Monday, December 15, 2008

Men and Beauty

Today most men are just not content with the traditional segments of male fashion like apparels, footwear, accessories and at the max jewellery, but are instead exploring their feminine side as well.
Earlier men fashion was mainly restricted to four sections - apparels, footwear, accessories and jewellery, and while shopping they usually sought for things that are stylish, durable and comfortable.
Today most men are just not confined to these four sections. They are no longer coy to explore their feminine side as well. Most men these days are open to seek beauty tips and deep down some of them are just as conscious as women about their looks.
It is increasingly becoming a wrong notion that beauty is the domain of women only. Men have the right to look good and feel good, and they have started to come out openly with their needs and wishes. All across India, especially in the metros and cities have adorned and embellished themselves to enhance their looks. More and more men have started to appreciate that nice grooming and care can add a different dimension to their looks, and that smart beauty tips will help them to enhance their appearances and inner beauty, and thereby increasing the overall prospects in their personal and professional life.

Here are some of the popular beauty tips for men which, will very useful in keeping their hectic lifestyle:

* Cleansing is the first step of beauty regimen for men. Even rugged look cannot afford dirt and spots on your face. Use good quality cleansers to keep your skin in good condition. Apply toner and moisturizer after cleansing to keep your skin smooth and flawless.
* If the skin tone of a man is not even, then don’t stand out with all the imperfections. Apply a little make-up to conceal the imperfection. Apply a little foundation on your face to make the skin tone even and to cover blemishes. First use oil-free moisturizer on your face to make your make-up long lasting.
* If you are slogging day and night your face is bound to look tired and haggard. If you are not having proper sleep and dark patches have appeared under your eyes, then apply concealer with a brush under your eyes to hide your tiredness.
* Your well-defined face will enhance your appearance. To make your face well-defined you have to resort to a little make-up. Highlight the positive features of your face with pinky-brown shade and stand out in the crowd.
* For skin care, try using a light moisturizer on the skin with sunscreen. It is just as good for men to get into a daily regimen for skin care. Do a cleansing then use an exfoliate scrub or mask and then follow with a light moisturizer. Once your skin begins to get smoother and softer, shaving won’t be such a chore.
The increasing number of men who see nothing wrong on being considered beautiful and not just handsome, and who are not averse to making the best of their look, be it while attending marriages, formal meetings or informal parties or just a get together comes under the category of a Metrosexual male.
In India Upen Patel is a prime example amongst the many who routinely and openly admit to having manicure, pedicure done and prefers a clean look and make no qualms about it. And this is not restricted to the world of art and entertainment, but men from all walks of life and career are associating themselves with metrosexualism. And this trend is going to attain more popular following in time.

The list of the best hangouts in Khar

Over the years Khar has been renowned for many things; it’s rich and diverse culture, its way of life, the spirit and zest of its people. It has also been famous as a perfect shop to eat and dine with its innumerable hotels which can satiate any taste buds.
Khar has always been a favourite destination for many of the cities work and pressure weary singles, couples or just a whole group looking to have a great time and infuse some zing back into their life. Out of the many places where you can visit, we decided to ask the youngsters to rate the five best hangouts which has turned Khar into a youngster’s paradise. And this is what we came up with:

The Banana Bar
Yes!! THE BANANA BAR at Linking Road…but hey…It’s got nothing to do with bananas, this recently launched pub does play some good retro music with a lovely tropical feel. The bar area has ample space for revelers to stand around, chat or dance.
Thursday is karaoke night Friday is salsa night and once a month they host a stand-up comedy and music show. Saturday nights the place gets a makeover and has a club feel playing regular commercial and Bollywood.
The lounge area has tables scattered around with sofas, cane chairs and a large flat-screen for cricket and football matches. The third section is out on the terrace and the comfortable cane sofas, makes it perfect for pleasant alfresco drinking blending with great music (mostly slow rock and retro), affordable prices, hookahs in the patio then The Banana Bar is definitely a great pick.

