Monday, December 24, 2007
The eldest with his wife just came back from jungle after cutting wood for their fuel needs. The son only had a blue short and a muscular body drenced in sweat. The wife had skirt like saree and a blouse. That is the standard dress for a normal adivasi. Only thing that distinguished them from us was their instant happiness. They were glad and unihibited in interacting with us. The smile baring all teeth while talking was a glowing tribute that man can be happy in most isolated of places even if he was just returning from cutting wood.
Most of elders go to jungle in day and the youths go to various services in mumbai city. there are few who go to Dadar to sell leaves in bulk, sometimes in Monsoon they carry crabs to market of Kalyan. The ladies travel many kilometers to carry and bring home water and some have bullock cart especially designed to bring in a small tank of water. About 20 people can sit in a single jeep to reach to their respective villages. All houses carry the same pattern and have wooden roof with a opening that is closed by conical array of ghaprels (mud tiles). Their tea has special flavor of a grass that they put while they boil it. Their language is similar to but unlike marathi. The truck driver did not take money from us after he dropped us back to the highway.The truck ride gave us most spectacular view of nashik highway and surrounding hills .They are simple adivasi.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Government can bring out policy for promoting rural tourism and help it reach all deserving villages.
- Ensure that villages are not discriminated based on history,geography,demography,religion or natural location. Build a belief that every village has got the potential.
- Ensure that any village can be converted into a tourist destination without any administrative hassles.
- A single form/application from any social entrepreneur should take care of recognizing that village as a tourist destination, form necessary trusts for financial transactions.
- Ensure that most of the funds is managed by village self help group/cooperative/trusts.
- All revenue generated directly or indirectly through rural tourism should be tax free.
Please add to the list. I am not good at policymaking.
Suppose you are developing the concept of rural tourism for a village. You start getting enquiries for weekdays trip or for bulk booking say 50+ people or for overnight stays. Now what will you do? You only thought that the village could be a weekend destination with 10-15 people per day but its not.
I would recommend that you discuss the same with your local connect and lt him have a internal discussions with various stakeholders in village and come back with his commitment. Show him the stretch goals but do not enforce them. Its their village and they know best as to how much capacity they can build and how much timeoff they can take from their routine farming tasks. Its their business to decide how much they want to take/make? Its not easy for them to accept money in return for the hospitality they provide, they treat it as their duty and do it out of pure love.
You may want to go beyond tourism development and will get an urge to develop village. Resist your urge and allow the problems to be initiated by the villagers ; participate actively in discussions but be careful about promising solutions. Promises are easily broken, politicians do it all the time. Instead come back and spread the problem description amongst your network and seek help from people who might have resolved similar problems before. Connect the villagers to such people and allow them to resolve local problems. Do not become government, judiciary , politician or a pure businessman.
Be consistent in your approach.
Let me know your experiences with the rural folks.
- ASK -- Talk to people who may have links to nearby villages. People who touch your daily life like your security guard,drivers,housekeeping. They may be working in your residence, in your apartment complex, in your neighborhood, at your workplace. Tell them that you would like to spend a day in their village with them.
- VISIT -- Visit them based on their convenience and walk around their village. Enjoy local hospitality. If possible try to have your local connect arrange for breakfast/lunch. Take photographs and video of the place with their permissions.
- SPREAD -- Write about your experience in blogs and post photos and videos at web sites. Talk to your family friends and workplace colleagues and arrange another trip with a combination of them.
- EMPOWER -- Let your local connect start arranging the trips and taking care of everything from transport, to food and acting as local guide. He can make more and more people from village participate in succeeding trips and spreads the goodwill. Urban people need a good toilet and a clean place to eat, you can ensure presence of both.
What you gain out of it? Or why should you do it?
You will be sensitized to the human side of your local connect, the villagers and various people who encourage the cause in your workplace and in your friend circle. You will become a social entrepreneur and you will create social entrepreneurs through your local connect and through various people that you meet during the journey.
Remember, it’s a beautiful countryside out their. See it and show it to the world.
Just hit the roads and get moving. We did it and you can do it too.
Recommendations financial transactions
Divide the money into three parts.
- One for the cost associated with the trip, the cash payment is made to stakeholders on the day of trip itself.
- Two for creating a corpus for the village, could be through trust formation with directors being village stakeholders.
- Three for creating corpus to develop less privileged villages wherein directors could be from same village or a collection of villages that have successfully promoted rural tourism.
Recommendations for local connect and village
- Local connect can have mobile and email connectivity.
- Village can have a good toilet.
- Village can have a clean place for eating.
Do you have any other recommendations or success stories to share?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
A trip was organized by firstname.lastname@example.org for Bangaloreans to visit HaleNijagal on Tumkur road on 25th November 29, 2007.There were 14 individuals that turned up through either our network or website (www.ruralzing.com). Few were on complimentary passes. Everybody paid for the food/guide and transport cost.
There were from diverse backgrounds but all were urban dweller eking out a living in urban Bangalore. They were our guest for the day. The age group would start in twenties and go in early forties.
Everybody had a fun-filled day and they left the day wanting to have it started a little earlier. The breakfast, lunch and snacks were prepared at host home. The guide and rural games were organized by the Host. It also included a eco walk through village and its fields and it temples. We met many interesting people enroute and there was lot told about village history, rituals and flora and fauna.
The host hospitality was well appreciated and even at the end of tiring day their were only smiles to be exchanged.
We hope that this fun exclusive trips would someday turn into educative and developmental nature.
We need your support to extend this concept to your neighborhood. Please connect us with educationist/industrialists/politicians/government officials who like to enable and transform rural India.
Create a sustainable brand that can be easily trusted by both urban and rural fraternity. Leverage this brand to build rural centric sustainable business models.
