file complaints without fear of retaliation.


Punjab’s favourite protest venue...

The Water Tank!

Protests by various groups and organizations in Punjab are going sky high - literally, that is! People are now clambering up water tanks to hold protest. In recent years, tower-type community water tanks have become the newest, and sometimes deadliest, protest points in the state - something akin to what actor Dharmendra did in the 1975 blockbuster movie “Sholay”. Dharmendra, incidentally, hails from Punjab. Be it unemployed teachers, women, employees or other protesting groups, community water tanks have become a rallying point for many of them in recent years. The protestors just climb up the water tanks, some of them as high as 100 feet, and perch themselves there for the protest. In recent months, protestors have climbed water tanks in Bathinda, Kapurthala and other places. “You can say that the inspiration for the water tank protests came from the Dharmendra act in “Sholay”. But the protests being carried out in Punjab are not acting but genuine ones for a valid cause. In certain cases, people have lost their lives while some have been injured,” Swaranjit Kaur from Ludhiana, who participated in one such protest atop a tank in Kapurthala town in 2007, told IANS. In June 2010, two unemployed women teachers were seriously injured when they jumped from the top of a

90-foot water tank near Bathinda town, 250 km from state capital Chandigarh. Nearly 10 teachers, including women, had perched themselves atop the water tank and were threatening to immolate themselves if the state government did not agree to their demands, including giving them jobs. A woman teacher, Kiranjit Kaur of Faridkot, had set herself on fire in Kapurthala town, 200 km from Chandigarh, in February 2010 after the state government failed to honour a promise to fulfil the demands of education guarantee scheme (EGS) teachers. She was one of the four protesting EGS women teachers who had climbed on the tower-type water tank at the civil hospital complex in Kapurthala. Having got 90 percent burns, she later succumbed to her injuries in hospital in Ludhiana. A police official was accused by the protestors of instigating and challenging her to carry out the self-immolation threat. Within seconds, Kaur sprinkled kerosene on herself and was engulfed in fire. Some of her fellow women teachers fainted on seeing her burn. Others could hardly do anything to save her. “When the protestors climb on water tanks, we try all means to persuade them to come down. Some of them refuse to budge and keep sitting there for some days. The protests on water tanks can

be dangerous and even fatal,” police officer Gurdeep Singh told IANS. In September 2007, nine teachers in Punjab, including five women, did the water tank stunt in Kapurthala town and threatened to jump if their arrested colleagues were not released. Caught unawares, the authorities roped in a local unit of the army to spread nets under the tank to save the teachers if they actually jumped. The authorities had to order the release of 150 teachers arrested earlier. “We know that such protests on water tanks are dangerous. But the government does not seem to listen when the protests are carried out on the streets. This is our way of bringing our issues to the notice of the government,” unemployed youth Balwinder Singh said. While most protests are for a genuine cause like getting jobs, others do it even for trivial issues. In March 2012, undertrial prisoner Lakhwinder Pal climbed up the water tank inside the Gurdaspur Central Jail to show his protest. He was upset at not being allowed to smoke and demanded a cigarette. By Jaideep Sarin, IANS

FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View



An alarming rise in the number of killings of political activists in Bangladesh since disputed parliamentary polls has left grassroots campaigners across the country fearing for their lives.

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Labelling the arrests and subsequent deaths of activists “extrajudicial killings”, opposition leaders have blamed the government for targeting opposition activists. Several ruling party activists have also been killed over the past two months. Human rights groups fear that the crisis is likely to become even worse in coming months, if the government does not take drastic steps to bring the killers to justice.

Deaths in custody Robiul Islam was arrested on January 27. “Police sources had later informed that, following a tip-off, a team of the joint forces [the police and paramilitary agencies] had conducted a raid,” said Saifur Rahman, a journalist based in Jessore. “After they were allegedly attacked by opposition activists, a gunfight ensued between the two sides, during which Robiul was shot.” The Bangladesh National Party (BNP) activist died a few hours later, at a nearby health facility. The police alleged that Islam was involved in the killing of Chaitanya Kumar Mandal, a local ruling party leader, a day earlier. While the names and locations change, the story remains the same across the country, as police and security forces claim those who have been shot dead in custody over the past month had themselves been involved in killings. On January 30, Touhidul Islam, one of the BNP’s district party leaders, was also killed in a similar “gunfight” after he was arrested in Sonaimuri. In its January 2014 monthly report, Odhikar, a Dhaka-based human rights group, counted more than 30 extra-judicial killings, “allegedly conducted by RAB [Rapid Action Battalion], police, BGB [the paramilitary Border Guard] and joint forces” - in that one month alone. The report also said that 26 of those killed were either activists or leaders of the BNP or Jamaat, the country’s largest Islamist party. Atiqur Rahman, a joint secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra Dal - the student wing of the BNP - was one of those killed last month. After being accused of attacking Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor’s motorcade in December, 26-yearold Rahman had gone into hiding in Tangail, in the centre of the country. “On the night of January 13, at least six people who claimed to be members of the detective branch of the police stormed into my house and picked up Atiqur and Mohidul Islam [Rahman’s cousin and Jamaat activist],” said Babul Khan, a relative who was sheltering Rahman. Although Rahman’s corpse was reportedly recovered by police on January 20 near the Saidpur bypass road, the family say his cousin Mohidul is still missing.


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Some 302 BNP leaders and activists and its 18 allies - have been either murdered or “disappeared” between December 26 and January 27, said Khaleda Zia, BNP chairperson, on February 4. Some 29,262 opposition supporters were arrested across the country during the same period, she said. “Security forces and ruling party activists were behind the killings and forced disappearance,” said Zia, a two-time former prime minister. “According to the information collected at BNP headquarters, in one month, 242 opposition leaders and activists were killed and 60 were victims of enforced disappearances,” Zia told reporters. The fear of arrests and extrajudicial killings has gripped political campaigners. “Naturally, there is a confusion and fear especially among our grassroots activists,” Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, the BNP’s joint general secretary, told Al Jazeera. He said the pervasive trend of extrajudicial killings and attacks, allegedly pushed by “the dictatorial government”, was dampening the spirit of party workers and leaders. “But it is also enforcing their collective belief and will to fuel the movement against such oppressions,” he added.

Attack on ruling party activists

“... in one month, 242 opposition leaders and activists were killed and 60 were victims of enforced disappearances” Khaleda Zia, a two-time former prime minister 30

FEB / MAR 2014

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The murders have not been confined to opposition activists, however. Since January 6, the day after Bangladesh’s widely discredited general election, at least nine ruling party officials have been murdered, mostly in attacks by opposition supporters, local media reports. The latest victim was 30-year-old Mahbubur Rahman Rana, who was attacked by four or five men on January 23 at Dhaka’s Moghbazar intersection. Witnesses said the attackers wore helmets and swooped on Rana when he was trying to start his motorbike at the busy junction at around 6:30pm. After shooting and stabbing Rana, the assailants fled the scene. Rana was declared dead by doctors after being rushed to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. On January 17, Fazlur Rahman, a local government chairman and an executive member of Natore district’s Awami League, was killed in an attack in the district’s Singra area. Relatives of those killed worry that the people being arrested for the murders of their loved ones are likely to be innocent. “The police have recently informed me that some of the miscreants who killed my husband have been arrested,” said

sun Nahar, a resident of Satkhira in Bangladesh’s south-west. Abu Raihan, Nahar’s husband and a ruling party activist, was beaten to death by a mob of masked men on November 21. “I think the people arrested were not involved during the murder,” she added. Ruling party MP and State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told Al Jazeera that perpetrators would be brought to justice. “The police are doing everything to arrest the murderers of the nine ruling party activists,” he said. When asked about the deaths of opposition activists, he replied: “There is no extrajudicial killing in Bangladesh.” “The deaths [of opposition activists and leaders] are due to exchanges of fire between the law enforcers and the criminals. They are armed criminals. When the police go to arrest them or raid their hideouts, they open fire on the police who fire back. That is how the criminals die. As far as I know, they are all criminals, accused in numerous cases.”

evitable in Bangladesh.” Human Rights Watch has urged Bangladesh’s government to bring a halt to the deaths. Brad Adams, executive director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, said the repeated use of “the same story” - that of a detainee somehow being shot when taken to the scene of an alleged crime was “ridiculous”. “These stories are even less believable when the victim is a politically unpopular person,” he said. “The authorities simply have no credibility when they make these

claims.” Under successive governments, Bangladesh has a long and well-documented record of extrajudicial killings through alleged “crossfire”, Adams told Al Jazeera: “[The] BNP, the caretaker government and Awami League have all used security forces against political opponents.” He stressed that law enforcement agencies “should operate on a professional basis, free of political pressures”. “As long as this continues, the public in Bangladesh will have little confidence in law enforcement agencies.”

Little confidence Human rights groups fear the worst for Bangladesh’s politics if the killings of political activists continue. “The rate of killings have increased at an alarming rate,” said Nur Khan, director of investigations at Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights organisation in Dhaka. ASK noted 33 extrajudicial killings during January. Last year, they recorded more than 200 extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh. “The targets are mostly opposition activists and leaders,” said Khan. “If the opposition is not allowed to practice their democratic rights to protest, they will eventually look for other alternatives. “If political killings continue, the rise of armed religious political parties will be in-

Some Bangladeshi student studying in Stockholm, have organized a demonstration in Sweden, against the Extra Judicial Killing taking place back home in Bangladesh.

FEB / MAR 2014 News With A Desi View



dia, n I n i s w o r G tion a l u p o P r e g i T r of e b m u N e h t as Does

r e g i T s k c Atta Tigers are not an uncommon sight in India, which is home to about 1,700 of them, but most don’t eat humans. Yet over the last month there have been reports of at least 17 people eaten by the beasts in various parts of the country. In Ooty, a town in the south of India, schools were shut down for more than a week while a group of more than 300 forestry and police officers hunted one tiger that killed three people. Residents of the town were told to stay indoors after dusk. Last week, the tiger was shot dead. Most attacks on humans by tigers are in self-defence. But a series of attacks on people is a good indication the tiger has acquired a taste for human flesh. Victims have been claimed in four states, including Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka, where two “man-eating” tigers have been captured. But the tiger terror is not over yet. In Uttar Pradesh, another tigress, believed to be a stray from the Jim Corbett National Park, has claimed seven lives since December. Rupak De, a senior official, told the AFP news agency that the animal “must still be hungry as it has been running without rest and adequate food.” Anxiety has mounted gradually since Dec. 29, when the first victim, a farmer, was found mauled in a sugarcane field in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Around a week later, 20 miles to the north, a young man told a television crew that he was standing with his sister when a tiger “caught her by the neck and took her away, into the sugarcane.” A string of attacks continued, tracing a 90-mile journey north toward Jim Corbett National Park, across the state border in Uttarakhand, a nature preserve that claims one of the world’s densest tiger populations and is named for a tiger hunter and conservationist.


