Mere Soch ko nayi raah dikhaane ke liye shukriya
Mujhe khud ko khud se pehchanwaane ke liye shukriya!

Ab tak toh bas, raaste ka patthar tha mein
Mujhe anmol banane k liye shukriya!

Mein ye ehsaan kabhi bhool nahi sakta
Mere zameer ko jagane ke liye shukriya!

Ab na padegi kisi par buri nazar, kasam se
Meri nazroon ko jhukaane ke liye shukriya!

Baant rahe the aap, hum samet rahe the
Duno hantho se gyaan lutane ke liye sukriya!

Mein haar bhi jau toh koi gum nahi ab
Mujhe sacchi ladayi sikhane ke liye shukriya!

Mein mutthi band kar, ek hunkaar bharunga
Mujhe jeet ka ahsaas dilaane ke liye shukriya!

This was a poem composed by Mirza Zeeshan, a student of mine, after a session at their institution. I feel humbled to share this and pray to the Lord Almighty to give me the Courage to continue on the path that I’ve ventured.

Dedicated to the YOUth of Our Amazing Country 🙂


The Ten Commandments for YOUth



A number of students wanted to know the ‘elixir’ of life and how could one be ‘successful‘. I discovered that ‘happiness (or for that matter life) is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it’. Twenty five years in the uniform and another ten out of it, I’ve witnessed it all: the honesty, the integrity, the loyalty, the cheats, the selfishness, the back-stabbing colleague and your office politics.

For those of you, who are honest of the heart, the life’s real winners, changing times and changing values are like just passing another test. The temptation to cut corners is strong and persuasive. The lure to bend rules, hoard possessions and dismiss decency is being lost.

Doing things the ‘right way’ seldom cushions the let-downs, which leaves you confused and angry; but these are the times you need your moral compass and display your fibre. A man’s doubt and fears are his worst enemy. Keep in mind two things:

a. The situation is hardly ever as bad as it seems. This too shall pass.

b. Your stick to our fixed code of ethics whether the times are up or down, regardless of the consequence.

There cannot be separate sets of ethics for home, for work and for play. Ethics is ethics. YOUr core values should and must remain rock solid. I understand that material success is viewed to be more virtuous than how one obtains success but cutting corners is the antithesis of our lineage. Achieving YOUr dream requires, sweat, courage, commitment, talent, integrity, vision, faith and consistent hard work. But remember financial ends never justify unethical means. Gray is NOT a substitute for Black and White.

Decent, honest people finish races and their lives,  in grand style and with Respect. So, students asked me The Commandments of Success.  Well, each successful person will come out with his own set of commandments. What I share is Ten Commandments of Failure. You do any of these, YOU are bound to fail. Here goes.

  1. Quit taking risks.
  2. Be inflexible.
  3. Isolate yourself.
  4. Assume infallibility.
  5. Play the game close to the foul line.
  6. Don’t take time to think.
  7. Put faith on consultants.
  8. Love bureaucracy.
  9. Send mixed messages.
  10. Be afraid of future.

A detailed elaboration of these, with live examples in the next set of interactions.

At the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, we had ‘Honour Code“. A defaulter owned up his mistake and invariably he was let off the hook. It changed our perception and thinking towards Honesty. Work out the worst case scenario and go ahead, Own UP!

Do What is Right, NOT what is Easy. And to quote Oprah Winfrey, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not”.

JOSH Talks: Lessons on Team Building from the Army

I was invited to speak in the maiden JOSH talks event held in Kolkata on Jan 14th, 2018. With and audience over 500+, it was electrifying, energetic and enthusiastic. It was a wonderful experience to feel the ‘YOUth’ bubbling with energy!!!

A number of them walked up and wanted the talk for ‘keepsake’. It’ll be uploaded on FB and YouTube. Here goes the Script.


Tough times don’t last. Tough People do”.

Imagine the temperatures have further fallen and is presently hovering around 0°. Cold and shivering, you are sitting in a pitch-dark night waiting, waiting and waiting some more, where a minute seems like an hour. You are soldiers sitting in an ambush waiting for the terrorist to show up. Night after night hundreds of such teams of soldiers spend, such nights in the mountainous terrain of J&K. How do these teams operate and come out winners? Let me share some Lessons from the Army on Team Building.

