Saturday, March 1, 2014

Perspectives from Women Extraordinaire from OnlySuccess

A couple of weeks back I had this opportunity to attend Women Extraordinaire – A tribute to women achievers by Only Success.

The event had key speakers such as Dr. Kiran Bedi(Social Activist and Former IPS Officer), Dr. Kamala Selvararaj(Pioneer Infertility Treatment), Ms. Rashmi Bansal (Best selling author), Ms G. SreeVidya(First woman Entrepreneur of Guarding Services) and Ms. Nirmala Nandakumar(Head Training and Dev, Only Success)

I wanted to share with you all my key perspectives and learnings here from Dr.Kiran Bedi and Dr. Kamala Selvaraj’s sessions

Dr. Kamala Selvaraj:

  • ·         Time Management is key be it at home or work. Arranging and keeping things in order helps a lot instead of searching all the time or asking the maid where things are ;)
  • ·         Closing the feedback loop is vital. Once job is done to let your managers/peers know that work is completed
  • ·         Having ME time for exercise that has good hormones like endorphins pumping in, parlour, music, prayer etc.
  • ·         Having a pepper spray, growing nails J, having a torch, dressing modestly and coming home before 10 pm are some tips towards safety
  • ·         To keep on telling to children whether they listen or not all positive things in life like stories, slogas etc.
Dr. Kiran Bedi:

  • ·         Do what you can with what you have where you are :) was the quote with which Dr. Kiran Bedi started off
  • ·         We were asked to retrospect what all we invested in as children – Reading, Sports, Music etc. Whatever she was today she attributed to her upbringing in school and college.
  • ·         Rocking chair Game - Plan a strategy for what you want to be. Go forward and back ward like in a rocking chair. Imagine yourself how you were when you were at ages 10, 20, 30 to now and what you have done differently and all those good things you are proud of and what mistakes you want to correct and imagine yourself at 50, 60 and what profession you would be in, how will you look, what will be your daily schedule, what will you do etc. With this in mind you will know what to do NOW.
  • ·         The more you challenge the mind the more it works and the more you allow it to sleep the more it sleeps J
  • ·         If you constantly read/experience only then it will keep working. Body, mind and soul preparation constantly is key.
  • ·         Write down what you are not comfortable with, what makes you weak, what you want to change, how to change and the 1, 2 ,3 steps
  • ·         Dr. Kiran Bedi was known as Crane Bedi since she was known to tow away cars even the PM’s J She was not afraid of anyone since she grew up with high self-esteem and acted as per her conscience.
  • ·         Dr. Kiran was the first woman to lead the 14 km Republic Day Parade and she had the honour of having breakfast with then PM Indira Gandhi J
  • ·         Everyone has problems. The key is to break up the problem into chunks and find solutions by attacking the root of the problem. Once this habit is formed you start going in search of problems than shunning away from it.
  • ·         For the future girl child her key message was on learning Arts, Music, Dance, Playing outdoors and how all of this would help improve the child’s self-esteem and help becoming assertive.

  • You could also listen to her speech in youtube here
Looking back and retrospecting past 2 weeks I feel success is defined by us rather than from outside. Its we be it home makers or working mothers with what life has to offer uniquely to each of us can define what success is and we can be Dr. Kirans and Dr.Kamalas in our own space…..

What did you like best from above or is there something else you want to share…Do leave a comment…Would love to hear from you

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Peek into Launch of CII Indian Women Network(IWN) - Hear your inner voice !

The minute I heard the CII plans to launch focused network for career women I was like WOW :)
Thanks to Jayashree Sridharan who forwarded me the invite.

The date was Jan 23rd. I along with my friend Jayanthi Sundar arrived at Park Sheraton and by the time we registered we were almost around 120ish in number :)

We entered in and were heartened to see the first 2 rows occupied by armed forces women. The session started with Sanjay Reddy ‘s address and we were glad to know it was his idea and push that this network was formed. Thanks Sanjay...