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FEATURES A 45-year-old worker named Ram Charan got out of a car to relieve himself on a roadside in Jim Corbett National Park. When his companions ran toward his screams, they found him 60 feet into the forest, the flesh torn off his thighs. After he died, angry villagers surrounded a forestry service outpost, trapping personnel inside for some time, Shiv Shankar Singh, the top bureaucrat from the neighboring district of Moradabad, said in a telephone interview. Trackers have gradually pieced together a portrait: The paw print, roughly five inches wide, suggests a female — a breeding one, since her canines are intact, said Belinda Wright, executive director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India. One paw does not lay flat on the ground, suggesting that the tiger is injured, Ms. Wright said. The nature of the tiger’s attacks on humans seemed to change noticeably after the first three or four attacks, Ms. Wright said, when “she realized how easy it is to kill people and that they’re actually quite tasty.” Others, though, doubt tigers develop a taste for people. The hunters, for instance, believe she probably has a problem with her mouth, perhaps an infected tooth, and has an easier time eating human flesh. While most tigers flee at any sign of people, humans are also much easier prey: slower than deer, weaker than buffalo and with soft skin that is easy to bite through. Tigers who have become “man-eaters” must be killed, said Ms. Wright, but they are extraordinarily difficult to capture. “They just become like ghosts,” Ms. Wright said. “She can appear anywhere at any time in that district and take out another victim, and no one will ever see her. People might be standing next to her and she will just be a shocking blur.” Across the state border in Uttar Pradesh, gunmen have been summoned and given license to kill. Sanjay Singh, a registered sharpshooter, was summoned by the forestry service after the seventh fatal attack, and has spent three weeks in the area. He said he believed that the man-eater has moved to an area so densely forested that it is impossible to ride on elephants, as tiger trackers prefer, and so he and a dozen trackers are patrolling on foot, combing the forest from morning until sunset. “Now there is no alternative except to kill her,” he said. “Otherwise she will keep on killing people. It is a very dicey game, which is very dangerous, and thrilling as well.” India’s wild tigers are considered endangered because of rampant poaching and shrinking habitat as India undergoes breakneck development to accommodate the staggering growth of its 1.2 billion people. For generations, few in these villages even thought about tigers. The encroachment of towns, widespread poaching and incompetent wildlife programs had devastated India’s tiger populations, forcing them into ever-smaller enclaves. Corbett National Park, one of India’s premier tiger reserves, is barely 25 miles away, but while the villagers around here are used to living with wildlife — the forests and fields shelter leopards, monkeys, foxes, bears and wild boars — tigers were extremely rare. The last decade, though, has seen improvements in tiger conservation and growth in the tiger populations. If that is good news in many ways, it has also increased the chances of encounters between tigers and people. India today has more than half of the 3,200 tigers estimated to be left in the wild. Despite dozens of tiger reserves across the country, however, the numbers have sunk from an estimated 5,000-7,000 in the 1990s, when the big cats’ habitat was twice as large. 34

FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View


People may

not respect parliament any more: India’s oldest lawmaker By Raymond Kharmujai, IANS

Rishang Keishing, 94, arguably India’s perhaps the world’s - oldest lawmaker who has served four terms in parliament, laments the depths to which parliamentary proceedings have plummeted but is confident that the younger generation will restore the balance. The four-time Manipur chief minster, who has escaped many an assassination attempt, says it’s time to bid adieu to active politics when his second Rajya Sabha term expires April 9, but he’ll continue to serve the people in a “different capacity”. Reminiscing about his two terms as a Lok Sabha member (the first on the Indian Socialist Party ticket), the veteran Congress leader rued the behaviour of members disrupting the proceedings as had happened in the last few sessions. “I feel very sad about what we now see in parliament. It is no longer what it used to be. I remember those constructive, articulate debates which make you think. Members respected the speaker and no one disrupt the proceedings,” Keishing told IANS in an interview on return from New Delhi. “But these days we see members shouting on top of their voices in the temple of democracy and members rushing to the well of the house instead of spending their valuable time inside the house. I am telling you people are watching what is happening inside parliament. I am worried that people may not respect parliament any more and aren’t you worried too?” he asked. At the same time, he has not lost hope

as he strongly feels that India’s younger generation “is well-educated and many of them are now taking part in active politics to take the country to a new path of development and to do it further good”. Keishing said last week it was time to change tack. “I have had enough (of electoral politics). But it doesn’t mean that I will sit idle at home. I still have a lot of work to serve all sections of people to ensure peace and bring development across Manipur,” Keishing said. His eldest son, Victor Keishing, has al-

ready followed in his footsteps and is now a lawmaker in the 60-member Manipur assembly. The tribal Thangkhul Naga, who hails from Bungpa Khunou village in Ukhrul district, made his maiden entry into the Lok Sabha on the Indian Socialist Party ticket in 1952. Keishing, who had worn different political hats as chief minister, assembly speaker and cabinet minister for several times, escaped many assassination attempts. In 1985, when he was chief minister, his convoy was attacked by rebels. Four of his bodyguards were killed and several injured. “I am thankful to Jayaprakash Narayan for having faith in me to contest the first Lok Sabha elections from Manipur Outer parliamentary constituency on an Indian Socialist Party ticket in 1952,” Keishing said, recalling how India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, had asked him to join the Congress after the 1962 Chinese invasion of what was then the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), now Arunachal Pradesh. Since then, he has remained a Congressman - itself a record of sorts. “I am glad that I have worked with Pandit Nehru, Indira (Gandhi), Rajiv (Gandhi) and now with Sonia Gandhi. Indira and Rajiv were great human beings who were concerned for the common people. Similarly, I see that Sonia and Rahul too are following their footsteps and have announced several development schemes which are in the interest of the common people,” the school teacher-turned-politician said.

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No one really likes doing it but the truth is that fighting is inevitable in any relationship. It just comes with the territory. If the gloves are going to come off, it is best to fight clean. Yes, there is a right way to fight in a relationship, and here’s how to do so without hitting below the belt:

Know What You’re Fighting About Even if it starts out about something silly, like not putting the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, you need to know what is at the root of the conflict. Maybe the real issue is you feel that your partner doesn’t help out enough around the house; maybe you’ve asked them to clean up time after time and you are feeling that they are just not lis-


Fight Fair

tening to you. The key is communication. Make sure you understand what the deeper issues are and whether or not it is worth blowing up over. Once you have identified that, communicate it to your significant other. Give your partner a chance to see the big picture so that they know you are not blowing your fuse over something small, even though that may have been the catalyst.

Know the Rules The days of punching each other and name calling should be left on the playground. Being physical is never the answer. And sometimes words can hurt even more than any slap in the face, so choose them wisely. Odds are, you know which buttons to push that are sensitive for your partner.

IN A Relationship


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Don’t push them just to see what happens. We all have our baggage and issues that are off limits. Stick to what is relevant and don’t ever say something just to be hurtful, no matter how hurt you are. Be the bigger person and turn the other cheek. If your partner is constantly pushing those hotbutton issues and going where you told him not to, it might be time to walk away and not become a fellow mudslinger.

Know Who to Involve Being in the middle of a lover’s quarrel is never fun. It is a fast way to lose friends, so never involve them. Of course, we all confide in our besties to hear us out and blow off some steam, but they should never be called upon to do your fighting for you. Don’t force them to choose sides. And for the love of all things holy, don’t post/ tweet/Instagram about these disagreements. That is TMI for everyone else and just plain inconsiderate of your partner’s privacy.

Know How to Change They say you can’t change people, and maybe sometimes you can’t. But if you really love someone and are getting to a point where you are fighting over the same issues again and again, think about what you can do differently. Change doesn’t have to mean reinventing yourself or being brainwashed. Sometimes it just means bending a little. Try offering up healthy compromises when you and your partner are fighting. Sometimes it’s about what you can do to help rather than just pointing out how the other person is not helping. Remember, you are ultimately fighting for your relationship. Everyone has the right to be heard. Don’t worry about “winning” or “losing” your arguments, just be willing

to work towards a solution together. If your partner is not interested in solving things, then question what you are doing together in the first place. And above all else, don’t ever be afraid to say “I’m sorry.” It doesn’t negate everything you said or make the fight null and void, but it does show that you are mature enough to admit that you care about your significant other and their feelings. Some things are worth fighting for, and some are not. Regardless, finding common ground is the best way to win someone over or maybe even win someone back. And that’s how everyone wins.

Know How to Walk Away A dramatic exit is great for a wedding or a theatrical performance, but when in the middle of fighting, it is never wise to leave kicking and screaming. Don’t slam doors or kick someone out of a car. If you truly need to leave the situation to deal, then explain calmly that you are angry and need to take a walk. And don’t leave in the middle of your partner saying their piece – as ridiculous as it may be. If you want to be heard out, you have to hear them out. Even if things end in a break up, try to walk away with grace so that you will always be remembered as the one who got away – not the drama queen who slammed doors, screamed, cried and ended up single.

Know How to Deal Fighting never feels good, but you need to handle this dispute like an adult. If you are feeling really angry, I recommend a hardcore workout to get that aggression out of your system. Any sort of meditation or maybe a spa treatment or massage are a good idea. Maintain your calm and focus on you, and your health. Take the time to hang out with friends and family and cherish the other relationships in your life that are important to you.

FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View





When it comes to your choice of outfit or weight, partners tend to lie. As long as the lies are harmless, they are acceptable. Here’s a list of common harmless lies, reports Does my butt look big in this? Answer: Not at all. It may look rather robust after the holidays but if he tells you that you look like a celebrity, you know that he’s lying.

Is she prettier than me? Answer: No. In his eyes you are the prettiest woman in every room, but the reality is that there are always girls who are better


FEB / MAR 2014

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looking than you. As long as you make the best of what you have then you’re the prettiest you can be.

What do you think of my hair? Answer: I love it. He can’t come up with a better response. So even if he thinks you look a little disheveled, he won’t tell you that.

