Only yesterday..

Yesterday I saw a ‘noble’  man

Getting down from his limousine

Smelling of filthy riches and conceit

Full of fads, demurs and ‘yes bosses’ around

He had a big nose, stony eyes and lot airs

His chin was looking up to the nearest tall building

He was in a hurry and his men were running around him

Confused and lost – they did not know how to make him happy

The ‘noble’ man then got down from his car

Shoved off a sinking old lady with dark penetrating eyes

As if she was a material

That didn’t amuse him

And he didn’t want to buy!

You are always on my mind..

Life had been beautiful

With the ups and not-so-ups

I had you on my mind

I had you on my thought

I know you know

For I have been on your thought

Apologies and gratitude

Thank yous and sorry

For what didn’t matter

For what shouldn’t have mattered

I have been blessed

For what you have given me

You are lovely

You are the reason I live

I guess, you know by now

You are on my mind

You are always on my mind.

What’s coming between you and your productivity?

Jane manages just about to reach office after dodging the hectic traffic. Punching the ID card, she rushes to the desk, declutter, gets herself a cup of black coffee. Minutes before she could even breathe deep, she gets down to check her twitter and facebook accounts and finally dives into her email boxes. Her mind is already scattered with too many things at the same time. It’s obvious that she won’t be productive as she should. This is a snippet of average citizens now. We are thriving on the stupidity of the inboxes and adopting a desk jockey lifestyle, we in turn is giving us a life full of toxicity.

So, what is coming between you and your productivity?

Your obsessiveness to the virtual world

Checking the inboxes and texting often do little to keep you up to date. As a matter of fact, you lose our creativity and thinking ability in pursuance of something that might have been avoided.

Streamlining the to do list and understanding the priorities

Most of the times, you fail to realize that in 24 hours you cannot live up to everyone’s expectations. You have to decide on your priorities in life. What should come first and what should be done first. Understanding the need of the time and doing things at the right time will make you sharp, happy and productive.

Say no to procrastination

Many of us sideline the major task and hang on to the peripherals. Saving the crux for the last doesn’t always help, especially, when you are multi tasking. Do the primary task in fresh mind, in the beginning of the day, steadily. The tertiary would be done no matter what. Procrastination is one deadly sin that keeps us off from being productive.

Eating lunch at office

You are so bogged down with job that you even want to work in lunch time. So much so that you are snacking all the time while working and do not quite getting up, stretching back, walking straight , looking up, breathing the fresh air. This doesn’t do any good to the quality of work you are doing. As much as we think that eating lunch at office would extend the working time, it actually eats up the quality time. You are slouching more, eating often and stretching the one hour job to four.

Working late at night

Whoever coined the adage, ‘early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’, was certainly a wise man. Staying up late at night, working late hours does little to increase our productivity. We need a good sleep after the day’s work. Our biological clock doesn’t understand deadlines.

Drinking too much coffee

Caffeine does not give us lasting energy; caffeine that’s loaded with sugar is toxic. The sugar in the coffee is likely to make you hyper, spike your insulin levels, crash, and then get stored as fat. In other words, it’s not really the best thing for boosting productivity. Eat a balanced breakfast instead to keep your energy up.

Arunima: A true Sports Star

In a time where the crux of the society is being convicted in a series of scams as in 2G, hawala, commonwealth – one lady exemplifies that all in not bad. Her generosity has stood above one and all giving us the much needed impetus to live life with the hope of better India.

Arunima, a 23 year old national level volley ball player, lost her leg to the heinous atrocity of the hoodlums in a local train in which she was travelling. She was pushed off a moving train by goons. Later, her leg had to be amputated further on to deter the developing multiple complications.

In the most bizarre political drama, where everyone passed the buck, Arunima stood tall in her dignity and poise. All are up to gaining the brownie points little realising the Arunima’s condition is deteriorating with lack of proper and timely quality medical help.

Verbal fund commitments from the state and various non-political bodies poured in. A few sports star even went on to donate fortune (read peanuts) and earned the much hyped publicity. The athlete, still fighting to preserve the rest of her leg, declared something that brought tears in my eyes. She consciously declared that she would like to donate all the monetary aid that she has received to a sports academy so that the poor athletes have a better infrastructure to cope with the world class expertise. Now, that is something I haven’t heard for a long time.

