32 Things I Learnt in 32 Years

I have always wanted to write this list post and I intended to do it when I turned 30. But 2018 was one of the years I was least active on my blog. I turned 32 yesterday and I know that now is the right time for this post. So here goes, 32 things I learnt in 32 years; some serious, some unnecessary and some in between. I hope they inspire you and that you enjoy reading them.

  1. On the note of now is the right time, there is no other right time to start something new. Take the plunge! Nobody learnt swimming, standing by the water.
  2. Be more vocal with your loved ones about your feelings, both good and bad. It is the best way to healthy relationships.
  3. Learning comes from the most unlikeliest of places; also from almost everywhere.
  4. You don’t owe favours. You give favours. Which means, you always have the option to say NO.
  5. It is okay to not work for passion, but for money.
  6. It is okay to not make a vocation out of your passion. It can always be your go to safe space.
  7. I once judged a girl who hadn’t waxed her legs. Till date she has no clue that I did because she was least bothered. It’s okay to go out with unwaxed legs and unkempt eyebrows if you’re comfortable with them. You know that others are judging you only when you’re actively looking around for them.
  8. If you are doing something nice for someone you Love, ensure that you’re doing what they like rather than what you think they like.
  9. You owe it to yourself to not work on weekends.
  10. When you base your decisions on what XYZ wants, remember that you might have to live with some of those decisions all your life, even after XYZ ceases to exist. The Blatant truth!
  11. Cooking is not a gender role. It is a life skill.
  12. Breathe through your mouth while chopping onions.
  13. There is a strange peace that comes with cleaning, de-cluttering and clean bed sheets. It is symbolic of de-cluttering your mind.
  14. You always turn into your parents. But you can choose the traits you want to keep.
  15. Fat people are fat. Dark complexioned people are dark. It is when you add the cringe-worthy tone and expression to these facts as though they are bad that it becomes wrong.
  16. It is okay to genuinely accept the changes in your beliefs. That is not hypocrisy. That is growth.
  17. You share traits with the people you spend more time with. Ensure that you are around people who add value to you.
  18. Do not grind hot things in a mixer. Things will hit the fan! Quite literally!
  19. Reply ‘People have it worse’ with ‘That doesn’t discount what I am going through’ because no one has the right to normalise your suffering.
  20. Don’t yell at the service center personnel because the product is faulty. They didn’t make the product. Learn to direct your anger and frustration rightly.
  21. You don’t ever grow up! There is always a child in everyone. Don’t lose that child.
  22. Nobody has the right to make you feel guilty about the things you buy for yourself. Go get that yacht to adorn your lawn!
  23. There is nothing called too many clothes.
  24. You always count your gifts on your birthday. The more the merrier. You have just been in denial (FYI I got 10 this time of which four were from my sister :P).
  25. You are born kind and the people around you shape your kindness. Look within for the kindness that you possess and you’ll know that you don’t have to cause a ruckus over a tiny accidental scratch on your car.
  26. Spend more time cloud gazing, star gazing, nature gazing and soul gazing.
  27. Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry. Don’t look at junk food on Zomato when you are hungry. You always tend to go for junk food. Instead always plan a junk food meal so that you never overeat them.
  28. You can follow the trend. But you can create your style as well if you are confident enough. I thought that a top and a bottom went well. But my fashion designer friend said that it wasn’t the right styling technique. Yet I wore them the way I liked and was told by many that it was a beautiful pairing.
  29. If you want a change of job, apply anywhere and everywhere; ten times a day. Know your worth and do not compromise on it. Work on your communication, learn from failed interviews and aim for the Sky. You’ll only achieve what you aim for!
  30. It is okay to quit and stop looking at ‘quitting’ like it is a bad thing.
  31. Train your thoughts by replacing negative with positive. Instead of, ‘I hate Mondays. I have to work!’ think ‘It’s Monday and I’ll learn new things, solve new problems and I love it!’ You will feel like it eventually.
  32. Take lots of videos of your loved ones’ crazy side. Make videos of them laughing, singing out of pitch, saying weird things, cracking really bad jokes and watch them when you feel blue. Not sitcoms could give you the joy you get when you see a loved one being goofy. Trust me on this! ❤
Here are some of the gifts I received

Let me end with this bonus realization that I had yesterday. I received lots of gifts and like anyone else, I love getting gifts. But the best moments were when the whole family sat together and had food while the focus was on my birthday, we cut the cake, I had a video call with my bestie, went out to meet another bestie and when one came home with a Dairy milk silk like he does every year on my birthday. Having been away from home for the last two years, I value the contact with my loved ones more than anything else. I don’t want a big fat party. I just want a tiny cosy gathering of my loved ones.

I think there are some really valuable life lessons in here because I found them extremely useful. If you enjoyed reading them, please comment your favorites. Also please share this post because as a writer, I write to speak to the world as much as I do it for myself.

The Power of Kindness and Practicing it at Home

Can you imagine a world where all of us are kind to each other? What else would we need? Money? No. The ones who have, will give the ones who don’t. Happiness? The ones who are happy will never let others be sad. Good Health? The healthy will help the unhealthy. If this is the power of kindness, then why is it so underrated? Why isn’t it taught in schools and universities? I believe that Kindness is the most valuable skillset a human needs. Let me tell you why.

A few years back, a friend dropped off a newly joined colleague and me at a junction after work. It was a familiar place for the new guy, as his house was nearby, but I had to take a bus home. The new guy, whom I had recently met, started walking with me. In spite of assuring him that I could find my way, he insisted on showing me to the bus stop, ensured that I got onto the right bus, and then walked back to his home which was in the exact opposite direction. We weren’t even good friends, and he didn’t have to do that. But he did. After 6 years, we are still friends and it is because of this one act of kindness. I have always been attracted to people who are effortlessly kind. The power of kindness is that you’ll never NEVER forget someone who was kind to you and the impact of it will make you kind in a similar situation. This is what makes Kindness the most valuable skillset.

The Power of Kindness and Practicing it at Home

Would you call yourself a kind person? I am not referring to helping out in orphanages or donating a thousand rupees to charity. I am referring to being kind in your day to day, mundane activities.

When someone in your family prepares food, do you appreciate them? Do you tell them that you loved the flavour, that it has been cooked to perfection? What is better than one appreciation? Two! The ones who are stingy with appreciation, do you repeatedly appreciate the people you love? There is nothing wrong in saying the same thing twice or more as long as it is good. I am starting with something this mundane because we need to understand that kindness begins at home; with the people close to us.

How can we Practice Kindness at/from Home and make that gradually reflect everywhere in our lives?

My sister and I are home due to the pandemic and I have been seeing Amma struggle with her work and the chores at home. I do help her whenever I can, but after I changed my jobs, I sometimes work till 10 PM and I barely take any breaks due to the sheer volume of work and the learning curve. My father has been taking care of a lot of chores and he has been trying his hands at cooking as well. But since Amma is more experienced in the kitchen, she has had to come home and prepare dinner.

This was bothering me a lot and we changed things since last week. We decided to take turns to prepare dinner which meant that dinner for 4 nights were sorted. On the 5th night, we’d order in and this will cover the weekdays. We could always help out during the weekends. We tried this out for a week and I felt at peace. Amma could relax on 4 out of 5 days after work. I am extremely grateful that we as a family realized this and acted accordingly. To understand that one person is doing all the heavy lifting, and consciously trying to avoid his/her pain is kindness.

