“Rooh Afza” the favorite drink of Indian Sub-Continent

“Rooh Afza”

There is no doubt that the aerated drinks like Coke from America and the Perrier the natural bottled mineral water from France evoke awe and excitement. Coke is attributed as a drink of youth and instant energy and Perrier is a known health improving mineral supplement gift of nature.

Coca-Cola which is often referred to simply as Coke, is a Carbonated soft drink and is produced by ‘The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It was invented in 1886 by a pharmacist named John Pemberton, otherwise known as “Doc.” He had fought in the US Civil War, and at the end of the war he decided he wanted to invent something that would bring him commercial success.

John Pemberton is an example of a dogged will, strong determination and someone who had never given up. Having failed in every venture in his field of pharmacy, undaunted he went on to develop a pharmaceutical drink that was originally intended as a patent medicine. The name Coke refers to two of its original ingredients: Kola Nuts which is a source of Caffeine and Coca Leaves.

Perrier mineral water is part natural water captured at the source in Vergeze, located in the Gard department, France. A French doctor Louis Perrier bought the spring in 1898 and operated a commercial spa there; he also bottled the water for sale. He later sold the spring to St.John Harmsworth, a wealthy British visitor.

It is not that the whole commercial of Perrier supply comes directly from the natural spring. The spring from which Perrier water is sourced is naturally Carbonated. It is interesting to learn that mass of both the water and natural CO2 gas are captured independently.

The water is then purified, and, during bottling, the carbon dioxide gas is re-added so that the level of carbonation in bottled Perrier matches that of the original Vergèze spring. Perrier comes in several flavors: Natural, Lemon, and Lime have been in market for many years. In 1992, Perrier was bought Nestlé, one of the world’s leading food and drink companies. It is at present owned by the Nestle Corporation.

But none of these drink command that love, respect and loyalty that the ‘Rooh Afza enjoys from its consumers. On a hot day nothing quenches the thirst like Rooh Afza. From the time of ‘One India’, before the advent of Pakistan and Bangla Desh, the pleasant rose-pink tint and its delicate flavor has been savored by most of the denizens irrespective of faith and geography. Rooh Afza still unites the three divided nations. In almost third home of the county you can find the half empty bottles that had never changed its looks. The  ‘Hamdard’ manufactures Rooh Afza.

Rooh Afza is a sharbat, a slightly too-sweet concentrate that consists of the ingredients like the essences of coriander, orange, pineapple, carrot, rose petals, spinach and mint. It is sold in a bottle with a distinctive yellow cap, Rooh Afza is often mixed with cold water or milk, poured over ice cream. In Bombay, Delhi and Hyderabad and other towns across northern India, sharbat sellers make a special place in their stand with containers of ice and water, armed with bottles of Rooh Afza.

Its appearance and its flavour even moved the 20th-century Urdu poet Sa’il Dehlvi to verse. Its colour “enchants your heart” and its fragrance “outstrips that of the flowers,” he wrote. “Never has there been a sharbat like Rooh Afza, and never will there be.”

The Company ‘Hamdard Waqf’ dates back to 1906, when Hakim Abdul Majeed, founded his clinic in New Delhi. Rooh Afza, among Hamdard’s first products, was introduced in 1907. Hamdard is credited with high quality Tibbi Unani Medicines at reasonable price.

The name “Rooh Afza” has popularly been translated as “refresher of the soul,” but Hamdard’s own website – currently under renovation – admitted that the brand’s precise origin is unclear. “Some think that this name is a product of [Hakim Majeed’s] mind,” an explanation read.

The company considers, as alternative possibilities, the character Rooh Afza in the book Masnavi Gulzar-e-Naseem by the 19th-century Kashmiri poet Daya Shankar Naseem, as well as a weekly magazine named Rooh Afza, which was published in the late 19th century in Jaunpur, in Uttar Pradesh state.

