Saturday, November 22, 2014


Retro Walking is nothing but walking backwards.  Yes walk backwards by looking over your shoulder.

The Backward Walking or Retro Walking is said to have originated from China where people have practiced it for good health.  Retro Walking became quite a rage in Japan and some parts of Europe as people took to this to build muscle and to improve their performance at sports.  When you walk backwards it puts less stress on the heals which leads to changes in the pelvic alignment.  This would inturn help to open up the facet joints in your spine, potentially alleviating pressure that may cause lower back pain in some people.  Walking backwards also puts less strain on the knee joints thus making it ideal for people who have chronic knee problems or knee injuries.

This has been proved medically to be a very good solution for those who have lower back pain and for those who have knee problems.  How easy or difficult it is to walk backwards something which can be answered only when you try that.  Research has proved that 100 steps Retro Walking is as good as 1000 steps of normal/conventional walking.

There are basically 10 benefits that you would get by doing Retro Walking:

  1. The muscles of the front (tibialis anterior) and back (gastro/achilles) of the shin and ankle are strengthened, owing to the increased strain of performing an unfamiliar exercise.
  2. Walking backward increases cardiovascular endurance significantly more than walking forward under the same conditions.
  3. We expend more energy and burn more calories than those who work out at the same pace consistently for a longer duration. When engaging in a new activity which requires a greater effort, we exert ourselves more. The increased metabolism will result in weight loss for those who press on.
  4. Studies have shown that using other muscle groups by performing different exercises protects our muscles and tendons from overuse. The knee joint and the patella joint (the joint where the kneecap glides on the knee), in particular, benefit from backward walking.
  5. Adding a new activity to our regular exercise routine prevents boredom, so we are less likely to stop exercising.
  6. For those over 50, improving our balance and coordination is even more important. Backward locomotion improves the functions of our cerebellum which coordinates and balances our bodily movements as well as flexibility.
  7. Because we are on the constant lookout for danger and obstacles on our path, practically all of the five senses (and even the sixth) are sharpened.
  8. Our reflexes are sharpened at the same time.
  9. It can help prevent the development of a hunchback.
  10. It promotes blood circulation and prevents lumbago.

I have decided to do RetroWalking as part of my daily walking routine and walk backwards atleast for about 500 meters a day, to start with.

Mr.Mani Manithan has been walking backwards for the last 25 years in his private protest against war and violence.  He lives in Tirupattur in Tamil Nadu, India and has been consciously walking backwards for the last 25 years.  He says he started walking backwards not to turn his back his back against violence but to attract attention of people and make them think of ways to bring about world peace.  He even maintained silence for nearly 17 years from 1989 to 2006 and during this period he refused to talk even one word.  

After 25 years of walking backwards, Mani has forgotton how to walk normally like everyone else.  He says he has become comfortable walking backwards and now it is almost impossible to walk forwards. Hats off to Mani Manithan for whatever he has been doing so far to create the awareness on world peace.

Whilst it is important to work towards World Peace, it is difficult to emulate what some of the people are doing to achieve it.  At best we can admire them and try to get inspired by them.

Dubai, U.A.E.
22nd November 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014


I used to drink less water and suddenly it dawned on me that I have to drink more water.  I have been drinking more water in the last few years.  Over the last few months I have started the practice of having atleast 500 ml of water as soon as I wake up in the morning, even before I brush my teeth.

Drinking more and more water during the day is extremely important.  Most important of the reasons for drinking water, is the fact that it helps in manufacture of the hormones and neurotransmitters in our brain.

If we have to quench our thirst at any time during the day, Water can be the best option as it has Zero Calories and Sugar Free.  A full glass of water just before a meal will also mean your intake is atleast 75 calories less.  A 75 calorie deficit at lunch and dinner would mean that you lose about 6 kilos over a year.

The unwanted elements in the body needs to be drained out through Urine and that process is mainly facilitated by Water.  Water is also needed for the chemical reactions within our body.  It helps in moisturizing and softening of our skin.  Dry Skin, itching, etc. which are common problems in dry weather conditions can be alleviated if you can take lot of water during the day at regular intervals.  Water helps to lubricate the joints in our body and thus will also help to keep us fit and healthy.

It provides the requisite oxygen into our system.  Water has been prevalent right through the existence of the Universe and it is the most essential element for our existence.

I met a friend last month in India and he was telling me that now people are drinking "Vortex Water".   I did a little research on Vortex Water and found that it is structured water and making the water go through the spinning motion where the Vortex effect is formed to purify and bring the water to its original natural state.  There are small DIY kit that are available in the market to make the Vortex Water at home.

There are several parts of the world where people are struggling to get enough supply of Drinking Water.  We are living in an age when we need to pay for Drinking Water.  The price that we are paying is more for the pet bottle in which the water is being sold.  Over the next few years the price that we pay for water is bound to increase.  Irrespective of whether the price is increasing or not the intake of water for our normal existence will not diminish and hence the need to be aware of this crucial aspect of life.

Animals ensure that they get their regular intake of water.  Look at this smart cow who even knows how to pump the ground water by using the hand pump:

Unfortunately there is no substitute for Water.

