Greetings to everyone on the auspicious occasion of 72nd Republic Day of India. As we know that constitution of India came into effect on 26th January, 1950. It’s important we play our bit to ensure our constitution is well respected and rightly implemented.
We should ensure our next generation takes us an inspiration. What we need to remember is that children do not do what we ask them to do; but they definitely do what they see us doing.
If we want our children to be truthful, we should first set ourselves as an example; for example, sometimes we tell them we buy a chocolate if they finish their homework; soon they finish their homework, we should take them and buy a chocolate even if it was given just a day before. That will inject in their mind that we do what we say.
November 4th, 2020 marks my first work anniversary as a Senior Accessibility Program Manager at Watermark Insights.
This is one of those places I thoroughly enjoying my work in the area of accessibility. At Watermark, accessibility is not seen just as a check list item or legal requirement; for us, accessibility is a way to innovate and make our products usable to everyone.
At Watermark, products undergo a thorough check once a year and regular testing will take place as and when there are updates to existing features and addition of new features. Accessibility is part of product development cycle and considered right at the beginning.
While Accessibility Conformance Reports (also known as VPATs) are made using version indicated by the regulations, internally, we adopt the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for our testing.
We empower our colleagues with accessibility training as per their roles in addition to generic understanding. We have customized and adopted Intuit’s Accessibility Champions Program (Thank you, Ted!).
I feel very grateful to all my colleagues and leadership at Watermark for seriousness towards accessibility; sure this would make a positive impact to our customers in the education sector. It’s already one year for me at Watermark and glad to take a stock that significant work has been done and there is a lot to go. Looking forward to many more such exciting years.
No matter what stage we reach, we need to learn to adopt to live in any situation. A small story. Once upon a time, a wise man passes away, dhootas from Swargam will appear and appreciate all the great work he has done in life and they have come to welcome him to Swargam. Then he asks “Great; but please tell me pros and cons at Swargam”. Then they say “Well, no one has asked such a question before and you are the first one; at Swargam, you can enjoy a lot of peace, positivity, respect and happiness; flip side is that you can enjoy Swargam only for a while and then you will be again sent to earth”.
Hearing that, man refuses to go to Swargam and says “As you know, if a poor person gets rich, they get a lot of happiness and able to live with luxory; but if a rich person becomes poor, it will be difficult for them to survive because they are used to being rich. So if I get addicted to luxury life at Swargam, I may not be able to survive again on this earth; so I would prefer to continue living here.”
Learning from this story is nothing is permanant, we need to adopt ourselves that we should be able to enjoy life at any situation. There will be success and speed breakers in life. There won’t be any failures; there will only be speed breakers. We need to be bold and face any challenges.
Today, unfortunately, we see several news articles about suicide cases where people die for very simple reasons; specially youth – just for scoring less marks, when parents are teachers scold them, when there are difference of opinions with spouse etc., Any situation in life can be sorted out and we can lead beautiful life.
Let’s meditate a few minutes a day and a lot of positivity comes in our way.
Starting today, I post small notes about devotion, tradition and culture!
Often we think about what is the best time to think of god and perform Bhagavannama Smarana. We need to schedule a day and time, if we decide to perform with public visibility and follow all the rules described in spiritual literature. But within our mind, we should perform Bhagavannama Smarana all the time; no matter what we are doing. We can chant mantras like Om Namah Shivayaha, Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Shri. Matre Namaha all the time within our mind. We can do this even while we eat, while we cook, while we take bath, while we travel, while we work etc.,
It would be helpful to schedule a specific time in a day even for 30 minutes or an hour to meditate and perform bhagavannama smarana; this increases our ability to concentrate on what we do. When we perform spiritual events with dedication, same dedication automatically gets applied to whatever we do.
As we know, unfortunately, Padmabhushan Shri. S P Balasubramaniam passed away this afternoon (well, he may have departed yesterday but I believe announcement was delayed to prepare all of us to accept the shocking news). He was admitted to MGM Health Care when he was tested COVID positive. Although he came out of COVID earlier this month, he has developed other issues and could not survive.
His life is certainly an inspiration not just because he was a great singer, music director, film producer etc., but he was someone who succeeded in his interest of music in spite he did not have a great voice from the beginnning. But through his dedication and practice, he has achieved what he is in our hearts.
I was listening to his songs right from my childhood – through radio those days and then through audio casettes, compact disks, stored on my computer and now digitally through YouTube and other channels.
