For my Happy Box!

10 06 2013

One of those tiny little moments that make my life.. Conversations with my daughter (in mother tongue Telugu)…

Me: Lakshya, what sound does crow make?

Lakshya: Kaav Kaav..

Me: Good. Now tell me how does a Dog sound like?

Lakshya: Dog a? Bhow Bhow..

Me: Nice!  Now tell me what does Cuckoo say?

Lakshya: Coo – Coo (almost singing)

Me: (Almost wishful..) What does Lakshya say?

Lakshya: Amma Kaavali.. Amma Kavali anta.

Need I say more?





A slice of paradise..

5 05 2009

A morning raga that soothingly warms you into a charming bright sunshine and shining woods that sings you into wondrous splendor… I can’t believe still that one day I woke up into this charming slice of paradise called Vythri in Wayanad.

Vythri gives a cozy feeling of being cocooned right in the middle of the forest with soothing natural streams accompanied with dulcet chirping of the birds, gentle rays of sun streaming through the woods, and sprawling trees that paint a natural green everywhere around. The resort is packed with ample attractions to keep one occupied like: indoor games, hanging bridge, restaurant, coffee shop, indoor games, swimming pool, spa, ayurvedic centre, boutique shop, badminton, football, bonfire etc. The food is awesome and each of those paddi rooms have a separate and secluded plunge pool for the residents. What more can one ask for!

When was the last time you have watched a firefly? For me, guess that joy dates back to childhood when a stray firefly would have made me squeal in delight. Imagine my reaction when I sighted the marvelous sight of a sprawling forest lit by the innumerable twinkles of the fireflies around the Vythri resorts. It was like a feast to the starving eyes. Moment of my life time and how I longed to freeze it for eternity!





In Memory Of the Real Heroes

1 12 2008

Mumbai was in thought, mind and spirit for the past 100 hours. In those moments of heightened and frenzied activity, my emotions were a big kaleidoscope of mixed colors: of denial, anger, blankness, insecurity, helplessness, and agony of loss.

Digesting the mindless madness of this attempt has been the toughest part of the past week. I was praying for the ruthlessness  of the time and mind to commit the horror of the moment to the memory and make me carry on life like business as usual. I guess its the classic escapist nature of the self that lulls one to hope and wish for the better future and life of the countrymen.

Terrorists, Bombs and attacks are not new to us. They are just a part of old news that we deal with in our lifetime. Resilient and united is how our Mumbai janata has always been. They made me proud during the blasts or the floods of the recent times by the way they stood for each other and supported one another. The glorious NSG, Army and Commandos who laid their life on battle to save their fellow countrymen, and those innumerable and countless people of Taj and Oberoi who sacrificed their life in the name of duty, responsibility and honor: You make me proud. You also teach me a lesson in humility, love, respect, honor and duty. I mourn for the senseless loss of you all. May your soul rest in peace and quiet and may your sacrifice remain forever in the mind of people and make way for a positive and better future.

As an Indian, I couldn’t resist myself from quoting this song that’s committed to my memory since childhood days.

‘E Mere Watan Ke Logon, Jara Aankh Me Bharlo Paani
Jo Shaheed Huve Hai Vunki, Jara Yaar Karo Kurbani.’

My eyes are still red with anger, and contempt for the senseless audacity of the monsters and the grief for the destruction of the lives of the people and here we promise that your sacrifice wouldn’t go waste in lighting candles or tea time discussions of Mumbai blasts but would be committed to memory and reflected in actions of our fellow men.

This is time for leadership, for action, and commitment from the Government to take India to the progress and security. Dear leaders, do tell us. Could a better intelligence system have avoided this Mumbai Massacre? Could a better planning would have reduced the heavy loss of life that tolls heavily on the conscience of every Indian? Yes, we Indians are resilient and we would bounce back to life faster. But isn’t it your job to ensure and assure that these incidents wouldn’t repeat and rehash themselves in grisly and morbid frequency. Give us a plan, and not just some shoot off the lip condolences and condemnations. I refuse to believe that India, with its rich intellectual horse power can’t learn from this lesson and make plan for the best intelligence and tracking system to deroot the terrorist network. This is the time of action for us to take a stand tall like determined patriots and contribute our share to the betterment of the environment and society at large. This is the time to take time to reflect, cull the lessons, and make a personal plan for contribution to the enhancement of the security, safety and growth of the team called India.

A note to the Monsters:

What appalled me is the gall of those uncultured, vacuous bigots who could kill with smile and with utter disregard to conscience. I wonder how would your so called God permit this frenzied destruction under a larger purpose. What could be the education of your brainwashed asinine monsters whose doctrines permit the ruthless killing of fellow people with reckless abandon in the name of holy war or some messed up ideology to reserve a seat in heaven. Wah, is this your idea of holy war business? What could be holy in taking on defenceless, unprepared, friendly people by surprise and blowing their brains out in a displaced sense of justice? Oh I forget, you peanut brained guys cant be expected to understand concepts like holy, God and justice. Ever tthought about what does your Heaven look like? A mirror of the destruction you created? Of strewn lambs of your fellow men, of debris of the marvels of creation filled with stench of blood and flesh?

Yeah, right. You guys were making a statement: of your empty headed ideologies, of your debased moral sense, cheap values and of the deviousness of the monstrous actions. Just wake up from perdition and watch for yourself. You wanted to our national monument to bit the dust? You would see the Taj standing proud and tall, living to tell the courageous tale of the ordeal. I can see it back to its feet better and beautiful in weeks. You wanted to instill fear in the heart of the business of India? Go check, for the city of Mumbai is back on its feet, with those crowded metro stations and with tonnes of people making a statement of courage as they brush past the terror and walk up to a purposeful Monday with determination. You wanted to cripple India’s growth? We might miss some tourist dollars, but haven’t you already noticed the the vadapav centres getting busied up on the streets in utter disregard for your brutish actions. Nothing and no-one can stop the tenacity and the persistence of the Indians that make my country. It’s just another day for us, to conquer life and the world at large.





A Place That Spells Peace..

21 11 2008

And a memory that I would treasure for a life time. It took me an year to discover this beautiful sojourn in the Bangalore city. Yes, I am talking about the same good old Kempfort ShivMandir on airport road in Bangalore.

Now, you might ask me why is it so special for me? Its because it gifted me a peaceful and serene memory at the darkest hour of the day. I was exhausted and drained from the day to day turmoil of the work, and all I wanted at night is some place to relax and reflect in peace with a close friend. And a thought crossed my mind to venture to this place, and we were amply rewarded as we walked in just when the last aarti of the temple was about to commence. The night turned radiant and I was spellbound to watch the mighty magnificence of the prayer. The feeling was beyond an expression that words could lace and the divine solace that enveloped me was soothing and comforting in gentle grace. There I was, at peace with myself, in unison with the environment, and God.