Arunima is a true sports star who would be remembered for her exemplary generosity.  She has stood above everyone by demonstrating a series of virtues. She is strong, courageous, honest, rational, emotional. She is not just a volley ball player, but she loves the game in all fairness. She is a young leader who taught all the Indians and all the tinged politicians out there that sometimes not being greedy is good and brings enormous peace.

Arunima – you are a true sports star. My prayers and kudos.

What is time?

What is time?

Time comes, time goes

Time flows, time flies

What is time?

Where does it come from?

Where does it go?

Where does it live?

What’s its destination?

Or is it that WE shift, WE move

And time stays in its place, fixed, static

Like the illusive moving tree glimpsed from a mobile train

What is time?

Time is a perception

Time is fast or slow, time is how WE move

Time is deception, time is illusion

Time is but us.

She still smiles at the sun

The little girl smiles at the sun

While the frail cows graze in the languid hours

She has a small hut to live

A mother, a brother and lot of poverty

The hut has everything on its thatched roof

Weighing it down to the earth

The two cows are half fed but happy

She has enough humiliation, enough hurdles

That keep her busy all day long

She wakes up early in the morn

Takes the cows for grazing before anyone else does

Gets the greenest pasture for the cows

She, then, comes back and rushes for the market to sell the cream milk

Runs down the valley to feed her mother, who can barely move

Packs stale puffed rice,  makes sure that her brother reaches school

Cooks, washes, cleans herself in the drying river

When the sun is just about to sleep

She has the world to finish before the sunrise

She has four mouths to feed, and hers

Life has poked her but she has come out of it every time

She has all the poverty but she is happy

She still smiles at the sun.

Dental care during pregnancy

The happiest moment in every woman’s life is her pregnancy. Giving birth to a new life is the most beautiful gift that the Almighty could bestow us with. Every child is precious and we must take utmost care when it is still in the womb to ensure a safe delivery to a healthy baby. Routine health check ups, blood tests, sonography and not to forget, the need of regular dental examination should be parts of prenatal care. Along with others, dental hygiene is very important since gum diseases not only will affect you but also your baby.

Dental complications could arise, as a part of physiological changes, due to hormonal imbalances during pregnancy. This could relate to bleeding gums, cavity scars, mouth stinking and mouth ulcer.

Pregnancy is most nutritionally demanding time. So, its important that we fed our body by eating right for our dental hygiene.  This will ensure a healthy baby eventually. A good diet will also keep you away from morning sickness, general fatigue, stress and emotional doldrums and other pregnancy syndromes.

What to eat for healthy dental care during pregnancy?

Eat balanced diet containing dairy products, cheese, yogurt, food rich in minerals, calcium, vitamins, iron. These help in baby’s  overall growth and well developed bones, skin and teeth and a healthy heart and lungs.

What to avoid?

Avoid snacking on sweets, jellies, chocolates, soft drinks, junk food.

Avoid unpasterurized products, certain fish like exotic shark, swordfish and anything high in mercury content. Do not eat  undercooked meat and stale food.

Stop smoking and do not consume alcohol. We tend to lose control over our addictions. So, its better we quit them altogether. Remember, you are not the only one who smokes – your baby does too!

Follow good oral hygiene by brushing right and rinsing after every food intake.

Any complication including gingivitis or mouth ulcer, tumour, unusual growth in the cavity consult your dentist without delay.

What Life would be!

What life would be

To stop by the unknown flower

And appreciate its beauty

What life would be

To thank the man cleaning the road

Of our trashes without failure

What life would be

To go ahead and help someone cross the street

What life would be

To smile back at the stranger who needs your prayers

What life would be to appreciate

The man who serves you tea in your office everyday

What life would be to thank, appreciate and acknowledge

Your daily buddies

What life would be without them!

Tips to stay healthy with diabetes

Once a diabetic is always an diabetic. We cannot change this fact. However, we can live healthy even with increased blood sugar level. Following is a stepwise guide to live a healthy life even with the deadly disease.

Decrease your blood sugar level by monitoring your glucose level regularly. Keep digital glucometer handy for checking your sugar levels at home.

