How lockdown is changing me?


e-books to audio-books

In the beginning of the year, I had decided to throw away with physical books and go with e-books. I did throw away most of physical books. E-books are difficult to read for long time. The job of transferring the books from PC to ipad is annoying ever since my macbook air broke. Then I also wanted to reduce the screen time from digital gadgets. So thought of using audio books. I has been a week and I am nearing completion of my listening to second book. Though many books are not available in audio form, still I feel it is a good beginning.

Tracking food and nutrition

The biggest change in the lockdown period is I have not gained any weight and I am not starving also. I have started tracking my food and nutrition and built it as a habit. Each time I eat my mind raced to log it and I find it very useful. The insight gained i.e., low consumption of protein is to be addressed.


Everyday morning I would go to the beach and watch sunrise with my friends. Nothing can substitute that. However we still have to keep our body fit. Initially everyone tried doing exercises and workuts and finally decided to do in group video chat/meeting apps. Checked the cost of indoor cycling trainer and found it pricey but still worthy. May be I will get one soon.

Running inside home

Can’t run on the roads due to the present situation, many of the people started doing ultra running inside home. Inspired by these people, I too started running inside the four walls. Could have got a treadmill. Planning to invest in one after the lockdown is over.

Virtual events

Started participating in more virtual events. 5k global distance challenge, The latest one being 10k run inside home on mother’s day. And many more coming.

Time and mindfulness

Now I feel like I have all the time in the world for me and I am fighting to reduce the digital screen time. Have started practising yoga and feeling better.

Finding solutions

Stuck with a problem of importing and exporting data to apple health app for quiet a few months. Found solutions during this lockdown time. Thanks to the relaxed mind.

The lockdown has brought enormous change in me. Staying inside has given me the me-time. I am trying out new things more than before. It is turning out to be better for me.

How i lost 8 kg in 2020


For me it is one of the goals set in the beginning of the year was to reduce weight and achieve body mass index below 25. I did by implementing the following things in my life

  1. Cycling
  2. Core workouts
  3. Running
  4. Reduce stress
  5. Balanced diet

Cycling for weight reduction

Did regular rides on an average 40 km distance per day. Combined with short rides at good speed to long distance rides at average speed. Joined with young people helped me a lot for pushing the limits. And the endurance rides gave lot of motivation. My fitness level improved after each endurance ride- A fact verified by measurements thru self tracking. My body water content was low before six months i.e., less than 48% and now it is around 55%. Also did hill rides every week. There is a 120 meter high hill near my home. Indeed cycling gave good results when i start pushing beyond what i was doing earlier. Tracking in strava app helped me a lot to improve and connect with other like minded people.

Core workouts

Just a few stretching after cycling did’n’t help me. Had to spend more time for stretching to keep tight calf muscles and tight thighs. Once regularly done core workouts saved me from cramps, which helped a lot during endurance rides. Legs are strong due to regular cycling. But having a tough time to lose fat. finally brought regular fat within normal level. Visceral fat is still excess and i am working on it. I use an MI body composition scale for determining visceral fat. Core work outs brought it down from a scale of 13 to 11. Still 2 more points to get to 9. May take another 3 months to get there.


I love running. Though i am running after a long time, i have already complete two half marathons this year. Now during weekly hill ride, i am including one uphill run too in the schedule. Running allows me for my occasional food cravings.

Reduced stress

This is one of the major factors in my weight loss journey. I just slowed down a bit in my life to re-assess myself and the direction in which my life is moving. Brought out a lot of changes in lifestyle. Taking digital detox more periodically. Considering minimalism as a way of life.

Balanced diet

Had a check over my sugar cravings. It was tough in the beginning. Alternate days i had my juice with sugar and salt. Reduced junk food usage to minimum. Started using Healthifyme app to track protein, fiber, fat and carb intake. I am using MI body composition scale to measure Protein and fat content. Protein content is increasing and fat is lowering for last six months though very gradually.

I think all of the above helped me in losing 8 kgs in a span of 85 days in 2020. What do you think? Will i gain weight during this lock down due to corona?

My fall at a hill top while cycling at malaysia


India is locked down for next 21 days as a preventive measure to safeguard millions from corona infection. A great and bold move welcomed by all. Now this is time to think and reflect and write as many posts while sitting at home and pondering over good and not so good events that have taken place in my life. You cannot do all mistakes by yourself , hence got to learn from others mistakes and become wiser.