There are many seemingly insignificant moments at home where we can practice kindness. We know that our grandmother doesn’t like eating alone. So whenever we see her having her meals alone, we go sit next to her and talk. When she sings ‘Uttara swayamvaram…’ I know that she’s missing her brother and so I go spend some time with her. When my sister feels a bit under the weather, I get her some green tea and annoy her. If you observe carefully, you’ll see that you can always do something to make people’s days better or lives easier without much of an effort. And that is kindness! The more we practice it at home, the more we’ll learn to practice it outside. After all, what is the point of donating thousands to charity when your own mother is struggling everyday with problems you can easily resolve?

Does this post remind you of someone at home who could use some kindness? What are some other ways we could practice kindness at home? Let me know in the comments. If you like my post, please share it with your friends. That is kindness too 😛

Did you know that a lot of your innate kindness got quashed by the behaviour of your family and friends in your childhood? My next post will be on this and to get it delivered to your mail, subscribe to my blog. : )

Let’s Spread A Few Handpicked Kindness

Image Courtesy: Clay Banks on Unsplash

Featured Image by Adam Niklewicz

Why You Should Watch Sufiyum Sujathayam: Movie Review

Sufiyum Sujathayum, the first Malayalam movie to be released in an OTT platform (Amazon Prime), is the story of a speech impaired Hindu girl, Sujatha and a Sufi saint named Sufi. A story around Star crossed lovers is not a new concept in South Indian Cinema. In the recent past Ennu Ninte Moideen (Malayalam) and 96 (Tamil) swept away all the awards for the same and it is difficult to make movies revolving around star crossed lovers that out-shine these movies. I am a sucker for slow romance. I have the patience to watch a romantic movie if it has enigmatic visuals, a good storyline and a solid closure. Sufiyum Sujathayum promises all the three.

Debut actor, Dev Mohan has all the charm and enigma in the world that his character Sufi requires, and Aditi Rao Hydari is poetry in motion. They have beautifully depicted the dilemma that each character goes through, especially Rajeev Nair who’s stuck in an unsatisfactory marriage and is trying his best to turn things around. While the main characters didn’t have much scope for performances, Siddique and Jayasoorya have yet again proved their worth as seasoned actors.

The cinematography, the choice of location, and the casting couldn’t have been better. They have managed to get the right combination of nostalgia and mysticism to everything, so much so that you get hooked to the visuals on the screen. The Jinn mosque, Sujatha’s home and the locale that is rich in culture and greenery, evoke so much nostalgia for the average Malayali.

Sufiyum Sujathayum Trailer: An Interesting Love Saga!

 ‘Apparently there is a new Malayalam movie with a soulful Azaan’ was the way I was introduced to Sufiyum Sujathayum. Ofcourse! A movie about a Sufi is incomplete without the music. M Jayachandran has worked his magic through the Azaan, all the songs and the BGM. The music is also important to the storyline, as the Azaan sung by Sufi is one of the reasons why Sujatha is drawn to him. In Sufiyum Sujathayum, if the visuals contribute to the body of the movie, the music is the soul.

For movie-goers like me who love slow romance, enigmatic visuals and soulful music, a simple story would suffice, as it is rich in other aspects. Sufiyum Sujathayum, albeit very slow, has a beautiful story line with a perfect closure. These aspects made it a good movie worth watching once. But the theme had more potential. While everything was perfect, a richer story line would have taken it to a whole new level. To start with, they could have delved deeper into Sufism and into the concept of love inter-laced with spirituality. It is important to note the difference between a good story and a rich story here. It is a slow paced good story that had the potential to become a rich story irrespective of the pace.

In spite of this, the movie lingered in my mind for a couple of days. Here’s why: Sujatha isn’t just attracted to the man that Sufi is. She is attracted to his passion, and his way of life. She didn’t come across him by chance. Instead, he was thrust into her life all at once so much so that she woke up every day listening to his Azaan. Sujatha, being an avid dancer became one with him when she danced to his Azaan. As for Sufi, his first love was his Sufi way of life and it is into this lifestyle of his, that he decides to invite Sujatha. His Japamala (Rosary) is of great significance in the movie as it is a priced possession that he doesn’t wish to part with even in his death. He gives it to Sujatha as Mehr (wealth for the bride) and this act shows his deep love for Sujatha.


Sufiyum Sujathayam deserves more attention than it is currently receiving. The story, the cinematography, the acting, and the music are all beautiful. When you look at the closure the story gets, you realize that the makers have brought something different on the table. The movie isn’t flawless. There are minor flaws. In the script for instance, the term ‘Love Jihad’ is carelessly included for no reason. It definitely had more potential, but the lack of utilizing it doesn’t ruin the experience. If you love slow paced romance with a little mysticism, Sufiyum Sujathayum is definitely worth a watch.

So, will you be watching the movie after reading my review? If you already did, what do you think of the movie?

Also Read Reviews of Similar Movies:
96 The Movie Depicts Love and Life As It Is
Ennu Ninte Moideen – A Heart Rending Tale of Love

Pssst! I have started uploading the songs I sing on YouTube. Here is the song ‘Vaathikkalu Vellaripravu’ from the movie Sufiyum Sujathayum sung by me. Please do listen and if you like it, do subscribe to listen to more.

Why The Thoothukkudi Custodial Deaths Concern Each one of us.

TRIGGER WARNING – The content contains references to sexual and physical violence. Reader discretion is advised.

George Floyd’s death sparked a lot of controversy and people all over the world stood in unison against it. My Whatsapp status, Facebook and Instagram stories where all filled with the news and the details of it for days! How many of you reading this heard of the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and Bennicks in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) and dug deep into it? The Thoothukkudi custodial deaths are a matter of concern to each one of us and it is imperative that we know all about it and talk about it.


  • On 19th Jun, Jayaraj (59)was taken into custody by Sathankulam Police.
  • His son Bennicks (31) went to the Police Station looking for him, saw that the Police were verbally and physically abusing his father and stepped in to stop them.
  • Infuriated, the Police took him into custody and started beating him up as well.
  • The duo were beaten up profusely. The police pulled out Bennicks chest hair with their bare hands, stripped both of them and inserted baton into their anus leading to rectal bleeding.
  • On 20th Jun, they were taken for their medical check-up and the doctor’s report said that they were healthy.
  • At the judicial magistrate, they didn’t mention the torture because of repeated threats from the police. The duo were sent on remand to the Kovilpatti sub-jail which was around 100Kms away from Sathankulam.
  • On Jun 22nd night, Bennicks complained of chest pain and was taken to the hospital where he died.
  • On Jun 23rd early morning, Jayaraj too breathed his last.

What was their Crime? Jayaraj and Bennicks had kept their shops open for 15 minutes past the permitted lock-down hours. When the Patrol team asked everyone to close down, Jayaraj allegedly made some remarks against them


The FIR report states that when the police warned the duo about the lock-down hours, they verbally abused the police, threatened to hit them, sat on the ground and rolled around which is how they were injured even before they were brought into the Police custody. The reason for their deaths were stated as heart failure and high fever.

