Category Archives: Lifestyle

Here’s why buying Gold cannot be “golden experience” for everyone

Most of the Gold Jewelry that is sold in India are still soldered using Cadmium (the “KDM” inscription on the ornament indicates this clearly).
Using cadmium during the soldering process adversely affects the health of the artisans who solder the gold;sometimes causing cancer.Since,the soldering process does not change the composition of the end product;there is no danger to people who wear the gold ornaments.

Jewelers throughout the world have started using Indium as an alternative to Cadmium.

Using Indium to solder gold is far more expensive but when considering the moral implications,it is definitely the ethical alternative.A huge majority of the Indian public is not aware of the ill-effects of Cadmium.

Currently Tanishq,is the only Indian jeweler to use Indium. When I was shopping at Tanishq recently, I asked the salesperson why they did not advertise this fact,he just smiled and replied that the other jewelers would be at a disadvantage (Obviously!!)

So if you are in India and you are about to buy gold jewelry marked with “KDM” spare a thought to the artisans–every minute of your happiness might potentially move them closer to death.

Further Reading :


Creating vs Consuming

A few months ago ,I carefully divided my activities into two categories and found that I generally derive a lot of satisfaction out of “creation activities “. Let me explain in detail :–

Whenever I just read,watch movies,eat food or indulge in shopping,I am in “consumption mode”.

Writing,working out ,doing a project and  helping someone else become better by lending expertise –I call these “creation activities “—provides a kind of satisfaction that is both addictive and fulfilling.

Reading is a tricky activity as reading and acquiring a lot of knowledge will not provide much intellectual stimulation if there is no output i.e  knowledge sharing  through writing,blogging,vlogging or adding business value to your project/business.

Working out helps since your healthy disposition can motivate others to improve their lifestyle.

Every person is wired differently and blessed with a different set of gifts and capabilities but at the end of the day if we are “consuming” more than we create,we are setting up a massive deficit in our lives.

Image Credit :

Do Horoscopes give you a Plan B?

Recently I came across  a software called Jagannatha Hora through one of my office colleagues. I was surprised to learn that this software was used as a astrology tool. Look at the screenshot below


The purpose of this post is not to give an illustration of the software. I am merely examining the effectiveness of astrology while formulating your future plans.

I am in India and most of the astrologers I have come across use methods that vary from weirdly funny and downright stupid. I was not prepared for a software that clearly seemed to work on preset/predefined logic. After a careful demo and by checking the horoscopes of a few people including some  key historical figures,I came to the following conclusions:

Horoscopes don’t give a clearcut definition of what “good times” or “bad times” are :

The charts that indicate “Rahu  kala ” or turbulent period does not mean that you will encounter  a crippling experience. Depending on the numbers shown in a square –above 24 means increasingly difficult and less than 24 means safe– you can expect “trying times”. What this does not take into account is how resilient you may be. For example, some people thrive under difficult conditions and taking risks is a way of life for them.Imagine going up to Evel Knievel and saying that he had to postpone his stunt as it may turn out to be “dangerous”.

Horoscopes don’t indicate your happiness quotient:

At the end of the day,the real reason people turn to astrology is to check if they are  going to be happy. Horoscopes cannot define your attitude. There are thousands of people who are happy without even having the basic of amenities.

Horoscopes force you into an complacent mindset :

Admit it. The real reason you checked your horoscope was to get some external assurance/inputs. Let’s say you checked your horoscope and discover that you are in a purple patch;would you be willing to go the extra mile to get what you want.Even if you finish second best you would convince yourself that the outcome is a minor spot in an otherwise golden period and just wait for something good to happen.”Carpe Diem”goes out the window!!

Conclusion : Horoscopes are not evil and do have scientific background as they are related to the movement of the planets in relation to our beings. (Heard of Newton’s Third Law??).However,if you are not strong-willed and are easily influenced by the tiniest inkling of bad news,steer clear of astrology or horoscopes. Your mind is sensitive and your thoughts will shape your destiny.Also, “I told you so” moments never made anyone popular.

Biblical Evidence on Women ‘lifting’ Weights!!


The word sparks a sense of quiet disgust from women who are reluctant to lift weights and view dumbbells and barbells as tools that would create “man muscles”and distort their feminine frames.

