Friday, April 29, 2022

Koshish - Movie

 Having read the biography of Sanjeev Kumar recently, I was inspired to watch 'Koshish' (1972)  - a Gulzar movie. It's a movie about two deaf mutes Hari (Sanjeev Kumar) and Aarti (Jaya Bhaduri) and how they marry and make a life together.

Sanjeev Kumar is brilliant with his eyes and elevates it to another level. I liked the way Gulzar brings in Om Shivpuri, a blind man, into their lives. These two cannot hear what he is saying and he cannot see what they are saying - and yet - as the son says, they communicate perfectly with one another. Asrani was rather loose and I wished they did more with him - suck out like a sore thumb. The first child's death was rather unnecessary but those were the times. I liked the end though when the son refuses to marry a deaf mute himself - and Sanjeev Kumar gets mad at him. How could he, he says, when you were born to deaf mutes?

Glad to have knocked it off my list. And yes, if you haven't, watch it.  

Down Under - Bill Bryson

 Bill Bryson headed off Down under to Australia and wrote a book 395 pages long. He began (and ended) with saying how nobody knows anything about Australia (but we don't know anything about anyone much) and how nobody would miss it, and how one Prime Minister went for a swim and drowned (never to be found) and such stuff. We realise he is not too awed by the place and carries a healthy amount of disrespect to this place and he sustains it right through.

I burst out in laughter quite a few times which is a must with his books but the general feel I got was this - its huge, there are scattered cities out there quite far from one another. if you get stuck in the outback you'll die a painful death drinking your own urine, there are a million dangerous animals and insects and reptiles out there which can kill you in the most painful of ways, there are cities which are very boring like Canberra, there are places with no pubs, the people are sporty and also not very interesting (except for his friend and another chap he meets, he makes most others sound quite stupid. The one conversation I liked was the one he did not have - with the waitress in a place where he orders a burger and wants chips and she says - we don't serve chips and he thinks - then how did you become like that?

Once he gets chased by some dogs and lands up in somebody's backyard which was very funny. There are millions of scientific data, information he has researched with great interest, and he frequently comes up with the horrible deaths many people have had in the place (he did the same with 'Walk in the Woods'). If you want someone to write about your place in an inviting manner don't think of Bryson because he will see the many ways people can die and also dig up information of how many people have died etc.

There is stuff about the Aborigines and how they have been treated and killed and how the law sided with the killers, the forgotten generations or something like that, the guy who let 24 rabbits loose and how they ate up so much bush until they had to kill the rabbits, a couple who got stranded on the Great Barrier Reef and was never found...stuff like that. Of course he took most of a chapter to make fun of cricket as a game.

Overall, a tad too long for me but since its Bill Bryson, I'll let it pass. Its worth the laughs and the information and I am not going to Australia in a hurry anymore.       

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

What is Privilege? - Check this Out

 What a powerful video and exercise!

Check this out

Race and privilege!

TED Talk - The power of Privilege, Tiffany Jana

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Antakshari - Movie

 2022. Malayalam. Cop who likes to play 'Antakshari' gets a threat that his daughter is in danger. The story unravels slowly and we figure who is the person behind a series of rather distant yet distinct murders. Enough gaps but quite entertaining as a thriller.


Friday, April 22, 2022

Death on the Nile - Movie

 2022. Agatha Christie's novel of the same name - with Hercule Poirot presiding. The end was pretty clear from the beginning, maybe because we had read the book or had read too much Agatha Christie or had become cynical and old and nothing surprises us because we can think of the worst scenarios anyway and it does not matter anyway even if you don't get it right because you anyway don't get it right most times and it does not matter even if you do get it right.

Anyway Hercule Poirot is hired by someone to investigate something (we don't know) but lands up on a cruise on the Nile with a newly married couple and the ex of the new husband following them. Soon we have murders - there are some ten people on board and about six of them get murdered and Poirot has no clue and everyone is just piling up the bodies quietly in the freezer where they keep the ham and moving on. Bride dies, doctor dies and so on and on until Poirot reveals what we always suspected - they did it for the money - and for love.


Canteen Fundas - To Empower Your Team, Cut the Cords That Tie You to the Outcome

 Detach from the outcome and watch the team perform to potential!

E-Canteen Fundas: Detaching yourselves from outcomes can be so liberating for you and your team

To get the best from your team, cut your attachment to the outcome and stop controlling the process. This interference puts unnecessary pressure on the team and hampers performance

‘Rinku, your basketball team pulled off a sensational win yesterday,’ said Rahul. ‘And that too without your charismatic captain, Tanya.’

‘Thanks, Rahul,’ said Rinku. ‘We all gave our best. Even our weakest players gave their best yesterday.’

‘Wow,’ said Rakesh. ‘Looks like a case of a secure leader in charge. Who was the captain yesterday?’

‘Really?’ said Rinku. ‘But you’re right, we played better under Swati yesterday and won a match we would have lost otherwise. On the other hand, under our regular captain, Tanya, we’ve been losing games we should have won easily.’

‘Maybe Swati is a better motivator than Tanya,’ said Rahul. ‘A better strategist. Maybe more intense, involved and charismatic. Right?’

‘Not really,’ said Rinku. ‘Tanya is very active, intense and energetic. No one can question her commitment to win. She has a tough work ethic and drives us all to be as good as her. She’s fully involved, ticks all the leadership boxes — set a common purpose, roles, goals, communication…everything’s done and double-checked. But when it comes to the matches, we perform way below our potential. I feel bad for her.’

‘When the result’s not what we want, then something’s wrong with the process,’ said Rakesh. ‘And if the process has been followed and all boxes ticked, then some qualitative aspect of leadership is missing. But first, let’s see what Swati did as a leader to get your best performances and pull off a sensational win.’

‘That’s the weird part, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku, drinking her cold coffee. ‘Swati almost did nothing. No big speeches, no intense activity and no emotional outbursts. She gave some basic pointers like we should all give our best and look to win and left us alone. I almost felt like she wasn’t there.’

‘And you gave your best performance for her?’ asked Rahul.

‘Yes,’ said Rinku. ‘I felt I had to do something. Like it’s my job too and not just hers. I think I did it for myself, for the team. Swati wasn’t giving instructions for every ball. She allowed us to do things our way. We intuitively did what we had trained to, as individuals and as a team. Even when it looked like we were losing, she was not agitated; like we were doing our best and let’s see. And then, the most unexpected person would do something brilliant and we’d be back in the game. How, bhaiyya?’

