Sitting is the new killzone


“Two things I can’t stand – sitting and sleeping.” ~ J.R. Rim

I work approximately 16 hours a day. 14 hours at work, 4 hours doing my own thing and 6 hours sleeping. Ok, ok…7 hours sleeping. And here’s the end result – a slight paunch that developed in the last few months, numb hands (most of the time), burning elbows, stiff neck, sore back and wrists that hurt when I lift or do some activity.

Sitting is the new kill zone

I realized that I was wasting away. I tried a couple of things. Going for walks, doing some activity at home, hitting the gym. My attempts (struggle rather) to wean myself off the ‘new’ idiot machine(s) that have slowly enveloped every facet of my waking hours FAILED miserably.

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I could not get enough of the constantly streaming updates, the likes, the hits, the traffic or what you call it. Internet is an addiction. And it is spawning a brand new, ready-to-exploit generation of folks that might have fancy smartphones and devices that cost an X amount of money but what they fail to realize is that the diseases and the issues that are festering and will show themselves a few years down the line will be 10X the cost of these devices and may well be irreversible. Stiff necks, backs, wrists will be the norm.

Getting a lot done

It has been almost 4 years since I last saw the insides of a bank or an electronics shop. I don’t speak to my Relationship manager any more. It is has already gone the way of self-help. For the tech-savvy it is a boon. A few clicks, a few swipes and all work is done. Its that simple. Its all digital work happening at blazing speeds. And while our minds are boiling and churning all the time with all this work, our bodies are deteriorating at a steady pace.

Mind body tussle

I no longer see the need to move my limbs. I feel and it is a fact that I can do all the work my folks did a decade or two back out in the sweltering sun on my mobile device or my laptop. I no longer sweat, no longer face the pollution (except when I commute), no longer tire as the CLOUD shadows every aspect of my life.

Everything is digitized

Everything has digitized. Relationships, human interaction, creative effort, everything. Its like we are hurtling toward the not-so-distant reality of the Surrogates movie where everyone is plugged to the grid and while their real bodies are at home, their bionic bodies are hard at work, taking the beating, taking the risks.

Here’s the plan

Break the cycle. Change things a bit. Move around. Make war on the status quo that has you sitting wasting you away while you ‘seem’ to have a good time. Have walking meetings. Go for more breaks. Unwork. Just keep moving. Here’s what I did today – I  changed the way I worked (wasted away) daily.

Two boxes is all it takes. No rocket science.
Two boxes is all it takes. No rocket science.

I installed two rather ugly looking boxes I got from one of them e-commerce sites and elevated my laptop to a level that forces me to stand up and work. I am yet to feel the difference but I already see that my arms and wrists are automatically in line and not at an angle that forms when I sit down and work. More good should hopefully follow.

All that comes to mind right now is that song by B. Marley – Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight.

Here’s a TED video for a quick education (wake up call) on this topic.

Ted Video

Thank you

Thank you for stopping by. Have a nice day ahead. May the force be with you. 

About 

Salil Lawande is a writer, photographer and illustrator living/working/traveling in India.

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You got a case of the Litlust


 It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. ~ Oscar Wilde

Books are a boring, static medium. Tedium medium I would call it for some who haven’t taken the trouble to explore what’s between those dull yellow pages with stoic words written by someone they don’t know yet. It usually starts at the front. The cover design arrests your attention. The typography sort of pulls you in, making you flip to the very back of the book. The racy text then takes over. The racy text that describes the book in one go. Classics don’t need those. But the rest, the unknown books waiting to be picked and read, that racy text makes all the difference. Screaming, shouting and telling you how this book is going to make the difference your life needs at the moment. The New York Times calls it a best seller. Some heavyweight author you admire throws in a few words of appreciation and consequently your grip tightens around the processed tree. You want it now. You know the credit card bills have piled up, the rent needs to be paid, the groceries list has got longer and maybe the expense is not justified. You drop the book, make your way to the exit. There is sweat on your palms, you grind your teeth and when you are almost out, you turn right back in.

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You need it. You want it. And you have finally managed to get it. The book. Nestled in your bag, away from the prying eyes of your partner, a secret keeper of your weakness till it is discovered one fine day when you are sipping tea in the evening. You sniff the pages, you admire the cover and you feel a little guilty for having made the purchase. All will be well a voice tells you. It was worth it, the heft of the book reminds you and the author whispers how it is all you need to battle this big, bad world all on your own.

If this is what happens to you then turns out you and I have a case of the Litlust running through our veins.

Books make all the difference

Books are on my mind all the time. Which is maybe why Litlust happened all of a sudden over a few doodles one fine evening. Litlust is all about books and the authors who write them. It is also about author quotes, eccentricities, trivia, the smell of freshly printed books, the cover design, typography and lastly the joys of writing.