We rode to a small hill (Genting sempah) near kuala lampur, malaysia. The climb was not so steep but gradual for a distance of 20 kilometres. The route was visual delight to eyes and also a treat for cyclists. Covered with trees on both sides,A warning had been given by the organiser about rash drivers who can surprise us anywhere, in any of the numerous bends. Since it was a chinese new year day, there were no rash drivers.

Each of us were moving at our own pace. at around 10 km, i had a flat tyre. We could not fix it because not having correct spanner for replacing tube or for removing the firmly struck iron pin on the tyre. I was so unhappy to give up. We have to fix the car rack and put my cycle in it. My friend who came that way gave his cycle for me to climb up. I was feeling extremely happy and pushed fast to join the riders who went earlier. Soon i joined them at genting highlands and lots of photos taken.

I lost my patience here. I was in a mood to cycle further. So i left the group and joined the one other rider who also wants to move further. Together we started. The road was splitting into two and joining again after a steep climb. Now there are two options, to make the steep climb or skip the climb and come thru the other way. We skipped the steep climb and took the smaller one. Since we are new to the country and relying on google maps, i had to take out my phone in one hand and watch out for directions. Suddenly there was a descent ahead and my bike was speeding. A car was being towed away slowed down in front of me. I applied brakes in one hand. Since i had my phone in the other hand , could’n’t have proper balance. I did not fall all of a sudden. The fall was gradual and sliding down the inclined plane. The rear wheel got bent. I could manage to save my phone. I had bruises in my palms and leg knees. There was a cut in right hand near the wrists due to the watch metal strap and my smart watch was completely damaged.

The one mistake on my part was to use the phone while riding. I successfully corrected my mistake and am not using my phone while riding now-a-days. Because of this one mistake what i lost is many. I could not join the next day ride and it was not my cycle i was riding but my friends. He could not join the ride next day. I damaged my precious apple watch.

The positive thing during the fall was that i did’n’t got panicked. Hence the damage was minimal. Even though i had phone in one hand i.e. right hand, i managed to bring the cycle to a halt with left hand while gradually sliding and falling downhill. I did not hit the vehicle which slowed down in front of me. We had a clear gap of 10 feet between us and that means i have successfully managed downward collision.

The year 2020 has brought me great joy and happiness. That’s why i am also writing about small incidents where i can learn, correct myself and move forward and in the process pass on the message to others.

The world is not going to end because of any virus. Stay strong. Stay at home. Stay isolated. See you in the next post. Cheers.

Failure is not a crime, lack of effort is.


Last week i attempted a 600 km brevet cycling. I quit at 515 km due to mind games. That guilty feeling is still there. I have to use remorse as fuel and move on. I was not even tired when i quit. I had sufficient time to complete. My cycle was not damaged and i was at the forefront. I am still not able to justify why i chose to quit. Me and my co-rider felt sleepy. We rested for a while and then mind games begin to play. We talked into cheating, quitting etc., but the never talked about taking rest and starting again. These words perpetuated in to our minds and we lost our mission to achieve super randoneur title.

90 kms away our friends were waiting at finish point, hoping we would complete and celebrate with us. All crashed because of our momentary and sudden decision to quit the brevet and  transport our cycles. Had we rested some more time, we would have been in our senses and completed the ride. The moment of celebration was within our reach and yet we chose to not try is more painful to think.

Had we tried and failed, we would not be feeling this bad. I have to endure all this and come up strong to complete my dream. Till then i will keep analysing and improving myself. My focus will be on completing this brevet as soon as possible. To compete again we would have to wait for three months due to the ongoing social isolation request from various governments to avoid corona virus infection and spread and as responsible citizens we have to abide by it. The long wait is going to torment us for sure. We have to move on and continue our practice which we are doing diligently.

My advice to all future randonneurs is that don’t give time for mind games to play. Keep moving forward. Plan well for your sleep. Go at your own pace. Do not match with others. They may endure sleep and you may not. Keep moving if you are a fast rider. To not feel guilty later always remember and keep saying ” Failure is not a crime but lack of effort is”

What millennials expect from you


Christmas and New year is arriving and it is that time of the year when gift sales are at peak. Here are some gift ideas what millennials expect from you

  1. Paid app for smartphone/tablet
  2. In-app purchases for Apps
  3. Smart watch/ band
  4. Body composition scales
  5. Bicycle GPS computer
  6. Heart rate monitors
  7. Gym membership
  8. Diving camera

Keep fun aside, these are not what millennials are expecting from us. What they truly desire or must desire is

  1. pollution free atmosphere
  2. Habitable earth
  3. oceans with undisturbed marine life
  4. war free world
  5. sustainable future
  6. free and open source of knowledge

Let us provide this gift for them in 2020.