I would never claim to be a traditional theist, yet I avow by the faith and belief that makes a place of worship divine. What are rituals, if they don’t enhance and  magnify the inner hope and faith. What are temples, if they don’t stand as a testament of faith. I believe. How powerful that expression could be! I realize it whenever I visit a temple, for always it calms my mind and brings peace.  The sheer might of faith enlivens the God for me.

After so many days, the experience still remains just a thought away, like a fond caress of a gentle breeze. After discovering this little alcove, which is the only peaceful temple that I have known to be open for 24 hours throughout the day, I am sure to garner further memories.

P.S.: Thanks to Srijith for this beautiful capture.





Something Amiss..

13 07 2008

As a sheer wave of nostalgia hits me in this sunny Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t help but muse on all those lovely moments of my life.. Yes, Indeed I miss

  • Those Hasty Bicycle rides to School
  • Climbing Guava and Mango trees in search of sweet temptations
  • Those Hide and Seek Games that filled lazy afternoons
  • Summer Time.. Umm.. Mango eating competitions in the village backyards.. Yummy!
  • Hosting Bicycle Championships around the village roads
  • Inventing creative reasons for missing classes
  • Those innocent dreams of Ramayan, Snakes and Shaktiman
  • Those days of ‘Chitrahaar’ and ”Doordarshan’ sans remote control
  • Bending rules with childhood pals, my partners in crime
  • Those summer rains and the lighthearted frolic on the terrace
  • The sheer joy of growing up, and the academic rigmarole

Umm.. How I long for a little drizzle of joy or a time machine… Suddenly this whole business of playing the adult isn’t that appealing any more.





Antargange Trek..

23 06 2008

Pure Exhiliaration is the word of the day. Thanks for the insistence of a sweet pal, which made me head for this trek instead of watching ‘Dasavatharam’ or indulging in window shopping.

This is the first time that I tried ‘Bangalore Mountaineering Club’ and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by the experience. We boarded the bus at 8 AM at K.R. Puram busstop and I was surprised to see 50 plus people in the bus, given the short notice. I guess the quality of the companionship in the group made all the difference to this trekking experience.

The trip started with around 90 minutes of bus journey from Bangalore to reach Kolar. We caught up with the breakfast at ShanthiSagar in Kolar which is around 3 km from the ‘Antargange’ location. We reached the place in no time and there was a pack of stairs leading up to the temple. We were welcomed by loads of monkeys, and the pleasant sunny breeze warmed us for the trek ahead.

We reached the Antargange temple after a little climb of stairs, and I already had doubts forming in my mind, if the trek actually is over before it even began. The temple is filled with serene silence and the group is abuzz with action for the impending climb. Making the temple as our base camp, we started the trek with Janak playing the lead trekker and Neeraj trailing to support the cozy climbers.

The path is paved with sand, rock, thorns and the sun, in his blazing glory, wasn’t playing the good Samaritan. Yet, undaunted, many were climbing ahead, one step at a time, in a quiet determination to discover the terrain. I really marvelled at the energy of the crowd in climbing and cave exploring in the region. By noon, we reached the peak of a mountain(if I can call it that) and were ready to go for cave exploration after a relaxed lunch on the peak of a mountain by the side of a small brook filled with chilled water. Cold feet takes a different meaning when you get to rest by dipping feet in chilled water on the top of a mountain in sooting breeze after a hectic trek uphill.

The beauty of mingling with a group in an organized trek, is the sheer experience of encountering different people with different choices and interests. There would be some exploring the untrodden path, some who would take time around to smell the roses and savour the scenary around, while some who run ahead in childlike enthusiam of scaling the peak ahead only to discover that there is no dearth of rocks. Everyone discovering his or her own private definition of solitude and enjoyment amidst wilderness and sun.

If the climb uphill through the rocks in no definite path was a journey on its own, filled with a different thrill of navigating through the boulders that challenge your endurance, the cave exploration post lunch unleashed the childlike exuberance of discovering the unknown. Armed with a naive faith that the dark holds no terror, we all went through the natural caves, to discover our own recess for solitude amidst the mammoth rocks that are resting since centuries. Those rocks filled with small crevices are loaded with umpteen challenges. Often, finding a way ahead in the maze of boulders becomes daunting as the chances of hitting a dead end means reinventing the wheel once again. The wild flowers with their gentle fragrance, and the natural caves with their cold soothing embrace did offer some sanctury against the sultry weather. We did learn some gymnastics, prodding ourselves though the closely nested rocks to reach no definite destination in an easy pace.

The view from the top is breath taking! Enveloped by sand, rock, sky and sun, the town of Kolar looks serene and calm. All I could feel was numbing contentment. With so many people sharing the joy of experience, the thought that lingered in that moment was, ‘who said its lonely at the top?’. 🙂 I was in for a treat while getting down. We discovered a small well with pristine sweet water and I relived the fantasy of a village gal by drawing water from the well and enjoying its sweet taste in primitive fashion. With loads of memories and sated satisfaction, we headed for Bangalore playing Antakshari enroute with the new found pals. We sealed off the day with a quiet dinner at Malgudi and bid our farewell. I had my much needed break, and I confess this, even though the after effects of the trek still remain in my hoarse throat and aching muscles.





A Piece of Rant Club…

15 05 2008

X: I Am Good At Management…

Me: Why Do You Think So?

X: Umm… I am good at coffee table conversations. I am good at talking to people. My communication skills are super. Top of the world actually. And, finally, I think I am good at coordination (really, any one can schedule meetings and handle logistics! ) and I enjoy doing it.

And finally as the discussion proceeds, I realize that its either the lure of flexible time, or the seemingly easy work that acts as a persistent motivator than the idea of career.

There is a lot of misconception about the so called management roles, at least in the field that I work in. Thought most of the senior people in those roles seem to be doing only talking, preparing pretty presentations, or spending most of their time in meetings, there is lot more under the hood than that meets the eye. One doesn’t account for the years of experience or the knowledge that they are equipped with to handle client demands on the feet, or the experiential insight that they bring in while addressing specific issues. Even bad communicators may have sound understanding or a strategic approach to the problem at hand. We can’t ignore the skills that they bring to the table because someone has bad presentation skills, just the way we can’t give weight for garrulous mouthing of words with little essence.

For those who are contemplating management career or decision making roles, a little bit of soul searching is crucial. List out all the reasons and hidden factors that propel you to consider this option. You can give a load of convincing answers to the world, yet please don’t deceive thyself.

Do you have it in you to face tremendous odds and come out trumps? Can you handle tremendous pressure or do you get fizzled out at the drop of a hat? Do you have the never-say-die spirit or do you give up easily and are driven by the principle of fatalism, i.e. the belief that you don’t have control over your deeds and some external force like God determines that.

After going through these discussions umpteen number of times, and talking to aspiring MBAs my mood turned nostalgic as I leafed through those memories of college days. I am blessed with a great mentor during my engineering days, and I am sharing a piece of those exchanges. These are times when I feel that the basics of these questions hasn’t changed over 5 years.

