Back to 80s

For someone who was born in 1960s or 1970s they would have cherished their life the most in 1980s and am no exception to it. Am going to go back to my school days and remember the things that I have liked the most in 80s that I miss today. Hopefully, I will also take you back to 80s.

Television – Most of us had Black and White Television at home and it was during the 1982 Asian Games we started watching color television in India. My father bought a Color Television around this time, we were the few ones in our community to have a Color Television at home. These were the days when there was no Cable or Dish. There was one National Channel and some of the popular programs I remember are Around the World in 80 days, The Lucy Show, Different Strokes, Spider-Man Cartoon, Star Trek, The Goodies, Chitrahaar (Hindi Movie Songs), Oliyum Oliyum (Tamil Movie Songs). We loved watching the English News in 80s, we did not have the debates and the News Anchor read News with a smile unlike what we watch today. My favorite program was Quiz Time hosted by Siddhartha Basu even though I never answered most of his questions. Finally, going to my favorite subject Sports, we were lucky only to watch live Cricket Test matches played in India, watch only the highlights if played away from India and in Tennis it used to be only the Wimbledon Men’s and Women’s final. We were also lucky to watch the World Cup Soccer final and highlights of Olympics.

Image Courtesy: Amazon.com

Tape Recorder – We did not have the smart phone those days. We used to have a small Tape Recorder to listen to our favorite songs. I remember buying TDK D-90 cassettes to record my favorite numbers. I also remember using the Tape Recorder as a Radio to listen to my favorite songs and most importantly Cricket Commentary in short wave if India plays matches overseas.

Image Courtesy: Amazon.com

Sports – As mentioned earlier, I was following only Cricket and Tennis those days. Star Television came to India only in 90s which is when I started following my favorite Formula One and MotoGP. Apart from Cricket and Tennis, we were lucky to watch World Cup Soccer and Olympics. Some of the Athletes of 80s who are still my favorite are Diego Maradona, Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, Kapil Dev and Carl Lewis. One thing that always stays on my mind is watching the 1985 Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket played in Australia and India winning it.

Image Courtesy: DW.com

Internet – We did not have the internet and we didn’t have Facebook, WhatsApp, Netflix and Google. Life was much better without Internet and we were well connected with our friends and family without Internet. Friends were wished on their Birthday with Greeting Card and it was the Postcard that was used to communicate with Family and Friends when we travel.

Subscriber Trunk Dialing (STD Booths) and Telegram – Communication cost was so high those days and there was no mobile phone. We used to have Landline Phone at home and most of us did not have STD or ISD connection to make calls to other cities in India or Overseas. There will be shops with Landline phones to make STD or ISD calls. Also, if there is an emergency or an urgent message that needs to be sent we were relying on Telegram from Post Office. In those days if there was a Telegram delivered at home, people will start worrying before they read, most of the times it will be a message about one of our relatives passing away.

Walkman – We did not have the smart phone and it is impossible to carry the Tape Recorders when we travel to listen to our favorite songs. It used to be the Walkman that will travel with us for songs. These Walkman consume lot of battery and it will be the Reynolds Ball Pen that we used to rewind or forward the cassette.

Image Courtesy: Amazon.com

Pepsi Cola and Big Fun – We did not have either Pepsi or Coke those days. We used to have Pepsi Cola Ice which is nothing but Ice on a pouch. This used to be very popular those days. Finally, it was the NP Chewing Gum and Big Fun Bubble Gum. NP Chewing Gum was so popular and I don’t remember sitting in the classes without chewing this. Cost of Pepsi Cola Ice was 50 paise, NP Chewing gum 15 Paise and Big Fun 30 paise.

Games – After we return from school or if it is a holiday we will be in our community ground playing cricket, seven stones, Kings etc.., If it is the summer vacation we used to play matches with other community and we will be at our home only to eat and sleep. Thankfully we did not have the Mobile Phone and Video Games. It used to be so much fun playing Cricket with our friends, fighting after the match and next day playing few more matches and fighting. These are the fighting out of the interest we had on the game with our friends after the match and not remembering anything the next day.