OK,I am not going to give you the same advice that you find on online fitness websites like T-nation with pictures of women with incredibly toned abs.That would make you one of the “naysayers” who point out that the articles are paid and don’t have an ounce of truth (which is incorrect) and that the photos are those of models (which is correct).

I am going to give you Biblical evidence that beautiful and hot women lifted weights 🙂

Ok,if you are one of the those who don’t believe in the Bible,stop reading now.If you believe,continue reading (read on anyway,you might have something to talk about..)
In Genesis Chapter 24 (this is not a sermon,I promise),you will find the story of Abraham’s servant who is tasked with finding a wife for Isaac.He comes across Rebecca (who is described as very beautiful) and she offers him a drink and proceeds to give a drink to his camels too!! (The latter part of the story is not relevant to the point I am about to make so I will not expand upon it;if you are curious, read the Bible 🙂

So….back to the part about Rebecca giving a drink to a man and his camels(There were 10 of them ).
An average camel drinks around 100-130 litres when it is thirsty.

So 10 camels = 1000 litres (assuming they just drank 100 litres)

Since we are talking about the Bible times,it is safe to assume there was no motorized equipment of any sort to help draw the water out.

So,Rebecca made several trips to a well (with a pulley–let’s assume) and used the pitcher (with a 5-10 litre capacity) and rope atleast 180-200 times.
For the mathematically challenged,1000/5=200 (for a 5-litre pitcher) and 1000/10=100 (for a 10-litre container).
That is she had to pull and lift the pitcher around 100-200 times to satisfactorily quench the thirst of the 10 camels.

5 litres is approx equal to 5 kilograms.So Rebecca’s effort was equivalent to lifting a 5 kg dumbbell 200 times or a 10 kg dumbbell 100 times (I am just pointing out the poundage without concentrating on the type of lift).The fact that Rebecca offered to do the deed in the first place shows that she was prepared for this task as she was sufficiently strong through practice!

So,if Rebecca can lift weights regularly and still look very beautiful,all women out there should start lifting more instead of sticking with the pathetic pink dumbbells at the gym (which is only of use to people who are recovering from injuries primarily).

Hope you liked my Biblical reference to women (or woman) lifting weights.Have a nice day!!

Whey protein for the ‘Masses’

I workout fairly regularly and have used whey protein as a supplement with fairly satisfactory results .If you didn’t know this already—whey protein is a food (derived from cheese) and the bio-availability of whey protein (meaning the ease with which the body assimilates) is far superior to other forms of protein.

A lot of studies wrongly associate whey protein intake with kidney damage and this view is rampant among a lot of doctors as well (whenever there is something good there are a million people to offer a contradicting view!!).Over-consumption of anything can lead to distress.

OK,now let me digress…

Because of the extremely high cost of whey protein (an average tub costs above Rs.2500) it is inaccessible to the common man in India (a liter of milk costs less than Rs.50).A solution to this would be selling whey protein in sachets (1 sachet = 1 scoop ) which would ensure that more people buy resulting in lesser cost per scoop because of increased demand and more production.

This will encourage more people to workout because of the huge reduction in cost.

This idea can be used in any country where there are similar cost barriers.

P.S : I have not mentioned any brand here because I am not endorsing anything . The sum and substance of this post is to ensure that whey protein is available as a cheap food for the  masses as most people don’t workout as they feel that protein is comparatively expensive.

6 Ways to Preserve your Health during Night shifts

With the onset of globalization,it is common for industries with global clients to have people work in a 24/7 environment.Those who get to work in night shifts are prone to a lot of health risks.I have personally had the experience of working in shifts and came up with strategies to help preserve my health.Here are 6 of them :–

1. Take wheat grass supplements : Working in night shifts does not give you the time to get a balanced diet as you fall asleep when you come back and your energy levels deplete quickly. Wheat-grass is full of various vitamins,minerals and helps to balance you haemoglobin levels (Ever seen how people working in night shifts become fairer suddenly?It is not due to lack of sunlight,it is because of drop in red blood cells/haemoglobin levels.By the way 10 min sunlight is good for optimum health ).Also,Wheat grass is rich in antioxidants which will help counter the free radicals damage caused by night shift induced stress.

