Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Big Fat Indian Wedding

Wedding bells rang again.. Now it’s my friend Kirti Kumar’s marriage. I went, along with my friends, to Narasapuram to attend Kirti’s marriage. We were accommodated in a beautiful Dindi guesthouse, on the banks of river Godavari in Konaseema. The boat rides, view of a bridge on the river, dexterously decorated ponds around the guesthouse, dense flora with coconut trees and accommodation adjacent to a beautiful village reflected the scenic beauty of Konaseema.
    Later, we went to Kirti’s house where he started to marriage function hall. Have you started imagining that he is getting into a car? You are wrong. He got into a majestic chariot drawn with white horses. It took us some time to come out of this shock and believe that we were still in 2009. We participated and in fact danced as the procession proceeded with colorful crackers towards the functional hall.
    As soon as I entered the marriage functional hall premises, a beautiful girl greeted me with a red rose. I was wondering, God! Where am I? What is happening to me? Later I came to know that she was a part of an event management team that is organizing the marriage. As I moved on, another girl gave me a pamphlet that has the entire menu. Though it read fruits counter, chat bandar, sweet counter, tiffin counter, etc, I did not get enough time to visit all the stalls. How do I visit? It was crowded with approximately 12000 people. Yes, it reminded me of a fair rather than a marriage.
    The marriage was held in their own college grounds, Swarnandhra Group of Engineering Colleges grounds. In parallel, there was a cultural fest, with Gemini TV and Zee TV anchors hosting the show. In the meantime, my family members, friends and I were asked to have dinner in VIP section with the politicians. The thirty six feet stage was decorated with exquisite collection of flowers. While one half of the stage was occupied with the priests who came to perform marriage ceremony, the other half was occupied with eager photographers. But, numerous screens put across in the grounds and the live video captured through a rail track system facilitated guests. I think I might never get another chance to see twenty three priests performing a marriage ceremony. They gifted me a big silver glass and a dinner set to commemorate the marriage.
    In one line, this Great Indian Big Fat Wedding is the superlative of grandeur. I attended many of my friends’ marriages. Every marriage I attend is very special to me because it is one of the biggest moments in my friends’ life. Knowing Kirti personally for more than twelve years made this marriage even more special to me.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Those five minutes...

Challenging work, tight schedules and layoffs in November first week. Need I say more? Gosh! My professional life was never so hectic before. On top of this sits the b-school application process. I’m literally craving for a five hour sleep a day. Even though I’m wriggling hard with the essays, I feel that I’m not giving even 60% of what I can. However, I amassed a few exciting experiences in this application process.
For one b-school application, I worked on my essays and incorporated the changes that my friends suggested me. With half an hour time to deadline, one of my friends called me and said that he would edit my essays. Even though I was reluctant to take his feedback in the last hour, I took a chance thinking that his feedback might make a difference. Meanwhile, I reviewed my essays and forgot to keep track of time. When I checked the time, I had only 5 minutes to submit the application. I ran to search for my wallet to pick my credit card.

Those 5 minutes

5 minutes to spare:
Tring.. tring… tring… There comes a call from the devil’s advocate. He asked me to check his feedback. Oh! What an inappropriate time?

4 minutes to spare:
I checked his feedback on my essays. Oh! No. There were too many changes to make. My nerves started trembling and my brain started a non-cooperation movement. With much difficulty, I prioritized the changes and picked two.

3 minutes to spare:
Only one question hit my mind from all the corners. Can I submit the application on time? I made necessary changes and uploaded the new document. A sigh of relief has just lasted an instant when I noticed that the site stopped working.

2 minutes to spare:
My thoughts drove me outside this world. All of a sudden, I called my friend in US to know the US Eastern Standard Time. My friends say that sometimes I go crazy and this is a good example.

1 minute 30 seconds to spare:
I chanted a few times “Om Jayanthaaya namahaa… ”. In jet speed, I paid the fee to submit the application.

1 minute to spare:
My first reaction was a gape at the ceiling followed by a loud laugh saying to myself “Vow! I have 60 more seconds”.

Lesson: Plan in advance and make wise decisions. Otherwise you have to rely on the powerful weapon “Om Jayanthaaya namahaa…” :))))))))))

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tailoring "Walkathon 2009"

I attended an event “Walkathon” in the month of July in 2008. Walkathon is an Aashayein Foundation’s initiative to raise funds to empower child’s education. The Foundation invites people from different walks of life to come together to spread the awareness of child education by walking four kilometers. I have been associated with Aashayein Foundation for some time by teaching the children in Government schools on every Saturday.

