2 Weeks In Isolation

It has been now 14 days since I stepped out of my building and 11 days of the officially declared lockdown with people in my area/nation being in quarantine. 2 weeks of staying indoors and not seeing another soul other than my parents and the odd delivery guys from Swiggy & Zomato (they are allowed to do their jobs). Thank the advancements in technology that gave us these apps and others for ordering and getting food and other supplies directly to our homes.

Work has been going on. I’m even upgrading to a new plan that gives me higher speed for longer – 100mbps for a 750GB cap. That’s awesome. I’m currently attending a training for a new process that they want some of us to help out with on a temporary basis. Most of us are in India – Cochin, Hyderabad & Chennai while the person from our same company who is conducting the training is from the Philippines. All this is done with the aid of the internet, some applications we had to download and headsets and mics. Here I am below attending a session 2 days ago.

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We’ve managed to get most of the groceries that we need. And they are adding more and more options every day. For instance, yesterday I opened one of the apps and saw 6 grocery stores available and today it’s 10! Sweet. However they seem to not be keeping the instant coffee powders that we usually get. None in fact. I’ve managed to get some Coke and then moved onto juice, mainly apple juice. Since it is so hot and humid, I’ve been quenching my thirst drinking cold juice on ice.

And also a lot of water with ice. I sweat buckets a day. We’ve been buying food atleast 1 a day. Like either curries with chappathi or if we managed to get pre-cooked chappathis from a store then I just buy curries which we tend to have some left over and use the next day for lunch or dinner. Last night was a delicious chicken sausages with pepper and onions and some onion rings with mayo & ketchup. We had that with chappatis.

Over A Week In Isolation

Well, today will be 9 days since I stepped outside. Officially the lockdown started 6 days ago but yeah. I’ve started to feel the lack of seeing other people’s faces other than just my dad and mom. I go down to the lobby and see the food delivery guys who bring our food order and I talk to them, even it if with face masks on. I wish them well and tell them to stay safe and make sure to thank them for still doing the work that they are doing.

Saturday and today I have done nothing. I have relaxed and slept a lot and watched a couple of movies. Yesterday I drank a beer with some Southern fried chicken that I ordered via Swiggy. I’ve been drinking a large glass of Coke daily as are my parents who also drink lemonade since it is so hot. Today the evening has been much better and dare I say it, there is a light breeze coming in from the open windows.

I shower everyday, infact I try to stay in a lot more than usual since it is hot and by the evening (which is when I usually shower) I am covered in sweat. I have stopped shaving though and growing out my nearly all salt & very little pepper beard. Let’s see how this goes.

Lockdown in Kerala – Day 3

So after my last update on the 23rd, the state declared a total shutdown for the next 21 days. Today is just day 3 of the shutdown and I am already going bonkers. My office system was delivered to be during the early hours of Tuesday and it was during the evening of that same day that I managed to setup after much difficulty (it’s a little complicated) and I was soaked in sweat by the end of it. It also just happens to be the most hot & humid of days, which it might only get worse in April & May.

2.5 hours of that setup I was ready for dinner and at 10 we had a call with the team. We exchanged our statuses and updates. We will be working from home for atleast 21 days but this could be a longer situation. I then spent 2.5 hours on the phone with a member of our company’s tech support as I couldn’t get connected to the VPN. By 3 am I was finally able to log in and confirm it to the tech manager who helped me out. I then went to bed and watched some tv show episodes before falling asleep.

Yesterday I woke up at 11:30 am and had coffee and then just before lunch I ordered some food for our dinner. The food delivery options like Swiggy & Zomato are allowed to work from 7 am till 5 pm. So we might be ordering some food quite regularly. I watched some tv after lunch and then showered and at 5 got coffee and an evening snack. By 6:20 pm I was logging in to the system and reading my office emails. I started working on a report that kept me busy till dinner time. At 10 we had a long call with the team.

More work on a new agenda to counteract the current situation followed. By 3am I was ready to sleep but I was called for something else and stayed up till 3:45 am and then watched tv for another 90 minutes before falling asleep. Today more of the same I guess.

Working @ Home Starts

Well it has started. I wasn’t expecting it since they said that the dispatching of office systems to our homes will take some time but we are now not working from the office officially from today. There are still a few people still at the office premises but we were told not to come in as it isn’t essential for us to do so. This information was passed onto us by the afternoon (we usually work late evenings to early morning).

