Thursday, April 30, 2020

Lessons Others Taught Me - Dr. Nalini Nargundkar

Dr Nalini Nargundkar is my mother in law. Now 91, she lives alone in her bungalow in Pune in bliss. It has been close to three decades now that my father in law passed away and ever since then, i have never heard her sound happy or talk about boredom or sadness etc. In fact, she is full of beans, always happy and has tons of stuff to do.
Dr Nalini Nargundkar
I asked her one day what the secret to her happiness was and she told me something very profound. She said 'I work for my happiness. We cannot expect happiness to come by itself, it is our responsibility to make it happen.'

So she does things that make her happy. very consciously, not hoping, not expecting, nothing. I want to eat this, she gets that, I want to watch this, she watches that, I want to go there, she goes there. even the slightest change in taste or brand and she discards it, so particular is she. Now, it's not like she throws a tantrum or anything, she expresses herself fully and moves on. And when things just don't go the way she wants, she wastes no time being unhappy, she moves on to the next thing that makes her happy. Incredible.

It is we who are responsible for our happiness. No one else is. Brilliant insight (I always thought happiness happened to us if we were lucky - didn't know we could be happy by ourselves, by choosing.)

The Clapper - Movie

It started with an interesting premise of a guy who is a professional clapper in a YV show and how another TV show picks him out and makes fun of him and he loses his job because now everyone knows he is a professional clapper and his girlfriend also leaves because of some reason only girlfriends know and it all ends rather boringly. It had its moments.


Life in Lockdown - Day 37 of 44 (or more), April 30, 2020

Day 37

Watched the movie 'Clapper' last night. Promising beginning but then it petered off. Chores. Journal and stuff. Visited the local grocer and one can sense that the tension in the air has disappeared. No masks. Relaxed air. 
Pic Satish Nargundkar

Chitra Sent Me This lovely Poem
A Woman Painted on a Leaf - Eavan Boland


Read

Irrfan Khan Passes Away
I'll never forget Irrfan Khan. I watched Irrfan Khan in 'Drishti' in Calcutta in 1991. It was my first job and I was away from home. Our only means of calling back home if you didn't own a landline was through the state run telecom offices i.e. we had to go to the GPO in the city and wait in line with all others. Since the rate would quarter beyond 11 pm, the crowd would be longer. Of course there would be person with all our numbers, who would be dialling numbers one by one. If you were lucky you connected. Else get back in line.

It was a long line the day after I saw 'Drishti' and I was sitting next to a smartly dressed young lad. We got talking and he said he worked with the Indian Airlines as a purser. We both discovered we had see 'Drishti' and we were discussing the morality issues about infidelity etc when suddenly a middle aged man in the whirled around and said 'Are you both married?'. No we said. You have no right to talk about relationships,' he said. Apparently, he and his wife lived separately for 26years because she had a job in Pune and he is Calcutta. I could not understand why one of them didn't just quit and go to the other place. Anyway, Irrfan Khan was my biggest takeaway from Drishti. Then 'Piku' which remains one of my all time favs.

I'll always have pleasant memories of Irrfan. Calcutta, phones, Drishti.

Rishi Kapoor Moves on Too
Apart from his classics like 'Bobby'', 'Amar Akbar Anthony', 'Hum Kisise Kum Nahin', I watched his 'Zamane ko Dikhane Hai' many times. My partner in crime those days was young Bhaskar who was a movie buff and we both loved the movie so much that we watched it several times in Gokul theatre. I loved his performance in 'Damini'. Another Calcutta memory was of him with Zeba Bhaktiar in 'Henna' which I saw in Lotus cinema. And Raja and I watched him in 102 not out and admired his acting prowess.

Superb songs. Lovely moments. Thanks RK.

