Sunday, September 29, 2013

Exploring the unknown terrains!

Explore the unknown terrains and win!

Link to the contest :

This contest is sponsored by Tata Safari. Read more about Tata Safari here :

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


The perfect road trip. Today is the time for it!

By Dhruvaraj S from India,CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

So, we packed our bags and set-off for that trip we long wanted to happen. We knew that the best time for a road trip to the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary would be the monsoons. We imagined us dancing around our car when the rain was pouring. We started our journey at 7 am in the morning from Kozhikode. We had to travel about 200 kilometres to reach Muthanga, and it would take almost 3 hours to reach the place. Of course, 'we' refers to me and my sister.

Our car is a Maruti A-Star (2011). I occupied the driver's seat and my sister sat on the adjacent seat. We set off at 60 kilometres per hour. The interior of the car was spacious, and we left our luggage on the backseat. The AC was on, which made us very comfortable. We want our car to smell fresh, so we had Ambi Pur to soothe our olfactory senses. The road was wide and not slippery though it was raining a bit. There was not too much traffic at that time. We were, in short, traveling in the perfect car and heading towards a perfect trip!

 We reached Muthanga by 11 am. We parked the car in the Sanctuary and came out of the car with our binoculars, caps and cameras. The binoculars were to look for interesting wild animals, the caps to protect us from drenching heavily in the rain and the cameras to capture them. We walked into the forest through a small mountain-road, and captured the pictures of snakes, lizards and various birds. By around 1 pm, we returned back to the car. We had our lunch from inside the car because it was raining outside. It was fun to have a lunch with my sister, in a fully closed compartment like a car, while it was raining outside. The thrill of being able to watch the rain from the wild excited us. 

After the rains, we came out of the car to meet a group of adventurers who were planning to camp within the forest. We wished them good luck and gave them tips to follow while in the forest. It was almost 3 pm by the time we said good-bye to the group, and we decided that it was time to wind up the trip and return home. 

On the way back, we saw a herd of elephants crossing the road. It was a beautiful moment as there were more than 20 elephants and their cubs walking across the road, peacefully and eloquently. That was a moment to cherish, so my sister suddenly got out of the car and took a picture of the elephants. This is one of  the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen!

We reached back to Kozhikode by around 6 pm. We made an album out of the photographs taken by us. To our surprise, we were appreciated for the effort taken by us in obtaining original pictures of wildlife in Muthanga. This was the perfect road trip we ever had, a journey I will never forget! 

This blog post is written as a part of Ambi Pur India 'The best road trip contest' conducted by Ambi Pur and Indiblogger. Thank you, Ambi Pur and Indiblogger for bringing up this wonderful contest!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ignore signs and invite trouble!

In this post, I will give an idea about the warning signs which most people are likely to ignore. These warning signs help you to recognize that something is wrong with your teeth, and acting early will help you to protect yourselves from the disease without running into complications. 

1. Blood

Imagine seeing blood while brushing your teeth? If you have lost a lot of blood, find out where it is coming from, and how frequently you are getting these bleeding episodes. Bleeding from the gums could be a sign of a vitamin deficiency or a blood clotting disorder. Some clotting disorders, which can be very fatal, only manifest as bleeding gums! Bleeding could also be a sign that you are having a loose tooth or a tooth infection. So, consult your dentist at the earliest, describe to her/him the accurate symptoms and make sure that you get treated for the disease!

2. Pain

We ignore pain till it becomes unbearable. Pain could be a warning sign that you are having a tooth infection, a loose tooth or even a cancer of the oral cavity! Tooth infections are particularly dangerous, because they can even precipitate infections in the heart, stomach and elsewhere. Streptococcus is the most common bacteria that causes fatal heart infection called rheumatic fever after infection following tooth extraction. A loose tooth that irritates the gums or the cheek for a long time will precipitate a leukoplakia or an oral cancer!  
So, if there has been a tooth which is inflicting you a lot of pain, consult your dentist and ask for advise to manage it. 