Here is a snap taken at the launch - (From left) Suchitra K Ella (Our First Chair Woman !), Bhairavi Jani, Suhasini(chief guest of day), Sanjay Reddy and Madhu Vasanthy from CII.

Next Bhairavi Jani spoke on the services that IWN would offer such as - networking, research, connecting young women, students, entrepreneurs and even from grass roots as rural women. You can find more details here. A MOU with Coaching Foundation, India and Kauvery Hospitals was signed next.

Chief Guest of the day was Suhasini and she spoke from her heart in a sweet yet impactful manner and said she was every one's inner voice that day :) 
This was followed by Suchitra K Ella's concluding remarks followed by a Panel discussion

My key takeaways from the Launch program:
  • Suhasini, Actress - Be clear about what you want. Keep growing and expanding. Are you ready to listen. Think who are your role models.
  • Gayathri Sriram, MD,UCAL Auto said maternity is not a disease and is something natural. So voice out and also we need to overcome fear.
  • Sushila Ravindranath, Consulting editor, Financial express said not everyone needs to have a career. Its just up to you..Be clear of what you want. In the few years that you need to take care of your child just keep your network alive
  • Rani Muralidharan, Exe Dir,GK Sons, Tricy with amazing clarity said what choices we make in life matters, as long as we are determined, energetic, enthusiastic rest all will fall in place and its all in our minds. You can come with 100 reasons I have a child etc etc...Ask yourself what is your plan. Don’t let others decide what you want in life ;). She questioned "What are we giving back to society for the education you have received. We ought to be Responsible". Women who would love to be here in this hall but are unable to for lot of reasons. We need to create the awareness.
  • Rajani, VP, TCS emphasised the importance of grooming ourselves with skills required. There are incredible opportunities around and am I willing to spend the time on myself than just spending time on someone on the go. Ask yourself.
  • Dr Jayashree Gopal, Sr.Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Apollo had a patient who came to her and mentioned he leaves at 6.30 am from home and is back by 8.30 ish pm back(Siruseri folks ;)) and so where is the time to exercise and she asked back what do you do around lunch time!!!! Corporates need to provide the infrastructure for same (At the minimum one can take a walk). Being aware and to take prevention is the key. She also said building a strong support network with family and maids is very important.
  • Latha Rajan, Director, Ma Foi - (We see her in ewit forums etc and its really nice to hear from her each time) Get support from home. That small slow down is ok because of your maternity or having to take care of elderly at home. You do not have to feel down. You can catch up in few years. Being smart and having a great support system is key.
    Q& A:
  • It was heartening to see a professor from MGR University at 61 to ask on second careers above 60 and what kind of help they would offer
  • Rajani,VP, TCS – On the question what are the top 3 behavioural traits that young women need to build upon said (1)to be clear on Priorites, (2) Be Flexible to achieve them and ,(3) Be ready to  Compromise as well.
  • Devasena from TCS asked on benefit of her SIL, co sisters who are at home and well qualified with a BTech are looking to get into the work force and how CII IWN can help. She echoed the minds of a lot of women in India
Thanks again to
  • Sanjay Reddy for initiating and supporting this forum
  • Suchitra K Ella for taking up the first Chair woman..Congratulations and we are all with you :)
  • Bhairavi Jani – Thanks for your hard work and being the center of the steering committee.
  • Madhu Vasanthy– brain behind this entire show
Reader - Can you hear your own inner voice above....Would you like to be part of this community. Become a Member at You may also write to Madhu if you are interested to volunteer and for any queries ..

Inspiring delightful evening indeed ...Miles to go before we sleep....

Monday, January 9, 2012

I am going to trick myself !!!

PS: This blog is for all those who have a Car but still have not started driving it !!!

I got my car license in 2001 just for the sake of having one. My husband got a car for me ;) in May 2008 and I was really really scared to drive a car. With all my fear inside I sat on the driver seat to take the car for its first pooja to the near by Pillaiyaar temple and ghosh not sure how I got hurt but in one of my right toe was a spot of blood ;(. I decided I am not going to drive that day to the temple. After a few days what do I find – my car’s original RC book is a pizza dinner to a rat. Hmmm bad omen ;) I thought then !!

