News & Politics
Reader's Digest India

Reader's Digest India December 2018

Reader’s Digest has been the world’s biggest-selling magazine for nearly nine decades. It is also India’s largest-selling magazine in English. Beneath the fun and excitement of its pages, the Digest is, above all else, a serious magazine that never loses sight of the fact that, each day, all of us confront a tough, challenging world. To the millions who read the Digest, it is not a luxury—it is a necessity. Deep within its widely varied package of humour, real-life dramas and helpful information, there is in every issue of the Digest a subtle power that guides people in every aspect of their lives.

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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
my very calcutta christmas

WHEN I THINK OF CHRISTMAS I think of headier, simpler days. The exams are over, there are no studies or homework, only new books for the new school year. We’re on a high with the annual concert, church fete and sports day in school just gone by. Cousins from everywhere have turned up in Calcutta for the holidays, and there are plans every single day: movies, picnics, a magic show here, a circus there. There were few parties then, only get-togethers, where the elders were too busy to notice that we children were up to no good. The one exception was the Christmas party in school where Santa Claus came around with Secret Santa-type presents that our parents had actually got for us. On Christmas day we went to Park Street…

1 min.
humour in uniform

AT THE OUTPATIENT surgery centre where I work, the anaesthesiologist chats with patients before their operations to help them relax. One day, he thought he recognized a woman as a co-worker from the army hospital where he had trained. When the patient confirmed that his hunch was correct, the anaesthesiologist said, “So tell me, is the food there still as bad as it used to be?” “I suppose,” she replied. “I’m still cooking it.” GCFL.net OUR HOME NUMBER is very similar to that of the army training centre in Missouri, USA, and we often get calls meant for them. Like this one … Caller: This is [military rank and name]. I’m at the St Louis airport. When is someone going to pick me up? Me: I’m sorry, you have the wrong number. Caller: Isn’t this [phone number]? Me:…

4 min.
over to you

THE DREADED CANCER Today breast cancer is an alarming disease as every other woman seems to be afflicted by it [‘Lower Your Risk for Breast Cancer’]. Our fast-paced lifestyle, juggling office and household duties, perhaps makes us prone to the disease. However, this dreaded disease can be prevented with self-examination, regular check-ups, exercise and proper work–life balance. ARVINDER KAUR, Mohali, Punjab IN ROUGH WATERS In ‘The Gift of Bad Times’, the author beautifully portrayed the myriad emotions playing on the mind of a person when the ride gets rough—rising anxiety, ebbing confidence, the question ‘why me’ are natural, as is the instinct to remain morose and inactive. I have faced a similar predicament and can appreciate how pushing oneself out of this state each day is half the battle won. The writer deftly unfolded the…

3 min.
mercy for a thief

A FRANTIC CALL came into Jimmy Gilleece’s bar this past March. A newly married woman who had spent the afternoon at the dive bar in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, USA, couldn’t find her wallet. She didn’t care about her ID, credit cards or $150 in cash—but her wedding ring was tucked inside. Gilleece, 42, didn’t like the idea that a theft could have occurred at his place, Jimmy’s at Red Dogs. So he set out to find the wallet. He spent hours scouring footage from 16 different surveillance cameras, watching the woman’s every step in the bar until she went to sit on a bench outside and left when her ride arrived. Within minutes, a young man in a hoodie approached the bench, shoved something in his pocket and walked off.…

6 min.
beware of mummy dearest

MY MOTHER HAS NEVER BEEN the Band-Aid dispensing, cupcake-baking, checking-on-homework sort of mother that one sees in commercials. She is funny, sometimes wacky, a little eccentric and fallibly human, and has consistently over the years found new and unique ways to embarrass me, starting at birth when she decided that naming me Twinkle was a foolproof way of making sure that I would get teased throughout my life, have immigration officers at various airports stare at my passport and shake with hysterical laughter and strangers stalk me with WhatsApp messages like, “Twinkle, Twinkle, little star, I hope you get hit by a car!” Here is a short list of the things that she has done to traumatize me at various stages. I am 13: I am studying at Panchgani [in Maharashtra] and…

4 min.
when air becomes death

THE PROCESS OF BREATHING STARTS at birth and continues until death. We breathe around 25,000 times every day, inhaling 10,000 or more litres of air every day. It is a basic body function meant to sustain life. But today, breathing kills: it takes the lives of approximately seven million people prematurely every year globally. This is because of the presence of pollutants in the air, which are poison for our body and seriously damage our health. Dr Maria Neira, the World Health Organization’s air pollution director, has called it “a global public health emergency”. Ninety-eight per cent of India’s children breathe air that is inferior to the WHO standards. Nearly 25 per cent deaths in children under five are directly or indirectly related to air pollution. As a chest surgeon, I…