Sometime earlier, my team and I were working towards successfully moving our workforce to a ‘work from home’ arrangement. I like the ‘work from home’ lifestyle as it allows me to have more time to work on my hobbies. However, one tends to overlook their health and immunity in such a setup.

Work from home setup with external display and headphones

As an IT professional, working from home one tends to forget the boundaries of work times and one gets habituated to be available 24/7. This can be because you have teams that are globally spread out. Or, simply because you do not know how to manage time and you end up staying logged in beyond your work hours. In my experience, it is usually the latter which is the problem area. It is necessary to follow the same timelines you would follow if you were working from the office. Sleep at the same time, have your meals at the same time. In fact, it is a good idea to keep a scheduler to remind you of your mealtimes. This ensures you do not overwork yourself and get the rest your body requires.

all in a days work

Working from home also means that you will not be moving around as much as you used to earlier. No walks around the office for a meeting or the pantry for a coffee break. Even the walk down to the nearby tea shop is no longer happening. Our daily routine before ‘Work from Home’ helped us burn calories without us realizing it. For example, without including exercises, my average step count went from 6000 steps to 1000 in the last one week. Hence, I have taken out time daily to do some basic exercises. Where do you get the time? One might ask. Well, I am utilizing the time I would otherwise spend commuting to work to do my exercise routine.

My food habits had to change too. One, because of the limited resources available. Two, because of the change in lifestyle I was going through. I reduced my red meat intake and increased vegetables & fruits. I consciously tried to increase my intake of proteins and vitamins. These help in improving your immunity and in turn increases your ability to fight infections. How does food habits improve immunity, you might ask?

Good nutrition is essential for supporting a strong immune system. The right kind and amount of nutrients in your daily diet helps protect yourself and support your immune health. Inadequate nutrition increases the vulnerability to infection through a weakened immune system, and infection aggravates the condition, further weakening the immune response. A well-functioning immune system is key to providing a good defense against infectious disease.

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Meals, particularly, can be tough, no matter what we cook with the limited resources available, we cannot ensure we get a balanced diet. A supplement like Ensure from Abbott with its 31 nutrients is helpful. Keeping this in mind I also take multivitamins and nutrition supplements. These, I take as an add on to my daily food intake. This way, if not all I will be closer to getting a decent dose of essential vitamins and minerals daily.

I encourage all of you to take your health seriously and work towards improving your immunity in the ‘Work from Home’ days ahead.

Sometime earlier this year Royal Enfield launched a new variant of the oldest motorcycle in continuous production, the Bullet. The Bullet series has been in production in India since 1955 when Redditch company partnered with Madras Motors in India to form ‘Enfield India’ to produce the 350 CC Royal Enfield Bullet.

The Bullet motorcycles have had a very old connection with me, from the times I would wait to hear the thump of my father’s Standard Bullet 350 when he came to pick me up after school to my uncle’s ex-armed forces G2 Bullet which he picked from the army disposal auction at Panagarh.

Last March they launched the Bullet Trials Works Replica 350 & 500 motorcycles in India. The question that popped in my mind, ‘Another Bullet! Why?’

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I managed to take a spin on the 500 variant last week and this is what I found. The motorcycle is based on Bullet 500, which essentially means there is no change to the engine. This engine is the tried and tested 499 CC air-cooled fuel injected unit doing its job in the older variants of the Bullet. Oodles of low-end torque from the word go makes it an easy to manage motorcycle, in traffic or trails alike. Yes, trails and Yes, the motorcycle is called the Trials.

Back in 1948, the Trials Bullet was the first production motorcycle to feature a swinging arm suspension. And, the Trials Replica is a homage to the motorcycling legend, Johnny Brittain. He, as a young 18-year-old had great success at the International Six Days’ Trials with the Royal Enfield Factory Team.

The motorcycle has a stripped-down look, with a luggage rack where the pillion seat should have been. Maintaining an old school charm with a dash of bright coloured frames. Functional, with higher handlebars, raised mudguards and knobby tires to make it more capable off-road. An upswept exhaust to tackle deep water crossings without any worry. Though, personally, I would have loved slightly taller handlebars. With all these old-school and functional bits, Royal Enfield also ensured modern dual-channel ABS working in tandem with the block pattern tires to provide all the grip and stopping power you would need across varied terrains. Add to this a bunch of classy accessories to make the motorcycle look butch.

I have said this before and will say this again, Royal Enfield knows how to integrate a bullet motorcycle in your lifestyle. Did we really need another bullet or even a function-specific trials motorcycle? Maybe, Not. But they DO make it desirable. And that is what sets this motorcycle apart, with history and legacy from an armed forces work-horse to a lifestyle statement today and a fabulous service network across the country, Royal Enfield knows how to sell a lifestyle.IMG_20190804_171837-02

Concerned fellow biker buddies – “But, why did you ‘downgrade’ to a Royal Enfield Himalayan?”

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One of the most common questions I was asked by people when I bought the Royal Enfield Himalayan. The funny thing is I find the tagging of ‘upgrades’ really stupid. You move or change to a motorcycle as per the riding style. If you can’t change you improvise and use what you have. And, on that point, people who know me well did not bother to question my choice.

Now, my question is, what is an upgrade? Is it bumping up to a higher cubic capacity? Is it a more powerful bike in terms of numbers? or just spending more money, compared to your existing one, on a new motorcycle? Or is it just doing more than what you did with the last motorcycle?

I feel the matter is imperceptible and cannot be summarized by just throwing around numbers. If I could afford to, I would love to keep both the motorcycles. Maybe, sometime in future, I will.

My last motorcycle was the Benelli TNT 300, a street bike which I had used extensively for the daily commutes and touring. Even a fair number of off-road trails have been covered on the motorcycle. And, I still do not have anything to complain about the TNT 300. A 360-degree parallel twin with oodles of low-end torque, kicking in as low as 2500rpm. Subtle linear power delivery made it a breeze to ride, especially while touring.

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So, coming to the point of why I sold my Benelli TNT 300? Well, I have just one reason. My riding style changed. I started avoiding highways and travelling more of B Roads and off-road trails. People who have ridden with me also know that I have taken the Benelli to a fair number of technical trails. As long as ground clearance was not an issue, the motorcycle chugged away miles after miles. I loved the low-end torque and how useable it was when I was tackling trails and inclines. But – there is always a but, when it came to rocky terrain, the ground clearance was a hindrance. I had to take it slow and worry about the motorcycle making it past an obstacle. For water crossings, the under-belly exhaust was an added worry.

Now, coming to the Royal Enfield Himalayan. I had a few parameters for my next motorcycle. It had to be less than 3.0 lakhs INR on road in Bangalore. It had to be an off-road capable and comfortable stress-free touring motorcycle. The RE Himalayan fit the bill and the bonus was a wide service network across the country and low cost of ownership. This also meant I could spend on some good premium accessories and have extra moolah for my travel funds. Show me another touring motorcycle in India capable enough, within the said parameters. The Hero XPulse, some might say. A capable off-roader, yes, it is. Touring, maybe not.

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So, in my outlook, the purchase of the RE Himalayan is an upgrade for me (even though I went from a twin cylinder to a single) as I can do all that I did with the Benelli TNT 300 and additional I can do more off-road trails, even the rocky terrains. I had money left after selling the Benelli and buying the RE. My service costs are less now because the motorcycle and spares are made in India and labour costs are less, which in turn lets me save more for my travel & motorcycle fund.

Eventually, I had to take a call between my ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. What I ‘need’, may not be what I ‘want’. But it will get me going for sure. And, what about my ‘wants’, well – that story is far from over my friend.