I wish we go back to 80s, life was much better without Internet, we were better connected with our friends and family without WhatsApp, as kids we were playing on the Ground and not inside our home and finally Television was much better without Cable or Dish.

Hope you enjoyed going back to 80s. It will be nice if you could use the comments section to share what you liked in 80s. Take Care and Be Safe.

WhatsApp and Forward

I was never on social media until ten years back. I completed school more than three decades back, around fifteen of us were always in touch very closely, meeting and spending time with our family and participating in any of the family function and knowing what happens in our life every day. Around sixteen years back this fifteen started increasing and we started getting connected with more of our school classmates. This is what brought me to Facebook, to be connected with school friends. I was very active on Facebook during those days primarily to stay connected with my school classmates. I also started a Facebook group of our batch-mates and it was like we are back in our school. We used to have some great times going back to school days pulling each other. After we were connected with most of our classmates, someone suggested me to start a WhatsApp group around six years back. It took sometime for me first say yes to myself to start a WhatsApp account. I finally decided to start one and it used to be fun connecting with my friends when I landed on WhatsApp. I slowly started getting out of other popular Apps like Viber and Skype. WhatsApp became the medium of communication with my friends. Facebook helped me to connect with old friends and WhatsApp helps me to stay in touch with my family and friends. I also started a WhatsApp group and added my school batch-mates, this was the first WhatsApp group I was part of. Now, am also part of few other important groups. I already left groups which I found to be adding no value or where there were no conversation, these were groups where the day starts and ends with a bunch of people forwarding content. After I connected with most of my friends and family on WhatsApp I left Facebook.

Now, I use WhatsApp to call or message my friends and relatives. Am very happy communication has become so easy and cheaper. Am now part of few WhatsApp group, baring one or two most of the groups have these in common. a) There is hardly any discussion on the group, the groups are meant for forwarding any content from internet or YouTube b) Forward any News content without verifying whether its true or not c) at times forward inappropriate content without worrying about who are all part of the group d) Good Morning Messages with pictures of God – Am of the opinion what I worship and the God to whom I worship is personal and in a group there will be people from different religion, worshiping God of their choice or even people who don’t believe in God, I have not understood why people use pictures of God to say Good Morning. Am of the opinion few people are addicted to forward any content, even after the restriction of forwarding to only one person or group, I still see lot of forwards. If there is a group of 100 members it will be the four or five who will be keeping the group active by forwarding content without worrying whether the others are going through what is forwarded. I must admit even I have done this forward of content from YouTube or News, thankfully I got better sense recently and I stopped forwarding now. Nowadays, I share my Blog, good reads and knowledge sharing content with my close friends and family members.

WhatsApp is an excellent App to stay connected with our friends and family, with the option to do group video calls, it helps us to see our people and talk. WhatsApp is an excellent medium to share knowledge enhancing content. WhatsApp is also a place where we can have discussion with our friends on any topic – it could be sports, health, fitness, personal, movies, music, food recipe etc.., We can wish our friends and relatives on their birthday and anniversary. Finally, it helps us share our photos and see photos of our dear ones.

I only hope WhatsApp does some small changes so that the App is used for communicating and not for forwarding any irrelevant or inappropriate content. Here are the few things that come to my mind to make WhatsApp a better App a) WhatsApp should continue to allow users to share content, but forwarding option must be completely removed. b) sharing must be restricted to one or two groups on a day unless it is a photo clicked by them c) there must be an option to permanently archive a group d) it also makes sense to charge users for starting a WhatsApp group e) there must be tough laws for someone sharing or posting any sensitive or inappropriate content.

As mentioned earlier I have started using WhatsApp the better way. I only hope my friends will start using WhatsApp groups in a way others are not finding it uncomfortable. These are my personal views and it is not meant to offend anyone, Take Care and Be Safe.

My Travel Diary Karnataka

Whenever there is a long weekend, people in Bangalore will be out for a long drive. Am not an exception to this, we plan a trip to one of the weekend getaways from Bangalore well in advance. We leave from Bangalore early in the morning hoping we will avoid the early morning traffic jam, not once we were lucky to avoid the traffic. Most of Bangalore will be on Nice Road heading to one of the resort. We like Jungle Lodges and we will be one of the early birds to make the reservation. In this post am going to take back my mind to Kabini, Bandipur, Coorg and Hampi.

