Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Almost every year, on a certain day, I have to put up an act. And, just like is expected of any actor, with practice – my pretence has improved in quality. My voice modulations are very controlled and my comic timing is perfect!!  And I have managed to keep my audience ignorant about my lack of subject matter expertise. That day, is the day of Super Bowl – the biggest day of football as they know it in America!!

I show up at someone’s place to watch the game, and it is really the food and the alcohol that my eyes are absorbed with – from entry till exit. And yet, yours truly does not forget to play his role – with kaizen. Once every few minutes, I erupt into a frenzy of “high fives” with my greasy hands (here is a tutorial for those interested). Some years, I am so involved that I shake hands during the half time show. Like that one year with Janet…totally “out of place”!!

And that is how, an evening of brilliant performance seals my invitation to next year’s party. Of course, it is nobody’s business that the next morning, I have to check the local news before I show up at work. (so who won again ?) And I apologize for that!! I should really try to remember things better.

But this post is not at all about that. It is about the game, I grew up knowing as football. And tomorrow is the end to a different kind of lying. I do not have to schedule fake conference calls anymore from 6:30 in the morning or attend meetings with really no one but the cafeteria television from 1:30 in the afternoons. My eyes shall not seek for sleep and I shall stop predicting incorrectly on Raja’s blog. There is one more match, one that will put my conscience to rest for the next four years. And for that I had to do something special. I called for a “team meeting” !!

I call it the “FINAL” Dip  – a team meeting of boiled edamame, red onions, jalapeno peppers, peppers in all kinds of colors, cutting board, really sharp knife, paper towel, sea salt, not so virgin olive oil, roasted garlic and a green bowl !! I know the picture is not super appealing, but then it is not like you are going to actually get to dig into it. So go ahead and start the ooh’s and aah’s  – as I get ready to watch a football match which I actually understand !! Till next time … Waka Waka !!

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walking : good for bowel movement …..,

walking along Lake Michigan : scenic and very relaxing … or… extreme hypothermia …….depending on what month  it is ….,

walking along Lake Michigan and dropping some poo : priceless content for some useless human  blog ..!!

please share if you like this post …..Bookmark and Share

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As a kid I used to look forward to falling sick. Why? Simple. It would mean, I could stay at home (not go to school is a derivative…you see) and mis-utilize (read:parent’s definition) the day by reading books outside of the syllabus. The mood usually did not go sour ….unless it was a case of acute Joi Bangla (colloquial term for conjunctivitis in Bengali)…because then the command would be ….”Chok bandho kore ghumiye thako” (shut your eyes and sleep) ….like there really is another way to sleep than not shutting them. ……And then…. I got hit by the chicken pox…I was like ….Aa Gale Lag Jaa !! …..my heart leapt into the air (metaphorically ….. a real leap would not sit well) of the green (painted…no connection with the environment) walls of the doctor’s clinic ….I told myself …..”Phaata Phaati” (This is pretty awesome…..would vaguely relay the ecstasy that I experienced on the finding).

This provoked some radical changes …..relocation (zero privacy section of the house),new work center (portable aluminium frame bed from Army store), designated dress code (all cotton comfort clothing), cubicle (four walls of the blue mosquito net), nutrition control (monitored diet of “get well soon” broth) …….you get the picture. The biggest attraction to this three week imprisonment, that I was looking forward to was….. my “one on one” adventure rides with the works of Ms.Blyton. !!

I was ten years old……(life was simple….no pressure)!!

She is 19. With the warmest smile and rock solid confidence, …..she is commitment personified !! Results matter to her …..(not the publicity) ….and she is going to tempt her health into a fight of will power. If you make it ….despite the darned boils …. we will play the “dhol” for you … if you do not … there is always a next time. No matter what …..Saina Nehwal…..you make us proud !!

Photo Courtesy:here

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netipot ….again

I did not know about these till Sue told me the other day, ..”have you tried using a netipot?”.”Nope”, I returned.But today was one of the really rough days.We are in the second week of cycle one and it is just extreme talking all day. It is multi tasking at full speed and capacity mis-utilization.Needless to say, the blocked nose and the painful breathing was not helping. I needed relief. Soon. I read a quick review on this and then told myself – “how hard can it be?” I have endured some serious pain and if this is close to that, we should be O.K.We dined at the Penang on Route 10 and the spice just did not do it. I probably need loads of cayenne to flush stuff out.When we neared the pharmacy, the pressure built up. I walked towards the cold relief section and picked up the box.For a pot and about 30 packets of saline what not – these do not come cheap.But I was determined to try it. Determined to not wake up in my sleep trying to breath.By the way, did I mention that I hate NJ.Few anxious moments of the drive back to the hotel and I was ready with my luke warm water, my head bent like they show in the instruction sheet.And it hurt !! It was painful.I think the challenge is how not to breathe in the hot saline liquid flowing through your nostrils.Relief ?Immediately!! I am sold. Will need to practice some more and I will be ready to have my own netipot video on You Tube. Though the very thought of sharing the sight of myself with liquid dripping out of my nose – not a good idea !! I don’t think so…..!!

