SUNDAY , March 13, 2011

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Kalanger to Kotli

K. D. Maini

After the massive earthquake of 8th October 2005 on both the sides of LOC, a 45 kilometer long Mendhar-Kotli road across the LOC was opened for meeting of the divided families for the first time after 58 years on 17th Nov. 2005. The divided families on both the sides were allowed to visit the other side, to meet their kith and kin via Tata Pani Balnoi crossing point. However, later on when Poonch-Rawalakote road across the LOC was opened, Mendhar-Kotli road via Tata Pani was abandoned after 20th June 2006 and Kotli was linked with Poonch via Chakan-da-Bagh Zero point. Therefore, the old relations were revived and new contacts were established due to people to people meeting with the habitants of Kotli.
In 1947, there were two routes leading towards Kotli from Poonch. First was a motorable road from Poonch via Mandole-Tatapani and the second was a bridal path connecting Kotli with Mendhar via Sona Gali Pass. At the time of partition in 1947, There were about 700 houses in Kotli town apart from a established Bazzar of an ancient time. Most of the houses were single storeyed buildings made of mud and boulders while some pacca houses were also existing in the town. Kotli was a tehsil headquarter of district Mirpur. There was also an old Baradari situated at the edge of Poonch river constructed with bricks and lime. There were three Hindu temples and a Dharamshala, two mosques and number of water mills. Kotli was a Mandi of food grain and wool products. The climate of the town was a bit hotter than Poonch town. The town was dominated by Hindu and Sikh families. There were about 4000 Hindus in Kotli town at the time of partition. Mostly they were traders. There was a complete communal harmony between Hindu and Muslims in Kotli town. The habitants were participating in the religious and social functions of each other. However during the turmoil of 1947 the Hindu and Sikh population of Kotli town and surrounding villages was forced to migrated on this side of LOC and they never got opportunity to go back in their native areas. Presently the migrants of Kotli have been settled in Nowshera, Jhangar and Jammu area, but their sentiments are still with with Kotli. With the opening of Poonch-Rawalakote road, the migrants of Kotli have again started dreaming of visiting Kotli, the land of their dreams.
Presently Kotli is a district headquarter in POK with three tehsils namely Sensa, Nakyal and Kotli. The district is located on the southern side of tehsil Mendhar of Poonch district. 55 kilometers LOC divides Kotli from Mendhar.
As per Raj Tringani the original name of Kotli was Kalanger. Around 1120 AD Padma Vat was the Raja of the Kalanger principality.
When King Susal of Kashmir was defeated by Bakachar, he had taken refuge in Kotli. In this very period King Susal had married the daughter of Raja Padma Vat of Kotli and finally with the help of the Raja of Kotli, Susal invaded Kashmir, defeated Bakachar and became the King of Kashmir. Kotli remained governed by local Hindu Raja's upto 14th century AD. In 1339 AD, when Kashmir was taken over by Shah Mir, the influence of Islam started increasing in the princely states of Pir Panchal region including Kotli. In 1452 AD when Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin established an outer hill state comprising of Poonch-Nowshera district, Kotli principality was dissolved and merged with new principality. With the passage of time, majority of the habitants embraced Islam in this area. In 17th century AD a new principality of Muslim Mangral Rajput Raja's came into existence with headquarter at Kotli. As per Tarikh-e-Aquama-e-Poonch Part-II, in the ancient time Kotli was ruled by Mangral Hindu Rajput Raja's with the headquarter at Sensa. The Raja of the third dynasty was Sansar Chand who embraced Islam and shifted his headquarter from Sensa to Kotli. The Muslim Mangral Rajputs ruled Kotli upto 1819 AD. However, they were dominated by Chib Rajas of Chabal.
As per Tarikh-e-Rajgan-e-Jammu and Kashmir, in 1808 AD, Gulab Singh was a common man known as Gulabu. His father Kishora Singh borrowed some money from a trader Dulu Shah and purchased two horses for his sons- Gulab Singh and Dayan Singh. He directed them to join the forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. However bessiged due to confrontation with Mian Mota, Gulab Singh and Dayan Singh could not meet Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore. Therefore, they decided not to join the forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and moved back towards Jammu. When they reached Chabal area they joined the forces of Chib Raja Sultan Khan of Chabal. At that time Kotli was a Jagir of Mangral Rajas and a part of Chabal principality. Sultan Khan appointed Gulab Singh as a Qiladar of Kotli. Therefore Gulab Singh reached Kotli, took the possession of the fort and started collecting revenue on behalf of Raja Sultan Khan of Chabal. However Gulab Singh was not in good terms with the wife of Raja Sultan Khan whose name was Hayat Khatoon. One day when Gulab Singh was present in the court of Raja Sultan Khan his wife Hayat Khatoon abused Gulab Singh. At that very movement Gulab Singh left the services of Raja Sultan Khan and returned back to Jammu. Later on, Gulab Singh and Dayan Singh joined the forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In 1814 AD during the first attack of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on Kashmir his forces were beseiged at around Poonch due to unexpected revolt of Raja Ru-Alla-Khan of Poonch. At this stage the Rai (Jagirdar) of Kotli helped the forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
There was disturbance and revolt in Kotli area after 1820 onward against the rule of Khalsa Darbar Lahore. To subside this revolt, the Kotli and Chabal area was given by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to his Prime Minister Raja Dayan Singh as a gift in 1827 AD. Dhayan Singh received a tough resistance from Mangral Rajputs of Kotli in between 1827-1846 AD. In this disturbance, most of the Mangral Rajputs of Kolti had left their native villages and migrated towards the remote areas of Pir Panchal range. In 1852 AD when Poonch-Chabal Jagir was divided into two parts, Kotli had become the part of Chabbal principality of Raja Jawahar Singh. But Raja Jawahar Singh had never came to Kotli-Chabal area and this principality was confesticated by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1856 AD. Kotli remained the part of J&K State from 1856-1947 AD.
In 1947 Kotli was defended by a company of state forces. During the turmoil of 1947, the rebels with the help of Pakistan armed forces and tribesmen of NWFP revolted against state forces . The state forces could not hold the area and the scattered contingents retreated towards Kotli. The town was besieged by the rebels. In these circumstances Colonel Baldev Singh Pathania was appointed as guide to state forces for operation against the rebels under the overall commanded of Brigadier Chattar Singh who was stationed at Mirpur. The city was besieged from all the sides. About 5000 Hindus from the surrounding areas had also taken refuge in the town. There was acute shortage of ammunition and it was not possible for the state forces to hold the town. The Indian air force in the month of November, 1947 dropped some boxes of ammunition in and around Kotli town. Unfortunately these boxes of ammunition were captured by the rebels. However 17 boxes were snatched by the civil population. In the meantime Indian forces started operation from Jammu side and reached Jhangar under the command of Brigadier Pran Japi. On 12th November the advance towards Kotli was started by Brigadier Pran Japi from Jammu towards Akhnoor for the relief of Kotli town. On 13th November the advancing forces reached Akhnoor, on 16th November they crossed Bari Pattan Bridge and rushed towards Nowshera. On 19th of November Jhangar was captured. On 26th November Indian troops marched towards Kotli and entered the town at 2.20 PM after defeating the rebels in and around the town. Brigadier Pran Japi found that about two companies of state forces in Kotli were completely demoralized. There was severe scarcity of food grain, medicines and consumable items in the town. The habitants were drinking water from a filthy pond in the town. There was a demoralized civil population of about nine thousands. It was not possible for the forces of Pran Japi to hold the Kotli town because the town was 147 miles away from Jammu. Therefore it was decided not to hold the town. In these circumstances Brigadier Pran Japi vacated Kotli town on 28th November 1947 along with nine thousand refugees. The caravan reached Jhangar on the same day and the ancient Kotli town was captured by the rebels.

