The Vegetarian Halo

If you have travelled across the world or at least outside your region or state of residence, one exciting and glaring difference you may have found is the lifestyles and food habits of the natives. In fact, at times, that is the reason some people travel – to explore the nuances and differences in cuisines, flavours, ethnicity, and cultural heterogeneity.

Most of these diversities are indeed influenced by various factors like natural habitat, region, culture, religion, local availability, and personal choices! However, of these differences in lifestyles and dietary choices, the argument that hits the hardest is that of Vegetarian vs. Non-Vegetarian food!

Vegetarian vs. Non-Vegetarian 

It is a very tricky and sensitive topic. While dietary choices are very personal, they are influenced by several factors, some of which are outside the control domain of an individual. Therefore, to say that a specific diet is necessarily better than the other is a bit of self-flattery and delusional.

Today’s argument is not about which diet is better –veg or non-veg … But it is about the people that uphold a diet preference as ‘Holier than thou’!

It is about those who cringe at the sight of non-vegetarian food and may sometimes step on others’ feet to declare how the others must drop their preference and choose a diet similar to the propagators themselves. It is about the people who carry ‘The Vegetarian Halo.’

The Vegetarian Halo  

The vegetarian halo refers to the positive perception and assumptions associated with individuals who follow a vegetarian diet. It refers to the idea that some vegetarians see themselves as more virtuous, compassionate, and environmentally conscious than those who consume meat. These rare but present people feel their vegetarianism accords them with a sanctity that makes them a breed holier, more spiritual, and more sacred than others. Almost as if they walk with an invisible HALO above their heads.

You may routinely hear some joint statements from them, like:

“How can you be so heartless to eat meat?”

“I don’t contribute to the suffering of animals.”

“I’m more conscious, superior, and enlightened ….. because I choose not to eat meat.”

“Vegetarianism is a more compassionate, pious, and ethical choice.”

They walk the earth’s surface almost as if they were the chosen ones entrusted with the moral task of carrying the burden of all existential HUMAN SANCTITY. 

At this juncture, where I can almost sense debates arising, let me reiterate – The problem is not with them choosing a specific diet and style. The problem is the vegetarian narcissism they feel entitled to unleash onto others. They think that by merely choosing to eat vegetarian, they acquire moral rights to school the ‘unholy’ spirits about how wrong they are in choosing anything that is not plant-based. 

What they forget in the bargain is that dietary preferences are a person’s personal and fundamental right and that they need to approach such discussions with mutual respect and open-mindedness. Individuals need to realize that they may exercise their dietary choices without belittling or judging others who make different choices. What is an ‘unbearable’ sight for you is ‘FOOD’ for the other. It commands respect! 

They must understand that more than any personal choice, a food preference is primarily dictated by a fellow human’s cultural, geographical, and religious contexts. E.g., The natural habitat, geographical location, and climate of the region may affect the availability or abundance of certain foods. Like in the case of people living in coastal areas often have easy access to seafood, while inland regions may rely more on land-based produce. These shape dietary preferences.

Similarly, different cultures have their culinary traditions and food preferences. These cultural practices are often passed down through generations and shape routine dietary habits. So, suppose your ancestors were natives of Afghanistan. In that case, you are still more likely to continue savouring Mantu, Chapli Kebab, or Mahi Sefeed, even while nestled in a cozy-busy city in the plains. 

Regional food preferences are also heavily influenced by the local availability of ingredients. So, if you are an Afghani living in Japan, your Kabuli pulao may include Wagyu beef, or your Mahi Sefeed may be prepared with sashimi-grade tuna or even Unagi. Or if nothing non-vegetarian is available, a person might switch to vegetarianism based on what is quickly and locally available. Choosing local produce over specific food items is always advisable to maintain the sensitive ecological balance of the region you call home!

The ‘holier than thou’ tribe needs to realize that while vegetarianism is acceptable, it is more important to prioritize environmental sustainability and respectful mutual existence before discussing morality based on food preference. While vegetarians may pride themselves in leaving lesser carbon footprints, non-vegetarians can boast about restoring ecological balance by participating in ecosystems that rely on natural predator-prey relationships for credit. Imagine if all humanity were to eat only plant-based foods – you would soon run out of the earth’s natural resources. Or if everyone were to start eating meat or fish – the entire food chain would get disturbed, right?

The truth is that the diversity in food preferences works to balance the universe’s delicate and fragile mutual dependency. So, the next time someone tries to guilt-trip you about choosing to be non-vegetarian, show them this article!

Did you know that the diet you consider ‘vegetarian’ may not be as vegetarian as you would like to believe? Take a look at different diets that are considered ‘vegetarian’ the world over…

  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: This is the most common type of vegetarianism and involves avoiding meat, poultry, and fish but still includes dairy products like milk, butter, ghee, cheese, etc., and honey and eggs (animal products) in the diet.
  • Lacto-vegetarian: This type of diet involves primarily plant-based food, avoiding meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, but still includes dairy products like milk, butter, and cheese in the diet.
  • Veganism: Vegans avoid all animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and honey. They also avoid any other products that come from animals, such as leather or wool. Some even practice raw veganism, which involves eating only foods that are not cooked or processed.
  • Plant-based diet: This refers to a diet consisting mainly of plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Depending on the individual’s preferences and needs, it may or may not include small amounts of animal products.
  • Flexitarianism: Also known as a “casual vegetarian,” this approach involves reducing meat consumption but not eliminating it from the diet. Flexitarians often eat meat only occasionally or in small amounts.
  • Fruitarianism: This type of vegetarianism goes a step beyond raw veganism and involves only eating fruits, nuts, seeds, and other plant-based foods that can be harvested without harming the plant.
  • Jain vegetarianism: This type of vegetarianism is practiced by Jains, a religious group in India, and involves avoiding all animal products, including honey. They even avert vegetables that grow underground and those believed to contain microscopic life.

With so much going on with just defining a vegetarian diet, how does one even define one “right” way to be a vegetarian?

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Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!

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Zodiac And Food

Some accord food with nourishment, while for some, it means comfort! For some, it is only a means to stay alive, while some live only to eat! Food is an integral part of people’s lives. Every major tradition, festival, or celebration involves elaborate preparations and brilliant presentations of extraordinary, mostly traditionally-prepared cuisines. In a particular context, too, food carries different meanings. One may be moved by its taste while another by its presentation and creativity. While the importance and relevance of food vary from person to person, it largely depends on personal choices, cultural backgrounds, and beliefs.


Today, let us take a different approach and explore a quirky angle to how your ZODIAC may dictate or affect your food choices!

Aries, being a fire sign, is high in energy and drive. Going by their instincts, they typically like hot and spicy foods. Being too impatient, they dislike anything involving detailed recipes, long-drawn preparations, and procedures and instead, go for easy-to-prepare and eat-on-the-go foods. One pot-one shot items, ready-to-cook or ready-to-eat packaged food, energy bars, etc, are their favorites. They don’t like too sweet or overly rich foods that may slow them down. With all the heat and spice, their digestive systems go for a toss and may need some good wholesome foods to balance things out.

The junk they like: Bold flavours and spicy foods. Something like buffalo wings or hot and spicy chips like Cheetos!


They shall benefit from Whole grains, raw fruits, and vegetables—fibrous foods like oats, carrots, and bananas.

As an earth sign, Taurus likes everything reminiscent of mother earth – earthy flavours, comfort, and cozy. While they dislike spicy or over-the-top indulgent meals, they occasionally appreciate their steaks and pastries. Sometimes, they may also have a sweet tooth and enjoy desserts such as chocolate waffles, cakes, or pastries. However, they majorly stick to simple and hearty meals that don’t wreak havoc with their gut. They love their food, have a good appetite, and appreciate food cooked the ‘good old way.’


The junk they like: Comfort foods like classic burgers and fries, an occasional chocolate dessert.


What they shall benefit from Root vegetables, whole grains, raw veggies and smoothies, herbal teas

Geminis, being the air sign, don’t like a specific type for long. They love variety, and their curiosity pushes them to try every cuisine. Even an unusual combination of foods catches their fancy. Talk about Tea-flavoured popcorn, and a Gemini may be game to try it! They love snacking all day and need special reminders to curb their habit. They may be happier trying smaller meal portions than large-buffet meals that put them to sleep. Too impatient for decadent or full-course dinners, they generally prefer on-the-go items that are filling, nutritious, and light.

The junk they like: Street food, fast foods, and different snacks from different cuisines. Chips, momos, candies, popcorn…. the list is endless!

They shall benefit from foods that boost their mental energy—fish and nuts with omega-3, legumes, fresh fruits, etc.

