Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Queen and I

In memory of my Principal, Mrs. Edna Revis

April 2, 1931 – November 11, 2011

I remember how I felt the first day I went to school. I was scared, nervous and excited. Though I don’t recall what I actually did the first day, I do remember what I got for lunch, Tomato sandwiches in a brown paper bag.

The school kids were whispering about the new Principal, Mrs. Edna Revis and I remember feeling extra special because she and I had joined Girls High School (G.H.S) at the same time.

In the beginning I saw her only during assembly where she’d confidently stride in and in her soft but clear voice would say ‘Good Morning Everybody’ and the entire school would chorus back ‘Good Morning Mrs. Revis’.

My favorite part was the end of each assembly, when she’d bless the school saying ‘May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the Fellowship of The Holy Spirit be with us now and forever more. Amen’.

The first time we actually interacted was when I was in grade II. During the dress rehearsal of the concert, I was back stage, and I kept sticking my head out through the stage curtains, oblivious to the fact that I could be seen by everybody in the audience.

Suddenly she appeared out of nowhere and said ‘Everybody can see you. From now on no peeking or else I will tie you up.’ She sounded stern but the twinkle in her eyes said otherwise.

A couple of days later, on the evening of the concert, she came to our dressing room where I was sitting down, fully dressed in my costume, wearing a crown. The minute I saw her, I looked away, avoiding eye contact. But she walked straight up to me, smiled broadly and exclaimed ‘How lovely you look! What a beautiful crown! Wow!’.

Hearing that, all of my silly anger melted and I fell head-over-heels in love with her. It was very sweet of her, to bother to go out of her way and make up with a disgruntled 7-year old.

She actually cared about kids, otherwise, which Principal would make an effort to make up with a silly seven year old. But she did and made me feel so special that my heart swelled up with pride and joy.

I was in G.H.S for eleven years and had a great time. Mrs. Revis was very strict about the curriculum but made sure there were plenty of co-curricular activities throughout the year. We had Elocution, Debates, Concerts, Fetes, Sports Day etc, all of which were very well planned and executed under her leadership. And boy, did we have a blast.

All the costumes for the concerts and sports were procured or stitched by the school or the teachers. The parents were never burdened. All they had to do was turn up.

She was very particular about the teachers she hired and we were taught by some of the best teachers in the entire city.

Mrs. Revis was classy, soft spoken, elegant but with a fist of iron. She ran the school perfectly. Even when she ticked off anybody she did it with class and restraint. We never ever saw her lose her temper or scream.

She’d hold warm farewell ceremonies for the teachers who’d retire and would give the entire day off to the students to present a mini concert of sorts with skits, dances and presents to honor those teachers.

Our School had a hostel, where Mrs. Revis made sure she’d hire the very best warden, nurse and cooks. The dormitories were always neat and the sick bay was like a peaceful sanctuary.

I don’t know if all the students know, but Mrs. Revis was a great foodie and knew her Pulao from her Biryani. So it was no surprise that the food served to the hostel residents was both nutritious and delicious.

I have eaten in many hostels in Mumbai and the Best Hostel Food Award in my mind went to two hostels. One was the G.H.S Hostel run by Mrs. Revis and the other one was in Mumbai, the Wilson College Hostel called The Mackichan Hall.

In all of the 11 years I spent in G.H.S, under her watch, not one student got seriously hurt. Her surprise rounds kept every student and even the teachers on their toes. Under her guidance G.H.S became one of the best schools in the State.

A very strong person, Mrs. Revis never hesitated to make a single decision no matter how hard it was. Calm, kind, polite and with nerves of steel she could handle any kind of trouble without even batting an eyelid.

Our curriculum was one of the best and under our Principal we learned a lot and got to explore our talents, strengths and weaknesses.

One of my strongest memories of her was when I was late for my I.S.C.E exams by half an hour. When I reached the school, Mrs. Revis was standing outside the school gates, alone, waiting for me, worried that I would miss my exam. I was so touched, I almost cried.

