Showing posts from 2011

Opportunity strikes with Opptunity!

The World Cafe: As the name implies it indeed was a huge place where a relaxed atmosphere helped pitch in some of the most creative and novel ideas of the year 2011. To me the perception of a World Cafe before I went to be a part of it was about passing an hour of your time trying to come up with a new innovative model. Thanks to Saurabh Jain who got me 'in' with Laure that day for, I would not have been a part of the steadily growing Opptunity team.

Our discussion started with a group of five as Saurabh put forth his idea of Opptunity with an enthusiastic Laure leaving nothing to fate. The idea sounded convincing as we discussed about topics ranging from the structure of the organization to addressing financial concerns. All I could see was a recap of my MBA junior year as I saw how concepts applied themselves in a practical situation. Very true that learning indeed goes beyond the classroom but din't expect it could go as far as Russia! I would not continue to discuss ab…

A basket of love, friendship and hardship!

It just feels like yesterday when I was busy packing my bags trying to be polite to every relative who wished me happy journey and advised me to stay away from the 'firangs'. As I plan to do the same in a month's time at LISA 804 C, I wonder how quickly the time passed by.
My American friends here tell me that College Station is not a representative of the US. This helps me satisfy my boundless activities of desire at times but as I pondered over it last night, I was unwilling to accept the US any different from CS. In my post titled 'Phir bhi Dil hai Hindustani', I made it a point to mention how I refrain from being an NRI. With my short term stay at CS, I dread this comes against my post for the reason that I never found anything unacceptable that I could blog about.
The word 'gentle' commands respect and appreciation in the American context as I see the 'gentle'men/guys offer their seats to others despite the fact that the travel takes four minu…

Ways in a Day!

Well what woke us up today was perhaps the most unique activity that was going to get mundane in the next few days. The Song (Shriya managed to find it online and post it on the IYF group of facebook) rather the shriek/ shrill/ monotonous tone/song made us sit straight in our tents. We now enjoyed brushing our teeth amidst double digits of strangers with a variety of styles; distinct though! It had been two days since we took a shower and it was high time we took a dip to make us feel clean and hygienic. The shower had not been yet set up for our camp and we took no time in using our neighbour’s despite the squeaks! That noon was perhaps the first time, I felt holy in my twenties as I took a dip in the lake. As the people abroad continued to take a sun bath, we began sorting out the water and sand to finish the process of bathing. The best part of it: No one could pollute the water with soap/shampoo. My hair felt soft and it served enough a motivation to carry out the same process a…

The World of Seliger

Amidst my agony and pain was a world away from the world- Seliger, with a picturesque beauty that I had often seen on the big screen and considered giving Tollywood a try! The serenity of the water, the warmth of the sun, the chirping of the birds, the fragrance of the mud and the never ending greenery on the other side promised me solace.
Goodmorning, I am ‘Lee’ana! I am your translator and he is your instructor ‘Sasha’ (then)”, said a tall, cute and strikingly beautiful twenty year old from Samara, Russia. She was clever and a fast learner as she managed to mug up the names of the Indian delegation that seligerially resided at Camp no 329.
Sasha could be characterized by his shyness and his love for saying “ I know NO English”. He kept to himself most of the times (till the last day) but was highly concerned and made sure that we attended all the lectures. Thanks to us that Sasha has discovered his Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that I shall dedicate a post to. After signing a …


Nothing had worked in my favour and my prospects to be a Seligerian kept dropping down as days passed by. As if a wand of magic worked and I was travelling to the Bangalore airport to board the IA 636 to Delhi. “I shall be in Russia tomorrow”, I thought as chill ran down my spine. “You never know where you float with Aeroflot”, commented a friend of mine before my departure! The airsickness had already taken a toll on me but I struggled to keep it at bay with my unflinching enthusiasm. The landing at Moscow airport wasn’t a usual one, a delayed flight’s transition to the status of a cancelled flight took the Indian delegation of 18 to Jaypee Five Star Hotel. After a refreshing hot water shower, we shrugged off the drowsiness that was the result of a couple of hours in bed. My basic instinct said that I would not enjoy a mattress and a pillow for the coming ten days. I felt proud as I proved to be true:

Night 1: Bus journey from Moscow to Seliger Night 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 : Our tent at Seliger

A decade of Bollywood!

