Issuu on Google+


Get More RD connect with us beyond these pages

We’re online ... browse through our website for the latest stories from india. share the links with your friends from abroad who don’t have access to good news from here. Go to readersdigest.co.in/contactus to leave us a note.

... And on email tell us a story if it hasn’t already been published, for our Kindness of Strangers and My Story sections. anecdotes and jokes are welcome in Life’s Like That; Humour in Uniform; As Kids See It; Laughter, the Best Medicine; All in a Day’s Work and It Happens Only in India. do share the source, so we can verify the facts. Mail us at editor.india@rd.com

Digital Edition Rd is now available as a digital edition! pay `100 for an issue and enjoy the magazine on your phone or tablet. Visit http://subscriptions.intoday.in/ subscriptions/rd/digital-magazinesubscription.jsp

Customer Services Contact Customer Services for renewals, gifts, address changes, payments, account information and all other enquiries. phone: 1800 1800 001 (bsnL customers can call toll-free on this number) e-mail: subscription.rd@intoday.com

We are Social! Follow us on Facebook facebook.com/ readersdigest.co.in

and instagram @readersdigestindia

for updates on the buzz in our world.

subscribe use the reply-paid card. Visit readersdigest.co.in or write to: subscription.rd@intoday.com, or to Reader’s Digest, a-61, sector-57, noida, u.p. 201301. tel: 0120-2469900. For bulk subscriptions 0120-4807100, extn. 3267.


Contents novEmBEr 2016

56

ABHIMANYU, OUR SON Living with autism, and how a loved one is more than their diagnosis.

P.

|

56

m a d h u s u da n s r i n i vas

62

DEFEAT DIABETES NOW! Take ownership of your body and beat the disease. Kat h a Ko l i das g u p ta

70

THE BRIDGE OF LIFE As the water rose, hope floated. n i r m a l a r a n g aswa m y

Cover story

78

GET ON BOARD THE BRAIN HEALTH REVOLUTION How to keep your mental faculties up, sharp and running smoothly.

92

WHO THEY REALLY ARE Clinton and Trump, decoded.

120

drama in real life

102

Wandering across the world and what it teaches you.

A MOUNTAIN OF TROUBLE

vi Kram sharma

A complex climb and an impossible rescue.

Ka lya n i p r as h E r

Bonus read

KEn millEr

110

HOW TRAVELLING HAS CHANGED ME

126 ROOM AT THE TABLE

HUNTING THE COCAINE CROOKS

When food bolsters fraternity.

Did they catch the bad guys?

C h lo Ë B rya n - B r ow n

tim BouQuEt

READER’S DIGEST

|

novEmBEr 2016

|

5


Vol. 57

| No. 11

november 2016

VOICES & VIEWS department of wit

24 Ernest Hemingway’s

Performance Review at Buzzfeed How the literary genius would measure up in the digital age. raLPH JoneS

P.

|

27

words of Lasting Interest

27 Do You Hear Us?

IN EVERY ISSUE

A child pleads grown-ups not to lose the way.

12 editor’s Note

Severn CULLIS–SUZUKI

16 Over to You 34 good News

You be the Judge

46 News from the World of Medicine

Photocopied Textbook

141 that’s Outrageous

Is photocopying books for students a copyright violation?

147 studio

READER FAVOURITES

n ao r e m a n UJa

20 see the World differently

Finish This Sentence

40 Sounds that conjure up

30 Life’s Like that

my childhood the best ...

36 it Happens Only in india 38 Points to Ponder 52 all in a day’s Work 60 shocking Notes 77 as Kids see it 90 Photo of Lasting interest 100 Laughter, the Best Medicine 140 Humour in Uniform

P.

142 sudoku 143 Word Power

|

24

148 Quotable Quotes 6

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest

ToP L eF T: In dIaP I CTUre; Le FT: I LLUSTraTI on bY nIS Ha nT C HoKSI

32 The Case of the


Vol. 57

| No. 11

november 2016

WHO KNEW?

138 13 Things Your Dreams

Reveal About You mICHeLLe CroUCH

145 Entertainment oU r toP PICKS oF tH e montH

P.

P.

|

|

145

48

ART OF LIVING

41 I’m a Slob and You

Should Be One Too! A n DY s I m m o n S

Health

44 Natural Ways to Fix

Your Knees rICHArD LALIberte

total number of pages in this issue of Reader’s Digest, including covers: 150

technology

48 Game, Set, Match C H I t r A S U b r A m A n YA m

Food K e L S e Y K Lo S S A n D G A r I m A G U P tA

Family

54 Positive Parenting D r S H e L JA S e n

8

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest

ConCePt ImAGe: Getty Images StoCK ImAGeS: Indiapicture DIGItAL ImAGInG: Keshav Kapil Cover DeSIGn: Sadhana moolchandani

InDIAP I C tUre

51 Crack the Colour Code


vOL. 57 NO. 11 NOVEMBER 2016 Editor Sanghamitra Chakraborty Deputy Editor Chitra Subramanyam Senior Research Editor Mamta Sharma Features Editor Suchismita Ukil Editorial Coordinator Ruchi Lodha Art Director Sadhana Moolchandani Chief Designer Keshav Kapil

IMPACT (ADVERTISING) Publishing Director Manoj Sharma Associate Publisher Anil Fernandes Mumbai: Senior GM (West) Jitendra Lad Bengaluru: GM Upendra Singh Chennai: GM Velu Balasubramaniam Kolkata: Deputy GM (East) Kaushiky Chakraborty

Published in 46 editions and 17 languages, Reader’s Digest is the world’s largest-selling magazine. It is also India’s largest-selling magazine in English.

Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie Chief Executive Officer Ashish Bagga Group Editorial Director Raj Chengappa

BUSINESS AGM, Marketing & Circulation Ajay Mishra Chief Manager, Operations G. L. Ravik Kumar Marketing Manager Kunal Bag Production Anuj Kumar Jamdegni

NEWSSTAND SALES Chief GM D. V. S. Rama Rao GM, Sales Deepak Bhatt Deputy GM, Operations Vipin Bagga The Indian Reader’s Digest is published by: Living Media India Limited (Regd. Office: K9, Connaught Circus, New Delhi) under a licence granted by the TMB Inc. (formerly RDA Inc.), proprietor of the Reader’s Digest trademark.

TRUSTED MEDIA BRANDS, INC. (FORMERLY RDA INC.) President and Chief Executive Officer Bonnie Kintzer VP, Chief Operating Officer, International Brian Kennedy Editor-in-Chief, International Magazines Raimo Moysa Founders: DeWitt Wallace, 1889–1981; Lila Acheson Wallace, 1889–1984

HOW TO REACH US MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS/CUSTOMER CARE: Email subscription.rd@intoday.com Mail Subscriptions Reader’s Digest, A-61, Sector-57, Noida, U.P. 201301. Tel: 0120-2469900 Toll-free No 1800 1800 001 (BSNL customers can call toll free on this number) For bulk subscriptions 0120-4807100, Ext. 4361 For change of address, enclose the addressed portion of your magazine wrapper. ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES: Phones Mumbai: 022-66063355 Chennai: 044-28478525 Bengaluru: 08022212448 Delhi: 0120-4807100 Kolkata: 033-22825398 Fax: 022-66063226 Email rd4business@intoday.com EDITORIAL/LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Email editor.india@rd.com Mail Reader’s Digest, India Today Group, 3rd Floor, Film City 8, Sector 16A, Noida, UP 201301; Phone: 0120-4807100 We edit and fact-check letters. Please provide your telephone number and postal address in all cases. Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReadersDigest.co.in Instagram: @readersdigestindia © 2016 Trusted Media Brands, Inc. (Reader’s Digest editorial material). © 2016 Living Media India Ltd. (Living Media editorial material). All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or part, in English or other languages, is prohibited. Printed & published by Manoj Sharma on behalf of Living Media India Limited. Editor: Sanghamitra Chakraborty (responsible for selection of news). Printed at Thomson Press India Limited, 18-35 Milestone, Delhi-Mathura Road, Faridabad 121 007 (Haryana) and at A9, Industrial Complex, Maraimalai Nagar, District Kancheepuram 603 209 (Tamil Nadu). Published at K9, Connaught Circus, New Delhi 110 001.

10

|

november 2016

|

READER’S DIGEST


Editor’s Note EVERY TIME YOU HEAR ‘WAR’ —and we have far too often in recent times—searing images of children from the conflict zones come back to assault you. That picture of Alan Kurdi, the three-yearold Kurdish boy who washed up face down on the water’s edge in Turkey, is hard to erase. Then there was five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, who sat blood-smeared and dazed after surviving an airstrike in Syria. What kind of a world have we brought our children into? I hold my teenaged son and take a deep breath. “Everything okay?” he asks. “Of course,” I say. Except that it’s not. We should say sorry to Alan, Omran and every other child hurt by grown-ups locked in war. This Children’s Day, it is our wish at the Reader’s Digest that peace will prevail everywhere for their sake, if nothing else. Children in the subcontinent need not just safety and security, but good health, education and a happy childhood. Many parents are still compelled to put them to bed hungry or send them to work. Some marry (read That’s Outrageous on p 141) or sell them off. Girls don’t even have a chance—they die in the womb. Yet, heroes are born out of adversity. Take Phiona Mutesi, a chess champion from the Kampala slum of Katwe, who started playing the game at nine to beat hunger. At 20, she’s on top of her game and the subject of the Mira Nair film Queen of Katwe. Let us wish we can make the world a safer space for every child to flourish in, including those that are differently abled. Read ‘Abhimanyu, Our Son’ (p 56) a father’s narrative of bringing up an autistic boy. Do not miss our cover story on new insights into the human brain (p 78) and ‘How Travelling Has Changed Me’ (p 120). Also, ‘The Bridge of Life’ (p 70) set in Chennai during last year’s deluge, where an elderly couple survived, thanks to the kindness of strangers. There is still too much good in the world to give up on it. Let’s cheer to that!

12

|

November 2016

Send an email to editor.india@rd.com

|

READER’S DIGEST

Photogra Ph by aN aN d gogoI haIr & m aKe-UP by roLIKa P raKaS h

For Our Children’s Sake


Over to You FeedBaCK on our septemBer issue

MAN’S BEST FRIEND Congratulations on the cover story ‘54 Secrets Your Pets Won’t Tell You’. To love and nurture our furry friends we need to be knowledgeable, cautious and sensitive. You are right—only food will not do. They need our attention, cuddles and playtime. If we cannot spare time for them, we should not keep pets. I appreciate the tips on how to interact with the street dogs we feed. Thanks for giving voice to these little darlings, whose love for us knows no bounds. MONIDEEPA CHOWDHURY, Kolkata

HEALING TOUCH ‘Mother’s Touch’ brought back memories of Saint Teresa’s loving grace. She was the chief guest at the Kurukshetra University convocation in 1980. Thousands of graduates listened to her speech as she extolled the virtues of love and sacrifice. “I consider the charity of 10 paisa given by a Calcutta beggar greater than the Nobel Peace Prize, because he gave me all that he had,” she said. My Calcutta-based brother-in-law, late D. V. Singh, had escorted her to Kurukshetra. He described his 16

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

reader’s digest

WRITE & WIN!

NOT A DROP TO DRINK ‘thirteen things You should Know about saving Water’ was very useful. may i add some methods i practise? 1) When we serve water to guests, most people don’t drink it or have only half a glass. pour the remaining water into a flower pot. 2) in many toilets, a half flush does the job. 3) don’t let the water tank overflow. 4) Kitchen gardens use water profitably. 5) there should be a fixed time for water supply. We often leave the taps open and waste water if the time is not known. LILIAN STANLEY, Ve l l o r e Lilian Stanley gets this month’s Best Letter prize of `1,000.—EDS

experience thus: “Before boarding the aircraft at Calcutta, when I held her only belonging—a hand-stitched old cloth bag—I was on cloud nine.” Such was the overpowering magic of the Mother’s presence. RAJENDRA MALEYVAR, New Delhi

HEAR AND DO Every RD issue has at least one article that touches your soul, and for me it was ‘Hearing for the First


ov e r to Yo u

Time’. It’s inspiring to see people go through so much and yet have the strength and courage to defy all odds. Not only did I fully realize the challenges that differently abled people face every day, but also how much we take things for granted. Meet MuChhala, Jamnagar, Gujarat

eliminated if the highest peace forum is to deliver consistently. Amidst growing terrorism, the UN can play a pivotal role if the permanent members of the Security Council put aside their interests and contribute towards a better world. Surinder SharMa, Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh

BEHAVE YOURSELF

ARE WE SAVAGES?

