Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Why Anger is Good

Why Anger is Good

I know it isn’t the most festive entry but December for me has really been a stressful month. By the time you are 12 months into the year you are stretched from end to end and are teaching yourself meditation techniques to keep the shingles at bay.

Work demands, home demands, personal demands. And you naïvely believe that there is some reprieve with Christmas and the New Year but really there isn’t. In fact, everything gets even more magnified. All the things still left undone, un-organized, unrealised. And what about all the stuff that you did accomplish? Of course you should be recognized for that? And you feel you will be ‘thanked’ for the strong results, but even then, you get… a lump of coal wrapped up in a tiny recycled bow! I don’t know about you; but that makes me real mad.

At first, I was trying to fight the anger and think about things rationally but the truth is, nothing propels you to get out of your current situation and into a better one, quite like anger. If a dress is bulging in all the wrong places and that makes you angry, you sign up for a kickboxing class and kick the crap out of those bulges; or the dress.

In effect, if you are angry it just means that you have hope. Hope because you know that the source of ‘that’ anger is temporary since you won’t let ‘that’ happen to you again. You now know better. You deserve better. There IS a better. A better dress. A better gym. A better job. A better boyfriend. Whatever your case is.

Now you just have to harness that potential for a long enough time to keep you focused on getting yourself out of the current ‘angry’ place and onto a more deserving platform.

I am totally giving this a shot in 2015! Go hard or go home, right?!

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Bookworm's Version: Great Read while on holiday

Serendipity At Play

Remember how I mentioned in a previous post that quite often I don’t choose my books but they choose me? I know you think its nuts that I say that but it’s true. And I have found that whenever I let a book choose me, I am always pleasantly surprised by it. This time was no different.

My sister-in-law and I were at a craft shop in Colombo looking for gift items and the store had a little book section tucked away in one corner of their lowest floor. So naturally, I started looking and not much stuck out at first. But as I was walking away but looking back over my shoulder (because I really wanted to read a good book on my holiday), I caught the cover of a book on the ‘New Arrivals’ table.

‘The Gurkha’s Daughter’, by some author I had never heard of and in all honesty didn’t know if it was a girl’s name or guy’s. My mom is half Gurkha and half Rajput, which is said almost ‘tongue-in-cheek’ around our home because both Gurkha’s and Rajput’s are warriors and my mother can get passionate and a little confrontational from time to time!  So I immediately knew the book would have something to do with the Nepali experience and it did.

The Gurkha’s Daughter is a collection of short stories by Prajwal Parajuly (a man by the way) and is very reminiscent of Jhumpa Lahiri’s collection ‘The Interpreter of Maladies’ one of my very favourite books. I love short stories. If written well, they capture all the essential emotions and leave you longing for just a little bit more. This was one of those books.

The string throughout all the pieces was of course the lives of the Nepali people in India, Nepal and the U.S.A. The pieces were concise yet detailed and had the right combination of plot and character development. I didn’t just read the book, I devoured it. In one weekend I polished off almost 300 pages. Go Read it! You will thank me for it. I promise.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2 weeks, 2 kids, 2 oceans away

2 weeks with 2 kids 2 oceans away



I still remember planning for this trip 6 months ago and here I sit now in my mother-in-law’s flat on the last day of my holiday before heading back to Canada. Back to life. Back to reality. Aside from the typical south Asian vacation experience which included a lot of eating, shopping, sleeping and some time at the beach and pool as well as the extreme heat, mosquito bites and not drinking enough water on purpose to avoid using public washrooms, it was my first time being away with both kids, just Raj and I, so far from home.

To be honest, I was most anxious about this as I knew it would be a ‘test’ of some sort. My mom has always been around and both kids go to her as frequently (if not more often) as Raj and I. Here, it was just me. Don’t get me wrong, Raj’s family was more than happy to do whatever was necessary including feeding them and washing their clothes, but the kids’ natural inclination was to come to me if they wanted or needed something; anything.

The exhausting journey on the plane, explaining why the washrooms and life here is so different, ensuring they don’t drink the tap water, dealing with Ro’s illness. It wasn’t easy but it has brought us closer and left me feeling re-assured knowing that if push came to shove I can trust my instinct and deal with whatever is thrown at me; projectile vomit included.

I think testing yourself at various junctures in life is important if only to remind yourself that you aren’t totally worthless and that if 2 lives depend on you, you must deliver. This commitment itself to deliver expands your boundaries, pushes your limits and leaves you feeling quietly confident.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day 4 & 5 - An end and a Beginning

Day 4 & 5 – An end and a beginning



The moral of this story is…Juicing/Cleansing is a one of the more certain ways in which one can practice the skill of delaying gratification. It was not easy. But with more than a little help from my friends at work and my encouraging and supportive husband, I made it through to the other side!

I think 3 day cleanses are completely doable. The last 2 days get a bit much. Especially when the last day is a Friday and everybody is eating delicious meals all around you. The taste buds in your mouth have died and you have zero appetite for the drinks in your fridge.

According to those around me, my skin looks radiant and my hair has shine. Subjective compliments maybe since the former was from other colleagues at work and the latter from my hairdresser. But one objective bona fide positive result is that I dropped 6 pounds!

Ok. Ok. Nothing earth shattering but it’s a great way to kick-start a healthier lifestyle….I hope.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to continue juicing or only eat raw vegetables. I’m a foodie. I love the taste of food, the textures, the biting into something scrumptious but I realised just how little our body needs as fuel.

I also realised that I don’t need to meat/fish/eggs every day. Eating vegetables and some fruit for a day or two is completely fine.

I bet you’re wondering, would I do this again? Sure, but probably for 3 days. 5 days if I really needed to fit into a dress for a wedding or other special event!

And as far as recommending this goes…Do it! But do it with a group so you can support each other, and save up for it, because it does get expensive.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day 3 - Reflecting on Day 2

Day 3 – Reflecting on Day 2



Day 2 was the worst day and yet the best day so far. My head was throbbing and I was grumpy and hungry. I had no plans in the evening so I forced myself to go to hot yoga pilates! I knew if I stayed home I would end up eating, so off I went and I learned two LIFE lessons that I think are worth sharing.

1)      Success is found at the precipice of failure.

Yes, this statement that I have coined came to me at the bitter end of my hot yoga class as I was in the ‘meditative phase’. In reality, I was praying with all my might that I make it out of the class and home without passing out. And the reason that line came into my head is because I was quite literally at the precipice of passing out and barely making it. So I gathered every bit of energy my body muster up and finished the class in a composed manner and drove myself home safe. Once I turned the car engine off, I sighed and smiled.

2)      Give thanks to your body.

This too came to me during my meditative segment. In yoga at the end of each class you are reminded to give thanks to your body and again, for the first time, I was very grateful to my body. Typically, as humans (and especially as women) we are not a fan of our own bodies. We either loathe it, or consider it a ‘work-in-progress’ like at a construction site. Very few of us actually love our bodies and even the ones who do, would never say it out loud because we don’t want to come across as being self-absorbed or an egoist. But here’s the thing, see.  It’s the only one we’ve got and as much as we abuse it through lack of healthy eating, sleeping or exercise it still performs so well for us, doesn’t it? Is there any other machine that could go 2 days without fuel it’s taken for the last 30 years and then shock itself through 40 degree temperatures and strength training and still make it out fine on the other end?  So again, I was happy. Extremely happy.  She performed so well under pressure and didn’t let me down.


Day 2 - An affair to remember

Day 2 - An affair to remember


Tougher but I managed. This has been way harder than I thought it would be. I don’t know why I thought that, but I did. I deluded myself into thinking I could think of food as fuel for my body and not something delectable and satiating for my palette. Food was fun. Now, it’s just assorted coloured liquid in a jar. No thanks.

There was a study that said that women who are slightly overweight are happier than underweight or ‘normal weighted’ women. I get it.

My love affair with food has come to an abrupt and screeching halt. I am dismayed. I feel foggy and I’m functioning at sub-optimal level right now. My head is heavy and I am super sleepy all the time.

Can I do this for 3 more days?


Monday, June 23, 2014

5 Day All Raw Juice Cleanse - Day 1

Day 1  A few brave souls and I (and by brave I mean crazy) decided to take on a 5 day all raw juice challenge. Starting today, for five days (end of day Friday), the four of us are going to be consuming a variety of juice and juice-type beverages to help us kick-start our health. It’s supposed to be a cleanse and give me tons of energy. Oh and did I mention everyone who has gone on this cleanse has lost about 10 pounds. Truth be told, I will magically have a ton of energy if I lose 10 pounds! So we decided to give it a go and I will chronicle the roller coaster ride that this journey will bring.

