Why am I blogging on health and diet?

For most healthy living is having a balance between eating and exercise. Well, it goes beyond that one will eventually comprehend the importance of spirituality and expand the dimension of health. Suffice it to say that, the most elementary blocks of health starts with Diet and Exercise and this blog is focused on diet and exercise.

Because it is core and critical to our efforts and initiatives in life.

Generalizing from decades of observations, understanding the molecular mechanism that cascades the physiologic pathways, and adding an angle of spiritual journey to our living, I too believe that the source is within us. We pamper ourselves with indulgence and defend it with reason. That in itself is a root cause for systemic illnesses such as overweight/obesity, insomnia, hypertension and diabetes (well in exceptional cases, we do have hereditary, genetic and developmental factors that contribute).

However, once these systemic maladies sets in, it takes long time to revert to the original baseline. Here again, we try indulging in radical results with resultant generalized impact. Liposuction, extreme diets, such as keto diets etc. cause untoward effect on the body. Dependence on drugs such as antidiabetic or antihypertensives keep increasing, partly because of tolerance and mostly because the root cause is not addressed.

Restoring health is a discipline, not a snapshot event in time. It needs comprehensive multidimensional change. I know if I haven’t slept adequately how that affects my work. Some maladies have evident outcome, others have long lasting impact. Let’s have that balanced perspective to dart towards achievements.

I am often reluctant towards opting for radical options such surgery (with exception), so also I am against drugs/medicines.

Every life journey is unique, complicated by a confluence of conscious and subconscious flows, that we alone can decipher and discern. Those moments of reflections should ideally help in putting up a roadmap towards restoration of health. While that is the permanent way, we can and should rely on drugs or other means, while transiting towards that phase.

However, jumping directly to radical options is ill founded and deficient. A gradual incremental reversal, though difficult, can be achieved through consistent behavior with discipline. Well, it is easy to say but difficult to implement. However, that’s the test of your grit and determination, that we all are born with.

Imminent fragmentation of a string of Global Village

One of the factors that make us a global village is our ability to connect over the internet and internet being a common highway for humanity to connect. With the advent of Russia discovering its renewed ability to develop parallel track, we may see an eventual fragmentation of the way we communicate.

A prelude to imminent fragmentation… everyone will copy this model. So far, we existed as a single earth, connected together by internet, making it a global village.

With the advent of Russian testing for separate DNS (domain name service, e.g. google.com), it will be talking a different language in a different world. Ultimately, others will follow suite and eventually, lobbies and multi-block reorganization may induce a multipolar world that may collaborate or in extreme situation, be at loggerhead with each other.

Russia considers ‘unplugging’ from internet
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47198426

Welcome – Culture of ‘Forwarding’ messages! 

Forward is gradually getting deeply embedded within our social interaction. This isn’t an isolated phenomenon, this is gradually getting all pervasive and as part our inherent tendency to thoughtlessly contribute towards just not gossip, social malice but apathy and an agony to those affected. We were in the culture of rumor mongering but, now – welcome to the culture of forward instinct. It is a new norm, a new reality.

Barbaric not tribal instinct

I got a below message on our home owners community group. This is despite having created norms (we don’t call them rules) and governance. The intent of that group is to serve home owners that matters them directly. Below, please see the message. I removed personally identifiable information to protect privacy.

Barbaric not tribal 01

I knew it was fake but more so, I was concerned, why a message on kidney donation (from India) be seen in US. I contacted the number shared in the message and below is the reply from the gentleman, screenshot for your perusal. Can we call this barbaric? Definitely, this is not tribal. Tribal folks have better norms amongst themselves, so let’s call this criminal.

Barbaric not tribal 02

Is Due Diligence that difficult?

We need to do a little due diligence before indulging in public service of forwarding this message. Our forwards may be causing agony, trouble or harm to those who are directly affected. Even if those are mild, we are burning the bandwidth by taking away time from doing something concrete and productive.

Sometimes, I feel, our sense of social service is restricted to forwarding indiscriminately. We suddenly get that urge, that strong impulse –  to forward, may be “kisi ke to kaam ayega”. That forward relieves us of our impulsive instinct and provides a sense of having achieved something for social cause.

The Big Concern

With the volume of messages and our decrease bandwidth, just one instinct dominates, “forward”.  I feel, our amygdala is taking over our left frontal cortex, the part that is responsible for intellectual pursuit and decision making. There is another part that dominates the story. Normally, a part in our brain called amygdala, are responsible for flight or fight type emergency responses as well as our perception of fear. When Amygdala dominates Left Front brain, it is equivalent to ‘frontal lobe injury’. Some of these patients end up losing that decision making ability. Most concerning aspect for me is – , Are we getting rewired with these voluminous social media messages?

