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.