Sunday, 26 December 2010

My Best of 2010

It just feels like I was busy preparing for my placement interviews (that's what I was doing on Jan 1 2010 and a few days around that) as our placement season was about to begin with the new year 2010. Life has moved on so quick with so many moments, memories, incidents and accidents - thinking about them all gives me a smile , telling myself that I've become a year wiser with a lot more new experiences.

2010 has been a year filled with good, bad and ugly times - things that I thought would happen eventually didn't turn out the way I thought and things that I hardly expected would ever happen, happened in the most beautiful way, such is life.

I am jus' so glad to write again about my firsts that I did this year, thankfully I have something new to do every year :) :) and the other good things that I would always like to remember as a part of 2010.

  • It was for the first time I appeared for a job interview (a few interviews infact) - my first fore into corporate life.
  • I went to see a live cricket match in the M.A.Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, as a part of the IPL 3 game.
  • I got my first salary and the joy of gifting loved ones from my earning.
  • I helped my grand dad learn how to use e-mail and eventually facebook as well.
  • Two holiday trips with family (Tirupathi and Bangalore/Puttaparthi)
  • Went on a two week long official trip to Goa as a part of our training program.
  • I did live blogging, my first time again at the TEDxChennai event, where I again got to meet and listen to some wonderful people.
  • The year I graduated - I am now Er. Shalini ;)
  • Its the year puppy D came into my life - Daisy is a cute lil brat who is close to 80 0dd days old now, who has totally taken away my fear for dogs.
  • Last but no least I am happily employed in the organization where I like the work, the people and the reason to add on to my joy is that I have my best friend along too.

At the end of the day whatever happens, happens for good - in that way it helps us connect the dots better. I doubt if I would have been able to sound so positive had I made this post a fortnight ago, but thankfully I am glad that I am now :) :)

It has been a great year or rather a great learning from all fronts - there have been times when I was beaming from ear to ear, there were times which I feared the most and was wishing it passed away like a nightmare, times when I took some random decision jus' thinking about how I wanted things to be that very moment, there were many words spoken, few words unspoken, there were new people who came into life, some relationships grew fonder ...

The year 2010 was a year to remember and talk about for many years to come with its fare share of ups and downs and eventually when the climax is good .. we are all a happy lot !!

Wishing 2011 is a year filled with goodness and prosperity for all of us.. Happy New Year !! :) :)

"Life is like riding a bicycle, to maintain balance one should move on"

The Big SBOA Meet Up !

A hundred or so of us gathered in the ground of S.B.O.A school and Junior college last Saturday 18th of Dec , reminiscing our wonderful memories as kids / teens in this very school. Many of them had changed so much in their looks that we could hardly recognize them, most of us are now into corporate life and taking time off to catch up with each other remained only a fantasy ... but when all things fell in place and a huge group of us met to catch up with each other and it truly turned out to be one of a day..

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Food for thought !!

I can never hold on to hunger for more than an hour, post which I end up with a head ache. I'm sure that is how it is in most of the cases... Ever wondered how kids from families who cannot afford a proper square meal a day survive ?? Fortunately we have non - profit organisations catering to this need and also government schemes in schools where they provide free meal to children who cannot otherwise afford to have a proper meal a day.

One such initiative is the Akshaya Patra - school meal program. Feeding the hungry and educating the poor I believe is one of the best ways to give back to the society. When I got this opportunity to write for a social cause, I'm here gladly doing it :)

This blog post is gonna help feed another 50 hungry kids by the Akshaya Patra foundation, which is the world's largest mid-day meal program feeding 1,253,266 children everyday ... If you are planning to give back to the society in anyway, this can also be an option where you can start in a small way. I just did by making this post.

You can visit Akshaya Patra and be a part of the program in any way you can - volunteer, donate, write about them, create awareness!! You can also make online donation to support the cause. No food No good!

"Let no child be deprived of education because of hunger"

Friday, 10 December 2010

The Puppy story ...

One friday evening my friend D and I were talking about corporate life and how stressful it is sometimes when I suggested to him to spend sometime with the dog that stays two houses away from his home, since pets are a good way of de-stressing .. That was it, D went on this urge to get a labrador puppy for himself and insisted I along with another friend of ours would go get the pup the next day ..

I being so scared of dogs was never for the idea and D's parents were again not very fond of having pets at home .. but D wanted to get a male Labrador pup and name it Dino .. after failed attempts of trying to convince him to not get the puppy, we (D , D's bro , me and another H) finally set on the mission to meet Dino ..

In a days time D found out different sources from where we could get a pup and by saturday afternoon we set on mission getting Dino home .. after traveling to tirumangalam and half the distance towards North Madras all on a heavy rainy day, we met the person who we contacted through phone and finally reached the kennel to find out that the male pup was already given away and D was left with the choice of taking a female labrador pup back home.

