A Positive Weekend

Last Sunday I posted a Blog about one of my neighbor’s family getting infected with Covid-19 leading to two weeks of quarantine to us. Yesterday, was a wonderful day I had, it started with my neighbors getting better and the child is also fine now, I was so happy hearing this. Bangalore authorities have changed the guideline for quarantine, starting yesterday only the flat where there is a Covid-19 infected person will be quarantined. My floor was completely sanitized and quarantine removed yesterday. Here is the most important one, my brother brought my parents from Chennai to Bangalore. I will be spending time with my people next week and my parents will also be with us for a while.

I have already wrote few posts about Covid-19 and here again I want to write about things that keep me busy these days and these are things I love doing.

Running and Yoga – Until yesterday I was on quarantine for a week and I was walking inside my apartment for a hour in the morning and also walk few steps every hour to reach my indoor target. I used to walk around 12,000 steps a day. The quarantine is removed and I was out today morning to run. I ran around 10 kilometres in less than a hour. I enjoy running and I feel so good after I run. Before and after running, I do lot of stretches and few Yoga Asanas. I used to do Surya Namaskar, it’s been a while since I did this, I need to restart Surya Namaskar. Tomorrow, my plan is to run 15 kilometres and am sure I will run 15 and smile.

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Cooking – I didn’t have to learn cooking until 8 years back as my mom was always with me and my business travel was limited. When we were in Chennai, My Little Princess i.e. my Niece was born and my Brother’s family was in Bangalore. My parents started spending more time in Bangalore and I started learning cooking out of necessity. After I got married and moved to Bangalore six years back, my frequency of International Business Travel started going up. Being a vegetarian it gave more opportunities to cook during these travel. I always love cooking and what I liked about my cooking is, I always put the correct amount of salt and spice. During these Covid-19 days, I cook regularly and I can confidently now tell that am one of the best in cooking. I learn from my mom, I follow people like Venkatesh Bhat, Sanjeev Kapoor and Yogambal Sundar in YouTube and finally, I have few friends here in Blog community who shares some very interesting recipe to try and celebrate.

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Entertainment – I like to listen to Music and watch Movies. I subscribed to Spotify and nowadays I get to listen to some very nice music I like. I listen to Carnatic, Fusion, Tamil and Hindi film songs and finally my favorite Rock Music. What I like about Spotify is, by choosing the artist we like, it comes out with a bunch of daily mix. Spotify is very intelligent that it has understood what I listen every day in the morning during my prayers and it suggests me songs as per the day. Spotify also has the “Best of Artists” section where we get to listen to all the best tracks of Artist we like. I have a nice Bose Speaker where Spotify is paired, there is nothing better than listening to some nice Music. I also have a nice big Television which I use for watching movies. I recently signed up with Disney Hotstar to watch English, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam Movies, I signed up with SunNxt to watch Tamil and Malayalam Movies. I also watch Music Videos and comedy shows in YouTube. I came out of Netflix because the content is very bad for the premium we pay, hope they have better movie collection to go back. Weekends are fun watching movies from one of these Apps and listening to Spotify.

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Television – These days I watch Television using Tata Sky only for three reasons – Formula One, Tennis and MotoGP. The US open started this week and we have a Formula One or MotoGP race every weekend to keep myself busy. This weekend is more of Tennis and Formula One at Monza, Italy.

Blogging – I spend good amount of time reading Blogs from my friends. I also write a little bit or share some of my interesting clicks here. I have made some nice friends here in WordPress even though I have not spoken or met them. These are wonderful people who only know to appreciate others writing and motivate them.

When the Covid-19 hit us in March 2020, I thought it’s going to keep us bored during the lock down. I have now learnt to keep myself busy without travelling and started enjoying what I do. We have learnt through Covid-19, we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, let’s live for the moment and have fun in the right way. Stay Safe and Take Care.

Eventful Weekend

My last weekend started very well. On Friday evening I was watching some music videos on YouTube, I went back to 80s and 90s with Music.

I started my Saturday with around 8 kilometres running around my beautiful community. I was running very slowly and took less than a hour to complete the running. My wife and me decided let’s go out for lunch for a change. It was more than five months since we stepped out for lunch or dinner and Saturday was the day. We are vegetarians and we booked the table at Satvam forgetting the Covid-19 days. I had one of the most comfortable drive from my home to Satvam. There was relatively lesser traffic from the time I left home. The State Transport Buses are off the roads and it was a pleasant drive around The Silk Board before hitting The Forum, Kormangala. The iconic Koshy’s remain to be closed. We were at the popular Satvam for lunch hoping we get to taste some nice food. We were bored of my cooking for the last five months. We had a below average experience at Satvam. The soup, starters and main course were unusually below average. Satvam is known for quality vegetarian buffet, it was unusual of Satvam for this average quality food. There could be two reasons for this, they are not used to serving food on table and maybe their chef/ cooks returned to their hometown during lock down. Maybe, my wife and myself started liking my recipe better. I was at home after lunch to watch a nice Malayalam Movie, Snehaveedu. One more nice Malayalam Movie that I enjoyed watching.

On Sunday I got up early and I started the day with my running. I was running at my usual pace and I completed more than 10 kilometres in less than a hour. I was thinking I now learnt the trick to run with the mask. After having my breakfast I was in the kitchen to cook our lunch. I was listening to some nice music post lunch which is when I get a message in my block WhatsApp group that my neighbor’s family is infected with Covid-19. The evening started with a shock. As per the government guideline our floor will be sealed for 14 days. After a hour my mom calls me to say Tamilnadu Government has relaxed E-pass and Travel guideline. This was a surprise and I was thinking it was our fate. I haven’t seen my Parents for around five months now, I haven’t spent much time with my little princess in Bangalore for a while. The plan is my brother is driving them from Chennai to Bangalore coming weekend, I was thinking I will spend the coming weekend with them. The only reason that I didn’t travel to Chennai last 5 months is, we need to put different address in E-pass for myself and my wife since she has to spend time with her mom. When our floor is sealed for 2 weeks which came as a shock, we see a surprise of E-pass relaxation, this is what I call fate. What is real is, I need to wait for two more weeks to see my parents and spend some nice time with with them and my little princess.

Around five months back we started reading about Covid-19. We then started reading and watching about Covid-19 in our neighborhood. The lock down crossed few weeks and then we started reading more about Covid-19 and slowly the numbers started raising in main cities. It is now more than five months and I now see Covid-19 in my neighbor’s family. I have already lost a neighbor, my close relative and my Mom’s friend due to Covid-19, I was not able to pay their condolences in person. The numbers are around 80K per day in India and am now worried. Am not worried about self, am worried about the kids and their parents. I keep praying for them and I only hope we will either have the vaccine soon or a miracle will happen that Covid-19 will leave this World.

Today, I started my day walking around 7,000 steps from room to room. By evening I completed the 12,000 steps target. I was in the kitchen to cook lunch and dinner as I like cooking, my wife was taking care of chores. My office work started around 8am and I now take a break, have one more meeting shortly. I only hope and pray life will return to normal shortly. What an eventful weekend, Let’s hope for the Best. Be Safe and Take Care.

Quality Malayalam Movies

I have a nice Android TV which lets me download any App like how we download Apps in our phones. Few weeks back I downloaded Discovery Plus to watch all the popular documentaries by paying Rs.299 as annual subscription. I was a big fan of Netflix and I regularly watch nice English movies and at times Indian regional movies. What I started realizing these days are we pay a big premium to Netflix when we hardly see new titles getting added. At times since we pay around Rs. 800 per month am forced to watch a movie during weekend thinking let’s do justice for what we pay. Few days back I read about Disney Hotstar and learnt they have good content for kids, documentaries from National Geography and nice movie content in English, Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil. Yesterday, I took an annual membership by paying Rs.1,499 and signed out of Netflix. I will go back to Netflix when they add more quality titles.

I regularly watch English movies and once in a while watch one of the movies in Indian Regional language. I have learnt from my experience in watching Tamil, Hindi or any other language, check out the review of the movie before watching or select a movie which was a good one and I had missed it. I have had very bad experience going to Theatre or watching in Netflix when I have decided to watch a random movie without checking the review. According to me one out of ten Hindi, Telugu or Tamil movie might be an average or nice movie to watch and the remaining ones are a total disappointment. There is one language where I have found movies to be of very good quality and also the Directors don’t mind experimenting with different kind of stories. Am referring to Malayalam Movies and according to me one out of three will be a nice one and even the remaining two will be above average that I don’t have to press the STOP button in remote. Let me add am not a Malayali and I don’t know to speak or understand Malayalam, I rely on the sub-title to understand.

Yesterday, after signing up for Disney Hotstar I randomly chose a Malayalam Movie to watch in the evening. Name of the Movie is Ohm Shanthi Oshaana, I haven’t heard about this movie before. The cast includes Nivin Pauly, Nazriya Nazim and few others, film is directed by Jude Anthany Joseph. The film is about a school girl in a village who falls in love with a youth and continues with her love for him. Nazriya is a happy school going girl spending time with her parents and friends, going around the village on her Motorbike. A wine making aunt is another friend where Nazriya spends lot of her time in the movie. Nivin does not have his father, his mom does all the chores and also writes poems. Nivin has chosen agriculture to make his living. When Nazriya proposes to Nivin, he rejects it by saying she is a small girl. Then, Nazriya takes her medicine entrance, gets selected and is doing her medical internship. Nivin’s mother is unwell and she gets treated in the same hospital where Nazriya is doing her internship. Finally, Nazriya returns to her village, Nivin this time proposes to her and the movie ends with their wedding. This is a two hour romance movie with bits of comedy and nice melodious songs. What I liked about this movie is, this is a nice romance movie which will take us to our past, melodious songs that can be heard even without understanding one word, no unnecessary comedy or fights as fillers and this is a movie where any family can sit together and watch.

