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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.

Photos: Mela, Maut ka Kuan

Posted in Miscellaneous by Vik on November 9, 2012

Maut ka Kuan (well of death: ‘motorbikes in the well’ stunt; called Gudiya Maruti circus in this case), Fair (mela): Durgapuja, Ranchi (late October 2012; Bakri bazaar). Click on each image to make it big.

2012-10-24 15.45.40


Unborn Melbourne: …to be updated after the trip

Posted in Miscellaneous by Vik on August 25, 2012

Tourism Victoria with Indiblogger has announced a contest: blog about your ‘ideal Melbourne Holiday’; you can even imagine and write. And if your entry is judged as the best two posts through the lenses of ‘creativity, relevance and interaction’ you get an all-expense paid 4-nights trip to Melbourne. If you don’t win a trip to Melbourne, then you get some consolation prize:  shopping vouchers or pen drive that you will enjoy in India only. Do participate if you feel ‘it is your time to visit Melbourne now’.

There is no dearth of text and images on Melbourne or Australia tourism on the web for would-be visitors and Melbourne enthusiasts. Those interested in winning the contest are reading and writing about it.

I know a bit about the place and have spent some time on the website linked here. But I am not going to write about it as suggested. I feel it would be better if I update the title of this post and add text and images after the trip—if I win that is.

So that is it.

I am choosing to visit the place, see it first hand and then write. And not the vice versa. If I get the chance, that is.

Vicarious excitement and experience would be good but it will certainly be second-rate. That is a truism.

So I will visit Melbourne and write about it, in that order. Melbourne deserves that; they say it exceeds expectations and imagination. Amen!

Melbourne Tourism-Image courtesy linnked site


Posted in Miscellaneous by Vik on February 27, 2012

The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.  ~Henry Boye

This is a true story and happened about a decade ago.

It was at the Old Delhi Railway Station that Chander had found me. I was returning to Ranchi from Delhi. I had reached the crowded old Delhi railway station at about 6.30 in the evening to catch the Jharkhand Express to Ranchi scheduled to depart at 7:30 pm. I was almost penniless and had bought an unreserved second class ticket in 210 Rupees. It was announced that the train would be departing really late and I was sitting at the platform and killing my time.

At about 11 pm, a child who looked about 8 to 10 years old, hesitatingly approached me. He looked every bit a street urchin — gaunt, worn out, shabbily dressed with swollen lips on an unhappy face.

“Bhaiya, where can I catch the train to Bihar…?” he spoke to me with some difficulty. He looked at me pleadingly and told me in the same breath that he was kidnapped from his village, and had spent many months in Delhi running from pillar to post. He was struggling in speaking and could not coherently communicate details of his ordeal to me but I had got the message. He told me his name—Chander.

I had no concrete plan of action as I had then just crossed my teenage and was not very worldly-wise. I bought him some food and promised to help him in every possible way. We went to platform no. 1 of the station where I reckoned was a police post. I talked to the only constable there and asked him if he could take him and do the needful. He was not moved and asked me to take him with myself. I told him I had no money even for his ticket and he retorted that the TT will understand the situation as I was not the only kind person on earth! I had no further interest in seeking external redressal for Chander.

So by a strange twist of fate it was decided that Chander would be travelling with me in the general bogie of Jharkhand Express. The train departed at about 2 am and fortunately for both of us the general bogie was almost empty and no scrum greeted us as we boarded the train. We spread ourselves majestically on the seats and I thanked my stars for this comfort in the unreserved compartment. We didn’t talk much during the journey and no TT came looking for our tickets. I spent most of my small sum on buying Chander’s food who happily enjoyed the journey in the hope of reuniting with his family somewhere in Bihar.

On reaching the Ranchi railway station I found a police personnel and I explained him the issue. He exhibited mocking disinterest and suggested that I leave the child with him to become his domestic servant or else take him to my home for the same purpose. I didn’t argue with him in anger and hired a rickshaw to my home.

My family welcomed Chander in home. He became one of us in no time. His looks and speech improved with time and he stayed in our home for about three days. With nourishment, Chander was more eloquent and had talked more of his story to my family. He said he belonged to a village named ‘Beldari’ near Gaya in Bihar. My father talked to some neighbours and colleagues about it and various types of suggestions poured in. Most of them said it was praiseworthy and his son deserved a mention in the press and an award by the police. While a few suggested keeping it discreet and adopting a cautious approach as it is a kidnapped child and it may result in investigation and questioning by the police—who, how, where etc. There was some tension in my home as a result of these suggestions.

Finally it was decided that Chander would be taken to his village by my father. My father took him to his village by public bus. We were worried while he was away for a day.

My father narrated the story upon his return. He had first contacted the local police station before entering Chander’s village so that there was no confusion or any issue of mistaken identity. The whole school – swarm of children – where Chander studied had come to see Chander and my father as the news of his return had spread like wildfire in the village. My father was treated like a demigod in the village. The villagers and the poor parents of the child who had spent about 5000 Rupees searching for their child expressed their gratitude for the rescue as they offered him special lunch with puris and home grown parwal ki sabzi. Chander’s parents profusely thanked my father and gave him homegrown parwal as farewell gift.

It had so happened that Chander was kidnapped by some local enemy of his father and forcibly sent away in a passing train. He somehow reached Delhi and fell in bad hands. He did some menial jobs serving under dhabas and hawkers and once heard himself being sold by his hawker to some child trafficking gang. He ran away, caught some train randomly and landed in the old Delhi railway station and ran into yours truly to travel WT (without ticket) safely to his home! 🙂

Note: This post has been written in response to Indiblogger’s  ‘Around the World with Expedia’ contest.

River Rafting Photos 2011

Posted in Miscellaneous by Vik on November 28, 2011

My pics from the river rafting trip 2011 (22 Oct- 24 Oct). Do not go for this camp (Phoolchatti resorts, it is more for honeymoon and not adventure); go for camp rapid fire (the best with most reviews on tripadvisor) and see for my 2009 exciting trip. Also visit the official website of Camp Rapid Fire for river rafting and camping in Rishikesh.



Can you recognise these foods?

Posted in Miscellaneous by Vik on January 2, 2010

Update: The fruit is Apricot (Khumani in Hindi); thanks to Paro for the update

These pics are of food packets (dry fruits/masala) that my friend (South Indian) gave me and she couldn’t tell what it was (and neither could I except for the Ramdana (Amarenthus) in the right packet).

The first food looked like dried dates (Chhuhara) while the second one (ramdana) has almonds, panchmeva etc. in it. I broke the seeds of the first (after eating it like dates) to find almonds inside it! I don’t know what the whole fruit is called!

I had thrown some 6-7 seeds thinking there is nothing inside LOL! The food packets are from Navdanya, the popular organic producers.

almonds and dry fruits


Book list for research on Indian civil services

Posted in Miscellaneous by Vik on December 5, 2009

Visit this link for a book list I had collected last year.

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