- the brand – initial vehicle is tourism
- the trust – extend team to be all inclusive
- sustainable business models – offshoot of growth and ideation by rural india
- number of villages and participation within villagers
- number of urban tourists and participation amongst them
- network of educationists/NGO’s and government officials
- Savings habit in rural india.
- Make them aware of their rights
- Enable them to highlight their problems and seek its solution through our network.
- Know-all experts
- Insensitivity to either urban or rural folks pride/dignity/culture.
Monday, November 26, 2007
The squirrel was basking in the sunshine. My hands were tightly tied to the body. The chill was nail-biting. The time was 7 in the morning. I called all and gave a enthused GOOD MORNING.
I was waiting. There were multiple points and the Tempo traveler (TT) was doing its round. And it was a long wait because with one smart move I had to further wait till 8:40 to get into the car that was carrying a family for the visit. We went out using the NICE road that exited on Tumkur road. The TT was left behind.
We had tea and nariyal-pani at roadside dhaba and coasted along NH4.
After crossing Dabbaspeth we saw a tractor with trolley and our entourage romping up and down on it on seeing us. We reached the host house and had a unique form of rice item as breakfast.
People were inter-mingling and getting to know each other. We began our eco-walk through village. There were curious onlookers and a nice group followed us too. We chatted with few on before reaching the place where capsicum grew.
We took a long halt at school premises as most of us played gilli-danda, kanche/goli, chauser and the rope broke in tug-o-war.
Another temple visit and some more historical insight into the village, we chatted along and plucked fresh sweet beans from fields and had coconut water without straw. The host mentioned he required no money and that it was due to love (preeti). Another halt at a temple and there sweet songs and melodies before we came to host house and had lumpsome lunch.
The host was coming back from the field with a bundle of dried ragi sticks and a cow and a calf in front and behind. We thanked him for hosting us as he smiled. We allowed the TT to take us to the hillock temple and get a view of tank.
We returned singing and having fun as one by one they all found their way and walked away. I could only thank them for having spent a day of their life experiencing what we promised to be a memorable experience.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
A simple question. Few complex answers. It is easy to list the questions. It is difficult to explore answers. Therefore I will list only and allow you to explore.
Why do I randomly browse Internet? Is it to kill time? Is it to learn?
What do I want to achieve in the next 2 hours? Or can I simply attempt to do something with focus and attention and in order to meet an objective?
Why does the mind scheme, calculate and nurse a hurt? What is the objective in getting back at someone with equal animosity and hurt-back?
Why are hurt resident and creativity non-resident in mind?
Why did I walk at 5 AM on a Saturday morning?
Why do I give so much attention to my child and why is it only sometimes?
Why do birds sings, winds blow in face and the nature is scenic spot?
Why don’t I buy gold?
Why should I give back to society?
Why should I live?
Why should I die?
Why should I participate in this cycle of life?
Guruji says "Angst is due to thoughts. Thoughts of past or future." Can we have thoughts of present. Not possible. Present is an experience. Each experience has a location, interaction. Each experience creates feelings. Feelings form impressions. Mind is a battlefield to fight impressions using armory of thoughts.
Personal hurt can take away life from you and you would not even know about it.You can change your objective and decide not to focus on them instead.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A little sparrow sat on my window,
the road was full of trees on the sides,
and in the distant
were green fields and clear blue skies
and the snowy whites clouds shifted sides
two naked kids were playing in the mud
as lambs cows moved aside
Will I cross horizon to be there
or will I continue to visualize
It has been a while since I
saw the sparrow fighting for his little space in my house,
slipped into the paddy fields,
snaked through the ragi farms,
climbed and fell from neem tree,
and sat on top of buffalo.
Was it in distant past or will it happen in near future?
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Lets consider the alternative in a dramatic way.
The team has been going to a crowded mall with multiplex, watching a movie in the dark on their separate seat and eating in a food court or nice restaurant with only the nearest four in conversation if at all and rest hidden in the din.
The team has been going to a resort with swimming pool, a little playground with some wet patches, a closed TT/badminton room and a garden with few flowers. Everything well laid out and limited property, kind of a zoo where there are predetermined cages for inmates to choose from.
The team has been going to a game alley, again a crowded haven these days with loud music and excess light, sometimes too bright, throwing balls, dancing to graphics and repeated computer noise or riding simulated bikes.
Lets consider a rural setting for a while.
An open green field, open skies, friendly people. A series of activities to choose from like hiking, walking, resting or listening and witnessing to another lifestyle. Some lucky ones can get fresh raw baby corn from fields, some can pluck fresh beans and munch, some can devour in tender coconut water plucked right in front of your eyes, some can put their heads in gushing water from water pump.
There is a whole act to be performed right from planning the unusual trip to reaching there and executing your pre-planned series of acts or deciding impromptu.
You choose your acts and your participation.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I am dark and live in a 1400 square foot apartment of concrete in a structure that’s 14 floors, facing another of 14 floor. My waking hours are mostly spent in commute and in office campus except for few in morning and evening which I either have for me or family/friends. I am restless as my limbs move, my mind and the muscles and the simulation it creates generates excitement during the passage of time. Some of my brethren live on street, on the ground and under the blue sky, some in villages and some in cities, divided by boundaries of nation and mind. Some skies are polluted and some are clear and star studded on a chilly wintry night.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
It was a small hut where goats and their young ones stay. The door is small so you have to bent and go in. The place smells of cow dung and the cows have been out for a stroll. Cute little goats were jumping around with ropes tied to their neck. The older ones are killed for human consumption. There was a small mud wall dividing the hut into a dark alley where nothing was visible.
A voice was heard and I wondered how darkness could talk. Something in kannada was spoken that meant who is that. Our eyes had not still adjusted to dark inside and we could only hear. I felt eerie as two white spots became clear to my sight that happened to be sockets of his eyes. An old man was sitting on the cot, he must have been lying but woke up with the chatter that we created.
Is that what happens to humans once they lose sight as rest of us live in good fresh concrete and they have to share smelly muddy indoors with goats and cows?
