Friday, July 10, 2015

A Foodie's Weight Loss Story

I believe that my weight woes started about six years back, about the same time when I had joined my first job. After spending three years in a college hostel whose primary menu included rice, rasam, and appalam, this job promised me not financial independence but also food that was approved and liked by my palate. That sounded like music to my ears and tasty food in my tummy!

If someone told you that Chennai is a land of idli-dosa and nothing more, then know for sure that they are yet to discover the culinary delights offered by this place. I can say this with confidence because even now my Bengali taste buds crave for the Thalapakatti biryani, rava idli and ghee podi, and hot sambar sadam. Add to this an occassional cup of hot, aromatic filter coffee and you are good to got for the day. 

I never complained nor did my body decline any of the nourishment it received as I continued to go restaurant hopping in Chennai. Bengali cuisine for me is comfort food and I was lucky enough to have a room mate who loved food just like I do. So our weekend lunch was usually at a small dinghy eatery called Annapurna in Egmore which served home style cooked Bengali meals at pocket friendly prices. A look at menu and I was torn if to go with potol dolma or alu posto.

The company had offered a free health checkup and most of us at office registered looking at it as an opportunity to sneak out of office for a few hours. That proved to be the undoing of my foodie avatar. The weighing scale no longer showed the familiar number. The immediate feeling was panic which soon gave into worry. I was aware of my food intake and was assuming that daily walk to the bus stop and back, occasional run behind MTC bus and the weekend Zumba classes would help in counter the weight gain. But I was proved wrong, by 7 kilos. Next to maxing out your credit card right when a Flat 50% sale is announced, a reading of the additional kilos to your weight is similar heartbreaking experience. I decided to embark on a dark, dangerous journey for a quick weight loss bidding a sad farewell to all my favorites.

Honestly, it did not turn out so well. I reduced my portions of food, said no to that extra dosa and idli, no ghee with my podi, had chocolate with sans the hot sauce, but the results were not just not visible. And then I met G.  An ex-colleague, she was the closest friend I had in Chennai. We had spoke often on the phone but had met very few times since she had left the company. She did mention she had surprise for me, little did I know that it was going to resolve all my worries. 

Now about G, she is a lovely girl with a warm personality, a best friend who is wise beyond her age and gives out the best advise. G  also loves her food and juice, and yes she was slightly plump. I had trouble locating her that day in CCD, Anna Nagar. That plump girl was no where to be seen, instead there stood a thinner, fit G. I was astounded and ran all the way and greeted her with a yell and a hug. Over a cup of green tea, she told me how she had to work for months to achieve this fit and fine figure.

She said,"Success cannot be achieved overnight. I had a very difficult first week, the second was a stretch and I had almost given up. But didn't. After that it was slightly better. Balance diet is the key. You need little bit of everything. Too much of anything can throw it off the balance. And crash diets, well the demerits of GM diet exceeds its merits". Incredulous, I asked, "Is it really true? Does it work?". She smiled, took a sip of tea and said, "You can see the difference. A balanced diet makes a difference. Be patient. And yes, say goodbye to sugar my dear, else all the efforts will go for a spoil.". My eyes went round at this suggestion, no sugar meant no sweets, no desserts, no happiness. SHe probably sensed my apprehension, and quickly told,"No to sugar, not to sweetness dear. You can always add Dabur Honey to your cup of cereal or pancake. Honey diet is a healthy way towards weight loss. A glass of warm water with Dabur Honey and lemon will not only detoxify your body but also recharge you with energy and strength". 

She did give me the best advise. Since then I have never looked at food the same way. Eat until you stop feeling hungry, have something of everything, and not underestimating the power of exercise - these points have been my guiding lights in the journey of weight loss. 

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Cricket in my Country

In my country, cricket is treated with a lot of reverence, the players enjoy a demi-gods and trips to Eden Garden and Wankhede Stadium are considered as a pilgrimage. I am a child of the 90s, a time when pictures of cricketers, Gandhi, and Gods graced the walls at any home. The world cup used to be most eagerly awaited event, any match with our not-so-friendly neighborhood country would be the talk of the whole country, drawing crowd across all ages. Streets would sport a deserted look, some shops would just drop shutter and people could be seen gathered around a television or radio following a ball by ball coverage of a rivalry that has become legendary over the times. 

In my purview, the worst hit were the students and the office goers who had no means of following the match, until they lunch break when news would somehow trickle in from outside sources. Technology was limited to wireless phones, VCRs, and pagers. 

We have moved to a new century since then, and except for one factor the scene has not changed much. Cricketers continue to represent the country, they are celebrities with big brand endorsements and VIP status. Such is the power of the game, that the fate any man donning the blue colored jersey changes overnight. It is a dream of countless children who idolize their cricketers and play the game for the sheer love of it. 

Few years back, the board governing cricket affairs in my country came up with an innovative plan, it would go on to prove a game changer in the coming years. Matches with an innings of 20 overs, teams representing different regions of the country, thus taking the game to next level altogether. As a cricket loving nation, we lapped it up and have been enjoying it every year since its launch.  

Technology has evolved in means beyond our imagination. From mailing to calling people sitting thousands of miles away, to reading books, newspapers, and watching videos - all of this from a device that measures not more than your palm and can be carried around in your pocket. What makes this technology incredible is that it is affordable and widely available to the masses. 

UC Browser takes you a step closer to enjoying the game by introducing their service UC Cricket. For any cricket follower, it will be a one-stop shop for information on all ongoing matches. UC Cricket is truly an innovation in the area of gaming application. Along with providing live updates, you can also set a reminder, participate and follow discussions. The match is not just a click away! 

Do check out this interesting video by UC Browser to learn more about them.