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International Men’s Day: Misogynistic?

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Every year November 19 is observed as International Men’s Day.  It’s a pretty new concept in India and was first observed in 2007.  Surely, it is not celebrated with as much fanfare as Women’s Day.  Opinions were sought informally from friends (very close childhood friends, colleagues, and ex colleagues) for the reasons why International Men’s day is so underrated.  Replies and opinions were so varied, interesting, and exciting, that I could not help but blog about the same.  In a way, this is an endeavor to preserve such beautiful and amusing conversation / opinions / replies.

The question:  Why do you think nobody knows about International Men’s Day and why isn’t it celebrated with the same fervor as Women’s Day?”  (Needless to say, all the below opinions were made in jest and in a lighter vein.)

WOMEN’S TAKE:images-2

  • “Happy Men’s Day to all the first group of men in our life!” was the response of a childhood friend.
  • “Change buddy change.  For a long time we had just been the women behind successful men.  Tables have turned.  Mother’s day and Women’s day is more popular now.  I think the reason for this better come from a man.  Probably it does not sell.”
  • “Every woman needs a man… because so many things go wrong daily and you can’t blame God and Modi all the time.  Wish you guys Happy Men’s Day.”
  • “Men’s Day kyon manayein, pehle ye bolo!  Kuch khaas to karte nahi ho tum log?”
  • “Kab hai?  Aaj hai?  Haan re manana chahiye.  Saari bimariyon ka day manate hain, diabetes day, heart day, TB day, AIDS day, fir men’s day kyon nahi.”
  • “For legends celebration is not required, every man who literally sacrifices everything including their dream for the sake of family, siblings, kids, etc is a legend… a river that keeps flowing silently.  That’s the reason there are more male scientists than females.”
  • “Everyone is busy only talking about this one man, Modi.  It’s already a big celebration across the world, for what this single man has done.  So you all men can bask in his glory and celebrate the day today.”
  • “You guys are very simple – khila do, pilaa do, bas!  Phir jo kaam chaho karwa sakte hain.  Celebrations ki jarurat hi nahi”
  • “The thing with women’s day is that feminism has been around for quite sometime now and for the last couple of decades women’s day has become commercialized. Probably that’s why it looks like it is being celebrated with much fanfare.”
  • MEN’S TAKEimages-3

When asked the same question to men, they had a rather frivolous attitude to the whole issue.  See their replies below to the same question:

  • “Everyday is a man’s day why we need a day?”
  • “Basically our happiness is not our happiness. Our happiness is everybody else’s happiness and you simply don’t give a damn if you are celebrated or not.  It is altruism.”
  • “No, we do not need any celebration.  What truly makes us happy is meeting a bunch of old friends over a beer, no matter how old we get. Oh it’s a bliss.”
  • “Men’s Day not celebrated just the way Women’s Day is celebrated, because man’s achievements can not be celebrated in a single day?”
  • “Actually we men don’t care, and hardly remember the dates.  It’s womanly to nag about such things.”

imagesTO SUM IT UP:

Celebrating a particular day for a particular gender doesn’t change anything because:

  • Not all men are treated or understood the way they should be
  • Not all women are treated or understood the way they shouldn’t be.
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Posted by on November 26, 2016 in Economy

 

Discipline & Persistence – Key to Weight Loss

The most common New Year resolution around the world is, “This year, I’m going to lose some weight.”  But only a very minuscule minority is able to really go after it and achieve it.  Just because one is not ready to work hard to achieve wonders, the market is flooded with all kinds of potions, herbs, supplements, and diet regimens, all of them promising weight loss.  There are people who try everything, but none of them ever work.  The reason is simple:  There is no shortcut to success.

In this context, the weight loss journey of Lokesh, 30, Ahmedabad, has been an epic, shedding 91 Pounds in 8 months.  His waistline fell from 42 inches to 32 inches.  He previously weighed 118 kgs with a BMI of 35.3.  Now he weighs 77 kgs with a BMI of 22.9 !!!

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More on Lokesh’s Amazing Journey – A Journey of Sheer Grit and Determination.

lokesh6Lokesh weighed 260 pounds with a BMI of 35.3 when he decided that enough was enough.  Something ignited a passion for health and fitness which continues to this day.  He would not reveal much when questioned about the motivational thought that took him to take the final plunge; but in a jest he only says that he couldn’t find proper clothes to fit in !

Losing 91 Pounds

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lokesh8 He believes that diet plays a very crucial role in weight gain or weight loss.  Weight loss is 70% diet and 30% physical activity.  If you eat healthy food, you would not need to exercise more; but if your eating habits are unhealthy, you would need to exercise more.  Thus he shifted to a low-carb and no-fat diet, consuming very less sugar (maybe 2-3 grams per day) and complete abstinence from fried food.