When India and Pakistan separated in 1947, the company split as well, and an independent Hamdard was founded in Karachi, Pakistan. Hamdard Pakistan today exports Rooh Afza to, among other countries, the UAE.Similarly, when East Pakistan broke away in 1971, the branch of Hamdard that had been set up in Dhaka in 1953 turned into Hamdard Laboratories, Bangladesh.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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A LITTLE ABOUT BRAIN

Brain is the upper large part of our Central Nervous System (CNS) which is also called as Encephalon situated in the skull. The rest CNS is a narrow spinal cord running through spinal canal from the upper level of Atlas to first Lumber Vertebra. CNS is that site in our body which is responsible for the processing of all the information (experiences) and control. All the voluntary impulses are received and translated into action by CNS by brain and this system is called as Somatic Nervous System while the other one transmits the impulses from CNS to the involuntary muscles for automatic responds which are performed by nerve cord and are called reflex actions.

Midline view of the brain

Midline view of the brain

Morphologically brain is divided into three main regions called as-

1. Forebrain (prosencephalon)
2. Mid Brain (mesencephalon)
3. Hind Brain (rhombencephalon)

Forebrain forms the greater part of the brain having olfactory lobes, cerebrum and diencephalon.

Midbrain is small and it consists of two heavy fiber tracts or CEREBRAL PEDUNCLES on the ventral side and two colliculi (superior and inferior) on each side of the dorsal surface. The cerebral peduncles connect the hindbrain with the forebrain.

The hindbrain consists of cerebellum, pons, varolii and medulla oblongata. The unit of medulla oblongata, pons, midbrain and diencephalon of forebrain are called as BRAIN STEM.A diffuse network of nerve cell bodies and nerve tracts extends through the brain stem which is called as reticular activating system (RAS) to screen the sensory information in such a way that only certain electromagnetic waves or impulses reach the brain.

Human brain is the only thing in the entire universe that is ever attempting to explore itself for best understanding of its functions. The brain and spinal cord consist of nerve cells (neurons) and neurological cells (neuroglia). Neuroglia, provide mechanical support to neurons. It also provides the channel to the impulse to travel from one nerve to other through the gap between two nerves (synapse) and to maintain Blood-brain barrier. The another important information of brain is the presence of NEURO SENSORY CELLS in its hypothalamus which regulates the secretion of PITUITARY GLAND and so all the endocrine glands are indirectly under the control of neuro sensory cells.

The coordination of body and brain is achieved by three overlapping processes-Sensory in-put , Integration and motor output. All the functions are performed by proper coordination of brain and body.

Ek Lamha hamburger Khane Se Pahley !

Read a poem sometime back – in praise of a horse.

The beauty of a horse
The thunder clap of hooves
The wind in their mane
The thrill of the flight
Another birth of a spring ride.

And now please read a pathetic story of horse’s plight and the perversity of human flight.
Horse drawn Victorias have almost disappeared from the streets of Mumbai. Now these novelties grace the wedding cavalcades. Nawabs and Maharajas have been transformed into politicians, industrialists or actors and their stables have been converted into five-Star Hotels. They are no longer interested in any breed, rich ancestry or pedigree of horses. Horses are now owned by armed forces or race courses. The horse-romance of Indians is left in history books: Chetak, Basfala or their ilks.

It is now another story in Europe. If you are not interested a horse ride near Champ Elysis, go for Horse Meat Hamburger. Courtesy – Irish Burger King franchise. There is no adulteration – 100 % pure horse meal. The only grievance you could air: It might be the poor cousin of the horse – the donkey’s meat that is garnished at your dining table. It does really matter if you have asked for Beef Burger. Both are non-veg! Yes, you are right. I’m talking about the recent horse meal scandal which is getting interesting, curious, murkier and weirder by the hour. How it had reached at your end if you were in Europe a day back?

It came from the abattoirs of Romania. As the Romanian government recently banned horse-drawn carts from the road, these hackneys went out of service. What to do with the redundant animals? Simple solution: Put them on the dining table!

Another million if not billion dollar question:
Why the slaughter houses agreed to substitute horse for beef?