‘Rinku,’ said Rakesh. ‘It looks like under Tanya’s leadership, there’s too much pressure on the team. She’s everywhere, doing everything, including your jobs — micromanaging and getting into your space. Your entire team is always looking for her approval, to hold her scattered, insecure energy when, in fact, it should be the other way round — she should be holding your energy. People cannot perform to potential under so much pressure.’

‘But Tanya has the best of intentions,’ said Rinku. ‘She wants the team to win badly.’

‘But that’s not getting results,’ said Rakesh. ‘In fact, her extreme attachment to the outcome is harming the team — putting pressure on everyone which is why you’re losing games. You know she’ll be upset if you don’t do things the way she wants it and are not able to perform as you’re trained to do.’

‘And Swati’s getting their best performances by doing nothing?’ asked Rahul. ‘What kind of leadership is that?’

‘The best kind,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘By not being attached to the result she took the pressure off the team. She wants to win, mind you, and also knows that to win, she needs to get the best out of the team, to keep them in a state of ‘relaxed concentration'. Stress comes from being attached to the outcome. It seeps from the leader to the team. So, Swati focused on the process — created space for team members to figure out how to give their best and to own their process. They found ways to perform to their potential. You get better performances that way than by keeping the team under constant and intense pressure.’

‘But the team has to win, right bhaiyya?’ said Rahul. ‘How can she not be attached to wanting to win?’

‘Rahul, when our process or attachment is not getting the results we want, it’s time to understand that it’s not working,’ said Rakesh. ‘The best way is when everyone in the team feels they’re doing it for themselves and give their best willingly, freely and enthusiastically. Like Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said — ‘A leader is best when people barely know he exists; when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.’ A true leader empowers her people and gets them to give their best — by making them feel like they own it.’

‘Hmm,’ said Rinku. ‘Any lessons that Tanya can learn from this, bhaiyya?’

‘Not just Tanya, but all of us can learn from this,’ said Rakesh. ‘Our attachment to the outcome makes us want to control the process — which comes from our insecurity. We must learn to let go of control and trust the team to do what it has trained to do in its own way. We need to facilitate the best environment to empower each member. Tanya needs to cut the invisible cord she has tied to each one of you, pulling at you like puppets, to control you. She must allow you to perform in your way without her interference. A secure leader does not try to control the process and is fine with all outcomes resulting in empowered people, less work for the leader, less stress all around and much better results.’

‘Wow,’ said Rinku. ‘Cut our cords to empower our team.’

Pro Tip: To get the best from your team, cut your attachment to the outcome and stop controlling the process. This interference puts unnecessary pressure on the team and hampers performance.

Conversations about Dhoni

 We were watching the CSK vs Mumbai Indians match yesterday. Both teams are at the bottom of the table - CSK won one game and MI has not won a single game yet which is getting to be very embarrassing. The match seemed to go CSKs' way initially (Ishant Kishen is on ULP after that bid) and then MI's way as MI's bowlers, specially the young kid Hritik and tightened the middle overs and Sams kept getting wickets. When Jadeja got out it looked like the match was over. Singles here and there, MSD knocking them around, taking singles as calmly as always.

'CKS is gone,' said I, unable to hold my judgment. 'No way they're going to climb out of this hole. MSD is simply knocking around and they have a lot of runs (I think their asking rate was 12 runs an over then)'.

Then Pretorius came and there were some short conversations with MSD and then Pretorius hit a six here and a four there and got 22 runs in 14 balls and kept them in the place. Last over was approaching and Dhoni just about hit a boundary to third man.Some 17 runs were required or something like that. Two balls with Dhoni off strike. Then a ball in the slot and it went straight back over for six. Suddenly it came to 10 in 3 and then a boundary again (don't remember where) and then a two and then a boundary placed perfectly behind four.

Big lesson. Just hold yourself and stay deep. That's all Dhoni does - stay till the end. The longer he stays without overthinking it, the more the bowlers overthink, and provide opportunities for him to score. Its something we could do in our lives. Just show up and stay till the end without overthinking. Take it as it comes until then. Don't say anything, don't do anything funny. 

Wait. Wait. Wait.

Like Kevin Costner tells Andy Garcia in The Untouchables. The moment will appear.

Then SMG said - MSD makes them bowl to his strengths.

I wondered how anyone can do that. One can do that when one has a thinking pattern that is not thinking the worst options - but perhaps the best. It's almost as if he's thinking in his head - this ball will be here (and not this ball will be unplayable) and he's getting into that position. 

More on this later. But big lesson - wait, wait till the end.  


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Bridge of Spies - Movie

 2015. Real life story of how an insurance lawyer negotiates the exchange of a US air force pilot who was caught in Russian territory for a KGB spy. Tom Hanks as always is brilliant.



Monday, April 18, 2022

Shot New Videos With Sagar for the Canteen Fundas YouTube Channel

 So last Friday Sagar and I went ahead and shot six (seven actually) videos which he not only shot, but also asked questions and also uploaded on the YouTube channel Canten Fundas. This effort is entirely due to Sagar and whoever benefits from it should directly thank Sagar for it.

Here are the links!
(Recreate Your Story workshop details) (Connection between Performance and Preparation)
(How to Reduce Mental Interference to Improve Performance)
(How Values Help)
(How to use Feedback Management to Improve)
(How to achieve 10x Results with the same resources)

We shot another one on habits and routines, based on Atomic Habits but it was a bit too long and we decided to shoot it again. This time we were pretty happy that we could shoot it all in 2 hours which is a huge improvement from the last time. Aim to do 30 or so in a couple of months which should be a good number.

Sarcopenia - Interesting Stuff that Will Get You Off Your Butt

Don aka Dr Vardha forwarded this on our group the other day. I found it quite interesting - at the very least it will get people off their backsides! 


Sarcopenia. is the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of ageing.  It is a terrible condition.

Let’s explore sarcopenia !

Title: "Slowly Use Your Functional Muscles"

1. To develop a habit of being able to stand ... just don’t sit!  ... and don’t lie down if you can sit!

2. After the age of 50~60, it is not possible to lose weight, especially if you do not exercise and rely on eating less to lose weight!  

Because if all the muscles are lost, it can be  very dangerous!

3. Does running, cycling or climbing hurt the knee?

If you have never exercised before you can only go running, biking, or climbing in your mind as it will hurt your knees a lot!  

But if you have enough muscle strength and slowly develop the habit of running, cycling, and climbing, it can be a good exercise and not hurt your knees!  Whether you hurt your knees or not depends on your muscle strength!

4. If an elderly person is sick and hospitalized, don't ask him to rest more ... or lie down and relax and not get out of bed!

Lying down for a week loses at least 5% of muscle mass !  

And the old man can't get his muscles back !

5. Don't think that you are filial by not letting the elders do any housework, and scold the maid if they do it ! 

Usually, many elderly people who hire helpers lose muscle faster !

6. Don't just do a single activity every day when you go to the park. 

Dont just shake your hands when you can also shake your legs. You must also pull the horizontal bar or move every sports equipment! 

Because as long as a person moves, then all the muscles of whole body will be involved!  

Many elderly people even have difficulty swallowing because of insufficient exercise!  

In the end, they could not even cough up a mouthful of sputum and die because of this!

7. Sarcopenia is more terrifying than osteoporosis ! 

With osteoporosis you just need to be careful not to fall, whereas sarcopenia not only affects the quality of life but also causes high blood sugar due to insufficient muscle mass!

8. The fastest loss of sarcopenia is in the muscle of the legs!

Because when a person sits or lie down, the legs are not moving and the muscle strength of the legs are affected ... this is particularly important !  

Don't become black feet !  

So squat at least 20 to 30 times a day. 

Squat is not squatting down but like sitting on the toilet seat ... you can use a chair and stand up when your butt touches the seat!

You MUST pay attention to sarcopenia!

Go up & down stairs ... running, cycling and climbing are all great exercises and can increase muscle mass!

For a better quality of life for everyone in old age ... 

Move... don't waste your muscle!!

Aging   starts   from  the  feet  upwards !



▪️As  we   put   on  years  &  keep   getting   old   on  a  daily  basis ,   our  feet  must   always   remain active & strong.

As  we  are constantly   ageing / get aged,  we  should not  be  afraid  of  our  hair  turning   grey (or) skin  sagging ( or) wrinkles on face.

▪️Among  the  signs  of longevity, long fit life as summarized  by the  popular US Magazine  " Prevention ", strong  leg   muscles  are listed  on  the   top,  as  the  most  important & essential  one. 

Please walk daily.

▪️If   you  don’t move your  legs for just two  weeks,  your real leg  strength  will  decrease  by 10  years. 

Just walk

▪️A  study  from  the University of Copenhagen in  Denmark  found  that both old & young, during  the  two   weeks  of  inactivity,  the  legs  muscle  strength can weaken by a  third which is equivalent  to   20-30  years  of  ageing !! 

So just walk

▪️As  our  leg  muscles weaken, it  will  take a long  time  to  recover, even if  we  do rehabilitation  & exercises,  later. 


▪️Therefore, regular exercise like walking, is very important.

▪️The  whole   body weight/ load  remains  and  rest  on  the  legs.

▪️The feet  are a  kind  of pillars, bearing  the entire weight  of  the  human  body. 

Walk everyday.

▪️Interestingly,  50%  of a  person's  bones & 50%  of  the   muscles, are  in  the  two  legs. 

Do walk

▪️The  largest &  strongest  joints & bones  of  the   human body   are  also  in  the  legs. 

10K steps / day

▪️Strong   bones, strong  muscles  and flexible   joints   form  the Iron  Triangle   that  carries  the  most important   load   i.e.  the  human  body."

▪️70%  of  human activity and burning  of energy in  one's  life  is done  by  the  two  feet.

▪️Do  you  know  this ? When a  person  is  young,   his/ her  thighs have  enough  strength , to lift  a  small car of  800 kg !

▪️The foot  is  the center of  body locomotion.

▪️Both  the   legs together  have  50%   of the   nerves    of   the  human  body,  50%   of  the   blood  vessels  and  50%  of   the   blood   is flowing  through   them.

▪️ It  is  the  largest  circulatory  network  that connects  the   body. 

So walk daily.

▪️Only when  the feet are  healthy then  the convention current  of blood  flows ,  smoothly,   so  people who  have  strong  leg muscles  will  definitely have  a strong  heart. Walk. 

▪️Aging  starts  from  the  feet  upwards

▪️As  a   person  gets older, the  accuracy & speed  of  transmission  of instructions   between the  brain and   the  legs decreases, unlike  when a  person  is  young. Please walk

▪️In   addition,   the   so-called   Bone  Fertilizer Calcium will  sooner  or later  be  lost  with  the passage  of  time,  making  the   elderly  more  prone  to   bone fractures. WALK.

▪️Bone  fractures  in  the  elderly   can  easily  trigger  a  series   of complications, especially  fatal  diseases   such  as   brain   thrombosis.

▪️Do  you   know   that 15% of elderly  patients   generally, will  die  max. within  a  year  of   a  thigh-bone   fracture !! Walk daily without fail

▪️ Exercising  the legs,   is   never  too  late, even  after   the  age  of 60  years.

▪️Although   our   feet/legs  will   gradually   age with    time,  exercising  our  feet/ legs  is  a  life-long  task.  

Walk 10,000 steps

▪️Only  by regular strengthening   the  legs, one   can   prevent   or reduce  further  aging. Walk 365 days

▪️ Please  walk  for at  least 30-40  minutes   daily   to  ensure   that   your   legs  receive   sufficient   exercise and  to  ensure  that  your  leg  muscles remain healthy.

*You  should   share  this  important  information  with  all  your  40+years"  friends & family  members, as everyone  is  aging  on  a  daily basis


 In the midst of a world that's going nuts, here I find bliss. On a hot summer afternoon, dressed in his own native clothes, unmindful of the heat, his own illness, he sat completely focused on his cup of chai...drank it with great mindfulness and then walked off with great dignity. 


More Interesting Behaviors

 I notice this everywhere (luckily not in our colony yet) but mostly in Banjara Hills and Jibilee Hills area where house owners put stones and rocks and cones to cordon off people from parking near their house. They feel they own some part of the road along their wall and get super angry when people park their cars. They have this very devious method of placing stones etc so people cannot park - they'll be in the middle of the road. One house near Sarvi actually hired security guards to stop people from parking on the road - beyond their stones. Most of these houses have security guards whose only job is to shoo people off the road and protect their personal road for their masters. Some pictures of these stones for illustration.

Another interesting thing is our ex-corporator who lives in our colony. Her house has a ramp that crosses the pavement and lands on the road. Obviously the rules are different for her and for us. Come to think of it there was this cop who lived in our colony - a corer house, so he decided that the space given for the pavement was not required and that he could take it over. So he just built a wall around and made it his own personal pavement - inside his wall. 

Such sense of social well being from our role models!  

Canteen Fundas - Leaders Evolve In Time

 Leaders evolve in time - if they're willing to learn!

E-Canteen Fundas: Before you step into the leadership arena, ask yourself, are you willing to learn?

Leadership is a skill that can be learned by practicing the principles of leadership. Leaders evolve from being insecure leaders, to being personal leaders, to being secure leaders and so on

Learn and then some more | (Pic: Edexlive)

‘I don’t know how Saurabh became the Sports Club President,’ said Rahul. ‘He’s such a bad leader. I don’t think he can ever improve.’

‘Really? Saurabh is a good guy otherwise, right?’ asked Rahul. ‘Is it true bhaiyya, that some people just cannot be good leaders?’

‘Not really Rinku,’ said Rakesh. ‘Like anything else, leadership can be learned. But the key, as always, is this — a learning mindset. It may take time, but if the leader is willing to learn, the worst of leaders evolve into great leaders.’

‘You mean that even Saurabh, with his bad leadership skills, can, by learning the right principles and practices, evolve into a good leader?’ asked Rahul. ‘That would be a miracle.’

‘That’s interesting,’ said Rinku. ‘How does this evolution happen?’

Let’s take you as an example, Rinku,’ said Rakesh. ‘As we know, all leaders come from within the group. Let’s say you’ve been made class monitor by your lecturer. You have no training as a leader and have been made a leader simply because you are a better performer than the rest, you are older, you put up your hand, the boss likes you and so on. But that does not make you a good leader. With no training inputs and a lack of basic leadership skills, you’re likely to feel insecure while leading your peers. To assert yourself as the leader, you display your insecurity through behaviours such as — going hard on the team, taking a my-way-or-highway approach, not being open to discussion or dissent, seeing feedback as criticism and using threats and penalties as a way to get work done. A team under such a leader works resentfully and naturally, team performance will be way below potential. Such teams stagnate or regress. Ironically, the leader blames the team for its failure. This is the kind of a leader who you feel will not improve, right?’

‘Yes, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘That’s exactly how Saurabh behaves. But now I can see he may be doing it from his insecurity. How can such a person evolve?’

‘Now, let’s say Rinku, as a class monitor, has realised that her leadership style is not working,’ said Rakesh. ‘She can see that the team is unhappy, some have left, most are underperforming and the results are bad. At some point, if Rinku is smart, she will realise something needs to change and that the change has to begin with herself. Like American author John C Maxwell said — ‘As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me. The first person I should try to change is me.’ This change leads to personal leadership or change at a personal level. Here, you take ownership and do all the things you can to produce results, and by doing so, lead by example. It’s like a star player trying to do all the work for the team! Since you are not yet confident in delegating, you do the work yourself and end up trying to do everybody’s work which is not very efficient. But you do inspire a few others with your intent and work ethic. The limitations, however, are that you’re still not open to others’ ideas, follow only your ways, do not know how to delegate and therefore, cannot get the best out of the team. Delegation has to do with trust and you are not secure enough to trust yourself or your team members. Personal leadership can work in a small setup to some extent because you can pull off other people's work when it’s small. But it’s still not the best in terms of helping the team grow to its full potential. Small businesses stay small because the leaders try to do everything themselves! No team can grow on the efforts of one person. Under a personal leader, teams perform better, but not to their full potential.’

‘Okay, so I have moved from not letting anyone do the work, to doing everything myself because I don’t trust others fully enough to delegate, right?’ said Rinku. ‘It’s progress certainly. What next?’

‘In time, you as the personal leader, realise that the team offers a lot more potential that can be tapped,’ said Rakesh. ‘If you’re learning-oriented, you will realise that it’s your leadership style that limits the growth of your team and that you’re the limiting factor. Once you start thinking in terms of growth, your focus shifts from yourself to the team — how to help the team grow using all available resources. You realise growth is much faster if you involve others, motivate them, listen to more perspectives, be open to ideas, allow them to work in their ways, guide and support them when they need it, give them credit and provide process orientation. You let them take greater responsibility, make mistakes and in the process, help them grow. The secure leader almost appears to be doing nothing. You just create and hold the space, allow the elements to fall in place and evolve. You realise that by stepping out of the way, the plants under your shadow bloom. Under a secure leader, the entire team grows, enjoys working together, feels creatively satisfied and achieves potential. Everyone thinks and acts like a leader. There’s less pressure on everyone and far greater results. Under secure leaders, teams do way better than expected as they use all resources to the maximum.’

‘Wow,’ said Rinku. ‘That’s a neat explanation of the leader’s transition. Thanks, bhaiyya.’

Pro Tip: Leadership is a skill that can be learned by practising the principles of leadership. Leaders evolve from being insecure leaders (where teams stagnate or regress), to being personal leaders (who pull the team forward through single-handed effort) and to being secure leaders, who help everyone grow by giving them more responsibility (and in the process, achieve team potential). To grow, leaders need a learning mindset.

Thought for the Day - Whose Approval Is Stopping You

 There are so many things in our life that we don't do - because someone in our life does not approve of that. And just because of that approval or disapproval, we become completely different people from what we actually are feel bound by their approval/disapproval.

But this approval / disapproval cycle has been built by us. We created this whip and gave the handle to these people. And then we feel bound by it - and wait for them to let us go. We crib all our life that we cannot be free.

Whose approval is stopping you form being yourself? Take back the whip. Break those shackles.

Get out. You're free. Stop making excuses. 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Thought for the Day - Atomic Habits and their Effects

 We were discussing the benefits of habits in class. We discussed the concept of atomic habits and the aggregation of marginal gains. Now one idea I love most from the book is the 2 minute rule. Though it is categorised in the 'make response easy' part, it has numerous other benefits.

The first is that it makes it easy to start many things, many habits which are good for us but which we do not practice because we feel we need to take out a long period of time for it. But if we only do a 2 minute version of it (instead of walking for 1 hour, walk 2 minutes, instead of practicing for one hour, do 2 minutes). Chances are you'll do it for 5-10-30-or even an hour once you start.

The second is that the 2 minute version actually adds up - a number of 2 minutes over the year is better than no work. Also, the rule is that repetitions are more effective than huge, big sessions. Small, consistent repetitions are way more effective than big, inconsistent efforts.

Here's the third one. Studies have shown that the mind only needs to believe it has done it - whether you did or how much does not matter. So a 2 minute practice could actually end up making you feel much better than not doing anything at all and could give you way more benefit than you can imagine.

Practice, fitness, relationships, money, skill development - anything that we want to feel good about. So I tried it out - my day would be ideal if I had a 1 hour walk/jog, 1 hour meditation, some yoga etc - but I cannot do them all. So today I did 5 minutes of meditation and five minutes of pranayama, one suryanamaskara and off I went to jog. I also decided to engage with people - just a small hi and a  small how are you - rather than sweeping plans about when we should meet etc.

I feel like I have meditated a lot. I feel good. And that's more than I can say for this. If you're feeling good - you're done!

Thought for the Day - The Connection between Grit and Flexibility

 A conversation recently brought up this question - if something is not working out despite our best efforts, should we give up? And when?

It is a very good question. We don't know if we are two feet away from gold or whether there is no gold, so we are stuck with this question. Many hold on, thinking that the gold is two feet away perhaps. Many give up too early thinking there is no gold.

Whatever it is, there is one aspect one must bear in mind. If the outcome is not what we expected, we must be flexible enough to look at different ways and processes, to change things and explore new ways and opportunities, until we get the outcome we want - or at least find a satisfactory outcome. I find that many times we are so obsessed with our outcome that the process is ignored or never revisited. We go hard with the process - and end up with the same outcome.

To temper our effort, to be more open and flexible, to absorb small signs or changes in the process, we need one quality that can make us truly flexible - so we can find new answers or insights. That quality is to do it with mindfulness, with a gentle and loving attitude. It could be about the product, the process, the customer - if you are fully engaged with the process, the why you are doing it - you will find answers sooner than later. 

And the journey will be so much more enjoyable. 

So the formula is Grit + Mindfulness =Adaptability and Openness to see new possibilities

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Vinod and Me at Minerva

 For over a couple of decades now, Vinod and I meet at Minerva Coffee Shop at Punjagutta, talk about stuff, sometimes about our writing, sometimes about books and sometimes about other writers. We eat bajjis and drink coffee and off we go after that. More often or not there will be some cray jokes that make us crack up in laughter.

This time we had told the waiter to get us bajjis and then coffee - a normal order. The bajjis took a long time in coming and soon after they arrived the steward rushed to us. 

Shall I get the coffee?' he asked.

Vinod was irritated.

'After some time,' he said.

The steward looked confused.

'After sometime,' I repeated. 'It will take us a while to finish these bajjis.' 

He nodded and withdrew.

'Maybe,' we thought, looking how to create a situation here. 'We should have asked him like tow helpless morons. 'But if you get coffeee now, it will get cold. Because we will either have to eat bajjis or drink the coffee. If we drink coffee, the bajjis will get cold. Unless we eat bajjis and drink coffee together which may not be a great idea. What do you think we should do?'

All earnestness.

Maybe then, the steward might understand our predicament and help us poor souls out by saying - maybe you can drink your coffee after the bajjis! Which is what we normally do. And which is what he should have suggested to us if he was doing his job well.

We did think we could write about many such happenings in the day when we meet people like our steward  Just lay it all bare and see if he can help us after understanding our problem!   

Akela Teaches me Yoga

 Once in a while I get inspired to do some yoga and I was doing my suryanamaskars when Akela decided to join me. Even as I was about to begin the cycle it occupied the mat and did some stretching stuff - some dog yoga I think.

Then it did some more intricate stuff - which I can never do.

It would not let me do my yoga for quite some time and then finally allowed me to, after having taken care to show me how its done. Thanks Akela, it was super fun.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Thought for the Day - Give Luck a Chance

 I am unlucky. Luck is not by my side.

We have heard this all the time. What we need to examine here is - are we giving luck a fair chance or are we making it difficult for luck to help us? What exactly is our relationship with luck? Do we really want luck? Or are we happy cribbing about not having luck?

Once we look at this we can think of ways of how to get lucky. Can we identify the times we got lucky?Can we do things which makes things work for us? Can we look for good luck instead of bad luck?

Heal your relationship with luck. Make it easy to come to you.

Good luck! 

Thought for the Day - Getting Offended Shows Us How Fragile and Inflexible We Are

 Our greatest growth comes from addressing all the areas that offend us - there are too many people getting offended at everything. What getting offended actually means is that we have one narrative and anything that's slightly different from it is not acceptable to us.

Of course it is our choice to get offended or not but what does it get us? One cheap thing is gets us is power to manipulate the others, power to push our narrative ahead. Like Will Smith getting offended.

But it has its downsides because it shows us for the deeply insecure people we are inside that we have to take refuge in getting offended at everything. It is our way of showing how intolerant we are. It makes us intolerant of ourselves in the long run. It damages our perspective and world view because all we're looking at is how to get offended and how to offend others.      

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Thirukkural - Translated by M Rajaram

 I have heard a lot about Thiruvalluvar's Thirukkural - the most impactful one being about this bus conductor in Tamil Nadu who always begins the bus journey by reading a couplet from the book and even better, gifting a copy to anyone who is celebrating a birthday or an anniversary. I mentioned the same to Abhinay who immediately gifted me this lovely copy.

The Thirukkural was written 2000 years ago by the Tamil sage, poet, Thiruvalluvar and is considered a book fro all ages. Thiruvalluvar is compared to the greatest minds and his work is practical and applies to all in any age. the book has 133 chapters with 10 couplets each, making up 1330 couplets. The three major divisions in the book are about Virtue, Wealth and Love.

The book is written in Tamil metre 'Kural' which means short, while 'Thiru' means sacred, beautiful etc. It is said that Tolstoy told Gandhi that he first heard of the concept of non-violence was taken from this book.

One cannot write much about the book except perhaps discuss its structure. 

Virtue is subdivided into Domestic Virtue (life, wife, children, speech, behavior, self control, not coveting another's wife, society, chastity, fame etc). Acetic Virtue (companions, not eating meat, penance, not stealing, conduct, desires)     

Wealth includes Politics (company, action, timing, duty, perseverance), Limits of the State (speech, action not fearing the assembly, friendship, being hen pecked, wanton women, liquor, gambling), Miscellaneous (birth, honour, greatness, futile wealth, begging, shame)

Love includes Secret love (beauty, sex), Wedded love (separation, pining, longing, sulking etc)

  One line on health stayed with me - if you eat only after having digested what you ate previously, you will be in good health.

Thanks Abhinay. A prized possession. 

I Opened a Book - Nice Poem

 Hari sent this to me. It's lovely.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Canteen Fundas - How to Handle Dissent From Your Team

 Dissent from the team - Iron hand or Listen and Convince?

E-Canteen Fundas: As a leader, would you agree to disagree with your team or care to convince?

