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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

My Covid-19 Experience

Last few weeks are the toughest days for many of us. Wherever we are, life is only about Social Distancing, Hygiene and Immunity. Am waiting for the virus to leave so that I can see my niece and take her to mall, I want to go to Chennai to see my parents, I want my family, friends and relatives to live life without fear. I want to take few minutes to share my experience during the last few weeks.

There is one thing that this virus has no impact, that’s my work. I continue to work as usual and I don’t see any challenge to work from home. I only hope after this virus is gone, lot of corporates in cities like Bangalore allow employees to work from home so that there is lesser pollution and we give a better environment to children.

I learnt cooking from my mom few years back, what I like in my cooking is I put the right amount of salt and spice. Last few weeks am cooking more and also trying out new dishes. Am now a better cook.

For the first time I started washing the vessels and also started cleaning the floor. I realize these two are the most toughest job.

I watch lot of old English and Tamil movies in Netflix and YouTube. I stopped watching TV since I want to keep my mind positive.

One thing I can’t miss is either running or walking. Last 2 weeks I walk inside my house and cover almost 6,000 steps. I do my regular exercises and yoga at home. Since, I can’t step out I sit in my balcony during sunrise.

I started reading more about Astrology. This is one thing which is giving me lot of hopes that things will be better after April 12, 2020.

I haven’t gone outside my community gate for more than 2 weeks. I haven’t traveled a kilometer in my car.

Am back to Blogging with a new site. I want to continue writing here once in a while. I also want to read lot of books and blogs in the future.

I haven’t gone to a temple last few weeks. I keep praying at my home so that this virus will leave this world very soon.

Am learning not to forward anything that comes as forward on whatsapp.

Am not listening to my favorite music these days. I keep listening to lot of devotional songs in the morning.

Covid-19 on a better side is helping everyone become a better person. My only concern is about people who get infected and leave this world. It is very clear that no country in this world is actually developed. I sincerely hope that we humans are kind to other humans, animals and nature. I will continue with my prayers for this Covid-19 to leave this world soon.

Leave This World Covid-19

Covid-19 has already infected around a million people and more than 40,000 are dead. The only positive thing for many in India until April 2nd 2020 is the virus has not made any major impact in India.

I want to look at what is done in India and appreciate some of the positives.

Waking up early – Thanks to Government for waking up early and educating all of us about this virus. We started preparing to fight this virus well on time so that a population of around 1.3 Billion will have no major impact.

Bold Actions – I must Thank the Government again for taking some bold actions like closure of International Airport across India, Screening of Passengers on Arrival, Lock down for 3 weeks and the way this is enforced. The only concern here is there are very few people who step out when they should not. I only hope that they understand the importance and stay at home next 2 weeks and follow the guidelines issued by Government.

Awareness to Public – Thank you Media, Mobile Companies and Social Media for educating us about this virus, do’s and don’ts and the online reports of how this virus is impacting every country with numbers.

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, the only way to stay away from this virus is Social Distancing and Hygiene. Am also of the opinion that Social Media Distancing will also help in facing this issue without any fear. There are too many forwards which might be fake, reading and watching videos might bring more fear to us.

Essential Services – A Big Thanks to people who are part of Grocery and Vegetable stores, Medical Shops, Hospitals, Police and Armed Forces, Doctors and Nurses. Milkman, Bank employees who risk their life and service all of us. They are all doing a splendid job and making our lives safe and easier.

Positive Medical Reports and Astrological Predictions – Some of the Medical Reports that are published by leading Doctors explaining about Immunity, Malaria and Hot Weather in India and the Astrologers giving hope considering the planetary positions, help us to stay positive with the hope things will be better soon.

Last few days, some close people of mine passed away in my native place due to old age or health issue. They might be alive if this virus was not there as they would have got the medical attention on time. What is very disturbing is that I can’t even travel to my native, these are the toughest days we all are experiencing. Let’s continue our prayers, stay at home and get rid of this virus soon.

Covid-19 is helping all to understand what is important in our lives and is teaching the Basics of life and Demonstrating how each one of us is prepared to handle a crisis like this. Am confident India will win this battle against Covid-19 very soon and I also hope other affected Countries will also win this battle soon. It is very sad that many have already lost their lives to this deadly virus. It is very important people co-operate with Government and Stay at Home. This will help them, their family and others.

I only hope we humans are kind to other humans, animals and nature. Let’s all give a Better Life to all the Children as they Deserve a Better One. Stay at home and Stay Safe. Covid-19 will leave this World soon.