    When I expressed my interest in volunteering the event “Walkathon 2009” to one of the founders, he asked me to attend the meetings and see how I can add some value. My inputs on how people perceive the event and how we can involve people from different walks of life and enable them to make a difference added some value to the discussions. After a few meetings, we realized that propagating the message of empowering child’s education is an uphill task. I identified that I have those contacts and ideas to propagate the message. In no time, I leveraged my contacts within my friends, Toastmasters group and Siemens associates. I could get the Media contacts required to publicize the message. I took the responsibility of marketing the event and selling the tickets within Siemens. I could form a small group of employees who wish to volunteer for the cause. Even though I had a tough time in convincing the Siemens administration, Siemens encouraged the event “Walkathon” by permitting us to place the posters of the event in the company premises, to send a mail to every employee and to sell the tickets.

   Gradually my involvement in the campaign of the event increased. I gave an inspiring presentation in different engineering and dental colleges in Bangalore and requested them to be a part of this cause. In some colleges, the students even came up with an idea of starting a Social Club within their college. I even gave an inspiring speech in Toastmasters and that made some of the Club members buy the tickets on the spot. I could put the posters of the event in some big malls in Bangalore. I wielded my contacts to get in touch with the Media houses and formed a team to invite the major Media houses. The newspaper agencies and news channels propagated the message and covered the event for which more than 600 people turned up. Finally, Walkathon volunteers could raise around 10 lac rupees.

    This wonderful experience gave me a chance to interact with many people, manage my time effectively and identify certain skills within me. But, the thought that the funds would be used to pay the tuition fee of more than 1000 children in Bangalore slums gives me more satisfaction than anything else. I heartily thank each and every person who made this happen.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Independence Day Celebrations by Samanvaya Foundation

After a long time, I woke up early in the morning on 15th of August. If you are guessing that someone woke me up with a calling bell, you are wrong. Guess again. Yes! your wildest guess is correct. I woke up early in the morning to join the students of Government Higher Primary School in celebrating the Independence Day. To mark the 62nd Independence Day and to pay respect to our nation, the students of Government Higher Primary School, Jakksandra celebrated the Independence Day with great enthusiasm. On behalf of Samanvaya Foundation, I helped the students in Independence Day arrangements and distributed the national flags to all the students to imbibe the feeling of nationalism.

    To grace the occasion, some esteemed people in the society were invited. Students welcomed the guests in a traditional way with flowers and lemon. The celebrations began when the chief guest, the president of the Bangalore Rotary Club, hoisted the flag while the students sang the National Anthem. Later, the students sang patriotic songs and even performed for the folk songs. The performance of the talented children truly reflected the glimpse of rich culture in India. Along with the volunteers of Samanvaya Foundation, I sang a motivating hindi song “Hum Honge Kamyab….”, which means “We shall overcome…”. The inspired students responded with a huge applaud.

    Sir Menon who is guiding Samanvaya Foundation prepared a book on Communication Skills and Vedic Mathematics. Ms Sudha, one of the sponsors of Samanvaya Foundation, released the book and distributed a few copies of the book among the students to mark the occasion. I could see a spark of light their eyes when the students received the books. Their eyes reflected the passion to learn and the zeal to succeed. Later, I distributed the chocolates and biscuits among the kids.

Friday, July 31, 2009

My journey with GMAT

Yesterday, I took the GMAT (on 29th of July). I made 740/800 (Q-50, V-39). Total – 97 percentile (Q – 93 percentile, V – 87 percentile). It took me more than two years, with many long breaks in between, to prepare for GMAT. Over a period of time, I worked very hard to develop certain skills, which are pre-requisites to pursue MBA and to manage business. I want to share my views on and my preparation strategies in GMAT preparation so that some points would help aspiring MBA candidates who wish to take the GMAT.

Quantitative Ability:
Problem Solving & Data Sufficiency – You should learn the concepts, remember the formulas and solve wide variety of problems. To master Quantitative Ability, practice problems with a smart approach. I prepared for CAT, which requires one to solve problems of a high difficulty level. Thus, I did not spend much time to master Quantitative Ability. I followed only the Official Guide to study the concepts in Quantitative Ability.

