Beans are not just nutritious food staples, they leave a bonus as they leave your garden — nitrogen for the next crop

India has a variety of beans, from the familiar green to a creamy white, yellow, purple and speckled; some are eaten as vegetables and others grown for their beans. Beans are a primary source of protein for vegetarians and a vital ingredient in most Indian cuisines with their versatility. Look for local varieties like avarakkai and mochai of Tamil Nadu, guar from Gujarat, yard-long beans from Kerala and soya beans from Northeastern India, to name a few. All beans can be grown using the same methods with a few variances; while some grow on short bushes, others grow into tall vines that need to be supported. They are easy to grow if the soil is well prepared and the plants receive at least five hours of direct sunlight; they need only basic care thereafter. Beans can also be grown in troughs and grow bags on terraces along with other vegetables. Pole bean vines trained up a trellis could be an attractive garden feature.

Plan: Staggered planting will give good yields for most of the year; for a small family, plant a bean or two every alternate week to be assured of tender beans through the year. Rotate bean plants around the garden space; this controls common plant and soil diseases and also helps spread nitrogen deposits to other areas. Though beans are generally grown directly in the ground, they can also be started in nursery beds in biodegradable cocopeat pots, to be transferred to the garden later.

Companion plants: Celery, corn, cucumber, potato, bhindi, brinjal, sunflower. Do plant marigold near beans; do not plant near onions and beetroot.

Soil: Beans grow best in soil enriched with quality garden compost, but do not need extra nitrogen like other plants. Prepare the soil with well-decomposed natural fertiliser rich in leaves, grass and garden trimmings; mix in crumbled neem cake and leave for a week, turning once to ensure the soil is light and crumbly. The soil should be evenly moist through the growing period — not too dry or too damp; waterlogged soil will make the plants vulnerable to diseases, so make sure the bed has good drainage.

Sow: Press each bean into the soil to a depth of 1.5 inches and cover with soil; this can be done in rows or at random at 4-6 inches apart.

Moon Phase: The best time to sow beans is the first quarter phase, especially two days before the full moon, when the light is strong.

Care: Bean stalks may be affected by aphids, beetles, leaf hoppers and mites. At the first sign of pests, blast them away with strong water hosing. Additionally, spray with a neem-based pesticide solution once a week, till blossoms appear on the plant. Once the seedlings are about three inches, mulch around each plant with leaves or shredded garden waste; this keeps the soil moist and also prevents weeds from growing close to the plants. Bush beans grow up to two feet and do not need support; the tall vines of pole or climbing beans, which can grow up to 10 feet, do require support. Once they are about three inches tall, add stakes or a trellis to support the vines.

Did you know?

Harvest: The plants will start yielding beans around 60-90 days after sowing. Pluck tender green, yellow and purple beans that are used as vegetables as soon as they are ready, before they over-mature; this encourages the plants to continue producing more beans. Butter beans and kidney beans are harvested when the bean pod is round and tight with the swollen bean; they can be eaten fresh, or dried for use later. Soya beans can be plucked and eaten whole as edamame beans, or left to mature to harvest the beans. Be sure to leave enough on the bean plant as it dies, to save for the next planting.




Given that most of us obsess about fat gain or loss, here’s a cheat sheet on how we gain fat, what we can do to lose it or prevent ourselves from gaining it in the first place

The story of fat has four main chapters: creation, storage, mobilisation and oxidation. The first two were what people were worried about back when food was scarce and life was active. The next two are what we are worried about today when food is abundant and life is sedentary.

Raj Ganpath is an NCCA-accredited personal fitness trainer; a certified coach in fitness, nutrition, barbell and kettlebell training and a Functional Training and Senior Fitness Specialist, with over 5,000 hours of coaching experience.


Let’s rewind a few thousand years to a time when food storage was not an option — no freezers, refrigerators, pickling; no grains even. There was only food that had to be hunted or gathered and consumed right away. If it was not consumed, it got spoilt. During such a time, you can appreciate that storing food and energy for later use was a big deal.

For humans and other animals, only a certain amount of energy could be stored. This function is very similar to how any device with a built-in battery functions. We charge up (i.e. eat) and then go about our day until we are low on energy and our functionality is affected. And then we need to charge up again to get back to normal functioning.

Our bodies convert the food we eat into energy (just like how petrol is converted into energy in a car or bike) and use it for the various functions from respiration to heavy lifting. After using up what is needed, the remaining energy needs to be stored for later use. And this is where fat comes in. Irrespective of what we eat, if we end up with more energy than we need, the excess is converted into fat.


Once created, the fat needs to be stored somewhere accessible so it can be used later when there is not enough food or when we have to do any activity until our next charge-up time. And the perfect place for this is adipocytes a.k.a fat cells.

