Counting Life By Moments..

9 10 2008

People don’t last forever, sometimes neither relationships do. Yet, its just memories and moments that make us truly alive are those that last forever, or atleast till we do.

Why?

I guess we all know the answer at the subconscious level, yet it does take a conscious effort to acknowledge, understand and give our life and every living moment to the moment.

Can we design our destiny or rule our fate?

I doubt it very much. Yet, we do hold a control of the passing moments and have the power in our hand to transform them into magical memories for the life time. Just a small thought in this direction really showed me things in a new light and hence it became a resolution for this festival period.





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.





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.





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. 🙂

**************************************

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.’

***************************************
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.





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!’





Happy Ganesha Chaturdhi..

17 09 2007

This is a very special festival in both family and cultural aspects as never a year rolled by when I haven’t prayed Ganesha in this occasion. Ganesha is one of my favorite Gods, as he is so much malleable to creativity. He get the first prayers as he is the one who guides opportunities by eradicating the obstacles. (So as the mythology goes).

This is an old forward, yet it was so current in my memory that I hunted it down to share it with you all.
ganesha.gif
I celebrated this year with my family friends and as I was enjoying the puja it struck me how much these rituals create the bonding of being together with the family. Whenever this festival arrives and wraps me in a humdrum of activity, I cant help but take a trip down the memory lane.. Reliving all those days of hectic shopping for the idol and flowers, Troubling Mamma for new books, Drawing Om on the book covers, Setting up the Mandapa, Dressing up in new clothes, The humdrum in the kitchen, Chanting of the sloka, Ardent avoiding of the moon and so on.. All those moments flash live they are still alive and are happening now.

Sometimes somethings sound plain stupid to the naked eye, yet they have a lot of depth behind it. The entire personification of God and treating him with flowers, dressing him up, and offering food in a particular process may sound tiring and ridiculous, yet I love the effect of peace it creates in the mind, the feeling of unity in entire family helping each other in getting things done, and the visits of the relatives and friends and the community bonding.. Sometimes I feel as if there is a meaning behind everything and everything has a meaning.. It may be hazy to figure it out in an instance yet, it doesn’t stop me from believing.

These rituals are just not about religious beliefs, they are about uniting everyone under simple purpose and activity, and sharing common memories through procedures and protocols. How much I love them!





A Visual Treat..

5 07 2007

There is nothing like the sight of a beautiful place to cheer your day and breath life onto the tiresome routine! I reached office rather early and kind of wandered on to this picture of Kauai Island in Hawaii… Loved this place and the promise of solitude there!

I have always loved sea and beaches since childhood, for thats the place where you see land, water and sky join their hands to show how limitless life is! Walking in the water, catching tiny pebbles, watching crabs running along, catching the sunshine on the shimmering waters, or the moon in all exuberance have been my all time favorite passtimes. That’s the place which brings out that playful and contemplative child in me..

I have given a lot of tension to mamma with my love for water! She used to run along the coast with me in mindnumbing worry with brows all fused wondering whether those fierce waves would carry me away. I was insensitive then, or rather plain engrossed in the beauty of the moment. Guess my Mom taught me to pay attention to the voice of the ocean and the reverberating rhythm of the silence. My roommate Chandu taught me to savor the morning sun along with the gentle wind and the bustling waves. I still remember those days of morning walks and jogs along the sea coast where we used to soak in the freshness of the day and welcome life in our own bright way.

Beaches are absorbing and reflective, and irresistable especially when they offer quiet companionship.. The gentle caress of the sea breeze, the drawing serenity of the the soothing blue ocean, the gripping intensity of the soaring waves entrance me in their ageless beauty and wisdom.





In Memory Of IMDR..

15 06 2007

I was going through old files and old memories when I hit upon this song. This song is my favorite and has a special place in heart as it kind of sums up the beauty of IMDR in a love filled melody. The best place to listen it is at Alumni Meet where someone or other inevitably picks up the mike to hum this along. Author unknown to me, yet am quite familiar with the nostalgic glow it brings in heart.

