Quotes: from my Diary

 

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  • It’s easy to handle the hatred than love as love comes with more responsibilities.

  • Tears show the winning of heart over mind in a battle happened inside you. 
  • First, we should believe in changes and then turn them real. 
  • Tears are not the symbol of weakness, they are the symbol of honesty, purity, loyalty, love, strength, success and a lot more that happened in your life.
  • Everyone who writes a software starts with “Hello World!!!”. 
  • This is an era of collaboration and crowdSourcing, better you learn team-work.

  • You are born to work for one person, and that person is you.

-By Akrati Saxena

 

 

 

Health Tips and How to avoid Junk Food

Today I am going to share one important experience of my life. In 2014, I joined Ph.D. in IIT Ropar, Punjab. When I came to Ropar I started having the gastric problem. I consulted many doctors but nothing worked out. Some of them suggested that I should leave eating oily stuff, as people think the gastric problem is mainly because of oily stuff. But I belong to west U.P., where every week we have some festival. In my family twice a week it’s sure to have poori and heavy meals. Few dishes are common to that area those belong to the very oily category like samosas, Chhole bhature, chats, lots of potatoes, chips, and so on. So, I felt that oily stuff is not the reason, I am eating it from my childhood. There is something else.

Then one day I went to Apollo hospital Delhi and met with a senior doctor. He was really a very nice person and after all tests, I came to know that I am suffering from vitamin D deficiency, and it also causes stomach fluffiness. I took that treatment for 4-5 months and again went for vitamin D and B-12 tests. Results were positive and I was feeling better.

But, I was still having the gastric problem and was tired of it. I searched online and found that many people are having similar problems. Then I thought I will have to do something. I joined a course on coursera offered by Dr. Maya from Stanford University. I learned a lot from this program and changed my ways of living.  After doing that course, I also read many articles on the internet and watched few more videos and courses.

Now it was a perfect time to implement, what all I have learned. I started implementing few tips in my daily life. Just after 2-3 months, I started getting lots of compliments. People said that I look more active. I was also feeling light because I was having a very less gastric problem. I would like to clear one thing to you, that this article doesn’t mean for weight loss. It’s just to make you healthy and to make you look more fit and active.

Now after reading all this, I know you will also be eager to know these tips, so it’s time to share with you. Before reading these, I hope you will make your mind to follow at least few of them. You can also gain weight after this but don’t worry, this will not happen. 🙂 By using these tips, It’s sure that you will feel better.

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These are the amazing tips that have changed my life, Now it’s time to change yours:

  1. Drinking Water: After waking up, have one glass lukewarm water with lemon and honey. And if possible do the same before you sleep. As all people know hostel students are lazy, so, I just started having normal one glass water in the morning and one before sleeping. Try to take at least 3 liters of water in a day.
  2. A Glass of Milk: We know milk is very healthy for our diet but when should we take it. One doctor suggested me that if I am having gastric problem, I should avoid taking milk in the morning. So, I started having it in the evening, and make sure even after that you should have enough time to digest. One more warning, avoid tea/coffee early morning.
  3. What about meals: We should take 3 meals in a day and I did following changes in that. I started having heavy breakfast, and normal lunch. In dinner, I stopped taking heavy stuff. You can prepare Raita, fruit salad, veg salad, etc. for dinner. Once you start feeling improvements, you can have a proper meal in the night. It has worked for me perfectly, now I can eat anything and have no indigestion/gastric problem.
  4. What More, Exercise and Yoga: I do pranayama for 30-40 minutes in the morning and it’s very good for health. Before making changes in my diet, I used to do exercise for one hour daily, but I didn’t feel any improvement. After these diet changes, I stopped doing exercise, but what I used to do was: After having a meal (lunch/dinner) take around 15 minutes rest and then have a fast walk for 30-60 minutes. It was suggested by a doctor from IIT Ropar and It really helped me.
  5. Just ask one question: I learned this question from an online course by Dr. Maya (Stanford professor) and it has changed my life. Whenever you are having something to eat, just ask one question: why you are going to eat this, Is it really needed? I started asking this and automatically, I was eating more healthy stuff. There are few more tips:
    1. Eat food whenever it is served properly. It will help you to avoid junk food.
    2. Cold Drinks/Soda: These drinks are the best way to spend your money to make your body more unhealthy. Don’t pay much for it.
    3. Control the intake of sugar: Sugar intake is of two types: Direct Sugar (when we eat it directly), and Indirect Sugar (like fruits and milk contain natural sugar). We should control the intake of direct sugar, like in Sweets, Namkeen, chats, candies, and so on.
    4. Daily try to eat fruits, and if you are taking fruit juice, then prefer fresh fruit juice. These are much healthier than the packed juices and have no preservatives.
    5. If you doubt that the food is not cooked with cleanliness, then avoid eating it.
    6. Sleep on time, it really helps.

