Define or Defy

Category: Reflections Page 1 of 2

November’2019 at a Glance

Back to Journaling through Evernote


I love to journal.
Here. There. Everywhere.
This. That. Everything.
Somehow this habit starting waning, once I was out of college and in the corporate. Once a week was the best I could manage, reflecting on my thoughts and actions. This also affected the frequency of the blog posts. Only one blog so far this year.


Probably two reasons:

  1. The writing felt mentally and physically taxing
  2. I didn’t figure out a ritual for the journaling

After various iterations, I consistently stuck with journaling by doing the following.

  1. Typing onto Evernote desktop app but still using pen and paper besides, for any mental prompts.
  2. Opening Evernote just before I left from work or right after a shower once back home.

I managed to journal for 4 days of the week at the least for a full month. Getting somewhere.

The format is pretty simple:

1. Create a notebook just for reflections. I named it ‘Daily Reflections’.
2. One note for each month. 30 days of inputs in each note in the tabular format


Books, Audiobooks, and Content


November was a good month in this aspect.

I finished 3 books:

  1. The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
    –> Amazing book, a must-read. Amazed at how pretty much everything can go wrong in an operating theatre. A newfound respect for doctors.
  2. What I talk about when I talk about running by Haruki Murakami
    –> Found this a bit bland. Stopped reading after 65% of the book. I will come back sometime later.
  3. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams
    –> Impressive read. The author is the creator of Dilbert Comics. Grab this book if you would like a to figure out a sure shot way to succeed.

I finished 2 Audiobooks: 

  1. Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
    –> An astounding 90 minute listen. I listened to it twice in a week. I’m a huge Tony Robbins fan by the way.
  2. Zig Ziglar Motivation – #MentorMeZig || A compilation by Evan Carmichael
    –> Not really an audiobook but nevertheless a 2 and a half-hour worth of pure gold. I look up to Zig in his diction and presence while speaking. Best said by Seth Godin to Tim Ferriss, “Zig is your grandfather and my grandfather. He’s Tony Robbins’s grandfather. None of us would be here if it weren’t for Zig.”

I listened to both of them while commuting from and to home. I was big on these kinds of content but stopped owing to some negative views about positivity and motivation. But coming back to them, I did realize the positive change in the day and also how I was feeling about it. It surely helped me a lot and might help you too

Next on the list:

  1. The Game by Neil Strauss
  2. War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  3. Bigger Leaner Stronger by Michael Matthews

Movies and Series

  1. Watched only one movie: ‘Jalikattu‘, a take on how the animal instincts of humans come into the fore.
  2. After mindless wandering on Youtube and regretting the next day, I made just a small shift here. Just one episode per day. I picked up ‘The Good Wife‘ and managed to stick to ‘one day-one episode’ with occasional binge-watching.


Will you disappear again?


Haha! Hopefully not. Let’s just hope I push out one blog post per week. I am a massive procrastinator. 34 posts published so far and I have 32 in the drafts. Anyways, I have the ideas, prompts, and titles for the next set of blog posts.

  • Paris Brest Paris: A Glimpse of How it Went
  • Paris Brest Paris: Through Pain and Paradise
  • Road to Paris: Parting Thoughts
    –> A continuation of Road to Paris: Initial Thoughts
  • Tour De Europe
    –> A series of blog posts documenting my recent travel to Paris, Switzerland, Prague, and Rome.


A trip through negative self-defeating loop


I pushed myself to the extreme while participating in Devil’s Circuit. I injured myself and got sick. I recovered but fell back to sickness again in a fortnight, after I gorged on a shitload of peanut butter and chapati for dinner and went on to do some ungentlemanly things for the night.

I was in deficit of any motivation and inspiration in this period. I was just meandering again but there must be a tipping point for this. Every trough must be followed by a crest.

I came across Soundarya Balasubramani’s blog. Her profile was a bit envious. I usually go through a self-defeated loop of jealousy but this time I decided to break the chain. At this instant,

  • Stopped focussing on myself. Everything is not about me. Suffering comes from three thought patterns: loss, less, never
  • I went out for a run. Action precedes feelings and emotions. I don’t feel good and run. I run to feel good. Story follows State, followed by strategy.

State –> Story –> Strategy

Next time whenever you feel low,

  1. Change your state by simple priming.
  2. Tell yourself an enabling story. Focus on the present and not think about the time you have wasted.
  3. Now you can think about the strategies to move forward.

Thinking in a low emotional state will only lead you to dead ends instead of options.

I came across this Reddit page about Brian Tracy when I was in this low phase. I managed to keep it simple and took only one thing from it:

Writing down my goals(8-10) twice a day – once before I leave to work and once I come back.

More motivation nonsense? Well, I don’t think so.

This one thing single-handedly made a difference in November. That’s why you are seeing this blogpost (while the last one was in Feb). You must try it out.


What next?


  1. Endurance sports is a lower priority for now. They do take up a lot of time. Laser focus on career. But I’m still hitting the gym and also got a pull-up bar installed at home.


  2. My Birthday is coming up. I plan to spend that day either at Craig Studio, climbing stuff or enjoy a game of soap football.
  3. Get those Blogposts out. Damn it!!






Road to Paris: Initial Thoughts


2 years have passed since I joined the group rides with Hyderabad Bicycling Club.

(One of the few pictures I took on that day-none including me)

I did my first Brevet in July 2017 which ended up with a Late Finish.


(Vishal had a Tyre burst and I finished late)

(What’s a Brevet? Coming Up)

After some dejection and disappointment and a 4 month break, I completed my SR series starting with 200 BRM on Nov 4th and finishing with 600 BRM on Jan 6th, 2018.
All of these Brevets were possible with the help of my cycling friends who had lent me their bicycles for those days.


(Lessons from a Super Randonneur)

Post the SR, I happened to get into distance running and completely sidelined cycling. I ended up finishing two Full marathons, one in the month of April with a 6 hour finish and the other in August with a 4h 37min finish.



Post the second marathon, I was in a fix.
Should I set forth a running goal such as Comrades which is a 90 km road run or the Vibram Hong Kong 100 which is a 100km trail run.

Or put forth a cycling goal like the PBP or LEL

A couple of reasons gravitated me towards cycling:
1. Events like PBP and LEL happen every 4 years whereas the Ultramarathons happen almost every year. Taking into account the long wait and unforeseen future circumstances, one point for cycling.
2. I enjoyed doing the Brevets more than the marathons. More sceneries and more conversations. (No offence to the running folks :D)
3. I was eagerly waiting to have a cycle of my own throughout college and since it was an expensive affair, I had held back for 2 years. Post graduation, I had started working and was ready to take the plunge.

I made up my mind and started zeroing on the bike. Though at the start I was more inclined to an adventure bike – something close to a Specialized Diverge I ended up with a bike of race geometry in mind. After guidance from the team at The Bike Affair, I brought home a Merida Scultra 300 🙂



This Blogpost is all about that once in a lifetime opportunity (or at least 4 years) to explore the beyond and push the human potential. My resolution to participate in a 1200 km race in Paris and the initial thoughts on this and things to be prepared for.

  • What is Randonnuering
  • Paris-Brest-Paris
  • The Eligibility for it
  • The Training Plan
  • The Gear
  • Visa, Travel and Expenses
  • Parting Thoughts
  • Bonus


What is Randonneuring


You might be wondering what randonneuring is all about.