Despite knowing all the benefits of drinking more and more water on a daily basis, we tend to ignore this aspect in our busy schedule.  This is just a reminder to all the readers on the importance of staying healthy and the need to have regular and frequent intake of water.  Remember it is minimum of 3 liters of water intake per day.  Drink plenty of water and stay healthy.

Dubai, U.A.E.
1st November 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014


How old is your Company?  How long do companies really live in this world?  Whilst the Human Beings are able to live for about 80 years why is it that the Companies started by the same human beings do not survive that long?  I read recently that most of the companies live anywhere between 20 to 40 years.

I also read recently that a third of the Fortune 500 companies of 1970 were gone by 1983 as they were either merged with another company or acquired by some other company or simply went bankrupt.

In 2004 Citigroup was ranked No.1 in the Forbes list of Top 2000 Companies and it went down to No.16 in 2014.  GE has moved from No.2 to No.7 in the same 10 year period and BP has moved from No.5 to No.17.

In 2004 the top 10 had 7 companies from USA 2 from UK and 1 from Japan.  In 2014 there are 5 companies in the top 10 companies from China and balance 5 are from USA.  In this period of 10 years Toyota has moved from No.8 to No.12 and Walmart has moved from No.10 to 20.

Interestingly companies with less than 300 employees and which have been managed by the Family have always survived much much longer.  Kongo Gumi which was founded in 578 AD survived till 2006.  There are a lot of companies which have been in existence for several centuries particularly in Japan, Italy, Germany and France.  Sumitomo was founded in 1590.  Some of the other older companies from 17th and 18th Century are listed below:

Coats - 1755
Royal Bank of Scotland - 1727
Cox & Kings Travel - 1758
Allen Solly - 1744
Saint Gobain - 1665
Lambertz - 1688
Lloyd's Insurance - 1688
Lloyd's Bank - 1765
Levi Strauss & Co - 1853

Managing a Company in this world of high and intense competition is not easy.  In business it is always "survival of the fittest".  You need not have the biggest company but you should have the company that is fittest in order to survive.  The admire the management of the above companies which have survived not just years but several centuries.

Dubai, U.A.E.
27th September 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Super Singer in Vijay TV has been a very good programme to watch.  It is really amazing how these youngsters (young stars) perform.  I have been a great fan of this programmes both the seniors as well as the Juniors.  To me the Airtel Super Singer Junior has been a tremendous programme to showcase the talent of such young kids.

The Super Singer Junior 4 has now reached a level where they are going to select the Top 10 very soon.  They would also have the wild card round and when it finally reaches the Finalists of top 5 it would be great to watch the competition among the children.

Srihari is also a very talented and good singer and how can we forget the little wonder Angeline. From the beginning she has been one of the star performers.  At that age I wonder how she is able to remember the whole song and reproduce it with such ease and elegance.

Watch this great performance by this 5 year old wonder kid:

I think in the coming years she will give a tough time to the other competitors with her stellar performances.

My prediction of the top five is as follows:

  1. Pravasthi
  2. Spoorthi
  3. Bharath
  4. Srisha
  5. Haripriya

Pravasthi is a very talented singer and has given some remarkable performances over the last few months.  I would rate her Engengae Engengae song at the top so far:

Spoorthi is another wonder kid.  She sings every song with such ease and her pronunciation is so perfect despite the fact that Tamil is not her mother tongue.  Ninaithu Nianithu parthen is one of the super performance that she has given particularly the long sustaining notes and the breathe control with which she sings is truly mind blowing:

Bharath is a born entertainer.  He not only sings well but also has the unique appeal for the audience.
His voice modulation and expressions are outstanding and truly unbeleivable for his age.  I quite liked his Rukku Rukku rendition as it had all the ingredients for a super performance:

Srisha is another participant who has come in the earlier year.  She has matured a lot in her singing and has been performing well consistently.  Over the last few weeks she has been getting the chocolate shower almost every week with some very good performance.  Her rendition of Enaduyire was exceptional and truly brought out her full potential and talents:

Haripriya is not new to Super Singer and this year she is giving some extraordinary performances.  I was completely mesmerized by her performance in Azhagan Muruganidam:

With many more rounds to go and wild card entry possibilities for some of the contestants, we do not know how this will turn out.  However I feel the above five will make it to the Finalists of the Super Singer Junior 4.  Let us wait and watch or keep watching and waiting.

Dubai, U.A.E.
16th September 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Chittoregarh is a small town close to Udaipur and the drive from Udaipur is just over two hours.  When you reach the town you cannot miss to look at the Aravali Hills.  When you look at the stretch of the hills ahead of you this magnificent fort will amaze you by the sheer size.  This is one of the largest fort in Asia.
The Fort is built over an area of 8 square kilometers on a 700 Acres plot and is as old as 5th Century, i.e., more than 1500 years old.  The drive around the hills through the various gates and a walk through the palace is truly a stunning experience and it needs to be personally physically felt.  I was fortunate to have that first hand personal and physical experience of going to this fort on 20th August 2014 with my wife.
The two commemoration pillars that are standing in the hill are architectural marvels.  These are called the Victory Tower (Vijay Stambh) and Jain Deedful Tower (Jain Keerti Stambh).  Vijay Stambh is 122 feet tall and is a nine storey structure and was completed in 1448.  Keerti Stambh which stands at 75 feet and was built in 12th Century.

