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Monday, August 26, 2013

the strand book exhibition is on. Visiting the exhibition has been a parampara with the Hegde's

Sometimes I have gone there with a list of books i wanted and at other times have been pleasantly surprised to see books which i had longed for at some point of time but had never ended up buying . there have been times when i have picked a book randomly just because the cover was haunting ... Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca was one such find (hiding my face in embarassment).

When i was young ,and dad was the most influential personality in my life, my choice in books was whatever he suggested or expected me to read. later it was what the teachers in school and college suggested or even reviews i happened to read in magazines or newspapers.

Marriage happened and i got busy learning to manage the house.

Each birthday, in the initial years at least, the husband would take a day off from work. that was my day and i would want to visit all the "close -to -my -hear"t haunts ... the ones i used to frequent during the best period in my life - the 4 odd yrs that i was working .. So we would drive upto Maker Towers, WTC, stroll there for a while, then to Rhythm Hose, asiatic stores, come to Fort, peep in at the bookstallls on the pavements, the Khadi Bhandaar with its limboo sharbat - honey maarkey... then on to bombay stores, chimanlal's ,and other such places. And Strand.

He knows all my stories by heart. well.... most of them..not all. he would listen to them all over again each time i narrated them and with the same "I am very interested" look on his face every time . It is only now when the kids are grown up and show me the mirror that I realise how the poor man has suffered. suffered silently. Not once has he shown the tiniest disinterest nor rebuffed me with a "there you go again".

He became the one who would teasingly remind me "yr strand exhibition is on. don't u want to go?"

When the brat pack arrived, for a long time i forgot that i had hobbies. Books remained a part of my life . Strand too. But now i was picking Children's titles, activity books , how to bring up children , and such stuff.

The mommy friends weren't avid readers. and those that were, were into self help books or managemnt philosophies...

when i did a 2 yr yoga course at kalina a couple of yrs ago, I might have been the only one person who declared that the theory classes did more for me than the practical classes. They opened a new avenue for me. reading wise.... traditions, culture, rituals... wanting to understand the 'why' behind it. I am no fanatic but i wanted to know more about why we are what we are, why we are how we are. why we do what we do...

the power of the internet . blogs.

i was introduced to blogosphere by a niece. she was to go abroad fr her studies and gave me the link to her blog. so that i could be in touch with her. from those who commented on her blog, i had my favourites.. those whose writing i enjoyed. so those blogs were also read. if i came across a recommendaiton abt a book or reading material which interested me... i would be curious. i must add I have rarely been disappointed. Strand was my ally.

the power of the internet. the group. new friends... friendships.... i found my influences once again.

the power of the internet....buying books online was a new option. a breeze too. am a little too vehemently opposed to change... but gradually realised it was a more convenient option. the discounts were another attraction.

yet i never wanted to miss a strand exhibition.

the pleasure of holding a book in your hand , flipping through the pages, reading a bit, trying to get a feel of the writing, the content... trying to gauge if it touches a chord.... i love that. even when i am making an online purchase , i enjoy it when there is a "look inside" option.

i was there at sunderbai hall today. at the exhibition. Strand wala.

i really did not need anything. there were 2 books on my "must buy " list. "land of the seven rivers" and "Sacred Lives ". flipkart would have given me a good deal. but i saved these purchases for today.

conquering my phobia of traveling by train all by myself, i undertook the Strand yatra. . spent a good hour at the exhibition. bought a book on indian mythology and the "land of the seven rivers"

the sentimental fool that i am, i came out of sunderbai hall , with a blissful expression on my face

the strand love affair goes on...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

am reading a marathi translation of a kannada book "Parva". was reading a paragraph where the king of Madra, Shalya, the brother of Madri was sitting in his garden, thinking of his sister. the scene as described by the author is where the maids are watering the garden and the parched earth. He asks them to soak the earth with a lot of water. "राजाने सांगताच घड्याच्या तोंडावर उजव्या हाताचा तळवा ठेवून त्यांनी सभोवतालच्या जमिनीवर ओतलं "

