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By khushboo Begwani

Come monsoons! Come water-borne diseases

Come monsoons! Come water-borne diseases

Rongana Nath, 21st July 2017

The Monsoons bring relief from the unbearable heat in India, and along with that relief comes germs and bacteria that gives rise to water-borne and vector-borne diseases. Here’s a list of diseases you should be careful of and how to prevent it.

Viral Fever

This is a common condition anyway but the monsoons bring a lot more cases of viral fever. If you have symptoms like body ache, fever, sore throat, and sneezing during this season then visit a doctor. Cold and flu are the other common conditions that might affect you.

What to do– Carry your umbrellas and raincoats and don’t get drenched in the rain.

 

Stomach infections

Viral or bacterial infection such as gastroenteritis is also common during the monsoons which causes inflammation and irritation in the stomach and intestine and also diarrhea.

What to do– Drink a lot of fluid and avoid too spicy and sweet foods. Also, do not eat something that could possibly be contaminated. Remember to wash vegetables and fruits before eating them. Hygiene wise, make it a point to clean your hands with antiseptic soap as often as possible.

 

Jaundice

Jaundice forms when there is too much bilirubin in your system. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is formed by the breakdown of dead red blood cells in the liver. 

What to do– Eating fruits can help you flush down the toxins. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, lime etc. may help limit the production of bilirubin in the body. You should also stick to regular fruits like apples, grapes, pears, and pineapples. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water will help you too.

 

Malaria

Waterlogging is a usual problem in India during the rainy season. This is an ideal time for the mosquitos to breed in the stagnant water. Malaria is spread by the “Female Anopheles” mosquito where you may experience muscle pain, shivering, and weakness.

What to do– First and foremost, avoid letting the water stagnate around the area where you live in. That can be in the flower pots, cooler, unused utensils et cetera.

 

Typhoid

The Styptic bacteria that cause typhoid remain active in the monsoon. So be careful of what you eat and drink. Typhoid may give you severe pain in the abdomen and headache and stubborn fever. Do you know the infection of typhoid may stay remain in the gall bladder even post treatment?

What to do– Stay away from the other family members as typhoid is communicable through feces and urine of an infected person. Take a lot of fluid and do visit a doctor.

 

Chikungunya

The infected Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are most active in the daytime and breeds in the dirty water.

What to do– Try and wear full sleeve clothes while stepping outside. Keep mosquitoes away from yourself by using mosquito repellent. Keep the doors and windows of your room close.

 

Prevention is better than cure anytime.

That’s why during monsoon-

-Clean your feet after returning home and keep them dry. Prefer open shoes.

-Do not wear wet clothes as it may cause the fungal infection in the skin and nails.

-Be extra careful with what you consume as the germs count could be high during this time.

-Drink only purified or boiled water to avoid water borne diseases.

 

Some References

Healthline. n.d. http://www.healthline.com/health/jaundice-yellow-skin.

Indiatimes. n.d. http://www.indiatimes.com/health/healthyliving/11-monsoon-related-diseases-and-dangers-to-be-wary-of-this-rainy-season-242867.html.

WHO. n.d. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs327/en/.

Wockhardt Hospitals . n.d. https://www.wockhardthospitals.com/most-common-monsoon-diseases-and-how-to-prevent-them.

 

By khushboo Begwani

Understanding Brain Cancer

Understanding Brain Cancer

Janaki Fernandes, 20th July 2017

The morning of 20th July brought news that Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee was operated for brain cancer at Mayo Clinic in the US. He was diagnosed with glioblastoma, known to be one of the most malignant brain tumours. 

Suddenly I found myself scrambling to understand what it entailed to be diagnosed with malignant brain tumour.

According to oncologists at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, brain cancer is one of the most aggressive and devastating kinds of cancer with survival rates being one of the lowest. Brain tumours are abnormal growth of cells in the brain. Brain tumours can be malignant (cancerous) or benign. Malignant tumours can grow and spread rapidly. Benign tumours typically do not spread but can still cause problems. Both benign and malignant tumours should be treated by specialist neurologists or neurosurgeons. Like other cancers, brain cancer too is given a stage after tests are performed. Brain cancers are classified from stage I to IV.

According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Glioblastoma, is the most common grade IV brain cancer. Glioblastomas may appear in any lobe of the brain, but it develops more commonly in the frontal and temporal lobes.

A report in The Hindu in June last year, says that in India, every year 40,000-50,000 persons are diagnosed with brain tumour. Of these 20 per cent are children.  The same article quotes Brain Tumour Foundation of India that says that brain tumour is the second most common cancer among children after leukaemia.

The NHS of the UK states that the symptoms of a malignant brain tumour depend on how big it is and where it is in the brain.

