Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's Not Important to Touch Your Toes

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All these years I have pushed myself to touch my toes.  Till a fortnight ago.  I was lying down on my new green yoga mat.  I always feel it is necessary to have these little pretty accessories that serve as an impetus to get going on an exercise routine . Well anyway, to get back to the supine position on the yoga mat...  I got up and bent forward to touch my toes.  And I found that my hand did not proceed beyond my calves.  I mean I could touch the toes the day before. So what was wrong today? As I was trying to push myself to make the phalanges meet, I realised it was absolutely unnecessary. Why pull a hamstring on a day the body does not want to make the extra effort?  And after that believe me, exercising is a lot more fun.  And no stress.  And just being consistent with the routine is the secret of a successful workout.

So remember, It's not Important to Touch your Toes...unless of course you are a fitness trainer.

I have even gone as far as to think this would make a good title for a book.  And I am sure it will atleast attract a few eyeballs at a store. But for someone who has not been too regular posting here, I know  the book will never see the light of day.  But that has not stopped me from thinking about the sequels.  For instance..

It is not important to be size zero ( unless you are Kareena Kapoor)

It is not important to be a perfect wife ( it will only make your husband lazy)

It is not important to be a perfect mother ( your kids will be brats anyway and yet grow up fine)

And so on... It could be a hit.. remember the Dummies series?

Ponder over it.. perfection is fine, but is really necessary if the end result can be achieved without the strain?

What do you think?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Of books and thoughts...

I am not one of those who follows the political scene very closely.  Domestic or international.  Not that I am totally ignorant either.  I usually skim through political commentaries and get by with the headlines and news reports and occasionally the odd programme on the television.

But it is slowly changing.  I realise we have a lot to be thankful for.  Despite the scams, the corruption, and our politicians.

The book that first brought this change in my thinking and perception was The Kite Runner  by Khaled Hosseni .  I remember my brother was excited when he heard the news on the radio about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This was so long ago in 1979.  He did try to explain what it meant to the rest of the world, but it was lost on me.This book, now, brought back those moments.  The story itself is very moving, and though the characters hold center-stage, the disruption of what was once a peaceful life in Kabul stands out.  His description of the country does not match the scenes we now see on TV.  I can only think of the dusty roads, the bombed buildings, the tanks, the guns, soldiers, masked men .. like a ghost town.  Could Afghanistan have really been the peaceful, beautiful place that Hosseni describes in the early chapters of his book?

Coincidentally the next book I picked up was Benazir Bhutto's autobiography - Daughter of the East. I had no real intention of reading the book. It was more than 400 pages and the print was tiny.  And the Bhutto family did not hold interest. However, the first few pages were enough to ensure that I read the book from cover to cover.  While the account would definitely be biased.. I mean which autobiography wouldn't? I found myself totally immersed in the book.  It is evident that she had enjoyed a good life till her father was imprisoned.  He was her hero.  She dwells upon the achievements in his reign. And how all that changes after the military coup.  The family could have fled and lived a comfortable life in exile. But I guess once you have a taste of power it can be difficult to live without it. That she endured innumerable detentions and remained sane is admirable.  Here again there is mention of Afghanistan and the role of the US in arming the Afghan guerillas to fight the Soviets, and then abandoning the region altogether when they retreated.  And the subsequent rise of terrorism in the area.   However one sided the writing may be, there is no doubt that Ms Bhutto was indeed a great storyteller just as much as her famed oratorical skills.  We never will know whether another term of her as the Prime Minister would have brought development and peace once again to a strife-torn country.  Or would it have been a continuation of the military regime in a new garb?

These two books have made me aware of our neighbouring countries. Of  petty politics of the super powers.  Of senseless wars that are being fought.  Of the children in the Palestine, Syria, Iraq..  How long will they live with the sound of gun shots and bombs ringing in their ears?

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