Maintain your cholesterol and blood pressure level. Increased levels of both aggravate diabetes and kills our body slowly. Periodical check on the cholesterol and BP levels help in controlling the diabetes level as well.

Stop smoking and moderate your alcohol consumption habit.

Brush your teeth two times daily, keep your gums healthy and maintain a good dental hygiene. Visit the dentist once in every year or as and when required.

Consume prescription drugs as and when prescribed. Do not self medicate yourself for you never know.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle by modifying your food habit. Walk regularly for at least 30 minutes, go to gym and relax in between work.

Learn to cope with your stress. While it is impossible to get rid of stress, we can handle with with ease and stress free.

Prevent yourself from dehydration. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and fluids.

Use mouth washes after every meal. This will help prevent gum diseases

Clean yourself. Check your feet for cuts, bleeds, blisters, sores, toenails and swellings

Lastly, stay informed, stay aware and stay fit.

I wish life was what we want to make of it!

Life is what we make out of it

Always had been, always will be

I would love to have the reins in my hands

I would love to have it take the course

That brings joy to everyone

Making everyone merrier and beautiful

I wish I could

.

Life is not always what we want to make out of it

In spite of all that matters

In spite of all that we invest

Physical investment – we can still let go

Emotional investment hard to

I wish life was what we really want to make of it

I wish it was!

Being Human

I stepped on the wobbly plank

It was always wobbly

The bridge has countless planks

But I haven’t missed walking on that wobbly plank ever

My mom knew that it was me, couldn’t be anyone else

The chirpings got intense as I moved in the deep

The dry murmurs of the pine

Reminded me of my childhood strolls

It’s the same except for the emotion

I was carefree, spirited then

Now, clueless and oblivious

I love being a woman

I love those who love being men as well

I love humans

Humans with their entire miscellany

The orange yellow mellowed to a sunset sun

I tried to find my way back home

The pine smelled cold and dark

I knocked the door

My mom opened, full of surprise

I didn’t step on the loose plank!

The ugly side of Budget 2011: More taxes on Healthcare

The finance minister has announced a 5% hike on health care taxes in the recent budget 2011. This means that the patients have to pay Rs 5000 to 25,000, at least, on the heart surgeries, kidney transplants, knee replacement surgery, brain surgeries and all those expensive life saving treatments. Now, who on earth going to suffer?

Presenting the Budget for 2011-12, Mukherjee proposed  ‘a tax on all services provided by hospitals with 25 or more beds that have the facility of central air-conditioning.’ He further added: “Though the tax is on high-end treatment, I propose to sweeten the pill by an abatement of 50 per cent so that the actual burden is kept at 5 per cent of the value of service.”

According to the central government only the air-conditioned, privately run, hospitals are going to be taxed by the new tax hike. I think this is silly. The rich people have to pay the tax because they are the ones who go to the air conditioned 2,3, 5 star hospitals. I have no idea where the central ministry is coming from. Is there any decent hospital in the metro cities or even urban towns where the OT does not work without the air conditioning?

Instead of providing affordable and free health benefits, it has now hiked the healthcare taxes. Couldn’t they have spared the common people from the healthcare taxing? In a country where the bulk of the population cannot afford the minimum healthcare privileges, this is indeed a farce. With the new budget and the announcement of the new healthcare tax, they are intimidated beyond anything.

Getting treated in a medium-sized hospital will now cost us more. The expense going to go up all round. The doctor’s fees, the diagnostics, the hospitalization, the non-invasive treatments – will also have to pay the service tax. Earlier, only cashless payments were under the service tax axe, now even reimbursements will be taxed.

India spends less than 1% of the GDP on healthcare industry. So, where does the money to maintain the healthcare infrastructure come from? It comes from the common people. With the new announcement, the private hospitals will have more excuses to pass on the burden to the patients. And the patients who need optimum care and benefits will now going to be burdened with an additional physical and emotional burden. I think, India can do better than this, just as it can do in all other spheres. We need some responsible and empathetic government who understands and cares. I am waiting for that day.