She was a cute little thing running between our feet.. she looked totally adorable .. I wanted to take her in my arm but was scared .. D's bro carried the pup and I managed to touch her for the first time.. She was 40 days old then and was behaving herself well... she was happy to be with us, after a few mins of playing around with her my friend D decided to call her Daisy coz she was a female puppy and within a few mins the four of us along with Daisy were getting back home - reminding me of Enid Blyon's Famous Five ...

Daisy has now become the darling of the street right from kids to elders and has befriended the german shepherd (named Josh) that stays two houses away from the home where Daisy stays and they have a fun time playing with each other every evening...

Josh and Daisy are jus' so friendly that Josh climbs on the wall looking out for Daisy until she enters my friend's home...

I'm not all the scared of dogs anymore, for a matter of fact carried her to the veterinarian for her vaccination :) :)

Sunday, 28 November 2010

My Graduation

It was a very important day for me in my life - 21 November 2010. My Graduation day in college. I woke up unusually early by around 5:30 am and got ready to start from home by 6:45 am to head to college with my parents.

I would have traveled in that road nearly hundreds of times or may be even thousands in the last five years, but this time it all seemed so new. There are numerous memories of having traveled in the GST road in the last few years .. sometimes with the excitement of having a good time in college, tensed moments during the placement season .. journeys when I have just slept in the college bus .. great times with friends in bus chatting , playing a game or two, teasing .. eating ...

There have been times during exams when I have not taken even a moment to look out of the bus window while I was studying on my way to college (It was studying the few hours before exams that has helped me largely), I have traveled this road early in the morning once for the house warming ceremony of our home and it was in this road I had my first long drive when I learnt to drive a car 2 years ago.

However, this time it was so different, I had a sense of contentment and a feeling of having accomplished something that I wanted to quit mid way, a course of study I thought I just did not belong to during my initial years in college. But, I am jus so glad now that it all turned out to happen in a good way with the guidance and support of my parents, friends and God - that I have finally graduated an engineer with first class :) :)

On a more simple note - After hours of traveling(which includes in train, bus, auto, share auto et all) , hundreds of movies later, with a good amount of money spent on the course and an almost equal amount spent on the food courts in our college, learning 70 academic subjects and hundreds of other non - academic subjects , 100s of tests/ exams and a lot many re-tests later, meeting hundreds of people, being in a numerous situation and experiencing a plethora of emotions later ------ I am proudly a graduate of life .

This place - SRM University gave me friends who would be around for years to come, it made me realize what I am, it thought me lessons that no courses would have, it gave me experience and memories that I would cherish a life time through ...

I love my alma matter and all the people who have enriched my last five years by just being a part of this wonderful journey :)

Monday, 22 November 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration # 99

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff.

In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens. Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there. Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lost a contact lens?" Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it.

Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When he told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But if you want me to carry it, I will." God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

To read other Monday Morning Inspiration click here

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Raining Memories

It always makes me smile when it rains and brings back fun memories from my childhood associated with this rainy weather in Chennai.

It was I believe when I was in my 9th grade and we were told the subsequent day to be our project sports day (On this day all the preliminary rounds for various events are held to decide on the finalists). My friends and I were super thrilled to go to school in our sports wear representing the different houses we belonged. More than the sports it is the fun of not having to learn in class rooms and chatting around with friends that makes us look forward to the day.

On one such project sports day, fortunately or unfortunately it started to rain at around 8:30 in the morning when most of us were assembled in our sports wear. The rain brought with it a sigh of gloom. Rain meaning no outdoor activity - so everyone into the class rooms listening to Math and Science lessons.

And since we were all completely drenched, we had asked permission to go home change and get back within a couple of hours.. that's when the fun started ..

We were four of us - Garima, Sindhu, Ramya and myself .. We initially decided on heading to my friend Garima's home which was the closest from school. The rain had subsidised and we decided to walk and half way through there was a sudden cloud burst and it started pouring and the closest place where we could get to hide ourselves from the rain was a small rickshaw, that took kids to school and that very moment all of us rushed to get into the rickshaw and that too all on the same side and the rickshaw collapsed .. All that we did was get up and laugh out loud ...

When we were almost near Garima's house her brother was on his way back and told us the house was locked and their mom had gone out.. After a bit of pondering over we headed to Ramya's place, had a fun time and got back to school by noon.

Every time it rains this incident pops up in my head and and so does the smile on my face thinking of the fun times we always had :)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Sweets, crackers fun and more ...

Diwali mood set in almost a week before the actual Deepavali day, when we had a pre diwali celebration in my flats with all of them getting together with lots of food, music, dance, fireworks and more ... This was the time I actually got to see many of my neighbours whom I haven't seen for months together ..

The Diwali celebration was later followed by distributions of sweets to family and friends - meaning we had to go sweet shopping a day or two and this had to happen a few days well before Diwali else you don't get anything except may be some mysore pak and laddu such was the demand for it in Chennai..

I along with mom and dad went sweet shopping at 11 pm around three to four days before Diwali to find sweet shops buzzling with activity and thankfully we also purchased crackers a few days in advance to avoid disappointment. The last year we went cracker shopping the day before Diwali to sadly find anything at all in racks.

