Tuesday, May 21, 2019

10x in a 100 days - Be Limitless

Until 2018, my limit to run continuously was ~400m, I would end up panting so much that I started walking faster instead.

On December 31, 2018 I joined a gym and started strengthening and regularly hitting the treadmill.

On April 7, 2019 at the NTT Data #BhumiIndiaRun, Chennai I ran my first 5KM continuously.

There are no limits to what we can achieve beyond the limits in our mind. The strongest thing in the world is human will, once you realise it you can be #Limitless

My next goal is to run 10KM continuously at the next #ChennaiMarathon #SPCM20

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Manohar Parrikar on Water Melons and Education

Narrated by Manohar Parrikar.
“I am from the village of Parra in Goa, hence we are called Parrikars. My village is famous for its watermelons. When I was a child, the farmers would organise a watermelon-eating contest at the end of the harvest season in May. All the kids would be invited to eat as many watermelons as they wanted.

Years later, I went to IIT Mumbai to study engineering. I went back to my village after 6.5 years. I went to the market looking for watermelons. They were all gone. The ones that were there were so small.
I went to see the farmer who hosted the watermelon-eating contest. His son had taken over. He would host the contest but there was a difference. When the older farmer gave us watermelons to eat he would ask us to spit out the seeds into a bowl. We were told not to bite into the seeds. He was collecting the seeds for his next crop. We were unpaid child laborers, actually. He kept his best watermelons for the contest and he got the best seeds which would yield even bigger watermelons the next year. His son, when he took over, realized that the larger watermelons would fetch more money in the market so he sold the larger ones and kept the smaller ones for the contest. The next year, the watermelons were smaller, the year later even small. In watermelons the generation is one year.
In seven years, Parra’s best watermelons were finished. In humans, generations change after 25 years. It will take us 200 years to figure what we were doing wrong while educating our children. Unless we employ our best to train the next generation, this is what can happen to us. We must attract the best into teaching profession."
#RIPManoharParrikar

Monday, February 18, 2019

Want to do something for a soldier, be an Indian who is worth fighting for


For the past few days I've been grappling with my emotions stemming from the brutal #PulwamaAttack that has irreversibly destroyed at least 44 families. Families that have brought up their children in a way that made those young adults chose to defend this country and not a seemingly safe job anywhere else.
I have always wanted to travel to Kashmir, now a holiday is planned with my friends, yet there is much trepidation over the politics of violence due to the impending elections. In the next few weeks, it will be a toss-up between the apparent risk of travelling there, against the apparent safety of travelling elsewhere. The safety, our security forces allow us to take us for granted. The safety for which these brave young men died.
When a calamity like this strikes us, how should I react? How should we the people of this country react? How should India react?
Should we strike back to cause equal hurt? Should we strike back to cause greater pain? What then about the pain caused by our actions? What then about the collateral damage? Won’t our reactions then perpetuate a never-ending cycle of violence? As Gandhi said, “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind”. Should we then decimate our enemies from the face of the earth so that there is no pain or hurt anymore?
Or should we choose to follow Gandhi’s footsteps and embrace our enemies with the message of ahimsa, peace and non-violence? Does that bring lasting peace? Is it still relevant in this day and age? Is peace possible without a dialogue?
In our current political scenario, India stops dialogue, sports, and even business with Pakistan whenever there is an attack. In any dialogue there will have to be some give and take. As a society, do we have the vision of what peace can do, or the maturity to accept any resolution that may seem like we have given up something? How then will the politicians resolve this issue? How then will there be lasting peace?
I am struggling with these questions in a constant state of Rage & Placidity #CalmVolcano but here’s a thought that came out of this befuddlement and pain.
When there is such a mind numbingly painful attack on our country and our people. there is an out pouring of offers to support. But, even in apparent lack of war, India loses soldiers every other day. I feel most families may get some sort of support, yet, there could be some families which may struggle to educate their children. Also, do the children of such brave men need our support only when they lose someone? I am looking for Bhumians, collaborators who would like to join a team
- do some ground research and understand reality, and the need for such a programme
- identify and shortlist children for scholarships
- conduct fundraising campaigns to raise money for these children
- mentor/support these children until they graduate

Want to do something for a soldier, be an #Indian who is worth fighting for #Volunteer

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Be unreasonable


Recently, someone told me I could not possibly do something! And, how many times has that happened before :) That, however, did not trigger this post. An exchange between two colleagues about a young person who hasn't understood his own potential did.