" घड्याच्या तोंडावर उजव्या हाताचा तळवा ठेवून"...aaahhh! the little detail . '

As a child, most of my summer vacations were spent at my maternal aunt's place at Pimpri in Pune. My couisn brothers were nearly 13 yrs older to me. Their house was one amongst 16 other houses, all in a row. the front of the house had a small road which lead to a garden and then the main road. the houses had a small backyard too. the अंगण .

each morning the women folk would sweep the small stretch outsdie their doorstep and spray it with water . सडा टाकणे , they called it. This was followed by a small rangoli. The everyday rangoli would be in white only. but highlighted with a bit of हळद कुंकू . the elaborate colourful rangolis would be reserved for Diwali.

As i read the aforementioned words, i could almost hear the "kharr kharr" of their "kharaata" as the women in the neighbourhood swept across the street.

i can see myself lugging a small bucket of water with a stainless steel tambya, across the backyard and through the rooms , spilling little splats of water all throughout.

Once outside the house i would coax my tiny hand to span the circumference of the tambya in preparation for the सडा टाकणे . It wasn't as easy as it had appeared. it required skill to aim and let out the water from the 'tambyaa' , through the fingers, in a fine spray . so many times the tambya has slipped from my hands and landed on the road , denting it. It irritated my aunt who sometimes was low on patience. It sure amused my cousins. I remember their indulgent smiles.

hehe! such is the power of words . such is the power of the mind. conjuring up the imagery !

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A goondoo tale

Goondoo is now all of 8.

Study time is serious business at their place  .  History.  His mother was teaching him the Time line.  BC and AD

She asked him -" do you know what BC stands for.?"

"Of course, I do", said Goondoo.

"BC stands for Before Chhatrapati !"

The sister was dumbstruck.  How she wished Balasaheb was still alive and somehow this could have  reached his ears !!!

The boy was also learning about Atmosphere.   How a thinning  Ozone layer gives rise to skin cancer and  how Australia is affected thus..

He immediately rushes inside and gets a world map.  He points out to the Tropic of Cancer and squeals - "See here it is,.... the Tropic of Skin Cancer !!"
Cravings, Desires, Longings, Wishes... You look forward to them being fulfilled., coming true... and when they do , a wee bit of an unkown sadness creeps in...... suddenly there is nothing (more) to look forward to, crave for, long for, wish for!
Monday 12th Aug

Aaah... another day gone.   No statistics, no figures for this day.  The internet detox is serving its purpose.  I have managed to return to my books.

Why ,oh, why am I unable to strike a balance  !!   Why does it  always have to be the extremes ??

Was going through the books I have collected and are on my TO READ list...  A lifetime might prove to be just too short.

Seize the day... the moment... The time is NOW.  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday 11th Aug

Bfast Dosas
Lunch - Awesome
Snacks  Dosa
Dinner - Awesome

Broke every rule
No walk

Saturday 10th Aug

A new day.

The walk will have to wait till evening probably.

The weight in the morning 91.6 kgs

Classes today

Bfast Upma
Snacks  Dal dhokli
late dinner

Walk - 1 hr.
Easy on the legs

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Report for the 9th of August


I love this month of Shraavan.  Festivals galore.  The nostrils tickle with the fragrances associated with the month.  Somehow the same chandan  incense stick smells different when the Gods are adorned with fragrant flowers, when it is raining heavily outside and the fragrance of the cardamom , ghee and jaggery floats through the house as the naivedya is being prepared. The crackle of the new sari or the old silk as I walk through the house, an odd flower sticking out of my head, the distinct fragrance of the kumkum which is now mixed with my sweat and dripping down the brow and down the bridge of my nose ....the chunky corals round my neck, the bangles on my wrist..... all the finery .   Reminds me of similar times during my childhood when I used to look forward to seeing  my mother dress up so.


walked at home.  remembered to have a glass of water.  No oedema.  But the foot hurt where I tie my laces.  The calf muscles responded well.  60 mins fly by when I walk at home.  Participating in all conversations as I walk a lap 30 steps from my room to the drawing room passing by daughter's room, the kitchen and even the small family room where the daughter is usually stretched out watching a movie or a TV serial.

