Category Archives: Lifestyle

मानसून में यूं करें बालों और त्वचा की देखभाल!

मानसून में यूं करें बालों और त्वचा की देखभाल!

 मानसून दस्तक देने वाला है. यूं तो लोग मानसून को खूब एन्जॉय करते हैं लेकिन मानसून कई समस्याएं भी लेकर आता है. मानसून में एक तरफ जहां लोग ताजगी महसूस करते हैं वहीं लोगों को स्किन और बालों की कई तरह की दिक्कतें होने लगती हैं. तो चलिए जानते हैं कैसे आप मानसून के मौसम में बालों और स्किन की देखभाल कर मानसून को एन्जॉय कर सकते हैं.
  • स्किन को चमकदार बनाए रखने के लिए खूब पानी पीना चाहिए.
  • रोज़ टी का सेवन करें. इससे शरीर में नमी बरकरार रहेगी.
  • कुछ-कुछ समय पर चेहरा धोते रहें या फिर साथ में फेस वाइप्स रखें और कुछ-कुछ समय बाद चेहरा पोंछते रहें.
  • मानसून के मौसम में बहुत ज्यादा मेकअप ना करें. इससे पिंपल्स की समस्या से बच सकेंगे.
  • ऑयली फूड मानसून में अच्छे लगते हैं लेकिन इससे स्किन प्रॉब्लम्स‍ हो जाती हैं. आप पकोड़े जैसे तले हुए फूड खाने से बचें.
  • मानसून में डेंड्रफ से बचने के लिए एंटी डेंड्रफ शैंपू का इस्तेमाल करें. इससे बालों में नमी बरकरार रहेगी. कोशिश करें कि हेयर प्रोडक्ट पिरोक्टोन ओलेमाइन और विटामिन बी-5 युक्त हों.
  • बैक्टीरियल इंफेक्शन से बचने के लिए सप्ताह में कम से कम दो से तीन बार बाल धोएं और स्कॉल्प को ड्राई रखें.
  • बालों की ड्राईनेस खत्म करने के लिए हेयर स्टाइलिंग प्रोडक्ट का कम से कम इस्ते‍माल करें.

91-year-old Meerut man visits birthplace in Pakistan

MEERUT:A 91-year-old man from Meerut whose last wish was to visit Sheikhupura in Pakistan was overwhelmed with the heart-warming response he received from the people across the border.
Amid the mounting tension between the two neighbouring countries, Krishan Kumar Khanna got a Pakistani visa after a leading newspaper carried a story about him in April this year.
91-year-old Meerut man visits birthplace in Pakistan
Pakistan
Sheikhupura is the place where Khanna grew up before the Partition. He and his family members were rescued from the rioters by the Army at the time.
“I am still awestruck by the warm welcome I received in Lahore and Sheikhupura, where locals addressed me as the ‘real owner’ of the house and shops that once belonged to my family,” he was quoted in a TOI report.
“I just had to say, I am from Hindustan and their eyes would light up,” he said, adding, “People in Pakistan gave me the kind of love and respect that I had never imagined,” Khana was further quoted in the report.
“My perception about the people there has changed. All those I met had nothing against India or Indians. It is politics that has ruined everything,” he was quoted.

Army remembers martyrs on Jessore Day

MEERUT: Commemorating the conquest of Jessore Cantonment in 1971 Indo-Pak war in which 9 Div played a crucial role, army commanders at the Division’s HQs at Meerut celebrated Jessore Day with full vigour and enthusiasm on Tuesday. The 9 Div is now known as the Pine Division.
The General Officer in Commanding (GOC), Pine Division, Maj General Rajesh Chaba along with other serving officers of the division paid floral tributes to the martyrs of the division in a solemn ceremony held at Pine War Memorial located at the Pine Div’s HQs in Meerut. The highlight of the event was the presence of Gen JJ Singh, ex-chief of the Army staff and ex-governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
According to sources in the army, the gallant troops of Pine Division captured Jessore Cantonment in Bangladesh (Then East Pakistan) on December 6, 1971. The capture marked the end of an era of exploitation by the erstwhile Pakistani military rulers in East Pakistan.