Death - Why It Hurts 
A friend of mine pondered over why it hurts when Rishi Kapoor dies especially since we never knew him personally. We thought that maybe we grieve for that part of us that they represented so well, that has now gone with them.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Life in Lockdown - Day 36 of 44 (or more), April 29, 2020

Day 36

Not bad at all. Though I hear the migrants are suffering no end. Watched 'Little Women' last night and enjoyed it. Morning chores, journal and then a couple of calls that took up an hour each. One with Vijay and another with Mahesh Raje who I spoke to after a long long time. Both for some inputs into our book of course so it was work. Lunch and then table tennis - day Anjali and I played for an hour - each refusing to give up before the other.
Forgot who shared this but its beautiful - Thanks Anon
Spent a bit of time working on the book and just crashed in the afternoon for a much-needed nap. Caught up on a call or two and its time for dinner, lighting the diya outside and winding down with the blog. Chanti called, I called Aai in Pune, Das, Choudary and Pooja.

A sense of quiet again. Almost like we have settled into a new normal now. Everyone is busy with our own schedule - work, entertainment or whatever. Wonder if we will need the outside world after this lockdown is over. And how we will react to it.

A Hero Falls - Dr Ismail Hussain from Kurnool
Stories of such doctors inspire me no end. I had seen this item somewhere and found it again today. Dr Ismail Hussain, a 76-year-old doctor from Kurnool, known famously as the Rs. 2 doctor, died of COVID 19, after he reopened his clinic to see patients. His patients would pay him whatever they could afford - a cardboard box was kept and they would put money in and take change out. He would see patients from 7 pm to 1 o2 am. Obviously very popular, he could not stay put for more than a week in the lockdown, fell ill, complained of breathlessness and died after two days. His family of six has tested positive, the hospital where he was admitted has been sealed and his final rites completed as per recommended norms.
Amazing work in a lifetime, Dr Ismail died with his boots on.
Dr. Ismail Hussain 
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/doctor-saheb-who-eased-burden-of-lakhs-succumbs-to-covid-19/articleshow/75360786.cms?from=mdr

Kerala's Umbrella Idea for Social Distancing 
A nice idea. The picture tells it all.

KFC Chicken by Pavan
Pavan is on a roll and he shared pics of his KFC chicken. Looks yummy.
KFC Chicken
Chicken Stick Cream Tikka Kebab

That's the load for the day. Good night!

ABBA, The Name Of The Game - Andrew Oldham, Tony Calder & Colin Irwin

It was ABBA The Movie that I saw in Tivoli in 1979 that started off my cultural revolution as far as western music goes. It turned my world upside down and I consumed all sorts of western pop after that. I fell in love with Anni Frid and thought Agnetha was a little too forward in the way she wiggled her bottom at nice boys like me. I was glad Benny and Anni Frid were together because I wasn't too fond of Bjorn. Then I bought so many tapes of ABBA and know many songs by heart.

So when I saw this book in the second-hand market I could not not buy it and got down to reading it. Agnetha was a star already when she met Bjorn, her father being a musician etc. Bjorn was ain a group called Hootenanny Singers and Benny was in a group called Hep Stars. Anni Frid had a solo thing going, after a tough childhood when her mother died very young and her father, a German soldier, never came back for her. It was Bjorn and Benny who gelled together and became thick and their girlfriends Agnetha and Anni Frid supporting them initially before they became one group thanks to their manager Stig Anderson who believed in them more than they did themselves.

Agnetha and Anni Frid never got along. Agnetha was always scared of flying and couldn't handle success as well and wanted to go home to a husband and her children. Anni Frid loved her fame. Agnetha became a rage for her bottom which was considered the best bum in the world. Their wardrobe and stage performances were terrible. Benny was great at composing and Bjorn at songwriting. Their first major international win was the Eurovision where they won the contest with 'Waterloo'. Their tour to Australia was a grand success.

Anni Frid had two children from a previous marriage when she met Benny and married I'm. Bjorn and Agnetha married. Both couples divorced - Benny remarried a TV presenter and so did Bjorn. Agnetha married and got into several affairs. Anni Frid pulled out and went to England, married some kind of an aristocrat and lives in comfort in Switzerland (I think). The group broke up and Anni Frid took her share and left; while the others and Stig got stuck in some tax issues which they finally sorted out but they all split by then. Anyway, they had enough to retire.