Cancer is a sign of emotions – a water sign. It yearns for the comfort of home. Anything that is home-cooked gets them nostalgic. Something that has balanced flavours and blended in with love is their choice. Nothing too over the top, not too spicy, sweet, or much of anything. They also like foods that lift their spirits. Being an emotional sign, they get their blues quickly and need something to keep them away. Hot soups, stews, chocolate, herbal teas, etc., are their best bet. Foods cooked the traditional way are an instant hit with them. Very vulnerable to comfort foods and alcohol, they must guard against addiction.

The junk they like: Comfort foods with lots of cheese. Pizza. Deep fried foods. A never-ending love for desserts.

They shall benefit from Herbal teas, dark chocolate, nuts, and beans. Feel good foods like bananas.

Leo, being a fire sign, is all about creativity and presentation. They love anything that is presented well and speaks of richness. They like their food to be bright and visually appealing. A well-set plate with teeny-weeny bits of decorative details will instantly increase their liking for the food. Also, it must not be bland. It has to have a definite taste – sweet, bitter, savory, pungent… not in-between. Similar to their other fire-sign counterparts, they have a liking for spicy foods. And true to their nature, their food must be rich, elite, unique, and extraordinary. There is no wonder that they enjoy extravagant buffets, luxurious high-end gourmets, and chocolates.

The junk they like: Fast food. Rich foods. Sweet and rich foods like desserts. An occasional burger or hot dog.

What they shall benefit from Balanced foods. Raw salads and leafy greens.

Virgo is an earth sign and likes organization. So, if you are to plate your food for a Virgo, ensure it looks neat and clean. Any haphazard arrangement is going to turn them off. Don’t let your bread get soggy, or your soup run into other food on the plate if you feed a Virgo. Virgos also often suffer from digestion issues and therefore prefer foods that are not too unhealthy. Too hot, too spicy, or deep-fried are off their plates. Desserts and chocolates, somehow, are an exception to this rule! They mostly go for cleaner, healthier, balanced (if possible, organic), and nutrient-rich foods that help their mind and body. Given their particularity, they might even have a designated grocer/shop from where they prefer their food be sourced! Something that calms their constant mental clamor, like green tea, hibiscus tea, or brews, is a great choice. At times, dark chocolate and comfort foods also find a way onto their plates.

They like healthier junk like sandwiches, veggie wraps, baked chips, or popcorn.


What they shall benefit from Fermented foods, salads, high-protein-high-fiber diet is best for a constantly worried Virgo.

Libra is an air sign; they love balance in everything. They love striking a balance between the material and the spiritual world. They love beauty as much as they love the taste of food. They love the color and presentation as much as they love the detailing of presentation and taste. You better stick to the recipe if you want to impress the libra. Ensure it looks visually appealing, aesthetically arranged, and tastes like a million bucks. Too heavy, rich, or overly spicy food is a strict no-no. A balanced mix of sweet and salty, or hot and sweet, works well for them. If you happen to cook something terrible, make sure you serve that in a social setting to a libra. Socializing will compensate for the sour taste, as Librans love dining together. Dinner dates with family and friends are their stress-busters.

The junk they like: sweet and salted biscuits, chili-ice-creams, or liqueur chocolates are all good with them.

What they shall benefit from: They already like balanced diets; present it well!

Scorpio, being a water sign, associates food with emotions. They like intense foods with dominating flavors. Talk spicy and intense flavors, and you will pique their interest. Bland and a hotch-potch of flavors are a strict no. The taste has to have depth and definition. It should be as mystical and complex as the scorpions themselves are. They like experimenting with foods and are always up to trying new flavors. But I won’t like them all. Very few items make it to their hit list. The food has to work hard to get to the ‘accepted’ list of Scorpions. It has to prove the hard work that went behind making it. And yes, they occasionally indulge themselves with gourmet foods and extravagant buffets. While they do appreciate others’ hard work at creating good taste, they do not like to spend so much time behind creating one themselves. When they cook, they want it done quickly. One-pot-one-shot cooking or ready-to-cook stuff is what they like. A sandwich or a wrap is as good as a complete meal if they cook.

The junk they like: Spicy chips, Sandwiches, and fritters are all favorites. 

What they shall benefit from Wholesome foods, fermented foods, and pro-biotic foods that aid proper digestion are suitable for the Scorpio. 

Like other fire signs, Sagittarius is always looking for fun and adventure. Nothing has to remain routine in their routine. So, they are quickly bored with any particular type of food. They like to explore new cuisines and new flavors. Exotic foods and new and different cuisines are their soul food. Food presented differently, cooked in a different style, or even a different combination is welcomed by a Sagittarian. Anything that is exploratory, hearty, and filling is their kind of food. They live to be active and attractive, so anything that makes them lazy or unattractive is instantly refused. Say bye-bye to greasy and extremely heavy foods. They like to stay healthy and active and are exploratory. This may cause them to get drawn to fad diets sometimes, but they are usually happy with lean proteins, salads, and whole grains. 

The junk they like: Anything that offers on-the-go convenience without adding too many calories is good for them. Sandwiches, wraps, or an occasional burger is good too.

What they shall benefit from A Mediterranean diet with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and one limiting red meat suits them well. 

Capricorn, being an earth sign, is convenient and grounded. Food for them is primarily only to satiate hunger. They do not have many qualms about food. They appreciate simple meals as much as a gourmet spread. But being their hard-working goat, they need a lot of stamina and bone health-aiding foods. Calcium-rich foods like dairy products and protein-rich foods like chicken and meat are essential for their diet. Too much spice doesn’t go well with the already-stressed Capricorn. Instead, something soothing and healing, like soups or herbal teas, helps them de-stress. Very prone to dehydrating themselves, they must pay special attention to keeping their water intake at an all-time high. Their workaholism and ambition leave very little room for them for busy and relaxed mealtimes. So, they prefer fast-food and convenient eating options.

The junk they like: Fast-food, burgers, fries, colas, and anything that can fill their tummies quickly. They don’t have time for long lunches. Working lunches and dinner meetings are their bet.

They shall benefit from Simple home-cooked meals that don’t take up too much time. One-pot meals or anything that is healthy and can be had quickly works well for them.

Aquarius, being an air sign, is very innovative and adventurous. This creativity rubs off on their food choices too. They enjoy exploring new cuisines, unusual combinations, and experimental cooking. Traditional meals and elaborate cooking are too dull for them. So, if they are cooking, you can expect them to create new dishes. Innovation and creativity mixed with mealtimes results in themed dinner parties or experimental eateries. If you got a prison-themed restaurant in your area, trust an aquarian to have come up with the idea! When not experimenting, they opt for healthy and light eating options. Different types of salads serve the purpose perfectly, and fast food may also be readily accepted at times. Their first choice is simple-vegetarian meals, but they may need help keeping their omega-3 and antioxidant supply up.

The junk they like: Fast food is OK. Baked veg chips are just as good. Popcorns and unusual fast-food combinations work well too. Chips-n-cheese sandwich, anyone?

What they shall benefit from: Fish and meat, if they allow themselves to have them, help them increase their omega-3 supply. A continental diet does wonders for them.

Pisces, being a water sign, revolves around emotions. They live by their intuition and creativity. This dictates their food choices too. Anything nourishing and nutritious is good for Pisces. Occasionally they may want to try something different and over the top, e.g., spicy or savory items. They like to experiment and pour their abundant love into their dishes when cooking. They cook with care and a lot of love. But this happens only when they are cooking for their loved ones or families. They seldom show that much love for themselves. They may cook a partial meal for themselves. 

Being emotional creatures, they occasionally need something to pull them out of their blues. Herbal teas and dark chocolate could do the trick. Desserts are also a good bet at this time. If they have a sweet tooth, your job gets more straightforward, and you can try soothing them with a doughnut or ice cream too. Usually not the one to make too much fuss about food, you can win them over with simple fast-food items too. 

The junk they like: Street food, fast food, chips, and fries are all good with them. 

What they shall benefit from Wholesome meals that keep their dopamine levels up is an absolute necessity for a Pisces. 

Disclaimer: Astrology is not based on science. These posts are not intended to act as a directive.

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Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!

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Success Mantra Delayed Gratification

Since childhood, we are all expected to learn ways and traits that will eventually spell success in later life. It is like the entire childhood being your playground culminating into the final plan for adulthood success. 

Everybody wants to be successful. No one wants to be a failure. 

Although failure is critical, we always try and condition ourselves to work and look out only for success. This, however, gets confusing and pretty overwhelming to a little child who is still trying to understand how to use his hands!  

Success means different things to different people. It could mean standing on their own 2 feet as a child… scoring good numbers in their teenage years… securing a high-paying job as a young adult… owning a house, a car, and a good family in middle age… to (again) standing on their 2 feet as an Octogenarian!

Success is a subjective concept highly dictated by socioeconomic conditioning, personal goals, cultural beliefs, and life experiences. For some, it means professional accomplishments, while for some, it could mean just a good night’s sleep. For some, it means having close-knit relationships or positively impacting someone’s life, while for others, it may lie in amassing wealth and fortune. 

Whatever it is, it is deeply personal yet very, very important. No wonder, then, that everyone is looking for shortcuts to success. Everyone is seeking the secret to getting there quickly, and why not? After all, you got just one life – ‘You live only Once, right?’

Just as everyone defines success, everyone has their secret ways to get there. While I still don’t consider myself as ‘successful,’ life’s experiences did present a sneak peek into the ‘possible’ mantra of success. So let me share it with you today…

DELAYED GRATIFICATION

Yup. In times of instant gratification, delayed gratification seems totally out of place! 

While instant gratification seems to be the norm of the day, it harms your success. Instant gratification can hurt you in several ways, reducing your motivation to work harder and longer for more extensive and rewarding goals. In addition, it constantly entices you to seek pleasure now than later. This is a deterrent to your focus and keeps you in the loop of being comfortable now than sweating it out for a bigger and better reward later. You know, most FMCG, convenience, and luxury goods companies bank upon and feed your need for instant gratification to make a fortune for themselves?

They play on your basic human instincts. According to Freud’s “Pleasure Principle,” humans are naturally wired to seek immediate pleasure and avoid pain. This is why children seek instant gratification. However, this is not how things pan out for an adult. Instant gratification leads to poor impulse control, addictive and impulsive behaviours, and frustration and anger when you do not instantly get what you want.

As against this, delayed gratification and the final big reward you worked for pay off in innumerable ways. For example, let’s say you control your impulse to cheat on your diet plan and give in to the temptation of ‘indulging in the rich, creamy goodness of a chocolate ice cream’ to have it only on your cheat day versus ‘now,’ you reap the benefits of better health and achieving your diet goals. This has worked towards your final destination of sticking to your diet and helped you exercise better impulse control and self-discipline. 

In obvious and not-so-obvious ways, our parents have demonstrated the benefits of delayed gratification in our daily life. ‘’Finish your homework, and I will give you two chocolates instead of one!” – heard this from your parent? Yeah…. This was their demonstration and lesson to teach you delayed gratification!

A famous experiment conducted in the late 1960s and the early 70s called the Marshmallow experiment is a great measure.

The MARSHMALLOW Experiment

In the experiment, little children were offered a choice between a small immediate reward now, i.e., a marshmallow, or a larger reward, i.e., two marshmallows, if they were willing to wait till the teacher returned. Then, the teacher would leave the room, and the child would be left alone with the treat. Then, the children were instructed to eat the smaller reward at any time, but if they waited until the teacher returned, they would receive a more significant compensation. 

Unsurprisingly, some children jumped at the opportunity in favour of instant gratification. At the same time, some resisted but eventually gave in, and then some could practice self-control and waited till the teacher returned.

This experiment followed these children’s lives for a while, and the study results were an eye-opener. It showed that the children who could delay gratification and wait for the larger reward had better life outcomes in later years. They had higher SAT scores, higher educational qualifications, better social skills, and on average, were more successful than their instant-gratified counterparts!

In your adult life, too, there are numerous examples of delayed gratification’s benefits. Take your stock market investments, for example; there are times when the market is going yo-yo, and you feel like selling an entire stock at the highest price for the day… but you resist the temptation and find that the stock has gone higher and higher over years of holding. Of course, there are other things at play in a typical bourse. However, if you were to trust the investment boss ‘Warren Buffet,’ he credits much of his success to his ability to delay gratification. According to him, by postponing the temptation to sell the stocks for short-term gain, he could reap the long-term benefits of his investments, eventually making him the ‘Tzar’ of wall street!

Delayed gratification teaches you self-control, impulse regulation, self-discipline, patience, the ability to manage your emotions, and a capacity to tolerate discomfort while working hard toward your final goal. 

Isn’t this the exact recipe for SUCCESS?

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Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!

Follow Veena Gupta

Shengxiao The Chinese Zodiac

Think of China, and the first things that come to mind are The Great Wall of China, Kung-fu, delicious Chinese cuisine, and, well, of course, the ‘Made in China’ name tags. Besides the obvious, one of their moderately known trademarks is the Chinese zodiac system, the Shengxiao. 

The Shengxiao means ‘born resembling.’ Unlike their Western counterparts, the Shengxiao don’t assign people to zodiac signs by months. They do so by the Year you are born! Each year, a zodiac belongs to one of the 12 signs named after animals. The signs repeat only after 12 years and in the same order as  Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (Or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, & Pig. Following a lunar calendar, the zodiac new year begins between January 21st and February 20th. And from the beginning of the new year, the zodiac of the year is said to apply. They believe each of the above animals possesses certain distinctive traits, which are said to be exhibited by people born under the years ruled by that animal sign.

What’s Your Chinese Zodiac Animal?

RAT

Born in the years – 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020 

Personality traits: Rat people are said to be ambitious and opportunistic. No wonder their social skills are impeccable, perceived as charming, intelligent, and having a great sense of humour. The flip side is that they are never at peace, and this restlessness affects their physical and mental well-being. They are usually extraordinarily successful in business and know how to earn money. However, their personal, family, and love lives take a beating. 

Year 2023 for the RAT: New opportunities are on the horizon but marred by obstacles. Rat people must practice focus and perseverance in pursuing their goals.

OX

Born in the years – 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

Personality traits: Like an OX, Ox people are hardworking and practical. They have tons of patience and pursue their goals with persistence and a strong sense of duty. They are dependable, reliable, and unrelenting. This, however, sometimes translates into stubbornness and rigidity. One thing that they need is diplomacy! 

Because of this, their social relationships suffer, and they struggle to find love, intimacy, and acceptance. Nevertheless, they do great in their career and often retire with colossal wealth.

Year 2023 for the Ox: Opportunities and professional collaborations are on the cards but can only be achieved with diplomacy and tact. Focussing on long-term goals instead of short-term gains shall be beneficial.

TIGER

Born in the years – 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

Personality traits: Tigers are confident and charismatic. They have a good appetite for taking risks which supports their ambitious endeavours. They are undoubtedly brave and passionate and pursue their goals with single-minded devotion. But, unfortunately, the flip side of this unwavering confidence is recklessness, impulsiveness, and arrogance!

If successful, they are brimming with confidence and pride, almost bordering on arrogance. But if they fail somehow, they find it extremely difficult to overcome their depression and self-doubt.

Year 2023 for the Tiger: If tiger people can channel their energies and enthusiasm creatively, 2023 will be an excellent year. Creative opportunities may be knocking at the door this year.

RABBIT

Born in the years – 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Personality traits: Rabbits are cute, sensitive, and gentle. They can pick up energies in the room by intuition, saving them from much trouble. They are perceived as timid and shy, but in reality, they are intelligent, creative, and diplomatic. In addition, they can be discreet and sly. They seldom take solid stands and hence are sometimes branded indecisive, but this is just a façade they present to mask their authentic self.

Year 2023 for the Rabbit – 2023 is the year of the rabbit, and as the ruling sign of the year, rabbit people are in line for a gala time the whole year. They must remain flexible and adaptable to make the most of this year. Work optimistically and put your rabbit traits to the best use this year!

DRAGON

Born in the years – 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

Personality traits: They fear no beast… except their kind! – this is how common folklore goes about dragons. Much like this, they are strong-willed and ambitious. Risk-taking is a sport to them, and they are successful leaders. They have charismatic, majestic, and confident personalities and a peculiar sense of style. They are unafraid to chart their paths and have magnetic personalities. 

The flip side of such egocentricity is being perceived as arrogant, overbearing, and egoist. This can also result in melancholy and loneliness. If not addressed and handled correctly, this can result in long-term emotional scarring.

Year 2023 for the Dragon – Tons of recognition for hard work and efforts put into a project. The year 2023 could be advantageous and success-giving, provided you don’t burn yourself out with too much work. Remember the adage ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’? If you want to enjoy the fruits of your success, ensure you are alive and healthy enough to be able to do that!

SNAKE

Born in the years – 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025

Personality traits – You cannot trust a snake – is commonly said about the reptile. However, it is true about people born under this sign, only to the extent of them being secretive and mysterious. They are otherwise pretty trustworthy, intuitive, wise, and very sophisticated. They can charm you to the extent of extracting the information they seek, even without you realizing it. They do exceptionally well in performing research, analytics, detection, diagnosis, and everything that requires unearthing and discovery. They love the ‘Eureka’ moment in their lives! 

Year 2023 for the Snake: Challenges and difficulties may be on the cards. Use your intuitiveness and resourcefulness to tide over the issues.

HORSE

Born in the years – 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

Personality traits: They love to run wild and free. Attempting to tame or tie them down will meet with violent resistance and defense. They are incredibly outgoing and adventurous and love their freedom like nothing else. Confidence and optimism come naturally to them, and therefore do well in careers that require the adrenaline rush. Excitement and travel are always on their mind, paving the way for their unconventional careers. The flip side of all this adrenaline rush is that they can be reckless, impatient, and impulsive and might be drawn to gambling and such vices.

Year 2023 for the Horse – 2023 seems to be a good year for the horse and brings hope for new opportunities, new ventures, and renewed energy levels. Taming recklessness will translate into bigger and better gains.

GOAT

Born in the years – 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

Personality traits: Goats love their connection to the earth and are, therefore, very grounded and stable. They are a rare combination of sensitivity and practicality. Their ‘connections’ are essential to them. Be it social connections or familial connections, or any other relationship, and they like to nurture and treasure it. They get incredibly emotional and sensitive about their relationships and are always compassionate and dependable.

The flip side of all this sensitivity is that they can sometimes get indecisive and melodramatic. However, on the professional front, they are creative and excel in careers relating to art and architecture.  

Year 2023 for the Goat: Too much risk is to be avoided for this year, especially involving money and finances. Relationships and connections bring stability and financial opportunities

MONKEY

Born in years – 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028): 

Personality traits: Monkeys are super-curious about anything and everything that catches their attention. They are curious and nosy to the extent of annoying people away. Their curiosity leads them to be inventive and intelligent. And because of this knowledge bank that they become, they are loved by people. Their wit and sense of humour bail them out of tricky situations, and their playful nature invites exceptional and bad attention.

The downside of all this intelligence and playfulness is that they can easily deceive people and tend to get dishonest and manipulative in relationships. They may also get a lot of negative publicity and ill-attention because of their popularity. Therefore, although essential, it is difficult for a monkey to be low-key or switch to incognito mode.

Year 2023 for the Monkey: As always necessary, the monkey may need to tame their words and action lest they invite a lot of wrath and conflict. Misunderstandings may arise where actions are not minded. However, the year also brings lots of opportunities on the career front.

ROOSTER

Born in years – 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Personality Traits: Roosters are competitive and hardworking. Everything required for professional and material success is already present with the rooster. They are honest, efficient, and organized and love to get to the root of things. Careers that require attention to detail and perfectionism attract the rooster. 

The downside of this pursuit of perfectionism is that they get over-judgemental of others and become critical and bickering. Therefore, avoiding nit-picking and focusing on the big picture is generally helpful.

Year 2023 for the Rooster: Using your practicality and hard work to your advantage will be the best move. Avoiding absolute stances on issues and seeking guidance and involvement may yield positive results.

DOG

Born in years – 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

Personality traits: Remember how dogs are considered man’s best friend? Well, that is how dog people are. They are loving, caring, honest, loyal, and highly connected to people. They are protective of the ones they love and cherish. These people are the most excellent empaths of all signs and will routinely take up professions that involve caring for others. Anything with a charitable cause as an intention instantly clicks with the dog. They attach too much importance to others and get very attached.

The flip side of all this love and attachment makes them very vulnerable to emotional manipulation by other dishonest people. They can worry themselves to death over separation anxiety resulting from a breakup or the death of a near one.

Year 2023 for the dog: Learning to focus on self is the most extensive advice. Prioritising self before others, self-care, and self-healing are essential to maintain balance and harmony in all professional and personal relationships.

PIG

Born in years – 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Personality traits: Being peaceful and content is the pig’s way of doing things. They are the happy-go-lucky sanguine who believe in love, life, and laughter. You cannot bully them into working too hard for something. They are generous and kind people, not just to others but also to themselves. They love parties and social gatherings and can easily network and build their social circle. They have learned the subtle art of loving themselves and the art of doing nothing! They remain happy and composed even under challenging situations and carry a great sense of humour. 

The downside of all this generosity and kindness is that they don’t want to work too hard and are often seen as lazy and stubborn. Therefore, substance abuse and over-indulgence should be guarded against. 

Year 2023 for the Pig: Growth and business expansion are possible, but only if you are willing to put in hard work and dedication. Putting your party hats aside for a while may help. Short-term discomfort for long-term gains is what you should aim for. 

Disclaimer: Astrology is not based on science. These posts are not intended to act as a directive.

Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!

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Believe in Ghosts

One of the stories from my never-peaceful past that I tell people is about the house I spent the longest part of my childhood. The house carried a lot of memories … and some nightmares! We moved into this house when I was seven, and the house was sealed with a notice stuck on the door. I never read or asked about the message or bill, but I remember walking into the house and spotting a blood-soaked (or so it seemed) torn shirt under the sink. At that age, I never understood the severity of it or what it could have meant, or how eerie that could sound to someone. 

But we were a huge family and desperately needed to move to a big house, and that house was the only option available. My father never believed in any rituals, so we never got any house-warming or house-blessing rituals done. We moved into it. 

Many years later, when I was an adolescent, I remember sleeping on my side and feeling a strong, hand holding my hand. The grip was so firm that it woke me up from my sleep, but I could barely open my eyes. I could still feel that grip, so much so, that I squeezed that hand just to convince myself that it was not a dream, and I could barely squeeze beyond a certain point. At that time, I felt what I was experiencing was real! 


I was experiencing ‘Paranormal!’ 

Well, at least I would believe so…

Many argue it could be a lucid dream, which is not altogether impossible—the existence of ghosts or paranormal falls in that grey area that can be debated for decades. Ancient folklore has spoken about ghosts, other-worldly souls, the supernatural, and the mystic. Whether it is the ‘The Dybbuk’ from Jewish folklore (the spirit of a dead person that possesses a living person) or ‘The White lady’ from European folklore (the mysterious woman in a white dress who roams around castles and graveyards), or ‘The Bhoot of Bhangarh Fort’ of Indian folklore (said to be of the many people who died there as a result of the curse of a sorcerer); all have one thing in common – The BELIEF of a supernatural presence!

But do ghosts exist for real… or are some random coincidences fusing in to create an eerie experience that adds up as ‘Ghostly’ or ‘Paranormal?’

Let’s examine some experiences that people usually describe as other-worldly and if there could be a possible metaphysical and scientific explanation.

1. Apparitions

What it means?

Apparitions are supernatural appearances of a person or thing and account for the most commonly reported experiences. You see these fleeting shadows or hazy human or animal forms floating around. These can be full or partial-body apparitions, sometimes headless or without legs. At times they may be vivid and static like a person standing or sitting while it’s not there.

Possible scientific explanation

Your brain is a powerhouse of suggestions, almost to an extent where it can create alternate realities for you. As severely as your mind and heart want to see an outcome, as powerfully and vividly, your mind can construct it for you. This is called ‘Motivated Perception’ or, in layman’s terms, ‘you see what you want to see.’ More serious conditions like substance abuse or delusional disorders can cause you to have hallucinations, which may seem like apparitions.

2. Shadow People

What it means?

Like apparitions, shadow people are humanoid, animal figures, or a combination of both. They are dark and are usually silhouettes. They can walk or float like apparitions, traditionally considered dark and negative energy. People typically associate shadow figures with death and harm.

Possible scientific explanation

Similar to apparitions, these could be a play of your perception, hallucination, or a trick of the light. Our brain also tends to find patterns and meanings in our vision. So even if you may have seen something random, your brain works overtime to find a match from your memory data warehouse. Whatever it can attribute it to, it does. At times it can be carbon monoxide poisoning causing you to have hallucinations and extra-sensory perceptions.

3. Unexplained noises

What it means?

Hearing voices, names being called out, hearing heavy footsteps, someone banging the door, or noises of things falling, doors and windows opening or closing or creaking are staples of horror stories. Many people report being called by someone, especially from behind, hearing whispers, and turning around to find no one. Interestingly, these usually happen when you are alone and not surrounded by people.

Possible scientific explanation

You can blame the wind for the noises. The acoustic vibrations could be at play, or a sudden breeze could cause certain sound waves that our brain may decipher as a ‘certain word’ or a sound vibration similar to your name. However, at times the proper frequencies are just infrasound. They are too low for your ears to pick up but can trigger physical and emotional responses that feel like a ‘paranormal experience.’ EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) pick up these infrasound vibrations that sound like ghostly voices!

4. Strange smells

What it means?

Many people report smelling a particular odour without reason for being there. Perfume sprays or odour of the person who unexpectedly died. Like rotting fish or flesh, many also report smells of something burning or rotting. These are primarily written from sites where a tragedy has taken place.

