Friday, September 30, 2011

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) may have become popular for their energy saving capabilities, but they pose great danger to the health of Indians

CFLs can really harm you

Compact fluorescent lamps may have become popular for their energy saving capabilities, but they pose great danger to the health of Indians as they contain toxic metal mercury much higher than the international standards, a study revealed.
The study 'Toxics in That Glow-Mercury in Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) in India' conducted by an NGO Toxics Link found that average mercury content per unit in CFL was around 21.21 mg, which is much higher than the internationally known standards ranging four to six times the CFLs sold in many developed countries.
A total of 22 samples of CFLs of four well known brands sold in India were analysed for mercury content. Mercury was found to be in the range of 2.27 to 62.56 mg per unit. The US cap is 4mg per CFL unit for up to 25 watts and 5mg for CFL units over 25 watts. In the European Union, the restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) law mandates the cap to 5mg per CFL.
Mercury, a highly toxic metal, is known to impact vital organs such as level causing developmental and neurological problems. The study said greater exposure of mercury will affect health of waste workers and local inhabitants.
"The Indian CFL industry is exploiting the new market opened up by the climate change crisis, however, they are creating a toxic crisis. Instead of following the best practices in the world, they are putting the Indian consumer at risk trough high level of mercury," said Toxics Link Director Ravi Agarwal after releasing the study here.

Indian kids not the fittest for playfield Unhealthy eating habits and lure of TV put our children at risk of becoming inactive Adults

Indian kids not the fittest for playfield

Unhealthy eating habits and lure of TV put our children at risk of becoming inactive Adults

Your children may feel like 'Superman' or John Cena, but the reality could be far from that. Unhealthy eating habits, having junk and processed foods, and the lure of sedentary options, including entertainment like TV, Internet and video games, has put an entire generation of Indian children at a risk of growing up to be inactive and unhealthy adults.
An annual study conducted by EduSports in 39 Indian cities during 2010-11 found that 61% percent of school children do not possess adequate skills to engage in sport; 48% are not fully proficient in running; 64% were not proficient at hopping; and 71% are unable to throw a ball or catch it properly.
As many as 19,797 children from 73 schools participated in the study, which analysed children in the age group of 7-10 on skills pertaining to loco-motor, manipulative, non-manipulative (or balancing) and spatial awareness skills. These skills are fundamental to any physical activity or sport.
At least 43% of the children had unhealthy body composition. Among the entire group, 24% recorded higher than normal signs of over-weight/obesity, coupled with poor flexibility scores. The remaining 57% had average to poor scores.
The fitness parameters for the study included endurance recorded by making children run/walk for 600 metres), recordings based on making them cover 30 metres in sprint, body/muscular strength (measured by sit & reach activity, sit ups, standing long jump), and flexibility and body mass index which identified children as underweight/healthy/over-weight or obese.
Combined, the children were found to have poor levels of skill development and low levels of physical fitness. These are known to deter children from physical activity and sports as they grow.
However, on a positive note, another programme which was embedded in the study found that a controlled and structured physical education programme, focussing on skill and fitness building (as per the age of the child) showed a marginal improvement across all key parameters among the children.

Car queries and answers

Any chances of Honda City
coming out with a diesel variant?
What would be a better
buy between Verna Fluidic 1.6
SX and Vento Highline TDi in terms of comfort
and mileage considering I drive 80-90
kms within Mumbai on weekdays?
— Ravindra Puranik, by email

Honda does have a diesel engine under development,
but it will take a long time to hit
the roads, as far as we know. The Verna should
be your first choice followed by Vento.

I have a petrol Indica Xeta V2 bought in
November last. I get a mileage of hardly 7-
8 kmpl. My daily usage is about 15 kms. I am
currently thinking of going for a new vehicle
in the range of `4-5 lakh as my daily usage
would be increasing shortly. Is it advisable
to go for a diesel/CNG vehicle in view
of the increased cost of petrol? Which is the
ideal vehicle for me? — A Thomas, by email

Hi, the mileage on your car might be so
low because the engine might not have
warmed up completely during the short distance
drive. If you’re happy with the car otherwise,
try using it for a couple of long distance
drives and see if the mileage improves
any. If you still want to buy a new car, take
a look at the Chevrolet Beat Diesel or the
Toyota Etios Liva diesel.