अनुज शर्मा, मेरठ :एक हादसा पूरे परिवार को उजाड़ देता है। कामकाजी व्यक्ति की मौत पूरे परिवार को चौराहे पर लाकर खड़ा कर देती है।

एक हादसा पूरे परिवार को उजाड़ देता है। कामकाजी व्यक्ति की मौत पूरे परिवार को चौराहे पर लाकर खड़ा कर देती है। ऐसे तमाम मामले सामने हैं, लेकिन फिर भी लोग सुधरने को तैयार नहीं हैं। यह बात भी सच है कि बीमारियों और रंजिश से ज्यादा क्षति सड़क हादसे पहुंचा रहे हैं। देश में सड़क दुर्घटनाओं की वार्षिक संख्या औसतन 5 लाख है और मौते डेढ़ लाख के आसपास हैं। 2013 में प्रदेश में 30,615 सड़क दुर्घटनाओं में 16,004 तथा वर्ष 2014 में 31,034 दुर्घटनाओं में 16,287 लोगों की जान गई। सरकारी शोध साबित करता है कि 70.19 फीसदी दुर्घटनाओं में चालकों की गलती कारण रही। दूसरा प्रमुख कारण वाहनों की खराबी रही। जिसका प्रतिशत 10.30 फीसदी है। खराब सड़कों पर 4.47 तथा खराब मौसम से 5.75 फीसदी दुर्घटनाएं हुई।

कोहरा, बारिश और खराब मौसम का कहर

सड़क दुर्घटनाओं में खराब मौसम भी काफी हद तक कारण बन रहा है। कोहरे गहराते ही हर कोई डरता है, लेकिन वर्ष 2014 के आंकड़े गवाही दे रहे हैं कि कोहरे से ज्यादा दुर्घटनाएं बारिश और अन्य विपरीत स्थितियों में हुई। कोहरे में प्रदेश में 1454 दुर्घटनाओं में 860 लोग मौत के शिकार हुए, बारिश में 4375 दुर्घटनाओं में 2318 मौत हो गई। जबकि मौसम की अन्य विकट स्थितियों में 6664 दुर्घटनाओं में 3475 लोग मौत के शिकार हो गए।

सामान्य मौसम में भी नहीं सुधरते हैं हालात

सामान्य मौसम में भी वाहन चालकों की जान सुरक्षित नहीं रहती है। 2014 के प्रदेश के आंकड़े बताते हैं कि सामान्य मौसम में सर्वाधिक 11484 हादसों में 5865 लोगों की मौत हुई तथा 7475 लोग घायल हुए।

जहां सड़क की चौड़ाई कम,वहां हादसे ज्यादा

सिंगल लेन सड़कों पर कुल 15,955 हादसों में 7770 लोग मारे गए। दो लेन सड़कों पर 8965 हादसों में 4740 लोग तथा तीन लेन सड़कों पर 2643 दुर्घटनाओं में 1436 लोग मरे।

फर्राटा दौड़ पड़ रही भारी

2014 में 18 से 20 वर्ष के 1766 युवक, युवतियां, 21 से 24 वर्ष तक के 2019 तथा 25 से 34 वर्ष तक के 1673 युवक युवतियों की मौत हुई। अधिक गति इनकी वजह रही।

प्रदेश की पांच साल की दुर्घटनाएं और मौत

वर्ष दुर्घटना मौत

2010 28,362 15,175

2011 29,285 21,512

2012 29,972 16,149

2013 30,615 16,004

2014 31,034 16,287

ठंड से परेशान रहते हैं, ये फल-सब्जियां खाएं और सर्दी को दूर भगाएं

health experts tips to eat fruits and vegetables in winter season, will stay healthy and active

सर्दियां शुरू हो चुकी हैं, लेकिन इसमें कई लोग काफी परेशान रहते हैं। ऐसे में जरूरी है, ऐसे आहार का सेवन जो आपको हेल्दी और चुस्त-दुरुस्त रखे।