We have shared our address details (some are from outside of Cochin and hence can give either their current address or their home address) and we are waiting for the office systems to be dispatched to our homes and then have them setup VPNs for us. This could take a few days as I and my team are considered to be part of the support staff and thus the frontliners get preference. So it’s a matter of waiting until they turn up and do the setup for me.

We can attend calls and continue taking e-learning sessions from our home pcs/laptops but I would prefer working on them using the office pcs. It seems so weird as I have all this free time but cannot go anywhere. Oh well, there is a lot of stuff to watch on tv (streaming and dvd). I will sleep a lot too I guess.

No, this picture below is not of me – though I love Star Trek I do not own a cat or a Mac (used to).

Misunderstandings

I just chatted with someone on Insta who contacted me cause she liked one of the photos I took.

My mistake – from her name, I thought she was Indian too. When she asked me where I am, I said Cochin.

She asked where that was. I said, it’s a west coastal city.

She went away for 30 minutes, came back and called me a liar.

Me : Why do you call me a liar?

She : I just checked the entire West coast map and there is no city called Kochi. Where are you really from?

I then realized that she wasn’t Indian and had checked out the entire US West coast for a city named Cochin!!! Needless to say, I think I am getting blocked.

New Tv For The Folks

So my sister and I bought our parents a new tv. A smart tv. Infact it’s the same brand and model that I bought back in October 2018 but upgraded. It’s an MI 4A pro 32 inch.

I placed the order on Amazon India on the 27th and it just got delivered today. I spent a few minutes registering the purchase on Mi’s website to arrange for an installation tomorrow and get the wall mount unit. We already have one for my parents’ old tv (bought in 2010) which is a Samsung. But I think we should move it down a little and hopefully the installation guy can get them down.

One thing is it’s a smart tv and I will have to share my wifi with them if they want to stream. Hmmm do I want that? Well, they watch a lot of cable tv anyways and the crap that they want to watch is anyways available on the cable tv channels. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Financial Freedom

Financial freedom – man, I would love that! I wish I suddenly had so much money that I never have to work a day for the rest of my life and I still have lots of money. Lots of money for luxuries that I would love to have. Ofcourse I do not have that many things that I need once the basics are covered – nice big luxurious house or apartment, great furniture, the latest and best electronics that money can buy, and chauffeur driven cars. And ofcourse the same for my family.

That much money and stuff aside, I won’t have too much stuff that I need on a regular basis. Clothes, dvds/blu rays, shoes but most of them aren’t that expensive anyways. And work – Man, would I quit and never look back. I would watch my movies and tv shows and stay in most of the week but I would go out once or twice. Read, listen to music and not have to worry about a damn thing.

That is the life to live man. Do not worry about anything and just relax. A life of retirement with some ….. okay lots…of money to spend and in no hurry to do anything. Peace!

Haircut Pending

It is very difficult for me to talk about haircuts. And this is because I am balding or bald as some people would say. My hair has two problems – my hairline is receding at an alarming pacing and I have a big bald spot that is growing at the top of my head. I call it the no front office and no godown look.

I have always had a large forehead. I guess it’s genetic from my mom’s side of the family. I used to be able to cover it without attempting to because I used to grow my hair longish – never shoulder length but close to it. My hair just naturally covered it up and sometimes, even if I comb it to the side, it would just flop over my forehead. Not so much anymore.

However I haven’t had a haircut in ages. It has been a few months and the hair on my sides and the back are kinda long. It’s irritating too as it is hot and sweaty and I hate when my hair is matted with sweat and just clings to my skin or covers my ears. I get annoyed. So I am long overdue a hair cut which will remove most of the grey I have on the sides but enhance my balding head a lot more. Argh!

Howling Mad Teen

There I go again, another one of my weird little dreams. I tell you I have these really crazy and weird ones that sometimes I wonder if I do go see a shrink and he/she finds out about my dreams then he/she will have me committed, LOL!

Anyway, in this dream I am quite young, I think between the ages of 18 -20 and I am attending a college. I am kinda kinda slim in this video which is also weird as I have never been that slim in real life. Except when I was during the ages of 12-15. Anyways, I am studying in this college and staying in a hostel – a co-ed hostel which is unheard of in India! Not just that but my roommate is a girl and a very hot one at that. Though she and I are just friends and I infact have feelings for another girl who stays in a room down the haul with another girl.