Tamil Nadu Custodial Deaths: 2 Police Officers Arrested on Murder ...
Bennicks (31) on the right and his father Jayaraj (59) on the left

Following their deaths, protests arose around Thoothukkudi and shops remained closed for a day. Gradually the case rose in popularity and amidst rising demands for justice, the Madras High court intervened and ordered the Superindendent of Police to submit reports.

Based on the CCTV footage near their shops and the multiple witness accounts, it was apparent that the facts of the case had been twisted. To add to this, the post-mortem report and the witness account of the Head constable, Revathy changed everything. The magistrate who conducted the enquiry was intimidated by the Sathankulam Police and everything in their capacity was done to destroy the evidence and hinder his progress with the enquiry.


  • When the duo were brought before the Sathankulam Judicial magistrate, he was supposed to conduct a physical fitness examination. How did he deem them fit and approve the remand?
  • The Doctor who examined them did not raise an issue either. If they were bleeding profusely, he clearly ignored it.
  • They were taken to Kovilpatti sub-jail which was 100 Kms away from Sathankulam while they had a district jail in Perurani.
  • The Police station’s CCTV footage was programmed to delete the recordings every 24 hours. Perhaps this was done in order to get rid of the evidence.
  • The case was investigated because it gained so much attention. This means that there is barely any control over custodial deaths.


Firstly, this could happen to any of us, our friends or family. While George Floyd’s death had a racist twist to it, a lack of it doesn’t make this case any less important. More people should know about it, discuss it widely and understand their rights.

Secondly, the issue gained much popularity only because there were witnesses near the shop, friends and relatives gathered in the Police station, and a lot of hue and cry was raised over it by the people. The Sathankulam Police have resorted to such violence earlier too for it to come so naturally to them when there was no crime committed. People don’t turn into barbarians overnight.

There must have been similar cases that were been buried because there were no witnesses which means one fine day, we could be arrested for a crime we didn’t commit, be tortured and killed due to an illness we didn’t have.


Four Police Officials have been arrested and charged for the murder of Jayaraj and Bennicks. The Government has announced compensation of Rs. 20 lakhs for the family. Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi declared a compensation of Rs. 25 lakhs for the family.


Every problem starts at an individual level. The people involved in the Thoothukkudy custodial death case, happened to be the Police. But you and I, since childhood, have been told not to question or retort to our elders or people who are superior to us in any manner. As we grew up, we passed on this lesson because we become incapable of handling even a little bit of retort or insubordination. “How dare you question the Police!?” is the default mentality of the cops. Some of them forget that they are public servants and go on to become a superior, race amongst humans so much so that even if they break the rules, we fear to question them. But how dare Bennicks get in the way of the Police when they beat up his father?

While presently nothing can be done about power in the wrong hands, we as citizens can know our rights and be prepared for a situation like this. This article on thefederal.com explains the rights of arrestees and how the proceedings should have actually been in Jayaraj’s and Bennick’s case.

Let me know your thoughts on the issue and what you think could be done at individual and legal level to make things better.

Sources: Arre, The News Minute, Republic World, India Today, Indian Express
Featured Photo by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash


My Book ‘Life in the Time of Coronavirus’ is available for Free download Here. It takes you through the humane aspects during the pandemic while narrating the personal experiences of people from different walks of life.

Book Review _ Five Petals by Chinmayee Gayatree Sahu

Details About the Book

The Book was released as a part of Blogchatter’s ebook carnival. In the very same event, my book Life in the Time of Coronavirus was released as well.

Book Name – Five Petals
Author – Chinmayeee Gayatree Sahu
Genre – Fiction
Pages – 31
Language – English
Download Link – Five Petals


Five Petals is a book of five short stories. The characters in each of these stories are from different walks of life and different age groups. This has enabled the author to give us a varied spread of stories, keeping them all interesting. The book has only 31 pages which makes it a one sitting read.

The Book begins with a college story wherein Piyush, a reserved boy develops feelings for his classmate Ridhhima. As Piyush struggles to confess his feelings that he has kept hidden for over two years, Kunal Kapoor joins the college and gradually gets close to Ridhhima and they fall in love. As they go their separate ways after school, life happens in a full circle and they meet at crossroads again. In this story, Chinmayee portrays how our lives are all inter-dependent and how the right influence can uplift us and turn our lives around.

In the third story of the book, Vinod, a hard working and ambitious young man decides that he needs a break from his family to enjoy his bachelor days. He gets posting as a Chemical Engineer in a different city and decides to take it up. This is where he meets Deepa, a coworker and for the first time in his life, falls in love. However because of the conservative nature of her family, she is wary of sharing her whereabouts or her personal details with Vinod. If her family knew about their relationship, she would never be allowed to work. The author lays out the thought process and the difficulties faced by the protagonist so well that we understand him like he is our own. This lays the foundation for the way the story unfurls.

Among the other three stories, one gives us a glimpse into a family in lock-down during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Another takes us through the lives of a couple who own a resort in Philippines. The one that will tug at your heartstrings would be the story of a grandfather and his two grand children, especially if you were close to your grandparents.

The author has tried to keep all the stories different from one another. Chinmayee’s weapon is emotions and human relationships. She has used them so beautifully to weave the stories. Relatable situations and simple language makes it a breezy read.

As much as the stories are crisp, in some places the author could have elaborated on the characters’ emotions since all these stories have the scope for working more on the emotional aspects. This could have helped the readers develop more connection with the characters.


The book will take you through different states of mind, and keep you hooked. Here is an excerpt from the book that applies to us humans as much as it applies to plants:

“A plant can be given any amount of care, fertilizers, timely
exposure to sunlight but unless it takes up the effort by itself to absorb the nutrients it is
of no use. If it did not know to do so, it won’t be able to survive the test of time.”


My Book Life in the Time of coronavirus is available for free download. It deals about how our lives individually and as a community changed due to the pandemic while taking a closer look at some personal anecdotes.


Name of the Book – Designing a Positive Micro-Universe

Author – Judy Morris

Genre – Non-fiction, Self help

Price – Available for Free Download for a limited period HERE

Language – English


The book is a potpourri of Self-help tips, tips to improve relationships, some travel related pointers and her take on sustainable traveling and living in harmony with nature. It takes us through different aspects of an individual’s life both mental and physical. It first focuses on the individual aspects of well-being, it then narrates as to how this well-being can be achieved in relationships and finally as a community. Judy Morris – the author – is passionate about sustainable travel and living. This has led her to explain how we human beings and nature are inter-linked and how we can live in harmony with the environment.


The author begins with focusing on the Self. The first section talks about how we as individuals can better ourselves with respect to happiness, positivity and the competitive mentality that has been driving us since birth. She beautifully lays down the fact that positivity and happiness are products of mental and physical well-being. She gives her readers the tips for changing their thought processes and actions in order to accommodate more positivity and happiness.

The next area the author focuses on is the relationship. Often, we give a lot to our relationships and what we reap from them shapes our lives. In this scenario, it is critical that we understand what we need from a marriage/relationship and compare that to the reality. The book first gives us an understanding of marriage from the author’s point of view. It then gives us a checklist of sorts that could be used to understand our compatibility with our partner/prospective partner, and improve our relationship further.

