Friday, November 27, 2009

When She cries ... Female Infanticide

Madhu* is a daily wager while working under the hot sun and dust she knows that she has to leave home early with her sum of money. Her 5 year old daughter wants a jeans for her birthday. " Aaj kal ke bacchon ko sirf jeans weans chahiye to dilana to padega na" (today's children desire only jeans now will have to fulfill what she wants) she said resurrecting her assured smile. A few years back she knew how much struggle she had to face just to keep her daughter alive, today she is happy that with her hard work and determination she has not only managed to keep her daughter alive but also given her every basic facility whatever within her capacity. Madhu shudders to think of the day her daughter was born, when she lay on bed weak due to pregnancy watching her mother-in-law picking up the new born and trying to strangulate her. With all her mite she saved her daughter and left her in laws house with her new born and her 4 year old son with the help of an Aangan wadi helper. The struggle didn't stop here, at her father's home her brother refused to take her in, only after her sympathetic parents much request was she let-in. Her in-laws kept harassing her time and again, they wanted their son back but madhu knew she would not give up so soon . After a few months she shifted to the city with her mother and started working as daily wager and house maid. Today after 4 years her ex-husband has married again and she knows she will never be able to give her children their father, yet she is happy she has given her children their life's and that is proud about. There's nothing like living with dignity she knows she was right then and now too.

In another such incident as quoted from Dahlburg, book "Where killing baby girls 'is no big sin'." Lakshmi already had one daughter, so when she gave birth to a second girl, she killed her. For the three days of her second child's short life, Lakshmi admits, she refused to nurse her. To silence the infant's famished cries, the impoverished village woman squeezed the milky sap from an oleander shrub, mixed it with castor oil, and forced the poisonous potion down the newborn's throat. The baby bled from the nose, then died soon afterward. Female neighbors buried her in a small hole near Lakshmi's square thatched hut of sun baked mud. They sympathized with Lakshmi, and in the same circumstances, some would probably have done what she did. For despite the risk of execution by hanging and about 16 months of a much-ballyhooed government scheme to assist families with daughters, in some hamlets of TamilNadu, murdering girls is still sometimes believed to be a wiser course than raising them. "A daughter is always liabilities. How can I bring up a second?" Lakshmi, 28, answered firmly when asked by a visitor how she could have taken her own child's life eight years ago. "Instead of her suffering the way I do, I thought it was better to get rid of her."

Two separate incidents two completely different mothers, how could motherhood distinguish between her girl child and her boy child ??A report states that 300 women die every day during childbirth or of pregnancy-related complications. The country has skewed the world’s sex ratio and the UN estimates 48 million girls have gone “missing” in India. Female foetus are either aborted or murdered immediately after birth. In India from several years we have witnessed the same situation , over and over again little babies are killed just when they breathe there first breath. The only thing that has changed is the process and the means in which the death of the new born is executed but not the mindset. Decades before the parents waited until the mother gives birth, and when they find out that a daughter is born, they go ahead and kill the baby by adopting various means such as strangling the baby, giving her poison, dumping her in a garbage bin, drowning her, burying her alive, starving her, stuffing her mouth with salt, or leaving her outdoors overnight so she dies of exposure. Today also the rural areas don't go for sex detection methods they prefer the child to be born and be killed, but now they are afraid of being caught. So from a quick and relatively painless procedure, it had turned into a prolonged and torturous one. "Now they are afraid of detection," said Mary* , a public health nurse. "If someone registers a case of suspected infanticide and the body is exhumed, the 'old' methods of killing can be detected." As a result, modern methods had evolved. The newborn was deliberately weakened and dehydrated by its own parents. They did this by wrapping it in a wet towel or dipping it in cold water soon after delivery or as soon as it came home from hospital. If it was still alive after a few hours, it was taken to a doctor who diagnosed pneumonia and prescribed medicines. The prescription was carefully preserved, but the medicines were never bought. When the child finally died, the parents had a medical certificate to prove pneumonia. Sometimes, the infant was fed a drop of alcohol to create diarrhea. Another certifiable 'disease'.

Urban areas are no far behind although they might not kill the girl after it is born, they do try to determine the sex of the foetus. They very well do know it is illegal and doctor's are not permitted to do so but for a little more money doctor's do do it. A sex determination scan can cost anything from Rs 300 upwards. The whole package, including abortion of the female foetus, costs about Rs 7,000. This luxury is not afforded by the poor so they prefer to kill the child after its birth. This ubiquitous scan is responsible for the mass massacre of female foetuses in Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana. Today several villages in these areas have no woman at all, several of them where woman haven't been born in decades. Stories echo that the direct result of female infanticide is the amplification of trading of poor girls. One such media record from Bhuwaneshwar recorded driven by acute poverty, a dalit mother in Orissa sold her 20-day-old daughter to a neighbour for Rs 600.

Gauri* a village midwife who had witnessed the killing of many female infants. Her job, she said, was only to deliver the baby. What they did with it was a family decision. Giving a perfect explanation as to why more girl babies were getting killed every year. She said "The value of a girl goes down every time the value of gold goes up." Where the daughter's life is spared, parents often neglect her and expect her to work around the house serving her brothers and father. Girls are rarely sent to school, and if they are, they are removed after a few years of education and put to work - perhaps sent to cities to work as maids in homes, and send back money earned by them. The scene in cities is no different where somehow or the other a girl child is bound to live by the fences of her home, riches hasn't changed anything rather enhanced the percentage of dowry to be given. Even today men are believed to be the bread earners and contributors to their parents family where as the women are considered as liability who will leave the home once married so even if they earn, it will be enjoyed by her in-laws and not her family. In short doing anything for the girl child is much of a waste.

The WEF report ranked India 121st in terms of the education gap between genders. Deep-rooted prejudices against female children, low enrolment of girls in school, child labour, high dropout rates for girls and poor infrastructure were said to be the main factors.Only 36 per cent of women, compared to 85 per cent of men, were in the workforce. Women made up only 3 per cent of senior officers and managerial positions. Experts say gender inequality is harming the prospect of continued rapid economic growth. Chanda Kochchar, the Managing director & CEO of ICICI Bank, said the labour potential of women could greatly add to the economic strength of India.
“If the ratio of working women goes up to 50 per cent in next 20 years, we will be adding 0.5 per cent to our GDP every year,” she said.

Although it is much easier to highlight the problem and tougher to solve it, the mindset hasn't changed for ages but the beginning like Madhu is on the way. We need to understand that there's something fundamentally wrong with the society that considers the superiority of males on accounting his physical strength and considers woman weak, submissive and sacrificial. We need to begin from home teach our kids that there's no difference between girl and a boy and stop impelling girls masking her security, boys have no special rights that a girl cannot enjoy. But the dilemma is who is to blame for this the mother who kills the child in agreement with her family members? or the society that even today leaves no stoned upturned to prove that men are better ? Will punishment to this crime eliminate the problem or will it keep on aggravating?? issues unsolved and unresolved...... May be in near future we will truly need men to have wombs to carry babies. We would have no Mother's left.

( *Names changed to protect identity )

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bridal Trends in shoes

The wedding season is on and we know for the few coming weeks it will be your BIG time shopping spree. So we bring you the most happening trends of 2009-2010 wedding season.

We all know our wedding ceremonies are long so long that they extend from few days before the D-Day and few days after D-Day, so the most important thing that should be kept in mind while choosing a shoe is the comfort of the bride. So that she can carry all her customs comfortably handling her shoes. Extreme high heels are out of fashion for the bride cause there might be times when she has to stand for long hours with her heavy dress wear, make-up and jewelery. In fact most Indian weddings are a part of religious ceremonies so belted shoes tied up and hard are a complete NO NO, the bride will have to open her shoes and step into " mandap " (the place of holy fire praying) untying her shoes at that time might be a problem.

Now hey!! the bride has to look gorgeous from top to bottom, how can we expect her to be simple just for the sake of comfort ?? No, that's not important. the latest trends are woven around the fact that the bridal shoes match her looks, make her look glamorous yet ethnic. So check them out !!!

The most comfortable wear this season is the Juti's style its back in fashion and in complete new avatar. These juti's are now available in various colours with the kind of beads work, zari work and designs as you want. With the amount of heels you can handle. Light heels, high heels or flats you can roll them walk away and slip them out get into your wedding ceremonies without having to struggle a lot with their wear. You can choose the kind of leather you want made of cloth, animal leather or artificial leather like and as you want.

Heel slippers or sandals a trendy and handy way to look tall and ornamented on your D-day. Easy and comfortable to slip in and slip out matches with almost every traditional attire saree or salwaar kameez.


Kolhapuri chappals, the word attaches a sense of dignity and original craftmenship. The best traditional wear of weddings still excessively used in Maharastra is growing in its use for wedding or other related ceremonies in other parts of India too. Most elderly women still prefer its look and feel. Kolhapuri chappals have attained the epitome of comfort wear and simplicity , is now available in different styles and colours.

Ballerina's are back small little shoes look classic and so much sweet covers your feet and slip in with so much ease. Keeping Indian weddings in mind they are now available in glossy fashion's of gold and silver and black for your chick-in after wedding parties !!

Red Heels you can never give up on them every girl has to have this in her shoe wardrobe. When you can think of nothing that can fit you classic red outfit (or saree) choose a red heel with no straps around. Its sassy, sexy and very much in for weddings.


Like red, pink is also the classic colour of Indian weddings but you need not restrict your choice only for weddings. You might want to wear your always loving strapped heels, that will make your legs look sway high , or you might be the bride's best friend who wants to hook someone with some pink look for that you can take little pain for sure. Then go ahead, pick the bold and beautiful pink stiletto.

At the end of the day when you are worn away from the long struggling hours don't forget to give your feet a good warm water massage.

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blind in love?? Blind Date...

" It was normal weekday and after office i was about to meet my blind date for a movie at inox, we met on Internet and our friendship was an instant hit. My friends were more interested to find out who she was and what she looked like so they called her up stealing her number from my cell and fixed up this meeting. When I looked up at the mall's passage I saw a girl in a lacy pink shirt and denim jeans of almost a height about 5'5", wheatish (wheat like) complexion and good vital status i mean really good, walking down confidently towards me. It made my heart beat so fast i felt i would almost collapse. Things dint work out for us after a few months but i still remember her. " says *Vinay smiling to himself.

A blind date is a date where the people involved have not met each other previously. The match could have been arranged by mutual friends, relatives or by a dating system. Till a few years ago blind dates were concept of west and forget about meeting an unknown man suddenly, the Indian bride and bridegrooms did not even see each other till their first night. Things started changing eventually, probably the first time meet of the bride and the groom would also come under the concept of blind date since both of them knew nothing of each other not even each others faces, but it was accepted since it was on the onset of their married lives. However the actual concept of blind date was derived from west much since dating was taken to a new level of experimentation. For many ages men and women thrived to find their perfect one's by dating their known one's but with blind dating came the excitement of knowing something completely unknown, may be they wanted to experiment with their destiny.

Blind dates are becoming more commonplace following the rise of the Internet, when people who have met in chat-rooms, Instant Messaging, Internet forum finally agree to meet in person. A part of youth now calls this "Internet dating", its no more traditional dating style. "Social Networking sites have not left blind date as it was considered before, you can check anyone's profile whenever you want, you have no trusted source of information to say if the person you are going to go out with is at least a good or a bad person to be with. Forget about looks you have to consider many more things from the point of view of safety before you go out with someone." says *Nandita who hates the idea of Internet dating. Conversely few others consider it "pretty experimental" , as *Vinay advocates " From my story, I know nothing went wrong we trusted each other and had a great time ya may be things did not work out in future but that depends on an individual blaming the whole concept of Internet dating as a taboo is wrong. At least in this you have your own judgment to understand things about other person while in customary dating, you had to always depend on your friends, friends of friends, cousins or aunties, and how would you ever know they are right always??? "

Blind dating is considered by psychologists one of the most stressful emotional experiences, mainly due to a great lack of self-confidence from both parties and the inevitable fear of the unknown. Both the parties are not aware of each others where being and looking forward could either be excitement or anxiety. With social networking sites running applications and communities for dating, you never know how true is the person on other side there's always a struggle between perception and reality. May be *vinay survived since his perception matched with reality it might not be same in every body's case. *Dhruv walked out of a restaurant in the middle of a date after he realized that the gal with him did not have a good reputation. Says the guy: ''The date was a disaster, but blind dates carry that risk. The best thing is that one can just walk away without having to answer any questions.''

Indian form of blind dates have progressed further from the time when marriages were arranged and your relatives fixed you up with your wife and you could know what your wife is like only on the "Suhaag raat", to the time when the guys and girls were allowed to peek into each others photographs to today were they asked to meet for an hour or so, if things click of they meet again or never again. Indian matrimonial sites have played well on this they have combined the concept of Internet dating and Authentic dating with Indian marriages, this lets both the youngsters and the elders in the house to see through and know about the bride or the groom via their projected profiles. Well times have changed and even Indian parents have adapted to this custom agreeing to which *Mrs.Nair mother to two sons says " At least our children are marrying with our consent and in today's world its very important to know your partner before marriage so there's no harm if they meet and decide for themselves. "

Blind Date for two people may never be same you might go for a blind date expecting a prince charming or beautiful damsel to spend evening with, what you might get is an ugly duckling. Probably the more you expect the more are the chances that you fall head over heels, reality might be far away from imagination. But blind dating is always convenient for people who want to experiment with their luck. It appeals to people who do not mind a few surprises. It is like aiming blind folded to a target which you are not even sure exists. Even then if you fall into the trap, only thing you can do is to handle the situation.

