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Silk kurtas and Modi jackets in vogue

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 19 September 2014 | 18.47

It's not just women who pull out their best during this fest, men too have a lot to choose from, Fabric painted and applique work kurtas, with silk dhotis or flaunt your cuts with fitted bandhgalas and Nehru jackets.

"Bandhgala suits are quite popular these days; they come in fabrics like art silk, brocade, etc. If a suit seems heavy; a Nehru or high neck jacket would go very well with a simple shirt or kurta," saysPrabhat Khona, owner of a designer store.

Kurtas are a rage among Bengali men, especially during Durga Puja, as they help bring in the festive spirit. Fabric painted kurtas are some of the most popular picks for Puja as they come in vibrant colours like yellow, orange, white, olive, etc. Mithu, who also has a good collection of kurtas for men says, "Kurtas are integral to Bengalis. Men usually flaunt dhoti-kurtas during Sharadutsav as they do not get to wear such clothes throughout the year. In addition to fabric painted kurtas, there are the ones with motifs. They are innovatively designed with motifs like the face of maa Durga, chandmala, the pious kalash, or Warli or Jamini Roy paintings." Most of these kurtas come in cotton, however, there are some special ones in tussar or pure silk, accessorised with kantha stitch or embroidery work.

Look dapper in a Modi jacket with a bright coloured kurta or a Coati jacket on a simple linen or khadi shirt and you are all set for that cultural evening.

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Mamma, I'm gay

Disclosing your sexual preference to your parents is not easy, but if you've made up your mind to tell them all, you can. Those who've been down that road, tell you how to go about it...

A 26-year-old boy called off his engagement with his fiance, stating that he is gay. He could not muster the courage to refuse the proposal initially as he was scared of his parents' reaction. But when he could not take the pressure anymore, he told his parents that he was gay and had a boyfriend. It is difficult for most parents to accept the fact that their child is gay. However, it is also tough for the youngster as he has to not only cope with his repressed feelings, but also the backlash at the disclosure. So, when is the right time for a person to come out to his family?

Broaching the topic
One of the first things for anyone who wants to declare their sexual orientation to their parents, suggests counsellors, is to first get certain questions cleared with themselves. A young boy who's still to come to terms with his sexuality, needs to first address the issue himself. Once he is sure of that, he should also ask other questions before making the move: 'Do I have a good support system?' 'How is the emotional situation at home" and 'What do I want to achieve by opening up about sexuality to my parents?' If the fact that you want to be honest and transparent to to your folks, who've been instrumental in bringing you into the world, then you should definitely go ahead with it.

Says psychologist Seema Hingorrany says, "The right time for every individual is different, and it depends on the comfort level he shares with his family. It is also important for him to know that it's not just a phase." Coming to terms with one's sexual orientation differs from age to age. "It is different for younger age groups as they undergo huge guilt and confusion towards their orientation. The older age group, those who are above 26, are usually financially independent and more open about their feelings," adds Hingorrany. For those dependent on their parents fear that the disclosure would cause their parents to disown them.

Says Lakshmi Narayan Tripathy, Chairperson Astitva and founding member of Asia Pacific transgender network, "Sexually different children are often confused about who they are, and the biggest irony is people around us decide who we are. The education system needs to change too. I have seen boys, who are different, getting abused in schools and these cases don't even get reported. They should have trained counselors in schools."

Lakshmi further adds, "Financial independence is very important so that you can come out and speak for yourself and lead your life according to your terms. I am a dancer so building up a career is also important before you open up."

Different parents, different reactions
Namrata Kaithan, counselling psychologist, says, "The Indian mindset has grown up with the concept that the relationship between a man and a woman is the only normal one. The same sex orientation is perceived as a western concept. We try to be open-minded about it, but are not able to accept it completely." It may come as a shock for those parents who don't have any idea about it, it could last a few hours to a month. There are some parents who in spite of knowing it, are in a state of denial.
Says Hingorrany, "In Indian culture, parents are often in total denial about their children's sexual orientation. Parents cannot accept that the child can have a same-sex partner as they pin all their hopes in their child carrying the family name forward by marrying and procreating. They cry, sob, blame God and run to palmists and spiritual leaders in state of helplessness. Many come to us to do a family therapy session, which will help their family cope with emotions following disclosure."

At times, parents may experience a sense of loss. However, there are many who accept and stand by their children. Sutapa Das, a home-maker says, "It did take some time for me to understand. There were many unanswered questions that kept playing in my mind, but then I finally accepted the fact that my son is a gay and not a criminal. He has not harmed any body and has every right to lead his life peacefully."

My mother was shocked, not my father
While most parents find it tough to believe that their child could be having a same-sex relationship, there are some who come to terms with their child's sexual orientation immediately. One such person who had a positive experience when he came clean about his sexuality to his parents, is freelance writer, Ravi Mathur. He recalls, "I opened up to my parents when my mother brought the topic of marriage at the dinner table. I just could not go along with it, and told them about my sexuality." While he felt good about telling his parents the truth, he was also taken by surprise with his father's reaction.

"My father was not shocked at all. In fact, he said that he always knew that I was different. My father said that when I was in my pre-teens, other boys my age played with guns, but I preferred the kitchen set and dolls. My mother took some time to accept it. Now both of them are very supportive about the whole thing," adds Mathur.

What's needed to take that first step
- Seek counselling
- Come to terms with one's sexuality first
- Make sure of the emotional situation at home
- Be patient with your parents as they come to terrm with it
- Be prepared to face a lot of questions
- Begin to love yourself

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Say hi to colours this festive season

The festive season is upon us and that means there is a big change in our wardrobe too. Clothes, shoes, accessories and bags in bright and festive colours take center stage this season with the magic of Navratri, Durga Puja and Diwali already in the air. With the change in season, and monsoon bidding a goodbye, one also sees a metamorphosis in fashion trends. A few trends that you cannot miss are...

PRINTS PATTERNS: Bigger, bolder and colorful prints are in. Geometric shapes, Mondrian-inspired grids, digital prints, color-swatch paint splashes and bold brush strokes, illustrative portraits as well as animal, jungle and floral prints, checks and stripes are the prints to look out for.

FABRICS & COLORS: Blended fabrics of poly nylon and cotton are the season's favorite. Look out for crochet, lace, sequined satin tops and skirts. During the festive season, no color is too bright. Neon seems to be a hot favorite. Hues of jewel tones such as ruby, shades of blue- from teal to cool mint shocking shades of electric green, indigo, vibrant yellow and fluorescent pink are the ones to pick. White, blacks and neutral shades, even if opted for are ought to be teamed with bright bottoms and accessories.

ACCESSORIES: Bold, beautiful and chunky jewelry is the way to go. Fragile, dainty bracelets and necklaces are passe as bold, statement jewelry is in. Cocktail rings, jeweled cuffs are an exciting option to be monsoon ready. Add jewelry set in asymmetrical patterns, set in gemstones and intricate wooden jewelry to add to the glamour quotient. Experiment with hair bands, hair ribbons, hats and scarves for a different look.

APPAREL TRENDS: The popular street trend of ripped jeans and torn denims is back this season in full force. The flared denims and the boot cut style are hitting it again with interesting ripped detailing on them. Layering is a hot current trend of the season, so mix and match your stuff. Fun silhouettes and embroidered garments have been doing the rounds too! Watch out for shorts of all lengths- hot pants, knee length or bermudas. Cut off denim shorts are a good option that combines both style and comfort. Loose A-line tops, jumpsuits, sheer button up shirts and tie up shirts are back and how! Team pastel colored pants with cropped denim jackets and you are good to go!

These simple, yet uber stylish trends will make sure you are all set for the much awaited festive season. So step out into the glam world as fashionable as ever.

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Foods that can give you a headache

Dietary changes and certain foods can trigger migraines.

Suffering from headaches or migraines every now then? Well, you're not alone as many people complain of such problems. Leaving aside obvious reasons like sinusitis, stress and mental tension, little do people know that their diet could be a culprit too. Surprised? We tell why you should be more watchful of what you eat to avoid that throbbing pain in your head.

A headache is a discomfort or a pressure-like sensation in the head. A migraine is a common type of headache that usually occurs on one side of the head. Dietician Dr Sunita Dube agrees that one's diet can affect headaches and says, "A family history of migraine, apart from stress, food and beverages may be responsible for up to 30 per cent of migraines. If you consider some other triggers such as hormonal changes, stress, sleeping habits, and depression, it's possible that the percentage is actually higher."

One of the most common reasons for headaches due to dietary changes is suddenly switching to a very low calorie diet, in other words, crash dieting. Agrees consultant nutritionist Niti Desai, "This can lead to headaches, especially if these diets cut down or eliminate carbohydrates completely. The brain can only use carbohydrates as fuel. Headaches can also set in due to low blood sugar levels. Also, if you start skipping meals or have long intervals between your meals, headache sets in. Even a very low water intake can trigger headaches."

Tyramine, a culprit
Tyramine is an amino acid that has been thought to trigger headaches by reducing serotonin levels in the brain and affecting the dilation of blood vessels. Because of their connection to migraines, tyramine containing foods are important triggers. These include red wine, cheeses, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, and certain processed meats.

Alcoholic beverages
Dr Dube says that red wine contains tyramine, phytochemicals called phenols, which may be the real triggers. For some people, drinking any kind of alcohol can bring on a migraine. Other compounds in beer, whiskey, and wine that deplete levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) in the brain could also be triggering migraines.

They can act as migraine triggers because they too contain tyramine. But at the same time, the connection could be that women tend to crave chocolate during stress and hormonal changes, both of which also may trigger headaches. The amount of chocolate can be an issue too, as migraine patients with the diets highest in fat tended to have more frequent headaches.

This deserves a special mention because sudden withdrawal of coffee consumption can trigger headaches. Clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan explains, "Coffee is mildly addictive and it temporarily enhances mental alertness and concentration. Sudden withdrawal can often cause headaches, irritability and other symptoms that vary in severity from one person to another." For example, in some people who are sensitive to caffeine, it can trigger migraine headaches, while in others it might actually abort a migraine by relaxing the constricted blood vessels that are causing the throbbing head.

Natural sugar is important because all plants and animal store energy chemically as sugar. All form of natural sugar provide about the same energy value — four calorie per gram. Natural sugar is better than artificial sweeteners. Desai says that a very small percentage of people intolerant to the sweeteners suffer from headaches. However, this is more common with the sweetener aspartame and not with the newer sweeteners that use sucralose.

So if you suspect the reason for your frequent headaches or migraines might lie in your diet, is advisable to see a doctor.


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Fashion tips for mommies-to be

Gone are the days when maternity clothing were confined to plus-size salwar kameezes.

With fashion pundits always on the move to create new ideas, prenatal fashion has evolved quite remarkably. Now, don't worry about your growing body — with the help of these essentials, you will not have to compromise on being stylish during your pregnancy. Use these following looks donned by celebrities to be at your stylish best when carrying.

- A short printed dress like the one singer Kimberly Walsh is sporting here is perfect to say the least. It scores high on the comfy factor and looks pretty trendy too. Team up the outfit with strappy flats to complete the look.

- You can team a printed long skirt with a bright ganjee to brighten up your look. Opt for a cotton skirt, rather than other fabrics. It's not only extremely comfortable but also makes
walking easy.

- Palazzos spell comfort. You can pick up colourful palazzos and team them up with your kurtis and loose-fit shirts. Works well for a casual outing with friends.

- If you are petite and have a small frame, this could be your go-to look. A layered top paired with a jacket is not only trendy but also spells high on the snug feeling.

- The maxi dress is one of the most preferred outfits by to-be moms across the globe. Here, Kristin Cavallari dons a maxi dress and carries it off with elan. You can also add a denim jacket like her if you are unsure about wearing a sleeveless dress at this time.

The tip: Accentuate your look by including colourful shrugs, scarves and jackets to your pants and dresses. Contrary to popular belief, you can wear skirts but make sure that the fabric is cotton.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Petite,Palazzos,mommies-to be,maxi dress,fashion tips

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Daily habits that make cravings worse

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 18 September 2014 | 18.47

Are your servings big? Or you're pairing the food you crave with something unhealthy? There are some mistakes that can make cravings more intense and frequent.

Here's a list of mistakes that make cravings even worse, reports huffingtonpost.com:

Your serving is too big: You've got a craving for brownies, you're going to have some, and you're okay with that. So you take three. But you probably only needed half, suggests a 2013 study from Cornell University. So, take a small serving, eat it and enjoy, and then wait 15 minutes until the yearning for more subsides.

You don't know why you are craving something: You can't get your hand out of the bag of cheesy crackers. If you don't understand why, you can't do anything about it, says Christine Palumbo, a faculty member of Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. She recommends keeping a cravings journal. You can just jot down a few notes on your phone. When a craving hits, log your emotions like you're tired, anxious, stressed or bored. Eventually, you'll pick out common patterns, and you can deal with the causes head on, rather than trying to eat as a solution.

You don't pair the food you crave with something healthy: You can satisfy your yearning while still eating healthy by pairing a larger portion of healthy foods with a small amount of what you think you want. It works because it makes meals more fun and tasty, but still gives your body the nutrition it needs to function at its best, suggests a Vanderbilt University study. You can order salad with grilled salmon with a side of fries or get a piece of grilled chicken and veggies with a small bowl of mac and cheese.

You keep temptation around: The mental battle between you and the box of cookies in the pantry does not have to be fought every day. Out of sight, out of mind works in this case. If it's 10 p.m. and you want a cookie, you're probably not going to go out and get some. On the other hand, if they're staring you in the face every time you open the pantry, it's all too easy to grab one.

You use Instagram or Pinterest: A fudge-topped sundae or Pizza! Food photos are fun to look at, but don't be shocked when suddenly you're struck with a desire to run to the nearest restaurant. In a small preliminary study from the University of Southern California, researchers found that images of high-calorie foods spark more activity in the reward areas of the brain than photos of low-calorie fare.

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Number crunching may make people selfish

People with a "calculative mindset" as a result of number crunching are more likely to engage in selfish and unethical behaviour, suggests a study.

Repeated engagement with number-focused calculations, especially those involving money, can have unintended negative consequences, including social and moral transgressions, the findings showed.

"Performing calculations, whether related to money or not, seemed to encourage people to engage in unethical behaviours to better themselves," said study co-author Chen-Bo Zhong, an associate professor at the University of Toronto in Canada.

After exposure to a lesson on a calculative economics concept, participants in a set of experiments displayed significantly more selfish behaviour in games where they could opt to promote their self-interest over a stranger's.

Participants who were instead given a history lesson on the industrial revolution were less likely to behave selfishly in the subsequent games.

The researchers found a similar but lesser effect when participants first solved math problems instead of verbal problems before playing the games.

Furthermore, the effect could potentially be reduced by making non-numerical values more prominent.

The study showed less self-interested behaviour when participants were shown pictures of families after calculations.

The study was published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=number crunching,calculations,behaviour

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Recipe: Mutton Curry in mustard oil

Cooking mutton curry in pressure cooker involves a few easy steps

Ingredients: One kg mutton, salt, turmeric powder, mustard oil, ginger garlic paste, dahi, garam masala, potatoes, four or five big onions, green chillies, one big tomato.

Method: Lightly wash the mutton pieces, remove water and keep in mixing bowl. Do not over wash mutton. Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder, mustard oil and a little bit of ginger garlic paste, and let it marinate for a while. You can add a spoon of dahi too. The onions need to be thinly sliced. In a pressure cooker, heat mustard oil till it starts smoking and add all the Bengali garam masalas (cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and tej patta) and green chillies according to your taste. When they start splattering, add the chopped onions and saute till they are almost red. Now add the ginger garlic paste and stir well. Add tomato and fry till oil separates, then add turmeric powder, dhaniya and jeera powder.

Stir well and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mutton pieces and stir well. Cook for at least 15-20 minutes by stirring occasionally. This is a crucial step. Next, taste and fix the salt. You can add a little bit of garam masala and pepper powder according to your preference. Add warm water to get the gravy. Now, add the potatoes. Generally, a big one is sliced into halves. You can fry the potatoes at the onset and leave them aside, before adding them at this point. Cover and cook on high flame till you get about 5 or 6 whistles in pressure cooker. Now reduce the flame to check the seasoning and adjust salt. Add some ghee to it if you want it rich.

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Delayed periods could also mean chemical pregnancy

Missing the menstrual cycle by a day or two is normal, but there are cases of women missing their periods by 10 days or even weeks. A delayed period is not always a cause for alarm, however experts state that in some, it might be a case of chemical pregnancy.


A fertilised egg or a pregnancy produces a hormone called hCG i.e. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. The level of this hormone in the blood determines the health of the egg. Once the level of this hormone in the blood crosses a particular level, it is detected in the urine; this is when a urine pregnancy test results positive. It usually happens within one-two days of missing the periods. However, in the case of a chemical pregnancy , the level of hCG in the blood keeps going down as the process of pregnancy has stopped.


Dr. Rakhi Gaitonde, a gynaecologist, mentioned that a lot of women ignore delayed periods thinking it to be normal, as stress or sickness are also known to cause it.However, not many are aware of chemical pregnancy, which is also referred to as early miscarriage. This happens when a fertilised egg does not attach itself to the uterine wall. "It means that the miscarriage happened at a point of time between a missed period and biochemical tests (beta hCG estimation test). The home pregnancy test is the only evidence that the woman was pregnant as it happened before an ultrasound test could recognise it," explains Dr. Mohan Raut, MD PGO, infertility specialist. Raut also adds that delayed periods is so normal that several women do not even suspect a pregnancy , even after missing their periods for as long as three weeks. Unlike miscarriages, which typically occur at a later stage of gestation, chemical pregnancies occur just after implantation, hence a lot of women are unaware of the occurrence.


Most cases of chemical pregnancies do not show any symptoms, whatsoever. Some women report cramps in the abdomen or slight spotting a few days before their period is due. "Since the pregnancy is premature, there are no relative symptoms like fatigue or nausea. Moreover, since the fertilised egg did not implant itself to the uterine wall, the growth of the pregnancy stops," says Gaitonde. Only blood tests done at an early stage (within a day or two of missing periods) might reveal hCG count.


Most experts assert that the reason for chemical pregnancies is the same as other miscarriages. "Abnormal chromosomes in the developing embryo is one of the most important reasons.Several factors such as poor quality of the sperm or egg, an abnormal cell division of the foetus or genetic abnormalities in either of the parents; in fact, an untreated thyroid can also lead to chemical pregnancy," says Dr. Rohit Ramchandran, MD PGO, infertility specialist.


However unfortunate it might be, chemical pregnancies cannot be prevented nor treated. "Only couples undergoing an IVF treatment understand that they've had a chemical pregnancy, as their blood is frequently tested," says Ramchandran.Women who undergo chemical pregnancy are encouraged to follow-up with tests to ensure their hCG levels return to normal. However, women need not worry or stress about it, since there is no evidence suggesting that chemical pregnancies affect future pregnancies.

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A glass of milk daily good for your heart

Do you find drinking milk disgusting? Listen to your heart and change the habit. New research has found that drinking milk and consuming other dairy products may reduce the risk of a heart attack.

The link between milk and risk for hyper-tension and cardio-vascular disease (CVD) was examined in a study recently presented at the 12th Euro Fed Lipid Congress in Montpellier, France.

"The meta-analyses indicate that there is a link between increasing the number of glasses of milk a day and a lower incidence of hyper-tension and subsequently the heart attack risk," explained Dr Sabita S. Soedamah-Muthu from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Based on nine studies involving 57,256 individuals and 15,367 cases of hyper-tension, the meta-analysis revealed that as total dairy, low-fat dairy and milk (just over two cups a day) consumption increased, the risk for high blood pressure decreased.

Experts also presented data evaluating the effects of dairy products and dairy fat on chronic disease risk factors such as cholesterol, body fat accumulation and weight gain.

"The results lay the groundwork for future investigations into the overall impact dairy may have on public health," researchers noted.

It appears that dairy's nutrient-rich package may have a positive impact on health, development and performance in more ways than previously expected," Schweitzer concluded.

These findings were further supported by a clinical trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that showed the addition of four servings of non-fat dairy per day to a routine diet lowered blood pressure in middle-aged and older adults.

Globally, cardiovascular disease (CVD) claims 17 million lives each year, while complications from high blood pressure take an additional 9.4 million.

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