Reading ‘Oh, Behave’ reminded me of a tricky little question that can help when conversing with friends. Are you prejudiced? I am and I think, to some extent, everyone is. People are prejudiced because they are conditioned by their culture and environment; their upbringing, education, religion; they are prejudiced against colour, and food choices. Good manners are essential to overcome preconceived notions, because first impressions and judgements can be misleading. The easiest way out: get to know the other person’s point of view, be willing to admit to your own prejudices and try and understand those against whom we are prejudiced. Beena Mathur, Pune

I felt sad and angry after reading about animal cruelty in That’s Outrageous. To prevent it, we should teach our children to love and respect animals and nip the violence in the bud. We should provide shortterm shelter to animals that are abused, injured or neglected, and hand them over to the nearest animal welfare agency for treatment and care. Finally, we should support legislation that promotes kindness and report abuse to the authorities. It’s high time we learnt about love and compassion towards the innocent. r. raMakriShnan, Mumbai

SAVE THE UN! ‘I Love the UN, But it is Failing’ is a thought-provoking read. There is no denying that since its inception, it has played a significant role in conflict resolution, providing relief during human disasters and launching health and education programmes. However, the alleged mismanagement needs to be 18

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

reader’s digest

A CORRECTION While converting knots to km/hour in ‘Welcome Strangers’ (p 150), an error was introduced. Instead of 100 km/hour, it should have been 37.04 km/hour. We regret the error and would like to thank S. Chaudhuri for drawing our attention to it. —edS

write in at editor.india@rd.com. the best letters discuss rd articles, offer criticism, share ideas. do include your phone number and postal address.


Go Green. Go Paperless. The same articles, no diferent from the print version you’re holding. Reader’s Digest annual subscriptions or single issues are available on your iPad, web browser and Android device. What’s more, you can gift a subscription to a loved one abroad. For digital subscriptions, go to: http://subscriptions.intoday.in/subscriptions/rd/ digital-magazine-subscription.jsp


photos: © alamy stock photo

20

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

reader’s digest


SEE the world ... Turn the page

reader’s digest

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

21


22

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

REaDER’S DIGESt


... DIFFERENTLY a boat trip on railroad tracks? you will probably find such an engineering marvel only in poland! to travel the 81 kilometres from Ostroda to Elblag via the Elblag Canal, boats have to overcome a height difference of almost 100 metres. By water, this would take more than 30 locks to do so. Since 1860, five rail-mounted trolleys master this difficult task. With the help of counterbalances and water power, they pull the boats across the dry, hilly sections—on railroad tracks.

REaDER’S DIGESt

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

23


VOICES

VIEWS

Ernest Hemingway’s Performance Review at BuzzFeed BY RALP H JO NES FR O M T H E TOAST

NAME: Ernest Hemingway POSITION: Staff writer WHAT HAS BEEN GOING WELL? EMPLOYEE: The days are long, the work is shallow and

RALPH JONES

is a comedy writer and a journalist who lives in London. 24

|

NOVEMBER 2016

the only piece of mine that went ‘viral’ this year was ‘27 Kick-Butt Things You Learn When You Catch a Marlin’. MANAGER’S COMMENTS: Though ‘27 Kick-Butt Things You Learn When You Catch a Marlin’ was an unexpected triumph, Ernest isn’t working to the standard achieved by other BuzzFeed writers. His ‘18 Things You Know

|

reader’s digest

I LLUSTRATION BY NIS HA NT C HOKS I; JONES ILLUSTRATI ON BY JOE M CKEND RY

department of Wit


Only If You’re Ernest Hemingway’ MANAGER’S COMMENTS: is our lowest-performing piece of Ernest still struggles to understand content since we launched 10 years that our audience does not pay to ago; 202 people have read it, and I read our website. He is confused know that three of these were Ernest whenever I remind him that we on different devices. Only 612 have are not a print publication. He is read ‘Buy My Novel For Whom the frequently surly, hungover and Bell Tolls’, and most of this traffic verbally abusive, especially in came from Japan as the morning meetings. It result of a technical has not escaped my glitch. And ‘14 Hats attention that he has ‘14 Hats I Wore reported to work drunk I Wore While Writing A Farewell to Arms’ on dozens of occasions While Writing significantly underand that sometimes he A Farewell performed, as did simply lies under his ‘31 Lions I Still Really desk for hours. to Arms’ Need to Catch’ and the Ernest refuses to significantly interactive quiz ‘Can publish picture roundYou Guess Where Ernest underperformed. ups, claiming that they Hemingway’s Pen Is?’ In are beneath him and retrospect, I’m not sure that they “dull the why I commissioned these. intellect”. When shown statistics on how well these pieces perform, he tends to make offensive comments WHAT HAS BEEN GOING about the “fools” who write them. LESS WELL? EMPLOYEE: This job blights me like a sore tooth, and our audience HOW IS THE MORALE is vapid, and the majority of our AROUND YOU? content is vapid. (I do not include EMPLOYEE: My fellow workers seem my contributions in this assessment.) to be having no shortage of LOLs, Most of my pieces running to more but I find this flippant atmosphere than 16,000 words are decimated, unconducive to fine writing. I prefer and they are stripped of their to wear headphones and listen to integrity and filled with infernal a recording of men cutting wood in ‘memes’. a forest. The forest is wet, and the I am told I ought to be more active men are fine workers. on social media. I see no reason why The free BuzzFeed coffee is a these cretins ought to be allowed to bonus, of course. Fortifies the spirit. read my writing for free. Keeps the voices at bay. READER’S DIGEST

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

25


e r n e s t h e M i n g W ay ’ s p e r F o r M a n C e r e V i e W a t b u Z Z F e e D

be “more likely to get 500K clicks”.

MANAGER’S COMMENTS:

Ernest regularly threatens to damage team morale, ignoring his colleagues in order to listen to his headphones. He does not realize that often the rest of the office is able to hear what he is listening to because he has not plugged in his headphones correctly. HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU COULD IMPROVE YOUR WORK? EMPLOYEE: The responsibility lies

not with me but with BuzzFeed. My work is strong, and my hands write good words. When I pitch about my experiences hunting lions in Africa, I am told that a compendium of “cute baby lion pics” would

MANAGER’S COMMENTS:

Ernest is pitching increasingly bleak pieces, most of which pertain to alcoholism, lions or writing alone in a shed. IS THERE ANYTHING THE COMPANY CAN DO TO HELP YOU? EMPLOYEE: I should like a pay raise

and a bigger chair, and I should like my bouts of inebriation to pass unremarked upon. MANAGER’S COMMENTS:

For the benefit of both Ernest and the company, my advice is that his contract be terminated forthwith.

THE TOAST (16 July 2015), Copyright © 2015 by ralph Jones, THE-TOAST.NET.

IDIOMS FOR THE INDECISIVE n out of sight, out of mind ... but absence makes the heart grow fonder. n

the pen is mightier than the sword ... but actions speak louder than words. n What you see is what you get ... but don’t judge a book by its cover. n

birds of a feather lock together ... but opposites attract.

n Many hands make light work ... but too many cooks spoil the broth. BRANDON SPEKTOR

26

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

reaDer’s Digest


WORDS OF LASTING INTEREST

a lesson in consideration, from a child to the grown-ups—still relevant 24 years later

Do You Hear Us? BY S E V E R N C U L L I S –SU Z UK I

HELLO, I’M SEVERN SUZUKI SPEAKING FOR

I LLUSTRATION: KESHAV KA PIL

ECO—the Environmental Children’s Organization.

Severn Cullis– Suzuki (b. 30 November 1979) is a Canadian environmentalist, TV host and author. Her 1992 speech at the Earth Summit had such an impact that she became a regular invitee to UN conferences. Since then she has spoken extensively around the world on environmental issues.

We are a group of 12- and 13-year-olds trying to make a difference: Vanessa Suttie, Morgan Geisler, Michelle Quigg and me. We’ve raised all the money to come here ourselves—to come 5,000 miles to tell you adults you must change your ways. Coming up here today, I have no hidden agenda. I am fighting for my future. Losing my future is not like losing an election, or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come. I am here to speak—speak on behalf of the starving children around the world whose cries go unheard. I am here to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet, because they have nowhere left to go. I am afraid to go out in the sun now, because of the holes in our ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air, because I don’t know what chemicals are in it. I used to go fishing in Vancouver, my home, with my Dad until, just a few years ago, we found the fish full of cancers. And now we hear of animals and plants going extinct every day, vanishing forever. In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rainforests full of birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will even exist for my children to see.

reAder’S dIGeST

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

27


D o yo u h e A r u s ?

DID YOU HAVE TO WORRY of these world how I feel. In my country we things when you were my age? All make so much waste, we buy and this is happening before our eyes throw away, buy and throw away, buy and yet we act as if we have all the and throw away, and yet northern time we want and all the solutions. countries will not share with the I’m only a child and I don’t have all needy. Even when we have more than the solutions. I don’t—I want you enough we are afraid to share; we are to realize, neither do you. You don’t afraid to let go of some of our wealth. know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer. You don’t know how to bring IN CANADA, WE LIVE the privileged the salmon back up in a dead stream. life. We’ve plenty of food, water and You don’t know how to bring back shelter. We have watches, bicycles, an animal now extinct. And you can’t computers and television sets. The bring back the forests list could go on for that once grew where two days. Two days there is now a desert. ago, here in Brazil, we You teach us how were shocked when we If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop to behave in the spent time with some breaking it. children living on the world ... then Here, you may be streets. This is what one delegates of your child told us: “I wish I why do you do governments, business was rich and if I were, I the things you people, organizers, would give all the street reporters or politicians. tell us not to do. children food, clothes, But, really, you are medicines, shelter, and mothers and fathers, love and affection.” sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles—and all of you are someone’s IF A CHILD ON THE STREETS who child. has nothing is willing to share, why I’m only a child, yet I know we are are we who have everything still so all part of a family—five billion strong; greedy? I can’t stop thinking that in fact 30 million species strong— these are children my own age, that and borders and governments will it makes a tremendous difference never change that. I’m only a child, where you are born, that I could yet I know we are all in this together be one of those children living in and should act as one single world the favelas of Rio. I could be a child towards one single goal. starving in Somalia, or a victim of In my anger, I’m not blind; and in war in the Middle East, or a beggar in my fear, I’m not afraid of telling the India. I am only a child, yet I know if 28

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

READER’S DIGEST


I NDIAP ICtURe

all the money spent on war was spent on finding environmental answers, ending poverty and in finding treaties, what a wonderful place this Earth would be. At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us how to behave in the world. You teach us to not to fight with others, to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our mess, not to hurt other creatures, to share, not be greedy. Then, why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do? Do not forget why you are attending these conferences—who you’re doing this for. We are your own children. You are deciding what kind of a world we are growing up in.