Adipocytes are where fat (in the form of triglycerides) is stored. Each of us has a certain number of fat cells and this number is determined during adolescence (this number seldom goes up or down, even given our efforts to gain or lose fat). But the cool thing about these adipocytes is that they can accommodate more and more fat and keep growing larger as the amount of fat in them increases. So this pretty much gives the body an unlimited energy storage option.

While this was very useful back when we were hunter-gatherers and food was sparse, this isn’t helping us today when food is abundant. That is, most of us end up consuming excess energy on a daily basis and this is causing our fat cells to load up more and more fat, which results in us becoming, well, fat. Now, how do we use up the excess energy in the form of fat?


Once stored, the fat is available as a solid source of energy for the body. This energy can be used by the body for any and all activity, but only as long as there is no more free energy added to the system. In simple terms, we have fat in our fat cells and we can use that for fuelling our activities and thereby lose fat. But this will happen only if we don’t consume more food than we need on a daily basis.

So, if we need 10 calories and we eat only 5 calories, the remaining 5 calories will be pulled out from our fat stores. But if we consume10 calories, nothing changes. And if we end up at 12 calories, we’ve added more fat to our existing fat storage. So the first step to mobilising fat from our fat stores is to be in a calorie deficit. This can be done by eating less than needed or by increasing calorie expenditure by moving more, or both. This is where the “eat less and move more” mantra comes from. While too simplistic a solution, it is true at the fundamental level.

Note that, for some people, hormonal dysregulation and other systemic issues make it hard for fat to be mobilised out of fat cells (while posing no issues when storing!) and this in turn makes it hard to lose fat. But this happens only in very rare cases.


Oxidation or fat burning is the process of putting your stored energy to work. Scientists call this ‘internal bodily fuel consumption’. Fat, which is stored as triglycerides in the adipocytes, is released, thanks to hormonal action. These triglycerides, through a process known as lipolysis (a breakdown of the stored fats), are reduced to two distinct components: glycerol, processed by the liver for further use; and fatty acids, which are released into the bloodstream. The fatty acids are transported to the mitochondria (the portion of a cell that produces power within each cell). In the mitochondria, the fatty acids are oxidised, producing usable energy. It is this process that we refer to as “burning fat”.

courtesy     Metro plus   health     THE HINDU


Somagani Spoorthi: Small Wonder

Remembering names and capitals of places with ease is one thing and remembering every scheme and the political history of CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao is another! But this huge feat has been achieved by none other than a 5-year-old girl, Somagani Spoorthi, a UKG student at Ravindra Bharathi School, Kushaiguda. Her recent feat earned Spoorthi a place in the Telugu Book of Records. However, this is not the first time that she had done something amazing — earlier too, the little girl had successfully rattled off PM Modi’s life history and schemes, the names of Andhra Pradesh MLAs and their constituencies — all in a record time of 2 minutes, 30 seconds!

Talking about his daughter’s achievements, Spoorthi’s father, Kiran Kumar says, “Her first record came when she was only 2 years old. Since then, she has this uncanny ability to remember difficult names with minute details and rattle it out in record time.”


Coutesy     Deccan chronicle


Playing cards”

Some interesting facts and observations about “Playing cards”

Did you know that the Traditional Deck of the Playing Cards are a veritable and most ingenious form of a Calendar?  There are 52 weeks in the year and so are 52 Playing Cards in a Deck.
There are 13 weeks in each Season and thus there are 13 cards in each suit.   There are 4 Seasons in a Year and 4 Suits in the Deck. There are 12 Months in a Year so there are 12 Court Cards (Those with faces namely Jackdo Queens with The King in each suit)    The Red Cards represent the Day, while the Black Cards represent the Night.

If you let   Jacks = 11,  Queens = 12, and the Kings = 13, then add up all the sums of 1 + 2 + 3 + …to 13 = 91. Multiply this by 4, for the 4 Suits, therefore 91 x 4 = 364, Add 1 that is the Joker and you will arrive at the number 365 being the Days in a Year?   Is that a mere coincidence or a greater intelligence ?
Of interest is the sum of the letters in all the names of the cards; eg : add up the letters in “one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, Jack, Queen, King” = 52 !
The Spades indicate ploughing/ working.  The Hearts indicates Love thy crops.
The Clubs indicates flourishing and growth.   The Diamonds indicate reaping the Wealth.

Also, in some card games 2 Jokers are used.Indicating the Leap year.
There is a deeper Philosophy than just a merely a Game of Playing Cards.
The Mathematical perfection is mind blowing.


Gold Getters

City girls Sharon and Krishna Induja were part of the Indian women’s throwball team, which won gold at the Asian Continental Games 2017.