The sunset, the silver crescent and me

The scarlet sunset all set to die

Leaving me with a numbness

That I didn’t feel for a long time

The world has gone oblivion

I sit like a cadaver witnessing another day die

Probably the only witness

Who can vouch that the day did happen

The sun slopped down behind the darkness

Leaving me more dead

A while later I saw the sparkles and the silver crescent

The darkness came with glittering glory

The breeze started to blow on my face

I lifted myself, went out, looked up

I laid my recovering semi-numb body on the dry porch

Looking up, gazing and reading the endless story

Suddenly, the night started to live

And so did I.

Why do children need to drink milk?

Calcium constitutes a very important part of our health, especially for the growing children and youth who require it to the optimum. The fact that it is not produced by our body makes it all the more important. It has to be supplemented from outside sources, both natural and chemical.

Why do we need calcium?

provides bones with rigidity and strength.

confers rapid growth of bones in children

plays vital tole in message transmission to the brain

helps in the regulation of enzymes and hormones

aids in bl0od clotting, heart functioning

plays vital role in the pregnancy

helps in the production of lymphatic fluids

helps in transport of nutrients and other substances

helps in the transformation of light to electrical impulses in the retina

What are the dietary sources of calcium?

Our body cannot produce calcium on its own. So it has to be supplemented either through natural food resources or lactates, gluconates and carbonates.

Dairy products contain huge amount of calcium. So it is important that we include dairy products in the diet of the children on daily basis. This could be anything from milk, milk shakes, chocolates, ice-creams to butter, cheese and chhana, kheer. Other natural food rich in calcium includes meat, seafood, green leafy vegetables, peanuts, seeds and all varieties of seeds, legumes and nuts.

What does deficiency of calcium cause?

Deficiency of calcium can lead to innumerable problems in grownups. This happens due to improper diet during childhood. It’s important that the basic diet of children contains enough of calcium products. The conditions that may arise due to deficiency of calcium includes:

rickets

bowlegs, knock knees

poorly developed bones

poor growth

cramp in legs

irregular heartbeat

poor sleep disorder

Why do children need to drink milk?

Milk and milk products are loaded with calcium and other nutrients. So, it is the easiest way to include dairy products and get the sufficient amount of calcium in diet. If milk is removed from diet, it can lead to insufficient ingestion of calcium – something that’s going to stay with the kids forever.

Keep your germs to yourself

Pathogenic germs are there everywhere, all around us, in the environment. The so called filthy, dirty places are the hub of germs and deadly infectious diseases – this we all know but it’s the clean and supposedly germ free places that should be our concern. For instance your dinner plate can have millions of germs thriving on it. Or the sparkling clean floors, walls, your kitchen? All could be the thriving place for tiny warmongers. You never know!

There are various ways by which you can keep yourself germs free – both preventive and curative. Beside, vaccinations and inoculation, which are the popular ways, antibiotics impede the growth of germs by killing their growth and spreading all over the organs. Our personal hygiene and the consciousness of a cleaner environment add to the germs free and disease free life. It’s also important that you know the priority of keeping the germs to yourself. Here is how:

How to keep your germs to yourself

Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing, coughing, blowing nose.

Discard used tissues in the trash immediately. Cover the trash bin.

Wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose or coughing.

Use warm water and soap or alcohol base gel, sanitizers, disposable wipes to wash your hands.

Try to stay at home since that not only helps you recover fast but also helps the environment from spreading the contagious germs.

See a doctor and abide by his prescription. Take rest.

If asked, use face mask.

This doesn’t take much, does it? So, make sure you do your best to keep your environment germs free and the people safe. Happy living safe and healthy!

How to enjoy the Valentines day: For all singles out there!!

CELEBRATE YOURSELF, BE YOUR VALENTINE

This Valentines Day celebrate yourself like never before for you certainly deserve it. Do not care about who does or who doesn’t, you go ahead and pamper yourself with the world’s best treat. Yes – whatever makes you the happiest. That could be anything from material to abstract. Love yourself, love the things that make you feel happy.

HAPPILY SINGLE IS NOT AN OXYMORON

Singlehood is a beautiful thing. So, enjoy the freedom that helps you pursue the dreams. Being single also doesn’t mean that you are alone. You are surrounded by angels. It’s time you recognized them.

BE SOMEONE ELSE’S VALENTINE

Little acts of random kindness not only make us happy but also help make a difference in others lives. There are so many people who have everything on earth but are still single. There are also people who are single and unhappy. So, why not reach out to them in a different way? Visit a nursing home, an orphanage or an old home and make a difference in peoples’ lives by spending quality time with them. A little hello, a little smile, a little touch – can do wonders to brighten the day.