Recently I bought an i10 Asta which has
Bluetooth connectivity. The user manual
says the Bluetooth can be activated using
voice recognition button on the steering
controls. It also mentions how to operate the
button in detail. But the button is not there
in my car! The dealer said the feature is not
available in India, hence there’s no button.
— Sandeep Devarchetti, by email

Normally, the steering wheel buttons on the
left control the audio and the right one controls
Bluetooth/ phone. It’s surprising there
are no buttons at all on your steering wheel,
since the feature is very much available in India.
Please make sure you indeed have the Asta
variant, or take it up with the company.

Ours is a joint family and we are contemplating
replacing our third vehicle — a

11-year-old Accent with a CNG variant. This
would be mostly driven in Mumbai (40-60
km a day), and at times out of town. Could
you advise on a car based on efficiency of
the engine, boot space, maintenance,
mileage and availability of a CNG variant?
— Prashant Changrani, by email

In that segment, the available CNG options
are a bit sparse, but considering your usage, a
diesel variant would suit your requirements
nicely. Go for the new Verna diesel.
I own an Aveo and am thinking of buying
a new sedan. My daily running is 30
km and budget `10-12 lakh. Please advise.
— Sanjay Bhandari, by email

In the budget you listed the top of the line
Verna makes the most sense. Stretch it a little
though, and you can look at the Honda Civic.
It’s a great car and since you don’t use it much,
the petrol variant should be fine for you.

I m using a Maruti Zen LX since 1999. So
far, the going has been smooth, except
for a recent problem with the air-conditioner.
I’m a senior citizen, using the car
for comfort and safety. It is self- driven.
Normally, my wife and I use it for about
300 km per month, locally in Ahmedabad.
We have clocked 45,000 kms so far. Due to
age, should we change the car? I am satisfied
with service network of Maruti. So,
which of their cars would you suggest?
Wagon R, Swift or the new Zen? Also,
petrol or diesel? —Avinash N K, Ahmedabad

Age really so much of an issue with
the car; if it’s given regular servicing, it
should serve you just fine for another 40-
50,000 km. But if you still prefer a change of
scene, the Wagon R is your best bet since
ingress and egress is very easy because of
high seats. Petrol is the way to go for your
kind of usage.

I bought a Ford Fiesta 1.6 SXi petrol in
2009. My daily running is around 25 km. I
get a mileage of only 7.5 kms per litre in
Mumbai city. With petrol prices rocketing
and bad mileage, I am thinking of converting
to CNG. Is it a good option? If so, which
kit is better? — Nikhil Shah, by email

If your daily usage is only 25 kms, we suggest
you continue using the car as is, but make
a few changes to your driving style to save fuel.
Be conscious of, and reduce clutch usage, be
soft on the accelerator, use engine braking
(shift to lower gear and de-clutch fast) instead
of slamming on the brakes and turning off the
car at signals. Get an inside-out servicing done
too. And no, CNG doesn’t make sense.

I have 2 cars in my family - a Hyundai
Santro and an Indigo GLS I. I get an average
of around 9 km. My approximate monthly
running is about 1,000 km. I have been told
that I can get 50% more mileage if I change
some parts such as go for an Iridium spark
plug, a PiperCross air filter and engine protection
oil solution. Is this possible? Or
should I go for an LPG or CNG kit?
— Harish Thakker, by email

There’s no formula to increase the fuel
economy by a massive 50%. All the modifications
you mentioned increase the efficiency
of the engine. What that means is for the same
amount of fuel, you generate more power, not
necessarily miles. Your usage limit is borderline
to warrant a diesel or LPG/CNG car. Financially
or performance-wise, conversions
would not make much sense for the amount
of driving you do.