The author, Judy Morris, gives us the example of the lifestyle followed by Bishnois of Rajasthan to make us understand how we could live in harmony with nature. We don’t have to take the drastic measures, but we definitely can begin with baby steps. We all heard of the various animals that were sighted in unusual places during the lock-down. What better example could one give, to portray the impact of humans (or lack thereof) on the environment?

An avid traveller, she then gives tips on planning a travel while not being too hard on your pocket, and on traveling responsibly. She introduces us to the concept of virtual tourism, how it has gained prominence during the lock-down and why we should start thinking of it as a travel option.


The author had some simple but valid points that made me think. Here is one:

“When a seed germinates, life happens and it continues till the plant dies. However many times, the blooming of a flower or ripening of a fruit is often valued more. This is because we rank the achievement of a particular activity more than the activity itself.”

If you have wanted to make positive changes in lifestyle with respect to sustainability, this book is for you. It is a breezy read with mostly two-page chapters. I’d definitely recommend for a quick informative read.

My Book ‘Life in the Time of Coronavirus’ released at the #Blogchatterebook carnival is available for Free Download HERE. It talks about life at a personal level and the humane aspects during the Pandemic.

Life After Coronavirus – Awaiting the Sunrise and Zappy Days

I started this series, ‘Life in the time of coronavirus’ as a part of April’s A2Z challenge. Today happens to be the last day of the challenge and so, this must be my last update on the pandemic. I might write a concluding post after the whole thing dies down completely. But there won’t be anymore detailed posts on the various aspects of the Pandemic. I hope years from now people will be able to use these posts to know about an invisible enemy that this generation fought.

So, for the last time this month, here is the current update of Coronavirus cases globally and in India.

As on 30th Apr 2020
As on 29th Apr 2020


The Lock-down V.2 will supposedly end on May 3rd 2020. It is anticipated that movements within the districts will be allowed first, then on the basis of the Coronavirus cases, maybe with each week, inter-district and inter-state movement will become permissible.

Assuming that the country heals, the world heals, in a few months’ time, these tribulations will slowly be forgotten. Knowing myself and my kind, we’ll go back to living our lives. All the pain, the stories, and the sacrificed lives will have been for nothing.

I don’t want that. I want change.

I want to live better. I want to feel everything strongly. I want to stop wondering what people will think about me and my actions. I want to kiss like there’s no tomorrow. I want to look at someone as though I’m seeing them for the first time, in awe. I want to go to a quaint little cafe, sit in a corner, order some coffee, read a book and smile at strangers. I want to tell the lady across, that the leopard print top looks so good on her. I want to travel and get lost in the novelty of the unknown land.

I want to inspire people to live fully. I want people to know that the rules in their lives are the ones set by them. I want to teach children. I want to be responsible for another generation, inspire them and let them know that they aren’t insignificant, that their dreams can’t be reined, that they can have it all. That they can be successful without being arrogant, studious without being insensitive. That the education they’re getting are only a part of what they should get, that the real education is knowing how to behave, when to hold on and when to leave. I want them to know that learning needn’t always be to earn money. Learning can be for life, because you enjoy it, because you want to know more.

Where I am right now is only a path. Not a destination. Coronavirus is only a means, not an end. Like my father wrote in the post Uncommon Opinion: Finding the Utopia in this Dystopia, you have three ways of looking at this Coronavirus scenario:

  • You can look at it as a glitch, a bug or a disaster, which it is, and whine about it because of all the restrictions. (By no means is this aimed at the people who are genuinely affected. I am addressing the people like me who are simply stuck at home without many things to do and not much issues)
  • You can look at it as someone else’s problem, do nothing and wait for it to pass.
  • You can look at it as the time to invest in yourself or to make this Earth a happier place. A break in your life where you have been asked to look at how you’ve lived until now and decide to make some changes. YOU CAN come out of this a better person. All you need to do is set your mind to it!

Epidemics and Pandemics aren’t happening for the first time. We never remember any of them by the changes they brought about. Let Covid-19/Coronavirus change that narrative. Let this pandemic be known for moulding a generation of compassionate people who decided to change their lifestyles for the better. They learnt new skills, their eyes sparkled with kindness and they were the first of the many generations that came later, that looked inward for answers.

Let the future generation comprise of more value adding teachers rather than corrective policemen.

What changes would you want to see when this ends?

Featured Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

Being My Own Creative Yardstick

I have loved writing poems, drawing and painting since I was a child. I knew the joy of creating from a very young age and creative high was real for me even before I knew what the feeling was called. At some point, it went out of control. I am someone who beats myself up if I am not productive. I just cannot sit and watch movies through the weekend and be happy about it. Come Sunday night, I’ll be depressed about the wasted weekend. It is a habit I am trying to break.

If I do something, I cannot put it out there unless I achieve a certain level of perfection. I wouldn’t even acknowledge that I am reasonably good at it. During this lock-down, I am trying to judge myself less, talk about myself more positively and exhibit my creativity more confidently. Once I began to aim at this change, I’ve seen a lot of positivity in myself.

I am trying to be happy about the things I do for my pleasure and to not judge myself for just being. So before I go any further, I’d like to let you, my readers, know that if you haven’t created or learnt anything during the lock-down, it is okay. You only have to make sure that you are content and happy.

Here are some satisfying things I have been doing during the lock-down. The aim is to create, improve lifestyle and feel good about all of it:

    1. April A2Z Challenge – I have been writing almost every day of April and today is the last day of the challenge. Here is my 26th post to end the challenge. I started blogging in 2010. I did blog regularly during my CA final, but there were years when I wrote less than 5 posts all year. I have been wanting to get back to blogging for a long time. So when April A2z challenge coincided with the lock-down, I decided to make the best use of it. I have not only successfully completed the challenge, I also intend to write one post every week.
    2. Baking – Banana cake and Chocolate Cake – I baked for the first time in my life. I have always wanted to learn baking. But it is now, while I moved to Bangalore, that we got an oven at home. Since I could spent over a month at home during the lock-down, I made up my mind to try my hands at baking. The banana cake came out amazing! But the chocolate cake needs improvement.
    3. Painting – I remember a friend telling me to just invest a few hours a month and paint something gorgeous. That at the end of the year I’ll have 12 grand paintings. Put that way, it sounded amazing. I’m inching towards it. But first I’m trying to get some footing in the world of paintings. Here are the ones I tried during lock-down; all acrylic:

      Acrylic Painting
    4. Yoga – This is one other area I want to excel in. However, I am far behind. I have managed to practice yoga at least every alternate days during the month and I can feel my flexibility getting better. I use the track yoga app as it makes it easy for a beginner.
    5. Reading – My reading habits have taken a huge dip over the past few years. I am trying to read every night before sleeping. I successfully finished a book during lock-down which is a big deal because I barely read 3-4 books last year. This year, I am aiming at ten.WhatsApp Image 2020-04-27 at 10.14.03 PM (2)
    6. Videos – I have always wanted to start a youtube channel. Something entertaining. So I have been trying to come up with videos occasionally. During the lock-down, my sister and I made a couple of good videos. However we shared just one. The latest one will be out by the end of this week once I am done with the editing. I am super excited about it.
    7. Music – I started learning carnatic music since I was 4 years old but stopped after I was 14. I have been on and off with singing. I have had so much of stage fear, lack of confidence and a certain prejudice towards my own voice that I barely sang all these years. Now I am beginning to pay more attention to music. I am practicing more, singing more and I feel that I am improving.

