Snake Dance in Mumbai’s Local Train feat. Me

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5M05bPVFdg[/youtube]

Background:
This is a real™ video of me shot by Sankool while we were traveling back home in a local train. I had pulled an all-nighter the previous night and was probably a reason for inducing this jig. This video is old but still never fails to amuse me ๐Ÿ™‚

Interesting Moments from Jan – March (Q1 2009)

April has arrived. OMG! Yes, its already April. But it just feels like last week I had a blast celebrating the arrival of 2009. I am making this post as a reminder to myself and to relive some of the interesting moments in the first quarter of 2009.

January

KFC Ice Cream Sundae
KFC Ice Cream Sundae
Homemade tasty Aloo Parathas
Homemade tasty Aloo Parathas

Celebrated the New Year in Powai by the lake side. After relishing on some crunchy chicken at KFC we headed to the Powai lake alongwith the Ice-cream Sundaes their combo with the homemade Aloo parathas was just perfect.

SocialSync Whiteboard - makes sense?
SocialSync Whiteboard - makes sense?

January, also began on a very interesting note for SocialSync. We had the opportunity to discuss some investment opportunities and set our milestones for the next few months.

Standard Chartered Full Marathon 2009
Standard Chartered Full Marathon 2009

Running and completing the Standard Chartered Mumbai Full Marathon was another big high. I must say here that unlike the last time when I ran the half marathon I was a tad bit smarter. Although, I did practice for the Marathon and was pretty regular back in September/October 08; I lost momentum and form as December arrived and by mid-December I was in a very bad shape. It was around early January that I made up my mind to run the Marathon smartly by re-accessing the situation based on my limited practice. A few more practice runs and I started feeling better. On the day of the Marathon I feel I did a fabulous job of recognizing my limitations but stretching them enough to complete the Marathon.

February

February was in its true sense an eventful month.

I finally made a trip to Bangalore. Overall I kinda liked the city; wide roads, footpaths on both the sides of the road :),
parks, pleasant weather and row houses. Public transport is bad and very costly at times.

Felicitation at Bangalore Airport
Felicitation at Bangalore Airport

The first day was really long and now I sincerely hope it had never ended – all thanks to the fantabulous escort. Walking the streets of Bangalore and discussing Haute Couture to some unheard and for some unimaginable interpretations of God idols would remain etched in my memory for ages. God save God. Need I say, there was a tomorrow and then yesterday was just memories to treasure.

Yahoo Open Hack Day 2009
Yahoo Open Hack Day 2009

I won the ‘Best socially mobile hack’ at the Yahoo Open Hack Day 2009 !!! OYeah!

Me at Yahoo Open Hack Day 2009
Me at Yahoo Open Hack Day 2009
Yo! Anil Wadghule
Yo! Anil Wadghule
Yahoo Hack Day 2009 - Thinking Mind
Yahoo Hack Day 2009 - Xen and The Thinking Mind

David Filo, the co-founder of Yahoo had come down specially for the event and was also one of the judges. You would probably not even notice his presence in a crowd of 10 people; he speaks less and comes through as a honest and humble person. The event was very well organized and the atmosphere was ecstatic. I won a 8GB 2nd gen iPod touch for my hack and believe it or not I gifted it to my brother; I am sure he would make much better use of it. The event wouldn’t be complete if I don’t happen to mention Anil who had come down from Pune; and we code jammed all night. I just slept for less than an hour sometime in the morning the next day after I had done justice to the idea I had chosen to work on. Staying up late and writing code comes oh so naturally to me – so I feel I had an unfair advantage among the 300+ hackers who participated.

RangDe - Akshay & Pavan
RangDe - Akshay & Pavan
Pavan having a comfy ride
Pavan having a comfy ride

While in Bangalore I stayed at Prayas‘ place. Being with him is always enriching and thoughtful. Add to it having a blast with his son Pavan (in pic above) and some spiritual discussions with the grasshopper.

The highpoint of Bangalore was meeting some very interesting people and teams working on refreshing ideas

March 

March started off with a lot of excitement. Sushma maasi (aunt) and BabyV (Varsha) were going to come down to Mumbai. I am sure you must have heard of Varsha from me before or read about her on this blog before.