अमरूद : सर्दियों में अमरूद का अपना एक महत्व है। इसमें पोटाशियम, विटामिन ए, विटामिन सी और फाइबर होता है। इसमें संतरे के मुकाबले चार गुना विटामिन सी होता है, जो रोग प्रतिरोधक क्षमता बढ़ाता है। फाइबर की मात्रा होने के कारण ये पेट को साफ करता है। विटामिन बी-6 और मैग्नीशियम होने के कारण ब्लड सर्कुलेशन मेंटेन रहता है। विटामिन ए होने के कारण आंखों की रोशनी के लिए रामबाण का काम करता है।

संतरा : अक्सर कहा जाता है कि एक संतरा रोजाना खाने से एंटी बायोटिक दवाएं खाने की जरूरत नहीं पड़ती। इसमें भी विटामिन सी, ए, विटामिन बी-6, कैल्शियम और मैग्नीशियम की मात्रा होती है, जो शरीर की इम्युनिटी बढ़ाता है। इसके रोजाना सेवन से जुकाम और सर्दी जैसी बीमारियां दूर रहती हैं।

लाल अंगूर: लाल अंगूर में भी भरपूर विटामिन्स और मिनरल्स होते हैं। इसमें पोटाशियम और कैल्शियम की मात्रा भी काफी अधिक होती है। इसके खाने से कब्ज, थकान और पेट से जुड़ी समस्याएं नहीं होती हैं। अंगूर के रस से माइग्रेन में काफी राहत मिलती है। अंगूर के लगातार सेवन से हीमोग्लोबिन भी बढ़ता है।

कीवी: इसमें भी विटामिन सी, पोटाशियम और कॉपर की मात्रा काफी अधिक रहती है। इसके सेवन से शरीर गर्म रहता है। इससे सर्दी भी नहीं लगेगी। ये भी रोग प्रतिरोधक क्षमता बढ़ाता है, क्योंकि इसमें विटामिन सी की मात्रा भी काफी अधिक होती है।

गाजर: इसमें विटामिन, एंटी ऑक्सीडेंट और मिनरल्स काफी मात्रा में होते हैं। इसके सेवन से आंखों की रोशनी, त्वचा में चमक बरकरार रहती है। कैल्शियम की मात्रा होने से हड्डियों की दिक्कत दूर होती है। एनीमिया से बचाता है। कोलेस्ट्राल के स्तर को मेंटेन करता है। गाजर की ओवरडाइट नहीं लेनी चाहिए।

मूली: इसमें प्रोटीन, कैल्शियम, गंधक, आयोडीन व लौह तत्व पर्याप्त मात्रा में उपलब्ध होते हैं। इसमें सोडियम, फॉस्फोरस, क्लोरीन व मैग्नीशियम भी होता है। मूली में विटामिन ए भी होता है। ये ब्लड प्रेशर मेंटेन करता है। चेहरे की लालिमा बढ़ती है। मूली के पत्तों में भी काफी विटामिन होता है। इसकी भी सब्जियां बना सकते हैं।

शकरकंद: इसे ऊर्जा का खजाना कहते हैं। इसमें एंटी-ऑक्सीडेंट्स, विटामिन और लवण काफी मात्रा में पाए जाते हैं। इसके खाने से होमोसिस्टीन नामक अमीनो एसिड के स्तर को कम करने में मदद मिलती है। इसका स्तर बढ़ने से बीमारियां बढ़ती हैं। आयरन की कमी दूर होती है। ब्लड शुगर को नियंत्रित करता है। किडनी को भी स्वस्थ्य बनाता है।

पालक: इसमें विटामिन सी और आयरन भरपूर मात्रा में है, जो शरीर के मेटाबोलिक सिस्टम को मेंटेन करने में मददगार साबित होती है। इसके अलावा एंटीऑक्सीडेंट, ओमेगा-3 और फोलिक एसिड भी पाया जाता है, जो हार्ट के लिए फायदेमंद होता है। फाइबर होने के कारण कब्ज के इलाज में सबसे अचूक मानी जाती है। दांतों और आंखों के लिए काफी फायदेमंद होता है। पालक का जूस पीने से त्वचा निखरती है और हड्डियां मजबूत होती हैं।