The day before Diwali also happened to be my mom's bday and I gifted her a watch of her choice.. and my parents gave me a new Nokia E5 and I am in total love with it(review about it on a later post).

My Diwali day started on a slow pace.. After getting ready for the day had some delicious breakfast of melusu Dosai with onion and ginger chutney along with coconut chutney . This happens to be a Diwlai special item and I love it :) followed by lighting of some crackers and then off to distribute sweets to my friends and also had friends and relatives visiting home..

Evening couple of my friends came home and we bursted crackers for a while, just when we finished bursting our load of crackers I felt slight drizzles, which within few minutes turned to be a heavy down pour..

My weekend turned out to be fun as well..On Saturday evening, I had a lovely long walk around Anna nagar with friends and discovered a new place called The Soup and Salad Cafe which I am toally in love with. Great place and good food :). During this lovely long walk I actually came across a whole lot of new places in Anna nagar that I've never come across in my so many years of stay in the very place.

Sunday was lazy and the very thought of the long weekend coming to an end, made me do some useful work to avoid such thoughts hitting my head and evening had a fun time shopping in Express Avenue with parents ..

This long weekend also saw a couple of interesting activities happening in Chennai, one was the Beatles show and the other was the Extra Terrestrial show which more looked to be like a gymnastics/circus type of show I believe which I wanted to go to, but my weekend was already over packed.

Talking about the Beatles show, I remember my colleague at work Shyam who happens to be a die hard fan of the Beatlemania who was in total awe of the show. So, Shyam Adithya you've been mentioned in my blog :)

Two days into the week I am already looking forward to my weekend or rather Friday evening .. Have a happy week and a merrier weekend :)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration # 98

One day i was munching on delicious juicy apples and took a big bite and ended up with an apple seed in my mouth. I spat it out and wanted to throw it away.. I realized I was holding an apple tree in the palm of my hand. A little seed with the potential to become a beautiful huge tree.. A tree that could grow thousands of apples in its life time, each containing several more seeds which again giving the potential to growthousand other trees.

It is a rule of nature that only a few of these seeds grow. Most never do or are destroyed early on in their growth.

And it came to my mind it's quite often so with people's dreams also. Wonderful ideas come to our minds but they die too soon - we don't tend to the little saplings, we don't protect them as we should. And then one day we wonder what happened to our dreams - why did they never come true?

I put the apple seed on the table, and bent down to see how the light was reflected from it, this nature's tiny wonder. I wondered when someone was seriously growing apples, how many times they had to try to get a seed to germinate? How much work did it require?

Maybe it was like with our dreams: the seeds of your dreams did not automatically grow. Like planting an apple tree It might take many trys: like a hundred job applications to get that good job. You might send your manuscript out two hundred times before it was accepted. You might meet dozens of people until you met the true friend.

But if you kept on sowing the seeds of your dream, one day you would succeed. And after that others would comment you were lucky to be successful - when in fact you probably failed more often than you would like to count. But you were good at failing - you learned, you adapted, and then with your new knowlegde you tried again. And again. And again. And one day success was yours.

I picked up the apple seed again - but instead of throwing it away I took an empty flower pot, poured some earth into it and planted the seed. Maybe one day it would grown into a proud tree. I'd never knew if I didn't try.

Excerpts fromLeena Pekkalinen's story in Inspirational-short-stories . Loved the story when I came across it and thought how so true it is !!

To read other Monday Morning Inspirations click here.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Frozen Memories ...

I love pictures :) .. I love being in them as much as I love taking them, as for years to come they stand still and let you re live the moments. I loved posing for pics right from the time I was a kid but pics started becoming a part of my everyday life in the last few years from the time I got a camera phone. Digital photography is truly changed one's perception to photography and even more when it came in handy within a mobile phone - phono graphy !!

Pictures speak a million words - With the GBs of pics that I have, I can write a series of story books for years to come, such is the amount of memories each pic brings to me and I am so glad I was able to capture all the moments - happy, sad, funny serious .. all with the super cool cam in my phone :)

Re - living the times..

My first outing with my college friends to Queens land

At the engagement function of my child hood friend ...

View from my hostel window - Sunset above the SRM lake

Festival time with family ...

Heights of joblessness in class .. this is what we did most of the times .. posing for pics

That is the mat they specially made for my parent's wedding with their names in it.. found it when I went to my home in my native place ..

Cheering for Chennai Super Kings during the IPL 2010 at Chepauk stadium...

The day we all got placed - taken in front fo our college auditorium ..

Fun time in GOA ..

And my love for food photography goes with saying .. that now my family and friends know it so well that they cannot lay their hands on any dish without me clicking a pic of it ...

Thanks to the camera in my phone, had it not been for it I wonder if would be able to relive as many moments again :) :)

I made this post to go with the theme Phonography - one of the topics in the
Tata DOCOMO One Touch Net Phone's Share life blogger contest at Indiblogger.

Do please vote for me, if you've enjoyed this post :) Thank you !!