PARENTS SHOULD BE ABLE to comfort their children by saying, “Everything’s going to be all right, it’s not the end of the world, and we’re doing the best we can.” But I don’t think you can say that to us anymore. Are we even on your list of priorities? My dad always says, “You are what you do, not what you say.” Well, what you do makes me cry at night. You grown-ups say you love us. But I challenge you, please, make your actions reflect your words. Thank you. the original speech delivered by severn Cullis–suzuki, founder of eCo, at the age of 12, at the 1992 earth summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

READER’S DIGEST

|

NoVeMBeR 2016

|

29


Life’s Like That

“I don’t want a whole dessert;

let’s just get two spoons.” —Former friends of mine. A c t r e s s anna KendrIcK

My husband stored the numbers of

some of his friends’ wives in his mobile phone as ‘Wife of X’ or ‘Wife of Y’. One day he was connecting his phone to the Bluetooth device in his car. To test it, he said, “Call wife.” The device 30

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

READER’S DIGEST

responded promptly, “You have seven choices!” padMInI srIdhar, B e n g a l u r u when we taKe our dog on car

trips, we carry his drinking water in a gin bottle. During one jaunt, we’d stopped to let him out of the car. As I was pouring some water into his bowl, I noticed a man watching. He came over and whispered, “I hope you won’t let him drive!” Source: gcfl.net

ILLUSTRATI ON BY RA JU; CON CEP T BY R A JESH MAHADEVAN

That’s not fair.


cautIon!

scene: My teenage daughter and

me in the car. Lauren: Dad, do you know what the most commonly used letter in a girl’s name is? Me: Hmm, is it a consonant or a vowel? (Silence ensues.) Please tell me you know what consonants and vowels are. Lauren: You’re no fun, Dad. Forget it. Me: What is a vowel? Lauren: OK, OK. A vowel is … ahh … eh … well, oh … uh … Me: Close enough. Source: wattpad.com a new yorK matchmaking service

has launched ‘Smell Dating’, which allows users to choose potential mates by sniffing swatches of their unwashed T-shirts. The Week asked its readers to title a romantic comedy about an aromatic couple: n You’ve Got Smell n The Musk of Zorro n Soapless in Seattle n Bridget Jones’s Laundry n When Harry Sniffed Sally

actuaL warnInG LanGuaGe Found on products:

!

On a toy Star Wars lightsabre

warnInG! Cycling can be dangerous. Bicycle products should be installed and serviced by a professional mechanic. Failure to heed any of these warnings may result in serious injury or death. On a bicycle bell

reMoVe chILd beFore FoLdInG On a baby stroller

one day, I overheard my wife fuss-

ing over minor details in our newly renovated living room. I told my daughter that perfectionists were seldom happy. Pat came the reply: “If she were one, she wouldn’t have married you!” dr aMItaV banerJee, P u n e reader’s digest will pay for your funny anecdote or photo in any of our jokes sections. post it to the editorial address, or email: editor.india@rd.com

For accessory use onLy. not to be used as a battLe deVIce.

do not drInK On printer ink

!

For decoration only and will not prevent you from any bodily harm or injury.

On a sheet of bicycle-helmet decals source: Center for america

reader’s digest

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

31


you be the judge

Does photocopying books constitute copyright infringement?

The Case of the Photocopied Textbook A LIBRARY BUILDING on one side, a canteen on the other, students huddled in groups, drinking tea, chatting and the college photocopy shop—these are all essentials of an Indian university campus. So, Rameshwari Photocopy Service, in the Delhi School of Economics (under Delhi University) campus, does not warrant special attention. It is, after all, your basic photocopy shop, helping students access limited, expensive books at a nominal price. Until August 2012 that is, when it became the site of a long-drawn copyright infringement suit. Oxford University Press, Cambridge 32

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

reaDer’s Digest

University Press and Taylor & Francis lodged a copyright infringement case against the shop as well as the University of Delhi in Delhi High Court. They claimed damages of `60 lakh. Their contention: The practice of photocopying parts of various copyrighted books into unauthorized course packs and selling them for ‘commercial gain’ was an infringement of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957. The original books, whose excerpts are used in the course pack, could cost anywhere from `5,000– 7,000, whereas the photocopied course packs, priced at 50 paise per

I NDI AP ICTURE

by N ao r e m a N uja


page, are a fraction of that price. They contended that the university was party to the offence as well, because the course packs were based on syllabi prescribed by the university, which was aiding the photocopy shop by issuing books from its library to prepare these compilations. In October 2012, Justice Kailash Gambhir passed a temporary injunction halting the sale of these photocopied course books. “… The objective of the plaintiffs is not to stop the students from photocopying, but to stop the systematic photocopying of their publications,” the counsel for the publishers argued. The reproduction of the work was not being done by students or teachers,

nor was it in the course of instruction, they added. The counsel for Delhi University contested the suit: “ … copying certain pages for educational purpose is necessary because purchasing individual books is expensive and several of the books are also out of print or not available in India … Copyright Act is a piece of welfare legislation and the rights of authors and owners are to be balanced with the competing interest of the society.” Does the photocopying of copyrighted books for the use of students, who otherwise would not have easy access to them, constitute copyright infringement? You be the judge.

the verdict On 16 september 2016, the Delhi High Court Justice rajiv sahai endlaw ruled against the publishers and dismissed the copyright suit: “Copyright, specially in literary works, is thus not an inevitable, divine or natural right that confers on authors the absolute ownership of their creations. it is designed rather to stimulate activity and progress in the arts for the intellectual enrichment of the public ...” Citing his student days, he advocated, “ … with the advancement of technology the voluminous books can be photocopied and at a very low cost. thus the students are now not required to spend day after day ... copying pages after pages … When the effect of the action is the same, the difference in the mode of action cannot make a difference so as to make one an offence.” the publishers have challenged the ruling. agree? disagree? Sound off at editor.india@rd.com.

reaDer’s Digest

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

33


Some positive stories that came our way

Good News In the right direction Policy In a welcome move, the

Union Cabinet has passed a revised draft of the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014, foregrounding rights for AIDS patients. The bill will provide a solid legislative framework to the 21 lakh HIV-affected citizens of India, making discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients a punishable offence with a jail term of up to two years and a fine of up to `1 lakh. The proposed law will take into its ambit discrimination at work, educational institutions, insurance and so on. The bill provides for an ombudsman to deal with cases of the insurer refusing health insurance cover. It also instructs the Central and State governments to provide treatment “as far as possible”. Keeping in view the stigma that is generally associated with AIDS, it recognizes the patient’s right to keep their health status private, mandating institutions to keep such information confidential.

Though progressive legislation is critical for providing dignity to those living with AIDS, it is imperative to change societal attitude towards the disease and those affected by it. Hopefully, the bill’s empowering potential won’t just remain on paper.

Age is just a number Politics Those who peg youth as

an essential driver of change should meet Gangubai Nivrutti Bhambure. This 94-year-old was elected as the sarpanch of Bhamburwadi village in Pune district in September, and serves as an example for all. At an age where most people see change as an inconvenience, she is raring to go. “Now it’s time to work. I have to do something for my people, otherwise it’s no use becoming a sarpanch just for the sake of it,” Gangubai told The Indian Express. With the distinction of being one of the oldest people to become a sarpanch, she believes that she is fighting fit for the job. The first of her priorities is to

“Either I help the city, or we’re all brought to our knees.” Ma nue l a D i s a nto , p a r ti ci p a nt i n a v o l u nt a r y pro j e ct i n w hic h re si dent s

o f R o m e l e n d a h a n d i n cl e a ni ng u p t h e i r ci t y

34

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

reader’s digest


address water scarcity, as this has affected the livelihoods of farmers in her constituency. Other issues she wants to address include a proper drainage system, better roads in the village and availability of toilets.

More power to women

COURTESY LESLIE BI NNS

genDer The recent National Crime

Records Bureau data indicated that Uttar Pradesh was one of the most unsafe states for women—it recorded 35,527 cases of crime against them. To curb this, the UP Police launched the Power Angels initiative in April this year, recruiting school and college girls as special police officers (SPOs). Their job is to assist the police by keeping an eye out for criminal activities. “Through them, it will be easier to approach women in villages to curb unlawful activities,” Navniet Sekera, inspector general, Women Power Line, told The Times of India. These ‘power angels’ are issued identity cards and will serve for a fixed tenure of up to five years. So far, the UP Police has received around 1,20,000 applications and 83,000 girls have been enrolled as SPOs. Police records reveal that as many as 1,172 child marriages have been stopped by these angels. More power to them! —naoreM anuJa anD MaMta sharMa sources: policy: The Indian Express, 7 october 2016; politics: The Indian Express, 8 september 2016; gender: The Times of India, 18 august 2016; heroes: BBC News, 2 June 2016

heroes rescue on everest Just 500 metres from the summit of everest, British climber Leslie Binns was only hours away from scaling the world’s highest peak. But he turned back to save the life of a fellow mountaineer. when the twice-decorated ex-serviceman (pictured below) came upon climber sunita hazra, from west Bengal, who had run out of oxygen and was unable to descend on her own, he decided he had to help. “i told my sherpa we were not going up and that we would give sunita my spare oxygen bottle and take her down,” says Binns, 42, who lost sight in one eye while serving in

afghanistan. after an arduous and dangerous descent, he managed to get her back to his camp. “he’s the reason why she is still alive now,” said hazra’s brother, Kingshuk chatterjee. “he is a very brave man.” Binns says simply, “i am immensely proud that i helped sunita.” —tiM hulse

reader’s digest

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

35


IT HAPPENS

Only in India 2022: elon Musk’s space explorers discover ...

& Basu Samitu Epuri Raj

... the omnipresent Indian tourist. ZOOKEEPERs at the Sajjangarh Biological Park in Udaipur found themselves reaching for a Tamil dictionary with the arrival of Rama, a five-year-old white tiger. The feline, who recently moved from Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai as part of an exchange programme, only understands Tamil. Hindustan Times even quoted a rather desperatesounding park official as saying, “Either the tiger learns Mewari 36

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

READER’S DIGEST

language or the caretakers here learn Tamil.” Rama, however, did not travel alone. His caretaker Chellan accompanied him. Hopefully that helped with the initial introductions. Submitted by: gaRiMa gupta, New Delhi. Source: hindustantimes.com

the fiRst tiMe Amrit Singh, a 19-year-old from Delhi, allegedly stole a Honda City, he was thrilled with the air conditioning. He took it


on a joyride across the city and even slept in it, abandoning the car only when it ran out of fuel. It was the beginning of a long love affair, one that involved stealing just this particular brand. It wasn’t surprising then that when he was finally arrested, the Delhi Police recovered six Honda City cars (and one scooter). He never sold the cars he stole, just the scooters so he could buy petrol for the joyrides. Now there’s a real brand ambassador. Submitted by: Rajeev Kondapalli, Secunderabad.

Source: The Hindu, ndtv.com

asked while filing an RTI application. The Ministry of Home Affairs replied with a rather staid response, saying they would not be able to respond to hypothetical situations. Social media mavens may have had a good laugh, but Kumar told huffingtonpost.in that this was a form of “political protest against the entire intolerance fiasco”. Regardless, zombies shouldn’t be taken lightly. As a helpful Twitter user pointed out, even the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention have a plan in place … just in case. Source: huffingtonpost.in

an aveRage day in the life of an

IIT-Bombay hosteller is made up of

much more than assignments and exam stress. There are also monkeys. The campus is a simian stomping ground. They enter hostel rooms, throw around trash, snatch food, destroy furniture and tear up clothes. Students even found monkeys sleeping in their beds. They have now been advised to carry a small stick. It’s a jungle out there! Submitted by: Ruchi lodha, New Delhi. Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

What plans are in place for

protecting the public in the event of an invasion by aliens, zombies or extra-dimensional beings? What means does the government have at its disposal to defeat them? Can we do it without Will Smith? These are only some of the very important questions Mumbai-based Ajay Kumar

lifestyle diseases and leopards aren’t words often used in the same sentence. Unless one’s talking about the big cats of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai. Forest officials realized that the 15 leopards were suffering from lifestyle diseases including weight gain and stress. So they changed their diet, supplementing meat with medicinal plants and grass. The cats were given wooden medicinal balls to play with, and artificial waterholes for destressing. The leopards have since achieved their ideal weight range and are the healthiest they have been in a while. Submitted by: lesteR santos, Vasai (West), Maharashtra.

Source: Mid-Day

—coMpiled By chitRa suBRaManyaM

Reader’s digest will pay for contributions to this column. post your suggestions with the source to the editorial address, or email: editor.india@rd.com.

