The Indian Covid vaccine controversy

First , the official gyan fromt the Chief Doctor of the World Pharma Organization himself. This is a fair primer on how the different vaccines are supposed to work.

Then here is an article on how the Oxford vaccine is supposed to work

And this is even better, with enough illustrations

Read this one too :

Here is one of the articles on the Bharat Biotech vaccine

So why do the vaccines don’t work as desired ? : Because the above is an approximation. The DNA strand, the protein or RNA strands are not grown in isolation, but the virus is cultured in a live medium (Live medium means the target cells are very much alive, and they are replicated outside the body). For the cells to expand they need nutrition, and this nutrition is provided in the form of Bovine Fetal Serum (The blood of forcefully aborted calfs). Once this whole setup is harvested it has to be kept in a stable medium and preserved so it does not get confirmed. It should not react, it should not get contaminated with bacterium, fungus. So it will have preservatives, the common preservative used is Thimerosal, a mercury compound. Also the Dna/rna stand has to persist in the body, to enable that, Aluminium nano particles are used as what are called adjuvants. These adjuvants are not easy for the body to get rid of, so they persist, and since the vaccine primary agent binds to the adjuvant, this enables the body to mount a measurable and sustained immune system response.
Also in the initial clinical trials, there are literally no standards. There is a careful preselection of candidates to ensure that adverse effects dont happen, and even when they do, they are excluded fromt he results for ‘technical’ reasons . There were reports of Acute Flaccid Myelitis — which to me is just Polio with a different name. The adverse affects happen because of all the ingredients accompanying the vaccine in the mixture. The content of the vaccine is .5 ml , and water is the solvent, and the active ingredient is typically a minuscule amount. The solvents and the stabiizers, the adjuvants, the so called inert medium all make up the rest.

There were adverse effects during the trial. This one stood out

The current on-going vaccinations going on all around the world is possible because all of it has been deemed as part of a trial. None of the vaccines have reached actual approval stage (the way vaccines have been approved in the traditional sense ) All the vaccines that are currently approved have been approved with the idea that all the recipients are participating in many parallel clinical trials under an emergency authorization (You can easily verify this)

Even with that, there are controversies on how the vaccines were approved in India. This article explains it rather well

Also people are questioning that viruses mutate, and if the vaccine cannot be really shown to work on current variants, how will they work on the various mutants

And, already there are enough nocises been made, that the future variants will require newer vaccines, so effectively the vaccine you are taking today will not be of any use 6 months from now.

My footnote : Fundamentally when people talk about vaccine based immunity they simply mean measurable antibodies. Historically , for almost every disease there have been enough recorded instances where people have fallen sick despite having measurable antibodies, after being vaccinated.

Malnad Monsoon Ride Day 2 Oct 3rd 2020

So at the end of day 1, instead of stop-n-go riding through the night, we refreshed, showered at night and slept with clean clothes( That of course was part of the plan, for the rest of the days as well). And I was hoping I won’t be hit by cramps when asleep. Thankfully that didn’t happen, and I seem to have recovered enough to not cramp again. I wasn’t still sure though how the day would pan out. However what happened next was probably one of the big mis-adventures of the trip. And you would probably expect some sort of misadventure with the amount of planning we did, but we did first thing in the morning was just insane. I have never ridden really long with an MTB/hybrid, the maximum was about a 300km round trip to Mysore and back, but all through familiar roads. On Day 1 it was all highway and unexceptional, except the fact that we saw how well the main Mangalore highway rolled compared to the Savanadurga – Kunigal stretch. And of course the fact that we had to change plans because my muscles wouldn’t co-operate.

So Opendro set his mobile up for the route till the start point of the 2019 GMC route. All well except that he did something that was a bit unusual. Since a ride setup for bicycles does not work very well in India, we normally use the route for cars when we wish to bike. Very rarely would you use the walking path directions when riding on a bike, any bike. Turns out this was one of those rare occasions. Calling a 700km ride with minimal logistical planning would not sound out of place for the general populace, but it was not exactly outlandish if you picture the fact that only me and Opendro were involved. So we set out from Holenarsipura and I started off in the direction that I thought we had to continue. After some time, Opendro’s phone started beeping. So after mutual consultations, we decided to use the map that he had setup. And we dutifully followed the directions that he had setup on his phone. We started riding at 4 am from Holenarsipora, and after these initial course corrections, to avoid the diversions of the previous day, Opendro put on his ridewith gps tracker route and chose the walking route from Holenarsipora to Kushalnagara. And of course an immense adventure awaited us. The route took us through fields, small villages, a few unsure dogs , and in general deathly silence and darkness. It turns out that he had set it up for waling directions. It was really unusual experience, riding in complete darkness with just our headlights for visibility. Most of the roads were either small concrete village roads, or patched up mud roads.

That this was not going to turn out as anticipated. We went through some roads which were narrow concrete roads right in the middle of fields, possibly roads connecting villages but not attracting any major traffic. The problem when using roads is that we were never sure of how true those roads would be , and we were never going too fast , with the visibility level not very high , despite having headlights with us. Occasionally the dogs would wake up and bark, when we went through some very small hamlets, even by Indian standards, but for the most part, we did not even encounter dogs, these roads were that desolate. We might have taken some roads that were poorly constructed , or at least part of the roads were kuchcha, especially when starting off. The dogs themselves were happy barking at a distance, and didn’t consider it important that they intercept us anywhere in the route.
Or put another way, these roads would have been amazing to ride during daylight hours, we would have been treated to some exceptional and welcome scenery. But instead, we had this amazing experience where we rode in the dark and ended up spending more time riding slowly through some amazing scenery which we had no way of admiring. So at a couple of points, we manually took a look at the map, and decided to try and hit a main road. And the main road we did hit, we ended up touching the Hassan – Kushal nagara highway sometime after 6. And the irony was that by the time we hit this road, there was daylight visibility, meaning enough visibility to ride fast in backroads, so the timing was a double whammy. So we rode in pitch darkness on country roads, and have the benefit of daylight on the highway.
The route we traversed early in the morning wasn’t making us go fast since we were going through very narrow roads in the darkness. About an hour+ of riding like this, we realized that we were not making fast progress, and decided to find out the nearest highway that would take us to Kushalnagara and henceforth to Madikeri. Some map lookups and diversions later, we came on the Hassan Kushalnagra highway, but by the time we reached the highway it was already daylight and we lost any advantage of taking a main road at this time. We started rolling fast at 25kmp from this point. Unfortunately we probably ended up riding more than we wanted to, and at less speeds that we wanted to. From here, we reached Kushalnagara at around 7:30 and we found a Mallu restaurant to gorge on breakfast. Our plan was to complete Day1 and Day2 of GMC2019 on the day itself.