I live in Mumbai now and every time I impress somebody, they usually ask where I did my schooling from and are shocked to hear that I went to a school called G.H.S in Allahabad and not some fancy prep school abroad. That’s when I thank God for my beloved Principal, Mrs. Edna Revis under whose guidance I was put through fire, moulded, polished and pushed to reach my potential.

I remember the time when our school had its 125th Anniversary and Mrs. Revis pulled out all the stops. It was celebrated with a bang for about a week with shows, dances, musical nights, an enormous cake cutting ceremony and the entire school sitting down to lunch together. It was the happiest week of my life.

This year when the school had its 150th Anniversary, just like other alumni, I was also asked to write my thoughts about G.H.S.

I couldn’t pen down a word because for me, G.H.S was synonymous with Mrs. Revis. She was the real spirit of the school. And since she was no longer the Principal, for me there was no G.H.S.

To those reading this, please don’t be a moron like me. Pick up that phone, call up the people you love, the ones who made a great difference in your life and tell them how much you care, instead of talking about it, like me, when it is too late.

Today I would do anything to put my arms around Mrs. Edna Revis, hug her till she is out of breath and tell her what I never had the guts to say earlier.

I’d say ‘Mrs. Revis, thank you for helping me become the person I am. I have never respected anyone as much as I have looked up to you and respected you. You are like royalty to me, the Queen of my heart. I love you very much and will love you till my very last breath.’

Her sudden departure has left me with a hole in my soul. I will never be the same again and neither will G.H.S.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dark Diwali For Kandivli (Mumbai) Family

On September 21, 2011, Sumit Dilip Wankhede, 22 and Avinash Jadhav 22, were returning at 5 am after working at a construction company in Mira Road.

Because it was raining the bike skidded and hit a stationery truck parked in front of Alica Nagar, opposite Whispering Palms Xxclusives.

Their family and friends took them to Sanchaiti Hospital, Akurli Road, who started treatment but at 7.00 am said it was important to shift both to a bigger hospital and referred them to Criticare Hospital, which is in Juhu.

At Criticare, Avinash (the pillion rider) was operated on right away, but Sumit who had a Cerebral Hematoma (blood clot in the brain), was operated upon at 7.00 in the evening. He regained consciousness in three days and passed out again on September 26.

By the time he turned 22 on the 10th of October, he was conscious and lucid, but unable to talk because of a broken jaw. The surgery of the jaw had been put off because of a lung infection.

On the 12th of October, Criticare Hospital said that he was out of danger and it would be better to move him to a place closer to home, with good facilities, like the newly opened DNA Hospital at Lokhandwala Township.

Now Sumit & his elder brother, Pratik (24) made a living for their family, by washing cars. So when the hospital bill (along with medicines) at Criticare came to a whopping Rs. 9 Lakhs, the family's entire life savings was woefully inadequate and they had to borrow a huge amount of money to pay the bills.

At DNA, Sumit starting improving and began to communicate through eye movements and gestures. He was very fond of Cricket and on the 23rd of October, when Sumit's friends took him around the hospital in a wheel chair, he conveyed his desire to watch the India Vs England match and watched it for around 10-15 minutes.

That night he stayed up till 3.30 am with his brother and another patient in the ICU who was due to be discharged the next morning. At around 3.30am Sumit drifted to sleep and his elder brother, Pratik, went to the next room to lie down. At 5.30 am, the hospital staff woke up Pratik saying that Sumit was not doing very well and needed to be put on a ventilator.

Sumit passed away around mid-day on Dhanteras (Oct 24, 2011).

His elder brother Pratik, 24, collapsed when he heard the news and his mother fainted. The youngest son of the family Atul, 15 yrs, started hyperventilating and had to be given medical aid.

An autopsy was done on Sumit at 4 p.m. and his body was consigned to flames at 10 p.m. on Dhanteras.

The shocked and broke family were unable to pay the DNA Hospital bill, which was more than Rs. 1 Lakh. The hospital was kind enough to release Sumit’s body without asking the family to settle the bill immediately.

The Wankhede family, while still reeling from their young son’s death is in debt to the tune of around Rs. 8 Lakh.

