Friday, April 29, 2011

Nothing Doing Chlorine!

For us humans, water is the elixir of life. But a glass of tap water can have up to 2000 contaminants. For more than a century we have used CHLORINE, an element of the Halogen family of the Periodic table, as an affordable solution to make tap water fit for drinking.

It all started in 1904 in New Jersey, America. Chlorine was effectively able to decrease water borne diseases like Typhoid, cholera and Dysentery by killing bacteria. This discovery was quickly adapted and the news spread like wild fire across the world including India. Hence Chlorine became the standard disinfection procedure for treatment of Municipal Drinking Water.

Besides drinking water, chlorine is also used to sanitize swimming pools.

Swimming in Chlorinated water is dangerous as Chlorine is absorbed through skin.

The reality is that while helping to fight viruses, bacteria and other organisms, it is a toxic chemical.

In India, water for consumption is disinfected by adding Bleaching Powder, which is Calcium Hypo chloride. This chemical reacts with water liberating free chlorine which acts as a disinfectant. Another chemical used is TCCA, Tirchloroisocyanuric acid which works the same way. While the chlorine liberated disinfects the water for human consumption, the residual and highly reactive element combines with natural organic compounds present in water to form toxins called Trihalomethanes, THMs. These THMs make way into our bodies, and research has shown that they are notorious for MUTAGENIC and CARCINOGENIC properties even in trace amounts like 5-10 ppb (parts per billion). Chlorine content in the body can also cause asthma.

Studies have revealed that serious birth defects like spina bifida or neural tube defects are associated with THMs present in drinking water.

Studies further indicate that pregnant women have higher chances of miscarriage if they drink chlorinated water.

EPA allows up to 4 ppm of chlorine in Municipal tap water.

But the reality is that no strict measures are taken at the Municipal water works where quite often, unchecked quantities of bleaching powder is added into water tanks. We have all seen at some point, a milky white tap water , high in Chlorine with a ghastly taste. This has resulted in the business of Water Purifiers . Every middle class home has a RO system installed to safe guard the interest of their family.

We have top players in the Water Purifier market like the Hema Malini promoted KENT brand, the pioneer Aquaguard from Eureka Forbes and PUREit amongst many others.

All of these claim to be high tech and highly efficient and deliver safe drinking water. The Kent purifier claims that it uses no chemical like Chlorine , Bromine or Iodene. The Aquaguard specifically lists its water purified content to have a max chlorine content of 0.5 ppm and the Pureit claims that it also removes chlorine besides other harmful impurities..

While the urban population can afford high tech Water Purifiers the rural and underprivileged cannot afford and are drinking water high on chlorine which is hazardous to health. So perhaps it is time to look for alternatives for disinfecting water.

Two procedures which are becoming popular in the West are


UV Irradiation

So, let us all join the crusade against the ill effects of chlorine consumption. Here's to safe consumption of water for every citizen! Its time for all of us to say 'Nothing Doing Chlorine'.

[This post is an entry for the contest ' Crusade Against Chlorine', to create awarene, by Bejon Misra, Consumer activist and founder of Healthy You Foundation. If this post has been an eye opener, then you the reader can also join and spread the message and compel govt to impose strict rules for use of Chlorine.]

Come, share your thoughts, add your inputs by commenting. Visit to know more, participate and vote for me if you liked this post!.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

With You, Anna Hazare

I never planned to experience the Anna Hazare movement, though i am full of reverence and admiration for this great Indian and his commendable efforts to Pass the Anti Corruption Bill.

A friend sent me an invite on Facebook which set me thinking on those lines. But when my younger daughter asked me to accompany her to Greater Kailash to buy clothes for her impending Graduation Farewell party, the deal was clinched. Go to Delhi and not go to Jantar Mantar? Impossible!

So we went to Greater Kailash . Post shopping and lunch we headed for Jantar Mantar. It was already 2 p.m. and the sun was shining brightly overhead. It was a decidedly hot April afternoon. But the crowd gathered paid no heed to the soaring mercury. Everyone present there had come to witness, experience and above all express Solidarity with the great Anna.

While i didint mange to get a glimpse of the leader, i tried to catch the mood and spirit of the movement. Take a look

The starting point.....

As i was leaving, i came across this man who had come with his daughter. They were both sporting yellow badges.

Putting pressure on the PM :

" You came to express solidarity with Anna?" i asked.

"Definitely. Yes definitely. I am a teacher and i am spreading awareness. Enough is enough", He replied.

So Annaji, the whole of NCR is with you in flesh, and the entire nation is with you in spirits. Here is praying that the Bill is approved and you can end you fast and take a nourishing meal. Take care of your health, as India needs you for many more issues. Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Navratri : Vrat ke Chawal

Ingredients : 

1 katori vrat ke chawal

3 and half katori water

Half tsp Jeera

1 Tbsp refined oil

pinch of turmeric powder

Method : 

Soak chawal for half an hour 

Add refined oil in a pan and allow to get hot

Add jeera and allow to sputter

Now add  water and then rice.

Add turmeric  powder 

Bring the rice to boil.

Reduce the flame and  cover with lid.

Heat till water is completely soaked and the rice is cooked.

Serve with Kheera Raita

Navratri : Kuttu ki Roti

 Ingredients : 

1  samll katori  Kuttu ka atta

2 grated, boiled potatoes

For Aloo Sabzi : 

4 boiled potatoes

Kadi pata leaves


 a little turmeric powder

salt to taste

Method for Roti  : 

Mix  grated boiled potatoes with kuttu ka atta  and knead a dough.

Make rotis with the kneaded atta, applying oil just as we make parathas.

Aloo Sabzi

Cut  Boiled potatoes into small cubes

Add oil in a kadahi and add 2 tbs refined oil

Add mustard and allow to sputter

Now add kadi patta and diced potatoes.

Add turmeric and salt and mix well

Allow to cook for  2 mins

Add  1 cup water and bring the vegetable to boil.

Simmer for 3 mins.

Serve Sabzi with Kuttu ki roti

Navratri : Saboo Dana Kheer

Ingredients : 

Half katori saboo dana  

1.5 litre milk

3 tbsp sugar

Method : 

Soak Saboo dana overnight

Drain water and separate the soaked saboo dana.

In a pan heat milk

Add sugar

Now add soaked saboo dana

Bring the milk to boil and then allow to simmer for 20 minutes till saboo dana is cooked

Chill in fridge and serve

Wordless Wednesday 3

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

10 Things to Emulate from Japan

It is less than a month since the Earthquake and Tsunami  tragedy struck Japan.  But the people of this amazing country have set an example to the whole wide world , as to how to live with grace and dignity in the face of a mammoth  natural disaster.

Not many of us might have heard of Ryo Ishikawa, a 19 year old Japanese professional Golfer.

But he made headlines om March 30, when he  declared that he would be donating all of his 2011 earnings to Japan Earthquake Relief efforts.

'My goal is to raise 200 million yen (about £1.5million),' said Ishikawa.  'I feel like I will be playing with a greater purpose this year.'
The world can learn 10 things from the undeniable courage of the Japanese people: 

Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture. 

The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn’t fall.

People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something. 

No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.

Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak
The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that
They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.

When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.

Here's wishing the Japanese people a quick recovery  from the calamity.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Aye Navratre!

Tomorrow Navratras start and here in my home town Faridabad, the market is all decked up with Lal Chunri and all other Pooja

 and fast items required for the 9 days. Every devout Hindu, male and female fasts during these 9 days to seek blessings of Ma Durga.

