Thursday, December 09, 2010

The dawn

Winds churning at great speed,
Lightening adding to the aura of creed,
The rain camouflaging the tears,
The cold freezing the fears.

One thought to just let go,
Guzzle salty water in full flow,
Sinking to the bottom of the ocean,
Troubles evanesce through the motion.

The ambitious future flashing in a trice,
Hope brightening up the eyes,
But ends up descrying the vast ocean near and beyond,
Making current location an obvious end point.

Spots of life boats now and then,
Obvious to thee but not to them,
The latest one few meters at best,
But no one on board to throw the Mae West.

The rise of the new day,
Should have brought new sanguinity and gay,
But reminiscence of past unfair days,
Leading to nothing but despair to face.

The last of the options gone long ago,
Forcing you to finally let go,
Spiraling down the epicenter in a rapid plummet,
No time to regret, nothing to lament.

Suddenly a hand bends down offering help,
No life left to grab, due to vanishing pep,
Series of splashes heard at a distant,
The noises waking me up in an instant.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Jazz my day!

Jazz - A genre of popular music that originated in New Orleans around 1900 and developed through increasingly complex styles. Jazz, as we know, has been evolving over the last century and continues to mesmerize people.

Fireflies’ introduced me to my first live Jazz music and that was the night when I got totally engrossed in its music style. HFT, a jazz trio from Delhi performed live on that day and left the crowd spell bound. So when I heard about the Jazz Utsav festival, I was all ready to go!

The event at Bangalore was held at the Chowdiah Memorial hall. The expectations were sky high. The build up and anticipation was at its peak. It was a three hour event and the first one and a half hour was one of the most boring music I had ever heard. Not that it was completely bad, but just that the expectations were high and the music was too monotonous for comfort. Murcof, Talvin & Truffaz were the performers and Talvin behind tubla atleast made the performance bearable.

After the break it was the turn of Larry Carlton to take the centre stage. Eighteen-time Grammy nominee, three-time Grammy winner, Larry Carlton played wonderfully. It compensated for the first half of the concert. Added to his great guitar skills, the co-guitarist were too good while the drummer was just plain awesome. Overall the team delivered a beautiful performance and made sure people don’t go back home disappointed.

The concert has made me gear up for two of the most eagerly awaited events – Bryan Adams Concert and Fireflies-2011, both of which is happening on consecutive weekends in February! Now that week would be really something!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Demanding Gratification!

After dropping my friend back home, I saw this person tapping the window of my car begging for money. I am not the kind who donates money, especially to people who begs at junctions, but that day was different. I removed a 10 rupee note and gave it to his extended hand.

I don’t know what I was expecting from the gesture but to be honest I didn’t feel anything. Why is ‘no feeling’ disappointing?

Why do people give alms? Isn’t it some kind of a trade or a transaction between two people? The person giving alms expects gratitude, expects happiness in helping someone, or expects that smile/reaction from the other person, while the person receiving alms expects money for showing that reaction, for making the giver feel happy about it. But why was it that I felt indifferent to the entire process?

Why is it that we do what we do? What do our actions speak about us? Where does it all lead us? What is the end goal? - Gratification! The actions, reactions, non-actions all in one way or other searching in its own unique way for ‘gratification’.

At what point of time do we expect gratification? Do we indulge in short-term ones or long-term ones? One which involves a short cut or a longer definite path? Should one expect gratification when one initiates a task or an action, or while executing it or when one completes it?

Completion? When does one decide a task is completed or not?

It’s the intention that matters? It’s the participation that matters? It’s the journey that matters? Whom are we fooling?

Friday, November 26, 2010


In the middle of the grasslands,
The bench stands,
Providing a wonderful sight,
To those who want to sit day and night,
Sitting alone, the sights gave her glee,
But most times all she wanted to do was flee.

To discover new lands and seas,
She was ever ready to discard the tranquility and peace,
After years of attempts,
All she managed was trails of discontent,
Breaking new grounds,
A profound truth she found,
‘Jumping boundaries and overcoming situations in crunch,
Unfortunately, always led her back to the same bench’.

