Sunday, 31 August 2008

Run Chennai Run..

Today was one of the important day in Chennai's yearly calender. "The MARG Chennai Marathon" was held today morning and there were various categories for people in various age groups. I so wanted to take part one reason cause its the most talked about event in the city and the other , it being promoted for a social cause.

After registering myself for the event, due to certain circumstances I wasn't able to take part in it :( . But looks like there has been a huge turn out around 50,000 people for the 7km run alone. Way to go Chennaites!

I hope many of you here would ahve been there to support the social cause and many others who jus' wanted to be there to see how it is.. I would love to hear your experiences :)

Oh Money! Where are you?

Earning money is an integral part of every adult's life and so should saving money be to enjoy a happy life especially in the old age when your savings come in handy. Our expenditure should always be lesser than our earnings and we should ensure that the flow of moeny is always smooth. All this can be done only if we have a proper life plan and have a control over our cash in flows and out flows.


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Wednesday, 27 August 2008

An interview with a foreign exchange student (Lionel)

For the last couple of months me and a few people from my department in college have been planning to come up with an exclusive site for our department (Information Technology). As a part of the proceedings I handle the interview section of the site where I get to meet a lot of interesting people.

My first interview was with Lionel, an exchange student to my University from France. Here is the excerpts from the interview.

Lionel a foreign exchange student to SRM from France, talks to Shalini Gowrisankar about his school, Country, his experiences in SRM and India.

After sharing a few moments of pleasantries we set out for the interview session.

Which school are you from? What is your purpose of visit?

I’m from ISEN, France. I’m an exchange student visiting SRM for 10 months. I’m here to learn about Information Technology, in which I’m majoring in. A student from SRM will be going to ISEN as well. I had an option to choose between India, Philippines, Mexico, Germany but I opted India and ISEN had a tie with SRM and that’s how I’m here.

In which part of France is your school located?

ISEN is located in Lille, France. Lille is in the North of Belgium.

What is Lille famous for?

French people love their food. Cooking is very important to us. Lille can be said it famous for its cuisine, beer, beaches.

How do you like SRM and how different is it from your school?

SRM is very good and is very different from ISEN. ISEN is a private school, it is just a school for IT and a few other majors. But, it is not a University whereas here it is vast. It took me sometime to get used to it.

When did you come to India?

I came here on 24th June and my lessons began on the 9th of July.

Do you find any similarities between India and France?

No, not at all. In Paris people are considered to be rude to tourists as the French people love to talk in French and English is not widely spoken. In India I find people to be very friendly. But, it is great to discover new cultures, this helps to gain more knowledge. I especially like to travel in the local trains when one gets to converse with the local people.

Did you visit Pondicherry? It’s one of the French colony situated a few hundred Kms from Chennai.

Yes, I visited Pondicherry three times. Sometimes it is difficult to be in a new place and I feel kind of depressed. During those times I visit Pondicherry where I get to taste some French cuisine, this actually makes me feel better.

Differences in education between Indian and France?

Yes, here in India it is very theoretical and we are expected to write a lot of pages in the tests. In France we are expected to learn the concepts and apply them in problems, so it is kind of difficult to get used to this method of learning.

Do schools/Universities in France teach in English?

Yes, we have exchange student from Philippines so lessons are taught in English. We are told to talk in English but French people love their language. We talk in French whenever possible.

What do you like about India?

Travel. Travelling in the bus, train where I get to meet a lot of people and interact with them. My trekking experiences in the Eastern Ghats were great. I visited Kerala, Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram and it was a fun experience.

Places you would like to visit in India?

I would like to visit the whole of North, Goa, Delhi and also Tibet, Nepal, Sri lanka if time permits.

What are the other countries you’ve been to?

I’ve been to USA, Canada, Cuba, Caribbean Islands, Egypt, Morocco and a lot of countries in Europe. Understanding about a country during a short visit is different from what one would understand while staying there for a few months. I would suggest one to stay at a place for at least six months as it’s a great experience.

What are your ambitions in life?

I do not want to have the best job and earn lots of money. But, I jus’ need enough money to meet my needs and have a good home. I would like to have a satisfying job and a happy life.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I like sports. Especially adventure sports like mountain biking, trekking, canoeing, and orienteering. In France we have a combination of all these where we compete with each other. I also play basketball and would like to try out cricket.

