Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dieting tips for the new age

Most people keep cribbing about how they need to lose weight. This is a common refrain especially among the female of the species. During one such refraining session, a colleague said, "You know what, instead of striving to eat lesser, all that a person needs to do to achieve optimal weight is to grow taller till they are proportional for their weight."

Aha. Now there's a thought. I have never consciously tried to grow taller and all the height I have so far came by on its own without me staying away from as much as a celery stick. In fact I distinctly remember that eating well contributed to my height.

Based on this evidence, growing taller seems to be a more hassle free and enjoyable alternative to eating lesser. Of course, there is the caveat that sometimes, before reaching optimal weight, a person might need to extend vertically till his/her head is sticking somewhere into the ionosphere. But hey, tall is good (for reference, look at the heights of super models).

So I am all set. From now on, off with watching what I eat and other old-fashioned ideas. Only growing taller for me.

Now, if someone can tell me how I can communicate to my body that it is supposed to grow vertically and not horizontally whenever I eat.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Regular readers of this blog will be aware of the special relationship I share with Aishwarya Rai. Namely, I can't stand her acting. I find her plasticky, annoying and the target of my prayers for being an early victim in any movie having any chance, however minuscule, of killings.

Given that Ash usually just has to make a physical presence in a movie to make her annoying, in Dhoom 2, she managed to take her "my-annoying-self" performance to sterling levels. Five minutes into her appearance, I was wanting to throw something at the screen. Ten minutes later, I was pulling my hair out in frustration. Fifteen minutes later, I hoped Hrithik or Abhishek or even random character on the road #3 would have the good sense to bump her off.

Of course no such thing happened. At the end of the movie, finding myself still sane, I felt like a survivor. I found a new appreciation for the tolerance levels of the entire crew of Dhoom-2. And though I woke up at night in cold sweat with echoes of "Funny guy" and "Sunehri like likes you" in my head for quite a few days afterwards, the frequency of these incidents gradually decreased.

The point I am trying to make is, after watching Ash in Dhoom-2 I thought the absolute zenith of an annoying performance in cinema had been reached. No matter how annoying any other actor was in any movie, beside Ash's spectacular Dhoom-2 performance, they were mere fireflies beside the sun. That Dhoom-2 performance would forever occupy the numero uno position in my Annoying Performances Hall of Fame.

Or so I thought. Then I watched Asin in Dasavatharam. Till she opened her mouth to talk, she looked very pretty. The words "En perumal-a kudu" were the harbinger of doom. High pitched, irritating, murder-inducing, annoying - Asin managed it all and more!

Why on earth could not the character Fletcher who seemed to kill everyone else at first glance not have killed Asin on a priority basis? I think it was his devious plan to try to drive Govindraj to suicide due to unbearable torture by giving him Asin's constant company. Seeing the sheer number of places where Asin could have been bumped off convincingly and yet was still left alive was like being denied candy after being taken all the way to the checkout counter again and again.

By the time the end of the movie rolled around, I was eagerly awaiting it. There did not seem to be any other way out of watching the torture called Asin.

To be fair to Asin, unlike Ash's role in Dhoom-2 which *might* have been saved by a better actress, *anyone* performing Asin's role in Dasavatharam would have been equally horribly annoying. Which is why I have decided to let Ash retain her title of most annoying performer ever. But let me tell you, it is a very very narrow victory.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Rads posted her result on this "Which Sex and the City character are you" quiz on her blog and asked her female readers (why not the male ones too, you know, to explore their inner woman and such :-D?) to try it out for a lark.

As someone who watched the entire Sex and the City series on DVD over a span of 3 weeks (in case you are wondering, yeah, yeah, I was working full time too), how could I resist.

I finished the quiz and while the score was getting calculated I thought, "Please, let me be anybody but a Charlotte!" I find Charlotte a bit too wimpy for my tastes.

Then I thought, "Ah, it will be fun if I am a Miranda" - though I did not agree completely with this quiz's take on Miranda's character. Any time someone asks me which character in SATC I resemble the most, I promptly say Miranda, though Carrie is the writer (I write blogs, got it?).

