Archive for February, 2014

Doraemon’s Magic pocket

Doraemon’s Magic pocket.

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Remembering Meetu

Our snow white - Meetu

Our snow white princess – Meetu

Meetu darling,

Our Snow White princess…I know you are in a blessed land, a different world, where I heard there’s no end to joy and tranquility. Although you are gone and I can no longer feel your warmth, your tender and loving face; I still can picture your beauty in my mind.  Nothing can ever touch or remove my everlasting memories of my most worthy ‘pet sister.’

Seven years passed since you’ve left us.

In the days and weeks following your death, people told me “it will get easier with time.” Now, seven years later, I can say that yes, in some ways it has. Your death is no longer one of the first things I remind myself of when I wake up, nor is it the last thing I think about before I fall asleep; it no longer consumes me.

But, even then, I Miss You.  I still have days when it’s just as painful as it was seven years ago, and I still have moments when I silently cry. There are things, in particular, that trigger one of those moments forcing me to quite literally say hello to my sorrow – again and again.

But with time, I realised that we never lose the ones we love, even to death, literally. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.

And so here’s a short poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye, which gives me some comfort…

 

meetu

I am the diamond glint of snow…

Don’t stand by my grave and weep,
For I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint of snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning, hush.
For I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circle flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.

Wait for me in Heaven… someday, when my work is done on this earth, I’ll join you there…

With love,

Your dearest ‘sis’.

Stoppp!!!

Its half past 10 p.m when I got to the bus stop. I knew I would be late for home. The roads were dark and empty and my house is a five minutes’ walk from the stop. Dark clouds smeared the sky, such that it could rain any minute. I started walking faster. Suddenly I became strikingly aware of everything around me – every rustle of the leaves, every creak from the surrounding houses, and the sounds of the wind signaled  I may be in danger.

Stopppp!!!

Stopppp!!!

I briskly moved past the neighborhood high school, a closed tea shop and a few other buildings, and entered the by lane.  As I reached close to the children’s park, very close our apartment, my eyes fell on something – quite unexpected, the dubious house, which we thought was a bit haunted – the half done villa that stood for decades on the disputed plot no 90. I quickly averted my eyes and tried moving ahead… Just then I heard a howl! “Stoppp!!!” it was a male voice.

My ears perked up. Was it to me? Who could he be? But then I consoled myself, “it must be somebody saying to someone… whatever!” and I started walking.

But then I heard it again…

“Stoppp!!!” the same voice – a little louder and clearer this time. It was no ordinary one! An uncanny voice, so full of expressions!

The voice sent a chill down my spine… but I did not Stop!

As I was hurriedly crossing the park gate, I saw a man, pacing back and forth, cleaning his shoes with a brush. He turned and faced me! Even in that pitch darkness I could make out he looked a little creepy or maybe that’s the impression I got. I couldn’t tell if he was looking straight at me!

I didn’t want to look back… I began walking much, much faster, expecting to have to run soon but not wanting to attract more attention to myself. And then… I heard again “Stop!” This time it was almost inaudible.

I didn’t want to find out more. I began to run home…

As I reached my apartment, trying hard to take out the duplicate key to open the main gate, our gatekeeper appeared from nowhere. “Stop mam, let me do it for you!”

“Stop??? Is that the word he said too?” I asked myself.

A grey owl flew over my head… “Stop! Stop! Stop!” It screeched and vanished…

I stood there like a pillar. I could sense goose bumps all over me!

Soul mates and soul-level appointments

Soul mates – The topic came up after a long time when I met an old friend over coffee last evening. She got a bit nostalgic after entering a heritage café in Park Street. She recalled the time when she was in college and met somebody for the first time on a date at the same place. “On our first visit, it felt electric and amazing. I was sure that I was fated to meet him and felt a real deep connection with this person…” she said to me, lost in some distant thought. Those days, she thought they were ‘soul mates’. It’s a different thing that the duo were not meant to be together in the traditional sense, but I too remembered her amazingly high level of energy and enthusiasm which got reflected in the many things she said and did then, thanks to that special somebody, short-lived but a change agent in her life. That was way back in our college days!

