Sunday, June 7, 2020

What we need to consider before we Boycott China


In the last few years, we have developed this tendency of blaming our neighbouring countries for our problems. The TV media must take a huge responsibility for that.  

So, when Sonam Wangchuk posted a video about boycotting Chinese products, I took notice. Having met him in person and spoken to him about his view on India’s education system, I was keen on understanding what his views were. What he said made sense at face value, we have witnessed a similar Swadeshi movement in the past and it worked. We as a country boycotted British goods during the independence struggle and it did dent their vault. But, is it possible now? 

Let’s first begin with TikTok 

The entire ban TikTok wave that took over the internet last month was due to a roast video and a response to Carry Minati’s YouTube video being taken down. The intentional low ratings on Google Play store and the bid to uninstall the app stemmed from this video being taken down and was far from waging a war against China’s economy. (All these YouTubers and Viewers are still happily consuming TikTok, even if it is under the garb of watching it to roast later) 

According to a report by Entrackr TikTok earned revenue of ₹23-25 crore in the last quarter, which ended on December 31, 2019. It is now targeting to earn ₹100 crore. (Link

While India does hold the largest share download wise, we are also giving much more to other Social Media platforms like Facebook. Facebook witnessed a 71 per cent growth in Indian markets with ₹892 cr revenue in financial year 2018-2019. 

To give you a perspective, India’s digital ad market is around ₹17,000 crore, which is dominated by Google and Facebook. (Link

So, in comparison, TikTok still holds a very small share.  

Now that we have TikTok out of the way, let’s talk about actually boycotting Chinese Products 

In 2019, Chinese imports alone accounted for 34 per cent of all the foreign value-added in India’s exports, data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) shows. (Link

Here’s what Live Mint has to say, 

India is a large market for Chinese goods, accounting for 3% of China’s exports and adding up to $75 billion in 2019. But here’s the thing: India’s $17 billion of exports to China account for a much-higher 5.3% of our total exports. Any trade war with China would hurt India, too. (Link

The Government too is aware of China’s aggressive nature and thus last month mandated approval for foreign direct investment (FDI) from countries with which it shares land borders. The curbs aimed to shield Indian companies from predatory investments, particularly those from China—a big hint that policymakers in New Delhi have become ever more cautious of Beijing’s growing role in the Indian economy. 

This is a good thing considering how China has grown over the years in Asia and the sort of economic debt colonies it is subtly building across the globe. 

Simply speaking, if we are going to boycott their products, they may just do the same for our products.  

Of course, making products in India is the ideal situation, but it needs to be gradual and in a proper manner. We need to ensure that we are able to sustain the boycott and manufacture all the products in the country. If this isn't planned well, we may face shortage of products and that may hamper our economy, job market and even essential services.  

Since we are making things now, let’s also take a look at what happened to our Make in India project, which is now rehashed into Atmanirbhar 

Make in India was introduced to facilitate Indian industries and encourage the start-up culture to make India investment friendly. But according to Business Line Chinese investors have major stakes in 18 out of India’s top 30 unicorns. A report by foreign policy think tank ‘Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations,’ has estimated China linked investments in India’s tech start-up sector alone at $4 billion. 

‘The ease of business’ that most people use loosely in everyday conversations also shows that China has a better ranking than India, India stands at the 63rd rank while China’s rank is 31st. Although I should clarify that India did improve its rank from being 77th previous year to 63rd now.  










Friday, May 29, 2020

My 90 Day Experiment - Day 11 to 20

Day 11:
Weight: Lost 0.2kg

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water - 10.10am
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins - 10.10am
  3. Chai and 2 Chapatis - 11.15am
  4. Water with Sabja seeds - 12.30pm
  5. Prawn Rice and Papad - 1.15pm
  6. Chocolate Ice Cream - 5.30pm
  7. 2 Mangoes - 9.30pm
  8. Milk - 10pm
Mom is making Prawn rice today, I totally love it so I guess I am going to have a good lunch today. Will have to compensate for it in the evening but I am going to eat to my heart's full for lunch. #NoGuilt

So I just finished my lunch, I must admit that I ate more than usual but I ensure that I chew each bite properly and then swallow. 

50 Crunches, Walked 2kms

Day 12: May 30, 2020
Weight: Lost 0.2kg

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water - 10.10am
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins - 10.10am
  3. Chai and Britannia Rusk - 11.15am
  4. Chole Bhature and 1 cup rice - 1pm
  5. 1 cheese toast - pm
  6. Chole bhature - 9pm
Walked for 3 kms, low intensity dance for 20mins

Day 13: June 1, 2020
Weight: Lost 0.2kg

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water - 10.10am
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins - 10.10am
  3. Chai and Marie Biscuit - 11.15am
  4. Chinese noodles for lunch and dinner
  5. 2 Mangoes - 9pm
Walked for 3 kms, 50 crunches

Day 14: June 2, 2020
Weight: Put on 0.3kg

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water - 10.10am
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins - 10.10am
  3. Chai and Marie Biscuit - 11.15am
  4. 2 chapati, rice and prawn curry
  5. 2 Mangoes
  6. Piknik chips
  7. Pizza 3 slices
Today was a stressful day, the entire eating plan has gone for a toss. Didn't workout also because it was raining and didn't get a chance to for a walk outside

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Do we have our priorities right?

My heart ached as I saw numerous videos of migrant workers walking towards their home. Hundreds of kilometres, with children, families and elderly, with barely any resources available. After a point, I couldn’t take it anymore and actively chose to not watch those videos but I am not able to do much for them. 

The honest workers who in a way help run our country without much hassle, are at the moment homeless, penniless and with no help. The silence from the authorities is deafening. 

While the PM announced his 20 lakh crore economic package, no one waited a minute to evaluate it. He himself said that it is a SUM of all the packages that they have already announced. Many experts have already said that the actual package is somewhere in the ballpark of 1-3 lakh crore. 

Let’s also keep in mind, that all of this may take time to get implemented and reach the needy. In the meantime, these migrant workers are without a job, without pay and have to still feed their family and ensure a roof over their head. They are left with very limited options. In my opinion, what is needed right now is to ensure that they get some money immediately. Isn’t this the very reason why the government asked every citizen to open a bank account a few years back? This is the time to make use of those bank accounts and put some relief amount in it. 

For those privileged who are reading this, please take a pause and evaluate what is happening around you instead of just being a spectator. I am sure you’ll recognise the ground reality and the challenges that a number of people around you are facing. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

My 90 Day Experiment - Get Fit


Let me start off with saying that whatever I do here, I am just winging it. I am experimenting to figure out if I can lead a healthy life, lessen my current health issues (bloating), and also lose some weight while staying true to my lifestyle, tradition as well as eating and workout habits. 

I have always been told that I am fat, and while I feel that I may be a little on the chubbier side, fat is not what I will call myself. But of course, this constant reminders have made me want to shed some weight, and dieting and following a strict workout regime isn't something that I can do. Also, with a full time job also drains my energy to do something constructive for myself. 

So this is me giving myself 90 days to conduct an experiment on myself. 

This is an experiment that I am doing, do not take it as a diet plan or my weight loss journey etc etc. please dont categorise it because honestly I am not sure what I am doing.
I will just be posting here to motivate myself and help me be accountable.

Day 1
Over the weekend, I did eat a lot of home cooked food. I have been feeling bloated ever since, today however, I woke up feeling a little better. 

    Food I ate:
  1. Warm Water
  2. 5 Soaked Almonds and Raisins
  3. Chai and Marie Biscuit
  4. Water with some Sabja seeds
  5. Dal, rice and some methi pakoda
  6. Banana Chips (I small bowl)
  7. 3 Bread slices with 1 small bowl of Dal
Water intake was good, I didn't count liters but I was hydrated through the day. 
50 crunches
Walked for half hour, the speed wasn't much so I guess I waslked around 1.5kms
Climbed up 25 stairs

Day 2
Weight: lost 0.6kgs

I am a little bloated today though. Hopefully will feel better as the day passes. 

  1. A glass of warm water
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins
  3. Chai and 4 small Khari Biscuits
  4. Water with Sabja seeds
  5. Homemade Chicken Biryani and Carrot
  6. A piece of Cadbury Dark Chocolate
  7. Half a Watermelon
  8. A small bowl of Banana Chips
  9. 2 and a half Chapati with chicken curry 
  10. A piece of Cadbury Dark Chocolate
Water intake is good, I feel hydrated. 
Workout: 50 crunches
Walked for half hour, the speed wasn't much so I guess I waslked around 1.5kms

Day 3
Weight: Lost 0.2kgs

  1. A glass of warm water
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins
  3. Chai and Pav toasted
  4. Water with Sabja Seeds
  5. Homemade Ragda Pattice 
  6. 3 small Jalebi
  7. Half a Mango
  8. Watermelon
  9. 1 Cheese Pav (as evening snack)
  10. 1 Cheese Pav (as dinner)

The one thing that I have started doing it chewing my food. I have always been a slow eater - because chewing used to take time - but now I am being extra careful about it. I take 1 serving and fill the plate with the amount I feel like eating. I generally avoid 2nd serving. Then sit and eat for at least 30-40 minutes. I guess that is helping a lot.

The nuts that I have in the morning has helped with my constipation, my bowel movements are like clockwork now and I am loving it. I read up on it and apparently Raisins help you with constipation and digestion. So, if you are facing similar issues, try having 7-8 raisins first thing in the morning. Also, don't forget to stay hydrated. 

However today I ate a lot of Pav, which is not a good thing. I am worried that tomorrow The weighing scales are not going to make me happy.

10 minutes Alexis Ren Abs Workout (you can find it on YouTube)
45min walk, approx 2.5kms

Day 4
Weight: Put on 0.3kgs

Slept around 3.30am last night and I am already dreading the weight in the morning. Today I realised that maybe yesterday I drank a little less water. Today also, I wan't super hydrated. 

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins
  3. Chai and 4 puris
  4. Water with Sabja Seeds
  5. Chicken leg and curry, 3 bhakri and 1 small bowl of rice
  6. 2 Mangoes
  7. 1 small cup of banana chips
  8. 2 Chapatis and 2 eggs
Alexis ren ab workout, walked 2.5kms

Day 5
Weight: No change

Slept around 12am last night and woke around 10am today. Glad to note that the weight hasn't changed. Will try and eat more mindfully today. 

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins
  3. Chai and 2 Chapatis
  4. Water with Sabja Seeds
  5. Dal Rice and Batata Bhajji
  6. 2 Mangoes
  7. Nachni Chips
  8. Cornflakes and Milk
  9. 2 Mangoes
Alexis ren ab workout, walked 2kms, climbed up 10stairs

Day 6
Weight: No Change

Slept again at 12am and woke up around 9. I feel a little full and bloated today though. 

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins
  3. Chai and Marie Biscuit
  4. Water with Sabja seed
  5. Pizza! I had this only for lunch and dinner
  6. Nachni Chips
Didn't workout today because its Sunday and I really needed a break. 

Day 7
Weight: Didn't check because I am terrified to check it

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins
  3. Chai and Marie Biscuit
  4. Palak Paneer, 2 chapati and a small bowl of rice - 1pm
  5. 2 Mangoes - 5pm
  6. Khichadi - 9pm
  7. 2 Mangoes - 9.30pm
50 Crunches, walked 1.5kms, climbed 20 stairs

Day 8
Weight: Put on 0.4kgs

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins
  3. Chai and Marie Biscuit
  4. Water with Sabja seeds
  5. 2 chapatis, moong sabji and cucumber
  6. Cold coffee and nachni chips
  7. Half a watermelon - 5.30pm
  8. Cheese toast - 9pm
  9. Milk with cocao power - 10.30pm

Alexis Ren Ab Workout, walked 1km

Day 9:
Weight: Didn't Check

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins
  3. Chai and Marie Biscuit
  4. Water with Sabja seeds
  5. 2 Chapatis, Prawn Curry, Rice
  6. 4 bread slices, Prawn Curry
Didn't workout as was neck deep in work.