Now that we were on the highway, we rolled pretty fast and reached Kushalnagara around 7:45. As we entered town, Opendro decided to go to a supermarket and get some paneer for lunch, as we did not expect to be out in any major town during the day. We went to a small Mallu outlet and gorged on Puttu and omelettes to stuff ourselves for the rest of ride. Then we went through a market street to the other side of town, and reach join the Kushalnagara – Madikeri route. The ride was uneventful till we reached Suntikoppa, and a few km from Suntikoppa the climbs to Madikeri started. A Sikh cyclist without a helmet rode fron the other side and waved at me, I waved back at him. As we were doing the uphill towards Madikeri , somewhere along the line the heat and the climb got me. I was literally crawling uphill , on a not so steep slope. Opendro was being patient, but I am sure he was visualizing all his carefully laid plans going downhill.
The Sardar meanwhile came back on the uphill stretch , zoom past me on his road bike, and with hand signs asked me to speed up. Probably a tourist who was relaxing a few days in Madikeri, but obviously a decent cyclist. Must have been thinking — Kahan se aate hai log, can’t cycle but they want to go around cycling near Madikeri. I of course was seriously struggling and was wondering how I was going to handle climbs that would come later the day. The last 6 kms to Madikeri probably took us an hour. Maybe I wasn’t hydrating enough, maybe I was not conditioned enough. Maybe I hadn’t recovered enough from my exhaustion the previous day. I didn’t really know then. But I took care to ensure that I don’t completely drain out again. For hydrating now, I was using a satchet of enerzal + a fair amount of salt in one liter of water. At some point before Madikeri, the cyclist was relaxing at a road side stall having some tea. Short intense ride for him on vacation I presume. As we neared Madikeri, Opendro mentioned that we needed to take a right at some point, and again we missed it. The official ride started just at the bypass that went towards Somwarpet. The first few kms was downhill. And the proper ride started just after Makkandur , we had to take a left towards the road that led to Mandalpatti and that went alongside the Hemavati river. Opendro had made his way to the road, when I signalled that I needed a break before entering that road ( I knew from memory that there were seriously steep sections, and it would take a toll in the heat) The time now was around mid-day and the heat in the mountains , despite it being late monsoon was fairly intense. Opendro was looking for some decent lunch, but there was nothing available. We ended up ordering coffee, which wasn’t great , and I ended up drinking Opendro’s cup of coffee as well.
As we made our way inside the narrow roads from Makkandur, it became apparent why we needed MTBs for the ride. The roads were worse off from when I visited last time ( in 2013). There was gravel on the road in downhill sections, there was loose stones everywhere. There were some steep uphills and steep downhills all along the route.

I was beyond exhausted at this point, and simply struggling to move. Meanwhile, the non-standard influx of food into my gut, combined with the core muscle stimulations , and combined with the fact that my intestines weren’t ready to get rid of their tenants in the wee hour of the morning in holenarsipora meant that the coffee , while awakening some of my senses, also ended up waking up my intestines, which then sent me urgent distress signals that some of its occupants wanted a way out. The only problem is that there were no public restrooms or any facilities in this stretch. The entire route was lined with plantations on both sides, and the road itself was narrow. Opendro gave the suggestion of using any of the coffee plantations for attending the urgent call of nature, but I wasn’t hundred percent sure if my impromptu gesture of offering human waste as fertilizer would be taken very benevolently if somebody from the plantation were to catch me in the act. Meanwhile we got ahead beyond the plantations to a stretch where we approached the Hemavathi river. On one side of the road was the longish approach to the river , on the other side was a hill side. I tried to figure out a way on the left of the road, but it was way too step for balancing while squatting. On the other side of the road was probably 3-4 feet between the hillside and the road, and this was filled with tall grasses. This looked like my best option. Unfortunately a I made my way into the bush, I realized that the road was frequently being used by jeeps and the riders of those jeeps had a vantage point to look down. So had to do some work to remain hidden from public view to do my ‘work’ in peace. So I went perpendicularly in, and after traversing 2 feet, again went parallel to the road another 4-5 feet , and then flatted the grass around me, making a small clearing. It helped that the area was bone dry , and that meant that the leeches would have gone into hibernation. So deed of the day well and duly done, and feeling lighter meant I could focus better on the ride.
The road meandered its way to the river , and this brought memories of the ride to Mandalpatti in 2013, where i spent substantial time soaking in the river waters. Our road took as away from the route I had followed in Mandalpatti. Just as we crossed the bridge that took us to the other side of the river, I found a point where we could go down. We went down and refilled our water bottles , refreshed with a face wash , and continued. From this point I don’t remember anything remarkable other than the fact that we were doing constant uphills, followed by downhills, both fairly steep and with the road quality not so great. I would say that I did improve my offroad riding skills, which are non existent to begin with. On really long steep uphils, I decided to not risk it and opted to walk instead. There was one steep climb for the day that came towards the later part of the day. At around 1:30 pm I think Opendro decided to break for lunch. Opendro maintains a strict timetable for breakfast, lunch and dinner and religiously follows it. The lunch for today were biscuits and paneer eaten raw, followed with Chicki for dessert. I had got along Coconut burfi as well to suit Opendro’s palate, given that Peanuts did not suit him. Sometimes I have to admire his style of organization. We may not get enough lunch — we need some protein, so lets go get some Paneer from a store — which should be available. Of course proteins are not immediately available but I have seen from the past that some sort of protein based snack does help in ultra long rides, you are after all, constantly exercising muscle. So we found a nice ledge next to the roadside stormwater drain , parked our bikes and had a sumptuous lunch.

One of the highlights of the day was the beautiful cascade of Abbi Falls that came on this route. We went past Abbi falls, which was a nice cascade. We stopped by to take a photograph, and the route continued. One of the downsides of riding with a tight schedule was that we do not have the luxury of stopping and relaxing. A simple visual scan was the best we could do, given our paucity of time.