2.Sleep in complete darkness : It is a well known fact that the human body produces the hormone melatonin when we sleep and is produced ONLY in total darkness.Any disruption in the production of melatonin is linked to various disorders and diseases.To simulate complete darkness you can ensure that the windows of your room are covered completely to ensure darkness (or) wear dark goggles.

3.Exercise regularly. Working night shifts can can cause serious fluctuations in your blood sugar.To be able to keep awake,most people ingest atleast one high-carb meal a day.They do this to overcompensate for the loss of one meal by eating too many carbs in their next meal.This results in fat stored around the hips or love-handles which can be burnt by doing exercises like squat- to- presses,burpees, compound movements etc.Start small and work your way to atleast 15 min a day,5 times a week.(You need to evaluate if the fat that you have is insulin related,cortisol related or estrogen related before going on a fat-loss diet;I recommend following to start learning about exercise.)

4.Control intake of alcohol : Night-shifts coupled with weekend boozing (even the harmless “just 2 beers”)can wreck your metabolism.Beer=empty calories and depletes your body of nutrients.That is why when you ingest a lot of empty calories in any form,your body signals you to overeat to compensate.If you are going to drink alcohol,drink in moderation and make sure you eat meals rich in veggies to compensate.Needless to say,Abstinence is the high road.

5.Time your caffeine intake: Coffee is synonymous with caffeine and is a must-have for most people who work through night-shifts.However,drinking too many cups can disrupt your sleep cycle and can cause insomnia and weakening your memory recall.Always ensure that your coffee intake is atleast 6 hours before you hit the sack to ensure optimal sleep.

6.Monitor stomach acid levels : Over a period of time,your stomach acid will become weak due to high-carb intake;to prevent this drink lime/lemon juice frequently (no sugar,you can add honey/jaggery if you want) and also fruits like papaya and pineapple (rich in digestive enzymes).A simple way to check if your stomach acid needs work–if you have acid reflux or burp frequently,you need work).

These are 6 tips that I could think of.If you have any additional tips,do let me know in the comments section.

Further Reading:

Night-shift staff at higher risk of diabetes strain

How Artificial Light Is Wrecking Your Sleep, and What to Do about It

4 Sugar-coated statements that can make a Dent in your “Dough”

I have been watching keenly the way businesses(and banks) market to the general public and wanted to write a post about how deals are sugarcoated to influence decisions.Here are 4 strategies..

1. “You are eligible for a personal loan/credit card loan…. “:This is a statement that grabs the attention of any one who needs some reassurance that his worth is being appreciated.Some people brag that banks keep calling them to get them to take loans.Consider this…your money in a savings account appreciates at 6% and around 8.5% if you have a fixed deposit/recurring deposit amount (I am  in India,bank rates in other countries may vary).

However,if you take a personal loan/credit card loan you will be paying interest in the vicinity of 13 -18 percent to the bank—pretty neat strategy to earn from you and keep you hooked.So ,unless you really are in dire need/facing emergencies,avoid personal loans/credit card loans.

2. “The personal loan is offered to you a reducing rate of interest” : I am amazed at the number of people who think that paying a loan at reducing rate of interest is a good deal.The word “reducing”somehow convinces them that the interest amount dwindles immediately.When you pay your loan at reducing rate of interest in EMIs, a huge chunk of the EMI in the initial months go towards paying the interest amount.You only start making a dent in the capital that you owe, after a year which means that you eventually end up paying more.So ‘reducing’ rate is not a better option.Unfortunately, the banks that do offer fixed rate of interest(very few),have stringent guidelines for approval.

3.“Buy…..Mobile/car/tablet and get a cash-back of Rs….” :Another variant is “Spend upto 50k to be eligible for an Ipad”!!What do they think? Istupid?When people come across this in an advertisement they just focus on the word “cash-back” and are influenced to make the purchase anyway without realizing that businesses use the “cash-back” strategy to make you buy something for which you may have no apparent need.The buyer is attracted to the word “cashback” and figures that he might not get a better deal in the future and goes ahead and makes his “investment”(And then goes on to brag to his mates about how the “deal” has made life easier ).

4.“Buy 3,get 2 free…..”: Beware of “Combo offers” that work various permutations/combinations into their “deal”.You will eventually be paying more and will be carrying stuff for which you do not have any apparent need.

