Saturday, October 27, 2012

Traits for Success

Sometime back someone shared the traits of success with me and here I am presenting it as it is. These are some of the very important and indispensable traits which any successful person will possess. If all these factors imbibed in one's personality collectively (not leaving any single one of them) can put an end to any turmoil and peril, no matter how grave it might sound or look.

Purposeful Thinking - Thinking with purpose is the key and in the right perspective. This does not happen if your mind controls you, however when you start controlling your mind, purposeful thinking can never go out your system. Even if you don't have a purpose at a given point of time, create the purpose by thinking of doing something satisfying. Brooding is a purposeless thinking which takes us towards failure. Therefore, purposeful thinking is must and it can be created by consciously observing one's thoughts closely and brainstorming on it. Remember one purposeful thought leads to another purposeful thought. If one's thinking is with right purpose and good intention, one will find unbelievable circumstances and situations being created for self by the infinite.

Resilience - Even Thomas Edison failed Ten Thousand times before his electrical innovation; however, he never said he failed. He said he learnt ten thousand ways a thing just won't work. He further added he would have failed the day he would have said I cannot do it any more, and I QUIT. Being resilient helps you to bounce back especially when you THINK are down and out. It helps you get back into the game when others would think the game is over for them.

Initiative - Each time initiative you take no matter what the world thinks of it, remember your initiative has given you one more learning experience. Moreover, it is also taking you one step forward towards your objective. Therefore, never shy from taking initiatives, especially when your mind and body are stimulating you towards it. Even if you are introvert especially at work you need to consciously develop a habit of taking initiatives. After all the world never knew anything about those who forgot to take initiative, unless and until someone took initiative on their behalf and promoted them.

Competence - It is very important to know what you want to know and what you are going to do with your actions. If you are incompetent, you would know deep inside that you are incompetent, and this will ensue negativism and fear paralyzing you even before you have taken the first step towards your work. Therefore, read and research a lot in your field as this will not only raise your competence level but also give you confidence. After all Henry Ford never got a formal education but in the field of mechanics he was as competent as anyone else.

Empathy - Be always with self. First you need to be sensitive to yourself then only you can be sensitive towards others. Therefore, introspect; question your thoughts, feelings and behavior. Also respect the other's feelings. Respecting does not necessarily mean agreeing with others feelings. Look from the other's point of you also and strive for a win -win situation. Empathy would mean wearing other's shoes and see where they pinch. Therefore, do not impose your views without patiently listening and understanding to what the other has to put across.

Confidence - Whatever you do, do it with conviction. We are not only talking about the overt confidence level that one may show around but are looking at both the overt and covert confidence in what one feels, thinks, acts and breathes. One can measure his or her confidence level by assessing his answers to the question thrown at them. Incase one does not find some one to ask questions, one can certainly mock it by asking what his critics would have asked him/ her. This mock anticipatory questioning is what all great salesman exercise before meeting the real customers.

Adaptability - We all create and possess a comfort zone for self. However, when our mind controls us, the comfort zone is identified by our mood swings rather then the real comfort zone which we have identified for ourselves. Therefore, we not only need to see that our mood swings do not influence our comfort zone but we need to keep expanding our comfort zone. This will help us adapt ourselves to any given situations, which will further enable us to be more flexible and not dogmatic in life. One can Increase his comfort Zone and be more adaptable by regularly pushing himself in situations wherein he is no mood to adapt. E.g. - Missing serial episode or switching off the Television set when the serial is in its climax or not watching the cricket match.

Rapport - Any organization will talk about internal and the external customers. Internal customers are those who are working with you in the organization may be as your seniors, subordinates, colleagues. External customers are the people who you cater to through your product and services. It is imperative to have a good rapport not only with the external customers but also with the internal customers who are also evaluating your performance in terms of desirable behavior. Therefore, we need to ensure that we enjoy good rapport with every one and incase we dislike someone we should not have a hostile behavior towards him/her. Surely, you would like to be with people, who are positive, pleasant and caring, similarly, if you are like them everyone would like to be with you.