When the team disagrees with the leader, it’s the leader’s job to understand why the team is disagreeing with her views, address their issues and convince them

Sheetal and others in my team are not in favour of the changes I proposed,’ said Rahul angrily. ‘I know these changes are good for the team, but Sheetal and company don’t seem to get it. I’m thinking I’ll force it upon them one way or another and save time.’

‘Really? Force it on them?’ said Rinku. ‘But Rahul, they must be having their reasons for not agreeing with you, right? Have you heard them out?’

‘I did,’ said Rahul. ‘They have reasons. But they’re not seeing the benefits of my changes. Rinku, these changes worked for me in the past so I’m convinced they’re good. That’s why I’m in a dilemma — override their concerns in the interests of the team or pander to their doubts and lose this opportunity?’

‘Bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘Can we simply force our thoughts on the team like this when the team disagrees with us? Seems extreme to me.’

‘But,’ protested Rahul. ‘What else can we do if we don’t have consensus because our team members cannot see what’s good for them?’

‘That’s a good question,’ said Rakesh. ‘It’s a practical situation every leader faces. Can the leader do anything she wants just because she feels she is right? Or take the team’s ideas into account before implementing changes? What would you like your leader to do if you were a team member?’

‘I’d definitely like to be consulted,’ said Rinku. ‘Since the changes involve us and we are the team, our perspective must be heard.’

‘Exactly,’ said Rakesh. ‘Clearly, as a leader, if you’re proposing changes that impact the team, you must take your people into confidence and then proceed. You cannot decide unilaterally like a dictator simply because you think you know best and have the power to force it on them. In fact, I feel most wars would have been avoided if the leaders took their people into confidence and asked them what they really wanted.’

‘I think so,’ said Rinku.

‘But bhaiyya, what can one do when people do not agree with changes that are good for them?’ asked Rahul.

‘That’s where good leadership ability comes in Rahul,’ said Rakesh. ‘Ideally, you want everyone to agree on what is good for the team, right? So first, find out why your team members are disagreeing with you and understand their point of view.’

‘They don’t agree because they don’t understand, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘They have no knowledge and no vision. That is why I feel I must make those decisions for them as their leader.’

‘And that is how dictators are made,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘Thinking they know better than their ignorant team. But Rahul, instead of forcing your decisions on the team, you must make them understand the benefits of your idea and enlist them in the project. It requires you to communicate your idea in a manner that they can see why it is good for them. You must address all misgivings and doubts and leave nothing that they do not understand. That’s your primary job.’

‘I tried doing that,’ said Rahul. ‘It didn’t work.’

‘That means there’s something wrong with your idea or the way you are presenting it,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘Instead of blaming them, you have to find a way to communicate your idea well and to get them to understand. That’s what leadership is about. Be patient, consistent and clear with your messaging. It is poor leadership to shove your ideas down their throat and then act as if they wanted it. A good leader will use man-management and communication skills to get the team to understand, and only after they are convinced, takes the idea forward.’

‘But what if they’re stalling my idea because they don’t like me?’ asked Rahul. ‘Or some other mischievous reason.’

‘Again, look deep into the reason why they’re stalling,’ said Rakesh. ‘Who’s stalling you? What do they want? Where have you been like that with them? And address that issue. In the end, if your idea is really good for the team and if your team is ready for that good, the idea will prevail. Any progressive idea — be it non-violence, abolition of slavery, caste discrimination — will face resistance. But you need to introduce the idea, find champions and convince the team until it buys into it.’

‘What if despite all efforts they do not buy it?’ asked Rahul.‘Should I give up on a good idea then?’

‘Then it’s time for you to go back to the drawing board with your idea,’ said Rakesh. ‘Accept that, first, your idea may have been good but has not been explained well. Second, your idea is ahead of its time or third, perhaps your idea is not as good as you think, bad even. Maybe the team's wisdom is seeing something you missed. What worked for you at some point may not work for the team. Be flexible and graceful enough to let it go until your idea becomes clearer in your mind until its time comes. Be clear that as a leader, you are for the team; the team is not for you. Never think you’re bigger than the team.’

‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘I understand that I cannot hold on to my ideas and overlook the team's wisdom and readiness. I need to work on my idea and communicate it in the best way possible, so the team can decide. The team is bigger than me.’

Canteen Fundas - Your Ego or Your Team?

 As a good leader, know the difference between good and bad ego.

E-Canteen Fundas: As a leader, between your ego and your team, who would you rather see win?

Your ego could be your greatest asset or your biggest liability, depending on how you use it. Be aware of harmful egoistic reactions such as comparing, being defensive and showcasing your brilliance

‘Rinku, did you hear how Sushmita spoke about the work their group has done in the meeting?’ said Rahul. ‘I feel she is too egoistic. Fine, they did some good work but why go on about it? Leaders should be humble, have no ego.’

‘But I felt she was presenting her team in a good light,’ said Rinku. ‘That much pride should be taken when one does some good work, right? I’m sure there is a balance between ego and humility, right bhaiyya?’

‘Good question,’ said Rakesh. ‘Our ego is not really a bad thing. It can be our greatest asset or our biggest liability — if we don’t understand it. As we know, ego can spark drive and intent to achieve while a lack of ego can lead to apathy and insecurity. Authors David Marcum and Steven Smith have addressed the issue of the costs of ego in their book, Egonomics. They found that ego costs 6 to 15 per cent of total revenue in business, over a third of failed businesses and bad executive decisions are due to ego issues and 81 per cent of managers push their decisions by ego and not by the quality of the idea. If we understand ego, we understand the human side of business and that’s how we can make it a great asset.’

‘Wow, 6 to 15 per cent is a huge cost,’ said Rahul. ‘I always knew ego was bad. But I didn’t realise it could be an asset as well.’

‘Firstly, understand that, as with everything, ego also works in a continuum,’ said Rakesh. ‘It’s not all good or bad — there are degrees and our ego moves between good on one hand and bad on the other. It works best when it’s balanced. Ego also costs us most in a few specific moments when we get egotistically hijacked. These big moments make or break things for us and if we can handle them, we can make a success of anything.’

‘How can we identify harmful ego, bhaiyya?’ ask Rinku.

‘Harmful ego shows up in these following behaviours according to the authors,’ said Rakesh and added, 'Comparision with others, being defensive, showcasing our brilliance and seeking acceptance.’

‘Can you explain a bit, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul.

