Message 07062020 : Sadhana Panchakam


Watch "Sadhana Panchaka of Shankaracharya (learn to chant series)"

Each line is loaded with meaning relevant to us at any stage in life.

Good Morning

M G Warrier

Message, 07062020

A. Life! Live it!

Dear Reader,
Your comment on the article ' Life! Live It' is now live on
life is what happens when you keep wondering what is life. no, life is not amenable to definition. because, each life is different. just keep living. there will be several quotes about past and future. to live in the present is your responsibility which cannot be delegated. your own intuition is your friend, philosopher and guide in your travel from this moment to the next. on your track you\'re alone.'
To reply to this comment , or see the whole conversation, click here.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Team TOI

B. Role of the teacher

Watch "Internet of Education : The Changing Role of the Teacher"

Dr Jayaram Nayar on the changing role of the teacher.

C. My Soul Has A Hat

This poem will help you to move forward in this imperfect world.

 D. Contact tracing for COVID-19: New considerations for its practical application | McKinsey

Interesting article (May 8, 2020)

E. Life outside Lockdown* 

VN Kelkar, Ex-RBite narrates his Ahmedabad- Mumbai travel experience during Lockdown :

"I am sitting near the boarding gate with my wife at Ahmedabad airport to return to Mumbai. It's 20.30 hours June 3, 2020.  Scheduled departure time of Air India flight  is 22.00 hours. Actual departure could be anywhere between 23.30 to past midnight.  This is a rescheduled flight. It was supposed
to leave to-day morning at 8.45 hours.

Prior to switching  to Air India, we had booked Indigo flight for today which was rescheduled and was finally cancelled,  the message for which came to us day before. 
Why Indigo ?
We were to return home by Indigo flight on 2nd April immediately after 1st lockdown.  Air India and a couple of other private airlines were  not operating then from Ahmedabad. The other option of taking a train was not available. Indigo does not give refund on cancellation of flights or if  rescheduled flights are not found suitable by customers. It allows the money to be used for travel 
in future upto one year.
We used the credit at least four times
by paying 'convenience charges' of Rs.500/- per person each time we re booked the tickets  as each of  the lockdown period  1, 2, 3, 4 was supposed to end by the given date.The lockdown got extended periodically as
COVID19 graph kept rising.  

At Ahmedabad airport, it was a quiet, pleasant evening as the temperature had dropped significantly today from 43  to 38 degrees celcius due to developing 'NISARGA' cyclone on Arabian sea, likely to hit Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts. The passengers were not many,  only 'must travel'  type of travellers were coming in.
There were about a dozen foreigners, a few elderly like us who were stuck in Ahmedabad from pre-Lockdown days and the remaining were young businessmen and students.
One young lady was travelling alone with her about less than a year old kid . We did not enquire what was the compulsion. 

We two were excited as it was a journey during  corona time and amongst series of conflicting  news flow on SOP and opening of skies for domestic travel by the Central Government from May 25. We were not sure whether they will allow us to go home on arrival at Mumbai or send us for institutional quarantine. That was a big anxiety. 
Many state governments did not like the decision as they did not have adequate time to mobilise ground level staff to handle flood of passengers. They took a contrary view. Some declared that they will not allow the flights to land, some said we can allow these many and so on and so forth.

We were allowed entry into Airport complex after the security person checked our ticket. We had reached there  three hours before as advised to us  over telephone. (Yes AI did call us to let us know about reschedules flight ! ) We were asked to wait as Air India staff was yet to take position for further procedure. Huge hall was pretty clean. There  was uneasy silence. People were giving cursory glance at each other with lot of suspicion. With face mask, gloves,  Arogya Setu App (it was compulsory) installed into our  smartphones and our luggage we occupied seats in the hall. Chairs were well laid out keeping 'do guj doori' rule in mind.  The travellers were coming in slowly. There was a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety on the faces of the passengers. Will everything go neatly and will we reach home safe ? This question was bothering everyone. 

