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Live and Express

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On social media and channelizing the minds

Why social media for me :

It was one of those strenuous days in 2017. I had too much to do in 3 or 4 activities spread across the day.  I like focus, and that’s the way I have been for the past many years. I like channelizing my mind, body and my energies in a task. But then, there are some boring moments when you would like to just get off for a minute or two, wander your body and your mind, and then get back to the task.

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, et al) have been a cure (or a curse on how you see it).  That one of two minutes of wandering of the mind away from the task using social media extended to 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and before you know, it had consumed a full 43 minutes!

“Well, that’s not good”, I told myself. I decided to take a mental inventory of HOW the time is spent on social media. I sat down and wrote a diary of all the posts I read, I liked and shared, and just “browsing”.  Though it was just my break time that I spend on social media, I wanted to justify myself on how the time is spent, because it’s my precious breath and life after all, moment after moment, before I die!

My findings!

The notes I saw alarmed me. 89% of the time was just browsing post after post in Facebook and Twitter, without any focus, learning or practicing a skill.  A typical “browse” Facebook session contained a book advertisement from a book club, an advertisement on how to “opt-in” more customers to your blog site, a post in a school group asking whether this school is better or that, a post in a music group with a picture of a guy with a violin, a group post about the latest trend in western cinema, a post in a railway group about that fantastic engine….You get the drift.

A rattling mind and the consequences

If your mind travels this fast with no focus on a specific subject or related thinking, you know where you will get to – nowhere.  It not only puts your brain in an ever-shifting mode, it will strain your brain to no-end resulting in nervousness, a sense of loss, depression, anger and a deprived feeling!  Many studies have also shown the same.

Social media tools for streamlining

Social media tools that help you segregate topics as streams based on hashtags or keywords are helpful. It helps browse through the social media posts and organize your thoughts on one direction, learning a thing or two about a topic and participating in a discussion.  But many of us do not use those tools on a native basis, but login to the social media sites directly.   In this year, I have reminded myself to use these tools instead of logging into social media sites directly, and save myself of the mental stress!  If I ever wanted to take a 2-minute break, that should not be and won’t be on the social media sites, but a short walk, a visit to the restroom, a cup of water and then back to work again.

Not just the break time!

We all know the three things that are required to excel – Learn, Practice, Network.  A typical successful person’s time management has these components.  For all of these, accessing the Internet has become a necessity.  For learning and networking, social media has become important.  We just need be careful that our learning and networking time is used productively, not just during the break time, but during our work time also, and be conscious that our precious time is not wasted in endless, mindless browsing.


I thought I would just share my thoughts on this, which I had been postponing for a while now. I wrote a Facebook post (there you go!) on this sometime back, but not sure how many people it reached, so here I am, writing a blog.  Hopefully it’s useful for you!
Thanks for listening!


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The 10 km walk!

I am uninitiated to fitness regimes. I am not a fitness freak. But I read a saying recently which said: “Exercise is not for living healthy, but dying healthy.” There could not be a truer truth than this! So, in order for me to be not a nuisance for my family and my social circle by being unhealthy, I decided to be healthy.

I am always motivated to walk.  I walk long distances without an issue. So, I decided that walking would be my exercise. I have heard that fast walking takes care of several things – maintaining the proper blood pressure, cholestrol,  blood sugar levels, giving exercise to muscles, etc.

I usually go for a long walk, which I was thinking to be 7.5 kms, but when I measured the distance using the Pedometer android app., I figured I was just doing 6.3 kms. As a coincidence, someone had posted their walk details on Twitter, so I was motivated to really do a 7.5 kms walk.

I used Google Map to mark the milestones, but I figured I could do more than 7.5 kms, if I reduce the speed a bit. So, I reduced my walking speed from my normal of 2.9 miles/hour to 2.7 miles/hour, and started.  I gave myself a toilet and water break after 4 kms, and then proceeded for the full swing after that.