Why you want to do MBA?
1. Is it for money?
2. Is it for fame?
3. Is it for getting power?
4. Is it for getting a good job?
5. Is it for getting social recognition?
6. Is it because you want to make a career in Management?
7. Is it because you like to take challenges?
8. Is it because you want to broaden your horizons?
9. Is it because you have an academic bent of mind?
10. Is it for the sense of achievement?
11. Is it to get yourself equipped with an additional degree so that you can have an edge in this dog-eat-dog world?
12. Is it because you get turned ON by business and economy like nothing else?
13. Is it because you have nothing else to do?
14. Is it because of peer pressure?
15. Is it just for the sake of it and enjoyment?
16. Is it for making yourself more eligible in the marriage market?

It doesn’t require a great deal of analysis to figure out the secret motivator behind picking brain about management roles. For most of us in corporate field, its unavoidable. As we add on experience to the work life, most of our work or output depends on the deliverables of others. Thats when people management, communication, planning and organization skills come into play. For some, a management degree is a way to break free from the technical roles or a launchpad into different industries. For students, MBA is either a lucrative career option or a way to extend unemployment. ( Pun intended 🙂 )

But for those with mammoth goals and lofty aspirations, I am sharing this piece of advice that I received years ago from my mentor.

“A person doesn’t become a CEO just by doing MBA or just having the desire. The culmination is only due to untiring efforts and careful grooming over many years. Do bear that in mind. Although, having lofty ambitions is laudable, being nervous even before the battle has begun doesn’t behoove you. You need to have the emotional poise to handle things at ease. “

And finally, chill. We are all good at management in one way or the other. We all are managing our lives without much catastrophes. Acquiring management skills isn’t rocket science if we put our mind and heart to it. They say, vision without action is a dream and action without vision is a nightmare. Be true to the choices of life and be true to your dreams and longings. Life will sail on much more easily and happily.





Random Musings Over Weekend…

3 05 2008

This post is a result of a desire to list out some of those haphazard thoughts that catch you in randomness in every direction on a weekend, just when you realize you have all the time in the world to be with oneself.

The Regular Weekend Laundry List

  • Yesterday, I watched a telugu movie called ‘Parugu’, just for the heck of it. Its about time for me to admit how I am such a hopeless movie freak and how I enjoy catching any movie at any theatre (multiplex to local standalone) over weekends.
  • Just finished reading ‘Close to the Wind’ by John Harris. I was little reluctant to pick that book at start, as I couldn’t find a single review about it online. Thankfully, its a beautifully told story and I added a review about that book to my to do list.
  • Yesterday, just when my stomach is full of ‘Bobby da Dhaba’ Paratha and my eyes are really longing for a trip to dreamland, a pal of mine calls me to ask a seemingly innocuous question, “Do we really have a larger purpose in life?”. Huh! My mind really went blank. Answer, anyone please?
  • After being bulldozed by a pal for about four hours, I trotted around in BTM to discover a place called HICON which offers weekend cinematic Hiphop dance classes. I have no clue what that means, but I am planning to figure it out tomorrow. See, even I am susceptible to flashes of random inspiration.
  • Today, I discovered that I have an amalgamation of about 56 odd stocks in my portfolio. For a novice that I am, thats like placing eggs in to too many baskets. Hopefully, I will sort that mess by next week.

Some High Moments

  • Last week, I attended my cousin’s marriage. We grew up together and its sheer pleasure to see him enter into an assisted marriage. Marriages are also time for family and relatives get-together for socializing and catching up with times. My heart took me through a flashback ride of childhood, those times of playing hide and seek, mounting walls, bicycle races, flouting rules and climbing trees for mangoes and guavas. Looking at the brazen mirth of a couple of kids jumping on and off the marriage hall, my grandpa innocently remarked, “Probably childhood is the only time when we are carefree and truly happy”. Hearing his artless remark, I could only flash a blissful grin.
  • I am glad to know that the post on Tashan stopped at least a couple of folks from watching that movie. Curiously, I felt so happy to play the savior.
  • I am really glad to see Amitabh Bachan blogging. I can’t help but wonder how he answers all those thousands of comments on his own, or how does he find time to blog on a daily basis amidst his busy schedule. He almost taught me Hindi over Doordarshan during my school days and I love the way he carries himself. He holds a special place in my heart and I am happy to share a piece of his thoughts. 🙂

Some Time For Confessions

  • My weekend over the past three years stuck to a random pattern of predictability. It almost always includes a couple of movies, pals and books, long walks, a diary, some music and some restaurant. Not that I mind falling into a pattern!
  • I often write to share with others some advice, opinion or a slice of my mind. I can’t call it a hobby anymore, for this zeal for self-expression is a part of the core me.
  • These days I am worried about the acceptance that I offer to circumstances. I have become too complacent and accepting of things around me as if they are part of scenery. I have a right to feel and vent anger. And I think that justifiable and just anger shows how much one cares about any situation. May be I should try exercising my right instead of pressing that ‘Ignore’ button.
  • Sometimes I confuse potential with skill. There is a world of difference between ‘I can do it’ and ‘I have done it’.
  • I enjoy counseling and dispensing advice to myself and to anyone who naively lends an ear. Yet, I am incapable of taking the admirable advice that I get uninvited from me and the world.
  • When I wander through college campuses, I get this overwhelming urge to get back to school and classrooms. Like children, I forget those urges once I step out of those campuses.
  • My biggest weakness is my lack of self discipline. I somehow find it tough to stick to any form of schedule. Can’t say that I am working on it though!
  • I am an extremely positive person. Being positive requires continuous effort and like a petulant child, it demands constant attention. When situations subject me to unexpected lows, I retreat into a shell for sometime to compose myself enough to long for those hopeful rainbows. I hate to share those moods of moroseness and negativity. Some thoughts are not worth sharing.
  • Barely three years old into the corporate world, I already suffer from materialism,’What’s In It For Me’ Syndrome, To-Do lists and finally randomizing nonsense through bullet points.




An Eventful Trip To Hyderabad..

9 04 2008

Well, the reason for the over-the-long-weekend Hyderabad trip is basically nothing, apart from the fact that I ran out of creative ideas to kill three days at a stretch in Bangalore. This trip was a sheer product of dread at ruining a nice holiday with the idiot box and some insipid novels (the bibliophile in me is suffering from acute dearth of intellectual stamina).

I spent my time with friends, discovering what has changed in them and what hasn’t changed in Hyderabad, apologizing at times rather earnestly on why I couldn’t make it to their weddings/ engagements, handling over belated wedding presents, checking out remote areas like Bala Nagar and Suchitra, meeting a couple of online pals for the very first time, watching a couple of movies for IMAX and City Planet sake, taking a long walk at General Bazaar during a light drizzle, driving around the city on one good old engineering times lady bike of my pal wearing a helmet, and in free time hogging Paradise Biryanies and Irani Chaies.

