• IT'S THAT time of the year again when your pet dog needs extra care to keep it safe from the plummeting mercury.

    Dogs, like humans, are very sensitive to extremities of temperature, say experts. If there's one thing every dog owner needs to ensure during winter, it's the maintenance of his/her pet's coat.

    "The cold weather and dry air take toll on pets as much as they do on us. In winter their coat gets very dry, causing dandruff. We advise our clients to brush their pets daily in winters and give them an oil massage before bathing them once a month," says Sanjeev Kumar, manager of Scoopy Scrub, a popular chain of pet grooming salons.

    Since dogs begin to shed their summer coats just before the onset of the winter, it's especially important for you to brush and comb your animal daily to stimulate healthy growth and provide for robust skin, he said.

    Regular professional grooming helps to remove dead skin, fur and undercoat and provides better insulation against the cold weather.


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    # 1 THE i- pill

    The Product: Available over the counter, emergency contraceptive pills such as the i- pill or UNWANTED- 72 are useful after an episode of unprotected sex. They are intended specifically for an emergency, should be taken as early as possible after unprotected sex and don't work after 72 hours. India sells about 8.2 emergency contraceptive pills every year.

    The Controversy: The first controversy arose when an NGO Krupa Prolifers filed a petition early this year to bar over the counter sales of the i- pill, claiming it was being misused by women to induce abortions.

    Issues of morality were also raised. Cipla's defence against the i- pill being labelled an 'abortion pill' was that life didn't begin at the time of fertilisation (which is when the pill acts) but only later during implantation. The second controversy involved the Drug Controller General which banned advertising for all emergency contraceptives in January 2010, following concerns raised by

    Read More »from Health Dilemmas of 2010
  • By Namrata Dadwal

    "NO QUALIFICATION needed! No experience required! Work from home for just two hours! Earn Rs 30,000 a month!" The slew of exclamation marks and the lack of a job description should be enough of a warning.

    Instead, most people are so dazzled by the get-rich-quick-without-any-sweat idea that they don't bother to dig under the surface. Unfortunately, they discover that not only is there no such thing as a free lunch, but that they have paid a hefty price for a lot of hot air.

    Most work-from-home advertisements are run by scamsters promising jobs which require no skills, less time and can be done while relaxing cosily in your armchair. Yet, these offer you a huge income. They come under different guises.

    Some are telemarketing jobs, where you are supposed to make only a few calls every day; pyramid schemes, wherein the more people you get to register with the company, the more money you are supposed to earn, and online data jobs, which allegedly require just a few

    Read More »from Paying to get cheated
  • By Chandralekha Mukerji

    DIPAK PRASAD, 35, wasn't happy with his three-year-old job at the school for visually impaired children in Delhi. While he enjoyed teaching, he was frustrated that he couldn't implement modern methods of instruction. He pined to shift to the development sector, so he posted his resume on an online job portal. This was nearly a year ago. Today, he is volunteering in Vietnam, serving as an adviser- cum- curriculum planner for children with special needs. He is getting a stipend of ` 20,000, besides free stay, medical insurance and other perks.

    "The project will help me move to the career of my choice," says Prasad, who hopes to come back to India after two years ( when the project is complete) and expand his line of work in keeping with his interests.

    Prasad is not the only one smitten by the concept of overseas volunteering. A popular practice abroad, it is catching up in India, especially among freshers who want to kickstart their careers or experienced

    Read More »from Get foreign tag to forge ahead

    I'VE BEEN writing about the pleasures of life for more than 15 years, but I just can't figure out why restaurants price wine the way they do. When we used to complain about the unreasonable pricing of imported wines, especially the supermarket stuff that gets passed off as fine wine in our city, the industry would wring its hands in despair and blame the high customs and excise duties.

    The government allowed five- star hotel chains, as well as restaurants that could afford to do so, the facility to spend a percentage of their foreign exchange earnings to import duty- free alcohol. It's been about eight years since the ministry of commerce showered its munificence on hotels and restaurants, but we have not seen the benefit being passed on to us — the thirsty consumers. Ordinary wine, as a result, comes at extraordinary prices in our quality- deprived city.

    What's more galling, though, is the way Indian wines are priced.

    Wines that sell in the market for Rs 480

    Read More »from Don’t deny us our daily drop of Indian wine
  • YOU MAY think that high sounding words like 'dynamic', 'innovative' and 'good analytical skills', will make your CV impressive, however, recruiting agencies feel that over use of such expressions in your resume may go against you.

    Recently, LinkedIn, a networking site for professionals, released list of 10 most overused words and phrases in members' LinkedIn profiles.

    It says that works like 'dynamic', 'innovative', 'motivated' are most over used words by professional and there are chances that use of these words may go against you.

    "Phrases like 'extensive experience' and 'proven track record' can appear empty to a potential employer and may do more harm than good when you include them in your profile or resume," said Lindsey Pollak, a career and workplace expert.

    "If you're using any of these 10 terms, wipe them out. Instead, note that you have eight to 10 years of experience or that you increased sales by 300 per cent. Include meaningful phrases that apply specifically to

    Read More »from One adjective too many
  • Prashant Singh in Mumbai

    IS HOLLYWOOD'S golden couple set to tie the knot in India? The buzz is that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have decided to go for a traditional Hindu- style wedding in Jodhpur next year.

    Brangelina are reportedly looking to solemnise their relationship in mid- 2011 under the guidance of their spiritual guru, Ram Lalji Siyag. The 84-year-old is the founder-patron of the Jodhpur-based Adhyatma Vigyan Satsang Kendra. He has refused to confirm or deny the news.

    The Siddha yoga guru's disciples, too, have kept silent. Sources say Brangelina have requested Siyag not to discuss their association with the guru — let alone their wedding — in public. Hindus, though, have welcomed the wedding news.

    Photos: Who is the Woman of the year? Find out here.

    Pitt had proposed Angelina in 2005, sources say, when she was pregnant with their daughter Shiloh. The actress wanted more time because she was not sure about their relationship.

    But now, things seem to have changed and both

    Read More »from Big fat Indian wedding for Brangelina?
  • By Deepti Jakhar

    IN THE WORLD of celebrity, what you see is what you get. Katrina Kaif is the Indian face of Barbie for a reason that goes beyond her hour-glass frame.

    Her personality or celebrity — something that her fans know her by — is 'very Barbie'. She wears the tiered frocks, keeps her much mascara-ed eyelashes on an auto-pilot flutter mode, minds her P's and Q's and most importantly never ever kisses and tells. It's for a reason she stole the title, allegedly from ice-ueen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. She has a 'doll-like' quality that comes across mostly in her fashion choices. In the brandconscious environment that celebrities live in, girls have to carve a niche for themselves.

    This branding starts from their wardrobes, extends to product endorsements and hopefully into custom-made movie roles. So, you'd see a 'Barbie' Katrina walk around in tiered frocks that ultimately help her bag endorsements like fairness creams, orange fizz drinks and dainty jewellry—all targeting college

    Read More »from Katrina is Barbie… and the rest?
  • By Anindita Datta Choudhury

    I LOVE you just the way you are.' Yawn! Haven't we had an overdose of this particular line? No matter how many times your partner coos this into your ear, there would be something that he/she would want you to change about yourself desperately. Not just that — post-marriage, you might undergo certain involuntary changes which could be shocking for your partner.

    A marriage certainly triggers some changes in both men and women. "We give up our independence and our decisions are made in collaboration with our partner (and inlaws in some cases)," says Dr Kamal Khurana, relationship expert at Purple Alley.

    "Ideally we should not expect a person to change. But when we start cohabiting, our expectations from our partner increase. And when he/she is unable to fulfil them, we feel our partner has changed. We then want him to change back to what he was before marriage... or for that matter, what she was," he says.

    Changes can be both positive and negative. While a

    Read More »from So who do YOU think changes most?
  • By Namrata Dadwal

    TAKING a joint loan has many benefits — it raises your chances of eligibility, cuts the repayment burden and allows tax benefits to both borrowers. But what if your partner stops paying his portion of the equated monthly instalment ( EMI)? If he defaults, it will reflect badly on your credit score too, making it difficult for you to get a loan in the future. Here are some problems you could face as a co- borrower.


    If the co- borrower is ignoring repeated requests to repay his part of the loan, you can pay him the sum that he has contributed till date and get the asset transferred in your name. You will have to keep the lender informed of these negotiations.

    As you will have to shoulder a bigger financial burden, you will need to refinance the loan. One way is to ask the lender for more money so that you can pay your co- borrower. If the lender is unwilling to do so, you can approach another lender for a bigger loan. You can use

    Read More »from Pros and cons of splitting a loan


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