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#StartANewLife- a story of bold changes on the health front to reform your kitchen

Posted in Miscellaneous by Vik on March 16, 2015

This is the story of how bold steps were taken on the health front and which helped big changes in my life and also helped my home and family members and friends. This was good, positive change as it revolutionized health and fitness and made me more optimistic. After all these changes, rest assured you will be more energetic and positive. So feel free to get inspired by this story and change your life. #StartANewLife; read below this story in ten points and make the changes in your own life too so that you get to enjoy your life more with family and friends in your home without the worries of the astronomical count of diabetes, heart problems and hypertension in India.

1. Open your refrigerator and check your home and life. Take out all colas, packed cold drinks, sugary juices, packed junk food, packet chips and THROW it in the dustbin. Congratulate yourself now. Sugar and junk addiction is killing the Americans. You just woke up in time!

2. Quit that milk tea or coffee you drink a number of times every day. Start taking tea with little or no sugar and lemon. Or take green tea. This prevents your from taking 6-7 spoons of sugar in body daily. That is a great way forward to fitness.

3. Start moving. Don’t say you will go to Gym and join a trainer and blah, blah. Fitness is food first and then physical movements. Walk more, do stretching and yoga at home, start jogging, get a cycle, do 3 minutes of stretching and exercise after every 90 minutes of work and chair life. Don’t think of going out in fancy kit or going to gym, buying branded equipments etc.

4. Start sleeping early. Get up early. Remove TV, computer from bedroom; no internet after 9 pm. Dinner should be light. And sit on floor more; chair life is ruining our lives and spine.

5. Carry healthy food and water when you go out. McDonalds and KFC has ruined the US where obesity is rampant. Fitness and health will not come with fast food or Mughlai food. Eat vegetables, salads, coarse grains, your own home made desi foods; GO BACK to Idli and simple tawa roti!

6. When was the last time you made chhach (buttermilk), sprouts, ragi kanji, amla chutney or a fruit veg salad in home? When was your last fruits shopping? Or you just want naan and bhature and burgers and pizza and mutton and pastries and patties in life?! Then know that Apollo, Fortis wait for you! Even Olympic marathon runners gain weight if they overeat and eat junk. What you eat is what you are! Change food to change mood and health and looks.

7. If you are a tobacco or alcohol user then I will not bore you with ‘quit it’ lecture or a possible early death warning. Addiction is normal; tobacco and its chemical enhancement is designed to make you crave for it. Accept that, don’t feel guilt about it, and then watch yourself like a detached observer and slowly get out of its chains. Start a new chapter, start a ‘7-day No tobacco’ life now (with lots of water and green tea to flush out nicotine) and then you will get your freedom as tobacco begins losing its battle against your will power from about the 4th day.

8. Stop praising kids and people who look chubby and fat (’khaate peete ghar ka!’). And stop ridiculing those who are slim and thin. Latter are often more fit. And avoid friends and those who weaken your resolve, ‘Arre thoda sa kha le, kabhi kabhi ye sab khaane se kuchh nahi hota!’. That’s a trap, beware.

9. Eat 1-2 bananas daily (no, it does not make you fat) and drink more water (at least 2 Lts daily). Roughly speaking one samosa takes 20 minutes of fast running to get burnt else it is often sitting on you in the form of fat. So know what bad food and overeating does to body. Most of us who can afford food overeat.

10. Learn cooking esp if you are male; help family with food in all ways. Go to buy vegetables and fruits in morning. Switch to organic (pesticide free) stuff when you save money by not eating outside of home. Start terrace gardening; grow dhania etc. in home.

So don’t wait now; start that new life that you have been avoiding. It is never late for positive changes; these 750 words may be a great harbinger of change in your own life. So script your own story now.