Varsha - Miss Photogenic
Varsha - Miss Photogenic

I ended my last blog post on her, wishing she remains as crazy as last time and may be shes taken it seriously ๐Ÿ™‚ Good for me, I still can play pranks on her!

On our way to Pawna Dam
On our way to Pawna Dam - Lonavala

On one of the weekends Mom, Maasi, Varsha and me drove to Lonavala. The drive was just fantastic. This was also my first time on the Mumbai – Pune Expressway which was a treat in itself. What worked for us was we didn’t have a long itinerary to follow for the trip; we were just looking for a weekend break. On the first day we visited the Karla Caves in the afternoon and later in the evening witnessed the beautiful sunset at Rajmachi point

Sunset at Pawna Dam - Lonavala
Sunset at Pawna Dam - Lonavala

The next day we got up late, had a late lunch and headed straight to Pawna dam. The drive to Pawna dam was exciting with steep slopes and blind curves. The lake, boating, the ducks, peacocks and the sunset was just the perfect setting for spending ones Sunday evening. No doubt it inspired me to write this few weeks back.

The last two weeks of the quarter were great fun too. We made some terrific progress on the SocialSync community platform all thanks to Pavan.

The Inspirational - Y Combinator
The Inspirational - Y Combinator

YC is an inspiration. It took me close to two years to finally take the leap and submit a application – you know I wouldn’t do it if it weren’t for the right purpose, right team, right idea and right time. And this time the summer cycle is taking place in the Bay area; now isn’t that reason enough ๐Ÿ˜‰

Engaged or Married? - Sorry, April Fool :)
Engaged or Married? - Sorry, April Fool ๐Ÿ™‚

Now how could I sign-off without letting you guys know of a very interesting tale. Last week I ended up playing a prank; or rather my friends just drew into it. I ended up uploading the above pic of me and my sister Mamta on Orkut *without* any captions. Within the next 36 hours I was flooded with 15 comments, 5 scraps, 3 calls, 2 SMSs and 1 email – all congratulating me and asking me whether I got ‘married or engaged?’. The timing inadvertently was so right that I didn’t have to scout for a April Fool’s prank ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wrapup

Finally, I am myself amazed of how eventful this quarter has been. Sometimes it makes sense just to take a breather and look back at one’s journey; and this is what I did. Feels good now! I really would like to thank each and everyone mentioned/missed above to make this special for me. I am really looking forward for the next quarter and you can sure expect me to get back and cover it up for you ๐Ÿ™‚

Heya

Close to two weeks into the new year and not a single post! Unfortunate but not sad. Things have been chaotic but not totally out of control. Sometimes its fun just to observe chaos as is.

If you are reading this or you have been continuously checking back for updates which you haven’t found then I really apologize for it. I would really appreciate if you leave a quick comment so that I know you were around. Many thanks and have a splendid 2009! Happy New Year ๐Ÿ™‚

GoodNight!

Before I go to sleep I am trying to remind myself of what I was missing all this while. The adrenaline of adventure, the energy from the rising sun, the stillness of the lake, the calm of the setting sun, the chill in the late night breeze and the quiet of night. Oh, hell yeah! I dearly missed all of this. Revisiting all this in a single day has been a treat.

Goodnight to me, sweet dreamzzzZZZ!

Power break!

Finally, I have been able to take a ‘Power Break’ from work! Power Break is essentially similar to what a ‘Power Nap’ is for sleeping. More important you don’t loose grip over your work and come back more focussed. I will be spending this weekend at The Native Place. More updates coming your way soon.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I feel I am free!

I feel I am free, albeit for a moment. If only I could tell you all how occupied I have been especially for the last two weeks. Its been really crazy. Now that I have checked off the 3 longest standing items on my todo list, I really feel relieved. By coincidence it also happens to be our Independence Day ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you really interested in knowing those 3 items? Aha.. nope, I surely don’t want to pin them up here to be reminded of them again.

By the way I was just wondering why does August tend to be a crazy month year after year. You remember last year? I don’t know.