The Irresponsible within us

Our social media adds more and gives us less. The downside is social agony, malice, cognitive dissonance and pulls us back as those lacking sensitivity. We can’t blame social media, it starts with us. Absolute barbaric behavior such as stone lynching has been widely reported due to irresponsible messaging. We are being exploited and our opinion are molded and dominated by intentional messaging. One of the dominant reason for the recent rightwing political wave across the globe is capturing of intellectual pursuit. Sometimes back, I wrote a blog on this. It is still relevant, so I am sharing the link. https://wp.me/p7XEWW-Uc.

Request all not to forward without due diligence, even if that means good for the community.

Sabarimal Temple is about Choice

sabarimala

It is unworthy to dive and wade through a controversy which is already ravaging religious and political divide. Despite, it is never too late to share a perspective.

Since medieval times until recently, guardians of religion, especially those influencing the religious pulpit and dictating at the sanctum sanctorum, have treated women with lesser regards, often times humiliatingly. Though male chauvinism has perpetuated over the years, often I feel, women too contribute to their malady. I was talking with an IIT graduated with strong liberal views and I was surprised to hear her recantation of the age old dogmas. This IIT alumnus is not an isolated example, and not all highly educated women submit to the old dogmas. However, submission to these dogmas makes me think that women too contribute to this state.

However, times have changed and Women have become more aware of their rights. They have realized that it is time to stop this second class maltreatment. Women entering Shani Shingnapur’s inner sanctum after 400-year, broke the tradition. I am a strong proponent of equality between gender and women rights. I believe, though late, the global #Me Too, Women taking the wheels in Saudi Arabia are all signs of that awareness and assertiveness.

However, the story at Sabarimal Temple is different. It is in fact a desecration of the choice of Lord Ayappa. Lord Ayappa had chosen celibacy as his way of life and he wanted to stay away from the carnal world. Even if we are not to believe in his existence, it is about a choice and Sabarimal Temple represents that choice. Are we not to respect that, especially when we respect and accept prochoice (for abortions), or gender identity and preference (Guys and Lesbian)?

Sabarimal Temple represents a different ideology and we have to respect the views of that deity if we consider this as live and valid, if we consider it as a folklore, the reason to pay respect itself annuls.

It is interesting to read Suhrith Parthsarthy’s article on Sabarimala Singularity (Link provided in reference) as the authors wades through multiple facets of faith, equality and choice.

Also, criticism from other religious groups are most welcome, however, they should also abide and be receptive to receive reciprocal outsider perspective. This last statement is in reference to a IUML rally in support of the court verdict (reference below).

sabarimala-1

References:

Sabarimala: India’s Kerala paralysed amid protests over temple entry

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-46744142

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/shani-shingnapur-temple-trust-finally-accepts-hc-order-lets-women-in/

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-sabarimala-singularity/article24514458.ece

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/sabarimala-temple-row-not-only-hindu-outfits-iuml-too-supports-devotees/videoshow/66150798.cms?from=mdr

A route to sell (debt)?

While the world is busy with Islamic terrorism, rising pockets of right wing political confluence, reactions to lopsided economic policies (Trumpism), rising carbon dioxide, green house gases, population pressure on nature and infrastructure, we are hardly realizing the emerging imperialism that will drive the next few decades and the struggle of mankind understanding and dismantling the effect of these economic aggression. This should not be considered as a plunder by any outsider, a third country. These are our own dilemmas that are subjugating us to emerging exploitation. Hambanbtota, CPEC, Africa are all examples of such crisis in making.

Hambantota – A White Elephant on Sri Lanka’s Backyards

NYT Ship Cargo

Sometimes in childhood, our parents always insisted to remain contained within our means. I never realized the importance of this in the context of nation and its economies, until I analyzed the huge infrastructure investments and its negative impact on the economies of Sri Lanka, Kenya, Pakistan and many African nations. The build huge airports, docks, railways etc. that were costlier beyond the business value they provided. Let me take two examples – Sri Lank built their Hambantota ports despite the feasibility studies indicating to the contrary. Only 32 ships docked in an entire year. Such hugely expensive infrastructure became a classic example of a white elephant for not Sri Lanka and all economically poor countries. Sri Lanka was unable to service the debt for this project and the terms of the lease also meant, Sri Lanka to lose the lease to this 15, 000 acre of land for 99 years.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/world/asia/china-sri-lanka-port.html

Nairobi Mombasa Railway – Can Kenya service the loans for a lavish railroad?

