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Friday, September 30, 2011

India's Police Turns Moral Judge: Youngsters harassed by police for 'indecent' dancing in clubs !!


So many things going on in the country and what do I see in the paper today?

In an effort to check the supposed 'indecent' behaviour in the city's pubs and discs, the police has now decided that in case there is still such 'indecent' behaviour going on within these walls, the bouncers of the place will be held responsible and will be charged and arrested !!!!

A few weeks ago police in Mumbai raided a lounge in Malad and took in 31 youngsters on the charge that they were dancing 'indecently' on a Saturday night inside the club!! The police fined them Rs.1200 each for 'indecent' behaviour under the Bombay Police Act before releasing them early morning. The police have justified their actions on 'moral grounds.'

This in a country that calls itself the largest democracy in the world, a country where you are an adult the day you turn '18' and are mature enough to elect your own government, get married and have kids. But one drink and one intimate dance inside the four walls of a throbbing disc and you are charged with being 'indecent.'

I was shocked to see the report in the papers and at the callous attitude of the police. We have all been in clubs and discs, dancing away the night, doing rounds of drinks with friends, getting drunk, behaving exactly the way youngsters should, letting your hair down and having a good time without causing any harm to anyone around or anywhere. After a week of hard work and stress its only natural that you look forward to a chilled-out weekend....and what's wrong if your stress buster is a night of loud music and dancing?

The police have constantly rounded up young couples in the city who have no space to snatch a few private and intimate moments together. What can really be a genuine and beautiful emotion is turned into something dirty and to be ashamed of. Youngsters are constantly harassed by the police in our country on grounds of 'morality'. And if we shake a leg within a dedicated place that is MEANT FOR DANCING, we are again called indecent !!!!

What a shame...when the country is faced with such critical issues of poverty, begging, child and woman abuse, lack of safety of our senior citizens, crime, theft, rapes, animal woes, unemployment, lack of proper education....all our police is doing is rounding up and harassing youngsters who are just out to have a good time on their own...



And like I always believe in and say: "Heal the world we live in Save it for our children" - MJ Debolina Raja Gupta

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Gym Mix


Of late the fitness bug has bitten me again and Im back to my previous workout routine. A ligament tear in the knee and a general lazy attitude (I was born with it!) were the culprits to see me out of the gym for a long stretch. But now that I am back in action, it was obvious that I would be updating my tracks, as in the music ones, to keep pace with the steps on the treadmill and all.

I can't do without my phone while Im working out. I have to have to have to have my playlist blasting non-stop in my ear. And what better way than to have some non-stop sexy remixes playing out loud in your ear while you're working out?

Hubby recently told me about this site where you can actually go and create your very own playlist suited to the kind of workout you're gonna do. Im sorry I forgot the name of the site, but I remember it had something to with 'jog', so this is another site where you can visit and create your very own playlist to groove to while you're sweating it out ;)

To visit the site, click here

Now, they have a real cool way of letting you decide what music will work best for you.

First, listen to their sample tune and understand your pace, as in beats per minute.

Next, you have the choice of either buying and downloading the tunes through their sites, or simply choosing the different artists and genres and selecting your favs.

The final step lets you browse through their existing playlist based on your preferences, or create a fresh new playlist just for you. The best part is, it lets you arrange your tunes by BPM (Beats Per Minute) in a warm-up, workout, cool-down sequence, so it takes care of the entire stretch of your workout.

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome: Cant sleep at night !!!!!


I cant remember the last time I slept like a baby at night. I cant remember the last time I did not toss and turn in my sleep all night and woke up feeling tired and drowsy. I cant remember the last time when I had a really fresh day, one where I didn't feel sleepy even once......

