Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 told me..

 2013 told me.. 
1. "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."
2. Why are you doing what you are doing?
3. What do you care what other people think?

The year in a snapshot-
  • 6 awesome months with Embrace Innovations
  • 2 Half marathons(21.1k) and 5 10k races- Including the Hyderabad Half!
  • Training sessions with Forest Gumps and being featured on TWCM FB page 
  • The hectic 9th sem- Placements, internships and BC work- Yayy!
  • Goodreads Reading Challenge- 12/15 done 
  • Movie screenings
  • Egg factory, paratha express, chocomans

Waiting for 2014 with bigger dreams! I will come back stronger.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Getting things done- follow up

 Some things that have worked really well for me, in 2013-
  • - Being a newbie, I took time to customize it and stuff. But now I can spend so much time seeing(and reading) articles, photos and interesting stuff.
  • Google calendar- Reminders for placements and stuff,for future events and birthday plans, sign in the dept, classes to attend and so on. 
  • Things to do- excel sheet and a to do list on phone- Long term, short term, BC work, personal, office stuff. Everything went there. And so much relief! Pulled off an entire(hectic) year with just this. The system needs more systematic rules and guidelines, but nevertheless, I got started. Here is a book which really helped me - Getting things done by David Allen . 
  • Labels- for GMail. It looks so much colourful now. 
  • Zim- Haven't used it much but seems as a good place to write stuff.
Thanks to multiple people who have introduced me to these things. Hope they work well for you. Any suggestions? How do you stay on track and get things done? 

The one in which the four meet

 I miss those school days where we would sit three in a bench and solve those maths problems. How I would always get close to the solution but never to the final answer..
Those trips to "Urs bakers" and the day when Arun's burger was delivered in a frozen state.
To all those memories and much more..

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The year that was! 2013.

An year ago, before I left for Bangalore, I wrote down goals for 2013. I had no idea what was in store for me.
I accomplished around half of those goals. And a lot more which were not on the list. So much this year taught me. What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Trip to the artists' village

Cholamandal Artists' Village(Chennai) screens a documentary twice a month. My friends who are on their mailing list have been wanting to go and they keep informing me. But every other time, thanks to the pre- placement sem(or pre final sem, whatever you wish to call it), we missed it. Finally, we decided to go there last Friday. Just 8 days to go for placements. I took the call and went. And I don't think I will ever regret that.

First of all, the weather was pleasant though the roads were all muddy and slushy. Yuck, I know. We reached there a bit in advance to check out the art gallery. The last time I ever went to an art gallery was 5 years back. Ahh, it was nice. The creamish yellow lights and the wooden frames. The occasional titles, the flooring, the clean flooring.

I enquired if there were any shows etc, as if I would go again. But just the feel of talking to a gallery person made my day. Nostalgia, perhaps. As we waited outside, for the movie to be screened, I sat and ate the awesome home made potato bonda. People, different people started pouring in and we were the youngest of the lot.As the movie was about to start, there was this lady who rung a bell as a sign. She gave an intro about Mark Rothko and the documentary began.
And moments later, I just lost myself. My thoughts were just floating all over. I was so much in sync with my soul. That is not something that happens everyday. Maybe it was the art or the background music or the space and time. Whatever, for once, I will not be an engineer doing an RCA to figure out the reason.

It is a nice tiny place on the ECR. With sculptures and an art gallery. And nice, friendly people.

You can know more about Mark Rothko and his paintings on the internet. That would do more justice than me, I am sure. Very interesting stuff.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

For there have been such days, weeks and months..

There seem to be a zillion thoughts in my head, well, a bit less maybe. But you get it. I am feeling restless. I want to do a million things but I have ended up not doing anything since some hours.
I feel like running away probably. Not literally. Backpacking. To some lonely place. Maybe with a couple of people. Yes, you know what I mean. And enjoy the noisy nature with spaced silences.
Staring at the distant trees with similar thoughts in head.

I keep thinking about life after passing out from college. What is it that I want? Why is it so confusing? Will I still be able to run when in the evenings? Can I ping anyone anytime?
I just go and knock on her door at probably 3 in the night at times. Will I be able to do that? Who would be living there? How much would I miss things.. What things.. I do not know..
Bucket lists before passing out of insti. How much sense do they make? Are they momentary pleasures or would they take shape of unfulfilled desires and regrets?
This too shall pass they say.

Imagining that there would definitely be a day when we would no longer be talking is such a painful thing. But I know, there will be such a day. For there have been such days, weeks and months..