In fact as I tried recalling her past, I could completely relate to what she said from my own unique experiences. In our lifetime, we do come across one or more people, with whom we feel a special connect. With the coming of those people at some point of time in our lives, we tend to believe that everything we do is charged with a strong energy and that life has become a little special from what it used to be before. I’m sure many of us have witnessed meeting somebody by chance but strangely meeting this person turns out to be like meeting a dear old friend after a very long time apart. As soon as you meet, you discover having so much in common.

A few years back, I read an interesting article on Soul mates in Reader’s Digest. The author explains that there are many kinds of soul connections we can have with people. Before we incarnate, we make ‘appointments’ and agreements with certain souls. Usually we pick out the souls with whom we will have important relationships – both short-lived ones and long-term ones. the author explains that you can meet more than one soul mate in a lifetime and that somebody may not be your life partner in most cases (Unlike the way they show in commercial films). The reason why you make those soul-level agreements to meet up some people is because you want to exchange energy and teach each other a little something through your interaction, at a specific time in your life, or for a more prolonged period. According to the author when you keep your soul-level ‘appointment’ with someone, both of you exchange energy.

soulmates

Before we incarnate, we make appointments with certain souls

A special somebody taught me the art of precision. I mastered this art from him besides several other things in the few months we were fated to spend together. May be he taught me subconsciously, but to me it was like a charged event – the type of energy I got then led to some kind of awakening in me. Perhaps – going by the Reader’s Digest article – I can say with poise that I must have also taught him a thing or two unknowingly in the brief time we encountered which he too will remember.

But does that mean I had already set up an appointment to meet up in this life – never mind if it’s short-lived. I once asked a friend who is clued up in these matters whether ‘that someone is a soul mate’ and she too replied: he could be one of your soul-mates. There could have been some others in the past and some more awaiting!!!

In the book titled, Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, Nirodbaran the scribe said that it’s possible that we make soul-level agreements with people we’ve known in past lives. He mentioned: “sometimes a soul will be very familiar to us because we’ve met before. We move in ‘soul families’. Your nearest and dearest spirits, those we have a lot in common with, tend to be those who have agreed to incarnate with you and keep you company here and this also includes animals and other living beings. These souls can also remain separated either on a temporary or permanent basis and when in relationship, they may continue to have conflicts due to their past Karma.

In this context I should also mention a blog I was going through some time back – that says soul mates come in a variety of categories – something like Karmic soul mates from whom we learn. They change us in a way that was required at specific moments in our lives. They force us into growth situations through several good and bitter moments, they rarely stay in our lives forever but are forever remembered for the lessons they teach us. Then there are companion soul mates, people who help us accomplish some goal and are here to assist us with a special purpose or even in our daily lives for encouragement and support. They offer a mutual gift of learning, sharing and help even in a brief encounter. Then you have what is called twin soul mates – people who have shared a special bond of friendship and love in many lifetimes. Meeting a twin soul mate is like running into a good friend you have not seen in years. There is a connection, and comfortable feeling and you almost seem to pick up the relationship right where it left off in a previous lifetime. We recognize a twin soul mate as someone with all the characteristics of a companion soul mate but with a much stronger and more lasting bond between you. The blog author says, twin soul mates usually are close family members, special friends, and people who understand you completely and do not judge you the same way others do. Among them, there are one or two with whom you may share a spiritual and almost psychic connection. Very often we do not even need words to communicate with them because your souls are in tune on telepathic levels and you almost intuitively know their feelings.

These are intricate subjects and go beyond scientific logic and explanations. But to meet and match up with your soul mates if they exist, I guess is fantastic and we should keep the search on…!

Congratulations To Prof. H.S Eswara

My heartiest congratulations to Dr. H. S. Eswara, Former Professor, Dean, Chairperson at Faculty of Communication, Bangalore University, who has received the Life-time Achievement Award 2013 for his contribution to Media Education from the Karnataka Media Academy, Government of Karnataka.

