Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ಮಾತು ಒಗಟಾದಾಗ...

ಮಾತು ಒಗಟಾದಾಗ
ಮೌನ ಮಾತಾಗಿ,
ಮೌನದ ಮಾತಲ್ಲೇ
ಜೀವ ಹಗುರಾಗಿ,
ಮನದ ಕಾರ್ಮೋಡ
ಕರಗಿ ನೀರಾಗಿ,
ಕಂಡ ಕನಸುಗಳು
ಹಾಗೆಯೇ ನನಸಾಗಿ,
ನನ್ನಾಸೆಯ ಜೀವಕೆ
ಕತ್ತಲೆಯ ಬೆಳಕಾಗಿ,
ಬೆಳಕಿನ ಬಳುಕಿಗೆ
ಸ್ಪರ್ಶದ ಹಿತವಾಗಿ,
ಹಿತವಾದ ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ
ಮೃದುವಾದ ಕವಚವಾಗಿ,
ನೊಂದ ಕ್ಷಣಗಳು
ಮರೆತು ಹಾಡಾಗಿ,
ಹಾಡಿನ ರಾಗಕೆ
ಸ್ವರವು ನಾನಾಗಿ,
ನನ್ನೆದೆಯ ಮಿಡಿತಕೆ
ಬಡಿತ ನೀನಾಗಿ,
ಪ್ರೀತಿಯ ಚಿಲುಮೆಗೆ
ಹೃದಯ ಒಂದಾಗಿ,
ನಲಿವಿನ ಸಮಯ
ಮಿತಿಯಿಂದ ಅತಿಯಾಗಿ,
ಅರಿವಿಲ್ಲದೆ, ಪ್ರೀತಿ...
ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಯಾಗಿ,
ಉತ್ತರವ ಹುಡುಕುತ
ಸಂಭಂದಗಳಿಗೆ ಬಲಿಯಾಗಿ,
ಬಲಿಯಾದ ಮನಕೆ
ಒಂಟಿತನ ಜೊತೆಯಾಗಿ,
ನಿಂತ ಸಮಯಕೆ
ಮನವು ವಶವಾಗಿ,
ಮಾತು ಮೌನವಾಗಿ
ಮತ್ತೇ...ಒಗಟೇ ನನ್ನ ಮಾತಾಗಿ !!

ಶ್ರೀ

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The day the world Runs! – NIKE RUN


Rub-rub-rub-rub-rub, I could not hear anything else other than this tune today. As I was running, one guy came next to me and said ‘Just Do it’ looking at the tattoo of Nike Logo on my face. Wow! I said that is the spirit and ‘let’s do it’! Along with rub-rub-rub, all I could hear was ‘uffs, puffs and many phews’! While running, I encountered some of the beautiful moments in life. Seeing thousands of people running on the beautiful bituminous pavement, that looked like wonderful ‘turf’ for all of us; being a part of the world human race that was organized in 27 cities across 27 countries, all running at the same time; It was like, we belong to ‘one’ Human Race. And before ending our race, I could see the sun cooling down to dusk and it was simply a spectacular view to see people reaching the finish line while the sun was setting for the day!

Yes. We were at the most awaited event – NIKE Human Race 10K Run. The run was flagged off by the most famous personalities and inspiration for many young people – Anju Bobby George, Mahesh Bhupati and Sreeshanth. We started our run at 4.30 Pm and the same time, the run would start in other countries as well. There were One million runners and 1100 runners from Bengaluru who ran 7,88,879 miles for the cause today from across the world. In India, Bengaluru hosted the event and the event execution was simply superb.

Anju, Mahesh and Sreeshanth spoke a few words to inspire all the runners before they flagged off the show. It was great to see thousands of people running for the cause. Everywhere ‘Red’ Nike tees, ‘Nike logo’ tattoos on faces and arms, yellow bib numbers on tees, sun glasses and sun caps was seen. Also needless to mention thousands of beautiful glittering faces, some of the most gorgeous faces I have ever seen, and the spirit they exhibited was awe-inspiring.

People were categorized in many groups depending on the time they would complete the race. There were colored wrist bands that were given to identify people under the different categories. So we all had to give them the approximate time that we could complete our 10K run to get the band. I was in the ‘Green’ category, where I was supposed to take 60-90 minutes to complete the 10 Km. Kowshik and Sandy belonged to the ‘Red’ category which meant that they would complete the race within 60 minutes. Raghu had opted for ‘Green’. But once the race started, it was like, we just have to run. The colored bands did not even matter for us while running. Water stalls and Toilet facilities were organized every 2 Km. Well known Sagar Apollo hospital took the responsibility of health care. There were many ambulances and health points set up all along the way.

