Sleepless in Bangalore..

27 02 2008

Nope. No Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks running in my mind. This really shows my dwindling creative serum or the sheer aftereffects of a sleepless night! A small cold, hopeless running nose along with a dash of fever peppered by a sore throat can do that to you. Ahem!

Sickness is an interesting experience. Intense and consuming, it leaves me with a curious feeling of helplessness surmounted only by the uneasy ruffling of the bed sheets and the uninvited sojourn of nothingness.. Nope all that laziness and that seemingly slow moment of clock is not welcome at all in those darkest hours of the day..Especially when my mind is thinking about endless work, those unwritten mails, and tomorrow’s client visits.

Sometimes I feel that sickness is psychosomatic. Else how can I explain the maniac inner drive during the work hours with little care for self, only to be contrasted by the longing to crash at bed at the slightest hint of leisure and solitude? How can I offer logic to those 6 calls on a single day to Mamma for a vain hope to hear that loving concern so that I can treat myself as a martyr searching for purpose?

I end up learning the newest definition of misery with every such experience! πŸ™‚ Hopefully this phase of time would vanish really quick and would take some months before it repeats.





Ringxiety..

25 02 2008

Now I know there is such a complicated name for all those phantom rings that I hear at times! πŸ™‚ I can vouch for the advantages of being truly connected always, though I love the solitary solace of being switched off from the world at times.. Yet, beware of anything that becomes a habit or an obsession. Sadly for many of us, mobile is.





My Observations with Dieting

23 02 2008

I have had my share of experimentation with all sorts of diets. Going through this GM Diet made me shed some years and revive some memories..

SSY

Guess my first brush with dieting came some ten years back, even before entering my Engineering College. I tried out the SSY programme in Rajamundry, as my mama was a fanatic that time and I had little choice. That’s a 14 day programme clubbing yoga, pranayama, meditation, raw vegetarian food, and community prayer which is followed by a 3 day external outing where you eat almost nothing, sleep not more than a couple of hours, take a mud bath, dance and play most of the time. Yet, that was a great experience at that time. I ate only raw vegetarian food, flavored with lemon, nuts and some masala for the whole of 14 days and guess it worked because of it being a community experience. I never knew that will power, and quality of life can draw strength from such little sustenence and yet leave you so energerised.

Yes, weight loss was noticeable, but then, it was not the goal of the programme. I became more peaceful, and could control short temper that was so typical of an adolescent kid.

What I liked about SSY

1) The Carefree atmostphere of the group, and the candid discussions
2) Interesting raw recipes which were easily edible. (Thats the first time in my life when I had raw greens)
3) I felt lighter and happier and I had my first lesson on restraint and patience.
4) My first and the only real meditation experience for an hour of their ‘So Ham’ meditation technique

What I hated about it

1) After 20 days of such diet, I couldn’t digest any cooked food at all. Even a little bit of it could fill my stomach. It took me 3 months to even taste or touch non vegetarian food as it used to feel so heavy!

Probably that was the reason why I left that lifestyle, as I forged my bond with Osmania University hostel for four years during which I had exposure to some real atrocious and lethal stuff cooked out of our mess. Yes, Hostel food really prepares you for the world!

Gymming and Exercise

This is a consistently inconsistent part of my life. Either I get my long walk of around 40 minutes on a daily basis or I head to the Gym for some chat, and exercise. But I can never combine gymming with dieting as that can lead to a fainting spell on a treadmill. (Speaking from experience). So far, I never had a noticeable change in weight due to exercise, gym or walk. They help me maintain my weight and make me feel fit. And yes. All those endorphines that spring to action due to physical activity make me happy.

Crash Dieting

I had to do it for one simple reason. Weight Loss. I became rotund and inactive and that did little to my ravenous appetite. Finally I ventured to discipline, when the things were getting out of hand, and my sedentary lifestyle did little to help it.

I started with an objective: To loose 8 kilos in the fastest way possible. One goal every day- to limit my daily calorie intake to 600 cal. One simple arithmetic. I pretty much counted everything I ate, did a lot of exercise and survived on lemon tea, water, curd and idly. And that helped big time. I lost around 7 kilos in a month and never regained them.