It was 2011. Year of mentorship lessons! One of the mentorship puzzles was on zero change management – How do we bring about change with zero change management. Couple of key pointers here are that Change Management is most successful when the change is painless to make and it makes life much better. Change is a emotional than a rational process. Minimum viable product(MVP) approach can be applied to change as well

I decided why not try applying this technique for my car driving now that I have to travel across location offices in Chennai.All in all I found that my fear for driving was bigger than me. What if I go and hit someone and what if I don’t feel like taking the car at all from then on etc. I decided I am going to trick myself.

One day at 6 am in the morning I decided I am just going to take the car from its parking lot and drive the car just for 10 mins, only in the forward direction and that was it for the first day ! My mind was comfortable with this change and after three years of the car being idle it was my first success.

Next day I decided to take the car for 20 mins again in the forward direction in newer roads around my area again. Next I happened to pick up my child from one of her classes and also got a chance to experiment reverse in one of the quiet lanes around T Nagar. Again my mind was comfortable with reverse now that it had mastered forward !

I took the car next to Adyar now ! with my husband sitting to my left with his hands always in the hand gear ;).

Thanks to Sripriya Chandran who knew driving well(also a free interesting radio FM for me !!) and who agreed to accompany me for a week to DLF in my car. When I was explaining to her that I was trying to apply zero change management to my driving she teasingly said “ Zero change management for you and 100 % stress management to me sitting next to you …LOL”.

Each time thoughts of fear arose in me for every small change, I kept telling myself “ I am learning something new and hence I am having these butterflies inside and its actually good for me. So many people can drive why not me. I am determined to make it this time “

Within that single week with Priya beside me I saw driving myself with lights ON in the evening, rain, storm(with strong winds one day it looked to me like that !!!), traffic jams at Kathipara etc. I was comfortable with each of these changes – the changes were made such that my mind was comfortable with the change happening each time.

Next was of course a flat tyre change that had to happen !!!.. One day in the evening at MEPZ just when I was leaving ghosh I found a flat tyre. It so happened that Nandhini was also there with me that day. Thank God ! Thanks to JP who immediately helped by coming himself along with couple of them from his team. Thanks to Outreach ! I knew them earlier too very well – Vivek Ganesh and Ammayappan. They asked me for the tool kit to change the tyre. Ooops...I did not even know that my tool kit was not with me !!. Thanks to Sridharan who happened to pass by in the MEPZ lane and was kind enough to lend his tool kit to someone who was completely strange to him. I returned the kit to him the next day.

Thanks to JP, VivekGanesh, Ammayappan, Sridharan and of course Nandhini who were with me for the entire evening to help and I am indeed very grateful to them being my first flat tyre ;)

I got caught by a traffic police too and paid my first fine recently !!! To recap – trick your mind – keep the change so small that your mind does not know that you are making a change !!

Some of you had wanted to read this post so that you could also start applying for car driving….do apply them and let me know how it helped you !!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ZEN@WORK Through Mentorship!

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give - Winston Churchill

Above can be applied to Mentorship even in today’s Corporate millennial world ! I was one among the 8 mentees in 2011 Group Mentoring Program(GMP) by Sukumar Rajagopal(SVP, CIO & Head of Innovation at Cognizant).We were asked to come up with impossible goals for the year as the first step. (What it means!: Achieving 65% of the impossible is better than 100% of the ordinary - I have tried to cover the entire GMP program 2011 and my learnings in a single blog of readable size - Yet another impossible goal ) Here we go

