Friday, June 17, 2016

Sharon Andrea Serrao

The most beautiful girl from my MBA Class at ISB is no more. I just can't ******* believe this! She was only 33.

This happened a few days back and I haven't come to terms with it. I don't think I ever will. I will stay affected by this for my entire life. For me, this is just an unfair act of... well, I am not sure if I can use the word God here. Does God really exist? If he does, then what explanation can he or she give me? I am not expecting any philosophical thoughts saying - it was her time and there were other plans for her. That's just BS.

I met Sharon first in 2006. I wasn't very close to her and all that. We were just good friends. I remember sitting in the hall area of my apartment, looking out the window and seeing her get in and out of the student village. There was something about her presence. Maybe it was how tall she was and how she'd stand out among everyone else. Maybe it was how she conducted herself - very simple and genuine. 

I still remember, we used to call her "model" all the time we met her on campus. She'd blush a bit and hush our comments. She was pure awesome. When I recall stuff about her, I remember her birthday party in 2007. I was doing work for the yearbook and it was almost 2am when I got back from the publisher. She was still awake and in party mood. Most of them had retired. She was thrilled to see me drop in. It was a quiet few minutes well spent.

I didn't see Sharon after graduation or I don't clearly remember if I did any time later. We were only in touch through Facebook. A few years later, she invited me for her wedding. I couldn't go. I should have. I didn't meet her when I was in Dubai for WCBU. Time just passed by.

And one ******* day, she's gone! Her life has been taken off the earth just like that. I heard she was at work and she had a cardiac arrest. Absolutely unannounced.
Why did this have to happen? What wrong did her 10-month old son do? To have such an awesome person stripped of his life.

I am in real pain. Its bottled up so much within me. I was sitting at the Immigration Office in Melbourne when I kept getting messages and I wanted to burst out crying. I was on the verge of a breakdown. I am gonna have to let this out somewhere somehow. 

Someone I saw pretty much every day of my academic year at ISB is just not there. This is not about being healthy or fit or doing regular medical check-ups and not being stressed at work. All that is still not happening with many of my other friends - most of them are unhealthy, unfit and stressed AND they are ******* alive!

Sharon, you were such a lovely person. Actually, you still are a lovely person. The "were' doesn't apply to you. Just because someone irrational decided to pluck you out, doesn't mean that you don't exist for me. I think about you and I always keep hearing your voice, the way you say "dude". When I meet your son (whenever that is), I will definitely tell him about you. He will be loved by all of us.

Update - some comments said I used swear words. So I have put a * instead. This is not a eulogy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pick Your Wife Wisely: Not just your career but your life depends on it

So I saw this Huffington Post article being shared on Facebook titled - Pick your husband wisely: Your career depends on it

This post is my response to the article.

If you do not choose your wife wisely, then you will not just lose your career but also your life. This is my experience and I stand by my statement 100%

Choose someone who would support your career first. Do not go out of your way and support her career advancement. All this bullshit about women empowerment and "being there for her" will tell you to go f**k yourself when she decides to walk out of that door. And bear in mind, she will. Because you let her. You supported her all her decisions to have a great career. Even if it means that you need to let go of your own career. Your sacrifice means nothing. Because when she goes out, she doesn't see that you are behind waiting to see her succeed. She is comparing you with other powerful and influential men surrounding her in the corporate world and against them, you are a f**king lose because you decided to stay at home.

"Even if women are highly educated, they aren't allowed by in-laws and husbands to do any job outside the home. Women are graduating to get a good groom not a good job." If a woman is able to work, she must still shoulder the bulk of household responsibilities."

The above statement applies to a lower middle class and even lower class population. These people are mostly not on Facebook, Twitter and they definitely don't read Huffington Post.

No woman is graduating to get a good groom these days. She is graduating so that at some point if she wants to be independent from a groom, then she can very well be. The in-laws and the husbands don't have much say in these decisions. They've got to comply.

"A real partner is not just supportive of your career, but is happy to take on his fair share of household responsibilities so that you both can thrive."