If you want to have a great Saturdays then ‘Squeeze’ at S.V. Road, is right up your alley, where, DJ Swapnil plays some wicked sets from Club to Hip Hop to Janta, but hey…don't forget to take lots of friends well there!!
Though small; the settings are intimate. Decent drinks combing with a fresh urban hangout, four bars, a dance floor and an open air lounge with stone benches makes it an ideal locale. DJ Kumash also plays hip hop, trance, pop, and Bollywood tunes where you might bump into a Bollywood celeb. All in all, a great place to jazz the night away.

Olive & Kitchen
It’s a Restobar – Lounge at Pali Hill. The Olive Bar & Kitchen is a stylish, elegant and natural world of simplicity.
The Olive kitchen has a menu based on char grilled churasco’s, homemade pastas, fresh vegetables, and grilled fish, dressed with fresh Mediterranean herbs and Olive oil.
If you adore going to the restaurant which, has creative interiors, chic yet friendly atmosphere and unobtrusively stylish . It is a favourite watering hole for celebrities and prominent people like Oliver Stone, Tommy Hilfiger, Aamir Khan, Rahul Bose, Sharukh Khan, Malaika Arora, Karan Johar and members of the Royal family of Bhutan.

Club IX
Club IX, one of the most established names in Khar, Dr. Ambedkar Road at Pali Hill, is a nightspot favourite with the suburban crowd. Not very expensive, and pretty informal, Club IX caters to everyone from college students, to upcoming models to an older-working crowd on weekdays. They play mostly pop though regulars prefer retro. The drinks and starters are popular.
But be prepared to get squashed on the small dance floor, or go early and occupy a corner for your group to avoid getting your toes stepped on later in the evening.

Irish Pub
Irish Pub 757 S. V. Road has a green décor with drinks on the menu, good Bollywood music, smoke hookahs and Italian food. The Pub, with its hanging footballs and dartboards, and flat TV screens, looks more like a sports bar but it’s also a restaurant.
For those who’ve come for the food, there’s also a “Private Party” section with diner-style booths and tables – all green rexene, of course. Irish Pub has a warm, friendly vibe and offers some potent cocktails that make it good for a drunken night out.

Ashok Vaidya: The Man who gave us our Vada Pav

Nestled in a tiny room in a narrow lane, in a chawl near Dadar station resides the family of Ashok Vaidya, who started the Vada Pav in Mumbai.
The Vada pav came into existence when a snack seller outside Dadar railway station decided to experiment. He came up with a combination of batata vada and split pav.
Soon it gained in popularity and others followed Vaidya. "My father introduced the first stall of Vada pav near Dadar station in 1966. Soon vada pav stalls mushroomed all over Mumbai," said Vinayak, Vaidya's elder son, who works for a multinational company.
Ashok Vaidya passed away in July 1998. But his family, comprising wife Mangal, elder son Vinayak and younger son Narendra (who although well-educated), looks after the stall now.
"My father was a hardcore Shiv Sainik. He decided to start his own business. This business gave us a decent living, education and respect. So, even after education and the passing away of our father, we decided to run the stall," said Narendra.
"But we are thankful to the Shiv Sena, without which this would not have been possible. The police used to harass my father very often. Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray went to Dadar police station and the local ward office and ensured that he wasn't harassed," he added.
The Vaidya family acknowledges the Sena's contribution, and is delighted that even after all these years, the party once again came forward and approached them to be vendors under the Shiv Vad scheme, which will launch vada pav stalls in July-August.
The family feels the Sena has always worked for poor people, and the scheme will provide a large market to the middle class.
"We have been in this business for 42 years. When we started off, we used to sell vada pavs at 20 paise. Now we are selling it at Rs 6. The increase of a rupee is only because of the recent hike in LPG prices," explained Mangal.
Despite facing stiff competition from McDonalds and Jumbo King, they never thought of increasing their price. Their strategy is simple. "The vada Pav is a poor man's meal. Not all middle class people can afford to spend Rs 20-25 on a burger. Keeping this is mind, we sell our vada pav, maintaining its true essence," said Narendra, who claims their USP is that one can even eat it cold.
The family is looking forward to its association with the Shiv Sena's Shiv Vada scheme.
Race to Space!