The pirates have hit again!! This is revenge of the death of their comrades who were killed in the Phillips rescue.So they say. And I am sure they will do this again. In this world where technology has creeped into every corner of our lives, is it that difficult to counter these crooks? How are they so confident about the success of their efforts. Why are guns so easily available?They need to be crushed.I am livid and I don’t want to calm down.

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If you walked into Flight 1416 on Monday mornings while it is making up it’s mind on the right time to take off in spite of all normal temperature and pressure conditions – you would, with me, find a plane full of under slept passengers with mouths wide open contributing generously to the resonance of plane engine and the stale air of the aircraft.Enough said, you get the picture.I was getting my usual dose of shut eyes before the take off jerks me up to drift back into the slumber. But somehow the internal clock told me, this delay is not on time.Of course not !! So I snore myself awake and find us still waiting at the gate.There has been zero utilization of kinetic energy.So I asked the Zune nurturing teenager (with the pink nail polish and the bling shoes) – “what are we waiting for?”. She let a chuckle slip out of the glossed lips and I heard the most bizarre of the reasons ever, about a delay. “They are waiting for the food!!”. And I told myself – “Get the F#@$ out!!”. On the outside I let out a sneer.Why? Because that is a joke. If you fly anywhere within the fifty states you know that there is no food unless you are in the first class.And there is food in the form of palm sized plastic cups loaded with ice for an excuse of a soda for the coach crowd.So what we have here is a classic case of food wait when there is really no food save a few bags of pita chips,pretzels and Twix for the premium mob. I am sure it was worth the delay !! I am sure this was of higher priority than the schedule !! 
About the same time last year, 7387 miles away from this dying city, we took a mid morning flight from Delhi to Udaipur.We arrived at the airport early, worried if a couple of hours before the take off should be enough for us to get ourselves through the crowd (ignorance is a bitch…!!). Little did we know that flights in India wait for you.Literally!!. They announce your name and plead and coax you into finally getting on the bus which will take you to the best 45 minutes of your flying experience till you get your next one.We were delighted to be shown the Jet Airways lounge (we had the elite tickets….I am almost ashamed to admit) where we had access to the best food that you can want in a couple of hours after a heavy breakfast at your friend’s home and a new meal waiting to happen – mid air.Wait I just gave away the climax.The food !!! O boy !! The care, the attention, the swiftness and finally the smiling faces – I love every airline company in India.They are always carrying this bright smile on them (we all know that is not a true reflection of their personal lives…this is life, stuff happens) and you literally are provided with a royal treatment.Of course if you wanted to, you could argue – how is this royal ?? And I will tell you. Come fly in one of the fifty states on any airline. And go crazy, go first class. Hell, I will buy you the ticket (just kidding …!!)You will know what you are privileged with.This is a grand mix of reminiscence and gratitude towards the hard working individuals in this business and especially to the airport staff of Udaipur airport who took extra care of me. I shall talk about that on another day. Right now I want to close my eyes and replay the memory of the bhetki in green sauce with basmati rice, the mango mousse and the jeera paani and the other pieces of bliss.We felt pampered and sometimes that is all you need, especially when it is a vacation, coming home…….thank you Jet Airways and the others in the flying business !!! Kudos !!! 


I was feeling really well this morning. I have had my nap on the flight, so I was rested and I was ready for the warm weather NJ had promised on the weather websites.But that was not to be.As I am finishing up on this post , I had to take breaks to use the nasal spray for sinus congestion.Apparently this is the pollen season and like a true member of this populace, I am a victim.Unbelievable !! I remember I used to be sneezing with the dust in Chennai, but not like this. This is annoying and I hate to use the chemicals to suppress my bodily reactions to this indolent lifestyle.We need to go to a fitness club, pay a monthly membership and join the others – to break a sweat !! Take a peak members of the western world at the tropical climate and the lifestyle and the food they eat.Everything teaming up to facilitate some serious metabolism. And you don’t hear often, about companies who need to lure their employees with a health club reimbursement plan – to stay healthy !! Or maybe you do !! There is this pot of boiling water on the stove in the hotel room – my version of the humidifier as I get ready to call it a day. Another Monday of another week!! Week 16 of ’09 to be precise !!  

