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.

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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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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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.

My Sabarimala Experience

The Sabarimala Aiyyappa Temple is located at Sabarimala inside a Tiger Reserve in Pattanamthitta district, Kerala, India. Sabarimala is known for its annual pilgrimage where devotees turn up in millions around Nov 15th to Jan 15th every year. Sabarimala Aiyyappa Temple is also open every month for monthly pooja. During the monthly pooja very few of them, maybe in thousands visit Sabarimala. According to belief, Aiyyappa is the son of Shiva and Mohini, Mohini is the female incarnation of Vishnu. The temple is located in a dense forest, most of the devotees during the annual pilgrimage will trek for around 40 miles from Erumeli through the forests. All devotees visiting Sabarimala during the monthly pooja will start their trek from Pampa River, this is the shorter route to reach the temple, this is around 5 miles from Pampa to reach the temple. Some devotees even during the annual pilgrimage will start their trek from Pampa.

Image from Outlook

Route The 40 mile route starts from Erumeli. After walking 4 hours we reach Aludha River. From here we have to climb up the hill for around 2 hours and then climb down the hill to reach Karivilam Thodu. We have to continue walking in plains for 4 to 5 hours and then start climbing the Karimala hill. This is a very steep climb and might take around 3 hours to climb up and another 3 hours to climb down. We have to continue walking in plains for around 2 hours to reach Pampa. From Pampa we climb up the Neeli Mala hill and reach Sannidhaanam in around 3 hours. Most of them trekking will walk bare foot. It is easy to climb up and climb down the various hills bare foot.

Image from sabarimala.tdb.org.in

Fasting Most of them visiting Sabarimala will observe fasting for 6 weeks. Before starting the fasting I will take blessings from my parents and wear a Thulasi Maala. I follow these for 6 weeks from the time I commence fasting. eat only Vegetarian food and also avoid onion, take bath twice in a day and offer my prayers to Aiyyappa, during the weekends I will visit Aiyyappa Temple, observe strict celibacy, wont watch cinema even on Television, avoid listening to film music, avoid visiting friends or relatives, wont go for hair cut or shave my face, sleep on the floor, foot wear only to office. The purpose of fasting is to keep our mind clean and also maintain good health.

Sabarimala Trip After observing 6 weeks fasting, we start our Sabarimala trip by taking Irumudi in the presence of Guruswamy. Irumudi is a travel bag which contains rice, coconut with ghee, coconut, pooja items etc.., When I visit Sabarimala in January, I used to take the Erumeli route. I also used to visit Sabarimala in March and July, during this time I start my trip from Pampa. We always go in group to Sabarimala, around twenty of us in January and for the monthly trip maybe four or five. The purpose of fasting is to climb the Eighteen Steps at Sabarimala Temple. These eighteen steps symbolizes vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, love, anger, avarice, lust, pride, unhealthy competition, jealousy, boastfulness, discernment, passion, dullness, knowledge and ignorance. After climbing the eighteen steps devotees will have the darshan of Lord Aiyyappa.

My Sabarimala Experience I first went to Sabarimala in 1990. During this time I will observe 6 weeks fasting and visit Sabarimala in January. When I start walking from Erumeli, there will be hardly any shop on the way. These were the days when there were no mobile phone. When we walk in the forest climbing up and down the hill, there will be hardly any light. The fasting I observe for six weeks will help me trek at ease. Since, it is a dense forest, very active on wild life, we used to walk with lot of fear. I will call my parents only after having darshan of Aiyyappa from a telephone booth. As the days were passing by more people started visiting Sabarimala. Once mobile phone made its way, it is like walking with our people in Sabarimala, even though they may not be physically present. There used to be more shops and the route was completely lighted. We used to hardly see any wild life because of crowd and various shops that were located on the route. There were also people who used to smoke while trekking resulting in polluting the air. Between 2001 to 2014, I used to visit Sabarimala three times in a year. I used to observe sixty days fasting for my January trip and twenty days fasting for the remaining two trips in a year. I stopped going to Sabarimala six years back, I have gone to Sabarimala seventeen years and more than thirty five times.

What I learnt I always like to observe fasting, this helps me have good control of mind and also have good health. My various visit to Sabarimala taught me what are the essentials of life, made me a better person and most importantly taught me nothing is permanent in life. It is very important to visit Sabarimala Eighteen years, I hope am blessed to visit the Eighteenth Year.