Optimism - Last but certainly not least trait that an individual should always show is optimism. We need to be positively hopeful and optimistic that things would further change in our favor. Also be pragmatically optimistic that result Nature would bestow on you would invariably be what you deserve and not what you desire. Remember, Pessimism stops us from acting and takes us to brooding; however, optimism makes us act, act and act. 

And Success belongs to people who ACT. Let us ACT.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

After reading about Benjamin Franklin now and then, I always had a query of who he was. Was he a politician, a scientist, an economist or champion of public service. Last week I got a chance to read his autobiography and felt that he was the master of all. In his book "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin", a good account of his life and his work is detailed out. Some text shows his self-praise which he himself have accepted. This book also provides a good log of information on rise of United states as a nation and more so in making of a great society. The book talks about his life in detail. Born in Boston and moved to Philadelphia, he was a self taught man. He learnt the printing work from his brother and later started his own printing press in the city of Philadelphia. From there he never looked back. He learnt languages and then maths and science. It is really amazing to know how a person, who never went to high school could become scientist and did a number of inventions which helped the society in small and big ways. His profession of printing press helped him in getting closure to the administration and there he impacted a lot as an administrator itself. Book shares the details on his experience on war-front with local Indians. Later he helped different counties in coming together and proposing the building of a nation. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of America.

Regarding his belief on religion, he writes- "For the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist. I grew convinced that the truth, sincerity and integrity in dealings between man and man were of the utmost importance to the felicity of life. The most acceptable service to God is doing good to man". He shared a detail on Virtues, he developed and practiced in his life and how it helped in making him a better man. He claims that there virtues contributed greatly to his success.

He was the master of conversation and talked about one of the virtue Humility in communication; "When asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly  and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition; and in answering I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in present case there appeared or seemed to me some difference, etc."

Franklin talks on importance of reading in his life, "This library afforded me the means of improvement by constant study, for which I set apart an hour or two each day… Reading was the only amusement I allow'd myself. I spent no time in taverns, games, or frolics of any kind.". 
On this note on reading I must say that this book is one of the best autobiographies and worth reading.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Trip to Coorg

This weekend I visited Coorg, which was in my list from a long time. Coorg also known as Kodagu is well known hill station of Karnataka and famed for its luscious greenery, coffee farms and Kaveri water streams flowing through the valley. I have been in Coorg before but mostly stayed in the resort only on last trip except a trekking. It was Orange county resort which is one of the luxurious resorts in this country and we enjoyed every bit of it on being there. This time plan was to visit Madikeri. We were five people on this trip and it was a journey by car. We started early at five in morning on Saturday. Starting early means you can save minimum one hour from Bangalore traffic. Reaching Kengeri road from Marathalli took one hour only. Early morning drive is always a pleasure. In next one hour we stopped at a Kamath restaurant and had good breakfast of traditional south Indian foods including dosa and idlis. After getting recharged, we started again and reached to Srirangapatna in next one hour. There we took diversion from Mysore road and drove on KRS dam road to skip the Mysore city traffic. We used the GPS on phone to make sure that we are not heading in a wrong direction. Road was not very good and had bad patches. After next 18 KMs of village side road, we hit the Madikeri road again. Road after that was picturesque and with a great view full of green landscape. We stopped in between and had some good photo shots. By eleven we reached to Madikeri after a 260KM drive. Just before the town, we saw a Shiva temple on the hill and visited it, which is named as Bhadrakaleswari temple. After that we moved to our resort, Hotel Mayura Valley View. This is a KSTDC maintained hotel. I was apprehensive about this choice as this is a government run hotel and some reviews on Internet were also not very good. I booked it due to proximity to major attractions of the town and good price but this hotel was a pleasant surprise. This is situated next to Raja's seat. Rooms were big and well maintained. You can get the same valley view what you get from Raja's seat, from almost all of the rooms. This hotel was a real value for money. We checked-in, got ready quickly for lunch and it was delicious. After taking a small rest we left for Abbey falls first.

