Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Driving Change at Grass Root Level, Igniting Young Minds

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

The second edition of the Ullas Confluence 2017 held on 24th and 25th February at Navalur, Chennai witnessed a team of 150 members from (Talent Quest India) TQI-Ullas from 15 districts of Tamil Nadu. There were also 250 student volunteers from other districts.

1. The members of this Ullas were from 19 colleges from the districts of Salem, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Tiruppur, etc.

2. Each district has 12-20 members similar to what we have in Ullas.

3. Three district groups are managed by 1 cluster Head for mentoring.

4. Each member took the responsibility of reaching out to the Ullas Summit classes for at least 3 years.

5. The Ullas social club takes an approval from their own college and then from the Headmaster of the school. They manage to travel up to 30-50 km at their own expenses.

The TQI-Ullas team was founded by the students of SRM University, 5 years ago. Few members are working full time in different companies like TCS, KPIT, Cognizant, Godrej, etc.

They spend their weekends to bring CHANGE AT GRASS ROOT level by supporting in building dreams when the child is 13 years using ‘Diary of Dreams’.

The curriculum of shaping the thinking of young minds has been divided into 20 modules and further divided into 5 classes for each class from standard 9 to 12.

The Ullas volunteers act as Facilitators and Mentors for young children of all schools.

The Summit classes help in building DESIGN THINKING SKILLS during High school.

Summit 1 (9th Grade) designed for the students of Class 9 revolves around Shaping Dreams, Role Models, Identify Positives, Memory Techniques, and Removing Fear of Grammar.

Summit 2 (10th Grade) focuses on the importance of Planning, Team Work, Learning to Organise, and Magic of Appreciation.

Summit 3 (11th Grade) is all about Influencing, Balancing Priorities, Working with Constraints, Respond vs, React, and Listening vs. Hearing.

Summit 4 (12th grade) is about Communication skills through creating a First Impression, Preparing News Report, Unleashing Imagination, Stress Management and Persuasive Articulation.

Our Observations on Impact.

1. Since the curriculum is not content specific and helps in shaping the thinking, it helps in growing the school child mind.

2. Though it is designed for school children, we observed that the teacher learns more than what he/she teaches. He becomes humongously confident and responsible. They are becoming more Employable.

3. The members shared their moving stories during the Confluence.

4. They published a book named ‘Roots of Change’ by themselves from their own ‘little’ funds.

5. They represent old Ullas adage – ‘ordinary people driving extraordinary impact’.

Overall, they are focused on the Sustainability of these social clubs.

The TQI-Ullas Team at the Second Edition of Ullas Confluence 2017

Snapshot from the ongoing confluence

The Magic of ‘Ullas’

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

Ullas program now has taken another wings with Talent Quest for India (TQI) founded at SRM College and partnered with Ullas Trust to take Summit Programs to schools in rural areas and villages.

Now, TQI-Ullas has reached out to 15 districts in Tamil Nadu that involves students from more than 25 colleges as TQI leaders with purpose.

Three years back they started off with 1,000 students and now mentoring over 7,000 students.

During the Ullas Confluence at Chennai on 25th and 26th Feb, where all the volunteers (over 150) participated at the Polaris Intellect campus, I was very much impressed by their confidence and commitment for mentoring students. These volunteers (I call Leaders) came from villages as small as 150 houses and first time engineers from their villages.

I was moved by their sheer passion. A Great learning.

Kudos to the Ullas team led by Sukanya Sreenivas, Col. Vidyasagar, Anbu Rathinavel, Padmini Sharathkumar and all of Polaris and Intellect volunteers.

A volunteer in action at the Ullas Summit at Elambalur

Young minds with a positive expression

My Diary – Behaviour and Genes

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

We all believe that our behavior is an outcome of our environment, and not a part of Genes.

I was observing different kinds of birds. All the birds have similar capabilities like flying, but their behaviors are different.

My Observations:
1. Migratory birds which comes to our locality have clearly defined leader. All birds follow the leader.
2. Parrots are ‘playing’ birds. They play with each other like a young kids play on the field.
3. Pigeons like to relax around human habitats. They are not afraid of human beings and live nearby.
4. Crows are independent and angry birds. They keep searching for food and as soon as someone finds it, they call other friends for company.
5. Owls behave as an individual researcher. They remain as loner in a tree crevice.

We can also observe many other birds and write about them.

My question is,

  1. Is behavior too a part of the genetic inheritance based on species?
  2. Is behavior encoded in DNA or some other place?

