News & Politics
Reader's Digest India

Reader's Digest India November 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.
a little inspiration

AROUND OCTOBER EVERY YEAR we had our school holidays. The festivities over, time slowed down and melted away like Dali’s art. I recall the columns of light and shade on the floor of our balcony that brought unbidden joy. My cousin and I spent many an afternoon following long queues of ants. We wanted to know where they were headed. We played house, read, made art and scrapbooks. Caught wasting time, we were contrite. “How long has it been since you’ve touched your books?” was a rhetorical question, I understood much later. When I look at my teenage son and his friends, and how their time is spent, I marvel at their world. While online time sucks away hours—and of course he is ticked off for it—the new wave of creativity…

1 min.
humour in uniform

WHEN MY FRIEND’S husband was deployed, he often sent her romantic and flirty gifts. One day, a package arrived containing a very small leather top. After much wiggling and squirming to get into it, she struck a pose, took a selfie and sent it to him. Soon after, she received his reply: “Why are you wearing the leather steering wheel cover I sent you?” KATHY TRUMAN MANY YEARS AGO, my husband and some others went to dinner near their air base in Japan. A waitress whose English was limited took their order. “I’ll have the steak,” John said. “Make that two,” said his co-pilot. “Make that three,” said the third man. “Make that four,” said the fourth. A few minutes later, the waitress returned with their order: one steak for John, two steaks for his co-pilot, three steaks…

4 min.
over to you

AGEING GRACEFULLY There is a lot of fuss about ageing these days. We worry about looking, feeling, getting and being old [‘Words to Live By’]. The word conjures up thoughts of loss of sight, hair, hearing and mind. It is true that the longer we live, the more we experience our bodies and minds functioning differently. But we can forestall ‘longevity-related’ decline with good nutrition, mental stimulation (reading, socializing, solving puzzles, deep breathing, smiling), a healthy environment and appropriate exercise. I believe, these are the simple truths of looking, feeling and being our best at any age. BEENA MATHUR, Pune WANTED: A CRUSADER Boyan Slat’s story is an inspiration [‘Champion of the Earth’]. Despite the skeptics, he ploughed a lone furrow and achieved something substantial. We too need someone like Slat— grass-roots workers and…

1 min.
see the world ...

Turn the page ... DIFFERENTLY A title well earned: The sunflower is not only named after the celestial body, the plant is also heliotropic, meaning it turns, blooms and leaves, towards the sun’s life-giving light as it arches across the sky every day. Although this usually yellowblooming beauty originates from North America, today it is at home all around the globe. With more than 9 m in height, the tallest known sunflower, in fact, came from Germany —so much taller than the flower’s average height of 2 m that it made it into the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records.…

5 min.
dance therapy

NEHHA BHATNAGAR, 30, found it hard to accept that a dance tradition as spiritual as Bharatanatyam would be limited to just a handful privileged enough to learn the classical art. After her training in Ganesa Natyalaya under gurus Saroja and Rama Vaidyanathan, earning degrees in international relations and political science from acclaimed institutions and touring the world performing for the who’s who, this bothered her. Could the spirituality of classical dance and the strength of international diplomacy be married? Was it possible to create an inclusive space for the performing arts, and eventually art education? The genesis of Sarvam Foundation was rooted in these questions. Nehha explains, “I was socially conscious and sensitive to the disparity around us. This led me to start teaching underprivileged girls the rudiments of Bharatanatyam.” Lucky…

3 min.
paging dr malaprop!

MY WORK AS A medical transcriptionist (MT) brings me in intimate contact with voice recognition (VR) software. We MTs listen to a doctor’s dictation while reviewing the VR’s first pass at the typewritten medical record and edit as we go. Now, I know voice recognition is technically just a series of digital ones and zeros in a particular order, but I have come to believe that the software has the soul of an idiot savant—a ghost in the machine, if you will. VR software can decipher the thickest of accents talking at lightning speed using dense medical terminology and get it right. But VR software is also comically stupid, as these real examples demonstrate. Take names. Does McRoberts really sound like Crab Birds? Is it the savant or the idiot who listens…