Now I am eating almost the same food but I just shuffled the timing and results motivated me to write this much longer post. I was very eager to share this with you because I know, it will surely help you as it did mine. Waiting to read good reviews from your side too. 🙂

I am also planning to write one more list of tips for hostellers, like what they can eat and how they can change their diet system when we all know our main focus is the study, not food/health. Please wait for this. 🙂

I am a girl…

I wrote this poem in 2013, and it is very close to my heart. The first draft goes like this:

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I am a girl, No one will listen,
Whether for a moment or more, I will be alone.

I can cry with my pillow, even I can hide tears,
No one is here for me, to take away my fears.

I am scared to walk, even to climb on my bed,
That I am gonna miss someone, maybe you, mom or dad.

I love everyone, and try to take care of all,
But whenever I need, there is no one to call.

I have felt all this, even more than this,
Still I say; I am a girl, I can’t even list.

These fears these responsibilities, have loaded me down,
Still you know I am a girl, I can’t countdown.

My tears will dry, my worries will end,
One day you will miss me, when I will meet my end.

I will be lying down, with no tears at all,
All of you will miss me,
For this all… For this all…

-By Akrati Saxena

How does a princess look at her life?

It’s been three days, she is still sitting on the floor holding that book. She is completely lost in it and turning its pages back and forth. She is trying hard to find something that others can see but not her, and looking impatient, muddled, distraught. It seems this girl just wants to stop searching in that book but people around her are forcing her to find something, and she even doesn’t know what it is, where it is, still just trying… trying hard without even stopping for a moment.

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She can see all the starting pages are so colorful like a rainbow, filled with many interesting stories, and rest of the book has just plain white pages, ready to be filled. She is not able to see any third thing but people around her can see so many dark black pages. They are forcing her to read it again and again. But, she doesn’t know where to look for it, why can’t she see it when all people can see. Of course, It’s the same book.

She is tired of flipping through pages, but finally, it’s over. She stands up and shouts out loud, Just Leave Me, Leave Me Alone… This is my book, and I will read it the way I want. You all just leave me, please leave me. She patiently sits down, takes a deep breath, and closes the book. There were signs of relaxing, joy, satisfaction on her face like she has found something amazing or a mantra of happiness.

That book was nothing but the book of her life. Her own stories written on all the pages. The entire world could see dark black pages but she could only see colorful pages filled with the stories of her own adventures, her memories, and she knew she is yet to color rest of the white blank pages. She understood in these days that the story of her life is not written in that book, actually, It is written in the beauty of her eyes, the strength of her mind, and the purity of her heart. God has gifted her an amazing story and It all depends on her how does she see it, how does she make it happen real. All people around her could see black pages, read the stories of pain and sorrows, and blamed God for that. But this young girl only saw the experience, learnings, blessings, joy. She appreciated the meaning of every single word written there with the bright golden ink explaining her adventures.

She just left, it is the time to write more pages with more colors. Now, she knows she never needs to read it again, she just needs to fill it with many more colorful stories. And, the day she will leave this world, she has to return it to God and God should appreciate her efforts, her stories, her success, her failures, and all the phases of her life she has been through.

She is really a princess. All people had understood that they were wrong. They can’t make her loose just because of their fears. They can’t force her to see what do they believe in. She is on her own journey and she has to win it. A real princess never loses a battle of her life.

Dedicated to all beautiful princess in the world 🙂

Best Things I Enjoyed During My Ph.D.

Ph.D. this one word has the power to fill a mind with completely different thoughts, for some people it is a traumatized life, for some this goal is hard to achieve, for some it is a never-ending process, for some it is a group of boring aged people, for some it is a degree to get a better job, and for few it is surely a fun, excitement, relaxation, meditation and a lot more.

What does my Ph.D. mean to me? For me, it is a learning process to live a better life the way I want. For me, it is just a way to live a life based on my own terms and conditions.

I joined my Ph.D. because I always dreamed of doing one (I will share all reasons in detail sometime later). During my Ph.D. I had some ups and down, I understood how does it feel like being on two extremely opposite poles of life like on one extreme being elated and on other being dispirited or at one time being highly motivated and at the other time being completely discouraged. But overall, it is a fun process that will make you out as a totally new person. I completely agree that it has changed my perspective, my way to handle the situation and deal with people, and even more.