Its been years and years now that I have had to hear from people close to me how lazy I am that I don't get up 'early' by instinct, that I am not perfect since I'm a late sleeper and a later riser. That there's something wrong with me because I don't follow the 'natural' pattern of 'early to bed early to rise.' Not that I never tried, its just that my body clock has never adjusted to this routine, and no matter how much I try, I can never fall asleep before at least 2:30-03:00am. and many times I am happily awake till even 5.30, when I finally begin to feel drowsy.Through the week I sustain on a maximum of 4, or if I'm lucky, then 5 hours of sleep a day. And on weekends, I try and recover as much of it as I can, though its not much really. I mean, how much can you sleep on a weekend anyway? I get irritated, sad, depressed, angry and upset that all my efforts to get into a 'proper' routine don't work, and hurt at the constant complaints about my schedule. Finally, my body gives up once in a month or so, and I simply am unable to get up from the bed, and have to sleep it off no matter what. This is also accompanied by body ache and fever, one that comes and goes for a few days, and finally, I feel a little refreshed, again to go back to that 4-5 hours of sleep forever....

So it was sort of an eye-opener when I read an article in the Mumbai Mirror today. I learnt that I was not the only one who was going through this tremendously strenuous routine. And I learnt that this 'lazy' and 'imperfect' lifestyle that I've been accused of having all my life is actually a medical condition which has finally been given a name. I am copying out the entire article here for your benefit. This is from the Mumbai Mirror edition of September 21 2011.

The article:

The world is divided into morning people and night people. For the latter, nothing makes sense until noon. They may be awake but they can't be roused, not even with the harsh tags of 'night owl', 'sleepyhead' or 'downright lazy'.

But at least for some, the inability to get into bed before 3 am or 4 am and out of it until the sun is high overhead could well be a disorder. A person suffering from Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) finds it very challenging to fit into the mainstream sleep schedule of the world. Sleep medicine specialist Dr. Preeti Devnani, from Sleep Disorders Clinic, Khar, says DSPS is not easy to diagnose and is often confused with insomnia but is actually quite different.

Day Or Night

The internal body clock of a person with DSPS is typically out of whack with the sun. In other words, it is a disruption of their circadian rhythm. They can't follow the typical sleep-at-night, rise-in-the-morning routine that the rest of humanity follows.
They sleep late, often in the pre-dawn hours, and wake in the late morning or in the afternoon. And because they have to fall in line in order to get to work and be productive members of the economy, they often end up building up a huge 'sleep debt'. They may have difficulty thinking clearly and functioning optimally. This could, over time, lead to to clinical depression or other stress-related problems. However, if such people are allowed to follow their instincts, they wake up refreshed.
The problem is, DSPS patients find it very difficult to shift their routine, unlike 'owls' and 'larks'. Which is why you may find them working night shifts or in industries that allow them to start the day late. Joining Batman is probably one alternative.
Forced to work 9 to 5, these people may get only a few hours every night and then 'catch up' on the weekends, when they are not likely to opt for a morning trek. Some say this is like living with a jetlag.
The life of DSPS patients becomes a constant struggle. "It can lead to mood swings and depression. Sometimes, people end up self-medicating with alcohol," Dr Devnani says.

What Causes It?

For may, the night owl pattern is evident from childhood. They are unable to adjust to school hours. For others, the disorder develops during adolescence, sometimes because of late study hours. Research is relatively new in the area and some suggest this problem may be genetic. Studies show that the eye has a receptor that is sensitive to light. It is possible that some blind people maintain a regular schedule because they have this receptor. Similarly, some normally sighted people are deficient in this third kind of receptor and so do not entrain their schedules well to daylight. Also, body temperature varies on a daily cycle, rising during the day, peaking in the evening, and falling at night. For most people with DSPS, this temperature pattern shifts.

Treatments

While some specialists suggest there is no real cure for DSPS, Dr Devnani says the situation is not entirely hopeless. The condition can be managed with treatment.
The first step, of course, is to follow good sleep hygiene. Some of the other treatments include bright light therapy, which entails going out in the sunlight early in the morning or sitting in front of a bright light designed for this purpose. People suffering this disorder are also prescribed melatonin, the chemical that regulates the circadian rhythm. In chronotherapy, a person is asked to shift sleep time later instead of earlier. Typically, sleep time is shifted three hours later each day, all the way around the clock, until the desired schedule is reached.

