AUGUST 2002




August  2002 Contents



 Kanchan Jha - a mission at 15


 Staying healthy and youthful
 - what the doctors recommend




 Music Therapy for the mind


 Kurukshetra - a city of eons


 India Fashion Week

 Around us

 U.P's MLAs
 Hamid Karzai
 India's Atlantis
 What is a Blue Moon?
 Coffee - a memory booster?
 Hindu sentinels of mosque
 Mayawati's  45 portfolios


 'Knock at Every Alien Door'
 - Serialization of an
 unpublished novel by
 Joseph Harris - Chapter 7



the craft shop

the print gallery


Silk Road on Wheels

The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in Bangladesh






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Coffee A Memory Booster?

"That afternoon cup of coffee could be doing more than just warming you up.

If you ar finding your memory slipping lately, perhaps the first thing to remember is to have your morning coffee. In a recent study from the University of Arizona that was published in the January 2002 issue of Psychological Science by the American Psychological Society researchers have found that the stimulant affect of caffeine can help boost memory. The lead author of the study Lee Ryan, UA assistant professor of psychology says that memory is often at optimal levels early in the morning in older adults (over age 65) but tends to decline as the day progresses. Ryan said. Her study tested whether a simple stimulant - caffeine, in this case - would have an effect on this decline. The 40 participants, all over age 65, and active and independent, were tested at 8 a.m. and again at 4 p.m. on scheduled days. The test used was the California Verbal Learning Test. Subjects were given coffee during both the morning and afternoon test segments. One group received 12-ounce cups of regular coffee containing approximately 220 to 270 mg of caffeine. A control group drank decaffeinated coffee, which usually has no more than 5-10 mg of caffeine per serving. Ryan said participants could not tell whether they were drinking regular or decaf. The researchers found that participants who drank decaffeinated coffee "showed a significant decline in memory performance from morning to afternoon." The group who ingested the caffeine showed no decline in performance on the memory tests. Ryan says the study and its results are not meant to endorse the consumption of coffee or caffeine, stating that other stimulants would probably have worked just as well. All the study participants were regular coffee drinkers. People who do not consume coffee regularly might have experienced negative side effects (shakiness, anxiety, and decreased concentration). Anyone ready for a hot cup of coffee?"





Hindu family sentinels of mosque 


"KOLKATA: Amid the clutter of houses in the middle-class Hindu locality of Nabapalli in Barasat, there is a nondescript mosque. Nothing special about that, except for its keepers. For nearly 40 years, the mosque, popularly known as the Amanati Masjid, has been maintained by a Hindu family of the area.

The Basu family acquired the plot on which the mosque is located after migrating from Bangladesh in 1964. The Basus, who are originally from Khulna, obtained the property after an exchange with the original owner, Wahajuddin Molla, who moved across the border.

Initially unaware that there was a mosque situated on the property, the family patriarch, Nirod Krishna Basu, looked on the discovery as a sign of good fortune.

Regular prayers were revived at the mosque and till today, Nirod Krishna’s descendants continue the tradition. A family appointed imam, Maulana Akhtar Ali, conducts the prayers on Fridays and on special religious occasions.

A muezzin, Fakir Ali, performs the daily namaaz and looks after the mosque. Even last Friday, when many people kept away from the streets fearing trouble, about 60 people turned up for prayers at the mosque. ‘‘That is the normal figure. During Id, the number increases to about 150,’’ informs Ali.

Nirod Krishna’s grandson, Partha, is actively involved in the running and renovation of the mosque. A self-confessed disciple of Baba Lokenath, Partha even administers bottles of oil and water, which are left in the mosque for blessings by the faithful.

‘‘An average of 20 persons turn up daily to leave bottles in the mosque, which they believe acquire healing properties. Many of them are Hindus,’’ says Partha. A few shelves of labelled bottles in a small anteroom testify to Partha’s words.

The bond between Partha and Ali is evident from the fact that the maulana performed the mukhebhaat (rice eating) ceremony of Partha’s daughter. In fact, Ali’s predecessor, Abu Bakr Siddiq, did the honours during Partha’s mukhebhaat.

Both Partha and Ali say there has never been any tension in the locality regarding the mosque, not even during the Babri Masjid riots in 1992. An involuntary touching of the forehead by an elderly woman, while passing the mosque, is the best affirmation of their claim."

from The Times of India TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2002



Mayawati keeps 45 portfolios - 'One too Many'

"LUCKNOW: Chief minister Mayawati kept as many as 45 departments including home, finance, general administration, vigilance, Ambedkar villages development, appointment and high profile information technology ,in the first distribution of portfolios to her council of ministers here on Sunday.

Senior BJP minister Lalji Tandon, who always supported the BSP-BJP tie- up ,got the reward for backing Mayawati as he was given charge of 18 departments including his favourite housing and urban development department.

Om Praksh Singh also got the ones he was keen to have — irrigation and higher education. But this time PWD was taken away from him and given to Anuradha Choudhary.

Mayawati's portfolios: Home, general administration, finance, intelligence, crime- investigation, appointment, personnel, administrative reforms, vigilance, information, election, judiciary, legislation, industrial development, basic education, non-formal education, adult education, rural development, planning, statics, protocol, civil aviation, Ambedkar villages development,estate , export promotion, horticulture, food processing, minority welfare, Muslim waqf, Haj, land development and water resources, usar land development, culture, minor irrigation, sports, handicapped development, banking,information technology, civil defence, youth welfare, prantiya vikas dal and externally aided projects."


from: The Times of India MONDAY, MAY 06, 2002






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