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Home Eminent Columnists

Eminent Columnists

Doctor, do you offer laser treatment for skin problems? Do you offer chemical peels for skin conditions? Could you please give me the address to your clinic? Also, could you please tell me a little about chemical peels? Thanks. - Sharon Vidya Rao.
Yes, laser treatments and chemical peels are done by us. Chemical peels are acid preparations at various concentrations and used to treat skin blemishes, pigmentations and scars. Some of the commonly used ones are glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and trichloroacetic acid. Humans have been using them since ages. It is said that Cleopatra used them too. In fact, all these are natural extracts like lactic acid from milk, glycolic from sugar cane, salicylic from bark of tree, malic from apple. Of course, commercially they are prepared with different chemical processes to make them ready to use.

All the above mentioned ones are lunchtime peels i.e they take very less time and can be done during short intervals such as lunchtime so you do not have to take leave from your workplace! You can contact me at 9985047233. 

Doctor, I have dark circles and puffiness around my eyes always, in spite of sleeping for more than eight hours each day. How do I get rid of these? I am on the higher side of 40 years and have absolutely no health problems. Is there any remedy, home or clinical? Please suggest. - Mallikarjuna.
Puffiness under the eyes or baggy eyes is a common cosmetic concern seen commonly as you age. It is present as swollen appearance under the eyes. Sometimes it is also associated with pigmentation around the eyes. As a person ages, the muscles supporting around the eye weaken with age, and the capillaries around this area also become fragile causing accumulation of loose fat or fluid around the eyes, and thus causing baggy eyes.

Sometimes medical conditions such as thyroid, renal problems, or allergies can aggravate or precipitate the problem. Hence it is important that you consult your physician if the baggy eyes are persistent, associated with redness of the eyes, or when there is swelling of the feet. Sometimes, they can be because of heredity.

You can avoid them if you take less salt in the diet; avoid fluid retention, raising the height of the pillow which allows better drainage of the fluid. Facial massages will help strengthen the muscles around the eyes. Tea bags, kheera (cucumber), potato are said to be good home remedies but my experience with them is very limited. Several under-eye creams claim promising results but fail to sustain long term benefits. In my experience antioxidants with Omega 3 fatty acid preparations were helpful and my patients were benefited.

Doctor, I have skin tags on my neckline and the underside of the arms. Can they be removed? If yes, how and is it safe? Also, can such skin tags become cancerous? - Venkata Narasimha.
Acrochordon or skin tags are common outgrowths seen on the skin especially at body folds such as neck, axillae and sometimes groins. They are not cancerous and are absolutely benign. They can arise more commonly in obese persons or when there is noticeable recent weight gain. They can be heredity also. They can be removed easily with radiofrequency cautery, cryotherapy, and lasers. All procedures can be done under local anaesthesia and hence are painless. You can consult a dermatologist for further help.

Month: August 2010.


Fine Example of Promoting Religious Harmony

Here is another interesting information about the care taken by the Government, of its employees to ensure uniformity in the application of service rules to all without discrimination on the basis of religion, caste or creed.

Rule 180 of the Civil Services Rules of the State of Hyderabad governing grant of special leave to the employees with advance payment of salary for pilgrimage to holy places, was so worded and interpreted that it deprived the Hindu employees of the special facility. The rule did not talk about any religion but only named the holy places and there was no mention of any Hindu holy place in that. Spurred by the claim of a Hindu employee to allow him the special facility to visit Hindu holy places under the provisions of the aforementioned rule, the Government moved suo moto and brought an amendment to the rule bringing the Hindu employees also in its purview.

One striking feature was that the word Hindu employee was not mentioned in the amended rule. The provisions as they stood would allow any Government servant to avail himself of the concession of leave to go to any holy place irrespective of his religious faith, a fine example indeed of promoting religious harmony.

Month: August 2010.

There is something about the folks from the Old City. They live life on their terms. Absolutely. Resolutely.

Wearing a lungi and a banian and sauntering over to the nearby newly opened supermarket is a part of everyday routine. To do it while riding a motorbike fitted with a music system is only a matter of convenience. Discomfort, here, would mean having to pay for the goods purchased.

