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.

Love You, Sushant

I have heard about Sushant Singh Rajput in the past but I have never watched his films. I have only heard his name Sushant Singh Rajput but didn’t know anything about him. I don’t watch much of Hindi films and these days I don’t watch even the current films in my Mother tongue Tamil. After the demise of Sushant Singh Rajput I keep reading about him and also watch news about him covered by News channels. I started seeing videos of Sushant with his family, videos of him dancing with his niece, Sushant singing Achutam Keshavam, Sushant playing badminton and table tennis. I went through the reviews of his movies and most of his movies were rated very well with some nice reviews.

Image Courtesy: Filmfare

Last few weeks, I was lucky to watch some of his movies. They were Kai Po Che, Dil Bechara and M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. In the next few weeks I plan to watch his other movies. In the movies that I have watched already, he demonstrated that he was one of the Best Actor, he was able to act so naturally on screen. What I liked about the three movies I watched is the script. According me, what is important in any movie is the script, he was definitely very smart in selecting the right script. With this he had put in his natural acting to have such good reviews and hits. What I also liked about Sushant in his movies is his dancing. He was a real Star with nice looks, physique who can act and dance very well.

Sushant has such a wonderful smile in any of the photos I have seen. When I started reading about Sushant the first few things I read about him are, he was the National Olympiad Winner in Physics,  he had ranked seventh in the DCE Entrance Exam in 2003 and secured his Engineering admission in Delhi College of Engineering. He dropped out of college after three years to pursue his acting career. Sushant Rajput loved astronomy and astrophysics so much that he had placed a telescope in a window of his house to observe the rings of Saturn. To win the National Olympiad Physics and securing Engineering admission in more than ten colleges clearly explains he was a hardworking and an intelligent student.

When I see the videos of Sushant with his family we can see the fun he had with his people. Even when he was a grown up he was dancing like a child with his Sisters and Niece. He also had a gifted voice and I heard a bit of Sushant singing Achutam Keshavam. I have not seen someone playing Table Tennis with both hands. I watched a IIT Mumbai video where Sushant spoke to students, he did not hesitate to read from the paper that he had prepared and he talked, answered questions straight with his beautiful smile and fun. He also had good presence of mind and sense of humor in his speech.

With the limited reading I did about Sushant, watching few of his videos in the News and watching his movies, I saw a Sushant who is loved by everyone. He was a very good student, he was a good actor, he was a good dancer, he played cricket, table tennis and badminton well, he loved astronomy and physics, he had dreamt very big, planned and tracked the progress by writing everything in his dairy, he was having good fun with people around him with an infectious smile.

Sushant with so much talent is no more now. After reading and watching so much about him, according to me, God also loved Sushant a lot and hence, God wanted Sushant closer to them even when he was very young. Your people loves you so much and they will love you forever. Your fans who love you loads will continue loving you forever, am going to be one of them. I will watch your other movies and whenever I get a chance I will watch your dance steps. It is very unfortunate you left us very early. You are going to be missed Sushant. We will love you forever, Sushant.

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.

Music, Movies and AGE

I started listening to Music and watching movies long back. The first song I remember listing to is either Rasputin from Boney M or Ojah Awake from Osibisa. Osibisa is not a popular band, I remember listening to some of the numbers from this Band when I was in primary school. My father had these cassettes and I was lucky to get introduced to Music in style. When I was very young we did not have a television at home. The first Movie I remember going to theater and watching is Aatukkara Alamelu in Tamil and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin in English. My uncle took me and my brother to The 36th Chamber of Shaolin at Safire Theater in Chennai. Those days going to theater would be once a year during summer holidays and listening to Music might be once a month when my parents step out. Don’t miss to click the below link to listen to Ojah Awake.

Video Courtesy: YouTube

After I moved to Senior Secondary School we had more freedom and we also did things without the knowledge of our parents. When I was in Senior Secondary School and College I started listening to Michael Jackson, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, Wham or George Michael, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Prince, A-ha, etc.., Some of my favorite numbers were Thriller, Beat it, La Isla Bonita, Papa Don’t Preach, Domino Dancing, Heart, Careless Whispers, Last Christmas, Take on me, I just called to say I love you and Another Day in Paradise. The movies that I liked when I was in Senior School and College is Action. I was a big fan of Rajinikanth and I used to watch most of his movies first day first show. His movies were known for action and style. I also watched some of the action packed English movies in theater or at home picking video cassettes from library.

Video Courtesy: YouTube

When I was in College I started going to Sabarimala. Kindly refer the attached link which details my Sabarimala Experience. https://rainbow-thoughts.com/2020/05/22/my-sabarimala-experience/ When I observe sixty days fasting, I neither listen to Music nor watch Movies. During these days I listen to lot of devotional songs. My favorite song that can bring tears in my eyes when I listen at Sabarimala is Harivarasanam by K. J. Yesudas. This is the song which is played at Sabarimala to make Lord Aiyyappa sleep. Listening to this song at Sabarimala after climbing forty eight miles is an experience that very few might be blessed to have, I was one of the luckiest. If you have not listened to this, Kindly click the below link to listen to the most melodious track.

Video Courtesy: YouTube

When I started going to work I started listening to more of Rock Music. My favorite bands are Dire Straits and Pink Floyd. My favorite numbers forever are Money for Nothing and Another Brick in the Wall. I listen to these two tracks even now and when I listen to them, I go back in my life and start thinking about those wonderful days. I also started listening to Ilayaraja’s numbers during these years, even today when I listen to some of his songs I go back to school or college and remember my school classmates. When I started going to work I was also watching lot of Romance movies. According to me people of 80s and 90s were very lucky because, we got the Best Music and Movies in these decades. Here is the link to my All Time Favorite Song, Money for Nothing.

Video Courtesy: YouTube

The last few years I don’t listen to Pop or Rock regularly. Maybe once a week I will listen to Rock or watch these videos on YouTube. I totally lost interest in Action or Romance movies. Nowadays, I listen to lot of classical Music. When I listen to Yanni I even forget where am sitting. I know nothing about Carnatic Music or Raagas. I still listen to Carnatic Vocal and Instrumental music. This brings lot of peace on my mind and I like the Music to be soft these days. I cannot watch any of today’s Action or Romance Movies. I prefer watching the old Black and White Movies in YouTube or some of the Hidden Gems or old English movies in Netflix. When I was young, I used to think about my Dad and relatives, how they listen to Carnatic Music or watch the old Black and White Movies. Today, I know why they were watching when I now experience it. One exception to movies is, I don’t mind watching any of Tom Hanks or Leonardo DiCaprio movie anytime.

When I was young I liked the action movies and pop music, as I grew up it was the romance and rock, now I like the classical movies and music. Am of the opinion there is a strong connection between our age and the Music that we listen and Movies we watch. Whatever Music we listen or Whatever Movies we watch, life without them is impossible, enjoy watching and listening. Take Care and Be Safe.