Hindi #2 – रोज़ की भाग दौड़

ratrace

दर-पे-दर ज़िंदगी गुज़रती चली गयी रोज़ की भाग दौड़ मे,

ए-काश ठहर कर सोच लिया होता की चाईए क्या था|

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The train called life…

crowded-train

sitting comfortably in a train

enjoying nice book and starbucks coffee

i mostly don’t notice

the people

standing or passing by

don’t even care

how crowded is the train

it’s when i’ve to stand

holding the railing

rubbing shoulders

i take notice

feel the struggle

the effort

to balance the feet

in that fast moving train

and

to reach the destination

without falling…

…is life any different?

The blessed memories of Diwali

Ayushalogue

Hands folded in Nameste and head innocently bowed in front of Goddess Lakshmi’s in our small temple in the living room, I am sitting next to my Grandma. Now, dressed up smartly in black achkan (indo-western jacket) and white churidar pajama with a white pearl necklace around my neck, I am putting tikka on my grandpa’s forehead. And here at our terrace with my beautiful mom smiling in her yellow chiffon, holding a phuljhadi (sparkler) in my hand from behind and asking me to look towards my dad taking our picture, but looks like I am more into that phuljhadi than the picture. Thank you dad for capturing these memorable moments and many more, for these are the ones through which I still, after so many years, cherished my childhood Diwali celebrations.

As a child, I was madly fascinated by Diwali – the festival of light, though for me it was more a festival of…

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A trigger is required to form a new habit

habits

I want to get rid of my double chin. Yeah, sadly I have it. And I read somewhere that chewing gum for an hour everyday helps reduce that bad ugly fat hanging down the chin hiding the neck (okay, that’s exaggerated…)

So I bought a big pack of sugar free gum and started chewing. In excitement to get a chiseled jawline asap, I chewed continuously for several hours to an extent that after 3 days I found my jaw hurting and I had to stop it completely. After around 2 weeks I realized I forgot to had even a single gum. I resumed but again fell short after a few.

Then I decided that as soon as I would get in the car I would unpack one in my mouth and spit it as soon as I would leave the car (of course in the bin). I drive almost an hour everyday and the problem was solved by itself.

Now I am chewing gum everyday for an hour for last one month without even thinking about it and without getting my jaw hurt. Getting in my car was a “trigger” that worked for me to eventually form this “new habit”.

And about my double chin, that’s a separate thing.

My money (focus) is on 7

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I am a Jack Canfield fan. Following him for quite some time now and recently completed his Success Principles 10-Day Transformation program. It’s an amazing program that helps you practice few of Jack Canfield’s success principles through 10 days.

One of the exercises was to list down the life goals: short-term, long-term, dream goals, etc. And so I did. But this post is not about the goals (I may write another post on goals).

This is to emphasize on the power of goals  – which help us see through the key things in life and remove clutter (such as watching any random Netflix series or scrolling Facebook wall zillion times a day).

Here is list of 7 key things my money is on (caveat: few of below wouldn’t apply when I am on vacation exploring new places, which in fact is also one of the core things for me):

  1. Improve knowledge on asset & wealth management, digital and product management
  2. Write daily – fiction story or blog post or private journal
  3. Read book or listen podcast daily (alternate: watch meaningful movie)
  4. Exercise 4 times a week – yoga, crossfit, running
  5. Practice gratitude and visualization daily
  6. Spent more quality time with Kiaan, Isha, family and friends
  7. Simplify life (I may write post on this later)

Everything else is a clutter. And which means I was all in clutter for so long… duh!!

By the way through entire last week, I successfully managed to do all of them expect #4 (which I started from today).

Now, if I would continue this or fall back into my clutter pit… that depends on my determination and commitment.

But did you see, the clarity of goals.

Lack of exercise takes its toll

Back in 2012  I used to do 100 push-ups (50+25+25) with a minute gap in between. Unfortunately, I didn’t exercise at all since then. Today after 4 years, my friend challenged me for 25 push-ups. I was like what… just 25… you don’t know me dude!!

To my shock, my hands started trembling just after 10 and my entire body was shivering at 15… I wasn’t able to believe myself. What the hell is happening… How is this possible? Though I somehow managed to win the challenge half dead, it drew upon me a serious thought.

We all understand the importance of regular exercise… but we don’t actually realize how lack of exercise silently takes its toll on our body with every passing year esp. when you cross the 30 mark.

So, I am taking a challenge today to exercise at least 4 days a weeks for next 3 months. It could be Yoga, Cross-Fit or Running. No more excuses. No more toll.

Again among Top 10 winners in Write India contest

I  feel so overwhelmed for making it to the Top 10 winners for the second time in a row in Write India contest. This was my second story for this contest and I am so glad it also made its way to the winner’s list. So grateful!

Thank you Mishti Jain and Shekhar Ghalot for brainstorming the plot with me. It was so much fun. And thank you Isha for brainstorming, editing, improvising the scenes, proofreading and more proofreading and most importantly keeping me motivated to write.

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What-the-fuck & Low carb diet

What-the-fuck!

I am sure everyone – almost everyone – of us must have had used this expression at least once. It’s that moment when we scan ourselves – in front of the mirror or in a digital image shot by a camera or in an internal image shot inside our head – and not happy with what we see, we say with a big sigh – ‘what-the-fuck I’ve done to myself.’

It happened to me in May of 2015.

Isha and I had just returned to Singapore from our home in India after long three weeks. Isha was reading some article on her iPad and I was changing my clothes. As I removed my vest, she looked at me and shook her head with a smile and a little frown between her eyebrows. She didn’t speak anything. But it was enough to made me observe at myself in the mirror. ‘What-the-fuck I’ve done to myself’ was the expression.

I don’t want to get into the details of explaining that image I saw because of obvious reasons.

The best part of this ‘what-the-fuck’ expression is that it’s more often than not strong enough to get us started in a right direction. It inspires us for a positive change.

The Four Hour Body

body

And so I started looking for diet plans for myself. I read a lot of articles, consulted my dietician cousin but what actually stuck me was a book by Timothy Ferris: The Four Hour Body. Maybe because of it’s a catchy name. The more I read about this book and about the author, the more inspired I felt.

This book is not only about dieting. It is about complete health: diet, exercise, physical stamina, etc. However, I’ve used it only for diet. So far.

Low-carb diet

Diet

It explains low-carb-high-protein diet. It is not a new concept after all but the way this book explained inspired me to follow it.

In short, it says NO to anything white except eggs. It says, everything white has carbs, so we shouldn’t eat them.

No sugar, no wheat, no bread, no brown bread (it is actually white), no rice, no milk, no potatoes, and for some reason no fruits or fruit juices (even though they are not white). The author explains medical/ scientific details for every point he mentioned in the book but I didn’t bother myself with those details. I simply followed.

Measure and Record 

The second important thing is to measure weight every day in the morning before breakfast and measure size (chest, waist, hips, biceps and thighs) every week and maintain all the records in a journal.

My daily diet

I started on 22nd May. I weighed 74.5 Kg.

8:00 am: Two eggs (boiled, scrambled, omelette, etc.) – within an hour of waking up.

10:30 am: One vegetable salad portion (carrot, cucumber, tomatoes – though not white but allowed)

12:30 am: One big bowl of lentils or beans

4:00 pm: One big bowl of lentils or beans

6:30 pm: Something full of protein such as stir fried green peas (optional)

9:00 pm: One big bowl of lentils or beans

Binge day

Now, this is the best part, probably the reason I was inspired to give this diet plan a try (apart from book’s name). One day in a week, it allows (in fact encourages) to have a cheat day to savor anything on the earth you want to eat or wanted to eat in last 6 days in this diet. It also encourages to keep making note of stuff you desire to eat during the diet days and then eat all of them on this cheat day.

I chose Saturday as my binge day.

Result

I followed diligently for 40 days, maintaining records of each day. On 28th June, I weighed 68.6 Kg. I’d lost 6 Kg. All my shirts looked better fitted and all my trousers went loose. It was an exciting feeling. My friends also noticed this change.

And then Hong Kong happened. I took a week break for my Hong Kong vacation but never went back to that diet routine. Eventually, in last six months, I gained all my 6 Kg back.

Sighed. What-the-fuck I’ve done to myself… again!

Give it another shot

I am determined to resume this diet plan from around mid-Jan once I get settled in my new place. And, I am confident it will work for me as effectively as it did last year.

Cheers!

Image courtesy:
http://www.wikiihealth.com/
http://fourhourbody.com/

The books I read in 2015

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I am not an avid reader by any measure. I am more like a sporadic one. I have my phases with books. At some point, I am always reading a book and other times the book keeps lying on my side table and I don’t even look at it; 70% it’s latter.

Despite of that I always love being around books. I can spend hours in a book library or a book store – flipping through different books and taking their pictures to buy kindle edition later. Even while waiting for my flights at airports, I mostly find myself drifted towards the book store. It’s like a therapy that leaves me in a blissful mental state. May be some genes from my grandparents who have a great collection of books at our home and are avid readers – they both read everyday.

In the beginning of 2015, I decided to read one book every month for the entire year. And I am glad to have ‘almost’ completed my resolution, falling short by two books. I know it’s not a lot of reading, but something is better than nothing. It’s far from an avid reader category but it’s regular at least. And I’ve learned that good habits develop not by measure but by consistency. So let me be proud of this little accomplishment and check out the books I read in 2015:

  1. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
  2. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
  3. The 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss
  4. The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
  5. Business Model Generation by Osterwalder and Pigneur
  6. Focus by Daniel Goleman
  7. Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin
  8. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  9. In The Plex by Steven Levy
  10. Autobiography Of A Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda
  11. Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan (read 25%)

I am working on my list of books to read in 2016; target is 15 books. And Isha is planning to buy me a Kindle Voyage. So, that would be more fun!

And do let me know the books you read in 2015.

Cheers!