Shri. SPB has encouraged lakhs of people to learn classical music through flagship program “Paaduta Teeyaga”. He used to give participants real appreciation and correct them as needed. He always used to respect everyone. What I have learnt fom him is not to underestimate or talk negative about anyone. He has a lot of respect towards our culture and classical music.
I had an opportunity to see him closely when my brother and I went to watch Paaduta Teeyaga Program live at Hyderabad. It’s gratifying to have a memory that we were able to join his effort to support philanthropic initiative he took during COVID lockdown time. He used to acknowledge even when someone contributes little amount.
Shri. SPB Sir, you will always remain in our hearts. May your soul be blessed. Shri. Charan SP, my deep sense of gratitude to you for sharing regular updates about Shri.SPB’s health through your facebook page. Our deep condolences to you all and all of us who take him as inspiration.
I never watched Bigg Boss. I don’t even know about this show. Recently got to know about this show and watching Series 4 to support our sister Smt. Padala Kalyani (Popularly known as Karate Kalyani) as she is one of the contestants.
Smt. Padala Kalyani (Popularly Known as Karate Kalyani) is a Artist in Telugu Film Industry. She is not just an artist but a person with philanthropic heart. My brother Shri. Subrahmanyam Chakravarthula has introduced me to her as one who intend to teach Harikatha to our daughter. That is how our association has began with Smt. Kalyani akka and very soon our relationship has grown and now she is part of our family. She has been teaching Harikatha to our daughter and myself among a few other wonderful people. I never attempted to sing songs at full length but she has encouraged me stating that any voice is eleigible to learn.
Smt. Kalyani akka is always forefront to support those in needy. She has served meal to almost 15000 people during difficult times of COVID 19. She has supplied groceries to several thousands of people. Through her live interaction on Facebook, she became inspiration to many who then started helping community.
As we know, during lockdown, many people have lost their source of income. Artists are most affected among others since there could not get chance to perform for many months and this would continue for at least a year. So Smt. Kalyani akka has come up with an innovative idea to host performances by artists through her Facebook live and help them get a livelihood. She could have just donated money but mere donation will impact on dignity of artists.
Yesterday, I have asked on social media about what Smt. Kalyani means to them and responses are heart touching. Some said she is goddess to them, she is everything to them, she is goddess Annapurna with very kind heart, She is someone who keep caring about everyone in the world except about herself. A few others have expressed their love in form of poet!
Today, there are people who appreciate when they see somone in person but reality behind is different. But Kalyani Akka always trust everyone and feels everyone thinks of her well being. Unfortunately, some people attend to take advantage of such great attitude. As we have witnessed in 1st day of BiggBoss house, Kalyani Akka cannot leave a person alone when he or she is crying or in a difficult situation. When one is in a problem, she feels that as her own problem and try to help to the best extent that she can.
It’s very rare to see a person who have got skill of many things such as acting, Harikatha, Classical Music, dance, ability to treat everyone in same way, attitude to support others. These are all true for Kalyani Akka.
I urge everyone to make it a goal to help Kalyani Akka win in Bigg Boss Telugu Series 4 show and achieve her goal of serving others.
Due to unprecedented situation of Carona Virus (COVID-19), while people in some sector are able to work remotely, there is halt for a lot of activities including cultarul activities. There are many people who rely solely on a specific art for their livelihood such as performing music concert, Harikatha, dance etc., Unfortunately, this situation will continue for a few more months, if not years hopefully.
There are a few ways that such artists can leverage using technologies and make their livelihood. Let’s discuss some ideas and hopefully help someone.
A few months ago, I have noticed series of cultural events hosted live by The Capital Area Telugu Association (US) to celebrate their 15th anniversary. They are hosting events on Saturday and Sunday that are live both on YouTube and Facebook. They have a mechanism where community can donate through their website.
Further, From beginning of July, Shri. Adhibatla Shri. Kalapeetam is hosting series of cultural events through live on its Founder Smt. Padala Kalyani’s Facebook feed. During July and August, nummber of events were hosted on Saturday and Sundays. In addition, music concerts were hosted on occasions of son of my brother’s birthday and our Son’s birthday. These events are streamed live to Facebook using Zoom. Each program, a honorarium is paid artists. Although amount paid is not a big amount and cannot match the worthy of their talent, that gives a token of appreciation and give artists an idea of how they can continue pursuing their passion.
Another idea that I have in mind is that local cable operators should stream performances of artists around them and people in that community/village/town/city can contribute and sponsor the events. This way, artists get work and income; cable operators get a good will. They can just stream for 60 minutes a day.