HAVE FUN WITH SINGLE FRIENDS

If you are someone who loves having company, who loves to go wild, who loves partying – this is the day to hit it! Meet all your single friends and have fun together partying, eating, freaking out.

TIE THE RIBBON OF HAPPINESS TO YOUR SINGLE FRIENDS’ DAY

How about receiving one surprise red rose bouquet in the morning? How about getting beautiful messages saying that you are beautiful. It feels out of the world, it feels very special. So, why not reverse the roles and you be the delivery man to a single friend. Just do it and see the difference it makes to you.

Lastly, Enjoy each day you live but this Valentine’s Day live it in a big and better and in a different way. Good luck!

Popping pills without prescription: How safe is it?

Self medication is the practice of talking medicines, mostly for generalized symptoms, for oneself without consulting the specialist. In India we are privileged with the right to buy medicines over-the-counter (OTC). However, many forget where to draw the line, and go ahead buying medicines for illnesses that might get them to trouble later in life.

OTC drugs have certainly made life easier for average Indians. However, the same could lead us to irreversible health damages. It’s a common practice to buy anti-fungal creams, analgesics, sunscreens, antidandruff shampoos, which are also considered as OTC drugs. We all do that. These are common dermatologically proven health products that hardly get us into reverse medical conditions.

Some even go over board buying Aspirin, Paracetamols, Vitamin tablets, expectorant and non-expectorant syrups.  Buying these does not harm us as much as taking the wrong dosage does. We do not have the medical expertise to decide for the correct dosage. There are so many factors associated with the taking in of the medicines. The prevalent medical conditions of a patient should be taken into account first and foremost. Some people increase the dose without consulting; assuming that two pills would make them feel better than one and so on. They go onto share these tips with family members and friends and influence them as well. Lack of knowledge could be fatal and what seems like a harmless thing could easily lead to disaster.

How safe are Vitamins?

Self medication even while taking vitamins is a big NO. Millions of people who are popping in vitamins are risking their lives to various ailments. Malignant melanoma is now proven to be one of them. Even the water soluble vitamins could lead to dire medical conditions like kidney stone, liver damage, muscle cramps, diarrhoea.

Some do’s and donot’s

Consult your doctor before taking self medication, if you are not sure

Read the warnings and instructions to avoid the possible cross reactions

Get you closet clean of expired medicines

Take the medicines when prescribed

Never share or decide medicines for others

Do your bit of research and know what you are taking

Be a smart citizen, know your life

It is always better to take the natural food supplements like farm fresh vegetables, fruits, cereals, milk, hand made bread, dry fruits. Going back to nature and going back to minimalism makes living safer, healthier and beautiful.

3 Healthy Brews from Simple Kitchen Ingredients

You are what you eat. The adage may sound antiquated, but it still rings true. In quest of healthy and delicious recipes, I have found that we can actually make some amazing beverages with the easily available kitchen ingredients.

First in the list would be:

Rainbow fruit salad

You will need:

Grapes, banana slices, pomegranate seeds, pine apple slices, kiwi slices, strawberries: All 100 gm

For honey orange sauce

Mix orange juice, lemon juice, honey and ginger julienne and a dash of nutmeg powder to make a beautiful, golden honey orange sauce.

Mix the freshly cut fruits, store in airtight container and refrigerate it for a few minutes. Add the honey orange sauce just before serving.

Nutritive value each serving:

Energy: 125 kcal

Protein: 1.8 gm

Fat: 0.37 gm

Yogurt Cucumber Sap

You will need:

Cucumber – 100g

Yogurt – 1 cup

A few sprigs of parsley

Roasted cumin powder (dry roast the cumin seeds on slow heat till you could smell the beautiful aroma. Cool down and crush after removing from the heat)

Salt to taste

Grate the cucumbers, add the yogurt and add the crushed cumin and salt and blend it till the ingredients get mixed properly. Add a few sprigs of the parley leaves and finally serve with ice cubes.

