Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Symmo- A Super Guy!

I had this wonderful opportunity to meet and interview Andrew Symonds, the highest paid player of Deccan Chargers and former member of the Australian Cricket Team; the so called bad boy of the cricketing world. My knowledge of Symmo was about his famous clash with Harbhajan Singh, his drinking habits, his fishing expeditions and what not! This was what I had read in the newspapers and watched on television. Anyway, I had not formed any opinion about him and went to meet this towering tall, very talented, and famous cricketer for the first time. My request to him was to give his fans a message. He added a bit of humour to our brief conversation . The second time I met him after a couple of days, was for a more formal interview .

Symmo came on dot to the venue and was polite and very cooperative. He sat on his chair and popped a Wrigley's bubble gum in his mouth. The day before some newspapers had carried photographs of Symmo distributing Wrigley's Bubble gums to Children from an orphanage at one of the Wrigley's and Deccan Chargers Event.
Symmo was requested by the video photographer Julian Dismore, not to chew the gum as it wouldn't look appropriate on screen. Symmo immediately agreed and disposed it. As a warm up, exercise, Julian casually spoke about the nice flavour of the gum, etc and I too added, they were good as they had different flavours, and how kids love them and I continued saying my daughter too likes them and I will take some for her. We then started off with the regular questions and Symmo answered them extremely well .

After the interview, I was waiting in the lobby of the hotel with a colleague and I saw Symmo walk by and after a few minutes he walked back and I was sitting alone at that moment. He quickly walked towards me and handed over an envelope and said these are for your daughter! I was pleasantly shocked! And before I said thanks, he was gone. Wow! what a sweet gesture from this man who is publicized as a bad boy of the cricketing world. I am glad to have experienced the very humane and wonderful side of Symmo, the dynammo...my title for this hulk.

I am a Symmo fan! My daughter, Adithi too is...she loves him.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Remembering Mom...

I miss you mom. I miss my daily telephonic conversations with you. I miss your ever cheerful voice. I miss your encouraging words. I miss your hugs. I miss your criticism. I miss your physical presence. I miss your prayers for our well being... But you are alive in my memories, heart and mind. A year has gone, but it seems yesterday I bid you farewell! I love you mom.

Having lost my dad very early taught me my first lesson in interpersonal communication. As a kid, I was in awe of my dad. Though we were close, I still maintained a distance, spoke little out of respect and sometimes out of fear. We were taught to speak carefully to elders, no back answers, no tantrums, etc. In the process, there were some positive aspects, like my creative side, my feelings for him, my thoughts that went unsaid. I still regret having not shared my feelings with dad.

Since then, I have given a lot of importance to sharing my positive thoughts , experiences and feelings with family, relatives and friends. I value communication, networking and connecting which I think, makes us more human.

As a Psychologist and Counsellor, I have encountered kids who find it frustrating having parents who are uncommunicative and overly occupied with their work life; kids who actually have no clue of their parent's work profile. One instance I remember vividly , the frustrating face of a student who went to attend the visa interview at the US Consulate and was rejected visa as he stood dumb, when asked about his dad's work profile. It was because he had no clue about what his dad actually did at the work place. And the student felt remorseful and angry about his dad for being aloof and non communicative.

There are instances where kids complain of parents who hardly spend any time with them, in the name of heavy work load and often are subject to the standard speech, "I am doing all this for you, your comfort etc". Most of the kids loathe it. Some kids find it convenient having a parent, specifically dad, away from home as long as their materialistic needs are fulfilled. They don't want to be policed. It is really a sad situation.

I am glad, my dad exposed me to his work environment. He was a mining engineer at Hutti Gold Mines in Karnataka State. He always encouraged learning. I spent fourteen years at this small and cozy place, since my birth. Hutti and my childhood memories of the place, have a special significance in my life. Those wonderful memories and people have resurfaced in recent times. I credit the Internet and social media networking sites for this.

I am an avid blogger and active on Facebook. My write-up about my mom on this blog, surprisingly, had friends who knew my parents and were not in touch for years, messaging me here and conveying wonderful things about them, which I did not know or instances that had just faded away from my memory. It is indeed a feel good factor!