Opening both its arms,
The ‘wilderness’ cast its charms,
Enticing her with more dreams and delusions,
Working on her fantasies and illusions,
She threw her watch, preparing for a long haul,
Shattering chimera, she felt the time crawl.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mind over Matter – Finishing Bangalore Ultra 75KM Marathon! (Updated)

A 75Km Ultra Marathon proved to be one of the biggest challenges I had encountered till date. The physical and mental exhaustion and the pain were indeed beyond comprehension and nowhere near what I had ever imagined. The trail was demanding; the route with multiple uphills and downhills was uneven, and adding to the misery the sun was out in full force. A killer muddy trail that made sure I drew on that last ounce of energy and will power to complete it. But the finish was sweeter because of the fact that I had hardly prepared for it - absolutely no practise, and also the fact that I proved to myself that I had the determination to finish it no matter what. Persevering relentlessly for 11 hours to finish it gives me the utmost satisfaction and the confidence to overcome obstacles. A feeling of ‘ecstasy’ has engulfed me: a feeling that cannot be described in words - just has to be experienced.

Couple of years back when I registered for my first half marathon I thought that was the longest distance I would ever run. But like everything else in life you always want to look ahead and achieve the next bigger thing. That’s what made me attempt my first Full Marathon (42.2Km). But never in my wildest dreams had I ever contemplated on running an Ultra marathon (distances greater than 42.2Km).

Couple of weeks back when I came to know that I was not going to Athens to run the ‘Athens Marathon’, one of my friends suggested me to participate in this Bangalore Ultra event. It so happened that it was the last day for registration and the adrenaline push that came by looking at the distance made me go ahead and register for it (despite the high Rs1700 registration fee!). I had not even prepared for a Marathon let alone an Ultra Marathon. But it didn’t matter because I hardly knew what it would take to run Ultra distances! People supposedly train 3 to 6 months for Ultras. But I didn’t worry too much as my plan was pretty simple - the idea was to keep running.

The event was held this Sunday - 14th November, and the start time for 75km/100km was 5AM. One of the best things that happened was my friend Karthik volunteered to accompany me for the event. I couldn’t have asked for better moral support. As the race drew longer his presence throughout those 11 excruciating hours was a major motivating factor and at the end of it he even ran the last lap with me. He was the support system, chauffer and photographer all rolled into one. Just goes to show the importance of having proper support system to achieve success, especially when you are trying something out of ordinary.

We got up at 3AM, got ready and were off to Hesserghatta (location of the resort where the marathon was held). After some difficulty in finding the resort we managed to reach the venue at 4.55. So I had to literally sprint to the start line. Sharp 5AM the event started and I was off without having an iota of idea till when I would run. I knew I could finish 42km without much fuss but I took special care not to run fast. Conserving energy and maintaining the body so that there are no cramps was the key to sustain oneself for those long arduous hours.

Each lap was about 12.5km around the resort that was mainly grasslands with hardly any tree cover. The trail was muddy and had multiple slopes. The route would have been excellent to cover had it not been for the fact that I was running and the sun was blazing. My timings for each lap gradually reduced from 1.25 hours the first lap to about two hours by the time I finished the last lap.

The middle laps were the most painful as it was in the afternoon with the sun at its peak, and your mind playing games with you and asking you all sorts of questions. Your legs stop obeying you, the pain becomes unbearable and the communication between the brain and the leg becomes non-existent. You decide to run for 120 seconds before the next break (read walking), but by the time the countdown reaches 90 you would be already walking. After another couple of laps you will reach a stage where even though the brain decides that its time to run the rest of the body would be on strike and would fail to just takeoff. Overcoming these things is what makes a true marathon runner and what gives you true happiness at the end of it.

The 6 laps of 12.5Km each totaling to 75Km took me about 10Hours 57Minutes at a rate of approximately 7Kmph.

Running the distance of my life and tasting success while doing so makes this experience truly overwhelming, the pain worthwhile, and my determination, will power and persevering abilities stronger. An experience of a lifetime compressed in those 11 hours.

PS: Rest of the photos can be found here… Photos courtesy Karthik.

Update: My official timings is as below..Ranked 6th with an over all timings of 10 hours, 54 minutes...