Now this college is infamous for the ragging (hazing) that the older students make the freshers go through. It can go anywhere from intimidation to physical threats and taunting. A group of asshole older guys are tormenting us younger guys, though they refrain from troubling the girls. Nothing more than a few odd and crude comments are passed. They decide that they want to torment me more for some reason. One evening as I am with my roommate they call me to them and yell at me for coming to their side of the hall “late”. They hit me a few times, not too hard, rip a hole in my shirt, throw my books and stuff onto the floor and make me pick it up a few times.

They also make fun of my weight even if I am slimmer than I have ever been in my life. The next day they taunt me as I go to the shower. There is a gap at the side of the wall – not enough for people standing outside to see someone taking a shower or in the toilet but enough to throw small rocks and pebbles at. Knowing that it’s me in the loo and trying to take a leak, they yell obscenities and throw rocks at the gap – one of the rocks hits me on my face and another on the forehead drawing blood. This makes me mad and as they howl with laughter, my transformation begins!

Oh well I am a werewolf! I get angry and run out to where they are standing and yell swear words at them and then transform into a werewolf right in front of their eyes. I am an intimidating sight and the guys start to scream and then run. I catch up with all of them and rip their hearts out and maul them crazy. And that’s when I woke up!

It was weird and crazy. Must be the heat and humidity getting to me.

Honour Thy Dead

How Have You Paid Tribute to Loved Ones?

There is a regional holiday, called Kartha Vavu, where you are supposed to honour your relatives who have died. Other than the religious shit that usually accompanies this day, the sentiments is what mostly matters. They make an offering of the food that the relative loved the best and, in some families, even alcohol.

I remember a few times in my grandma’s home and after their prayers, we had lots of big fish fry and beef and chicken because that’s what our deceased relative loved. Since those days I have lost a few people in my family. I honour them, without any useless prayers or rituals, by saying a toast when I drink rum or vodka and by watching a movie I know they loved.

Or even wrestling!

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Visions Of Roses & Wine

There are many such like me. I am not naive enough to think that I am the only lonely guy on Feb 14th. But in a lot of cases even if they are lonely now, there is the hope that they will eventually find love or maybe, if you are Indian or in some other like-minded cultures, are hopeful that your parents will find someone for you and that marriage will eventually blossom into love. I do not have that.

I am 43 years old and even though at the age of 30 I was asked by my parents if I wanted them to look out for a marriage proposal for me I said no. I do not believe in taking that route and I never have. So at this age I don’t see any hope of finding that someone and falling in love and then taking that next step to propose marriage and then actually tie the knot. And in my mind I know that many years ago – probably by the time I was around 35 years old – I kind of “accepted” that I will be alone and will end up alone for the rest of my life and that I would die alone.

I am semi-dating someone. It’s not serious by any stretch of the imagination. It started out as me going on a “date” for fun to being the desperate attempts of me pretending that I am not alone and looking forward to the few times that I am actually with this girl. But I still feel lonely and infact each time I do go and spend a few hours with her, I feel even more lonelier because I have to come back to my singlehood. See what I mean?

Anyways, for those of you who have someone in your life, have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Lone Wolf Sorta

Do you like to be alone or with company?

Over a period of the past few years I have become more of a loner. I kind of prefer a very small group of people who I can spend my time with. I feel more comfortable with just a small number of folks so I avoid big groups or parties. It’s certain things that have happened in my life that has made me this way. I tend to not like big groups and if I do attend a large function like a party, I look for the exit and an excuse to leave as fast as I can.

I enjoy some company but it depends on the people. Close family and some relatives and a few friends. I am comfortable with them and can be myself and any issues can be dealt with ease and it usually ends with laughter. I don’t have to put on a show and pretend that I am enjoying myself and I am having a good time. Usually large gatherings make me so uncomfortable that I just can’t wait for it to end. I like privacy and intimate gatherings.

Some people have asked me how can you drink alone? I ask them back, don’t you find it more enjoyable to drink alone? It’s soothing, it’s comforting and it’s relaxing.