I have booked the Tata EV2 petrol but I
am confused because I have read both good
and bad reviews about it.
Kindly advise urgently.
— Patty Golay, by email

It’s an excellent car for
the money. Since you’ve
already booked it, take
delivery and enjoy the

Royal Enfield is more about survival than revival, but the latest Bullet certainly will revive memories, as from a distance it's almost indistinguishable from the first Enfield Bullets

Testing the thumperin Ol' Blighty

You don't have to buy a classic to get an authentic feel of Fifties and Sixties British bikes. I'm not talking about modern retro bikes, those such as Triumph's Bonneville and Kawasaki's W800, which bring back the look of the British parallel twin, but a more direct connection.
Royal Enfield is more about survival than revival, but the latest Bullet certainly will revive memories, as from a distance it's almost indistinguishable from the first Enfield Bullets built in Redditch, England in 1955.
One of Royal Enfield's most important Bullet customers during the Sixties was the Indian army, which found the rugged British singles ideal for the poor roads and mountainous terrain they often had to negotiate. When Bullet production was due to cease in the late Sixties, a deal was struck to maintain a full supply of spare parts, and the entire production line was moved to Chennai.
Modern emissions laws, in India as well as Enfield's main export markets, which with some irony included the UK, made it increasingly difficult for the venerable old motor to stay legal, and after some interim modifications such as a lean-burn cylinder head, the company finally took the plunge and designed an all-new engine, complete with fuel injection, five-speed gearbox (with a modern change pattern) and wet, multiplate clutch.
This is what powers the latest Bullet, a bike that marks a return to Enfield's core appeal in its export markets in the past two or three decades: classic biking on a budget.
The question now is, how much like the old, original Bullet can the latest one be, given its modern, emissions-compliant engine and updated frame and running gear?
Press the starter button - more modernity, although there's still a kick-start when you feel like breaking out in a sweat — and the motor thuds into life in a manner indistinguishable from the old one, aside from firing up a little more readily.
Enfield has retained the key to the engine's character, its long-stroke cylinder, along with a heavy flywheel to keep it thumping along smoothly at low revs. The new motor has been styled faithfully to the original, and it sounds and feels like that engine, too.
It's not fast but power is up from about 22bhp to a more useful 27bhp, and because the construction is modern, you can make full use of the bike for long periods, such as a steady 120 kmph on a highway, without constantly checking your mirror to see if there's a piston flying out of the back.
Economy is as vintage as ever, with Enfield claiming around 21 km per litre, although gentle riders will be able to cram even more miles.
It's now viable as an everyday commuter bike, which the old one wasn't unless you didn't mind wielding spanners every other evening, and if you're prepared to think and ride a little laterally, this is a realistic and infinitely more characterful alternative to a scooter or bland commuter bike.
There are some allowances you must make, like never being in a hurry because the engine doesn't like, or reward, higher revs. The front disc brake, while far better than old-fashioned drums, stops you without feeding back much information.
The suspension is improved but still rather crude, and the riding position is a dated foot-forward, hands-forward stance, but this is as much charm as fault. Build quality isn't to Japanese standards either - expect to deal with various niggles during your tenure.
Royal Enfield on Thursday announced the launch of two single-seater, limited-edition leisure bikes, Classic Chrome

So maybe this is a revival after all. The old Bullet was being killed off by modern regulations, and this new one brings all the charm and character back, as well as the authenticity of following on directly and being made in the same factory, by the same workers. A slice of history, new and with a warranty.
Verdict: As close to a Fifties motorcycle as it's possible to get, built with modern components. Brand new yet with the sound, feel and charm of an old bike. A fine place from which to view the countryside, but not a silly choice as a commuter either.
Royal Enfield on Thursday announced the launch of two single-seater, limited-edition leisure bikes, Desert Storm

Take a look review at the newest baby from the house of Mahindras, and come away very impressed, because the value-for-money proposition is compelling

Indian XUV, world class

Take a look at the newest baby from the house of Mahindras, and come away very impressed, because the value-for-money proposition is compelling

