Category Archives: Vijay Times

Articles Published in Vijay Times

They’re never too young to have it

One can understand his concern when he strongly stresses on the lack of awareness on one of the most prominent lifelong diseases amongst people in India. A meeting with Dr Shailesh Kumar, diabetologist at Apollo Clinic, reveals that a lot needs to be done in spreading awareness on diabetes.

Taking a few minutes off during a free diabetic screening camp organised by the Apollo clinic on January 7th and 8th of this month, Dr Kumar says, “I sincerely wish the government and media would take up more initiatives in spreading awareness on diabetes like the way it has done for AIDS.”

With the country already known as the diabetic capital of the world, diabetologists across the county insist with their research that there is an immediate requirement for people to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Though juvenile diabetes or Type I diabetes occurs generally in children, they can also be affected with Type II as well. Among the other types of diabetes is gestational diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy. And even though the percentage of Type I diabetes across the world is limited, one has to be careful about the gradual rise of diabetes amongst children.

Making a strong point on the need of parents to play an active role in encouraging children to involve in sports activities, Dr Kumar says, “Diabetes causes remain a mystery and one must understand that it can come at any age. These days with both parents working, the child is left to adopt unhealthy lifestyle habits like having junk food, aerated drinks and watching television continuously at home rather than playing outside.”

Recollecting a few instances about his meetings with patients, he says he is amazed and shocked when people ignore essential lifestyle habits in their daily life like exercises and say “I cannot have diabetes because I have only vegetarian food” or when they mention “I cannot be diabetic as there is nobody in our family who is diabetic.”

Insisting that diabetes need not be hereditary at all, Dr Kumar says a lot of environmental factors like physical exercise, diet and stress have a major influence on diabetes mellitus. In addition, he further stresses on the role of the parent, especially the mother, to encourage a child to drink fruit juices instead of a soft drink.

As a word of caution, he mentions the warning signals to be observed by a parent to find out if a child could be diabetic. “One should watch out for weight loss, sudden increase in appetite, frequent urination, thirst or wounds that do not heal quickly. Also, we need to change the way we deal with children. On an average, an Indian family believes in preparing a meal that the child likes. Instead the family should focus on healthy foods, something which the child should be actually having, giving the least preference to junk food.”

Even though treatments for Type I diabetes remain to be daily insulin injections, Dr Kumar is hopeful that somewhere in the future oral insulin and more methods will be introduced to make the treatments less cumbersome.

He finally winds up with the statement, “Even a drop of blood is sufficient to know if your child is diabetic”. As is believed by the medical fraternity, diabetes is at best prevented than treated.


They came together to form music that was relatively new to ‘rock lovers’. ‘Vinapra’ the band that was formed a few years ago is incidentally the acronym of the band members Vivian, Natraj, Prasad, Pradeep and Abhijit. Today after enthralling music lovers in ‘Hindi-rock’, the band is all set to release its first album shortly.

Excited about the new album which is yet untitled, Natraj, the vocalist and the lyricist of the band says enthusiastically,“ It’s been a journey of more than seven years and now we are concentrating on releasing the album. We are also in the process of making a video for the same. Produced by Ricky Kej, the album will feature tracks such as Suno, Guru Brahma-Guru Vishnu, Dharti amongst the other tracks.”

Elaborating on how the band began its quest on Hindi-rock, Natraj says, “ We started out at the time when people had this misconception that one can’t rock in Hindi. But soon after our shows at ITPL where it was the noon-time binge and later our participation at Freedom Jam two years ago proved to be the focal point where we felt we were getting recognized as a rock band.” He insists on saying, “ We believe in writing and singing songs that are simple where even the rickshawallah will understand our music.”

But why Hindi-rock? Says, Natraj, “Because we think, write and sing in Hindi and believe our music is good.” He also adds that if individually one doesn’t believe in their own music it is difficult to market it. On being asked whether a band has to aggressively market itself to get noticed, he admits, “ It is all about packaging, not just talent. You have to push it to get noticed from music companies.”

‘Vinapra’ is also on its way on being part of a compilation album by Freespirit Entertainment in aid of the tsunami disaster. This compilation album has put the band with the bigwigs of the music industry like Ustad Zakir Hussain, Shankar Mahadevan, Ustad Sultan Khan amongst others. Vinapra has one of its main tracks ‘Dharti’ in this album, which according to Natraj is the anthem song that speaks about the bonding people have, and attempts to call people to come and join hands for initiating action in aid of the victims.

While each member is pursuing different career streams; with Pradeep working as a lecturer, Vivian a call centre executive and Natraj working as part of the event management company, yet Natraj says there is no compromise on music. “Music is the topmost priority and the time when career in music starts paying better, I am sure none of us wouldn’t mind quitting our existing jobs to this full-time. Whatever are our schedules, we make sure we jam up thrice or four times a week and enjoy what we do”

The band admits to have been inspired from music groups such as ‘Euphoria’ ‘Junoon’ and other Western bands such as Pink Floyd. For more information on Hindi-rock check out their website –

Who is ur messenger this new yr-greeting cards or SMS?

