Friday, June 5, 2015

Poison Tastes Sweet

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For the past year, I have been experimenting on myself! No, nothing dangerous or overtly radical mind you. Instead, I have proactively aimed to avoid any consumption of sugar in all its forms.  This even included using sugar in teas and breakfast cereal. Taking it a step further, I even avoided packaged foods as well, which included tetra pack fruit juices, milk based drinks, baked beans, biscuits, noodles etc.  I wanted to see if my wife’s hidden suspicions were in fact true.  It was her view that although I consumed very little of the above mentioned items, the sugar or preservatives in them were in fact the reason why I had quite literally ballooned up in size. 

For most of my adult life, my waistline and weight had never crossed 32 and 75 respectively.  However, I began to notice, shortly after crossing the age of 30 that although I had made even greater efforts to sleep better and exercise more, I was in fact gaining weight rather than losing it.  My medical tests showed that I was normal and that I was not suffering from any particular disorder or sickness that would explain my almost sudden weight gain. 

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Well, I stuck to my commitment and waited to see if the desired results would reveal the truth. A year later it did.  I was quite puzzled to find that my weight began to drop significantly and the more I pushed myself to sleep, eat and exercise better, while following my new diet, the less of a circle I became.  But understanding the true impact of cutting out sugar and sugar preservatives in all forms was quickly revealed to me after a few studies and real life cases my wife and I read.  We found that while most normal human bodies will burn a moderate amount of sugar quite effectively for the years of childhood and adolescents, it slows down and fails to work as effectively once a person crosses the age of 30.  In fact, after that point, if you aren’t too careful, your body just stores all that sugar as plain old fat.  But more importantly, it gets stashed away along your face line, stomach, love handle region, thighs and yes your butt too. 

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After having made this discovery, I was deeply elated that I had in chosen the right path. But interestingly enough, I also found after the year experiment when I tried to consume some tea with sugar in it, I just couldn’t.  It felt awful and dare I say violently distasteful.  This revealed to me just how my system was rejecting the substance that I had happily consumed for most of my living years. Pretty amazing, when I think about it!  But more than that I noticed that my energy levels increased and I stopped suffering from acidity attacks altogether.  Of course, the greatest joy was being able to fit into a size 32 very comfortably once again!   However, I would like to state on record that nowadays, I may consume a tiny piece of sweet or chocolate now and then (very rarely I might add) but nothing else.

Courtesy: Prapti Doshi Moorthy
Hence, I would encourage other adults struggling with their weight to consider what I did.  Many people I found worldwide, have followed this and have seen some interesting things happen to their physiques.  Without, hopefully, not sounding too preachy, I would suggest that if you can’t cut sugar out completely, at least make a conscious effort to reduce the amount you consume by being more selective of the foods and drinks you normally like to have.  For though it may sound crazy to some, the taste of sweetness really is a poison in disguise at times.  So for the love of who you are, do make that effort to take care of yourself and be healthy always! Next Take please! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015


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I felt the hard blow on the left side of my jaw and I collapsed.  As I fell towards the ground, time seemed to slow down.  I could hear the crowd screaming and the bright flashes of light, from the cameras around the boxing ring, half blinded me.  I could hear how heavy my breathing was and shortly I felt the hard padding of the floor rush up against my face.  I lay there, badly bruised and gasping for more air.  I could hear the referee above me begin his countdown, “1…2…3…”  But his voice began to become more like an echo.  A sound that belonged to another time and space.  My eyes were stinging and the sweat burned my skin as it flowed over my body. 