Facebook has got me in touch with my childhood friends and people from our Hutti days. The old photographs posted on Facebook, transports you back to those golden days. Again, these are people who knew my parents and remembered such minute details about them. One of them described how pretty my mom looked when she first arrived in Hutti as a bride and also the colour of saree she wore for the wedding reception at the Hutti officers' Club. This event took place in 1969, 40 years ago! These are emotional and mind blowing moments for me. I feel blessed for having such wonderful parents. They were karmayogis in the true sense. They lived short but meaningful lives.

Don't shy away from sharing your feelings, experiences, achievements, concerns and thoughts from your loved ones. Let's share good things about our lives and keep in touch!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lesson in Labour Management

I am reading the English adaptation of the original Marathi book, Shri Sai Satcharita - The Wonderful Life and Teachings of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba , by Govind Raghuanath Dabholkar alias 'Hemadpant' for the fourth time.

Each time I read, I find something new and relevant. Today I was surprised to find a piece on Labour Management in the Chapter XVIII & XIX. The Sadguru appeared like a management guru to me. See how relevant, are the teachings of Sai Baba! It is very important for us to learn and implement the same in our daily lives, than just going to the temple and prostrating before him. Here, Baba's teachings regarding self-behaviour, slander and remuneration of labour is highlighted.

Baba's Advice regarding our Behaviour:
The following words of Baba are of general welfare and invaluable. If they are kept in mind and acted upon, they will always do you good. "Unless there is some relationship or connection, nobody goes anywhere. If any men or creatures come to you, do not discourteously drive them away but receive them well, and treat them with due respect. If anybody wants any money from you and you are not inclined to give, do not give but do not bark at him like a dog.

Slanderer Condemned:
Sai Baba required no special place nor any special time for giving instructions. Whenever an occasion demanded, He gave them freely. Once it so happened that, a Bhakta of Baba, reviled someone behind his back before other people. On leaving aside merits , he dwelt on the faults of his brother and spoke so sarcastically that, the hearers were disgusted. Generally we see that, people have a tendency to scandalize others un-necessarily and this brings on ill-feelings. Saints see scandal in another light. They say there are various ways of cleansing or removing dirt, viz. by means of water and soap etc, but a scandal monger has got a way of his own. He removes the dirt (faults) of others by his tongue, so in a way, he obliges the person, whom he relives and for this he is to be thanked. Sai Baba has his own method of correcting the scandal-monger. Baba pointed out to him a pig, that was eating filth near the fence and said to him, "Behold, how, with what relish it is gulping filth. Your conduct is similar. You go on reviling your own brethren to your heart's content. After performing many deeds of merit you are born as a human and if you act like this, how can Shirdi help you in any way?"

Remuneration for Labour:
Baba said that, "nobody should take the labour of others in vain. The worker should be paid his dues promptly and liberally." If the principal taught by Baba, be followed, i.e. if the remuneration for labour be paid promptly and satisfactorily, the labourers will turn out better and both the labourers and their employers will be profited, and there will be no room for lockouts and strikes, no ill feeling between labour and capital.

Allah Maalik - Peace be to all

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meeting Saina Nehwal

Date: August 8th, 2009
Venue: Hotel ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad
Event: Launch of Saina Nehwal as Brand Ambassador of Deccan Chronicle and Odyssey
Experience: Awesome

I was happy to meet Saina Nehwal, India's top shuttler and ranked No. 6 in the world. She is an enthusiastic, down-to-earth and a sweet youngster. A very determined and dedicated sports person. Deccan Chargers Sporting Ventures Limited have entered into Sports Personality Management and Saina is the first sports personality to be signed by them. Deccan Chargers' first undertaking was to rope Deccan Chronicle and Odyssey as Saina's official sponsors. It was a privilege to meet Saina's distinguished coach, Pullela Gopichand.

Saina was very happy with the support and encouragement provided by DeccanChronicle. Though she was recovering from a bout of chicken pox, she played extremely well in the World Badminton Championships held in Hyderabad last week. Saina became the first Indian woman ever to reach the quarterfinals of a World Badminton Championship. She lost in the quarterfinals, but I am sure she will have more opportunities and more victories definitely await her.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What does SUCCESS mean to you?

I am always baffled when I think about SUCCESS. When I introspect and ask myself, "Am I successful ?"; I find it hard to describe! Because "being successful" is dynamic and situational.