The world has so much beauty in it and there is so much you can do if you pay attention. As opposed to what some people believe, in some cases you don’t have to be born with a talent in order to create. You can always learn how to draw if you really want it and you can get good at it with practice. You can learn how to cook. How hard is it to measure a substance and add it to a vessel at the right time if you have a recipe? When people say they ‘can’t’ make food, it always means that they aren’t interested or they haven’t done it the right way.

Again, it is okay to not be interested in creativity as long as you’re happy. But saying that you have no skills as though you weren’t ‘given’ any is like complaining that you weren’t born knowing how to swim. If you can learn swimming, you have plenty of skills you can learn with effort. If there’s something you have been wanting to learn, now is the time to do it. In the end, you need to compete only with the old you.


Final Goodbyes – When XOXOs Replace Warm Hugs and Kisses

Someone said that funerals are for the living. Ever since I read it, I couldn’t think of it any other way.

Today, I spent a lot of time reading real life stories of last moments of people who died from Covid-19. When I began writing about ‘The Life in the Time of coronavirus’, this was one aspect I wanted to cover. Because if we have to understand and appreciate life, we need to take a glimpse at death, at least once in a while. The three stories I am about to tell you – I insist that you read them – will definitely make you appreciate the people in your lives.  And when you do, please give them a call and tell them that you love them.

Due to the rate at which the virus has been spreading, no hospital has been letting people visit their relatives once they are tested positive. Many patients spent their last moments alone in the hospitals. I remember a nurse crying in a video, saying that it was disheartening to leave the room to attend to a patient, only to come back and see another dead body. It was even worse delivering the news to their. Daughters, sons, parents, siblings, and grand-children, all of a sudden didn’t know when they’ll get to see their loved ones again.

I am an over-thinker. I have imagined myself in the hospital, fearful as I realize that I’ve been tested positive. Even more scared as I realize that if I don’t make out alive, I’ll perhaps never see my loved ones again. Then just lying around, waiting to get better. I also imagined a loved one being admitted in the hospital. Me, at home, helpless, wondering every moment how he/she is, fear looming over my head.  This situation is/was real for thousands of people all over the in the face of Covid-19. Right now, there is a daughter who is at home crying because she knows that she’s never going to see her mother again. Must be the vivid imagination coupled with empathy, the image leaves me shaken.


As 81 year old Robert Tateley was recovering from pneumonia in a nursing home, she was tested positive for Coronavirus. Her grand-daughter took a video of her mother having one last phone call conversation with her mother before she passed away.

“I love you Mom, so much okay? You’re the best Mommy in the whole world. Always the Best Mumma. I love you. Alright? You have a  Goodnight, okay? I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Goodnight.”

You can hear voice cracking, the desperation in her voice and all the ‘Love yous’ she’d want to tell her mother forever.

Also Read: The Plight of Nurses, Doctors and Health-workers


She’s finally heard thanking ‘Becca’ who must be the kind nurse who held their grand-mother’s hand during her last moments. This is one of the most painful videos I have ever seen.


Letty Ramirez has always been with her 86 year old mother Carolina Tovar, cooking with her and taking her for her weekly dialysis. Due to breathing difficulties, Ramirez was hospitalized and in a few days, her mother followed her. They hoped that Ramirez will recover quickly. However all of a sudden she was put on a ventilator and transferred to another hospital where the doctors hoped that a better equipment could save her. She had been diagnosed with Diabetes and Kidney failure, something that hadn’t been found earlier.

Their family face-timed each other and were hopeful as Tovar had always come out strong from hospitalizations before and Ramirez had a lot of life left in her. However Ramirez could only open her eyes during her next face-time with her daughter. Meanwhile Tovar was preparing to embrace death.

“I gave it my all. I am ready to go now”, she told her family.

They respected her wish to be not put on a ventilator. One of her daughters negotiated her way into the hospital and called the family on FaceTime. Tovar’s children and grand-children spent the night talking to her as she slipped into her final sleep. Within a few hours, they got a call saying Ramirez’s situation wasn’t improving. Her toes were black. Anymore time on the ventilator wouldn’t help her and so the family decided to remover her from the machine. She died within a few minutes.

The inseparable mother and daughter died from COVID-19, hours apart in separate hospitals. The family couldn’t physically be present next to two loving mothers who died due to Coronavirus and they couldn’t console each other either.


Major Michelle Bennett and her siblings had to say goodbye to their mother, Carolann Gann, from a distance as she was tested positive for Coronavirus. They didn’t think they could talk to her again. However, as nurse Tatyana knew that Gann would be dying soon, she wore her protective gear and called Gann’s family so that they could say their final Goodbyes.

“She put it right up to my mother’s face, and I could tell my mom I loved her and how much I was going to miss her,” Bennett said.

“Can you please hold her hand? Can you rub her head? Can you pretend like we’re there with her?”

The Nurse who was also crying said, “She will not be alone. We will stay with her to the end.”

Within an hour after the call, Gann died.

It is difficult not being able to say ‘goodbye’ or ‘I love You’ to your loved ones before they die. My heart goes out to the people who didn’t even get the phone call or the FaceTime that these people got. It is also difficult being the health workers who see their patients suffering. It is difficult to do what they do, ensuring that all the patients are attended to while putting themselves and their loved ones at risk. Amidst this, nurses like Tatyana ensure that their patients have an easy passage to their after-life, that the patients relatives get a final chance to say Goodbye. 

What did we do to deserve nurses like Tatyana and Becca? I know that in this internet era hugs and kisses have become Os and Xs. But all I ask universe right now is that no one should have to say their final goodbyes through virtual XOXOs instead of real, warm hugs. Love deserves much more than that. While all I can do is pray to the Universe, will you go make that phone call you promised me?

Also Read: The Plight of Nurses, Doctors and Health-workers


Featured Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash



The Waywardness of Covid-19

As on Apr 26 2020, the Coronavirus positive cases in the world has reached 29,23,371 and in India it is 26,496.

The Covid-19 Virus is still like an out of syllabus exam paper given to the world. The threat isn’t a bomb planted in unknown locations or enemy soldiers but one without a face whose nature is still unclear. We must have only understood a small percentage of how this virus works which is partly why a remedy hasn’t been found yet and with time we are still picking up bits and pieces of how the virus works.

Coronavirus started out as a ‘Pneumonia like’ illness in Wuhan and the symptoms then included “fever and difficulty breathing”. The list was soon expanded by WHO to include dry cough, tiredness, aches and pains, sore throat, in some rare cases, diarrhea, nausea or runny nose. Personal accounts of people who recovered from Coronavirus had some more symptoms; Temporary anosmia – loss of sense of smell.

