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Travelogue, Nostalgic memories and more…


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It’s been a decade!


A Short Flashback

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Flashback

Ten years ago on 18th May 2008 my friends & I moved to Bangalore to join Accenture the next day. Although I’ve been to Bangalore a lot of times in past as my hometown; the beautiful place Hosur is close to Bangalore, it was a new experience for me to be in Bangalore away from my parents.

Day 1 morning we all started from our guest house that was provided to us by Accenture around 7 AM, we didn’t know the bus route, we didn’t find anyone to ask that early morning, so we took an auto. I bargained with the auto driver in Kannada the first two days. Our Induction was at Windsor Manor Sheraton in Vasanth Nagar. IPL has just started or may be it was about to start. I don’t remember about that as I’m not a big fan of cricket. But it was a treat for my friends that day!

As we entered Sheraton for our induction, we saw RCB bus and we got to know that all RCB players were staying in the same hotel! Two hours after our induction has began we were given a 15 mins break, no one returned until 30 mins, some coordinators came to the hallway and called us inside to attend the induction! Everyone got to see the players wandering in the hallway and in gym.

Rahul Dravid was talking on his phone in Tamil “sollungo ma, ava laam anga irukka” or something similar to that, I still remember his tone over the phone and walked next to me and my friends who were in the hallway. Since it was a surprise to have them in the same hotel where we stayed, we had to leave that place for our induction!

After the two days of Induction, our two months GFT (Greenfield Training) commenced in ITPL so we’d to find our accommodation else where. After some struggle and we moved to a temporary place which I chose as it was less price, but we didn’t feel good after we moved in, so we shifted to the another apartment where our other friends got a PG. It’s Vijetha Lapis Lazuli.

It was my first time to learn that the rents of houses could cost more than 2,500 rupees, as until that date the maximum rent I know was 2,500 rupees. I was so shocked to know when our individual share for the rent was 3,600 rupees.

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Already he has a watermark so I’m not going to write courtesy for pic…

This is where we stayed for two months until we cleared our exams in GFT which we had to clear in order to continue in our job else we will get terminated.

All of studied more seriously than we studied at college. At college we’ll have time to write exam and it’s writing, here it was exam in computers and just radio button or check boxes, if a click goes wrong, we’ll lose marks – and of course our job, if mark goes less than 70. We get three attempts to clear the exam and if we miss the third attempt, we have to return our badge immediately and lose our job. Unfortunately we had to bid adieu to two of our friends in this course of two months.

Finally after two months everyone got projects in various locations and like birds scatter some of us scattered to different locations. I get to flew to Pune, first time in Aeroplane which I started calling Flight over the years. I got to meet new people there, literally I know every Tamil speaking person in Magarpatta, Hadapsar at that time. As I hear someone speaking in Tamil I will go talk to them and get their contact number and pass it on to my other Tamil speaking friends. I made friends who are very good and became room mates with Srinath & Srini who are still in touch irrespective of various countries they live now.

Worked with very good managers who are still the best – Sandeep, Somu, Umesh, Ganesh Pise, Vipin and so many friends. We learnt the corporate culture as the day passed. Team lunch, team outing, goodies and all these new terms became a regular use down the years.

As time passed, I moved to Bangalore and joined my friends who were then settled in a 3 BHK house in Koramangala, which became our den for several years until everyone scattered to various locations after few years. As my time at Accenture continued it was time for me to switch and explore new opportunities and so I switched to Cognizant. I got a lot of friends at accenture but I got a studious, talented and beautiful wife in Cognizant 😉

My friends who continued in Accenture explored their opportunity with other companies and moved to different parts of the world but we’re connected in our Whatsapp group, which itself is going to complete 6 years, in which my friend Praveen overthrown me and took the group ownership when I accidentally left the group one day & not giving ownership back to me. I think I’ll have to go to Vajubhai Vala to claim my ownership back!

Coming back from flashback to this day… 19.May.2018 I greet my friends a Happy 10th year Anniversary and to reach a great heights and to achieve their dreams!

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Dr. Abdul Kalam & Me


It was in March 2008, when Cartoonist ‘Mathi’ from Dinamani released his cartoon collections books in Mylapore, Music Adademy, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was the chief guest. Our college secretary was the first person out of three to receive the first issue of book from Dr. Abdul Kalam.