Towards the 2nd half of the day, despite the make-shift lunch of raw paneer and biscuits, we did get exhausted as the day started getting less brighter. As one can guess, since we are surrounded by hills, the sunset tends to come earlier than Bangalore, and the surroundings darker. We finally hit the main road after riding maybe 40 kms with no shop, no recourse to any food. Opendro’s experience with Transam probably gave him some confidence, and since I was going easy, I was also okay. But the 1st tea shop we found we gulped in some tea, and some mildly sweet bread like sweet. We must have chomped in a good bit of snacks from that shop. Possibly made up 50% of his days business from one snack. Once we went past this spot, riding became fairly easy. From this point we basically strolled easy for the next 5km or so and came to a town called Vanaguru Kudrasthe. The town had one central junction, and a bunch of homestays around it. The official end of Day1 GMC was 10km away, so we decided to take a break when we were in daylight and there were staying options. I , for one , more than anyone else welcomed this break. it was a fairly exhausting day for me, and I wanted a night of good sleep.
We had to hit 2-3 houses before we finally found a place to stay. There was one room empty for two people and we took it. Ordered dinner at the homestay + asked him to leave extra with us in the room. We did not want to wake up anyone the next day when we left. We paid him in advance. With dirty clothes worn over two days, the night beckoned me to wash my clothes and try and have them dry by the morning. I had a shower and washed my cycling clothes, and hung them to dry outside. Before coming up for dinner we had small conversations with some of the remaining guests, who were relaxing. They were not wearing any masks. For that matter, I don’t think anyone was wearing masks around here. e had a fairly filling dinner, and went to sleep. The homestay owner had a puppy though , who kept barking throughout the night, interrupting the otherwise relaxing sleep. The goal for the next day was to combine Day2 and Day3 of GMC into one.

Malnad Monsoon Ride 2020 – Day 1

Given that conducting Bliss In The Hills this year was a logistical near-impossibility, I was toying with the idea of riding the Bliss Circuit on a self supported mode around this time. And had sounded out a few like minded cyclists. However on Sep 25, Opendro, who wanted to ride the GMC circuit, sent me a text message telling me that he had a ride in mind. Soon, some phone conversations and discussions, and we mutually agreed on riding a self supported ride in early October. And consequently we sounded out a few friends. From a tentative roster of Suma,Ganapathy,Tusker, Venky (keyframe) , me and Opendro, it eventually narrowed down to just the two of us. And since 2nd was a holiday I decided to take time off work on Mon/Tue to make it a 5 day contiguous holiday. And the plan was well and truly underway. However the GMC rides are all primarily MTB rides and I had sold off my Merida last year. Opendro suggested getting 42C tires for my Schwinn Sporterra and corresponding tires. I have not used the Schwinn much, but since I had bought it for my wife, and she does not ride much, I decided to get it ready and use it for the ride. Not that i had much of a choice. Opendro was tremendously helpful in getting my bike ready for the ride. I went to his place on 30th and with some accessories borrowed, set up the bike with his help, and I was all set to go.


There was some uncertainty about the ride till the very last day. At 4:30 am on 2nd, I confirmed the ride to Opendro, and we decided to start the ride at Savanadurga, where we were planning to hike up that day.

We have a group with Opendro with family where we go for treks regularly, and Friday the 2nd was our slated day to hike up Savanadurga. So I decided to ride to Savanadurga and continue from there. Opendro got his bike in his car, and the plan was for his wife to drive back in the car, and we continue from there.

I packed with me the following : One cycling jersey + padded shorts, a towel, one T shirt and track pants to sleep every night in. Packed all of them on a Rs 99 backpack that I had borrowed from Opendro, and headed off to Savanadurga. Meiyappan and family were waiting for me there after passing me on the way.

The hike and climbdown from Savanadurga was quite intense and i felt the sun on the way down. We were finally ready at around 2:30 pm to start off the ride. The heat was still there when we started off the ride.

From Savanadurga , we rode to Magadi and from there to Kunigal on the highway. The ride to the highway was not so fast on the not so easiy rolling tarmac on Magadi road. However once we reached the Hassan highway, we started rolling easily. Our first major break was on the highway, when we paused to drink Sugar cane juice from a roadside vendor. I filled my bottle with 2 glasses of the juice, and Open gulped down 2 glasses right there. Opendro was riding with plain water, but I had enerzal to hydrate myself. Opendro was hydrating on pure water , having convinced himself that enerzals or electrolyte solutions are not necessary. Our plan was to eat around 7pm or so on the highway and not break for snacks. But I think I got exhausted a bit earlier than that. At around 5:30ish there was a Mayura hotel on the highway, and on my prompting, we decided to eat dinner a little early there. I also needed to freshen up a little, after having spent the whole day hiking and then biking in the rather relentless heat and sun. Our original plan was to ride the night , sleep intermittently and then finish Day 1 and Day 2 rides of GMC on day 1 itself, ie Oct 3rd.

The cramp :
After I finished my dinner, I stood up to go to the loo, and boom : An intense cramp started from the middle of my hamstring to my knee at the back, and it was intense. I waited for it to pass. It didn’t. It simply increased in intensity, and I started feeling spasmodic impulses of intense pain. I just held the table where I was standing, and closed my eyes. And I was sweating like pig, trying to relax and handle the pain. Meanwhile I believe, I was the center of attention of probably all the people in the restaurant. I am saying this because while my eyes were closed, my ears were open, and I heard Opendro shouting (He does not shout normally) ‘ He is fine , guys, he will be okay ‘ repeatedly, to all the folks in the restaurant. It would have been a good 3-4 minutes before I relaxed a little, but the pain had not gone away. So I asked for some salt to the server. He came to me with a salt shaker , and I grabbed a few pinches and swallowed. The cramp probably subsided in another 20-30 seconds or so. I took a loo break, came back, rested for sometime. And our dinner break which was supposed to be a quick 20 min break lasted about 90 minutes or so, but I guess I was exhausted and needed that time to recover.

We continued towards Channarayapatna . Once it is dark it is easy to lose track of time especially if you are continuously cyclng. At Channarayapatna we had to take a road towards Holenarasipur , we lost the way and headed in another direction first before we retraced and went towards Holenarsipura. Opendro had not configured his phone and ridewithgps correctly so we were not being corrected frequently enough. We probably rode a few kms extra correcting us. Once we reached the outskirts of the town, we went to a shop to get some snacks for basic refreshment when I realized it was probably not a good idea for me to go on. I was exhausted, and wanted to crash for some quality sleep to get some sleep in the confines of a closed room protected from the elements. Despite Opendro’s protestations, I decided to end the days ride there, found a decent lodge. We parked the bicycles on the 1st floor , where we stayed , showered and had a decent sleep.

Day one route starting from home

Reba’s thoughts on our immunity

This has been on my mind for a couple of days, that in this day and age where there is so much confusion about vaccines, and so many labels for people who make their own choices – we seem to be missing a few key points. Just want to take a moment to realign focus to spaces that we should bear in mind so that everyone – regardless of what their stand is on vaccines – can stay aligned to good health and wellbeing.

1. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS NATURAL IMMUNITY – beginning from the womb, when the mother’s antibodies begin to imprint immunity data on the baby, continued and solidified through the breastfeeding process, then nurtured through the good bacteria supportive foods that native communities had as a staple. A human being’s immune system is actively formulated in the first 2 years – data regarding infections, immune responses, exposure to new viruses and bacteria – happens very robustly and efficiently in these two years.

2. As with all things considered from Nature (immune system included), the first and foremost Ally in this process (of establishing good immunity, and also helping us to recover from an illness) are other cells from Nature. Plants, herbs, spices, Nature in the form of the mud and dirt itself – all play their own part in formulating, establishing and enhancing the functionality of the immune system. Here is where a group like this is relevant – sharing ways and means from Nature based recovery and healing protocols and elements. So whether you are vaccinating or not, the most reliable elements of recovery from ANY illness will be from Nature – since biologically they are components that are easy understood by our own cells.

3. Our understanding of our body itself is extremely limited. This is because we are trained by thought processes, textbooks, and teachers who are perceiving things of the body only through one perspective – that is the Western perspective. I love the Western perspective and tools, because it has provided me much detailed understanding of many many things. But at the root of iit – it is still learning to understand the multi layered, and multifaceted quality of the human mind-body-spirit connection. I love their pursuit for understanding the Truth about how things work in this reality and the body that we live in. But the fact is, they are still searching and understanding. EG: new organ discovered last year – the Interstitium – changes how many, many body processes have been understood by modern medicine so far. It was only 2 years ago that modern medicine actually accepted that the Circadian rhythm has an impact on the human body! It is important that people who are seeking a ‘no side effects’ approach to their health understand that modern medicine is slowly making its way from 2nd grade to the 3rd….Understandably so, because it is a very, very young participant in the process! I have great hopes for this stream of medicine in the coming 100 years and more, when it integrates many of the fragmented streams of data that it is currently looking at – and starts to piece together the puzzle of what, how, when, where, why things make us tick! This will be fabulous simply because it would probably be the first time in the history of humanity that the general pubic will have access to perceiving, understanding and integrating all of this knowledge in their daily lives! But until then, I choose to go with the traditional methodologies that have already proved that they work.

4. As we ponder over and consider the above points, what do we do with the information that is being given to us? How can I know which to believe? How do I know who to trust? Examine where is it coming from? Examine what is the opponent to that thought saying about it. We need to be aware – is the information that I believe in coming from corporate vested interest, or is it coming from scientists who are independently doing the research, have focused on this for few years so that they get the bigger picture about that particular subject. Is it coming from a careprovider who has learnt it from school and has it ingrained in his/her head because the education system rewarded them for learning it as well as possible? Examine who is gaining from the process. Take time to understand ‘what is this same scenario inn the Nature designed way’ – and then MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND!!

We are all learning on this journey called Life. There are informed choices and there are blind choices, and there are coerced choices and there are also instances of us making a choice that we do not want to – it all depends on our life circumstances, our personality, etc. Look into what you feel strongly about, keep reading, researching, and be a genuine participant in your own life journey. Ultimately THAT is what matters.

Bliss In The Hills 2019

Bliss In The Hills is one of the oldest 1200 km rides in India, and has been an annual feature since 2014. The idea was conceived post discussions on Bangalore Bicycling Clubs google group/mailing list. It took 2-3 seasons to search and finalise a route. It took multiple recces to get a satisfactory route. The rough outline of the route has been unchanged. Belur , Virajpet, Mananthavadi , Kalpetta, Meppadi, Gudalur, Kotagiri, Yercaud, Yelagiri have been featured in the ride every year. The original idea, to nurture and sustain an Indian 1200 km that challenges riders yet is a world class riding experience still stands. we have had independent feedback that the ride would be attractive to European riders, we intend to focus on making this a bigger event in the coming years.

Bangalore Brevets is an independent body and is not affiliated to any other organization. We started off as an ACP recognized ride in 2014, and have modelled our timings and speed requirements from there, but every subsequent year , we have conducted it independently. All successfully registered riders get a permanent Bangalore Brevets rider number. We use the club name/numbers for reference, but for now, the ride is open to everyone. There are no qualifications needed for the ride, but the ride will be challenging , but fun at the same time

The finish ratio for the ride has varied year on year

2014 — 40 started, 4 finished
2015 — 20 started, 8 finished
2016 — 16 started, 4 finished
2017 — 17 started, 2 finished
2018 — 3 started, 2 finished

In addition to the above numbers, 3 additional riders finished in 2014 but didn’t make it to intermediate controls in time. In 2015 , two riders who had finished PBP that year rode the circuit in 109 hours (against a cut off of 90 hours)

The overall route has undergone tweaks over the years, some sections that have got crowded have been changed for more scenic and quiet options. But the ride has been , and will be challenging. And the finish will be immensely satisfying.

A very open item has been the design of medals and certificates. That is being looked into and we will get it done later this year. The primary drive has been to make it unique , since finishing Bliss is seen as, and widely accepted as a non trivial ask, even for a seasoned rider.

We look forward to your participation this year and in future years, and thank everybody for their continued support.

Registrations are open and will be kept open for 2017. We will be doing a route recce this weekend and update everyone

Please register at
Register for Bliss In The Hills

Healing the Thyroid

This has been listed based on the experiences of Ranika Kararia


List of things I followed to heal my thyroid and related symptoms.

Lifestyle changes for healing your Thyroid

Step 1 : Identify your root cause.