It's an interesting story to see how an unlikely group actually became a rage and lasted for years and continues to last even today. There are as many covers of their songs coming out even now, movies being made and so on. For me though, ABBA will always remain the ones who changed my life in one direction - for the better. Vivid memories of listening to 'Super Trouper' at Nareshs'at house when the album came out, our own cassettes at home, a dedicated ABBA evening at Parth's house remain. Time for an ABBA evening.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Bruce Lee - Amazing Video

Watch this - his famous one-inch punch and others!


CIA (Comrade in America) - Movie

Avoid. The idea of chatting with Marx, Lenin and Che seems cute enough to patch up a story that goes nowhere - it goes to America but really goes nowhere. Know what, this is the second movie I saw in the past week where the girl and guy don't ride off into the sunset.
I'm going to be wary of Dulquer Salmaan's movies a bit.



Life in Lockdown - Day 35 of 44 (or more), April 28, 2020

Day 35

Quiet day. Watched a movie called CIA last night starring Dulquer and am seriously wondering why. Anyway, the morning chores now include starting the car and idling it for a bit after yesterday's scare.
No outing day so did some writing.

National Geographic - January 1966 - My Older Brother
Wow. Found this magazine in a pile. It's older than I am and better preserved too, looks like.


An Idea - One Meal Per House
While checking out the long lines at the main road yesterday for food, I realised that if we can develop a system where each house packs one meal a day, for one person or two, and keeps it ready by 12 noon, and someone can pick them up at that given time in a pushcart or so, we would have 200 meals give or take a few each day in our colony. Flats would have some 20 meals. It won't burden people - all we need is a pickup time, a pickup cart and delivery. No worries about non-standardisation, it's perfectly fine as long as it feeds someone.

Let me bounce this idea on our colony chappies.

Online Mango Delivery in Hyderabad
I saw this floating around. If you want mangoes in Hyderabad, you can call 7997724945, 944 from May 1 onwards and they will home deliver 5 kgs packs for Rs. 350. Worth a try - but wait. It's only on from May 1.




Lots of Cooking 
In the absence of much stuff to write about, we only have cooking stuff today.
Sanjay was enthused to try his hand at cooking and he began today with simple rice and leafy curry.
Apparently, it was well appreciated at his house.

Not to be outdone, the other Sanjay, aka Mama, sent some pictures of stuff he has been cooking at Houston in the US.
Turkey kheema
Ridgegourd and Ladies Finger
Ginger shrimp

Quite a cook he looks like.


Monday, April 27, 2020

Isi and Ossi - Movie

2020. German movie. Very watchable romedy.


Life in Lockdown - Day 34 of 44 (or more), April 27, 2020

Day 34

Life began quietly as always. Journal, hot water lemon ginger salt, sit with nature, chores (the culprit) and off for a visit to buy stuff. I saw our happy GHMC sweepers and offered them my bit - I told them I'll keep a bunch of candy or toffee at the gate and they can dip into it. The lady was quite happy - funny she took only a few though I told her to take the lot. The next time I went to the gate they were missing.
Capturing the sun!

The battery gave in and Carlos would not start. I wondered what to do, whether to risk push starting it and then risk getting stuck out at the shop. Then I said, let's risk, get help etc. I asked the garbage chaps, Mahendra and Shiva, to give me a start and Carlos was off like a shot. I parked at Polimera, on an incline, just in case.

The chap at the security was pleased to see me. 'Kya hai sir?' Late aaye aaj?' He gave me plastic gloves and sanitiser. It's been a fortnight since I've been here. Anyway, it felt good to be recognised for whoever. The rush and panic is palpably less - one can sense that clearly. I picked up my stuff, paid, wished my fan good bye and walked hesitantly to Carlos. Now Carlos started like a shot and I was off happily revving it.