To brief the year long mentorship program in short

  • We had to come up with Top 3 goals for the year and had to beat it by 2X!
  • Clear Implementation Plan to be drafted and reviewed with buddies and tracked year long
  • Head fake Learning’s evolved in this journey of reaching our goals.
  • We eight of us (Hari and Senthil, Sanjay and Saransh, Karthee and Aditya and Veena and myself - divided into 4 buddy pairs) met every fortnight for 90 mins at Sukumar’s cabin from Jan to Nov ’11.
  • The sessions were so designed that changes occurred in us unconsciously and intrinsically
Below we shall cover on my top 5 head fake learnings from my mentorship journey.
Vision: Beginning of the GMP we were asked to come up with goals(to achieve 2X) for the year. This helped me draft a common vision for the whole team. Take aways around this were

  • Aim for 2X – This thought process helps us think on newer lines and most likely we achieve atleast 1.5X than conventional 1X
  • Draft a common Vision for the entire team – Ex. TCOE Implementation in a Testing Team
  • Divide and conquer – Goals were subdivided among team leads/members to accomplish overall goal
Focus: Once you have a vision next is to Focus, focus and focus !! Key takeaways

  • To think and dream of our goals in 2011. Aligning one's own yearly Performance appraisal goals, Department goals and own personal goals help focus more.
  • Tailor on initiatives that do not fall under your goals and attend meetings only in which you can contribute or see if it can be delegated
Influence without Power: With a vision and focus next is to influence the teams we work with without using power Key take aways here were

  • Power of expectations: Works wonders. Believe that your team would perform and trust them and they would. Its like the power of reflection!
  • Collaboration: Reusing tools, techniques from other, reaching out to communities for help and giving them the visibility for their efforts
  • Adopt a growth mindset: Give the team enough of time and they will indeed surprise you. Believing that the team will definitely grow past previous mistakes with the intention to learn does help

iLeadership: The next step of maturity in this path was to attain an iLeadership environment in the team. Head fake here were

  • Engagement by enquiry: To adopt an approach of questioning and encourage a community feel than a hierarchical feel. Thanks to Sanjay’s workshops.
  • Providing visibility to our subordinates with the Leadership team
  • Get into Details: Apart from delegating also to ensure that the team is well equipped to complete by getting into the details.
  • Upward Delegation: An interesting learning from Hari. When we are stuck to approach our boss for help
  • Virtual Teams: Diversified teams across locations and striving to measure by outcomes
  • Connect: Networking through KM community meets, eWIT summits brings in new ways of learning and new friends.

Towards finding Life’s meaning: Last but most important lesson was on finding life’s meaning ! Below are key takeaways on this line

  • Passion: Apply passion as a skill. Thanks to Sukumar, the thinking itself gives new strength and hope. Have applied it and found successful !!
  • Pay it forward: To look at ways in which we can help others be it through any kind of CSR activity/professional help.

All the above learnings are based on my piloted experiences or what I am striving to adopt for in the days to come !

Overall the mentorship program has given me a self transformation, self awareness and a sense of direction and sometimes I get a Zen feeling inside me in mostly anything I do be it at work or driving my car !

The journey would continue with me graduating to a mentor in 2012 to few mentees and creating impact in my own small way !

Thanks to Sukumar for creating this wave. Its extremely heartening to see that he has been doing mentorship programs for 14 years now. In fact this is also an Outreach program within the organization – to produce human impact by changing lives around us who seek for help/guidance.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Life Lessons from Women Leaders for the young women of Corporate India ! – Part 1

How does this sound ! The department you work for in your organization plans to host a whole day summit exclusively for women to address topics such as work life balance, wholistic living etc!. Yahoooo! This is what every working woman looks forward to know and learn right !!

It was Nov 4th 2011 and the whole day sessions at the women summit were absolutely brilliant - Those that no work life balance books or any class room sessions would teach us. There were real life lessons from women leaders with recipes for both the "emancipated" and the I accept to work within my social system lot. It was really great and I could not resist myself from sharing it with all my women friends(My blog title says so too !!) . In this part 1 post I will cover the morning session and in the part 2 the afternoon session. Here we go...