Obviously a cash strapped economy such as Kenya has to rely on outside assistance for financing and technology to build this 300 mile long rail line. Does this mean this infrastructure was not required? Time and again, countries have been taking recluse to Keynesian philosophy and fiscal policies. Over the last more than 9 decades, it has provided a solid foundation for decision making in infrastructure investment. However, that does not mean a cash deprived country like Kenya should built one of the most sophisticated railway to breed communication and economy. It simply cannot sustain the financing. A simpler economic model would have been feasible.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/01/kenyan-conservationists-protest-as-chinese-company-starts-work-on-railway

China Pakistan Economic Corridor – A classic case of Conflict of Interest

At least, China should utilize this route through Pakistan built with Chinese financial assistance and with the aid of Chinese companies and man power. It deprived $62 Billion dollars of Pakistan’s precious foreign currency in building this economic passage that passes through complex land and even more complex political corridors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China%E2%80%93Pakistan_Economic_Corridor

From Djibouti, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Senegal, Rwanda Mauritian, Morocco, Zimbabwe – No shortage of underperforming deals

Consulting firm, McKinsey computed that, Chinese loans accounted for about a third of new debt by African governments. These are not lone countries, the list runs long. Gullible minds were only aware of China as a power house of cheap obsolescent products. However, these infrastructure projects turn out to be not just imperialism but ravaging the countries and its people. In Sierra Leone, the presidential elections are heavily influenced by China. Djibouti has an official military Chinese base. Scores of examples are coming out into the open from such investment decisions that will influence the fate of nations and its people. It isn’t economic imperialism, it is neocolonialism

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/31/chinese-aid-and-investment-are-good-for-africa/

https://thediplomat.com/tag/chinese-investment-in-africa/

https://thediplomat.com/2017/07/china-officially-sets-up-its-first-overseas-base-in-djibouti/

While we resent the devaluation of currency, these are currency raiders. While the West plundered the East, these are times of economic poaching and Neo Colonialism of the poor nations.

Johns Hopkins School of International Studies

Rail roads, ports or expresses way all infrastructure to support China to expand it’s market and sell its products? Or else, China should help build these African nations with factories and manufacturing units that will financially enable these countries to be on their own.

Should the World be worried about China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)?

Policy makers and politician across the World are stunned and watching with consternation, the massive ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ undertaken by China. Is this infrastructure investment project centered on China? Is this similar to nation building foundational utilities for a nation similar to building freeways, electricity and other amenities? Keynesian theory has been underpinning the development of several countries across the world. It has consistently shown results and it is this formulation that scares the policy makers across the world. Should the world not be worried?  https://wp.me/p7XEWW-14k

BRI China

Fundamentally this infrastructure investment cannot be based on flawed interpretation of the vision for the future. However, it assumes a unipolar work wherein, they are extrapolating the analysis of the last 25 – 40 years of fulfilling the global demand for products, especially in Europe and North America. This intelligence is based on few fundamental assumptions that the world will forever be a unipolar manufacturing house, wherein the customers are perpetually based in Europe and North America. As long as the status quo remains, i.e., China is the manufacturing hub and the consumers are the developed world, this assumption provides a competitive advantage by investing in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Somewhere, this model emulates how the US-UK controls the Suez or Panama Canal and its impact of the global economic flow. Let us understand the situation other than the happy path.

Increasing competition:

First, in the last few decades, the world has grown more multipolar. There is significant competition amongst the nations for capturing the marketplace. Especially those nations, which were at the precipice, are gradually bouncing back to garner their share in global economy. After their chaotic transition, these nations are gradually stabilizing and as the maturity proceeds, they will enter the fray and be competitive.

Dwindling Customer Base in First World:

Last decade has been a testimony to how several Western European countries are gradually receding economic footprint or into recession. This will eventually erode the customer base from Europe. Overall, the population growth is stabilizing and the median age is rising. That does not mean, the customer base will vanish altogether. However, even a modest erosion of customer base from Europe would wipe the profits to make it uncompetitive.