After 20 years of service, The Selection Board approved me to Command ‘my’ infantry unit; roughly consisting of 1,000+ men. And shortly thereafter, we were deployed to combat terrorists in J&K sector.

Let me elaborate a little, for the uninitiated, what I meant by ‘my’ infantry unit. Infantry is the foot soldiers of the Army who capture ground, something, you would have seen in the Kargil war. I was commissioned and I commanded the same unit. The men of my unit are drawn from the Seven Sister States; which we club as the North East. These men have spent their early childhood in the jungles of Arunachal, Assam Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram.

These battle-hardened soldiers unflinchingly took me under their wings. My first fledgling steps in the uniform, in Lucknow, were spent with these men and they taught me lessons of life and warfare.

We’ve a tradition in our unit. The newly commissioned officer spends his initial two months with his troops in their barracks. Spending time dining with them, wining with them, playing with them, bathing with them, staying in the barracks. I had the opportunity to know these men from very close quarters. I was into all the ‘troop’ games; football, hockey, basketball, volleyball and even handball. Being from a boarding school helped.

After a month, the first pay parade. Those days the monthly pay of the soldiers, had to be physically distributed. In walks Sep Charliwan, a wonderful center half of our football team. I proudly announce, ‘Sir, Sep Charliwan. My Company Commander, my immediate boss, asks me, “And what is his Army Number?” Huh!!!! “Sir, I don’t know?” You better know. The next month pay parade, I announce, ‘Sir, Army Number 431000539 Sep Charliwan, reporting for his pay’. And what is his shoe size? KO!!!

Know your men. Know your men better than their mothers do; and love them as much, said Fd Marshal Slim addressing his officers in the Burma Campaign. I learnt my first lesson. If you don’t know your men, you are unfit to command them. You will not earn their respect. 500 years BC Sun Tzu wrote:

‘If you know the enemy, and know yourself, You will not fear the results of a hundred battle.

If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat.

If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

When dealing with people remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion. None of us work in a silo. We have teams to work with. As a leader or even as a team member it is imperative that you know the team very well. Their strengths and their weaknesses. Strong camaraderie builds strong teams.

When I assumed Command, Sep Charliwan had risen in ranks and was a JCO (Junior Commissioned Officer) now. And in one of our first operations, his sub unit, was tasked to go after some reported terrorists sighted. We sat down for planning, and Sub Charliwan, very politely tells me, “Saab iska planning hum karlega, aap sirf fire support dena from ‘X’ location”. Sub Charliwan and his team move up the treacherous mountain top. He splits his team, deploys a support team to cover their move and leads from the front, to hunt the reported terrorists. Chasing terrorists in the thick of jungles, may be slightly difficult to comprehend sitting in the confines of this auditorium. Rugged mountainous terrain with thick undergrowth. The visibility is restricted to 5-10 meters. It requires extreme physical fitness, mental robustness and stamina.

They reach a small opening and find the remains of a bonfire. The ember tells them that the terrorists have a lead of an hour odd. Trained in jungle craft, they start following the trail. After a while they are hot in pursuit. The terrorists see the soldiers and start fleeing. A downhill running terrorist, with his AK 47 on his shoulder, finger pressing the trigger and spraying bullets all around. Facing these oncoming bullets. Major challenge.

Sub Charliwan comes on air and tells me, “Saab one-two”. Those of you familiar with soccer will understand the term. The fleeing terrorist hit my ambush, we exchange fire, they change their direction and run right into the waiting arms of Sub Charliwan. Three terrorists neutralized with no casualties to self. A clean operation. Thanks to the planning and of course team work. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.

Lord Wellesley quipped, that The Battle of Waterloo was won in the playfields of Eton.

Well, The Battle of J&K jungles were surely won in the playfields of Lucknow.

Beware of entrance to a battle, but being in Bear’t the enemy beware of thee’. No soldier, wants to be a runners’ up in the battlefield. There are no runners up in War. I assure you, to face oncoming bullets is not a comfortable feeling at all. How do you train for that? How do you control your nerves?