Here are the efforts to find out what Nations across the world are doing to lead in the race to space!

For many years, the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a fierce competition—the space race. The space race began in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik. The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and the American presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon all agreed that conquering outer space was very important. Both countries wanted to win—to prove their scientific superiority and to show their military strength. Soviet Premier Khrushchev wanted to show that communist technology was superior. President Kennedy wanted to beat the Soviets to the moon. The European Space Agency is investigating spaceships to carry astronauts. China is laying the groundwork for a moon shot. Even India plans to send its own astronauts into space.

Over the years, many nations have utilized a great deal of resources to explore the mysteries of the universe and creating their own way in the space race. Nations that are making progress toward putting humans in the orbit and participating in the space race:

The European Space Agency: The 17-member agency plans a March inaugural liftoff of a spaceship carrying supplies to the station. The ship could be the basis for a capsule that
would carry humans, says Alan Thirkettle, chief of the European agency's space-station program. The capsule or something like it would be designed to take astronauts to the moon.

China: It lofted humans into space in 2003 and 2005. It's likely to try a fall mission that would
feature the first Chinese spacewalk. China also plans to send humans to the moon in roughly
2025, as stated by Vincent Sabathier, who studies global space policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. There is "huge public support" in China for a moon mission. But, NASA hopes to return astronauts to the moon in 2020.

India: Our country blasted into the international space race with the successful launch of an ambitious two-year mission, Chandrayan-1. Packed with an international suite of science instruments, the orbiter is headed to the moon. Besides this, India is already the proud owner of a rocket capable of carrying a human crew and spacecraft into space. Last year, Indian engineers sent a small unmanned capsule to orbit and recovered it back on Earth. G. Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, stated in Washington that his agency has drawn up plans to develop a human spacecraft. He expects "no major hurdles" to obtain funding.

Japan: A Japanese laboratory will be delivered to the space station as early as March, and a
Japanese robotic cargo ship is scheduled to make its first trip to the station later this year. Japan will handle their day-to-day operations, the first time it has been in charge of spacecraft with humans aboard or nearby. Japan's new space policy calls for it to be ready to send humans to space in 20 years.

In the United States, astronaut is derived from the Greek words ástron (star) and nautis (sailor). While, in Russia, a space traveler goes by the name космонавт (English: cosmonaut),
which is derived from the Greek words kosmos (universe) and nautis (sailor). Westerners call a space traveler from China a taikonaut, based on the 1998 writings of Chiew Lee Yik and Chen Lan where the term tàikōng (great emptiness), Chinese for “space”. In China, the term yuháng yuán (universe navigator) is used for space traveler.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Trekkers Paradise

Peth with its uniqueness manages to stay with you longer and high & above than all the others.

There are many hill stations in India, but as someone has very rightly said, some places are truly special in many more ways than what comes to mind. And Peth is definitely one of them. With soaring peaks, thriving flora, cool and soothing mountain air are the atmosphere that greets you in this tiny village of Peth around the year.

Peth, which means residence in English is also known as Kothaligad , situated in the Shahapur Taluka, approximately 21km North East of Karjat. One of the major draws of this place is that it is just 130 km away from Mumbai. Kothaligad, built at 3100 feet is ideal trekking destination, and is more commonly known as the fort of Peth because the village of Peth is situated at its base.

This fort though small in stature has immense historical significance. This fort was more of a ‘defense outpost’ than a full-fledged fort and is located at a vantage point. Peth was mainly used for ammunition storage and gained importance during Sambhaji’s era. Indeed, this place is great and bountiful, rewarding the visitor with a mix of old-country side charm, natural beauty, traditional livelihood and a great history.

