Monday, September 22, 2008

The Alchemy of Growth

Written by Mehrdad Baghai, Stephen Coley and David White; this book describes a new framework which for managing growth in any company. The concept of classifying the projects into three horizons and then explaining using Staircases how to create an environment by which the management of these ideas are easily accomplishable is very innovative and helps not just understand the challenge a company faces better but also helps a start up plan how to go about doing something it.

I wouldnt go ahead explaining much about the book, its definitely a must read if you are searching for a source which will help you manage your company's growth better.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The greatness guide - Robin Sharma

There definitely something interesting in what he says... He repeats the same message, and keeps me going.

The greatness guide is a nice book, very small - similar to the book who will cry when you die. There are 101 chapters in this book, which remind me of the habit of journaling that he has. I picked up this habit from him from this book. I now write a journal daily, some thoughts that I value, something new that I learn.

A nice books to get back to the basic lessons, can be read in very quickly and get the summary of the route greatness which every individual wants to reach. As I would put it...its the basics that are very important to stick to; stick to the basics and you have a lot to achieve...

If you are searching for the book which would guide u to gr8ness, then this is one of them...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Go Kiss the World - Subroto Bagchi

Subroto Bagchi - the co-founder of Mindtree has written this book which is basically his autobiography. After the initial success of his earlier book - the high performace entrepernuer, this is his second book.

The title is very interesting, and he make a special mention of the reason why this book is named so; there is definitely an IIMB link to this naming as well... thatz what he told when he had comedown to give a orientation lectuer in our college for the fresh batch.

Bagchi can be see in a very philosophical mood in this book, he has given away a lot of philosophical perspective/gyaan to us. I would like to recommend this book for the philosophical insight that I was able to gain from the book...makes me look at the points which I have learnt in life in a greater detail.

One this that impressed me the most of his messages was - "You need to learn to receive..." very true...this one thing can change the whole perspective of life.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sharavati valley trek -1

Banglore -> Shimoga -> Sagara -> VageVaddi -> Basavanabaayi -> Padu beedu -> Belli gundi -> Godanagundi -> Padubeedu -> Jog -> Sagara -> Shimoga -> Bangalore

An awesome experience with people from different countries on the trek, a couple of people from Germany, Malta and people from different parts of the country itself - the locals, the bangaloreans, and the hydrabadis... all this was only to start off - we never realised when we got along to be a good team....For some this wes the first experience with leeches, for others a differnt terrain to trek...a nice mix of treks experiences for all of us.

I met up Mr Sampath on orkut, and was impressed by the trek pictures that were uploaded there... we shared some comments and then I decided to go on a trek to this awesome place, unperturbed by human habitation, still virgin forest... I had been waiting for a good break in my course during which I wanted to do this trek.

After a hectic schedule of exams and submission I decided I would join Sampath and group on the trek. Sampath had arranged a Tempo Traveller(TT) for us to get to the destination at the earliest, and save some time and use that effectively in trekking and getting to feel the nature...

The TT was parked at the railway station parking at Majestic, and it began its jouney at 10:30 pm, we picked up people on the way and started our jouney. A small break for Vinay to get his dinner packed and we moved further. As we crossed nelamangala, the rain God decided to shower his blessing on us and there was a constant down pour all along the journey.

The TT went slowly, partially due to the heavy rains and partially due to the bad roads, we reached kargal, a place some distance off Sagara at 745 am, where we got along with the 3 trekkers who had caught their bus to get to this place. The had come form Hydrabad the earlier night and had stayed in the hotel-lodge, visited Jog falls and had been waiting for us till then.

Day 1:

We had our first cup of tea at kargal, and then moved ahead towards vagevaDDi. The drive from kargal to VageVaDDi was around 45 minutes by the TT and we could see some lush green vegetation, some back waters of the lingan makki dam and so on. I caught up with some sleep in this 45 minutes as well.

We were to reach VagevaDDi at 830am, but given the bad roads and the weather we could only reach by 930. Mr Narayan was waiting there with the breakfast for us. He, Shridhar, and Mr Dharma were to be our guide cum cook for the next two days. They had prepared some akki rotti, badnekai chatni, and liquid jaggarey; they also cut a papaya for us; this spot were we had our breakfast was a nice place. The villagers had make a lake, which was to serve as the source of water for the fields, when the rains had died down - there had been no rains in the area for almost 10 days prior to our visit; for a moment I thought - "does this mean that most of the falls we visit wouldnt have water?'"