My Observations

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Just few observations:

1. The space is as far as Puducherry from Chennai or Sonipat from Delhi i.e., just 100 km. But it’s vertical height is rather than horizontal.

2. The earth has a diameter of 12,000 km i.e., if you are digging from one end of earth, you can continue digging 12,000 km to reach the other end. Human beings, till date, after all possible innovations have explored only 12 km of that depth.

My Diary – Leadership Styles

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Leadership Styles (4th December, 2016)


1. Grass – Grows horizontally on the ground occupying more space; allows people to walk on it.
2. Seasonal flowering plant – Grows beautiful flowers in a season and then destroys itself.
3. Creepers – It grows on support of others plants/species.
4. Fruit Trees – Continuously provides fruits to humans year-on-year.
5. Shade Trees – Grows tall and provides shade/shelter for all purposes.
6. Tall Trees – Grows tall and taller individually without any obstruction.

Please add your observations

Observations by Dr. Sundar:

Shrubs – Exist; do not contribute much anyway.
Cactus – Survives amidst adversity, are the only green spots in such a landscape; otherwise prickly and inaccessible. Bonsai – Has a potential to grow, but is not allowed to.
Banyan – Allows offspring to develop roots and grows in stature.
Coconut tree and the like – every part is useful, not only the fruit.
Carnivorous plants – need I say more?

My Diary – Collaborative and Sustainable Design of the Nature

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Today morning, I spent some time at Madras Club admiring the Nature. The cyclone had just passed by Chennai 2 days back and since then there were small drizzles intermittently. The Parrots, Egrets, Crow, and Myna were enjoying a beautiful day of the nature. Suddenly, my mind was connected to the power of ‘Panchabhoota‘.

I knew ‘Panchabhoota‘ as five basic elements on which nature is built but not interlinked to the relationship among them.
1. Five elements of ‘Panchabhoota‘ are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.
2. Water flows through canals, rivers and seas & oceans; air and space are omnipresent; earth needs water and air to grow life.
3. Now the problem is to connect water with earth uniformly for growing any form of life.
4. Here, fire (heat) plays the role of water evaporation.
5. Air plays a role in distributing evaporation.
6. Space gives a storage of evaporated water in the form of clouds.
7. The actual process of connecting earth and water happens through rains.

What a Collaborative nature and designed unending cycles of sustainability!


Relationship is a Not Dependency

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Now, for most of us, relationship with another is based on dependence, economically or psychologically. This dependence creates fear, breeds in us possessiveness, results in friction, suspicion, and frustration. Economic dependence on another can perhaps be eliminated through legislation and proper organization, but I am referring especially to that psychological dependence on another which is the outcome of craving for personal satisfaction, happiness, etc.

One feels, in a possessive relationship, enriched, creative, and active; one feels one’s own little flame of being is increased by another and so in order not to lose this source of completeness, one fears the loss of the other, and so possessive fears come into being with all their resulting problems.

Thus, in this relationship of psychological dependence, there must always be conscious or unconscious fear, suspicion, which often lies hidden in pleasant-sounding words. The reaction of this fear leads one ever to search for security and enrichment through various channels, or to isolate oneself in ideas and ideals, or to seek substitutes for satisfaction.

Though one is dependent on another, there is yet the desire to be inviolate, to be whole. The complex problem in relationship is how to love without dependence, without friction and conflict; how to conquer the desire to isolate oneself, to withdraw from the cause of conflict. If we depend for our happiness on another, on society, or on environment, they become essential to us; we cling to them and in case of any alteration in each of these, we violently oppose because we depend upon them for our psychological security and comfort. Though, intellectually, we may perceive that life is a continual process of flux, mutation, necessitating constant change, yet emotionally or sentimentally we cling to the established and comforting values; hence, there is a constant battle between change and the desire for permanency. Is it possible to put an end to this conflict?

– By J Krishnamurti


My Diary – Power of Designs of Traditions and Connecting Families

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Yesterday, we celebrated Vijayadashmi or Dussehra. Interestingly, it is celebrated in North India as a day of celebrating good over evil and at the same time it is also celebrated in South India as a day of Guruvandanam – celebrating learning, initiating learnings.

