Grandma's Hands

Grandma’s Hands

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench.. She didn’t move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. ‘Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking,’ she said in a clear voice strong.

‘I didn’t mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,’ I explained to her.

‘Have you ever looked at your hands,’ she asked. ‘I mean really looked at your hands?’

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

‘Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life..

‘They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

Health & Complexion - diet & cholesterol

Sensible eating can keep cholesterol levels low

When people learn from their doctor that their cholesterol levels are high, they generally have to change their diet. This does not mean, however, that they can never indulge their palate again. With the right choices, they can continue to eat well and with gusto. Patients taking anti-cholesterol medication should also watch what they eat.

“Diet, along with not smoking and getting more exercise is the basic treatment when cholesterol levels are high,” said Achim Weizel, chairman of the German Society for the Treatment of Lipid Disorders and Associated Diseases (DGFF).

“When someone is really ill, though, this isn’t enough.” Then, medication is necessary because dietary changes can lower cholesterol levels by just 10 to 15 per cent — if at all — as against about 50 per cent with a proven drug.

The body needs cholesterol, a waxy substance found in the fats (lipids) of the blood, to continue building healthy cells. The body produces some of it, and some is ingested via food. The German Heart Foundation noted that cholesterol became dangerous when there was too much low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) in the blood and too little high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol).

Health & Complexion - eating habits

The carotenoids in tomatoes not only delay skin ageing but also protect against the sun.
The Hindu The carotenoids in tomatoes not only delay skin ageing but also protect against the sun.

How about berries instead of Botox, tomatoes instead of day cream, carrots instead of make-up? Many foods are beauty aids that make expensive creams and treatments unnecessary.

Their effects are not immediate, though.

“Foods aren’t medications that work overnight,” noted Hans Lauber, a nutrition expert and author from Munich. Rather than a short-term impact, many foods have a preventative and, above all, lasting effect, he said.

“This means it’s never too late to start holding back the skin’s ageing a bit and ensuring a glowing complexion,” remarked Michaela Axt-Gadermann, a dermatologist and professor of health promotion at Germany’s Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Skin ageing has a lot to do with subdermal inflammation and can be resisted with the right natural products, she said.


Paloma's birthday: June 24th

Panchayat Raj and Empowerment

June 18, 2012
Constitutionally empowered Act

Twenty years have passed since the Act on new Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) was put in place by the Constitution 73rd Amendment (1992). There were high hopes of empowering rural India’s two long-neglected sections of society — women and Dalits — through reservation of seats in elections to panchayat bodies. The reform was seen, understandably, as a major step in the direction of Dalit liberation.

Yet after two decades of its functioning, many feel that nothing much has come of this exercise. The reasons are not far to seek. From Day One, hard-core caste Hindu opponents of Dalits seemed bent on making the system non-functional inasmuch as it benefited Dalits. The 1992 constitutional amendment introduced systematic reservation of political positions for Dalits (besides women) in institutions of governance at the grass-roots level. This was the first time this was happening in the long history of local bodies in the country — something large sections of caste Hindus could hardly digest.

On the margins of the margin

June 20, 2012
On the margins of the margin

Badri Narayan

Dalit politics must embrace less powerful caste groups

When Kanshi Ram emerged on the political scene, he developed himself as a leader of all Dalits as a whole and tried to create a homogeneous identity for the diverse Dalit castes who comprise the lower castes of the social system. He ensured that each and every Dalit caste had respect by providing representation to them in democratic power. Through his efforts, a large section of Dalits, who were earlier excluded from the democratic processes of the country, have succeeded in obtaining political empowerment in Uttar Pradesh through the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). However out of the 66 Dalit castes, only four including shoemaker (cobbler) caste — called Ravidasi or Harijan in some parts of India — Pasi (watchman of feudal lords/toddy tappers/some of them tame pigs), Dhobi (washerman) and Kori (weaver) have become visible in democratic politics. The rest are invisible. Even among the more visible Dalit castes, the cobblers and Pasis have grabbed most of the space.


Politics India-2014

June 18, 2012 [courtesy - The Hindu]

Politics after President Pranab
Siddharth Varadarajan

The ease with which the Congress finally had its way on the presidency does not take away from the tough times that lie ahead

In getting Mulayam Singh to back Pranab Mukherjee for the post of President, Sonia Gandhi may have managed to undo the unconvincing but significant partnership that Mamata Banerjee stitched together with the Samajwadi Party. Yet the tactical victory the Congress has snatched will do little to alter the political trendline that is — as things stand today — taking the party inexorably towards defeat in 2014.

But first the positive. The Congress has every reason to feel satisfied by the ease with which it fought off what looked like a serious challenge to its authority. Caught by surprise, the party didn’t know how to react to the list of three names — including that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — that Mamata and Mulayam announced at a joint press meet last Wednesday.

Syndicate content