CaseStudy:

Kalpesh Shah, 31, Mumbai:
I guess the price of living in this city is that you have trouble with sleep. No matter how early I got up, I couldn't sleep until 2.30 am or 3 am. I am a builder and need to get to work by 9am. As a result, I was running low on rest.
I suffered from anxiety, lethargy throughout the day as well as severe acidity. Even while I was asleep, my mind remained active and I kept tossing and turning. I thought it was insomnia. I looked it up online and decided I could do with some help.
The doctor at the Sleep Disorders Clinic asked me to maintain a sleep log. She also asked me to use a device for an actigraphy study, which monitors rest and wakefulness, and monitored the light in my room.
Dr Devnani told me I had DSPS. I didn't even know such a disorder existed. She gave me a lot of reading material.
While I was growing up, I would watch television late into the night. I used to work late and eat late. So my lifestyle was the culprit. I had to make major changes in my routine to get enough sleep at the right time.
I am not allowed tea after 4pm and don't smoke in the evenings. I have to finish dinner two hours before bedtime. I shower just before sleeping and have warm milk. I avoid light in the evening. My bedroom is for sleep only, no laptop or cellphone is allowed inside it. I have also started practising Yoga. I am now able to sleep earlier and feel fresh.'

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Senior Citizens....We Can Help


For the past few weeks, every time I have opened the newspaper, the face of one or the other senior citizen has looked at me from the pages, another story of a victim of that sad phase of life that we call ‘old age.’ For the past few weeks, the same story has been playing around everywhere – senior citizen killed. And suddenly today, the Mumbai police seem to have woken up from its stupor and realized that yes, something is terribly wrong in the state, and that now, finally after so many victims being reported, something has to be done to keep them safe.

The police had indeed launched a helpline for the senior citizen. But what a shame when officials themselves admit that the help that was promised through the ‘help’line was not delivered. Reason? Not known….

None of us is away from such a scenario ourselves. If you look around you, chances are you will come across such senior citizens who are alone and left to take care of themselves. And isn’t it a sad life when your entire life you have devoted to your family and kids, but now that your kids are settled and living their own lives, all you are left with is loneliness and the years that are catching up fast. Only a few days back one of my friends was telling me that he is not interested in the concept of marriage, but the only reason he will eventually get married sometime is so that he has kids and partner in his old age who will take care of him…that, according to me, is such a wrong notion.

Case in point:
I know of a senior citizen couple in my building. Both the husband and wife are well above seventies. But looking at their zest for life, you would hardly realize the same. Both are immensely active, and believe in doing something for the society. Their kids are grown up and settled abroad. And now, the two are left to themselves.
Be it a daily chore like going to the market, or more rigorous work like maintenance of the house, driving out to get your work done, or even the regular checkups at the doctor, this couple is very much capable of handling everything themselves. But still, it does not mean that they would not love to have the support they should be having at this age and phase in life.
The auntie I am talking about is fit as a fiddle. Though she may be way ahead of us in age, her spirit and zest for life is much more active than many youngsters of today. Not only is she a champion social activist – she started teaching slum kids on a regular basis under a tree – she is also a yoga teacher and teaches people much younger her age.
The uncle too is very much independent. He likes to do things his own way and is always on his toes, participating in events and doing his work on his own.

So I was of course quite worried when I realized one fine day that uncle was finally really ill. Of course age catches up with us all sometime or the other, and this is only inevitable. But isn’t this the time when someone from the family should at least be present to help during the difficult times?

In today’s world, where time zones and geographies do so much to create distances, maybe it’s the neighbours who can at least take care of each other. Almost all of us have given up living in ‘houses’ now, the apartment concept is all-pervasive, at least in the metros and other bigger towns and cities. So with so many people around, is it okay if such elderly couples are still alone and helpless? If we can spare some time and effort in talking to them and giving them the assurance that no matter what, just a call and we will be there by their side, maybe they would have the trust to let us know next time they really need some help. Of course it takes time to trust someone completely, and they may not like your intervention in the first place. But let them know that you would love to accompany them to the doctor, or maybe run their grocery list when you go grocery shopping for yourself. These are little things that we can all take care of. Small gestures that will hardly cost you a penny or take away much of your time, but these will be those very same gestures that will mean a lot to a person who should ideally be sitting back and enjoying life right now.

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Whats Your Limit ??