What dress looks better? Answer: I like them all.

He’s always going to choose the hottest one that you have, but he’ll try and pick the one that you seem to like the most.

Do I look fat in this? Answer: No. Responding “yes” to this question would drive any woman to a chocolate and wine binge-fest. Any man that answers anything else than ‘no’ to this question is not only a fool, but a fool in the dog house.


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LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS Another day, another divorce. At least that what it seems like these days. The winter has not been kind to many celebrity couples, nor has it been that great to many real-life couples that you may actually know. These days it seems like more and more people are having issues within their marriages, and are choosing to call it quits rather than working through whatever problems they may have. The decision to get married is the biggest decision that most people will make in their lifetime. Ample consideration should be given to the decision before deciding that you want to take the plunge. So how do you know if your perfect partner will make the perfect spouse? Read on to find out how.

Don’t Dismiss Their Past If there is a chapter of your partner’s history that bothers you because it doesn’t sound like the person you know and fell in love with, you need to decide if your relationship could survive a repeat, because odds are good that old habits will return. The best predictor of a person’s future behaviour is their past behaviour. If your partner’s relationship history is a sordid tale of flings and bitter exes, it’s tempting to think that you’re the one person amazing enough to reform them

but people inevitably revert back to their old behaviour. That being said, people do change. You need to figure out if the poor behaviour of your partner’s past was specific to that stage in their life, or if the traits exhibited are hardwired into their personality and just buried for now.

Know What You Need You may love that your partner picks the best restaurants and has great style which is all great, as long as you’re not so dazzled by a few qualities that you overlook the fact that they are lacking more important ones. Think about five or six qualities that you absolutely need your spouse to have, like sharing your views on religion, family, or money. Then think about the ones you’d like them to have. You should aim to marry someone who has more of the qualities you absolutely need to have, not the other way around. As you look over your partner’s qualities, consider whether they have downsides and if you can handle them. For instance, you may love that your boyfriend has a great career as a management consultant, but if his job requires lots of travel, will his success compensate for his absence from your life? If you’re the type of person who likes to spend your nights cuddling on the couch with your sweetie, this may be a

r o y r r a To M y r r a M o t Not

problem in the long run and you won’t be happy in the future.

Think In the Present So your partner is a struggling artist who is aspiring to be a chart-topping superstar singer. Will you feel just as lucky to be with them if their bills are piling up and they’re singing at weddings for a living? Remember that you’re marrying the person and who they are right now, not who they plan on being five or ten years down the road. It’s great to be attracted to someone’s passion, but don’t be attracted to their future career as that can change. You need to be okay with the possibility that the rest of the world won’t be as convinced of your partner’s talents as you are. This is key because frustration with the difference between what you expected and the reality you got is one of the leading sources of marriage unhappiness over time. Be Aware of Family Dynamics Depending on how close your partner is to their family, remember - it’s not just the person you’re marrying. While you may be able to ignore your partner’s family right now, once you’re married, their family will play a big role in your life. Those people will not just be at your wedding but also half of your future holidays, at the hospital when your children are born and quite possibly in your guest room for extended family visits. You don’t need to LOVE each other’s families, but you need to be on the same page about how involved they will be in your lives. Family dynamics shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but should be considered and prior to getting married a compromise should be discussed. Lay out expectations ahead of time so you understand what you’re getting into. If your partner has their family on pedestal when the only raised platform they belong on is a Jerry Springer stage, that could be a problem. You Need a Spark! Shared values aside, there is a primal truth in relationships: There needs to be sizzle and spark. It’s easy for you to convince yourselves that stability is more important than attraction, but you need chemistry for a relationship to work. Being successfully married means being more than best friends. Great sex won’t make problems go away, but it can really help cushion your relationship through inevitable bumps in the road. Throw Your Timeline Out the Door Whether you want to admit it or not, most people do have a magic age that they think they should be married by, especially women. Whether your number of based on beating a biological clock or more random factors, it can hold power over you and put you at a higher risk of marrying the wrong person as that birthday draws close. Don’t settle for Mr or Mrs. Almost Right. Ask yourself if you would still be with that person if you were five years younger. If your answer isn’t a strong YES, then recognize your urge to get married for what it is: fear of not meeting your self-imposed deadline.


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Move Over Coffee : It’s Time for Tea to Shine There is something mundanely routine about lining up at Starbucks for a cup of coffee every morning. As you slowly shuffle to the front of the queue, like a zombie who is not fully awake yet, the smell of freshly ground coffee beans slowly stimulating your senses. When the first few drops of coffee touch your lips, you cringe at the bitter taste and vow to quit drinking coffee for good, starting tomorrow, of course. If you’re a coffee junkie looking to kick the habit, and you’re looking for something that smells heavenly, is light in taste but still gives you that much needed caffeine kick, it’s time to add a little tea in your life. Tea has been shown in studies to help reduce the chances of developing certain kinds of cancers and tumours, and will keep you going for longer than a cup of java. Here are some delicious blends of tea that will make swapping out your coffee much easier:

Red Rooibos Tea $3, any grocery store Red Rooibos is surprisingly sweet (all-natural, too!) and if you feel like you need a surge of vitamins in your system, this is the tea for you. Rooibos is rich in bioflavonoids which improve blood circulation and is believed to aid with ailments like headaches, insomnia, and even nagging allergies.

Organic Detox

$3, at DAVIDsTEA

Lemon-flavored and light, the Organic Detox tea isn’t necessarily the type of tea you drink for taste. It has lemongrass in it which is believed to cleanse the liver, ginkgo for the brain, and juniper berries that are known to flush out toxins.

Happy Kombucha

$9.50, at DAVIDsTEA

Kombucha is an acquired taste, but Happy Kombucha at DAVIDsTEA is blended with oolong, mango, pineapple and safflowers to make it taste like a ray of sunshine. It’s important to remember that many of Kombucha’s claims remain unproven, but this blend is delicious.

Matcha Matsu

$4, at DAVIDsTEA

Stone-ground steamed green tea from Japan has a high concentration of EGCG and has many health benefits such as prevention of clogging of the arteries, fat burning properties, counteractive oxidative stress on the brain, and reduction of the risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This blend packs a punch! 44

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Bengal Spice Tea $4, Celestial Seasonings Brimming with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, this is the ideal tea for Chai lovers. Try it on its own, or add some milk and sugar for a true Chai experience. This blend contains all-natural herbs and flavors, and no artificial colors or preservatives.


ur o y f o P O Stay on T

n o i t i r Nut e m a G

You work hard to keep on top of your nutrition game, but sometimes you need that extra edge to get the most nutritional gains out of everyday foods.


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If you take your health seriously—and you must since you’re reading this—then you likely already know which foods to eat and which to avoid (hint: any processed foods). Even though you’re armed with this knowledge, you might still be shortchanging yourself on some real health benefits hidden in the foods you eat. To unlock the complete nutritional potential of your food, remember that vegetables, fruits, and the other whole foods we eat are also living organisms. As such, they have their own self-defense biomechanisms to protect them from predators— like us. Fortunately, it just so happens that the byproduct of these biological machineries—things like trace elements, carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and phytochemicals—can protect us from health problems, too. It’s time to think about maximizing the full nutritional potential of these same

foods. While you think you’ve got something as simple as a potato all figured out, some lessons about spuds and these other staple foods may still surprise you.

Rest minced garlic before heating There’s no doubt the added garlic adds an incomparable depth of flavor, as well as tremendous health benefits. But many people shoot themselves in the foot by preparing it the wrong way. If you chop garlic and immediately toss it into a heated pan, stop now! Garlic contains a protein element called alliin and a heat-sensitive enzyme called alliinase. Only when you slice or puncture garlic’s thin membrane do alliin and alliinase synthesize into the antimicrobial and cancer-fighting compound allicin, which may have the ability to fight

cancer and heart-related conditions. Garlic sounds amazing so far, but here’s the rub: A group of clever food chemists pointed out that applying heat immediately after cutting garlic destroys the alliinase— that same enzyme required for forming the most valuable component of garlic. By that point, a majority of its healing properties go up in flames. The good news is that you can still cook garlic and reap its rewards—and tastiness—simply by letting the cut-up garlic rest a bit. That’s it. Once you chop the garlic, keep it away from heat and let it sit for 8-10 minutes before you cook with it. This brief waiting period allows the allicin to fully come together. It’ll stay intact even through later cooking. Alternatively, you could eat your garlic raw—but then you’d be repelling more than just vampires.

Eat the skin of Organic Produce The skin is its biggest nutritional asset of many fruits and vegetables. Far too often, people discard the top layer, thinking it’s dirty and gross, but they end up throwing away many helpful nutrients in the process. The outer layer functions as a defense against hazardous elements like mold, grazing predators, insects, fungi, and ultraviolet rays. This protective effect builds a higher concentration of nutrients—like antioxidants—within the skin and the tissue below it. Think of how your calluses form in response to repeated chafing. By eating the produce skins, you take in

all the nutrients a vegetable or fruit has to offer. “But, won’t I ingest a bunch of pesticides?” you ask. Current agricultural practices make this a legit concern, but it just means you have to be extra careful. Despite your rigorous scrubbing and washing, nasty chemicals can still penetrate deep into the produce’s inner tissue and then enter your body. The solution to getting around excess amounts of pesticides and still being able to enjoy produce in its entirety is to buy organic versions of produce listed under the “dirty dozen,” which tend to be the most contaminated.

Chill potatoes to lower their glycemic index The fast-digesting starches in a typical modern-day spud actually spike your blood sugar about as high and as quickly as eating sugar with a spoon. This is especially true of the standard supermarket varietals like the white-fleshed Russet or Idaho potato. Although our bodies are designed to manage the rapid rise of blood glucose from high glycemic foods with a hormone called insulin, consuming copious amounts of sugary foods on a regular basis can lead to a condition called insulin resistance. At that point, blood glucose can no longer be properly controlled without meds. The unfolding of this process can lead to type 2 diabetes, which can lead to heart problems, kidney failure, and amputations if left untreated. Simply cook the potato and then chill it in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours. The cooler tem-

perature lowers the glycemic index of the starches, which makes for 25 percent or so reduction in the resulting rise in blood glucose. Your pancreas will thank you, since it’s responsible for releasing that ever-soimportant-glucose-corralling insulin. Excess demands placed on the pancreas by repeated glucose spikes are thought to damage the organ over time. From that point on, the chilled tater will keep its low glycemic rating for you to enjoy, free from worry. You could also slow down starch digestion by adding dietary fats to your potato (and really any other starch). So ignore those judgmental head shakes; a pat of grass-fed butter or even some bacon bits won’t necessarily turn that baked potato into a nutritional trainwreck.