Water the elixir of life


It is raining at my hometown and one more night of rain will bring water into my house. As I was wondering whether it will rain tonight, my thoughts drifted back in time. Not so long, till 90 days back, we were facing acute water shortage. We bathed, washed clothes and did many things only once in a week. Such was the crisis for water. You have to take leave to office for arranging bare minimum water required for household purposes. Everyday I would dream of rain. I could not bicycle in those three months. We barely ventured out of air conditioned rooms. Even the drain water from air conditioners were caught in vessels and used for toiletry purposes.

Food is among the top basic necessities and water tops food. And finally when it rained all were happy. We even bicycled in the rains to celebrate our joy of seeing water finally. Ponds and lakes are not yet full but the incoming quantum is good. Hoping we will not have water scarcity in 2020.

Those 90 days without water taught us a good lesson. I request all those reading this blog to use water sensibly. I don’t even consume water unnecessarily other than for drinking purposes.

It is our responsibility to provide a better future for the upcoming generations. I request all not to learn about this the hard way. Let us all conserve water and plant more trees to avert this in the future.

During my tenth grade there was a lesson titled same as title of this blog. At that age I wondered, why did such a lesson was part of syllabus. Now I truly agree “water is the elixir of life”

Is it Trekking or pilgrimage or both together?


If you have visited temples in india you can easily find most of them are located in remote hills or in a forest. Recent constructions dont qualify for this. Why was a temple built at the top of the hill where nothing is available or in remote places. you can easily argue that remote places have become remote over time But why most of them on hill tops? May be hill tops are cooler or it can be easily identified from a distance. Did it serve as a resting place during journey? or some identification point among a cluster of hills. The answer is upto ones own imagination.

People in the past be it any civilization, they traveled a lot. They built a home wherever they went. Home was not a place to live. How was a place for people who retire from traveling. even people who retired traveled once in a while and they called it pilgrimage. Over time it became a habit of going regularly and few lazy people constructed temples near to their homes and the habit continued and reached to a point where there is a temple in every street in south india.

For every imagination of human mind a god was invented and the process is accelerating at such a pace, history will surely be rewritten entirely erroneous, like i am deviating from the topic i have chosen for this blog. Now let us go for the topic.

Views on the way uphill to the temple. Do you want to miss this?

It was in 2011, i heard through one of my friends about the vaishno devi temple in jammu, India. To reach the place you have to hike a 13 km trail on foot. Only mode of transport availble then was horse or a helicopter. And i was 29 years old and had never been in a plane then. I joined my friend for the trip and plan was made.

A week before the trip we got the news that our executive director is going to visit our office. I know if i ask for leave, i will be asked to postpone. I decided to go without asking for permission. The flight was at evening 6 ‘o’ clock. so i thought i could attend my office and then slip away early in the evening without anybody noticing. But the meeting in a corporate world would extend late as usual. I did not enter the hall, and i escaped for my adeventure. I feel what i did was right even now.

We started from mangalore and reached delhi. stayed at delhi for the night and the next day reached jammu by morning flight. From there we reached katra by cab. We rested for an hour. By now i was totally relaxed.

We embarked on our journey and i was really over excited. The 13 kilometre uphill trail was awesome. People of all age group were walking. I could see from the clothing that both rich and poor, traditional and modern, men and women, boys and girls, kids, elderly people, all going in one direction. I really liked the place, climate, purpose and all stories. The feeling was unexpressable. It felt nice to be there, not a moment i thought about work place.

My friend was narrating the story of vaishno devi. The hilltop was the place where she hid inside a cave and did penance. On attaining the power, she killed the bhairava and later when asked for forgiveness, she forgave him and blessed him. The place where his head fell is also worshipped. The physically fit does not feel any difficulty on reaching the top and other take rest often. People go there round the clock and there was crowd even in mid night. Anybody must surely experince it atleast once in a lifetime to understand it.