Books are necessary and reading is an activity that needs time and is a wonderful habit to cultivate. It opens up the mind to new worlds – real, unreal and surreal. Books for me are escape vehicles, time machines. The initial years are always hard. I remember averaging 3 books a year. Today its a healthy 30. Maybe I could do more but time is always a constraint.

Books flex the mind. They throw new words, context, and perspectives taking me on a journey with the vivid imagery words help conjure up right out of thin air. I love the fact that imagination strengthens as a result and thinking pathways get developed without much effort from my end except persistence and patience. I always feel I should give a patient listening to a soul that has poured out everything that made them what they are. And that persistence and patience helps for I would have learned something important by the end of it all.

Books made a tremendous difference to my life. I need to thank my parents for stocking our house with a lot of books. Jules Verne, H.G Wells, Dickens, were staple. So were access to tiny circulating libraries that stocked Tintins, Asterix, Amar Chithra Katha and lots of DC, Marvel and so on.

015 - In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody. ~ Oscar Wilde
015 – In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody. ~ Oscar Wilde

All in all, books helped me gain a perspective. Flexed my creative muscle and helped me see and understand the world in a different light.

I hope you like the Litlust project for it aims to bring you the best in their respective genres. Today Litlust has about 50+ books in varying genres that I love the most – Art, Illustration, Photography, Philosophy, Graphic Novels, some Fiction and Writing.

Hope you enjoy the recommendations as much as I enjoyed reading them.

Quotes

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. ~ Neil Gaiman

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. ~ Vera Nazarian

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~ Author Unknown

I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.  ~ Harold Kushner

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. ~ Haruki Murakami

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. ~ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. ~ Maya Angelou

Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood. ~ John Green

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it or offer your own version in return. ~ Salman Rushdie

In a good book the best is between the lines. ~ Swedish Proverb

Are we not like two volumes of one book? ~ Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

Keep reading books, but remember that a book is only a book, and you should learn to think for yourself. ~ Maxim Gorky

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book. ~ Marcel Proust

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. ~ Oscar Wilde

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it. ~ Edward P. Morgan

Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? ~ Henry Ward Beecher

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading. ~ William Styron

I divide all readers into two classes; those who read to remember and those who read to forget. ~ William Lyon Phelps

In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody. ~ Oscar Wilde

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. ~ Joseph Brodsky

That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit. ~ Amos Bronson Alcott

Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out. ~ J.K. Rowling

A book is a device to ignite the imagination. ~ Alan Bennett

A good book has no ending. ~ R.D. Cumming

Thank you

Thank you for stopping by. Have a nice day ahead. May the force be with you. 

About 

Salil Lawande is a writer, photographer and illustrator living/working/traveling in India.

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Stuck


 Stuck

There are times when I get stuck. Badly stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck. Cause: Overworking and overthinking. Unable to progress I make more mistakes. I work harder. I stretch too much. Force it. Elbows burn at the desk. Eyes hurt. Back gives away to pain. I still persist. I go to the deep end of stuck. End result: I am no where away from the point where I was stuck a while back. No more than maybe 3 pixels or 2 lines or 3 snaps away from when I had that feeling of being stuck. So what’s the best way out of this labyrinth of recurring, loopy way of working that leaves me frustrated, and exhausted? When what I love to do seems like work? The answer is: I unwork.

Why it actually happens

sketch-1434102100475
Take a break. Let new ideas rush in as a result of the unwork.

Here’s what I do when I am working hard (eventually and unknowingly hurtling toward that feeling of stuck). I stay put when I should ideally leave. I just sit there with some or the other distraction (damn you Internet) hoping that some idea will come by and I will pen it down or doodle away. Sometimes I am lucky. I get lots of ideas and being in front of the machine always helps. But most of the time, it never happens. My best ideas usually happen when I am away. A little away from it all. Staying at the workstation too long only results in one of the few things – my hands, arms and shoulders go numb with the sedentary lifestyle I have adopted for myself and my brain goes mushy with all that ‘lack of fresh air’.

Unwork. Leave the party

So here’s what I need to remind myself of and do for a change to avoid the ‘stuckiness’. Just get up and leave the party. I have overstayed. I had fun, I had a blast. I did some good, worked on some ideas and got a soft high from the appreciation I got from complete strangers (Thank you). Now I got to leave the party before the entire fun element goes overboard. Give the back a rest, give the limbs some activity and the mind some peace (and fresh air).

Unwork tactics

  • Walk
  • Do not read. Do not.
  • Hydrate
  • Avoid coffee
  • Call a friend
  • Call mom
  • Sleep
  • Meditate
    • Go thoughtless (tougher than you can imagine!)
  • Workout
  • Sleep

Hope this tiny post made you leave your station. I left…….a while…………………back 🙂

Thank you

Thank you for stopping by. Have a nice day ahead. May the force be with you. 

About 

Salil Lawande is a writer, photographer and illustrator living/working/traveling in India.

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Creative Aphrodisiac


Creative Aphrodisiac

Travel is a potent aphrodisiac for those constantly seeking ideas and new learning. Personally I enjoy the tumult, the uncertainty , the excitement, and the interactions I have with people and the parallels I draw with the strange worlds I experience to the world I belong. All the unrest, the commotion usually spills onto anything (sketchbooks or devices I carry) that help me make a doodle, or write some text or click some photos.

I love travel solely because travel is often fraught with inconsistency. A break from the usual routine. Disorder and chaos becomes the norm. Your perception and ability to perceive stretches with the people you meet, the lives they live and the cultures you experience. Missing stuff, trains, planes; unexpected expenses, rude officials, red tape, strange rules, sometimes injuries and new learning. All and everything thrown at you to process, learn from and apply when you go back to your life, your world, your ways. Travel either renews your faith in humanity or shatters it making you question whether or not it makes any sense to do good in this big, bad, cruel world.

Bali

Bali didn’t appeal to me much when I heard there were plans of us going there. The only thing I remembered about the place was the tragic 2002 bombing that left 202 dead and about 209 injured in its wake. It felt like a rehash of our Andamans trip. Beaches, beaches and more beaches. To be frank, I was not a lot kicked about it. The first rule of travel is not to over analyze. You see a little, read a little, plan a little and then take the plunge. Do not constrain your vision or block the free flow with too much analysis as to why it makes sense or why it doesn’t.

Not an expert

Am not an expert on culture. Neither am I going to try. This is just a first hand experience of a rather inexperienced traveler who (now) hates to plan and is only in the element once the trip actually begins which by my definition is reaching the airport without drama and boarding the plane on time.

A blessing

The Bali trip was a blessing in some sense. I was going through a tough time. The lows were more than the highs I felt in the usual hum drum of life. The desk job was getting to me and things weren’t going anywhere in the creative sense. There was a missing element in the fulfillment part. I create on a daily basis, but somehow there was a lingering question if all this was making sense. If I should continue doing what I am doing – splicing and spicing my daily life with a dose of putting out something, making art while I can and learning something new.

Unwind.
Unwind.

Bali came at a good time. The entire place has a certain calm about it. Good people, clean place and no complication. I drew a lot, shot a little bit and unwound only as much as I could. Somehow it was the people and the culture that eventually found a place in my heart. Kamong our driver, his ever patient and calm way of speaking and arriving on time without a reminder from my end; Ngakan, our host in Ubud, his characteristic style of hosting without actually making us feel like he was doing us a favor or the general quality of the Balinese to keep their surroundings spic and span and the noise levels low. (Note: Bali has narrow streets, tight roads and thick traffic. Despite of the obvious rush of tourists and travelers with their tiny mopeds crowding the streets, the Balinese do not lose their cool nor do they honk out loud. One of the drivers also apologized after honking at me for coming in his path.)

It was reassuring to see Balinese adults and children striving to keep a place clean. A place that receives a floating (tourist) population that is equal to or more than the local population during peak times. There is a lesson to be learned in the way the Balinese treat complete strangers despite the deluge they handle each tourist season. It is commendable to see the Balinese smile away and treat you with respect even if you do not buy anything from their establishment. The only thing they say to you is – Suksuma – which means Thank you. There is no overbearing expectation for you to buy nor a ‘Do not bargain’ attached to any of their dealing.

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow. ~ Anita Desai”

You can negotiate and you will be surprised how much happy you will leave the shop having negotiated a price without the usual drama that ensues.

Will go back

Travel makes me happy. Somehow the “touristy” itinerary style of traveling  is lost to me now. I say this taking into consideration the first overseas trip that happened to Europe in 2012 was done exactly by the itinerary laid down and planned by me several months ahead of the trip. I didn’t particularly enjoy that trip. When I look back, I see a haze. France, Switzerland, Italy in a span of 17 days. Rushing everywhere but not immersing in a single place. Guess one grows out of that phenomenon once some solid experience seeps in. Since Ladakh last year where excessive planning was not done, the modus operandi has been to ‘take-it-as-it-comes”. Plan your entry and exit dates, accommodations (sometimes working something out when you are there might also work out in your favor) and leave the rest to chance. I wish you safe travels wherever you go and Bali should definitely be on that list.

Will share photos soon.

Thank you

Thank you for stopping by. Have a nice day ahead. May the force be with you. 

About 

Salil Lawande is a writer, photographer and illustrator living/working/traveling in India.

Online Presence

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Connect 

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