05 October 2023

Trip to Medan

 This was my first trip to Medan in Indonesia. This was in May 2023.

I took the MAS flight and it was quite smooth.

I was there to attend the Global Total education fair at Medan today. I delivered a seminar on Social media marketing. Representing School of Business, Monash University Malaysia at the fair.

Stayed at Adimulia Hotel Medan. The hotel was really nice. Did not get the chance to do much sightseeing. Was able to take some pics from the Taxi rides. Medan has some really nice buildings. 

Here are some views from the Hotel

Also experienced my first Grab bike taxi ride - scary, without a helmet but exciting.

02 September 2023

Foods to Avoid and Food that are Good for Blood Pressure

 I recently found out that my BP is sky high. I had been experiencing migraines, tiredness and body aches and I suspected it as I had been diagnosed with high BP a few years back. However, I stopped taking medicine after a few weeks and was able to control it. However, I have gone back to my bad habits - sleeping late, eating junk food and a lot of stress and here we are. 

Have been researching a lot and according to most sources, there is not cure for BP and you have to take medicines. I have relented and started as well as I do not want to have a stroke or heart attack.

Anyway, I don't want it to get worse. I found out that the worst foods for BP are the ones I love - savory snacks and others listed below. I don't smoke, don't consumer alcohol and I am vegetarian.

Food to avoid for people with high blood pressure

  • Saturated fats
  • Crisps and salty snacks
  • Sugary drinks
  • Bread
  • Canned tomato products
  • Soup
  • Cheese
  • Pizza
  • Caffeine
  • Pickles
  • Condiments

 The Best Foods for High Blood Pressure

  • Citrus
  • chokeberries
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • grapes
  • Kiwifruit
  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts and seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • flaxseed
  • chia seed
  • pistachios
  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • Legumes
  • cranberries
  • Amaranth
  • whole oats
  • quinoa
  • brown rice
  • corn
  • whole grain bread
  • whole wheat pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Carrots
  • Eggs
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Yogurt
  • Herbs
  • Potatoes

Let me know if there is any food I should add to the lists. 

18 June 2021

My mother defeated the COVID19 virus and is back home

 A post I made on Facebook a few days back.

Our Ima is finally back home and happy. 

We did not even have time to mourn the passing of our Baba, our Ima was hospitalised the same day. It was my childhood friend Dr. James Elangbam who convinced me to have my mother hospitalised. We thought that she would be in for a couple of days but in the end, it turned out to be a roller coaster ride of 21 days – emotionally, mentally and physically, especially as we are all so far away. It was like a Korean drama – my wife corrected me; it was more like a Hindi movie with a happy ending.   

She was initially diagnosed as asymptomatic, and the doctor expected her to be discharged in a few days but later her oxygen saturation or SpO2 levels dropped and she had to be put on oxygen. Later she became so weak, that she could not get up let alone walk to the bathroom. At one point, Dr. Goldie was visiting her and found that Ima’s SpO2 levels had actually gone down to 70 – something really serious for those who are not aware. Then, there was the problem of her blood sugar which was erratic – sometimes really low and then shooting up. Just a couple of days ago, she literally collapsed, and it was Che Thoi, who had the presence of mind to quickly feed her some food and alert the nurses.  She slowly recovered and we really must thank Che Thoi, our cousin, who really took great care of her. 

Anyway, we are really glad that she is out of the hospital finally. She is not out of the woods just yet but when they last checked her SpO2 levels before leaving the hospital, it was 99 (which is good) without oxygen support. 

There is a long list of people who helped us reach this point. First of all, I would like to thank the Almighty God who opened the hearts of so many people to help and guide us. Dr. James was among the few who got back in touch with me when I reached out to many of my doctor friends on Facebook. He along with Dr. Reena Arambam, part of the RMC colony gang, helped us to get Ima into Shija Hospital. Dr. Reena was in constant contact with us, even when she was down with dengue. Vimala Rajkumari who helped us to get Ima a room at the hospital. Ka Meghraj who was always there with us – advising and listening to us. This has brought us close to our cousins Che Thoi, Suranjoy Singh Loitongbam, Asangbam Satyabarta Singh, Sonalika Khoirom and Dipu Khoirom. Our Aunts Nene Mutum Hemabati and Nene Tondon. We don’t know what we would have done without them. We cannot forget Newmai and Rose who took care of Baba during his last moments. I also reconnected with Dr. Ashangbam Vivekananda Singh, through Dr. James. Thanks so much for the oxygen concentrator. 

Last but not the least, our spouses Ezlika Ghazali, Fred and Sumit Taluja and our children, for supporting us during these few tough weeks. 

Please forgive us if we missed anyone here. I know a lot of friends and family prayed for her. 

We will not forget your kindness.  May God bless you.

Dilip, Juliana & Diana 

18 March 2021

Thabal chongba, Nati, Dabke and other similar dances

I was going through YouTube videos and came across Dabke folk dances from the Levantine. I realised that there are some similarities with the traditional Nati folk dances native to the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand in India. There are also similarities with the Thabal Chongba dance from Manipur and traditional dances from Greece. Nati from Himachal Palestinian Dabke Lebanese Dabke Kurdish Greek traditional dances Manipuri Thabal Chongba  

08 January 2021

Reviewing Extra Virgin Olive Oil Brands

Have been trying out different extra virgin' olive oil brands.

Extra-virgin olive oil refers to oil from cold-pressed olives, not processed and often more expensive than regular olive oil.

So far I have tried 5 brands, namely, Filippo Berio (Italian), Colavita (Italian), Red Island (Australian), O' Forest (Malaysian brand but using Olive oil from Spain) and California Olive Ranch (American).

In the end, after the taste test (yes, we consume it raw) the clear winner is the Australian brand, Red Island. Really mild, smooth and delicious. 

It is also the most recently pressed 2020 as compared to the others which were cold-pressed in 2019. I am not sure whether it tasted better because it was the freshest. The others have a slightly more peppery after-taste. Supposedly the more peppery, the higher the antioxidants.

Let me know your favourite brand and why.

07 October 2020

Blogiversary 17 Years

My Blogiversary passed and I didn't even realise it. I started blogging on my ah ok lah blog on September 2003. 


That was actually 17 years ago.

I was still single then, much slimmer and had just joined academia as a lecturer at Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Brings back a lot of great memories. 

I have not been blogging much recently but I plan to start blogging on a regular basis.

Happy Belated Birthday to my blog.

05 October 2020

Thinking about zombies

Yesterday, I was finally able to catch the final episode of this season's The walking dead, one of my favourite TV shows. 
I am not sure whether other people have thought about this as O know most watch it got entertainment, however I was thinking of the science. The only way to kill the zombies or walkers is to destroy the brain. Even though the show is now supposedly several years after the zombie apocalypse, there are thousands of zombies walking around. They are supposed to be dead and as we all know dead people will start decomposing, including their brains. The fact that they can walk and even tear apart stuff means that their brains are still alive, blood is still flowing and muscles are still functional, and can still bite. This is not really believable as the brain is among the first organs to decompose. If a few years, that is fine. However, to see so many zombies decades later is simply not possible.
In some episodes we can see zombies without the body and only the head hissing and moving the mouth. 
The explanation may be that the zombie apocalypse was caused by super microbes which take over the dead body and specifically the brain and keep it alive. Or alternatively a more credible explanation from a scientific point of view, may be nanobots released into the atmosphere which are now in the bodies of all human beings and which are activated once the body dies and they take over. 
I know this has been a slightly morbid post. However, I would love to hear your theories of you are a fan of zombie movies and still reading my blog. 


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