LIVE HEALTHY AND LONG: KNOW WHAT YOU EAT

live healthy and long

We really don’t know how long we are going to live. Some say it’s all about genetics. What do you think? Is it true? No! not at all. There are lots of ways that can really help us live a long and healthy life. I know it’s not easy and possible to follow all of them, but we can at least follow one such way.

The most possible and the easiest way is changing our food habit. The latest research says that our food habit or diet is the most prime indicator of showing, how long we will live. It also indicates whether we are going to develop any kind of life-shortening chronic diseases or not.

In short, we must know and aware of what we are eating. The most important point is the food we are eating must have those essential ingredients needed to live long and healthy.
Here are some foods that our diet must contain.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:

All colorful vegetables and fruits are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants inhibit or hamper the oxidation. Oxidation produces free radicals that can damage our healthy cells. It can also lead to cancer and can speed up aging. Thus by obstructing oxidation, antioxidants help us by working as a protective shield to our body. Some examples of such vegetables and fruits are spinach, carrots, tomatoes, berries, plums, oranges etc.

OLIVE OIL:

This is perhaps the best fat we should have. It boosts our memory and helps fight inflammation. It helps lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) without affecting the good cholesterol (HDL), thus, protecting the heart as well.

FISH:

Fish contains fatty acids, EPA and DHA. It can boost brain function and our nervous system. It also prevents dementia and joint pain. The Omega-3 in fish can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides.

food for healthy life

BEANS:

These are the natural nutritional powerhouses. We must add these 3 to 4 times per week in our diet. It also contains fiber, which helps in digestion and also minimizes the chances of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It also helps us to lose weight.

NUTS:

It contains cholesterol-free plant protein and other nutrients. It also contains Vitamin E, which helps lower the risk of stroke. But as it contains fat, we must have it in moderation.

MILK:

It contains Vitamin D, which helps the body taking in and use the calcium properly. Thus, it safeguards us from osteoporosis. Vitamin D also lowers the chances of colon, breast, and prostate cancers. Moreover, eating yogurt really helps in digestion.

WHOLEGRAIN:

Learn adding whole grain to the diet. It lowers the chances of having certain types of cancers, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. It also contains fiber that helps prevent constipation and diverticular disease.

exercise for healthy life

HEALTHY TIPS:

Lastly, other than changing your diet, there are other factors too! You must consider achieving the “Longer Life” mission. Do some exercises, if not regularly, at least five days a week. Stay away from smoking, alcohol and most importantly oily junk foods. After all, it’s your life you have to take care of it. And always remember, a healthy life is always a happy life.

8 Easy Tricks To Boost Up Your Memory

Today, life has become very hasty and stressful and mostly everything comes at once – Conferences, e-mails, appointments, birthdays, and so many things that sometimes become tough to remember all. Even the most organized people forget important appointments and dates. If you want to learn how can you boost up your memory, go through the following article.

Here are 8 ways to improve your memory without any boring exercises.

# 1 – Challenge Yourself In Your Job:

Memory

Whether you take a completely new career path or take on more responsibility in your job, as long as you move outside your comfort zone and often challenge yourself, you protect yourself actively against memory loss. Multitasking and solving complex problems improve brain systems that are important for remembrance.

# 2 – Maintain Friendships To Improve:

Memory

According to one research, which observed the social activities of more than 700 people over a 15-year period and found that those who had close friendships performed better in remembrance tests. Being in regular contact with his friends keeps the problem-solving brain region busy.

# 3 – Learn More Languages:

Memory

A study showed that bilingual or multilingual Alzheimer’s patients only got the disease five years later than patients who could only speak one language. As soon as you think in two different languages, the gray cells work twice as hard. Not only the learned vocabulary but also the resulting connections in the brain disappear again.

# 4 – Go To The Sport:

Memory

Apart from the fact that sport fights unwanted kilo, exercise also keeps the brain fit. A study by the University of Texas-Dallas observed how after only six weeks of regular exercise, the memory and perception of participants improved. They trained three times a week for one hour each. Even the participants who were previously completely inactive could improve their memory through sport.