Guntur, 2001: I watch a movie with my family in one of the cinema houses that manages to screen Bollywood movies in the land of Telugu speaking people. I was elated to watch Hrithik on the screen. He was no doubt a heart throb of any Indian girl then. This movie was unique in its own way as it got the fans of three generations together; the Big B of first generation, the only SRK of the second generation, Hrithik Roshan, the third generation actor who redefined dance and looks! 
The Yash ChopraFilms had made its mark every time before and this was yet another time for them to hit the box office.  Kabhi Khusi Kabhi Gham...  
"It is all about loving your parents" - Karan Johar

A girl of 13, I was perhaps too young to understand the opportunity cost when relations and responsibilities weigh the same. All I remember is listening to sobs in the dark and a carried away audience leave the cinema hall in silence at the end of the movie.
Mysore, July 2011: Thanks to Star Plus, Zoya and Far…

The light of life

As people celebrated Towel Day with much pride and vigor yesterday, this post of mine dates back to Women’s Day! I believe that this episode is as good as dead for now but nevertheless it isn’t too late to pen it down.

This was the first time I was a part of a strike demanding for equal rights for the maids in Bangalore. It was officially presided by a woman activist (the name I do not wish to reveal) as women cheered her sitting on the stairs of the much noted office building. The Canara Bank’s banner celebrating womanhood beamed in blue. The traffic was distracted for the moment people saw us and later turned a deaf ear and eye to the happening. “Yeh sab to chalta hi rehta hai. Isme nayi baat kahan?” lingered all round the anxious glances from the bus and the pedestrians as they walked by.

I was so keen on coming to a consensus and the ladies would not let me get to it. I met a few high profile people with their gogs to protect them from the harmful UV rays that seemed to barge into…

Fortune favours the brave

Today has been one of the best days of my life! I wonder where this energy and enthusiasm was hiding in Hubli until today. This group of 5: Vikas, Bhautik, Anup, Santosh and Manohar proved to me yet another time that responsibilities taken up can be contagious and fun despite the day’s schedule. I believe they will do the externals well this noon, after all fortune favors the brave!

The commitment and interest shown by them in attending to the minute possible details of the Animal Health Camp at Tadas made me believe strongly that one need not fight for rights. When you take up a responsibility and stand strong till you see the result, the rights will be granted by then. I was all thankful to Karuna and LEAD for helping me collaborate the two organizations for the good of the villagers. I understand that the heroes deserve much more praise than I did in my endeavor to schedule the Animal Health Camp.

It turned out to be much more fun as we started by ignoring the toll booth. Thanks to…

What goes around comes around!

Hubli has been my home for a month now. Thought I have not been on the streets of Hubli except for a couple of times (for a movie twice), I find the place interesting. The people have more to give than what can be anticipated. Thanks to LEAD and Deshpande Foundation for hosting me till May.

It was on a Monday evening and Prashant, Program Manager, LEAD Bijapur asked me if we could have a snack time. Well, food has been a concern since the very moment I have stepped in Hubli! We shared our experiences over a local pizza and a chocolate milkshake for over an hour. Finally,he made sure that I got into the right bus to BVB, as I tried to wave him from the crowded bus.
The bus was no different from one in Andhra Pradesh, maybe any city in India for that reason. The sticker and a faded portrait of a woman in red seemed to catch no attention, as ‘gentle’men continued to occupy the seats. The next stop saw more working women get into this bus bound to Dharwad. I felt glad to be one among the …

Wacky Wisdom

The birth of neologism has seen it grow and find a distinct place in this millennium. Thanks to the ‘kewl dudes’ who nurtured it all through and put the oxford dictionary into a trans! Not even a single day passes without a ‘u’ and a ‘lol’.
The situation is no different in India. We are no exception as we suffer from the same disease of neologism. The FAD has recently found a home sweet home in India too. Exciting words/phrases, enchanting expressions, enticing Eurekas have become the order of the day. Everything a youngster relates to needs to be ‘wacky’! Gone is the word ‘crazy’.
There is no doubt that we still adore the Indian culture and look up to our elders with respect. We still follow our scriptures and believe in the consequences of bad deeds. We still listen to the story of Vikram & Betal! We love cricket and this proves us a true Indian! Just that our wisdom has gone way ahead and needs to be called ‘wacky’!

Lost in Thoughts

It's been quite long since I tried to post anything new. Nothing around me seemed to move/motivate/inspire me to use my pen! Guess this is the first thing that could happen to an MBA graduate, busy  learning the skills to barge into a potential market. I wonder how little girls bring me back into a world that calls for attention and action. As Harish Bhai silently drove us back home, I was still pondering over the beauty of the Taj. It was hell hot and I asked Harish Bhai to get curtains for the car. I wondered how people could brave the hot sun at 2 noon in Agra.                                       Looking around in the stuck traffic, I noticed this little girl in deep thoughts! Lost in ThoughtsThe over-crowded auto promised no dearth of insecurity as people struggled to make place for each other. Unaware of the surroundings, immersed in deep thoughts was this little girl with no intention to understand what a better living could look like. Perhaps she had much more to worry an…