 Durga is the representation of courage, strength, ethics and protection. She is the destroyer of sin and evil and the savior of morality and ethics. Goddess Durga is a form of Divine Power, the Shakti. Durga is the confluence of the power, beauty and intelligence of  Lakshmi, Maha Saraswati and Maha Kali. So, Durga is regarded as ‘the ultimate deity’.  She is known by 108 different names according to quality she possesses. It is believed that Maa Durga gets pleased if, these names (Durga Shatnam Strotam) are chanted with devotion. Here are her 108 names with meanings

Meaning Of 108 Durga Names

Sati - One who got burned alive
Saadhvi - The Sanguine
Bhavaprita - One who is loved by the universe
Bhavaani - The abode of the universe
Bhavamochani - The absolver of the universe
Aarya - Goddess
Durga - The Invincible
Jaya - The Victorious
Aadya - The Initial reality
Trinetra - One who has three-eyes
Shooldharini - One who holds a monodent
Pinaakadharini - One who holds the trident of Lord Shiva
Chitra - The Picturesque
Chandaghanta - One who has mighty bells
Mahatapa - With severe penance
Manah - Mind
Buddhi - Intelligence
Ahankaara - One with Pride
Chittarupa - One who is in thought-state
Chita - Death-bed
Chiti - The thinking mind
Sarvamantramayi - One who possess all the instruments of thought
Satta - One who is above all
Satyanandasvarupini - Form of Eternal bliss
Ananta - One who is Infinite or beyond measure
Bhaavini - The Beautiful Woman
Bhaavya - Represents Future
Bhavya - With Magnificence
Abhavya - Improper or fear-causing
Sadagati - Always in motion, bestowing Moksha (salvation)
Shaambhavi - Consort of Shambhu
Devamata - Mother Goddess
Chinta - Tension
Ratnapriya - Adorned or loved by jewels
Sarvavidya - Knowledgeable
Dakshakanya - Daughter of Daksha
Dakshayajñavinaashini - Interrupter of the sacrifice of Daksha
Aparna - One who doesnt eat even leaves while fasting
Anekavarna - One who has many complexions
Paatala - Red in color
Paatalavati - Wearing red-color attire
Pattaambaraparidhaana - Wearing a dress made of leather
Kalamanjiiraranjini - Wearing a musical anklet
Ameyaa - One who is beyond measure
Vikrama - Violent
Krrooraa - Brutal (on demons)
Sundari - The Gorgeous
Sursundari - Extremely Beautiful
Vandurga - Goddess of forests
Maatangi - Goddess of Matanga
Matangamunipujita - Worshipped by Sage Matanga
Braahmi - Power of God Brahma
Maaheshvari - Power of Lord Mahesha (Shiva)
Aeindri - Power of God Indra
Kaumaari - The adolescent
Vaishnavi - The invincible
Chaamunda - Slayer of Chanda and Munda(demons)
Vaarahi - One who rides on Varaah
Lakshmi - Goddess of Wealth
Purushaakriti - One who takes the form of a man
Vimalauttkarshini - One who provides joy
Gyaana - Full of Knowledge
Kriya - Nitya- The eternal one
Buddhida - The bestower of wisdom
Bahula - One who is in various forms
Bahulaprema - One who is loved by all
Sarvavahanavahana - One who rides all vehicles
NishumbhaShumbhaHanani - Slayer of the demon-brothers Shumbha Nishumbha
MahishasuraMardini - Slayer of the bull-demon Mahishaasura
MadhuKaitabhaHantri - Slayer of the demon-duo Madhu and Kaitabha
ChandaMundaVinashini - Destroyer of the ferocious asuras Chanda and Munda
Sarvasuravinasha - Destroyer of all demons
Sarvadaanavaghaatini - Possessing the power to kill all the demons
Sarvashaastramayi - One who is deft in all theories
Satya - The truth
Sarvaastradhaarini - Possessor of all the missile weapons
Anekashastrahasta - Possessor of many hand weapons
AnekastraDhaarini - Possessor of many missile weapons
Komaari - The beautiful adolescent
Ekakanya - The girl child
Kaishori - The adolescent
Yuvati - The Woman
Yati - Ascetic, one who renounces the world
Apraudha - One who never gets old
Praudha - One who is old
Vriddhamaata - The old mother (loosely)
Balaprada - The bestower of strength
Mahodari - One who has huge belly which stores the universe
Muktakesha - One who has open tresses
Ghorarupa - Having a fierce outlook
Mahaabala - Having immense strength
Agnijwaala - One who is poignant like fire
Raudramukhi - One who has a fierce face like destroyer Rudra
Kaalaratri - Goddess who is black like night
Tapasvini - one who is engaged in penance
Narayani - The destructive aspect of Lord Narayana (Brahma)
Bhadrakaali - Fierce form of Kali
Vishnumaya - Spell of Lord Vishnu
Jalodari - Abode of the ethereal universe
Shivadooti - Ambassador of Lord Shiva
Karaali - The Violent
Ananta - The Infinite
Parameshvari - The Ultimate Goddess
Katyayani - One who is worshipped by sage Katyanan
Savitri - Daughter of the Sun God Savitr
Pratyaksha - One who is real
Brahmavaadini - One who is present everywhere

