Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Hurricane - Movie and Song

Just saw this movie called "Hurricane" starring Denzel Washington as Rubin Carter.

It is about the life of the boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. Pretty good movie it turned out to be as I watched with lot of ad break in TV. Zee Studio has been airing quite a few good movies in the recent past and I guess "Cinderella Man" is the next on the offing. Read more about him at the Wiki

Bob Dylan in fact narrates the complete list of events from Hurricane in his song dedicated to Rubin Carter. Catch the song from Youtube below:

Lyrics excerpts below:

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall.
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood,
Cries out, "My God, they killed them all!"
Here comes the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

For the entire lyrics, check this link out: Here

Friday, August 29, 2008

Carbohydrate Choices

So all you health freaks who are planning to get into a diet and keep track of your calorie or carbohydrate choices then I'll just throw some primer here.

  • Typically, one gram carbohydrate is equal to 4 calories. So a teaspoon of sugar is around 4 grams and it will give you 16 calories and thereabouts.
  • If you have seen an energy or oat bar, you typically see "Carbohydrate Choices: 2" ? What does that mean.
  • One carbohydrate choice = 15 grams carbohydrate. So that would mean, if you eat that energy bar you get 30 grams of carbohydrates (2 carb choices = 30 grams = 120 calories)
  • Your Pepsi and Coke has around 7 teaspoons of sugar. So you calculate on your own.
All about Carbohydrates:
A very good powerpoint (PPT) listing all about carbohydrates and diabetic food habits is available online. Download and see it

Average requirements for a normal adult is around 2000 calories per day. Of course we are not Michael Phelps to consume 12000+ calories in a single day and workout as much as he does everyday.

Start looking at those processed food or the chips and biscuit packets that you pickup before you munch. Just look at the calorie and ingredient chart before you binge.

Eat Healthy and Stay Fit !

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Congress, BJP and Kashmir

The other day I was watching this debate in NDTV organized by Bharka Dutt. Representatives from BJP, the Congress, Jammu (Kashmiri Pandits), Kashmir and (former) Army were present.

BJP and Congress: Two faces of the same coin

The divide looks pretty clear between the Jammu and the Kashmir regions. India has done a great deal since independence and the Kashmir has been a matter of concern (as India still doesn't argue it as a disputed region). The "Azaadi" sentiment has been well contained in the recent past but after the Amarnath issue was handled in such a laid back fashion the sentiments are slowly brewing before it becomes late for India to loose the situation and some International agency (highly unlikely right now) steps in to monitor. Arundhathi Roy might have just overstepped a little bit but one thing that was very clear from the stands taken by the two main parties from India, the Congress and the BJP, J&K is still an integral part of India.

I could actually see that both the BJP and the Congress were pointing fingers to each other for political reasons and when it came to the talk of "Aazad Kashmir" and things like that, they became united and rubbished the claims. The way Sardar Patel envisioned the Union of India plan just went on perfectly. India is country of several local cultures and ethnic races. Managing such a country is no easy task and to live upon the spirit of India. But somehow our political leaders couldn't judge the Kashmir issue well and fortunately for long the North-East regions are well under control.


The fear among the Kashmiri residents is that India is trying to settle its mainstream population in Kashmir. Something akin to what China did in the Tibetan region and the native Tibetan population is in minority now. This is what the Kashmiris dread the most and that's the whole big issue with the "Amarnath Land row". Unfortunately we do not know the ground reality of Kashmir and absolutely no idea about the sentiment in there.

Special status to J&K in article 370 needs a quick attention. Below is an excerpt form the Wiki:

Implications of Article 370

This article specifies that except for Defense, Foreign Affairs and Communications,(matters specified in the instrument of accession) the Indian Parliament needed the State Government's concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state's residents lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.

Similar protections for unique status exist in tribal areas of India including those in Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland however it is only for the state of Jammu and Kashmir that the accession of the state to India is still a matter of dispute between India and Pakistan still on the agenda of the U.N.Security Council and where the Government of India vide 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord committed itself to keeping the relationship between the Union and Jammu and Kashmir State within the ambit of this article .