Breakfast - 2 dosas
1 mango
3 small portions of pizza
2 rasgullas
dinner at 10.45

Bedtime at 1.00 am  Weight 92.6

Snack time in the evening is my bane.  From 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm   .

Friday, August 9, 2013

The mind is restless.   Have to focus inwards. 

There is too much stimulation to the mind with stuff that I can do without,  rather , I better do without.

Attraction.   When does the mind learn to overcome ? Or can I call it a  Distraction.  Either way , you are in my mind all the time.  Every waking moment.  There is no reason for you to be occupying my thoughts thus.  We do not have a past and definitely no future.  And  I let you rule my mind.  Possess my thoughts.

I know I am reading too much.   I want to withdraw while I still can.

Yet I want to hold on. Linger a while...

A part of me wants to make that clean break.

A part of me is willing to take whatever little that comes my way.

That one thought that I matter  to you makes me bask.

The walk.

These days, the first thing I do as soon as I wake up is peer out of the window.  It has been raining since morning.  Looks like there won't be any respite.

The weight in the morning was  91.9.  Looks good.  :-)

A part of me wants to hit the gym.  The  treadmill.  A part of me is still afraid of the pain the shoes are going to cause.  I think a one hour walk at home should be OK. I can start and be done with it immediately and not keep fretting over it .

Its 12.14 pm and the walk is done and over with.  At home. The pain did surface 30 mins into the walk, but it did not hurt as much.

Must remember to hydrate well.  A bottle of water before I start.

Breakfast - 3 dosas

The daughter and me went for a marathi movie today.  I had seen the play on which the movie was based and I knew it would be a dumb movie.  It would raise a few laughs - situational comedy mostly , but  the  whole premise on which the play and now the movie was based was ridiculously  stupid.  

There were two reasons why I wanted to take the daughter for the movie.

1.  Stupid toh Stupid, I was game for a few laughs. 
2.  the important reason was the movie would give the child a peep into a "waada' and the chaal (chawl ) culture, where "amcha tey amcha ani tumcha hee amchach" prevails.  The rule applies for all joy, all sadness, all material possessions.

Review - TP.  and at 100 rs a ticket, it was a good investment.  The daughter is now mature enough to distinguish between good cinema and  a TP one.  Her comment - "bandal"

The movie hurt more because my diet went for a toss.  I simply can't resist the eats at a cinema. The popcorn - carmel and salted, the samosas, the cone pizza...  drooool!  Gave the pizza a miss though.

And from thereon , it was  downhill all the way.  Returned home to 4 rasgullas.   Dinner was as late as 11.30pm  and bedtime  - 5.00 am

The weight at 5.00 am  91.7 kgs

It was a bad day. The pain in the thigh persisted and the occasional pain in the hip.  The left foot also showed some oedema.  The physical pain was within bearable limits. What wasn't was the fear in the heart and the mind as to what is happening inside of me.  There is no apparent cause for worry. Simply have to train the mind to focus on the positive .

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

10.00 am

The walk.

It is occupying  too much of my thoughts nowadays.  The day now begins with a fear. "Will I be able to?  Won't I?  The pain - hope it doesn't strike.  Is it the hip?  Why does the leg hurt ?"

The other fear is of  myself.  The escapist in me is likely to  just give up.

After I am back from the walk, the triumph lasts for a couple of seconds only.  "What about tomorrow?"  This  is the thought that takes over.

The walk.

From 10.50 am to 11.52 am.

The first three rounds were comfortable.  Today I gave the shoes a rest and walked in my sandals.  I thought I had nailed it.  But during the 4th round, the pain began..  Decreased the speed, winced, tried to distract myself... struggled.  At 16 minutes I was  able to cover a distance of 1.3.

 And then it rained.

Peered into the phone and realized that I had walked for 31 mins.

The rains put me off completely.  I was in no mood to go in for a one hour walk again later in the day.  Nor was I keen on hopping on to the treadmill.