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As far as physical activity and exercise goes, his regimen consists of 45 min walk, 15 minutes of jogging, and 20 minutes of cross-trainer.  The goal was to burn 600 calories per day.

Stay Fixated

Any journey such as this is fraught with distractions and struggles.  Lokesh underlines 4 important tips for anyone to be successful in a weight loss program:

  1. Not caring what other people think.
  2. Surrounding oneself with people who are going to lift you higher and goad you on.
  3. Staying inspired, motivated, and on track during the weight loss journey.
  4. Constantly reminding oneself that the pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret.

A Few More from Lokesh’s Album

 

Before and After Series

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in Economy

 

BGR 34 –HOPES REKINDLED

Diabetes – A potential epidemic in India

According to recent estimates about 6 crore adult Indian population have been found to be diabetic and there is no effective solution for diabetes as yet.  People like me who deal with family members having diabetes know that there are hucksters who are constantly targeting us with their scams and schemes. For people in business, diabetes has a well-deserved reputation as a growth industry.

BGR-34

             BGR-34-New Kid on the Block

Amidst all this Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recently came up with BGR-34 — the country’s first anti-diabetic ayurvedic drug designed to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.  BGR-34 has been developed jointly by the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and the Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) which are the research units of CSIR and located in Lucknow.

Six Ayurvedic Herbs in BGR-34

Scientists of NBRI and CIMAP made an in-depth study of over 500 renowned ancient herbs and finally identified the six best herbs listed in ayurvedic ancient texts to be combined in different fractions and quantities and processed meticulously to develop this new drug.

  1. Daruharidra (berberis aristata) – Improves health & functioning of pancreas, naturally. This is also known as the Indian barberry.  This is one of the best Ayurveda herbs which correct the metabolism, improves the liver function and nourishes the skin on deeper levels.
  2. Vijaysar (pterocarpus marsupium) – Rich in flavonoids, strengthens the cells and help maintain normal blood glucose level.  Since ancient times, Ayurvedacharyas used pieces of Vijaysar to control diabetes. Pieces of Vijaysar were soaked in water overnight and in the morning, the same was sieved with cloth and given to the diabetic patients. Such a practice carried out regularly had dramatic results in controlling diabetes.
  3. Giloy (tinospora cordifolia) – A unique herb to improve immunity. Helps improve resistance to infections.
  4. Majeeth (rubia cordifolia) – Powerful anti-oxidant activity. Helps protect vital organs from oxidative damage.
  5. Methika (trigonella foenum) – One of the best sources of Micro-nutrients. Nourishes &tones the vital organs.
  6. Gudmar (gymnema sylvestre) – Maintains post-prandial blood glucose level by delaying glucose absorption.  Gudmar is the best herb for digesting sugar in the pancreas.

Clinical Trials have shown 67% success

This drug has been scientifically validated for its efficacy and safety.  This passed several batteries of tests and showed hypoglycemic activity in experimental subjects.  Tests carried on animals and a related scientific study found it to be safe and effective with clinical trials showing 67 per cent success.

Claims and Effectiveness

If claims by people taking this medication is to believed, the results have been overwhelming:  For example, Mr. Ajal Agarwal from Kolkata says, “I am taking the pills for last 4 to 5 days and my sugar level has dropped from 150 fasting to 115. I am keeping my finger crossed and am hoping to get better results in the long run.  I strongly recommend every diabetic patient to try this medicine once.”

What should people with type 2 diabetes do while taking this drug:

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  1.  Get in touch with your regular doctor and consult with him about this new drug.

Prescription Medication

2.  Do not abruptly stop taking your current diabetic medications.  BGR-34 is to supplement your existing treatment.

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3.  Last but  not the least, keep a daily log of your blood sugar level to document the efficacy of this new medication so that you are able to manage your treatment going forward.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2016 in Health, Lifestyle

 

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 810 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Economy

 

“HALF PADDLE” – FADING MEMORIES

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When my son opted to learn skating at his school, I was not surprised when the school authorities sent a detailed requirement:

  • A Pair of skating shoes.
  • A Good quality helmet.
  • Pair of elbow guards.
  • A pair of palm guards.
  • A pair of knee guards.

In fact even if the school had not asked for them, I was more than ready to buy my kid these protective gears, after all who would want his son to get hurt.

Some things tend to take us down the memory lane.  Our times were so different.  I was born and was brought up in a small industrial town of Chandrapura, situated on the banks of river Damodar.  Chandrapura during those days used to be a very well planned colony, well maintained quarters with gardens, all roads intersecting at 90 degrees, and above all lots and lots of lush green open spaces as playgrounds and…

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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Economy

 

PARENTING- A PARADIGM SHIFT

“Open Day” is how schools call parent-teacher meeting these days.  I attended the open day for my son at his school today.  A prior communication was sent to all parents that the class teachers would also be holding a workshop for parents on ‘Know more about your child’s school’, on this day. The workshop was very informative. A part of it was also dedicated on tips for good parenting.

