News & Politics
Reader's Digest India

Reader's Digest India February 2020

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

1 min.
bonding over food

As a child, I first noticed complete strangers forming friendships on train journeys—inevitably they were over food! A Gujarati aunty lovingly offering her farsan; idli–vada, wrapped in banana leaves, being passed around by a Tamilian family; sandwiches and chips shared on the way to Darjeeling by an Anglo-Indian granny—this warm rapport transcended language, caste or religion. Making lasting connections on the journey was just a big bonus. The lunch room in our cosmopolitan convent school was also a microcosm of India, where the aroma of Parsi, Anglo-Indian, Chinese, Bohri, Bengali or Punjabi khana drew us together in a close bond. Indian food has won over the world. But given that we are such a vast nation, with culinary tastes changing within the same district, it is impossible for each of us to…

3 min.
over to you

Footprints in the Snow Thinking and caring for others instead of brooding over personal troubles can boost one’s mental health and emotional well-being. John’s providential rescue and dramatic return from the brink is a poignant example of this at work. Although Pam’s superhuman efforts were by no means less than heroic, what really brought John back from the jaws of death was that critical moment when he came out of his stupor and considered the possibility of Pam, his saviour, dying while searching for him if he ran away. His decision to cooperate with her in order to prevent such a tragedy not only saved both their lives, but also started John’s ascent from the deep, dark well of depression. Compassion and empathy rests in every human heart. Expressing these emotions…

1 min.
humour in uniform

I was awakened late one night by a phone call from nearby Fort Meade in Maryland, USA. ME: Hello? CALLER: Is Sgt Rodrigues there? ME: Sorry, you have the wrong number. (Hang up. R-i-i-ing!) CALLER: Sgt Rodrigues? ME: Still the wrong number. CALLER: Do you have his right number? There’s a post recall and he has to go to work. ME: No, I don’t. (Hang up. And …) SECOND CALLER: Is Sgt Rodrigues there? ME: No. There’s a post recall and he went to work. CALLER: OK. Thanks. —Howard Graves In the ’50s, I was a clerk typist at our base headquarters in Verdun, France. We were a tough group. How tough? Our motto was ‘We never retreat, we just backspace’. —BILL ROBBINS Reader’s Digest will pay for your funny anecdote or photo in any of our humour sections. Post it to the editorial…

5 min.
banking on hope

CHANDRA SHEKHAR GHOSH, 59, was first confronted with dehumanizing hunger as a young NGO worker. He was often dispatched to the remote districts of Rangpur in Bangladesh, where he found villagers who slept for three days in a row without any meals. Distressed, he had handed over a 50-taka note to help. Riding back on his bicycle, he was haunted by the predicament of these folk, trapped in a cycle of poverty. “I figured donations don’t help; income generation was the only way to pull people out of poverty,” Ghosh tells us, sitting in the plush headquarters of Bandhan Bank in Kolkata. Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, today, is the managing director and CEO of the organization (whose business runs to `1,20,364 crore), which is a champion of financial inclusion with its microfinance…

1 min.
all in a day’s work

The restaurant industry can flummox rookies and seasoned pros alike. Consider: ♦ A table ordered a Dr Pepper [a cola drink] and a Coke. The server brought their drinks over, and then, in front of the customers, took a sip from each drink to see which was which. —thechive.com ♦ I once had a customer ask that his lamb not taste like lamb. —reddit.com ♦ Our manager kept reminding us waitresses to encourage customers to order dessert. At the end of an especially exhausting day, I walked over to a couple who had just sat down, gave them each a menu and a glass of water, and asked, “Would you care for anything else?” —JUNE WARBURTON Reader’s Digest will pay for your funny anecdote or photo in any of our humour sections. Post it to the editorial…

3 min.
is student politics a waste of time?

ASLOGAN IN THE STUDENT movement shaking many parts of India today is ‘Don’t be Silent, Don’t be Violent’. This slogan is good politics. Students are learning about good politics (debate, discussion, tolerance and democracy), the politics of neutrality (look the other way) and bad politics (use of force, sycophancy, hatred of others, exclusiveness). They can make a choice. Student politics had a niche during the Indian independence movement against the British. Institutions like Allahabad University, Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University and others became invigorated by the freedom struggle. In 1942, when the Quit India movement was launched, university students, who joined the struggle, were jailed and punished. This tendency intensified and widened in independent India. A number of political leaders were born based on their experiences in student politics, including jail…