How Not To “Farm” Your Hair! – The Hair Care Tale

Yeah this is so so strange of me here. Me posting about hair care!! If my mom came to know about this, she’d first be rolling on the floor laughing and then look at me skeptically – giving me the death stare πŸ˜›

There are reasons for everything, though.

Dove

First off, this is my official entry to the Dove’s Love your Hair and it Loves you Back contest.

Secondly, my mom would give me the death stare because I take care of my hair like a lot!! (If you didnt get the sarcasm there, please do get it now) πŸ˜›

But all these things apart, the reason I am here, posting about this is out of my mom’s genuine concern for her hair. Now, dont get me wrong – she doesnt have a long, silky, soft, smooth and flowing hair. Most of that has disappeared after marriage – and more so after I started asking questions about life (:P)

My childhood memories are filled with my mom taking good care of my hair – yeah, my hair – with all of these:

  • regular, once-a-week, mandatory hair-wash with shikakai. Shampoos came very late.
  • applying oil to the hair every day – and it was not just applying oil. it was a 3-minute soothing massage that would often put me to sleep.
  • making sure the hair isnt disheveled (this was not just for “looks” but also to keep the hair-line in check :P)

And yeah, my childhood memories are also filled with one more important thing: How Not To Care For Your Hair!

My mom is unlike everyone else – rather than tell me how to do something, she’d tell me how NOT to do something. The underlying principle, I came to know of later, was that things are perfect as they are – till we enter the scene and disturb the balance.

So here are some simple ways on how NOT to do something that would affect your hair:

  • Dont fret too much about hair-fall: Strange as it might sound (or common if we go by my previous post), one of the first things you shouldnt do is worry. Scientists have linked “worry” as an important factor in hair-fall and that’s very ba(l)d. (note to self: now I know why my dad’s bald and my mom’s been facing the problem of rapid hair-fall – they probably mutually worry about how they could have lived happily had they not tied the knot πŸ˜›)
  • Never forget that coconut oil is the best remedy: Not for nothing do the Malayalis depend so much on coconut oil. It has powers that science has yet to discover/uncover. Sure, we have uncovered the coconut and found out many things inside, but the powers are hidden. Applying coconut oil everyday is something that you JUST CANT miss – I missed out on that and the result is my mom scolding me every morning – and a slight recession in my hairline 😦 πŸ˜‰
  • Dont wash your hair too often: I tend to see grooming your hair as a farming activity πŸ˜› Oh yeah, too much water spoils the farm plants, you know? That’s called flooding. The hair behaves much in the same way. Too much water, and it tends to fall even faster than you can imagine. Blink and there goes another bunch! πŸ˜› Once or twice a week is okay (yeah, mom mentioned it just now!)
  • If you are applying Oil, Shampoo, Nourisher etc., Do A Massage: Now that I think about it, one of the most important reasons why I skip applying oil everyday is because I love my mom massaging my hair when she applies it – which makes the scoldings kinda acceptable πŸ˜› Women today – most of them, I guess – are either rushing to the office or quite busy with other things. So all that happens is, pull some oil/nourisher out, rub as fast as you can (all sectors over the head covered, nevertheless) and then rush out. Well that is of “almost” no use, sweethearts πŸ˜› Remember your mom or grandma applying shikakai or oil on your head? Remember why it felt so good? It was a massage. You may or may not need it, but your hair sure does πŸ˜€

Phew, I seem to have written quite a lot (without actually having anything to write!). But here are some interesting posts – with a tinge of humor (like the way I like) from my fellow bloggers on IndiBlogger. Oh yes, you will get some excellent tips on caring for your hair – unlike my post πŸ˜›

That’s quite a large reading list, if you ask me. But if you’re serious about keeping yourself away from hurting your hair, I suggest you do read them all πŸ˜‰ Hair a nice day. πŸ˜€

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Simple. Simpler. Simplest. And That’s Leo Babauta Philosophy For You!

Take a western guy. Mix Buddhist elements in him. Talk about self-realization. You get a curiously interesting mix of spirituality, productivity, time management, life management, zen – to cut short, you get Leo Babauta.

The last time I stumbled on his website – which was back then starting out as a small self-help type – was when I had dial-up in my home and my dad was paying the telephone bills. Back then, I was a kid.

Today I am not exactly a grown-up (who is, anyway? :P) but that is beside the point.

Leo’s ZenHabits website has turned out into a megaton of posts that deal with improving our lives in simple ways. It’s all the way about simplicity, the power of less and such “zen” kind of stories, anecdotes and personal experiences which he shares.

Yeah, the vastness of his website, the megalith amount of content he has produced over the years and the way he has inspired several hundred thousand people are all impressive enough. But you know what’s truly impressive?

His personal website homepage.

It defines, in my humble opinion, everything that he is.

Simple. Uncluttered. Concise. Clear.

I am reminded of this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

It seems perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add but when there is nothing left to take away.

If we learnt how to be all that at all times – simple, uncluttered, concise and clear – we’d probably be out of trouble most of the times πŸ˜› And in all probability, we’d enjoy life every moment – yeah, even the bad moments would be relished πŸ˜‰

If by any chance you happen to be reading this, take a look at this. πŸ™‚

Something Called WikiLeaks, Somone Called Julian Assange

 

Remember there was this guy called Julian Assange, his organization called WikiLeaks, their work that included – mostly – bringing out the shameful, manipulative, and many times, purely undemocratic ways of a nation we all call USA?

Ah, media; people; life. News is actually the best entertainment people chose to listen to. And forget it as soon as something else comes up.

A few days ago, the powers that have been trying to plug the WikiLeaks phenomena decided to pull the plug on the finances of Assange – which means he’d not be able to fill the pockets to run his ambitious project.

That was when I took notice of something strange.

Sometime in the next few years, the WikiLeaks story would be made into a Hollywood movie. Like the Social Network, it would go on to win the hearts of the public, and attract criticism that would work in its favor. But who’d play Assange?

My best bet was Tim Robbins! One particular photo of Assange brought back memories of Shawshank Redemption πŸ˜›

 

 

Kindly Stop F****** With Kashmir!!

I’d love to say all these things somewhere out there. I’d love even more for all these things to be heard by the political bosses of both the countries. Yeah, may be none of that would happen – but let’s go ahead anyway. Here’s what I have always wanted to say:

 

 

Yes, everything about Kashmir started out wrong.

Yeah, it was not “democratic” when the bloody king gave away the kingdom to India, but the people (Muslim majority, quite obviously) wanted to align with Pakistan.

Yes indeed, India was as greedy as Pakistan – because both were economies with an empty purse and needed fast buck to race to the top.

Yes, Kashmir was a geographically strategic stronghold and a symbol of power to whoever held it.

Yeah, every f****** thing was so totally wrong.

But that doesnt mean they should stay wrong to this day! That doesnt mean people of a generation that wasnt even born when the partition or the accession happened should suffer. That definitely doesnt mean schools should be closed often, development works should be left half-way, curfew should be imposed every single week, and a couple of bodies should fall for raising a voice too loud, an arm too high!

Both you <expletives> of the Governments of Pakistan and India are the sickest of the sadists I would ever get to see, when it comes to resolving Kashmir. Dont you ever see what is truly at stake?

It’s not the buck that comes from the tourism industry. It’s not the natural reserve that almost seems eternal and unending. It’s not even the bloody strategic position and military advantage with all those passes and valleys and peaks!

It’s about human lives.

It’s about human emotions.

It’s about people of Kashmir – yeah, people with arms, legs, brains, work and eagerness to live a happy, peaceful and certain – and f****** stable – life.

All I ask – as a human, not as an Indian or a Pakistani or any bloody citizen – is for the governments to stop pursuing the financial, political, strategic, military and every other stupid policy of yours.

No, Indians wont give away Kashmir to Pakistan and bloody no, Pakistan wont let go of the struggle to claim Kashmir. Oh you sick dumbos! You sit in A/C offices and large hotel rooms and put your points in paper. You sit on camp-beds and make decisions on where to attack, where to control, where to drop the grenade. Have you ever thought what that beautiful little girl wants?

She wants to go to school everyday, play in the evening with her friends, sleep peacefully to get up early tomorrow – sans the boots with guns roaming around, sans the consistent wailing of sirens, sans the sounds of occasional gunfire, sans the deserted, empty, frightening, stone-ridden streets.

Thousand years from now, you are not going down the history books for keeping Kashmir with you. And thousands years from now, you are not going down the history books for fighting to claim Kashmir. If at all someone decides to spread the word, both of you will go down the history books as the most inhuman, politically motivated and sick-minded guys who never got to see the other side of Kashmir – the one that is made up by normal people dying every single day to LIVE happily.

The Bloody Universe As We (Dont) See

(photo credits)

Modern physicist have this strange ability to make everything look as complex as it can get – and then as an icing on the cake, declare in wonderful and poetic language, this is just the beginning.

One of the reasons – besides Quantum Mechanics and Samkhya Philosophy – which prompted me to change tracks after completing my graduation in physics (yeah, even I am surprised how I did graduate!) was this whole discussion about the beginning of the Universe. All these Big Bang and Big Crunch theories – of whose intricacies I came to know, at best, only through A Brief History of Time – are cool, fun, interesting and readable only in the newspapers. These journalists give you the most toned-down version – spiced with cool elements πŸ˜‰

So this morning – following day before yesterday’s random reading on the words of physicists eating each other’s mind out – I read another piece about inflation of the cosmological kind.

Now dont get me wrong – I am not a nerd, and I dont read such pieces. It was the caption that prompted me to go ahead. πŸ˜› The “crackpot” reference got my attention and I wanted to see what the guy had written.

Well, all I was left with was a huge sigh. At least when I was in fourth grade, or till the time I was schooling, I thought I had a somewhat good understanding of our universe. The Universe, as we see, was a simple thing till then.

Today, I can boldly declare, not just me, but probably even the scientists dont know sh*t about our universe. Guys who fund all these researchers, companies that are pouring trillions into finding out how the universe was actually created – or at least, how it began – I dont know how these guys understand what the physicists tell them. And seriously, if I was a physicist with these results in hand, I would have a tough time trying to convince and persuade the sponsor to shell out money for my research πŸ˜‰

For now, scientists tell us there could be multiverses (multiple universes, yeah, as if one universe isnt enough to comprehend). The physics involved at the Big Bang, or seconds before are not only complex – they seem bloody impossible πŸ˜›

What I dont understand is, why did the Universe come into existence in the first place? Ah, I know, scientists push that question into the domain of philosophy and religion. At least, philosophy will try to rationally answer that question. Religion!! Ahhh!! Kill me!!

The Curious Case of Climate, Cosmos and The Hairline

(photo credits)

Some great saint, who probably never existed on earth, once said:

the rate of a receding hairline is exponentially proportional to how much you worry about your receding hairline.

I dont let my mom watch me comb my hair – which, yes, I do infrequently because I still have quite a lot of hair left over my head.

That is because if she watches, she makes it a point to make a point about the possibility of me becoming bald much like my dad – and as a positive proof of her suspicion, indicates a partly receding hairline right over, yeah, here.. here.. and here too. Period!

Out here in my family, bald head is a hereditary phenomena. Even paternally related cousins follow this trait. These guys, I hear, are of the Vishwaamitra Gotra (yeah I come from a Brahmin family, although most of my friends would agree on my being the odd-man-out in my family) and seeing these cousins I sometimes wonder if even the sage Vishwaamitra himself was bald! πŸ˜›

Anyway, the oft-quoted thing is not to worry about receding hairlines – because the more you worry about it, the faster your hairline would recede. Which brought me, incidentally, to two similar phenomena – although both being quite serious (so to speak) than a receding hairline 😐

1. Climate change skeptics – who said Al Gore was sick, panicking the whole world because he never made it to the Presidency, who said Climate Change scare was almost a farce, who said the global warming up was quite normal and nothing to worry much about, who devised several parameters, instruments and methods to show that the existing methods of climate change counters are actually BS – have finally been forced to come out with the truth. All the Hollywood-type nightmarish scenes of climate change effects which we have become quite used to could actually be the scene your son, grandson or great-grandson (if the human species lives till then) would see for ‘real’ πŸ˜›

The final conclusion was that the rate of climate change is actually faster than what was before a century or so. Faster climate change means faster effects πŸ˜€ Yeah, I am smiling because we dont give a f*cking sh*t about all the climate change stuff and I dont want to act like all the hypocrites making startling points in forums, discussions online – all sitting in an air-conditioned room, throwing plastics all around and not giving a sh*t about proper waste disposal.

2. The other thing which takes on a similar hue is something for which three physicists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for this year. Reading this news item, of which I couldnt make a head or tail of, I have partly decided to drop out the ‘Bachelor of Physics’ part of my Educational Qualification section in my resume.

The basic idea, however, lies in the concepts of multi-verse, expanding universes, and the rate of expansion. Here again, the idea is similar to the previous cases – one, the expansion is happening, and it is happening faster every passing second (or nanosecond, or picosecond for all you astrophysics freaks).

After much deliberation, I couldnt decide on what to worry more about πŸ˜›

Well not everyone gives a sh*t about climate change. Over seventy percent of those who actually give a head about it are only concerned with numbers and the graph-charts.

Rapidly expanding universe? So what?

Receding hairline? Oh. My. God?? Ah, come on. I have better ‘creative’ things to worry about πŸ˜€ Like the “receding battery time” on my laptop. Seriouslyl, I gotta check out why my laptop would give me only 30 minutes of backup 😦 πŸ˜›

Catch you later. Thanks for reading πŸ˜‰

Oh No!! Another Post On IndiBlogger Meet

Location: Hyatt Regency, Chennai | Time: 1330 hours | Day: 9th Oct Sunday

If you are on the IndiBlogger scene, the title of this blogpost might be your first reaction seeing this post. But I am ready to take the risk of writing the post. Oh yeah, another question that might pop-up is: Why a blog-post so late!!??

College exams have this strange ability to put the most important work – like writing about my experiences at my first blogger meet – on back-foot. Technically, I should have posted this along with dozen other bloggers who wrote about the IndiBlogger meet right on Monday after the meet. Besides citing the college exam schedule, I must also admit, I am quite busy being lazy.

Hotel Hyatt Regency is a new star-hotel in the city’s long line of multi-star hotels. I dont know much about this hotel except for the fact that I have been watching it being built since a long time – primarily because I used to be very regular to college in the first year, which means I commuted on the route this hotel is situated on πŸ˜›

That IndiBlogger – India’s largest blogging network – along with Tata Motors chose this as the venue for the meet was awesome – because it gives me a chance to enter these 5 or 7 (or 14 or 100 doesnt matter as long as it’s a number, right?) star hotels. Frankly, the very thought of being inside these places makes me shiver a bit. Top it with the air-conditioning effect, and you have shivering doubled.


The Entrance to the Hotel Hyatt Regency. Something like a monolithic structure from the age of Neanderthals? Stonehenge? :P

Strangely, I was neither early nor late. A dozen other bloggers had already arrived at the venue. The term β€œballroom” brings images of huge, or very huge, and imposing rooms where you could arrange a mini-cricket (if the guests were kind enough to permit a lapse of civilized behavior :P) but this ballroom was more of a simple, elegant and calm room – both in structure and sound πŸ˜€

But, one look at the ceiling, and nightmarish images of Hollywood scenes where the chandelier falls down with a mega-shatter (orchestrated wonderfully with multiple slow motion cameras) popped up. While on one hand it was a beautiful setting – glowing glass rods like giant optical fibers – and on the other, it was kinda unnerving.

I introduced myself to another blogger – an entrepreneur in charge of a start-up company – and we got talking. Since this was my first blogger meet, I didnt have the option of seeing familiar faces πŸ˜› So I kept looking everywhere basically to take in the scene and setting. Tata Motors – the official sponsor of the IndiBlogger Chennai Meet – had done the homework in marketing their latest SUV, the Tata Grande.

One of the interesting things I found was the banner which had the photo of half of the SUV with the text They Tried To Fit Me Into One Banner, That Didnt Work Very Well. Other than that, the other interesting thing was the potato-fry-roll like stuff which was available during the tea break. Unfortunately for me, I chose to take just one of those in the first serving. Darn! I am still wondering why I am often shy when it comes to matters of food πŸ˜›

Oh yeah, they activated the WiFi for us to tweet about the IndiBlogger meet, or for us to share photos on Twitter among other things. Problem was, it worked only for a select few – like those who had the iPhone or the iPad (yeah, richie rich bloggers :P). There were many with the Android smartphones too – one of them (I’ll never know which) was the reason why my mobile phone got connected to the WiFi. That person’s Android WiFi was acting as an Access Point which helped my phone get connected through that AP. πŸ˜› Whoever it was, thanks a ton mate πŸ˜‰

The fear of torrent downloads: (and the general accepted fact that we Indians, no matter how far we get in technology and blogging meets, might suddenly turn out to be super heavy users of torrent technology when it’s available for free)

I dont know the name of this blogger but he was gracious enough to let me click this pic. He had to pose for many others too, I guess πŸ˜€ (to those who are not familiar with Chennai bus routes, 29C is the number of a bus plying in the city, that crosses the maximum number of women’s colleges)

Another blogger I met made a funny remark for this pic:

He said this looked like someone tore apart many paintings and then fixed them on this wall – having jumbled the pieces πŸ˜€ I concurred completely.

Finally, the star of the event πŸ˜€

The IndiBlogger meet was – no doubt – a successful one with loads of experiences I’ll carry with me – at least till the next meet here πŸ˜‰ All thanks to the man behind the network – Renie Ravin – and the whole team that arranged, managed and brilliantly held the meet.