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Kavya’s entry into the next grade

4th gradeToday Kavya entered Grade 4. A new chapter in her life even if her school friends, the class teacher all remain the same. She has a new classroom on a floor above the previous one which means some more physical exercise (for her:-)

What was new about today? For starters, no cars allowed for drops at the school gate and they enforced it very well too. Their former principal and now executive director of the school was standing there on the road and ensured the rules weren’t broken.

This was a good opportunity for me as I have always enjoyed walking with Kavya and talking along the way. Today I told her how I was cycling up on a particular bridge and found the going tough. How it could hear her say “Come on papa you can do it” mentally and that helped me get over the hurdle. In a way this is good for us as Kavya gets ready early and reaches on time. I have a set time to return home from cycling which means I must leave on time too. All in all talk of the domino effect and we are experiencing it.

Thank you Shishuvan. Thanks to this simple rule, Kavya and me get to spend quality time together.

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Does God need so much security?

Sunday, July 15, 2012 I was on my morning walk to Siddhivinayak Temple. Now why this temple? Well this is a 35 minute walk from home one way so it gives me a good 70 minutes of exercise which isn’t bad. Why Sunday? Rest of the days I am either lazing or doing yoga or swimming so this fits in perfectly. I don’t go inside the temple or such (who would take the trouble of removing shoes, stand in the long queues etc.) so I have the darshan from the TV screen outside and in less than a minute of reaching I am on my way back. People throng in large numbers on Tuesdays and on certain specific days after which Sundays I would rate as the maximum rush. So back to my story, on my way to Prabhadevi, I also pass by the Swaminarayan Temple at Dadar Station. Now this is the same sect who has the Akshardham temple in Ahmedabad and Delhi (which I haven’t been to till date despite writing this post from Delhi :-)). This temple was attacked by terrorists. So now the Dadar temple is cordoned off with high walls and you have gun or rather machine gun-toting police men supposedly guarding it. In keeping with this security paranoia, they have cordoned off or rather encroached upon the footpath and have put barricades on the roads. High walls et al for a simple glimpse of the Lord!! Is He so paranoid or is He so insecure? The trend continues at Siddhivinayak Temple too. They have gone one step ahead and have taken over a huge chunk of the road. High walls, barricades and what all!!! Again is God so insecure? NO. It is we humans who have crossed all limits of sanity and have become paranoid. God is there in our hearts and not in temples. I for one never agree with my wife and many others on these rituals of going to far-flung temples (in Nathdwara, Rajasthan or Mathura or such) if something good or bad or whatever has to happen. For me I would only wish to walk to Siddhivinayak on Sunday morning. Get my walk done and I get good time to myself.

The image I have picked up is courtesy Google Images.
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Can’t keep weight off….

I am rotund and obese and I have no qualms about admitting that (not that if I don’t it will make me any thinner unless if the other person is completely blind). Have not really tried any weight loss tricks (despite being a practising dietitian and weight loss expert’s brother). Thanks to my sister who keeps lecturing me for hours from the other side of the world and my doctor, I exercise daily. Walking is what I do these days since it is cold (Yes we in Mumbai have cold weather too by our standards) and also do Iyengar yoga twice a week but Yoga is not for weight loss so let us set that aside. Once the weather warms up a bit, I will get back to swimming. I normally swim one kilometer every day in 45 to 48 minutes (breast stroke and not free style. My doctor is fine with any stroke so long as I swim on a regular basis). What do I do the rest of the time?  I lead a sedentary life style and indulge in my passion – FOOD. Yes I love binging on all the possible wrong things under the blue sky. Result no weight loss / decelerated rate of weight gain:-) That is me – shameless.

This morning I read an interesting blog from Anjali Mukherjee who is a celebrity in the weight loss field in India atleast. No I am not going there or any such thing but this blog which I am verbatim reproducing below, makes a lot of sense. Do read it. I have not yet deployed any of these things. (Come on I read it only 15 minutes ago and I am still on my chair in the same position so how do you expect me to get moving so quick?). Do share your experiences too (maybe my dear friend Hiten, my cousin Kashyap and me will start a support group for each other for losing weight, not for binging)

The link to the blog is

 You have dieted, exercised and slogged your way to the new you.

  • You look better, feel better and glow as the compliments come your way.
  • But your joy is short-lived.
  • Within a few months, you see some of the weight slowly creeping back.
  • You panic, feel frustrated and immediately put yourself on a crash diet.

Sounds familiar?

It’s a pattern numerous dieters readily identify with- to lose weight on a diet and then put it straight back on as soon as they return to their regular eating habits. Infact, many vouch that losing weight is not as difficult as keeping it off.

The key to maintaining your weight loss is to focus on permanent and realistic lifestyle changes. True, dieting may have helped you lose weight but you cannot follow a restrictive diet forever. It’s equally important that you do not resume the diet and lifestyle you had before your weight loss. For successful weight maintenance, you need to permanently embrace the principles that helped you lose weight – proper eating and regular exercising. For instance, when you were dieting, if you snacked on fruits when hungry, why have a bhelpuri now? Similarly, if you took the staircase to reach your home, don’t take the elevator now. Also, don’t ignore food portions, calorie counting etc once you stop dieting. But this does not mean that you have to deprive yourself of the foods you love-just make sure you have them in moderation. Remember, a realistic and flexible eating plan makes weight maintenance easier.

  • The method that you have used for losing weight plays a major role in helping you maintain the lost weight. If you have corrected your metabolism by detoxification and subsequently nourished your body with vitamins, minerals, anti oxidants with the help of a health promoting food plan & exercise – you are more likely to maintain your lost weight as you have corrected your metabolism. However if you have crash dieted and eaten less you have more chances of putting weight back on.
  • Your diet should include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein such as chicken and fish. Also, fibre-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, beans, bran and whole grains fill you up and keep your digestive system healthy. Minimize intake of red meat.
  • Start your day with a healthy breakfast comprising foods such as high-fibre cereals, whole grain breads, eggs, vegetables juices.
  • Minimize fat intake – it helps to keep your weight stable and reduces your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Opt for low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk, low-fat yoghurt etc.
  • Avoid fried, processed, and fast foods. Instead, bake, grill or steam food. Replace sugary and salty snacks with fruits or whole grain crackers etc. Avoid or limit alcohol and colas-both add unwanted calories.
  • Marriages, parties etc. could tempt you to indulge. A good idea would be to eat a small, healthy meal before you reach the function and opt for the low-fat dips, toppings etc., once there. For dessert you could have fruit salad but without ice-cream.
  • Exercise regularly. People who exercise find it easier to maintain their weight loss as compared to those who do not exercise. Being physically active helps you not only to burn calories, it also boosts your resting metabolic rate, which means your body is working even when you actually aren’t. Your level of activity also determines how many calories you need everyday-the more physically active you are, the more calories you need to maintain your body weight. Find an activity you enjoy so you will be more regular.
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Sugar CRM and what it has taught me…

I have waxed eloquent about moving the CRM to the web server and how I will now be able to access it from home anytime of the day or night. I worked on it on Saturday and found that I had not used it in almost 6 months much as I would go on telling all on updating their information in Sugar (for those of you reading it, my apologies for being such a hypocrite but well I am coming clean now). Yesterday was the first day of renewed usage of Sugar CRM and I was literally fighting to complete the tasks planned which somehow did not quite fully happen. But well learnt an important lesson, persistence matters…. We need to do our tasks on a daily basis continuously whether we like it or not. There are so many things I should have entered in the CRM which I did not, so many calls I should have made which I did not, so many business opportunities lost who knows … the thoughts keep coming back to haunt me ….  But having said that, I have picked it up again and want to be consistent at it now. This is so much like our life. We have to consistently do things even if they are difficult. Exercising for me is one such thing but no complaining as I am just back from an hour-long walk listening to one of my gurus, Zig Ziglar.

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Reckless Driving as well as lack of pedestrian senses on the rise

I still am proud of being a Mumbaikar and firmly believe that Mumbai has the best driving sense in India having frequented Delhi and Bangalore every month over the last 2 or 3 years. These days however, the younger breed is out to kill. Roads are clogged no doubt so when they get a chance to vrooooom they make the most of it. In the morning. it is impossible to cross the Ruia College signal in Matunga on the way to Five gardens as no one bothers to heed the signal. How does one cross? I have no choice but to cross and sometimes have to run to save my life too. No one bothers to stop at a red light.

If I now put myself behind the wheels, the pedestrians are no less of a nuisance. They would love to cross any and every where under the blue sky and this new trend of plugging in the headphones while walking is very dangerous. No one even listens to any other sound and they cross the road completely oblivious to the world around them. Another bane is the absence of footpaths as people walk on the road. But now a days even where footpaths are present, people have taken to walking on the roads as their birth right. People please give the devil his due. While we may have lived with uneven footpaths in the past, now a days, the footpaths are definitely very nice and even. Infact they are a pleasure to walk on. So please try and make the most of footpaths and try and cross at the relevant crossings. We Indians behave so idiotically at home and the same lot changes the attitude when we travel abroad. Why can’t we follow the same habits at home too? Think for once please.


Encroachment in the name of the Lord

Yesterday I had been to the famous Siddhivinayak Temple here in Prabhadevi. I like going to the temple mainly as it is a good 35 minute walk from home one way and so I get to walk for an hour+ and it was a break from the usual routine of the gym though it was walking in the crowd. No I did not go inside the temple (The stupidest reason but the truth is that I did not carry any money and to leave the shoes you need to pay a Rupee!!!). I had the darshan on the TV screen outside. That is fine with me and I am never keen on flocking with the sea of people. On the way to the temple I remembered the umpteen times I have walked here with my childhood friend, Hiten. We had a gala time. Anyways enough of reminiscing.

What struck me there was the way in which the security paranoia has taken over the temple. I strolled in from the exit and I was sent back by the cops and was made to go through the metal detector and frisking (That is another story that the frisking was absolutely an indifferent one …. more of an eye wash from a cop who was busy chit chatting and least bothered about what was going on). The entire periphery of the temple has been encompassed with very high walls with security cameras. And mind you these high walls are on the road. Secondly I was shocked to see the garden outside also coming up with some trusses and hence a permanent structure (I never bothered to ask who it was for…. no points for guessing). The public urinal in the garden was nowhere to be seen!!! I pity those people living in building near by. It must be torturous I am sure to live in such a high security prison (yes I am using these words) I have nothing against the Lord and am all for the faith but this honestly is stretching things too far.