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Life has been such a wonderful set of experiences. We enjoy so many minuscule things not realizing that it is in fact, infinite. Lives and experiences across various instants of time, all fading away into a blissful infinite. An open-door to the universe. The past few months have been revelationary. Every day, a wonderful day; and every moment, but pure bliss. It is senseless to wonder what the purpose of all this is. It is wise however, to sit back and relax and take in all that life has to offer to you. For after this brief fleeting moment of time, everything dissipates.

Happiness is the only thing that is worthwhile experiencing. All other emotions are basically crutches and scaffolding that uphold this feeling called happiness. So radiate your feelings within. They will congregate at the center to come together and celebrate this insane theater called life. As we grow smarter, we get closer to what beings a million years ago had envisioned. You can traverse through the vast stretches of the universe through thought. Thought is the fifth dimension through which information is passed across the fourth dimensional space-time.

But time has come to cheer, for we are realizing our part in this grand design, what we are meant to do. Everything in the universe has a part to play. It does not matter if it is as massive in space or minuscule in time. Even a moth has a life and it experiences the universe in full glory. It does not matter if God has created us unequally. There is no concept of equality in heaven. Even feeling a sense of being treated as unequal has its roots in selfishness. Thus, a moth has lived its life being just as happy as you would have, when you have crawled away.

The question is still unanswered, “Am I coming through in waves?”

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Sedentary Me

Every morning, my phone’s dilemma is the same. It’s whether to set off the preset alarm or to let my Dad’s call go through – both of which happen simultaneously at exactly 8 AM. After a bit of the customary wiggle and stretching, I rise, like a fallen angel, only to head straight into the next, more profound dilemma – am I in the real world or am I still dreaming! Yes, dreams have become a bit of a bore these days where I have started dreaming of Gettin-up, Gettin-dressed and Gettin-out! Welcome to the world of the Sedentary Me!

My morning routine has become so repetitive and sequential, that I have retraced my own footsteps over and over again, to an extent that there is a beaten down path on the floor. I dare not to change my everyday routine due to my strongly held belief that if I did, it would somehow affect my karmic journey through space-time and give me a terrible day. And thus, I proceed with my morning tasks.

After the cursory email and like-check, which off-late has been as uneventful as the barren plains on the dark side of the moon, I head out of my humble abode to meet the world, head-on, only to be blinded by the light outside that give my pupils a stretch. Boy, can it get sunny in Bangalore these days! I then gracefully park my bottom over the saddle of my Black Stallion, and let music set the daily rhythm. If my daily routine were a playlist, it would start with Zephyrus in the Sky and end with all of the rest will flow; only to wake up the next morning, to the only random event of my day – the 8 AM alarm/phone call!

The credit card market in India is hot right now. Every time I step outside my office, I meet at least 2-3 people every week from various banks offering me a credit card. But the difficult part with getting a credit card is failing to pay your dues on time. The credit card companies entice you with cashbacks, fuel credits, gifts et al and a whole host of other goodies. The downside is I need to subscribe to multiple Banks to get the benefit. But, Banks need not rely on people’s stupid decisions and misfortune to make a profit through their individualized efforts.

My idea is to open an open common platform service like Trivago to help manage credit cards. This common credit card service should enable me to browse through the features/offerings of various banks and subscribe for their service and make distributed payments to all the banks, from a single platform, for a nominal fee of course. For instance, I see on Flipkart that a certain product has a 20% cashback from a Bank A’s credit card. And Amazon has a similar cashback offer on Bank B’s Credit card. My common credit card service should enable me to get a Bank A Credit Card account in a jiffy, get my cashback and be done with it. If I have subscribed to 10 Credit Cards, all the user interface and platform, billing, payments and purchasing I do, would be on a single platform. Blockchain technology where banks serve as authorizing and approving ledgers can be incorporated.

I have come across people who have multiple credit cards and start rotating the money from one to the other to pay their bills on time and end up in a vicious cycle gathering interests. This common platform based credit card would help avoid such situations and hence be more beneficial to the economy and the individual on the whole.

One of my well researched paper

Download the Paper Here

20-MECH-694, Autumn 2008:
Industrial Heat Exchange Engineering & Design
Santhosh V. Iyer
Mechanical Engineering
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

  • BEML Complex Bajjis:

There is a popular adage in RR Nagar. If you see a huge crowd lined up outside an eatery, just join the queue and gorge on the food. The BEML Complex Bajji shop is a quintessential eatery which goes with the aforementioned saying. Situated at the basement of the BEML complex, they open at 5:30PM and by the time they start batching out the yummy Bajjis, there is usually a small queue lined already. They make mouthwatering Chilly/Aloo Bajjis and yummy vadas, all served with a tinge of their signature bitterness. Their items goes very well with some mild fluffy curd rice. The only bad thing, like all good budget eateries, is the crowd. You cannot order, leave the place and come back for a pickup. But rather, you have to spend some excruciating minutes just to get your order in hand before someone snatches it out of your waiting order line. But then, you would be entertained albeit mesmerized with the Bajji lady’s skill of dropping the medu Vada in the hot oil with the perfect Vada hole. Also, the way she manages to make evenly cooked snacks out of the oil pan is a true tribute to the Bajji making skill. BEML Complex Bajji shop – worth the wait!

  • SLV College Canteen:

SLV Canteen is probably one of the highly held unbeknownst treasures of RR Nagar. We RR Nagarians, will not easily want to share the secret of the location of the restaurant to outsiders. Hence, it is with great caution and restraint that I disclose the location and discuss the ecstatic gastronomical delights of the SLV college canteen. It is often rumored that there are times when the queue outside the SLV Canteen is found to be longer than the queue of devotees at the Rajarajeshwari Temple. How’s that for a fun fact? The elite of RR Nagar send down their BMW’s and Audi’s to pick up the canteen’s famed Special Masala Dosa. Dripping with Ghee and Chutney powder, this equilateral triangular shaped Dosa is a must have when you are around the area. The soft fluffy idly’s and the overly puffed Vada’s, with their sweet sambhar – Hmm, takes you back to those days. There is never a time when this Darshini hotel is short of customers. And with people like me around, it will never be short of fans too.

  • The Jain Chapathi Shop:

This eatery, located adjacent to the Rangamandira needs a lot of preparation from your end, to get to their soft, brown crusted Chapathis along with the curry of the day. Reason – well, there is a lot of demand, you need to call in an hour before you can arrive at the shop for a pick-up. Since the owner has a day job elsewhere, there are often many times when the shop is closed and you just cannot get to your daily quota of chapathis. The Jain Chapathi Shop – Just like how Amma makes it!

Some other notable eateries are as follows, I could not get the time to write a review about them all, but they are worth a visit or two, or three, or five….nonetheless:

  • Kappi Katte
  • Mane Holige
  • Gujarati Mad Café Snacks
  • Brahmins Coffee Square
  • Davangere Benne Dose
  • Cheffu n Stuffu
  • Sai Café – Global Village Food Court

I’ve been told that I have good penmanship (or typemanship to be more precise), by my employers and clients alike. And there are people who have reached out to me, asking how I draft emails so quickly and get effective responses from the stakeholders with little iterations. And this is for those of you who might find it worth your while going through this post, to basically sharpen your writing skills at work. I am deriving content for this post based off of my own experiences.

As far as I can recall, written communication at work mostly fall under one of these following categories: Conveying a message and asking questions, Presenting an Analysis, Describing an Idea and Educating the Reader.

If you were to write an email to your supervisor asking for a vacation (conveying a message), state it upfront and do not fall under the routine of “Respected Sir, As I am suffering from…”. In fact, while conveying a message/asking questions, keep it as short and simple as possible. There, you are done!

Next, we come to presenting analysis. During my initial corporate days, I used to write stories after stories, to my onshore counterparts, about pieces of code I was debugging. It seemed like the core intent of my email was to build the crescendo and capture the “Eureka! I found it”, moment that I had experienced whilst analyzing the code. I had a sliver of hope that I can pass the epiphany across to my counterpart. Sometimes, I used to spend an entire hour drafting an email, and the email would flow into pages after pages with gibberish code pasted in between. Then, I would spend 10 minutes to make the email look more aesthetically pleasing. And when I turned up for work the next day, I would find a one-liner response from my counterpart. It was like Dravid defending off a well paced one from Akhtar.

My sincere piece of advice is to avoid story-telling while emailing analysis to someone seated on the other side of the world. Present your conclusions first, period! Followed by the facts. If you wanted to convey a lot of information, go by bulleted points. If you anticipate a lengthy email, it would be better to finish the conversation over IM, phone et al., but then, not many people prefer having cold dinner at 11:00 PM at home.

If you were to describe an Idea, instead of going all out by storytelling, look around for prescribed formats. Generally, you would need to state the problem by describing the current situation, present your idea and list out the benefits. Use creativity, but refrain from using too much flowery language – makes people think you are just drawing castles.

If the intent of your email is to educate a layman on a certain process, please, for God’s sake, do not get technical. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if a certain point you are trying to make is of importance to him/her. And yes, you need to spend a lot of time drafting your email because in all probability, it is going to be the last time you are explaining something across. If you get a one-liner Thank-You email in return, you have nailed it!

In today’s corporate world, having a good command over English helps, but that is not the sole determining factor regarding how effective your written communication is. As long as you are clear and direct, and the reader understands you, you are good. Your intent is not to woo the reader, but rather to get to business, and be done.

You can rely on spell and grammar checkers for a cursory check, but these tools overlook some finer details. For instance, generally nouns end with a “ce” and verbs with a “se”. In the English language, it is customary to say “Please Advise and “Thank You for your piece of Advice. Look it up. There are many other funny things that spellcheckers miss out on. Finally, verify you have the right people, in the right order, in your senders list. And make sure you have not forgotten to attach that file you are referring to in the email, to prevent an embarrassing incident.

Type Away!! And most importantly, have fun writing – gives you a good reason to get to work the next morning. Those 4 lovely words, “You’ve Got Unread Messages!”

A loved one with a medical emergency, a financial crisis, an emotional crisis, trouble at school… We have all had difficult times in life, when a curve ball is thrown at you, and then another one comes in! Your options then, would not be to hit the ball out of the park and walk out a hero; but rather, to get through the day successfully, knowing you have done all the best that can do at that given point in time. The difficult times may last for a few days to weeks to sometimes even months. I too, have faced situations like that and thought I’ll pen down a few tips that helped me get through my difficult times. Lest I forget.

  • Do not suffer alone – get a few people to help you out. Maybe Family, Friends or Colleagues. But choose wisely, if they decide to help you out, you owe them one someday.
  • Maintain a dynamic To-Do list: You might become overwhelmed by the number of things happening around you and the number of decisions you might need to take. Maintaining a to-do list, at-least in my case, helps vastly reduce the stress and efficiently close your action items for the day. We all do this at work – why not take it to your personal lives as well? Jot down your tasks, sort them by priority and do not miss out on something important.
  • Keep track of Expenses, and if possible, Time too: You definitely do not want to lose track of expenses and keep a check on your finances. Sometimes, you might need to ration out your time as well.
  • Try not to lose too much Sleep: Else, you would very probably end up making sloppy decisions and become nerve wrecked.
  • Tell yourself that the tough times are going to pass – because that is a fact.
  • Maintain an emergency kit at home at all times: Most emergencies involve hospitals, a lot of travel and finances to some level. It is wise to prepare an emergency kit at home, a bag for instance and stuff it with anything you feel will be important in case of a crisis. For instance, Insurance card copies, some cash, contact numbers, a button phone, charged power banks and travel chargers to name a few. Imagine a foreseen possible emergency and prepare a kit, hoping that you might not have to use it anytime in your life.
  • And when it is all over, sit down and reconcile upon your tough time – you can come up with very sound revelations about your social circles. Who helped you, who avoided you and who just talked, and so on.

I pray that emergencies should never come to anyone, but when it does, it is better to be prepared than to be caught off-guard.