In an outstanding achievement, both the women’s and men’s throwball teams have won gold for India at the the recent Asian Continental Games 2017, held in Thailand. What’s more, two players from the women’s team, Sharon Pascal and Gaddam Krishna Induja, are from Hyderabad and were coached by Venkat Komu and Jagan Mohan Goud.

“It’s a great feeling. This is our second international win in the last few months. The experience at the Asian Continental Games was different from the World Games 2017. This time, some of the players in the team were government employees; one was a policewoman from Punjab. It was nice playing with people from different parts of the country. We all got along well and our sole aim was to make India proud. We won against Malaysia in the semi-finals and thrashed Thailand in the finals,” says 24-year-old Sharon, proudly.

Induja says that the best part of the series was defeating the home team. “Thailand gave us a tough competition, but we won. I was the captain for the World Games and am glad we could make the country proud again. More parents should encourage their kids to take up sports. The awareness in the city is lacking,” says 19-year-old Induja, who was also a national-level tennis player. “After I suffered from jaundice, I switched to throwball as I couldn’t cotinue tennis. Throwball is tough too as the ball comes spinning in at great speed and we suffer from hand injuries. But I got attached to the sport and will continue playing it,” she adds.

While Sharon works as an Assistant Publishing Specialist at Thomson Reuters and is also pursuing a post graduate degree in Psychology at Osmania University, Induja is pursuing Interior Designing at Hamstech Institute of Fashion and Interior Designing. So doesn’t the schedule get hectic? “Yes, it’ very tiring. I practise in the morning, go to work and study during the weekends. But nothing matters more than making the country proud. Playing a sport can also be a stress-buster. I unwind by playing table tennis and dancing,” says Sharon. While Induja adds, “No matter how tiring it gets, I will continue playing for my father. When he tells people that his daughter plays for the country, it makes me happy.”

While both the girls face problems with funds and lack of opportunities, they want to continue playing for India. “I also want to start playing discus throw professionally. It’s all possible because our parents support us at all times,” concludes Sharon.

Courtesy   Deccan Chronicle


Benefits of Sleeping on Your Left Side.

In Ayurveda it is called Vamkushi..

1. Prevents snoring
2. Helps in better blood circulation
3. Helps in proper digestion after meals
4. Gives relief to people having back and neck pain
5. Helps in filtering and purifying toxins, lymph fluids and wastes
6. Prevents serious illness as accumulated toxins are flushed out easily
7. Liver and kidneys work better
8. Helps in smooth bowel movements
9. Reduces workload on heart and its proper functioning
10. Prevents acidity and heartburn
11. Prevents fatigue during morning
12. Fats gets digested easily
13. Positive impact on brain
14. It delays onset of Parkinsons and Alzheimers
15. It is also considered to be the best sleeping position according to Ayurveda.

An immortal legacy

One might leave the mortal world, but their legacy stays behind, always encouraging thousand others to follow in their footsteps. This definitely holds true for Girija Devi, the queen of thumris, an eminent classical singer and a Padma Vibhushan awardee, who passed away last month. Girija Devi, too, with the far reach of her music, has left behind a trail of students and other music enthusiasts who vouch to carry on her legacy and spread the art to the next generations.

Both city-based music enthusiast, Amit Barariya and vocalist Aradhana Karhade Sastri, also a music teacher for the past 23 years, have been doing exactly that. The duo is organising a tribute to the legend in their own special way on November 7 at Lamakaan. “The evening will start with the screening of a documentary on her life and music, after that there will be a talk by Amit and an open discussion with the audience,” reveals Aradhana. Elaborating on the need of organising such a meet, she adds, “Girija Devi has contributed immensely to Hindustani classical music through impeccable voice and rendition, especially thumri. We all know how great a singer she was but we don’t know who the person she really was. It’s an attempt to get closer to her personally.”

According to Aradhana, legends like Girija Devi aren’t born every day. “She never thought singing to be a task or a job. I had an opportunity to watch her live show and I could see how humble she was on stage. Not a streak of pride or ego!” she says. Concurring with Aradhana, Amit says, “I have been following her music very closely and she used to sing thumris like no one is watching her. But very few will know she was great at singing khayals too. It’s very difficult to believe that she was 87 years old and yet had that command on her voice. That’s absolutely the result of her practice that she used to do since she had begun singing as a kid,” says Amit. “It isn’t only the demise of India’s thumri queen, but also of the person who brought the art of love poetry with a hint of raunchiness and drama to the forefront and demanded respect from the audience. She is the one who brought thumris out of lavish kothas to pristine stages amongst high-profile audiences and everyone fell in love with it,” he further adds.

courtesy      Deccan Chronicle