Just recently I was having a chat with a friend and we ended up talking about the age we got introduced to our first drink. Well, now let me tell you first of all that this friend is a total 'beer-obsessed' dude, and his love for beer is evident all across the social networking sites. So I was a little surprised to know he has 'other' obsessions too ;) of the liquid kind that is... I was not comparing, but was rather surprised when he told me had got to drinks already by the time he was 13 or so....what???!!!!!! 13 ??? And I thought kids that age were really still babies....Compared to that I would look like an old hag...my first drink wasn't before I was 21....but thats ok....I more than made up for it later I guess.... Of late I have quit....well, not really 'quit' quit, though that WAS the plan, but yes, I have 'kind of' quit. So earlier if my fun would take me from shots to glass to bottles straight, now its limited to that one or two occasional peg...and its with much a heavy heart that I realised that that was actually my 'capacity'. Two down and I am as good as happy. And top it with a session on the dance floor and no bottles or shots can match my high. My friends though have a different story to tell. Some of them will go on and on and nothing ever happens, they are as good as fresh. Some of them will drink through the night and welcome the dawn, but still nothing will show - no signs of being drunk, not even happy, and forget about any slurry speech...... hmmm.... wonder how people manage that !!!! And the worst part......my two drinks are enough to give me a headache the next morning, while these 'drunks' actually wake up fresh !!!! Not a fair world this.... ****************************************************************************************************** And like I always believe in and say: "Heal the world we live in Save it for our children" - MJ Debolina Raja Gupta

Monday, September 5, 2011

Vellapanti...what? is that a word? no....just a way of life Im enjoying rite now ;)

I know I know...its been ages and ages and ages I've been away from here. And that is so not allowed of a blogger, isn't it? When you don't show the due love and care to your blog and your friends who drop by, checking out what you write, thinking or talking about it, sharing their views, criticizing you, agreeing with you, and generally, making you feel good that someone somewhere is actually interested in what you're writing..... Well, I did miss coming back to my blog and interacting with you all for such a long time. But well, I was having a kind of a 'break' time. No, not like a post-breakup thingy, or anything remotely close. I meant, a break from schedules, a break from things that I generally do, a break from things that are so much a part of my life. I will confess I was pretty regular on my book blog though, but that too was very slow as compared to how much I read and write and review. If you live in any part of India, especially North India, you will be aware of the term Im gonna use now - vella....Well, you know what I mean....'vella' would actually mean a state of mind and being where you have nothing to do, where you are really 'useless', and that is what I wanted to be for some time now. No work and utterly useless. Of course there were certain things I still had to be doing.....like being with my daughter for example. But other than that, Iv been pretty 'useless' of late....and I must say I'm loving it. And this 'useless' phase was actually so useful. I ended up doing so many things I generally don't do, or didn't get time to do. I went on a long drive on a Harley Davidson bike to a fog-enveloped hilltop. That was a first and one-of-its-kind experience. I enjoyed the monsoon to the hilt this time, getting drenched at every opportunity, keeping the windows of my car down and soaking in the lovely wet air. I participated in and organised rallies in support of Anna Hazare and in support of the fight against corruption. I campaigned for India Against Corruption. I made many new friends. I deleted most of the 'friends' from my FB page (finally!!!), I celebrated my daughter's birthday at a nearby orphanage. I organised a donation drive for orphans. Im contemplating of getting back to some more studying (though I doubt it will actually happen). I made many new book-friends from all over the world. I got recognition as an international book reviewer. I made friends with authors, people from the publishing industry and media and teamed up to read and talk about their books. I managed to lose some extra kilos that I wanted knocked off and am back to the way I wanted to be (though I am still trying to reduce more...which girl doesn't?). So you see, I've been doing pretty much a lot lately. But yes, I will call all this as a state of being a 'vella', a useless good-for-nothing who does not want to go by the watch, who does not believe in set patterns, who does not want to take the road that has been taken by countless others before and has already been set for me....I want to remain a 'vella' for longer. I want to be out of rules and schedues and inhibitions ... I want to still live free.....And I want to live like this as long as I can be..... **************************************************************************************************** And like I always believe in and say: "Heal the world we live in Save it for our children" - MJ Debolina Raja Gupta