Monday, December 26, 2011

Around the World in 60 seconds

I came across this fascinating video on Facebook and thought it was worth sharing. This video clip features the man (name unknown) who travelled the globe and made this video with a 1 sec footage of every location he had been to.

Not only the idea, but even the execution in the form of video editing is fantastic. Hats off to 'this Guy'!

Monday, December 19, 2011

'The Wall' floors one & all

    Rahul Sharad Dravid became the first non-Australian to deliver the much revered Bradman Oration for 2011 and stamped his class on this 'ground' as well.

The speech was well received, deeply appreciated by cricket fans, former players and custodians worldwide. Personally, I was moved! By the end of it, I was floored by the great man's words of wisdom.  It was emotional, humorous, insightful and entertaining- in perfect proportions. After all, it's perfection that he stands for. 

He left us cracking  when with his take on Shane Warne's diet and gave a subtle tribute to Tendulkar(& himself) with "Like a few, creaking Terminators, we're back. Older, wiser and I hope improved" 

 While 2010 belonged to Tendulkar, 2011 was the year of Dravid, all the way, with The Bradman Oration being the icing. 

All Hail the Wall!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A tribute to my Grandfather...

Dr. Syed Ather Hussain- The Quintessential Family man

Someone had rightly said-"A Grandfather is someone with Silver in his hair and Gold in hisheart".

Nanababa, as we fondly called him was a remarkable gentleman. He was a man of great honour and integrity. A gracious human being, he lived his life in kindness and service.

What really stood out for me were his enviable traits of humility and affection. He was a prominent figure in the family and was immensely respected & loved by everyone. He reciprocated that love with truckloads of affection on everyone from young and old to the near and distant. He was a hard worker, a wise investor, a great provider, and treasured by family and friends alike.

Nanababa was one of the first persons to actually see me after birth and I was privileged enough to have the 'Azaan' performed by him in my minuscule ears. Growing up, I remember, my Mother always urging us to meet him first at any family gathering before proceeding with the series of events at those get-togethers. He longed to see me and my sister and we were always greeted with lot of warmth.

Nanababa was simply brilliant. He was one of those people you loved to be around. With his pocket transistor radio, he followed cricket matches and current affairs. He was always up-to-date with the current news- local,national & international. He had a strong opinion on a variety of issues and always voiced it.

He valued life, standing up for what he believed in and most importantly- relationships. He maintained harmonious relationships with everyone in his daily circles.

His sudden death has caused a great void in our lives. In fact, during the recent weddings in the family, I could actually feel his presence around us. He continues to live in our hearts.
He has left behind a grand legacy. In his lifetime, he touched many lives and continues to do so even after death. He is indeed a fantastic Role Model to us all and a beacon for us and the generations to come. May the Almighty grant him the choicest place in heaven

Friday, October 14, 2011

Think Different!

The following B/W video clip is all about taking the Untrodden Path

The one-minute commercial featured black-and-white footage of 17 iconic 20th century personalities. In order of appearance they were: Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon (with Yoko Ono), Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison,Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson (with Kermit the Frog), Frank Lloyd Wright and Pablo Picasso. The commercial ends with an image of a young girl (identified as Shaan Sahota) opening her closed eyes, as if making a wish.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What you didn't know about Mark Zuckerberg?

Mark Zuckerberg is the name that is synonyms to Facebook. He is the young nerd who transformed social media into a revolution, a high end business, a hub for entertainment.

A college dropout from Harvard University went on to create the social networking site facebook along with his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes in the year 2004, which has turned to be a cult today. 

Zuckerberg was ranked No.1 on the list of the Top 100 'Most Influential People of the Information Age' by Vanity Fair 2010 and was voted among the world's '50 Most Influential Figures by New Statesman's' annual survey 2010.

Let's get a sneak peek into some of the interesting facts about Mark Zuckerberg.

1.Born on May 14th 1984
Mark was born on the very day and year when Domain Name System- DNS an internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses took place. 