So just some perks for your preparation for a blind date:-

1) Gather your Info: Tits and bits work, find out the basics about that person looks might be one criteria more important ones could be job, interests etc. But don't simply go on a relatives say especially women tend to coat the hidden information, they saying nice, sweet and plump could mean cold, ugly and fat. So use your brains and don't day dream.

2) Chose to contact ahead a meet: Try emails or may be a chat session just to know the kind of person he/she is. Don't exaggerate this into an emotional bonding, you might regret and want to end it after your meet and if that happens the other person might be hurt.

3) Meet during day: Out in the light its always easy to say good bye and keep meeting short if you don't enjoy his/her company. Say you have a meeting or a deadline to complete so you need to leave early no offense intended. An added advantage for girls is day time is safer, much safer to meet an unknown in a crowded place and keep notes of what the other person does.

4) Don't go like disaster: You might not be interested to meet your aunts choice but that does not mean you go wearing a torn jeans or an old over sized dress. Dress up properly who knows you might end up getting your dream one??

5) Don't be inculpating: If things don't progress beyond the first date, don't wonder what you said or did wrong. Sometimes two great people just aren't right for each other. That doesn't mean either one is the lesser person.

6) Differences might click: Don't go on a date with a preconceived notion neither positive nor negative, he/she might be different from you you might be one who enjoys parting and he might be one who enjoys silent evenings but you never know thoughts and ideas might still match, spark may still be there. So give your match fix aunt a chance.

7) Learn new: Circumstances, events and the people you come across make you the person you are. The more kinds of people you come across, the more enriched your personality. You learn something from everyone. So even if the date is a disaster you might still learn something new out of it.

8) Many left: Hey!! nothing to be sad about there are many left to find out your dream one from. Just one or two dates can't make you sick. You go, see, analyze and if you don't feel good about it move on to next. Don't commit or get emotional about it.

So... isn't love blind ?

(* Names changed to protect identity)

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper

Thursday, November 19, 2009

When Self Esteem stoops low

Angelina Jolie Voight an exotic combination of beauty, talent and deadly charm. Who's facial features render her almost flawless, who's body is touchstone of perfection.This epitome of beauty claims that she suffers from low self esteem. She says "I struggle with low self-esteem all the time. I think everyone does. I have so much wrong with me, it's unbelievable." With the paparazzi looming on her all the time and with magazines depicting her time and again as a home wrecker who uses her kids, its something that has blown her self esteem way long.

So what do you like about yourself ? Do you look into the mirror and appreciate the lady you see or do you seek only faults and mistakes into her ? Are you proud of yourself? If these questions make you uncomfortable chances are you are one of those millions of women who continuously dodges away from accepting herself as "herself" .

Nathaniel Branden a psychotherapist and writer of books like " The Power of Self-Esteem " & "The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem" defined self-esteem as "...the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness". If that's self esteem then may be you need to ask yourself " why are you not worth all this happiness, what is it that you do not have and others have? ". Self Esteem is not a bubble of elation its rather a firm believe and affection for one own self. A feeling of accepting who you are as you are. Self esteem comes from the inside out. It means that a woman is not dependent upon anyone else to make her feel good about herself, because she already knows she's fine just the way she is. She is confident and aware of her strengths and abilities. She is also aware of areas needing work and growth. But that's ok, because she knows she's not perfect, and she doesn't have to be. No one is. She understands that we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

A woman feels low when she constantly absorbs negative messages around her , she cribs with feelings of hating herself and she hates every little thing she does. With one wrong thing leading to another that stoops her esteem so much that sequentially everything gets out of order leading her to blame only herself, this chain of events never seem to end for her which to a large extend is responsible for depression in women. The blame is on us who keep using a set of standards, created by society as acceptable but often unachievable, to judge our appearance, looks, work, relationships, success etc. What women fail to realize is that the set of standards placed before us is often a lie created by media and desire for a superlative life by society.

The reign of youth, beauty and thinness in our society dooms every woman to eventual failure. The media influences woman. Not only are we conditioned to believe we must have the perfect husband, the perfect children, and the perfect life, we are also led to believe beauty is a very important trait and that we must desire and achieve what is often impossible for woman to accomplish. Marilyn Monroe, a very established model and actress in her times, was regarded as a symbol of what every woman wants to live and every man wants to posses. In her case, she was a victim low self worth that led to depression. Angelina Jolie and Marilyn Monroe are just a few names to show us that the trend of being perfect has always deprived us from loving ourselves. As Tanya(name changed) an office goer says " I've always hated myself for almost every aspect of my being. I look at myself and can only think of the negative aspects. Every time I involve myself in certain activities, even if I do pretty well, it's my lack of self-esteem and confidence and I end up failing in those activities even though I would have done well. I've been perfectionist and too hard on myself, because I am never satisfied with what I do. I hate everything I do. For every little mistake, I punish myself. Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges for me is to learn to love myself and appreciate my own efforts, and to learn how to forgive myself as well. "

Sadly many of our youngsters are very much confused and upset with themselves a teenage boy from Delhi says " It is the constant pressure to be 'cool' and be accepted as a popular kid. The constant verbal abuse I received for my views eventually broke through my 'self shield' and made me feel bad about myself, depressed and unaccepted. I had to change myself my opinions and looks to be accepted as one of them. " Being one of many is the trend of today, knowing what's in and out is very important. Achievers are never followers, thankfully many young achivers of today do not believe in being perfect, with time and due experience they have realised being honest to yourself is foremost important in being an achiever one such young woman achiever from Mumbai comments about this fashion fad on her blog saying " .... How can they feel good about themselves ? Magazine models are airbrushed to perfection, and anorexic. "Beautiful" movie stars are whipped into perfect shape by personal trainers, and use surgery to create an unnatural cultural ideal. But youth cannot last. It is not meant to. If women buy into this image of beauty, then the best an older woman can strive for is looking "good for her age" or worse yet, "well preserved". Mummies are well preserved. Mummies are also dead. "