The following variables need to be in mint condition to begin healing-
1. Sleep.
2. Diet.
3. Bowel movement
4. Liver health
5. Emotional health.
6. Electrolytes.
7. Rest.

There is no one underlying cause of thyroidism. Most of the time thyroidism is a result of irregularities in any one of the above rather than a faulty gland itself. Identify which one of the above may be affecting you adversely.

1.Bad sleep habits will always disrupt your thyroid. Make sure you sleep well and on time. The circadian rhythm regulates hormones. One of the reasons why you must never get your thyroid levels after a night of bad sleep is that it can notch up your tsh levels.
2. It is essential to stick to home cooked food only. Quit processed and packaged foods. Follow an elimination diet to kick out your inflammatory foods. Common ones are- dairy, soya, corn, eggs, white sugar, cauliflower, broccoli, some fruits , alcohol, seeds and nuts. 6 weeks per food is a good way to be sure of your triggers. This is one of the easiest variables to control, so pay much attention to it.
3. A clogged bowel will cause thyroid problems too. Anything less than once a day is not normal. In alternative medicine, the seat of thyroid is the intestine. One of the reasons why a good Vaidya will always give bowel cleansing preparations to treat your thyroid.
4. The liver helps in conversion of t4 to t3. Keep it optimum. Sugar is as bad a culprit as alcohol for the liver…Stay away from it. Take liver supporting herbal supplements if you need to. (Avoid liv52 by brand Himalaya as it has propylene glycol) I recommend bhumi amlaki(fresh leaves or dried), LKC capsules by Organic India or milk thistle and dandelion supplements or teas.
5. Stress: do not underestimate the ‘power’ of stress. Meditate, pray, paint, walk…whatever you can do to GENTLY relax yourself.
6. In a lot of cases, a severe and prolonged electrolyte imbalance will aggravate symptoms. Water retention will worsen. Switch to natural salt. Stop sodium chloride aka table salt. Do the kidney cleanse often. Have fresh coconut water.
7. Fatigue: Too much exercise or exertion can put your body into fight mode producing too much cortisol…It WILL disrupt sleep, cause panic attacks, anxiety or palpitations. At its worst, it will cause adrenal fatigue, which is NOT easy to heal and shockingly not recognised by doctors.

Step 2: Eliminate toxicity.

Irrespective of your health status, it is better to stay away from anything toxic . As with all ailments, one needs to detoxify even more. Remove toxic foods and products. :
1. Packaged food.
2. Processed meat
3. Carton/bottled juices
4. Carbonated drinks
5. Table salt
6. Refined sugar
7. Refined oils
8. Store bought breads
9. Commercial biscuits
10. Stale refrigerated food.
11. Dairy products (except ghee)
12. Soya in any form.
13. Artificial sweeteners.
14. Corn.

2. Lotions
3. Non-stick ware
4. Aluminum utensils
5. Microwave oven

Step 3 : Gentle exercise.

Choose a form of exercise.
Your exercise should be slow to medium paced that helps maintain slow and deep breathing. Do not exert. High intensity workouts may fatigue you more and aggravate inflammation and vata . Change the duration and effort as per your prevailing symptoms.

1. Walking
2. Yogasanas*:
3. Pranayam
Kapal bhati
Anulom vilom
4. Surya namaskar: slow paced.

*For yogasanas mentioned, a variation of each of them depending on your flexibility and mobility is possible. Ask your instructor to customise with props. Search online. You may want to look at the Iyengar style improvisations.

Step 4 : Extra efforts.

Take in as much sun as possible to maintain good vitamin D levels.
Apply sesame/coconut oil to skin and sit in the sun for 15 to 30 mins, daily if possible. Try to expose as much skin as possible. Avoid wearing sun glasses. Please do not try to de-tan. Tanning will protect your skin from burning/rashes if you are prone to it.

Make sure to avoid snacking throughout the day. Have three meals a day. If you usually feel hungry in the evening, keeping a small portion of breakfast or lunch will keep you off tea-time biscuits and nibbles.

If you prefer an LCHF diet, kindly take in fats other than dairy. Ghee is an exception. Do not starve yourself or go on salad diets, they will not help in reducing weight! If digestion is sluggish, please stick to mainly cooked foods. Use the spice brew to improve digestion.

Step 5 : Supportive remedies.

These remedies may help in bringing relief to symptoms. These can only act as boosters to speed up healing naturally and are not a substitute to any medication you may be taking. Neither are these a substitute for the lifestyle changes mentioned in the previous steps. You may try them one at a time to see what benefits you.
Please do list any that you have tried and had good experience with.
* Starred remedies are feedbacks from other patients.

1. Coriander seed water:
Soak a tablespoon of coriander seeds overnight. Boil the next morning in glass of water. Drink on an empty stomach. Helps with brain fog and lethargy.
2. Coconut water 2 to 3 times a day. Helps with fatigue and reducing excess water retention.
3. Turmeric- spice brew:
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
Jaggery to taste.
Boil for 5 mins and drink. May steep tea leaves in the end .
Helps in digestion, bloating, inflammation.
4. *Horse gram boiled – only water to be drunk with lemon drops in it.
5. *Seetaphal leaves- Around 5 leaves boiled in 250ml water for 5 minutes. Filter and drink first thing in the morning, on empty stomach.
6. Turmeric almond/nut milk-
To be taken at bedtime to aid sleep. Temper 1/4 tsp of turmeric, 1 crushed pepper corn, 1 cardamom in half a teaspoon of ghee. Add the milk of your choice, few strands of saffron and boil.
7. Kidney Cleanse – works well to balance electrolytes and reduce retention. Its a very easy and short protocol. Benefits range from draining excess water retention, more energy, feeling alert. You might want to do it once a week for the first month.
8. Liver cleanse- Extremely beneficial in the long run. Some people have been able to heal themselves after a series of cleanses. Good way to detoxify. A lot of t4 to t3 conversion depends on liver functioning. Contraindications include constipation so you may want to address that before trying liver cleansing.

A home remedy for sinusitis and ENT infections

Ingredients :  

Leaves of Indian Bael (Aegle marmelos)
Coconut oil
A small teaspoon of pepper (optional) 


Two bunches of leaves purchased from a nearby flower vendor

I used to struggle with sinusitis and rather recurrent headaches, tonsils inflammation , a running nose and chest congestion frequently while growing up. I managed to use this remedy to arrest this problem and recover. Today I am sharing this amazing remedy for you as well to benefit. Nasal congestion , ear infections and sinus headaches will no longer trouble you.

Take out all the leaves from the stalks . Grind them into pulp with a little bit of water. Extract the juice out  completely.  Add a little bit of water and strain out the remaining again. Now you have a bit of brownish leaf extract + water.  Add an equal amount of coconut oil by volume.


Slowly simmer the mixture on a gas stove and let the water evaporate slowly


Once all the water has evaporated, the coconut oil would have absorbed the vilva leaf extracts and turned into a dark brownish-black colour.  There will be some bit of hard solids that gets formed during this process. Strain the oil to take this out.



Store this oil for a few months easily. Once a week take a tablespoon of this and apply on to the top of your head. This remedy has worked on quite a few of  my friends over the years. Try it and let me know how it worked.

Bliss In The Hills : Story of my bearings

Ever since I had to abandon my maiden 1200 ride in 2014, the urge to go back and finish it was always there. I knew that I had to finish it, at least to demonstrate that ordinary cyclists like me had a chance to complete it, given enough discipline in the ride. But given the lazy cyclist that I am , that is easier said than done. I decided to draw inspiration from my 2012 Belgaum Brevet finish — I decided to ride alone if need be to the halfway point and then try and get company. From experience, I know that some people invariably will abandon the ride for various reasons. Each minute in an endurance event of this sort is precious, and during crunchtimes it becomes impossible to cover up for lost time (with a weary body and mind, many a times its a mental game — if you feel you can make it you end up pushing yourself, if not you give it up )

So on the day of the ride, I got delayed for some reason , got all the brevet papers and cards and headed to the starting point. As I climbed the Jayadeva flyover my rear wheel started making a lot of noises. I knew that something was wrong at that point of time. At the start point handed over the papers to Parag to take over the race ownership. Srini told me to put coconut oil into the rear hub and continue riding, but Parag was sure of a cracked ball bearing. And I suspected something cracked too. I definitely wasn’t feeling too confident about the sound to ride 1200km. The ride started about 20m late and I zoomed off pronto. RR Cycles was 1km on the race route from the start, so I decided to barge in and requested them to fix my cycle. As luck would have it , the mechanics had just gone off for a late lunch. So I stood there fidgeting till they came back. Babu opened up the rear hub and showed me multiple cracked ball bearings. Meanwhile it started raining outside and as he was fixing it, I went out and pumped in 1/2 a litre of juice from a nearby juice shop. At about 4:45 or so the bike was ready.I also bought a couple of spare brake pads and went my way. I didn’t want to delve too much into the time delay. I knew I had a handicap of a hour and a half and the evening traffic to deal with.
I had promised myself that I would not worry about rain, and decided not to carry any raincoat or poncho. The best way of dealing with rain , at least in the Indian monsoon is to just brave it out and rely on your body heat to keep you warm. Riding wet is better than riding with a raincoat once the rain dries out. (At least for me, that is what I’ve come to believe in) Of course , another learning from my aborted trip in 2014 was to ensure that I had adequate protection for my palms and fingers in the elevated climes of Ooty. I remember my fingers had become coompletely numb , rendering it extremely difficult to handle the breaks. So that meant that I needed some protection for my palm in the cold. I bought leather gloves a few days before the trip. Carried with me with the intent to use it for the Ooty leg.
Thankfully the traffic was not too bad till I reached near Yeshwantpur and I managed to take the elevated flyway. The rain had also eased out by this time. I remember reaching Hassan Road in double quick time. However, my anxiety levels were still high, and would remain so till I caught up with at least a couple of folks. So I take the rather empty Mangalore highway and keep pedalling steady. The idea was to not get off the bike unless necessary. I had protein bars which I munched occasionally and a camelbak hydration pack (with a capacity of 2.1 litres) that I had filled with Kokum juice at the start of the journey. In addition to this a bottle of plain water in my bottle holder. I wanted to try and ride as much as possible as long as possible without breaking. My goal was to reach the 1st control , Belur , a distance of about 235km by about 2am (11 hours running time) Overall goal was to have at least a 3-4 hour buffer time at Madikeri, knowing that there was one big climb before Madikeri. As I continued my solo adventure it started raining a little heavily , and as I eased into the rain, I noticed what looked to me a pair of cyclists at a distance. The legs in motion definitely looked to be that of Anil Kadsur , to me. Anil was accompanying Archana , the sole female rider for safety reasons. He was hooded up to protect from the rain. As I passed him and Archana, I waved my hands, passed them and said Hi, but did not stop. I was in serious concentration mode, not wanting to waste any time. For the 1st time in the ride, I started feeling a little positive that I was at least ahead of someone else. The time was just after sunset , and the ethereal light of sunset was still holding nightfall at bay. Over some time I remember seeing a couple of guys taking breaks, and with every rider I passed, I grew in confidence of making the controls in time. I was not afraid of the Belur control, but I knew I needed a good buffer to make the Kalpetta control in time.
At around the 100km mark there is an Adiga’s on this road. And as I neared the Adiga’s I heard my name being called out loud. Recognition of the owner of that voice was what gave me some serious confidence. The voice was that of Putta Narasimhaiah, my Cleated Warrior team-mate. The moment I heard his voice, a voice inside me told me ‘You have caught up with Opendro’. I stopped, talked to Putta, who told me that he had just had his dinner but Opendro was actually behind us, and was helping Kiran and Gana push through. Since I knew that I had caught up with a few people, it looked a good time for me to have dinner. I waved Putta ahead and went to Adiga’s to have dinner. For the 1st time in the ride, I felt somewhat confident. And that had everything to do with the fact that I had caught up with Opendro

The satisfaction of completion

I am yet to blog about my ride on Bliss In The Hills. But figured I need to write up on my 1st FM(Full Marathon) run on 18th Oct 2015. These days marathons are considered no big deal, with people doing Ironman distance triathlons, and ultra runs featuring 50, 100kms and even 24 hour challenges. I had got back to running earlier this year by running the TCS 10K in 50:48 and the Bangalore 10k (from the Bangalore Marathon organizers) in 49:07 seconds. The latter was on 12th July. I registered for the marathon around that time.