Neighbourhood Times will be donating 5% of advertising revenue generated from our Children’s Day special issue dated November 10, 2011 to The Wankhede Family.

We, at Neighbourhood Times, urge each reader to look deep within our hearts for compassion and contribute generously in raising funds the late Sumit Wankhede’s Family.

We cannot bring their son back, but as a community we can help them to get rid of their huge debt. Names & Pictures of donors who contribute Rs. 5,000/- and above will be published in Neighbourhood Times.

Electronic Money transfers can be done directly to:

Mr. Pratik Dilip Wankhede,
A/C No: 65083742045
IFSC : STBP0001014
Bank : State Bank of Patiala
Branch : Lokhandwala Kandivli East, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 400101.

Sumit’s elder brother Pratik can be contacted on +91-9664903378 / +91-8108921267

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The 100 day diet

by Amrita Simon

Christmas is approaching, and you are having to hold your breath to wriggle into your jeans!!!

To those who really want to lose weight.....

Welcome to the Simon Fitness Boot Camp!!!

Here's a sure shot, fool proof, way to lose the flab and look wow this Christmas and for the New Year's Celebrations,unless you are Diabetic, have Thyroid problems or are on Anti-depressants.


To the Diabetics,I'd say, run this diet by your GP. For the rest, if you are more than 5 kilos overweight, get your Thyroid levels checked before starting this diet.For those on Anti-depressants.....your weight loss will be a little slower, so follow this diet strictly after consulting with your Shrink.

Make a food journal and weigh your self and write it down before starting.Do not weigh yourself for the next 15 days.

Shun the Sugar

Sugar is very high in empty calories and even a little consumption leads you to crave sweets. The very first step should be to stop sugar completely. Even half a teaspoon is bad.

If you are craving for something sweet, eat a couple of dried dates,apricots or a tablespoon of raisins. But not right after a meal.

Drink a glass of water 15 minutes before you eat.Do not drink water with your meal.Wait for at least an hour.

Stop the Milk

Milk is big no-no.It is high in cholesterol and has no fiber. Since it is difficult to digest, using milk in your diet will burden your digestive system and slow down weight loss.

Switch to soy milk if you really like to drink milk. I did and it was delicious and satisfying.

Learn to take your tea or coffee without milk.

Can the Colas

Steer clear of fizzy drinks,sodas and colas,even the 'natural' fruit drinks and juices. Aside from being very high in sugar, they are very acidic( including the diet colas) and will ruin your PH balance.

As a rule don't drink anything that comes in a bottle, pack or can. If you want to drink something sweet, try freshly squeezed juice and smoothies.

Ditch those Drinks

Alcohol is very high in calories, increases appetite and ruins digestion.

So, go easy on those cocktails.

Ideally you should have none,but if you really have to,then it is important, that you restrict your self to a maximum of two drinks a week.

Munch more Fruit

Bursting with all the goodness nature has to offer, fruits are the most perfect food designed for our bodies. Full of anti-oxidants and vitamins, fruits are perfect for getting healthy and fit.

Just make sure to eat fruit that is in season and do not eat it if it has been altered in any way by cooking or canning.

The best way to eat fruit is on an empty stomach. So start your day with fruit.

Eat NOTHING but fruit for breakfast.

Go Green

Meat and eggs are very difficult to digest and place a great strain on our digestive system.

Since they are very acidic, high in fat and low in fiber, they are important to avoid if you want to lose weight fast.

Stop consumption of Meat and Eggs and turn Vegetarian.

Replace Non Vegetarian food with,Soy chunks,Tofu,Lentils,Legumes and Vegetables.

Do not over cook and kill the nutrients in your Veggies.Use a non-stick wok,add a teaspoon of oil,when it heats,add the Veggies and stir fry for a minute or two.

Snack on salads

The one important food capable of flushing toxins from your body, cleansing your system leading to weight loss is Raw sprouts (blanch them first) and Salads.

Make them an important part of your meal and your snacks. Add Peanuts or raw Sesame seeds to your Sprouts to give it that nutty taste.

Cut the Carbs

Stop eating simple Carbohydrates like Maida, Bread,Pasta, Rice, Potatoes and even Wheat Rotis.

Switch to Millet (Jawar,Bajara) Rotis.

Eat no more than 2 Rotis a meal.

Jog, Skip and Run

These three cardiovascular exercises are perfect for losing weight fast.

No matter how well you eat, you will not achieve optimum weight loss until you add at least 20 minutes of aerobic activity to your regimen.

Begin by brisk walking and graduate to jogging when you have better stamina..

So there you have it.....the 100 day Slimming Guide.

Go on give it a shot..You have nothing to lose but your weight..

(For those who achieve success,cheques are fine ;0) but cash is better)

Monday, August 29, 2011

SHE DON-Hindi Movie 'Shabri' Review
by Amrita Simon

'Shabri' is the story of a slum-dweller girl,working hard at an Atta-chakki for her family that is almost as poor as church mice.

An alcoholic father,a mother working herself almost to the bone making pickles and a young brother who loiters around mixing with the wrong kind of people, adds to the burden of the already heavy laden,weary and frustrated Shabri..

The ashen tinted film symbolizes the lack of any hope or color in Shabri's life. Her concern for her brother 'Bandhya'(Vijay) is expressed only through tight slaps and scraps over a pair of rubber slippers.

'Murad' (played by newcomer Raj Arjun) is a Mathka player with a heart.

From the very beginning, he is shown as a savior of sorts.His expressive eyes say it all.... his compassion and kindness.

Acutely aware of and almost hating what he does for a living, Murad is seen constantly discouraging Shabri's brother to have anything to do with anything illegal.

The only dramatic entry in the film is that of the Villain (Pradeep Rawat). He seems even more sinister than what he was in Ghajini, literally making the back of the hair on your head stand up.

Bandhya gets picked up by the police for a crime he is innocent of. Murad frantically tries to get him out but fails.

Shabri turns up at the Police station to set her brother free. While she waits outside the Cop-in-charge is shown slurping his meal in a disgusting way. The way he tears into the meat he is eating and sucks at the bones depicts what some corrupt and cruel cops are capable of doing.

As he leers and touches Shabri, her terrified young brother, his beating wounds visible, his voice quivering with terror, musters enough courage to tell the cop to lay off his sister or else.....

Later Bandhya is shown in a dark cell with a lone bulb swinging mid-air,with cops all around him and one of them undressing.

What you see later is not for the faint-hearted.

The Director, Lalit Marathe shows Bandya's torture and brutalization, in a way that has never, ever been seen on any Hindi Movie screen before.

Murad breaks the news to Shabri in silent scene that nevertheless conveys his own pain.

When Shabri sees her brother's young broken body, his torn chappals (the very pair she'd fight with him about) laying alongside, a representation of sorts, of the perverted, animal like cruelty he had to go through, something inside her snaps and she takes the law into her own hands.

Murad stands by her like a rock. The rest of the movie is about how because of their actions Murad and Shabri are on the run and literally have to 'hit the mattresses' with both the police and the Villain 'Rajdhar Bhau' hot in their pursuit.

In a juicy, author backed role, Isha Koppikar,(Shabri) gives the best performance of her career with her slum-dweller look (dark pancake,crumpled saree, et al) and gait down to a pat.

Almost always serious in every frame, one gets to see Shabri give a slight glimmer of a smile when she catches Murad looking at her as she dries her freshly washed hair.

Newcomer Raj Arjun (Murad) is the surprise package of the film .

Considering,this was his first film, he has given a beautifully restrained performance, expressing himself softly with words or sometimes with his eyes only. Any other actor in his place would have hammed or may have been tempted to but Raj gives a stellar performance in a role that should have been longer.

Zakir Hussain is good as the stony faced cop with a wry sense of humor.

As the main Villain, Pradeep Rawaat has out done himself. He is just too good. Unlike other Directors who show the Villain as just a very bad guy, Lalit Marathe has carved out many facets in his Villain that shows his cruelty, his pain and finally his stunned grief.

In fact the Villain is the best etched character of the film.

As a first time Director, Lalit Marathe has done a good job, paid attention to detail, made a good film on a novel concept and is worth watching out for.

Even though, in my opinion, the film could have done without the ashen hues and expanded the romantic angle between Murad and Shabri a little more, it is unquestionably a must watch for all those gangster film aficionados out there.

Monday, August 15, 2011


No country
for old men !!

It's the Indian Independence day. Sitting on the road,with cars and rickshaws whizzing past him,dangerously, is a white haired, old, emaciated man, his frail arm stuck out, begging for money, food....any thing.

A well dressed man holding the Indian flag passes him by without throwing so much as a glance at him.

Others, mostly the blue collared workers, throw in a few coins in his battered steel cup but not one car stops...not even a single one, to give alms to this frail man obviously unable to work, not even on the day our country celebrates Independence.

As our reporter starts talking to him with our photographer clicking pictures......a small crowd gathers...curious, eager to give bytes and quotes but no help.

His name is Randa Pawar (A Marathi Manoos!) aged 90 and suffering from Throat and Mouth Cancer and Blurry vision.

His wife, Sakuna Bai,60, and he live in a 10 by 10 feet room. His elder son Samarao Pawar,22 lives with them while his younger son, Nagesh Pawar,20,who suffers from some mysterious ailment, one fine day, left home, never to return.

“My wife has cancer too.......thankfully we were both was operated on, at The Tata Memorial Hospital around the same time 12 years back. The operation was free and I am grateful to them,but we had to buy our own medicines. My wife is okay now but I am still sick”said Pawar

With no support from the sons, and left to fend for themselves.....Pawar's wife stays at home while he spends the day begging, trying to collect enough money to buy food and medicines including injections.

The medicines he needs are expensive costing Rs 100 per tablet. Since climbing stairs is a very big problem for him, how he manages to get on the train for the hospital,is anybody's guess!!!

Where does he stay? “In the same place I have been staying from 1947, Damu Nagar,Mahindra gate number 2”

Our reporter, Meeta Nair asked him a few questions....Did he know what day it was?

“Monday” he replied.

I'ts Independence Day, the day India gained Independence !!!.

The poor man is mumbles... “I didn’t know”. Well how old is he? “90” he said.

So he must have been around that time in 1947? “Yes I was.” Does he remember anything? “Not much” he says.

What does Independence day mean to him? “Nothing” he says

“What CAN it mean to me??.....look at my state, the Government gives me no assistance....I am so weak, some times I don't have the strength to go out and beg. Plus the Policemen beat me up when they catch me begging.” “NO!!”he says, dismissively, “ Aaazadi Divas means nothing to me"

Our reporter, Meeta asks him.Would he mind posing for the camera......holding the Indian flag?

Despite all his earlier complaints, Pawar not only agrees but insists on standing give respect to the Tiranga.

Our Photographer,Naresh Das, and Reporter, Meeta Nair, watch silently as he struggles to his feet, his legs quivering as he faces the lens.

His speech becomes labored........“It hurts when I talk” he says indicating a spot on his neck. “The suffering is too much. There is no point in living any more” he trails off....

Does he need any immediate help besides money and food?

“Steps.”...he says stumping our reporter completely, “I need help with climbing steps”.

It's a cool,cloudy day, “How does Hot Daal-Rice sound? Would he like some?”

“Yes” he nods eagerly and waits patiently. He accepts the money and the steaming plate of Dal-Rice and the money that I send across and promptly digs in hungrily, asking if he can come the next day, for some more food.

Watching him wolf down the meal, I wipe away a tear as I think of all those Independence Day, self patting speeches, given all across India, by our supposedly well meaning Politicians, put there, by the Smart Indian Junta.... but somewhere, in the course of “The Great Indian Development,” millions of people like Pawar (both Marathi and Non-Marathi) have some how slipped through the huge cracks in the system and fallen into a pit of hell.

May God help them!! I don't think any one else will !!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


by Amrita Simon

Cow's milk has Calcium, the way nature intended it.....FOR CALVES” said Harvey Diamond in his ground breaking book on Health and Nutrition- Fit for Life.

For this voracious critic of milk, there is a grand purpose of mother nature and there is a reason why all mammals have milk available at the birth of their young.

Each species milk is uniquely beneficial for that specific species.

His logic makes sense,think about it.... how many of us have seen a calf drink a buffalo's milk or a puppy drink a cat's milk?

Animals do not drink the milk of another species.

The only species which does that, is the Human species.

Once weaned, animals stop having milk. At this point Mr Diamond, specifies that pets and animals in the Zoo are an exception because they have no option but to consume what we offer them.

"Cow milk is designed to create a huge big boned animal with four stomachs and there is no way humans meet those criteria....

Eating Dairy products is eating a product designed to make you very big, like a cow, very fast. Cow milk is for baby is idiocy to insist we continue to drink it after infancy right into our eighties (if we can get that far). Are we actually to believe that when our mothers finish, the cows should take over?" he argues.

According to Mr Diamond's second book Fit for Life II - Living Health, Dairy products cause a plethora of diseases and should be consumed only if one wants to be ill.

He says- “Dietitians and Nutritionists who say otherwise either don't know enough or are simply mouthpieces for the Dairy Industry. Diseases like Obesity, Asthma, Bronchitis, Sinusitis, frequent Colds,Runny noses, and Ear infections are all primarily caused by Dairy products.”

He further explains “Milk causes more mucous than any other food, thick dense mucous that clogs and irritates the body's entire respiratory system”

He is definitely on to something there because some studies do claim that Cheese is linked to Migraines.

The truth is that people consume Dairy products in the misguided notion that it is healthy, an important food group and they get their Calcium from it.

In reality nothing could be further from the truth. Milk has two elements that need to be broken down by enzymes in the body. They are Lactose and Casein.

Lactose needs the enzyme Lactase and Casein needs Renin which is absent in the human body by the age three or four, which is why milk gets so indigestible by the time we pass that age,and we hear so much about some people being lactose intolerant.

Mr Diamond spells it out “Over 98% of the population is lactose intolerant”

He is not alone.

According to the late N.W Walker, (who authored and researched Nutrition and Healthy living and who lived to a ripe age of 109 years himself) the Casein in milk was directly linked to Goiter growth and other Thyroid gland diseases.

Christina Pirello, a Natural foods expert has this to say: “Milk clogs arteries, contributing to Heart disease. The Estrogen and other hormones being fed to cows has been linked to Breast and Prostrate Cancer as well as the onset of Early Puberty.

Another condition that Dairy products worsen are, Stomach Ulcers. For years people have been asked to drink cold milk for Ulcers and Acidity which is odd because all Dairy products (other than Butter and Ghee,they are simply fats) are very acid forming and the very LAST thing an Ulcer patient should have.

According to authors Oski and Bell in their book titled 'Don't drink your milk', Dairy products are linked to Anemia in children, Allergies, Stomach Cramps, Diarrhea and Multiple Sclerosis.

In fact Dr Oski, former Physician-in-Chief of the Johns Hopkins Children Center, actually got the American Academy of Pediatrics to admit that 'Maybe children should be discouraged from milk drinking'.

In a significant 30 year study by the late Dr. Roy Swank at the University of Oregon, a low milk and animal fat diet in Multiple Sclerosis patients arrested the progress of the disease almost miraculously.

In another study in Hawaii, Researchers found a direct link between milk drinking and Parkinson’s disease in, Middle aged men.

People from the Nutrition Industry insist that milk consumption is important to avoid Osteoporosis, when the truth is exactly opposite. Milk and other Animal products are a major cause of Osteoporosis.

According to Dr John McDougall M.D and author of the bestselling book 'The McDougall Program', milk is very acidic and Osteoporosis does not result from too little Calcium, but rather primarily from too much milk and other animal food derived acids that rob the body of Calcium and weaken the bones.

In his words, “There is plenty of Calcium in all plant foods to meet the needs of children and adults.”

He is absolutely right about that..... The most Calcium rich foods are Spinach, Sesame seeds, Almonds, Broccoli, Cabbage and other Leafy vegetables. What's more, all Fresh Fruits, Beans and Grains have Calcium too.