Success can mean different things to different people. I may have name and fame, but no money; I may have name, fame, a fantastic career and money but no good health or personal life; I may have money, great friends and family, but no time to spend with them; I may have none of those mentioned, but I am peaceful.

Presently, I am having a great time at work. But I am suffering a lousy back ache, which is killing me. I am terrified about it and worried. I feel there is nothing like having a fit body and peaceful mind. I crave for it. The day I find them both, should be "Success" for me.

Finishing my morning household chores, seeing my kid off to school on time and reaching office at 10.am is "mission accomplished". And getting back home without getting stuck in traffic is "heaven". The routine stuff gives me a feeling of success for that moment.

So again, when I ask myself, Am I successful?...I really don't know.

I request my readers to enlighten me, by telling me "what success means to you". Please folks, be good and answer...see ya.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Welcoming IPL 2009 Champions

The victorious Deccan Chargers team returned back to Hyderabad on May 27th, 2009 at 9.00 pm to a rousing welcome by fans. The team consisted of T. Suman, Shoaib Muqsusi, Harmeet Singh, Jaskarandeep Singh, Y. venugopal Rao, Arjun Yadav, Abhinav Kumar, Ravi Teja and Azhar Anjum Bilakhia. It was good to see these young confident cricketers cordially meeting fans and speaking to the Press.

Adithi was again excited to meet the cricketers and patiently waited with us at Shamshabad airport. She was joined by her cousins Pinky and Ashish and friends Vyapti and Rutwik, so the fun doubled. The response from the fans was overwhelming. The Deccan Chargers were taken in an open bus for the victory ride from the airport to Hotel ITC Kakatiya.

The roads were jam packed with fans on motorbikes and cars. We followed them for sometime and then managed to drive ahead to the Hotel and had to wait for a good 2 hours before the team bus paved its way through the crowd and reached the hotel. It was 1.00 am.

The kids though hungry and tired, never complained. The team cut a cake and opened a Champagne bottle and then we moved to have our dinner at 2.00 am. It was an exciting evening ! We reached home by 3.00 am !! And I was up again by 5.00 am!!! Back to work...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Deccan Chargers reach IPL 2009 Finals

Deccan Chargers, charged their way to IPL 2009 finals, to be played at The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa on May 24, 2009. Tremendous game by Adam Gilchrist! No doubt he is considered amongst the greatest cricketers in the world.

Though I was not in South Africa to see all the action live and meet this great player; I thoroughly enjoyed watching it on TV and see my enthusiastic colleagues cheer the team. At home, I experienced the same cheering atmosphere with two little Charger fans and Cheer leaders - my daughter Adithi and her cousin Chinmayi who came from Bangalore for vacation. They cheered the Chargers by breaking into dance for every fours, sixes and wickets taken by Deccan Chargers.They sure are competitors for the original Cheer leaders. And both the kids have a new ambition...they are going to be Cheer leaders for Deccan Chargers when they grow up!

Both these young Charger fans spent an evening preparing this card with their best wishes to the Deccan Chargers team.
Lucky Chargers for having such sweet, innocent and
sincere fans!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Information Galore - 11

Official Website of Hyderabad Traffic Police

The Hyderabad traffic police launched this website on April 25, 2009. It will help motorists with information on traffic jams anywhere in the city. It will also alert on alternative routes to avoid being stuck in traffic blocks.

There is a Traffic Help Desk for any emergency, e-challans status finder, traffic statistics, Complaints on getting wrong challan, a list of towing zones and parking places in the city.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Every Day...Mother's Day !

Being mom is the best and craziest thing in the world. As I always say, “the Psychologist and Counsellor in me goes for a toss” when it comes to my soon-to-be-nine, daughter. She is my most precious little angel. I love her! But she can quickly turn into my most precious little devil too.

I am amazed, how cool she is about her school, teachers, homework, grades, etc. I always have a feeling , it is I who is studying in the 4th grade, it is my homework, my exams, my studies… and just before her exams, my friends convey their “All the best” messages to me. I also receive the “Congrats & You did well” messages when she gets good marks. Didn’t I tell you being mom is the best and the craziest…

It turned crazier when she shared her aspirations with me. We are in Kolkata Airport at 5.30 am to board a flight; she gives admiring and enviable glances at the airhostesses. I was feeling sleepy and grumpy and she kept pulling my hand and when I clenched my teeth and asked her, what is it? She said these airhostesses are so lucky. I asked, why? She said, they can wear makeup and lipstick all the time and look good. And in the same breath declared, therefore I want to be an airhostess. The reason: I don’t allow her to use lipstick. Can anything be crazier for a mom at 5.30 am?

Yesterday, she unexpectedly questioned me – Do you like One Child, two or three Children? I casually said “three” and I saw her face fall and she asked why? I had to answer something, so I said because we are three siblings and so was the same with her dad. As I told her this, she starts howling, and said “that means you don’t love me because I am the only Child and I don’t want any brother or sister”. I felt like yelling “Are you mad”, but instead took her close to me and hugged her. I told her, I love her the most and she is very important to me. She said “I love you mom” and held on to me very tightly…I grasp for breath, I understand she has had a bad day with friends. It was indeed a mother’s day, isn’t it?

Enjoy being a MOM !!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Please Vote

We were prepared to go and vote today and my Father-in-law went ahead of us and came back after half an hour, saying that our names were not in the voters list. He was asked to go to some other place and find our names. So he went around and came back with some incomplete slips. In the meanwhile my neighbour told me that the voters list was available with all relevant details on the Web. So I thought I may as well share this information as we found ours.

The Website is Find your Polling Booth. It is the Final Electoral Rolls SSR-2009 Published of 23 Assembly Constituencies of Hyderabad District.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cheering the Chargers !

Look who's cheering the Chargers...

Adithi was excited about meeting Deccan Chargers Cricketers at the Hyderabad Airport in the early hours of April 9th, 2009. The team left for South Africa to participate in the DLF IPL 2009 tournament. Adithi cheered the Deccan Chargers and took their autographs. She was very impressed with Mohd Shoaib, a new talented bowler of Deccan Chargers and found him very cute.

Adithi with T. Suman & Mohd Shoaib

Taking autograph from Pragyan Ohja
Autograph from Abhinav Kumar

Adithi - the young cricket fan

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Meeting Actor Venkatesh

I and my husband had the opportunity to attend the PUMA Deccan Chargers Apparel Launch Party at 360 ° pub in Hyderabad on April 1, 2009.

360 ° Pub is a happening place, very popular with film stars and Page 3 crowd. The ambiance is too good and it has a big dance floor. The restaurant serves some great food and the setting is romantic. It is a nice place for couples who enjoy to dance and have a good drink. Anyway we being non-drinkers, enjoyed the mocktails and starters. The owner of the pub Raj Singh is a great host. The DJ was playing some peppy Bollywood numbers. Some of the cricketers had a good dance after the launch and introductions.

The highlight of the party was meeting Telugu film actor Venkatesh. I like him and his movies, so it was nice seeing him in person and talking to him. I felt he looks smarter in person than in films. He was very cordial and polite. My husband took his autograph for our daughter. He happily posed with us for a snap.

The Deccan Chargers were in town for a practice session before leaving for South Africa for the IPL tournament. RP Singh, Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Venugopal Rao and others were present that evening. We also met Venkatpathi Raju.

While having our dinner, actor Sumanth walked in and as we were leaving, actress Ramya Krishna was entering with Tamil actor Arya. So it was an evening spent with celebrities.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Information Galore - 10

Consumers : Be Alert, Stay Safe !
You are an Aware Consumer if you...
  • Don't pay more than M.R.P.
  • Don't let advertisements mislead you.
  • Insist on Warranty Card.
  • Always ask for a receipt.
  • Check expiry date.
  • Check net weight.

Consumers can call: National Consumer Helpline No. 1800-11-4000 Toll Free from BSNL/MTNL Lines.

011-27662955,56,57,58 (Normal Call Charges Apply) Between 9.30 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Saturday.

Courtesy: "Jago Grahak Jago", issued in public interest by Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in the Deccan chronicle, Hyderabad Ed, dated March 16, 2009.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscars 2009 - Jai ho

What a day it was! I was glued to the TV since 8.00 am to watch the 81st Oscar Academy Awards presentation ceremony at the Kodak Theater, Hollywood, USA. "Slumdog Millionaire "bagging 8 Oscars out of the 10 nominations was just superb.