Do you have friends/relatives in India?

Yes, we are six students from France who are in Civil, Mechanical and IT. I also have friends who are working in Chennai for a short period of time with whom I go out to visit places. I’ve also got a lot of Indian friends in my class who invite me to visit places and play Cricket.

What is your favourite Indian food?

I like Chicken tandoori, Chicken butter masala, but the food here is spicy.

What places would you suggest for tourists visiting France?

Lille and all the other places as well as each place is different with different people food, culture. I would suggest to see them all and especially Paris as it’s an interesting place.

What is your suggestion to Indian students?

Go Global. I would suggest everyone to visit other countries as this would help them broaden their views and help them think in a global way especially when all the industries are looking for people to manage organisations world over. It is very difficult sometimes but for six months it would be a great experience.
To read more of his experiences in India you can check out his blog

Monday, 25 August 2008

Monday morning Inspiration # 42

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that that lit up her entire being. She said, "Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?" I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze. "Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked. She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel." "No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. "I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and share a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know." As we laughed she cleared her throat and began: "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. "You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!" "There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change."

"Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets." She concluded her speech by courageously singing The Rose. She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the years end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

You are never too old to learn.
Laugh and find humor everyday .
Don't let change overwhelm you, let change help you find opportunities you may have never seen!
To read other Monday Morning Inspirations click here.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Happy B'day Chennai :)

Chennai celebrates its 369th B'day today. To commerate with this a lot of events have been planned starting from heritage walks to contests of variuos kinds. To check out more details on this you can visit my blog on Chennai - In and Around Chennai.

Like my Monday Morning Inspiration, I have planned to write a weekly column "Food Factor" in In and Around Chennaistarting tomorrow. I will be posting about the various eatries and the love Chennaities have for their food every friday. Don' miss to check them out :)

Cabin Cuddler

Come vacations and all of us have already planned as to where we are gonna spend our holidays. Most of our plans include travelling and ofcourse we ensure we have a comfortable travel and stay. Like how the small things in life make up the finer aspects of living, there are certain things we should ensure is set right before we travel. There were times when I planned out my vacation in a perfect manner but remember shivering all along my journey in the flight as it was too cold. It is these small aspects that change the whole feel of our vacation.


To have a comfortable journey protecting yourself from the chilness of A/C , you can always carry with you a Cabin Cuddler blanket.

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Have a comfortable and warm vacation.

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Monday, 18 August 2008

Monday Morning Inspiration # 41

A young man was playing poker with six of his friends. Now this young man did not have a vast amount of money but wanted to play anyway so he threw a quarter of his money in the pot.When the dealer dealt his cards he noticed he had the worst possible hand - a high card.

Since he had put a quarter of his money in the pot already, he reasoned that he would do what he could to come out victorious.This young man knew what he was doing and did not even glance at any of the other six players. When the opportunity arose to swap all of his cards he tactfully refused and kept his seemingly worthless hand.

Now, when the time came to throw in more bets, this young man put in another quarter of his earnings. Because three of the other six observed that he never changed his cards, they assumed he had a great hand so they immediately folded and withdrew whilst the remaining three called and threw in some of their money.Knowing that there were still three players left, he decided to put all his money in the pot. This frightened the last three and they folded. This young man came out victorious and now had ten times the amount he began with.

When his six friends asked him to show them his hand, he threw his cards on the table revealing the lowest hand. After a brief pause the young man stated:"I knew I was going to win because the cards don't matter in poker, it is the trick of leading your opponent to believe you have an unbeatable hand".

This is not to say we should bluff our way through life, rather we should use what we have to be the best we can. In life, no one is dealt with a perfect hand. Some are just dealt with higher cards and some will choose to try and change those cards.If you want to win in anything, remember that your hand is only as strong as your will and determination. Put in all you talents and never focus on what another person has because you will just be more disappointed in the end.Your life is in YOUR hand.

To read other Monday morning Inspirations click here

Friday, 15 August 2008

Celebrating India's 61st Independance Day

World's ...
7th Largest country
4th Largest Army
3rd largest Railways
2nd highest population
2nd fastest growing economy
2nd in the production of tea and rice
1st in the production of Mica
World's largest democracy
Super power in 2020 ...
And ofcourse, Abhinav bindra's gold at the Beijing Olympics has set the nation in a joyous mood. With all these and more wishing all Indians a Happy Independance day!!
For those of you who would like to share their appreciation for Abhinav Bindra can do so here (its his blog space)

India's national anthem rendered by a few legendary singers.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Monday Morning Inspiration # 40

I apologise to all my readers who came here looking for my Monday morning Inspiration. I'm so sorry, have been having a screwed up net connection for the last two weeks which is so unpredictable. Jus' thought its better late than never that I post my MMI for this week :)

He was told he cannot be good at the game. No one ever considered that he would ever make it to the pro club. It was said that he could never be a professional footballer, but he was the 18th player out of the 18 players picked by the team Pittsburg Steelers to be drafted into the NPL. And he was the only one among the 18 to make it to the NFL.

He was shaping up very well and his contributions for his team was immense. It was at that time he was drafted into the army to fight the vietname war. At the war, a gernade blew just below his right leg and he was shot in his left leg. He came back with both his legs severley damaged and all the efforts were to make him stand and maybe to help him take a few steps, leave alone him getting back to play football.

Here was a man of determination and courage. He went through rehabilitation and started attending his team's training to the amazemnt of his coach and his team mates. He recovered well and made up for his injury with his detemintaion and led stellers to three super bowl rings. that is Rocky Blier for you, a true super hero who overcame all obstacles in life. He is certainly a living legend .
Excerpts from Frozen thoughts
To read other Monday morning Inspirations click here

Friday, 8 August 2008

Lights off !

Global warming being the hot topic world over, each one of us have got our part to play to create awarness and take steps to reduce global warming. First thing we can do is to show our concern by participating in the "88888 Lights out" campaign. Switch off your lights on August08 2008 at 8.00pm for 8 minutes in public display of unity in supoort off the fight against Global Warming. Lets join Hands .

Here is my tag on Global warming which I took up few months back.

Friendship Week

This was supposed to be my friendship day post, but as friendship day has already gone by.Here, comes my friendship week post ;)

Life is what one makes out of it and I truly believe friends play an integral part in each of our lives. Happiness is not the destination but is the process of attaining the destination. It is friends who makes the journey a fun filled and a memorable one making us enjoy the finer aspects of life :)

Right from my early childhood days I ve had some amazing friends. There were many who walked into my life and there were many who walked out as well, but there are very few who are there for us at all times. I cherish them all as I truly believe there is something that I can learn from each one of them.

Right from

Pulling each others leg,
The dance practices,
comments from your blog friends,
birthday parties,
emails from friends u've long lost touch with,
finding your childhood bussy in Orkut,
Fighting for each others lunch,
bunking classes,
group studies,
school culturals,
talks abt our crushes,
Last minute preparations,
Stay overs,
the silly fights,
the wake up calls during exams,
jumping school walls and what not...

We ve been there and done that. It is friendship that gives us some of life's rich experiences one would otherwise not get to enjoy. I'm so glad to have had some of the best people as my friends through my life. Love you all.

Wish you all a Happy friendship week! :)

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The week that went by

Looks like it was jus' Sunday yesterday and a week has already gone by. I havent been having a proper internet connection in my hostel, but still im not all that bored.

Apart from college work I have recently joined an institute for CAT(Admission test to get into one of those elite B-schools in India) training, so that takes up few hours of my weekend. There is also the placement preperations thats happening in a separate track. To spice it all up I have been given the job of taking interviews to be put up in my Department's website in college. For once life is on a serious track and I'm loving it all. I'm sure I would not be able to enjoy this process so much f it wasn't for my parents and friends. I feel really blessed to have all nice people around me :)

The first day of my weekend has already gone by, had my first CAT preperation class. It was indeed very interesting. Waiting for tomorrow , to catch up with my uncle, aunt and two cute cousins whom I haven't seen in the last 5 or 6 years.

And how can I forget friendship day.. So, yea lots of things up my sleeve. I jus' hope I ll be able to pull them up well. Catch you all up in my friendship day post.Have a great weekend! :)