Tankbund @ Hyderabad..
There are some uninvited realizations and lessons too. I realized that I lost a piece of the gullible me when I couldn’t trust an autowalah on face value. Especially when my suspicion proved right. I realized that I needed to be more assertive, when someone asked me to pay a price for companionship. I realized that people change and especially when you meet pals after a gap of some years my mental image of them won’t fit with what they currently are. And, I could shed some biases and prejudices that I nursed of Hyderabad, for I realized that at heart I do like the larger than life attitude of the city.

This short trip to Hyderabad proved out to be quite eventful. Indeed.





Some Story Telling Session…

25 03 2008

This moment is filled with sheer nostalgia. A chip off the memories at the IMDR personality development classes.. I do wonder at times about the things that haven’t changed, looking back at those days when we did that four princes story telling session and impersonated one of the prince’s exile story with utter glee. What I loved was the beginning of the story, the entire group gathering and the joy of offering the non-material gifts.

That was some day when that sane wise man started his session like this: “Once upon a time, long long ago, just about yesterday, far far away from here, just around the corner was a kingdom a kingdom not too large, not too small and like all kingdoms its boundaries extended to East, West, North and South to the extent of the known world…” And then we went through a racy ride over a kingdom blessed with four princes, each with his own unique skills and two unique gifts from his fairy grand mother, all set to reign the world.

The two gifts for each prince were intriguing too. While one gift fetched success in public, the other gift acted as a mirror in the closed quarters. First Prince got the Book of Knowledge and an Ever Smiling Doll, the Second Prince was gifted the Magic Sword and the Roaring Mouse, while the third prince is left with the Magic Box of Potions and the tear bag and the Fourth Prince had the Magic Cap and the Magic Wand. Faced with a challenge to live a two year exile period out of the comfort zone of his kingdom, each prince marches in the designated direction at a certain age to make his life. There the story was left open and the participants made their own journey impersonating the prince of their choice.

Little did I know at that time that my instinctive choices haven’t changed even after three long years. I am still that rolling stone, the prince of laughter, gifted with magic cap and magic wand.. What felt like fun sounded frivolous at times, yet I guess the beauty of that experience lies in its inherent contradictions. It engaged our creativity while making us introspect and reflect on our choices. It held our interest and spread a lot of cheer while making us ponder over the deeper implications. We all need mirrors at times, to see how we have evolved and how we have changed over the sands of time.





Summing Up The First Quarter..

8 03 2008

Recently I turned 25. Its kind of tough to think through the passing moments, really. Especially when you consider the first quarter of life as a milestone that passed by, acceding to no will of yours. Much of the complexities of being a twenty something is already addressed by some blessed soul over here. I identify with most of it. Yet, life is more than just a summation of miseries, woes, troubles and confusion and I don’t choose to cast a negative cloud on what has been an enriching journey. There is a lot of sunshine, some perfect moments, a few relationships of lifetime, reflections, solitude, lessons earned, studies unlearned, and some cherished people who filled my life with fond memories. Through the walk of life, I discovered joy in music, books, writing, woods, friends, family, mentors and myself which filled my life with love, laughter and a sense of celebration.

My experiments with life have evolved with the different phases that I whizzed by trading my innocence with apathy. Now, am wondering as to how to name those stages? Should I call them Childhood, Adolescence, and My Struggle to Grow Up or should I adhere to the society standards and treat them as Education, and Settlement? 🙂 When I got all I wanted or asked for, there was a sheer joy of achievement and when I didn’t, there was a huge lesson hidden in the reflection of that experience. It wasn’t all roses, yet while looking back, I realize that those little setbacks and failures taught me more than those larger than life kind of victories (they seemed that way when I was there 🙂 ).

Now let me confess this, I had a fabulous set of memories of growing up. My first 25 years that rolled by left me no regrets! Life is indeed beautiful. Call me Ulpasantoshi or easy to please, yet that is the big truth of my life. Words fall flat if I have to express my gratitude to my loving family which shaped me and been a pillar of strength, fabulous mentors who watched over when I faltered, friends offering companionship and acceptance in need and deed, and a lot of strangers and acquaintances who knowingly or unknowingly etched their footprints through innocent interactions. It is indeed people and nature, and the relationships I created with them which made me what I am.

Every day that I wake up in presents me with new challenges or opportunities,of which I passed up some, while exploring some. There is some realization and an immense depth of learning along the way, which I plan to record here for my sake so that when I look back after another 25 years, I can muse on what changed and what stayed on. I know it sounds rather ambitious, but I plan to stay around savoring life for another 3 quarters at the least. 😉

I have learned to appreciate elders, value experience, cherish people, share a smile, care with empathy, love without expecting reciprocation, cheer for the fellow men, endorse goodness whenever I can, enjoy my company in those moments of solitude, face uncertainty, live in the moment and to accept myself for what I am. And am practicing with myself to incorporate them in every pace of life. There are some things that I am trying hard to give up. Like wondering about cosmic questions like the purpose of life, playing the Nostradamus, Ignoring the present in an attempt to design future, postponing happiness, procrastination, transactional relationships, materialistic pursuits and being a rat in the race. That’s a constant battle that I wage on a daily basis with the inner demons, to get that right equation for holistic life.

This first quarter is all about developing roots, as I can feel that a lot of my convictions have only become stronger with age. Glad to trade my innocence for those wonderful moments, memories and experiences that altered me in minute ways, I see a long road ahead to work with myself in translating values to action, moments to memories, and dreams to reality.

To sum it up, let me borrow from Robert Frost.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”




Maha Shiva Ratri..

6 03 2008

To Day is The Night of Lord Shiva.. It feels so special and divine as my mind drifts to those devotional days of childhood times where this ritual is celebrated wholeheartedly in my hometown.

A trip down the memory lane reminds me of those days of Diligent fasting the whole day and night, Melodious and Soulful prayers like Chadrashekhara Astakam, Shiva Panchakshara Strotram, Linga Astakam, Scrambling for various fruits, Decorating the idols with various kinds of flowers for symbolic ritual of Shiva’s marriage to Parvati late in the night, Passing the entire night resisting sleep, playing with pals or watching the good old black and white Lord Shiva movies like Bhakta Kanappa, Markandeya and so on, marching to River Krishna or Godavari and taking a dip early at the crack of dawn, soaking in the fuss of all the elders and inventing our own form of mischief.. Those are the days of fun, play and prayer as they paint my memory with nostalgia and warmth.

I am planning today to take the fast, visit Lord Shiva’s temple and complete it by recollecting all those fond memories of this ritual. For all those agnostics, devotees, cynics and confirmed atheists, I have nothing to say, as belief is a very personal concept. God for me is as much true as the faith that I keep on him or her. Yet, a little reflection makes me dwell on how my feelings towards rituals have evolved over all these years. My awareness, understanding, and the actions towards the rituals take a new definition every year and they reinvent themselves both qualitatively and quantitatively. And that makes me reiterate my inner belief that only experience matters in the end.





Ragi Gudda Temple..

