My Miserable Tutors

Every class 12 student in India has tutors for atleast 2 subjects. ( not counting the ones who flunk and the ones who are so smart that they might as well drop out of school instead of wasting their precious time )
As I sat on the sofa of my home’s family room, I had an epiphany. The kinds that make you want to become atheists (well, i already am one, but we’ll save that story for later).
I realised that for the past 4 hours I had been finding excuses to not do any work that involves pleasing my tutors.

And it’s not out of sheer hatred, it’s because I hate to disturb their miserable lives.
My Maths tutor for instance, has a habit of getting mad about the smallest of things. Even when I find new methods of doing things, he digests it once he has grumbled over how his way is better.
Taking my accounts tutor into account (that sounds like something he would say), he reminds me of those old women who sit in the sun washing clothes slandering their neighbours and whoever else may be on their facebook friends list (hypothetically assuming that they know how to operate anything that was invented after the light bulb) . Half of my hour long class goes into listening to his complaints and trivial problems that are apparently problems as astronomical as a black hole that I always think about falling into when I’m pretending to listen.
Don’t get me wrong. Both of them are really smart when it comes to teaching their subjects, but it seems to me like they are constantly trying to find things to be unhappy about.
Well, then I guess not doing the home work that my tutors gave me would be an altruistic act on my part and will just give them something new to wine about.

I’d rather climb the stairs

We often see signs and posters and occasionally read health tips on the net, which say “Use the stairs instead of taking the escalator”. But the colourful posters or the very scientific and professional sounding health advice is never really enough to make us follow that simple yet exhausting rule.
When confronted with the options of the self moving stairs and the stationary ones, which require our dog tired legs to do the work, we always end up choosing the escalator, despite that small voice inside that consequently makes you feel all guilty for making the wrong choice. 
I didn’t think there was anyway ANYone could make people use the stairs with a beeming escalator in the arena..UNTIL I saw THIS:
The cleverest way of making people opt for the healthier option.
Known by the name of the piano stairs, these stairs are literally what their name suggests them to be. With every step you take on the steps of this staircase, you play a key of the piano. 
See for yourself!

Source: thefuntheory.com

My Experience as a Dietician

December 2007: 55 kgs
April 2008: 48 kgs. 
May 2008: 46 kgs. 
June 2008: 45 kgs. 
July 2008: 44 kgs

You must have read an endless number of articles about how to loose weight, and you must have seen those eye-catching advertisements in the newspapers of a fitness centre with a picture of woman before and after she lost weight due to their invaluable and unredeemable guidance(which btw, they provide for only Rs 1200 a month!).

Well I didn’t need any of that. Losing weight wasn’t my problem. I was good at dieting. No, I was GREAT at dieting. My biggest achievement was when my dadi, who happens to be among those Indians who can feed anyone who comes our way gave up on me.

I changed 3 school uniforms in 2 months. Stores which earlier I couldn’t go to because I was too fat, I still couldn’t go to because I was too thin.

My problem began when I started giving advice on dieting.
Now when people saw that I lost 10 kgs in 6 months, they came up to ask me how I did it? It felt so good to be the one answering the questions and not asking them.
I felt like a dietician, and I thought to myself. Maybe, I can just become a dietician without having to study about it. I can be the first empirical dietician in the world!
So the customers came pouring in and I got down to work!

My first customers were my parents. The first thing I did was throw out all the chocolates and sweets from our refrigerator. Then I replaced butter with low calorie butter, cheese with slimz cheese, and coke with diet coke. No chips were allowed in the house except special diet ones. I even threw out all the Bourbons and chocolate cookies and replaced them with Tiger and Parle-G instead! We checked their weight every week. I assured them that they would lose weight soon. But their weight started going up instead.


For a few weeks I wondered, how this could be happening. My dieting methods were fool proof, parent proof, adult proof, everything. But the day I smelt a McDonalds burger on my mom, I realized it was I who wasn’t fool proof! My mom and dad had been eating in office. My sources revealed that they had everything from rasgullas to ice creams to pizzas while they were in office and had decided to act all saintly at home. And their excuse,  “We thought we could eat in office. You didn’t say anything about eating there!”
Mom, Dad, really? Isn’t that just like me bunking all my classes at school and saying “What!! You do push me to study when I’m home. But you never said anything about school”
Needless to say, I had disowned my parents as my customers. They had greatly hurt my inner soul, by making me doubt myself and my dieting principles. It was time to move on.

