Define or Defy

Category: Weekly Newsletter

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 🙂




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.




Best Videos of the Week

Bhuvan Bam is famous for his YouTube channel BB Ki Vines. His 2 videos Originality- the way to success and Stand Alone to Stand Apart were very inspiring nonetheless hilarious. He is indeed a very gifted orator.

Did you ever feel your reading speed needs to be improved? Then you definitely need to watch this. Tim Ferriss gives us a 4-min video in which you’ll get to know your current WPM (Words Per Minute) speed and how to improve it by 100-300%.

This video by 101India features Raghav Meattle who is a Mumbaikar and gave me a very refreshing outlook on life and running.

Best Audios of the Week

Teri Meri Kahani has got me grooved this week. This song is by Bhuvan Bam and was pretty euphonious to me.

The theme song of Game of Thrones was my song anchor this week. Very catchy!

The interview of Tim Ferriss by James Altucher dealt a little about suicide and depression and the necessity of having routines to get you back to normal each day.

Best Articles of the Week

This 1-min article by Darius Foroux is a must read

35 Things You Should Know Before Becoming “Successful”

Best article I have read so far regarding Higher education in U.S.A

Experiences of the Week

I’ve had the pleasure of having 2 school reunions albeit small ones. Caught up on so many things and recalled many memories.

It was my second visit to the Wall Ride Park on the Go-Skate Boarding Day. Did my first couple of small stunts. Improved speed in the pump track.

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Failure of the Week

*  The 15-Day Blogging Challenge was a part failure. Blogged for 8 days and then gave up for 5 days. As Charles Munger says – two things you need to avoid: Sloth and Unreliability.
*  This week was pretty bad in terms of sleeping habits. Owing to this I missed two of my cycle rides by which I would have completed 100 km more.

Inspiration of the Week

My preparation with G.R.E was a bit inconsistent these holidays. I had a long conversation with my batch mate Chaitanya about this and he rekindled my spirits. Thank you Chaitanya 🙂

Screenshots of the week

On what makes a great programmer.

On how to talk to strangers.

On why the best things are often with the ones who struggle.

Quote/Lines of the Week

“I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t.” – Khaled Hosseini

“If you arent different in a world of infinite choice” – Ramit Sethi

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”- Victor E. Frankl

Person of the Week

Hamza Khan is the owner of Wall Ride Park and he’s just 23. His vision of taking Skating and Cycling in Hyderabad to a whole new level is amazing.

Big Wins of the Week

I was consistent with 7-min workout this week. Considerable improvement in the state of my body.
Day 4, 5 and 6 of the 15-Day Daily Blogging Challenge were very tiring but still didn’t stop posting. Had to go past 12.

Hey there, if you loved this blog post and the articles inside it then please give it a thumbs up and also share with me what you found interesting this week, in the comments below.


  • Image Courtesy: Google and my smartphone

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