Buoyed by Carlos's spirit I risked going to Ratnadeep which had a much smaller crowd now. 'Only one member of the family allowed inside' screamed a board. All those couples who came, looked helpless suddenly. How will they shop alone? How can they be separated? Anyway, I got in in less than 20 minutes - a record. I wound up pretty soon and well Carlos didn't let me down again. I know the battery was weakening. I better start it every day now onwards.

I checked on our rasalu and found some 20 odd in good shape. Some solid sizes too. Lunch and mango for dessert. Work and then the evening meditation. Before I realised it, a couple of calls and its dinner time.

Chores -The Time Eater
I finally figured that the daily chores are the time eaters. Washing dishes takes  30, so in a day, an hour and a half goes, sweeping and mopping takes an hour and a half despite my most cursory efforts, stepping out and coming back is like going to war and coming back, an hour and a half or more including the sanitising and tada...the biggest killer is the phone. Every call is no less then 20 minutes and some go on for 40.

I am very wary of Zoom calls these days. The family and friends types.

Mangoes from Heaven
22 of the juiciest.

2 down.

Krishna Sent Me This - A Patachitra Depicting the Virus Times
It's a rare art, Patachitra, it combines paintings with songs on social issues to pass on meaningful information. Swarna Chitrakaar from Paschim Medinipur, Bengal, has captured the COVID 19 journey in her Patachitra. Check out the video in the link.

Business is Barking Life In The Dreamhouse Barbie - Video Dailymotion

Amar Writes a Poem
My good friend Amar Chegu wrote and shared a poem. 'The Writing on the Wall'. Thanks Amar.


On and on. Until tomorrow!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Joker - Movie

Whoa. What a movie. Joaquin Phoenix completely kills it as the Joker - the clown who has been told to always be happy by his mom even when he was being abused by her boyfriend and who picks up a career as a clown and a condition where he laughs uncontrollably - is actually a person who has never been happy in his life at all. The scene that I will never forget is when the midget friend is allowed to go after the Joker kills their other friend - and the latch is just out of his reach. Brilliant, brilliant. brilliant.


Life in Lockdown - Day 33 of 44 (or more), April 26, 2020

Day 33

It's getting hotter. My routine is getting sharper. The day flies by smooth as butter. Never before has it been so smooth. Chores, cleaning bookshelf, Anjali made labels and lunch. Post lunch Niveditha wanted to interview me. She is on an interviewing spree - having interviewed some 15-20 people in the past two weeks. Today Vanathi decided to join her to interview me.
Pic Satish N

Despite internet connectivity issues etc we spoke for an hour or so where I pretty much ran my life - the cricket and writing angles mostly. Nice. I'll put up the link after she uploads it on YouTube.

Meditation at 5 where I slept deeply and well here I am after doing some perfunctory jobs. Calls from Rajesh and Mythily.

Krishna's Hilarious Piece in The Deccan Chronicle
Krishna wrote this in today's DC. Cracked me up.


Krishna Sent Me This - Innovative Auto WalaKrishna sent me this today - story of an autowala who converted his auto so people can sit and practice social distancing. So impressed was Anand Mahindra of Mahindra and Mahindra that he said he must get the autowala on his R&D team.
https://www.indiatimes.com/trending/jugaad/e-rick-driver-comes-up-with-unique-social-distancing-idea-anand-mahindra-wants-him-as-advisor-511749.html

The Mangoes are Ripe
I peeped into the place where the mangoes are being ripened. A faint smell wafted out and I checked a couple. They were soft enough. I decided to try one, the first of the season, first of the seventy or so in stock. Lovely. Sweet as any sweet rasalu can be. Funnily I never liked the rasalu when i was young, primarily to do with the messy affair. But these days I love the homegrown ones.
First rasalu of the season - now gone after fulfilling its life purpose!
Thanks Mom! It's close to two decades since you left, almost forty-five years since you planted this mango tree and it still feeds us, the neighbours, the boys who steal them. What a story!

It's been a quiet day on many fronts. So I'm planning to chill off without complicating it too much. There's a Zoom call with the nephews at 9. What's with them? I'll find out.