The session started with a welcome speech by Usha Shekar and Jayashree Sridharan who themselves were women leaders and who shared a lot of insights throughout the day. The morning session was on “How balanced is your Scale” by Priya Raju, an emancipated woman leader who has around 19 years of experience with working in top tier software companies. She currently works with few NGOs and makes human impact by giving back to the society..

The session started with an icebreaker. Try answering them keeping in mind with whatever organization you work for

1. Who are my top management – example CEO, COO, CFO and CIO.
2. What is my company’s Current Stock Price, Net Profit, Market Cap and Annual Revenue
3. What is the most recent noteworthy event in the past few months in my company in the news.
The key take away here was that women NEED TO BE AWARE of all this.

Next was a survey. Again try answering them from your side.
1. How many hours do you work in a week? Are you able to stay long & work at odd hours in the office
2. How many hours per day do you spend taking care of family?
3. Do you have a sense of guilt when you choose your career over parenthood/family?
4. Have you turned down opportunities because it required a transfer or travel?
5. Do you have a mentor? If yes, how did you find the mentor?
6. How much time do you spend every week networking with your colleagues?
7. What does it take to succeed in a company like which you are working for?

Have you answered? If not do answer :). It helps you introspect yourself. Only then have a look below at some of sample answers from senior management
1. Top Management in any company works on an average 55 – 60 hours !! Working at odd hours are taken from home
2. Max 1 – 2 hours on week days. Weekends are set aside for family. Support system is built strong for week days with extended family , cooks and maids.
3. Guilt is useless. Instead focus on quality time. Share interesting incidents from work with your children so that they don’t feel left out
4. Do not assume transfers or travels are impossible. Talk with your family and see
5. Informal mentoring works best sometimes. Also don’t restrict mentors within your organization. Find industry peers through networking
6. Networking is taken seriously. It happens through Golfing, conferences, get togethers, meeting old college friends etc.
7. Passion(Nothing comes stress free . If you have passion atleast you will enjoy it), Commitment, Hard work and an attitude to learn and innovate

What do successful People want – To sum up they want
Career Growth
• Opportunities to Work on their Interests, Passions
• Successful affiliation with other people
• Compensation !

Next was on Networking: To give a background to networking the topic Productivity vs Creativity was discussed – Both indeed are necessary but instead of just working hard alone and achieving, when you network you connect with people and get novel ideas. You get to know what is most important and most relevant too ! Now on to What, Why, How and Where of Networking
What is networking – It is to share information in simple words. In ancient days it used to happened near water pools and today it happens near the water cooler at office ;).
Why Networking – To identify experts, to copy solutions for challenges already addressed, to see who shares common interest with you, to identify mentors.
How to network – You could talk about where you work, years of experience, current happenings. If shy, you don’t have to be life in the party ;). You could just atleast move around and listen to others than talking with only people whom you know. Speak to one person at a time. Practice introducing yourself. You could talk about weather, sports stock market (Read Economist!!). Follow them through on requests made by others etc
Where to network – in sports clubs, become a member in clubs like cosmopolitan club, gymkhana club (Maniratnam is a member here ;)), volunteer in an organization, attend industry wide symposiums. Do we hear “Ooooff. I don’t have the time for all this ;)”
•Then you need to do a calendar analysis ;). Classify your work as non work activities and work activities. The non work activities can be delegated. Introspect work activities – They can be again classified as productive and time wasters. Remove the time wasters. Take breaks for max of 10 to 15 mins. Have a coffee or a lunch on a week day with an acquaintance. You get to network and so also do not need extra time for the same
Pay it forward – It is an act of kindness without expecting anything in return, good karma or simply only when you help others someone else will help you.
Power of reciprocity – collect indebtedness
In brief
• Learn to introduce yourself in 30 seconds flat. (Elevator pitch !)
• Talk about what excites you to impress others
• If you find someone interesting/worthwhile, keep in touch.
• Don’t hesitate to call people from your network to get some help or advise.

Now that you have learnt a bit on Networking how do you project your accomplishments with subtleness and class without trumpeting ;)

Few examples of Accomplishments that matter
• Can they reuse your knowledge in another project? Have you created reusable tools?
• Have you added a feather to your department/organization
• Do you have rare skills?
• Have you achieved productivity improvements? Can they be replicated?

