Thursday, July 18, 2024

About blood thinners and their ilk

Link to an article in today's  TOI : 


https://www.google.com/amp/s/timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/breakthrough-common-blood-thinner-can-be-affordable-antidote-for-cobra-venom/amp_articleshow/111817389.cms

👆"repurposing existing drug" for a hitherto unknown use. 

Sounds great. And it is. 

But think about it slightly differently. Blood thinners are prescribed like chocolates nowadays. Anyone and everyone you know is having blood thinners. 

They are effective as anti venom also, as it was just discovered, "they act as a decoy antidote, binding and neutralising the toxins" 

The question to ask is.. all those  lifestyle drugs that  you are you taking, from the pill box that you carry around.. how many of them act as decoys to bind to what all and create what all havoc in the body? 

And remember that  it all started when you went for that "preventive" medical check up, which is basically a trap for enticing the gullible into the medical system's welcoming arms.

100 tests, at sixty percent discount! 

When you test for 100 parameters, there is a close to 100 percent chance that some parameter is "not normal". How is normal defined? Anything, say five percent to the right or five percent to the left of the normal distribution consisting of the population. 100 parameters like that, and the chance of getting a clean report is close to infinitesimal, do the math yourself. 

So your LDL was low and HDL was high, or Vitamin D3 was inadequate, and you landed at the local corporate hospital ( the discounted tests are decoys, they are actually marketing agents for the corporate hospitals, the front line goons for the medical mafia).

And before you know it, you are on statins, blood thinners, cholesterol lowering drugs..  

In roughly around five years from that point you are carrying around a pill box with compartments with dates and times filled with pills of various colours. And you are saying things like "I need to eat every two hours or I will die", "I cannot sit on a two wheeler, God forbid, my back will dislocate itself", "I am gluten, lactose and peanut intolerant"... We are all familiar with the list, except that in the last few years the list is growing. 

Meanwhile the neighbour, who is a trader  in  Chikpet, and  seventy five years old, continues to travel all around the city on his Kinetic Honda, eat 
anything, go anywhere, life weights, spend ten hours at his shop, and is mentally and physically active. 

What is the secret to his  good health? 

His ignorance. No one told him about medical tests.






Monday, July 8, 2024

The Circus comes to town


The teams are equally matched, 
The margins of victory slender; 
The game veers this way and that, 
And then goes one way or the other! 

But yet we pin our hopes too much, 
On slender momentary wins; 
The fights and wins we lack in our lives, 
We seek vicariously in them! 

Too much elation on victory, 
End of the world on a defeat; 
This too shall pass; and once again, 
One turn into the other! 

Our self esteem has been outsourced,
To fickle momentary events; 
To gladiators in a Circus,
Paid to fight and die for us! 

So much of me has been invested,
On someone, somewhere, outside control; 
Like those rides in a carnival, 
I am screaming, passive, and belted! 

And then I totter to the next; 
One draining ride after another; 
One day wonder where all the days went, 
I'm spent, with nothing to show for them! 

The Circus comes to town


The teams are equally matched, 
The margins of victory slender; 
The game veers this way and that, 
And then goes one way or the other! 

But yet we pin our hopes too much, 
On slender momentary wins; 
The fights and wins we lack in our lives, 
We seek vicariously in them! 

Too much elation on victory, 
End of the world on a defeat; 
This too shall pass; and once again, 
One turn into the other! 

Our self esteem has been outsourced,
To fickle momentary events; 
To gladiators in a Circus,
Paid to fight and die for us! 

So much of me has been invested,
On someone, somewhere, outside control; 
Like those rides in a carnival, 
I am screaming, passive, and belted! 

And then I totter to the next; 
One draining ride after another; 
One day wonder where all the days went, 
I'm spent, with nothing to show for them! 

Dinesh Gopalan, 
8 July, 2024

Friday, July 5, 2024

Generative AI

This is extremely scary. 

Computers exploded on the scene after the 90's. That's well within our adult lifetime, thirty years back. Mobile phones, internet, high speed computing, connectivity, ditto.

Coders were in high demand, they still are presumably. 

But now the computer is going to write all the code, generate all the music, write all the articles, suggest all the remedies, and pretty much do everything that we humans prided ourselves in doing. It's called generative AI. 

What is the skill required in this new era from those who operate the computers? Prompt engineering! Like "delivery partners", a fancy term to glamorise a humdrum occupation. 

Prompt engineering is the skill of how to ask questions to the computer. The computer knows all the answers, the computer is God, the computer will answer you properly provided you ask nicely. Presumably, prostrating or kneeling down in front of it with hands folded while asking the question. 

Meanwhile, they will develop another computer, or Generative AI engine, to ask the right questions. 

Then this computer will talk to that computer. And together, between them, they will have all the questions and all the answers. 

We will be on our knees in front of the  computer, begging it to tell us the answers. 

The future awaits.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Review of Kalki

Watched Kalki today on IMAX 2D. 

Indian mythology meets dystopian world meets Marvel Superheroes meets Star Wars meets Mad Max meets VFX. 

After Bahubali and RRR, you thought these Telugu guys have already reached the top in over the top entertainers but no, this one is beyond those two. When I say over the top I mean it in a complimentary way. After this fare, you will find other films insipid. 

Kamalahasan as Supreme Yaskin the villain, Amitabh as Aswatthama, Prabhas as Karna reborn with multiple shades to his character, Deepika as the heroine in whose womb the Lord ( Krishna of course) will be reborn as Kalki, who will come to save the world. And Amitabh as always, steals the show, I just don't know what it is that gives him that screen presence! 

The movie, a full three hours long, only manages to build this alternate universe , in preparation for the sequels to come. 

As the Telugus will say to those Marvel folks "meeru yovvaru ra, superhero movie Ela ceyalo memu meeku chuputhamu! ... Jeragandi , maa samayam vacchindi!!"

( Subtitle: who are you guys? We will show you how to make superhero movies! Move aside! Our time has come!!) 

It's difficult to make out where the live shots end and the VFX takes over, the entire experience is one big extravaganza. 

Made with a budget of 600 crores, not even a week has passed since release, I  believe it has already recovered most of the money. 

On a Monday afternoon there were hardly any seats empty. We will get to see this film become a mega hit in India and outside. 

Watch it in Telugu ( there are English subtitles), over the top plots somehow go well with Telugu, on the big screen, preferably on IMAX 2D.

Monday, June 24, 2024

The Decline of the School System

Quote

" The New IPL in India*

I am teaching a girl Class 12 Macroeconomics

She is studying in Kendriya Vidyalaya and essentially *knows NOTHING*

*NO CLUE on the 1/2 base height formula of area if a triangle, 

Cannot even identify where Sri Lanka is on the world map, no idea on the state capitals and capitals of our neighboring nations*

*LITERACY IS A FARCE IN INDIA, THE LAND OF THE VEDAS*
 
"Unquote 

👆 message from a friend and batchmate just now. 

I find this to be increasingly true. Parents are sending their children to posher and posher schools, spending more and more money, and their children are getting more and more marks. 

But the children are learning less and less. Most children of today know essentially very little of what is covered in their own standard school curriculums.

I have been making a case for pulling the children out of school and shifting to home tuition. One of the reasons is this. 

The other reason is that school systems, like any organised system, exists to ensure the survival of the other stakeholders, like the teachers. The needs of the primary stakeholder , the child, are irrelevant. 

One diabolical manifestation of this is the complete takeover of American schools by the woke virus, and the consequent teaching of damaging trash to the kids, who are getting brainwashed into being walking talking confused zombies. This includes colleges too, not just primary schools and high schools. 

Observe what is really happening in the name of education. Brutally and logically evaluate how much your own child is learning. 

And be afraid.



Saturday, June 22, 2024

Review of Chilli Chicken

Just saw the Kannada movie "Chilli Chicken" at PVR at Bhartiya City. 

A slice of the life of migrants from the north east, a slice of the city of Bangalore, or the story of migrants anywhere...  It could be called any of these. The movie is based on the story of these migrants who are employed in a Bangalore restaurant. The language in the movie shifts between Kannada and  Manipuri, hence the need for subtitles which are there. 

The movie has a story line that keeps you gripped throughout. There are no famous stars here, but all the actors give convincing performances. 

At times it has the feel of a Noir movie, with its surprising twists in the plot, and an accidental murder woven into the story. The background music and songs are  good too. 

It also brings out a social message, about how all of us treat outsiders, in a subtle way, woven into the plot and the dialogue.

The cinematography is good and the editing is slick - it kept me engaged throughout wanting to know what comes next. 

In terms of overall mix of elements, I would think it comes closest to Lapata Ladies, though the plots of the two films have nothing in common. 

It is obviously not a big budget production but the whole thing has coalesced into a great finished product. A lot of credit for this must go the Director, Prateek. This his first film but it certainly doesn't feel like it. Very impressive effort - Prateek is set to go places in the industry. 

*The Director Prateek Prajosh lives in our Layout

Friday, May 24, 2024

On Food Additives



All processed foods contain many additives, all of them chemicals, and none of them fit for consumption. 

The additives could be for the purpose of: 

Faking the food: Hershey's strawberry syrup has no strawberries, for example. 

Making it last longer.

Adding colour,

Adding flavour,

Adding some property, like say, a chemical to make salt non hygroscopic and free flowing. 

But they are all "safe", within safe limits, goes the argument. 

The apologist who puts forward this argument should go back and read that forward on medicines once again. Every allopathic medicine is a chemical with dosages in milligrams. Individually, these medicines are harmful, and collectively they are deadly. No tests are done, in fact it is impossible to do any tests, for the millions of combinations in which these drugs may enter the human body.

It's the same with food additives. They are individually harmful, and collectively, they are deadly. And no tests are done, in fact, no tests exist, for the millions of combinations in which they are used. 

We insist on taking our food, killing it, adding manufactured salt, refined oils, white sugars, high fructose corn syrups, hydrogenated oils, flavours, preservatives, colours... And we even irradiate foods, ripen them chemically, put wax coatings on them, use chemicals and pesticides while growing them... The list goes on. 

Each of these processes and additives kills the food and makes it less edible. Together, these processes convert our food into poison. 

So we eat processed foods, in other words,  poison instead of food. Then we get sick. Then we take more poisons as medicines. 

The only way out of this cycle is to opt out. 

Stop drugging yourself. 

Say no to drugs. 
Say no to allopathic medicines. 
Say no to processed foods. 
Say no to white sugar. 
Say no to refined oils. 
Say no to manufactured table salt. 

Say yes to organic food, freshly procured, from trusted verified sources.

Say yes to cooking at home, using only the best and purest of ingredients. 

Say yes to eating your food within hours of cooking. 

Doing all that will increase the quality of your life, and paradoxically, reduce expenses in the long run

Friday, April 26, 2024

Use Your Finger



Use your finger
To vote for progress, 
Against the forces of regress,

Use your finger, 
To reject appeasement,
At the cost of everyone else, 

Use your finger,
To stop the unchecked loot,
We suffered since our nation took birth, 

Use your finger, 
To give more time,
To those with honest intent, 

Use your finger, 
To reclaim the pride,
That is ours by right, 


Use your finger,
To protect what is yours, 
By right and inheritance,

Use your finger ,
To protect home and hearth,
From being broken or burnt, 

Use your finger, 
To reject throwing money, 
In freebies that are not earned,

Use your finger,
To guard against partition,
That they would foist upon us, 

Use your finger, 
To keep from breaking,
Our country one more time, 

Use your finger, 
To reject the Hand that misleads,
Along with all of their ilk,

Use your finger ,
And allow to bloom,
The Lotus in each one of us,


Use your finger,
To reclaim our temples, 
From ruins and barbarians,


Use your fingers, 
To stop the return, 
Of the masters of loot and run,

Use your fingers, 
To show your true clout,
Which to yourself was hidden, 

Use your fingers,
To enable once more, 
Ramrajya: the rule of the just! 

Thursday, April 25, 2024

In the train from Bangalore to Coimbatore, I am reading this "in train"  magazine placed on the rack near the seat.

The Railways are learning! The articles are typical photo heavy shallow stuff, and they are liberally peppered with words like biodiversity, sustainability, responsible tourism, carbon neutral, etc. 

Meanwhile, vendors keep passing selling chai, samosa, chikki , etc.

India is always a great study in bridging contrasts and blending diverse things into one sensory heavy experience. 

I am now waiting for sustainability and ecological responsibility brochures next time I pass through Dharavi. We are beating the goras at their own game...

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Ruminations on food

Don't count calories. It's a waste of time. 

Don't look at nutrition labels on food packages. It's a waste of time. 

Salt being bad for health is a myth. Just have the right kind of salt, which is raw sea salt or rock salt, and forget worrying about salt. 

Saturated fat being bad for you is a myth. Have ghee. And butter. Eat ghee. Drink it. Cook in ghee. The entire "science" of cholesterol is complete nonsense.

Avoid white sugar. Take it as close to zero as possible. You can use gud or other traditional sugars. There are dozens of varieties in India. 

Statins or blood thinners do no good. They only cause harm. Irrespective of what your doctor is telling you, throw your statins into the dustbin. 

Have honey. And sugar cane juice. Even if you are diabetic. 

If you have allergy problems, or auto immune disorders, or anything that refuses to go away, try dropping  milk and wheat from your diet. There is a good chance that your problems will disappear.

Avoid foods which have preservatives and chemicals added in them. 

Trace all foods to the source, as far as possible. Where grown, if fertilisers and pesticides used, when harvested, etc. for processed foods, what process, how processed, what additives, what preservatives. Once you attempt to do this , you will never eat any food that is processed. Or, even if you do, you will stop telling people not to smoke. Processed food is more unhealthy than smoking.

Biscuits are processed food. So are store bought attas/ flour. Cool drinks are not food. Pasteurised homogenised milk is processed food. Etc etc. the list is long. They are all poisons.

A long list of don'ts is difficult to remember. You can replace it with a short list of do's. Which is: 

Buy only what grows. 

Buy only cold pressed oils, non white sugars namely guds, raw unprocessed salt. And A2 milk. 

Reduce grains in the diet to the extent possible. 

Eat light at night. 

Eat only while hungry. 

Eat only while in a good frame of mind. 

Practice mindfulness while eating.

Cook food yourself. And eat it fresh. Any cooked food that enters the fridge is not fresh. 

Eat only half stomach. 

Fast once in a while. 

You want to still summarise it further, then it will help think of it as follows. 

Consider your food as prasad, an offering to the Gods. 

What precautions will you take if you are cooking for your God? 

That's it. That one thought puts the whole thing in perspective, and the right actions follow. 

A lot of progress in a lot of areas in life depends not on rushing forward, but  on going back, peeling the layers, and simplifying. 

Go back to the basics. Go back to your elemental nature. Reject all that is not pure. 

It sounds simple, and it is. But it is far from easy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Ah! Gold!

Retail gold sales are shooting up. See this link: 


Sensible. Everyone needs gold in their portfolio. 

1) Gold is the one asset that  is the ultimate backup. In case of a dystopian end of the world situation, only two things will  help, gold, and guns.  

2) We are talking physical gold of course. 24 carat .999 purity, real, solid, gold biscuits. 

3) Gold has a negative correlation to other asset classes,  and is good from the diversification perspective. 

4) It is a hedge against the depreciation of local currency against the dollar.

5) There is a limited supply of it and it cannot be made in the lab.

6) It is easy to store, hide and carry. One hundred grams gold is the size of a small glucose biscuit, and the value is Rs. 7 lakhs.

7) Physical gold is outside Big Brother's radar. The additional bonus is that it is highly tax efficient.


8) Gold in ETF form, or as SGB's, tick some of the boxes, but don't tick all. Physical gold reigns supreme. 

9) I would suggest keeping 15 to 20 percent of your portfolio in gold. 

10) You will now ask, when is the right time to buy? The right time to buy is always now.

11) The right time to sell is never, or when you need the money. 

12) Physical gold is also hugely satisfying. Try holding a gold biscuit in your hand, you will feel a tingle run down your spine. That is a message from the Universe that you need to own gold for your well being and happiness.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Bill Gates admits that covid was just a flu

See the link : 

https://x.com/wideawake_media/status/1775915959124918699?t=0gthRleF8l30DvxuNr0iZw&s=08

Pharma lobby and deep state are colluding. This pandemic was planned long back. The objective is to destroy people's confidence, mind control, and extending state control over the population. 

People are idiots. 

Doctors and scientists are greedy, and are idiots.  They are either colluding with the lobby or have been completely fooled. Considering that I l, as a layman , could see all this *before* the vaccine was even launched, the doctors and scientists are in short, evil greedy bastards. 

People are wired to panic under certain circumstances. They have been conditioned to listen to authority figures. Throughout history, authority figures have been bought and people have been made complete ch,*"*'*s of. 

Does this mean we have learnt our lessons? No. 

This will repeat. Next time the virus will be a little more deadly. But , as always, the consequences of taking the vaccine will be deadlier.

It does not require any intelligence, nor even application of logic beyond common sense level to see that social distancing and wearing of masks (a) do not  help in the least and (b) are severely harmful. But people will refuse to see that. 

As to why the deep state is doing this, there are several possible reasons, and all of them get into the realm of conspiracy theories.


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Listener Beware

The pressure of being an academician is to keep publishing "insightful" papers. 

The pressure of being labelled an intellectual is up keep coming up with intelligent hypotheses, observations , and conclusions. 

Finally, you reach a stage when you have nothing intelligent to say, but the eco system around you expects you to say intelligent things.

Which is when you start spouting intellectual nonsense. There is an entire ecosystem waiting to lap it up, amplify your sayings and disseminate your wisdom. They will of course do all that since their salaries depend on it. 

The only defence against this can be exercised at the consumer's end. You need to have a very strong bullshit detector and not waste time on pseudo intellectual stuff that adds no value to you. 

That caveat applies to all kinds of "experts" in all kinds of fields. 

Listener / Reader/ Consumer beware!

Saturday, March 2, 2024

1000 WAYS TO GET SICK, ONE WAY TO STAY HEALTHY



The spread of Diabetes, what is the reason? It all boils down to nutrition and lack of vital minerals in the body. 