Food Pics
Pavan sent me pics of bread and eggs and pathar ka ghost. He's on a roll.
Bread omlet
Pathar ka ghost
Pooja made a spread for Akshaya Tritiya1
Yum!



Say Say Say
Just heard this from the past. Paul McCartney teamed up with Michael Jackson to make this song. Pump up the volume and it will sound good. Why didn't I like it then? Maybe because of Paul. Sorry paul.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLEhh_XpJ-0

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Lessons Others Taught Me - Vasu

So Vasu, who is as fit as anyone can be, lean like Barrack Obama, agile, strong. Like an arrow. He runs 10 km every day, has a gym schedule and eats pretty much anything. How he maintains this super slim and fit shape is a matter of envy.
Pic Satish Nargundkar

I once told him I envied his fitness and said I should also start working out to lose weight.

'You can't lose weight by working out,' said he. 'You'll probably get healthier. To lose weight you need to watch what you are eating. It's a simple input to output thing.'

Wow. I never figured that out in all these years. By eating right you can lose weight.

Extraction - Movie

Avoid!

Life in Lockdown - Day 32 of 44 (or more), April 25, 2020

Day 32

Last night's movie was 'Extraction'. Avoid. It's a bad mix of Bollywood and Hollywood. Anyway, morning chores etc and lunch and table tennis apart, I read up some more about ABBA. Been meaning to listen to their music for a while now but the day is swallowing my time. I suspect its the chores.
Pic Satish Nargundkar

Did some serious work in the afternoon and then meditation and then the study group and its time for dinner. Phew!

Pankaj and Aarti Continue Their Good Work
Today however, Pankaj and Aarti stayed back home as the situation in Hyderabad is a matter of concern.
The police sent their vehicle to collect the dry ration packets from their house and will send it across to tribal areas.
Pankaj mentioned that the cell was working with surgical strike precision.
Wonderful job Pankaj and Aarti. May your tribe increase my friend.

A Nice Forward by Madhavi - for Teenagers
Food Pic
Caramel Custard! Sridhar shared this.


Miscellaneous
Another trend I noticed is that the number of WhatsApp forwards are falling drastically. One major culprit, the school group is now muzzled by the admn so it's very quiet. I also realised people don't call on their accord. Mostly they wait for others to call. I also realised that the average call time these days is 20 minutes!

HANS India has discontinued its Sunday supplement so the column 'Life's Like That' with Subbu and me finally has become a victim of COVID 19. New Indian Express is continuing its 'Canteen Fundas' bravely though I wonder how long that will last, especially since the media is badly hit. Anyway, no column this coming week so I am chilling off for a bit.

Njan Prakashan - Movie

Faahad Faasil as Prakashan aka A.R.Akash, who tries to con a girl who has a visa to Germany into marrying him so he can go to Germany himself, finds himself conned. And while paying for his attempted fraud, changes as a person. Uncomplicated and fun watch.


Friday, April 24, 2020

Life in Lockdown -Day 31 of 44 (or more), April 24, 2020

Day 31

After watching this Malayali movie 'Njan Prakashan' last night I was up at a comfortable hour. A walk to the medical shop at 830 and I found they were all shut. Then someone told me they open at 9 and close at 5. So I ventured out on the scooter to SR Nagar and found the medical shop was just about opening. A small crowd of 5 takes as long as 25 minutes these days.
The Skies Are Panic Free - Pic Satish Nargundkar
For one there is no concept of a line. People rush in wherever and push their agenda. I can never get these guys - the least they could do is ask the other person if it was ok. I observed this guy closely today  - he simply sidled up and confidently got to the business at hand. He showed no tentativeness and the shop keeper was spellbound and forgot that there was a queue and served him first.

I yell at a few once in a while, like this guy who was behind me and was sidling ahead with the phone - apparently his doctor is on the line. But hey, I said, you can call your doctor when your turn comes dude. He looked at me like he never thought of that possibility and slid back.

