Medical Store Embarrassment?

Noticed how buying condoms is often a nerve racking and uncomfortable experience for many? It does seem quite surprising, considering the fact that, it is the step forward towards being responsible and practicing safer sex.  But then, how could I forget, we belong to a country where sexuality is always behind closed doors, and one seldom displays the minutest possibility of having any inclination. No wonder, people mumble, fumble and whisper, to buy that pack of condoms. The medical store drama I was at a medical store recently, and as I stood waiting to be attended to, my eyes caught

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Turn That Rule Book Over Women!

The numbers sure are intimidating. The corporate world has continually shown that there is a wide gap with regards to women in leadership. This, despite studies quoting that, breaking down gender barriers and including women in top leadership roles, are not merely altruistic for the company, but are also beneficial to society and the nation. What the rule book says? Through my early years, I have been hard-wired into believing that taking care of home is a girl’s first priority. I was never encouraged to have a strong ambition (though I do consider myself lucky that my parents ensured I

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Terminal Illness and Death- Quality or Quantity, the Debate Goes On

What’s more important to You, Quality or Quantity of Life? How far do we want to go to prolong our lives? What a complex life!! Amidst the web of relationships I am entwined in, I am caught in this strange cycle of life and death. Where birth brings in joy death sure does bring sorrow.  But strangely, in my 36 odd years of existence, I have learnt that not always must death bring in sorrow. I have had situations in life when the death of my loved one has brought in an altogether different feeling. It is that unique feeling

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Feeling Depressed? Blame the Time You Spend on Social Media

Let’s face it. Social media sure does stir up emotions- of joy, some cheer and quite often sadness too. There are good reasons to have social media accounts. You could share daily tidbits with family and friends, or network with people of similar interests. But, here is something else that social media comes with. Its usage could spell a slew of powerful negative emotions too– all at a subconscious level and they transcend the keyboard. From way back in 2006… Remember the days of Orkut? Well, it was the first of its kind and created a lot of excitement. It

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I am a married woman and…. I don’t like to cook!!!

“She caught me red handed! I had cut open the packet of instant sambar mix and was about to add a couple of spoons in water, when I noticed my mother-in-law peering from behind me. “You know how to make Sambar don’t you?” she asked. My sheepish grin gave it all away. I am a married woman and…. I don’t like to cook!!! Well before you give me those judgmental looks. Let me make things clear. I do know how to cook, yet it is to me a mundane task that I seldom enjoy doing. But, years back the story

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7 Tax Saving Strategies for Salaried Individuals

At the end of every financial year, many tax payers frantically make investments to minimize taxes, without adequate knowledge of the various available options. The Income Tax Act offers many more incentives and allowances, apart from the popular 80C, which could reduce tax liability substantially for the salaried individuals. Here are seven smart tips to help you save more and reduce taxes. Salary Restructuring Restructuring your salary may not always be possible. But if your company permits, or if you are on good terms with your HR department, restructuring a few components could reduce your tax liability. Opt for food

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Kabali Mania Grips the Nation

July 22, 2016- For many, this date would be a “self” declared national holiday. ‘Cause it’s the day when their very own Super Star, from the south of the Vindhyas, has a movie release- Kabali If you think you have experienced fanaticism, wait until you have seen a “First Day First Show” of a Rajini movie. Not long ago, in a popular theatre in Egmore in Chennai, I experienced this unique fanaticism. As early as 4.00 am in the morning fans gathered around the life sized cut out of the actor to perform “paal abhisekam” (a holy bath with milk).

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We Aren’t a Country of Just Snake Charmers

My family was excited. The “cousin” in the household was to wed a beautiful French damsel. The youngster had left the country to pursue his masters in the United States, and seek greener pastures in corporate America. It was here that love blossomed between the two and after a whirlwind courtship they decided to get married. The family in India took it all easy. They were happy that their son had finally decided to “settle” down, and were excited at the prospect of interacting with a family that was not only foreign to them but also spoke a language that

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The Life & Times of a City that was Once Bangalore

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful city called Bangalore. It was calm, peaceful and boasted of salubrious weather throughout the year. And then the unforeseen happened. The city was struck by bad governance, corruption and an uncontrolled growth of the concrete jungle. What followed is traffic jams, garbage piles at every corner and poor infrastructure support for the common man. Not to forget the dwindling green spaces, that once earned the city the title of “Garden city”. I still remember the day I left Bangalore in 2005. As my flight took off from the old Bangalore airport, I

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Why Do We Use a Handkerchief?

If you thought handkerchiefs are used for personal hygiene reasons and, well,  it is sort of unsightly to wipe your nose on your sleeve, then you do need to think again. This morning Delhi taught me otherwise. Sitting in an autorikshaw and travelling from RK Puram to Paharganj I learnt the greatness of this tiny piece of cloth that stays in our pockets through the day. A handkerchief is surely an indispensible tool, being a part and parcel of us, wherever we go daily. No wonder I noticed sellers in Paharganj market seated with their baskets loaded with them. You could

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Was I Living Healthy?

Look at you! You don’t need to bother about your diet. You could eat whatever you want. You are so fit… Hmm isn’t this just what all those who are on the slimmer side almost always get to hear, from family and friends? But how true is this? For often many of us mix up these two things- ones’ body shape and size, with the actual physical health condition. And the mix ups don’t just end here. For many of us “dieting” equals “being healthy”.  “To be healthy” equals “cutting down on food”. Confused a great deal about these contrasting

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Pickles- They Sure Do Tickle!!

It was a sweltering hot afternoon when I reached my mom’s home in Chennai. I was exhausted, my throat parched and my clothes soaking in sweat. In the dead of summer, my appetite almost always seems to diminish. But well you know how moms seldom agree to this. “You’ve got to eat something otherwise you would fall sick”, she said. “At least eat some curd rice. I have made fresh lemon pickle”. Ah! The South Indian in me came out totally. I was already drooling over the tanginess of the pickle. I agreed to eat curd rice, just for the

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One Man's Fight Conserving the Endangered Dolphins

This post was featured in “The Better India”. You could also read it here How a Padma Shri Awardee is Fighting to Save the Gangetic Dolphins from Extinction The Ganges river dolphin is a fresh water dolphin that is found in the Gangetic Basin in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Essentially blind they hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, bouncing off preys, making them visualize an image in their minds. On the brink of extinction, their current   number stands at a mere two thousand. For someone who has grown up seeing these dolphins in the river bank in Patna, it is but natural

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#Eurovision2016- Through My Black Box

So it is that time of the year again– the time of the Eurovision Contest 2016. The Eurovision Song Contest or often shortened to ESC or Eurovision, is the longest-running annual international TV song competition, among European nations. The competition has been in existence since 1956. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio and then casts votes for the other countries’ songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. The contest is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world.  Way back in the eighties, with just a little black and white television set and a handheld

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She Cracked the UPSC Exam Not Once But Twice!

In 2013, Dr. Ruveda Salam, from the remote Farkin village in the border district of Kupwara, made history by becoming the first woman from the Kashmir valley to crack the UPSC exams. After serving as the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Chennai for a year, in 2015 she yet again cracked the UPSC exam to fulfill a childhood dream of becoming an IAS officer. Living in the Kashmir valley poses its own set of challenges. Political disturbances, strikes, curfews and local stone pelting episodes are many and frequent. Twenty seven year old Ruveda Salam had to face these challenges on

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Zillion Challenges- #AtoZChallenge

Zillion Challenges in our daily lives! We all face them. But how many of them do we give our complete best? When I decided to take up the A to Z Challenge, little did I know that it wasn’t just about blogging every single day of the month. My initial thoughts were..OK… here is a challenge that wants me to blog everyday for a letter of the alphabet. Now that isn’t all that difficult! As I got on with the challenge, I slowly began to realize how wrong I was. Writing everyday for an alphabet was just a small portion

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Valuable Insights to Succeed in Life #AtoZChallenge

Very important lessons could be learnt from the successful. Five lessons are all that I shall talk about. In my blogging journey I have come across many inspiring stories- of the disabled overcoming their handicap, of sportsmen fighting their way to the winning spot and of simple human beings etching their mark in careers of their choice. I try to pick out positive qualities from these success stories, which I feel are the prime forces in guiding them to the top. Read on below Ruveda Salam’s story that gave me five valuable insights into making life more meaningful and successful. Who is

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Under His Umbrella, Life Goes On #AtoZChallenge

Under his umbrella we all live. Seasons and our lives are so similar. It’s blazing hot in Delhi. The temperatures are soaring and the sun shines down on us fiercely. As I walked down the street, the hot afternoon wind blows across my face. I am parched and I crave for those few precious drops of water. I am drained and tired. How I miss the seasons gone by- of spring and winter. Aren’t our lives so similar to the seasons? Sometimes I wonder if the seasons are out there to tell us something. Life has phases just like seasons.

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Quite a Lot of Technology #AtoZChallenge

Quite a lot of technology all around us… It has crept into our lives in millions and millions of modes. And even if we want to, we cant shrug it off us, now. My dear friend, philosopher, guide and colleague who shares a cubicle in office with me, “Richard”, was in a big dilemma some days back. Hear his story out. With the financial year end round the corner, the entire office had been on tenterhooks. Boss “A“ had been hyper-ventilating since Jan, pushing us to perform and achieve targets well before the deadline of 31st March. So practically everyone,

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Organic Food- To Go or Not #AtoZChallenge

Organic food has seeped into our lives. In a big city such as Delhi, I often spot many a high end stores, selling organically grown vegetables, fruits, pulses, cereals and much more. The tag go-organic seems to be the new mantra. But is this just a fad, or are there some really good health benefits attached to it? This weekend I spent my time in a nearby hi-end grocery store that stocked up a range of organic products. When I stood there thinking whether organic food should be the order of my day, I was lucky to chat up with

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