Abbey falls is about 8KMs from the resort and the road is narrow and with lot of turns. Driving was tough and view outside was of lush green deep jungle. Sooner we reached there and parked our car near entrance. From there it was a short walk downwards to reach the falls. There was a massive flow from falls as it was monsoon time. It was a soothing experience. There was a hanging bridge also to get the good view of falls. After spending some good time there, we moved back to Madikeri town. Next we went to see the Madikeri fort which is now converted to District colectrate. It was a small fort which is being used as office now. Fort was surrounded by decent walls and we could see some old small palaces and chapels. A museum is inside the premises to showcase the Madikeri history but we skipped that part. It was evening now and so we moved to Raja's sit to watch sunset. Raja's seat is well maintained garden with a sunset point and gives the breath taking valley view. There is a toy train for hardly one KM long track inside the garden. We enjoyed this shortest ever train journey a lot. Then we moved to the valley view point. We could see the great Coorg valley from there. We sat there for some time to enjoy the quiteness. Weather was getting cold and valley was full of roaming clouds and misty fogs. As sun can be hardly seen in that weather, so we skipped the sunset and left for the market. Madikeri is a small but decent market. We purchased a raincoat, a jacket and other stuffs. Then we moved back to resort. After spending some time in chit-chat, we went to the restaurant for dinner. They took a lot of time to take order but food was served very quickly and it was very tasteful. 

Next morning we left the resort little late than our earlier plan. Morning was very pleasant and misty. We drove to Kushalnagar to visit Tibettian Golden temple. We reached there at nine o'clock. The temple which is one of the biggest settlement of Tibettian in this country is beautiful. When we reached, it was their pray time so we got a glimpse of Tibettian pray rituals. We had the breakfast nearby and after a short shopping we moved to Nisargadhama which is at bank of Kaveri river. We crossed the Kaveri river by a hanging bridge. This place was a kind of small jungle with a zoo and some tree top sitting place to enjoy the surroundings. We had a short walk in the jungle before we came out. Now we started back for Bangalore. In this trip we skipped two major attraction of coorg,  Talakaveri and Dubbare elephant camp but were happy to have two great days. In next three hours we reached to Channapatna. In between we had a decent lunch and faced traffic in Mandya and Srirangapatna. In Channapatna we stopped near a toy shop. Channapatna is very famous for its wooden toy factories. We could not visit a factory there but everyone of us was quite amazed with the toys they make. I could never imagine that the wooden toys can meet the functionality and attractiveness of Chinese plastic toys. We bought few toys and then started again for Bangalore. Once we entered the city it was full of traffic chaos due to metro work. It took around two hour drive in city to reach back to home in Marathalli. Overall this trip was one of the best. Thanks to my brother-in-laws for a long and smooth driving. We enjoyed the misty Coorg trip a lot. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Trek to Siddara Betta

It was a long time since I went for an outing. So when on Friday evening Shridhara asked if I am interested to join him for a trekking in Siddara Betta, I just said yes. Without knowing much about the place, I started from my house early morning on Saturday (7th July).  It was a cool start of the day and went to Hope Farm first to receive Shridhara. His friend Rajesh was supposed to join us in Dobbaspet. Sridhara drove the bike and it took one hour to come out of city and hit Tumkur road. Driving on Tumkur road or NH4 was a good time and we reached to Dobbaspet in next half an hour. There we left the NH4 and drove till Koratagere town. In between some patches of roads were not good but it was a good village side road and full of picturesque. In Koratagere we met Rajesh, had tea at one road side shop and moved towards our destination. At eleven thirty we reached to Siddara Betta. It was 120 KMs from Hope Farm and took little more than three hours. We parked our bikes near a shop at the foothill. There we hired one local villager as our guide. He was well aware of the hill and look like a regular guide to the trekkers.