Prompt from Writing Prompts: 60 Ideas You Can Use Today

Day Breaker

Back to a morning shift for a few days. Wow, what a world of difference it makes. I have only been back to day shifts from last Friday and we have had Saturday & Sunday in between but I can already feel the difference. On Friday I left from the office by 7:15 am as we had a conference call from 6 pm to 7 pm (and I was falling asleep while it was going on) and today I left by 7 am due to a few things that needed to be done before I left.

Today I reached home by 7:45 pm and it feels so nice. I wish I could be home early enough for coffee time but that i asking for too much. Unless I do an 8:30 am to 5:30 pm shift and leave exactly at 5:30 pm-ish then I can skip coffee and snacks at the office cafeteria and do that at home. Coffee is so much better at home, unless I go to a cafe.

Now that I have had my dinner and been online for a while it’s time to pick a movie or some tv show episode and I will watch that for 2 hours before I go to sleep. So nice! Night all!

The Day After A Long Leave

The day after a long leave is the worst you can ever have. Going back to work is a sad thing! Hehehehe. And especially when you work a late evening shift that ends at 3:30 am like mine. You end up feeling sleepy by 12 am as usually on my holiday I am in bed by then, underneath the covers and cozy. just waiting for a few minutes before I drift off. But no, midnight at the office means another 3.5  hours still left. I usually go for a coffee by 1 am.

Even worse is not getting enough sleep. Monday afternoon I even managed to sleep for 90 minutes in the afternoon, knowing that I will be tired later on in the shift. Still I was tired. I reached home by 3:50 am but there was no power. So I waited for 10 minutes so the security guard could switch on the generator to power the elevator and then came up to my apartment. I started sweating in the night but I managed to change my clothes and slip in between the sheets. I watched videos on Youtube for 20 minutes before sleep hit me. It was 6 am before the power came on.

I had woken up at the time as I was sweating and realized that the power had come on but I hadn’t switched the fan on in my bedroom. 30 minutes had passed since the power came on. I got up, switched the fan on, went to the loo to relieve myself and then came back in. I drank some water and slept till 11:45 am. And I am still tired. I even napped for an hour. Too tired even now. Ugh!

My Hotel Stay Concluded

So I am now back in the apartment that I call home, safely sitting in my bedroom, listening to Eric Clapton songs on Youtube. I’ve had 4 days and 4 nights of relaxation and chilling out. No going out during those 4 days and only showering and shaving on two of those days. I wanted to room service, a few beers and to sleep in as much as my heart desires. I am surprised at how much I have slept during these 4 days. I usually get in 5-6 hours on a work day and maybe 7 on a weekend or a holiday at home. I might sleep more on a sick day. But these 4 days I got in 10-12 hours sleep easily.

My meals – they were priced highly. Ok, let me tell you that I was staying in at the Mercy Hotel in Ravipuram. The room wasn’t great but still good. They hadn’t cleaned it properly. The floor lamp is prominently placed next to the small table, which may have been meant as a dining table but which I was using for my laptop, but their shade is ripped and dirty. There was a dirt stain on the floor near the door and the sheets were of a cheap quality. Atleast the shades were awesome and light cancelling. I also had some problem with their bathroom as water would take it’s own sweet time flowing down the drain. Poor room planning while building.

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I had a few beers. I didn’t watch any tv but was online quite a many hours and watched Youtube videos throughout and blogged a little as you can see. The food was good, not amazing. Among the highlights were a mixed grill (not photographed) and which I could not finish. Not even close. Just way too much food for one person. I ought to get my cousin down there someday and tackle that with some vodkas. Their American chopsuey, pic in a previous post, was pretty good as well. Yesterday afternoon I was in the mood for a chicken biryani and the one they served was pretty good.

Lowlights of the food – their breakfast is a joke. I ordered their Continental breakfast twice but was charged the price 3 times. Their continental breakfast is supposed to be toast, butter, jam, croissant, fruit, coffee/tea, seasonal fruit drink and a Danish pastry with preservatives. Look what I got when I ordered that this morning! Do you see any Danish? How about the croissant? Pineapple chunks, a brownie (what?? For breakfast???), cornflakes, toast with butter and jam. One morning I asked for just an omelet and toast and they charges me the same as this breakfast! Coffee was extra. The first morning I ordered the same breakfast I got eggs, in an omelet, instead of the cornflakes, brownie, juice and pineapple. Coffee was extra! It seems that this below menu is supposed to be for the Mercy Special Breakfast but then again, not complete.