So,there it is 4 tactics you’ve got to be careful about in future.These strategies are not unethical or illegal in any way but it pays to know the facts.Let me know if you have observed similar strategies.

Image Credit : www.

You are not the Sum or Average of Anyone

I recently came across some advice (mainly on health and motivational articles) which is growing in popularity but somehow does not make any sense to  me.

The advice is :

“You are the average of the 5 people you hang out with”.

Another variant is “you are the sum of the 5 people you hangout with”.Among other things,you can conclude that Maths is not the strongpoint of the people who propagate the above stated views.Many people mistake these statements for truisms.

A normal person who works 8-9 hours a day (which is a huge chunk out of a 24 hr day) may have colleagues with varied tastes and backgrounds, which should not necessarily divert one’s focus.

Being exposed to a lot of people expands our perspective and increases our inventory of ideas.

That being said,you should  limit interaction with time wasters,non-risk takers,naysayers…just about anyone who drains your resources and makes you lose sight of your goals.

Jesus Christ who had 12 disciples had to face a lot of distrust and negativity while propagating his message of forgiveness and eternal love.He was certainly not the sum/average of anyone.

Bill Gates met his best friend and mentor Warren Buffet at the age of 36.He did not have a set social circle that contributed to his exponential growth.

You don’t have to limit your social contacts to a number.Some people have just 2 friends who mean the world to them and they are happy about that.It all boils down to what you want.

So Reach out and make new connections,read more books and be open to new experiences;Your experiences will shape your mindset and ultimately your life.

Further Reading:

You’re The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With

4 Ways to Benefit from Credit Card Usage

I come across a lot of people who are of the opinion that having credit cards will expose them to a lifetime of debt.This is far from the truth.Here are 4 ways you can actually benefit from Credit card usage :–

1. When you use a credit card you postpone the payment by a month,so the amount that is still in your savings account at the end of the month generates interest (I accept that the amount generated might be minuscule but when you do this for several months the amount saved is noticeable) .The key is to ensure that you pay the complete amount due to avoid paying more which will nullify the returns obtained by postponing payment.

2.When you pay for foreign holiday packages or any transaction involving a huge amount using ,you can break the transaction into EMIs and then invest an amount slightly less than the EMI amount every month into shares/mutual funds (Of course,you need to understand the risks behind selecting the mutual funds/investing in shares but the benefits are worth the time and money invested).This will ensure that you have funds liquidity when you need.

3. Using credit cards wisely by paying off the total amount due correctly on a monthly basis can show that you are a credit-worthy person and improve your Credit score.This will help in the event you do need take loans to start your own business or for personal reasons.

4.Almost all credit cards have their own reward system tied to usage and you can make use of them to shop or donate to charity.

P.S : If you are an impulsive spender and think that a credit card can cause major problems to your financial setup,you need a shrink.But I guess,discarding the credit card is cheaper than going to the shrink …Just Kidding 🙂


Are you following your Life’s Mandate?

One of the most profound verses in the Bible that has made a huge impact on me is

 “Go Forth and Multiply”. [Genesis chapter 9 verse 7]

This was God instructing Noah and his sons to go ahead and fill the world with their ‘seed’.When you look at the verse in the context of creation,you will see that it is our destiny to “go forth and multiply” .Not just by way of procreation but by creation itself.

CREATING something meaningful is the key to a lifetime of fulfillment.

One of the main reasons that people become dissatisfied with their lives is because they spend a huge amount of time studying to conform and function along expected lines to satisfy others.While the nature of some jobs might prevent you from creating something new daily,it is imperative to engage in some activity to unleash the creative potential inside you.

When you life is  a constant chain of activities that pleasure or relieve you of your stress,your life will go out of whack simply because you do not partake in “creation activities”.

Creation activities are singing,writing,playing music/games,gardening…anything that lets you express yourself by putting your personal signature to change the scheme of things.

If you are just following instructions and routine activities take up the bulk of your time,it is time to stop and introspect — do you want to be remembered for just adhering to rules? It is better to take that leap of faith to experiment by stepping out of your comfort zone than be bored and live under a false sense of security.

So are you ready to “Go Forth and Multiply”?