The world is filled with people who do not achieve their true potential because they let someone else tell them they would not be able to do something.

I like these lines from the the Pursuit Of Happyness where the on-screen Chris Gardner tells his son "Don't ever let somebody tell you-you can't do something ... You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you-you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period."

Another quote by George Bernard Shaw that rings true, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

Put your mind to anything and you can do it, whether it's waking up at 5 AM every day, climbing the Everest or becoming the CEO of your company. Be unreasonable!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Help me educate 300 children and #Run4Bhumi at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2016

Did you know 48% of children in class 8 cannot even do a simple mathematical division? But, we at Bhumi are trying to change this! Every weekend, hundreds of our young volunteers teach children in shelter homes and slums across 12 cities of India to ensure our children get quality education and a better shot at a brighter future!


  
You can help us too! All it takes is Rs.500 a year to Ignite a young mind by providing supplementary education in Maths, English, Computers or Science.

For every Rs.50,000 we succeed in raising, we will be able to educate 100 more children and I will participate in a new Marathon (10K/6K runs) to spread awareness about the problem and raise funds for Bhumi to educate such children.
  1. Wipro Chennai Marathon - Rs.50,000 raised and 100 children get better education - Milestone reached and participation confirmed on Oct 23, 2015
  2. Chennai Night Marathon - will participate if we succeed in raising 1 Lakh by Nov 18, 2015
  3. Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon - I can participate only if you help me raise Rs.1.5 lakh by Dec 23, 2015
I will run at the Dream Run at the SCMM, 2016 to help 300 children across India realise their Dreams. I urge you to run with me by donating for the cause.


PS: I will add more Marathons when we succeed in crossing Rs.1.5 lakh :)

Not just acing math and science, our children are also building robots and winning laurels. Check this out!



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I have decided to Run for education, #Run4Bhumi , Run with me #TWCM

I am one of the co-founders of Bhumi, one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations and the recipient of the ‘Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award’ conferred by iVolunteer. Bhumi as a platform will enable over 5,000 volunteers in more than 10 cities across India volunteer for causes like education, environment, animals, community welfare etc. in 2014. Bhumi volunteers primarily work amongst over 15,000 underprivileged children in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telengana, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Delhi NCR  with the aim of providing children with quality supplementary education to enable them become responsible and productive citizens of the future.

Bhumi's growth has been made possible by the time, energy and contributions of several thousand great individuals like you across the country. Bhumi has also been supported by some CSR initiatives over the years. Both Bhumi's growth and our supporter base has continued to grow exponentially each year. But this year due to the withdrawal of some CSR funding we are facing a fund crunch that is curtailing our investments in education. So, I have decided to do the 10K Run for the education of Children at The Wipro Chennai Marathon #TWCM on Dec 7, 2014. Update, I am also doing the Republic Day Half Marathon in Chennai on Jan 26, 2015


38 days to go for the Wipro Marathon I have started my preparation and fundraising with a target of raising at least INR five lakhs for Bhumi.
  1. For every lakh or part of it I raise for our cause I pledge to stay vegetarian for a month.
  2. I will practice running at least five days a week until the marathon, and for every week I am unable to do this I will add another week of vegetarianism
  3. Additionally, If I succeed in raising at least five lakh rupees for our cause I will run with a funny hat or costume at the marathon (1 and 2, edited 31/10)
I am running for education, #Running4Bhumi , Run with me
Support Bhumi
Donations to Bhumi through the above link will be matched by Letzchange*.

International donors can donate via Global Giving - Bhumi

There are other volunteers who are runnig for Bhumi in the Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai Marathons. You could support them too.