मैथी: कोलेस्ट्राल के स्तर को मेंटेन करने में मदद मिलती है। ग्लेक्टोमेनन नामक तत्व होने के कारण हार्ट को हेल्दी बनाए रखता है। फाइबर और एंटीआक्सीडेंट का बेहतरीन स्रोत होता है। इससे शरीर के हानिकारक तत्व बाहर निकलते हैं। इसके खाने या बालों में पीसकर लगाने से बालों में चमक बनी रहती है और काले भी रहते हैं।

बथुआ: इसमें विटामिन ए, कैल्शियम, आयरन, पोटोशियम, मैग्नीशियम, जिंक काफी मात्रा में पाया जाता है। यह खून को साफ करने में मदद करता है। पथरी को रोकने में मदद करता है। इसका सेवन सब्जी और रायता के तौर पर इस्तेमाल किया जा सकता है।

इन मौसमी फल और सब्जियों को संतुलित मात्रा में खाएं। बैलेंस डाइट रखने से स्वास्थ्य पर प्रभावी असर पड़ेगा। इन सब्जियों और फलों का आप सर्दी में खूब अच्छी तरह से लुत्फ उठा सकेंगे।

 

Child Sexual Abuse: Things you must tell your kids

We send our kids out into the world without equipping them with skills that can protect them from sexual abuse. The horrifying child sexual abuse statistics tell us that as high as 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. On top of that, 85 per cent know their perpetrator.

Author specializes in writing empowering books for children in the topic areas of Body Safety: ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’, ‘My Body! What I Say Goes!’, consent: ‘No Means No!’ and gender equality and respectful relationships: ‘No Difference Between Us’ and ‘Pearl Fairweather, Pirate Captain’. An active advocate for Body Safety Education, she shares, “When my children reached school age, I asked their primary school to implement Body Safety Education (sexual abuse prevention education) and my request was ignored. People were very uncomfortable with the conversation. I decided right then to use my skills as a writer to a book to help parents discuss this important topic with children in an age-appropriate way.”

Prevention education is simple but once a child is being sexually abused, it becomes very complex, damaging and life-changing. Here is an excerpt from our chat:

What is the right way to educate growing kids about good and bad touch?

I believe we can start to educate children from a very young age. I have five children’s books now covering the topics of body safety, body autonomy and gender equality. Children are visual learners so children’s picture books are ideal in relaying important messages to children. In saying that, we also need to educate parents and teachers in Body Safety. After all they are responsible for the safety of our children. They need to educate themselves in grooming techniques, signs a child is being sexually abused and importantly to believe a child if they do disclose. We know in 98 per cent of cases where children reported sexual abuse, their statements were found to be true (NSW Child Protection Council, cited in Dympna House, 1998). An adult’s reaction to a child’s disclosure is crucial to their ongoing recovery. To this aim, I have written a book; for adults entitled ‘Body safety Education: a parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse.’

What are the key body safety points?

As soon as your child begins to talk and is aware of their body parts, begin to name them correctly, e.g. toes, nose, eyes, etc. Children should also know the correct names for their genitals from a young age. Try not to use ‘pet names’. This way, if a child is touched inappropriately, they can clearly state to you or a trusted adult where they have been touched.

Teach your child that their penis, vagina, bottom, breasts and nipples are called their ‘private parts’ and that these are their body parts that go under their swimsuit. Note: a child’s mouth is also known as a ‘private zone’.

Teach your child that no-one has the right to touch or ask to see their private parts, and if someone does, they must tell you or a trusted adult straightaway. Reinforce that they must keep on telling until they are believed. (Statistics tell us that a child will need to tell three people before they are believed.) As your child becomes older (3+) help them to identify five trusted adults they could tell. These people are part of their ‘safety network’. Have your child point to each digit on their hand and say the names of the people on their ‘safety network’.

Teach your child that if some-one (i.e. the perpetrator) asks them to touch their own private parts, shows their private parts to the child or shows them images of private parts that this is wrong also, and that they must tell a trusted adult straightaway. Reinforce that they must keep on telling until they are believed.

At the same time as you are discussing inappropriate touch, talk about feelings. Discuss what it feels like to be happy, sad, angry, excited, etc. Encourage your child in daily activities to talk about their feelings, e.g. ‘I felt really sad when … pushed me over.’ This way your child will be more able to verbalize how they are feeling if someone does touch them inappropriately.