My other posts for this contest are:

My Friends. My Life. My Phone

The features I wish my smart phone had :)

Monday Morning Inspiration # 97

I came across this few months ago and thought how apt it is, if when followed keeps life simple and happy !


1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did last year.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours. (or more)
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day.. And while you walk, smile. .


11. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class

but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will Stay in touch,


32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful..
34. God heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank God for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

To read other Monday Morning Inspirations click here.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Enthiran - Movie review

Enthiran - Robot, loved the movie. DOT.

I am not a super crazy fan of Rajini but I liked his acting in it and Ash as always in her true graceful self added charm to the movie in her own way.

My favourite bits from the movie:
  • Love all the songs from the movie and have started liking it even more after seeing the videos of those.
  • Machu pichu looks beautiful where the Kilimanjaro song was shot.
  • I liked the first half of the movie than the later half, the later half contained mostly of animation.
  • Most of the clothes which Ash wore were awesomely cool :)
  • loved the dance - Ash with Chitti the robot on her birthday party ..
  • The villanious laugh by Rajini in the last few scenes of the movie.
  • It was great to hear the claps and whistles and the uproar in the crowd after this dialogue
(A scene happening when Chitti the robot is first taken to the conference, when it is for the first time being introduced to the people in the conference)

Question from the Audience: Is there God ?
Chitti (Robot): Who is God ?
Guy from the Audience: The one who created all of us
Chitti: Then in that case, it was Dr.Vaseegaran who created me and he is my god ..

Woha !! What an uproar from the audience .. :) :)

The only thing I missed in the movie, is the typical punch dialogue which is expected of a Rajni's movie and of course the title song .. never mind Enthiran was a true entertainer in all ways :)

Wishing you all a happy Ayudha Pooja in Enthiran style ;)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

My TEDxChennai weekend ..

My weekend that went by was so different from my usual ones. My friday started with the excitement of me happening to be one of the official bloggers for TEDxChennai. After getting up earlier than usual on a Saturday, made a visit to the new Lakme salon has been started a couple of blocks away from my home.

And at around 11am it was time for me to start to IIT Madras. Once I reached the place, I got so reminded of the beautiful memories I hold of that place.. Shaastra, Saarang,the CCD at IIT - got me reminded of the fun filled times I spent with my friends and family at this place and this time again it turned out to be yet another memory that I would always cherish ..

On reaching the IC&SR auditorium, I went ahead to meet Sandeep who was heading the social media team and in the process got to meet Vignesh, Aarthi, Vivek, Amar, Aska, Vasanth, Sylvian, Grace, Karthik kannan, Varun and so many many more people.. It was close to a three hour workshop starting from 2pm. So, until then it was time for me to get to know the people and it was after a very long time that I was coming across such a diverse group of people, be it the speakers, attendees or the organisers.

I also got to interact with a couple of speakers(more on the speakers front in my later posts), Sunday was at the TEDxChennai event at 8 in the morning and it was right to business from the time I reached there until the event drew to a close.. Was so much fun, loved every bit of what I was doing.. met some amazing people and I am gladly connected to most of them through Facebook as well :)

To add to it was a fun filled dinner with my friend on Saturday. Loved it on the whole :)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Live blogging - TEDxChennai

Please follow for live blog updates on TEDxChennai. It is really fun and interesting to live blog and I am really enjoying it :)

Friday, 8 October 2010

TEDxChennai - 2 more days to go !

It was close to 6 weeks back, when I first heard that TEDxChennai is to happen very soon. And the first thing I did was to check out their website. The event has an interesting line up of some very prominent speakers, each of them with great accomplishments in their own line of expertise. That only added on to me wanting to attend the event more strongly. Since then, I have been asking my parents to keep themselves free on 10/10/10 - the day of TEDxChennai event ... This year the event comes with the passion to do as the tag line says..

Finally with just two more days to go - I am more than delighted to say that I and my parents are attending TEDxChennai and I would be one of the official bloggers for the event :)

There also is a workshop happening on the 9th of October'10 (Saturday) between 2pm - 5pm, it is all about organizing a TEDx event. (you can click on the picture below to have a better understanding of what the workshop is all about)

You can register online for the events at .

Admission for the workshop on 9th October is free and tickets for the TEDxChennai event is priced at Rs.3000

Watch this space for more happening at the TEDxChennai.

Please follow for live blog updates. It is really fun and interesting to live blog and I am really enjoying it :)

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The features I wish my Smart Phone had :)

Mobile phones have been a part of my life for the last 8 years and right through all these times I have thought of them to be much smarter than I am in many aspects.. for one simple reason they always kept me entertained with the music, pictures, games and a whole list of contact numbers to which I could text or call up. Things only got better in the last couple of years with increased internet users - push mail and browsing using gprs and wi- fi enabled phones turned out to be the norm of the day.

With all of us learning new things each day and with growing experience, our need from our handy mobile phones also keep increasing.. Here, I have a list of features which at some point of time was a thought in the minds of either me or my family or friends.