Possible scientific explanation

Our brains are definitely at play here. It could be conspiring with your senses to create fragrances you want to smell (like in the case of perfume fragrances of your loved ones). This is a ‘Coping mechanism’ your brain tricks you into. It tries to comfort you by creating the same scent you are used to. 

It could be chemicals or pheromones in the environment you may be picking up on that smell like rotting flesh or burning odours. A specific variety of mold can also cause you to hallucinate and experience odours while appearing spooky! 

5. Sudden cold or physical sensations

What it means?

This one is my favourite. A sudden drop in temperature, a particular spot feeling unusually cold, a feeling of cold air brushing past you, or even a cold hand touching you is commonly attributed to spirit presence in the area. A Portal opening is also said to have a cold spot around it. A portal is a doorway, gate, or entrance to the other world. A gate where people can come and go of free will (like a door or window in the house). In the metaphysical world, a spirit portal can be around anything that can pull or reflect energy (like a mirror) or at places where you transcend into a different form of energy (like a hospital or a morgue, or cemeteries). It could also be at a random location in the house or an open space where geomagnetic energy concentrates on the geological forces of the area.

Possible scientific explanation

Magnetic fields are more commonly to be blamed for such unexplained cold spots. We cannot see the earth’s magnetic spots and could misconstrue them as cold spots. A window direction, airflow dynamics, air currents, lighting layout, or your body’s temperature regulation system could trick you into experiencing cold spots.

6. Objects moving on their own

What it means?

This is said to be done by poltergeists. This is when things suddenly fly off from their places without any explainable cause. For example, the doors and windows may open and close. Or drawers may suddenly open and shut. Something you believe you kept in a particular place may be found elsewhere. Poltergeists are believed to be very violent and influential because they are tactile and can cause tangible things to move and, therefore, can be physically harmful to you.

Possible scientific explanation

Vibrations or infrasound can cause movement in unexpected areas. You may also have pranksters and hoaxers having fun at your expense. Or there could be sudden air-flow change causing things to move or fly off, which generally don’t.

7. Sleep Paralysis

What it means?

Sleep Paralysis is when you suddenly wake up and feel someone choking you or sitting on your chest. Your eyes and mind are open, but you cannot move. You can see and understand everything but are unable to scream or speak.

Possible scientific explanation

Sleep paralysis is a commonly reported condition. Narcolepsy or sleep apnoea can cause sleep paralysis. It lasts only a minute or two but can feel like a long time and frightening. 

There could be many other reasons behind a paranormal experience. Some are psychological, like personal beliefs, the power of suggestions, and sociocultural conditioning. In contrast, others may be as mundane as sleep deprivation causing you to have visions and experiences that feel other-worldly.

Even with many explanations in support and against the idea, there cannot be an absolute answer on whether ghosts or spirits exist. This remains, and will forever remain, a ‘grey’ area where you cannot say which argument could be actual.

It all eventually boils down to which part you lend credence to with the experiences you have been through. As for me, my experiences did push me to say…

Yes, I do believe in Ghosts! Do you?

Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!

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Zodiac And Birthstones

All life on the planet is ‘energy’ in one form or the other. Some believe we change our state from a physical being to an entity in the astral plane when we die. We transform and travel from one form to another, constantly acquiring and releasing energy. 

Anything that resonates with our energy feels familiar and life-nurturing. Similar is the case with certain gemstones. Certain gemstones reverberate the same energy that our zodiac or sun sign carries and are sometimes called ‘Birthstones.’ These precious stones attract some desirable vibes that may be required to enhance beneficial energies or at least lessen the ill effects of specific negative energies acting upon us. 

Although no scientific evidence supports the hypotheses, specific birthstones correspond with each zodiac sign. They are believed to attract good energies, carry healing properties, and repel bad ones, to make your cursory stay on this planet a little better.  

Let us take a look at some gemstones that are traditionally associated with zodiac signs and what they can mean:

Bloodstone, diamond, & garnet


The hot-headed babies of the zodiac need to control their fiery energy and channel them well. Diamonds are said to bring clarity, strength, and balance to Aries. They can also help them feel more confident and in control. Bloodstone is believed to help them with vitality and courage, while Garnet is thought to help streamline the Aries’ passion and motivation.

Emerald, Sapphire, & rose quartz


Taurus needs to feel connected to mother earth at all times. They like to be grounded and appreciate balance in life. Emeralds help Taurus individuals stay grounded and focused. They can also bring prosperity, love, loyalty, and abundance while calming the Taurus’s recklessness and bringing harmony to their relationships. Rose Quartz promotes emotional healing and compassion, while Sapphire is believed to bring wisdom and intuition to the angry bulls of the zodiac.

Agate, Emerald, & Pearl


Gemini loves to be the life of the party. They like to connect with people and build communities. Agate enhances their communication skills and intellect, bringing balance and harmony to Gemini. It soothes their minds and boosts Gemini’s creativity and style. Emerald promotes confidence and creativity, while Pearl is supposed to help with clarity and communication.

Moonstone, pearl, & ruby

Cancer is the emotional crab trying to balance its emotions in a highly materialistic world. Pearls and Moonstones are believed to bring emotional balance and intuition to Cancer. They also help Cancer connect with their inner selves and find peace. Moonstone, in particular, helps with emotional healing and intuition, while Ruby is believed to bring strength and passion.

Ruby, Onyx, & Carnelian

Leo is brimming with leadership and must channel that well to succeed. The fire in their belly is never satisfied with mediocrity and the ordinary! Rubies are said to bring prosperity, success, and happiness to Leo. They can also help them enhance their creativity and leadership skills. Onyx fosters stability, strength, and self-expression, while Carnelian is believed to bring vitality and courage.

Sapphire, Jasper, & Emerald


Virgos are reasonably practical but find it difficult to express their sensitive side. Virgos like organization and needs help with staying focused. Sapphires help Virgo with just that and are believed to bring wisdom, clarity, and intuition to Virgo. It promotes mental clarity and understanding, while Jasper aids stability and grounding. Emerald helps to encourage confidence and creativity and allows Virgo to communicate.

Lapis Lazuli, Opal, & Rose Quartz


Libra likes to keep everything balanced. As a result, the material and spiritual worlds are relatively flat in the Libran universe. This ‘balancing’ act requires great diplomacy; hence, Opals are their go-to stones. Opals bring balance, love, passion, and creativity to Libra. It also helps Libra enhance their communication and social skills. Lapis Lazuli, on the other hand, is believed to bring harmony and balance, while Rose Quartz promotes emotional healing and compassion.

Aquamarine, topaz, & garnet


Passion is the second name for Scorpios. They LOVE with passion, and they also HATE with passion! Garnet helps this intense water sign to channel this passion and give it a definite direction. It is also believed to help them with shrouded jealousy and anger issue. Conversely, Topazes bring spiritual awareness, intuition, courage, and strength to Scorpio. Aquamarine is also believed to promote emotional healing and intuition.

Turquoise, Amethyst, & Citrine


Adventure and ambition are the inherent forces that push Sagittarius to work tirelessly. Unfortunately, this may sometimes backfire badly and affects their health. Turquoise provides stability, spiritual grounding, healing, and protection. They (turquoise) can also help Sagittarius individuals enhance their communication and leadership skills. Amethyst is also believed to promote spiritual growth and clarity, while Citrine (or yellow sapphire) is believed to encourage confidence and creativity.

Garnet, onyx, & ruby

Capricorns are hard workers and want to conquer the entire world simultaneously. They work till they drop dead, which leads to multiple issues – both physical and emotional. They must tame their ambition and stabilize life to enjoy the material world. Garnets aid their prosperity and promote success while channelizing their passion. Garnets are believed to bring courage to Capricorn while enhancing their confidence and leadership skills. Ruby brings strength and power, while Onyx, especially Blue Onyx, promotes stability and strength.

Amethyst, Garnet, & Aquamarine

The nurturers of the zodiac need some nurturing, too, lest they turn blue. Confused? Let me explain – Aquarians are the water bearers of the zodiac and love nurturing. Be it people, places, or their universe. But they also secretly crave nurturing, which they seldom receive, sometimes leaving them depressed. To ward off these blues, they need purple, i.e., Amethyst! Amethysts boost spiritual awareness while bringing Aquarius clarity, balance, and intuition. Blue Sapphire is also a good substitute for amethyst. Garnet is believed to help with Aquarian passion and motivation, while Aquamarine is needed to promote emotional healing and intuition.