“Although it is a long journey, due the spectacular sights along the way, you will enjoy your ride thoroughly. Greenery of the paddy fields and the murky brown streams crisscross the whole land. When it rains, and clouds descend from the sky to blanket the earth, the sight is truly breathtaking, said Prajakta, 21, art student, who visited this place through her field trip.

Highlights of this location:
The pinnacle of the fort is visible from the village. The view from the top resembles an endless expanse of colourful canvas. Once there, you can also see the beautiful caves carved in huge rocks. The first one is the cave of Goddess, besides it, runs a reservoir and the last one is the Bhairoba cave.

“The specialty of these caves is a flat floor and well sculpted pillars. These caves are famous for camping and make for a challenging trekking adventure which is yet not perilous. However it is advised that an expert should accompany a trekking trip in this cave for novice trekkers, said Dhanaji, 26, a frequent trekker.

Another highlight is that historical places like Kalwawantinicha Mahal, Nagfani, Siddhagad, Malanggad, Chanderi, Prabalgad, Manikgad, and Matheran that surround the fort are also visible from its apex.

“Kothaligad, is truly for nature lovers and best known for trekking. Peth is a tiny village which is devoid of any hotel for accommodation and food. Therefore it is advisable that the visitors carry their camping gears and packaged drinking water and food,” Shailesh Rane, a tour organiser.

In conclusion, don’t expect the luxury of city life here. This destination is certainly for those people who want to experience nature up and close and get a vivid taste of what wilderness is all about so close to the city.

So, if you are a nature lover, then you should mark this location on the top of your adventure holiday itinerary.

Fact File:

Karjat – Peth – Kothaligad (Fort)
Mild temperate weather
Best time to visit
Monsoon and winter season
Drinking Water Facility
There are many a cisterns and tanks on the fort, but the one near the cave is reliable as long as you boil it. If you are hesitant about it then do carry packaged water as no other drinking facility is available.
How to reach
One can board a ST bus for Ambivali via Kashele or from Karjat railway station on Mumbai-Pune route. The distance from Karjat to Ambivali is about 30 Kms. You can use the roadway to Peth from Ambivali. An extensive pathway leads to the fort entrance from Peth.
On can also get down at Neral, another railway station on Mumbai-Pune route and reach Kashele by local transport and catch a bus for Ambivali.
Where to stay
The cave on the fort is the best place to spend the night.
Note: Make sure to carry your camping gear along to compensate for the lack of accommodation.
Time to Reach:
Ambivali to Peth – 2 hours
45 minutes from the base village, Peth

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Paranoid Schizophrenia – a reality check!

Kranti Khanderkar explores the much misunderstood and controversial mental ailment – paranoid schizophrenia and sheds some light on the reality and popular misconceptions plaguing those affected.

Thirty year old Smita Raut (name changed) speaks to people everyday who do not exist in reality. She speaks, hears and sees them as part of her life and doesn’t realize that they aren’t really there. If you come to the conclusion that she is possessed by a spirit or something paranormal, then you have been misled by a popular belief or superstition, rather, the real cause of her behaviour is paranoid schizophrenia, a paranoid form of the disorder.

“She usually speaks to people which she claims exist and forces her to do the things which she doesn’t want to do,” expressed Anil Arekar, brother of Smita.

"Schizophrenia, one of the most damaging of all mental disorders causes its victims to lose touch with reality. They often begin to hear, see, or feel things that aren't really there (hallucinations) or become convinced of things that simply aren't true (delusions),” explained Dr. Anand Patkar, a Psychiatrist.

Smita has been married for six year and stays with her in-laws, and a son who is five year old. “Few years back we had Ganpati at home. I and Smita were performing pooja, she suddenly had an attack and said to me that her imaginary companion was asking her to physically desecrate the Ganesh idol. That episode really stunned me for a while,” said Deepak Raut, Smita’s husband.