Practice log
  • Day 01 | 38 days to go | 2.21 KM | 29.57 Mins | 78.6 KGs
  • Day 02 | 37 days to go | 2.50 KM | 27.29 Mins
  • Day 03 | 36 days to go | 4.00 KM | 36.49 Mins
  • Day 04 | 35 days to go | 2.50 KM | 25.15 Mins
  • Day 05 | 33 days to go | 4.12 KM | 41.44 Mins
  • Day 06 | 32 days to go | 4.52 KM | 40.57 Mins
  • Day 07 | 31 days to go | 4.71 KM | cross training | 78.4 KGs
  • Day 08 | 29 days to go | 3.40 KM | 37.35 Mins
  • Day 09 | 28 days to go | 6.30 KM | 51.56 Mins
  • Day 10 | 27 days to go | 3.01 KM | 33.02 Mins
  • Day 11 | 26 days to go | 5.52 KM | 55.31 Mins
  • Day 12 | 25 days to go | 5.04 KM | 44.06 Mins | 78.8 KGs
  • Day 13 | 22 days to go | 3.63 KM | 39.49 Mins
  • Day 14 | 21 days to go | 5.00 KM | cross training
  • Day 15 | 20 days to go | 5.01 KM | 45.37 Mins | Eureka Run
  • Day 16 | 19 days to go | 3.23 KM | 35.04 Mins
  • Day 17 | 18 days to go | 6.25 KM | 51.55 Mins
  • Day 18 | 16 days to go | 3.27 KM | 35.39 Mins
  • Day 19 | 15 days to go | 7.20 KM | 61.44 Mins
  • Day 20 | 14 days to go | 3.34 KM | 31.14 Mins
  • Day 21 | 13 days to go | 3.33 KM | 32.50 Mins
  • Day 22 | 11 days to go | 5.70 KM | 55.46 Mins
  • Day 23 | 09 days to go | 6.00 KM | 58.34 Mins
  • Day 24 | 08 days to go | 10.79 KM | 102.39 Mins | First 10 K @ 91m 56s Woohoo!
  • Day 25 | 06 days to go | Banagalore
  • Day 26 | 04 days to go | 5.40 KM | 49.16 Mins
  • Day 27 | 03 days to go | 6.54 KM | 60.28 Mins
  • Day 28 | 02 days to go | 2.62 KM | 25.21 Mins
  • Day 29 | 01 day to go  | Dec 6, rest
  • Day 30 | Race day | 10 KM @ 91m16s :D
Update: I have also participated in the Republic Day Half Marathon in Chennai (Jan 25,2015) completing 10 KM @ 86 m26s

As per my pledge I will stay vegetarian for 5 weeks (4 for the lakh, 1 for missing my training target in the last week) from Jan 26, 2015 - March 1,2015. The page will continue to be live so you can
Support Bhumi
until March 31, 2015. Thank you for your support. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Beware of Spicejet via MakeMyTrip

Second bad experience with lack of information of rescheduled Spice Jet flights booked through MakeMyTrip. That's two out of two in six months!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chennai Auto fares fixed after seven long years

We at Bhumi started a campaign on www.Change.org on June 25, 2012 to fix the auto fares in Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu. 16,632 people signed the petition and we met the government several times, it has all finally paid off

The government of Tamilnadu have announced the revised Auto meter fares today


I received a call from the Transport Minister an hour back (Aug 25, 10AM) with the following details

  • Minimum fare for the first 1.8 Km is Rs.25, and for every additional Km is Rs.12.
  • Between 11pm to 5am the charges would be 50 percent in addition to the fare.
  • Waiting charges for 5 minutes would be Rs.3.50 and for an hour it is Rs.42.
  • Complaint mechanism helpline 'like 108' will be established
  • It's the first time in India that the GPS electronic meter is going to be used, which would record the details of the journey travelled and has a panic button, that if pressed by the customer would alarm the police.
  • GPS electronic meter will be issued for free by the government free, at a cost of Rs.80-90 crores
  • From the news: Drivers charging extra will get their licence suspended or the auto will be seized.
  • From the news: The corrected fares comes to effect immediately and the final deadline to the fix meter is October 15th. 
  • Reference - Relevant Government Order
Lots of people to thank: 
  • Our Chief Minister Ms.J. Jayalalithaa
  • The Transport Minister Mr.Senthil Balaji
  • The officials of the state transport department 
  • The 16,632 people who signed the petition to make this happen. Our voice was amplified 16,000 times because of you! 
  • Members of the press, especially The Times of India - Karthikeyan Hemalatha
  • www.Change.org - for creating the platform, esp. Surendran Balachandran for all the guidance & encouragement
  • The awesome team at Bhumi, anything is possible as a team!