Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ketones and the Art of Maintenance!

Summary of Results:

0. Guide: Mr. Ameet Bagwe
1. Total time of experiment: 2.5 months so far
2. Total weight loss: ~14 Kgs (8 in the first month, then a steady kilo per week)
3. Inches lost: ~6 at The Line That Counts
4. Cholesterol numbers: Looking good (they looked good to start with though - so the point here is - eating a truck load of butter and cheese didn't make them any worse!)
5. Wardrobe situation: Dire straits (None of the clothes bought in the last 8 years fit any more. They fall off. Including the pants I bought at Decathlon two weeks back...)

The whole point of starting the experiment was to reduce the number of 'nostalgic remembrances' of the wife of days long past and reminders of pre-marriage promises to 'get into shape soon!' Not that I had any problem with my shape. I mean - O is a shape - a pretty neat one at that! But then, such logic is often lost on our 'gentler' halves! Sigh!

The wife wanted me to cut down on certain food items as conventional 'wisdom' dictated, and I, being the gl.. um... epicure that I am, chose to remain unwise - and there the matter rested - an impasse, with it's obvious ominous repercussions! Until the growing number of folks at office who had adopted this wonderful new fad called Ketogenic Diet - which seemed to work for everyone, and made everyone healthier - generated just enough peer pressure for me to buckle - and I sought out the advice of the expert - Mr. Ameet Bagwe himself. And so it started!

The first two weeks were a little difficult. But the immediate results on the scales were just enough to counter the temptation to give up. Many a time, I did think that I will try this for a few weeks and get back to earlier ways. But I haven't yet ... maybe because I am enjoying this more than I expected!

I have to admit - I haven't been totally honest with the diet though. I started cheating on it when they gave that large box of Diwali sweets to take home - about a month into the diet - and other folks at home back then were not really too fond of sweets! To put it in a nutshell, I took it upon myself to make sure that the box didn't go to waste. And that slowed down the weight loss. To about 1Kg / week. So - nowadays - I eat about anything and everything - although only in the later parts of the day. And the diet still works! I am still losing weight - while not having to stay away from all those sweets and pastries and what not! No wonder I am still on the diet!

Finally - I have been exercising also - lately. I had the habit of walking or cycling the 7KMs to office - have taken this up again over the last month or so. I am sure that helps too in the overall scheme of things.

All in all - this fad turned out to be a bit more than just that! It works - from first hand experience! So I will sign off with (on request) a Selfie. For the 'before' picture - just view any of my Facebook albums!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

For Arya

And then there was this Lovely Little Lass from Trivandrum,
Who idolised the escapades of the famous Viktor Krum.
Not for her the enticement of the world of silky satins,
For her the Secret of Victoria lies in her Baseline Spins!

With talented our heroine, all one needs to do,
Is hand over a racquet to her, and see the magic brew
As she weaves her graceful steps around the court so big or small,
Or among the chirpy chicks who chuck around a Ball!

So one fine morn our paragon on the 24th of Jan,
Said “Dash it all I have had enough, am off to catch my Sun!”
And as we floundered in her wake to form the 5Cs teams,
We wish her the very best in life as she embarks upon her dreams...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

For Shyam & Pooja

I was trying to come up with a Music-based video as a 'Wedding Present' for Mr. Shyam Jagannathan & Ms. Pooja Kulseja... by scourging through their Facebook pages - but it did not turn out quite all right - so I ended up never publishing it. In the meanwhile this 'poetry' was a by-product of that effort...

