On the 2nd of April 2022, the Yellow and Red Line Metros started in North West Mumbai.
Here are some important things and useful features in this train to note:
Initial runs have started from Dahanukarwadi in Kandivali West, north along the Link Road, until Dahisar, and then southwards from the Western Express Highway till Aarey in Goregaon East.
The map is as shown here
Even though there are two different colors, right now the same train runs all the way from Dahanukarwadi to Aarey. There is no need to change at Dahisar East as the map seems to indicate. I am not sure why two different colors were chosen in the first place.
The stations are clean and disabled-friendly. There are stairs, escalators as well as lifts.
The counter staff are also friendly.
There are ticket vending machines that were not operational as of the date of writing this.
The tickets are priced reasonably. As of now, cash is accepted. Soon, you will be able to use other modes of payment like cards or UPI.
The ticket is a paper slip with a QR code.
Even if you book a return ticket, you will get two slips, one for each leg of the journey. Please preserve the slip till you exit the station as you will need to swipe it twice, one at entry and the other at the exit.
Once you exit, there is a box where you can dispose of the used slip.
After you buy the ticket, you can enter the station which is on another level.
At the entry, there is a security check. After that, you need to scan the QR code on the slip and the gate opens, allowing you entry.
You can ascend to the platform level using stairs, a lift, or escalators. Signages and other facilities are of world-class standards.
I used the Metro to work and back today.
Unique features in the cabin:
The cabins are spacious, clean, and bright. I enjoyed the short ride to my workplace.
The display is also very good, with the latest technology.
Each station is announced in advance and the screen also has a dynamic video screen that displays relevant content.
The cabins also have space for carrying your cycles, and for wheelchairs as well. There are also USB power outlets adjacent to this.
The idea is to cycle to and from the Metro and carry your cycle to work. This will definitely help in a greener transport alternative.
I felt that the planning and layout were very scientific and humane.
There are USB power outlets at various places along the walls. I did not test them.
There are several useful signages as well which are worth noting:
There is an emergency Intercom facility as well.
And remember this is a train, not a hotel! Eating and drinking are strictly prohibited.
The grab handles also have spots for advertising I guess!
For me, this Metro is a great blessing as both my home and work are close to the station. But even if you are a bit far from the Metro station, you can cycle down or use other modes of transport, and then take the Metro to wherever you want.
We had relatives from Goregaon who visited, and they warned us that we will be getting a lot more visitors since our house has become so accessible! A trip that would have taken them 50 minutes by road took only 20 minutes.
Well done MMRDA and Mumbai Metro.
I am sure this will reduce the vehicular traffic on the roads.
I kept testing myself for antibody levels and saw that my levels remained detectable well over 8 months. Subsequently, I got busy with my regular Medical practice.
During the New Year celebration [and my wedding anniversary as well!], as a result of probably going to the theatre and then having dinner at a restaurant on the 27th December 2021, my wife and sister-in-law developed fever and body pain after 2 days. Both are double vaccinated [COVISHIELD], but tested positive by RT PCR on 01/01/2022. My 15-year-old daughter Nancy who was not vaccinated also tested positive and developed high fever and body pain.
I was in the same room with my wife and daughter since my sister-in-law’s family also shifted to our house as soon as they got fever [They had come for a visit from Bangalore].
As soon as I came to know that I have been in close contact with two RT PCR positive COVID cases for over 3 days, I did a few tests.
Firstly I did my RT PCR test [since I am a Healthcare worker] and it came negative. I also did my Antibody test
The other blood tests were normal including CRP and CBC.
Natural active immunity following Corona Virus infection was acquired by me in September 2020 [almost 15 months ago], before the COVID vaccines were launched.
I do not have any other comorbidities like Diabetes or Heart disease.
I make sure I eat healthily, meditate on God’s word, and do regular exercise at the club.
I play badminton 5 days a week at the club and do a bit of gym daily in the morning.
I checked my Antibody levels periodically and they were positive ever since I got natural COVID infection in Sept 2020.
Even though I was exposed to the COVID virus in the last five days at home in Dec 2021-Jan 2022, I did not develop any signs or symptoms of COVID. My wife and other family members must have got the Omicron variant possibly, though labs in Mumbai do not yet classify variants of the Virus yet.
I am seeing many who have turned RT PCR positive in the last week, and all of them have been vaccinated, some have even taken the 3rd or booster dose from Pzifer in Dubai in December 2021.
And yet I have rarely seen patients who had COVID infection naturally, get RT PCR positive again, in this third wave.
The vaccines available now do have their role to hopefully prevent the disease from progressing to complications, and hence I would recommend that you follow the guidelines and get yourself vaccinated, especially if you have not been naturally infected by COVID yet.
We do a lot of Home monitoring for COVID RT PCR positive by our medical team.
My observations are based on our extensive experience in handling COVID patients over the last 18 months through our home monitoring program.
I hope that updated vaccines are released for COVID-19 as they are for Influenza [A vaccine I take every year and which has really helped me]
If you have been naturally infected with COVID in the third wave[ Dec 2021-Jan 2022], then there is really no point in taking the COVID booster being rolled out in Jan-Feb 22, as the vaccine that is being administered as the booster is the same one that was given last year. In the meantime, the virus has mutated many times!
Hope further research will be done on the role of natural active immunity in protecting against future COVID infections. God bless.
A combination of “herd immunity” and the virus “mutating” to become less infectious and severe led to the eventual end of past pandemics, as scientists have pointed out after studying the Spanish Flu and other pandemics in the last 300 years.
Hope 2022 will fulfill this promise for COVID 19 for all humanity. Stay healthy and blessed.
This is my wish and prayer for you and your near and dear ones.
August 2021 is very special for me personally. 25 years ago in August 1996, I started private practice as a Physician in Borivali, the north west suburb of Mumbai, India’s commercial capital.
Now, 25 years later, my oldest daughter, Grace, at the age of 22, has embarked on her own journey as a working adult. She has joined as a Consultant to a firm in Delhi from the 1st of August, 2021, after majoring in Political Science.
This is also the month when my son Mark passed the 12th standard final state board exams. Due to the COVID pandemic, he did not have to give the final boards, and that is a different story altogether!
I can think of starting my journey towards retirement, I jokingly mentioned to my family. It is also time to hang up my parenting boots, I feel, and enjoy the benefits of having homeschooled three kids during the last two decades.
A quarter of a century now truly seems like something that I can get a grasp of, a moment in time that encompasses almost half of my life as of now.
We have also added two kittens to our family in July 2021.
Looking back, I am amazed at the way my life has unfolded and remain eternally grateful to God and the wonderful people who have blessed me in so many different ways in these years.
I have learnt so much, and grown so much, in these years.
The journey of life is best enjoyed with people, in loving relationships, where we can encourage one another to be a better version of who we were yesterday. And I can say that for me personally this has been absolutely true.
During the COVID pandemic, I was longing for a break for myself and my family. The last break we had taken was in December 2020. So as the second wave hit Mumbai and indeed the entire world in March, I was working as always, juggling online and walk in patients at our Hospital in North Mumbai.
As soon as the kids finished with their online exams and assignments, we planned to take a small break. I explored AirBNB and did find some interesting places but their website was glitching so that led me to use Google Maps and Google earth to zoom in on some promising places.
We first selected Alibag, since it is within four hours drive. My last memories of Alibag were not pleasant at all, a rocky beach streen with garbage, debris and stinking.
So this time I selected a place right near a beach that looked nice. We reached there in four hours. The beach was amazing. It was big, flat and here are some pics!
The setting sun and the receding tide gave us a glimpse of an amazingly beautiful scene.
I have never seen a beach like this.
I went for a morning walk, and saw another side of this pristine beach.
The local fisherfolk use this beautiful beach for doing their big job. I was shocked to see many men doing this in the morning.
Local fishermen say that they have been using this beach for defecation since many generations. One said that they do the same at Worli, sensing somehow that I am from the city.
I asked them, dont you have toilets in your home?
He said, yes they do, but they like to do it in the open, where there is fresh breeze. He seemed reluctant to stop this.
I informed him about the danger from fecal coliforms. I felt that was the best I would do in the short time I was there.
I hope the local administration will tacke this ina socially acceptable manner and that this practice will stop.
I also saw locals bringing in these plantain trees and dumping them as well on the beach.
I wish that all of the people here would be good stewards of God’s wonderful creation that they have been entrusted with to care, protect and keep clean.
The beach is full of hard working creatures who do their job after every tide. These tiny creatures make burrows in the sand and roll out these small round balls of earth.
There are also many colourful shells and creatures all around.
The beach is beautiful but you need to see this as well
I would like to appeal to people to please be careful where you throw trash. The sea will return whatever it cannot degrade.
The beach still retains its magical charm, as you can see from the pictures I am sharing here. I wish this beach to remain anonymous, somehow hoping that this will protect the fragile beauty of this amazing place.
Wishing you many short breaks in the days to come, stay safe and happy!
Working 55+ hrs/week leading to nearly 750k deaths per year: Study published in the HT on 18th May 2021
Working long hours is killing hundreds of thousands of people a year in a worsening trend that may accelerate further due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
In the first global study of the loss of life associated with longer working hours, the paper in the journal Environment International showed that 745,000 people died from stroke and heart disease associated with long working hours in 2016. That was an increase of nearly 30% from 2000.
Dr S P Mathew, Physician, also added that workers need to take ownership of their time, set boundaries and understand that their life is not all about just working.
The joint study, produced by the WHO and the International Labour Organization, showed that most victims (72%) were men and were middle-aged or older. Often, the deaths occurred much later in life, sometimes decades later, than the shifts worked.
It also showed that people living in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region — a WHO-defined region which includes India, China, Japan and Australia — were the most affected.
The study covered the period 2000-2016, and so did not include the Covid-19 pandemic, but WHO officials said the surge in remote working and the economic slowdown resulting from the coronavirus emergency may have increased the risks.
“The pandemic is accelerating developments that could feed the trend towards increased working time,” the WHO said, estimating that at least 9% of people work long hours.
I frequently come across people who WFH [Work From Home] who say that there are no time limits, no boundaries for work. As a Physician, I am concerned about what this is doing for the health of our most productive generation.
Here are some suggestions to preserve your health and yet enjoy your work:
Set clear boundaries, both Physical and Mental, between work and personal life.
Keep a seperate mobile phone for official work and set the time when it will be kept on, with clear communiction to your colleagues and the office on when to contact, the response times and escalation matrix.
Two numbers and two emails.
In the spirit of keeping the two separate, having two phone numbers and two email addresses usually ensures that there is no cross-pollination between your two worlds and this means that if the client calls or tries to get hold of you they won’t be calling you on your personal number or at the weekend or when you’re on holiday (because they don’t have it).
And if you have adopted options one or two above, this ensures a relaxing time away from work.
Exercise regularly. Just 30 minutes is enough. There are three different types of exercise: Cardio, Strength, and Balance/Flexibility.
We are all well aware of the benefits of physical workout, but we are also lazy to dedicate ourselves to spend our time-off in the gym or to do sports. On the other hand, it’s an obvious time-management problem.
How can we manage all the work and find time for a workout? My hypothesis is that we actually don’t consider Exercise a priority when planning our free time.
Your brain is the primary tool you use to perform at your job and you want it to be sharp. Studies indicate that our mental firepower is directly linked to our physical regimen. And nowhere are the implications more relevant than to our performance at work. Some of the outcomes of regular exercise are:
Prolonged mental stamina
Instead of viewing exercise as something we do for ourselves — a personal indulgence that takes us away from our work, it’s time to start considering physical activity as part of the work itself. It’s a concept Arianna Huffington popularised as “Work-Life integration” where time-off, training, resting etc. are actually mechanisms that increase our output and outcomes at work.
Exercise can also give you more energy and you will feel more awake at work. Being on top of your game will assure that you perform your work correctly and to the best of your ability.
One way to be more productive on the job is to have improved mental health. Regular exercise can help control and prevent feelings of anxiety and depression. When you exercise, your brain releases serotonin that helps you feel better and improves your state of mind, making the stresses of work easier to handle. Regular exercise may also help you deal better with stress and this can lead to improved relationships with your colleagues and a more secure future at your job.
Power walking, running, weight lifting, swimming or jogging can help reduce your risk of developing certain types of illness and disease. With an improved immunity, you minimise your chances for getting influenza and the common cold as well as your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension and heart disease is greatly reduced.
So if you wish to enjoy your work and be more productive, work smart, not hard. Remember to enjoy your life and your work.