Eat dark leafy greens and certain vegetables with fat Adding fats to otherwise low-calorie vegetables may sound counterintuitive, since in some cases the act of eating vegetables is a way to avoid consuming excess fats. But you’re not doing yourself any favors by skipping out on them. Dark leafy greens—kale, swiss chard, and spinach—as well carrots and tomatoes, which have beta carotene (the precursor to vitamin A) and lycopene, respectively, are chock full of fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, and K. They need to partner up with dietary fats in order for our digestive systems to adequately absorb and utilize them. Not including these fats is like bringing a hot date to the prom, but ditching him at the punch bowl for the rest of the night.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS This doesn’t mean you should drown your vegetables in a vat of full-fat dressing or wads of butter to ensure nutritional benefits. A study in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” concluded that a minimum of 6 grams is needed for optimal absorption. That’s about the equivalent of a small handful of nuts or a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. If you’re already eating said vegetables with other fat sources like a 6-ounce steak, you’re already well on your way to fatsoluble vitamin paradise. If you have any doubt, though, your best bet might be to toss in slices of avocado, a tasty, fatty superfood.


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Don’t boil your vegetables

Soak nuts first to activate benefits

Boiled vegetables remain a staple among people on low-fat and bodybuilder diets. Boiled chicken and vegetables, anyone? Certainly, it’s fast, convenient, and easy to clean up. But have you ever wondered why the cooking water turns green after the broccoli floats around for a while? Perhaps even sadder is that the water gets promptly dumped out without so much as a shrug, leaving nothing but a fibrous clump of lessnutritious green matter that can barely be called broccoli. It turns out that boiling vegetables is perhaps the fastest way to lose nutrients. Aside from being the quickest step toward absolutely tasteless food, boiling vegetables leaches all the valuable water-soluble nutrients into the cooking water. At that point, you should just drink the water in order to salvage the loose nutrients. If you want to take advantage of eating vegetables in the first place, consider a sauté with some grass-fed butter, or even steaming them. That way you avoid losing nutrients to the water bath and increase the nutrient bioavailability from the added fats.

Nuts of all kinds are packed with protein, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and trace minerals, and are a fantastically filling and convenient snack to boot. Unfortunately, nuts in their unaltered form also contain high amounts of “anti-nutrients,” more specifically phytic acid, lectins, enzyme inhibitors, and in some cases, even mold. Phytic acid and these antinutrients are not digestible in humans and wreak havoc in the body because they hungrily cling to minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and others. Consuming a large quantity of these nuts without first putting them through a process called sprouting could lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone density loss. Sprouting a nut essentially involves soaking it in water (salt water, or sometimes an acidic solution works, too) for a preset length of time. The exposure to wetness mimics something that occurs in nature when the nut releases enzymes to break down the antinutrients. What this ultimately means is that properly sprouted nuts have increased nutritional value for your body and make them more digestible. The soak time depends on the type and quantity, and can range from a few hours to a full day. There’s certainly no shortage of information on which foods enhance vitality, fight disease, and help to preserve quality of life. Centuries if not millennia of passeddown wisdom on how to cultivate, store, and prepare these foods set the foundation; it’s up to you and me to help educate others on how they, too, can reap greater health benefits from their food.


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t Will a h T s p i T & s k Six Hair Tric


Mornings are usually defined by all those crazy moments spent trying to save time either because you’re already running late, or simply because you prefer to spend a few extra minutes in bed to the detriment of a complex beauty routine. But getting out the door faster and looking completely put together is a matter of mastering a few easy hair tricks that promise to change your morning routine forever. Sporting effortlessly gorgeous hair this year while keeping things simple in the styling department, now that’s what we’re all after. Find the six tricks that will help you kick start the day, after the break.

DIY Dry Shampoo Great for solving morning hair emergencies, this dry shampoo can be easily recreated at home using a super-easy recipe and few household ingredients that you most likely already own. Working as a great alternative to soaking up the oils that make your hair look greasy, try mixing 1/4 cup of cornstarch and a tablespoon of baking soda in a small jar, if your hair is light colored. For darker hair, simply add in two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Once everything is blended together, sprinkle a small amount of product in your hands, work it gently into your hair, let it sit for a moment and then brush your hair to remove the powder, and all of the oil will vanish with it!

Control Flyaways Flyaways have a tendency of getting in the way of your perfectly great styling techniques, appearing all the more irritating in the early mornings. Give them a quick fix using nothing but an old toothbrush and a little bit of hairspray. Once sprayed with the hairspray, run the toothbrush over the rebellious hair strands to set them under control. This trick prevents the use of unnecessary products that most of times work only in weighing your hair down.

The 10 Minute Rule Ever wondered why the promised results fail to make an appearance despite of you using all the right hair products? In most cases, is just a matter of handling the time right. Remember to always apply your choice of products 10 minutes before actually styling your hair whether 52

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you plan on curling, straightening, or fixing your locks in an easy hairstyle. These 10 minutes that you can spend doing your make-up instead, will ensure that the products will be completely absorbed into your strands, leaving you with a complete set of benefits.

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Now this trick might sound mildly unpleasant, but the smooth result will totally be worth it. Before you get out of the shower, switch to cold water for a few seconds and use it to rinse your hair rapidly. The cold water helps seal the cuticle, promising to add a sleek finish to your locks.

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The Sensuality of Classic Stockings It comes as no surprise that in our modern times every classic gets to be revised, every iconic piece injected with new attitude as if to match the ever evolving portrait of the woman in style. Not long ago, few fashionable women would wear pantyhose. In the 1990s, as office dress codes became more casual and the power suit became passé, many women abandoned hose entirely; a certain class of Manhattan socialite became known for venturing out even on freezing nights with bare legs. But in a season when the fashion spotlight is on the leg, hosiery is finding a new generation of fans who don’t view stockings as a necessary evil mandated by office dress codes and social mores, but as a bona fide style choice with long-forgotten cosmetic powers. Stars are also “doubling up” on stockings, much like some celebrities (most recently the singer Adele) have admitted to doing with Spanx, for the same slimming and toning effect. Beyoncé Knowles, for example, frequently wears two pairs of hose — say a nude stocking beneath fishnets — when performing. The stockings of today bear little resemblance to those of the “Working Girl” era. Softer yarns, new knitting techniques (more open weaves and seamless finishes), and other innovations (like microencapsulated moisturizers) have made putting on and wearing hosiery a more pleasurable experience.


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How to use b o j t x e n r u o y to land With its recent acquisition of Bright, a start-up aimed at matching job hunters with employers, business networking site LinkedIn is focusing more than ever before on the recruitment process. LinkedIn has become an extremely useful tool for job seekers – in fact, a recent survey in the US from workforce outplacement company Right Management revealed that 94 percent saw it as the most useful social media site for job hunting. Meanwhile, more than half of employers say they use social media sites to post jobs, and three-quarters to look for candidates. So what is the best way to take advantage of the job-hunting facilities LinkedIn offers? The first, and most important thing to do is to make sure that your profile is up to date and as informative as possible LinkedIn can only suggest jobs for you if it has a good idea of what you’ve done already. Equally, you want potential employers that look you up to see a professional and comprehensive profile. It’s easy, as the profile page is constructed to mimic a CV format - just make sure you use all the keywords a potential employer might use for a search. / MAR 2014 56 FEB News With A DEsi View

The next step for job hunters is to use the site’s Job Search options to search for positions by keyword and location. But be warned: as with every jobs website, there’s a smattering of scam postings. At this point, you can just sit back and wait for LinkedIn to match you up with vacancies. However, this is to miss the best opportunities. On the contrary, success almost always comes down to the candidate making a personal connection with a person or persons on the hiring side. The technology, now so integral to the job search, is just a tool, not by itself a solution. The next step, therefore, is to start making those connections. Like Facebook, LinkedIn can trawl through your address book and make suggestions. Once you’re connected, a button allows you to publicly endorse people for various skills: and, with a bit of luck, those you endorse may very well endorse you back. It’s best to avoid connecting with personal friends, unless of course they are colleagues too - Facebook is the place for socialising. And while LinkedIn gives you the chance to link your profile with your Twitter or Facebook accounts, this is probably best avoided - do you really want your

interviewer seeing what you got up to on Saturday night? It’s also sensible to avoid approaching potential business connections unless there’s a reasonable chance they’ll accept: CEOs generally aren’t falling over themselves to connect with unemployed graduates. So what do you do if you don’t have any useful connections? This is where the ‘groups’ feature comes in, providing a forum for industry-specific chat. Join anything you can find that relates to your line of business, and then connect directly with the other members; meanwhile, you could learn a lot about industry trends and maybe even get wind of upcoming job vacancies. Often, job opportunities come without you needing to do a thing. “It’s no longer a question of ‘are recruiters using social media?’ - it’s a question of how,” says Dan Finnigan, president and CEO of specialist social recruitment platform Jobvite. “Companies are ready and willing to pay for the best talent, and now they’re looking for ways to optimise spend on their recruiting programs to find those people. Social recruiting provides a way to quickly and easily find those ‘under the radar’ candidates – people who might not be actively looking for a role, but who are a perfect fit for open positions at your company.” And the usefulness of LinkedIn doesn’t end when you get called for interview. A bit of harmless stalking can work wonders. Not only do many companies post updates themselves - which may be more up-todate and informative than the company website - you may also be able to find out useful information about the interviewer. Perhaps their profile will reveal a similar career path to your own; you may even have a number of shared connections. It’s worth being aware, though, that updates of your LinkedIn activity such as changing your profile or joining groups will be visible to all your connections - potentially alerting your current boss to your job search. The only way to avoid this is to use the ‘Turn on/off your activity broadcasts’ button in the Privacy & Settings area. Research carried out by LinkedIn itself last year revealed that employers are increasingly using social professional networks when looking to hire: while just one in five did so in 2011, the number was 36 percent last year. Job hunters that fail to make the most of the site are potentially missing out. The increased use of technology, especially advances in social media related technologies, has been relentless. Social media, for one thing, helps individuals reach out and build their job search network. They can find people in targeted companies and connect with those who can help.