Once there was an young man from the land of wooden sandals,
An audiophile, a racket-head, with photographic angles!
Well, one fine day as he smashed away some racket-splitting serves,
He felt as if some divine whiff was soothing all his nerves.
He looked about in sudden doubt for the source of all the breeze
That smashed about his cerebrum and knocked him off his knees.
It took him quite a bit of time to find out all the answers
As to why the hell he felt as if a troupe of ballet dancers
Were tiptoing round in choreograph in a world of rainbow beams,
When Lo Behold, in vibes of gold stood the acme of his dreams!
This shepherdess of resources of the anthropoidal kind,
This archangel of Jubbulgarh had robbed his senses blind.
At once to him twas clear as sand that's melted in the forge 
That life without the divine dame would be empty as a gorge
That cuts within the mountains high to darkened depths descend.
And just like that his broken heart no adhesive would mend.
So all at once he made his mind to take the supreme leap
In spite of all the friendly jibes of lions now turned sheep
Who sadly shook their hen-pecked heads saying "Welcome to the club!"
And those staunch few who held out still said "one more bites the grub!"
So, at last we come to the fateful day when the registrations are tied,
And in the midst of the gathered glitz, the knot is finally signed.
All we can say is "have a great day" and "a roller coaster ride
Of a life full of adventures!" Be happy, Groom & Bride!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Many days, many conversations, many of them quite remarkable and therefore memorable... but the one conversation which comes to mind - the one that haunts - keeps coming back with thoughts in the lines of 'could things have been any different?' is the one from many years back - with the chance remark - I don't even remember the context - about how one's own home is the most comfortable... a harmless remark from all appearances - but one which apparently pushed her on the slippery slope of delusions, depression, maybe even paranoia, to never recover completely... I was in school back then... used to love talking to her - listening to anecdotes, getting to know something about my roots. That was probably one of the last meaningful conversations I have had with her. One I wish, all the time, that I never had.

She was the only one who used to write to me, even when I was quite small. Real letters I mean - on paper with an ink-pen. She used to write in Bengali, and I used to write back to her in the same language. She used to chide me when I made spelling mistakes, or when I had to scratch out a word to correct it. I used to try very hard to write the perfect letter with no mistakes or corrections and in my best hand-writing. The letters reduced in number with time, as her eye-sight weakened, they were no longer as perfect as they used to be, but they were as dear to me as always. I used to keep all her letters in my desk drawer back then - wonder where they are now - must have been lost long ago what with me moving out, and my parents shifting afterwards... 

I used to urge her to write down her memoirs lest all the stories be forgotten one day- she was the only one who could tell me about what happened in the past. How they lived, how her kids, nephews & nieces grew up, about my grandfather - who I never really knew. About relatives & family who I knew only from her stories. About how life was back in those days! About Rhinos in Kaziranga, and Tuskers in Assam. About Assam Oil, the tea plantations, Digboi. About old forgotten far-away places from where I am - but have never been to. And now ... the stories are lost, just as I feared.

I sometimes wonder - how none of the stories were from when she was small - none about her parents, or her childhood home. I did not think about this when I was young. Not until the stories had stopped - and I was old enough to think back and wonder. I really do not know how she was when she was young, what did she do before she got married, what did she like, how her life was. It was as if all this was from another life - as it very well may have been back in those days...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Should I buy a can of diet coke, or should I not? There's too much crowd near the counter, it will take me a while to reach there, especially, with the plate full of Biryani in my hand - so ditch! I decided against the coke, and stopped & turned - only to find out the fellow behind me hadn't stopped... The rest happened in ultra-slow-mo... I braked hard, trying to balance my plate of Biryani. The bowl of curd went careening over the edge of the plate... all the way down to the floor... it did an odd twirl on the carpeted floor... the curd splashed out - almost straight up - some of it even reached my eye level - while the rest of it splattered around forming an interesting pattern of white dots on me, the fellow behind & a couple of table on both sides, as I and the fellow behind looked helplessly at each other!

It would have been a funny situation to the neutral observer - only there were none - observers, having had their share of flying wisps of curd dotting them, were hardly in neutral frames of mind!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A new post every 4 months on an average - not bad at all! :) Wonder if I still have any readers!

Horns of a Triceratops - I mean - Trilemma!

8 kilometres to office - through typical Bangalore terrain (read bad roads & many ups & downs), flyovers, traffic, rush hour...

Option 1: Buy a bicycle - cycle to & fro.
Option 2: Walk one way (how much time will it take?) and return by the bus!
Option 3: Take the red bus to Tin Factory, walk the last three kilometres, same the way back the other way round!

Decision time! Objective - to get a little bit back into shape... I know, I know, Round is a shape - very funny!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The old template was no longer supported by Google - the unique image on the top-left corner long gone missing - and it being impossible to edit the look or feel of the page anymore - it was time for a change - overdue in fact - for years! 'Why bother?' you ask - 'It is not as if you will post anything here!' And you are right of course! But then, a change just felt right too!

