recently, a talk organized in office by a cardiologist about prevention of heart disease and other related health issues highlighted the top three causes:
now, I've got (1) covered. and I do get 7 hours of sleep daily, even though it sometimes feels like it's not enough (complicated enough to deserve a blog post of its own, lol). so, action item number two: cut down on stress. Initial attempts have been rather abortive, in the sense that trying to be stress free makes me do things that indirectly contribute to stress itself. but gradually I've been able to regain control and kinda reduce my "hidden" and obvious stress levels.
and then, one day, I realized stress does have its ways of finding you:
I was on a bike trip with mayur. he had his bullet, rather heavily modified, and I had my karizma. it was dark, and we were on a highway, in a traffic jam. he asked me if I wanted to try his bike. I decided to give it a shot. the first thing was that, he had to kick start the karizma as its battery was at the end of its life. when I sat on his bullet, I realized the seat was deceptively plush. I literally sank into the seat. it felt good! the traffic opened up, and I revved it, leaving him and the jam behind. it was about sunrise by then, and in a few minutes the sun was out and it was bright. we reached the point where we had to turn off the highway into a village, to do some last minute purchases (I guess we were planning to go camping or something). I stopped there for him to catch up, we swapped bikes, and divided shopping responsibilities and split up. I went to a shop which was on the first floor of a rather ramshackle building. I thought it was rather unlikely that someone would make away with my bike (which was rather troublesome to start with the dead battery!), so I left the key inside, out of sheer laziness. I took just a minute to complete my purchases,but as I turned the corner of the stairs on my way out I saw my bike being ridden away by a balding middle aged helmetless man.
I chased the bike on foot as quickly as I could, but the village traffic and pedestrians were slowing me down as much as they were slowing him, and I couldn't catch up with him despite being able to keep him within sight.
a few minutes of chasing him later, my heart was pounding, and he got out traffic. as I turned the corner he did, running as quickly as I could, my wife woke me up.
and I realized it was a dream.
she asked me if everything was okay.
I insisted it was, and shut my eyes, to have the dream resume itself.
I was running down a straight village road, with greenery on both sides, interspersed with houses without courtyards, that opened directly onto the road.
and then I ran past some sort of movement on my right, and spotted the thief and my bike. he was on a raised wooden platform with the bike, facing away from the road, and the platform somehow led to a raised path that led into the woods behind. I yelled "stop, thief!", but he didn't. an aged lady sitting at the edge of the platform and facing the road, asked me what happened. I told her he was stealing my bike. she insisted that it wasn't possible, because the guy was her son. I realized she wouldn't be any help, and continued shouting.
luckily for me, an army truck passed by, and a few armed commandos stopped to ask me what happened. they asked me to prove the bike was mine by showing them my papers. I told them I would, but they should first catch the thief as he was quickly getting away, and was already out of sight, only marked by leaves moving where he had disturbed the foliage when escaping. the commandos quickly fanned out, while a couple of them inquired with the old lady where he lived.
she pointed to the house right next door.
and that's when I woke up.
my heart was still racing.
my wife asked me what happened.
I told her someone stole my bike and the army was trying to get it back.
she said: no wonder. you were twitching violently in your sleep!
and that's when I realized, there's no escaping stress!