Just after the start of trek, I felt some doziness and got a weird feeling that I can not make it. Same was with Shridhara but we overcame on this and started going up again. The hill was steep in starting. There were steps made on the boulders to help trekker to climb up. Rajesh is a regular trekker and he was going up smoothly. I was following him. From different positions at the hill, we could see the plane below for awesome views. We moved further up and after one hour of trekking we reached up to the Shiva temple which is in a cave. We removed our shoes and entered into the cave. There is a water well inside the cave and the priest said that this is a holy kund. After initial hesitation I had a bath with the cold water and felt relieved of all the tiredness. In fact there are several small wells on the top. One can get water if he will dig five feet only. After a small puja, our guide took us for the cave exploration. Moving in the cave was difficult and sometime you have to crawl under the boulders. It's difficult to go inside without a guide or familiar person. We saw some small den where saints used to stay and do meditation for years. Though I did not find any saint there but I could feel that it is the best place to meditate; before trekker like us started coming here :-). This hill is also famous for its medicinal and curative plants. I could realize that the stories which I heard in childhood; might be true that saints used to meditate for years with some leaves and water.

After the cave exploration we started trekking again and this time it was easy as it was mostly plane. Then we reached to the top of Siddara Betta and feel amazed to see the view of sister hills and surrounding. It was a big plane atop of hill and we thought of having a night trek or night stay on the hill. As it was late after noon so we started our lunch which we got packed in Dobbaspet. Lunch after a long trek will always taste delicious and thats what it was. After spending some time there we started coming down. In end of the coming down, our guide took us to a different and very slippery trek making it more challenging. While coming we could see the cave where people used to organize yoga camp. When we reached back to the foothill we were tired enough but had to drive back. We had a tea, paid the guide and started back. It started raining in between but stopped in a very short time too. After driving for 90 KM in one go I stopped just before city entrance. I always feel difficulty in finding ways in city and get confused in signal chaos. Sridhara drove the bike for rest of the stretch. By eight I reached back to my house with a pleasure of the good trekking and tiredness to get retire in the bed soon.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In Quite Land of Pyramid Valley

Last Friday was Ugadi and I visited the Pyramid Valley on this occasion with my wife and my mother. The Pyramid valley is a new age meditation center and situated on Kanakpura road, 50 KMs from Marathalli in Bangalore. It took us little more than one hour to reach there. The location is very quite and in between of small hills which makes it perfect to feel calm and relaxed. This center is initiated by Brahmarshi Patriji, who claims that doing meditation in pyramid is more powerful. So a grand pyramid of 102 ft height is constructed in the midst of this quite land and which can accommodate five thousands people at a time for meditation. When we entered the valley, we got a brief about meditation at the reception. After that we had a walk inside the beautiful campus before reaching to pyramid entrance. A Buddha statue was situated at the entrance as a symbol of peace. Pyramid was one of the marvelous architecture and built in scientific way to store radiated cosmic energy drawn from the universe. Inside the pyramid, it was a pin drop silence. We sat in a corner and had a short meditation. I am not sure if meditation in pyramid makes a difference as they claim; but quietness and calmness of the surrounding was rejuvenating. In the center of pyramid there was a king's chamber at 34 ft height which they claim to be most energetic spot inside. We went up to there but I could not feel a difference except it was hot so we came down quickly. After spending some quite time inside, we came out and went to the cafeteria. It was lunch time and they serve free lunch. Lunch was very simple but very tasty. We had a walk again in the campus before we headed back for our home. One thing is sure, this is one of the peaceful place to get away but not kind of have fun. The best thing is, they emphasis on natural meditation and peacefulness; not trying to sell something or pitching their thought or asking for anything. The mantra there is 'leave your distractions and observe your breathe".

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Watching a Hockey match

I was excited when I saw the World Series Hockey advertisement for the first time on Neo sports tv channel. Hockey which used to be our national game (still the official one) lost its shine in the midst of cricket and WSH can be the best effort to reinvigorates the people's interest in this game. Unfortunately this effort is struggling between Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India tussle. Still it managed to make an impact on Indian sports arena.