So here's 'Free Wheels' in a new avatar - and Archives back online after years... but, to some extent, I do miss the old pink...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What did the gun-toting Delay Capacitor say to the 0-ohm Resistor? :)
"Resistance is useless!"

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My bi-cycling ordeals - chapter N!

My bi-cycling ordeals - chapter N!

I borrowed the Texins bicycle to go home yesterday. Cycling 8 KMs felt good & was fun, albeit a little tiring for the Quadriceps & Hamstrings. However it would have been a bit more fun, if:
  1. The cycle had any brakes to speak off!
  2. The gears changed… when I wanted them to!!
  3. The cycle hadn’t made me miss the bus the day before!!!
  4. Folks around didn’t respond to me stating that I will borrow the Texins cycle with blank stares & questions in the line of “What Texins cycle? You mean take out those pedaling thingies from the gym?”

To elaborate…

  1. Brakes: Well, exaggerations apart, they are actually there! But this does not say anything about their being effective in – well – braking! (They look good, I will admit – they lend the handle bar a bit of character!) To quantify: coefficient of rolling friction of cycle tyres on road is supposed to be of the order of 0.005. [Source: Google.]  With brakes pressed all the way with knuckles going white – as would be the case when there is a Bangalore Auto-rickshaw swerving in front – the effective coefficient of friction probably increased to 0.0075 or thereabouts! And I do have quite a good grip – I tested 470 in one of those grip-testing machines that anyone who has visited a Durga Puja pandal & fair would be familiar with (for others, the scale is 0 to 500, 500 being the strongest!!)
Recommendation: Let’s get the cycle repaired & serviced!

  1. Gears: I will admit that I am not an expert on geared bicycles & therefore don’t know what to expect of them. However, I am reasonably certain that gears are supposed to change approximately when I shift that gear-knob near my right hand, and that they are not supposed to randomly change out of the blue, when I am happily cruising away on the main roads, about 15 minutes after I have stopped fiddling with the gear-knob, and with a sickening jangle which caused my heart to skip a beat under the apprehension that the chain had come loose, as used to frequently happen in my old non-geared Hero Ranger Devil!
Recommendation: Same as above!

  1. Missing the bus: So this is what had happened. I had checked at 6:30 PM day before yesterday if the cycle was available, and was assured it was. However when I went to Texins at about 8PM, I found out that although the cycle was indeed there, what was missing was air in the tyres – there was none of it. Absolutely zilch. Not a molecule of Nitrogen, not an atom of Oxygen, not even any whiff of those rare, inert gases. Under the possibly misplaced conviction that presence of air was essential to enjoying a bicycle ride, I, Kulkarni & one of the housekeeping folks laboured for about half an hour in a futile effort to pump air into the wheels! By the time we had given up, it was too late for me to catch a bus. Interestingly, today, air was apparently filled into the bike tyres using the same pump, but by a different house-keeping guy – so evidently the job requires some amount of skilled effort!
Recommendation: Can we put together a protocol which should automatically come into play when someone asks for the cycle, including, at the bare minimum, checking if the cycle is ride-able in terms of shape & presence of wheels, tyre pressures, etc?

  1. Folks with blank stares: This has a slightly indirect implication on the whole premise of having fun with the cycle. The logic runs in the following lines: ‘Blank Stares’ implies ‘no one knows about the cycle’ implies ‘the cycle is not used much’ implies ‘falling apart due to disuse’ + ‘lack of knowledge about aforementioned falling apart’ implies ‘when someone actually wants to use it, he is not able to’ implies ‘the cycle isn’t used much’ implies ‘Blank Stares’ & so on…
Recommendation: We should advertise more about the cycle ...

P.S. For the uninitiated, Texins is the Employees Welfare Association of our company. Let it be noted that my opinion about the bi-cycle does not in any way reflect my opinion of Texins - Texins is & will remain one of the best things in the company - it would be hard to find a parallel for Texins in any other company in the city or even in the country. It is one of those things that make us stick to the company - for those of us who have been around for a long time, that is!!