The 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord mentions that " The State of Jammu and Kashmir which is a constituent unit of the Union of India, shall, in its relation with the Union, continue to be governed by Article 370 of the Constitution of India " .

That is why I also say not to divide the states further. Telangana being one thing and even in that region there is a lot of sentiment. Just created by the pseudo-political forces and power hungry mights.

Minority and Majority

India needs to come out of this Minority and Majority thing. Separate laws for every other religion. Within the democratic framework we need to place a new structure. Revamp the current constitution according to Today's needs.

Only the spirit of India needs to be promoted. (Uniform civil code?)

Border Disputes

India has several territorial disputes with its neighbours and the one with China being the most important. China solved all its disputes with Russia recently and has small issues with Taiwan and Japan. It will take time for us but the talks must be progressive and I'm sure in 20 years time frame India might be at peace with most of its neighbours but for Pakistan.

Indian news channels still cannot show J&K (as regards to the map) as is on the ground with one part with India and other with Pakistan. It might amount to sedition. This is where Arundhati Roy crossed the line. The sentiment of India now !

India has a long long way to go before it wants to live in peace. Its all because of land, ain't it ! (The whole Naxal movement started because of this land)

Time for our leaders to be more stringent in their foreign policies and matters related to internal security.

Long live Union of India !

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Movies in recent past !

Movies in the recent past couple of weeks.

Must see because I did not understand the nuances of poker or card games. Either read the Wiki entry before or after for a better understanding of it.

John Malkovich and Matt Damon steal the show with some histrionics from Edward Norton. I fiddled with the subtitles file for long only figure out the gross delay in the Audio and subtitles. You''ll like the theme in here and if you understand the game "Texas hold 'em" then you bet !

Catch the trailer below:

Sing is Kinng:
I liked it. Just chill and keep the brain out and you'll enjoy it thoroughly. Akshay Kumar all the way. Simple as that !

Bachna E Haseno:
I liked, no I didn't, well I think I'm liking it, hmmm...ummmm.. actually Not bad. That's how my moods were swinging when I was watching this. OK timepass flick.. wait for the VCD/DVD instead.

This is about Sardar Patel acted by Paresh Rawal. Must see if you have the DVD/VCD. Or order it from Shemaroo's website. They have the original rights for the movie. Awesome movie and many things you did not about how the Union of India actually was formed.

CID Moosa (Malayalam):
Simply awesome. I actually understood the entire movie. Very hilarious and situational comedy genre.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Daud - दौड़ - My first marathon !

दौड़ Hyderabadi दौड़ !

(Rahul Verghese and I at the finish line in the Gachibowli Stadium. Pic Courtesy: Rahul, taken by Gopi)

Exactly around this time last year I was struggling to run a mile or two. Finally this Aug 16th 2008 I finished my first 26.2 miles, i.e. 42.25 KM in 4 hours: 54 minutes: 37 seconds. It did not happen overnight !

According Wikipedia (one of the accounts):

The traditional story relates that Pheidippides (530 BC–490 BC), an Athenian herald, was sent to Sparta to request help when the Persians landed at Marathon, Greece. He ran 240 km (150 miles) in two days. He then ran the 40 km (26 miles) from the battlefield by the town of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) with the word "Νενικήκαμεν" (Nenikékamen, 'We have won') and died on the spot.

Why running ?

जिंदगी में प्यार तो बहुत बार हो जाता हैं
पर मोहब्बत सिर्फ़ एक बार होती हैं.

So why am I running ? No girlfriend problems, no family problems, no financial problems, no workplace problems ... then why ? I started to run to loose weight simple as that !

I've evolved as a person after my B.Tech way back in 2003. I thought I was the best and the way I handled things then looked apt, at least at that time. I used to consider all those who drink and smoke are some evil people born to be wild, talking to a girl was a taboo (its an other thing that I used to get more "Rakhis" than normal people).... I was a total slack ! In the hindsight all that thought process that occupied my mind may have been a part of my evolving process but now thing are different.

