BEAT THE HEAT: It’s SUMMER
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BEAT THE HEAT: It’s SUMMER

March 11, 2017

The months of March, April and May record the highest temperature forcing people to stay indoors. It is also the season during which the scare of waterborne diseases spreads everywhere. Children, who enjoy the summer, are exposed to heat and are dehydrated. It is also the season during which women indulge in protecting their skin from blazing sun. This Weekend Star Supplement gives you an insight into summer, skin care and much more.

India is expected to experience a hotter-than-normal summer this year. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the above normal temperature (up to 1.0 degree Celsius) is likely to prevail over all meteorological sub-divisions of the country except north-west India, where the temperatures are likely to be more than 1.0 degree Celsius above normal.

India faced back-to-back droughts in 2014 and 2015, which was followed by a normal monsoon in 2016. But some areas of the country were declared drought affected in 2016, including parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. The scarcity of rainfall has severely affected the agriculture sector in these three States. The problems related to drinking water is also likely to increase in areas depending on River Cauvery water as the catchment area has failed to get enough rain over the past one year.

Fruit prices are set to head north

Call it an annual increase timed before the peak summer or the fluctuating prices of raw materials, fruit juices, milk shakes, tender coconut, watermelon and even the common soda and butter milk prices are all set to go up in the coming days. Along with the temperatures that are hitting the north, fruit prices in the city have gone up marginally and if fruit traders are to be believed, the prices of juicy fruits will go up by 15 to 30 percent. Fruits like watermelon, orange, sweet lime, muskmelon, sapota, grapes and pineapple will be in demand till the monsoon sets in, which is the second week of June.

As an indication to the price rise, tender coconut which was sold between Rs. 10 and 20 a nut, is now being sold for Rs. 25. Earlier, the smaller and leaner varieties were sold for Rs. 10 and 15 while the medium ones were sold for Rs. 20. But now, the prices of all the varieties are Rs. 25. Some enterprising sellers near malls and residential pockets (where mostly foreigners live) are even selling one tender coconut for Rs. 30.

These tender coconuts arrive in city from places like Mandya, Malavalli, Maddur, K.R. Pet, Tumakuru, Nanjangud, T. Narasipur, and Bannur. According to vendors, they buy tender coconuts for Rs. 15 to Rs. 18 a piece and sell them for Rs. 25. “We will have to keep our profit margin after paying for the nut and for the transport charges. Most of the time, we get a small portion of useless nuts in the bunch and we have to make up for the loss,” said Ramanna, a tender coconut dealer.

“Usually, sales pick up in March every year. This time, we have started brisk business from February. I manage to sell one load of tender coconut in one week and I hope that I will be able to sell more loads in a couple of days,” he added.

Along with the prices of tender coconuts, the prices of watermelons too have gone up. A fruit that was sold for Rs. 12 to Rs. 15 per kg is now sold for Rs. 20 and Rs. 30. The fruit arrives from Chamarajanagar, H.D. Kote, Chamarajanagar, Gundlupet, Hassan, Mysuru Taluk and Periyapatna. A slice of watermelon that was sold for Rs. 10 is now being sold for Rs. 15. “This year, there has been a steady demand for watermelons since January and the peak season will be in April and May,” said Siddaiah, a watermelon merchant.

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Fruit merchants say that prices would go up further as arrivals of stocks are coming down and demand is expected to increase in the next 15 days. “As the temperatures soars, demand for fruits is increasing by the day,” traders say. We get fruits from other States including Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. But the arrivals have come down due to increased demand in the local markets there,” they add.

Demand for earthen pots goes up

As the summer sets in, we find people from Rajasthan set up small tents on the roadside at the main junctions in city, selling earthen pots fixed with taps. These pots made either by clay or mud are used by majority of people to stock water in order to quench their thirst. Known as the Poor Man’s Refrigerator, these pots keeps the water cool during scorching summer. Currently, these pots are being sold near Hinkal Junction, Hunsur Road Junction and next to Kalamandira on Vinoba Road.  The pots, which are brought from Rajasthan and Gujarat in trucks, are available in two varieties and each of them cost Rs. 350 and Rs. 450.

There are several advantages of drinking water stored in clay pots. Many believe that storing water in a pot is the best way as it not only keep the water cool but also provides healing elements from the earth. It is also believed that clay water pots are the alkaline nature of clay which reacts with the acidity of water and provides perfect pH (power of Hydrogen) balance and also helps to heal acidity. Drinking the right amount of water everyday can help boost metabolism.