Mercifully the rain petered down to a drizzle and I decided to continue the walk.  And in this confusion I happened to reset the pedometer.

Walked around in the compound and realized that there is a patch where a porch shields one from the rain.  Decided to walk in this zone for the next 30 mins.

The stretch was of about 80 steps .  Reset the Pedometer , walked for 32 mins and a distance of 2.696.

Phew!  again.  Phew !!!

The food intake chart

1 vaati of kaanda poha
Rice, Dal and some veggies
a sip of tea at 3.00 pm
1 bowl kanda poha

rasgulla 1.5  :-(

The weight.

The weight had come down to a 92.4 kgs by April 2013.  The Ladakh trip added just 1 Kg which i was able to shake off and it now wavered between 92.2 and 93 kgs.

Was a little concerned that I wasn't putting on the kilograms when the diet and walk had been put aside for more than 2 months.

The doc assured us  that the body was now settling in  and the metabolism had improved.

For the past 2 weeks each morning I was weighing around 93 kgs in the morning and going on to  93.4 before bedtime.  This has now come down to 92.8 in the morning and  around 93 kgs at bedtime.

At the end of  this month I hope to close  at 91 kgs  .

Losing weight is part of the battle, Keeping it away is the difficult part.

Bed time - a liitle after 1.00 am
weight 92.4

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The walk.

Went in armed with the stockings , the shoes and the resolve to walk slower than everyday.   For the first couple of minutes atleast.

The pain began after one lap.  After 3 minutes.  Thought it would go away soon..  Decreased my speed. The pain persisted.  It was like daggers going up my feet upto the calves.  Also became aware that there was some pressure at the point where I laced my shoes.

Couldn't bear the pain and had to beat a retreat.  Time clocked - 13 mins.  Distance - 1 km.

Rested for 10 mins  Got rid of the stockings and the shoes and went back wearing  my sandals  . Completed the 1 hr target.  Distance covered - 5.3 kms.

Am pleased that I achieved the target.  But the pain worries me a little.   Why can't  I walk with the shoes on?

Shouldn't I be pleased that I could walk atleast.  Shoes or no shoes ?

Tomorrow I  think I will try walking with the   sandals  .

Must remember to drink a lot of water too.  

Will maintain my food intake chart .

Breakfast -   2 chapatis
Lunch       -a cup of rice, some dal n veggies.  1/2  a glass of milk
 Snack -  a small bowl of roasted kurmura, 2 tablespoons of chana
8.00 pm  - 1 tomato omlettw
10.20 -  a cup of rice, 1/2  a glass of milk .  veggies

Hoping to retire by 12.00 am  and keep away from midnight snacking .

Update.  Crept into bed at 2.40 am
               midnight snack - a chocolate.    ***FACEPALM **

I was always skinny .  The hollows at the collar bones were so deep, the neighbours used to comment - tikdey dabey thevta yetil.

Reed thin, that;s how thin I was.  Each time I wore a new outfit,  the marathi speaking neighbours would say - केरसुणीच्या काडीला गुंडाळल्या सारखे वाटतेय. 

Neighbours.. they were more like family.  Aai and Kaka, I used to call them  And after the parents at home,  it was in their presence that I would piroutte. 

Dresses did not suit me, nor did the maxi's of those times.  Nor did the churidars .  Nor did the saaris when I got around to wearing them.  Washboard abs, sticks for arms.... I wished for some meat on me.

I loved the saree.

Heavily starched cotton sarees and organdy sarees from Finlay Mills.  These were my favourite.  The cotton sarees, I would starch them  at home.  The tinned Starch Powders had not made their presence felt,  atleast not in my world.  So it was sabudaana (sago), or rice starch for cottons and edible gum starch for silks.  I needed to have my sarees crisp.  The crackle as I unfolded the ironed saree would make my face light up.

The organdies were my favourites.  They stood the test of time - 1 hr at the typing institute, 8 hrs at work , 2 hrs of commute and 2 hrs of college- and yet when I returned home I would still have every pleat in place.  They wouldn't go limp.  The sarees would be so stiff that they would leave wounds on my ankles as they brushed against them.  Wounds as in gashes.  Even then, the organdi remained my favourite.

