Sunday, November 29, 2009

Personal brand... what, why, where, how?!!

The phrase "Personal branding" has been around since I hopped on to the internet in 1997. Tom Peters knows what he is talking about and is the acknowledged or unacknowledged guru for the internet community for spreading the word. However, this post is not about Tom Peters but about Personal Branding.

What do you mean?
Well, the general idea is that we all are unique [ but ofcourse!! ] and ought to understand our uniqueness.

What will understanding our own uniqueness do for us?
It will empower us with the knowledge of what we are capable of doing. This might help -- Seeds of Thought.

Why do we need this knowledge?
We have people, careers and homes that we love. By understanding our strengths we will harness them better and will put them to effective use. We will provide ourselves with tools that will make our lives richer. We might not know what we are missing until we find it. Or maybe we don't realise all that we are already doing, right now, and this exercise might tell us all that.

How will I do this?
There are schools helping [ largely corporate professionals ] undergo this exercise. But why fear when the internet is here!! [ :) ]. This list could help you:

1. The Brand Called You
2. The Personal Branding Blog
3. Brand Yourself

Where I can get started from?
You might already be doing it!! List all the websites that you "are on". List all the blogs that you write/bookmark/comment on.

How do I analyze?
Observe what you feel looking at all that you've said in those pages. Observe the words, the expressions. Make a list of all that [ too many lists!! ].

If this works for you please do leave a comment.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Journey of a Raindrop

It wrenched itself from a huge cloud. Shook free of the clutches holding it and hurtled towards the wide open arms of mother Earth. That first step from its entrapment started a long journey. That act of the rain drop to free itself inspired its innumerous siblings held captive likewise to break free as well.

Dark grey clouds chased them to grab them back into their mass but the rain drop and its siblings were too fast! Downward they all went together. Clamouring and encouraging each other to do their best. Some couldn't endure the journey and were lost but most succeeded. They were excited, enthralled to see what awaited them.

Their mother took various forms of fields and hills and oceans beneath them. Waiting to embrace them in every form she could. Further down the raindrop went... rushing towards its mother who looked forward to meeting that long lost child whom the clouds took away. Searching the vast sky for her children she waited till the clouds returned. That is when she called out to them and one of them heard her voice and responded, inspiring the others; giving them hope that they too can aspire for what the raindrop did.

Down they went. Some dancing in mid-air, some serious, some unable to express themselves, some singing songs. Birds went rushing by. Gusts of Wind stopped by to wish them luck. Some gusts bumped against them, teasing and cajoling them. Some of the raindrop's siblings teased the birds by jumping on them. The birds waved their wings and sent them down with further speed.

Blobs of dark mass became green and green turned into tree tops. Some of the raindrop's siblings liked the trees so much that they decided to make it their home. They slid down the tree tops, explored the tree and played there with their siblings who chose to make it their home too.

The raindrop saw all this and laughed. Wished them well and moved on. Its excitement increased and it increased its speed to match. Many of its siblings jumped on to everything they could see. Trees laughed and stewed flowers to welcome them. The raindrop danced through all of this and declined all the invitation from trees and plants and moved downwards.

There, Earth saw it. It saw Earth. Their joy was unmeasureable, uncontrollable. Splat! The raindrop jumped on to her. She embraced him. Splat! splat! splat! one by one the siblings all rushed to their mother.

The Sun struggled to peer through the clouds and see what the noise was all about. He smiled at the reunion. He threw rainbows across to celebrate with the raindrop and Earth.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Butterfly in Forum!


Look what I found in Forum -- a butterfly!! Made up entirely of paper cups [ a lot of papercups to be wasted!! ]. But it does say a lot if you think about it.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

I guest blogged!

A big Thanks to Anand for inviting me to guest blog on his blog Andyspeak. I call the post The Night.

Do let us know how you liked it :-)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bobby da dhaba


Bangalore loves all the good things - Technology, Food and Travel, Photography, Cultural Events, everything! That is the spirit that got me to Bobby da dhaba. This is one place where you can find good Punjabi food in Bangalore.

[ For those who are not aware, a dhaba is Punjabi for an eatery. The food is normally awesome. In older days a manji or khaat would be placed in the open air while the food was cooked in the dhaba kitchen. Now tables and chairs have taken the place of a manji but food is still eaten in open air. Btw, manji or khaat a is a bed with coir tied tightly to a bed structure typically found all over India. ]

The ambience - typical dhaba. No frills and fancies!! The food - amazing. The queues - long :-) People wait in the hot afternoon sun to have their lunch.

Bobby da dhaba is strategically placed; right next to the Alsur Gurudwara. Looks like a run down place [ this will change as they will be shifting to the opposite side near Photo Flash ]. Take left from the Gurudwara and you will find a shanty which [ of course ] you will not believe is the dhaba.

You place the initial order with the person at the counter and wait for your turn to sit. They call out your name and offer you a table which you will be sharing with some strangers unless you are atleast four people in your group. What I absolutely liked about the place is that while you are waiting, your initial order is being taken care of. There is none of the waiting time that fancier restaurants take.

Our methi ke paranthe just melted in our mouth!! I couldn't help eating another piece the moment the first was tasted. Lassi was good too, spicy. And paneer ke paranthe actually had lots of paneer [ which many restaurants fail to understand should be the main ingredient to have in paneer ke paranthe ]. Two people whom we shared our table with had ordered kheer as well and one of them said that he preferred the kheer in Bobby da dhaba to the one made at home!!

We ordered:

Methi ke paranthe - 4
Paneer ke pranthe - 2
Lassi - 1
Shahi Paneer - 1

Total cost -- Rs. 110/-. Pretty good for a whole meal for two people right here in Bangalore!! [ btw, the lassi is served in a tall glass so please ensure you can drink it all, I did :-) ]

This is my entry to my first online event - Latest eat-out in B'lore

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Latest eat-out in B'lore

I am hosting an event called Latest eat-out in B'lore. This will be hosted under the umbrella - Edibles [ Edibles is where I will post all the lovely places I visit to eat :-) ].

This is the first time I am hosting an event [am absolutely nervous!! This is going to be fun!!!].

Links to this post:

  • Bobby da dhaba
    Bangalore loves all the good things - Technology, Food and Travel, Photography, Cultural Events, everything! That is the spirit that got me to Bobby da dhaba. This is one place where you can find good Punjabi food in Bangalore... by me :-)

  • Silver Metro
    Apart from being the famous face of the IT industry, Bangalore is soon gaining a lot of ground as a foodie's paradise. Thanks to the potpourri of cultures in the IT industry, there is a prevalent practice amongst the techies to eat out as a group. And a buffet is an arrangement that works to everyone's advantage, both in terms of variety as well as price... by Andyspeak

  • Veena Stores
    Veena Stores is strategically located for good business. Right at the junction of 15th cross and Margosa road in Malleshwaram, very next to a bus stop. There are multiple reasons why this place is so much crowded... by The Speaking Mind

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Update on Dizwell

For those of us who woke up is back and doing fine!! Hurrah!! However, the treatment of the site is very different from what it used to be. [ Honestly speaking, I liked the old site better ]. Whatever reasons resulted in this new format, the new format is welcome. I'm just glad that the site that taught me a lot about Oracle is back. Just check This is what I would like to say to the website owner:


If you ever chance to visit this blog, I would like to say -- Thank you for opening the site again. To me your earlier site was like a library that I could walk into, pickup an article and take notes. I have done this quite often. Though the new format does not seem to host the older articles, I find the new articles like Automatically emailing Excel spreadsheets from Oracle insightful.

I just hope that you would again, someday, post the older articles in some section of your website.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

The engine that pushes

This is first of a two part series on a trip to Ooty (Udhagamandalam) in Tamil Nadu.

From my place to the Satellite bus stand is going over to another corner of the city. My bus broke down in the middle of nowhere after starting from Shivaji Nagar bus stand. On top of it, we [Mother and I] had boarded the wrong bus!! The bus conductor, however, was the best I have ever met. Had it not been for his presence of mind the Ooty trip might not as well have happened. He stopped a bus passing by and requested the driver to drop us at a particular signal [he didn't give us the name of the signal]. From the signal we finally [after over 45 mins since the bus broke down] got an autorickshaw.

Poor Vish was in as much jitters as we were. I kept praying that other members of our team should not have to suffer on my account and requested Vish to carry on if we did not make it on time to the bus stand. But we did!! :-) Just 5 mins before the bus was to leave we reached. Vish had the presence of mind [everyone except me seems to have had tons of it!!] to get coupons for two cups of coffee for Mamma and I [We so badly needed that coffee!! Thank you Vish]. All of us boarded the bus and settled in.


The stopover in Coimbatur was a very short one. We just walked over to the central bus stand to catch the bus for Mettupalayam. There are buses to Mettupalayam every 5 to 10 mins. The buses are in decent condition and the bus driver and conductor were very helpful people. The journey was completed in 1 hour 30 mins. It was some festival that day and lots of women dressed in red saree were seen everywhere. But they got down much before Mettupalayam.


From Mettupalayam bus stand to the railway station is a 5 mins walk. You just follow the straight road. Sights and smells of the morning could be seen and felt everywhere.

Our tickets were still waitlisted. We pleaded that we be let in the train. After all we had come to Mettupalayam for the Toy Train experience. The railway police and the guard were very helpful. They suggested that we wait for sometime till the other passengers are all seated. After a 15 [ loooooooooooong ] minute wait they suggested they can accomodate us but it would be in the compartment right next to the engine. Which is just what we wanted!! We couldn't wait to see the smoke billowing out of the engine and hear the whistle of the engine and of course all the whoosh that goes with it!!! A British couple were already seated in the compartment [ we later found that they had come packed for a long trek in Ooty ].

The engine that pushes the train

This is the engine that pushes the train! As most of the journey is uphill the engine is situated at the end of the train instead of the usual front of the train. The rythemic khat-khata-khat--khat-khata-khat--khat-khata-khat is mesmerising. Starting at 7:00 a.m. from Mettupalayam, the train reaches Ooty around 12:00 p.m. The cost of 8 people for a 5 hour [one of a lifetime journeys ride] works out to a whopping Rs.264!!!! [Yes, that is right ;-) ].

The "Toy Train" [as the Nilgiri Passenger is fondly known] stops every 45 mins to fill water for the steam engine. We had started clicking in the moving train. Some of the photos are proof to that :-) Every time the train stopped people came out and started taking photos. Often times, we had to be chided into the train by the guard who threatened smilingly he would leave us there if we did not scoot for the train. Half-heartely we moved into the train and started clicking rightaway!!

Twice the train stops near a bridge. Once, there is a brook flowing down below. The scenery here is amazing. Very dramatic. Our British couple decided to get some romantic advantage of the surroundings [ That which we Indians are willing to see in a movie, we are not ready to see in real life!! ].

There are hills, brooks, flowers, trees growing in the strangest of manners, bridges, tunnels and tons of smoke all through the way!! It is a journey of a life time. Don't miss it. Whatever your age do take the toy train once. Experience the ethereal moments that cannot be explained in words. The moments have to be felt, lived.

Toy train Bio-data

Till the moment we touched Ooty it was heaven... and then we were thrust down on earth to face the brutalities of a popular hill station.

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