May 5, 2008

And we say food prices are going up

This picture actually reminds me of Hammy in Over the Hedge, when he actually shows all the other characters the amount of food the human beings conserve. There is so much food around the human beings but it is still never enough for them. If they have had enough food they try to get rid of it (exercise, etc)

I wish we all could be a little more responsible when it comes to food wastage. Off late this issue hurts me a lot especially with the food crisis. In addition, we have innumerable human beings, across the world, who sleep without a nutritious meal

There are so many ways in which we can counter the wastage of food

1. Parties : We often have parties at our house and generally we tend to overestimate the food consumption and end up cooking a huge quantity of food. The other reason we tend to overestimate is because we want everyone to have enough of everything, they should over fill their stomachs and go home so that it leaves a good impression on the party host and we gather our cookie points. A caterer once mentioned to me that a normal human being doesn't eat more than 200 gms of food. If we probably stick to that figure its rare that we would over cook anything. Even if we have left overs from the party we should make sure that its not being wasted. Pack the food and give it to the guests, if you think that you cannot finish it later in a considerable amount of time. Yes very important that you estimate it correctly. Normally you wont eat the left overs more than twice a week and then if it still remains you are bound to throw it away.

2. Serve/ Take Less When you take the food in your plate make sure that you take the right quantity and finish it. It is really important for parents to inculcate this habit in children. Indian parents normally have the habit of finishing up the food left by their children. Sometimes we as adults too commit this mistake. When we are hungry we tend to take a good quantity of food in our plates, (the psychological effect) and end up putting half of it in the garbage. If we are serving the food, make sure we serve a little less quantity and come back later, if they still want some more. Don't try to impress them by serving more food in the plates, it aint worth it.

3. Community : Often in gurdwaras the langar gets overestimated too. The responsible gurdwara members should put up a guestimate of the langar quantity on the gurdwara websites. Also make sure that if there is langar left over, pack it up and give it to the sangat.
I remember a lot of historical gurdwaras in India wouldn't allow the sangat to leave if they didn't finish eating the complete langar. You probably will eat a little extra the first time but later on the discipline of finishing the food gets installed in you and you become more responsible as a result of it

4. India Marriages Woohooo...what do i say here ? Being a part of the north indian community i have witnessed the extravagant marriages and the money going in drain on all sorts of unnecessary things like tons and tons of variety food for dinner/lunch. Woof, cant even imagine how much of the food made during marriages/reception parties get consumed.

5. Shopping Don't go out hungry to do your groceries, you end up buying a lot of extra things. Also keep a very watchful eye on the expiry dates, make sure that you have a plan to finish them off before they get expired, especially fruits and vegetables. Go through all groceries when you do your check out, that is your last chance to make sure that haven't over-shopped.

These are just a few little things by which we could avoid the food wastage and contribute in some way for the hungry and the homeless. I am pretty sure you guys have many more such useful tips to reduce food wastage

Mar 7, 2008

First Marathon of my life

The sports genes don't run in my family. I have never excelled in sports (whatever form). If look myself in the mirror i find myself a jack of all trades and masters of none.

But finally I have something to talk about. With god's grace I ran my first marathon of 13 miles on 2nd March 2008. I took 3 hours and 12 minutes to complete it but this is all what i wanted. Alpharetta Marathon is conducted once a year and has 2 flavors

1. Half Marathon - 13 miles
2. Full Marathon - 26 miles

It just a week before when Trilok veer jee put forth the idea of participating in the marathon. My first reaction looking at 13 miles (forget 26 miles) was "hell no" but then he, with his calm and composed nature motivated me and I agreed, thinking If i can't complete i will run as much as I can.

1st day - I started practicing in the apartment gym. The first day i was barely able to reach 3 miles.
2nd day - I took some rest
3rd day - I comfortable ran 2.0 miles at the speed of 4.7 miles per hour. After little breaks i made it till 4.0 miles
4th day - I was little more comfortable now and wasn't tired or pain of any sort. I could complete 5.0 miles with the first non-stop stretch of around 2.5 miles
5th day - I managed 6.0 miles
6th day - took some rest
7th day - took some rest again , wanted to practice but because of some other commitments I couldn't make it

After these many days of practice I knew one thing that completing the race is just a mental game. I can even complete the race by walking 13 miles. I had noticed during practice that even brisk walking kind of gives you a 4 mile per hour speed.