I train on my own and along with 2 groups of runners within my APT complex. Its during one of my solo interal training runs that it happened. Our apartment block has a walking pathway that measures 910m. I was doing 250m and 150m interval training intersperced by approx 250m relaxed running. During my final run, I overdid a sprint. I felt a jolt of pain at the base of my bum, where the hamstring begins. This pain did not go away easily.
I stopped running for a few days to see if the pain would ease, but it did not. My original goal was to run my first FM at a decent pace and run the HM in Mumbai in Jan pushing for speed. But thanks to my greed, I had the nagging feeling that I had injured myself.
Of course finishing Bliss In The Hills was a priority for me , so i decided not to risk further injury( I was able to pedal without much issues), and was able to cycle at decent pace (I did Bangalore – Tirupattur – Bangalore , about 270 km in 10:30 including breaks), so decided not to push my luck. My goal was to wait till Oct 4th and then use the 14 days to train for the event.
When the injury happened, I could barely walk, and going up and down stairs was painful. Eventually I could walk but my right leg was still strained.
It was late September when I decided to take professional help. I went to Sparrc, Indiranagar (This is the place where I had gone last year to deal with another injury – Morton’s neuroma, which kept me off running fo 2 years). I completed 3-4 days of physio therapy (reflex -point therapy is what they call it) and I was in okay condition to ride Bliss In The Hills. Thankfully I managed to complete Bliss In The Hills. After completing BITH on Oct 4th (it took me a couple of days to start running , i was exhausted from BITH). The physio, Ganesh from sparrc advised me to run, but take it easy . “Sir you can run but don’t push for speed. Also if you feel any discomfort, please stop”. On 15th (Thu) I decided to try and run a little and gauge myself. I ran 3.7km in 21 minutes and felt i could go longer at that speed. However later in the day, my hamstring hurt and I was mildly rebuked by the physio for pushing myself. So nothing left to do but relax and run. I had not run more than a few km for more than 2 months. The longest I had run was the 12th July 10km run for a while. I decided to postpone the decision of running to as late as possible. I went and collected my bib, etc on Fri evening and then decided to just go to the start point.
The start time itself was at 4:45 and the reporting time 04:00. So i had to sacrifice my sleep for the night. Slept 3 hours or so (but had compensated previous night by having an extended sleep and had taken a cat nap in the afternoon). Along with two other marathoners , Praveen and Shirisha from my apartment I went to the stadium. Praveen’s driver dropped us at the stadium. From the start time, I ran at a steady pace but well within myself ( or so I thought). At the 3km mark I checked it was 20 minutes, I decided to continue going at this pace, quickly calculating that it would be about 2:20 or so when i reached the half way mark. I decided not to fall in the trap of running faster when I spotted people whom I perceived as slower than me. Today was a test of my discipline on not running too fast, and I decided to stick to my relaxed pace. I remember the 4:00 and the 4:30 bus going ahead of me in Cubbon park. As I went past Cubbon road , the 04:45 bus went past me. I shouted out ‘Which bus is this?’ The bus driver shouted back ’04:45′ .
Me : Does this bus have bus stops?
He(taken aback) : Smiling , ha ha, good one.
The armymen from Madras Sappers cheering us on the ring road around Ulsoor Lake. We took a right turn on to the Indira nagar 100ft road. After crossing CMH Road, I spotted the lead car and the time on it was 1:40 approximately. The lead runners were running behind. As I entered the inner ring road, I spotted Opendro running in the opposite direction – figured he was going to complete in less than 3:30. As I ran midway I mentally posted a goal of trying and completing the hm distance by 2:30 and then push the return to 2:15 or even 2:00 ( I had run a half marathon in 1:57:23 in Jan 2013 ) . I continued running at this pace and reached the 20km mark in around 02:10.
As I approached the U turn point I spotted Kiran Kumar of Fitness through travels stretching on the other side. I remember thinking ‘I didn’t know he is fast’. Once I took the U turn , things started getting a little difficult for me. Things started going downhill from here. the U turn point was at Forum mall and at that point I felt a strain on my legs. After turning around, maybe a few hundred meters later I stopped running and decided to walk. After this I tried running but my legs refused to obey. From this point onwards I remeber really struggling. As I reached Koramangala police station, I needed to push harder. Once I took a left turn at Sony World, I must have had a clearly visible limp, because at almost every stall or aid station, people were approaching me and asking me ‘Are you okay, Sir?’ only for me to respond “Yes I am fine”. But I obviously wasn’t. In the inner ring road, the road is a little imperfect and the soles of my feet were beginning to hurt. I mean ‘Beginning to hurt’ , because it would get a little worse later on. One guy who overtook me told me to stretch. It was hurting to stretch my hamstring, I told him.
He : “Trust me, it might hurt stretching, but please do”
I decided to try it. My hamstring was too tight, so I stretched my calf muscles for some time and then my hamstring, I could do a little stretching, and after stretching for 5 minutes I could move a little better. The hobble, walk, stretch technique of painful locomotion continued till I reached Old Madras Road. Now it was a little late and both sides had been opened to traffic. By this time a group of struggling runners had bunched together, in a rather unstructured way. Very different from the focused superpack that was visible at the start of the race.

Once we came back to Cubbon road, it was easier. The road was not cordoned off and there was traffic but it was minimal and they were not getting in our way. We came across the red light at the Brigade Road (rather Kamraj road at this junction) intersection and ran through the red signal stopping traffic. The Fortis aid station at the fag end of the road had a volunteer rushing out with ice. I told her to give me the ice cubes, she wanted to ice me herself. Not wanting to waste time in conversation and still being in a hurry to finish the race( despite my snail’s pace now), I took the ice from her, firmly pressed it against the base of my hamstring and hobbled till the intersection fo Kasturba Road (JDP junction). At this point we had to cross over to the other side, which we did by running (!) across the road. About 100m before Mallya Road the 37km board lay down on the footpath, and I jumped over it. Now running on the road was very difficult as the pockmarked tar road was really searing my soles. For the first time in my life, I found barefoot running painful.