The largest automaker in India - yes, it's Mahindra & Mahindra these days - known so many decades for its rugged vehicles, has announced its arrival on the global stage with a very refined offering — the XUV 500.
The first thing that goes for the Five Double O, as the automaker prefers to call it, is its killer pricing. You can almost feel the unease at TaMo.
Coming to the soft-roader, the fascia melds forms and lines that seem inspired by peers — such as the honeycombs of the Range Rover, and the profiles are reminiscent of the Toyota RAV with some touches of the Suzuki Vitara and a dash of the Honda CR-V.
But cut to the chase, it's certainly the best quality statement coming from a completely homegrown automaker — 90% of the vehicle is tooled out of India, though the experiential touches of Ssangyong are only to be expected.
The monocoque body construction is Mahindras' first attempt and they come out with honours on this score. So confident is the company that it'll launch the vehicle in Johannesburg today - something that no Indian automaker has done. The XUV has been tested for nearly 24 lakh kilometres and went through 250 prototypes before being productised. The Rs 650 crore bill for the development of the vehicle seems frugal R&D considering what global carmakers plonk to come up with similar stuff. The amortisation cycle, therefore, should be shorter if the vehicle sells well — investors please note.
The exterior
The grille is an exaggeration of honeycombs, bumper and streaked air dam, while LED daytime running lights and recessed foglamps give it a feel of those premium uvees.
The most prosaic part, perhaps, is the five-spoke 17-incher alloys, and that says a lot. The amalgam of design ideas lend a character that can be called XUV's own.
Muscular shoulder lines sweep past the sides, with overstated double arches looming over gapped-up rear wheels. Tail-lamp clusters are snug, while double-smiley tailgates are a deft touch, anchored by twin exhausts with oval tips. Indeed, quite a sporty-stanced package that's about 15 cms bigger than the Scorpio.
The interior
For its price, the XUV 500 comes with a lot of bells & whistles and exceptional form and finish. The plastic shutlines are perfectly slim, accurately moulded, which is great. At first glance, the interiors bare the biggest leap the Mahindras have made to date.
The central console is topnotch, crested with a 6-inch, high-resolution LCD that's a touchsreen infotainment and navigation system, with voice control. For addicts of Apple's thingamajigs, the system is compatible. For others, there is the USB and AUX-In. A laptop storage compartment is also integrated into the glovebox.
The sporty twin-pod instrument cluster under the arched dash is very retro yet elegant — it takes you back to the days of the Pontiacs, and offers a contrasting medley to the digital readouts elsewhere.
Like premium SUVs, the Five Double O also has front airbags, side curtain airbags in the top variants, and standard ABS, EBD and ESP. Then there are electronically adjustable rearview mirrors and a nifty headliner package with goggle box rimming the inside rearview mirror. The colour theme is perhaps the only place where the company could have given choices — it's reminiscent of the Tata Aria - what with its black and cherry/raspberry combination.
The steering-mounted controls for music and phone calls, like the central console, are ergonomically placed. The XUV is expected to seat 6 comfortably though the third row seems cramped. Bootspace gets exponentially enlarged, thanks to foldable second and third rows.
The Five Double O comes in two and all-wheel drive options, manual and automatic, powered by the tested Scorpio mHawk engines. The vehicle is not very different from the Tata Aria — be it the four-wheel or two-wheel drive, and the Skoda Yeti, unleashing 140 horses and a surprisingly strong 330 Newton meters of peak torque.
There is also hill-descent control and hill hold, just in case you intend to strew gravel by offroading.
The speedo needle touches 60 km from a standing start in 5.4 seconds, so should nose 100 in about 9 seconds. The engine, unlike other Mahindra vehicles, is laid transverse, or east-west, than north-south and sounds surprisingly refined compared with the Scorpio. The gearshift is smoother too, with a dogleg reverse, but it hasn't reached the maturity of SUVs like the CR-V, but it's getting there, according to those who got a first drive. The engine thrum is subdued, and overall sound damping much better than the Scorpio.
This is clearly a compelling value-for-money proposition. The base model would cost somewhere around Rs 12.5 lakh on road in Mumbai and the top variant around Rs 15 lakh. At that price, and for its features and size, the sole competition in sight is the Tata Aria. These two are the only vehicles posited between the Scorpio class (if you omit the Toyota Innova, that is) and the premium SUVs such as the Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet Captiva and above. Indeed, they have created an aspirational niche for those currently cruising in the B and C-sizers. Come to think of it, isn't it interesting that the No. 1 and No.2 domestic automakers are slugging it out to woo upgraders?