The AOL CEO generally gets home around 8 p.m., and then sits down to read a book to his daughters. “They usually win and get two or three books,” he admits. He tries to go to bed by 11 p.m. to get six hours of sleep.




writer and former CNBC editor John Carney is somewhat obsessed with ancient philosophy, mostly Plato, Socrates and Xenophon. He does most of his reading before going to bed, unless it’s a Sunday in which case he’s watching The Walking Dead or Homeland.

ANN FRIEDMAN freelance writer

Ann Friedman uses the evenings to read articles she hasn’t gotten to during the day. That’s usually five or six shorter pieces and one or two long form articles. She also will sometimes read a book for work, and tries to break all of it up with fiction when possible.

JANE FRIEDMAN The evening can provide a rare retreat from a jam-packed day for highly successful people. For many CEOs, execs, and other high achievers, the day begins early and is crammed with emails, meetings, and events. But the evenings can be a time to unwind. And for those who love to read, there’s no better time to pick up a book or magazine. Evening reading serves many different purposes. For some, it’s a chance to dive into fiction and escape the stresses of the day. For others, it’s a chance to catch up on the latest news. Be it old-fashioned print books or lighter fare on Twitter, here’s a look at what some successful people like to read before calling it a night.

co-founder and CO of Open Road Integrated Media, former CEO of HarperCollins Fastidious about her email, no matter what time she gets home at night she spends at least two hours catching up on her emails.


founder of Huffington Post Huffington is well known for taking sleep seriously. And she doesn’t mess around when it comes to her evening reading routine. The Huffington Post founder recommends banning electronic devices like iPads, Kindles, and laptops from the bedroom and says she only reads the oldfashioned way, with print books.


comedian and writer Boasting over more than 1 million followers on Twitter, the Canuck Rob Delaney scrolls through his feeds before going to bed.

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Greek Style Baked Quinoa 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa 1 1/4 cup fat-free feta cheese 1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella or cheddar 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts (in oil) 1 cup chopped spinach 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes 1/2 cup skim milk 1 tsp crushed or minced garlic 1 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp parsley 1 tsp onion powder Sea salt and coarse black pepper to taste

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Directions Prepare the quinoa as directed. While quinoa cooks, dice cherry tomatoes and chop spinach leaves, then set aside. Next, in food processor combine feta, skim milk, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley — blending until smooth. When ready, stir artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, and spinach into quinoa, plus one tablespoon oil from artichokes, stirring well. Pour over with feta sauce, then season with onion powder and salt & pepper, combining thoroughly. Transfer mixture to oven-safe casserole dish, spreading evenly. Top with remaining feta and mozzarella (or cheddar), then bake at 400F degrees for 15 minutes until top has melted. Immediately plate and serve.


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Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs

8 ounces ground turkey breast 1 medium onion, chopped 1 portobello mushroom, stem removed and chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves 1 large egg white Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Freshly grated nutmeg 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth 1 small bunch fresh basil 3 sprigs fresh thyme 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti Parmesan, for serving, optional Directions Combine ground turkey, finely diced 1/4 cup onion, mushroom, 1 tablespoon garlic, parsley, and egg white; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Portion into about 20 meatballs (about 1-inch in diameter) and place on a plate. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat; add the remaining garlic and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and broth. Tie sprigs of basil and thyme together with kitchen twine; add to the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Add the meatballs and continue to simmer, without stirring, until the meatballs are partially cooked, about 10 minutes. Turn the meatballs; cook 10 minutes more or until fully cooked. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water; serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti.

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Sweet and Sour Couscous Stuffed Peppers 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks 2 stalks celery, cut into chunks 1 large shallot, cut into chunks 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 pound lean ground beef 2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons tomato paste 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley, dill or a combination 1/3 cup golden raisins 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar Kosher salt 4 red, yellow, orange or green bell peppers or a mix of colors, halved lengthwise and seeded 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous 3/4 cup grated asiago cheese Directions

Shrimp Scampi

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Pulse the carrots, celery and shallots in a food processor until coarsely chopped. 6 ounces multi-grain spaghetti Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over me1/4 cup multi-grain croutons, crushed dium high. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley until light golden and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. (Add a splash of water if the 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest mixture begins to stick.) Add the ground beef and 4 teaspoons of the 1 tablespoon olive oil tomato paste and cook, breaking the mixture up with a wooden spoon, 1 shallot, thinly sliced until browned, about 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, the parsley, raisins, 1 1 garlic clove, minced tablespoon of the vinegar and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper cook until most of the water is absorbed and the mixture gets saucy, about 3/4 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined 1 minute. Let cool slightly. (about 16 large shrimp, 21 to 25 count) Meanwhile, toss the pepper halves with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil 1/4 teaspoon salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until the 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth peppers are pliable, 10 to 12 minutes. Carefully uncover the bowl and pour 1/4 dry white wine out any liquid that has accumulated. 1 tablespoon lemon juice Stir the couscous into the beef mixture. Whisk together the remaining 2 6 black pitted and chopped olives such as kaltablespoons tomato paste, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 3/4 cup water in the botamata (about 1 tablespoon) tom of a large baking dish. Carefully transfer the peppers to the baking dish cut-side up and fill each Directions pepper with the couscous mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese. Cover with foil and bake until the peppers are tender and the stuffing is hot, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve Cook the spaghetti according to package diwarm or at room temperature drizzled with the tomato cooking liquid. rections. Drain; set aside. Meanwhile, combine the croutons, 1/2 tablespoon of the parsley, and 1 tablespoon of the zest in a small bowl; set aside. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and red pepper. Cook, stirring until the shallots are soft, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and the salt, and cook, over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, wine, lemon juice, and olives. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the spaghetti, the remaining 3 tablespoons parsley, and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon zest, tossing to coat well; remove from the heat. Transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with the crouton mixture. Serve at once. 60

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No Bake Protein Bars By Arjun Grewal, Training Day Café Protein bars are a quick and convenient snack that not only curb hunger, but provide your body with muscle building protein. There are dozens of brands and hundreds of different bars on the market to choose from, with flavors ranging from cappuccino to peanut butter and jelly. With a price range between $2 and $5 a pop, these nutrient dense snacks usually give you what you pay for, but that doesn© t mean you can drop $20 a week on protein bars. If you’re like me, you’re picky on what you’re putting in your body. What better way to be sure of exactly what you’re consuming than making your own homemade protein bars! This recipe is relatively simple to make and will take you 10 minutes to make, and two hours to set.


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4 cups of uncooked oats 1 ½ cup high protein peanut butter 4 scoops of vanilla or chocolate Whey Protein (you can pick whatever flavor you like) ¼ cup of water Set aside ½ cup of peanut butter for the top. Mix 4 cups of oats, 1 cup of peanut butter, 4 scoops of protein together in a bowl. Add a little bit of water at a time. You don’t want your batter to be too runny or too dry. A little water will go a long way in this recipe – add 1 tbsp at a time. Spread the mix evenly into a glass dish, spread remaining ½ cup of peanut butter on top in a thin layer, and place in the refrigerator for two hours. After the two hours, cut up the bars and wrap them in foil. Note: you can top the bars off with your favorite toppings like Nutella, nuts or jam, but be sure to account for the extra calories.

FEB / MAR 2014 News With A Desi View



Black coffee is so powerful that Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a musical piece in 1732, titled “The Coffee Cantata,” with lines like “If I can’t drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat.” Let’s face it – a creamy cup of coffee tastes good with almost any kind of fat mixed into it. This is precisely why we have the Frappuccino health monstrosity with bad fats and low quality coffee. You can mix any fat (except fish oil) with any street grade coffee to make a drink that tastes ok, but it doesn’t quite clear up a foggy head or bulging stomach. In fact, there are many copycat recipes that promote using butter or other fats in coffee as beneficial to our health. There is nothing inherently wrong with these types of recipes, except that they don’t work as well for performance. There is a lot of confusion among the huge variety of recipes claiming


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to be Bulletproof but are not made using the carefully designed Bulletproof Coffee recipe, ingredients, and process. The purpose of this post is to explain the differences between the Bulletproof Coffee method and other various recipes. The recipe for Bulletproof Coffee is carefully designed to help promote brain function, end hunger, turn off cravings, and boost energy levels. Combined with intermittent fasting, the Bulletproof Coffee recipe has also turbo charged fat loss for countless people. The Bulletproof Coffee recipe is popular for a reason. Aside from tasting awesome, it makes you feel lean, focused, and energized. However, when following other similar recipes people tend to make a few common mistakes that lessen or even nullify the phenomenal benefits of the carefully designed Bulletproof Coffee recipe. People use “fresh roasted” coffee thinking it’s better, which it is, compared to “roasted months ago.” But regardless of how beans are roasted, the fact is that the vast majority of beans available for roasting are contaminated with biogenic amines or mycotoxins (damaging compounds created by naturally occurring molds in green coffee production that are linked to all sorts of health problems like cardiomyopathy,

The glorious effects of drinking Bulletproof Coffee, like better brain function, increased energy, and normalized weight, can be canceled out when things like cream, milk, nut milk, sugar, and honey are added to the recipe.

cancer, hypertension, and brain damage). Mycotoxins grow on coffee beans before the beans are even roasted (1-3). So although the damage is caused before the roasting process even begins, most people tend to focus on the roasting method because that’s what’s easier. Making coffee with butter as opposed to coffee creamer is a good step in the right direction, but adding butter alone won’t provide the full mental and physical benefits of the Bulletproof Coffee recipe. When people use only grass-fed butter to make their coffee, they will be drinking a filling and tasty cup of coffee but not reaping the benefits MCT oil have to offer. This oil in the Bulletproof Coffee recipe improve the flavor and mouth feel of the recipe while adding a HUGE performance

boost. You cannot fit enough coconut oil into coffee to equal the amount of MCT oil recommended in the recipe. Using coconut oil in place of MCT oil brings up another mycotoxin issue. Many brands of coconut oil may contain mycotoxins, especially traditionally fermented types or copra oil. The glorious effects of drinking Bulletproof Coffee, like better brain function, increased energy, and normalized weight, can be canceled out when things like cream, milk, nut milk, sugar, and honey are added to the recipe. Each of these foods changes insulin level, autophagy, or cause inflammation. These physiological/biochemical changes in your body equals a foggy brain, hunger, and fat gain. No thank you!