Temple barely visible from bottom of the hill

You need not believe in the stories, but you will surely feel better because of the atmosphere. I wrote this blog in just under fifteen minutes. The memories are still afresh. A pilgrimage or hiking or trekking or both together- I am not able to tell. It is upto you to decide. If you have read “Aleph” by ‘paulo coelho’ you can empathise that.

Most of the temples are in hill top in india and it is definitely worth the trek to reach top.

An unexpected journey to patnitop


Many in India doesn’t know about this hill station called patnitop. If you had asked me six years ago where is patnitop, I would have blinked. At that time I have never been in a plane. Me and my friend planned for a trip to Jammu and Amritsar. We have planned a hectic trip and yet we have completed the itinerary in less than 3 days. We had one evening and one night left, so we enquired with the driver. The driver was an enthusiastic person, who likes travel like us, and offered to take us to this place. We gladly agreed without knowing anything about the place.
Patnitop is a lesser known hill station in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. Need I tell more about the beauty of a place which is adjoining the famous Kashmir. We were traveling in the national highway number one. The road was not that good and not bad except for he few landslides taking place and getting cleared right in front of our eyes.

landslide in NH-1

landslide in NH-1

landslide in NH-1

Our driver assured us that landslides have become part of their life and at times it takes whole day or two to pass through the highway to reach the capital of Jammu. Fortunately for us patnitop is only four hours drive from Katra. There were numerous monkeys on the way and birds singing, indicating that humans have not spoilt the area much. The weather was warm, or so we thought during the journey. We started the journey around 4:00 in the evening and reached 9:00 in the night.

Our distant relative

Local people were rearing their cattle freely. The cattle too seemed happy for plenty of green grass to graze.

cow grazing atop the hill

early sun rays

We stayed right on the hilltop area and found a suitable hotel to stay for the night. The temperature was so cold outside and as well as inside that could be felt even when an electric heater is on. We are to depart the very next day in the morning at 7:00 am. Will we be able to see anything at all? We woke up at 4:00 in the morning and got ready to go outside. It wasn’t dark and the first sun rise hit the hotel around 4:45 am. We could see pine trees all around, green grass, and some horses loitering there. These are used for transportation by local people and for tourism.

The flowers were very vibrant and colourful and i decided to capture them in my lens.

flowers of patnitop

flowers of patnitop

flowers of patnitop

flowers of patnitop

flowers of patnitop

flowers of patnitop

white leaved tree

horses in patnitop

Array of pine trees

early sun rays

We spent until 7:00 am as planned and then departed for our return journey. Even during the return we were busy taking photos at many spots. We just went, slept and came back- this is not what is to be told. All those precious moments there mattered to us. It was a terrific getaway from our daily routine corporate job. We needed those moments. I cherish those moments. I thank from the bottom of my heart to the driver who has introduced me to such a place. He was a Kashmiri guy. I have felt the hospitality of people of Kashmir. They are warm and nice people. Hope terrorism dies sooner than later. I am still dreaming of living in such moments although I have had many such.

It is those journeys that make me repeat always “sometimes journey is more beautiful than the destination”

The grass on the other side always looks greener


I am on an official visit to hyderabad, India. Sitting inside the guest house and rewinding my travel memoirs, 8 years of traveling and yet still going, juggling between my job and free time to travel, This job has taken me to places where i would have not landed, even if i had plenty of money. On the other side, This job has not allowed me to travel when i want to(see my earlier post).

180 kilometres from Hyderabad, there is a place named raichur, which was once a great place and today known only for the thermal power station.The old fort at raichur was used as jail and then converted to library and office and so on and on. The place has literally nothing to do or so i thought,like everybody thinks the place to be. This place inspired me to travel as hard i can. I started overnight journeys on saturday night, sight seeing on sunday and then return overnight  back to work on mondays.

I started pursuing my old dropped hobby-Bird watching, from this so called nothing to do place. I practised photography targeting the winged visitors to the river krishna, which was barely 1 kilometre away from my room.

From raichur i visited bijapur , goa , dandeli , mahabaleshwar , mysore , bhopal , bangalore, haridwar and rishikesh, delhi, mantralayam, dandeli, belum caves, yaganti temple, hampi, tunghabadra park, and hyderabad.

Always look around you with your inner eyes open. You can see lot more than what you perceive. And now after 6 years i finally realised, from this nothing to do place(raichur), The grass on the other side always looks greener.

If you ask me ‘Will you go back to raichur?’, my answer is ‘no’ even now because, I have realised, from here, ‘The grass on the other side will always looks greener’.