Monday, May 31, 2021

Lockdown Purchase and Business from Street Carts

Due to full lockdown from last Monday (24 May), the government had arranged for vegetable carts to sell vegetables at our doorsteps, and here is one of the carts that visited our street. Mom and neighbors picked up the vegetables sold at a reasonable price!

Though it is a good option in the absence of essential shops, I feel like opening the essential shops with a time limit is better than moving carts over the streets, with households wait to see if it comes or not. They have put temporary stalls to sell vegetables rather than sold in trucks and tricycles at some places. But the most inviting thing was the vegetable prices are reasonable, and some sell at wholesale rate.

The permission to sell vegetables in carts and trucks had open doors for those looking for an alternate to earn during the lockdown. Someone, who we know, owns a mini truck, now has started to sell vegetables in place of no business during this period. His wife, being a florist, who has experience in selling flowers, has accompanied him in selling vegetables and fruits. 

Selling in carts has another annoying thing which was shouting in the loudspeaker. The lockdown days are usually quiet, but these full lockdown days, which are extended for another week in the state; annoy, as the vendors come shouting in the loudspeaker. I know it is a temporary one and helps people at large and prevents driving down the streets for purchase. But those who come out keep coming out no matter what restrictions are imposed.

Now, even groceries are starting to sell in the cart, which means the full lockdown could extend for a few more weeks without opening the essential shops. The lockdown seems to work well for our state, and the situation is turning far better and promising. Country-wise too, the covid is declining and soon, would come under control.

But I’m glad I took the vaccine in advance instead of postponing it, as vaccines are in short supply now. I hope you guys will not miss the jab as well. Take care

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Got vaccinated with Covishield (AstraZeneca)

I got vaccinated, 1st dose, today from the Urban community health center at a walkable distance from home.  Vaccination started in India in January, and the first preference was given to frontline workers and later to those above 45 years; from May 1st, vaccination open to everyone above 18. But, they couldn't begin as announced due to a lack of vaccination, and in our state of Tamil Nadu, it started only last week with special priority to differently challenged.

There are three different vaccines available in India - Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, India's Covaxin, and Russia's Sputnik-V - and I took Covishield, which is the only available vaccine now despite what I was about to take in case of. My dad and mom had already completed the course of two doses of vaccine two weeks before mine. They took the 2nd dose 6 weeks later, following their 1st dosage. For me, they have given 90 days or 14 weeks to take the 2nd dose.

The ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) has extended the duration between the 1st and 2nd dose of vaccine from 45 to 90 days for Covishield. I don't know about the other two vaccines. I registered online on May 1st itself, and till now, every time I open the page of registration, it shows available for the 45+ only. So, rejecting it, we went directly to the vaccination center as it had already announced that differently challenged are an exception of all, and they are true to their words.

Less than a km from home, I reached the vaccination center riding my power wheelchair, and we had to wait for only 10 to 15 minutes that too because of some issue going between the staff and some public. Actually, they issued tokens to the people to take the vaccine, and they all seated maintaining a distance, and suddenly the staffs announced stopping of vaccination, and people erupt. After some argument, they were allowed to vaccinate, but some went off already.

By the time they vaccinated me, Republic Tv was covering the vaccination and after seeing me in the wheelchair, they inquired me about shooting while I was vaccinated. I accepted immediately as they said it could be awareness for people who refused to believe or were scared of vaccines. While moving out after waiting for 10 minutes on the premises, as advised by them to see I feel any discomfort, they interviewed me (click here for the video link on YouTube) with few questions related to my experience with vaccination.

I'm feeling normal until writing down this, and no pain on the arms too, but I don't know what kind of reaction it stored for me further tonight or tomorrow. I'm quite confident that my body accepts the vaccine and works better to prevent Covid and lessen the effects of anything that comes against it. The doctors who were around me when vaccinated encouraged me to eat well and be confident. And don't go anywhere until taking the 2nd dose, without fail.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Choking Covid and Curfew - 2nd wave!

At the national level, covid is slowly reducing, but still, the 0.2+ million cases per day are too much to say even though it's a great drop from 0.4+ million cases a fortnight ago. The death ratio is at 175 an hour! 

We had really moved into an inconsolable phase of life, with every passing one, destroys plenty on its way and that shore up in their support. People are partially too late in realizing the situation, and we have already lost many and continue to hear the silent/siren cry from the wounds as we entered a nil activity from last night. Tamil Nadu state has gone into a complete lockdown for a week with all essential shops closed, except the provision of milk and medical.

Unswerving lockdown comes to force from today. But what seemed like unleashed yesterday, due to the full-fledged lockdown, the day was made easy for the public to purchase their need for the next week as a plan by the government to reduce the cases of covid. Tamil Nadu currently counts 35,000 daily, which is higher among the states of India. As of now, the north Indian states are decline in cases, and the southern states at rising esp. Tamil Nadu is witnessing the worst. Perhaps there could be some hike in the number of cases in the coming days due to the overcrowded and transmitted Sunday.

I hope we soonly come out of this terrific crisis. But not so without loss of lives and struggles. I see covid is teaching us lessons for a lifetime and provide an opportunity to study the attitude and thinking ability of the people in masses. As we all suffer and confine to home, nature is ready for another backseat ride following last year's lockdown series. Birds began to enjoy this transparent environment from fewer transportations and pollution; there's a lot of cheerfulness in the air, fresh to breathe and inspire in place of tiresomeness felt overall.

I see this particular week as significant in the course of driving covid in our state. But we have no option other than this successful formula (of lockdown) followed worldwide, and I predict our state could nearly take a month's curfew to bring the infection under control. It should be a difficult task for the government as well as the public to balance their financial status, but I wish we take all efforts to bring down the covid to never rise, as we all experienced to the extent of enough.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Nostalgic Wind


The nostalgic wind blows me

down the memory lane

I cherish the essence of reminiscence

melting down like ice on leaves

as winter gives way for spring.


It wasn't a surprise as the season returns

even if relationships aren't in form as before

memories could not resign from office;

the heartstrings feel the gentle strokes

as wind touches the senses.


The squirrels and parakeets’ screech

despite their shrieks, the afternoon

remained silent in the void of curfew;

the winged birds fly, and the wind blows

who dares to shut their doors?


The wind becomes stronger later

as storm clouds gathered to oppose

the sun shutters its shop earlier; 

the memories of summer rain harvested

as the storm, at last, hit hard on us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021


drew back waves unfold

couple cuddled undersea

carry off pearl, zest. 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Personal losses from the pandemic

I lost two of my uncles last Sunday to covid. Both are cousins of my mom; one was her father's sister's son, and another was her mother's sister's son - the one I mentioned in a previous post who was in the hospital under oxygen - are aged less than 55. Do covid see the age? The well do immunities survive along with early detection and prevention with mask and social distancing. 

Though we are not much acquainted with the paternal cousin of my mom, she got a lot of memories with him as she used to spend her vacations at grandpa's village playing with her cousins. I have stayed in their village during our vacation too, but I never remember seeing him there; perhaps he was out of the village on a job, our first intro was at his marriage. He was a flooring contractor in Mysore. More than 100 employees are working under him, and a lot had benefited from him. The youngsters from his village and family circle hired by him acquired flooring and become contractors themselves later.

I have been to Mysore twice, and both the time we stayed at his home and looked around the places. The first visit was after his marriage (1997), and the next was 10 years later, by then when he had three little kids. Only 2 weeks back, his elder daughter's engagement took place, and only my mom and brother attended the function following the preventive action. He has just built a big house in his village, and since the outbreak, he stays in the village with his family and makes monthly a visit or two to Mysore.

During one such visit after her daughter's engagement, he got the infection and spread it to his family. Many others who returned to the village from Mysore also had the infection, and they spread it for their share. He was on the ventilator for the last 3 days before he breathed last.

He's a respectful person, and during our visit to his house in Mysore, he treated us with such delight and made sure we are comfortable. His son just admission to medicine, and another daughter at college should be missing his father's support, and his family was dependent on him. Even though there won't be a problem with wealth, but still, the void left by him irreplaceable. 

Almost it was the same with my other uncle, the maternal cousin of my mom, though he isn't a big businessman or someone possession enough to leave their family to feel secure. His death was something that really shattered us, and we never thought he would die as he responded so well for the treatment of more than 10 days in the hospital with the aid of oxygen. And he passed away within a few days of discharge and while eating his breakfast at home.

He's not only mom's maternal cousin; he's my dad's cousin sister's son. So, he's related more than a way to us, and how could we not say his death is a tragedy when there's a series of death in his family. In 2019 his father passed away, and the following year he missed his mother, and in Dec 2020, his brother-in-law died prematurely, which has quite shaken their lives.

He's the one who motivated me to use a computer since he owned a DTP shop, and after I dropped out of school, I started learning computer, and it was through him I bought my first computer in late 2000. Because of the job of long seated, he got a serious back problem and was forced to change his work pattern. He shifted to various jobs, but he couldn't sustain a permanent job or income. He has two sons - one is doing engineering 2nd year and another studying in high school - and the elder boy is a smart and humble being.

I really need to say, his wife, who is also my cousin, is down to earth. And I have never seen someone as patient as her. She has gone through a lot of trouble due to the contradiction with her mother-in-law, but all the time, she was the one to step down, and she never complained about it.   The way she brought up defines her character, and I've seen her from my childhood, and she hadn't changed till now. There won’t be anyone who dislikes her, and what she exercises is all pure love and care.

It was not less than 6 months since she lost her beloved brother, who had been a great support to her financially and emotionally, and I couldn't imagine what kind of mindset she should be now. I could only feel disaster. I truly wish for the welfare of these families, and losing the family heads needn't a definition, and it's definitely a thorn trek for these families to reach the various summit. I hope they are motivated in some way to look forward to driving. Peace

I don’t think I need to define the situation in India as the world watches us; uncertainty continues as we are into the 6th day of the whole lockdown in our state Tamil Nadu. Keep us in your thoughts, please.

Monday, May 10, 2021

The state of home quarantines

I think the government was right when controlling the covid 1st wave. It had correctly predicted the mood and behavior of the people to cover the gateway of the houses with tin sheets as a measure of denying access to the covid patient to come out of the house and spreading the virus. Just because people find it difficult and discomfort, the government dropped the action later. Only notification is stick to the house entrance to indicate a covid positive in the house to warn people exposed to the infection. But people took it as an advantage and began to roam out without any consciousness that they are putting other lives in danger.

Though it is our responsibility to support those in quarantine, the same goes for the opposite to cooperate in similar ways that those who aid us are unaffected by the same. Perhaps because of that too, the cases might rise a bit. I see a little indifference from the government side too, while they say don't come to the hospital if the covid wasn't serious, how do they make sure those in-home quarantines aren’t spreading the virus? In those days, health care workers visit the affected home and spray disinfectant and enquire about their status. Even though it's not possible to check with all as the cases rose 4 to 5 times than the previous wave, we expect some more tightening with home quarantine or more quarantine centers for those who can't afford with their home or indifferent in attitude.

Attitude matters a lot in individuals who are affected by covid because it decides either the infection is confined to oneself to disappear or spread to near ones. With lockdown in the state, the social spreading should hopefully be reducing, but the spread between the families becomes a question. I truly urge those in quarantine to act with consciousness; I know your mindsets are out of concentration, and your sufferings are undefinable and nervous to unending, but along with it, I like to inspire you that you have the social responsibility too to make sure, at least the infection doesn't affect your family. Stay safe, stay away and stay confident.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Covid Continuation and Personal Touch!

Covid hasn't changed its face in India and continues to storm ever stronger. Our state Tamil Nadu is increasing with cases at a range of 1000 per day. Since the assembly election results on Sunday, the yet to form new government has tightened the restrictions to an almost state of lockdown, leaving open the essential shops and limited public transportation. Whatever the government, without people's cooperation, nothing going to work out, but I could see a positive response, or accepting tendency from people, perhaps they continue to see the fierceness of covid 19 on every platform they roam and from their own circle of people. 

Last week one of our family friends died of corona. He's a barber, as well as an artist, who plays the traditional musical instrument Nadaswaram. He has played at all our family festivals, and everyone in our family circle knows him, and he's the only one who had cut my hair from childhood and trim beards once I started to grow. Since the early 90s, he owns a barbershop under the house of our grandpa's, and he succeeds the shop from his father as he becomes old and passed away later. So, until I was able to walk, I cut hair from his shop whenever I visit grandpa's house, and we never paid him, and he used to debit the amount from the rent.

It really saddens all of us, and we couldn't believe he's no more, and before the news become certain, I truly wished it shouldn't be him. I know he's somewhat indifferent wearing the mask, so I stopped calling him lately since the beginning of 2nd wave of covid, and I think now that I made the right decision. We couldn't share our condolences with their family or attend the funeral due to the covid. I wish he rested in peace.

One of my uncles and my mom’s cousin is admitted to hospital for nearly 10 days due to the covid infection, and he has been kept on oxygen. But his condition is far better from the day of admitted, and once his oxygen level becomes stable, he would perhaps be discharged. I have seen the indifference in wearing masks at both the persons I have mentioned above, and their conditions have certain created an impact on others, the importance, and need of wearing the mask.                

I think the people's anticipated price to realize the significance of covid seems so high. The consciousness is something I guess hasn't been obtained well by anyone, including some well-educated to realize what happens around them; forgetfulness is something natural, but how come one forget easily the terrific scenario taking place all over the world. Over a year, shouldn't we have learned to live with the mask? 

The health workers', doctors' lives are oscillating over life or death in preventing and curing the infection, but our roles weren't much greater, and their anticipation wasn't that much. Simple, wear a mask and stand or talk at a distance from each other is enough to improve the situation and quickly get us back to a normal lifestyle. Everyone is stuck in some cage, and liberation is a must to cheer up the body and mind that has been exhausted overseeing the destruction of lives and livelihoods due to covid 19. It's every Indian's responsibility to save our country, to act according to it.  Let's work together.