#Look up and find Optimism and Hope- a Story

Posted in Friends by Vik on March 16, 2015

For past some years, he was feeling so negative about life and it was hampering his productivity. He had started avoiding work and even taking new initiatives and had started fearing challenges. Then one of his friends wrote him a letter which changed his outlook on life. He pasted it on the walls of his home, so that he can never forget it. He always reads it when he wants to feel better, to believe in himself, to believe in life. Here is the text of the letter which gave a new direction and meaning to his life story. It is his favourite story of optimism and how he changed his life with simple changes in the way he thought about things.

“Dear …..

Life is special. You should celebrate every day. Scientists have researched that the probability of our birth (as a human, living being) is 1 in 400 trillion. Whoa! If we are so special then we need to make it big. We need to live it happily and appreciate life. With small achievements every single day, with laughter, with smile, with homemade food, with parents, with family, with friends, with satisfaction after every small job well done. Take care of your days and life takes care of itself. How we spend our moments is how we shape our life.

Either we can lie in the bed and keep thinking or we can just take charge of the moment and start with life today. It is a beautiful day and we can make it more beautiful. How? Just by making the maximum out of it. It is a new cheque, a new chapter, a new beginning, a new 24 hours that God gave us. Let us use it. It is in our hands. It is with us to be sad or to be happy. Yes, there are many problems. This is not right, I don’t feel good, I wish things were different and so on. But remember problems will always be there, nothing is perfect. So think of yourself as a boat that adjust sails to get past the storm. Life has to be like that. Or else it will be painful. That is the mantra to live life.

Let’s illustrate things with an example on how we waste time and tire ourselves with silly, routine stuff while we should be focussing on major tasks in life. Will power is like a muscle. The more choices you make during your day the more depleted your will power is; so say behavioural psychologists. For example, if your morning hours are not structured or defined and you keep doing sundry things like checking phone, seeing missed calls, doing small, small things wondering what to do, then you are spending will power over insignificant choices every day. The more choices you make on things that are unimportant, then you will have less choices and less willpower for important tasks and goals. So keep distractions to a minimum; keep will power reserved for big, major tasks during the day. Don’t do ego depletion by making many choices every morning. All masters lived in simplicity. Make few choices, do not deplete finite will power. Minimalism is the key here. Practice deliberate minimalism, focus.

Hoping this talk has given you some energy. Get out of your comfort zone, think less, be guided by action more. Your soul needs growth, you need activation energy. Our mind diverts us to myriad things if we do not take action in the first some seconds only when we start thinking about something. We all know what is to be done. The point is doing that. That brings happiness. That kills stress, that makes us better. Let’s be fine. Not by just saying I’m fine. But by working everyday to earn every smile on our faces. By doing tiny tasks and achieve bigger results when done with care every single day, week, month.

You will make this a good day. Many problems may come today, some people may not be so nice again and so on. But you will let problems and people come in your way of happiness. You are in charge. Breath deep, close the eyes, visualise the things you are doing today, make a list. And start the day. Get guided by action.

Okay, life awaits you. Start now. Hugs.
Yours…”

#Together- a story

Posted in Friends by Vik on March 16, 2015

Some years ago, I spent some months in Pune for an internship. Back home in the village, my parents, my big brother, and our dog Sunny waited for my return.

Upon leaving home, I had been afraid that I would miss it a lot: that the weather, the language, the people would be so different from what I have been used to; that I wouldn’t be able to live there comfortably and that I may not find a nice apartment for rent. My mother had cried a lot seeing me go, worried sick about me. My father had hugged me on the day I had left home. Even my brother had told me that he would miss me while I was gone. Our dog had looked at me with his brown eyes, not understanding I wasn’t going to college this time – I was going far away from him and the family.

During the first few weeks, I admit I missed my home and my family quite a lot. In Pune, I had to share a flat with three others were all Punjabis. So outside of my room, I had to listen to Marathi being spoken everywhere, and in my room, I had to listen to Punjabi from the mouths of my roommates. Even the food tasted different, when it was not made by the loving hands of my mother. I spent weekends alone in my room, looking down from the window at the city spread before me. At nights, I had dreams of being back home, of running in the courtyard with Sunny, his black fur shining in the sunlight.