Then one day, the Benovelent one, decided to fulfill my wish.  The kilograms rained.

You are tall,  You can carry it, they said.  I fell for it.  I  even believed that the fuller figure complemented me.

The wardrobe needed to be refurbished.  Every one or two years.

It didn't upset me much.   I hurt only at times when   I would love an outfit at a store and  would find myself unable to squeeze into it.

Obesity didnt trouble me much otherwise. I didnt think of it as an issue ever.

The Oprah Winfrey show was a very popular talk show then in the 90's and I would watch most of the episodes.  One episode dealt with obesity , women, and how it affected them.  Not medically but esteem issues.  There was one lady on the show, who mentioned that she was extremely upset that she couldnt see her vagina anymore.  Her paunch came in the way.

My paunch made it impossible for me  to paint my toe nails.Any other woman would let this have become an  inspiration.  I gave up painting my toe nails.  

I was still on the right side of forty.  with a  natural enthusiasm for life,  a generally happy disposition..  who needed the cosmetic when my radiance came from within.   Obesity did not become an esteem issue,  nor was it a cause for medical woes either.

The forties.  The children now grown up .  A lot of me time .  It was then I subjected the self to a lot of critical appreciation.  The appreciation - there was none. Only found a lot to criticize.  The self esteem took a battering.

The forties .    Damn the inner beauty, damn the personal contentment and joy, why wasn't I beautiful ?  The mental picture I had  of me and the image of me in the mirror were a mismatch.  What had I done to myself ?

The motivation would kick me into bringing on the change.  Alas.. the enthusiasm wouldn't last long enough. 

The forties also gave me more free time to introspect.  I realised I was not immortal.  Till this time, death, parting was never in my thoughts.  Life takes you down streets you never imagined existed.  The frailty of  existence..  The desire to live . live healthy, for myself,  for my dear ones ws now overpowering.   I had to take good care of myself. 

The pain in the leg.  The sudden unexplained pain in the leg and the investigations that followed , showed that I was extemely low on Vitamin D, B12, that I had sugar issues and could move on to becoming a diabetic if I did not make concerted efforts to reverse the situation while I still could.  The cholesterol and Triglyceride levels were threatening to spill over the outer limits.  Losing weight would take care of some aspects -thefluctuating  sugar, and the burden on my legs for starters.

The excesses that I indulged in ,  the vague timings I kept, the lack of personal discipline.. all this had to change.   The self had to be introduced to an element of discipline.

A regime had to be established.  A log had to be maintained.

The doctor suggested a one hr walk , along with a diet to be followed.   No sweets, a control on portions, controlled intake of carbs and goodbye to rice.  everything else was manageable... but rice?  how would i do without it.

The compulsive coffee guzzler that I was, I am now off coffee.  I do not deny myself totally when craving strikes.. I steal a sip from the cup closest to me at the breakfast table.  Where I used to munch on a fistful of anything sweet, I am now down to a bite or 2 of the same.

The walks are trying too.  I had settled into a comfortable 30 min walk each day, routine.  It was not enough apparently.  I had to progress to an hrs walk. This is something i have to be able to incorporate in my regular routine.  Have been doing so for the past 10 days.  Knowing me, I am scared to dream of a long term goal.

The walk.... The calf muscles go into painful spasms.  Unbearable sometimes.  Like today when I had to quit in 20 mins. The walking shoes were abandoned and the sandals were donned.  also   a pair of stockings which grip the leg  snugly.  These helped and I could complete today's 60 minute walking vrata without wincing much,

Tomorrow I plan to go back to the shoes, with the stockings.  Have to watch how  I walk too.  I have been told that I throw my legs ahead of me, landing on my heel first.  Will watch out tomorrow.

The walk has also made me complacent.. a wee bit. I am prone to cheating on my diet hoping that the walk will offset it.  Will have tp reign in such tendencies.

Hoping to knock one  more Kilogram off my frame, in the next 3 weeks

Tomorrow is another day. Am looking forward to it .  :-)