“Once, I and my cousin sister went to visit sister Smita. We were having a casual conversation, and out of nowhere, she revealed that sometimes she feels an urge to throw her son from the first floor,” said Sneha Naik, Smita’s cousin sister.

Without medication and therapy, most paranoid schizophrenics are unable to function in the real world. If they fall victim to severe hallucinations and delusions, they can be a danger to themselves and those around them.

The causes of schizophrenia are still under debate. A chemical imbalance in the brain seems to play a role, but the reason for the imbalance remains unclear. Reaserchers believe that you're more likely to become schizophrenic if you have a family member with the illness. Stress does not cause schizophrenia, but can make the symptoms worse.

According to Dr. Patkar, in the paranoid form of this disorder, they develop delusions of persecution or personal grandeur. The first signs of paranoid schizophrenia usually surface between the ages of 15 and 34. There is no cure, but the disorder can be controlled with medications. Counseling and group therapy help recovering patients to understand the disease and to function effectively. Severe attacks may require hospitalization.


Schizophrenia usually develops gradually, although onset can be sudden. Friends and family often notice the first changes before the victim does. Among the signs are:

Inability to make decisions
Changes in eating or sleeping habits, energy level, or weight
Strange statements or behavior
Withdrawal from friends, work, or school
Neglect of personal hygiene
Indifference to the opinions of others
A tendency to argue
A conviction that you are better than others, or that people are out to get you


The treatment for schizophrenia depends in part on the stage of the patient's condition.

In the early stages, hospitalization may be necessary. Hospitalization prevents patients from doing harm to themselves or others.

The primary form of treatment for schizophrenia is medication. Drugs are now available to control many of the symptoms of the disorder.

Some forms of psychotherapy can help schizophrenic patients. Behavior therapy, example, can teach patients to cope with daily activities and may improve the way they interact with other people.

Family therapy
Family members can also benefit from some forms of therapy. Family therapy may also focus on improving the family's ability to communicate with each other and solve mutual problems brought about by the disease.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mumbai’s WIFi Future?

The Mumbaikars take on BMC’s 50-Crore plan of setting up the Citywide WiFi network for Mumbai.

Few months back, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has brought forward a citywide WiFi plan for Mumbai. According to BMC, the plan, if implemented, would allow anyone to use WiFi on their compatible laptops or mobile phones. This initiative by the BMC is a public-private partnership of sorts, in which the BMC plans to cover the entire city with WiFi coverage, albeit not free. Let’s find out the Mumbaikars take on this plan…

Once the city is WiFi enabled, it will make possible for any user who has a WiFi enabled device to surf the web from any location in the city. Once he is connected, he will be able to move around in the city at his own will, without worrying about any connectivity hasles. - Sampada, a MSc. IT student

Such a network would make it easy for the citizens to communicate with each other and the civic body, thus making communications easier and processing time shorter. Cyber experts, on the other hand, see this move from a different perspective. According to them, this would place Mumbai among the top technologically advanced cities in the world.

- Mandar, system administrative

If the plan does indeed go through, it would be interesting to see how it would be implemented. According to me, it would really help if there was a single system of managing the service. Something on the lines of Mobile Recharge coupons should be implemented, wherein each user will have his own account and he is charged as per usage. We will also need to wait and see what speeds would be implemented along with the service.

- Bijosh, a young IT professional

Installing a WiFi network is well and good. But, the misuse by some antisocial elements should also has to be taken into consideration and necessary steps which will secure the network from misuse should be made the top priority by the BMC.

- Alliston, a technology enthusiast and a student

BMC will maintain that this will be cheaper than other such services. In conclusion, the plan will certainly benefit the Mumbaikars. But before implementing it, the BMC should consider the issues like security, efficiency & servicing.