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 ..

Monday, 6 September 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration # 93

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit … and you’re keeping all of these in the air.
You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or evenshattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for Balance in your life.


Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.

Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be pave.

Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings!

Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.

Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way…

–Brian G. Dyson

President and CEO, Coca-Cola Enterprises during his speech at the Georgia Tech 172nd Commencement Address Sept. 6, 1996

I loved this artcile when I came across it few days ago and thought MMI would be the righ place to share it with you all.

To read other Monday Morning Inspiration click here.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

All the world is a class room

Learning I believe is a continuous process and happens in both a formal environment as well as in an informal one, I personally feel more of learning happens in an informal environment right from the time one is a kid.

On, this very special occassion of teachers day I would like to thank all the people who has taught me or from whom I have learnt things, which at some point in life has made me what I am right now. My family and friends from whom I have learnt things about life and still keep learning. I truly appreciate the support and encouragement that I ve always been showered upon, this is what I feel is still keeping me going.

And ofcourse to all the teachers who have been a part of my life through my school and college days. I am so glad I was able to get in touch with a few of my teachers today and had a good chat with them after a real long time.

Happy Teacher's day! :)

Friday, 3 September 2010

NMEDA - for safe driving equipments for the special challenged

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of NMEDA. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I decide to buy a new product I eventually end up browsing about it before I make my final purchase, be it product or joining a university for my studies or anything of that sort. Most of us opt to buy things that is of high standard which we get to know from our peers or through other reviewers who have used the product and most importantly if the product has been accredited, most of us would feel satisfied on buying it because it is tried and tested.

When we put in so much of errort in buying any product, this concern would be more when there would be any necessity to purchase driving equipment for specially abled people. Not all specially abled people are the same, each of their needs differ. NMEDA is a non- profir organisation who helps in aiding the consumers to make the right choice when it comes to buying driving equipments for disabled people.

NMEDA does not sell anything, it is a regulatory board and its members have to adhere to safety standards of National Highway traffic administration.

NMEDA has both dealers as well as Quality Assurance Programs, these are the only one nationally acclaimed for adaptive mobility equipment industry. It is based on the principlpe that organisations should have a systematic and documented approach to quality. You can check out at by keying in your pincode to find your nearest NMEDA dealer and you could also post it in the comment section of this blog post.

What better could you provide to people with special challenges than their freedom to move around in a comfortable way.

Visit my sponsor: NMEDA

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Inidhu Inidhu - Movie Review Experience

I was at Sathyam cinemas on wednesday night with family, to a surprisingly less filled car park and relatively less crowded screens. I hardly remember the last time I was at Sathyam for a night show on a week day for that matter been a while since I was at Sathyam itself (a place which was almost like a second home ;)).

After hearing to a lot of "must watch movie" kind of comments from friends and with the duet movies banner, I was more than assured that Inidhu Inidhu would turn out to be a good one. And it was a very beautiful movie. Siddhu, Appu, Madhu, Tyson, Shravz, Arvind (character names) were all too good. The movie captured the real essence of the college students and each actor portrayed it so well.. There were many scenes in the movie where I could relate myself and my friends with the characters of the story thou' not exactly but many at times.

It was a fun, beautiful, thoughtful, simple, sweet and very lively movie experience I had watching Inithu Inithu. With me jus' being out of college, watching a movie completely out of a college life, I relived my college days in the short span of three hours.

A simple story line, neat coinematography, with all characters performing their best.. I would recommend this movie to all those of them who would like to rewind to their college days . Btw, Inithu Inithu is a remake of the super hit telugu movie Happy days.

Yup, college days were truly happy :)