Sunday, August 29, 2010

Success Stories ~ Local Chapter [Spread Positivity]

Success Stories ~ Local Chapter

Long back, I used to read about success stories and I always felt happy to see successful people. However, the definition of successful people was always 'something different' for me. I always knew and believed that taking the first step makes you successful. When you complement it with responsibility for your actions, you become a successful person. You make it big or not is not the matter of consideration here. The point is that you knew, you believed and you had the courage to trust your instinct.

The local chapter of Success Stories is about the visionaries who are just like you and me. You [My readers] have seen them, they know them and they are just like you.

Spread Positivity means to spread positivity. Every day you hear people talking about bad boss, Monday Blues, shitty job and numerous other things.

This local chapter will make you smile, feel motivated and happy about the positive changes happening in and around you. May be, it will let you cross the threshold which is stopping you to bring something new and different to this Universe. And this time the flag-bearers are just like us, Common Men.

The first story is about an IITian [I wonder how do they manage to make it first among the firsts]

Here goes the story about Aha Foods. [Aha means the sweet emotion, which comes out of your heart through your mouth when you see a delicious food item. ]

Introduction: Pasha [पाशा ] alias Aniket Baheti- Founder Aha Foods.

I met पाशा in March 2009. We talked to each other and soon I realized that I was talking to a visionary.
Here goes the Interview:
Q1. Let us know something about yourself, which must cover only important and positive details ;)
I hail from Jodhpur, Rajasthan but then happen to belong to Chennai, Tamil Nadu ( IIT Madras, graduation) and Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh ( my current location for business). So true to my name, I have no home and I am at home everywhere. I completed my 14 yrs of schooling from a single school, infinite range of friends and moved on to IITM without wasting any year. Completed my post graduation there in five year ( saving a year again) and got placed in Deloitte, Hyderabad. My dad’s side has everyone into Govt. service where else my mum’s side is all business people. I guess, I had it in my genes somewhere.
Q2. What made you think about this venture in particular. I mean being an Engineer, working in an Auditing firm and venturing into food business. You have a wide range, I must say.
I always had this dream of being a restaurateur ever since my college days. My very good friend Pramod used to share my passion. We used to visit plenty restaurants in Chennai, not to have a good time, but to understand how they are run, to observe their seating arrangement logics, kitchen arrangements, people requirement and management etc. We were almost charged to start it in Chennai but the lack of funds kept it on hold.
Having Ujjwal, a friend at Hyderabad, gave wings to my dreams once again. He made is seem pretty simple to start and then thanks to constant nagging from my girlfriend, I was able to start it by July.
Q3. How you do it? You have a busy job and I have found out that Aha keeps you on your toes even after job hours.
Basically, Job occupies quite a lot of my time over the day, but whatever is left to it, goes all to Aha. Everyone’s got some hobby. For me, this is all I do. For past few months, I have pretty much sacrificed my social life over Aha which needs me to be here. No friends, no partying no Bangalore, no Mumbai. Money has found a new meaning as I strive to save every bit of it for my venture. Fortunately, I don’t have any financial obligations from my home so I am on my own.
I remember reading somewhere – “ Being an entrepreneur demands a lot. You gotta be ready to give it all, your hours, your sleeps, your rest and your money. Only then you can dare the devil.” I did it.
Q4. What makes you different?
I never focused much on trying to be different. I always believed there is a utter need of good food in the place where I stay, I myself was one of the victims of play. I felt the opportunity so hard, that I couldn’t wait to see Aha foods coming up. It was sure to succeed and rock.
Q5. What are your plans? Plan to stay in this line or change lines or leave everything as it is and flow with time?
I plan to work on Aha for a while. Will be giving it a few weeks to grow and become self – operating after which the next step would obviously be a restaurant followed by a chain of them. I definitely have plans for other venture regarding which I shall keep mum for the moment and blow the candle only when the right time comes.
Q6. How you feel about it?
There is nothing like a feeling of being an entrepreneur. I have my own set of learning. There was a time I used to talk a lot but never moved any further. Then people like my girlfriend got me to reality and some action. There have been people who have inspired me on the way. Total strangers like Tarun ( yes dude!!) leave a lasting impact on you just by their sheer personality and stories. There have been frustration at job life which adds to it all.
Great thing about being an entrepreneur is the tremendous respect you gain from being one. Your friends wish you luck and you know you surely will do great to keep up with them!
The journey is exciting, but for me, its just begun.
I wish you all the focus and determination because personally I believe that entrepreneurs never need luck. They just focus and they do it.

I wish all my readers to have a good read and pick as many positive points from this interview. If you happen to stay in Hyderabad, then you can definitely make yourself go Aha! by ordering food from the den of पाशा भाई

Visit Aha Foods to know more about them and what they offer.

P.S: I am more than happy to see myself among your motivations. Thanks a lot पाशा :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bike, Clouds and Spirituality!

Biking or rather floating through the clouds is not a bad idea at all. Murari Devi temple is one such place where you get to know how one makes his way through the clouds, fog and mist. It is located near the Sunder Nagar town and it is one great place to visit while you are moving towards Manali or Lahaul Spiti. Exploring new regions is not a bad idea at all.

To read more visit:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And I go back to Spiti Valley

Day Zero | Day One | Day Two | Day Three+Four | Day Five

After coming back to the normal world, we had to go back to the same place one more time to get our things+car back. This time we had no camera, and no plan whatsoever to rescue the vehicle. We reached Manali and I have forgotten the dates as well. So, we will move randomly and in case, if I remember them, I will let you know. And this time, we had a new partner with us, the legendary Kamal Thakur.

So after we reached Manali, we went to our semi-permanent residence, means the very homely hotel of ours. The caretaker/receptionist was too happy to see us, as if he was saying, "किसने कहा था जाओ, मनाली घूम के निकल लेते".

We called the mechanic and asked him to come with us. Next day, early morning, we reached at the bus stand at 5 A.M, as the first bust runs from Manali to Kaza at 5:15 A.M. the bus was full of foreigners of different colors and bus was loooking nothing less than a multicultural meet. Back on those roads, I felt very sad and strange. The road condition was not good but when you go to Kaza, you do not expect road condition to be good, you just expect the road to be there.

We reached our semi-permanent resident [Batal Dhaba] and I was amazed to see the car intact. The uncle [dhaba owner] kept his word and the tires were not missing, which I had imagined considering the pessimism this trip had put into my head. The mechanic started off with his work immediately. He toiled hard with the vehicle for few hours and made it work. The car started, its engine roared, well actually cried and I felt like the inventor of first vehicle on Earth.

But Murphy did not want us to go out of that place, that day, so car could not run more than 200 meters. After working on/with the car for another few hours, we decided to get a towing vehicle from Manali and rest our case. I slept with a heavy heart and could not think anything. Next day, early morning, the mechanic decided to work on the car one more time and he made its engine work one more time. But again, 200 meters and dead engine. However, the towing vehicle reached in time and he got additional tools with him. The mechanic gave his last shot and guess what, he made the car work. It ran more than 200 meters and covered the next 107 kilometers on its own.

I thanked the people inside the dhaba, outside the dhaba, on the hill, below the bridge and I thanked Murphy as well for letting us go unscathed.

Coming back to the point, Manali was 108 Kilometers from Batal and the car could travel only 107 kilometers. For the next one kilometer , the car had to be towed till the workshop because it broke down. What a shame!

Again, things went bad, the car could not be repaired that night, we had to go to the same hotel again and I could read the eyes of receptionist, It said, "दूसरी बार में तो आ गयी समझ "

Next day was day of happiness and joy. The car came out of the workshop and we drove back to our respective places with a happy heart.