Samantha is someone I cannot identify with at all. Brazen me is an oxymoron (unless my rather gullible personality gets coaxed into being brazen - my dear friends will know what I am talking about).

Finally these are my scores below. Kinda funny no, the 40, 30, 20 and 10 :-D? And oh, readers (both female and male) of this blog, do take up the quiz. It is short and fun. If you have a blog too, pliss to post your results :-)!


Sex and the City: The Four Women, the Four Elements
Your results are based on the four Elements of Astrology: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Each Element has its own set of characteristics, and each of us displays some combination thereof, usually with a focus on one or two. Samantha, Miranda, Carrie and Charlotte each personify one of the Elements and its basic traits. Which Elements most strongly influence you?

Note: Scores are rounded to one decimal place and therefore may not total 100%

You scored 40% Carrie
Your answers peg you as a Carrie-type, much influenced by the Air Sign qualities associated with Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Like confident Carrie, a sex columnist, you're curious and perceptive, always seeking answers and never satisfied with the superficial. An Air Sign influence can lead to indecision and an avoidance of tough issues, like with Carrie and her on-again, off-again attachment to Mr. Big. Forward-thinking, incredibly intelligent and witty, you just exude quirky charm. You'd be utterly bored by someone who's just a pretty face or hot body -- though you don't mind looking and flirting! You're more turned on by an equally smart and funny mate, someone who challenges your mind and makes you laugh. You love to talk, so you need a good listener who's open to playful and eccentric ideas about love and lovemaking.

You scored 30% Charlotte
A romantic at heart, you chose the answers that demure Charlotte may have chosen. Strongly influenced by the intuitive, profound and sometimes naïve Water Signs -- Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces -- you're like a mother, a mystery and a poet all in one. Though on the surface you may seem innocent and all about seeking the good in people, beneath the surface, you hide secret yearnings for intimacy, for attachment and ideal love. You're seeking a knight in shining armor, a soul mate, someone who will complete you and tether you to the earth when you get carried away with your fantasies. You're super-sensitive, soaking up the moods of others; you emote freely, crying at commercials and sappy movies. You also provide a shoulder to cry on and open arms for hugs. Be careful that you're not so wide-eyed and trusting that you get taken in by some cunning wolf in sheep's clothing.

You scored 20% Miranda
You chose many of the same answers that Earth Sign-like Miranda, the cynical but pragmatic lawyer, might have chosen. Just like Miranda's had a tough time deciding whether to give in to the affections of Steve the Bartender, you don't give your heart up to just anyone. Miranda shies away from a relationship with Steve because he's 'just' a bartender, not something more conventionally ambitious or stable. Those with powerful Earth Sign qualities -- characteristics associated with Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn -- are cautious in love and seek stability and status over nearly anything else. Earth Signs provide a steady, realistic attitude and they can bring order out of chaos. A little-known Earth Sign fact: Incredibly sensual, you seethe beneath that smart, expensive business suit of yours, yearning for intimacy but hesitant to give up your material needs, your career ambitions or your responsibilities for a passionate moment that might not turn out the way you'd hope.

You scored 10% Samantha
You identify with Samantha's bold and liberated Fire Sign qualities, characteristics associated with the Signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. You're strong, audacious and larger than life -- and you take what you want! Sometimes you can even be thoughtless and selfish, as you get so caught up in craving immediate gratification and excitement that you overlook someone's feelings. Your personal style likely reflects your desires: sleek, low-cut, revealing just a bit more than might be considered acceptable. Watch that you're not coming on too strong, though. You could scare potential suitors off with all your drama. If you seek so much attention, the more basic qualities of the Fire Signs could be burned right out of the picture. Show less skin or cleavage and more of your creativity, your vibrant leadership skills and courageous generosity!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Something smells gooood

Yesterday, I visited the mall after a long time. I found that my favorite splurging store, Bath and Body Works, was having a summer clearance sale. My eyes had hardly registered the word "sale" when I found myself standing plumb in the middle of the store.

I picked up a very promising looking bottle of body lotion made by the Bigelow company. That company makes a mean lip balm, I tell ya. The body lotion ought to be good too, I decided. Besides, the bottle said the lotion had the natural fragrance of almonds. Best of all, it was 75% off - woo hoo!