Bib Name Gender Category Rank Category-Rank Net-Time

7001 Dilip Adiga G V Male Open 6 5 10:54:08:85

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Ultra Calling – My greatest Marathon challenge!

Until a few years back I thought only crazy people ran the Marathons (You must be kidding me - full 42.2 km?!? I used to say) and until a few days back I thought only lunatics ran the Ultra marathons (distances greater than 42.2Km). But here I am on the verge of participating in one!

The Bangalore Ultra Marathon is being held on 14th of November, 2010 and I have registered for the 75Km event! The Bangalore Ultra – conducted by ‘Runners For Life’ gives one an opportunity to test oneself at the ultimate challenge for any marathon runner. And since the Athens Marathon didn’t really work out I felt I had the time to take part in this one. One can participate in any of the 50Km / 75Km / 100Km runs and they give upto 13 hours to complete your run.

The event starts at 5AM and goes on till 6PM in the evening. I couldn’t even properly practice for the Athens Marathon and now I am staring at the Ultra. To be honest I don’t even know what it takes to go beyond 42Km. And considering that a full marathon in itself a big stretch, it will be great fun to push myself beyond my known limits and see how long I can sustain myself. So the idea is to run as long as possible and see whether I can exceed a full marathon distance and if so by how many kilometers.

It’s going to be fun (and ofcourse painful!). My cousins and one my friend are expected to accompany me and give me that moral support...:) But, if any of you are interested to join and check out the venue (or check out a bunch of crazy folks running hours at length) you are free to join..:)

A dream – Vaporized…

Firstly, I really would like to thank each and every one you who are still reading / checking out this blog despite the long hibernation. The blog has been more to me than just a medium to chronicle events of my life. It has given me much more than the efforts I have put into it. So neglecting something that has given me so much is really a crime…I cant believe that its been 3 months since my last post…So here I am trying to make amends…

Last Sunday was the Athens Marathon and sadly I wasn’t there!

If you didn’t know about my Athens Marathon Plan then you can read about it here. That was about 8 months back and unfortunately after all the planning for all these months, the entire trip had to be cancelled about two days before the marathon. The reason being - my passport was held up by the Greek Embassy who took eternity to issue me a Tourist Visa. They sat on my application for 25 days and few days back they tell me to come for an interview at Delhi on Nov 1st. But, by then the Athens marathon would have been over...

Even if I had gone for the visa, most likely they would have taken another 2-5 days after the interview to give back my passport. So that would mean I would miss the entire Greece trip and would have to go to Spain directly (My next country based on my itinerary)...Anyway because of all the uncertainties and because I was totally frustrated by then (trying to get my visa by contacting the Embassy, vfs office and my agent etc), I decided to cancel my trip...Last couple of days I have been trying to recoup my losses. But since I had booked all non-refundable tickets, I am all set for a huge hole in my pocket without actually going on a vacation..!! Generally the embassy doesn’t call someone for an interview if one is visiting the Schengen region the second time (I had been there last yr). So it was very unfortunate…

My backup plan was to travel to Delhi last Wednesday for the Visa so that I can either come back to Bangalore and travel to Athens as scheduled on Thursday, or travel to Athens from Delhi directly (incase I got my Visa on Friday). But as it turns out both the vfs office and Greece Embassy was off on Thursday (Greek republic day apparently - Not sure what kind of republic they are running!!! :|). Further, later in the evening on Wednesday I got a call asking me to come for an interview on Nov 1st. Considering that they can take 1-5 days after the interview to return my passport and also considering that the marathon will be over by then I decided to cancel my trip.

Atleast my other friends (my fellow runners) all got their visa and finished the Marathon. Anyway there goes a dream of running the Athens Marathon on its 2500th Anniversary! People who contributed to my Sponsorship fund, I really want to thank you for your support. Your contribution meant more than just money, it was really an inspiration! Shortly I will contact you for ways to return back the amount.

Some positive out of the entire thing is that now I have become an expert in not only planning and arranging backpacking trips but also have experience in canceling an entire 3 week itinerary incase some problems crop up. Now, isn’t that good for my backpacking venture?