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Back home. In our bed !! Nothing feels like home.Strange how I have now got used to calling this mamoth vaccum cleaner of my biweekly wage as my favorite spot in the whole world. O.K. maybe the whole world is a stretch.So our flight was delayed by about half an hour which is not bad given the typical delay of more than that for the flight which comes in from Detroit.I actually ended up feeling real hungry and hence indulged in a veggie sandwich washed down with some Guinness (at the right temperature) which makes you fall in love with beer all over again.Draft and not bottled !! Lets make sure we are on the same page on that.So the delay was not so bad after all. I was well fed and quenched !!

I have to confess, that every time I am in an airplane the only moment that I am a little nervous is when the wheels touch the ground (on landing , of course )!! I can feel that I am waiting to not be scared anymore when the bird is finally cruising to the gate. Well, due to the delay the flight attendants requested that anyone who does not have a connection let others (who do) pass. The lady next to me was due to catch a flight to MN and her gate was in Terminal B (which is a drag if you are in Terminal A) and her flight due to take off in 8 minutes.

Two elements in this whole happening impressed me a lot:

  • How everyone obliged !! There was no elbow artistry, desperate grunts and unhappy endings.People did try their best (there are always exceptions) to let the more needy to get ahead. I appreciated the effect and as stereo typical I sound, my immediate comparison was the imagination of an identical situation in India and what the ramifications could be. Nothing in India (even today) makes me feel like a small request like this would be honored. Maybe I am totally mistaken (I really wish I am), but this is me with inferences from my past experiences.
  • This lady was calm. I imagined myself. Where I am due to get home. This is the last flight. Not that it has not happened to me in the past. Matter of fact it has happened to me several times. But I am sure I was not exuding this kind of a composure. Very positive and inspiring.

Anyone who has been to ChAennai and wished to eat some good fast food would know about Saravana Bhavan – one of the most popular and successful fast food restaurants (chain actually) .Incidentally we used to live very close to their HQs in Kodambakkam and I just loved their food. Most of us who have been there love it and at this point I want to mention about their dish of small idlis dipped in sambar.Pure bliss in every bite.When we were on the West Coast we drove like 50 miles to get to the branch in San Jose and then dug in for a couple of hours. It was a struggle to stay awake on the drive back after meeting with the goodies. Well, I just learnt from a news article that the owner has been convicted for murder (of an employee) and will be behind bars for a few years. And his son is in some kind of trouble too with U.S. Immigration. Not good !! How will this impact their business ? Will people think twice before they make that trip for the Special Thali? Will I also bear this in mind next time I get a chance to get to Oak Tree Road in NJ where I have heard there are some really good restaurants, one of them being SB. Have to wait and see !!!

Finally I am going to give in tomorrow. I am allowing myself to accept an appointment that I decided not to cancel with my doctor. I am not looking forward to it. Last time I was there, was in December of ’08 and it was not pretty. My blood tests came up with some outrageous results and even though I have eaten well since then, the physical activity has been close to none. So I am not very eager to get these tests done all over again and then try and go on a diet or get a prescription for Lipitor for the rest of my life.I am going to attempt to talk him out of putting me on any drugs.

Tomorrow is also my annual visit with our CPA for the tax returns for year 2008. I am finally going to get this done. Very late but then not too late. Today (since it is past midnight now) is going to be busy. Need to get some rest !!

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Last evening was fun…again!! O.K maybe not all that much. But it was not bad. We picked up Indian food from a …ummmm Indian restaurant … a mixed variety of starters and entrees and naan and biriyani (yippee )!! We knew about the six pack getting cold in the room refrigerator and the food would be just great with that. Beer from Munich.One of the guys had his friend and we were a party of four. I have to say the food was totally weird. It didnot taste the way it should. It is like if you bite an apple and it tastes like pineapple. So we had “sarson ka saag” and it tasted like baby milk powder.I know it sounds funny. That is what I thought. Funny saag.

After that phone call from my doctor’s office congratulating me on the high triglycerides, I have been attentive about what I eat.Mostly.Well the hotel has a decent spread for breakfast.I do not miss the oatmeal ever. This morning, temptation got the better of me and I picked up a biscuit with gravy. And boy what a mistake. It is not sitting well and I don’t think I want to do this again. Sometimes it is funny to think how a “lot ” of people find food like gravy tasteful. But then to each his own. I want to look up the recipe for good country style gravy and give it a twist. Another item for my wish list.

It is Thursday today. And that means if all goes well I will get home tonight. Which is the best part of the week. Even with no one at home to meet me when I get home, it is still home. It is better than any hotel in the world. It is home !!

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