However, in spite of being from a completely different place than I, my roommates were good people. Little by little, they earned my trust, and soon, my friendship. They asked me to join them for watching a movie together and for going to eat snacks to a street shop downstairs. They told me some silly jokes to make me laugh and we all tried our hands together at cooking. It was much thanks to them that after all I enjoyed my stay in Pune.

I remember very well the day I came back home. It was a Tuesday, and it was raining then. My father and brother came to meet me at the airport. They both hugged me and seemed happy to see me again.Yet it was not until we reached our home that I realised what true happiness was. When I stepped out of the car, our dog Sunny was in the courtyard. I noticed him before he noticed me, and I suddenly realised I had actually missed not only my parents and my brother, but so much of Sunny during my absence. I raised my voice and called him: “Sunny!”

That is when he noticed me, and recognised me immediately. He barked vigorously, and rushed to me with twinkling eyes. He jumped against me with much excitement and ran around the house at least four times. I hugged him, laughing. No one had ever been so happy to see me. That is when I understood how true the saying “dog is man’s best friend”.

I can never forget that day. Whenever I feel sad or bad, I think about it. And it makes me go on.

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Photos: Armed Forces Transfusion Centre blood donation camp in JNU Campus

Posted in JNU by Vik on March 14, 2015

Armed Forces Transfusion Centre (Delhi Cantt, Delhi) had held a blood donation camp in JNU Campus on 13 January 2015. I was also a donor. The following photos are from my phone at the venue (JNU Library). Photos from my blood donation at around 2 pm, when things were winding up. Photos of main blood donation hall and the registration room.

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JNUMC Caves trek Photos: 16 Feb 2014

Posted in JNU by Vik on February 16, 2014

JNUMC caves trek pics dated 16 February 2014. Trek leader Kavita; start time about 9.40 am , ended in about 1 hr 30 mins (total 2 hours including photo session and the time taken to coming to the main road).

Click on individual pics to see bigger sizes. There are dozens of pics here, scroll down to see them or click on ‘more’ if you see only two pics.  

Event of caves trek: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

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Don’t ignore your health; modern health care is very expensive

Posted in blogging by Vik on April 24, 2013

I am writing this post  to get a pen drive (participation prize; hoping it is a good make). It will be a surprise if it gets anything else (tab, flipkart vouchers etc.) in the contest where Apollo Hospitals is looking for some links and social media noise through write ups about modern health care.

Modern Healthcare does change lives if one can afford it (link). Life is unthinkable without modern healthcare (and hospitals like Apollo) as it is without money. About 1.4 million people died of TB in last one year in India. We need health care for all; hospitals like Apollo need a vision as much as they need clients.

Eat healthy and exercise regularly and keep yourself fit to avoid hospital visits.  One can at least avoid the lifestyle diseases (diabetes, cardiac problems and hypertension). This is from the horse’s mouth: “…Apollo Hospitals has always believed in the sheer joy of living a stress-free life without having to worry about health”. So take care of your body and don’t wait for Apollo and others to do that. As far as possible.

Photos of Historical Materialism Conference–JNU, Delhi, 3-5 April 2013

Posted in JNU by Vik on April 6, 2013

Some photos of the Historical Materialism conference from 3-5 April 2013 at the Convention Centre: 9.30 am to 8.15 pm, parallel sessions in four rooms (with a film every night from 9.30 pm). These are random photos from some of the sessions ; poor photos shot from my phone. Some random notes about the conference follow. Officially called ‘Final Delhi HM Conference Programme (‘New Cultures of the Left’). See the full schedule of the conference here. ICSSR, Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, Historical Materialism and JNU were officially the co-sponsors.