Trauma survivors in KBC hot seat

A woman who shot dead militants in Kashmir, another lady who lost her home and family in the Ladakh flashfloods, the widow of a debt-ridden farmer who committed suicide in Maharashtra and a widow whose husband was killed by Maoists in Orissa. Last year, these women and their difficult circumstances had made headlines. Now, these survivors of tragedy are part of the current season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), where they not only try their luck at winning big money but also get a chance to narrate their tales of struggle and triumph.
In the near future, the production house is hoping to invite relatives of the victims of terror, including the widow of Prashant Joshi, who died recently in the Mumbai bomb blasts.
"One of the initiatives in KBC this year is the Doosra Mauka, which offers a second chance at rebuilding the lives of those who have lived through traumatic events and flashpoints but are often forgotten as yesterday's news," said Siddhartha Basu, the head of television company Big Synergy which produces the popular quiz show hosted by superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
While cynics argue that KBC is "sacrificing sensitivity at the altar of sensationalism" by trying to cash in on the misery of its invitees, the participants and the audiences don't seem to be complaining. "It was my long cherished dream to meet Mr Bachchan and winning the prize money was the icing on the cake," said Yusuf Mallu, a wheelchair-bound Rajasthani man who not only won over Rs 6 lakh but also got a standing ovation when the iconic host wiped his tears and offered him a glass of water.
Meanwhile, Basu insists that the show is about hope and not about victimhood or causes. "These faces, their lives, their dreams, hopes and disappointments have been, by and large ignored by the media. What you see in the show are eye-opening vignettes from their lives. And Bachchan is not only the playmaker of a life-transforming game, but is going to telling their stories in a positive way," he added.
According to Basu, the current season of KBC has a soft spot for contestants who are perceived to be "underdogs but with a spark or a story and a yen for the transformative powers of knowledge and awareness".

This Sunday, seek blessings for your pet special religious service at St Ignatius Church will mark birthday of Saint Francis D'Assisi

This Sunday, seek blessings for your pet

special religious service at St Ignatius Church will mark birthday of Saint Francis D'Assisi

Father Joseph D'Souza with his Pomeranian-Spitz, Wolfie, who has a congenital heart condition

On Sunday morning, St Ignatius Church at Jacob Circle will hold a special prayer service for pets, where people can bring their animals to be blessed.
The special religious service marks the birthday of St Francis D'Assisi, the patron saint of environment, who was also an animal lover. The feast celebrating the saint's birthday is on October 4, but St Ignatius Church has planned to hold the prayers two days earlier on a weekend.
The service, that will start at 10.15am, will include a prayer for the animals and blessings.
The ceremony is common in Western churches and a few churches in Goa too have it, but in Mumbai, St Ignatius Church is the only one to hold a special service for pets.
Father Joseph D'Souza, parish priest of the church started the practice of an annual mass for animals and birds 12 years ago when he was the parish priest of Our Lady of Dolours Church in Sonapur, Marine Lines. "The prayers are for all animals, asking god, the creator of the universe to protect his creatures who are man's faithful friends," said D'Souza, who has a Pomeranian-Spitz named Wolfie with a congenital heart condition.
At last year's ceremony, pet owners, including Hindus and Parsis, brought 23 animals, including a fish, to be blessed.
"As people spend more time with gadgets, they will be left with no time for their pets. Keeping a dog or a cat as a pet could go out of fashion. This is one day to show our love and appreciation for our pets," added D'Souza.

