Nine ways to stay safe and dry this monsoon

The sky is grey, rumbling; the streets are full of puddles of stagnant water, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. “Malaria, dengue, chikungunya cases rise during the monsoon,” says Amitabh Parti, senior consultant, internal medicine at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) in Gurgaon, adjacent to New Delhi. The change in weather rings in viral and flu, and drinking water contamination brings with it diseases like gastroenteritis, cholera and jaundice. That’s not all. The humidity is a fertile ground for skin diseases as well as stomach upsets. “You name it and we see it—allergies, diseases or fungal infections,” says Dr Parti.

The monsoon is hard on the stomach and throat too.

The attack is multifold. Which is why, this season, we asked experts for checklist. These tips could help you ward off illness.

Boost your immunity

Load up on vitamins, especially vitamin C, keep the body hydrated to protect yourself from nose and throat infections, and fortify your immunity. “Home-made fresh juices, warm drinks like honey lemon tea, green tea up immunity,” says Dr Sanjay Sachdeva. Drink lots of fluid to stay hydrated and wash your hands regularly to protect yourself from a sore throat. “Immediately head to an ENT specialist if a scratchy throat or blocked nose problem is persistent,” says Dr Sachdeva.

Don’t push in the wax

stay safe during monsoon

During the monsoon, earwax tends to expand inside the ear. This can cause pain and lead to hearing problems. Avoid poking your ear with a cotton bud, says Sanjay Sachdeva, senior consultant, ENT, Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi. “Deep digging can cause permanent damage,” he says. Consult an ENT specialist if the problem persists.

Cover the toes and stay dry

stay safe during monsoon

Contrary to what many believe, open toes are more prone to infection, says Vivek Raj, senior consultant, gastroenterology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi. “Leptospirosis (a bacterial disease of rodents, dogs and other mammals) is a rare disease but can be serious. It is caused by stepping in puddles or muddy patches during rain,” he says. Wear shoes rather than slippers or sandals.

Your skin is in constant contact with dampness in this season, so you could be prone to fungal infections like Athlete’s foot, ringworm infection, even boils. “The best way to avoid fungal infection is to keep the body dry,” says Sunil Sanghi, senior consultant, dermatology, FMRI, Gurgaon. “Use antibacterial soap, absorbent talc, especially in the groin and feet area, and calamine lotion to keep dampness out.” Also, change your undergarments frequently, especially if you tend to sweat excessively. “Avoid wearing damp clothing in an enclosed air-conditioned office to prevent chest infections and colds,” says ‘Mint’ columnist Madhuri Ruia, who runs the fitness centre Integym in Mumbai.

Put kerosene in stagnant water

Puddles are a haven for mosquitoes, the kind that spread malaria, dengue and chikungunya. It’s essential that you prevent any breeding grounds for mosquitoes in and around your house. “Empty the water-cooler tank and dry pools of water around you,” says Dr Parti. Cover every source of water, be it wells or storage tanks, and use insect repellents. “Put a few drops of kerosene oil in every puddle or pool of stagnant water around your house as it kills mosquito larvae.”

Up your water intake

“The high temperatures during the monsoon, combined with extremely humid conditions, can easily cause dehydration and imbalance in the body’s electrolyte levels,” says New Delhi-based fitness and wellness expert Vesna Pericevic Jacob. This can lead to cramps, headaches, lack of energy, even blood pressure fluctuations. “All this can be avoided through proper hydration,” she says. Drink plenty of water and include salted ‘nimbu pani’ and coconut water to maintain the body’s electrolyte balance.

Avoid oily, deep-fried food

stay safe during monsoon

For a clear skin, avoid deep-fried foods, says Shikha Sharma, a preventive health and nutrition expert based in the Capital. “The monsoon season isn’t good for the skin, and oily foods in particular increase heat in the body and cause rashes and skin problems.” She suggests including finger millets and oats in the diet, for these remove extra oils from the food that’s being digested. She also recommends green tea, which is loaded with antioxidants, to guard against pimples, and yellow vegetables like pumpkin, which are a good source of vitamin B-complex and give a natural glow to the skin.

To read the complete article, please head to

Monsoon-proof gadgetry

From phones that work underwater to cloaks that will protect your devices in a deluge, we’ve got you covered


The skies rumble ominously. You look up in terror, knowing that this rain is sure death for the little black gadget in your hand. With panic, you hide your smartphone, coming between it and the rain, wiping its screen clear of tears.

All that gadgetry, all the chips and the delicate units, everything that cost you thousands of rupees, will turn to junk if those few drops of water hit it.

The monsoon has stopped being fun. Or has it? We list gadgets that can not only bear a few drops of rain but also jump into the pool with you.

Olympus Stylus TG-2


Tough weather screams for a tough camera to record it. The Olympus Stylus TG-2 is a mini tank of a camera which can survive in -10 degrees Celsius temperature, a fall of 7ft, and a weight of almost 100kg on it. It can also survive 50ft underwater.

The camera is meant for rugged, adventure hogs who love to be outdoors, be it rain or storm. It comes fitted with a high-speed, bright lens which allows good pictures in low light and high-speed action shots without blurring.

Plus, it comes with an inbuilt GPS and e-compass to throw some statistic on that perfect shot. And with 12 MP resolution and 4x optical zoom, you will get many good macro pictures as well.

Rs.22,999, at Olympus dealers across the country. It will start selling in July.


Stash Shorts

Become rain-ready by stashing all your precious gadgets into the ultimate waterproof pocket created for a pair of shorts. Stash Incorporated tried to raise funds to make these shorts through the online funding platform Kickstarter.

While the project couldn’t raise funds, the shorts got a lot of media coverage for their patented waterproof pocket, and the company was able to raise the money independently.

Stash Incorporated is now producing and dispatching these shorts. The pocket is attached to the interior of the shorts and is closed with a sealproof cap.

$69-75 (around Rs.Rs 4,000-4,350) per pair, at Shipping charges extra.


Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite

If you love to read in the rain, the Waterproof Kindle is the thing for you. Waterfi, the company behind the waterproofing, sells a waterproofed version of the Kindle Paperwhite which will make it safe even 210ft under water, forget a few or more splashes of raindrops as you sit in the rain and read.

The Paperwhite Kindle is one of the most advanced e-readers out there, with a backlit screen with which you can read in the sun. It has eight weeks of battery life, built-in Wi-Fi and space for about 1,100 e-books.

Waterfi adds a whopping $80 (around Rs.4,640) to the bill to coat it with its patented dual protection, which insulates it against corrosion and water, but then, you can take it anywhere, from the pool to the ocean.

$219.99 on; $35 extra for international shipping.


Aquapac Wet and Dry Backpack

Keep all the electronic stuff safe and sound in this waterproof backpack. The bag comes with internal pockets, a key pocket, and external pockets to keep a bottle.

The fabric is TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) coated with taped seams so water cannot seep in, even if the bag is submerged.

It also comes with an internal pocket so that you can separate dry and wet things (or dirty and clean things) if required.

Rs.3,990, at .