Instructions for Bulletproof Coffee •

Start with 1 cup (8 oz.) filtered water, just off the boil.

Measure 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons freshly ground coffee and brew using your favorite coffee brewing method.

Pour in 1 teaspoon MCT oil (build up to 1-2 tablespoons over several days).

Add 1 tablespoon grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee (build up to 2 tablespoons or more over several days).

Mix in a blender for 20 seconds until the oil and butter are emulsified so the drink is frothy and looks like a creamy latte without a film of oil on the surface. FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View



4 1 0 2 F O S D N E R T D O O F Earlier this year, the American National Restaurant Association released its culinary forecast for 2014. The purpose of the report, which is based on a survey of over 1,300 American chefs, is to predict the food trends that will dominate restaurant menus in the upcoming year. While a few of this year’s findings are intriguing—Peruvian, for instance, is predicted to overtake Korean as the ethnic cuisine of choice—the takeaways are hardly Earth-shattering. Local food is still big; chefs are determined to keep plying non-celiac sufferers with gluten-free foodstuffs; and buzz terms like “sustainable,” “estate-branded” and “nose-to-tail” aren’t going anywhere. Charcuterie, quinoa, pickled veggies, hybrid desserts and barrelaged cocktails are the food items of the future—a bit of a snooze, really, since they’re also the foods of the present. Here, in no particular order, are five freaky food trends that could really change the way we eat in 2014.

BLOOD Animal blood makes a great substitute for eggs, according to a report from Nordic Food Lab, a Denmark-based not-for-profit devoted to “investigat[ing] deliciousness and its systems.” The experimental lab subbed blood for eggs in a variety of desserts—including blood ice cream, blood meringues and startlingly scarlet blood pancakes—and got a panel of adventurous eaters to comment on the results. The only hitch? The difficult-tomask “bloody aftertaste,” which reportedly caused “intense and unexpected responses” from some testers. 66

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We’ve already become inured to the notion of dropping $15 on a single cocktail, not to mention $10 on a wedge of iceberg lettuce, so it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if fancy bread became the next big thing in Toronto. According to an article which made the web-rounds earlier this month, the trend is already huge in San Francisco, where diners are willing to pay up to $4 for a slice of luxury toast.


New Zealand dairy farmers have finally figured out a way to get slammed and maintain healthy levels of calcium and vitamin D. Milk Money Vodka is twice distilled from milk and twice filtered for an end product described as a “full-bodied light cream taste.” At 40 percent alcohol by volume or ABV, the liquor is said to end with a “sweet clean finish” and is gluten-free. Interestingly, the product’s target market is females within the agricultural community ages 21 to 45, says Leche Spirits.


According to NPR, the latest cocktail craze to hit the U.S. involves infusing drinks with pure, nicotine-rich tobacco. The resulting concoctions reportedly have a subtly smokey bouquet. They also burn on the way down and, according to at least one study, may be fatal in high doses. Cheers.


First there was chocolate-covered bacon. Now there is ChocoChicken, a soon-to-launch L.A.-based fast food chain from restaurateur Adam Fleischman, the owner of New York’s Umami Burger. As the name implies, the restaurant will specialize in chocolate-flavoured fried chicken. Gimmicky? Absolutely. But then, people probably thought Dorito-encased tacos were dumb, too, and look how they turned out.

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Offer ends March 5, 2014. Available with new activation of compatible devices within network coverage areas available from Bell Mobility; see Long distance and roaming charges (including foreign taxes) may apply. Paper bill charge ($2/ mo.) applies unless you register for e-bill and cancel your paper bill. Other monthly fees, e.g., 911 (Sask: $0.62, New Brunswick: $0.53, Nova Scotia: $0.43, P.E.I.: $0.70, Quebec: $0.40, AB: $0.44 – effective April 1, 2014), and a onetime connection charge ($35, now $15 on a 2-yr. term for a limited time) applies. Fees may apply for applications, features, content and roaming when outside your local area. Upon early termination, price adjustments apply; see your Service FEB / MAR 2014 Agreement for details. Subject to change without notice. Taxes extra. Other conditions apply. (1) Based on total square kms of coverage on the shared 4G LTE network available from Bell vs. Rogers LTE network. See for 67details. News With A DEsi View Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., used in Canada under license.


Around Town with Pardeep Sahota

The Consulate General of India in Vancouver held a flag hosting ceremony on the occasion of Republic Day of India.

The Deepak Binning Foundation held The Celebration Of Life fundraiser in Vancouver

Romantic Valentine Night ‘Hum Aur Tum’ by Bollywood Connections at Khanna Banquet Hall in Surrey.

On the occasion of the 65th Republic Day of India, Consul General of India, Ravi Aisola, held a reception at Empire Landmark Hotel in Vancouve.

One Billion Rising For Justice: On Friday, Febr. 14, the BC Lions, the Vancouver Giants, local police, community groups, dignitaries, and community members joined activists from around the world to rise up to demand justice and an end to violence against women at Surrey’s Holland Park. Those who spoke included MPs Jasbir Sandhu and Jinny Sims, Children and Families Minister Stephanie Cadieux, MLA Sue Hammell, Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, Surrey RCMP Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, and Delta Police Chief Jim Cessford.

The 637th birthday of Shri Guru Ravidass Ji was celebrated on February 16 at Guru Ghar Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Burnaby.

Malkit Swaich and Harjinder Hara organized 4th annual Eye Camp on February 8th, 2014 at Village Bagli, Distt Ludhiana, Punjab.


FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View

Raju Bhandal new album “Saturday Night” release was a huge success at Studio 7, Surrey BC.


Around Town with Pardeep Sahota

Surrey Board of Trade held their Business Reception & Networking Event in Surrey on Jan 22.

VOICE co-publisher Munish Katyal met with Jason Kenney, federal Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, at lunch last weekend. Vancouver South MP Wai Young and prominent South Asian businessmen and others joined them at Vancouver’s Original Tandoori King Restaurant.

Kuri Mundey Di Lohri was organised by Trinjan at Dhaliwal Banquet Hall in Surrey.

Desjardins Financial Security’s Annual Awards Gala was held at Dhaliwal Banquet Hall in Surrey

Mankind Charitable Society Fundraiser was held at Royal King Palace in Surrey.

Girls from Surrey Panarama Ridge School wins the Fraser valley junior basketball championship.

Bhangra boys in action at a cultural festival in Surrey.

Aam Aadmi Party’s supporters gathered at Bombay Banquet Hall in Surrey to consolidate and mobilize party’s support base for the forthcoming general elections in India. FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View



d o o w y l l o B Buzz

Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor was thrilled to work with an international crew, who have shot ads with the likes of Eva Mendes and Eva Longoria, as part of an ad campaign for ice cream brand Magnum. The actress shot her first ad Sunday. To ensure international standards, the entire team was flown into Mumbai from New York for the ad. To ensure that Kareena looked her international best, young designer Tanya Ghavri -- who has been working sartorial miracles on Sonam Kapoor and Ilena d’Cruz -- was roped in to do her look for the ad. Taking a break from the very stylish ad-shoot, Kareena said: “It’s amazing to work with international brands and teams. Yes, I am shooting an ad with the crew that did the ads for Eva Mendes and Eva Longoria. Their style of working is very different from our own very talented ad-makers.” About not having her favourite designer Manish Malhotra on board, Kareena says: “Manish is family. There is no question of replacing him. I just wanted to try another stylist for this ad. We all need to work with different people, experience new strains of creativity. Or we stagnate. And to me stagnation is death.” Talking about her Bollywood projects, the actress who has now washed her hands of Karan Johar’s “Shuddhi”, is getting ready to shoot Dev Benegal’s “Bombay Samurai” in May. The film also features Farhan Akhtar and they both go into intense training to look fighting fit for Benegal’s film. Kareena will again be seen shedding kilos after her very popular weight loss for film “Tashan” in 2008. “Not Size zero, God forbid! But I need to look leaner specially since my co-star is one of most sinewy guys in our cinema,” laughs Kareena.

Going ! l a n o i t a Intern

tional a n r e t n i h t i w s Kareena shoot aign p m a c d a r o f crew By Subhash K Jha


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Alia Bhatt already seems to be getting experimental - after playing a fashionconscious and arrogant young girl in her debut film “Student Of The Year” she will now be seen as a deglamourised character in “Highway”. She says she won’t do something as bizarre as going bald for a movie, but she’s game to being bold. Her father, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, is known to have produced several bold movies like “Murder”, “Jism” “Raaz” and “Kalyug” and Alia doesn’t find it tough to take up bold roles. So what if she started her career with a typical Karan Johar film? The actress said: “I would love to do a film like ‘Murder’.” “As far as my limitations are concerned, I would never shave my head for any role and so far as bold scenes are concerned, I have no issues at all,” the 20-year-old told IANS in an interview here. Her connect with her father goes beyond her appreciation for his body of work. She keeps her personal life private, but admits she turns to him for advice regarding her professional decisions. “I don’t discuss my personal life with my father, but I discuss my work with him a lot. We have become closer since I have become an actor. My mother (Soni Razdan) tries to ask everything, but I keep things to myself,” she said. As a person, she believes she is like her father. “I have his will power. I am like him and I value my audience,” she said. Alia is also very sensitive and protective of what people say of her family members. “I don’t like it when people go on about my family. Because of me, they bring in my father and sister (Pooja Bhatt) and I don’t like it. Write as much as you want to about my clothes...I don’t care, but I am very protective about my family. “It affects me a lot and that’s the only thing that goes down badly. Still, I have a very strong person inside me,” said the petite actress, who wonders if the people who write stories about her repeating her clothes, ever repeat their clothes or not!” Nevertheless, her focus is now on the Friday release of Imtiaz Ali’s “Highway”. While she made her debut with newcomers Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra, it was a new ballgame to work with an experienced actor like Randeep Hooda in “Highway”. She admitted she was apprehensive. “Initially, I was a little apprehensive about it but when you start shooting, you forget the person in you and get more involved with the character.