First 2 km of the run was very good and I could run without any problem. Because I do not have regular practice, I got tired very soon and used to walk wherever I could not run. But that was the case with most of the people there. We were given small chips to tie it to our shoe that tracks the timing of our race. It would track the time once at the beginning of the race, after completion of 5 km and again at the finish lane. One can go on to the Nike’s website to check their completion time. I was the last amongst our group and completed the run in about 80 minutes while Kowshik, who always leads in our group, finished his race in 60 minutes. Coincidently my friend little Manjula had also participated and it was good to see her running today.

All along the way there were many people, who visited just to cheer us. There were many video cameras and photographers who were capturing the best moments. And to entertain us, there were very good live bands from Goa who were performing their best to cheer us and to keep up our momentum. I had given my camera to Lakshmi (as she visited with us as a guest) so that she could capture good moments while we all are busy running. And she did a very good job in doing so. The event was organized so well that it was best beyond our expectations. It was an ecstatic feeling that one can take back with them who participated in the event. We had a bus arranged from Bengaluru to the venue; Stunning event venue - Clarks Exotica resort of Hollywood town, near BIAL; Snacks, Beverages and Dinner were served for all the participants; after the run, there were people doing leg massages for those required; Instructors from Gold Gym were on stage training the crowd on the warm up exercise before the race and the cool down exercise after the race (they were just splendid). As we returned back, our mind had already raced ahead of our body to fill ourselves with some cool drinks and good food.

Lastly, the excitement and the joy that no one could forget was the evening entertainment. There was a group from Goa who took over the stage and performed so brilliantly that no one could just stand or sit. All of us were dancing, jumping, shouting and enjoying out of the world. It was just dance, dance and dance before we had our dinner. It was a thrilling evening and joyful to see people of all ages - kids, parents, senior citizens and all others dancing to rejoice themselves with the wonderful music.

After such a splendid event, we all had to leave to reach back home!

Thanks to Nike Plus for organizing such a stupendous event and it feels good to be a part of Nike Human Race. Will certainly look forward to participating in the Nike Human Race 2010.

Srik

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Book Review: 'The' Professional


