Hosting an event …

We hosted a successful event at work on 2/29/2012 and sense of fulfillment and unbelievable high you get when you are part of a team that organizes cannot be expressed in words!

As we completed this event I was reflecting on somethings  and pondering why am I this way ?  I realized it all started in school. I ended-up in a pretty small, local private school – MAK as it was popularly known (this school is still around and it does not even have a web site that I could find from Google search) from 8th Grade on-wards. Being the ultimate back bencher(s), our gang neither were class toppers, nor kind of kids who would get into trouble for wrong reasons (in late teen years) and most of us tried our hand at all kinds of sports. So naturally the school Physical Education teacher – PE master was someone we spent quite a bit of time. He was the one tasked with organizing the four or five school events every year within school premises. We went early to school, along with staff workers got the place organized and after the event put thing back where they belong (we did things like organize seating, get the stage ready, erect shamiyana etc) . So I was one of those who had fun doing this.

Latter I ended-up Trichy to my undergrad in Computer Sc. and we formed a Computer Informatics Club (I do not even remember the official title I was given) under Prof ST Rajan, who now heads Computer Sc. Dept in St. Joseph College Trichy.  Have been a back bencher in School, I had never presented before any audience, so  when we organized our first seminar and I ended-up doing a nerve-wrecking vote of thanks. But at the end of it, I figured I did not do a bad job and gained confidence to go on stage and talk rest of my college life. As a part of this club we did so many events that I had learnt how to do lots of these events (how to sign-up guest speakers, how to spread the word,how to print/paste poster, how to hang banners, how are event stalls organized, how to print material) and by the time ended-up in PSG Tech for Post Graduate – MCA, I become really good at organizing events and confident about.

When I go to Friends or relatives event, I also have this natural inclination to jump-in and help out without being asked to do!  I do this because I like doing it and I always had the attitude of why wait ?  if someone you know needs a helping hand whats the point of waiting for invitation to help ?

So that is  my reflection of why  I like getting into thick of events and seeing them through but why do I seem to be able to a reasonably good job ?

  • I am community person (now that I work – Company guy) – I have a strong sense of belonging to a community and I have always felt I need to do my share of stuff to keep the community (or organization) going. So when I get involved I everything I could and more …
  • As a person I am paranoid about things going wrong, so I tend to ask what can go wrong ? figure out back-up plan
  • I have ability to be in another persons shoes and visualize what would make things successful from their point of view, what is the experience they should carry etc, so it helps to some extent
  • I have innate ability to  sequence things figure out dependency in my mind
  • I do not care about being unpopular, so I will enforce certain rules which is important to keep order
  • Finally I can think on feet !

Finally what made this particular  event – neoterix 2012 at work successful. Here are my thoughts,

  • We had a leader who sets a high bar for these events, kind of visualize and dream of it and was not only committed to it but got into every detail of it. Its tough for folks who do not get it to work for leader like this but those of us understand what is the perfection expected – its fun and challenging
  • We had a bunch of folks who just knew what we were good at and took up key strategic roles and the leader empowered them to go do things
  • We had a whole bunch of worker bees, who kept at it and brought infinite amount of energy and got things done in time
  • We had a competent event management company, who knew what to do and they did it without getting in our way
  • I signed-up to own the agenda and run the event on time, which was a small but key part.
  •  The script did hit its inevitable potholes and had its unexpected turn of events but since we were prepared for it and most in the audience did notice it!
  • most importantly – most of us had a stress-free event. In fact apart from expect 3 or 4 of us who signed-up to do things for the entire day, rest of folks worked intensely for pockets of time and then relaxed. There was no shouting or cursing, we all enjoyed the event!

Finally there were two highlights for me from this event ..

About a year back, I watched in horror as my dear friend and leader set “big  hairy audacious goal” and probably had his OS!M moment,when he told our company execs he was planning to host a Software conference next for 150 person organization! Being the Company person I am, though I was skeptical about this event, I tried to support it as much as possible I made-up my mind not worry about content for the event, I was going to only contribute to only organizing the event.  So  ended-up with an event that even exceeded our leader’s expectation was highlight.

