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Working Women’s Forums in India: Networking To Learn And Grow

Forums are a great way for any group of like-minded people who have common interests or professional goals to interact and benefit from each other’s experiences and knowledge.

Working women’s forums in India are extremely popular because they enable women to share, learn, educate, or sometimes simply unburden their hearts. These could be formally established forums, informal forums at the workplace, or online forums.

Women Networking

There are several formally established working women’s forums in India. One of them, Working Women’s Forum (WWF), was founded by Padma Shri, Dr. Jaya Arunachalam, in Chennai, in 1978 for the welfare of working women from lower economic backgrounds.

Their mission is “Poverty reduction and strengthening of economic, social and cultural status of poor working women, through micro-credit, training, social mobilisation and other interventions to poor women.” This organization has tirelessly been working to achieve their goal for the past three decades.

That said, it is not only working women from lower economic backgrounds who benefit from forums. Today’s urban corporate women have much to gain from forums at the workplace, or even the local clubs.

These forums meet regularly to discuss various topics ranging from child care options for young mothers and carpooling to office, to discrimination or sexual harassment at the workplace.  Lectures by prominent women in the corporate setup who graciously share their experiences are not uncommon in forums in larger organizations.

Potluck lunches and high tea add zing to these meetings. Rewards and recognition for women achievers to appreciate their contribution in various activities whether business related or Social Responsibility related , are given to encourage the women employees to stay motivated.

Online forums for working women in India are also aplenty.  Healthcare, childcare, or dealing with an unfair boss – you name it, and you have forums that deal with it.

While these forums may not always give you a perfect solution to your problem, or the perfect answer to your nagging doubt, they bring you closer to a number of other women who may be facing the same issues, or waiting to learn the same skills.

A young working mother says “I scour the internet for recipes that I can quickly prepare in the morning before I leave for work. And voila! There are so many websites and women’s forums where people share recipes, comment on the results and help each other out.”

This is just one example.  A lot of online forums for women deal with pregnancy concerns, and other health issues that women go through.

To help women understand the importance of saving and investing money, there are forums where experienced financial consultants answer queries. These consultants, also women, are focused on educating Indian working women about the various instruments through which they can save and invest their hard earned money and help them stay financially independent.

So join a forum out there, whether on the web, your workplace or your local sports club and speak your mind to benefit other working women, and also learn a lot yourself.


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Business Negotiation

Non-Verbal Communication: Body Language For Negotiators

By Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D.

In any business encounter (from high stakes negotiation to everyday bargaining situations) you are communicating over two channels – verbal and non-verbal – resulting in two distinct conversations going on at the same time.

While a well-designed bargaining strategy is obviously important, it’s not the most important message you send. Communication research shows that in a thirty-minute negotiation, two people can send over eight hundred different nonverbal signals.

If you focus on the verbal exchange alone and ignore the non-verbal element, you stand a high chance of coming away from that negotiation wondering why in the world your brilliantly constructed bargaining plan didn’t work out the way it was supposed to.

Here are five body language guidelines to help you hold your own when you negotiate.

1. Start off with the right stuff

It all begins with the right attitude. Regardless of how tiring or frustrating your day may have been, before you enter the meeting room, pull your shoulders back, hold your head high, take a deep breath, and walk in as your “best self” — exuding ease and energy.

Just after entering the meeting room, stop for a moment and look around at the person or group that has already assembled. Open your eyes slightly larger than usual. This will trigger an “eyebrow flash” (a slight upward movement that is a universal signal of recognition and welcome). Smile.

Make eye contact with all of your counterparts. A simple way to enhance positive eye contact is to look at eyes long enough to know what color they are.

2.  Shake hands

You can develop an immediate and positive connection with someone by simply shaking their hand – if you do it right!

• Whenever possible, you should initiate the handshake. Lean forward and extend your hand with your palm facing sideways.

• Keep your body squared off to the other person – facing him or her fully.

• Maintain eye contact and continue to smile.

• Make sure you have palm-to-palm contact and that the web of you hand (the skin between your thumb and first finger) touches the web of the other person’s.

• Press firmly – people will judge you as indecisive or weak if you offer a limp grip – but don’t be overly aggressive and squeeze too hard.
• Hold the other person’s hand a second longer than you are naturally inclined to do. This conveys additional sincerity and quite literally “holds” the other person’s attention while you exchange greetings.

• Start talking before you let go: “It’s great to see you” or “I’m so glad to be here.” If you are meeting for the first time, introduce yourself.

• When you break eye contact, don’t look down (it’s a submission signal). Rather, keep your head up and move your eyes to the side.

3. Continue building rapport

In negotiations, rapport is the foundation for a “win-win” outcome. Everything you have done from the time you entered the room until now has been geared to send rapport-building nonverbal statements.

To continue building rapport, remember to maintain eye contact, lean forward, use head nods of encouragement, and smile when appropriate.

The most powerful sign of rapport – and one that you already do (unconsciously) around people you like and respect – is to mirror the other person’s body postures, gestures, expressions, breathing pattern, etc.

Mirroring builds agreement, but if you use mirroring as a technique, be subtle. Allow two or three seconds to go by before gradually changing your body language to (more or less) reflect that of the other person.

4. Display confidence

Showing your torso is one way of demonstrating a high level of confidence, security or trust. The more you cover your torso with folded arms, crossed legs, etc. the more it appears that you need to protect or defend yourself.

Feet also say a lot about your self-confidence. When you stand with your feet close together, you can seem timid or hesitant. But when you widen your stance, relax your knees and center your weight in your lower body, you look more “solid” and sure of yourself.

When you need to be seen as assertive, remember that power is displayed by height and space. If you stand you will look more powerful to those who are seated. If you move around, the additional space you take up adds to that impression.

If you are sitting, you can still project power by stretching your legs and arms and by spreading out your belongings on the conference table, and claiming more territory.

5. Make a positive final impression

In the same way you conveyed energy and ease during your entrance, and projected confidence throughout the negotiation process, be sure you also make a strong exit.

Stand tall, shake hands warmly, and leave your counterpart with the impression that you are someone he or she should look forward to dealing with in the future.

Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D. is an executive coach, change-management consultant, and international keynote speaker at corporate, government, and association events. She’s a expert contributor for The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” column, a leadership blogger on, a business body language columnist for “the Market” magazine, and the author of  “The Silent Language Of Leaders: How Body Language Can help – or Hurt – How You Lead.”

Image: photostock /

Toxic Love

Toxic Love Relationships: The Jilted Lover Syndrome

On November 23rd, 2007, the story of an alleged double murder and suicide by a businessman after a breakup with his model girlfriend hit the headlines of all national dailies of India.

Many women remember being stalked and harassed by former lovers who just can’t take ‘no’ for an answer. We needn’t have to live in dread of a vengeful jilted lover. Instead we should empower ourselves on how to tackle these lovers using legal means, writes Pallavi Bhattacharya.

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known”. Those immortal lines from “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens are spoken by Sydney Carton who sacrifices his life for the happiness of Lucie, the woman he loves deeply.

Sydney Carton is a rare exception as far as unrequited lovers are concerned. Maybe the likes of Sydney just exist in fiction. Most jilted lovers have a hard time coping with rejection. In fact, some turn deadly when rejected.

On November 23rd, 2007, the story of an alleged double murder and suicide by a businessman after a breakup with his model girlfriend hit the headlines of all national dailies of India.

Avinash Patnaik, a 22 year old wealthy businessman from Rourkela in Orissa met 23-year-old Moon Das, a beautiful model from Mumbai at a New Year Eve’s party in Rourkela in 2006. According to Moon, Avinash was ‘this small town guy who was curious and excited about life in a big city like Mumbai’.

Before long Avinash and Moon were boyfriend and girlfriend. Moon narrated how Avinash would love to flaunt her among his friends and even ask her to dress and behave boldly.

However the situation completely changed when Avinash visited Mumbai to stay with Moon. He turned into an overly possessive lover who expressed disapproval in the way Moon dressed and her going out for shoots. They constantly fought.

Moon says that Avinash even hit her in the presence of her friends leaving bruises. Moon therefore decided to break up with Avinash. Avinash started suspecting that there was another man in Moon’s life. He had even thought of hiring a detective to follow her. He threatened Moon that he would commit suicide if Moon didn’t take him back.

In November, 2007, Avinash drove all the way from Orissa to Mumbai to see Moon for the very last time. He had a gun with him. It is believed that Avinash got into an altercation with Moon’s mother and uncle and killed both of them in a fit of rage.

According to news reports the police have suspected that Avinash was waiting for Moon to return home so that he could kill her too thereby completing his revenge for she having rejected him. When Moon came home late at night she was frightened on seeing Avinash’s parked car.

Fearing that danger had befallen her family she rushed to her apartment door. She took her male friend with her to open the door. When she rung the door bell, Avinash opened it a crack armed with a pistol.

Moon and her friend promptly latched the door and rushed to the police station. When the police arrived, to their horror they discovered that Avinash had killed Moon’s mother and uncle and had then shot himself dead.

The third bullet which was meant for Moon was ultimately used by Avinash to kill himself. Maybe Avinash had realized that if arrested he could easily get the death penalty for his murders. That is why he may have committed suicide.

Both Sydney Carton and Avinash Patnaik had died for the woman they loved. However there is a major difference on how they chose to die. Sydney was mature enough to realize that he didn’t necessarily have to be with Lucie to love her.

He respected her decision to marry someone else and even gave his life so that she could live happily ever after with her husband. Avinash instead ruined his lady love’s life. “Avinash has killed my soul,” Moon told an English daily.

We all have been following this news. We feel deeply sorry for Moon but how many of us think that we may also be the victim of a jilted lover with a murderous streak?

Many women remember being stalked and harassed by former lovers who just can’t take ‘no’ for an answer. We needn’t have to live in dread of a vengeful jilted lover. Instead we should empower ourselves on how to tackle these lovers using legal means.

Tell-tale signs of jilted lovers who may turn stalkers

Jilted lovers who turn stalkers don’t have to come with a sinister facial expression and robust physical build. In fact, Avinash looks docile and quite handsome in his photograph with Moon.

His parents and friends find it difficult to believe that a ‘nice boy’ like him could have killed two people. It’s true that looks mislead. We should rather be on the watch for some psychological traits vengeful lovers seem to have.

Psychologist Pransenjit Kamble says, “These kind of lovers surely have low self-esteem. The chronic emotional state that these lovers go through is fear. Most of the time this person is scared of one thing or the other. He may be scared of being without a job, then of having nobody with him and then maybe about being found out by someone for no reason at all.”

They may be phobic that the relationship may fall apart and always try hard to salvage it by any means possible. It is this fear that makes these lovers overtly possessive and suspicious. Their insecurity may make them abusive.

Consulting Psychiatrist, Dr.Bharati Patil, warns, “Don’t get emotionally and physically involved with men like these as breaking the relationship may be very difficult later from both the sides.”

It’s rather dangerous to stay on with an abusive and clingy lover hoping that he will change. Moon confessed that she confided about Avinash’s dark side to his elder brother, Pritam, who told her that only Moon could bring a change in him. We all know how far Pritam’s prophecy was from the truth.

Jilted lovers who turn into stalkers aren’t in the frame of mind to understand that there is something wrong with them. They don’t generally visit psychologists for help. So putting up with a lover like this may be simply digging your own grave.

Why do jilted lovers seek revenge?

Prasenjit probes into the psyche that makes jilted lovers commit a heinous crime as murder. “The kind of love these people show is borne out of low self-esteem. When these people fall in love they feel it is a good thing to hang on to. The moment they see the person they love moving away from them they get possessive about it.”

“Murder just happens in a fit. They are so overpowered with rage because the girl has rejected him that he forgets everything else. Their state of mind when they commit murder is similar to someone who is dancing at top speed totally oblivious of what is happening around them.”

Prabha Christdoss, Director of the Women’s Welfare Society of the Diocese of Mumbai says, “The love of these stalkers is not true love. It is just attraction. Maybe they think of a woman as the weaker sex who doesn’t have a choice and the right to say no. So when rejected they want to punish or hurt the girl.”

Don’t show your stalker that you are afraid of him. Prasenjit explains, “Stalkers get all the more encouraged if their victim seems to be frightened. Success at harassing the girl gives them a wild sense of strength.”