After reading the ‘High-performance entrepreneur’ and ‘Go kiss the world’, two outstanding books by Mr. Subroto Bagchi, I started admiring him for the kind of motivation and energy he gives to all entrepreneurs and young minds. His own story of MindTree is very inspiring. Subroto Bagchi is the Co-Founder of the Indian IT major MindTree Consulting. As soon as I heard about his third book – ‘The Professional’, I ordered for a copy. I also wanted to attend the official book release function on Oct 6th in Bengaluru but I somehow missed it.
Ramachandra Guha – the author of ‘India after Gandhi’ stated the book as ‘Moving and deeply empathetic…From richly varied experiences, Bagchi explains how to conduct ones career with both intelligence and integrity. This fine book will command a deservedly wide readership’. Do I have to say anything more? I strongly believe in the above statement. This really deserves a wide readership and everyone irrespective of any profession should read it.
In the past two days, while I was reading this book, I started observing the events happening around me and I started relating the events to few of the interesting insights given in the book.
I was in a very interesting meeting with a senior government officer yesterday and I was surprised to hear a comment from him about a junior officer who works with him. He stated several times that his junior officer is a ‘Professional’ and he works fine with any task that is assigned to him. Now, I wanted to know what he exactly meant when he labeled his junior officer as a ‘Professional’. Did he mean he is good? Or did he mean he is honest? Or did he mean he is educated? I was totally lost.
Well, although it was not new for me to hear the word ‘Professional’ because I am so used to hearing that every day. Don’t you think so? Just try and recollect how many times you would’ve heard that word? There are many people who keep saying ‘why don’t you behave like a professional?’, ‘is this a professional way to do things?’, ‘being a professional, why did you do it?’ and many such statements. My question is what do they mean exactly? Or making such statements will help the individual in any way?
Well, that is exactly what this book talks about. Subroto Bagchi’s first book shared his story of building a company; his second best seller was the story of his life, a motivation to young people that anyone can achieve. But as he says: ‘Go kiss the world did not provide a tool kit’. In The Professional, he gives us his knowledge, based on his lifelong experience, of what it takes to be a professional, what qualities you need to become a great professional, and what are the challenges of the future a professional must be prepared for.
It is like, if Srikanth faces a toughest question: Is what I am going to do now, faced with a difficult decision and multiple options, the professional choice to make? He gives answers for such questions by giving practical examples and his real life stories.
It will not take too many chapters to read before you arrive at saying ‘This is an outstanding book and I got the meaning of a TRUE Professional’. His first chapter, ‘Burial of the dead’ is a deeply moving and inspiring story of the most awful (for most of us) profession of dealing with dead bodies. He introduces the idea of who a professional is through a man Mahadeva whose life is dealing with dead bodies; unclaimed dead bodies. This is not someone who is conventionally associated with the term ‘Professional’. The only stakeholders for him are the Victoria Hospital staff, Policemen and the unclaimed dead bodies. The way that he was brought up was very touchy and the other hand, the way he lived his life was very inspiring. Subroto calls Mahadeva a true professional looking at the way he dealt with his whole life. His dedication, focus, care and concern among the community he lived with was very much challenging. Mahadeva buried more than 42000 corpses in his lifetime and his dedication has earned him phenomenal public recognition. The two qualities that Mahadeva has which differentiate a professional from someone who is simply professionally qualified are: One is the ability to work unsupervised and, two, the ability to certify the completion of one’s work. You have to read the complete story to get a good sense of what he is trying to explain. I promise you it is the most touching story in the book and it gives the full meaning of the book.
Subroto says ‘Integrity precedes professional competence’. So true isn’t it? The chapters in this book are categorized under 7 parts starting from, Integrity, Self-Awareness, Professional Qualities, Managing Volume, Managing complexity, New world imperatives (including sub-prime crisis and Satyam saga) and The professional’s professional. All these headings are self explanatory and you will really enjoy the way Subroto narrated the stories under each category. They are all his real life stories which are stated in a very simple way that can be understood by anyone at any level.
Although, Subroto has tried his best to explain his views on every topic in a very few words (meaning less number of pages), the impact it gives is enormous. His experiences with respect to ‘Integrity’ and the stories under that category are simply brilliant. He says ‘as per the eminent men and women whom he interviewed, the top quality that they admired in a professional is Integrity’. Here is the feedback to rank the top ten attributes of a professional:
1. Integrity
2. Commitment and Ownership
3. Action orientation and goal seeking
4. Continuous learning
5. Professional Knowledge
6. Communication
7. Planning, Organizing and Punctuality
8. Quality of work
9. A positive attitude, approachability, responsiveness
10. Being an inspiring reference to others; thought leadership
In the end, he says ‘Tomorrow’s professional must have a beacon-like presence in a world that will ask for memorability. Because being ordinary will no longer be considered professional’.
After reading this book, I am now trying to use the tool kit that Subroto has given in the form of his rich experiences and practical aspects of dealing with issues in both personal and professional life. The story of Mahadeva, whose profession is the burial of unclaimed dead bodies, will always remain in the hearts of every professional. And I bet there are many such professions and professionals who are doing their best to justify what they are doing.
In the last chapter, interestingly, Subroto has given his views on how not to be unprofessional as well. He has also explained his top ten markers of unprofessional conduct.
The final takeaway for me from the book is this – ‘Do not let yourself get carried away; do not start believing in the myth about yourself and your achievements. Take both success and failure with the same equanimity. Because, ultimately, being a professional is a matter of personal choice and the values we opt to live by’.
Srik

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ready, Get, Set, Go…FLAT TYRE!

It was not all that bad as the post heading says. But the most awaited event of this month came to a successful end today. There were approximately 7000 bikers taking part in the Cyclothon event that was organized by BSA Hercules. The event was scheduled to start at 7 am and the ride was on the beautiful NICE (Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise) express highway. There were many categories of registrations for the event.

Elite Ride where all the racers participate, took off at 7 am and they all first completed their race of 65 kms (36 kms for women). The other rides including, Amateur Ride (36 Km), Green Ride and Corporate Ride (25 Km), Teen Ride (5 Km), Fun Ride (2 Km) and the 10K ride (10 Km) were scheduled after the Elite race.

So we were all geared up with our bikes and reached the venue before 7 am. Kowshik, Lakshmi, and I bicycled down from NH-4 intersection to the BIEC campus where the event was organized. We could see many people with their bikes ready to hit the road and feel the cycle ride on the NICE road. We saw people warming up, fixing the breakdowns, pinning their bib numbers to their tees and surprisingly Raghu Dixit’s stage show to entertain the whole Cyclothon fraternity with his magical/musical chords!

We waited for TS, Sunil and Sandy to join us as they had made their own arrangements to reach the place. After sometime, all of us were at the main stage listening to good performances by Raghu Dixit.

After a while, the elite riders were almost reaching their finish line so we all lined up to cheer them. We saw them coming with full speed on their lovely bikes to touch the finish line. After all of them returned, we were asked to go to the Hall – 3 and assemble so that they can start the amateur ride. All 6 of us, with lot of excitement, took our bikes and started moving towards the Hall – 3. All of a sudden, Sandy had a breakdown with his bike as the tyre alignment was totally damaged. He then tried his best to go to the people who were fixing the breakdowns in the Hall -2; but later I received a message from Sandy saying ‘I am out of the race’. Nobody could help him fix his bicycle.

With the sense of disappointment, five of us, reached the hall – 3 where all the amateur riders were ready with their bikes to start the race. We went inside and lined up in the front row. While we were discussing about the Sandy’s breakdown and how sad he would’ve felt and all that, there comes the second disappointment. It was almost the time our ride was to begin, I noticed, I had a flat front tyre. What the hell?

I was very disappointed with what happened to my bike as I was awaiting this event like mad, practicing everyday and making sure that I complete the race successfully. But! What can I do? I had to run to the hall – 2 where the mechanics were fixing minor breakdowns of many cycles. Unfortunately, they said, there is no way that they can fix the flat tyre. I got mad and was feeling very disappointed that I am going to miss the ride. I called Sandy who was at the main stage and explained him about my breakdown; he was feeling sorry about whatever happened to both of us. In the mean while, all the others were all set to go and their ride began at 9 am.

Sandy and I were sitting opposite to the main stage looking at all the cyclists who were hitting the road at the starting point. We were cheering for them and we were also feeling very sad. Not only two of us, there were many people who had breakdowns and they were feeling terrible like we were. A group of 4 participants came to us enquiring what happened to our bikes and it happened to be the same case with them that even they had breakdowns. They suggested us to go to the organizers and request for renting a cycle and go on with our ride.

We were like, oh yeah! We will certainly beg for a cycle and started walking towards the Hall – 2. At the same time, Raghu Dixit was singing ‘Neene Beku’ song from the movie ‘Psycho’ and we were like ‘Cycle beku’. We checked with few of the organizers who were giving BSA city bikes on rent for 100 Rs. But they said they cannot give it to us as it was too late and there were no bicycles left. But we heard someone saying ‘there are old cycles lying in the corner and you may want to check it out’. We ran towards it and we selected two Cycles and we decided to take them and continue our ride. The cycles were not in a good condition and more importantly, there were no gears. We thought, we should not miss this event in any case and we decided to take them and we hit the road at 9.45 Am.

It was a great sense of feeling with both of us that we finally made it. We cycled hard and we saw the beautiful NICE road welcoming us which gave us enough confidence to complete the full ride. We saw many video cameras on the way and many of the riders who were already returning from their rides on the other lane. I saw Kowshik returning back with full speed on his city bike. I never thought I would complete the ride looking at the status of my ugly-looking-poor-conditioned-rented-bike which even had very less air in its tyres. But somehow, I was moving and it was working fine. Both Sandy and I were pretty fast that we could easily overtake many of the other cyclists.

After completing about 13 kms, we saw Lakshmi having a breakdown as she had a flat tyre too! And it was in such a bad shape that the tyre had come out of the frame completely. She said she will get her bike in a truck and she asked us to continue. Actually after reaching 13 kms, we were asked to take the U turn and go back. So I was wondering if they have reduced 36 km ride to 25 kms. After a while, we met TS and all three of us started cycling together. Worst part was, we did not get water while we were on the road. All the Fosters stalls were empty and we had to manage with the one bottle of water that I had.

As soon as we saw the finish line, we increased our speed and made sure that we reached the finish point very soon. So, we completed our ride of 25 Km in about 90 minutes. Not bad huh! With the old BVK Iyengar Road – Atlas Columbia Cycles!

We returned to the main stage and collected our refreshments. Saddest part was the way they had organized the event. We did not get to eat any breakfast, no water while we were on the road and after coming back from lengthy tiresome ride, they were feeding us 2 bananas each. I do not know what they did with so many sponsors on their board.

Lakshmi had to get her bike by loading it into a van. Luckily van was made available so that all those who had breakdowns while on the road could get their bikes back. After all of us returned, the biggest problem was to carry our cycles back home. Sandy, TS and Sunil had their own arrangement to take their bike; so, only three of us were left worried about the return journey. If the cycles were fine, we would cycle down but we had two cycles with flat tyres. Then we checked with the Volvo bus driver to drop us anywhere near to Rajajinagar. Luckily, we got into the Volvo bus that was going towards GG Palya near Yeshwanthpur. Thanks to the driver and conductor, they allowed us to take the cycles inside the bus. Otherwise, we would’ve had hell of a day!

We got down at GG Palya, Kowshik decided that he will cycle down to his house which is only 4-5 kms from that point and get his car to take the other two cycles. He was pretty fast and he actually came back within an hour’s time. Cycles were fitted onto his Thule Clip-Ons and we reached his place by 3 Pm.

Well, that was our adventurous journey of the most exciting Cyclothon. In spite of the poor organizing, it was the spirit of thousands of bikers that kept the Cyclothon lively and made it a huge success! Kudos to all the participants!

We will encounter breakdowns every day, but never give up!

Srik