My few observations

In South India:

1. Ayudha Pooja i.e, worshiping all tools and vocations is about celebrating power of knowledge and skills in our lives. Goddess Saraswati represents power of knowledge.
2. 9 days are celebrated worshiping – first 3 days are devoted to Wealth (Goddess Lakshmi), physical health (Goddess Durga) and the last 3 days to Mental growth – Knowledge (Saraswati).
3. The houses were decorated with heritage dolls/idols on multi-level staircase stands. These decorations connect all new members of the family with the memories of grand parents in form of physical objects like dolls. Each doll/idol represents – who got it and in which year. It’s a Platform for sharing family stories similar to what in management we call Fireside stories.
4. All the 9 days have different kinds of lentils or also known as Sundals as a giveaway after the Pooja.
5. Ayudha Pooja is a tools worship day with complete Pen down.
6. The 10th day is day of new initiatives, signing up for new Gurus or Schools and thanksgiving to Gurus.

In North India:

1. I grew up in North India where the festival was celebrated in a very different manner. It’s a season of Ramlila.
2. The complete story of Ramayan – which I call it as “Do’s and Don’ts of human life” – is played in every nook and corner by every community.
3. Over 10 days, it is an opportunity for the local play artist to play various roles in Ramlila. For kids like us, it was an opportunity for enjoying Mela and fun for 10 days. The Ramlila typically starts post dinner and continues till late night. It is also a mechanism for fund raising for local temples.
4. Similar to South India, Navratri (9 days) is also celebrated but the focus would be around the life and ideals of Ram.
5. In my family, my mother used to grow wheat on 1st day in a small pot. Within 10 days, the wheat (Jau) grows more than 8-12 inches. This tradition symbolically represents seeding of the new crop. The typical tikka to brothers is performed by sisters of the family with token of gift from brothers.
6. We have a tradition of writing a ANNUAL DIARY on this day where we record attendance on that festival, major events in the direct family, major events in extended family and then important national and international events along with major commodity prices.

I have not experienced the traditions prevalent in East or West India, except the celebration of worshipping Durga. I will request someone to update about East India and West India. Please correct my understanding also.

My learnings in both traditions are about creating family bonding, creating new energies and reiterating learning as a habit.

What a wonderful and holistic design for 10 days of festivities and connecting families year after year. These traditions build on us without even making any effort and become part of our DNA.

Ayudha pooja done for all kinds of tools, vehicles and instruments as part of the festival

Ayudha pooja done for all kinds of tools, vehicles and instruments as part of the festival

Heritage dolls arranged as part of Navratri

Heritage dolls arranged as part of Navratri celebrations

Listen to your Heart in a literal sense

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Listening to my heart has different connotations, but here I am talking about listening to heart in a literal sense.

Today, I was listening to my heart. We all know it pumps blood 72 times a minute that means 4,000 times an hour, which means 96,000 times a day; and in a year, it translates to 350 million times. It performs all functions completely unnoticed. I take this function for granted because it comes to me naturally. In the modern world, where my mind attention is linked to its economic value, whereas my heart gets no attention since it comes from a free economic tag.

Inherent Design Principles of Energy Distribution System:

1. One cycle gets completed in 0.8 secs – which means the blood in lungs is cleansed and it pumps back the blood for distribution through arteries.

2. Design of separation of impure blood and pure blood is done through four compartments system called Atrium and Ventricles.

3. Design of complex arterial distribution where every part of the body gets energy supply 72 times per min in the form of Oxygen and Sugar. This process works close to 1 lakh times a day.

4. Design of collecting waste generated by all cells also happens 72 times per minute or 1 lac times a day. This process is conducted by equally complex venal system.

5. Another beauty of the design is that all 4 systems – Energy distribution system, Waste collection system, blood purification and pumping system are fully connected end to end.

Connecting all the dots. As soon as I listen to my own heart, my respect for its contribution to my life increased multi fold.

My Diary on Gandhi Jayanthi

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

In all living forms, science has discovered Genes – which is encoding of repeating itself.

Question – is there something in all living forms – ‘I am Different’.

My observation is that ‘I am different’ is not only characteristic of Humans but also in lowest form of living form – plants

1. Each plant has different shapes of leaves. This differentiation is not required for producing food.
2. Few plants grows vertically and other grows horizontally. This differentiation is not required for survival.
3. Every flower produce a unique design of flower – from shape of sepals, petals or arrangement of sepals or petals, even color patterns are unique. This differentiation is not required for reproduction.
4. The fruit produced by each plant is unique with different texture and taste. This differentiation is not required for anything except ‘nature of giving’.

All the above 4 elements are not required for repetition or reproduction. Each plant or tree need not express so differently to reproduce themselves which is related to Gene theory.

I want to know if anyone working on THEORY OF BEING DIFFERENT.