Aquamarine, amethyst, & moonstone

Aquamarines help these dreamy beings of the universe find some emotional balance, intuition, and creativity. They can also help Pisceans connect with their inner selves, find peace, and provide emotional healing and spiritual growth. Amethyst is believed to promote emotional stability and provide grounding and clarity to the ever-spiritually-hungry Pisces. At the same time, moonstone (as also Pearls) is believed to help eliminate anxiety and infuse vitality and courage.

While these gemstones work according to their inherent nature or qualities, the decision to wear a particular rock or believe in its associated qualities is undisputedly personal. It is all about your belief. The decision about the symphony you like to attract or thwart by wearing a particular gemstone or the energies you would like to work for you is ultimately yours. So, go on. Choose your GEMS!!

Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!

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Zodiac and Health

Astrology and health are not scientifically related. No scientific evidence suggests that the astrological positions of celestial objects or planetary movements directly affect human health. While some people may believe in astrology and seek guidance from astrologers for health-related issues, it is essential to remember that astrology is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. It is always advisable to consult a qualified medical professional for any health concerns and to follow their advice.

Still, have you ever wondered why some people are prone to repeated episodes of the same illness despite it not running in the family?

Of course, the answer could be specific choices (smoking, drinking) or lifestyle repercussions. But did you also know that being born in a particular zodiac could make you notably vulnerable to a specific condition!!!

Hear me out. Before you shun this theory down as unsupported, consider these matters: 

  • Your zodiac is decided by the month you are born.
  • The atmospheric, seasonal, and climactic compositions change every month.
  • Your surrounding climactic composition affects your body’s chemical composition.
  • Planetary alignments affect and sometimes cause the ‘seasons’ to say so… and also cause climate changes just as it can cause tides! 
  • Based on the science of nature, Ayurveda classifies a human’s chemical composition as one of the three doshas, i.e., Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. These are primarily believed to be responsible for every human’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This, in turn, bases its study on five elements, i.e., Aakash (space), Jala (water), Prithvi (earth), Teja (fire), and Vayu (air) – each of which gets affected by planetary alignments, i.e., astronomy!

Ancient Greek doctor and philosopher Hippocrates, who is also known as the father of Western medicine, apparently said that “A physician without the knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician, and the contribution of astronomy to medicine is not a small one but a great one indeed.”

While this will always remain debatable in common folklore, it can make an interesting case to see if the theory holds up personally. Picture a human body and graphically divide it into 12 rows (like rows of an excel sheet) starting from head to toe… put each zodiac in each row, beginning with Aries first and ending with Pisces at the feet of the figure! Although this will be a straightforward and linear presentation, it gives you a guesstimate of what it may be. So, your wild guess of Pisces having trouble with feet is bang on target!

Let’s check out each of the zodiacs

Head, Face, & Brain 

It is assumed these babies of the zodiac are hot-headed and fiery. So as a result, they encounter a lot of heat-related issues. Migraines, recurrent headaches, stress-related illnesses, hair fall issues, and acne are common issues Aries face. They are usually pretty reckless with their health, but when sick, they become susceptible and expect tender love and care. Guess what? A head massage can instantly relax an Aries (and may also turn them on!)

Throat, neck, thyroid, & Ear

Stubborn human beings take a long time to heal. Usually, they are always at extremes – either bodybuilders or die-hard foodies; there’s nothing in-between. They tend to suffer most from sore throats, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, ear infections, etc. They must take care of the Ear-Nose-Throat combination well. A neck and shoulder massage can do them well!

Lungs, Shoulders, Arms and Hands, & the Nervous system


As ‘Twin’ personalities as they are, the ailments affect the ‘pairs’ of the body parts too…like arms, hands, shoulders, etc. Usually have respiratory diseases involving lung infections, asthma, and breathing difficulties. They may be prone to anxiety disorders, mental exhaustion, panic, etc., and must practice alternative healing therapy to keep things in check. Regular massages and manicures are the favourite ways Gemini likes to pamper themselves.

Chest, Stomach, & digestive system

Cancerians are also very emotional and don’t open up to many people. The flip side of this is that their digestive system follows suit! As a result, they usually experience frequent stomach discomfort, infections, period pains, digestion issues, etc. Their metabolism also may take a massive hit due to all this. Due to them being emotional and not opening up, the bottled feelings may result in depression and finding comfort in food. Therefore, binge eating or comfort food becomes a constant issue.

Back, heart, Spine, & blood

Leos are fearless lions and have issues accepting defeat or rejection. Heartache, therefore, is a constant and nagging issue. Heart attacks could also be a lingering danger if not addressed in time. They like to walk tall and strong and work hard, which is good. But on the flip side also results in many back problems and Spinal cord issues. A back massage and an ego-in-check keep Leo healthy and brimming with Pride.

EVERYTHING!! A Big LOL

That’s not true, but that is what they BELIEVE!! They are big worriers and can worry themselves into any possible real or imaginable disease. Their problems are with Abdomen, the Digestive System, the Stomach, and the Intestines. Eating disorders and weight issues could be expected. Stomach irritations are a constant issue; digestion problems, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and even ulcers in the worst cases. They must learn to relax and give their bodies some much-needed rest to align with Nature.

Lower back, kidneys, adrenal glands, skin, & bladder

Librans try to balance everything in their life, which affects their physical and mental health. They experience problems with organs that eliminate waste from the body, incredibly fluid waste. Kidney stones, Skin problems, and bladder issues are familiar with them. Poor eating habits and reluctance to seek help compound the issues further. Librans don’t like taking a break even while sick and, least of all, admitting they may be out of action. They must realize the importance of taking breaks and allowing the body time to heal. A simple solution of drinking the elixir of life – WATER- can save both skin and kidneys!

Nose, blood, Reproductive system, waste elimination organs, & bowels

Hormonal imbalances are something the Scorpio has to deal with perpetually. It could lead to erratic monthly cycles in females and several male reproductive disorders. Dehydration is also something a Scorpio suffers from very often. The silver lining is that they understand their body’s needs well and will unabashedly take time off to heal and rejuvenate. Scorpios love the thrill of risk, putting them on the ‘accidental injury’ list. Therefore, they must take personal safety precautions very, very seriously.

Hips, legs, thighs, sciatic nerve, and eyes/vision

Sagittarius loves to travel and experience adventure and is usually reckless. This could often lead to a random accident. By middle age, they already experience problems with their legs/walking, sciatica nerve issues, and vision. Mindfulness can help Sagittarians to re-center themselves and save themselves from a mishappening. ‘Look before you leap’ is a mantra they should try practicing. This also requires them to take good care of their eyes!

Bones, knees, teeth, Skeletal system, & joints

The Capricorn is a hard-working goat. And what does hard work affect most physically? The Joints! Yup. That’s what they struggle with. Knee pain, lower back issues, ligament tears, and everything related to sudden impact or prolonged physical labour. They battle with calcium deficiency and bone density problems. A Capri must take their health seriously lest they risk lifetime troubles with moving around. Osteoporosis and arthritis could be possible if appropriate precautions are not taken early. 

Lower legs, ankles, shins, & the blood circulatory system

Varicose veins are a significant problem. Weak ankles are another. Both can contribute to lousy support for your upper body. Just like the Aquarius faces difficulty connecting with people, their ankles (where your body connects with the earth) bear the brunt of the disease. Ankle injury or sprain in the lower legs is familiar to them. In addition, poor blood circulation often leads to fluid retention or accumulation in certain body parts, which could lead to more severe conditions like Edema or Heart failure in the worst case. 

Nervous system, feet, thalamus, Toes, & Lymphatic System

They are the parents of the zodiac. And what do Parents do? Mostly – They worry themselves to death! Pisceans can and will worry about everything there to think about – the climate, earthquakes, global warming, rising terrorism, mother earth, father Pluto, blah blah, etc., etc., etc.! Yet, that’s just a tiny trailer of how much worrying they are capable of! So, they suffer from anxiety and panic disorders, depression, and a weakened immune system because of all this worry and mania. On a physical level, they have foot-related issues like Corn, bunions or athlete’s foot, rotting toenails, uprooting nails, etc. Pisceans tend to get careless with their health and must eliminate this habit

Oh Yeah! Loads of trouble we people go through. What did you find true about your zodiac? Let me know…

Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!

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Guilt And How Damaging

The Feeling In A Woman’s everyday Life

Scene 1

I am a working professional. Hold a mid-level management post. Married and have two kids. Today is one of those days I need to stretch my shift and work overtime to complete the task. It’s a hard day. I called up home; my children were screaming in the background. I informed my family that I would be late.

I hang up the call and resume work, grab a coffee to keep me awake so I can finish up, and head home. 

I finish late at night, reach home, have dinner set for me, and get to bed. 

My family is proud of me and supports me since I am the breadwinner.