Until a few years ago one could spot youngsters thronging greeting card stores during Christmas and New Year season. However with technological advancement of mobiles and its usage, things have changed. Today the youth primarily thinks of convenience, time saving modes, cost-effective methods to greet each other. A survey by a leading mobile service provider in Australia had indicated that Australians would rather receive and send a text message during the holiday seasons than a Christmas card. With e-mails ruling over snail mails, has Short Message Service taken over the Greeting cards?

Says Pooja Rajpal, Branch Head of a PR firm, “ Though personally I would like to take the effort and send greeting cards to everyone on my list, I am unable to do so due to hectic schedules and time constraints.” Adding further she says, “ Moreover Text messaging is cheaper and much easier route than going to a store and selecting cards”.

In the view of Smitha, an architect, “ SMS rules anytime. It’s cheaper, trendy and quicker.” Thinking about it more deeply she adds, “ Maybe for my close ones I would go and buy a card but for a general acquaintance, SMS is the right option.”

The SMS has some advantages like it is cost-effective, faster and the messages can be simple and customized. On the other hand greeting card lovers defend their stance of preferring greeting cards over SMS like Vikas Sharma, CEO,, “ In my opinion a greeting card is much more attractive to wish someone as it indicates that you have taken the effort to choose a card and post it. Value of a greeting card is much more than a general SMS which looks like the same message sent by hundreds of people.”

According to R. Jeevanandam, Store-In-charge of Archies Gallery at Vijayanagar,” I don’t agree that SMS usage has affected the sale of greeting cards. We’ve seen that even though teenagers are not enthusiastic about buying cards for New Year’s season, we do have a regular family crowd above the age of 25 who are keen on buying cards. He adds further, “ Since about a month, people have been coming to buy the cards, if they were not interested we wouldn’t be seeing the last minute rush like we have been seeing for the last few years”.

The attractiveness of wishing someone through a greeting card may have come down with teenagers; but as long as there are loyal greeting card lovers and corporates who prefer sending cards for Christmas and New Year greetings, it can never go out of fashion. Moreover a card that has a personal touch cannot replace a text message that appears too mechanical and non-personal where one button can delete the existence of the message completely.

The Ayurvedic route to combat stress

The daily routine of a working person goes this way: 7.00 a.m- Wake up time; 7.15 a.m- Time to grab a newspaper to read only the headlines; 7.30- a.m- Squeeze in time to have a bath; and to eat something to finish the course of breakfast. On the way to office you are thinking of your day’s schedule, meetings and deadlines. To add to all this, you come face-to-face with choked traffic jams and potholes. Finally you reach office and go through the day without realizing its 9pm. The moment you are at home you are reminded by your partner that you forgot to fix the broken door, leaking pipe, get groceries for home and lots more. With no energy or enthusiasm to talk to your partner being physically and mentally drained out, you eat what you can lay your hands on and doze watching the idiot box. This is a typical day in our lives.

Studies have shown that urban lifestyles have given way to stress. Be it multiple responsibilities, family tensions, hectic schedules or peer pressure. With so many stress related causes it’s time to have a reality check on what actually is stress, the repercussions of stress and find solutions on how does one combat stress?

While some may suggest temporary solutions like a weekend getaway or a new activity to feel de-stressed, there are Ayurvedic experts who vouch on the Ayurvedic therapies, which offer long-term solutions in the most natural way.

The causes of stress are varied opines Vinita Rashinkar, Manager at an Ayurvedic wellness center. “Contemporary life has changed drastically and so have the demands and pressures of daily life. Work schedules, deadlines, increasing competitiveness, and job insecurity are all common factors leading to stress,’ she adds.

There are de-stressing packages that include arrays of Ayurvedic massages and therapies, yoga and meditation classes, lifestyle guidance and closely monitored diet plan ranging from Rs. 11,500 (for a 3 day package) to Rs.18, 500 (for a 5 day package) per person.”

According to Dr. Nanda Hegde, Stress problems can have a two-pronged approach. People who experience stress can go in for Ayurvedic treatments like Shirodhara, Abhyangam, ‘Thalam coupled with yoga and medicines.” She adds that most of the physical ailments are now appreciating the value of Ayurveda which offer permanent solutions.

Considering the rising popularity of Ayurvedic therapies one does wonder if these treatments are long-term solutions. Ayurveda is not a mere form of medicine, it is a way of life. It offers a holistic approach, wherein the mind, body and soul are treated together and not in isolation of one another.

Stress can no longer be taken lightly as it has become an established medical problem affecting both body and mind. Hence the next time you feel the need to get de-stressed go for the ancient route of Ayurveda that are known to have zero side affects and are available to suit each one’s pocket.

Add a sparkle this festive season

One fashion accessory that can enhance the way you look is a beautiful piece of jewellery; be it a kundan necklace or a finely crafted gold bracelet or even a pair of intricately designed silver anklets. Exquisite jewellery has always appealed to mankind since ages.

With the onset of the festive season one has enough options to choose amongst traditional and contemporary jewellery. Says M. Goutham Chand, Managing Director of Navrathan Jewellers (P) Ltd., “ We are getting new stocks in gold jewellery. In the past few weeks we have noticed that people are going in for ethnic jewellery, which looks like the season’s trend. Also exclusively for Gowri–Ganesha festival we are focusing on Rajasthani jewellery and bringing out an exquisite collection in silver jewellery along with Ganesha pendants and rings.”

Some stores are planning to have exclusive jewellery exhibitions to coincide with the festive season. According to Dinesh, Store Manager of Orra, the flagship brand of InterGold, “ We are planning to have ‘Bangles and Necklace Mela’ this month. We will be also highlighting spiritual jewellery that are designed by various spiritual leaders.

To add to the festive spirit, some jewellers are offering exclusive offers for Bangaloreans. Says Mayank Arya, Proprietor of Jevar Jewellers, “As a special offer for the festival we will be offering customers five grams of silver on every purchase made of Rs.1, 000/-. Also as this is the wedding season, those going in for bridal sets can look forward to oxidized wedding sets in gold and diamond collections.”

It’s not just the fairer sex who are getting the opportunity to flaunt earrings, bracelets or necklaces. Going by the fashion trends exclusive collections of rings have been released so that even men can sport some of the contemporary jewellery.

The art of new-age gifting

The idea of gifting has undergone a sea change since the last few years. Earlier, people would give gifting a thought only on special occasions such as a wedding or wishing a newborn. Today with the availability of disposable and double incomes there are many who indulge in gifting more frequently than the previous generations.

One need not fret as even the world of gifts has undergone a tremendous change. No longer has one to stick to the idea of choosing traditional gifts like silver articles and wall clocks. Today the options are myriad. Think of the occasion and innovative gifts are aplenty.

“People can gift balloon bouquets for various occasions like bridal showers, engagement, wedding, birthday or for a new born baby. These gifts make a better impact about the person gifting them and they last longer too”, says Umita Melwani, an entrepreneur who provides colourful balloon bouquets.

Prarthna from ‘Peaches’, a styling salon points out “One can think of gifting a makeover to someone close to you. We have had youngsters gifting some of the beauty treatments like a facial, a new hairstyle or even a beauty package to their moms.

Says Bopanna from ‘Not Just Wine and Cheese’, “ If you are thinking of a gift for your boss you could give a premium wine bottle or a champagne bottle. Even imported chocolates can be gifted on various celebration moments.”

According to Vidya from Crossword, “A book is the best gift to give a close friend. Gift a book and be rest assured that it stays for a lifetime. The idea of gifting a book is something, which appeals to everyone, from a kid to an aged person.”

If one is going on a date, one can think of romantic gifts like decorative candles which come in various hues and colours like bright orange, mauves and blues. For a more formal occasion like a wedding one can think of gifting stained glass wall hangings, photo frames and tabletops.  Even a bunch of fresh flowers can be thought of as a gift for various occasions as flowers is something that will be liked by everyone.

REMIX-Indi- pop ka badshah

Sajana hai mujhe, Bahon me chale aa.. soulful lyrics and notes contrast starkly with gyrating bodies and plunging necklines in the music videos. But there is no denying the popularity of remix numbers today. You hear them on radio, see them on telly, groove to these numbers at discos and bhangra nights. In short, they are ruling the Indi-pop scene right now.

According to N. Hari who is in his mid 50’s, “Re-mix numbers are good, it’s like listening to old melodies with new stereo effects. I used to listen to these numbers when I was in my 20s and now when I get to hear them it’s like reviving old memories”.

However not all share his views. “I am not very fond of remix versions because the videos of these tracks are a complete put-off. The girls who feature in these videos are dressed obnoxiously and music companies make the entire video quite raunchy,” says Snehal Gowda, a II Year B.Com student from Mount Carmel College

Priyanka Rao, a housewife, shakes here head in disapproval:“ I dislike remix tracks. The videos are sad and the music companies and singers are killing old melodies. The original numbers were soothing unlike the new re-mix versions which don’t touch your feelings.”

While there is a strong anti-remix lobby, the remix numbers have staunch supporters too. They stick to the view that remix numbers helps to familiarize the new generation to songs of the bygone era. “ I enjoy listening to re-mix numbers. It’s all about packaging; something old is packaged in a nice fashion,” says emcee Anjaan.

However when music companies release re-mix numbers they should ensure that the re-mix version does not lose on the essence of the song, which the original number possesses,” he adds.

“ These days relatively unknown songs are being re-mixed which is good. I hadn’t heard of the track ‘Kabhi Aar Kabhie Paar’ before the re-mix version came out,” he says.

The remix albums have set the cash registers ringing in music stores too. “Party goers prefer re-mix music, which is very trendy. We have about 15-20 per cent sales of re-mix albums in our store every month, which is good for the business,” Roopdas. M, owner of Audio Zone, a music store in Banashankari II stage says.

Recipe for success in interviews

Some of us come through it with flying coloursIt is an experience, which some of you may walk through smoothly and for others it could be something that could be very daunting and sometimes even boring. Whatever category you fall under, good planning and preparation can substantially improve your ability to participate successfully in an interview process.

Research indicate that interviewers tend to decide in the first five minutes whether to accept or reject a candidate and the rest of the interview is merely a search for evidence to support that decision. One might ponder how are these impressions formed and why are some candidates able to consistently succeed at interviews while others fail? Well, a lot of factors contribute in making one sail through an interview process smoothly. According to Manoj Pachisia, CEO, National Institute for Excellence in Teleworking (NEXT), a leading recruitment management service company that offers training in soft skills, communication and personality development. “Companies these days look at communication skills and experience more than academic credentials. Qualifications do matter for positions that require domain expertise such as financial transaction processing, technical support etc”.

Even subtle factors such as body language, tone of voice, eye contact, enthusiasm the candidate projects, verbal skills and facial expressions matter in an interview process. Says Manoj,“ There is a lot of preparation a candidate requires to undertake before attending an interview. The candidate needs to do some research on the web or get information from friends on what the company does, remember figures like turnover, employee strength in order to convince the interviewer his or her interest in the job ”.

Experts recommend that it is a good idea to know your strengths and weaknesses and find ways to de-emphasize them and turn them into positives. First impressions talk a lot about you therefore before you go to the interview make sure you are dressed appropriately. Also take some time answering a few anticipated questions and preparing appropriate answers.

Advises Manoj, “Be prepared to answer questions on why you want the job and what you think you could bring to the post. Use examples drawn from any aspect of your life but make them as relevant to the needs of the job as you can. When asked to name your strengths and weaknesses, mention a strength that is particularly useful for the job in question. Likewise, don’t be afraid to admit a weakness as everyone has them. It is recommended you choose that particular weakness which you are aware of and volunteer information on how you have dealt with it in practice. For example if you are a person who is by nature a perfectionist, you would have required to learn the advantages of letting other people do things in their own way and during this process you would have realized the virtue of tolerance and become better at delegating work. This way you can try and turn a weakness into a learning experience and ultimately project it as your strength”.

Some of frequently asked questions in an interview are Tell us about yourself? Why do you want to join us? What did you like and dislike about your last job?  What do you see yourself doing five years from now? How well do you work under pressure? Says Manoj, “ Rehearse answers in front of a mirror or to a supportive friend whose role is less to act as an interviewer and can let you hear your own answers spoken out aloud in preparation for the real interview.”

So the next time you receive a call for an interview, be prepared well in advance and be positive. Remember facing an interview successfully is the first turning point in making your dream job into a reality.

Bangalore weather conducive for Bonsai

With over 35 years of experience in gardening, she’s a person who loves working with nature and is a committed Bonsai enthusiast. “ The art makes me spend my time more creatively,” she says with a smile enjoying her cup of coffee in her lush sprawling garden at her residence.

One realizes the passion she has towards her hobby when she eagerly shows her worthy collection of over 500 Bonsai plants that have been nurtured and created with utmost dedication. She began her collection years ago, participating regularly in the ornamental garden competition organized by the Mysore Horticultural Society where she always won the first prize.

Susheela is also one of the founder members of Vruksha, an organization that holds Bonsai exhibitions regularly in Bangalore since last twelve years. “ People in Bangalore are finding it difficult to maintain huge gardens. With Bonsai, Bangaloreans can enjoy the natural ‘tree look’ in their balconies. The weather in Bangalore is ideal to grow Bonsai ”, she says.

Susheela opines that parents should encourage children to learn this art. “ One of the recent enquiries I have received is from a 10 year old child who is interested in learning this art,” she says excitedly. Susheela makes it a point to constantly update herself by attending Bonsai workshops in India and abroad. “ Earlier in Bangalore, there weren’t many sources available for Bonsai enthusiasts to learn this art, however things have changed now. Today beginners can make use of guidance that is available through books and Internet to learn on their own or approach Bonsai trainers to improvise on their art faster,” she says.

So can this hobby be a career option for youngsters? “ Sure, one can make beautiful pieces in Bonsai and sell it as there is a global market for this art” she says with an assurance.

You may contact Susheela on 37306954.