2. Private School
Mark never attended any public school, he attended only private school. However that did not stop him to make philanthropy towards public schools. Mark donated $100 million to the Newark public school system, New Jersey in October 2010. 

3. Languages
Mark can read and write at least five languages with ease. Zuckerberg listed four non-English languages he could read and write: 
French, Hebrew, Latin, and ancient Greek. 

4. Atheist
He is Jewish by descent and atheist by choice. But most people of Jewish descent consider themselves to be Jews even if they don't practice it. 

5. Valuable player
He was named as the most valuable player in his high school fencing team. At Ardsley High School, Zuckerberg had excelled in the classics before transferring to Phillips Exeter Academy in his junior year, where he won prizes in science (math, astronomy and physics) and Classical studies (on his college application.)

6. Billionaire
He is the youngest billionaire in the world. In Forbes list for the 100 Richest people in the world for the year 2011, Zuckerberg holds the 4th position with property worth $17.5 billion. 

7. Color blind
Facebook is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind. Blue is the color he see best; therefore, blue is the dominant color on all Facebook pages. 

8. Born in White Plains, New York
Mark Zuckerberg was born and brought up in White Plains, New York, he graduated from Philips Exeter Academy high school. 

9. Sandals
Mark Zuckerberg is a really different personality from his league. Unlike all his counterparts he is hardly seen in formal attire or dressed up for an occasion. It is quite unusual that he wears rubber sandals to board meetings. 

Courtesy: SiliconIndia

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hyderabad Consultation of Anti-Communal Violence Bill

'Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011'

On Sunday- Oct 9, the Hyderabad Consultation of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill was organized by COVA. I was in an elite panel consisting of a number of civil society organisations, activists, social entrepreneurs, lawyers, media-persons and civil servants from across the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad.

Courtesy: Khaleeq ur Rahman
These distinguished people had come together to address two main issues regarding the 'Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011' (also known as the Anti-Communal Violence Bill) : 

1. Identify weaknesses and lacunae in the 'Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011' as it is introduced in Parliament and propose remedies.

2. Develop an advocacy strategy to ensure that the bill that is already introduced in Parliament is strengthened in its provisions to adequately provide the necessary safeguards to the minorities and the excluded communities and is passed by the Parliament at the earliest and does not suffer the same fate as the “Women’s Bill” that seems to be stuck in Parliament without any signs of being passed in the foreseeable future. 

To achieve these two objectives, it was proposed to organize Consultations in six different places in the country that have experienced communal and targeted violence. These locations are Kandhamal, Hyderabad, Moradabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Bihar. 

All the inputs from the Consultation would be collated and submitted to the political parties and members of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh and also used for advocacy at the national level.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I came across this wonderful short poem by the English poet- William Ernest Henley, recently. This poem has been very influential and has acted as a powerful message to many people, political figures like Nelson Mandela, Aung San and quoted time and again in many films, TV shows, novels and newspapers.

The word 'Invictus' means unconquered or undefeated in Latin, and it represents Henley's struggle with tuberculosis, which he developed while he was still very young.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.  

In the fell clutch of circumstance.
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance.
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

This poem illustrates the true meaning of courage (as Henley understood it), even in the face of death, and creates an image of holding on to one's dignity, despite the obstacles life places before us

William Henly has depicted his life in this poem. It represents the moments of pain and struggle that created many obstacles for him. Although he did indeed face many challenges, in time, he realized he was the sole controller of his fate. By writing this poem, he conveyed a message with bravery and perseverance, which he applied to his own life as well. Through Invictus, Henley demonstrated the message of determination, courage and the will to survive on his own.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hero MotoCorp Anthem

A fantastic ad, with Indian-ness written all over it. Along with that, Triumph & Celebration the Human Spirit.

Monday, October 3, 2011

FourSquare Fervour

As a self-confessed FourSquare addict, it's hard to not check-in to some location, 
however secret it is :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi- Oct 2

Today- October 2nd, happens to be the Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.This day is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.

