Friday, November 30, 2007

Fat. So?

Weighty jump for state
intro: The state is fatter this year, with men, women and children causing a jump in overall weights, say doctors
From: Vrushali Lad

Mumbai: Wake up before your child crosses the great obesity divide on World Obesity Day today. As per a study initiated by Mumbai and Pune-based specialist Dr Shashank Shah in four schools in Pune this year, a huge 13 per cent of students surveyed for basal weight showed a tendency towards moderate obesity.

“The findings were stunning. After a 3 ½ month Body Mass Index (BMI) study, we found that these children, who came from well known schools in Pune and from upper middle class and rich families, were doing everything wrong. They had faulty eating habits to sedentary lifestyles, which were pushing them towards obesity,” Dr Shah told The Herald.

Dr Shah, who practices at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune and Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, even spoke about an eight-year-old boy he operated on this year in Mumbai. “The child weighed 115 kgs and we had to operate to get his weight down to a normal 50 kgs,” he said.

Nowadays, say city doctors, schools are more interested in providing computers than playgrounds to children. Also, our kids are being pinned down to a life of little or no exercise due to tuition classes, piles of homework and a string of TV serials to watch.

Overall, there is a 25 per cent jump in numbers of obese children in the country.

And while you worry about the health of your fattening kid, the National Family Health Survey 3 (NFHS 3) has some scary news for the state’s women. Out of the 8,315 households studied in Maharashtra, for adults aged 15 to 49, 27.4 per cent urban women are obese while 24.4 per cent urban men are obese. In the rural areas, eight per cent women and 8.3 per cent men are obese.
So why are obesity levels for working adults increasing?

In Mumbai, a huge 34.6 per cent women are said to be obese, while men come a distant second at 25.1 per cent. “The rise of the IT industries and BPOs ensured that apart from longer working hours and lack of sleep, people would opt for off-the-counter junk food to save the time of packing lunches. More and more working people are having both meals out of the house, leading to more calories being consumed and no exercise to combat the spreading waistline, says Dr Shah.

On the other end of the spectrum, are men, women and children who are underweight and anaemic. As per NFHS 3, women with BMI lower than normal are 20.7 per cent in the urban areas, while their rural counterparts clock in a staggering 43 per cent. As for the men, 17.3 per cent urban men and 31.8 per cent rural men show low BMI. Of the state’s children, a huge 71.9 per cent are anaemic, while 39.7 per cent kids are underweight.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

December is upon us

On the first day of December this year, yours truly completes 365 days of working for this organisation. Don't mind admitting this is a milestone for us, since I lasted precisely a) Six months at Times Response, my first job and b) 10 months at Mid Day, my second job when I quit the very same month they were doling out increments.

Oh well. Instead of things getting tougher, they actually got softer when I quit Job 2 to take up Job 3. One common thread is that I quit both my earlier jobs without having the next job in place, so that should indicate I am a bit of a risk taker. A useful quality in a reporter.

Also, contrary to what my bosses or colleagues or anyone else might think, I actually like working. And I love researching, even if it takes me two days to figure out a story and even if it eventually comes out as a single-column-no-byline thingy. What I don't like is people around me being useless and ending up wasting my time because they can't be arsed to work.

And also contrary to those who think they know me, think, I am seriously not that bothered about not having found a house yet, after umpteen tries and disappointments. I do not panic. I do not tear my hair. I keep looking. Yes, but I do inwardly swear at the prick who has a house near the one I live in with my parents and who decided, belatedly, not to sell. I hope he fries in oil.

But this year, I have generally been quite chuffed about life. Life's been good, life's been very exciting and harrowing and on an upwards, then downward spiral, but it has never been boring. Work is good most of the times, so is the family, and certainly so is the hubby. In fact, this year flashed by so quickly and so pleasantly, I am almost led into a sense of complacency that prompts me to think, My life will always be great because I am a great person born in great circumstances.

And with that Shiv Khera attitude to life, I shall now begin work for the day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Intermediate enthusiast

Or rather, borderline maniac. That's me.

After a hard day's work, I returned to a silent home, an absent family, and a feeling somewhere that I would really like a hot cup of tea. After a mind-numbingly slow ride from Churchgate in a second class ladies' compartment (after ages, that), I took one look at the house, and instead of sighing miserably, changed into my tramp clothes and started working.

And as I hit the first key on the keyboard, all my boredom and fatigue just went away. And I had the most startling realisation - I can't stop working!

It's not like I'm too surprised, because having no work makes a grumpy bear out of me. But to actually feel happy having two stories to file for the next day, after filing a gazillion stories in office (and giving up on the remaining ones because I was tired) is surely not normal.

So that's me, people. I'm about to begin my first story already. A hot cuppa will get me started on the next one. Smokin'!

p.s.: Methinks the family should go away more often. The complete silence is actually helping me think.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


(Note: This post is dedicated to Poombashri, since she invented the word that is the title of this post. And also because this one word, to my mind, correctly sums up what I feel when I want to say 'Effing ___' but can't be arsed to.)

So anyway. There is nothing that takes the piss out of me faster than having no story to file on a Sunday. God knows there's nothing to file on a Sunday as it is, but this is crazy.

Also another thing to take the piss out of me is when I've been working/ goofing off/ sleeping with mouth open/ doing nothing internet-related and when I come back to check my Gmail, it very snootily tells me, 'You have been out of Gmail. You must log back in to enable services.' I swear if this was my kid hankering for constant attention and making me go out of the house and come back with a bucketful of candy just to get him talking to me again, I would hang him from the ceiling by his thumbs and whack his tush with a thin stick.

As it is, I punish Gmail by signing out entirely and logging onto Yahoo! with a :p directed at my fast-disappearing Gmail window. That generally fixes it.

Suffice it to say that Sunday takes the piss out of me. Why? Because nothing to do and no one to talk to in office have reduced me to playing Solitaire till my mouse finger hurts and I start being rude to my Gmail.

And also because there is no water in the loo because there's no one to start the motor. So it's actually great that there are other means to get the piss out of me, hyuk hyuk.