Purani jeans, aur guitar
Wah re poona, wah IMDR.
Hamare sapne, hamara pyaar,
Wah re poona, wah IMDR.

Woh Bhupi ka, banana chehre
Woh kehna yeh hain,
Systems ki baat.
Y.R. Rao ka hamesha hasna,
Class mein har sentence ke baad.
Woh bhola bhala, Kandy hamara,
Jo pooche hamse, andar ki baat.
Woh Sapre sir, jab canteen mein baithe,
Vrindavan, humko aaye bus yaad.
Jaane kahan se, aaya ye doctor,
Jo maare fatte, aur padhaye top.

Poochon mat, tum classroom ki baatein,
Ki unke andar bhi chaata hain pyaar.
Bus yaadein…

Assignments karna hamesha late,
Pahunchna classroom, teacher ke baad.
Woh ghanti bajne ki lambi yaad,
Woh bhaagna TT room, ghanti ke baad.

Woh library mein baatein karna
Woh daatna madam ka,
Humein baar-baar.

Aaye jab junies, hua yeh haal
Ek-ek ladke ko, hue do-do pyaar.
Quadrangle ka, kona-kona,
Kiya un ladkon ne, bilkul kharab.
Mohobbat ki o baazzee khelne waalon,
Yeh socha placements hain kitni paas?
Bus yaadein…

Aur kya kahoon mein yaar
Jaan se pyaara hain yeh pariwar
Ye aisa ghar hain hamare paas
Bhool jaaye hum to, apna ghar-baar.
Kucchh hi din ke, hum hain mehmaan,
Jaane kahan hum, jaaye iske baad.
Jahan bhi jaaye, hum iske baad,
Sataayegi humko, yahan ki yaad.
Aanso aayenge jab yaad aayegi
Aise hi apni, life guzre yaar.
Bus yaadein…





Being Nostalgic Over A Small Town..

6 06 2007

Rajahmundry is often called as the cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh.. Well, that’s what my papa loves to boast! It’s located on the banks of the river Godavari, which has a lot of religious and cultural significance as the River Godavari splits into 7 streams which were named after the seven Saptarshyas of the Hindu mythology. I always love the sight of Rajamundry, those riverbanks, temples when the train is gushing over the huge arched bridge thats built over Godavari. Since childhood, Mamma used to hand me a coin to throw in the river and pray for the river goddess whenever the train is taking us over it. A small confession is that I still do it. 🙂

Oh, How did I forget to mention? The Asia’s largest rail-cum-road bridge on the river Godavari linking Kovvur and Rajamundry is considered a real miracle. Me and my dad used to hop on a bike for a long drive on that bridge in my school days. Guess that bridge is almost 4 kilometers long and a long ride along its side sure breathes fresh life into any mood with picturesque surroundings..

There are a number of temples here and the Kotilingala temple, Uma Ramalingeswara temple on the banks of the Godavari are some of the most important temples. The Godavari Pushkaram, celebrated once in twelve years, attracts a huge number of pilgrims from all over the country. It’s the period where every Hindu is urged to take the ceremonious bath in the river Godavari. It’s a big event for which preparations go on for two years during which our quaint little town dresses up for the travelers and visitors in the most grandiose fashion. For the last Pushkaram, they have renovated the entire godavari and gautami ghat and have constructed a huge shiva linga near the Godavari railway station which marks the entrance of town.. I still get that childish glee of coming home whenever I see that well lit huge temple.

Rajahmundry is famous for Cloth market/Textile and it is said that the cloth business of Rajahmundry stands second, after Mumbai in India. The drought in Vizag made the weavers shift to Jampet in Rajahmundry and lead to the establishment of the Textile industry. Rajahmundry has the Mahatma Gandhi Cloth Complex which is one of the biggest shopping complex in AP. It is the base for most of the big cloth merchants in India like Bommana Brothers, Chandana Brothers, Sumangali, Puja Silks, Tummidi Brothers etc. Having sampled various showrooms in various cities, I would say that whatever you get in entire A.P. (and even more varitety at times) is available in Rajamundry, albeit at reasonable prices.