Talk with your child about feeling ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’. Discuss times when your child might feel ‘unsafe’, e.g. being pushed down a steep slide; or ‘safe’, e.g. snuggled up on the couch reading a book with you. Children need to understand the different emotions that come with feeling ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’. For example, when feeling ‘safe’, they may feel happy and have a warm feeling inside; when feeling ‘unsafe’ they may feel scared and have a sick feeling in their tummy.

Discuss with your child their ‘Early Warning Signs’ when feeling unsafe, i.e. heart racing, feeling sick in the tummy, sweaty palms, feeling like crying. Let them come up with some ideas of their own. Tell your child that they must tell you if any of their ‘early warning signs’ happen in any situation. Reinforce that you will always believe them and that they can tell you anything.

As your child grows, try as much as possible to discourage the keeping of secrets. Talk about happy surprises such as not telling Granny about her surprise birthday party and ‘bad’ secrets such as someone touching your private parts. Reinforce that surprise are happy and will always be told. Make sure your child knows that if someone does ask them to keep an inappropriate secret that they must tell you or someone in their ‘safety network’ straightaway.

Discuss with your child when it is appropriate for someone to touch their private parts, e.g. a doctor when they are sick (but making sure they know a person on their Safety Network in the room). Discuss with your child that if someone does touch their private parts (without you there) that they have the right to say: ‘No!’ or ‘Stop!’ and outstretch their arm and hand. Children (from a very young age) need to know their body is their body and no-one has the right to touch it inappropriately.

Ensure you child knows their body is their body and they are the boss of it. Reinforce the idea that everyone has an invisible body bubble around us (personal space) and that they do not have to hug or kiss someone if they don’t want to. They can choose to give that person a high five or shake their hand instead.

What can parents do to ensure kids openly discuss about these things?

From a very early age talk to your kids about everything. Ensure nothing is off the table. In this age of technology, your kids will see many things that will be worrying to them; it is inevitable. What you can do is make sure your kids feel comfortable to come to you about anything that is worrying them or if they have seen images or heard conversations that disturb them. Be that safe adult they can come to. Be that person they can trust and will always believe them. Childhood is no longer as simple as it once was. We need resilient and empowered kids, and we need to provide our children with the skills to navigate this ever-changing and challenging world.

A child is scarred for life after being abused at a tender age. What are the troubling signs to watch out for?

It is important to know that one or more of these indicators does not mean your child is being sexually abused, but if they do show some of these indicators, then there is good reason to investigate further.

General Signs of Sexual Abuse (0 to 12 years): overly interested in theirs or other’s genitals, continually wants to touch private parts of other children, Instigating and/or forcing ‘sex play’ with another child (often younger, more than 3 years difference in age), sex play that is not appropriate i.e. oral genital contact between a 7 year old and a 4 year old (note: with the increase in pornography viewing on the internet by young children, sex play is becoming more worrisome among similar-aged children), sex play with another child happening more than three times, despite careful monitoring and discussion about inappropriateness, persistent masturbation that does not cease when told to stop, seductive/advanced sexual behavior, sexualized play with dolls or toys, sexualized play involving forced penetration of objects vaginally or anally.

Other signs are chronic peeping, exposing and obscenities, touching or rubbing against the genitals of adults or children that they do not know, persistent use of ‘dirty’ words, describing sexual acts and sexualized behavior beyond their years, drawings and/or games that involve inappropriate sexual activities, strong body odor, sores around the mouth, bruising or bleeding in the genital area; bruising to breasts, buttocks, lower abdomen or thighs, withdrawn and anxious behavior (irritable, clingy, listless), secretive or say they have a ‘special’ secret that can’t tell (this may be to gauge your reaction), child or child’s friend telling you about interference directly or indirectly, going to bed fully clothed, increase in nightmares and sleep disturbances, regressive behavior, e.g. a return to bed-wetting or soiling, sudden changes in behavior, e.g. from a happy child to an angry and/or defiant child, appetite changes (sudden and significant), unexplained accumulation of money and gifts, not wanting to go to a certain person’s place or to an activity, indirectly dropping hints about the abuse (again, to gauge your reaction).