I want to thank him for giving me the experience and guidance to help me grow in many ways. It’s really a privilege, and an honour to have him as my professor and mentor!

It’s indeed a proud moment for Us

It’s indeed a proud moment for Us

With an extensive knowledge in the field of Media, Communication and Psychology, Prof. Eswara started his teaching journey as Reader in Psychology at the Post-graduate Department of Psychology at Mysore University 1968 and went on to become Professor, Dean and Chairperson, involved in research, teaching and administration at the Faculty of Communication, Bangalore University.

He taught at Manipal Institute of Communication and was the visiting professor at Kuvempu University, Shimoga. In 2009, he held Sir MV Chair in Science in the PG Department of Psychology, University of Mysore.

Prof. Eswara, who turns 75 this February says: “If I just introspect, my own contribution is somewhat scanty. However, I see my success in the achievements of my students. And therefore, I deem that the Award is a honour bestowed on my students. So, the Award belongs to all of them, and I am sure they will all cherish it.”

It’s indeed a proud moment for Us – his students and this is something we will cherish forever!

************

Here’s what some of his other students have conveyed. (MIC – Batch 2001 and 2002)

Rima Rajan: That is fabulous news! My congratulations to sir who helped me through very tough times of my thesis along with Mathew sir! The best part of Manipal for me! Very well deserved

Harini Kucknoor: Thanks for sharing this Sohini! I will indeed cherish this..

Kumkum Jagdish: Thats great. Thanks for sharing

Kranthi Madhav: Thank you Sohini for sharing this wonderful news. Batch 2002 should plan and celebrate with Eshwara sir in Bangalore…

Susim Mohanty: Fantastic. He was /is an amazing person to know. And a great teacher and mentor…

Archana Vivekh: Wow! What an honour to all who know him! Make me so proud that he taught us all!

Megha Abraham: Brilliant news and needless to say well deserved!

Deepa Ballal: Hi SOHINI, thats great news…!!!! An apt gift:-)

Usha Seetharam: He truly deserves it – I’m so honored he was my thesis mentor!

Anirban Das: Well deserved!!

It’s All About ‘Love’ On Valentine’s Day!

In my college days I used to dread Valentine’s Day! There was so much hype and drama that I preferred staying in my room – curled up with a book or watching a good film. Later, when I started dating, had a boyfriend, I accidentally gave in to the hype and drama associated with the V-Day, I confess. However, even then, roses and candlelight dinners or a night out never really got me excited for February 14th.

Share it, express it and let it continually grow

Share it, express it and let it continually grow

The other day, when I was having a conversation with a friend, Sabrina, she explained to me something very interesting. Quoting a para from the Bible, she said, Biblical love is not about getting, it’s about giving, and giving without the need of getting in return. That’s the true essence of Valentine’s Day. “But how many of us are aware of this?” she questioned.

True to her sayings, there is little doubt that like every other festivity in the world, Valentine’s Day has become commercialized, thanks to the hype created by the media. Today, to the world at large, Valentine’s Day is only about romantic love. This high focus on love and romance for couples can leave many people feeling left out. Not to mention the pressure of coming up with romantic ideas and gifts, makes it an even more expensive display of affection.

My teacher in high school once said, V-day can be a good time to reconnect and express your care and concern. Or perhaps you’ve had a falling out with someone, let this day be a reminder to let go of past mistakes and resentments. For many, Valentine’s Day symbolizes forgiveness and healing.

I’m much excited by the fact that this Valentine’s Day, we, as family, planned a visit to Mother Teresa’s Home and pray for those who are in need. It’s important to find pleasure in simple things in life, as a cousin of mine tries to give her family dinner a little wow factor every Valentine’s Day. And not to forget, a neighbour I know well, instead of giving flowers, planned to plant a tree as part of volunteering in a community gardening project.

And what Beena, a dear friend of mine wrote on Facebook was the best of the lot. Her simple yet thought-provoking message was that she thanks the “Creator who taught her what it is to love, for the love of her family and all her friends ‘coz each of U is a blessing in my life… Though I feel this everyday, Valentine’s Day is just an occasion to say so to all you lovely ones!”