My next customer was my friend. Now my friend was one of those huge people who you use as a pillow on road trips, those people who seem to be exercising and dieting all the time but never seem to lose an ounce, and if they do, you start doubting the weighing machine.  Lets just say that I wouldn’t be surprised if she told me that she was a long lost relative of the Dursley’s. (The Harry Potter fans know what I’m talking about)
I personally got very excited at the idea of instructing this friend of mine. I trusted those dear dieting principles of mine so much that I knew she would lose weight. I was so confident about them that I was convinced that I could turn an elephant into a flamingo.  
So I told her, don’t eat carbohydrate, or fat. That meant no butter, no biscuits and definitely no cheese.
She was a very obedient pupil, unlike my parents I must say. And a very enthusiastic one too, which unfortunately did not let things end as I would have wanted them to.
Not only did she start following my diet, but she also started exercising on top of that. Now if there is one thing you should know about my diet, it is that it involves absolutely NO exercise.
My friend started going to the gym. The gym makes you hungry enough to eat more than shrek if not shrek himself. And if you decide to follow my diet on top of it, you’re a goner.
After 2 weeks of following my diet and her exercise regime, my friend ended up bed ridden, with instructions from the doctor telling her not to get any form of exercise for at least 10 months.
What’s more, the medication she was on made her gain even more weight. So by the time she was out of bed and able to walk and talk, she was even fatter than before.


Now, I was really distressed. First my parents, then my friend. Could there be anything wrong with my dieting ways? NOO! How dare I think of that!

 My fears turned into reality when I myself started feeling weak and faint all the time.
This was when I realized that I was wrong. I realized that my dieting had not done me much good. Apart from reducing the flesh between my skin and bones, it had also reduced my bones to twigs. I was weak and tired and lazy and unhealthy. Sure I had lost weight, but maybe it was something not worth compromising with my health. It took me a while to realize this, and even more time to admit that I had been wrong all along.  But when I did, it came out to be a truly wonderful learning experience. From that day on, any friend who came up to me for dieting advice got a long sermon on the catastrophic effect of dieting.

So remember, the next time that creamy cake appears in front of you while you’re busy running away from it, think of whether you’re doing the right thing before you’re long gone and away! 

The Free World Charter

I came across something called the The Free World Charter. It is the simplest idea with an incredulous impact. The idea is to do away with the idea of money and just watch with awe the transformation it brings in the world!
I know that at this moment you are trying to figure out how this would work? How would we survive if no one works? No one produces food! No one takes care of the criminals! Think a little more. With all the machines we have today, we don’t need humans to produce all the food. With no money around, there is nothing for criminals to rob! Whatever we do, we don’t do because we HAVE to, we do it because we WANT to. If you like to teach, you teach. If you like to do social work, that is what you do. You want to be doctor? Then be it!
This video explains it all!

Sign the Free World Charter here: http://freeworldcharter.org/?a=charter
I did!

Keeping your neurons busy!

Today I tried the most interesting thing. I tried using my left hand in everything I do, instead of my right.  My parent’s yoga teacher told me a few years back that using the right or the left hand doesn’t come from birth. It’s about the practice and the balance of the mind i.e. if you use your left hand more, you automatically become left handed, and if you use your right hand more you become right handed.
But wanting to be a left hander is not the reason I tried this. It turns out that doing things differently ends up sharpening your brain.
During our vacation in Orlando, I learnt that brain power is one source of energy that in inexhaustible. (unlike fuel, etc) The other day my uncle told me about how one uses only 5% of the brain. And the person who used 10% is the one we call a genius. But that turned out to be a myth. (according to sources of the internet.) They claim that going by the myth, injury of certain parts of the brain (i.e. the unused ones) should not affect you in any way since they are not used.
Then a few days later, I came across this website which talked about how to increase your brain power and how to use your brain to the full capacity. It had a couple of ways to do that, like brushing with your left hand, or taking another route to work , or doing a lot of brain puzzles, and using different kind of keypads to type.
Today, I tried brushing with y left hand, and it was harder than I thought it would be. I was telling my aunt who visited today that she should try doing the same. Nodding her head she said “Neurobics”. I had no idea what that was, but she told me. She said it was Neuron’s Aerobics. Exercising the brain.
My theory is that by using your left hand to do certain things, you aren’t actually using the same part of your brain more, but you are using another part of the brain.  You may know that the left part of the brain which is more analytical controls the right part of your body (arms lgs, etc) and the right part of your brain which enhances creativity,  controls the left part of your body. So by using your left hand to do things that you would otherwise use your right hand for, you are sharpening the right side of the brain, which happens to be the creative one.
But then that implies that left handed beings are more creative and less analytical than the right handed ones. That actually may be true. But then what is not true is that all right handed people are analytical. I happen to know barely any left handed people and yet I know people who are extremely creative.
My aunt said that by doing things differently (taking different routes, using your left hand) you are challenging the brain. The brain catches the smallest of change. Even if you start using a ball point pen after having used a pencil for quite some time, you are exercising the brain.
Well in that case by using different kinds of writing material everyday , the brain can get a hell lot of exercise. Another way to exercise the brain is to supposedly take a shower with your eyes closed. I’m guessing this helps exercise the brain since you have to force your brain to remember where things are. Having a shower is such a regular part of everyone’s routine, that people do it mechanically without thinking. So by closing your eyes your eliminating the unconsciousness in the actions of reaching out for the soap or turning the shower knob, and forcing your brain to think and remember where those things are.
Another great way to increase brain power is to continuously write one page on a word document (or any other software for that matter) without stopping to think or correct spelling and grammar errors. This enables you to think fast. I tried this, but it takes a lot of practice to be able to do that. To not stop at all, I mean. It is easy to go half a page without having to put extreme pressure on your brain. But when you get half way through the page, you run out of sane things to write about. So the first time you try that, your second half of the page is just a recurrence of the first half in different words .
I once read a book called “The curious incident of the dog in the night-time”. Randomest book ever.  It was about a troubled boy who decides to investigate the murder of a dog in the neighborhood. While on his little mission, he discovers a bunch of secrets about his own life that was well kept with his divorced mom and dad. Now this book is written from the point of view of the boy. So he writes whatever he is thinking about with a good amount of details. In random parts of the book when he’s bored or he wants to avoid thinking about something that is worrying him, he starts squaring number in his heads. (2X2=4X2=8X2=16 and so on.) Way to keep your brain busy!
Working on your vocabulary is another way. So is picking up a random object and thinking of multiple things it could be used as. For eg, pick up a pencil, and then think of a 100 things that the pencil can be used as.
Your brain is the controller of your body. Spending time on keeping it sharp is one of the most productive things you’ll ever do.
Not using it actually ends up making it blunter and less intelligent than before!
So keep the neurons busy!

The Human Camera

Stephen Wiltshire was found to be an autistic child at the age of 3.

He uttered his first words at the age of 5- “I want Pencil and Paper.”

At the age of 8, he started drawing cityscapes.

Now, as a 27 year old, Stephen Wiltshire has drawn sketches of cities to the smallest of details, with just one look at them. Even the windows on each of the buildings in his paintings match the real ones in the city.

Among the cities drawn are Tokyo, Rome, London, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai and Jeruselam.
Each of them are drawn on giant canvases.

Take a look

One Red Paperclip

Kyle, Macdonald,  a Canadian, is a blogger who bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of online trades over the course of a year. 


Amazing? Isn’t it? Thats like exchanging homework for a home theater!


MacDonald made his first trade, a red paper clip for a fish-shaped pen, on July 14, 2005. He reached his goal of trading up to a house with the fourteenth transaction, trading a movie role for a house. This is the list of all transactions MacDonald made:
  • On July 14, 2005, he went to Vancouver and traded the paperclip for a fish-shaped pen.
  • He then traded the pen the same day for a hand-sculpted doorknob from Seattle, Washington, which he nicknamed “Knob-T”.
  • On July 25, 2005, he traveled to Amherst, Massachusetts, with a friend to trade the Knob-T for a Coleman camp stove (with fuel).
  • On September 24, 2005, he went to San Clemente, California, and traded the camp stove for a Honda generator.
  • On November 16, 2005, he made a second (and successful) attempt (after having the generator confiscated by the New York City Fire Department) in Maspeth, Queens, to trade the generator for an “instant party”: an empty keg, an IOU for filling the keg with the beer of the holder’s choice, and a neon Budweiser sign.