‘Sure,’ said Rakesh. ‘Comparing is an egoistic reaction that reduces our competitive edge. It indicates our uncertainty about ourselves and our work and on the other hand, shows we are insecure about others. And when we get defensive, we tend to defend only ourselves and our work and miss out on the best ideas from others. We ignore feedback and stick to defending a single position closing out all other possibilities. And thirdly, when we showcase our brilliance, we try to prove that we’re superior to others, which makes people wary. In fact, they become less receptive to our ideas when we push too hard, even if we have better ideas. And since our focus is on showcasing, we stop sharing and lose out on a variety of perspectives. And lastly, our behaviour of seeking acceptance is bad for the team because we do anything to please others and accept a lot of bad ideas. It indicates too little ego. Be aware of these four behaviours which indicate harmful ego that can cost you.’

‘Hmm…and what about good ego, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku.

‘Good ego comes from cultivating qualities such as humility, curiosity and veracity,’ said Rakesh. ‘Let’s understand humility first because it is wrongly understood as being the opposite of ego. Humility is not a lack of ego but the correct balance between too much ego and too little ego, a balanced self-respect that keeps you in a healthy space between thinking too much or too little of ourselves. Be aware of the good you bring, but also stay grounded. Humility comes from committing to learning, to the progress of your team, from accepting that you are unique, but also, that there’s much to learn and achieve. When we are committed to progress and learning, we don't have time for ego, because learning and ego do not coexist.’

‘But bhaiyya, will humility not take away from our intensity?’ asked Rinku.

‘Excellent question,’ said Rakesh. ‘It’s important not to lose intensity or intent by thinking wrongly that intensity is the opposite of being in a state of humility. We normally see intensity as being emotional, while humility is seen as a state of harmony, of zero intensity. In reality, we must not get sidetracked by intense egoistic reactions such as getting angry, irritated and emotional, and get hijacked, which can cost us the big moments. Instead, we should use our humility, as a way to learn, to be in a state of intense engagement, enthusiasm and excited energy. To practice this behaviour, separate the idea from the person — be intense about the idea and not about the identity. Don't take it personally and focus on progress and learning!’

‘And what about curiosity and veracity, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku.

‘A state of curiosity makes us open to new things,’ said Rakesh. ‘Ideas develop fully and not partially. Curiosity brings in quality information and hastens progress. Similarly, veracity sticks to truth, the big and real picture. It makes us open to seeing things as they are — not what we think, but what is actually happening. It encourages feedback. Encourage dissent and helps people voice opinions to see the truth. Speak in a way that doesn't provoke others to be defensive. By cultivating the behaviours of humility, curiosity and veracity, we can make our ego our greatest asset.'

‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘That was very interesting. Now to make my ego work for me and my team and not lose big moments by using it wrongly.’

Pro Tip: Your ego could be your greatest asset or your biggest liability depending on how you use it. Be aware of harmful egoistic reactions such as comparing, being defensive, showcasing your brilliance and seeking acceptance, which can cost you. Cultivate behaviours such as humility, curiosity and veracity to benefit from good ego.

Kaun Pravin Tambe - Movie

 2022. Worthy movie. Pravin Tambe's story shouldserve as an inspiration for many who want to achieve big dreams but give up too early. Pravin's story is one of sheer love for the game (else he would not have played for so long), and being ready when the opportunity came. The call to the IPL when he had not played any sort of professional cricket but league cricket, getting a hat trick and the many good performances after making his IPL debut at 41 (and Ranji Trophy debut at 43), is a lovely story to tell. Loved watching it. Shreyas Talpade did a great job once again as a leg spinner this time and not a fast bowler like he did in Iqbal. Well made. Worth a watch.


Thursday, April 7, 2022

Karkhaanisanhi Waari - Movie

 A cute film about a joint family that goes to pieces after the oldest brother and the patriarch dies. Turns out that everyone has a secret - a debt ridden family, an NRI brother who runs away from his wife, a lesbian unmarried sister, a second wife of the older brother, a useless nephew who has impregnated his girlfriend - and on and on. The family goes on a road trip to Pandharpur with the ashes and comes back a changed people.



Tuesday, April 5, 2022

An Actor's Actor - Sanjeev Kumar - Hanif Zaveri and Sumant Batra

 Sanjeev Kumar was one of my favorite actors. Maybe because that my Dad looked a bit like him - kindly eyes, easy disposition. But also because I saw 'Manchali' which was one of my earliest movies in a theatre and liked it, and of course 'Sholay' and then one of my all time favorites 'Angoor'. I want to watch 'Pati Patni Aur Woh' and 'Aandhi' once again to get a better sense and also some of his other hits like 'Koshish' and other Gulzar movies.

So the moment I saw the]is book on the shelf I picked it up as the book to finish this tour. Raja's place that way is one place where you don't need to carry your books, there are always books there that you would want to read. It was written in an easy style by the authors.

Harihar Jariwala, that was his original name, and the early years which were quite tough - early death of his father, a mother who somehow held it all together, his two younger brothers and a sister, his early days of playing cricket at Oval Maidan with Satyen Kappu, his days as a theatre actor and then the struggle to make it into films. It was interesting to see how he would dress shabbily, how he would not forget a dialogue, how he would half listen but interpret perfectly and pull off the most difficult scenes, how he matched up to Dilip Kumar in his first shot. How he changed his name to Sanjay Kumar for the stunt films and how when Sanjay Khan became a hit he changed to Sanjeev Kumar. His love for non vegetarian food, booze, his smile, the way he would go to his friends houses and ask for non veg to be cooked and his legendary habit of coming late (but he would come on time for Master Bittoo's shots because he had exams). He would lend without keeping tab and it was totaled to a crore when he died in 1985!

Sanjeev Kumar had many women as friends but his romantic liaisons are limited to Nutan, Hema Malini (whom he almost married) and Sulakshana Pandit. I never knew of the Hema Malini connection (apparently they put them in separate hotels during the shooting of Sholay which was after their breakup). But he never married, played several old men's roles and died at the age of 47!! But they say his family had a history where men died early - both his brothers died - one before him and one soon after.

They say that no one could remain angry with him for long - his smile would melt the hardest hearts. I think that's what stays with me - his smile - one that slowly spreads from his eyes to his lips and the whole face and the whole screen. Wonderful stuff. There is a road named after him in Surat which was where he came from - would be nice to get a pic there when we go to Surat whenever!     

Bangalore and Back - Day 3

 This was a chilled out day so we woke up late. Raja went out and bought some vada for breakfast - apparently the other tiffins were not ready yet! Strange are the ways of the Bangaloreans - in Hyderabad the full menu would be available at 7 am. Anyway I ate the vada and sat down to my work while Raja and Anjali and Prarthana did some Karaoke business.