Image Courtesy: https://www.behindwoods.com/

This is not the first random Malayalam movie that I have enjoyed watching. I have seen some movies in Netflix like Varane Avashyamund, Kappela, Grandmaster, Sarvopari Palakkaran, Eeda, Gemini etc.., I have watched these movies randomly and I liked it. Either, there are some nice Directors in Malayalam or the audience watches only nice movies resulting in Quality Malayalam Movies hit the screen. I only hope we get to watch similar quality movies in other Indian languages.

These are my personal views and I don’t mean to hurt anyone. If my view is wrong kindly use the comment section to educate me. Be Safe and Take Care.

To Stay Healthy, RUN

For more than two or three decades my day always starts with running or walking. The last eight or nine years I also practice yoga. I was born in Chennai where we have the Beautiful Marina Beach. This is where I started my running, those days it used to be running four or five kilometres. It used to be a routine in my life, getting up at 4.30 in the morning, taking my bike to Marina, running for around thirty minutes and sitting in the Beach watching the waves. When I started going here, Marina was Beautiful and it was fun watching people running or walking. When I was getting busier with work, I started going to one of the nearby park and started walking during the weekdays and at times during the weekends I will be at Marina.

Image Courtesy: goibibo.com

After I moved to Bangalore, whenever I saw people running in my community, I wanted to run but never started, I continued with walking. Around five years back I did a business travel to Milan for two months. The day after I landed at Milan, I went to a park for my morning walk. I started realizing I was the only one in the Park to walk, others were running. This was the moment where I felt I must start running again. I started running gradually and when I was leaving Milan I used to run seven kilometres at a good pace. When I returned to Bangalore I continued with my running, today am so addicted to running that I can’t miss it even a day.

Around two years back during the annual shut down I was at Chennai to spend time with my parents. I normally go to Marina for running, one of the days I got up late and went for running to a nearby park. The park was small and I started running on the outside road. When I was running I didn’t notice a rope that was lying down, it went in between my legs and I fell down. This is the freakiest fall I ever had, I have already had couple of fractures before. This time the fall was very bad resulting in a serious fracture and dislocated left elbow. I straight went to the orthopedic doctor I know, he is one the best and a very popular doctor, he immediately did a surgery to fix my elbow by placing a plate and multiple screws, for the first time I felt physical pain. As part of recovery, I have to do very painful physio every day. I was told by my doctor and as per google my hand won’t be straight if I don’t do the physio regularly. I used to do physio for around two hours a day with pain and thankfully my hand returned to normal position in around six months, straight as before. Even when I was at Hospital I used to go for morning walk.

My Elbow three day after Surgery

After recovery I returned to Bangalore and I continued with my walking. When I saw people running not looking down or running with their mobile talking, I started thinking they might fall down. They were running normal, but I started having this fear. One day I thought the best way to overcome this fear is to start running. After I started doing my favorite running the fear went off. Nowadays I run very carefully, enjoy the run and I don’t look at my watch to worry about the speed. Before the lock down, I used to run in my community during the weekdays and I go to the Beautiful Agara Lake during the weekend to run around fifteen kilometres. Am waiting for this pandemic to leave so that I can go back to my usual routine. I find it difficult to wear a mask and run, so these days I do a combination of running and walking.

I love running so much that I can’t miss it even a day. Even when am on business travel to International Location I won’t miss running. Running helps me to stay fit and keeps my mind calm and relaxed. Am not a professional runner, but I want to share some tips to help my friends to run, this will help you to stay fit and healthy. a) Start running tomorrow b) Easiest way to start running is to run behind a runner c) It is only the first few hundred metres it will be difficult to run, if you continue running, you will keep running. d) Take breaks whenever you want to while running e) It is easy to run straight rather than in circles f) Breath through both the mouth and the nose to keep your breathing steady g) Dont use your mobile phone while running h) Concentrate while running i) Keep looking down to avoid any freak accident j) If there is a running group join them to run more k) Don’t run all seven days in a week, give some rest to your body l) Stretch Before and After the Run and m) Finally, running is fun, enjoy running.