 Here's one of Gandhiji's best quotes....
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Importance of Social Intelligence in our lives

I was reading this book- Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman today.
The author has written a groundbreaking synthesis of the latest findings in biology and brain science, revealing that we are “wired to connect” and the surprisingly deep impact of our relationships on every aspect of our lives. It talks about  how effective leaders understand connections with people, and can make or break any given situation.
In the first chapter of the book, he narrates this wonderfully captivating incident that had occurred in Najaf, Iraq during the U.S. Army's invasion in 2003. Lt. Colonel Chris Hughes' unit was assigned the task of contacting the Chief Cleric to ask for his help in organizing relief supplies for those in need. Seeing the army heading towards the mosque, an angry crowd of hundreds of civilians came together with the mistaken impression that the Americans were going to destroy their holy shrine or arrest their spiritual leader.Hundreds surrounded the soldiers waving their arms, grabbing rocks and shouting angrily.
The Colonel thought fast. He picked up a loudspeaker and told his unit to take a knee
Next, he ordered them to point their rifles toward the ground. 
Then his order was: “Smile.” 
At that, the crowd’s mood changed instantly. They put their stones down, smiled and even patted the soldiers' backs. This quick-witted move was the culmination of a split-second reaction and high social intelligence. Hughes quick wit and social instincts won the day. He read the level of hostility of the people with no intermediary to calm the growing mob, he bet on the discipline of his men and their trust in him to ease the tension.
Relationships are about much more than mere feelings. Goleman reveals that our interactions with others actually have the power to shape our brains. People are hardwired to connect socially; we are programmed for kindness, to feel what others feel and to respond to each other. Our relationships literally mold us. Goleman believes we can use our social intelligence to make the world better place. It’s interesting. This is what the scriptures told us, written millenniums ago.
As you enter your world today — how is your social intelligence? Are you aware of what others are silently saying to you with their facial expressions? With their body language? With their silence? How are you leading them?


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Can it get any better than this for a true Cricket lover?

Dhoni & Strauss posing with the Natwest Trophy
(via Cricinfo)

Test Cricket's match #2000 all set to get underway today...
that too at the Mecca of Cricket- Lord's...
Two teams playing their 100th Test against each other...
And fighting for the Top spot in Tests...
A fine gentleman on the verge of his 100th International century...
Some great individual contests lined up- Zak vs Strauss, Swann vs Sachin/Dravid/Laxman and more...
Looking more like a statistician's dream than a string of coincidences...

Can it get any better than this for a true Cricket lover?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trusteeship- the need of the hour

My Understanding of Trusteeship
As a 23 year old global citizen, I consider Trusteeship as a responsibility that has been passed on to my peers & myself by the previous generations. Trusteeship is all about being considerate towards the world’s heritage & culture, playing an active role in the preservation & sustenance of the resources, fuelling further development of businesses, technology & sciences through innovation, ethical, responsible & profitable practices. And most importantly- grooming and nurturing the society through education, awareness & good governance.

Trusteeship- the need of the hour
In the past few years, the call for Trusteeship has become louder and considered by many as the ultimate solution to peace and prosperity of the society. Mahatma Gandhi had voiced a strong support for Trusteeship as did Karl Marx. The United Nations had setup a Trusteeship Council in 1945 to ensure the growth and development of ‘trust’ territories. Trusteeship has been heralded as the ideal approach to tackle problems of social injustice and disorder, environment, empowerment of weaker sections of the society, unethical and immoral practices. In the trusteeship model, a trustee is made responsible for the well-being of other individuals who are incapable of acting for themselves. Trusteeship allows for the society to come close and co-create solutions to address the need of the hour.

Role of a Trustee
The decision to take up Trusteeship is a matter of choice and varies from person to person. Nevertheless, it is a great opportunity to be conferred Trusteeship. It expects the 'trustee' to 'be' the owner and not 'be like the owner’. He needs to be unselfish and unwavering. At the same time, he needs to realize that his appointment is impermanent. I believe the aspect of Trusteeship can be applied to all realms including nation-building, faith, community & organizational management and advancement.