In older children (adolescents): self-destructive behavior such as drug dependency, suicide attempts, self-mutilation, eating disorders, adolescent pregnancy, persistent running away from home and/or refusal to attend school, withdrawn, angry, saying that their body is dirty, ruin, damaged, pornography interest; verbally sexually aggressive obscenities.

What’s the most disturbing part about sexual abuse in kids?

Secrets are the currency sexual predators deal in. If a child has been educated to tell an adult they trust secrets that make them feel bad or uncomfortable, and that trigger their Early Warning Signs, then they are less likely to be targeted. I would encourage parents and teachers to be loud and proud that they teach the children in their care Body Safety. If a predator knows a child is educated in Body Safety, they are certainly far less likely to target that particular child. Predators don’t want us to educate children so that is why we must do the complete opposite! Let’s shine a light on this topic so predators have no more shadows to hide in!

These days we encourage parents with a policy of ‘no secrets’ only ‘happy surprises’ as surprises will be told. They are different to secrets because they are fun and they will always be told. But in all practicality, it is hard for the word ‘secrets’ to go out of our vocab. It is used unwittingly everywhere. So if a child is educated that there are no secrets but if someone does tell you to keep a secret that bring on those Early Warning Signs than secrets like those MUST be told. Even though the adult or older teenager tells you not to.

Recipe: Doodhi Ka Halwa

Navratri food is always about being healthy and experimental. So this season, forget the famous kuttu ka halwa and try bottle gourd (Lauki ka Halwa). The aromatic flavor of desi ghee and cardamom powder will make you forget the calorie count and you will crave for more of this easy dessert recipe that is totally Indian in taste.

Navratri food is always about being healthy and experimental. So this season, forget the famous kuttu ka halwa and try bottle gourd (Lauki ka Halwa). The aromatic flavor of desi ghee and cardamom powder will make you forget the calorie count and you will crave for more of this easy dessert recipe that is totally Indian in taste.

Serving: 1

Ingredients:
Lauki (bottle gourd) 300 gms
Milk 500 ml
Sugar 20 gms
Khoya 5 gms
Kishmish 2 gms
Cashewnuts 2 gms
Saffron 5 strands
Desi ghee 5 gms
Cardamom powder 1 gm

Method:
1. Remove the outer skin of bottle gourd (lauki) and grate it.
2. Squeeze to remove excess water.
3. Heat 3 grams of desi ghee in a handi.
4. Add the grated lauki and sauté for few minutes till it starts to get translucent.
5. Now add milk and stir, till the milk boils and starts reducing.

6. Keep on stirring as the lauki has to be mashed in the milk and the milk gets completely reduced, this might take 20-30 minutes.

7. Now add sugar and stir till the sugar dissolves completely.

8. Soak the saffron in luke warm water for 10 minutes and add to the halwa.

9. Heat the remaining desi ghee in a small pan and once it is heated, pour over the halwa , mix moderately so that the desi ghee flavor gets infused.

10. You can either fry the raisins and cashew nuts or soak them in luke warm water, once done add to the halwa.

11. Finish with cardamom powder.

12. Serve hot.

Recipe courtesy: Chef Avinash Jha, Jaypee Vasant Continental

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The joy of my favourite chocolate peeping through his pocket

He only smiled at us with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes reserved only for then. It was as if he got away with a ‘crime’ and loved it!

Looking back, the best days of my life were the summer vacations spent at my maternal grandparents’ place. Lovely house, lovely backyard and a lovely terrace which was our hangout in late evenings in case of a power cut. How much we all enjoyed sitting there and sipping juice while each one of us took turns to swat the equally excited mosquitoes cannot be expressed in words. Endless gossip sessions of my mother, aunt and grandmother chequered with our all day playtime marked the highlights of our vacation. There was a continuous aroma of delicacies wafting in the air. When I think of those days, an air of positivity envelops me. The happiness, the gaiety drenches me with a strange nostalgia that is hard to put on pen and paper. As we grew older, the visits and their duration decreased in accordance with the seniority of our class. It stopped altogether after the sad demise of my grandmother six years ago. She had seen me join one of the best engineering institutes of the country, but sadly wasn’t there when I graduated with a job from a good company.