Moral of the complete story:

1. Do not take a Maruti beyond Manali

2. Spiti Valley is beautiful, एक बार तो
सबका जाना बनता है |

ChandraTaal Lake is beautiful

4. Murphy Law is a neutral law. It depends upon the mentality of the person

5. The Journey continues., forever!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fresh and New Life

This is a guest post by my friend Kamal Thakur. He is a prolific writer and thinker and smoker. :)

I liked this post of his so much that I decided to bring it here on my blog. I hope you will like+learn from it, as I did.

Are you bored of your life?

New things are not happening, that’s what everyone thinks. It’s the same old routine. You wake up in the morning, perform your early morning rituals and get ready for the office. This is specifically the case with people who are working for long hours in offices. School and college going students don’t have to suffer from this ‘same-old-things-everyday’ syndrome – they face new things now and then; their routines are limited. Sure the children wake up, brush their teeth, get ready for school everyday – but their days at school are all new and fresh. They don’t hold on to old memories so hard while an adult continues to look back; instead of focusing on ‘what is now’.

How could you make your life full of excitements, wonders and joys with same-old-things!

Boredom gives you a sense of non-fulfillment. You don’t feel satisfied with your life. So gear up for a ‘new’ change! You can change anything from your daily routine to work hours. Allotting a few hours per week to play your favorite game at local sports club is not a bad idea either. Don’t think about the cost of membership if you can actually afford it or make a cut in your monthly savings! We are talking about ‘living life’ here.

Well, if you are so much in love with your work, you can of course, choose to work day-night; then, I will say, you are not working, you are playing :) :) We ourselves are responsible to create new excitements in our life! And we do so, by making decisions! The decisions like ‘working in a specific profession, ‘working at that company’, ‘staying with that folk’, ‘being in relationship with that chick’, ‘play that game’, ‘watch that match’ and so on.

When something bothers you, you have to have a decision!

Other choice to is to get bored with your life and hate each moment of it. That will be really sad. Better take a decision – a new one!

How can anything new and exciting happen in your life if you keep doing the same old things. Have you been holding on to your attitude towards a particular person? Well, you are different now ..than you were five years ago. Your ideas about life have changed. You have grown a little old. Its very much possible that others have changed too! Why not have a better attitude towards others, expecting that they might have changed to your tune. That’s why wise men ask you not to be judgmental!

New things will not happen if you hold on to your opinion about a person, place or situation as ‘irritating person’, ‘nasty place’ or ‘confusing situation’. You will have to think in new ways possible! First of all, drop those words – irritating, nasty and confusing. Add the words that are new! Add the words that you like. Now you are really making a decision. Now you are really making a choice! I would love to make it – ‘wonderful person’, ‘awesome place’ or ‘lovely situation’. That will be a ‘NEW’ thought. That will sprout up as ‘NEW’ actions. That will manifest as ‘NEW’ change.

Micro changes – CREATE excitement, attract happiness and kick boredom

Make decisions at the level of thought. Change your attitudes towards a place, situation or person at the level of thoughts. To think is to do something subtly. To think is to create. If you really focus on the these micro changes (mental multimedia broadcast), you will certainly go crazy for sometime but you are going to float back to the safe harbor – the one with really greener grass.

Macro changes –Drop routines, take risks and be hopeful or carefree at least ;)

Now you need to take your daily routines at task. You need to make some crucial decisions about your career. You better know how to turn your anger on and off at your own will. Why not have a small walk around the house instead of watching TV all day. Why not read or write a blog instead of fixing your eyes on your FB wall! Why not pay a visit to a friend, even if he has not called up in weeks!

Give a flip to your thinking pattern for sometime! Its no good if its not working, you know! Change your daily routines. That’s important, you see. Break free .. for a few hours every week.. at least! In the very least, we ought to respect our life that much.

P.S: आज़ादी मुबारक हो , सपनों की और सोच की,
एक नयी आज़ादी |

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tour Diary -Trip to Spiti Valley-Day Five

Sleeping in backseat of the car is never a great idea, especially when the temperature is almost Zero degree Celsius and all you have is a wet pair of socks, waterlogged shoes and a thin shawl in the name of blanket. There were more than 100 tourists trapped in Chattru, a group was to leave for America-they lost their passports, as their car fell into the river. Another person was to leave for USA, his flight returned back from USA and he was still in Chatrru :P

The Beautiful Chatrru, count the number of cars and multiply it by 8 = trapped tourists

The driver of our car was a brave man. He decided that he will take us out of this place. However, after moving 3 kilometers, things became clear or rather totally unclear. The road was nowhere to be seen, it was replaced by a 8 meter wide ditch that run 8 meter in depth as well. It was impossible to cross it on foot, forget about moving a car over it. Things could not get worse, we were running out of cash as well :)

The Road that was not there

Naveen - The Brave Driver

The dinner that cost you 25 INR one day, cost you 30 on the same evening and the very next day, it was priced at 35 INR. However, Ujjwal had all the money and he decided not to give me any because he somehow foresaw the problems, we were about to face. A group of foreigners decided to move towards Manali on foot through the Hamta Pass. Ujjwal was getting impatient and he asked me to come with them. I never doubt my ability to walk in any condition but I was skeptical about Ujjwal's capacity+ ability to walk long distances. Secondly, we did not have any trekking gear or to put it in a sensible manner, we did not have enough clothes to cover ourselves. The snow was falling, the weather was beautiful and we were about to commit the biggest mistake of our life.

Fresh snow, they say is the most dangerous thing as it absorbs you as a whole and even the dogs/vultures do not get a hint of your flesh/bones. Luckily, the trekkers had only one spare jacket and it saved us from 'becoming one with the ultimate'.

I still do not know what happened to those trekkers and if they made it, they were indeed brave men [under the influence of Holy Marijuana] and even if they did not, they were 'the visionaries' :)

We decided to stay inside the car and I promised Ujjwal that tomorrow we will dine in Manali at the Khyber's [actually name of the restaurant, I did not say :P] We slept in the backseat and early morning decided to walk all the 17 Kilometers towards the National Highway. I doubted Ujjwal's capacity to walk but, as usual surprises waited me on every turn. The first few kilometers were fast, smart and easy. However, after 8 kilometers, I started hallucinating and my body started paining. [Reference: Accident I & Accident II]

And to see Ujjwal walking faster than me was even more painful, male ego I guess :P

However, as I have already said, I can walk any day, any time and any number of kilometers, we kept moving towards the destination. We encountered water-ways, devastated roads and waterfalls.

They were the same waterfalls, which Ujjwal wanted to capture while going towards Chandrataal Lake. However, the return trip changed his mentality and now he was not even looking towards them. In this event of National or International Crisis, a childhood friend helped us a lot.

The not-so-beautiful waterfalls

जुराबें कैसे सुखाएं

Parle-G, the glucose energy helped us to move briskly, smoothly, without falling.
The taste was sweeter and the grass was greener, indeed.

Walking Warrior [Fucked Up Me]

Ujjwal was telling me that if someone falls down in the water, then he will definitely feel the pain in this bone-chilling weather. He fell down the very next moment he uttered the sentence. :P Luckily, the weather was clear and after walking for 4 hours, we reached the destination of ours. As we were running short of cash, we decided not to eat anything at Gramphu, so that we could pay the taxi/bus fare. We asked some tourists to take us with them but none of them agreed. Probably, our appearance was 'not-so-well' and the language I spoke was 'Our Mother-tongue'
As soon as I switched to English, the very first vehicle took us in and I was happy that we were saved.

We reached Manali after walking/trekking/swimming for two hours, met Jp+Varun, they both were looking even dirtier+filthier than us because they had even more difficult task to do. To explain the situation to parents, friends, girlfriends, brothers and sisters. They lied to everyone and they framed a new lie for every different person.

That night, as I had promised, we were dining in Manali and for the very first time in my life, I tasted Vodka [in the form of Cock~Tail], which actually tasted like poison or nothing less than that. Two sips and I decided that I am never going to taste this thing again.

However, Murphy was still with us or probably with me and the trip was not yet over ;)

Pic of the Day ;)

P.S: People can check the most beautiful and most-unexplored regions of Himachal at CrazyTravelGuide

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tour Diary -Trip to Spiti Valley-Day Three+Four

Day Zero

Day One

Day Two

Murphy Law states that Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong and we had glimpse or probably the full-view of it during this trip. After coming back from the Chandrataal Lake, we thought of taking a break and rather than moving towards Kaza, we came back to Batal and decided to stay in the White House. The drunkards got hold of a bottle of rum and had fun. We collected wood, gunny-bags, something-like-coal and some dried horse shit to keep ourselves warm in the bone-chilling weather. Happily, we slept in the White House and early morning, we were going to enter into the Legendary Spiti Valley. However, the random function of life played strange and the next morning started a journey, which we had not dreamed of.

After warming up the car for few minutes in the morning, we sat inside it and after moving for few hundred meters, it gave up. The car did not start and its self-start broke down. We pushed it back to the Batal Camp, but it did not start at all. We were carrying spare fuses with us but the darn engine would not start. We believed that the car battery has failed us and the only possible solution was charging the battery through external source.

Rescue Measure1- Self Operation!

Rescue Measure2- Operation Tractor!

A tractor was standing nearby and the owner allowed us to charge our battery through his battery. As a matter of fact, it started raining and we were working on pushing~pulling~charging the car and ill-fated battery. After we charged the battery for a while, it did not work. We tow-chained it with the tractor and now the tractor was pulling the car. It did not work.

Rescue Measure3-Applied Engineering

Disturbed minds have never taken a good/wise decision and we did exactly, what we should not have done. We decided that two of us will stay at the place and two will go to Manali to get the mechanic. Jp+Varun decided to go to Manali, we gave them all the cash and I+Ujjwal stayed at the Batal_White House with minimal cash. However, we were optimistic and we were hoping them to return on the very next day. Ujjwal beat the shit out of me inside the white house. He lost his brains and he kept asking me, where would be they. When will they come back? Finally, I slept at 2AM and early morning, Ujjwal again started kicking me. Frustrated, I asked him about the problem and he gave me another wonderful news.

It had started snowing. In my 24 years of existence, I had never seen snow fall and when I saw it happening, I was not-at-all happy about it. To make things even worse, the Dhaba-Owner kept telling us the story of 42 Mumbaikars stuck in the very same place, one month back and how he helped them to stay alive during those 'six bad days'.

By the time it was 9 AM, the place was covered with snow and we hoped to stay there on a semi-permanent basis, considering the options we had. After, drinking at least 250(scale 25:1) cups of tea, a Tata Sumo arrived from nowhere. We requested them to take us with them and the driver agreed. However, he asked us to leave our luggage there as he did not want to trouble himself in one feet snow.

Beggars are no choosers, so we did what he wanted us to do. We left our bags there, carried the laptop and camera with us. After driving for 10 kilometers, we saw no road. Actually there was no road but all snow. The driver asked us to get down and find the road with him. The road was blocked and the boulders kept coming from the hills. We started working on the road-clearance job and after working in snow for one hour, the fingers were unable to move. The action coninued for another one hour and after that I felt like a snow pig. All I had with me was a pair of shoes, no jeans/lower/pants to change. I sat in my underwear inside the car to keep myself warm, as the clothes were drenched in water. Ujjwal had accepted his fate and he was helping other drivers/vehicles to find way in that mess.

Heavy Snowfall

'We are fucked snowfall'

जय माता दी !

We reached at Chatrru at 8 PM. 8 hours for 36 Kilometers and there was no sign of any accommodation. Finally, the party decided to sleep inside the car itself and we slept on the backseats of Tata Sumo.

The journey continues and Murphy Law prevails.