“Dude, you on a diet or something?”

…my roomie asked eyeing me, as I skipped the section with the full-cream yogurt and reached out to the one marked “0.1% fat”.

I scowled back at him. I don’t know why but most people I know have only two kinds of food habits.
a) eat like there’s no tomorrow (“dude, this is the age to eat”)
b) go on a diet and cut out on pretty much all the good stuff. (“I’m dieting”)

My biggest problem is convincing people that you don’t have to be ‘on a diet’ to make sensible choices when it comes to food.
Sensible choices, for me includes choosing whole wheat over white bread, light cheese, trimming the fat on the chicken, using the oven instead of the deep fryer and yes, picking 0.1% fat over full-cream yougurt.
And no I am not on a diet.

In fact I’m nowhere close to a diet – I live on chicken 2 to 3 days a week, ice-creams (inspite of the snow outside!), munch on Pringles and have a Twix every once in a while.

Which is exactly why I’d want to eat more sensibly.
Because the kind of activities I do on a day-to-day basis hardly justifies my food-ability. And I’m guessing most people reading this aren’t exactly Rambo look-alikes either so it’s not just me who has to worry about going through the day on a chair getting up only in case of necessities.

In a way I’m angry at people who don’t care about their food habits unless something happens. For these people a ‘food habit’ pretty much means whatever they can find and are allowed to eat where they live. I know a lot of my friends who have deep-fried delicacies almost everyday because “this is what you get here dude”.

No its, not! And and no points for guessing the side effects. True, when you’re living alone, (and on a tight budget) healthy eating’s not always an option but hey, we can try, right?

Remember; a ‘diet’ is what you routinely eat, not what you go on for a month – and having the right attitude makes a good diet; One of these days I really got to talk to these guys, after all…

“Hey, I’m still talking to you”
I blinked as I snapped back to reality. I was still reaching out for that yogurt and there were other people starting to stare at us.

I just looked back at him and smiled. There isn’t much you can say sometimes.

NFS: Undercover

(I know a lot of people reading this probably aren’t gaming fans, but NFS is one of my weak spots, and when EA Games came out with the latest installation of the series last Thursday, I knew I had to do a post on it)

Need for Speed: Undercover hit the streets last week on the 18th of November and it got me excited.

Historically, the Need for Speed series has always been the hallmark of EA Games ever since the first installation came out way back in 1995…and one of my favorite games of all times.
Back in my school days, I remember trying to tweak my ancient Pentium II machine to get it to run NFS: High Stakes on it.
While I was at college, we’d huddle around at best buddies’ places for one-on-one, all night long tournaments of NFS: Hot Pursuit2 and sneak into computer labs for illegal versions of NFS:SE.
When I finally (saved enough and) got my own laptop a couple of years ago, one of the first things I did was get Underground2.

But after all this, I’m upset that EA disappoints us this time with a game that’s both boring and technically flawed. I haven’t tried it out myself, but every single review I’ve read unanimously agrees that Undercover has serious flaws that let the frame rates get out of whack and cause graphics to jump at you.
Also, the AI is supposed to be so dumb you can win each game the first time round. And after ultra-realistic modeling and physics in Carbon and Pro-street, this game apparently has laughably poor detail and animation.
The game also contains a video-based storyline that features a half-naked woman smoking a cigarette and telling you what to do…which is simply not my idea of a good game play.
All in all, in one sentence the reviews simply read: “Whatever you do, please don’t buy this game”

Hope the guys at EA are listening – and come up with a better and more stable Undercover2 fast. Because at the it’s-not-worth-it-now price of over €60, this is one game I’m not gonna buy in a hurry.

Troubles on a Thursday

Today was one of those days when everything seems to go wrong:

For starters, those new shoes I bought the other day – I just realized they’re one size too small…while I was half way to work. That means I had to sit through the entire day with sore toes before walking (ouch!) home. And having skipped the weather forecast, I didn’t take my umbrella so I had to walk (ouch!) in the rain. Apparently new shoes don’t like rain either.

At work, I nearly lost my head over a dumb argument with a stupid manager who had no idea what I was talking about. Took me over 2hours and ton of Email to get him to see the light.

And at the end of the day, I forgot to leave my backpack in my locker at work, so I had to come straight home carrying a 5pound laptop instead of heading over to the zeil for dinner like I had originally planned to.

Oh and there’s at least another 4 items in my inbox that demand my “immediate action” (whatever the hell that means) as soon as I get in tomorrow morning.

It is exactly at times like these when I think about all those people out there who don’t have a place to come home to; shoes to wear; managers to cuss or a job to crib about.

…and realize life, just can’t get any better than this!

Wedded flabs

Actually I don’t think I’m the first person to write on this; quite a while back ela wrote this post on how people tend to put on the pounds after they get married, but I only got to find out how true this is when I was in Chennai a couple of weeks ago for my best friend’s wedding.

Almost every one of my friends who got married have put on like a ton or something…and the worst part was that no one had the slightest remorse about looking like a hot air balloon!

A friend of mine (who, incidentally, is also a dad now congratulations!) shrugged it off with a, “Dude, I’m married, this stuff is normal after you get married…you’ll see”.

No I do
not see.
And I honestly don’t think there is anything ‘normal’ about inflating yourself just because you’re walking the path of bliss, and don’t have to worry about looks anymore.

Although I guess, the “look-good-feel-good” theory probably doesn’t apply here. Most newly-weds are happy with the…you know, and also the good food that comes along; with loving care too, I might add.
But I’m thinking it’s not just the food that’s causing all this. Because in spite of their high-fat, high-meat-content food, most Europeans seem to live healthier lifestyles because they do something about it. I mean, my boss is over 40 and she goes rock climbing. Most of our guys on the other hand, prefer to come home to coffee and hot samosas instead.

All fun things said and done, here’s a serious fact:
Asians (and Africans too, but I’m guessing not too many people from the Dark Continent are reading this) are more susceptible to diabetes than say, the white folks…because for something to do with genetics and stuff.
And I’m not messing you; this is a medical fact for real.

Also, I don’t know about the numbers but more and more people are starting to suffer from heart disease and diabetes than just one generation ago; and this has nothing to do with genetics. Its all to do with what we eat; how much we eat; and what we do about it.

Married or not. :)

Pulling the plug...

...on Chennai's most popular Mall, Spencer Plaza!

Even though the city is now coming up with more hip places to 'hang out', my personal favorite will always be Spencer Plaza; for the shear variety you find...from the ultra high-end speciality audio studios and fashion outlets to the tiny side stores in the aisles where you pick tees for a hundred rupees (not to mention Samosas and chai) and everything in between!

That's why I make it a point to go there every time I'm in Chennai. Other places like CitiCenter and all look really aloof with their extravagant architecture and terribly expensive fashion outlets with prices that rival their European counterparts...and I really wonder who actually shops there.

Which is why I was more than a little annoyed to find out that the government is stupidly cutting power supply to the mall everyday between 6 and 9pm everyday in order to meet demands. EVERYDAY!

Actually something like this has been apparently going on for quite a while now; ever since this summer when record power shortages forced offices to send employees home early, industries to cut back on production and households to forgo electricity for upto 8hrs a day. Of course, such "load shedding" is common in India during the peak summer months, but is usually limited to an hour's supply of domestic power with little or no impact on commercial establishments.

But when you have this trend falling through all the way into winter and having to force major retail chains to close their outlets at malls during the busiest hours on a weekend...you know there is something seriously wrong with the city.

I mean, stopping commercial establishments from doing business at the best time of the day is honestly the stupidest thing I can think of...with or without any power shortage. 
A friend of mine recently wrote this post on India being a developing country; but the way things are now, whatever is the reverse of development is what is going on right now.

I sincerely hope the guys sitting up there in Parliament haven't traded their brains for baloney sandwiches yet; but in case they have, I have news for them:
The rest of us down here are ashamed of you!

Government under-sight may have caused it, but cutting down on progress is not a solution or even a workaround. 
It is plain stupidity.

A wishlist

Here’s a quick question:
What do you get your best friend on his wedding day when you know he already owns a lot of the stuff you can think of and is not interested in most of everything else?

Turns out it’s a lot more difficult to get people gifts…especially for good friends when you want to get them something special and not the same as that dumb watch you got for Bob from finance.
After we realized that three days of international e-brainstorming (on IM from across 3 countries) didn’t help, we had to settle for a gift voucher from a retail outlet.

That’s when I decided to put together this list to make things easier for people (if any) who are willing to get something for me anytime soon. So without further ado, here’s my wishlist:

  1. A PSP:
    Yup, I’ve been eyeing one for nearly a year now, and almost bought one on my last trip to Dubai. But somehow this has been evading me since, and I don’t see shore anytime soon.

  2. A cat:
    Or maybe a kitten. With a bell and a little blue ribbon on top. Most people don’t know this, but I absolutely love cats. Wonder if there’s a gift-a-cat store nearby?

  3. LEGO Mindstorms:
    Yes, the big daddy of the LEGO – complete with sensors and programmable controllers. I’m a gadget freak and can spend years with this thing…and I’ll be honest here: I can’t afford it, so I hope someone else can.

  4. The New Macbook:
    (This may be an overkill, but I sure hope it works :D)
    I wrote that I’m in love with it here, and gosh does love hurt. My poor wallet too.

  5. Tissot Touch.
    I really don’t mean to advertise, but it is an awesome watch. A study showed that most men love watches that do more than tell time; and with something that gives you a barometer, altimeter, chonograph and thermometer at a touch, I’m no exception.

  6. A pair of Nike AirMax.
    At over $200, this is one shoe I’m not planning on buying anytime soon. But doesn’t mean anyone else shouldn’t either so just for the record, I wear a size 8.Now that’s really money under your feet.

  7. A Large FatBoy:
    Not only are bean bags a barrel of fun, but they also seem to be the best things to curl on with a book and a steaming cup. Even without a book or coffee, I’d love to snuggle up against one. Too bad they’re too bulky to transport.

  8. Harman/Kardon iPod dock:
    Yeah I know its probably gonna look terrible against my tiny 8GB Nano, but doesn’t cost to dream does it?

So there you have it, a list of stuff which I am sure
a) I’m not gonna buy and
b) no one else is gonna get me either
So in all respects, this is the world’s most-impractical-list-of-things-to-buy.

But I guess once in a while we are all entitled to a healthy dose of madness, aren’t we?