In addition to this, the virus doesn’t show the same pattern in people. It is said that the virus is fatal for older people and anyone with underlying health conditions due to weaker immune systems. However we have cases with different combinations of symptoms and results. 107 Year old Dutch woman Cornelia Ras is believed to be the oldest Coronavirus survivor. Except for fever and cough, she didn’t experience any other difficulties. She is not the only one. There are 100 plus year olds in UK, China, Brazil and Italy among others who fought the virus and emerged victorious. Meanwhile among the disease accounts of youngsters, there were a few who said that they faced mild symptoms and another few who went through a really tough time in spite of not having any underlying medical conditions. Here is a tweet by a 22 year old you survived the virus.

A lot of young people have succumbed to the disease too. Some patients were well on the way to recovery and suddenly got worse and died. If you google for the experiences of people who survived the virus, beyond a certain point, you see no pattern. To make the matters worse, some careers of the virus have mild or zero symptoms giving a crueler turn to the disease. How do you trace a disease if it doesn’t show itself?

The country-wise patterns of coronavirus cases are different too. Most of the worst affected countries are the developed countries. Isn’t that a bit ironical? You’d think that a pandemic like this would first wipe off the developing and under-developed nations. One of the reasons could be that the people from developing and under-developed nations are exposed to a certain level of lack of hygiene. Being exposed to more germs and difficult living conditions could have made us more immune compared to people from the developed countries.

But apart from this, Government and people’s response to the Covid 19 is a huge determining factor. I don’t have to tell you about having the wrong government. Trump is giving you a live demo right now as a certain ‘sarcastic comment‘ about ingesting/injecting disinfectant has been doing the rounds. The entire Covid-19 going global is itself a result of inefficient governance from the part of China. If they hadn’t kept the knowledge of the virus to themselves, or shut the mouths of doctors and instead if they had informed their people and taken actions to announce a lock-down at least a week earlier, the pandemic wouldn’t have blown up at such alarming rates. It is a different and extremely suspicious story that China did swoop up eventually to save their people.

Even if the Government is doing its best, it just takes one person to ruin all efforts. Here in India, the Government has been doing an amazing job. But we had a couple of cases where the migrant workers started a protest amidst the lock-down because they wanted to go home. While I understand their perspective, many of us don’t understand the impact of what they did because nothing went wrong. If one of them had the disease, by now the positive Coronavirus cases in the country would be in 6 digits. This is about a country that’s being taken care of by the Government. I’d like to bring your attention back to USA where people are protesting the lock-down. Some of them say that they don’t care about the virus. They need to work.


They think they’ll be fine. They think people are simply making a big deal out of this and my heart goes to the health-workers who are dying saving lives.  While I understand hunger is a real issue, forming groups during a pandemic negates anything that you are fighting for!

For all those protests, there is one protest in answer:

Image Courtesy

The Covid-19 has changed a lot from the moment we knew of its existence to now and the biggest change is from ‘a pneumonia-like illness exists’ to ‘2,00,000 deaths’ to ‘it is blown out of proportion’.

Featured Image Courtesy : PBS.org

6 Vital Elements of the Self to Focus on During Lock-down

During Lock-down, either of the two have caused you pain; being with your loved ones or being away from them. Staying indoors with a bunch of people, with no escape has its own boons and banes. In this post, I have brushed on 6 Vital elements of our lives that contribute to 95% of our mental and physical well-being. For many of us, the Lock-down was a test of our connection with these elements. If you haven’t considered this before, you may consider improving all or any of these aspects during the remainder of the lock-down:

PASSION -On Achieving The Goals in our Lives

I have always wanted to be a published author. During the beginning of the lock-down, I had the whole day to myself with no responsibilities and yet I did not work on my book or my art, the way I was supposed to. This made me realize something. The passions I have, the need to become an author, or an artist were all in the back burner all these years not because I did not have the time or the resources, but because I wasn’t willing to give it my everything. I lacked discipline.

If you are content with yourself, this doesn’t apply to you. But if you aren’t, if you want to fulfill your dreams while having a full time job, you need to start, hustle, make a goal chart and be consistent. There is only NOW! It took a lock-down, lots of wasted time and resources for me to look at it in the face.

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

If I need to become an author, I need to start writing no matter what! I hope you stop waiting and start working on your passion as well. Take the first step. There’s no other cue.

FAMILY – On Understanding Our family.

You grew up with a certain version of family. Some people have been really strict with you, some haven’t had enough time for you while some couldn’t take their eyes off their problems to really look at you. If after a long gap you have had to stay in a house together and spend time with them, you might have noticed that they have softened, that they had a reason for the way they behaved and now they are proud of the person you have become.  

As for me, I am understanding my parents better and I don’t know if it’s because I have changed or they have. I am in the process of understanding my sister who has been re-inventing herself pretty rapidly. We just need to accept them and let them be.

And if you look within, you’ll know that you have grown enough to accept them for what they are. You can see that they don’t resist you anymore and it is time you give in too.

FRIENDSHIP – On the definitions and ideas of friends

We haven’t met our friends in a very long time and yet we are all connected. I feel the lock-down and the physical distance it brought connected us even better. I am getting more calls from friends and we are talking more about each others lives as opposed to before lock-down. As some people say, the Lock-down has shown us who our true friends are.

If someone hasn’t called you yet, do give them a call. Let them know that you remember them.

TOUCH – On underestimating the value of touch

My sister and I share a room. I am a very shallow sleeper and lightest of the sounds wake me up. So if I am stressed, I don’t sleep well at all. One night, I was in so much distress and it looked like I was having a nightmare. My sister tried waking me up, but I didn’t and so she hugged me and immediately I went back to sleep. I remember just the last part and the relief I felt when she hugged me. I have not been into hugs or physical display of emotions, but during the last couple of years, I have been trying to express my love for people through hugs.

During the last one month, I have missed hugging my grandmother as she is at my Uncle’s place. The last time she asked for a hug, I couldn’t give her as I had just come home from Bangalore and didn’t want to take a risk. Since then, I have been waiting to hug her. Once this is over, I’ll hug her more often and more mindfully.

If someone you know needs a hug, please give them. If you miss hugging someone, this will all be over. Promise yourself and tell them that you’ll hug them more often.

EMOTIONS – On emotions that weren’t meant to be expressed, but suppressed and let out in solitude.

We have been taught well to hide emotions and we really don’t know how to process or express our emotions well. We should be able to do that even after the lock-down. The answer to ‘How are you’ has always been ‘fine’, ‘okay’ or ‘not okay’ but nothing more. But to some people, we can answer with ‘I am not feeling like myself because I fought with my father’ or, ‘I feel lonely because I don’t think my friends will understand what I am going through.’ These are raw and real emotions and giving words to our emotions is important if we need to process them and let them out.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Now, if you are not feeling like discussing it, you can leave it at, ‘I feel depressed but I don’t want to talk about that right now.’ I practiced this during these days and I felt my friends responding. The bottom-line, you need to start processing your feelings. Give voice to them.


RELATIONSHIP – On struggling with the various forms of Love or no Love

Most of what we know about Love is what we heard and saw from around us. So most of us cling to someone else’s or Bollywood’s idea of Love. We don’t realize that we can have our versions of Love and it is alright if the world cannot accept that.

During the last one month, you have had to spend too much time with your Love, while some others spent too much time away from their Love craving for a glance, for their touch. Some of you realized that everything you want you had right there. For others it was a period where you drove each other crazy and you can’t wait for a break from each other. For some it was a battle; the real one with the virus where you were on the verge of losing your loved ones, while a few actually did.