Wishing you Happy Navratras!

The Gift

Thanks Indusladies for sending me the monogrammed cap as a reward for making it to the Top 10 of International Women's Day Blogging contest for 2011.

Its a cool cap!!

To know more about this largest community of Online Indian women,  click  on  Indusladies

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Daffodils turns One!!!

I cant believe it! Its happening now. My Blog DAFFODILS turns one today.  I never planned to be a Blogger.  I was  aware of the Blogosphere by a couple of Bloggers who were my friends from the virtual world and the ties went back to Orkut days.

After my first ever trip to Vaishno Devi in March 2010, i was overwhelmed by the experience and wanted  to share it.  Thus  began my Blogging journey with my first post, 'My Purpose'.

At that time i didn'thave a clue to what would unfold in the coming days.   But slowly i found  the inclination to write more posts and today  while my blog turns one i have written 53 posts. For someone who didn't know the difference  between a Blog hosting site like Wordpress and Blogger , and Blog promoting sites like Indiblogger and Blogadda it has been an enlightening  experience, unravelling the Blogosphere. Along the way i discovered the magic word 'widget' which would enhance the functional and  visual aspect of my Blog.

I participated in several contests and won a few laurels too.  The first ever was my Blog being included in the Mommy Blogger list on Mothers Day in 2010 by Indusladies, and a few others . Undoubtedly these awards  were a motivating factor.

But it has not just been a year of Blogging, but a year of commenting and reading fellow Blogger's post too.  And how can i forget the brand new pack of  Blogger friends i have made in the process.

During the past year  i witnessed several events.  The Blogger premier league BPL hosted by Ginger Chai of which i could be a part only in the beginning as  my Mum was hospitalised.  But i t was gr8 fun coordinating with my team members of Blue  Ink Society and reading the prize winning entries. But perhaps the most exciting part of the whole blogging experience was attending  the Indiblogger Meet in Delhi in December 2010. I shared my experience in the post  Delhi Indiblogger Meet.

And now, Daffodils is a part of my life. A  place  where i can share personal experiences, write a travel diary or post a memoir, or state an opinion.

But while there is reason to be jubilant, there is also reason to pause and ponder. For, Blogosphere is under attack.  As bloggers we are all aware of the dark cloud hanging over its future.  The Ministry of Information Technology is threatening to clip wings of bloggers.  They have already labelled bloggers as 'intermediaries' which means that any comment posted on my blog becomes my legal responsibility.  Already bloggers have blogged about this. Understandably, this proposal has come under sever criticism by legal experts and the online community,  as the govt is liable to block websites if it chooses to. So  let us keep our fingers crossed that freedom of speech will not be taken away and should that happen, bloggers will unite and put up a brave fight.

At this juncture i want to thank all the visitors to my Blog and especially my fellow bloggers who have been both a motivation and a source of encouragement.  So keep visiting, keep commenting and lets walk together in the future too.