Relationships take the hardest blow due to self esteem. Abusive experiences assault female self esteem. Abuse is pervasive, it invariably sends the message that the victim is worthless. Just like a bad or abusive relationship can give you low esteem similarly a low esteemed person can dent the aspirations of another. In a couple where one person has a high self esteem and the other has low self esteem the damage is so inflicting that it leads to a wreck in marriages. A person with low self esteem always tends to see the negative in the other person, becomes prone to fault finding and criticism, and shows no gratitude whatever be done for them. Partners eventually finds it really hard to keep their marriage on when all their honest efforts keep failing. Aarti a homemaker says " I am a happily married stay at home mother of 3 children. I have a B.S and a Master degree in Accounting. We have a nice house and 2 nice cars. We seem like the ideal family and yes we are happy. BUT I not happy with all of who I am. I feel there's constantly something lacking in me. My husband tries motivating me but I feel I never do a single thing correctly. My depression now seems to be effecting my relationship, I and my husband spend much less time now and my kids also avoid me. " Several women like aarti face similar kind of problem, who know that have sufficient qualities yet fail to recognize them. A partner with low self esteem wrecks his/her own relationship over time the one lacking in esteem will kill the motivation and aspiration of the confident person. She gets completely out of control at home her kids get out of her control, she cannot command the respect she deserves from them, she never seems to feel or get her spouse satisfied, at her work place she lets other take the credit of her work because she cant say no, with friends she helps those when she does not want to, dresses like she does not want to look like and goes to places with those with whom she does not want to all because she cannot say "NO".

But that can change. If something bad has happened to you, it does not mean there is something wrong with you. "You can never become perfect so let go of it. " says bustling Mridula, BPO worker. There are parts of you which are beautiful ad are waiting to get recognized, if you feel hard doing yourself get a bunch of friends who would tell you just one thing what they like in you, know it and value it. For the start do not listen to criticism until you learn you balance them with compliments. Stop making everybody happy there are times when we have to be bad to people, you need to understand that people do and say things to you because they have their own self interest involved in it. Like media that shows you all glitz and glamour because it wants you to spend your hard earned money on their folly products.

You can choose your own identity. You can discard the popular cultural image and replace it with something real. Be yourself and your esteem will never be low again. As Andre Gide Quote says "It is better to be hated for what you are, than to be loved for something you are not."

Some Special Quotes ::

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Self pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in the world. "

~ Helen Keller

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sixth Sense !!

Just a week before the September 11 attack, one North Carolina mother dreamt about spinning into blackness and heard a man's voice repeating '2,830, 2,830' and a name she couldn't make out. 'It sounded like Rooks or Horooks,' she said. Disturbed by the dream, the woman cancelled tickets the family had to fly to Disneyland on September 11, despite protestations from her husband that she was over-reacting. Most bizarrely, 2,830 - the number repeated over and over in her dream - was the confirmed tally of deaths at that time. And the name - 'Rooks or Horooks?' - was that of Michael Horrocks, first officer of United Airlines flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower.

It is not the only incident to happen that could be merely refuted as coincidence but major incidents like September 11 triggered a series of such paranormal sixth sense or extrasensory perception (ESP) events. Interestingly, the vacancy rate on all four flights that crashed on September 11, 2001, was high. The occupancy rate of all four doomed planes that day was a mere 21 per cent - despite being commuter services. Sometimes, premonitions allow the person to pinpoint a specific time and place, leaving the dreamer enough time to alter the course of the disaster.

The ability to acquire information by paranormal means is popularly believed to be possessed by everybody on this planet. Astrologer Bejan Daruwala believes, "Intuition is the power that takes a person from the known into the unknown." Astrologers are also known to predict the future by relying on the powers of this sense. "People who have strong intuitions about things generally have a strong influence of Moon and Neptune in their life," Bejan says.

Sean Clarke who studies spirituality explains " The subtle world is made up of five cosmic elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) which cannot be seen. Though we cannot perceive this world which impacts our lives to a great extent, we can tune into it using our 'spiritual antenna' i.e. our sixth sense (ESP). The spiritual level of a person is one of the key factors in deciding which person receives knowledge from the subtle. Other factors include: motivation and intense yearning of the person, necessity for God's mission, resolve and blessings of a spiritual guide beyond the 70% spiritual level, and destiny of the person. "

In the normal evolutionary process humans have gradually developed the art of avoiding the impending dangers to come, most of the time studies have recorded that dreams or feelings of holocaust events are related to our most loved ones, it is when an intense feeling or anxiety runs inside a person and a state of urgency is acted upon. Dreams, visualisations, death indicators, feelings of spirits or even reincarnation are all associated with ESP. In India the concept of reincarnation is recorded in detail within the Upanishads (c. 800 BCE), which are philosophical and religious texts composed in Sanskrit. Many sacred scriptures records incidences which involve sixth sense like the famous character of Sanjaya in Mahabharata who according to scholars was temporarily endowed with the powers of intuitive cognition or second sight (remote viewing) so that he could ascertain the events and dialogues of the battlefield.

Sixth sense is believed to be a strong possession of the physically challenged people and animals too. A blind man in Britain claims to see future and scientists on brain mapping have found certain brain parts extremely active compared to a normal eyesighted man. But differing to this a Mumbai based doctor claims " Most people with perfect vision pay less attention to senses like sound, smell and touch in their daily activities. But in case of blind people since vision is completely lost they automatically start adopting, practicing and relying on other body senses. Since blind people are left with no choice they work harder to adopt these alternative senses. This is not a sixth sense else a result of determined hard work and continuous practice. "

But Science does have references to ESP and has categorically differenciated them like telepathy refers to mind-to-mind communication, clairvoyance is the ability to see things not available by known senses, precognition is the power to foresee future events, retrocognition is the strength to see past events and psychometry is the power to know the history of an object. For those who believe that beyond our senses exists a different world there are lot of examples. Like radio waves, where we cannot perceive things with our five senses. Certain high and low pitch voices are there, which only the dogs, elephants or insects can hear. It took years of research to prove that there exist things called "germs". These are beyond the purview of the five basic senses. We cannot see, taste, feel, hear or smell germs on our hands.

Animals too are believed to have a sixth sense, which alerts them about calamities before time. A strange incident happened with Anita Desai (name changed), a resident of Virar. Her mother was in the last stages of cancer. One night their pet dog, Wendy, suddenly started howling. Anita says, "Wendy had never done that before. I thought he was hungry so I went out to give him some food. But when I came back, my mother was dead. Perhaps, Wendy had seen it coming. Wendy was very close to my mom. When she died, he ran away from home next morning and did not return."

Refuting Varkha Chulani, clinical psychologist says, "Animals are naturally equipped to read changing signs in the environment, such as before earthquakes. Sixth sense has got nothing to do with it." According to her one's gut feeling is based on intellect and past experiences. "Believing that intuition is some kind of a power, shows the gullibility of people," she says.

The intuitive human mind wants empirical evidence for all the traits. However every person has experienced sixth sense at some point or other during his or her lives. The degree varies from individual to individual. It is still not known how the sixth sense operates. The research to prove the existence of sixth sense is going on. For verification, the phenomenon must be measurable and repeatable. The drawback with sixth sense is that it is impossible to repeat experiments with it. The more the person attempts to use his sixth sense, the less it seems to work.