Day 10:
Weight: Didn't Check

Food I ate
  1. A glass of warm water
  2. 5 almonds and some raisins
  3. Chai and Marie Biscuit
  4. Water with Sabja seeds
  5. Dal Rice and Papad 
  6. Watermelon
  7. 1.5 Chocolate pastry
  8. 2 Mangoes
Yesterday was especially bad because I was craving a chocolate cake. I suppressed the urge to order since morning but gave in in the evening. Since I was going to eat cake and that's a lot of calories I decided to make a meal out of it. 

I didn't have dinner but just cake and mango.

Alexis Ren 10min workout, Blogilates 10 min workout

Balcony Garden Tips - Eggshells | Mumbai | Urban Gardening | Zero Waste | Quick Tips & Hacks


Sunday, May 17, 2020

TikTok vs YouTube - The unfortunate state of urban millennial

In the last few months, I have come to face the harsh reality of my generation. A number of my acquaintances and at times, even close friends, have made racists comments. 

It’s 2020, and we are still discussing religion and religious superiority. We have managed to turn a blind eye to the important issues of the society and are following a narrative that has been set by people for their own benefit. 

This is what happens, when we don’t really think or have decided that the information fed to us, the information that we understand, is the right one. 

The effort to learn news things, to take interest in current affairs and take a look at what is really happening is “uncool”. 

Facing reality and challenging society, for this generation means being allowed to wear a mini skirt and not being objectified. While I completely support this thought, I too want to wear clothes that make me look amazing. But there are several important issues that get ignored when we are trying to be this “Woke Social Media Influencer”

The height of stupidity was, when the TikTok vs YouTube controversy happened. It amazes me how invested people were in this idiotic issue, while the nation was dealing with a pandemic, economic crisis as well as migrant crisis. The thing that pissed me off was, that even such a stupid topic was coloured with religious sentiments. Soon it was about the religion of these creators. Let me tell you, all of this controversy didn’t do any good to society. The only thing it did was, 

1. Create a distraction

2. Lower your IQ

3. Benefit Carryminati

Next time you decide to invest your time and energy in something, pause and evaluate who it will benefit and how it will enrich the society you live in.

Monday, March 16, 2020

What is the impact of the oil price drop on Global Warming?

Recently it was announced that the global crude oil prices have dropped. The man behind this is touted to be the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salmaan, aka MBS. This is the biggest price drop since 1991. This intrigued me and I began reading on what this is all about.
Here’s what I gathered,
Saudi Arabia and Russia are the world's top crude oil exporters. They signed a deal in 2016 to curb the supply at 2.1 million barrels per day, in an attempt to manipulate the demand and supply and level the crude oil prices. Now, Saudi Arabia wants to increase that number to 3.6 million barrels through 2020, Russia doesn’t want that.
So to prove their upper hand over the oil market or just to have a bigger market share, Saudi slashed the oil prices over the last weekend. Talks of increasing the production to about 10 miller barrels a day is also doing rounds.
This is where I got interested, if we are going to drill so much to extract oil, aren’t we in a way harming nature? Will this affect our current carbon footprint? How does it affect the ecological balance of the planet?
A New York Times article says, Lower oil prices have a mixed impact on the environment. Drilling goes down, as do releases of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas connected with climate change. But if prices stay low for a while, gas-guzzling cars and trucks may find more buyers.
Other than that, there are numerous other effects of  oil drilling from affecting the local wildlife and marine life to increasing the carbon footprint of the countries who buy the oil. Let’s also not forget the fact that the marine life also makes up a part of our food chain, in effect harming human life as well. 
So it does make one wonder right, where is all this headed?

What does this mean for Indian Economy?
  1. While I am not an expert on this, I did come across a few interesting details during my research which I thought of sharing.
  2. India imports nearly 82 per cent of its oil
  3. In 2018-19, India spent $87 billion on oil imports
  4. If the oil prices remain low, India could see an overall import bill come down
  5. Analysts believe, for each drop of a dollar in crude prices, India’s import bill comes down by almost Rs 3000 crore