Let me share some secrets.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” On hearing a shot, your muscle memory takes over. You have trained so hard, you have trained so much that without thinking you ‘Dash – Down – Crawl – Observe – Fire’. We Just Do it! The harder you train, the better you get. This training is like meditation. You train and train and then you train some more. You train hard, because you know that some day it is this training that will save your life. It is the difference between life and death. People call it ‘Deliberate Practice’. Geoff Colvin/ Anders Ericsson/ Malcolm Gladwell all spoke about it in their books. It’s an old Army Saying: ‘The more you sweat in Peace, the less you bleed in War’. Training is the difference between amateurs and professionals.

After every two and half years in field, the unit moves to a peace location. The major part of this tenure is dedicated to training. Be it firing in the field firing ranges, to other operations of war. We train and train. The competitions are designed to support this training. Best Mortar platoon, MMG detachment, best firer, and so on. The sports competitions are held to build and improve camaraderie among each other. Training as a team lies at the crux of our success.

But then Murphy’s law says, ‘Anything that can go wrong, will’. I am sure, that no one in this gathering here believes that everything could be hunky dory and all the planning and training will avert any mishap/ disaster from happening. Always remember, ‘You plan for three options and the enemy will adopt the fourth’. No plan survives contact. So, while planning, do make contingency plans but avoid over planning. We had our fair share of accidents and failures. The ability to turn a failure on its head is an acme of a leader.

In one of our operations, we suffered a fatal casualty. This was my lowest moment of my command. We were in the thick of jungles and the road head was two hours. Transporting the martyr to the road head and then to our base was a challenge. I had to make a decision. The regulations state that the ‘Last Post’ of a martyr in operational area can be sounded in situ. In that location itself. While the ‘father’ in me said, I would like to see my son.

I took a decision to fly him home, some 3,000 kms. Remember, the martyr has to be embalmed lest decay sets in. Transferring him to Delhi, and another flight to Guwahati. And move 500 kms by road from Guwahati to Aizawl. It was an administrative nightmare but worth it. As the martyr entered Aizawl, the entire town had lined up to pay homage to the soldier. The local administration, the media and the local representatives. A huge procession reached his village and the soldier was laid to rest in the church and a memorial constructed.

The accompanying JCO brought back a letter from the father of the martyr. “Sir, I thank you profusely for sending across my son. I’ll remain ever grateful to you for this act. In his letters, my son has been writing about the unit a lot. My younger son is thirteen years old, please tell me when can he enrol and join the unit to continue the half-finished task of his brother?” On receiving the letter, I sobbed.

Recently, our unit was celebrating its Golden Jubilee and I was attending the momentous occasion. To my surprise, I meet the parents of the martyr, who had traveled all the way from Mizoram. They were profuse in their gratitude and proudly introduced me to their younger son, now a soldier in the unit.

Regard your soldier’s as your children and they’ll follow you in the deepest valley. Look on them as your own beloved son and they’ll stand by you even unto death. Failure will happen. Face them and turn it around. Every adversity provides an opportunity.

The soldiers goes to Battle for ‘Naam, Namak and Nishan’.

Naam, the name of the unit, the izzat of the unit. We build a culture within our organizations where the individuals have a stake. You all have heard of the terrorist attack on Taj Mumbai on Nov 26, 2008 and read about the acts of bravery of its employees. When the chips are down, when we are facing bullets the one thing that constantly reminds us to do the right thing and why we are doing what we are doing is Naam. The izzat of the unit that you are serving.

Namak, the salt of the country they have had. A soldier cannot even think that he could do anything, anything at all that will belittle his country or countrymen. We are conditioned to think ‘Country First’. The Arthur Andersons, Enron and Satyam are issues which reflect poorly on the Country. What is the image we would like to portray of our Country? You all are the brand ambassadors of our Country. Each one of you sitting here is a soldier out of uniform. Protect your motherland. Nurture it. Nourish it. Love it and be proud of it.

Remember: ‘Koi desh perfect nahi hota, use perfect banana padta hai’.