But the proudest moment for us Indians was Resul Pookutty winning the Oscar for Sound Mixing and the very talented A. R. Rahman for original score and original song for the movie of the year " Slumdog Millionaire."

Both the winners gave a very touching and original thanksgiving speech. Rahman said " The essence of the film is optimism and hope. All through my life I had the choice of love and hate…I chose love and I am here.” It reinforced my belief in the word "Hope."

Resul Pookutty said "I come from a country and a civilization that has given the universal word. That word is preceded by silence, followed by more silence. That word is 'Om.' So I dedicate this award to my country. Thank you, Academy, this is not just a sound award, this is history being handed over to me." What a tribute to your country ! Jai Ho !

Friday, February 20, 2009

Information Galore - 9


Are you aware of the guidelines issued by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) regarding Value Added Services ?

  • The fact is that no chargeable value added service shall be provided to a customer without his/her explicit consent.
  • The subscriber for international roaming can opt a particular ring back tone from their service provider to avoid unwanted / unimportant calls by indicating message to the calling party in the ring back tone about his/her international roaming status.

National Consumer Helpline No: 1800-11-4000

Courtesy : Advertisement "Jago Grahak Jago", issued in public interest by TRAI & Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Govt of India in The Times of India, Hyderabad, February 19, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dollar Bahu by Sudha Murthy - Book Review

For quite sometime now, I desired to read Sudha Murthy's novels in Kannada. But somehow I did not do it. Last week I went to a well known book store "Akshara" in Hyderabad to buy a book as birthday gift for a friend's son and laid my hands on "Dollar Bahu" - an English novel by Sudha Murthy, originally written in Kannada and translated into many Indian Languages. The book is published by Penguin Books, India and priced at Rs. 150/- which I feel is slightly on the expensive side. The novel comprises of 142 pages.

Dollar Bahu is certainly a short and sweet novel. The story is simple and well told, like the author says in the preface - "This story can happen in any part of India but I have set it in Karnataka, the region most familiar to me". As I read the book I could sense the protagonist's emotions and travails.

The story revolves around a middle class family and how the lure of the Dollar affects relationships within that family. Sudha Murthy hopes that this story will show some families that love and affection can be more important than money. And I think she has successfully conveyed her sentiments.

Vinuta, the protagonist is an orphan who lives in Dharwad. She is a beautiful girl , hardworking, sweet natured and a talented singer. Chandra Shekar, an Engineer from Bangalore is posted in Dharwad and stays as a tenant in her house. He likes her and wishes to propose to her, but his ambition to settle well monetarily or rather to fulfill his mother Gouramma's ambition to see her son earn loads of money and marry off her daughter Surabhi into a well to do family.

Chandra Shekar's destiny takes him to the land of opportunities - The United States of America. Vinuta's destiny brings her to Banagalore and she becomes a teacher in the school where Chandra Sekhar's father Shamanna works as a School teacher. Shamanna is a simple, kindhearted gentleman and a highly regarded teacher. Again destiny brings Chandra Shekhar's younger brother Girish, a bank clerk and a good human being into Vinuta's life and she marries him and starts living with his family in Bangalore.

Meanwhile Chandra Shekhar settles in the United States and sends his mother Dollars, which keeps her happy as it has brought affluence to her family . Though Girish and Vinuta take care of the household and parents, their contribution is ignored by Gouramma and she constantly picks at Vinuta, but Shamanna cares about them and he is supportive of his daughter-in-law . And more trouble starts for Vinuta when Chandra Shekar marries a rich girl, Jamuna from Bangalore. Jamuna becomes the "Dollar Bahu" for Gouramma and Vinuta is subject to constant comparisons and humiliation.

Gouramma decides to visit her son and daughter-in-law in the United States. Her stay in that country makes her realize the importance of human relationships, and that the love and respect she got back home, cannot be bought by Dollars. The story ends on a positive note with an unexpected twist.

Dollar Bahu definitely qualifies for a good, light and meaningful reading. My rating of "Dollar Bahu" *****

My Ratings:

***** Excellent
**** Good
*** Average
** OK
* Yuck