Monday, June 22, 2015

An Attitude of Gratitude

Here are some of my happy realizations, which make me want to give my life a bunny hug.

1. Living in the real skin
This incidence happened while I was preparing to head back to my home having taken steam bath in my fitness center. I bumped into this maid who was cleaning the washroom. Looking at my choorha and having concluded that I was recently married, she asked me if I was living at my in-laws’ place. Giving in to her curiousness, I answered affirmatively. I can’t really articulate the astonishment I saw on her face; I am too sure gravity had no role to play in making her jaw drop to the floor! She, very skeptically, re-asked me if they (my in-laws) do not object my wearing shorts despite my marital status. After seeing my what-is-this-nonsense look, she went ahead to explain to me the reason behind her bizarre reaction - back from where she came, she was not even allowed to let her scarf budge from her head to show off her hair. I got the gist and thanked God my ‘usual’ life lets me wear whatever I get my mind on. 

2. Technology, the savior
This was way back in time when I had begun working for Kobo, Inc. Since I worked from home, all my work was dependent on this black box I am fiddling with right now – my laptop. I remember the reaction on my maid’s face the first time she saw me and my boss video-chatting. She was all drenched in bewilderment seeing how I could see a person sitting millions of ‘houses’ away from me. Actually, she could not grasp how I could talk to a person AND see him on a ‘box’. I remember her telling me how many problems she faced while connecting to her mother back in her hometown, Nepal – financial being the first. I had to look at the sky and pass a flying kiss. 

3. Decision making
This doesn’t come easy to an ‘Indian’ married girl. All her decisions, big or small, financial or otherwise, relating to herself or her family, do not opt for an easy path to go her way. They demand an intervention at all levels, starting from her husband, to his family to the neighbors to everyone else but her. Finally, she consumes a broth everyone's but her mind has cooked. No wonder, Christ had me at the first alphabet of his name (it’s the same as my)!

4. Compliments from strangers
This one elates me to the core! During my internship there, I was waiting at the reception of All India Radio, holding a bouquet, for my aunt who had her birthday that day. I remember this beautiful lady, who passed by me, turned around, came back to me and said while lowering herself to my ears, ‘you're a flower holding a bouquet’! For once, I could not believe my ears - that was the best compliment anyone had ever given me. I could not help but smile that entire day and, worst still, almost everyone who knows me has listened to this incident more than once. Following that, there have been many from people like my gym trainers, kids playing around, my cousins, my friends and the family but it's the ones I have received from strangers that entered my mind and never really left.

5. The finest of the lows and the finest of the highs
Been there, done that. I have rode the wavelength of life, had my best smiles with tears and my worst tears with smiles at my crests and at my troughs. All in all, it has been a wonderful roller-coaster ride and it has always been about moving ahead, in the right direction. The best reason to look forward to life is that the best of it is ‘yet to come’!

6. Good food, good workout and good vibes
This feeling of being surrounded by exactly the people you have ever wanted to be with, the no-nonsense thoughts, the art of controlling the senses, love and prayers – this realization of how the best things in life don’t cost a dime is, surely, priceless.

7. Great books by my pillow
How could I not realize the immense power these little lumps of pages have before! Now that I have, I am not going to let this habit go till I am breathing. 

8. Chase them dreams
The feeling that marriage should set oneself free is contrary to what we are taught our entire spinster life. We've only got one life to dream big and fight for them!

9. The night outs!
Not that I was handcuffed when in home or there was curfew outside that I could not step out, but you know when you have doting parents back home who are curious to know what goes on in your life, it IS tough to go out on dates. The worst restriction on me was no night outs. Things seem to have changed now that I am hitched – we party all night, watch late night movies, dine late and never look at the watch while we're havin' fun. 

10. My blog
This crucial part of my life has not only brought me closer to some of the most wonderful intellectuals I would not have ever been able to meet otherwise, but also has made me embrace solitude like a warrior. Nothing really makes my day mighty fine more than writing and publishing a post and, further, reading the comments my readers leave on my blog - pure bliss! 

Lastly, love, love, love - parents, siblings, elders, colleagues, kiddos, acquaintances - it's raining everywhere and I feel it on my skin. As they say, good vibes are extremely contagious, I feel them sinking in :)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Book Review: Total Fitness

My rating: ●●●○○
Leena Mogre
Total Fitness
Delhi: Ebury Press, Random House India, 2015
192pp. 250
Summary: It is, indeed, raining fitness books out there in Indian publishing and, thus, coming to light are the names of the celebrity fitness instructors we had little known of before. Be it Rujuta Diwekar, who had set the trend, Deanna Pandey, Payal Gidwani Tiwari, Abhishek Sharma or, this time, Leena Mogre, all of them, in an attempt to commercialize themselves as brands, are taking assistance of literature to reach out to the masses and by letting out a mere percentage of what they know, are securing a lot more footfalls to their fitness studios of the people who are curious to know the rest.