Anyway, today is jhadu pocha day and I did a good job in fairly good time though I didn't time myself. And hen its time for lunch, some pending work and I suddenly found 'Bala' playing on some change and watched it. Time for meditation and some more work and its dinner time. Where's the time draining away? I lit the diya as I have been doing all these days. Which reminds me. I bumped into my doctor friend who told me that we must light a white candle on the 22nd to protest against the attacks on doctors. I said, I did not see him light one. He said it was called off - the government has a new law in place that those who attack doctors during the pandemic days will get 7 years. Which means that it's ok after the pandemic? And why stop the candle lighting? It can be done anyway right?

Story of the Day
I got a picture from Moses with a story behind it. Mrs. Kutty Paul, wife of Vijay Paul, our coach and manager and a much-respected cricketer in his days, received a special surprise birthday wish delivered by the police themselves. She lives in Sainikpuri.
He sent a video of the policeman singing 'Baar bear hum ye gaaye..' rather tunelessly, but the intent was worth its weight in gold. Apparently it was done on the request of her older son who lives abroad and who wanted to come and surprise her on her 60th birthday but couldn't.
Wonderful gesture dear police.

Food Pic
Potato wedges!


The Painting Story
Ever since I read the story of the migrants who painted the school in Rajasthan, I have been thinking why communities cannot think of ideas like that to make the migrant population feel useful and earn their food in dignity. Their dignity must be maintained - they cannot be treated like beggars. The NGO Goonj operates on the principle where they do not give stuff away for free - they ask the recipients to help in some project and thereby earn their clothes etc.

Now we have big bunches of migrant labour stuck in shelter camps with no food and no employment. Surely they can be put to use. Make masks, gloves, whatever that they can do so they earn their food. Yes, follow all precautions, keep them in the same place so they do not spread any disease if at all, but while they are there, use them so it's a win-win. We need to come up with an equivalent to what the Rajasthan villagers did.

Au revoir! Or whatever the French say when they go away. (Sounds like reverse!)

Anjali - Editor, Daksha Time 2nd Edition

Anjali was made the Editor of the Daksha Times, an online magazine, which is in its second edition. It's a wonderful initiative by the Daksha management. Anjali was more than happy to take up the assignment and started her work in right earnest sometime in August 2019. She started to think through the idea and put out requests on the Notice Board for contributions. I watched her go through the process, of collecting, collating, editing and putting the magazine together and it's quite nice to see the online magazine out today. It's pretty comprehensive at 205 pages.

The magazine started with Kipling's 'If'. Notes from the Principal and the Editor giving an overview of what to expect and he general activities during the year. This year they had a House system for the first time (Red, Blue, Yellow and Green),, Student Council Elections where candidates canvassed with their manifestos and got elected as Head Girl - Kashish, and Head Boy - Rohan Sai, Vice Head Girl - Sirisha and Vice Head Boy - Kaniyan, James as Sports Captain and Rohan C as Vice Sports Captain. The Houses were led by captains - Rishika for Blue, Achi Reddy for Green, Deepesh for Red and Sankeerth for Yellow. Red House apparently won the overall shield. All the elected parties wrote about their plans and aspirations for the year ahead.

The magazine quietly paid tribute to two popular people who left this world - Mrs. Smitha (who taught Anjali) and Mrs. Kamalamma.

Anjali interviewed the Head Boy and Head Girl on their vision, roles and responsibilities and then began the magazine sections. The first was Literature and there were as many as 14 stories and essays from the students. Some very interesting stuff too - aliens, treasure, magic, detective thrillers, and an essay on cricket. Then came the Poetry section with six poems from budding poets. A section was dedicated to the Photography section and we saw Deepesh and Divya contributing to it with pictures of landscapes and nature. In the popular Art section, there were as many as 77 pictures if my count is right - colourful and some of them quite striking. A long pencil toon story by Abhiram who wrote the story and Arjun who illustrated it was quite interesting. Then the Telugu section with a few stories.

Then started Events section and its incredible how many events they conducted this year - Rakhi making, Investiture, Model United Nations, Sports Day, Independence Day, Republic Day, Visit to the Art Gallery, Academic Fair, Diwali Mela, Children's Day, Model Parliament, Kite making, Green Ganesha, Rangoli, Vermicomposting, Durgam Cheruvu run, the five-day excursion to Pench Wildlife safari for the seniors - and so many more. The Diwali meal raised one lakh this year.