To all my prospective customers – You can’t find a better experienced backpacker out there who will give you an all-round service…

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Journey…

Walking along a alleyway,

Making her own pathway,

Crammed with stones and fire,

Covered entirely by barbed wire,

Preventing passage to either side,

People staring from inside,

Indifferent to anyone outside,

Thwarting her entrée, to the elite.

She sensed people on the right to be scornful,

And those on the left to be merciful,

Choosing the left option was not exciting,

While, the right option was never ending.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Seeking Sponsorship…

As you guys might be aware, I am planning to take part in the Athens Marathon happening on Oct 31st 2010. I am looking out for any kind of sponsorship deal that would assist me in travelling to Greece and take part in the historic event.

Please let me know if you or anyone whom you might know be interested in sponsoring my participation in this event.

Your contact can be anyone from the print media or online papers/magazines/websites. Preferably from marketing otherwise anyone in that area is fine. I am ready to meet/talk to him/her. Also contacts in sports apparels / energy drink manufactures / Pepsi / Coke / Telecom companies like Vodafone / NGOs will also be very helpful.

Do let me know if you know someone.

You can reach me at:


ph: +91-9845254694

Thanks for your time!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Venture - ‘Backpacking To Europe’


I have started a website catering to people who want to go backpacking to Europe! I hope to provide them with services that will enable them to go backpacking anywhere in Europe seamlessly and effortlessly with as minimal budget as possible!

Here is the actual Website:

I am really hoping you will not only tell your friends about this but also someday use my services!

Friday, July 09, 2010

A ‘Classic’ Ride!

This weekend I rode the ‘Royal Enfield - Classic’ for about 700Km and every minute of it reminded me as to why people go all the way to Himalayas to ride in their ‘bullets’. The ride to Coorg and back was one of the best biking trips I ever had.

Two of my colleagues (Vamsi & Mani) and me decided to go on a biking trip to Coorg. Thanks to my friend Srini, I was able to take his ‘almost brand new’ Classic on this trip. It was totally an unplanned trip - the only thing we had decided was the time of departure…Generally the best trips are those which have no specific destination or an appointment to keep. You are free to go where you like and do what you like.

We left Bangalore at 5 in the morning and reached Virajpet at around 11. The road was excellent. But the best part of the journey was riding from Virajpet to Madekeri. The route was very scenic. Further, the sights, the scenery, the fresh wind and the smell of nature are unparalleled when one is riding a bike. No words will be able to explain the feeling. One just has to ride in that route to get that experience. All through the journey the rain was playing hide and seek – the drizzle adding to the aura of the entire experience.

It’s very different when one is travelling by a bike. The places you visit, the route you take and the kind of stops you make is very different. For example very near to Virajpet we made an unscheduled stop as it started to rain heavily. Next to where we stood was a ‘hotel’ if you can call it one. We just decided to step into it and have our lunch. It was one of those places that looks very unhygienic and where you wouldn’t have stopped if you were in your car. But we did and we had awesome rotis and curries all for 66 bucks!!

The rain never seemed to give way, so we carried on and were totally drenched by the time we reached Coorg. The initial euphoria of riding in the rain gave way to cursing myself for having chosen this route for the biking trip..;) Trembling in the cold and having a fully wet attire right from wet shoes, made me think of all the hot soups, masala chats, spicy food that I could have had right at that point of time instead of riding in that rain.

But reaching Coorg was worth it and we had a gala time going around the place, first for finding the right accommodation (we had only two requirements – hot water facility and ESPN on TV for the football match later in the night) and then for shopping for all the chips and food that we could buy for our evening snacks.

After an awesome evening of fun, the next day we left for one of our colleague’s estate at Coorg. After some wonderful snacks and a cup of coffee we headed back to Bangalore via Kushalnagar.

Overall a wonderful trip – the highlight being the ride through the lush green scenic surroundings, stopping at multiple places having ‘chai’, getting drenched in rain and of course the joy you feel when people come to you and comment about how good your bike is (even though its not your bike..:)), how they always wanted to buy one and how they wished they were also doing such a trip – A phenomenon that happened at multiple places involving multiple people.

