Vaishnavy

 

The title says it all.

To all my friends where ever you are, I want to inform you all that I’m getting engaged on June 1st and my marriage is on August 31st. I invite all of you to the wedding, we will be waiting for your presence on both the occasions.

Vaishnavy is a distant relative of mine. She has completed B.com and is preparing for a career in Accountancy. She is also interested in fine arts, cooking, singing, and sports. I have been speaking with her for only two weeks and from the initial impression, I have a feeling that it is going to be exciting spending time with her for the rest of the life.

I will be waiting for all you guys.

 

 

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The Eiffel Tower

Today, I had the privilege to visit the iconic monument of Paris – the Eiffel Tower.

It was built in 1887, to mark the 100th year after the French Revolution. Even though it is not listed in the wonders of the world, standing underneath the humongous structure….you will start wondering how marvellous the structure is. To conceive of a structure like the Eiffel Tower, and to make it stand tall at 324 meters, for nearly a 130 years(and even more years to come), is not only a marvellous engineering feat, but also shows the creativity.

I hope to visit this again soon as I missed going to the top. Tip: The adventurer in you would want to climb all the way up the stairs, but the stairs will take you only upto a certain level. You need to get the ticket to the elevator at the bottom of the tower.

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A New Year! And a New Beginning!

I’ve been in silent mode for a long time from my friends, so let me update my whereabouts first- I had moved to Amsterdam for a job last September! So far, it’s been GREAT here- would have met people from atleast 50 nationalities, tried 50+ different dishes(vegetarian of course!!), less pollution, less traffic, less noise, nice roads- with pedestrian/bike lanes and traffic signals that work, friendly people(even Government staffs!!!!), world famous(or infamous) streets, historic buildings, first time experiencing real seasons- autumn, winter and I’m thoroughly enjoying this experience! Now, don’t say I’m a typical NRI! I love my country, its people, its culture, but just presenting what I’m experiencing here…..not complaining about India.

2016 and the previous years- were some of the most toughest in life- I say toughest not in absolute sense, but relatively toughest for me than any of my previous years, many first times, many failures, lots of learnings- I know learnings are overrated especially from someone who has failed miserably! If there are any takeaways from my previous years there is one thing that is important in my life- that is ME! Everything else is secondary.

2017- I’m just getting back to my regular routine, HOME-WORK-HOME after about 4 years! Previous years were only WORK-WORK-WORK with of course no returns! Completely my fault! I know!  So far, 2017(and past few months) has been nice to me. I’ve Stopped mad coding! Started cooking! Sleeping well! Waking up early! Eating 3 meals a day!!!  Started running! and generally doing well here. I just have one goal for this year- To run Amsterdam marathon(will be my first!) under 3 hours! This may or may not be achieved depending on my current fitness level, but I want to see how far I can get in this. Anything I do- eat, sleep, run, exercise will be directed towards this goal. More updates on this in the following months 😉

For now, I wish my friends and family a happy 2017 and wish you too a great year!

 

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Let what comes come, let what goes go.

I’ve come across several quotes, but this one tops everything. It’s simple, beautiful and powerful!

Let what comes come, Let what goes go. Why do you worry?

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A Heaven that is Hampi!

On Thursday morning last week, my Macbook malfunctioned, so I gave it for service, and I was told it will take upto 3-4 days to get it ready. Without a laptop or internet connection, I have got nothing to do. I was thinking how to spend the next 3-4 days, and was thinking about volunteering, visiting some place, or going for some treks… My mind soon turned to Hampi. I have heard good things about Hampi from my friends. In my mind, Hampi was the captial of Vijayanagara Kingdom, so a beautiful historical place, worth spending a few days – to see how beautifully the structures have been carved out, to enjoy the place where the rajahs and queens spent their days, and to learn further history about the place, and how many of the structures got destroyed. I booked my tickets in the evening, packed my bags and boarded the 11.00 PM bus from Bangalore.

Next morning, the bus reached Hampi at 6.30 AM, and while nearing Hampi, I could see fertile, green plains already, and farmers starting their daily jobs. As I sat down in a tea shop looking at the beautiful hillock, my mind still ran with what Hampi has to offer to this history lover. I enquired a few places to stay and I was recommended to stay at a village on the other side of the Tungabadra river by one of my good friends. There were two boat services to cross the river – a motor boat, that can carry many people for 10Rs per person, and a coracle – a hand driven boat, for Rs. 50 per person. I chose to wait for the motor boat, and so were several people – most of them foreigners. I could see a large crowd of foreign people already, and a lot of Indian devotees who had come to visit the famous Virupaksha temple near by the river.

After crossing the other side of the river, I was surprised to see that there were less Indian tourists than foreign tourists. I have heard that foreign tourists travel here, but I did not know the magnitude until I  visited the place. Almost 70-80% of tourists were foreigners. I found a lot of European tourists here – I met people from Germany, Croatia, UK, Spain, and some from North America – US and Canada. I was also surprised to see a lot of Israeli tourists, I met almost 15-20 Israelis.  Tourists is a wrong word, they are all backpackers, 20 somethings traveling the world. I also met some older people/couples, but their numbers are very less.