Nishaan, the standard or the colours of the regiment. The colours goes to battle with the unit. It rallies troops around it and raises their morale. It gives each one of us an identity. To keep the ‘nishan’ flying high, always and every time. Build a legacy for others to follow. Great institutions are made with legacies. What is the legacy you are leaving behind?

Zindagi mein ek aisa junoon rakho, jiske lie apni jaan dene ke lie taiyaar ho!

You will have a rallying point and this will motivate and guide you of your actions always and every time. People call it passion. Some call it purpose. Find your purpose and you’ll find meaning and will be self-motivated to achieve it.

A soldier knows that he is the last bastion to protect his motherland. This is the ethos drilled in the rank and file, right from the officer down to the soldier. Each one of them ready to shout, ‘Yeh Dil Mange More’!

Jai Hind. Jai Hind.

WOmen SAFety Tip


Be Alert . Be Aware . Be Safe .

The recent abominable incident in the land of ‘bhadralok’ wherein a four year old student was molested, soon followed by an alleged incident of molestation in air of a public figure. It brought to fore, certain indigestible truths. It is not the first time and definitely not the last time that we read about such incidents. And sadly, such incidents happen across the world and not unique to our country/ culture. Fact is

One. The societal standards have dropped. Pedophiles exist.

Two. Nobody seems to be safe. It’s not age. It’s not caste. It’s not your status. It’s not your gender. Anybody could be a victim.

Three. No point pointing fingers and passing the buck. WE, as a society have failed because the perpetrators have been thrown up by our society/ societal standards and by accepting such reprehensible acts as routine.

How do WE take care of ourselves. In my WOSAF sessions, I share knowledge gained over 25 years in the uniform to protect oneself. Yes, I believe, Offence is the best Defence. But how do you protect a child?

For ALL the Parents out there; here are some tips which should help protect YOUr child.

One. Buddy System. Follow this time tested practice from the Indian Army. Every child must have a buddy. Everywhere he/she goes, the buddy goes. If required, have different sets of buddies; one in school, one in the carpool/ bus, one in the society/ playground. Thus, when ‘bulbuli goes to the washroom, chulbuli too accompanies her’. The perpetrator is deterred. Also Chulbuli can shout, bring help. These should be taught to every child in school/ homes.

Two. Educate the child about ‘good touch and bad touch’. No secrets. Pay special attention to his/her behaviour. The child clamps up and goes into a shell, should some untoward incident happen. Communicate freely with the child.

Three. Believe the child. Take immediate steps to address the issue. It’s better to be suspicious now than regret later. Under no circumstance should the child be on a one-on-one session with anybody.

Four. When the child feels uncomfortable, they should be taught to ‘shout’. Scream!! Raise hell. Anything to attract attention. True for his/her friend in need of help too!

Five. Build trust with your child and keep no secrets. They are taught to share everything, good or bad. It is also the response of the parents that’ll be the cue the child takes for sharing. So Believe and build trust. And remember, it’s not the child’s fault. Period.

Six. The sharing should NOT be restricted to only unknown people but could be with known people too!!

Protect and nurture the innocence of the child BUT appraise them about ‘safety’ of their bodies and how some people would want to harm them. Presence of mind is good under these circumstances but absence of body is better. Avoid situations which could lead to/ offer perpetrators any chance for such disgraceful acts.

Raise your voice. Raise your concern. Raise your awareness.




Early morning Bicycle Rides:     50+ kms

The instant that this word is read, “Motivation”, a number of you automatically start wondering what is being said/ written/ same ol’ junk. I know, this word has that effect and has been flogged so much that there is a ‘brain-fade’ on reading ‘motivation’.

A number of you, have asked me this query, “Sir, What keeps you going?” Day in and Day out … how do you sustain this energy? What drives you? or words to that effect. I did some introspection and have come up with some thoughts on .. em.. ahem .. ahem … Motivation. What keeps you Motivated? How do you get the energy to repeatedly do the same task over and over again? What urges you to go to the office on a Monday morning?

