Thursday, 9 July 2015


I was taught about balanced diet in my high school days more than three decades ago and at that time I was not able to comprehend neither its importance nor its requirement. As children in our time we used to eat whatever was available at home. There were no sophisticated eateries outside and no fast food were available except perhaps, chats and golgoppas from road side vendors. We were often cautioned by our elders not to indulge in roadside dishes as they were unclean and liable to cause stomach problems. But never were we conscious about gaining weight and let alone losing weight by using balanced diet. Our life style then was much simpler and our daily doses of food intake consisted of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, fats and what not. I really did not understand at that time the use of eating weighted quantity of rice, dal, vegetables, fruits and all that terming it as “balanced diet”.
As time elapsed and Indian economy opened up in the early 1990s the Indian market was invaded by the MNCs and drastically changed the way Indians ate. Fat rich fast food outlets mushroomed and mouth licking stuff like pizzas, burgers, pastas, grilled chicken sandwitches etc were made available in plenty. These sophisticated eateries served food having very little nutritional value. No wonder people indulging in these modern fashion foods gained weight and lost strength of body and mind due to malnutrition like condition. Now to combat the weight gain modern health clubs (Our age old body building akhadas, renamed) sprung up. MNCs made money by putting fat on our bodies and the Health Clubs started making money by putting us on rigorous physical exercises to burn the fat. What an irony !!
But the comfort crazy population detests health clubs. All they need is a short cut for losing weight. This is where the dieticians step in with their business ideas. They show beautiful dreams of  weight loss by a couple of kilos (or even more) every week. And the gullible indolent people give in and accept their crash diet plans. Now these plans show very good results initially but what we often fail to realize are the negative impacts of these plans. Crash Diet Slows down metabolism and makes one very week and sleepy. You feel food craving all the time and hardly gather energy for any hard physical work. The worst thing is there is no guarantee that the lost weight will not come back again.
I have been a foodie since my birth and I would never like to accept any crash diet plan to lose my weight. I feel if I do that I will probably not be able to sustain at all. Overweight that I am, I would prefer a balanced diet plan in addition to a regular mild work out. The advantages of a balanced diet plan is that it helps to control and lose weight moderately, keeps you fit by providing proper nutrition and improves your digestive system and metabolism. A good balanced diet plan aims at reducing calories without letting your body to be deprived of nutrition and should include the following.
  • plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • plenty of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties when possible)
  • some milk and dairy foods (choosing lower-fat varieties when possible)
  • some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
  • just a small amount of food  high in fat and sugar.
It is commendable that Dabur is campaigning for use of Honey, the natural sweetener. Honey is definitely a good substitute for the calories rich Sugar. And the Honey Diet is a good form of balanced diet which every overweight individual should adopt. For more details on Honey Diet please click the link below.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015


She was 14 and hardly 20 kg in weight. Her frame had nothing except bones only. But she was very cheerful and kept herself engaged in activities she liked. She kept her spirits high and heightened ours as well. Yes, I am talking of my daughter who was suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (a type of blood cancer) and was under a chemotherapy regime at CMC, Vellore. The treatment of the dreaded disease being more painful than the disease itself, my little daughter showed indomitable courage to combat it. We had to rent a house to stay in Vellore for about a year for her treatment. It is during this period she learnt to make tea and cook her favourite snacks. She would prepare the eatables and sell them to us for a price and enjoyed the business. Every week some drug or other was administered to her and that kept her dull and dejected for three to four days. She was unable to move because of the extreme weakness. She was unable to eat as she was under constant influence of nausea because of the side effects of the poisonous drugs. For the two days of the week when she felt relatively better she was very active and wanted to eat tasty things. My wife tried to prepare things of her choice but her almost dead taste buds could not relish them. In order to make her busy and forget the painful treatment my wife asked her to help her in preparing something she liked. Thus, in spite of her weakness my daughter accepted her mother’s challenge and enjoyed cooking with her. Prior to this she had never been to the kitchen even to warm a glass of water.
One evening when I returned from the market doing some grocery shopping she came to me with a tray containing a cup of tea and some pakodas. The tray was trembling as she did not have the strength to hold it tightly. I took the tray from her hand began reprimanding her for her dare devil act. But she was so much overjoyed with her achievement that she ignored my grumble and told me with a smile writ large on her face, “Papa I have prepared everything that you see in this tray. And I have come to sell these to you.” I could hardly believe my eyes. My suffering daughter has prepared all these for me!! My wife confirmed, “Yes, She has done everything with a little bit of guidance from me.” Tears welled up in my eyes and I embraced my little princess. But she shouted in her feeble voice,”No, No that will not do. You will have to pay me.” “How much, my darling?” I asked. “One hundred and fifty Rupees” averred my little princess, “One hundred for the Pakodas and fifty for the tea.” I gave her two hundred rupee notes which she gladly accepted but regretted for not having ₹50/- to return to me. I told her to keep that as an advance for another cup of tea on the next day.
Needless to say my daughter learnt the art of cooking in the most trying circumstances and that pastime helped her to overcome the ordeals of the painful chemotherapy. That also gave us the mental strength to deal with the situation. And today, seven years ahead of that incident my little princess has become a good cook and prepares very delicious fast food. Not only that her never say die attitude towards life has made our entire family quite optimistic.

