Window Seat | Mrinal Chatterjee


Watch what you are eating

The other day we organised a blood donation camp at the institute in which I work. Many students volunteered. But on medical examination, which is mandatory before somebody donates blood, it was found that many girl students were unfit to donate blood because of the lack of required level of haemoglobin in their blood. Last year also this had happened. Lack of haemoglobin is often thought to be the result of lack of food. However, in this case that could not have been the cause as most of the girl students came from affluent families. This happened because their diet lacked proper nutrition, especially minerals like iron, which one could get from vegetables like green banana and drum-sticks. The fascination for fast food, which are more often than not unhealthy- is one of the major reasons.

Before I point out what could be the fall-out, let me tell you what is haemoglobin and what it does.

Hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb) is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. In many cases, a low hemoglobin count is only slightly lower than normal and doesn’t affect how you feel. If it gets more severe and causes symptoms, your low hemoglobin count may indicate you have anemia.

Anemia occurs when you have a decreased level of hemoglobin in your red blood cells (RBCs). … Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type and it occurs when your body doesn’t have enough of the mineral iron. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin.

Most cases of iron deficiency anemia are mild and don’t cause complications. The condition can usually be corrected easily. However, if anemia or iron deficiency is left untreated, it can lead to other health problems. These include rapid or irregular heartbeat (When you’re anemic, your heart has to pump more blood to make up for the low amount of oxygen. This can lead to irregular heartbeat. In severe cases, it can lead to heart failure or an enlarged heart), pregnancy complications (In severe cases of iron deficiency, a child may be born prematurely or with a low birth weight. Most pregnant women take iron supplements as part of their prenatal care to prevent this from happening).

We need to watch what we are eating.

World Cup Hockey in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha is hosting World Cup Men’s Hockey tournament 2018. This is for the first time that Odisha is hosting such a large event. The State Govt. is leaving no stone unturned to make it a success. With elections round the corner it is an opportunity for the ruling party to highlight their organising ability. Bhubaneswar city, especially the areas near the Kalinga Stadium, where the tournament will be held has been given a complete makeover. New buses have been pressed into service. As I am writing this column, Bhubaneswar, at least parts of it looks and feels as swanky as any upscale city in the world.

Hope it stays that way after the tournament gets over.


At 5 feet 6 inches, I am short by the average height of Indian male. Therefore whole of my life I have been a victim of SMS (Short man syndrome), also known as ‘Napoleon complex’. This is a condition in which a person has to deal with a feeling of inadequacy which can come from a lack of height – or a perceived lack of height. This feeling gets accentuated by a culture that idolises height and physical power. In our school days, taller and stronger boys often bullied us. Those days no one told us in the class that height does not matter to become rich or famous, even in sports. Look at Sachin Tendulkar. Yes, in certain sports like basketball and athletics tall people have certain advantages. But look at the flip side. They face lots of problems while travelling in trains, air and bus. Joint and bone fractures are frequent with tall people.

And short men are more aggressive. They had to- in order to compete for food and mates. Indeed studies have demonstrated that in the wild, smaller creatures often do attack first.


Tailpiece: Side-effects of being a Teacher


A teacher went to a hotel for lunch, he wanted to see the menu but forgot what it was called.

He asked the waiter, “Can I see food syllabus please?

The waiter said, “What?”

The teacher replied, “Table of contents“*

The waiter said, “No we don’t have such”

The teacher, “I mean food curriculum



Mrinal Chatterjee, a journalist turned media academician presently lives in Dhenkanal, Odisha. He also writes fiction.

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