Just as everyone completed the breakfast we had a stand up meeting lead by Sampath to brief about the trek we were to begin, the route we were to follow, and some basic directions. Narayan was to lead the way for us and we would also have Shridhar to guide us along during the trek. We began our trek - I could see dence forest at a mind was already ready to move towards the direction, felt like running towards the lush green forest cover there and didnt want to spend too much time on the jeep route that we had begun.

My excitement was all put to a pause mode when, Sampath told me that there was a jeep route till Basavanbaayi. As we went from the green land into a more tree covered area; I found some company who looked very familiar...Yes!!! the leeches. "Ah! finally some fun this way" I thought... I would run through the dead and fallen leaves, the leeches would climb up and after some time I would halt to toss the climbing leeches off my shoes and socks... this was fun...after around 30 minutes walk from the starting point we reached the temple - Basavana baayi.

Most of the trekkers were busy getting the leeched off their shoes, some were already bleeding form the leech bites, some were jumping around not knowing what to do...They had applies eyucaliptus oil but that seems to have done little effect on the leeches. After completing this session of leech removal most of them set out to get to the falls.

In the mean time Philip who was now excited watching Narayan catch frogs began trying his luck. Philip seems to have an ability to attract animals towards him, earlier in the day he had cows running behind him and following him where ever he went, now he was trying to catch the frogs. Narayan was an expert at it and could catch the frogs with great ease; every time philip was to catch a frog it would jump off or get deeper into the water making it hard to find them...

Once all people were ready to get to the falls - actually to get to the place of fun and frolic for those who would like to get down in the falls for a shower. All those who had been bitten by the leeches took no time to get into the water and almost forgot that the were ever bitten by the leeches. We spent around 30 minutes at this falls and then got back to the temple to have our lunch.

The lunch was too good, the jackfruit pappad, the saambaar...humm... I can smell and taste the food...really well prepared... just as some of them were appreciating the lunch, the leeches which had been thrown out of the shoes and from the legs began their assult again...they bit quite a few of them and again the panic struck in the minds of the people. Sampat gave strick directions to follow the route which narayan and shridhar would show and not to wander off. We were a group of 18 people and keeping the tab on all would be a humongous task.

Just as we began the trek, shridhar leading from the front narayan in between and sampath towards the end. The leech count ouly increased as we began the trek upwards, the far off forest which I saw initially is where were trekking. We would walk some distance and then stand asking for salt and removing the leeches... while most of them were involved in removing the leeches, we had trekked for around an hour and had covered only a kilometer or just above it. Most of the team mates decided this wasnt what they were looking for.

Just as we continuted the trek, shridhar showed a small hole which was dug by the bear... using he expertise he could also tell this was just some time before we came and was a younger bear. It wouldnt be far off form the place were walking on. We stood there to have a look and just as most of the people were on our way we continued further... after some time narayan gave a call asking us to stop; I could see exitement in his eyes he came and explained how he has spotted a dear which ran across at lighting speed bisecting our line of trekkers.

Just as we continued our trek sampath could see the frustration on the face of the trekkers who didnt like the trek through the leech prone forest area. Sampath asked for the choise of path and most of the voted this time for a grassland with very few leeches. "So shall it be!!!" was the experession and we with shridhar leading the path walked towards the grassland to the left of the dense forest.

We walked through the grasslands, picking snaps of the distant mountains, the streams, the water holes on the way etc. the landscape reminded me of Poorna Chandra Tejaswi's description of this hunting experiences. Shridhar guided us to his brother's house were we rested for some time and clicked the pictures of a some gaint butterfly which were around their home. After a break of around 45 minutes we resumed our trek/journey through the grassland. We walked through the bunds bordering the fields and took pics of the muddy fields, people working in them etc... it was real fun clicking the snaps all over the place... we continued our jounrney and took some rest at the vast grass land that was some distance away form the village and local inhabitation.

Shridhar had gone ahead and got the groceries which we would carry along with us to the final resting spot of the day - the tribal's house. We had some small games amoungst ourself here. Philip was busy trying to see if the Dogs can get him the frisbee that he throws at them...think he is still trying to train them [;)].

