Monday, 31 August 2015

5 Reasons Why I love Driving in India

If you drive in India and make a statement like this, people are surely going to doubt your sanity. You either have to be a crazy I-love-traffic-kind-of-person they show in Ads these days. Or probably are in college and have a girlfriend to sit behind/besides you.

But I have my reasons for validating it - 

  1. Honk at will. Everyone here thinks, only they see the red light turn green and shoulder the responsibility of informing of all other lazy heads. Honk to wake all other drivers to green signal. Sometimes, or rather at most times, if someone has honked it means they are in a hurry, assume they have an invisible red light mounted on their car and thus should be given the right to jump ahead of you magically. But mind you, like dogs barking, honking can have different meanings in different contexts and you should apply common sense, not logic to decode it. If an autowala honks at you incessantly, it does not always mean he is trying to make a pass at you. It sometime also means that he might just be asking you what time of hour it is or informing you that your dupatta is stuck in the car door. So caution is advised to understand the meaning of honk before applying your vocal skills and abusive language to god use

2. Yellow traffic light means, don’t slow down yet. You see a yellow light somewhere, it feels like there is an opportunity, it has a small window, and if you don’t hurry up, you will lose it. You feel the sense of urgency, the need to act fast instead of slowing down. Accept the challenge and drive faster.

3. If you are a girl and know how to say “Please Bhaiya” correctly, chances are people will even park your vehicle for you. People are kind enough to offer you free tips, “thoda left, thoda left”, “nahin nahin thoda aur kaato”. Unless there is an emergency and your life depends on it, you can get most work done with those two magic words.

4. GPS or no GPS you will find your way. People go out of their way to make sure you have understood where you need to go. There are hundreds of videos and news articles of how people ignore someone needing medical attention on the road. But if you need to get your directions right, there is no need to panic and consume your mobile data pack by putting the navigation on. They might not really know the correct directions, but they will ask someone for you or give you incorrect directions, but they will not let your hope die.

5. You rule the roads here. In true words, mere baap ki road hai. You see someone is trying to cross the roads, without getting to the zebra crossing (ofcourse there are no zebra crossing, but you are on the other side of the table and are driving). What do you do? You drive faster. Because its your right of way and no-one, not even that little angel on the shoulder can take it from you (except the traffic policeman ofcourse). So if you see someone trying to cross the roads and mock at your speed, you need to teach them a lesson by speeding up and scaring the hell out of them.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

I Eat and Cheat! I Lie and Deep Fry!

This time I was determined that I will follow the diet strictly and lose weight.

“I have had enough with the excess weight”, I said to myself. I have been carrying around the baby weight with love, years after delivering. The younger offspring is 3.5 years old and I still haven’t thrown the maternity jeans away.

This was a proof enough to jolt me out, but what really served as a wake up call were incidents like when my FB pics stopped getting as many likes, the kids teacher stopped taking notice of what I am wearing and found myself constantly bitching about the friend who had miraculously lost weight overnight.

I always take serious note when people tell me about their weight loss journey and secretly follow the most trending diet plans online. So I had found myself a diet that works (theoretically or on other people) and decided to give it a try. Losing weight cannot be so hard, I keep telling myself.

But after the first day, the logical thinking seems to question the motivation. And the weighing machine seems to be taking revenge because it has been overworked and doesn’t seem to reflect the weight change.

So here are the after-effects and after-thoughts of 2 days of dieting and mental toll –

  1. I am always hungry and I tell you, its not a pleasant feeling. Why doesn’t eating just veggies and fruits make you full? Not a difficult question now is it?

  1. It gave me a sense of understanding why there are so many foods and recipes around. They all have a meaning and a reason in life. (I think I see the deeper meaning of every food with empty stomach). Pakodas are meant to keep you warm on the rainy days and soups can’t replace it. Just like paav bhaji is meant to clean up all the left over veggies in the fridge and the same veggies will not make a good salad because they are mostly rotten.

  1. Now I know exactly what thy neighbors cook, whether they add curry leaves or onion in the tadka or how deep frying potatoes smell different from frying poories.

  1. I have officially become the veggie terminator/ “veggienasur” of the house. If I am not eating, you can find me shopping for the veggies/ fruits or chopping them. It definitely takes a lot of buying and a fridge weight to lose weight.

  1. Weekend binging. What would you do if you are at a buffet table and the waiter keeps asking, would you like to try this kebab, and some kachori, with a sugary drink, after some paneer tikka. Would you like to try our signature dish? Should I say no and break his heart? I look around the table and everyone is munching and gobbling in peace. Nobody cares about the bloody oil and calories here. Why should I be left alone in the struggle? I too am going to have a good time and try every piece of sweet on the buffet, I thought. After all I am paying for the complete thali, so why not try the shrikhand, gulab jamun, ice-cream, some barfi and cake. It can’t change my fate, now can it?

  1. I have a new perspective towards everything. Anything and everything can be measured in calories. If you see a little healthy person on the road, you calculate. If the husband is putting some extra bhujia over poha, it is being looked down upon. If I have to go and pick up kid from bus bay, I put the fitness app on to calculate the steps I have taken and how far away I am from my goal. Everything can now be quantified and takes you closer or farther from your goal.

  1. Can you really prepare a nice meal for the family and then go eat your soup? I sniff and sob in a quiet corner with my bowl of soup. A husband once vowed that we are in together for better or for worse. But the truth is that, you are alone. Only you can burn your calories and no arguments can ever convince him to support and workout together.

What is better – a little cheating or giving up? This is a big question, I know. But I think a little cheating does less damage than giving up. (Don’t ask me the same question and expect the same answer in my kid’s presence.) So over and above the diet plan, I had 2 cups of tea, eat a little breakfast, eat cookies and tell everyone, no I am not dieting.

One fine day, when someone will ask me how I managed to lose so much weight, I will get a chance to speak out the rehearsed answer, “Oh really! Have I lost weight? It must have just melted away from taking care of family and working hard.”

So what do you think? I would love to hear back your experience and thoughts.