The rest of the snaps can be found here...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Safari drive!

Driving a Tata Safari is like riding a mammoth and when this mammoth moves - people give way. A few hours drive on a safari was sufficient for me to realize that you need an SUV to drive like a King (ok, if not a king maybe like a Don!). Also those few hours were sufficient for my friends to comment on my driving skills, which is what this post initially was all about…But then as the post dragged on the main theme changed…Now the post really doesn’t have a theme…:)

Last weekend I was on a trip to Chikmagalur (a 5 hour drive from Bangalore. Further that’s not ChikmaNgalur! My friend gets pissed off if you make that mistake…). We had booked a homestay that was worthy to be called “home”. A total retro looking home renovated in such taste that it made us exclaim ‘wow’ in unison as soon as we landed there. I have been to many homestays and this one takes the cake for its location, style, hospitality and of course the hosts.

It could be seen that a lot of effort, time and money went in renovating a ‘few generations old’ home to look like the way it looked. Also the hosts were magnificent when it came to greeting us and talking to us. Topping all this was the fact that the weather was perfect. The only negative point, if you can call it one, is the lack of activities around the place. But since we mainly went there to chit-chat and relax, it was a perfect locale. In all, a beautiful place to sit outside in the garden, listen to music, read your favorite book and sip that strong cup of coffee.

The main part of the trip of course was to attend one of my friends wedding at Kukke and hence by 12 the next day we had to leave. Though I am sure my friend and his would-be wife would have loved to come to this place rather than get married in that humid Kukke..:).

With 3 days well spent and having driven a good part of the distance on my friends Safari while returning, I have realized it’s so simple to comment on someone else driving skills. I have been guilty of that before and I am sure I will continue to be guilty of that in future. But there are other factors like first time driving a diesel car, driving a mammoth, and adjusting to the condition of the car itself which needs to be considered before giving a verdict on anyone. But if you yourself are a driver you will never spare a second before commenting on someone’s driving skills.

Like many things that people comment about you, any ‘not-so-good’ feedback is always treated with a tinge of “Who cares” or “As if you know better”. But when the initial rebel attitude wears out the calm open mind actually can assimilate the various comments and analyze to reach a proper conclusion - and that’s where I am right now.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The ‘Gymming’ Business..

Looking at the number of Gyms and fitness centers that have mushroomed recently in Bangalore one would feel its one of those profitable business. But they too are dogged by many hindrances that are seen in many businesses today - the most common being Competition and Attrition.

One just has to visit a gym to understand their business model and the troubles they face. To the naive, it might seem a very profitable business given the number of fitness sensitive people one finds everywhere today. The sheer number of people who sign up for these fitness centers is astonishing. But how many actually continue to attend after the first month is unfortunately a very small number. The gym I visit is frequently thronged with new faces everyday and many of them do enroll the very first day itself. But hardly any of them continue after the first few days/weeks. “Customer Attrition” at a different league! But how does one motivate people? - and that too for something as strenuous and boring as a gym? Even a discount in the rates doesn’t suffice to entice people.

The other problem is the competition. In my area alone I see some 4-5 full fledged modern gyms (price ranging from Rs. 800-3000 per month) and many assorted smaller gyms (prices ranging from Rs. 250 – 500). Even though its early days and half of these might close within a year there is still the problem of plenty, considering that the majority of their target audience is in the age group of 15-35. Because of the competition the prices too comes down. The other day after my quarterly payment was due I was offered an Rs.6500 annual fee if I could pay immediately (and of-course I didn’t miss the golden opportunity as it amounted to an annual saving of Rs.3700). But for how long these guys can sustain if they continue like this?

The investment costs for such gyms runs in lakhs (my estimate came up to approx. 10-15 lakhs for a decent establishment – equipment, music systems, AC etc) and of course there is the operational cost (cost of trainers, electricity and maintenance costs). Also there is the infrastructure cost of setting up the whole setup and paying monthly rentals. It will atleast take 1-2 years for them to break even.