What I liked about it.

1) As it was self imposed, It was quite flexible. I could try a lot of variety of foods, like fruits, nuts, bread, tiffins etc. Since it was self designed, I allowed occasional binges, like a treat on weekend or a Chinese meal for dinner.
2) It had to do with a lot of mental training and will. Call it stubbornness or resolve, I felt no hunger pangs.
3) There was an instant gratification angle to it too. You can see a noticeable weight loss resulting in you due to the manipulations you do. Thats what I called experimenting with myself in true sense.

GM Diet

I tried it just for the sake of it. Mere curiosity. And probably the guilt of emotional eating and all that binging that I did during the past two months helped me hold on I guess.

What I liked about the GM Diet

1) I have become conscious of the water that I take, so much to the fact that I have started counting the no of glasses I drink.
2) Surprisingly there is no craving for sweets, namkeens or junk.
3) I feel lighter and smarter (*wink*)
4) I really learnt restraint. Resisting the temptation during the starting days was quite tough. πŸ™‚

What I hated the most about it

1) The signs of weakness that I experienced during the process (Headache on Day One, Nerves Pain on Day 3 and 4.)
2) No Inclusion of Yogurt or Nuts at all in the diet.

Bottom line of GM Diet is that it works. Its a quick and dirty way of loosing a couple of kilos in a week. And guess its easy to follow as the plan is already laid out.





Living Through The GM Diet..

22 02 2008

15/02/2008

It all started with a seemingly innocuous lunch conversation yesterday. A lot of guys expounded on the benefits of dieting, GM Diet, cleaning system, and what not. I sat there listening to all arguments and thought of having a first hand knowledge. So here I am, going through an unlikely experiment of GM Diet. Its kind of a tough resolution for an emotional eater like me, let me see how it goes. πŸ™‚

Day ONE: (Only Fruits Except for Banana)

Had a couple of Strawberries in the morning and a fruit chat at 4 PM. My head is throbbing like hell in an hour and I resisted the temptation of the Cappuccino lingering around in the meeting. Had a china pear for dinner and that numbed my head ache. Like a true Andhrite, I promised myself a grand Hyderabadi Biryani, if I survived through this diet. See my gluttonous wishes haven’t changed much since college days. πŸ˜‰

So far, it feels easy. My tough challenge would be wading through the weekend.

Day TWO: (Only Vegetable with a cooked potato for breakfast)

So today is a vegetables day with a potato for breakfast. I hunted the kitchen to discover a tiny potato and steamed it to heart’s content. Probably it must be the first time in my life when I relished a cooked potato sans seasonings. Indeed a lifetime experience. Then tried to play the rabbit by munching on to the carrots and peas. πŸ™‚ I felt that headache returning to me by evening. Had a lemon soda and saw that ebbing away. Silently I added Chinese Hakka Noodles to the self promises, I I stick around this diet till Day Seven.

I checked my weight today – 58.7 Kg

Day THREE: Fruits and Vegetables (No Potato and No Banana)

I woke up at 7:00 AM as hunger pangs hit my stomach. Man, what a self imposed misery it was! Thankfully I found grapes in the kitchen and almost finished half a kilo of them in the early morning for breakfast. Who called this diet, anyways? πŸ™‚ Steamed Ridge Gourd, Tomatos and Garlic together with some spices and had it for brunch. Sipped lemon juice (no sugar) while watching Jodhaa Akbar and ate amla and fruit salad for dinner.

I checked my weight today – 58.4 Kg – – No major change from yesterday

Day FOUR: Bananas and Milk

I can claim myself a milk allergic. 😦 So That leaves me with bananas. Am actually considering substituting Yogurt for milk. Lets see How it goes. Yesterday I shopped for the largest bananas ever found in the market and bought three of them. Had a nice cold badam flavored milk for dinner. I had a tough timing sleeping today, as I felt a tinge of nerve weakness. My entire lower body ached in minute ways and most of the sleep time went in discovering new postures for comfort. No Jokes, I hated this sign of weakness.

I checked my weight today – 57.1 Kg – Voila A Whopping change!

Day FIVE: Beef and Tomatoes.