The warmth of those vacations spoke in laughter and smiles. My nana (grandfather) was very fond of pampering us, so much so that he would invite wrath from my mother and aunt. I remember he used to wake us up everyday with packets of chips and our . While the chips packet were thrown at us to judge our ‘catch- dexterity’, the chocolates always shown in his shirt pocket. Peeping through the pocket it would invite us all to run after him jumping to pull it out. We weren’t a match for nana’s height given our age, so we galloped a lot of high jumps to procure it- the ultimate morning treasure. This ritual was followed by the impending fury of my mother and aunt who believed that daily chocolate consumption would result in tooth cavity! They would both have a row with nana for spoiling us with unhealthy eatables. Nana would never offer any explanation. He only smiled at us with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes reserved only for then. It was as if he got away with a ‘crime’ and loved it!

When I decided to switch jobs, I had a ten day leave in between. It was then I decided to have a couple of days stay at nana’s place. Nana had refused to stay with my parents or aunt given his fiercely independent nature. He loved to tend to the garden nurtured by my grandmother when alive. A cleaner and a cook solved the rest of the problems. I reached my grandparents’ home which was a blissful contrast to the bustle of the city. The house looked the same, except that it was very quiet- almost melancholic. It probably missed us, missed our chatter and noise and missed my grandmother… As I bent to touch nana’s feet, he looked so old and wrinkled that I almost felt sorry for not giving him more frequent visits. He had the same smile pasted on his lips as he ushered me to ‘my room’ with the same furnishings I had as a child.

A strange wistfulness swept over as lots of memories flooded me with a huge pining for the past. It was late night, so I changed and slept in the comfortable embrace of my favourite bed. I was woken up next day by nana calling out my name. I must have slept like a dog because it took me a few seconds to visualise where I was. Then I saw him standing at the foot of my bed with the same twinkle in his eyes. Involuntarily my eyes wandered to his shirt pocket. There it was- my favourite chocolate peeping through it.

Written by:
Awantika Rukhaiyar

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7 reasons you’re still single

Mumbai Mirror | October 02, 2016

7 reasons you're still single

1/87 reasons you’re still single

Stop pretending that you’re footloose and fancy-free; it is time for some ruthless stocktaking

Ruskin Bond deals with the supernatural in new book

Ghost stories’ fans here’s some good news for you: storyteller ‘s latest offering is a collection of supernatural tales.

‘Whispers in the Dark: A Book of Spooks’ is an anthology of strange and dark stories. Some of them are all-time favourites while some have been exclusively written for this collection, published by .

In the book, readers will befriend Jimmy the jinn who has trouble keeping his hands to himself, be witness to the mischief of the ‘pisach’ and ‘churel’ who live in the peepul tree, and find themselves in the company of a blood-thirsty vampire cat, among other tales written in Bond’s inimitable style and riveting to the core.

“Everyone likes to hear stories about haunted houses; even skeptics will listen to a ghost story, while casting doubts on its veracity,” says Bond.

According to him, old dak bungalows and forest rest houses have a reputation for being haunted. “And most hill stations have their resident – and ghostwriters! But I will not extend this catalogue of ghostly hauntings and visitations, as I do not want to discourage tourists from visiting and .

“In some countries, ghosts are an added attraction for tourists. Britain boasts of hundreds of haunted castles and stately homes, and visitors to Romania seek out Transylvania and Dracula’s castle,” he writes.

In one of the stories titled ‘Ghosts of a Peepul Tree’, he goes on to describe the different types of ghosts in India. “The villages of India have always harboured a large variety of ghosts, some of them good, some evil. There are the ‘prets’ and ‘bhoots’, both the spirits of dead men, and the ‘churels’, ghosts of women who change their shape after death.

“Then there is the ‘pisach’, a sort of hobgoblin; and the ‘munjia’, a mischievous, and sometimes sinister, evil spirit,” he says, adding one thing they have in common: nearly all of them choose to live in the peepul tree.