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Surviving the great lockdown !

There are zillions of updates, articles written about unprecedented thing which has happened for last couple of months due COVID-19 pandemic. When the half of humanity was staying at home and many people rekindled their hobbies which lost in usual corporate rat race. 

For me as well, there was lot of urge within to re-look at blogging and post the write-ups which have been cold storage for ages. Somehow, the breaking-the-jinx blog post remained on edge of the fence. Finally, on Sunday morning (Aug 9th), I woke-up abruptly at 5:45 am from a dream something related to blogging (can't remember exactly) and got in front laptop without excuses to jot down things I will be posting in near future. The result of that is one of the blog post which you reading now :) 
  
The thought was to post something constructive and not related to usual travel/photography stuff, but in contrast some stuff which made tough lockdown period bearable. 

Podcasts 
I had heard about podcast for long but never really gave a second thought what's it's really about and what will be there in it etc. Last year, I got introduced to it from wife Ramya's friend Naren at a lunch get together. Then, he had iterated that it's an ideal way for beating traffic stress and inturn do something constructive. I started listening from Attention Pliss podcast by one of the reknowned blogger and writer Arnab Ray and became a regular listener to this weekly podcast on current affairs. During this lockdown, I wanted something extra while doing mundane household chores and also during lonely walks around my home. To address this, I stumbled on a lovely podcast - Highway on my Podcast (HOMP) by pioneers of Travel Shows - Rocky and Mayur along with show's director Abhinandan and cameraman Prashant. These guys have been my friends during this tough lockdown period and their state-wise episodes has helped relive all my amusing travel memories for last 15 years. Another interesting in the podcast is they encourage the listeners to share their experiences thru email and interestingly my email was recently read out in Diu/Daman episode. More on podcasts and recommendations in a separate blog post. 

Ideal tool for Mopping 
At the onset of lockdown period, I took up responsibility of sweeping and mopping at home. Initially, I used to do the stuff daily and later when it became monotonous I used the technique of listening to podcast make the most of time used for household chores. But with a 3 old year at home, the floor of the house used to get dirty within matter of hours. It's always tedious to do usual jhadu, pohcha thru the day and to address this issue, I bought the dry and wet mop from Amazon (details below). Since then at any point of the day, I can ensure that the floor at my home is tidy ! Coming to ROI, the break-even for this product is already achieved thru half of our maid's monthly salary :)

Extended Screen 
Work from Home can be stressful, esp. when you on critical path sharing your desktop screen with our colleagues for the whole day. Sharing is one part, but you will not be able to do any extra-curricular activity during micro-breaks. I was accustomed to work on split screen for a long time not only to have your "private space" during screen share sessions but also to improve your overall productivity when working individually. For this reason, I used to use my 32 inch TV whenever I used to occasionally work from home during pre-covid times. But somehow it didn't have the feel of the monitor which I used to have at office as the pixel density of a TV LED won't be made for viewing from a short distance. Later, during first week of walk March, when Covid made it's first strike in India there multiple speculations that we all may end-up WFH for long. Then, prudently or luckily rather before the lockdown period, I decided to order a BenQ monitor (details below) for seamless working experience at home. 

Vegetable Cutter 
When you are working from home, your lunch break-ups will be typically early around 1 pm and later around 4-5 pm there will be a craving to have some snacks. In office, you end up having snacky stuffs like bhel puri etc and emulating same stuff at home is not a cakewalk ! Somehow, during initial lockdown days, I squeezed some time from my work schedule to prepare churmuri, bhelpuri by cutting vegetables. Of all the tasks, cutting onions is one of critical task and takes lot of time. Of late, I hardly used to get time as cutting veggies as it takes around 20-30 minutes. Recently, I came across Butterfly's innovative non-electric vegetable cutter and ordered the same without any thoughts. Since then the vegetable cutting for churmuri is cut-short to less than 5 minutes !
So these are couple of things which has made my lockdown period manageable.  Please do share your thoughts and list !

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