Ah well. There are 1000 different ways that the body can get sick, and diabetes is just one of them. The medical industry focuses on the 1000 different ways in which you are sick since that is how they make their money. 

In your case, all you need to do is to focus on the one way which will keep you well, and ignore the 1000 sicknesses entirely. 

And what is that one way? 

Eat food. Yes food. Not processed mash made in factories where the manufacturing process strips out the minerals from the food. 

Eat food, yes food,  not from chain restaurants with a "supply chain", which could not care less about your nutrition, they care only about their profit. 

Eat food, yes food,  not from cloud kitchens, which are anonymous cost cutting mass producing factories.

Eat food, yes food,  made from good ingredients, not from "refined" oil, "manufactured" salt, "analogue" cheese substitutes or white sugar.

Eat food, yes food, which has not been doused in pesticides. 

Eat food, yes food,  which you can trace to the source. So that you know who grows it, and how. And you buy what grows. And cook it. At home. And eat it when it is still fresh. 

Yes, it is that simple. You want to be healthy? 

Eat food.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

THE MODERN STOCK PICKER



The latest missive from the Old Man of Nebraska talks about how the stock markets are becoming more and more like a casino.

Link: 





Old Man, as always, is right. It pays to listen to Old Man Buffett. 

My thoughts on why this is happening: 

If you apply the logical  DCF methodology to stock picking - pick any Nifty or Sensex stock - you will most likely end up concluding that the stock is overpriced, however optimistic your assumptions. 

At the core, investment is all about buying assets at lower than their "intrinsic" value. 

Intrinsic value is the discounted value of expected future cash flows, discounted at a rate appropriate to the risk profile of the particular stock. On which value you give a margin of safety. That, in summary, is the Benjamin Graham approach. Benjamin Graham was Buffet's professor and teacher. 

Buffett and Munger added their own insights on what a "good company" looks like. Just a few parameters, which all investment gurus will agree to, are: 

 1. Adequate "moats " like brand strength, pricing power, independence from regulatory interference, patent protections, distribution strength... A moat is anything that enables the company to sustain its competitive advantage for the foreseeable future. 

2. Pricing power
3. A business that is not easily comoditisable or capable of being swamped by "china imports" 
4. Growth prospects of the industry in which the company operates. For example, with the rise of disintermediation and alternate financing options, pure play credit card companies may not be a good bet today 
5. Management with long term vision
6. Good ROE and ROCE
7. Low Capex needs
8. High replication possibility at close to zero cost 
9. Consistent sales and profit growth 
10.  Something in the DNA that will make the Company  extract a greater premium from its customers over a sustained period of time 
Etc etc 

But are the markets purely driven by fundamentals? The logical fundamental investor certainly hopes so, but that is less and less the case.

As more and more people enter the market, and as stock trading becomes easier than buying groceries with 15 minute deliveries, the market, to use the term introduced I think by Soros, becomes more and more "reflexive", finally adhering to the financial equivalent of the definition of a Socialite, a person who is famous because she is famous. The stock price goes up because it is going up and everyone expects it to go up, and the reverse on the way down.

Whatever the trendline may be, prices yo yo wildly around it. Computerised algorithmic trading, now aided by AI and machine learning algorithms, magnify this tendency a hundred fold. 

Add to this cross border money flows searching for cross country arbitrage, and the availability of easy money due to extreme monetary "easing" policies, and it becomes a perfect madhouse.

Sense and logic,  where art thou, cries the fundamental investor, as he looks on with bewilderment. Stock prices seem to have a mind of their own - and they do, it is an independent mind beyond human control driven by algorithms- and all ups and downs are much faster and extremely magnified. 

In such a situation, sticking to fundamentals alone may not be the right strategy. At the very least, for a long only investor, setting a strict stop loss when entering any stock is absolutely mandatory. 

And the old old adage of Buffett, I don't care if I don't see the market for a year, for I have picked fundamentally good stocks, may no longer hold true. If like Buffett, you decide to retire to the metaphorical hills of Omaha, Nebraska, and come down to the plains only once a year to check on your stocks, you are likely to find, like Rip Van Winkle did, that the world has left you behind and moved on in your absence, leaving you with nothing.

Can you catch the trend? 
Can you Intuit the future? 
Can you second guess the crowd? 
All while being dependent on them! 

Can you get in before them,
Can you bale out in time? 
Do you have balls of Steel,
And a heart that is as strong? 

For those are the qualities needed,
In today's crazy world,
To succeed in the markets,

Or for that matter,

In anything at all! 

( Posted to my blog 

Monday, February 26, 2024

HOLISTIC EATING


When it comes to Food, *what* you eat is more important than the parts. 

When you eat organically grown whole foods, freshly cooked, without adding chemicals and preservatives, without a long shelf life, the effect on the body is on many dimensions, and the interrelationships between the parts is beyond "scientific" measurement. 

When it comes to food, in general : 

Avoid Grains,  or,  minimise them in your diet which is more practical; avoiding grains entirely in today's context of tough. Grains are a comparatively recent addition to the human diet. 

Use natural salt, not manufactured table salt. Manufactured table salt is a chemical called NaCl and it is not food. 

Use cold pressed oils, not refined oils. Til oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil, mustard oil, are all traditionally used in India and good for health, of course , when used in moderation. Palm oil is not good, period. Rice Bran oil is not even oil. I am not sure about Sunflower Oil and am still to form a view on it. 

Sweets should  be sparingly eaten, during festivals, etc, and make them using gud , not manufactured white sugar. There are many varieties of gud traditionally used in India.

Milk is not strictly necessary for the human body and can be easily avoided. BUT Ghee is extremely healthy. So is butter. Even vegans would be well advised to not skip ghee. So is buttermilk. 

So that takes care of salt, sugar and fat, which are the primary building blocks. 

What about protein? Dals and light protein are good if you also have grains in your diet. Grains are carbohydrates and the laws of food combination state that carbs and heavy protein don't go together. If you have meat, can you make sure they are freshly killed, not heavily processed, and come from free range animals fed on a natural diet? If you can, go ahead and eat meat, but in moderation. As affordability increases, the quantity of meat in the diet goes up, which is a mistake. If you can't ensure this kind of meat, and buy meat from animals raised and fed on industrial farms, then it is better to avoid meat entirely. 


Within foods itself, you have "super foods" , like spices; spices are a store house of micro nutrients. 

The food industry does not like this simple, common sense approach. None of their products are even edible, or in other words, food, if we follow the above approach. 

So what do they do? They divide food into various nutrients, and minerals, and vitamins, and give labels on all their processed foods listing all that. Their manufacturing process does the following: 

It strips the food of all that is good,

It adds chemicals and preservatives, 

It uses all the wrong ingredients that are bad for health in the first place,

It makes things that don't spoil with a long shelf life. Anything that does not spoil, is by definition, not food. 

It diverts us into the useless exercise of "label reading", and debates on the "nutrient profile" of foods, which is among the most useless exercises you can ever indulge in.

Then it adds the template called "hygiene". And "good manufacturing practice". And converts us into a bundle of nerves afraid of the very food we eat. 

And introduces abominations like milk powder into the culture itself. The office coffee machine of course has only milk powder, and so does the tray that is kept in your five star hotel for the morning chai. A dip dip tea bag with dairy whitener is the most pathetic way to start the day.

Slowly, we are converted into a bunch of people who believe in "science" , read nutritional labels on packaged foods; a walking talking abomination of inedible chemicals we shove into ourselves in the name of Food, all the time wondering where is that vitality, where is that positive health, where is that well being that we lost somewhere along the way. 

The medical industry then steps in to address our woes. The medical industry calls itself the health industry, but they have nothing to do with health, the apt description would be "disease industry". But more about the medical industry in another post.

And thus the system traps us. A bunch of people with more and more knowledge but less and less wisdom who are insistent on harming themselves... 

Friday, February 23, 2024

On Mc Donald's and Fake Food


Maharashtra FDA cracks down on McDonald's because none of their cheese items are made of cheese. 

This is food we are talking about. It is considered acceptable to replace food items with a chemical cocktail and call it "analogue", in this case "cheese analogue". 

Not surprising at all. The moment food gets into industrial production mode, this is bound to happen. 

Trace all your food to the source. Buy only what grows, and cook at home. 

The more the layers between you the consumer and the producer, the more the profit motive as opposed to genuine love at any part of the chain,  the more the food becomes just another commodity - the less it remains food. 

Our ancients treated the cooking process at home itself as something sacred. There are prescriptions for how the lady of the house should approach cooking, including the mental attitude while doing it. Any mental disturbance while cooking gets transmitted to the food as bad vibrations and thereon to the family members who are eating the food. Food is called "Prasad" and treated as such. 

At the other extreme you have chains like McDonald's, and you have Cloud Kitchens. You can be sure that anything coming from these places will not be fit for human consumption. 

Humans have a capacity for debasing the sacred to the profane in no time at all. And what are profane, like Swiggy, Zomato, and industrial  fast food chains, are glorified by popular culture. 

Things have reached such a state now that anyone who says that one should eat only freshly cooked food made at home, is viewed at best as a quaint anachronism, and at worst as a disruptor of the social order! 


Thursday, February 8, 2024

THE RIVER OF TIME


The thing that strikes you  today, 
That monument that is grand,
Is here for a moment's stay,
Then Time swallows it and it's gone! 

The thing that you just achieved,
When you thought you bested the world,
Is even more short lived,
For such are the memories of men! 

The recognition for which you crave,
That fleeting validation - 
Who is it saying you are great?
For their sojourn is just as brief! 

We hurtle from the day we are born,
Caught as if in a strong current;
The river of Time sweeps us all,
Inexorably to our deaths!


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

AT IKEA



Thoughts while walking through  Bengaluru's IKEA store 

Lovely design,
Lovely finish,
Flimsy material,
Make today's things! 

All things ersatz,
All things compact,
Not made to last, 
Are today's things! 

Movable stackable,
Assemble it yourself,
How weak and fluffy,
Are today's things! 

Good to see, nice to hold,
Nothing is permanent,
Who wants things to last,
In today's world!


APOTHEOSIS


We spend our time chasing money,
And all that money can buy us;
By their trinkets do we define,
Value the worth of those around us! 

We spend our time chasing degrees,
That confers on us validation,
By those whom we seek to impress; 
Knowledge is not a consideration! 

We spend our time praising freedom,
And all that lip service entails; 
While imprisoned by the baubles,
That keep us captive and enthralled!

We spend our time on our gadgets,
Whose feed is controlled by someone else;
We feed our brains with all that junk,
Which is designed to keep us entrapped!

We spend our days, our entire lives,
In this state, hypnotised, held in thrall; 
A collective brain controls our fates, 
And that brain is certainly not ours!

What we focus on is religion;
What we pray to are our Gods;
What we chase all our lives we become;
Man makes his Gods, and they in turn make Him! 

Monday, February 5, 2024

REFLECTIONS ON THE EVOLUTION OF FOOD


The Jains ate only a vegetarian diet, and a severely constrained one at that due to additional rules.

The Eskimos ate predominantly raw seafood. 


The pastoral herders consumed milk and milk products.

In regions with no cows, people not only consumed no milk; over generations they became lactose intolerant 

The Kshatriyas ate meat 

Those staying in hot regions added more spices to their food. 

Those staying in cold climes ate bland food. 

And so on. The variety in human diet is astonishing. 

Yet, most societies remained healthy. Those who follow a traditional diet continue to remain healthy.

But any society which gets influenced by "western" culture, read "modern western food habits ", again US is the biggest culprit here, loses its health within two generations, in fifty years or so. 

Obesity, Diabetes, BP, ADHD, inability to focus, stress... The list of incurable diseases can go on. 

The Pharma companies then step in to provide life long medication for these incurable conditions, making huge profits, and ensuring future profits, since the patients only end up getting worse requiring more and more medication 


Actually, the term "incurable" is not true. The clue to "curing" these conditions lies in the realisation that these are mostly problems created in the last fifty years or so. 

In which case, the answer will dawn by itself. 

Provided you are willing to accept the conclusions that common sense tells you must be true. 


Gobi Manchurian

Check out this article below on Goa banning Gobi Manchurian.



It is not the Gobi Manchurian, but the garbled reasons for the ban that should be more worrying.

Chemicals and powder used in the batter. 

Additives to lend it crispiness, or whatever quality you want in it. Arrificial colours. 

Veering away from Gobi Manchurian: 

The highly processed foods that we eat contain dozens of additives to enhance various "qualities" of the food. 

The swiggy / Zomato food that we are habituated to, mostly comes from "cloud kitchens" which will care less about your health than the average stall owner in Goa.

There is a mistaken perception, also touched upon in the article, that paying more ensures better quality. Usually, I have found the reverse to be true when it comes to food. The food at your local Darshini / Udupi is by and large  far healthier than what is served in star hotels, for a variety of reasons. 

Moral of the story? 

Trace everything to the source. 

Buying your own provisions and cooking at home ensures that you are in control of the whole cooking process.

Then, go one step back. 

Trace the food that you buy to the source. Do you know how and where it is grown? If possible, buy organic. 

You are too busy to do all  that? Because of your job? You order only from Swiggy and eat at McD and KFC? Oh! What is the job you do? 

You work in the health and sustainability field, earning a fat salary advising organisations on health and sustainability? Good for you!

Oh, the ironies of life!

Friday, February 2, 2024

Review of Fighter

Just saw Fighter on an IMAX 3D screen. It's a kind of Bollywood Top Gun, all about pilots and the air force.

 

Top Gun meets patriotism meets Armed Forces meets India vs Pakistan… all ingredients were there for the script writer to turn it into a heady mix or a pathetic kitsch. This film is neither. It is definitely not kitschy, but the story somehow lacks any layers and also fails to elicit an emotional connect at any point.

 

The story is simple enough. Hrithik and Deepika are pilots, and the best of the best in the IAF. Pulwama happens, and then Balakot. The arch villain is a terrorist on whom the Pakistani army, who are his handlers, seems to have no control.

 

Starting with the villain, almost every character in the movie is uni-dimensional. The villain is villainish; Hrithik is, well, Hrithikish, and Deepika and Anil Kapoor also lack any layering to their characters. The story is also quite simplistic, ending in a dishum dishum fight between Hrithik and the villain deep inside Pakistan while all around them everyone is blazing away with their machine guns.

 

The flying scenes are extremely well shot – the technical standards of Bollywood are definitely improving – this film throughout has a Hollywood feel to it in terms of technical excellence. The backdrop of Kashmir in the aerial shots are a treat to watch.

 

Hrithik and Deepika are both very likeable, and very watchable. To her credit, Deepika even manages to match Hrithik on the dance floor, not many would be able to do that. They are a wonderful on-screen pair. Anil Kapoor, as their Commanding Officer, is good too.

 

Definitely a good watch on the big screen, if possible on an IMAX 3D. Shorn of the big screen and the 3D, on Netflix, I doubt if this movie will be worth watching. I would recommend watching it on the big screen before it is taken off, you will certainly like it. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

WORLD NO. 1 AT 43


A Tribute to Rohan Bopanna 

To achieve this level of greatness,
In a field that is ruled by the young,
Is the stuff that dreams are made of - 
One wonders, is age but a number? 

Time takes its toll on all of us - 
It is good to gracefully accept,
The graying hair and the balding patch,
But not let go of what you dreamt! 

The prize is not in the laurels,
Or the money or even fame;
They may or may not come in due course,
What counts is to stay in the game! 

The dreams may change and the  goals may shift,
For nothing is static in this world;
But to have none and to retire,
Is the beginning of the end! 

At any stage in life I'm but half done,
The more exciting half yet to come; 
Let me not rest on my laurels,
But keep chasing dreams, and have them! 

Dinesh Gopalan,
31 January, 2024

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Experts are of the opinion that ...


Check out this article on how a UN body has been infiltrated by terrorists: 

https://x.com/HillelNeuer/status/1751955667035025729?t=QGcOfrSpyUKWml0IsJW9BQ&s=08

The UN is infiltrated by terrorists, and their sympathisers.

Just like the WHO is infiltrated by the Pharma Lobby.

And we blindly believe these jokers.

In fact , whenever I am reading something, the biggest red flag is when the article says 

" Experts are of the opinion that..." 

"Experts" are those who study from the official curriculum and get "recognised" certifications. 

The "official bodies" that certify them peddle an "official" curriculum. 

The official curriculum is made by "accredited" and "reputed" organisations. 

Which in turn are infiltrated by Jihadists, Terrorists, Pro Vaccine disease mongers, and the like. 

The only way to survive is to make your own conclusions based on first principles. Go back to the source / the  genesis, and trace things from there. 

And be not swayed by the hundreds of people who quote the "experts" to you.

Every apex organisation is  suspect, and there are a few which are definitely compromised. The top of the list of compromised organisations is US FDA, closely followed by every UN organisation. The "educational" bodies like ICSE, CBSE, etc are also total rubbish -  if you think they are working for your child's education, you are mistaken.

All systems work for their own benefit, and the consumer is merely the fodder to ensure their sustenance!

Monday, January 29, 2024

The decline of Bollywood

So,

Ricky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani sweeps the Filmfare awards! 

I remember liking the movie when I watched it in August ( link to my review: 


However, at no point did I feel that it was a "great" movie, worthy of winning awards. 

Best Actress to Alia Bhat and Shabana Azmi, Best Dialogue to Ishita Moitra, best choreography to Ganesh Acharya...

Have also watched 12th Fail, again, a decent enough movie, but at no point did one feel that it deserved any awards. And that is the other movie that has swept up a bunch of awards! 

I think it's a telling indicator of the decline of Bollywood, if you have to hand out awards to such at best above average films.

Time for the Bollywood directors and script writers to take classes from the South Indian movie industry. 

A lot of Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam movies released in 2023  beat these two movies hollow. 

Move over Bollywood, tumhaara time khatm ho gaya! 


Friday, January 26, 2024

Guest at a Parsi wedding

I have had the privilege of attending many Parsi weddings / Navjots due to my stint in Godrej early in my career. 

Each pangat used to take one hour and ten minutes ( yes, I timed it). 

But let's start from the beginning. The weddings / Navjots ( thread ceremony, for both boys and girls) are held only in the evening. Guests flow in and usually head for the Bar. The bride and groom are left alone on the dais; why do they need anyone except the priest? 

The bar pours only Parsi pegs, which is the equivalent of a Patiala peg. The Parsis can outdo the Punjabis in drinking, and cursing. Not being called BC / MC by a Parsi friend means he doesn't love you. By the way, there is no water in the bar, or anywhere else. The wife wanted water once, and after much consultation, they directed her to the backside of the kitchen, and I am not making this up.

A typical Parsi Pangat is served on banana leaves - talking of which by the way, this modern tendency to have a "buffet" is complete nonsense - the only real meal is the sit-down meal. 

The guests would all head for the meal with their drinks in hand. You are first served "lagan nu achar", a special sweet and tangy pickle made just for weddings", and then it starts. The first course is always fish, Patra nu Machli used to be my favourite, followed by one more course of fish.

This is followed by a Chicken course, say Tangdi Kabab, followed by another round of Tangdi Kabab.

Then follows the Mutton Biryani followed by another round of Mutton Biryani.

Then comes the dessert, a top favourite used to be Kulfi from Parsi Dairy. 

The whole thing takes a little more than an hour. The others don't mind waiting, since the bar is always open. 

There is always provision  made for the vegetarians, and it's nice food too.

But who in his right mind would eat vegetarian food at a Parsi wedding? 

It's been years since I have attended a Parsi wedding. I quit Godrej in 1994, and after that have not had the opportunity. 

Now is the time in life when all my contemporaries are inviting me for their children's weddings. 

I think I need to call all my Parsi colleagues of Godrej and renew the friendship, in order to wrangle an invite for their children's wedding. 

Yes! The more I think about it, the more appetising that seems!

( Posted to my blog; 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Nutrients, where art thou

Check out this link on how quality of agricultural produce is depleting: 



**********
Summary: ceteris paribus, new "high yielding" varieties have less ability to extract nutrients from the soil.

The soils are getting poorer in nutrients.

The concentration of toxic elements in food is increasing.

So we are getting less nutrients, more poisons. 

*****************

Not surprising.

Solution? 

Go organic. 

Eat a handful of seeds every day. 

Use only raw sea salt and / or  senda namak. They are nutrient dense. 

It is preferable to soak seeds in water for a few hours before having them. 

Apart from the usual other things you should do, like: 

Use only cold pressed oils, avoid refined oils. 

Avoid processed foods - they are not even food, even whatever there is,  is denuded. 

Buy whole foods. And cook them at home. And eat food within hours of being cooked.  

Have some supplements, preferably Ayurvedic. Allopathic "multi vitamins" are mostly useless.

( posted to my blog: 

Monday, January 22, 2024

PRAN PRATISHTHA


In the continuum of life and events,
We need milestones, markers placed on the way;
Some of them stand out as more significant,
Marking a new beginning or change of course!

A nation needs to shift consciousness,
A people need to shed their diffidence,
For too long have we all been held ransom,
To conspiracy of enfeeblement!

Only the assertive are respected,
Only the aggressive not trifled with;
We are by very nature pacifist,
But to exist in the world one needs to fight!

The Hindu is at last waking up,
To the perverted nature of things;
The euphoria around Ram in Ayodhya,
Is not just about Him or a Temple! 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

High end villa in Bangalore

I am just sending a front page ad in the TOI for a villa in Whitefield, from Total Environment, for 13 plus crores. 

How to add price without really adding value.

Bangalore builders Total Environment are masters at that.

Modus Operandi: 

Or: how to extract money from the Bangalore software crowd. 

Buy piece of land on outskirts. Build a good quality house. So far so good. 

But how do you extract three times the price from the techie? The typical  Bangalore software senior executive, is, as we know, earning a lot of money and waiting to hand it over if you use the right approach.

So,

Create a "natural" / "earthy" / "environmentally conscious" image around the brand.

Grow grass on the roof, keep exposed brick, make it rustic. 

From the picture I suspect these are row houses sharing common walls , which is distinctly not upmarket. I may be mistaken but it looks like that. So, you call it "V 40" ( for a moment I thought it was a BMW engine), " earth sheltered" ( what does that mean??), " courtyard homes" ( make up your mind, is it a home or a courtyard?), and , "exclusive access to your rear garden ( oh thank God. I always like access to my rear to be exclusive!) 

Next step is to choose a name. 

Total Environment excels in this department. Their names are like: 

Opera of a Symphonic Synchrony 

Vistas of a Jungle Epiphany 

Ninth Orgasm in Seventh Heaven,

And so on 

Next, how to extract more money: let's have grades, like silver, gold..  how about green grade and then upgrade to purple, which is the colour of royalty. 

It's very funny, but the more exclusive and rich people become, the more gradations they want to prove that they are more exclusive and rich than their neighbour. Your typical middle class fellow buying a flat at Puttanna Afrahara will never be impressed by such distinctions. "Adhella bitbidi, rate heli ashte", he will say. 

But, please to remember, the target market is the Bangalore MNC executive. So, green and purple it is.

And then, it strikes them. These people have so much money, they don't know what to do with it. So, what to do? How to take it from them? Offer early payment plan. Pay 12 crores ( small change for the Bangalore IT MNC executive, as we all know) up front and get ten percent discount. 

It is another funny human trait that, we chase after products that are priced three times ( 300 percent) of what they should be, and then get suckered to get a ten percent discount. 

And then you throw in a "dedicated design manager" , and "personalised architect", really valuable to the techie, who knows only software. For everything else in life, including stepping out into the street, he needs a dedicated manager.  Contrast that with our fellow in Puttanna Afrahara who,  when he builds a house, his contractor does everything for him. 

And thus the price for a row house near a remote Lake in a Whitefield suburb reaches 13  crores * .  The * of course means there are several extras over and above that. To put that in perspective, for Bombay people, this is like selling a flat in Dombivili at Upper Worli rates. 

It does not matter to the IT Executive since he will plonk down the money by selling one percent of his stock options.

So the techie executive does that. He is happy. His family is happy, Total Environment is happy. Bangalore has a way of making everyone happy.

Friday, January 19, 2024

On "preventive" medical check ups

 

How do you make a healthy person sick? 

Start with "evidence based" medicine. Define a 100 parameters, each of which has a normal range, and each of which has, say, five percent outliers. Outliers are defined as "sick" people.

If you have a 100 parameters, in each of which 5 percent of the population will be held to be "sick", what is the probability that you will be sick if a hundred such parameters are measured? 

Get 100 perfectly healthy people into a free health check up camp. There is a one hundred percent probability that more than ninety percent of them will be declared sick. 

The health check ups are the front desk marketing people for the Pharma lobby.

You will be "advised" to take medication based on the contents of your reports. 

The medicines will make you sick, both physically and mentally. Physically, since they are poisons being shoved into your system, and mentally, since you become dependent on medications to even feel healthy. 

Slowly, you get addicted to the medicines. 

And then your real problems start. 

More problems, more tests, more medicines, more sickness. More bakras ( sacrificial goats) for the medical system. 

And of course the prognosis is always dire. If you don't take the medicines you will get BP, diabetes, ulcers, cancer... You who are now completely brainwashed, take more medicines.

And surprise surprise, it all turns out true! You do get sicker. 

But what you don't realise is that the  the reason why you get sicker is the medicines themselves. 

Preventive medical check-ups are a way to keep the hospital and Pharma assembly lines continuously fed with patients. 

I have followed a simple rule in life ( among the many simple rules I follow, this is an important one). 

Never go for preventive medical check-ups.

Never, ever.

( posted to my blog : 

Koffee with Orry

I don't watch Karan Johar, in fact he puts me off.

But I happened to watch the latest episode, the first half of which features Orry, since the wife, who is a Koffee fan ( don't ask me why, I think it is a form of escapism, anything serves to escape from the rest of the family), was watching it. 

Now you don't know who Orry is? Poor poor you. You are  an antediluvian junk piece who has lost their relevance in this world. 

Orry is the thing. He is the goods. Everyone talks about Orry. He is everywhere. Since he is everywhere, everyone talks about him, and vice versa. What exactly did he do to achieve fame? I already told you just now! 

That twenty minute Karan interview of Orrie is one of the best I have seen. You can't make out whether he is misguided, delusional, or just  off his rocker. Then you realise that it is the others who are misguided, delusional and off their rockers and he is merely taking advantage of it. And he makes no bones about it. 

After watching the twenty minutes, you don't know whether to pity Orrie, pity the rest of the world, or both. 

Watch it, it's worth it 

The balance part of the episode features four well known comedians who are supposed to be roasting Karan. Very cringey, avoidable.

Monday, January 15, 2024

A ZOMBIE WALK

A Palki Sharma video on how weight loss drugs are becoming the New Nirmal. 



Everyone is barking up the wrong tree.

Obesity and associated lifestyle illnesses are rising. Rather than attack the root cause of the problem, which , by the way, common sense will tell you and so called doctors won't, you introduce weight loss drugs. 

Screw up your body with bad food, lack of exercise, and bad lifestyles. Then screw it up further by taking medication which directly interferes with the body's metabolism. Need we mention, these drugs are expensive, and they have to be taken life long. 

The holy grail for the Pharma companies: life long medication that is patented and that ensures that you never get cured. 

And what is it that people want ? They want these drugs to become cheaper and more accessible. Under the assumption that all lifestyle diseases will rise , that they are the new normal. Of course. The food corporations will ensure that. 

And we accept all of this as normal. 

As an individual you and I need to take that call to return to sanity. It starts by rejecting all that the medical industry and their handmaidens, the doctors and scientists are telling us. And getting back to common sense. Following the basic rules of healthy living. 

But we won't do that, will we? 

Oh no, we won't. It's far easier to just pop the pills, and reduce ourselves to an unthinking zombie state. 

We human beings are unbelievably self destructive creatures.


Saturday, January 13, 2024

The rise and fall of Byju's

👆 Byju Ravindran even today can crack a CAT or similar exam with a 99 plus percentile score - he routinely does it in fact. 

He started by taking CAT  classes and was very good at it. 

Then he expanded into school, college etc education. With excellent course material. And he scaled up. 

Then ambition, and  VC funding took over. The money came by the truckload. Now, a VC who gives you money wants you to expand, and expand fast. The focus is mainly on the topline. The entrepreneur who is drunk with all that easy money goes bar hopping, with a string of drinkers in tow, and at every place he visits, announces that drinks are on the house. The top line skyrockets, based on which the VC's increase the valuation of the company in the subsequent rounds.

When the VC's increase the valuation at which the new round raises money, the value of the investment is marked upwards in all the funds that invested in the company. Now the VC's get drunk on euphoria. 

The entrepreneur meanwhile is under severe pressure to expand, expand, expand. 

Byju's has received 5 billion dollars, that is 40000 crores , in 28 rounds of funding so far. 

The pressure to increase the topline was so high that Ravindran's army of sales people started mis-selling the products, and the accountants engaged in questionable accounting practices to inflate the topline. 

Obviously, this was not going to last for long. The backlash started, and everything started winding down, correcting. 
Our man Ravindran, I believe, has run off to Dubai. 

And now, the company, into which 5 billion dollars have been pumped in, is worth 1 billion. 

The perils of excess. The perils of debt. The perils of unchecked ambition. The sin of greed. Every scripture has earned us about it, and said it will bring ruin. 

The scriptures are right, but with a slight twist. In today's times, it does bring ruin, to everyone but the promoter. 

He is partying in Dubai, while everyone else is cleaning up the debris.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Why is aging associated with ill health?


This automatic assumption that one will be always  "sick" when one crosses 50, 60, or whatever and , and will  need medication ... Where does that come from? 

The "modern" medical system has effectively ensured that. 

Medicines are meant to be taken when you are not well. Being "not well" is not a continuous condition. 

The human body is designed in such a way that we will always be well. There will be brief periods of illness when we need to pull back on activities, give the body some rest, maybe take some medicines, and allow it to recover. This is irrespective of age. 

The default condition for the human body is wellness, not illness. Modern lifestyles, food lobbies, and Pharma mafias have ensured that the reverse is the case