Lessons from Covid-19

Today I complete six weeks of house arrest and must admit this is one of the best learning experience for me. This learning is better than what I learnt in school, college and at work. Numbers are still climbing and I only hope the hot weather and astrological predictions will help us see the numbers come down from May 5, 2020 and we will also have the vaccine at the earliest. It is very sad many have lost their lives and I can’t imagine the hard times people are going through when their dear ones get admitted in hospital and they cannot even spend time with them in person when their dear ones leave the world. Once, the lock down is lifted and things return to normal there are many things that won’t be the same. I don’t know how many will lose their jobs, how many companies will have the cash to pass through recession, how many will default in loan payments and what will happen to their investments, very hard to even imagine. This Covid-19 is one way helping us understand the basics of life and what is essential for our future. Here is my list of learning and how things will change in post Covid-19 days.

LCP We are all used to the term Business Continuity Plan, BCP. The purpose of BCP is to make sure the essential services are rendered to Customers as Business Usual even during an emergency or calamity. None of us would have imagined that we will be sitting in our homes for weeks and months because of a virus. The worst hit are the senior citizens who cannot do their morning walk, cannot go to hospital for check up and have no other choice but to watch the TV News and keep worrying more. Am also worried about kids less than 10 years who are missing their school and cannot even step out and play. Parents have no other choice but to force their children to watch YouTube and TV. All of us must now assume we might have this lock down every year and do a Life Continuity Plan, LCP so that we take care of our family members well.

Work From Home As mentioned in one of my earlier Blog, My Covid-19 Experience, one thing that has zero impact during the lock down days is work. During the post Covid-19 days many organizations will ask their employees to work from home if there is no requirement for them to come to office and if they don’t have face to face meeting with their Customer. This will help Companies reduce cost of operations and this will also help employees to either do more work or do their personal work during the hours they use for commute. In a city like Bangalore where most people have to spend around 2 hours in their car, bike, bus or metro to commute to office, working from home will help them have this 2 hours at their disposal. This also means lesser pollution on the road and people who cannot work from home can have a safer drive or ride to work. Companies will also think when employees can work from home, it doesn’t matter whether their home is in India or US, Bangalore or Chennai or any village. Companies will allow their employees to work from any location and people on assignment in International Location might be hit hard. They might be asked to return to their homes in India and work from home.

Business Travel Airline and Hotel Industry will be hit very hard for a year or two as people will neither travel for Business nor for Pleasure. With the talks on pay cut and job loss people will not have the mind to go on a vacation to enjoy.

Animal Life and Nature These are the best days for wildlife and nature. Most of the dirty looking cities now look beautiful. Quality of Air is extremely good. The wildlife will be happy to roam around in their homes which is the forest as the poachers and hunters will also be in their homes going through lock down. I have started thinking it is better we have compulsory lock down for at least 4 weeks in a year, this will help the wildlife and nature immensely.

Personal Lock Down – It will be good if we have understood the benefits of lock down and go through a self imposed lock down for at least 2 weekends in a month. This will help us do the domestic work ourselves and will help us have better health by not eating the junk food which we normally eat during the weekends. We can have good time with our family at home, do domestic work, watch some nice movies on Netflix and write a Blog or read books.

Social Distancing and Hygiene This is not something new for us in India. What was taught by our Parents when we were kids we forgot it for many years. Now, most of the world has learnt the importance of social distancing. The only way we can stay away from any virus in future is by Social Distancing and maintaining good Hygiene.

Social Media Distancing It is very important during these tough days we stay away from Whatsapp forward. Most of the forwards are not checked, they can be fake and other than bringing fear on our minds it does nothing. I have also learnt that it also makes sense to stay away from most of the News Channel. The only News channel that I watch is WION. They hardly have any debates and they show what happens around the World as an information.

Fitness I always liked running in Beach, Lake and Park. I have been doing this for ages and am not comfortable to run even around my community. Today, I have learnt that Walking and Yoga is enough, I walk inside my house for a hour every day and do pranayama, surya namskar and few asanas when I start my day. Post Covid-19 I will go back to running inside my community and continue with yoga at home. I must also get exposed to sunlight regularly as this is the main source for Vitamin D.

Covid-19 has helped me learn some of the basics in life. Hopefully I will make use of this learning in future and be a better person. I will be very happy if you could share your views or your learning in the comments section, lets learn from each other.

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Importance of Vitamin D

I didn’t know the importance of Vitamin D until my Orthopedic Doctor in Chennai asked me to do a Blood Test for Vitamin D. With deficient Vitamin D, I started going through internet on Vitamin D and with the recent Covid-19 pandemic we read and hear more about immunity to stay healthy and safe. Let me start with some of the health issue I had in the past before I come to why I went for Vitamin D test.