It is very important we do some physical activity in the morning like walking, running, yoga, cycling or play any sport. This will help us to Stay Fit and Healthy both Physically and Mentally. Hope you find this post useful, Be Safe and Take Care.

Life without Internet

Internet is the most essential thing in today’s life. I can’t imagine living even a day without Internet. With Covid-19 pandemic our day to day life runs mainly on Internet. The world’s leading companies do their business relating to Internet and most of us are employed in these companies. Let me do a self check of where I use Internet.

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Blog – I came back to Blogging few months back when the Covid-19 virus hit us hard and when we started going through life lock down. I spend good time with WordPress these days on my phone and laptop to Blog and also to read Blogs from my friends. Am going to keep myself busy in future by regularly writing Blogs, sharing my nicest clicks and going through Blogs from my friends to be well informed and enhance my knowledge. All I need is Internet to Blog and Learn.

Work From Home The last 4 months am doing my office work from home. Thanks to some high speed Internet at home these days Business emails, calls and work have no change and is Business as usual. I will also add our productivity has only gone up in the last 4 months. Most of the Companies will no longer require their complete staff to return to office even during the post Covid-19 days.

Video Calls The last 4 months is one of the toughest phase for me. I cant imagine living my life without seeing my Parents, my Niece and my Brother’s family. My parents are in Chennai and am in Bangalore. Again, Thanks to Internet, I can do a video call to see my Parents and my Niece. My Niece is so cool that even when I dial an audio call, she asks me to come on video.

WhatsApp The day for many starts and ends with WhatsApp. As long as we use WhatsApp to connect with family, friends and don’t forward any fake news or inappropriate content, WhatsApp is a great medium to communicate. WhatsApp runs on Internet and I use WhatsApp to connect with my family and friends, share some of my Blogs and also to go through some interesting articles that enhances my knowledge. Kindly check my Blog on WhatsApp forwards and groups on my views about WhatsApp: https://rainbow-thoughts.com/2020/07/03/whatsapp-and-forward/

Netflix, Discovery Plus and YouTube I have a nice Smart TV at home. Again, thanks to fast internet at home, I can watch nice movies, songs and documentaries in 4k format. I like watching nice English Movies on Netflix, I watch anything Informative or anything about Nature and Wild life on Discovery Plus and YouTube is for watching recipe of whatever I cook, watching Music Videos and some old classic movies in regional languages. Without Internet and these Apps, life during these tough days would been even more tougher.

Spotify I already have good collection of Music in my phone library. I developed interest for listening to Carnatic music recently. I signed up for Spotify and this is one of the coolest thing I did recently. Spotify requires Internet and is taking my Music Experience to a totally different level. What I like about Spotify is the “Made for Self” section based on the Artist I like. Spotify is understanding my interest so well and I get to hear some nicest numbers whenever I have time. For someone who listens to English, Regional and Carnatic, Spotify is the best thing to have.

Bank related Work I can’t remember when I last went to a Bank to operate my savings or investment account. Life has become so smooth to do any Bank transactions using Internet. These days I don’t even use my credit card when I step out to shop. Thanks to Google Pay, we can even step out without our wallet.

Shopping Whether its groceries or electronic gadgets or essentials, shopping has become easier using Internet. We also get some cool discounts from Amazon or Flipkart when we buy our gadgets. In a while, we might see the number of stores coming down as more people might buy things from Amazon, Flipkart and other e retailers. Going to a shop might become History.

Google Maps The most important App I use is Google Maps. If am asked to commute in Bangalore without Google Maps, I will never step out of my house. I can’t imagine driving to my friends place in Bangalore without Google Maps. Imagine drawing the directions and stepping out to drive, we are already in the Bangalore’s usual traffic jam, we will never take the correct right or left. If am blessed to meet Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, my first thanks to him will be for this App. Then, I will ask him about his days in Jawahar Vidyalaya, BTW we passed out from same school, am his one year senior.

Internet has made our life easier and today Internet is the most essential thing in our life. We all are going through the toughest days in our lives with this Covid-19, none of us never thought a small virus will change our life completely. What will happen if for some reason Internet stops working. If the Internet stops working for few days, it can cause more stress to people and most of the Businesses can become non-operational. One thing this Covid-19 is teaching us is anything can happen in our life and it’s very difficult to plan for everything.

As mentioned in one of my earlier Blog, I want to go back to a village and settle down – https://rainbow-thoughts.com/2020/06/14/go-back-to-village/ . I can stay connected to anyone, continue writing my Blog, watch Netflix, Discovery Plus and YouTube, listen to Spotify, do all Bank Transactions and shop from anywhere in the World and I prefer moving back to a village, A Big Thanks to Internet to make our life easier.

Kindly leave your comment if I have missed out something and share your views on Internet. Stay Safe and Take Care.

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 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.

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.