Archive | April, 2015

Why I gave up coffee.

20 Apr

  

I have gone seven days without coffee. And I couldn’t be more proud.

A week doesn’t sound much to you, right?

Well, figure into that this; I don’t remember any time in the past three years where I went even a day without a cup of it.

In fact. Twice a day had become my minimum in the past two years.

So seven days without it? Something that once seemed impossible to me? I’ve done it. And I feel better than I would have expected mysef to feel. I wouldn’t put “energized” and “more productive” yet on the list, for to be honest the fourth day of the experiment, all my insomnia disappeared and I slept. For six hours straight. With only a tiny break. (Huge for me.) But. There have been so many other pros, that for the next fourteen days at least, I’m willing to overlook this con.

But why, after three years, the sudden change? And why the hope that I might be able to extend this 2-week challenge into something more long term?

Although my mother would like to believe it was her continuous pushing that got me off of it, that’s not the answer. It was the late in coming , and yet the all too sudden, realization that this much amount of caffeine was doing me more harm than good. What harm? Nothing too big, and yet too much. But to keep it concise,  here are the five main reasons why I ended up taking a little time off from my elixir. Five reasons which might inspire you to cut a little back on your coffee too.

1. I had become too jittery. Not just the “I can’t sleep” or ” I can’t stop moving kind” but my attention span had grown shorter and shorter. So much so, that I couldn’t even keep my mind focused on a conversation at hand. Or in the here and now. My anxiety levels were shooting up, which was probably the worst of all my problems. I could see this leading to a nervous breakdown-if not in a year then in three, and when a family doctor advised that this all could be sprouting from my caffeine, I finally decided to take his advice and cut back on it. Has it helped? The insomnia, a little. The jitteriness, again slightly. The rest? Let’s see.

2. My skin had gone to the dogs. Literally. Pimples-a new one every day. Dull skin. And I don’t know what not. And although my mother always told me it was because of my coffee it’s only now that I realise the truth in her words. Sounds insane? It isn’t. In seven days my skin looks better than it has in ever. And for just that I am willing to stick to this cleanse for longer than 14 days.

3. It actually does dry you up, even the parts you don’t want to. I first came across a readearch my friend forwarded to me. It said how it can shrink up parts of you, dries them up, parts you wouldn’t want that dried up. And then a friend of my mother, a doctor, told me the same. They might be wrong, but for the sake of it, I want to see if a decrease in my caffeine will go to prove them right or not. 

4. It causes tachycardia. Yes. It fastens up your heart rate. Not just right after the strong (fourth) cup of your joe when you feel your heart will beat right up and out of your mouth. But it alters your normal rythm. I came across this fact in a physiology practical in my university. We had to take the pulse of each other and when my friend took mine she was astonished by how irregular mine was. It would go on from a normal rythm to a faster one to an extremely slow one, in the space of a minute. But that was three years back. It has worsened now. All coffee drinkers have it, but the more you drink it, the worse it gets-till the point where it can morph into ventricular tachycardia. Which can, yes, lead to death. It didn’t scare me till a couple of weeks back, when I was lying in my bed and the (4) coffees I had had decided to let my heart know about their presence. The way it’s rate went wild, I think part of me promised myself right then that I would never like to be back at that point again. Has my pulse rythm improved? Not much. But I’m willing to be patient about the results in this area.

5. It had become a source of too many fats for me.  You can’t always have it black, and all the lattes and ‘ccinos and frappes that I was picking up at my favorite cafes were definitely adding to my weight. It’s not a sudden thing, it builds up on you slowly, without you realizing it. Till one day you realize that though you have been cutting on all other sources of fat, you have still put on weight. (Damn you coffee, I trusted you.)

Maybe these reasons won’t be enough to keep me off coffee forever. Maybe, next week I’ll be back to two cups a day. But I’m trying. And till now-succeeding. And till I can be sure I am back in the safe zone with this little addiction? I’m going to take it a day at a time.

Let’s see how it goes though.

Love,

Gull.

The Giver.

17 Apr

The first time I read the Godfather, I loved it.

The idea of a whole underground mafia running through the loopholes of the most stringent law forces, was amazing. And the way Mario Puzo presents the criminal families to you, the power, the understated fame, the fear. It all leaves you…star struck. 

And then their is the Don himself.

He, his three sons. I could probably right essays on them. Full of both their praise and criticism.

But even more, they inspired an awe in me. An urge to know more about them, an understanding that the wish was as childish as wishing for Hogwarts to be real (meh, we have all wanted that now).

However, it’s when I was reading the book the second time around that I came across the most important message in the book. The secret to Don’s success. Something the glam of it all let me miss the first time around.

And his secret weopan was just one attribute that he was intelligent enough to take it up very early in his life.

He was a giver.

Theory says, that in this world there are three kinds of people. The matchers, the takers and the givers.

The matchers probably live the hardest of the lives, because they spend their’s keeping a tab on who owes what to whom and by how much. Who never forget a favor they did for someone and keep waiting for them to respond with one of their own. For a chance to take it back. It’s not just disgusting. It’s a life time handicap, for in the struggle to keep the score equal, they fail to actually live, to keep up with those around them. They exist. Their only worry being the score board, never even playing the game to its full.

The takers seem to have the best of it, for they are getting what they want, how they want-no matter their means to get it. They don’t mind what they owe to whom, but soon the people around them do begin to mind how much they have been “taking”. And inevitable as their reluctance is, so is the fall of these takers from their faux greatness. For it came from a web of deceit and wishes, not hardwork. These are those who forgot to wander in the right direction, and now they are lost.

And then there are those whom people would like to believe are stupid. Whom some would like to con, but only true genius would see their worth. They are the Dons. They are the givers. They are ready to bestow any favor on you as they strive on their own path to success, hoping for nothing in return, but a friendship which with such kindness would be inevitable. The Don’s price for the hardest of favors was the promise of a friendship, and isn’t it how it practically is, but without the question of it? You do a man a kindness, how then would he not love knowing you when you ask for no tat to this tit? Why wouldn’t ten men come to your help when you helped thirty in their need. Maybe the scoreboards would never be equal, but it’s more than about just that.

It’s about getting something money can’t buy you. 

The joy of putting a smile on someone’s face, the warmth of someone’s hearty hug, a simple thank you note, that silent acknowledgment of your support. Sometimes the biggest gifts lie in the tiniest of gestures. Hence, unseeingly, and then more apparently too, the givers begin to leave all the others behind on the scoreboard. And as they continue to rush towards a victory, they never lose their chance at living. 

In short, the Godfather has taught me, just as life has too, that the best amongst us aren’t the ones keeping score nor the ones leaning around in the background, rather it’s the ones on the battlefield, who can spar without regret, without worry and without getting lost as they wander.

So take a step forward, and be gentle. Give without wanting. Take only when you can’t avoid it, but never keep score. Help, smile, do, share. Be everyone’s support, solution, hero. Hope. And let no one be let down by you. 

Then watch how speedy your own victory is. 

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