Verbal Ability:
As I am a non-native English speaker, I had to spend much of my time to improve my score in Verbal ability section.

Sentence Correction – Unless you know the rules of Sentence Correction, you are recommended not to proceed further. Study the rules (especially idioms) with due diligence. Looking at a sentence, you should identify the flaws and this skill requires good amount of practice. I suggest Official Guide, Manhattan Review, Princeton Review and the flash cards from ‘beat the gmat’.

Critical Reasoning – Usually, the time required to solve a Critical reasoning question is more than the average time required to solve a question in Verbal Ability section. Whether you read the question first and go to the passage or you read the passage first and go to the question later should not make much difference. But, before looking into the options, you should have a vague idea about what the answer could be. Don’t overlook other options, even if you think you got the Bingo! in the first option itself. Although I practiced L-SAT questions, I do not suggest others this path because the questions are pretty difficult and may unnecessarily consume your time. I suggest you follow Official Guide, Princeton Review and Kaplan Review.

Reading Comprehension – Many of us have different approaches to solve Reading Comprehension questions. I recommend you read the passage first, understand the gist and refer to the passage only if needed, while answering questions. This approach helps you a lot not only in b-school but also in your future endeavours in managing a business. The concentration with which you read the passage is inversly proportional to the time you take to answer the questions. I suggest you follow Official Guide and Princeton Review.

If you apply the Verbal Ability strategies in AWA, you can reap the benefits with less effort.

Practice Tests:
GMAT Prep Tests : These tests are highly recommended because the difficulty level of the actual GMAT tests is more or less the same level of GMAT Prep tests. Try to take more than one test so that you can get a clear picture of what kind of traps GMAC has devised for you. I made 720+ in all the GMAT Prep tests I practiced.

Manhattan GMAT Tests : I recommend even these tests because the difficulty level of actual GMAT tests is more closer to that of Manhattan tests than to that of any other test. By the time I took these tests, I was not strong enough in Verbal ability fundamentals. My average score is 690 in these tests. Later I worked on Verbal ability fundamentals and proceeded with GMAT Prep tests.

Princeton Tests : I heard that the scores in Princeton are skewed. I cannot comment on this claim as I took only one test when I was taking Manhattan tests. I made 720 in Princeton test.

Kaplan Tests : You better avoid taking these tests. The difficulty level in these tests is pretty high. I made scores in the range of 570-640.

I hope this information helps the MBA aspirants who are planning to give GMAT in near future. If you have any query or need some help, you can shoot a mail at or post the query in the comments below. If you post the query in the comments, your query and my answer will help others who are planning to take GMAT.

How often do you take a shower?

This is a short and funny conversation among my friends. I hope you enjoy this conversation.

Puppy : Thanks to the climate in Visakhapatnam. I take bath thrice a day.
Jayanth : Thanks to the climate in Bangalore. I take bath once in three days.
Rajesh : Thanks to the climate in Noida. I don’t remember when I took bath last time.
Chinna : Thanks to the climate in Netherlands. I don’t know what does ‘bath’ mean?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

They made my day...

I went to bed at 2am after receiving B’day wishes from some of my close pals. Early in the morning, Chow, Bhaav and my Mom disturbed my sleep and nagged me to take bath. While taking bath, I thought I would make today, someone’s day. In no time, I went, on behalf of Aashayein Foundation, to a small government school in Koramangala to teach kids. When I entered the class, all the forty students stood up and sang the Birthday song. I was moved and quite overwhelmed. I took some time to thank all the students, as I was left with no words. Thanks to Rithvika and Shashi for arranging this. Later I served breakfast to the students. I wanted to make their day but they made my day. On my way back, I went to temple to please Gods (and my Mom).

After having lunch, I saw Angels and Demons movie. ‘Angels and Demons’ is one of my favorite books. I enjoyed even the movie, a lot. I celebrated my birthday with my friends Kiran, Kirti and Suresh by cutting a mouthwatering cake. Later we went to ‘Magnolia’ for dinner. Now, on my friends' request, it was Magnolia restaurant’s turn to overwhelm me with a Birthday song and a Birthday cake. Once again, Suresh, Kiran and Kirti made my day. I thank my family, friends, friends’ families and relatives for their warm Birthday wishes.

