28 March, 2011

The Madhushaala video

I just noted today that my Madhushaala video that I had done for my Design project, crossed the 15k mark on youtube.

Hoping to get back to doing more videos. I really want to do it, since I am so passionate about it when I am shooting and also editing video.

25 March, 2011

On Social Entrepreneurship

I have always been fascinated by this idea of people doing something worthwhile in their lives to create a change. A friend shared this short and inspiring video on the life of social entrepreneurs.

I liked this thought here "Social entrepreneurs believe and then they see !"
what a nice thought!

24 March, 2011

Life's worth: In plain simple English

Here's a small note i just received from a friend whom I admire for all the work he is been doing.

Six lessons to learn from Bhagat Singh's life
1. Be your own person
2. Find a purpose in life
3. Follow that purpose with passion
4. Procreation isn't the only thing you're born to do
5. Read
6. Take up a social cause

As we keep getting stuck in the discussions that would do nothing but to dismantle the peace of mind, we forget these basic steps. 

The basics which in my opinion would allow each one to be a better human being. 

23 March, 2011

Does passion drive you?

I always am driven by passion.

Well, atleast I keep telling myself that. And the funny part is that I often fool myself to believing that! The problem with that is that you end up making presumptions and assumptions that whatever you are doing has some relation to the thing that you are passionate about.

Only when you sit (or stand) at the other corner of the room, and try to understand the situation from a different view point, you actually get to know whether it is true or not.

Of late I have been going through this emotional turmoil and feeling a lot of guilt in not being able to do the things that are driven by the passion in me.

I also realize that the time is short. and with the health issues increasing day by day, it sends me in a panic mode. Of not knowing what to do and how to do. 

At the end of the day, there is limit to things and there comes a time when you pause and face the other world that is not letting you do those things; directly and say STFU and let me do things that drive me. And that is where you make your decisions. The time when you decide that enough is enough and that something needs to be done. The time when you know that you just did not want to be another rat in the rat race and actually stood up some something that you so passionately believed in.

18 March, 2011

Are you waiting for your first million?

Short. Crisp. Inspiring.
Enjoy the video!

17 March, 2011

Notes from the IIT Mentors Program, Bangalore 2011.

Attended the inauguration of the IIT Mentors program here in India. The program is based on a pay-it-forward model with the goal of helping mentees reach out to mentors in the four tracks of Entrepreneurship, Corporate, Academia, Research.

The idea is to also impart Life skills along the way. Mentors would be able to advise, cheer and guide the Mentee over a period of 8-10 weeks with the Mentees required to spend a min of 10-15 hours a week.

More on the engagement model can be found here

The keynote was delivered by Kris Gopalakrishnan the CEO of Infosys and it was really nice of him to share a few stories on the mentors he remembers from his life. There were were many points that is worth mentioning from his talk. Here are the few.
  • You need a lot of patience in entrepreneurship. You have to aim to be there for a long time. 
  • Plan out your business roll out in phases. 
  • Any good organization has to develop and groom its leaders internally.
  • Accidental entrepreneurs are rare. If you want to be accidental, might as well buy a lottery. 
  • When you are in the business scaling phase, you need to identify the multiple engines of growth and work on them equally. 
  • You need to identify what is the predictable revenue source and can you generate that over a period.
  • In most startups the fallout happens in the transition phase. 
  • Its only when the operational load sets in that people start seeing the burden and often it results in  fallout. 
  • One has to have the vision of creating the instituion. 
  • The goals of building the institution has to be larger than the goals of the individual. 
  • You need to constantly research to create new products and services. 
  • If a job does not give you recognition, SHIFT. 
  • If a job gives you recognition, STAY ON. 
  • Good work cannot be suppressed for long. 
  • Think about Change and give it Time to happen. 
  • Have defined and realistic milestones. 
  • Have the confidence in your IDEA. 
  • Get early funding and work on it.
  • Don't start with your own money unless you are willing to take the risk completely, or are a rich dad's son! 
  • Do not postpone discussions on matters related to Downturns, Problems and Finances within the organization. 
  • The spirit of entrepreneurship in India is catching up.  
  • Always evaluate Success and look into what Value you are delivering to others. 
  • Do you see your other team members as equally delivering those values.
  • Create new jobs and give back to the society. 
  • The society respect is more than any amount of money earned.

Also met up a couple of VCs during the example mentoring session. Very interesting to hear from them on how they go about deciding whom to fund and how they verify.

The starts of this event looks promising and I am sure a lot of the IIT Alumni would benefit out of this.

Looking forward to more.

15 March, 2011

Some wonderful words...from Oprah

Just found this video. Liked it.

Oprah Winfrey, global media leader and philanthropist, spoke to the Class of 2008 at Stanford's 117th Commencement on June 15, 2008. Winfrey drew on experiences from a career that began in 1976 when she co-anchored a television newscast, and she shared three lessons about feelings, failure and finding happiness.

The question of making life more purposeful

The same question gives me sleepless nights often.

Here's a video that would inspire one further (and perhaps get more to think).

About this talk:
We each want to live a life of purpose, but where to start? In this luminous, wide-ranging talk, Jacqueline Novogratz introduces us to people she's met in her work in "patient capital" -- people who have immersed themselves in a cause, a community, a passion for justice. These human stories carry powerful moments of inspiration.

About the speaker: 
Jacqueline Novogratz founded and leads Acumen Fund, a nonprofit that takes a businesslike approach to improving the lives of the poor.

12 March, 2011

Education on my mind

The thing that I spend a lot of time these days is about education. And I do not meant my personal education, but education for the masses. It is becoming clearer day after day that I do want to set up something in education for the masses. And in particular the rural masses.

It all started with a epiphany a few years back. What do I really want to be remembered for.

I presented a glimpse of what I want to do, and have been working towards at the TEDx talk at NIT Bhopal last month. The feedback was inspiring, but I am sure that there is a lot that needs to be done. One thing is that I am conscious of the huge amount efforts required in it and am working towards making a stronger case for it.

For me the questions I have trying to answer are these.
1. How do we motivate people to attend schools?
2. Even if we motivate them to join, how do we help them attend it regularly and not drop off?
3. And when they do finish school, how do we ensure that they continue to college and end up making a career.

All the three above are separate questions, but are definitely valuable and need to be answered. In the project that I am working on, I am trying to build a collaborative learning platform. (More about that in separate posts.)

It also helps that once in a while you get a comment from people you admire. Makes me believe in the cause a lot more. Just the other day a photographer whom I admire, messaged me saying that Its amazing to know the things I am doing in life and it actually is inspiring.

I also stumbled upon this video which is being heavily viewed in multiple circles.
The Khan Academy utilizes videos to educate children. They were awarded the Google 10 to the power 100 award for their efforts and to expand.

Here's the recent TED talk by the founder Salman Khan.

If only we did what we could for education, the world can be a better place.

I am just trying to do my bit.

02 March, 2011

Call of the mountains

There are few things that give true peace and visiting the mountains is one of them for me. Having spent my entire childhood in the hills of Darjeeling, it was a welcome though nostalgic trip when we (Me, wife, Netra and Naina) went there.  Last December we were up in the mountains in Sikkim and we went up close to the Nathula Pass. The ride was heavenly to say the least and with every curve we scaled, the mountains had a prettier face to show. With every kilometer we traveled I smiled more.

Needless to say, I was sad on leaving the mountains.

Though we did not go all the way up-to Nathula Pass (had to come back just 4 kms short of it), I read the hidden message. It is nothing but a sign that I need to get back there again! I am hopeful that this time will be able to reach the Pass and watch the Chinese soldiers parade.  I promise to go back and attend the call of the mountains.

01 March, 2011

Karm kar, fal ki chinta mat kar..

So says the Bhagvad Gita. Life is like a journey and at times one just needs to keep moving ahead without getting distracted by the paths left behind.

It is one thing that I have just been following it for the past few days and feel at peace. I realize that its pointless to waste energy in some things which are just not worth the effort.

My TEDxMANITBhopal talk went off really well and I am glad that I was able to interest and inspire more people there. Met a few other really interesting people there and realize with more conviction that there is so much to do, and so less time!

Which brings me to my next thought that is been conflicting in my mind. How do you let go of something (someone) you love so dearly? I know that many would ask, whether it is absolutely necessary to let go of that thing in the first place.

Well that can be debated! :)