Meals would come to him thrice a day by a lady in the family and someone would take him out to answer nature's call.
The blind man was hard working and resourceful when he was young and his young ones now felt this is the best they could give to him.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
The corn was young, soft and sweet and the fibers were silk. The tank was always there on the sides but until you climbed the bund it was never in sight. The fields are green and wet as we gingerly walked between them trying hard not to slip. The areca nuts(betal nuts) were reddish brown, lying in open, soaking sunlight to turn brown and white before they stimulated a person's taste buds. The plate on which a type of rice was served was thick,creamy,soft and was stripped from a areca nut tree. The rice itself had raw mango flavor but the fruit responsible was a mix of lime and lemon.The water pump had under ground cold water gushing out and relaxed the tired body when touched. The cow dung was fresh and on the streets.The big tree simply wanted you to sit. The lunch had raagi balls and its a challenge to gulp it without turning your tummy. The hill with view do not allow you to blink the eye. You are left wanting to explore more,climb more,dive more and walk more. People just walk past enquirying and understand that you are just another visitor from town. They share their produce and we consume with all our heart.
Left bangalore around 8, got stuck in NH4 exit on tumkur road, a government bus put two parallel streaks on side of car that did not belong to me, 5th gear of Baleno came into play and I simply enjoyed the open roads. After dabbaspeth flyover we took a left and waited at the gate at railway crossing that was down hoping for a train to pass. The guys answered to nature as the kid wondered why men stand and they sit. The gatekeeper had mercy and opened the gate for the train was no where in sight. We hit the bottom of the car at a pit and rest of us walked to entry. We had breakfast, watched young goats, walked through and out of village, had lunch at a temple hall on hill, returned after a good wash under water pump to relish lime juice and bif goodbye.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Everyday we travel by Hosur road and most of the days we hear stories about accidents but today a dumper met our bus from behind and crashed into the barricades in the side that are erected for construction of elevated highway.
The front glasses of dumper truck had smashed. I don’t know what happened to the driver.
It surely did scare the hell out of us. Life suddenly seems precious again and do we need to barter it on our daily commute to office.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Mr KondandaRamu's father slit the ripe tender coconut with sharp knife made in 1943 and his son was on top of coconut tree felling the green coconuts. They refused money for they said when you have made the effort of coming from city then its no effort for them and even otherwise so the monkeys would have anyways taken them away. We drank without straw and some of the water spilled over most of us.
Mr KondandaRamu's son Harsha showed the Raagi fields and Mulberry plantations and we played frisbee in open fields facing beautiful hills that are soon to be extinct by granite merchants.
Some of us drank water from open borewell that were irrigating the fields.
Evening was spent at meditation center of art of living ashram. The sun was going down horizon in the beautifully reddish orange lit skin. We ordered something else but ended up having idlies at the restaurant there.
We took a wrong turn after leaving electronics city and reached Anekal road instead of Gottigere and finally when we reached Gottigere to connect to NICE road the bikers were confused and joined after a while.
The food at Vaishanava Palace on kanakapura road was infested with cockroaches and their families and we had a little dialogue with the manager their. Post lunch one motorcycle got punctured but the mechanics and tube shop were nearby on the slope.
The road connecting the village was being piled with sharp stones for road under construction and we struggled to drive over them.
Our team of 10 decided to explore the country side as a team gateway location and we set out just before lunch time. It was a different kind of experience as most of previous outings were to horrible movie shows at PVR. We left at about 11:30PM and by the time I reached home it was 8:30 PM.
A day where we made mistakes in route selection, fought with the restaurant manager and got a puncture repaired but most of all made up by the hospitality of Mr KondandaRamu's family. We owe them our experience.
Clouds appearing and flowing past you climbing the hills and blurring the vision one second and next clearing and giving a glimpse into mother nature’s beautiful creation. You are at such a height that human existence ceases to be visible. There seems to be no houses nor vehicles nor the associated noises until the sun sets and night becomes black do you realize the the golden glitter and diamond studs that humanity has created through its lighting system.
The room with view was facing the sun set and the whole world was painted in small hills, some floating in clouds and some were little grey cones. You could jump into the valley and rolled down with greenery. The winds kept talking all through the night and chill forced the hands to tightly wrap around. The clouds simply walk into rooms as uninvited guests and some decide on condense on the wooden door and some simply give a cool bath.
The flowers and leaves were in all colors and the nursery was well spaced out. There were guava trees and their beautiful bodies. There were Italian flower with a ready made bunch and the roses were big and orange, red, white …
The roads are narrow but both sides are mostly covered by coffee plantations and huge trees that has pepper wrapping around them.
We were coming back from lady’s seat in the morning and we had the whole day to explore. The roads are narrow and the local government decided to tar that morning and the hotel forgot to inform us and we were waiting on 45 degrees slope facing the road roller and melting machine. Some common sense prevailed and the roller decided to reverse and we felt that the car was pushing it down the slope. On opening was created after a while and we whizzed passed it.
The room with view was expensive and the premium was about Rs 2K. The service and maintenance was poor too. The waiters were blunt and to the point and same for room service too. There was a team from Citi Chennai who must have come for team building exercise who played to the loud music in the disco facility provided by Sterling Resorts.
We left home ie., Bangalore at about 10:45 AM on friday morning and travelled along NH7 to reach Salem by afternon, had breakfast at a restaurant and the Muslim owner knew some hindi and explained us how to go to yercaud. The ghat road was steep but beautiful and a landslide was being repaired. Until a top official came and sorted road out with his stern orders we waiting on a hairpin turn for about half an hour.
We saw a hotel on edge of mountain and decided to check that out. It turned out to be Sterling resorts, a pretty expensive proposition but it was wife's birthday so money was easily flowing out of pocket.