Answer: India is no exception in curious businesses and Polish and Italian mafia gangs are running multi-million-pound scams can take lead from any smart resource. Substitution of horse meat for beef is not such a big deal. Veterinary doctors and other officers in the food chain are ready to help if someone is willing to pay the price. Intimidation are handy if the price-deal is not working. The authorities were managed by powerful mafia to certify ‘horse meat processed products’ as ‘beef’. From the abattoirs of Romania it went to a dealer in Cyprus, and from Cyprus to another dealer in Holland. Then it traveled to a meat plant in south of France. The French Meat Processor sold it to a French-owned factory in Luxumbourg which shaped it into the stuffing tikki of hamburger. These tikkis were sold to supermarkets in 16 countries. The story is as simple as this.

Have a nice ride!

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Cancers in North East States

Blog by Shariq Haider NaqviThe incidence of cancer is on the rise in the northeast states. Aizwal district has a cancer incidence of 277.2 per 1, 00,000 male population: 231.5 per 1, 00,000 female population whereas Delhi has an incidence of 110.3(male):118.7(female) and Mumbai 983(male): 101.7 (female) per 1, 00,000 population. Mizoram has reported a high number of tobacco consumers among children below 15 yrs-67.1 % (make smokers) 60.3% (male chewers), 22.1 %( girls smokers), 60.7% (girls chewers) whereas the national percentage is 33.1% (male smokers), 28.3% (male chewers), 2.5% (girl smokers) and 12.4 % ( girl chewers). The monthly expenditure on pan, tobacco, etc is Rs 16.08 per person (National) whereas for North East states it is Rs 33.41 per person.

As per records available in the Department of Radiotherapy, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, the Department has diagnosed and treated 1679 cancer cases during Jan 2005 to March 207. There was 236 lung, 167 cervix, 88 breast, 6 stomach and 73 gall bladder cancer cases. Maximum number of cases is encountered in the age group of 31-50 years 51-100years.

In the northeast tobacco is socially acceptable and used as an appetizer, laxative and a substance that improves energy and concentration. Tobacco is offered to guests and friends and allowed in various religious ceremonies and occasions. Tobacco is chewed and held in the check or lower, lip in the form of betel, quid, zarda, khaini etc .Tobacco smoking is commonly used in hukka, bidi and cigarette.

Surveys have revealed that people living in kachha houses (78.6%0 with surface water (46.0%) for drinking and cooking purposes and using pit toilet (67.0%) and wood (68.8%) as fuel face the maximum problem of non-communicable diseases. People having low% of media facilities and low earning capacity, have less awareness of health care facilities. All this is true of the northeast states.

Besides, the northeast is mainly composed of hills with a small area of valleys. The median distance in km is 3.6 (primary Health Care Center) 8.7 hospital, 4.21 (dispensaries).

smoking killsTo control this scourge of cancer in the north states, it is necessary to send out clear cut awareness messages that contain risk factors, preventive measures, ways and means for recognizing cancers. It is also imperative to bring down the cancer by means of changing life style, reduction in consumption of tobacco (smoking and smokeless), alcohol and drugs etc.

People should also be made to recognize and understand the seven warning signals of cancers, a lumps or hard area in breast, some change in a wart or mole, a regular change in digestive and bowel habits; regular cough, excessive loss of blood after the usual dates, blood loss from any wound, swelling or sore that does not get better and unexplained loss of weight.

Does poverty result from the pathology of the weak?

I had just finished the last bite of my anti-sugar Veg sandwich; gulped the last drop of sugar-free tea with dregs of absolutely extracted tea-leaves, allowed the specks to explore every available space inside the hidden territories of my mouth and spitted them out expecting tranquility of mind and space. It was now the time for headlines of that day’s newspaper.

But no. It were not to be. A gentle knock at the door heralded the arrival of unsolicited guest – a burqa clad lady ducked in with a child – past no more than six or seven springs. She said she was widowed and dislocated recently. She had left her home turf or mountains to survive in plains. That was her story in the nutshell. She called me Hajiji and asked for help.