For the ones in between, here’s my two pennies worth. I wouldn’t say it is simple. But if you notice that you’re brooding over the Love in your life way too often and wondering if it is worth it, it is not. Because you’re spending more time brooding over than being in Love! But again, these are all subjective right?

I’d like to think that at the end of the lock-down each of us would have become better people. I hope we have understood our close ones better, ourselves better and I hope we have made peace with the battles that we have been fighting during the lock-down. So do you think the lock-down made you stronger with respect to any of these Vital Elements?

Uncommon Opinion: Finding the Utopia in this Dystopia

GUEST POST ALERT: Today, I have yet another Guest Post on my blog and this time it is written by my Dad. He is an avid reader and has gathered a lot of knowledge and perspective over the years. I have been wanting to know his take on the Coronavirus Pandemic/Lock-down and when I asked if he could write about it, he heartily agreed.


Can we become the creators of our own destiny?

I have read a lot about Karma and its effects on our mind and consciousness. But to me these are all debatable. Learned people say that the mystery of life lies in the knowledge of death. You might be wondering why I have started my post with negative thoughts. I’d like to remind you that two negatives make a positive. That’s what I am trying to do here, turn all the negative thoughts about this tiny virus in to something positive.

My self-quarantine started a week before the official lock-down, thanks to my younger daughter who came back from Bangalore. It was a much needed rest for me mentally and physically. I realized the pathetic condition of my lungs and the lack of stamina when I tried playing Badminton with my daughter. I was experiencing shortness of breath rather too quickly into the game. I am someone who leads thousands of people in the company I work in, and here I was struggling to manage my own body the way I wanted. Since I am not sure about the concealed mystery of heaven and hell, and the concept of the soul and rebirth, I realized that the only genuine companion in my life until death would be my body and it’s my utmost duty to nurture it carefully.

As I mentioned earlier, the lock-down has been a much needed rest for me. I have been able to do the things I love; reading books, practicing pranayama exercises, continuing my passion with drums (with the practice pad), listening to music (I was a professional drummer in my youth), taking regular walk in the evenings and most importantly helping my wife in the best ways possible.

It may sound insensitive when I tell you that I am enjoying my life. Like everyone else, I too am concerned about the virus engulfing the world, taking too many lives. But it’s high time we stop being miserable. We need to accept what comes our way with grace. I know it’s easier said than done. But there’s nothing wrong in giving it our best shot. There is no point restarting our journey in an unpleasant manner. If you ask me, this should not only be a view of life now but a way of life forever.

There are the pessimists and the alarmists who tell us that disaster is certain and that all human effort is of no avail. I don’t think Mother Nature is that cruel. After all, no mother can torture her children incessantly.


Featured Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Ten Useful Apps to Install During Lock-down

As we have been spending more time than ever during the Lock-down, I decided to compile a list of Useful Apps for Android. Most of these are available for iphones too, but I am not sure. A few months back, I had asked my friends on Instagram to suggest Apps they found to be really useful. Based on the suggestions and my experience, I have compiled this list:

1. Gratitude: Personal Growth and Affirmations Journal – It is a very simple app in which you can keep a reminder every morning or night to write the things you are grateful for. Writing down a thing that you are grateful for everyday forces you to look at the bright sided of things on a daily basis and that becomes your nature with time. The App is not sophisticated but just does what it promises. You get a quote of the day every day.

Cover art
Find the App Here

2. Evernote – I am majorly dependent on this one for saving ideas, movie suggestions, songs that I suddenly hear, writing poems or full fledged blog posts, pouring my heart out or saving my grocery list. It’s the App I run to when I need a notepad! You have multiple formatting options, and you can insert pictures. If you’re a writer, or if you’re looking for a place to save quick ideas, recipes or lists, this is perfect!

3. Nike Training Club – NTC gives you guided workouts based on your training level, the time you have, and the equipment you possess (or not). They even have Yoga workouts if you’re into Yoga and I loved how I felt after these exercises. And yes, I am referring to the free version. Unlike other apps, there is no pressure to upgrade to the premium version and that being said, the free version in itself has a wide variety of workouts. I found the interface a bit confusing, but for an app with free quality content, I guess I can figure things out.

4. Track Yoga – I have been searching for traditional Yoga classes that explain the postures well. I also felt that most of the online classes made it all too difficult and vague for beginners. I have been using Track Yoga for two weeks now and I love it. The App divides the Yoga workouts on different basis; stress relief, fitness, flexibility etc. When you choose one, they mention the estimated time for each asana in the series and if you click on to each asana, you can read up on how the posture should be. Even if I skip some asanas, I know that I am doing the few perfectly. Some programs can be unlocked only if you pay and it costs only Rs. 999 per year which is a good price to pay for it!

WhatsApp Image 2020-04-21 at 8.42.32 PM.jpeg
Did Yoga for Busy Bees Grab your Attention?

5. Knappily – This is a knowledge App. They give you articles which are a combination of news and information. For instance, today I read an article on coronavirus and also about the partition of India. If you’re someone who’d like to improve your knowledge base with little snippets of information, this app is for you. They show you a gist of the article. If you like it, you can swipe right and read about it in detail.

6. Skyview – An app for star gazing and looking up constellations and planets. I used this when we went star gazing in Kuttikkanam, Idukki. If you live in the less polluted parts of the world where stars are clearly visible and if star gazing is your thing, you should check out this app. It turns sky into a magical vista.

Screenshot Image
Source: Skyview

7. Slowly – This is a letter writing App. You create an account based on your interests, pretty much like a social media account. There are no photos or personal data involved. You can choose people from all over the world based on region, interest, age etc and start writing. You might find some really good connections here and as long as you don’t share your personal information, there are no risks involved. The app sends letters based on actual time it takes a real letter to reach its destination. So you have the element of awaiting the letter pretty much like the good old days. 

8. Insight Timer, The Meditation App –  This App saves my life! Insight timer isn’t your traditional meditation App. It has millions of guided meditations based on your purpose. They have meditation for happiness, anxiety, breathing, pain and so on. I browse through various morning meditations, the sleep meditation when I can’t sleep and the pain relief meditation when I get migraines. I sleep like a baby and wake up pain free when I use the App. For those who don’t like guided meditations, they have a timer with (or without) music to choose from. These features are free. If you go for the upgrade, you’ll have access to courses too.

9. Udemy/Coursera/MasterClass – I know this isn’t a new information. But if you haven’t paid attention before, you can use these apps to learn new skills. Learning isn’t only to gather degrees. It could be to do better at work or in life or because it gives you happiness and makes you better at something. Do a course relating to coding, or different brush strokes in painting, courses on astronomy or travel or photography, the list is endless. If you are really serious, you can invest in Masterclass with a few friends. They have some mind-blowing resources there. If not, you have courses for as less as 500 bucks on Udemy.

10. Game Apps – I know we are all missing our friends. Many group chat Apps with games have come out now, house party, Bounce, then there’s Psych! by Ellen Degeneres. Trust me! We played this game in office many times and it was just too much fun. As for single player games, Nonogram – a Sudoku of sorts – is a superb brain game while Scrabbles will keep you hooked for a long long time!

