Thursday, December 8, 2011

THE CHURCH AT MANARCAD, KOTTAYAM


What I like best about this shot are the few pigeons that have come as part of this picture, on either side of the cross. I never noticed this while I was taking this picture.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

WRITINGS ON THE WEB - NASKA - NOV 2011

Its my pleasure to share the story "Little Sure Steps and a Big Dream" that got published in a magazine in the United States for an Indian Association named NASKA. They have also published few paintings of mine.

Please visit

http://www.naska.org/news.php 

and click on Dowload Souvenir 2011 at the bottom right to download the magazine in pdf format. The story and paintings are in there from Page 36 to Page 39.These paintings are already there in the blog archives.

Have a good time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

EXTRACTS FROM THE SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE INDRA GANESAN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, TRICHY


Respected Chairman Shri T Ganesan,Director Shri. T.Gopalakrishnan,Secretary Shri.M.Rajashekaran,Principal Shri V.Rajamani, HOD-IT Shri Rajesh , teachers and my dear students...good morning to you all.

Standing amongst you today takes me down memory lane, into times twenty years back when I was also a student. Inspiration and hope always blossom in me whenever I see students who are the young and happening minds and also the teachers who are the makers of these great young minds of the future and the true pillars of this institution.

The future of the Indian IT revolution and the future of Global IT is in your hands. How will you take it and march forward is the big question that you will all encounter soon.
I will be happy to spend the next few minutes in sharing with you two important aspects:
1. On what you can do to shine in the IT industry and how the IT industry can shine through you and
2. How to get inspired and also be an inspiring person.

So let me share a few thoughts about how you can shine in IT and make IT shine through you:

1. A. Looking back at the inventions and discoveries that have happened, many have been the result of interest and passion. Many did not have formal education. Even if they had it was coupled with huge loads of inspiration to reach that level of working with a passion and with the focus of a gimlet, working to a single point. So develop a passion, a thirst for a few subjects beyond what is being taught in the classrooms or beyond the motivation to score marks. Take one or two technology areas and learn it in an out, practice it practically, learn from the mistakes, be an authority, present and debate on these areas and keep these subjects close to your heart. Wherever you go, the world will look up to you and respect you for this in depth knowledge. And this knowledge will take you places.

1. B. Find ways to innovate in some to start with and then in most of the things you do as time progresses. Question and understand basic assumptions and bring about radical changes. We have two types of people. For e.g. when we give a bunch of sticks to people and instruct them to break it, one category will blindly obey and execute the instructions while the other category thinks and comes out with questions like “Why should we break??”, “Is it the right way to break??” , “What is the ultimate purpose??”, “Should we break it at all??”, “Is there another way or a better way to do it to meet the same purpose?”. With these questions come progress, innovation and leadership through ideas. We should also we willing to listen and answer when others shoot similar questions at us. We need the obedient category too in some stages of work where we cannot entertain too many questions.

1. C. IT operates out of different domains. What are domains? IT works out of domains like manufacturing units, hospitals, financial institutions, insurance companies, telecom sectors, etc. It is important that you also understand at a high level how these entities work. For e.g. in a hospital from the time a patient gets admitted to the time he gets discharged, what are the processes and what data go into the IT systems? For what period is the history maintained? What are the different types of information taken out from the IT system at different stages and at different hierarchy levels? So how can you make this happen? Take time to visit these areas, observe, read about them, and understand. If you know someone who works in any of these areas, take their help to get a good understanding of these areas. This will place you at a higher level of knowledge wherever you go.

1. D. To be a part of a team that plays any game, we have selection criteria. And so in the game of your career too we have selection criteria. One of them is your score i.e. your marks. Although they do not fully reflect your knowledge depth, still it is good to maintain a good average at a steady pace. And that should start from day one, and not in your 3rd or 4th year. So work on it and let your scores be the result of a quest to understand the subject better and to be able to discuss and debate about it in the days to come. Score well and score each time anyone quizzes you on the subject. It will be great to have that approach when you study your subjects.

1. E. The English language has different flavors in different countries. Customers or clients from these countries will talk to you when you are into a software job and you need to understand and talk to them in these flavors. Language is power. We need people who can correspond with customers of different English speaking countries. We also have a huge demand for language skills beyond English like Japanese, French, German, Spanish, etc. So if you can spend time acquiring skills in one of these languages, it will come in handy when opportunity strikes.

1. F. Develop your soft skills like presentation skills, communication skills, language skills and practice them hard. Symposiums like this and other meets or festivals in college offer so many opportunities to come and speak on the stage, to take ownership of activities, to execute plans and to anticipate and plan for risks. When you get a chance to speak on stage or present information to a crowd, be it any language, grab it. You may falter initially, but tomorrow I am sure you will dominate. Practice communication by always giving the right information, not less and not more and by fully understanding the situation. I am sure you will be aware that many great leaders were initially not great speakers. There were barriers they had to overcome to get on to the stage and face people. Abraham Lincoln, the former US President used to spend time in the night practicing his speech by talking to the trees.