“There were times when I would take lesser takes than Randeep or at times more, but I don’t feel it’s right to think that if someone is taking a long time for a scene, he or she is not a good actor. “I think it’s not the take that matters, you must hit the emotions at the right time. If I take eight takes for those emotions, then also it means the same to me,” she added. Alia is confident that “Highway” will get a good opening and she credits this to its director. “This film is not about the opening. It

d o o w y l l o B Buzz is about the word-of-mouth. I think the opening will not be because of me, it will be (because of) Imtiaz. He is a brand name and people have loved his films. “And the love for a particular film lasts more than the box office,” Alia concluded.

d l o b h t i w s e u s s i No tt a h B a i l A : s e n e c s

By Uma Ramasubramanian

FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View



In the three decades that Madhuri Dixit has dedicated to entertaining Hindi film buffs, the hugely talented and enduringly beautiful actress saw herself evolve as a performer and as a person. She feels that the new crop of artistes in filmdom comes prepared to handle the increasing “pressures” in a more organised industry. “The industry is more organized now, but of course, there is too much pressure and people are less forgiving. The new generation is completely prepared and they are well-groomed today...that was not there before,” Madhuri told IANS in an interview here. “We started and learned (the art) as we worked. But today, the new actors are confident. It is wonderful. Of course, there is a lot of pressure to deliver good performance,” she added. During her prime, Madhuri was compared to many of her contemporaries, but she “can’t say if the competition has become bitter now”. “It’s a creative world. Everybody is doing what they do best and they are trying to make their space. It’s not that just one person is going to dominate the industry because in that case, we would not have had names like Madhubala, Meena Kumari ji, Nargis Dutt ji...all of them were shining at the same time,” the 46-year-old thespian and dancer said. After having started an acting career with the 1984 film “Abodh”, Madhuri went on to cement her space in Hindi movies with entertainers like “Tezaab”, “Ram Lakhan”, “Tridev”, “Parinda”, “Dil”, “Sailaab”, “Khalnayak”, “Hum Aapke Hain Koun” and “Dil To Pagal Hai”. If acting came naturally to her, it was her fluid dancing skills, elegance, enigmatic smile and her charismatic personality which were a bonus for her. She got plum roles in with the best of banners, directors and actors. And she continues to court them. But she remains as grounded as ever. How? “This credit goes to my parents because of the way they have brought me up...their values. My mother has always stood by me and even through all the ups and downs, she always had encouraging words to say to me. “Even after marriage, I found a family where my in-laws have a thinking like my parents,” said the actress, who married Sriram Nene, a US-based doctor, in 1999. She says even though she was treated like a star everywhere she went, “I always had a reality check at home waiting for me”. “I am an actress and I have so many fans who adore me. But when I go home, I am a mother, daughter, wife...and I forget everything else,” said the mother of two boys. After her wedding, Madhuri had shifted base to Denver, and she gave the big screen a miss to realise her dream of having a family and children. “I had never dreamt to be an actress, but when I became one I wanted to be the best. I wanted to dance and act the best, but that was on the professional level. On the personal front, having a family, kids... it was a big part of my dream because I come from a big family,” said the doting mother. She says visiting glitzy Bollywood parties that are a norm for actors was a pain for her. “I never liked it. It was a baggage which I had to carry with me. But this (having a happy family) was something that I always wanted. When I was in Denver and raising my kids, it was part of the dream I was living,” said the actress, who will soon be seen in “Gulaab Gang”, perhaps a career defining role in which she portrays the leader of a gang that fights for women’s rights. 72

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d o o w y l l Bo Buzz Film industry is more organised: Madhuri

By Uma Ramasubramanian, IANS


y r e v i l e d a z z i Oscars p p i t 0 0 0 , 1 $ s t guy ge Los Angeles, March 4 (IANS) The Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria employee who delivered pizza at the 86th Academy Awards got a tip of $1,000 on stand-up comedian and host Ellen DeGeneres’s popular chat show. Edgar, the pizza delivery boy, came on DeGeneres’ show March 3 with the host calling him “the (Oscar) night’s biggest winner”, reports The restaurant told the website that the Oscar order was for 20 pizzas with cheese, pepperoni, mushroom and olives. “My next guest was delivering pizzas last night and little did he know he’d be delivering them to some of the biggest stars in the world,” DeGeneres said before showing a clip of Edgar in action at Dolby Theatre on live TV. He then walked onto her set carrying a box of pizza. Edgar revealed that he was under the impression that he was delivering the pie to writers and producers, and when he arrived at the venue, DeGeneres came out and said, “Follow me,” ultimately leading him onstage and into the audience.

“I was shocked. I didn’t know it was going to be something (like) this. It was really crazy,” Edgar said of the experience, adding that Julia Roberts is one of his favourite stars, so it was surreal to give her a slice of pizza. “I was always watching her movies back in Moscow. So it was something crazy to me to deliver (her pizza),” he added. On the awards night, DeGeneres collected tips using rapper Pharrell Williams’ hat, and on the show, DeGeneres gave him the $600 she collected plus another $400 to make it $1,000. Earlier, the pizzeria chain told the website that the order was placed March 1, but they didn’t know how big it would be until Sunday. Still, Edgar was surprised he got to be on TV, employee Gabriel Ajxub said. “We knew it was going to the Oscars, but didn’t know it was for the stars. They just told us it was going to be for the people there,” Ajxub said. - IANS

FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DESI View



Everything You Need to Know From Season 1

Well, it’s here. House of Cards, Season 2. You thought politician Frank Underwood and his wife Claire were up to some shenanigans in Season 1 of Netflix’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning political drama “House of Cards”? Frank becomes the vice president of the United States in Season


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2, and while that means the Underwoods are closer than ever to their big goal, it also means the pressure to hold on to their hard-earned power is turned up. As a result — and these are the only real hints we’ll give about Season 2 — something that happens in the first episode of

Season 2 will provide the biggest shock of the series so far… until something that happens in Episode 4 will have you saying, “I can’t believe that they just did that! So let’s recap what happened in Season 1. In a nutshell: Congressman Francis Underwood is seeking revenge on the

Season 1’s Main Players Francis “Frank” Underwood (Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Kevin Spacey)

Peter Russo (Golden Globe-nominated Corey Stoll)

He’s the House majority whip, as a Democrat from South Carolina, and Frank gets sh--, uh, stuff, done. Even President Obama, a fan of the show, has expressed admiration for how much Frank manages to accomplish, versus how much our real politicians do. Part of the reason for Frank’s success is his unwillingness to accept no for an answer. Without getting into specifics (the surprises are definitely a big part of the fun of “HoC”), he has yet to show any floor or ceiling for where he won’t go, what he won’t do, and who he won’t do it to to ensure his plans come to fruition.

A Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania who has drug and alcohol problems Frank threatens to expose unless Russo helps push Frank’s agendas. When Russo’s problems and addictions spiral out of control and threaten to involve Frank, he murders Russo.

Linda Vasquez (Sakina Jaffrey) The ambitious White House chief of staff who cautiously, and secretly, helps Frank strengthen his relationship with the president.

Claire Underwood (Emmy-nominated, Golden Globe-winning Robin Wright) Frank’s wife and a Washington, D.C., lobbyist. Claire runs the non-profit Clean Water Initiative, which Frank wholly supports … unless he needs Claire to put her own agenda aside to further his. She, by the way, can appear to a gentler version of Frank, but is just as ambitious. Their marriage is not all political though; they allow each other to engage in extracurricular activity if it’s politically advantageous to do so, but they do also seem to genuinely care for each other. “We are equals, and we have a deep, profound respect for one another,” Wright told reporters at a “House of Cards” media day. “They truly love each other… they do. Different kind of love, but they do,” she said, adding that the Underwoods were first described to her as “you are Lady MacBeth to his Richard III.”

Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) She’s an ambitious and tenacious reporter for the Washington Herald, and then the Website Slugline, who makes a professional and personal pact with Frank to get political scoop. Later, she begins to investigate Frank after becoming suspicious about his colleague and protégé, Peter Russo.

Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) Frank’s chief of staff, i.e. the guy who actually gets his hands dirty in Frank’s wheelings and dealings.

Janine Skorsky (Constance Zimmer) A Herald and Slugline reporter who is initially jealous of Zoe Barnes, but who later befriends her and joins her in an investigation of Frank Underwood.

Lucas Goodwin (Sebastian Arcelus) An editor at the Washington Herald who becomes Zoe’s confidant and lover, and who joins Janine and Zoe in investigating Frank.

Christina Gallagher (Kristen Connolly) A talented congressional staffer who’s in a relationship with Peter Russo until his addictions spiral out of control.

Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney) The billionaire best friend of President Walker, who asks Tusk to secretly vet Frank as a vice president candidate. Tusk recommended Frank for the job, and, despite Frank’s refusal to consider himself in Tusk’s debt, Tusk does anticipate Frank will do him a solid at some point.

FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View



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president for not naming him Secretary of State. Frank’s clearly got a well-honed game of usury and manipulation, and this seems to grant him superhuman powers to play people with a margin of error that hovers around zero. It’s not particularly believable, but it’s definitely fun to watch. So, when Frank gets passed over for the globe-trotting gig, he hatches a plan. A big plan. This means launching a smear campaign against the Secretary of State choice; ensuring his nomination putters out before he can be confirmed; whispering another name into the president’s ear; taking ownership of the administration’s all-important education bill (to win the president’s trust); screwing over the teachers’ union to get the bill passed; setting up Congressman Peter Russo to fail at a bid for Pennsylvania governor; murdering Russo and disguising it as a suicide; and finally, getting the vice president, who is conveniently the former governor of Pennsylvania, to take his old job back. By then, guess who’s all cuddled up to the president looking like a good little VP? You know it! None of this could be achieved without the help of two very important women: his scrappy journalist sex buddy, Zoe Barnes, and his well-poised, equally cunning wife, Claire. Zoe is HoC’s token millennial. She has youth, audacity, and a Twitter account — and that’s all Frank really needs from her. An awkward mix of ambition and naïveté, Zoe introduces herself to Frank by sending him a sort-of suggestive photo. He takes the bait — believing she can be controlled — and her reporting career takes off. And, though Frank warns that he’ll discard her eventually, she beats him to it. By the end of the season, Zoe’s got the ol’ Washington Herald band back together, and they’re quickly figuring out Frank’s role in Peter Russo’s rise and fall. Now, Claire is all up in Frank’s machinations — except when she’s destroying them in her own revenge — but it’s not clear that she’s privy to all the dirty details. Claire knows Frank arranged a brick to be thrown through their window, but does she know that her husband personally killed Peter? This matters, because the thing that makes Claire so fascinating is how she struggles with being a good person. Or, wanting to be a good person. Or, wanting people to see her as a good person. So, let’s take stock. Frank’s got his VP nomination. Claire’s turning inward, thinking about babying up before her hot flashes get any hotter. And Zoe? She’s a few questions away from breaking a story that could bring Frank’s house of cards down. Except, Frank’s about to find out first.


y t i C e h t n i t Ar The Arts Council of Surrey invites submissions for ARTS 2014, an annual juried art exhibition taking place at the Surrey Art Gallery June 28 to August 30. For more information contact Arts Council of Surrey at 604 594 2700 or info@artscouncilofsurrey. ca Submission deadline for entry forms: May 21st, 4 pm

amazing art works using a range of media, including drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture using paper-mache and found objects.