    Kyle MacDonald’s house

  • On December 8, 2005, he traded the “instant party” to Quebec comedian and radio personality Michel Barrette for a Ski-doo snowmobile.
  • Within a week of that, he traded the snowmobile for a two-person trip to Yahk, British Columbia, in February 2006.
  • On or about January 7, 2006, the second person on the trip to Yahk traded Kyle a cube van for the privilege.
  • On or about February 22, 2006, he traded the cube van for a recording contract with Metal Works in Toronto.
  • On or about April 11, 2006, he traded the recording contract to Jody Gnant for a year’s rent inPhoenix, Arizona.
  • On or about April 26, 2006, he traded the one year’s rent in Phoenix, Arizona, for one afternoon with Alice Cooper.
  • On or about May 26, 2006, he traded the one afternoon with Alice Cooper for a KISS motorized snow globe.
  • On or about June 2, 2006, he traded the KISS motorized snow globe to Corbin Bernsen for a role in the film Donna on Demand.
  • On or about July 5, 2006, he traded the movie role for a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan.

And to think it all started from a simple paper clip! 



Source:Wikipedia

A day without my cell phone

I woke up on a Friday morning at 11 am.
Sounds strange? Shouldn’t I be at work or at school or doing whatever I do? Well, this happened when I was in class 9. It was a warm day in mid-feb and my grueling exams were approaching. They started as soon as Monday and our school had been generous enough to give us a preparation leave on Friday-to study. Most of the students whiled away their prep leaves on the phone or on facebook or doing everything but studying. I happened to be one of them. My parents were at work. I had all the freedom I wanted.
So I woke up on Friday morning and with my eyes still half shut and with all intentions of going back to sleep in not more than a few seconds, I unconsciously reached out for my cell phone.
My hand felt the cell phone cover on the bedsheet and picked it up. It didn’t feel like it usually did. It felt so light and soft and..uh oh! This was the point of time when I opened my eyes and saw a sticky note on my empty cell phone cover.
Dear daughter,
 Today you shall study while your cell phone goes on vacation. Don’t bother opening the computer either. Facebook’s blocked for the day. A day without these distractions will do you good.
Happy Learning!
Love
Mom and Dad
PS: Outgoing call service on land line is deactivated. In case of emergency, use neighbor’s phone
What will you do next mom and dad? Rip out my lungs and tell me that a day without air will do me good?
Needless to say, I wasn’t going to be getting any more sleep today.
I wanted to write back. But our postal services were probably cut off too!
This system didn’t really work for me. I knew there was no way I could unblock facebook (how I wish I’d paid attention in computer class) or activate the outgoing calls on the landline. So I decided to tackle the cell phone problem. I started the hunt. I had nothing better to do anyway!
 So I started by looking in my parent’s bedroom, in their cupboards, their medicine cabinet, their bathroom, under their bed sheet, on their workstation. It was like playing hide and seek. It would have actually been fun if it wasn’t my cell phone which was hidden!
By the time I finished with their bedroom, it was 2 pm. It was time for lunch. But hunger was the last thing on my mind. I decided to keep looking.  I looked in our dining room, kitchen, living room, guest rooms, everywhere! But with no luck at all.
It was 6 p.m. by now. This was the time I sat in my room with a book in my hands in order to welcome my parents home!
I heard the key turn in the lock of our front door! They were early. I rushed into my room and grabbed my science book. Ugh! I despised science. I hadn’t paid attention in class or opened my book throughout the whole year. But right now, there was really no time to choose! I opened my book on a  random page, noticing how colourful our science book was.
 And something slipped out and fell on the floor. It was my cell phone!. My cell phone! In my room! In my biology book!
Before I had time to even feel baffled about the situation, my parents who had been standing in the doorway watching me for I don’t know how long went into fits of laughter.
“Oh, I get it! You guys put it in my science book, cuz you knew I would never look there! HAHA! Very funny! I looked for it all day! I couldn’t even eat. See? I didn’t study at all. Your loss!”
They continued to laugh. I didn’t find it funny at all. Infact, I didn’t speak or even look at my parents for the next one week.
Now, 3 years later, when I look back, it actually was pretty funny! They knew I’d never touch my science book. Or even in the wildest, dream of my cell phone being hidden there.
Well, atleast one good thing came out of it!

 I SPENT A DAY WITHOUT MY CELL PHONE!