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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Early bird...

(Photo courtesy: Google search)

Till about a year back I used to be like a night owl, sleeping late and waking up late. It's different when you are studying in a B-school; there you dont have a choice but to make your days as long as possible. But when you get to doing the normal things in life and get set into a routine of going to work every morning, waking up early becomes inevitable.. Even then I used to wake up just an hour before leaving for office, leaving me with enough time to get ready and scoot!

My schedule completely changed once I started doing yoga in the mornings. Waking up at 6AM sharp seemed quite difficult initially, especially during monsoon & winters when you feeling like snuggling up! But now, after a year of waking up at 6 everyday, I realize that my biological clock is so well tuned that I wake up without an alarm at 6am sharp including weekends and it seems so easy and natural and feels great... Sometimes seems like a miracle, how our bodies are made up to function this way!

Why am I writing all this? Well, few people at work often ask me why I am an early riser and what I get out of it...I thought this would make a good post!

We've all heard of this famous quote since childhood days -
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” - Ben Franklin
I don't know about the latter two but makes u healthy for sure!

I've derived a lot of benefits switching from being a night owl to an early riser-
  • Amazing start to the day by doing yoga/exercise. Maximum amount of calorie burning happens when you exercise the first thing in the morning and also improves your metabolism. So obviously your health improves!
  • Grow yourself - Quiet time for yourself to meditate, contemplate and introspect!
  • Watching the sunrise feels good (Well you cant literally get to watch amidst these concrete buildings in bangalore, but u get my point? :) )
  • Fresh air - which otherwise is impossible to get in a crowded city!
  • Productivity increases - I sometimes keep my most important work for mornings coz the mind is fresh, concentration levels are high without many distractions
  • Beat traffic - starting early means less traffic and commute time, so in turn lesser stress
  • Enough time to have a heavy n healthy breakfast which is the most important meal of the day
Read this article - Tapping the power of your morning routine by Jim Citrin. He says "The quiet of the morning is often the time when your mind is at its clearest and most well-suited to solving important problems". 80% of the executives he questioned, wake up 5.30am or earlier.

So you get to grow yourself professionally, emotionally, spritually, mentally and physically!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

All about books..

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." - Mark Twain

I just noticed that since I started my new book blog, I have stopped writing about books in this space completely. The last time I made a post on books here was in April and since then my reading has picked up pace like crazy! Considering the fact that my job is so hectic these days and consumes most of my time during the day as well as the night, I am glad that my reading has increased beyond my expectations. My colleagues ask me how I manage to read so many books when all of us are so engulfed with proposals/deadlines/calls well, even I am suprised that I am able to squeeze in so much reading off late. Maybe becoz I have made it a habit to shut down my laptop and read for at least 1 hour before I sleep everyday and substitute the time spent watching the idiot box and the stupid reality shows with a good book! It has become a ritual now, which cant be broken :)

And of course, just the thought that a good book is waiting to be read at the end of a long day makes the day happier...

Just a quick peek into the books I read in May & June. The list looks quite long for a 2 month period, doesnt it? ;-)

Books read
1. Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
2. Buddha Mind, Buddha Body - Thich Nhat Hanh
3. Keep off the grass - Karan Bajaj
4. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish - Rashmi Bansal
5. Dont lose your mind, lose your weight - Rujuta Diwekar
6. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
7. Energy of Prayer - Thich Nhat Hanh (Not reviewed)
(Click on the titles to read the reviews)

Currently Reading
Princess - Jean Sasson

On the Shelf
1. Kafka on the shore - Haruki Murakami
2. The Guns of Navar One - Alistair Maclean

Monday, July 6, 2009

Federer wins wimbledon... Roddick wins hearts

Yesterday's wimbledon finals was way more sensational than last year's. Roger Federer was playing for his 15th grand slam and Andy Roddick for his first wimbledon title. The synopsis - "Roger beat Andy in 5 gruelling sets. For almost 30 games, they went back n forth holding their serves until Roger broke Andy's serve to end the longest fifth set and create history".

But the 4hr15mins game tells a slightly different tale! Before and after the match started, most of the world including me would have wanted Federer to win. Winning a 15th grand slam & making that mark in history is something I felt he deserved.

But Roddick shocked the millions of Federer fans by winning the first set and left us groaning! Then on continued his impressive play till the last game, with an amazing level of energy, grit and determination. Even Federer couldn't manage to break his serve...not once in the entire 4hrs!! Roddick played exceptionally well, it was not only his serve that was strong but once the ball was in he was so aggressive and controlled the points at the baseline, running to the net and thru the entire court!!

In the 5th set, though my heart was wishing Federer to win, I did secretly pray for a Roddick win sometimes. Not because I started disliking Federer but Andy Roddick was undoubtedly playing better tennis and he truly deserved to win yesterday's match. With too many unforced errors and inability to convert multiple break points, Federer definitely did not play his best game...not expected out of someone who has won 14 grand slams before. But he did show his class by shooting out aces like fireworks and showed his experience and character by maintaining a calm & composed outlook as Roddick came forward and attacked him, though he was not having his best day.

"I just want to say congratulations to Roger", Roddick said after the match. "He's a true champion and he deserves everything he gets....It was a pleasure playing him today". The sight of watching Roddick see Federer lift that cup, with moist eyes wud have brought tears to most of the viewers. But sports is cruel, there can only be one winner. The sad part is, Andy won 39 games and Roger 38 and yet ended as a runner-up! is life..its unfair...

I feel Roddick played like a true champion and he deserved the tile as much as Federer, if not more. To me, they both were winners, even though Roddick lost the match..

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Music or Reality?

I strongly feel that MTV should change its name to RTV! (Reality TV). A channel that was started more than a decade back, whose sole purpose was to play quality music is now showing everything other than music....It's almost as if they feel there is a dearth of good music in this world and they are doing everything to fill up the 24hours with these chain of reality shows...

It started off with Roadies and now there is Splitsvilla, Teen Diva, Fast & the Gorgeous, Airtel MTV Connected (some new show about twins).. I might have missed out quite a few here!! More than being entertaining, they are all just bitchy, full of drama and fake. But I can understand why people end up watching these... Having watched 2-3 episodes, I myself have got hooked onto Roadies/Splitsvilla just to see how stupid people can behave...Sometimes there is nothing good to watch on TV over the weekends and you just end up seeing this crap!! Whatever the reason, MTV's TRP seems to be soaring high...

But I sometimes wonder, even if MTV stops making these reality shows and gets back to playing music like good 'ol days, will people still watch it?? I guess 10-15yrs ago people used to wait in front of this channel to see their favorite song/video (when tapes and CDs were expensive to buy)... but with technology at our fingertips, we probably can get any music online and any video on youtube. So MTV probably did have to rethink its strategy and do something else other than playing just music! It's fairly obvious that it can no longer be a primary source of music like it had been for years. But I dont think they can afford to change the channel name either... "MTV" as a brand has built a great value over decades and changing it would only mean losing this entire brand value...

So I guess all they can do is to try and increase their viewer base and TRP with these stupid-fake-quasi-reality shows...