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Jack of many trades, master of a few. I mostly write about personal growth, productivity, fitness, and mental health. Email: neeramitra.writes@gmail.com

From a lifelong reader who has read hundreds of books.

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My love for books first began when I was a preschooler and my mom read to me before bed every night. I would doze off lost in my imagination of talking animals, mischievous goblins, glistening treasures, fairies, magical rings, etc.

I can’t thank my mom enough for sowing the seed which would sprout and grow into a powerful and life-changing habit. I am not exaggerating when I say life-changing as such is the sheer power of reading.

My reading journey started with children’s magazines. I still vividly remember how I would prance in joy whenever my monthly editions of the Chandamama, Champak, Gokulam, and Tinkle were delivered. …


In fact, most of us are. When, where, and why did we go so fundamentally wrong?

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Happiness, the ever-elusive thing that every one of us is constantly pursuing and something that millions of self-help “gurus” constantly spout advice on.

It wasn’t long ago that I discovered that almost everything I knew about happiness was wrong. In fact, most of us are wrong.

When I was bullied in middle school, my self-esteem hit rock bottom and I fell into depression. It wasn’t long before I recovered but the bullying left something deep within me.

A need for constant validation. If someone told me I looked good, I did. If someone told me I was right, I was.

“Seeking validation was the name of the game, the numbers mattered more than anything else and it was the numbers I chased.” …


Don’t wait for the gyms to reopen: a bar to hang from, a sturdy bag, resistance bands, and some creativity are all you need

A muscular person works out.
A muscular person works out.

When the quarantine started, gyms closed everywhere. Being a fitness enthusiast that loved lifting weights, this was a highly unwelcome situation. For the first few days, I whined, lamented, and didn’t work out. But then I saw that I had two options — continue whining or work out at home.

I chose the latter but wasn’t very enthusiastic about it in the beginning. “What are mere pushups or tugging on resistance bands compared to lifting hundreds of pounds in the gym,” I thought.

I was absolutely wrong. It has been seven months since then and not only have I maintained my “gains” but have even made more. I went from 72 kgs to 76 kgs with barely any visual change when it comes to flab. This along with the fact that I have gained strength clearly shows that the weight I gained is mostly muscle mass with some fat. …


The key to truly changing your world is changing yourself

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As my brother and I are having dinner, I am chewing over an interesting idea. I suddenly blurt out, “You know what, you are truly in control of your world. I then add, “Heck! This will make an amazing article.”

My brother, with a spoon in his mouth, looks up. “Wait, what? Your world? It’s the world right?”

“No, there is no “the” world, it is your world and my world and they are different from each other.”

Visibly intrigued, he says, “But the physical world is real, right? I mean, the spoon I am holding is real, the food I’m eating is real, you are real, so am I.”


A deep, dark place that seemed impossible to escape from

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My smile vanishes and a pang of fear and anxiety grips my heart as I wave goodbye and turn back. I steal quick glances as I keep my head down and walk at a fast pace.

A tremor of pure dread passes through my body as I spot him. He’s looking around, ruffling his hair and taking deep puffs from a beedi. Fervently praying that he doesn’t spot me, I quicken my pace and almost break into a trot.

“A tremor of pure dread passes through my body as I spot him.”

I am paralyzed in place when I hear his shout, “Wait right there, you sonofabitch”. As I slowly turn around, he crosses the road and drops a heavy hand on my shoulder with a “Trynna sneak away, eh?”, “Pl-pl-please lemme go. Just this time.”, I manage to stutter while trembling like a leaf. …


And can hopefully change yours

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Quotes, those motivational mini nuggets of wisdom. The internet is full of them, in fact, rampant with them. A google search for absolutely anything followed by “quotes” will display thousands of results.

“Some not only not translate well to reality but also dole out bad advice for the real world.”

The problem with most quotes is that they sound good only on paper and don’t translate well to reality.

Heck! Some of the famous ones such as “Be the hardest worker in the room”, “Money is the root of all evil”, “Never give up”, “Live every day like it’s your last.” etc. …


Leveraging the power of AI to detect, recognize, and solve a sudoku puzzle at just a glance

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I love solving Sudokus. Well, not really but for the sake of a rather dramatic backstory let’s digress for now.

One day I got stumped by a particularly hard puzzle and thought of making a sudoku solver, not an ordinary one though but — one that tries to recognize, extract and solve a Sudoku from a photo!

Unnecessarily complicating things is my forte.

As I was into Computer vision and Deep Learning at the time, I thought this would be an interesting endeavor to put my skills to the test and learn more along the way.

Let’s Dive Right In

Excited, I rubbed my hands, cracked my knuckles, booted up my trusty HP, downloaded the below image to be the “guinea pig”, opened up PyCharm, and dove right into it. …


My journey from 56 kgs of skin, fat, and bones to 77 kgs of mostly muscle could have been done in a much faster and better manner

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It was over four years ago and as a skinny fat teenager that knew nothing about fitness that I first stepped foot in a gym. I didn’t have any high hopes — putting on some weight and looking “average” was the goal I had set out with.

Looking back, I realize that I have achieved far more than what I dared to imagine in my wildest dreams back then — I went from 56 kgs of skin, fat, and bones to around 77 kgs of mostly muscle.

“Putting on some weight and looking “average” was the goal I had set out with.” …


The astounding power of tiny events to trigger massive changes

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When I was bullied in middle school, my self-esteem hit rock bottom, I developed serious body image issues and life lost all its color. I also developed social anxiety and quite a prominent stutter, thanks to which I shied away from socialization and feared speaking.

“Embarrassment for what you ask me? Well, for existing.”

Wherever I went, a constant sense of anxiety, fear, embarrassment, and self-awareness accompanied me. Embarrassment for what you ask me? Well, for existing.

It wasn’t all dark though. There were quite a few good things too — my roller skating classes, my girlfriend at the time, the few good friends, me consistently topping exams, etc. …


Boredom happens to everyone but whether or not you get bored is up to you

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With the onset of the pandemic and the imposing of lockdowns worldwide, we had to bid goodbye to our fellow Homo sapiens and retire to our humble abodes for what seemed like a few weeks at first but turned out to be close to a year.

“In fact, it didn’t take long for me to even become bored with being bored.”

One of the first things I became aware of while stuck at home was boredom. In fact, it didn’t take long for me to even become bored with being bored.

Scrolling through social media feeds and mindlessly binging YouTube became the norm. …

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