Nonograms - online puzzle game
Source: Nonograms.com

Exercise, mental well being, time pass, being connected with friends, brushing up skills, improving knowledge; I have covered so many useful Apps in this post and so trying out even one from this list will benefit you in one way or the other. I hope these Apps will be useful for you. Do try them out and let me know. Which one will you be trying from these? What is your favorite App during this lock-down?


Featured Image Source  – Skyview


Stories of Kindness and Sacrifice during Covid-19

The brawl over toilet paper and supermarkets emptying out had us wondering where we were all heading. But there were some beautiful acts of kindness and sacrifice that kept people together, sane and alive during the Coronavirus pandemic. I wouldn’t do justice to this series if I don’t put the stories of these wonderful souls out there. Here are some heart warming Stories of Kindness and Sacrifice during Covid-19


The Elderly Sacrifice their Ventilators for the Young ones who need them the Most

A 90 year old woman in Belgium, Suzanne Hoylearts, was tested positive for Coronavirus. Her health deteriorated with every day. However she refused to be put on ventilator saying she has had a beautiful life. She requested them to save it for the youngest who needed it the most. She died from Covid 19 as she granted the gift of life to someone else.

Italian priest Don Giuseppe Berardelli had been suffering from respiratory ailments for a while. And so Bergamo being one of the worst hit by Coronavirus, did not spare the priest. His parish had earlier purchased a breathing apparatus to help him. However he decided to give up the ventilator for someone younger. He passed away in a hospital in Bergamo.

In both these cases and many others, there was no in personal funeral for the departed. As someone said, funerals are for the living. These wonderful souls died sacrificing and I am sure they are both on a beautiful after-life journey.

A Man in Uttarakhand, India uses his own vehicle as an Ambulance

32 year old Ganesh Bhatt decided to use his vehicle as an emergency service when he realized that ambulance drivers were scarce in his area. He gets distress calls frequently now. He has helped out pregnant women, a child who fractured his hands and he even supplies essential items such as groceries and medicines so that people don’t have to leave their homes during lock-down.

“We all know how the healthcare system is in the hilly regions of our state; ambulance services are not efficient even at the best of times and to top that, now local drivers do not want to take people to hospitals even if they are paid Rs 2000, as they are scared they might get infected. So I started using my own car as an ambulance,” said Bhatt.

He has been using his savings to provide these services. However these days people who have contacted him through social media are contributing money for fuel. The locals refer to his car as 109 ambulance service now. [Source: Hindustan Times]

The Captain of the Cruise Ship, The Diamond Princess, the last one to leave

The Diamond Princess that carried 3711 people (including the crew) began to have a rough phase on the day before the cruise was about to end, when a person had been tested positive for coronavirus. Within the next day, the number had increased to 10. People were asked to stay inside their rooms as each of them were tested. Over the next few days, the positive cases rose to 700. While his ship was going through a never before phase, the Captain, Gennaro Arma tried his best to cheer up the passengers.


Throughout the quarantine, he thanked the passengers for their patients and left them notes of encouragement. He arranged flowers and chocolates for the passengers shut in their cabins on Valentine’s Day. He recited a quote from Bible to lift the passengers’ spirits and instill faith.

He continued to stay and oversaw the transfer of passengers to the hospital or the quarantine facility and was the last one to disembark on Mar 2nd. He is now a Hero to many and Italy is to give him its highest honor.

If this wasn’t enough, we have people volunteering to supply essentials to the doorsteps of the elderly. Children are posting hand written letters to houses in their streets offering help. A community in Thane, Mumbai is ensuring that people who returned from abroad in their community aren’t harassed but feel supported. A group of neighbours sang the Birthday Song to an 80 year old home quarantined woman in Spain.


Role Reversal as Humans Hide and Nature Thrives

Today I saw a video of the streets of my city, Kochi, Kerala. It highlighted the main parts of the city and it empty, everywhere. You’d occasionally see a car or two wheeler, but the roads stretched into nothingness. The Oceanside, the walkways and bridges were all empty and it looked strangely beautiful to see my city that way. I wanted to go out and witness it myself. But that isn’t possible right? However, we have been hearing from all over the world the stories of some others who have been enjoying the lock-downs. While the humans hide from nature, the nature is just reclaiming what is hers. Here are some adorable stories I came across:

  1. You must have heard about the Dolphins that were sighted in the Venice’s canals. Since the visitors reduced, the motorboats were put away and hence the sediments have settled and water pollutants have dropped. The water is so clean that fish can be seen in the canals.
  2. Apparently, vibrations from moving vehicles and industrial equipments could cause the Earth’s crust to move. When human activity is high, cumulatively they produce noise which reduces the seismologists’ ability to hear other sounds and signals of similar frequency. In Belgium, vibrations caused by human activity have gone down by one-third since restrictions to contain Coronavirus put in place. This enables the equipments to pick up waves in the same frequency range as the noise. The facility’s seismometer is sensitive to small earthquakes and it can monitor volcanic and other seismic activities. A similar fall in noise was observed by a station in Los Angeles. Source: Nature.com
  1. My favorite have been the Penguins going on their field trip. Nothing could beat those! The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago unleashed the Penguins. They let them walk around in the public areas, look at the exhibits and clearly the Penguins look happy, curious and intrigued.Bonded Penguins Edward and Annie were taken on a tour around the aquarium and it looks nothing short of a romantic date. I could sit all day looking at them walk.

4. Killer Whales Spotted! In Vancouver a pod of Whales were spotted on the Indian Arm. The group consisted of the mother, father and two babies. Jim Hanson initially ignored the sounds of whale exhaling on the water surface, but alerted by his son, he was in for a surprise; something he had never seen in 59 years of his life there! [Source: cbc.ca]

5. Silka deers decided to take a stroll in Nara, Japan, wild turkeys suddenly appeared in a park in Oakland. In India, in Uttarakhand, Sambar Deers were spotted walking the streets near the Rajaji National Park. Well, it did seem normal to me. Animals near national parks shouldn’t be surprising. But they would really come out onto the streets only if they are assured that they wouldn’t be disturbed. Clearly, the disturbances are all sitting at home right?

6. The Mighty Himalayas was visible from parts of Jalandhar, Punjab for the first time in decades as the lock-down paved way to less pollution. ‘If you see Himalayas once, you’d want to go back again’, said a friend of mine. After my trip in December, I have been craving for it like never before. So this news made me so envious. To be able to see Himalayas one fine morning from your own terrace, that would be a joy like no other.

The Dhauladhar range of mountains is visible from the city due to a drop in pollution levels.

I have said this before. There is no saving the Earth for humans. If something goes wrong, nature knows how to save and mend itself. That is precisely what is happening. Nature is in the process of cleansing while sending us messages. These are the signs. I am not an environmentalist. I know I do my fair share to harm the Earth and I am trying to work on it.

Meanwhile here is my idea. It would be ideal for all of us to go on a global self quarantine for a month every year. We’ll all stay with family, take things slowly, love better, stay at home and let the Earth breathe and mend herself. The economy, daily wage earners, businesses, essential services etc can be taken care of with good planning. I’m sure this will be our best contribution to Earth. What do you think?

Featured Photo by Federico Beccari on Unsplash