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Recalling First Few Days of Returning to Work [April 2022]

Returning to work been a somewhat unexpected journey for the last 3 months, and it continues to be a bit disruptive, and a bit of relief at the same time. The first week in the more-than-familiar office cabin was slightly suffocating. The COVID wave hadn't subsided when we were called back, and there was every reason to feel apprehensive. With just the senior managers and the upper hierarchy called in, the team, people who contribute to the dense headcount at our office was nowhere to be seen.

Just to share some insight about my personal struggles to keep wearing the mask, I have been claustrophobic since I was around 17, and I have been on & off anxiety medications for more than a decade. Being grounded at home due to the pandemic, having just become father to a baby girl, also took a toll in some way though at many levels, I am also thankful for giving me the opportunity to be there when the little monkey was gifted to us.

Back to wearing a face mask for hours, a decision about which I had no second thoughts, I continue to struggle with it, and no matter how hard I try, it does not get easier for me. In the empty cabin, the mask became a lot more palpable. After the first two hours of the morning spent in clearing out the mailbox and sending updates to impatient clients, every time I sat back, the mask felt a lot heavier, like a shield that had been screw-driven into my face, seemingly welded around the ears and upper cheek. Needless to say, working without your usual team interrupting you, giving you a reason to shout a bit, and laughing/giggling during the day's hustle, did not come easy.

For those who have IBS in the times of Corona Pandemic

If you have a history of IBS, it is most likely that no one and I mean not even the most qualified physician out there, would have been able to fully understand your set of symptoms -  that is the problem with IBS, it is highly symptomatic and very unpredictable. That is how complicated IBS can be but strangely, despite all the medicinal and guidance-based support, nobody really understands what the sufferer is put through. At this time, when the Corona scare is at its worst, you need to double-up your layers of protection to ensure a flare-up is prevented. For starters, the Corona global pandemic is about a lot of cynical views around you - don't let this get you into that space where you start believing that the world is coming to an end. It looks like it but in reality, we will bounce back - everyday folks like you and me and the governments that are responsible for protecting us. Don't read too much into how much worse it can get. The idea is to control your anxiety levels on a daily basis since right now when the more normal Joe seems to be slightly frantic.

Reviewing I am All Girls on Netflix India

I am All Girls is perhaps one of the most underrated movies on Netflix India. There is every reason the channel and more so, its marketing team should have promoted this title a bit more. Even the online ratings seem a bit poorly done, underestimating the subject tackled in the movie and the manner in which the story has been told. I am All Girls may or may not be for family viewing depending upon how your ecosystem handles movies that are a bit graphic about subjects as sensitive as child abuse, child pornography, child trafficking, and the system that feeds off young girls taken off the streets, taking a toll on their families, and ruining lives without any logic to it.

The Starling Movie Review [Netflix India OTT]

The Starling is a decent effort if you are not looking for Oscar-winning performances. Not that Kevin Kline and Melissa McCarthy don't do a great job, they have performed rather well but yes, there are places where the movie fails to live up to its expectations. The story of a couple who is dealing with the loss of their child is told rather well. While Melissa has taken the quiet, let us not talk about it sort of approach, her husband turns suicidal and has to be admitted to a facility for mental wellness. The movie shows the massive difference between the approach the couple undertakes to deal with their sense of loss.

Movie Review for The Old Ways on Netflix India OTT

Keep your expectations real - The Old Ways does not have a premium starcast or the directorial credentials that make it an obvious pick during your work-from-life. However, like many horror flicks and gore movie plots that performed rather well with their directors and lead performers later blossoming into bigger names in the industry, The Old Ways does many things right to impress. The best part is that it wastes no time in revealing the storyline without unnecessarily stretching it. The first shot happens to be in the room where the supposedly possessed lady has been chained. Yes, this movie too is about possessions and being taken over by ghosts when you venture into the badlands and lesser-visited areas. The story is not too dramatic but it is told at a good pace. There is no time to take a popcorn break as Cristina realizes that her body has been taken over, and then gets on a quest to get rid of the unwanted spirit, and later, become a witch doctor lady of sorts herself. The entire movie presents just about four or five faces. There is no melodrama or too many special effects. This is a good movie if you like a lightweight horror flick where the fear is in the victim's eyes rather than computer-generated graphics. Combine the basic plot with a bit of sorcery and tales that only some village folks would know about, and The Old Ways comes up with a decent concoction. Highly recommended if you don't like to watch something too scary before going to bed but still want to see something that spooks you a little. A good effort overall, and it also makes me wonder why Netflix India has not been promoting or recommending this movie in any way. Perhaps, their content spotting team needs to do a better job of looking at their own inventory of decent movies and recommending it when a browser chooses the genre-based filter.

Online Shopping Review for Mr. Bowerbird Apparels on Myntra

This review comes after three purchases and some really close inspection - there is a brand on Myntra, called Mr. Bowerbird, and I am pretty sure that the softness and overall quality of the fabric it offers, is right up there with some of the luxury brands, and close competitors like H&M. I had been tracking their inventory options for some time. The prices were usually a bit inflated - at least, that is what I felt about the sticker tags. But in the last 10 days or so, the prices have been really cut down. It must be one of those discount schemes that I seldom understand but yes, it gave me the opportunity to order a bit from this niche brand.


Ovenstory Cheese Stuffed Garlic Bread Reviewed

Just a bit crispier and this would have been the clear winner! That is how close Ovenstory Cheese Stuffed Garlic Bread comes to taking the honors when it is compared to contemporary favorites in this niche, like Dominos. The latter impresses with a more buttery taste and an outer crust that is done a lot better. Ovenstory Cheese Stuffed Garlic Bread has less of garlic and instead, uses cheese to deliver more goeey goodness in each bite. However, it lags behind in the texture, inside and out. The outer surface is a bit undercooked. The lesser baked approach just might not work with folks like me who like to bite into the bread rather than gently chewing the bread. Ovenstory Garlic Bread also does away with the tendency to overpower the bread with the garlic flavor, making it a better choice for folks who cannot handle the garlic-heavy flavor.

Mental Health Battles, Confessions

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