I read this news in a newspaper around noon at my hostel library & immediately informed my friends. Around 3.30 afternoon, I along with my friends Mahesh anna, Vedathri, Harish and Aniruth started walking out of hostel room and were walking near tennis court, our secretary was about to enter his car & I smiled at him and said, ‘Hello swami ji, we’re walking to the same event where you’re headed’ and asked him you are still here? I read that the function is at 4 o clock?, he said yes, but it’s ok, I was asked to come at 3:45, he said and then  he didn’t give a second thought, he had immediately asked me to board his car & I’d boarded and said, not just me some of my friends too 😀 He couldn’t say no & hence we all boarded the car. Humorously he asked, is it all or is anyone else joining? I said only us 😀

It was a proud moment, that we are going to a function where Abdul Kalam is Chief Guest and our Secretary is the first person to receive the book & we are going to that function in his car! As the car headed, being 17 years of Ramakrishna Mutt President of SriLanka & a 70 years old famous and great college Secretary he was little afraid that he is carrying more people in his car and was looking out to see whether any cop is noticing us, I said.. Swami ji! Why are you worried? No police can stop us, forgot whom you are going to meet now? (haha the same ‘gethu’ scene that you see in every movie!)

Our car entered the Music Academy (Mylapore) entrance, as soon as our car entered, our college assistant secretary came running and opened the back door and gestured Namaskaram (Vanakkam) thinking it is our swamiji who was sitting at back side, as soon as I got down he was little embarrassed 😀 and said oh! it’s you and ran to front door and welcomed our Swamiji. We all laughed secretly at him 😀 We entered the Music Academy hall in VIP entrance, our swamiji said sit where you feel comfortable, and said he will go to his chair.

Just when I moved from the entrance to look out for seat, I heard more noise from outside and ‘vaazhga, vaazhga’ within no time after the car had arrived I could realize it was Dr.Abdul Kalam & he entered the hall so fast and was very brisk. He entered the hall like a child entering an exhibition, such an enthusiasm and smile he had in his face.

He walked very fast in the stage and asked his secretary about where he has to sit, he sat and smiled at all. One of the other chief guests was actress Manorama. As soon as Dr. Kalam started his speech, the very first sentence he spoke was, ‘Aachi… enakku ungala romba pidikkum, naan unga padam laam nariya paathuruken andha kaalathula’ (I like you very much, I have seen your movies a lot in my childhood days!) He said it in such a voice that it showed he is completely down to earth, not a single percent of ego or anything, he never showed any sign that he speaks as a former president or a great scientist.

During his speech about the book release, he said ‘Cartoon is a very effective communication tool.  They powerfully communicate the message with a sense of humor. He also shared his experience as to how his team felt rejuvenated by cartoons, when they were dejected due to the failure of SLV3 in those days. He also advised the media to use lot of cartoons in the newspapers to create awareness.

His briskness, enthusiasm was such an inspiration for everyone who had attended that function and when I remember the moment I saw him, he still makes me smile 🙂

Today when one of my friends sent a message saying Dr. Kalam had passed away, I didn’t want to believe it and prayed that should just be another hoax just like others that pops every now and then. Don’t know what is the joy behind spreading rumors about ones death.

Last week, Neera Yadav, Jharkhand’s Education Minister had kept garlands and payed homage to Dr. Kalam when he was still alive. People are in so hurry to believe something without even checking the facts and to inform their friends which sometimes ends up as a rumor.

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Now, after checking the news that Kalam is really passed away, it is very hard to lose such a enthusiastic person, India’s missile man & our beloved former President of the Nation. He collapsed when he was giving speech to the youth of our nation! He loved doing what he did till his last breath. I don’t know why we call Nehru as chacha and why we celebrate his birthday as children’s day (May be because of… hmm no, let’s not talk about him here!). After Vivekananda, to me Dr. Abdul Kalam is the youth icon & he will always be remembered by all of us. His birthday should be celebrated as Children’s day.

May his soul rest in peace.

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Look Up Stories – Optimism…


I never had any idea about campus interview and the placement. Off campus and On campus became a familiar term when I was at final year. When I was at hostel my senior Bharath anna use to advice me what I need to do to get ready for the placements and how I should prepare me for the interview.

Leave the technical part aside, I was preparing the first question in interview ‘Tell me about yourself” a long time than preparing the subject part. Somewhere during the final year we were announced that Cognizant is coming to our campus for placement. Just like the exam nervousness for SSLC and +2 (HSS) final exams I was little scared about the campus interview. I got some aptitude books from my senior Mahesh anna and  started taking a glance at that. And “Let’s C” book authored by Balagurusamy. The next day was my first campus interview and I’d not prepared as I didn’t know what questions I will be asked.

I got ready and rehearsed ‘tell me about yourself’ 😀 It was in first floor above our prayer hall we all were asked to gather and some associates from Cognizant presented some video and spoke for few minutes but nothing reached my mind, everything that was going on in my mind was what questions I’ll be asked? Will I be selected? After the presentation we were given a OMR sheet and a two different set of question papers. It was good and I’d casually answered those questions. After the aptitude round there was 30 minutes break and we were asked to wait outside. Just like the election results announcement someone use to come down and increase our BP by keeping suspense and use to say another few minutes.

After an 45 minutes someone stood in my prayer hall entrance and started reading out the names of those who got shortlisted in the aptitude round. My name was called too. I was so happy and went to the first floor again. Now there was difference in the bench arrangement as the second round was directly a technical round where I was expecting second round to be a group discussion. I was sitting in a bench waiting for my name to be called just like how I use to wait in a clinic at my hometown, Hosur. My name was called. I showed up at a desk. I greeted him and didn’t shake hand as someone had told me that time I should’t shake hand unless the interviewer does. Also I was told to give a firm shake hand if I was offered to shake hand. But those tips had no work there as he just asked me to sit.

The interviewer asked me to write four C programs in a paper, As he said the questions I wrote the programs one by one and didn’t write one. For whatever I’d written he asked me if that was correct and I said ‘no’, ‘yes’, hmmm…. ‘yes’ 😀 he asked me to explain and I did it to an extent. Then another 1 hour wait to know the results of the technical round but my name was not called this time 😦 Hmm… Ok, ‘It’s just a beginning and I can do better in next interview’ I said to myself and went to hostel room. As soon as I entered I’d noticed the Let’s C book. I just took the book… turned to the appendix page. It was appendix D and the exact first four questions of what I was looking at in that book was asked by the interviewer! Lord!! Why you no tell me the day before? 😀 (But Mahesh anna had told me to go through appendix, but I didn’t 😀 )

It was around this interview season my college Secretary and care taker of hostel, Swami Atmagananandha Ji who use to read one chapter a day during our morning prayer in Hostel, asked us to buy that book if we needed. It was first published in January 5th 1972. I must tell you this book made some alterations or any other word you call it… Because when I was about to get a negative thought whether I’ll be get placement or not, as I’d attended Patni computers interview in my campus in which the aptitude test was like one chapter of some maths book and SAP Solutions aptitude which we were asked to take it online and that I wrote it from a browsing center near opposite to bata showroom in Luz signal, Mylapore; which I didn’t get shortlisted.

Then an off campus interview at Anna University with atleast 1000-1500 students who were standing in queue and entered various class rooms for tests batch by batch, meanwhile standing in queue I tried to taste a juice as one of my friends had told me that canteen at Anna university will be good 😀 (Food is important you see 😀 ) Yes.. It was good juice, nothing different from outside 😀 yeah, back to topic… I got my turn to enter exam hall for aptitude round and I didn’t get through there as well.

So it was at this time I read the book with open mind and enjoyed the content as I generally do while reading. I read everything with an imagination and visualized it’s content. I think this woke up my morale which I think was sleeping until then 😀 But by this time companies have stopped coming in for campus and more off campus was listed in our notice board. I remember after I didn’t get placement in one of the companies KK (Krishna Kumar) told me not to worry and said something good would be waiting for me. Yes! Withing next few weeks our notice board has listed Accenture in it.

I however didn’t prepare any technical questions as I’d prepared enough when I was attending previous companies, so I was involved in aptitude books as I liked it a lot in the short span of time. So I’d spent time solving the puzzles and questions and didn’t looked at those books from interview point of view. Then the day came to attend interview for Accenture. It was held at Obul Reddy auditorium, as I was staying at hostel I’d reached the auditorium on time and every others too, that’s special about my college. Unlike other colleges my college doesn’t only teaches subjects but discipline too.

I sat at first row and third seat, as usual presentation happened but it was very professional than any other companies presentation. Jyothika and Srinivas was the interviewer. Before the presentation I stood up, walked to Srinivas and whispered something in his ears. Asked Praveen before I went to Srinivas, What did I say? (Asked him to check his pant). I’d a small doubt whether it was appropriate to say, but never-mind, I’d said it already. Post presentation aptitude test, which I’d cleared this time. Then group discussion, Jyothika asked us to choose our own topic, I was little scared about what if someone choose topic about Cricket, as I had no idea about cricket (and yeah, even now!). But then she said a topic on her own, it was about co-education. Yeah, this kind of debate is always my favorite. 🙂 Yes… Shortlisted in GD as well.

Now technical round… Just diagonally opposite to where I’d appeared technical round for Cognizant. I was given three C programs and hehe yeah I was able to clear this round as well. Though I was appearing for all these rounds, I’d a watch around the hall to check if my besties are still there. Then came the HR round and it was with Jyothika, I spoke casually and within no time it got over too. We were 10/55 who were waiting to hear the final list, we were asked to wait in same hall, I couldn’t able to speak with my friends though we were sitting next to each other as the hall was so calm. In our presence the two HR people were writing names in the offer letter which they had with them handy. Now Jyothika started reading out names of those who got selected…

She read names one by one and I was happy for my friends and nervous for me… and yes… by god’s grace my name was shortlisted for the offer for first time 🙂 And the best part was my besties too were shortlisted for the offer 🙂 I was so happy and had rushed to hostel to call my parents who will be more happy than me, my hostel mate Praveen, Kamaraj, Srikanth & Thamu had wished me with much happiness…

The next thing I did after smiling was a kiss… a kiss to my book… Ennangal (Thoughts) which gave me the optimism.

PC: Self :D

PC: Self 😀

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Together for 48 hours after 48 months


It was on the second day after I’d joined college I sat in first bench. I couldn’t turn back when to hit him back when Ananth use to pinch my ears from third bench 😀  I was sitting in right corner of the bench so that I can look outside the window (but I didn’t do it, will tell you later why). It was Praveen, Vignesh, Mouli & I were occupying the first bench.

It’s not even the third day after the commencement of college and we started imitating our lecturers who are even yet to know our names. This made everyone in my class to mingle with each other soon. Even a 5 minutes gap after the lecturer leave the class was a pen game time. Two benches will jump in for the Pen game and chalk fight will go on in other side of class in parallel. It was during our HOD’s class hour our class did a mass bunk and went to marina beach and played Kabadi and spent awesome time at beach. As none of us had camera mobile at that time we were able to enjoy the time at beach fully and now I’m sure this post will remind that evening to my friends.

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I use to spend most of my weekends at Vignesh house and Praveen’s house and enjoy the home food and spend time playing NFS and by watching movies. It was in Vignesh house that I’d watched three movies continuously and slept when everyone was about to wake up. Sundar, Vignesh and I had watched a thriller (FInal Destination) followed by a ghost movie, all of a sudden there was a sound near our window.. We were absolutely calm and just laughed after few mins… We then watched Mr.Bean’s Holidays to free up mind from ghost thoughts and the clocked 5:30 AM when the movie was over.

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Years passed by and we started getting campus interview at our college. Praveen & Vignesh got placement at Patni in initial few weeks after the campus interview started.  It was almost the last company that we all attended together in our campus and 10 of us got placement in Accenture including me, Praveen & Vignesh. After college was over I moved to my native and waited for the call letter to join and we were asked to join in Bangalore on 19th may.

I was so happy that we three was placed in same location. We have joined and took house for rent in Bangalore, brook field. The initial two months during our training was a thriller duration, because of the frequent test we had during the training. As I was thinking we are going to be together, I got my first project in Pune even though I had responded like below

Caller (Manish): Am I talking to Bhargav?

Me: yes…

Manish: Are you ready to relocate to Pune?

Me: No…

Manish: Are you willing to work in shifts?

Me: No…

Manish: Have you got training on Weblogic, Tuxedo, Database?

Me: No…

Manish: Thank you.

Me: Thank you.

I came back to Vignesh, Praveen & said ‘hey I said no for the relocation’ da 🙂 🙂 So I’m going to be here in Bangalore with you guys. Went home happily after the end of day. As I logged in to the computer the next day in office, the first email that I’d received was ‘You’re hard locked to our project and you manager is this person and you should report in Pune office on June 16’. 😦 I was confused whether all my ‘No’ was heard by Manish as ‘Yes’. But no other go I’d moved to Pune and spent 15 months.

Then I got a chance to come back to Bangalore as my project got over 🙂 I came back again to Bangalore in 2009 and joined with Praveen & Vignesh again. I was so happy to be back again with new room mates Sathish, Ejas, Ashy, Libin & Kenny. After another 15 months everyone got transferred to Chennai and only Libin and I’d remained in Bangalore.

4  years passed since my friends had moved to Chennai & I came to US for a short time a few months back. To my surprise Vignesh’s client location too is 3 hour travel distance from my place 🙂 We’d planned to meet and decided to visit Atlanta to meet Ejas & Ashy. So We’d booked ticket in bus from New York & finally we met after a long time. He came to my house the day before our bus departure and we spent time together after 4 years and all the time until we reached Atlanta was spent talking & laughing. It was after 4 years we got  time to spend 48 hours together & that will sure bring a smile in me when I think about that. 🙂

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Rise above fear – Based on True events.


Statutory warning: This post might remind you about your exam times. For those who are still studying, please do not try this at school/college. Tricks are performed by ‘an expert’.

After completing L.K.G to 5th standard in Sri Sathya Sai Bala Gurukulam (Which is no more called by the same name, as my school was taken over by a new educational group 😦cleardot ), It was my first day at a new school in 6th standard. I’d 7 subjects (Tamil, English, Hindi, Maths, Science, Social Studies, G.K) until then and when I’d joined the new school, all that I’d in mind was Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Maths I, Maths II because these subjects are going to be in separate books from 6th standard. Never worried about Geography or History as that’s my favorite subject.

Until class 5, I use to get ranks between 1,2 & 3. I remember showing answers to others. One of the greatest moment was I’d helped my friend’s brother who was in class 3, when I was in class2, while sitting next to each other during exam. We used to sit in stairs of our school during exams, the climate in Hosur was always chill so we use to sit in stairs, varanda during exams. The lowest rank I remember that I got was 5. This is until class 5. And that’s the last time I remember I got ranks in single digit in top 5. Haha :) I was so happy in my life until the first mid term exam timetable was circulated in new school. Very first time I was afraid of something. Not just because of so many subjects, it’s because I may not get top ranks :).

Fear in me got increased year after year. Studying for enjoyment and rank (up-to class 5) turned into studying for better mark and good rank. Further it got worst in class 8 and 9. Studying for better mark turned into studying for pass mark for few subjects. And when I was scared about how my marks are going to be in exams, I’d started taking help from friends during exams & I remember I’d even stopped talking to my friend Arulganesh for not showing his answer in exam :). It was just a 2nd mid-term exam during 7th standard. I didn’t talk for a week and that’s not because he had not showed his answers, it’s because he’d advised me in exam hall to write anything I can remember about the answer and not copy. :) Haha… He didn’t realize I would’ve written something if I know it well.

It was during a quarterly exam, I’d decided to come out of fear… Instead of asking friends to show their answers, I started looking at their papers in exam hall and gave them confidence that nothing would happen if they shows answers in exam hall :). Years passed by and I was in 10th standard, Oh god! Back to state board and only 5 subjects, No one would have been happy like in that year. Because after so many years only 5 subjects that I’d to study. And I’m back to form by showing others my answers, It was during my public exam, on Maths exam, I’d completed my paper in ONE HOUR and was planning to double check what I’ve written, when I began to do it, Muralidharan (not a friend, but my class mate) asked me to show my answers, first time i was afraid to show my answer though I wanted to, as it’s exam hall I may be debarred from exam for 3-5 years if caught. Yet, the examiner gestured me as ok to show & I’d shown my answer to him. And in this meantime, I forgot to double check my answer. After I gave the answer sheet to invigilator I’d realized that in an answer instead of writing (x-5) (x+3), I’d written as (x-5)(x-5) because of which I lost 3 marks and missed centum in maths by 3 marks.

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Then +1, +2 (11th, 12th) went on little dull & got a decent good marks in final exams. Now in U.G, though subjects were known already, but syllabus were in depth. Marks were like waves and understanding was like graphs :). 3 years passed by & in meantime secured college first mark in Tamil during 3rd semester. After 3 years finally out of college now and joined job. I was so happy for few months that I need not touch books there after. But things were different!!!

GFT – Green Field Training. For initial two months at office, I’d studied like never before. If I score pass mark (70), I’ll leave office as an employee or I’ll be terminated 😦 Two months went with fear about my final result. Whether I will be an employee or not… Finally stayed there as employee :). Months passed by… realized that I need to do a P.G and joined MCA in “toughest university in the Universe or milky way galaxy” (for me) & number one university in India (per govt statistics), IGNOU. My colleagues scared me by saying it’s very tough university, 75% attendance is mandatory and tough evaluation in exams etc… I smiled and said that I’ll manage.

3dfbb7898-1  Joined MCA now, no fear for exams. :) Came out of all fear and I could breath easy at exam hall though I didn’t know a single question in the paper :)For a subject in 3rd year, I didn’t LITERALLY open or see the question paper. I’d applied all ‘kathukitta vitthai’ (meaning implemented all tricks I’ve learnt throughout these years) with all my prior ‘taking help from friends’ experience, and passed almost all subjects and even viva (will write a separate post about this later) made victory!!!!

It’s not my victory… It’s people’s Victory. :)

A final message to you… Come out of fear… do what your mind says… There is lot of fun waiting. :)

Watch the video below to rise above fear!

Achham thaandi uchham thodu!!!

This post is written for Rise above fear! contest by 10259701_813156878696314_7865279074898729849_n (Mountain Dew) https://www.facebook.com/mountaindewindia and Hosted by IndiBlogger-Logo-Light-Background-e1350035970796.