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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

My Travel Diary Europe II

I always like traveling to Europe whether its work or holidays. Even when I go on work, during the weekend I can go around few cities, meet nice people, click some very nice photos and relax my mind.

I got an opportunity to travel to Milan for 2 months with a small team around 3 years back. I took my favorite Emirates to Milan and had a nice drive from Airport to service apartment in a Mercedes Benz. Each one of us took an independent one BHK apartment. Most of us were vegetarian and the kitchen with Microwave and vessels gave a nice start to our stay. We had carried the required home made spices for our food during the stay.

In my first few days of stay at Milan I noticed couple of things. One, it was very difficult to walk on the streets because most of them were smoking and the air was filled with nicotine. My throat is very sensitive and I was finding it extremely difficult to walk on the streets. I used to go to a nearby park in the morning for walk. I used to run when I was in Chennai and after moving to Bangalore I was only walking. What I noticed in this park was everyone was running. This gave me lot of motivation to start running again. I started running everyday and during the weekend I was running more than 7 kilometres at ease in this park. Today I run around 10 kilometres in 45 minutes, thanks to my Milan Trip.

Our weekdays were filled with work and meetings. We were commuting to office by Metro. In the evenings I used to cook my dinner and go out for a small walk. We were a small team and we had some nice time in the evenings and we also traveled to my favorite destination Venice and Switzerland. One of the weekend I also took a bus to Monza circuit. There was no Formula 1 or MotoGP race when I was at Milan. I still was lucky enough to walk around the circuit and click some nice pictures.

Venice we went to Venice by Bus and on arrival at Venice we were welcomed with “You are lucky to see Venice, Venice is sinking”. I didn’t understand this until I started understanding what was told from internet and the recent rains in Venice. At Venice we went to St. Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge, Saint Mark’s Basilica, Grand Canal, Bridge of Sighs and Murano. We also took the famous gandola ride for a hour to go around Venice. We were also lucky to visit one of the glass factory at Venice.

Switzerland This is always my favorite destination. We took a bus to Zurich and from here we visited Zurich Lake. We took a train to Lucerne and Mt. Titlis. I wanted to go to Schumacher’s house and click a photo of myself in front of his house, but did not have the time. I was hoping I will get a chance to see and click Federer but was not lucky. We were having very nice time playing at Mt.Titlis. What I liked about Switzerland is everything was clean, colorful and anything I clicked here looks beautiful.

Switzerland must be the most Beautiful place on Earth, it’s my dream to go to Switzerland on a vacation and stay for at least a month. For someone who loves Nature, there is no better place than Switzerland. This time I will definitely to go to Schumacher’s house for a selfie in front of his house.

My Legends

Am from India and am one of the few who follows most of the sports other than Cricket. I used to follow Cricket madly until the launch of IPL. Even after IPL I used to watch Test and One Day matches, after the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar I rarely watch cricket. Today, I wont be able to tell the playing XI for India or any other team.

Tennis Am always a big follower of Tennis. I don’t think I have missed watching a Grand Slam final for more than 30 years. I love the Wimbledon and Australian open, I like US open to some extent, French open is boring. I have admired players like Chris Evert, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis and Kim Clijsters in Womes’s Tennis and Borg, McEnroe, Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Federer and Djokovic in Men’s Tennis. My favorites in Tennis are Sampras and Federer. They both are complete players, they both have an unique style, they both are emotional to some extent and they both are the biggest ambassadors to this game. Roger Federer has won 20 Grand Slams Singles and I was hoping he will win the Wimbledon 2020, its not going to happen since this years Wimbledon is already cancelled. Roger Federer is the Perfect Gentleman any Sport has seen and he is the Best Communicator. Sampras won only 14 Grand Slam Singles but the kind of opponents he had Federer didn’t have until Nadal and Djokovic. Between Sampras and Federer if am asked to vote for one, my legend in Tennis is always Sampras. He is the Best I have seen and he will remain my only legend in Tennis.

Image Courtesy: https://www.tennisworldusa.org

MotoGP Thanks to my classmates and Thanks to Star TV in India in 90’s I started watching MotoGP. I started watching this sport from 1997, this was the time Valentino Rossi started riding in 125cc Championship. He then moved to 250cc in 1998 and MotoGP in 2000. There were some great riders in MotoGP like Biaggi, Kenny Roberts Jr, Nicky Hayden, Stoner, Lorenzo and Marquez. During the last 2 decades I have watched some wonderful clashes on the track, what will always stand out for me is the clash between Rossi and Sete Gibernau. Rossi is now 41 and still racing for Yamaha. He will always remain my biggest legend in MotoGP. He loves this sports so much that The Doctor will never retire.

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

Formula 1 I have to once again thank Star TV to introduce me to this Sport. I started watching Formula 1 in the early 90s and I straight away became a big fan of Senna and Schumacher. Senna lost his life on May 1, 1994 at San Marino Grand Prix, I was watching this race live on TV and I could not believe what I was watching. After this I have watched all races of Schumacher, enjoyed it and celebrated his wins. Schumacher was dominating Formula 1 so much that the FIA have to keep changing the rules to see a different winner, but the winner was always constant. Days of Schumacher in Ferrari were the Best Days of Formula 1, after every race win by Schumacher I used to party with my friends in a pub at Chennai. Schumacher retired from Formula 1 in 2006 and returned to Formula 1 in 2010 to drive for Mercedes. I didn’t like his return until India hosted a Formula 1 race. I watched this race live, became emotional to see my Biggest Legend of all Sport and I clicked this one. He had a freak accident when he was skiing in 2013 and he is still recovering. I keep praying for him every day with the hope he will be normal very soon.

Schumacher is not only my Biggest Legend in Formula 1, Schumacher is the person I have read, watched and Celebrated the Most.