Monday, September 2, 2013

Those dreams are always there

Thanks to my writer friend, I am seeing some sense in life. I feel. Well, I don't know.

I want to sketch and paint again. I rarely got this feel earlier. I don't know what has changed, but yeah, you get it.

I want to read more books. I want to spend days, completely unaware of what day it is. Just lazily sleeping and reading.

I want to travel. To some place. Probably with a river flowing. And just sit there silently. I want to see the night sky in an open place. And just gaze at the stars. I want to think what I want to. Some day, with all the calmness. Without any reminders from the pending work or the infinite un-updated things to do lists.

I want to train hard.. AND just feel great about it!

Am I being stupid? Will I regret in my future? 

The Airtel Hyderabad HalfMarathon

The Hyderabad Half Marathon!
I was all enthu to run on home ground and with some external help (read, you-can-do-it level stuff), I registered. The elevation map literally made me feel dizzy. And like everything else, I forgot about it. Did my first Half Marathon on July 7th-DRHM-best organized run so far.
After two weeks of break, I came back to insti and trained. Probably for three weeks. Much better than DRHM prep. I felt a bit confident. And that’s when things hit me. I started having some weird pain in the foot. 1 week of rest. Walking around and a 2k run (at 11:30 in the night) to check if my legs (or me?)  were sane enough was how I spent the final week.
And the journey began. One of my juniors was going as well. Met so many CRs in the station! I was super excited. Got tips (and food) during the journey. They were so kind and friendly. :’)

My place was really far from the expo. It was like a partial route recce and scared the hell out of me. I got my bib (#4222), met my guruji (Adhok, you only) and started back(after clicking a cliché pic). Dad was surprised to see so many people, young and old.
Back home, I was tired and sleepy! Now only those who have run a race will understand what a boon that is. Usually the pre-race night is spent in sleeplessness. 
The cabs were all over booked. And finally, managed to get some booking.
Sunday morning- 3:50 am- Cab cancelled. Sorry. (Lesson-Book a cab way in advance)
I started panicking. Plus the whole, most-difficult-city-race was getting to me. My parents were trying to calm me. And we luckily found an auto on the road. 
Amma gave me money and asked me to take an auto to the finish if the run was difficult.
The starting point was fun. We saw some full marathon guys enroute. Met more runners, friends and insti passouts!  Parents clicked more pics. Now I was all enthu and did not stretch much (as usual).
This time I was alone as I didn't know anyone running with my target- 3 hours. And I started running maintaining a steady pace. First 3kms were a bit painful, and then it all fell in place. My pace was better than I expected. First flyover flew J I was in some trance till about 8-9 km. Running alone in that crowd. The feeling- just amazing. At this point, 2 seniors from insti called out my name. I was surprised that I was ahead of them. They told me that my pace was good enough for a decent finish. One of them had an injury, so I went ahead. It was all good till 12km or so when I was really hungry. Ate some banana at the 15k mark. The route- I do not remember the buildings and other stuff, but my feet definitely remember the rolling terrain. It was one hell of a challenge. But I was going strong. I was doing all sorts of calculations (2 hours of running makes you do such things). I felt I could aim for a 2:45ish finish in the worst case. And that is when the Gachibowli flyover hit. It slowed me down. I walked. A lot of people overtook me. I think, mentally I was low. I needed some external push at this point, I guess. I will remember this forever. Another lesson learnt.
Soon(well not so soon also) the stadium was in sight. I was overwhelmed and cranked up my speed. Only to realize I had more than a kilometer to go! Luckily I saw some friends who finished their run (the speedsters, you see). Called out their names. They cheered me. Feels good when someone says- You look strong. Go get it.
It was like a never ending loop outside the stadium. Then it hit me, maybe I was nearing the end and asked someone how much more- 150m was the answer. I sprinted. Like crazy. Almost felt like puking. People were cheering me. It was a moment of stardom. And I went past the finish line. Got a medal. Got the best hug ever by my dad. My parents were so overwhelmed. Amma was surprised to know I had so many running buddies- Some new world it is- she said. 
That excitement. That rush. Runners high (Myth you say? NO). That’s probably why I run. 
I clocked 2:51. My Personal Best on this difficult terrain. My 3 hours of alone time was over. I stretched a bit. Gulped water. I was struggling to walk up the stairs to get my refreshments. Well, it was done. Months ago it seemed so difficult. 
I want to go back, every year and probably get more friends on board. And thulp it. So many lessons learnt.

It was great to meet so many runners. 
Here are some pics-

 At the start point- all determined. I was probably thinking what to think for the next 3 hours.

The scary elevation profile

The tanned and tired me. With the awesome medal. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Miles to go..

Lot of people keep telling us the advantages of running. They tell how running has changed them, mentally and physically. They tell how good it feels. And so on. 

Two years back, I would have never believed that. I was diagnosed with thyroid. After some blood tests and boring visits to the hospital, I had the reports in my hand. My mom was trying to analyze them. The normal range was 0.3-3. Mine was 5 point something. I said, it is okay. Big deal. One tablet a day. I would fight with amma whenever she would tell me to exercise. 6 months later, another test revealed that that 5 point something was now 15 point something. It scared the hell out of me. My clothes soon started ditching me. People had their share of fun by commenting on my weight. I chose to ignore and tried to be happy. 

I felt lonely at one point, thanks to a few other events. I started walking in the evenings. Insti is so beautiful! I would jog a few metres when there wouldn't be anyone on the roads. I would feel so happy. It was my time. I would talk to my mom and bro on the phone and tell them how much I walked and how I used to take running breaks. I went to the stadium to run, thanks to rudra's suggestions. 1 round and I was done! Yes, 400m. I was very inconsistent. Somehow I managed to do 3 rounds (1.2k).

One fine day, my faculty advisor called us and told about a 10k in Nov 2011. They were having some training sessions on Saturdays. It was very inspiring to hear his half marathon stories.  Ran ~5k. Wait, I think we walked more than we ran. Before I could finish a kilometre, I was already walking. So this whole run walk introduced me to the world of running. It was the first race of my life. Lot of people ran. We finally finished in around 90 minutes plus. Our friends couldn't believe we actually woke up early in the morning and ran. 
Next sem we were very inconsistent. We would run 2km. Yes, that's all. 
After summer 2012, Kay and I were very determined to run. Bought new shoes and tights and what not. I would say I was consistent for 2 months. I even registered for a 10k in Mysore, which got postponed and I had to cancel it, thanks to the political drama. Registered for TWCM2012. 
I was down with an injury. Randomly decided to do TWCM 2012 after collecting my bib. Finished in 74 minutes. Still can't believe that. Then came the Bangalore internship. I participated in 6 races this year so far. I did my maiden half marathon i.e, 21.1km. 
My thyroid levels are now normal and also, I seem to fit in my old clothes. Miles to go. :) 
I feel good. I have control over my short temper. I have cracked some assignments and puzzles while running. I have made new friends. It is my stress buster. I think I have found what they call as inner peace. I have become a better person, though I have a long way to go. I am still a newbie in the running world, every run is a learning.

A lot of us might have been there in the situations I have described above. I am not selling “running” as a sport here. I have never looked it as a sport. It can be that component which you feel might be missing in your life. It can push you to do those adventures. It will just bring a whole new perspective in your life. Participating in runs is fun. You meet new people. You hear very inspiring stories. You get awesome medals! Not to mention, you get to run along with some hot guys. ;)
If you are studying at IITM, join me for a run in the evening! Would love to know more about you. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rhythm on the run

As I was running on the downhill, another girl came and joined me. I thought she would be one of those speedsters who would overtake me. I was wrong. We ran for almost a kilometre, which seemed endless, when we began talking. We were totally in sync in some time. Pacing down the downhill roads, waiting at water stops, smiling and posing for pics(got loads of them where I look pathetic and tanned!). I did not have music, neither did she. We were breathing in rhythm 2:2. For the first time I paid attention to it. It felt good. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fire on the mountain, Run run run!!

I know you might be feeling that all(or at least most) of my posts are about running. Well, yes, maybe.But that is because running teaches you so many lessons.
One of the biggest lessons is appreciation and being down to earth. No matter how fast others might be, they don't mock your pace. They know that you will get there. They appreciate that you have got past the laziness and have donned your shoes. They know what it takes to be out there and challenge yourself!
I have been participating in quite a few events here in Bangalore. Every event, I have seen these super fast runners who finish and come back to pace the finishers. They cheer you up :) It is in those moments you realise how a little bit of cheering and appreciation can make a difference.

Here is a pic from Anandayana 2013, where these little kids were cheering all the runners! "Fire on the mountain, Run run run!!"

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Calculus of Friendship- Review

I read this book by Steven Strogatz called The Calculus of Friendship-  What a teacher and student learned about life while corresponding about math. It was ~150 pages and kind of expensive. But totally worth it!!
The two days that I spent in reading that book were a pure bliss. I was so immersed. I was amazed at the elegant proofs in it. The way the student and teacher bonded over letters was something which struck me from within. The book also portrays how the teacher was ever enthusiastic to learn from his student. You might come across these proofs elsewhere, I am sure. But the approach was a smooth transition. Their discussions over letters, how they progressed from math to life, will just leave you thinking for quite some time. 
I could not stop thinking about two of my maths teachers. Before I could tell them how grateful I felt to be their students, they passed away. I could not come to terms with it for long time and tried to find peace. I would just spend days cursing myself. I hope they somehow know how I feel about it. 
If you are a person who loves math, enjoys reading, solving problems in an elegant way, this is THE book I would recommend. If you are from a non math background and happen to read it, please let me know your views.
I would like to thank one of my friends, Prasad, for suggesting this one. :) 

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Yes, it is Kannada and NOT Kannad!! I have no idea why people conveniently miss the last "a". 

Staying in Bangalore makes me happy because a lot of people speak in Kannada. It feels like home. It for sure is a bliss, as I have been away from home since almost 5 years.I am getting used to understanding Bengaluru Kannada as mine has a "slight" gult influence. My colleagues would definitely frown at the "slight" aspect though.
I felt shy to speak in Kannada with people in insti because I thought the slang was different etc. I have overcome that and it feels so natural now. I am thankful to my friends* for that. I feel like a local to some extent and easily converse with auto guys or shop uncles. Talking of auto uncles, the mere thought of taking an auto was a nightmare in Chennai and life is peaceful here because there is a meter in every auto and it works! =)

*friends= fellow Embracers :) 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Time Management and blah

I thought that I would have loads of time to write blog posts, once the internship starts. I have been proved wrong. Well, not exactly. I do have time, but I don't know how it just flies off!
I have been reading this book, Getting Things Done and I must say, it is great. If you want to get things done by yourself, then this is the book. If  you want to organize all your stuff etc, this would be a good start.
With the added responsibilities in my life, this is helping me.

Now all that apart , I wonder if this is how life would be once you start working in an office.
I have no clue how 4 months have passed already. But I am glad that I have some significant memories to take back. :)
I have been reading Steve Job's book and it just never ends!
Super Freakonomics was awesome! The facts and the way they were presented. Amazing.
The Zahir was a soul healer. The zig zag way? No comments.
That was 3 book reviews in short. :P
Also, here  is a fun event with the Engineering team :D
P.S: This is one thing crossed off my "inbox".

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Engineers go for a field visit

So we went to Bijapur. 520 kms from here. 6 of us. The boring part ends here.
It was such an insightful trip. We split into 2 teams each having a Kannada speaker. Yes, it was me for one group!

We met 2 users. One of them stays ~45 kms away in a tiny village. Just 4 "houses" around theirs. We received such a warm welcome. As soon as we sat down, after washing our legs, the mother placed her 3 months old baby in my lap. Wow! Never did I hold such a small baby. She was wearing a new frock as "doctors" from Bengaluru were visiting them. They offered us some lemons and made poha.

The whole feeling can't be explained in mere words. The looks on their face, the happiness, the gratitude can never be forgotten. It is a feeling which one should experience. The whole visit has strengthened my resolve to contribute to the society. To work for the bottom of the pyramid. They shared their feelings and the connection we made, would last forever.

Good old Embrace diaries. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Not a pessimist

After coming to Bangalore, I started to miss insti facilities. The free roads, internet, hostel and even mess!
That is when I realised, I would miss Bangalore when I go back to Chennai. I have decided to make use of this opportunity to the core.
I have joined swimming. I have tried running on one way roads. I have tried running on athletics track. I am trying to cook and looks like I am getting better at it. I have tried bowling and loved it, thanks to my classmates!
I fall short of words as I try to describe the place where I am working. It is purely awesome. I have met a lot of people and everyday is such a good learning experience. I think this deserves a new blog post.

In these moments, life tends to remind us, it is a bed of roses with thorns thrown here and there. It is in these moments we must step back and look at the bigger picture. Remind ourselves that good and bad times just follow each other. I have learnt to tell myself that there will bad days. That I need to learn how to deal with them. And yes, this isn't pessimism.

P.S: I want to say more. But some messages are better left for the others to think and reflect.