Lactating mothers are urged to drink lots of milk to produce more milk themselves.

Which does not make sense.

Where does the cow get it's Calcium from??.

Not from glasses of milk for's from grass and leaves .

Vegetarian diet is supposed to be healthy. Yet... people from Vegetarian communities in our country suffer from Diabetes, Heart trouble, Arthritis, Obesity and Kidney problems.

And why's that? The answer lies in their excessive consumption of Dairy products.

Unbelievable? Makes sense though, doesn't it?

Don't take my word for it...Read up, check the internet, talk to a Good Physician who has bothered to keep abreast of the researches conducted in this field.

At the very least he will say it is not harmful to cut down on a product that is so high in Cholesterol and so low in Fiber !!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

That Radiant Glow

Amrita Simon

OK ladies, you may not be able to change your skin type but that youthful radiance is not out of your reach if you do treat your face right. So how do you get that bright sheen that gleams on faces staring back at you from glossy magazines??

Dr Nina Madnani, one of the best Dermatologists in Mumbai busts a lot of skin myths and tells you super skin secrets, that no one else will.

So how does one get their skin to look bright and beautiful? What can we slap on? or eat?

Dr Nina says,“Glowing skin is a combination of a healthy lifestyle and having a skin which is smooth with no pigmentation anomalies. A diet rich in nutrients, especially iron, vitamins and proteins is a must. Fruit and vegetable juices are good though overweight people should avoid fruit juices because they can be high in sugar.”

On the topic of our nutty obsession with getting fairer, she has this to say-

“Many ad agencies have driven the public into a frenzy by their visuals, promising a rapid reduction of skin color resulting in a more 'Beautiful' face which is misleading.

Your skin color is determined by your genes and the extent of exposure to ultraviolet rays. Fairness creams temporarily reduce the skin shade by a fraction but the moment you stop application, your skin will revert to your original color.”

To all those young boys and girls who think smoking is cool, listen up......

Dr Nina specifies that a smoker's skin is 12.5 years older than that of a non-smoker. Get it?? Time to stub that cigarette butt out!!

About wrinkles, she says that anti-wrinkle and skin plumping creams work 'very minimally' and there are two types of lines that appear on our faces –

One are the expression lines caused by facial movements (crows feet, laugh lines, frown lines etc).

The other are very fine lines that are caused by sun damage. Sunscreens containing Anti-oxidant vitamins and Retinoids are mildly helpful in reducing the fine lines.

She recommends the use of sunscreen every day with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 for normal use and 50 for prolonged sun exposure.

For dry skin, her mantra is to 'Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!' and says that creams with Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), are useful in rejuvenation of the skin.

Is exfoliation of the face good for removing dead cells ?

Here comes the warning- “Exfoliation does remove the superficial cells but face scrubs with large particles can cause redness and irritation in sensitive skins.”

Women go in for regular facials and some are being advised Chemical peels by beauticians.

What are her thoughts?

“Chemical peels do help in rejuvenation of the face and making skin smoother and more uniform in appearance"she says

"Various peels exist for various reasons but complications can occur if they are performed for the wrong reasons and by unqualified personnel " she warns.

Well, what about facials? Just how important are they in the 'beauty regimen'?

"Facials give that 'feel good' factor and are useful only for those with dry skin” she points out.

Another hurdle in the path to good looking skin is, facial hair. It is a source of annoyance to most women and foxes the best of us on how to deal with bleach or pluck, to wax or thread, to shave or zap it to death with lasers.....

Dr Madnani clarifies, “Laser hair removal is recommended for permanent hair reduction and cannot achieve permanent hair removal.”

(Wow,we certainly weren't aware of that!)

Well, most women use bleaching,threading or even waxing for unwanted facial hair. How safe are these methods?

According to the Doctor, bleaching has no side effects on the skin, if done properly. Threading is OK and contrary to popular thinking, does not cause the skin to darken. And though waxing the face may cause Follicutlitis in some people, here comes the real shocker.....

Shaving your face does NOT make you sprout hair like a man.

So here it is, girls....

The secrets behind that radiant skin that's been eluding you for so long.

Happy Glowin!