Check the following link to see pics:

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Today I attended an event, “STARTUP CITY”. As the event is really happening, I want to share some details of the event. More than 100 startups from Bangalore and other cities came under one roof to exchange their ideas and to market their products and services. Some entrepreneurs (Naukri, Rediff, etc) gave a few seminars on their success stories and on what to look for while you are setting a startup. Many startups have set up the stalls at the venue. I got a chance to visit those stalls. Each startup has come up with a different idea. I came to know about the different products and services, and familiarized myself with the latest cutting edge technologies used. Till date, we saw how internet changed our lives, now it’s time we experience how mobile technology is going to revolutionize the way we live. Some startups have come up with really exciting ideas.

You can pay the bills (mobile [any service provider], electricity, etc) with the help of just an SMS even if we don’t have internet connection on our mobile .
If you want to locate a place, simple SMS can help you out.
And yaa… there is one website on wedding also.
Web Vivah

There are many more ideas, which I’m unable to recollect right now. You can visit the following site to find those out:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

(MELO)Drama in Examination Hall

Strongly determined to make 10 out of 10 in the second semester of Engineering, I entered the college campus in Ishtyle. As the saying goes that all good things come to an end, this determination also came to an end on the very same day. At that instant, little did I know that this scene keeps repeating at the beginning of every semester? That’s the beauty of student life. Isn’t it?

    Most of the time, I gave my best shot to pose as if I am really determined to make a mark in studies. In the third semester of Engineering, I did a course, Mechanics of Solids (Mech Sol). I felt I’m not prepared enough to crack the test. So, I studiously consulted a doctor. Wondering why??? Doctor would give a medical prescription, which would help me in applying for a Make-up (If you don’t appear for regular test, BITS curriculum offers you a re-test called make-up test).

    After two weeks, I appeared for Mech Sol Make-up test. I had to sweat to mug up all the 30 lengthy formulas in the textbook. I kept on cramming the formulas till I reached the examination hall. As soon as I reached the hall, I carefully placed the book on the podium. In the first 10 minutes, I read each question in the paper for more than 10 times. I racked my brains hard but hardly found any clue to solve even a single question. Suddenly, the instructor approached me and said “Ah! Man, what are you doing?” I checked my pockets for slips and found none. He exclaimed “Ah! Man, This is OB(Open Book)!!!”. Hearing this, I saw almost a billion stars at one glance in that examination hall. How stupid am I? I spent two days cramming the formulas from the text book. In an open book test we can refer to all the text books and note books. I thought this is a closed book test and took only a text book, which I carefully placed on the podium. The instructor was staring at my face and curiously waiting for my answer. I replied “I don’t need a book”. Now, it is instructor’s turn to see a billion stars in the examination hall. He was shocked to hear such a reply and stared at me for more than ten minutes. To perplex him, I scribbled all those 30 lengthy formulas, which I mugged up, on the answer sheet. In those ten minutes, only one thought ran in my mind for countless times. Once the instructor went out of the room, I implemented that thought. I ran to the podium, picked up the text book and came back to my seat. But it did not take me much time to realize that picking the text book is of no use. I was lucky enough to survive a zuk(0) shock in that scary test in which 75% of the students made 0/45.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Are you a matured soul?
When do you call someone a matured soul?
Does maturity come with age or with experience?

People say that our decision making ability reflects our maturity.

What factors do you take into consideration while making a decision?
· What makes me happy?
· Who are the actors affected by my decision?
· How do I face the society after taking the call?

In my opinion, if you have to take a call in your life or if you have to take a decision of your life time, you should think alone considering the factors mentioned above. 99% of the time, the first question takes a back seat and the second and third questions take priority in your decision making.
What will my parents think?
What will my siblings think?
What will my friends think?
How do I face the society?

You get confused thinking much about this and get tempted to involve your friends, brothers, sisters, parents, etc while making such a decision. You should definitely take the suggestion but you should define a clear line between suggesting and intruding. Here, you fail utterly because the moment you involve another person, most of the time, he/she trespasses the fence (brain) and interrupts your decision making. Thus, the outcome is not your decision.

You might rationalize saying that this person knows much about me, what I like and what I want in my life. That is foolishness. Such kind of reasoning implies that you have not given a serious thought about yourself. You are the best person in this world who knows what you like and who knows what you want. Who is someone else to dictate how you should live? After all, it is your life… If the decision you have taken is not yours, then how can you live your life to the fullest?