Some of the sessions I attended on the three days related to Javed Anand, Javed Iqbal, Harsh Mander, Jan Breman, Kamal M Chenoy, Vrinda Grover, Dilip Simeon, Shivam Vij, Nirmala Rajasingam and others. Overall a very useful and stimulating conference: It was like a festival of ideas; the place was abuzz with people, activity, books and discussion. The photos do not have the corridor areas where there were book sale counters or the lunch zone.

Some (Sangathan) have criticized it too; read that here. The concluding remarks by Gautam Mody (‘Yes, I am a coffee-table Marxist…)  positively acknowledged it too.

A few things that I recall: Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy said some very interesting things – JNU never had a convocation since 1971 because the JNUSU then wanted the right to speak at the function just as the external dignitary; this he said while suggesting that JNU is where you can say anything to the speaker, almost. He also reflected on how he got to arrange this gargantuan conference and the hardships it took etc. (a small talk peppered with humour at the closing ceremony). Lawyer Vrinda Grover said she changed her mind from against to favour (of Women’s Reservation Bill) after sitting for five hours in the Lok Sabha and observing the MPs debate (read ‘make light of’) the women’s safety issues. I also witnessed a silly walkout by one elder participant over a remark by Jan Breman (who rightly and pointedly regretted the lack of humanity among Indians who exploited the tribal people). In a discussion on sociology of Malls (can’t recall the exact topic), one participant remarked that even JNU Professors were told that ‘aapka Mall vaha hai’ when they went to the designer (elitist) DLF Emporio mall at Vasant Kunj.

I wish the conference was all recorded and put on YouTube. The participants will have to send their papers to ICSSR anyway and it will be complied (and hopefully published) . About 600 people attended it on first day and about 350 people on the third day. There were about 150 speakers. Arundhati Roy couldn’t come for the concluding plenary session.

Overall, a very rich event spread over three days. It took the effort of about sixty volunteers, many faculty members and so many others.

Disclosure: I was just a participant on all the three days;  Not a volunteer or organiser. Just an observer and participant. I personally know many of the Professors and people associated with this conference.

Ignore typos and grammatical errors, if any. Feel free to use photos for non-commercial purposes.

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Jnumc Rock Climbing Dhauj 50+ Photos, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized by Vik on April 1, 2013

JNUMC Rock Climbing programme, Dhauj (Haryana), 11-13 December 2012.

Our trainer: Suraj Sinil Singh Nagarkoti (popular as Koti; great sense of humour, genuinely devoted to sports, no-nonsense guy, always encouraging; he was with us until 1.30 am for Jumaaring, gauge his passion from that). Team Leader: Anushree Ghosh.

Names of some of members of the 25+-strong team are Anushree, Prem, Yash, Bikash, Anjali, Mausami, Shraddha Pal, Saket, Sonu (Rajesh), Javed Akhtar, Vivek, Sunita, Bhoomika, Rohan.

Starting Point (Narmada) and the bus, we alight on… Bouldering, Jumaaring, Rappelling, the long trek, Monkey temple etc. See below. Mostly random pics. See this set to decide how it is: the rock climbing experience at Dhauj. See some 2011 rock climbing pics here.

No attempt  made to make it comprehensive; it is just a quick photo documentation. Photos are copyrighted to members of the team who clicked them.

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National Seminar: Strategic Contours of Indo- Russian Trade and Economic Co-operation

Posted in JNU by Vik on March 30, 2013

Centre for Russian and Central Asian studies’:  one day conference on "Strategic Contours of Indo- Russian Trade and Economic Co-operation"  held on 21st March at the University Convention Centre, JNU.

Some photos from the seminar, inaugural session: Centre professors, Joint secretary Ajai Bisaria, other dignitaries. You are free to use the images for all non-commercial purposes.

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GSCASH JNU 2013 election photos

Posted in JNU by Vik on March 30, 2013

March 2013, election preparation and polling photos (22 March 2013, Teflas). Some candidates were Tintumol, Srirupa, Abhiruchi, Dipti.  Click on individual images for the full size.

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