  1. Who are you doing this for? If you, for any reason, start questioning and wonder ‘What is this all about?’; its time you call it quits. This one question should be crystal clear. I’m doing this for … myself? my parents? our society? community? My boss? Now the last answer will irk you. If you’re only working for the boss – well soon your motivation will be rock bottom.
  2. What is my Daily Goal? How do I see my day panning out? Is there a ‘high’ I’ll get on completion of my task? What will I be doing today? Is it exciting enough? OR what do I need to complete today? Completion of a set goal gives a sense of satisfaction, a sense of achievement.
  3. Motivation gives you +ve strokes. Therefore, make things happen, so that you keep getting the high. Remember, Success is a drug. Once you get addicted, you will not settle for anything less. Get into the habit of success. See your results flow. This will keep you motivated.
  4. Keep Learning. Knowledge is power. It is true. The more you know, the more you grow. Your motto should be: What will I learn new today? “Learners are Earners”. It is knowledge that drives this economy. Keep learning.
  5. Hangout with Superstars. Your IQ is the sum total of your five closest friends. Look at them closely. Winners, invariably, hangout with superstars. Read about them. Follow them and be-friend them. Get to know their secret of success.
  6. Be your own coach. Nobody knows YOU better than YOU. You’ve done your SWOT. You know where to pitch in and where you need to work on. Address these issues. Explore opportunities and be prepared.

I always maintain – YOU gotta love what you’re doing. YOU made the choice in the first place, right? If not, start loving what you do. Better get going. Your love, passion and commitment show through in your quality of work. Your zeal, your enthusiasm .. all are reflected in the work. Without YOUR heart in it … it’ll always be Just a Job.

Passionate Prabir.

WOSAF – Prevent!


How can I ensure WOSAF?

All the atrocities that get reported and all the actions that are taken post incident, somehow feels like ‘closing the stable doors after the horses have bolted’. Why don’t we initiate steps to prevent the occurrence of such incidents. A number of YOU’ve queried what could be some possible steps. Well let me enumerate some of the steps.

Report photos that exploit girls/ YOUng women, when YOU seen them on social media sites like fb/ insta. Raise YOUr voice and don’t have the ‘chalta hai’ attitude. This perpetrates crimes/ atrocities.

Be media literate & critical of what YOU see. Otherwise it becomes ‘normal’ and we get desensitized.  The media regularly uses images of violence against women and objectifies them. If YOU see ad ad/ commercial that is sexist/ degrading towards women – write/ email the company; don’t buy their products.

Interrupt sexist/ homophobic and transphobic language. Remember, words are powerful, especially when spoken by people who have power over others. Gendered name calling and sends a message that girls/ women are less than human. When they are seen as inferior, it becomes easier to treat them with less respect.

Interrupt abuse if YOU see something. If YOU’re at a party and your intoxicated friend is being led away by guys. Stop and help her get home.

Stop street harassment and don’t engage in any form of sexual harassment, such as catcalling and unwanted touching. And don’t let your friends and peers engage in such behaviour either. Don’t look the other way.

Stop victim blaming for how they choose to dress or judge their behaviour. Violence can’t be prevented through limiting the freedom of girls. This only allows the violence to continue because perpetrators become invisible and sadly those who witness remain silent.

Stop stereotyping men’s and women’s roles as they affect decisions in a relationship. YOU don’t have to prove yourself. YOU don’t become small when you help YOUr better half in sharing chores at home.

Remember violence is a choice, a choice that YOU make. Don’t make excuses for friends and peers who are violent. Stop supporting the notion that violence is due to mental illness or lack of anger management skills, alcohol or drugs.

Come up with an action plan for any situation. How would YOU react should people you know/ strangers are being abusive/ sexist. It is easier to interrupt ans stop abuse when YOU know what to do/ say. Stand up!!!

STOP using social media to proliferate jokes/ forwards demeaning women. Social media has an empowering effect. YOU can spread the word. When a friend/ peer tells a joke about girls/ women, say YOU don’t find it funny and let them know it is NOT okay.

Because IT IS NOT OKAY. We can make this world a better place to live for our Mothers, Sisters, Wives, Daughters … Stop and THINK.