Real life horrific tales of stalking

Kathy was stalked by a listener when she worked at broadcasting sector. She was flooded with mails from him, which, before long, escalated to sending pornographic photographs with Kathy’s face replacing those of the women in the magazines.

Phone calls by this person to Kathy’s workplace continued, describing her entire day, what she wore, where she ate and whom she spoke to. Kathy informed the police when he sent her a soiled pair of men’s underwear with a shredded rose. The man was found months later.

Kathy recalls, “He had been at my workplace many times when I was co-producing a mid-day show. I thought he was a really sweet guy, he was also a huge help during a charity. Had he asked me out for a friendly coffee, I would not have thought twice about meeting him. To this day, I never recognized his voice on the phone. Ladies should take self defence classes to protect themselves from stalkers like these.”

Julie Gray (name changed) narrates how frightening it was to be stalked. She says, “My ex-husband who turned stalker sent flowers to my new job as a way to demonstrate that he knew how to find me. He even got a copy of my credit report. He faxed weird messages to my parents’ place of business. When he still couldn’t find me he called up my best friend in another state and described the interior of her new office to which she had the only key.”

Julie warned her ex-husband that she would tell his new wife how he was harassing her. That put a stop to the harassment. “I still remember how scary it was to be under constant observation but never knowing when or how. That is why I am trained in hand to hand combat,” says Julie.

Linda Reeves (name changed) was actually stalked by a woman. Her stalker who suffered from a gender identity crisis was in the process of becoming a male. Linda clearly told her that she was married and not a lesbian.

However her stalker would still show up at odd hours of the night and leave more than 15 messages daily on her phone. She spread rumours that Linda was getting a divorce from her husband. Her stalker’s brother and Linda’s husband failed in trying to convince her to leave Linda alone.

Instead the stalker threatened to hurt Linda. She followed Linda to church a Sunday morning and pulled over to her vehicle over three times. Linda then complained to the police and got a restraining order on her from the judge.

Linda says, “The stalking has stopped now but it was a very bad experience for me for a couple of months. People need to remember men and women can be stalked by even their own sex.”

Cyber stalking: A very real threat

Model, Ashleysha Yesugade, is flooded with friends’ requests from weird people on Orkut. She says, “I am on Orkut only to keep in touch with my friends and a few fans but lately there have been too many odd people asking me to add them to my friend’s list. I do not approve them unless I find them genuine.”

“If I reject them, they claim to be my biggest fan, and the height is when then they say they are into model co-ordination, direction and want to meet me rather than my manager. It’s funny when people do this. I have realized that if I reject, they even make fake accounts using my pictures.”

When asked as to why cyber stalking is on the rise, Prasenjit says, “Lives have become monotonous as a result of computerisation. That makes people want to seek out adventure but at the same time they don’t want to be found out.”

Fake profiles infest social networking sites like Orkut. A man may stalk you with the profile name of a woman. Or all the friends in someone’s friend’s list may be fake profiles of himself. A person you rejected from an online dating site may also create a fake profile which impresses you to communicate with you.

Cyber stalkers may repeatedly mail you, post defamatory and derogatory statements about you on message boards and guest books. They may also create fake blogs in your name posting defamatory and pornographic content. They may trace your IP address to verify your home or place of employment. Or they may hack into your email account. Before long online stalking may turn to offline stalking.

But there are some precautions you can take to prevent cyber stalking. Be very careful to whom you give personal information. Choose a difficult password comprising of numbers, symbols and letters and make it at least six characters.  Change your password frequently. Memorise it instead of writing it down on a notebook.

Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Make sure that only you know the answer to the secret question protecting your password.

If you are a woman, avoid usernames that clearly indicate that you are female. Don’t post your real photograph online without watermarking it as it easily may be misused. Also a photograph will make it a piece of cake for your stalker to identify you in real life.

Update yourself on how the social network you are a part of deals with charges of stalking and abuse. Register a complaint if harassed.
You should report an incident of stalking to the system administrator of both your Internet Service Provider with the ISP of the stalker or harasser.

Stalkers however sometimes try to conceal their tracks by forging their e-mail headers. On receiving an abusive e-mail visit SpamCop. This free service analyzes your unwanted e-mail to determine its point of origin, and can generate a report that will be e-mailed to the appropriate system administrator.

CyberSnitch may also be used to report Internet abuse and duly send a report to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Report an abusive stalker to the Cyber Crime cell of the police. Save all abusive messages to register a complaint. Even if, by chance, you have deleted the abusive mails, do register a complaint, as they can be retrieved.

Cyber stalking often occurs from cyber cafes, especially if the cyber café isn’t responsible enough to keep a record of the photo identity proof of the user. So if you visit a cyber café that doesn’t ask for your photo identify proof, register a complaint against it at the nearest police station. That’s what you can do as a responsible citizen to prevent cyber stalking.

Safety precautions to avoid being stalked

Dr.Bharati Patil advises, “If you are being harassed by a stalker then don’t travel alone. Inform friends and family that you are being harassed.” If necessary take a different route to your work place if you think that your stalker will be waiting in the way.

The home security measures that you can abide by:

  • keeping the doors, windows and garage locked
  • changing window and door locks
  • replacing steel doors with metal doors
  • fixing fire extinguishers near your doors and learning how to use them as ‘intruder repellents’
  • fixing burglar alarms
  • getting a dog and
  • storing emergency numbers on your home and cellular phone.

Some women have changed their phone numbers, have opted for a private mail box for snail mail and have even changed their address.

However the truth is that you can’t go on living in constant fear and trying to hide from your stalker throughout your life. Your stalker needs a strong intervention to stop. And only police/ legal intervention may be able to do so.

How to free yourself from a stalker

If you want to end your relationship with a clingy lover, tell him clearly but politely that the relationship is over. Don’t break off ties abruptly without informing him. Psychologist Prasenjit cautions, “Silence just worsens matters. Silence means non-responsiveness. Nobody really wants to be given a communication break. Silence makes obsessed lovers even more problematic.”

However a jilted lover may still refuse to take no for an answer. His loving messages may abruptly change to incessant hateful, abusive and threatening messages. He may call from various numbers when you aren’t taking his call.