I wanted to look good like others, wanted a thinner waistline and wanted to get rid off those love triangles, wanted to tuck the shirt in, not always suck the tummy in whenever in public, all that a normal man of my age in his mid twenties wishes for. So I started to run without any schedule or target. All that I wanted was to become like a model in a month or two. It doesn't work that way, does it ? Running randomly in parks, thinking every girl who sees you will fall for you and all such sham thoughts occupied. My pal O.S.Kalyan played a very important role in here as he was an example and my first inspiration to run. I saw him loose weight just by running. This is the first time I was getting into peer pressure.

Running Statistics:

Around November last year, I registered with "" wherein one can log running statistics. Sidd and Biswa were instrumental in getting me into this. So I used to run in a park near my place and log the statistics with Biswa being my healthy competition.

Auroville Half Marathon:

Sidd finished Mumbai Marathon and had set us a benchmark. It was Biswa who was planning to run the Auroville Half Marathon and I was initially a tad reluctant but then decided to join. Half Marathon was 21 odd KMs and my previous best was some 10KM. During one of my practise 10K runs my nipples started to bleed. I was damn scared and then Biswa and I figured out that it is a common problem and nothing to panic. All that one needs to wear is a proper running Tee (dry-fit) or put a plaster around the nipple. Biswa and I completed Auroville Half Marathon together in 2 hours and 45 minutes. After that there was no looking back. Also bought myself a pair of nice Nike Plus running shoes for a premium.

RFL Bangalore factor

I heard a lot about RFL and the next thing I did was to join their mailing list. There was this mail from Dr. Rajat Chauhan when he "Murdered the treadmill" by doing a marathon on it. That spruced me up. I started to interact and started to join their fortnightly runs. So around March-April I registered with RFL for their fortnightly runs and paid an annual subscription fee. This was just to force myself into a disciplined way to run. Every fortnight I used to run at different locations, meet different runners, get inspired and know all the "fundas" of running. Slowly started to train with runners from RFL (esp. Bhasker and Co.). 21KM was getting a norm and I was able to finish it in two hours and thereabouts.

Chennai ECR run

The Chennai ECR run was a flash point. I did 30K in gruesome sultry and humid weather. I took 4 hours and 10 minutes and was hugely disappointed. But I was determined to finish. I was in two minds whether to do a 30K at Hyderabad or just go for the marathon.

Hyderabad - my hometown

It is my hometown and I had to set a baseline here. So I decided to go for the 42K. Loaded myself with good home food and just rice for the last three days before the race started. That's my way of carbo-loading . I knew my weakness and it was my mind playing over the body. My legs can do it but sometimes my mind just scores over me. So all that I had to do is not to listen to my mind and just listen to my body.

Rahul Verghese

(Rahul Verghese and I with ISB in the background. Pic Courtesy: Rahul)
I met Rahul before the race day to collect my bib and to buy his Tee. Never thought that I'd be actually running with him the next day. Rahul Verghese writes for "The Hindu" for the "Magazine" section on Sundays in the health section on running. He also runs this website It was his 25th marathon and it was my first.

The Marathon - my first 26.2 miles

My dad dropped me at KBR park by 4.45Am and I met up with all my running mates. The race was organized by Hyderabad Runners and the Hyderabad 19K foundation. Just as I started about to stretch, Dinaz came onto the stage and gave us some quick stretching tips. That was thoughtful of the organizers. Dinaz has a celebrity following in Hyderbad for her exercise tips and training. There was this huge police contingent from AP Police Academy. Soon the full marathoners were summoned and a quick attendance was taken (never seen such a thing before).

Euphoric Atmosphere

The atmosphere looked perfect. There were all these police personnel in walkie-talkie wearing a red color jacket with POLICE written in bold shadowing runners on their motorbikes. One side of the road was thrown open to runners, major traffic intersections were stopped or diverted. The feeling was great.

Sriram was all set and Prashanth with India Tee were rearing to go. They finished half marathon in a pretty decent time.