The afternoon was to be Chef Prarthana's piece de resistance - chicken kheema biryani and she set about it with her usual love and diligence and soon the aromas were all over. I finished reading a biography of actor Sanjeev Kumar meanwhile in the last couple of days and started reading the one on GR Vishwanath, which began brilliantly (co authored by Kaushik, so I called him and congratulated him). The biryani was heavenly and it was but natural that we all crashed out for an afternoon snooze. Vandana had promised to join for lunch and she did as usual, late. By that time our nap was done and we sat with her with some karaoke in the background.

Book haul on display

Father - Daughter at JP Nagar Metro

Packed up and had to carry an extra bag for the books. Decided to take the Metro which was the most comfortable mode. Left at 730 pm and walked to JP Nagar station, took the Metro and got off at Majestic, asked our way about and found the Terminal 1 which was where we had got off when we came to Bangalore. Our bus was right in front of us and we hopped on. It took off before time.

AT Kempegowda Bus Terminal 1

The two drivers were squabbling a bit about some repair and stuff and we finally made our way. I could see that communication needed to be improved. For example when a customer asked where it would stop, the driver would blurt out a landmark with zero help in terms of coordinates - like it will stop on the highway or on the service road etc (which actually led to a delay). Or another customer who asked whether the bus would go to Secunderabad and the driver asked him which train he had to take. The customer had a tough time explaining he only needed to go to Secunderabad and not the station and it took five minutes to finally communicate that he had to get off at MGBS which was the closest to Secunderabad which was all he wanted to know. 

Inside Bus Service 8202, 3 and 4 again

Once the journey began I realised that the cleaner was not giving us water bottles like the previous one had - though they were there. The lady behind me had to stand precariously and ask for a bottle of water which they gave after ignoring her for a while. And then a young girl wanted to know where the bus would stop for a toilet break and the driver said after half an hour. It took longer than an hour and though he stopped at a decent place, I felt they could have been more considerate especially since its not as easy for women as it is for men who just hop off and stand in the bus headlights and pee in the spotlight (they did that - I wish I had a pic). Overall I felt there should be toilets at every toll booth, there are so many of them and the toll guys can maintain them and definitely it must be made mandatory to stop when passengers ask, especially women. I feel its a basic need and one that should be addressed by bringing in a rule - well maintained toilets at all toll booths and mandatory stops at the nearest toll booth (or every half hour) when the passenger needs. Would make bus journeys that much more bearable.

In auto on way back home - 230 bucks!

Anjali played some music and we both listened on her ear phones and then she fell asleep. I kept looking out and listening to the driver who spoke for over an hour on his ear phones while driving. The bus goes at crazy speeds and I am sure they are brilliant drivers but somehow I feel they should find a way to make them stop looking at the phone or talking - or make it easier to talk by giving them blue tooth headsets or something. Ideally not talk because we are all depending on him.

The bus had left Hebbal at 1030, Yelahanka at 11 and was at Shamshabad at 530 which makes is about 6 and a half hours! We traveled through the lunar landscapes full of craters after Aramgarh and after some more complicated conversations with passengers who wanted to know where it would stop etc, the bus finally made its way into MGBS. The Metro is right next to it and I was tempted to take it. We booked a Uber who cancelled. One guy asked me where I was going and I said I had booked an auto and he persisted so i told him where I was going and he said 250, and I said I already booked! Our communication is a regular comedy I realised. And then we took the regular auto - bargain, negotiate, kahan jaana hai, bahut door hai, gas ka daam badh gaya, sawari nahin milta and all that usual Hyderabadi stuff and finally made it back to home sweet home!

Thank you Nanna, said Anjali. Anytime for you A. And then she diligently went off to school toattend her first day of the tenth class while i caught up on sleep, without the droning voice of the driver discussing random things on the phone while making some nifty swerves. Job done!          

Monday, April 4, 2022

Bangalore and Back - Day 2

One of the plans we had made was to visit the bookstores in Bangalore, more specifically Blossoms which keeps coming up in every single conversation with people in Bangalore. So Ugadi day was dedicated to Blossoms and lunch around Blossoms. The day began on a leisurely note and after partaking some heavenly coffee that Prarthana made (and served full filter kaapi style with steel glass in that steel vessel). Prarthana had recently gone to Chikmagalur and she got some Jayanthi Coffee back.

Off to find biryani and books

 An avowed coffee drinker and chef extraordinaire, she makes the entire house fill up with the aroma of coffee - just right and just enough to whet up your desire. We followed that up with paddu, some small idli like items which were delicious and went well with chutney. I got some work done before 1145 which was the deadline and we all headed out. Raja and Anjali played some karaoke.

Blossoms Pic courtesy Prarthana

I called Vandana, Nisha and Rajesh and invited them to join us for biryani at Thalapakatti on Brigades. Vandana, a die hard biryani eater, said she would be there come hell or high water. Nisha said she would join for coffee after. The plan seemed to be like this - Metro to MG Road, walk to Thalapakatti which is a five minute walk away, eat biryani and get back to Blossoms which is two minutes away and after book shopping, go to India Coffee Shop for some late afternoon coffee.


Waiting for the food to arrive

Plans went as per plan and we got off at MG Road and found Blossoms right in before us. We headed off to Thalapakatti and ordered some of their famed biryanis and starters - all of which were superb.

Church Street behind us

No sign of Vandana which was as expected and she called just when we were leaving and said she got delayed. She'll call when she gets here. 

Biryani Pic Prarthana

Blossoms was overwhelming with the sheer number of books on display. I found myself in front of a section which had many Penthouse Letters books and was tempted to pick up a couple. The girls meanwhile picked up basketfuls of books - thirty between them. I was actually glad to get Vandana's call and headed out there with Raja and sat with her while she relished the biryani. 

Checking out from Blossoms

We wanted to complete the Hyderabadi experience and found a nice paan shop and put paan. Back to Blossoms and bought books and lugged them out. We found that the India Coffee House was shut on account of Ugadi and walked down the road until we hit Museum Road. 

RCB Cafe

There we found this cute roadside cafe called RCB cafe which served nice coffee and cold coffee etc. We sat and chatted there and at five, decided to head home. We took a cab this time and got home.

Some stuff Vandana ordered

Karaoke, a drink, dosa and chicken fry by Prarthana and the day ended brilliantly, running late into the night. Once again I fell asleep soon as I hit the bed. Now, how to carry all those books back to Hyderabad tomorrow is the question.