In a situation like this psychiatrist Dr.Bharati Patil advises, “When he calls tell him that you know very well who is calling. Inform him that whether he calls from the same number or various numbers your answer will be the same- that the relationship is over.”

You should send a polite but firm letter to a jilted lover who won’t give up on you telling him clearly that you don’t want any communication from him in person and through letters, gifts, emails, SMSes and phone calls.

Prasenjit advises, “The mail shouldn’t be too formal. It should be in the similar style you generally write to him. However it should come with a little bit of strictness emphasizing that you really mean it when you are asking him to stay away from you. Sending this mail is legal proof that the girl has told him in very clear words that she doesn’t want any communication from him. Second, that the guy is stalking her despite being told not to do so.”

There are various ways in which the stalker may react to this letter. He may stop harassing you or still continue to do so. Prasenjit feels, “The stalker may lie low for a while and later resurface. Or he will burn with revenge.”

According to Prasenjit making your parents talk to them warning them to stay away from you doesn’t really work. Prasenjit advises, “Making your parents talk to him may be a good option in the initial stages. However most of the time it has been seen that this just doesn’t work. The guy isn’t really in a position to listen to anyone as his psychological state is one of heightened activity. He is very high on his hormones especially adrenaline. That makes him blind to most things.”

“Your relatives may try to keep him away only using language which he may easily turn a deaf ear to. But the police have an aura of authenticity around them which really can’t be neglected. So if the police warns him it may bring him out of the state of reverie he goes into.”

Police and legal intervention in stalking

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Prakash Wani, explains the nature of the offence committed in the case of stalking, “Simply stalking is not an offence but if stalking is with the intention of crime is an offence. Stalking can be both a cognizable or non cognizable offence.”

“Section 354 of Indian Penal Code says whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman intending to outrage or knowing it is likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty commits a cognizable offence.”

“Section 509 of Indian Penal Code says whoever intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object intending that such a word or sound shall be heard or that such a gesture or object shall be seen by such a woman or intrudes upon the privacy of such a woman commits a cognizable offence.”

“Section 504 of Indian Penal Code says whoever intentionally insults and thereby gives provocation to the person intending or knowing that it is likely that such a provocation will cause to break the public peace or to commit any other offence has committed a non-cognizable offence. If the stalker threatens a woman through SMS, phone call, emails that he will murder, rape, molest or throw acid on her may commit a cognizable or non cognizable offence or its situation on merit.”

If your ex-lover threatens that he will commit suicide if you don’t reunite with him complain to the police immediately. This kind of blackmail has been glamorised in Bollywood movies, where the rejected lover and society often puts the blame on the girl for saying no and compels her to take her lover back.

But if you do return to your jilted lover in real life the consequence can be deadly. Nor do you want to be accused for the abetment of suicide just in case he causes deliberate self harm, or in an exceptional case does kill himself.

Take a trustworthy person with you for emotional support when you go to the police station to register your complaint. He or she may be a family member, friend or a witness to you having been stalked.

Take all the evidence you have like abusive messages, a record of the exact time of phone calls and maybe photographs of the stalker while in the act. If your stalker is driving behind you or trying to enter your house film him on your mobile phone to record the act.

What happens after a woman has registered a complaint with the police station?

Mr.Wani answers, “On a complaint being lodged by a woman for being stalked by a man in a cognizable offence way, the accused may be arrested without a warrant. In a non cognizable offence the action taken depends on the gravity of the situation of the complainant. The accused may be advised to approach the proper court of law or the police may enforce action by asking the accused to deposit the amount of a fine, imposed as per the provision made under certain sections of local act.”

“Once the complaint is made to the police officer the police are bound to register the same. At the time of registering the offence the section of law shall be applied on the merit of evidence or accordingly it shall be decided whether it needs investigation or not. Deleted mails, sms can be retrieved, verified if the offence is of cognizable nature. This procedure takes official time as per the circumstances and the case.”

If by chance you see your stalker right behind you in a public place with the intention to harass you immediately complain to the nearest police station or police man on duty. If he is following you in a desolate street late at night, use your self defense skills.

What can you do if stalking continues even after registering a complaint?

Solicitor & Advocate, Nityaoah S Mehta, advises, “If stalking follows despite the police complaint you need to maintain a police diary. You need to give a feedback of whatever messages you receive and other instances of stalking on a daily basis. That makes it easier for the police to take an action. Thereafter, all the complaints together with the daily dairy record can then be converted into an FIR for immediate action by the Police.””

Mr.Wani says, “In spite of initial action such as warning or a fine as per the merit of case imposed on a stalker, if he continues stalking a woman, a preventive action can be initiated against him under section 107 of Criminal procedure Code which is dealt by Special Executive magistrate.”

“The Special Executive magistrate is empowered to get the executed bond from such a person with or without conditional surety. If such a stalker fails to execute a bond for his good behavior the Special Executive Magistrate can send him to jail maximum for the period of six months until he furnishes the bond.”

The responsibility of the stalker’s family

According to Moon, she had complained about Avinash to his family but they took no action. Avinash’s family still can’t believe that their son could have committed murder and are trying hard to prove his innocence. Meanwhile Avinash Patnaik’s profile on Orkut has been hacked.

The hacker has used abusive language to describe Moon. Scraps have come in blaming Moon to the extent of accusing her to be the murderer who framed Avinash. Though police reports point to Avinash’s guilt, a section of society seems to want to believe otherwise. Maybe this shows a lack of empathy Indian society has for girls who have been stalked.

Dr. Bharati Patil has this piece of advice for the families of stalkers, “If the family receives complaints that their son is stalking someone they should supervise his activities. They should be on the look out for changes in his activities and behaviour like he being busy with too many calls, not coming home on time, not sleeping well and easily getting irritated. Delusional lovers need counselling and medication to prevent them from continuing to stalk. So the family should take them to a psychiatrist and psychologist right away.”

Healing from a stalking nightmare

Moon has been felicitated by the Lions Club of Mumbai for her presence of mind and bravery in being able to trap her armed ex-boyfriend at her Andheri apartment thereby being able to save her own life.

Moon said that on seeing Avinash with a revolver in hand she pushed him inside and locked the door from outside with the help of her friend Romesh. Dspite her tragedy, she is firm that she won’t leave Mumbai and relocate to her hometown. She will make it big in Mumbai as she wants her late mother’s wish to see her as a successful actress come true.

There are other girls like Moon who are healing from the trauma their stalker has caused them. Pransenjit describes the fearful state of mind the victims of stalkers are in, “Psychologically they are always on their toes. Anything and everything means danger to them. This is not a state of mind anyone can stay in for a long time.”

“However if adequate care is not taken to rehabilitate the person mentally, the disturbances may continue to haunt them in the future interfering with their normal lives. Hence psychological intervention is a must for such cases along with familial support.”

Victims of stalking may therefore need to visit a psychologist to help them heal. Maybe the stalker may make them phobic of getting into another relationship.

But the truth is that not all jilted lovers turn aggressive. There are also many who can accept rejection and move on with their lives. So victims of stalking shouldn’t start mistrusting the whole world but empower themselves to identify potential stalkers and how to deal with them.

Image: Boaz Yiftach /

Madhuri Dixit

5 Successful And Inspiring Women In The Indian Film Industry

Women in India have enjoyed success in a variety of fields in the last two decades, and entertainment is certainly not an exception to this.

Whether in cinema, theater, or TV, their contribution has been astronomical, and we have come to love so many of them for their creativity, brilliance and style.

Here are some Indian women who have really made their mark in the entertainment business, and command our admiration and respect  for their achievements.

  • Ekta Kapoor

She’s been in the news for more than just dishing out melodramatic soaps. The media writes about everything from her eclectic dressing sense, to her status as a single woman.

But this woman who is the Creative Head of Balaji Telefilms, with her no-nonsense go-getter attitude has really revolutionized Indian television viewing. Kapoor’s company has produced more than 25 TV shows and some notable films to date, and she manages to hold her position as the queen of TRP ratings.

For her excellent entrepreneurship, she was awarded the Ernst and Young Startup Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002. Her popular TV shows include “Hum Paanch”, “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”, and “Kahani Ghar Ghar Kii”.

  • Madhuri Dixit

She waltzed her way into people’s hearts with “Tezaab” in 1988, after her debut in “Abodh” (1984) crashed badly.

From then there has been no stopping this dancing diva of Indian cinema. Trained to be a microbiologist, she has made her mark in Indian cinema like few other actresses have.

Her popular films include “Dil”, “Beta”, “Saajan”, “Hum Apke Hai Kaun” and “Devdaas”, and in these films she has also given some very notable dance performances.

She has won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress in a leading role 4 times, once for a supporting role (“Devdaas”) and a Special Award for completing 25 years in the film industry.

Her film “Aaja Nachle”  which released in 2007 after a break following her wedding, didn’t do exceptionally at the box office, but Dixit’s performance was lauded by critics and cinema goers.

In 2008, she was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award, by the Indian Government.

  • Deepa Mehta

This dynamic director is best known for her films “Fire”, “Earth” and “Water” (The Elements trilogy). After her directorial debut with “Sam and Me” in 1991, she has directed 9 films, with a few more releasing in the near future.  While her films are not box office friendly money-spinners, they have won a lot of critical acclaim and deal with issues that are very relevant in today’s world.

  • Zoya Akhtar

Her first film, “Luck By Chance” was extremely well received by critics, and her second film “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” was a huge hit with cinema goers. Being from a family of illustrious icons in cinema, Zoya Akhtar is here to stay.

Having studied film production at the New York University Film School, she has worked on commercials, co-directed a music video called “Price of Bullets” and also worked as a casting director for films, apart from her role as a director.  This meticulous director is a classic example of the intelligent film-maker.

  • Zarina Mehta

If we watch the film credits beyond the first few names, we all have seen Zarina Mehta’s name as “Executive Producer” or “Producer”. The Chief Creative Officer of UTV Broadcasting, and one of the three founders of United Television (UTV), she is a silent figure behind the scenes.

“We have built our reputation and success on cutting-edge creativity,” she says.  Over the past year, Mehta has also been leading the creative department of UTV Interactive, the new media division.


Photo source Wikipedia

Diwali Drink Recipes: Simple Mocktail Recipes To Spice Up Your Celebration

Diwali is round the corner and you are sure to have umpteen number of guests. Welcoming guests with a drink has always been part of Indian culture. Registered Dietitian, Preethi Rahul, gives you some delicious and healthy mocktail recipes to offer your guests this Diwali.

Mocktails are drinks which are an imitation of cocktail. The major difference is these drinks are non-alcoholic and can be had by people of all age groups – be it children or old people. Mocktails mostly contain citrus or tropical fruits or are in the form of smoothies containing fruit purees, ice-cream or other milk based products.

Mocktails contain a high dose of anti-oxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals apart from the calories. Fresh fruits are preferred but you can also use the frozen, unsweetened versions. Here are 7 interesting Mocktail recipes that you can try and surprise your guests this Diwali!


Time required – 5 minutes
Serves – 1

• Lychee – 5 nos ( peeled and deseeded)
• Tender coconut water – 1 glass
• Tender coconut flesh – one ½
• Sugar – if desired
• Mint leaves – to garnish

• Blend ice cubes for about 20 seconds in a blender
• Add in the lychee, tender coconut water, tender coconut flesh, sugar in a blender and blend for another 30  seconds
• Garnish with mint leaves
• Serve chilled


Time required – 45 minutes
Serves – 2

• Kiwifruit – 2 cups peeled and cut
• Watermelon – 4 cups
• Lemonade – 1 cup
• Sugar -1.5 tsp
• Water – ½ cup

• Blend the kiwi fruit and sugar until smooth and freeze the mixture in a mocktail glass for ½ hour until firm.
• Blend the watermelon and lemonade, add water, and pour it on top of the frozen kiwi mixture
• Serve in the mock tail glass with a lemon wedge


Time required – 10 minutes
Serves – 2

• Cucumber – 2 no
• Mint leaves – 2 tbsp
• Salt – a pinch
• Carbonated lemon drink – ½ cup
• Chat masala – a pinch

• Peel and cut the cucumber into small pieces and blend it along with mint leaves
• Strain out the cucumber seeds and crushed mint leaves
• Add the carbonated lemon drink with salt and chat masala
• Serve cold