3 03 2008

This temple is one of my favorites in Bangalore. Its truly a no brainer to guess why though. A little temple on hill surrounded by loads of Gods, Ample space, limited crowd, well planned design and peaceful environment. What more can I ask for? I loved the beauty of those bougainvillea arcades that envelop the devotees on their way to God. For those fashioning a little trek, a small route is paved on the rocky terrain to climb atop. But that wouldn’t allow you a direct entry to the temple, unless the door is open or the Pujari takes mercy on your knocking, of course. 🙂

Ragi Gudda Temple

There is this little anecdote thats oft told in my household. For an innocuous inquiry about – “Grandma why are all these temples located on hills? Why do Gods make us climb so much? – earned me an answer – “Earlier all the temples were located on same plane little one. But as mankind grew, they sinned a lot and the land in which they lived has fallen down due to the burden of their sins. Hence we feel Gods are located on hills.” That sounded a reason good enough at those carefree times.

Sometimes, the little effort that we put into and the huge bang that we make about visiting temples can make me dazed. For those who care to follow, I can recount at least 20 instructions on the top of my head. Take Tirupati for instance. Many families that I know have this temple in their travel agenda, even when its not easy to climb up the seven hills on foot route. Guess pain is gain at those times. Guess the effort that we expend nurtures peace in a way. Guess these are those little practices in our religion that teaches restraint in a way.





Its Yesterday Once Again..

2 03 2008

I had a really rocking weekend. Yes, the emphasis has to be there, as its been ages since I sampled those happy moments of yesterday again. Thanks to that quirky mind of mine, which made a spur of moment decision to treat itself out of cold with loads of love medicine of Grand Parents. This little last minute trip to my granny’s place has really made me alive and probably this forced intimacy is what I needed to shake me out of the cloistered work environment. I really can’t tell you how much of a shift I experience, especially coming from the corporate metro world where every minute can be accounted for to my Granny’s place, where clock holds no meaning and day light pretty much dictates how the day passes by.

Waking by to the chirping of birds, climbing walls to collect those hiding jasmines, out running little kiddos during lazy evenings, collecting veggies from the kitchen garden for lunch, helping granny in little chores, collecting firewood for the heating water, fashioning myriad flowers for God’s garlands, the poking fun on those legendary TV serials which occupy those dusk hours, wrestling with little sis over the primitive fire place, sharing the starlit blue sky for the blanket at the night.. Life suddenly feels as if its yesterday once again and life is not so much complicated after all. Every corner that I walked to, I would find a rose, jasmine, lemon, goose berry or mango and I can feel a mild fragrance enveloping my senses. That’s when I succumb to those feelings of contentment and joy.





Blind Men And The Elephant..

9 02 2008

This is a story from my Granny’s collections. One of those fond memories of childhood and yet such a lifetime lesson to practice. A little googling helped me locate this story and saved me from recreating its fondness from memory. For the trading with memories involves dealing with interpretations and perceptions which may not let you remain true to the original. 🙂

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Once upon a time there were six blind men. They lived in a town in India. They thought they were very clever. One day an elephant came into the town. The blind men did not know what an elephant looked like but they could smell it and they could hear it. ‘What is this animal like?’ they said. Each man touched a different part of the elephant.

The first man touched the elephant’s body. It felt hard, big and wide. ‘An elephant is like a wall’ he said. The second man touched one of the elephant’s tusks. It felt smooth and hard and sharp. ‘An elephant is like a spear’ he said.

The third man touched the elephant’s trunk. It felt long and thin and wiggly. ‘An elephant is like a snake’ he said. The fourth man touched on of the legs. It felt thick and rough and hard and round. ‘An elephant is like a tree’ he said.

The fifth man touched one of the elephant’s ears. It felt thin and it moved. ‘An elephant is like a fan’ he said.

The sixth man touched the elephant’s tail. It felt long and thin and strong. ‘An elephant is like a rope’ he said.

The men argued. It’s like a wall! No, it isn’t! It’s like a spear! No it isn’t! It’s like a snake! They did not agree. The king had been watching and listening to the men. ‘You are not very clever. You only touched part of the elephant. You did not feel the whole animal. An elephant is not like a wall or a spear or a snake, or a tree or a fan of a rope’.

The men left the town still arguing. A little girl heard them and said ‘Each of you is right but you are all wrong … but I know what you are talking about.’

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A nice illustration of this story in poem is available here. This story leaves me with a lingering echo that sounds like this.
“O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
For preacher and monk the honored name!
For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
Such folk see only one side of a thing”

Well, thats the thought that stayed with me since carefree days.





Moment By Moment..

2 12 2007

Thats the way to take life I guess.. I never can claim that I lead a perfect life, yet yes, I acknowledge the existence of some perfect moments as and when they happen.

This Saturday was really like some pot luck where one discovers all his favorite dishes at one go. Ever experienced this wicked glee on your face when someone sings aloud those melodies that are lingering in your thought? Ever cribbed to God about something, and saw your choicest desire taking shape in an instant? Ever longed for some soulful company and saw your best pal calling you that very moment.. All this and many more brightened my joy to the hilt..

Am just counting my blessings, moment by moment. 🙂





Song Of the Day..

27 11 2007

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Kisiki muskuraahaton pe ho nisaar
Kisika dard mil sake to le udhaar
Kisike waaste ho tere dil mein pyaar
Jeena issi ka naam hai

Maana apni jeb se fakeer hain
Phir bhi yaaron dil ke ham ameer hain
Mitte jo pyaar ke liye woh zindagi
Jale bahaar ke liye woh zindagi
Kisi ko ho na ho hamein to aitbaar
Jeena issi kaa naam hai

Rishta dil se dil ke aitbaar ka
Zinda hai hameen se naam pyaar ka
Ke mar ke bhi kisi ko yaad aayenge
Kisi ke aansuon mein muskuraayenge
Kahega phool har kali se baar baar
Jeena issi kaa naam hai
Kisiki muskuraahaton pe ho nisaar..

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It been ages since I last heard of this melody in Anari. Yet, in some rare moods of the moment, you hear those childhood memories of melodies flashing in mind and I just cant resist the temptation of singing along in carefree frolic. Here’s to the love, cheer, joy and fun that this song spreads. If someone have this song in their music collection, please do share! 🙂

Thanks to the pal who found this for me. It is available here.





Affirmations!

11 10 2007

Brooding over the passing time and blessed by the leisure, I went to take a long walk by myself. Those are times where am truly with myself to reflect, think, observe and celebrate all those beautiful things in life.

Sometimes I feel the need in life to acknowledge all those people who made me what I am and whose presence brought a richness to my experiences in life. Those loving mentors who helped me find direction whenever I felt lost, My loving family who offered me unconditional love, affection and strength when I needed it most, those wonderful people who taught me the lessons of life, and all those who had a hand in shaping my character knowingly or unknowingly.