PS: This post is written specifically for  Kellogg’s Chocos ke saath ‘Khuljaye Bachpan’  contest. For more details on this campaign please click the link below.


            I vividly remember how I was introduced to cricket while I was a middle school student. My father used to listen to the running commentary of various sports events. Although he was not a sportsman at any stage of his life he was very fond of following sports events, reading sports magazines and keeping himself update with latest sports news. Football, Hockey and Cricket used to be his favorites.
            I was never a sports lover and hardly went to play outdoor games except during the games period in the school when all students were forced to go to the field to play some game like football, Volleyball,cricket etc. Thus I had some vague ideas of how cricket was played but I had never developed any liking for the game. But my father used to listen to the running commentary of cricket matches with awesome regularity. One Sunday afternoon when he was relaxing on his bed with the only transistor that we had, glued to his ear I ran to him and asked for the radio to listen to my favorite programme of film songs. He asked me to get a piece of paper and pencil and sit down with him. I thought probably he would give me some mathematical problems to solve and protested, “No I will not study now. Please give me the radio. You are listening for the last 4 hours. Let me listen for half an hour.” He laughed affectionately and said, “No, No I am not asking you to study. I will teach you the game of cricket and how to keep the scores.” I reluctantly sat near him. The test series between India and England was going on. My father wrote down the names of the Indian batsmen: Gavaskar, Gaekwad, Amarnath, Viswanath, Brijeash Patel, Kirmani, Bedi, Chandrasekhar……. etc. Then he told me that Gavaskar and Viswanath were batting at that time and India had scored something like 102 for two wickets. He then listened carefully when a loud noise emanated from the radio and added a +4 to Gavaskar’s score. After some time there was another noise and he wrote “out” against the name of Viswanath. Somehow I forgot about my film songs programme and sat with my father listening to the commentary. This was how I was initiated to cricket commentary and from that day onwards I always tried to listen to the same. Within a very short span of time I got addicted to it and started missing my studies/tuition, bunking my classes to listen to the cricket commentary and keeping scores and statistics. There were a couple of my class mates who were equally addicted and we three became fast friends. One of them had a small pocket transistor which he used to bring to the school and we were caught on several occasions by teachers listening to the radio with very low volume. On one or two occasions we were driven out of the class and our parents informed about the “offence” but the cricket fever never went down.
          As I grew up and as technology advanced I graduated from transistor radio to Television. After joining my job I used to take a leave to watch India’s World cup matches in 1987.And today with the advent of the smart phone I am always in touch with the latest scores without missing my important assignments and all other little things that matter in my life. Over all these years since I was initiated by my father my addiction for cricket has not diminished at all. I am really happy that UC Browser’s UC Cricket will be a very useful tool for me and ardent cricket fans like me.
I have already downloaded UC Browser on my laptop and my phone. If you are interested then follow the links below: