Sunday, May 3, 2015

It’s fine to be Selfish at times.

Surprised? What my title says? Doesn't it contradict with your values which always tell you to be selfless and not selfish? So was I. And it dates back to almost three years back when my friend gave me this advice. I took this advice like any normal person. Selfish means selfish. Hardly did I know that there exist more dimensions that could add wonderful meaning to being selfish.

So what I am talking about? In simple words, being selfish isn't a bad thing at all.  How would you prosper if you don’t invest time in yourself? How would you understand your own goal if you don’t know what it is? How would you help someone else if you don’t have the resources and requisite knowledge? I agree one can always help a person to think positively and make him believe in himself, but one should himself be positive person before giving the gyaan to others. One should himself be happy and content before spreading the joy to others. Have you ever seen a flower with no nectar attracting a bunch of bees? It might but won’t hold for long. You need to have something in you to give to others. Until you invest some time and money in yourself, gain the skills and enhance your learning, how would you offer a helping hand to your friend who needs your advice? 
Didn't you learn- God help those who help themselves. Love yourself first, then you will be able to love others and you will be able to receive love of others. Until you feel good about yourself, no one else can make that happen to you. 
So, it’s ok if you have to miss out few parties to attend some online course, it’s ok if you have to miss few movies to experience a whole new adventure if it makes you happy, it’s ok if you have to sleep less to sharpen up your skills, it’s perfectly ok to say No to your friends sometimes, it’s fine to be selfish at times.

P.S.: It’s a rough draft of my thoughts. I am still trying to understand this concept. I am sharing it so that others can also contribute. Please feel free to share your thoughts. I am a learner, an explorer on this wonderful journey of self-discovery.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

No.. it's not Perfect.. but it's Fine!

No.. it's not perfect..   Nah.. something is missing...
Hmm.. wait.. let me think more on this topic n then I'll post it...

This has been my state for past two years. Always in refusal state. Always looking for perfect post,  perfect content. Today,  I have 15 drafts in my account. The moments I wanted to share with this world - be it about crazy MBA days,  IRC team,  Pondicherry trip to latest Hampi trip or journey as a TEDx organizer.. I left them incomplete,  always buying one of the above stated reason.
We become overly dependent on others view,  what they will think,  does it sync with outside world thinking.. ? We fail to express who we really are because we find it hard to let go our social image, to be perfect all the time. 

Let it go. Let that perfect image go. Make mistakes. Post it what you feel, how you feel. We may miss out on opportunities by not playing. One may argue, why not go for perfection in the first attempt. I tired it. And I have come to the terms that let that definition of perfection be defined by you. Step on the ground and play and as you play, you will learn that there's nothing perfect. There's always a room for improvement. So don't stop yourself from playing. Let your inner consciousness give approval to your thoughts, to your actions.

Let you define yourself!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Happiness Galore!

~ Written By Aditi Bafna Shrimal

Hi, I am Aditi. Just like someone you ever met. I am here to share some beautiful moments of my life. Something that is unique and fun filled. Something interesting and close to my heart.

The journey began when I became mother to this beautiful baby whom we lovingly call ‘Ayush’. How in seconds your life changes, I wondered..He was born premature and was kept in incubator for 15 days for medical reasons. It was little tough to be away from your child initially but time flew away and we brought our little sweet heart to his home. From then till today as he entered to his 7th month , this had been amazing.

Well to start with parenthood is quite a roller coaster ride. Nappy changing days to diaper world, baby crying or cracking that first smile, the first outing of you all alone with baby or the tension days when he  not goes to potty and you keep applying all desi and videshi styles to get it right; the list seems endless and the new experiences keep adding.

But there are also some moments of self discovery- the revival  of ‘you’ -  that seems to have  lost somewhere in this sophisticated world of etiquette, you suddenly realize that child within you and just start appreciating the simple start unwinding the complicated ‘me’ factor to the simple joyful smiles.

Yes it is true, at least in our case. Who says romance goes out of air once you are in parenthood? We both discovered that it actually got reinvented with our heart in between from the eyes of Ayush. Lots of giggling moments to complement each other is the key to keep that balance of the life. It is not like you never experience work overloads or stressed days but I still believe it is just in mindset. You just have to keep working on yourself ,  talk together , believe in your love and give time. Nothing could be more beautiful than to see how the understanding and love deepens in this journey.