Saturday was spent exploring Lady's/children and Gent's seat and the rose garden where we bought some beautiful plant sampling. Then we moved towards pagoda point and while returning checked out MM Inn,Grange resorts(inside coffee plantations), Shevoroys Hotel and Grand Palace located on top of hill facing the lake in front and mountains behind.
We went towards water falls but people told the way down was too risky for kid and therefore abandoned the plan with me promising to come back here next day. Coming back stopped over at one more nursery close to lake and checked in Hotel tamilnadu, a cheap but nice options except for a cockroach that kept coming back and settling in my hair. Saw the cricket match between India and Australia, a 2020 semifinal.
On sunday we did boating and went to Shevroys temple, the route was breathtaking and the temple is in cave and it it believed that the cave opens up in Talacavery in Karnataka.
We came back, had lunch at Hotel, bought few items at sunday haat and started back to Bangalore by afternoon.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Prasanna Jyothi is an orphanage run under Prasanna trust chaired by Swami Sukhabodhananda. Its focus is on women empowerment. The place is well maintained and children are treated as their own despite their backgrounds. All girls from LKG to 7th standard go to an English medium school in Jayanagar 7th phase and are back in home by 3:30 PM.
Current funding is through Prasanna trust and through donations. About Rs 30K is spent per child per annum and the home maintenance goes upto Rs 2 lakhs.
Key Areas of growth – self sustainability
1. Catering – Right now they cater to a company on airport road for about 100 plates. They need to reach out to more consistent order base and more exposure through dedicated counter during festival time. Also need to grow into tiffin(morning breakfast/evening dinner) space for bachelors in neighborhood. The caretakers help the grown up girls in cooking.
2. Real estate – They have a site of 30*40 which can be developed into either a training center or into more space for more girls.
3. Volunteers –To train (dance/sing/karate) and provide tuitions (academics subject) for girls. A dedicated and committed staff. In case they grow then more caretakers to manage increased girl intake.
Key contact persons
Caretakers -- Mrs Ratna – 9845391483 Mrs Sundari – 9900608306
Mr. Jitendra Joshi – 9845042053 Jitenber.email@example.com
Promotional mail for dabba service (breakfast/dinner) – areas around JP Nagar 7th ph only
Homely meals available through dabba at your place of residence in areas around JP Nagar 7th Phase only. The menu range is unbiased towards north/south Indian.
Please get in touch with Mrs Ratna – caretaker – 9845391483 to further this cause.
Promotional mail for spread word for catering service provider.
Prasanna Jyothi orphanage in Puttennahalli, JP Nagar 7th phase wills towards self sustainability. For same they have started catering services for office goers. They provide rich quality north/south Indian lunch and dinner prepared with motherly care and affection.
Please connect them to offices that are located in and around JP Nagar or Bannerghatta road who are willing to give catering orders/space in their premises.
PS: Additional info can be found at http://www.prasannatrust.org/
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
On ganesh chaturthi day, an auspicious day in hindu calendar that happened to be a Saturday on which we decided to hit the road and explore rural beauty and innocence. We went about 25 kms on kanakapura road.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning after the day when office-goers had spent 3-6 hours reaching their 10-20 kms away homes. It was a beautiful cold morning with good cloud cover and we set ourselves for the first random right turn after a beautiful lake. Luckily the village was nearby along side road and we parked the car in front of school with few trucks nearby.
We started asking if someone knew hindi/english but people responded that they only knew kannada and telugu. We saw a guy sitting in front of a huge house on the sides of the gate and he happened to know hindi. We explained to him our mission and he asked how many people would be coming next weekend. He even suggested that we should keep a cook but we said it may not be needed as our focus was authentic rural experience.
We happened to ask him if he could take us around and he seemed to be a man of prominence so he instructed few kids who were floating around to take us through the slimy muddy lanes.
As some of us began video/photography the kids got engaged and I smattered a few words in telugu as two youths really got curious as to why we had come to there village. They were asking if we will take them to bangalore but we said that instead we will get people from city who will come here and understand your lifestyle.
We gave some money in the name of Lord Ganesha. I thought we should not give money just for the thrill of it as it would encourage children to request the same from subsequent visitors.
We had coffee and sat on sofa inside a small one room house that had open kitchen and a color television. The kids got curious and were playing around us as the house owners shooed them away as they were not leaving their chappals outside. They liked their house clean.
A small girl who had picked some English at school but could not communicate in the language suggested we write on piece of paper and express. That didn’t work and we tried sketching on paper too. She came to my side and asked who were the couple here and we said none as we were all friends.
The old women showed me her hand and I held it affection. She thought I was a Doctor but I was not.
We were on roads again and this time we said we should take a right after few kms. We did so and hit a village a few km offroad and managed to reached the edge of it before we felt the car would go deeper than the surface of the road, we decided to alight and park it on the sides.
We started enquiring about language and met a student who comes to Bangalore for his college and found he was conversant in English and said he would not be able to help us but to contact the member. Another boy on nice bicycle took us to member's house and we explained the concept to him and he grew interested as he took us inside his house.
A good house with an angaan in center and we sat on chair after switching off the small TV. We were offered coffee as he explained that he was general secretary of a political party and also ran a dairy cooperative. He mentioned that paddy is simply grown for self-consumption and they have tried their hands in vegetables etc., for alternative source of income.
He showed us the paddy fields and the hybrid cows who collectively produced 1000 litres of milk per day as he supplied them to south of bangalore. We saw sericulture for the first time and the silk worm walked on my palms. The student boy mentioned that china silk was more competitive than us. The old lady prepared herself for a photograph. And our dear friend directed us towards ashram.
A yogi by name Ram Ram left his body 7 years ago. He used to dwell in a cave and shooed away deadly snaakes with little stick in hand.
