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April Roundup

When April started, I coined it the Inflection month. My thought was that things would hit bottom on the pandemic front and move up. More or less, that has happened. But it would be foolish to assume that the worst is behind. I am coining May “the month of new possibilities”. I believe many people are going to become inspired from the pent up energies and do meaningful things.

An auspicious start to April with April 2 being Sri Rama Navami.

April was the birth month of Swami Ramanujar. For the first time ever, we spent an hour or more gathering on Skype for one whole week and reciting Prabandham and Slokams for the celebration. Usually, it would have happened in a temple setting. The experience was interesting in that instead of reciting each pasuram as a group, we got to split the daily syllabus into sections that 2 people could recite in turn. With rest of the participants in mute, one could follow along. I like this model also compared to the traditional group recitation, as it gives each person a way to step up and feel involved.

With about 20 people on average daily, Skype held up reasonably well. But the Skype interface needs a dramatic overhaul. I don’t like the Zoom interface also. A re-imagination of the group video call interface while keeping the scalability aspects of Zoom would be a big win.

We got involved in some COVID help. Pooja stitched about 50 masks from a kit that a friend had made. She handed it over to a homeless shelter. Jay coordinated a shoe drive for a local homeless women’s shelter that netted about 100 pairs. I signed up to pick up produce and grocery supplies from Food LifeLine and deliver to Elizabeth Gregory Home every week. Just some small stuff we could do.

I am training for the Marathon as if it would happen on June 6th. Rock’n Roll, however cancelled it last week. But I feel I should keep running.

Jay swung into action teaching online art classes. She has also temporarily converted one room to a studio. She seems to be having a lot of fun producing a ton of art during the Quarantine.

Money Heist series on Netflix and the movie The Last Laugh are two entertainment highlights. For the 3rd time in my life, I slept through Inception. Before too long, I will succeed in seeing the movie wide awake.

In my day occupation, I invest in and follow the markets, both private and public. April was a huge surprise as a best performing month since 1987.

The economic picture isn’t nearly as pretty as the stock market has made it out to be nor will it be soon. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the stock market has been rendered giddy by the Fed’s liquidity brushstrokes that have painted over credit market issues.Whether all of that was legal (based on the 1933 Fed act) is going to be discussed for a while. Earlier this month, I had interesting discussions with a few folks about just selling completely out of the market. Slightly comforted that I didn’t do so. However, I’m strongly considering the popular sell in may adage to get a little safe.

Sneha turned 25 and Pooja got her first professional job. That book ended an interesting month.

Let May turn out to be great possibilities for each one of us.

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