Think independently and take a decision. If you think that taking decisions makes you a matured soul, you are wrong. It is the effects of your decisions on you that make you, a matured individual. If your decision does not affect you, it is just any other irrelevant incident in your life. In our day to day life, you have to make many decisions. But a few decisions affect you a lot. Experiencing these effects makes you a matured soul. As years pass by, you make many decisions and experience the effects of these decisions. In this process you get matured with your age through your experience.

Dear Friends,
Give a serious thought before you take any decision. Try your best not to let your parents and loved ones down because of the decision you take.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Butterflies in the belly...:)

In last week's Toastmasters session, I played the role of Table Topics Master. In Table Topics session, I read a topic. I select a person at random and ask him/her to speak for atleast a minute and atmost two minutes. At the end of the session, all the members are asked to vote for the "Best Table Topics Speaker". I thought some of the topics are really funny and wanted to post those on my blog.

The topics are as below:

I love my neighbour, because she looks more beautiful than my wife...
Till now I proposed 49... Looking forward to cross half-century on this valentine's day...
Investing in chicken biryani is better than investing in Stock market
Attending Salsa classes is one way of catching a female/male...
I am desperate to get married... but recession stops me...
Failures in love affairs are the stepping stones to handle wives succesfully...
I know guys always lie, but I still believe them...
Everytime I think she is gorgeous, she has a boy friend... or Everytime I think he is handsome, he has a girl friend...
I attend receptions only to have snacks

The members who attended the session and the speakers who spoke on these topics enjoyed a lot... Hope even you would enjoy imagining how the session would have gone...:)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Welcoming 2009 with an Unforgettable Trip

2009 was fast approaching... There wasn’t even two weeks left for the count down. Once again, Chillaxguys were planning to celebrate the New Year in style. But then, how to make it memorable? Yes, a trip to DANDELI. This trip stands apart as an undisputed champion among all the trips I have been to, till date.

    The trip started with a train journey from Bangalore to Alnavar Jn. A cruiser, waiting outside the station, took us swiftly through the deciduous forests to the farm house, which was 10kms from Dandeli. The Stanley’s farm house, surrounded by a sunflower garden and a dense forest, is a real treat to watch. Rappelling atop the list was the first activity to exhaust our energy, which we gained from our breakfast. It was really exciting to stand parallel to the earth and trek down the cliff with the help of ropes. Coracle ride took us to the rocks in between the river where we had the Jacuzzi Bath. Nothing can buy us the fun we had during the Jacuzzi bath. Energy bars and lunch invigorated us to move ahead for rafting. Rafting was definitely, once in a life time experience. It taught us the art of teamwork and gave us an unlimited fun and indelible memories to store. In order to relax ourselves, we played cards while having snacks. Night Trekking, rather say walking, in the eerie jungle with a torch in our hand in quest of an animal was indeed adventurous. Even though we ended up finding only a wild cat, a wild frog and a wild ant, it was altogether a novel experience for many of us. We had our dinner and put latcha at Campfire with a wide variety of topics. The discussion did not last long as the sleep made us crawl into the tents nearby.

We gave the river crossing activity a skip in Dandeli and made our way to Karvar. We visited Karvar beach but were asked to wait for five hours to visit Devbagh island. We changed our plans and visited Gokarna, which boasts of a famous temple and a beautiful beach. After visiting OM beach, we took a boat ride to reach Paradise beach. We went into the sea to around 100 meters and played with the waves. We trekked through a densely vegetated hill around an hour and reached Half-moon beach. A motorboat fetched us back to OM beach. The picturesque beaches and visitors around still weave my eyesight. We had our lunch at 3pm at a beach resort and returned to Alnavar Jn. Again the drowsiness that aroused out of latcha made me sneak into a berth in the train. The train raced to Bangalore keeping the pace with time but our memories of the trip are still afresh.

Thanks to Devi and Swetha for visiting Dandeli earlier and providing us the info needed. Three cheers to Puppy for proposing, getting information and organizing the trip successfully. Not to forget the efforts of each and everyone in the group, for taking the reigns, wherever necessary, in organizing the trip.

Vinod, Chow, Sisa, Rana, Gora, Chinna, Jet and Puppy…

Hip Hip… HURRAH!!!

Please check the following link to see the pics: