News & Politics
Reader's Digest India

Reader's Digest India March 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.
striking gold

There are many rewards of working for a magazine like Reader’s Digest. But the one I look forward to the most is our Classic Issue every March. Working on it gives us an opportunity to dive into the archives of this great magazine. Every time we do so, we find gold—articles of enduring value that our founders DeWitt and Lila Wallace dreamt would inspire and bring hope to millions. We salute their wisdom and vision: Truly, the joy of reading these wonderful stories from the past nine decades, and to curate them for you, is priceless—it’s easy to get lost in the pages and forget deadlines. Reading them allows us to renew our vows to pursue excellence, the way Reader’s Digest editors have down the years, and also doff our…

3 min.
over to you

20 Questions for the 2020s While going through the vision for the 2020s by experts across various fields, I wished agriculture had found a mention. Ours is an agriculture-based economy; we need to concentrate on finding a way forward to increase yields of crops, livestock and fisheries. Keeping in mind India’s burgeoning population and the impact of climate change, we need to address technological innovations in agriculture and animal husbandry on a war footing in the coming decade. As Nehru rightly remarked, “Everything else can wait, but not agriculture.” —PARTHASARATHY MANDADI, TIRUPATI Parthasarathy Mandadi gets this month’s ‘Write & Win’ prize of ₹1,000.—EDs Extraordinary Indians After being served with a life sentence at 20, it is exemplary how Nigel Akkara managed to turn around his life to become a social worker and a successful actor.…

2 min.
humour in uniform

1950s WHEN BRIG. GEN. (now Lt Gen.) ‘Chesty’ Puller’s First Marine Regiment was surrounded by six Chinese divisions at Chosin in Korea, Puller made one of the typical statements for which he is famous: “Well, we’ve got the enemy on our right flank, our left flank, in front of us and behind us. They won’t get away this time!” PFC ALBERT L. SARGIS in a letter to Esquire, NOVEMBER 1958 1960s “LOOK AT YOU!” shouted the sergeant indignantly, as he glanced over a bunch of new and unsavoury-looking recruits. “Your ties are crooked. Your hair ain’t combed. Your boots ain’t polished. Your trousers ain’t pressed … Suppose some country suddenly declared war!” E. K. H., JANUARY 1961 OUR DRILL SQUAD gleefully realized that it was too late for our sergeant to prevent the entire front rank from walking…

4 min.
a perfect moment

SOMEWHERE ALONG THE ROAD out between ‘beginning’ and ‘ending’, there is a perfect moment for every living soul. There may possibly be more than one. But for the most part we are too busy, too young, too adult, too sophisticated, too this or too that to recognize it—and so, the moment may be lost. My perfect moment came when I was eight years old. I awoke one spring night to find moonlight flooding my room through the open window. It was so bright that I sat up in bed. There was no sound at all, anywhere. The air was soft and heavy with the fragrance of pear blossoms and honeysuckle. I crept out of bed and tiptoed softly out of the house. Eight-year-olds were not supposed to be astir at this hour.…

6 min.
where do you look?

MAYBE IT’S A SIGN OF NEUROSIS (and if it is, I hope nobody lets me know), but I am becoming more and more acutely sensitive about those moments when one doesn’t know where to look. Consider the elevator situation. The act of waiting for an elevator brings out a suspicious streak in people. You arrive and push a button. Another person comes along, and after a glance of mutual appraisal you both look quickly away. The new arrival suspects you of not having pushed the button; and you wonder if he is going to be mistrustful and give the button a second shove—a tension broken by his walking over and doing just that. Then back to waiting and the problem of Where To Look. Shoes are convenient articles for scrutiny—your own and…

3 min.
personal glimpses

As Indian ambassador to the then United Arab Republic, I was once involved in organising a charity show of the film Mother India, for the Egyptian Red Crescent movement. While inviting President GAMAL ABDEL NASSER to grace the show, I hinted that in view of his usual hectic schedule, he need not actually stay for more than a few minutes. The President arrived only 20 minutes late for the show. I thanked him profusely and in polished diplomatic phrases reminded him that he need stay for about 10 minutes. Nasser turned to me and enquired if I had seen Mother India. Outraged at the suggestion that I spent my valuable time watching films, I replied, “Of course not, Your Excellency.” “Mr Ambassador,” Nasser said softly, “I have already seen the film twice…