The police also have a style of their own. More so when they operate a station in the Old City. Usually, the two are at loggerheads. The police wanting to set things right if things affect them, and the denizens of the Old City looking around to do things that would affect the police and watch the fun.

Like the time, one of them managed to steal the spark plug off a police motorcycle and sat around and watched the officer trying to start the bike for a full ten minutes before he figured out that the spark plug had been removed. He gave it back to them when one of them attempted to sell the same plug back to the gent.

And then the police also had their dig at the residents by booking all of them for driving without a valid license. None of them, of course, had licenses except one. And he was told by the law keepers that a license obtained by him in Muscat was not valid here in India.

Obviously, the camaraderie between the two groups was running along as smoothly as one would expect from the friendship between a kennel full of canines and a barrel full of cats.

In such a scenario, the police setting up an entertainment facility at a cross roads for the benefit of one and all was being thoroughly enjoyed.

I am talking of the Mehdipatnam Cross Roads. Not exactly in the Old City, but just about the blurred line between the old and the new city. Half a kilometre of travel from here would take you either to the SD Eye Hospital or into small by-lanes selling piping hot chai and Irani samosas.

Depending on which direction you were headed and of course on what you had drunk. In the latter case, you might end up at both the locations, either of them, or in the Legislative Assembly.

One would argue that there is absolutely no place for any entertainment in this region other than the family of cows that used to park themselves anywhere on the street and nonchalantly observe the traffic pass by, while chewing on the cud. Much like the old timers who did the same job sitting in the corner Irani hotel, while sipping chai and enjoying a fine biskoot.

What I am talking about is the traffic signal installed at the cross roads. It surprisingly works! And not very surprisingly, the folks driving around it look at it as a kind of discotheque.

Any time the light turns red, they all start inching forward, as do all the others from different directions who face the yellow and green lights too. It is a very adeptly controlled movement of manipulating the clutch, the brake and the accelerator in small spurts and hard jams which gives you the feeling of jiving at the disco in a vehicle. John Travolta, trust me, would pale into insignificance in the face of such skill.

The police, not very surprisingly, choose to ignore it as their station is a full hundred metres away.

The cows, however, enjoy sauntering over to scratch their back against the pole. Adding to the disco movements! The old timer, sitting in the cafe and sipping his chai, wonders why they did not put up a designated dance floor too.

Month: August 2010.

Do you know who salvaged the unique frescoes of Ajanta Caves (near Aurangabad in Maharastra) from decay and centuries long oblivion and restored to their present shape. It was Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan, Nizam the VII of Hyderabad. In 1913, the NIzam issues a farman approving: (1) The establishment of the Department of Archeology for a period of three years with an annual expenditure of Rupees nine thousand seven hundred and ninety five (2) Summoning a foreign expert and (3) Meeting the entire expenditure from Government funds.

 Professor Lorenzo Cecconi from Italy was brought in to repair the paintings on his conditions, namely: (1) Payment of renumeration of three thousand two hundred pounds for eight months (including two months for transit); (2) Payment of travelling allowance and boarding charges for the entire eight months; (3) The renumeration to be paid in eight installments; and (4) Payment of sea fare and boarding charges to an assitant who would accompany him.

Nizam the VII, the last Asaf Jahi monarch of Hyderabad, was a ruler with secular thinking. Historically the Ajanta Caves had nothing to do with Muslims or Islam. But still the NIzam left no stone unturned in taking care of the unique monumental relics.

Having traversed through the rich arts and crafts of our country in earlier issues, last month we started on a tour of the temples of India, starting with Andhra Pradesh. This month we will take a brief look at some more famous temples of AP. 

Draksharamam - is one of the five Panchaarama temples. Legend has it that the Shivalingam held by the demon Taraka, splintered into five pieces and fell at the five Panchaaraama kshetrams, one of which is Draksharamam. Known as Dakshina Kasi (Southern Banares), Draksharamam is regarded as one of the holiest of Shiva temples and is considered highly sacred, next only to Banares. Located in the Godavari district, the temple is easily accessible from Kakinada and Rajahmundry and is one of the most important Saiva Aramas. There are four entrances to the temple, each facing the four cardinal directions. A beautiful Gopuram adorns every entrance. On the upper storey, there is a pillared Pradakshina on three sides and a narrow Antrala. A Linga rises from the sanctum sanctorum. A narrow Mandapam and the Mukha are other features of the shrine. Mythological figures are intricately carved on the walls and the pillars. The beautiful temple art is an amalgam of both the Chalukya and Chola styles.

The origins of Draksharamam have several legends associated with it. It is believed that sage Vyasa performed penance here and gave it the name Dakshina Kasi. Another legend believes that the Saptha Maharshis (seven sages) divided the akhanda (undivided) Godavari into seven streams at Draksharamam to achieve the ends of their penance. Devotees take a ritual bath at the Saptha Godavari Kundam (seven river pond) near the temple. The Bharadwaja, Jamagagni and Viswamithra streams are known as Antharwahinis as they have gone underground.

According to another legend, Lord Siva’s father-in-law, King Daksha Prajapathi, performed a great yagna here. Sati attended the yagna uninvited and immolated herself when ill-treated. The place thus got the name Daksha Vatika that later became Daksharamam and Draksharamam. You can see a number of sasanas (rock edicts) engraved on the temple walls. The festival of Shivarathri attracts huge crowds of pilgrims.

The Bhimeswara temple at Draksharamam is beautiful and also worth a visit. Bhimeswara is enshrined in the form of a ten-feet high Shivalingam in its sanctum sanctorum. Shiva’s consort here is Manikyamba. The temple walls and pillars are decoratively carved with mythological figures.

Simhachalam - is the hill of the lion. This temple on the Simhachalam hill represents the patronage of the Southern Cholas and the Gangas of Orissa. The historic temple at Simhachalam, built in the 11th Century, where the Lord Varaha Narasimha Swami’s temple is located, resembles the rich cultural heritage Visakhapatnam holds. Located on the hill top, at a height of 244 mts, popularly called the Hill of the Lion Lord, is the temple of Lord Vishnu in the avatara of Sri Narasimha Swami Varu. This great temple built by the King Sri Krishnadevaraya, is one of its kind in the country. Inscriptions on the temple date back to 1098 AD.

Mangalagiri near Vijayawada houses a hill temple bearing a shrine to Pankala Narasimha and Lakshmi Narasimha. The renowned temple of Lord Narasimha, one of the nine avatars of Vishnu, is located on the hillock at Mangalagiri, 12 kms south of Vijayawada. The unique feature of this temple, according to the devout, is the fact that the deity accepts only half the quantity of panakam (jaggery dissolved in water) offered by devotees, irrespective of the quantity offered.

Yadagirigutta, near Bhongir, is home to an ancient hill temple enshrining the Narasimha manifestation of Vishnu. The thousand pillar temple at Hanumakonda, the ancient capital of the Kakatiyas of Warangal, is one of great workmanship.
The modern Birla Mandir at Hyderabad is built entirely of marble and is a prominent landmark in the city of Hyderabad.

The Birla Foundation has constructed several similar temples in India, all of which are known as Birla Mandir. The temple manifests a blend of South Indian, Rajasthani and Utkala temple architectures. In its entirety, it is made of 2000 tons of pure Rajasthani white marble. The granite of the presiding deity is about 11 ft tall and a carved lotus forms an umbrella on the roof. The consorts of Lord Venkateswara, Padmavati and Andal are housed in separate shrines.

The temple also has pan-Hindu character with deities of Shiva, Shakti, Ganesh, Hanuman, Brahma, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Saibaba.

The construction took 10 years and was consecrated in 1976 by Swami Ranganathananda of Ramakrishna Mission.

While it is humanly not possible to list out all the other temples in Andhra Pradesh here, we will take a closer and much more detailed look at the famous ones in the forthcoming issues.

Month: June 2010.

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Chai.Coffee.Company - C3

Ivy Woods

Hyderabad Arts Festival

KPMA Business Publications

AP - Facts

Tirumala – Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh, India), the most venerated Vaishnavite shrine of Lord Venkateshwara and his consorts, is the richest Hindu temple and the most visited religious center in the world


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