Time required – 15 mins
Serves – 2

• Banana – 1 no ( peeled and thinly sliced)
• Seedless dates – 100 g
• Honey – 4 tsp
• Vanilla ice cream – 2 scoops
• Ice cubes – 4-6 nos (crushed)
• Walnuts and raisins – for garnish

• Put the banana, dates, vanilla ice-cream, honey into a blender and blend until smooth
• Add the ice cubes and blend again until smooth
• Pour into a tall glass
• Garnish with some crushed walnuts and raisins


Time required – 15 minutes
Serves – 2

• Orange juice – 100 ml
• Pineapple pieces – 1 cup
• Avocado – 1 cup (pureed)
• Strawberries – 1 cup (cut into fourths )
• Ice cubes – 4 nos
• Lemon wedges – 2

• In a tall mocktail glass, add the crushed ice first
• Add in the strawberry pieces
• Follow it up avocado puree
• Add in the orange juice and the pineapple pieces
• Decorate with a lemon or sweet-lime wedge
• Serve cold


Time required – 15 minutes
Serves – 2

• Tomatoes – 2 nos (peeled, cut and deseeded)
• Red bell pepper –  1 no ( deseeded and finely cut)
• Orange juice – 1 large glass
• Fresh Green chilly – ½
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Cracked ice cubes – 4-6 nos

• Blend the tomatoes, bell pepper, orange juice, green chillies and ice cubes in a blender, until smooth
• Add salt and pepper as per taste
• Garnish with orange and tomato pices
• Add salt and pepper
• Garnish with celery leaves ( if desired)
• Serve cold


Time required – 10 minutes
Serves – 2

• Apple – 1 big
• Pomegranate seeds – 1 cup
• Milk – ½ cup
• Ice cubes – 4 nos
• Almond slices – for garnish

• Blend the pomegranate seeds with milk and ice cubes
• Cut the apple in into small pieces and add sugar to prevent browning
• Put the apple pieces into the serving glass
• Add the pomegranate shake
• Garnish with a few pomegranate seeds and almond slices

Preethi Rahul is a Registered Dietitian with over 4 years of experience in the field on nutrition.  Writing has been her forte and passion and she has been writing on diet, health and nutrition for various health portals like Femina, Rediff, TimesWellness, Complete Wellbeing, Mother and Baby, Just for Woman, and newspapers like Times of India, Hindustan Times. Her specialities include childhood nutrition, nutrition for weight loss, diabetes and cardiac diseases. She is a life member of the Indian dietetic association and moderator of the Indian Dietetic Association on Linkedin. She has done her graduation in Nutrition, Food Service Management and Dietetics and holds a diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics from Chennai University. Visit her blog at

Diwali Drink Recipes - Simple Mocktail Recipes To Spice Up Your Celebration

The Number 1 Reason Women Entrepreneurs Fail (+ 3 Powerful Strategies For Success)

Do you know the #1 reason why most women entrepreneurs’ businesses fail?

It’s because many women don’t know their own value. They under-charge, feel uncomfortable talking about their fees, are afraid to make offers, and don’t know how to design lucrative packages that truly benefit and serve their clients while at the same time create a powerful profit formula for their business.

Woman Entrepreneur

Let me share with you 3 amazing strategies to ensure success…


When you charge what you’re worth, you empower your clients and inspire them to their greatest potential. Low fees don’t serve anyone – in fact they harm the people you’re committed to helping.

You might think you’re doing a favor for your clients by maintaining low rates in this economy, but the truth is, when you lower your rates, you lower your client’s results. Low rates keep everyone down. When you charge what you’re worth you have greater impact… and you have more resources to help more people.

Tip #1: Know Your Value

Knowing your value begins with accepting and embracing the truth that you deserve abundance. You deserve to be well compensated for your expertise. You are a change agent. You transform people’s lives, whether you’re a financial adviser, career strategist, leadership coach, or business consultant. What benefits and results do you give your clients?

What’s the value in helping someone fund their dream project and give back to their community, get a promotion to a better job that allows them to spend more time with their kids, or launch a profitable business so they can have a farther reach and more impact? I bet the value is 100 times more than you would ever charge. I bet the value is priceless. It’s time to step up and value what you deliver.

Tip #2: Raise Your Fees

Your rate is a statement to the world of the confidence you have in your skills. If you’re charging low fees your ideal, value-conscious clients will go somewhere else because they associate low price with low quality. You’re an expert, not a commodity. Do you want to be Wal-Mart or the Ritz Carlton? Understanding the value of what you deliver will help you command higher fees.


If you’re still offering single sessions or an hourly rate, it’s gotta stop. You need to develop packages that serve your clients, generate consistent cash flow, and are designed for profit based on where you are in business right now.

Tip #1: Use Proven Profit Formulas

It’s super simple to choose where to focus your profit formula when you know what business phase you’re in on the Expert Entrepreneur Path. For example, if you’re in the Development Phase you’ll be focusing on high-ticket Intensives and Premier Programs and creating an ascension model to easily move clients to the next level.

Tip #2: Deliver an Exceptional Experience with Real Results

The bottom line is, you must offer something remarkable. The days of mediocrity are over. Hype is out… integrity is in. People want an exceptional experience from the time they connect with you through the delivery phase and beyond.

And you know what… it’s a lot more fun and profitable to deliver than bland, boring, and same-old, same-old. You need to lead here… with innovation, distinction, authenticity, and a signature system advantage.


Millionaire mentor David Neagle, says, “Sales is not something you do to someone, it is something you do for someone.” That’s a really beautiful, elegant way to position sales in your mind. Sales is about serving another person. If you don’t make an offer, if you don’t engage in sales, you’re not helping anyone.

In fact, you’re doing them a disservice by not making an offer when you know you have the solution to their problem or can help them get where they want to go. You owe it to your community to make offers for them to move forward and transform by investing in themselves through you.

Tip #1: Attach an Offer To Everything You Do

Successful entrepreneurs continually make offers… every day! Embrace the powerful and positive impact you have when you make offers and invite people to work with you. Always make an offer in everything you do (through your newsletters, your teleseminars, your workshops, social media, networking, and one-on-one) … so those people who need you can step up and change their lives.