YOU CAN STOP RTO agent ATTACK Citizens prefer to pay touts for licences rather than wait in queues for the entire day


Citizens prefer to pay touts for licences rather than wait in queues for the entire day

A day after DNA reported about touts plaguing the Andheri Regional Transport Office (RTO), the menace continues unabated, but it the citizens who are encouraging it.
Though it only costs Rs30 for the entire procedure, people are ready to pay the agent Rs2,000 for a driving licence and Rs1,200 for a learner's licence to skip the long queues and form-filling exercise.
"I know it is wrong to approach agents, but how else will I get my learner's licence? I do not want to waste my entire day standing in queues and I cannot afford to take a day off from work. The agent got my work done within an hour," said Ritu Pathak, a resident of Andheri Lokhandwala.
Rakesh Bhat, a bank manager, said: "The Andheri RTO is disorganised. When I had come here for the first time to get a licence, I waited from 9am to 4pm for the officer in-charge to verify my documents. He started verifying documents only after 4pm and only after I paid him Rs300. Now, when I have to renew my licence, I directly approach an agent.''
Though agents were seen roaming freely on the Andheri RTO premises on Thursday, the officials refused to admit their presence. "We have taken special efforts to stop agents from operating at our RTO. There are very few agents here," claimed a senior official at the Andheri RTO, on condition of anonymity.
AN Bhalchandran, the Andheri RTO in-charge, was unavailable for comment.
One of the agents operating at the Andheri RTO revealed that he makes nearly Rs40,000 on a regular day. "We get 60 to 70 customers every day, mostly seeking learner's licence. I also run a motoring school and most of my clients are from there," said the agent, who did not want to be identified.

Wizard of Guj bowls with both arms Pradip Champavat, 23, is also renowned for his big hitting and keeping

Wizard of Guj bowls with both arms

Pradip Champavat, 23, is also renowned for his big hitting and keeping

Unlike other cricketers, Pradip Champavat, 23, never worries about his place in the team. He knows he will always be selected. His predicament is different. Champavat does not know whether he will be required to bowl with his left or right hand, asked to keep wickets or told to go in the middle and smash some sixes.
The cricketer who can bowl effectively with both hands can even change his arm during the course of an over. The ambidextrous cricketer is now raring to go during the upcoming Gordhandhas Cup, a premier local tournament.
"I use my right hand to do daily chores but bowl with the left hand. Initially I bowled quick but failed to pitch the ball correctly. That was when I decided to start bowling with my right hand," said Champavat, the son of a sub-inspector.
"Whenever a right-handed batsman is on strike, I bowl with my left hand and vice-versa," said Champavat. The MCom student started his career late — at the age of 17 — because of his poor financial condition. But the rare talent is making rapid strides with his performances.
"Once, our regular left-arm bowler did not come for a match. I was amazed to see Pradip bowl comfortably with both his hands," said Sumer Singh, coach at Triumph's M Power Cricket Academy at Sardar Patel Stadium, where the youngster trains. "He is a great asset to the team."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stressed honchos hit the gym to stay fit

Despite work pressure and hectic schedules, office-goers are hitting the gyms like never before. Regular exercise helps reduce the chances of heart disease by 35%.
"In the West, multinational companies have gymnasiums at workplaces. But, the idea is yet to pick up here. A few MNCs do encourage flexi timings, which ensure that employees key in certain hours at work and can then exercise or relax during their free time," said Dr Kaushal Chattrapati, interventional cardiologist.
Even the Mumbai police run gymnasiums to help its personnel reduce their stress level and stay in shape.
"Whenever I get time I go to the gym in my office. It has been helpful because with my hectic work schedule, it is very difficult to get time to workout at home," said Srijith Nair, an assistant manager with a leading multinational company.
"At least 95% of our clients are corporates," said Smita Godse, a senior personal trainer at Gold's Gym.
While more and more stressed-out Mumbaikars are hitting the gyms, doctors ask them to be cautious too.
There has been a rise in the number of cases where over-exercising has led to cardiac fatigue, especially among those between 20 and 25 years of age as they are more impulsive and impatient.
"The biggest problem is abuse of anabolic steroids. Around 90% of bodybuilders and youngsters want six pack abs and consume these steroids. They want to build muscles overnight. But, these steroids not only cause cancer and liver problems, but also hypertension, water retention, thickening of blood and subsequently heart attacks," said Dr Shahid Merchant, consulting cardiologist, Lilavati Hospital.
"People who have a family history of sudden cardiac deaths should not indulge in extreme exercise without consulting a doctor," Dr Merchant added.
Sedentary lifestyle, stress to blame

While the globe observes World Heart Day on Thursday, Mumbaikars do not seem to care about their hearts. Heart ailments are no longer restricted to the elderly.
City cardiologists have reported a rise in the number of youngsters, even teenagers, suffering from heart ailments. Doctors attribute this to sedentary lifestyles and stress.
On September 22, Bhiwandi resident Mohammed Sharif Ansari, 31, underwent an angioplasty at Nair hospital. "I used to smoke three packets of cigarettes every day for more than a decade," said Ansari, who has kicked the butt.
He used to suffer from chest pains but he ignored it as he thought he was too young to suffer from any heart problems. "But, last week, the pain was severe and I visited a cardiologist. I was shocked when the angiography revealed three blockages in my heart."
The number of people suffering from heart ailments has tripled in the last few years, especially among those below 40 years of age.
"I recently did an angioplasty on a 16-year-old boy. Lifestyles have changed and people are into unhealthy eating habits. I have patients who are 25 to 35 years old," said Dr Ajay Chaurasia, cardiology department head, Nair hospital.
"Earlier, hardly 2% of people below 40 years of age suffered from heart ailments. Now, the number has touched 40%. The youngest I have operated on was a 17-year-old," said Dr Ramakant Panda, one of India's leading cardiologists.
According to the Cardiological Society of India, more than two lakh Indians underwent angioplasty and around 1.5 lakh had bypass surgeries in 2010. Of these, 5% were in Mumbai, which accounts for a little over 1% of India's total population.
Cardiac surgeries have been increasing at a steady 20% each year, said Dr Dev Pahlajani, chief interventional cardiologist at Breach Candy Hospital. At this rate, the number of patients with heart ailments is expected to touch 60 lakh by 2025.
A recent survey conducted by Metropolis Healthcare found that women from Mumbai between 25 and 45 years of age have alarmingly high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are major risk factors heart diseases.
The survey screened 93,316 samples across four tests by enzymatic methods to evaluate the risk factors for coronary diseases in both men and women.
Of the 32,634 who tested positive — cholesterol and triglycerides were present in their blood stream — 17,379 were men and 15,255 women. Though the lipid levels in men was more than that in women, 5,172 women had higher cholesterol levels than 3,368 men.

'Chinese food worse than vada pav'

Next time you get lured by the aroma of hakka noodles and gorge on them in a roadside stall, exercise caution. The Chinese food cooked in a jiffy on stalls can make you sick. With around 600 IIT-B students felling sick after consuming Chinese food served in the hostel canteen, doctors' advice people to stay off it.
"Having Chinese food at roadside stalls is hazardous.They are great source of food poisoning. The preparation uses sauces which are harmful. Most of the content in the sauces are water. People should avoid having Chinese preparation outside," said Dr Pratit Samdhani, general physician of the Jaslok Hospital.
Experts say the Chinese food served in such stalls or canteens are more harmful than the vada pavs and ragda patis. "The Chinese junk food uses variety of sauces, which are of cold preparation. In comparison, vada pav or ragda patis are served hot. This makes them relatively less hazardous than Chinese foods served on roadside," said Rajol Patel, Public Health Committee chairman.
The health committee had earlier too discussed the perils of such food served on road stalls. "We found that Chinese bhel is also causes food poisoning. People give in to momentary taste and later run the risk of a huge health hazard like food poisoning or hepatitis," said Dr Anil Bandivedekar, executive health officer.
Different type of salts and chemicals like monosodium glutamate, commonly known agino-moto, are used as taste enhancer in its preparation. "In the preparation, the shop vendors don't exercise caution and use material which have gone stale and salts which have exceeded expiry dates," Patel added.
Meanwhile, the civic administration will keep a vigil on roadside food vendor. "We will renew our whip on 'khau gallis' where hawkers sell and cook food under unhygienic conditions. Illegal hawkers selling food will be removed," said a license department official.