Hurdles on the ‘Road to Trusteeship’
Playing the role of a trustee in any environment is an arduous task, given the kind of resistance he/she would have to face at every step. To tread on this path, every trustee has to develop a conscientious approach, have a strong conviction and come across as a service-before-self individual at all times. The trustee has to keep in mind the slip-ups of his predecessors and set realistic goals where he’d like to get to before he hands over the reins of the ‘trust’ to his successors. Also, trusteeship doesn’t come to everyone naturally. It really has to be triggered in most people. The idea of Trusteeship has to be infused into the enthusiasts and explained how they could contribute towards the cause in order to achieve sustainable development goals.

Other perspectives to Trusteeship
Trusteeship is an excellent motivation as it is more entrepreneurial than just ownership. Intrapreneurship, an essential wing of Entrepreneurship is derived from similar principles. Trusteeship is also a key aspect of philanthropy.

Through Trusteeship, we can strive to build a better society and make our world a better place to live in.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Deep Listening- a way of Life

At times, I really wonder how some people enter our lives and stay on forever, while others leave in a short time. There are also cases when we’ve known someone for really long but never quite shared our personal spaces with’em due to lack of trust or simply difference in their’s and our respective wavelengths.

What’s so special about our Best Friends/Confidants? They’re just like many others around you. So, what is it that makes them stand out? It could well be because they’re always there for us or we probably share the same kind of interests with’em and so on.

But, the thing that draws the line between our Confidants and Acquaintances is the listening  aspect. There are some people who listen to you better than most. That mere quality of listening can make a world of difference and instill trust and improve rapport between 2 individuals.

Deep Listening was the topic for the in-house Learning session held at office, last Saturday. We went about deconstructing it and arrived at some very interesting inferences.

First, we shared each other’s individual experiences when it came to deep listening and observed what difference it had made in that particular context. It’s sincere application made a positive impact while its non-application tended to made things worse.

When we have one-on-one conversations with our peers, family members and others, we often are put into situations where we have to do the listening part or to put it in simpler words- hear out somebody’s story. At this point of time, we often find ourselves getting distracted due to some random reason or unable to pay concentration to what the other person has to say. Deep Listening is the approach we’ve gotta take!

On further discussion on the topic, we arrived at few insightful inferences :
  • For Deep Listening to be successful, we’ve got to ask questions to get clarifications and get more info.
  • We’ve got to pay utmost attention to Facts in the story, Feelings at every level and the Intent of the speaker in that context
  • There is also a need to give feedback/acknowledgement, the most critical element of effective communication, so that the other person feels ‘being listening to’. This gives him/her the ability to proceed further with their story in an uncomplicated manner
  • Deep listening more often than not results in progress/positive change or shift from the previous state
  • We need to listen to the other person without any preconceived notions and an empty mind.
  • This will help us to analyze the other person’s situation better
  • While deep listening, we’ve also got to make sure that we are non-judgmental and don’t come to any conclusions during the conversation
  • At no point of time should the speaker be sympathized with, the listener’s job is to empathize with them
  • Also, we should remember that deep listening is really about understanding the context of the speaker’s story and not about coming to an agreement with it
  • And lastly, deep listening is all about patience and willingness to hold in the heart

Post the deep listening phase comes action time, when we need to reply to the speaker and express what we feel about the whole thing. Here is what we simply need to do, in order:
  1. Rephrase the account and narrate it to the speaker.
  2. Name that Feeling.
  3. State the Intention

“The choice to listen, is the choice to love!”
                                                                                   - Kiran Gulrajani

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rang De- Empowering the Impoverished

I had come across Rang De for the first time in March 2010, when I visited an expo by ITsAP at Hyderabad. The first thing that caught my attention was the name itself. I saw a couple of enthusiastic people in Rang De jerseys explaining about their concept and the change they're trying to make, to everyone who showed interest to stop by and see what this stall was all about. I did the same and was really swept off my feet when I heard about low cost Microcredits for the rural and impoverished people

Never in my wildest dreams did I think, that the peer-to-peer lending model could be leveraged to lower the cost of microcredit and in fact, reach out to under-served and impoverished communities. Here was an honest and sincere effort by a determined team of individuals spread over Chennai and Hyderabad to make a change, for the people, for the country. Having formed in 2008, they've grown by leaps and bounds and made their presence felt in other parts of the country, notably Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and even parts of USA. Ace film maker Nagesh Kukunoor and yesteryear actress Waheeda Rehman are the brand ambassadors of this movement.