We resumed our trek/walk through teh jeep route and finally reached the tribal's home where we decided to rest for the night, the place is called PaDubeedu. Narayan was quick to get some dry wood that had fallen off in the forest...his ability to get the dry wood and that too quickly combustible ones is remarkable. Sampath was mentioning about the experience with narayan getting along the woods even in a very rainy climate and being able to get the wood which would keep them warm.... really a skill which I appreciate after the experice at tadiandmol trying to make a camp fire.

Just as the sun set, and the camp fire took the lime light, we got into discussion and got to know each other better. Some of the trek enthusiasts were asking sampath & me about my trek experience, any encounters I had with wild animals, etc... we narrated our stories...just as we were into the discussion the dinner got ready and it was time for us to get to the bed.

The hosts were kind enough to let us spend the night at their home. Shridhar and Dharma had cooked an awesome dinner with a local flavor to it. Ah! I need to mention this - the Germans viz Philip and Dominic were all fans of the tea, and were a all time sport to the tea that was prepared. Tea just too good - it remined me of the tea at Gowdar mane on the Bandaje abbi trek...

We all slept quite early that night...ya early by all standards; I think it was jsut 930pm when we slept.

Day 2

We were to get up early finish the next day's trek with relative ease. I woke up at 6:00 am when I could spot some brightness in the visinity. The atmosphere was relatively chilly and sampath and I got into discussion of the days plans. Shridhar and Dharma had got up early to help us have our breakfast.
I brushed my teech with the the mango leaves which the host gave me, it was a nice experience. It makes the whole feel look more natural...more rustic in a sense. Just as every one were ready with the daily chores, we decided to continue on our trek for the day after the breakfast. The breakfast was a local special called kadubu and uppit. I liked did many of our team members. Philip and Dominic were on the tea spree again....well only till the tea got over [:)]

We started off to the view point, which is a 45 minutes trek from the base was panaromic view. At one corner I could spot the Murudreshwara island, at the other end I could see the batkal town. There was the Arabian see at the horizon...There wasnt much clouc cover and it was great to get some nice pics. After a bried photography session we began a small trk towards the BelligunDi falls view point.

I was spell bound by the beauty of this falls. The backdrop of the falls has numerous mountain peaks, and dense forest cover. The water in the falls fell in only1 go from the top to the bottom. The vegetation around the falls was dense, I knew the whole trek was worth this one falls for me... I could have trekked any distance for this view.... I just am crazy of falls...

Just as all the trek group gathered there, the cloud decided to take control and not give the view to all of us. the winds played their game in moving the cloud from right to left and then from left to right, but there was no sign of clearning up to give the view of this falls again.

We decided to move ahead and spend some time at the Godana GunDi falls. Narayan lead the way till the falls, This time too we were through dense forest over and the leech prone area, but it seemed as though not many were really worried about the leeches now, they seemed to have accepted the reality of the leeches on the trek. We had real fun getting down the steep mountain to the base of the falls - slipping, skidding, jumping almost a stunt scene there...

The falls was a very neat one, not too high, not too small, it was ideal to have a bath...I too had a bath in the falls...I generally dont like having a bath in the falls inbetween a trek primarily becoz I believe that it saps a lot of energy which would be helpful in trekking long distances...may be I am wrong but I still believe in it :)

We had fun here, playing in the falls. The team from hydrabad had to leave early and so shridhar lead the 3 people to the tempo traveller which would take them to kargal from where they would be able to go to Hydbad...

Narayan took us to the top of the first level and no sooner had I taken a couple of snaps, it started raining. We were quick to get back to the path which leads us to the base camp. Another 30 minutes and we were at the base camp. We had an awesome lunch thanks once again to the cooking team....

We left the base camp, a walk for around 45 minuted down the jeep track, some photoshoots, some discussion with Sampth on his new water sports facility near honnemardu and we were on the main road, and then in the TT which would take us back to bangalore

We dicided to have a glimse of the world famous Jog Falls, but as our luck would have it... it was all misty, we could spot the traces of one of the 4 units, it was very hazy; and that didnt help. We got back into the TT and were on our way back to bangalore.

We reached Blore at 330 am, and went on our ways back home...

An awesome trek... will get back for more falls and more treks some time...

Some of the pics are at this link