Believing on one's gut feelings has produced tremendous results for many how it will work in your and my case is still not know, many be we need a silent time with ourselves to hear our inner voice speak or dream. Till then as we have to trust the words of this genius Albert Einstein who believed, "There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there."

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper

Monday, November 9, 2009

" Save Me " - Earth

When this time i entered pushkar for a holy water dip i realised the vagaries of nature, what i saw in front of my eyes was this deep and dry pushkar with a wide area of 510 m and feeding the population over 15,000 now looks pale and old with seemingly no hopes of revival of its original galore.

It made me sit and wonder how nature could show its extremes it dried up a lake that was said to have never ending water and could cause floods in arid regions of karnataka and andhra pradesh leaving thousands roofless. As a child we were always taught in school to save trees and jungles since it prevented soil erosion and caused rainfall and we thought how on earth a single tree would matter to our living. Now we know why it matters to us. At one such discussion with our driver escorting us in rajasthan trip said " Bhagwan ka prakop hai ye ab to indra devta ko yagya se khush karayenge tabhi kuch hoga sahabji " ( It is God's warth on us his anger, now Indra (God of rain) has to be made happy with prayers only then something will happen ). It amused me, such innosense of normal public it never seems to see any valid reason behind a situation. They always end up praising or blaming God for everything around them, would they think no matter how much yagyas or prayers you perform nothing would happen untill the ways of a man changes. We have devastrated several acres of forest land for industrialisation and now wonder why things are happening to us, the water which could have been a boon to us is turning into curse in the form of floods since there are no trees to hold and absorb excess water. Vast majorities of land being swayed up of its fertile nutrients and all that is left back is dry salted soil. Who is to be blamed for this??

Today morning i saw a mail in my inbox regarding the Copenhagen climate summit to request our PM take strong actions against global pollution, i too volunteered for the same but did not feel much enthusiastic after reading on it, the attitude of most developed countries is like they go to a resturant have their starters, main course then their dessert and expect the billis to be piled up on developing countries. Even then i know India has to make a move , in a densely populated country like India climate change puts additional burden on an already overstressed ecological and socioeconomic system due to rapid economic activities. A constantly rising temperature can induce faster glacial melting in the Himalayan and Hindu Kush mountain ranges resulting in a 40-centimeter rise in the sea level. Such abnormal rises will surely have an adverse impact on agricultural production in the form of a reduction in total crop cycle duration.

As a blog writer writes " What image conjures up in your head when you think - Himalaya? I think big pristine mountains, white and green merging with the blue, mountain and sky fused. Sometimes I wonder what our ancestors would have seen? Reality seems to indicate that what they would have seen would be drastically different from what we may get to see today. And then I wonder what my children will get to see? Brown and black merging with the grey? " . In another incident Alibagh, Taluka close to a thousand villagers stood for hours in the formation of a life-size human windmill in what could well be the largest protest for renewable energy in India to date. They were demanding that the Maharashtra Government drop plans to build 10,000MW coal-fired thermal power plants in the region and explore renewable energy instead. “We believe that the energy planned from these coal plants is dirty. It can come instead from clean alternatives like wind and solar energy, and by using energy more efficiently. We will not give up our land and our future to these mega power plants that will pollute our air, land, and water. We will not allow them to ruin our children’s future by adding to the problem of climate change,” said Dr Vishnu P. Mhatre of the Naugaon Sangharsh Samiti, one of the organisations fighting for clean energy here. Such news is an awakening a modification in the thoughts of todays generation that is slowly and steadily realising the value of natural resources, such protests will only grow in future. Building a low-carbon economy is an investment in India's interest this is to be understood and implemented.

Future is under much shade, away from the natural beauties filled with artificial glamour may be we will never be able to get our kids see how beautiful their mother earth is, all they will see is pictures. With such rapid depletion and eradictaion, mother earth's warth is bound to strike on different parts of the world by 2050 our great land population will sparse away from coastal zones and clog in the mid arid reigions adding more to land and water deficiencies. As an individual there are three areas where we can make the most impact in reducing carbon emissions - the electricity we use in our homes, the waste we produce, and the transportation we choose to use. Think if you can do something, if you really wish to here's a short list small efforts that can help our coming generations.

  • Change a light - Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you over 1300Rs on the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat.

  • Drive less - Less driving means fewer emissions. Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are great forms of exercise. Explore your community mass transit system, and check out options for carpooling to work or school. All of these things can help reduce gas consumption and half Kg of carbon dioxide for each mile you do not drive.

  • Recycle more and buy recycled - Save up to 1100 Kg of carbon dioxide each year just by recycling half of your household waste. By recycling and buying products with recycled content you also save energy, resources and landfill space. Whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans.

  • Check your tires - Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget, it also keeps 9Kg of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

  • Use less hot water - It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Reducing the amount used means big savings in not only your energy bills, but also in carbon dioxide emissions. Using cold water for your wash saves 200Kg of carbon dioxide a year, and using a low flow showerhead reduces 200Kg of carbon dioxide. Make the most of your hot water by insulating your tank.

  • Avoid products with a lot of packaging - Preventing waste from being created in the first place means that there is less energy wasted and fewer resources consumed. When you purchase products with the least amount of packaging, not only do you save money, but you also help the environment! One bottle of 1.5l requires less energy and produces less waste than three bottles of 0.5l. Reducing your garbage by 10% reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 600 Kg.

  • Adjust your thermostat - Turn down the heat while you're sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 900 Kg of carbon dioxide each year.

  • Turn "OFF " electronic devices when not in use - Simply turning off your TV, VCR, computer and other electronic devices can save each household thousand of kilograms of carbon dioxide each year.Do not leave appliances on standby.A TV set that's switched on for 3 hours a day and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.

  • Move your fridge and freezer - Placing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own. For example, if you put them in a hot cellar room where the room temperature is 30-35ÂșC, energy use is almost double and causes an extra 160kg of CO2 emissions for fridges per year and 320kg for freezers.

  • When shopping for groceries, bring your own cloth bag to the market - Not using paper, plastic grocery bags help saves trees, that absorb carbon dioxide.

  • Cover your pots while cooking - Doing so can save a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers: they can save around 70%!

  • Plant a tree - A single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.

  • Share this list/ Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions - Spread this list worldwide and help people doing their part: the more people you will manage to enlighten, the greater YOUR help to save the planet will be (but please take action on first person too)!

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Keep Texting !!!