Shri MahaLaxmi Aarti

The various puranas of ancient India, have listed 108 sites where shakti (the goddess of power) is manifested. Amongst these, the Karveer area (the area where the present town of Kolhapur is located), is of special significance.

The Shri Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur is one of the Shakti peetha located in Maharashtra. The various puranas of ancient India, have listed 108 shaktipeethas where Shakti (the goddess of power) is manifested.
Amongst these. Shri Mahalakshmi of the Karveer area (the area where the present town of Kolhapur is located), is of special significance.
Mahalakshmi Temple Kolhapur is one of the six sites of the Shakti, where one can get both fulfillment of desires as well as salvation from them. It is therefore considered of even greater significance than Uttar Kashi, the place where one prays for salvation to Shri Mahalakshmi the consort of Shri Vishnu.
It is said that both Shri Lakshmi and Shri Vishnu reside in the Karveer area eternally and shall not leave even at the time of Mahaprayakala. This region is therefore also referred to as a avimuktakshetra.
Karveer region is eternally blessed and is believed to be held by Mother Jagdambe in her right hand, and so this region is protected from all destruction.
Lord Vishnu himself adores this region more than Vaikiuntha or the Kshirsagar since it is the home of his consort Lakshmi. The greatness of this region has therefore attracted many sages and devotees, the blessings and affections showered by this region on its devotees are immeasurable.
It is believed that Prabhu Shri Dattatreya still comes here every noon to seek alms.

The statue of the Goddess Mahalakshmi is made of gemstone and is considered to be at least 5000 to 6000 years old. It weighs about 40 kilos. The precious stones that adorn the deity indicate the antiquity of the idol.
The platform of the Goddess Mahalakshmi is made of stone. The statue of the Goddess has four arms. In the lower right hand she holds the matulinga, (a fruit similar to and ordinary lemon but much larger in size). In the upper right hand she holds large mace, kaumodaks, its head touching the ground. In the upper left hand she holds the shield or khetaka, and while in the the lower one she holds a bowl, panpatra.
On the crown of the Goddess Mahalakshmi are a cobra-hood and a Shiva-ling with a Yoni around it. Standing behind is the Goddess' vahana-a lion.
Almost all the idols of the God face the north or the east directions, whereas here the Idol faces the west.
The small window on the western wall which is open. Once a year, the rays of the Sun during sunset falls on the face of the image through this window. This period lasts for three days, each time, the 21st, of the months of March and September. This period is considered extremely auspicious, the Devotees throng the temple on all the three evenings the temple for a glimpse of the beautiful image bathing in the golden rays of the setting sun.
Shri MahaLaxmi Aarti

Mahalaxmi aarti in Marathi
Mahalaxmi Aarti in Marathi

Shri Santoshi Mata Aarti

 Shri Santoshi Mata Aarti

Maa Santoshi is an emblem of love, contentment, forgiveness, happiness and hope. It is so believed that fasting and praying for her for 16 consecutive Fridays brings peace and prosperity in ones family.

Santoshi Maa inspires an individual to cherish family values and to come out of the crisis with one's determination. Santoshi Maa is also considered to be an incarnation of Mother Durga and is widely worshipped through out India and by Indians residing outside India.
Santoshi Ma Aarti in Marathi

Devichi Aarti

Durge durghat bhari tujvin sansari II
Anathnathe ambe karuna vistari II
Vari vari janam marante vari II
Hari padalo ata sankat nivari II 1 II
Jaya devi jaya devi mahisha surmathini II
Survar ishwar varde tarak sanjivani II Dhr. II
Tujaveen bhuvani pahata tuj aise nahi II
Chari shramale parantu n bolve kahi II
Sahi vivad karita padile pravahi II
Te tu bhaktalagi pavasi lavlahi II 2 II
Prasanna vadane prasanna hosi nijdasa II
Kleshapasuni sodivi todi bhavpasha II
Ambe tujvachun kon purvil asha II
Narhari tallin jhala padpankajlesha II 3 II