Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crushing Addictions...

I slept at 3:30 am on Thursday. Slept at 3 am on Friday. Fell ill by Saturday.

No, I'm not leveraging the new 1 am deadline in Bangalore to paint the town red. Nor am I working hard on an investment banking deal which would net me millions of dollars.

Instead it is this exasperating thing. This little niggle that refuses to leave me with any peace. Its a festering little wound that keeps reminding you of its presence with a nagging low level pain that just doesn't go away.

Have you read Narcopolis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcopolis)?
There are these descriptions of people who are opium addicts. The perpetual craving, the gnawing in the pit of the stomach for one more puff, the levels to which they fall for getting their fix.
And I'm feeling the same. Every night, every day.

It's this bloody Candy Crush (http://www.candycrushsaga.com/)

Now, I had been initiated into this a long time ago. I went through the initial phase of playing the first 60-70 odd rounds. And then...I stopped. No withdrawal symptoms, no pain. I just got bored one day and stopped. Life was peaceful. A gentle breeze was blowing. Birds were chirping. The weather was mild.

Until I picked it up again. And now I seem to be in the same zone as the chandu-addicts in Narcopolis. Going to sleep with just the hope of starting on the next level in the morning.

Aargghh, someone, get me to the rehab!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Transitioning Libraries...

Many of you would know that I have been using a library called EasyLib since 2008. It was a great find for me and really helped me in sustaining my reading habit.

In fact, just because you are such dedicated readers of this blog, I shall give you some statistics:

Row Labels Count of Book
2008 11
2009 59
2010 57
2011 58
2012 29
2013 47
2014 7
Grand Total 268
Month Number of Books
Jan 34
Feb 34
Mar 15
Apr 23
May 23
Jun 16
Jul 19
Aug 14
Sep 20
Oct 19
Nov 15
Dec 36

Interestingly,  more books read in the winter months. Makes sense, nothing like snuggling in with a book during winters!
As you can see, when you start using pivot tables to track your own book-borrowing behaviour, you really need to take a break from work!

Anyway, the long and short of it is that this library had become a weekend ritual for me for a good 5-6 years. Unfortunately, due to some reasons the library has shifted to a rather distant part of Bangalore, Rajarajeshwari Nagar. It would take upwards of an hour to reach there and it just didn't seem feasible to continue with this library.

Thus, the last few weeks have been slow on reading. I did go to Blossom and pick up a couple of books, but somehow having a well-stocked library is just a great feeling (by the way, those who are close to Rajarajeshwari Nagar, do look up EasyLib. It's got a very good collection - www.easylib.com ). Also, after five years of using a library, not having one leaves a rather hollow feeling.

So I was despondently sitting around one day when it struck me - there may be other libraries in Bangalore. After all Bangalore does have a rather reading friendly environment. So I got on the internet and searched.

Lo and behold, I realized that there is a national chain of libraries that has a branch roughly, oh SIX MINUTES WALK from where I work!!!

Bagal me chhora, sheher mein dhindora
So I sneaked off for some time from my office yesterday and checked out the Eloor libraries (www.eloorlibraries.in)  branch nearby.

And the collection is quite vast and good!! YAY!

So life is beatific once again. 

Though the weekly visit to EasyLib also included a nice breakfast at Cafe Terra. Now I just need to find a breakfast place near Eloor to complete the experience!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weighing In...

Pounds and Kilograms, Kilometres and Kilometres per hour and Kilocalories.
Sigh. There was a time when I was blissfully ignorant of these concepts. I mean, I knew what these were of course, but in an abstract sort of manner. They didn't affect me and I didn't affect them. I didn't think of them and they, in turn, didn't think of me.

But all this changed against the backdrop of pristine blue waters and white sandy beaches. Last October-November AV and I were on a vacation in Bali. Now, normally I would look to find cheap accommodations wherever I go but this time because of a glitch in www.booking.com  I wanted to make this a really, really special vacation, I booked a nice hotel. 

Nice.To put it mildly.

Let's just call it drain-out-your-account-and-max-out-your-credit-card-and-steal-your-neighbours-car-and-sell-it "nice".

Perhaps it was the pressure of knowing my first born child would have to be sold to bonded labour to pay the 'Nice' room's bill that I lost my appetite a bit. 

Now that we were at the hotel I decided to forget about the financial crisis when I return to India and enjoy myself. This obviously meant using EVERY SINGLE FEATURE in the room. Every light was switched on and off, the little touchscreen that controls the airconditioning was moved up and down just for the sake of it, the small cashew packet in the mini-bar was slit like a surgeon so that no one, least of all the guy who would come to check the mini-bar, would realize that the cashews were gone!

Amongst the last few things I spied in the room was a small weighing scale nestled unobtrusively under the wash basin. So, against my better judgement, in the spirit of extracting every Rupiah's worth, I stood on it. I looked down and the sweet display was showing something I just couldn't imagine. My weight was significantly lower than I ever remembered in the past. A good 4-5 kilograms lesser.

Miracles, they say, happen.

And thus began the journey of understanding all the scary terms (kilos, calories etc.). Of going for a run after coming back from work, on getting up early on a Sunday and going for a run. My weight lowered miraculously, and I was going to keep it low, dammit!

Unfortunately, after reducing it another kilo, it was time for another vacation. This time to Singapore for the New Years. And while we did run 3 kilometres on Chennai airport (yes, we did!) and then a token run on the first day in Singapore, the rest of the vacation was an insatiable cesspit of good food and drink.

Cesspit, you say? A bit harsh, you say?

You would say the same if you came home and realized that those little pre-lunch, post-lunch-but-before-evening-tea, pre-dinner, post-dinner, just-a-little-midnight-munching snacks had added another couple of kilos. 

And then we had to go to Delhi where moth our mom's have an ongoing healthy competition for the "Who-can-feed-them-more Cup".

Another kilo added in 2.5 days.

I started running again last week. But it looks like a hopeless cause. 

Perhaps I should have taken the scales photo and posted it on Facebook when the weight was low.