Yet, to offer acknowledgment and celebrate all those blessed moments, I need to be complete inside and appreciate the goodness in and around me. That prompted me do a series of affirmations indeed for the heroine that lives in me. 😉

We all are achievers and heroes of our lives. Though we lift Mount Everest every day, standing tall through testing times, taking responsibility for the choices that we make, we rarely acknowledge ourselves. We rarely appreciate the little joys of life, those shimmering moon beams that ride the night sky, that surprising little sunshine on a gloomy day or that welcoming summer rain as we wade through our life in perennial worries, postponing happiness. Some people may wish to believe that life runs in pursuit of happiness. Yet, for me tomorrow begins now for savoring happiness..

Whenever I see a gloomy cloud threatening to shadow my cheerfulness, I usually say to myself that I am born with a joy in heart and smile on my face and my journey in life is filled with cheer and beauty..Sounds little childish, yet it works for me! Guess everyone is allowed a touch of madness once a day I say! 🙂 As long as we find something to appreciate, conscience to guide, companions to share and world to explore, life is a wonderful deal! Dont you think so?





Skeletons in The Cupboard..

8 10 2007

This is one of those persistent echoes from one of those intellectually stimulating conversations that I relished and indulged in grandeur. How do we deal with broken dreams, unrequited love, and breach of trust? How do we handle with that muted voice of the Maverick that lies with in us? We all have our own little skeletons in our cupboards from past. Everyone emerges different from similar experiences depending on how they chose to deal with them.

One of friends’ shared with me his perspective one day. Since I know he wouldn’t mind, am quoting him verbatim.. “Heard “Ekla chalo re?” All of us are individuals, responsible for the fruits and pitfalls of our individual actions. Ever since I was a young, I hardly remember a time when I didn’t suffer from crush pangs. Grew up like that, got ditched a couple of times, but picked up the remnants and carried on. Anyway, you never know who is trustworthy and who is not. I trust everyone and no one. Even if I get ditched, I’m not affected, and if I am not, I’ll have won over someone. Life doesn’t play safe. You’d either be endangered or as safe as in Fort Knox.“

Some choose to live in profound confusion and conflict quagmire, finding it hard to let go of past and some are able to pick up the pieces and move on savoring life moment by moment. Whatever that we choose to do and how would we deal with the skeletons in the cupboard in the end is our personal choice. It’s about being comfortable with our thoughts, value systems and ourselves. What’s life if it’s not spiced with joy, mirth, sorrows, complexities, love, fun and friends? We all have our own wars to fight, storms to rage, dreams to conquer and dragons to slay. Sometimes we may end up with terrible wounds, raw pain, and shattered dreams. I heard someone saying Pain is Gain. How true! Life is a learning process for sure. Hold on to that inner spirit and enjoy the ride.





Weekend Musings..

23 09 2007

The word for the weekend is Nostalgic! It is filled with recollecting memoirs and reliving memories from old letters, mails, chats and catching up on long pending reflections. I have had a pensive Saturday and a homely Sunday. This is my first weekend at Bangalore where I had time entirely for myself and guess this is much needed to flush some pensive musings. At times it is tough to enjoy the company that I keep when am alone. My mood closely rhymed with this expression.. ‘Looking back on the tears would always make us laugh, but little did I know that the moments we laughed together will make us cry one day!’





Flow Of Life in Train..

10 07 2007

I observe life rolling by in faster pace.. Train Journeys have always been a fascinating experience. Splash of greenery everywhere, tall coconut trees, huge plantations, flocks of birds, meadows and shallow lagoons, huge lakes with lovely water plants, bustling little towns, kids playing by the train tracks, different variants of food.. Its spectacular to watch the huge expanse of nature taking myriad forms of beauty.. A little drizzle here and a little sunshine there.. Beauty and wind whizzes by giving rise to a wanton desire to take a dip in that lake or to play with the wind..

As a little kid, I have always loved train journeys.. Especially the long ones with family.. Preparation for Train Journeys used to run like a celebration.. The whole family fussing over the packing, Mom is busy loading food (especially Pulihora, Chapati, Curd Rice, fruits, Namkeens) to last for the double the actual journey.. What would you do if you got twelve or twenty hours to spend in the most idyllic fashion? Some sleep, some chat, some play. Scouting for water on the platforms, and the wait for the relatives to Hello By if they live along that route, Indulging in the local delicacies that come your way.. You meet interesting people out there in trains during idle, innocent chitchats. Some forge lasting friendships, some for the instant.. I have had some interesting experiences, and pals..

And then the waiting for the train.. Its typical to wait for hours together to board as Indian trains are a punctuality nightmare. BTW, I am delightfully surprised during my last trip to Vijayawada. The railway station got a cybercafé, 24 X 7 restaurants, and a Book Store. During my four hours of waiting to catch the 12 AM Tamilnadu express which arrived at 4AM, I browsed for an hour, had a strawberry icecream (that’s the only one flavor in offer), Wished a friend on his birthday, took a little survey of the platform and went to the waiting hall to surrender myself in one of those chairs to fall asleep.. Thanks to that good Samaritan who shook me up when the train finally arrived, otherwise I would have passed the chance to catch Tamilnadu for the grudging comfort of the yogic sleep I had!

And then the Ticket Collectors (TC).. They pass by in their dark coats and you can always count on them for arranging seats in emergency, albeit with some service charge. On one particular trip, I did a mistaken booking for a train starting at 12:30 AM.. Usually when we book tickets, we consider the date of travel in conversational terms.. 12:30 AM is colloquially Sunday Night, which would make it Monday Morning in Railway Lingo.. So I ended up in Train on a Sunday with a ticket that’s officially booked for Saturday Night. Everything ended up well though.. TC has offered me a vacant berth after I paid up the penalty..

Life never stops and journey in train is a filling activity. People are in contentment with rush, busy getting dressed up for the office or catching breakfast, indulging in music, book or drowning themselves in the cooling comfort of the window.. When the destination arrives, it’s a soothing comfort and life is back to the predictable rhythm.. Yet, the child in me still expectantly looks forward to that lazy, leisurely solace of the train journey again!





Mozhi Movie Review

10 05 2007

mozhi.jpg

This post is long due! I have always wanted to write a review about Mozhi since the moment I have seen it. Guess I am waiting for the right time and right mood! This movie comes as a fresh breather to the usual Tamil movies and it sure revived my hopes in Indian Cinema. And guess this movie qualifies for high praise as my understanding of Tamil is very meager!

The movie storyline can be described as a simple love story where the hero falls in love with a deaf and dumb girl and how they end up living happily ever after. I would be doing a gross injustice to the movie if I give such impression as simple themes can be very profound if they are handled in a sensitive fashion. For me, Mozhi is a movie that oozes our attitude towards life. It has a bunch of characters who deal with their ups and downs, joys and sorrows, which such bright, cheerful attitude and elegance that impressed me most!

Archana (played by Jyothika) is a deaf and dumb girl with a strength of character and an independent nature. She finds rapport with Swarnamala, who is her colleague as well. Karthik (Prithviraj) and Viji (Prakash) are good friends who are trying to make a career in music industry. The story revolves around these four key characters and how they deal with life in all its magnificence. This movie is beautifully complemented with timely sense of humor, situational songs, and scintillating music.

This movie is amply packed with expressions of silence, moments of rapture, sensitive emotions and strong characters. There are some great scenes as well. Guess the beauty of this movie is conveyed in this dialogue of Archana, when Prakash Raj queries her about what does music mean to her, she replies, “Music is another language like Tamil and English to me. I don’t know any of the languages that you speak. But I can speak one language that none of you speak, it is Mounam (silence)”

I don’t long to reveal the storyline or the plot.. 🙂 I just wanted to say that sensible and sensitive movies are a rare find. Do Grab them when you have a chance!





Pookalam Competition..

31 08 2006

As a part of the Onum celebrations @ TCS Tidel Park, we participated in Pookalam competition and managed to win second! Well, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed making the floral carpet just for the pure exhilaration of working together as a team. The interesting part is that most of the team who created the carpet are non mallos with an absolute zero experience. I guess that made it most interesting! Since noone was aware of the proper process, we experimented a lot. Some of our guys browsed a lot of websites to arrive at some good choices of floral carpets. A couple of our creative designers worked on to arrive at the perfect concept for our design. One bought chalk powder and made a huge symmetric circle with a cone and thread! Some one added the sand base, while some worked on to arrange the flowers.. Guess that was the first time when I saw most of the teammates by sharp 7 AM in office. Working with flowers, fixing the sand, letting the mind stray to get some creative combinations was an awesome experience. Hey, all was worthwhile for the enjoyment and energy it generated within team. Another instance of ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’.

Here is a snapshot of our pookalam design. One side shows an elephant head, just reverse it to find a man riding a boat! Guess its the idea which won more than the execution! 🙂

Pookalam





All of My One Yr at Work!

16 06 2006

Knock Knock.. “Sowmya Wake Up!!!”
Wondering I enquire in daze ” Who the Hell is this? ”
“Its me, remember those M&Bs and late night walks?”, inquires my forlorn, and abandoned self. “Oh dear- are u still alive?”- I ask in splendor.
Guess an year of corporatedom has taken my intelligence to all time low and I have ignored those inner rantings for so long that I didn’t expect a wave of nostalgia to hit me today!

Yeah, Am back to introspect, to blog and to connect with myself even if its only for a while! Its been so long since I turned mechanical.. staring into the screen as if am going to get a windfall, pretending to be Ms. Know All in the face of crisis, doing tap dance and tango in front of clients and muting those inner longings for tomorrow. I had so many wishes for tomorrow that it made me exhausted. I wanted a day to read that book, have that bicycle, own that garden, kiss my mamma, love my granny, be that wanton self and hold that hand!

I spent some time going through some interesting blogs and marveled at their ability to get connected to their inner souls. This whole week I spent VELA waiting for the tide to turn in my favor and my mood to get back to slog. At times I hate Microsoft for its MS Office! Word, or PPT all all alike!

Neither my parents visit last week or nor my great confirmation rating helped me to bring me back to normalcy. Now I know that if monotony is creeping in, its one of those warnings from the system to think something different. I had ignored them for long and that’s the cause for this long hibernation!

Lazy Reflections!

Looking back on my one year of work experience, am pleased to note that I am still intact except for a few bouts of boredom at times. There is quite a lot of things that I have noticed, realized and changed. The biggest realization is the value and the worth of building a network. In the corporate world, my success is not dependent on what I do but rather on how I take others along with me. That calls for being considerate for others, leading by example, having a ready smile and openmindedness.

After sharing experiences with friends, I have realized that having a good support and a good boss who lets you have your own way helps a long way in being yourself. I can use a little guidance on the way, and have noticed that I need to be proactive. Thanks to my boss and guide, who taught me to be on my own, I held my head high with enthusiasm and frankness. Honesty, Trust and Integrity are important as these values truly reflect on your interactions with others. I can sense the other person’s way of interaction, whether its business like, friendly or professional. I long for fair, informal and warm interactions in business environment as well.

We can take Business and professionalism to any level, yet we still remain humans. We are always impressed by the humanly qualities. I may doubt your success chances even if you have a great product, yet am willing to bet if you are passionate about what you are doing as that brings out your confidence, commitment and sincerity. Never loose that human touch or the feeling of appreciation about what you do. Always recognize the worth of people around you. Appreciate and cherish little details and stay beautiful. Welcome to a brand new year of excitement and challenge!





Playing The role Of Organizer- Part II

1 03 2006

Yet another event organized by me! I can observe my reaction and the learning I got from organizing two major events. I was always kind of passive in organizing events was concerned. Since my childhood, I am one of those organized and obedient chaps who finishes her work in time. I rarely took initiative to organize events, and to compare. Somehow, I guess I have always enjoyed being a part of the participants or the audience. Guess, times are changing now.

When I ended up in my project in a Business Analyst role, I had no clue of what I am supposed to do! I thought its all about generating reports and presentations. Soon, I came to understand the unique culture of our project. I work in an ideation lab (a concept which is recently catching up!), so the kind of work I do is not quite imaginable at the first. I call myself as an unofficial mouthpiece and I have to interact with in numerous departments in our small office to get things done.

I have to run white paper presentation contests, and organize industry awareness sessions, discussion forums apart from the regular documentation demands from my role. Most of my work (almost 70%) goes in coordination and networking. And I love what I do (exceptions apply). Once a very good friend of mine told me that if u can give your job 6 out of 10, you should be happy. Guess I can give my role a 7. Playing my role can be fun. I know few people who play basket ball and darts in the office cubicle!

I have discovered quite a lot of golden truths along the way.
The key to make things happen is effective follow-up. (Matlab, you have to run after people until your work is done. Never trust on the memory of people, as I cant trust mine.)
Things often happens in the most unofficial way under the official cover!
Relationships matter the most in any organizing context.
However foolproof your preparation can be, there is always a thing to run in the end!
And last but not the least, Njoy what you do and the work becomes worthwhile, smile and the world smiles along with you!





My trip to Hyderabad

30 01 2006

Albeit short, this trip to Hyderabad was a delightful one. I spent a day there watching a fabulous Telugu movie called Style. This movie is based on a bunch of guys who were dedicated to Freestyle dance. A couple a good songs, sensible performance by Lawrence and a great deal of fabulous dance made it quite an enjoyable show. I chanced to have a glance at the new IMAX and the Prasad multiplex and took a long drive to the Necklace road. All these brought back the memories of the nostalgic university life back. I went to my old Osmania Ladies Hostel, catching up with the old times. Nothing has changed much, apart from the colour of the walls. (Got a recent white wash!). The same old Bawarchi restaurant and the same RTC X roads flanked by theatres on either sides, at times it’s nice to live the old times again, though for a short time. Nothing changes much apart from the soul within!





My Convocation!

27 01 2006

I went to Pune on this 21st of Jan. 22nd Jan was our batch convocation at IMDR. The moment Chennai Express reached Pune, every grueling moments of the 23 hour journey was forgotten and I was giggling like an idiot! I never know that I was suffering from such heavy dose of nostalgia! The train journey was quiet enjoyable, thanks to my batch mate who gave me a good company. I went to my old flat at Mini Apartments on Bhandarkar Road. Everything seemed so normal…

I met an old friend there. He became sick without proper food and a lot of tension in life. Well, he is working in sales in the financial sector and guess there lies the reason for his unbalanced life. Financial sector frightens me with a strenuous work life. I just wonder about those poor souls who are facing the heat! I spent the evening with another friend over dinner catching up with the old times. Nothing changed infact!

On Sunday Morning, I had a great time running to the railway station for booking my return tickets.. That was quiet a long walk which rejuvenated my old memories. Infact, I went for walking for about 4 km a day throughout my stay in Pune.  I went for the convocation dressed in the Maroon Sari, a tradition of IMDR. I was feeling curiously strange as the convocation discussion was a little off the track. Surprisingly, I was a little tensed! Ultimately I was called on the podium as I stood first in Lady Students of our batch. I won a cash prize called “Late Shri. S.G.Barve free studentship.” Well, I felt strange that they decided to have a prize for a ladies topper and that ended up to be me of all probabilities! I was happy that the most creative award of the batch went to Reema Sahay. Who else? I can never forget the beauty and simplicity of her poems.

After the convocation, I had a grand lunch with my Mentee. There is a thing called Mentorship in IMDR where one senior takes the charge of one junior in the process of begadofying and guiding. That’s quite a fruitful relationship as it creates the pegs and relationships across the batches. After that hearty lunch, I went to my relatives place. I love their daughter, who is just 6 years old. She is too sweet and pleasant. Infact, I extended my trip in order to spend decent time with her.

My Observations

One thing that echoed common among a lot of my batch mates is disillusionment, as their expectations are no match to the kind of profiles in which they all ended up. I could sense the dilemma and the turmoil. Life has become a struggle in work life with the emerging challenges. The desire to keep the dreams alive is dwindling and life is rolling in pursuit of mundane tasks. Sad, yet true. I felt little lonely in the campus, guess that’s because of the lack of the comfort factor. A lot of things changed, isn’t it? That’s all about my convocation..





My First Collage!

17 01 2006

Today I submitted my first collage for the TCS library week competition and I’m quite satiated. The feeling of participation can do wonders, isn’t it? This week is kind of dull for me and I was wondering how on to spend it. This collage competition came as a blessing in disguise. What got me engaged is the thought process and concentration which goes in making a collage. I even participated in crossword and matchup (albeit with a great deal of help from pals and google!). Well, it sure leaves a feel good sensation.

Apart from the Collage, I also participated in Crossword, Matchup and Book Review. I ended up winning a prize in Crossword by fluke!





My Learnings In Six Months..

22 12 2005

Its kind of easy to mention, yet difficult to collate. The work life has been a little shocking to start with, yet it got normal with the passing days. But its still different from what I am used to! I spent a great deal of my first two months at Trivandrum, with beautiful sceneries and a ligament tear to deal with. Days passed on with no sense of purpose and clue as to what I am doing. I am never exposed to the working life of software industry earlier and I had a feeling of back to school with strick schedule and hostel work. We had quite an interesting time, dealing with the corporate expectations. I guess, even the company is perplexed as to what to do with the 200 odd MBAs attending the training. After the gala time and the tension of the allocations, I finally landed up at Chennai. The training process gave me an enriching perspective on the working style of IT industry. With companies having 30% of surplus capacity so that they don’t suffer opportunity loss, it was quite difficult to see the kind of roles I could play. Yet, I got lucky (I hope so!) to get into a demonstration oriented ideation lab which prototypes the next generation ideas on telecom platform.

Luck got a different dimension in everyone’s life. Some curse it, some love it and some doesn’t believe in it. Its good if it works in your favour and its better if it doesn’t. The work life brought in a new culture. It means marriage to your desk, professional relationships and new challenges! Often you like the job, often you won’t. Often you blame the fate, often your boss!

I got to learn a lot of new things from different people. I had my own Oh! Shit moments as well. Yet, through all this flow of life, I can find that the importance of learning is tremendous. I should never let the fire of curiosity die. If that happens, there would be no difference between the dumb terminal on which I am working and my own little brain. I realized that one needs to have a clear focus on the career and which direction one has to mold it into. Its like this old saying: ” If you don’t know the destination, the road doesn’t matter.”

I feel good in my job profile as it keeps me in touch with the industry leaders and influential persons of the TCS client companies. At times, its simply amazing to hear what they have to say. I work with a group which tries to make technology as a part of human life and the implications are far more prominent than one would like to believe. The fight in the telecom industry for the customer mind space, the importance of presentation, the need for innovation and the struggle for market share brings in a level playing field for all the companies big or small.

Marketing still rocks for me, yet I could see the mutual dependence among the different functions for the proper organization of the company. It added a new respect with which I view this functions like HR and Finance. I may not be a great number cruncher, yet I can appreciate those big heads in front of the screens working furiously on Excel. What impresses me the most is the ability to touch people’s lives in a pleasant fashion. Some of the people I met really amaze me with the kind of confidence they exude and the smile with which they carry themselves. Impressive experience is what I had until now. And many more miles to go!





A Fresh B-Schooler Attitude…

5 10 2005

In my three months of working life, I have had a lot of fights with my own fresh B-Schooler attitude. When I was in IMDR, I used to make strategic analysis, resolve case studies, making reports and giving presentations. It sure gives a kind of hype as to the future roles. Yet, when I look back, joining a B-School straight out of college has its own disadvantages. People tend to generate their own assumptions without a realistic exposure. The live projects do give a glimpse into the real scenario and they can be shaped in a more better manner.

When I joined TCS, I had a straight 40 days training where I was introduced to the software industry background and the TCS business areas. All I could take away are the life skills classes. The training was not focused or tailor made to suit the kind of roles an MBA is expected to perform. Its like asking too much because there were 200 batch mates and each would be put into different roles which have their own responsibilities and requirements.

I landed up in an in-house R&D project of TCS where I have to plan the marketing of the products designed by my team. Life is quite relaxed in TCS as I don’t have to strain myself and the work pace is quite relaxed. Sometimes, I got all the time in world for myself. I have all the freedom to explore library, or the Internet.. The way I respond to the situations depends on myself and my attitude. Things are done quite differently once I have started working.

One doesn’t need to be a Jack of all Trades. I need to focus on the current job and need to say myself that ” I am going to do the current job better than anyone who has done it earlier”. Competing with oneself always pays. It keeps me in better health and in better pace. The moment I start worrying about the future and the fast track growth (a gift from my fresh B-Schooler attitude), my mental peace is gone down the drain. Life is pretty much simple, I try to do what I like the best. I need to keep that constant urge to better myself alive.

Yet, those Philip Kotler days in IMDR come to my mind. IMDR was an oasis which sheltered me for two years. It was a different world, yet it makes makes me comfortable with myself. May be this self-awareness is one takeaway which I name from IMDR. Now, the journey is on and life rolls on..