A Brevet/BRM is a long distance cycling event. The smallest one is 200 km and the longest one I know is 1400 km. In order to check if the riders are indeed riding and not taking any shortcuts or any other means, each of these distances have checkpoints between them where the volunteers put a stamp mentioning the time.


For Example, you can see in the Brevet Card(which is given to you at the start) that at every checkpoint there is a stamp of approval along with the time of arrival.

The rules are simple:

1. Reach the checkpoints on time.

2. Complete the overall distance in the stipulated time.
200 KM : 13h30min,
300 KM : 20h,
400 KM: 27h,
600 KM : 40 h,
1000 KM : 75H,
1200 KM : 90h

3. Always have the safety gear in place
-> Reflective Vest
-> Head Lights. Tail Lights – one blinking and one constant
-> A good helmet

4. No drafting behind vehicles. Drafting behind riders is allowed.

It’s good to Carry some spare tubes and puncture kits though not mandatory.
Carry some cash, food, energy bars, painkillers and you’re good to go.

This whole sport is called Randonnuering and it is governed by a French body called Audax Club Parisien. The Indian events are organised by Audax India Randonnuers and Hyderabad specific events are organised by the Hyderabad Randonnuers team.

Some other terms which will clear any airs of confusion:

  • Super Randonnuer Series: A series of 200, 300, 400 and 600 km rides completed in one particular season. A rider who completes this is given the title of a ‘Super Randonnuer’
  • Randonnuer: A rider who has successfully completed a 200 Km Brevet.
  • LF : Late Finish. Finishing the course but outside of the stipulated time
  • DNF : Did not Finish.
  • Homologation: Unique number given to the rider after completion of a successful Brevet.

You can take a lot at the events planned for this year. Randonnuering season usually starts from November to October of the next year.

Audax Calendar.PNG




Coming back to PBP.

Paris-Brest-Paris or fondly known as PBP, is a 1200 km randonnuering event in France. Held every four years and with more than a century of history, PBP is the pinnacle every randonnuer would like to achieve.

Unlike other Brevets wherein anybody can participate, PBP has a two phase registration process-pre-registration and registration. This two step process is to ensure a better successful completion rate. The organizers wouldn’t want late finishes and DNF’s due to lack of proper preparation.

Pre-registration happens between Jan-Feb’2019 and registration happens between June-July’2019 with the ride being in August

The Preregistration

This is held on a priority basis wherein riders who have completed the farthest distance brevets in the previous season have the chance to register before the others. Hence the name pre-registration.
For Example, a rider who has finished 1200/1000 in 2017-2018 gets the advantage of registering before the 600/400/300/200 finishers. Similarly, the 600 finishers get the advantage of registering before the others. And so on and so forth.
You can imagine a virtual queue getting established with the 1000 and 1200 finishers at the front followed by 600 and the others.

The official Pre-registration dates are as below:

Pre Registration Dates.PNG
Why is this important?

The organizers of PBP limit the number of entrants to around 6000. So the faster you reserve your place in the queue, better the chances of your successful registration.

The Registration

Even after the pre-registration, a rider has to complete an SR series and submit the homologation numbers at the time of registration, no later than 18th June 2019.

With this two step registration process in place, riders will have a better idea as to what kind of physical and mental burden one might be facing in those 90 hours.

To recap,
1. Complete a 1000 or more in 2017-2018 to have better chances
2. Pre-register in the month of Jan
3. Meanwhile complete an SR series no later than June
4. Register yourself by submitting your homologations for all the SR Rides and confirm your slot.


The Rides

A day or two after I purchased my first road bike, I had a conversation with Rajesh Krishnamaneni,the power horse of Hyderabad Randonnuers who has conquered both LEL and Alpi 4000.

He strongly suggested that I ride the 1000 BRM rather than bank upon the 600 BRM which I had done earlier (remember the pre-registration priority ?)

The 1000 BRM was the toughest mental and physical strain I had endured. Vomits, diarrhea and also the infamous shermer’s neck.


(My neck refusing to sit up straight after hours of riding)

But it also gave me an idea of how much sleep I require, which food I am allergic to and also ride posture.

With the 1000, the 2017-18 season had ended and to ensure I had proper recovery, I skipped the first 200 and 300 Brevets in the 2018-19 season, and completed the 400 and 600 Brevets.

No worries. Brevets are held throughout the season and the next 300 is scheduled on Jan 26 and the next 200 on Feb 9 and Apr 20.


The Training


Paris Brest Paris is a different ball game altogether with 25-40% more elevation compared to the rides back here. It would be foolish to be under the impression that the Brevets back here are an adequate preparation.
For me, a proper planning would include:

  • Strength training regime to have a strong upper core
  • Technical Know-how in case of a mechanical failure with fixing a puncture being the bare minimum to handling spoke and saddle failures.
  • Training Regime including Cadence and Hill workouts along with Intervals.
  • Mental strengthening through meditation and mantras.

So far, I have been

  • Strength training 5 days a week for 30 minutes in the evening.
  • Cycling every other day for 90 mins
  • Endurance Rides on Sundays for 4-6 hours

Consistently sticking to this plan would really help build a solid base.


The Gear

The man can only do so much if the machine is not ready.

It’s been 3300 kilometers on my Merida so far. I plan to change the tyres and chain towards mid-July along with a full bike service.

I still need to make a couple of purchases

  • Good Bib shorts: cause 90 hours on the saddle is a sure sign of a sore bottom.
  • Strong and powerful Lights: Requiring minimum number of recharges along with being waterproof.
  • Saddle Bag: For carrying all that’s needed in those 4 days of time.
  • Thermals: It might get really cold, so more than 1 layer of clothing is definitely needed.
  • Bike Fit: Wherein the seat/saddle along with the handle is adjusted properly based on your body dynamics for increased efficiency and minimal discomfort.
  • Cleats and Pedals: Sports shoes don’t effectively transfer your energy to the pedals. Cleats improve pedal efficiency and also reduce cramping.


Visa, Travel and Expenses



After some quick searches, seems I can apply for Visa within the 3 month duration before departure and not any earlier. It’s good to have all the supporting documents ready as soon as possible with ITR being one of them.


Coming up to the expenses part,

  • the registration fee for PBP is 130-140 euros i.e 15k INR
  • the flight charges along with VISA are coming up to 45-60k INR
  • During the ride, a good estimate for food, beverages, shower and sleep would be 100 euros i.e 8k INR
  • I’m not sure if there will be hotel booking in between the ride. Will update on this.
    A couple of riders have already booked their stay and it’s coming around 2.5k INR per night. I’m still wrestling with options from Airbnb and Hostelworld.

Since I probably wouldn’t be travelling to Paris in near future, would love to go for sightseeing for a couple of days.

  • Each day of sightseeing might cost another 100 euros. 4 days of travel and down with another 30k INR.Coupled with cost of the bike, the brevets and the equipment, the overall cost would sum up to 350k-400k INR from October’18-August’19.

That’s some pretty good motivation to brainstorm for more parallel income streams 😉


Parting Thoughts


Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Having a tunnel vision for the next 6 months and transforming into a fitter version of myself would definitely be uncomfortable.

Comfort is comforting. Discomfort is discomforting.
Let me search for comfort in discomfort and discomfort in comfort. That is when the magic happens.