Be it that special Palakova from Kumari Talkies, Rose Milk from Kotagummam, Tapeswaram Kaja, Artos Cool Drinks or Putarekulu (Paper Sweet), our Rajamundry has its share of unique mouth watering delicacies. When a topic of sweets come, I cant resist quoting Anand Sweets. I can blindly vouch for any item under their name, be it their dry fruit chikki, badam burfi, kaja, kachori or namkeens!

Rajahmundry has the base offices for the Krishna-Godavari Project of The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation at Rajahmundry. This brought in various cultures of people and the establishment of the ONGC colonies. Dad used to take us to the ONGC colony park and the township whenever it fell on the way of our drive. Also Rajahmundry houses industries like The Southeren Drugs and Pharmaceuiticals Limited, Smithkline Beecham Consumer Healthcare limited, GVK Industries/The Jegurupadu Power Project at the outskirts. Its also home for a lot of paper mills like The Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills, The Coastal Paper Mills (P) limited, The Kadiyam Paper Mills. Anyone can locate loads of nurseries and flower gardens near Kadiyam, which have almost any variety of samplings that you would love to have in your little garden.

I cant write about Rajahmundry without giving due credit for to these two people, Sir Arthur Cotton for making the city arable and Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu for his contribution for the city. These people’s memories are etched strongly in the minds of the people.

Sir Arthur Cotton dammed the great Godavari River below Rajamundry at a point where the river is over three miles wide, and although he utilised two islands he still had to construct two miles of masonry to build his own dam. This took him five years to complete, but was an immense gain to a teeming population. The 2 1/4 – mile long Dowleswaram Barrage across the Godavari turned a flood-and-drought prone area into million acres of flourishing paddy and sugarcane. He made Rajamundry a rice bowl for A.P and people still remember and honour his contributions. A Sir Arthur Cotton Museum is set up at the dam site and a Sir Arthur Cotton Memorial Agricultural Service Centre is set up at Bobbarlanka, 20 km from Rajahmundry and near Dowleswaram to commemorate the contributions of Sir Arthur Cotton. Thank you Sir!

Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu is known as “The father of reformations” in A.P. He is a champion of widow remarriages, girl education and social reforms. There are many firsts to his credit. He started a monthly magazine “Vivekavardhini”, a school for girls at Dowlaiswaram in 1874. He established a weekly “Satyavadini” which was published both in English and Telugu. He established “Hitakarini Samaj” in 1906. He was the first novelist in Telugu ;”Rajasekhara Charitra” was the first novel. He bought a revolution in Telugu Literature by simplifying Telugu without using the flowery embellishments that graced the language through Sanskrit influence. He is a great man who has dedicated his pen, intellect, money, work and worth for social service.

Many schools and colleges were started by the Hitakarini Samaj. Well, the expansion of ‘SKVT High School’, the school that I studied in stands for ‘Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam Theistic English Medium High Schoool’. If you stop wondering about whats me with long names, I had a great time at that school with some fabulous schoolmates and teachers! I can’t think of any college that wasn’t supported by his ideals or deeds in some way. Well, if you ask me the current scenario, the educational climate is slowly getting commercialized now, with the advent of Srichaitanya, Nalanda, Narayana, Bhasyam schools and colleges.

Being at the banks of the Godavari River, which has a lot of religious significance and the Sir Cotton Bridge, which gave a boost to the agriculture made Rajahmundry the way it is. Since history, a lot of Brahmins settled in Rajahmundry making it the centre for Arts and Culture. Even today there are separate areas designated for Brahmins in the City, though the City is an amalgamation of various sects, castes and beliefs. The City hence is a cradle for education, textiles and agriculture. The attitude of people is slow paced and life rolls on simply. I love the simplicity and the down to earth nature of the people here. I feel home!

All this and more is what makes my little town special to me. Guess all this is summed up in this lovely song from Andhra Kesari. I get a reverent feeling whenever I hear it..