When Niru went to shopping late with her friends , she received her mom's text saying "WRU???....LOL " she imidiately knew her mom wanted to know "Where Are You....Laughing out loud" she thought her mom is so cool she smiles even when she doesnt know where I'm. After a few days and on constantly receiving LOL at the end of every message niru got curious to know why her mom was acting so funny all the time, it was on her asking that she knew that LOL was not Laughing Out Loud but instead it was " Lots Of Love " from a mother to her daughter.

How many times has it happned that we have misinterpreted an SMS for being unaware of its abbreviations, several times right? SMS an abbreviation in itself " Short Messaging Service " has been on toe ever since the mobile/pager communication came into being then rates of a single sms were 2- 3 Rs to now even when rates of per sms have slashed to 1 paisa. If you are between 18 and 30 and you own a mobile with SMS. And you love sending messages that match your mobile size.You are sure to know and enjoy the spree of sms codes.

Communication now no longer needs long words and fully formed grammatically correct english. It is just meant to be understood by the receiver and has to be space and time efficient. The coolest trend inhibited by the youngsters says "Write less and saying more". "I use short forms alot cuz i dont feel lk writg out a word so i wud just use da short 4m.I feel it is smrt and creative 2 use such shrt-4ms!." my friend smsed and opinionated herself on this issue.

Social Networking sites communities and other forums have thrown out grammar and seem no longer interested in it. SMS's cropped words and grammar-less sentences have helped communication take a big leap.What sms brings to you is a smarter and easier form of english that gives a boost to the confidence of people who arent very thorough in english, they gain the similar kind of respect as an english literate (even though their english is concealed in sms). Talking via chatting has to get less tedious and more enjoyable so when you can sms someone "BBS" ,"GMTA " "GAL" , "LTNS" and so on who will type and write "Be Back Soon"," Great Minds Think Alike ","Get A Life", "Long Time No See".

Not every youngster is to be blamed for writing short forms."I'm 13, me and my friends (most of them) don't use shortforms. We actually type out the whole message. I find it hard to decipher the short forms, which are constantly changing" says Kiya on an internet forum. While Nitya replies "I only convert some of them to short forms when I have too many characters. Imagine if I am only allowed 160 characters for a message, it doesn't make sense for me to pay for 2 if I am just a few characters extra. "
Nobody wants to pay extra for 2 sms's if you can fit in a message in one sms. But its eventually brought lot of people into concern over the original english. "There are SMS users who wouldn't dream of splintering the language," says Moushmi, M.Phil, who teaches English online. "A lot of people I talked to said they took pride in never condensing their sentences. Their punctuation and spelling - they claim - is intact."

Language has grown into many forms ever since the evolution of mankind its a means to make comunication simpler and easier. What english was in the world of Shakespear and Milton would never exist again since its far more pain staking to understand what that meant, even though at one point of time it had been the most purest form of linguistically correct english. Old words have got dressed in completely new meanings and have been from then accepted as such. Do you know "awefull" once meant "awesome" ? The idea of dropping out a few vowels and shortening for convience makes no harm if there is any form of standardization. English is increasingly getting localised. There is British English, American English and Australian English to begin with. Millions of people are SMS-ing their thoughts across the globe. In fact we need to have a common code for SMS. If that comes through dropping vowels and going by the sound, why not? Without any standards marked, abbreviations will always be in confusion.

" The short forms and language used in SMS typing has brought ruin to the English language itself. Frequent SMS users are not able to write correct English- neither the grammar nor the spellings are correct. Even in the English exams, the students use their ‘SMS language’, and are not able to correct themselves in the future, despite losing marks for the same. " remarks Ishita who teaches english in a school, who hates any change in her favourite language. There are some who have adapted to this change despite their unliking A.K Rao an elderly Bank personnel says " I am 48! I used to hate to see shortforms being used by yongsters in SMSs! Like U is used to indiacate You, 4 is used for 'for', 1 is used to say one, R is used for are etc. I used to get annoyed and angry thinking that these kids of today are spoiling the language of English. But now a days having got exposed to this type of language I think you really require imagination and skill, so that your message should be short, easily constructed and at the same time it should be easy for others to understand! I have developed interest in such messages and I try to construct my own messages with such shortcut languages and I feel that I am also travelling with time and not against it! "

There's no doubt that English will always be an important way of communication all over the world, with India being the largest English speaking country the flavour and spirit of english would not be destroyed with a few people abbreviating their messages. The english lover troop in India is still alive and burdened to keep it going to savour the best of literatures in the world. So the next time anyone send you " I<3 U " , dont be a great mathematician solving how come I be less than 3 times of U but instead it could be the pictogram of a heart for "love", and the letter "u" replaces "you" "I Love You".

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shree Saree !!

When Aishwarya appeared in Oprah's show in 2007 , Oprah had expressed her wish to be drapped in a saree and we then saw how our dear ash helped oprah with it. Nevertheless saree has always been a mysterious something, unknown for the world. They keep wondering of how could a whole piece of cloth as long as 9 yards ( nau gaz ) be draped around someone without a single stich yet looks voluptous. It is so amazing for them to find that a woman covered from top to bottom can look sexy and appealing.

" Saree is a sexy outfit, who will oppose this statement? I'm excieted about wearing it in my farewell party, it will make me look glam and ethnic at the same time." said the saree loving college girl Nandita. It is said that the body of an average Indian woman is most suitable for wearing a saree where height being an average 5 to 5ft 4 in and waist size 30 to 40 if drapped perfectly in a saree will actually accentuate your figure. Many people believe that the saree was actually influenced from the greeks and the romans " Toga " (worn by men) and " Stola " ( worn by women ) which were long 6 meters cloth draped and worn over a tunic( slip ). But most saree lovers donot think the same way they feel its the other way round , " Indians influenced the world to wear something new and more versetile, besides what people donot know about toga and stola is that they had to be stiched or pinned at some places while in saree its not so " said Ajay a would be fashion designer.

Indeed Saree is more than 5000 years old, it gets mentioned in Vedas(the oldest exisiting literature 3000 B.C. ). Patterns of dresses have changed throughout the world now and then but, the Saree has survived because it is still mainly wore in rural India. 75% of India's population still wears it for its extremely versatile because it could be worn as shorts, trousers, flowing gown-like or convenient skirt-wise--all without a single stitch or pin! Saree ( originally Chira) came from Sanskrit which meant cloth. From 5 yards to 9.5 yards tied loosely, folded and pleated, it could be turned into working dress or party-wear with manual skill. For day today dress of middle class women, 5-6 yard sari is comfortable to manage household chores. Working class tucks the same length above the ankles and if they have to work in water or fields, they would tuck the front pleats between the legs to the back, and tie the upper portion round the waist. This left them free movement of hands and legs. A gold silver or cloth belt fastened to keep pallu, (upper cover) pleats and folds in tact. Jhansi's Queen Laxmibai, Belawadi Mallamma and Kittur Chennamma have fought enemy troops on horseback, wearing saree in Veeragacche or soldier's tuck style.