Image Courtesy: Physicsworld.com

Fractures – I first had a fracture in my left shoulder more than 20 years back. I had a fracture on my right wrist 18 years back. My right shoulder was dislocated 15 years back and I underwent arthroscopy. I always start my day running, I used to go to Marina Beach in Chennai to run. After I moved to Bangalore I switched from running to walking so that I won’t get hurt. My trip to Milan 3 years back motivated me to go back to running and I started running very well. In Dec 2018 when I was in Chennai I met with a freak accident while running and had a nasty fracture on my left elbow. My Orthopedic Doctor did a surgery to place a plate and multiple screws to connect the broken elbow bones. I used to do physio for more than 3 hours a day and thankfully the elbow is normal now. Even when I was recovering from this fracture at Chennai, I used to walk in the morning. When I returned to Bangalore I started running and I will be very careful while running. I always thought I either don’t know to fall down or my bones are not strong resulting in fracture.

Throat Infection – My throat used to get infected very regularly. Whenever there is change of season or water my throat gets infected. I will go to a Doctor and after I take the medicine I will be fine. I thought my throat was very sensitive and hence the infection.

With due respect to my Doctors I must admit none of the Doctors have tried to find out why is the regular fracture or infection. Around 3 months back my legs were paining and I was thinking it must be due to running. I was regularly running more than 10 kilometres a day for many years. When I was in Chennai I visited my Orthopedic Doctor, X-rays of the leg confirmed there was no issue with bones or joints. He suggested me to do a Blood Test for Vitamin D and I was shocked when I got the report. My Vitamin D count was deficient as per the table and I started taking medicines for the same. Now, my legs are not paining and finally I learnt the correct reason for regular fracture and infection.

I went through internet and understood the below benefits, symptoms and source for Vitamin D. Below details are picked from MedicalNewsToday.

Benefits – Promoting Healthy Bones, Supporting Immune, regulating insulin levels, influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development.

Symptoms of Deficient Vitamin D – Regular Infection, Bone and Back Pain, low mood, hair loss and muscle pain.

Source for Vitamin D – Getting sufficient sunlight, Fatty Fish, Egg Yolk, mushroom. fortified milk and fortified cereals.

Am a vegetarian and I hardly was getting exposed to sunlight until my Doctor helped me understand the importance of Vitamin D. What was surprising is none of the Annual Health Check up gives importance to Vitamin D and this is never considered. Last 3 months I make it a point to go out and get exposed to sunlight as it is the main source for Vitamin D. With the recent articles on Covid-19 and Immunity am glad I got my Vitamin D checked at the right time.

Am writing this to educate my friends with the importance of Vitamin D. I hope the Annual health checkup done by Private Hospitals also include checking of Vitamin D count. This will help people to stay immune, have strong bones and stay healthy.

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Is there Facebook Helpdesk

I first signed up for Facebook more than a decade back. This was the time my school classmates reunion started. We thought it was easy to stay connected in Facebook rather than on emails. I was able to connect with lot of my classmates and other friends in Facebook. After a point I was connected with almost all my friends and since I didn’t find staying on Facebook useful, I left Facebook by following the process of account deletion.

I again came to Facebook a year back when I started blogging. This was primarily to share my blogs with friends. I was completely occupied with work for a while, instead of remaining inactive I erroneously closed my blog account and Facebook account.

One more time I signed up for Facebook account around 3 months back with the same email id and my account was started. When I added my profile photo and phone number I immediately got a pop up in the browser that my account is disabled and I have to submit some documents to confirm my identity. I went through the type of documents and submitted relevant documents using Facebook help center. I got a pop up that Facebook will get back to me shortly. I waited for a month and since I got no response, submitted the same documents again. I again waited for a month and submitted the same documents to confirm my identity and am yet to get any response. In this experience I have the below fundamental questions or suggestions.

SLA – I completely respect Facebook policy that they must be certain am not creating any fake id. Since, am coming back to Facebook again they must check my identity and if required can also ask some questions. What I don’t understand is even after submission of all relevant documents I haven’t heard anything from them in the last 3 months. I hope Facebook help center have a SLA to address any concern or on the issues like the one I have. They must check the documents and get back to the Customer if they have any additional question.

Facebook Helpdesk – In most of the business these days we have a helpdesk. Once I have a concern and report to Facebook or on the issue I have where I submitted the documents, I must ideally get a ticket number. I must know at any point of time why my account is disabled and what is the status of the document submitted. There must be also an escalation matrix where customers can escalate if there is a delay in addressing the concern or if the account was wrongly disabled considering their policy.

Whatsapp – Whatsapp is owned by Facebook and my Whatsapp account is very much active. Facebook can check about my usage in Whatsapp if required to ascertain about fake id and also how am using the account. I don’t use Whatsapp against their policy and I have never used Whatsapp for any inappropriate purpose.

I would have definitely sent my concerns or suggestions to Facebook if they had a helpdesk. Am writing this with the hope someone in Facebook will read and consider my suggestions. I request Facebook to have a helpdesk and also have timelines to address customer concerns. Am sure it is only going to help Facebook.