Common symptoms include:

  • severe, persistent headaches

  • seizures (fits)

  • persistent nausea, vomiting and drowsiness

  • mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality

  • progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body

  • vision problems

  • speech problems

Primary treatment remains surgery to remove the tumour. Chemotherapy and Radiation are then used to treat the patients.

Steroids are also often used not to treat, but to reduce the swelling around a tumour. They are not the same as anabolic steroids used by athletes to build muscle. Steroids can temporarily relieve brain tumour symptoms, promote a feeling of well-being, and increase appetite.

By khushboo Begwani

5 cool gadgets you will definitely want in 2017

5 cool gadgets you will definitely want in 2017

Rongana Nath, 19th July 2017

True that our smartphone is the lone-wolf that single-handedly does the work of ten other gadgets but these 5 amazing inventions of 2017 prove how far and high technology can go. While world over, several gadgets are making lives fancier, they are yet to reach Indian shores. So here is a small list of gizmos available in India, that you can buy (and flaunt)

 

1. Tile

 

We lead a super fast life and it’s only natural that we lose or forget important things and  belongings around the place. Relatable much? That’s when Tile, a Bluetooth tracker, steps in. Tile is literally thin and stylish looking tile available in different sizes that you stick, hook or attach to your belongings like phone, wallet, keys, bag, passport, cycle, and almost anything that is prone to get lost. The Tile (or Tiles if you use more than one) are connected to the Tile app and all you have to do if you misplace something is to tap it on the app and Voila !! the missing item lets out a sound that you can follow. And did we tell you that that the Tile batteries are said to last a year without charging.

 

2. Here One

 

Now you can say Goodbye to unwanted sounds around you. When you possess the Here One ear buds, you will be called an X-Men who can manipulate sounds around. The super ear buds are connected to the Here One app and have features like noise cancellation or to be precise, you can lower any specific sound and also speech enhancement for a better hearing experience. So, bye-bye to secondary sounds while you’re listening to music or talking to someone.

 

3. Harmony Companion

This all-in-one remote control by Logitech can control around 270,000 home entertainment and smart home devices. From your TV to Alexa, gaming console, locks, and smart lights etc.—you name it and the telly gun will do it all.

 

4. Anker PowerCore Mini

This one is for travelers or just about anyone whose phone is their primary screen. This lipstick-shaped portable charger will ensure that smartphone will never run out of battery for days.  

 

5. Ring Doorbell

 

Ring has everything that is needed for you to stop worrying about your house or apartment while you are away. Well, that can include guests, friends, mischievous elements and also the delivery boy with your package.  Ring immediately alerts you of any motion around your house through your smartphone, PC, and tablet. The device has a wide-angle lens with built-in microphone and speaker which lets you speak with the person on the door remotely. Now that’s something!

 

Some References: 

Time. n.d. http://time.com/4798400/best-technology-2017-so-far/.

ZD Net. n.d. http://www.zdnet.com/pictures/top-tech-gadgets-april-2016-edition/12/.

By khushboo Begwani

5 tips for using smartphones while travelling

5 tips for using smartphones while travelling

With smart phones bombarding our lives, it won’t be wrong to say that if you own a smartphone, you hold the superpower to travel the world – alone. Technology over the years has allowed travel planning and holiday experiences to be smarter, cost effective and more convenient.

Here’s how it works when you combine your travel with technology!

Plan long trips in a short time

Now flight bookings, hotel bookings, sightseeing tours booking, restaurant table bookings, curated experience bookings can be done online. Most websites and apps showcase user reviews allowing you to correctly pick exactly what you might need on that holiday.

No more paper needed

Apps and emails allow for all documents to be saved online thereby eliminating the need to carry bulk documentation especially when travelling abroad. While we still need to hold a physical passport at airports, pretty much everything else can be stored and used online.  Like airlines, hotels too are now looking at eliminating check in lines and physical cards.

Never get lost

Whether in India or any foreign destination, online or offline mode—smartphone maps will always lead you to where you want to go. There are apps that build customised travel itineraries mapping out exactly what to expect and how to use transportation to get there. So, fearlessly push the wanderer inside you, handpick the places where you want to eat and come back using the shortest route.

Capture and keep forever

With the quality of smartphone cameras getting every day, everyone is a photographer with very little effort. Select a filter, click pictures, edit, share on the spot, and store the memories.

Speak what the locals speak

Visiting a new place and difficulty in communicating  could dampen the spirit of travelling. But, technology has got you covered there too. Language apps like Duolingo help you learn basic phrases and lines in a foreign language.

