Fitness tracking

As a Medical Doctor who loves to stay healthy, I have  been exercising fairly regularly, or so I thought! To objectively document my moves I did try out four different wearable devices that were supposed to help give me the data I needed, [mainly my heart rate and the number of steps I walked]. Imagine my surprise when all of them turned our to be almost useless!

Heart rate tracking has to be 24 X 7 for it to be of any real use to a medical professional or even anybody who is seriously interested in monitoring their health. And most of the devices that claim to track your heart beat do so only when asked to or when you press a button! That probably explains their cheap prices too. Anything cheaper than 3000 Indian rupees or around 40 US $ most likely will be a waste of your money if you are looking for serious round the clock fitness tracking at the time of writing this.

So I did some serious research on the best wearable device for me and honed in on the one you see in this picture below!



This is a device that fits the bill perfectly for me.

Here are the plus points after over a week of constant use:

It is super comfortable to wear, so that you hardly notice it is there on your wrist.

It is water proof and shower proof

The charge easily lasts a week.

The heart rate monitoring works 24X7 and is very accurate

The app is also easy to use and gives quite detailed analysis of your day and week.

It even tells me how many stairs I have climbed and descended.

It tells me the amount and quality of my sleep.

It reminds me to move with a vibratory alert  if it detects that I have been sitting at one place for too long.

You can set your personal goals and see how you have performed daily and weekly etc.

You can even link to other apps that monitor your dietary intake.

Here are some of my reports as it looks on my phone app:



I am glad to see that my results are quite good for my age! Bit at the same time I used to think that I exercise enough and take enough steps but this device was like a reality check! I realised that on the days I miss my club I was really not exercising or walking enough!

Screenshot_20180723-223624This shows that for most of the days in the past week I barely reached my own goals for steps taken! Point taken!

Thank you Garmin for this device, the Vivo HR and I would highly recommend it for anyone out there who would like to keep track of their health and activities. By the way they have a HR + which has GPS too, but as I did not need GPS tracking for my exercise I selected the HR.

Wishing you the best of health!


Pineapples and Poison

Pineapples are grown in Kerala on land used for rubber plantation by a group of people who usually rent out these lands from the owners. They plant the pineapple plants in between the rubber trees, use fertilizers and pesticides to ensure a big harvest of pineapples which will flower at the same time to enable bulk transportation and better profits.

I met a few rubber estate owners who had given their lands to such pineapple growers.

What they told me was rather disturbing.

They said that when they visited their rubber estates they could not endure the smell of chemicals there. They themselves were shocked at the amount of pesticides and chemicals these people use to ensure a big harvest of pineapples of large sizes. They never eat the pineapples grown on their land, they said. They prefer to take the small pineapples which they find growing in the wild.

After one harvest, the fields have to be cleared for the next planting.

Since labour is expensive, these pineapple growers use highly toxic chemicals to kill the remaining plants! They have also been using banned and notorious teratogenic and mutagenic chemicals which they have stockpiled in secret godowns and use in secret.

Wayanad is a fertile highland of blessed greenery in Kerala state. It is noted for its healthy environment of less atmospheric pollution compared to other parts of the state. Most of the people in Wayanad depend on agriculture for their living.

However, recently, in connection with the efforts of the banana-growing farmers to realize enhanced productivity, the unscientific and increased use of harmful pesticides is noted in the district. This trend, as expected, certainly resulted in the boosted production and profound profit, but according to recent surveys, this also resulted in the tragic increase in the number of cancer patients in the district. Among the pesticides used for the purpose, carbofuran, popularly known as Furudan in the market is the major one.

So, when you see those juicy big pineapples, take care. Find out more about their origins. For your sake and for the environment’s.

Times Mumbai salutes Forum


Mumbaikars battle to reclaim city

In 2010, Ordinary Citizens Had Authorities Perennially On Their Toes With Fervid Activism

— Linah Baliga

Milk adulteration racket busted

—Sukhada Tatke

Times of India Mumbai edition 27th December 2010 page 5

It started with the residents of Borivli, Kandivli and Dahisar complaining that the milk they got at home was not up to the mark. Soon, the struggle evolved and, in March, a milk adulteration racket in the area was busted.
The crusade against milk adulteration was started by members of the New Link Residents’ Forum, Dahisar. Fearing that the racketeers would get tipped off if they involved the police, they took it upon themselves to solve the problem. For 40 nights, eight members of the group patrolled the streets. “We used to step out of our homes at 2 am and drive around till 6am. We collected a lot of information and zeroed in on six locations where the adulteration was being done,” said forum secretary Harish Pandey.
Once they were certain of the racketeers’ whereabouts, the crusaders informed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One night, forum members got together with FDA officials and raided the places. As expected, the criminals were caught red-handed and bags filled with adulterated milk seized.

Milk adulteration busted

“Our work was not over. We had to ensure that the gangs don’t come back. That’s when we started keeping in touch with cops, who were by then very supportive and happy with our success. The two kingpins of the racket were finally externed,” Pandya said.
The residents feel the battle will continue until all such gangs are busted. “We can say confidently that the proportion of milk adulteration has come down drastically. But we will be satisfied when it stops completely,” Pandey said.