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However, the only thing I was thinking of was how everything seemed to come to a complete stop.  I could hear the buzzing of a fly from somewhere above me. “A fly? How can I hear a fly?” I asked myself.   I turned my head and felt the throbbing pain rush through my neck.  I winced a bit and then began to look around.  Everything seemed frozen, from the crowd, the referee, to my opponent, to the camera flashes.  Nothing seemed to move. I raised myself up and looked around again. As my gaze took in the scene before me, my eyes soon fell upon my old friend standing by the side of the ring. Ali Mehdi looked at me with his deep penetrating eyes and smiled very slowly. “So, you didn’t see that one coming did you Rohan?” he said in a mocking tone.  “I got caught off guard” I said. I brush my glove against my forehead and sighed heavily.  “Anyway, what does it matter? I’m going to lose this fight anyhow” I said at last, feeling my shoulders sag a bit. “Giving up are we?” he asked.  “Ali I gave it my all. I trained myself to be the best I could be but even that isn’t matching up.  My opponent is stronger than me” I said. “Indeed! Well maybe you should look at your opponent again and tell me if you recognize him” he gestured. I looked perplexed and then turned only to find another version of myself standing with the referee with both arms raised in triumph. “You know that at this point you’re experiencing something above realty. Look!  You can still see yourself lying on the ground” he said as he made his way into the ring. 

“You want to give up” he said very slowly.  He came close to me, glanced down and then turned to face me.  “You may do so but you have got to realize Rohan that the only enemy you have to defeat is the lesser self that lies within you.  For it will always give you a valid and terrific reason why you can’t make it.  You know in regular life what battles you have to fight but nothing is more gut wrenching than trying to defeat the darkened elements of your own soul that continually strive to take you down.  They constantly nag and find opportunities as to why you can’t win, why you should fear rejection and not even try, why you should accept what life has given you and why you have no right to claim what should be yours” he said as he looked down on my body lying on the floor once again.  He walked towards the other side of the ring turned to me with glint in his eyes. “You’ve got to want something bad enough and know that there are no limits towards what you wish to do” he said.  “You could hear the fly buzzing above you and see everyone frozen because now all your distractions are gone. You’re here in the present and in the ‘now.’  Your opponent only looks like you at this point in time because you’ve got to know that there’s more to you than you give yourself credit for. No matter how tired, broken, spent and exhausted you are, you have to command the universe within you to give you the infinite power that it’s holding.  It was always yours to ask for, so now ask for it and never look back” he said and smiled again. 

I looked down and began to ask something but he was gone.  I turned frantically to each side but there was no sign of Ali.  I felt frustrated and bitter at knowing my own resolve to win was weakening rapidly.  But just as I reflected on that, a new set of thoughts flowed through my mind. “Only people with a deep hunger to keep trying, no matter how many failures they may have had, are the ones who do succeed.  More so, only those you never allow themselves to become jaded and continue to polish their lives shine the brightest.”  I looked down at myself. I wanted to win this fight and I knew this victory was rightfully mine. 

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The next instant I opened my eyes and sprang up. The referee, who had reached the count of 9 was shocked to see me rise up again. Even more surprised was my opponent, for he saw in my eyes a burning fire and knew what was coming to him… Next Take please! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Higher Intelligence

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As our world gets more automated and connected, there is an increase in the number of future forecasts on how technology will play a role in our lives.  One of the key topics that I have noticed come up recently, has to do with Automated Hypothesis.  It is being hailed as the next vital tool that will provide marketers with a newer way of thinking and testing products and services with various consumers groups. This new phenomenon of consumer analytics is estimated to provide further impetus to innovation, especially for personal technology companies around the world.  However, while reading about this, I couldn’t help but think about the advanced computer systems in several fictional stories and movies that include The Terminator, The Matrix, X-Men and The Avengers (Ultron).  One of the commonalities that runs across each of them, is where intelligent machines that monitor and study human behaviour, eventually decide that in order to save the world they must eradicate humans completely, for only then can perfect order be restored. 

In each of those stories, in varying degrees, the prime outcome is that human civilization as we know it nearly comes to an end, where machines rule the planet and human cities lie in ruins.  This apocalyptic theory, which is also prophesized by many religious groups, point to a time in the not so distant future, perhaps in the next 300 to 500 years, where machines are far more advanced and are completely wired into every part of our habitats, transport and maybe to an extent even ourselves. 

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From one angle, I do find this theory plausible, where future machines may grow smarter and eventually turn against their human creators.  However, on the other hand, I cannot help but feel that this notion that people will lose control or that machines will rise up against them will come to pass.  Primarily because these doomsday prophecies fail to take into account the gradual spiritual shift that is being seen across the world.  While there are still global conflicts that continue rage, I would say that a deep stir is occurring, where many nations and leaders are genuinely looking at more diplomatic solutions to problems with the use of words rather than missiles.  Further, being more connected in today’s world, has allowed more people to become informed, thereby, allowing them to make more rational and concrete decisions towards communal disputes, national problems and environmental issues.  More importantly, the victories that they achieve are amplified around the world to other communities, which serve as a catalyst to motivate them in to action. Plus, within the emerging nations themselves over recent years, the voter turnout has risen, the reach of NGO’s has increased and citizens groups are pushing their governments to have more engagements with neighbouring nations to quickly resolve conflicts that have been burning for decades. At the same time, there are a growing number of religious leaders, the world over, who are espousing that their followers reach out towards other groups, in order to build bridges of trust and understanding with them.

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Humanity no doubt has a long way to go, but the wheels are set in motion and the consciousness of people in many countries is changing at a rate that has hitherto, never been seen before.  In all of this it is crucial to realize the positive role that technology has played so far. Hence, looking into the future, my guess is that intelligent computers and robots will understand this aspect and instead of extermination, look at how they can add greater value towards enhancing human civilization.  Further, newer and untold inventions are yet to come to life. More so, when they do, will they provide people with the necessary means to craft a new era of higher intelligence and higher living for all of humanity. Next Take please! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Rivalry Of Brilliance

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There is a wise and popular saying that goes “it take two to Tango!” A further look at its meaning, reveals that in order for a great goal to be achieved, it would take two very distinct people to make it happen.  Only having one of them alone, will not see that kind of change occur without the other being present. While, most people may associate that term to relate to family members, couples or even friends; I often think of it from the point of view of innovation.  By that I allude to the fact of where the work of two rivals, merge and mingle together to create a new rhythm in the way their offerings influence the lives of people around them.  One of the prime examples of this, was displayed in the love hate relationship between the two men responsible for changing the way computers and personal devices were made available to us and how we use them. 

SteveJobs and Bill Gates had two very different approaches to both design and innovative thinking.  While, they were often critical of each other’s ways, neither could deny the inventive steps each one took to transform an industry that has set humanity on a new course of personal enjoyment and future discovery.  Each was born with a steadfast view of how technology could influence and support people in their daily lives.  Jobs was a maverick futurist, who sought to amaze the world each time with great but ‘access restricted’ products, which he felt would unite and push humanity forward.  Gates on the other hand, believed more in collaboration and in sharing ideas, which could allow companies and people to democratically have their say in the way technology and its future use would evolve. 

From the early 1980’s till the early 2000’s it appeared that Gates had chosen the right path.  More so, newer firms such as Google adopted this strategy and continued to carry it forward with its market innovation called Android.  However, post the advent of the 2000’s era, slowly but surely, Jobs, who was largely dismissed as narrow minded inventor, proved once and for all that even the closed ecosystem of consumer product innovation could work as well.  Apple’s offerings that now include the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and services like iTunes and iCloud, have given users a parallel (and superior) experience to what was and is available in the market.  Microsoft, on the other hand, gave the world a great operating system (Windows), web services and a neat gaming experience (Xbox).  But putting aside each firm’s offerings, what made the relationship between Jobs and Gates so unique was their deep determination to prove the other wrong.  Their mockery of each other at various points throughout the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, spurred each one to try and outdo the other.  Their competitive drive made the world a much smarter, efficient and connected place, where innovation is king and the blockades against technological possibility are far removed. 

Had these two men been born at different times, the world would have progressed at a much slower rate. Hence, it would appear that more divine forces were at play.  The coincidences of them being born in the same year and reaching their prime in the same place, when the world of technology was set to take off, would clearly show that the universe itself, used them as change catalysts. 

For in short, Jobs and Gates came, saw, danced, dazzled and left behind a legacy that future generations will no doubt draw inspiration from and perhaps label as the greatest rivalry in the search for excellence!  Next Take please!

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