Second highlight was something more personal about a week back I promised myself I am going to keep my cool and not loose my temper or throw a fit when folks inevitably veer off script – I had couple of moments where folks annoyed me but I handled those far better than I might have in the past. So that is another step in the right direction in my anger management journey …


Chase your Dream 2

Recently we were vacationing in Kerala and called on out Friends Jayan and Anitha in Trivandrum. We caught-up with them after few years.

What was more exciting for me was that both of them after moving back from US, made the decision to quit their software job and start a kinder Garden school – Bodhi Kindergarden school . Just like any other new venture they face challenges but have grown to 55 students in their third year of operation.

Corruption and US …

India has become a Nation of rule benders, I cannot think of any average person who is not knowingly breaking rules/laws while going about everyday life and we do not seem to care about and we do not face consequences of these actions – this is crux of our problem.

We cannot claim we are clean when we look the other way and bribe someone because we are not ready to stand-up and fight. We cannot be submitting bills that are doctored to get a few thousand rupees of tax exemption and worry about corrupt persons. We cannot be jumping signals, not wear helmet, talk on mobile phone while driving and when caught bribe our way out and still keep shaking our head thinking corruption is pervasive.

We cannot be registering our property for less than its value, buy Jewels with out receipt  i.e indulge in any form of tax avoidance.

I do not in anyway imply what Anna Hazare is doing is not important, we are not having strong enough deterrent in place and hopefully the bill he is talking about will start creating deterrent.  Once we can build a system where wrong doing will get punished in a timely manner things have a chance of improving.

One of the excuses I hear, oh I will change if everyone else is straight (or some variant of this)!! When will we stop indulging friends, relative who break rule of law.  Most worrying aspect for me, we seem to be setting wrong precedents for our next generation (our kids) by showing them breaking rules/law is ok When I was growing-up my parents were drilling into me importance of rule of law and doing it the right way, not sure if I will able to emulate them ?!

Every time we break a rule or law, we are creating an opportunity for corruption to happen, so change starts with us if we want to …   We cannot keep taking the easy way out and still shout from roof top what a pathetic country we live-in

The cynic in me makes me wonder are really people outraged about corruption itself or they envious of the corrupt because of the additional few Zeros we see in the numbers being floated around ? i.e corruption instead of merely being acceptable has reached unimaginable levels.

To summarize – we need to stop  becoming rule/law breakers and we need to create deterrents so that rule/law breaking gets timely punishment and reinforces good behavior

Chase your dreams …

I am proud of people who persist and keeping plugging along in pursuit of their dreams. When its one of your friends – Viswesh , its a joy and makes you proud.

He has been through a lot and he is finally finding his mark as mentor, coach, Guide for young aspiring Chess players. Its passionate people like Viswesh who slog invisibly and are factor in success of many …

I hope Viswesh gets recognized in time and more importantly continue to be passionate about Chess.


Yesterday was Friendship day, I have been wanting to write about what it means to be a Friend.

I generally hate commercialization of these days/events, so I have developed a healthy filter for these. If you respect your mother and father and make them feel special everyday, you do not need a particular day to celebrate.

here is my concept of “friend” –

  • Once you become a Friend, you remain a friend for the lifetime of person
  • Accept the failings, short comings but you do not have to support Friends (if it clashes with your moral grounding or otherwise) when they go amiss. At the sametime you do not to disown them.
  • Even if a friend  moves on or stops talking, they cannot take the shared experiences and your memories. they are yours to cherish for ever.
  • Everyone of us changes, so why do we expect our friends to be same for ever ? One has to remain true to self and not worry about what your friends do or do not do.
  • Difference between classmate and friend, sometimes folks confuse the two – classmate is a special but forced relationship, all classmates need not become friends …

I took more than a week to complete this post …