We were searching for the ashram but could only see a patch of thick greenery introduced by three Shivalingas in the open. We neared the greenery and found a pathway that bifurcated and we chose one. After few careful steps we were looking at our reflection, then some construction but no sight of humans. We kept helloing for a while and a lady appeared from nowhere and asked what we wanted. Did we know what we wanted? We just mumbled ashram. She said Amma and led us to a terrace like structure which opened to the scenic beauty outside. A lady in white robe appeared in front of us and after a while a yogi made retreat as we were ushered in the room that had a pierced rock, a bed, two chairs,wall paintings and the guru patni, wife of Yogi Ram Ram.
We decided to sit on the mat and the lady in white who latter mentioned herself as Uma too sat on bare floor. The chairs were left empty.
The voice was pleasant, the meanings were deep as we had an unexpected spiritual discourse that was practical, honest and straight from heart. In minutes the suffered soul was bare in front of us and we were shown how empty we were.
It could be easy if we simply witnessed ourselves and our interactivity with the world and withdraw into a self that is everything and mostly nothing at the same time. The more we get hurt the greater we withdraw. The more we dissociate the greater is alignment with nature as we dissolve our identity to merge with that of nature.
There is divinity in all of us that enables us to better mankind and the less we expect out of deeds that we pursue the closer we could be to this divine expression of the self.
We were hungry as we got hot puranpoli and masala wada within minutes of our entry. There was no mention of food but it was offered to our starved souls without asking. We relished it as much as the sweet melody.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
blogger for for text,youtube for video,picasa for photos,google maps along with photos for location,revenue sharing with google adwords
pick up a theme that appeals to masses like mumbai coast line and develop a story around it and do a daily update on any of social networking site
explore the open platforms like facebook/amazon, think of ideas for applications and outsource using "craiglist"
develop your personal strategy and execute a business plan conforming to it.
The only tools in this age of collaborations are broadband and laptop and you have both of them. Determine who your partners will be, who your customers and how will you sustain your vision.
simple words, requires steady clear mind with no constraints, offload your constraints to people who believe in your personality
explore ideas , they hook, they hold and they will drive you to develop your professional identity. Your personal identity is intact and preserved and you will be always loved by your parents,brothers, their wives and children
Sunday, September 09, 2007
The rural world needs to grow on its own.Rural innocence needs to be more widespread than before and we need to stem the rural youth exodus to urban dwellings.
One of the way out is through reverse cash flow and creating an economic opportunity landscape around rural ambience.
Thus the idea of homestay is proposed and extended to villages around you and you need to take care of them as your own and collaborate with rural folks for village room, village food, village itinerary and a village guide.
You can also join group at orkut to further this idea at "rural homestay"
or post videos at youtube group ruralhomestay ( http://www.youtube.com/group/ruralhomestay)
or discuss your ideas at http://groups.google.co.in/group/ruralhomestay.
Volunteers can focus on cause and its corrective development. The NGO then becomes for profit venture but the funds are utilized for self-growth and sustenance.
You can visit NGO around neighborhood and understand their current running/operations. If possible discuss their self-sustenance model and growth. Provide ideas from our shared learnings.
If allowed to shoot video then you can interview the volunteers/owners there. You can also shoot the activities that they do there and post them at http://www.youtube.com/group/ngoneighbor.
Also you could develop the ideas with like minded people in orkut under community "NGOs around you".
The same has been responded to in linkedin.
There is a group in google that is developing similar ideas at http://groups.google.co.in/group/socialentrepreneur.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The discussions were on the usual lines and the focus seems to be more on processes,evaluation criteria and what has to be updated to mentor etc.,
I shifted the focus by giving an example. The builders create the mock flat first to interest the audience before constructing the building. Only then they proceed with the construction. On the same lines we need to pick a few ideas and get people involvement on the same and then build the platform.
The problem with the masses is that they need something to hold on to, something they can relate to and something from which they source their inspiration and in this case it should be the idea that all of us can cling on to and identify with.
We are here participating to build a entrepreneur platform that has a social angle. Unless you have a cause that you personally feel strongly about you can not involve yourself much. The social issues have forced us to participate in this kind of a platform. This must have been envisioned by people who wanted the root of social change to be initiated by the young indian who is disturbed by state of his society and who wants to contribute back and enhance the status of his fellow youths who are simply there because most of them did not have the opportunity to allow themselves for a better life.
Some one mentioned that if we push the people so much then they would say "go to hell" we have passion but we do not have the time and so we will not want to participate in this platform. I said passion will take you through hell and get things done if you are claiming it is passion. At that moment I strongly felt that we are not here for baby-sitting to caress and nurture people to go along rather I was using my words like spear to nudge people into action. The intentions are dedicated to a cause and cause alone and hopefully there will not be personal casualties. I am here for action and test a platform with live example and make it robust so that it last. I believe both activities are essential when you build new, the idea and the framework that checks and controls and guides the idea.
I guess people join a forum because they have an urge to act and respond to social causes. And if their is no perceptible motion they may individually pursue their act through whatever alternative medium that they might find suitable. So it is very important to hold them on with an idea that also touches their heart. VC and funding can come later but the people should first be prepared and build the belief that "yes!! this is what I want". The collective excitement should pull you through. To some this excitement can cause fear and it can agitate some but as long as the nerves are active the trigger would be active and will enforce action.
Mostly this excitement dies for various reasons and most often it is lack of follow-up activities/action in continuum. The drag looks like a dam and the watery emotions simply decide to flow elsewhere in direction of another turbine as they believe that this turbine is rusted and will be wasted in inter-personal issues.
Passion crosses inter-personal issues and simply shows you the vision created by the cause that you are aligning yourself with. And in a forum that cause can be shared by multiple people who utilize the tools of social networking to identify,resolve and pursue for the betterment of the society. As humans we are social animal and today it would be the social chaos that will cause social change. Therefore please throw the ideas to forum and let the chorus decide and move on.