Now-a-days, internet is not very expensive so artists should make arrangements for broadband connections and a computer / laptop. This should be investment that they need to make. Though we hope that COVID situation will go away soon but it will still take sometime for organizations to host public performances.
We should leverage available resources and move on…
Firstly, let me express deep sense of appreciation to officials of Karnataka Government for monitoring people in quarantine to ensure safety of community. They have a mechanism to reach out via an interactive automated voice call, they have a doctor call person and then an employee from BBMP (Bangalore Bruhat Maha Palika) or local panchayat. All of them are doing great job.
However, technology given to them or mechanism given to them is inappropriate. Since I have travelled to Hyderabad during last week of June, we are marked to be in home quarantine till 10th July, 2020. A couple of days back, I got an automated call stating they found a breach and I can select one of the options for reason of breach. Options are Medical, For work, For grocery and last option is “others”; but there was no option as “I have not breached”.
Today, I got a call from a doctor saying they have received a report that I may have breached quarantine and that calls for a FIR. When I have explained that I have not breached and through our conversation, he has mentioned that on 6th July, morning a different mobile tower has been triggered and that raised an alert. In our apartment (even within my flat), when I look for “my location” on Google maps, it shows three different things. How could their systems raise an alert based on mobile towers. May I now file a FIR on Airtel? What if a person leaves mobile phone at home and go all over; how would they track them?
We live in a high rise apartment where we have strict internal restrictions for people who are marked to be in quarantine. We don’t even allow our maids to come in. I think government should look for better tracking. They do have Quarantine Watch app but I was able to upload my photo only for two days. By the way, I got to know about quarantine watch app from our apartment association but not from authorities when they have marked quarantine stamp at the airport. They should at least provide a information booklet that contains apps that one can have and guidelines that one needs to follow.
It’s however appreciative that government officials are monitoring movement of people marked in quarantine and it’s our responsibility to stay at home and fight against COVID-19.
To help my mother-in-law, I have recently travelled to Hyderabad from Bangalore. This is my first travel during this COVID 19 situation.
Good news due to COVID 19 measures is that we no longer have to print boarding pass. Travellers can do a web check-in and carry electronic boarding pass on their mobile device. Not so good news is that while web check-in is mandatory, airlenes keep a price tag for many seats ranging from INR 400 to INR 1000. It’s a bit painful because already air fares are hiked than usual. However, one can choose to have seat auto-assigned. But advantage is that due to increased price, people who really required to travel will only travel. This time, I found airports to be like airports that we have seen about 20 years ago where we used to see limited number of people.
At the airport, before the entrance itself, airport staff have checked if we have AarogyaSethu app and have completed health check; they have also done a temperature check. Security staff now have a counter where travellers need to scan their boarding pass and keep their photo identity document on the desk. Both at Bangalore and Hyderabad, I found these staff are not sensitive. It is not usual for many travellers to scan their boarding pass and show identity document so security staff need to be patient and direct travellers appropriately. Instead, they sounded rude.
After entry into the airport, there are still airline counters who assist travellers those who may require. They are very polite and they continue to provide assistance to elderly, people with disabilities. They were all wearing gloves, masks, long jacket etc., They even changed our seats to front rows although we were fine with any seat. Indigo staff at both locations were very helpful.
Before boarding, at Bangalore, Indigo staff have given us a safety kit which has mask, face cover and a few packets of sanitiser. Travellers are required to wear the full face cover provided.
On arrival, at Hyderabad, they have only checked for temperature but no other restrictions. whereas in Bangalore, there are a series of tests and although all tests are nagetive, they have asked almost everyone for home quarantene for 14 days. They have also verified our application on Seva Sindhu Portal.
It’s essential that we sleep at least for 7 hours a night and an hour during day. A lot of people complaint that they they do not get sleep. Here are some tips that I have learnt from various spiritual speeches.
Leave gadgets includeing mobile phone 30 minutes before going to bed.
Go to bed by 9:30pm or at least by 10pm. whether you feel sleep or not, go to bed.
If you get sleep, great; else, close your eyes and chant whichever god you prefer; Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Shri. Matre Namaha… or whatever you prefer.
By meditating, even if you don’t feel sleep, your tiredness will go away. After a few days, you will get sleep automatically and do not require to have any tablets for sleep.
If you wake-up in-between, do not touch your phone. a lot of people claim they use phone to know time but they also open their social apps etc., If you really want to know time, have a clock. When you wake up in between, sit for a while and then drink some water (do not drink cold water).
You will get a beautfil feeling when you wake up at 5:00am or 5:20am and see sun raise. Sun raises in Red color; it is called “Arunodayam”.