Unbreakable Resolve – Women

B&W (42)

Durga has been a warrior goddess: unmatched resolve, impassable, inaccessible, invincible, unassailable

My 25 years in the uniform has instilled in me a basic military tactics. ‘Offence is the only form of Defence’. In all my sessions on WOSAF (WOmen SAFety), I harp on this fact and share this fundamental rule. God forbid, you’re in a situation, where YOU need to act – Don’t wait for any opportune time … NOW is the time; always. YOUr mind should always be on the ‘Hunter’ mode – looking for options, seeking out escape routes, planning your next step ..

For a female, fighting back is the ultimate reversal. You become the huntress not the hunted, the predator not prey. When the only way out is through, you cannot just defend–you have to counter attack. There’s little to compare this to: YOU trade in your polite-self for your animal-self; you issue the ‘sic’ command and give YOUrself a carte blanche to go for the jugular. And remember offence is the only form of defence.

Always remember: FIGHTING BACK IS A LAST RESORT when nothing else will do. Your goal is YOUr safety, to escape. That said, a pumped up aggressor can withstand A LOT of punishment, so get your mojo in gear and be prepared to do what it takes to breakaway. Whatever it takes.

Never give up hope OR let futility set in. Futility is an enemy of survival; it’s enables paralysis. Even in a worst case scenario, an assailant or criminal may let his guard down (especially when he thinks he’s already won), presenting lucky breaks and opportunities to make your move and get away. Focus. Collect yourself. Stay on the hunt. YOUr body is the weapon. YOUr mind is the weapon. Surprise is YOUr ally.

Overcome the fear of injury. Always assess your situation, environment and skills.  Do not allow yourself to be held hostage by this fear. Remember: adrenaline is a wonder drug. It addition to supercharging the body it helps staves off pain. Use the environment: Can I head butt him on counter-tops, stairwells, hard surfaces or shove a person into walls/ hard ground? Be aggressive. Manhandle! Drop your center of gravity, widen your base, slink down into your hips and throw him away. Remember the last move of Dangal; the last bout – ‘dikhao kuchh aur karo kucch’. Feints . Duck . Ruse . Distract . Fake . Sham . Trick . Stall .

Attack the hands. Busting the hand(s) with a stick-like weapon or by slamming something on it can disable your attacker’s primary weapon: hands.  Knees could be broken with little force from the ‘wrong’ direction. All the joints are thus susceptible to slight pressure. Go for it.

Remember – Attack is the only form of Defence.


It’s OK to be Ignorant ..


Not to Know is Bad. Not to Wish to Know is worse. – African Proverb

Really? We have a fear of appearing stupid. So we try to act like we know what we’re doing. This is more so at work, even when we don’t have a clue. The Noah’s Ark was made by amateurs; The Titanic by professionals.

The problem, therefore isn’t about appearing stupid. The problem is BEING stupid. The great Noble Laureate Albert Einstein said, “Two things are infinite: the Universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the Universe.”

Ignorance is the absence of knowledge. It can be fixed. Stupidity on the other hand, is not even knowing what you don’t know. Go get some knowledge, fill the void, and the problem is solved. I oft repeat: Knowledge is the ONE key to Confidence. Therefore, Research, Read, Absorb, Test, Validate .. Do what ever it takes to seek knowledge. That is YOUr only salvation. That is YOUr only redemption. That is YOUr only deliverance.

If YOU are ignorant, as the Wright Brothers were, you don’t understand why birds fly and humans cannot. So, YOU study the elements of aerodynamics, wind resistance, acceleration, lift, drag, thrust and fill the void with knowledge. The Result?

The development of the airplane, from propellers to jets to the man on the moon. Airlines, airports, runways, ATCs, flight attendants, baggage handlers, metal detectors, air sickness bags, to miniature liquor bottles. A whole new industry; in fact the largest industry in the history of the world. BUT if YOU are stupid, you flap your arms and crash to earth.

Remember, Ignorance is temporary, Stupidity is forever. The choice is YOUrs.


Knowledge is Power!!!

Bengaluru – Conundrum

India Bangalore2

Conundrum called Bengaluru: The IT Capital

02 Sep. My flight was at 1000 h. Reporting time 0920 h. Through the night, there was no respite from the rains. The rain-gods were more than kind to ‘love’ for Bengaloorians. Bannerghatta road, is located in a low lying area. I’d experienced a fateful night during my IIM days, when my two wheeler got submerged and I’d to abandon it; only to recover it the next day.