I passed through several areas that I have never been before, and was excited to explore.
I also passed through an area which I always wanted to visit, which was a bonus! I got a bit confused in one location, and had to backtrack and that took some additional 10 minutes. But, I finished my walk successfully, and here are the stats.:

10.49292 kms, 555 kilocalories, 2 hours 25 minutes, 4.34523 kms/hour, 15,302 steps.

Somebody had asked a spiritual guru that they had a tummy and noone likes him, what should he do. For which the guru answered, ‘Why don’t you go for a 10 km walk?’ That answer had always being ringing in my mind, not because my pot belly is too much or something, but the stress that things have to be taken care in the way they have to be, and there is no magical fix.

I’m now pretty happy to know that I can do 10 kms.  I don’t want to increase it, but to maintain the habit of walking the same distance daily, because to me, habits are important than goals, as habits decide the character, and the destiny!

Thanks for reading!


#India to beat #China in #Population by 2022; Child #Adoption process getting simpler

Life is a mixed bag.

Last week, two significant headlines hit the news. The first is about the estimate that the India Population is going to exceed China by 2022which is a bad news, as we had expected it to happen by 2028 earlier.  The other is about the child adoption process in India is getting faster, easier and transparentwhich is a good news, as more people including NRIs can adopt in a simpler way moving forward.

One is a problem, and other is a potential solution. While some even neglect to think that the child adoption is a potential solution to the population problem (and say that adoption is emotional, the child and parent should connect well, one cannot adopt ANY child, etc, which are all reasonable), many consider it as a viable solution.  Here is an example of a parent who thinks so.

The Central Adoption Resource Agency has created a database of children that are waiting for adoption, and it has linked the adoption agencies to the database.  This way quick access to children to be adopted is available to the agencies.  Potential parents can now register online for them to be considered.  The guidance will be effective by August 2015, is what the post says.

With these updates, the urban folks of India now have a choice.  We have written several blogs before encouraging urban parents to adopt and why.  Several things have changed from the past, and attitude of the young generation is changing too.  With limited resources that India has, population has to be kept under strict check, and adoption is one way out – to give life to an existing child rather than creating another which will add additional burden to the country – burden may be a strong word, but yes, that’s how it is – with population increasing 1.6% in India every year!

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The value of family and life – #India #Population

I write about India Population. And it’s a very unpopular topic.

Sometimes you need the steel heart to read the personal attacks that emanate from people who think that their rights are being violated when asked to consider not to give birth to children.

Here are some of the feedback received from very well known members of the community:

‘You look like you have lived your life well. How can you ask us to not to have babies? I am an unmarried woman in my twenties, and I want to have my family’.

‘Have you ever given birth and raised children?’

The first comment is because they fear the system/government will prohibit having babies.

The second comment is tricky.  If I answer ‘Yes, I have had children’, then they will blast me ‘You advice something for the world, and you do things differently. Hypocrite!’  If I answer ‘No, I have not had children’, then they will blast me ‘See? How will you know the value of having a family? You should never advice!’

Let’s look at it objectively.

The moment your child gets out into the streets of India, they become one in the 2.72 billion people. And the family safety net that you provide is lost.  In the streets, today, people don’t even see each others faces and smile at strangers. They are all driven by their own missions of getting to office and coming back. So, the ‘value’ that you are talking about in your ‘own’ child just vanishes in the society.

More so with these huge numbers of people. As the numbers increase, tolerance to fellow human beings will naturally reduce. All the push-pulls that happen in the public transport, and the politics that happen at the work places will increase as there are more number of people, because, everyone has to take care of their survival.

If you are not objective, and take care of managing the no. of people that this nation can hold (by the way, we are 17.5% of world’s population in 2% of world’s land!), then nature will be cruel.  By nature, I don’t mean just the land, water, air, etc, but also all the life forms including human.

Our nation has been a very tolerant one in general. ‘Please adjust’ has been our mantra. But that will break with a population growth of 1.6% every year, as per the latest reports. People will start being cruel to each other. Like buying illegal software through an IRCTC official and booking 36 tickets at once illegally!

Just take a look around, and see if we really more children. How are we going to educate and give jobs to all these population? What about drinking water, food, space to live? For God’s sake, how about experiencing the pleasantness of life with some space instead of always being jam-packed?

If one really values life and family, they will understand it’s being cruel to everyone to add more. And probably adopt children who have no one to care for.

Someone said ‘There will come a time when the government will start asking to produce babies’. That would be a golden day to live when we are all joyful, and want to make copies of ourselves.

But right now, we are over-crowded and miserable. Let’s stop!


Delhi, may be it’s time for – We two, adopt two!

Congratulations! Delhi is the 2nd most populous city in the world! Sounds as though we are lifting some trophy in the World Olympics Championship! Not!  The bomb had already ticked a lot, and it now exploded! Now it’s time for the triage. Looky looky here!

That article talks about two things: (1) Condoms & sex education, (2) migration from other places.

Do you actually believe that a person living in a large city is unaware of the consequences of unprotected sex?  If yes, do we know what percentage?  Or should we take an SMS poll to figure out that number?

Yet, average people are bogged down by the mental challenges of handling their family, friends and circle for not having a kid. If they are really up to not having a biological baby, there are multiple options available: (a) stay single, (b) get married but decide not to have kids, (c) get married, but adopt instead of having biological children (in fact, the office of CARA, the department for adoption enablement under Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, is right there in Delhi!)

Migration from other places because of lack of opportunities, jobs, and sheer ambition to make it big in a city are also important reasons. While the state governments have to take care of the basic amenities in the rural and towns, and provide moderate growth opportunities, so that people don’t move to the cities, it’s the people who are in the cities who have lots of opportunities to do something about containing the India population.

Why do I say that? Because urban people are mostly (hopefully) educated; they have access to information; they have independence to think through and make personal choices like not having kids; and they have means to adopt children if they wish to, from orphanages and homes,and give them a home.

Delhi Government cannot keep building metro over metro, double-decker metro, underground triple-decker monorail, etc. It’s the urban people who need to take responsibility, if they want to live well in a city state, which is around 1500 in size (including NCR), but has around 25 million in population. That’s roughly 16700 persons per, while the healthy population density for India is 197 persons per

Remember, it’s not ‘We two, Ours two’ anymore. It’s ‘We Two, Adopt Two’ time!

YOU, yes YOU! Please think about it, and act, or rather not act in the wrong direction!



Can we leave coffee, tea and milk for good ?

Please feel free to re-blog this blog. This is public information, written for awareness for everyone’s well-being.  Spread it far and wide.

Some 10 years back, I left coffee. I was told by someone that coffee and tea are nervous stimulants, which, when taken without discretion, will lead to nerves weakness. The effect of nerves weakness will be the inability to sit peacefully at one place. No, I am not talking about meditation. Even for getting your work done at your computer, looking and attending to files in the office in a careful way, doing any work diligently, studying for your exams be it school or college, you need calm and alertness, which will be available to you only if your system is stable.

Coffee and tea will give you the sudden briskness with which you can carry on with your immediate tasks, but on a long run, it will lead to inability to focus and sit calm and alert to attend to whatever you are doing.

More so in the old age, when you have nothing much to do – you are retired, your kids are settled, and you enjoy your bliss – if you find yourselves restless, that will be very sad. Your mind will want to be active, but your body won’t co-operate, and you will be a mess.

There’s one more aspect to it – which is milk that’s added to the coffee and tea, in the Indian context.  If you don’t add milk, it’s even worse, because the ill-effects is more-prone and immediate.

But, if you have coffee and tea with milk, just consider where the milk is coming from. In western countries, there are complaints that cows are being artificially milked and they are sent to death long time before they are supposed to die – because they extract the milk faster and faster, and the cow loses the ability to give milk pretty soon.  Even in India, you might have seen loads of cows and buffaloes being carried in lorries and trucks. Where do you think they are being taken to? To get killed because of their inability to give milk.

Food that goes inside us is supposed to nourish us and give energy. Cow’s/buffalo’s milk, however, makes us dull and lethargic. Cows’ milk is meant for calves, and not for humans.

And food that goes into us is supposed to be a blessing and enable us to become better human beings.  Food that come from sources as mentioned above, and having the properties that tend to negatively influence our ability to perform at our full potential may not be good food options, isn’t it?

Especially in the context of India Population, where loads of milk is consumed by millions of people, it’s pretty necessary that we consider.

Please feel free to re-blog this blog. This is public information, written for awareness for everyone’s well-being.  Spread it far and wide.

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On the event of World Earth Day 2014

Greetings on World Earth Day 2014!

Many of you might have seen the movie #Gravity. In the final scenes, the heroine gasps and gasps and tries to breathe anxiously for some pints of oxygen, and finally when her parachute lands on Earth, she grabs the mud and feels thankful for finally being home to the mother Earth!  I guess that’s the feeling that everyone of us should have for having the privilege in being here in this beautiful planet which supports us.

But, sadly, as with every sense of living, we have abandoned our gratitude in the search of individuality. My own home, my own TV, my own smartphone, my own space and my own everything. In the pursuit of this myness and iEverything, we have almost destroyed the planet. On one side, we keep building spaces for people to stay and industries to work, and on the other hand, we have destroyed green, which is the basis of our breath.   How many minutes do you think you can live without breathing?

In the past 2 or 3 decades, while Earth’s population grew dramatically, we were trying to curb the symptoms of environmental destruction – like reducing the carbon levels and trying to plant more and more trees. All these are absolutely necessary, no question about it, but it’s just that we have crossed a threshold point where the no. of human beings in this planet have exceeded certain limit, and their demands for living are anyway going to have an impact on the environment.

I am not a lamentor, but you would be already aware of the fact that the projection of Earth’s population is 11 billion by 2100. We are seeing the ill-effects of over-population in many countries in Asia and Africa, where the population continues to be growing. Do you think Earth can handle 4 billion more?

So how many of these human beings are we going to tell – Conserve water, eat environmental friendly food, don’t kill animals, don’t do industry, live ecologically friendly, etc. First of all, it’s not scalable, and next, you can’t force such things as we have become a democratic world mostly living on individual choices.

While continuing to carry out the environmentally friendly actions that are necessary, we should also look at how to contain the population.

I will specifically talk about India – as I live here, and know the context. India is 70% rural and 30% urban. That 70% rural is mostly having livelihood issues, insufficient education, malnourishment, sanitation and health issues. They reproduce to get more family members so that they all can go do labour work and support the family. This is the reality. The only way to reach out to them and ask them not to have more and more babies to provide economic development opportunities along with economic reward for not having babies.

In the urban India, there are opportunities to adopt. India has a good network for adoption homes. People in urban areas have access to social networking and hence awareness can be created asking them to adopt instead of reproduce. The change is slowly happening, and people are making personal choices in their lives.

On top of these, the policy support from the Government is very much required, in terms of awareness creation, economic rewards, tax breaks, etc. It has been a long time since the Indian Government has done anything with regards to population awareness, and it need to start again.

India holds 17% of the world’s population in 2% of the world’s land. That’s tragic. Every human being need 0.5 hectare of space of living self-sufficiently as per global statistics. Based on these, the living in India looks like is not the way to live. Statistically, India does not need another baby for the next 20 years.

All these boil down to how we manage Earth and its resources while we strive for the livelihood and well-being of the existing and future generations. So, if we want to protect Earth, containing population holds a major chunk of action. It needs be done, so that we can all live well, and leave a wonderful Earth for the future generations to come.

Happy World Earth Day!