READER’S DIGEST

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

37


Points to Ponder You fasten the triggers For the others to fire then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion as young people’s blood Flows out of their bodies and is buried in the mud. BOB DYLAN, in ‘Masters of War ’, from the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

IROM SHARMILA,

civil rights activist

THE MOST extraordinary lives are often the ones lived most quietly, most remarkably, by one’s neighbours and loved ones, if we just pay attention. If you just listen, everyone has a song. LARA DOTSON-RENTA,

s c h o l a r a n d t ra n s l a t o r,

on onbeing.org

WHEREVER I MAY GO, my darshan is always through my camera. I meet my god through my camera.

38

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

THIS [tattoo I have] says, “I am certain of nothing,” and that’s how I feel. I’m pretty sure that cheese and sausage are good. Other than that, it’s a world of confusion and uncertainty. ANTHONY BOURDAIN,

television host and chef,

in Men’s Journal

IF YOU HAVE children, you cannot feed them forever with flags for breakfast and cartridges for lunch. You need something more substantial. Unless you educate your children and spend less money on conflicts, unless you develop your science, technology and industry, you don’t have a future.

RAGHU RAI,

SHIMON PERES,

p h o t o g ra p h e r

f o r m e r Is ra e l i p r e s i d e n t

READER’S DIGEST

ILLUSTRATION BY KE S HAV KAP IL

MY LOVE is conditional. I cannot deviate from my first love—Manipur and her people. I will go away for love only if the people abandon me, or absolutely ignore me.


WE MUST NOT allow the debate about what it means to be an Indian, about how to construct a better India be held hostage to the jingoists and the bigots, or to those who would rather have their TRPs rise than bring peace and justice to the land.

AN OBSESSION with speed is also the fear of being left behind oneself—which drives the compulsion to buy the new car, the faster laptop, the inflated stock. For fear of becoming dinosaurs, we are turned into sheep. GARRET KEIZER,

RAMCHANDRA GUHA,

a u t h o r,

w r i t e r,

on india’s “surgical strikes” in

in Harper’s Magazine

The Indian Express

I THINK THE human race has no

future if it doesn’t go to space. We need to inspire the next generation to become engaged in space and in science in general, to ask questions: What will we find when we go to space? Is there alien life, or are we alone? What will a sunset on Mars look like?

IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY, it’s the force they deploy, and not any higher American ideal, that gives police their power. This is obviously dangerous for those who are policed … For if the law represents nothing but the greatest force, then it really is indistinguishable from any other street gang. TA-NEHISI COATES,

STEPHEN HAWKING,

t h e o r e t i c a l p hy s i c i s t ,

w r i t e r,

in How to Make a Spaceship:

in The Atlantic

A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight

I HAVE SEEN enough in my life and I know that fame is temporary. Maybe this would be my biggest achievement where a book written by me, about my life has become a film, which has been released in my lifetime and I have watched it. But that does not change me as a person.

NO. ‘NO’ is not only a word. It’s a sentence in itself. It doesn’t need any further explanation or interpretation. No simply means no. My client said ‘no’, your honour. These boys must realize that. Whether it is spoken by an acquaintance, a friend, a girlfriend, a sex worker or even a wife. No means ‘no’. And when someone says no, you stop.

M. CHANDRAKUMAR

a u t h o r,

whose book Lock Up was made into the film Visaranai, india’s official entry to Oscars 2017

Lawyer, played by

AMITABH BACHCHAN,

in the film Pink. this is a translation of his lines from the final courtroom scene

READER’S DIGEST

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

39


FINISH THIS SENTENCE

“Sounds that conjure up my childhood the best ...” ... the full-throated

call of the ice-cream vendor, which takes me back to my childhood and the lazy summer afternoons. NUTAN GORE, Mumb ai

... friends ringing their cycle bells in front of my home on weekends.

E. SURESH KUMAR, Madurai

... the theme song of

Akashvani

... the title track of

Malgudi Days

on all india radio. REITA MIR, North Lakhimpur, Assam

on doordarshan. NOORIE HUSSAIN, Guwahati

... creaking of my late

grandfather’s rocking chair.

... sound of a train passing by a railway platform. SHWETA KAPADIA, Silvassa , D adra and Nagar Haveli

... the tinkling of my

mother’s glass bangles when she rhythmically patted my back to put me to bed. MRINALINEE PATRO, Bhub aneshwar

40

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

READER’S DIGEST

I N dia picture

SUMA NAIR, Mumb ai


P HOTOGRAP HS BY CLAIRE BENOI ST

ART of LIVING

I’m a Slob and You Should Be One Too! BY ANDY S IM M O NS

reader’s digest

|

november 2016

|

41


I ’ m a s lo b a n d Yo u s h o u l d b e o n e to o !

Thwart Dust Mites Did you know that your bed is probably home to 1.5 million hungry dust mites feeding off your dead skin cells and swimming in the moisture left over on your sweat-soaked sheets? Or that, if inhaled, the allergens they produce (which is actually their poop … mm-mmm!) can cause asthma and allergies? Sleep tight! Thankfully, it’s easy to stop the little buggers: Don’t make your bed. Sheets and blankets tucked in with their hospital corners, just so, lock in the moisture that mites need to survive. As with Dracula, exposure to sunlight kills them. Stephen Pretlove, PhD, of Kingston University’s School of Architecture, told the BBC, “Leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress, so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.” I SKIP SHAMPOOING SO I CAN ...

Rock a Better Do Twilight actor Robert Pattinson has a lot of hair, which, in my book, makes him an expert. So I took notes when he said, “I don’t really see the point in washing your hair ... It’s like, I don’t clean my apartment, ’cause I don’t care. I have my apartment for sleeping and I have my hair for just, you know, hanging out on my head.” Turns out he has a point. Washing your hair every day “strips it of its essential oils” according to Huffingtonpost.com. “Day-old hair styles better 42

|

november 2016

|

READER’S DIGEST

and generally looks better than freshly washed hair.” Alli Webb, hairstylist and founder of Drybar, told WebMD, “I have always said, ‘It’s fine to go a few days without shampooing.’ ” (It’s true; she’s always saying it. She’s the dullest conversationalist.) When it comes to washing my hair, I’m Team Edward! I WON’T CLEAN MY DESK SO I CAN ...

Spark Creativity There’s an excellent Albert Einstein quote about desks: “desks = mc2”? No, that’s not right. The quote’s somewhere on my desk but I can’t find it amid all this clutter. I probably should dump it all into the trash but a sloppy desk has its virtues. A University of Minnesota study split participants into two rooms (one tidy, the other messy) and asked each group to come up with different uses for ping-pong balls. The ideas from the messy room “were rated as more interesting and creative when evaluated by impartial judges” according to the study, published in Psychological Science. While orderly environments “encouraged playing it safe” concludes Kathleen Vohs, one of the study’s authors, “disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights. Being in a messy room led to something that firms, industries and societies want more of: creativity.” Oh, here’s that Einstein quote. I was sitting on it: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered

PROP STYLI ST: JOJO LI FOR HELLO ARTI STS . OK VASE SET COURTESY TARG ET.COM

I NEVER MAKE MY BED SO I CAN ...


READER’S DIGEST

mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” I think I’ll keep this quote under my butt where I can find it. I’M A LAZY BUM SO I CAN ...

Boost My Mood We all know the value of exercise: You get big muscles so you can pop the lids off pickle jars without running them under hot water. But when it comes to mental health, doing nothing has a lot going for it. “It’s long been recognized, by everyone from the Buddha to John Keats, that ‘doing’ can be a kind of compulsion, an addiction we only fail to acknowledge as such because society praises us for it,” wrote Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian. “Indeed, learning how to do nothing might be the most vital skill for thriving in our frenetic, overwhelmed, always-connected culture.” I’m a willing student! Especially because relaxation confers so many health benefits. The Mayo Clinic says relaxation techniques can lower blood pressure, reduce muscle tension, improve concentration and mood and increase blood flow to major muscles, like the ones I use to lower myself onto the couch.

are maybe a year old and have yet to see a washing machine. I know that sounds totally disgusting.” Not to me! Like Bergh, I never wash my jeans. Hot water and detergent make denim fade and quicken its demise. “Raw denim is best given a good six months before washing,” advises British jeans manufacturer Hiut Denim. “The longer you can leave it, the better your jeans will look.” Slate.com was slightly grossed out by this practice, so it asked Rachel McQueen, a professor of human ecology at the University of Alberta in Canada, how sanitary this was. While bacteria, sweat and skin cells get transferred to clothes via the body, “skin microorganisms are generally not hazardous to ourselves” she told the site. Of course, Eau de Unwashed Jeans is not a fragrance Chanel will be marketing anytime soon. Bergh recommends spot cleaning jeans with a sponge or a toothbrush and a bit of detergent, then air-drying.

MY JEANS GO UNWASHED SO I CAN ...

Make Them Last Longer Addressing a Fortune magazine conference on the environment, Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh pointed to his pants and said, “These jeans reader’s digest

|

november 2016

|

43


HEALTH

remedies that really work, plus when to turn to drugs or surgery

Natural Ways to Fix Your Knees BY R I C HA RD L A L IBE RTE FROM PREVEN TIO N

Smart exercise Definitely don’t stop working out. Staying active builds muscles that support the knee joint. Two things to avoid if you have pain: running and doing full leg extensions with a resistance machine. Better bets: walking, bicycling and ‘closed kinetic chain’ exercises, in which the foot stays planted (as on an elliptical trainer).

Healing foods They go straight to your knees. Drinking skimmed or fat-free milk helped women put the brakes on knee osteoarthritis in one study. Other research indicates that people who eat fruit containing vitamin C show fewer signs of heading towards osteoarthritis than those who don’t. In another study, a daily 510 mg 44

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest

ginger extract supplement improved the knee pain of arthritis patients.

Glucosamine/Chondroitin Some knees respond; some don’t. That’s why the benefit looks statistically non-existent, on average, in studies. Try it for two to three months: That’s when it will help if it’s going to.

Ice it Frozen peas pair nicely with swelling and pain. Whether you injure your knee or suffer an arthritis flare-up, ice moulded around the joint for 20 minutes every hour helps bring down inflammation.

Weight loss Every kilogram you lose feels like two fewer kilograms to the knee. Exercise and a healthy diet can each help you


lose, but dropping pounds by combining the two is the gold standard for relieving pain and restoring function, according to one recent study.

NSAIDs Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen are better than acetaminophen. If your stomach can take it, pop the drug for 10 to 14 days. “That’s more effective than stopping and starting,” says Dr Elizabeth Matzkin of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Injections Corticosteroids can ease knee pain by reducing inflammation when injected directly into the joint. They work well, but temporarily. Repeated injections may deteriorate cartilage, so doctors usually limit shots to three or four times a year.

Knee replacement

i n diap icture

If less-invasive options fail, consider surgery. A surgeon resurfaces the ends of the femur and tibia (upper and lower leg bones) where they meet and replaces damaged cartilage with metal and plastic implants. It’s the most drastic option but it could save your stair-climbing career.

6,000

Platelet-rich plasma Blood gets removed, treated and then injected into the joint with concentrated proteins called growth factors. Platelet-rich plasma has been used by athletes for sprains; now there’s early evidence that it helps with knee pain. If it holds up in more studies, the method might go mainstream in a few years. sources: Michael J stuart, Md, professor of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in rochester, Minnesota, Usa; allen d sawitzke, Md, associate professor at the University of Utah Hospital & Clinics, Usa; elizabeth Matzkin, Md, of the american academy of Orthopedic surgeons.

the number of steps per day that lowers the risk of mobility issues in people who have or are at risk of knee osteoarthritis. PREVENTION (aUgUst 2014), COPYrigHt © 2014 BY rOdaLe iNC., PREVENTION.COM.

reader’s digest

|

november 2016

|

45


NEWS FROM THE

World of Medicine A new Dutch experiment shows that working out a few hours after learning something new maximizes the brain boost. Subjects who hopped onto a stationary bike four hours after a learning session retained more information than those who biked right away and those who didn’t exercise at all. Physical activity helps the body produce catecholamines, natural compounds that may improve memory consolidation if released at the right time.

Washed out The US Food and Drug Administration recently banned 19 ingredients—like triclosan and triclocarban—in antibacterial soaps and hand washes. The FDA says that these ingredients have not been found to be more effective than plain soap and water, and may even cause bacterial resistance and hormonal effects. The ruling doesn’t apply to hand sanitizers and hand 46

|

november 2016

|

READER’S DIGEST

wipes, or antibacterial products used in hospitals. The FDA says that washing your hands with plain soap and running water is your best bet against sickness and germs.

Avoid this diabetes scam The US FDA has issued warning letters to 15 companies for selling unapproved products claiming to treat or cure diabetes. Watch for fraudulent medicines on websites and so on, particularly those sporting claims such as ‘Replaces your diabetes medicine’ or ‘Natural diabetes cure’. These illegally marketed remedies may cause some patients to neglect legitimate ways of controlling diabetes, leading to complications.

Nearly half of heart attacks are silent Heart attacks don’t always present with symptoms. An article in the American Heart Association’s

PHOTOGR APH BY T HE VOOR HES

Exercise eases the learning curve


journal, Circulation, concluded that around 45 per cent of them go unnoticed initially. The damage is discovered only later, when patients undergo an MRI or an electrocardiogram during a check-up or after showing general signs of poor heart health. ‘Silent’ attacks triple the risk of eventually dying from heart disease, so once they’re detected, they should be treated aggressively with blood pressure control and lifestyle changes.

The limits of caffeine When 48 subjects limited their sleep to five hours a night for five nights, a safe amount of caffeine (200 mg, roughly equivalent to two cups of brewed coffee, five colas or one energy drink) improved alertness on the first two days. However, it made no difference compared with a placebo on the remaining three. Rather than relying on caffeine to compensate for lost shut-eye, repaying your sleep debt is the best way to restore health and function.

New culprit behind tummy trouble A slower passage of food through the large intestine seems to increase the amount of harmful metabolites produced along the way, according to research from the Technical University of Denmark. This may raise the risk of problems such as colorectal cancer and chronic renal

disease. Signs that your food’s transit time could be sluggish include infrequent bowel movements and abdominal pain. Eating a fibre-rich diet, drinking lots of water and exercising are ways of speeding it up.

Families of depression patients need support too A Norwegian survey suggests that close relatives of severely depressed patients may succumb to depression themselves. This may be because they’re struggling with powerlessness and the fear that their loved ones may die by suicide. People suffering from depression are often reluctant to let relatives get involved, but when they are involved, everyone benefits.

Caution to daily pill takers People with conditions requiring a regular pill routine sometimes experience adverse effects when they first try using a pill organizer, found a study from the University of East Anglia in England. The probable cause: If they had been forgetting to take their pills before using the organizer, they may not have been getting expected health results, so their doctors increased the amount prescribed. Once they consume their meds properly, they may end up with too much medicine in their systems, leading to incidents such as falls or low blood sugar. BY SAMANTHA RIDEOUT, WITH INPUTS FROM GARIMA GUPTA

READER’S DIGEST

|

november 2016

|

47


Tech

decoding dating apps for those who want to explore companionship online

Game, Set, Match “THESE THINGS DON’T WORK.

You know that, right?” my newly single friend said, sounding a tad grumpy. I ignored him and focused on the dating app on my phone, swiping left once, twice, three times, in the hope of spotting a decent profile. “I tried for a bit, but not one match,” he added. I rolled my eyes and continued. You never know who is behind the next swipe. He could be THE one. What am I doing on a dating app? I succumbed to persuasive friends who wanted me to “explore and get out there”. So, I did the easiest thing possible. I downloaded an online dating app and got going. I was surprised by how much I liked the experience; they felt so different from drab matrimonial websites crowded 48

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest

with people looking for clichés. While vigilance is key, these apps have enough filters to weed out unsavoury elements. Since then, there have been a few hits amid a barrage of misses, many great conversations and a lot of laughs. “There are parallels with real life,” says marriage and family therapist Dr Maitri Chand. “With the convenience and the instant gratification superimposed.” If matrimonial websites changed the world of matchmaking in the past decade or more, dating apps have taken things up a notch. There is something for everyone: the lonely hearts, determined singletons, serial daters, even marriage-seekers. Taru Kapoor, head of Tinder India, feels that our society is “undergoing an interesting transition with the new

indiap icture

by c h iT ra s u b ra m a n yam


generation craving and commanding networking site, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. They also have filters more control over their choices and and authentication processes (even decisions”. The connection, then, identity proofs in some cases), in happens through similar sets of inan attempt to filter out fake or dodgy terests, education, profession or perprofiles. There is also an active haps even a love for Kafka, says ‘report abuse’ system in place. Sumesh Menon, co-founder and The app taps into your social circle; CEO, Woo. And that is the intrinsic so, often your ‘matches’ part of the experience. could be friends of These apps transcend friends. However, make age as well as recognizMatrimonial sure you go through ing the needs of those in their 40s or 50s, who sites altered the the detailed safety guidelines outlined are single or divorced matchmaking in the app before and ready to go out into the world. “Our pace of world. Dating connecting. life is only getting faster. Devil’s in the apps took things The Isolation sets in as we Details: There’s nothing up a notch. get older—that’s where more frustrating than these apps come in,” a two-word description says Chand. or empty bios. Those So what is the best way to start are either a red flag or a sign of out, make sense of them and then disinterest. Menon advises you to use them effectively? Here’s a “invest time in building your profile. quick primer. The more you build, the more genuine and serious your intent.” be honest With the Why: Each In fact, a recent Tinder survey app positions itself differently with revealed that men without a bio unique features and tools that you are 98 per cent less likely to get a will come across while browsing on ‘swipe right’ (read: like). the app store. Identify your needs and pick accordingly. “Many people you Don’t have to be Photogenic: do not have the time or space to It is more about creating an nurture a relationship. This helps impression with your personality— them experience companionship choose pictures that portray the and connection, and may even fulfil depth and dimension of who you are. their need for belonging, however Solo shots that are alive and short-lived it may be,” says Chand. colourful will help you stand out from the crowd. Ditch those group The safety Factor: Most apps shots, please! expect you to log in using a social reader’s digest

|

november 2016

|

49


g a M e , s e t, M a t C H

make the First move: Go beyond the prosaic ‘hi’. Comment on the image, engage with your match’s interests and share your opinion. Don’t be afraid to show that you have a sense of humour! Keep the conversation Going: The app is just the medium. You still need to work on reaching out. Do make an effort to get a better understanding of the person you are talking to. Don’t rush or jump to conclusions. If they don’t respond right away, give them a little time. you can always Jump ship: The user is always in control; connect only when you are ready. Don’t give out your phone number until you have built in a measure of trust. You don’t need to connect in the real world immediately. If your match asks for an address, wait. First meetings are best done in public spaces. The Red Flags: Remember that this is still the virtual world. You may be getting along like a house on fire, but temper the enthusiasm. Even if you are sharing your deepest, darkest secrets, this is still analogue communication that relies on writing skills. “This is pseudo-intimacy,” says Chand, “where there is a lot of intensity and sharing that happens within a short span of time. But this is not significant intimacy, which comes with you experiencing vulnerability when you are sharing. And that only happens in real life.” So enjoy the thrill, but keep a bit of reality check in 50

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest

DaTING aPPs maDE Easy n Login using social networking

sites like Facebook or Linkedin. n Use tags to describe your

interests that will connect you to similar people. n swipe left to move to the next

proile. swipe right to ‘like’. n it’s a match only if both sides

swipe right. n You can start chatting once both sides are ‘matched’. Perfect for avoiding uncomfortable conversations. n each app has its own special touch to help connect better. tinder has ‘superlike’. trulyMadly has an in-app paid feature called ‘spark’ that lets you message someone directly or speak to a relationship consultant. Woo lets you ask questions—you can connect or chat with the person whose answer you like the best. Cofee Meets Bagel has the men making the irst move!

place. “This is not the platform to fall hard and fast,” she says. Also, always observe the conversations with your match. Did they tell you they are in their 20s or 30s, but they sound more a teenager? Do they deflect questions about their personal life? Are they comfortable sharing information with you? These are important questions to ask when moving to the next level. But the most important thing to remember, she says, is to always trust your instincts.


FOOD

What a food’s hue can—and can’t—reveal about its nutrition

Crack the Colour Code BY KELSEY KLOSS AND GARIMA GUPTA n

ORANGE VS. RED CARROTS

Rainbow carrots are a feast for the eyes but one colour isn’t necessarily healthier than the others. All are rich in different antioxidants. Orange carrots have high levels of beta-carotene, important for healthy vision. Red carrots contain lycopene, linked to lower risk of certain cancers. For maximum benefits, eat a variety. n

INDIAP ICTURE

n

GREEN VS. RED BELL PEPPERS

Red peppers are usually aged green peppers. Chlorophyll masks red pigment in green peppers until the vegetable matures. Green peppers are typically cheaper and have fewer nutrients because of their shorter growing time.

BROWN VS. WHITE EGGS

An egg’s colour says less about nutrition and more about … the chicken’s earlobe. Chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs; those with red earlobes lay brown ones. n

apples, which might be because of the colour.

RED VS. GREEN APPLES

Both red and green apples have the same amount of fibre and vitamin C. The green variety—like Granny Smith—tends to be slightly lower in carbohydrates and calories. The reds tend to have at least twice the amount of beta-carotene than green

n

GREEN VS. PURPLE CABBAGE

One cup of the purple variety delivers a whopping 33 per cent of our daily RDA for vitamin A compared to green cabbage’s three per cent. Green cabbage scores with vitamin K, providing 57 per cent of your daily requirement as compared to purple’s 28 per cent. But the purple also contains higher amounts of vitamin C and iron. Sources: Eric Decker, head of the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, USA; Annals of Agricultural Sciences; time.com; thekitchn.com; medicalnewstoday.com; rodalesorganiclife.com; goaskalice.columbia. edu; nutritionletter.tufts.edu; healthyeating.sfgate.com

READER’S DIGEST

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

51


all in

“You’re right. It does send a powerful message.” Half of all employers know within the first five minutes of an interview if a candidate is a good fit for a position. It’s a wonder these people made it past the first five seconds. n Candidate sang her responses to questions. n Candidate put lotion on her feet during the interview. n When asked why he wanted 52

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

reader’S digeSt

the position, candidate replied, “My wife wants me to get a job.” n Candidate had a pet bird in her shirt. n Candidate started feeling interviewer’s chest to find a heartbeat so they could “connect heart to heart”. Source: careerbuilder.com

a NerVoUs patieNt arrived at our dental office for root canal surgery.

