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Embark on a new vision for India-Indonesia relations in the 2015-2025 decade, a boy’s plight to fulfil his father’s last wish, a girl’s journey from being a tomboy to a reluctant woman in progress; a love story of two opposites that ends on a bittersweet and poignant note. Check out these books for your weekend reading:

1. Book: Masala Bumbu; Edited by Gurjit Singh; Publisher: Berita Satu; Pages: 229; Price: Not Specified


Written by Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Gurjit Singh, the book is a labor of love on how the relationship between two countries can be intensified.

Published to mark last year’s ‘Sahabat India’ festival, it serves as the platform for a broader agenda for future cooperation and intensification of the India-Indonesia relationship.

2. Book: Daddy’s Boy; Author: Shandana Minhas; Publisher: HarperCollins; Pages: 219; Price: Rs. 499

Asfandyar Ikram, the protagonist had no idea of his father Anis Nabi’s existence till the day he learns of his death. He arrives in Karachi for the last rites and discovers his father had some last wishes, but which are kept secret by the deceased’s three friends.

Instead, a mysterious woman arrives to distract him. Will Asfandyar be able to uncover his father’s wishes? Read to know!

3. Book: The Spectacular Miss; Author: Sonia Bahl; Publisher: FingerPrints; Pages: 234; Price: Rs. 250

Eight-year-old Nira had only one over-powering wish – to be a boy. She steps into her brother’s clothes and becomes the gang leader of neighborhood boys.

Her family shapes her personality and a poignant relationship with her brother’s best friend shapes her life. The book compiles a hilarious journey of Nira, her growing up as a tomboy and turning into a reluctant woman in progress,

4. Book: You are the Best Wife: A True Love Story; Author: Ajay K Pandey; Publusher: Srishti Publishers; Pages: 240 Price: Rs. 175

Ajay and Bhavna are people with contradictory ideologies who fall in love. While Ajay believes in living for self, Bhavna teaches him to live for others. But destiny has other plans for them.

Based on a true story, the book conveys the heart-warming story of Ajay and Bhavna, how Bhavna’s last words became a strength for Ajay who lives to fulfil his promise of love. (IANS)


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Basil Leaves

Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.

Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K, and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.

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This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.

In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.

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When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.

The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.

ALSO READ: Can You Drink Coffee While You're Pregnant?

"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.

"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.

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