“Vedam la ghoshinche godavari
Amaradhamam la sobhille rajamahendri
Satabdala charita gala sundara nagaram
Gataveibhava deeptulato kammani kaavyam

Raja raja narendrudu kakatiyulu
Tejamunna meti doralu reddi rajulu
Gajapatulu narapatulu elina ooru
Akadhalanni ninadinche Gauthami Horu

Adi kavita Nannaya rasenicchata
Srinadha kavi nivasam pedda mucchata
Kavisarvabhoumalakidi alavalamu
Nava kavitalu vikasinche nandanavanamu

Dittamaina silpala devalalu
Kattukadhala chitrangi kanakamedalu
Kottukoni poye konni kotilingalu
Viresalingamokadu migilenu chalu”

Didn’t realize that this would end up as such a huge post when I am not even half done! Let me wrap up here as my love this little place can make me fill this space with ease.





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





My Short Trip to Mumbai and A Deluge of Memories!

1 07 2006

So finally I made it.. I have been longing to make a trip to the Amchi Mumbai, just to meet my friends out there.. A warm touch, a cozy chat, a quiet dinner and a good companionship.. I almost jumped at a training session organized by TCS. Well, the session proved worth the visit too. Well, that’s my first flight experience too. The whole world seems so serene and small from top. Awesome sight! I reached there on Sunday Afternoon, planning to catch up with lots of friends in that short span of 6 hours. It turned out to be better than what I have expected. I felt great catching up with pals and their stories of Mumbai and Work.

Coming to the business of the visit, I went to Mumbai for training on creative brainstorming and innovation techniques. At least, that’s what I thought at the first. I ended up being in a train the trainer session for an organizational effectiveness initiative of TCS called Propel which helps in creating a change platform. Sounds complex, right? It is.

The training was conducted by Tao Knoware Pvt Ltd. When the first 2 days of training concentrated on making people more human and resolving value dilemmas in organizations, the rest 2 focused on enhancing productivity by addressing specific issues at the organizational level. The training session was an awesome learning experience as I could relate those issues in the current organizational context. The whole training is focused on organizational culture as for TCS, “means are more important than the ends.” I met with so many sharp minds who are mature and sensitive. I guess that enhances the appeal of these sessions.

Unfortunately I was hit by viral fever so I was kind of a passive participant there. Added to that, our training was organized at Hotel Retreat at Madh Island, a real godforsaken place! Actually it’s a perfect place for honeymooners and definitely not for corporate conferences.

Its time to get back to Chennai again! Hoping to catch the morning flight, I landed up at 8:00 AM on Saturday only to realize that the flight is booked by mistake at 8:00 PM. Now, the feeling was of pure jubilation! So, I got enough time to catch up with my buddies after all! I asked my friend to pick me up at airport and landed up at her flat again! It’s so long since I had a quiet chat with my dear college friend. She is getting married this December and is trying to train herself to be a traditional lady! 😉 Her life got changed from jeans to suits, and I just loved watching her taking charge of her life! Glad that I could spend some time with the “to be married” gang!

Thanks to my friend’s sweet roomie’s suggestion, I met up with my ILP gang TCS colleagues in Mumbai. Life was back to projects, bosses, and profiles again! It was glad to see them back after one year! Lots of catching up and so little time! All good things come to an end finally and so does this trip…





Together Everyone Achieves More!

27 04 2006

Well, that just sums up our programme team at TCS! Imagine a bunch of young guys with passion, enthusiasm, drive, innocence and take-charge attitude and throw in fun and party, thats the way the work goes!

All this jubiliation is because I am just back from a team outing for Thekkedy and Munnar for three days. Can’t even recount how the visit went. It was just too good!

Periyar tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s splendour, with great scenic charm, and rich bio diversity. We took the one and half hour boat ride along the periyar lake which takes you through the secrets of the forest. We could spot plenty of elephants, wild boars, deers and birds. Here is a glimpse into the scenic beauty.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We went cycling the town in the evening and reached our hotel exhausted! And the next day its time for Munnar. We boarded the tempo by 6AM and managed to reach Munnar by 12 PM after having fun all the way. But the raid in tempo is quite a challenge as the roads are quite sinuous. It can make your stomach do funny things!

Munnar is a fabulous place though! It may be sunny alright, but reach a shade and you will feel cool again. A natural A.C.! Here is the Munnar info for the tourist! http://www.munnar.com/tourist.htm

We visited Rajmala and could sneak a peak at loads of Nilgiri Tahrs. Half the world’s population of the rare mountain goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here. Later we left for Echo Point and screamed at the top of our lungs! This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenomenon here. For those interested in boating, a ride in speed boat at the Mattupetty lake and dam is just the thing. The boat drivers are quite cooperative and can give a thrilling experience.

Devikulam lake and the tea gardens are the added attraction! We managed to get permission from Tata Tea for the Devikulam lake as their private road connects to the lake. Leeches gaves us quite a scare, yet we had quite fun at the private lake, consuming the idyllic surroundings! This trip gave us the much needed break and everyone is brought back from dead and all excited to get to work after the fun filled adventure!





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!





Playing the role of an Organizer..

30 11 2005

Working in my project, I can never define my job in specific terms. The job description and the definition varies day by day! Guess I like it this way too. I have organized a paper presentation event in my organization and it taught me a lot of things. The first lesson is how to follow-up. I came in contact with a lot of honchos of TCS. I was a little nervous as I had no clue of the corporate hierarchy. In the end, I realized that what I was experiencing was a mental block towards authority. Somehow, it reminded me of Bhupi’s lecture on the start of Second Year. Strange are the ways of memories, isn’t it? Organizing this event brushed my co-ordinating skills for sure. It took a lot of coffee and headache to see that event happen. Well, I can’t undermine the help of my project team the day before the event. They sat with me till night 10 PM working on the minor details which even I missed. Finally the event was a great success, thanks to my boss! He did a great oration and kept everyone awake. All in all, it was sheer fun in the end!!





Flow of life..

22 11 2005

I have this feeling that it been ages since I wrote something nice. I seriously don’t know what to post and I consider it serious! Life has become so simple and predictable out here that there is monotony creeping in. Its been almost four months since I came to Chennai and I already feel as if I have settled down. I guess I got adjusted in the office life as well. Everything looks so comfortable, isn’t it? Still I can’t explain this strange feeling of intellectual amnesia. When I was in IMDR, we used to discuss about dream jobs. An article written by my senior denying the existence of a myth called “dream job” caught my attention. I wondered about it then. I got placed in my dream company and when I look back now to those days, I know how true it is. A dream can never be a job, atleast for me. And, when there is a purpose or an aspiration chasing you, it would never be a job.

I remember reading a book titled “elephants and flees”. The author compares the huge and heavily manned organizations as Elephants. How true! Working for a multinational manning around 50 thousand personnel is indeed complex, especially in a mammoth IT company where the hierarchies are not defined properly. Guess the charm has worn out! Life has become too comfortable even to crib, and rhythm it has achieved is not particularly to my liking. Need more action and variety!!

A few days back, I registered myself on my college website and was surprised to receive a reply back. The desire to see the outside was high during those college days and now, I long for that cocoon type comfort again!





A trip to Mamallapuram..

13 10 2005

Yesterday we went to Mamallapuram, also known as Mahabalipuram from Chennai was a trip based on just a whim and was planned on the spot. The climate added to the temptation too. The soft breeze and the cool winds beckoned us for a long drive. It took us an hour to reach Mamallapuram from Adyar Chennai and I would say that the drive was fabulous. The road connecting Mamallapuram and Chennai is parallel to the sea coast.. U can imagine the luxury of watching the sea breeze soothe your mood while driving! It was wonderful. After reaching Mamallapuram, the rain started pouring down, challenging our expectations of the sightseeing. Yet, we could cover the beach, the Shore temple and the Pancha Radhas. I have seen some of the marvelous carvings on the black rock and the stone carvings are beyond any praise. We stopped at E.C.R. Dhabha to have a quick lunch. The landscaping of the restaurant was simply superb with seating overlooking a miniature pond complete with swans! The food was a downer though. Finally, after getting deluged both by the experience and by the rain, we came back looking like drowned rats! Quite an experience indeed! Hope it stays tucked away in the memory lane forever..





Chennai IMDR Alumni Meet..

30 09 2005

Yesterday we had an IMDRite get together at Dhaba Express in Cenotoph Road of Chennai. Thanks to Juniors and thanks to Placement preparations, I could see a lot of IMDRites. It was a small gathering of around 15 people. There were a few who were about 5 to 10 years seniors to us. I really liked their commitment to come after this many years.

The gathering brought back quite a lot of memories.. Sitting under the Bodhi tree, fighting for the computers, gossiping with friends, arguments with Doc, the serene quadrangle and the feeling of Bhupi’s presence. Every moment seems the Best. I am pretty impressed by the feeling of unity among the alumni. Really, its very important to have a sense of identity and IMDR has a unique culture of itself. IMDR makes one simple and down to earth. It made me more introspective and observant. Down the memory lane, I know that IMDR has made a big impact in my life.

For a moment, I wished to be at IMDR.. To silently walk around the campus, to see Bhupi from far (I am a little hesitant to talk to him,as always), to sit on the stairs and to listen to the humming of the birds. It really made me nostalgic. I know its not possible, yet, its great to have good memories, longings and a sense of belongingness. When I was at IMDR, I never thought of the feeling of being an alumni. The corporate life is quite a shift from the sensitive culture of IMDR. Yet, I need to come out of the shadow someday.. To realize myself and to be myself.

Why Robert Frost comes to mind always? May be his poem is very exquisite. It sums up my feelings..

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.





Last day at IMDR as a student..

22 04 2005

Don’t even know what to write. Its one of those days when my mind blanks out and heart feels heavy. There are still a few classmates around in the insti. Today seems like a normal day but I know its not the same. Today is my last day in IMDR as a student and I know that I can never get back to these days again. A phase of my life is ending and I am in a transition period caught in between the aching sweetness of college and the lure of the glorious future.

When I think of the days of IMDR, all I have is memories to fall back to. The days of Hip Hip Hurrays, those playful taunts, running for printouts, those naps in classes, that Time Pass in cases and those group arguments.. All and almost everything will make me miss IMDR more. I will miss all the IMDRites, those familiar faces who are friendly and trustworthy, those steps in quadrangle which seem inviting to spend hours together with pals and lots of Gappa, the Bodhi tree which is the platform for all the gyan sessions.. But then, once an IMDRite, always an IMDRite and memories never die. The feeling of belongingness I have with the IMDR community will always stay afresh in my heart. Life goes on collecting memories and memoirs.. What say?





Memories Never Die!

3 10 2004

An unfortunate incident happened on Saturday, where in two of my batch mates met with a fatal accident. One died on spot due to fatal injuries and another suffered Multiple facial fractures. Uh! It makes me wonder about the transitory nature of the human life. Such a waste of human potential and all this could have been avoided had they took proper measures in driving.. Well, the blame cant be laid on a particular issue and always on looking back, I find myself pondering over a lot of big “IF’S” that can make a difference.

He is such wonderful person with so much of energy, now he doesn’t even exist in this world. Only what remains with me is the memories which keep him alive. The memories which can’t die.





Life at IMDR!

20 09 2004

imdrpict.jpg

This is our insti as depicted by one of our seniors! IMDR stands for Institute of Management Development and Research, its the first management institute in Pune, India. Now why am I talking about it? I am a student of IMDR pursuing my Post Graduate Diploma in Management out here.. Its an institute where people can express themselves openly and getaway with it. A place where you can be yourself and still learn and grow. A place which believes in humility, simplicity and the power of thoughts. I simply love this place as it stands for the values it espouses. A home for me indeed!