Spring Break Day Camps

Mon-Fri, Mar 17-21, 9am-3pm Ages 6-9 A full week of fun clay play! Explore lots of clay working techniques, and try some other awesome projects!

CHILDREN Animals in Art Mon-Fri, Mar 24-28, 9am-3pm Ages 6-9 years Animals have featured in art for a long time, from the fantastical to the symbolic. Create

TWEEN Clay Days

Pottery Mon-Fri, Mar 24-28, 1pm-4pm Ages 12-17 Create in clay using hand-building and the potter’s wheel. Explore glazing and decorative techniques to show your style! Animals have featured in art for a long time, from the fantastical to the symbolic. Create amazing art works using a range of media, including drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture using paper-mache and found objects.

Preteen Acting Extreme Mon-Fri, March 17-21, 9am-3pm Mon-Fri, March 24-28, 9am-3pm Ages 8-11 Ready to break a leg? Young actors will have a blast as they experience the excitement of live performance. Families and friends are invited to the fun and inspired final showcase!

Preteen Art Extreme Mon-Fri, Mar 24, 9am-3pm Ages 9-13 Experiment with extremely different kinds of art: ceramics, watercolours, acrylics, printmaking, and drawing with all kinds of mediums!

YOUTH BYTE Camp - 3D Animation Mon-Fri, Mar 17-21, 9am-3pm Ages 11-14 Build your own 3D computer model and then make it move! We’ll look at lighting, camera angles, and animating your model in your 3D computer workspace.

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Best Option for my Child?

‘Learning in the 21st century has changed, so has the face of course delivery!’ We live in a world where technology is introduced to children at a very young age. Because of this fact, their learning style is very different from the students that preceded them. They demand individualized attention and customized learning plans. Why not embrace this technology and introduce courses online to help support the needs of students today? This brings us to Distributed Learning. Distributed Learning (DL) is an innovative form of education based online, which gives 9-12 students flexibility and control over their education. A better term to use is ‘blended learning’ where a student has all the course work material at their fingertips 24/7 while controlling the pace of their course completion. For going the prior model of regimented class work. This option is a relatively new concept offered by the Ministry of Education which is recently gaining notoriety and momentum. Students aren’t completely independent, they are assigned a teacher who will set up an appropriate learning plan for the student to ensure coursework is being mastered and completed. There are many reasons why students may opt for DL courses. Some include scheduling conflicts, learning preferences, and/or the need for increased flexibility. Many parents appreciate this method of course delivery because they know exactly what their child is learning. Education in this type of environment lets students learn at their own pace in their own way. Students have more autonomy in the way they use their time and grow to become independent learners. The role of the teacher is more so to support and facilitate the students’ learning. This ‘schooling approach’ is enabling students to pursue other avenues of education that gives them freedom to educate themselves in things they are passionate about and interested in rather than the staple choices offered by most schools. On top of that, since it’s at a distance, there is a set amount of responsibility placed on the students which will better prepare them for post-secondary as it’s teaching them time management

and promoting self motivation to complete assignments. This is truly a revolutionary approach to education. Also, unlike a regular day school, students are able to enroll in any course at any time during the year and have up to 12 months to complete the course. (Unlike the traditional brick and mortar schools which complete courses in a strict 5 months). Did you know students can now take courses like Work Experience 10/11/12, Leadership 11, Bhangra 11/12, Basketball 11/12 and many more electives to better themselves and to give back to the community they live in? The sky is the limit with what students’ can do with their time. Below are reasons why a student

might consider a DL course: • • • • •

accelerated learning flexible timetable quality personalized learning plan clear and detailed expectations study anytime and anywhere!!

For more information regarding distributed learning, please review the Ministry of Education website: http://www. Or you can call Beyond DL School Society at 778.565.1124

- Avneet Gill

Parents: When searching for a suitable DL school, questions you should ask: • what are the school’s credentials? • are the assignments aligned with the Ministry guidelines? • does the school provide any face to face instruction time for the student to utilize? • are the teachers BC certified instructors? • will you, the parent, be involved in the development of the student’s learning plan? • how will the school encourage course completion? FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View



f o o g g n i t t e L

l a t n e m i Sent I tems

By Joshua Fields Millburn

My mother died in 2009. It was an incredibly difficult time in my life, it goes without saying. She lived a thousand miles away and after she passed it was my responsibility to vacate her apartment in Florida. It was a small, one-bedroom place, but it was packed wall-to-wall with her belongings. My mother had great taste—she could have been an interior designer—and none of her stuff was junk. Nevertheless, there was a lot of stuff in her home. Mom was always shopping, always accumulating more stuff. She had antique furniture throughout her apartment, a stunning oak canopy-bed that consumed almost her entire bedroom, two closets jam packed with clothes, picture frames standing on every flat surface, original artwork hanging on the walls, and tasteful creative decorations in every nook and cranny and crevasse. There was 64 years of accumulation in that apartment. So I did what any son would do: I rented a large truck from U-Haul. Then I called a storage place back in Ohio to make sure they had big enough storage unit. The cost of the truck was $1600. The storage facility was $120 per month for the size I needed. 80

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Financially, I could afford this, but I quickly found out that the emotional cost was much higher.


At first I didn’t want to let go of anything. If you’ve ever lost a parent or a loved one or been through a similarly emotional time, then you understand exactly how hard it was for me to let go of any of those possessions. So instead of letting go, I was going to cram every trinket and figurine and piece of oversized furniture into that Lilliputian storage locker in Ohio. Floor to ceiling. That way I knew that Mom’s stuff was there if I ever wanted it, if I ever needed access to it for some incomprehensible reason. I even planned to put a few pieces of Mom’s furniture in my home as subtle reminders of her. I started boxing up her belongings. Every picture frame and every little porcelain doll and every white doily on every shelf. I packed every bit of her that remained. Or so I thought. And then I looked under her bed” Among the organized chaos that comprised the crawlspace beneath her bed,

there were five boxes, each labeled with a number. Each numbered box was sealed with packing tape. I cut through the tape and found old papers from my elementary school days from nearly a quarter of a century ago. Spelling tests, cursive writing lessons, artwork, it was all there, every shred of paper from my first five years of school. It was evident that she hadn’t accessed the sealed boxes in years. And yet Mom had held on to these things because she was trying to hold on to pieces of me, to pieces of the past, much like I was attempting to hold on to pieces of her and her past. That’s when I realized that my retention efforts were futile. I could hold on to her memories without her stuff, just as she had always remembered me and my childhood and all our memories without ever accesses those sealed boxes under her bed. She didn’t need papers from twenty-five years ago to remember me, just as I didn’t need a storage locker filled with her stuff to remember her. I called U-Haul and canceled the truck. And then, over the next twelve days, I started donating her stuff to places and people who could actually use it.

Lessons Learned Of course it was difficult to let go, but I realized quite a few things about our relationship between memories and possessions during the entire experience: . I am not my stuff. We are more than our possessions. . Our memories are not under our beds. Memories are within us, not within our things. . An item that is sentimental for us can be an item that is useful for someone else. . Holding on to stuff weighs on us mentally and emotionally. Letting go is freeing. . You can take pictures of items you want to remember. . Old photographs can be scanned (more on this below). It is important to note that I don’t think that sentimental items are bad or evil or that holding on to them is wrong. I don’t. Rather, I think the perniciousness of sentimental items—and sentimentality in general—is far more subtle. If you want to get rid of an item but the only reason you are holding on to it is for sentimental reasons—if it is weighing on you—then perhaps it’s time to get rid of it, perhaps it is time to free yourself of the weight. That doesn’t mean that you need to get rid of everything though.

your TV, throw out all your stuff, quickly rip off the band-aid, etc.). This option isn’t for everyone, and it’s often not for me, but in this case, that’s what I did. I donated everything. The second option is to take baby steps, and it works because it helps you build momentum by taking action. Look at it this way: what sentimental item can you get rid of today that you’ve wanted to get rid of for a while? Start there. Then pick one or two things per week and gradually increase your efforts as you feel more comfortable. Whichever option you choose, the important part is that you take action. That is to say, never leave the scene of a good idea without taking action. What will you do today to part ways with sentimental items that are weighing you down? Throughout 2014, The Minimalists will

embark on a 100-city tour across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, & Australia to share their story of living with less and celebrate their new book, Everything That Remains. They will be in Vancouver on August 1st, 2014. Tickets can be purchased online at

Giant Leap or Baby Steps When I returned to Ohio, I had four boxes of Mom’s photographs in my trunk, which I would later scan and backup online. I found a scanner that made scanning the photos easy. Those photos are digital now; they can be used in digital picture frames instead of collecting dust in a basement somewhere. I no longer have the clutter of their boxes laying around and weighing me down, and they can never be destroyed in a fire. I donated everything else. All of it. Literally. I donated every piece of furniture and all her clothes and every decorative item she had strewn throughout her home. That was a giant leap for me, but I felt as if it needed to be done to remove the weight—the emotional gravitas—of the situation from my shoulders. You see, I don’t need Mom’s stuff to remind me of her. There are traces of her everywhere. In the way I act, in the way I treat others, even in my smile. She’s still there, and she was never part of her stuff. Whenever I give advice, I tend to give two options. The first option is usually the giant leap option, the dive-in-head-first option (e.g., get rid of everything, smash

FEB / MAR 2014 News With A DEsi View



a h s i Al a m r a h S

Alisha Sharma is a 24 year old woman born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Alisha is a certified makeup artist and hairstylist, trained at the Blanche Macdonald Centre. This young woman’s cause for Miss World is to develop education in youth, to build confidence, motivation, and help them better themselves. Education is a basic right for all humans. It opens pathways of opportunity. Our youth will need education to address social and global challenges, including inequality, conflict and high causes such as climate change. Alisha’s powerful personality and belief in the ideal of education for growth will make a difference in children’s lives all over the world.

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Desi Today English - March 2014