Tip #2: Develop and Implement a System to Consistently Generate Conversations + Authentically and Naturally Convert Those Conversations into Clients

The sales process is about listening, having a conversation, identifying your potential client’s needs, showing that you have a solution to their problem or need, and making the offer. The sale is simply the natural outcome of the conversation.

You’re helping people make a decision about investing in themselves. You’re not committed to the decision. You’re not committed to whether they choose to work with you or not, but you are committed to helping them make a decision. You don’t serve anyone if you let them stay stuck in indecision.

Laura Cross is a Revenue Acceleration Strategist and owner of Expert Entrepreneur LLC. She helps women entrepreneurs build lucrative and exciting expert-businesses that thrive in any economy. Claim your no-cost High-Paid Expert Training, videos and worksheets at

Image: Ambro /

Indian Women Authors: Experiencing Tarot – The Art Of Healing By Roopa Patel

By Heer Kothari

“Looking inward and using an intuitive approach does transform life. Being true to oneself often gives an answer,” states Dr. Roopa Patel, author of Experiencing Tarot – The Art Of Healing.

Experiencing Tarot - The Art of HealingDiscovering The Tarot

Dr. Roopa grew up in an environment where routine discussions of ‘Bhakti Marg’ and ‘Gyan Marg’ took place at the dinner table. Being a sceptic herself, she really worked hard to test the truth the tarot made known.

She was introduced to the tarot owing to some friends who gifted her, deck of tarot cards after returning from a European holiday. “There was something about the cards, which affected me deeply. I felt connected to them. I was intrigued,” adds Dr. Patel.

Early on during the 80’s the tarot was totally unheard of. There were very few who managed to take a glimpse of the deck. Even Dr. Patel just had a fleeting idea of what the tarot was. She got a grasp of the tarot religiously following the information and workbooks her relatives regularly sent from abroad.

Over the years of readings (and referring to the records she made in the past) she mastered the art of the tarot. The book ‘Experiencing Tarot – The Art Of Healing’ is Dr. Patel’s first book on how the tarot can be used for healing. The book records a journey from scepticism to belief in esoteric sciences.

The Birth Of A Book

Dr. Patel had been practicing the tarot for 25 years. She has also been providing for interpretations of various zodiacs with numerous publications.

The moment Dr. Patel retired from the British council, the idea of writing a book on the tarot blossomed anew. She fondly reminisces how, Satya Saran, the former editor of Femina magazine, used to come to her residence with sack-full of letters from modern urban women.

Back in the years writing a book on the tarot was suggested to her by a younger colleague at the British Council. However owing to the various pressures at work and at home, the suggestion was just put away on the shelf.

Writing The Book

The first book that Dr. Patel has ever written gives us insight on the history of Tarot. It unfolds the mystery and myth of the deck, and also how the tarot connects to New Age Esoteric Sciences.

The tarot unravels the truth of how spirituality and creativity are closely linked. Some of the case studies in the book lay emphasis on when and how the tarot works, or doesn’t work. Last but not the least how is the tarot used to heal.

Dr. Patel strongly believes that every human being is born with a certain outline of how things are going to progress in their life. But there are several ramifications that take place owing to the action we take, and the reaction we receive from the same.

What The Book Reveals

The tarot only guides us to take the right course of action, in order to overcome the obstacles that are posed to us. For instance, if the tarot reveals an illness to the person who is taking the reading, however hale and hearty the person is, it is necessary for him or her to get a check up. This way we are more prepared to combat the problem.

The tarot works through the unconscious mind. The symbols of the tarot are the symbols of the universal mind. Hence with the help of these symbols the reader is able to gauge the condition of the immediate environment around the person who is taking the reading.

The tarot reader translates the proceedings of the sub conscious mind, and brings it to the conscious level for the person taking the reading.  “I strongly suggest to my readers to be very honest with the tarot, if they want an accurate solution to their problems,” says Dr. Patel.

Healing And How?

The tarot is often misunderstood as a predictive tool to determine the future of a person. But actually the tarot is used to heal. The positive ripples of energy that is provides, spreads positivity within you that progresses in the environment.

This in turn enables one to view the problem with ease, and solve it, rather than brooding over the same. The healing property of the tarot; decrease the intensity of the problem.

A quote from the book states, ‘Healing is about cultivating the right understanding and knowledge. Tarot and other esoteric sciences can, through meditation and exercises, heal your past and the scars that distort your thinking. They can help you to see situations as they are, to know and take the right action.’

End Notes

The Sakshi Art Gallery in Mumbai opened to the launch of the book, and also an interesting body of art works by the Singh Twins. The collaboration in earnest shows how the proceedings of the subconscious mind and creativity go hand in hand.

The Singh Twins from London, have given the tarot a fresh perception, embodying the Indian aesthetic of the miniature art form. In terms of iconography and meaning they have tried hard to stick to the symbols of the Rider Waite Tarot deck.


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Naaree Interviews Abha Maryada Banerjee, India’s First Woman Motivational Speaker

Abha Maryada Banerjee is India’s first woman motivational speaker of international acclaim. She founded Success India in 2008 and has coached more than 2000 people around the world in performance enhancement. reporter, Shilpa Sachdev, caught up with her at the Women In Leadership Forum India 2011 in Mumbai, to learn her secrets to success.

  • Abha Maryada Banerjee, Motivational SpeakerWhen do you know that it is no longer an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?

When it pulls at the inner self so hard that you get the conviction in your idea and you can see the entrepreneurial possibility, when the need is there, when you know it can be profitable as well add value, when there is a ‘calling’. It is not how but what.

  • What inspired you to start on your own? How has the experience been so far?

I am driven by a social bent of mind. I have a gift of being able to inspire people. I am being told that I can think much ahead of time. Initially, the entire thing was very fluid so I started with telling it to just a few people like my husband and son, people who believed in my madness.

I kept testing myself with them. Emotionally, it has been a very gratifying experience but also tough at the same time because of the amount of work one has to put in. We are working on an intangible idea so the chances of rejection are equally high.

  • What are some hurdles you faced initially when you started out? Your advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them.

Money is the key constraint. One has to find people who will believe in you and will be ready to put money on you. It is difficult to find the right partners. When you start, you are your own peon. I blew all my savings.