Now we will see Steps towards building a Story Around Accomplishments
• What was your responsibility in the achievement?
• Think of it as a very brief story – which means, it should have a Start, a Middle and an End.
Quantify your achievement – For e.g. “Our tool increased productivity by 25%”.
• Did you blast through the numbers? Did you over-achieve?
• Did you win an award, get extra bonus or a much coveted promotion due to this accomplishment?
• How did your achievement help others? Think about your customers, management team, peers etc

Key Takeaways:
Guilt is useless and being a role model is indeed important
• Keep yourself abreast with latest happenings and releases, gadgets, stocks, movies, music etc
• Expecting too much understanding from employer will make us be branded as “High Maintenance”. Instead focus on the end goal of good world class project and then our reasonable requests such as flexi, part time etc will all come automatically (You could sit in the beach and still code,test ;)).
Assertiveness is a skill that is REALLY essential
• Feel less ashamed for competition. As you move upwards you need to COPE with competition.
Delegate what possible and save some time for yourself
• Overcoming all these challenges is IN OUR HANDS. You paint your future :)

Thanks a lot Priya for all the hard work and efforts and truly the session was of a unique class very rich in content and with a penetrating delivery style and brought out the “strong woman from within” each of us. In fact this is indeed another form of human impact in the society.

All – I know it’s a little long blog but still all of the points were insightful and hence!. Stay tuned to part 2 for Shoba Sridharan ‘s talk on “Wholistic living” and Archana Raghuram’s6 paradigms that balance my life”

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

eWIT – Do what you love :)

It was indeed an inspirational last week…Came across Steve Jobs video Explained to my 6 year old couple of key lessons from his video for her age as (i)Do what you love ! and (ii)Do things only if YOU want to do and not because someone else asks you to do

And she began to narrate a story her class teacher had told – The fox and sheep fable where a fox fell into a well and the passing sheep too falls into the well listening to cunning fox’s words and how finally the fox escapes from the well by climbing over the sheep and sheep is finally left stranded. Moral of the story she said was that – We should do things only if we want to do and not because someone else like the fox asks to do. Oooff…Children do grow up too fast !!

It was Aug 23rd 2011 and it was the eWIT( monthly meet. Landmark’s founder Hemu Ramaish was the speaker and she was to talk on the topic “Bring out the Entrepreneur in You“

Wow ! It was a great feeling for Srividya, Nandhini and myself to go to a community meeting where atleast 85 % were women:) . It happened within the city too opposite to the Anna centenary Library !

Overall Hemu’s speech showed the amount of subject matter expertise she had based on one core concept – “her liking for books”. Here are some of the key lessons that I learnt from her speech

  • Measure what you want to do in your own space
  • No need to be a topper to become an entrepreneur (I liked this !!)
  • Do not do something because of latest trends
  • Stay in space that you Enjoy or Excel (Hemu always liked books and was used to libraries and decided her work was definitely going to be around books)
  • Do what YOU want to do
  • Trust your gut
  • As you draft your business plan also plan for an exit plan (At 50 no matter what we have sell it was her decision)
  • Pick up one feature that is different and cannot replicated
  • In personal life depends on how convinced and determined we are with our lives that others will change to adjust to us
  • If you have an idea, have a business plan and nail it till the base unit. Account for risk and whether you will be able to manage it
  • Attend courses in topics where we think we are not comfortable or get a partner to complement (like how Hemu married a CA :) because she was not so comfortable with numbers as she says !)

Am sure I am going to see Landmark in a new paradigm the next time I visit the place !!