# 5 – Drink Coffee:

Memory

For some, coffee is the only way to wake up in the morning. But according to scientists, caffeine also helps to train the memory. Researchers showed that subjects who were given 200mg of caffeine performed better on brain tests than those given memory enhancing supplements.

# 6 – Improve Memory During Sleep: Take A Nap More Often:

Memory

A decent nap can make you a new person. When you wake up, you feel less stressed, alert, and in a better mood. Especially when the afternoon break comes after a long meeting, it’s time for a nap. In general, enough sleep is the key to a good memory. During sleep, much of the memory consolidates. The more rest, the better.

# 7 – Drink Less Alcohol:

Memory

Alcohol can cause you to remember little or nothing will probably surprise you little. But now, it is scientifically proven that drinking is bad for memory. One study found that middle-aged men who consumed more than two and a half glasses of alcoholic drinks a day had memory problems six years earlier than those who drank less alcohol.

# 8 – Pay Attention To Your Diet:

Memory

A Harvard University study showed that women who ate more vegetables were less prone to memory problems. Nutrition experts especially recommend cabbage, spinach, and broccoli. In addition, it will help if you eat many berries because they strengthen the long-term memory.

If you are serious about improving your remembering ability and your cognitive function, these tips will surely help you.

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THE UNCOMMON STORY OF THE COMMON SALT

salt facts

Salt is the commonly used white granular substance, whose absence will surely make our life miserable and tasteless. But I believe, many of us don’t know the history and importance of it. We only know, its chemical name is sodium chloride, it’s very cheap and commonly found. But believe me, it’s more than that.

Salt has an awesome, amazing and splendid past. It was worth more than gold. During the time when the Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding areas, it was regarded as one of the most precious commodities. Even its value did not decline when Romans came to power. In the earlier times, it was even used as a trading commodity due to its indispensable value. The slave traders of Greek used to barter it for the slaves.

Salt has been affecting the human life since its discovery, thousand years back. The inescapable value of salt was due to its importance in food preservation. At present, it is cheaper but its value is undoubtedly inexpressible.

There is an interesting fact, our body can’t produce salt by itself; we have to provide it from outside. In its absence, the body becomes chemically imbalanced. As a result, our muscles and nervous system cease to function and eventually we die. We will die anyway, but it’s one of such substances that keep us going a bit longer.

salt amazing facts

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SALT:

  • Roman Soldiers were sometimes paid in salts – which is where the word “Salary” comes from.
  • Every cell in our body contains salt. From blood, sweat, and tears to saliva, all body fluids are salty.
  • It is believed that sprinkling of salt in and around our home may prevent evil spirits or eradicate negative energies.
  • It was used to preserve Egyptian mummies.
  • During the French retreat from Moscow, thousands of Napoleon’s soldiers died due to inadequate healing and lower resistance to disease. It was because of salt deficiency.
  • After purification of aviation fuel, it is used to remove water traces from the fuel.
  • It has sodium, which is the main key in the operation of signals, within, as well as, to and from, the brain.
  • Like the humans, it is equally essential to all other animals and plants as well.
  • There is a hotel in Bolivia made entirely out of it.

Salt has so many untold salty stories to tell but for that, we have to dig into it. It’s not just a subject of history or science but it’s something with a glorified past, a wonderful present, and an everlasting future. Once The British Government imposed high taxes and prohibited Indians from collecting and selling it. And, thus the smart rulers used it as a weapon to rule. So much of power it had. So many Empires came, ruled, and disappeared, but the significance of salt remains the same. Till this date, salt is not totally tax-free, though it should be. But we are indeed fortunate that it’s not costly either.

I hope this article of mine will surely “prove its salt”!!

7 Unknown Facts about the Physics Legend – Stephen Hawking

World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at his home in Cambridge, England early morning on the 14th of March 2018.

He was one of the most brilliant minds of our time. The physicist kept making headlines with his spectacular theories about the universe. Here, we will know many other unknown facts about him.

Stephen Hawking was paralyzed for over 40 years, confined to a wheelchair and still, he was a pioneer of physics and astrophysics. Stephen Hawking fascinated again and again. His contributions to quantum physics and his findings on black holes are spectacular.

Following facts you need to know about the physics genius Stephen Hawking:

#1 – Stephen Hawking Was A TV Star:

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was not only a brilliant scientist and physicist, he was also a movie and TV star. He was among others in the series “Cosmo and Wanda” and “The Big Bang Theory” to see. In addition, he has made guest appearances at “Futurama” and the Simpsons, where he gave his character a voice with his voice computer.

He has also made an appearance in the science fiction series “Starship Enterprise”. He was the only person in the Star Trek universe to play himself.

#2 – Hawking Had Experienced Weightlessness:

Stephen Hawking

One of the greatest dreams of this physics genius was a journey into space. In 2007, he was able to realize at least a little insight into this desire. Through a parabolic flight, the completely paralyzed physicist experienced a state of weightlessness for a few minutes.

In a parabolic flight, the aircraft climbed to 10,000 meters, followed by a dive to about 2600 meters. Hawking experienced this maneuver a total of eight times.

#3 – Stephen Hawking Was a Children’s Book Author:

Stephen Hawking

The physicist has not only written highly-complex scientific works but he also has written some children’s books. Together with his daughter, Catherine Lucy Hawking, he brought out three children’s books.

However, he remained true to his specialty – The books revolve around the phenomena of the solar system and the universe. The first book is called “The Secret Key to the Universe” and the other two are its sequels.

#4 – The Name “Hawking” As a Trademark:

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking wanted to patent his name as a trademark. According to “The Independent”, he has already submitted an application to the British Patent Office.

Hawking had already advertised various companies and products in the past, including wheelchairs. By patenting his name as a trademark, he wants to prevent his name being misused for inappropriate products.

#5 – Hawking’s Diseases:

Stephen Hawking

The physicist was suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The first signs of the disease showed up during his studies. In 1963, he was told, he had only two years to live. He could no longer write his doctoral thesis himself because his hand showed signs of paralysis. Hawking has been in a wheelchair since 1968. In 1985, after a tracheotomy, the physicist, lost the ability to speak.

#6 – Infrared Sensor and Robot Voice: Hawking’s Voice Computer:

Stephen Hawking

While Stephen Hawking was not able to speak since 1985, he was using a voice computer. This has evolved over the years. At first, with a button in his hand, he chose from a list of terms he saw on a screen. The selected terms were then sent to a speech generator.

When his fingers became too weak for a keystroke, an infrared transmitter was integrated into his glasses. This was connected to the voice computer. The sensor measures the movements in Hawking’s right cheek muscle and one eye. Hawking makes a selection of letters, words, and phrases stored in his computer with each movement.

The developers offered the physicist to give his voice computer a new voice that would come close to his original voice. Hawking, however, retained his old voice.

#7 – Gloomy Thoughts About The Future:

Stephen Hawking

Hawking was not exactly optimistic about the future of humanity. He believed there is a constant risk that life on Earth will be completely wiped out by disasters such as a sudden global warming, a nuclear war, a genetically-modified virus or other dangers and therefore, the need for colonizing the space and other planets, thereby, preventing the extinction of mankind. In addition, Hawking warned of Artificial Intelligence. He feared that computer intelligence might not be controllable within next 100 years.

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THE TWINS STUDY: A NASA EXPERIMENT – Space can change Human DNA?

NASA twin study

Space travel – though it sounds like a fascinating word for almost everybody, it’s more than an impossible task for a common person. There is a limitless curiosity among us regarding space and its existence. NASA and other different space research centers of other countries and their space scientists have been continuously doing the experiment on this. Many of them even lost their lives, during their research.  As a part of such experiments, Astronaut, Scott Kelly spent a year in space and has returned to the earth recently. And most surprisingly, with a different DNA structure, non-identical to his identical twin brother.

Scott Kelly is an American astronaut of 65 years old and a retired space scientist of NASA. He is a veteran space traveler, who traveled four times to space. He stayed for a total of 520 days in space in his career from December 1999 to March 2016.

The Space Experiment:

This time, NASA did an experiment with Scott and his twin brother Mark Kelly, who is also a retired Astronaut of NASA. Mark is an identical twin with his brother and has the same DNA. NASA has done this experiment by using Mark and Scott as subjects of study. Through this study, they wanted to find out, how long-term space travel can affect the human body or what exactly happens?

NASA twin study experiment

This was the final mission of Scott. And the result of the experiment has turned out to be just unbelievable. As it proved that space really brings changes upon us. When Scott returned from space, it was discovered that his DNA has significantly changed. About 93% of Scott’s genes have changed back after landing on earth, and around 7% of his genes have shown a long-lasting or permanent change. This includes his immune system, DNA repair, bone formation network etc.

Ten different research teams presented their preliminary findings last year at NASA’s Human Research Programme 2017 Investigators Workshop (IWS). The recent 2018 IWS has confirmed these findings. NASA explains,”while this finding was in 2017, the team verified this unexpected change in multiple assays and genomics testing. Additionally, new telomere (a compound structure at the end of a chromosome) shortened within two days of Scott’s return to Earth.” NASA said, ’’Scott’s telomeres actually became larger in space.”

The Result:

NASA has some hidden strategies besides the study of Scott’s DNA study. NASA, as well as Elon Musk’s Space Mission, is looking at the possibility of astronauts traveling to Mars. Scott’s stint for one year in space so far simplifies NASA’s plan for long-duration space travel.

NASA says,”Scott Kelly’s one year stint in space is a stepping stone to the three-year mission.” At present, astronauts only spend six months in the International Space Station as standard.”  A journey to Mars take at least three years, the longest time a person will ever be in space.

So, the change in DNA opened a new route for the scientists to think alternatively. After Scott’s study, it is confirmed that our DNA in body radically transforms with unknown effects. Many of us were expecting the first manned Mars trip will happen within 2030. But the human element cannot be overlooked at the same time. Still, we are hopeful. Certainly, scientists will find out some way towards the fulfillment of their mission.

BITCOIN AND CRYPTOCURRENCY SIMPLIFIED

Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

For a long time, I have been hearing about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency. Perhaps, for that reason, my curiosity to know about these two terminologies has increased to a greater extent. So, I tried to put my nose on to it just to acquire knowledge as much as I could. After a bit research, I have come up with few things that I think I must share with my readers. The advantage that you are going to get after reading this article is, you will have a basic idea about Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency and how it works.

INTRODUCTION:

First and foremost, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency are two different words. Cryptocurrency is a cryptographed digital currency. It is encrypted with secret codes just to ensure three things, secured transaction, controlled re-creation and verified transfer of funds. It also has two other names which are, virtual currency or alternative currency, this means, it is not a physical currency. On the other hand, bitcoin is just a type of Cryptocurrency. The concept of Cryptocurrency was first described by Wei Dai in 1998. But the bitcoin was designed and created by an unknown figure, called, Satoshi Nakamoto in the year 2009.

HOW BITCOIN WORKS:

Since bitcoin is a digital currency, its transactions and exchanges are completely digital. Now, you may have a question in mind like, how can someone measure the legitimacy of such transactions? Means, you have a bitcoin, and you want to give it to your friend John. Now, how can John be assured that you haven’t already sent it to your friend Harry as an email attachment earlier or you have already made several copies of your bitcoin and stored it on your computer? Or probably, you had put it up on the internet and thousands of people already downloaded it.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency

To overcome the issue, the creator of bitcoin came up with a solution, which is, Blockchain. It is nothing but a digital ledger. It keeps the records of all transactions that take place digitally. And to root out any discrepancies or probable anomalies and frauds, this digital ledger is not specifically placed in a certain place in a certain computer. Rather, each and everyone present in that Blockchain, manage and maintain that ledger under open distributed ledger system. Anyone can participate in that network. Moreover, one has to be within the system, to be a part of the system or that network. And, by participating and contributing towards the updating and maintaining of the digital ledger or the Blockchain one can receive bitcoin as a reward. In fact, it is the only way to create more bitcoins in the system, which they call it, Mining.

CONCLUSION:

Bitcoin carries a high value, and its value increases day by day. The reason is, less in supply and high in demand. Moreover, there is another reason for its popularity, that is, the identities of the transacting parties always remain hidden. Still, there are debates going on between various groups whether it is useful or not. But with the way the technology is advancing, maybe one day, the whole world will accept bitcoin as a Global Currency. Till then, just wait and watch.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: The Modern Day “Noah’s Ark”

Global Seed Vault

INTRODUCTION:

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near Longyearbyen. Some call it “Doomsday Vault”, others refer to it as “Noah‘s Ark” of food crops. It is buried inside a former coal mine on Svalbard, a remote Arctic island in a Norwegian archipelago around 1,300 km from the North Pole. The vault was established by the conservationist ‘’Carry Fowler’’. His association was with the consultative group of International Agricultural Research. Its main motto was to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds covering the whole world.

PURPOSE:

The Seed Vault was opened in 2008 which was designed to withstand a nuclear missile hit. It plays a key role in preserving the world’s genetic diversity. And it’s the home to more than 900000 varieties of seeds. It offers a safety net in case of natural catastrophe, climate change, disease or manmade disasters. Nations like Netherlands, Irelands, Canada, Switzerland; International seed research from Colombia, Mexico, India, Pakistan, and Syria placed their samples into the storage. At present, the vault contains one-third of the world’s most important food crops varieties.

THREAT TO THE SEED VAULT:

But there is a problem which is arising due to global warming. Warm temperature disrupted the environment around the vault. The temperature inside the vault is at -18 c. The permafrost, surrounding the facility will help maintain the low temperature of the seeds, should there be a power failure. But unfortunately, the permafrost which is for its protection, melted in 2016. According to one of the Seed Bank’s Co-ordinator Asmund Asdal, due to the unexpected warmer summer season, the water intruded in the (access) tunnel, which is a major and serious outcome of climate change.

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. And Europe is at the moment experiencing a sub-zero cold spell, the North Pole recently registered above zero temperatures, 30 degrees higher than normal. According to the scientists, warm spells like these are occurring with increasing frequency in the Arctic.

The Norway govt. wanted to be sure that the seed vault will be cold throughout the whole year even if, the temperature continues to increase in Svalbard. Therefore, Norway recently announced contributions of 12.5 million dollars to improve the repository in a bid to protect the precious seeds.

THE LAYOUT:

Once you enter, it will lead you to a small tunnel-like room filled with the loud buzzing sound of electricity and cooling systems, which is there to keep a consistent temperature within the vault. To reach the end, one has to pass through the wide concrete tunnel illuminated by strip lighting leading 120 meters down into the mountain. At the end of this corridor, there is a chamber, an added layer of security which protects the vaults containing the seeds of varieties of food crops.

All necessary measures are there to take care the Vault from all kinds of possible atrocities and danger. There is a cabin to remove heat sources from the tunnel, near the site to house all the technical materials that can generate heat. It is mainly to prevent a recurrence of melting permafrost.

Inside Seed Vault

LAST WORDS:

If you deeply see and think within the bowels of an icy mountain lies a resource of vital importance, which holds the future of human­kind. It’s neither coal, oil, gold nor diamond, but seeds.In the time of hatred and increasing geopolitical tensions and uncertainty, the Svalbard vault will act as the only ultimate savior of mankind. It also acts as a symbol of unity because any organization or country can send seeds to it, it is beyond restrictions. Boxes from North Korea sit alongside boxes from the U.S. And, boxes of seeds from Pakistan sit happily with the boxes of seeds from India.  As long as they are cold and safe, that’s all that really matters.

Meet VN Parthiban: 56 Years Old Man & Holds 145 Academic Degrees

If you are thinking that obtaining just a master’s degree is enough in your life, and if you are thinking that achieving an academic degree is a difficult task, imagine about 145 Academic Degrees! Professor VN Parthiban, who is a professor in Chennai, has acquired 145 academic degrees in the past 30 years. And he has no any plans to stop appearing in exams in the near future too.

VN Parthiban

He told his story in an interview to The Sunday Indian: “I am from a very ordinary family in north Madras. I struggled hard to finish my first college degree and got a job in the Judiciary department. Then I started to apply wherever they did not require a transfer certificate for registration so that I could study different courses at the same time. In the last thirty years, I have been continuously in the process of preparing for exams and applying for new degrees or diploma courses. All my Sundays, I have some exam or research paper to write.”

The Amazing Journey of VN Parthiban:

Parthiban’s journey began after he fought with his 1st title. He was a confused student who mixed the tasks and the study for the wrong examination. When he graduated, VN Parthiban got a job in the Judicial Department. Even after getting a secured job, his desire to study never went away completely. He was obsessed with all the incredible subjects and areas of study which were available at the university.

VN Parthiban

His Achievements – 145 Degrees:

There is a long list of his achievements of academic degrees. (See Below Picture). Accomplishments include 3 Master’s Degrees in Science, 12 M. Phil Degrees, 8 Master’s Degrees in Law, 8 Master’s Degrees in Commerce, 9 Master’s Degrees in Business Administration, 10 Master’s degrees in the Arts and several Research Degrees.

VN Parthiban

Currently, VN Parthiban teaches more than 100 subjects in various colleges in his city. He enjoys studies and even on Sundays, he remains busy preparing for his next exams or writing some research papers.

Negative Effects of Consistent Study:

Unfortunately, despite consistent studies since last several years, VN Parthiban is suffering from some side effects. The intense information absorption has taken a real toll on the memory of VN Parthiban. Sometimes, he has difficulty recognizing the faces of the people. And also, he forgets the routes where he has been several times.

However, these issues have not stopped Parthiban. He continues to study, while also lecturing on various subjects at many universities.

His Personal Life:

Besides all his academic work, Parthiban also has a small family (wife and two children), who take education as sincerely as he does. In truth, his wife holds 9 degrees. VN Parthiban believes that he is a happy and successful man, and he gives all the credits to his wife, who always supports him and raised their 2 children. She is working in a bank now.

When asked if there was a subject he did not enjoy studying, Parthiban answered: “Definitely Mathematics.”

Isn’t he an amazing man!

Kudos to his willpower!

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The Story of Machli: The World’s Most Photographed Tiger

Machli- The Hunter

Machli. The tiger queen of the wilderness of Ranthambore. A majestic Royal Bengal Tigress who dominated the prime habitat of the forest for years on end.

Scores of tourists would gather watching Machli taking a nap in broad daylight. She would move a toe or two, enticing onlookers, who were instantly sent into a frenzy at one glance of the tigress.

The tigress inherited her name from her mother, Machli I. Born in 1997, she is considered the world’s most famous and photographed tiger who would captivate photographers with her grace, her elegance. Such was the grandeur of the tigress, her death made headlines in the country and beyond.

Machli: The Mother

Machli once killed a crocodile twice her size when it threatened its cubs. A fiercely protective mother, she would do anything to ensure the safety of her little ones. When adult males ventured into her territory, she would rise and chase away the intruders away from her litter at once.

Tigers usually produce 2-3 litters, but Machli had 4, giving birth to 11 cubs total, comprising 7 females and 4 males. Her progeny later increased the tiger population of the Ranthambore National Park – more than half the number of tigers in the park are of her lineage.

Two of Machli’s offsprings were later relocated to the Sariska Tiger Reserve, which had lost all its tigers to rampant poaching. The forest is now alive, once again, thanks to Machli’s progeny who helped boost the tiger population in the Sariska reserve as well.

Machli- The Hunter

Machli: The Powerful Huntress

A huntress par excellence, Machli was known for her hunting skills and strength. Her prowess as an exemplary hunter could be seen when she was in her prime, and later, even when she grew older.

Her valour earned her the titles of ‘Lady of the Lakes’, ‘Crocodile Killer’, ‘Tigress Queen of Ranthambore’, and the ‘Queen Mother of Tigers’.

A Tiger Saved is The Jungle Saved

Machli’s life serves to illustrate how a single tiger, when protected, can populate an entire forest. She sustained tourism, almost single-handedly, commanding great respect and awe from visitors across the globe.

The acclaimed wildlife filmmaker S Nallamuthu spent nine years of his life following every single move of the queen. He recalls how he shared a special bond with the tigress; he was there by her side even when she breathed her last: a deeply saddening moment that brought tears to everyone’s eyes. His documentation forms the core of his film, ‘The World’s Most Famous Tiger’, which was telecast on the National Geographic channel this Feb 26.

World's Most Famous Tiger

The Legacy Lives On

Machli’s contribution to Ranthambore cannot be expressed in words. She was honoured with a postal cover and stamp issued by the Indian Government in the year 2013 commemorating her contribution to tourism and ecology.

So immense was her contribution to the tourism at the Ranthambore National Park that upon her demise on August 18, 2016 at the ripe age of 19 years, she was cremated in observation of all traditional Indian rituals with full state honours.

Machli might have left her mortal body, but, her legacy lives on. Arrowhead, who belongs to the queen’s lineage, was recently spotted in the reserve with her newborn cubs. Machli still lives in her progeny and will continue to inspire generations of men and women.

Padman is All About Shedding Inhibitions

Padman movie

“Hum aurton ke liye bimari se marna sharm ke saath jeene se behtar hai”. On one hand, we are entering the digitalisation revolution, and on the other, womenfolk in our country are still reluctant to talk about the menstrual cycle. This really needs thought and is what forms the subject of R. Balki’s movie Padman.

Based on the short story, ‘The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land’ in a book by Twinkle Khanna titled ‘The Legend of Lakshmiprasad’, the movie Padman, released on Feb 9, 2018, is inspired by the real-life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who introduced the low-cost sanitary pad.

Padman movieThe Plot

Laksmikant Chauhan (Akshay Kumar), a welder, is concerned about his wife (Gayatri) who uses cloth during her periods and is not ready to opt for the expensive sanitary napkins, which Lakshmikant lovingly brings her, much to the embarrassment of the chemist and the ladies at the counter. The people around him feel immensely awkward when he talks about, let alone buy sanitary pads.

Balki has beautifully captured the taboos and social dilemmas attached to the subject and how difficult it is for a man like Lakshmikant to approach the issue of menstrual hygiene in a society that considers this a “women’s problem” to be tackled in a discreet manner.

Lakshmikant, the innovator that he is, is hellbent to change the pre-conceived notions of the society and help women embrace the menstrual cycle without feeling shy and awkward. He comes out with his own low-cost sanitary napkins against all odds and in turn, empowers village women to earn a living by manufacturing and selling the affordable alternative to dirty cloth.

How Lakshmikant battles all odds with the support of Pari (Sonam Kapoor) to come up with an affordable solution and is recognised in his endeavours by the UN and the Indian Government, forms the rest of the story.

Padman film

Padman: A Feather in Balki’s Cap

It must indeed have been quite difficult for Balki to deal with an issue so looked down upon and “secretive”. The way the director comes up with the concept and the script weaves the narrative without sounding in the manner of a documentary, retaining the essence of the subject in a light-hearted way is simply commendable. At no point in time does the film slip away from its objectives.

The Padman movie features brilliant performances by Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte, Akshay Kumar, and Suniel Sinha amongst the other supporting cast. The music is breathtaking, as is the cinematography that captures the beauty of Maheshwar town in Madhya Pradesh.

Real Padman

It’s Time to Shed Inhibitions

We are living in an era where women are making their mark on all frontiers, while on the other end of the spectrum, they still face inhibitions talking about menstruation and menstrual hygiene.

The movie Padman is a powerful blow on the face of the society, which considers the woman as an incarnation of Shakti, the Goddess, but has no hesitations in secluding her when she goes through her biological cycle.

A must watch on all counts, this film will set you thinking. With the International Women’s day just around the corner, it’s time to introspect. In the words of Lakshmikant, “Big man, strong man not making country strong. Woman strong, mother strong, sister strong, then country strong”.