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Reader's Digest India

Reader's Digest India April 2021

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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

3 min.
over to you

A Valentine’s Day Lesson Reading Melanie McCabe’s story was heart-warming to say the least. As a teacher to college-going women, I believe young girls need reaffirmation and validation when it comes to emotions and love. I always tell my students—you don’t attract who you want, you attract who you are. Without self-confidence, you’ll keep attracting predators and narcissists who feed off of your self-doubt. I do not wish any of them to suffer like I did when I was their age, just because society or some random guy told them they aren’t enough. It wouldn’t be fair for them to do that to themselves. —Neha Jha, Bhubaneswar Neha Jha gets this month’s ‘Write & Win’ prize of £1,000. —EDs Melanie McCabe’s story is a study in revival after survival! After an ugly incident in…

3 min.
can i become funnier?

Are people born funny, or can they get better at it? You can definitely get better. If you want to, one of the basic principles of comedy you can practise is disrupting people’s expectations—they think they’re going to hear one thing but then you say something that’s the exact opposite. So maybe you make it seem like you’re about to tell a really dirty joke but then the punchline is super clean. You’ll have people laughing not just at your joke, but at themselves. Does it matter who’s the target of a joke, and who’s delivering it? Absolutely. It’s not funny if you have a joke about a poor old lady running for the subway and then falling flat on her face. However, if the same thing happens to an arrogant jerk in…

3 min.
the costs of narrow nationalism

After taking charge in August 1947 as India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, began writing fortnightly letters to the chief ministers of the Indian Union. In these communiqués—at times persuasive, at others brimming with command—Nehru discusses the emerging blueprint for a young republic. Here is an edited excerpt of one such missive dated 20 September 1953. My dear Chief Ministers, I want to share with you a certain apprehension growing within me. I feel that in many ways the position relating to minority groups in India is deteriorating. Our Constitution is good and we do not make any distinction in our laws. But, in effect, changes creep in because of administrative practices or officers. Often these changes are not deliberate, sometimes they are so. In the Services, generally speaking, the representation of…

3 min.
five times i shouldn’t have used stilts

1 At the annual convention for people with a paralyzing fear of height I will never know what possessed me to waltz into the National Acrophobia Convention on nine-foot stilts, other than the fact that I’m straight-up jazzed about my stilts and never, ever want to remove them, not even when I sleep. Okay, so I didn’t exactly ‘waltz’. The very first bullet point in any stilt owner’s manual explicitly says, ‘Good luck ever waltzing again’. But however I entered Conference Room B, I’ll never forget the shrieks of white-hot terror that greeted me as convention-goers watched their greatest fear not-waltz into the room and openly mock their one common vulnerability. 2 At the conservation farm for endangered insects I was not aware of the farm’s viewing platform when I first arrived and…

3 min.
good news

Flower Power ENVIRONMENT As part of Hindu rituals and ceremonies, worshippers offer flowers at temples every day and dispose of them into rivers deemed sacred by believers. Every year, close to eight million tons of organic waste in the form of flower remains end up in India’s waterbodies where they decompose and add to the already heavy burden of domestic and industrial pollutants. “All the pesticides and insecticides that were used to grow these flowers mix with the river water, making it highly toxic,” entrepreneur Ankit Agarwal tells Reuters TV. Realizing the enormity of the problem, Agarwal launched Phool, a startup that collects floral waste from the Ganges and recycles it into paper, incense, watercolours and even gulaal for sale on their website www.phool.co. By providing processing and collection jobs to…

1 min.
points to ponder

In 2020, a shared woe isolated each of us from each other. The COVID-19 pandemic wrecked lives and livelihoods across the globe. The crisis also forced us to see beyond our differences and realize the importance of others in our lives.Pinarayi Vijayan, chief minister of KeralaI have many faults, and I have many more fears, but I’m going to embrace myself as hard as I can. And I’m starting to love myself gradually, just little by little.RM, musicianIt occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again.John Green, authorSocial media has taken over … to such an extreme that to get my own kids to look back a week…