Evenings have become livelier in meeting all new friends with their babies and now even strangers meet you with tender smile. Even if I am not working , I am proud to be doing dutifully my role and keeping all chores at bay. At the end of the day , I look  to the starry night and the shinning moon, Ayush has closed his eyes and contentedly sleeping besides me and I am thinking inside :

Wonderful and peaceful is what now my state of mind is. 

About Aditi Bafna Shrimal:

Aditi Bafna Shrimal is currently a homemaker. She is B.E. in computer science and holds MBA degree in HR from ICFAI Mumbai. She had been associated with RJ Corp for past 2 years ; worked in HR for their dairy vertical based in Africa. She has now left her job and contentedly enjoying her self-discovery journey with her little son.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Written By Lourdes Soares

“There is an eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

Ever felt that life transforming moment?
Ever felt that you are one with the universe?
Ever felt Awakened?

I am just a 24 year old who was in search of the truth about things. Curious and Childish by nature but that is about it. Arrogance, Pride, Ego – I have none of those, maybe I was born like that, maybe it disintegrated with time. I now just exude two plain emotions Love & Anger and hence being very candid, I am closely guarded by my parents as I get very hurt and very angry.

I’ve been through some great highs and great lows but nothing can be compared to the past 2 months of my life. I was put under great stress and pressure as told to me by my parents. Under great stress & pressure we learn two things in management jargon. Fight or Flight. But they did not teach us about a very important third thing. There is a fine line between sanity & insanity and if you are lucky enough to step on that line and stay on it just happens! Like a snap of a finger! Self Consciousness!

My parents think I’m possessed by some demon (Ha!), my friends think I’ve gone bonkers (little do they know I was born like that :-)), but only the truth seekers will understand what I am trying to say. Little do truth seekers know or are warned that once you achieve this state there is no possible way of going back. As my shrink, counselor, priest and all those who have tried enforcing their thoughts on me told me – Do no lose this! I can now meditate for hours without food or water – will not though for my parent’s sanity’s sake.

People call it enlightenment, consciousness, self realization, nirvana etc. But there is no human word to describe this feeling! This oneness with the universe, with life. You begin to understand that there is God in every one, in every life and in every being. In plain and simple words it’s not higher intelligence, it’s not being supernatural it is just an understanding of life beyond that of an ordinary person.

You begin to understand your reason for being.

Materialistic pleasures, Fame, Money mean nothing more than the morning sunrise, the birds that sing. You feel so heightened and excited and yet so calm and serene. Again I am lost for words as I write this. You understand there is this strict balance in life, for every good a bad, for every positive a negative. If this balance is altered the consequences can be well, which is not good.

Through my new found thinking, there are two beautiful worlds:
Religion: Belief | Spirituality: Metaphysics

I can now relate both to each other in plain and simple words.

But that I will keep for another time as the universe says, it’s not yet time.

"Wake me up when it's all over, When I'm wiser and I'm older, All this time I was finding myself, And I didn't know I was lost."


About Lourdes Soares:

An awakened soul, she defines herself as
Truth-Seeker: Made of dust and to the dust will I one day return

Monday, April 21, 2014

Giving Back

~Written By Bharat Budhiraja

It’s been 22 years since my parents inducted me into trekking in the Indian Himalayas. On each of my annual sojourns I have passed through scarcely inhabited remote settlements. As a child, my attitude to these was of indifference but as I grew older, the hardships of these mountain people began to disturb me. When the sun goes down, darkness, made more eerie by the looming mountains engulfs the whole place. These small Himalayan hamlets lack the very basic amenities of a 21st century civilized world like electricity and easy access to water. Now that I am a trained Mechanical Engineer, I want to use the knowledge I have acquired, to create some means of helping these poor people lead a less arduous life. I have read and realized myself after spending twenty five years of my life in India that this country has an enormous surplus of energy in the form of non-conventional energy sources like solar. I wish to use my knowledge and understanding of core mechanical engineering principles to develop cheap and efficient devices that are able to convert solar energy into a usable form.

I did my entire pre college education from a school which gave higher priority to moral pursuits than to scholastic endeavors. Every morning all the students of our school got together in a mass congregation, which we aptly called the ‘morning assembly’, to sing spiritual hymns praising the almighty. The hymns were followed by ‘student recitations’. Several students would come up to the dais to recite poems and excerpts from writings of great thinkers and philosophers. This was our daily dose of morality. One line from one of those recitals stuck with me after hearing it time and again, and I quote, "You will go abroad to foreign lands that you may bring back knowledge with which you may do service to her". It was from an address delivered to students and teachers of the Bengal National College on 23rd August, 1907, by a freedom fighter, philosopher and poet Sri Aurobindo. The aim of the address was to motivate the students to be patriotic and devote their lives for the betterment of their country, India. This one line always inspired me while I studying in England and United States, and eventually after spending six years in the west I returned back home to India. The reader may think that I am being too idealistic. Yes, I did have my personal reasons, like being with my family and friends, living in my childhood house again etc., but, I always had a strong desire to ‘give back’ to my motherland for what she had given me in all those years that I grew up here.

There is a famous quote, by Paul Coelho in his book The Alchemist ,” When you really want something to happen, the whole world conspires to help you achieve it.” What is the probability of a person studying in the United States to find a job in an American company based in India? It seems that my desire to come back was so strong that all the circumstances worked in my favor. After completing my masters I eventually landed in a job in an American start-up company manufacturing milk chilling machines for rural India with erratic electricity. The phrase ‘give back’ acquired a whole new meaning since I started working here. If someone who does not even belong to India is spending all their time and energy in solving a widespread problem, then why can’t I? It’s been almost two years since I’ve been working here and trying to fill the gap in an inefficient cold chain between the source and consumer. We are now adapting our technology to work on solar energy, so that we can provide sustainable cooling solutions for agricultural produce. Life seems to have come a full circle for me. I’ve always wanted to harness solar energy to create something that could serve as a self-sustainable and economically viable power generation source, and I am doing just that. I may not be lighting a lamp just yet – but then who said that it’s the end of the road? The journey has only just begun...

About Bharat Budhiraja:

Bharat is crazy guy who left the land of opportunity to come back to his home country to do something here. He yearns to do something for India. He is passionate about trekking in the Himalayas, loves to try his hand at photography, is an avid birder (it’s our avian friends he is referring to here) and claims to have some level of expertise in skills of culinary nature. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014


“There is vitality, a life force, energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” 
- Martha Graham

So true. Everyone has a story to tell but not everyone shares it. To put it simple, everyone has something to share, but not every shares it. Being living beings, we are blessed to feel emotions, but unfortunately, we fail to express it.

Till now, a larger part of my life, I have lived in a closed cocoon. Not allowing anyone to get a peep into my thoughts. Until, all my unexpressed feelings came out in an uglier way than I had expected. No matter, how hard you try to suppress those unexpressed emotions; they will erupt from within and in unimaginable ways. Sometimes, you learn things in a hard way and unfortunately, I always end up gaining wisdom that way.

I realized how important it is to let your thoughts flow, to keep oneself connected. When we restrict our flow of communication, we limit our potential. We deny ourselves the freedom of expression. We refute our right to share our perspective with the rest of the world. We surrender ourselves to the opinions of others. We breathe in others views and we thrive under others fear. We simply exist, we are not alive. How can we, if we do not have our own expression?

My own experience with the expressing of thoughts has been transformational. It has helped me to embrace life, appreciate life, admire the beauty around and bring a change. Infact, this has been one my best learnings in my journey of MBA so far. To be authentic in your views, to stand by your view point what you feel is right, come what may, defines you. It only happens, when one has a clear thought and is able to communicate it to the outside world. And that’s what the characteristic of a leader is. It strengthens your inner faith. In times of confusion, when my heart and mind simply play with my thoughts, I pen down my opinion. I am sure; many of us have done that at one point of time. And we all know it helps. It helps us to know what we want, to listen to our inner voice.  And, it doesn't always have to be through a written expression – poetry or a vocal one. One can express through music, dance, cooking, art, indulging in small acts that help one to express ones emotions. It could be through voice, behavior and even through silence too. But it’s important that our thoughts be communicated and we stay connected.

So, connect with your inner soul where your true self resides. Allow your energy to truly flow out in form of expression and creativity. Let your inner wisdom and joy find a way out, to shine through and light the world outside.  
Explore yourself. Discover your voice. Express your thoughts.

I would like to know- what’s your medium of expression? Share your thoughts.

P.S.: When I say, silence can be a medium of expression too; I meant to achieve it through meditation, through chanting, through prayers. It’s the form of communication with God.

Continuing on my journey of self-discovery - expressing and staying connected! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Making your Pitch Right: Mistakes to avoid while pitching to an Investor

~ Written by Aniket Dey

The advent of entrepreneurship in India coupled with a growing economy conducive to innovation and technology has paved a path for an entrepreneurial boom in India. One of the primary reasons a lot of people shied away from taking the road less traveled of entrepreneurship was the lack of financial resources. That isn’t the case anymore. There is a large network of venture capitalists, angel investors and independent funds ready to invest into ideas that have the ability to make money.

Lets’ see - how it all works.  You set-up a start-up, build a product and start selling to customers, only to find out you need more money. You need more human capital, costs are soaring or you’re simply running out of money. What next? ‘Exit’ at this point will hurt you and your aspirations badly. So the alternative is – arrange for funds. Where do you get the money from? Angel Investors, Venture capitalists etc. are there. But the question is – HOW? How do you pitch to them?

I've been an advisor and investor at various early stage start-ups and I've noticed a common denominator - entrepreneurs committing some common mistakes while pitching to investors. For an entrepreneur, there are various factors which point to the success of a venture- profits, growth, social media presence, partnerships etc. However, for an investor, there is only one measure of success- Return on Investment (ROI). Will they be able to recoup their investment? How long will it take? Is there an opportunity to exit?

The mistakes to avoid while pitching to an investor:-

Talking Potential
Every business has potential, but that is not a differentiating factor. You have to aim to be disruptive and to grow exponentially, which is what investors look for. Sometimes passion clouds perspective. Instead of focusing on the opportunity size, focus on developing a competitive advantage. This will give you an edge over others with similar ideas that are lost in the sea of potential.

Facts and numbers don’t sell alone, stories do.
I've noticed a large number of people who correlate statistics to success. Ever wondered why some movies and books gross billions of dollars, simply because people connect to stories. Keep presentations about realism. If you’re selling a health product for children, don’t start off by talking about what percentage of children is obese. Instead, say something like “Imagine if your loved one were to face health issues at a young age.” Always establish a sense of familiarity and trust.

Idolize your Business Plan
I've seen too many plans go wasted because the entrepreneur was not willing to change or tweak his/her idea. When I made my first pitch to an investor competing against 50 other business ideas, he didn't like what I had to say. He countered me with a changed business model which basically threw junk at my plan. But in the long run, I saw that being flexible and having an open mind to learn can make your product bring more moolah and success to you.

Lack of focus
In Bangalore, I've noticed that far too many people are starting up. That’s a good thing but also a bad thing. People are creating products and technology in search of a market instead of designing something to solve the market needs. It’s an economic fundamental – ‘demand has to meet supply’. Instead of second guessing, you should go out there and understand your potential market. Talk to customers, engage them and find out what needs have to be solved.

Optimism Glut
Being optimistic is a key trait of an entrepreneur. However, over optimism can kill your vision.  Being over optimistic about sales, adoption rates and development can leave you in shackles. This needless optimism in financial forecasts could underestimate the case required to achieve key performance milestones to help the business raise capital and surpass break-even.

Lack of Humility  
The golden rule every entrepreneur must swear by is that you aren't the smartest guy in the room.  Accept advice; be grateful for their time and gracious if they decline. Entrepreneurial circles are small in India, if you burn one bridge now, the rest of them could fall like dominoes sooner or later.

About Aniket Dey: 

Aniket Dey is a student and an Africa / Asia focused entrepreneur. He is a B.Com (Honours) student at Christ University, Bangalore. Aniket has been an advisor, investor and founding team member in various early stage start-ups. His naïve and romantic belief is to make positive social impact through business and change the world. He has been published in The Telegraph, The Economic Times and His hobbies are sports, food and networking.