Anyways, I rented a bicycle for Rs. 70 per day, there were also scooters and bikes you could rent for between Rs. 300-400 per day, and started roaming around the Hampi region. As I started riding my bicycle, I began to understand why lot of people are flocking together to Hampi, forget history or that the city was built and destroyed in the 14th and 15th centuries, people visit Hampi for what it is now – it was quite a serene place, beautiful, fertile, green, I don’t really have words to describe it. One must go and enjoy the abundant natural beauty that is Hampi. I spent 3 days there, and was spending most of my day riding my cycle along the paddy fields watered through pump-sets on the one side and small hills on the other side, the hills were very old eroded through the winds as one can see from the huge number of boulders in the area. I was mesmerized by the natural beauty, and completely forgot why I came here – to checkout the proud history 🙂

Not just the greenery, for adventure junkies – there is rock climbing, you go on a night trek, camp at a hillock to see beautiful sunrise, and sunsets. If you are looking to meet new people and make new friends, well,  you can meet people from any part of the world here – it is cosmopolitan, just that you make friends near the paddy fields rather than brick structures.  It is interesting to see how people from other countries socialize and how poor we Indians are at socializing with unknown people. I am not saying we do not socialize, we do not get started easily was my observation. If you are into Yoga, again, there are a lot of hotels and resorts offering free yoga classes. Or, if you want some quiet time, go up the hill and start meditating, or read a book.

So overall, if I think of going to Heaven, I will think about going to Hampi, a cheap, heavenly, cosmopolitan village in India. 3 days surely is not sufficient for this beautiful place, if you are planning on visiting here, have a minimum of a week or more – you will not regret your decision.

While I have described everything good, there are still some bads – like every Indian city/village, the ‘Indian side’ of the village was not clean, with trash thrown everywhere in the busy bus stand area. Again, I as an Indian cannot complain and totally understand it is our/my responsibility to make it clean. But, all I could now do is observe and write about it.

Further more, young Indian guys, native of Hampi – working at hotels, resorts, and even small eateries, were confident speaking to people, and they speak good, fluent English. I am sure they would have a good learning by meeting a variety of people here than what they learn at school.

To wind up, Hampi is a must visit place for everyone. Hopefully, I will make it to the heaven again sometime.

Now, even after 5 days… I am still waiting for my laptop from the service center, wish I had spent these time at Hampi instead 🙂

In the meanwhile, some pictures from the trip.

Virupaksha Temple from the side

Virupaksha Temple from the side

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View from a small hill, adjoint to the temple.

Tungabadra river

Tungabadra river

A view of Hampi from top

A view of Hampi atop a hill

Now... you can see why I say Hampi is a heaven.. boulders, paddy fields, banana plantations, hills, river, temples, ruins, and much more....  do you want anything else? Sure, Hampi can answer your question!

Now… you can see why I say Hampi is a heaven.. boulders, paddy fields, banana plantations, hills, river, temples, ruins, and much more…. do you want anything else? Sure, Hampi can answer your question!

Are you a rock climber? Hampi greets you with warmth.

Are you a rock climber? Hampi greets you with warmth.

Cycle/Scooter tracks

Cycle/Scooter tracks

Bye bye Hampi

Bye bye Hampi

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Startups!

After 3 years(Yep! It has been 3 years since I quit from my last full-time job) of “trying” to “do startup”, I have come to this conclusion.

If startup is a baby, trying to do a startup is like trying to get pregnant, if you can see what I mean.

Both are hard! Getting pregnant should happen, likewise, startups should happen as well, If we are trying for both, it ends up in a lot of frustration. The seeds(ideas) alone are not enough, it involves a lot of doing, lot of trial and error, timing and luck!

So a good way to startup is to not think that you are doing a startup or that you want to do a startup at all, and like sex, it has to be passionate, just keep doing what you love, and let it grow into your baby(startup). I think this is the only valid approach to starting up.

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2015 – here I come!

Just two more days, and we will be entering another new year, so I thought I will summarize my 2014 experiences and my plans for 2015!

2014-  I cannot forget this year, for several reasons…. started in a great way – enjoyed the first half of the year – traveling in most of Jan and Feb, made some great friends, working on my own stuff during March/April, travel again in May, started working with a friend on a “startup” idea from June, and then like the Sun started moving South, the pendulum shifted the other side for me… I feel more weary now, have not traveled much, have not done anything that I can say.. “wow, exciting”, lost some friends, all due to my own faults… indecisiveness, being accommodative(this I would not consider a fault, but sometimes I think being accommodative is going to be your biggest enemy), being defensive and forgetting to let go of things I can’t control, and overall having a feeling that I had lost control of myself and my life when I could have made 2014 the best year in my life.

Come 2015- I want this to be a different year. Till now in my life, I have never set any goals for myself and have been following where life has taken me – so I can say, I have only been a follower, with the dream to lead and being followed. This year, I want to try something different – set some goals and try to achieve them and take on life in the direction I want to…  hence the first line “I want this to be a different year”…. In 2014, the same line would have read… “I hope for a different year” 😉

So there you go…my goals for 2015:

Travel/Adventure Visit atleast two countries(USA, Singapore – are the two countries I am thinking at the moment), and travel to two Indian states(Rajasthan, Punjab), and do a basic Mountaineering course.

Projects Launch one product(Web/Mobile app) that will be used by atleast 10000 people.

Learning Quiero apernder a hablar en espanol

Volunteer Volunteer with an NGO in environmental conservation domain and do atleast 5 field trips.

Blog/Twitter  Write atleast one blog per month and tweet once a week……. Stats so far: 7 years- 2 blog posts, 5 years- 29 Tweets and that too from someone who says he is interested in writing… Now you know why I have to make this a goal, something that is as natural as breathing for others 😉

Health I want to focus more on my fitness this year, first thing I want to do is(should not be a surprise for those who know me)….. Increase my weight, yes….. you read it right 😉 I am not going to give out a number and leave you scratching your head though.  😉

I want to begin this year positively and I am sure these goals are going to be helpful in keeping me motivated through the year.

Looking forward for a 2015, that is going to be vastly different from any of my previous years.

Happy New Year Folks!

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