Scene 2

I am a working professional. Hold a mid-level management post. Married and have two children. Today is one of those days I need to stretch my shift and work overtime to complete the task. It’s a hard day. I called up home and informed my family that I would be late. My children are crying in the background. I can barely listen to or think of anything else now. I imagine they are hungry and missing their MOM. I am consumed by Guilt. Call hung-up. I told my boss I would resume work reaching home.

I reach home, prepare dinner, feed the children, attend to their needs, and tuck them into bed. Check things around the house for what is ‘on fire,’ attend to what I can… then proceed to finish my ‘work’ quietly and sleep exceptionally late. 

My family is proud of me since I am the breadwinner too.

These scenes may sound like a familiar story from different families…or the same family with different individuals. And if I am guessing correctly, you assumed the person in the first scene to be a MAN while that in scene 2 to be a WOMAN!

Well, while we could debate the gender of the people in the two scenes, that is not the point here. The fact is the treatment of the situation by two different individuals. While both scenarios eventually ended on a good note, the 2nd one highlighted something else!

Scene 2 is the story of MOST WORKING WOMEN trying to balance a Career and Family. Scenario 2 highlighted excellent time management and situation management skills. But it also highlighted the extra labour the woman put in because of the Guilt she experienced when she heard her children crying and missing their mother. What this tells us is this – 

While women are great at time and situation management, what they are PATHETIC at, is – GUILT MANAGEMENT!!

Guilt is not a feminine trait; to be specific, all and sundry experience it. But women take it upon themselves to be present everywhere, do everything, and perfect every task/event/activity/notion. Yet, somehow, they believe they must look after everything well. 

Do Women feel more guilt than their Male counterparts?

OH YES! Most definitely. 

And there are reasons for that. But, whether it is social conditioning, moral chivvying, or family-emotional blackmail, they buckle under the pressure; after a while, they become a part of the same system that pulls HER down by this guilt-tripping.

The list of guilts she subjects herself to is mind-boggling, phenomenal, and through the roof. She feels (or is made to feel) guilt for…

  • not spending ‘enough’ time with her children/family
  • not be around to see her children grow up each day 
  • not be there for them whenever they need her
  • not be around for her family/friends
  • not be able to give her 100% at work
  • not be able to tend to her ambition
  • not be able to get time for herself
  • etc. etc. etc

When questioned about how she manages family and work, my friend once said, “Every day is bad for me. If I tend to work, my family suffers, and if I give into family pressures, work suffers!” Sadly enough, this is the story most women will vouch for experiencing personally. They live this 24X7, 365 Days a year.

Guilt, like any other, is an emotion. And it is subjective. It relates to a person’s judgment of right and wrong. Women have a solid inclination to ethics, moral virtues, and fairness. It, added to social and familial conditioning, makes the problem more vicious. 

It goes on to mean that the more moral values you assume and conduct yourself with, the more guilt you may experience when things go wrong (or even do not go as planned.) Moreover, they learn from the conduct and behaviour of their predecessors, i.e., other women in the family/society. These archetypes get deeply ingrained, become a part of the subconscious, and become their intrinsic ‘Nature.’

Over and above this, if you have experienced any past traumas as a child or a teenager, you tend to assume more guilt in adverse situations. It is usually a result of self-sabotaging thoughts you keep revisiting, wondering if somehow there could have been a way to salvage the situation. Could you have averted it? Even when things go well with you but not with others around you, you experience guilt – sometimes referred to as ‘Survivor’s Guilt.’

In essence…

More Morality = More Guilt 

More Empathy = More Guilt

More Assumed Responsibility = More Guilt

More Past Trauma = More guilt

No Trauma = STILL MORE GUILT!!

GREAT!

So, it’s just guilt, right? So, what’s the big deal? BAD NEWS – Guilt is more damaging than you think.

GUILT – How Damaging can it get?

Guilt does not ruin your moment, minute, hour, and day; it runs deeper. However, it can ruin your entire personality. Cumulative guilt can grow so intense that you may find it challenging to get through each day. It gets heavy slowly but steadily and eventually to levels where you find it hard to connect with loved ones, family, friends, and co-workers. Your self-worth is defeated, and you rush from task to task to accomplish everything in one day to feel worthy of being alive.

Personally, you live a battle each day. Tired, exhausted, and defeated every day.

Professionally, your colleagues only see an already-tired, unpassionate, and incompetent person!

So, is there a way to stop this vicious and self-sabotaging cycle?

HOW TO STOP FEELING GUILTY?

Is it possible to stop feeling guilty? How?

YES – And the answer is SELF-LOVE!

Close your ears to the world and indulge in unconditional Self-love. Take a break when you can. Stop negative self-talk. Do not even think of yourself as second or inferior to anyone. The other person may seem to be doing better than you, be able to achieve more and pack more in the day – but remember, ‘Balancing Work and Family’ is MYTH. So let me shout this into your ears one more time – ‘Balancing Work and Family’ is MYTH, MYTH MYTH.

Remember

  • No one gets it all right. Even if they tell you, they can – don’t believe ‘em!
  • Get more accepting of yourself, do whatever you can best in the day, and move on. 
  • Understand that we may fail, and that is okay.
  • Stop aiming for perfection lest you lose yourself. Not everything in the day will be ACE.
  • Last and most importantly – Do not broadcast your life to people who don’t appreciate you. Know what legend says – People can’t ruin what they don’t know!!

——

Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!

Follow Veena Gupta

Why Resolutions Fail


2023 is moving at a fast pace. Since the new year, we all partied like there was no tomorrow and gorged on sumptuous food and delicacies. It was all feast & fun, booze & banter, love & laughter everywhere. Full On PARTY!! And like all good things come to an end, the party fever also faded gradually, and we are back to our jobs/chores/businesses. But, wait, we forgot something very inherent to New Year’s… 

The Resolutions!

We all make them, and we are guilty of breaking them too. OOPS! Yup. It’s that time of the year. Half our resolutions are already forgotten a week post-New Year’s Eve. But, like all other years, we make them and try to keep up with them, sometimes sincerely, and then break them just as systematically. 

The Resolutions are an exciting thing. We make these promises to turn a new leaf with the New Year. It promises to change something undesired, start something new we wish to incorporate into our lives or accomplish a personal or professional goal. While this can be done any time of the year, the start of a New Year feels like the perfect opportunity to say to yourself, ‘New Year, New ME.’

Let’s take a look at some most common New Year’s Resolutions that are made around the world (and broken around the world)

As good-intentioned as they are, we do our best to keep them going till at least the next DAY. But then the dreaded reality of daily routine strikes us, and our so-called ‘benevolent’ plans fail. OUCH!

Yes, it does. And it is more common than you think. If statistics are to be believed, most new year’s resolutions don’t live beyond the first month. A whopping 57% quit after the first month!

A good 1/5th of the resolutioners (i.e., my kind of people) will quit in the first week itself!! And only 1/10th of all will keep it running for the entire year. SIGH.

So, what goes wrong here? We had all the good intentions. Yes, we did try to keep it accurate. We kept up with it. So why do most resolutions fail?

REASONS MOST RESOLUTIONS FAIL

1. Hopping on the Bandwagon

Most of us aren’t even serious while making these resolutions. We may have all the intentions hoping it does, somehow, go well. But the fact is that we made new year’s resolutions because ‘It is New Year’ and because ‘it is the thing to do.’

The fact that we made it just out of the blue makes it lack the seriousness to follow it through, and hence the inevitable happens.

2. TIMING

If we have genuine plans to follow a resolution, then any day is a good day. It need not be a ‘New Year’s Eve’ to resolve. It is just deciding for your plans to materialize ‘One day’ or that day is ‘Day One’ on your plan execution. 

Maybe new year’s morning is not a day you are entirely ready to take on the bet.

3. Motivation

The biggest culprit of all. We lose motivation as we follow the goal. We got inspired initially, made a resolution, and had the motivation steam going strong to see the resolution launch. But somewhere in due course, we lose steam, and slowly the motivation begins to die, causing resolutions to fall apart.

4. LIFE

Yes, Life Happens. And life does take over. You may call it by different names like ‘getting busy,’ ‘prioritizing other things,’ ‘shift in focus, ’ blah blah… but yes, life does take over, and it gets difficult to break the vicious pattern of daily routine that causes plans to fall through.

So, is it the End of the Road? 
Well, not yet…If we understand what causes the fall, we may be on the road to understanding how to keep it going.

HOW TO MAKE
NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS WORK ?

1. Get your WHY right:

First and foremost, Understand and agree in principle WHY you are resolving. Once you know your reason behind the resolution, and you can look at it daily, you will be able to follow it through.

Yes, it will still take effort but at least not in reminding yourself of the goal each day!