Last week I planned to go for watching the WSH hockey match with my office teammates and family. We booked the tickets for Karnataka Lions and Mumbai Marines match. I was little apprehensive if people will like a hockey match or even if there will be a crowd in stadium. So before going for match, I googled the basic rules of Hockey and shared with the team. On 8th March late evening, before hockey match, we had a good dinner in "Under The Mango Tree" restaurant in Richmond road which is very near to the Shantinagar Hockey stadium. After that we went to the stadium. Once I reached to the parking area, it was a louder noise coming from the ground. Quickly we moved inside and took our seat. Stadium which is having eight thousand capacity was almost filled. People were very enthusiasts. The turf was of international level though stands were ordinary one. Match was already in action and people were cheering for the home team and famous player Dhanraj Pillai in particular.  Local folk drummers and beautiful cheerleaders were raising the people's enthusiasm. Karnataka team was leading in the first quarter but lost by 1-2 goals with a dominating performance by Mumbai in last two quarter. A local fan who looked like a die-hard supporter and old hockey addict, was shouting a lot. In all these noise I was feeling good to see so many enthusiast people watching and appreciating hockey. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Pulse with Zakir Hussain

Last night I got the opportunity to watch Ustad Zakir Hussain live in a concert in Jnana Jyothi Auditorium in Bangalore. An exclusive solo tabla recital of Zakir Hussain was like dream come true. The concert was started with a performance from famous violinist Deepak Pandit. Deepak Pandit has accompanied Jagjit Singh for over three decades. Here he was accompained with Heera Pandit on tabla, Rajesh Rajbhatt on drum and Santosh Mulekar on keyboard. It was a very young team when we talk of Indian classical music. They played fusion music, performing most of the ragas. Their performance was applauded by the audience. After the performance from Deepak Pandit and team, time came for the Ustad Zakir Hussian to come on stage. Whole auditorium was standing in respect of him. He was accompanied by young Dilshan Khan on Sarangi. Once the stage was set for Zakir, people were lost in magic of his fingers. These two instruments was played well synchronized and won the hearts of the people there. Zakir played a lot of compositions and earned a lot of appluads from audience. I am not a music expert so can not explain in detail and techniques of his masterpiece performance but can easily say that he touched everyone's pulse with his tabla recital.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year Day in Anthargange

We started our new year with a short but great trip of Anthargange temple which is situatated on Kolar hills and only 70KMS from Bangalore. I read about Kolar Gold mines in my childhood. Kolar Gold Fields called as KGF is abondoned now but for travelers and explorers it can be treasure including Anthargange, Kolar hills, Kotilingeshwara, Avani temple and Chikka Trirupati. We planned for Anthargange and started our journey from Marathalli at ten o' clock, drove towards Hoskote through Hope farm junction . Road to Hoskote was nice and once we hit NH4 just before Hoskote it was very wide and completly traffic free. In next half an hour we took our break at a Cafe Coffee Day outlet. We had a good coffee, some good photo shots and moved again for Kolar. Landscape on both sides of road after that was a rocky terrain. In next fifteen minutes we reached to Kolar town. There we met Sumanth who was a localite and friend of Sumit bhaiya. He guided us to reach Anthargange temple or Kolar hills which is about 3KMS from Kolar town. We parked our bikes there and moved towards the temple. There were a lot of monkeys on hills and on the way to temple. It was very crowded there because of new year day otherwise these monkeys could have been frightening for travelers. It was about two hundred steps to go up and reach the temple. On top we saw the Antharagange temple which has its mythological significance of Ramyana era. Just near the temple, there is a natural spring which is believed to be as pious as Ganga. Water coming out of this is natural and pure. Water comes out from the small cleft and fill the diagonal pond underneath it. Unfortunately it was dirty probably because the people take bath there.

After visiting the temple, we climbed up the hill. It was a perfect place for trekking and cave exploration. There are villages on the hills and it would have been a great idea to explore the Kolar hills a further more. After climbing little further on the rocky hills, we could see the panoramic view of Kolar town. We decided to come down after having some good photos of the hills range. From Kolar hills we went to the Chinmaya Ashram near to the town. We parked our bikes there and had the home made delicious lunch. We started back for Bangalore after that. Driving on NH4 was fun and we touched the 100KM/hr. We reached back to home in next one hour after a non stop drive.