3. Change of colour

Have you ever noticed a change of colour of your tongue, inner surface of cheek or jaw? A benign looking whitish adherent patch could be a fungal infection or a leukoplakia. A leukoplakia cannot be easily detached from the mucosa of the oral cavity. Once removed, they cause bleeding. If neglected, leukoplakia can turn into an oral cancer. So, don't ignore the warning signs!

4. Brittle teeth

Sometimes, the teeth just grind away. It may be associated with weakening of bones also. It is likely to occur in case of calcium and mineral deficiency. Brittle teeth may also be a result of bruxism or teeth grinding. Mottling of teeth, or dental fluorosis, may occur because of high fluoride content in water. Vitamin D deficiency causes poor bone and teeth formation and may result in brittle teeth that easily get loose.

5. Bad odour
How does it feel like to have bad smell emanating from the mouth? Sometimes, it happens that foul smell embarrasses the person and greatly reduces her/his self confidence. The bad odour could be more that just a nuisance, it could be a warning sign of infection. The micro-organisms living in the mouth can produce foul gases, which cause the bad odour. Consult your dentist and get an opinion before you let the microbes win over you!

So, the moral of the story is, don't ignore the warning signs!

Thanks to Colgate and Indiblogger for inspiring me to write this post. For more tips related to oral healthcare, visit Colgate Total Blog :

P.S: I am a medical student and not a qualified dentist. I am therefore not qualified to speak authentically on this subject. This post is not intended to be of diagnostic nature.

Misogyny and leaders : Responses to the Delhi gang rape incident

The people of India took it to the streets to protest against sexual violence against women after the death of a 23-year old woman who was subjected to a homicidal gang rape in a moving bus in India's capital city. The incident attracted international attention, and many national leaders and celebrities strongly condemned the unfortunate incident and urged the government to take measures to ensure the safety of women. However, the remarks made by a few Indian leaders about the issue were not only misogynistic, but also atrocious.
Referring to incident and about the gender role of women in general, Mohan Bhagwat, the Chief of a right-wing religious organization, said that "marriage is successful only when wife looks after the household and husband takes care of the earning." Babulal Guar, the Chief minister of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, said, "Traditionally in this country (India), a woman considered her husband god. That status may have changed in modern times but what is good in our society should be kept that way."
Vibha Rao, the chairperson of a State women's commission, remarked that women are "equally responsible" for the sexual offenses committed against them. She blamed that the cause of rapes is the influence of Western culture and excessive "display of body."
Jamaat-e-Islami, a religious organization, suggested that "educational institutions should prescribe sober and dignified dress for girls," and that "co-education should be abolished and proper education facilities meant for only women only should be available at all level of education."
Abu Azmi, the member of a State Assembly, remarked that "women should not venture out with men who are not relatives". He added that rape cases are on the rise because "women wear less clothes."
Abhijit Mukharjee, the son of the President of India and a member of Indian parliament, remarked that the women who participated in the protest against the Delhi gang rape incident are "pretty women who were dented and painted" and that they do not have any contact with ground reality." He later apologized for passing this sexist comment.
Asiram Bapu, a spiritual leader, told the media that "she (the rape victim) should have called them [her rapists] brothers, fallen at their feet and pleaded for mercy. Had she said, 'I am a weak woman, you are my brothers,' such brutality would not have happened." He even went on to say that the victim is as guilty as the rapists.
The state leader of a National party, Botsa Satyanarayana, said that women should not 'roam' in the midnight just because India got its independence at midnight. He later retracted the statement following a public outcry demanding his apology.
The Indian society has deeply entrenched patriarchal views against females. Reports of rape are often followed by questions about the victim's behavior, and even accusations that she provoked the assault. Though laws guarding women from sexual assault exist in India, women hardly file complaints because of victim blaming. 
Act now. Condemn these leaders through social media networks and blogs. Make your voices heard against misogyny.  Ring the bell.
Thanks to Ring the Bell and Indiblogger for inspiring me to publish this post.