2. Make smaller goals:

Yes, this may sound contrary to popular notion, but think about it…if your goals are more extensive than what you have done so far, you are challenging yourself out of your comfort zone, which is challenging in itself. On the contrary, making smaller goals help your confidence in knowing you can achieve them. If higher goals motivate you, there is nothing like it. Go for it by all means.

But if you doubt being able to follow your dream, it is better not to badger your already shaky commitment. Better to begin small, build confidence and then challenge yourself out of your comfort zone. So instead of making a goal to ‘LOSE WEIGHT’ or ‘SLIM DOWN,’ make a goal to ‘Drink eight glasses of water each day.’ This looks smaller, achievable, and worth a try. And although small, it does contribute to the bigger goal of losing weight!

3. Get CONSISTENT

Motivation is a big word. I wouldn’t go for it. But if you are a self-motivated individual – You are already blessed! You do not need a new year’s excuse to resolve to achieve your goal. 

But if you are the timid kind, motivation is something you struggle with already. So, instead of looking for motivation, look for consistency. Look for how you can be consistent with doing what you have planned. It should become a part of your existing routine and, therefore, manageable. So, instead of planning a big makeover overnight, strive for something you can keep up with daily.

4. One Step at a Time

Yes, there is a lot to achieve, and we must change all that overnight, but that will not happen. Point BLANK. 

So, if you want to achieve something, make only one resolution at a time, follow it through, and then go for the next month. It looks stingy and small to aim so low, but if it works, it is not tiny!

So, my lovelies, even if you are one of my kind who cannot keep your resolutions beyond Week one, don’t lose heart. Lose your self-badgering and start ‘SMALL and STAY CONSISTENT’!!

Veena Gupta, a homemaker, doting mother, and a loving wife, who takes pride in a long-standing career in Banking and Finance. While her life took shape and as she was pursuing all this, something kept tugging her creativity. This pull lead her to decide to express her thoughts through writing. True to her name, her words flow from her pen to resonate with the reader’s mind like the soothing music that the musical instrument Veena creates! For someone who likes to experiment in life through adventure sports, trekking, and other varied interests, Veena likes to bring her experience, background and perspective to her readers through her simple yet effective writing to push the fact home!

Follow Veena Gupta

Anxiety The Silent Killer

It’s a cold winter evening, and I am working on my laptop, constantly worried about something (that’s just me). My little one is watching her favorite animation series, The Lion Guard. I am half-focused on my writing and half on the surrounding sounds, including the cacophony of the various characters and their emotional exclamations of the serial. Suddenly the zebras on the screen scream – Panic and Run! Panic and Run! Panic and Run!

All my alarm bells go ringing! WHY?… because this sounds familiar – in fact – THIS IS ME… the ever-present and constant feeling I experience every second of my waking life – ‘PANIC AND RUN!’

This is the most dreaded yet familiar bane of urban modern-day city life – ANXIETY.

Anxiety: What does it feel like on a regular day?

It feels like the fear of the unknown. The feeling of being confused and not knowing what to do next, yet feeling like you forget to do something urgently. The feeling of being unable to figure out what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what will happen next?

Sometimes you may wake up middle of the night with a deep feeling of sadness, loss, or uncertainty. You feel like a lump in your throat and a pit in your stomach. You experience irrational fear of losing control, irritability, restlessness, fatigue, unexplained and shifting aches and pains, and overbearing thoughts and beliefs that are difficult to control.

Feeling worried constantly but don’t know why? When you sometimes panic and feel anxious but do not know the reason? That is ANXIETY.

Common Triggers

Anxiety is triggered by stress, confusion, trauma, and many more… You feel anxious: – 

When things go Wrong:

When things don’t work out as planned, that triggers Anxiety. You start to think about what went wrong or what you could have done differently to make things right. 

When things go Right

Sometimes you feel anxious even when things go exactly as planned! Surprised, huh! 

Yes, you heard that right. When you do something which happens precisely as you planned, that also causes Anxiety because you didn’t expect it would work so smoothly, and when it did, you start doubting whether you followed the right path.

When you feel performance pressure

When you are under performance pressure or taking a test, you start to get nervous and feel anxious about meeting people’s expectations or whether you will pass the test with flying colors. 

Even when you have achieved your target:

In many instances, you have finished doing something you planned or achieved a target and are hopeful this will end well. But that’s when Anxiety kicks in!!!

Why? Because now you don’t know what to do next!! You haven’t planned what is to be done next, and that’s what creates panic. 

It is normal to feel anxious in stressful situations. Still, sometimes when it reaches a level beyond your control, it is an indicator of something serious that’s difficult to deal with. This is when feelings become excessive and interfere with daily living. It disturbs your ability to function normally – This is when it could be a more severe issue, i.e., an ANXIETY DISORDER.

What do Anxiety Disorders look like in everyday life?

Contrary to popular belief, it could look like a standard but nagging issue. Sometimes it is accorded to a general ‘temperamental’ problem. It seems like and relates to something very mundane – like insisting on keeping the TV remote in a particular place; or urging to do a specific task only in a certain fashion. Like feeling nervous before an Interview, like feeling sad about something happening/not happening.

These things are daily and do not warrant that you suffer from Disorders. It is only when they go to an excessive level of becoming unhealthy Obsessions and Phobias that it starts getting murkier. Anxiety Disorders can take various forms. Let’s take a look: – 

Social Anxiety Disorder

Stage Fear, Introversion, Being Shy, or Being Asocial are all common forms of hesitation. But they don’t necessarily qualify as a Disorder. This is considered a disorder when you get excessively concerned about facing people. When the fear of meeting people gets serious to the extent of ‘Situational Paralysis,.’ You freeze on stage and in social situations and hope you disappear from the face of the earth! This is when you should consider it serious.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The most common form and yet the most difficult to recognize. This is because it is generally branded as a personal trait. Statements like ‘Oh, He is a cleanliness freak,’ ‘She is a slave of the Clock,’ or ‘He is very particular about certain things’ – all could be red flags of the person suffering from an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Preferring things in a certain way is normal, but insisting on it and going bonkers if they don’t go as per charter, is a qualifier for OCD.

Panic Disorder

Panic at its worst. You don’t just panic and experience symptoms similar to a Heart Attack! 

Yes, you read it right. Your presumed midnight heart attack could well be a Panic attack instead. Shortness of breath, Heart Palpitations, chest pain, abdominal pain, sweaty palms, and hot flushes are the physical manifestations of a Panic attack. In addition, you suddenly feel numb, lost, and disoriented. This is panic in its worst form.

GAD or General Anxiety Disorder

Your Anxiety with excessive and unhealthy intensity is GAD. It is unrealistic and exaggerates worry and tension for very little or no reason.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE
If you or anyone you know needs help and support please reach out to a crisis resources center near your area.
Seeking help is human and it is the first step to recovery.

Phobias 

Most phobias are nothing but your excessive fear of a particular thing. Fear, in general, is experienced by everyone, but when it’s crippling enough to stop you from general functioning, it’s worth a review.

Okay then, we now know it is terrible. And what makes it worse is our Minds and thoughts. So, what do you do to get your life back?

What can be done to control Anxiety?

It is hard to unlearn what we have trained our minds to believe and behave. So, it is going to be hard work to rewire your brain. But let me also tell you, the rewards are worth the labor. Although Anxiety cannot be eliminated, and sometimes it is good for you, you can take steps to control it to a large extent.

Practice Grounding

Grounding or earthing is typically used in the context of electrical circuits, but it is just as relevant in the human-nature relationship too. Connecting to the electrical charges of the earth has a calming effect on your body.

Walking barefoot, lying on the ground or grass, and wading in shallow waters are simple yet effective ways of grounding.

Life Style Changes

All our emotions are by-products of chemical reactions in our brains. And the good news is you can control it mainly by keeping a balanced diet and life. Make time for walks, recreation, friends, exercise, healthy eating, and sleeping. Avoid too many stimulants such as tea, coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, etc.

Stress Management

Managing stress helps you get in charge of your emotions. Mindfulness & Meditation can help to calm your mind and control anxiety levels. Yoga is terrific for a restless mind. 

When to reach out for help?

ANYTIME. 

Reach out for help anytime you feel your symptoms are bogging you down or are getting intense, so much so that it’s crippling your sanity. Shying away from social stigma or overthinking the consequences is only going to make it worse. 

So, reach out even if it may feel like a false alarm. It’s okay to be wrong in your diagnosis. It’s better to be safe than sorry. The point is DO REACH OUT BEFORE IT GETS TOO LATE.

Try reaching out for help while you still can!

IMPORTANT MESSAGE
If you or anyone you know needs help and support please reach out to a crisis resources center near your area.
Seeking help is human and it is the first step to recovery.
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