Kabini The drive from Bangalore to Kabini is around 220 kilometres and takes around 5 hours. We went to Kabini around 4 years back. We were not lucky to get our reservations at Jungle Lodges and we ended up staying at Kaav Safari Lodges. We paid a premium for the quality of service and food. This is where I realized going on a holiday to Europe is a better choice economically. Kabini was a total disappointment because we hardly spotted any wildlife. I went on Jungle Lodges Safari two times and both times I was not lucky to spot any wildlife. What I liked about Kabini is the beautiful river and trees presenting nature at its Best.

Bandipur The drive from Bangalore to Bandipur is also around 220 kilometres and takes around 5 hours. What I liked about Bandipur is the proximity to Masinagudi. Masinagudi is in Tamilnadu and Bandipur is in Karnataka, distance between these two places is around 25 kilometres. We went on a holiday to Bandipur around 3 years back, we were lucky to get the reservation at Jungle Lodges. The advantage of staying in Jungle Lodges is the early morning and evening safari part of the package. Jungle Lodges has the permission to drive deep into the forest. Comparatively we were able to see lot of wild life at Bandipur and Masinagudi.

Coorg The drive from Bangalore to Coorg is around 260 kilometres and takes around 6 hours. We had been to Coorg twice, we stayed at Heritage Resort first time and at Club Mahindra second time. First trip was six years back and the second trip was two years back. What was consistent about both my trips was the quality of food at Coorg which was exceptional. There are plenty of places to visit in and around Coorg. We had been to Raja’s Seat, Madikeri Fort, Omkareshwara Temple, Abbey Falls and View Point Park. Tala Cauvery which is considered as the source for River Cauvery is a beautiful drive from Coorg and is around 90 minutes drive. There is also a Tibetan Monastery near Coorg which is a must visit place.

Hampi I always like staying in a village, Hampi is the perfect place for a long weekend. We had been to Hampi three years back. There are plenty of places to see in Hampi. Jungle Lodges is located in a village at Hampi which was the highlight of our trip. We went to Hampi for 3 days and I liked the early morning running and yoga. It is always healthy and nice to run in a village where we can breathe fresh air. One thing we must avoid at Hampi is the tour guides. It makes sense to make use of Google and decide the places we plan to visit for the day.

There are many more nice places by drive from Bangalore to be covered. Hopefully Covid-19 will leave this World soon, we can go back to our normal life and start planning the cool destination when we have a long weekend. Take Care and Be Safe.

Commercial Astrology

Astrology is the study of influence that stars and sun have on human life. It is believed the position of sun, moon, planets and stars at the time of birth will have an influence on someone’s education, career, relationship and other events. Astrology starts with drawing a horoscope based on time and place of birth. With this horoscope, Astrologers predict the future of a person based on the various astronomical position. Even though I have never gone to a Astrologer I had great respect for this science until it became commercial. Horoscope matching of Bride and Groom is something which is given importance even today in Indian Marriages. Whatever our people have done in the past had lot of sense. Whether it is the raahu kaalam, finding auspicious time, drawing the panchangam, constructing a house, temple or anything our people did in the past had lot of meaning, it was done with sense which had sanity. Today, in the name of practicing the same, it is a shame to watch these getting abused by people who hardly know anything about the subject Astrology. There are still few of them who practice Astrology after studying, who doesn’t believe in going to YouTube and who doesn’t make use of it for commercial gains, I have a great respect for them.

I always thought Astrology is used for forecasting someone’s future based on his or her horoscope. I didn’t know Astrology can be used for forecasting about a Nation or a Pandemic like Covid-19. When the Covid-19 numbers started spiking, when we didn’t hear or read anything positive and when the whatsapp universities were busy forwarding without verifying, even I started going through some of the Astrology videos in YouTube to know when this virus will leave or when we will have the vaccine. I was watching it because it gave me lot of hope. I was worried about my family and friends, about their health, jobs and kids not going to school, when I was watching or hearing these Astrologers I thought at least one person’s prediction might come true. There were few Astrologers who told things will be better from the last week of March, many predicted things will be much better starting May 20 and the remaining predicted June 1st week. We know this virus is still very much active and none of the predictions have come true. What triggered me to write this post is a whatsapp forward from my friend which I watched yesterday. Someone in the name of predicting the future spoke completely rubbish. I don’t think this person like many others know anything about Astrology. Well, if the Astrologers had known the subject they would have predicted Covid-19 when 2020 started, it is not possible to call this year is going to be hit by a virus, they would have at least studied the planetary position and warned us about the pandemic, job loss and the possible recession. It will be fun to watch what some of the Astrologers said when 2020 started, it is going to be one of the Best Year.

What I have never liked about Astrology is the pariharam, this refers to doing some puja or ritual which the Astrologers says so that the evil affects or anything bad that might happen to someone based on the planetary position is minimized. There are people who have spent in thousands and lakhs believing these Astrologers. According to me this is where Astrology became commercial and this is where anyone without even reading the science started predicting or forecasting for others. Assuming if we do the pariharam the bad thing wont happen, everyone can commit any sin and start doing pariharam, what happens to karma? Alternatively when a child is born, parents can find out from an Astrologer what are all the pariharam that must be done when the child grows up and start doing the pariharam at the respective age. Will this ensure a problem free life. It is high time people realize Astrology practiced by many is commercial and they must stay away from these money minded people.

According to me whatever has to happen will happen, I believe in Karma. We must think nice and be nice to everyone. We must eat well, sleep well and definitely do some walking or running and yoga. Immunity is very essential to fight Covid-19 or any other virus and our blood should have good Vitamin D or we must take Vitamin D supplement. Please check my earlier Blog about Vitamin D which might be of help to you – https://rainbow-thoughts.com/2020/04/26/importance-of-vitamin-d/ . We all can continue with our prayers this Covid-19 must leave this World soon or the World must have a vaccine or medicine soon so that our normal life returns. Lets be nice to everyone and lets live a normal life. Lets all continue with our prayers so that we all and most importantly the children will have a better future.

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My Travel Diary Delhi

I had traveled to Delhi few times in the past but was not lucky to go around Delhi. All my business trips to Delhi were during the weekdays and I could not see Delhi. I had been to Delhi to watch the formula one race at Buddh Circuit, Noida. During this trip the only purpose of visiting Delhi was to watch my icon Michael Schumacher. Finally, I was able to go around Delhi when I traveled in 2018. We were staying at our relative’s place at Gurgaon for two days and we stayed at Holiday Inn near Airport for three days. I was always thinking Bangalore, the garden city of India, is greener. When I went around Delhi I started thinking Delhi is more greener. I could see more trees in Delhi and I was imagining the early morning running or walking Delhiites can enjoy. Apart from the plenty of places to see in and around Delhi, what I liked the most is the quality of food in all the restaurants we went.

Day One – We took the early morning flight from Bangalore to Delhi. We reached our cousin’s place at Gurgaon in the afternoon. In the evening we went on a drive watching India Gate, Parliament of India and Rashtrapathi Bhavan. We returned to Gurgaon for dinner, our cousin took us to one the best Chinese restaurant. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant but will never forget the quality of food we were served. Finally, we went to Bikanervala for dessert.

Day Two – On day two we had nice breakfast at our cousin’s place. We went for a long drive around Delhi and we went to Gulati Restaurant for lunch. We also did some shopping in the famous bazaars. We visited Qutab Minar, Red Fort and India Gate.

Day Three – On day three we started early and traveled to Mathura and Vrindavan by car. Mathura is around 170 kilometres from Delhi and Vrindavan is only fifteen minutes drive from Mathura. Mathura is considered as the birth place of Krishna and Vrindavan is considered as the city where Krishna spent most of his childhood days. Cameras were not allowed in these holy temples, we visited few other beautiful temples in Mathura where we clicked some beautiful photos.

Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Day Four – On day four we went to Taj Mahal. We had planned to spend the full day at Agra. We were lucky to click lot of nice photos at Taj Mahal. Finally, I visited one of the seven wonders of the world.

Day Five – On day five we went to Lotus Temple and Akshardham Temple. Both temples were beautiful and I can still look at these beautiful places when I close my eyes. I was allowed to click photos at Lotus Temple but a strict no at Akshardham. After visiting these temples we returned to our cousin’s place for lunch. We went out in evening for family dinner and late in the night we went to see the colorful Rashtrapathi Bhavan.

In my earlier trips to Delhi what I liked was the metro which connects Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. In my 2018 trip to Delhi I saw the beauty of in and around Delhi. Delhi is greener than any other city in India. For someone who loves nature, Delhi will bring smile in our faces looking at the number of trees. As mentioned earlier, what I also liked in Delhi is the quality of food at the restaurants we visited. I definitely want to visit Delhi few more times on a holiday, wish formula one returns to India. I can see Delhi one more time and watch a formula one race live.

Go back to Village

I was born in a village in Tamilnadu but grew up in Chennai, a Metro City in India. I have never stayed in a village for more than two months at a stretch. During the school days it was a family trip to visit relatives in villages. After most of my relatives moved to cities, I hardly visited any village. Recently I visited one of the village, looking at their lifestyle and quality of life they have, I can only envy them. For someone depending only on agriculture income in a village, am aware of the hardships they go through every year due to unpredictable monsoon. In this post am going to look back at the city life when I was in Chennai, my gated community experience at Bangalore, teachings of Covid-19 and why I now feel it makes sense to go back to village post retirement.

I was in Chennai for more than four decades until six years back when I moved to Bangalore. In Chennai we were living in a rented independent house initially, subsequently we moved to a small apartment and we continued our living in apartments. Life in a small apartment was beautiful. I had lot of friends, play most part of the day when its a holiday and during the summer vacation we used to play day and night. When there were festivals or New Year, we used to have grand celebration with lot of cultural programs and dinner. Most of the family living in our apartment will participate in these events. We were living as one large family in these apartments. Today, even after my brother and myself moved to Bangalore with our families, my parents want to continue living in the same apartment because they have some nice friends and they just can’t miss their place. The families in this apartment live as one large family.

I moved to Bangalore around six years back and we live in a gated community. There are around one thousand seven hundred flats with all the amenities and convenience stores. On the amenities, we have a nice club house, few swimming pools, decent library, tennis court, indoor badminton and squash court. Moving to convenience stores we have few grocery stores, vegetables and fruits store, two clinics, pharmacy, two chat shop, nice salon and few others coming up. When I started living in this community I was enjoying the stay, I picked some nice friends and joined few groups. Some of the positives of living in a gated community are a) we have runners and yoga group – I joined the runners group and we used to run together during weekends and there were yoga trainers teaching yoga for lot of residents b) Senior Citizens Group – the senior citizens do their morning walk, some of them do laughing meditation and in the evening they have nice time chatting in the garden c) Children’s Play area – sitting in the balcony and watching Children’s play is something that I like the most, this is fun and at times it is a learning for me hearing their conversation. This is one thing I like even today staying in a gated community. After enjoying the honeymoon of gated community for first few years, I started seeing the other side. a) even our neighbors wont say Hello b) when there are celebration for festival or new year, hardly people participate. c) the runners and yoga group slowly disappears and it will be back to running on our own. d) there are bunch of people who have learnt to throw out anything from their balcony e) there are smokers who prefer to smoke from their balcony with no concern on the senior citizen or children on the next door f) even for the general body meeting there wont be a quorum for the meeting g) what I didn’t like the most is, even during these Covid-19 days, you will find residents not wearing the mask. My two cents about gated community is we live together in a community without knowing each other and people don’t care about others, they do what they want to do.