Today has been tough but doable. I am super tired (since we have to cut caffeine) and I do miss the taste of say toast and eggs but nothing crazy if I don’t think about the food too much. Lunch time was tough as I could smell the delicious aroma of various lunches wafting through the air and finding its way to my nostrils. From chicken and fries to ginger beef and green curry, my stomach growled and my mouth salivated. But all I could do was reach for my Cashew and Vanilla Mylk and chug a swig of chalky, white liquid.

No really, it hasn’t been that bad. Apparently day 2 and day 3 are supposed to be the worst. I will tell you first hand if that is the case.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ashtanga Yoga - The real deal

Ashtanga Yoga – Low Heat

I’ve taken this class for 3 weeks now and I am slightly addicted to it. It’s a low heat class which I prefer over the intensity of the real hot yoga class and it is an hour and 15 minutes which makes me feel like each workout is worth it.

Since I’m a checklist kind of girl there are a few good and bad things on my Journey to Yoga checklist:

Good :

Increased vocabulary (chaturanga, vinyassa, drishti) which makes me feel not as alien when the instructor starts talking

Always break out in a sweat

Light is dim (makes me more willing to try poses without inciting too much laughter)

I haven’t passed out yet

Noticed improvement in my abilities from first class to now, which is encouraging.


I can’t do ANY of the intermediate or advanced moves. I’m as basic as they allow it to be, probably to the point of embarrassment

My right wrist hurts…probably one too many chaturangas (notice how I aptly put that into my writing)

After one of these classes I can’t exercise for the next 48 hours as I’m sore and not very mobile

In conclusion, I still suck but I really enjoy it. Is that even possible?




Saturday, April 26, 2014

The 5 things to not do before a hot yoga class

The 5 things to NOT do for a successful Yoga workout.

I had a terrible session at Yoga last night. A 2 out of 10 at best. Only because I promised myself that I’d be honest I will confess all of the idiotic things I did and confirm that they are tried and tested measures to not take to ensure you have a successful workout. Here is what NOT to do:

Don't eat a fat slice of chocolate cake at 2p.m. prior to your workout…Someone dropped off a piece of rich and decadent chocolate cake on my desk as it was his last day. I gladly accepted and it satiated my craving. You can imagine how I felt in the hot yoga class.

If you want low heat yoga, find out prior to signing up for the class.  I didn’t. This class was in fact a super-hot yoga class which made my nauseous feeling even more pronounced

Upon arrival at hot yoga class, do not go in earlier than necessary and wait for the class to start. When I got to the class and realised it was not low heat, I thought that since I got there 15 minutes early that I should go into the class and do my Sivasana for an extra long time whereby allowing my body to acclimatize to the temperature. Bad Idea! It made my 1 hour hot class 1hr and 15 minutes and I just about passed out a few times.

Don’t wear a t-shirt or in my case a ¾ length sport top. Tank tops are the best in this situation

Don’t have a vodka-soda in between work and the yoga studio if you’ve got 30 minutes to spare. I don’t actually know what you could do, but having a drink with a co-worker is probably not the best way to spend that block of time.

There. I wrote it. On the internet forever. But at least I went. So if you are hesitating to go to a workout because you have done one or some of the above, go anyways, because in a worst-case scenario, you will survive it J

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Yoga Challenge

I just signed up for a 3 month membership at a Hot Yoga Studio near my house.

I am still trying to make an honest go of the GLENJAV daily routine. Remember GLENJAV from my last entry? Goal Setting, Learning, EXERCISE, Nutrition, Journaling, Affirming, Visualizing.

So, at an attempt to have Exercise show up more frequently, I took this on to help get myself in gear.

One of the great things about Yoga, much like most forms of exercise, but particularly in Yoga, is that it serves as triple duty.  Not just as physical exercise but as mental and spiritual exercise as well. I’m by no means expecting to attain nirvana with any of these classes. I am a realist. But I’ve only been to a couple of classes so far and already I’m scanning the weekly schedule and trying to see how soon I can go back. And, this studio offers a variety of classes, which makes it easier to try out different types of yoga to see which fits best. There’s Hatha Yoga and Yoga Pilates. There’s Ashtanga and Vinyassa. No clue what all these different classes are but u can rest assured that I will try them all out and report back!

It’s 1 to 1.5 hours of physically pushing yourself, being very conscious about your breathing and being in a very quiet and peaceful environment without saying a word. I’m finding it very therapeutic. Very unlike my gym sessions with music blaring, 5 tv stations on 10 suspended tv’s, and fitness instructors with fat jugs of vegetable juice touting the benefits of spirulina and kale.

