Politics, FB, OCD, running, summer and how stress reduces your brain-size

Hyderabad, India – Feb 2016.

I didn’t care about politics for a long time. And then Facebook happened. Which was just like Orkut in the beginning but gradually transformed to a Google Reader sort of thing with a minor (or may be major) difference. In Reader you read / viewed what you personally subscribed to (handpicked over months and years). On Facebook, you read / view what your hundreds of Facebook “friends” decide for you to read / view (aided / tweaked by Facebook’s ever evolving algorithms and what not). For some reason, my FB friends seem to be talking and writing and sharing about politics a lot, so I get drawn in. This, over the past few years has been helping shape my own political worldview. How desirable or undesirable that really is – is another question. But because I consume so much of politics, I end up talking (and writing about) politics way too often. The kind of shit you eat, the kind of shit you shit. Kind of.

Moving on, over the past few weeks I have been suffering from an obsessive compulsion to buy more and more part experimental, part non-experimental video-shooting accessories. The irony is, for my last 3MS I did not shoot anything (for visuals, that 3MS relied 100% on video footage provided to me by those who wanted the story to be made, supported by existing News clippings and a photograph from some random person’s blog).

So the only thing that I did with my last 3MS was figuring out a structure to tell the story and then editing accordingly. I love creating a story (from non-fiction narratives). But I also love shooting moving visuals. And this second love often keeps me awake at night thinking about new portable ways in which to handle the next project. I am never satisfied with my last setup that “almost” worked. There is always some room for improvement! And that translates to order after order on Amazon. Gets crazy at times. 🙂 The next 3MS is on a health diagnostics based startup based out of Gurgaon. Will keep you guys posted about how that goes.

Oh by the way, talking about cities, it’s so fucking hot in Goa right now. I mean not burning hot like it is in Patna in May – but painful enough to feel shitty sweaty without AC. AC is on for most times anyway, so I don’t sweat much. The most that I sweated this month was when I ran the half marathon. I actually ran a lot in March. When I was running in Feb, I could go out at seven in the morning and it was pleasant. Now in March, if I don’t step out by 0630 AM, it gets too hot and humid too quickly.

Continuing on the theme of running, biwi ordered a Fitbit Surge (for herself) that I eventually ended up owning. She did order another one afterwards – a different smaller model without GPS, that she very much likes now. It’s fun to keep track of every Kilometer with the Fitbit. One of those “not really needed” but “sweet to have if you have it” things. Makes it easier to achieve consistency in pace though, if I think about it.

For some unknown reasons, I caught fever last weekend and haven’t gone running since then (been like 5-6 days now). Will probably take one more day of break and then resume. This whole running business re-started after I stumbled upon a short video in Gurgaon, at Tota’s place, about how stress physically alters your brain cells leading to irreversible loss of concentration and memory over long term. Pretty freaky, I tell you. Watch it for yourself.

I am definitely stressed out all the time (a lot of times, if not all the time). And I pretty much like being stressed out. It’s outright boring to be too calm too often. But there is no way I want my brain to shrink in size. The above video talks about exercising as a way to offset the negative effect of stress. And that’s how the whole running business re-started. To run fast, you also need to exercise (train with weights) – so have also been making good use of the home gym finally (it had been biting dust since quite some time). Hello brain, I will not let you shrink.

A composite photograph from 2015 – clicked a few days after the purchase of the home-gym. Goa, India.

Wow, can’t believe I managed to jot down a long boring post about “this is what I have been up to these days” for no particular reason. Anyway, need to get some pictures processed, a 3MS edited and pack my bags for a weekend wedding photography assignment somewhere in Andhra Pradesh (no – not Hyderabad; I would have said Hyderabad had it been Hyderabad). Take care you all!

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