Late last night, before going to bed, I eagerly tried on my new lotion. It smelled divine alright. Of freshly baked almond biscotti. Suddenly I found myself very very hungry. And I stared longingly at my lotioned arm.

I forced myself to not taste some of that yummy smelling lotion and instead snacked on some unhealthy stuff. Finally I went off to sleep, dreaming of cookies and cake. As if I am not already surrounded by enough food temptations. Bah!

But frankly, that wonderful smell is totally worth it!

p.s. The lotion itself is light and smooth. Very nice

p.s.1 My dad expressed relief that I had not bought the lotion before the Yosemite trip. He said that he had no doubt that some of the bears would have taken up residence in our cottage there then!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

All that jazz

A couple of months ago, I decided I needed a break from my routine weekly fitness classes. I scoured the ever dependable community center's activities guide for a class different from my usual ones. And there it was - "Broadway Jazz". Get fit in a fun way, it urged. Tada!

I signed up with great enthusiasm - a fitness class incorporating dance moves should be fun! On D-day, I landed up in class in my track-pants and tennis shoes, towel and water-bottle in hand. Once inside the class, something struck me as being different about me.

It soon became obvious. Of the total of nine participants, I was the only one wearing tennis shoes. Everyone else was wearing dance shoes. Huh!?! Wasn't this a fitness class?

Soon after I made this observation, the instructor turned on some music and did a whole series of ballet-like moves rapidly one after the other. Then she stopped, turned around and told us to do all of these moves as a warm up exercise. Everyone else plunged into doing the moves. I picked my fallen jaw off the floor, gaped some more and hurried to copy everyone else's moves.

That was when it struck me - I had managed to join a dance class incorporating, duh, dance moves. Oh no. I mean, I have been to salsa classes before, but there at least I knew I was going to dance. Besides, was jazz even a kind of dance?

And then, to rub salt onto my stupid presumptions, I discovered that every other participant in the class except yours truly had been at least to one dance class under the same teacher before. Oh dear.

The rest of the warm-up session reminded me of comedians from various movies. You know, where everyone is doing something and the comedian alone is doing a whole different thing? Where the comedian then rushes to catch up and invariably winds up bungling?

Yeah - I was that comedian. Everyone else would have already pirouetted half way across the room by the time I realized what the move was. I would rush to catch up. And then when everyone had finished the move and were facing the front of the class, I would be the odd woman still in the middle of the move facing the back of the class. Normally, I would have fervently prayed for the ground to swallow me up at that point. But for some reason, that particular day, I just found it all very funny and simply grinned.

The warm-up concluded with abs-crunches (ha, finally something I am damn good at) and other floor exercises - all familiar territory, restoring my confidence a bit. The teacher then told us that we would be dancing for "All that Jazz" from the Broadway musical Chicago.

She went over the steps slowly - we tried to follow her. Though I caught on to some of the steps, I was still floundering. She then said she would turn on the music so we could all dance to it. Right - even with no music I danced more or less like a particularly drunk crab with arms!

She turned on the music. And a strange thing happened. After ages of looking and acting like a person grinning in spite of a stomach ache, I started enjoying myself. It was just so much fun to dance to the music - the moves just seemed to fit seamlessly with the music. And who cared if I sometimes tapped my left foot first instead of my right and vice versa - it was still so much fun!

The rest of the class went off in a flurry of dancing like a star (yup, turns out that dances in musicals most often are Jazz dances).

That's how at the end of the class, much to my own surprise, I decided to stick with it for the entire duration*. My instructor was a sweet lady who said that if I came a bit earlier to class, she would go over steps with me beforehand. This helped quite a bit with complicated steps.

At the end of two months, I had learnt quite a bit about ball changes, pirouettes, jazz walks and touch steps. More than that, I had learnt how it is possible to have fun even while doing something you so superbly suck at :-)!

* I guess I was not the only one surprised at my decision to stick with the class. At the end of the 8-week session, my teacher hugged me and said she was so glad that I had decided to stick it with. It is an entirely different matter that she looked like she was going to get a heart attack when I told her that I might continue classes with her for the next session ;-)**.

**I have not yet done that.