One should not only have lots of patience but also the right business acumen to turn it profitable. Many things like renting out the space for aerobics/Yoga during afternoons (when the strength for actual gym is very low), offering family packages, offering special programs for reducing or increasing one’s weight, selling accessories like deodorants, energy drinks, and appropriate food items should be taken up. I hardly see these in many gyms. Also one should even try becoming an agent or distributor for the gym equipments in one’s area. Many people don’t like to go to gyms but would like to buy equipments and use it at home (atleast that’s what they hope for when they buy!) and so there is tremendous potential there. Considering the amount of competition and the problems of sustaining the customer base, one really needs to constantly innovate if one doesn’t want to shut shop.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Times Green Championship!

The day started at around 4:40 AM. I had to get up that early to reach the venue by 6AM. The event was the “Times Green Championship” and the venue was Vaishnavi Group, Sarjapur Road.

A lot of effort had been put in from my side to get here. The previous day I had to take my car to office, so that I could go to my friend - Rajiv’s house to collect his 30K cycle!!. Had to drive all the way from Whitefield to BTM layout to collect the bike and then to Madivala to get it serviced and repaired. Reached home pretty late and by then I had driven about 80Km in peak city hour traffic with a cycle in the boot. I hit the bed as soon as I landed home.

It took me almost 45min on that morning to reach the venue. Looking at the parking lot gave me the first taste of how well this event was organized. The entire parking lot was full of slush mud and there was already a Qualis sliding and struggling to get to the parking lot. The organizers were desperately trying to put saw dust and crushed stones to make it more tolerable. I didn’t want to take any risk so parked at one of the side roads. It took me about 15 min to get the cycle ready (had removed the front wheel to get it to fit into the car). I was all set by around 6:10 for the 60Km event which was scheduled to start at 6:30. However it got delayed and eventually started around 7:10. Another example of how well the event was organized.

I was joined by my cycle enthusiastic friends Babu, Harish and Nalla. There were quite a few participants, but the best attraction was watching the Indian team contingent for Commonwealth games participate in this event. Just goes to show how many such events happen in India - for them to participate in such small events. They were just awesome and the pace at which they rode was a treat to watch. Anyway we were off to a good start with no crashes anywhere. That’s when my troubles began.

With a cycle that costly and reputed to help you go fast I was struggling big time. I had to really pedal with all my strength to go forward. But I pedaled on and on and it felt like one of those herculean tasks that never gets you anywhere. It took me almost 3 hours to finish the 63 Odd Kilometers. The time really didn’t do justice to the reputed bike. Only later when I showed the cycle to my friends, who are more regular cyclists, did I realize that the brakes of my front wheel were actually touching the rim of the frame. It actually was slowing me down big time and I was like not only going against the road friction but also against the brakes. The only thing that saved me I think was my marathon experiences as otherwise I would have given up long time back. Many actually didn’t finish the race but there is always something that makes one feel like dirt if one doesn’t finish the race so there I was pedaling even after I was beyond the allotted time limit of 2.5 hours.

The organizing itself was pathetic to the core. There was no water available all through the race. As an amateur in cycling I had totally forgotten to carry water bottles and I struggled right from the beginning. Instead of spending so much on hoardings and advertisements, the organizers could have kept some water spots at couple of places along the route. In the third leg of the race I had to resort to buying Tender coconuts from one of the villagers to quench my thirst and reduce the dehydration which was causing me to cramp up.

At the end of the race I was dog tired and had about 3 bananas, biscuits and couple of bottles of water to get back my energy. I returned the cycle to friend the same day and reached home with the utmost satisfaction of completing the race and enjoying the ride despite all the hiccups and troubles. Maybe that’s what makes these events so much more interesting. It’s the surprise elements and your reaction to them that pushes you to keep repeatedly trying.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

StartupCity - Entrepreneurs meet, B'lore 2010

The last weekend there was an Entrepreneurs meet – SiliconIndia StartupCity, at Bangalore, conducted by SilionIndia. It was their 3rd event in Bangalore and 5th overall (the other two events were in Chennai and Mumbai). The sheer number of people who thronged the event made it seem more like a fest or an expo rather than a forum for entrepreneurs. Apparently there are about 1000 startups in Bangalore alone. Just goes to show how many people lately have thought about entrepreneurship as a career option. It was quite an experience for me as it was the first time I even had a chance to look at so many entrepreneurs and so many Venture Capitalists (VC’s) at the same time.

When I first registered for this event I was very skeptical about what I would encounter, but like many things that you do for the first time, you later start questioning as to why you hadn’t done it before! The event was an amazing way of getting to know the pulse of entrepreneurs in India, especially in Bangalore. It was a great forum to understand what it takes to become an entrepreneur, the effort involved, the amount of patience required and ofcourse the ability to sell your idea. It was also heartening to see so many VC’s lending their ears to people who were pitching their products or ideas for some seed money.

The forum was also an excellent opportunity; to not only meet the VCs but also to get an understanding from them as to what they expect from future entrepreneurs. Insights about the way one should go about choosing a VC, how one should prepare for meeting them and also how one should try to sell their idea/product.

The best part of the entire event was the stalls that were put up by budding entrepreneurs to showcase their products/portfolio. There were some very cool/amazing ideas mixed among many ideas/products that I thought would never click or soon be redundant. One of the major drawback or disadvantage that I saw was most of the stalls were all websites/Apps/Technology related, but again coming from Bangalore one cant expect too much more than that!

If ‘YOU’ are a budding entrepreneur or have aspirations of becoming one (even if its anytime in the next few decades!), then my honest suggestion is never to miss such meets. They not only enrich your experience but also give a nice understanding of the kind of ideas floating around. It also is one of the best places to network. It’s an excellent opportunity to mingle and get to know many of the future entrepreneurs whose help/advice/services one might use in future and the icing on the cake is the opportunity to meet the VCs. If one has an idea/product/any sort of offerings, one could have preregistered and presented in front of the VCs or even do a cold call on them (though may not be a preferred method of approach). The entire experience was worth the time and I suggest you to not miss the next event happening around you.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The day I was declared dead – Part 2.

Like I said in my previous post, it was an exciting day and I couldn’t have asked for better results. It was like a dream sequence being played. But, by the time I reached home I was dead exhausted. And that’s when all hell broke loose.

The first set of calls to enquire about my ‘death’ came in around 9 PM when we were having dinner at home. I still remember the first call from one of my ‘then’ best friend to find out whether I was still alive. It was bizarre.

The news had spread among some of the students, teachers and the principal of our school that a boy had died later in the evening after the sports day and somehow it was universally believed that the boy was me. It was a relieved voice on the other side when my friend heard my voice. Thankfully he didn’t think he was talking to the dead. Multiple calls came in that night and by the time another hour had passed, we realized there was indeed a tragedy wherein one of my classmates had died. Now, I don’t want to ponder or dwell over the cause of his death but lets just say it was an unnatural death. So there we were a bunch of 15-16 year olds many of us witnessing death in close quarters for the first time. Atleast it was quite an experience for me!

Anyway the next day the school had declared a holiday and many of us went to our friend’s home to pay our last respects. It was like a big adventure. We didn’t know how to reach his home (it was quite a distance from school), how to react in such situations, how to behave and what to do. But still all of us went. Only when I reached my friends house I realized what death means to the person’s immediate family. My friend was all at peace on his deathbed, but the madness and hysteria surrounding his body was a sight I will never forget. It was indeed painful.

It was at his home that I realized the sheer number of people who thought I was the one who had died the previous night. My principal came to me and said that, after he had heard about a student’s death, he was cursing himself the previous night for allowing me to take part in the long distance running. He straight away had assumed that I was the one who had died. Many of my teachers also said the same thing. Somehow they just plainly concluded that after my adventure that day, it just had to be me who had died. All of us had a hearty laugh about it later.

So many things happened on those two days that it’s etched in my memory. I still remember each moment, each conversation and the feelings associated with the sad demise of my friend. And to be honest more than the loss of my friend, it was even more painful to watch his near and dear ones go through the pains!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The day I was declared dead – Part 1.

It was the year 1997-98 and I was in my 10th. And as everyone who comes from a middle class family would know it was ‘supposed’ to be the defining moment of my academic career (or so everyone made me believe it by repeatedly saying ‘You just have to do well in your 10th board exam and your life is made’. How many times have we not heard that after 10th? :)). Anyway the point is, it was the year in which I was supposed to make sacrifices in other areas of interests so that I could get that coveted rank for the state. So that year, everything else was put on hold.

One fine day I get up in the morning and I realize that it was the school sports day and given the fact that I was supposed to be studiously studying to shape the defining moment of my life I thought I will bunk school that day. Under normal circumstances my mom would have been very happy to see me studying instead of playing, but like most moms my mom too has a tendency to surprise one and all. She said, I quote, “You better get out of the house and take part in that sports competition. You will never ever have another sports day in your life!” and I was like staring at her dumbfounded. Even though I was a sports freak playing most of my time during schooling, I hardly took part in any serious sports events. Don’t ask me why but I was totally indifferent then (One of the things I do regret now, is not to have taken more active interests in sports competitions involving events such as badminton and TT which I was very good at).

So coming back to that day, I was in a dilemma whether to go, but such opportunities of playing guilt free were hard to come by. So that fateful day I was in school taking part is activities I had never taken part before.

It was one of those defining moments of my life.

I was never a runner and the little bit of running that I had done was while ‘running between the wickets’ in cricket. So you can imagine! But that day was different and I took part in all the athletic events especially running. I was very thin and apparently looked fragile too, so when I said I would be taking part in the 1500mts running race people started advising me against it. Right from my principal and teachers to other batch mates, everyone was against the idea. Some gave friendly advice while others mocked.

But it was a different day and I felt like there was a Kenyan or an Ethiopian soul residing inside me and so I didn’t care. When the time came to actually run, I did really feel intimidated by others around me who towered 6 feet and looked all athletic in their outlook. But having enrolled I couldn’t have just quit especially in front of all my friends. So I started running and to my surprise I was among the people in the front most of the time. In the last 500mts I could feel myself getting tired but many things around me made me continue (Before I digress, more about the motivation behind running and actually completing these events in a different post). And so in the last 100mts I actually ran faster, sprinted, overtook atleast a dozen other competitors and finished 1st!! FIRST!! I couldn’t really believe what I had achieved. It was one of those moments when you are the happiest kid in the world. I was congratulated all around. The same people, who made fun of me, now were praising me big time. It was especially gratifying to beat the ‘professionals’ out there. After this I was inducted into the 4x100 relay team and won the first place there too. At the end of that day I had two other prizes to boast of and this was from a person who didn’t even want to go there in the first place and didn’t even know he had the ability to run!

But the euphoria was short lived and the day really didn’t end there…

PS: I didn’t realize it then, but now when I look back at this event, it was really one of those moments that change your confidence level, your outlook and your life in general. Thanks to my mom for this!

Few years down the line when I started running marathons, I was again told I was crazy and that it’s really difficult and a different ball game. But all I did was to look back at this incident and I just smiled. There are things in this world which even we wouldn’t know about ourselves until we actually go there and try. Now running marathons has become a passion and each one gives a different experience in itself. The thoughts, the will and the desire to succeed beyond your normal comfort zone is a thrill or a high that one can never explain. One just has to experience it! The euphoria is worth it and addiction to such moments is worth your time and effort.

PPS: The last weekend was the Sunfeast 10K run in Bangalore and I clocked my personal best of ~46 min (- according to the official timings, though I thought it was more like ~44 min..:)). It was the first time I had run complete 10K without stopping. Like I said it’s a kick that cannot be explained…Especially everytime you better yourself…And marathons/running is one extra avenue for me to achieve that feeling..:)

Friday, April 23, 2010

The last rites. Really?

Burning in the hallow of fire,

Priests chanting around the pyre,

Flowers adorning, covering the big attire,

Marking the end of life, or beginning of a satire?

Under the shadow of time, filled with life’s maze,

Recalling the animated video with a haze,

Helping in bringing out the new face,

For the eudaemonia of the next phase.

A phoenix born on that day,

Sparked by a matchstick from her tray,

Made her to sway, losing the fray,

And now, nothing could stop it from being mirthful and gay.