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Showing posts from October, 2008

HALDI - THE WONDER INDIAN SPICE

Turmeric or haldi has been used in my family for many purposes besides culinary. I am sure it must be true for most of the homes in India. I was introduced to turmeric powder (haldi) during my own childhood when my mother and grandmother prevailed upon us to take it for frequent bouts of cough during winter season. We took it in powder form with hot milk just before going to bed. We were also advised to take it when having general aches and pains all over the body after a particularly grueling day in the sports field. The powder of haldi was also sprinkled over open wounds to speed up healing. Now we know that it works as an antiseptic and prevents infection of the open wound. I started taking haldi regularly only a few years ago to overcome my frequent bouts of sinusitis. I think it has benefited me somewhat. It has reduced my frequent use of antibiotics. However, it has not set right my proneness for easy and recurrent rhinitis and sinusitis. Recently I discovered that Bikash, a ver…

FIRE ACCIDENT AT PROGRESS, THE RUSSIAN ANTARCTIC STATION

Fire is a major risk in Antarctica with grave consequences. When we, the members of 27th Indian Antarctic Expedition, were being trained and briefed at Auli, our team leader, Mr Arun Chaturvedi, veteran of many Antarctic expeditions, had very explicitly told us the risk of fire in Antarctica due to closed spaces, wooden structures, high wind, dry air and plenty of oxygen.
Unfortunately, inspite of it being a real danger and all the precautions, such accidents do happen in Antarctica with tragic results. Besides the loss of life, loss of scientific and communication equipments, medical and other supplies can also become major hindrance in the successful completion of expedition. Sadly, such an accident has happened last week at Russian station, Progress, situated at Larsemann Hills (its rough coordinates are: 69S and 76E).
I had visited this station in March, 2008 when I visited Larsemann Hills where India is also coming up with its third station. The Russian leader, Lukin, had greeted…

Dharan Revisited...

Ever since I spent time in Dharan, I have looked forward to visiting it again and again, and fortunately there have been a number of opportunities to go there and relive the time once again. To the uninitiated: I spent more than two years between 1997 and 1999 at the B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan. Dharan was then a sleeping town in the foothills of Eastern province of Nepal. It is 150 km from Siliguri (airport: Bagdogra) or 5-hour drive from Darjeeling. Bihar border is only 50 km at Jogbani adjacent to Birat Nagar. Dharan had been the centre for the British Army to recruit soldiers for its Gorkha Regiment. The Ghopa Camp, established by them on a 700-acre estate, offered them to live there in style with an 18-hole golf course, swimming pools, sports facilities, and a vast jungle. They had established a 150-bedded hospital too there for people living there, ‘goras’ as well as ‘civilians’. There was a clear dividing line between ‘gora lines’ and ‘civil lines’ with c…