The name Rang De aptly stands for colour and exuberance which the Rang De team believes in filling the lives of the people they reach out to with, and eventually make poverty history in India.

I wish Rang De all the Luck and Success and encourage everyone else to come and be a part of this movement to make India a more developed and poverty-ridden nation.

More about Rang De...
Rang De is a pioneering web-based social initiative with a mission to provide cost-effective microcredit to low income households in India. Through an online platform (www.RangDe.Org), Rang De enables people to participate in microcredit by lending as little as Rs. 100.
Rang De has reached out to over 5900 entrepreneurs across 12 states by lending Rs. 31mn. Rang De currently funds business, education, and artisan loans. Rang De is a registered non-profit trust.

Details: You might want to read through our FAQs for a comprehensive understanding of Rang De -

Support: Microcredit, Peer-to-peer lending, individual social responsibility, online lending, philanthropy

Note: - More Corporates to participate in our corporate connects program (one time donation which will be rotated as social investments).
- More people to blog about Rang De and on the Rang De blog also. 
- Social media advisors to help us on how to take our social media strategy forward
- Java/JSP Developers who are interested in working for Rang De full time for at least a year.
- Funding for our operations.

This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. I am exercising my BSR. 

You can too with three simple steps. Visit and support the NGO's.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Humility, in Life & Business

Humility is a trait that lets a person be grounded, no matter what the situation is. It’s considered a virtue in many religious and philosophical traditions. Humility is multi-dimensional and includes self-understanding and awareness and openness.

Humility stops the ego or arrogance from creeping in to our minds. It is a great team building asset and vital in a business/life scenario. In a way it helps us to think beyond ourselves and see the larger picture. Hence, it is considered an important characteristic of an effective Leader. C.K. Prahalad, the renowned management guru said "Leadership is about self-awareness, recognizing your failings, and developing modesty, humility, and humanity.” It’s sad to see the corporate world today where the big cheese don’t exactly demonstrate those qualities and get into unethical/irresponsible acts, driven by their blatant self-interest and greed.

Success plays a critical role when it comes to humility in Life and Business. In the journey of life, achievement of success- expected or unexpected can boost anybody's ego and put them in a spot of complacency. Furthermore milestones of success are keenly anticipated. Subsequent successes are hugely welcomed but at that point of time, the occurrence of any possible failure can really demoralize the person. In the case of the humble ones, the wings of airs are rarely obtained. Even in times of adversity the humble ones stay put. Humility can bring more success in the long run.

The quality of caring within the society, within organizations and in relationships between people is what a humble person is all about. Humility is about gracefully accepting a compliment and replying with a polite "Thank you". It's about loyally doing your job and not going about bragging about it. It's about performing acts of service in an anonymous capacity. The kind of contentment you'd receive in doing the above is unimaginable. Take it upon yourself to perform a random act of kindness to someone and see your Feel Good factor going sky high!

Someone who is truly loving and caring at home with their family, with friends, neighbors,  have that capacity to bring it to the work place.

- Margaret Pundmann
- Business of Life

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Harsha Bhogle: Attitude over Talent

Harsha Bhogle, the renown Cricket Commentator discusses here on the importance of Attitude, over Talent.
 A Must-Watch !!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Actor Siddharth throws light on some pressing issues in present day India

An exceptional speech from the Actor Siddharth, where he throws light on some pressing issues of contemporary India.
  • the present Generation
  • Individual Empowerment
  • Need and value for Documentation
  • Media as a fourth estate.