I was wonder struck to see the Palaces, the swimming pools, the underground tunnels, huge walls and the various structures.  It is bewildering to see this magnificent fort at a hill top that too built more than 1500 years ago at an age and time when there were no cranes, vehicles, equipment and tools.

The highlight was the Padmini Palace where you see the huge mirrors.  You can see the image of a person standing in the palace built in the middle of the tank through the large mirror.  Allauddin Khilji could see Padmini in the mirror.  The architecture of these palaces actually induced doubts about its actual times of construction.  It was truly amazing and mind boggling to stand there and witness this marvel on earth.
The Palace for the King, Palace for Queen, Summer Palace, Winter Palace, Accommodation for the Ministers, Defence Headquarters, Accommodation for the soldiers and other employees of the Royal Family, Temples, Swimming Pool, Deer Sanctuary, Victory and Keerti Towers, Compound Walls, internal passages, secret rooms, secret underground passage, Stunning views of the town at the foothill makes this entire Fort a comprehensive and complete place.

Preserving this marvelous Fort by itself is a huge task and I sincerely hope the Government of India is able to preserve this Fort (or whatever remains of the Fort) for another few centuries.  People who get to see this Fort, in my opinion, are truly fortunate.  The visit to this Fort with my wife only reinforced my thinking that there is so much to explore and see in India.

Dubai, U.A.E.
27th August 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


ABBA is the first ever english album that I heard in my life more than three decades ago.  After a very long time I heard the songs while driving from Salalah in July 2014.  The songs brought back lot of memories of the good old days.  National Tape Recorder, Seenu, Ramesh, Suresh, Thandavarayan Street, Cassette, English Songs, Unknown lyrics, known tune, happy singing along without knowing the words and its meaning, etc., etc.  We used to listen to these songs as a group without understanding most part of the song and were still able to enjoy.

Anni, Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha  are the four musicians who came together and formed the Group ABBA.  ABBA the album was recorded from August 1974 to March 1975.  I just cannot believe that this album was recorded 40 years ago as the songs are still very fresh and very enjoyable.  They topped the music charts worldwide for seven years in a row from 1975 to 1982.

Two couples got together and through their pop music they captivated the whole world and it is a pity that they were together as a Pop Music Group just for 10 years from 1972 to 1982.  It is so sad that they split in 1982 and their lovely music was all over in just 10 years.

I sat and listed the songs that I liked the most and here is the list of top 12 songs that I enjoyed the most:

  1. SOS
  2. Mamma Mia
  3. I do I do I do
  4. Waterloo
  5. Fernando
  6. Chiquitita
  7. Money Money Money
  8. The Winner takes it all
  9. Thank you for the music
  10. Take a chance on me
  11. Dancing Queen
  12. Eagle

ABBA music will live on and on as long as we hear music in this world.  Long Live ABBA.

Dubai, U.A.E.
19th August 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014


1914 is the year in which we had the first commercial flight in this world.  The flight was for just 23 minutes in Tampa Bay.  
2014 is the 100th year of Commercial Flights in this world.  What an achievement.  We have come a very very long way in the Aviation Industry and today roughly 8 million people are taking commercial flights every day in this world.  Imagine 8 million each day being carried from one place to other by the Aviation Industry and if each aircraft is carrying about 100 people that translates to about 80,000 commercial flights in a day (24 hour cycle).  Roughly 55 flights are taking off every minute from different airports across the globe.

I remember way back in 1984 we were having a conversation and my friend Renganathan said his brother is working on a project on Transportation and they will find solution for carrying 500 passenger in an aircraft by the year 2000.  We were all laughing and told him that if 500 people can get in then it can only be Ship which sails in the Ocean, it cannot be an aircraft.  When the A 380 was launched I was reminded of this incident and today we have aircrafts carrying more than 500 people.

The figures and facts about the number of passengers, growth rate, plans of the Aircraft Manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus are all very encouraging.  In reality most of the Airlines are only incurring losses and over the years we have seen so many of them close shop.  When the skies were opened to the private airlines in India there were too many players and there is only one who is still in business, Jet Airways.  I do not understand why these Airlines incur such huge losses?  If most of them are only incurring losses then how can there be a consistent flow of new entrants in this business?

The technological advancement in the aviation industry is really mind boggling and stunning.  We have so much of advancement and still there have been mysteries like the MH 370 which went completely missing and there is no clue as to what happened to the aircraft.  We also had an incident a few days back when a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Brussels slipped more than 5000 ft and they found that the Pilot was sleeping and the co-pilot was busy on his iPad.

Aviation Industry has completed 100 glorious years of service and while the advancement is stunning it has been a bit of turbulent ride for the Airline Industry.

Let us hope the next 100 years to be less turbulent and far more smoother.

Dubai, U.A.E.
17th August 2014