I have my self-doubts that is this the right medium for my self-expression. I always have, everyone has doubts that will steer them away whenever they start something new or want to do something unique. I hope that the passion that forces me to believe that even I can cause a social change and have an impact on the society to which I have been a passive observer so far should last beyond these self-doubts.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I was reading in newspaper that a leopard had entered the civilized area and the photograph had him leaping for and in direction of few policemen who were on their heals and my daughter wondered who was scared of whom as she thought policeman were brave souls.
Next day I read in paper that wild animals get killed crossing the national highway.
A friend of mine mentioned that three wild elephants got killed while crossing the railway lines in jungles of assam in the dark of the night.
I had left for office and was settling down in the seat spreading out the newspaper and the bus slowed down in the recently paved new road where people sped their vehicles at will beside puttenahalli lake. It was quite uncharacteristic because these state bus drivers whizz past so early in morning.
Suddenly I saw two buffaloes lying beside road and wondered whether they had gone in coma and fell down. As the bus crawled beside them I saw fresh red blood oozing out of them and spreading on the road. I could not breath for a second, tears filling my throat as I could not understand why they had met such fate. Was it reckless driving?
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Every moment we breath out we die and every moment we breath in we live. With death we lose past and then with every new breath we compose life. Your future life is composition of these events or karma and you simply add them on to get richer life experience.
Therefore it is futile to hold on to dead past and crave for more in the dead future because what you have is this live miniscule moment. Use it to construct or destroy. Anyways destruction is automatic with each passing breath and you can double it up in the life breath too.
So the positives like love, compassion, forgiveness, goodwill, innocence and hope can be nurtured as against anger, frustration, hopelessness and hatred.
We go back home and sleep and manage to get back and are lazy to move and wish we could have stayed back at home. The wife is getting ready and the husband is already is keeping a close eye on the watch. We were supposed to be there at 6:30 but now its 7. It happens to be his birthday too but he is preoccupied with getting late and thus ignores the surprise gift that he gets from the wife as it happens to be his birthday too. His anger is supreme and thus reacted causes the wife angst and she too decides to dump the party after spending over a hour doing the make up. He locks himself in room. There is some door banging and then the door slowly opens. They exchange what has been bothering them obviously from their individual point of view and the innocent daughter comments that "Even she will not go to party if everyone is said, she will only go if everyone is happy"
did i say that child is father of man?
there is turtle that will swim thousands of miles just to lay two hundreds egg on shore of Orrisa but only one of them survives. Will the turtle give up hope saying I take so much pain and I have such a low success rate or will he think that I have the onus to continue my species.
These were the thoughts of the founder of Enable India. She said we are all disabled in some sense and her mission is to enable physically challenged to get equal opportunity employment across industries. Every hurdle or the normal way of doing is a challenge, a hindrance, a barrier and therin lies opportunities for innovation. Examples included the hearing impaired petrol pump assistant where in the idea was to capture the customer requirement on a piece of paper with a few text marks.
When a cause overrides you dont need slides/graphs/analytics to pursue it, it simply drives you and I could see her moving and with her the audience and getting a insight into what passion gets personified.
do you have a cause that has touched you, affected you and if yes would you like to be an agent of action fed by emotion. There is so much emotional energy to be discharged and it seems so positive that it is surprising why society can still do a menial chore to make enough money to spent them freely on TV/Fridge/mobile phones but keeps the distance from a cause.
Probably a cause is a disruption, its a volcano and we are scared to death from bathing in lava. We resist, we divert and we feel sorry and move on with personal trivialities.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Background -- a trip to resort from bangalore to mysore to bangalore and time is for lunch in the afternoon.
Arjun says lets have food at floating restaurant. It has lots of variety and is a fun place to take parents too.
Devaki, Arjun’s Wife says No lets go to food court and have separate stuffs. The restaurant serves non-veg and mother may not like it.
Arjun drags all to floating restaurant. A Cuckoo is spotted and all laugh. The Devaki says lets sit here. Arjun says its in the way lets sit on the other side. He drags all to other side. The Devaki decides to protest and Arjun thinks that she does not want to go to non-veg counter in front of parents. The parents adjust and go ahead to fill their plates but the Devaki sits around and mother offer to get her plate full. The Arjun is ill and tells this is all exaggeration and dramatics. The Devaki cries. Mother cries. The child questions the mother "why are you crying? Did something go in the eyes?"
The Arjun wonders what to do and in respect for the food goes ahead and has his fill. Everyone else too go ahead and have their fill.
The family checks out and starts the journey back home to Bangalore, a distance of 150 kms. The Arjun covers the distance in about 2.5 hrs. The Devaki maintains a straight face through out.
Its evening. Everybody is having snacks and the lunch topic comes up again. Mother says why are you coming in between us. She was only demanding affection and its okay for mother-in-law to serve daughter-in-law out of love. Arjun wondered and said the topic was non-veg. Father also agreed the topic was non-veg. The Devaki later confesses that the topic changed from non-veg to lazyness on her part to go and fetch plate. She communicated this change late in the night on the same day.
Different perspective and a lost/learn day in life.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Brand me please
For creative freedom you need a supervisor who empowers you but for your growth you need to market your achievements more strongly in different manners and on multiple occasions. Your supervisor could be weak because of his personality or lack of data points. You cannot control the personality but you can supply the data points.
You need to create a plan to generate data points and publish it either daily or weekly as your accomplishments.
Designations and their fallacy
Names like project manager and technical architect do not matter. You like to do something and sometimes that something is driven by technical pull or managerial pull say people/customer/technology management. Designations are to play with human need for putting a name that is associated with certain benefits like access to internet or that implies your number of years in job.
Ultimately you do what you like to do. If you love people then you would devote most time to people management, same is true for customer or technology management. Depending on how much you want to reach out you would be focused on team under you or peers around you or superiors over you. The same is true for customers internal to you or outside company or who are related and coexist in your customers ecosystem. And for technology that is needed for current project needs and can reach out to businesses supported with current project needs and then to domains that need to coexist.
