Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is the act of turning off the lights for one hour to drive home the dangers of global warming.On March 31, 2007, for one hour, Sydney made a powerful statement about the greatest contributor to global warming - coal - by turning off its lights. Over 2.2 million residents and over 2,100 businesses switched off, leading to a 10.2% energy reduction across the city. What began as one city taking a stand against global warming caught the world’s attention.
Purpose: "It's one hour, one day, one year. We're not saving the planet by turning the lights off for one hour." "What you are doing is adding your voice to a global call for action." You wouldn’t realize turning off your lights at home sometimes, keeping the engine running at a traffic signal – waiting for it to go green or washing your vehicle on a weekend. Well – all these are common things which we do in life. Above all – we forget the source. My intranet page – had a constant message for the past 1 week for – “Earth Hour”. For few days, I completely ignored, but when I started reading articles on the movement and what is really going to happen in future – it left me in a shock. You must have heard stories/headlines on Carbon Footprint and the Global Warming. Well, we are living in a world and have realized what Global Warming is going to the “Earth”. 27th March, 2010 With a busy schedule on weekends (doing an MBA from NMIMS-Bangalore), I had to rush home after the classes got over at 6PM. Juggling in traffic took another hour – but managed to reach home. I was all set for the “Earth Hour”. Me and Soma (my wife)had to do loads of planning in between so that we did not loose on time and miss out the necessary stuff – what you generally do on weekends – shopping. We switched-off all our lights – in-fact the main switch at 7:30. It was a different feeling altogether. Complete in darkness. I sensed a feeling of Darkness. Well – it’s a reality where everyone has to face. If we keep on abusing nature and carry on like this – Bangalore weather changing, New York’s Freezing winters, the Snow melting in the Himalayas !!! etc – the day is not far from chaos. Me and Soma went to the terrace to have a look – whether people really got the message or not. Unfortunately – we stay in one of the remote locations in Bangalore – Gottigere in Banerghatta Road. All we could see and hear – was a busy Saturday. We have done our bit for the “Earth Hour”. At the end - It gives a sense of accomplishment. Some Facts Message - Earth Hour 2010 Earth Hour 2010 continues to be a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community. A call to stand up, to show leadership and be responsible for our future. In what we hope will be the world’s largest mass participation event, Earth Hour 2010 will be the culmination of over one billion people around the globe, in more than 6000 cities, towns turning off lights for one hour on one night. Iconic buildings and landmarks across Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and The Americas will go dark. In India, we hope to make Earth Hour 2010 even bigger and better than last year. Besides Delhi & Mumbai , this year we are taking Earth Hour to Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangaluru, Chennai and Kolkata, apart from several other cities where people will be encouraged to participate and turn-off the lights in their homes, offices and buildings from 8:30pm-9:30pm on Saturday, 27 March 2010. Our participation will go a long way in showing to the world that India is united on its stand against global warming and is demanding immediate action. We want to let the world leaders know that the world is still watching, post the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009 and that we, the citizens of the planet, demand commitment to actions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the benefit of the planet.

Friday, March 19, 2010

International Speech Contest - Toastmasters

International Speech Contest in Logica- Toastmasters (27th Feb-2010) Area B5 Contest
The moment I got a mail for the “International Speech Contest” to be held in Logica – I wondered what to speak on. Thanks to my MBA classes – I had to give a presentation the same day with my colleagues which was supposed to be evaluated. Anyways – after reading the “Big” manual for the Intl. speech contest – the biggest hurdle was getting a script ready & what to speak on. As you all know – I am a Bike/Car aficionado. In one of my assignments for Marketing – I read amazing reviews/articles on Tata Nano – how the concept came and design. I did quite a bit to formulate the script and make it into a speech. Thanks to Google – where you will have an abundance of materials on Nano. Gosh – it is such a hit that you will be swarmed by the reviews. Well – I was more involved into it. It took me – almost 2 days to finalize on the Speech ,,,and now was ready to start on with the preparations. With my MBA assignments on track - - I had a 2 page to review. Thanks to my manager – who gave me time to practice – otherwise I would have been blank on the practice sessions. I do not know how may hours I had put on the preparation for the speech,,but I do know that many prepare for more than 2 months to take part in the contest. I heard from Alex – one of buddies who in Logica Toastmasters – that one of his friends prepared for more than 6 months. Wow – what dedication.
It was a big day for me as I had to present in the MBA class – my project on M&A and then rush to Logica for the Speech contest. The day began smooth at the Institute – but as the day approached for lunch – my heart started to beat faster and faster. I was not able to focus in any of the lectures,,finally,, it was time to leave. I had a group presentation to give with my colleagues on mergers “Emirates with Indigo Airlines”. I figured out that if I do the presentation – I will not be able to attend the Intl. speech contest. I informed my colleagues on this and headed straight for the venue.
I can still remember the drive from Koramangala to Logica (Marathalli) – I was tensed. As I got close to the venue – my hands started to sweat. A moment that i would not forget. Approx. 60/70 members were at the venue and it was nice to see Alex, Lalan and Veronica around – after all – it was a Logica event.
4 more contestants were left to speak on the “Prepared Speeches” section. As the names were called out – I feared mine being the next. But, yes – it was called out – and I was there at the Dias within seconds. I looked at the crowd dazzled, I froze for a moment. Standing in front of an audience – listening to what you speak is something I will never forget. I gained momentum and spoke with confidence. Of all the hard work and preparation done – the speech went in a constant flow. I was in a rush to finish my speech – but that is where the challenge is all about-to speak at ease, confidence and above all – a powerful speech. I did not know when my speech ended. By the time – I was at the sofa relaxing – I finally had delivered my International Speech.
2 more speakers delivered their speck and the results were out. Logibods were delighted when the results were out. Alex came 3rd in the “Prepared speeches” and a win too in the “Table Topics”.
As the meeting got over, Sirur Sir was happy that the event held in Logica was successful. All of us - who were there present at the venue - clicked photos -Lalan,Soma(my-wife),Alex & Lata. It was an achievement for Logica Toastmasters.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In Varkala

