Thursday, January 26, 2017

Republic Day of a Grown Up Nation

Being clean is a sign of goodness and spiritual purity and we need to make our country clean. I believe that the cleanliness drive should start by cleansing our mind and heart before following it through to our surrounding and environment.
But before we proceed, let decide to do one another thing .. draw a line. On one side of the line we place our way of life, perception of right or wrong and on the other side our political belief, politics, stubbornness and the likes. Those who fail to have a positive mindset should not be allowed to hold back rest of us from moving in the right direction.
One such right direction is the ambitious “Clean India Mission” (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan) launched by the Prime Minister in October 2014. The goal of drastically improving the country by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
It is disgusting to see some citizens including few so called leaders ridiculing this mission because they don’t agree with the ideology of the party that the Prime Minister represents. I am tired of hearing comments such as shelter for the homeless is more important than toilets or this money would be better spent on education rather than toilets... so on and so forth.
Difference in ideology doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to oppose everything that the PM says or does.After 68 long years of being a republic, we are not toddlers anymore who can pooh anywhere. People of India should demonstrate more rational in their thought and action. It’s a time when a nation is mature enough to have more than one thing are in the list of priorities.
Come on guys! defecating in the open is neither hygienic nor a heritage which the future generations would badly miss.
BBC reported how tidying up is a ritual in a village and everyone – from tiny toddlers to toothless grannies – takes very seriously. This small, place is renowned as the cleanest village in India and not only that, it is clean enough to give the clean cities of Asia … a run for their money. If the people of Mawlynnong, a small  village in eastern India’s Maghalaya state can do it WE ALL CAN DO IT. It's easy! all we need to do is contribute our bit.

This Republic day lets pledge to clean our mind, our heart and the places where we live. Let us revive and relive the old dictum … Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Are you preparing for your 100th Birthday

One of these days while browsing a magazine, this small news clipping caught my attention. I made a note of it with my phone cam.

Few days later I heard a radio program while in the car that spoke about the same subject. Arguably, one has to win jackpot with the right set of genes to live long. It also suggested that one’s lifestyle and geographical location plays equal vital roles.
The information available from various sources differed but what I discovered about the world of centenarians is simply amazing.An article published on 12 July 2011 reported that the highest number of centenarians of the world resides in the US. Japan does not have as many centenarians but it has a higher proportion of its population aged 100 years or more. Japan’s average life expectancy of 82.9 years is the longest lifespan among  the OECD countries as illustrated below.
On 11 September 2015, Japan Times quoted  Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare estimating the number of centenarians in Japan at 61568, hitting a record high for the 45th straight year.
Italy might not feature in the list of countries with high number of centenarians, but people living in a remote town in the western coast of southern Italy are subject of study. Independent of UK recently reported that the town of Acciaroli has a disproportionately high number of centenarians in its population of about 2,000.Researchers have shortlisted 4 cities where the "fountain of youth" seems to flow freely as narrated in a feature in the Huffington Post.

Okinawa, Japan: It appears that people there eat more vegetables and did not abandon the earlier food habits under pressure of fast foods reports another post. The top Longevity Foods from Okinawa are Bitter melons, Tofu, Sweet potatoes, Turmeric, Brown rice, Shiitake mushrooms and Seaweeds (kombu & wakame)

Loma Linda, California: Find faith appears to the secret of their longevity as the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda don’t smoke, drink alcohol or consume caffeine and some of them are on vegetarian diet like Okinawa. The trade off is eight to ten years longer than the average American, that is.Like the people of Okinawa, some (but not all) Seventh-day Adventists of Loma Linda consume a mostly vegetarian diet.

Ikaria, Greece: The fountain of youth flows here and this place is dubbed the “island where people forget to die.” Centenarians here enjoy long lives without fear of dementia and other age-related chronic diseases. Their Mediterranean-mountain lifestyle of laughing and playing often up until the wee hours of morning kept them well even in their 90s. Their diet is mostly fruits, vegetables, beans and olive oil.

Nicoya, Costa Rica: The Nicoyans follow two principles in life. They have a clear sense of purpose in life and and sense of belonging with a strong community and family ties. Like people of Okinawa, they also age slowly than their compatriots.

....if you are leading the right lifestyle in the right place, better start preparing for the guest list for the 100th Birthday Celebrations. If you are lucky, most of your friends will be around to give you the bumps!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Red Carpet: Why you need a face Lift

We have grown up seeing red carpets rolled out for VIPs and celebrities at every occasions. But, is the Red carpet red enough or it’s time for a change? I went about digging its past to propose a new future.
The earliest known reference in literature according to Wikipedia is found in the play Agamemnon by Aeschylus, written in 458 BC. Clytemnestra, the vengeful wife of  Agamemnon offered a red path to walk upon his return from Troy. Agamemnon, was wary of disrespecting Zeus and his fellow deities by walking on such luxury and responded:
"I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendors without fear thrown in my path."
In 1821, President James Monroe was honored in South Carolina with a red carpet laid out to the river. Red as a color has long been associated with prestige, royalty and aristocracy and royalty with the passage of time gave way to film royalty. Walking the red carpet became most glorified when the movie stars and singers started to walk on it during awards ceremonies, particularly Oscars, Academy and Grammy. Unfortunately much of its exclusivity and lustre has been lost since stars from mediocre television programs started their own versions for their fans and paparazzi.
But what made red so exclusive? BBC quoted Sonnet Stanfill, senior curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum told BBC saying “Scarlet was among the most prized dyes as it was the most difficult to make and the most expensive.” Cochineal dye is made from the cochineal scale insect and this process could be traced back to the 15th Century when the Aztec and Maya people from north and central America used this for coloring fabrics.
Gone are days when Queen Elizabeth could forbid anyone except close members of the royal family from wearing scarlet, red or purple. On the contrary, with industrial progress, expensive materials of yesterdays are affordable to everyone today leaving virtually nothing for exclusivity.
While I am convinced that something should replace the Red carpet, I still could not figure out what it ought to be.