Why children are growing wild?

Uma Ramachandran

Thirteen-year-old Umang was becoming aggressive day-by-day. Whenever he was scolded or asked to obey some orders by his elders, he would answer back. Then, one day the situation went out of hands. He hit his mother hard which resulted in her getting a hairline fracture and a broken tooth. When questioned by his father on his behaviour, he hurled a kitchen knife at him.
Distraught and upset, the parents consulted a psychologist. Umang told the doctor: "Whenever there is a discord between my parents, my father hits my mother. She is always the weaker one and never hits back. I know if I hit my father, he will hit me harder." The reason given by the child may sound appalling for many, but this is not a one-off incidence. Experts and psychologists have been ruing the increase of aggression in children.
Domestic violence, experts say, is one of the biggest perpetrators of aggressive behavioural patterns in children. "What the child sees in the family affects him psychologically. Usually when child observes such tendencies in his parents, he imbibes them. In such cases, the target of the child is a weaker person, a sister or a younger sibling," says Dr. Aruna Broota, clinical psychologist.
Dr. Sameer Parikh, consultant psychiatrist with Max Healthcare seconds her: "The observation in and around adult's drives children to such behaviour. Also, violence in the society, among seniors and peers is a major reason for aggression." Parents feel aggression in children is due to exposure to video games and unrestricted Internet and TV viewing. While many studies have correlated the impact of media and aggression in children, experts feel observation is a key factor which perpetuates children towards such tendencies. "Cartoons are getting violent and consequently, children learn to clap to aggression," Dr. Broota tells you.
With the changing family dynamics and emphasis on nuclear families, children and parents have little or no time to communicate and sort out differences. An easy availability of cash and luxuries like hi-end mobile phones is responsible for spoiling children. If a child is denied these facilities after he had got used to them, he tends to exhibit aggressive behaviour. Also, comparison with other children and taunts by elders of being a good-for-nothing child leads to frustration which, in turn, breeds aggression at a later stage. Exposure to substances encourages children to become volatile. Also, children under stress are more prone to such tendencies.
This aggression might manifest itself in various forms like throwing and breaking of things, usage of abusive words and bullying, physical fights, arguments with teachers and defiance. "Obviously, there would be a pattern to the behaviour of a child. One-off incidence might be ignored, but parents need to be wary. If there is a change in the frequency and amplitude of such incidences, then parents have to sort it out with their wards," cautions Dr. Parikh. He stresses that children might find it cool to be aggressive.
Though there is no age for aggression, adolescents are vulnerable to being volatile. "Aggression is innate. When a child is small, he expresses his anger through tears. As he grows up, the expressions change," points out Dr. Broota.
Psychologists feel it is useless to crib about the attitude of children. They are just reflecting the society which has become volatile. Instances of road rage, murders and fights on frivolous things have become a way of life. Though it is difficult to completely uproot aggression, there are things which can be done by parents and teachers.
"Dance and music is something which can put the children on a creative platform and help curb aggressive tendencies. Parents should allow the child to pursue his interests and encourage them to participate in co-curricular activities," says Sudha Gupta, Chairperson, Mother's Pride and Presidium.
Parents need to be careful of their behaviour in front of their children. However, Dr. Parikh feels parents are one part of the jigsaw puzzle. They may do well in providing a supporting environment but teachers hold an equal responsibility in the entire scheme of things. "In my view, teachers are the most important aspect of a child's life. But we have to address the issues of teacher burnout," he opines.
Popular teens are more likely to develop tendency towards aggressive behaviour as their popularity continues to soar. This was the result of a study which suggests that becoming more popular makes kids more aggressive. According to the study, children intent on climbing the social ladder at school are the most likely to bully other students.
The study, however, says that neither the most popular students nor the least are likely to be bullies at school. Rather, the teens who are in the middle of the popularity chain are most likely to be the bullies.
"Aggression is intrinsic to status and escalates with increase in peer status until the pinnacle of the social hierarchy is attained," says the study analysis, according to The Washington Post. "Over time, individuals at the very bottom and those at the very top of a hierarchy become the least aggressive."
To find a link, Robert Faris of the University of California (UC), Davis, and colleagues tracked the behaviour of 3,722 eighth, ninth and 10th grade students from three counties in North Carolina over the course of an academic year.During the survey, research team asked the students about their friendships as well as whom they bullied and how often they were the target of physical aggression, verbal aggression, such as teasing or threats; rumours or relationship aggression such as name-calling and ostracism.
After analysing the data, the study team found that the teenagers' tendency toward aggression soared along with their social status. "Status increases aggression," said lead study author Faris, who is an assistant professor of sociology at UC.
"For a long time, people perceived aggression as a maladjusted reaction to problems at home or mental health issues. But our research is consistent with the idea that it's a nasty underbelly to social hierarchies. Aggression is perceived to be a way of getting ahead."
Tendency towards aggressive behaviour increased as the students went high up on the social ladder, and this aggression seemed to touch its peak when students reached the 98th percentile of popularity. The study also revealed that those on the top two per cent of social status in school did not resort to aggression or bullying of their fellow students, perhaps because they no longer felt the need to put others down to improve their own status."Our findings underscore the argument that - for the most part - attaining and maintaining a high social status likely involves some level of antagonistic behaviour," Faris said in statement. "Aggression usually requires some degree of social support, power or influence. The fact that they both have reduced levels of aggression is true, but it can be attributed to quite different things. The ones at the bottom don't have the social power or as much capacity to be aggressive whereas the ones at the top have all that power, but don't need to use it."
Girls and boys show different aggression levels. Girls showed less physical aggression and more frequent indirect aggression. The girls are also less likely to bully boys than boys are to bully girls, the study found. (INAV)

'Shashi Tharoor was my Antony'

You are a Punjabi, but you grew up on Orissa. How did that happen?
My father was an IAS of Orissa cadre. I was born and brought up in Orissa…I spent 20 years of my life there. I went to Stewart School in Bhubaneswar with my brother.
There is a story that you used to challenge your teachers. True?
I had come with my father on deputation for two years in Delhi and gone to a proper school (Loreto Convent). When I went back to this convent school in Bhubaneswar, I found education was pretty lousy there. By that time I had tasted what is called decent education. And because these young teachers (waiting to get married) thought me as a good student, they would just see the copy coming from me and give me highest marks. I knew that and I was getting absolutely unchallenged. And so I decided to have a campaign of testing them. When I had essays to write, let's say, on hospitals, I used to write literally gibberish and I would still get the top marks. In short, I was a spunky, kind of mad kid…I still am. (Smiles)
You got involved in street theatres while at Miranda House, Delhi University…and you were famous as Cleopatra?
I was famous as Cleopatra…and the five slaves who carried me on stage are extremely famous now, including Ramu Damodaran, Amitabh Ghosh, Gautam Mukhopadhyay. And my Antony was Shashi Tharoor who always lost his wig during the love scene.
You were into theatres at the Harvard too. Why did you shift to documentary filmmaking from theatres?
Theatre was not so sustaining for me at the university. I was under the illusion that I was an academic and I used to work in political theatres in Calcutta and Delhi. I was stimulated to work visually. I took up a photography course and used those photographs to enter the film department that was really competitive. I was 19 when I started studying films, 21 when I graduated from there.
Did you expect that after 11 years you will get an Oscar nomination for your debut film (Salaam Bombay)?
No, no. As Gita says, beware the fruits of action. You should never do things thinking what's going to come. In fact, I never expected that I would become a filmmaker. I never took films seriously.
How will you define filmmaking?
Filmmaking, according to me, is all about capturing something extraordinary things about ordinary life. And I feel blessed that at the age of 20, I found my place in life.
Did you enjoy watching films?
As I told you, I come from a very small town in Bhubaneswar… there was only one movie theatre where they perennially showed Doctor Zhivago. And I have a distinct memory that power would often go off and it would be terribly hot inside the hall. The manager would come and say: 'Pretend you are in Siberia and it's very cold'. (Laughs) In short, I was very uneducated about films, even Indian ones. I am ashamed to say this, but it's true…that first time I saw Satyajit Ray's films (Apu's Trilogy) at the Science Centre in Harvard at the age of 19. So I can't say films inspired me.
But as a kid growing up in a small town, what was most inspirational was jatra, which is mythological travelling theatre. People would come from villages and take over a school field; as a prop they would have only a set of painted stairs, I used to go with my driver and while everybody thought I didn't enjoy going to such places, I used to sit there and world emerge in front of me. The incredible Prahlad natak, and other mythological dramas were spelt out in front of me. That was the fuel of my first excitement of doing anything with the art.
Postscript: Mira Nair has been refused visa by Pakistan to shoot for The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Media reports quote her saying she would recreate Lahore in Delhi. (TWF)

Dance with me

Women with disability have the same need for love and intimacy as ‘normal’ women do but it is a subject seldom recognized in our society, writes
Ranjita Biswas
“I watched them dance…I wondered if there would ever be a man in my life. Would a man see beyond my body? Would I ever be needed by a man emotionally or would I always be regarded as a burden for someone to take care of?” Malini Chib in her autobiographical book One Little Finger (SAGE).
Chib suffers from cerebral palsy that makes body movement and speech extremely difficult. But her cry of loneliness as her ‘able- bodied’ friends enjoy a party and dance with their male partners is not a lone one. There are many women who are passed by where sexuality is concerned. In fact, it is almost an unspoken, unuttered word. True, Chib has surmounted her disability, is a double M.A., holds a job, uses a communicator or voice-box much like the one physicist Stephen Hawkins does. She is also a rights activist for disabled persons. But it has been an uphill task for an intelligent mind trapped in a body which needs help to move around.
Chib gives a moving account of her growing up years, the fantastic support from her parents, relatives and friends, using her one little finger for this 50,000 words book. Her book is full of positive vibes though there are ample examples of difficulties she has faced to be mobile, especially in India. But, as her brother Nikhil said, she revealed at the launch of the book at the recent Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, he also asked her why she did not talk much about her moments of pain and tribulations too, which she faced nonetheless in her growing up years till she became a confident young woman.
But Chib does give way to her inner trauma occasionally. Her need for love from the opposite sex and the sadness at disappointments appear in pages towards the end of the book. As she said, at the Kolkata launch of her book, “People think us as ‘asexual.’ As if we ‘cannot’ or do not have these feelings, something any so-called normal woman can have.”
This small little observation brings to notice something seldom talked about in our society or families with disabled women.
Anita Ghai of Delhi, teacher and disability rights activist, agrees, “In our society sexuality, especially of women, is tied up with marriage. Physical disability is seen as a major hindrance though disabled persons do get married occasionally. However, meeting people, socially interact with the opposite sex are major hindrances.”
Ghai admits that the image of a disabled woman is also such that her needs for movement, care-giving, and treatment take precedence and somehow obliterate her other physical needs. Then there is a question of attitude. She illustrates it from her own personal experience. “In north India [elsewhere too] where I grew up, young male cousins of girls though allowed to mix ,are not permitted by elders to sleep in the same room with male cousins. But I did not have any such restriction. It never occurred to me why until a friend later pointed out that as a disabled woman I was completely de-sexualised.” In short, she was not regarded as a ‘threat’ for aberrations to create problems or whispers of a family scandal. In her book (Dis)Embodied Form: Issues of Disabled Women (2003), Ghai talks about many of these issues.
But, as many women with disability would vouchsafe, born as a human being, the needs of a women with disability is the same as a ‘normal’ woman’s. Australian film Dance Me to My Song (1998) where protagonist Julia, confined to a wheelchair suffering from cerebral palsy, falls in love with her neighbour, compassionate Eddie, reflects the metal dilemma, and longing for love and sex, in a beautiful way. In fact, the star of the film who also co-wrote the script, Heather Rose is afflicted with cerebral palsy herself and shows deep understanding of the character, though she says the film is not autobiographical. When the film was shown at the Cannes Film Festival, 1998, in the competition section, it evoked a standing ovation.
Delhi-based TARSHI, (Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues), an NGO, published a report Sexuality and Disability in the Indian Context (2010) where it introduces the research-paper by saying that “To most people, sexuality and disability seem to be unconnected terrains. However, the reality is that people with disabilities can also be sexual beings with sexual fantasies, feelings and aspirations like anyone else.”
The report further elaborates that ‘they’ are unable to express their sexuality fully not so much because of a disability but among other reasons, because of “negative societal attitudes.”
This attitude is not confined to the so-called layman. It can also extend to professionals in the medical field as well. Ghai recalls a rather amusing incident (actually disturbing) when she wanted to have a Pap Smear test done. This is a test middle –aged women, particularly menopausal women, are advised to take to detect cancerous and pre-cancerous cell changes in the cervix; early detection of symptom, if any, can avoid/treat cervical cancer. “The gynaecologist was surprised at my request. ‘But why do you need it?’ she asked.” A disabled woman and sex are somehow not co-related, it seems.
Due to the same attitude, women with disability are not given attention to their reproductive rights needs or need for information. These days many conferences take place around the world, as well as in India, on women’s issues. Unless specifically centered on the subject of disability, this aspect of women’s need or problems are hardly discussed, one discovers, while leafing through the agenda.
This is not a problem with women alone. But due to our patriarchal attitude, the problem is more, Ghai points out. Chib observes, echoing feminist writers, that being disabled and a woman, is a ‘double disadvantage.’ “A disabled man …is viewed as a wounded ‘male’ while a disabled woman is not able to fulfill the cultural expectations. She suffers again due to the cultural stereotypes associated with women being caregivers,” she writes.
The good thing is that today people are talking more on these issues. Even those afflicted with disability, as Malini Chib does, are not afraid to talk frankly of their needs and wants. Changes in society come slowly, but they do if people talk, Ghai says.(TWF)

Chocolate Facial

Shahnaz Husain

Using chocolate in skin treatments has caught on in a big way. You may be wondering if this is just a gimmick or a fad. Do chocolate facials really work? Does chocolate actually benefit the skin? In the high-end spas and salons, chocolate facials are premium treatments. Research has shown that the cocoa content in dark chocolate benefits the skin. It is said to be high in antioxidants, helping to delay the formation of ageing signs. It also boosts the skin's cell renewal process and helps to soften and smoothen the skin. Chocolate is also said to induce relaxation, which is an advantage in skin treatments.
Apart from cocoa butter, shea butter is used in formulations containing chocolate. Both these are good for nourishing and softening the skin. We have formulated a Chocolate range which can be used in facials. It comprises of a scrub, a cream and a mask. The scrub for exfoliation contains coffee beans along with cocoa powder. These products also contain plant ingredients and oils, like walnut, aloe vera, almond oil, grapefruit, rose, etc.
The facial softens the skin, imparts a glow and calms the senses. As already mentioned, the antioxidant properties helps to preserve the skin's youthful qualities.
Apart from a professional salon treatment, you can also have a luxury treatment at home, using the Chocolate formulations.
First cleanse the skin, using a cleansing gel or cream. Apply it on the face with a light massage and then wipe off with moist cotton wool. Then apply the Scrub to exfoliate the skin. Rub gently on the skin with small circular movements. Wash off with water. Exfoliation helps to deep cleanse the skin, remove dead skin cells and tighten the pores. It also brightens the skin and makes it more translucent.
Next, use Chocolate Nourishing Cream to massage the face. Apply it on the face and massage with outward and slightly upward movements. Add a little cold water to help the massage. If the skin is normal to dry, massage for 4 to 5 minutes. Then wipe off with moist cotton wool. The massage helps to soften and nourish the skin. It also encourages the removal of wastes. The area around eyes should be given special attention. Massage very gently, using only the ring finger for one minute around each eye. Massage in one direction only.
The neck should also be included in the massage. Apply cream on the neck. Starting from the chin, go downwards, using both the hands, one hand following the other. The pressure should be applied downwards and not while bring the hands back to the chin. Massage for 2 to 3 minutes. Wipe off the cream with moist cotton wool.
After the massage, give the skin cold compress with chilled rose water and cotton wool pads. Apply the pads on the face for a few minutes. After the compress, apply the Chocolate Mask on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Apply on the neck too. When it is dry, moisten with milk and then wash off with water. Lastly, apply moisturizer. The Chocolate Facial rejuvenates the skin and delays the formation of lines and wrinkles on the skin. It helps to make the face look smooth and youthful, restoring the its youthful qualities and imparting a glow.
If your skin is normal to dry, do the chocolate facial at home once a week. For combination and oily skin, do not massage with nourishing cream for more than a minute. The rest of the procedure may be followed as mentioned. For skin with acne, pimples, or rash, avoid the facial.
You can also make your own Chocolate Mask at home. Mix together three teaspoons cocoa powder and 2 teaspoons oats with egg white and one teaspoon each honey and curd. Adjust the ingredients, so that it is a thick paste, which does not drip. If it is too thin, add more cocoa powder. To make it thinner, add more curd or milk. For dry skin, add egg yolk, instead of egg white. First cleanse the skin and then apply the mask, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes with plain water.

Nutrition and bone health

Dr Vasanta Kohli

Adequate Nutrition is essential for the development and maintenance of the skeleton that is bone health. The development of diseases of the bone such as osteoporosis and osteomalacia can be minimized by providing adequate Nutrients in all periods of the life cycle. Of these diseases, osteoporosis is the most common and destructive of productivity and quality of life.
Calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D are essential for normal bone structure and functions, but several other micro-nutrients also have essential roles to maintain the bone health. Non-nutrients plant molecules, such as phytoestrogens, also found to improve the status of bone tissues.
Calcium from foods
Calcium intake is the primary prevention method. Recommendations for the intake of calcium and several bone related nutrients are in focus as prevention method. The experts of nutrition recommended that maximizing bone mass during the adolescent growth period was extremely important by increasing the Adequate intakes (AIS) from pre adolescence (age 11 years) through adolescence (up to age 19 years) to 1300 mg daily. Adequate intake for calcium are the same for each gender across the life cycle.
A major concern among nutritionists is that a large percentage of girls beyond age 11 are not consuming sufficient amounts of calcium. Reaching A1 levels of calcium from foods should be the first goal, but if insufficient amounts of calcium from foods are consumed, supplements of calcium salts should be taken to reach the age specific A1. Calcium is found in many foods, but is in high amounts, in only few foods. Foods like milk and cheese, mutton, rohu, fish, soybean, methi, pudina, almonds, beet greens, dates, lime, orange contain about 550-200mg of calcium per food item. But many dietary factors reduce calcium absorption. Foods that are high in oxalic acid such as spinach, cabbage, chocolate can interfere with calcium absorption by forming insoluble salt in the stomach.
Calcium from supplements
Studies show increased calcium intake with supplements results in significant increase in spinal and total body bone density in adolescent girls, which may translate into later protection against osteoporosis. The use of calcium supplements from pills, chewable tablets, and other formulations has increased among females because the awareness has increased and they are more concerned about calcium insufficiency.
Calcium consumption during childhood and adolescence is beneficial for the acquisition of peak bone mass.
There is no doubt that calcium deficiency lead to Osteoporosis. Calcium is an essential nutrient in the fight against Osteoporosis. Both man and woman should take supplements of 800-1500 mg daily depending on the amount of calcium they are getting in their diet.
People, more consistently absorb calcium citrate than calcium carbonate, but when taken with food and good levels of vitamin D. Children are advised to take 800-I, 200mg of calcium daily prior to puberty, will increase their bone density by 5-7 percent. This is significant because this increase their bone density, will carry over as they develop into young adults and through out their life times.
Vitamin D
To absorb calcium the body needs vitamin D, which can be made by the skin after exposure to the sun. Dietary source of the vitamin include fortified milk, eggs and fish oil. Eat three to four portions of calcium rich foods daily and expose yourself to sunlight to get vitamin D. Adequate amount of vitamin D should be taken in the diet in the form of oily fish, egg yolk and milk, cheese or a supplement.
Vitamin K
Is an essential micronutrient for bone health, vitamin K is required to synthesize Osteocalcium, a protein found in large quantities within the bone. It is therefore critical, in bone formation, remodeling, and repair. Studies shows supplementing vitamin K in patients with osteoporosis reduced urinary loss of calcium by 18 to 50%. This suggests vitamin K helps the body to absorb and retain calcium rather than excrete it.
Vitamin K is found in both plant and animal sources of food, like dark green leafy vegetables, most green plants, liver, milk, yogurt, egg yolks, fish liver oils.
Manganese is necessary for the syntheses of connective tissue in cartilage and bone. Manganese is present in the whole grains, but is lost during processing of the grains into flour.
Folic Acid, vitamin B and vitamin B12
Post menopausal women have greater increased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. The fact remains these women need higher amount of folic acid, vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12.
Is an interesting nutrient for the bone metabolism. Boron also increases magnesium concentrations and decreases phosphorus levels. Supplementation with 3mg Boron is more than adequate.
Apple, carrot, fruits (other than citrus) grains, grapes, greens, legumes, nuts, pears, prunes, raisins, vegetables.
Is important because of its ability to strengthen the connective tissue matrix, which strengthens bone.
This mineral is essential for the normal functioning of vitamin D. Low serum Zinc levels are found in the serum and bones of patients with osteoporosis.
Prevention of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is not simply a disease arising from a lack of calcium and estrogen. Our bodies need multiple nutrients for bone remodeling and for the production of good healthy bone. We also need to control the oxidative stress in the body. People with decreased bone density have increased oxidative stress. So along with nutrients for bone production, also need to take all of the antioxidants and supporting nutrients to build up your antioxidant defence system.
It is recommended both women and men, preferably before they reach forty years of age, supplementation should be taken with higher quality of antioxidant and mineral tablets along with additional amounts of calcium, magnesium, boron and silicon.
It is necessary to eat a healthy balanced diet and develop a modest exercise program. Weight bearing exercise helps to stimulate the body to make more bone. Walking also helps the lower legs. Even the menopausal women can improve their bone density with exercise program.
The key to both preventing arthritis and osteoporosis is cellular nutrition. The nutritional supplements work with your body to maintain the health you have or regain.
(The author is a clinical nutritionist and HoD of Dietetics the Therapeutics, SKIMS, Srinagar)

Sadhu Ganga, the abode of sedmol

M.L. Raina

The Samadhi of The Great Saint SEDMOL at Sadhu Ganga Kandi Khass, Handwara Kashmir.
Sadhu Ganga which was once a famous pilgrimage center of north Kashmir is situated in tehsil Handwara of district Kupwara Kashmir. To reach this Asthapan one has to take Srinagar kupwara route. On this route at a distance of few kilometers from Kulangam there is a village named Nutnussa. From nutnussa a link road leads to area kandi khass in which the Sadhu Ganga is also situated. Sadhu Ganga is named on the name of famous Kashmiri pandit saint Swami Sedmol Maharaj.
As narrated Sat Lal Ji who happens to be one the related to the saint, SEDMOL was actual resident of Lar Ganderbal who were five brothers. From his early childhood Swami Sedmol was in search of God. To achieve his goal Swami Sedmol met some Guru who directed Swami Sedmol to perform tapasya at Devnal in north Kashmir for 12 years.(Devnal is a mountain peak just opposite to village Chogal of Handwara). The saint left towards Devnal and after some days reached a place named Devernar in forest area of kandi khass. The saint thought that he has reached the spot of tapasya and constructed a kutya a started his tapasya. He continued his tapasya at same place for 11 years. One day woman folk of the nearby village who used to collect Guchian from the forest area where passing through that area and talking to collect Guchian from Devnal area. The saint heard their talks and broke his tapasya and ran out of the kutya to know about Devnal. The woman folk got frightened and ran away only one woman named Bakhat Ded belonging to Gakhroo (Magrey) family stopped there. The saint asked the women about the Devnal and the women showed the saint path which leads towards Devnal. The saint blessed the women with Shafa due to which she was able to cure many diseases. The Saint Sedmol left Devernar for Devnal. After reaching Devnal he constructed a kutya and started his tapasya. From Devnal the Saint used to visit Hermukat Ganga oftenly. With the passage of time when the Saint started to turn old Mata Ganga gave him a Darshan and directed him to go for biksha to a village named Chogal in tehsil Handwara. He was directed to ask for a mala named Nalchrot from the person which some person of village Chogal has found from river Pohru and was preserved by him. When the saint reached village Chogal and entered the compound of some resident and asked for biksha, the head of the family came out with folded hands with some biksha but the saint asked only for Nalchrot for biksha. The head of the family quickly went in and came out with the Nalchrot and handed over it to saint. The saint Sedmol left the compound and reached the bank of river Pohru. After cleaning it the saint weared the mala (Nalchrot) and as per directions of Mata Ganga he ordered the mala to take him to Hermukat Ganga. As he closed his eyes and after some times he found himself at Hermukat Ganga. After that he used to visit Hermukat Ganga daily with the help of Nalchrot. When the saint turned very old he was directed by Mata Ganga to select a place somewhere in the lower plains where he can live comfortably. But the saint refused to leave Devnal by saying that he cannot live without Mata Ganga. On this Mata Ganga directed he saint to keep his Kamandal there and leave for any comfortable place in the plains. He was also directed by Mata Ganga that next day when you will wake up early in the morning you will find a crow crying at some place. He was directed to dig a hole there to get his Kamandal and Nirmal jal of Mata Ganga. The saint followed the directions and reached the place which is presently known as Sadhu Ganga. In the morning when the saint woke up he found a crow crying at some bush. With the help of his stick he dug a small hole and from that hole he found his Kamandal followed by Nirmal jal of Ganga but the saint asked Mata Ganga to flow only for his needs that is why less water is flowing there. The saint constructed a kutya and started a Doni there. An English settlement officer named Laran Sahib has tested the water of Sadhu Ganga and Hermukat Ganga to verify its truth and was surprised after finding the water of the two places same.
Some rulers of those times also transferred some jagir of about 162 kanals in the name of Sadhu Ganga which has been restricted to papers only in the office of divisional commissioner Kashmir. Up to 1990 that is before migration a mela was being organized every year on Ganga ashtami in which Hindus from surrounding areas used to participate.
In 80's some people conspired to change the nomenclature of the asthapan and several times a procession of some people antisocial elements and tried to take the control of the asthapan. Thanks to some wise village heads belonging to majority community and the people of majority community living in that area who rebuffed the leader of procession and provided security to the asthapan. After 1990 the establishments of the asthapan i.e two dharamshalas and Doni was raised to ground by some miscreants but the samadies are still intact.

Pandit Opens Up Kashmir History

Dr. R.L. Bhat

Kashmir is so well known a place that most people believe that they know all about it. Kashmir has the distinction of having its history regularly recorded. Yet it is one place in the whole country, which is the most ill-understood one. How many people, for example, know that Kashmir comprises just 16% of the present J&K state and that it formed a little less than 8% of the erstwhile Maharaja's state? Fewer still are aware that, despite its 'well-recorded history', there is actually no reliable account of the crucial 14th century of Christian era when the polity of Kashmir changed. Worse still, many records of important periods and personages have remained under wraps for a variety of reasons. Two crucial personages who did the most to change the contours of Kashmir demography were Mir Sayyid Alii Hamdaanii and Mir Shamsudiin Araakii. While both are well-revered, their actual doings in Kashmir remain unknown. Yet ironically, each of them has full chronicles detailing their activities in Kashmir.
Taariikhi Sayyid Ali is the first Persian history of Kashmir. Besides the description of kings and their doings, it details the activities of Miir Alii Hamdaanii and his son Miir Muhaamad Hamdaanii at good length. It is one of the least known and rarely quoted histories on Kashmir. Tohfatul Ahbaab, is a tazkirah devoted entirely to Miir Shamas Araakii who remained in Kashmir for a quarter century around the early sixteenth century of Christian era. Mir Araaki not only changed the demography in Kashmir but directly or indirectly determined the course of Kashmir over the whole of 16th century C.E. yet, the contents of Tohfatul Ahbaab are practically unknown and is referred even less by historiographers of Kashmir.
Hence, Professor Kashinath Pandit's translation of this important socio-political document of 16th century Kashmir becomes a signal contribution. Tohfatul Ahbaab or "A Muslim Missionary in Mediaeval Kashmir" as Prof. Pandit calls it, is what one can only call required reading for every person related to Kashmir whether a lay reader or a professional writer, an analyst or a reporter. While this seminal record remained wrapped up in archives or personal collections or in far away Pakistan, people professing to speak knowledgeably about Kashmir without even hinting to Tohfatul Ahbaab could be excused. But now with the good Prof. having translated the full book, originally written in Persian in 1642 C.E., into English there is no excuse. Its contents, the secrets it reveals and the cold facts it details have to be incorporated into every future assessment of Kashmir.
As Prof. Pandit reveals, the manuscripts of Tohfatul Ahbaab available here are mostly incomplete: "the first and the last chapter of a total of four chapters of work are completely missing. The MS in the British Museum, too, suffers from the same defect. That may be one of the reasons why this import document has not received the attention and recognition it deserves. Prof. Pandita's translation is the full record, which he obtained from Baltistan. And it is revealing, if anything.
Tohfatul Ahbaab informs that both Miir Sayyid Alii Hamdaanii and Miir Shamasudiin Araakii belonged to the same Sufi sub-school. Miir Araakii was the favoured disciple of Shah Qaasim, son, heir and khaliifa of Sayyid Muhaamad Nurbaksh. Sayyid Muhaamad Nurbaksh was a disciple as well as patron-piir of Khwajeh Isahaaq Khatlaami who had almost the same relationship with Miir Alii Hamdaanii. The author tells that one of the major accomplishments of Mir Araakii in Kashmir was to restore the original Hamdaanii practices at Khaanakaahi Hamdaaniya, particularly the recitation of Avraadii Asriyaa devised by Miir Alii Hamdaanii along with recitation of Avraadii Fatiiha. Interestingly, a recently published Taariikhi Baltistaan credits Miir Sayyid Alii Hamdaanii with having founded the Shia religion in Baltistaan. Tohfatul Ahbaab frequently refers to Miir Hamdaanii as a votary of 'ahle bayat'.
Of course, the major value of the Tohfatul Ahbaab is in its details of the activities of Miir Shamsudiin Araakii in his two visits to Kashmir. This is particularly manifest in the second visit, when he had the support of the 'ruling' viziers of Kashmir kings Fatah Shah and Muhaamad Shah. 'During this time', tells the Tohfatul Ahbaab 'Miir Araakii fully extirpated the customs and traditions of Kashmir'. It describes at length the destruction of as many as 60 temples of great grandeur, together with the prideful announcement that mosques were erected in their place. Many of them were 'annihilated' so thoroughly that the translator could not even trace them. But, as the author says, these are just a fraction: "The number of temples (which Araakii destroyed) was so large that one could not give a full account of them". (Page 278). It also tells that all this was accomplished by Miir Araakii's suufiis and derveeshes.
Tohfatul Ahbaab also confirms from the mouth of Miir Araakii that Miir Sayyid Alii Hamdaanii came to Kashmir only once and remained in the valley for just forty days (page 170). 'Only a small number of people of this country became his followers' (page 260). 'Qutubudiin did not follow the exhortations of Mir Alii Hamdaanii, owing the administrative constraints' (page 260). Besides these, A Muslim Missionary in Mediaeval Kashmir contains a wealth of details about the Mediaeval Kashmir. It also gives enough material about the tussles among Central Asian Suufiis. It asol details the seedlings of Shia-Sunni also and the way they emerged. All this should help in putting the Sufi Traditions in their proper perspective. Prof. Pandit has appended a useful Introduction to aid this perspectival vision.

Fashion Monument and Status Symbol

Dr Vivek Sharma

In 1660, in celebration of its hard-fought victory over Turkey, a crack regiment from Croatia (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), visited Paris. There, the soldiers were presented as glorious heroes to Louis XIV, a monarch well known for his eye toward personal adornment. It so happened that the officers of this regiment were wearing brightly colored handkerchiefs fashioned of silk around their necks. These neck cloths, which probably descended from the Roman fascalia worn by orators to warm the vocal chords, struck the fancy of the king, and he soon made them an insignia of royalty as he created a regiment of Royal Cravattes. The word "cravat," incidentally, is derived from the word "Croat."
In the 1960s, in the midst of the Peacock Revolution, there was a definite lapse in the inclination of men to wear ties, as a result of the rebellion against both tradition and the formality of dress. But by the mid 1970s, this trend had reversed itself to the point where now, in the 1980s, the sale of neckwear is probably as strong if not stronger than it has ever been.
The books I read and Life I lead are sensible, sane and mild, I like calm hats, I don't ever spots but I want my neckties wild. OK. News, 1964.
Perhaps no other item of a man's wardrobe has altered its shape so often as the tie. It seems that the first question fashion writers always ask it, "Will men's ties be wider or narrower this year?"
The proper width of a tie, and one that will never be out of style is 3 inches (2 to 3 inches are also acceptable). As long as the proportions of men's clothing remain true to a man's body shape, this width will set the proper balance. Though many of the neckties sold today are cut in these widths, the section of the tie where the knot is made has remained thick-a holdover from the fat, napkinlike ties of the 1960s. This makes tying a small, elegant knot more difficult. Yet the relationship of a tie's knot to the shirt collar is an important consideration. If the relationship is proper, the knot will never be so large that it spreads the collar or forces it open, nor will it be so small that it will become lost in the collar.
- Oscar Wilde
Today, four necktie knots are in widespread use. They are the four-in-hand knot, the half-Windsor knot, the Windsor knot and the Pratt knot. The first three are classic necktie knots that have been used for a long time. The Pratt knot is a more recent necktie knot that was introduced to the public in 1989.
Thomas Fink and Yong Mao, who are physicists at the University of Cambridge, published an interesting book titled "The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie. The Science and Aesthetics of Tie Knots" in 1999.
Thomas Fink and Yong Mao used mathematical theory and model to prove that there are totally eighty-five ways to tie a tie. Among the eighty-five ways to tie a tie, they found that there are thirteen aesthetic tie knots (including the four-in-hand knot, the half-Windsor knot and the Windsor knot that are mentioned earlier) based on criteria like symmetry and balance. The thirteen aesthetic tie knots are -
Oriental knot, Four-in-hand not, Kelvin knot, Nicky knot, Victoria knot, Half-Windsor knot, St. Andrew knot, Plattsburgh knot. Cavendish knot, Windsor knot, Grantchester knot, Hanover knot and Balthus knot
Versace's history is one of great success, and great tragedy as well. The label was started by Gianni Versace in 1978, and the first shop was located in Milan. The label quickly grew in popularity, and Versace enjoyed many years of prosperity. Unfortunately, Gianni Versace were killed in Florida by a serial murderer in 1997, and the fashion world lost an icon. Since then his sister Donatella Versace has taken up the design portion of the business, and his brother Santo became the CEO of the company. The label is a huge hit with celebrities, with icons such as Elton John and Jennifer Lopez proudly sporting the label. In part, it is this celebrity connection that has allowed Versace to take the fashion world by storm.
Ties are the most perishable item in a man's wardrobe, and as such they should be cared for appropriately. The proper care of your neckties actually begins when you take them off your neck. No matter how convenient it seems to slip the small end out of the knot, remember that you are significantly decreasing the longevity of the tie by using this method. Instead, untie the knot first, usually reversing the steps you used when you dressed in the morning. This reversal of steps will untwist the fibers of the material and lining and will help alleviate light creases. If creases are particularly severe, put the two ends of the tie together and roll the tie around your finger like a belt. Slip it off your finger and leave it rolled up overnight. The following morning, if it is a woven silk tie, hang it in your closet. Knitted or crocheted ties should not be hung but laid flat or rolled up instead and then placed in a drawer. This should return the tie to its original state.
Most experts agree that one ought not send a necktie out to be dry-cleaned. While dry cleaners may be able to remove spots, once they press the tie, they will compress the lining and dull the luster of the silk. A water stain can generally be moved by rubbing it with a piece of the same fabric (the other end of the tie, perhaps). More serious stains will often respond to a spot remover such as carbon tetrachloride.
With proper care, your neckties can last almost forever. And if you've chosen them with a proper eye toward proportion, there's no reason you can't wear them at least as long as 'almost forever'.
An old suit, a bettered hat, a perfect tie, and the good collar, that's what makes a well dress man.
Beron de Meyer - A 1930 International Style Expert
(The writer is consultant Paediatrician and avid necktie collector)


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