Men, if you take a fair share of household responsibilities, then please ensure your partner also has a fair share. You don't want to be in a situation where your partner comes home and works for 2 more hours and then says "Let's order food" or "I cannot clean the house because I worked a lot during the week and I need my sleep or I need to shop instead"

"Before committing to another person you should know if you want a career or if you are more interested in [fitting] meaningful work around your family life."

I think this applies more to men these days.

And if she asks you things like "Would you support my career? If I had to move for my job, would you be willing to relocate the family?" Do not do this at your expense. I've had a personal experience in these exact questions and the results are not favorable at all. Men, please be a little selfish, and look at your life.

And men, please observe your women before you commit to them. If she is the person who gets up quite late and throws her legs up on the couch and reads the newspaper or checks her emails while you make your own cup of coffee, maybe she is not the one that could share responsibilities around the house.

The question "Would you support my career after we have kids?" is absolutely irrelevant these days. In my opinion, the men should be asking "Will we have any kids?"

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Juice Cleanse Day Two and Three

The Day One post was written in a rush. Mostly because it was quite late and I just wanted to go back to sleep. Since the process is pretty much the same, I am compressing Day 2 and 3 into one post.

Juice cleanse is expensive. The 3-day cleanse costs about 200 AUD. Yes, it does burn a large hole in your pocket. So, its definitely not something that you should try often. If you look at the economics, it does make sense to some extent. 24 bottles of juices over 3 days for 200 AUD. That's a little more than 8 AUD per bottle. I think I can definitely pay 8 dollars for a juice bottle. Most smoothies around this city cost that much. This one is cold pressed and is absolutely healthy, full of essential nutrients. Nevertheless, drinking 8 dollar bottles 8 times a day is a little too much. Maybe once a year? I am not sure if I'll do another one. I'll think about it towards the end of 2016 or early 2017.

Day 2 is actually a breeze. Its twenty minutes past one and I am writing this piece. Four juices down and I can say that I am feeling much better now, than how I felt at the same time yesterday. And I am past the halfway mark. Its only downhill from here! There is still a mild disturbance on the top - like a mild headache but its bearable. Yesterday was tough! I had crazy thoughts. I curled up in my couch at 6 pm. I changed to warm clothes and I even wore a jacket! My body was a lot weak and I thought I was coming down with a fever. But it was just the energy levels causing havoc in the mind.

Day 2 Late Evening
Towards the end of Day 2, I was very hungry. I ended up having the dinner juice 7 around 6.45 pm. On Day 1, I had it around 8pm. So, by the time I was going to bed, I was hungry again. But I had to get through the night. I did it somehow. Pure mind game.

In two days, I haven't lost a lot of weight. I weighed myself yesterday and I was about a little more than a kilo less than my normal weight. I suspect, I'll put on that weight the moment I start on solid food. What I am more interested in is to find out how my body is going to react when I start eating normal food. I need to go back to that pamphlet provided by the company about easing back into normal food. Definitely cannot eat a burger on day one!

Day 3

I am sort of cruising now. Its the last day and I know I can eat something tomorrow morning! Hahaha. Yes, that's the biggest motivation to get through today. It will be close of business at work in another 2 hrs and then I just need to get through the evening. At that point in the evening, I reckon, it would be a walk in the park. Destination is right in front and all you need to do is just breathe and you'll get past. I am quite good at self control. There's plenty of chocolate, fruit and other eatables inside the refrigerator just next to the juices and I haven't had any temptation. Juice 6 is the worst tasting juice and during that time I am usually home. I have resisted other foods quite well over the last two days.

In general, my stomach has been very quiet, which I believe is awesome. When you eat solid food that as carbs, fat, fiber etc your body doesn't take it well every day. Some days are extremely windy. The last 3 days have been quiet and peaceful to be honest. I think its also a reminder of how much junk food we eat every day. By junk, I mean, food that is not absorbed efficiently by our body. On some days, even dark chocolate and low fat greek yogurt is not good for the body. So, we need to eat smart. Most importantly drink lots and lots of water, which I don't do. I think I drink just about 2 liters of water everyday and I think I need to step that up to 3.

