Wednesday, December 30, 2015

5 Wacky Ways to Lose Weight

1.     Be envious – Seeing someone thin motivates us to become like them. And everyone is partying, travelling and putting up photos on social media. You will find someone thinner than you. Save that photo – print it and put it up. She is real. She has lost it. You need to be thinner than her! Do not put up a photo of a celeb who is thin. Ultimately your brain will say she gets paid to be thin so what’s the point and you’ll reach towards that cake! Check out your friend’s pic. Be motivated from that.  
2.     Stalk someone – You hit the gym and you’re bored already. Same weights. Same faces. Monotony. So while you’re there you probably faff around with some people showing off your wit, and drink plenty of water. What you need to do is find a person who comes regularly and compete with him. If he’s doing x number of sit-ups, you do more. If he’s using x number of weights, you do the same. It might be stalking but seriously watch how you will train harder. Also, do run fast if he ever catches you stalking at him.
3.     Kid Mania – Children have tremendous energy and you’re exhausted doing chores around them. Take the kids to a park and tell them to run while you catch them. Race with the children. Play soccer. Do jumping jacks. Skip rope. With younger kids, put them in a stroller and walk around in a park. Just remember, if you don’t have children you should ask permission from other parents if you want to play with their kids. Otherwise just going and asking a child to play is creepy!
4.     Jiggle It Up – Some days you can swim. Other days you can go to the gym. Some days you can dance at home. Everything burns calories as long as you’re not drinking and dancing. Or eating and swimming. Please take permission to dance in other people’s houses. If you’re landing up at someone’s fine sit down dinner party they might not appreciate you putting on your iPod and jumping around.  
5.     Death to Dieting – Everyone talks about a good diet. Don’t eat high calorie food, do not indulge in fats, restrict carbs, and don’t mix proteins. The list goes on. It’s bloody annoying. When you ask Google “Ways to Lose Weight,” there are about 39,900,000 results. My advice is to eat one small thing you like every day. Two bites of it. That’s it. So today, have two bites of that pizza, tomorrow have two bites of that cake and day after have two bites of that mithai. But remember, you’re not jaws! Take a bite and enjoy it. Not stuff your mouth and look like an ogre.

All the best to keeping that weight off during the holiday season! Look sexy. Feel confident. Be happy! 

Also on my CNN-IBN blog.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Idiots of India

“Tis the season for touring India. And with it you’ll find several people who truly represent our rich and diverse culture – the Idiots of India. Here are a few:

1.     The Staring Idiots – Pretty girls beware. There will be men and women who will stare at you and they won’t do it slyly from the corner of their eye. It will be a full blown, jaw open, wide eyed stare as if they’re seeing a wonder of the world for the first time. It will make you feel uncomfortable at first but you can react two ways – ignore them and move away, or stare back and wave them away with your hand.

2.     The Driving Idiots – Driving in India has nothing to do with how well you can drive or even if you have a drivers’ license. It’s all about how big your car is or how big your ego is. Even a tempo driver can come from the wrong side of the road and try to overtake three trucks and a fleet of cars because he believes he can do it! Small bikes will cut in to the other side of the road because they know they can squeeze in anywhere and get away. It will cause traffic jams but the idiots don’t care, they’ve got away!

3.     The Buffet Idiots – A gaggle of people have come to a hotel together and they believe they own it. They’ve spent money on the cheapest rooms and they want the best service and a right to the buffet first! Forget the queue or lines. Forget speaking in softer voices because it might disturb others and it’s the polite way to be in public places. The idiots demand attention and the buffet now!

4.     The Flying Idiots – These idiots will push and shove to get into the line to board a plane even though in India the seats are assigned and the flight attendant is starting boarding from the back five rows! They’ll speak loudly in the plane mostly about themselves and demand the airhostesses give them free things. They’ll also get up as soon as the plane lands to get their overhead luggage even though the plane is still cruising. They’ll push you to get into a bus and shove you to get to the baggage claim first. And the idiots will probably actually be the last to leave the airport!

5.     The Official Idiot – Ever noticed how there are several people at large department stores to help you pick out things you don’t need in your life? And when you’ve decided to finally buy something and end up at the cashier there’s only one window open for billing and that person seems to be a trainee who doesn’t know how to bill anything. And when after two hours of waiting in line to pay for one shirt, your turn comes and the register conks off and the manager needs to be called? Yup, you’re the official idiot for even getting into that sale, for thinking you should travel, for even driving a car during this season!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year my fellow idiots J  

Also written for CNN-IBN blog - Chastity Belt.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Bollywood-isation of Lit Fests: Coming soon to your city!

Once upon a time a Lit Fest was about writers and authors who met and discussed words that inspired and writings that roused thought. It was about discussions and debates between writers who were published and those that wanted to be. It was about chats and conferences that were enchanting and made you feel you were in the presence of something great.

There was a magic all around that flooded your very being and made you understand that the daily rut of life was not all there was. There was a Lit Fest -  a meeting of brilliant minds.

I remember I stood in line at the Jaipur Lit Fest many years ago to get an autograph from an author who had moved me with his novel when I was an adolescent. His words had transformed me to the person I wanted to be. And I wanted to be an author too.

Today, the Lit Fests seem to be about celebs and page 3 individuals who speak well and may have written one novel and a column or two. Literature has truly been extinguished in the name of drawing crowds.

Today everything is about a number. How many copies did the book sell? How much money did you spend on the PR? How many people came for the Lit Fest? How much coverage did the fest get? How many sponsors did they have? No one truly asks  - how many books were sold?!

If everyone is going to a Lit Fest to watch a TV celeb, a Bollywood actress or a filmmaker, who are the people who are buying books to read?

Where has the Literature gone?

Why is the craze today so much about glamour rather than substance? It’s wonderful that so many new celebs are writing. The writing process should never die. And creativity should always be encouraged from everyone. 

But Lit Fests should be about real authors who write for passion, not money, for inspiring, not publicity, for breaking the norms, for encouraging debate, and for challenging themselves as writers, not so they can do something different with their lives!

Most authors are a shy bunch of people, preferring to stay in their small worlds writing furiously because the art of creating something brings them tremendous peace and hopefully moves people to think, feel and reflect. But today every author wants to be “commercially successful” rather than poignantly remembered.

Lit Fests have become about money, businesses, glamour and products – of authors and their books.

I would love to attend a Lit Fest that had lesser known commercially successful Indian authors mingling with well-known Japanese ones. Have a clash of discussion on societies, traditions, and the process of writing, ideas, inspiration and struggle. Instead we’ve become a nation that wants to watch only glamorous people entertaining us.

Please do attend Lit Fests but not just to see a Bollywood star, but to pick up a book you never thought you would read, to recognise the power of regional writers, to ask for tips on writing from someone you have never read and listen to a panel that may not interest you and above all to be around people who believe in the power of words, not numbers! 

Reserved for One: A poem

We don't trust enough We don't pour out our hearts  Telling all our secrets, our fears and surrendering to each other. Comple...