PETER STEINER/T HE N EW YORKER COLLECTI ON/© CON DÉ N AST

A Day’s Work


He was brought into the examination room and then left alone for a few minutes. When the dentist returned, he found the patient standing next to a tray of surgical equipment. “What are you doing?” the dentist asked. The patient replied, “Removing the ones I don’t like.” Source: gcfl.net A frieND and colleague was terribly

overworked. He constantly requested the management for assistants but nothing came of it. One day, he was asked to anchor an official function with the CEO and senior management in attendance. He started by inviting his senior colleagues, one by one, to the stage to present bouquets to the dignitaries. Finally, all his senior colleagues had had their turn, but there was still one dignitary waiting to be honoured. Seizing the moment, he said, “Because of shortage of manpower, I am now going to present a bouquet to Mr Z.” sUBrata ray, Hyderabad GoiNG oN VaCatioN? Leave one of

these real, automatic email replies: I will be unable to delete all the emails you send me until I return from vacation. Please be patient, and your email will be deleted in the order it was received. n Sorry to have missed you, but I’m at the doctor’s having my brain and heart removed so I can be promoted to our management team. n Thank you for your email. Your n

Go to tHe HeaD of tHe Class teachers ask a lot of questions. Here are some of the answers they’ve gotten in return. Q: Who was Joan of arc? a: She was noah’s wife. JeNNifer eVaNs pfoHl

Q: Which state is a peninsula? a: Peninsulvania. roBerta eDGar Q: What percentage of the european population died following the outbreak of the plague? a: One hundred per cent, eventually. Kim mCCollUm

credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first 10 words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message. Source: mistupid.com if i HaD to DesCriBe my 16 years

of corporate work with one phrase, it would be “pretending to add value”. Dilbert cartoonist

sCott aDams,

from This Is the Part Where You Pretend to Add Value

tHe Closest a person ever comes

to perfection is when he fills out a job application form. Businessperson

staNley raNDall

reader’s Digest will pay for your funny anecdote or photo in any of our jokes sections. post it to the editorial address, or email: editor.india@rd.com

reader’S digeSt

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

53


FAMILY

start on a new note. Help your children nurture their inner goodness

Positive Parenting BY DR S H E LJA S E N

WHAT DO WE typically do when we find our children doing something we don’t approve of? We become reactive parents. We criticize, complain, compare (How dare you do this? Your sister never put us through this), we’re sarcastic (You must be so proud of yourself) and catastrophize (You will never be able to get through college admissions). Often, we pepper our reactions with lectures and nagging sessions. When none of it works—and predictably so—we end up screaming and dole out a punishment. And our children react with an equal measure of negativity, through rebellion, anger, resentment and a ‘can’t-be-bothered’ attitude. Not only do these reactive strategies fail, I think they can be quite damaging for our children’s growth. Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh put it beautifully when he described how each child has both negative seeds—of anger, despair, hatred, fear and violence—and 54

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest

wholesome seeds—of love, happiness, compassion and forgiveness. According to him, what will blossom depends on the seeds we nurture.

Try a new approach A parenting and educational approach that’s gaining a large following internationally, called the Nurtured Heart Approach (NHA) by Howard Glasser, is very much in keeping with this Zen approach. I have been using it with my own children and the kids I work with, and it has worked wonders. The three main aspects of this approach are: n Refuse to energize negativity. n Relentlessly energize their positives. n Reset: Do not react negatively and stay calm when the child does something wrong. Let me explain how this works: Parents following this approach commit to not saying or doing anything that may fuel negativity in the child (refer to the reactive measures


mentioned earlier). And any time the parent feels that she/he is becoming reactive, she/he resets, moves away, refusing to energize the child negatively. But the parent has to make sure she/he does this without any anger or resentment. While on a mission to cut the negative, the parent looks for every opportunity to energize the positive in the child. This is done through persistently appreciating the goodness in the child in the smallest of ways: You were really generous about sharing your pizza with your sister; I appreciate the hard work you have put in your project; It takes courage to stand up to a bully. If you observe, the appreciation is not about saying “excellent”, “amazing” or “good”, which is really an empty praise and does not speak much to the child. Qualifying a praise, on the other hand, gives the child direction and she/he begins to understand what qualities, values and strengths are appreciated. These are also necessary ingredients for life skills and success.

indi api cture

Positive pay-offs This approach is not merely about noticing when the child is being good, it is about recognizing the child’s worth at every step. It’s about aligning his energy in believing that he has great qualities, which are being identified and validated by the parents at every step. The basic belief is that when the kid is energized through

NURTURED HEART APPROACH the NHa focuses on creating healthy relationships. it lays bare the workings of a relationship— what makes it work, what makes it go awry—and helps develop awareness and understanding to improve the ways we interact with others and ourselves. it shines a spotlight on greatness rather than problems. it inspires challenging children to focus their intensity and energy in ways that will help them lead passionate and purposeful lives.

regular strength-based recognition; he realizes that there is no point choosing negativity, as there are no pay-offs in it. So start building your child’s inner wealth—there is nothing to lose but loads of negativity. the author is a delhi-based child and adolescent psychologist, family therapist, co-founder of children First and author of All You Need is Love: The Art of Mindful Parenting.

adapted From PREVENTION INDIA. © 2013 LiviNg Media iNdia LiMited.

reader’s digest

|

november 2016

|

55


Abhimanyu, Our Son it is this smile that has kept us going all these years BY M A D H U S U DA N S R I N I VA S

56

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest

It is this smile that has kept us going all these years. It kept us going in the face of extreme distress, on his part, when he would cry for hours together, or have a tantrum, while we tried desperately to understand what was going on with him—the crying was so intense sometimes that the only way to soothe him was to pull him into the car and drive for hours around the city. AND IT KEPT ME GOING in the face of crippling embarrassment when I would take him out and he would ‘behave oddly’: How many children of 10 or 11 do you see flapping their arms and screeching and rocking? How many young adults do you see with a wet patch on their crotch? We knew that this wetting was not due to not being ‘toilet-trained’. We knew, by then, that his seizures,

vIKRAM S HA RMA

THIS IS A SMALL STORY, a look-in through a tiny window at our life. It’s about our son Abhimanyu, his autism and us. But we have to tell you that it isn’t the full story, there’s a lot more to it. Abhimanyu is 23, about five feet eleven inches tall. He lives with us, his parents, both journalists, in New Delhi. He is taller than both of us, towering over us like a ‘gentle giant’, as one of his teachers calls him. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I say everyone loves him. He is, and has always been, a cheery, happy fellow, with a grin plastered across his face. He smiles thus, whatever the circumstances—it could be an inability to understand what’s going on around him, an inability to speak full sentences, or extreme sensory distress, which makes him clap or screech loudly in public.


PHOTO/I LLUSTRATI ON CREDI T

Abhimanyu with his father, at their favourite “ghoda park”.

reader’s digest

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

57


which began when he loud, because he does was around 11, could be have limited speech Our children the cause: They could be for his wants; at other haven’t overt or subliminal, under times, a sharp clap the surface, and we would is a communicating demanded have to be on our guard all strategy). There anything of us, the time. But how do you are two ‘didis’ who it’s we who end l i v e w i t h u s ; o u r explain to people who do up demanding a n e i g h b o u r s , w h o not know about autism, or have met him for the first make it a point always lot of them. time, that he could wet the to gre et him ; our sofa or their bed without numerous friends and warning? On the whole, family, all of whom I though, people have been try to keep informed very understanding, and about Abhi’s everyday we count our blessings. life. We have a great The wetting still happens. support system, The bewilderment we see and I would like to on his face is a constant t h i n k t h a t I h av e feature: So many times been instrumental in we think he’s trying to tell creating it, speaking us something but doesn’t to as many people have the tools to. We end as I can, making up surmising, sometimes bridges online and right, sometimes wrong. I off : Journalism and have to be especially alert autism, for me, have because I take him out with gone hand in hand. me as often as I can; I have Most often we get always believed that my son needs to by. We get busy with work and friends. be out and about, in public transport, And Abhi spends his time at ‘school’ in movie halls, even if he spills popcorn (the Ashish Centre for young people and is not really interested in what’s with autism, where he is learning going on on the screen. basic life skills from loving, caring people, therapists and teachers who IN OUR JOURNEY WITH HIM, we have are madly fond of him). He wins everyone over with his been accompanied by so many people who also know him well enough to gigantic smile. It makes us forget. figure out what he may want (there But then comes that occasional are times he will say a few words out seizure which stops us in our tracks, 58

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest

vI K ram SHARM A

ABHIMANYU, OUR SON


R E A D E R S D I G E S T. C O . I N

which gets us started on the long, weary checklist all over again: Is his medication at the right level, does it need to be re-jigged, do we need to switch doctors? It makes me wake up with a start even before the daily alarm goes off at four in the morning, in my bedroom just above Abhimanyu’s in our split-level home, my first thought being: Have I the energy to go down and check if he’s okay? That reluctance could be because the day gone by was a tough one, and because I’m always sleep deprived. Or because we’ve had a rare late evening, snatching a few hours away from our darling child. On such nights, I could come back wondering whether my boy is asleep. Or whether he’s had a seizure that we haven’t managed to catch, which sometimes leads to loss of bladder control, then and afterwards. AND YET THE LIFE WE LEAD,

bringing up our child, a young man who hasn’t spoken a clear full sentence to us in all the years since he was born, and then diagnosed with autism at nearly three—our precarious life together—is also supremely happy. I would not trade it for any other even if he is not and will never be like other children; in some ways, he will always be a child. Growing up, he’s said ‘Rajma dey do’, he’s said ‘Swimming jaana’, he’s said a myriad other things, mumbled in his unintelligible-to-the-world-but-clearto-us monotone. He didn’t listen to

Justin Bieber or One Direction at age 13. He hasn’t demanded to be taken to a concert in the Philippines by a band of the moment or a raging sex symbol. But he’s young, too, showing us flashes of his growing will. And he has his range of music to go to, his fallback options ranging from A. R. Rahman to the Gundecha brothers to the latest Bollywood ditty. Music is his life, as it is ours. It was always so, now it is so more than ever ... So what am I trying to tell you? What am I trying to say, writing these words to share with you what lies beyond the six degrees of separation in the lives of people like us, Abhimanyu’s parents, and many other parents like us who have been given a diagnosis of differentness? I’m saying: Most of our children haven’t demanded anything of us, ever. It’s we who end up demanding a hell of a lot of them in our endeavour to meet society’s norms. To make the differently abled as non-different and as indistinguishable as we can. To gain ‘acceptance’—in the family, the home, the housing society, the mohalla, the street, the main road, the mall, the multiplex, the metro line, the market, the world at large. I’m saying: We live, a kind of life, like all the other lives that are lived. And this world is as much Abhimanyu’s as anybody else’s. That’s as much of a window as we could open right now. The entire house tour some other day.

eXCERPTED FROM A BOOK OF LIGHT, PUBLISHED BY SPEAKING TIGER, DELHI 2016.

reader’s digest

|

november 2016

|

59


Shocking Notes SO SUE ME

A LAWYER from Bihar grabbed

headlines when he filed a case against Lord Rama. He alleged that Rama had exiled his wife Sita “without any proper justification”. While hearing the case, Sitamarhi district court’s chief judicial magistrate asked him who should be punished for such an ancient incident. The court then dismissed the case as “not maintainable” while saying that the issue was “beyond logic and facts”. Source: ABP Live A FLORIDA SCHOOLTEACHER filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit against her employers for denying her a sought-after job. The fact that 60

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

READER’S DIGEST

she can’t speak or understand Spanish, she argued, should not preclude her from a plum job teaching Spanish. Source: Miami New Times

USING BEDSHEETS

and floss, two cell mates rappelled 17 stories down the side of a Chicago prison and escaped. They were caught within days. But one of the prisoners was so traumatized by the events, he sued the government. The convict said prison officials should have noticed they were preparing to break out and put a stop to it before they did something like rappel 17 stories down the side of a federal prison using bedsheets and floss. The court tossed out the lawsuit. Source: Associated Press

A PARISIAN MAN’S JOB is so dull,

he’s suing his employer for more than $405,000. After his responsibilities were slashed, the employee says, his job’s extreme level of tedium actually triggered a seizure while he was driving. Source: atlasobscura.com —INPUTS FROM MAMTA SHARMA

ILLUSTRATION BY N ICK DAUPH IN

A NEW YORK lawyer was hit with what he termed a “baseless” lawsuit. Fine, he said, before citing English common law, which he claims was never outlawed, to demand a trial by combat. While the plaintiff’s lawyers did not find his wanting to duke it out “amusing”, the lawyer said his weapon of choice would be a medieval war hammer. Source: New York Post


140

Defeat

Diabetes Now!

It is estimated that over 100 million indians will suffer from diabetes by 2030. alarming as it may sound, experts emphasize that simple lifestyle measures can prevent diabetes. Here’s the lowdown BY KATH AKO LI DAS GUP TA 62

|

noVEMBER 2016

|

reader’s digest


A

SMALL BOIL ON HIS FOREARM 12 YEARS AGO

transformed L. Srinivasa Gopal’s life. The Chennaibased IT professional was advised a minor surgery, and pre-surgery tests revealed that he had high blood sugar. He was 37, overweight, had poor eating habits and a stressful job involving night shifts. Even with diabetic parents at home, he didn’t think he was at risk. He is not alone. According to latest estimates, a staggering 69 million Indians have diabetes and another 80 million prediabetes. What’s more, awareness about the condition is dismal. According to the recent ICMR India Diabetes Study, about 58 per cent of the urban respondents were aware of the condition and about 56 per cent of the general population knew it was preventable.

ALL IMAGES : INDIA PI CTURE

Why is diabetes becoming an epidemic? Indians are genetically more susceptible. We have the ‘thrifty gene’— primed to store energy as abdominal fat. It helped cope with food shortage in the distant past, but now when food is plentiful, it increases diabetes risk. But experts agree that genes alone cannot explain why the numbers have shot up dramatically in the past 40 years. They hold our lifestyle— the tendency to remain sedentary and overeat, along with stress, which throws our hormones out of whack— and environment responsible. It is the interplay of genes, lifestyle and environment that determine our

diabetes risk (see box on p 64). Experts say that healthy choices can outsmart our genes, and armed with information and taking charge of our health can help protect us from the imminent diabetes tsunami.

What is diabetes? Insulin is a hormone that regulates our blood sugar levels. Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body cannot make or use insulin properly. Over time, uncontrolled diabetes can turn lethal by causing serious damage to blood vessels (cardiovascular disease, stroke, retinopathy), nerves (neuropathy or numbness) and organs (kidney disease). READER’S DIGEST

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

63


d e f e at d i a b e t e s n o w !

Srinivasa was lucky: He treated his early diagnosis as a wake-up call and has been vigilant ever since. Along with medication, he followed the lifestyle advice of the team at Dr V. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre. Recognizing that night shifts adversely affected his health, he opted for a day shift. “I was able to change my eating habits, got time to exercise and ensured better quality of sleep,” he says. With a healthy diet and exercise, he shed seven kilos in a few months. With quarterly blood sugar and HbA1c tests and an annual health check-up, his latest reports are normal. At 79.5 kg, he is the lightest he has been in a long, long time. But the biggest payoff has been his understanding of the condition and how to beat it. Understanding diabetes has also helped Delhi-based Ekta Paneri Gupta who was diagnosed three years ago at age 30. While researching online, she realized that her untreated Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) was a possible culprit. “I was diagnosed with PCOS about 10–12 years ago but the gynae didn’t make a big deal of it. Also, I let my weight spiral out of control,” Ekta recalls. Gupta’s doctor suggested a threepronged approach—medication, diet and exercise. She swapped three big meals for five smaller ones, gave up sugar, started cooking with minimal oil, switched to wholegrains, and ditched processed foods and saturated fats. She also took up running and yoga. In 64

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest

aRe you at RisK? Risk Factors family history, abdominal obesity, excess weight, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits (calorie-rich food, high in simple carbs and fat, and low in protein) and a history of gestational diabetes put you at risk. You can assess it with the simple indian diabetes risk score (idrs) at cadiresearch.org. symptoms see a doctor if you notice excessive thirst, frequent urination (especially at night), fatigue, and sores or cuts that won’t heal. He will suggest blood tests for a diagnosis. tests n the fasting Plasma glucose (fPg) range—done after fasting for eight hours—for nondiabetics is less than 100 mg/dL. for prediabetes it is between 100–125 mg/dL and for diabetics above 126 mg/dL. n the oral glucose tolerance test (ogtt) determines how your body processes glucose: below 140 mg/dL is considered normal; 140– 199 mg/dL indicates prediabetes, and more than 200 mg/dL is a signal of diabetes. n the Hba1c test indicates blood glucose levels over a period of time. a result below or equal to 5.6 per cent is ‘normal’. Prediabetics may show the range as 5.7–6.4, while diabetics show 6.5 or above.


R e a D e R s D i g e s t. c o . i n

the past three years, she has dropped 20 kilos and her medicine dosage. “I was militant about the lifestyle changes to start with, but I have learnt that a steady approach works in the long term.”

Can diabetes be reversed or cured? Recent studies show that weightloss (bariatric) surgery can induce remission in diabetes patients. A 2013 study by Medanta–the Medicity, Gurgaon revealed that more than 90 per cent of obese patients were able

experts believe weight loss may be the main factor responsible for better diabetes control and cure.

Catch it early Of course, the best place to intervene is in the detectable process that p re c e d e s a d i a g n o s i s —p re d i a betes. This is a condition where blood glucose level is high, but not high enough to be in the diabetic zone. Studies indicate that without inter vention, most people with prediabetes will get full-blown diabetes within 10 years. However,

EXPERTS BELIEVE WEIGHT LOSS MAY BE THE MAIN FACTOR RESPONSIBLE FOR BETTER DIABETES CONTROL AND CURE IN THE LONG TERM to go off their diabetes medication following a surgery, even prior to significant weight loss. Researchers from Newcastle, UK employed this principle and successfully used severe calorie restriction (600–700 calories over eight weeks) to reverse diabetes. Twelve out of the 30 patients remained diabetesfree six months later, despite resuming a normal diet. Though it remains unclear how long the ‘cure’ will last, doctors are hopeful. In the long term,

with changes in lifestyle, including modest weight loss (as little as 5–7 per cent of current weight), people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the development of the condition by 54 per cent three years later.

Your ‘beat diabetes’ plan eat Wisely

Portion control, eating highfibre foods, wholegrains, adequate protein, swapping bad fats with reader’s digest

|

november 2016

|

65


d e f e at d i a b e t e s n o w !

MANAGING DIABETES WITH DRUGS Metformin is the backbone of diabetes treatment. sulphonylureas is equally popular. however, the past decade has seen the development of many new diabetes drugs. no doubt expensive, these drugs not only ensure weight loss, they also prevent weight gain and stop hypoglycaemia (sudden dip in blood sugar levels). they are also known to cause fewer gastrointestinal side effects. diabetes being a chronic condition, over time you need to combine drugs to manage blood sugar better. here’s the latest in diabetes medication: Incretin-based therapies: these novel drugs activate the incretin hormonal system in our gut, stimulating insulin production and inhibiting glucagon (anti-insulin) production from the pancreas in response to food in the stomach. they come in two forms: GLP 1 Injectibles: these include twice-a-day injections (exenatide) and once-a-day liraglutide. the weekly injectible dulaglutide was introduced this year. Oral DPP-4 inhibitors: this class of drugs is designated as gliptins (sitagliptin, vildagliptin). they have often been added to metformin. SGLT-2 inhibitors: these oral tablets push out glucose through urine. these include canagliflozin, dapagliflozin and empagliflozin.

Insulin: People with type 1 diabetes and some with type 2 diabetes need to take insulin via an injection or pump. animalbased insulin has given way to human (pure insulin) and analogues (designer insulin). Pure insulin is available in fast-, medium- and slow-acting forms. designer insulin is rapidacting (lispro, aspart, glulisine), ultrashort (buccal spray) and long-acting (glargine, detemir, degludec).

66

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest


R E A D E R S D I G E S T. C O . I N

good ones, choosing small and frequent meals and ditching refined foods are the principles that stave off rise in blood sugar levels. Along with calorie reduction, slow absorption of foods should be your goal. MOVE MORE

Exercise helps torch calories, slash weight, lower your blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. The minimum recommendation is 30 minutes a day, five days a week, though experts recommend more. According to a recent study,

EASE STRESS

Stress causes your blood sugar levels to skyrocket, giving you the energy to fight or flee. But with chronic stress, extra sugar is released continuously without being used up by the body. Moreover, the stress hormone cortisol triggers cravings for high-fat, high-sugar comfort foods. A study from Duke University, USA found that stress management techniques can help you control blood sugar levels. Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness.

prolonged sitting can double the risk of diabetes—even in those who exercise regularly—due to enzyme changes in our muscles. So, get off your chair every hour— for two minutes, walk, stretch or do a few lunges. While aerobic exercise is excellent, strength training twice a week will build muscle which will help burn more glucose. You don’t need to hit the gym—simple exercises such as squats, lunges and push-ups are effective.

0 14

FEWER THAN SIX HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT IS ASSOCIATED WITH A THREE-FOLD INCREASE IN LIKELIHOOD OF ELEVATED BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS SLEEP BETTER

Sleep helps to stabilize blood sugar. Fewer than six hours a night is associated with a three-fold increased likelihood of elevated blood sugar levels (prediabetes), says a study published in Annals of Epidemiology. Inadequate sleep also contributes to weight gain: The Nurses’ Health Study tracked 68,183 women for up to 16 years and found that those who got five hours of sleep or less, weighed about 1.14 kg more and were 15 per reader’s digest

|

november 2016

|

67


d e f e at d i a b e t e s n o w !

cent more likely to become obese. Poor sleep is also associated with hunger hormones that make you eat more. Get the recommended seven to eight hours every night. Don’t sMoKe

According to a study involving men, published in Diabetes Care, smoking cigarettes was associated with a significant increase in diabetes risk, even after adjustment for age, body mass index (BMI) and other potential confounders such as physical activity. If you smoke, seek help to quit now.

MeasURe Up

An expanding waistline is a strong pre dictor of insu lin resista nce and Type 2 diabetes. Abdominal fat (or visceral fat) is highly metabolic. It breaks down quickly, travels around the body, parking itself on various tissues including those of the pancreas—the insulin production house of the body. To cut risk, women should aim for a waistline below 80 cm (31 inches) and men 90 cm (35 inches). BMI—a rough calculation of body fat, bas ed on your w eight and

SMOKING IS ASSOCIATED WITH A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN DIABETES RISK, EVEN AFTER ADJUSTING FOR AGE, BMI AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DRinK spaRingly

It’s wise to be cautious—especially if you are trying to lose weight. Recent NHS, UK guidelines recommend restricting consumption to 14 units per week, spreading it out over three or more days. (A bottle of red wine = 10 units; a pint of regular beer = 3 units.)

height—is a fairly good indicator of diabetes risk too. The normal range is 18–23 kg/m2. get testeD

Beginning in your 30s, an annual blood sugar test is an absolute must. If you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes, start earlier.

expert Panel (in alphabetical order): Dr ambrish Mithal, chairman & head, endocrinology and diabetes division, Medanta–the Medicity, Gurgaon; Dr anoop Misra, chairman, fortis CdoC Hospital for diabetes and allied sciences, new delhi; Dr binayak sinha, consultant, endocrinology, aMRi Hospitals, Kolkata; Dharini Krishnan, consultant dietician, Chennai; Dr shashank Joshi, endocrinologist, Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai; Dr V. Mohan, chairman, dr Mohan’s diabetes specialities Centre, Chennai.

68

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

ReadeR’s diGest


Laugh Lines BEDTIME STORIES

Do you ever wake up, kiss the person beside you and just be thankful to be alive? I did. Not really appreciated on flights, apparently.

Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight. PHYLLIS DILLER, c o m e d i a n

You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

@POLLYCHROMATIK

DR SEUSS, a u t h o r

WUNDERVISUALS/GETTY I MAGES

Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep. ALBERT CAMUS, a u t h o r

When people tell me, “You’re going to regret that in the morning,” I sleep till noon because I am a problem-solver. ANONYMOUS

I never knew how long it took a human to fall asleep until I had kids. In case you’re wondering, it’s 2 hours, 3 cups of water & 18 books. @OUTSMARTEDMOMMY

READER’S DIGEST

|

november 2016

|

69


KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

in the deluge, surrounded by a raging river, and when all hope was lost, help came from unexpected quarters

THE BRIDGE OF

LIFE

IT HAD RAINED through the night.

It was as if someone had viciously ripped open the skies to start the deluge. Daylight broke but the pouring rain showed no signs of letting up. It was the first day of December 2015. Memories of a flooded Chennai on another December day, 10 years ago, came rushing back to me. But somehow, this time, ever ything seemed worse. The power lines were down, plunging us into darkness, the landlines went dead and even mobile phones had stopped working. My husband and I, both senior citizens, 70

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest

were cut off from the rest of the world. E v e r y y e a r, t h e n o r t h - e a s t monsoon lashes Chennai from October to December. Its severity is unpredictable, and with poor infrastr ucture, power cuts and traffic jams, normal life comes to a standstill. Chembarambakkam, a mammoth rain-fed reservoir about 29 kilometres away, supplies water to the city. When the lake fills up, the sluice gates are opened and the surplus water is let out into the Adyar River that originates here. But it isn’t as smooth as it sounds.

ILLUSTRATI ON BY AN IRBA N GHOSH

BY N I R M A L A R A N G A SWA M Y


reader’s digest

|

november 2016

|

71

AN ARTI ST ’S R E NDI T I ON OF T H E EV E NT S


THE BRIDGE OF LIFE

In December 2005, too, the city was flooded. There was an announcement on 3 December that water would be released from Chembarambakkam Lake. We did not know what to make of it, as we were new to the area. Our neighbour had advised us to park our car elsewhere. Thank goodness we did, because the water rose steadily. By the next morning, it threatened to enter the house. Some helpful young boys carried me on a chair to safety, while my husband walked through chest-deep water to join me. It had been quite an experience, but being married to an engineer from the Indian Air Force and living in remote locations, I was used to the vagaries of nature. When we returned the next morning, there was no trace of water; only the slush remained. Ten years later, on 2 December, w e t o o k a d e e p b re at h a s w e found ourselves surrounded by muddy water. MY HUSBAND AND I had spent a sleepless night with our hearts in our mouths, as water entered our house the night before. We had very little time to decide what we needed to save and what we had to leave behind. Depending on how heavy or precious they were—we would have had to carry our belongings up a winding flight of 21 steps. We moved our idols of worship to the first floor, as they had been an important part of our life. But our age only allowed us to climb 72

|

november 2016

|

READER’S DIGEST

up and down a few times. We hoped the water would recede, just like it had all those years ago. We followed the weather forecast, which predicted heavy rainfall. Our domestic help, who lived on the banks of the Adyar River, gave us regular updates about the water level. The river had been peaceful for five to six days, flowing within its limits, she had told us. But when the rains came, the authorities opened the floodgates simultaneously, which submerged thousands of homes. Reservoirs across the city were also opened at around the same time. Ours was an ordinary double-storey house in a cul-de-sac in Defence Officers Colony. There was an empty plot to our left, with eight-feet-deep pits [for a new construction] that were filled with water. The house next to it was submerged. It must have been abandoned the previous day. The house adjacent to it had a family staying on the first floor, just like us. They had a running kitchen on that floor, but nothing else besides that. No one knew how much more water was likely to come our way. The rescue boats did not show up. Perhaps they did not dare. As helicopters flew overhead, we waved our hands, shouting for help. But they flew past : They appeared to survey rather than rescue. We were hopelessly marooned. Meanwhile, it poured non-stop.


R E A D E R S D I G E S T. C O . I N

We had retreated INSIDE, THE The river was to the first floor. But WATER continued raging. We saw water continued to rise. The waves to enter the house had started lashing carcasses floating through the night against the parapet by and heard o f 1 D e c e m b e r. on the terrace deafening sounds. The entire ground ab ove the p orch. floor, which stood If the water entered The water did not on a four feet high there, we would stop rising. plinth with a ceiling be doomed. of nearly 12 feet, We were on the was submerged. open terrace at On 2 December, we the back. The sky realized there was was overcast and it no food. All we had was turning dark. were a couple of Some construction small bananas and workers, 12 young two biscuits for each men (boys to us), of us. Also, we only from the building had two litres of site were monitoring drinking water left. the water level, and From the staircase landing, we saw noticed us pacing in and out. That precious photo frames, treasured was around 5 p.m. wall hangings and random plastic One of them called out, “Auntie, containers floating around. Our gas uncle, you can’t stay there for long— cylinders banged against the steps. the water level is rising. No boat is Th e g u s h i ng f l o o d wat e r ha d coming this way. Come over and stay surrounded our house from all with us. Do not be alone at night.” sides. We could hear the river raging. They spoke Bengali, though a couple Every once in a while, there was of them could speak Hindi. a deafening noise. Could it be the “You are almost 20 feet across the compound wall breaking? street. How will I manage? The river is Then there was the unbearable running right below us,” I shouted back. sight of carcasses floating by. We saw “Don’t worry,” one of them said. a buffalo, two calves, a dog and other “We can build a bridge for you and strange shapes from a distance. Were uncle to cross over.” they dead or could they be alive? We “Oh, no, she can’t. Walk across an were now surrounded by more than improvised log bridge over 20 feet of 20 feet of water. water! She has pain in her joints, what READER’S DIGEST

|

november 2016

|

73


THE BRIDGE OF LIFE

if she trips and falls?” My husband simply ruled out the suggestion. Of course, it would be a watery grave. But the thought of staying back in our house and sinking along with it was just as chilling. I had to decide fast. All we had was a tiny flashlight (with no spare batteries). If the water reached the first floor, we would have to move to the open terrace one floor above and be exposed to the elements. The choice was between pneumonia and drowning. So I decided to risk it. I was 70 plus and no gymnast trained to walk on balance beams. What’s more, I was prone to tripping and falling on even ground. I wasn’t so worried about my husband, as he had gone through rigorous training in the armed forces. But, balancing my weight on uneven logs and planks was quite unimaginable. We had to move fast. Once it was dark, even the boys wouldn’t be able to save us. They were good swimmers, but below us was the roiling force and fury of a river surging towards the ocean. The boys worked swiftly, putting together a two-tier makeshift bridge in minutes. Since the underconstruction house had scaffolding all around it, there were spare ballies or wooden logs they could use. The first tier was built with four ballies tied with rain-soaked coir ropes. After the first 10–12 feet was a vertical stump, which marked the end of the first 74

|

november 2016

|

READER’S DIGEST

level. Then came the second tier of the bridge, made of planks fastened to the second floor of the house under construction. They put it together standing on the ballies. One of them, Mansoor, walked across to help me. He seemed quite confident of the plan and that gave me hope. I finally started believing that I could make it. I had to jump to get on to the logs, steady myself, balance and walk, leap and sit on the plank, then get up on to the second tier and walk, holding on to Mansoor’s hand. And I did it. He had an iron grip, which pulled me through. My husband followed, after seeing me safe at the other end. He was escorted too. We reached the second floor of the unfinished house, safe and sound. I was trembling with the sudden rush of adrenaline. The boys took us to their sleeping quarters. All the while it kept pouring. “Stop it,” I wanted to yell out to the skies. A huge tarpaulin was spread out on the floor and I was given the spot nearest to the window to sleep. It was cold. The boys cooked rice on their makeshift chulha and offered us some. But we were not hungry; the anxiety had proved to be too much. We were surrounded by 12 young men. We did not know them, but we felt secure. They went to so much trouble to save our lives. And then made sure we got some sleep. They reminded me of my two sons who were in the US.


R E A D E R S D I G E S T. C O . I N

THE WAT E R STARTED receding

had done for us. We would be beholden to them for life. For the first time in two days we had spotted our neighbours, who lived behind our house, on their terrace. They had decided to walk through the water to get to the metro station. With the boys gone, we would be all alone, surrounded by water. We had to get to them, but how? A raging river and 30 feet separated us. We c r o s s e d t h e rickety bridge one last time. We used an under-construction sit-out and a shaky ladder to get closer to our neighbours. The water level was lower here. While we wondered how to wade through waist-deep water (with me in a sari) to the metro station, my neighbour spotted her brother-in-law in an Army rescue boat. I almost wept with relief. The boat would never have made it to our house at the end of the road, where there was 10 feet deep water. We were glad that we were at our neighbour’s house, which was under just three feet of water. The boat struggled to negotiate turns, and finally dropped us to a spot where we could walk and search for a way out.

One of the boys held my hand in an iron grip and helped me across the makeshift bridge, as the river roiled below us.

the next day, the morning of 3 December. Our young friend escorted me back to our house so I could use the washro o m . I w a l k e d back the same way, gingerly holding on to Mansoor’s hand. But this time, I was not so scared. Water sw irled around the house in circles. The ground floor was submerged. The compound wall at the back had fallen. The water was forcing its way in from all directions. By noon we were very hungry. The boys offered us a bowl of hot rice. We had very little drinking water left— half a bottle to be exact. Around 2 p.m. news came in that more water was likely to be released from the reservoir. This would be the death of us. Our new friends had been called back to their villages, as their construction was delayed indefinitely. Their supervisor had asked them to take the first train back home. They left with their bags at 3.30 p.m. We gave them some money for travel and other expenses. Any amount would be too little for what they

READER’S DIGEST

|

november 2016

|

75


The bridge of life

We weren’t left all alone, though. There was a young couple that was transporting stranded people to the main road in their SUV . It was still drizzling, but we were lucky. They lived close to my sister-in-law’s house and dropped us there. Perhaps we were destined to survive. WE RETURNED HOME after 10–11 days. We never saw our car again. A relative arranged for it to be t ow e d t o a w o rk s h o p a n d t h e insurance company auctioned it after two months. The fridge was lying on its side, the door wide open with nothing but slush inside. Our cur ios, collected over the years, were buried or lost. As were our photo albums that included faded but precious sepia images of great grandparents. The bundle of loving letters from our children and deceased parents that had been left in drawers were now pulp. The less

I talk about the suitcase filled with my silk saris the better. It was kept on top of the seven-foot almirah and was soaking wet. We told each other, “Remember, we wanted to downsize and de-clutter. An unseen hand is doing that for us.” We were forced to learn detachment. The maid returned after 15 days. The bridge was used a few more times to retrieve our documents as our main door was blocked by furniture. We learnt that a couple in our colony drowned in their house as they did not have a staircase. We were traumatized and exhausted. I did not want to go back to the house we built with so much love. But we were grateful that we had lived to tell the tale. We were lucky, unlike so many others. Amid all the destruction and loss, we experienced hope and the kindness of strangers, many of whom risked their lives to save ours.

HEALTHY CHOICES Please stop arguing with me about my choice to be vegan. it takes a lot of energy and i get winded easily. @THEWOODENSLURPY

Just walked up a light of stairs, and my fitbit emailed me to report itself stolen. @THECATWH ISPRER

My favourite thing to do at the gym is leave. @LISAGOODWIN1

76

|

november 2016

|

reader’s digest


As Kids See It

“I hate aeroplane food!” I TOLD MY KIDS to get rid of toys

they don’t play with, so if you hear a commotion, it’s them desperately playing with every toy they own.

CON AN

DE

VRI ES

@MAUGHAMMOM

MY THREE-YEAR-OLD daughter Violetta was watching her grandmother get ready one morning. After Grandma used some product to style her hair, Violetta asked, “What’s that for?” “To give it some body,” her grandmother replied. Violetta paused to process this information, then asked, “Why would you want somebody in your hair?” CARI MATHEWS I TOOK MY then three-year-old son

Elvis with his older siblings Jeuel and Samantha to buy rainwear for

school. As we stepped out of the shop, it started raining heavily. Jeuel and Samantha couldn’t wait to put on their raincoats, but Elvis refused. We explained that he would get wet. At that, he turned around and said, “Are you mad? My raincoat will get wet.” COLLEEN TRAYNOR, Mumbai RECENTLY HEARD this quote from my six-year-old: “It’s almost a little bit mostly completely done.” I’m not sure if that makes him an optimist or a politician. @HOWTOBEADAD I THINK FOG IS just clouds that have fallen down. DYLAN, a g e

6

Reader’s Digest will pay for your funny anecdote or photo in any of our jokes sections. Post it to the editorial address, or email: editor.india@rd.com

READER’S DIGEST

|

november 2016

|

77


CoVER SToRY

science now says we can power new brain-cell

Get On Board

Revol ILLUSTRATIONS BY QUICKHONEY

78

|

NOVEMBER 2016

|

reader’s digest


▼Reader's Digest - Sharped Brain