Usually the advent of saree is attributed the hot and humid climate of India where the genral middle class was extremely fond of soft cotton sarees and the richer class could wear flashy sarees. Saree in hot climate was easy to wear and a perfect cover from head to toe in broad day light. Also Dhoti, lungi or mundu are abridged version of the saree worn by men. Another interesting thought related to this is that in Indian philosophy, the navel of the Supreme Being is considered as the source of life and creativity. Hence by tradition, the stomach and the navel is to be left unconcealed, though the philosophy behind the costume has largely been forgotten . This makes the realization of sharira-mandala, where in Angikam bhuvanam yasya (the body as the world) unites with the sharira-mandala (the whole universe), as expressed in the Natyashastra. These principles of the saree, also hold for other forms of drapes, like the lungi or mundu worn by men.

While earlier revealing of navel while wearing a saree was largely a spiritual philosophy today its majorly associated with style. Our beloved bollywood has always taken a foot forward to keep up with the trends of saree, fancy work and fancy blouses with materials like silk, gorgette , chiffon, net (see through material) and body stick fabrics are extremely in. Adding more grace to the outfit is the way our celebrities carry their designer coutures. Aishwarya Rai’s inevitable style statement in Devdaas led the masses drooling over her spectacular outfit. Next in a row are many other bollywood stars like Madhuri Dixit, Sushmita Sen, Hema Malini etc. who have always worn elegant sarees. As the fashion designers say, the elegance the demure that is derived when one is adorned in a saree is not to be found when one is adorning a gown.

However unlike our divas there are two views- for and against for the question " Do all women look good in saree ? " , while one says -- " It only suits curvaceous women. Those who have a square body type with long and straight torsos or those who are overweight, do not look good in saree. As far as western and even other Indian dresses are concerned, they can be made in such a way that enhances one's figure by hiding the body flaws. But this can not be done with a saree. " the other says -- " Nothing is hotter than a saree. Those who hesitate from wearing a saree mostly include who are overweight or who do not find it comfortable as their daily wear. However, it all depends upon the proper selection of sarees according to one's body type and the way a saree is draped. That is also the case with other clothings- be it Indian or western. A saree can also be worn in ways that can enhance or hide the flaws of one's body. With the innovations in the field of blouses -backless, halter, tube, full-sleeves, V-neck- sarees can also be made to look good on women of any body type."

Nadipur based Kanya Campus had a strict dress code for students: Saree and blouse. The college administration, however, had no option but to allow students to wear modern dresses. “ Students started criticising and protesting what they called a traditional dress code. Many students stopped coming to the college and our annual enrolment went down because of the dress code. It was then that we decided to allow skirts and shirts. ” says Surendra Bhari, the founding member and chief of the college.

“Saree and blouse are not only difficult to wear, but it is hard to maintain the intricate creases and folds all day. Moreover, we must dress up as per the demand of the time,” say girls."Try rushing to catch a bus in a sari," one young lady pointedly remarked, "and you'll switch to jeans the next day."

Most elderly women have always found saree comfortable and beautiful but they are not sure if Saree would be able to survive in its original form in coming generations too, they believe the golden age of saree is quiet far from over and what now happens is experiments with it just to keep it breathing quiet like a man in ventilator. They have seen their grand daughters ignoring saree and shifting to jeans, even altering saree and making salwaar kameez out of it, thus are not quiet hopeful of its revival.

Ikat, Chanderi, Puneri, Laheriya, Bandhej, Bomkai, Gadwal, Narayanpet , Maheshwari, Kantha and Kanjeevaram sarees to name a few still add to glamour and pomp to our wardrobes. Saree has long survived the time trench from 5000B.C. to 2009, how many more years it will survive further is still a question. What will happen once the generation of women who grew up routinely wearing a sari every day dies out? If not daily lets atleast work to keep up the spree of saree by wearing it once a week/month to begin with...

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Marital Blues for Children

" Archana, have you seen naina??" grandma asked. "I dint she must be out with the maid or ajay " replied naina's mother, archana who is a PR in a reputed MNC firm and ajay naina's father who is a Senior Buissness analyst in a firm. Grandma was tensed since last night, after the big fight between naina's parents which made naina cry and shiver in dark in her room. After much asking naina had revealed that she did not want to live with her parents for she was thinking the fight was because of her. Grandma knew of naina's changing behaviour she was often reluctant of doing anything new, dint enjoy things outside, got quickly irritated and often felt low about herself but grandma felt helpless. She knew daily fights have chocked her darling granddaughter's life and all she could do was explain them but it never works.

The story could be same in your home too.How many times have you noticed your child silently witnessing your fight from behind a door or a curtain? Have you ever wondered how harmful it can be for the psychological development of your child? You might be fighting in front of your kids but do you realize that your fight has serious effects on the emotional development of your child. Your fight puts him in an emotional turmoil as the child finds himself helpless and alienated.

All of us before our marriages know that marriage is not a bed of roses its not easy to live into a relationship, there may be ups and downs as well but its so hard to accept it on a later stage. Fighting and making up may be a part of couples lives but couples are so busy making their points, raising voices and using abusing words that they completely overlook the effect it plays on their own child. Children are very observant and sensitive. They are quick to pick up on tensions and undercurrents. However, they donot understand what seriousness and reasons for your fights are. When they hear raised voices and slammed doors they can't help but wonder, "Is it me?". They end up blaming themselves to the extend that they feel like leaving the place completely.

" When parents fight, children feel the tension and the hostility. They become physically and emotionally upset. You can see it in their faces and their body language, even if they don’t say it with words. They may cringe, cower, or hide. Some children hold their breath, start to hyperventilate, or get nauseous. Others will cry. All of them-regardless of how they do or do not show it or say it-are scared stiff. " says Arti Khanna who recently met a child psychologist after reading her child's scared stiff symptoms.

Children love their parents for what they do for them, they know parents are their security covers who would protect them against any odds. Once they see a completely wrecked picture of depressed life's of their own parents , their belief gets shaken in love, faith and marriage. They feel responsible for the big fight and always stay scared , to avoid being the cause of some other fight in future.In due process the child feels anxious, depressed, gets aggression fits and feels trouble interacting with his peers etc. Many children adopt completely wrong ways of alcohols and drug abuse to ignore and run away from this situation. They think it is either very normal to yell and fight and use abusive words, infact start bulling people around themselves or they turn completely timid. They carry lasting images of their parents fighting from their childhoods, long into adulthood. Memories of particular fights can traumatize children and stay with them forever.