1. G. 80 % of our success in any job depends on our ability to deal with people, those who are our bosses, our team mates and those below you when you are leaders. We don't have to be stubborn in tough times, but we have to learn to be aggressive and assertive with a calm exterior. But how can u do it? It needs a lot of practice. You participation in team activities of different kinds and in different roles, as a leader, as a mentor, as a critic or as a workhorse will help you shape yourselves in the tough mould. We should also involve in healthy arguments or debates and practice decision making, convince or get convinced and observe the different people with deal with and their qualities and strengths and learn to respond tactically suspending emotions. We all take time to master this art and so we need to put in a lot of practice. But I am sure that the result of this hard work will take you a long way.
These are the areas that you will have to focus when u enter the IT industry and work through the first 3 to 4 years.

And now let me share a few points on how to keep u inspired and how to inspire others:

One question that many people have asked me and I often found it difficult to answer when I was at school was about what I wanted to be in my career. Every time that question came up and I took time to answer, the people who asked me would give me multiple hints i.e. whether my choice was to be a doctor or an engineer or a chartered accountant. I don’t remember of having heard any other options other than these three from them. I have seen so many scientists excel in their fields and grab Nobel prizes. But I am not sure why the same individuals did not ask me whether I wanted to be a scientist. After many years I came to understand that a tailor named Syed Bawker in Chennai won a Padma Shri for his contribution to tailoring and for taking it to the next level. And similarly I did find so many individuals in several other fields who did shine. I believe as my life progressed the pieces in the puzzle fell into place and I got the answer to what I wanted to be. And I believe the answer is that I should be someone who will inspire others irrespective of the profession I am into. That energy which this inspiration generates can take us to the higher levels at lightening speed. It is not the money or the prominence in the society that can carry you there. Money and the pseudo prominence we earn by virtue of being part of a profession are like mud packs that we carry on us.

As we all know we have a lot of great and prominent men from whom we can draw inspiration. Although I will be taking a few of them as examples too, let me first take a few examples from the common people whom I encountered.

2. A. Every Saturday and Sunday evening when I go for a walk near my house, I notice an old cobbler at work. The way he keeps his shop organized is something that always remains in my mind. Frankly I take inspiration from him to set all the things in my house in a systematic order. A lot of customers line up everyday at his shop. And how he makes each customer feel special is a point I take on customer management from him. Even today I am not sure how he is able to keep smiling even when there is a huge beeline of customers waiting. I am still trying to reach that level.

2. B. In the previous company that I worked with there was a low skilled painter who was never trained in any technical skills and who through sheer interest and determination made a miniature working model with exact scaled down dimensions of the company’s huge product which was one of the tyre curing presses. No one believed when he commenced his work but when he finally got it done, the people around were dumbstruck. And this gave him recognition and faster growth in the company. Many times I think about while at work.

2. C. Many friends of mine have told me about stages in their career when they would get hooked on to work with so much interest that nothing else would get into their mind. Even while they travel back home, their minds would be on how to write the challenging logic of a program or how to come out with a design that would solve some challenging problems in the product. Even I have gone through those superb moments. Many times we have got back to office on those very nights to try out the logics that would strike our minds suddenly. Again it does not happen always and in all areas of work but only in the areas and in times that we are passionate about. So always strive at every stage of your career to spot passionate patches that will keep your energy up and your minds active.

Drawing examples from the very prominent individuals in the different fields, we all know the list will be endless. But there are a few that often keeps coming back to my mind.

2. D. I remember reading the extracts of an interview with the great cricketer Imran Khan. One of his statements always remains in me. He said ' When we reach a stage when we start feeling that hard work is not hard work, that is when we start enjoying what we do, and only that takes you to the next level' . I have experimented with this concept and it is a real fact. So, spot your passions in your profession early and you will never feel that you are working hard.

2. E.  Every time I see a plane fly, I always ask myself how the inventors, the Wright brothers, would have been looked at when they first spoke of this idea to the people around. How people would have jeered their idea. But they moved on with their conviction and gave us the aero plane which many of us enjoy traveling. Many year s back all men saw birds fly but only a few asked and thought how they are able to, and their strong analysis gave us the basic aero plane that changed our lives. So many got inspired from this and made the improvements in the basic aircraft. We go thru through this life in this world only once. What are we going to give to our people through our strong thinking and analysis which can relieve their burdens and ease their lives? So think about it and your actions will inspire so many around you.

2. F. As I told you earlier how a human’s mind get involved when passionate can be seen through the lives of many inventors. James Watt who invented the first stream engine observed what did not strike the minds of many. He observed how the steam in a tea kettle could shake its lid. and applied his mind and the steam engine was born. This inspired many who improved on this concept.

So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it was great feeling to share my thoughts with all of you. Mull on these and I wish that great things will happen out of each one of you. Let me conclude by wishing you all the best for a great career into the future. Thank you once again.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A SHOT THROUGH THE TREES@NIGHT


I am really happy it came out well. Had to take several shots in the "Moving" mode, so that the swaying of the branches in the wind had minimal impact.


Please click on the snap to see the enlarged view.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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