Rahul and I

Soon I was slowly settling into a rhythm and speed and bumped into Rahul Verghese. I couldn't believe, we ran together for 28KMs for almost three hours. We started to talk on a variety of topics and I was acting like a tour guide to Rahul as we ran across the "Cyberabad". Cheering each and every runner and getting cheered in return. Guess we were stopping for a sip in almost every alternate water stops after the 8th KM mark. The weather was perfect and it was a great pleasure to run with him. After the 28th KM mark I dropped some paces and he tried to cheer me up and I guess by the time I finished was already in waiting for all of us to finish.

Great to run with you !

Running light:

The one that I figured that while running just do not carry anything with you. I was a very clumsy runner before. I used carry mobile, some cash, some coins, keys, some energy bars, and water in hand. This is fine if there is no support structure in place. This time I just wore a proper running sleeveless dryfit Tee, running shorts that almost looks like an underwear. That's all nothing else.

Only during the later stages I picked up mini water bottles to help myself between water stops. But if you water stop between every two KMs then I guess it should be fine.
Ghajani (hair) cut:
Also trimmed my hair like Surya and Aamir Khan for their movie Ghajani. Just that I was all sane here and the blade and tattoo marks were missing. So no need for any head bands or sweat problems.

I must have tried all of Aamir Khan's hair styles from the days of DCH (including Mangal Pandey)!

The Route:

We started from KBR park went all the way into Hi Tech city, then towards Cyber Gateway, then towards the Gachibowli road from the new detour from Vanenburg complex, then towards Botanical garden, then towards HCU, my college IIIT Hyderabad and then to Gachibowli stadium (half marathoners ended their route here). Instead of proceeding towards the Gachibowli stadium we proceeded towards ISB (Indian School of Business) and back to road leading to HCU, then around 6KMs inside HCU and then back onto main road towards Lingampalli and then a U-turn (35KM mark) to all the way to the Gachibowli campus.

But there was no Trail (I was expecting some trail).
Click here for the full marathon running route.

The finish:

It was simple. All I need to is to get to the 30KM mark and after that I had to convince myself for the rest of the 12K. Surprisingly I must have walked just around 500 meters in this entire stretch and my mind never played over me at all. Just as I entered the Gachbowli stadium, our beloved KP Suresh was waiting to cheer me in for the last 100M that was on a track and the moment I touched the finish line I was handed over a medal around my neck. Great feeling. Rajesh smiled and said "42KM ? and I said yes" (In fact during my Chennai ECR run I told Rajesh I may not go for a 42K and he asked me to do at least two or more 30K runs before a marathon). Gopi was equally elated to see me finish. Caught up with Bhasker and Ambar as well.

The Team and Support Structure

It is simple as this. This run may not have been possible had there been no team like this. These guys were "professionals" and executed tasks given to them clinically perfect. Everything was there, water, electral, banana, sugar cubes, sponge and water. Every paraphernalia was there. The good thing was the presence of dustbins and it was well stationed a good 10 meters away from the water stop for people to drop it.

Just as we were hitting the 20KM mark Gopi came from nowhere and gave this "Power Gel" and it actually worked wonders and he cruised along for his half marathon. Very effective. Presence of police in such large numbers makes you feel very safe and it looked as if you are running in some elite marathon event.

Rajesh Vetcha, Gopi, Uma and everyone, hats off to you guys. Special mention to the police team and volunteers. You were just brilliant. Event organizing is no easy task and even one small mistake can leave people in bad taste. I guess this is just a precursor for events to come. You folks have set the right benchmark and have to beat it especially if you want to scale this event to handle much large amount of runners. Typically 10,000+ !

The End

Thanks to all of them who at least managed to reach until this para (even by skimming). This is just the beginning.

पिक्चर अभी बाकी है मेरे दोस्त

Keep running !

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Off to home

I'll be away to home so there would be no updates as I'll hit the "no communication" zone. Watch this space next week for my HYD run.

Keep Running !

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Abhinav Bindra Blog

Looks very much like his blog that he had started before he left for Beijing.

Good on you mate !

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chennai Marathon

This is on Aug 31st.

Check out their website for registration and other details.

I'll be in HYD this weekend for the Hyd Hi Tech trail marathon and will be doing for my first 26.2 miles.

Silver Metro - Total Mall (Koramangla)

Silver Metro comes from the Ohris chain. Ohris are a very popular and old chain in Hyderabad. Silver Metro is in Bangalore near to Koramangla/Madiwala right inside Total Shopping Mall in third floor. Guess there is "Serengity" within the same area which is much more upscale than this.

Its among the very few places in Bangalore where the buffet is priced below 200. It is 199 + taxes on weekdays and the ambiance is fantastic. Weekends I guess it is some 30 odd bucks more. We were here last Monday to send off Damien who interned here at Labs for over two months. It is a delight for both veg and non-veg folks. The Veg and non-veg items are well separated. All the Non-veg dishes are written down in RED sketch pen and veg items in BLUE (not green? why?). There are too many varieties, I mean way too many !

(Pic:Assorted starters above)

(Pic: Some of the main course in veg)
As usual it starts with a soup, starters like Manchurian balls, dahi papdi chaat, some pasta salads, smoked eggplant salad ("baingan bartha") and many. Main course has noodles, pulav, panner, mixed veg, koftas, breads, rotis, pastas.... the list too big and I haven't added the non-veg items yet. Way too many and it will be hard for others to complain. A similar one is there in Ohris Basheerbagh in Hyderabad.

The set is made up of a typical metro rail and the seating is very comfortable. On a given weekend it might get very crowded, so suggest to make a booking (080 40003333) or reach there by 12.30ish for lunch. If you haven't been here, your kids would love it. If you haven't been on a Metro train either in Delhi or Kolkatta then this is a pretty decent alternative (pun?). You hearing to sounds of a moving train just to add up to the real feel (thankfully they don't move the train). Quite a few plasma TVs around to keep you hooked onto TV.

Deserts have couple of ice creams, kheer (Payasam), cakes, baby rasogullas. Guess these might change depending on the day of the week, but after what I heard from others, they are pretty much the same menu everyday. But if you are in a binge mode or getting to be treated by your friends then this is the place. People living in and around Koramangla, BTM or Madiwala will find this place very accessible. Parking is never an issue here.

You can order other beverages and supposedly they have a pitcher for fresh lime soda (not sure). I'm not sure if they have regular food other than buffet but you can ask for regular menu in case you are interested. Total mall which houses Silver Metro is also a pretty decent place to visit in case you wanted to walk leisurely after you meal. Overall a nice place to be and probably worth its money !

Bon Appetite !

Friday, August 8, 2008

Baap of Sam Anderson

Thanks to Kunal !!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Running shoes - Dilbert way

One of the postings in Chennai Runners mailing list caught my attention !

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mahasangram - 100M - महासंग्राम

The title is a clear lift from what the Hindi news channels in India title their sleazy shows. But here its going to be a contest between three of us, Biswa, Ritesh and myself.

All three of us will battle it out this Sunday, Aug 10th at the grounds of NGV for a 100M sprint. The loser will host a breakfast at SKK and the winner gets to laugh. More than the event it was nice to see we roomies finally doing something out of the blue !

"युद्ध के लिये तैयार " ?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mother... Mother ...

If you've heard Norman Bates calling "Mother..Mother" in the movie Psycho, then that quaint voice had more to it. An interesting case that our Indian media is going berserk these days is about a couple who approached the court to seek permission to abort their baby on medical grounds. I'm no doctor or expert but writing this purely on my own merit and judgment.

I frankly cannot empathize how it feels to be a mother but can surely understand the agony of parents whose kids are born challenged. We do not have any right to take away one's or others life. "Abortion" may be a taboo from some religious angles and we are not here to discuss that. But does a mother have right to kill a fetus ? The court interestingly asked many questions and the one important one is "when do we say that there is 'life' ?". Technically the courts may be right but all the judgments cannot be given on their technical merit. In fact lots of gynecologists have been facing this problem for their ethical intent on such matters.

Another simple question is, how would you treat if it were an HIV couple, and it was diagnosed that the to-be-born kid would also be infected, would you want to give birth to such a child and the kid go through all the social stigma and the physical challenge ? I guess even this case is very similar. Again I'm not a qualified medical practitioner or do not have any expertise.

In my opinion, I strongly feel the decision must be left to the parents. In today's world raising a challenged kid is also a very big traumatic and financial burden. Experiencing "motherhood" may be a case, but at the end it is the "mother" who has to decide (make no mistake, when I mean "mother" I also presume it is consented with her husband, after all we cannot rule out what he wishes). No thoughtful parent would abandon their kids !

The media is anyway looking to make a story here and will wait until the kid is born and if it turns out that the kid is normal and healthy, then they will have another story to run for several weeks and that may just be a wrong precedent !

This now takes me to another very important topic, "Euthanasia" also popularly known as "Mercy Killing" on medical grounds. Everyone of has right to live !

Monday, August 4, 2008

Today and (last) Weekend Update

(Pic Courtesy from "The Hindu". I was just moved when I saw this)

I was mostly indoors the last weekend. Tried watch this movie "21 grams" but just left it within 20 minutes of start. Did an easy 10K on Saturday and went to the Wipro park in 1st block after a very long time for a cool down walk. Same old familiar faces and was very nostalgic. No energy drink this time so opted for coconut water. Biswa prepared Khicadi for us and followed up with Lasagna for dinner at Rendezvous.

Sunday morning started off for another easy 10K and then decided to run on my old route inside EGL. On my way back noticed some folks preparing for the RFL Urban stampeded with baton in their hand for the relay run. No I'm not taking part in this event and will be tapering for the Hyderabad Hi Tech Trail Marathon. So its going to be easy 5K from this week on and I'm sure I'll get back to weekday runs soon. Cook was in for lunch and dinner was at "Chung Wah" as Ritesh treated us over for his birthday.

Damien will be winding up his internship tomorrow and Labs will be hosting a farewell lunch today at Silver Metro in Total Mall. Just 12 more days left for the HYD marathon and I'm peeking at the right moment. Lot of sundry work this week !

Keep Running !

Friday, August 1, 2008

Trident Haveli - Kormangla

If you are looking for a Rajasthani and Gujarati delicacy combined in one single buffet then Trident Haveli in Koramangla is the place to be. It is a very very small place that can host 12-15 people. It is located within the Nandana Grand hotel in Koramangla 5th block (right opposite "Filling Station"). It is on the first sloor and the ambiance looks little cramped though well decorated. They are part of the "Ghar Ka Khana" group, Trident Hospitality.

To know more about them, check out their homepage and you can also check their daily menu. It is now priced at 100 plus taxes (surprisingly the tax here is @ 4%). The taste is very simple and nothing special as such. Quite a good number of variety and the rotis/pooris come in a tad slow. Guess the food is made elsewhere and is brought in here and the chapatis/rotis are heated before they are served.

There is unlimited "chaas" (buttermilk), kachori, some daily snack as well. Two types of dal and the Gujarati dal is mostly sweet in taste. Initially the prices were 80 + taxes but now it is 100 and may not be worth its price now. Last time when we checked in it was wonderful and they had ran out of "Chole". But this time the service was pathetic and the taste was just about okay. Things like soups were served almost cold, the finger bowl was not hot either. The "Thepla" (roti) was just heated and served to us for obvious reasons (as they don't cook anything it here).

Probably that is one of the other reasons I may not be giving a favourable review as the day when we went in here it was bad. So if you don't plan get biased then, yes you try this out for sure. The food taste is authentic as many of my friends who visited this place have said. So in Koramangla if you are looking for a Gujarati food with mix of Rajasthani then this a decent try.

Like the BJN group of hotels who run plush restaurants here in Bangalore, "Ghar Ka Kahana" chain is very healthy and home oriented food is available without much masala and oil. To know more about this group and their hotels, click here.

Until then, bon appetite !

(Pic courtesy: Bharath's new Nokia mobile phone camera)