Small write-ups about the major events and a mention of the year's major academic achievement to Rohan Sai and the delightful magazine ended.  Well, whichever way I look at it, its quite a feat. Anjali's effort was completely her own - though I offered to help he never took it - not a word. Collecting, editing, designing, placing - the idea of adding quotes to sections, of adding illustrations to make the stories and essays more interesting - everything was her own  in consultation with her teachers, Sarita and her Principal Anita. At no stage was she pushing me to read it too - I read it only after the school sent me a link today.

Commendable effort Editor! I looked hard to find errors, spellos and didn't find any. None that my eye could catch anyway. I have asked Anjali to grant me an interview tomorrow about the process and it might happen soon. Meanwhile, good job Team Daksha and its editorial team. With a special word for the Editor!


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Life in Lockdown - Day 30 of 44 (or more), April 23, 2020

Day 30

So that's 30 days in lockdown. Well done. So a chilled out day at home with a few calls, a short visit to the grocer, and chores. Some writing work and then I crashed for a long, deep sleep in the afternoon.

Chitra Sent a Poem
Here's a lovely poem Chitra sent. 'Homecoming'. It's lovely.


Sridhar Gets Going - He and His Colleagues Feed 1000 Migrant workers
Sridhar Neelam, my mate from engineering college and MBA, avid cricketer and a fine, compassionate human being, and now the Commissioner GST, Medchal Commisionerate, shared on our MBA group, some good news.

One person he knows, a member of the Vidya Vaidya Aadyatmika Seva Sanstha, Chandanagar, was feeding migrant workers at Chandanagar. Sridhar, who was contemplating contributing to the CM's Fund, decided to pitch in here.
The Vidya Vaidya Aadyatmaka Sanstha
He spoke to a few friends and colleagues and they got together 60 k between them from their personal purses, enough to feed the 1000 people for two days.
All set to go to the site
Today they went to the locality and distributed food prepared by the Sanstha at Chandanagar. There were three groups of people he said, migrants from Bihar who were working as construction labour, beggars who were herded into a function hall and those who do menial jobs on a daily basis and are stuck without work.
Checking the cooked food 
The GHMC organises some food for them and NGOs like VVASS help out. Each packet has cooked rice, dal, pickle and buttermilk. The sanstha appears to be linked to a temple and the members raised funds from some NRIs and others and began with 300 packets.
Long lines standing hungry in the sun
Now they are feeding 1000 people. They have cooks who cook at the site, pack the food and and it over.
Sridhar in the blue shirt
I saw the video and one realises that the people are standing in queue waiting for the food to get to them - or they will be chaos. When I asked Sridhar how they were, he said they looked very hungry.

Sambasiva Rao garu of VVASS and Sridhar and team, wonderful work. You're the heroes of the day!

Two Amazing Stories
Palsana - Migrant Labour Paints School
From Palsana in Rajasthan came this lovely story of 54 daily labourers from UP, MP, Haryana and Rajasthan, who were housed in a government school as precautionary quarantine. They were cared for by the local community and given good food and essentials. The group decided to give back to the community and offered to paint the entire school which had not been painted in ten years, and repair it as well. The school teachers and the panchayat started a drive and raised money and the workers went and repaired and painted it. Now it's good as new. Shankar Singh Chauhan, a painter from Haryana led the painting team while Tara Chand, om Prakash and others took up repairs.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-lockdown-in-rajasthan-migrant-workers-repair-and-paint-government-school-that-sheltered-them/article31410450.ece

Man Walks, Hitchhikes 2900 km from Gujarat to Assam
Krishna shared this story of Jadav Gogoi who travelled 2900 km from Gujarat to Assam, walking and hitch hiking. He started his journey on March 27 and reached his home town on April 20. Along the way he lost the 4000 rupees he had with him and his mobile, both got stolen. But he somehow made it, in bad shape and was put into quarantine and to recover. There are no limits to human endurance it seems.
https://thewire.in/rights/lockdown-assam-man-walks-gujarat

No food pics today. Wonder what happened to the chefs.
https://thewire.in/rights/lockdown-assam-man-walks-gujarat

The Rewrite - Movie

Delightful rom-com with Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei. A screenwriter with one huge hit to his name and then a steady downward climb gets a job to teach screenwriting at a college. His journey allows him to discover himself and his love. Funny. Zingy dialogue.



Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Life in Lockdown - Day 29 of 44, April 22, 2020

Day 29

Rumble at Ratnadeep
I got up, got dressed, wore mask and headed off before the stores shut off at 11. Ratnadeep had long lines. I gritted my teeth and joined one. All was going fine until the other line, where people were doubling up because of the sun, started complaining that the security guy was not bing fair and was letting people from this line go ahead, people who came later than they did. The security guy put up a fight and said - no, two lines - that's it. The guys in the queue started getting restless and asked him to call the manager. The security called the manager who started off with his rule book - two lines. Then when the guys started complaining - for no reason if you ask me - because they were close to the entry, the manager lost it and came up with a most unfair decree. Let this short line join the long line - and left.
Stunning Color - Makes you Want to Dive In - Pic by Satish Nargundkar
Now that meant we had to join the other line after another twenty chappies. I refused to budge. Seeing me, three youngsters ahead of me, two girls and a boy who was charming them from behind his mask, also held their ground, albeit silently. They decided to let me do the talking. I waited for a while until the lady who was actually behind me came up in the other line. Then I told Mr. Security-Rule-Book-Changer that he should let us go in now and all will be well - he will have only one line. He refused and hooked his head. I started yelling at him. The manager came and I yelled at him and told him it wasn't our rule that there were two lines. It was theirs. Seeing the irrefutable logic in my yelling the manager quickly let us in and all was well.

Thanks to the new timings the inside of Ratnadeep was as crowded as any regular non-lockin day and people were bumping into one another in crowded aisles. I picked up my few essentials and headed out in double-quick time. Man, this manager ha completely changed his attitude after the lockdown. Earlier he would be all smiles etc and be willing to cater to all my whims and fancies and now he acts like he will report me to the cops. Will the shopwala and customer dynamic change forever? Will they boss over us now despite the fact that we pay for the goods? Will we have to grow our own food if we are egoistic people? Such thoughts crossed my mind.

The Mystery of the Missing Drain Hole
Back home I realised that the sanitising of stuff is a long and laborious task and I am very good at long and laborious tasks because I am very good at making simple and easy tasks into long and laborious tasks. While at that I realised that the good sink developed a block so a couple of hours were spent trying to find out the outlet from the sink - incredibly after two hours I gave up. It does not seem to have an outlet! Where has all the water been going all this while? What kind of an engineer, architect, plumber designed this amazing drain with no drain hole? Anyway, I called the plumber and he gave me some ideas, including one where he said he would try and walk over tomorrow to help locate the missing drain hole.

Therapeutic Stuff
Lunch and some therapeutic activities after all these stressful moments - the first being deleting useless photos from my computer. I find that very therapeutic. The second being the meditation where I normally sleep.

Two Lovely Forwards
Dr. Krishnan sent me this lovely forward.

And one from I forget who

I don't know if the Buddha said this but quite likely he did. Anyway, seemed like good advice.

Food
Pavan made paaya today.
I can almost smell it.

Creative Work
Some creative work with candy wrappers. A colorful family of three. One ghost.

Diya Lighting
After lighting the diya again today I retire to watch the 'Joker' on Amazon, or any other suitable entertainment. But before I go I must tell you - I got a call this morning from one of my neighbours (one of the few I speak to) asking me why I lit a diya. I told him my reason. He appeared relieved that he had not missed any notification from the government in that regard. Is lighting the diya seen as an act of protest? An act of independence? Or will it merely be seen as lighting a lamp?
Only time and my neighbours will tell.