Image Courtesy : The Hindu

After having such a mixed experience in a Gated Community and after all the most valuable teachings from Covid-19, I have started thinking life will be much better in a village. Kindly click this link for my learning from Covid-19: https://rainbow-thoughts.com/2020/05/01/lessons-from-covid-19/ . In today’s world what is very important in our life other than our family and friends are WiFi, Mobile, Netflix and Tata Sky. I can move to a village, maybe have better network coverage for WiFi and Mobile Data, Netflix and Tata Sky can move with us wherever we go. To have these services where we stay doesn’t matter. Why I also started thinking about moving back to a village is, I can have better quality of life. I can start my day running or walking, I can continue doing my yoga, I can eat home grown vegetables and fruits, I can stay connected with my family and friends and overall I will have a healthier life. I have started thinking about the pros and cons of moving back to village, am certain life will be much better than what I experience in a gated community. Am hoping one day I will go back to a Village.

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My Travel Diary Gokarna

We visited Gokarna on a family holiday in Dec 2019. I love driving long distance and we decided to drive to Gokarna from Bangalore. Gokarna is around 500 kilometres from Bangalore and is a 10 hour drive. We left early in the morning from Bangalore, had our breakfast and lunch on the way and reached Jungle Lodges at Gokarna in around 9 hours. The drive through Sharavati valley wildlife sanctuary is a memorable one. Jungle Lodges is completely cut off from Gokarna town, the rooms were nice and the food was very good. Gokarna is known for Mahabaleshwara Temple and Beaches. The purpose of visiting Gokarna was to have good time together with family, get some fresh air with nice food and also see some important places. We had great family time, had nice stay completely cut off from pollution and Jungle Lodges treated us with very good food. Let me talk about the places we visited from here.

Jungle Lodges

Mahabaleshwara Temple Mahabaleshwara is known for its Shiva Linga also known as Aatma Linga. I read that this is a 4th century temple and is one of the seven sacred Muktistala in Karnataka. The temple is located on the shores of Arabian Sea. There are few other small temples around Mahabaleshwara temple, one other temple we visited is Sri Maha Ganapathi Temple.

Om Beach and Kudle Beach The shape of Om Beach is considered to be in the shape of Om and hence it derives its name and also considered auspicious. Om Beach is a place any photographer would love to be with their camera. There are plenty of water sport in Om Beach and I also saw lot of people enjoying their meditation and practicing yoga. Kudle Beach has a perfect C shape, it is know for its scenic view and the click of sunrise and sunset is a delight to watch anytime.

Murudeshwar Temple After staying at Gokarna for 2 days we left to Jog Falls. On our way we visited Murudeshwar Temple. Murudeshwar is known for its tall Shiva Statue located on the shores of Arabian Sea. Murudeshwar temple has a 20 storey Gopuram and has a lift to have a view of the 123 feet Shiva idol. The temple surrounded by Arabian Sea on three sides is one more photographers paradise.

Jog Falls Jog Falls is the tallest waterfall in India on the Sharavati River located in the Shimoga district. We stayed at Sharavati Adventure Camp for a day which is opposite the Sharavati River. We had a nice welcome after we checked into our rooms to realize none of our mobile phones were working. The rooms were located opposite the river and we had a nice view of sunrise and sunset. The resort arranged a drive to Jog Falls next day morning, we were there for around 3 hours clicking some nice photos.

After having nice time for three days in Gokarna and Jog Falls we started driving back to Bangalore. When I was driving, for few seconds I lost concentration and there was a SUV on the opposite direction and we could have had a head on collision. Thankfully, I turned the wheels to right side and the driver of SUV was already to his right and we were safe, I will never forget this. What I liked about my trip to Gokarna is the Beautiful drive from Bangalore, comfortable stay at Jungle Lodges with nice food, a town with beautiful historic temples and nice beaches to hang out. One of the Must Visit place in Karnataka.

Our Pattu Chitthi

I was at my Brother’s place yesterday to spend time with my Niece. When he was having his lunch he got a phone call and by his tone I know my Mom lost her Mom, her Mentor, her Guide, her Greatest Support and her Best Friend. Pattu Chitthi is my Mom’s Mother’s sister, still Pattu Chitthi is like my Mom’s Mom and my Grandmother. With love and affection we used to call her Pattu Chitthi.