So join me as I embark on yet another journey. My journey into the world of breathing through your nose, heated rooms, downward dogs and a new vocabulary of words that remind of the my grandmother in Calcutta re-telling the stories of the Bhagvad Gita, Mahabaharatha and  The Ramayan.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Selling 'Cool'.

Apples, Blackberries and Cups, Oh my!



I stumbled across something new this week. I was talking with my husband about how Quizno’s has filed for Bankruptcy protection, right after we drove across a Second Cup at a plaza. Raj mentioned that Second Cup was supposedly going through this big re-structure to change their image and try to become somewhat profitable. This conversation made me come to the conclusion after time and time of seeing examples surface that it’s more important to have a simple idea that can be executed with perfection rather than a fantastic idea with poor execution… If you want to be successful.

Look at Apple vs. Blackberry. Not the fruit (ha ha). If you really dissect Blackberry, the company’s ideas in and of themselves are very sophisticated and really put together by smart minds. A lot of their intel and technological advancements are top of the line. I’m not a tech person and I won’t pretend to be one but I’ve spoken to quite a few of them who all agree that Blackberry is far superior to any of its competitors. The problem is their execution. They weren’t able to translate their greatness to the masses and they were cocky about having to do this.

The brilliance of Apple however is that it took similar technology which is not as good as Blackberry’s (I’m sure all the tech giants will argue that they came up with all the ideas first…it’s irrelevant for this purpose) and it just dumbed it down so the masses could enjoy it. The execution of their products (even though the machines are supposedly not as ‘intelligent’ as others) made it so intuitive that anybody including my 15 month old son can use it!

Even I was loyal to my Blackberry for many years. I even got the Playbook and bought stocks in RIM. I tethered my phone to my Playbook and thought I was set. Then the silly Playbook would act up and not respond properly to the touch screen among other problems. I just got annoyed with it and gave it away. Then I got the IPad 4 Christmases ago. It was simple and easy to carry around. It hasn’t broken down even once. It does what you want it to do. We have taken it to over 5 countries in 3 different continents and it is still rock solid.

At the end of the day, Starbucks and Apple are cool. Second Cup and Blackberry are not. Making your idea or product cool is all about execution.
So let’s take this little tidbit of info and apply it to ourselves. Let’s not worry about coming up with the next big grandiose idea/fad/diet/trend.

Let’s focus on simple ideas and execute them flawlessly.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

4 out of 7 ain't bad.

A Slice of Life from Robin Sharma


It’s 11:17 p.m. and I lose an hour tonight as we ‘spring forward’ for daylight savings. I really should be sleeping but instead I’m trying to stay up and ‘digest’ my dinner which I ate too late and feel guilty about sleeping so soon after eating. Also, I haven’t written on this blog since December and even though I’m the only regular on this blog I feel like I must do this as often as possible because I always feel better after having written something. Anything.

I just finished reading a book. The latest Robin Sharma book. It was a good read and a lot of good tips, some of which I’ve read in his previous books and many tips I’ve held onto. In this particular one, towards the end he describes 7 fundamentals for personal leadership. I can’t possibly do all 7 every day. I’d go nuts. But I figure if I do at least 3-4 each day then I’m heading in the right direction. Strive for a 4/7. Not as easy as you’d think. Let me explain.

The 7 Fundamentals I’ve made into a nonsensical acronym: GLENJAV so I can remind myself daily of what to do when I have a bit of time to myself and don’t want to waste it. Say it with me, GLENJAV. Some are self-explanatory and others need little explanation.

Goal Setting: offers you a North Star in times of adversity
Learning: Read biographies/stories that inspire and teach. Listen to books in the car/train


Journaling: Good to keep a record of your life. Gratitude. Diary.

Affirmation: Use words of affirmation and encouragement on yourself. Reset your mind.

Visualization: Picture realising your goals and playing at your best.

The first step is to remind yourself every day what GLENJAV stands for. Then think about which ones you can fit in. You must fit in 3-4. The catch however is that if you do something negative towards one of the fundamentals, that’s a -1. For example, today I exercised (1), did some visualization (1),and did some reading (1). But then I ate really poorly (-1). So if do some writing/journaling (this blog for example), I’m back to 3 points and although not the ideal 4/7, it’s better than a 2.

The beauty is that these fundamentals fit perfectly with my values from the last entry and in fact if I do 4/7 of these each day I’m acting in tandem with my values and that makes me even happier.
We all deserve happier.