13th Feb.2010 (Varkala –Edava & Kappil beach, Enjengo Fort) After spending half a day in Varkala – just lazing around the beach gulping beer and sea fish,,, I always wanted to rent a bike as I did in Pallolem and Munnar. I saw a most of the tourists (firangs) on a Activa, Scooty Pep or a Splendor,,, but being a die hard Bulletwala – riding those chotus would not be fun. How we got the Bike on rent,,, By now – you would be wondering why rent a bullet if I have one “the blue” dilli wala number. Well, I am on vacation and had not mood to ride down south in this short 3 day vacation. Me and Soma enquired almost every agent in Varkala – Papanism Cliff for a bullet – but all were on rent. Dejected, we had our hopes getting the last moment. After supper, we headed to our guest house. On conversation with the owner back home – I spoke for my love on bike riding and visiting new places. One of the owner’s friend -Sunil, was an ardent Bullet lover. Well- I had to tell all that fancy story travelling here n there-Spiti n Hampi,,,I managed to persuade him and got the bike for rent for Rs.400 a day. Riding along the Arabian Coast After a quick swim in Papanasam beach (Varkala) , few checks on the bike and headed straight for the petrol bunk in Varkala. Had some amazing crunchy Poori’s n vada in local restaurant and headed for the new journey. Well, as passerby’s stated – its one place where you get to see the Arabian Sea and the backwaters. A similar landscape what I had spotted while backpacking to Go-Karna. (Konkan route) I did not waste a single minute getting there as the day was getn warmer,,,,Wow – I just can’t tell what a feeling it was while we arrived at Kappil beach.
As we crossed the bridge – we turned to a straight rode – to me left was the mighty blue Arabian sea and to my right was the greeny Kappil backwaters. Me and Soma just thought for a moment – are we here or is it a dream. I could here the gush of waves hitting the Kappil beach shores. Out was a camera - managed to click loads of photos in all directions. We went further ahead – along the beach on bike to get some good pics. En route back to Varkala – we visited the private harbour – a new houseboat at anchor. As it got humid – we stopped at a local chai shop at 1 for Nimbu Pani. Some tips from the locals – Edava beach was worth a visit. Kappil Beach to Edava beach is a mere 3 kms by road . Edava Beach We ventured deep in the villages to figure out Edava,,,few wrong turns – but we managed to locate. We spotted an Ayurvedic Spa near the beach – I spotted a well paved track along the sea shore,,after a break at the nearby refreshment area, we headed on our journey.
Biking along that 3 kms sea shore route was unbelievable. A bit scary - as I have a cliff to my left with the Arabian Sea. With the Standard 350 on 1st gear, we rode along the lonesome paved track to get some of the best glimpses of my riding times,,,yes – it reminded me of the blue-turquoise lake of Pangong Tso,,,it was an absolute blue out there with the rhyming of the waves,,,a few bright colored boats could be spotted along the beach. Me and Soma just loved sitting in the shade and enjoyed the view. I guess – the rented bike helped us visiting these places – of all the days I stayed in Varkala – I heard only a few visiting these places. Varkala, Enjengo Fort & Golden Island We were exhausted by 3ish – and wanted to hit back to Papanasam beach (Varkala). Enroute – we wanted to stop midway to have the local stuff – sea fish. Cudo’s to the friendly people – that we got a very good restaurant midway. Well – lunch time was over – so we had to request them for a meal. The cook gave us various options on fish – and so we choose. We had a good meal and headed for Enjengo fort. Enjengo Fort Enjengo Fort is one of the prime watch towers in the Chennai region. You will have to clim 225 steps to get a good view of the top. Well – once we reached, it was worth a sight. It seems God had enough time to make this place better – lush green landscape with loads of Coconut trees overlooking the Arabian sea. A few tips from a localite – we headed for Golden Island to check out on the sunset. Golden Island Well, if you are in God’s Own Country – not all places will be perfect as it may seem. As the name sounds – there was nothing Golden,,, Yes- but an island in the backwaters. We travelled quite a distance to get there,,,we stopped on the main bridge to have a glance of the Golden Island. A perfect evening to spend with Soma – as we got to see an amazing sunset. What I liked – was most people were chit chatting on the bridge – and getting loads of masala of what happened during their day. After Sunset, we left for the Varkala beach. Me and Soma really enjoyed this short trip. Thanks to Sunil for giving his bike on rent. I believe sometimes – the brand of owning a Bullet really helps you sometime. Statistics. Total Distance : 120 Kms Places Visited : Varkala ( Papanism Cliff & Beach , Edava & Kappil Beach, Enjengo Fort and Varkala Town. Bike Rent & Petrol : Rs600.00 Approx Temp: 33*C Humidity: 85% Happy Viewing: