Half the Sky

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Dec 9th 2010

Content: Strictly "A" rated, not for children or under 18.

When I initially saw this video Sunitha's TED talk on facebook doing the rounds, I took a look at it, felt very violated that such violence could exist, and that man is capable of doing this to a child, and thinking that such people are not human but animals. And the thing that struck me the most about the whole video was that all these victims ask for is only acceptance after all they have been through, nothing more. This was more than a few months ago.

Our local public library displays books from current best selling lists at the entrance and also loans them out for 14 days with no renewals. I have gotten off late into the habit of picking up one book at a time from there; because otherwise I feel I get into a rut of reading the same author's books until I have read every one that he/she has written; because I don't want to experiment. But after I found The Millenium Series like that; reading Steig's book when it was on the best seller's list I have gotten bolder. And that is how I found "Half the Sky". And am I glad I did, because in a way it has changed everything in my world, in my mind, in how I comprehended "gender inequality", "being in pain" and "what mankind is capable of".

From their website;

" Half the Sky lays out an agenda for the world's women and three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape; maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute. We know there are many worthy causes competing for attention in the world. We focus on this one because this kind of oppression feels transcendent – and so does the opportunity. Outsiders can truly make a difference."

I will say only this much. This is not a light read but that is precisely why you should read it. The suffering these women have undergone, and the spirit with which they emerge is truly inspirational and their courage is unbelievably commendable. It puts everything in perspective and one cannot walk away untouched.

If we each think; there are ways in how we live our everyday lives that affect how we think, how we proclaim what is important to us. Similarly the society we grow up in is hugely responsible for who we are as persons, who we are as individuals, what we accept as right or wrong.  Any which way you look at it, any which society we belong to, what happened to all these women who were brave enough to share their stories and to countless more is just gut wrenching.

So what can I/you do? No one can have all the answers. But creating awareness is a step in the right direction because if one is aware, and one starts pondering about it, you will think of ways in which a positive change can happen. All these organizations and individuals need monetary help, need government support, need our support to succeed.  I believe if we put our hearts into it, our minds will find a way to incorporate into our daily lives the lessons these women have shared with their indominatable spirit and find avenues to cheer them along!

Naan Mahaan Alla ( I am not a saint)

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels:

Oct 31st 2010

I sat to watch this movie because my husband said it was good and I did not have a choice; without having a clue what it was about. The last movie I had seen of Karthik's was Paiyya and I was sorely disappointed. The movie I saw before that Paruthiveeran was so gross it made me throw up and not sleep for weeks together. So one can imagine the mind frame with which I would have started and how wrong I was.

I would classify this in the same genre as Anjathey , if you thought that was good, you would love this. And this movie again reinforced how much new talent Tamil cinema so proudly showcases. It is a dark thriller that keeps one glued to their seats from the first scene to the last. Nothing is what one would expect in this movie, no regular villains, no larger than life hero, however in the dumb heroine who cannot act to save her life department Kajal Agrawal is dead on! She looks cute so I let it pass. If you do not like dark movies, please skip this. If you are the kind that can watch it as a movie without getting affected then don't miss it! It exposes you to a kind of evil that you wish did not exist, that which you cannot control and that which you fear and hope you don't ever come across. 

Karthi is great in this role. He has a casual demeanor that suits very well and the comedy scenes come naturally to him. However all the scenes between him and Kajal Agrawal can easily be passed, that would be a good time to get a snack. The people in negative roles in this movie are so menacing and convey so much without much effort that I struggle to erase them from memory. The latter part of the movie is highly engrossing and very very well crafted.  Every scene is so real and the background so apt you have no trouble believing where you are. The devastating visuals of Tsunami ravaged areas are very desolate and chilling.

The climax is very apt and one thing I can assure you of - As calmly as the protagonist walks away, no viewer can walk away from this movie.


Author: Anu Karthik / Labels:

  • Watch it NOT because you can BUT because you cannot not watch it :D
  •  Watch it NOT as a movie BUT for the experience of it
  • Watch it NOT because you are a Rajni fan BUT if you are not and you will know why you should be one
  •  Watch it NOT as a Shankar or a Rajni film BUT for the sheer magnus opum that it is. Something you have never seen before and anything you see after will only be an imitation
  •  Watch it NOT for Aishwarya’s acting BUT for how she looks. So breathtaking that if I were a machine I would fall nut over bolt in love with her too!
  •  Watch it NOT for ARR’s music BUT for his singing. He rocks Irumbile oru Iruthaiyum mulaithatho
  •  Watch it NOT for the mediocre second half BUT for the inimitable stupendous first half that makes you thirst for more
  •  Watch it NOT for the old age romance between the lead pair BUT for the techno age romance between Chitti and Sana
  •  Watch it NOT for the scenes between Chitti V2.0 and Dr.Vasi BUT for the scenes between Chithi V1 and Vasi that question the integrity of humans
  •  Watch it NOT NOT NOT for Santhanam and Karunas BUT so surely for Rajini’s trademark comic timing brought to life in his robot role (My favorites – Rangusky and Who’s that Chellaatha?)
  •  Watch it NOT for the exotic locales in the songs BUT for the technical perfection and seamless editing in every scene with more than one of the same character
  •  Watch it NOT for Machu Pichu BUT for the heaven showcased in Kadhal Annukal
  •  Watch it NOT for the choreography BUT for the grace that Aishwarya showcases so effortlessly
  •  Watch it NOT for Aishwarya’s costumes BUT for Chithi’s makeup
  •  Watch it NOT for Peter Heins and Resul Pookutty BUT for Cochin Hanifa and Sujatha - talents who are no more and are sorely missed
  •  Watch it NOT for Shankar’s famed picturization BUT for the spell bounding scenes once Chithi V2.0 is born
  •  Watch it NOT looking for a screenplay BUT for the genre of SCI-FI that Shankar has so absolutely successfully brought to Indian cinema
  •  Finally watch the movie to believe that there is such a thing called FATE. A movie that two stars in their own right refused only to be taken by one who with his larger than life image fits the role to a T and rocks it like no other!

Why facebook still rocks my world

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Sept 28th 2010

  1. For starters, you just have to press a button and like to stay in touch, you don't even have to type or say a word, it cannot get easier than that. C'mon lets get realistic here. I know the dislike button would complete it, but one of life's important lessons is to learn to be CONTENT:)
  2. You can really develop yourself as a person by having conversations from mutliple people from so many walks of life, all on your wall, just in one space. Where else can you do that without conflict?
  3. With the number of explict updates some people provide, it is very much like watching a real time reality show, only this time you know it is true :P
  4. You can find out what happened to your ex-girlfriend's ex-boyfriend too, without appearing nosy :)
  5. Someone for once asks you what is on your mind and really allows you to say what you want.
Let's admit it, what else is going on in your life/work that is more interesting or addictive :D

P.S. I am impatient to think of more 'cos I have to get back to fb :)


Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

June 7th 2010

S.M.I.L.E - why? Because you can!

How many times has your day been cheered up by a really full smile that a stranger in the elevator gave you? Or by the co-worker that held the door open as you come running in? Or the store keeper that goes out of the way to find that one ingredient you are looking for? Or the totally cherubic smile and “Have a nice day!” by the person in the wheelchair?

And still do we smile at every person we see and return this same kindness?  And if we do, are we able to do it without expecting the smile to be returned? I often can’t and feel very let down when a greeting is not returned. But seriously, I don’t get how hard it can be to just smile back, even if you have not initiated it. And then again how do I know what is in the other person's head.

Having said that, I will continue to smile even if it rains all the time here, because I continue to be cheered on by the happiness and joy that strangers bring into my life by their open greetings and easy gestures. So I request you all to smile more and often too. This is another reason you need to brush your teeth twice now, seriously!

And when you SMILE real wide, you will make another person happy. And then when I smile at that person, maybe they will smile back, and it will come a full circle :)

"Smile, be considerate, have good manners – if that does not work, then you at least know you tried your best and you can then come to the realization that perhaps the other person is dealing with many of their own struggles. If nothing else, you brightened up that person’s day in some small way - unknown"

Angaadi Theru - Market Street

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

June 7th 2010

Aval apapdi ondrum azhagillai;
Avalukku yaarum yinai illai.
Aval appadi ondrum color illai;
Aanal athu oru kurai illai.

Translates to

“ She is not that very beautiful;
There is none equal to her.
She is not so very fair;
But there is nothing wrong with that.”

The lyrics of this song not only describe the heroine in my opinion but also the whole movie and the message it tells. In this wonderful movie Vasanth Balan takes on the challenge of telling the story and plight of the sales girls and boys working in the huge multiplex stores like Saravana that have changed the face of Chennai in a way.

I don’t mean for this post to be a review as first off it has been a long time since the movie originally released. Second off it has almost been a month since I have seen it but have been able to channel some time to pen my thoughts only now. What I do want to say is if you have not seen this movie, please do if you are able to and I guarantee you will look at shopping in these multiplexes and interacting with these workers in a whole new light.

There are many heart wrenching scenes and some that make you outright want to throw up at the plight of the poor; but it is a beautiful tale told in a way that reinforces the strength of the human spirit and that it will survive all odds.

Pasi thaan miga perum mirugam” –“Hunger is the most terrible beast”; and “Kai Kaal illamal manushan undu aanal vaay um vayarum illamal manithan unda”- “There are people without hands and legs but is there anyone without a mouth to eat or a stomach to feel hunger?” These questions rankle the viewer.

I am very happy that Tamil cinema has such talented and conscious directors who bring these small stories to the forefront and highlight the plight of these nobodies. From each of us customers, a cheerful smile and a thoughtful word will do a lot to bring some respite into their otherwise prison lives. 

P.S. It does not hurt to think twice when we ask for another color or another shade of a saree or a kurta or a dress, whether we really will buy it and if it involves another useless trip to the godown for these poor workers.

Indus Ladies Spl. for Mother's Day

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

Indusladies.com wishes everyone a Happy Mother's Day! It provides all of us the opportunity to reflect back on the special relationship we have with our kids and/or our mothers (Also, see our Parenting & Kids Forum). 

For this Mother's Day, we are doing something special. 

We at Indusladies.com have been consistently amazed by the incredible talent of Mommy Bloggers. If you have read even a few of them, you would be awed by how they provide expression to the emotions and sentiments that exist in the unique relationship between a mom and her kids. 

We want this tribe to flourish. For this mother's day, we want to pay tribute to our mommy bloggers and provide them exposure to the 1 Lakh members and Facebook/Twitter fans of Indusladies.com. Even if each of thesebloggers pick up a few regular readers as a result of this, we would consider this initiative successful. 

The attached E-Bbook has a list of over 50+ Mommy Blogs and over 250+ Blog Posts. Please download, enjoy and share!  Pick it up here e-book

Thank you

Indusladies.com Team

Customer Service - Part I

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

May 11th 2010

I guess we all have our customer service stories to tell. Some great and some frustrating. In the land of Uncle Sam that is renowned for the saying "Customers are always right" and with some stores having a six month return policy with or without a receipt , we as customers always expect fair treatment and satisfaction with a product. It is also not wrong to say that sometimes this system is abused and "customer satisfaction" sometimes becomes overrated. 

With the availability of 24 hour customer service and in-availability of people to work 24 hours, most of the call centers and customer service requests are routed to places in India where labor is available cheaply and smart brains and English speaking natives are an added plus. Unfortunately, all of that seems non-existent and useless when you are getting help from a human who feels more like a robot reading answers from a manual for questions that you ask. Sometimes you can even hear the sound of pages flipping, sigh!

Scenario 1

I am logged in with a customer service agent from HP trying to report an issue with a laptop I purchased less than a year ago.

Agent: Good morning Anu!
Me: Good morning and how are you?
Agent: Thanks for asking, how may I assist you?
Me: Well, my laptop is not functioning and the keys on the keyboard don't work and the battery is dead, does not get charged.
Agent: OK, so that I understand your issue , your laptop is not functioning and the keys on the keyboard don't work and the battery is dead, does not get charged.

After repeating more or less everything I said again and again, and me spending more than 3 hours troubleshooting with him,  I finally got that idiot on the other end to understand that I cannot login because I cannot type the password because the keys on the keyboard don't work. Yeah, and I would have repeated it only about 10 times.

Finally, success and I got him to take it in for repair.

A week passes and I get the laptop back. It turns on, does not beep and the battery seems to have been replaced. But no receipt or order form provided that actually tells you what has been done with the laptop. And there is a small dent on the case.

And so back I am, talking to another Agent. Trust me, they are out to kill you.

Agent: Good morning Anu!
Me: Good morning and how are you? [thinking to myself, please keep my morning good]
Agent: Thanks for asking, how may I assist you?
Me: I have gotten my laptop back, but there is a dent in the case, near the right corner and I am wondering how to get it fixed.
Agent: OK, so that I understand your issue , your laptop has a dent in the screen?


Agent: oh ok ok. So I understand your issue, you have a dent in your laptop case? Correct?
Me:  Yes! [Thank God for small mercies]. 
Agent: M'am we are the software dept. I have to transfer you to hardware.

After being transfered between hardware, software and technical support about 6 times,  I finally got to speak to one person and we were discussing how to get it fixed, finally!

Agent: So we can send you a pre-paid postage box and you can mail the laptop in and they we will fix it.
Me: Yes, but that will take a lot of time. Is there a local HP service agent that I can take this laptop to?
Agent: Yes, that can be done too, but there may be a charge.
Me: Why? The laptop is still under warranty, why would there be a charge?
Agent: Yes it is under warranty, so there will be no charge. But there could be, I am just saying.

I am almost dead by now.

Me: Fine. Can you tell me where I can find a local service agent here in Portland, OR?
Agent: How can I tell you where the agent is, how do I know who is available where you live? I don't know where you are!
Me: [in utter disbelief] Are you telling me there is no way you can look up who are authorized dealers here or a HP store that can fix this issue here when I am giving you a zip code? [Thinking to myself maybe the manual does not do the search for him]
Agent: I already told you m'am, How can I tell you where the agent is, how do I know who is available where you live?

And  I hung up.

Single Parenting

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

April 29th 2010

As someone who has had a mother who stayed at home and a dad who worked almost round the clock but mostly from our home, I have never been alone all my life. I have not known what it is to come to a home where hot tiffin is not ready. I have not experienced what it is to have only one parent or have someone you value very much living away from you for any period of time. 

With K being away due to work for the first time for a week, I am a single parent to Mr. V. What was meant to be a couple of days ended up being a WHOLE 5 days. I know it is not that long but try pausing on the 55555555 and maybe it will seem like. And while it has not been physically taxing, emotionally it has been extremely painful to say the least. It is not something I want to do anytime again.

And while I prod along waiting for him to arrive tomorrow, I have been thinking this whole week of all the single parents in this world who have so become either by choice or because of a lack of one. I have been thinking of the strength and endurance they must have to not only earn a living but to also hold the family together with no emotional support that you so unconditionally get from a good spouse. And worse still I think of the people who have had to lose someone they love and worse a child who has lost his parent and how the family would deal with that. The thought is unbearable for me, I pray for those who live that reality.

And I continue to learn lessons in humility and be in awe of the supreme and say my prayers with more fervency. And also be more thankful for what I have today and that K continues to not mind taking the trash out. 

P.S. This week's trash waits for him too.

Race Day

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , , ,

April 11th 2010

As I sit typing this, my lower body is so sore, I could use a massage right now and a bath that I will never get up from :)  I am feeling parts of my leg that I did not know existed. I did it and ran my first half-marathon today. This post is a rambling of my thoughts before, during and after the race.

I dreamt today morning that I had slept through the race and did not wake up on time and as a result could not run. Great beginning I thought when I finally woke up to the sound of the alarm. The race would start at 7 am, we had to be in our spots by 6:30 am, which meant I had to leave the house by 5:45 am ( to give leeway for murphy's law). Woke up at 4:50 am and finally left at 5:50 am. The drive was beautiful. I left a sleeping V and K, to drive in the dark morning. But the weather Gods had heard my prayers and it was not going to rain.  Yay! I ate the very first CLIF energy bar in my life today morning. As I drove to the race, I was mentally telling myself that this was not worth it. I had to take time off from family to do my long runs, not what I wanted to do at all. And today, I was alone physically because K was on-call and of course V could not come on his own now can he? Even when I parked and walked in, that is what I felt.

And then bam, it hit me as I walked into the exhibit hall A. It was ginormous, like a huge conference room. And the adrenaline level was so high. I saw people young and old, fit and not so fit, all ready to race. And so many athletic people, it was just too much in a nice way. And at that minute, I was so kicked that I had decided to do this and made peace that it would all be worth it.  The enthusiam was so contagious. I have felt this many times when I trained and I felt it here again too that one should have a partner. It makes it so much fun. In my case, since I trained based on V's schedule I did not want to burden anyone else with my sketchy routine and hence refrained from searching for a partner. But the next time, when I do it..it will be with someone for sure.

The race was very well organized. We had drop off areas for our stuff and a stretch routine before we started. And right at 7 am we began. I lined myself between the 11:00 min/mile and 12:00 min/mile runners/walkers. When we finally took off, to my left and right every one was overtaking me :) Even walkers and that was shameful. But I did not want to tire myself out the first mile, I was being sensible I told myself. At some points, I just looked back to make sure there were some people behind me after all!

I timed myself and was able to do a steady 12min mile for the first 10 miles for the most part. There was water and gatorade every 2 m, which I definitely needed and almost choked trying to drink while running like I have seen on TV. I should have realised I have seen it on TV and I was not on TV! Then on, I would rest a min, drink it and then continue.  I was good for about 4 miles. I did overtake a few people and that felt awesome. The route was not spectacular, but I got to see parts of Portland Downtown I have not seen so far. For that matter, K and I have not seen any of Portland yet.

And then at around mile 4, I got this crazy idea to pick a competitor who was my pace. What can I do,  I am Indian and competion runs in my blood. And I overtook her and kept going. At least it gave me something to focus. And then at mile 6, my shoelace had to come undone. My hands were so cold that I just could not tie it back again for a while. And and and she overtook me :( And that was that. I tried, but I have to admit not too hard. And she was a good 0.1m ahead of me from then on.

Something wonderful happened after mile 8. There was a huge stretch of a straight road where people ran on both sides. So you would go one way and turn out at the end and run forward in the other direction like an U. This was about 3/4 a mile each way. It was just an absolutely wonderful feeling to see so many people running. I really could feel the energy, enthusiam and good will flowing. And I thought, if humanity can give you such good vibes from such a small deed, how much more we can do if we come together for important, crucial causes? And with that thought and volunteering, I saw her again coming towards me as I continued yet to reach the turn. And we smiled at each other. And then competitor became friend and I no longer cared. Couldn't care too as my butt was being kicked royally as is :)

The last 2 miles, the last mile was especially hard. I could really sense my mind taking over my body and telling me over and over that I was not prepared to do this as the longest I had trained was for 10m. In the end, I did finish and here are the results.

Running gives you a lot of time to think. And that I did for sure today. Some things really moved me during the race, I saw at corners spouses waiting with their kids, waiting for their mother/father to show up and cheer them along. It was lovely to see that. I saw women pushing strollers and running the 10K, one lady was pushing twins and I wanted to do a god-salute to her right there. I saw determinatoin, discipline and drive in the people I ran with today. And in all the volunteers who were there at every mile marker, in between mile markers, giving water, picking up cups, cheering us along at 7 am in the cold, I saw good people who inspired me to do something more than what I currently do. I missed having my boys with me today, but I wore on my hand the watch K gave me 10 years ago and felt his support throughout. And that timed me at 2h 40 min, humpf to the chip timer!

I know I have not won an Oscar but I want to thank my family and friends for their support and encouragement. For many this might be nothing, but for a non-runner like me it is a big deal and I thank God for making this possible.


  • Invest in a good shoe. I don't mean just buy one. Go to a runner's store and check out how your feet are and what kind of arches you have and what will suit best. I did not and I regret it.

  • Find a partner, so you will feel motivated and enjoy the process at least for the long runs.

  • Pick paths and routes that have highs and lows, flats are boring and tough.

  • Get some kind of a waist strap or band to hold water on your long runs, you will need it.

  • Pick good music to use when you run, create a peppy playlist.

  • Morning long runs are great compared to any other time of the day. Also so you won't skip it.

  • Pick a time in your life that is stressful and don't skip training, invest the 8 weeks or 10 weeks that you need and you will enjoy the journey more.

  • Carry too much on the day of the race, they will have all you need, unless you want to carry energy bars and such.

  • Pick a training program that has only running, pick a varied one so you won't be bored.

My First Half Marathon - And I did it !!

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Race planned: Race for the Roses
Gear: a supportive husband, 2 old nike shoes, ipod, water bottle, variety of t-shirts and tracks :)

Week 6
  • Remember to check the wind when you run, I had a bad run on Monday with the wind blowing on my face and it was hard to even do the 3 m which I did.
  • Was a bad week as far as runs, I was quite inconsistent. I was hoping the blog post would actually motivate me but ended up having the reverse effect.
  • I almost did not do my long run this week. Thanks to K I finally shoved my fat butt up and ran in the afternoon while the little one slept. I even encouraged K to catch up on some sleep :)  I ran, walked, ran and died running the 10 miles. The first few miles were good but the last few were very hard. Nothing helped, not the music or the lovely weather. Only the thought of coming to V drove me, but it is over and I am dreading the 12m next week. What was I thinking when I signed up for this?
  • The soreness all over on Sunday, I loved it!
  • Something I have realized from running the past few weeks, pick a path that has slopes, more downs than ups and you will gain your energy some every time you run down a slope. If you pick a straight path then you will feel tired as you just have to keep running and there is nothing you can use to leverage or gain momentum, contrary to my initial thought that flat areas would be better.
  • Week's tally:  17 miles
Week 7
  • Was a hard 4m on Monday, my legs hurt constantly and was feeling thirsty. My knees are still sore from the 10m on Saturday, maybe I am not cut out for this?
  • Did 6m on Wed, was long but good.
  • Walked 3.5m on Thursday. Was an idiot and left my WO clothes at home and could not teach my aerobics class.
  • Could not run any more this weekend, so very low mile count.
  • 3 more weeks to go and I better be ready!
  • Week's tally:  10 miles run + 3.5 m walk
Week 8
  • At this point, my energy and motivation level are quite low. Mainly because I think I am a little bit disappointed in not losing any weight or inches. It would definitely have been a nice side benefit :)
  • And I was getting bored of just running and running. I think I should have picked a trianing program where I would be doing other stuff also.
  • And to top it, this damn rain in Portland just won't stop. It is a getting a bit much where the last 10 days have been rainy and the next 10 too :) in fact there is forecast of rain on the half marathon day, sigh!
  • Week's tally: ~12 miles

Week 9
  • Energy level is high again as I am so close to finishing. I signed up for the half-marathon on March 31st.
  • I did a long run of 8m this week after 2 weeks of not doing it. I actually had a lot of energy and did not need a break almost till 5 miles.  Did not go further than 8m as I did not want to tire myself out the week before the big one.
  • Week's tally: 14-15 miles
Week 10
  • I was a nervous wreck this week mainly because I felt I had not trained enough. The longest I had run is 10m. That left me 3 miles short of the goal. That was a lot to put on race day running high. Suppose I felt too low and could not go beyond a certain point.
  • I decided worst was that I would walk.
  • Ran 3m on Monday, rested on Tuesday, 3m walk on Wednesday and Friday, and taught my aerobics class on Thursday.
  • Rested all day Saturday..ready to run at 7 am Sunday morning.
  • Week's tally: 9 miles

Elevator Summary

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

March 25th 2010

If you have never heard of what this stands for, here is the definition given in the Urban Dictionary:

"An extremely short summary. The kind of summary that can be used when you're going up or down in an elevator, and can explain the matter during those few seconds"

I am referring to it esp. in the context of work and workplace. The answer to the questions "So what are you upto these days?", "Howz work going?", " What do you work in again?" and the like. How many times have you been in the situation when you are in an elevator and one of these questions pops up and you either respond in one word saying "good", "great", "yah the usual stuff" or go into geek talk where you say " Actually..we are dealing with this, basically to solve this problem while acidically I should just die!" while mentally thinking " Darn, is that the best I can do?" Or you are warming up food in the microwave and as luck would have it Paul Otellini walks in to warm his Michelangelo's Pasta and he says, " Hi, how are you doing? What do you do here?" And you just gape at the chapattis that are warming up and are tongue tied and there goes the one opportunity to make an impression and the chance of your lifetime.

Lesson Learnt: Have an elevator summary ready, you never know when you will need it.

P.S. It does not also hurt to wear good and clean underwear. You never know when, where and how you will die.


Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

March 1st 2010

I have already written about this emotion earlier. But this post is focused on a different meaning of passion. It is focused on 'a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything'. I talk about the passion that Rancho lives by in the movie '3 idiots'

After V, watching movies is a luxury and we allowed ourselves that when we watched 3 movies back to back on 3 nights a couple of weekends ago in the wee hours of the morning as he slept. The only noteworthy one was this . A totally feel good movie that made me want some more. I fell in love despite trying not to with Rancho and his passion and zeal for what he did. I could empathize with the characters of Raju and Farhan because much as we would all like to be Ranchos the reality is that we live in the shoes of Raju and Farhan with a dash of Rancho if we are lucky :P And that is where this  post is headed.

If we really think about where we are in our careers and in our lives in general, it would be a place reached with a path taken that was based on a lot of planning, analysis and practicality. The trick is in understanding how much of an ingredient 'passion' was in that mix. If it was not, then have you learnt to be passionate about what you have ended up with? If the answer to both part a) and b) is a clear NO then I am willing to bet that you are unhappy many times and are constantly searching for ways to enrich your life. Do I sound a bit like Dr. Phil, believe me I am not trying to.

At one of the workshops at work, I came across this session I took where they asked us to take the Passion Test. It involved writing down things that you are passionate about and would do in an ideal situation and things you are doing with your current life or situation. And wonder of wonders those who were happy were those who were doing what they were passionate about at least to some extent.  If you end up with 2 different lists totally and there is no mesh between what you would ideally be doing and what you are doing everyday, how can you be happy?

In another instance, in a career development workshop, there was a discussion about how trying to be in a place where your talents, passions and work match is key to a person being successful in his/her job. Same deal, there too.

And I sat there thinking..how come no one ever taught this day 1 in school or in college even for that matter. Well, if your passion is to be a snake charmer then that might need some revisiting, but even then you could try to pursue it as a hobby, right?

Anyway, in my own personal experience I have found that I work well when I do things I am passionate about.  Even if I have to do something I don't like, I try to offset it by doing other things that I care about. So end result is that one is still happy.

Life is too short to waste, so go on and discover your passions and try to make it happen.

My First Half Marathon - Halfway there

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

The fact that I have always craved an athletic body is no surprise, we all want to look like supermodels and fit into size 4 clothing [I don't like size 0]. If you deny, you lie! Watching Athletics and Olympics always brings an adrenaline rush like no other though that is about the maximum I watch as far as sports go barring tennis. All around me everyone was running marathons and halfs and I just kept plodding along my usual life. When the first time I got the desire to train for a half, we wanted to have a baby, and so V happened. And now that he is there I wanted to do something to feel better about my body and my activity level, something to give me a focus. And so this is the first time I am training seriously for a half. Whether I ran in the end or not, I wanted to train for one. And so it started. I want to maybe do a marathon by the time I am 30, well lets not count the chickens before they hatch.

Race planned: Race for the Roses
Gear: a supportive husband, 2 old nike shoes, ipod, water bottle, variety of t-shirts and tracks :)

Week 1
  • I succesfully completed my first week. The first run is very memorable and I have recorded the experience here
  • Since this is the first week starting out, the motivation is very high and I look forward to each run.However I worry that I should follow through and sleep and wake up thinking of the runs.
  • I have found in this week that I run better on the road than in the gym. 
  • The first ten minutes are the hardest, and then there is a plateau and then I just plod again.
  • I have run more this week than in my entire life.
  • Villu rocks!
  • I am looking forward to week 2.
  • Week's tally:  14 miles
Week 2
  • My shoes suck and I need to get new ones.
  • I ran lesser distance in the same time on the treadmill than on the road but burnt more calories and felt more tired- go figure!
  • I have a playlist for running and like it.
  • I missed one run this week because we were in Seattle but made up by running more on  Thursday.
  • I ran 4.6 miles on Thursday, and that was really really long for me :(
  • If I check the weather a day or a few hours before when I plan a run, there is lesser chance of me skipping it
  • Made myself a playlist of 60 fast tracks so I feel more motivated to run
  • Week's tally:  10.6 miles
Week 3
  • Motivation level is still high, am doing my upper and lower body workouts too every day (3 times a week for each) and abs everyday
  • My shoes really really really suck
  • The Mr got me gloves from his cleanroom to use when I run, so my hands don't feel cold.
  • Started teaching Aerobics again this week (after close to 3 years) and it felt absolutely absolutely wonderful , but this means I am able to run only 3 times..and am still figuring out my schedule
  • Week's tally: 7.15 miles
Week 4
  • Motivation level is kind of ok, this week and last was able to run only 3 times. 
  • And it rained and rained and rained all week, so all my runs were on the treadmill which were harder and so boring.
  • I was not able to do my long runs the past two weeks due to different reasons so I was dreading the 6m this Sat, but sucked up and did it, and it was so so hard. The weather was wonderful though
  • I walked maybe 0.1 m a couple of times in between but I finished it and that felt gooddd
  • It sucked that I had to leave V to go run so next Sat am gonna be up early so I don't miss out being with him.
  • Week's tally: 15.01 miles
Week 5
  • I can't believe I am close to halfway there and stuck with this plan
  • Annoyingly my weight has not budged, zero, zilch..arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  • Did only 2 good runs this week, the other two were a combination of walk/run but got to spend some time with my boys, so that counts
  • My runs during the week were hard as it rained all day and how much fun can you have on the treadmill, really?
  •  The 8m on Saturday was killing, killing, killing. But I loved my new water bottle pouch (thanks to the Mr) and the weather was beautiful. I was sore the whole day
  • Going to run earlier next week so I don't miss out on too much time with V, that will make me feel tons better
  • Week's tally: 18 miles