Nutritive value each serving:

Energy: 36.5 kcal

Protein: 1.8 gm

Fat: 2.0 gm

Potassium: 155 mg

Sodium: 37.1 mg

Fruit Lassi Melange

You will need:

Dried grapes – 40 gm

Fresh yogurt – ½ cup

Water – ½ cup

Honey – 1 tsf

Soak the dried grapes and allow it to get tender for a few hours. Grind into a paste in a blender. Add yogurt, honey and water and mix in a blender. Serve chilled.

Nutritive value each serving:

Energy: 90 kcal

Fat: 4.0 gm

Protein: 3 gm

My mom has tried several variations with the available ingredients and everyone liked it as much. Indian kitchen is a powerhouse of invention and the home makers keep discoveries new things every day. Only thing, we should appreciate them more often.

To or Not To Homeschool your Child

When Pali came back from the US, deserted and heart broken, she had only solace, her eight year son Ved. Pali was fighting her battle with the family for a few years and finally terminated her relation with Rishi’s father for life. It wasn’t easy for her but what became more difficult is to ensure a good future for her child. India has grown since she had left after her marriage. People are more open, more accepting and more vocal. It seemed, it wouldn’t be difficult for Pali to live single in the small flat that she had inherited from her parents. The challenge came when she had to look for the schools for her son. No school was readily accepting the child who came in between the session. A countable few who did wanted a huge donation. After days of pleading every possible school she knew of, Pali decided to take it no more.

Homeschooling is a common concept in the US. With so many resources, and community support you are never alone if you are homeschooling your child. In India, it might sound a new concept but who can forget the likes of Rabindranath Tagore and Shri Aurobindo who were homeschooled and propagated the true concept of homeschooling!

Pali decided to homeschool her son. She had had a Montessori training after she got her degree in Major. Even though, that would mean nothing, but she decided to pull up her socks to go about the best possible ways to educate her son with the best kind of resources while still at home. She had a few basics to be answered before that though.

How it works in India?

There is no separate syllabus for homeschooling children. The parents solely decide on that. Some follow regular board syllabus and others design their own curriculum by referring to syllabi of different boards.

Is homeschooling legal in India?

In 2009, a new education law was passed that mandated compulsory school attendance. This law (Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 – RTE) did not address home education options, or alternative forms of education. The RTE was designed to assure that the poor children would not be deprived of an education. But at the same time it did not intent to force school attendance when parents want to homeschool their children.

Can a homeschooler join regular classes ever?

On reaching Class 10, or whenever the parents feel their children are ready, can take the board exam privately by registering with the National Institute of Open Schooling or International General Certificate of Secondary Education. The degree is acceptable all over the world.

What about the expenses?

The cost of homeschooling varies on what and how the child learns. At times it may exceed the expense of regular schools. Apart from routine requirements like books, CDs, learning and fun kits, one also needs to pay for extra classes as and when required.

After getting into it, Pali had only one area of concern – Rishi’s social networking skills. So, she decided to join the homeschoolers community both online and offline. She also got her son enrolled for the guitar classes, something he had great interest in. She decided to work harder and worked on the possible flaws of the board curriculum that crammed the children. She went for her own that was more stretchable, practical oriented and fun to learn.

And, Pali never looked back after that.

How to download the test version the Google Chrome OS for windows

You can actually get an early taste of Google Chrome OS for Windows in 5 simple steps. Follow the simple steps and decide for yourself if you really want to go for it or not.

1. Download Chromium

Go to tinyurl.com/chromedev and click on the Dev Channel link to download the preview version of Chrome. This is an experimental beta.

2. Edit the Target Field

Once installed, right click on the Chrome desktop shortcut and choose properties. Add a space and click enable apps to the end of the text in Target field. Click Apply and hit OK. Now it’s locked.

3. Install the web apps

Open chrome, go to the Extensions, and enter Developer Mode. Click on Load Unpacked Extension and navigate to Chrome’s Resources folder. You should find it on your C drive under program files.

4. Customize your choice

You will find 3 folders, gmail, app, calendar app and docs app. Click one and repeat stage 3 to add to the web apps to your Extensions menu. Open a new tab and click one you want to stick to your toolbar.

5. Test it out

Gmail and docs are the only applications available right now in the test version. However, we are expecting many more sooner this year.

Enjoy the test version!