Here, I am going to briefly explain every single thing that I enjoyed during my Ph.D., and the list is below:

  1. The very first thing that I completely enjoyed during my Ph.D. is Open Discussions. Once, one of my friends said: I like to discuss science with a cup of Bournvita. And it’s really true. During all the free time or when we were tired of our works, we used to discuss every single thing in the world. We used to have an enormous capacity to discuss anything, whether it is some health tips, latest papers, physics, math or anything. My supervisor always used to ignite the discussion and motivated us to understand the science of everything. I feel it helped me a lot and I gained a lot of knowledge from these discussions. First thing, it will help you to improve your interpersonal discussion skills, Second, it will help you to know about other’s work, and the last but not the least, it will also give you a chance to discuss your work. So, next time wherever you are, in a conference or in a meeting, you are ready to explain your work from a school kid to a specialist in your field. I will suggest every student, discuss as much as possible during your Ph.D.
  2. Book Reading: I read many popular science books and also interesting motivational books during my Ph.D. These popular science books helped me to get the depth of different subjects, at the same time, other books helped me to be motivated during the research. I am a big fan of Paulo Coelho and his books helped me to better understand the life. They never let me feel demotivated. I read books on crowdsourcing, behavioral economics, positive psychology, neuroscience, etc. I have a list of all read books on my homepage. Still, there are many books in the “yet to read” list and I keep adding more 🙂
  3. Motivational Blogs, Articles, and Talks: Initially my supervisor suggested me to read some blogs like a blog by Dr. Radhika Nagpal and some motivational videos like by Dr. Richard Hamming. I always enjoy reading more articles, blogs, and all these ideas always keep me motivated. These things really helped to better understand the research, the motivation of research and even to better understand the Ph.D. like what should you aim and what you actually want. I spend almost all my Sunday reading them and even I have a broadcast mailing list where I share any good article that I come through. It also helps me to connect with the people of same interest.
  4. Paper Reading: I always maintained one rule: Daily Read Research Papers. Sometimes it is not possible to finish a paper in a day, still, I used to read at least for 3-4 hours daily. This morning reading used to help me to give a lot of ideas to work on. I also maintain a diary to note down all these amazing questions. I will also suggest to a student, try this at least once and note down the ideas as soon as you get them otherwise you will forget it later. It’s true that a good research idea will strike you again and again, but still, it’s better to note down at some place so that you can come back to it later.
  5. Discuss Your Work: I always enjoyed discussing my work with my colleagues and friends even if they were not from the same stream. It helped me to get clarity of my work and if we discuss the work with fresh minds, they can also come up with some randomly new ideas which might help you to get a completely new direction towards your work. If we discuss our work with new students, it will motivate them to better understand the research, and some of them can also join you as a collaborator. The connections made during Ph.D. are for the lifetime. I also enjoyed discussing others’ work and help them to choose the best that they want. I gave many presentations during my Ph.D. and I was always excited to give even more 😀
  6. Meet the Deadlines: I always tried my best to meet the deadlines that I set for me. But I always kept one thing in mind: Don’t set the deadline for the paper submission, if the work is not ready. In the starting of the career, it can be harmful. My supervisor helped me to understand this and how it can lead to a shallow work. These deadlines also will not let you enjoy the process of research. So, I always just focused on my work, once it’s done, you can set the submission deadline and work towards it. Still, I tried to set some smaller milestones and always tried my best to meet them. These smaller accomplishments always kept me happy 🙂
  7. Exercise and Yoga: During Ph.D., it is essential to take good care of your health. Initially, I used to feel that I don’t have time for all this. But once I started managing my time, it became an important part of my daily schedule. I was having enough time and the first time in my life, I continued yoga for such a long time and seriously it also helped me a lot.
  8. Hobbies: I always kept some dedicated time for my hobbies except the reading and writing like I enjoy cooking, so, I always prepare something for me at least once a week. I have a list of dishes that you can prepare just with the help of an electric kettle or even without that. I do crafts like making cards. I write poems and also blogs that you already know :P. I won many prizes in poetry and essay competitions in IIT Ropar. Except this, I have some dedicated time to work on my social helping projects and this is one thing that really makes me proud.

I also had some bad times as I told you earlier, but they were very small as compared to all good things. We don’t need to discuss them here, the first reason is: wherever you are, life always has ups and downs and more they are better you learn, and the second is: negativity is more contagious, It lingers in our mind for long time :P. I am a person who overthinks and so I always especially try to be positive. I always talk with positive and motivating people. I will also suggest the same to others. It is applicable in all phases of life.

Ph.D. is one of the best experience of the life where I learned how to handle success and failure, how to deal with completely different people, and still learning more. I hope, my Ph.D. will shape me as a good academician, a good researcher, and the most important a better person 🙂

Journey for the lifetime has begun and I want to cherish every single moment of it 🙂

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My Research Group Photo (2015)