Friday, October 24, 2014

People and Philosophy

 " Philosophy like most other subjects, does not try to extend our knowledge by discovering new information about the world. Instead it tries to deepen our understanding through rumination on what is already closest to us. The experiences, thoughts, concepts, and activities that make up our lives but that ordinarily escape our notice precisely because they are so familiar"
Read this somewhere. (You could look up the source, if enthu. )

Once I shared those lines with some friends, I also learnt about this:

This sets up the context for what I have been going through for sometime now. Things which I had taken for granted when in college. In insti, I could just go to any friend and start a discussion about any topic under the sun, well, above as well. But you get it. I could just barge into someones room and listen to the ongoing arguments while munching home food. One could lazily sit in the canteen or CCD and overhear wild ideas spinning off! Such was the company of friends and foes :)

Post college, there was this long vacation before I got to work. It was a nice break where I did not have to think about courses or electives or responsibilities or paying mess fees. I kind of switched off and gave my head some much needed rest (and rust), I guess.

Once I got to Bangalore, I kind of struggled to keep this balance. The balance in the interactions with people around. The intellectual balance.
I struggled to find some space to run. I struggled to find some breathing space. The bright neon lights from the 8th floor office pantry did not help me much in this regard. Though this later led to meeting interesting people.

But people! People are a lot more than their weird beards, boring spectacle frames, heavy black helmets that they carry along, gelled hair, oversized jackets or dimples. Being a newbie at work, it did take some time for me to see and talk to people around me. The coffee breaks sans coffee exposed me to history, cultures, music from 70's, Socrates(?) and a lot more things which aren't right now on my mind. These made me feel alive and also made me miss the company of some of my insti friends.

These were three good months in Bangalore and I am sure I will miss some people. Oh yes, I resigned from my current job. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured on!

Below is the article that has been written by a journalist from yourstory. Yes, they featured me!

‘I have been running barefoot for the past 7 months. I completed Spirit of Wipro Half marathon barefoot. The next also should hopefully be done that way.‘

Bindu Upadhyay is an ambitious girl. Her love for running has been with her for a very long time, and is an important part of who she is. When at IIT Madras, Upadhyay was part of a running group called the Forest Gumps. The activity is so ingrained in her, this time around, she decided she was going to run for more than a personal desire.

Upadhyay’s latest campaign is to raise funds for children in rural Tamil Nadu, so they may have access to better quality education.

For anyone daunted by the thought of marathons, Upadhyay laughingly says, ‘You know, if you see me, you won’t think I run marathons. I’m quite chubby. Running is about fitness and stamina, so you don’t have to be thin or anything for it.’

Upadhyay’s ran half marathons in quite a few major cities in India, but Bangalore seems to be her favourite destination. ‘There are a lot of training runs in Bangalore, and it’s a very great place to have them. It’s very active,’ she says.

Over the next two months, Upadhyay hopes to raise Rs 150,000 for this cause. She’s already raised a cool Rs 66,595. Her inspiration to be part of this campaign began with her interaction with Eureka Child Foundations, the organisation that’ll receive the charity. Concerned by the low levels of education in rural Tamil Nadu, Upadhyay believed children, who we see selling cheap products on the street, should, instead, be gaining valuable knowledge in schools, so they may one day have a future of their own.

On September 21, Upadhyay completed the Spirit of Wipro Marathon. The Bengaluru Marathon is scheduled to take place on October 19th, followed by The Wipro Chennai Marathon on December 7th.

When asked why this was important to her, Upadhyay says, ‘I am someone who really believes in health and fitness. I feel that people should make an effort to be healthy, because it’s important to lead a healthy life. Also, I’m very passionate about spreading awareness about education for these children who are working on the streets instead of studying in schools.‘

Upadhyay’s concern for health and fitness also began when her doctor diagnosed her with a thyroid imbalance. She started with running short distances of 200 metres that would leave her exhausted. It dawned on her how out of shape she was, and probably, how out of shape everyone else must be, too, when they’re used to this modern-day sedentary lifestyle.

After two years of training, Upadhyay’s completed eight 10K runs and five half marathons of 21.1 kilometres. She believes running, or any kind of healthy activity, keeps the mind healthy and functioning much better, even at a creative level.

Not everyone gets to turn their passion into a cause, but that’s just what Upadhyay has done, whether it’s running, her passion for fitness or actively helping in bringing education to those who are too under-privileged to access it themselves. If there’s any advice, then it’s just one that Upadhyay wants to give to those interested in her story: Just lace up and go run! ... read more on