I had the pleasure of visiting my friend Rohan Thakare at the new sprawling office of WisdmLabs . After a illustrious stint with Convonix, and IBM, Rohan pursued the career path of his passion with WisdmLabs towards beginning 2012. This was around the same time I moved on from my corporate career to pursue a freelance path codenamed CoreGray. ( the site remains terrible and i am not linking it here :-D)
Here is a quick collage of the awesome time we had at the new office of WisdmLabs
The first thing that catches attention is oodles of white space and its fresh look, without any walls nor boundaries except that of the outer walls and the building itself.
Looks like a perfect setup that combines the camaraderie of a bazaar with no walls, and the white discipline and simplicity of a cathedral.
Rohan and WisdmLabs supported me a lot for larger project requests i received as a freelancer. We did some awesome projects together, notably among them – YouTooCanRun.com – the go-to website for preparing as well as booking for Marathons around India, and soon worldwide.
Rohan was distinctly the person who got me more interested about Matt Mullenweg , many years after i started working on the WordPress.org platform. This got me further interested in Automattic Inc., till i got myself hired by them.
Everytime i visited Rohan, his office size expanded in the exponential. I wish great success and happy growth to WisdmLabs and Rohan!
Summary – Before the Topi speaks for herself, the story here is about how i got my Crown (topi cap) for the WordCamp Mumbai 2017 thanks to a hero at my home – my loyal home staff – Jyoti Chawla :). Hear the story from “topi herself”.
Unlike Kochi, Mumbai does not have a distinct traditional dress code since it is a melting pot of many more cultures here. However thanks to the Mumbai Wappu avatar as Wambhau, Nagesh got hunting for a Gandhi Cap (topi) leading to me :).
The caps of my type- Gandhi Topis, originally donned by those who were a part of India’s non-violent freedom struggle, is also worn by a community of Dabbawallas. A nice white cap like me also protects heads from the hot tropical sun. The Dabbawallas are a unique community within Mumbai that has been delivering hot meal tiffins with 6 Sigma accuracy! Among their fans is Prince Charles himself!
Nagesh recalled having a Topi somewhere from the last Republic Day celebration. As usual he may have misplaced it and blamed his mother for keeping it so safe buried in the X-files of his many home cupboards.
His frantic search caught the watchful eyes of Jyoti, who keeps the house in order (in addition to mom Pai) , as well as serves as a nanny to his “Dotter”. On asking, Nagesh’s mom told her about his ongoing archaelogical effort to find the headgear for the event next morning.
The topi is also used commonly for ceremonial occasions in the Maharashtrian community to which Jyoti’s maiden family belongs. Looking at Nagesh’s perilous excavations around the house, Jyoti decided to get into action mode. Except, unlike other super heroes she didn’t change to a costume before kabooming in!
For Jyoti, impossible is nothing and there is no tomorrow. She asked for a short time out…. and in about half hour came home with me – a nice bright white ironed and fit Topi.. Much to the wide amazement of Nagesh!!
Now let me timeshift and slo-mo what happened in that magical half hour.. Jyoti stepped out of the home, walked about half a kilometer to the next locality on the other side of a busy highway. She crossed a busy market and an underground subway to get to her sister’s place. She asked if she had a topi with her. Her sister showed one which had gone dull and faded. Jyoti wasn’t happy and sparing no more time rushed out to the nearest shop and picked me off the shelf from there with my accompanying shawl ( a small towel). I was hoping to be picked for yet another Maharashtrian marriage, or perhaps a political rally. I kept guessing where i was headed until Nagesh picked me up to don his head and attire for his talk at WordCamp Mumbai 2017! He added a WordPress badge on me and we were all set.
With me crowning Nagesh, he got all the attention and admiration for matching the theme mascot of the event – Wambhau!
After the talk, i changed heads only to be donned by another fabulous member of the WordPress India community – Hardeep Asrani! Thanks to him I am now on my way to Kanpur from Mumbai.
I hope to attend one more WordCamp at Kanpur where Hardeep is an organizer, and crown one more awesome head 🙂
या देवी सर्व भूतेषु विद्या , शक्ति , भाग्य , प्रेम रूपेण संस्तितः नमस्तस्यै नमोनमः ||
Ya Devi Sarva Bhooteshu, Vidya, Shakti, Bhagya, Prema Roopena Sansthithaha… Namastasyai Namonamaha #HappyWomensDay
Without the “i” of Devi.. Shiva is Shava.. divine saying
In fond respect of every Woman that inspires, loves, sometimes grunts, suspects my sight, breathes music and poetry, and attracts this weak man 🙂 .. I surrender to your divine power, while i can never grasp fully who you are!
I am out of words to express the joy of my first experience as an approved WordCamp speaker. The talk itself, the hospitality and camaraderie within the community, all of it and more was truly heart warming!