In general agreement psychologists say " Most parents disagree with their spouses on one or the other issues on various occasions. No one agrees on everything. Disagreeing with each other is natural and normal. But how you, as parents, handle conflicts with one another has a lasting impact on your children, their emotional health. " They suggest that " Adults need to learn how to resolve conflicts in a calm, peaceful manner through effective communication techniques. If your point can be correct so could be your partner's. Listen to each other. "

In case even after trying a lot you had a massive fight in front of your children make it a point to let them know that they are no way to be blamed for this fight explain them that parents do fight at times but that doesnt mean they love each other or their children any less. Tell them how compassionate you are for them and whatever you said in fight was because you were angry and dint actually mean them.Even in families where parents fighting is not an extreme problem, parents should remember that what they do and say, and how they act towards one another, influences their child, their child’s self-esteem, and their child’s short- and long-term emotional health, as well as their future relationships.

So the next time you enter into a fight spare a thought for the little one around eyeing on you, give him a life of genuine love and affection not forever trauma and stress.

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper

Friday, October 9, 2009

Losing Flabs could be Eating disorder...

Does your child constantly think about food and weight? Engaged in emotional eating? Eats when he is not hungry? Or Does not eat at all ?

Am I Fat? This is the worst fear of the new generation, specially the teenage girl. While the older generation looks at weight control from the health point of view, this is a worry that plagues the average teenager from a more cosmetic viewpoint. Senior citizens reminisce nostalgically about the good old days when women had some flesh on their bones. Grandmothers are horrified by their scrawny grandchildren who say that " Thin is in ".

From size zero Kareena to hottie Bipasha , be it sizzling Priyanka or smokey Rani now everyone is in the same run. Girls from well educated families who do well at school appear to be more at risk of developing an eating disorder. Doctors and nutritionists say " Thin is not in. Size-zero bodies a la Kareena Kapoor may look good on Page 3 and entertainment colour spreads, but they are pushing Indian women towards excessive dieting, and what's more, being 'un Indian'."

This modern obsession with body weight when taken to an extreme can lead to the development of " Eating disorders " like anorexia nervosa, bulimia and compulsive over-eating. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spirals out of control.

Eating disorders do not seem to manifest as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia in non- Western cultures like India, but occur infrequently in milder forms with fewer symptoms.Interestingly in Hong Kong and India, one of the fundamental characteristics of anorexia nervosa is lacking. In these countries, anorexia is not accompanied by a "fear of fatness" or a desire to be thin; instead, anorexic individuals in these countries have been reported to be motivated by the desire to fast for religious purposes or by eccentric nutritional ideas.

Anorexia: Starvation is not the answer

Anorexia nervosa found in 19th century it is the willful pursuit of thinness through self-starvation. Adolescents are most often affected by this disorder. People who have this disorder are really prisoners of their mind. They have a distorted perception of their body, seeing themselves as obese while in reality they are quite thin. The fear of putting on weight gnaws at them constantly. They are obsessive about losing weight, starving themselves to the point of emaciation. Anorexics are fixated on food. Anorexics are usually perfectionists and tend to have low self-esteem. They are often depressed because they cannot meet the high standards that they set for themselves.

According to some studies, people with anorexia are up to ten times more likely to die as a result of their illness compared to those without the disorder. The most common complications that lead to death are cardiac arrest, and electrolyte and fluid imbalances.

Besides unnatural weight loss patients can have coexisting psychiatric and physical illnesses, including depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, substance abuse, cardiovascular, neurological complications, cessation of menstruation, constipation, discolouration of skin and the growth of fine body hair and impaired physical development.

Bulimia Nervosa : The binge-purge syndrome

Bulimia nervosa first identified in 1979 is characterized by recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food (e.g., binge-eating), and feeling a lack of control over the eating. This binge-eating is followed by a type of behavior that compensates for the binge, such as purging (e.g., vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics), fasting and/or excessive exercise.

“I remember in high school, when it started, I was on the track. I ran a lot, and I ate a lot, compulsively at times, tons of ice cream, or fruit, or lots of cookies and sweets. I tried to make myself throw up once afterwards, but couldn’t because I have too strong a gag reflex. Instead, feeling guilty, I exercised constantly." remembers Avanti ( name changed) once patient of bulimia.

They often fear gaining weight, want desperately to lose weight, and are intensely unhappy with their body size and shape. Usually, bulimic behavior is done secretly, because it is often accompanied by feelings of disgust or shame. The binging and purging cycle usually repeats several times a week.

The pattern of binge and purge can result in ulcers, gastric and dental problems, acute disturbances in the chemical balances of the blood which could lead to heart attacks, sore throats, aching joints, and feelings of weakness, dizziness and apathy.

What goes for girl goes for the boy

Although eating disorders primarily affect women and girls, boys and men are also vulnerable. One in four preadolescent cases of anorexia occurs in boys.

“Of all my anorexic patients, about 10 per cent are male,” says Dr Sakshi Chawla, senior dietician, Fortis.Like females who have eating disorders, males with the illness have a warped sense of body image. Nutritionist Dr Shikha Sharma says "Men develop eating disorders in their mid- to late-teens. Sometimes, though, the condition gets out of control and the patient is unable to get himself out of it."

Boys with eating disorders exhibit the same types of emotional, physical and behavioral signs and symptoms as girls, but for a variety of reasons, boys are less likely to be diagnosed with what is often considered a stereotypically "female" disorder say the doctors.


The most effective treatment for an eating disorder is psychotherapy or psychological counseling, along with medical and nutritional support and guidance. The treatment should be individually tailored. Treatment will vary depending on the severity of the disorder and the client's particular problems, needs, and strengths.There are a variety of treatment options available: individual therapy, group therapy, nutritional support, psychiatric care, outpatient, inpatient, residential, etc. Please know that there are resources available to assist you and your loved ones.

But it is always good to avoid a situation to such an extreme remember anorexia is just a plea for attention and bulimia is just an addiction to food , parents should keep a close eye on a child's daily intake of food and avoid conveying an attitude which says in effect, “I will like you more if you lose weight, don’t eat so much, look more like the slender models in ads, fit into smaller clothes, etc.” Decide what you can do and what you can stop doing to reduce the teasing, criticism, blaming, staring, etc. that reinforce the idea that larger or fatter is “bad” and smaller or thinner is “good.”

Discuss with your sons and daughters (a) the dangers of trying to alter one’s body shape through dieting, (b) the value of moderate exercise for health, and (c) the importance of eating a variety of foods in well-balanced meals consumed at least three times a day.

“It takes a very long time for a person to completely recover from an eating disorder. So, if you feel that you suffer from it, you should seek help immediately, as an eating disorder can be extremely harmful and life threatening,” says Dr Chawla.

Infusing confidence and trust over one's own body is the best way to keep eating disorders out.

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post for newspaper

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