Currently among the many things she does Hemu also runs the “Chennai angels” whose inspiring caption is Nurturing Passion, Mentoring Success :)

Next speaker was LS Ganesh Sir from IIT Entrepreneurship cell. Below are the key lessons from his speech

  • All progress depends on unreasonable person (Really liked this ;) )
  • Our efforts needs to be Purposeful, directed and Persistent
  • Entrepreneurs are of 2 kinds – Pioneer Entrepreneur (with a unique concept) or” Me too “entrepreneur with a slightly different variation to an existing concept
  • An aspiring entrepreneur needs to possess
  • Competence/be persistent/risk taking capability
  • Energy - Need to have both physical and mental energy
  • Expertise - Complement strengths and form good teams – people skills
  • Enthusiasm or passion
  • Effort or hard work
  • Empowered – No power can stop you
  • Endurance - Do you have it in you!

After the session (which we really did not want to end ) Ganesh Sir was also so patiently listening to our questions and giving us advice. Guess this is also another form of social outreach – giving away knowledge for free :)

Overall it was a very inspiring session and we parted with the thoughts – No matter what “Do what we love and follow our intuition and Gut”

Thanks to eWIT for organizing these meets. Look forward to much more.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One morning at the Chennai Museum !

Dreams do come true !

May 21st - Had a dream that I was on an elephant safari trip and I vaguely recollect seeing atleast 7 elephants.
May 25th - Had a dream again on Elephants - This time 2 of them with those BIG ears like African elephants !
May 26th - It was my birthday (Now the date is for all your future reference :)). My cousin Anitha who had been on a trip to Nepal for her paper presentation, had got me a gift. The minute I opened the wrapper, I almost threw it off shocked - It was "One Big elephant along with 6 small elephants around it - 7 elephants.” Unbelievable!! Yet true !!

June 30th - It so happened that myself and my buddy Veena had an opportunity to visit the Chennai Egmore museum as part of our mentorship program. We chose the topic “Greco-Buddhist Sculpture”. Now on to a little bit of history based on the sculptures that we saw there.

Greco-Buddhist art resulted from the confluence of classical Greek culture and Buddhism. Around 600 AD, Alexander the great’s kingdom extended from North Afghanistan to Punjab(Then this region was known as Bactria). Same was taken over later from Bactrian rulers by Seythians and then Parthians. Greco Buddhism spread and art was a form of expression.
There were sculptures of Adoration of Buddha at Peshawar, Buddha's head dress, bowl, Elephant – head of Bodhisattva, Hercules in Peshawar, Bodhisattva’s birth

Veena and I were so engrossed in looking for Buddha at the Bronze section that we saw Manikavasagar‘s hair style !! and mistook him for Buddha

Chennai Museum – Bronze Section
There were also sculptures excavated from Velipalayam, Nagapatinam around 10th century showcasing that Buddhism had spread over till there.

Buddhism then was almost taking place like a reform movement. Hinduism was looked at by some as a culture with excessive ritualism. Moksha was seen as the freedom from all rituals. In Hinayana Buddhism – symbols were used to denote Buddha while in Mahayana Buddhism human form of Buddha was used. It was also believed that a person’s previous births were looked at as a training ground. Based on punya, higher life forms would result else in lesser ms.

Overall it was an eye opener on this new form of Indo Grecan Buddhist culture and we hope to explore more in the months to come.

So what does the past teach us
1. Helps us understand the present !!
2. Gives new meaning based on collective knowledge that one possesses
3. For some of them gives natural fascination and energy high

July 4th DLF – The day I moved from my beloved WCB to DLF. It was an auspicious day and I decided to decor my desk inspired by Veena.(Its really good to see all her awards, her kids snaps etc :) at her desk). In the morning I was searching for something a little religious ….may be a small Buddha I thought. Searched a bit and unfortunately did not find one. . I did take the 7 elephants with me that Anita had gifted and placed at my desk. Around lunch Kavitha S came to my desk and enquired on the 7 elephants statue that I had placed in my desk. She asked me where I had got it and I told her the entire history !!. She then exclaimed “ A Pillaiyaar should be there on the back”. I searched on the back and Ghosh I found “Buddha’s face carving !!!” - something that I had not noticed in the past 1 month that this 7 elephants statue was with me .