Vegetarian India


‘Vegetarians can’t use court to lobby’

Rosy Sequeira TNN 6th Jan 2012

Mumbai: Vegetarians can lobby against meat-eaters anywhere but not before a forum like the court, it was argued on behalf of meat exporters at the Bombay High Court on Thursday.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi was hearing a PIL filed by Viniyog Pariwar Trust against the slaughter of cattle at Deonar abattoir and the export of meat. The petition said in 1983, the BMC banned the export of meat. “BMC has no authority to use the slaughter house for exporters,” said Viniyog’s advocate Praful Shah, adding, the abattoir had been running into losses of Rs 116 crore for a decade now. He said under the civic laws, it was clear that the Deonar abattoir was established only to cater to the “need of the locals and not foreigners and exports”.

National Treasure?

“Cattle are important wealth of the nation. We should not destroy it,” said Shah, pointing that Article 51 (g) of the Constitution stated that there should be compassion for all living creatures. “Cattle are being slaughtered unnecessarily for export.”
But BMC advocate Geeta Joglekar said considering the poor financial status, on March 20, 1985, it was decided not to implement the 1983 resolution, banning exports. She said slaughter was carried out between 11pm and 6am for local use, while the entire day, the machines lay idle. So, she said, exporters were allowed to use them. “We only provide space and charge double from exporters,” she added.
All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Associations advocate Zubin Kamdin argued that since Deonar abattoir was set up in 1972, export had been allowed till date. “Just because a person has a particular ideology, it cannot be imposed on others. This court is not a forum and a PIL cannot be used to impose ideology on others,” said Kamdin. Justice Dalvi said because a petitioner had a particular opinion, it did not prevent him from filing a PIL and the court would examine the case on merit. Kamdin said the trust’s prayer amounted to interference in the policy decision of the BMC. “According to them, meat-eating is a western culture,” he added. According to him, exports from Deonar alone accounted for Rs 226 crore annually.

This is from a letter I wrote some time ago, but the topics are ever fresh.
To: HT Mumbai Main <>Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 7:55:28 PM

Subject: Vegetarian Sinner?
Deonar abattoir closed for nine days! Some Jain vegetarians have their way, forcing their beliefs down the throats of millions.

Some vegetarians hate people more than plants

Politicians had successfully lobbied the impotent government to stop the main production center for meat in Mumbai for nine days as a Jain festival was being celebrated. Vote bank appeasement perhaps but this was a danger signal that I could not ignore anymore.The Jain religion and some other philosophies apparently believe that it is a sin to kill animals. I thought it is time to correct this view once and for all.

The whole question of vegetarian vs non-vegetarianism is rooted in emotions and so-called spirituality since time immemorial.There are two main aspects of this issue.

Firstly many people are of the opinion that if you are a vegetarian, you are more spiritual. I recalled meeting an elderly gentleman in Gujurat who proclaimed that the answer to India’s problems lay in everyone adopting a ‘satvik’ vegetarian diet. He, and many other sincere people think that what you eat determines your character. Was he right?

Centuries of vegetarianism in India and look at the condition of our dear country. B12 and Vitamin D deficiency over the generations have played havoc on our health, making Indians the highest risk population for Diabetes and Heart Disease.

So the question is, is non-vegetarian food bad for you spiritually? Does it make you s sinner or bad?

Jesus answered the diet-character question 2000 years ago. His disciples asked Jesus whether it was the food they ate that made a man do evil. Jesus said “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts”. The problem lies in the heart of man.

Secondly many people also think that there is no difference between humans and animals. That also makes them believe that it is a sin to kill animals. To think that we are no different from animals would amount to actually insulting the Living God who made us humans uniquely in His image and who longs to have a relationship with us much like a loving father would love his children.

Has anyone seen a praying monkey or goat? Doesn’t science itself marvel at the difference between man and all other created living beings? Does not even the law of India treat murder of a human being as a crime worse than killing a pig?

We humans are certainly made different from all other living beings! We have a soul and a human spirit which has the potential to connect to the Living God!

We humans have been made stewards by God of the entire earth [Genesis 1]. We are all answerable to God for how we have taken care of earth and its creatures. It is our duty to see that animals if at all consumed for food are killed as painlessly and humanely as possible, and when needed for food alone, not for fun.

As for the answer to who or what can save India, I believe that the answer lies in the person of Jesus Christ alone.The fallen nature of man’s heart is at once the most easily provable fact as also the one most denied philosophically. A casual glance through the events happening all over will tell us that we humans are sinners.

Why deny it? Real change of character in us humans can only come when we accept that we are sinners, repent with our whole heart, and believe that God has forgiven our sins through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross 2000 years ago, a fact easily proven historically.

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. No amount of fasting or vegetarianism has or can cure our country of its many ills. Centuries of history tell us the same story.

But sometimes we prefer to re invent the wheel. Hope this article opens your eyes dear readers. Hope you would not judge people by what they eat, rather by what comes out of their hearts. Let us respect the rights of others and allow them to eat what they want, treat them as you would your own brother or sister. Are not all Indians your brothers and sisters?

I love my India. Long live India!