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Otherwise it was a good stay. Due to a cold I couldn’t go and try out their bar even though I badly wanted to. So I switched off the ac and didn’t drink any more beer on the last two days.

Last Night In My Hotel Room

Well, it had to end sometime. But I am ok with it. After tonight is over I will have had 4 nights in this room and it was fun and relaxing for the most part. Tomorrow my check out time is 12 pm but I plan to leave here by 11 am if not by 11:30 am. I think I will keep my alarm for 7 am or maybe that is too early? 8 should be fine. I have been sleeping long hours here, afternoon naps and waking up only by 9 am in the mornings as well.

My one complaint is that, other than some dirtiness in the decor and room and the disappointing bathroom issue, the food is bloody expensive. Rs.155 for eggs done your way (I have ordered it omelet style only so far)  and 3 slices of toast with a bit of jam & butter is Rs.180. Yet on their menu card the breakfast it corresponds to says there is much more. All the food is overpriced as well  but there is a lot of it. I couldn’t finish 3 of my meals here. My wallet will cry once I pay things up at the reception on my way out.

I also was berating myself for no bringing my USB stick as the tv in here has USB ports and I could have binged a few movies while I was here. The cable channels were crap, as most hotels have them, and I didn’t watch more than 30 minutes of tv and that too on my first day here. I had a cold yesterday and most of today so I haven’t been using the ac but the fan does the trick and I feel a bit cold if I do not use the sheet and blanket. So to bed I go and once I wake up, I will get some coffee and a bit of breakfast before I shower and shave and leave.

Day 3 At This Hotel

Day 3 of my stay : Well 3 days are almost over as it is now past 11pm on Thursday. How has it been so far? Well it’s been ok. I have stayed inside the hotel all this time. I have ordered in all my meals except for today’s lunch which I decided to go and eat in their restaurant for a change. Also I skipped breakfast this morning as I wasn’t hungry and I had some chocolate which I ate at around 11am.

Today I actually bothered to shower and shave. Yes yesterday as I slept in a lot, 5 hours during the day and I think 9 hours at night, I didn’t bother to shave or shower. I had the ac on all the time and it was cold so it was fine. Today morning I knew I needed a shave and a shower so I did at 11:30 am. The shower is so powerful that I had to put it at just a little more than half force. I used the hotel soap and shampoo and used their towels to dry myself. All decent options.

Unfortunately the buffet was not available today and neither is their bar open as today is the anniversary of Gandhi’s death/assassination. So I opted for an ice tea, American Chopsuey and a double scoop of ice cream. The restaurant was mostly empty except for a family of 3 in one corner and a guy who left 2 minutes after I sat down. Lunch done, I came back up to my room and took a two hour nap. I woke up and at 5pm I ordered some coffee, which isn’t very good by the way, and then have been online ever since. At midnight I will go back to sleep with more weird dreams.

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All Settled In

Well I am here. Ok so the hotel is quite near to my apartment, in the same city and just 20 minutes away. Like I said, I needed a few days away from my family and work and to just chill and forget about everything else. I don’t plan on going out, although I might step out for an hour or so tomorrow to get a USB stick if I can find one nearby.

I had wanted to check in at 12 pm, which is from when I am allowed to but we had a power outage at home and this led me to wait for a while before I left. I already had most of the things ready on my bed and by 11:20 am I went to shower and shave and then waited for a while. Finally I got ready and put all the things inside my bag. I left the chargers for my phone and my laptop for the last, which went into my laptop bag along with the HP and my mouse and my medicines.

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There was a large traffic jam in the city which led me to be being late and I reached here at the hotel only by 1:15 pm. I checked in and the bellhop took me to my room. It’s a basic room; they have an upgrade available and a suite too. But who needs that? I asked for the wifi password and then by 2pm I ordered a mixed grill and 2 Heinekens. The dish was too much for me – it was a lot of chicken, pork, beer, veggies, French fries and bacon! And a fried egg on top of that. Whoa!

I ate a lot of it but still left a lot behind. I had one beer and having gotten very little sleep due to watching a football match and Eddie Murphy’s Delirious (on Netflix) I was tired. I napped for 2 hours. BY 5:30 pm I was up and ordered some coffee. I have a lot of chocolate with me so I plan on using that as desert. I have been binging on Youtube videos. I might try to read after dinner but I will most probably sleep early. I feel relaxed.