My take: There’s a quote, which I read in a famous non-fiction book, Zero to One by Peter Thiel, echoing in my mind while I begin my detailed analysis of this book:
It's easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. Every new creation goes from 0 to 1.
Sadly, the author has merely followed the footsteps of the aforementioned authors, letting out no new information, which could have been groundbreaking in the world of fitness. While the title of the book, Total Fitness, might appeal to quite a few who would want to know their bodies and being better, the content would fail to keep them hooked.
Every fitness instructor-turned-author comes armed with a solid introduction, foreword or endorsement letter from big celebrities we admire looking at, like Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Jacqueline Fernandez or Shilpa Shetty, to make him sound more credible while he lets out all that gyan about fitness in the book. Leena has chosen Madhuri Dixit to do the needful. A brief TOC of the book gives a sneak peek into the topics discussed later, like myths about fitness, fad diets, managing lifestyles, exploring one’s true potential, starting out in the world of fitness, working out to his fitness, with the last, the “Leena Mogre” way concluding it all.
The author has been so selective in letting out the information regarding any topic she has taken up, like belly dancing, kickboxing, functional training, circuit training, etc., that you are left unsatiated by the end, wanting to know more. In fact, most of her views on things sound more clichéd and extremely basic. I assume anyone who would pick this book would, at least, want to know what total fitness is all about. Here, you would end up getting a feeling of browsing through an endorsement catalog of some famous chain of gyms – Leen Mogre in this case.
The author has opted for a rather formal way of communicating to her readers, precisely resembling a serious monologue from a teacher to a student. To be honest, I failed to establish a connection with the author, a connection which would have made me itch to know more about her and look for her on Instagram or FB J. I think a more relaxed, informal mode of writing suits this genre of books better, as it takes the intended audience by hand and forces them to walk along till the last page.
My favorite part of the book was the last section, where she has discussed the common problems her clients come to her with. She has recommended some very good solutions, including the diet they should be following, to those clients. That was, in fact, my takeaway from the book – the diet pattern one should follow under varied circumstances.

Final word: While this book might come handy to someone who is just setting out in the world of fitness, it might not be of much use to someone who has read all the previously mentioned authors before or to someone who categorizes himself as at least an amateur fitness freak.    

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Unexpected Perks of Being Married to an Entrepreneur

Having recently been married to an entrepreneur, I am coming to terms with a lot of serious behavioral revelations, which are, rightly, taking their own sweet time to sink in. The best part about my life right now is that these shocks are being accompanied by loads of pleasant surprises which would seldom have found their way in to my life had I been married to a nine-to-five employee. I would love to quote something I read while randomly surfing the Internet and loved to the core:
Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. 
Considering the startup environment in India today, I am sure many a girls would be sailing in the same boat as I. Hola to all those! Now that we have all decided that we will help our man build his dream empire, let us all embrace the struggle which is a sure thing bound to accompany us during our journey. 
And now that you have sneaked a few moments to read this post, let us quickly jump to reading about my array of experiences, which I am sure a lot of you will relate to and laugh at, thinking how being wives to these crazy techies has made us all a lot more patient and tolerant :)

1. He stays humble and isn’t much of a nag
This lot does not like to complain. Though, he has his own, small wishes, which do not cross a certain self-assumed limit, he would never nag you about your errors, forgetfulness, attitude or style of working. Instead, he would take a rather noiseless way of solving problems and getting things done his way. 

2. He is a multitasker
He knows the value of getting tasks done on time and, in the process, he would himself take up a lot of tasks he deems as doable. This applies at home, too. Don’t be surprised if he makes the bed, washes the dishes, brings home the groceries or takes care of you – he’s acquired this habit of multitasking, which was totally a prerequisite for being an entrepreneur. 

3. He believes in teamwork
Surprise! He’s not the conventional husband you have ever heard about. He believes in getting work done, giving the work the utmost priority. If eating food on time is one of his priorities, I bet he will be working in kitchen with you, getting the pending tasks completed instead of being a couch potato and showing you the watch. 

4. He gets work done exactly his way in the most conducive manner
He knows it’s a startup that he runs and the team, too, is getting accustomed to the environment. He realizes how important it is for everyone to be happy and positive about the work at hand and, thus, he knows how to correct everyone’s (and your!) mistakes in the most pleasing manner. At times, you wouldn’t even get to know that after all that time you spent sweating in the kitchen preparing chicken curry, he would give you a nice recipe for the next attempt you make at it. 

5. Everyone knows him; he’s everybody’s favorite

With time, you realize everyone knows you and you would not be able to find a reason why unless, of course, your husband would tell you that they are all his acquaintances. Thanks to his wonderful PR skills, he is friends with almost everyone he meets and his contacts list would have new numbers flashing every day.

6. He foresees a business opportunity in almost all the circumstances he comes across
Don’t be surprised if he starts building castle in Spain about setting up an automated, man-less, credit-based, online veggie store, which would have the peasants who are selling their products present on the live chat, while you are still bargaining with the vegetable vendor for giving off five rupees on the entire bill amount. 

7. He already knows the freshest piece of news you might have
Blame it on his habit of being acquainted with the burning trends and topics, he would always be abreast with any freshest piece of news you might have to discuss with him, unless, of course, it is about his grandparents, to which he will show an alien face reflecting zero instigated interest.

8. He’s extremely judgmental about almost everything on Earth
He bears an opinion, which you have to agree, makes sense almost all the times. So, if he explains to you why the move of Myntra to go app-only was the most unwise one, you would want to take up a notepad and jot down all that what he’s casually blabbing about.

9. He would, most definitely, put you to some use for his work
Be it social media optimization, social media management, content writing, content management, handling finances, maintaining inventories, trimming Excels or administrative tasks, he would, certainly, put some of your skills to use for his work. Charity begins at home, after all, and the fact that you love him is a tool that would come handy to him almost all the time! 

10. He totally appreciates that you earn
Unlike many other men, who get their egos inflated to the brim when they see their female spouses earning/spending more, the entrepreneurial husbands would appreciate you earning and would, if it’s a startup, handover the responsibility of running the house on you, the way you wish to. One thing that's a dead cert is he'll always be thankful to you, the most, for believing in him :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...