The definition of what you do is extension of what you are and what you like to do. Titles only identify and distinguish but do not speak about inherent strengths of individuals. If we stop identifying ourselves with promotions and the next title then we would create a eco system where concept of promotions will die off. That could be the idea behind flat organization. You are known by what you have achieved, the output or deliverable or the product. You know Einstein by theory of relativity but does it matter if he was chief scientist or senior chief engineer etc., Titles go with you when you die but your achievements are remembered for generations.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Is there a fine difference between a change agent and a nagger? I want a behavior change. I want somebody to move from being talking about a goal to move into actionizing that goal. The emphasis is on action rather than on deliberation. Today morning the other person called and I drifted the discussion towards the "You should think more", "You should worry more" and "You should contemplate more." Is negative emphasis on a behavior help it to become more ingrained or will force a revulsion to the same and encourage a person to come out of it and adapt to newer way of living?
How much of negative assertion would motivate a person and how much of it will force a person to detest you or the change? Will it help a person to participate in a transition or force a person to give it up totally?
I just tapped in the back and the person was shocked as hell and you could almost see blood draining away from her face. She was shattered and seems to be crying but then could have realized that the situation is safe and then gave a whimper of a smile. I kept asking what was the matter and she could only say that she was scared.
How does fear originate? Is it born with us? Is it cultivated for us? Is freedom inclusive of fear?
Should I blame society for its origins? The surrounding's have enough elements called unsocial and our protective near and dear ones shield us to the point that a incident in isolation can shatter us to bits.
Should I blame the individual for acceding to the demands of fear and allowing it become ingrained in the subconscious to the extent that it becomes a natural behavior?
Should I just leave it at that?
Is there a way to de-fear us?
New to job
Fresher's do not know what real work means and if they get into a place where there is no work and easy food and good environment then that becomes benchmark for them. Is this attitude good for economy?
Friday, June 29, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
- Collect from appraisals
- Brain Storm
- Prepare Wish Lists
- In a team discussion on sharepoint portal
- email chain
- Team meeting with note taking
- Do they sound similar to other?
- Can you think of one word category or buckets?
- Which address immediate need?
- What are the current pain points in the team?
- What would team like to improve in future?
- There would be three priority level like 1 for immediate,2 for within a month and 3 for this quarter.
The list of item for next week,fortnight,month and year
- Assigns person
- Create topic/task
- Give date/dateline
- helps follow up
- Recurring weekly tasks like audits for CM/code/document review
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007
She drops water on floor and I keep on insisting that she will fall if she steps on it. She simply comes again and one hand on sides and other resting on sofa set, with a serious expression on face she says "come to dining table" with a nodding head. It is time for dinner.
She wondered where she was when I was a kid. I say she was a bird. I narrate a incident when my parents took me to beach in Bombay and then I was left behind and probably the sea would have consumed me.
She said that then a uncle saved you. I wondered how come she knew and she reminded me that she was a bird and was flying above.
We have never discussed on cigarette and its ill effects at home but she went ahead and told a friend of her that her father was bad because he smoked.
The train was karnataka express leaving Bangalore at 7:20PM and we were not sure about the time of its arrival in Jhansi. We refused to exchange seats with another family who were eight and distributed. The lady pleaded that we were gents and could adjust but he asserted that we had wanted side berth and insisted with out choice. Later we realized that we both were tall and side births were too stuffy and short with discomfort for us.
We also noticed that ladies enjoyed most in male absence than presence, contrast this with they falling over each other to sitting soberly in straight postures.
I was learning about his friend who was multi-faceted and enjoyed reading a lot and in experimenting with social work.
The night was fitful sleep with other family chattering the night as if it was early morning for them.
The next day was heavy talk on change, culture and at society at large, I was simply emitting the recently acquired knowledge. It made him feel good at the end on the family front. Towards the evening was reading book and enjoying scenery.
I was trying to sleep in the afternoon but was disallowed by heat and replacement of the BIG family with few army men who chattered as their journey was fresh and carrying a bagful of liquor. Once the journey weared them they were falling over each other drowsily.
The second night was even more awful with some loudmouths displacing two people lying on berths in the middle of the night and the Ticket Collector accompanied with a Police man warned person of traveling with general ticket in reserved compartment but doing nothing about it.
We assumed that Jhansi would come at 4:30 and put alarm both in watch and in my phone. The battery must have died at about 3AM. The lights were switched on at about 3:40 and noise was made of Jhansi coming on rose us from sleep and fortunately for us we woke up, I was just managing to catch sleep but it eluded.
Day was eventful and hot but somehow a cloud cover had come and provided some reprieve. Before we returned to Jhansi station at about 2:15AM next day, we managed to sleep from 11:30PM. Karnataka express came back to pick us up at 3:15AM, it was meant to arrive at platform number 2 but appeared instead on 3. We had lower berths and could not sleep well even though our heads were under the window, it was sweaty hours till late in evening when coolness relieved us and relaxed our muscles.
I was curiously hearing the conversation of a Jat family in Haryanavi, a language similar to Hindi but local to state o Haryana bordering Delhi. I was wondering when I will break into their conversational rhythms.
Another individual who looked like BVK Iyenger, a Yoga guru from Pune caught my attention and I wanted to find out if he was real or look alike. To add to confusion was another guy was chattering with him and continuously mentioning him as Guruji. Later I realized the guy was travelling on General ticket and the old man was a principal from some remote village in Sholapur and hence referred to as Guruji.
I don’t know how but I managed to break into conversation and learned that the general ticket guy was in "Gold Line" meaning business of Gold (jewellary etc.,). He had studied till Std 8 but had learned from his better educated friends and travelling, He could comment on any part of India and about their local customs.