Does that mean the global demand for consumption will decrease? The answer is obviously no. Where is the consumer base moving? First, the consumption will not decrease; instead, it will increase, as is indicated by several policy planners. This will follow phasic manner – the initial burst and the sustained period. The immediate burst will be centered on China, India and South East Asia and the sustained phase will be around the growing economies from African Nations and Latin America along with the traditional customer base in North America and Europe. South East Asia, China and the Indian peninsula will has a potential future growth due to dual factors – rising income levels and incremental recruitment of the expanding population base to propel the consumer market. The sustainment phase will be due to two major pockets – the traditional consumer base in Europe and North America and the expanding base in rising economies. Irrespective, the consumer base will move and be multipolar.

Transition of Blue Collar to White Collar Workforce in China:

As the population is China evolves makes a transition from blue collar to white collar, it will also see an increase in consumption. This can be very well corroborated with the Maslow’s phases of self-actualization. This transition will not support the earlier model of cheap low cost labor required to support a manufacturing economy. In fact, the white collar will propel consumption and China will move towards a net consumer economy.

Collaborative rather than pugilistic policies:

In the last decade, China has been increasingly assertive, lean heavily towards currency manipulation, disrespect world order and hegemonist in its approach. All these would deter the business environment and move the fulcrum towards unfriendly business environment, not realizing the impact of its short sighted policies at the detriment of its national cause.

Simply following Keynesian theory and investing in infrastructure in unlikely to propel the country in eschewing the benefits of it investment policy. China knows that and it will not be a surprise to see either the partner nations pulling out of such collaborations or China itself pulling out of such investment execution with the resultant fall in those ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ bridges.

The Economist | Planet China

https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21746901-project-century-may-help-some-economies-political-cost-chinas-belt-and-road?frsc=dg%7Ce

https://www.rand.org/blog/2018/03/one-belt-one-road-one-ruler-china-term-limits-ban-imperils.html

 

Do we need stickers, always?

I don’t want to sound bombastic. However, when it comes to driving and being on the road, I am generally a whole lot patient simply because I don’t carry the responsibility of their risks on my shoulder. Who knows there is a baby on board, an elderly (with generally impaired reflexes) driving the car, a lady not as adroit and smart as a general driver or just the clumsiness of technology that you cannot brake adequately in time?

I have also noted that, zooming on road helps you save only 2-4 minutes of your time. If you plan and start early, you never have to vroom on the road and increase the risk (for yourself and others). Another titbit I share with my son, that if you are driving by the rule, you reduce the incidence of accident by half. The other half are still caused by others. That is the reason we should all be driving safe and not one person alone.

However, let us own up our part of responsible driving – 

  1. Driving fast only saves 2-3 minutes on a 30-40 minutes commute
  2. Starting 4 minutes ahead is truly not difficult
  3. Despite, if you are late, you won’t miss much
  4. Don’t install (police) detecting radars, getting a ticket (citation) changes our behavior. It is not a criminal offense
  5. Of course, no drinking and driving
  6. No texting while driving

We all need to practice ‘No Texting While Driving’. That isn’t’ a tall order? Sometimes, it feels as though we are asking youngsters to follow abstinence or a businessmen (and few doctors), to be puerile in their ethical practices.

Not sure if my behavior has changed anything but I have noted one thing, it made a difference to me. Being late just matters as much as being on time. I haven’t seen missing much other than being anal to be on time. It does provide me a sense of satisfaction that I am living in a macrocosm where others deserve equal respect.

I received an interesting note on What’s Up. Below is the verbatim.

A car ahead was moving like a turtle and not giving me way in spite of my continuous honking! I was on brink of losing my cool when I noticed the small sticker on the car’s rear!

“Physically challenged; please be patient.”

And that changed everything!! I immediately went calm & slowed down!! In fact I got a little protective of the car & the driver!!! I reached work a few minutes late, but it was ok! And then it struck me. Would I have been patient if there was no sticker? Why do we need stickers to be patient with people!? Will we be more patient & kind with others if people had labels pasted on their foreheads?

Labels like —

“Lost my job”
“Fighting cancer”
“Going through a bad divorce”
“Suffering Emotional abuse”
“Lost a loved one”
“Feeling worthless”
“Financially broken”….. And more like these…

Do we need sticker for the invisible ones?

Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. The least we can do is be patient & kind! Let us respect the invisible labels!

Please share, it’s a matter of awareness. Somewhere, someone may find this game changer and it may change his/her driving and impact an unknown precious life, may be prevent a family from losing their beloved one.

Also visit, Speed – Bumps, Humps and Cushions on https://wp.me/p7XEWW-13T