After my bittersweet experience of 01 Sep, I’d planned to start early.

0530 h. Say my ‘good-byes’ to my cozy room.                                                                                   0540 h. Uber refuses to respond.                                                                                                         0547 h. Ola is in “high demand” and not available. Somewhere, the ominous bells were going berserk.                                                                                                                                         0552 h. Angel in form of man advices me, to pick up my luggage and wait at the main road, next to the Security Room. He has just returned from the airport and all the roads leading up to our complex was under water. A submarine was sighted in the near vicinity, which he didn’t vouch for. The road had turned into a river.

0600 h. Apprehensively moved to the main road; lock, stock and two smoking barrels. An umbrella tried to prevent the downpour from wetting me. It was losing badly aka the Arsenal match against Liverpool last Sunday.

0613 h. I encounter an Angry Bird. The driver was in a great hurry. Archimedes Principle states that the force exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, whether fully or partially submerged, is equal to the weight of the fluid that it displaces. Standing by the road side the displaced fluid submerged me till the waist. But it helped me now to firm my resolve to wade through waist deep water, with my suitcase atop my head.

0633 h. A good samaritan, in the form of a local bus driver, gives me a lift. He drops me at Jayanagar, 4th Block. Informs me that Volvo for airport are available here. The rains applaud.


9 3/4 Platform: Volvo arrives here

0719 h. A volvo for the airport materializes aka Harry Potter’s platform 9 3/4.

0859 h. Land Ahoy! Voila! The Kempagowda International Airport is beckoning. I’m on time for a change. A first of its kind. 

I would like to thank all the participants who helped me in this saga, the spoken, unspoken, the visible and the invisible, who made my Bengaluru trip so momentous. Phewww!!


Bengaluru: Love it or Hate it – But you can’t Ignore it

India Bangalore

Bengaluru: The IT/ITES Capital of the World

Having been invited as Keynote Speaker at the International Summit of Software Testers organized by STepIN Forum at Bengaluru on Sep 01,2017 (the second day of the conference). The venue for the conference was at Hotel Park Plaza, Marathahalli on the outer ring road. I reached on Aug 31 and settled down at Mantri Elite, Bannerghatta Road.

Knowing my penchant for cutting things fine, my better half advised (instructed?) me to leave early. My talk was at 1000 h and the days proceedings were to commence at 0900 h.

0730 h. Step out of elevator on ground floor. Intermittent drizzle.                                             0742 h. Book an Uber. Estimated time of arrival 03 minutes.                                                       0745 h. Reach the gate of the complex. Await Uber.                                                                       0800 h. Uber not in sight. Call the driver. He speaks to me in ‘greek’. I put him through to the security people, who converse in ‘greek’. They inform me, another five minutes he should be here.

0815 h. No Uber. [My numerous calls to the driver Santhosh (96.868.006.16) are all unanswered].                                                                                                                                         0816 h. Cancel Uber. Try to book again but then they are too busy charging me for cancelling a service they failed to provide.                                                                                         0818 h. Tried booking Ola who are in ‘Very High Demand’. The green circle completes and informs me that no Ola is around. Local people tell me that ‘autos’ will not go to Outer Ring Road. Stuck.

0822 h. Persuade an auto to take me for an exorbitant price though.                                      

0832 h. Auto malfunctions and refuses to start. I’m in middle of a traffic jam, in no man’s land. The driver is profusely apologising for something which has never happened earlier. I’m somewhere around BTM layout.

0835 h. I request an ‘angel’ in a motor bike to drop me. And he quips, “Sheuure Sir, No Problem”. I straddle the bike (the last I sat on a bike must’ve been 1948!!). Angel zips along the highway, weaving his way through very heavy traffic. He is good. Takes a couple of service roads. Safely he drops me at the Venue site. The light drizzle is  .. well.

0910 h. I walk into Hotel Park Plaza. Freshen up.

1010 h. My session starts on clock-work precision. Humbled by the appreciation and standing ovation. Grateful that I could Impact, Ignite and Inspire the community of Software Testers. A number of selfies later. Could sit down and analyse the events of the day.