In another few minutes we saw brisk activity at one table. Two men with PPE kit on their body were issuing declaration forms. We were asked to complete the same in duplicate and deliver back to them. 
One copy was collected at the same desk by one staff. The other staff noted our body temperature with the help of special thermometer. The way he held it against our forehead we felt as if he was about to shoot at us. 
The next step was to hold our ticket against a screen fixed to the wooden stand and show the  ticket and id proof to the security person standing close by behind a podium. This drill took about a minute. We then proceeded to sanitise our check in luggage. The fellow there sprayed the chemical thoroughly and directed us to the  bag scanner machine. All the three items (check in bag, hand luggage and  purse/pouch) were placed on the rolling belt. We collected these items at the other end.
We then moved to bag-drop counter.
We were told that as per SOP, it will be touch less procedure at the airport and that passengers will do web check in,
print boarding pass and tag (bearing PNR No. Name,   flight No. etc.details) to be pasted on the check in bag . We were ready with these things.
We were surprised that this procedure was given a go bye. The Air India staff
issued us a boarding pass and affixed
ack. for the check in bag on the reverse of the counter foil of the boarding pass. Here they collected the duplicate copy of the declaration. 
At security check point we went through the usual procedure. 
The security asked my wife to remove metal piece  (it was a tiny folding scissor) detected by the machine and throw it away in the bin.
She was disappointed. She tried to tell them that there was absolutely no danger to anybody from this paltry item. They turned her away. She blamed herself for not putting it in
check-in bag.
Anyway we soon reconciled and 
walked upto boarding gate. We settled down at a convenient place.  We thought of having a cup of tea. My wife fetched one cup and we shared it. She said it cost Rs.70/- !  Though not totally surprised at the price tag,
she did not expect the price to be about one US $ at a comparatively smaller airport.
Soon an acquaintance came in. 
The lady (my daughter's friend)
was flying with us. She gave us an insight into today's AI flight schedule 
in Ahmedabad-  Mumbai sector.
Her husband works for Air India.
The 'NISARGA' cyclone was the culprit.
Maharashtra announced that no flight will take off or land till 7.00 pm. on that day. The aeroplane which was to fly from Mumbai to Ahmedabad was to take us to Mumbai. She gave us first hand information about the reason for the delay. We remembered familiar announcement at railway stations : 'आनेवाली गाडियाँ देरीसे आनेकी वजह से जानेवाली गाडियाँ देरीसे जायेगी '. This is true even for aeroplanes. 
Finally the incoming flight landed at 10.30 pm. We all could hear the big bang on the ground.  Our friend also received a message that it would take about half an hour for sanitisation and boarding.
The boarding began. It was a sigh of relief. At last we were headed back home to Mumbai for sure.
At the entry point AI supplied us a kit containing a face mask, face shield, 
a water bottle and sanitizer sachets. 
We equipped ourselves with the face shield etc. and took our seats. We were corona warriors ! The flight was half empty. It was easier to follow social distancing. It was a smooth one hour ride, no turbulence due to cyclone or otherwise.
We reached Mumbai by 12 midnight. After business class passengers it was our turn to get off.  As the ' seat-belt' sign was switched off we heard sound  of all passengers unlocking.
Just outside exit gate we signed one more declaration form and took a long walk at Sahar airport upto belt No.14 where our luggage had already reached. We collected our bags and hastened to the exit door. There was no one to put a stamp on our hands for home quarantine for 14 days.
This brought cheers to us. We know well  that staying at home is important to save ourselves from infection. Yet stamping  or any type of compulsion 
is not liked by people as they get detached from the people around and looked at with unnerving suspicion. 

( We went to Ahmedabad on 21 March on a two-day tour to meet our daughter and have a look at quarters provided to her by her employer.
We got stuck there due to curfew on 22 March and subsequent series of Lockdowns.)

*Received via group email from Shri V N Kelkar. Copied with permission.


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