Summer is here… So are snakes

Summer and snakes often make a scary combo. A cooler spring and abundance of food means snake numbers will be up in summer, heightening the chance of you or your pets encountering one.

Though cold-blooded, snakes need sunlight for heat and energy. Higher temperatures push them to find comfort in cooler spots. And when its body temperatures go below 20 degrees Celsius, they go in search of heat.

It is only occasionally that snakes and humans come into conflict – generally because the snake cannot make a quick exit. Never try to catch or kill a snake. Snakes are not normally aggressive. However, they will defend themselves  if threatened and this is when most snake-bites occur.

So how do you lessen the odds of being bitten?

Snakes are more defensive and they know where to find food, water and shelter in their territory and learn the daily movements of the resident humans.

It is possible to discourage snakes by keeping your lawn neat and disposing excessive leaf litter and other garden waste. Do not leave building materials, woodpiles or compost near the house.

Snake-proof your aviaries, pet enclosures and chicken pens with wire mesh. Check that windows and doors have secure insect screens and weather strips to close gaps at ground level.

Different species of snakes have a different time period of the day that they choose to venture out. According to experts, most venomous snakes come out during the night.

Finding yourself with a snake in the same room is a scary experience. People are paralysed with fear and at times even react in an unexpected manner. So, don’t panic if you see a snake.

Do not disturb a snake. A snake leaves a trial while entering premises. It will follow that trial to leave the place. So once we create a distance, it helps the snake get away.

Call a professional snake catcher. Let professionals handle snakes and don’t find ways to kill it.

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Be careful when you visit trekking spots, parks or bushy areas. And if bitten, do not cut or disturb the wound. Do not run, do not drink or eat anything till treated.

SNAKE HOTSPOTS DURING SUMMER

Parked cars

Bathrooms and cooler areas in homes

Parks and gardens

Sheds and well-sheltered areas

Water sumps and tanks

10 tips to protect your skin in summer

Skin requirements during summer are different from those in winter. For skin, hot weather conditions can be really challenging. Hot weather can lead to skin problems like heat rash. Sun damage can lead to premature ageing, dry skin, dark spots or pigmentation, wrinkles and even skin cancer over time.

Following are some tips to be kept in mind for skin during summer

Hydrate yourself: During summer, your body tends to lose a lot of moisture. So it is important to hydrate your body with water from time to time. 10 to 12 glasses of plain, filtered water every day help maintain critical moisture balance of the body and skin. Eating plenty of fruits will keep your skin and digestive system healthy.

Using a toner: A skin toner will keep the pores closed and keep the skin cool. You can try rose water as its natural cooling properties are excellent for summer.

Sleep well: Lack of sleep can lead to increased levels of stress hormones, which may slow the production of collagen in the skin. When our skin stops producing collagen, it begins to lose elasticity and starts looking tired and worn.

Stay out of sun during hottest hours: The hottest hours of the day are between 10 am and 3 pm. You should avoid staying out for long in these hours as your skin will get more exposed to radiations.

Apply sunscreen: Sunscreen is the best way by which your skin is protected. Choose a sunscreen which has a combination of sunscreen and moisturiser. You need to nourish your skin with vitamins and anti-oxidants for long term benefits. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before stepping out.

Use face wash: Clean your face at least twice a day. Keep a routine to wash your face once in morning and evening. Choose a cleanser which is gentle for your skin type. Look for a cleanser with mild AH or BH acids or papaya-based products. The papain enzyme in papaya helps to remove dead skin cells and also helps in new skin growth.

Exfoliate your skin: You should exfoliate your skin two to three times a week as it will help in removing unwanted dead skin which may be clogging your pores and also improving blood circulation to the face. After you exfoliate, follow with a hydrating body cream to seal in moisture, and always shield freshly exfoliated skin with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor).

Protecting your skin: Protect your facial skin by wearing a hat, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes as the sensitive skin around the eyes is prone for fast ageing. Use a lip balm to keep your lips soft. Make-up becomes a mess during summer because of the rise in temperature. Use light make-up which is water proof. When it is too hot try and keep your natural glow of your skin.

Avoid aerated drinks: Aerated drinks contain lots of sugar which is not good for your face, instead, drink water, fresh lime, fresh fruit juices or coconut water. You should also minimise the intake of alcohol and caffeine as they reduce the water content from the body system.

Balanced diet: Having a proper balanced diet will help maintain the body functioning. Working out for 45 minutes a day will keep you fit and healthy.

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