My first WordCamp as an attendee was WordCamp Pune 2017 which was incidentally in the same month when i joined Automattic full time as a Happiness Engineer – January 2017. Friendly organizers of the event and colleagues alike, encouraged me to give a quick talk at an open conference slot. Though i had an audience of just 5, I received some generous appreciation that pushed me to apply for the subsequent WordCamp Kochi and WordCamp Mumbai.
I found through my friends that speaking about our own experience in the WordPress circuits is a great idea. With that hook I thought about RadioIdli.net – my community “radio” (multimedia magazine site / blog) as a good reference point. It was this project that gave me everything in WordPress as well as my career in digital marketing.
Kochi and Kerala, are heart-beds of literacy and literature in our country. It’s citizens are very vocal and expressive in written communication as well as media. Hence i thought of using my learnings to present a talk on
I hope to share the video here pretty soon, as much as i am curious to see what i actually spoke 😀
My next talk scheduled in WordCamp Mumbai – “How I built my community ‘radio’ using WordPress… and my career in Digital Media” is going to be inspired by RadioIdli.net too. However the talk will be more about how the project transformed my career for good. The story is also about how an ordinary user with no programming knowledge and zero investment can go about learning by oneself and making an awesome career. I hope the talk will help aspirants with their journey, developers to onboard and encourage users to turn power users, and the community to have more vibrant users too!
I had a wonderful trip to Kanha arranged by a Naturalist Shrikant Undalkar. I will highly recommend him for anyone wanting to explore the wild side in India and around the world. for now here is a link to my Google photos album.
Authored by Harvard Profs – Lawrence H Summers and Natasha Sarin.
Based in India which has been the worst victim of black money, and an earlier corrupt regime under Ivy-educated ex PM and ex FM, I find a fundamental flaw in their article.
Flawed comparison of hard cash spends between US and India.<
“While it might be argued that because India is much poorer than the United States, $15 in India is equivalent to $100 in the United States, the reality is that most Americans in the top 1 percent of the income distribution do not handle $100 bills on even a weekly basis, whereas 500 rupee notes are very widely used in India.”
A fundamental flaw in this point is that for amounts of $100 (even smaller) Americans may use credit cards or e-transactions. In India the penetration of debit cards to almost every household has surged only in the last one year when the Govt initiated free bank accounts for every home – The PM Jan Dhan Yojana . Almost all banks (some of them reluctantly) in India were pushed by the ministry of finance to go to every doorstep to open the account. This exercise was done more than a year ago. All users get a free debit card. The whole intention is to drive people away from paper currency. That is the way to go towards a completely accounted economy
People in India have been given enough time to exchange the old notes and deposit it into their accounts. Those stashing cash have been given an opportunity to deposit and pay tax. Most of the queues are dying down. They have been quite long in the first week due to panic, and yes, servants and staff of hoarders who were pushed to convert black to white.
The move to curb hard cash is making people adopt e-wallets, debit cards and other alternative means much faster. I recently did a travel from Mumbai to Kolhapur on road and for a 3 day journey i spent only Rs. 60 (less than $1) using hard cash. Even small restaurants on the roadside (A franchisee of Kamat’s Restaurant) accepted money using e-wallet.
We have had a Prime minister in the past from Ivy league under whose regime we saw maximum corruption in history. Even his Finance Minister belonged to the Ivy league. we have had “eminent” central bankers who only gave ball talk in airconditioned conferences about “Financial inclusion”.
It took a maverick “tea seller” Prime Minister who has a degree from none, to think different and bring a bank account to every home within 6 months and mobilize Rs. 25,000 crore from deposits of poor. Today the deposits of PMJDY accounts stand at $10.5 Billion. (INR 72000 crore).. and counting
While opinions are respected, we need a different maverick solution. The answer in all likelihood for corruption cannot come from a system which has failed to bring ethics in their alumnus. How they need to reform themselves is a different topic altogether. We need to open up to answers from the “tea seller” on the street who has been the worst victim of black suit banking and black money. Thanks to democracy, one of them has become the Prime Minister of India, free from the sometimes hard-chiseled theories of prime universities.
High time the Ivy steps out of the Ivory tower and join the party on the streets!
Here i am, waiting for my Training as a Trial Happiness Engineer to begin in about 4 minutes.
The feeling is exactly what you have when you are next in turn for a roller coaster ride.
You are waiting at the entry barrier. The empty cars are in sight rumbling down. You are with a merry band, but you don’t know them well as yet and while the fun is on, there is a bit of anxiety if i would fit in well with them, if i could speak their language and sing along the same song as they do.
Looking at the joyous expressions of those stepping out of their ride though, i can say that i am in for a Thrill ride towards Happiness! I hope and i believe it would be!