Even the jat family head liked to travel freely and take one place per year and was well traveled man. Once he was in Ganga sagar and requested a local resident to make Roti'es for them in exchange of some rice. They carry their essential masala for a neat tadka of dal and some fried channa and atta-jaggery item. It seems that jaggery cuts the channa paste and thus prevent indigestion and sticking to stomach wall. Channa alone can expand and cause distress with excessive water intake. He requested his wife to get Roti'es made from the pantry car cooks but unfortunately they refused.
He also narrated a incident where in they distribute liquor in Bhairon temple somewhere in temple on Sunday mornings and how handicapped bangladeshies drink neat and spread around on road losing their senses. The police have to drag them into their Gypsies and leae them somewhere. Once due to a high profile visit they were disallowed to be around temple vicinity for couple of hours but once the VIP left they scampered like ants to grab their fill.
He was the first man who took bath using the water pipe that is used to fill and clean Railway coaches water system in front of my eyes. I was tempted but somehow could not manage the same adventure. He managed that after extensive research on train's stoppage time and it being more than 5 mins.
A thorn went into his head when he was in school and which was still left a swell on his head. Another thorn into his feet and came out from top of feet after ten years. These thorns belonged to weed that was brought to India from Kabul in order to get a green patch on barren lands of India where nothing else could be grown. They also had a thick thorn that was tasty to school kids.
For the first time I realized that even a Jat family can be helpful, understanding and sharing. They shared their cold water on a hot summer afternoon even though I left a few drops only for the lady.
We were talking about chambal ghatti (the Chambal Valley),famous for dacoits and somewhere close to Gwalior. Another person mentioned that it was somewhere in Maharastra and he insisted on this fact. Later we found the PoliceMan asking all to bring down their iron shutters as there had been incidents of people throwing stones at moving train and causing panic after crossing Daund. If the train stopped than they robbed the inmates. Their modus operand included putting cow dung on train signals to confuse the train drivers so that they would stop the train without any signal after a point of time.
Third day the nariyal wallah at Guntakal gave me a wrought tender coconut to drink water whereas gave a fresh and more green to a young lady who came next. The moment me came back into Coach we saw 5 people sitting our berth. I thundered and they disappeared, to reappear again in small lots. They were daily travelers from Guntakal to Anantapur, a bunch of youngsters who conversed in mix of hyderabadi and telugu. From Anatapur we had another group of more sophisticated and middle aged government employees who pleaded for the berth and thanked profusely when they reached Dharmavaram.
After that the landscape was only beautiful and I was thanking Indian railways to provide me with such panoramic scenaries whereby the sunset seemed to extend for ever until every cloud was colored yellow and then orange and then black. Some clouds formed a disk in space like those spaceships. A hill after Manmad had clear Thums Up sign on top of it in pure stone in natural setting.
The landscape is sometimes arid, dry and lost and at other times is red that suddenly becomes black and then red again. The crops sway green and some fields keep getting dug by a pair of Ox and a man. Few sugar mills leave a stink and you wonder how come the sugar is so sweet and odorless.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Appraisals may 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Feedback For I, the role of manager
- Small comments make a lot of difference in the team's outlook. Like the one pointed out by a teammate "I was not like this but have become so." The topic was fear of hierarchy.
- Temper, I guess it can be used based on the need but you should realize that you are using it as a tool.
- SDLC stages, how to customize it for POC or prototyping kind of project?
- Mostly all get work based on interests and more than what role demands like in design.
- More motivational meeting that help set direction and provide focus.
- Jolly and friendly nature
- Random movement between tasks
- Ineffective estimation
For all roles that are for team
- design phase.
- sharing amongst team, unit, org and customers and therefore no visibility.
- inclusion of teammate beyond the module.
- Individually excellent and within module too or working together for assigned task.
- Generate more interest , Raise awareness level of
- Current product ideas being pursued
- Solutions with regard to our focus area.
- Unified Communications
- Increase confidence level and capability maturity of the team so that we can do
- Road shows
- Presentations at unit/org level
- Demo to senior mgmt
- Create more marketing material (flash. videos)
- Schedule adherence
- Who will measure
- Who will define
- When will we measure
- Process adherence
- Which areas to focus
- Code review
- Design review
- Doc review
- How to internalize?
- What metrics to measure?
- Who will measure?
- How will we measure?
- Better code review? Which part?
- Better architecture? How?
- Product idea? Brain storm.
- Knowledge Management
- Knowledge is acquired and not forced upon.
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Tuesday, June 05, 2007
where to from where are you?
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
"The other person does not listen and only persists with his point of view."
Is he aware of this? If yes then there is problem and if not then it can be corrected.
He could be because he has been in industry for so long.
Did you put across your points?
He had 4 points and I had put across 8 to contradict and defend my point of view, but even that does not alter his stand and he persists that this is how you should go about doing it?
Are you concerned about RELATIONSHIP and or CONSEQUENCES?
No I have a don’t care attitude now.
Still think over and relate to these two points.
In the beginning it was yes about relationship because I was pleasing everybody as I was trying to comprehend the culture and I was worried about consequences because I had been changing jobs often and I wanted to stick around for long.
Then the compensation appraisal and rating was unfair and suddenly I was charged and irritated and built a case to defend my claims. It was heard but still people persisted with their parameters and sanctity of them.
Now again I am at the cross roads of project management vs technical stream. Should I invest my energies into delving deep into the domain and technology or should I focus more on acquiring/sharpening project/client and people management skills.
Management is domain/vertical neutral whereas technical is specialization and getting into a silo. What is it that naturally aligns with myself. The costs are in favor of management because it seems to be more on relationships side. Technical is more logical and rational based behavior that seems to be unnatural to self.
Or better still should I diversify my goals to include the little impact that they can create on self, family, work and community. What is just enough for you to start with that will create and enhance your personal brand image?
Should I start doing things that I never did or thought I should never do or desisted from doing because it clashed with the lazy weekend?
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