( And also get rid of that tummy in the process 😀 )



For Riders:

  1. I have made a compilation(ongoing) of some of the online resources of the training plan, travel, blog experiences etc. Do take a look at them here. Might help with some or the other thing.
  2. Audax will also be offering a ‘Randonnuer 5000’ award to riders who have completed 5000 km in the 4 year period of 2015-2019 which must include – a PBP, a fleche, an SR series and a 1000 BRM. With the Fleche coming up on Feb 23, be sure to not miss on it.

For Readers:

If this article has generated a minuscule of interest in cycling at the least, we do have a couple of events coming up in Hyderabad over the following two weekends. Do register. No worries about having a bike because you can always rent or borrow from a friend.

  1. Jan 27
    The Great Hyderabad Cyclothon
  2. Feb 3
    The Bike Affair’s Feb 50/100

Badminton, Barbecue, Burgers and more

Team Lunch

As mentioned earlier, I tried a vegetarian diet for 90 days. With 30 more days to go, I was planning on having a sumptuous barbecue with a couple of friends, gorging on those tasty meat snacks. And lucky did I get! My team planned on an impromptu lunch at Barbeque Pride, Jubilee Hills. It was a very fun gathering, interacting with my teammates over lunch.

Badminton Tournament & Flash Mob

The Tournament

Soon after I joined ADP, I got to know that there’s a badminton championship being held for our Business Unit. With over 150 unique registrations, this event was surely going to be a competitive. Coming back from the marathon on 26th August, I decided not to practice for the tournament and rather rest those tired legs.

Two days before the event one of my colleague asked if I would like to join for a flash mob on the day of the event. The only time I danced in public was during my sister’s Sangeeth and that didn’t turn out pretty well 😀

But the thought of  ‘getting comfortable with the uncomfortable’ made me accept the invitation and we had a practice session on Friday. Though I got repeated advice from the regulars to not think about anything else and just enjoy, it was pretty hard to shush away the pricking thought of being judged – ‘ What might they be thinking‘.

After a lazy sleep and waking up late, I rushed to the event arena on Saturday morning by 10 am. In brief, I lost my singles match in the 2nd round after getting a walk over in the 1st. After a last minute pair up with a new friend, we lost the doubles match in the 2nd round after a close 1st.  We lacked the perfect coordination. And later, I paired up with Vineeta, my college mate and now colleague and we were given a direct walkover till semi finals where we lost. No regrets for losing since I had zero expectations. It felt great being back on a badminton court after a long while. The thought of having weekly badminton hours crossed my mind too.

The Flashmob

Though I’m calling it a flashmob we were actually 7 people in total 😀
After many practice sessions (where I sucked), the matches were put on hold around 2:45. I found myself trying to cope up with others and watching their moves but had a lot of fun. We performed once again in the presence of the leaders of our division and I had more fun this time around. Post this, I had my mixed doubles match and after that a lot of boomerangs and selfies 😉


What was a fun Saturday turned out to be ugly on Sunday morning with pretty bad body sores. I met up with my school friends in the evening and had a good burger meal at Burger King. The week ended with some late night journaling and reflections 🙂


Tipping Point


As a fresher when you join a company and assigned a team, you are usually kept away from any project related tasks and KT (Knowledge Transfer) sessions are held with any of the senior team members. You have two choices here: Be proactive and take ownership and learn things on your own or slack. I was slightly guilty of the latter but upon some much needed guidance from my senior, I was back on track.

The takeaway being don’t wait to be told what to do. Play around. Learn things. Discover things. Be proactive. First impressions matter a lot. Try setting a very positive momentum in a new environment, be it a new university or work location, so that you’ll have to live up to it later on.


Person of the Week

It’s Mohammed Furqan for this week. Close to 400 days ago, I met him at Master Orator Championship – 2017. From being a semi finalist in 2017 to becoming a 2nd runner up in 2018, he walked away with an Apple Ipad. He’s a photographer, speedcuber, beatboxer, orator, rapper-all packed into one.

Check out his blog here and you’ll definitely walk away with a lesson or two 🙂


Podcast of the Week

I tried listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History but I couldn’t continue after the initial 30 minutes.
But, I’ve listened to two really good podcast episodes.

One was about the the interesting things happened with domains during the dot com era.

The second was an episode with Manoj Vasudevan who was the World Champion of Public Speaking in 2017. He talked about becoming a master public speaker, how to be an effective leader and much much more.


Moving On

I’m very excited for this week(and month) as I’m planning to publish a series of very informative blogposts. Lot of ideas for this blog but for starters, this week will be having two blogposts taking you through the recent Hyderabad Marathon I finished and also an Introduction to Randonnuering since Brevet season is just around the corner 😉 More details soon.

Apart from that, I’m still pending on Ryan Holiday’s ‘Obstacle is the Way’. It’s also Amma’s birthday this week. Let me know if you’d like a slice of the cake.


If you’ve this blogpost helpful and this blog informative, give it a thumbs up and also do share it with your friends 🙂




Post Run Recovery, Baby Steps in Career, MOC 2018 Finals and more

Post Run Recovery

Post my first Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2018 (blogpost will be out soon), I didn’t find it very tiring as I expected it to be. The sores were minimal and had reduced to a minimum in 2-3 days with good amount of sleep and water. I also gorged on some chicken which I had avoided for the past 90 days.

All was not good though. The way I walk turned funny with me limping side to side. There were no workouts the whole week except for a very easy 3 km walk to get some bananas.

Baby Steps in Career

After my final semester exams in April, the following three months were unproductive due to uncertainty and lack of routine. I did not join the place where I did my internships due to a couple of reasons and I had a mix of good and bad interviews with various companies. Before it turned a bit too bleak, I bagged a job offer with ADP 🙂

This would be my third week of working at ADP and it’s been great so far. Amazing people, amazing culture and amazing benefits too :p
I feel this is a good platform from where I can launch my career. Though not satisfied with the way my engineering period has turned out with a couple of regrets, I learned my share of lessons and sky’s the limit henceforth 🙂

A visit to ISKON

It had been a while since I went to the Hare Krishna temple at Abids. This was the temple where my parents took both me and my brother for a visit since early childhood. From what seemed to be a quiet and serene place is bustling with activity with regular expansions without reducing the effect this place has on your mind. A must visit. Couldn’t get any pictures though this time.

Master Orator Championship Finals 2018

Coming to my favorite part of the week, the MOC 2018 Finals. MOC is always close to my heart. It completely changed the way I was. From being just a participant in 2016, I was the 2nd place winner in 2017 winning a Macbook Air as the prize. Too bad I couldn’t participate this year as I was no longer a student.

I was rooting for my buddy Mohammed Furqan, whom I met at the same Championship last year and later, collaborated on a Blogcast with him.

I was accompanied by my close friend Srikanth. Though I promoted a bit on social media and expected a couple of friends and acquaintances to show up, most of them didn’t. It kind of got me by surprise as to why people would lose such an opportunity to watch some of the best speakers.

The event started with a keynote by C K Kumaravel, CEO of Naturals Beauty Salon India. A 40 min speech which gripped me from the start till the end. Many one liners and quotes which kept us laughing and amused. After a short break, the championship started. Keeping this short(a longer blogpost about MOC will follow), I was happy and also sad to find Furqan winning the 3rd place. It sucks to be in any other place than the 1st. Followed by lunch and extensive interaction with many Toastmasters, we left the place with a lot of pictures and a lot many memories.

Tipping Point

I had a very big misunderstanding with a dear friend and that held me from talking to them for a couple of days. I think this happens in all our lives. It took me some time to clear my head and question my assumptions about the whole thing. The whole thing vanished just after a couple of minutes of careful conversation. So, the next time it happens to you- just try to question your assumptions of the matter and settle it 😉

Person of the Week

It’s Kamal Ravikant for this week. This guy is super smart and super reflective. I found his book ‘Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It’. Short but very helpful read.

You can check out this video as a started into his mind about Love and Entrepreneurship.

Podcast of the Week

This one blew my mind. Joe Rogan and Neil Degrasse Tyson’s interview was full of knowledge about the Universe. Neil is a very popular astrophysicist with excellent communication skills. If space and astronomy interests you, you can’t miss this one.

Article of the Week

You might be knowing Mark Manson from his book ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k’. He also has a very popular blog and the article ‘The One for Rule’ had given me a new perspective about how to live life. In summary, Each person must never be treated only as a means to some other end, but must also be treated as an end themselves.

Must read!!

Moving On

  • A badminton tournament this weekend.
  • Reading Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
  • Start Listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History starting with King of Kings

Meetups, Proteins and more…

After a jolly Sunday celebrating my friend Akhil’s birthday, the week had more unexpected meetups lined up to make up for the lonesome previous week.

The FountainHead

The week started with me grabbing a copy of The Fountainhead, a classic by Ayn Rand which tells the fictional journey about an innovative architect Howard Roark and his struggles to achieve success on his own terms. The book definitely improved my vocabulary a bit though I’ve read 3 chapters so far.

The World Environment Day Ride

The Hyderabad Randonnuers in association with the Telangana State Pollution Control Board conducted a programme which consisted of a Green rally by school students, a couple of other ceremonies and a cycle rally for which, I was a part of.

Since I don’t own a cycle (yet completed the Super Randonnuer series :D, thanks to Mr. Vijay) I borrowed one from HBC_Necklace Road and cycled to KBR Park where the initial meetup of the riders was held and custom cycling jerseys were distributed. We rode to the Pollution Board present in Sanathnagar. It was great to see Mr. Marri Laxman Reddy, owner of the MLRIT colleges present there. He happens to be a competitive triathlete even at the age of 74. The rally started from that point back to KBR Park and the riders dispersed from there since it was a working day. A total of 27Km for the morning 🙂

4 Meetups

The first meetup was with Vishu, my friend right from school days. He wanted to watch deadpool-2 but I convinced him and we went for BBC’s Blue Planet-2 which is a documentary depicting ocean life. [Fun Fact: The ethereal snailfish is deepest living fish so far discovered]. It’s exclusive only for the PVR Cinema audience and definitely recommended.

The second meetup was with Srikanth, one of my first friends since the start of college and has remained close ever since. We drove close to 40 kms to and fro from our college and caught up on things post our engineering exams.

The third meetup was another dear friend with whom I watched Mahanati, an unofficial biopic of the yesteryear actress Savitri garu. Another beautiful movie with a run time of 3 hours. Must watch!

The fourth meetup was this morning where few of my college friends decided to meetup at Necklace Road, Hyderabad. One of our friends, who recently shifted her hostel didn’t wake up on time, so we had fun tracking down her hostel from previous info and finally reached her. This was followed by some tasty butter dosa as breakfast.


Along with The Fountainhead, another book I started reading was the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. It’s caption being An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. A couple of things really blew my mind and I specially gave attention to the chapter “Running Faster and Farther”.

You can start with the sample chapter here, which itself has a ton of information and new insights and definitely a must read!!!!

One specific mention would be eating 30g of protein before 30 minutes of waking up, which helps in reducing the fat present in our body. I decided to give this a try not because I had too much of body fat but as a source for my pre-run nutrition.

After couple of iterations, I fixed upon this recipe:

10 almonds, 10 cashew, 1 mango, 1 banana, 5 walnuts, 5 drops of honey in bowl coupled with a glass of milk and 2 whole eggs.

Having this for the past four days has definitely kept me full till almost noon(though I do have my breakfast after my run).

This week also saw me purchasing my first Unived product which was RUNN Butter, a nutrition source in between your long runs. I also wanted their Post Run Nutrition but due to budget constraints had to stick to one. And thanks to their Global Running Day discount, I got a 25% on my first purchase 🙂

Articles, Audios and Videos of the Week

The first is a fun Ted talk by Joseph Annamkutty Jose, who is a popular RJ in his city.

I’ve been listening to bits of Tony Robbins on Soundcloud whenever possible. He dives into the psychology of motivation. Really uplifts me. You can start by watching his Ted Talk here.

Another worthy mention would be Rohan Kamnath’s answer. He is one of those unusual guys who makes it to Stanford though he is from a lesson know Tier 3/4 college.

Moving On

Firstly, a couple of exciting 3-4 blogposts lined up and a probable guest post, which is a first 🙂

Secondly, will be beginning to start a strength training regime to compliment the running preparation I’ve been doing for the marathon at the end of August.

And lastly, it has been more than 30 days since I started reading one page of the Daily Stoic every single day. Might be confirmation bias but I definitely seem to have a better macro level perspective day to day.

That’s all for now folks! If you liked this post, do hit a like button and subscribe to this blog(if you haven’t already :D) and also share this with your awesome friends. Until next time…

Trip to Arunachalam, Intro to Cryptography and more

The week started with a little bit of regret over me not able to attend this year’s Mango Ride, annual cycling ride of Hyderabad Bicycling Club or Eloquence 2018, the annual division conference of Toastmasters in Hyderabad.  The first one was due to skin rashes which I was suffering since the 400 km Brevet in Dec’2017. And I couldn’t attend Eloquence for no reason whatsoever :/

The week before, my mom was requesting me to accompany her for a visit to Arunachalam. I kept postponing because I had other unimportantly important things to do. So on Monday, my mom gave an ultimatum resulting in me booking bus tickets for the travel.

The trip was for 3 days. I started writing about the travel and I realised it had already crossed 700 words. Maybe it’s worthy of a full length blogpost I guess, which I’ll be posting on Thursday under the Throwback Thursday category.

Coming back from the trip, I had a lazy Thursday.

On Friday I went for an easy run along with Gautam Pondi. Through the 12 km run, he gave me a lot of tips.

I’ll pin the two important ones here.


I had been procrastinating on a lot of things and the Cryptography course from Stanford University on Coursera is one of them. I finally started it with 6 hours of study so far. You can check out the syllabus here.

During the trip, Mom and I made a promise to ourselves to consume only plants, dairy and eggs(semi-vegetarian??). I also started my new journal this week. New pages kind of give me fresh enthusiasm for what’s lying ahead.

The week ended with me working on a changeover for my blog with some new ideas in the structure with this Weekly Newsletter being one of them.

That’s how my week went in a brief.

Book of the Week:

Rather, books of the week. With 4-5 new books at my disposal, I kept shuffling between them and ended up completing none. Those books were,

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll which documents his journey of Ultra Running and multiple Iron Mans

Start with Why by Simon Sinek which reiterates the fact that having a strong motive is very essential for success.

LinchPin by Seth Godin where Seth tells us how to become a Linchpin or an indispensable employee.

Other than this, I made it a morning routine for the past two weeks to read a page of The Daily Stoic everyday in the morning. It has short 1-page stoic philosophy which regularly makes me aware of what’s in control and what’s not.

Video of the Week:

Had to delete the history a couple of times but as far as I can remember two videos had sparked some motivation in me.

One is a Ted-talk by Gaurav Chaudhary, popularly known for his Hindi tech channel- Technical Guruji. His ending line was amazing “In any field, don’t think about money in your initial days. You’ll reach a stage where don’t need to think about it.”

Other is a compilation of advice from 10 great people. Kind of like a checklist we all should remember.

Tipping Points:

(for the lack of a better word, these are the points of big psychological thoughts for me)

  1. Postponing the date of travel. I had an epiphany that this life was a blessing for me and I was thinking of putting it off for a suitable time in the future(which I may or may not be lucky enough to see). True fact.
  2. I met a distant cousin of mine who’s of my age and is from one of the prestigious engineering institutes in the country. With academic excellence since childhood along with extra curricular achievements, she’s on her way to the U.S to work in one of the top global companies. No visa hassles and no money issues which most of us think about. It’s the result of all the hard work she put in.
    I promised myself to raise the standard of the things I accept for myself.


I’m excited for the coming week as my training for Airtel Hyderabad Marathon starts from Monday. I’m participating in the 42km category and it will be my first competitive run after almost 4 years 🙂

Do share with me your experiences or tipping points or the videos/articles you found useful. Until Next week 🙂




Lessons from a Super Randonneur

Hello there 🙂

It’s my 25th post on this Blog. Hope this one doesn’t disappoint just like the others didn’t.

*Wink Wink*

1500 Kilometres on Bike.
100.5 hours of journey.

The Brevet timeline was this:


July 8: First 200 BRM
Nov 6: Second 200 BRM
Nov 26: 300 BRM
Dec 16: 400 BRM


Jan 6: 600 BRM

I definitely picked up a thing or two over this period of time and distance. Let’s jump right in!!


1. You are the Average of the 3 riders you ride with!


My first two 200 Brevets, I used to either listen to podcasts or music while Cycling. This, to a large extent had an effect on my pace because I didn’t set a standard for me push for. Both the Brevets ended up being close calls. The first one I finished 7 minutes late and the second one I finished just a minute early.

And then in the 300 BRM, I managed to finish 35 minutes early to the deadline. And the 400 BRM, an hour early. What changed?

After learning from my mistakes, I decided to set myself a target pace and what better  way to ride fast than to ride with faster riders. I joined and tried to be as close as possible to three other riders who were riding together – Mr. Ranjit, Ashish and Karthik. Though they were a bit fast and I couldn’t keep up with them at times, I still managed to be in close range of them reaching checkpoints just 3-5 minutes after they did. In the end, finished 35 minutes earlier along with them.


This worked in 400 BRM as well. I maintained a good pace till the halfway mark as I tried to be in close range to Ashish. I finished 60 minutes earlier this time. And in the 600 BRM, I tried to be in close range Colonel Devender Singh after the halfway mark. It was very testing as I had constantly push myself to stay close by.

That’s what setting a standard to reach does to you. You are constantly in check of yourself and you don’t slack seeing the other cyclists move past you.


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  • Evaluate yourself. What are the 5 books you recently read, 5 hours you recently spent on, 5 people you most hangout with, 5 favorite movies of yours, 5 websites you most visit, 5 Youtube channels you most watch and the list goes on.
  • When you set a new goal, increase your proximity with the people whom you think have already reached there.
    Want to improve your technical knowledge, spend time and ask questions to people who already are strong at it.
    Want to improve your confidence, spend time with people who are already confident and learn the nuances from them.


2. Confidence is Preparation

Just after starting the 400 km Brevet, I was riding alongside Ashish and he casually asked me how many practice rides I had done leading up to the 400. 20 kilometers is all I had done in the 20 day gap between 300 and 400. He was slightly shocked and reprimanded me for not respecting my body and pushing it all of a sudden. And in fact I did push my body. It couldn’t anticipate what was coming. And my body did react. Cramps, knee pains, extreme discomfort because I was wearing new cycling shorts directly on the day of the Brevet. I couldn’t correctly time my sleep and I was riding alone most of the Brevet.
Another mental block I had was that I didn’t know how to fix a flat in case it occurred. I would have to wait for a good Samaritan to help me. And another huge mistake was not carrying a hand pump along with me. Almost all riders were having a hand pump of different valve size(Presta) and the bike I was riding had a Schradder valve. In case I had some air issues or a flat in the middle of nowhere or in the night, I might have had to drop out from the Brevet.

I didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes again.

So leading up to the 600, I tried to as prepared as possible. Along with Ashish, I did a 100 km night ride to Yadigirigutta and back, a week after doing a 50 km night ride along Hussain Sagar. All these along with small distances of 10-15 kms plus a night ride a day before the Brevet and also a warm up ride the morning of the Brevet. A total mileage of 250 kms. I was now confident of my body handling itself.


I also gathered all the necessary equipment which I didn’t previously have. Goggles, wind cheater, patch kit, hand pump, mechanical kit. All set even for a mechanical failure. That boosted my confidence a lot.

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When you prepare for the worst case scenario, you are completely confident. And you enjoy the ride!


  • Next time you have an interview, do a background check. Prepare for all the questions you might be asked.
  • Next time you are giving a speech, practice as much as possible. You end up focusing on the content and message rather than on your irrational fears.


3. Being at your Best is not a Luxury, but a Necessity


2nd 200 BRM. Last final stretch from the start of Microsoft Hill to HBC, Gachibowli. I looked at my phone for one last time to check the time and the distance. Just enough time to ride easy and reach there. I then put my phone back in the pocket. Since I was drained of energy already, the first thought that came to my mind was to take it slow on the hill. But then, I had a premonition- that something similar to my previous 200 BRM where I was late by just 7 minutes might happen.
I pushed through the hill, raced through the traffic – all this while not having an idea about the time. I didn’t slack even for a bit throughout the final stretch. And when I reached the finish, I got the shock of my life.

I was just a minute early to the finish. 

What if I slacked even for a bit? What if I let my legs rest even for a while.

This taught me a very important lesson. About being and giving your best even when you think you can slack. In this time of cut throat competition, being your best at all times is not a Luxury but a necessity. Not an option but a requirement.




  • Next time you think of slacking. Even a bit. Maybe take a nap or facebook scrolling. Don’t. Be the best version of yourself at all times to be the BEST!


4. Only YOU can Define/Defy your limits


I talked about my 2nd 200 BRM. But my favorite and most memorable was my first 200 BRM.

Background: I wanted to become a Randonnuer before the Audax season ends in October 2017. I didn’t have a bike of my own back then(even now :p), so I borrowed it from my friend. For the same reason, I wanted to complete the Brevet on time at any cost and do the remaining brevets when I get a bike of my own. I was a bit overconfident at the start, that I complete half an hour before the deadline. I even asked my dad to reach the venue early to pick me up.

How wrong could I be?

I had to complete the last 10 kilometres in the last half an hour (that’s how I remember it). It seemed impossible to me. I had run out of both food and water to get back the energy I now had run out of. Strong urge to give up. Should I?

15 seconds later

I mustered every ounce of strength. After repeated screaming whenever my body pleaded to give up, I pedaled and pedaled and pedaled. Unexpected traffic in the last 3 kilometers came as a surprise but I still pedaled and pedaled whizzing through the traffic. I reached 7 minutes late.

Though the disappointment occupied my mind for the initial hours, upon later reflection I was amazed at how I pushed my body’s limits. Never before did I do anything of this sort. It was revelation to me. That our body and mind can be pushed beyond their limits.

I was so passionate of this incident that when I was competing in a major public speaking competition by Toastmasters, this was what I talked about. And I ended up getting the 2nd place with a huge trophy and a macbook air as the prize. Do check out the speech to realize the importance of having a strong WHY and about pushing through your limits.




  • Next time, you think you have reached your limit. Think again. You haven’t! Be it in an interview or a negotiation or feeling tired of studying/learning. You can always up your ante.
  • Sometimes, you might be disappointed by your result at one particular point of time. But if you carefully pick your learnings from it, it might set you up for later success. A favorite failure in fact.
  • You only have the right to focus on your efforts and not on your results and rewards. Even the Gita echoes the same. The results are never in our hand(even if you think otherwise), because we are not the center of the universe and a lot of factors come into play.


5. You just gotta Keep Cycling


For me, cycling is going through two distinct phases.

Ebb and Flow!

The Flow: smooth downhills(or any downhill for that matter), relaxed talks with fellow riders, having the company of a group, tasty food and snacks you eat upon the pretext of burning calories, nightly escape from the sun.


It’s easy to cycle when you are in your Flow.

Then comes the Ebb:the testing uphills, unforgiving sun, chilling cold, cramps, knee pains, wrist pains, all kinds of pains, riding alone for large stretches without any moral support you get when you see another fellow cyclist, flats and mechanical failures, sour cravings because all the snacks you have are sweet and much much more.

This is when you get tested and a chance to push your limits.

In the 400 BRM, I was riding alone in the dark for 30-40 kilometers at one particular stretch around 2 pm. No one in sight. Mental pangs. I was in a emotionally weak state then. That’s when Colonel Devender Singh Duhan passed along and when I shared this, he said “You might think that riders ahead of you have it easy but remember that everyone riding their Brevet has their own challenges they have to face. You just got to keep cycling”.


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  • Next time you have a bad interview, try to focus on you what you did wrong rather than waste your remaining day brooding over it.
  • Next time you feel you are having a bad day, don’t go into a self negative loop. Stretch, walk, jog, shower- do whatever to keep you moving.


6. To get Help, you need to Ask First

I was hesitant in doing the Brevets because I didn’t have a bike of my own. It was very difficult for me to request repeatedly. Vijay Sir was kind enough to lend me his cycle for all the four Brevets. Most of the required things for the Brevet- be it spare tubes, lights, patch kit, hand pump, etc. I borrowed all of them too. I had to request multiple people.



(In Pic: The Beast Vijay Sir lent me)

There were times when I was a lot far from the starting point and I had to cycle there. I wouldn’t have been able to on time. I had to call out for help from passing by trolleys and mini trucks. Some rejected but there were many kind hearts who offered to drop me nearby without expecting anything in return.

A lot of us hesitate at asking. Be it with the doubts in our class or in times of need.

The universe doesn’t just hand you things. You have to go out and ask. Ask for help if needed. Because there are many people who might have gone through the same and they wouldn’t mind helping you if you show the required determination. Asking for help does not make you weak!

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  • Next time you need help, ask for it. Don’t shy away. We are all here to help each other.

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  • Just receiving help is not the end. Whenever you have the chance give back to the society(or your cycling community). It should be a Chain Reaction as Mr. Sanjeev said when speaking about how riders who join a club bring in their friends who bring in theirs and thus spreading the joy of cycling.wp-image-414394763

(In Pic: Celebratory ride after my SR)


That’s how it went folks. Grateful enough to have taken these takeaways. Hope you keep them in mind and find it useful in future. You might have noticed the more references to interviews. It’s because I’m in my final semester of engineering and that’s the point of focus at this time 😉

Do comment down the lesson which you related the most to. Would love to hear 🙂
If you liked this format, do check out my previous post: 21 Life Lessons at 21.

And as always, Don’t forget to follow my blog if you haven’t already. Lot’s more interesting stuff to come.


21 Life Lessons at 21

2017 was a blast. Most eventful, most memorable and most intense. Starting with my Cycling journey, followed by my first solo trip, first time anchoring, first Brevet, first internship and ending the first 6 months with a 2nd place at a public speaking competition. The second half of the year was slightly less eventful but nevertheless the same impact on my learning curve. First Half Marathon, first guest speaker appearances, first felicitations. And then, ended the year by completing a series of 200, 300 and 400 km Brevets.

I’m really grateful for an amazing year I had and there were a lot of lessons I learned along the way. A lot of learning and a lot many takeaways. I would like to share some of my learnings with you on this New Year’s eve. And before that, wish you all a very Happy New Year 🙂

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1. Life is Ebb and Flow

This might be the most important life lesson. At the start of this blog post, I mentioned all the good parts, the shiny ones. The sunny days.

But everyday is not gonna be like that. There were and there will be sad, bad and worse days. Maybe that’s what life is all about. You shouldn’t get too attached to your happy moments or get too sullen when you are at your trough.

If you think a bit deeper, you wouldn’t have appreciated life if it was all good. Quoting the passengers Let Her Go :

Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home


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2. Have a Goal and Use it to your Advantage


At Fun and Furore 2017- an annual Toastmaster conference I had the chance of speaking to the keynote speaker Mr. Aditya Maheswaran, who was the runner up at the World Championship of Public Speaking. One particular takeaway was(and in his words) ” Having the goal of becoming World Champion of Public Speaking, had an exponential growth effect on me. All the years of Toastmasters experience was eclipsed by the learnings in that year of the competition alone.”

Looking back, it indeed was true.

  • I was a very timid and shy speaker but then the goal of being the Master Orator Champion had me practice number of times, improve my body language, learning speech structuring and a lot more.
  • I was a leisure cyclist, cycling mostly on only Sunday. But then I put myself a goal of becoming a Super Randonneur (one who completes a series of 200,300,400 & 600 kms on cycle) by 2018. This forced me to watch what I eat, regular exercising, doing the 7 minute workout daily. I might be in my best physical shape now 😛


And for my Computer Science friends, if you are still hesitant about jumping into the programming world, why not challenge yourself with this. Make this your goal and put your efforts to it.

Setting a goal is the easy part. Working on it is the hard part. And how do you work on it? By respecting the slight edge


3. Respect the Slight Edge


No good things comes fast. The only way you can achieve something is to put your efforts day in and day out.

One of the most influential books I read was The Slight Edge. This might be the only self help book you need to read. The whole book can be summarized in one single picture.

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4. Have An Accountability Buddy

So now you have set yourself a goal and you try to maintain the slight edge. One day or the other you would feel like giving up. If left to yourself, there’s a high chance that you might give up. But what if someone else is gonna push you? Think of a gym. The pumping of the trainer push you to do more reps than what you would have done alone.

But I am not in the gym and I don’t have a trainer, I’m focused on other things, you might say.

Being accountable to someone can be done in many other ways. Let us take my example:

  1. I made a goal of either running or cycling daily. To be accountable for this I started uploading my daily progress in the popular app Strava. Some days the workout just happened and other days I had to drag myself just an hour before the day ends only because I had to honor my word put out in the open.
  2. I usually didn’t wake up early and even if I did, I wouldn’t be consistent for long. So I requested my close buddy to call me up at 5 and I would send a selfie after washing my face and tagged with a quote.

Try it out. Figure out areas where you wanna improve and have someone to be accountable to.



5. Discipline is what makes(/breaks) you

We’ve seen the Slight Edge and we swear by it. But there will be days when you feel like not doing things. That’s when you need to be disciplined.

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As mentioned earlier, I made a resolution 25 days back that I would at least do a 2 km a day. There were days when I didn’t wake up early and the didn’t find time (just an excuse) and it was already 11 pm. I could either give up and do it the next day or I could respect my decision made days ago. I went for the walk.

At Fun and Furore 2016, Mr. Rajdeep- the keynote speaker expressed the same thing. ” Your life is a painting. Every commitment you honor is a stroke and every commitment you dishonor is a scratch.”

Paint the best version of yourself!

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6. Keep it Simple Silly

Meditating. This was something I always tried to do but never could. 20 minutes was what I set forth and it was too much for me. That’s when I came across this.

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Be it meditation or fitness, all you need to do is one single push up or one single mindfull breath. The essence here is to keep the consistency reiterating what we saw in Lesson 3.


7. Have a Tunnel Vision

Inch wide, Mile deep.

What does this mean?

I am in my last semester now and I had the thought of either joining a kickboxing class to build my personality or a dance class so as to perform on my college’s annual day. I gave these both serious thoughts but then upon further contemplation realized that these both were just distractions from my actual goals.

I won’t say any further here. Take a read at what Derek Sivers has got to say.

And to end it, Gary Vee says it the best at 0:40



8. Choices & Trade-Offs


Life is all about trade offs. All about choices.

Choosing to stay with your family or move abroad for a higher pay and a better lifestyle? 

Eating that yummy chicken zinger for pleasure or watching your diet and feeling good about your body for the real happiness?

Staying in your comfort zone or Stepping out of it and embracing the randomness?

Every choice will have a consequence. And you should be okay with it once it’s been chosen.


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9. Take Your Time

There’s usually a recurring character in all our lives whom we compare our self against. They might be the supremely confident ___ or the drop dead gorgeous and muscular ___ or be it the everything planned and perfected ___. We usually stalk them to see what they are up to go into an endless loop of self loathing. Or at least I do.

But one thing to keep in mind is that, you are not taking into factor their circumstances or their resources ( and also your laziness).

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I was shy. I was timid. I couldn’t answer if somebody asked me “What are your hobbies and interest? “. but then it has been a good turnaround this last year.
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Nevertheless you might still feel a tad bit of jealousy and envy. That’s when you should…


10. Practice Gratitude


So what is Gratitude?

It has two key components. First, an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. Second, we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves…We acknowledge that other people…gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

A couple of weeks back, Agresh and I were having yummy dosas and he told he that he was offered three internships so far and he’s gonna start earning 20,000/- a month in his last semester.
First thought, why didn’t I get that oppurtunity?
Second thought, all my fault. I didn’t work hard enough.
A couple of thoughts later, It’s okay. He deserves it. I’m grateful for the other things blessed upon me.

Jealousy and Envy are natural emotions. But what you do after you encounter them is the crux for either beautiful or sour relationships.

Gratitude is a daily practice. A good start would be the morning journal by Tim Ferris.


11. Don’t Focus too much on Yourself

After Master Orator Championship, the Guntoor Toastmasters club invited me to be a guest speaker/Toastmaster of the Day. That was very unexpected and I was elated to say the least. I drafted a speech but I made one huge mistake…I focused too much on myself.
Let’s look it from a macro and micro perspective.

The macro was that the Guntoor Toastmasters was a pretty young club and it had to draw audience(mostly students) and also demonstrate how a good Toastmaster meeting would be conducted.
And what did I do? I focused on the micro. I structured the meet around me, focusing way too much on my speech, my delivery and all my. 

Lesson learnt. Whenever required, try looking at it from a larger scheme of things to have the right perspective. It isn’t all about you but the role you have to play. Focus on playing your role perfectly and also sync it with the other roles.

Before we move on, a question for you. Do you hate your internship or your entry level job or a particular role in your club or community. Maybe you are focusing too much on yourself. To avoid that, be a canvas and embrace the canvas strategy.


12. The Canvas Strategy

I was going through a rough phase in my first internship and that did have a mental effect on me and then, I came across the Canvas Strategy in Tools of Titans.
Not much talk here, I insist on you reading the full article here. It hits you like a ton of bricks.

Lesson 11 and 12 go together. Bhavana was the one who invited me for the meet at Guntoor and when we met recently, she reiterated both of these. When you see fame and reputation as your driving force, you won’t hold onto your purpose for long enough. I respect the Guntoor Toastmasters for being a living proof of this.


13. Be a Financial Literate

Ever been to a subway or kfc and the bill was close to the ten’s (478/539 etc) and the cashier doesn’t return the change? Did you hold yourself back from asking the change because you would look ‘cheap’?
Happened with me.

Lot of mental slaps later it hit me that I wasn’t respecting money. My parents’ hard earned money. Another concern was that I didn’t keep a tab on my expenses. I didn’t know how much I spent where.

Start by having a financial etiquette. Account for all your expenses. Learn the basics of accounting. Learn how stock markets work.

Having a chartered accountant friend helps 😛


14. Never put yourself Low

This was one of the biggest lessons/advice I got this year. I was practicing my script to introduce the guest speaker for our college’s annual day celebrations. This was going on in a room filled with many students practicing for their part – guitar, singing, etc and I was unassertive when talking out my script. That’s when Mehul, my friend told me to “Never put yourself low”. That had a pretty enormous effect on me. That had an immediate effect in my voice and also my demeanor.

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15. Have A Standard

It all boils down to what things you are willing to accept of yourself.

Do your dress your best and are groomed every single day or do you slack often?

Do you have a standard for your work ethic?

“If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviours and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.” – Tony Robbins

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16. Increase your Proximity

Other than having a goal, you know what might give you an accelerated learning experience? Surrounding yourself with the right people.

You must have read this somewhere : You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Think about it. Whom are you spending the most time with and how are they affecting you.

If your goal is to improve your public speaking skills, you need to increase your proximity to that environment. Maybe join a toastmaster club.

If your goal is to improve your confidence, increase your proximity to the confident people you already know. You automatically pick up their personality.

If your goal is to improve your coding skills, increase your proximity to the coders you already know. Have discussions with them, ask questions and learn from them.

This really is from a personal experience.


17. Prime Yourself

Did you ever realize that the morning is the only part of the day that you can absolutely control. Rest of the day is just reactions to outside events and people. So start your day by priming yourself. And why is that?

When you win your morning, you win your day.



18. Double/Triple Threat

Best expressed by Scott Adams here :

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Just reiterating his words, you need to realize that apart from your technical knowledge you also need to have the necessary communication skills. The world belongs to story tellers.


19. First Movers Advantage

2016 and 2017 was the year of Influencers. I’ll take Instagram as an example. Won’t be taking any names and some might have already striked you. They were able to exploit the platform because they were posting content right from the start. They invested time when not many were into this. This is similar to what happened to the Blogging and Youtube scenario back in the 2000’s. Now it’s got harder with more people entering the field and the competition getting bloodier with diminishing returns.


So risk doing or adopting something novel. Risk going into uncharted territories. And it’ll make all the difference.

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20. Build a Brand

Your online presence matters. 

Be it the Instagram and Facebook posts or the whatsapp stories, every online posts creates an impression of you.

What impression do your online friends and acquaintances have about you?

Are you just a person who keeps sharing online memes and videos?

Or are you a person who provides a value. Just a consumer or a creator too?

Try building an audience on Youtube/Wordpress/Medium/Quora. Resumes are a thing of the past. What is your online presence?

And do have a brand name.


21. Risk Being Seen in all Your Glory


Right when I thought about posting this blog post, a thought flashed across my mind.

What would people think? 

Would people who are more accomplished than me look down upon me or my content?

A few names struck me too, who might probably laugh it off.

So what do I do now? Do I let it be to be more ‘acceptable‘?

I recollected my favorite quote by Jim Carrey and as a result you are reading this now.

Next time you are nervous in a group discussion or a Jam, timid to voice your thoughts and opinions, just remind yourself this. And you won’t be the same.

Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.


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Class completed. So which one was the lesson that resonated the most with you. Leave it in the comment box and once again a happy new year!!!!








TakeAways from Raja The Great

It’s been a long time since I watched a Ravi Teja movie in theatre. The last one was back in 2014. In Raja The Great, Ravi Teja’s introduction starts with the line “Confidence thrills. Overconfidence kills” which sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

The plot is about how our blind protagonist Raja, who doesn’t consider his disability as a curse but as a blessing (SEE Takeaway 3) saves the heroine from the clutches of a goon who has killed her father and hell bent on killing her too.


Take_Away 1


Life doesn’t give us anything. We have to face it and seize from it.” Something which the hero’s mother instills in the hero right from childhood and something which I’ve been thinking a lot these days.


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Am I having it too easy in the comfort zone of my home, my college, my friends?

Have I grown fucking soft by not pushing my limits enough?


Take_Away 2


Bad times are like shadows. If we stop and keep looking at them and not take a step forward, we’ll miss out on the other beautiful things of life“. This is said by Raja to the heroine when she’s lost all hope on life following her father’s loss and is reluctant to change.

Bad phases keep happening. Be it major or minor.

What you should do is to Acknowledge the feeling. Don’t fight it. Relax. Write it down. Learn from it. Brush it off, let it go and move forward.


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Take_Away 3

Villain : ” Don’t you fear us. We are 30 people and you are one single blind man”

Raja : ” That’s the thing. I am blind. I can’t see. I can’t see what might frighten me. You might be 30 or 300, I can’t see!”

When you face something, do you see a problem? or a Challenge?

When you face criticism, do you see anger or do you see a chance to improve yourself?

When you are on a stage, do you see the questioning looks of the audience or do you see a chance to educate and enlighten them?


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Closing with something by Tim Ferriss



Take_Away 4


Another major takeaway was  Raja dressing and styling up. Reminds me of a line from Magic of Thinking BigDress Your Best. You can’t afford not to“.



Dressing up really boosts your confidence. Numerous sources support that.

Think Harvey Specter or Robert Downey Jr.

Image result for harvey specterImage result for robert downey jr suit


Coming to the movie


  • Ravi Teja as Raja carried the movie throughout. Very believable acting as a blind man. I loved his smile and confidence. Very stylish. A thing that occured to me was that he recently went through the loss of his dear brother but nonetheless gave one of his best performance so far. Reiterating Take_Away 2.
  • Predictablee story but different taking. Some cliches thrown here and there. Passable songs. Definitely worth a watch if you love comedy and don’t mind the routine story.




Best Of The Week#2

Videos of the Week


“It’s easy to feel hopeful on a beautiful day like today, but there will be dark days ahead of us, too. There will be days when you feel alone, and that is when hope is needed most”. This video from Amazing SpiderMan 2 always moves me to tears.

Why we do what we do. You will be amazed by the charisma this man has. Biggest takeaway from this- treat problems as surprises!!

4 tips for Public Speaking by Dananjaya Hettiarachchi. Also check out his championship winning speech.


Audios of the Week


All of the Stars. This is my favorite of all the Ed Sheeran songs. Got back into my playlist this week.

The 10 Commandments of Startup is a podcast episode by Reid Hoffman who is the co-founder of LinkedIn. He covers what mistakes a startup should avoid in early as well as later stages.

Gummadi Gummadi. This yesteryear song has been my anchor this week. It’s child like innocence is what captures me.


Articles of the Week

Sorry! Too many articles this week. Couldn’t resist because every single article deserves a read.


Life is very unpredictable. You never know which moment is your last with your loved ones.

You are in your 20’s. Start early and build your personal brand. Be it blogging, vlogging or podcasting or anything which would grow you an audience. Deal with fear and take the plunge.

An alternative take on Ramayana.

Sonam Kapoor’s advice to  teenage girls. If you are a girl, it’s a must read. If you are boy, read and share it with your girl friends.

A very moving article on the growing rate of depression among people. Do read it. You might realize a friend or two might need your help.

The best of the lot. If you had to read only one article for now this would be that. What’s deep inside you?.

Experiences of the Week


Hardly it’s been a week since we started with our 4th year of Engineering and the placement drives have already started. And what else do you think has started?
Reality Checks!!

Where do I stand in a crowd of around 2000 people in my college?
How unique am I? What value am I providing?
Are my skills up to date? 
Am I just another engineer mass produced every year?

All these questions haunted me this week. I attended two placement drives so far. One went well and the other brought me back to the ground.


Failure of the Week


The two things I have always had trouble with: Sloth and Unreliability.

I did not have my resume until the last minute on the day of my first interview. I did not prepare either the frequently asked HR questions or did I take a glance at some programming questions.
Am I taking it too easy?
Is being in my comfort zone taking a toll on me?

As I said earlier, Reality Checks!!!!

Inspiration of the Week

Mrs. Jyoti Reddy – from a Agricultural Laborer to C.E.O of an American company.
Read more about her here.

Vishal Kante. He was my riding partner for my the 200 BRM. He did not complete his first 200 km brevet but then went onto complete 200, 300 & 400 km brevets.


Screenshots of the Week

Stand up straight and Don’t hunch.

Stop the knowledge porn

Love is always 50-50. When one gives 80, the other gives 20

What are your reasons?

Is pride hurting you?



Quotes/Lines of the Week

“On average geniuses weren’t qualitatively better in their fields than their peers. They simply produced a greater volume of work, which gave them more variation and a higher chance of originality.” – Adam Grant


Person of the Week


Hampi Reddy. 3 qualities of her which inspire me.

  • Consistency : She has been hitting the gym consistently for the past 9 months. Remarkable difference in her!
  • Persistence : She started with mobile application development a while back and has already got proficient in it and is minting money now.
  • Collaborations : You can’t learn everything on your own. She has the ability to team up with her friends and learns things at a much faster rate.

Lot to learn from her. Cheers to you Hampi!! Keep going.


Big Wins of the Week

  • Blog Cast : Got my first blog cast published after lot of brain storming and editing. I believe it will be the U.S.P of my blog. The 2nd one also got published today.



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