When I think of Pattu Chitthi the first thing that comes to my mind is few years back my mom lost her gold chain to a chain snatcher, Pattu Chitthi was in late 70s when this incident happened. When she came to know about this, she was at my place to spend time with my completely disturbed Mom. She was at my place when she could hardly walk. I remember asking her why did you come? Her response was with her trademark smile, Lalithaada referring to my Mom.

My mom was born in a village before moving to Chennai. My mom has shared with us lot of what has happened in the past. Even if my mom runs minor fever, Pattu Chitthi will be at my place and similarly if Pattu Chitthi is not well my Mom will be there. I have always admired their wonderful relationship. Pattu Chitthi was the biggest support for my mom and when my mom and me met her few months back, I saw a little child which is my mom taking blessing from Pattu Chitthi.

Pattu Chitthi has her son and daughter. They have seen ups and downs in life. What I have understood from my mom is whether it was the up or down Pattu Chitthi was the same person which is a learning for me and my people. What I like the most is even Pattu Chitthi’s children tell my mom and our people, my mom is her first daughter. I can only Thank Pattu Chitthi’s son and daughter for this. Keeping this on mind, last few years when I see Pattu Chitthi I fall on her feet to take her blessings, when I do this I keep telling myself Thank You, Thank You.

Pattu Chitthi is the person my mom loved the most, one person who will come closer to Pattu Chitthi is my mom’s granddaughter. Two days back when Pattu Chitthi was getting admitted in hospital, I understand she told her daughter in law, tell my mom not to come to hospital due to Covid-19 restriction. There are very few people who always think about others, here is someone who in her late 80s before going to hospital, thinks about my Mom. I find this difficult to understand and it is very painful.

The person my mom loved the most, the person I respected the most and the person our family thanks the most is no more. What is so painful is my mom is in a Covid-19 catchment area and she cannot even go and see her Mom for the last time. Am here at Bangalore and I cannot go and see Pattu Chitthi one more time. I know my mom is crying non stop, she is very much disturbed and I have to be with her, because of the restrictions I cannot go. I have never felt so painful like today. I can only pray god one more time. leave this world Covid-19, people have gone through enough suffering already.

Even though my mom is not able to see her mom one more time, Pattu Chitthi from heaven will continue to keep blessing my mom, Pattu Chitthi’s children and grandchildren. I also know she will continue to bless my mom’s family which is ourselves. I want to Thank Pattu Chitthi for all the Love, Affection and Support to my Mom. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. We will miss you forever Pattu Chitthi.

My Travel Diary Dubai

Dubai was the last International location I traveled. I went to Dubai for 2 weeks in Oct 2019 for work. I had 2 weekends in between to go around Dubai. As usual I took the Emirates flight from Bangalore to Dubai. After landing at Dubai I took a cab to my hotel at Dubai Internet City. The cab person was from India, he was so proud of talking about Dubai and he kept the one hour drive completely engaged. He was hinting me about the increase in cost at Dubai and his plan to return to India. It was a nice drive to hotel, I could see lot of tall buildings and I could see Burj Khalifa most part of my drive to hotel. On reaching the hotel I stepped out for a walk, went around the place to know the nearest metro station and the vegetarian restaurants around. There was a place for walkers and joggers behind the hotel, I was very happy I can start my day here for the next 2 weeks. During the two weeks at Dubai, I started my day here running followed by some yoga asanas. I liked this place so much that I even used to go here in the evening and watch lot of children play. There were few vegetarian restaurants around this place and I was happy I don’t have to worry about food. My office was only a kilometre by walk, the weather was so hot that I took a cab to work most of the days. During the two weeks at Dubai I visited some nice places.

The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa The Dubai Mall is the second largest mall by land area with more than 1,200 shops. I have never seen such a big mall and don’t think I will see something bigger than this. I went here in the evening so that I can see The Dubai Fountain show and also see the laser show at Burj Khalifa. The Dubai Fountain is a choreographed fountain system on the lake of Burj Khalifa opposite The Dubai Mall. Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world with a height of 839.8 metres. It was originally named Burj Dubai, the name got changed to Burj Khalifa after Abu Dhabi and UAE government lent money to Dubai to repay its debts.