“We come across many needy-looking hapless individuals and its difficult for me to distinguish between a fake and a genuine….. How do I know the veracity of your statement ?”
Tear drops glistened behind the veil, they appeared at its edge and vanished under her chin.

“No, I’m the proof and this child is my proof. I’ve nothing to validate further…..may I go Hajiji ?”
“What is your name ?”
She was Taskeena, a widow, looking for survival in the planes …..strange land for the people used to live in mountains. I ultimately felt she was genuine and helped her with the limited alms that were affordable. She left with blessing“Allah apko khush rakhe (May God keep you happy).

Now, it was the time to get connected with the world again which is far flung and directly or indirectly affecting my life.
Today’s newspaper. An insipid editorial and then an article which began the next page:
Don’t feed the Gators!” read a U.S. representative’s sign during the welfare reform debate. “If we feed them, wild wolves become dependent,” noted another. Comparing the poor to wild animals, these legislators continued our political lurch back to a time when poverty was blamed on inferior human beings and not on the flawed political economy of society. It’s a neat trick, this willed innocence that hides the truth: that poverty’s problems are a result of political choices made by the rich and the powerful that further impoverish the poor. The iron fist of power always needs a velvet glove of persuasion – the drapery of a justifying philosophy to legitimate the dominance of wealth over want. This need explains diatribes about the brutality of gators, the dependency of wolves, the pathology of the poor and the virtue of the wealthy. Such theories argue that poverty is a fact of nature and results from the pathology of the weak, thus undercutting claims for collective obligation to design a better society.

That reminded me a sentence I had read a few days back in another magazine – “When the Congressmen came to power after freedom, every hungry militant was called a Communist. When Communists came to power in some states and still kept many people starving, these poor men were called naxalites.

In 1969, addressing a Conference of Voluntary Agencies at New Delhi, the Lok Nayak Babu Jayaprakash Narayan had said, “ I’ve every sympathy for Naxalite people. They are violent people. But I have every sympathy for them because they are doing something for the poor….If the law is unable to give the people a modicum of social and economic justice…………..what do you think will happen if not violence erupting all over ?” The climax of Bhopal disaster took away all my sympathies and respect for Congress. The shenanigans and BJP didn’t impress me. They both did nothing but played the ugly putrid game of power for very long. We need a new Gandhi, we need a new Swaraj and we need our innocence back. We don’t need the agents of capitalism and we don’t need the over-doze of religion. Islamic extremism is linked to the recent rise in international terrorism and the history of Christianity is every bit as blood-drenched as the history of Islam. Gujarat and Surat didn’t portray a rosy picture of Hinduism. Cambodia and Pol-Pot are built up on human skulls and Buddhism failed to solve the miseries of South Asia.

My God, for Your sake, please I don’t need the doctrines that persuade me to hate my fellow creatures.
I threw the newspaper aside and went out in search of the new Gandhi of my dreams.

He was there, just very near to the garbage heap abutting my locality. He is a very common figure in the morning silhouette of this landscape. A gunny bag on his shoulder and his scrawny body that seemed to disappear under his rugged tea-shirt. He was busier than bee in sorting over the bulging throwaway plastic bags there. Perhaps he was hungry.

I call him near.
“Did you take your breakfast ?”
He gave a cynical smile as if I was a source of disturbance in his endeavors to survive.

“What’s breakfast ?”
There is a unimaginably wide gap between haves and have-nots. I took out a couple of tenors from my pocket and ask him to spend the way he wants.

He lifts up his face in bewilderment. Tear drops, the watery garlands appear in his eyes and run on either side of his cheeks. They meet at his chin and plop down on the collar-bone of his shoulder. He is unwilling to accept this token of magnanimity. He comes near and moves back. No thanks ! There he goes.

My eyes darted down with him as he reached the signal that was red. He paddled barefoot between the stopped cars, his body reaching out only halfway up the windows.

I was wondering if one day he would become a Naxalite or the Gandhi of my dreams, Where is Arundhati Roy ? Where is Khalil Gibran. Perhaps they would be able to tell better.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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