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Dream Gourmet Party

It is Sunday and I am hosting a party at home! I have already planned to prepare delicious parathas, finger-licking fries, spicy curries, melting desserts and tangy pickles. I have no doubt as to what to do to make my guests' mouths water at my dishes - create a Kitchen's of India feast!

My kitchen extends beyond the four walls of my house. I use a laptop while I cook and I've made a virtual kitchen including the resources from the internet along with the real ingredients I have at home. To start with, I look up for various yummy dishes on the internet, and I almost always end up reaching the you tube. Once I see a delicious dish, I bookmark the page and proceed to cook it. Kitchens of India, the Indian Food Cuisine, has always been my partner in cyber-shopping for ingredients. The exciting part is that the delivery is free for all purchases over Rs. 450. So, if you are hosting a party and want to buy lots of masala mixes, ready-to-eat stuffchutneys and a lot of other delicious food items, there is no better place to shop than ITC Kitchens of India!

So, my party will happen by noon. I cooked Hyderabadi biryani for my special guests. To prepare it, I added the masala and cooked chicken to the boiling basmathi rice. Did you know that preparing a Hyderabadi biryani is very simple with Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani Mix? I will make my guests wonder how  I managed to mix the spices and condiments in the right proportion for a Nawabi Royal Biryani, while I will not let out my secret that it is the Kitchens of India product that I used! The smell of the dish lit up my olfactory bulbs and I couldn't wait to have the lunch with my guests! The biryani was special in a way that I added bits of fried chicken and coriander leaves for garnish.

Now, I need some sweets to cater to the sugery needs of my guests, so I decided that I would present them with Gourmet halwas. I wanted to present a variety of options for the pickles and conserves because I knew that I had to cater both the sweet-toothed and the spice-loving guests. So, I carefully chose Shredded Mango Chutney and Strawberry Mint for those who loved eating sweet chutneys. The Strawberry mint, I know, is rarely prepared at homes in India. I want to get my guests surprised by the sweet and tangy flavour of the strawberry chutney and make them wonder how I procured this dish. For those who love hot and spicy stuff, I will get the Hot Mango Chutney and the Mango-Saffron Conserve. After an exhaustive search on the internet, I came to know that no recipes of mango-saffron conserves are available. I would be giving my guests a combination of spicy and hot recipes!

Now, I can be fully confident of pampering the taste buds of my guests because I have made a tasty lunch in no time! Can't wait to share the food with them and get appreciated for the tasty food!

Thanks to Kitchens of India and Indiblogger for inspiring me to write this post. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The man who stood up for his friends

Ajmal was 15 when this incident happened. There were a group of girls and boys playing on his school playground. The girls were playing basketball and the boys were playing cricket. The playground was too small for two groups of people to play two different games at a time, but the students seemed to adjust to it well, and neither encroached the playing space of the other group. Ajmal was one of the boys playing cricket with his friends.

Ajmal's friend, Parthik, was the star batsman of the group. It was Parthik's turn to bat. When the first ball was bowled, he hit it with knack, and off went the ball. It was clearly a 'six' and the ball went straight outside the boundaries. Unfortunately, the ball landed on one of the girls playing basketball, and it hit directly on her head. She fell unconscious. The other girls, who were playing with her, swarmed around her.

Sensing the danger, the boys ran away, throwing off their bats and wickets. They were sure to be punished by their teacher if he finds out that their playing carelessly has injured a classmate. Seeing everybody run away, Ajmal wanted to run too, but his conscience stopped him from doing that. So, he walked back and went near the girl. She was bleeding from her head. None of the girls could lift her up and transfer her to a safer place. Ajmal, with the help from two other girls, lifted the girl and placed her under the shade of a tree. After asking one of the fellow girls to bring her water, he ran to the staff room to inform the teacher.

Once the teacher came, the girl was given first aid, and immediately sent to the hospital. Ajmal assisted the teacher in delivering the first aid.

Ajmal was called up and appreciated on the next day's common assembly. He was also to be given an award during the school day celebrations for his sincerity and timely action. He acted as the soldier for the girl he knew!

Fighting cancer with a soldier for women

It was in the winter of 2011 that Shilpa was diagnosed to have cancer. It was an advanced cancer which doctors could not do anything much to cure, but prescribe some pain killers and ask her to prepare herself for death. Shilpa was just 35 at that time. When she heard the news from her consultant oncologist Mr. Vasudeva, she was stunned for a while. After about 30 seconds of silence, tears rolled down her face as the news started sinking into her.

Her treatment started at the Annapurna Hospital, Chennai. Dr. Vasudeva was the doctor-in-charge. Shilpa used to spend her evenings with the doctor, speaking about things of her choice - poetry, life and people. Dr. Vasudeva, though a very busy person, used to join her and listen to her talks with interest. Sometimes, she wouldn't just stop, but Dr. Vasudeva would genuinely listen to her and answer to her questions, give suggestions and comfort her. It was later that Shilpa realized that he does this to all of his patients, spending a lot of time with them, reading newspapers for them, and even sharing his lunch with them!

By the time Shilpa finished one month of hospital stay, Dr. Vasudeva knew the names of all her relatives. He was liked be all of Shilpa's relatives. His presence would comfort them all. He once visited Shipa's house when requested so by her parents. Soon, Dr. Vasudeva became like a member of Shilpa's family.

Shilpa passed away in March 2012. The death was pretty much anticipated, as metastatic deposits had reached her lungs and liver all the way through her blood. Among those weeping for her, there was Dr. Vasudeva too. A humble man who treats around 100 cancer patients every day, and witnessing at least one death a week was seen weeping for the death of one of his patients! Dr. Vasudeva really stood up and fought for Shilpa, calmed and comforted her and her family during times of crisis. He, for sure, is a soldier for women!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Salutes to you, sir!

This incident happened when I was in school. We had our regular physical training classes on Wednesdays. I used to spend my physical education classes playing badminton with Mridula. Once we were playing a very fierce match. Mridula was playing against me and was leading by just one point. One more fault from my side would make her win the match. Boys and girls from both junior batches and senior batches were watching us. Most of them were cheering for either of us. I knew that if I missed the serve, Mridula would win the game, if not, we would have equal points. I couldn't afford to lose the match. So, I watched with extreme concentration while Mridula served.

Just as she tossed the shuttlecock into the air and lifted the racket to hit it, she fell down on the ground. Before the audience could realize what happened, she started convulsing. I knew that she was having a seizure episode, but I had never yet watched her seizing. She was frothing from her mouth. Her hands were clenched hard. She was shaking vigorously. Her eyes were open and protruding out. I got very afraid and I simply stood where I had been.

The audience, who were enthusiastically watching the match till then, were confused as to what to do. Some of them ran to the staff room to call a teacher. Others watched her. One boy told that showing the goddess's picture would stop her from convulsing. Another boy ran to his class to collect a bunch of keys, holding of which he thought, would stop her from convulsing. Nobody had the guts to approach her and give her first aid.

Mr. Ram, our science teacher, came running to the spot. He was informed of Mridula's condition by a student. He lifted Mridula and lay her down on the grass under a tree in the playground. Students followed him. He then ordered for water, and one student hastily walked towards the office to bring water on his instruction. Mr. Ram then gently kept his clean handkerchief over her tongue to prevent her from biting her tongue and injuring herself. He removed the tight sweater she was wearing. He then gently lifted her head and placed it on his lap.

After some time, Mridula was back to normal. Mr. Ram gave her water to drink. She couldn't remember what had happened to her during the seizure episode. She was embarrassed to see many students standing around her. It was for the first time that she was experiencing a seizure episode while in school. She was afraid that her friends would isolate her because of her medical condition.

The next day, during the science class, Mr. Ram talked with the class about seizures. He told us that seizures per se is not a disease, but only a symptom. He explained that one may have seizures even if she/he has no serious neurological problems. He explained us how seizure occurs, and what has to be done when somebody is seen seizing. He then called Mridula near him and appreciated her for being brave the previous day. I could see Mridula blushing with happiness.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Magic with Dove!

No, I don’t believe in magic. I don’t even enjoy trying out anything close to magic. The way we perceive things make us feel as if we are watching magic, but your brain will quickly interpret the situation and make you feel like crap for having thought to have watched rational things as if it was a miracle happening in front of your eyes. So, dudes and babes, relax. I am about to tell you a story in which the heroine, ahem, is me and the villain is shaggy, curvy hair with split ends. And yes, magic has something to do with this post.

I am a total sucker when it comes to hair care. The truth is that I do not care about my hair at all. Being a medical student and working in a hospital, I am to put my hair up and tie it with a clip so that my hair won’t play the fool while I am at work. Once back home, I unwind the hair clip and let my hair go without even making the slightest attempt to comb them up or fondle them with a hair conditioner. While bathing, I don’t just care to shampoo the hair, or to gel it up to make it smooth. Yes, I am in fact a total sucker.

We were speaking about magic, ain’t we? The magic happened when I discovered Dove. I was already acquainted with Dove’s products, my parents and sister being regular users of it – but I was too lazy to try them out. My sis desperately used to teach me how different is a nourishing cream from a conditioner, and what makes shampoo different from bath gel, but I never seemed to have a good eye for differences, and therefore her lectures did not register in my mind. The big day was when I received Dove Split End Rescue System from my aunt, who gifted it to me after having seen my pathetic hair. I was sure that I would never try that out, and I started feeling pity for her for having taken a lot of effort, which for sure was going to be wasted.

The gift stayed in my wardrobe for long. When it was long enough that I forgot about the aunty-gifting-dove episode, my sis looked up among the pile of clothes in my wardrobe and found the bottle of Dove Split End Rescuer Shampoo. She would have discovered the power of the contents of the white bottle of Dove earlier than I did, had I not watched her taking it. Now, like all of you, I too am a human, and therefore vulnerable to temptations. I was curious to find out what it would be like to use the Dove shampoo, and I immediately snatched it from her and placed it on the stand in my bathroom.

The rest, they say, is history. Or, ‘her’story, to be specific. I had learned not to expect too much from any hair care product, but Dove proved to be beyond my expectations. The very next day after using the Split End Rescue Shampoo, I noticed the difference – my hair has become so smooth! It is not getting matted while brushing! The hair is staying perfectly neat till the end of the day! I was overjoyed!

The next day onwards, I started using the Dove conditioner as well. The change was just overwhelming. I neither had to worry about breaking hair while combing, nor about hiding the split ends of my hair within my put-up clutch. I could freely use any hairstyle of my choice from now! Hurrah! 

This is what is called magic. Getting the kind of result you never expect as soon as you try out one choice. Magic is when you are overwhelmed by the results. Magic is something that does not happen every day. Magic happens once in a blue moon and I guess the moon was blue on one day in January last. 

In around February, I saw at the Indiblogger website that Dove Split End Rescue System is being given for free for the writers registered on Indiblogger! I was overwhelmed, and sent my address too. I received the sample in around a week. They were as awesome as the piece(s) my aunty gifted. I liked the white pouch in which the shampoo and conditioner were couriered to me. Now, I am using it to store my hair-care stuff. 

The Dove experience literally changed my hair. My friends think of my change as a miracle, and have started using Dove's products now. It feels so good to be so careless, and yet have awesome, flowing, beautiful thick hair with absolutely no split ends! Thank you, Dove!

Thanks to Indiblogger and Dove Split End Rescue System for inspiring me to write this blog.