Hearts like latticed gates

Hearts like latticed gates
The beauty within 
Enhanced by the barriers without. 


I'll keep it inside of me
This inappropriate feeling
And let it grow inward
Feeding on me
A parasite I cannot kill
Without extinguishing myself.

The sweet route to fitness

Source: http://www.daburhoney.com/honey-healthy-recipe/1/honey-fruit-salad.aspx
I've been a calorie counter ever since I can recall. Even when I was in school, my mom sent me to the gym to trim my burgeoning tummy and I remember this particularly gruelling summer when I spent all my days at a fitness camp! My parents aren't fitness maniacs but they've always instilled in me and my sister an awareness about eating well, exercising and staying healthy. Ours isn't the typical Indian household where you will find tons of namkeens and fried snacks hiding in the shelves. Our tea times consist of nuts, dried fruits and the occasional home-made preparation. And I credit this with our general slimness.

Source: http://www.daburhoney.com/honey-beverages-recipes/3/honey-berry-milk-shake-recipe.aspx
I for one, have a tendency to gain weight easily and I work every single day to keep my weight within a healthy limit. I begin my day with warm water, Dabur honey and a squeeze of lemon. This really kick-starts my system and serves as a great precursor to chai, which should ideally never be the first thing you consume. I follow this with some pranayam (breathing exercises), meditation and an abs workout, since that is my weak area. Like many women, I tend to gain weight around my midriff and you know how annoying that can be. But planks, crunches, sit-ups and leg raises if done daily (with rest periods every three days to allow the muscles to recover), go a long way in trimming abdominal fat.

Source: http://www.daburhoney.com/honey-snacks-recipes/2/honey-chilli-cauliflower.aspx
My Achilles heel has always been my incurable sweet tooth. They say that sweets are like poison but this isn't entirely true. There are good sugars which you can partake of in sensible amounts. These include the sugars found naturally in fruits, Dabur honey and jaggery. To satiate my appetite for sweets, I follow what I call the 'Honey Diet'. What this essentially entails is replacement of sugar with honey wherever possible. And what's more, honey tastes a lot better than plain white sugar! I add Dabur honey to my cereal, green tea, bitter gourd preparations, sandwiches and fruit salads. Add some honey and whipped yoghurt to a bowl of fruits and you have a healthful yet delicious dessert in front of you.

Source: http://www.daburhoney.com/beverage-recpies-by-user/305/honey-apple-hot-drink.aspx
There is so much you can do with honey. But if you're stuck for ideas, you can do what I do and check the honey recipes here, by chef Vikas Khanna. Be it snacks, beverages or desserts, you will find everything to fulfill your heart's desires here. I guarantee you, replacing sugar with natural substitutes is one of the best dietary moves you'll ever make. Of course, a thumb rule should be to not go overboard with anything and supplement any diet with moderate exercise. That's honestly the one tried and tested way to stay fit and healthy. I've never been a big fan of crash diets and fad workouts. I find what works for me and stick with it. Now and then, we all falter and gain a few pounds but as long as we can find our way back to the sweet route of fitness, I'd say, we're doing just fine!

I've found my God.

A forest in Madhya Pradesh, India
I prayed in a temple
I heard no answer
I prayed in a church
I heard only silence
I prayed beneath a tree
And the leaves rustled in response.
I guess I've found my God.

Divinity is everywhere. Why restrict yourself to one religion? Why worship something which creates divisions among souls of the same whole?

I find it tragic that we reject love because we believe we 'belong' to different Gods. This, after humankind has come so far.

I find it insane that we should believe we are different from each other; we who have the same breath of life in us as is in a bird or an ant. 

It is deplorable that we judge each other based on 'which' God we worship. There is one force which flows through the whole universe and each of our selves. How silly it is to weave different theories around that force and attribute different philosophies to it, as though this force were an egoistic human being intent upon gaining followers.

Call me blasphemous but I wish to worship the soil we walk on, the poetry we write and the air we breathe. I want to find Godliness in the mountains that tower over us and the rain that soaks our skin; in the forests that nurture us and the sea that the world emerged from.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - religion makes no logical sense. I know it comforts some and provides a purpose to their lives; something to look forward to and follow in their daily course of lives, but we have to move past this way of thinking. We have to look beyond simple notions of right and wrong and search within our souls for the thread that links us to the web of all creation. And when we all find that thread, perhaps the world will disappear in a shower of sparks and none will exist to dwell upon its memory. 

My religion is art, beauty, kindness and love. I reject anything which would have us feel superior to or different from one another. Can you really find it in your heart to speak against this sentiment?