Essential Apps you might need for that trip –

Booking apps: Many booking apps today allow both flight and hotel bookings. So ensure you have a booking app on your phone when you start planning. The app then stores all the details of the trip thereby easing the stress often associated with booking hotels and flights.

Maps: Maps are your travel partners like no one else. With options like local transport (Metro trains and buses) available on map apps, you can pick and choose your mode of transport depending on your mood. Google Maps and/or Waze are the most popular maps that should be on your phone

Taxi apps: A taxi booking app like Uber or Ola in India, GrabTaxi in South East Asia, Lyft in the USA offer travelers options of rides and ride sharing. In India, redBus allows for bus bookings on the go for those spontaneous travel plans

Itinerary planners: Itinerary planning apps are like invisible tour guides that not only escort you through popular tourist spots but also throw up some hidden gems. Apps like Visit a City, Triposo let you create personal itineraries that can be stored and viewed offline too.

Currency converters: If you’re travelling on a budget to several foreign cities and need to be aware of fluctuations, currency converting apps like XE-Currency let you do it relatively hassle free.

References:

Canadian Traveller. n.d. http://www.canadiantraveller.com/12_Ways_Smartphones_Have_Irreversibly_Changed_the_Way_We_Travel.

CBS News. n.d. http://www.cbsnews.com/media/11-ways-smartphones-are-changing-how-people-travel/2/.

By khushboo Begwani

Let’s not overthink our food

Let’s not overthink our food

I am a 5.9-inches tall, fairly good-looking bloke, who inherited a kind of toned healthy body from my parents. Inspite of that, until a year ago I was part of the ‘stay thin’ fad. And even though I was successful at maintaining the 6-pack body weight, l always felt ‘food stress’.

My day typically began with breakfast: “I must have my glass of cold water” since it kick-starts the metabolism. “No wait”, just yesterday Aunt Meera told me to have a teaspoon of cinnamon with hot water; but I also read somewhere – the best option to be thin is to have coconut water. “Oh god its 8 am – I should have had some fruit by now.”

This used to be my daily ritual. Me and the little guy on my shoulder called DIET!

And this was just breakfast. Lunch and dinner were another ballgame. There were egg whites cooked in 1 drop of olive oil, no bread, but maybe have multigrain and/or have muesli oats sugar free with skimmed milk. The list seemed never ending. Terms like Bajra/multigrain/ragi replaced what I grew up eating and calling “roti”. Throw in a few dry fruits and flax and chia seeds and voila the day is done!! Oh wait, need to gulp 8 glasses of infused water + 5 cups of green tea is a MUST.

Next morning: Repeat

After doing this ritual for a couple of years – you would think I should not have been worried at all. But the truth was completely different. Though the healthy food did me and the body good, it ruined my head and my pocket!

That’s when I realised the most basic truth about health which you may also have known but never bothered to follow. There are only two simple rules that work – One is eat what you like, just make sure it is in Moderation and the second is Exercise! Make small changes in your diet if needed, and keep those feet moving. Supplements today is a million-dollar industry and one need not contribute to it. They aren’t needed.

This is also endorsed also by Mumbai-based nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar who says the key to staying healthy is in knowing when to stop. “Our brain communicates with the tongue to stop just before we have taken in an optimal amount of food,”

So people – my suggestion is – let’s not overthink our nutrition and our food. Don’t get your mind into a bind into what is the nutritional value and x and y of this. STOP analysing everything. Enjoy your food and stick to what you know. As someone who’s maintained a healthy weight, our mind and brain can be used for better and more productive things if we can discipline ourselves. Fads will never remain constant!

By khushboo Begwani

Is it so simple – dream it, believe it, do it?

Is it so simple – dream it, believe it, do it?

It usually starts with something seemingly inconsequential, like postponing a diet plan and leaving the laundry for another day. We don’t even realise when this practice of postponing chores becomes a habit and begins impacting our daily life! That book you wanted to write, the mountain you wanted to scale, the symphony you wanted to create turn into aspirations from the distant past and the present is full of regrets. Sound familiar?

This is the evil of procrastination – which slowly creeps and contaminates every part of your life.

AM I A PROCRASTINATOR?

Most of us live two lives. The lived and the unlived. Between the two lies a resistance. It manifests itself as procrastination- the demon which guards us against our dreams.

The good news is your hopes and dreams will remain intact.

The bad news, however, is that they will remain at the level of vague, abstract ideas.

You’ll never say, “I won’t start the diet.” Instead, you’ll say, “I’ll start it, but tomorrow.” That’s where procrastination denies your unlived life a chance to live.

If you check some or even all of these boxes, rest assured that you are a procrastinator.

  1. There is a deadline looming

via GIPHY

You plan to start work today itself. There is no other way you can complete it on time. But, oh no! Your desk is cluttered. So is your house. Cleaning replaces the task meant to be done. You sleep with a sense of accomplishment without having done what you had planned. You find new excuses each day and you are left with just one day left to the deadline. The job is a hurried and filtered down version of what you had planned.

  1. Your gym equipment is collecting dust

via GIPHY

Of course, you’re taking your health seriously! At least you went to the market to buy the latest treadmill.

But it’s just sitting idle and collecting dust.

  1. Facebook defines your mornings

via GIPHY

One quick glance at your Facebook newsfeed and you’ll get on with what’s on your To-do list. Oh wait! Is it 1pm already?

  1. Your friends complain about you being late

via GIPHY

You didn’t work during the day. It’s time for you to step out with your friends, but you have work to do. So you bail out of the plan or turn up terribly late.

  1. You despise the punctual folks

via GIPHY

You receive validation from your peers because they are just like you or even worse.

HOW CAN THAT BE?

When you sacrifice a long-term goal for a short-term pleasure be sure you are procrastinating. Short term gratifications tend to postpone dreams and aspirations until such a day never arrives.

Procrastinators suffer from “temporal myopia” which reduces their ability to see the future as a result of their current choices and behaviours.

Chronic procrastination can be serious with both social and health consequences. Marriages fall apart. People lose their jobs. Depression, anxiety and a general reduction in wellbeing are common results of procrastination.

HOW TO FIX IT?

Procrastination CAN be beaten!

Now that we’ve identified the problem, here’s the solution.

  1. Just do it!

Don’t wait for inspiration. It’s not going to come if you just sit around doing nothing. Get started and the ideas will flow while you work.

  1. Break a long-term goal into sub-goals.

People tend to offset goals they think may require a lot of effort. Does your task at hand look like a mountain? Well, turn it into tiny hillocks. They’re easier to scale and to add to the advantages, you get that sense of accomplishment each time you finish a task.

  1. Reward yourself after achieving each sub-goal

Who doesn’t like rewards? Finish a sub-goal and treat yourself to that TV show episode you were eager to watch, or a catch-up call with a friend, or a chapter of a book you’re reading.

  1. Connect your project to a more valued source

You may be a hell of a writer, but if you don’t possess the motivation to write, your task will remain incomplete and your talent will remain hidden. To garner that motivation, connect your project to something you value greatly- a life goal or some core value.

  1. Create a cost for procrastinating

Identify your sources of distraction and make it difficult for yourself to tap into those sources. For example, if browsing through your Facebook newsfeed is a source of distraction, you should consider tricks like deleting the app for the duration of your project. This will make procrastination a tedious process and will aid in keeping you on track.

  1. Find a reason for why working now is more important than the distraction

Increase the value of your project and reduce the value of your distraction. For example, imagine a situation which gives you an incentive of receiving praise from your colleagues for writing a good piece against making yourself a hot chocolate because it’ll only add to your calorie count.

 

References:

Berkman, Elliot T. 2015. “Why Wait? The Psychological Origins of Procrastination.” Psychology Today.

Hanks, Robert. 2015. “On Putting Things Off.” London Review of Books.

Marano, Hara Estroff. 2003. “Procrastination: Ten Things To Know.” Psychology Today.

Pressfield, Steven. 2002. The War of Art.

Storrs, Carina. 2015. “5 signs you’re procrastinating and how to stop.” CNN. September 7.

Wang, Shirley S. 2015. “To Stop Procrastinating, Start by Getting Involved.” The Wall Street Journal.

By khushboo Begwani

Fortis: Champions of courage – Second Chance

 

Fortis: Champions of courage – Second Chance

Keeping in the mind the sensitivity of the medical case NDTV Worldwide produced this video as a part of the champions of courage second chance series.

By khushboo Begwani

Fortis: Champions of Courage – On his feet again!

 

Fortis: Champions of Courage – On his feet again!

Partnering with Fortis to produce its campaign on champions of courage. This case study, Elyas Tahir was executed by NDTV Worldwide for a complex surgery done in the hospital.

By khushboo Begwani

Sabyasachi for Indianroots.com

 

Sabyasachi for Indianroots.com

Amalgamating the design sensibilities of the luxury fashion label Sabyasachi, with the brand vision of Indianroots, NDTV Worldwide curated an exemplary video experience for their target market both in India and abroad.

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Photo Credits: Freepik, Stocksnap, Unsplash, Graphicburger, Pixabay
Come monsoons! Come water-borne diseases
Understanding Brain Cancer
5 cool gadgets you will definitely want in 2017
5 tips for using smartphones while travelling
Let’s not overthink our food
Is it so simple – dream it, believe it, do it?