  • Mobile phone is one device that we hold close to all through the day (in literal sense) , they can be used to detect the blood pressure, pulse rate, and since we also move around with our phones most day they could also have a calorie meter in them to approximately be able to let us know of the calorie spent - keeping us all conscious of our health.
  • The mobile phone could be used just like that of a remote control to operate the lights, fans and other electrical stuff in a given place. It does not necessarily have to be in my room or home .. one should be able to switch on or switch off any electrical device anywhere through their mobile phones.. We can save energy and electricity so much if this is adopted.Through mobile there should also be a facility where I can turn on the air conditioner in my room ten minutes before I enter home.
    * I take sole credit for this idea. Mobile phone manufactures can get in touch with me on more detailing of the same ;)
  • There have been numerous occasions I have missed my charger and wished I could just like that charge my phone, probably we could have phones that charge on solar energy/ wind energy.
  • There have also been times I wish my phone had a projector, when there is huge demand for projectors in college and at work place. There by saving lots of time and energy fighting to take the projector first and run away.
  • I wish we could tune in to TV channels just like the way we do for FM, so we really wouldn't miss any of our favourite shows..
Most of these ideas are the ones that popped up in the head when we missed something else and I am sure it would have been for many others as well .. So, probably any smart phone with additional features of any of these would really bring lots of change in the way people do things. They would be called ultra smart may be :)

This post comes as a part of my participation in the Tata DOCOMO One Touch Net Phone's Share life blogger contest at Indiblogger. Do please vote for me if you feel these new ideas would be useful to you in someway.

You can also have a look at my other post for the same contest and promote/vote for me, if you like it :)

All the very best to other bloggers participating in the Share life blogger contest.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

My friends. My life. My phone

Ten years ago I would have never in my wildest dream thought that I would own a mobile phone and think about getting another one which meant two mobile phones just for me. Phones have eventually turned out to be a person's best friend. So, who wouldn't like letting the world know about their best friend and they way the friendship bloomed. So, here I am writing about my best friend and our friendship tales as a part of the Tata DOCOMO One Touch Net Phone's Share life blogger contest.

The title of my blog post is one of the topics about which I could blog and get nominated to be the winner at the Share life blogger contest being held at Indiblogger. The minute I came across this topic , there was an instant rephrasing of words that happened in my mind which eventually turned to be "My Phone - friend for life", such has been the impact of mobile phones.

The first time I handled a mobile phone was during my 8th grade, when my parents got their mobile phone, three years from then when I entered my higher secondary schooling my parents gifted me one and I was so excited at just the thought of handling it everyday. But sadly I happened to be using a post paid connection back then (8 years ago) and messages were chargeable in post paid those days and the thought of the mobile bill having arrived used to send out a chill in my spine as my mobile bill was always a four digit number.

To save my self from all these I switched to a prepaid number when I entered college and text messages (SMS) turned out to be free which meant more forwards being sent across the network. Eight years have passed from the time I got my first phone and I happened to use 7 different phones until now, but I still have that special feeling for my first mobile phone which I have still safely have it with me.

With mobile phone came a lot of fun factor and factors which meant more than just fun

  • With text messaging came a whole new way in which the world communicated. There used to be days when I got hundreds of forwards and in the initial days I was so thrilled I made a note of them all - jokes, friendship quotes, inspirational messages...
  • games in mobile phones grew to be more than snake and bounce.
  • It turned out to be an easier way to connect with family and friends. Hadn't it been for mobile phones and social networking I doubt if I would friends with half the number of people I connect with today.
  • Some of the best pictures of fun times were captured with my phone camera, making me wonder if I at all I would have ever took so many pics in my life hadn't it been for the cam in my phone.
  • The music from my phone along with the FM in it gave me company during my long journey to college and my evening walks.
  • Now things have only gotten better with gprs that I stay connected online via phone all the time that I am awake .. which means more blog posts.. more tweets and feel so handicapped without internet and my phone.
  • It also contributed to the eco friendliness of the society - no more phone books, no more buying of planners or calenders, no more of bits in exam.. I've seen people taking a pic of a diagram in the phone and using it for exams...
  • There have been numerous times when my mobile phone has been my torch through darkness. To know the date and time I reach out to my phone .. my phone sends me reminders for all the birthdays and anniversaries .. it just know all that i want and gives it to me at the right time when i need them. Truly a friend indeed.

That is the way I got to know and have been living with my phone. I eat, sleep, work, play, dance, blog all with my mobile phone. The first thing my hand reaches out to when I get up in the morning is my phone and the last thing I do in the night before hitting the bed is to set the alarm in my phone. I am so glad to being part of the generation in which mobile phone was introduced and is being extensively used at this rate and more..

My friend has really changed the way things work in my life all for my good, it was slow and gradual but has had a lasting impact. I am sure there would be a lot more positive impacts with mobile phones getting smarter and that I am yet to own one of smarter versions.

If you like my post, please vote for me at Indiblogger. You can click on the promote this post button to vote for me. Thank you :)

Monday, 4 October 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration # 96

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him ow the poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return form the trip, the father asked the son, "How was trip ? "

"It was great dad"

"Did you see how poor people live ?" the father asked.

"Oh yea" said the son.

"So, tell me what did you learn from the trip ?" asked the father.

The son answered:

"I saw that we have one dog and they had four" . We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.

Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us and they have friends to protect them.

The boy's father was speechless.. !!

( I got this story as a mail from my grand dad this morning and thought would share it with you all here)

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing .. Appreciate all that you have in life.. rather than worrying about what you don't have. This would make each of us more happy and the world a better place to live in :)

Enjoy your week ahead !

To read other Monday Morning Inspiration click here.

The beginning of the XIX Common wealth games - New Delhi 2010

It was a wonderful opening ceremony for Common wealth games 2010 at New Delhi .. great performances depicting Indian culture, a proud moment for many athletes representing their nations .. AR Rahman, Hariharan and a lot other performers adding the entertainment factor .. Wish it turns out to be grand success and a defining moment in the world of sports :)

Let the games begin !!
Here are a few pics that the media didn't show you of the CWG preparations ..

After a whole lot of controversies the CWG saw its fabulous beginning today and may it be a huge success in the coming days as well in all aspects and be known as one of the well hosted sporting events.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

A day all by myself ..

My day started with me getting up at around 10:30 or so after close to an almost 10 hrs of sleep .. Had a late breakfast at around 11 am, went through the news paper (a rare deed which I usually end up doing late into the night) .. post which followed twitter, face book and reading Enthiran reviews ... was fun reading the Enthiran wave which had views from my uncles (most of whom were die hard enthiran fans) and aunts .. Enjoyed reading it :)

After a heavy healthy lunch which consisted of keerai rice (rice with greens) and broccoli and some curd rice to end the meal, I decided on stepping out of home as I was getting restless just being online and doing nothing .. for a long time now I've been wanting to buy a good hand bag but nothing that I came across appealed much to me .. Hence decided to visit a new store in Nungambakam.

Once into the car, I suddenly had an urge to visit the landmark store near Gemini flyover and to my surprise the store had a sale going on .. Loads of books that had more than 50% off and the sale is until tomorrow .. I picked up the month's copy of Lonely planet and Entrepreneur after doing a bit of walking around in the shop .. After which headed to the new bag store in Nungambakam, they had a good collection but nothing that instantly appealed to my liking and need, so thanked the shop keeper and made way to the car.

Just, as I was to enter the car the store keeper came running to let me know there was a pit which was just infront of my car which I otherwise would have happily never noticed .. It was such a thoughtful act from him .. it made me smile :) . Now, I probably think I would go back to the shop to get a bag sometime soon :)

On my way back home I headed to a chaat shop in Anna nagar and relished on Pani Puri and Sev Puri with my friend ... Went for my evening walk after getting back home ... It was a day all by myself , was a much needed break :)
Everyday I start a post, then it goes into my drafts .. been going through mixed feelings, just don't get the positive vibes to make a feel good post and I don't want to make my blog to become a cribbing spot as well ... Hoping to get back to my usual self .. been trying to for quite a while now ..

Monday, 27 September 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration # 95

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.
So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously.

Lesson: Whatever you do, do it at your best. Don’t hold back anything, because for all your good deed will be rewarded someday at sometime. Strive as much as we can with good deeds.

To read other Monday Morning Inspiration click here.

P.S. You can find a new series of posts - From the hills of Holyness - Tirupathi at Shalini's travelogue.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Some people Some moments # 5

My whole of last week went on pretty well .. Apart from work, I along with my friend 'D' got to meet my childhood friend 'N' and her fiance (she recently got engaged and I am super happy for her) . Though it was a short meet, it turned out to be a very memorable one(is just an understatement) for all of us and we decided on doing it more often.

Couple of days ago we also had a family friend home, he was my grand dad's friend from college and has ever since been closely associated with everyone at home as well. We dined out one evening at Eden post which continued a long chat at home touching various topics ranging from the Common wealth games that is few days away from its start, to the bad traffic rules, to wondering if the older generation was happy then or are the youngsters at present more happy to movies and family and everything inbetween ..

For sometime know I have been comfortably numb in my own confines and I know its time I start getting in touch with people. As a first step I have started going online on FB chat which I usually don't .. and to my surprise I would have chatted with some 10 odd friends in the last two days and getting to know what they are upto these days is yet another interesting part .. one of my friend from school - Hemanth is acting in movies .. Now I am really looking forward to its release :)

I have already scheduled a huge list of people to get in touch with in the coming days and gladly looking forward to it, thou' I know in most cases would first be a series of scoldings for vanishing away all these days ..

Have a great week ahead !!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration # 94

I have come across this article many times in the last couple of years and recently saw it being shared across in facebook , thought MMI would be a good platform to share it with all my readers as well. It is one of the great inspirations that I have had in the recent years.

It was probably the April of 1974. Bangalore was getting warm and gulmohars were blooming at the IISc campus. I was the only girl in my postgraduate department and was staying at the ladies' hostel. Other girls were pursuing research in different departments of Science. I was looking forward to going abroad to complete a doctorate in computer science. I had been offered scholarships from Universities in the US... I had not thought of taking up a job in India.

One day, while on the way to my hostel from our lecture-hall complex, I saw an advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard job-requirement notice from the famous automobile company Telco (now Tata Motors)... It stated that the company required young, bright engineers, hardworking and with an excellent academic background, etc.

At the bottom was a small line: 'Lady Candidates need not apply.' I read it and was very upset. For the first time in my life I was up against gender discrimination.

Though I was not keen on taking up the job, I saw it as a challenge. I had done extremely well in academics, better than most of my male peers... Little did I know then that in real life academic excellence is not enough to be successful?

After reading the notice I went fuming to my room. I decided to inform the topmost person in Telco's management about the injustice the company was perpetrating. I got a postcard and started to write, but there was a problem: I did not know who headed Telco

I thought it must be one of the Tatas. I knew JRD Tata was the head of the Tata Group; I had seen his pictures in newspapers (actually, Sumant Moolgaokar was the company's chairman then) I took the card, addressed it to JRD and started writing. To this day I remember clearly what I wrote. 'The great Tatas have always been pioneers. They are the people who started the basic infrastructure industries in India, such as iron and steel, chemicals, textiles and locomotives they have cared for higher education in India since 1900 and they were responsible for the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there. But I am surprised how a company such as Telco is discriminating on the basis of gender.'

I posted the letter and forgot about it. Less than 10 days later, I received a telegram stating that I had to appear for an interview at Telco's Pune facility at the company's expense. I was taken aback by the telegram. My hostel mate told me I should use the opportunity to go to Pune free of cost and buy them the famous Pune saris for cheap! I collected Rs30 each from everyone who wanted a sari when I look back, I feel like laughing at the reasons for my going, but back then they seemed good enough to make the trip.

It was my first visit to Pune and I immediately fell in love with the city.

To this day it remains dear to me. I feel as much at home in Pune as I do in Hubli, my hometown. The place changed my life in so many ways. As directed, I went to Telco's Pimpri office for the interview.

There were six people on the panel and I realized then that this was serious business.

'This is the girl who wrote to JRD,' I heard somebody whisper as soon as I entered the room. By then I knew for sure that I would not get the job. The realization abolished all fear from my mind, so I was rather cool while the interview was being conducted.

Even before the interview started, I reckoned the panel was biased, so I told them, rather impolitely, 'I hope this is only a technical interview.'

They were taken aback by my rudeness, and even today I am ashamed about my attitude. The panel asked me technical questions and I answered all of them.

Then an elderly gentleman with an affectionate voice told me, 'Do you know why we said lady candidates need not apply? The reason is that we have never employed any ladies on the shop floor. This is not a co-ed college; this is a factory. When it comes to academics, you are a first ranker throughout. We appreciate that, but people like you should work in research laboratories.

I was a young girl from small-town Hubli. My world had been a limited place.

I did not know the ways of large corporate houses and their difficulties, so I answered, 'But you must start somewhere, otherwise no woman will ever be able to work in your factories.'

Finally, after a long interview, I was told I had been successful. So this was what the future had in store for me. Never had I thought I would take up a job in Pune. I met a shy young man from Karnataka there, we became good friends and we got married.

It was only after joining Telco that I realized who JRD was: the uncrowned king of Indian industry. Now I was scared, but I did not get to meet him till I was transferred to Bombay. One day I had to show some reports to Mr Moolgaokar, our chairman, who we all knew as SM. I was in his office on the first floor of Bombay House (the Tata headquarters) when, suddenly JRD walked in. That was the first time I saw 'appro JRD'. Appro means 'our' in Gujarati. This was the affectionate term by which people at Bombay House called him. I was feeling very nervous, remembering my postcard episode. SM introduced me nicely, 'Jeh (that's what his close associates called him), this young woman is an engineer and that too a postgraduate.

She is the first woman to work on the Telco shop floor.' JRD looked at me. I was praying he would not ask me any questions about my interview (or the postcard that preceded it).

Thankfully, he didn't. Instead, he remarked. 'It is nice that girls are getting into engineering in our country. By the way, what is your name?'

'When I joined Telco I was Sudha Kulkarni, Sir,' I replied. 'Now I am Sudha Murthy.' He smiled and kindly smile and started a discussion with SM. As for me, I almost ran out of the room.

After that I used to see JRD on and off. He was the Tata Group chairman and I was merely an engineer. There was nothing that we had in common. I was in awe of him.

One day I was waiting for Murthy, my husband, to pick me up after office hours. To my surprise I saw JRD standing next to me. I did not know how to react. Yet again I started worrying about that postcard. Looking back, I realize JRD had forgotten about it. It must have been a small incident for him, but not so for me.

'Young lady, why are you here?' he asked. 'Office time is over.' I said, 'Sir, I'm waiting for my husband to come and pick me up.' JRD said, 'It is getting dark and there's no one in the corridor.

I'll wait with you till your husband comes.'

I was quite used to waiting for Murthy, but having JRD waiting alongside made me extremely uncomfortable.

I was nervous. Out of the corner of my eye I looked at him. He wore a simple white pant and shirt. He was old, yet his face was glowing. There wasn't any air of superiority about him. I was thinking, 'Look at this person. He is a chairman, a well-respected man in our country and he is waiting for the sake of an ordinary employee.'

Then I saw Murthy and I rushed out. JRD called and said, 'Young lady, tell your husband never to make his wife wait again.' In 1982 I had to resign from my job at Telco. I was reluctant to go, but I really did not have a choice. I was coming down the steps of Bombay House after wrapping up my final settlement when I saw JRD coming up. He was absorbed in thought. I wanted to say goodbye to him, so I stopped. He saw me and paused.

Gently, he said, 'So what are you doing, Mrs. Kulkarni?' (That was the way he always addressed me.) 'Sir, I am leaving Telco.'

'Where are you going?' he asked. 'Pune, Sir. My husband is starting a company called Infosys and I'm shifting to Pune.'

'Oh! And what will you do when you are successful.'

'Sir, I don't know whether we will be successful.' 'Never start with diffidence,' he advised me 'Always start with confidence. When you are successful you must give back to society. Society gives us so much; we must reciprocate. Wish you all the best.'

Then JRD continued walking up the stairs. I stood there for what seemed like a millennium. That was the last time I saw him alive.

Many years later I met Ratan Tata in the same Bombay House, occupying the chair JRD once did. I told him of my many sweet memories of working with Telco. Later, he wrote to me, 'It was nice hearing about Jeh from you. The sad part is that he's not alive to see you today.'

I consider JRD a great man because, despite being an extremely busy person, he valued one postcard written by a young girl seeking justice. He must have received thousands of letters everyday. He could have thrown mine away, but he didn't do that. He respected the intentions of that unknown girl, who had neither influence nor money, and gave her an opportunity in his company. He did not merely give her a job; he changed her life and mindset forever.

Close to 50 per cent of the students in today's engineering colleges are girls. And there are women on the shop floor in many industry segments. I see these changes and I think of JRD. If at all time stops and asks me what I want from life, I would say I wish JRD were alive today to see how the company we started has grown. He would have enjoyed it wholeheartedly.

My love and respect for the House of Tata remains undiminished by the passage of time. I always looked up to JRD. I saw him as a role model for his simplicity, his generosity, his kindness and the care he took of his employees. Those blue eyes always reminded me of the sky; they had the same vastness and magnificence.

Source: Excerpts from the Internet

For this and more, I have always admired the house of TATA s .. People who are close to me and regular readers of this blog space would know my fondness for the TATA group and my deep desire to meet Ratan Tata somehow .. somewhere .. someday :)

To read other Monday Morning Inspiration click here.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Some people some moments # 4 - From a friend's wedding ...

Sometime last month I was at my friend's brother's wedding... I have been missing out on a lot of get togethers the last few months due to various reasons but this time I made sure I was able to attend this wedding . My friend's bro was getting married to another friend of ours (his school and college mate) .. so all of us were thrilled to be a part of the celebrations.. And it was also a great opportunity to meet a lot of my friends from school as we had not met in a long time. I was there for a couple of hours and Oh my goodness ! I met so many people .. got couple of more invitations to attend other weddings ..

The highlight of the evening was I met my tamil teacher from school and I was glad he remembered me and my name so intact .. The last time he handled a class for me was eleven years ago .. Was just then wondering, probably the amount of spelling mistakes I made in my tamil exams helped him remember me even now .. I was deeply touched :)

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Vinayaka Chaturthi Wishes :)

I have always had fond memories of celebrating Vinayaka Chathurthi as a child and I am glad the practice still continues jus' the same way. The preperation for the festival starts a day in advance. On the eve of Vinayaka Chaturthi we make a visit to the nearby vinayaka temple where they sell all the decorative items and the various items required for the pooja.

Right from selecting the colorful umbrella for lord Ganesha , the thoranams to decorate the pooja shelf .. flowers.. garlands etc has always been a much sort after event.. Any festival that involves shopping even to the smallest scale is so much fun :) . The next day starts with preperation of kozhkattai/mothagams where everyone at home is involved in preparing the sweet dumplings.

After a special offering to lord Ganesh the day continues with sharing the sweet delicacies with friends and ofcourse with the Vinayaka chaturthi special programs on TV and later in the evening it is time to visit my most favourite pillayar koil in town, which is about ten mins drive from my home.
Vinayaka Chathurthi also instills in me a feeling that it is the beginning of a list of festivals to follow, though technically speaking we celebrated Krishna Jeyanthi a week before.
Wish you all a happy Vinayaka Chaturthi and loads of happinness and peace in life :) Lets get started for the festive season ahead ..