News & Politics
Reader's Digest India

Reader's Digest India December 2017

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.
heal with humour

RECENTLY A HINDI MOVIE STAR, from the ’70s and ’80s, had a Eureka moment on Twitter. He was amazed to find out that if you added your age to your year of birth, you got 2017! “Strange but true! But how?” he tweeted. He was reacting to one of the countless WhatsApp memes that get forwarded blindly on a daily basis these days. The genius who created it had added that this phenomenon happened only once in 1,000 years. A co-star of the actor, a top heroine once, reacted to it with an equal dose of astonishment, also embarrassing herself in front of legions of fans. But why judge them alone? Apparently there’s an abundance of smart people who say or do dumb things on a routine basis—lawyers, journalists, rocket scientists…

3 min.
over to you

WRITE & WIN! MEMORY TEST The cover story reminded me of the mental callisthenics of avadhanis (literary performers). A typical session involves answering questions from multiple fields, relying solely on recall. As a practised skill, avadhanam was regarded as an art form, and the avadhanis were revered. Sadly, it is vanishing now, with only a handful of practitioners around today. SUSHEELA SRINIVAS, Bengaluru COURTYARD MEMORIES ‘The Jacaranda Tree’ took me back to my childhood. I grew up in a village, playing in a temple courtyard near a banyan tree. When I went back, I found it deserted. Nature is intact in our villages but people have left for the cities. City folks pine for contact with nature, but it is far away, alas. VENKATA RAMANA, KTTP-Chelpur, Telangana WHERE THERE IS A WILL … I agree with the verdict…

3 min.
stopping a kidnapper

IT WAS A SCENE Norman Rockwell might have painted: three kids laughing as they took turns riding a scooter on their quiet street. Last December, on a crisp Saturday afternoon in Wichita Falls, Texas, 11-yearold TJ Smith had just jumped off the scooter as his neighbour Kim,* age 7, claimed her turn and her sister Julie,* 9, looked on. Kim straddled the scooter and paused to catch her breath. That was when the bearded man with a head of messy curls appeared. The kids didn’t see where he came from, but they know exactly what happened next: Without uttering a word, he picked Kim up off the scooter and calmly strode away. “He cradled her like a baby and just walked down the street,” says TJ. In fact, the composed way…

3 min.
almost ready to do my taxes!

EMMA RATHBONE is the author of the novels The Patterns of Paper Monsters and Losing It. WHOOP! First gotta warm my tea. OK, OK, OK, done. Let’s do this. Except I think I left the back door open. Just gotta check. Yup. Closed. Phew. Now I can finally settle in and get started. Wait. Is that caterpillar trying to cross the windowsill? I have to see this. I definitely need to check out this scene, and it’s definitely going to take me 45 minutes of just staring at this caterpillar and watching it rear up and wave its little arms around like a tiny emperor. Maybe I should put it on my finger. Maybe I should just pop it into my mouth. Ha! I’m back. Time to really get my hands dirty here. OK, let’s…

5 min.
yes, all women

KAVITA SRIVASTAVA, national secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan, has helmed the fight against gender injustice for more than three decades now. She was a principal campaigner for Bhanwari Devi’s justice, which led to the 1997 Vishakha judgement, and continues to be a voice for human rights. THE #METOO CAMPAIGN following revelations of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s grave sexual misconduct paved the way for survivors of sexual harassment to break their silence globally. Social media started buzzing with women’s experiences of harassment, starting in early childhood and following them into their workplaces. The ripples were so powerful that women in different parts of the world, from different fields—cinema, media, academics and even the social sector—called out men on social media, through lists. Often they were names of alleged sexual…

1 min.
humour in uniform

“I had all my medals made into one big medal.” MILITARY AUTHORITIES have a penchant for naming (and renaming) everything around them on war heroes. So, though I live on Ponappa Road, the street is now called Captain Vikram Batra Road. But the gate to our house opens into Akbar Road, which has been rechristened Manekshaw Road. No wonder the pizza delivery man refuses to take our orders. TRIPTI NANDAKUMARAN, Allahabad MY SIX-YEAR-OLD was playing with his toy soldiers, using a different voice for each one. Soldier No. 1: I have a bazooka, and I make a big boom. Soldier No. 2: I have a pistol that goes bang. Soldier No. 3: I have a Swiffer [cleaning product], and I can make your house really clean. The last soldier caught my attention. On further examination, I discovered Soldier…