Day 3 Close

Around afternoon, I started getting this pain in my lower back. I didn't know what was happening. The pain and discomfort only increased. I thought it was my sitting posture and I started stretching and foam rolling when I got back home from work. It didn't help. I tried to sleep and I could not. I rolled on my belly, right side, left side - none of that helped. I've never had lower back pain - even after crossfit. So this was a huge surprise. I thought it was because of lack of exercise and started activating my lower back. That didn't help as well. I used a PainMate device. This is a small TENS device that sends vibrations to your body when you are in pain. It gave me relief but not was not enough. It was almost 11pm and I had to go to sleep. So I gave in and took 2 tablets of Voltaren. Surprising how your mind plays when your body has pain. All this while it never struck me to go on the internet and read. Then lightning struck and I googled stuff about lower back pain and juice cleansing. Voila! there were tons of articles about that. Apparently your body is flushing out all the toxins from your system and that creates severe lower back pain. So that was quite common. I had no idea and I wish the person from store actually gave me some indication of that. 

Now, I only wish that the two Voltaren tablets did not reverse whatever I did in the last days!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Juice Cleanse Day One

I was always interested in what juice cleansing was all about. It started when I noticed a Pressed Juice store in Collins Street. I started reading about the cleanse program on their website. Further research led me to another company HomeJuice. They had a store in Melbourne as well. Two weeks back, I had the opportunity to go to a HomeJuice store in Docklands. I had a chat with the staff and I was sold into trying this. And then, I had to go over this massive planning effort to find the exact 3 day window to do the cleanse. I had to make sure that I finish all the food that I have and also work out stuff about crossfit and yoga (which by the way, I had to stop completely because of the cleanse).

I signed up for the advanced cleanse with Pressed Juices yesterday. Mostly because, they have a store that's easily accessible for me (on my way back home). I picked up my first batch of 8 juices yesterday.

My experiment of inflicting so many bottles of juices on my body began on the morning of 22nd Feb 2016. Instructions were to have a bottle of juice every 2-3 hrs.

Juice 1 was pink lemonade. I had the juice around 7am. I was quite fine. I usually don't have anything in the morning on a normal day. I get to office and have breakfast. So this was good.

Juice 2 was a Green juice. It was a little after 9am. The juice was thick and it was more like breakfast. I managed to get through that as well with very little difficulty.

Juice 3 was an Earth juice. This was perhaps the hardest. I was close to lunch time and I was craving solid food big time! I mean who doesn't eat solid food? I started feeling a bit uneasy. Also, the presence of breakfast cereals and muesli bars around my desk didn't help. So, I had to step outside and do a  bit of walking to keep myself distracted. I did that.

Juice 4 was another Green juice. This was not thick. It was 2pm and I was losing it. My head was aching a bit on the right side. I had earlier read articles mentioning that I would experience mild headaches. But I am still not sure if its the mind or body thats playing this game.

Juice 5 was Zest juice made from orange. By this time, it was 4pm. I generally leave around half past so the thought of leaving office kinda got into me and I was able to find that distraction. In between, I also talked to a few colleagues about the cleanse, just to keep myself motivated.

Juice 6 was another Green juice. I got home by this time. I also picked up the juice pack for the next day. Yes, they prefer you to collect the juice everyday as the shelf life for the juice is less than 2 days. Drink it fresh is the policy. When I finished juice 6, I was a bit tired. I watched some TV and I decided to take a 30min nap. I got up at 8pm.

It was time for Juice 7 - banana salted caramel. This is perhaps the best juice of the day. Its loaded with all the nuts and good stuff. Not that the previous juices are loaded with bad stuff. They have all the green stuff which doesn't appeal to the mind that much. I gulped down juice 7 and then decided if I have nothing else to do, then I might as well get more rest.

I went back to sleep again and got up in about 2 hours for Juice 8 - sour cherry. I finished that and had some time left before going back to bed again. So, I decided to write this quick post.

At this time, I feel better. The headache is still there but its not that bad. Its bearable. Yes, I feel tired. The fact that there is no solid food in my system freaks me. Getting that out of my mind is quite hard. Day One looks more like a mind game.

For the scientifically/biologically inclined, yes, I have pee'd a lot. One thing I noticed is that the pee is crystal clear, which is a huge change to other days when its usually coloured. So, we have one good sign. Two more days to go!

Click here to read about Day Two and Three