I woke up early morning, with a gnawing hunger and looked at Tomatoes with revenge. Steamed five of them along with pepper and salt and had some real trouble eating them. Now that was a real proof for my culinary abilities. πŸ™‚ I still haven’t figured out what can I substitute for Beef. I had around 50g of steamed chicken for lunch and by evening, my knees started aching. So I didn’t stick to rule book today. Had a couple of pieces of Guava fruit, one lemon soda, along with one phulka and 100 g of dal instead of the lean meat that was advised.

For those who are looking for vegetarian option, don’t plainly substitute rice for beef. Instead, to replace a 3 oz (85.05 g) serving of meat, use:

* 1 cup (236.59 mL) cooked dry beans, peas, or lentils.
* 3 oz (85.05 g) tofu (soybean paneer).
* 4 Tbsp (59.15 mL) peanut butter.

I checked my weight today – 56.9 Kg – No major change from yesterday

Day SIX: Beef and Vegetables

I experienced a fleeting sensation of fainting problem. Since Beef was out of question, I had a single phulka with steamed carrot in the morning. This time I am not going to miss my lunch at all. Had 10 oz. fried chicken for lunch. And I took a bowl of steamed and spiced carrots and peas for dinner. No Signs of weakness at all. I guess the worst is over by Day 5.

Day SEVEN: Brown rice, fruit juices and vegetables

Finally the last day and the easiest one too! πŸ™‚ Had a bowl of vegetable rice cooked with Potato, Onion, Cauliflower for breakfast and lunch. Dinner saw me gulping two glasses of watermelon juice.

Finally I lived through the GM Diet schedule. Yes, there are slips in certain days, I do acknowledge humbly. But those slips did indeed make a positive difference. I lost around 5.5 pounds, but thats not all. My observations and cribs would call for another post as I don’t want to spoil the joy of this experience with analysis. πŸ™‚

Update: Looking at the tremendous amount of attention this post has received from people scouting for information on GM Diet, I couldn’t help but recommend these posts here. Worth taking a look.

My Experimentation With Different Types of Dieting

Some Food For Thought here for those who are forced to do this.





Jodhaa Akbar

18 02 2008

Another in this year’s mega let downs! After Saawaria and Om Shanti Om, this is another movie that left me with mixed feelings.

Ashutosh Gowariker’s ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ is a historical drama of epic proportions that tries to depict a delicate romance between a Mughal Emperor and a Rajput Princess . That being said, watch this for costumes, performances of lead pair, settings and background score. The music in fact has risen my expectations which couldn’t be fulfilled by watching the movie. I would have loved this movie, had I had a remote control in the theater. How I longed for it! Sadly I lived with this reality that I had to wade through mediocrity and Bollywood masala for a few moments of brilliance. Brilliance of execution in some of the scenes, like Hrithik’s taming of the wild elephant, Aish and Hrithik’s sensuous sword play, the huge crowd filling battle field scenes, court room sceneries, and the dance number when the people honor the Emperor with the Akbar tag.

Yes, this movie is Hrithik and Aishwarya written all over. Aish and Hrithik look every bit regal in their attire, mastering grace, elegance and royal countenance in a sweeping flourish with ease. I just loved the way they lived up to the role in an amazing restraint. Indeed Aish and Hrithik did justice to this untold love story championed by Ashutosh Gowariker.

For me, it is just another Romantic Story, a rather slow moving one at that, topped off with some real grandiose costumes, soulful numbers and the pristine old times usage of Urdu and Hindi language (I was really wondering about the meaning of some of the words πŸ™‚ ). And Yes, the USP of this movie is that its based on the Historical facts. Let’ not get into the veracity of those claims, for that reminds me of this starting line in Mel Gibson’s ‘Brave Heart’ which says “History is written by those who have hanged heroes”. What’s often projected in those glorious history books is what those in power and control want to project. And even that is mingled with a great deal of controversy.

Yet, I hoped this movie had a more gripping narrative, some intense characterization and a convincing plot. This movie proves that sometimes, attention to detail is just not enough. As the movie battles between the fact and fiction, the audience is taken a ride through boredom and thrills. The soothing music, though divine has only added to the length. Its easy to engross ourselves in ‘Aseem O Shaan Shahenshah’, ‘Man Mohana’, ‘Khwaja Mere Khwaja’, and ‘In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein’. Yet, Apart from ‘Jashn-E-Bahaara’, you won’t remember any of them after you walk out of the theater. Sample the lyrics of ‘Jashn-E-Bahaara’, which made me an accomplished kitchen singer for sometime. πŸ™‚

“Kehne ko Jashn-e-bahara hai
Ishq yeh dekhke hairaan hai
Phool se khusboo khafa khafa hai gulshan mein
Chupa hai koi ranj fiza ki chilman mein

Sare sehmein nazare hain
Soye soye vaqt ke dhare hain
Aur dil mein koi khoye si baatein hain

Kaise kahen kya hai sitam
Sochte hai ab yeh hum
Koi kaise kahen woh hai ya nahi humare

Karte to hai saath safar
Faasle hain phir bhi magar
Jaise milte nahi kisi dariya ke do kinare”..

Jodhaa Akbar

I kept a track of every passing hour in the movie giving in to the yawn and the complaining of the inner voice, and sadly that’s not what I expected out of this. Now you may ask, why is this review full of pictures and very little words? That’s what this movie is about and that’s what I really loved, the richly detailed presence which was marred by the narrative. I would understand if people rate this a four starer based on cinematography, costumes, sheer magnitude, attention to detail for this historical romance, or visual experience. In the end, what matters to me is the sheer experience or joy of being a part of the movie, that era and that journey. Yet, Jodhaa Akbar didn’t manage to create a tug at my heart.





Love Is In Air…

14 02 2008

Valentines Day.. Reminds me of All Things Beautiful…Red Roses, Deep Passions, Soothing Music, Candlelit Dinner, Long Walks With Loved Ones, Solitude, Bliss and Contentment.. Umm

I see couples planning days in advance.. Most of my lady friends are knocking heads to discover a real unique gift for their boy friends, when guys are grinning like cheshire cats armed with predictable delights (Chocolates, Flowers, Cards, Teddies, and Jewellery) and the singles are feeling deeply miserable missing their fantasy partners. Truly it feels as if love is in the air.

What could be a better time to thank all those people who filled life with love and beauty? Here I lay in snug solitude, wrapped in soothing music of Phil Collins, David Gates, and Richard Marx, trying to do a long pending quarter life review in reflections. Often I wonder, whats life if not for those special people who filled life with love, joy or lesson. What’s solitude, if its not connected with nature, music, books or soul?

Thanks for my sweet little family for always being around enveloping me in unconditional acceptance and love. Thanks for those mentors who changed my life in minute ways with their guidance, affection, criticism and direction. Thanks for those pals (real and virtual) who made there presence in those moments of quiet need.

The mood of this moment is contentment and it wouldn’t have been possible without music, books and you all.

Happy Valentine’s Day!





You Are Not The Same Gal Anymore..

11 02 2008

Ouch! That innocent observation did hurt! And it pained much more as I know it has a grain of truth.

Agreed that I lost a little bit of peace of mind in trying to be a rat in the race.
Agreed that am not connecting with those people who really matter in my life.
Agreed that the dreamer in me went on a strike to protest my callous indifference.

Mea Culpa.. 😦

No time to watch the sunbeams painting the sky in yellow and gold.
No time to bask in the moonshine from my portico in the afterglow of a fulfilling day.
No time to relish in fresh morning breeze swaying over my silkened hair.

Yet, my dear pal, let me offer this political explanation. In this age full of adrenaline and confusion, I feel as if I am chasing illusions and grandiose dreams – of trying to make it big in life. This rat race metrics can make me quite dazed especially if I have to conform to the trite conventional standards. In this run to nowhere, I am missing the acknowledgment of the present and the beauty of small things that paint life in infinitesimal detail. Yet, to confess, I am working on it and be patient with me.

I change roz roz, and this is time or a phase in life where am grappling the unknown and the darkness. Yet, as a realist, let me acknowledge this as well. I believe that eternal optimism is any day better than persistent pessimism. Let me connect with myself as life seems to be sweeping me in deluge!