On the race day, all I did was Ardaas and went to the race along with Trilok veer jee. Vijaya cautioned me that don't stress yourself else you will face adverse effects. We arrived just in time and therefore couldn't do a lot of stretching. After the US national anthem the race started and i started remembering my childhood days of sports events. Usually whenever such events happened during my school days i use to feel disappointed since everyone would go past beyond me but this time it was different. I started at my medium pace and allowed everyone to go ahead without disturbing my mind, remembering the Tortoise and the Hare fable. The initial 2 miles were very tough (lack of stretching) but then after taking some water i felt a bit comfortable and got into a good pace. It went fine till 6 miles smooth and steady. the ahead thing will be though i knew that and whatever distance i cover, its going to be a bonus.
I was at the same pace with a fellow runner, Chanda Provost. She accompanied with me till the last and probably only because of her i could finish the race.

Last 3 miles were brutal. I was taking my liquids on regular intervals and didn't feel famished but my knees (specially my right knee) was hurting the most. Although i was just jogging (people who were walking, went beyond me :-)), I felt as if i have tied a 10 kg weight around them. I just hoping that i don't spoil my knee ligaments or any tendons. There was one thing i said to myself "2 steps before the victory and you loose the cup". Your cup is participation and completion :-) and you don't want to loose the cup, coming this far.

It was such an awesome feeling going past beyond the finish line and wearing that medal. Trilok veer jee were waiting for me all smiling and happy. He completed the half marathon in 2:20 minutes.
I attribute my success to lord almighty who helped me through his creations, fellow human beings helped me finish the race. Its his win and not mine.

kbIr myrw muJ mih ikCu nhI jo ikCu hY so qyrw ]
kabeer maeraa mujh mehi kishh nehee jo kishh hai so thaeraa ||
Kabeer, nothing is mine within myself. Whatever there is, is Yours, O Lord.

qyrw quJ kau saupqy ikAw lwgY myrw ]203]
thaeraa thujh ko soupathae kiaa laagai maeraa ||203||
If I surrender to You what is already Yours, what does it cost me? ||203||

Half Marathon Finisher - 365.19

Jan 16, 2008

Childhood:The Care-Free Season

The Childhood Season

I want to jump I want to fly
High, up in the sky
No tension No worries
No rush No hurries
who is worried of stocks or pound
who cares earth is square or round
Rain or Shine we will play
eat chocolates, forget tooth decay
studies, school, homework ?
these things, will make you jerk
Spiderman is my latest hero
Don't bother me he will make you zero
pizza, ice-cream, coke please
everything digested with utmost ease
All are friends, so close and dear
I have no foes, I don't fear
If you choose, the season will forever stay
all your life it won't betray

Jan 9, 2008

Here come's another

In the gushing flow of social networking websites, here comes another one. started by a bunch of "geeks". Similar to the boom of e-commerce sites in around 1999, this seems to me mini boom of social networking websites.

A few things about pownce

1. They have a desktop version developed in Adobe AIR. Coming to think of it do I really need a desktop version of a social networking website? Anyways the desktop version did not work for me but it at least gives Adobe another proof of concept for their AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) framework.
2. It charges you 20$ for a pro account and with a pro account you can design your own custom theme, ad-free, send more files (i can use my gmail account to do that) Huhh ??
3. You can create links of other profiles like orkut, facebook, myspace, 43things, etc and they are visible on your pownce profile.
4. You can create events and inform your friends about it. They appear as a separate note(s) on your profile (your profile is combination of profile and your scrabook (orkut) / wall (facebook) )so when someone hits your profile he can notice all the notes. Between these notes there will be advertisements which will help pownce to run till the mini-boom lasts :-). I think the interesting thing here would be if some share of the ad revenue is shared with the person who helps generate the revenue with his/her notes.
6. They say that everything is developed to solve a problem, so what problem is Pownce trying to solve? According to pownce folks.

Pownce is brought to you by a bunch of geeks who were frustrated trying to send stuff from one cube to another.

This definitely sounds to me the most unresolved problem of IT and yes now the desktop version of the Pownce is some what justified so that i can drag and drop files, etc

5. Right now it is available only through invites. So if you need one, let me know. I have 6 invites pending :-) (reminds me of the early gmail days when we went around asking everyone for gmail invitation)

Good luck Pownce !