Kiran, who was running barefoot himself joined me at the start of Cubbon road (or rather, I caught up with him).From this point on, we would be running together (He would sprint a little and stretch a lot, while I would continuously limp at a very constant pace of about 5.5 kmph and catch up with him). We approached and entered Cubbon Park around the same time. 5 km felt like a loooong distance.  There was a huge loop inside cubbon park, we had to go all the way to the back of the library and go through a roundabout route via the road parallel to Queen’s road. All the while I was inside Cubbon Park, I kept hopping on the footpath where the stones were much more comfortable than the pockmarked tar roads. Honestly I kept looking around for somebody to borrow any sort of footwear from. My soles were burning with every step on tar, and was somewhat comfortable on the footpath. As far as running ‘form’ or ‘pose’ was concerned, duh, forget it. I was happy to just go ahead , one step at a time. As we ran on the road behind the library, we saw all the runners coming from KR Circle (We had to go another 3 km to reach a point where I could just jump across — I was tempted to call off the run and go to the stadium and just eat the breakfast 🙂 ) .  As I was thinking these thoughts, I was woken up from my reverie by Kiran. Now me, Kiran,Praveen , and a bunch of strugglers were all motivating each other and making painful progress

On the road parallel to Queens Road, The drummers had got exhausted by now and were sitting on the footpath. We painfully trudged our way inside


“Chiddu, try using the footpath, it is much easier there.” Words, measured words from a friend who has cycled with me on multiple trips. Kiran was also running barefeet, and obviously was struggling as much as I was, to come to grips with the abrasion the soles were taking. So I continued , tiptoeing towards and continuing on the sidewalk. It was much more pleasant there, smooth stones as opposed to the dimpled surface that characterized the tar road.
At one point near the Sheshadri memorial library, we had to cross the road. The route here was such that we had to complete a 3.5 km loop and come back , and there was a barricade separating us from the riders who had added 3.5 km to their kitty.

By the time we reached the stretch parallel to Queen’s road , the drummers there were relaxing , exhausted!. Push , limp, motivate each other, look for the next pole as the target! We kept going ahead , feet by feet. Got on to the road next to Vidhan Soudha and finally back on to Cubbon Park. As we passed the library again, a coach (or motivator) was urging all the walkers to run. So I gave in and decided to limp harder (could not find a better expression to describe it). I limped, lunged , ran sideways and pushed the last 800 meters to conjure up a seemingly sprintish run . Once  I crossed the line, the only emotion that I could detect was one of relief. I headed into the rehab tent, and had the pleasure of meeting Anil Kumar, another barefoot runner. He handed over his ice pack for me to put my foot on.

My result link


PS : Had typed this long ago. Quickly completed a narrative and posted it now.

Bliss In The Hills

You can register here

The first edition of Bliss In The Hills was a success , judging from the number of participants and the interest it generated. We had riders from Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Chennai, Tiruppur, Goa, Pune , Mumbai in addition to Bangalore. Or put it better, we had riders from all over India riding this brevet. 40 riders started and 4 finished, which was below our expectations. We did expect a few more to finish on time. In addition to the official finishers, Kaviarasu, Mehul and Sundaram Narayanan from Goa finished the ride but missed intermediate controls.
Thanks to the volunteers Suman and Ravindra from Bangalore , and Karthik and his gang of friends from Tirupur for helping the riders in the manned controls.

Some of the feedback from the riders as well as wannabe riders, as well as the experiences of the organizers have prompted a couple of changes. (The final route will be published once we do a recce in a week or so , but tentatively we have decided to incorporate the following changes)

1) The exit out of Bangalore will be streamlined. You will get out via Sankey Tank,CNR underpass and Yeshwantpur railway station, so the traffic will not be an issue.
2) We plan to change some of the routes in Wayanad. Last year on some stretches there was zero visibility due to fog. While we cannot completely guarantee anything, that particular stretch was through dense forest and the fog , in hindsight was expected. Attribute that to non familiriaty of terrain from the organizers.
3) Of course the distances will change, and there will be some additional sections to compensate for the stretches that have been truncated. This year we had opened up registrations earlier. The current registration format also follows last year. All participants who complete on time will be entitled to a medal and certificate.

A brief description of the route ( If it sounds like some chest thumping or self-back-patting, we humbly beg your pardon, but here goes).The whole idea of the route was to have an Indian version of PBP conducted here, at least in terms of difficulty. In addition to ensuring that our climb starved cyclists go back happy, we also wanted to ensure that we showcase the beauty of the area that the ride goes through. So you actually will have one and all of the following sections
1) Rainforest or rain forest like regions – be prepared for the muggy climate
2) Cooler and more pleasant forests , as you climb towards Ooty
3) Gentle rolling terrain
4) Not so gentle rolling terrain.
5) Coffee estates
6) Tea estates.
7) Long clear stretches of highway for the flat lovers.
8) Spectacular scenery, the best the western ghats have to be offer

The cumulative elevation of the ride should come to more than 15000m (As a comparison, PBP has a combined elevation gain of 11000 m and a 1200 conducted in January by Goa Cycling Club had an elevation of 13000 km). What makes Bliss In The Hills special is that it spans a wide geographical area. The lowest point is about 45m above sea level and the highest will be around 2400 m above sea level.

The brevet is also at the fag end of the monsoon. So the chance of rain is ever present. Last year, it rained the night the brevet was flagged off , and again it rained on day 3 when we were climbing Ooty. It is best to be prepared for heat, cold, some rain, some low visibility and foggy conditions and also a little extra humidity in Kerala.

Here is a brief description of the route. You start from MG Road and head towards Nelamangala. From here you make your way towards Chikmagalur district to the temple town of Belur. From Belur you go towards the Madikeri. Gentle rolling terrain gradually gives way to longer climbs and descents. After traversing across Coorg, you go down the Sahyadri’s to a town called Iritty in Kerala.From here you work your way back up the mountain to the Wayanad Plateau. Kalpetta, in Wayanad will be your 1st control for support, and a recommended spot to get an extended sleep. From here you go via tea estates and climb to Ooty via Gudalur. You can smell the tea as you cycle past tea factories. Once you reach Ooty you go via a superlong downhill to Mettupalayam. From here you have a long highway stretch to reach Salem. From Salem you climb to Yercaud in the eastern Ghats, and then descend via beautiful woods to Kuppanur. From here you head north via a state highway and eventually climb Yelagiri, the last of the designated hills in the route. Finally you make your way to Bangalore via Hosur.
The ride has been named *Bliss In The Hills* to reflect the overdose of serenity as you ride on arguably one of the most scenic routes of South India.