During my stay I was very lucky to go on a Dubai Marine Cruise one of the evenings. This was a 4 hour hour cruise on the Dubai waterways which included going around Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Creek and The Atlantis Hotel. The Burj AL Arab is a luxury 5 star hotel and one of the tallest hotel in the world. The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial stretch of water with lot of islands. The Atlantis Hotel is a luxury resort located at Palm Jumeirah.

What I liked in Dubai the most is the metro which makes it very convenient for people to commute. I could see lot of people partying during the weekend. What I didn’t like in Dubai is people smoking everywhere making the air totally polluted and the small post card with phone numbers of adult clubs lying on streets. I don’t know whether this is everywhere, I could see plenty of them around the hotel I was staying. What I missed seeing in Dubai was my friends, they were either travelling or busy. I don’t mind going to Dubai again on a holiday to experience few days stay at The Hotel Atlantis.

Gold Price and Sensex

Most of us invest in Gold and Shares as a short term and long term investment. Indians might be the largest consumer of gold in the world. Indians buying gold is not something new, this has been there for centuries now. According to me, people in India invest in gold so that it can be exchanged easily for currency if there is an emergency. The same people attach so much sentimental value to gold that we hardly see them converting gold to cash. Even today there are people who talk about gold and maybe trade gold at the time of wedding. Similarly, a large section of people have started investing in shares. Some of them do regular trading and some invest for long term. How many of us have understood how is price of gold determined and how is Sensex calculated. Let me do my best to explain this.

Gold Given below are some of the key factors that can affect the price of gold.

Supply and Demand – Supply of gold is the key component to determine the price. Supply of gold is driven by mining production. Similarly demand for gold is also a key factor. Gold price can change significantly if there is a significant change in demand or supply.

Central Bank Reserves – Central Bank holds paper currencies and gold. Any shift in Central Bank from paper currencies to gold can lead to change in gold price.

Import – The natural gold reserves and gold production in India is very minimum now and most of the gold is now imported. Hence, the import duty plays an important role in determining the price.

US Dollar – The Price of gold is also dependent on the value of US dollar. Since, most of the gold in India is imported and payment is in US dollars, the rate of US dollar is a key factor that can affect the price of gold.

The Indian Bullion Jewelers Association (IBJA) plays a key role in determining the gold price. The gold imported by Banks are mostly procured by IBJA. The IBJA consults with the ten biggest gold dealers by asking the “buy” and “sell” Price for gold. IBJA arrives at the price by computing the average of buy and sell price quoted by dealers to determine the gold price.

Sensex This term refers to Stock Market Indicator for Bombay Stock Exchange. We read in newspaper or watch on television that the Sensex went up by 500 points or Sensex is down 300 points. Sensex refers to Market Weighed Stock Index of 30 companies which are financially sound. There are certain parameters for selecting these 30 companies and they are selected by Index Committee at periodic intervals. Sensex is calculated by Free-Float method effective Sep 2003. Free-Float refers to stock that can be traded in market and does not include promoter’s share and any locked in share that cannot be traded. The factors determining Sensex are market capitalization which is the product of shares issued and market price per share and free-float market capitalization which is the proportion of total shares issued by shares available for trading. The base period used for Sensex is 1978-79 and base index is 100. Let’s take an example to understand this:

Let’s assume there are 2 Companies A and B which determine the Sensex. A has 500 shares issued, 250 shares are held by promoters. B has 1000 shares, 500 shares are held by promoters. Market Price of Company A share is Rs. 10 and Market Price of Company B share is Rs. 20. Market Capitalization of A is Rs.5,000 and B is Rs. 20,000. Free-Float Market Capitalization of A is Rs.2,500 and B is Rs. 10,000. So, the value of Market Capitalization is Rs.25,000 and Free-Float Market Capitalization is Rs.12,500. The Base year is 1978-79 and Base index is 100. Let’s assume the market capitalization in the base year was Rs.5,000, Value of Index is 12,500 multiplied by 100 and divided by 5,000 which is 250. This is how Sensex is calculated in Bombay Stock Exchange on the 30 stocks.

Reference – Bank Bazaar and rediff.