Basics remain the same: Inculcating Good Morals

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Coming back home, I was wondering how in a matter of 30 years, parenting has undergone a paradigm shift. I ended up comparing myself to my own parents and the days of yore. Nevertheless, what has remained unchanged, is the importance of inculcating good morals and ensuring on building character in the children. Only the way how parents go about doing that has gone a huge shift.

Changes in our own lifestyles.

playIn the era when we were primary and middle school students, we did not have the luxury of having TV, VCRs, VCPs, computers, and other digital and electronic devices at home. Parents were more concerned with raising unselfish and obedient children. We would come back from school, freshen up, and go out to play. There were a few conditions laid down though, ie to return home before the streetlights lighted up, complete our studies for the day, and not make much of a fuss at the table during dinnertime. Not doing any of these was a sign of disobedience.

Today the stress is more on ensuring child’s independence and building on his self esteem. A little spanking, till a quarter century ago, was a more accepted way of disciplining the child, but not anymore. Today, the child’s psyche is something that needs to be understood first. Preaching has given way to counseling.

Technologic Advancement

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Thanks to the technological advances, we are in a new age of ‘connectedness.’ What was done previously through snail mails and personal attendance, is now being accomplished by just a click of a button. It would not be surprising, if in the coming few years, the school workshops and Open Days would give way to Webinars and Live Streaming videos of various school functions. In today’s workshop, stress was laid on parent’s using the school’s portal for interaction with teacher and principals. I could very well sense that the days of the ‘revered’ school diaries is now going to fade into oblivion. Just being computer literate does not fit the bill today; the parents today need to have quite sound knowledge on how to keep a watch and regulate children’s access to the big world of web.

Fear versus Freedom

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During the days that we were students, school buses and vans were meant for junior students and for students who came from far off places. Otherwise, the rest of us cycled our way to school. In contrast, today the percentage of kids walking or cycling to school has dropped sharply. The reason? Parents perceive the world to be more dangerous than it used to be. Parents sometimes start feeling guilty about getting obsessed with the ‘fear factor’ and ultimately becoming suspicious about their own children and their activities. It is not the parents’ fault at all. The world around us is changing fast and it is true to the core that today our children are more vulnerable than ever before. Parents need to be more watchful, anxious, and alert.

Lack of Time

Praise-your-kids
Another reason for this shift in parenting philosophy is the changing structure of the family. We are witnessing the rise of dual-earning families. Parents are faced with having lesser time to spend with kids. Trying to make up for the lack of time spent with the kid, gives rise to a strange phenomenon, commonly called “unwarranted praise” phenomenon. The parent is more prone to reward and praise the child for everything – even if they may not do anything praiseworthy. Amazingly, our parents worried about the bad effects of too much praise. This paradigm shift in parenting, believes that lavish praise on children makes the them better, more confident, and more motivated.

Last but not the least
Though times are changing, what remains unchanged for parents of today is the same old philosophy: Love your child, support your child, discipline your child, and last but most important, be there for your child.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2015 in Lifestyle, Relationships

 

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REMINISCENCES OF AN ERA

It is so rightly said, a photo speaks a thousand words.  Old photos/albums are like a storehouse of memories.  Looking at these blurry and sepia photos, collected from various sources, I am sure, people who have grown up in Chandrapura will have an overwhelming feeling.  Chandrapura was an oasis of our times.  Some of us were born there, others grew up and spent a large part of our childhood in that lovely green small town of a population of roughly 20,000.  I would do less of writing here and let you enjoy the photos.  Do not forget to write down your reactions in the feedback section.

Thanks to DVC, we came to be associated with this beautiful place, Chandrapura.

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The Gateway:

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Which gives you enough geographical description of the place.

Our School, the old campus.

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Marchpast

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It is so saddening for all of us, old-timers, that such a beautiful campus was reduced to rubble to make way for this:

Stadium

These two new units were installed as a part of the expansion program of DVC’s Power Project.

IN AND AROUND CHANDRAPURA

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The famous Shakti Hotel, on D-type bridge, serving mouth-watering and unparalleled Samosa and other snacks.

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Highschool

 

GuestHouse

 

fishmarket

 

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welfare center

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welfare center

Temple

 

 

A bit saddened to know that Chandrapura is less of an “oasis” now, though I have not been there in the past 20 years.  But the tit bits of news coming in now and then leads me to believe that times have changed.

Maosim

Maoist-affected.

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The real Gangs of Wasseypur. He he !

 

I am in a hurry to post this. Will let you watch the pictures, and do more talking later.

Do leave your comments in the feedback/comment section.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2015 in Lifestyle, Relationships, Travel

 

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