  • Before starting out, can you give us a checklist of all the things that you need to keep in mind i.e apart from the great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

Do enough research on the viability of an idea. Do as much detailing as possible in terms of the financers, supporters and sponsors. To do random things is a waste of time, hence put together a plan to raise the money.

The ‘money mindset’ has to be built because a business mind runs very differently around money. It all boils down to the idea so make sure the business plan is viable.

  • Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you are starting out on your own? What value does a mentor bring to the table?

A mentor provides valuable insights into the ‘how’ of things. It is advisable to learn from the experience of others.

  • How did you recruit your first team? How difficult was it to get people on board during the initial stages?

To build a good team, you need good relationships and that requires patience and serious interest. Now people come on their own asking if they can work for us.

  • What are the 3 key things you have learned in your time as an entrepreneur?

Have a great plan in place and make sure it stand out in the market. Do continuous research; the less innovative a plan, the more generic it will be. Brand it well.

Have a good team consisting of people who connect with you individually. After all it is a people’s business.

Keep your domestic life in perfect shape. This is the space where maximum guilt comes from. If the backend is not good, it is not worth it. Make it a big focus of your life.

  • Have you been using social media marketing? How has it helped?

Social media helps in creating visibility. I am all over Facebook, Twitter, Ecademy. I believe that these platforms help build networks wherein we can work.

  • Can you share some tips for women entrepreneurs to maintain a balance between work and family life?

Learn to say No. A No can be polite and perfectly alright. Know what you want and not want to do. Life is too precious to be wasted on what your neighbours think.

Have a focus on health and achieve a mind and body balance. As an entrepreneur, the strain and uncertainty is much more. Learn time management. Make time for yourself; never ignore ‘you’.


Naaree Interviews Marsha Gabriel, CEO, Helping Hand Network

The recent Women In Leadership Forum India 2011 in Mumbai, saw a number of inspiring women delegates and speakers, including social entrepreneur, Marsha Gabriel, CSI Advisor and CEO of the Helping Hand Network – also known as the “Oprah of South Africa.” reporter, Shilpa Sachdev, spoke to her about her entrepreneurial adventures.

Marsha Gabriel, CEO, Helping Hand NetworkWhen do you know that a business is no longer an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?

It starts with an idea which you have to nurture, research, get advice and build the momentum. One must listen to their gut feeling and act in time because I believe that procrastination is the thief of time.

What inspired you to start on your own? How has the experience been so far?

I had to undergo a few surgeries and was declared unfit for the labour market. That is when I realised that this is not the end of life. In the days of affliction you also see a twinkle of the star.

I founded the CSI Business Congress nine years ago and in just five years of its running, I brought it to an unmatched position. The aim was to create capacity for women to rule even in the midst of limitation.

We train students to become entrepreneurs by giving them the knowledge and practical skills to create business initiatives.

What are some hurdles you faced initially when you started out? Your advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them.

Funding was difficult to come by in the beginning but I did not resolve to defeat. Instead, I created the ability to create projects that will generate funds. We shifted the dependence from temporary resources to sustainability.

Most women are uneducated and they cannot do anything not because of lack of funding but because of lack of awareness. They are intimidated by the documentation part.

Before starting out, can you give us a checklist of all the things that you need to keep in mind i.e apart from the great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

Association. Do not associate with people who are dream killers. Research, research and research. Exhaust every channel of funding – it is not really the problem.

Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you are starting out on your own? What value does a mentor bring to the table?

A mentor motivates and inspires. Mentorship gives you an edge, a fearless ability to do the impossible.

How did you recruit your first team? How difficult was it to get people on board during the initial stages?

I have always had a soft spot for women. In the second year of running, I had 42 women working for me all housewives, with no knowledge of computers, administration or promotions.

My approach is that today I will give you fish, tomorrow I will teach you fishing and then I will train you to buy the pond. That is what skill building is all about, to break the walls because there is space beyond those walls.

One must be rejuvenated mentally to work physically.

What are the 3 key things you have learned in your time as an entrepreneur?

Treat people with utmost respect, nurture relationships and catch your funders.

Have you been using social media marketing? How has it helped?

One cannot run the business today without depending on social media. All the promotions and marketing happen on social media platforms today.

I came to this conference through an interaction over social media. It attracts clients outside of your walking distance.

Can you share some tips for women entrepreneurs to maintain a balance between work and family life?

The woman has a natural instinct to be a mother and a wife. She must not feel guilty of taking an hour to relax. Take time out to relax. Invest in yourself to re-invent yourself.



Naaree Interviews Indian Woman Entrepreneur, Harshbeena Sahney Zaveri

Shilpa Sachdev,’s reporter at the Women In Leadership Forum India 2011, caught up with Harshbeena Sahney Zaveri, Managing Director and President of NRB Bearings Ltd., to learn her secrets to success.

She is also the President of Ball and Roller Bearing Manufacturers Association and also serves on the Western Indian Council.

Harshbeena Zaveri When do you know that it is no longer an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?

I think I always knew that.

What inspired you to start on your own? How has the experience been so far?

I joined as a management trainee in my father’s company. I wanted to create a new work culture. I was the first family member to join. But I found that since I was a woman and that too family, the workers found it a little odd in the beginning.

Competence does not guarantee performance, passion does. You need to do things that nobody else wants to do. It is all about having the right perspective. There is opportunity in every adversity. One must never underestimate the power of inspiration.

What are some hurdles you faced initially when you started out? Your advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them.

There were a lot of hurdles but one must never focus on them; instead one must find a way to cope with them.

Before starting out, can you give us a checklist of all the things that you need to keep in mind i.e. apart from the great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

It is your job, you need to go find a way.

Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you are starting out on your own? What value does a mentor bring to the table?

One of my mentors once told me, I hope you are not going to go and do what your parents say.

What are the 3 key things you have learned in your time as an entrepreneur?

Turn crisis into opportunity. People make things happen and have fun.

Have you been using social media marketing? How has it helped?

Social media is dysfunctional. Real leaders meet people, they don’t tweet them.

Can you share some tips for women entrepreneurs to maintain a balance between work and family life?

Focus on things that are under your control. Don’t externalise but internalise things. Share dreams with your children. Be there for important times.

It is the smallness of our dreams that comes in our way. Have a dream and plan to make it a reality. Create a support group especially in your children and be prepared to sacrifice.