It’s important to love and Valentine’s Day teaches us that part of life without which existence may be impossible. A message to all is: No matter how you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the most important thing is to love. As the Beatles so aptly sang, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Share it, express it and let it continually grow!

Satya Nadella – The New Face Of Microsoft

He is just like one of us, someone we can somewhat relate to … and that’s is why Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella inspires!

He gets excited about new things… he buys more books than he can read… he signs up for more online courses than he can actually finish… but what drives him the most is to be able to watch people do great things and learn new concepts. That’s Satya Nadella for you, Microsoft’s new CEO who succeeds Steve Ballmer – and is currently the most talked about tech executive in the whole world.

Much has been said and written about him ever since his name was announced as the third CEO of Microsoft in its four-decade history. The 46-year old India born techie, who has been with Microsoft for over 22 years and was leading the Cloud and Enterprise division is all set for the Big role!

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

Bill Gates who now takes on the role of technology advisor believes that there is no better person to lead Microsoft at present. “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth,” he says.

Many believe with his potential, what he could bring to Microsoft’s table and the tech world at large can be huge. Here’s a compilation of some unique facts on Satya Nadella – the new face of Microsoft.

The Journey for knowledge

Satya was born in Hyderabad (AP) India, in a Telugu family to an IAS officer, B. N. Yugandhar, who was a top bureaucrat in the rural development ministry when Narasimha Rao was the prime minister. Satya attended the Hyderabad Public School in Begumpet. In a recent media interview, Yugandhar says delightedly, “I am proud of my son and I wish him all the best!”

After completing school, he started his journey to seek higher knowledge. Satya went to Manipal in Karnataka to pursue a bachelor of engineering in Electronics and Communication degree from Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) Mangalore University, Manipal, Karnataka. After moving to the US, Nadella earned an MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Unlike most people who get carried away by career and success, Satya still keeps in touch with his school friends. His friends often see him as very passionate, friendly and driven person.

In an interview with a leading daily, his classmate, M Chandrasekhar, former CEO of an IT firm in the city recalls, “Satya was very friendly and jovial. He was also a bright student. We studied together for about five years and there was not one single person who had issues with him in class.”

Satya always has the knack of building things. “Computer science was what I wanted to pursue. But the subject was not available in the University. And so electronic engineering was a great way for me to discover what turned out to become a passion,” he says.

Cricket is his other passion. Satya played cricket when younger, which he now cites as one of his hobbies. “I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career,” he says in an interview.

Following his extensive education, Satya went to Sun Microsystems where he was a member of the technology staff. He quit Sun in 1992 to join Microsoft and quickly rose through the ranks, growing Microsoft’s internet ventures along the way.

From Bing Master to Cloud Guru

Nadella worked as the senior vice-president of research and development (R&D) for the Online Services Division and vice-president of the Microsoft Business Division. Later, he was made the president of Microsoft’s $19 billion Server and Tools Business and led a transformation of the company’s business and technology culture from client services to cloud infrastructure and services.

Though Satya’s career focused the business side of Microsoft, he’s also worked on some offerings used in the consumer space, like the Bing search engine.

He has been credited for helping bring Microsoft’s database, Windows Server and developer tools to its Azure cloud – some of the most thriving areas. . The revenue from Cloud Services grew to $20.3 billion in June 2013 from $16.6 billion when he took over in 2011. According to Bloomberg, Satya’s 2013 base salary was nearly $700,000, for a total compensation, with stock bonuses, of $7.6 million.

Nadella played a huge role in Microsoft’s transition to cloud computing. In an interview with Gigaom, he points out, “Cloud is perhaps the most secular growth engine out there because it scales with a number of devices, and it scales with a number of apps, so it scales with the users and their devices and their apps.”

With devices and apps needing more compute and more storage, cloud is the one thing you can bet on… and that there is going to be more cloud, explains Satya.

The down-to-earth CEO

The age of larger-than-life tech founders is over, say many. Low-key and humble, Nadella is every bit different from Ballmer. With over two decades of experience with Microsoft, serving under both Bill Gates and Ballmer, Nadella has built and managed growing sectors at Microsoft. Naturally comparisons will be drawn with the former CEO Steve Ballmer, who according to Bloomberg  is ‘loud’ when compared to the new CEO who is thought as personable and more diplomatic.

David Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School elucidates, Ballmer’s aggressive salesmanship during the boom days of the personal-computer industry exemplified how Microsoft became the world’s most valuable company. Now the software maker needs a new approach to catch-up in areas including tablets, smartphones and cloud services. Yoffie believes Nadella’s obviously a deep technologist, and he’s going to bring that back to a Microsoft that hasn’t had it in the CEO office for years.

When asked why he wanted to become CEO of Microsoft, Satya said the company was central to applying human potential to a world becoming more rapidly software-driven. He says he felt “honoured, humbled and excited” to be CEO. “We have tremendous opportunity, and that’s inspiring. But to seize it, we must move faster, focus and continue to transform. I see a big part of my job as accelerating our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.

“Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionised the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more honoured to have been chosen to lead the company,” he says.

Even though he maintains a low profile, Quartz’s Leo Mirani believes Satya is not exactly a hermit. “When Nadella was already known to be a leading CEO candidate — his focus on unglamorous-but-important products for business use means he shows up at public events less often than colleagues like Joe Belfiore of the Windows Phone team.” He also doesn’t have a penchant for Tweeting.

According to some, Satya being a Cloud computing expert and Cloud is an area Microsoft has gained popularity with enterprise customers for its Azure platform remains a positive point. But the challenge lies beyond the cloud as mobile remains an area of concern.

Microsoft has faced a gradually decline in its PC-centric Windows and Office business and needs to challenge Apple and Google in the new realm of mobile computing, believe experts, something which is a huge challenge for the new CEO. Therefore, how Satya will help in the mobile revival is something that needs to be watched out.

“I would advise him (Nadella) to take a fresh look at mobile, or bring in some talent who really understands the space,” said David Smith, an analyst at tech research firm Gartner in his blog.

The guy next door

Satya was pretty much the guy next door. He played cricket, played pranks, loved music, was a champion debater and a good student, but not at the top of his class. He is not even an IITan. Instead he comes from a relatively humble Manipal Institute of Technology, has been chosen to head a tech giant at a time of challenge. And he fell in love with and married his childhood sweetheart and daughter of his father’s IAS batchmate, K.R. Venugopal Anupama Priyadarshini, whom he had met in his high school in Hyderabad.

In 1992, the couple tied the knot, as TOI reports how a simple family affair in New Delhi eventually ended up becoming a talking point, thanks to an illustrious guest who decided to turn up at the venue uninvited – It was the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao. “They (the families) had planned a simple event without fanfare. But Rao found out about it and gatecrashed. He even scolded them (his two prized secretaries) for not inviting him,” recalls Anupama’s cousin Dinesh S Sastry in the report.

The couple have been married for 22 years and has three children — two daughters and one son. The Nadella family lives in Bellevue, Washington at present.

On his new appointment, Sastry tweets: “Satya Nadella and Anupama are very compassionate people and their families have done so much for the poor thru the UN and Indian PMO…”

Satya’s love for American and Indian poetry is also something that has become a talk of the industry, apart from his love for sports and reading.

Satya sure has a big task in hand bringing Microsoft back at the right growth track. Experts believe, he has the Nokia handset unit to grow and make Windows Phone a serious contender, continue growing the Xbox unit’s place in the living room, keep refining Windows 8 and Windows 9 to make attractive to customers, and grow the cloud services and enterprise business.

As a proud father Yugandhar recalls,”Satya worked very hard for the last 22 years at Microsoft to reach where he is today. I think Satya deserved what he has achieved so far and I can only wish him success in all his endeavors.”

Satya Nadella is surely an inspiration to all budding tech professionals and the industry. while we continue to track his growth record and that of Microsoft’s, we too wish the India-born technology leader all the best in his forthcoming endeavors!

(The article was published on February 8, in http://www.cxotoday.com)