Few hours back I was watching this documentary on Nat Geo of 3 guys deciding to walk the whole Great Wall of China from its South Western tip till the Pacific. Thats close to 4500 km and a temperature shift of -40*c to +40*C (Gobi Dessert). Real crazy isn’t it? At the end it was just one guy who made it till the end and it took him 15 months. Other notably fascinating documentaries that come to my mind were finding the source of the Amazon river and locating the mystical place Shangri-La. Those guys finally stood by a puddle and pointed to it as the source of the Amazon, the world’s largest river by volume. I would sure like to do something like that… anyone have ideas? Not sure why? but I am longing for a true vacation already. Come December and I have some exciting plans, though can’t wait that long;)

Anyone game for change?

vistory flag
What to change?
Simply put I would like to start getting up early (be in the early riser group) and see if it affects me positively. Do you feel the same?

Is something wrong without it?
No, in fact I can go without it. Currently, I consider I have a schedule which allows me to put in the requisite amount of hours in my work and other activities that I want to indulge in. Overall I am happy with the pace of things and I have learnt to avoid the areas which produces the guilt feeling.

I will give you a small example here: Now the ideal time to go for a run/jog is early morning. I have tried my hand at it numerous times and finally settled at time around 9 pm. Now, I wouldn’t say I failed in all the previous attempts because all the times I consoled myself rationally that it was not the right time *for me*. Sometimes saying to myself that ‘I need more sleep as I have slept late’, ‘I am not the early riser kind of person’, etc. Bottom-line: I decided that it shouldn’t make a big difference if I jog/run at evening/night plus I get to avoid that guilt feel of not being able to meet my goals. This has worked wonders for me. I have been able to do all the things I want to in the time I have and surprisingly without the guilt feeling of not waking up early. For all these years I have enjoyed working late nights. I Feel it comes naturally to me. I love the calmness of the night, I love its silence. I feel hitting all-nighters (here, here and so many times) is a trait which I am proud of and has benefitted me over the years.

So, why now?
Right from childhood this has always been in the back of my mind. I have tried but I have not stuck with it for various reasons (they may seem rational while hitting the snooze button but not any more). I want to give it one more shot and for the simple reason that I know I can. But, from my past learnings I also know I can come up with some rationale to avoid it and so this post and a call for everyone who wants to cultivate this habit. So, let not make it an individual struggle but a collaborative experience.

What’s the game all about?
Lets play this game as a team. Remember, together we can.

Format:

  • We shall draft the rules of the game together. ๐Ÿ™‚ All of them should be personally acceptable to each of us participating.
  • We play this game for a fixed time period (say 30 days)
  • We won’t make it a closed struggle. We shall publish online our small victories (waking up on time on a particular day) and write about our big failures (not waking up on time on some day)
  • Seek active advice from people and allow anyone to comment of scold us if we don’t act by the rules.
  • We shall not give up unless we are out of the game (you break the rules more than x times and you are ousted). Winners get accolades, looser feels the shame (but they can give it one more shot if they feel like and emerge as winners)

Hope you get the gist?

Vision
Is this only about getting up early? No, not at all. This is about change. This is a part of an un-named project that I am initiating (its yet to have a name and I am open to your suggestions, any?) Oh yeah, I can hear in the background cheers of… “yes we can, yes we can… ;)”

So are you game?
If you want to become an early riser than this is for you. Please leave a comment below or contact me on my email.

Updates

Barka and Anil have joined in ๐Ÿ™‚ Please give them a standing ovation (or better send them some words of appreciation in comments below. Pokes and vampire bites a strict no, lol)

For updates head straight to 42times project wiki project page:

If you would like to join in, you can leave me a message below or contact us through the contact page on 42times project.

Akshay Surve to skip Olympic torch relay

cowboy
Akshay Surve said on Wednesday that he will not be part of the Olympic torch relay in New Delhi this week as … (I am sure you can imagine the rest of the story with references to Baichung, Aamir, Soha and now even Sachin.)

Media (specially, 24 hours news channels in India), please stop being elitist and flash the title of this post in your “Breaking News” section ๐Ÿ˜‰ You can also use my head shot with the news ๐Ÿ™‚

Please, I hold the sentiments of everyone who have accepted or even declined the offer to run in the Olympic torch relay in high respect. This rant of mine is only targeted towards the media.